She’s….dead…. Her mind processed this reality before her. Her first friend had died before her eyes at the hands of that demon.
W-Why? Why….her? She questioned the cruel reality. Her heartbeat thumped heavily in her chest. She somehow rose to her feet, ignoring her injuries and the pain still screaming at her.
Again, with her heart heavily beating in her chest, the blood rushed to her head. With each heartbeat, a powerful wave of Spiritual Power echoed from her body. The demon looked at her with caution suddenly, not making a move, its face almost looked like it morphed into fear.
Again……She thought back to a certain event again, back when she was not like she was today. The frustration from that time returned to her as her breathing became ragged. Her the movement of her body became less unstable and gradually returned to normal as she stood. Her recovery became faster with each passing second, although the bones that were probably broken were not healed, the pain from those places told her so.
Flashes of Chiaki’s face from her memory appeared in her mind, those short number of days of happiness being with her friend. She gritted her teeth as it acted as a wall as she tried to hold back all her anger, her sorrow, and her rage. She saw Chiaki’s smiling face, then saw her friend’s last moments, the urge overwhelmed her as she looked up into the raining cloudy sky. Feeling the hot tears down her cheeks, no longer able to hold back, she screamed out loudly. Her long, loud angry scream cursing at herself, her weak self that couldn’t protect her friend.
Her head lowered again, the rain still pouring down on her. Her hot tears mixed with the rain, her gritted teeth fought back crying what her very being screamed out for her to say. Her head raised again slowly, her gaze focusing on the demon before her.
She fought back her words but her emotions took over.
“…THIS DAMNED DEMON!!!!”
The moment she screamed ‘demon’ her body blurred in motion, rushing towards it. She swung her katana, only for it to be blocked by one of the vambraces that it wore. The demon backed away from her, looking at her with caution, it had noticed the damage to its vambrace, dented and signs of it being cut on the surface. Frustrated she could not cut it down, her anger continued to take over her mind.
“You. Will. DIE!”
She disappeared from its view, reappeared a distance away behind it. She clicked her tongue as she had failed to cut it down again. While it hadn’t been able to register what had happened, its instincts were like Hayate’s, able to sense the danger immediately. It had used that instinct to just barely dodge her last attack. That attack had made a shallow cut on its neck and now it was panicking as it could not match her speed.
She turned around and glared at it with her eyes, her eyes now glowing in an eerie cold blue light. Upon closer look, the glow seemed to have tinges of red mixed in, sometimes appearing or disappearing at random intervals. And steadily becoming more pronounced with each passing moment.
So…Hiryū Issen is not enough to take it down, and that armor…Although overtaken by her anger, she still was able to process her thoughts, even if everything in her being wanted her to kill that hated demon all the much faster. Her Hiryū Issen, Flying Dragon Flash, had been a technique that was akin to being a deadly surprise attack that allowed her to attack with super fast speed. The flaws of this technique were that in that moment she could only move in one direction and could not turn once she did so. And it seemed to have a bad compatibility against thick armor as she lacked the necessary strength to cut through it.
Then I only need to aim at the parts without armor…but it can somewhat match my speed despite that large body…She thought what she needed to do, it was the same attack she used before in the artificial forest from that particular day. Will I be able to continue if I use it though? There is still that horde. She contemplated her options as she didn’t leave that demon out of her sight.
She crossed her right arm over her left shoulder.
“I will make this demon suffer a thousand times…no a million times over for what it did!”
Quietly she shifted her legs. Her emotions calmed down slightly as she focused her full attention on that demon. She took one deep breath, and she disappeared once again. The demon did not move, it couldn’t since she used that technique.
Shin Hiryū Issen, the True Flying Dragon Flash, a technique that pushed passed Hayate’s upper limit on movement to an extreme. Using a concept around zero; the number of enemies, the weapons, distance and even time were reduced to zero. To her the user, everything was a frozen moment in time. This was her ultimate trump card, her absolute killing technique that had no counter unless her opponent could do the same. And her current opponent couldn’t even hope to match this god-like speed.
The demon did not recognize its death, having been cut where there was no armor blocking, its body separated into several pieces. Reappearing again near it, looked at it in disdain as she was trying to catch her breath. The pain from certain parts of her body intensified as she used her katana as a crutch to keep herself from collapsing.
It is done…I…I avenged…Chiaki…She could only mentally speak to herself as her body was forcing her to breathe in and out so much that she could not speak. Her vision began to darken as she still knew there were demons to hunt down, the horde had stayed away from her before were now marching towards her. She still sensed that malicious one that did not appear.
I have to…keep…….goi- Her thoughts interrupted as she suddenly lost strength in her body, collapsing without warning. Her ears barely registered the unnatural growls of the demon horde. She didn’t hear the sounds of gunfire and panicked yells of her name.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
He groggily woke up, having a horrible headache already and pain shooting at him from several places. He looked around the room he was in, he recognize the furnishings and where he was now. He was in his room at the Kanzaki mansion, he didn’t understand how he had gotten there. The last thing he remembered, there was still the demon horde to contend with, he should have been dead then. Then he remembered, bitterly frustrated as the memory was very fresh.
