What's up, readers? How's life? Mine's going swell! XD
Sorry for the no-updates! I won't make excuses, since this is all the fault of my own making!
So, here's your long-awaited chapter, and I hope you enjoy this!
This is in Luciano's' point of view, but it will be as if he's talking to you, not thinking.
This took me three hours of hardcore plane writing, if you would believe it. It looked much longer on paper.
This chapter may be a little strange to you, since the tenses aggravate my computer to no end and the tenses mess with my head.
ONCE AGAIN, IT WILL BE LIKE HE'S TALKING TO YOU, but at the same time, HE WILL BE THINKING.
^.^ I am glad we have come to this understanding.
And to be honest with you, I finished this in the summer. -_-'
While it may seem strange for me to do this, I am changing Luciano's age to 14. So their current ages are Hakou, 12, Luciano, 14.
Hide and Seek
Luciano's' Point of View
Watching Hakou fight is always amazing, especially since I already know how strong Hakou actually is. He is always the methodical one, the one who takes into account all of his strengths and weaknesses. I don't know what has happened to him in the past to make him so, but whatever it is turned him into a bloodthirsty monster.
Seeing Hakou come off the stage, cool as pie, hands in pockets and traces of blood around his mouth, I realized that bloodthirsty monster really was a good definition of Hakou. His face was usually devoid of emotion, making him hard to read and understand. One really had to know him, and had to be able to read his body language to understand and interpret what he is trying to put across. And his battles are usually horrific. In every fight, Hakou tried to find a way to draw blood. Usually, he succeeded. Not always, but most of the time. I know the blood excites him.
Every time I see him like this, I can't help but remember his double job from a year ago. A man of the name Romero Luc hired us. Luc had heard of us through underground resources, and knew that we promised to be able to act as anybody for the correct fee. The Copy Brothers, we are.
Luc's best fighter, Maryo Ecardo (fighting name 'Kind Mary'), had disappeared. It wouldn't have been all that bad if a big match had not been coming up. And by coming up, I mean it was in two days. It was nice of him to give us time to prepare, right?
Anyway, he had promised to pay us whatever winnings Kind Mary would have gotten. Seeing as Romero Luc was something of a famous figure, we decided that the payout would be good enough. So we accepted.
To help us prepare, he had written in a notebook, which he gave to us once we agreed. The notebook had pictures glued inside of it, with a description of the person. That was just in case the one who was acting as Kind Mary was approached with anybody he knew.
Also inside was an in-depth description of Kind Mary. Fighting style, picture, background, personality, etc… It was too much information for me to process with so little time. I couldn't really capture the bloodthirsty essence of Kind Mary. Hakou could, though, and he got into character with surprising ease. I'd be terrified by the ease, actually, if I didn't know Hakou for the genius that he was.
So Hakou got into character first. That means he's the one who gets to act as Kind Mary. We then went to Jackie Yimmes' house, as was customary. Her strange Hatsu that allowed her to change the appearance of anything and anyone until she says so is rather strange, but we make full use of it.
We paid her the proper amount, and a few minutes later, Hakou was a twenty nine-year-old male with close-cropped black hair and soulless black eyes. Those eyes were kinda freaky, I remember. I felt like they were assessing me every time they saw me. We left Jackie's' house and went over to Luc's apartment.
Romero Luc was, to say the least, surprised when he saw his missing fighter outside his door. His short grey hair practically stood up, I remember. He was then thoroughly shocked when he found out that it was only a disguise. His hair drooped a little when he realized. Strange hair, this man had.
He invited us inside, his hair seeming to motion us in. I think he was still shaken at the likeness, because his hair didn't quite relax. But at least he was civil, because he made us some hot drinks. Lemon flavored. Strange, the little details I remember. His beady little eyes just stared at Hakou unabashed. If it had been me, I'd have been squirming in my chair. But no, Hakou's different.
"So, how is he? Does he pass?" I asked, breaking the near unbearable silence. Luc just nodded mutely, not breaking his one-man staring competition. I could see it then, in Luc's eyes. Admiration and awe. Hakou's does that a lot. Gains respect, that is.
It was then when Romero Luc admitted that Hakou would have to kill in a match-and not just one time, but ten. I wanted to protest, to argue that Hakou could not possibly do all that while keeping in character, but Hakou stopped me.
