Shadow hearts

A novelisation

Chapter 8

Duel point of view: Margarete and Lili (mainly)

By Lucia Widdop

A/N - Hey everyone! My story's finally starting to take off and I have a few tricks up my sleeve for future chapters and so this chapter is going to be a little different. We're approaching Dalian now and so this chapter will not only be in the point of view of Margarete but also Lili the ghost for the majority.

I'm also going to add a couple of extra scenes which will be italicised purely so I can add my take on the story, so I hope you enjoy it and as always please drop me a review and let me know what you think!

Thanks go to HeartlessTitania and Alice Hyuga for the kind reviews on my last chapter.

Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima smiled to herself as she walked alongside her soldiers to the air strip where the mysterious party had been sighted.

The girl was within her grasp she could almost taste the sense of victory, she imagined her father's doting expression as she handed him the girl, she imagined being congratulated by the Japanese Army, earning a promotion, her name being known far and wide…

But when she reached the strip there was nobody there and she noticed that one of the planes that she had saved was missing, they had escaped…Again!
"Hmm it appears that we are moments too late, and the garrison has failed to stop them I see. Just how far do they think they can get in that little rust heap? Amusing little fools…" she mused irritated.

"Lt Colonel the pursuit planes are prepared to fire! With your permission, we can shoot them down!" exclaimed Private Koizumi

She turned her shoulders shaking with suppressed laughter.

"There's no need to waste ammunition…They'll crash before they get too far." she said calm and collected as ever.

"One thing does surprise me however, I never imagined that they'd be involved with that…Malkovich." she said her lip curling her lip at her enemy's code name.

"I…I…apologise about the state of our troops, Lt Colonel, I…" stammered Private Sonoda.

"Don't worry about it, I'm heading to Dalian; make the preparations. I suppose we'll have to set traps for them, then lay patiently in wait…" ordered Kawashima.

"Yes, ma'am, understood!" replied the newly promoted Private Yokoyama, and so the Japanese Army prepared to pursue the party further…

Meanwhile (Yuri's dream)

"Yuri slow down honey, you're going to fall!" Anne called to her beloved son.

"Don't worry mom, it's fine! I'm just going to tell Dad that it's suppertime! He's been working so hard, he must be hungry!" laughed Yuri, his eyes twinkling behind his fox faced mask.

Yuri ran towards his father, puffing a little as he finally reached the top of the hill where his father was hacking away at the ground with a scythe.

"You're out of breath boy, did you run all the way here?" asked Hyuga frowning slightly.

"Mom says supper's ready!" giggled a small Yuri.

"Oh, well I could use a break…" relented Hyuga smiling fondly at his son.

Yuri walked over to the huge pile of seeds gazing at them bemusedly.

"There's still so many left! Can you really seed them all by summer?" Yuri asked.

"Sure, winter's much harsher here on the continent, than Katsuragi where you was born. First we work to plant lots of seeds, then in the fall, we split the harvest with everyone from town. If we all work hard and help each other out then we can make it through even the toughest of winters. Understand?" explained Hyuga patiently.

"Yep!" replied Yuri happily.

Yuri turned and Hyuga watched his son puzzled by his sudden change in behaviour.

"Say, dad…Will you have to go away in the fall again? To work?" asked Yuri his voice cracking as he attempted to hide his sorrow.

Hyuga turned away the familiar feeling of guilt rising, he hated doing this to Anne and to Yuri, but there just wasn't another option…

"For how long?" asked Yuri in a small voice.

"Will you be back soon?" he asked his voice rising in anxiety.

Hyuga still didn't answer his son had truly rendered him speechless.

"It's okay dad, I can wait for you, cause I'm a man! But mom's different. She's a girl so she misses you, she tries to hide it but…I can tell how sad she is…" Yuri said sadly.

"I know…I feel terrible about doing this to you and your mother…" replied Hyuga sorrowfully.

"Yuri you look after mom when I'm away, right? I'll try to come back before winter." said Hyuga.

"Okay…I promise. Come back soon okay?" said Yuri quietly.

"Of course I promise too" answered Hyuga.

"C'mon mom's waiting." he said changing the subject and sighing in relief as Yuri charged towards their home…

(Yes guy's this is the extra scene enjoy!)

"Uh, uh!" Yuri moaned as he was roused from his deep sleep.

He opened his eyes to see Alice peering over him and he smiled groggily, with the sunlight reflecting off of her silver blonde hair and light blue irises she looked just like an angel.

"That's…a…nice…way to wake up." he grinned staring at her breasts and then her face.

