Kimetsu no Yaiba: an Adventure tale, Part 1

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Chapter Eleven: Galra in the swamp

Despite his fitful battle to fall asleep, the next time Shiro wakes, he practically springs out of bed. He feels good. Great, even.

"Good morning," he tells Keith who was still asleep, Shiro should try to wake him up, should he try to get home as soon as possible, or stay in this world while longer and try to fight, to learn...?

As Shiro struggled with which path he should choose, he greeted yet another new morning in the place that gave him and new friends shelter for the night. Even if he decided he'd rather go straight home to his own time, it wasn't like he could just go ahead and do that. There was no guarantee that even if she jumped into that dry well that he would cross through time the same way as he had when he'd come.

Shiro still had one other problem on top of deciding what he should do from here.

Something more pressing and urgent. And that was... a shower and a good meal. He really wanted to take one. So combing his black and white hair in a hurry, went downstairs into the lobby, where Lian, Liem, Romelle, and Stats were waiting there.

"Good morning, Shiro," Romelle said, dressed in a pink Pyjama, with Stats bow his head with respect.

"Good morning, Romelle," Shiro said back to her, "and good morning to you, Stats", everything started in a very good mood for the day.

"So who's hungry" Liem talking to them.

"Sure, Liem," Shiro tells him.

"Very good, to the kitchen," Lian said.

On command, Shiro, Romelle, and Stats went into the kitchen when Lian started cooking three meals at once: buttered toast for (a simple but oh-so-satisfying breakfast), bacon, and a caramelized onion and goat cheese omelets. Lian worked his cook knife with practiced precision across the cutting board, putting a fine dice on the red onions and he had enough faded scars on his fingertips to remind him to keep them tucked as he sliced the basil into a chiffonade.

Multitasking around the kitchen, separating the bacon and portioned them into three separate plates, and folded each omelet effortlessly in the skillet. "Not bad for a Tuesday". Shiro thought

Now came the favorite part: Lian washed his knife in the sink and air-dried it by twirling the blade between his fingers.

"That looks amazing," Shiro said, amazed at Lian's cooking ability.

"Thanks, Unless you have a crazy mom who sleeps all day, crazy-long hours and you've gotten totally sick of eating PB and J alone every night, even if you have an allergy to it".

Once he had spun every last drop of moisture off its surface, Lian holstered the knife in the knife block, plated the omelets, and place it on everybody's plate.

"Digging in," Lian asks, Shiro and Romelle timidly began eating the amazing food put upon them and was simply amazing.

"How's the food"

Shiro and Romelle began savoring each morsel of breakfast they had.

"I'll take it as a yes" Lian said, and soon more people begin to follow-up, ready for the morning come.

People from all kinds of life turn the place as rowdy and rough as any lobby Shiro had had ever frequented. As the many tables were getting sat, some begin to get behind the counter where Lian work.

"Hey Lian," a human man said, dressed in a chef's outfit, arrived along with a squirrel.

"Hello, Billy"

"So what am I working with"

Lian held out Shiro's plate, and Billy eagerly snatched it, inhaling deeply. "Ah," Billy sighed. "Balsamic mushrooms, meat-chunky-sun-dried tomatoes . . ." The squirrel looks amazing as he rolled his tongue inside his mouth, trying to place that last flavor he was smelling. "And cardamom," said. "Ooh, taking a chance there, Chef" Billy replied.

Lian smiled. "Of course, Billy, ever since the rebels struggles to take back the sigma quadrant, we've only got enough supplies to give to everyone here"

"That's true but what's life without a little adventure?" joked Lian as he hopped again onto his cycle of cooking. Billy did the same and the guys around them started their way.

After his plate was returned, Shiro continues to eat his fill of breakfast, correcting the best breakfast ever but Romelle gorged, he watched the slender girl scarf down anything that was given to her as if it might be taken away at a moment's notice.

Taste and appearance did not factor into what she crammed in her mouth. Getting food into his stomach seemed to be her primary goal, what had she been eating on Arus, or perhaps more accurately, what hadn't he been eating?

"What," Romelle said between mouthfuls.

Shiro gestured at Stats, and then look at the empty chair, where Keith was supposed to sit with them.

"where's Keith" Romelle asked

"Still asleep" Shiro added.

