A Plea for Vengeance
Disclaimer: Part of this story will have settings and events taken out from various anime like Get Backers and Jigoku Shoujo, but I do not own any of them, nor do I own Naruto or any characters in this story save for OC characters
Chapter Ten: A Plea for Vengeance
"It's been a while since we've seen Isaribi," remarked Haku as she got off the back of Shiki's motorcycle as the redhead in mention brought her motorcycle to a stop outside a small house in the seaport town of Narika which was near the sea and well away from the town, and which was nearly falling to pieces. "I wonder how she is."
Shiki sighed to herself.
Isaribi was one of Haku's best friends even from before her time with Ragnarok, and the rest of Ragnarok have gotten acquainted with Isaribi when she was kidnapped four years ago during the human experimenting case by Amachi and Nakashita Toriya. Isaribi was one of those that miraculously survived, but the entire ordeal had changed her in more ways than one.
Shiki looked cautiously at Haku who was babbling about what Isaribi's going to say once she actually sees them. The redhead doesn't even want to imagine Haku's reaction when she found out that one Yakushi Kabuto who is indirectly involved with Isaribi's current state had been sighted recently. There's no telling what the ice maiden will do.
"Come on," said Shiki before cutting off the engine of her motorcycle and walking up to the house which is nearly falling to pieces. Heavens! It looked even worse from the last time that Shiki had seen it which is about four months ago. Because of her ordeal, the townspeople tended to be afraid of Isaribi, and the girl tends to keep away from the town as a result.
Haku followed Shiki silently to the door, bags of supplies in both hands which Haku and Shiki usually bough for Isaribi during their visits. Shiki knocked on the door which paint was peeling off, and there was a slight pause before the door slowly opened, and a teenage girl a few years older than them with dark hair and sapphire eyes with bandages bound around her head and part of her face was standing at the door in a blue dress.
Upon noticing who her visitors were, Isaribi's face broke into a bright smile before opening the door wider to allow both her visitors into her house. "Haku! Shiki! Long time no see! Come in."
Shiki shut the door behind her as both Haku and herself entered the apartment. Isaribi's apartment itself was extremely bare, and all that the one room apartment had is a bed, a table, a chair, a refrigerator as well as a bookshelf and some painting supplies.
"We've been busy lately." Haku explained as she stocked the food and cleaning supplies that she's bought for Isaribi into the wardrobes and refrigerator. "That's why we can only come now. Our boathouse is docked at the next town over."
"It's alright," said Isaribi with a smile and a slight shake of her head. "I'm just glad that you can even come. I don't get many visitors here." She smiled sadly.
Shiki smiled a little to herself before she walked up to Isaribi and Haku. "Isaribi, shall I help you with your bath?" she asked, and Isaribi looked hesitant. Every single time that they've came over, either Shiki or Haku will help Isaribi with her bath for certain reasons. The both of them are the only ones among Ragnarok who actually visits Isaribi as the others don't know her too well.
"I'll help to clean your house," said Haku, smiling at Isaribi. "So that you can have some privacy."
"Okay," said Isaribi with a nod before Haku handed Isaribi her clothes along with a clean towel which is one of the supplies that they have brought over before Isaribi and Shiki walked to the small bathroom in Isaribi's house which just had a small bath which is just large enough for a normal adult to sit cross-legged within as well as a showerhead and a sink, and nothing more.
Shiki let the water run into the bathtub, letting it fill it up whilst testing the water with her hand to ensure that it's warm enough for Isaribi before turning to the girl in question. "Alright. The water's ready. Undress and get in."
Isaribi was a little hesitant, but she soon obliged by slipping off her dress as well as the bandages around her face and neck which revealed scales beneath her bandages which is the main reason why she usually kept them hidden, and why Haku and Shiki have to help her with her bath.
Isaribi stepped into the bath, sighing in slight contentment as she soaked into the warm water, and Shiki scooped some water with a pail before dumping it over Isaribi's head, making her hair wet and shampooing her hair.
"How is the town treating you?" asked Shiki at last, shampooing Isaribi's hair and massaging her scalp at the same time.
Isaribi shrugged whilst keeping her eyes closed to prevent the shampoo from entering her eyes. "Like always," she said. "I keep out of their way, and they keep out of mine. They don't really bother me much now after both you and Haku paid them a 'personal visit' last year when a number of the shops refuse to render me service."
