Chapter 12:


Densetsu Kenshi: Beginnings

   "Hufff... hufff..."

   I had been fighting the pink hydra head for long enough now. The hydrangea hydra really was overwhelming. Everytime I went for an attack, it countered with its deadly flames or just plain tried to eat me. Luckily, I was able to get a few attacks in, but I was relatively in a bad spot. From where I was fighting the pink head, I hadn't even managed to see what the other four heads were doing.

   Mitsuki, Takenaka, and Sensei must be fighting the other ones, but there'd still be one left over...

   My train of thought was derailed by a sudden lunge from the hydra.

   "Ah!" I rolled out of the way as a roaring blast of pink fire flew toward me.

   "Shoko! Help me out here!"

   "Nope." She returned flatly. "Just kill it already."

   "I've tried, but I just can't seem to cut the thing's head off!"

   "Then just run away. This isn't your problem. It's really not a big deal. A mere eidolon causing a small panic at a local school. What a headline! Pshht, not really."

   "How can you say that!?"

   "My love, you're talking to the Shoko. This eidolon is small fry compared to me."

   "B-but the people!"

   "People come and go, my love. Besides, it's not like the hydra will stay here forever. Somebody will come around and take care of it, my love."

   "I-I can't just wait around for that! There're innocent lives at stake!"

   "Ooh-ooh, are they really innocent? I wonder just how true that is, my love. You do know that eidolons always have a reason for manifesting, right?"

   "What are you saying!? Now's not the time for your word-games!"

   "Hmph. Rude. I'm not helping anymore."


   While we were arguing I was able to get a few more strikes in, but there was still no visible damage to the hydra.

   I made a run for it and dived under some nearby rubble. I poked my head out and I saw a truly terrifying sight. Well, more like the lack thereof was what was terrifying.

   It's gone? Where did it g--

   I found myself flying through the air and slammed up against a nearby wall. I slid down and tried to catch my breath. The air was completely knocked out of me and I was entirely incapacitated. I raised my head up and saw the hydra glaring at me. From it's position, it must have looped around me and knocked me to the wall from behind.

   It slowly opened its mouth and revealed all of its many razor-sharp teeth. A bright neon pink glow started to well up from deep inside its throat.

   Is this it? Death by chomp or death by barbecue?

   The fire erupted from its mouth and covered everything I could see. Everything except for a slender silhouette that just dropped in out of nowhere.
   She's gonna die!

   "i'm izumi-chan! ttstd!" The silhouette squealed out in an extremely high pitched voice. She waved her sword around and dispersed all of the pink flames. She adjusted her grip on her sword, now wielding it with both hands. She raised it up in an offensive stance, looked straight at the hydra and called out, "direct message: gtfo!"

   She brought her sword down on the hydra's neck in a flash of steel and spunk. She swung only her sword, but her ability made four more blades that followed the exact trajectory of her real blade. They were each slightly delayed, slashing the hydra in a consecutive barrage and leaving it in a bloody and chopped up mess.

   "Y-you... you're that girl! Izumi, right!?" I asked.

   "huh? u know my name? ig i did say 'i'm izumi-chan' but why tf do u look like u know me?" She flipped the question on me.

   "You tried to kill me! How could I forget!?" I exclaimed.

   "hm. problem, bc u were like, totally afk in your mind, but nmp. i got work rn, so bye." She said all that and then turned to leave.

   "Wait! This is your problem! You tried to kill me! I-I don't like that! At least apologize or something!"

   "nope. l8r bro. btw, ur kinda cute!" She winked at me with that subtle compliment as if it smoothed everything over. She ran off before I could say anything more to her.

   "That brat! Who does she think she is? Just answer me for crying out loud!"

   "Pssst, my love, shut up. Also, better grab that flower crown before this big boy wakes back up and gobbles ya up!" Shoko teased.

   "So now you say something! Give me a break! I liked it better when you weren't talking to me!"

   "Your wish is my command, my love. Later loner!"

