Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Into The Void ❯ The Stage Is Set ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
::: Into the Void :::
By: Melissa Norvell
Episode 5: The Stage is Set

The next day two figures stood in the middle of the desolate village, each standing a few feet apart, one is a woman who had long black hair, covering one of her deep red eyes. She wore dark purple eye shadow and matchingand wore very few clothes. The black haired woman wore two pieces of cloth with large frills around the bottom, one was over her shoulder and tucked under her arm, exposing her dark purple bikini top and one at the bottom, over one hip and reaching over to the other thigh, exposing parts of two black belts criss-crossed underneath of the pale yellow and her dark purple bikini bottom. On her arms were sleeves which weren't connected to the yellow, but tied on around the bicep area of her arm and fanned out at the bottom with intricate lace at the ends with a dark purple string loosely threaded through the mauve material. She wore black heels that laced up the leg all the way to the knee. The woman also had a large weapon on her back that was bigger than she was, that consisted of a series of pipes with spokes in the ends. It was shaped like a giant X with a C shape inside of it, to give it spin when it was thrown. She also had a mole above her lips on the right side of her face that acted as a beauty mark.

Across from her was just adressed in a uniform with elaborate golden buttons and golden embroidery around the edges of the shirt and arms. He had short, brown hair and blue eyes. He was young and looked in his mid twentie's, and his build was normal.

The two were engaged in conversation.

"So," the man spoke. "You think you can do the

"I'm not sure," the woman's seductive voice intoned. "What are you willing to pay?"

"Whatever it takes, I just want the situation dealt with," he commented, narrowing his eyes.

"I'll definitely do my best," she replied. "Do you know if this…Ibuki has any affiliates?"

"Yes, he has several connections all over the country, if not the world."

"So, anyone could be after me?"

"Possibly, that's how he got me," the man pulled back his shirt revealing the wound he had underneath his coat. The bandages were fresh as was the large amount of blood seeping through.

"So, you want him because he attempted to assassinate you? Revenge huh, that's what this is all about?" The woman arched an elegant eyebrow.

He smirked, "you could call it that."

Dark purple lips curved into a smile. "Perfect. I suppose I could do it. I have no problem in being hired by you. I'll take him out."

Two hands were shaken. "Wonderful. It's a pleasure working with you."

"You're welcome."


"Hey!" Sari yelled like a drill sergeant waking his understudies early in the morning, "wake your lazy butts up! Time to get a move on!"

Vincent, who was sleeping at her feet, mumbled and turned over, trying to resume the sleeping process. It earned him a harsh kick to the back.

"Ow!" The man cried out, holding his mid back in pain as he shot up and looked over his shoulder. "Isn't there a fine for assaulting people who are hurt?"

"Oh shut up!" The girl shot back in a commanding and firm tone. "You're a big, brave bounty hunter, right? So stop complaining!"

"You tell me to stop complaining."

Rubio woke up, hearing the two about to get into an argument. He sat up, the haze of sleep still trying to adjust his vision. His silver hair was in disarray, and his clothes were slightly disheveled from tossing about that night.

"It's about time!" Blue-green eyes looked over to Rubio, who was now awake.

"Do you see how she treats me?" The brown haired man whined, rubbing his injured backside.

Agata stood in the doorway, looking out over the woken figures in the room, "we do have to get moving."

In the next room, there is a gun pointed to a dark head. Valentino was lying on the floor, propping himself up on his elbows with his knees up in the air, bent. He was still in the same position as the night prior.

'This mission is a failed one.'He thought, recalling the last mission he went on that didn't involve Rubio's party. The assassin had gone on this mission three days ago, and returned two days ago, failing it and earning a severe blow to his pride and body. He had managed to clean himself up before entering the abandoned house, unaware of the occupants. He didn't want to show any sign of weakness.'I should just pull the trigger and get it over with. I'm already badly wounded. I shouldn't have tried to face Ibuki on my own. This bunch of misfits doesn't have any chance against the likes of Ibuki. They'd just as soon turn each other in. Haven't I done enough in one life time? I'm so far under I couldn't possibly dig myself out. Atoning for sins…There is no such thing…Sayonara…'

His gloved hand began to pull back the trigger when he heard an ear piercing scream emitted from Sari. The gun fumbled in his hand, the end pointed up and it spun to the ground, making a metallic clank. It then spun across the ground and into the doorway. It stopped there. Dead eyes looked at it. He didn't really look as if he cared if someone found him or not.

