Special: My faithful reviewer, TravisUmbra, always makes me laugh with their reviews. Shame he doesn't have an account, but he's still funny. And no, I do not have Spectator :P
During his years under Esdeath, Tatsumi learned about enemies to the Empire. He learned of the Northern Tribe, but that was irrelevant, they were completely demolished by now. He learned of the Western Tribe, a mass of hardy people, typically with hair some shade of red or orange. Mine was a rarity, with pink hair, but she was still recognizable as one of the Western Tribe.
The Eastern Tribe, they were one of the many Esdeath had eradicated in her career. They were weak, according to Esdeath. She had easily destroyed their entire civilization before she had even met Tatsumi.
He remembered the Southern Tribe. It was the hardest battle he had ever fought, even harder than hiding from a suspicious Akame aiming for his secrets…
He also learned of the Revolutionary Army. According to Great General Budo, they were foolish people trying to destroy a mighty Empire. Tatsumi never really understood his ideals… He hated the corruption that wove its way through the Empire, yet he protected the cause of it.
All that was known about the Revolutionary Army had been drilled into him. He could recite all known base locations, both the ones that were destroyed and the ones that weren't, any Teigu the other side had that they knew of, most high-ranking officials of the Army, as well as multiple not-as-important things, in his sleep.
However, the criminals in the Capital? There were way too many. Other than Night Raid, Tatsumi didn't bother with the others.
While the new target was a former Imperial executioner, with Honest practically ruling, there were quite a few executioners, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise when Tatsumi didn't know who Zank the Beheader was.
"Zank… Who?" He stood in the meeting room with the rest of the members of Night Raid. Najenda was sitting in her throne-like-chair, while everyone else stood at ready for orders.
Mine shot him an annoyed glare, then started ranting, "You don't know who Zank the Beheader is? You are a country bumpkin! Ha!"
Tatsumi replied with an angered growl, "Hey! Just because I don't remember the name of some psycho criminal doesn't make me a bumpkin!" He had contemplated multiple times, what he would do to her if Esdeath captured her. However, since his general was up in the North, and he had been ordered to be 'friendly' with the infamous assassins, his wishes won't be coming true anytime soon.
"Zank the Beheader is a former Imperial executioner. He went insane after Honest took over, since he was forced to behead innocent people. Pleas for mercy don't exactly help your sanity." Mine explained, sounding like she had recited the exact lines multiple times.
"Anyway, he seems to have shown up in the Capital recently. We've received a request to eliminate him." Najenda explained to her subordinates. "But, apparently he stole the warden's Teigu before fleeing, so prepare for a challenging battle."
Hmm. The way she's talking, she'll probably send all of us out… I guess that 'rule' will come to play now…
When two Teigu users fight…
Oh~, I wonder how long he can last… Esdeath-sama said that if they're already insane, then it's harder to break them...
Only one can come out alive…
It was an absolute rule.
"Let's wipe out that scum!" He yelled with a fist in the air, switching to his fake naive side.
"Yeah. All of y'all are going in pairs. Be ready to go by nightfall."
But I'm ready to go right now…
Minakami's gem lit up briefly, scolding him, before returning to normal.
It's not like I'm the most patient person in the world. You, of all sentient beings, know that best… Even better than Esdeath-sama...
The day passed quicker than he expected, and soon, a blood-red moon hovered above the Earth.
Tatsumi and Akame walked through the deserted cobblestone streets of the Capital. Despite the infinite number of buildings they passed, not a single one had light shining through a window.
An ominous air had settled around the Capital, and in the distance, a man stood.
His hulking form beared down on the assassins of Night Raid, a psychotic smile split his face in two, and a third eye rested on his head.
"Serial killers, and now professional killers… Happy, happy… I wonder what kind of face they'll make…"
Tatsumi was forced to walk a few paces away from his red-eyed companion, as every time he came an inch or two closer, her Crimson glare was leveled onto him.
The red moon illuminated her eyes in a mysterious way, but that just made it more unnerving…
"... I brought snacks…"
She finally decides to talk, and it's because of food… Well, considering how much of a glutton she is, I guess I should be flattered that she'd even consider sharing...
