Chapter 12: I bow before Izanami, Goddess of Life and Death
Quick Note: I've edited some of the chapters before this (I think the most significant changes are in Chapter 10 and Chapter 11), so might want to swing by those first. Hope you enjoy!
"Subject heartbeat re-established. Transfer status unknown."
Chisaki cursed as he read the data outputs. So much work, and this was what they got? He was tempted to break something, glass or bones, he wasn't picky. He glanced irritably over at the container, then did a double-take.
The subject's eyes were open. Before he could do anything, black eyes focused on him.
Question: How does a mortal trap a god?
Answer: You don't.
Ryuunosuke readied himself to advance on the facility, both eyes fixed on the door. Beside him, Atsushi suddenly stiffened, tiger ears appearing and pricking forward as heterochromatic eyes glazed over in favor of concentrating on his hearing.
"What is it?" The mafioso whispered, one grey eye pinned idly on the tiger. Atsushi frowned and opened his mouth to reply, then closed it as he continued to listen.
Then the world wobbled.
Sounds of surprise left the unprepared mafioso and detectives, even as the world settled back on its axis. Ryuunosuke turned to look at the facility, unnerved, before grunting as Atsushi suddenly pulled him to the ground with a yelp of alarm. "Everybody get down!"
From the corner of his eye, Ryuunosuke saw the facility collapse on itself.
Then people started appearing.
First were people in doctor's lab coats, looking just as startled as they were. Next came those in ragged clothes, people who had the look of the prisoners locked up in Port Mafia's dungeons after the interrogators had gone through them. With a jolt, he spotted red hair amongst them. "Chuuya-san!"
The executive was snarling, lunging at one of the scientists as he shouted, "WHERE IS SHE?" Ryuunosuke didn't exactly know who 'she' was – 1000 yen said that it was Chuuya-san's sister – but he pulled Atsushi to his feet and immediately started moving on-field, warily avoiding the disoriented people.
"Chuuya-san!" He called out. His senpai snapped his head to him, and – oh. Those eyes were even wilder than the time he'd confronted the executive in the bathroom all that time ago. He subconsciously took a step back. "Chuuya-san, it's me, Akutagawa."
He only got a curt nod in return before the executive turned back to the scientists and started flinging them around. Ryuunosuke let out a curse as he batted a body away using Rashoumon, then tried approaching again.
This time, Atsushi pulled him back before another body could slam into his side. "We can't get any closer!" The weretiger yelled over the growing din of confused and scared people. "It's too dangerous!"
Ryuunosuke's mind raced. There was obviously no making sense with Chuuya-san until they found his sister, and he said as much to Atsushi, who nodded and turned to scan over the area. The clearing had descended into chaos as mafioso and detectives alike tried to contain the doctors and prisoners, who were beginning to fight back.
A chunk of earth sailed towards them, and Ryuunosuke ripped it into shreds with Rashoumon. He coughed into his fist, irritation spiking through his veins. The weretiger tensed at his side, striped white paws replacing human hands.
"Fight our way through, then search for Nakahara-san?"
"Just keep up, Jinko."
Dazai emptied his gun in another doctor's leg, brown eyes darkened to void-like black as he stepped over the writhing body.
Not for the first time in the past few weeks, he cursed his actions that had led up to Chuuya's disappearance. Maybe if he hadn't tried to push the unspoken boundaries between them, if he hadn't ignored the fault lines in the faltering bond they shared - maybe Chuuya wouldn't have been taken off guard and kidnapped.
He kicked away a lunging prisoner, then looked to the whirl of red that was tearing through the group of doctors that were desperately trying to run away from the irate form. He grinned darkly as he watched Chuuya crush a dozen legs, their owners falling to the ground with a scream even as others scrambled to flee in the chaos of stumbling bodies. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a scientist in a plague mask darting towards the forest, slipping through a gap in the dirt-covered lab coats - he immediately gave chase, aiming for the man's legs. A jostle meant that his bullet only hit the scientist's arm, but it was enough to make the man stumble and fall. A wild look in his eyes completed the deranged look on the man's face as he turned to look at Dazai, and the bandaged man couldn't help the dark laugh that left his lips.
