Harmony Act V: Pride

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Scene XXI: Protection

Yumi Yajirushi, Aisu’s Sorcerer

We hadn’t predicted The Mistress to be so motivated after Muzai Aibori had left. I assumed we would remain in secret and never rear our heads to the Dabbler world above. If The Enchantress knew her daughter had not died all those years ago, there was no doubt she would track The Mistress down and tear her apart.

Yet Mistress surprised me and Kiba when she turned to us and told us to get ready for a battle. As usual, once The Mistress makes a decision, we would do all we could to follow it through until the end.

Kanagawa, Japan. 2014, May

Several hours before Chiba’s Show

Yumi crossed his arms over his chest, sighing as his mismatched eyes followed Kiba pacing back and forth in their lounge. It was not often the brunette actually made the effort of moving this much in one go – but time was running short and Aisu had already given her orders.

“Mother will be far too occupied to keep an eye on our movements tonight. If we move swiftly, we should be able to catch her by surprise and hopefully prevent any further suffering.” Aisu said, hands folded over her lap; elegant as ever. “We must focus solely on the task of finding mother.”

Kiba grumbled to himself. Under his arm was his favoured pet rabbit. Its white fur was short and smooth, and its little nose kept twitching as Kiba paced the room, petting the fur upon its head like an anger management technique.

“You’ll have to leave Tensai here, Kiba.” Yumi sighed. “A rabbit won’t be much use in the Void of Chaos.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.” Kiba replied with a sigh. He walked over to his battered beanbag and knelt to release Tensai back to the ground. “I’m just saying goodbye. You know, in case things screw up or whatever.”

“Nothing will go wrong, alright?” Yumi was quick to speak, eyes narrow when a woman moved in the doorway at his side. Yumi turned his head, unlacing his crossed arms. “Tsume… I didn’t see you there.”

Kiba whirled immediately towards his sister’s bedroom and stood, stamping over. “What the hell are you-”

“Kiba,” Yumi cut in. He stepped between the siblings; hands extended at his sides. “Mistress asked this to be done.”

“She isn’t well enough!” Kiba barked, slapping Yumi’s hand away. He moved towards his sister, jabbing a finger over her shoulder and towards her messy bed in the darkness of her quarters. “Turn around and get back inside that bed, sis. This isn’t a game!”

Tsume’s eyes were narrowed. She shared the same features as Kiba, straight from her curly brown hair to the piercing aqua eyes. She looked grey now, skin mottled against her illness as she reached out to shove Kiba away. Despite her rattled appearance, she was strong enough to push her brother against Yumi in one push.

“I have a bone to pick with that bitch…” Tsume wheezed.

“We mustn’t become reckless over this.” Yumi spoke up, setting his hands on Kiba’s shoulder before he could wrestle Tsume back to her bed. “We must remain composed for all our sakes.”

“Screw the mannerisms, okay, Yumi?” Tsume snipped. She wiped the back of her hand against her sweaty forehead, breathing lowly as she practically dragged herself over the threshold of her room. “The Mistress wanted me, so let’s just go.”

“Are we ready?” Aisu spoke up from her side of the room, having been sipping around the lip of her white, china teacup as the small argument commenced. She swallowed the sugary drink and set the cup down. “Then let us be off.”

Yumi Yajirushi, Aisu’s Sorcerer

Upon arrival, The Mistress assisted Toi Yujin and Mad Dog’s former Sorcerer, Hikari Hoshi. We entered the Void of Chaos together. With The Mistress’ genetic DNA, she was able to produce minor Sorcerer spells; as well as summon the Void whenever she wished. Many a time we had suggested The Mistress opening the void so we could live in Shoki instead of a junkyard.

I thought that perhaps The Enchantress would be unable to track our location if we crossed the barrier, But Mistress was always against the idea of going there. I was more than surprised when she seemed so willing to help Yujin – let alone pull herself across the barrier.

