Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Into The Void ❯ After All This ( Chapter 6 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]


Into the Void

By: Melissa Norvell

Chapter 6: After All This


"I thought you all were a little ahead of yourselves for being Ibuki's troops," Ionna spoke up after about an hour of silence.

"What do you mean?" Vincent looked to the mysterious woman.

"I heard that his men were two villages over."

"They're already two villages ahead?" Rubio was shocked to know that they had already made that much progress in so little time.

"They must've been the ones who destroyed the last two villages…But why would they just knock me out?" Sari wondered aloud to herself.

"Knock you out?" The red eyed woman questioned.

"Yeah," the short haired girl told her, "someone knocked me out. That's how I lived."

"Speak for yourself," Rubio said in monotone, "I wish I was just knocked out."

"There you go whining again," Sari tried to start another sarcasm war.

Sensing the rising mood, Agata decided to come between them before they began to fight again, "we don't need to waste any time if we're going to find them." Sari and Rubio looked at her. 'Though I'm skeptical about this.'

"Let's go."

"Right," Ionna agreed, "maybe we can find someone in the army to interrogate."

"You said two villages down, right?" Sari asked.


"In which direction?"

"Uh…" Ionna stalled, looking as if she really didn't know. She felt the sweat run down her forehead as she tried to come up with an answer to that question.

"You mean you don't know?"

"I'm afraid not," she said a hint of guilt to her voice. The truth was, she was so busy with her current mission that she didn't really pay attention to such minor details.

"You mean you were just going to run us around in circles?" Vincent crossed his arms.

"I hope not, but when you look at it, do we even really know where we're going?" Sari looked to the bounty hunter.

"Good point," Vincent replied.

"They're to the west," a mechanical voice spoke in a familiar tone. It didn't come from anyone in the group, and projected out of a strange direction.

"Huh?" The sound was uttered in unison as all eyes looked up to the roof of the house above them to see Valentino crouched on the ledge of the roof. Rubio's face was marred with anger and disgust, but the assassin simply gazed at him with hollow red eyes. The last person that he wanted to see was that man. What the hell was he doing here? How did he get here? Why was he back to torment him?

"Um…Thanks…" Sari spoke up, a bit confused. 'Now he talks!'

'Valentino…' Ionna thought to herself.

"What are you doing here?" Rubio asked in a manner that told the assassin that the matter was none of his business.

"Existing…" Valentino replied lowly, "and helping you out." Honestly, someone like Rubio should have been more than happy that he even showed up, much less was talking to him instead of shoving a sword down his throat.

"Valentino Valerio…in the flesh…How odd…" Green eyes looked upon the man's figure in awe. It really was the guy from all of the wanted posters that people were making such a big deal about. From this angle, he could see why everyone fussed over this guy. 'Man, he's exactly how I pictured him. Deadly and mechanical to the core.'

Valentino's gaze was cast to the man adorning the cowboy hat, "you're a bounty hunter." He was no stranger to someone like Vincent. He was a popular bounty hunter and renowned for his skills on the field.


"But you seek out Ibuki-sama…"

"Sama?" Sari was outraged. "Why do you call him sama?" That was a term used for those who deserved the highest respect. Ibuki wasn't even worth a suffix, let alone that one. It was disgusting that anyone called him that.

The man gave no response. After a few minutes, he jumped down and landed on one knee before pulling himself up. "Look, you want assistance don't you?"

"Of course, as long as it's not false," Ionna told him. If he was going to help them, then he needed to at least give them correct advice. If he dared to trick them, she would make sure his head rolled.

"Yeah, how do we know you're telling the truth?" Vincent accused. Above everything, Valentino was a criminal. There was no guarantee that his words were genuine, and he was taught never to listen to a forked tongue.

"You don't," Valentino told him.

"Then why should we trust you?"

"You shouldn't."

"And if you're wrong?" Sari asked.

"…I'm not."

"How do we know you're not lying?" Rubio asked. The guy called Ibuki with the -sama suffix. That hardly screamed trustworthy to him, not to mention his slaughtering of Angora. He would never forgive him for that, no matter how many times he tried to help him.

"Because I tried to face off against Ibuki-sama earlier and lost. Also, before he left he told me his next movement if I dared to follow him," Valentino informed.

"You were the guy with the gun," Sari pointed out. She remembered talking to him in that room before he left and made her feel like she was talking to herself. It was really embarrassing.

