(AN: I am sorry for cliff-kun.)
The sky was filled with grey clouds before arriving back at the house first, Fuumi looked around and noticed the lack of people. Only Olivia was found cleaning the kitchen quietly.
“Where is everyone, Olivia?”
“Ms. Chiaki hasn’t returned from school, and Lady Xiuying left a few hours ago to do something. Is um…Master Hayate not back?”
Olivia had a little bit of a hard time adjusting how to address her employer after finding out their true gender. Fuumi nodded trying to mull through this as she knew some of the difficulty herself from past experience.
“I was sent back first, Hayate-sama is discussing something with Hatsuko-sama. Hayate-sama should return soon.”
“I see. It’s late though, I’m worried that Ms. Chiaki hasn’t called us.”
“That is strange…”
The clock was reading 8:30 PM at the moment, the sound of rain was heard, slowly but surely getting heavier. Even Xiuying had not contacted them either for some reason. Under normal circumstances, since the two were now housemates, it was decided that if the time became too late, or something had happened they would contact the house. And yet, neither had done so.
“Let’s wait. I still have to read this letter at the designated time.”
The two waited until 9 PM, then Fuumi opened up the letter and was reading what was written. Though it was not a letter, it was a set of instructions.
“Olivia, you need to read this too.”
The two read the instructions, displaying two different expressions. Fuumi’s desperate look made her run out the door quickly without another word. Panic had set in as she rushed to look for the girl they had been waiting on. She quickly disappeared in the dark shadows.
Olivia quickly went to her room, her expression filled with anxiety as she brought out her guns from storage. Strapping on the gear to help her hold her ammunition and extra guns, she headed out the front door to find a man with an umbrella by a black car. He opened the door quietly to usher her in quickly. She didn’t ask, simply getting in and being driven away.
Another man wearing a black suit came into the house and looked for a particular item. He saw the letter that was left behind. He quietly read it to see if there was instructions for him.
Find Chiaki Nakamura quickly. Save her and prevent her death. She will be where Hayate is.
Prepare your weapons. Transport will be provided. You are to support Hayate once you arrive.
Burn this letter and lock up the house. That is all.”
The man, Ushida, took out a small lighter and burned the letter, watching it completely burn. Cleaning up the mess before he locked up the house. He returned to his post acting like he had never entered the house in the first place.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
A short while ago…
The weather had turned grim, the dark clouds covered the sky. The crowd walked without a care. Only curious glances were given at a girl with long black hair, wearing a black suit underneath a black trenchcoat. In her hand was a katana kept in a shinai bag, a bag for kendo bamboo swords. Her dark blue eyes scanned her surroundings as she walked. She expanded her extra sense, and followed the malicious energy that was leading her to where she needed to go.
Raindrops began to fell from the clouds, and then turned into a shower. She calmly walked, while those without a coat or umbrella began to run through the rain to find shelter. She walked by a pair of friends sharing an umbrella together, complaining about the rain. She gave a sad smile, feeling a slight jealousy at the pair. Ever since meeting Chiaki, she had heard many things about how school life was. She too wanted to experience those, wanting to share those moments with her first friend from school. A passing thought entered her mind, If only I was not a Demon Hunter. She shook her head in resignation, knowing she was born into this life, her future was set for the most part.
Slowly the crowds of people began to thin, until she was alone in a certain part of the city. It was then she realized something and made a wry smirk.
“If I was allowed to wear my fedora….this would be like that one part in that novel….”
She shook her head again as she continued, heading towards the largest park known in the city. Now empty of anyone because of the rain. But it was also the place she needed to go to. She quietly took out her katana from the bag as she entered the park. There, in the darkness of the small forest of the park, numerous pairs of blood red eyes glowed. She frowned at this sight, her glare narrowed.
“A demon horde…I see…that one hiding behind this horde planned this…”
With a single motion, she drew her katana from the scabbard. The odds were one against many, there were many kinds of demons mixed into this horde. The azure flame that covered her katana’s blade appeared, it burned brightly despite the rain as it was not a real flame from chemical reaction. It was a flame created from her own Spiritual Power. Taking one deep breath, she ran into the horde.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
She had gone out with her other friends for today, having enjoyed the new stores that opened. It had gotten late and her phone’s battery was dead so she couldn’t call the others. She didn’t think much on that as she separated from her friends. It began raining and looking annoyed she took shelter at a park to see if she could wait it out. Using the what she could, she hoped the others weren’t worried about her.
She heard a loud yell in the midst of the rain. She looked around and the yelling could be heard again in a certain direction. Pushed by some unseen force, she walked towards that direction. It yelling grew louder, sounds of unnatural roars could be barely heard. She walked to the open area in the middle of the park and saw an unbelievable sight before her eyes.
“W….What is this?”
A lone girl in a sea of black creatures, the girl fighting alone cutting down anything within her range. The black hair, the black clothes were easily recognized, she knew who that girl was.
The sight of the corpses there on the ground. Some were missing heads, others were cut in half, and some were whole but not moving. In the middle of that was Hayate, her clothes tattered, fighting alone with a single katana bathed in an azure flame. Choking down the bile that was starting to come up her throat, she questioned the reality of what she was seeing.
