Kimetsu no Yaiba: an Adventure tale, Part 1

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Chapter Twenty-six: Despicable witch

After officially joining the group, Lance directed Shiro, Keith, and Stats to the next destination, Arcadia, not the Arcadia from Earth, a different one, a sprawling city, It was vibrant and fervent and unquestionably almost alive.

Everywhere they looked, people were milling about their midday in the city, both human and Daemon, their voices and footsteps thrumming like a beating heart inside an anthill, working together in unison in this metropolis.

Buildings towered, less like shops and more like spires or citadels to pierce the heavens combining, marketplaces vendors wrapped in robes and the colorful banners and signs that were recognized that these were in fact places of business or leisure.

Selling fruit and sausage, pans, navigators, vegetables, tools or comlinks, and lengths of cloth. Locals continue to walk on their merry way while artisans crouched over low tables, whacking at metal rings of feeding fabric through sewing machines.

Daemons in long garments walked and talked together while the others continue to walk in regularly outfits and groups of Galra in gray armor stood at every corner, blasters resting on their forearms, Children ran and play, shouting and weaving through people's legs, while shoppers of different species fingered cloth and squeezed produce, arguing with the vendors.

Shiro could not believe his eyes, the cities like this advanced? All around Altea, Like Alderaan and Aurs. Shiro wandered through the section with Keith, Lance, and Stats, he kept his eyes darted around him.

Her jaw was clenched and his scar now is on the bridge of his nose. Which he got from the swamp daemon who was sent by the Galra empire to hunt down humans with demons.

"Hey, Shiro come on," Keith said, "do you want to be left behind"

"Oh, sorry about that I was just surprised about the city, it's so bright out" Shiro explains.

"Well it is the first place, where humans started to colonize the land," Lance told him, "after humans and Daemons discover each other, people begin to colonize lands, Arcadia is one of them"

"Wow, I cannot believe that" Shiro added, "I'm starting to learn so much about this world". As he grabbed fruits and paying the vendor with whatever money he had left, Shiro gritted his teeth against the thought of the past few days.

They were starting to get low on money and Aurs was still far away from Arcadia, and soon there won't be anything left at all. He and his friends have been doing their best since to survive and keep from starving.

Let's just hope it doesn't come to a point of doing things you don't want to do, like right now.

Lance mentioned of a contact living in Arcadia, it had promised him the man he was meeting would pay a lot of money for what Lance had, and he'd better, he'd spent weeks forging valuable information for the rebellion, gathering information was one of the skills he'd had to develop to survive.

If the man gave him enough credits, he could disappear again for a while, Lance looked around, where was he? By the fruit stall, that's what he'd told Keith and Shiro.

"Is this a setup?" Keith said suddenly, "if it is if they're not some kind of trick"

Lance felt his stomach plunged, he faults sweat break out on his forehead. Someone might have offered him a better price to inform on him, Lance resisted the impulse to flee.

"There you are", someone with a gruff voice said in Shiro's ear and Shiro jumped, bumping Keith next to his side.

"Shiro" Keith shouted as he branches out his dagger, against the man.

He was draped in black robes, with a fold of the cloth over his head, Keith couldn't see his face, he didn't like it when he couldn't see people's faces.

"You got the credits we need?" Lance said. "You better, because I'm not wasting another minute".

"What's the hurry?" The grating voice seemed to come from a long way under the robes.

The sick feeling in Lance's stomach got worse, "I have information on the empire if that's what you're worried about".

Shiro glanced around again, no one seemed to be listening, the fruit vendor was filling a woman's basket with big oranges like fruit.

Lance pulled out the datacube that contained the documents, he held it up, then pulled it back fast when the man's hand shot out.

"Hang on, friend, the credits and my friend first".

"The datacube first, friend," the man said, "or I'm out of here and you're left with nothing".

Lance thought about it, but he didn't have much of a choice in the matter, he shook his head.

"All right, quick", Lance slapped the datacube into his cloth-wrapped hand.

"Now the credits", he hoped he wouldn't try to cheat him and his friends, he didn't want to get into a fight, what good would it do anyway, in a crowded place like that?

The man put his hand into his robes and pulled out a bundle of credits wrapped in burlap.

"They're all there, ten thousand, just like we agreed". The man said as he let go of Shiro

Lance exhaled slowly as she took the packet, the man nodded at him and melted back into the crowd as quietly as he had come, Lance unfolded the bundle and counted the credits, ten thousand, his knees were shaky with relief, he was fine now, she told herself, everything was fine, he folded the burlap again carefully and tucked the bundle beneath his shirt.

