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Element Two: Identity
Title: Identity Edit
The boy stood up on his weak feet, surveying the environment with wary eyes. In the distance, burning bodies on ignited stakes were erected on black soil mixed with the ashes of trees ablaze, stacks of logs enkindled under a blood red moon.
The child was aghast, at the unholy sight forced upon him, his composure gradually crumbling down to nought.
"This... can't be..."
Chapter 1 Edit
The man midly rubbed the back of his head, groaning in agony. He stared downwards to the abdominal section of his waist, noticing a shard of strengthened glass lodged within his stomach. Recounting the previous night's series of events was already baffling enough, he thought quietly to himself, as a palm gently carressed the gashing wound to relieve its pain.
Standing up on his feet, Sakate fleetingly took in the environment, briefly enjoying the breath of fresh air amongst the lush extense of flora and fauna, before proceeding on to survey the surroundings, and answer his first question of thought: How did he get here?
Turning back to observe his area of impact, it certainly did not seem of that from the crash of a multi billion dollar space craft; there was no evidence of a fire occuring around him, nor were the leaves where he previously dwelled crushed enough to certify more than a ten foot drop, at most.
The possibility of his body being flung off course, though, was high enough; a thin, smoky trail could be seen from where he was situated, while the bruises and scratches sustained on his left shoulder, accompanied by a dislocated arm, were surely an affirmation that he had been thrown off a craft on its maiden voyage to Earth, making contact with the ground on his left port side.
The flames crackling nearby could be investigated later on; he had to get immediate medical attention for the various injuries littered across his body, of which may prove disadvantageous, possibly fatal, later on. He wondered, it was already a period of time from the craft's eventual explosion and questionable crash, yet why did the authorities not catch up on it sooner or later? A throng of unanswerable inquiries, alongside mathematical equations and scientific calculations trying to determine the time that had passed, popped up in his mind, yet of which he set aside for later, in order to accomplish his main goal: get out of here.
A half hour into his journey, rain started to pour from the treacherous skies, thick, gloomy clouds shielding the earth from heaven, evanescent strips of light amongst claps of thunder resounding in the atmosphere being the only source of visibility for trekkers. The frigid, cold weather complimented the man's personality; he did not bother, as the rain was the the only form of solace he had in this world.
Looking down upon himself, his boots were plagued by viscous, pudgy mud, dripping down from the sole every time he lifted a foot. Such dreadful weather, yet unusually calming, the guy thought to himself, accompanying his composed spirit with the humming of a familiar tune. This was the melody Iruma had soothed him to sleep during the early years of his life, when he was a rugged, troubled child fighting against enemies in his school, and the inflictions of his past.
"Fresh tracks...?" Sakate scooped up a handful of clumpy soil, and examined it with caution. Someone had recently been in the woods, an estimated hour ago. His knowledge of forensics and crime scene investigation had come in handy.
Upon closer inspection, traces of splattered blood were ever present on the barks of several Huicungo trees nearby, trickling down the fragile stems of its leaf clusters. Boot imprints of varying sizes rested on the ground as well, washed away in a quick flash of rainwater. A faint glow glimmered in plain view, Sakate parting cut vines and twigs apart, to reveal civilisation.
"Hey, who's that guy?" an unrecognisable voice travelled to the man's ears.
Not the civilisation he knew, however.
Chapter 2 Edit
"Mother, I've finished with school for the day. Are you on the way?"
Holding a mobile device in one hand, a small child, dressed in a frilly outfit accessorised with a cherry red headband resting atop fluffy hair of which complimented her sense of cutesy fashion, politely inquired about her mother's whereabouts.
"I will be back soon, Reiko, the Azalea is overcrowded to the brim tonight." A youthful woman swiftly transferred a set of teacups, balancing a tray on the palm of her hand, while patiently assuring her daughter her safety in a sweet tone of voice, ending the conversation with a soft giggle.
At where she stood, the waitress glanced out the window, partaking in the full moon's radiant, resonating glow, twinkling stars hung from the universe's strings, as if a shimmering canvas painted by the supernatural. This was a daily ritual, to end the rough working day on a pleasing note, to rid her soul of all worldly troubles and misfortunes. She would occasionally smile back at the moon with a gentle aura, as if to greet a lovable gentleman with courtesy, a private exchange between her and the moon on a quiescent night.