Alice's face reddened as she gazed at him.

"Oh! I-I'm sorry Yuri, you was mumbling in your sleep I was getting worried." she murmured.

Yuri sat up suddenly and bashed his arm, he'd forgotten how small that darned plane was.

He looked at Alice one of his rare serious expressions etched on his face.

"I'm okay ya know, I mean sure I have strange dreams and sometimes when I wake up I have new fusions but I'm okay." he told Alice.

She shook her head and Yuri stared at her in surprise, Alice had never disagreed with him before.

"You still don't trust me Yuri, you hide behind this false bravado and you say that you're okay but…you're not. You hear that voice and you have no family, you wander aimlessly killing monsters and I can tell that your soul is…tormented.

I want to save you Yuri, from those monsters inside you and yourself, but it's like you won't let me in.

You're scared of being judged, of being alone and being vulnerable." said Alice.

Yuri gawped at her, he hated to admit it but she was right. He didn't trust people, why should he? People never trusted him. He'd never had to rely on a person just as someone had never completely relied on him.

If anybody else had said those words, he'd have hit them and disagreed but this wasn't just anyone. This was Alice, and when he thought about it her realised that deep down in the depths of his soul he cared about her.

"I guess you're right." he said surprising Alice.

Alice nodded thoughtfully.

"I- I just really…" she started.

Yuri waited in anticipation was she going to tell him that she loved him?

"…Care about you." she finished.

Care hmm? Alice cared about him? Was that her way of telling him that she did love him? Or was she just being her usual polite self?

No Alice would never lie, he thought.

"I really care about you too Alice." he said.

Margarete's point of view

"How can you sleep at a time like this!" I yelled in anxiety.

Yuri had been sleeping and Alice had woken him, I'd heard the two of them murmuring to each other but hadn't caught wind of what they were saying.

Not that it mattered seeing as the plane engine had just cut out and the plane which we were riding in was spiralling downwards rapidly.

"Huh? Did something happen?" asked Yuri dopily.

"Did something happen? I'll say it did sonny boy! How can you sleep at a time like this?" I yelled not bothering to hide my panic and anger.

"Time like what?…The engine's busted!" exclaimed Yuri in shock.

"Yuri I heard what you said in your sleep! You were saying Dad, dad help they're coming to kill mom!" cried Alice.

Mom, Dad? What on earth was Alice talking about? This was no time for a heartfelt conversation we were going to crash!

"You sounded in so much pain…" continued Alice.

"Look here missy! This is no time for casual discourse on somniloquy! We're going to crash! CRASH I tell you!" I yelled irritated.

I screamed as the plane lurched forwards and then plummeted downwards at the speed of light.

Alice joined in with the screaming and as we finally hit the water we skimmed like a stone before the top of the plane flew off, that's the last thing I remember before the world faded to black…

Splinters in my arms, the taste of blood in my mouth, the smell of the salty sea air tinged with rotting fist, and the sight of wood beneath me.

Moaning groggily I stood up and coughed up a ton of sea water, my lungs felt like they were on fire and I drew in a large, greedy breath of oxygen.

Alice was just coming to and I helped her to her knees, Yuri woke but remained sat the air of them staring out to the vast green tinted ocean.

"Man, I thought we were done for…" said Yuri, I nodded I had thought we were done for too but someone must have saved us, either that or we all got incredibly lucky but wasn't it just a little too coincidental that all three of us made it to Dalian port?

"Me too, I can't believe we made it in one piece…" sighed Alice.

"I-I never dreamed we'd CRASH! Never in a million years! Who'd have thunk it eh?" I said rather embarrassed that another of my idea's had failed.

"What a…what a GUTLESS plane that was! I thought we'd have at least got past Dalian!" I laughed half heartedly.

"Forget Dalian! You almost bought us a one way ticket to hell!" yelled Yuri clearly pissed off.

I bit my lip anxiously, I hadn't anticipated that the plane was going to crash, that was true, but how else did they expect to get out of there, we were all fine weren't we? So what did it matter what could have happened?

I turned back around to see both Yuri and Alice glaring at me and I sighed, jeez I'd made a mistake!

"Don't glare at me you two! That's not very nice! Look on the bright side we're still here right?" I tried.

The two didn't respond and I marched away we, smiling to myself when they followed me anyway.

Checking by the port we found a faded lottery ticket, after picking it up and pocketing we rounded the corner, we stumbled across a male dressed in green who had lost his turtle.

