Harmony Act V: Pride

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Scene XX: Off With Her Head

Concordia, Void of Chaos. 2014, May


Hokori had led his Coven away from their original spot to create as much distance as possible between them and the infected audience. The crowd seemed rather slow and dumb from gaining their newfound abilities. Kin was at his side the whole time with his chopped hair pulled back from his face to unveil both eyes to the world; exposing their Name upon his left eye; Pride.

“Boss, I can’ keep helpin’ ya fight these people!” Kin cried, digging the heels of his bare feet against the cracked ground beneath him. “This ain’t us. We don’ kill!”

Hokori knew such words were true. The whole matter fell upon his shoulders no matter what. To kill or be killed; he had allowed things to go this far. Whatever happened would be on his conscious, and his conscious alone.

“Boss!” Kobi called out from her perch upon a nearby boulder.

She conjured a spell, sending beams of piercing light from her china palm. The spell drove back the oncoming foe heading for the spaced-out-Hokori. It was nothing serious; just a minor stunning spell she would often use to create a diversion for escape during a regular dual.

“Thank you, Kobi.” Hokori breathed. He moved back to Kin and reached for his hand, turning his voice low and serious. “Look above you.”

Kin narrowed his eyes and turned his head. Above them was the makeshift sun, lazily turning on its axis like a planet. It hung low where they stood, making the shining rays docile enough to see its shell of gold and silver. It looked old. Worn out and weak.

“It’s the sun, Boss.” Kin muttered.

“It is the soul of this world. If someone were to destroy it, they would destroy Concordia with it. Do you understand?” Hokori tugged Kin’s hand to enforce his words. “If it were to shatter, leave the Void. Understand?”

“What ’bout ya, Boss? What’ll ’appen if this place shatters? Yer a part of this world, Boss. Ya created this world!” Kin shook his head, pushing Hokori’s chest with enough force to make him stumble back. “Ya can’t go doin’ that bloody self-sacrificin’ crap on me! Ya ow me more than that-”

Hokori blinked at the abrupt blur of brown and black cutting his vision. His heart skipped a beat as he watched Muchina reappear and pin Kin to the ground; snarling over his boyish face.

“Kin!” Hokori raised his arms, summoning the ground beneath him to rumble. Pebbles raised above his head, shifting into sharp spears. “Hastam!

“Boss! Don’t!” Kin barked, struggling against Muchina’s weight. “Ya can’t kill ’im! This is Muchina!

Muchina seemed momentarily distracted by Hokori’s sample of power and Kin took the advantage to grip his shoulders and push up, sending Muchina onto his back. Kin straddled him, making quick work to pin his hands above his head and keep Muchina plastered against the ground. He stared into those wild, dark eyes; unable to imagine them as soft and baby blue like before.

“Kin!”

Upon hearing his name being called, Kin looked up from the struggling Muchina to see Katsubo running up to the scene with Muzai at his heels.

“Katsubo…!” Kin cheered.

Hokori turned to look over. For a faint moment, things were alright. That is; until The Enchantress appeared. She moved like a snake, slipping behind Katsubo and grabbing him around the waist. She held a scalpel in her spare hand; it’s sharp edge glinting against the sun before she plunged it into Katsubo’s back with a sick thud.

Katsubo’s breath hitched. He froze, unable to fathom the strength to encourage himself to move as Yoku sighed against his ear. She tilted her head, brushing her cheek against Katsubo’s as if they were staring at a marvellous horizon ahead. She nearly moaned against him when he gaged.

“Such a shame, is it not?” Yoku hummed lowly, only for Katsubo’s ears. “After all, you could have been part of my Coven if things were not set-in stone. You will not take it personally, will you? Only, you hardly seem to have any significance anymore. You are, how do I put it…? Useless.”

The Enchantress moved quickly, pulling the scalpel from Katsubo’s back and sending crimson to spurt against her lab coat. Katsubo jutted forward, breathing harshly as he moved; unable to lift a foot when he raised his eyes to see Kin’s face of sheer shock.

“Kin…” Katsubo gasped, plummeting to the ground, face first.

Muzai screamed first. She had moved to charge forward when Hanzai grabbed her and yanked her backward, forcing her to the ground. Tears streamed down her face and she gripped against Hanzai’s hand and stumped wrist, wailing her desperation into the air.

Kin risked moving. His hands loosened from Muchina’s wrists and a single tear trickled down his cheek as he moved, running quick enough to escape any greedy hands from the cannibal-crowd. His blood boiled when Yoku smiled, welcoming the oncoming attack.

Hokori had raised his hand to assist Kin. There was no point in trying to stop him from charging The Enchantress – Hokori knew well enough how painful it was to see the one you love most get torn apart by that woman. Once his assistance spell was drawn and he sent his makeshift spears across the wasteland, Hokori turned to the snarling Muchina and slammed him against the ground, hardly in the mood for mercy.