"He's always doing stuff like this!" Romelle said. "Or at least is what Coran told me!"

"So how exactly are you thinking about him?" he asked Romelle.

Romelle marched forward. "Yeah! Coran told me all about him!"

"And you believe in what you see?" Shiro asked.

"Why would I be?" Romelle said.

Then suddenly, a squirrel leaned closer to the food, about to look like to eat it, "Hey, don't touch that" Shiro shouted as he grabs the squirrel.

"Ugh" Billy shouted as fell into the ground like he was in pain.

"Billy," Lian said in horror, the squirrel luckily escape Shiro's grasp.

"Don't touch me!" The squirrel yelled. The great hall because so quiet Shiro could've heard a worm move.

"What you say," he said in surprise.

"She said don't touch her" Liem explains "She is Billy's daemon".

"What..I didn't know, I'm sorry". Shiro whispered, guess he still doesn't know much about this world.

"That's okay, you didn't know" Billy rose, "Jana can be a bit mischievous but she is not interested in eating your friend's food."

"Yeah but next time do not do that again!" Jana the squirrel said, "is taboo to do that".

"Taboo"

"Is true, its Taboo to harm a daemon" Romelle explain.

Of course-maybe that is the reason that Keith having a hard time respecting him because he felt violated like when he touched Jana so abruptly, like a man getting rid of a pest in an old house.

His glare becomes shocked and shame, combined with limited knowledge of the past of this world.

Shiro stop eating, "don't be sad," Lian said, "not everybody knows the tale"

"The tale, what you mean," Shiro asked.

Lian smiled, then let out a breath of fresh air, "a long time ago, Altea was once a separate land, humans, and Daemons so the distance from one another that they unaware of their existence, but then alone human came to one of the villages where the daemons live, at first there was once astonishment but eventually we begin to know each other and twine".

That was everything Romelle know, she had heard this story over and over again.

"And then that happened!"

"One human, a girl manifest some form of creature, an animal but it was no ordinary animal it wasn't animal at all, it was a daemon and can do magic, at first the humans bought that was strange, but soon more humans begin to develop more daemons of their own and learn all kind of magic, fire, water, earth, air, and balance".

Shiro looked stunned. "I did not know that, but I bought there were only three types of daemons, or at least what Keith told me."

"Yes are three types of daemons, your friend Romelle is a light daemon, our great leader Sokka is a dark daemon and our little friend here Jana is an anima daemon."

Lian shook his head and his smile turned to sadness, "but peace did not last between our worlds, one species of daemon- the Galra, led by emperor Zarkon declare war on both sides, Lian's mind seemed so fast at the recollection. "Many species, both human and daemon bought back against them and still they'd do to this very day"

Shiro's head was so confused right now, everything wasn't suited for him, right now, despite this, Lian's story wasn't finished yet.

"But according to Sokka, the samurai, the defenders of peace, could stop them but when the world needed the most, they just vanished. Some say they do walk away from it all".

"Whoa, that story was epic", Shiro said, collapsing on his seat as he pictured everything that had happened. "Wow I did not know any of that"

"Well, you do now," Romelle said, "we are going to stop them because Shiro is the samurai."

What" Shiro hopped off the repair seat, looking dazed. "No I'm not the samurai why does everyone keep thinking that", swamps' daemons again, going home-abruptly the surrounding seemed to close in on him, the formerly intriguing furnishings and alien artifacts now just a mite frightening.

He looked around wildly, trying to avoid the piercing gaze of everyone around.

"I'm no hero, what can I do", Shiro found himself muttering thickly. "I need some air!". Shiro got out of his seat and ran, up the lobby, through the hallway, getting away from everybody, never stopping.

Alter escaping, Shiro finally stopped running, deep somewhere in this sub-terrain City that no one could find him. He didn't know why he had been running for so long; he had just felt the need, now all he felt was exhaustion.

A shadow went behind him, Shiro blinked to see Sokka again, was he seeing things again? Had he started to follow him all that way?

"What are you doing here!" The old man chirped a question of his own.

"Sokka, I uh, didn't mean to intrude. Um, I just needed to get some air".

"Well, About time you got here. Come on now, there's no time to waste. Let's get going"

"Go where" Shiro wondered as he wanted to know where he intended they go together.