Shiki sighed. "I told you that you should have come with us four years ago," she said patiently. "It's much better than having to put up with all this shit in this town. It's not your fault what happened to you!" And she dumped some water over Isaribi's hair, rinsing the shampoo from her hair.
"I don't want to impose on you and Haku anymore than I already have to," said Isaribi as Shiki rubbed some shampoo into her hands before massaging around Isaribi's neck gently, the dark haired girl wincing in pain occasionally as a stray scale got yanked off accidentally. "Furthermore, I'm not a nin-user."
"Nonsense. You're mine and Haku's friend," said Shiki, shampooing the rest of Isaribi's body. "You wouldn't be imposing on us. I'm sure that the others will understand as well. And you needn't be a nin-user to be with Ragnarok."
"You're already helped me enough," said Isaribi quietly. "Both you and Haku. And Ragnarok as well. I don't want to impose on you. I want to depend on myself."
Shiki was silent as she dumped some water onto Isaribi to wash off the shampoo, and Isaribi got out of the bathtub as Shiki let the water go down the drain, Isaribi drying herself off.
"I'll wait outside whilst you change into your clothes," said Shiki, and Isaribi nodded as Shiki went outside the bathroom. A few minutes later, Isaribi emerged without her bandages, and the dark haired girl stood patiently as Shiki helped her to apply her bandages, and the two then walked into the main room of the apartment only to see that Haku was done with the cleaning, and was currently taking the trash outside.
"I still wish that you will come and live with us, Isaribi," said Haku with a sigh as she returned before unpacking the new blue curtains that she's made for Isaribi during her spare time before getting atop one of the dressers in the apartment and helping to put up the curtains. "I'm always worried about you. And we can only come and visit you once every few months. What if something happens to you?"
"I'll be fine." Isaribi reassured Haku. "Besides, your visits are more than enough for me."
Shiki's cellphone rang just then, and Isaribi and Haku turned towards the redhead as she answered the call before speaking rapidly into it and hanging up the phone. Shiki sighed and turned towards Haku. "Haku, that's from Gaara," she said. "We've got a request."
Ragnarok's Headquarters (Boathouse)Nakawa
"Who's the client?" asked Shiki as both herself and Haku stepped into the boathouse only to see the rest of Ragnarok crowding around Shino and his computer, the teen who was typing away on the keyboard of his computer.
"A woman named Igawaki Yui from the town of Hakawa," said Yugito, volunteering the information. "We've found some things out whilst you and Haku were away."
"This woman suffers from a case of memory disorder," said Temari. "Apparently, it all began when her daughter died in a car accident six months prior. She started forgetting things. Like which day of the week it is, and she even sometimes forgot that her daughter is already dead."
"So, what's the request? And are you sure that we can even take her request seriously?" asked Haku incredulously.
"We were incredulous about it as well," said Tenten with a shrug. "That's why we went to investigate it earlier when you two were out. The request is valid. Rock solid, in fact. And the target of her request is one Sawakaki Akiko, a nurse working at the hospital where Igawaki Mika had died at – the daughter of Igawaki Yui."
"So?" asked Haku, confused. "People die at hospitals all the time."
"Yes, but hear this," said Kankuro patiently. "Apparently, Igawaki Mika died because of negligence on Sawakaki Akiko's part. But Igawaki Yui can't prove it, especially with her memory disorder, and thus, she's turned to us. But seriously…" Kankuro turned towards Shino. "I think that the poor woman has even forgotten that she's contacted us."
"Also, Sawakaki Akiko is sent by the hospital to look after Igawaki Yui because her husband is working all day, and they can't afford to hire a private nurse to do that," added Gaara. "Talk about fate at work here. Poor woman. Having to face the person who had had a hand in causing her daughter's death every single day of her life."
Shiki frowned slightly. Cases like this leave a bad taste in her mouth. "Is Sawakaki doing anything to the woman?" she asked carefully. In cases like this, those who suffer from memory disorder are usually victims of petty theft, usually through cash.
"Yeah," said Gaara with a nod. "Her money. The money that her husband left her for daily expenses have been getting pilfered by Sawakaki left, right and center."
Shiki let out a frustrated sigh. "That decides it then," she said. "We're taking this case. Set the course for Hakawa."
"I'll come again soon, obaa-san," said Konohamaru, turning around and greeting his aunt goodbye with a slight bow.
Igawaki Yui smiled and nodded, returning his bow with one of her own. "You'll always be welcome here," she said. "And while you're at it, bring your parents along as well. I'm sure that your uncle would love to see his brother."
