He ran for his life. Few things terrified him, but even a demon has his limits. He took a glance behind him, making sure his comrades were following Shit! Three of us down already!
He quickly shifted his attention back to where he was running, vaulting easily over a chain link fence with his strong, muscular legs. He turned a corner, hoping by Lucifer that it was his ticket out, but his silent pleas went unanswered as he skidded to a halt at a dead end.
Gunshots rang out behind him, quickly followed by the sound of high pitched, reverberating metal sliding out of its sheath and the sickening crunch of slicing through bone, echoing down the alley. The fiend turned around, and counted his comrades as they gathered into the little alley, seemingly the stage for their last stand. He felt sweat drip down his red, almost muscle-like skin. We lost nine more
How in the hell did it come to this?
"Damn it, I didn't think that midget would be here
"Who's a midget now?" a quiet voice from behind demanded.
His blood ran cold as he turned back towards the dead end, finding himself eye level with metal greaves. His eyes traced up the lithe frame of a small girl in a black overcoat. She looked as if she was still in her teens, but her calm, stoic demeanor on that window sill, piercing him with her cold, silver eyes, suggested otherwise. And I thought she was just a harmless little girl when I first saw her. Who would have thought
"You devil-hunting bitch!" he roared, arm poised to strike, just before a bullet drilled through his horned skull and impacted the ground behind him, taking the demon's soul back to the earth from whence it came.
"Tsukino Ayane," she spoke softly. "Remember the name on your way back home."
Tim Huynh Le, a.k.a. "OrangeSbr," presents
Crimson-Haired Valkyrie: Devil Hunter Ayane
Volume 1, Chapter 1: Shallow Life
The fiends stared as their leader fell, his grotesquely muscular physique collapsing lifelessly like a rag doll as it disintegrated into a hazy red mist into the bright moonlit night. They gaped, flabbergasted, as Ayane calmly dropped down to the alley floor and strode silently into their midst. Her crimson hair reflected the light of the moon above, and her wintry eyes were its messengers of impending doom.
You'll pay for what you did to our aniki!" One yelled out. "Attack!"
The huntress was outnumbered. She had only her twin 90two Berettas and a katana. Two demons rushed at her flanks. Three charged head on. One leapt at her from above, and another sought to slip underneath her guard. There was no change to her composure as she processed the information and leapt into action.
She back-flipped and fired a round from each gun into the heads of her flankers. They sailed past harmlessly, the calm and steely gaze in her childish face the last thing they saw as they returned to hell. Her feet came into contact with the wall she had vacated only moments more. Immediately she whipped forth one arm and fired a bullet point blank and the demon directly in front of her, who violently exploded into a scarlet vapor, showering the Valkyrie for only a split second before evaporating just as quickly. Without missing a beat, she used her coiled legs and launched forth into an aerial somersault between the remaining monsters, firing shots above and below her, and then immediately at either side as she threaded their formation.
Her fluid movements happened so fast the consequence of every muzzle flash seemed to lag behind and happen all at once. The brute below her careened into the wall, headless. The one above her followed suit, a neat hole punched through his sternum. The two at her sides had a sudden, simultaneous change in trajectory as the bullets connected with their skulls and smashed them into the buildings surrounding the Kyoto alley. They combusted into fading sanguine hazes as they, too, returned to the underworld.
Unimaginable pain tore through her gut as the girl felt agonizing hell, something piercing through her back and out her stomach before she could even touch the ground. She stopped struggling and hung lifeless from a demon's claws, her weight settling on his palm. She coughed up blood, the same fluid from her entrails that splashed out onto the concrete, staining it with a scarlet shade deeper than her red tresses. Her pistols thudded into the concrete as her fingers dangled uselessly.
The monster struggled to keep himself upright, but let out a sigh of relief. His other hand was at his chest, trying to will his chest wound to close as it leaked a red miasma. He chuckled lightly to himself. "I did it
killed the devil hunter!" His nightmares were over. Or so he had thought.
His empty smile froze as he saw the girl's head slowly turn back at him. Even with her life running down the length of his arms and dripping off his claws, her body pulsated with energy; it discharged static electricity as he looked up the prone figure. He stopped at the face: the face that he saw would haunt him forever: she was smiling with the visage of a psychotic killer, her icy gaze having changed into a malignant orange color.