"Thanks, but no thanks. I'm not hungry."
She sent him a weird look, then looked away.
Know what? I've had enough of awkward silence, I'm gonna take a little break.
With the excuse of taking a piss, he silently crossed the alleyway he had walked into.
He leaned against the wall with a relieved sigh.
Peace… I almost don't even want to go back…
In the next instant his eyes shot open. It was so familiar…
Such a familiar aura.
He looked to his right, seeing familiar icy beauty.
Esdeath, stood staring at him.
He stared in surprise at the sight. Wasn't Esdeath still in the North?
Her general uniform was neat and pristine as always. Tatsumi sometimes wondered how, despite her somewhat messy fighting style, not a drop of blood made its way to stain it…
Her normal icy blue eyes bore into him. Except, they didn't have the touch of affection they usually did when they stared at him.
Her hair, as always, swished as she walked. Cold blue, just like her eyes, except it wasn't.
Black streaked through her hair.
That was the first sign something was off.
Tatsumi knew, Esdeath would never dye her hair. Mostly because she saw no point in it, but also because he had complimented how unique her hair was, multiple times, and he knew she loved it when he complimented her.
The second sign, was that, there wasn't the familiar vague feeling. The demon's blood flowed through both of their veins. Since it's being rested in two bodies, it always told them when the other half of its blood was near.
There was no such feeling.
Tatsumi gritted his teeth, and drew Minakami.
It felt wrong to point his sword at his general, even though he knew it wasn't her…
Focus, Tatsumi. Ignore her face. This isn't the woman who befriended you and taught you right from wrong and the joys of being strong. This isn't the person who saved you… She's a Fake.
And with that last thought, he lunged forward.
The Esdeath-look-alike dodged his first two attacks: a stab towards the neck and a downward slash.
A smile stretched her face to an almost inhuman size as she weaved through Minakami's blade.
Tatsumi found himself growling in frustration, grr… Just take your stupid illusion down so I can make you suffer! He thought, having already figured out that this wasn't quite reality.
He saw fake-Esdeath's smile grow a little wider, before suddenly her figure shifted.
In her place stood a wickedly smiling man, bloodlust pouring from him in waves. From his sleeves came to blades, and then the fight truly began.
Tatsumi… Isn't back yet...
Akame had found herself worrying for said comrade after ten minutes of complete silence. She knew he was strong, but she couldn't keep herself worry-free.
She had often wondered just how strong he was… But refused to spar just incase his 'other personality' might get in the way…
She found herself finding it hard to believe that he had split personalities. His backstory made sense, and his background check had no holes, however, she noticed how sometimes when he made a sad or regret-filled face, it seemed like he was acting…
His fighting style seemed extremely familiar. As if she had fought him before. In fact, he did fight very similarly to someone she's fought before: Esdeath's assassin.
Nothing was known about him except for the fact that he was loyal to Esdeath, and Esdeath alone.
His trademark ice-covered scarf, and mask were the only things to identify him with. His mask looked like a laughing demon, and his fighting-style and battle-personality were quite similar to his mask, actually.
His sadistic personality definitely matched that of a demon.
His ability to use Esdeath's Teigu had warranted many concerns among the Revolutionary Army officials, when she had reported about it the first time they fought. Thankfully though, it seemed he was the only other person able to create ice from nothing.
She had fought him a few times, and out of those times, she almost managed to win four of them, but each and every time she sent the finishing blow his way, something happened to prevent it.
Allies came, and retrieved him.
And as she had almost killed him, he had almost killed her. Three times, her allies were forced to step in, otherwise they'd they lose her.
They had fought twice, with neither party winning, and one side being forced to retreat.
His scarf was actually extremely similar to Tatsumi's… And Tatsumi was so very similar to him… And his Teigu…
Was the same as what the assassin had used.
Tatsumi had quickly turned the tide of the battle.
The moment the Esdeath-look-alike became the hulking form of a psycho former-executioner, any resentment he held for the illusion, increased ten-fold.