"Nowhere to run now, lab rat." Dazai advanced on the scientist, his gun aimed at the man's head. In the next moment, he jerked back to avoid the wall of earth that came from his right, and he cursed as he lost sight of the scientist. Bare fingers against the earth only made the mass of dirt freeze in its position, forcing him to make his way around the haphazard structure as he held the gun in a vice grip, shouting his next words. "Even if I don't kill you here and now, what makes you think you can escape Chuuya's wrath? The wrath of Soukoku?"
He rounded the corner, only to see the scientist leaning back into a shifting mass of purple mist, and he immediately pulled the trigger. A wave of mist swallowed the bullet and spat it back at him, making him duck with a curse. The scientist with a plague mask jeered at him, even as he cupped a bleeding arm.
"I studied A5158's power, you know." Dazai kept the gun trained on the scientist as the man spoke, locked in a stalemate. Golden eyes mocked dark brown eyes. "Quite fascinating, really, a god's power locked within a vessel, controlling it. But I suppose you'd know that already, wouldn't you? Demon Prodigy of the Port Mafia, manipulating a god to do your bidding?"
Dazai gritted his teeth. "Chuuya is more human than you will ever be. And he's the one controlling the power, not the other way around."
"But there's that final form of his, isn't there?" The scientist's eyes crinkled, as he retreated into the mist. "It was the scientists who made that failsafe, Demon Prodigy. What was the phrase that they assigned to A5158, eh? Something about Dark Disgrace?"
Dazai could hardly breath through his rage. "Don't you dare –"
Gold eyes glinted.
"Oh Grantors of Dark Disgrace, Do Not Wake Me Again."
Something exploded behind Dazai. In a blink of an eye, the purple mist swallowed the man and disappeared, and he cursed before turning to face Corruption.
Question: How do you trap a god?
Answer: You install a failsafe.
Chuuya-Corruption was on the other side of the clearing, laughing madly as he threw black holes with wild abandon. Dazai sprinted, dodging around people who had fallen to the ground under the onslaught of power. Too slow, too slow, too slow, he wasn't going to make it, he could see Chuuya's form wavering, blood dripping from his nose and mouth, he's going to die-!
A figure wreathed in shadows appeared next to the rampaging god.
The red-black marks suddenly faded from Chuuya's body, the man himself dropping to his knees. Dazai crashed into him a moment later, bowling him to the ground. "Chuuya!"
He scrambled to his knees, hands flying to grip and feel for a pulse. A hand closed over his, and clear blue eyes met with scared brown.
"I'm fine," Chuuya spoke clearly. As Dazai watched, the redhead reached to swipe over the blood trailing from his nose, which was already clotting. "Dazai, did - did you stop me?"
"No," Dazai shook his head, confused. "Corruption stopped before I touched you. What happened? Did it cut out by itself?" He held Chuuya's hand in a vice grip, unwilling to let go.
The petit mafioso's face went through a flurry of emotions, confusion melding with contemplation before it settled on dawning horror. "Chizue – my sister, where is she?" He sat up, moving to stand even as Dazai protested, wanting nothing more than to make Chuuya stay and rest.
Ignoring Dazai's demands, Chuuya looked over the ravaged battlefield, eyes wide and searching – before seeing the shadowed figure. A wave of relief crashed into him, as he staggered towards his sister, only to freeze as he noted the indifferent, black-eyed look that was directed at him. "Chizue…?"
"You are Nakahara Chuuya, yes?" The girl with Chizue's face spoke, the shadows coalescing into a single, obsidian spear – a ko-naginata, a part of his mind whispered – that she held by her side.
"Who's asking?" Chuuya asked instead, rocks beginning to tremble around him. No. Chizue couldn't have – he'd promised, he'd sworn to protect her, to come for her, she had looked at him with trusting eyes and called him nii-san, she couldn't be–
"Nakahara Chizue sends her regards."
Fault lines carved themselves out of the earth, an ominous "crack!" resounding over the area. But before Chuuya could do anything – rage, cry, shout a denial, anything, just to get his imouto back – a red tinge took over his vision, and he suddenly found his body moving without his input, controlled by an uncomfortably familiar presence. He let out a silent scream in his head as his body kneeled, his mouth opening to speak.
"I, Arahabaki, bow before Izanami-no-mikoto, Goddess of Life and Death."
Hi. I'm going to keep this short. Basically, life happened. I'm going to try and finish this piece soon, then probably upload all the drabbles and ideas I had for my original idea (which was going to somehow stretch into three stories. I have no energy to write three stories.) Hope you liked this chapter!