❯ Sakura Blossoms – Chapter 10 ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

This chapter is rated R for language, language, major violence scenes, (very) mild sexual situations and Shi talking for a lengthy amount of time in his mannerisms that may confuse someone if you don’t quickly catch on. I have a way of describing things that may seem perfect sense to me and absolutely none to anyone else. I think its some kind of disorder like schizophrenia (an example of the type of disorder, nothing actually of the same disorder) or something of the sort.

Thanks for the story favs, alerts and author favs and alerts. Much appreciated. -insert huge smile-

Read away! – And don’t forget to review because I have Chapter Eleven, and the following one, finished already and reviews may persuade me to wait more than seven days to update -hint hint-. Three reviews wouldn’t be too much, would it…? And it was almost 4000 words of pure chapter text. Only 42 words away (damn it!) and it was hard, but fun.

-Chapter Ten-

Last Chapter: Balmung brought his sword down on the side of his shoulder… And I will not lose one I love…He lowered the blade quickly and swiftly…

Closing his eyes as the blade neared the player Kuroi, Balmung allowed himself a rather blood-lusting snarl. He already had a sinking feeling in his stomach that things were going to turn out in Shi’s favor – not his, or Shugo’s or Rena’s or Anissa’s.

Kayane…

It was almost to much to bear the thought of. Let alone fight well enough to survive a battle.

Letting out a short huff of air from his lungs, he wrinkled his nose at sudden lack of solid beneath his foot and the sound of metal hitting stone – His blade hitting the rocky floor of the crevice…

After opening his eyes, he whipped his head up from its bent position and looked up toward the top of the crevice and Kuroi’s leaping form.

Without thinking, he raised his wings and a dark blue wind swept through the crevice, powerfully sending all the players back into the marble blue wall of the crevice.

Even as Shugo called out to Balmung in an order to get himself under control, Balmung propelled himself up off the ground.

“Balmung, chill!” Shugo tried once more. Another sentence was stopped short in his throat as he looked Balmung in his eyes. His eyes seemed to have changed from the dark brown to a threatening blue and Shugo could not help himself as a quiet curse escaped his lips in replacement of the sentence before.

“What’s happening?” Anissa muttered, flashes of earlier moments of the day reappearing in her mind and turning her mind into deep thought. “Why is all of this happening?”

“What’s the matter, Balmung? Finally losing your temper or are you that desperate to keep your reputation intact?” Kuroi sneered, holding out his heavy blade as Balmung neared his form. “Or is it possible that the great Balmung, the one that does whatever he wants and follows no one else’s orders, is finally falling for someone? Surely, the latter isn’t true, right?”

“Quit talking and fight.”

Kuroi’s sneer turned to a grin as Balmung’s blade met his own with a deafening clash and he was propelled higher up into the sky in a gust of wind.

“I see you aren’t fooling around. Such a unique quality in a game. But, I assume, this isn’t a game when players can become comatose simply by dying at ones hands, anymore, is it?”

“Yeah, I wonder what will become of you when you die at mine.” He took another swing at Kuroi’s blade, ignoring the muffled sound that was made as the blade cut through the air swiftly.

Frowning suddenly then raising a hand to his ear, Kuroi bellowed a startling laugh into the crisp air then disappeared. “This is not over, Balmung. A conclusion to our battle will be drawn soon enough. Till next time, my opponent. Then we will decide who is best.” Balmung looked to his right, at a distorted image in the smooth marble wall of the crevice. Kuroi’s pale face and ice eyes gleamed at him, the light blond hair blowing along with the wind circling Balmung. “And we will see who is more deserving, as well…”

(-)

Cursing, she hit the enter key on her keyboard several times rapidly, glaring at the screen murderously. Damn her, she thought. Damn you, you silver-haired, purple loving, twin blade freak!