"You'll see" Things seemed to be looking up, but instead he was led to a spring, a hot spring. "This is where everybody often bathes themselves after a mission or someplace relaxing"

"It... does look relaxing." He said as it almost looked like Japan's bathhouses. On top of that, today had been a cloudless, windy day. The wind chill was quite low. Not to mention this place was just a spring, so there was nothing to obstruct prying eyes.

Shiro examined the water, the stream was so clear that the steam was undisturbed the freshness, it seems as though their reflection were painted on the bottom of it.

And when he did, he perceived how his appearance was, his clothes were now tattered and torn, "is it just me, I'm covered in blood, I'm covered in mud, but I'm not going to be able to stand staying this way!" he thought as suddenly wanted a soak in some hot water. When he was at home, he would often take a shower in the Garrison when he has done working out.

But he didn't need any of that right now if it has hot water. That would be enough. "Whatever, I'm getting in!" Shiro had made up his mind. If he couldn't get any hot showers in this place, everything was fine. he didn't care if it was cold or chilly or if there was a danger of someone seeing him...

"I see, I understand," Sokka said, assisting him. First, heading back to the plaza to inform everybody he said, "Shiro is going to be purifying himself. It is for the sake of strengthening his spiritual power. If an outsider were to see him, a terrible punishment from the heavens will befall you, you and you" his face taking on a chillingly eerie expression.

He also brought out a new outfit for a change of clothes. It seemed to have originally been someone's and so that Shiro wouldn't catch a cold once he got out of the pool, he started a fire on the bank.

"Ok, Shiro, that should do now.

"Thank you." he used the shade of a rock near the shore in place of a changing room and swiftly removed his uniform and undergarments. With a brisk movement, he jumped completely into the water.

"Hot hot!" he instinctively wanted to jump out of the water due to the burning flesh, but somehow he managed to bear it and submerged himself in the current.

"do not push yourself" called from beside a warm-looking fire on the shore. Shiro would bear it with all his all might.

"You don't have to worry about me!" Shiro said, ignoring him.

After a while, his body got used to it, It gave him some time to look around. The pool was full of beautiful, pristine water, the bright sunlight streamed straight to the bottom of the clear water, making shining patterns of light on the river bottom, he could see the rocks on the bottom, along with green water plants swaying as though they were waving.

But it was hardly possible to imagine this being the same place as the one in his world, as that one had much less water, and it was murky and polluted...

Shiro bounced along the bottom of the river on his tiptoes. The water was deeper here, so he slowly swam around his body that had been soiled by the touch of Mistress Centipeetle and Sendak felt like it was being purified by the clear water.

He suddenly remembered he'd been bitten by Mistress Centipeetle and looked at his side, he could still see a faint scar on his new arm, but it had practically already healed.

"I wonder why, given that I was bitten so badly? Is it really because I'm Allura's reincarnation or Takashi's?" Shiro said to himself.

Elsewhere, Romelle had no doubt anymore that Shiro was the samurai's reincarnation. Even although his skills are great, he has a lot to learn before he's ready to save anyone. But she believes that Shiro can save the world.
With a quiet sigh, Romelle sat up and headed outside into the morning air. To get her thoughts together, instead. Maybe then, she could finally get some clarity. As she walked outside, though, she couldn't help feeling as if she was being watched. As she looked over her shoulder, she saw a familiar pair of violet eyes, glowering down at her from the roof.

"Hey," Keith greeted before he practically floated down to the ground.

"Oh, is you, are you still looking for the next village to burn!" asked Romelle.

"Is that what Coran told you about me!" Keith said.

"Well, I thought it was just common knowledge". asked Romelle as she turned away from him with her arms crossed and a pout on her lips.

"Listen," Keith said. "I don't like you, and I'm pretty sure you don't like me, either, but whether we like it or not, I gotta work with you if I wanna get back home and protect the crystal!"

"And you're telling me this, because...?" Romelle inquired.

"I wanna call a truce," Keith said, causing Romelle's eyes to go wide before she turned to face him, completely.

"Am I hearing this, right?" she asked.

"Look, my patience has been tested enough, okay?" Keith asked before he held out his hand. "So...do we have a deal?"

Romelle looked down at Keith's hand, then back at his face, which held this almost unusual expression of seriousness...if not, reluctance. Still, it seemed that he was willing to at least try and take this seriously. Maybe this could work out to their benefit.