   I shook off her insult and grabbed the pink flower crown and left this part of the school and ran over to where I thought Izumi went. I ran to the back of the school and my eyes widened in shock. This was the real battlefield.

   Takenaka and Maekawa-sensei were busy battling the red hydra in an electric and fiery skirmish. Izumi against the blue one and her partner Kitaro with the green one. They all seemed to be okay, not that the wellbeing of Izumi and Kitaro really mattered to me.

   The shocking part was the white hydra head. It was sleeping amongst all the chaos. It honestly looked peaceful. With its neck all coiled up in a circle, I felt that I should just leave it alone.

   Despite my feelings, I knew I couldn't leave it alone. Or rather, I couldn't approach it. The sleeping hydra head wasn't actually alone. Tucked right in the middle were two hostages.

   Two women.

   Mitsuki, and, my mother.

   "M-m-m... MITSUKI! MOTHER!"

   I screamed from the bottom of my heart.

   Those two. How did it all happen? Of course I was concerned about my mother getting hurt at the school... but taken as a hostage? I never would've imagined, and here it was. Reality showing me just how cruel it can be.

   I took a step forward. My movements were sluggish as I readied my sword. I could feel the adrenaline pumping all throughout my body. Up and down my legs, into my arms, and into my head. An indescribable feeling of absolute power coursing through me. 

   There was something else underneath it all too. My latent rage and hate for the world bubbling and boiling deep inside me. I was never able to manage it very well when something bothered me, but this hydrangea hydra was the straw that broke my back. The fact that it took those precious to me and used them like this. Like their only value was in being used as tools. Tools that served one purpose-- to take advantage of me.

   I turned all of my anger and hate and put it into my spectra energy. I felt it dripping off of me, like liquid drops of flame. The feeling of an excess of pure power.

   "Oi! Seiji-kun! Don't attack the white one, okay?"

   "Seiji-san! Praises on high that thou art safe! Be careful!"

   "What!? How can he summon spectra energy like that? It should be sealed..." Kitaro shouted to Izumi.

   "um, tbh, there's a lot goin' on rn! idek what to say!"

   "Stop," I commanded. "Everyone stop. Get behind me. Everyone, now."

   The three hydra heads all looked at me. My immense aura of spectra energy probably attracted them. Maekawa, Takenaka, Izumi and Kitaro all took the chance and retreated.

   I put aside my doubts in myself and took a deep breath.


   Staring at the terrifying reflection of myself in the eyes of the hydra, I imagined my own ability. My emotions overcame my judgment, filling my mind with all of my hate and anger and pain that I had felt recently. The feelings that made me think I lived in hell. 

   I pointed my sword at the hydra and called out my new ability. An ability that would enshroud my entire being with dark malevolent green flames.

   "Reaper's Paradise: Hell's Ambition!"

   I zigged and zagged through the onslaught of fire and teeth. I could ignore the other heads for now. My goal was the two hostages trapped by the white hydra head.

   I swung my sword like a madman through everything the hydra put against me. The flames on my body spread around me, corrupting the hydra with every swing of my sword. I leapt into the air, brought my sword down as hard as I could on top of the white hydra head.

   "AGHH!" I cried savagely.

   "Seiji-kun! No! It'll kill one of them at random, okay!" Maekawa-sensei shouted.

   His warning was much too late.

   My flaming blade cut through the air and shattered on impact with the hydra.

   The hydra instinctively coiled tighter. There was only room for one person now.

   It opened its eyes, now clearly awake, and plucked one of them out.

   It tossed her in the sky and she fell right into its mouth. Snapping its jaw shut before she fully entered its mouth, releasing a bright crimson firework of blood.

   "Seiji-kun! Retreat! Now that they're all awake, you won't be able to do anything, okay! You couldn't even save both of them, get back now before you lose your own life!"

   "Seiji-san! Listen to us and come back, thou art unarmed! Retreat!"

   "No... no... NOOO! MOTHER!" I let out a raw scream of misery. It didn't matter to me that all four of the hydra heads were now looking at me and charging up their next and presumably final fiery attack.

   "Oi, Izumi! Regrettably, this wasn't in Yoshino-san's plan. We need to leave, now!"

