Kimetsu no Yaiba: an Adventure tale, Part 1

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Chapter Twelve: Twilight

Elsewhere, Keith and an injured Sokka were dealing where the group was preparing to attack, this time they weren't just swinging their weapons blindly. They began to encircle Keith at a slight distance, floating slowly around the circumference of the circle with Sokka at its center.

"What are they thinking now?!" Keith said.

"Boy, the string! Cut the string that binds for those trapped!" Sokka shouted.

"String?! What're you talking about?! I don't see anything like that!" But Keith unexpectedly understood the meaning behind Sokka's words. He could sense that there was something, although unable to be seen normally, like a fine thread-bound around their bodies. That sensation must have been strands of black. But this wasn't any ordinary string, as it had to be ridiculously long. Almost like extremely long and thin strands of metal.

The other ends of the string that bound the group wrapped around Keith's arms and legs as though it had a life of its own. The group spun around him, enveloping him tightly...

"Dammit!"

Frustrated at an attacker he couldn't even see, Keith swung his strong arms in an attempt to shake off the threads that bound him along with those at their ends. But the string-bound him securely and would not let go.

"Shaking off those girls is useless, Keith!" Sokka spoke sharply. "it comes from behind those girls... from somewhere much farther away!"

Sokka squinted intently. Though invisible to normal eyes, by utilizing his magical powers he was trying to make out the string.

"It is behind the people, huh?" Sokka remark.

"Then isn't their puppetmaster kind of an idiot? Even if I can't see them, I can still drag out the person on the other end!" Keith grabbed the string attached to him in a bunch, relying on feeling to tell where it was, and pulled with all his might.

But his plan failed. He had expected some resistance when pulling, but there was none. It was like he was unraveling thread from a spool...

"Come on"

When pulling as hard as he could don't work, Keith was flipped over on his back and slammed violently into the ground.

Getting up quickly, Keith examined his surroundings with a severe expression. He didn't know who he was up against, but this person who could manipulate people from the shadows was a more formidable opponent than he first thought.

Sitting on a pine tree branch on the outskirts of the village, Twyla chuckled as she held the strands that were intertwined on her fingers. That half-daemon had just tried to drag her in. He'd had a good idea, at least.

"This time," she started, "I will get their necks."

"Heed me, Keith!" Sokka called. "The village people are not in their right minds, and therefore, they do not deserve the tips of your weapon!"

"You think I care?" asked Keith. "They almost tried to kill you, didn't they?"

"Have you no sense of morality?" Sokka asked as he held his injured shoulder. "Keith, unless you can defeat the one who is manipulating them-"

"I don't have time for this!" Keith shouted as one of the women swooped in on him while holding her ax.

"It's too bad for you that the spider in my Kushi no Kago can grow." Even from this distance, Twyla could pick up on the half-daemon called Keith's movements. Even without being able to see him, she could infer his actions from the feedback from the String in her "Kushi no Kago".

It was like the string attached to her fingertips was acting as nerves. Thanks to her forcing the village group to encircle him, Keith's body was already sufficiently bound in black.

"Now then, I suppose it's about time I took your head." Twyla began to manipulate the many strings attached to both hands into a cat's cradle figure. Bending and extending her fingers, extending and bending, like playing an intricate tune, finely and delicately.

The right middle finger, left pinky finger, right thumb... now her Kushi no Kago had carried the half-demon's body into the air.

Left ring finger, right middle finger, index fingers of both hands... the half-daemon was bound to the trunk of a thick sandstone.

Right pinky finger, left thumb, middle fingers of both hands... oh, look, now the half-daemon can no longer move.

"All right, this will do." She firmly tied many strong strings about his neck.

"All right, let's take off his head with a nice, clean-cut!" Twyla gathered together the countless strings intricately tangled between her palms. With a breath, she quickly spread her arms, pulling the strings taut with a great amount of strength.

The sense of something thick being sliced through reached her fingers.

"Commander" a voice coming from her ear.

"Yes, what is," she frowned, in the most calming voice.

"We secure the lobby!" A soldier told Twyla while surveyed a section of the lobby, where Shiro, Romelle, Lian, Liem, and Billy along with several others a taken prisoner.

Yes, she can cross the Great tree of Balto off the list, the underground home for the rebels for the past two hundred years would be a great victory for the Galra empire and emperor Zarkon.

"Take our prisoners to our camp, where they will get the proper punishment that they deserve" Twyla commanded.

"Yes ma'am, Vrepit Sa!" the soldier following her orders.

"Vrepit Sa!" said Twyla as she chuckled as she watched the spectacle.

"AGH!" he cried as he struggled to get free...and two strands ended up getting entangled around his neck. "W-what is this?! I can't get loose!"

"Sorry to disappoint," she said, "but the hair will only grow." Soon, she formed a circle of hair in her fingers. "Now then...time to show your neck, half-daemon."

Just as it seemed that the hair was about to sever his head from his throat, Inuyasha pushed himself off the stone and jumped away, causing the stone to get sliced, instead.

"Hmm?" Twyla hummed as she looked down at the hairs. "The strands slacked..." She then pouted. "He got free...that's no fun."

But Twyla was sure she hadn't made a mistake, she'd made sure her strand was tied around Keith's neck. So for it to have cut only the tree rather than his neck would mean...