Yoku had been blind to Hokori’s attack, giving Kin the upper hand when a spear jutted against her shoulder, knocking her to the side. Kin hopped onto a small boulder and launched himself to land his fist against Yoku’s flawless cheek – his knuckles caused a loud snap in The Enchantress’ face and he hit the ground with a small thunk to his left leg. He ignored the twinge of pain and raised his fists; Familiar to Familiar.

“Ain’t lookin’ so mighty now, huh?” Kin sneered, whirling on his good leg to bend his left knee and sock The Enchantress in the chest with the heel of his prosthetic leg.

Yoku braced herself, hissing at the surge of pain. She was bruised before she hit the floor, landing on her back in a daze; unmoving. Her eyes rolled back against her head and she gasped, fingers twitching. Momentarily defeated.

Kin slumped his shoulders and turned away, kneeling to crawl his way over to Katsubo. A shaky hand reached for him and Kin parted his lips to speak when he was pulled away by a tug around his ankle. Glancing back, he found Yoku gripping his leg and pulling him closer to her battered body.

The Enchantress spat blood from her mouth and sneered, flipping Kin onto his back. She raised her arm into the air with a syringe nestled between her long fingers. There was no mercy when she brought the needle down against Kin’s leg – snap!

“What-?” Yoku gasped, watching the needle break against the surface of Kin’s leg.

“Prosthetic leg, bitch.” Kin growled, following the sentence with a sharp kick against Yoku’s face, splattering blood across the ground.

Once again, The Enchantress hit the floor. The remains of her syringe rolled out of her palm and Kin shoved the woman away. He narrowed his eyes at the vial beside Yoku’s fingers and wasted no time pounding it against the ground; causing its essence to spill out into the air and evaporate.

Kin didn’t move straight away. He stared at Yoku for a matter of seconds to ensure she was totally knocked out before he returned to Katsubo. He stood, limping his way over. The latch in his leg had already loosened and he knew he had torn his thigh more so than intended – what with being caught up in the moment. As the adrenaline died down, so did he.

His foot snagged on a small rock and he toppled forward, landing on his face beside Katsubo. He breathed against the dusty ground, slowly turning on his side to reach out and press his palm against Katsubo’s shoulder; gently pushing him over.

“Katsubo…?” Kin whispered, shuffling closer with as much force as he could muster, thankful to find a pulse. “Katsubo?”

Katsubo’s breathing was weak when he opened his eyes. His hand moved to trace his finger’s across Kin’s freckled, make-up-smeared-face and he sighed aloud, trembling with the effort to hold up his arm.

“Yer gonna be okay.” Kin shuffled closer, kissing the top of Katsubo’s head. “I’m ’ere now. Y’all be aight.”

Muzai had watched the scene unfold from the side-lines where Hanzai continued to hold her against the ground. Once Yoku seemed out for the count, she was released, and Hanzai moved before lifting Muzai to her feet and leading her away – hiding behind a boulter.

“I can’t stay here any longer. I’ve helped you understand how to stop the virus, but you gotta know I can only do so much before being discovered.” Hanzai whispered. “I’m supposed to be dead, after all.”

Muzai had nodded before Hanzai moved away. He ducked out of the chaos, slipping into the nearest trench and out of sight entirely. Once clear of unwanted eyes, he smiled to himself and shoved his hands into his hoodie pocket; navigating his way over to Shoki’s train tracks and hopped up to take him back home.

He only stopped when he noticed a certain figure up ahead – crimson hair, golden eyes and a serious burnt face was all too familiar and Hanzai shook his head, slowly moving his hand to lift a finger against his lips; shushing Miryoku Fumetsu. Hanzai chuckled, stepping forward as he hummed a low tune, passing Miryoku without so much as another glance.


“Hokori!” Muzai shouted, reaching the Coven at long last. She stopped at a distance, wary of the snarling Muchina under The God’s hand. “I know how to stop the virus from spreading!”

Hokori’s eyes widened and he turned, staring at Muzai with all the patience of a saint. No doubt he was considering himself lucky for waiting – instead of going ahead and ripping Muchina’s head off his shoulders too soon.

“You have to… well, cut off the infected part.” Muzai bit her lip at the realisation of cutting people up as an act of mercy. She felt sick. “If the source is removed, then the spell is lifted.”

“Cut off the limb?” Hokori raised his brows and turned back to Muchina, watching him snarling and writhing against the ground. All it took was Hokori’s hand against his chest to keep him pinned. “I hope you are right about this.”

“I would not try that if I were you, Hokori.” Yoku’s voice filtered the air.

