To Be Free
Warnings: Violence. Blood. Gory scenes. Murder scenes. Lemon scenes.
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 Forty One: To Be Free
Hyuuga Neji tightened his coat around his body, trying very hard to ignore the cold winds whipping at his face and his body. He glanced up at the skies only to see that it had long gone dark by now.
It is finally nighttime.
And it is already the seventh night ever since Yugito had entered the Nibi's shrine, praying and seeking her faith. Before both Yugito and he had set off for the Nibi's shrine – one of the first shrines that had been discovered and sealed by Ragnarok during their first years, Haku had already packed some food for them (or more for Neji) in a basket.
Shiki had briefed them (or Yugito) on what they must and must not do once they've arrived.
Only Yugito can enter the shrine, as she is the direct descendant, and the only one that can reach to the goddess by faith alone. Neji has to wait outside the shrine for her, but he has to make sure that no one disturbs Yugito whilst she's in the shrine. Hence why he's the best option to go with Yugito, since with his ability over barriers, he can easily erect a barrier that hides them and the shrine from prying eyes.
It has already been a week, and Neji had already finished the last of the food that Haku had packed for him. He hoped that Yugito wouldn't take much longer, though Shiki had already hinted that it would not be easy to get the blessings of the Nibi. Unlike the other Gods of Creation, the Nibi never interferes in the affairs of the mortals, seeing it as no business of her own.
Neji frowned as he glanced over his shoulder. He is currently seated right outside the shrine; meaning that he is just seated on the steps that leads into the shrine of the Nibi. Currently though, the great brass doors of the shrine were shut.
He hoped that Yugito would be done soon. The task that Shiki had set them to do set aside, he is a little worried about her and their comrades in Ragnarok and Baled. He knew that the Final Battle is coming up. They probably have only about another week or so before they'll be off to battle.
And like what Shiki had said, this will be unlike any battle that they've ever been in before. This will be so bloody, so horrific, that people will be talking about this for generations to come. For better or for the worse, this world will change. Half of them will probably not live to see the end of the battle. Or maybe this battle might just claim the lives of all of them.
But whatever it is, Neji knew what that he had been getting himself into right from the very beginning. All of them do.
It's funny. Ten years ago, if someone had asked Hyuuga Neji if he would be willing to fight for someone even if it meant that he had to give up his life, he will say no. And if someone had told him at that time that someday, he will be willing to die for that one person, he will say that that someone is on crack.
Neji smiled a small smile.
Meeting Shiki had changed him. Had changed all of them. If she had never came by, if they had never met her, who knows, they might just end up dead, or even end up hating the world. Yet for Shiki, slowly, they have changed.
They will obey no one but her. To them, she is their true leader.
Neji glanced at his watch. It read 11:59pm. And even as he watched, another minute ticked on it. Had he really been engrossed in his thoughts that long?
Neji frowned, looking back over his shoulder. 'Come on, Yugito. What's taking you so long?' he wondered.
A dark aura of power then exploded.
Yugito has been praying to the Nibi for nearly seven days now.
By nature, Yugito is a rather patient person. But even someone like her will tend to get annoyed after praying non-stop for nearly seven days only to not get a response. But still, she did not relent, did not allow the passage of time to affect her. More than anyone else, she knew that the Nibi is rather picky and difficult to deal with, even for one of the Gods of Creation.
And all of a sudden, Yugito then heard a voice that seemed to sound from inside her head itself.
"Child, why have you called me?"
The voice was low and whispery, almost like the sound of the winds itself.
Yugito composed herself, remembering what Shiki had told her before she had set off with Neji to the Nibi's shrine. Out of all of them, Shiki is the only one who had experience in connecting with one of the gods. As the leader of the Gods of Creations' direct and only descendant, she is his chosen, and could hear his words. That's why she is often always in the Bijuu Shrine.
Yugito remembered what Shiki had said – that calling upon the Gods of Creation is a tricky business, even for their chosen ones. They are gods after all, beings of higher powers. If they're not careful, they could be driven insane.