"Does that mean that this called Keith is more resilient than I thought?" Twyla gave a little chuckle.

Down below, Keith panted heavily as he rubbed at his neck and coughed.

"I almost thought I was done for," he muttered.

"For a human, that would have resulted in instant death," said Sokka before he looked up and gasped upon seeing more women and men hobbling towards them, armed with pitchforks, knives, and other dangerous objects.

"Great," Keith grumbled. "Here comes more of them! At this rate, they'll just keep coming!"

Just then, using the last of his energy Sokka suddenly teleported Keith and him onto an unknown location.

"Hey, old man, where did you take us" Keith demanded as it was dark.

"To my workshop" Sokka explains, using his magic to light up the workplace. Before sitting down to rest

"Why here, I mean you can see the string, can't you?! Show me where the boss at the end of those is!"

Sokka frowned. I am injured, and even if I was not, I cannot see that far. That is why I have been telling you to call for Shiro from the start."

Keith pouted with a snort. "So he can see 'em?"

"Yes." Sokka nodded deeply. he only knew the samurai beside himself who held enough power to be able to see the string and Shiro was one of those people.

Sokka point toward the outside "Shiro is where he needs to be, you must deliver it, the quintessence Crystal"

"The crystal!" Keith said.

"Yes the crystal, the Galra must be after it," Sokka said.

"Why should I give it back to him, he chose to give it to me," Keith questioned.

"You should not ask for the impossible," Sokka replied. "Even if I had both eyes, my sight is not what it used to be in my old age. That is why we need Shiro."

Before answering back, a detonation shook them all. Bits of the ceiling rained down, the rumbling continued in other areas. It wasn't a firefight that had gotten out of control or an old grenade losing its cap, the subterrane was still under attack.

"Those beasts, they're here," Sokka spat.

When orders came over the communicators that the last pocket of resistance within the subterrane had been cleared out, the leader of the Galra men relaxed considerably, he was listening with pleasure to the proceedings on the captured group when one of his chief guest gunnery officers called to him.

Moving to the man's position, the leader stared into the workshop.

"Wow, this place is amazing" The officer's hand hovered over a computerized gun in his hand.

"I know right, it's too bad we have to destroy it, Commander Jia," a soldier said

"Yeah but it would be nice, we're going to be heroes for getting rid of the rebels," said Commander Jia.

He turned away, to see the satisfaction of people, captured ones and material coming from the plaza, glare from exploding panels, and erupting circuitry reflected the craziest armor of the lead Galra sentries as he was leading survivors ahead.

Among them were Shiro and Romelle who has a binding that locked their hands behind their backs was primitive and effective. The constant attention the squad of heavily armed troops flavored Stats with might have been out of place for one small creature, except for the fact that their lives depended on delivering the prisoners safely.

When they arrived at the new site, they force their prisoners when became that they do not walk away from the brutality they committed when shoved one of them when he deliberately slowed his pace.

"Keep moving"

The hallway they eventually emerged into was still smoking around the edges of the smoldering cavity blasted thought the hull of the workshop, the stones look like glass from a two-story building showed at the far end of the tunnel, bridging space between the hidden or the found.

Using the last of his magic, Sokka hid along with Keith, to avoid the enemy that was right there next to them. But Sokka's order to Keith was simple ''save them, the people and your friends."

Keith glanced at the rubble that surrounded them, seeing the prisoners line up like cattle send shivers down to Keith's spines.

Can't you see, This world needs you!" Sokka said, seized his shoulder.

Shiro and Romelle did as ordered. Everyone murmured and growled about what's going to happen to them now, there wasn't anything to be done when one of the men contacted his communicator.

"The next set of prisoners have arrived at checkout 1, awaiting for processing, please contact confirmation"

"Stats, stats" Stats shouted.

"Hey, knock it off" a soldier shouted

Shiro snickered at the scene, while
lying on the ground, planning what to do next, Shiro could hardly express how terrible his situation is, it's hard to imagine that this not even real... That just a little while ago he was on Earth, the injury that he'd received from being cut by Twyla's string was the only reminder that what happened on Altea was real.

"Hey tell your buddy to knock it out" the soldier ordered him.

"Ok" Shiro suggested as he didn't react, nor was there the slightest shake in his voice.

"Waiting for confirmation to continue further"

"That's a go-to proceed, but I advise you to double-check, Commander Twyla just touched down and has already dealt with an insurgence"

Upon hearing that, Shiro wondered that they were talking about Keith, Twyla's image reappeared in her mind, when she remembered how she attacked them and thrown him off his game, he got goosebumps.

Mistress Centipeetle, Sendak, and Twyla... In only days, just those three had come after the quintessence Crystal, an unbelievable number of Daemons were no doubt hunting down or in Galra's case declaring war on people, innocent people.

"Standing by"

"Did he just say that Twyla is hunting down an insurgence?"

"Oh, who knows? You know she mind-controlled a bunyip to lay down the law within swamp villages, now. You know how it is" Jia told him

Hearing him say, Shiro suddenly felt guilty not just going back home like that but not only that he just finished off up a monster that belongs to Twyla, no wonder these people are getting attacked.

"I got to do something," Shiro told as he returned to his senses. "That's right, Keith!?"

