Before we begin, just addressing few reviews.
Nexus240: Well it not much of a spoiler for my story I'm sure but obviously this Hino Eiji is already much difference in canon, for once I'm sure canon Eiji never travel to Symphogear verse hahaha. So yes there are will be different events that would change Eiji's fate...now whether or not he will still fall in battle though is a difference matter. I mean if Toei isn't afraid of taking out their main Riders one after another why should I!? Seriously, Faiz, Decade, OOO? Who next!? (0_0). Just a thought.
Little Voracious: Yeah it will be weirder if OOO, the Core Medals, Greeed etc. wont cause even a small change so I am trying to show that through the chapters (^_^).
Once again thank you for taking your times to write this guys. It feel great to read these reviews! Now onward to the chapter!
Chapter 13: Hidden Pain! Conflicting Emotions And Family!
Disclaimer: Kamen Rider created by Ishinomori Shotaro while Senki Zesshou Symphogear is licensed by Discotek Media. I gain no profit from this and don't own any of the series, the proof is the lack of official crossover.
Though given the crossover the Symphogear mobile have that itself might not be a viable proof soon.
Despite the quiet night, Hino Eiji feel like he could hear a familiar voice call out for him.
"Oh right, it is the voice of Ankh criticizing how amazingly easy it is for me to be caught flat footed." Eiji thought sheepishly.
He still unable to make a move with the gun trained on the back of his head.
"Chris-chan, you know it will waste your effort of fetching the bandage for me if my wounds got worsen right?"
Eiji asked in an appeasing manner to the white haired girl.
"If you know that, then don't do anything that will force my hand." Yukine Chris huffed as she tapped the barrel to the back of his head in a chastising manner. "Now listen carefully, I don't need a dead weight and you don't need to be dead. If you stay away from me, we can both achieve that, if you follow me, well I'm not scummy enough to wish for your death after helping me, so I suppose another bullet to your legs won't hurt." She finished a smirk.
Just from her tone alone, it already hard to decide if Chris is serious or not. Eiji suppose the silver lining here is that her compassion, in a rather extreme manner, shine through. Maybe part of the reasons really are beneficial for her, but she still take his wellbeing into account as part of the reason. And for Hino, that one point is all he needed. In a similar manner, the factor of Yukine Chris's safety will not allow Hino Eiji to let her venture alone, that is all it needed for him to decide his course of actions.
"Then...what about the debt you owned me?" Eiji asked back.
"Huh?" Chris responded quizzically, tilting her head.
"If I remembered correctly, I definitely saved your life back then. So now if I want to cash in that favor, how can I do that if you runaway?" Eiji asked with a civil tone.
Though the words he used strike a chord within Chris, igniting a far less civil attitude from her.
"What are you on about? What happened to all that good will acts?" Chris snarled. "Regardless, this work out well just fine! If I leave you here that's equivalent to saving your life from the dangers, debt clear!" She snapped.
Suddenly the idea of dumping him here feel less forceful to the silvernette, which again work just fine to her. Not that it didn't make the girl feel ticked, another good wills acts with hidden motives behind it, should she start to keep track now?
"Maybe if I get a Yen from every time it happen, it would at least make me rich." Chris thought with a frown.
"But what if Poseidon followed me here. For helping you, I ticked him off a lot. I am sure if he find me now, he would kill me in the most painful way, no question about it." Eiji half lied.
After all, he has a hard time grasping how the Greeed work now. Hino not sure if Poseidon will give chase, let alone if it will really kill him yet if he start to has the patience of Kazari. But then again Chris didn't know that, at least Eiji think she didn't.
"You are saying he survived that?" Chris asked in disbelief before grimaced. "No...he really is just that of a monster. So? What do you propose then?" She asked with a less demanding tone now that a sense of dread settled in.
"Well...how about you let me stick with you for a bit more? That way I can have your back, you can have my back?" Eiji asked hopefully.
"You..." Chris isn't stupid. She has her moment of being emotionally manipulated, but due to her circumstances, one can hardly blame her. Hence it easy for her to see through one fact. "Was this all so you can tag along with me? Why?" She asked, her tone now become unsure.
No, Yukine has already known his reasons back in the mansion, a reason similar to the girl who inherit the Gungnir. But, right now the Chris's wounded heart isn't ready, or rather, doesn't dare to accept the it yet.
"Well, it is safe to assume I have my own benefits. If that's the case there no reasons for you to doubt my actions, correct? Now you will know I have reasons to keep you safe cause it will also protect myself."
Eiji responded in a manner that seemingly satisfy Chris's question.
But then she know that isn't how it work. After all, with all he just say, sure there is now the ground of reasons for Yukine to not feel confused anymore. The silvernette can use the front of mutual beneficial to assure herself this is a logical choice for both her and him.
"In other words, I shouldn't feel indebted to him for doing this...but that's not right." Chris thought with disbelief in her eyes.
It didn't hard to find holes in Eiji's 'logic', especially when one consider the silvernette is already aware of her own circumstances as the number one enemy of the world. The girl didn't know when during her thought has her hand, which held the gun, started to shake. Her vision blurred as hot liquid hinder her visions. She detest them, as if they are acid.
"W..*hick*..What if I insist on shooting you in the leg?" Chris asked, her voice hitched for a moment.
If Eiji noticed he didn't acknowledged it, only her questions.
"Well, I guess I will have to crawl after you, it is for my own sake after all."
Eiji said with a kind smile as he now fully turn around, looking straight to Chris's tear stained eyes.
"You...just how many times must you see my tears fall?" Chris asked.
The girl lowered her head with her bangs hidden her eyes from the world and her gun arm already go slack.
"Sorry, Chris-chan." Eiji said rubbing the back of his head as the girl wiped her own tears away. He didn't feel like he can get the right to offer to wipe such tears for her yet. "I have had moment of crying and unable to do anything else myself, if you want I could cry in return right now for you to see how it was like?" He offered with a smile, not a hint of mocking in his tone.
"God, how do you sprout that crap without dying inside?" Chris scoffed as her eyes now free of tears, she then gave him a grin. "But they also have a moment of merit I suppose." She said, dismissing her gun in a particles of light. "So we are protecting each other with equal benefit eh?" Chris asked with a tone that Eiji can't identify but it certainly didn't sound displeased. "Why not? The enemy of enemy right? You are not offering me a kindness with no need for compensation right?" She asked, her tone now has some purpose in it.
"Uhm-hm. Until you are ready to accept such kindness once more, for now, I would just like to extend a hand of partnership to you. You will protect me just as I will protect you. With that, you own me nothing and I own you nothing." Eiji said with a nod, giving out his hand.
"...A deal made by a fool. I guess I am also a fool or a goddamn genius to accept it then."
Chris said with a grin, a rather soft one this time as she took his handshake.
"Until the day Chris is ready to accept kindness from other again...I can do it like this." Eiji thought with mixed feelings.
But one thing for certain, he will try to make such a day come as soon as possible.
"Alright, for now let's find a place to crash." Chris said.
"Should we look for a hotel or an inn?" Eiji said, checking his wallet.
"Nah, no need to worry about that." Chris said, waving her hand dismissively. "I know a place we can stay without paying anything."
Opening: Synchrogazer by Mizuki Nana.
Cover Image: Hino Eiji sitting back to back against Yukine Chris, both have a calm look as they watch leaf falling down from a tree.
The next day, the moment the clock hit 8:00 AM, Tachibana Hibiki already left her house. Because it is a day off, she isn't in her uniform. Instead, she is dressed in yellow t-shirt, jean shorts and white sneakers. Usually if she got a day off from school, Hibiki would have definitely use the chance indulge her sleep a bit more. However for today, the girl already feel her eyes shot open the moment the sun rise up. If it not for the fact Tachibana know her destination won't open until this time yet, the cream haired girl would have leave much sooner.
Hibiki ran all the way to the Sunflower dining shop, the distance from her dorm to the shop is about two miles, by no mean is it a short distance for running and yet the girl barely breaking a sweat despite running none stop.
"Hello! Eiji-kun, are you here?" Hibiki asked the moment she entered the shop.
If anything, her expression show a contrast of exhaustion. Hibiki's eyes shine with intensity and purpose as she scan around the shop and didn't find the person she looking for.
"Ah, good morning Hibiki-chan! Eiji-kun isn't here, he called me this morning for a days off to take care of some business." Boss Lady said. "Honestly, I just know he getting himself involve in something troublesome." She said with a sigh then let out a reassuring smile. "But knowing him, he would be back soon."
"Right...you right." Hibiki agreed with a nod.