"I've come for the Book of the Dead. Per Vitam Mortem Et. The Demon God once again threaten these lands. I ask only that you give me the means for his defeat, so that we may drive him back once more."
The Nibi was silent for a very long time. So long that Yugito feared for one moment that she had left. Finally, she spoke. "So the seal on him has finally given way," she murmured. "Ten thousand years… It is only a matter of time." Her voice then strengthened. "Tell me, child. You are one of mine. And thus, have my powers. And yet, for the treatment that you've endured at the hands of your own kind, you don't wish them any resentment? Don't wish to just sit back and let Madara finish the job that we gods should have done long ago?"
Yugito hesitated. A long time ago, before she had met Shiki, she might wish death on the world. But now…
"I…used to think that. But now, I have people that I care for. That I look upon as family. I have no wish to see them dead. I wish to protect them. No, I want to protect them. I…do not fear Death." Yugito said slowly, picking her words carefully.
The Nibi was silent. "Times are changing. That is the truth for all things living. Perhaps, this war…this battle will be the last. The era of the gods, and the nin-users might just end like this. Even if I give the Book to you, it won't be an easy battle. The Demon Battle is evil itself. He is the Darkness. He represents the sins of Man, and the evil side of us gods. In a way, I guess that you battling him is also to clean up after the sins of the gods."
"Sins…" Yugito muttered. "To live is to sin." She repeated the words that Shiki had said to all of them once upon a time.
"To live is to sin," said Shiki with a small sad smile at Ragnarok – her family, her friends. They are all that she has left now, after her godfather had passed away. "Jiraiya told me something once a long time ago when I've just established Blade in Hagako. 'To err is to be human. To forgive, divine'. No one is perfect. Not even the gods. We all make mistakes. But to learn forgiveness – that is the greatest virtue of all."
"But no matter how painful it is, I choose to live." Yugito said determinedly. "I…want to live. I want to live to see the end of this. Even if this is a mistake…" She trailed off.
The Nibi was silent for a long time.
"When you choose to live, you also choose to die. So would you call what you're doing right now 'living'? The only way to be alive is to not be dead—or in other terms—to deny death. But that's impossible, isn't it? You have to one day accept the fact that you are but mortal, and that you will, someday in the future, die. That is the way of all things living. Therefore, Per Vitam Mortem Et."
A glow emerged from the statue in front of Yugito, slowly floating down to her eye level. And Yugito then realised that within the glowing orb of light is a book. It looked like any other ordinary book, being pure black in colour, with a silver chain around it. But Yugito can sense the aura of power coming from it.
"Ten thousand years… It's been more than long enough. This will be the last battle. Destroy the Demon God. He is our sin. Yet, that burden of destroying him had now fallen to your shoulders. You and the others. You must protect the Chosen. She is more fragile than she seems. Until she accepts her own feelings, and accepts the one that truly loved her, she will never be able to defeat the Demon God. The only thing that can defeat pure evil…is love. Now go, my descendant. We gods have already done all that we could. The rest is entirely up to you. It shall be as you will it."
"I see…" Shiki muttered as she took the book from Yugito. "Good work." She nodded to Yugito who looked exhausted. "Go and get some food in your system or something. Everything is going okay for us so far. Now if only we can just figure out what this 'devil's fruit' is…" She trailed off.
"I still think that it is a plant of some sort." Haku voiced out.
Yugito sighed. "Well, I'm pretty hungry, so maybe I will go and get some food. But before that, Shiki, do you think it's wise? Coming to Shiseikin at a time like this?"
She glanced around at the bustling little town so full of life. Light ornaments were hung everywhere, and there were stalls set up as well. It is almost like a festival of some kind. It is kind of Ragnarok's routine. As every single year on this day, they will come here. The former ANBUs had tagged along with them as well on that day.
"Well, I think that it's fine." Haku said with a smile. "The others need to relax as well. Things have been so tense lately. Besides…" She exchanged looks with Shiki and Gaara. "It might just be the last one that they'll get to enjoy."
The atmosphere grew serious. Everyone knew what they are getting themselves into when they've decided to fight against the Demon God. It's just that no one actually said their fates if they might lose out loud.