When we awoke, Yujin and Hoshi were gone. Along with Tsume, who had been separated from us during our transition to the Void.

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

Kiba growled in the back of his throat, a pained sound of frustration and anger. He swooped down to grab a nearby rock and toss it through the warm air – a reckless attempt at expressing his overwhelming frustration.

Yumi stood at a fair distance, watching his friend. Aisu stood beside him, radiating an aura of calm. They waited patiently for the temper tantrum to come to a stop whilst they regained their awareness and scoped their surroundings. Sand, dust, boulders and more sand.

“I can’t believe you let her come!” Kiba shouted into the sky. “I can’t even believe this is happening and we’re here! How long has it been now? How long have we being living in that fucking dump?! Then when we finally decide to move, we end up in a fucking war zone!” He exclaimed, reaching for another rock, and hurling it overhead.

The rock hit something behind a wall of boulders, echoing a faint, wet thud. Kiba’s eyes narrowed when the sounds of snaps and groans escaped into the air. His lips parted in a gasp and he whirled around to face Yumi and Aisu.

“Oh, shit. We gotta go!”

Yumi watched Kiba run forward and scoop The Mistress into his strong arms. Turning from the fleeing man, Yumi peered back to the wall of boulders and saw twisted limbs and crooked figures walking out from behind their shelter from the sun. Their eyes were black, and their jaws hung, groaning, and snarling. Their skin was paper-thin beneath beads of sweat and they stank. Clones.

“Yumi?!” Kiba shouted over his shoulder up ahead. “You still there?!”

“Yeah!” Yumi replied, picking up his pace in his own attempts to flee the hoard. “I’m here!”

Kiba was quick; really quick. Yoku’s enhancements were to thank for his speed as he run, spinning on his heel to turn before he toppled over the edge of an oncoming cliff. His eyes flickered, noting the shining and distant shouts below in the horizon under the beaming sun.

“Hey! Isn’t that The God of Chaos down there?!”

Yumi grit his teeth against the strain of the run, forcing himself to keep up. He was not as fast as Kiba and he almost missed his companion’s shouting altogether as his head began to thump. He was not a healthy person and running through a sun-beaten desert was doing him no favours. He narrowly missed the edge of the upcoming cliff and caught the sight of Hokori and his Coven below.

“Yeah,” Yumi panted. “Yeah, I think so.”

The hoard behind them were not so fortunate to catch their footing and most of them proceeded to miss the edge of the cliff and toppled over. Yumi saw them hit the floor and he cursed when they proceeded to pick themselves up and began walking towards Hokori’s Coven.

“Kiba, we should hurry!” Yumi exclaimed, turning his head to focus on the back of his friend’s head. “Those things are heading for The God of Chaos. We need to get to him before they do!”

Yumi Yajirushi, Aisu’s Sorcerer

Kiba had strength and speed which I could never amount to. His legs were mechanic, as were his arms. Numerous other joints and body parts had been harnessed to withhold the same capabilities of super speed and strength. He was the ideal fighting machine, but Yoku discarded him when she began her next experiments.

No-one seemed to know The Enchantress had been building cyborgs in her laboratory. It was a quick dream which ended the day she began harnessing The Mistress’ DNA for the Pugnator-Virus. The lab was blown up shortly after – we were all inside the building when it was burnt to the ground and I remember fleeing to the basement where we proceeded to live for the years to come.

We lived in fear that one day The Enchantress would perfect her virus and transform Dabblers into Sorcerers. Standing in the middle of this Chaos was enough to know that day had finally come. Our intentions of coming here had been solely to prevent further incidents – but as we approached Hokori and his Coven, we came to realise our mission was a total failure. The casualties continued to pile up one after the other, including The Enchantress herself.

But Yoku stood up again. She stood up and reattached her head as if it were nothing! I dared to wonder if The Mistress was capable of such sorcery if someone were to decapitate her. Naturally, no-one would ever be able to test that theory, for I would never allow it to happen. Protecting The Mistress is all I know how to do.