Such peaceful times were a privilege to have, an escape from the harshness of reality.
Chapter 3 Edit
"Why does this have to happen..." Sakate, chased by tattooed teenagers brandishing machetes, cursed under his breath. Lady Luck was never on his side.
"Who the hell might you be?! Don't tell me..."
A group of scruffy, muscled men, who seemed to possess more brawn than brain, glared intently at the bedraggled, wearied guy. Behind them was a frazzeled youngster, clutching his abdomen with one hand and thigh in the other, wriggling on the ground like a helpless maggot. He was soiled from head to toe, in a drastically unbearable combination of blood, mud and rainwater; appaling just by its smell.
"Let me expla-" the man's voice was cut short by the clanging of metallic weapons, dragged across the floor. Apparently he had set foot into the lion's den, and these beasts sure were hungry.
"Both of you came out of the forest, so you must be this brat's accomplice! Give in, or else...!" a buff man, supposedly the gang's leading member, spoke out in a commanding tone, ordering his minions to assemble. The teenagers, ranging from scrawny hooligans to muscular behemoths, had bloodlust flickering from within their eyes, preparing to strike at any moment.
Sakate rationalised the situation, the only viable solution remaining was to make a run for it, seeing as how his movements were severely limited with a deep stab to the side; fighting these gangsters was not possible at the moment. In a furious dash, he picked up the fatigued boy, oblivious to the crowd screaming from behind his back, and charged forward.
"I... think we lost them, Mister." The boy, waken up by a bumpy ride, whispered to Sakate, tired out from the demanding marathon of a run. He placed the child on a makeshift pedestal, assembled from piles of garbage bags rotting with revolting food waste caked in mould and undegradable plastic housing colonies of wretched insects.
"I saved your... life... now save mi-" coughs accompanied by watery, crimson liquid erupted from his throat, hoarse from angered shouts and barking. The floor was coated with a thick pool of fresh blood, gelatinous scraps of body tissue stuck to the ground. His wounds didn't help much either; overcomed by fatigue, the man collapsed, dropping onto his bloody mess with a loud thud.
The last scene his eyes captured were of a woman, rushing to the scene upon hearing the cries of the child he had saved earlier on...
Chapter 4 Edit
"Are you okay?"
Waking up from his deep slumber, light poured into his eyes like a waterfall gushing down a mountain, illuminating the scene in front of him. Sitting by the edge of a bed was a pre pubescent girl, draped in pristine white sleep clothing, staring at the man with a pair of beady eyes. She tended to his forehead, brushing away rolling drops of sweat with a cool, wet cloth.
"Little girl, may I ask..." Sakate lifted up an arm, feeling the area of where the glass shard once was, only to discover it had been perfectly patched up, the opening clipped together by winding nylon threads bound with smooth cloth; clearly not from a first aid tool box, but it definitely did the trick. Though he tried to speak, his mouth was closed shut, by palms guiding him down towards the comfort of the ruffled bed.
"Lay down, speaking will take its toll on your body." Cupping a wooden bowl containing clear water spilling from its edges, the girl took off, slamming the door behind her, dripping cloth in one hand creating blotches of wet stains on the boarded timber surface, an enigmatic trail to the outside world.
He did not heed her warning however, lifting his upper torso to check in on the surrounding environment, arms placed on the bed as pillars of physical support. He was placed in a small room, around the bed were ceramic pots sitting upon furnished drawers, decorated with a stalk of rose. Next to his side were a set of makeshift medical tools, ranging from scalpers to miniature saws, fleshed with dried bits of blood, spread across a tin tray painted with a metallic finish. As he examined said plate, Sakate wondered who the mystery surgeon could be, acknowledging the person's professional skill.
He had to find out where he was first, more importantly. The man scampered out of his comfy retreat, weakly positioning his feet on irregular ground. Placing a single hand on the cube like door handle, Sakate breathed in a gust of air, before proceeding to open it with caution.
Chapter 5 Edit
"Dinner is ready, my dears!" A soothing motherly voice pranced across the dining room, the aromatic essence of baked buns wafted around an atmosphere of tranquility. In the room brightly lit by a minature chandelier adorned with false, artifical jewels, a round table covered with velvet cloth stood in the middle.