Hokori felt a bubbling rage build itself from the inside of his chest. His teeth were clenched behind a stiff jaw and he turned, slowly and hesitantly, just to see Yoku standing once again. Her hair had fallen out of place and blood was caked over her lips and nose. Yet there were no wounds. Not even from the spear against her shoulder – she was healed with only traces of blood and ripped clothes to prove she had previously been snagged.

“Will you never die?!” Hokori spat.

“There is no way to kill me,” Yoku reassured, holding out her hand. “It seems you have forgotten about my trump card, hm? If you try and turn the tables, then I am afraid your Parasite will suffer for it.”

As The Enchantress spoke, the air began to turn dim. A chill ran down everyone’s spines, causing a momentary blip in the chaos of Hokori’s Coven and the bloodthirsty audience. As black smoke began to coil in front of Yoku, the air turned cold despite the beating sun above and Senbo Shitto appeared in the fabric of the dark mist.

The Enchantress grabbed Senbo around the waist and pressed a scalpel to his scarred neck. The blade was already drenched with blood – Katsubo’s blood. Senbo made a small sound and blinked, looking as though he had just woken up. His soft hair was matted, and his attire was sloppy with only a white button down and black jeans. He made another sound when the scalpel was pressed to his throat and he tipped his head back in hopes to avoid its sharp edge.

“Hokori…” The Parasite whispered, staring up at the glowing sun sphere in the sky above.

Hokori lowered his arm from Muchina, visibly flinching when Yoku smiled at him, praising him like a pathetic mutt. The God of Chaos kept his hand against Muchina’s chest to keep him in place; half tempted to push his luck and see if Muchina would charge for Yoku and put her under her own damn spell. But Senbo was being used as a shield so he never even tested it.

“Very good, Hokori.” The Enchantress hummed, dragging the tip of her scalpel along the thick scar she had created years ago. “Such a shame to see us in this situation again, is it not my dear Senbo?”

“Mm,” Senbo’s eye flickered. “Only, this time I’m surrounded by Magick.”

The Parasite’s words hung in the air as his body jittered, vanishing from Yoku’s hold in a puff of smoke. He reappeared above her, arms across his chest in an X. Eyes glowed a bright blue and his fingers turned white, shining with the ferocity of his Magick. As gravity pulled him back down, he swooped in front of The Enchantress, spreading his arms from their crisscross pattern against Yoku’s neck.

Lacrimam.” Senbo whispered, summoning his signature abilities of Hostile Magick.

The Enchantress’ head was ripped from her shoulders and hit the ground with a sick thud. Senbo’s forearms were covered in her blood, eyes empty and face stoic. He watched Yoku’s body spasm before hitting the ground, joining her severed head laying in a pool of blood.

Muzai had watched the horrific slaughter from afar. There was no mistaking the fact he was indeed Tsumi’s Conductor. They shared the same intentions of homicide and their methods of killing hardly differed from one another. It was like watching the past unravel from when Tsumi had beheaded Mad Dog. Only, Gekido stayed on the ground, unlike Yoku.

“I believe you misheard me when I said there is no way to kill me.”

Senbo eyes turned wide and he looked down. Yoku’s head spasmed and her violet eyes flickered, causing a loud yelp to escape The Parasite’s lips. Yoku chuckled as her body moved, cracked, and filled the air with a horrible snap as her limbs regained control.

She moved like a mechanical doll with no sense of direction. Her arms stretched outward to pick up her head and return it to her shoulders as if it were the simplest task in the world. The thick skin of her neck reattached itself, leaving no trace of a scar or any lingering deformity. Just as before, the only traces of injury was the blood left behind.

“How rude.” Yoku tutted, cracking her neck with a satisfying hum.

“H-How did you-” Senbo blurted, shaking. He stumbled back, landing on the ground as his anxieties surged. He screamed with panic when Yoku stepped forward and he vanished into smoke before reappearing behind Hokori.

“The volunteers of my Coven were not the only subjects for my experiments. I too have tested myself for many things.” Yoku sighed, dusting down her dress and coat. “After all, how could I possibly achieve my goal if a simple thing as being beheaded could kill me? After Mad Dog, I simply had to do something about it. Quite the effect, even if I do say so myself.”

The loud groans and gags from the infected audience made Yoku turn. She watched their mouths hang with greed and eagerness, making her laugh as they drew closer to the group. She clapped her hands together and turned back to The God of Chaos.

“I believe that would be my cue to leave. I have all the research I need. Thank you, Hokori. I could not have done all this without you.” Yoku hummed, pivoting on her heel to leave. She froze, faced with a small girl with white hair and blind eyes.

“Hello, mother.”

Yoku raised her hands to her chest, lips parting to release a breathless gasp. Such an expression was rare to see on the face of such evil as she. Her eyes flickered, travelling over the girl standing just short of her with two men either side. She knew them all. What kind of mother wouldn’t recognise her own daughter?

“Aisu.”

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