It was a pain but eventually we found the lost turtle and handed it back to the owner receiving another lottery ticket for our trouble.

Searching through between two tent looking things we found a Talisman of luck which we knew would come of use later.

When walking deeper into the small village we spotted a small diner, and a small amount of villagers carrying out their daily activities of selling fish and repairing damage caused by storms which had washed in from the sea.

Climbing onto what seemed like a small stage we decided to speak with the villagers in order to find out what we could about this place, even I who had heard about it on my travels didn't know much about the place.

The first villager we spoke with was a man who was almost bent double due to a bad back.

"Did you hear about the ghost…? That's right the girl who comes out when the sun goes down…" he said ominously.

I looked at Yuri seemed indifferent but Alice looked afraid, I had to admit that I had never heard anything about a ghost in Dalian, was this a recent occurrence or was I just out of the loop somehow?

"She comes with the mist and brings monsters…So many have died by her curse…Who will it be tonight? Lord have mercy…" he said sadly.

I looked at Yuri and Alice this definitely wasn't good and had to be recent, it seemed incredibly coincidental that there was a ghost just where we'd landed…

The next male we spoke to seemed fairly friendly.

"I don't think I've seen you here before are you travellers?" he asked.

We nodded, "Take my advice get to an inn before sundown then stay in your rooms." he warned.

"Why you say? Cause the port of Dalian is under a curse! An evil spirit's been preying on us!" he finished his face wrought with fear.

This ghost thing again? I was starting to feel more than a little afraid, my bullet's would be useless against a phantom, how on earth were we going to stay alive? We would have to stay in our rooms no matter what, Alice wouldn't take much convincing but Yuri…Yuri would insist on fighting those monsters no matter what…

The next villager we spoke to was an young woman who was attempting to dry out fish in the sun.

"What's this world coming to? I can't even dry my fish properly anymore…" she complained.

Once we had finished speaking with her we decided to take a look at the inn and try and rent some rooms for the night, then we'd make preparations for leave the next day.

As we approached the door the woman who was drying out the fish called to us.

"Are you going to the inn?" she asked.

We all nodded in response and she frowned.

"Fine but don't bother Sea mother. She's the only person we can depend on now…" she said sadly.

We turned and entered the inn not expecting the awful sight which met our eyes.

On a bed lay a young man clad in green, he was unconscious and seemed in a great amount of pain.

An elderly woman was bent over him murmuring strange words as if doing a ritual.

There was another young male stood next to the elderly woman, his face was ashen and tears ran down his face.

"Another victim of the curse…It's so awful I can't bear to watch." said a man.

I hadn't noticed him stood in the corner but it appeared that this man was the innkeeper.

"Yuri do you think that woman is…?" started Alice.

"Yeah looks like it…" he replied.

It didn't take much to know that they believed this elderly woman to be the Sea mother, it made sense.

"O almighty God…I beseech you, prolong this boy's life…I beg of thee…" mumbled the Sea mother.

"Aaagh…it hurts…brother…ask Sea mother to…" groaned the afflicted male.

"Hang in there Yen Yen! Don't give up! You're gonna be alright!" replied the other male his voice wavering.

"Please Sea mother! You have to do something, he's the only family I have left!" pleaded the male his voice pitched high.

The Sea mother finally stopped her chanting and I found myself hoping more than anything that this young boy would survive.

"Yen Yen…I can't help you." she replied sadly.

The older brother's face twisted in grief, and resentment.

"…You fought very hard, you're a brave, brave boy…" continued the Sea mother, her voice cracking.

"You can't say that Sea mother! Oh God, Yen Yen!" cried the older brother.

"I'm sure it will be difficult but it will soon be over." said the Sea mother as means of comfort.

"I do not possess the power to eliminate Lili's curse, forgive me Yen Yen." apologised the Sea mother.

That set my mind whirring into gear, so there really was a ghost named Lili huh? I wondered what business she had with Dalian and why she was attacking and killing the villagers one by one.

The boy's body convulsed and then his eyes which had been half open rolled back into his head as he began gurgling.

I shook my head in horror, I'd seen some pretty nasty things in my time, but to see a child suffering like that…

"T-This is horrible!" I exclaimed.

"Cursed and killed by someone's hate…" said Alice shivering at the concept.

The boy convulsed once more and then stilled, everyone in the room fell silent, we all knew that Yen Yen was dead.

"Yen Yen? Yen Yen! No!" cried his brother distraught.

The Sea mother blinked away a tear and then walked towards the far end of the room.