Yugito smiled grimly. "Right."
Along the flowing waters of the river in Shiseikin, the ANBU members, along with Temari, Tenten and Sumaru were all standing by the riverbank, watching the townspeople releasing lit paper lanterns onto little wooden platforms, watching the river carry it downstream.
"The Six Scripted Lanterns, huh?" Nagato mused. "I've heard about it, but…" He trailed off.
"It's a pretty old tradition." Sasori added. "I didn't think that there are still any villages around that actually still practiced it."
"But what is the festival about?" Lee asked with curiosity.
The Ragnarok members present, along with one Baled, exchanged looks.
Sumaru sighed, turning towards the ANBUs. "During the first days of the nin-users, many feared them and their powers. And in the end, many were executed as criminals. For no reason apart from being a nin-user. Knowing the feelings of these nin-users, a girl who was the wife of one of those nin-users back then wrote down their wishes on lanterns, put their hair on them as a replacement, and ferried them down the river with a six-scripted tag. That was the start of the Six Scripted Lanterns."
"Well, pretty soon, this soon became a way for the loved ones of nin-users to connect with them." Tenten said with a sigh. "It's a festival specially for the nin-users. Shiseikin is the one village in Japan that actually welcomes nin-users. Probably the only one." She sighed, and the ANBUs exchanged guilty looks. "Many nin-users who ran away repeatedly and didn't end up joining the underworld during the war actually came here. Every year, nin-users from all over will gather in this village." Tenten exchanged looks with Temari and Sumaru. "It's the one place where we don't have to hide." She added.
"By the way, I hadn't seen Shino and Hinata around for some time now." Temari added with a frown, glancing around. "Where are they?"
Sitting in a corner of the riverbank where few people walks by, Namikaze Shiki laid on her back on the grass, holding her choker with her finger and thumb, allowing it to dangle just above her face. The pendant of the choker is a little unique – with a silver ring hanging from the choker, with a much smaller ring within it.
"We will take care of him." Mei Terumi assured a blood-covered Namikaze Shiki, even as Ao and some unknown person loaded a severely injured boy into the van that they've used. Despite being as gentle as they could, the boy still gave out light groans every now and then at every jostle that they made. "We will make sure that he lives through this."
"I wouldn't ask this of you if there isn't any other choice." Shiki said despondently, glancing over at her friend. "Hide him for me. Make sure he lives through this. The world must never know that there are other survivors of Blade apart from myself."
Both females glanced over at the injured boy before Shiki ran over to the van, her sneakers squeaking with the rainwater on the ground. The redhead immediately took his hand.
"You're going to be all right," she told him, her breaths coming in pants. "I won't let you die."
"He's going to be all right." Ao told her gruffly from where he stood, even as the other guy went back around to get into the driver seat. "We have some good medics in Mist. Besides, from what I know of you and your friends, all of you are too tough to die easily."
Shiki nodded to him before turning her attention back to the dark blue haired boy lying on the stretcher, with blood slowly pooling around him. "You're going to be all right," she repeated, not knowing if she is saying that to convince herself or him. "You're…going to be all right…"
The boy coughed. "My…pocket…" he rasped.
"Pocket?" Shiki wondered as she reached into the pocket on the front of his jacket, touching steel. She drew it out, only to see that it's a choker, with a unique ring pendant hanging from it.
The boy smiled. "Happy…Birthday…" he rasped.
Shiki stayed silent, watching the pendant dangle to and fro.
"'Man was born free, and everywhere else, he is in chains'," she muttered. She closed her eyes briefly. "Living is not breathing, but doing…"
I want to live… I want to live…! I…don't want to die…!
Shiki closed her hand around the ring pendant. "How much longer?" she whispered. "Just how much longer? Just how much longer do we have?"
"I wonder that myself."
Shiki sat up and turned around.
"It's you." She raised an eyebrow.
"'Man was born free, and everywhere else, he is in chains'." Hinata recited.
Shino glanced at her, one eyebrow raised. "What's that?"
Hinata smiled weakly. "Nothing. It's just something that I'd heard Shiki said once. She's worried."
