Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors


Chapter 15: Demons Hunt in the Forest; Birth of a New Demon pt.2


Alex rubbed his nose's brow as he mentally prepared to startle the Wolf Princess about who he was and where he came from. "Alright, San," he finally said. "But don't blame me if some of the stuff I tell you makes absolutely no sense, because in all truth, I'm still having a hard time believing most of it myself. That, and I'm not all that good with telling long stories."

"Just tell me, already," San retorted tersely, her inpatients once again getting the best of her. "I'm getting sick of waiting for you while you dance about the subject."

"Sorry about that," Alex apologized. "I'm just not really sure where to begin. Like I said, I've never really been good at telling stories. Especially when it come to the long ones"

"The Time Traveler," San said bluntly. "Why did the Forest King call you that?"

Alex hesitated for a moment before answering, "You really want to know?"

"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't."

Taking a deep breath, Alex considered his words very carefully before speaking. "It's because…" he could feel his heart pounding in his chest, and could feel the fresh droplets of sweat rolling down his face. "It's because I'm not from this time period. In fact I'm not even from this century."

San just looked at him, more confused than ever as she calmly asked, "I don't understand."

"It all started when me and my family moved here in the future Japan. My dad had moved to our new home, near my aunt's shrine. He basically set up a suburban clinic; you know, the hospital that most people could afford to go to than the big expensive kinds that always bill people for their services. Despite the fact that we were in a foreign country, not knowing a lot of people there, things were pretty much steadily going normal for us. At least they were until the next morning, when we found that the old Sacred Tree had returned to life." He scratched the back of his head. "While I was wandering around it, I stumbled upon this cavern underneath it. Well, one thing led to another, and before I knew it, this bright light engulfed me."

"When I woke up the next morning, my home, the shrine, and even my family were all gone, as well as the whole suburban neighborhood to boot. At first I thought I was dreaming, or at least thought I slept walk to one of the nearby parks. That was before this old fortune-telling oracle told me that I had actually been tossed back seven hundred years into the past as punishment for disturbing the spirit of the God that was living in that tree I found. She told me that if I wanted to find a way back to my time, I should go to the western lands. That was nearly a month ago. I've been trekking it across Japan ever since." Alex sighed as the young teen looked away, "Man, it's already been a month. I'm pretty sure my family's worried sick. Bet my little sister, Karin's, crying her eyes out with fear for me."

Alex could see the skeptical look in his companion's face, but cleared it up as best he could, "To put all that jibber-jabber simply, I'm from the 20th century, I was thrown back to this time period as punishment, and I've been wondering across a warring and ancient Japan looking for a way to get back to my own time and home." he then sighed as his shoulders slouched in despair, "Doing a pretty lousy job too, I might add."

San was silent. Uncomfortably silent. Finally, after what seemed like and hour of just sitting their, contemplating what Alex had just told her she spoke again, "Is that… is that all true?"

"It's as true as all truths come, San," Alex answered, and saw the look on the wolf girl's face. "I know it's hard to believe, but what I'm telling you is the honest truth."

"How do I know that, Alex?" San asked, feeling a little skeptical on this, "Every human that I've ever encounter has either been a liar, a thief or a murderer. I'm not saying that you're either of these things, but you can understand why I might not be so quick to believe a story like that."

"Honestly, I don't blame you, San," Alex replied. "Like I said before, I'm still having a hard time believing all of it myself. In fact, sometimes I wish that I could pinch myself and wake up from this nightmare and be back in my bed, in my home again. Just wishing this was all some movie-induced dream."

"Is that why you've been searching for Shisha Gami?"

Alex frowned, then nodded. "Yeah," he said sullenly. "Someone, a wandering monk that looked like he hadn't bathed at all, told me that if anyone could help me it was this great Forest Spirit King, Shisha Gami that everyone talks about and want to get their hands on to kill." The look on his face suddenly shifted to a look of deep sorrow, "That's part of the reason why I'm here."

"Yes?" San asked tilting her head slightly, "And what's the other reason?"

Without saying another word, Alex placed his left hand on the golden yellow wrist chain that clung to his right wrist and clutched it tightly. Then, after taking a deep breath, the dark-haired teenager lifted it up to show to the Wolf Princess.

San suddenly found herself staring. Not sure what to make of it. As she looked upon the golden yellow, red jeweled wrist chain band that bound itself to Alex wrist, she could tell that he felt uneasy about showing to him.

"This," he said simply.

