An Impossible Choice
Kuroh gave me a bandage for
the cut on my cheek and Shiro told us of his plan, giving each of us specific
tasks. Neko would go off with him and the two of them would evacuate the
students captive within the school. Meanwhile, Kuroh and I were to stop the senseless
fighting between the Red and Blue Clansmen in the courtyard. He gave us no
other details besides a meeting point where we would regroup after our duties
We went our separate ways and as Kuroh and I headed towards the courtyard I couldn’t help but ask…
“If you thought he was the killer this entire time… why did you stay beside him, Yatogami?”
“… I couldn’t help but doubt the evidence before me. He convinced me otherwise and well… you understand don’t you? Just after one conversation with him it’s hard to believe he could ever commit such a crime.”
I didn’t respond as I pondered his words. The Silver King was very kind, not once did he give us an order. Despite his face bringing back images of my long dead friend, I trusted him. His humble demeanor and nostalgic smile won me over… what a wonderful King he was.
“My condolences for your friend, Tatara Totsuka.” He said. “He once helped me unexpectedly in a time of need, I will never forget the kindness he showed me.”
“That does sound like him…” I said, trying to push back the thought of him at the moment. I was still to overridden with grief.
We arrived at the scene and I held my head up high as I tried to embody the air of a Queen. I took a deep breath and prayed that I would be able to control my powers now that I knew more about them.
Kuroh went ahead as I was preparing myself, we had it all planned out and if I couldn’t control my abilities Kuroh just might have to fight them. Though I could pacify the Red Clansmen, I could do nothing about the Blues without my power.
I looked over and my eyes widened as I saw The Red King’s Sword of Damocles floating above beside the Blue King’s Sword.
“Mikoto…” I whispered under my breath.
A part of me felt as though I was betraying him by not sitting idly by as he requested, but... I knew this was the right thing to do. Perhaps Mikoto’s thirst for revenge was blinding him.
I looked back over at Kuroh and Chitose attacked him. Kuroh counteracted it by using his abilities to throw him across the concrete. A Blue Clansmen went on to attack him as well, only to fail with them flailing into the air.
“This is to both clans!” Kuroh exclaimed. “Cease fighting immediately! It’s the First King, the Sliver King’s orders.”
“Say what? Give us a break.” Yata said. “My King is the Red King, Mikoto Suoh, and no one else! I don’t give a fuck about the Silver King!”
The men of Homra cheered in agreement.
“Blue King, Reisi Munakata, is the only leader Scepter 4 follows! We obey no other King!” A Blue said. The Blue Clansmen cheered in agreement as well.
“It doesn’t matter who your King is.” I said as I walked over to Kuroh’s said.
“Akane!?” Yata exclaimed.
“Just what exactly are you fighting for? For what reason has the Kings put you against each other? What is there to gain?” I went on.
No one replied.
“Why did the Red King take over this island?” Kuroh added. “Why isn’t the Blue King taking command himself? And why are those two trying to settle their fight without the involvement of others?”
I looked up at the Swords, as I imagined Mikoto and the Blue king neck and neck. It bothered me just how little I knew of Mikoto’s intentions.
“Perhaps your perspective Kings did order you to fight, but the situation is changing.” He said. “Put away your swords and wait for your King’s orders.”
Everyone stopped for a moment, perhaps taking in his words, but that soon changed. One of the Blue’s by the name of Fushimi attacked Kuroh with his sword and the Black Dog quickly dodged it.
“Shut up, you stray dog. Keep out of this!” He exclaimed.
Yata attacked as well, “I hate to admit it, but the Monkey’s right. You’re the one we can’t trust!”
“Stop it!” I screamed as I grabbed onto Yata’s shoulder, pulling him back from Kuroh. Suddenly a burst of energy threw them, along with everyone else to the ground. Yata stared up at me with wide eyes from the ground.
“Akane… how could you? You’re… betraying us?”