"Y-Yeah…" said Konohamaru with a weak smile.
He couldn't bring himself to tell his currently extremely forgetful aunt that both his parents have died years ago when he was still a kid. Her memory disorder is seriously getting worse, and he don't trust that nurse as well. But as it is, he can only spare one day off per week to visit his aunt, and the boat ride from Katokori to Hakawa isn't exactly cheap as well.
"I'll see you next week, obaa-san," said Konohamaru before leaving with a bow.
Sawakaki Akiko smirked as she heard the sounds of that insufferable nephew of the Igawaki couple leaving the house. Unlike his uncle, the brat wasn't naive enough to believe that nice nurse outlook on her face. He clearly didn't trust her with his aunt, and he was right. But he didn't tell his uncle that, and for good reason as well. He wouldn't believe him, and besides, she was the only one who could look after his aunt.
"Found it!" Sawakaki Akiko let out a slight cheer as her fingers touched the wallet of Igawaki Yui, and she pulled it out before opening it only to see a couple of ten dollar bills within the wallet. "Oh well. She wouldn't remember how much was in here anyway."
She shrugged and took the money before shoving it into her pocket.
"So it really was you!" said an angry voice, and Akiko turned around only to see an angry Igawaki Yui standing at the doorway of her room. "Kono-chan was right! So you really are the one who had been taking my money!"
"What are you talking about?" said Akiko with a malicious smirk, getting to her feet. "It's what I deserved anyway. I'm helping to look after you for free. Surely I deserve some payment?"
"You did what you did to my daughter, and then you dare say that?!" Igawaki Yui looked ready to suffer from a heart attack if she isn't already. "How dare you?!"
"Be quiet, you," said Akiko, digging her pinky in one ear. "But never mind that. Aren't you missing something?" And she took out a leather bound book which is a journal that Yui had written in it every single day, and which contained endless memories about her one and only daughter.
"That is…!" Yui tried to grab the book, but it was held out of her reach, and Akiko pushed her roughly, and Yui fell to the ground. "Give that back!"
"You're already half-dead as it is!" said Akiko nastily. "Why do you still need this? Your daughter is already dead." And she laughed nastily as she left the house.
Up on the rooftop, Neji and Yugito scowled to themselves. The two of them were the ones sent on the request this time around with Shiki, and the more that they listened to Akiko talking down to the poor woman like that, the angrier that they felt.
They can see just why Shiki was so pissed off that she decided to take on this request personally.
"I'm going to make her punishment very slow and painful when the time comes." Neji scowled so deeply that his eyebrows nearly disappeared into his hair.
"I'm with you there," said Yugito grimly. She then looked around just then only to blink in confusion when she noticed a certain redhead gone. "Huh? Where's Shiki? She was just here a moment ago."
Sawakaki Akiko hmmed a slow tune to herself as she walked along the city suburbs. The skies were dark as the sun had already set a few hours ago, and she decided to take a shortcut to the hospital where she and her boyfriend work at. The only reason why she had even become a nurse in the first place is because of her boyfriend whom she had been going out with ever since high school.
Akiko took out the leather bound book that she's taken from that woman, and sneered to herself silently as she saw that pictures of that woman and her daughter were pasted on the cover and proceeded to throw it into the trashcan near her, or at least, she tried to.
A strong hand caught her wrist just then, and startled, she turned only to meet cold blue eyes belonging to that of a redhead who don't look older than sixteen, yet she gives off an aura that said 'mess with me, and you die'.
"That don't belong to you," said the redhead coldly. "Didn't anyone teach you not to take things that don't belong to you?" And she twisted Akiko's wrist so that she dropped the book into the hand of the redhead.
"Damn you…" Akiko cursed to herself, rubbing her bruised wrist. "Who the hell are you?! Stop sticking your nose into others' business!" And she whipped out a pocketknife from within her pocket and swung it dangerously at the redhead. "Or I'll carve that pretty face of yours up!"
The redhead merely looked on coolly before she grabbed the blade of the knife with her bare hand, not even flinching, and Akiko watched, stunned, as the redhead grabbed the knife out of her hand with the blade.
Akiko can only stare. And for the first time in her life, she felt afraid. Very much afraid. This girl…whoever she is…she isn't human.
"Damn you…" Akiko cursed to herself. "Don't let me see you again!"
And she took off down the alley.