"What…" San began feeling her insides churning with disgust. I don't understand, Alex. What does that band have to do with…"

"It's holding at bay a curse inside me," Alex went silent for a few moments before answering. "While I was trying to find my family and home, I came across this small village that as out in the middle of nowhere. There was this thing... I don't really know how to describe it, but it looked liked something out of a Resident Evil video game. The villagers said that it was some kind of a demon. And being the selfless and reckless idiot that I am, I tried to stop it before it could reach their village to destroy it. Somehow, by some strange twist of fate, or by sheer dumb luck, I was able to kill it." He held up his hand and looked at it sadly, "And in the end, the curse that this band absorbed and keeps in check was the price that I paid. From the moment that demon scarred me with it, despite the holy band's best attempts to suppress it, it's been spreading over my body, gradually eating away at it."

The young outlander lowered his gaze to the ground, "Soon the curse will kill me...and then... I'll become a demon altogether, both with the sludge that the demon's made of, and the metal of the wrist chain that saves my life." His breaths became short and filed with anguish, "I thought that Shisha Gami help me, but now...after seeing how much careless destruction the humans around have pulled... I don't know what I'm supposed to do."

At that moment, San did something that she, nor the young outlander she accompanied, never thought she would ever do. Slowly, and very hesitantly, the young wolf-girl reached her hand towards the wrist chain on Alex's right wrist. When the red jewel was just barely a inch away, her hand suddenly froze as she felt the heat the gem mark gave off through her finger tips. And just for a second, it turned to look at her… and nearly frightening her and him… it blinked. Biting her lip she brought her first finger to the band and touched it gently. The metal felt smooth and cold, but it was pulsating like a heart would, and what made it even stranger, was that it was warm like fire. 'What sort of evil could do something this horrible?'

Then, without truly understanding what she was doing, San's fingers gently began to slide down the side of the Alex's face, moving down his hand and fingers, gently but tenderly caressing his skin as it made its way to his palm. She rested her hand in his as she looked . She then brought her eyes to meet Alex's only to see that his head was still facing the ground. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

"For what?" Alex replied, his voice filled with pain and affliction, not to mention confusion as to San's attitude towards him.

"I'm sorry that his happened to you."

San suddenly felt Alex's fingers closing around her small hand, holding it as though all existence would end the moment they separated. When the boy finally raised his head, he locked eyes with her and smiled. An empty smile that cried out like a thousand tortured souls. The longer San looked at it, the more she could feel her own wolven heart beginning to shatter.

"Thanks, San" Alex said quietly.

Just then, ear-piercing sound suddenly shattered the air, as a large chunk of rock and dirt exploded only a few feet away from them. San, acting on pure reflex, grabbed Alex's arm and dashed for cover behind a large group of boulders. Two more explosions rang through the air, both missing the two young humans by mere inches.


Not Too Far Away


Making their way through the forest, Isaac scurried across the forest grounds. Following him was the girl, Rukia, calmly walking behind him, not even making a peep. This was kind of unnerving for the little fox-squirrel, considering that his master had sent another servant to help. He'd be happy to have additional help… anyone but her at this time. He groaned as he jumped up on the first rock, and looked to his companion, "I understand why she felt like I needed help, but why send you? The human hating spirit?"

"She was worried the boy will lose his humanity," Rukia answered. "A mere human alone can't suppress such a monstrous aura. If he loses control… I will kill him."

"As I said, that boy's our only hope," Isaac complained, "Why are you so obsessed with killing the boy?"

"Because I detest humans, Isaaku…" her eyes narrowed to hated points, but then returned to normal as she finished, "That… and after what I heard happened to Lord Nago… no creature should live like that."

Isaac smirked as he looked to Rukia, "Ah, so you are concerned for Alex, arent ya?"

Just then, a loud bang was heard, alerting the two, "What was that?"

"Sounded like gunshots." Rukia furrowed her brow as, in a flash, she jumped over Isaac. Suddenly, a huge roaring sound, like a rocket, was heard, and Isaac saw that Rukia was out of there. Where she stood when she landed, the ground was scorched a little.

He wasted no time as well as in a flash of flame, he changed into his huge beast form and charged forward. As he did so, he silently prayed, 'Alex… Princess… you two'd better be alright….'


Back with the Kids


"What the hell is going on?" San asked, pressing her back against the rocky surface of the boulder they were heading behind.

"Well, it's either the fourth of July…," Alex answered, now back to his normal self, "… or somebody's trying to kill us!" another explosion shook the air, causing small pieces of rock to fall on him and San. "Yup, I think it's safe to say that somebody's trying to kill us."