Sitting across from each other was the boy from earlier, whom the man had saved from a horrible fate, and the saviour girl, who had tenderly attended to his bodily wounds. They held looks of disdain upon their faces, refusing to look each other directly in the eye, as if the duo were mortal enemies bearing bad blood, years of resentment building up to this day.
Sakate turned his attention to a youthful lady, transporting a piping hot steel tray with hands masked in cotton mittens. Laid out in perfect order across the platter were a set of four buns, still warm from the oven, the aluminium foil encasing their crusts trapping internal heat from escaping.
The man proceeded to make his way and join the ecstatic group, carefully gauging his steps in order to prevent an agonising tumble down the stairs, grabbing hold of the railings with all his remaining strength. It was already a challenging ordeal walking from one destination to another, and managing to reach the dining room was a superb accomplishment taking into account his own injuries.
"I told you to rest and recuperate, didn't I... nevermind, have a seat." The girl from before led Sakate to a well furnished chair, though she held a look of suspicion, staring warily at the man, while signalling him to pick up a bun which had been specially prepared due to his unforeseen visit to the household. He took notice of her glare, yet still thanked her out of basic courtesy.
Sakate reached out for the loaf with trembling fingers, struggling to even move an inch. Unsurprisingly, the scaled-down baguette was warm to the touch, as if a mother's cordial love enveloped the contents within. It was no run of the mill dinner however; the bread was injected with a meaty filling, perfectly seasoned ground beef crushed to a paste. A bite of the bread was enough to tantalise his taste buds, reenergising his frail physical state.
While the children munched down ravenously on the bread, the man took the opportunity to graciously show his appreciation for his fast recovery through words of thanks, to the woman sitting in front of him. Realising he had not taken notice of their names, Sakate inquired out with a stoic voice.
"Her name's Reiko, and mine i-" the woman was vaguely interrupted by a ringing call in another room, apologising briefly to the man before proceeding to pick it up. He was momentarily dumbfounded, but continued to chew on the food, seeing this as the time to savour the juices of the meat as so.
"This woman... certainly knows her cooking..."
Chapter 6 Edit
... As the two children bathed their soapy palms in barely translucent water, splashing at each other in a display of childish tendencies, while helping out to wash the dirtied dishes after a satisfying meal, the mother of the household sat down to have a brief chat concerning the unexpected visitor's whereabouts, and possibly to guide him back where he came from.
"About that phone call...?" the man inquired with a slight lisp in speech.
"Oh, that's just my workplace, don't worry about it," the woman giggled with a calm tone, grateful for his concern. With a swift movement, she took off the cosy mittens enshrouding her hands, placing them down on the acacia table.
"So where have you come from, mister...?"
Sakate pondered hard concerning the question; he certainly had no idea how to answer, considering his little knowledge of the world new to him.
"A... land far away, unknown to others. " He blurted the first thing that came to mind, a stupid answer constructed from irrational thoughts. "My name is Sakate Trial, you can call me by Sakate."
"That sounds intriguing! Hee hee!" She smiled at the man, slipping in a slight giggle, which made him flush with a momental red, before he coughed to rid himself of the embarrassment.
"...since I have arrived from a distant nation, I have no idea about this places around me, to be honest. Would you possibly mind telling me more about this worl- I mean, country?" he inquired with a hint of heightened curiosity from the flux of his voice.
"It would be my pleasure, Mr Trial! But first, take a look outside..."
With a swipe of her hand, the woman dragged open the frilled, linen curtains, revealing a sight that filled the man's soul with a sense of bewilderement.
Right in front of his eyes was a gigantic communal village, a hub of new happenings and becomings to be. Lined up alongside each other were huts, houses, spinning gears powering generators, hot steam piling up and released from massive chimneys. A marketplace laid beyond, locals barganing for prices of daily necessities and goods, commerce taking place without interrruption. Vehicles powered by mists of steam drove by, trucks carrying loads of foods trudged on slowly; the town may have looked rustic, but their technology certainly wasn't.
This was something Sakate had never thought would be viable, yet the impossible laid right in front of his very eyes. He struggled in awe to salvage this mystic view, a surreal picture of mythical properties, one he couldn't imagine would even exist back in his original homeland. The past, perfectly blended with the future, all painted into the present; what a sight to behold.
"Amazing, isn't it? The elders built this all by themselves; it isn't something one would normally expect to see when they visit Avant Japan, teehee."