Namikaze Shiki stared at the departing back of the nurse, a scowl visible on her features. It is people like that nurse that she can't stand. Serving in a profession that is supposed to help people, and yet, she does the exact opposite. It is hypocrites like her that she can't stand.
Shiki's eyes softened just then as she looked at the book in her hand. The woman clearly loves her daughter a lot which could be seen by the pictures that were painstakingly carefully cut out and pasted onto the cover of the book which is pictures of Igawaki Yui and her daughter.
Shiki turned slightly as Neji appeared by her just then. "Why did you take off like that?" asked the Hyuuga in confusion. "Yugito is still at the house."
"My apologies," said Shiki. "Just a little something to take care of." She turned towards Neji. "Let's pay Igawaki Yui a second visit after our first visit mere days ago. It's time to carry out our job."
"Mika…" Igawaki Yui sobbed to herself as the pictures of her high school daughter were spread all over the table. "Mika…"
There was a slight breeze just then, and Yui looked up just then only to see a redhead girl standing before her with a raven haired boy and a blonde girl on either side of her. All three even seemed to be around her daughter's age.
Namikaze Shiki sighed a little. She knew it. The woman had completely forgotten about Shiki's first visit to the woman four days ago when she was alone in the house when Shiki wanted to know more about the current situation at hand.
"You didn't remember our last encounter." Shiki stated. She then held out a piece of paper on which was drawn Ragnarok's symbol which is the one that they had used for their site. "But do you perhaps remember this?"
Igawaki Yui can only stare for a few minutes at the symbol before a flash of memories started flooding her mind. Talk about the mysterious group that the ANBU had been after for close to five years now at this point in time which led to her contacting them to carry out justice for her daughter's death. The visit of their leader four days ago when she had talked the most that she had ever since her daughter's death, talking about Mika, and finding the leader of Ragnarok a lot like her precious daughter. And the terms that carried with the contract made with Ragnarok that Namikaze Shiki had told her.
Shiki smiled to herself as she saw recognition enter Yui's eyes before handing her the book that Akiko had taken from her. Yui's eyes widened as she saw the book and practically snatched it from Shiki. "This belongs to you," said Shiki. She studied Yui for a few moments before sighing. "Do you still want to take revenge on her?"
Yui looked up at Shiki and nodded. "…hai," she said.
Shiki nodded. "Very well," she said. "We'll be on our way then."
"Wait." Shiki, Yugito and Neji stopped in their tracks before they turned towards Yui who was looking at Shiki with a strange look on her face. "You look so much like Mika…save for the hair. You even kind of act like her. Kind-hearted, yet you don't show that kindness to most people save for those closest to you." Shiki was startled as she felt Yui cupped her face with her hands. Yui smiled a motherly smile at Shiki. "I'm so sorry. But you just look so much like Mika that I can't help it."
Shiki smiled inwardly to herself. Is this what a mother's touch feels like?
She doesn't remember her own mother, seeing as how she had died when Shiki was barely a year old. And after that, she was bounced from foster home to foster home before Jiraiya had found her in the city of Nariya. Jiraiya was her godfather and her guardian, but he still isn't her parent.
"I would love it…" said Yui, smiling gently at Shiki. "I would love it if you would call me 'Mom'."
Neji and Yugito froze up next to Shiki. What would their much esteemed leader do for a request like this? They knew that Shiki don't usually go that far for their clients. To her, a job is just a job unless it's someone like Isaribi whom one of her members knew on a personal level, then she will get involved personally.
For a long time, no one spoke before Shiki broke the silence, her soft voice breaking the silence. "…Mom. I'm back." She then stepped away from Yui as the woman in question smiled a motherly smile before turning towards a stunned Yugito and Neji. "Let's go."
This is the last thing that Shiki can at least do for Igawaki Yui, so that she can at least have some happy memories of her daughter, even if she isn't Igawaki Mika.
Memories of her daughter…are all that Igawaki Yui has left after all.
"Honey, you're doing so well lately." Sawakaki Akiko drawled, her arms draped over the shoulders of her doctor boyfriend. "Should we get married soon?"
Her boyfriend stood up all of a sudden, nearly throwing Akiko off balance. "Whoever said that?"
Akiko was stunned as her boyfriend suddenly seemed to morph into a raven haired teen with strange eyes who had a tight grip on her arm. "Who are you? Let go of me! It hurts!"