"That was close," Lance thought as he confronted by Keith.

"That was a risky move", Keith said, annoyed "you almost put Shiro in danger".

"Oh come on it wasn't that bad", Lance explained as his heart lighter than it has been for a long time, Lance dug a stray credit out of his pocket.

"This one", Lance told the elderly fruit vendor, plucking a soft giant orange from the pile.

He nodded at him and she tossed the fruit into the air a few times before catching it and passing it on to Shiro.

"There they are!"

A deep filtered voice came from behind them and Lance, Keith and Shiro turned, A group of four Galra soldiers was clustered around a little girl who had backed into a pile of teakettles.

The little girl wore a blue torn dress, her face grubby with dirt, her hair tangled and uncared for. She clutched a cat in her arms.

"Please! Leave me alone!" She cried, cowering against the pile of kettles, holding the cat to her chest.

A crowd gathered to watch, the soldiers loomed over the girl, their black and silver armor blinding in the sunlight.

"You violate code three-one-zero, turn yourself over," one of them said, his commanding voice long even amid the din of the market.

Shiro squeezed the fruit she held, of course, they'd go after the girl with a pet, they didn't have anything better to do and they deferred to prey on the weak.

Shiro saw it many times, bile rose in his throat, and almost throw up as he watched the soldiers loom over the girl.

"I didn't do anything wrong" the girl pleased, tears streaked her dirty face.

"Too bad" another soldier replied, he reached down and try grabbed the cat before it's transformed into a moth for safety. The creature transforms back to a little cat.

"Yep, she's a daemon," one of the soldiers said as he grabbed the daemon again by the scruff of its neck, the creature screeched and the little girl wailed.

"Please! Please!" She cried, reaching out toward the anima.

No one in the crowd made a move to help her.

"Give her back!"

The soldier instantly grabs the girl, intended to take her someplace, someplace for torture.

Rage boiled up in Shiro and suddenly without thinking, he pitched the large orange at the trooper holding the cat. The Fruit splattered orange against his pristine gray helmet, a gasp rose from the crowd, the trooper wheeled around.

"Who threw that?"

Shiro stood up straight, eyes boring into his blank mask of a face. "I did" he snarled. "And I suggest you pick on someone your size".

"Um, Shiro are you sure this is a good idea," Keith said, wanting to step away.

"Yeah, let's mind your own business" Lance added.

Maybe they're right, maybe it's best that keep their head down, Shiro wondered, but he couldn't stop. Something about the little girl's tangled hair, her smudged face...she was alone. That much was clear, Shiro knew what that felt like- to be small and insignificant in the world.

The soldiers ran toward Shiro and the gang, Shiro tensed, waiting, the fruit-splattered trooper was the first to grab him, but just as he leaned forward, Keith launched himself at him, kicking him hard in the gut.

"There you go!" Keith shouted. "why are you always putting yourself in danger"

The force of the kick sent him stumbling back into the trooper behind him. They went down in a tangle of Gray-plated arms and legs smashing into the counter of a stall selling bolts of fabric and bringing piles of striped cloth tumbling down around them.

The crowd scattered, sending big trouble, Shiro flashed a big okay sign to the little girl and without waiting for the troopers to heave themselves up, slid behind the sparkly silk of a merchant's tent.

"No, not here!" The merchant said with alarm, looking up from her workbench.

"I don't want any trouble in here- you take your fight somewhere else, boys".

Anyone barely heard her, Shiro reciprocally.

"Just for a minute", Shiro panted, flattening himself against the silken wall and peering around the flap.

The two other soldiers ran toward the tent, one still clutched the terrified girl, holding her like a naughty girl. The girl and her Daemon's desperate screams were almost lost in the sound of the troopers' heavy footsteps.

Lance grabbed a pole leaning against the tent and waited with Keith and Shiro, tense.

"Not exactly the best situation that I have been in," Lance said, his breath whistled in his own ears.

"Oh Jesus, you think" Keith complained as the red and yellow silk of the tent wall in front of them, glowed like sunlight and the sounds of the market disappeared until they hear the calm and whispers of heartbeat and the footsteps of the troopers, feel only Lance's sweaty hands on the pole and the thud of his pulse in his palms.

The troops ran toward the tent entrances. Lance knelt and quickly thrust the pole out at the knee level.

Both Galra soldiers hit it at the same time, flipping forward onto their faces, they grunted and dust flew from the ground. The cat and the girl leaped free and took off through the market.