“I would never betray you Yata, I swear.” He looked down with a sad expression, glancing over at Fushimi. “I just don’t want to fight anymore.” I walked over to his side, got down on my knees, and reached out for him. He jumped back, not trusting my touch. “Yata…” I started to tear up and his eyes widened. “I’m so scared… if things keep on going they way they are… I have a feeling I’ll lose Homra forever.”
“Eh?!” He looked around nervously as he didn’t know how to handle a crying girl. “Don’t cry!”
“Yata!” I tackled him into a hug and he froze up in distress. “Please… just stop fighting. I don’t want to lose you.”
“Okay! Okay! Just stop crying!”
I pulled back and smiled as I wiped away my tears. He stood up and looked the other way, trying to hide his now red face. Kamamoto walked up behind him and laid a hand on his shoulder.
“You’re really a whimp when it comes to girls crying huh?”
“Shut up!” Yata exclaimed, punching the fat man square in the stomach, causing him to stumble backwards.
“That act isn’t going to work on me.” I looked over and Fushimi stood over me with a menacing look on his face. “So this is the petty strain the Red King took in, huh? How pathetic.” He held out his sword towards my neck. “I don’t take orders from weaklings like you.”
“Oi, Monkey! Don’t touch Akane!” Yata exclaimed, standing in the way between the Blue and I.
“I thought this brat was the King’s girl, huh?” Fushimi teased him.
“I’ll smash your head in you traitor!” Yata lifted up his skateboard and Fushimi cracked a smirk, but before he could swing I jumped in between them and pushed them back on the chest, letting out a surge of energy that threw them both back.
“I said, stop fighting.” I growled at Fushimi as I stood over him.
“Why should I listen to a weak strain like yourself?” He laughed maniacally as he stood up, towering over me with a creepy smile.
I took a deep breath and met his gaze with determination.
“I’m not just any strain.”
He grabbed onto my wrist in an attempt to throw me aside. Instead A blast of energy erupted from underneath his feet, causing him to fly up into the air. He let out a cry as he flew up and into a nearby stonewall. The wall cracked from the immense force and he laid there out of breath and bleeding.
“Woah! That was amazing!” Yata exclaimed.
I made my way over to Fushimi’s side and knelt down. I put my hand on his shoulder and leaned into his ear.
“I know of your betrayal and though it is not my place you must know… you are forgiven.” I whispered.
His eyes widened and I leaned back, placing my hands on his fresh wounds and healing them. I met his confused gaze and I smiled as I stood up and held my hand out. He looked the other way and huffed before standing up by himself and walking past me, mumbling underneath his breath. I followed behind him back to everyone else, trying to hide my smile. A part of him reminded me of Mikoto.
“You seem different, Akane…” Kamamoto said.
“Hmm? How?” I asked him.
“I’ve never seen you be able to do such astonishing things before and you seem more confident.”
“Yes well…” I didn't really want to go into the whole “I just discovered I am the one and only Queen of the Kings.” I looked over at everyone and bowed my head. “Thank you for your cooperation. Please evacuate the island and wait for your Kings across the bridge.” They did as I said, not bothering to retaliate after seeing what happened to Fushimi.
The Black Dog looked over at me and gestured for me to follow him towards the meeting place. I looked over at Yata and Kamamoto with a sad smile.
“Go on without me, I’ll be there soon.” I said before running after Kuroh.
“What!? What about Mikoto!” Yata exclaimed. “Mikoto is still out there fighting!”
I stopped and look back at him with a sad smile.
“I will do everything in my power to protect him, I swear.”
“Come on Yata, let’s go.” Kamamoto said.
“No way! I’m not just gonna leave Mikoto!” He exclaimed. Kamamoto stared down at him, trying to decide what to do.
“Just trust her.” Fushimi said. Yata and Kamamoto looked over at him with wide eyes. “She isn’t a traitor like me.” He said before walking off towards the bridge.
Yata stood with conflicted emotions, the confusion causing him to become more and more angry by the second until finally he burst out into a yell.
“God Dammit!” He exclaimed before proceeding to walk off with Kamamoto. He stopped for a moment and glared back at me. “Don’t go getting yourself killed, alright?” He hissed. I let out a small chuckle and smiled as I nodded my head.