Hyuuga Neji smirked as he dragged Akiko with him, and Akiko can only stare as the surroundings of the hospital disappeared, and what seemed to be one of the streets in Hakawa appeared, and Neji dragged Akiko to the middle of the road where an ambulance could be seen approaching them.
Akiko panicked before trying to get her arm out of Neji's grasp. "Let go of me! Let go of me! The ambulance is coming! Let go of me!"
The headlights of the ambulance seemed to grow brighter, and she let out a short scream as the ambulance miraculously went through Neji as if he didn't even exist and rammed straight into her, throwing her a good few feet away where she lay, groaning on the road.
The sound of the doors of the ambulance opening could be heard, and a blonde girl as well as a blue haired female with strange eyes both wearing paramedics' outfits stood over her, strange smirks on their faces.
"Poor thing…" said the blonde with mock concern. "Looks like it hurts. What should we do?"
"There's nothing that we can do," said the blue haired girl. "Just leave her alone."
It dragged up several memories for Akiko just then, especially when Igawaki Mika was first brought into her hospital all those months back as an accident victim.
"BP and blood levels are dropping!"
"Shit! We're losing her!"
"There's nothing that we can do. Just leave her alone."
"You're…joking, right?" said Akiko weakly, pushing herself into a sitting position. "What…did I do to deserve this? And where is this?"
"This isn't a world that you know," said Neji coolly. "Yugito's ability to alter dimensions enables her to do many things. This is just one of them."
"You can't be serious… Just what…did I do to deserve this?"
Neji took one look at her and sneered. "It's no good," he said with a shake of his head. "She still refuses to admit to her sins."
"Neji is right," said the blonde girl with a nod. "This girl…she won't own up to her own wrongdoings."
Akiko was taken aback just then as a redhead appeared next to her just then, and she recognised her immediately as the one who had taken the book from her a few hours earlier. "You are…! Who are you?"
"That's right," said Hyuuga Neji with a nod. "This is your first time meeting us, isn't it? You should have expected that we will turn up to claim your life anytime soon…especially with what you've done."
"Ragnarok," said Yugito and Hinata in unison. "This…is your punishment."
Akiko can only gape as she heard that infamous name. It can't be.
"The game is over, Sawakaki Akiko," said Shiki, kneeling by Akiko. "It's time for you to wake up from your dream." She placed one hand on her shoulder. "I've come to deliver a vengeance."
Shiki took one last look at the broken, bleeding and crumpled body lying by the side of the road in this part of Hakawa before tearing her eyes away from the sight. Granted, she may have gone a little too far in this case, but as far as she was concerned, this girl deserved what she got.
Hinata, Neji and Yugito exchanged looks with one another before tagging after their leader.
Justice has been served.
"First visit here, sir?" asked the customs officer who was checking the passport, glancing at the man who was cloaked from head to toe in a long beige coat, dark sunglasses, a cap, along with bandages concealing the bottom half of his face as well as gloves on his hands and black boots. He can barely see anything of this man's body at all. Now, Japan might be cold and all, but this is ridiculous!
"Yes," said the man, his voice sounding rather muffled, as if he had a cold or something.
"Business or pleasure?"
"Very well," said the officer with a nod, stamping the passport before handing it back to the man who picked up his suitcase at the same time that he took his passport. "Welcome to Japan."
The man gave a slight tip of his hat before walking away before standing in the middle of the airport. A silver haired young man with his hair tied in a ponytail and wearing a high collared dark blue coat approached him.
"I'm here to receive you, my lord," said Yakushi Kabuto before a smirk broke out on his face. "Welcome back to Japan, Orochimaru-sama."
A/N: Sorry, no Itachi/Shiki in this chapter. Most of this chapter was influenced from an episode in the Jigoku Shoujo live action series, can't remember which one. And so, Orochimaru is back in Japan and in the picture at last, and this means that the action will be heating up!
Preview for next chapter:
"What is your name?"
"Do you wish for vengeance?"
"Yes. And it's not for myself as well. That man…that monster…! He doesn't even deserve to live!"
"I see. What is your wish?"
"Please…take that man…straight down to the pits of Hell!"
"I hear and deliver this vengeance."
Vim and Vigor (Prince of Tennis)
FemRyo. Yukimura Seiichi is the Prince of Japan. Echizen Rika is an agent from a secret organisation sent to protect him. But things soon grew complicated when Yukimura fell for Rika without knowing her true identity, and complications arouse when assassins soon came for his life.