"Hey, Romelle, We need to get to Keith!" Shiro told Romelle as she sitting down next to him

"What, why him, Did he already left us!" Romelle said. "But on top of that, he never wanted to do with me, too!"

Shiro's stomach-churning just thinking about it, he'd never met anyone so violent, ill-mannered, ill-tempered, callous, and unreasonable! But at the same time, he was lost and needed help.

But that didn't matter, first thing first, how to deal with the Galra soldiers who sit and wait, feeling bored out of their mind.

"What is that place, anyway?" the soldier said.

"Uh, I don't know special about this place. I don't ask questions". Jia said

"Why," asked the soldier

"Did you not know that Commander Twyla captured a dozen rebels and put them under her control just to make a point?" Jia told him.

Shiro took a final look at the place, trying to find weapons before they all become prisoners of the Galra empire for good.

Filled with resolve, he crawled away from the distracting eyes of the guards who deciding on what to do, like they wanted to completely rid the existence of this another world.

"Hey what are you doing," Romelle ask Shiro?

It looked like It was already settled, anyway, since there was no way for him to go back into a prisoner and lose another limb in the process. Having to gain gained a new arm is long enough.

"Hey, what are you doing" Jia yelled.

The soldiers walked over there looking for an attack him with police brutality.

But at that moment...Crunch crunch crunch... There was the echo of rough footsteps inside the workshop, stepping on the Crystal-like Glass.

Who could that be... but when Shiro turned around, he couldn't believe his eyes. Somehow, Keith was there. And he already looked mad.

"Identify yourself!"

"...Keith...?" Shiro asked as he staring at him

"You idiot!" Keith barked. "Who the hell, who told you who can attack this place!"

"Keith?" Romelle couldn't believe that Keith had come to come to their rescue. "Why are you here?"

"What's it look like I'm doing," Keith told her.

As the soldiers were giving a warning shot and stepping closer to him, Romelle did the same when she delivered a shock of pain erupts dead center of his face, where the hard knuckles of the officer's fist graze the bridge of his nose. The barest tap cracks the bone. He cries out, reflexively covering his face with his palm as blood gushes from his nostrils.

"Hey. We told you to get out of here" the soldier ordered planning to attacked but Keith grabs the Trooper's arm and twists it until it snaps, then slams him down. Then he grabs the other Trooper's head and smashes him down on the ground repeatedly.

"Whoa," Shiro said, looking at the young man in amazement as the flurry of vicious blows Keith unleashed on the men. When he paused to wipe his brow with the hem of his black shirt, Shiro cleared his throat.

"Whoa," Shiro said, looking at the young man in amazement as the flurry of vicious blows Keith unleashed on the men. When he paused to wipe his brow with the hem of his black shirt, Shiro cleared his throat.

Keith whipped around, startled. "So how long Shiro? How long have you been standing there?"

"I mean, where did you come from?!"

"I was right here at the other time, stupid."

"What are you doing? Why did you save me?" As he was speaking, Keith began to look increasingly upset.

"We need you. We need the samurai". Keith pulled off the quintessence Crystal that was stuck to the shoulder of his clothing and put in Shiro's hand. "I should've given this back to you. I don't know how but you knew that I never what it. But I was stupid. And a jerk and I almost got everyone killed. And I'm sorry!"

Shiro froze in place "You're not any of those things. I mean I'm an outsider who just learned all this overnight. How do you know you can trust me now?"

"I don't. But I hope I can. I feel like maybe you're here to help me learn to be a better person and hopefully help you find your way home" Keith told him.

"Hold it right there!" Romelle stood in Keith's way with a stern expression.

"What?" Keith glared at her with surprise but angered eyes, but Romelle didn't flinch a bit.

"While I'm surprised you're still here but you could ve taken the crystal every time, why didn't you," Romelle asked.

"because I own you a truce, to both of you and I just don't want to run away or think that I'm just a coward," Keith said as he turns away from them, "if I run away now, does prove that everyone was right about me before I get the chance to show what I'm truly capable of"

Keith stopped had he ever shared something that important with someone else that deep.

All right, you," said Keith as he grabbed Romelle and Shiro by the arm. "Enough lollygagging! We got a tree to save!"

"What?!" Romelle questioned as she pulled her arm away. "No way, first of all, you acted like a jerk! And now this!"

"Hey, I told you you owned a truce!" Keith told her. "And now you're saying you don't believe me!"

"I don't know, you don't give me a reason to try not to!" Romelle said.

"Hold it right there, Romelle!" Shiro shouted, causing Romelle to look at him. "He's here now! And I'm glad he is still here, wanting to try!"

"Yeah sure whatever just don't tell anyone I said that," Keith said, going back to his loner attitude.

That's something that Shiro has to work on but will keep trying, but when he happened to look back at Keith, a single strand of black was wound about the shoulder of Keith's crimson clothing. It was thin, but long, and extended out of the workshop and down the hall. His heart began to pound could that be Twyla's manipulation?! But it couldn't be...

"Keith, look" Shiro cried. "Where did you get that thread on your sleeve?!"

"What thread?" Keith asked. "I don't see anything."

"What do you mean, you don't see it?!" Shiro asked as he pulled the strand off his sleeve. "I know you're not blind! It's right here!"