"Hey, did you guys hear something?" Sari asked.

"Yes, I did." Agata stated in monotone and looked over her shoulder.

"It wasn't me," Rubio knew that everyone knew that, but decided to throw it out in the air anyway.

"I didn't do anything," Vincent replied.

Valentino just stared at the idle weapon.

"Well, I am going to go see what it is," Sari offered her assistance and walked down the hall in search for the source of the sound, stepping down the narrow walkway, passing a couple of doorways. She stepped on the fallen weapon causing it to fire, making a loud sound, which then caused the girl to yell and fall back as the gun spun across and slammed against the black boot of Valentino. The man just gazed upon it with no true expression.

Sari stood in the hall, now arisen with her hand on her chest, panting heavily and eyes widened with shock.

"What was that?" Vincent asked from the other room, where he still resided.

"I stepped on a gun and it fired!" She yelled back.

Rubio ran up to her with a look of paranoia plastered on his features. "You scared the hell out of me. I thought someone shot you!"

"I thought someone shot me too!"

The dark haired man sighed at his enemies' intelligence level at the current moment.

"How did a gun get there?" Agata gazed at the spot on the floor where it had once laid a perplexing expression.

"It wasn't there before," Rubio looked back to her. "I looked through the house and I would have stepped on it before if it were still there."

"That must mean that someone is here…Or was here," Vincent stated, coming up behind Agata.

"Let's go look for them," the militant woman replied.

"Right,Sari agreed, walking down the hall further, blue-green curls bouncing with her form. "Hello! " She shouted. "The jig is up and I know you're here!"

Annoyance crossed Rubio's face once more. "Whoeverwashere won't be anymore."

The girl turned the corner and gasped as she laid eyes on the sight before her. It was Valentino, lying motionless, shoulders propped against the wall and head down. His midnight locks flowing about his face and onto his chest below.

A sense of concern crossed eyes of blue-green. "Hey there, you okay?"

She got no response.

"Um, hello?"

Still no response.

The girl walked over and sat beside of him. "Did you survive this too? If you are a survivor, then you should come with us. We can help you." She told him, but the response was still the same.

"Can you not talk?"

It was silent and beginning to annoy Sari highly. She didn't like to be ignored. He could have at least shown some sign of acknowledgement, a look, a hand gesture, eye contact, something.

"Okay! This is getting really annoying! If you don't want to talk to me, then tell me! Sign it to me! Something!"

Vincent and Rubio heard her yelling, and puzzled looks crossed their faces as they looked at each other.

"Is she talking to herself?" Vincent asked.

"I don't know," Rubio quirked an eyebrow. "Would it be that big of a deal if she were?"

"You prove my point."

"Maybe she found out who dropped the gun," Agata intoned.

"You should get going. Leave me behind. I am of no importance to you or your mission," the red eyed man finally spoke up.

"Here's your gun," Sari picked it up and handed it to him. He reached out and mechanically took it as Vincent walked into the room.

"What are you doing, sitting on the floor by yourself?" He asked, and then a smirk of victory crossed his features. "You were talking to yourself, weren't you?"

"No!" Sari shot out defensively. "I was talking to-" Her head shot over to the spot where Valentino had once sat, now void of any life.'You've got to be kidding me…He's gone!'

"Uh…" The girl looked around wildly for any sign of the man, but there was none. "There really was someone here."

"I see…You're a loon aren't you? Where'd you escape from, I'll take you back!" Vincent didn’t believe her at all.

"What are you talking about?" The black clad man asked as he entered the room.

"I'm telling you!" The girl stood up, getting irritated that no one believed her. "I wasn't talking to myself!"

"Talking to yourself?" Rubio questioned.

"Yeah, she was talking to herself!" The bounty hunter was confident in his accusation.

"I was not! There was a guy here. He was sitting right beside me!" She gestured to the empty stop on the floor underneath of the window.

"Very likely story," Vincent crossed his arms and cast her a skeptical look.

"Look, if I were talking to someone the gun would be gone. Which it is." She closed her eyes, still being agitated with trying to prove her point.