But the girl expression is still clearly down.
"Alright, since you are here start to take a seat." Boss Lady said with a comforting smile. "I will whip up something for you, consider it my treat." She said.
"Thank you but..." Hibiki hesitantly said.
Usually the promise of a meal would have been awesome but now the girl can't really find an appetite.
The Boss Lady bring out a tray holding a cup of ice water, she then set it down in front of Hibiki.
"A good meal always help to start the day." Boss Lady said. "Now, don't argue with your elder, just sit here and wait alright?" She said.
The woman humming to herself as she make her way to the kitchen.
"He could have called me too..." Hibiki said dejectedly.
At the 2nd Division, new information have just been gathered by the team.
"Yeah, something tell me Eiji-kun was definitely involved in this." Kazanari Genjuro said dryly.
He is currently looking at the aftermath scene of Fine's mansion, the burning charred crater where it once stood.
"The explosion occurred yesterday evening, it was far away from urban area but even then the powerful explosion still attracted many attention and they called the police." Ogawa Shinji reported. "No doubt about it, the time fit and given the location is so secluded, Eiji-kun might have encountered Poseidon and whoever is employing Yukine Chris."
"At the very least there is no body traces found in the area." Fujitaka Sakuya commented.
"But...with such a large explosions even if someone get caught in it, would there even be any trace left?" Tomosato Aoi said with a frown.
"Really loving your optimism there Aoi-kun." Sakuya said with a sigh.
Though he know this is her own way of showing concern, his coworker is just a bit of a realist that's all. One of many trait that make Genjuro scouted Aoi to be part of the team in the first place, someone to keep a rational view among all the craziness happening around here.
"Nah-ah-ah~ even if we have no way to determine for sure, I'm definitely sure Eiji-kun is safe and sound right now." Sakurai Ryoko chirped happily, walking into the room, she whistled seeing the damage show on screen. "Oh nice crater there, the amount of force required to cause this scale of destruction must have been enough to wipe out a city or two." She said gleefully.
"I'm glad you enjoying the scenery, Ryoko-san." Aoi said dryly. "Did you managed to find some proof? Did Hino-kun contacted you?" She asked in concern.
"Nope! Haven't heard a sound from him." Ryoko said without a hint of shame.
"Should have seen that coming." Everyone in the room thought.
"Then..." Sakuya said, unsure.
"Isn't obvious?" Ryoko asked with a smug grin. "It my intuition both as a peerless woman and a genius scientist. Someone as fun as him wouldn't kick a bucket so easily! How many times have I tell you guys that already?" She asked.
"Well I wouldn't put it that way, but I also feel the same. This isn't something that would kill Hino Eiji, he is still alive." Genjuro said, crossing his arms.
At this moment, another person entered the room and overheard the conversation.
"Of course Eiji-kun is fine!" Hibiki grumbled, the girl mood is visibly less chirpy compare to normal, if not downright sulking. "He just an idiot for making me worry." She said, sitting down on one of the couch. "He called Boss Lady just a while back for a day off but didn't bother to contact anybody else."
Just because Hibiki understand doesn't mean she forgive! The girl definitely making sure Eiji hear her mind when he get back.
"Good afternoon, Hibiki-chan. How are you feeling?" Shinji said with an amused smile.
"I'm fine, thanks." Hibiki replied halfheartedly.
"Uwah, I don't think I ever seen her like this, and I was there when we shatter her normal life worldview and told her about the Relics." Sakuya commented with a sweat-drop.
"Hah, such is a maiden heart my friend." Aoi said with a small smile.
Everyone is now relieved knowing the Medal Rider is definitely fine.
"Still, you would think he would give us a call to let us know he is fine as well." Sakuya said, stretching his arms.
"Hm, perhaps it wasn't a right opportunity to do so." Genjuro guessed.
"So he can call his workplace but not us?" Aoi asked, confused.
"Well there clearly a circumstances for it then is it not?" Ryoko said with a mischievous smirk. "Let see here, he can contact his boss but not us or Hibiki-chan, then consider what he set out to do yesterday? I would said there a high chance our knight in shining armor have managed to sweep little Yukine Chris off her feet and having some kind of exciting adventure just between the two of them right now!"
One can almost hear the glass shattered.
"WHAT!?" Hibiki stood up, looking alarmed. "B...But Chris-chan isn't allowed to do that! I want to go with them as well!" She declared.
The girl look like she about to sprint out the door but the red haired Commander quickly pulled her back before that can happen.
"Hold on Hibiki-kun! You don't even know where they are!" Genjuro commented with a sweat-drop, he then turn to his giggling colleague with an unamused expression. "Geez Ryoko-kun, can you stop teasing my pupil for a minute? We are being serious here." The man sighed when the cream haired girl sat down again, but her pout increased in magnitude. "Alright, while I wouldn't put it the way Ryoko-kun did, I think it safe to said if Eiji is with Chris, it must be a tense situation, I doubt it all sunshine and rainbow for them."
"Given each encounter they have been on the opposite side, I would said it lucky we haven't heard any sighting of white haired girl chasing down an armored man with rocket launcher." Sakuya said with a chuckle.
"Hah! Wrong again, with Eiji-kun's char-"
"And I gonna have to stop you right there." Genjuro said to the scientist with a deadpan expression. "Don't you have more data to go through in regard to what happen with the Durandal?"
At this reminder, the scientist eyes practically sparkled.
"Oh God you are right! Thank you Genjuro-kun! For the rusted Durandal to suddenly regain it luster like that, so many possibilities and yet so little clue at the same time!" Ryoko exclaimed in glee.
Hearing this, the cream haired girl twitched.
"I would have told you guys what it is I did." Hibiki said, scratching the back of her head. "If I even remember or have any recognition of it that is."
The girl's hazy memory only allow her to remember she touched the rusted sword. Beyond that, everything feel like obscured in fog.
"Hehehe that's alright, you just have to let me conduct some test on you that's all." Ryoko said, panting heavily.
"I need an adult." Hibiki whimpered.
"Oh I am one." Ryoko said, still panting.
"Yeah, I don't think so." Genjuro said, still deadpanning.
"Shishou! Thank you so much!" Hibiki exclaimed gratefully.
"Geez you guys are all drama queen." Ryoko said with a childish pout. "Is not like I was going to dissect Hibiki-chan or something you know? Just some this and that kind of test that's all."
"It is exactly the 'this and that' that make us concerned!" Everyone in the room thought.
"Fine! I won't push but we do need to have more check up for you in the future. The Durandal have become inactive again, at least it not rusty anymore but aside from that it practically no different than before Hibiki-chan wielded it." Ryoko said with a sigh, no doubt the fact she can't get the Durandal to have the same reaction day ago is what make her depressed. "And here I thought after that boring party I would get to have some fun."
"What is her idea of fun?!" Hibiki thought frantically.
She need a new topic, quick!
"Eh, a party sound fun though?" Hibiki asked.
"Then we not talking about the same kind then." Ryoko said, with a scoff. "Not the one where there loud music, fruit punch and sweet cake where everyone who can't dance but still dance like crazy anyway. Rather it the one where all the people who have a stick up the asses walk around showing the fact they have a stick up their asses." She grumbled.
"Ah, I see?" Hibiki asked, with a tilt of her head. "Then why would you go then?"
"Heh, she can't afford not to. A lot of those stuck up person has a hand to help her get the fund she need to kick start the research to the Relic in the first place. In fact, even now she still need to make sure to maintain good relationship with them just in case." Genjuro explained. "Especially since this one in particular was hosted by Shinra Corp. President, he was one of those with the highest contribute for Ryoko-kun's project back then."
"Eh? Really? That a really famous electronic branch, I saw a lot of washer, fridge and TV with that brand! Such a person donated to your research, Ryoko-san?" Hibiki asked in amazement.
"Yeah, as much as a pain it was, I can't deny those donation really help give a boost to my research process back then." Ryoko said with a shrug. "Plus, as far as boring bloke go, he is quite okay." She said with a sly grin.
"I'm pretty sure being a handsome young bachelor with too much money would make one rank a bit higher than just 'fine' for lots of people." Aoi said with an amused smile.
"Eh? Does that apply to you as well?" Sakuya attempted to tease.
"Jealous?" Aoi asked back with a smirk.
"Eh, I'm pretty sure I being fair enough. When it come to love, money and fame isn't even a factor." Ryoko said.
"Ryoko-san..." Hibiki thought.