Ignoring the musical sound that was a welcome to the World, she logged back on faster than she could mutter another curse at the screen for ever turning black. “Shi is going to kill me…”

Bursting out of the Chaos gate, already in a run, she headed toward where Shi was waiting. If she had been any sane player, she would have gone back to Kuroi’s side and aid him in the battle against the group of legendary heroes and the two sisters. But she wasn’t sane, she was only a teenager.

Entering the area and running down the hallway then to the door, she prayed that he hadn’t caught wind of her death. It would be the end of her…

“You’re lucky I had another task for you to do,” was the first thing she heard after yanking open the doors to the main room.

“Forgive me, Lord Shi,” she replied automatically. “What task is it that you wish for me to perform?”

Ignoring the unenthusiastic response, Shi turned toward the screen of water showing him the strength levels of Kayane and Shizuka Na. “Shizuka Na is weakening and he will fail the job I’ve given him. I want you to either persuade or force the girl to come here. She is the strongest and the weakest link of the two sisters at the same time and I will need to take a…portion… to link to Korosu.”

“Yes, sir.” Bloody hell. One of them was enough, but both sisters? Anissa was bad enough, but the elder one; all the superiority of knowledge and battle tactics and… words…

Kara No didn’t know whether or not to be wary and afraid of the dark sister, or to be calm and easy going around the sister. Either Kayane didn’t talk much because she didn’t think of much to say, or she spoke only when it was necessary and it mattered.

(-)

It was just the question of whether Shizuka and the man knew each other…

And how…

Looking to her side as Kara No teleported in beside her and held her body in the same position, Kayane narrowed her eyes slightly then turned her head back to Shizuka and Naunen, who she had yet to learn the name of.

Something told Kayane that Kara No wasn’t strong enough to attack her and win, even as she was highly weakened and tired from battle. And that Kara No wouldn’t be the one to hurt her; someone else would.

“Welcome back,” the ruby-eyed player said suddenly, shifting his gaze from Kayane to Kara, “I thought I felt you die.”

What the hell? Kayane thought, her lips loosening from the hard line of concentration into a small murmur of confusion. She did not like being the one that was clueless. Or being weak and surrounded by enemies. What made matters worse was that this player looked like Shi, only more feminine and lithe. Shi was more built of muscle for strength and looked to be not very agile and it was the opposite for the one in front of her.

They could still be the same person.

“Thank you, Naunen.”

Naunen? Kayane let out a heavy sigh, more to hold her tongue than to calm nerves that weren’t jumpy in the slightest bit, and lifted her chin up defiantly to Shizuka Na’s sneering face. I really need to find out why everything like this happens to me, she muttered in the depths of her mind. It’s starting to put a fucking pointless rip in my life.

“Do you even know why he wants you? Why he’s attacking you?” Kara murmured, quietly to where Naunen couldn’t understand what she was saying. Kara No, picked around on the dark blue clothing of her body, pulling and flicking off data dust and holding her arm out stiffly.

Kayane watched as the nearly identical player brushed off her clothing, searching for the blade with the crimson ribbon on the handle that she had seen nearly four times in the past hour.

“What do you care if I know or not?” Kayane responded just as quietly, her voice sounding as if it were a threat. “But, no, I don’t.”

“Then you really are helplessly lost. Have you not heard of the prophecy of Silver winds and Black seas?”

“No.”

Kara let out an aggravated sigh. Kara had expected more subtle answers from Kayane to hide the lack of knowledge, like most would. Not straight forward answers that weren’t cryptic, as the ones she had begun to notice in the short time they’d been around one another.

But, it was a perfect opportunity as bait.

“Well, then, do you want to find out? Its the key to everything. Maybe you’ll actually believe what we’re doing is right…”

Kayane stared down at Kara No, looking in Kara’s dark blue eyes for deception, finding none. Glancing back over at Naunen and Shizuka Na, the two of them still watching them with speculative eyes, Kayane set her gaze on the ribbons in the laces of Shizuka’s shoes.