Besides, what did she have to lose?

"Deal," said Romelle as she shook hands with the half-daemon.

"Good," said Keith before he turned and walked away.

"You cannot give up on yourself" Keith remembers Shiro's words.

"Thanks!" Romelle replied as she was about to leave

"It's okay!" Keith began, causing Romelle to stop in her tracks, "don't...worry too much about people might think of you. You might see them again, one day."

Romelle blinked in surprise at the half-daemon's words. They almost sounded...reassuring...gentle. Was this the same Keith she was talking to?

"Just saying," Keith said. "Anyway, I go find Shiro." On that, he leaped back up onto a perch, leaving Romelle standing on the ground in stunned silence.

Realizing this, Keith went back and looked around all of a sudden.

"Where's Shiro" Keith asked. "I have no idea where he is!"

"Oh, he is having a purification ceremony," Romelle told him

"What, I'm confused," Keith said

It's true, Sokka told us". Billy chimes in.

"He said, it to increase powers," Liem said.

Keith looked at Liem, he wouldn't meet his gaze. He stood, holstered his dagger, and walking away from this group of Chefs. "Thanks for telling me but I better get going".

Back in the pond, Shiro was still swimming, while thinking to himself.

"I know Ulaz chose me for a reason. If Sokka knows something about me, about the dreams I've been getting, he needs to tell me!"

"I'm supposed to join forces with Keith, but he hates me for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with me... things that happened between him and Allura in the past... and with Takashi " There was no way they'd be able to protect the quintessence Crystal together if he kept up his loner attitude.

As Shiro came out of the water, gasping for breath, he made her way to the spring's bank to climb out...but as he looked up, he gasped as he saw Keith, sitting on his haunches as he stared at her from a cliff on high.

"Keith" The moment he said that Keith instantly gets struck by a rock that Shiro picked up in the pool, falling backward from the cliff with a "Gueh!" that sounded like a squashed frog. However, Shiro suddenly felt the same Rock that he throws at Keith. "Ow!" Shiro said, feeling the pain.

"Enjoy the view, did ye?" asked Sokka with a bit of a snide expression as he continued to tend to the fire.

"Seriously, I trying to look for you!" Keith struck the ground with his fist in frustration, during that time, Shiro hurriedly exited the river and moved to the makeshift changing room in the shadow of the rock.

The blood went to his face as his stomach churned. "Well it serves you right, sneaking around spying like that!" he complained as he peeked his head out from behind the rock.

What the hell are you talking about?!" Keith questioned. "I only came here to make a truce?! I wasn't trying to peep at you! I was trying to-"

"To take the quintessence crystal, correct?" Sokka asked, holding said-crystal in his fingers.

"...Well...I mean..." Keith stammered at him like he had no idea what he was talking about. "You thought...I was peeping? Heck no,...I was just searching for you I didn't know that showing up your beautiful body of yours".

"Wh, what's so beautiful about it?!" said Shiro as he came out...wearing a woven wrap top with a white Satin robe jacket with embroidered details and vented back Woven pants, and brown boots. "Mind telling me why you hate me so much, anyway?"

He said that as he felt the blood rush leaving from his face, he'd already been flushed when he thought he was peeping, but now that it had turned out he'd come to steal the Crystal, but for some reason, he only felt sadness in his heart. Guessing that he already knew Keith wasn't looking at him or his nakedness.

Instead, Keith's eyes went wide as he stared up at Shiro...and for a moment, a brief image of another person who wears a similar outfit that he knew suddenly appeared before his eyes before it went back to Shiro.

"...Takashi..." he thought.

He remained in that position simply staring at Shiro.

"I gave you too much credit before. No sooner should have told you that you're still connected to that boy, from the moment you got to hit that rock, he felt the pain too, you two are connected through the d-user mark!" Sokka continues, causing Keith to shake his head.

"Well, that is none of your business," he grumbled before he glanced over at Shiro, who was hanging his garrison uniform up to dry over the bonfire that Sokka had lit.

When Shiro attempted to get between them a woman holding a child by the hand came rushing in, out of breath.

"Pardon me... Lord Sokka? I do not mean to intrude," said the woman.

"What happened, Ine?"

The woman called Ine's face was pale. "My daughter back home... Kiyo suddenly collapsed!"