Despite the joking and teasing atmosphere the conversation has been going, this particular moment feel sincere from the scientist. The cream haired girl feel like Sakurai is much more serious about her words than she is showing, after all it reminded Hibiki of the somber mood Ryoko showed her when they were talking about dream and goal back then.
"Just ask Hibiki-chan and you would know right!?" Ryoko suddenly added with a wide grin.
"Eh?" Hibiki muttered in shock.
Suddenly she feel a bit silly for looking too deep into the scientist words, the woman clearly love to joke around!
"Hah, well, I'm glad you dropped by Hibiki-kun. Thankfully there isn't seems to be any Noises showing up today, you can take it easy for now." Genjuro said.
"It's fine, it literally just taking an elevator after my classes anyway." Hibiki said. "Then, in that case I will visit Tsubasa-san with Miku today, is that okay?" She asked hopefully.
"Heh, I don't see why not. From what I see, Miku-kun is just the type of person for Tsubasa to befriend." Genjuro said.
"Agreed! Miku is one of the nicest person you can befriend with. She love Tsubasa-san music, plus she also very respectful and caring! I'm sure they will hit it off quick." Hibiki said happily.
After all, she will finally introduce her best friend to her idol! The excitement make Hibiki temporarily forget whatever worry she has about Chris and Eiji pairing up doing God-know-what.
"Aw isn't sweet? Now our Tsubasa-chan will have four friends in total." Ryoko said with a grin. "And before you said anything, we are more like her family than friends." She said knowingly, looking at the sheepish Hibiki. "That said...some friendship could be too troublesome."
At the party, dressed in a blue silk dress, Ryoko keep up a polite smile and returned the same courtesy to all those who exchanged pleasantry greeting with her. Inwardly, the woman can't help but groan as her face feeling stiff already.
Thus, it was a great relief when she managed to find a corner of a table with little people around it. Grabbing a drink offered by a passing by waiter, Ryoko make herself comfortable on one of the chair.
"Quite an ordeal isn't?" An amused voice asked.
"Oh come on, it haven't even been five minutes!"
Of course, outwardly, the woman presented a polite smile, not showing her discomfort. Beside, she sort of recognized the voice calling out to her.
"Not at all, it a great party you have, Shinra-san." Ryoko said amicably.
Sure enough, the one who called out to her is the host of the party. Dressed in a clean classy black suit, yellow green colored hair combed neatly to one side, a sharp handsome expression that show a great deal of intelligence behind it. Among the people who could have interrupted her time, Sakurai have already anticipated it will be one of the biggest VIP of the room.
"Heh, and yet you look so relieved finding a safe haven for yourself." Shinra Nagi said with knowing smile. "Rest assured, I am also in the same boat as you."
"A funny thing to said, given you the one who host the party." Ryoko said with a lopsided smile, seeing no more point in hiding her boredom.
"Well you know how it is, my hand was twisted in hosting it, just as much as your was to attend it." Nagi said. "But I would like to look on a bright side, and that is having a chance with chatting with busy individual like you, Sakurai-san." He said, his eyes gain a curious glint. "I hear the Symphogear have continue to prove their successful worth in repelling against the Noises, it make me very happy that my faith was not misplaced."
"Here it come, starting with a reminder already eh?" The brown haired scientist thought calmly.
"Indeed, it can be said Shinra-san have a hand in help saving the world from the Noises, on the behalf of the ignorance mass, I would like to give you a toast as thanks." Ryoko said, rising her glass.
Already held on in his hand, President Shinra softly clank his glass against her with a matching calm smile. They both take a quick soft sip.
"That said, I have heard some interesting news recently, words seems to indicate some new factors have show itself. An alternative way to counter the Noises without a use of Relic?" Nagi asked, his tone at ease to the point one think the man is asking about the weather.
"Hoh~ now that sound like a challenge for me who has bring forth the potential of the Relic, how intriguing indeed." Ryoko said with an excited grin. "But you know how it is, whenever the Noises is involved, everyone lips get a bit too tight, so even if someone happen to know anything about this, it would be hard to confirm. That said, if this alternative existence that can repel the Noises really exist then it a shame, because I have yet to see anything like that." She said with a playful smile.
"I see, then for now to maintain a good relationship with Sakurai-san it best if I treat this as rumor with no evidence for now." Nagi said, without a hint of irritation, taking another calm sip.
If anything, rather than looking annoyed for not getting a straight answer, the man clearly look like he is enjoying the conversation.
Frankly, that worried Sakurai Ryoko even more.
(Flash Back End)
"Hm, it seems Hino have indeed gotten too popular." Sakuya commented in concern.
"Eh...is it a bad thing someone like this Shinra person to be interested in Eiji-kun?" Hibiki asked.
"Well the guy isn't a super villain or something like that as far as we known." Ryoko said with a shrug.
"That said, one doesn't rise to his level of power and influence by playing nice. So I would said it better if Eiji-kun keep some distance given how interested he is in OOO." Shinji said.
"I see..." Hibiki said with a small frown.
"Still, make you wonder, if he managed to see it back then?" Sakuya pondered.
Seeing Hibiki's quizzical expression, Tomosato softly sighed in somber.
"What he mean is, perhaps that President managed to see Eiji-kun when he first arrived to our world." Aoi said.
"Eh? But that would mean..." Hibiki said in shock.
"That's right, as part of a privilege for his donation. He get the front row sit for the Nehustan's activation experiment, the Shinra Company's President was at the Zwei Wing's concert and also a survivor of that disaster like you." Genjuro explained.
"But I never hear anything about this mention on the newspaper...I didn't miss it did I?" Hibiki asked in bewilderment.
Then again she sure Miku would have let her know right? The girl is more up to speed with such vital news than her.
"Nah, his appearance was never make public. And while he suffered some injury it wasn't very life threatening, so it wasn't hard to hide the fact he was ever there." Ryoko said with a shrug. "It might be hard to understand for you, frankly I don't get it sometimes either, but it would have been too troublesome for the guy to be known he got caught in a Noises attack so they just swept it under the rug, it wasn't like he was breaking any law either so we just turn a blind eyes on it."
"Things like this happen from time to time with important figures." Shinji said, nodding in agreement.
"I...I see." Hibiki said.
She really doesn't, nor does she think she need to. Still, it is the fact that such a major figure can be designated as 'survivor of the Zwei Wing's concert' that caught Hibiki off guard for a moment there.
Across the city, Fine have established multiple safe house just in case a situation call for it. One of it is a cheap apartment that have been paid few months in advance, though it have barely been used, until now. The apartment doesn't has any furniture. No kitchenware, ingredients or spices. In fact, the only thing here is a mattress one can use to pass the night.
And currently sleeping on it is a certain white haired girl, who let out an annoyed groan when the ray of sunlight hit her eyes through the window.
"Urgh...what time is it?" Yukine Chris muttered, groggily checking the clock. "Hm? 10 AM eh?" Letting out a yawn, the white haired girl stretched herself. "And where did that idiot go?" She muttered, seeing the empty spot next to her.
Due to there only one bed available, a compromise has been made. At first, the other occupant has suggested he will take the bathtub but that idea was quickly shot down given he is still wounded. Then in a move the white haired girl can't believe herself, she has decided they will use the same bed. Of course, with their back to each other, each person stay on the side they agreed on. And a warning of a taste of leads if the other person dare to break any of the rule. Though honestly, Chris have an idea that wouldn't have happened anyway.
Instead now she has to worry where has he ran off to.
Though her worry were for naught, since at that moment the sound of the door being open and close can be heard.
"Ah Chris-chan, perfect time to be awake. I bought breakfast." Hino Eiji said, holding up the bag of fast food on his hands.
Wordlessly the white haired girl nodded, she headed to the restroom to give a herself a quick wash. As tomboyish as she is, the girl wouldn't want to show her tired crappy morning face to a guy. After a few minutes, the Chris walked out and joined Eiji by the table. Even if the latter has wanted to cook, there isn't anything for him to use, not even instant noodle hence he decided to visit the nearby hamburger store the moment he wake up.
"You could have called me for the trip, I'm not so cruel to make a wounded person fetch breakfast for me you know?" Chris asked lazily, the sleepiness still hasn't completely left her.
"Hahaha, my bad. But you look so tired that I don't want to disturb you." Eiji said, taking a piece of fry and munch on it. "I can't tell what would happen to me if I try after all." He joked.
"Hm, so that's the image you have of me inside your head eh?" Chris asked, unamused, unwrapping a burger.
The girl then proceed to use the patch of ketchup, mustard and mayo in the bag. As she chew on the burger happily, the girl shot a subtle glance at Eiji. The man give a side glance at her for a brief second, then has a small soft smile before starting to dig into his own burger.