"You'll regret that, scum," she said in a very husky, sinister, and even otherworldly voice. With a surge of vile energy that flared from her slender body, she no longer appeared human. Her long, straight, flowing crimson locks were in an instant a short, spiky black. A remaining long lock of hair grew longer and became bound and wrapped taut with red ribbons, forming a creepy five-foot ponytail. Her already pale skin became ashen, and long, thin scars etched from her eyes down to her jaw. She rapidly sprouted a pair of large, menacing leathery wings from her lower back, as well as long spikes from her shoulders, elbows and knees. Her steel bracers and greaves had even seemed to have become part of her physiology, her fingers now replaced with articulated, malicious claws and her feet sprouting metallic talons.
The demon was in fact looking at another demon. After quickly realizing that her weight was also no longer on his claws, he also realized he was only looking at where she was. An afterimage!
The abomination of the little girl faded away as soon as he turned around, but it was too late to stop a keen blade from separating the fiend from his lower half, cleaving him in two without even giving him a chance to let out a howl. His eyes started to lose focus as he toppled over, gazing at his killer as the anathema flourished her katana. The sword blazed with ethereal flames, singing as it spun in tight, graceful arcs through the air before returning to the saya.
"That wasn't even half of what you owe me," She said with a fanged and vindictive grin as she watched his life wither away into the night. Her job was complete.
The client's bodyguard placed the suitcase upon the desk, unlocked the handcuffs on his wrist, and opened it up. He turned it around towards the redhead, and had the girl confirm that every yen note was there and real.
The client reluctantly parted with the cash he had promised the youngster, who closed the luggage case without the ceremony. Had he known of her reputation in the "underworld," he would have taken her a lot more seriously than he did. He probably wouldn't have lost as much as he did, either.
Ayane gave an imperceptible nod, turned on her heels and glided out the door without a word.
The client let out the breath he had been holding as she left, just as silently as she had entered, no leaving so much as a trace other than the large dent she had left in his account.
"Who knew such a girl could instill so much terror
?" He, from then on, vowed to take everyone he hired thereafter, whether young or old, loud or mute, green or seasoned, with the utmost seriousness, and most importantly, respect.
A high school student brushed her fingers through her black, silky hair, letting out a long, heavy sigh as a large vehicle stopped in front of her. The bus arrived without fanfare, the doors opening and letting people off. There were some hushed gossip and glances back into the cabin, but she ignored them as she stepped in with resignation.
"Hanamura-san!" beamed the bus driver. "Another long night?"
"Yes," she answered with a weak smile. The raven-haired girl quietly took the ticket from the small machine and glanced over at the fare rates, fishing for enough change from her purse as she went to find her seat.
The first thing she noticed among the already small number of passengers was that people had subtly steered clear from a peculiar redhead. There was little variety of color in terms of hair in Japan, mostly black and the occasional dyed brown, but this girl's hair almost seemed like it was straight out of an illustration. Her sharp gaze was silver, too, but any physical indication of an outsider ended there; while her eyes were slightly larger than usual, they had a Japanese flair to them, and her frame was slight and small.
"I'm telling you that you didn't have to interfere," the redhead whispered quietly.
Hanamura furrowed her brow. The girl spoke perfect Japanese with no particular dialect or foreign accent.
"Of course not! I was perfectly fine."
No, the reason she was being avoided was that she was carrying on a conversation. A seemingly normal conversation.
"You know something like that couldn't kill me."
It was just a conversation with no one, but she carried on her strange exchange, arguing with whatever everyone else couldn't hear all the same.
Hanamura sat down a little ways away. She curiously examined the girl out of the corner of her eye. She checked her ears for headsets or something of the like, but couldn't find any trace of such devices. The girl didn't seem particularly scary at a glance. In fact, she seemed very cute; probably around her age, likely younger. Her lithe figure was noticeable and modestly sculpted for someone of her height. Hanamura noted, however, that she had a bloodied rip in her dark overcoat, which raised all sorts of questions, even more so that there didn't appear to be any injuries. She did seem familiar, though, and Hanamura briefly wondered if she was a younger student from her school. She'd have to pay closer attention. Not that she'd be too hard to find with her hair color.
