Harmony Act V: Pride

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Scene XVIII: So Right It Was Wrong

Kanagawa, Yuugen. Japan. 2014, February

“Make a deal with me.”

Chini was silent as he stared at the vial in Yoku’s hand. Making a deal with The Enchantress was like signing your own suicide papers. Everyone knew that; yet Yujin’s life was on the line and Chini didn’t need to think twice.

“Fine. What kind of deal is it?”

“Simple, really,” Yoku began, tapping Chini’s nose before she began pacing the room. “I hand over the cure for dear old Yujin and you make up some excuse to leave him and Kokutan before coming back to me. Things are going to start changing around here and I need the heir of Yuugen’s Council on my side. What do you say?”

Chini huffed, never being the type of person to lay down and take orders. He had begun debating whether he could just get out now with sheer force of brute strength; alas, even he knew the idea was way too risky. For one, he could break the vial during the struggle. Two, Yoku was much taller than him – and three, The Enchantress was far more skilled in the arts of physical combat than Chini could ever be.

“Alright,” turning to his aunt, Chini held out a hand. “You have a deal.”

Concordia (borders), Void of Chaos. 2014, May

… -jin. Yujin…!” Tsumi’s voice broke through the atmosphere. She was kneeling on the ground, shaking Yujin’s shoulder with a bloody palm. “You have to get up.”

“I would listen to her, if I were you.” Yoku cooed. “You see, Chini’s cells are rather unique. Despite not being nurtured as a foetus within an immortal woman’s stomach, he did inherit most of his father’s genes. Immortal genes. The virus I have injected him with reconstructs his Dabbler DNA, making him ten times as aggressive than his natural state. Not only that, but he is now able to conduct Magick as a new-born Sorcerer. Needless to add, he is very strong.”

Chini growled lowly. His hands twitched, eyes wide and breathing rasped. The sun beating down against his pale skin brought beads of sweat trickling across his forehead. Black veins traced along his right cheek, shooting up from the puncture wound in his neck – an injection site on behalf of Yoku. With shaky steps, he began to walk towards Yujin and the others, sending strands of stray hair across his face as he swayed like a poorly instructed marionette.

“Yujin! You have to get up!” Hikari shouted. She stood in front of Hahen, arms held at either side to shield him from such horrors. “You have to move! He’s coming!”

Tsumi gritted her teeth and stood. She was wobbly and faint from already being a clone’s chew toy, yet her stoic expression would never express her fatigue; she returned to the barren-faced Sorcerer Yuugen knew her as and raised an arm, Magick coiling around her fingertips and wrist as she summoned a spell to put Chini down.

“No!” Yujin yelled, grabbing Tsumi around the waist. He pulled her to the ground seconds before she could strike and the spell soared across the dusty ground, missing Chini by inches.

Yujin breathed heavily, watching as Chini’s eyes flickered to the cracked stones at his feet. He inhaled, groggily murmuring to himself and Yujin was frozen at the sight, stuck on the ground by his disbelief with Tsumi held against his chest – unable to risk her spells from touching Chini again.

“Where’s Yoku?!” Hahen yelled, grabbing everyone’s attention.

“She’s gone.” Tsumi said, wincing at the thumping pains against her shoulder. She turned to look up at Hikari and Hahen, eyes serious and mouth stern. “You go, see if you can find The Enchantress. You’re a strong team and she’s only a Familiar in here. We’ll handle Chini ourselves.”

Katsubo groaned against the dull ache shooting up his arm and neck. His grey eyes were half-lidded when he moved, struggling against the memories of engulfing darkness. He frowned, sitting upright when his senses returned and found himself in the wreckage of Shoki’s train. He moved, pressing his palms against the metaled ground, and slid away from the mound of debris and disaster.

His legs dangled over the edge of the sloped train’s platform, feet barely touching the ground. The air was still; which was an immediate discomfort and Katsubo sighed, tipping his head back to stare into the clear sky through the torn roof of the train cart.

Without further delay, he moved and jumped out of the wreckage. He landed on his feet with a small grunt, noting the ruined attire he was dressed in. It had been the first time he had dressed formally rather than casually since he joined Hokori’s Coven and now his dress-shirt, jacket and slacks were either torn or riddled with dust.


Upon his name being called, Katsubo turned on his heel to see Muzai rushing over to him with her arms extended. Despite the questionable situation, he returned the oncoming hug and squeezed her before she stepped back, hands gripping his forearms in desperation.

“What is happening?” Muzai breathed.

“I haven’t a clue.” Katsubo shook his head. “All I can safely say for sure is that The Enchantress is involved.”

“She’s testing her new experiment,” Hanzai spoke up, joining Muzai’s side. He smiled at Katsubo, tipping his head. “Hey there.”

Katsubo quirked a brow, slowly turning his head from Hanzai to Muzai. “And this is…?”

“Oh! This is, ah, Hanzai. He lives in Shoki.” Muzai felt her cheeks turn red. She forced a smile, patting Hanzai’s shoulder. “He’s helping me get out.”

“Interesting name,” Katsubo muttered.

“Ah, well it’s not like I’m the only one with that name huh?” Hanzai shrugged. “Let’s get back on track. Yoku is no doubt testing her experiments here. If I’m correct, I can help you with that. At least, I know the quickest and simplest cure to stopping the virus she’s using from spreading – I used to be one of Yoku’s favourite test subjects before I came to Concordia; she has this goal to turn Familiars into Sorcerers, and once she perfects it, she’s gonna give it to herself.”

“Okay, okay,” Katsubo held up his hands. “How are you so sure that this is all related to that? How could you possibly know she’s come to the Void to test this experiment, what if it’s something else relating to her plans?”

“I live here.” Hanzai deadpanned, scanning Katsubo up and down with a flicker of his lilac eyes. “I know when a Sorcerer passes the barrier, and right now, there are tons of Sorcerers just appearing in all directions. So, unless this is coincidence – which I highly doubt – then you’re going to wanna hear what I say so you can stop it.”

Muzai stepped up, hands balled into fists at her side. “Okay, tell us. What do we do to stop this?”

“Easy,” Hanzai smiled, tugging his left hand out of his hoodie’s pocket at long last. “When I was in the lab, Yoku would inject her older virus, Pugnator-V, into the back of my hand through a cannula. I learnt that by cutting off the source, like how I cut off my hand, it would stop the virus and all your symptoms will just vanish.”

Muzai parted her lips to speak but no words escaped. All possible speech had been caught in her throat for no reason other than the fact she was staring at a stumped wrist hidden beneath the hem of a cherry sleeve. Hanzai could only sigh.

“Look, I never said it would be easy-”

“We need to move.” Katsubo cut in. He was already walking across the horizon with Muzai running to catch up. “We need to save these people before the virus spreads to parts we can’t cut.”

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