"Come to think of it...this is the second time I ever got treated to food by somebody ever since I start to follow Fine." Chris thought, unsure how to process the seemingly trivial thought.
Then again, the one with that black haired girl was technically because Chris helped her and the food was a thank you. This time, it fair to said the white haired girl received the food without having to do anything in return. To still able to receive a form of kindness in this rotten world, one that wasn't given to her by her parents or Fine, it make Chris feel melancholy in a level she didn't think a simple breakfast can.
"Ah that's nice, I don't usually start my day with a fast food meal but it definitely make one full. How about you?" Eiji asked, already finished his burger.
That's make Chris realized she has been silently staring at her burger for more than a few minutes, given she is the one with faster eating speed, a trait that Fine commented would minus her lady points, something the white haired girl never understand. With a few fast bites, the girl finished her half eaten burger as well.
"It's fine, I like junk food. Didn't got much chance to eat them before." Chris muttered, taking a sip of soda.
Fine is actually quite a good cook, the woman usually prefer to cook all the meals in the mansion making the time for junk food very scarce. Also, the golden haired woman has commented fast food is the greatest enemy for a woman to have a great curve. Again that's one also fly over Chris's head.
"I see, well if you want we can always get more. Ah, but it also best to eat them in moderate for your health." Eiji lectured.
"Are you my mom or something?" Chris muttered dryly with an amused smile. Knowing the girl history, Hino stayed silent and only replied with an awkward shrug. "Hmph, no need to be so tense, it just a joke. Beside...it a long time ago already." She said knowingly.
"Yes...but time doesn't always heal all the wound." Eiji said understandingly.
This make the white haired girl paused.
"You..." Chris began.
However the girl can't find an appropriate words and soon the silence returned.
"Well, what are our schedule for today?" Eiji asked.
As far as attempt to switch topic go, it is as old as the Earth. Not like the girl is complaining, especially since they do need to figure out their next step. Though...
"Honestly...I don't have a clue, perhaps I should start searching where Fine can be. I would have think of returning to the mansion, but well..."
Chris said with a pointed stare at that man sit across from her.
"Ack, sorry." Eiji apologized.
Despite not being the one who throw the fireball, he can't help but feel guilty.
"Hah, never mind. Is not like we have much options back then anyway, the fact we managed to haul ass out of there is still amazing to me." Chris said with a sigh.
"Ah, that's right, Chris-chan if you don't mind can you tell me about how you guys encountered Poseidon and how he acted when he with you guys?" Eiji asked.
Yukine thought about it and quickly come to her decision. Is not like she has any reasons to hide any info, Fine is one thing since it personal, but the Greeed? Whatever advantage Eiji can get would probably mean bad news for Poseidon, and just that thought alone is enough for the white haired girl to comply with the request. Not counting all the debt she know she own Eiji.
"Alright sure, though don't expect me to have all the detail either. From what I know the thing pretty much just come home one day with Fine." Chris said with an annoyed huff. "Seems like she managed to pick him up somewhere like a lost animal, she always has a knacks for finding troublesome things like that." She said.
Whether that referred to her as well is kind of obvious to Hino.
"Still...the fact she managed to convince him to cooperate with her is kind of impressive in its own way." Eiji said, scratching the back of his head. "I guess you can tell Poseidon isn't exactly a team player."
"Hm!" Chris scoffed. "Understatement of century there, pal." She said, sipping a soda before continuing her story. "Then again, Fine just has her way, she has always been very good in getting what she want. Seems like some kind of information exchange happened and the bastard have mentioned he is intrigued by Fine's desire. Not that I ever truly understand what she want." She said with a hollow chuckle.
"Well that's doesn't sound worrying at all." Eiji thought.
After all, what could intrigue a battle crazed evil Kamen Rider? Though the part about information...
"For information it safe to said it about Fine telling Poseidon a way to remove the effect of Putotyra have on his body..." Eiji mused.
"Putotyra? The Hell is that?" Chris asked, showing interest. "If it something troublesome that can trouble that damn fish, why didn't you use it back at the mansion?" She asked.
"Ah, I would have liked to myself but it wasn't that easy." Eiji said with an awkward chuckle.
It suddenly clicked to Chris, given what she has saw in the past.
"Ah I see...it kind of like what the Swan Song do to us huh? Given what I saw your so called Combo do to you as well, I can sort of guess what a troublesome power that must be." Chris said with a sigh. "Well that a bust then." She said, giving up the idea.
"Eh? Wouldn't you want to learn more about it? Maybe it is the only thing that can stop Poseidon?" Eiji asked in surprise.
"Hah, don't be so condescending! I have the strongest Gear, Ichaival you know? Give me time and I'm sure my Relic will cook up something to fry that bastard for good without needing your fancy power." Chris said haughtily.
But the wanderer interpret it differently.
"Ah, could it be you are concerned what kind of backlash Putotyra could do to me? Thanks Chris-chan." Eiji said with a bright smile.
Suddenly the neighbor hear what sound like a hiss of a feral cat, then sound of something broke follow by a pained yelp of a young man who don't know how to mind his own words.
At the 2nd Division Hospital, Kazanari Tsubasa is in her room bed right now. The girl has just finished the routine rehab exercise for the day, but her training isn't over yet! Thanks to the guidance of the more experienced protector, Hino Eiji, Tsubasa has found a way to hone her mind even as she resting in bed.
The bluentte feel her focus is at her peak. Right now, in front of Tsubasa is a challenge she has trained herself for the past few days already, the girl know she is ready. With a swift movement focused onto her finger, befitting one who follow the path of the blade, she make the decisive slash!
And all the fruits in the game were cut in half, not one of them escaped the bluenette strike. Not long after, the screen flashed a new high score record again. For the last two days, the record have been set by Tsubasa and it only go up highers.
Letting out a satisfied huff, Tsubasa set down the tablet, just in time as the door is opened.
"Good afternoon, Tsubasa-san. How are you doing?" Hibiki asked, walking in.
Following behind her is Kohinata Miku, who look a bit more timid compare to her outgoing friend. The girl is dressed in a black t-shirt, white blouse, and a jean jacket with a white sneakers that match her friend.
"Hello! It very nice to meet you, my name is Kohinata Miku, I hope we are not disturbing your rest." Miku said nervously.
"Hm, no worry. I am grateful for the visit. I have heard of you from Tachibana, her friend are also my friend as well." Tsubasa said with a calm smile. "If you don't mind I make such assumption, that is."
"Ah, no of course not. It would be my pleasure, Kazanari-san." Miku said respectfully.
"Man you are so stiff, Miku. You will make Tsubasa-san feel like an old lady you know?" Hibiki said, snickered.
"Mou! And you are too lax Hibiki. I can't just address Kazanari-san so casually since I just know her." Miku said.
"No need to worry, I wouldn't want my friend to be so nervous around me. You can address me however you feel that would make you comfortable, Kohinata." Tsubasa said.
"Then...Tsubasa-san." Miku said.
The blue haired idol nodded with a charming smile.
"She like a prince! Is this also the power of a veteran idol/Gear User!?" Both Miku and Hibiki thought respectively.
Both of them also notice the tablet that running the Fruit Ninja game lying on the bed's blanket, Miku didn't find it weird but Hibiki just blinked owlishly.
"She can't be still treating it like a training right? Surely she must understand now Eiji-kun just showing her a game to unwind right?" Hibiki thought but didn't dare to voice it out.
Some battle is just too much to even try to fight it, best avoid it if you can. Indeed, such is a lesson Hibiki has learnt throughout the endless onslaught known as history lessons.
True to Hibiki's expectation, Miku and Tsubasa get along very well. The conversation started with the two getting to know each other, then it move to her friend start to ask the idol about her fight against the Noises, how her life go, etc. Being well spoke she is, Miku always make the conversation sound very polite and didn't sound pushy at all, Tsubasa also look comfortable answer the questions the black haired girl has. Then sometimes it just light banter exchange between them about opinion regarding literature how they feel about genre of music and even their favorite historical lessons, for Tsubasa it mostly famous battles.
"As expected of Miku, you hold your conversation with Tsubasa-san so much better than I did." Hibiki said with an amazed tone.
"Ah, apology, Tachibana. We aren't trying to leave you out of the loop."
Tsubasa apologized, thinking her junior must feel sad.
"No, no. I know that's not the case." Hibiki replied with an awkward chuckle. "It just that I know the range of topic is kind of beyond me here. I honestly expected you two to get along, but not to this degree so quickly."