Just then, the strand suddenly tightened around his palm, causing it to bleed.

"Agh!" Shiro cried in slight pain.

"Ah!" he tried to shake it off in a panic, but the back of his hand was cut and began to bleed red.

"Shiro, why are you bleeding...?!" Romelle questioned.

"She is still here!" Sokka and the others looked at him, startled.

"He's right, I'm... the only one who can see this!" With a strong uneasy feeling, Shiro darted out of the room.

"Shiro what's wrong?!" Lacking the time to answer Romelle or Keith, he flew down the hallway, the string extended down the hallway and out the entrance to the outside.

"There's no way strings this long can be normal!" The string was connected to every part of the subterranean. When he rushed into the outside, Shiro stopped suddenly at what he saw, countless strands of long hair were waving about in large bundles like spiderwebs. "Twyla's string...! It came following us to this world!

Keith followed close after her and spoke with a surprising tone. "So I guess Sokka was right that your eyes are the only thing you've got going for you, huh."

"Look, you..." Romelle glared at him, frustrated at his tone. "You brought some pretty unwelcome baggage with you!"

"What, it's just one strand". Keith growled.

"It's not just one!" Romelle told him.

"Guys, There's no time to argue!" Shiro growled.

"What?!" Both Keith and Romelle questioned.

"What's going on?!" Lian and the others came running, looking worried.

"Don't come in here!!" Shiro yelled,

"He's right," Sokka said, getting assisting by Billy.

"As long as Twyla and her armies are still here, The great tree would never be safe"

Yes, bad things, all right. No matter what, he had to stop it here. If he let that Twyla taking over, there really would be no stopping her.

But she certainly seemed to be in the process of taking over. The bundles extending from everywhere were increasing in number and speed. Hundreds of thousands of writhing, squirming bundles were bursting out like a fountain.

"Keith! In front of you!" Shiro yelled at Keith as one of the bundles extended like a tentacle and attacked.

"You mean here?!" Keith asked as he swiped his dagger at the strand, but two more tendrils wrapped around his left wrist and ankle. "Agh! Hey!"

"Keith!" Romelle said.

Relying on the sensation of the bundles of strand touching him, he ripped them off one after the other.

"These damn things!" But even after ripping them off and throwing them on the floor, the string continued to move and repair itself. It then formed itself back into a bundle and attacked again.

"No good... there's no end to them! There has to... there has to be something..." Looking around, Shiro saw something shine for a moment, a particular strand of black, taut, and glinting.

"Do you see it"

Shiro turns around to see Sokka holding his sword and removed from its sheath.

"I believe this belongs to you"

He held out the hilt to Shiro, he took it.

And suddenly go back what he saw, It was a single strand sticking out. It was just another one of them coming out at the center, but it was giving off light. "Ah! Was that... no, it had to be" Shiro was certain. That's the main one controlling the others!

Shiro rushed to the glowing strand, avoiding the other attacking. "this one!"

"There? You found it?!" Keith swung his dagger blindly again, but as if it was teasing him, the glowing parts briskly avoided his dagger.

Shiro gripped the main one in two places with both hands, then firmly ran his upper hand along with it. "Ow...!"

A sharp pain ran through her as blood flowed out. The blood ran down the black ones

Using his sword, Shiro sliced through the string that had been rendered visible by His blood.

Instantly, the strings that had been attacking fell to the floor as though they had lost all life, then vanished with a hiss.

"It's finally over..." Romelle exhaled in relief, while Sokka racked his brain.

"Not quite, Twyla knows where we are, she will contact the empire," Shiro told her

"But the strand," Romelle said. "It's all gone."

"Yeah," Keith agreed.

Shiro couldn't understand. If all Twyla wanted the Quintessence crystal, then why would she still be after him, Keith, and the others? What was her motive?

Whatever the case was, Shiro knew this much Not to mention this was his's fault, to begin with for killing the Bunyip... When he thought about that, Shiro's mind was already made up.

"Don't worry, we're going to stop them" Keith said as he put his hand on his shoulder and he rushed to the outside.

"You sure about that, we don't seem to have a very good idea!" Shiro questioned.

"I know I said some things back then," said Keith, "but I realize now that we have to do this!" Keith removed the quintessence Crystal without a word and draped them over Shiro's head.

"The crystal, it's more than some beautiful Jewel. It's stronger than basic armor." Keith said.

That was surprising in Romelle's eyes. Keith was... she'd thought he was violent, selfish, cruel, quick to anger, inelegant, and ignorant of others, but here he was looking out for others including his owner, and lending back the crystal. To think he was capable of kindness. It was surprising, but she was still happy about it.

"Th... thank you.... but you keep it" The words came out of Shiro's mouth so naturally.

But his reply was nothing to be happy about. "Ya, but is only because you have such a weak hide."

The corner of Romelle's cheek twitched in irritation

Shiro replied, "thank you".

"Yeah, You're the weird one. I'm normal!" Keith said.

Without replying, Romelle gripped Shiro and Keith's shoulder. "All right, let's go!"

"Right!"

The three of them left the area with great vigor. This was the third time that had entered this place since they were captured. But this was the first time they went into it of their own free will. They rapidly fell into the deep darkness below.