What? Kiyo?!, I see, let's head back" Sokka rose quickly. It seemed that he wasn't just a rebel leader, but acted as a doctor as well.

"Shiro, Keith, I shall return to the village, I'll be checking on you two later." he handed over the charm bag containing the quintessence Crystal to Shiro. "Try not to fight!."

With those parting words, he left with Ine.

"We'll try," Shiro answered while Keith blew a raspberry at Sokka, who walked away with the mother and her two children.

"Why I have a bad feeling about this..." Shiro glanced at Keith. As soon as he did, he turned his nose up and looked off to the sky, he had a pretty good guess as to why he would behave so blatantly unnaturally.

Wearing this garb, Shiro had to look even more like someone from Keith now. Ignoring him now, he went to the pool back to wash his uniform, through all of this, he could feel Keith's gaze on his back. It's like he can't look away from him and Is it because of his appearance.

"...Hey," Keith spoke up, suddenly.

"Now what do you want?" said Shiro.

"You mind taking off your clothes?" Keith asked, bluntly...causing Shiro to bonk him on the head with a large rock, which caused an equally large bump to form right above his head, even if he is Keith's d-user. "OW! What'd you do that for?! I thought you were done throwing rocks".

"Oh, I was until you acting like a pig" Shiro spat.

Keith barked as he pointed at Shiro's uniform."I didn't say get naked! I just can't stand seeing you in those clothes he said, pointing at his Garrison uniform or what's left of it.

"why? because I look like Takashi from your world?" he cut right to the chase.

"That's got nothin' to do with it, ok." Keith turned and faced away, making a forceful grunt. He might say it had nothing to do with it, but just looking at him made it obvious that it had everything to do with it.

"Oh please I have seen plenty of kids who are more mature than you"

Even the kids at the city probably wouldn't act this immaturely... Shiro conceded a little and decided to try more casual conversation as they did before in the swamp. "Look, I don't want to do this either, ok, but we got to work together, Remember you said you want to make a truce with me!"

However, It didn't appear that Keith had the slightest interest in making conversation. "Fine by me. I'll find the way back without you if I have to!"

Snap, something inside of Shiro snapped audibly. "Oh I get it now, you just don't care if I just go back home or wanting to stay" With that, he gathered up his still-wet uniform and shuffled off.

"Hey, where you going" Keith inquired.

"I don't know but I'm an idiot, I thought wanted things to differentiate between you and me, but nothing has changed, I'm leaving! Goodbye, Keith." Shiro asked.

"Leaving... wait!" Keith repeated, stood up impatiently. "Hey! Wait a minute!"

"Nope! Don't try and talk me out of it!" Shiro replied. But even more maddeningly, Keith didn't try to stop him.

Keith began as he held out his hand, "Just leave the Crystal here, then!"

"What, you mean this?" Shiro asked as he held up the charm bag containing the Crystal from his chest and dangled it in front of Keith's nose as if to show it off. And then...

"Here, take it," he said with a sharp voice as he throws the crystal to him, Keith's face turned shocked.

"What did you," Keith said with a confused voice while looking at the Crystal, but Shiro didn't care.

"Bye-bye!" Shiro called as he walked away, "Sokka, Romelle, they were right about you" Shiro kept walking without turning around.

They both reeled back from one another at his statement.

"I mean," Shiro started, collecting himself. "Because I know what it's like. To be scared and alone!"

"What, I'm not scared, you scared, know what it's like?" Keith lashed back. "People look at you, like this great God or samurai when you don't have nothing to show for it".

"Maybe, I'm willing to try for it, even if I have no idea how everything works, I'm still trying to get back home, even if I have to other people make up their mind about before you even have a chance? To find out what you're truly capable up." Keith stares at him, struck dumb by the no small amount of acerbity Shiro dishes back to him.

Keith's throat bobbed as he absorbed his words, his gaze drifting to the direction. "Hey wait" leaving him all alone.

"This way, Lord Sokka." Ine led him to her house outside the village. Sokka remembered how panicked he'd been. Ine's daughter Kiyo had been healthy since she was a little girl and rarely even caught colds. What could have happened that would cause her to suddenly collapse...?

"Collapsed without warning"

"yes, she was fine just this morning..." Ine explained as she opened the door. In the cramped room, Kiyo was lying down with her eyes closed, her face pale.