"Hey, it is gone," he noted, and then his face reverted back to cynical. "So, you could have hidden it!"

"I DID NOT HIDE IT!!!"The girl yelled at the top of her lungs.

"Calm down, calm down," Agata chided, entering the room. "What's the problem?"

"Them!" Sari yelled, pointing to the two men, who were looking culpable.

"Hey! Don't get me into this!" Rubio defended himself, "I didn't say anything!"

Vincent sighed.

"Someone was here. There's fresh blood beside of Sari," Agata's keen eye picked up the large stain on the wooden floor.

'He was hurt…'Sari thought, before getting her two cents in on Vincent. "See, I was right. In your eye, Vincent!" She pointed at him and smiled victoriously.

Rubio knelt down to the spot on the floor, examining it with his glassy eyes. "There's also some long, black hair caught on the wall here." He noticed a black hair sticking out from between the bricks as an image of Valentino ran through his head.'His?'His eyes narrowed. "Hmm…"

"What?" The girl asked.

"None of you have black hair."


"Nope…All brown here," Vincent gestured to his hair by pointing to it.

"My hair is quite the opposite," the white haired woman spoke.

"Whoever was here left their hair behind," Rubio deducted.

"Interesting indeed," Agata agreed.

"Told you I wasn't crazy! I found the guy sitting right in this corner," Sari pointed. "He had long black hair and was dressed in a red trench coat. He had blank eyes and was dressed in black."

'Valentino! Valentino Valerio…Well, if Valentino was there, then that means…He must have been here last night as well, watching our every move…'Rubio's eyes widened a little at this realization.

"Is there something I should know?" The girl noticed the look on his face.

"We just had a visitor is all," Rubio chided her worry. "I'd search the other rooms to make sure no one else is hiding in there."

Outside of the house, the black haired woman casually walked past, catching the sound of voices, red eyes peered over to the building.


"You can count on us!"

"Huh?" The woman turned her head. "I hear voices in there," purple lips curved into a smile. "Well, well just have to make them scatter." She grabbed the weapon on her back and hurled it at the building. The spokes dug into the ground as it spiraled through the wall, crashing through the bricks, earning a shock as everyone in the room dodged or leapt out of the way as debris of all kinds were flying in every direction.

"What the-?" Vincent exclaimed.

"Ah!" The silver haired man yelled, standing in the way.

Agata tackled him to the ground. "Get down!"

"Oh great!" Sari griped. "What luck!"

"That's probably Ibuki's troops," the bounty hunter gritted his teeth.

Everyone ran out of the house as the weapon ricocheted back to the yellow and purple clad woman, who caught in her hand, flipping it behind her back, still having a hold on one of the many deadly rods. "Well, hello there."

Back inside of the house, Valentino peered through a broken window, "that was close."

"Now, it's time to die," the woman spoke in the same casual tone as she hurled her massive weapon at the ground.

"Can't we talk this out?" The bounty hunter replied, and then dodged. "Wha-!"

Agata pulled out a bokatta, ready in a battle stance. "Let's do this!"

Sari pulled out all three of her swords, putting one in her mouth. "Let's shake, rattle and roll!"

Rubio pulled out his twin katanas, "right."

The black haired woman caught her weapon; the force of it coming back caused her to spin in a small circle before she was facing her opponents again. She then spun it above her head. "Don't take this too seriously, but I've got to take you out."

"What?" Agata asked.

"Don't you think this is a mistake?" Sari tried to reason.

"This village is abandoned. There is supposed to be no one here," the black haired woman told her.

"How would you know?"

"Everyone around here knows that this village and the one next to it were demolished."

"Man, word gets around fast," Agata noted, still keeping her concentration on the possible enemy, who still spun the massive weapon above her head, watching it gain momentum.

"Who are you?" Rubio asked.

"My name is Ionna Valerio, and yours will be on your tombstones. Take this!" The woman now addressed as Ionna threw her weapon again.

Everyone evaded the weapon with ease. While they were evading, Ionna pulled out a scroll. "Scroll of a Thousand Shurikens!" She shouted as the scroll turned into many shurikens, all flying at the enemy, ready to tear into unsuspecting flesh. Sari was blocking them with her swords, and Agata used her bokatta to deflect them. Vincent dodged as Rubio charged at her with his swords drawn.

