A sneak peek of Tatsumi's days with Esdeath and her army! Yay!
I've finally updated Kill the Deciever and Red-Eyed Sleeping Dragon.
Thank you for your patience!
It's 2016! Yaaaaaaaaayyyy!
Around three years after Tatsumi started his work with Esdeath, Honest had Esdeath's army go on a desert campaign to the south. As far as the eye can see, sand dunes rolled across the the land. Occasionally a cactus or dried bush could be seen but not a single tree was in sight. Large rocks jutted out of the ground. The occasional animal could be seen fleeing.
The blazing sun showed no mercy to the thousands of sweating soldiers, marching. Walking through the army of armored soldiers, would allow you to hear exhausted panting or low-voiced complaining.
At the head of the mass of people, 5 people walked. At the front was a cold-looking woman with a sadistic grin that never ceased. Another was a blonde boy with a flute and devil-like horns along with a tail. One more was a serious looking old man. Another was a man with no visible pupils, and a dual-bladed battle axe strapped to his back. The last was a youth with a claymore at his side, looking bored. Unlike the warriors behind them, they didn't look tired at all.
While a mortified guide led them in a seemingly random direction, the sound of an armored knight collapsing from the heat and exhaustion could be heard. Some of the others around him looked to him, expecting him to get up, only to find him not moving at all. A few others had dropped earlier. However Esdeath didn't bother stopping, leaving the unfortunate victims of a long journey in the sun to die.
No mercy came from the Empire's Strongest. In fact, she was planning to just move on ignoring the half-dead soldier before River convinced her otherwise.
"Esdeath-sama, if we keep going at this rate, there won't be any soldiers to fight the Southern tribe with."
Esdeath actually paused, before she let her subjects rest. "AT EASE." Immediately her army collapsed, relieved sighs could be heard along with a few conversations. No one made a move to help the fallen soldier, instead made a wide circle around him, as to avoid him.
Esdeath even made a few giant ice pillars and the soldiers crowded around them. Any melted frost was instantly licked up.
"U-um what do I do?" Their guide was looking absolutely horrified at the thought of no longer having a use, even if briefly.
Esdeath turned to him,"Were you not listening? I said, At Ease." The man paled before simply sitting down. Esdeath clearly wasn't very fond of the man for multiple reasons.
Esdeath herself probably would have been exhausted from the heat if it wasn't for the fact that she purposely made the air around her, and her top subjects, cold. Her favorite, Tatsumi, would've as well, having some of her blood running through her veins. The other three wouldn't have been nearly as effected.
They had left the horses in the capital, and any other mount available was turned down by Esdeath.
After approximately ten minutes of resting, Esdeath sent scouts out in the direction the guide was leading them in. Half an hour later they came back, having sighted the enemy camp.
With how close they were to the enemy, her soldiers prepared for battle. The five climbed up a large boulder several meters away. At the top they could see a large city of sandstone buildings, along with people going about their daily lives. A few guards could be seen. Every one of them had heavily tanned skin and wore as as little clothing as possible without being naked.
Most would wonder why they would attack a city rather than a military base, but it was all the same to Esdeath.
"Tatsumi, bring me a ranked official from that city, alive." He nodded understanding what she wanted. Rather than his usual black cloak, her wore a beat-up beige cloak. One you could buy anywhere. It was more effective camouflage here. "Be quick." She knew he couldn't handle such heat for long.
Two groans filled with annoyance were let out.
"I'm working with the arrogant shrimp?" Tatsumi growled.
"Hey! I'd much rather work with anyone else! It's the Boss's orders though!" Mine yelled in return. Najenda had just informed them of their new partnerships... Needless to say neither side was happy.
"Why do I have to work with her?! I'd much rather work with just about anyone else!" Tatsumi got along well enough with the other members of Night Raid, if you don't count a few mishaps with Leone and Lubbock, but Mine always got on his nerves. She, quite frankly, reminded him of Esdeath's Three Beasts. Except all of the qualities he didn't mind were thrown out, and her goals and values were the complete opposite.
"It's just one thing after another isn't it?" Leone teased. She tried and failed to hide a giggle when Mine shot her a glare.