With the appearance of his general no longer bothering him, he let his anger come forward, and vowed to kill him in the most painful way possible.
He actually hoped Akame didn't find find him while he was fighting the man he had quickly identified as Zank. He wanted to torture him, and make him beg for mercy, just because he had used his Teigu to make an illusion of Tatsumi's general.
And because of that he would pay.
Tatsumi had discovered that Zank's Teigu was called Spectator, and that it had five sights, according to Zank, who, surprisingly enough, had talking for a hobby.
The illusion sight, the one that pissed him off, was probably Zank's favorite. Another sight allowed him to study facial expressions and body language to read Tatsumi's mind. Again, it pissed him off.
Stop reading my goddamn mind! I just want to torture you and make you beg for mercy! Let me start already, Akame will be coming any minute now and I don't want her to finish you off!
With those angered thoughts, Tatsumi sent a slash of water Zank's way, which was dodged with a psychotic laugh.
Know what? Screw you. Let's see how much you like ice!
With his mind made up, he readied his sword to charge.
He said my facial expressions… I wonder if it'll affect his ability to read my movements if he can't read my face…
In the second he thought that up, his face went blank.
As he lunged forward, unbeknownst to Zank, a single thought went through Tatsumi's mind…
I hope you hate the cold.
After Akame's realization, she rushed off to find her comrade, who might not be her comrade…
As she silently ran from roof to roof, she looked around for any flash of brown or blue.
She hoped to hear a noise. Any kind of noise that would give his location away, clothes billowing in the wind, footsteps, or even the sound of fighting.
At first Zank thought that Tatsumi had made his mind completely blank, he quickly realized it was only his face that was made blank.
As his Teigu told him where the boy's sword would cut, he dodged. Then he was froze in realization. Quite literally.
Ice covered his entire bottom half, and slowly spread upwards. Water licked his face, as if to tease him, before freezing and covering his upper half with slowly spreading ice.
"Cold, cold… You got me got me good, kid." Zank said loudly, his smile was still there despite the rather desperate situation he was in.
Tatsumi made sure that the ice only covered Zank's limbs and anchored him to the ground.
He chipped away at carefully, before outright stabbing through the chipped area.
Zank started to panic and let out his first scream since his days with the Empire.
"How dare you… To make such an illusion will have you paying a high price, Beheader."
She looked around, desperate for answers, when her plea was answered by a sharp scream that resounded throughout the area.
Quickly, she rushed to the source of the noise.
Soon following the first, pained shrieks and desperate shouts sounded out, leading her to the fight.
It took her longer than she would've liked to get there.
When she came to an empty courtyard, she finally realized that it wasn't Tatsumi screaming in pain.
With Ogre, Tatsumi had used clean and precise strikes, showing experience, to give Ogre the most pain.
With Zank, it was none of that.
If his death glare was anything to go by, Tatsumi was pissed. Maybe because of that, Tatsumi didn't bother with the routine he used with Ogre.
Fast, strong, almost sloppy strikes were sent Zank's way. It seemed this had been going on for a while…
Zank was on the floor, bleeding, muttering incoherently. His Teigu had been stripped from him, and thrown several meters away.
Tatsumi was currently stomping Zank's ribs to pieces.
Without any smile to say he was enjoying it, he growled in annoyance before speaking, "Oh come on! Don't break so soon! You're gonna feel a world of pain, for what you did!"
Akame bent over to pick up Spectator, before watching Tatsumi vent his frustration on Zank.
"Tatsumi stop. He's suffered enough!" She yelled to him.
He paused and glared at her, before actually stopping.
He walked past her and muttered something under his breath. It almost sounded like "I'd kill anyone interrupting me, except for you." but she brushed it off because it wasn't something he'd normally say.
Drawing Murasame, then ending mumbling Zank, she turned back to look at Tatsumi, but he had already left…
Oh my gosh! Akame's getting really close to figuring out Tatsumi's secret!
Good luck Tatsumi!
Review please! I want to know of your opinions this chapter!