This isn’t a recent writing, it was done last year but I have the urge now to continue it and before I go back to start anew, i figure I would try to get some feedback from people I know and perhaps people I don’t. I’m not looking for anything but your honest thoughts. Positive or Negative. I need them. Just to see if I was in the right direction and if there are some areas of improvement based off what I wrote, which this is the second draft.
Just a picture. Doesn’t look like any of the characters. Thought it was cool.
[This is my attempt to write in a somewhat Anime style format, trying something new so if you picture that way, it was what I was going for. To get the reader in that mindset. For those who can’t, I would like to know how you pictured it.]
Forgive my mistakes. As a draft, I was writing just to get the ideas and images out my head and they have not be reworked so if things don’t make sense, bear with it please. It will by the time the next draft is up and running. I thank you sincerely for the time and patience and do hope you enjoy this piece of writing. Pass it along the more who read, the more who may be interested. ~Winter.
Bound by Family Ties
It was a relatively peaceful and warm autumn afternoon in city of Cilian, the city known for its technological advances and inspiring inventions and yo finally break away pleased Yumiko on her way home, entering through the gates of the Itami Shrine. The long day at school proved to be just as she predicted; long, dull, and uneventful. A soft sigh of relief escaped her pink lips as she entered through the side of the temple, slipping off her bag besides the kitchen counter. With her broom in hand, she never lost her stride as she continued through the sliding doors of glass that lead to the temple grounds in search of tranquility while starting her weekend chores.
The temple grounds larger than most of the others still left about the city and those before, claiming nearly two city blocks. Most of them were torn down to build industrial buildings like shopping complexes and business towers. However, the Itami Shrine’s locale was on the outskirts of Cilian, luckily avoiding the expansion of the city. Secluded in the diversity of trees such as cherry blossoms and other plant life that had survived more than several centuries, the large three temples were hidden away from the naked eye.
Within the gates, there was nothing short than a historical treasures fit for any museum to showcase. Ancient relics such as hand craved jade statues, pottery, and engravings could be found all throughout the grounds. Miniature fountains paved the way to the stone staircase that lead upward. Statues of the previous head members of Itami family welcomed the ascent up to the temples while the smoothing sound of water traveling from the grand fountain through the ridges on the side of the stairs accompanied the departure.
Two relatively small temples faced each upon the arrival of the temple grounds. Tall black Japanese oak post greet your arrival, mark with chants and phrases hand carved into the wood. A large fountain was located in the middle of the shrine, somewhat shadowing the largest of the temples in the background. (Finish later)
“Ah, there is no place like home. Don’t you agree?” She seemingly spoke to herself, looking over her shoulder for a brief moment before sweeping the wayward leaves in the direction of the pile. A sense of could be felt resonating around her as she moved, listening to the passing breeze and the sound of colliding water as it if it was a symphony to her ears. And as if nature around her answered, she giggled softly to the faint whispering that seemed to arise from nowhere.
“Wouldn’t that be fun?” She answered while looking over to fountain was more only to hear the nearly inaudible snicker of another. She paused in sweeping for a moment, admiring the picturesque view of the breeze carry away strays colored leaves along in its currents, tucking her swaying hair behind her ears as her skirt rustled around her legs. “It would be a treat to fly, wouldn’t it Kenta?”
“Uh huh! Soar like the birds and be one with the wind!” The little one answered with exclaim, clapping. It was at that moment that something took hold of her attention, looking eastward towards the trees as if she could see through all the obstacles. The breeze gave into sudden shifts that not only attract her interest, but the boy’s as well.
“Damn it…who would have thought that human flesh smells to disgusting…” Perched on a branch within one of the many tall oaks on the grounds, emissive crimson hues glanced out into the distance towards one of the temples intently. “It seems it’s not that far off. Troublesome trying to figure out where the source was in a crowd, but there is no one up here…which makes my job easy.” A short burst of strength was displayed as he took to the air, towards a branch higher than the last, commencing to climb the hillside to the temple grounds with the utmost ease. The faint screams of terror seemed to be getting greater in distance as it seemed like people were fleeing from him, going in the same direction.
On the grounds, Yumiko could see scared strangers running for the fountain behind her and as she watched, she could see Kenta face swell up with fear as he picked up what they were saying. “It’s coming Yumi, you should run like the others!” He warned as he started to back away.