Lance dropped the pole with a clatter and stepped out from behind the tent flap.

"And you're welcome!" He shouted at Shiro and Keith, who were surprised at their feet by the Galra's scrambling pile.

"Grab them!" One yelled.

The group split up, with Shiro sprinted off in the direction the girl and her Daemon had run off to. Shoppers dodged out of Shiro's way as he glimpsed the tip of the girl, then lost her as she disappeared under a sausage vendor's grill.

The glowing coals of the hanging grill gave Shiro an idea, a wonderful idea. He shot a quick glance over his shoulder, the troopers weren't far behind.

Panting, Shiro scrambled to stop a nearby metal barrel and ignoring the shouts as the Galra soldiers spotted him, leaped behind the grill. The vendor stared at him wide-eyed, a long-handled fork topped with sausage in his hand.

"Hello," Shiro told him. "Sorry about all this".

The shouts of the troopers were close now, Shiro scanned the stall fast, there! A rubber hose is attached to the stall's water pipe. Shiro grabbed the hose and tried to turn the tap handle. Stuck! The thing was stuck!

"Come on, come on," Shiro said to himself.

The troops were almost on him, the handle would not turn. Suddenly, a squirt of something black splashed onto the handle-oil!

Shiro looked up into the faces of Lance, Keith, and the big sausage vendor. A canister of oil dangled from one hand.

"Is all yours, Shiro" Keith whispered and backed away as Shiro tried the handle again. This time it turned!

He cranked the faucet open, then grabbed the hose, aiming it at the grill and spraying water full blast on the hot coals, Steam and smoke billowed out in a great white cloud, surrounding the vendor, the stall, the troopers. Something small and dark yowled and leaped from the steam, the daemon! And a loud cough came from the girl.

Keith and Lance looked on and wonder what the heck on Shiro was doing as he wasted no time to find them on the spot.

"Where is she!" Shiro asks them.

"We don't know, we lost her," Keith said. "And besides all I wanted to do, is not get caught up by Galra guards.

Shiro felt a little embarrassed about that, but what is he supposed to do let them keep tormenting that little girl, no he would rather live in shame knowing that he did the right thing or something.

Anyways the right thing to do, better than giving up, ducking into one of the empty doorways they were flashing past and getting out of Arcadia and continuing traveling for a few days for calmed down days.

Then the thought of the little girl's crying face and Shiro's heart twisted, Shiro knew a little something about being alone, Shiro clenched his fists and forced his legs to move faster.

The girl was still in hiding in an archway at the end of the alley and Shiro and his friends flung themselves after her, reaching, almost tripping on the metal grates that covered an opening beneath their feet.

"Found you"

Shiro found the girl behind some crates. Then sit down to her level, trying to calm her down.

"That's okay, no one's going to hurt you" Shiro muttered to the frightened girl.

"Trust us, I don't think those soldiers were going to take you anyplace good" Keith added.

But they were at a dead end-boxed in on three sides by building. Lance shot a glance at the archway. Still empty, but he could hear the footsteps now- thunk, thunk, thunk- the heavy sound of running boots. The Galra soldiers.

Shiro, Keith, Lance, Stats, and the girl hacked into a small opening set in the stone wall. It smelled like garbage.

"What are we going to do," the girl said, panicking and Keith squeezed her mouth shut with one hand.

Thunk-THUNK, Thunk-THUNK. The four soldiers crowded the archway, blocking the sun.

"Where are they?" One of them asked it was the one that Shiro threw the fruit at, his face was still crusted with dried orange goo. The guys hoped that keep quiet was the best. They pressed themselves farther into the small opening, the guards looked around.

"She might have gone across the bridge", the tallest one said, "they usually do".

"Yeah", another one agreed, they started to back away from the archway.

Keith exhaled at the situation, however, he accidentally relaxing her grip on the girl's face, as his hand released the pressure on her jaws, the girl let out a long help. "HElP"

"Shhh!" Shiro hissed frantically.

However he was too late, soon, the group looked up to see four Gray and purple bodies peering down at them.

"Thought you'd hide, did you?" One of the galra soldiers reached for them, but in one movement, Lance shot through their legs and grab the girl. The soldiers tried to grab her, but they were hampered by the small space. One bumped two others, sending them stumbling against the wall.

"Come on" Lance called out to Keith and Shiro who were caught up in the chaos, moved out of the way. Thinking fast, Shiro looked down. The soldiers were standing on the metal grates. Shiro yanked his sword from its holster.