At that moment the explosion stopped, leaving a vale of silence covering the area. Both the wolf-girl and the outlander shared a questioning glance with each other.

"I know you're there outlander!" the all too familiar voice of the guard-captain, Gonza bellowed from not too far away. "Surrender yourself and the wolf-whore… and I'll consider giving you both a quick death."

"Gonza? Is that you?" Alex shouted, confirming if it was him. All he got was a bullet shot that hit the rocks. "Yeah, it's him, alright."

"Do you hear us, Outlander!" a new voice came out. "I, Takemaru of Setsuna, challenge you to determine who possesses the stronger power!" he lifted his wrist, showing his wrist chain, "Like you, I do possess a cursed power! A power in which I intend to determine which one of us is more powerful!"

Alex glanced at San once again. When the only response she gave him was a tight-lipped scowl, he tilted his head over his shoulder and peered over the top of the boulder. There he saw the bearded man standing a good one hundred feet away, flanked by two orange-tunic wearing riflemen. With him was an unfamiliar samurai dressed in red and black armor; he figured that was the guy calling him out to a challenge, Takemaru. However, he noticed the samurai's right wrist, which had a similar wrist chain to his, 'Oh crap. Another cursed human. What is this, a convention?' Realizing this might not be a battle they could win, Alex decided to wing this. "How quick are we talking about?" he asked, much to the dismay of his companion.

Gonza chuckled, "Not too quick, I'm afraid!" he answered. "But I can promise you that you'll only have to suffer for a few short minutes!"

"However, if you reconsider my proposal," Takemaru called out. "Simply face me in combat, defeat me, and I'll consider letting you have your lives… for about a thirty-minute head start."

Alex mockingly thought that, and returned his attention to San, "Hmmm, sounds like a good deal, what do you say?

"Have you completely lost your mind?" San hissed, horrified that Alex would even consider such a thing.

"Nah, can't say I'm to hot about the idea either." After giving San one of his trade-mark smirks, he peered over the top of the rock again, "Sorry, but I think we'll pass on either one of those ideas." and after a few seconds on thought, he peered over again, "Oh and by the way, Gonza… that shaved-head and beard look you've got going makes you look like a pansy!" Before he could say another ward a fiery bullet was shot towards him, just barely missing his head.

"Shit!" he yelped, ducking for cover.

"You insolent piece of horse fodder!" a now enraged guard-captain shouted.

Takemaru held his hand against Gonza, "He's just trying to goad you into being sloppy." he stepped forward a little, as he called out, "I wonder… Why did Lady Yashahime ever think that trash like you was worth bringing to our side in the war?"

"I've got a cute smile?" Alex said popping his head over the rock once again, pointing to his large grin to emphasize his point. He was suddenly yanked down by San, just in time to dodge the next flying projectile that had been aimed at his head. "What? My mom always told me I had a cute smile."

"What's the matter with you?" San asked, glaring at Alex. "Just moments ago you were ready to curl up into a ball and sob like an infant, and know you're acting like some half-witted clown!"

"Sorry. For me at this point, it's a spontaneous mood swing. My school's psychologist had a field day with it with a student that he was analyzing, two years ago." Another bullet struck the rock once more, raining down more dust and tiny chunks of stone fragments. "He probably would've used that guy as his guinea-pig to get that grant he'd been aching for… had the over-crazed cheerleader didn't try to stab him in the kneecap with his own pen."

More shots screeched through the air blasting another three chunks out of the boulders.

"We can't stay here much longer," said San, covering her head in an attempt to protect it from the pieces of falling rocks.

"But the moment we move from this spot, we're as good as dead," Alex replied. There's four of them, and only two of us. Need I mention that they have guns, and we don't have much in the long-range weaponry department?"

It was then that they heard a low growl coming from above them. The two looked up as they saw the most bizarre, yet terrifying things you ever seen. They didn't know what they were, but there were about six of them. They were dark skinned humanoid monsters, with clawed hind legs, elongated arms with sharp claws. They had huge red eyes, mouths filled with sharp jagged teeth, and moth-like antennas on their heads. On their backs, were black, red, and yellow demonic moth like wings. Whatever they were, they were just horrifying as they looked at San and Alex, allowing their whip like tongues to stick out and sway out, letting the drool drip down like rain.

Alex gulped at this as he sighed, looking away from it all, "Well, we're in very serious trouble."

"Well," the young Wolf Girl shot back viciously, "Seeing as how you're obviously the brains of our little two-person group, why don't you think of a way out of this?"