"I'm not surprised." Shino commented. "We don't have much time left. Maybe about another week or so before we have to go to battle." He was silent for several moments. "In the end, it doesn't matter. Nin-users. Humans. ANBU… We are all only pebbles in the avalanche." He murmured.
Hinata was silent. "Do you think we can win?" she asked hesitantly. "Against the Demon God."
"Getting cold feet? It isn't like you, Hinata," said Shino jokingly, and Hinata smiled. She hasn't seen Shino joke around with anyone apart from Shiki. And even then, it is a rare occurrence. "Against an enemy that is one of the Gods of Creation, all of us will get cold feet naturally. I know that Shiki's worried too." He stayed silent for several moments. Finally, he reached towards the shades on his face, and removed them.
Hinata gasped. "Shino, you…"
It is common knowledge among Ragnarok that Shino only ever took off his shades around Ragnarok themselves. Thus, ever since the ANBU came, Shino never took his shades off. It is his self defense mechanism, as what Shiki had once explained a long time ago, when she was the only one whom Shino trusted enough to let see his eyes.
"Do you remember how I'd joined Ragnarok?" Shino asked, looking at Hinata.
Hinata smiled and nodded. "Of course," she said. "Haku was so angry with Shiki at that time, especially since you were out to kill her back then." She sighed. "How time flies. It still feels like yesterday when we've just met Shiki, and had just established Ragnarok. Life is so simple back then."
"My powers…are different from you, and all the others." Shino said, and Hinata raised a brow. "I've always hated my powers, you know? That's why Shiki allow me to stay out of the jobs that we usually do. I don't mind my 'mind extracting' powers, or my ability to command the wildlife. I kind of like them, in fact. It's my other power that I hate." He glanced at his clenched fist.
"What power is that?" Hinata asked with a quizzed brow.
Shino was silent. "There was a time when I just wanted to die," he said at last, not really answering the question. "I don't want to live…if I have to take people's lives in order to do so." He said mysteriously, suddenly finding the treetops around them very interesting. Hinata was beyond confused. What has that got to do with his powers? "But then Shiki came along. She gave me purpose. A new life. And if she wanted to bring down the Demon God, and bring a new era to this rotten world, I'll help her. No matter what she wants to do, I'll help her. I'll be her support. I'll be her shadow. That's what I swore on the day when she had saved me." Shino added mysteriously.
"It doesn't matter to me," muttered Shino. "Life has no meaning for me now. I should have died back then instead of my brother."
"Stop that," said Shiki sharply, and Shino turned towards her with surprised eyes. She sighed. "No one can die in the place of another. Shiri didn't give his life so that you can talk like that! He will be disappointed if he saw you now." She sighed. "Your powers are there for a reason. The same reason why nin-users even existed in the first place."
"I know what it's like," said Shiki. "All of us – my friends and myself – we went through the same thing that you probably did. Some are even worse off. That's the price to pay for being a nin-user. We know nothing but loneliness and suffering before we find kinship and family in the form of other nin-users." She then sighed. "What are you going to do now?"
Shiki stared at Shino for a moment before sighing. "I made a promise to Shiri," she said. "I said that I'd watch over you. If you don't mind, you can come along with us. One more doesn't make a difference."
"She's the one who had saved me, and had given me a new purpose in life." Shino murmured. Hinata stayed silent, listening to Shino talk. For as long as she had known the silent boy, he doesn't talk much. And even then, the only one whom he would talk to without answering a question is Shiki. "I would do anything for her. ANBU. Ne. Oto. Or the Demon God. I don't care who. I don't go easy on anyone who hurts my comrades. All I need…is the power to be able to protect my friends."
"Sasuke." Shiki sighed. "Why am I not surprised?" She added sarcastically even as the younger Uchiha approached her. She narrowed her eyes at him. "Itachi better not be hiding somewhere." She warned him.
Sasuke raised his hands. "Hey, I'm not suicidal," he grumbled. "He doesn't know that I came to find you."