"Let me see..." Sokka came close to examine her but took an unexpected breath, he could tell just with her one eye. Kiyo had no ordinary condition.

"Someone or something has captured her soul...?"

Someone. Yes, there was no doubt it was the work of someone evil...

"Ine, get down!" As though prompted by Sokka's voice, Kiyo's blank eyes opened, glowing the color purple and not just that, but her body limply hung in the air.

"What's wrong, Kiyo!" Ine called to her daughter in a distraught voice. But Kiyo gave a response and say "victory or death". Her daughter had always laughed, cried, and made all sorts of faces, but now her face showed no sign of vitality or emotion. Like she was just a doll... Like some puppet being manipulated by a puppeteer, Kiyo hung in the air with both arms spread wide.

"Uh!" Sokka was appalled. She could see many thin strands attached to Kiyo's arms and legs. "Are these the threads controlling her?!" They weren't something that could be seen just by looking carefully. They would merely vanish and reappear, only faintly visible.

But there was no doubt. Countless long, thin black strings were manipulating Kiyo's body like puppet strings.

A knife was lying discarded on the dirt floor. It suddenly floated into the air, he could see that it was being manipulated by strands of strange attached to it, just like Kiyo.

The knife flew towards Kiyo. The fingers on Kiyo's right hand opened and caught the knife, gripping it firmly.

"Oh no!" backed off in a panic. However, Kiyo swung down the knife a moment earlier. Without any hesitation, she aimed straight for Sokka...

When Shiro returned to the plaza, where Romelle was waiting for him, back into her suit.

"Hey, Shiro," she said.

"Oh hey, So are you ready to going home?" Shiro said

"Yeah I am, But we need to know our way to the swamp!" Romelle explains.

"You're probably right!" Shiro said as his only reservation was having not said a single word to Sokka before leaving this place. Not even didn't thank him for taking care of them, and still borrowing these clothes from him and won't be able to give them back.

And then of course there was the offering being trained to become a samurai. But, there's nothing Shiro can do about that, right...? So long as Keith being uncaring as he is, not even Romelle doesn't want anything to do with him. So there's no reason for him to stay here any longer...

As if shaking off his doubts, Shiro rushed to his room, to gather whatever stuff that he had left.

But...

Peeking inside, Shiro hesitated.

From his bed was the samurai sword, the same one that he uses to kill the Bunyip, looking at it now, the sword almost like the same one from his dreams.

Now that he thought of it, Allura had mentioned before. Sokka had also said the same thing: "the samurai were the peacekeepers of the planet", he had also said, "before the dark times"

Doubt and fear ran down Shiro's heart. When he looked closer, direct at the sword, it was indeed in fact the sword from his dreams.

"No, it can't be..." Shiro's memory had wakes brief visions within in his mind, Altea, armies fighting and Keith shouting Takashi.

The visions subside, and Shiro grips his head.

"What is this? What's happening to me?"

Seized by fear, Shiro stood up and dropped the sword from hands, "I don't know what to do, I don't want any part of this!" But when he did, a sharp pain ran along his cheek. "Ah!" When he touched it, he found that it was bleeding.

he looked around again in astonishment. Many thin threads were spread along that side. When the sunlight reflected on them, they looked like a spiderweb for trapping prey.

"What's going on, are these threads" It was some sort of special threads strong enough to be a weapon and when it had touched Shiro's cheek, it had cut it. And it wasn't just his cheek. When he looked, the sleeves of his outfit had also been cut in several places at the same time.

"To be capable of this, it has to be a Daemon or rather a galra...!" Vigilantly, he looked around again, "I have to find Romelle" running off from his room, carrying the samurai sword in tow.

Meanwhile, Keith flew through the air, pushing his feet off the Stoney building to gain better height. He could hear Shiro's words about in his mind. And on top of that, he has given him the quintessence Crystal.

But why, wasn't all to teach him a lesson, To find out what you're truly capable up. Or perhaps, a wake-up call or both.

When he reached the outskirts of the village, Keith suddenly felt an unusual presence rapidly approaching he reflexively took a defensive stance, and what appeared before him was five women and men.

They were both human and daemon just from looking at them and what he sensed, but they were strangely all floating in the air. They were all wielding dangerous-looking knives and scythes which they all swung down at once, attacking Keith.