"I already have, San," Alex said calmly. "I'll distract them, while you high-tail it out of here."

"Are your crazy?" San asked, eyes doubling in size, "You won't last a single minute against them!"

"It's better than both of us dying." When Alex saw that his female companion was still not convinced, he gave her a confident grin, "Hey, didn't I tell you before that I'm a selfless idiot when it comes to losing situations?"

"Yes you did but…" She was suddenly silenced by Alex's finger pressed against her lips.

"Trust me, Princess," the teen boy said with an even bigger grin on his face, "When I'm through with these dorks, when they wake up, their clothes'll be out of style." As he was about to stand up, San grabbed his arm, stopping him from getting any further.

"Promise me!" she said, piercing his eyes with her own.

"Promise you what?"

"That you won't get yourself killed!"

Alex looked at the girl's face for a long time before nodding. "I promise, San." He playfully punched her cheek, "Besides, I still have all those favors I need to repay you for." Before San could stop him, the young outlander sprung form their hiding place, and ran for the forest.

"I told you! You don't have to repay anything!" San shouted out, severely annoyed at such a reminder.

As soon as he reached the forest's edge, he waved his hands madly, in hopes of getting Gonza and Takemaru's attention, "Hey beard-boy! Samurai Jack!" he taunted the two of them, "Did I happen to mention that both Lady Eboshi and Princess Yashahime both have fat, lop-sided asses?" The moment his last comment was spoken, the bullets started coming at him. "Alright… they want to kill me even further now," Alex sarcastically reassured himself. Feeling that his plan was working, Alex quickly made his way into the dense forest with the three rifle-armed men hot on his trail.

San watched as the four humans left and stood up from behind the boulder. "I was right about him all along," she said to herself. "He's a complete lunatic… and a fool." With that, she began running towards the tree-covered cliffs, away from where the humans had disappeared. However, as she did, she failed to notice two of the moth demon creatures chasing after her.


Back with Alex


'CRAAAAP!' Alex cursed himself as he ran through the forest as fast as his legs would carry him. 'What the heck was I thinking? Have I completely lost my mind...again?' He jumped to one side, just into time to avoid the next ball of fire-red iron that had been fired at him.

He jumped and ran as fast as his legs could carry him, anything to get away from the riflemen, and those things. However, that wasn't the case as he looked behind him, and saw that samurai, Takemaru, was catching up to him. Oddly enough, he seemed to be going faster than Gonza and the riflemen would. He was even showing immense agility as well as speed, as he jumped ahead from tree to tree with inhuman prowess. This confirmed the boy's fears as he ran, 'Oh crap! He is cursed! He's becoming just as strong and fast as I was getting!'

The moth beasts jumped and glided over him, chasing after the outlander as they swooped down. Alex saw this, and being extra careful, summoned up a little of the demon's power within him. This caused him to get a little more speed in his legs as he was slowly getting away from them. But suddenly, the moths spat out some green slime, that when they struck either trees or the rocks, the slime would eat through them corrosively.

After seeing this, Alex shouted out hysterically, "Jeez! What's with the spitting?"

Doing so, unfortunately, caused him to topple over the side of a steep hill. Like lumpy ball of clay, the youth tumbled head over heals, rolling, bumping and scraping against thick roots and rocks, eventually hitting the ground with a painful crash.

'That…' Alex thought painfully to himself; his entire body crying out in pain. '… was way too familiar.' as he got up, he felt his wrist beginning to writhe with a burning pain as he held it. It began to convulge with pain; the flesh rippling as he took notice. The band's red gem was glowing intensely, but not fully enough as he recognized the danger of this, 'Oh, crap! My curse's getting riled up with all this going about! It must be because I'm in danger.' he remembered the last time when he was in danger; a dead samurai and a nearly destroyed village.

As he slowly began to stand, he felt the hot muzzle of a rifle being pressed against his back.

"Please don't move, young sir!" said a feeble voice from behind him. "You'll just be making things worse for yourself."

'Crap!' Alex cursed silently in his head. He looked over his shoulder and glanced at the small riflemen that held him captive. "I don't see how things could get any worse for me at this point."

"That's because they can't, outlander!" Gonza said as he and Takemaru made his way towards Nathan. As soon as he we standing in front of the youth, he drew his muscular arm back and punched him square in the gut, causing him to double over. "I knew that you were more trouble than you were worth from the very moment you set foot outside the walls of my Lady Eboshi's Iron-town."