"How did you find me anyway?" Shiki asked with a quizzed brow. Hardly anyone can find her once she decides to 'disappear'. The only ones who could are Ren, Sumaru and Sai – her old comrades during her Blade days. And that's only because they're accustomed to her disappearing acts by then.
Sasuke smirked. "Shikamaru does the same thing that you do from time to time," he explained, and Shiki 'ohhed'. "All that I have to do is to find the quietest place where rarely anyone goes to, and I'll find him. I'm kind of like the ANBU's tracker when I was with them." He said quietly. "I can literally find anyone whom they wishes to find. Well…except for your group of course." He added, and Shiki chuckled.
"So what brings you here? I thought that you would be with your friends," said Shiki, turning her attention back to the river, and Sasuke flopped down beside her. "It's a festival today after all. Let loose for a while. After all, who knows when will be the next time when we'll get to have one? If at all?" She added.
Sasuke was silent for a long time. "You've changed," he said at last. "I know that I probably don't know you as well as my brother did, but we did have encounters before. You weren't as serious and uptight before."
"Time does that to people. You and your friends too," said Shiki. "You've changed."
Sasuke fell silent. "You know, a long time ago, when I'd first met you, I thought you the same as me, even though we're technically enemies," he said at last. "We both have the same aspirations and dreams – we longed for a better world. It's just that…" He trailed off. "We…went about trying to achieve that dream in different ways. Vastly different ways. But now… Now I see why the ANBU had never been able to get one up on you before. We're not as ruthless as you." Sasuke said nonchalantly.
Shiki glanced at him.
He didn't have disgust or scorn in his tone. Even Itachi did when he'd first found out about her being affiliated with Ragnarok. The two brothers are as different as night and day. Again, she was reminded just why she preferred Sasuke's company, as compared to Itachi's. Sasuke is more open-minded – willing to accept things as they are, and looking at the bigger picture.
Most of the others in ANBU always think of Ragnarok as nothing more than bloodthirsty killers, only thirsting for more violence and deaths, seeking their own 'twisted sense of justice'. But the truth is that they're just trying to minimise the number of victims to nin-user abuse, and some they killed because they're trying to bring some justice to the victims themselves.
Even Itachi had that opinion of them long before he knew about Shiki's true identity, without even trying to look at the bigger picture. But Sasuke is different. He looks at both sides of the story, rather like how Shikamaru did.
"You aren't afraid to get your hands dirty. You don't pin the blame of your crimes onto another person." Sasuke stated bluntly. "I've been an ANBU for many years. And I've chased down all kinds of criminals. Some are some of the vilest men that I've ever seen. And some, even though I knew that they're guilty, I couldn't charge them, as they've gotten another person as their scapegoat." He looked at Shiki. "But you… You guys are different. You aren't afraid to show yourselves. You aren't afraid to get your hands dirty. And you stuck to your way, to your own sense of justice, no matter what happens. That's why when Ragnarok first appeared, there is one part of me that is happy. I thought at that time that Ragnarok might just be what this country actually needs. A system that doesn't follow the law. As everyone knows, even the law isn't omnipotent. You're different from the ANBU. You're willing to do anything to achieve your goals. You're a puzzle, definitely. Maybe that's why Shikamaru finds you so interesting." Sasuke chuckled. "In the eyes of the law, you guys are criminals. Yet at the same time, you're not. The people of the country see you as heroes. You control the underworld, never truly allowing them to go berserk."
Shiki was silent. "…I used to have morals too. And even now, there are lines that I do not cross," she said at last. "But other 'lines'…" She made quotes in the air as she turned to face Sasuke who stayed silent. "When you had lived in the underworld for as long as I did, have to do what I did, you learn to let go of some of your morals. Especially those that can get you killed." She said bluntly. "It is a life when Evil truly begins to win, and Good begins to lose. All of us will tell you the same thing. And yes, once upon a time, I thought that there are certain lines that I wouldn't cross either. But now, I'm not so sure. I…don't even know who I am anymore." Shiki admitted.
"You just wanted to bring peace." Sasuke insisted. "You want a better life for the nin-users. Most of us who joined the ANBU wished for the same thing. But as time went by, we…kind of forgot about our goals. You just want to protect your friends. There's nothing wrong with it."