"Oh, are you actually worried about me?" the redhead asked the air mockingly.
The student briefly looked away in embarrassment, although the reason she felt shamed she couldn't place, since obviously the girl wasn't talking to her. Hanamura couldn't help catch a glimpse of the youngster's lips curving into a mischievous smirk.
"Of course you don't care," the girl said as she softly giggled to herself.
The teenager couldn't help but find her laugh both cute and downright creepy at the same time. As the bus stopped, she found her eyes following after the enigma as the redhead picked up a briefcase and a long, slender bag, got up, and left.
Ayane finally arrived back at her apartment, the money deposited and several more stares earned at the bank. She quietly shut the door behind her, keeping the lights off as she walked over to her room. The girl set down her bagged katana near her bed, tossed aside her third empty briefcase that month, and carefully removed her ruined overcoat. She examined it with a frown and tossed it to the side.
"And I really liked that coat, too," she sighed aloud as she pulled off her tattered and bloodied undershirt.
[Hey, you got money to buy hundreds more,] mused a voice within Ayane. [Hell, I even got to let loose a little. It was a good night overall.]
"Don't get used to it, Rache," Ayane sighed as she took off her shorts. "You know, there have been too many demon hunts recently. I thought you guys were supposed to leave humans alone."
[Normally, unless you've provoked us somehow. Or you were just stupid.]
"Hm." She worked on pulling off her over-knee socks. "Well, whatever. It pays for food and rent."
[And your video games.]
"Urusai," Ayane answered back flatly.
[You know, you still haven't even finished that Tactics game yet, but you got two copies.]
"It's a re-release! And it was a bargain, too!" She undid her bra in a huff, but her ire passed quickly. She stood there, looking down at herself clad only in her panties. She ran her thumb over the long scar she had on her chest almost since birth, down to where there should have been a large hole in her abdomen, from where she had been skewered roughly two hours ago. Naturally, or rather, supernaturally, it had already closed up almost instantaneously, and didn't even leave a scratch on her nearly white skin. She flopped back on her bed and stared at the ceiling, mulling over her life's work. A devil hunter: a mercenary who accepts jobs pertaining to the supernatural, chasing down and cleaning up whatever could be called the "work of the devil." She had lived this harsh career almost since she was able to walk. It's not like I mind what I do, but
"You ever think there'll be time to do things other than just demon slaying?"
what? More games?]
Ayane frowned. "I don't know. What do you think is fun?"
[You're asking a demon that has been sealed inside you since you were born. You think I would know?]
"Touché." She pulled the covers over her form and treasured the soft touch of the fabric against her bare skin, smiling as she snuggled into the mattress. "Goodnight, Rache."
Rache slowly felt her host drift off, Ayane finally falling asleep. Rache couldn't help but smile to herself: the absence of the girl's bone-chilling stare revealed Ayane's perfectly tranquil and angelic face.
Ayane flinched as the large wyvern turned its gaze towards her. It stomped its winged forelimbs into the ground and let out a powerful roar, knocking her clear off her feet, damaging her eardrums as she somersaulted backwards through the air, heavy armor, massive bone sword and all, and landed face first in the snow. The behemoth set its sights on the little girl that dared challenge its domain, and started to rush headlong at the intruder of its territory, a blur of pale orange and sky blue fury.
[Dive out of the way!] Rache yelled in her skull.
"Urusai!" She barely got up before the wyvern's powerful jaws snapped at her, hurling her back into an icy wall. She was badly hurt, and it seemed like the beastly creature would charge again. The hunter couldn't survive another hit like that.
[Roll to the side and cut off its tail!]
"No backseat gaming!" Ayane hissed at her mind's occupant as she wrestled her PSP's controls. She was sitting in a waiting room as she passed the time, her client still in a meeting. Her exclamation over the hack-and-slash RPG had elicited some stares, but everyone in the office silently went back to work, the air in the room returning to its earlier gloom. She glanced up as she saw police officers leave her client's office, hitting pause on her game. The secretary walked out as well and motioned for her to come in. Ayane flipped her handheld into sleep mode and put it away, standing up and silently gliding into the room.
"Tsukino Ayane, I
" started the man sitting in the executive chair, his back to the huntress before he wheeled around, "I
are you not?" He had the same reaction of almost every other client she met. Even when she nodded in acknowledgement, he continued to stare.