"Huh?" Ionna blinked in confusion as she caught her weapon, and then spun in a circle, reaching the other side just in time to block him as their weapons clashed,reverberations into the air.

"Good defensive tactic," Rubio complimented, staring at her through the labyrinth of pipes that her weapon consisted of.

"Defend this!" The woman shouted as she began to go into a series of hand signs. "Bakuhatsu…" An explosion was present where the silver haired man had once been.

"Rubio!" Sari shouted through the debris.

Vincent ran at her from behind and jumped up with his fist drawn. "Sorry, I think you're cute and all, but I have to take you down."

This comment caught Ionna off guard. She tried to block his hit but failed. His hand went through the holes and he punched her in the stomach. She went flying backwards, then stuck one of the sharp blades of her weapon into the ground, catching herself and skidding to a stop. "You guys are great at pissing me off! Take this! Yah!" She yelled as she hurled her weapon at Vincent. He dodged, and then everyone else dodged behind him. She then threw shurikens, as they evaded them yet again.

Rubio jumped up, attempting to slice her in half, but she agilely flipped into the air, catching the massive pipe weapon and hurling again. He evaded by jumping up.

"You're good."

"And I'm better!" Sari charged at her.

"Child's Play. Junkabutsu!" She called out as explosions went off all around the girl. She yelled and covered herself.

Agata swung her bokatta.

"Disable…" Ionna said as a scroll wrapped itself tightly around the woman's hands and her weapon, disabling her from using it.

"I can't move!" The white haired woman tried to struggle against the scroll, but to no avail.

The girl stabbed at her again, but Ionna grabbed the sword blade with one hand and proceeded to make hand signs with the other, "give it up."

Sari reached out, grabbing her hand, so she couldn't sign. "Not today," the girl told her opponent, but got kicked in the stomach and flew back. Sari landed on her hands, causing her to flip up and land on her feet a few feet away. The sword she was holding in her mouth hit the ground with a clank.

"She's tough, fast and strong," Rubio stated. "How do we beat her?"

"We need a plan of action..." Vincent stated. "Well, a plan of action that doesn't involve us getting killed."

"Let's attack from three sides. She can't defend herself then, right?" Sari suggested.

"Let's go!" Vincent replied.

"Charge!" Rubio yelled as they all ran from different sides. Agata watched helplessly from the sidelines as she struggled against the scroll, trying to loosen it.

"Huh?" She blinked, looking up at her team mates.'What are they-?'Her eyes widened.'I see…They're trying to cage her in.'

Ionna looked around as the three closed in, each drawing their weapons.

"Huh?" She looked in all directions, a second of panic running through red eyes before finding a suitable plan. "Multi-Plex Assassination of Darkness!" She commanded as three doppelgangers of her weapon appeared on each side and flew out, hitting all three targets and knocking them backwards.

Rubio closed one eye.'Damn…'

"It didn't work!" Sari called out, skidding on the ground.

Vincent crossed his arms in front of himself, blocking it. "Blast it!"

"She's untouchable!" The girl replied.

Ionna spun the weapon over her head in her hand. "Fools," she balanced herself on one leg and spun in that position like an ice skater and threw her weapon once more.

"Maybe I can stop her weapon," Vincent said to himself as Rubio, who was standing a few feet in front of him, jumped out of the way.

"Shit!" Sari exclaimed, jumping up and doing the splits above the weapon to avoid it.

The bounty hunter grabbed the weapon by one of its spokes and attempted to stop it. He dug his shoes into the ground and tried to stop himself from skidding but to no avail, he went backwards, his cowboy hat flying off and landing on the ground. He crashed into one of the walls of the house, destroying it. Debris sailed into the wind, dust littered the air.

"What on earth are you doing?" The blue clad woman asked.

"Here! Let me help you get that scroll off Agata!" Sari told her, trying to pull off the scroll.

The woman felt a sweat drop run down her forehead as she sighed. "About time…I was only over here an hour and a half."

"Sorry about that," Sari laughed a little.

"Now that I'm free, let's approach this logically," Agata moved her arms around.