"Well, perhaps if you haven't sleep through almost every classes, you would have been able to join us already." Miku said with a teasing smile.
"That's mean Miku!" Hibiki exclaimed with a flushed expression.
Both her friend and her idol chuckled in amusement, making the girl even more red.
"True, it would do you good to focus on your academic work Tachibana. I know you can do it if you put your mind to it, the way you mastered your Gear is one good example." Tsubasa said.
"I honestly think mastering a Relic to fight the Noises is much easier to deal with schoolwork though." Hibiki said sulkily.
"Honestly, just what can I do with you Hibiki? At the very least you not skimming out from the studying session." Miku said with a sigh.
The cream haired girl want to comment how Kohinata would have given her hell if she did anyway, so not like she has a choice. But in the end Tachibana once again pick the wiser options, she didn't said anything. The girl still want to eat dinner after all and it not wise to piss off the one who will cook it.
Instead, it time for a distraction!
"Ah, by the way, Tsubasa-san! When you finally get discharged, how about as celebration we all go out together?" Hibiki asked.
Both the black haired girl and the blue haired girl froze for a moment, then they both have a slightly different reaction.
For the former, it is one of panic.
"W- Wait a minute Hibiki!" Miku exclaimed with an embarrassed expression. "This is too sudden! I just barely get to know Tsubasa-san, she might not be comfortable with the idea!"
Her flusters is understandable, given who is involved here. After all, even if Miku isn't as big of a fan as Hibiki, doesn't mean she isn't one. If anything she is the one who introduced her friend to the Zwei Wing in the first place. To be able to talk to one of its idol, Kazanari Tsubasa, like this already feel like a dream come true. And now to imply they could hang out on a date together? That is too much for Miku to handle in one day.
"Now, now Miku, I'm sure Tsubasa-san won't m-"
The seriousness in Tsubasa's tone surprised the cream haired girl.
"You mentioned outing...so you mean all of us hanging out for a day, not for training but just to go around the city, doing mundane stuff like eating foods together, picking clothes, and other activities along those lines, correct?" Tsubasa asked, her gaze sharp.
"Yes?" Hibiki continue to reply with a scared expression.
"...Very well, as your senior in the way of protector, I will accept your request!" Tsubasa declared, a bit too enthusiastically.
Both Hibiki and Miku shared a glance at this. The latter realize perhaps the idol she admire might be even more excited about the prospect of this date than her, so Miku will get to make her idol happy while get to hang out with her and Hibiki? The black haired girl has to wonder if she is dreaming right now given how great lifeis treating her!
Also, the pair of friends unknowingly agreed on one fact. It kind of cute how the bluenette idol is totally excited and tried to contain herself at the last second.
"Well it decided, there a lot of places we can go together, this will be so fun!" Hibiki declared, she then crossed her arms and huffed. "We will have so much fun, then as a bonus I will get to rub it in Eiji-kun's face. To show him how much he missing out when he just leave like that!"
At that last part, Kazanari titled her head with a confused expression.
"Am I missing something here?" Tsubasa asked.
In response, the black haired girl can only give a helpless shrug.
"Well, I guess it not wrong to said Eiji-san unknowingly started a cold war." Miku said with an amused smile.
Naturally, Tsubasa found herself more confused after hearing Miku's 'explanation'.
Currently, we found Hino Eiji and Yukine Chris walking through the city street. One would wonder if they are out here in pursue of a lead relate to Fine? Trying to find out more what the woman is planning or where she is currently hiding? Or perhaps they are on an equally important missions that make them leave the safe house?
Actually, the answer is much more mundane than that. Chris find it incredibly boring to just hole up in the safe house all day, so she decided to go out and find something to do to kill the time. It's not like the white haired girl has a clear idea what Fine is trying to do, so Chris decided she might as well entertain herself until she figure out something else. It certainly beat stuck in one spot without anything to do, and since Eiji is here he might as well keep her company.
Thus we find the unlikely duo going through the more robust section of the city, fill with movie theater, dining restaurants, clothing stores etc.
"Do you see anything caught your interest right now?" Eiji asked, looking around the city with mild interest.
"Hmm..." Chris merely hummed.
The girl is taking everything with a more subdued intrigued look, until her eyes stop in one particular location. Following Chris's gaze, Eiji recognize what she is looking at. The man slammed his fist into his open palm with a look of realization.
"Chris-chan, that's what we call an arcade." Eiji said kindly.
But this only ticked off the white haired girl.
"Oi! Of course I know it an arcade! Just how bad do you think my situation is to not even know that?!" Chris asked with a pissed off look.
"Ah, my bad." Eiji chuckled embarrassingly.
Giving the man one last sting eyes, the white haired girl walk into the arcade. Once inside, it didn't take long for the girl to choose the game she want. And it is a choice that didn't surprise Eiji at all, the girl went to one of the shooting game booth and instantly select the hardest difficulty after putting in her money. The girl's scowl turned to an excited grin the moment the game started.
"What you waiting for? An invitation?" Chris asked.
The girl handed the other gun of the game to a surprised Eiji.
"Ah, right, thanks."
"Hm, this will be a match got it? Let's see if can you keep up." Chris said with a grin.
"That's kind of sudden..." Eiji said, looking at his gun. "Well, let just see how this go I guess, shouldn't be too hard."
Unbeknown to Eiji, the game Chris picked is considered to be one of the hardest among shooter arcade game. Even those who are pro with it still need to take an hour to clear it. That's because the enemy weak spot is not only small but it move around very fast even for shooting game standard and that is even more so for the boss fight, hence it is almost impossible to nail every weakness with a single shot, the best record is one hit for every three shots leading to the one hour record.
For the silvernette gunslinger though...
Eiji took note with interest the small crowd that's already gathered around the booth, all watching with rapt attention of Yukine's game play. It has started with one of the frequent customer saw Chris hit all the weak spot of the enemies one shot each, with no wasted bullet. And as the girl keep up that pace, eventually it lead to the current crowd who has all tried the game before, including those who set up the one hour record.
"Heh, easy." Chris said, twirling the gun and put it back in the holster.
For the record, Eiji's character died 10 minutes into the game, by then he know his fate is sealed and just settled with watching Chris play. The girl has finished the game in 20 minutes and that's when the crowd go wild.
"Holy crap, did you see that!? I thought she would stumble at the last boss but the girl actually pulled through! You rock, girl! Not a single bullet wasted for the entire playthrough!"
"Goddess! A goddess of guns has descended upon us!"
Naturally that's when Yukine finally noticed the cheer in the background, having been too absorbed in the game and sensing no killing intent make the girl ignored her surrounded up till now.
"What the? An ambush!?" Chris asked, holding out her Relic Pendant.
"Ah, since you beaten me let me treat you to some ice cream as a reward!" Eiji exclaimed in a rush.
He quickly grabbed the bewildered girl's hand and dashed out of there. All the while the cheering can still be heard, though now some of the whining have been mixed in it, with some of the crowd assuming the beautiful girl who good at shooting game has already been taken before they even get to try their luck.
Outside, Yukine looked quizzically at Hino.
"The heck was wrong with you, I could have taken them." Chris said annoyed.
"That's precisely the problem." Eiji said with a strained expression. "Chris-chan, those people are just normal people, they not there to ambush you, they just admire your skills in the game." He explained.
"Huh seriously?" Chris asked, looking lost. "It just some basic aim and shoot stuff, what's there to be impress about?" She then smirked. "Now if they want to see something special, then there is a few gun trick I can show them." Chris said proudly.
"You know, your past actions could make it seems like you making a subtle threat. And even if you not, given your Ichaival even if you just want to perform some trick I can't help but feel concerned nonetheless." Eiji said dryly.
"Huh?! What's that suppose to mean?!" Chris asked with a ticked off mark.
"Ah right the ice cream! There's the truck, what flavor do you want Chris-chan?" Eiji asked, pointing at the sweet vendor.
"You, do I look like a kid that can be distract by sweet that easily!?" Chris growled, while the man continue to stare at her. "...Let see what flavor they have first."
She said curtly, walking pass Eiji and toward the ice cream stand.
Later, Chris got a cone of mint chocolate and rocky road ice cream, while Eiji got a cone of mango ice cream. The girl has a satisfied expression while enjoying her treat but then she start to has a pensive expression.
Today is definitely a fun day, they can keep playing at the arcade and get some snack to enjoy. However, when has Chris ever got a chance to do this with Fine? Even back then, when she still think their relationship is fine, the silvernette know a chance for such an outing between them is small. But she didn't mind, as long as they are together, who to said it couldn't happen one day? But now? Chris know that day definitely won't come.