Even so, after using the Horngazel, they left the great tree into the cover of darkness.

Romelle frowned. "so what changed your mind, Keith".

"What you mean," Keith asked her

"I mean something obvious changes your mind! Was it, Shiro". Romelle questioned.

"None of your business, okay we are importing job to do," Keith said.

"Keith's right, we need to stop them, or else the tree becomes another Target to them!"

"Well, you got a point there!" said Keith. "But why the hell would Twyla be after us?"

"I don't know for sure," Shiro replied, "but I know that she won't stop until everything around her is dead!"

In, at any rate, he had to work together with him, even if Romelle hates him, back to the village. Sokka had said that this man was the only one capable of finding the mastermind behind that damned plot against the rebels.

It wasn't just that he was Allura or Takashi's reincarnation that he didn't like him, but because he was straightforward, strong-willed, and kind to the Bone, something Allura once had but carrying the patience that Takashi once had too.

Even if He had no interest in relying on his beyond his absolute need to, but to get what he wanted, he'd have to bear with it.

Shiro asks Sokka and the group to find a safe place in the swamp, in case they don't make it back. then followed that insufferable woman's energy. The energy had led to a base, a similar one that Sendak has.

"So she is here, huh!" Keith said as run to preparing to fight.

"Keith no!" Shiro spat. Following Shiro's voice, Keith's mark suddenly glows, which it was relieved to everyone, then gasped as he saw a huge tendril of the strand. "Incoming! From above!"

"Duck!" Keith shouted as he, Shiro, and Romelle ducked out of the way of the tendril, but they were still surrounded by Twyla's net of the black strand, and Keith was running right towards it!

"Be careful!" Shiro cried. "They're all around us!"

"Where?!" Keith asked.

"Dodge to the left!" Shiro shouted as he uses his sword to slice the adversary's Weapon and Keith did the same thing.

"No! Your other left! Whoa! Now to the right, again! Duck!" Shiro demanded.

Keith grunted in annoyance as he tried to dodge the strands according to Shiro's directions.

"Dammit, this isn't working!" he cursed. "We need to trace the hair to its source! That's the only to get outta this mess!"

"Look out!" Shiro shouted as she glanced back to see another tendril of hair. "Behind us! Go left!"

Keith and Romelle grunted in exertion as they jumped to the left, avoiding the tendril, again, while also avoiding the web of black.

"You see anything?" asked Romelle.

"Yeah," Shiro nodded. "Out of all the hair, there are a few that are glinting...I think those are the ones Twyla uses to control the rest of the strings. If we follow them..."

"Then Twyla will be waiting for us at the end," Keith's concluded as he kept sprinting. "Perfect...we'll ambush her, right her lair, and then lop her head off!"

"Be careful, Keith," Shiro said. "I have a feeling that Twyla's not gonna be like that Sendak or Mistress Centipeetle."

"You worry too much," said Shiro. "Just leave it to me."

As the duo continued their trek through the forest, Romelle noticed a glow up ahead, followed by the sound of crackling embers.

So the group took off in the direction Romelle pointed. He pushed off the ground hard, leaping high into the air with the speed that split the darkness. Soon, the flickering light appeared in front of them.

"What is that?"

"It looks like we found missing people," said Keith, frowning. It smelled like blood. The scent of people... dead ones.

When they got closer, there were three bloody corpses around the base. All three had their arms and legs tie, two of them were on the ground while one of them was hanging off the ground, caught in a web. From the looks of it, they were rebels.

The strewn around this place was visible even to Keith. It was stained red with the blood of these men. "She captured them from the battle, these guys had some bad luck."

Shiro and Romelle didn't know exactly what happened, but it looked like they'd tried to fight back, only to have their limbs getting chopped off one after the other.

"Huh?" Keith was alerted to something odd. "No matter where I look, I don't see any humans".

"You're right, I don't see any of them," Romelle said.

"She took them away!" A voice sounding so horse.

"One of the rebels is still alive," Shiro said,

Hearing his murmur, Keith turned around. "What you mean".

"She took the humans who have daemons, she said that they are needed for a special project". The rebel said, against his pain

"Where are they!" Romelle said to the injured one, crouched down, completely covered by his story.

"At the center, you must hurry"

"We will" there's no need for communication, Shiro knows what they have to do, Romelle stood up. "Come on let's go. "

Keith stared straight at Romelle and Shiro with a resolute expression. His look was so severe that everyone almost wanted to unconsciously flinch.

Keith looked at Shiro intently. "Even if you have a sword, with your skill there's no way you could hit anything." He'd said deliberately, but the man didn't move.

"So what! If I practice, I know I can hit something!" Shiro said

Keith's eyes went wide in surprise at the young man.

"Are you sure about that?"

"I will!" The anger in his tone revealed a strong determination.

"Wow, he is unreliable, he's got more guts than I thought." Now that he thought of it, back at the tree, Shiro had injured his hand to show him where the strands were, he wouldn't have been able to do something like that if he didn't have any courage.

"That way!" Shiro said energetically, pointing into the forest. "The shining main line goes that way. We have to hurry!"

"R... right!" Romelle and Keith follow his lead onto the darkness of the night.

Watch out!" Shiro cried as several more tendrils came slithering towards them. "On your left! No, wait! To the right!"