Rubio, continued to attack Ionna while she was unarmed. The woman continued to block his moves with her forearms. She then preformed the ninja art of Replacement, getting behind him as she kicked him. Rubio flew forward, and she preformed Replacement again, getting in front of him as she axe handled him in the back. He flew downward and she spin kicked him as his body flew off again, all in such a rapid succession that he had no time for a response.

"Some training, any simple ninja could get through this," she replied.

"It's going to take more than a little physical attack," Agata said.

"What now?" Vincent asked.

"Let's hit her again," Sari offered. Something would keep happening if they just gave her a good, old-fashioned beat down, right?

"Why?" Agata asked, "so she can devastate us again. You're just wasting your power."

"She's good at magic and throwing out physical attacks. She's quite agile and fast, but she seems susceptible to physical attacks," the brown haired man informed.

"Say that to my aching body," Sari shot sardonically.

"If she's so susceptible to physical attacks, why aren't ours working?" Rubio asked.

Vincent felt a sweat drop run down his forehead. "You know I haven't figured that out yet. Maybe you just stink at physical attacks."

"I dare you to say that again," Rubio growled.

Sari twitched. "Don't insult us pal…You don't want to make me mad."

'How dysfunctional…'Ionna thought to herself in amusement.'They'd rather fight each other than me. I could use this to my advantage…Hmm…Close proximity to each other. This should benefit me greatly.'She thought as she pulled out a scroll and flung it out to the group. "Windmill Time bomb!"

The scroll shot out at them, encasing them all by wrapping around each individual tying them all together. They all let out a yell in unison.

"Damn!" Agata cursed as she struggled to get free.

"I suggest you don't move," Ionna commanded.

Glassy blue eyes glared through silver strands at her.

"What is this? Another Disable spell?" The young girl asked.

"No…This is a bomb…" Agata brought the weapon’s true nature to light.

"What?" Sari's voice got high pitched with disbelief and shock.

"A bomb?" Vincent questioned with a hint of panic to his voice.

Rubio silently looked to her.

"I know this spell. Windmill Time Bomb. It looks like an ordinary scroll spell, but it ensnares the group it's directed at and turns into a wall of bombs with spikes on the outside, which are highly sensitive to motion. If anyone on the outside tried to help the trapped get out, the bomb detonates and they all gohigh."

"And what if no one helps?" The yellow clad girl inquired to Agata.

"You still blow up," she replied calmly.

"That's comforting…" Vincent deadpanned. "So what do we do now?"

"Hey you!" Rubio shouted at the woman who stood a few feet away.


"What's your purpose for doing this?"

"To take out all who are affiliated with Ibuki Masateru," she replied.

"You definitely have the wrong people," Sari told her.

"What do you mean?" Ionna looked skeptical, but listened.

"We're looking for Ibuki as well," Vincent told her.

"He's wanted by the military," the white haired woman educated.

"So, you're with the military?" Ionna asked.

"Now all if us, just her," the Sari told her.

"He's also wanted by Bounty Hunters," The bounty hunter replied.

"He destroyed my village," Sari educated.

"And killed my love," Rubio told her.

"I was hired to assassinate him by one of his employees," Ionna preformed a series of hand signs which deactivated the bomb, causing it to disappear.

Vincent looked confused. "You're going to let us go?"

Sari elbowed him sharply in the stomach, causing him to let out an 'ouch'. "Don't question her or she'll put us back!" The girl warned.

"Maybe we can team up," Ionna offered. "I mean, we're both after the same thing, so why not? You guys put up a pretty good fight."

"You were a tough opponent," Sari smiled.

"You weren't so bad yourself," Ionna let out a small smile.

"Another team mate?" Rubio complained. "Oh joy…"

"Hush little whiner!" Sari scolded.

"I like whining."

"Kiss my butt."

"Well, haul it on over here, Jumbo!"

"What!?" Sari jumped on him, beating him up yet again as Ionna watched them wrestle around on the ground.

"Are they always like this?" She looked to the other woman.

"Sadly yes," Agata admitted. She was quite ashamed in all honesty.

"What have I gotten myself into?"

"Grr!" Sari growled.

"Shut up!" That was the retort.

"I don't know how!"

"How about you both shut up?" Ionna asked in slight irritation.

"I heard that!" Sari and Rubio yelled in unison as Agata sighed.

"Welcome to our world," Vincent smiled at his new team mate. Things were definitely going to get interesting, that was fore sure.