Scene XXIV: You Are My Sunshine
Concordia, Void of Chaos. 2014, May
Hokori unleashed a wave of Magick against the foes pouncing for him and Kin. He conjured the ground to rise; morphing pebbles into spears and blowing the weak down with a gale of wind.
Soon enough, the threats dwindled down until all that remained were either the unfortunate souls laying still upon the floor, or the ones who were fortunate enough to survive with only a lost limb or two. In the end, the total of survivors outweighed the dead – which was something Hokori found solace in.
Kobi and Nara’s fight never faltered. Even as the infected audience charged towards them – they took turns slashing the foes down before returning to each other. Kobi’s style of fighting was similar to her dance routine. She was swift and steady on her feet, tossing her body around without breaking a sweat and twirled to avoid Nara’s reckless attacks.
“Fulur!” Kobi cried, hopping from the ground. She twirled in the air as static coiled around her body and down her arm. She cornered Nara in place against a line of boulders and flicked her wrist, casting her lighting across the battlefield.
Nara gritted his teeth and tripped, falling straight into the aim of Kobi’s spell. He gagged against the zap and convulsed as lighting struck his already battered stomach before rolling onto the ground.
“It’s over, Nara.” Kobi landed with all the elegance in the world, panting and leaning forward to take advantage of the small break. “You lose.”
Nara didn’t move. He was out for the count and barely breathing against his numerous injuries. It was a sight even Kobi had never wished to see and she had to swipe a tear from her cheek before anyone could notice her weakness. She rolled her shoulders and turned to the fallen Muchina. No-one had time to check on him since Nara’s attack.
The smell of burning flesh filled her nostrils, causing her eyes to sting and stomach to churn. Kobi was hesitant when she knelt to move Muchina over onto his back. The whole right side of his body was a horrible black char. He had sustained the damage on his arm – which was no longer attached to his shoulder. Nara’s Magick had blown it clean off, just as it had done to her own porcelain arm.
“Muchina?” Kobi whispered softly, resting her hand against the man’s chest. She was relieved to feel he was still breathing, albeit weakly, and she sniffled as her fingers travelled to his burnt shoulder. “Don’t worry, Muchina. I’ll heal ya, hon. Then we can turn our noses at this awful place, yeah?”
From above them sat Chishiki, having watched the entire fight from start to finish. He pulled his legs closer to his chest, shuffling atop his boulder of protection. The hood he wore cast a comfortable shade over his face to prevent him going blind from Hokori’s sun above. He had been ready to jump down when his eyes flickered, noting Nara dragging himself across the ground towards Kobi and Muchina.
Chishiki acted quickly, grabbing a loose rock jutting out of the boulder. He tugged until it broke against his palm and he stood. In Concordia Theatre’s show, he would perform the knife act with Hari – making him a very skilled shot when it came to striking a target. Effortlessly, he threw the rock through the air and watched as the sharp edge knocked Nara on the head, rendering him unconscious for good. Satisfied, Chishiki smirked and looked back across the horizon where Hari and Kumo continued to close the distance.
Within the midst of the battlefield, Kiba’s Lupus Armour died down and he skidded to a stop. His eyes surveyed the wasteland, flickering down to the bodies piled at his feet. It was over. He dropped his hands at his sides and turned to his sister as she came to a stop beside him, bumping shoulders.
“Is that all of them?” Tsume blurted, rubbing her hand against her stumped elbow.
“All of them,” Yujin spoke up, limping his way through the debris and chaos. “Except one.”
As if on cue, a faint gag of breath followed Yujin’s words and the group turned to see The Chairman’s son limping his way towards them. His red eyes were brimmed with tears and he choked, raising his arm to summon a spell. Yujin refused to defend himself and began walking across the bodies to face him. The closer he got, the more obvious Chini’s suffering was.
“Toi… Please… Help me….”
A needle of light escaped Chini’s palm. The sharp beam scratched Yujin’s cheek, causing a small sum of blood to trickle down his pale face.
“I can’t…” Yujin breathed. His hand was glowing, and he turned tense, keeping his arm at his side as tears began to roll down his bloody cheek. “I can’t do it!”