"Avant... Japan? Is that the name of this region, this place?"
"Yes indeed, but not exactly. The town here is named Torikaze; 'tori' for bird, and 'kaze' for wind. Legends say a bird guided by the wind brought our first villagers to this settlement, hence the name. The populace has been booming ever since."
She drifted a finger to a volcanic crater, a pore to the earth, now dormant but still bubbling with activity. The man followed said finger, moving his gaze along with it, until it finally met with the humongous cone.
"The crater there, is what drives our businesses and activities. From steam power, to bathhouses tending to our citizens, it is our source of life, the driving force that pushes our community on to prosperity in the surburds, " she narrated, with a smile etched on her face.
Sakate nodded with approval, taking in the information at a fast pace, now equipped with basic understanding of the town's inner workings.
"I know this may be selfish of a mere visitor to ask, but could you possibly... let me stay? Currently I'm lacking a roof over my head, due to certain circumstances..."
"Sure thing, you're welcome to stay! It's getting quite late out though, how about a tour tomorrow?"
Sakate gawked, head tilted to one side. For such a sudden inquiry, that was surprisingly... easy.
Stretching out a hand into the air, bones crackled under the radiant moonshine, relieved from rest. Amongst lush trees that swayed to the rhythm of the evening breeze, it descended upon the trembling earth, resonating over the crumbling of a seal once held in place. It whipped out a device, alarms beeping at a quicker pace as it approached closer to the source.
"The event has begun..."
Chapter 7 Edit
"Wake up, geezer."
Clad in crumbled bedsheets littered with disorganized folds, the man was well protected against the chill of the lonely night once past, though a loud voice piercing his eardrums wasn't what he was prepared for, in a turn of events. Rubbing his sore eyes, Sakate rose from a peaceful slumber, sleep interrupted by the clanging of metal utensils against pans, accompanied by a small retort filling his mind with madness. Who the hell was making such noises in the dawn of morning?
"Just shut up already, God..." flipping away the sheets with a angered blow, he turned to face the perpetrator, standing by his bedside, with a slight smirk of sadistical satisfaction lying on her face. It was Reiko, that damned youngling, whom forced his body to react in such a vicious manner.
"Mother has to proceed on with her daily routine, I can't have you delaying that. Get up, get changed, and get out of the house. 15 minutes."
"If I will be damned..." Sakate uttered with annoyance, flashbacks of his secret service training, which bore certain resemblance to the situation he was in now, imposing themselves onto his mind.
But it was alright, since the kind lady offered him, a wandering stranger, residence in her home. This was only necessary to suffer for, he thought, thus he endured the little girl's ramblings and complaints.
Boy, was he misguided.
"So, I got down as fast as I could..."
"And furnished myself with the quickest pace my wounded body could muster..."
"So tell me, how does this end up with me carrying all your belongings upon my back...?!"
The girl sighed with disbelief, and brought her face closer to the man, hunched due to the sheer weight he had to endure, whispering into his ear.
"If you can't even manage a simple task like this, you're always obliged to take your leave."
Reiko smiled, an aura of remorseless ferocity wafting around her tiny stature, hinting at an uncertain fate if he dared try out anything deemed suspicious under her watch. The man only gulped, swinging his eyes away from her ruthless glare.
"Looks like you two are getting along finely well!" the girl's mother pitched in, oblivious to the murderous atmosphere between the two, unbeknownst to their rivalry. The duo only looked at her with scepticism.
"This may seem out of the blue, but where did the boy from last night go?"
"I tended to his wounds, while mother here sent him home."
"You sure are friendly with the neighbours... wait, about my injuries...?"
"It was out of pure pity that I was forced to deal with such an obstinate man and his wounds... not like I meant to tend to you."
"...I can see why you're the exact opposite of your mother..."
Chapter 8 Edit
After a hearty breakfast and a leisurely stroll, Sakate found himself on a platform constructed out of wooden planks reinforced by steel columns, awaiting a train that never seem to come. The station was unlike any other that he had seen previously; it was just like something out of a mystical, magical movie. Ticking clocks hung by rusted iron poles attached to a concrete ceiling, its hands swaying away alongside the flow of time. It was now nine in the morning as denoted on the ancient device, yet throngs of people dressed in varying sets of clothing filled the platform to its brim, from refined businessmen to mere breadwinners humbly trying to make a living.