"That sounds rather interesting. May I enquire as to how much money I get?" Hakou sounded so mature then. It's hard to believe that I'm two years older than him. Every day, I have to remind myself of the age difference when I talk to him.
After we left, Hakou went off on his own, saying that he needed time alone to think of a way to fight as Kind Mary. I took his words at face value and nodded. We promised not to see each other until the match the next day, as we usually do. The surprise is always worth it. I remember being excited to see the Finished Project.
The next day, I walked to my free VIP chair, courtesy of Luc. It was a coliseum type building, with most people standing on levels of stone. When the king would sit in the olden days was where I sat, surrounded by other people who would not be as rowdy as the rest of the crowd.
I began to get worried as I saw the people he was fighting against. All of then I'd heard of from that convenient little bird, and they had some pretty amazing reputations. On top of that, all of them were proficient in Nen. How was Hakou supposed to fight them, kill them? And where was he, anyway?
He arrived late to the match, late enough that the crowd began to get impatient but early enough that none of them had gotten up yet. He walked out of the enclosed hallway sedately, and the crowd went wild. The announcer began to make rapid introductions, and his voice cut over the screams of the crowd. It was pandemonium itself. I was just glad that there was a glass wall that was blocking off a great portion of sound.
"Before we begin, a word or two from the contestants!" The announcer cried. Suddenly, the crowd went dead silent. Even their very breathing was quieted as they all strained foreword to try and hear what was being said in the arena.
Hakou began to giggle a little, and suddenly I knew everything was going to be fine. It's strange, but I did. How? Why? It had been like Hakou was standing next to me, reassuring me with that calm voice of his, not meters away, giggleing like a madman.
Then his giggling stopped, and his eyes turned cold and threatening. "Sorry about that. But when I saw whom I was put up against, I just had to laugh. Who does everybody think I am? Some random beggar off the street, untrained and weak? I think not." His opponents got a little ticked off then, understandably. One hothead even took out a knife and waved it at him. Hakou just giggled again, which infuriated the man even more. With a cry, he ran forward with the knife.
Hakou did not make any effort to move, just stood there, cocky as can be. I didn't really understand until two referees ran up with Nen-induced speed and strength and stopped then man from attacking, mere centimeters away from Hakou's' neck.
The referees explained to everyone that false starts were punishable by death, delivered by the would-be recipient of the violator's anger. It seemed a little extreme to me, but the crowd loved it. It sickened me, really.
The attacker's eyes filled with hatred, Hakou stood before him, his eyes flared with insanity. He took the sword given to him by the referees with a nod, and leaded forward, whispering something in the condemned's' ear. He never did tell me what he said, but I can guess. He usually does this after things like that happen, like with that Gimpkin guy.
Hakou raised the sword, and then plunged it into the mans body cleanly. The body visibly slumped, and then, with a sadistic grin on his face, Hakou twisted his sword and ripped it out, causing blood to gush out incessantly. The crowd roared louder, if that was possible. After all, that's what those pigs had come for.
Licking off the blood that had managed to get on his face, Hakou calmly stood up and handed the sword back to the referees, who took it off the arena to their referee box.
"Stupid boy," Hakou said in a loud, malicious voice. "He had such fight in him still, and he threw it all away." He made a little 'tisking' sound, and the crowd roared. The murderers, rapists, marauders, thieves, cloak-and-dagger, scum of the Underworld were all there, roaring for Hakou, loving him. Me, I just felt the slightest bit sick. Not at the blood, because I was used to that. No, it was the bloodthirsty crowd that sent shivers up my spine.
The referees finally blew the whistle, and the battle was on. I used Gyo to understand what was going on behind the scenes. I saw that Hakou was only focusing his considerable amount of Nen at his feet. He wasn't even using Hatsu. Meanwhile, his opponents were preparing their best Nen.
Two of them were materialization, four reinforcement, two emission, and one manipulation. I can do that. I'm not sure how. Each class gives off a special vibe that I can't really put into words. Hakou generally just takes my word for it.
Hakou's eyes flickered towards me and I met his gaze without surprise. Trust him to locate me among the masses. I smirked a little and made the necessary hand signs to tell Hakou the opponents specialties as subtlety as possible. Nobody ever noticed, but I like to keep everything cloak-and-dagger myself. Hakou nodded almost imperceptibly, signifying he had gotten the message, and turned back to face his opponents.