"Make up your mind!" Keith yelled as he tried to dodge the tendrils.

Just then, they arrived at the base, they saw the mangled victims in the base, Shiro felt a shock like his heart had been ripped out.

"While I planning to go home, this sort of horrible thing has been going on...!" Shiro told himself.

These people must defend their home from a losing battle to save lives, and we're trying to protect their homes and families. Alternatively, they may have been gathered to discuss rebuilding their homes, or other sorts of dreams they wanted to make a reality.

Either way, it was all wiped out from the moment they got captured.

The thoughts of their family, their dreams for the future, had all been severed. Twyla had sought the quintessence Crystal, but they'd gotten caught in a trap that she'd set for Shiro and Keith. They were collateral damage.

"This is my responsibility, too..." Romelle told Shiro.

He felt such a coward... At this rate, even more, innocent people will be killed or captured, he absolutely could not allow that, they have to hurry and find Twyla and defeat her!

Shiro firmly gripped the sword as run with Keith and Romelle, who cut through the wind with a howl when moved. Previously he told Keith "I'll practice", but tonight he had to make sure he hit his mark without the benefit of practice.

Honestly, he had no confidence he could hit anything. In the battle to come, it didn't look like there was anything he could do outside of seeing Twyla's strands. That's why, confidence or not, he had to do it.

They arrived at the gates of the center of the base and began to arrive at an unknown part.

While he'd only seen a scant number of Twyla's glowing strands in the base, where they were coming from all directions and were definitely all headed in the same direction. To where Twyla was.

"Keith, Romelle be careful. We're close!" Shiro said

"Yeah. You don't have to tell me twice! - WHOA!" All of a sudden, one of the tendrils wrapped around his right wrist and hoisted him up into the air.

"Oh, no!" Shiro cried. "Keith!"

"Ugh! Let go of me!" Keith shouted as the strands wrapped around both his wrists and his ankles.

"Hang on, Keith!" Shiro shouted as she stood up. "I'll get you...huh?" That's when he noticed a giant ball of strings of black.

Exhibit that, beyond the base, was a strange landscape. It was like a valley surrounded by sheer cliffs, bathed in the brilliant moonlight, with a giant cocoon-like object lightly floating. The cocoon looked to be woven of strands. And to be more accurate, the cocoon wasn't floating.

Romelle swallowed some saliva. "Is that... Twyla's hideout?!"

Keith was right next to that cocoon. He was hanging in the middle of the air in the base much like the cocoon, thanks to the bundles wrapped around his arms and legs.

"Keith!" When he tried to call out to him, he heard a delighted-sounding woman's voice.

"Oh my, I've caught some splendid prey." Speak of the devil, Twyla soon appeared, standing on one of the strands like it was a balance beam for befitting a star circus performer.

"Oh, what gorgeous body... You must be Keith," said Twyla, causing Keith to snarl at her.

"You're Commander Twyla, eh?" Even captured, Keith still hadn't lost his confident attitude. "Why do you know about me?"

"You've already gained quite the reputation amongst us Galra in a few days, especially what I heard from Sendak, you left a mark on him," said Twyla.

"So what's Sendak heard about me?" Keith asked, and Twyla chuckled.

"That the half-daemon has become the servant of a reincarnated man, and is trying to protect the quintessence Crystal," Twyla explained.

"Wha?!" Keith was outraged. "You think I'm that idiots' servant?! Like hell!!"

"Wh, what's with calling us, idiots!?" Romelle shouting. "I mean we're helping him"

But then again, Shiro knew that Keith would feel not like being called a servant.

"Oh, you're not?" Twyla wondered with wide eyes. "Well, whatever you are, you're in my way. That's why I figured I'd kill the two of you first, then collect the quintessence crystal at my leisure."

Twyla reached into the cleavage of her black costume get her weapon and shouted, "oh boys."

On her command, millions of soldiers surrounded Shiro and Romelle reflexively. In a way, it shows her dominance.

"Oh boy, first Keith calls us idiots, now this" Romelle shouted.

"Oh, I'll be taking that," Twyla said.

A single strand moved quickly and slipped into Shiro's neck, taking hold of the chain containing the quintessence Crystal.

By the time he'd noticed, the Crystal was already in Twyla's hand who begins to flaunt it in front of Keith.

Keith stifled his anger and glared at Twyla as she put the Crystal away.

"She stole the crystal from me...!" Shiro whispered while Keith smirked.

"You kill me, huh?" he asked. "Oh, that's rich! By the time I'm done with you, you're gonna wish you never met me...let alone know my NAME!" As he shouted, he rushed at Twyla, dangling from the one remaining bundle that he hadn't cut.

"Oh my." Twyla skillfully manipulated the strands attached to her fingers, quickly fending off Keith's attack, then produced a red comb from beneath her sash.

With that comb, she briskly swept up the nearby bundles of black strands. Then, as though she'd put her own will into the comb, the surrounding bundles of hair began to writhe and grow, wrapping around Keith's arms, abdomen, and legs. Much more plentifully than before.

The binding him constricted tightly and began to swallow him up until Shiro lost sight of him from her position. However, even so, Keith never stopped resisting.

"Tch, what a pain," Keith grunted, his face contorting.