Before Alex could respond or Gonza could torture the boy, Takemaru kicked him in the face. Takemaru scoffed at the boy, looking at him with disgust, "You possess the power of a demon? Pathetic, there are kittens that could make better prey than you would," he then smacked at the boy's face with his sword's casing, "All that power… and you don't have the resolve or the will to even use it. You're pathetic."

"But you managed to slime your way into my Lady's favor, manipulating her like a puppet!" He then kicked Alex before Takemaru took a crack out of him, but this time it was in his stomach, causing him to vomit. The bearded man wrinkled his nose at the smell of the freshly spilled bile. "Disgusting," he said, sneering at the gagging youth at his feet. He then looked at the two riflemen, "Stand him up!"

As Alex coughed and gagged on the sour taste that lined his mouth and throat, two pairs or hands grabbed him roughly be his arms and yanked him on to his feet. When he opened his eyes, Gonza's face filled his vision. He then looked at his wrist chain, and noticed the glowing was getting worse… much worse than before. If what he thought was true… the curse was beginning to reach the peak of its strength. Last time he remembered, his whole upper body was covered in armor; there was no telling what would happen if his whole body was covered in armor.

He looked to Gonza as he pleaded, "Gonza… please! You've gotta let me go…!"

"What's the matter, outlander?" Gonza said with a smirk, "No witty remarks left to say?" he punched Alex's face, causing his head to whip to one side, "No more demonic powers to fight with?" He punched the youth again, this time using an extra amount of force in the hit. "And now you're begging for your life?" Blood soon began to dribble from Alex's mouth and nose, "Now I and these men before me see the truth about you. You're nothing, outlander! Nothing but a piece of white-skinned trash!"

At that moment, Alex suddenly jerked his head upward and despite his mouth filling with blood, Alex pleaded once again, "You don't understand, Gonza! Something bad is gonna happen if this keeps up!" He closed his eyes tightly, waiting for the next round of punches to pummel his face into the next century.

But much to the youth's surprise, the punches never came, not a single one. Instead Gonza, simply whipped out his lock rifle and began to walk away. He stopped as soon as there was a good amount of distance between him and Alex and raised rifle onto his shoulder. "I'll make this less painful for you outlander," he said gruffly, taking aim, "Tell me where the wolf-whore is!"

Coughing on his own blood, Alex narrowed his eyes and gave the bearded man his most glacial look. "You better pray that kills me," he whispered painfully. "Because the creature in me… is really pissed off now."

Gonza chuckled. "As you wish," he said as he pressed down on the rifle's firing mechanism.


Back with San


She was running and jumping as fast as she could, fully aware that she was being chased. Two of the moth beasts that she and Alex had spotted. He had mentioned that he would gain all their attention on himself, but it was to no avail if tow of them were after her. She cursed herself, "Dammit! I knew it was a mistake to just run off like that."

She stopped as she turned around, and drew her dagger out. "Come at me, you filthy demons!"

The first one shot straight towards her, swooping down and preparing to pounce and tear right through her. However, she expected this as she skidded to a halt, and turned around. She ran towards the beast as it was closing in on her. The beast shot out its claws, as it was prepared to drive them into her body. However, at the last second, when the two were nearly six inches apart… San crouched and rolled under it, but crouched to a halt as she plunged her dagger deep within the beast's neck, slashing it down to its belly. The beast howled in pain as it crashed to the ground; its guts splattered next to it with blood pouring out of the wound.

The Wolf Princess turned around to finish off the other beast, but she wasn't prepared yet. The second beast was already charging right at her, with no time to attack. As San was frozen with shock, a massive flaming object charged at the creature sending it flying towards a tree. The beast flailed and screamed in pain as its flesh was burning like crazy, almost too fast for any ordinary fire to do such a thing.

San watched the beast as it flailed around, the screaming finally dying down as the beast's remains were only a charred skeleton. "By the Gods…" San whispered to herself in shocked surprise. "But who did…?" she turned, hearing the crackling of fire to her right, and couldn't believe what she saw.

She was before a girl, around her age, but wasn't appeared to be human. Her skin was as pale as the moonlight, and she had short, fiery red and yellow hair that whipped in the air, with two long thin ponytails with the ends flaming. The image gave away the illusion of tail feathers of a phoenix. She was wearing a white sleeveless yukata shirt, with her back exposed from neck to her waist, with the collar colored white, as was the left side, with the other side was fiery red, with a burning white sash belt with a golden glyph buckle, creating the image of a fire tail of sorts. She wore a skirt of the exact same color scheme, except the right side reached to her knee, while the left side reached to her hip. Her legs were covered in black skin tight stockings, with on her feet were golden bands that looked like sandals. She had four arms covered in black shoulder gloves, and instead of hands, she had four gold rings that had five flaming claws that acted as her hands and her fingers. And finally, her eyes were as green as emeralds.