She let out a sigh. It's always the same.
To think that such a young girl would even accept to do battle with such horrific creatures was inconceivable. Her last client had even gone so far as to openly mock her and offered an immense sum in cash if she could even come back alive. Her fee was normally much lower; probably an eighth of what she got for a job that size, if that. She never needed much, living alone. She had a nice apartment, but it was fairly small. She just wanted to put him in his place.Well, not that it matters.
She cleared her throat, which shook him out of his stupor.
"Ah, yes. Well, I suppose I should explain the situation."
Silence followed as Ayane stared expectantly. He pulled out a handkerchief and wiped the sweat off his brow.
"Right," He continued. "There has been some
trouble going down at the lot our company has contracted to build on. Several of the construction workers have been claiming that there are demons. We've had three deaths so far, the circumstances surrounding them
bizarre in nature. The one this morning had, well
" He pulled out a photograph, placed it on the desk, and turned it around towards her before sliding it over. He didn't see any change in the girl's face as she looked at it other than a small narrowing of the eyes. "Gruesome. Far too gruesome."
"Hence the officers that were just here."
"Hai. I do not have any ideas as to how it happened, but whatever it was, it wasn't human. I've heard your name and reputation from a
business associate of mine, though."
"And here we are," Ayane finished. "Tell me of any interesting occurrences within a week of the first death."
" The client thought for a bit. "About three nights ago while they were preparing for laying down the gas line, they had uncovered some strange looking plate or something while digging. I didn't know what to make of it."
The Valkyrie's eyes narrowed. "This is a bit more than just disturbing spirits. If you've agitated something, things will continue to happen. I can look over the construction plans and tell you what to change-"
"Ah, excellent," he interrupted, but not without getting a cold glare for his hubris. He instinctively flinched.
But it will cost you a little extra," she finished. The huntress motioned to allow him to speak.
How much do you normally charge?" He asked tentatively. When she stated her commission price, the businessman frowned. "Do you normally work for that little? I had thought
"I don't need that much. Prices change, obviously, according to what I encounter, but they are negotiable. I will contact and discuss the fee when I have finished, of course. Is that all?"
He nodded. Ayane returned the gesture and turned around to leave.
" he called out. She turned back to look at him over her shoulder. "Are you capable of doing it?"
"You really have never dealt with the supernatural before, have you?" She asked rhetorically, her enigmatic smile hidden behind her high collared vest, and strode out the door.
The mercenary was stopped at the lobby, the receptionist setting a briefcase upon the desk and opened the case for her. It had a single stack of Yen notes. She picked it up and counted the cash: the commission fee, as she had suspected. She took the stack and had the woman take back the empty case as she walked out the door.
[What is it with you humans and putting money in briefcases?] Rache wondered.
Ayane merely shrugged. "Saa, who knows?" I'd usually buy some supplies at this point, but the site is nearby, and I've already stocked up earlier. I should probably check it out.
It was still daylight, so the likelihood of demons lurking about was fairly small unless they were that cocky. Still, as she showed her license to the police quarantining the lot, she exercised caution as she stepped onto the churned soil. She quietly drew a pistol out of view of the officers, cautiously examining the building foundation, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
"Are you sensing anything, Rache?"
I feel something faint, yeah. It feels something a little like a demon gate.]Probably the plate he was talking about.
Ayane clicked her tongue. "Damn, that's too dangerous for simple adjustments. I thought they built over a shrine or something."
[Hey, at least we can get more money this way.]
"We got plenty from that baka in the last case. Anyways, can you pinpoint the location?"
[The ditch to your left, just past the girders over there.]
She approached the trench cautiously and peered over the edge. She let out a sigh.
"You see this?"
What they saw looked out of place. It seemed to be a stone platform at first, but closer examination and brushing showed it to be made of metal. Engraved in concentric circles was Sanskrit. Ayane examined the alloy in the carvings, revealing the wavy patterns that were hidden by the dirt. This grain pattern
"Looks like we can't destroy it with what we have. We should be able to seal it, though. We'll wait until nightfall and gather moonlight for the ritual."
[We'll be met with plenty of resistance, then.]
"And you're complaining
why?" asked the redhead mischievously.