His friend was dead and he couldn’t save her. Sighing many times as his memory looped over and over his friend’s last moments. He violently shook his head to clear his mind, he got up from his bed and noticed he was able to move.
Maybe I was unconscious for several days at least or more. Not like it matters…I need to see mother and report to her. He calmly walked out of his room, passing maids who moved out of his way and bowed to him silently before moving on to do their work. Everything was normal, that was how this mansion was, despite how he felt right now.
He came up to the main chamber, standing outside the door, he sighed once again as he quietly berated himself. Shake his head once again and opened the door suddenly without announcing himself.
A girl’s surprised cry caught his attention as he looked, there his gaze saw her. He blinked a couple of times, thinking this was some cruel illusion, seeing Chiaki there in front of him. There’s no way she would be alive…He thought as he closed his eyes for a moment and reached out to her face. His hand touched the cheek that shouldn’t be there. The warm, soft sensation as he caressed the girl’s cheek gently and with care.
He felt it was an oddly real illusion, he thought he was accidentally doing this to a maid with Chiaki’s image imposed. He didn’t think about it too much, he thought he needed to do this. He hugged the girl in a warm embrace.
“I am…so sorry. I could not save you. I am so sorry, Chiaki.”
He felt the girl’s warm body as he hugged her tightly. Even if this was a visual illusion, he felt his heart healing a little as he did this. He mentally noted that he should apologize for using the maid he was using as an emotional crutch.
“It’s ok H-Hayate-, can you….let me go?”
“B-B-B-B-But….THIS IS TOO EMBARRASSING!”
“Hayate, you should let the poor girl go, she’s going to faint. Or better yet, take a better look Hayate.”
Hmm? He wondered why his mother’s voice was talking. Was this not some sort of hallucination he was experiencing now? He separated himself from the girl, Chiaki was still there, red in the face and nearly to the point of fainting from embarrassment. She was really there in front of him.
“Yeah, Hayate…Sorry for worrying you…”
He embraced her once again, more tightly than earlier.
“Thank goodness…that you are safe.”
He was overcome with happy emotions, he felt a pair of arms wrapped around him, he smiled as he kept hugging her. For a while there was nothing but this silent hug.
“As much as mother likes to see you two getting along. Maybe you should take it to a private room?”
Hearing that voice the two panicked and let go, both blushing slightly as they looked in the direction of the owner of the voice. Hatsuko was smiling brightly as she sat there with her wine glass.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Hayate inquired what had happened after he lost consciousness. His mother calmly explained the details as she spoke at it in length. Due to her instructions, Olivia had arrived there with her guns ready and shot at the horde holding them back. Xiuying had also arrived at the same time with her own guards to help out, thanks to a call from Hatsuko. Hayate’s guard was deployed in a wide perimeter to prevent any escaping demons. Fuumi under her instructions also just barely managed to save Chiaki using ninja arts, Shadow Walker and Substitution in combination before the ogre-like demon attacked Chiaki.
Through a rather long protracted fight afterwards, the demon horde was eliminated mostly thanks due to Xiuying and Olivia. The horde that had been there did not grow in numbers like it had during when Hayate had been fighting.
There was an investigation about where the demons had managed to appear from before determining which rituals they needed to do. Chiaki had thought she was dead as well at that time, she had lost consciousness from her fear and when she woke up she was back that room she had found herself in before at the mansion.
When Hayate asked about any special demons, the only one that was talked about was the corpse of the ogre-like demon wearing armor. He became worried that it didn’t appear and would appear again but there had been no reports of other sightings.
What was the objective of those demons? Was it…no it could not be….was it just a test? He had no real reason to think this but that was what he felt was the case. If that particular demon had shown itself, would he have been able to fight it at that time. He shook his head as he knew he probably couldn’t, as he looked at his mother, something bothered him.
“Mother…how did you know?”
“It’s mother’s secret, I won’t tell you until you take over as the Head.”
“Hayate. There’s a more serious matter to discuss.”
He straightened himself as he was ready. He believed he would be punished for failing the hunt like this. He was mentally preparing himself for the punishments. He would endure any punishment that came, he didn’t think about anything else.
“Maybe it is because you are incomplete that you are like this, Hayate.”
“Yes, incomplete. There is something I need to tell you.”
The door opened suddenly as a cheerful voice echoed in the main chamber.
“Onii-sama~! I finally get to see you!”
He thought he heard his voice as a girl coming from another girl. And that girl had just called him “Onii-sama” just now. He turned and saw a girl who looked exactly like him. She came cheerfully and hugged him and snuggled close to him.
“Onii-sama~~. You’re really handsome. So this is Onii-sama boy mode~ When will I see girl mode?”
He was honestly confused what was going on. He was mentally questioning who this girl who looked like him was. He had no idea what was going on as he looked at his mother with question marks floating around his head. Seeing his mother wry smile as she spoke towards the girl like a scolding mother would.
“Hey, you know you shouldn’t confuse him. I think being excited is fine but you need to introduce yourself properly.”
“Ah…I’m sorry, Okaa-sama.”
The girl came to Hatsuko’s side and sat next to her. With a bright smile she spoke out her introduction.
“It’s nice to meet you finally, Onii-sama. I am Hayate Kanzaki. I’m your twin sister!”