I’ll bet all the money in The World that the damn ribbons are tied into this somehow, she thought, turning the hilt of her katana over in her hand slowly. And, a voice in the back of her mind started, if you go with her, you might find out everything you need to know as well as why Shi seems to know much to much of you than he should…

“If you try any fucking tricks on me, I’ll kill you, you got that?” she declared a moment later. “I want answers.”

“Got it. And you’ll get your answers… trust me…” Kara held out her hand almost beseechingly, gesturing for Kayane to take her hand, the tips of her mouth in a small smirk.

Kayane took Kara No’s hand with one final sidelong glance at Naunen and Shizuka Na, then, silently, she reminded herself that people would be looking for her. That people were looking for her at that moment. Most assuredly her sister, and that she had to make whatever was going to happen move quick and get back to them.

Watching as rings circled around her, not the golden color like it should have been, but a deep red, ruby like color, Kayane noted the fact that Naunen had ruby eyes and was most likely one of Shi’s followers sent to act out a play to fool her.

If was meant to take her to Shi, and would admit to it, she fell for it.

The arrived in a temple like room, one Kayane would have guessed belonged to Ancient Egyptians for the purpose of worshiping a god.

Shi’s showing symptoms of being a narcissistic bastard to the 3rd degree…

Kara No stopped walking suddenly, looking as if she was debating over something mentally. “Look. As much trouble I’m probably going to get in for telling you this if I’m found out later on… You weren’t supposed to be able to see in the area Shi created. And now, Shi will be furious that what happened back there, actually happened. Especially with your eyes the way they are.”

She blinked, not quite understanding the reason behind why Kara was confiding in her. Wait… her eyes? “What do you mean ‘with my eyes the way they are’?”

Kara No’s form grimaced, sucking in a breath between her teeth. “They’re black. And they look hollow, endless, empty, however you want to describe it.” Kara watched as Kayane regarded her with an impassive look, the flicker of Kayane’s eyes the only thing telling Kara No that her words were believed. But what I said didn’t even faze her… she thought. “As much as that should freak you out, make you think you’re poisoned or something by Shi, you don’t seem frightened or panicked.”

Kayane raised her chin barely noticeably, caution still visible in her eyes. “Should I be?”

She let out a short bark of amused laughter. “I don’t know. Shi might think its a good thing or bad thing that your eyes are black.”

“Either way, its a lose-lose situation for me, right?”she snapped lightly. “So are we going to stand here for the next twelve hours and waste time that I’m sure that Shi won’t like or are you going to show where the hell I’m supposed to go?”

“Whatever.” Walking forward, they turned a corner and came to a door made of wood quickly.”go right in. I’m sure he is waiting.” With a gesture of her arm, Kara No motioned for Kayane to push through the doors and walk into the next room.

Turning to the rest of the way to face the door, Kayane looked up the height of it. It was at least fifteen feet high and ten feet wide, from her deductions. Raising her hands, she grasped the handles and slowly pulled with more strength until the door gave in.

Shielding her eyes when a deep red cloud of dust and wind blew through the open space of the door, her clothes turning black in contrast to the red, Kayane mentally cursed the color red itself and let out a snarl of frustration.

“Damn it all, what the fuck is up with all this shit about the damned color red?” she voiced loudly when the wind ceased, her black bangs falling over her eyes darkly to match the dark color of her clothes and contrasting with the white of her shirt underneath the black jacket.

“Would you like to find out?”

His voice sounded so familiar to her. Like something she didn’t want to remember…

Shifting her gaze to the left from the far wall, decorated with two birds; one black and one white, Kayane looked at Shi standing near a red and gold drape with words of another language that she could not decipher written on it. Watching as he turned to her, his teeth glinting in the light as he smiled and his dark hair and ruby eyes reminding her of the ribbons, Kayane sneered at him.“What do you want with me and my sister?”