"Hmph. I'm surprised you're not dying just by being constricted like that. Looks like you're too sturdy to be killed all alone." Twyla grinned and drew the gun at her hip.

Twyla's violet body sped through the moonlight like a swallow, the sound of the gun made a blaster sound of red, giving off a cold light. She made a clear shot across Keith's chest, spraying bright red blood.

"Keith...!" Shiro wanted to cry out, but he just barely contained himself. He simultaneously felt fear at having to confront Twyla and great anger. Even though he could tell himself various reasons why she should just show herself, what Twyla was doing was the same as Mistress Centipeede or Sendak... no, much worse.

"She's going to kill him," Shiro told Romelle who was fighting against the enemies.

"Well, what are we supposed to do," Romelle said.

At any rate, he couldn't just keep staying in the background, they got to do something to save Keith...!

"Heh, nice shot." Even with a gaping wound in his chest, Keith still hadn't lost his lofty attitude.

"It's so cute when you act tough," Twyla chuckled. "It's a good thing, too. If this wasn't able to cut you, I wasn't sure what I would have done."

Keith was still putting on a strong face, but Twyla figured he was only bluffing. Pretty soon he'd start crying and begging for mercy. But she won't give him any mercy.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure you have a slow and painful death?" she said to him to honestly, what an unlucky half-daemon. If he'd just let his head get chopped off when he was caught in her 'Kushi no Kago', he would have just died rather than having to go through all this pain.

But at then when she was appearing for another shot, she heard a "swoosh swoosh" sound of something whizzing through the air. "Hn?!" It was the sound of flying arrows. Surprisingly, Twyla's "Kushi no Kago" that she had just been boasting about disappeared as though it had been touched by a hot flame as soon as the sword touched it.

"Who's there?!" She turned towards where the sword had come from, and a man was atop the base with a sword drawn. A man with a white garment draped over his body. That was...

"The reincarnated samurai!" Back then, he'd supposedly be captured and then send off to Sendak, but at some point, he must have escaped.

"Guards" she shouted, but to her surprise, all the men were knocked out by a certain woman.

"Hey lady" before Romelle knocked out a guard in front of her.

"Go to the people now and leave this place and never come back!" Romelle shouted.

"You got a task ahead I'll give you that but intend to try wiping out my entire 'Kushi no Kago'?

But Shiro's aim was somewhere else completely. Somehow, he had hit Twyla's precious cocoon.

"Ah!" It was her lair that she had painstakingly woven into a beautiful ball of hair. The strands struck by the sword at the bottom vanished, and the numerous humans and their daemon that had been inside hanging out of it by strands.

"Are those" When he saw the people, Shiro let out a shriek, whereas Twyla became furious. "don't worry, they are still alive". She had quite the nerve to say after destroying someone's precious collection in such an undignified manner.

Even so, Shiro was a bother or Romelle was. It wasn't just that he could see the Kushi no Kago, he could also dissipate the string and destroyed her precious lair. Contrary to his outward appearance, it appeared he held strong magical power.

"These must be the people that soldiers mention people before..." Among the hanging from bodies the nest, Keith spotted some people that still had daemons attached.

Even though he hadn't been able to see them before, thanks to Shiro's sword hitting them it seemed he was now able to see them.

"Put Keith down, right now!" Shiro demanded as he prepared to unleash another form of his sword. "If you don't, the next one's going right through you!"

"Don't worry, you'll be joining him shortly," Twyla said with a smile.

"Oh, Why is that?" Keith gave her a challenging glare.

"Well, their hair may not be as pretty as your hair, Keith," Twyla said as he held her sword, "but...I suppose I could take Their's, as well."

Twyla started as she held up her comb, "I have something to care of." That's when her gaze fell on Shiro, who gasped in horror, while the hair-obsessed woman smirked. "You there, samurai! If you're so scared, you might as well die!"

Whoosh! Flames spread down the string attached to the comb. They headed straight for him.

"Aaah!!" Shiro let out a pitiful cry as he was instantly engulfed in flames.

"How do you like my daemon blood art? You'll burn down to the marrow."

The flames burned high and low, fluttering like a dance.

"Feel nice? That's punishment for almost destroying my plans. By flames beautiful enough to enrapture. Beautiful enough to burn you alive." smiled in satisfaction, then turned back to Keith. Now to make his head hers.

Keith and Romelle gaped in horror upon seeing the flames that had engulfed Shiro. They roared and flicker as they burned away at anything in their path...and Twyla just gave a wicked smile. Then, Keith growled...a deep, almost feral growl as he glared at the hair-obsessed madwoman.

"Oh, how interesting", Twyla loved watching someone being forced to show emotion. She preferred watching anger, sadness, and hatred, however.

"There aren't even bones left of that man." She figured she'd try saying something to prod him even further.

As she'd expected, Keith shouted, "You bitch!" which pleased Twyla immensely to see him boiling with anger.

"Are you sad that that man is dead? Aww, poor thing."

Naturally, it's not like she felt sorry for him. Twyla generally had no understanding of feeling "sorry" for anyone other than herself, "Don't worry. Soon enough I'll be sending you to the next world to join him!"

When Twyla rushed at him with her gun drawn, Keith curled the dagger of his right hand. The sharp dagger glinted.