Materialization Guy 1, whose stage name turned out to be Blunt, summoned a giant mace, which he immediately began swinging around in a maelstrom of activity. It eventually landed in the spot that Hakou had been standing on, and Blunt smirked, feeling the match over already, stupid man. The crowd strained their necks to see if there was a flattened, bloody corpse or a completely spotless man.
Because of that, the crowd almost missed when Hakou slit the stunned manipulation user's throat. The man went down with a strangled gurgle.
"If you guys can't dodge an attack like that, you should go back to grade school. You know what they say, quit while you're ahead, ne?" Hakou commented with a sickeningly sweet voice.
The opponents just snarled. I, however, nodded, approving with Hakou's' choice of kill. The surprise attack would only work best once, because after that the others would get their guards up. Manipulation users are difficult to fight against, so it is always best to get them out as quickly as possible. Okay, not always. But usually.
One reinforcement guy ran up to Hakou, and another ran behind Hakou. Blunt and the other materialization user, Slice, was on either side of Hakou. The emission users, Sharpshooter and Boomerang, had themselves and a reinforcement user in front of them a little farther away from the fight.
Hakou just propelled himself in the air to the side, towards the wall, with one giant mega-leap over the stunned Sharpshooter. He then pushed himself off, and with Nen-induced quickness and strength, he sprang forward and concentrated his Nen on both hands, forcing them to become lethal. He hit both Sharpshooter and Boomerang's necks before they could fire, and with a loud and sickening crunch, their necks snapped.
The eager crowd watched Hakou as he methodically dispatched the others. He attacked Slicer first, stealing his Nen-swords. Slicer was promptly knocked out with a solid thump, hilt-to-neck. The swords were essential for blood, of course. And what better way to excite a crowd with a bloodbath?
The emission users were next, but they got no momentary lapse like Slicer did. Close combat was not their forte, and they were unable to keep up with Hakou's amazing speed. Both of them were separated from the lower part of their bodies before the reinforcement user that was supposed to be guarding them realized what was going on.
The reinforcement users, Rock, Smasher, Shovel, and Drill tried in vain to track Hakou's movements. But whenever they struck out, he whisked himself away. They didn't notice that whenever he got close, he stole one of their weapons. Kind of amusing to watch, actually. They were just too focused to realize it. Soon, they all found themselves drawn together, and Blunt, who was still on his lonesome, swinging his mace around, was no match for Hakou. When he realized he was alone he tried to run towards the group, but Hakou got in his way. Valiantly, he swung his unwieldy mace that was only too easy for Hakou to dodge, and deliver death via a sword through the heart.
Hakou became more and more bloodied as time went on. The four reinforcement users found swords thrown at their from all angles. They fended them off easily enough, but Hakou descended from the sky like an angel of death and cleaved two of them in half. Blood spurted out like a fountain, obstructing the other twos' view. Enough time for Hakou to behead them, and then bathe in the ungodly rain of blood. His white clothes became a sickening red, and he laughed at the skies, the gods, death itself, tilting his head back. His victorious figure, I will always remember. His bloodstained face never quite left my mind.
Slicer was quickly dispatched after that, and then, after a few moments of shocked silence, the crowd burst out into a deafening roar never heard before in the arena. I swear I saw Romero Luc begin to weep as he watched Hakou's' figure grin cheekily and bow to the whole audience, before walking out of the arena, blood dripping off his frame and leaving a trail of red.
I was kind of shocked. I had expected something entirely different—what, I don't remember. But certainly, I hadn't expected that. I left the ugly view of the massacre seconds after Hakou did.
We were paid in full later on, and invited to play the role of Kind Mary again, which I firmly declined that time. "We might be hired killers at some times, but we do not enjoy killing." I said angrily, before I swept out of a stunned Romero Luc's apartment.
Hakou, having returned to his actual form, walked beside me in the streets. He was characteristically quiet, but I felt that something was off. When I asked, he turned to me with a strange expression on his face. It scared me, and still scares me now.
He looked lost.
"Luciano, what if I enjoyed killing those men?"
He can't help it, and I can't help him. The one time he reaches out to me, I can be no more than a sympathetic bystander, giving comfort after the damage has been done.
Hakou is bloodthirsty, and sometimes I catch him with a wistful expression on his face as he sees people fighting. He tries not to, but drawing blood in battle makes his very own blood sing and boil in excitement and ecstasy.
I'm sorry, Hakou. That I can't take cure you. That I can't lessen your pain.
That sometimes, I'm a tiny bit scared of you.