"What the-?" Keith muttered, only to yelp when he dodged the weapons, grabbed two of them by their arms, and stomped on the third one's arm as he landed on the ground. "All right, you three, what's your beef with me...huh?!"

Keith moved nimbly. As he fended off the attack, he grabbed two of the women's arms. Spinning around, he struck the remaining three men with their bodies.

The folk all fell to the ground. Giving them a good look, he realized he recognized all of them. "What's this? You're all rebels from the village, ain't ya? On top of that, why does everyone have blank expressions like dolls?"

"Victory or death," the rebels said in unison, all eyes open and glowing purple.

When he turned his head, he heard a familiar voice: "Stop! Do not harm them, Keith!" It was a voice he rather disliked.

"That you, Sokka?" Keith turned around dejectedly but concerningly. Sokka had a deep wound on his shoulder, his blue robe was stained bright red with blood. Possibly due to the blood loss rendering him not strong enough to even stand and walk, he came crawling to him along the ground. However...

"What're you doin' covered in blood?" asked Keith

"Is that all you have to say?" Sokka deadpanned, The fact that he was able to respond immediately in such a disgruntled fashion indicated that his injury was not life-threatening.

But then, the women and men got back up again, still holding their weapons.

"Hey, so just what happened here?" Keith asked as the man who had fallen on the ground rose lazily into the air once again and glared straight at him. "Are they after me?!"

"'It is not their fault!" Sokka answered. "They're being possessed by someone...or something! Where is Shiro?! Bring him here, immediately!"

Keith grimaced at the name he'd rather not hear. "What the hell would call that beautiful man here to do? By the time I did that, we'd all get killed!"

"No, Keith! You mustn't!" Sokka cried. "Without Shiro or Romelle, we're powerless!"

Keith scoffed as he got out his dagger. "No need. I'll take care of 'em, myself." But in reality, it was irrelevant whether he liked him or not, since he simply was not at leisure to look for Shiro right now. The women and men floating in the air had begun to move again.

Back at the plaza, Shiro sprinted towards the lobby, only get a glimpse of a squadron of robotic men guarded the people. An insignia that Shiro recognize, the same one that he saw when he and Romelle were kidnaped by Sendak, emblazoned on all of them.

Emerging atop behind a beam overlooking the group, he saw the fear place people, the men walk around in patterns, using their guns to Target whatever tried to escape and kill on sight.

Shiro went around the place's edge to see if he could sneak into the place from the rear. A person appeared in front of the group. "So who can tell me!" Came a voice suddenly.

He turned around, careful not to alert his presence, and saw the owner of the voice. A girl?!

She looked maybe two or three years younger than Shiro... if she was on Earth, she'd probably be in high school but she looks like a galra.

Her hair was cut in a bob style and she wore a red headband in her hair like a crown. She was wearing a purple jumpsuit with an oddly sexualized black leather kimono that was open wide in the chest and hardly covered half her thighs. She had large eyes and violet skin, her lips red like cherries. She could easily be said to be an idol or a model.

All of the springs surrounding her were attached to the fingers of both the girl's hands. She was standing atop one of the tightly stretched strands. It was reminiscent of a spider lying in wait for its prey atop its web.

Unlike Mistress Centipeetle and Sendak, is she a daemon and Galra!?

"So rebels, here to deliver the galra" the girl saying "I'm surprised that none of you were unable to see my Kushi no Kago".

Shiro examined the scene that was put upon him, the woman was treated like they were criminals on a train.

"Who are you?" Lian asked.

"Commander Twyla" she revealed, giving a bewitching smile. "But you don't have to remember it. Since this is the end for you," she declared calmly as she quickly moved the fingers of her right hand. The strands surrounding her glistened as if given a life of its own, wriggling around Lian like some kind of animal.

"They can't just do this!" Shiro said to himself.

"you scared, know what it's like?" Remembering Keith's voice. "People look at you, like this great God or samurai when you don't have nothing to show for it".

"I'm not afraid," Shiro said to himself, tried to instinctively think of a plan.

"What to do, what to do!" A voice calls out.

"Romelle" Shiro recognizes that voice anywhere. She looks like she was having a nervous breakdown and holdings Stats.

"What's wrong" Shiro questioned. "What are you talking about!"

"I'm a failure, We have no idea what's going on, you're don't know how to use your powers and the only weapon I had is a staff".