""Shut up!"" Tatsumi and Mine yelled in unison. Then they started glaring at each other. Leone looked to be having trouble composing herself, as she tried to stop laughing.
"It's only temporary, okay?" Najenda said trying to prevent a fight.
"I don't care. I refuse to work with an arrogant little girl who thinks she's superior." Tatsumi said, still not relenting his glare.
Mine opened her mouth to reply, but was silenced when the door opened.
Akame walked into the room and eyed the occupants, stopping at Tatsumi. "What's going on?"
"Tatsumi and Mine are going to be working together! But they don't seem to like the arrangement..." Najenda supplied.
She narrowed her eyes, but went to the kitchen anyway. Whether It was to snack or to cook, no one knew.
"Anyway just work with it." Najenda told them. Mine snorted and left the room with a arrogant cock to her head. Tatsumi left too, but sent a death glare at Leone.
"What? It's funny." She said when Najenda raised an eyebrow at her. Najenda just sighed and sat down to wait for breakfast.
Tatsumi and Mine walked through the Capital.
"Hmm... Now that I look closer, there's a lot of sullen expressions." Tatsumi commented. He had switched back to his 'bumpkin persona' and now made a false comment. The unhappy emotions were obvious from the start.
"Well yeah. They're all under a reign of terror." Mine stated. She walked around in the front leading Tatsumi.
"I know you don't have a wanted poster, but is it still okay to walk in broad daylight?" Tatsumi asked. He decided stupid questions might give more information.
"It's not like we'll be arrested. Anyway, we have a mission to complete."
Mission? I didn't hear about a mission...
"Is that why you brought me along?" He questioned.
"Yeah! Let's start with the inspection of the city's condition!" She said raising a fist to the air.
Tatsumi raised an eyebrow in question, but went along with it.
What followed after decreased his respect for Mine by droves.
First was a crepe shop. Mine ordered one and seemed to enjoy it greatly, while Tatsumi only got a simple drink.
This girl... Don't tell me...
Next was a lingerie shop. Tatsumi refused to enter. From the door however, he could see Mine questioning herself on whether or not she should get some. Despite this a content smile was on her face.
Then there were clothes shops. Mine tried on any pink dress she saw, and asked of his opinion. He merely glared at her each time she asked. Afterwards she tried to force him to hold her bags, but Tatsumi decided to dump them all on the floor and walk away. Mine glared at him but continued on her way.
It's official. She's trying to use me as a pack mule. I think I'll just go back to the base.
He walked through the streets eventually stopping at a large crowd.
In the front were bloodied bodies. Every single one was still alive. Hanging on crosses for a slow death. Some gritted their teeth so they didn't cry out, while some screamed in pain and humiliation. Most were minus a limb or two. The few who had all their limbs, had bruises all along their body.
As he stared up at them, he heard a voice.
"Are you suprised? Public executions are a common sighting in the Capital." He looked to his side, and there stood Mine.
"It's because the Minister says it's okay... It was because of the Minister that the current emperor won the battle for succession."
Then one scream in pain, and Mine narrowed her eyes in determination.
"But, I won't be like them. I'll live and see this war to the end!"
The Prime Minister, huh? But still, Mine seems to be heavily underestimating the Empire. If it was so weak, the other countries would have already destroyed it. Then again, if they find a way to take out Esdeath-sama and Great General Budo, then conquering will be considerably easier... Esdeath-sama please come back soon. I'm not sure how you want me to deal with this...
Immediately after they got to the base, they were sent on a mission. Everyone went, with the exception of Najenda, to kill a blood relative of the Prime Minister. The guards were guilty too, so punishment in the form of Teigu wielding assassins was coming.
Currently, Tatsumi and Mine were hidden in trees a while away from the compound. Tatsumi was given binoculars, but he didn't bother, he's been in that place far to much to his liking.
Mine studied the distance between them and the compound, realizing it was to far, and that she'd have to wait.
Tatsumi knew of Pumpkin's abilities, Esdeath explaining it to him in great detail after Najenda defected, so he knew without a 'pinch' the sniper Teigu was at a set level.