At long last, the man noticed a chugging machine in sight, steam coughing up from its chimneys as if signaling its last breaths. Screeching to a halt, defeaning scratching sounds pierced the man's ears, ringing sensations rebounding within his mind, as sparks flew across the tracks from the natural workings of friction. The commoners seemed unaffected however; such a daily occurrence was something one ultimately got used to.
"Let's get on!" the mother beamed ear to ear, a cheery disposition lighting up the day.
"The morning rush is usually the worst..." Reiko groaned in agony, in light of the horrendous situation about to come.
"Regrettably, I have to agree with you on this one..." Sakate murmured, gathering looks of distrust and chagrin from onlookers and passengers around him, mostly due to the bags which were going to take up most of the carriage's capacity.
The trio got on, towards a new city beyond.
"And we're here!"
Contrary to the rural environment he was exposed to previously, this city was of something much more... amazing. A bustling metropolis; high rise buildings and commercial towers rose up into the clouds above, fuel driven vehicular machines trutted in an organised line. Entrepreneurs chatted and rambled on their mobile devices, commotions and heavy talks comprised a hive of activity on busy streets. Business deals were forged, stock trades striken; every second, essential economic decisions were made by individuals, all dressed in expensive, jet black suits. Gigantic light screens showcased stock prices, some rising, others dwindling, which switched to news flashes in an instant.
Congregations of people, ranging from refined employers, overworked employees, to the commonfolk, waited for a collection of traffic lights, all eyes fixated upon them. Once the go green signal was given, citizens marched onwards to their destinations, till the sidewalks were banished to emptiness, awaiting a new horde to fill it up again.
Sakate was amongst this crowd, squeezing his damaged physical frame inbetween pedestrians, all staring at the man acting so hurriedly, whom only responded back with despondence. Struggling to survive such a horror, his only form of hope was the woman's hand, who held ever so tightly to him in times of need, guiding a helpless person through. It was as if he was a child again, lost in his grief, a single hand reaching out to him in offer of guidance.
Yet unlike the past, he grabbed onto that hand this time round.
After a turn to the left and a twist to the right, the trio reached the back alleyways, devoid of any sentient humanoid creature, small animals and insects scavenging for rotten scraps in trash cans nearby, overflowing with mysterious concoctions and questionable fluids.
"After all that trouble... where could we possibly be now?"
"My workplace, you will be surprised...!"
Chapter 9 Edit
Bursting open a door etched into a brick wall across the old back alley, a series of cascading bulbs started to flash in luminescent colors, blinding Sakate shortly. As the lightshow faded into eternity, the sihouette of a middle aged man, bent over a laminated timber surfaced table, came into view. He bore a ecstatic look on his face, which gradually turned to one of dread upon discovering he had customers. Practicing some unusual trick which required his body to move in abnormal positions, with two cups resting upon his shoulders and one held in place by his mouth, he turned red as beet, embarrassed from showing such a shameful display in public eyes.
"I... should probably stop right now."
"D...don't sweat it manager, hehe." the woman struggled, attempting to laugh it off in order to cover for her senior, while the others followed in suit, a pact of some sort to forgot the whole incident.
The bar was booming with laughter, the busiest it had ever been that day, though the authencity was questionable.
"I will be at the back, preparing for the night. Do talk to the manager; he seems... pretty down."
Sakate gazed towards the owner of this establishment, contemplating his life decisions and achievements which ultimately led to such an anti climatic, depressing moment, a tenacious aura visibly eminating from his nearly vacant, deprived soul, and unanimously nodded in agreement. Man, were the people in this world weird.
"Yo, what's up...?"
"I can't live with myself anymore..."
"Are you normally this depressed? Cheer up, how about I get a drink on the house for you?"
"...but I'm the manager, however..."
"Doesn't make a difference. Two specials, please."
Both men then drank into the night, though one was visibly reluctant at first.
Chapter 10 Edit
"Man, are the drinks good here. What's the secret ingredient?"
"It's called a secret for a reason, young man! Come on, drink up some more, free of charge!"
The soft moonlight creeped upon the bar, peeking into the boisterous celebration within. Workers, stressed from the merciless cruelty of reality, came here to knock their sore bodies up after a hard day in the office, happily embracing themselves with liqour and alcohol. Ruffled men bumped mugs of fizzing, sizzling liquid, their laughter echoing across the small chamber, disturbing the refined class of denizens on the other end, who simply desired to quietly take a shot.