I looked back over at Kuroh and followed him over to the meeting place where Shiro waited for us, holding his umbrella over his head.
“Good work.” He said.
“Yeah, they were a little trouble though.” Kuroh said.
“We took care of things on our end as well. All thanks to Neko.” Shiro looked up at the sky and smiled. “Now then, lets finish this. We are going to save Kukuri.”
“Are you sure this plan is going to work?” I asked him.
“Hmm… well I’m counting on the both of you to make it work.” He said.
“You’ve regained your memories as a King, yet you are still as irresponsible as ever.” Kuroh said. “You need to act more solemn and worthy of being a King.”
“Well, excuse me for not being your ideal King.”
Kuroh suddenly got down on one knee and held down his head. Shiro and I looked at him in confusion.
“Kuroh! What are you doing!?” Shiro exclaimed.
“Quiet. Let me do this.” He began to whisper under his breath, “Master Ichigen… may I have your permission to serve a new King?” He set his sword down, lifted his head, and increased the volume of his voice. “I, Kuroh Yatogami, do solemnly swear to henceforth devote my life to serving the first King, Adolf K. Weismann, as his Clansman.”
Shiro smiled and said, “I wish you would loosen up. There is no need for such a ceremony for us to be friends.” He closed his umbrella and held out his hand to the Black Dog. “Lets go.”
Kuroh grabbed hold of his hand and stood up. Shiro opened his umbrella and they both began to glow a silver color and float in the air.
“I’m afraid your abilities make it impossible for me to grant you the power of my Clansman, Akane.”
“Either way I am a Red Clansman, and I refuse to be anything else. I will walk the rest of the way and—“ Suddenly I was being picked up by the Black Dog. “Oi! Put me down!” I exclaimed, squirming in his arms as he threw me over his shoulder.
“There is no time for you to walk.” He said as they began to fly through the sky. My eyes widened and I gripped tightly onto Kuroh’s jacket as I watched the ground get farther and farther away from me.
A few minutes later we began to get closer to the ground. “Mind not making funny faces while in Kukuri’s body?” Shrio said. I looked over and below us was the student from before who attacked the Silver King. The girl looked up at us with an angry expression as we descended down to the ground. I jumped out of Kuroh’s arms and took a deep breath as I recovered from the sudden fright.
“Do not do that again.” I huffed.
“Shiro.” The Colorless King said with an innocent voice before grabbing onto a gun from her bag and pulling the trigger.
I jumped back with surprise and landed on my butt. A King’s power may not be able to hurt me, but a gun certainly can! The shot had no effect as Kuroh blocked it with a shield; I let out a breath of relief. She ran towards us with full speed, jumped over our heads, and landed below the steps a few feet away. We looked back and I started to stand up and hide behind Kuroh, afraid she might try and shoot again.
“It’s useless.” Kuroh said. “We’ve already evacuated everyone on this island. ”We are the only few left. There is no one you can easily possess.”
She gritted her teeth and moved quickly as she opened her bag, sending out a bright light to blind us. She ran off, gun in hand, while Kuroh went after her. He blocked her shots as he trailed behind. Meanwhile, after gaining back my sight, I was distracted once again by the two swords floating not so far away. Worry overcame me as I watched the crumbling red sword face the pristine blue one.
“Akane.” I looked back and Shrio gave me a look that told me to focus. I nodded my head and we started down the steps as Kuroh knocked the girl down. “Kuroh, don’t hurt Kukuri!” Shiro said as he started to run over to her. I stayed back, waiting. Shiro stopped a few feet away when Kuroh held up the end of his sword to her.
“My late Master Ichigen’s celebrated sword, ‘Kotowari’.” He said. “This is only the second time I’ve drawn it. Do you understand what that means? I have confirmed you to be an evil King. Hence, in compliance with Mater Ichigen’s last words, I will slay you. I will not allow one like you to succeed Master Ichigen as the Seventh King!”