Mine's concentration was commendable, but Tatsumi had seen better among Esdeath's army. When she announced the target had walked out, he replied merely for appearances.
Then a bullet of light ran through the wind and directly into the target's head, then out the other side. None of the bystanders suffered anything physical.
Hmm... She's a nice shot I suppose.
Tatsumi mentally snorted in annoyance when Mine said, "You know... I'm a genius sniper."
Then the guards ran out. Tatsumi narrowed his eyes when he only counted four.
Didn't Najenda say there were five?
The masked martial artists ran straight into the rest of Night Raid.
With a smirk, Leone bashed her fists together as she prepared for a one-sided beat-down.
Mine continuously complained about the path to the meet-up point.
Those guys were from the Koukenji Temple right? Well, it's not like it matters with Akame in that group. I just need to figure out where the fifth one went.
Mine earned a lit the respect from him when she explained how she hated people who abuse their power. With what she said, there was only one question to ask, but she answered before he could think about the pros and cons.
"As a special little treat, I'll tell you a bit about my past." She didn't notice, or just ignored, the look of annoyance and suprise that flashed on his face.
"I was born and raised on the western border of the Empire, and half my blood is foreign. I was mercilessly ridiculed, and nobody accepted me. My childhood was made of misery." Then she explained how the Revolutionary Army made alliances with the other races, and how if they won, no one would suffer like her.
Never again, will I let there be any form of discrimination!"
The moment, however, was ruined when her 'true' motives surfaced.
"And because of my big role in the Revolution, I'll get a big reward and live like a celebrity! Ahahah!" She started laughing weirdly as they continued on.
Do I respect her or humiliate her? At this point, those are the only two options I'll accept.
"Al, right we're almost at he meeting point. That mean mission accomplished!"
"Missions aren't finished until you give the report." He replied without thought. That was the way Esdeath worked. If you went against her words, you'll be let off with torture if you're lucky.
"Hmph. Those are Akame's words, right?" The moment she started talking a shadow appeared behind her.
It was the last Koukenji guard.
Tatsumi narrowed his eyes, before, in an instant, grabbing Mine by the collar of her shirt and throwing her a little ways away.
"What are you-," She started before realizing what happened. She gritted her teeth and let loose a rain of light at the foe, but he dodged every bullet.
Seeing her 'plan' wasn't working, Tatsumi drew Minakami. Seeing the somewhat desperate situation he figured he should end this quickly.
I didn't plan to show my Trump Card so early on, but it will gain their trust, and I can't afford anymore suspicion either.
He pointed Minakami's tip at the former instructor, and the gem on its hilt turned blood red. Instantly, the instructor stopped moving. He could be heard struggling to breath, but it didn't matter, in a second he was riddled with holes.
Mine let her muscles relax as she turned to newest recruit. "How did you..?"
"That's Minakami's Trump Card I think it's called. I can control blood." He added the 'I think' because of his supposed cluelessness. What I didn't tell her is how often I use Minakami in the torture chamber.
"Urgh... That's a cool trump card, not as cool as Pumpkin's of course. Well, I can't help but be a little impressed." She had a small blush from the embarrassment of having to be saved.
Ugh. Girls are to simple. Then again, women are to complicated. Well, I can't compare all women to Esdeath-sama... That would be a very scary world...
At that moment Akame's group appeared from the trees.
"Ah, it's already over. I guess we didn't need to rush over here after all." Leone said with a chuckle.
Akame was staring at the Swiss cheese look alike, also known as the corpse of the former instructor. Rather than look like he was killed by the oh-so-obvious bullet holes, he looked like he was suffocated...
I promise that sneak peek wasn't just a little addition. It will have purpose later on.
Unlike before I now know exactly where I'm going with this. Where and how I plan to end this. Although I still need to figure out how I plan to end Red-Eyed Sleeping Dragon.
So now Tatsumi's getting along better (slightly) with Mine...
I find it funny how Kill the Deciever and Red-Eyed Sleeping Dragon are almost complete opposites. It's very interesting writing one and then writing the other. I usually skim read my earlier chapters to make sure I'm not messing anything up.