Puzzled by the sudden change, her expression showed her concern. “What’s coming?” Her answer would come from another who was running directly towards, passing through like the breeze of the area. “A soul from the depths,” it shouted as it fled.
“A demon?” She repeated, looking up at the birds that were rushing away as well. “Here? That’s not possible. The barrier should have blocked…” Her thoughts would continue in her mind as her body began to tense. She could feel it now. But where? It was definitely close. But she couldn’t see it. Was it cloaking? She clinched the broom tightly as she slowly moved back towards the fountain as well.
“Yumi! You have to get out of here!” Kenta warned again, reaching out for her but at this point, she could not hear him.
“No way, this can’t be…” Words seemed to trail from his lips in awe. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Pools of red rested on what seemed to be what he was searching for from the roof of the temple; a lone woman in the middle of sweeping. A female. There had to be something amidst. He was expecting something totally different. The shock was enough to make him hesitate in next action. “The Head of the Itami family is a woman?” He asked aloud, quirking his head to the side
There! She spotted without giving away herself. She managed to keep her composure as she commenced to sweeping, trying to play it calm. How did get in and more importantly, what does it want? She began to go over the reasons as he waited anxiously for it makes it move.
A crash could be heard from in front of her as debris rose from the site. Startled, she once gripped the broom against her chest as she braced herself. Kenta moved beside her, prepare to do what he could to protect her as the breeze sweet away the dust and crimson head demon emerged in its tattered clothing with his crimson hues glaring through the strands of black that fell over his face.
A demon? It looked pretty human in her eyes. It looked human. His clothing was a bit retro and in need of a serious overhaul, but he didn’t look as frightening as the others made him seem, excluding the fact that his eyes were glowing and the blade resting on his shoulders. But regardless of what he was, he had just ruin some of the stone ground beneath them and caused a statue to topple over.
“Hey! What do you think you’re doing!? You just can’t come here and start breaking stuff! I hope you have the money to pay for it because those are irreplaceable!” She yelled, furious. A devilish grin flashed upon his features, revealing the sharp points of fangs as his tongue ran along the surface as he listened. “What do you think this is? The feudal era!? You can’t carry such things around freely. It’s against the law!”
It was then she felt Kenta presence at her skirt, whispering softly. “I have never seen a demon resemble a human before…”
The sword was removed from his shoulder and held out for him to study briefly. “It was said that any weapon carried by warriors was part of his person, an extension to one’s limbs if you will. So where I go, it goes.” His voice was cold; intimidating even with the way the words left him. He could hear the others around them, whispering warning and pleas for her to run. Repeating what he was like some sort of ballad. It was becoming an annoyance but he decided to leave them be. They weren’t worth his time.
Before he said anything else, he took the moment to study her. She surely didn’t dress like a priest, at least not according to his memory. However, she was fairly attractive for someone her age. She carried a figure and a face wasn’t easy to look away from and that alone would have lower demons side-tracked. It was such a shame that he carried unfinished business. He might have considered in indulging in such trivial affairs.
She too was becoming less concerned with the warnings. They were breaking her concentration. Her eyes narrowed as if she was focusing on something pass him, revealing to her sight his demonic aura. It was scintillating, fading in and out of view as if it was feeding off of him. And it was scented. It carried and distinguish odor of blood. It was then she knew why those around her told her to run and escape. Why Kenta fearfully remained by her side as if to protect her when they both knew he couldn’t. He was here to kill her. “Back off!” She spoke wearily, legs spreading a bit to brace for any form of attack. “What are you doing here on scared ground? Itami family is known for exiling you demons. Why come here? Are you asking to be purified?” She attempted, in the hopes of stalling for time. She wasn’t a fighter in the lease, but she recalled something that her mother explained to her…now she was trying to remember it.
“Back off? I’m sorry but I can’t do that. Your family and I have history, dating back when this temple was being conceived. I’m here for the reunion and it seems like you’re the only one here,” looking around as if he was soon someone was only to mock her.
“Yes,” he answered with a nod. “a reunion of rivaling families at that! The legendary Itami family, established for the sole purpose of exiling and exorcisms! Don’t think I don’t know who you are…I can see them and hear them too.” A gesture of leaning forward, pointing at the souls that were hiding from him. “You should have listened to them. I’m one demon I don’t think you can exorcise….at least not by yourself.” With that’s said, he began his journey to her.