   "umm, ur right... kitaro, let's go."

   No matter what was happening behind me, no matter what they said to me, I was still too focused on the hydra. I knew they wouldn't help me. They valued their own lives like they're millionaires. Right then, I gave up all hope on a better future. First my mother, and Mitsuki could very well be next. It felt like some sick joke. An awful surprise party filled with people I don't even like.

   "Shoko! Give... give it to me!" I roared, thrusting my hand into my Inverse Rift.

   "Ooh-ooh! Yesss, my love!" She said gleefully.

   I felt her hand me a sword inside the rift. I pulled out that thick, dark and wicked blade that even I had fallen victim to.

   I hefted it up above my head. The rage inside and around me was strangling me and made it hard to breathe. Even harder to talk. I struggled through it and mustered out my final attack.

   "Agh... R-Reaper's Paradise: Scarlet Letter!"  

   Spectra energy surged out as I called out the name of that fated sword.

   The hydra released its multicolored fire bomb at me, but I had already moved behind it.

   With a quick slash, I decapitated all of the heads. Green, blue, red and white blood and guts spurted out from their headless necks and rained down everywhere. The neckless heads dropped to the ground in a series of wet squishes and twitching.

   "MItsuki! Mitsuki!" I ran to her and pulled her away from the hydrangea hydra's motionless body. I held her in my arms until she woke up. She looked at me with those precious crystal clear eyes and a faint smile.

   "S-Seiji-kun... y-you're okay... I-I'm glad." She stuttered in surprise.

   "Mitsuki... I-I'm okay. I-I was so worried."

   "You were? I-I'm glad, Seiji-kun... Seiji-kun, keep worrying about me please."

   "I will, Mitsuki. I promise."

   She stayed with me for a few more moments as I caressed her forehead and hair. Tears welled up in her eyes and she started to cry. 

   "S-Seiji-kun... I-I'm so so so sorry! I'm sorry! Y-your mother! I-I'm s-sorry" She bursted out.

   "It's not your fault, Mitsuki."

   "B-but it is! Sensei told me to protect her with my life... I f-failed... can't you see? Huhh... fufft... huhh... fufft..."

   "I can't blame you Mitsuki."

   "H-how are you s-so calm right now? Didn't you love her... y-you'll never see her again..."

   "It's best for me to let it out in private. You can't possibly imagine what I'm feeling right now. Thank you, Mitsuki. Thank you for everything."

   "S-Seiji-kun!" She burst into another fit of crying and dug her head deeper into my chest.

   I stopped focusing on Mitsuki and turned to Maekawa-sensei and Takenaka. It seemed like Izumi and Kitaro from Thermo Corp. had already fled the scene. Maekawa-sensei and Takenaka looked at me like I was a monster.

   I couldn't blame them. I went missing for a few days, come back and witness my... my... die right in front of me, and then take out an extremely powerful eidolon with my previous non-existent spectra energy and act like nothing happened.

   I got up and grabbed the rest of the flower crowns and tossed them into my Inverse Rift.

   Now that I know how these things work, it's important that they don't fall into the wrong hands... but how did they get here in the first place?

   I kept my sword with me. It seemed like one of those days where I might just need to protect myself from getting hurt even more.

   "Takenaka," I called out. "Hold Mitsuki and take her home. It's about time we left this place."

   "R-right, O Seiji-san."

   He hurried over and picked up the hysterical Mitsuki in his arms. 

   "Maekawa-sensei, you... y-you... Nevermind, I'm going home. There's probably some paperwork that I'll have to do now."

   I said all that very cautiously, not knowing how safe it was to disclose information in an open place like this.

   "Seiji-kun, about that sword... How did ya... No, better left unasked... Okay, okay."

   "I'll tell you later. Don't worry about it. Bye now."

   I left the scorched battlefield behind.

   I walked home as if it was any other day. After all that fighting, all that violence. I still had one more fight to finish. One more fight to win.

   I lost the fight as soon as I entered my house.

   The fight to hold back my tears.