"The atmosphere sure is bustling and hustling around here, old man." Sakate took a knick to the manager, who took no offence on the remark.
"They're alive and kicking, unlike me... an elderly man about to kick the bucket." he roared in laughter, while Sakate turned around, covering his mouth with a chuckle.
"Do you know of the late night show? It's about to start soon."
"Never heard of it." The man replied.
"It's fine... look! Here she comes."
The youngster shifted his eyes to the direction of a grand piano, and the sight of a beautiful lady dressed in black, entering the stage with a stance. Dazzling, was the only word to accurately describe her whole being, glorified under a glass canopy, the outside moonshine permeating into the bar, dressing her figure in a soft blue. Upon closer inspection, it was Reiko's mother herself.
"A beauty, isn't she?" Reiko drew closer to the man, who was enchanted, dazed by the fair maiden, right before his very eyes. Never in his life had he seen such an astonishing lady, glazed and blessed by the gods. Just as he was about to stand up and reach out to her, the manager put him down, signalling the man to wait.
"The performance's about to start, take a seat."
With the sweet parting of her lips, she started to sing in tune, a melody from ages ago, fingers prancing around on melancholic keys.
Even though it is easy for me to cry
They do not flow of sadness
From those I held dear
Like a bird that strays away from its flock
I do not know where my destination lies
But no matter if I get hurt
And scar till my blood flows
My heart will always remain
Even if happiness
Is close by
I shall fly
Towards the sky
And believe in my future
I will not forget you
But I cannot ever turn back to yesterday
"What a soothing tune..."
Chapter 11 Edit
The shift ended as feebly as it started, customers leaving the store while being thanked with courtesy on the way out. Manager Tenso, as he preferred to be called by after a drunk exchange of names and familiarity, reverted back to his silent self, cleaning up wine bottles for disposal and glasses for reusal in the background kitchen.
Sakate gazed upon the shimmering glow of the crescent moon, a luminous body seemingly out of a mere mortal's reach. Like a benevolent goddess, the celestial being reached out its hands illuminated by soft light, to caress the man's face. However, he was unaffected by its attempt at enticement, his mind occupied by the heavenly melody he had tuned into just before, which tugged at his heartstrings and brought about something of a striking memory. It was as if he had heard this song long ago, a remembrance of the past.
As he gazed up into the shimmering stars, celestial bodies hanging upon the heavens, someone approached the man from behind, unnoticeable.
"Gotcha!" A feminine voice tweeted, reaching out hands to tickle his sides. The mere fondling sent shivers up his spine, as Sakate instinctively turned around with a slight shout, shocked at the sudden greeting.
"What was the meaning of that..." he sighed in response to her attempt to make him laugh.
"You seemed out of place, so I was thinking a little startle could've brought you back!" the lady replied with a sweet smile.
"Thank you, and come again!" The manager waved towards the trio, as the doors to the night's secret hideout closed behind them.
The trip back, just as long winded and hectic as was in the morning.
Chapter 12 Edit
After a change of clothing, fresh showers and the tucking in of a child into bed, both adults relaxed on fluffy chairs in a brightly lit room, cups of brewed tea simmering under a chandelier's ambient light.
"What beautiful decor you have here," the man spoke up amidst awkward silence.
"Thank you, all these were built from scratch, wood collected from the nearby forest and metals crafted under the supervision of the town's blacksmith."
"You are indeed resourceful," changing the subject, he tweeted in, "Who were those brats holed up at the entrance to the forest?"
"The town's troublemakers. Despite how they act, they all come from... unsheltered homes, broken families. The bunch are all good kids, but they dare not receive help from us, especially mine."
"They did plummet that boy to an... unrecognizable pulp, though."
"...speaking of which, where have you travelled from? It must've been a long trip, though why here to this small, humble town do I not know," she seemed desperate to switch topics. Sakate, despite worries, went with the flow.
"...as I said, a land far away."
"Then what's your purpose here?"
"...sightseeing? I'm not sure myself. I just woke up to find myself here, in the forest." A doubtful half truth, yet a substantial one.
"A stranger could've not possibly washed up ashore into the forest however; the shore and woodlands are miles apart," sensing a tone of unawareness, she pushed herself onto him further.