She started backing up, nearly on par with his. “What are you going to do to me? I have done nothing to your kind!” She explained in her defense.
“True, but you carry their blood. Meaning, you have the potential to. Your already an adept at seeing and speaking with spirits naturally. With someone to guide and train you, you could quite possibly be a threat like your ancestors and we can’t have that now can we? Good thing I found you while you were young, even though I hate to kill someone so cute.”
She shook her head. She could only remember bits and pieces of the incantation her mother sung to her as a child. It wouldn’t serve no purpose to say it without knowing it all. This was bad. The demon’s assumption was correct. She couldn’t fight against the demon. Then what could she do? Before she rummaged through her potential choices, Kenta ran out in her defense. “No! Stop Kenta!”
“Foolish soul, know your place!” With a swipe of his sword, the soul vanished. A trail of the soul’s essence seemed to be absorbed by the blade and he continued in stride Yumiko.
“You monster! He was a child!” She yelled angrily.
“Ah, look at that temper! With an attitude like that, you would have traveled down the same path your mother did.”
“My mother? How do you know my mother, demon!” She demanded. And her question struck a cord because he paused, buying her some time.
“Didn’t I say I know you family? That includes your mother, dear. Unfortunately, I was not the one that killed your mother two years ago. I wasn’t given the luxury, seeing how I was late to the party. But I did get to see it transpire.” He spoke jokingly as he pictured it in his head. “Should I tell it to you? I believe you were sleep on…”
“Shut up! Just shut up! I don’t want to hear it!” Dropping the broom, she covered her ears. Her back pressed against the edge of the fountain as she continued to scream out. She remembered vividly the aftermath. How they looked. How brutally beaten and maimed they were. It was a terrible thing to have witness. She closed her eyes and it was then she could feel his presence as if it was right next to her.
“Then allow me to send you to them!” Scream of blade echoed as it came down towards her body and instinctively she rolled to the left, only having her forearm cut in the process. Standing up, she catered to her badly bruised mid-section that was dripping on the ground and back up at him, who was waving politely at her.
“It seems like you have some skill…or just good reflexes. Either way, don’t expect me to miss again.” It was at that moment; he could hear the blade of another from behind him and dove forward into a roll to avoid. Crouched, he looked up to see a creature standing with a large battle axe and strands of his unusually long spiked ponytail underneath him. It then occurred to him what just happened. She didn’t roll. She was pushed out of harms way by the monstrosity before him.
“What the hell? Is this all you could managed to capture after your parents died? Pathetic. If you think this thing can stop me you are sadly…” He glanced to over where she used to be and realized that she was gone. “Damn it!”
“Must protect Itami!” Shouted the creature as it rushed at them, thunderous steps and all.
“I don’t have time for you.” He spoke softly, avoiding its enormous fist crashing down from overhead and raising his long sword in a large arc that sliced through harden blood flesh as if it was butter. Swiping to remove the blood, he quickly raced after her not even bothering to listen for the thud of what was left of it.
Bursting through the gates, she paced herself down the street. With her eyes in search for the nearest city transit bus, she cut down alleyways and corners to avoid him or at least throw him off. The good thing about the city was it was complex and even if he could feel her presence like she could his, it was difficult to follow. She had no idea as to where she was going, but she knew the further away, the better.
Clearing the gate, he dash off in the direction of her essence. It wasn’t very long before he realized that chasing her like this was pointless. He didn’t know the city like she did, giving her the advantage even though he was faster than her. What could he do….higher ground! Without a second thought, he darted up the side of a building until he reached the top and walked over to the edge. “Where are you…” He pondered as he searched the crowds of people until he found her, running in the midst of them. But before he could react, he saw others along the rooftop in hot pursuit. “Stupid bitch! I’m not losing to another again!”
She could sense others now. But there so many of them she wasn’t able to pin-point them all. Between the all of the people of walking against her, there were spirits running for the same reason. Driven by the fear. Pushing through a group, she spotted one in front of her and quickly shift towards street, pushing through to cross without even thinking to watch for cars. Stepping out, she managed to avoid one speeding past before nearly biting by the other in the next lane. Jumping over the barricade, she ran out to the other side only to see only of the demons riding on one of the passing cars which halted her in her tracks.