"Chris-chan, something wrong?" Eiji asked.
His questions snapped the girl out of her thought, the girl's expression shifted back to a haughty grin.
"Nah, just remembering the one sided beat down I give you just now. Seriously though, you sure don't know how to handle a gun at all do you." Chris commented.
"Is not like I have a reason to use one, not to mention, most of OOO's arsenal isn't even gun related." Eiji said defensively. "Most of the time I just have to use a sword or fight with martial arts skills."
Sure there is the Medagaburyu, the Medal Biting Dragon, but the explosive weapon befitting the violent Combo it come from can't really be count. After all, there not much to aim when what come out of the barrel is going be a big wave of violet stream of destruction that wipe anything in its path off the face of the Earth.
"How primitive." Chris said, still having fun over discovering the 'weakness' of the Kamen Rider. "Well if you ever want, just ask me to teach you, I will be sure to give you a discount for the course." She said with a grin, finishing her ice cream.
Looking at how satisfied the silvernette is, Eiji decided it best not to mention if he really need to use a gun, his armor enhanced sense should help him with the aiming somewhat. Sure, it would not be near the level of a specialized expert like Chris but he should still be able to handle aiming just fine.
After finishing the ice cream, the duo get back inside the arcade and played some other games. After two hours, it is time to look for lunch so both of them went to a family dining place nearby.
Eiji ordered a plate of beef bowl while Chris got herself a plate of steak with fry potato.
"Thanks for the meals." Eiji said before eating his food.
The silvernette look like she about to devour the plate already but the moment she heard that, the girl paused.
"Thanks for the meal." Chris quickly said then she start to devour her plate of steak.
The girl decided, right now she get to have fun and eat good food, even though she should have lost her life yesterday. Yukine Chris feel like she would be doing herself a disservice if she didn't enjoy these moment to the fullest for now, then she will consider what her next step will be. After all, Chris is someone who live at the moment, that doesn't mean she can get over what happened but at the very least she can shove them away to a corner of her mind for today at least. Beside, if anything do go wrong? Then this might be one of the last few days she can have fun like this, with what happening to her life right now, who can said for sure how long she can live?
Having finished the meal, Chris's face is stained with the sauce. Clearly the girl hasn't learnt anything after her meal with Miku, or Fine's lesson of etiquette for that matter, since the silvernette is trying to wipe it off with her sleeves.
"Ah, hold on, that's will dirty your cloths." Eiji said.
He held a handkerchief and tried to wipe her mouth with it, much to the girl's embarrassment.
"Oi, knocking it off! Are you my dad or something!?" Chris exclaimed with a red face. "Here just give me that!" She quickly snatched the tissue and wiped her face with it. "There, happy?" Chris asked.
"Yes." Eiji said with an all too innocent smile.
"Alright don't push your luck, pal." Chris growl with a twitching eye.
Having finished the meal, the girl scanned her eyes at the surrounding. Chris already has her fill at the arcade for now, so she wonder what to do next. Eventually, something caught her attention.
"Hey! Let's go there next." Chris said.
The girl pointed at a building, which is happen to be a cinema. Eiji doesn't hate outing or anything like that, but the man is used to spend his day more slow and calm, unless when there Rider's issue involved or someone is in trouble. So it is one of the few rare days for him to go through so many entertainment at the same time, but he didn't has much a choice when he saw how excited the white haired girl is now did he?
"Alright, you pick the movie." Eiji said with a nod.
The movie that caught Yukine Chris's attention is a comedy romance genre, but that was only because how flashy the poster look. Once she see what the plot summary is though, her interest quickly pummeled. The next movie that caught her interest actually have an actions plot that match it colorful poster, needless to said, the silvernette instantly hooked.
The movie aired for about two hours, once finished, it is close to noon. One would think those who have go through incredible battles like the Rider and the Gear User would be unable to enjoy an action flicks, but that simply not the case. For Eiji, the fact there was no real life and death battle involved is all it need for him to just kick back and enjoy what the movie has to offer. For Chris, there is no reason she can't draw inspiration from these explosive movies. Too bad it wasn't really the genre Fine enjoyed, the woman is more into classical title of sci-fi or comedy movies, series. Hence, Chris never have much chance to give a try to these actions genre until now.
"I have to give them this, when the fight start, it start!" Chris exclaimed with a grin, the girl has an excited gleam in her eyes. "I know guns can be use in close combats but the way they mix in those crazy kungfu stunt is awesome!"
Hino just knew Yukine will fine a way to implement this to her fighting style and test it out on whoever stupid enough to challenge the girl. Though again, the goal is to have the girl enjoy herself after what happen, as long as that success, Eiji guess he can't complaint much. But he definitely need to make sure to keep his eyes on the girl even more now, just in case a poor soul try to piss her off.
However, as he listen to Chris's praise for the movies, Eiji suddenly remember something important. He was reminded when he heard a man apologize on a phone for some kind of mix up.
"Ah." Eiji muttered.
With a shaking hand, the man take out his Batta Candroid, one that pretty much act as Eiji's personal phone. The Candroid showed a hologram screen featuring all the call records, sure enough there are multiple missed calls coming from one person.
"Hm? What is it?" Chris asked, looking at the screen.
"Hahaha...my death warrant." Eiji said with a sweat-drop.
There is no time to waste! He instantly called back one of the call.
Just as the three of them are talking about various random topics happily, Hibiki's phone rang. As the cream haired girl check who calling, her eyes widened for a moment in surprise, the girl has a relieved smile. Though it was quickly replaced with a small pout.
"Ah, judging by her expression there can only be one person who is calling." Miku muttered.
Once again, Tsubasa can only tilted her head in confusion.
"Hello." Hibiki said.
"Ah, hello, Hibiki-chan...how are you doing today?" Eiji asked hesitantly.
"Is that really all you have to said for me Eiji-kun?" Hibiki asked drily. "Do you know how worried I am? I knew yesterday night you didn't come home at all."
"This morning, I wake up suuupper early just to run to Sunflower store only to find out you called Boss Lady only." Hibiki continued.
"Oh...right, I thought you would still be sleeping..." Eiji said lamely.
"You could have leave a message." Hibiki said.
"Right..." Eiji muttered in realization.
Safe to said the man isn't very good with a phone, he didn't has much reason to use one for quite a while now.
"So...Chris-chan is with you right now right?" Hibiki asked.
This make Tsubasa quirked an eyebrows in alarm when she heard this, but she keep her composure. It would seems to be quite rude but the bluenette feel like she can't ignore the conversation and decide to keep listen, same for Miku as well.
"Ah she is, she is safe don't worry." Eiji said reassuringly. "And...she won't try to hunt you anymore."
"I see, that's good." Hibiki said letting out a relieved sigh. "Then, when would you com-"
"Oi, you done yet? Let's continue to find something to play." Chris's voice can be heard through the phone.
One can heard the sound of glasses shatter around Hibiki, her grip on the phone tightened on a phone that it almost cracked. Much to the surprised, as well as slight terror, from both Tsubasa and Miku who saw this.
"Ah just a moment, sorry what were you saying Hibiki-chan?"
"Grrr...Me, Miku and Tsubasa-chan will hang out and have tons of fun tomorrow! Idiot Eiji-kun can do whatever he want!" Hibiki exclaimed comically.
On his side, Eiji look at his phone with a bewildered expression as the call is ended by Hibiki.
On the other side, both Miku and Tsubasa can only watch in silence as the fuming Hibiki have smoke leak out of her ears.
"Oh dear..." Miku thought.
"What an impressive aura!" Tsubasa thought.
The cream haired girl turned around to them, with a bright smile. Even then it did nothing to hide the burning fiery in the girl's gaze.
"Alright! Let's show that idiot Eiji-kun! Let's have fun with our upcoming date everyone!" Hibiki cheered, almost shouted.
"Ah-hem!" An unamused cold voice fake coughed.
Startled, Tachibana turn to the door to see a stoic expression nurse, looking at her with a cold gleam. Hibiki's fire was instantly put out.
Always keep quiet in a hospital everyone.
"So what the heck was that all about?" Chris asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I kind of messed up and make Hibiki-chan angry. Probably best think of something to make up for her when I return." Eiji said sheepishly, scratching the back of his head.
"Hm, if you are that worry, why don't you just go home now already?" Chris asked with a huff.
"Obviously because I care about you." Eiji said matter-of-factly.
"Wah? You!" Chris stuttered.
The girl whipped her head around, looking at Hino with an indignant expression with the way he just casually said that. The latter seemingly realize something wrong with what he said, given his expression of realization.