The assassin nodded, giving truth to her statement.

"What are you doing anyway, stalking us?" Sari interrogated.

She got no response.

"I know you can talk this time," She frowned, annoyance beginning to settle in.

"You're confusing me. What the hell do you want, anyway?" Rubio's tone was defensive. He was getting really tired of whatever shit pot Valentino was trying to stir.

"I want many things," the red eyed man said in a cryptic tone.

"I do too, but your point is?" Sari remarked sarcastically. Honestly, he needed to stop fucking with all of them. She was getting pretty sick of his shit.

Ionna broke up their verbal confrontation. "Why are we arguing about it? Why don't we just move on and follow his advice? We don't have a choice."

"If you don't trust me, you can always gather information from the people around the area," Valentino suggested, even though he knew he was right on the matter. He figured this would come up and decided to give them a chance at acknowledging it on their own.

"He's right," Ionna took the assassin's side on this matter. "You did state that information traveled fast."

"I did say that," Agata agreed. She didn't want to agree, but if they had a similar point, she wasn't going to be blinded to the fact.

"So, let's go and see what we can find. We'll all split up and ask people around here for information," Vincent suggested. There might not have been many people that were alive, but surely, someone knew something.

Valentino looked to the bounty hunter in acknowledgement.

"As much as I don't like you. I'll bet your information is accurate," Rubio looked to the other man who stood a few feet away. A silent acknowledgement in return is all he got. "Yes, I just said that I agree with you. You may be a ruthless killer, but you're not a liar. All of your information so far has been correct, so why would I not believe you now?"

"Should I be glad that you think I'm honest?"

Rubio glared at the sardonic remark. It was said with no emotion, but the silver haired man could tell it was dripping with sarcasm. "Don't push your luck," he warned.

"I have no luck," the assassin stated simply. That fact was demonstrated by the fact that he was there at all. If Rubio knew what he had been through, he wouldn't be so quick to utter a sentence like that.

"You lived this far. From what I understand you have a pretty big price on your head."

"I do."

"If you're with Ibuki, then why are you helping us go against him?" Rubio noted that his prerogative didn't make sense. Why would someone who regarded Ibuki as anything significant be pursuing them just to give them helpful information?

"I have my reasons. Just know this. I am in no way lying to you or trying to steer you in the wrong direction."

"Why are you saving me?" Rubio tried to run the question by again, but still got no answer from it, which only stirred anger within him. For the life of him, he couldn't understand what the hell was going on, and every time they met, Valentino was quick to run him through a constant state of confusion. What was the point of all of this? What was the point of Angora's death?

"You never answered my question!" He asked again in more of a stern and commanding tone. "Why?!" He was so sick of everything. Rubio needed answers, he demanded to have them. All he wanted was some type of closure, and sadly, the man who killed his lover held they key he so longed for.

"Your team mates are gone," Valentino looked off into the distance at the last retreating form.

"Hm?" His opposed questioned and blinked in confusion, looking around to find that he was alone. He then turned back around to face Valentino. "Look, that's not the point. I-Hm?" Blue eyes blinked again, noticing that the assassin was gone yet again, taking time to flee from the scene when Rubio was searching for his team mates. "I swear! He does that on purpose!" He yelled, and then sighed heavily. "Ah well…Down to business…"


Sari walked through town, through the masses which were bustling busily up and down the dusty roads, performing daily tasks. "People, people…" She muttered. "Gotta find people…Ah!" A wide smile crossed her face as she spied a small group by one of the booths. There were four men.

One of them was a refined man, dressed in a navy uniform with elaborate golden buttons and white trim. The shirt had two tails and sleeves that flared out into white cuffs with golden embroidery around the edges. He was of olive complexion and had long dark hair, pulled back into a ponytail. His eyes were mahogany in color and narrow, they had a cold sheen to them.

The next man was dressed in a similar outfit, but of a lighter, more ashy blue. It had a folded down collar and two pockets on either side of the chest cavity, unlike the man in the navy, his shirt only had a single row of black buttons down the middle. The sleeves were long and held a single button to close them. The man wore a belt around his waist though his shirt went to his mid thigh, but had no buttons at the bottom. His pants were baggy and he wore white leg wrappings, like that of a ninja, up to his knees and black sandals. He was of light build and had pale skin and wild spiky snow white hair, which stood out like a frost covered palm tree against the dingy brown background. His eyes were slanted and a very light blue, like Rubio's but of a much lighter shade. He had two white markings on either cheek going at an angle from his jaw bone to mid-cheek. The white haired man also wore a bright red head protector with a metal plate on it. Engraved in the middle of the plate was an 'x'. In fact, the man he was across from was wearing one. All four of the men wore a cuff around their mid-bicep that had a blood red rim on the top and bottom. The middle was white and there was a symbol which looked like a weird swastika of sorts, only it wasn't, it was just an x with fancy edges.