She stared up at him with an innocent expression, “C-come on, Kuroh… it’s me. You wouldn’t do that to me, would you? Stop that…” She then began to laugh maniacally, as though she were a whole different person. “Slay me you say? I dare you.” She went on back to the innocent her, “No, he’s kidding. Please don’t.” She clasped her hands together in a plea, “Please I beg you.” He lifted his sword up. “Wait! Don't! No!” She looked back at the Silver King. “Shiro! Help me!” Kuroh got in position, ready to attack.
“Kuroh! Stop!” Shiro said.
Kukuri smirked as the Colorless King flew out of her. He laughed, “You let your guard down, Weisman! I was going to save you for later, but so be it!”
“Damn!” Shiro exclaimed as the Colorless King flew into him, sending him flying back.
“You’re not getting away this time, you coward!” The Colorless King said.
Shiro caught ahold of himself and smiled, “Gotcha! Kukuri doesn't remember ever calling me… Shiro.” I looked over and Kuroh held his sword a few inches away from Kukuri’s neck. He pulled back and picked her unconscious body up into his arms. I walked over to Shiro’s side as he stood still with his eyes closed. After a moment he opened them with surprise when he realized he had succeeded in overpowering the Colorless King. He let out a breath of relief and smiled, “It was an all-or-nothing gamble, but it worked.”
“Was the chance of success that low?” Kuroh asked. “You didn’t tell me that. You’re always taking serious risks.”
“It doesn’t matter now anyways, he succeeded.” I said.
“It’s time for your part in this Akane.” Shiro said. “Kuroh, take Kukuri to a safe place.”
“What about you two?” He asked.
“It’s alright, I am the immortal King and Akane can’t be hurt by any King’s power. Now, get going.”
“Go!” Shiro ordered. “One who is not a King or Akane will only get in the way from here on.”
Kuroh looked down, handed him his sword, and reluctantly ran off with Kukuri. We watched after him for a moment, waiting until his silhouette disappeared from our sight.
“I’m sorry Kuroh… look after Kukuri and Neko for me.” Shiro said under his breath. He started to quietly laugh and I was taken aback as the menacing sound was too much like the Colorless King. He covered his mouth with wide eyes as he tried to control the evil soul trapped within him. “Will you hold still?” He whispered to himself. “I can’t contain you inside of me for too long, you know…”
“Yashiro…” He looked back at me. “Are you going to tell me now? What exactly do you need me to do? What use is that going to be to us?” I asked him, nodding my head to the sword.
“Akane…” He looked down with a sad expression. “You remind me a lot of my sister…”
“Hmm? What are you going on about?” I was growing impatient as I heard the clashing of the Red and Blue King’s swords behind me.
“You would have made a wonderful silver clansman you know.” He smiled. “Are you sure you won’t reconsider?”
I paused for a moment as I tried to not become overwhelmed with anger.
“I’m sorry, but I am loyal to the color Red.”
“I see… well there was no harm in trying… You care deeply for him don’t you?”
“I… I love him. Never before have I cared for someone more than I do him. I… I don’t know what I’d do without him… and yet… I have a feeling…” I looked back at the two swords once again, my heart dropped as his sword looked more damaged than before.
“Than I think you know what to do, my Queen.” He held out the sword towards me.
I looked back at him and clenched my jaw, “You… you want me to place judgment upon the Colorless King while he’s still trapped with you?” He nodded his head. “You want me to kill you?” I felt a lump in my throat as I felt conflicted by the choice laid before me.
“Don’t worry about me… I’m the immortal King after all.”
I glared at him and clenched my hands into fists at my side.
“Even so… If… I do this will he be safe?”
“There’s a good chance.” He said.
“And if I don’t?”
“Then…” He looked up at the two swords. “I will have to take things into my own hands.”
“And then what will become of Mikoto?!” I exclaimed, finally understanding what he was thinking.
“The chances are slim.”
I took a step back in surprise as the stakes finally hit me. Either kill or… lose Mikoto.
‘I… I don’t know what to do.’