“No. But I can.” Tsumi appeared at Yujin’s side. “I can do it.”
“No, Tsumi! No!” Yujin shook his head, stepping closer to Chini. “You can’t do that to him. Not to Chini!”
Tsumi watched Yujin move towards their friend. Her eyes never left Chini’s glowing palms. The range was too close now and even if Chini was trying to fight against his will to attack, there was no way Yujin could possibly dodge the next spell – not with how close he was.
“Chini,” Yujin turned to face the man. He stretched his arms out and shook his head. “I’m so sorry-”
Chini hitched back a growl as a bright spell plunged itself into his neck, targeting the source of his virus. His red eyes turned wide, tears streaking down his cheeks and the black veins under his skin began to dissipate; returning to normal. He made a small sound of pain and his knees buckled, falling forward into Yujin’s arms.
They slid to the ground together and Yujin sighed loudly, pulling him close. He rested his chin atop Chini’s head and closed his eyes, gently rocking him to and fro as if he were nothing but a small child reliving a nightmare.
Everyone standing around them had watched the scene – all sharing a moment of silence for the dying man in Yujin’s arms. Tsumi slowly joined them and knelt. Her pale hand reached up to squeeze Yujin’s shoulder and she bowed, pressing her forehead against the crook of his neck.
“You two… are cry-babies, you know?” Chini whispered weakly against Yujin’s chest. He swallowed the blood in his throat and stared up at the sun above. He fought against the pain in his gaping neck as he turned to Yujin and Tsumi’s tear-filled faces. “You’ll be okay without me… yes? Don’t let this get you down… Toi. Tsumi… don’t cry anymore. Please… don’t cry…”
“Chini,” Yujin whispered, slowly raising a hand as Chini’s eyes fell shut. His fingers were shaking when he moved strands of purple away from his pale face. “Chini!”
“Yujin,” Tsumi cut in. She turned her head away, biting her lip with frustration. “He’s gone.”
Yujin sucked in a sharp breath and squeezed his eyes shut. The hand upon Chini’s face moved to grasp Tsumi’s hand and his fingers intertwined with hers in a tight grip for comfort. Tsumi responded in kind, shaking as she allowed one last tear to track down her cheek before she stopped crying: adhering to Chini’s last request.
“Thank you for doing what I couldn’t,” Yujin whispered, gently moving Chini’s body to rest upon the ground. “…How did you know I wasn’t going to do it myself?”
“Because I knew you could never do something like that. Chini knew it, too. You were always a better person than he or I could ever be.” Tsumi replied, untangling her hand from Yujin’s. “You would have let him take your life.”
Yujin turned silent. His eyes kept staring at the look of peace upon Chini’s face; desperate for those red eyes to open and his mouth to start shouting or swearing. He knew it was foolish to wish for and moved to gingerly discard his coat and drape it across Chini’s face with all the respect in the world.
“It’s done now.” Yujin whispered, reaching for the pocket of his coat to pull out the small gift he had brought along for the sake of Muzai’s birthday. Stuffing it into his trouser pocket, he finally stood. “He’s at peace.”
“Well, well, well,” The Enchantress’ vile, cold voice rang out – shattering the atmosphere with her trademark cooing. “What a tragic end for my poor, little nephew.”
Tsumi moved first, whirling to stand beside Yujin and glare daggers at Yoku. Her heart skipped a beat when she found The Enchantress standing with her arm secure around Muzai’s waist with a syringe to her neck.
“Yes, Tsumi?” Yoku mocked. “Was there something you wished to do?”
From the edge of the group stood Miryoku. He had faltered after following Yoku up the dune, shock and disgust filling his chest at the sight of crumpled bodies along the floor. His stomach turned when Yoku had pressed on, stepping over the groaning audience as if they were no different than the earth beneath them. He nearly left but was forced to stay when Yoku grabbed Muzai around the waist.
Biting his lip, Miryoku stared up into the sky. He saw the golden sun turning on its axis and knew well enough about the foundational structure of the Void since Senbo had told him plenty about it when he was younger. Back when life was simple. He darted forward without thought, raising his hands towards the golden heart of the Void.