"Who…?" the Wolf Girl stammered, as she was somewhat terrified and captivated of such a beautiful creature among her. "Who are you?"

Suddenly, the girl's appearance shifted, until finally, she resembled a normal human in a flash of red flame. As the flame died out, in the stranger's place was a sixteen-year-old girl, Asian descent, pale skin with a slim and slender figure that could rival the Wolf Princess's. her hair was raven black, short with only her bangs going to her shoulders, and two thin long ponytails braided, ending in two little tussles; her eyes were violet and sharp, showing her slightly emotionless in her physical appearance. She was dressed in a sleeveless yukata shirt, with her back exposed from neck to her waist, with the collar colored black, as was the left side, while the other side was red, with a black sash belt tied around her waist, with a skirt that was long on her right and short on her left. Her legs seemed to be in what were black stockings, with only sole-less and toeless moccasins, exposing her toes and heel out.

Surprisingly, the girl bowed before her as she answered, "My name is Rukia, a Fire Spirit servant to Lady Otohime." she looked up to her as Rukia finished, "I was sent here as bodyguard to the boy who was accompanying you."

"Alex?" this was becoming even more confusing to the Wolf Princess. But before she did anything to ask her, they both heard a gurgling sound. It was coming from the demon that San had gutted, but still twitched with life. San walked over to the creature, glaring daggers at it. The beast reached out to her, either begging for its life or trying to finish what it was sent to do. So San granted it a request: she stamped hard onto its head, crushing its head, killing it off. She looked at it in anger as she cursed it, "Foul demon! That's only what you deserve."

"That demon was once human, Princess," Rukia replied to her, catching san's attention.

San looked at Rukia in shock, and then back at the demon to confirm such a crazy answer, "This was… this was a human? But how…?"

"A cursed human… who allowed his curse to take his human soul and make him a monster." Rukia looked at the moth demon with disgust as she muttered, "It seems he went so far, that he couldn't change back. I'm pretty sure after he transformed the human barely remembered it ever was a human."

The look of shock on the Wolf Girl's face went unnoticed by Rukia at this time. She looked at the fire spirit, and then back the moth demon, and wondered silently with fear. 'If that's true… will this be Alex's fate if his curse is unleashed…?'

BOOM!

The sound of a rifle being shot at, echoed all around the forest, surprising the two girls from the corpses of the dead demons. The moment the sound of gunfire touched her ears, San suddenly froze and spun around to face the direction of which it had originated and listened. As the moments passed, all she could heart was silence.

Dead, lifeless silence. A chill began to sweep over San's body, solidifying every drop of blood in her veins like a poison. When no other sounds of gunfire followed the first one, it was then that she knew for certain that something was definitely wrong. Her heart began to pound in her chest like a drum when a sudden realization stuck her. The only time the humans had ever ceased fire was when they had been ordered to...

Or when they had finally stuck their target.


Back with Alex


Alex collapsed to his knees, pressing his hands against the bullet wound on the left side of his chest, in a hopeless attempt to stop the gushing flow of blood that poured from it. His head felt heavy and throbbed with a hideous buzz that left every one of his senses numb and useless. As he felt the life draining from his body he looked up at a blurry Gonza and Takemaru, who both of them were sneering triumphantly at him. The youth's lips suddenly began to twist as he forced four small words to escape his tightly clenched throat, "Big… mistake… you… t…." he whispered before he could no longer support his own weight and fell forward. He didn't move again.

For a while the three men remained silent, each one sharing a quick look with one another and then glancing at the dead youth that lay on the ground. The men walked away from their target, with the demons simply sniffing at the boy's carcass. Had the men stayed and watched, they would have noticed the gold band suddenly allowed the black ooze to nearly and quickly creep up the boy's body, making it skin tight, almost looking like he was wearing nothing at all underneath. Then the golden band sprouted out tentacles that wrapped around the boy's body. And as it did this, Alex's eyes opened wide, revealing them to be completely black, with only golden yellow irises showing.

With a scoffing laugh, Gonza handed one of the riflemen a knife and sack. "Bag the head," he said casually. We'll be heading back to Iron-Town shortly."