There was another man who wore the same uniform as the white haired man, except he wore a long black coat on top of it. He was covered from head to toe. The man wore black, fingerless gloves and his shirt was buttoned all the way to the neck. He was adorned with a bandanna. The figure's expression was a dead serious one, and he had several scars on his face. It looked like something had drug its claws across his face at a downward angle. The man had no hair and cold piercing eyes. He didn't seem like the others, who were grouped together, engaged in their conversation. Rather this scar-faced man was hanging slightly outside of the crowd, leaned up against the booth and casually puffing on a cigarette.

The man the white haired one was across from was pretty normal looking compared to his comrades. He looked like a young boy and was dark in complexion with short, messy red hair and dark blue eyes.

Sari wondered if they knew anything.

The white haired man was the first to speak, "I can't believe we got lost."

"The boss is going to kill us," the elaborately dressed man said calmly.

The scar-faced man let out a puff of smoke from his mouth and added to the conversation. "Why am I always with the idiots?"

The red haired soldier looked angry before addressing him. "Hey! It was your idea to take the short cut to Hypecia Village!"

"You're the ones who took the wrong short cut," the bald man remarked gruffly back. "Don't try to pin your problems on me."

"You could have told us when you knew we were going the wrong way," the white haired man stated, both of them earning a glare from the elaborately clad male.

"You said you knew what we were doing. Isn't that a part of this team work stuff?" The bald man closed his eyes and smirked.

"Team work?" The stoic man asked in cold monotone. "You don't trust any of us as far as you are standing from us. Don't try to fake us out, Zidane."

"We should be heading to the Republic of Baztok," the red-headed soldier pulled out a map. "We're too far past to reach the Republic of Baztok from this point. We'll have to head west."

"Then let's move out," the elaborately dressed man commanded.

"Excuse me," a feminine voice cut into the males intones, causing the man in navy to glance over his shoulder with cold eyes directed at the producer of the tone. Sari finished her statement. "I have a question to ask all of you."

The man turned completely around to face the girl, and they all held serious looks chiseled onto their features. "If you don't mind," her voice lowered a little as she tried her best to look as friendly as possible. She got no response. 'Tough crowd.'

"What do you want, little girl?" The blue eyed man asked in an eerie voice.

'Little!? Who is he calling little?!' Sari's thoughts raced on impulse driven by anger but she remained cool. "Well, I wanted to know if you've seen any terrorists around here."

'She really is dumber then she looks.' Zidane thought to himself with amusement. 'Either that or she's not seen what we look like.' He took the cigarette out of his mouth and exhaled, white puffs of smoke filled the air around him. "Are you looking for the ones who work for Ibuki?" He finally asked in a casual manner as the rest of the members in his party looked back at him.

"Huh?" She asked with a disgruntled look on her face. "You know them?"

"Sure," Zidane held his cigarette in his hand. "We've been trying to track them down."

Mahogany eyes narrowed at that remark, reminding him not to overstep his boundaries, but the bald man ignored them.

"Why do you want to know?" The soldier holding the map asked defensively.

"Just wondering. I mean I'd want to be safe and make sure none of them are coming to this village," she told them.

"I heard that they were heading east toward Polport Harbor," Zidane told her.

"Wow, that's waaay out there," the short haired girl felt a bead of sweat running down her forehead, and she noticed that they were on the wrong track, as usual. 'Polport Harbor!?! I knew the people in my group were wrong! What losers!'

"Well, thanks for informing me of that sir."

"No problem. Trust me, your village is safe."

"That's good to hear," Sari sighed in false relief. "Well, I'm off. See you!" She walked off casually, as if nothing were wrong.

As soon as the girl was at a comfortable distance, the white haired man spoke up. "Now, why did you do that?"

"Because she's a spy that's why," Zidane informed.

His stoic team mate arched an eyebrow, looking to the two casually.

"What do you mean?" The red-haired soldier was confused.