Shi smiled wider. “You aren’t exactly… plain and simple, like most players of the World are, if you can decipher what I mean.” He turned from her, to the tapestry on the wall, his hands clasped behind his back and showing off the muscle Kayane had thought about before when comparing Naunen with him. “And I have reasons from long ago to track you two down, but that’s not the matter of the moment.

“You and your sister are a powerful force to be reckoned with, especially when your two powers work together and combine. You’ve also got, however inferior they are, a strong group of ‘friends’ that you surround yourselves with. Whether you know how to or not, you and your sister could destroy and re program the World by yourselves. Your characters and experience are not ones very easily rivaled, as you have been playing for several years and know quite a bit of the World and have been through the recent… Aura – centric problems. You have original character designs that should not have been able to be created because of the simplicity yet intricate character designs.”

“And you’re saying because of our characters we have to power to destroy the World,” she mocked, crossing her arms. “I don’t believe this. I expected it to be something rational, Shi. Not this… this… acting like we’re goddesses, for fucking goodness sake.” Why the hell did she go there again?

“On another note,” he began coldly, cutting her next sentence off, “You and your sister are complete opposites. You look nothing alike, in both worlds, and act completely different than each other. You contradict each other, yet, because you work so closely together, it is something that is not found anywhere else in the World naturally.”

Kara No narrowed her eyes slightly. Something wasn’t right. Shi knew too much. If he knew this much already, why had he sent her to find out more about them? There was no point…

Unless it was merely to dispose of her or get her out of the way… After all, Shi had just said that the sisters were not easily rivaled and she had been killed by the younger sister; Anissa.

Now she was glad that she had told Kayane what she did.

“What the hell is that supposed to fucking do with anything? You are making no sense, Shi.”

Looking over his shoulder, he smiled. “I guess I’ll put it in simpler terms, as I am sure you aren’t familiar with the topic I speak of. You two have a strong resistance for things, things that others would submit to quickly after a second. You haven’t and neither has your sister, after several occurrences in one day. And I mean the ribbon.” He turned back to her and walked toward her slowly. “Or the ribbon’s energy source, anyways.”

“Lets see it,” she snapped, her hand moving to rest on the hilt of her sword. “And if you take another step towards me, I won’t hesitate to move on defense and attack you. Take my word on that.”

“Fine, I won’t take another step…” He froze and crossed his arms. “However…” And with a malevolent smile and a side-ward tilt of his head, he repositioned himself behind Kayane in the blink of an eye. “I love the spontaneity of your anger…”

“You sick bastard,” she snarled, tightening her grip on the hilt of her sword then letting out a growl of anger as the sword was pulled out of her hand quickly and roughly. She jumped backwards as Shi swung the blade that belonged to her at her face. “I don’t know what the hell your problem is, but just leave me the fuck alone, damn it.”

“You still don’t get it, do you? You and your sister are the power needed to shut down this game that is sending hundreds of players, teenage players, into comas. You could destroy the database and erase everything and bring back everyone who went into a coma. I’m trying to bring that power out of you. The natural power from your personalities to the surface where they can be used. If you die in the process, or your sister does, you weren’t fighting to your true ability that you know you have.”

“Go. To. Hell!” Suddenly breaking into a run toward Shi, Kayane cast a spell with black bolts of lightning, then rammed her shoulder into Shi’s chest, grabbing her sword back in the process. With a quick flick of her wrist, she swung the sword at Shi’s abdomen swiftly and found herself landing on the ground painfully on her back a moment later.

Groaning, she cursed whatever it was that was allowing her to feel everything that happened to her in the World in her physical body and closed her eyes at the throbbing in the back of her head.

Damn virtual reality and reality all together, damn it, she mentally sneered. Moving her arms back to rest her weight on her elbows and stand again, she felt hands grab her shoulders then hold her back to the ground roughly. Opening her eyes, she saw Shi over her with a deadly look in his eyes.