Ignoring all moments of life around him, Shiro throws his sword at the grate catches, the catches broke and all four Galra soldiers dropped through the opening grunting and yelling.

Clutching the girl safely in his arms, Lancehead over to Keith and Shiro as Shiro slid the sword into its holster and sprinted through the archway, leaving the troopers struggling to climb out of the hole.

The group ran down the deserted alleyway, leaving the soldiers struggling to climb out of the hole.

The gang continues to run down the deserted alleyway and hooked a sharp right back into the marketplace. Only then, surrounded by the bustle of the crowd, did they stop lean against a wall and take a deep breath.

Shiro wiped his face with his sleeve. "Man, now what is exhausted," Shiro said, he needed some water and sometimes else to eat, since he'd throw his fruit at the soldier.

"We got lucky, terrible luck, but lucky all the same" Lance said as he sat down quietly next to him.

"Not exactly my best work," Keith said, stroked the girl's head. "I hope it's worth all this trouble," he told Shiro. "Come on we better get out of here"

The gang wandered in and out of the stalls, pausing to buy another giant Orange and gave it to the little girl, they ducked out of sight as they neared the sausage vendor, who was grumpily piling soaked coals back into his grill. He probably didn't want to see them again, even if he had helped them with that splash of oil.

Still cradling her Daemon, the girl finished her fruit and circled back to a stall where the little girl was taken before.

"Excuse me, may I and my friends have bowls of udon please".

The owner grunted to affirm him an order and immediately got to work on putting together bowls for his friends and him as the girl just about slumped to the ground in relief. It was almost maddening for her.

"Hey what's wrong" Shiro paused a moment, watching the little girl in concern, the child sniffled quietly and hiccupped, Shiro couldn't wait for another second, he stepped over to the girl.

"It's all right you're safe now," Shiro said.

As the little girl turn around and said, "you saved me and her", she hugged the creature to her chest. The little girl looked up at Shiro. "how did you do it? Who are you?"

Shiro swallowed hard and reached out to smooth back the girl's tangled black locks, but didn't say anything.

The little girl shifted the daemon to her other arm and Shiro's sweaty hand. Her little fingers looked very pale and smooth against Shiro'd scarred, smooth skin.

"You helped me. No one never helped me before".

Keith shifted uncomfortably, not used to someone appreciating him for anything, he didn't know what to say

The little girl asked again, "Please, who are you, people?"

Finally, Shiro knelt down and looked into the little girl's face.

"My name is Shiro and that's Keith and Lance and Stats too".

The little girl stared up at Shiro. Her eyes shine blue.

"Thank you, Shiro, Keith, Lance, and Stats"

"It was nothing," Lance said.

Keith looks on at the scene, It was almost maddening, to be so close to someone and not yet be able to anything, so he preoccupied himself by sitting down on a nearby bench so he could eat with his friends or soon-to-be far-out friends.

"Yeah it was something, is way better than just avoiding things," Keith said arms cross.

"Excuse me what's that supposed to mean" Shiro sarcastically said. "Don't tell me you enjoyed helping people"

"Huh, well I-"

"Excuse me? Your order is ready" called the man at the noodle cart.

"Ah! Yes! Thank you very much!" Lance remark.

"Come on let's get you something to eat," Shiro said, putting his hands on the girl's shoulders. maneuvered her until she was sitting upright next to her. Small as he was, Shiro begins to wonder if the stranger in the udom cart could have mistaken her for his daughter.

Absentmindedly, the little girl rested her hand atop the bowl that she was given, looking out in the direction of the honey-colored, glowing skyline as sunset began to fall.

Jumping in, Keith carefully tilted the bowl to make sure he didn't spill the savoring and hot udon for dinner.

"The city is surely amazing, isn’t it, Keith?" Shiro mused.

"Yeah, it is, Although, I can imagine it might be a little too modern for my taste".

He sat back down just as quickly, taking a deep breath in until he felt a strange sense of energy that jolted upright, abruptly, resulting in him dropping the bowl of food, shattering it.

Naturally, Shiro was alarmed, and she sat down his food and stood up with him. He was growing back to his normal height at a frightening pace, and Shiro distantly hoped the man at the noodle cart didn’t notice.

"Keith what is it, what's wrong" he tried to shake his shoulder to get him to calm down and focus on him, but he seemed a million years away, gaze dark and distant as he eventually turned back to stare at the city.

"This energy! Why would I catch it here all of a sudden?"