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


Yoku stared at her daughter with wide eyes of violet. The smallest trace of sentiment could perhaps be found behind the feigned smile she wore on her bloody lips, but none would dare look away from her piercing eyes less they wish to be stabbed.

“I have come to stop this madness you created, mother.” Aisu stated in a small, delicate voice.

Yoku tilted her head, daring to step forward; only to have Yumi and Kiba take a step closer to her in warning. The Enchantress smile, turning up to meet the faces of her previous Coven. Her previous experiments.

“All three of you are still alive. Impressive.” Yoku chuckled, tapping a finger against her chin. Her eyes were filled with awe and fascination; running over the possibilities of how and why they were breathing and moving in front of her after so many years of being buried in her shadow. “Oh! I suppose if you are all here, then surely Tsume is nearby.”

Kiba barked, striding over to grab The Enchantress by the collar of her coat, dismissing the potential danger he could be putting himself in. “I wanna know what made my sister so sick! And by God, if you’ve hurt her in any way, I’ll kill you!”

“Ask her yourself.” Yoku shrugged a slim shoulder, rolling her eyes. “She's only a few feet away, fool.”

Kiba dropped Yoku’s collar and turned on his heel, looking past Aisu’s shoulder and towards the distance where Tsume was limping towards them. Yoku huffed, rearranging her coat with a look of vague offence crossing her face as Kiba moved away.

“Wait.” Yumi spoke, holding his arm out before Kiba could charge off. “Something’s wrong.”

Kiba’s brows knitted together in a silent plead of question. He swallowed thickly, feeling his heart skip a beat when he noticed the differing features decorating his sister’s face. Tsume’s eyes were no longer their bright shade of aqua, but rather a cold cobalt. Red ooze had seeped past her eyelashes and down her cheeks. Black veins had grown up from her arm and covered her shoulder, neck, and cheek. Her already-sick, grey skin was greyer, and her movements were – in every way – wrong.

“Tsume?” Kiba called softly.

Tsume darted, running on all fours the moment Kiba spoke. Her eyes were hungry, and her breathing was cracked as she charged like a hungry animal. Her right arm, decorated in black veins and an obvious bite mark against her elbow, began to glow a dull colour. Magick. She pounced, aiming her fist at Aisu, who was oblivious to the attack.

Aisu flinched at the sensation of blood hitting her face, but no pain was felt. Tsume snarled lowly and trailed her eyes up from the ground to see Yumi’s face twisting with strain and agony. He had jumped between them in the last second and Tsume had plunged her arm through his chest. Pale, bloody fingers twitched through the exit wound of Yumi’s back – eager to reach Aisu’s oblivious face.

Tsume screeched as she began to wrench her arm free from Yumi’s broken chest. Her eyes widened, watching Kiba appear at her side with a bright, blue aura encasing his body as he raised his hand and brought it down across her black-veined arm without so much as a sound or moment’s hesitation.

Tsume cried out as her arm was severed in a clean cut and she stumbled back. Her heel snagged on a rock and she toppled over, landing on her side to cup the bleeding limb as her eyes and skin returned to their normal colour.

Yumi Yajirushi, Aisu’s Sorcerer

I made a promise to keep The Mistress safe. It was a promise I’d made a long time ago and sometimes I wondered if she even remembered the day I made such a promise.

Tsume was Kiba’s sister and I loved her dearly, but I could not allow The Mistress to be harmed. Yet I could not force myself to use a spell against Tsume either and I foolishly jumped in the way. Pain is all I seemed to remember, and I could recall the faint image of Kiba using his Lupus Armour – an exclusive Magick ability only he and Tsume could use.

I watched him cut off his own sister’s arm from her elbow and could recall the rest of it still being lodged in my chest when I hit the ground. Mistress was all I could see after that. My eyes refused to leave her shocked expression as the light dimmed from my vision.

I briefly recall Mistress kneeling down beside me and her lips parted to speak. But I don’t remember what she said after that.

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