Kin was the first to notice Miryoku and he opened his mouth to shout when Hokori moved, lacing an arm around his Familiar’s waist. His eyes were serious, refusing to let Kin distract Miryoku from summoning a spell.
“I would stop if I were you,” Yoku began. “If anyone tries to destroy the heart, this girl will become just like my nephew over there, understand?”
Miryoku felt his heart hitch in his chest. His hands stayed in the air, but his Magick died. He watched Yoku; challenging her as she turned to face him and yanked Muzai’s head to the side, daring to press the needle closer to her pulsating throat.
Then the sun shattered, turning to glass after a fierce spell had been cast. Yoku’s eyes had never left Miryoku; his fingers had never glowed, and he never unleashed a spell. It had been Tsumi Kokutan to rip the sun out of Concordia’s sky.
“Interesting,” Yoku mused, shoving Muzai out of her arms and towards Miryoku, who caught her with ease.
Kin screamed, wrapping his arms around Hokori. The God of Chaos had turned stiff the moment his sun was destroyed. He swallowed thickly, numb fingers gently prying his Familiar off of him.
“You need to... get out of here.” Hokori gasped, landing on his knees. The ground beneath him broke, splitting apart as he convulsed. “The Void… is breaking.”
“No, Boss!” Kin shook his head and grabbed Hokori’s arm to pull him back up. “I can’t leave ya ’ere!”
Hokori shoved, sending Kin backwards. “Now! You need to get Katsubo to a hospital! You need to take care of our family, understand? Understand?” He shouted, slapping a hand to the floor for support.
“Boss… I-I understand, Boss.” Kin winced, forcing himself to turn away from Hokori and bring his attention back to the group. He turned to Kiba, waving an arm in the air. When he began shouting commands, his eyes were welling with tears. “Oi! The Void’s breakin’! We need’a get out! I need ya ’elp carrying our people back!”
Tsumi stood in the centre of the falling Void. Her eyes rested upon Muzai and Miryoku. She felt her arms grow tense and her vision turned hazy when she slapped herself across the cheek and muttered under her breath. When her head turned against her own infliction, she saw the ground beneath her breaking and the red in her eye disappeared.
“Yujin!” Tsumi called. “We have to get out!”
Yujin’s eyes were dull when he turned his head to look back. He offered a small nod, unwillingly stepping away from Chini’s body as it was sucked up into the shattering Void, along with every other fallen Dabbler and Familiar they had lost.
Tsumi had to look away when Chini fell. She reached for Yujin’s hand and they jumped across the splitting ground, landing on the other side with unsteady intent, rolling in a pile of aches and pains. Tsumi refused to groan before shooting back up to her feet and stomped over to Muzai.
“We have to go.” She deadpanned, grabbing the girl’s arm. “Now.”
Muzai allowed herself to be pulled away from Miryoku’s arms; just in time to avoid the ground splitting apart. In a blink of an eye, Miryoku vanished in the swarming chaos and Muzai screamed, thrashing as Tsumi dragged her into the untouched part of the desert where everyone had fled to.
“What about Hari and Kumo?” Chishiki called out, helping Kobi to support Muchina’s charred body. “They haven’t made it back yet!”
“Hoshi and Memori were in here, too.” Yujin spoke up, joining Tsumi and Muzai’s side. “We can’t save everyone.”
“Hahen and Hikari are here? In the Void?!” Muzai turned to look up at Tsumi. “We can’t leave them here!”
Tsumi said nothing to reassure her. All she could do was shake her head, keeping a hand firmly against Muzai’s arm before she could even think of running off.
“And mother?” Aisu’s relaxed voice drifted through the rattling sounds of destruction around them. “Where is she?”
“She ain’t ’ere!” Kin snapped, raising Katsubo into his arms. “The bitch got away.
“Is there any time to find her?!” Kiba barked, supporting Yumi.
Tsume shook her head, hoisting Nara over her shoulder. “No time.”
The ground erupted; rumbling like an earthquake before everything turned silent. The air turned still, following the distant echo of glass breaking. Tsumi was the first to look up, finding the blue sky above was cracking with black lines.
“The sky is falling.”