The rifleman said nothing, but nodded silently as he took the two objects from his superior. Takemaru seemed disappointed as he sighed and looked away, "It's a shame. I would've loved to kill him with my own hands."

Gonza turned around and saw that his second riflemen was supporting himself on a tree. The man was breathing heavily, and his eyes were nearly bulging from their sockets. His face was pale and covered with sweat.

"I know what you're thinking," Gonza said, placing his hand on the riflemen's shoulder, "But believe me when I say that there was no other way."

"Forgive me. Sir," the man said between breaths. "But are you certain of that? I know that what he did to Lady Eboshi was wrong but...but he was just a boy. We just killed a boy that was only a few years younger than my own son before... before he was..." he suddenly broke down into a fit of sobs. "The Gods will never be able to forgive us for this. We've become muder..." Gonza's fingers were suddenly wrapped around the man's throat.

"No!" the guard-captain shouted. "We did this to preserve the honor of our Lady Eboshi! Never forget what she has done for you! Never forget what she has done for all of…"

A horrible, blood curdling scream of agony suddenly ripped through the air, echoing through the trees like an evil wind. When the men turned around, they saw that the demons were running away from where the dead outlander should have been. However, they spotted the only remaining demon being pulled back by the long chain around its neck.. The beast tried to pull away with all its might. It clawed at the ground, but whatever it was that was pulling at it was much stronger than it was. Until finally, it was pulled into a shadowy area. Afterwards, more screams came, followed by the sounds of flesh being torn to pieces and a cry of rage, too horrible to for mere words to describe.

And then all became silent.

The four men looked at the darkened area, hoping to see whatever it was come out and shoot at it. However, what came first nearly had them jump in fright. Suddenly, the demon that had been pulled back, was thrown over them with a powerful force behind it, that when it struck a tree, it took out a huge chunk of it on the side, causing it to topple over, and crush the beast finally.

As if on cue, something jumped out from the shadows, and landed in front of them, nearly shaking the ground. From what they saw, it was the outlander, only his appearance had changed completely.

Alex's whole body, from neck to feet, was covered in the skin tight black ooze film. He had a golden yellow neckpiece that was around his neck, looking like a necklace of sorts. His chest and back were protected by what looked like a golden yellow skin tight vest on, with the front opened, and the back opening up to a V of sorts. Where his shoulders connected to his body, two one foot horns shot up. His right arm was encased in a skin tight golden yellow armor. His shoulder was in a spherical shoulder guard. His bicep was covered in a golden yellow armor as well, but the line detailing his muscle was showing to be the black ooze. His forearm was three times bigger than ever, with two tusk blades stuck out from where the elbow was. His right hand was also armored in detail, almost looking cybernetic' the inside and the palm were both covered in the black ooze film armor, and the gem had fused into the right wrist, changing from red to a glowing topaz color. His left shoulder was armored in golden yellow armor shaped like a jacket shoulder, and on his forearm was a golden yellow armored armguard, as well as a left armored glove, similar to his right one, except it had five fingers and lacked the topaz gem. Around his waist, was a golden belt of sorts with no buckle, only two black holes on both sides, resembling the shape of a buckle. His thighs were covered in the same skin tight golden yellow armor as well, but it left an opening on the outer part, showing the black ooze film. The greaves were skin tight as well, but on the knee was a sharp black ooze armor that stuck out, and on the back and sides, opened up to show the black ooze film yet again. On the left side of his waist and the back side, an orange furred shawl was there, reaching and covering the knee part. On his feet, the same skin tight black ooze was there as well, but had enlarged golden yellow armored heel guards, and the toes had toe guards as well, but with the toes armored up to look like the toes had become hooves in some way. On the right shoulder now, was also a dangled orange fur cape, similar to San's, only it looked like a scarf than a cape. His hair had turned sandy orange, and had grown in the back a little reaching down to his neck. The same glyph marks appeared under his eyes, and his right eye again, showed it had gone black, and the pupil gone golden yellow… like Nago's.

The men backed away, all but Takemaru, who looked at the boy like he was suddenly happy. For in front of him, in his point of view, was the opponent to end all opponents. A creature that he could finally have joy in fighting against.

"What the hell are you?" Gonza asked before Alex, in his new form, finally savagely roared out and charged straight at them all.

They immediately bolted as fast as they could, but Takemaru stood there, as Alex past him. The riflemen ran for their lives, with Gonza way in the lead. After they had gained some distance from him, the riflemen stopped, turned around, and immediately fired their rifles at the outlander.