"Ah, of course, this is still consider a deal, just a deal." Eiji said, as if that will resolve the issue.
"That's not the point here damn it! Seriously you might have more of a screw lose than that br-...I mean Tachibana Hibiki." Chris said with a huff, turning around. "Whatever, I'm not just gonna stand around here like an idiot, let see what else this place have for fun." She muttered, rushing off.
Eiji wondered if that count as a step up for their conversation before followed the girl with a more easygoing pace.
As they were walking, Chris heard a sound of a little girl crying mixed in with shouting voice of a young boy. Sure enough, as she turn her attention to where the sound coming from, she saw a young boy, he look to be around 10 or 11 years old, seemingly yelling at a crying little girl, who look even younger than the boy, on the side of the street near a vending machine. Other people walked by paying no heed to the duo, likely thinking it some children game gone wrong given it is two kids involved.
But that isn't the case for Yukine, she can't handle the sight of such young girl crying, it bright forth all sort of bad memories for her. So with a ticked off expression, the silvernette marched over to them. Seeing this, Hino hurried his pace after the girl, worrying she might do something rash.
"Oi! You brat, what are you doing? And you call yourself a man?" Chris asked, her voice just few pitch short from shouting.
Eiji's worry were not unfounded, at the very least Chris still 'holding back' as she is considerate of the boy's age. But her scowling expression and demeanor is already enough to make the young boy tensed up in fear.
"Chris-chan, I think you got the wrong id-"
"Who are you!? Do- *Sniff* Don't shout at my brother!"
Without letting Eiji finish his words, the girl, still sobbing, already stand protectively in front of the now scared boy.
"Eh? Brother?" Chris asked, her scowl now replaced by embarrassed surprise.
"If you hold off for a moment you could have see their resemblance Chris-chan." Eiji said soothingly to Chris, now turning to the pair of sibling. "Sorry, my friend here just worry you are getting bullied so she rushed over to help, she didn't know you guys are sibling." He said calmly.
The girl, holding back her sniffing, has a relaxed expression, so is the young boy.
"I...I see, thank you, but really I am fine, he is my brother." The girl said.
"I...I'm sorry for making a scene. I shouldn't have yell at her like that." The boy apologized.
"Ack, eh, ah-hem, it's fine. It partially my fault as well anyway." Chris muttered, scratching the side of her cheek in embarrassment.
With her scowl gone, the siblings are more relaxed. With their argument ceased, their young child minds quickly latch on to the next thing that caught their interest. Mainly, the foreign girl who stopped their fight in the first place.
"So pretty...Big sis, are you an idol?" The girl asked in wonder.
Her brother nodded in agreement, sharing the same question.
"Eh?!" Chris asked, completely caught off guard. "K...Knock it off you kids." She said, coughing into her hand.
"So she can be embarrassed like this...I'm glad." Eiji said with an amused chuckle.
"And what are you laughing at?"
Chris's scowl returned, but this time it focus squarely on the man next to her.
"Eh? Ah, nothing." Eiji also coughed into his fist. "Oh, if you two don't mind telling us, why are you guys arguing?" He asked.
On one hand he does need a change of topic, on the other, Hino really is concerned now that they already talking to each other.
Thankfully it wasn't anything too major, the pair of siblings simply got lost from their father in the middle of the street because the sister was interested in the doll on one of the store's shelf and her brother was trying to catch up to her, only to end up lost himself. At the very least the sibling are together so their father, who probably looking for them, don't have to search for each of them.
Of course, there is still one simple problem, how to help the kid find their father in the first place?
"Do you remember the store where you got separated from your dad?" Eiji asked.
"Well we been here a few times, so if we keep walking I'm was so sure we would find our dad right away." The boy said.
Needless to said, just by looking at the sibling's embarrassed expression, both Chris and Eiji can guessed how that turn out. The sibling no doubt unknowingly make themselves even more loss in the busy street.
"Then try to describe what the store look like, there are quite a few toys store we seen when we walking around, chances are we know which store you guys got separated." Chris asked.
"That's right, just leave it to big sis here, she will find yours dad for sure." Eiji said, nodding with a big smile.
"You having fun with this aren't you?" Chris asked with a sting eye.
"Alright, let check out some of the toy stores to see which it is." Eiji said, instantly turning around and start walking.
"Oi, don't ignore me!"
While checking the toy stores the sibling introduced themselves, their family name is Hayashi, the brother name is Yuichi and the sister name is Ayu.
"Big Sis, Big Bro, can we know you guys name as well?" Ayu asked in excitement.
"Sure, my name is Hino Eiji." Eiji said.
The sibling then give an expectant look at the silvernette, its clear between the two of them it is the girl with the silver hair that captured their attentions more.
"It's best if you don't know my name, we will find your dad soon anyway and then I will take my leave." Chris said, seemingly disinterested.
Eiji suddenly scooted closer to her, much to the girl surprise.
"W..What are you doing?" Chris hissed, whispered as she keep on walking ahead.
"Well I can tell you don't want to leave any chances of these little one being in danger, but it best if you don't turn around?" Eiji warned.
"Huh?! The Hell are you..." Chris did just that and she was met with the downcast gaze of the pair of sibling. "Urgh!?" She choked on her own spit, the silvernette then sighed. "Just call me Chris is fine."
Already she is feeling a wave of dejavu here, what is with everyone she encounter so interested in her name!?
"So what is your father look like?" Eiji asked. "Any characteristic so we can spot him for you guys? For example the cloths he wear?"
"Well our dad doesn't stand out with his clothing, but there is one characteristic that you can't miss." Ayu said hesitantly.
The girl who was so upbeat before now suddenly turned sad, next to her, Yuchi's expression become one of rage instead.
"It all because of the Noises...they are the bad guys here...I hate them." Yuchi said with venom.
Yukine Chris jolted, the girl almost missed a step. She turned around to look at the pair of sibling with wide eyes.
"You two...don't tell me."
At that moment, the little girl gasped as she point at one of the shop.
"That's right, it here!" Ayu exclaimed.
"Yeah, this is where we get separated from our dad for sure." Yuchi said.
"Which mean..." Eiji take a glance around then nodded to himself. "Excuse me! There a pair of sibling here who is missing their father! Do anyone seen anybody looking for their kid?" He exclaimed.
After a few seconds, a man running through the crowd stopping in front of the group with a happy expression.
"Tou-chan!" The sibling called out at the same time.
They quickly ran to their dad and hugged him, the latter has a relief expression on his face. The man look to be in his late 30 almost 40, his attire is also casual wear with T-shirt and jean, but now both Eiji and Chris had understood what the sibling was trying to said There is one trait that make him stand out among the crowd, the man right arm is missing. It have been severed from the forearm, the stump was just barely being hid by the sleeves of the shirt. Of course given the man condition, it seems to have been an old wound already and not something that happened recently.
"Thank you so much, my kids told me what you guys did for them." The man, whose name is Hayashi Kyo said, giving a grateful bow to Eiji and Chris. "Really...thank you." The man repeated.
"It's fine, don't worry about it, we just helping out a bit." Eiji said.
"Though since you are treasure them so much you better keep a better watch on them." Chris said, crossing her arms..
Her eyes held a small envy in them watching the family, something Hino don't know what to do about yet.
"Yes, you right, they are the only treasures left for me, I will be sure to not repeat this mistake again." Kyo apologized.
Rather than offended, it seems he treat Yukine's words as invaluable advice.
"Well, as long as you get it." Chris muttered.
For the silvernette part, try as she might, the girl can't draw her eyes away from the man's missing arm. Base on what the sibling was saying, Chris have an idea what could have caused this and it bring her a feeling of fear that isn't like anything she felt before. And she has stared death in the face just yesterday.
"Ah sorry, I should have wear a longer sleeves eh?"
The man asked, sounding embarrassed once he can tell where Chris's gaze is subconsciously drawn to.
"No." Chris said, the girl's expression become stiff. "...Please tell me...did that happened because of the Noises?" She whispered.
Eiji look at the girl with a mixed expression, he has heard the girl's voice filled with defeat before when she was abandoned by Fine. And now, her voice is almost reaching that level.
"Hahaha, I guess my kids told you eh?" Kyo said, his eyes seems heavy, his smile seems to fill with more sorrow than any amount of tears. "I am lucky, to be able to escape with just the loss of my hand, but sadly my wife lost her life during the disaster."
"Disaster..." Chris muttered hollowly.
