Chapter 22:


Densetsu Kenshi: Beginnings

   Shoko and I launched into a coordinated rhythmic attack. It was our combined attack, Shoji's Waltz. Sho from Shoko, and Ji from Seiji. A clever name for a clever attack that let us momentarily manipulate time and attack the enemy when they were most defenseless.

   When Shoko went to the right, I countered to the left.

   Our steps intertwined and our balance perfected, we moved through the room at our own pace, casually throwing a punch to the face here and a kick to the groin there.

   I would've liked to see us dance from an outsider's point of view, but it was also such a thrill to be so close to Shoko and work together as a true team.

   Within seconds, we had cleared out the entirety of the swordsmen from Thermo Corp.

   We closed the routine off by having Shoko twirl into my arms, and me catching her and dipping her back while looking her in the eyes from above.

   We both smiled and let out some toothy grins and a few laughs.

   "Shoko, you looked beautiful out there, just so you know," I whispered into her ear.

   "Ooh-ooh, my lo-ooove! You weren't half bad yourself! Let's do it again sometime!"

   "Yeah, but for now, let's get out of this place. It got wreaked really fast."

   I looked around the room, and the walls were still golden, but there was an unsettling amount of red, uh, paint everywhere. I think I probably contributed the most to that, but it could always be mopped up. If I was the owner, I'd be more concerned about the roasted ceiling from all the fire that dragon spewed out.

   I walked toward the entrance, and Shoko said something to me.

   "Um, my love, aren't you forgetting something?"

   "Uh, no, I don't think so. I got you and I'm right here, what else could it be… oh that's right."

   Shoko interrupted me by pointing her finger at something that I had nearly forgotten about.

   It was an unconscious and thoroughly battered Maekawa. We couldn't just leave Maekawa here alone. He might try and plan something again and come for my head. It was best if we took him into custody or did whatever the appropriate thing to do is in a situation like this. I didn't really know, I was just a teenager suffering from large amounts of blood loss.

   "Shoko, what do we do with him?"

   "Hmm, maybe you can put him in your Inverse Rift and I can pay him back for what he did to you?"

   "Sounds good enough for me."

   We hefted the unconscious Maekawa up off the ground and I was about to open my rift up when I heard a familiar sound.


   That's another Inverse Rift! But who's still able to fight?

   "Regrettably I have to bethe one to do this, but give me Maekawa or I throw her out the window."

   Kitaro from Thermo Corp. spoke up in a loud voice. He had a floating hostage next to him.


   She was unconscious, but looked relatively unhurt. Most people looked unhurt compared to me, but she looked like she was happily dreaming away while being used as a hostage.

   "What!? No--"

   "--My love stop. Something's not right here. I feel two presences here. There's one inside Mitsuki, and another close by."

   "What do you mean? Like she's a host too? And there's a third one here?"

   "I can't confirm about Mitsuki, but there is at least one other here with us."

   "Hey. Stop talking over there and hand him over. I don't have all night, regrettably," Kitaro persisted.

   "Why do we have to give you Maekawa? Nothings stopping us from coming over there and kicking your butt too."

   "Wrong. I've been watching the whole time. You don't have any energy left in you."


   "Seiji Yoshino. Let me tell you something. Recently the boss, the big guy all the way up top at Thermo Corp., made a stop at our office. He mentioned you by name. Nobody knew who you were. But the next day, your little brother shows up dead on the street and you're the new host of that witch over there. Boss followed up with us and said he had a new hire to help track you down. Yeah, don't be surprised, you're holding him. Maekawa was just another tool for our boss to come and get you. To take you out. I've heard he doesn't even care about the eidolon, he just wants you dead!"

   Kitaro jeered and laughed at me like he was some middle school bully and I was a new transfer student.

   "Why are you telling me this? What's your deal? I don't care about your boss, or why he's trying to kill me, but if what you're implying is true, that he's responsible for the death of my family, then after I'm through with Maekawa I'm coming for him."

   My voice was shaky from the rage slowly building up inside me. I was more mad that I couldn't do anything at this moment. I was powerless in a time when someone's life was on the line.

   "I just wanted to see your reaction, and regrettably, it was very disappointing. I'll give you to the count of three to give me Maekawa or I'll take him and the girl by force."


   I looked at Shoko and she looked to have a plan in her head.


   Kitaro skipped two and a flurry of things happened all at once.

   Shoko lunged directly at Kitaro.

   Kitaro threw Mitsuki out the window.

   Izumi-chan appeared out of nowhere and chased Mitsuki out the window.

   Maekawa pushed me over and ran to Kitaro's side, blocking Shoko's attack on his way.


   "MITSUKI!!!" I screamed.

   Nothing ever seemed to go to plan. There was always something.

   "idk where she went, but she fr just disappeared while she was falling," Izumi-chan shouted out by the window.

   "My love! Izumi-chan! We need to leave now! Don't worry about Mitsuki, she'll be okay. My love! Plan C! Now!"

   Shoko shouted out among the confusion.

   Plan C. The backup's backup. It was a last ditch effort plan that basically gave up on all hope of keeping the building intact.

   "On it!"

   I pulled out five delicate flower crowns out of my Inverse Rift. I put some spectra energy in each one and tossed them out onto the floor.

   The hydrangea hydra began to grow rapidly and its five multicolored heads let out their renewed flames.

   This wasn't a situation for us to be the heroes and defeat it. It was our opportunity to distract everyone else so we could make a clean getaway.

   "Shoko! Come back! Izumi-chan, let's go!"

   Shoko jumped into my rift and I grabbed Izumi-chan by the hand and we dashed outside to the balcony. We briefly caught a glimpse of Maekawa and Kitaro escaping on their own, letting their coworkers become grilled meat for the hydra.

   Izumi-chan and I jumped from the 100th floor and rapidly dropped down from the heavens to the streetwalk. We used spectra energy to cushion our landing and we quickly left the downtown to avoid any unnecessary complications.

   I was still bloodied up and nearly fully butchered, but we were able to make it back to my place.

   Izumi-chan stripped me of my clothes and immediately drew a bath and started tending to my wounds.

   "I-Iz… Zumi-chan… how did you know when to come in and what to do? I-I was so surprised. "

   "i told u i'd help u out when u needed it, right? i would never break a promise with u, Seijiii-kun."

   "Z-Zumi-chan… stop… stop holding back. You can cry, it's okay."

   I looked at her face and saw the dam bust open and the tears started flowing. I could tell she was emotional, but I didn't know why.

   "Seijiiii-kun, i-i don't ever want to see u like that. i-it broke my heart seeing u on the verge of death like that. don't ever do it again. please! don't ever do it again!"

   "I-I'll try my best Izumi-chan. I promise I'll try harder."

   We sat there weeping together. I couldn't believe that she cared about me like this.


   Time after time again, Izumi-chan proved to be one of the most faithful to me. For her loyalty, I swore to protect her and do whatever thing necessary for her to have a better life.

   But for now, it seemed to be best to lay low awhile, and let things blow over. I was the new kid to this world of eidolons and swordsmen, but the clarity of my situation was easy even for someone like me to see.

   This past month or so taught me to respect the fragility of life. I lost so many people close to me because of this life, but I have met so many great people thanks to it. For now, I'll just bunker down and protect the loved ones I still have with every fiber of being. I may not be the hero in my story, but I'll bet my life that I'll have the same, if not better results than the hero. That's what I'm here for. Regardless of how I go about it, at the end of the day, my friends and I will prevail against the many threats of a man-made world driven by the pursuits of men.