Shiki smiled. "Well, you know what they say," she said, "the road to hell is often paved with good intentions." She fell back onto her back, staring at the night skies with one arm below her head. Sasuke watched her without saying anything for several moments. Shiki raised her left hand up so that she is partially shielding her view of the night sky. "I wonder why, if you keep fighting that person, you'll realise that relying on others is not a sign of weakness, but something you cannot do without strength," she murmured mysteriously.
Sasuke was silent for a long time. "Do you…really don't love my brother anymore?" he asked sadly.
"I know my own feelings, Sasuke," said Shiki bluntly. "And I'm sorry to say this, but they're not with Itachi anymore. And you know why." She glanced at Sasuke. "Too many things have happened. Too many of my friends have died. And all at his hands. Or at least, attributed to him. Kankuro. Sasame. The members of Baled when their base at Lake Ogura went up in flames… Too many of them. I…can't forgive him for this. Besides, I think it's better for him if he looks for someone else. Our personalities are too different. He won't be happy with me. Isn't it better if he finds someone who can make him happy, rather than stay with me and be unhappy?" She asked Sasuke.
Sasuke was silent for a long time. "…Shikamaru said that it's a long time coming," he said at last. "And that you will blow sooner or later. I guess he's right." He managed a weak smile. "My brother is towards the pier. Why don't you make things clear to him?"
Shiki sighed as she sat up. "Just how many times must I repeat this to him?" she muttered sarcastically, but she got up anyway, and left towards the direction of the pier.
"You really do appear wherever Shiki is." Haku stated bluntly to Ren who is currently sitting on his motorbike, munching on a cheese sandwich that he had bought. His hair looked slightly windswept, but there is a hint of excitement to his eyes.
Ren grinned at Haku. "Sorry," he said, not really sounding sorry at all. "Anyway, my job's nearly done. I found out something that Shiki wanted to know for some time now." He smiled.
Haku smiled softly at this. "You really do like Shiki, don't you?" she stated more than questioned.
Ren nodded, looking into the distance, suddenly finding the treetops of the trees near them extremely fascinating.
"For her aloof nature, everyone likes her," he said. "Even if they start off on the wrong foot with her, slowly but gradually, they'll start to warm up to her. She just has that charisma to charm people. Unlike the others at Blade, I got to know her through a fight." He smiled in amusement. "And slowly, I grew to like her. And who knows when it had even begun, but without even realising it, I then fell for her. I waited for her for eight years. I did everything I could to help her, as I know that it's the only way to protect her." Ren glanced at Haku's knowing look. "She isn't some wallflower, or some fragile thing that's about to break." He said bluntly, causing Haku to giggle in amusement. "Like me and so many of her friends, Shiki has spent a long time with the underworld. They're her family. The only thing that I could do to keep her safe is to make sure that she has the information that she needs." He smiled. "Knowledge is power after all."
Haku smiled. "You're definitely different from that other bastard," she said bluntly. "We've never liked him, even though we tried to, because of Shiki." She scowled. "And then again, it is because of Shiki that we disliked him. Or hate, in the case of Gaara and Neji." She added. Haku then turned serious. "Once this is over, what are you going to do? What do you want to do?"
Ren was silent for a long time, munching onto the last of his sandwich before throwing the wrapper into the nearby bin and turning back to Haku. "I want to spend the rest of my life with Shiki, if she will have me," he said simply. "I don't want anything too glamorous and complicated. I just want a simple life: to be with the woman I love, and friends that I trust above anything else. A nice house, maybe in the country, or by the sea. Shiki loves the sea." He added absently as an afterthought. "I don't care much about money. Just as long as I can earn enough so that we don't live in poverty, I'm happy. Just a life without any fighting at all. I know that Shiki is tired of it by now. Just a peaceful and happy life. That's all that I ask for."
Haku stared at him in amusement. "That's…a pretty normal dream," she said, her lips twitching. "I thought for sure that you would want something more."