Is this…what Hayate does normally on her own? Is this what she has to deal with? I…I can’t help in this situation? She thought in frustration. In what was a deadly battle, if she tried to yell anything to help, it could distract Hayate instead. She bitterly watched the battle as it continued. One of her hands was in a fist as it was clenched tightly. The pain in her hand reaffirmed this was the reality of her friend’s other life.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
One single arcing silver flash, a demon’s head was separated from its body. Four consecutive slashing motions in quick succession, four demons were split into halves instantly. Although the rain made it hard to see, she could still sense them, she could feel the malicious energy these demons gave off. The demons attempted to surround her, and in a series of arcing silver flashes, the demons were killed on the spot.
This is definitely the place, this is largest concentration of this evil energy. And it is so close to the school. No wonder they attacked Chiaki first. They knew I was at the school and prevented me from noticing it. Distracting me with those decoys and setting up that trap. They were trying to take me out of the picture one way or another. To hide this place. She mentally reaffirmed her hypothesis from before. She had concluded they had been setting up this place in secret. By keeping her busy they had prevented her from finding this place in the last few weeks. And yet she didn’t know why for this purpose. The demon horde here didn’t seem significant enough to warrant it.
She had taken some close calls earlier, among the weak demons, there was an occasionally strong one that tried to attack her blind spot. She had suffered some cuts from those times. However, nothing from this horde signified an actual threat that couldn’t be handled normally by Demon Hunters. She was confused as to why the demons were all solely focused on her. Was it to keep her here or to keep her from finding something else out deeper in that forest?
“I do not have time for this…”
The demons surrounded her once again. Despite not being coordinated, they surrounded her easily, she looked around angrily, glaring at them. With one wide rotating slash around her, she kept them at bay for a moment as she sheathed her katana.
“Hiken – Hyakuretsu Hiryū Zan!” (Secret Technique – Hundred-Strike Flying Dragon Slash!)
She drew her katana in wide arc, a hundred invisible blades made of her spiritual power sliced through the demons, a hundred fell from one swing. She caught her breath for only a moment as the demon horde reformed around her.
Not enough. Still not enough. She mentally berated herself. Even if she could continue fighting like this, there didn’t seem to be an end. However, her thoughts were on another issue as she continued. Just how many demons have gathered here. This almost seems endless, just where are they coming from? And where is that particular one? I have not sensed it moving from that spot it was watching me from. Before she could finish her thoughts, after another slash with her katana, the demons slowly backed away. Not in a retreat, just staying far away enough to keep her surrounded.
What is going on here? They are moving like they were ordered to….it is almost as if there’s a commander or a leader. She tried to understand the actual cause of this strange behavior. From everything she was taught, it clashed with everything she was experiencing now.
It was a heavy sound.
The repetition was like heavy footsteps.
Hayate turned her head and looked. From the darkness near the trees. There was something she had not expected. As tall as a tree, there was a demon she had not expected ever even in her imagination. Under normal circumstances, demons took the form of beasts or lizards or similar, often distorting the image in a black form. Here was something that crushed her common sense as a Demon Hunter. Before her was a humanoid-like demon, as tall as the trees, muscular similar to a bodybuilder, it’s head similar to that of an ogre of fantasy myth. A pair of large red horns adorned its forehead. The skin was also not black like the demons but a muddy dark grey.
Its arms were covered in armored vambraces, the chest armored with a simplistic breastplate. The legs covered in armored greaves. The pelvis of this demon was covered in some kind of fur and tattered cloth, almost tribal like in looks. The entire image of this demon, it was unlike anything she had experienced.
“What is this demon?”
The smaller demons made way as the ogre-like demon approached slowly, its movements were like that of a human. But the heavy footsteps were making large impression into the ground. It stopped before her a distance away. Looking at her with its red eyes, she was wondering what was it doing. Then the ogre-like demon moved, blurring almost.
Her instinct flared, warning her of danger as she quickly jumped away. The ground where she had become a small crater. She thought how dangerous that was until her instincts flared again, because she was still in the midst of her jump, she could only cover chest with her arms as she felt a powerful force colliding with her. Being hit higher into the air before crashing into the ground a distance away from the demon horde. Her body finally stopped after rolling several times.
Pain screamed all over her body, she felt a few bones might have been broken already. The pain was the only thing keeping her conscious. Blood flowed out of her mouth as she lay there almost motionless. That demon was much stronger and faster than anything she had faced. It is strong…and fast…is this…
A voice interrupted her thoughts, a voice that shouldn’t be here. Her mind screamed in panic as she knew who the voice belonged to. Her head turned slowly due to the pain, as her line of sight finally fell onto the girl with the light blue hair who shouldn’t be here a long distance away. Why…is she here?! WHY?!
Appearing suddenly before Chiaki, was that same ogre-like demon that had easily debilitated her to this state. She couldn’t voice her panic, her mind screamed once again. No…Please…Chiaki-san…RUN!!!! Despite the pleas that were spoken with her mind, her friend stood there stock still, like a deer caught in headlights as the ogre-like demon raised its fist. Then the fist fell, death sentenced to the damned, earth and grass flew into the air despite being wet from the rain.
Tears fell from Hayate’s eyes, the pain in her heart intensified as she saw the sight before her. Her free hand painfully grasped at the ground. Her voice free to speak again, voiced her heart’s despair, one painful scream echoed into the sky.