"There are several points in which one can tell. Number one-Random Questions- Why would any normal citizen ask such a question? Number two- Out of all of the people here, she went straight to us. She didn't even stop to ask anyone else, even when she walked off. Number three - Why didn't she question us on how we acquired that knowledge? Number four- Nervous body posture and shaky voice. It was obvious that she was afraid of getting caught," the bald man calculated.

"Don't you think that you're reading a little far into this?" The stoic one asked. From his perspective, it could have been just a normal little girl who seemed lost. Who knew? Her actions could have been genuine.

"I only half way lied to her. We're not attacking this village yet. We're not headed to Polport Harbor, but if she follows that advice with no other hints, by the time she gets there and finds we're not even stationed there, she'll have no time to make it back by the time we accomplish the mission."

"I still think that you're overanalyzing things," the long haired man stated. "Several of the citizens have approached us in the same manner."

"Better to overanalyze than to blow it off," the scar-faced man replied, throwing his cigarette down and stepping on it.

"We'd better not waste any time," the white-haired man replied.

"Right," the red-haired man agreed. "Let's get a move on to the Republic of Baztok." The four of them walked away, but on the roof top above, the assassin lurked, pondering to himself.

'Republic of Baztok, huh? Sari should find this information to her approval…Or disapproval from monitoring her…'


"WHAT!?" Sari screamed in anger and outrage, a vein popping out of her forehead. The black haired man said nothing in return, just stared at her with his same gaze as she continued. She couldn't believe this was happening? Did he have an iota of knowledge on how absolutely pissed she was? "You mean he LIED to me!! What nerve!!? RAH!"

"You can't trust everyone you question," Valentino stated calmly.

"Never trust men in suits! I swear!" Sari continued her angry rant.


"What now? More bad news?"

"Those are some of Ibuki-sama's troops."


"I'm afraid so."

"You mean I was talking to the terrorists?" Sari's voice went higher pitched in disbelief.

Valentino nodded silently.

"I should go and kick their asses! Let me at 'em!" She held the upper part of her arm and stomped past him. Valentino grabbed her by one of the straps of her yellow spaghetti strapped shirt. "Hm?" She blinked as she realized that she was moving but not going anywhere.

"Think with your brain," his eyes narrowed. "They'd kill you."

Sari whirled around, offended at his comment. "So you don't think I'm strong is that it?"

"That's not what I'm saying."

She put her hands on her hips. "Then what are you saying? Now that you decided to talk so much."

"Think about it. First off, there are four of them and one of you," he stated. Even he knew a one on four battle hardly ever turned out well, especially when the one in question was just a normal citizen, and a young one at that.

"That's never stopped me before," she was determined. He didn't know what she was capable of. How did he know she couldn't go in there and destroy them?

"Second off, three of them are elite soldiers."

"Hm?" Blue-green curls bounced as her head snapped in his direction.

"The one with the map and the other rough looking man are Rouma Udo and Mosatori Hisamichi," Valentino revealed the identities of the ones she was communicating with.


"Hisamichi couldn't beat you, but Udo could. Udo could also beat me, so don't beat yourself up. The other two are Masatori Shigeki and Reiji Zidane," he continued to reveal the identities of the others..

"Udo, Zidane and Shigeki huh?" Sari questioned and looked interested, "tell me about them." It was better to try and understand who exactly she was up again before she beat their asses so hard they'd feel it into next week.

"Rouma Udo is a master at weaponry. He can calculate the trajectory of any kind of weapon with great accuracy. His looks are forbidding and so is his weapon. He uses a massive shuriken to propel at his enemy and maneuvers it with a giant chain."

“So he uses it like a giant yo-yo?" She asked curiously. That was a really odd choice of weapons. How did he even think of the mechanics behind something like that, anyway?

"Simply speaking," Valentino agreed.

"And what about this…Hisamichi guy?"

"You're way above his league."

"And Shigkei?"

"His second right hand man. Shigeki is powerful and prideful. He's very intelligent, though Udo is more so. Shigeki is more on skills and strength and Udo is on trajectory and precision," he continued.

"And Zidane?" A blue-green eyebrow was quirked.

"He's stronger than Udo and Shigeki," Valentino informed. "He's the head of the Dark Renegade Interrogation Corps. He's a master of mental torture and king of psychological workings of the mind. He's also physically strong and has a huge machine gun."

"Which ones are these? I mean, what do they look like?"