Just as the demon leapt towards her, she could feel someone arm wrap around her waist and suddenly feel weightless as watched the ground go distance and the demon get completely ruin a car. Looking up, she saw it was the demon that originally ran from…protecting her? Landing atop of a small grocery store, she couldn’t help but feel remorse of the spirits below being devour.
“What the hell were you thinking? Did you think I was the only one after you? You were safer on the grounds with the barrier!”
“How so? Weren’t you trying to kill me inside that protective barrier that you broke through?” She shot back, turning away from him only to see another demon slashing at her. Her eyes closed and the sound of tearing flesh and the feeling of something splattering on her left her guessing what happened. When she opened her eyes, his back was to her with blood all over her school attire.
“What!?! How am I supposed to get this out!” She examined, pouting.
“Quit you’re whining. Be thankful you are alive.” His words made her angry. “For how long I wonder? Long enough for you to kill me yourself?”
“Something like that, not come on. We can stay here.” Jumbled with his own thoughts, he turned about to see her running down the street once more and demons closely behind her. “What the hell is wrong with this woman?”
I have to get away…from all of them! She told herself as both spirits and people were being tossed aside in the chase of her. But while she was running, she couldn’t help her thoughts. Why did I feel safe with him…as if he wasn’t going to hurt me? Foolish thoughts, shaking them from her mind. A demon was a demon no matter how or what they did. She couldn’t trust them. Reaching a clearing, she looked up at the television displaying the time on one of the buildings, realizing that it was almost ten o’clock and darted for the one of the malls that she shopped in before.
Meanwhile, diving from one of the building and landing in the middle of the road, serving as a median between her and them was our red haired demon. “Attention, the young lady is my protery and my kill. So all of you…” It didn’t appeared like they were listening and commenced to run pass him until he cut down one in mid-stride, grabbing the others attention. “If you want to get to her, you have to kill me first.”
They all lunged at him at once and to witness his bloody blade claim their essence in a matter of moments, appearing as if he only took a mere step forward and ended up behind them. The remains of their bodies went off into building and passing cars, causing unseen damage to whatever they slammed into and made traffic jam in what appeared to be one of the central areas. Cleaning his blade, he continued his pursuit.
In the distance, she could see people boarding a double decker transit. At this point, she didn’t care where she was going, as long as she didn’t after to run. She was clearly exhausted and her body was tightened from the strain of force running. Cutting in front of those in line, she dropped her change into the clicker and moved towards the back on the bottom part. Though it was common, it was still intriguing to see spirits riding the bus, standing as if they belong there.
With a breath of relief, she could finally relax. She need to regain her strength and planned on riding the bus until it told her she had to get off if needed. But her rest was disturbed by honking of the horn by the driver, screaming at the top of his lungs for a man to get out of the middle of the street. Peering up to catch a glimpse, it was who she thought it would be but another that seemed to be dressed in that same fashion. “Oh no!”
The dark haired man seemingly studying the vehicle before him didn’t seem to be bother by its speed or size. Revealing the large and intricately curved blade that was shaped like a crescent moon, he launched himself towards the transit with his blade cleaving through the steel that held the top part of the bus together, severing it from its counterpart below. Humans and spirits alike cleaned in terror and shock that they were down plummeting to their death and as Yumiko turned to look back, she could see him…
Landing in the middle of the upper deck with his sword being driven into the steel, his initial force sent the deck crashing into the ground below upright and not toppling over like it should have. Removing his blade, he elevated himself towards the black haired man with his blade arcing in his stead, clashing with the crescent blade of what now was his opponent as the souls of the decease poured into their blades. The forced carried them back to the transit where they landed, mere feet from each other.
“It seems like you failed yet again. I will gladly take the beauty off your hands and make sure how loud she screamed before I kill her. I even tell you how she tasted.” He spoke in a aristocratic tone, like that of a noble looking pass the filth he saw before him and to the lovely one now trembling in fear. The other passengers began to flee by any means possible while their conversation started.
“The infamous Tatsujin no Heika, known throughout hell for being unmatched in the art of swordsmanship has failed once again in killing an Itami family member, as if being the last member of bloodline was not enough motivation! As if your pride wasn’t destroy from your previous failure!” Yumiko was oddly disturbed by the recent discovery of information but even more confused by the fact that the very person that was trying to kill her seemed like he was protecting her.