“Dearest Kayane,” he breathed quietly, his tone low and as dark as the red in his eyes. “Dearest Alyssa, I don’t think you want defy or deny me of what I want. Not if you know who I am.”

Gritting her teeth, she blocked out the voice and kneed him as hard as she could, only touching air as he moved to avoid her attack. “Who are you, then? I don’t even know who the hell you are!” His voice repeated in her mind, not from the moment before but from something or somewhere in the past.

“How do you know who I am? What do you really want from me?” she cried out, reaching a hand up to push him away and meeting a red sphere with white lines shooting around inside of it instead. Her eyes locked on the red sphere, watching the red spider like veins traveling down her skin like a virus and sending numb pain through her body, she ignored silently as Shi suddenly started let out small laughs.

“You’ll remember me soon enough. And all I want from you… is you and your power…” With a short exhale of quiet laughter, he leaned down pressed his lips firmly against hers and for a moment… everything went dark through Kayane’s eyes.

Before she could do anything in response, she was being pulled up off the ground by her wrist, jerked forward then to the side, then she was surrounded by red rings as she teleported away.

(-)

“Balmung, what happened?” Rena shouted as she ran to catch up with the white winged warrior, her white hair bouncing lightly despite the tiring battle they’d just fought before returning to Sakura Blossoms, where they were at that moment. And fought to no avail.

“He got away,” he replied calmly. As much as he would hate to admit it, he lost some control over himself as he was battling Kuroi. It had been so long since he had fought against something that could rival his strength and he got lost in the intensity of it all. “And she still is no where to be found. I don’t like those odds. Not one bit.”

“I don’t either. Especially since she’s my sister,” Anissa intervened, walking up in between the two of them. “But I have a feeling that they were just distracting us so Shi could tell Kayane something. If she weren’t alright, I’d know.”

“Nice to know you guys didn’t freak out over my absence.”

Whirling, Anissa was the first to see her standing behind them after hearing the sarcastic remark, a dark expression on her face. “Oh, my God, Kayane!” Crying out in delight and relief, she launched herself at her sister and hugged her tighter than she had thought she possessed the strength for.

Letting out a strangled groan, Kayane’s knees bent reflexively as Anissa’s arms wrapped around her upper back by the shoulders. “Not my shoulder,” she choked out quietly. She had just arrived back in a town barely known to but a few people besides themselves, but the wounds still had not had time to heal, even though a few second was all it needed.

“Geez, what a fucking shitty day, huh, Nissi?”she murmured when her sister sounded her worry in a tired voice.

“Yeah. You said it.”

“Are you alright?” Kayane turned her gaze from looking at top of Anissa and Rena’s heads as they hugged her to Balmung, who was standing in front of her with his armed crossed. “Did Shi hurt you?”

Looking down at the lush green grass below her, she debated over telling him the truth or not. Though, she was sure he would find out sooner or later if she gave him a false answer. “Yeah, but I’m fine.”

“What did he do?”

Was it her or was Balmung angry?

“Nothing I want to repeat,” she murmured coldly, “but he kicked me, and made me touch something like a red sphere or whatever and it felt like touching the ribbons. And Shizuka Na hit and stabbed me a couple times. That’s all.”

“Shizuka Na?” Shugo repeated, voicing the question the others felt.

“He was sent after me by Shi. Do you mind? Its late. I have to go to work…” she ground out monotonously.

Balmung sent her a calculating glance, watching as she removed herself from Rena’s death grip and turning to leave, then let out a sigh after a moment of thinking something over in his mind. She’s going to hate me for this but…

“I’m suspending both your accounts until I decide its safe for your return.”

As she turned around, eyes wide, he noticed the dark color of her eyes then with a wave of his hand, the two sisters logged out.

“Balmung, don’t you fucking -”

What had to be done, had to be done.

To Be Continued…

Sakura Blossoms – Chapter 9
Sakura Blossoms – Chapter 11