"Hah, still trying to resist," said Twyla, but, Keith made an unexpected move, he stuck that sharp dagger into his chest. Twyla was startled momentarily to see his bloodstain on his clothes.

"Don't tell me he's so upset at that man's death that he's trying to kill himself"

But that wasn't it. Keith drew his blood-stained dagger from his chest and shouted, "Take this! Daemon blood art, blades of blood!! and swung down his right arm.

The spray of blood flew through the air in a crescent shape.

"Blades of blood?!" Romelle thought

Twyla hurriedly tried to dodge, but he was a moment too late, the blades of blood came flying with a howl and sliced off Twyla's gun-wielding right hand at the wrist.

"My hand..." Twyla whispered as she looked at the bloody stump while her hand and her sword were tangled in the strands of black.

"Without your hand, you can't control your streams, either." Keith laughed as he tore off the other tendrils with his free hand.

"He's right," Romelle said, looking at the bodies, "There is a chance we can save them!" With that, she started to run to the people, who were trapped.

Keith's words stung her heart. "You... should play nicer with people." As she said that, Twyla put the red comb from her left hand in her mouth.

"You... should play nicer with people," Keith said, glared at Twyla as she placed the red comb from her left hand in her mouth.

"The hell are you talking about?! What you've done is something unforgivable for either a man or a woman!" Twyla said.

Twyla held the comb in her mouth. She dragged her left hand along the comb. It seemed she was combing through the bundle of black strings entwined about her left hand.

Twyla when moved the comb further. Her nest began to collapse. The multitude of strands writhed within the longer stand of black and came charging at Keith all at once.

A torrent of people like an avalanche or tsunami pummelled Keith.

"Ugh! Get off me!" He swung his dagger, trying to cut the string that is connected to the people charging him. He destroyed them one after another as they continued to press in.

Until Keith sensed a lethal force rapidly approaching behind him. He hurriedly turned around, and a sharp pain ran across his shoulder.

"Eh...?!" He'd been shot. Blood was spraying out. When he looked, he saw that Twyla's right hand that he'd cut off earlier was flying around holding a gun. Twyla was undoubtedly manipulating it with some invisible strings.

"Hey" Romelle shouted as she was trying not to shoot the people.

"So close. Just a little more and I'd have had your head." Twyla looked at Romelle regrettably. "How about another go?!" She moved the fingers of her left hand nimbly. Her right hand holding her gun came flying.

"Tch." Just as he clicked his tongue, a heavy shock and a sharp pain pierced his back. Twyla had used her momentary distraction by the mind control people to manipulate her right hand and try to shoot her through the back with her gun.

"Now now, where are you looking?!" Keith made a large sweeping motion with his dagger, charged from all directions, shouted "daemon blood art!"

Keith thought he could turn the tables on her, but the countless bundles of mindless-bearing moved between Twyla and Romelle like a curtain, acting as a wall to stop the people.

"Dammit!" Twyla gritted her teeth, Keith wanted to fight back, but with the bundles of black and her right hand, Keith's body was tightly bound and he was becoming unable to move.

"Hmph. So a Altean and Half-daemon is just half-baked," Twyla mocked while approaching him. She delicately placed her red comb in her sash and said, "You poor things!"

Keith groaned as he glared up at Twyla, who pulled out the crystal from her bosom.

She starts teasing him with it. "You wanted to use this to become a real Daemon, didn't you".

She came close and gazed at Keith haughtily, loading her gun in her left hand. "Now don't move, I didn't come to play nice I came here to complete a mission so that's what I'm going to do beginning with you," Twyla said with a glimmer of a smile, raising the gun high above her head. When she shot the gun, the sound glinted coldly in the moonlight.

"Hmph... quit jerking me around!" Keith put all his strength into his right arm. As if someone like her could kill someone like him! What a joke!

Thunk! He'd punched Twyla straight through her chest.

"What" Twyla's eyes went wide, Keith's right hand was sticking out her back. When he retracted his hand, there was a gaping hole in Twyla's chest that he could see the mountain through.

"Huh?!" Twyla gasped while Keith smirked and pulled his fist back out.

"Got you, you stupid- AGH!" he started to gloat, but then Twyla stabbed into his right hand, there was a gunshot wound stuck through the back of his hand.

"Goodness, you're a rude one!" Twyla said...a gaping hole in between her cleavage. "Reaching your hand into the bosom of a woman you just met? You're quite the pervert, aren't you?"

"She's... she's fine?! " He stared in disbelief as Twyla wiggled the fingers of her left hand, manipulating the blood-stained strings.

"You just don't know when to quit."

Where is it?! Keith searched. "Where is her weak spot?!" Romelle thought as she was looking at the scene and fighting some people

But when Keith followed her gaze, he saw White cloth fluttering in the wind. Since it had been used to attack Keith earlier, Twyla's nest was no longer a ball, but a scattered mess of separate streams of black strings entwined. The white cloth was in the process of scurrying up one of those streams.

Keith knew what it was. The red cloth was the samurai. That man - the one who was the reincarnation of Allura and Takashi - was boldly climbing her nest.

"That man! She should have burned to death!" Twyla said in a low voice. Her face was unlike any she had shown until now: grim towards the man that she bought that died.
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