"Do you not trust me?"
Taken aback by such a question, she settled down into the comfort of the chair, weighing her choices.
"Trust... is such a fragile concept."
Hearing such unthinkable words, frustration clouded rational thinking. Did she just mutter, trust? How in God's word would she possibly know?
"You, are certainly one to say that...!"
Lashing out, Sakate immediately took off with haste, out of the household.
"Ah, Mr Trial...!"
Sakate took off on a chase, back to which he came from, a forest of dangling vines and warped flora, an unearthly residence. Why did he run away for such a petty reason, he wondered; such an action was reminiscent of his cowardice years back. Just when he thought he had grown a teeny bit stronger, did his forged construct of confidence come crumbling down to the earth. How funny.
"This place, and further ahead is..."
Swatting away deformed insects buzzing around his head in deranged motions, and branches reaching out to block his way, did the man come across a dreadful sight. A crash site, of which laid a humongous humanoid in noticeable agony. A flashing pulse of glowing red of which its beeping became frightfully frequent by the minute, sat on the giant's broad chest. It seemed as if it were dying a painful, yet slow, death, induced suffering growing as time passed.
Lodged into nearby dirt was a perculiar handheld device, crafted from a mystique clear blue material. Buttons scattered across its surface, endowed in a circular fashion around a pulsating orb of white light. As if through enticement, Sakate reached out to it, unaware of any possible consequences already set in stone.
And in a flash of brilliant works, both entities disappeared.
"Where did he go?"
A look of worry spread across her face, she scurried through a dense forest, frantically searching for Trial, who had dashed off in an unexpected turn of events. That was out of character, from the little time she had to know him. She wanted to know more about the man, which was why she inquired as shown, though it may have had came off as a sensation of perpetual doubt to him.
The ground suddenly rumbled under bare feet, bits of soil frantically jumping up into the air. Water in the nearby river was churning at an incredible temperature, steam rapidly assimilating, dissipating into the atmosphere. Uneven cracks started to form in the distance, spreading to the woman's direction at an unbelievable pace. The only thing to do was run, as she ripped off her legs rooted to the ground and made a dash for it.
A monstrous being the height of skyscrapers rose from deep beneath the earth, awakened from a million year slumber. As if signifying its territorial area, the behemoth screamed a deafening roar at the top of its lungs, preparing to launch an attack at any unsuspecting civilisations near to its presence. Alas, one laid dormant in the dead of night; the humble town of Torikaze. Sensing an apparent threat despite its unpretentious appearance, it trudged its way towards the village.
Frozen in fear by such a twist of events, the woman laid frightened on the ground. Reiko's safety would be endangered if this monster gets anywhere further, not minding herself. She had to do something, though there was nothing much a puny human could do against such a beast. Was she really devoid of any choice to act upon in such a frantic position?
"I won't let you."
Emerging from a burst of incandescent light, a fist pummeled the reptile to its rightful place in dirt covered soil. A worthy opponent had arrived to challenge its reign.
"Let's wrap this up."
Chapter 15 Edit
The giant took a fighting stance, ready for combat. Sakate wasn't afraid; he had already done this once, albeit unconsciously: a second wouldn't hurt, probably. He was bobbing within an enclosed chamber of viscous liquid, rays of light transient and reflective in waves of this substance. Enveloped in near darkness, surrounded by cold, rigid space, only the warmth of a stranger's light entered from the outside world. In reality, he was in full control of this alien body, akin to a pilot maneuvering an empty machine lacking sentience.
Treachezaur, as it was called, proceeded to blast at its opponent with a multitude of fireballs, from an arsenal array comprised of its eight heads. The relentless amount of attacks burned the surrounding forest to bits, great explosions engulfing the Ultra in smoke.
Surprisingly, he seemed unfazed, slamming a fist into the air, reverberating shock waves that caused wisps of smoke to dissipate into thin air. Running into the beast head first, the warrior of light made an attempt to turntable flip behind the lizard. An opening created, he rushed and delivered a barrage of kicks and punches, tears in its skin and bones breaking from the sheer impact of several thousand ton hits. He then performed a jolted shove, sending the behemoth flying into a collection of hills nearby, the sheer impact killing it instantly.
"Not quite yet, S."