Rache had to chuckle. [Touché.]
Ayane's line of work meant she rarely had time to treat herself to a nice shopping tripoutside of buying ammunition, anywaysbut she had quite a bit of time today, and spent some long overdue quality time in downtown Kyoto. She bought a few new clothes, finding some frilly blouses she thought her godfather would probably like to see her in, and a new overcoat to replace her old, torn one. She even visited the doujinshi shop, and bought a few manga. She spent most of the afternoon on a rooftop of a department store, reading her newfound purchases. The stories elicited snarky commentary about the cheesy or contrived romances from Rache, but she seemed to enjoy herself as well.
Around sunset, she went through two and decided to visit the vending machines for a drink. After grabbing a bottle of strawberry milk, she spied a gashapon and immediately made a detour, squatting down and glowing like a child as she perused the toy dispensers.
The girl got a few of the capsules and stowed them in her bag of the day's spoils. Satisfied, she headed back to a bench, examining one of the gashapon with glee as she sipped her milk. She didn't open it, however. That would be for after the job.
[I'm glad you got some good stuff, but I think it's about time to head back. We got work to do.]
The redhead sighed in resignation, but she put away the capsule as she glanced around. Few people were left, many headed home as the night had already fallen early, another chilly winter night fast approaching.
"Hello there," said a voice in a British inflection.
It took Ayane to realize she was being addressed in English. She searched for the origin of the voice and found her eyes on a tall, foreign woman smiling at her. She flinched backwards, surprised by her sudden appearance. The woman's straight, mahogany colored hair styled in spikes down towards her collarbone hid her eyes behind a curtain of bangs, parted down the middle. They swayed as the lady walked towards the girl, revealing for brief instants the woman's decidedly oriental eyes, contradicting their sapphire color and her Caucasian features. Her long, old fashioned redingote flowed open in the wind, exposing her black hoodie and baggy khaki colored cargo pants. The way she carried herself seemed to disregard her feminine figure, yet still seemed to accentuate the raw power of her beauty as she sauntered towards Ayane, the girl watching her with fascination.
"Don't suppose you understand English, do you?"
Ayane nodded slowly, her eyes never leaving the foreigner.
"Excellent," the woman said with a crafty grin as she turned her gaze to the starry sky. "Beautiful night tonight, isn't it?"
was there something you needed?" Ayane looked down as she stumbled through her words. Why am I having such trouble talking to her?
"No, I had just found something
peculiar," was the reply, the woman's eyes returning to rest on Ayane. The look she gave the younger girl unnerved her.
The foreigner leaned forward and reached out to caress her face- Wait, when did she get so close?!
The redhead closed her eyes with an involuntary sigh, her knees going weak with the touch. Her hand went slack on her drink, letting it drop to the floor. When she opened her eyes again, though, the woman was already walking away.
"W-wait!" Ayane called out.
The stranger turned her head and gave her a wink. "We'll meet again, kitten." She left Ayane bewildered and alone.
Well, not totally alone.
[Hate to break you out of your stupor, but
Ayane flinched as her face flushed scarlet, but Rache continued.
[There's something about that woman. I can't quite place it, but it's fishy.]
"Really?" Ayane's surprise was written all over her face, still reeling from
whatever she was feeling. What Rache said only barely registered.
[But now's not the time. We have an appointment to keep.]
The hunter glanced at the door where the woman made her exit, shook off her emotions and made her own way off to work.
Ayane briefly went back to the apartment to stow her merchandise and quickly made her way back over to the construction site, attaching bayonets to her pistols.
[Haven't seen those in a while. Not sure why you use them, though. Akurojin-no-Hi is all you need up close, and I could teach you some more Iaido.]
The girl's expression didn't change as she raced down the streets, but she glanced down at the antique sword at her hip for a brief moment. "You'll teach me something for free?"
[Oh, hell no,] Rache answered with a laugh. [I wanted a bit more free time in your body. You know, got to stretch out my claws once in a while.]
"You get plenty enough time, I think. I don't want you rampaging across Kyoto. Besides, you know it's not that simple, anyways."
The Valkyrie finally got to the entrance of the construction site and put her back to the wall, resisting the impulse to charge in as she brandished both her pistols.
"Only rookies rush in head first," she told herself.