For some reasons, to hear the man chalk up the tragedy as if it was a result of an earthquake make Chris feel nauseating. The girl feel like it would have been much better if he has know the truth, to know the Noises are not a force of nature, it is just another weapons that human use to hurt each other!
And Yukine Chris have used that weapon herself many times before.
"Excuse me for asking...but...were you perhaps also got caught in a Noises disaster?" The man asked hesitantly.
That was the last straw for Chris, ever since she been rescued by Fine the girl vow to never hesitant. She might have once thought of accepting her death but she didn't take a step back from it, she has faced fellow Gear Users head on, stared down Poseidon with all his power no matter how outclassed it seems for her.
And yet right now the girl is turning tail and running, Chris didn't even has a chance to feel shame for herself, in her head all she can feel is she need to get out of here right now. A sense of fear that only matched by the time she witnessed her parents death have now well up in her again.
"Chris-chan!" Eiji called out.
He give a quick apologetic nod to the man then chased after the girl, leaving the family behind.
"Tou-chan...was...Chris-oneechan also hurt by the Noises?" Yuchi asked.
"I'm not sure Yuchi, perhaps she did."
"The Noises..." Yuchi muttered angrily, eyes threatening with tears. "If only..."
Chris ran like death itself is chasing after her, anybody who is unfortunate enough to be in her way got shoved away by the white haired girl. Chasing behind her, Eiji apologized to those people on her behalf.
"Wait, Chris-chan!" Eiji exclaimed.
He managed to caught up to the girl and pulled her arm back, the girl given him a heated glare, in response the man just pointed in front of her. Just a few more step and the silvernette would have ran into the intersection with her path still have red light on. The girl grunted and yanked her arm back.
"Those family...I thought I am ready to shoulder my sins but...I ran away, I was unable to face them knowing what the Noises did to that family...Damn it!" Chris yelled.
The girl punched the light pole next to her, Eiji winced, that definitely would leave a bloody bruise, but in a way he understand. That pain is nothing to the girl right now, if anything its stinging sensation might even help stimulate her mind to deal with the overwhelming emotions she feeling right now. After all, how many times has Hino himself experienced the same thing while still coming to terms with the death and destruction happened upon that village?
"Just running away won't make you feel better, Chris-chan, I'm sure you know that." Eiji said solemnly.
"No s#$% Sherlock, of course I know that!" Chris snapped back, gripping her heart. "But just what I can do...to make up for all of this?"
The man let out a small sigh then looked up.
"First off...just look up." Eiji said blankly. The girl followed his advice, above them the sun is almost starting to go down, giving a beautiful orange hue to the sky. It is a beautiful sight for sure, but Chris have no idea how that would help. "I was reminded...how big the world is." He continued with a soft smile, but this one is different from the other he used to flash to her, this one seems so melancholic. "I can't help but think, in this big world, when one make a mistake surely there would still room for one to make up for it. In a way it a simple thought, but the time it took for me to finally come to this realization was quite long." Eiji said with a sigh.
"You...just what did you..." Chris mumbled.
The thought this fool committed a big crimes is just beyond the silvernette, but the tone he carry dismiss any doubt.
"You are not me Chris-chan so perhaps you have your own way to realize this, but I still hope my words can help. Just know, the moment you realize you committed a sins is already big step. It mean you have stopped and think, now the next step is in your own effort, to turnaround and make up for it with the best of your ability." Eiji said.
Should he has told her that isn't her fault? That Chris was just following Fine's order? Eiji can't do that. As much as he sympathize with the silvernette, to dismiss it all like that would be an insult to all the life lost to the Noises, to the pain Chris is feeling and also to any resolve she will have to push on in life despite knowing the mistake she committed. So all he could do is share with her the path Hino Eiji has took in his own journey of redemption and see what answer Yukine Chris will drawn from it.
The silvernette mused over the words given to her, of course she can understand what the words meant, but she has no idea how to act upon it. The girl who always value actions above words suddenly found herself unable to moves, as if the doubt within her has become an unbreakable chain that shackled her limbs completely. The thought that any other actions she take would just result in more misery and loss for other innocent people, it is a terrifying what-if that paralyzed Chris with fear.
Eiji crouched down next to the girl, as the very least he think they should return to their hideout first. However that thought was halted when a familiar siren rang out the entire city. The one robust and excite atmosphere has now changed, while it still keep the same level of robust, it is now have been fueled with fear and worry instead of enjoyment. Everyone quickly rush to the closest door of the shelter.
"W...What's going on?" Chris asked in a daze.
"The natural disaster siren, despite it name the main purpose is only one." Eiji explained with a grim expression. "It use to signify the spotting of the Noises."
Just as Eiji finished his words, explosions occurred around the city, fire and smoke start to fill out the area. Chris look around in horror, seeing everyone run for their life, children scream out for their parents, parents frantically look for their children, love ones hold on to each other for dear life. Some try to keep calm to get to the shelter, but nervousness and fear is unavoidable as such there is case of people pushing on to each other to get to the safety spot.
Already Eiji is on the move, he ran to one of the old couple who has got shoved to the ground by rushing bystanders. With a quick words of thanks from the couple, Eiji send them back on their track to where the shelter direction is. He then look back to where Chris is, expecting the girl to still be on her knee but he was greet with a surprise.
Yukine hang her head low, her bang covered her eyes. Suddenly she give herself a slap on the face.
"Goddamn it get yourself together already! Is this really Yukine Chris!? Can I let Mom and Dad see me like this?" Chris thought angrily.
The girl still has the doubt in her heart, however, seeing all the destruction happening around the city she known, that doubts can take a back seat for now.
"Right now I don't know what to do for my sins yet...but at the very least I can think about that after I wipe those bastard out." Chris said with fire in her eyes.
With that she dashed toward the source of the commotion, and of course Hino isn't far behind from the girl.
When the duo arrived at the location, they were both already pulling out their respective Relic Pendant and OOO Driver, ready to transform and fight the Noises. However an unexpected sight greet them, someone or rather something is already here taking on the Noises.
"This is..." Eiji muttered in surprise.
"Oi, why the hell is that Yummy fighting against the Noises?" Chris asked in confusion.
Indeed, right now a Yummy is fighting against the horde of Noises appeared, giving the time for the bystanders nearby to run and escape. The Yummy in question is tortoise themed with a blueish gray color scheme, Eiji quickly remember it as the Rikugame Yummy. A powerful Yummy that given him trouble even when he used the Latoratah and Sagohzo Combo against it, wielding formidable strength and defense which it is demonstrating right now as it barreled through the horde of Noises like they were made of paper.
The Noises by their mindless mechanics swarmed toward this strange threat, however instead of being disintegrated, the Yummy withdraw its limbs to its shell then start to spin at extreme speed and tore all the Noises that tried to surrounded.
"That is one dangerous turtle." Chris commented dryly. However, something else quickly caught her attention. The very same family she and Hino just met prior is right there trying to runaway from the Noises but it clear they won't be able to get away, worse yet in the attempt to all ran away together, the daughter trip and fallen. Naturally her father and brother won't abandon her so they try to get her back to her feet, this is all it took for the Noises to catch up on them. "It's them! Hold on, I'm coming!"
Chris quickly dash toward them but once again the Yummy prove to be an unexpected factor when it intervened and kicked that Noise away, the tortoise monster then continue to take on the rest of the Noises. Regardless this give Yukine a chance to approach the family and help them up.
"Is you, thank you." Kyo said.
"Let's get out of here now." Chris said.
"Everyone alright?" Eiji asked as he catch up.
"We fine, thankfully that...thing saved us."
Kyo said in disbelief, looking at the strange sight of the Rikugame Yummy destroying the Noises.
"Amazing...this is it, those Noises is getting what they deserve!" Yuchi cheered.
This of course, gained Hino's attention, already a thought form in his mind but he know now is not the time.
"Get to the shelter please, we don't know if there is more Noises hiding around here."
Yuchi nodded in agreement to Eiji's words and quickly runaway with his kids.
"Seriously, what's going on here though?" Chris wondered.
"This Yummy is acting base on a host's desire." Eiji said. "And it seems whatever that is, it making the Yummy treating the Noises as the enemy."
Watching the event unfold on a screen in an unknown location, Fine let out an amused smile.
"Now, let the experiment proceed."
A/N: And thus another chapter, now here is when I adding more stuff compare to my last version of the story. I guess for me this is the part it truly feel like instead of just trying to improve my grammar, I am actually doing something different with this story...and it only took 13 Chapters to do so...hooray. (^_^;). Whelp once again thank you for all those who read it! Hope you all having a good time of your life and I will be here with another update soon...hopefully.