“Huang, I don’t need you getting involved in my affairs. You can perish like the others that fell before my blades if you attempt to kill her. My allegiance isn’t with you and I care not the consequences for killing anyone who stands in my way.” The promise was made as he took his stance. However his words only produce laughter from Haung.
“You!? Kill me!? Don’t silly boy. Even though you may have your title and be feared by most demons in Hell, that doesn’t mean that your mister badass now,” Haung taunted as his blade began to radiate with power. “Know you place!” On the alert, Tatsujin rushed in raising his blade to clash with his once more and collision sent a shockwave rippling away from the source, shattering all the glass in the immediate area. Yumiko shielded herself as the two were struggled in their death lock, looking on the best she could to see Tatsujin run towards her.
Grabbing her hand, he whipped her body around until she was safely in his arms, jumping away from the transit as sirens could be heard in the distance. News crews were rushing to the scene; the fight that broke out between demons in the middle of Cilian, causing massive damage to the city and resulting human casualties. On the other in, many of the souls stuck in purgatory was been devoured by demons on the hunt. Dress the way he was, it was no way he would be able to stick to residential streets and decided to take rooftops back to her home, a ride that Yumiko found herself quite enjoying.
It was like being in a fairy tale. If anyone had dreams of flying, this was surely close enough to have a person argue. Each step he took was weightless as if he was gliding on air; legs strong enough to them ascending like a bird only to descend land effortlessly. She wasn’t one that was scared of heights, but even she was questionable his capabilities and found herself clinging to his body climb tall skyscrapers and dove from them during their short journey until…
“Wait! Hold on! Where are you taking me!? Your just luring me into a trap so you can try to kill me again! Do you think I’m stupid! I’m gonna.-“
“Shut up. You’re going home.” Yumiko’s fit ceased after that. Not because of what he said, but the tone and they way his voice sound. She couldn’t place the emotion, but she obliged because for some reason, she trusted him and his words.
“Put your hands up!” An officer shouted as other began to leave their cars, guns drawn and prepared for the worse. With blade in hand, Haung turned around with his spiked shortly cut hair only covering one eye, staring out in the direction they had ran, cursing under his breath. To think he would have fallen for such a simple trick, he thought was he looked down as a rusted blade. “You’ve won this one, but your troubles have only just begun.” And with that said, he dispersed with the passing on the wind, leaving nothing behind.
Upon arrival, the two of them silently walked away from each other. Yumiko leaning on the edge of the fountain while Tatsujin taking a seat against of the oak post. Silenced loomed about them as each of them were stuck in their own thoughts, trying to grasp what exactly was happening and where would they both go from here. It would Yumiko that would break their trance, asking what might have been the most important question.
“So, what now? Aren’t you going to kill me?”
Tatsujin sighed briefly, standing up slowly. “That seems like the best choice of action right now, right? And after what you did, your life should be more than enough to compensate.”
Yumiko nervously giggled. “Uh, I was joking. I thought since you were protecting me…”
“Protecting? I was keeping them from kill you so that I could do it!” He interrupted.
“It sure didn’t look like it from my point of view. The way you valiantly put yourself in harm’s way to save me several times when you could have clearly just killed me and ended your troubles. You even courageously saved innocent people back on the upper deck before dawning as my knight of savior.”
“You have some nerve! Kill you in front of demons so that your soul would be divided amongst us? All unnecessary blood to be shed and lives to be lost when it only your soul I was after? And sit back and watch someone else take you body and soul like they did your mother? Don’t flatter yourself, it only makes you look bad.” He wittily shot back, closing his eyes for a moment.
“My body?” She said nervously, looking down at herself which was dirty, bruised, and covered partially in blood. Tatsujin’s eyes widen in embarrassment, shaking his head.
“That’s not what I meant!” Saving himself.
“You pervert! I knew you were just like the others!” She pointed in shame and disgust.
“No! You’re twisting my words around now! I didn’t mean it that way. I don’t even promote such torture and abuse! I would never do a thing like that to a woman.” He glared, stepping closer to her. “But I think I have decided to kill you now. That way, I won’t have to so-called protect you.”