[You wouldn't have needed to rush in the first place if you hadn't taken the extra time at the department store.]
"Urusai. I got you that gashapon, didn't I?" She took a deep breath and proceeded cautiously over the threshold. If it's already this late, there may already be several demons around
Ayane advanced towards the demon gate, scrutinizing her surroundings.
She quickly whirled around and drove a bayonet into the solar plexus of the demon that tried to jump her and fired off a round point blank into his heart, the slug going clear through his mass as he froze up. Before his body could even begin to disintegrate, another fiend charged at her flank, but she brought around her smoking firearm and etched a bloody slash through its face, continued her rotation and fired a round into his howling maw with her other gun. The brutally beheaded monster collapsed almost simultaneously with its brother in fate, erupting into a bloody miasma as she stepped to the side, her face impassive as she narrowly avoided a bolt of energy the size of her boot. Projectile attack
A fiend lowered his smoking palm from the shadows in the rafters, standing upright as his similar brethren also stepped into view from their high vantage points in the unfinished building, their massive forearms pulsing with veined light. "So it's really the infamous Crimson-Haired Valkyrie, Ayane the Devil Hunter!" He exclaimed pretentiously. "You've got good moves for sure, but that's no problem with our aniki coming out of the gate soon! All we've got to do is keep you-"
He was rudely interrupted with a bullet between the eyes, taking his head clean off.
"You talk too much."
The blazers were only incredulous for just a moment before they regained enough composure to open fire. They had hoped to overwhelm her with sheer quantity and spell the hunter's doom. She remained completely unperturbed and easily spun and wove around the deadly entwining vectors, almost dancing as she dodged with ease. The energy slugs missed her by bare millimeters, but every inch of her was always out of harm's way; even the long cloth tasset around her ways narrowly avoided ruination as it flowed around her slim legs. Ayane barely needed to look where she aimed as she returned fire, her rounds easily tearing apart the demons and flinging them off the girders, sometimes even continuing on their trajectory nearly unchanged as the fiends all faded away upon registering pain.
Within eight seconds, she had decimated nearly all the Blazers. Suddenly, however, a tendril flew out as something whipped around her arm. The long tentacle pulled taut as it wrapped and bound her limb. She traced the tentacle back to a hideous being with countless appendages. She quickly brought her other handgun to arm and cut through the member before somersaulting out of the way of several more, firing and killing the beast. Hundreds more tentacles flew at her, but she leapt over them, firing at the source and slaying another demon
before she was ensnared in midair by another assault. The hunter quickly dropped her guns as she reached for her sword, but she was quickly slammed into the ground, allowing just enough leeway for the monstrosity to bind all her limbs and lift its prize into the air before its victorious brethren.
"We actually caught her!" one of the few remaining Blazers shouted with glee.
"I think it's time to make her pay!" yelled another.
"Well, why don't we have a bit of fun, first?" The tentacle monstrosity asked in an utterly repulsive voice.
The girl struggled in vain against her bindings. Shit, I didn't gather enough energy since last night! I can't summon Rache!
The demons advanced towards her with a revolting expression plastered on their hideous faces, and a tentacle slowly snaking its way up to her exposed thigh.
They all stopped as a burst of energy washed over them from the demon gate. Ayane looked over her shoulder and saw an enormous arm and a heavily horned and ugly mug leap up from the swirling portal opened over the metal plate. The arm swung down as it lifted a massive and bulky red skinned body out of the portal, revealing a behemoth that towered over at least three times Ayane's size.
"Starting the festivities without me?" boomed its voice, before he was finally clear of the gate and ambled towards their captive.
"And who might this be?" the boss inquired as he looked Ayane up and down. She leaned away in repulsion.
"Can you believe it, Aniki? We captured the Crimson-Haired Valkyrie!"
"Ah, the infamous little wretch herself." He grabbed her chin delicately with his thumb and index finger. "She's a lot less scary looking than those idiots made her out to be. Quite cute, actually."
Ayane pulled her chin away, disgusted by the smell of his breath, but the beast only smiled as he drew back his hand to his ear, ready to strike. His claws glinted in the dim light of night.
"Well, at the very least, I can claim the end to the Tsukino line as my debut to the human realm!"