Clouds warped to unusual shapes above, a barrage of lightning strikes illuminating the night sky. Reality itself started to conform to the rules of a force greater than itself, generating pulse waves of energy invisible to the naked eye. Just as in a flash, the beast started to growl in severe pain, skin and bones buckling and twisting to form new systems, an evolutionary instinct awakened and advanced to the behemoth's dismay.
At last, in a shocking reveal, it stood up on hinged feet supported by a split tail, dangling masses of reformed, strengthened muscle which were once its arms, now hanging with gaping mouths lusting for blood. A hole opened at its torso, crackling with bolts of energy, while its eight heads now terribly conjoined together in a sickly fashion.
"I... have seen this transmutation the last time."
The Ultra took a readied stance, as if preparing himself for a battle of an even greater menace.
Flaps of skin started to open up, bursts of molten rock flying towards the giant, who put up an energy shield in timed response, though vaporizing the surrounding air in light works of luminous purple. In retaliation and seething anger, its heads fired separate gamma rays of death in random motion, setting the forest aflame.
The Ultra flew up into the atmosphere, dodging through supersonic speeds of flight. In a counter reaction, the deformed horror concentrated the heat beams into one, bursting in a flicker of light at mach rates towards the being of light, coupled with a swirling cannon of pulsating gamma from its torso which converged to form a massive blast of latent energy.
The utter power of such a finisher rippled across the skies, and it seemed the Ultra was done for. He wouldn't give in to such impertinence, however; with a sudden mastery of his Ultra powers, the host maximized the shield length to cover the beam's width, successfully withstanding its onslaught as the terror finally died down.
Unsheathing a blue blade from his waist, the giant swooped down upon one of the monstrosity's heads, chopping it off with a swift cut, met with screams of angst. Ramming the blade through a head's eye to the next, a fountain of blood spurted from its wound. Hits were delivered decisively to the waist, ripping out lumps of meat and intestine, followed by a combo of kicks to the side, an elbow swerve to its neck, and a drop knee slam to pin its ragged body to the ground.
Back flipping to the sidelines yet again, he performed the same moves and motions as before, orbs of luminescent white light circling faintly glowing arms, then placed in the position of a cross, a beam utterly obliterating the behemoth's body to charred bits.
Just in time, a timer started to flash in dangerous red; Sakate reduced himself back to his original human body in radiant lustre. Held in one hand was the mobile device he uncovered, the ball of light etched to the middle continuing to shine, the gems inputted to its four corners devoid of color.
"Sakate, are you alright!"
The same feminine cry which he had heard before, came from behind scorched trees. The same call for help which had soothed him, yet the same bubbly tune which had guided him the way through this unfamiliar world.
"I'm fine, just shaking from the vivid experience earlier."
Swerving around to glance at her face, laid a look of worry for his well being. Where had he seen this face before? It seemed almost as if he was accustomed to it, yet out of reach.
"We will escape this together, #######."
An unreachable closest, filled to its brim with the deepest, darkest of secrets one should not be meddling with, inaccessible through ordinary means.
Who sealed them off?
"I just wanted to say... sorry for the ruckus earlier. It wasn't really polite of me to just run off, after all you've done for me so far," he apologised with a stern bow to the perfect angle, as if the sins of a thousand men weighed down upon him.
"You don't have to go that far, get back up! It's partly my fault to begin with as well, pestering you with such nonsensical questions..."
"No, I insist it's solely on mine part of which I have to be sorry on. Let me apologise."
"I won't let you...!"
After an awkward moment of silence, the two cracked up with uncontrollable laughter, amused at the foolishness of such a situation.
"This is out of character, to be fighting in such an undignified manner, for the both of us."
"Indeed it is, Mr Trial. This is the first time you have laughed so heartily as well!"
"In my whole life, it's definitely a first..."
"I should be thanking you instead as well, you helped protect the village after all!"
"Seems like the cat's out the bag, though the forest is a demolished mess..."
He held up the gadget to eye level, inspecting it thoroughly.
"This whole time, you have been bothering with my inconveniences, so now this will be the only right way to pay you back, it seems. From now on, allow me to be your personal guard."
"Well, a guard has to know his employer's name!"
"Your... name? I never inquired about it..."
With a hop to the side, a sort of a tender grin etched to her face, under the gentle comfort of the moon maiden, a merciful angel greeted an unmoved familiar.
"Aika Miyuki, going by the name Miyuki!"