Like water escaping through an angler’s net, Keith’s grip slipped out of her grip without a second thought, and then, he took off running.

"Keith, wait where are you going"

For the first time in forever, Shiro was genuinely terrified for Keith, he’d been worried, scared, anxious, and panicked on multiple occasions in the past months he's been here, but this was nothing like those moments. This was being plunged into frozen waters, the kind of alarm that inspires asphyxiating terror, the air in his throat off after him, but he’d be damned if he wasn’t fast.

"What's going on, why is this happening now, is there another threat that I don't know about," Shiro thought, when they were rescuing the little girl from the army of Galra soldiers, Keith hadn’t so much as stirred before. So what about this was different?

So Shiro forced all of his energy into his legs, chasing him with everything he had.

As the blood boiled inside his body, Keith remembered the same energy when he encountered the fake Allura, the same Allura that killed Takashi, but why, why is it here of all places.

Keith wandered around trying not to bump into a single person. While Shiro and Lance who was forcing legs to move even faster, to match up to his daemon physiology through this sea of people.

As they neared the city center once again, the streets became more crowded and more surrounded by soldiers, meaning those four weren't the only ones here.

But Keith didn't care about any of that, his main focus that made his blood boil and his mind straight forward was here, right here.

The last step had just arrived as his sights sharpened upon a purple and yellow cloak, belonging to a tall pair of shoulders that faced away from him, but there was no mistaking that this was the source.

"I found it or rather her," Keith thought in anger as the figure was a female, grabbing the female's shoulders with porosity, but just as soon he began to draw his dagger knowingly this is the one who made he and Allura into betraying to one another.

"Obachan" a little boy's voice sounded out in front of Keith and the woman, Keith stopped drawing his dagger.

The woman turned her body around and Keith saw a little boy in her arms, "who's that" a little boy in a blue shirt said, looking at Keith.

Keith looks down in shock as the woman who killed both Allura and Takashi talking to her grandson, "It's all right. Don't worry".

"She's, she's pretending to be normal" Keith thought as continued to be in shock at the two.

Shiro and Lance finally caught up with Keith and Shiro grabbed his shoulder, before looking at the woman, caring and carrying her grandson.

"Is there something I can do for you?" The woman's kind-hearted voice said. "You seem to be quite flustered".

"Keith, what's the matter with you," Shiro asked.

"This is the one..." Keith muttering quietly, nervous and anxious.

Griping Keith's shoulder tighter, Shiro looked on at the woman.

"Miss?" A woman's voice sounded out from the front, a woman appears that the group, it was clear that this woman was the family's Nana.

"Oh my. What's going on?" The lady says.

"Hello, mother"

Keith could not believe, he was crushing his stomach in anguish, They're humans! The boy and the woman... Their energy was human.

"Excuse me do you have any business with you," the mother asked.

"No," the woman said, "Much to my consternation, I never seen them before" looking towards Shiro, Keith, and Lance.

Shiro was sweating in shock as his stomach felt into knots, "is this the person who killed them, kill Allura?"

Shiro spoke up, "yes, sorry for the confusion, my friend thought you were someone else" wearing a big but fake smile on his face, Shiro had to hold himself back from lunging at the woman with all his might and will power, this wasn't the right time for a fight, he did not know how powerful Haggar was, fighting her will be like buying the death sentence on their backs.

"Is that so" the woman said, as soon Haggar's nails grew long and sharp to the core.

Seeing this, Shiro's eyes narrowing before dragged Keith forcibly, "we're sorry we disturbed you, enjoy the rest of the day, Keith let's go" Shiro said, bowing to them despite cursing his lack of strength.

"What but she" Keith cried in protest.

Just in that moment of hesitation, Haggar's hand moved at incredible speeds that almost surpass Shiro's vision so fast to react.

Haggar scratching the back of the neck of a man walking, blood started leaking out from the man's backside.

The three grasping in shock, becoming hateful towards Haggar as they looked on at the men suddenly stopped and grasped the back of his neck, "Dear, what's the matter?" The man's wife asked him.

Veins around his flesh began to grow on the man's neck as they reached the first of his face, lifting his face, he was black-coated red with veins bulging out on the sides of his, baring his sharp teeth wide as he yelled out.

"Argggh!" Lunging towards the woman, trying to bite her.

"Stop!" Shiro shouted but it was too late, the man had successfully into biting her, resulting in her shoulder to be covered in blood by the bite on her shoulder. Looking on, the three couldn't do anything but stare as Haggar has found her Target all along.
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