Alex stopped as he was hit, dead on in the chest by the two bullets. However, considering that they were two shots hit him, they figured he would go down, but he didn't. he just stood there, looking at where he was shot, and everyone saw the bullets just fall down to his feet, and the dents made by the bullets healed themselves until it looked like nothing happened.

Alex looked at the two riflemen, and snarled viciously; a look of rage on the boy's face. And then, the boy spoke in his own voice, but it growled like an animal as he gritted his teeth together, "THAT… HURT!"

He then charged forward them again, and this time he showed off what monstrous strength he possessed. Ran after the men as they ran screaming, he smashed his fists and elbows into the trees that got in his way. The trees that he punched through fell down behind him like dominos, and the trees that were still standing, looked like a cannon had fired on them. As Alex's demonic form raced after the men, the remaining demons, having gathered enough savagery, dived right at him and dog piled on him. This gave the men enough time to reload their rifles, but not enough time apparently.

Alex was able to kick one of the demons down with his foot, as the beast thrashed with the boy's foot on his neck. And without much effort for him, the boy stomped down, breaking the beast's neck, killing it instantly. The other two, he lifted up off their feet by their necks. They thrashed and roared as they tried to hit the boy as much as they could. But the boy, in his enraged state, only seemed to get pissed off by this resistance. He was getting royally fed up with this, as he threw the two demons, straight forward in the sky. They crashed hard into the trees, breaking off branches, as they fell down to the ground. The demons, were left high up, as the broken end of the trees were sticking through their corpses.

Now that the demon had been distracted, the riflemen shot at him. But instead of with their bullets, they fired a huge amount of flames at him, not only engulfing him, but almost one yard of the forest with him. He shielded himself as the flames bathed over him, burning everything around him. The riflemen holstered their rifles, awaiting to see their handiwork. However, all the color in their faces faded as they heard the boy's voice from within the fire, "LEAVE ME ALONE…."

The riflemen attempted to reload their weapons once again. But this time, Alex wasn't about to let that happen. He hopped over to one of the massive boulders that stuck out, bigger than him or the riflemen, and with both his hands, he lifted it off the ground. And then he threw it at them like it was a softball. As it crashed into the ground, it hit one of the riflemen, crushing him, and sending the other one sprawling hard on the ground.

Gonza at this time, had taken refuge up a tree to gain a better angle at the outlander. As the boy didn't notice this, Gonza had the perfect chance to shoot the boy, and took it. The matchstick went off, and the rifle fired at the boy, as he turned his head towards the sound of the clicking sound. The bullet hit him square in the head, sending him smack on the ground.

Gonza shouted in triumph, "AHAHAHAHAHA! I guess you weren't so invincible, were you?" but then his worst fears came as he saw the outlander getting back up. "No… it's not possible!" Gonza nearly shouted as he paled at this.

Alex got back on his feet, and cracked his neck. Then finally, after wrestling something in his mouth, he finally spat it out. And dropping to the ground, was the very bullet that Gonza had shot right at him.

Alex stood where he was as he looked up to where Gonza was, still sneering at the guard-captain as though he had not even heard the invitation to kill him. But then his expression began to change into a look of pure fury. The expression intensified as he leaned forward, arching his back like a cobra before striking it's prey, his hands balled into tight fists as he raised them high over his head. As he readied the final blow, strange winds wailed around him. The ground started to shake as well, cracking and rising in uneven ripples.

A high-pitched humming sound was now resonating from deep within Alex's fists, growing louder and higher with every passing second. The winds too picked up in force, causing the surrounding trees to sway dangerously from side to side.

'Forgive me, my Lady,' Gonza said to himself, shielding his eyes for whatever force as about to strike. 'For I have failed you, once again.' that was the last thing that passed through his mind before Alex slammed his fists into the ground, and an earth-shattering surge swept across the land.


Not Too Far Away


Never before had San nor Rukia heard such a terrible sound, nor had either girl ever witnessed a blast wave so destructive. As she tried to steady herself on the shaking ground, she shielded her eyes in an attempt to block the light. Winds more powerful than anything San had thought possible shrieked past her, whipping through her clothing and hair. 'What's happening?' she thought desperately to herself, trying to take another step forward.

At that moment, an explosion of devastating power suddenly erupted from the blinding pandemonium's unseen core, tearing apart the surrounding forest like a blender. No longer able to maintain her footing, San and Rukia were both suddenly thrown violently back by the massive force of the explosion, rendering the two girls unconscious.


Next Chapter: Mercy of Shisha-Gami; the Armies are Rising