"Hisamichi was the rough looking one holding the map. Udo was the white haired, blue eyed one. Shigeki was the elaborately dressed one. He was dark skinned and had shaggy hair. Zidane was the bald one with the scars on his face."

"He's the one who told me that they were headed to Polport Harbor."

"That's on the coastline east of here. Eighteen miles out of the way."

"Well…What do you mean out of the way?" Confusion shot through blue-green eyes.

"Of the Republic of Baztok."

"Republic of Baztok?" Sari arched an eyebrow. "That's west of here, by the Yvasnian Mountains."

"Hisamichi said something about going to the Republic of Baztok," Valentino stated. He happened to overhear the conversation after Sari left, and the bits and pieces of the one they were having before she had stepped up to them.

"But that's ten miles west."

"And if we head off now, we should arrive right behind them," the assassin informed. The sooner they left, the better they could track them.

"Why do you want to arrive right behind them?" That didn't sound like the wisest idea. What if they got caught?

"So if they are planning to launch an attack, we'll be here to foil it for them," he replied. The sooner they got there, the earlier they could do something to stop them.

"Right, should we get back to the others then?"

Valentino agreed, and started to walk off, but was stopped by the girl's voice.


He paused, but said nothing.

"Thanks for saving my ass back there. You're really smart," she smiled. If it wasn't for him, she would have gone back to the others and threw them way off track about their destination. She didn't even want to think about the repercussions behind something like that.

There was silence in return as the two of them walked off to regroup.


Vincent sighed as he stood alone, "man, no one has any leads here. I've asked the same question 100 times and still I have nothing."

In another part of town, Agata stopped to take a rest, "I've been running around in circles. Let's face it, no one here knows anything."

Rubio waited in the same place he was left in. He decided against going to look for information to gather. "I know I'm going to get killed by my team mates, especially Sari, but I believe Valentino…" He sighed to himself. "I don't know why, but I do."

In another part of town, Ionna walked through a semi-populated area, "I'm hearing the Republic of Baztok, but I'm also hearing about Polport Harbor…Hmm…Both of those places are ten plus miles in opposite directions. Not much of a lead but a good one, if I can figure out which city it's in.

"I'll try for more people. Someone's got to know something."

Vincent decided to make his way back, "guess I should go back. I've got nothing."

'Man, I hope someone's done a better job than me.'

"Well, no luck here," Agata settled. "Maybe Valentino was right, though I'd hate to put my trust in someone like him."

After a while of waiting, Rubio finally saw Agata and Vincent walking into view.

"Get anything?" Agata asked, seeing Vincent walk up from another side.

"No, did you?"


"What about you, Rubio?" Vincent noticed that the black clad man was standing there. Did he really do nothing while they were combing through the bustling town.

"I haven't looked," the male said simply. He was going to stick by the assassin's word, no matter what. Rubio didn't think that he was going to lie to them by any means. He might have been shady, but there was something about his story that he couldn't help but believe.

"What?" Agata's eye narrowed in irritation. What did he mean by `he didn't look'?

"You mean we've been doing your work for you?" Vincent looked a little peeved.

"No, I just believe Valentino's words," Rubio stayed true to his word. He didn't even care if the other's got mad at him at this rate. He was sure Sari would have been mad at him regardless.

"Don't you hate him?" Agata asked.


"I don't get you. Why trust him now?" The woman inquired.

"Jerk…" The bounty hunter mumbled from beneath his cowboy hat. It was like all of their hard work went to nothing whatsoever. That was a really shitty thing to do to them. Even if he didn't think they should, pretending to look would have made him feel better.

"Stop your mumbling," Rubio demanded. They chose to look, he didn't force them.

"We can only hope that someone else comes up with some information that's valuable. Remember, Ionna and Sari are still out there," the blue clad woman noted.

Not two seconds after the last phrase was uttered, Sari and Valentino walked up to the group.

"Okay, Ionna is still out there."

"I bet she has nothing on them," the bounty hunter dead panned. They were really getting nowhere, and if Ionna had nothing to report, it made all of the efforts they took beyond useless.

"Hey! I have a lot to tell you," Sari said happily.

"Like what?" Vincent asked. He sincerely hoped that her news would make their pointless walking and questioning worth it.

"This had better be good," Agata said, crossing her arms over her chest. She was interested to know what kind of knowledge Sari was going to enlighten them with. At this point, anything would have been good.