Four thunderous gunshots roared throughout the construction site. A glance at his hand made his eyes widen: Half of it was gone. He pulled back his arm in horror, flinging blood all over the ground as it soaked into the soil.
"That's no way to treat a lady," echoed a voice in English.
The minions searched desperately for the newcomer, but their efforts were in vain before the next volley.
"Oh, we can't have any of this before the third date, love." Three more shots rang out, piercing through the single eye of the beast restraining the devil hunter.
Ayane fell to the ground as the tentacle creature writhed in agony. She quickly reached into one of her pouches and flung three of the miniature bayonets to finish the job as she searched desperately for the source of the gunshots, and traced it back towards the entrance. A woman walked into the lot, in an antique men's redingote, lowering her smoking Desert Eagle. She smiled mischievously as she strode into view, unzipping the oversized guitar case slung over her back.
"Get her!" the giant roared in rage as he swung his good hand forward in command. The remaining fiends all rushed at her headfirst, but the smug smirk on the foreigner's face never faded as she drew a wide bladed zweihander out of the bag and let the tip of the sword slam into the dirt. Grasping the hilt with both hands, she dragged the sword along the earth and swung with all of her might, cleaving four of the demons in a single stroke before it collided with a steel beam and gouged out a massive notch. Three more attempted to flank her, but she grabbed the ricasso of her blade and ripped her sword out of the metal, letting go again for a wild one-handed swing. The edge tasted blood as it cut each of them in two.
The leader growled in frustration as it started to walk over towards her, but stopped as he heard the singing of another sword leaving its sheath, looking back to see a thin, curved blade blaze with ethereal flames. He stepped back as the Valkyrie dashed in underneath his guard to keep his distance, the sword missing by millimeters as he felt the sheer heat of her sword singe his shin in a horizontal cut. He leaned to dodge an upward slash, but proved useful as a wind up for his good arm as he swung it forth. The girl proved fast as she deftly dodged the arm, but misjudged his strength as his fist rammed the earth. It blasted her away in mid air from the utter force. Ayane collided with the earth as she tumbled away, eliciting a small smile from the demon as he turned around to face his other opponent.
He saw the woman flying at him, her blade dragged onto her shoulder before she used it as leverage for a mighty swing.
The fiend was divided right down the middle, the symmetrical halves crashing into the loam as the woman's zweihander once again contacted the ground. The foreigner rolled with her blade in hand, but as she stopped near Ayane, she picked herself back up, using her sword as support as she thrust the tip into the soil. She turned to face a stunned Ayane, giving her that unnerving smile as she offered her hand as the remains of the demons dissolved into a mist. Ghostly wails echoed throughout the empty lot.
"Hello, kitten. I told you we'd meet again. Jin Milborough, at your service."
How can you see into my eyes like open doors
Leading you down into my core where I've become so numb
Without a soul, my spirit sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there and lead it back
Wake me up Wake me up inside
I Can't wake up Wake me up inside
Save me Call my name and save me from the dark
Wake me up Bid my blood to run
I Can't wake up Before I come undone
Save me Save me from the nothing I've become
Bring me to Life
Ive been living a lie
theres nothing inside
Bring me to Life
- Family names in many Oriental cultures will often be spoken or written before their given name. It is also customary to address someone by their family name unless they are close.
- Aniki Casual for "Big Brother," often used in gangs or Yakuza.
- Saya A katana's sheath.
- [name]-san An honorific suffix, and is often used for professional respect or politeness.
- Urusai Japanese for "Noisy," "Shut up," etc.
- Eetou An expression similar to "umm" or "Let's see..."
- Hai Japanese for yes.
- Ojou-sama This is often used to address young females of higher authority or class, often daughters of high profile individuals. It can be roughly equated to addressing someone as "young lady."
- [name]-sama An honorific suffix often used to address someone of great importance or commands high respect.
- Baka Japanese for many common derogatory terms like "Idiot," "Stupid," and "Jerk."
- Doujinshi Fan comic.
- Gashapon Similar to toy vending machines you see in supermarkets, but are often of superior quality and highly collectible, and may feature popular anime and manga characters.
- Iaido A Japanese sword style that combines the drawing of the blade from the sheath and the actual cutting movements into one fluid and swift motion. May also be known as Iaijutsu, Battoujutsu or Battoudo.