"You can't say that you are not the type that gives up on yourself into every fight, no matter how hopeless it is". Said, Shiro

"Ugh. Every decision I've made in the past days has almost gotten us killed. Coran's right, I'm not ready for this". Romelle told him

"No. You are not giving up now. I'm sorry Coran doesn't see how strong you are. You can do this, Romelle, and you're not alone".

"You're right, we need to the Crystal," Romelle said.

"What" Romelle's voice was so loud that alerted the men and their leader to their location.

Romelle snatched the young man's hand and began to through the lobby. "Hey, what are you doing" Shiro yelled.

"Come, Stats" Romelle called out.

The blue creature did as instructed, seconds before blaster bolts pitted the area where they'd been standing.

Pulling Shiro with her. Romelle caused even more chaos in the lobby. "Let go of me!" Shiro wrested his hand free but he didn't knock Romelle flat with it.

"Stats, stay close" Shiro ordered as they hurried into another room that appeared to be used as storage.

They're shooting at both of us!" Shiro said, holding his breath.

"Yeah no kidding, I meant what were you thinking, give the crystal to Keith". Romelle said, trying to find an adequate weapon.

"Hey, I'm not the one who thinks I'm a God," Shiro told her

Romelle groan at the comment "any other weapons around here"

Just the thing they are safe, Stats spark an alarm, "Stats, what's wrong" Shiro said.

Stats' sudden alert, as just when it sounded like the soldiers had run past just at the moment that they were saved, has suddenly faded away when Stats zipped to the back of the closet.

"Get down" Shiro yelled as he grabbed Romelle to protect her.

"Hey, what are you doing," Romelle said

Her voice was the last he heard before the front door was getting slice by millions of threads.

The shockwave hurled Romelle off her feet and all of a sudden she covered by dust, she tried to dust herself and lifted Shiro off the ground. Through the partially collapsed door, she glimpsed the soldiers screaming overhead, pointing their guns at them.

She looked over at Shiro who shielded her from the unexpected attack, he lay on the back, trying to get up. He was telling the truth, the Galra didn't attack by Mercy, in fact to them mercy was a weakness, only victory or death is the only thing that they believe in.

"There you are" the woman known as Twyla, arrive in front of their faces with a look like a comforting mother.

Examined here, Shiro felt the fear and paranoia within himself. Despise this, he was still determined to save this place and the people within it.

"You better take your men and leave this place now!" Shiro said in a brave face but Twyla had other plans as she targets him with her treads, Shiro tried to instinctively cover his face, but Twyla's aim wasn't Shiro's body. A single strand moved quickly and slipped into Shiro's chest, taking hold of the charm bag that once containing the quintessence Crystal.

Ah!" By the time he'd noticed, the charm bag was already in her's hand.

"What", she took a peek into the charm bag, but, "Oh my, what happened to the quintessence Crystal, where is it or shall I be cross" She had a look of astonishment as she scrutinized the bag

"I got rid of it" Shiro shouted forcefully.

It doesn't matter, I'll look for it." Twyla calmly put the bag in her suit to the bag, then smirked. "Guards."

Falling her command the soldiers rushed at Shiro and Romelle who repairing an attack.

Twyla drew back reflexively. "Take care of them, I have to finish my unfinished business!"

"Yes, commander"

Twyla rushes off to ensure that everyone was captured and finished off, she went back for her strings. Naturally, there was a strand of hair tied around her fingers, manipulate them like they were an extension of her body

However, something was strange. She never felt anything hit. "Hm?!"

She looked at one of her fingers with the strand was moving.

Twyla stood on the edge and petered. "That's odd!"

She had no clue. That young man had to have been the reincarnated priestess who carried the quintessence Crystal that Twyla had learned about from Emperor Zarkon. Even though he was human, to be able to see Twyla's "Kushi no Kago", he had to have considerable magical powers.

"Well, none of my business anymore." Twyla shrugged her shoulders. she needed to find the quintessence Crystal so she can get it to Lord Zarkon. So who cared where that man went anymore. There was no reason to let it preoccupy him.

"All that's left is that deal with the leader the traitor called Sokka. I'll have to take his head for myself." With a swoosh, Twyla gathered all of the threads surrounding her into her. This was starting to become interesting and fun
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