Ren shrugged. "When you've lived a life like ours – having been in battle after battle, a peaceful and simple life starts to look rather nice," he said wistfully. "And I stick to what I said before: no matter what, I won't give up. No matter what she will choose, I will respect that decision. If I lose, then that's not going to be very long, so I can't lose." He stared at his clenched fist. "There's all there is to it."
"Don't you know when to give up?" Shiki huffed in annoyance, glaring at Itachi. "I know that I've already made myself clear to you! Gaara definitely did! And I'm pretty sure that Haku or Neji have added their own input as well!"
Itachi bit on his lip. "Is there really no way?"
Shiki stared coldly at Itachi. The raven haired Uchiha felt his heart clench painfully at this. He had never recalled Shiki looking at him this way before. "If you want the truth, it is true that I probably did love you at one point. I don't know anymore," she said bluntly. "I…can't feel anymore. That's all there is to it." She turned on her heel to leave the pier.
"Give me a chance, Shiki!" Itachi pleaded, following the redhead, much to her annoyance. "I know that I can make things right! It'll be just like before."
"It won't be the same!" Shiki finally blew, turning to glare at Itachi with hatred in her eyes. So much so that Itachi was taken aback. "Just how many of my friends have died at your hands?" She asked bluntly, and Itachi flinched. "I know that I am just as much responsible for several of your comrades' deaths. But at the very least, I don't shrink my responsibility." Itachi flinched. "I can't forgive you for this. And it hurts. But I think that a love that can be noticed easily, that isn't real love." She said bluntly. "I can't smile at you anymore. Every time I see you, I see how they died. Now, it is a necessity for you guys to be with us. After the battle… After the war… Don't be where I can see you." Shiki took one step backwards. "We Ragnarok…will disappear."
Itachi's eyes widened at this. There is a note of finality in her voice. "W-What do you mean?"
"Like what I meant. We will disappear after the battle," said Shiki. "We are wanderers. Our life is on the road, on the sea. We don't stay in one place for long. We go where the people need us. We go where the wind takes us. And I'll say what I'd said before: forget about me. Find someone that deserves you more than I do. Find someone that appreciates you more. We aren't compatible, Itachi. Our manner of thinking of what is good and what is evil are too different. We won't be happy together. I've done too much over the years. I have too much blood on my hands. It isn't something that you can just 'handle'." She made quotes in the air.
Itachi bit on his lip, still not willing to let her go. "Is…there really no way, Shiki?" he asked, his voice trembling. Shiki just looked at him coolly. He searched her eyes and face desperately, hoping for some sign, anything, to tell him that she still loves him deep down there. But he found nothing at all. "Is it a sin? Is love really so wrong?" He asked, but Shiki said nothing. "Shiki!"
Itachi took one step forwards, but before he could do or say anything, there was a roar of a motorcycle's motor, and a bike skid to a halt just behind Shiki, with the rider having a black helmet on his head, along with a dark jacket. Shiki said nothing as she glanced over her shoulder, and smiled softly at the rider. Without a word, she then got onto the bike behind the rider, wrapping her arms around his waist.
"W-Wait! Who are you?" Itachi demanded.
The rider of the bike said nothing, but he lifted the visor of his helmet, enabling Itachi to at least see his eyes. His beautiful azure blue eyes that practically gleamed in the night.
Itachi's eyes widened. "You're…"
Shiki turned her face away from him, burying her face into the back of the rider. "Let's go, Ren," she said, her voice sounding muffled.
Ren nodded, before he kicked his bike into gear again, and sped off.
Itachi was left staring at their departing backs, his hands clenching into fists by his sides, his heart clenching painfully. He then realised something that he hadn't realised earlier because of the mysterious rider's sudden appearance.
Shiki had never smiled that way at him before.
A/N: So the recent chapters had been a lot about emotions, good versus evil, their pasts, etc. Next chapter will be the start of the battle! Though the Demon God won't appear that soon. Shiki and co. will just be fighting against his minions. And with this super important battle with the fate of the world resting on it, just how well can Shiki and Itachi fight together with their current situation?
Anyway, I hope that you like this chapter and please read and review! Also, I hope that you will take a look at my story site. The link is on my profile.