"Spirits in the heavens! Spirits in the heavens!" she called and I realised that she was using what power she had to send Yen Yen off properly.

"Our proud fisherman will be coming under your care. Please be good to him…" she said.

The older brother walked towards Sea Mother his head lowered in sadness.

"Thank you Sea mother…At least I won't have to worry about Yen Yen losing his way…" he said sombrely.

"Damn you Lili! How can you be so unthinkably cruel to our village!" yelled the brother.

The Sea mother walked to the exit silently passing us, as she reached the exit she paused and stared at Alice before finally leaving.

"One burial after another…" sighed the Innkeeper before jumping slightly when he saw us.

"Hmm. Are you guests?" he asked.

We nodded wondering whether we should ask for rooms or give him some privacy.

"I'm sorry but please leave me be…" he said sadly.

He watched as we prepared to leave and then and said.

"These are tremulous times, why not take a look at the weapons and armour downstairs?" he offered.

I stayed quiet, although I felt sorry for the boy it would be sundown soon and if we didn't find shelter soon we would be the next victims….

Walking downstairs the Innkeepers son greeting us with much cheer.

"Well, well customers, we've got lots off stuff, why not take a look around?" he suggested.

His stock was small and we decided that if we were going to buy anything then we'd do it later, it was much more important to find shelter.

As we left the Inn we realised we were too late.

A heavy white mist fogged the village and I just knew that the ghost was here.

Closing my eyes I sent a silent prayer to the lord, after all who knew which one of us would be the victim…

Lili's point of view

I stood waiting for some of those damned villagers to leave a house or a diner so I could take another life.

I wasn't sure why I was here, after all I died long ago, but somehow I was brought back.

I don't know who is controlling me but I am forced to stay here in this very place which I vowed I would never return to…

Through the fog I noticed a small party heading through, two females and one male.

I licked my lips as I eyed each of them up trying to decide which one I would take.

If I took that shaggy haired male then the girls would be all alone and vulnerable, yes that would be very nice.

If I took the less modest woman well, I suppose the other two would manage what about the other?

I'd have to speak with them and decide which one I would enjoy punishing most.

They ran over o me the male deciding to speak first.

"Hey…Hey you! The sun's gone down… shouldn't you be inside?" he asked.

I turned to him grinning wildly my long, now wet, stringy black hair falling in my face.

They really had no idea that I was the ghost! This would be way more entertaining than the last I just knew it!

"Everyone's so scared of me…They won't open their doors!" I laughed wickedly as it finally dawned on these stupid people who I was.

One of the females stepped forwards a pretty young thing.

"Th-that voice…You must be Lili!" she said.

I narrowed my eyes at her, she had such a pretty little voice, I stood remembering how pretty my voice used to be grinning at the fact that my rough voice scared them.

"That's right. What a pretty voice!" I admitted savouring their fear.

"My voice used to be like that too, even prettier maybe…" I said.

I lurched forwards towards the three people, they instantly jumped back further from me, I knew that they were trying to keep their distance, but it wouldn't help them not this time…

"It's you isn't it?! The evil spirit that comes out when the sun goes down!" said the other female.

I looked at the speaker, she wasn't nearly as pretty as the first, perhaps I'd spare this one.

"Humph, I thought I smelled a monster!" said the boy.

I glared at him, how dare he call me a monster! Those monsters were those cruel sea gods, who took away my voice and my father. Those were the monsters!

"Right let's see what you got!" he said raising his fists.

I smiled to myself, he was obviously protective over these females but which one was his lover?

Staring at both girls and judging by the reaction on the boy's face I instantly deduced that it was the prettiest girl, the one with the lovely voice.

I stared into her soul, she'd lost her father? Murdered eh? My, my this really was going to be fun.

"What's the point I only have business with her." I said watching as he tried to figure out which female I was referring to.

"So, the sacrifice for tonight…You!" I stared at the victim.

Her face looked shocked and I laughed as she was struck with my power which caused her to collapse.

The boy rushed to the girls aid, checking for a pulse, the other female watching me as I disappeared and then materialised further away.

"At sunset tomorrow, the girl will die. All you can do is sit by and watch. How glorious, she'll be in agony until the very movement of her death! The same agony I tasted…" I laughed as I disappeared, just before the boy ran forwards trying to hit me.

The girl who had been watching me checked on the victim.

"Alice!" she cried horrified.

"God damn it all to hell!" cried the boy.

I watched from afar as that vile Sea mother appeared and the party rushed their friend to Sea mother for help and then left.

My work for the night was finished…