Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Into The Void ❯ The Republic of Baztok ( Chapter 8 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
:: Into the Void ::
By: Melissa Norvell
Chapter 8: The Republic of Baztok
The team finally reached a large hilltop, overlooking a primitive city of sorts. The houses were all made of straw and sticks. Some actually looked like houses and others teepees. Behind the small village was a large, snow-capped mountain. There were no signs of electricity or technological advancement of any kind. It was as if they had all stepped into a time machine, and were sent back to an ancient civilization.
Green eyes set over the city. "So, this is it, eh? The Republic of Baztok," Vincent spoke, standing with a foot atop of a rock and a hand under the brim of his cowboy hat, shading his eyes as the wind blew gently, making his clothes gently flap in the wind.
The team decided to walk towards their destination.
"It's so pretty here," Sari blinked. "Everything looks so natural."
"That's because it is," Agata informed. "The citizens from the Republic of Baztok don't do everything like normal. They make everything themselves, much like a tribe more than actual society."
Valentino silently looked around the entrance of the village, marked by a giant boulder and small wooden stand.
"We'd better head off, right everyone?" Ionna asked.
They began to step forward, but three figures shot out from the stand. There were three birds, which looked like colored birds of prey. They wore necklaces of white feathers with red tips and what looked like bras and skirts with slits up both sides, creating a gap between the two pieces of fabric. The avian also wore gold bracelets on their arms, which were connected to their wings, and around their feet. The male of the three wore no bra-like garment, but did wear a shorter version of the skirt, which came up to his knees.
The first female avian spoke, "Hello, welcome to the Republic of Baztok."
"It's nice to have visitors here. You're the fifth group to make it here today," the second one chimed.
"We can answer any questions if you have any," the male bird offered his assistance.
"You're the people of the Republic of Baztok?" Sari asked, looking confused and a bit perplexed by the fact that she was talking to anthropomorphic birds. "Do all of you look like that?"
"No," the first female bird answered. "We are all very different, but if you mean are we all birds, then yes."
"You guys are pretty isolated from the big villages," Ionna mentioned.
"Yes, we don't come into contact with humans."
"I don't see anyone here but birds. Don't tell me that the information we were given is wrong," Sari was irritated already.
"Unless they were misguided…" Valentino thought aloud.
"Have you seen any men or women around here?" Agata pulled out numerous wanted posters for them to look at. The three citizens took them with their claw-like hands and looked over them before handing them back.
"I've seen the one with scars on his face," the male bird replied. "He asked where Mount Kayukus was."
"I saw the spiky haired one too," the second female spoke. "He had a huge disc shaped weapon with spikes protruding from it on his back."
"Where did you see them?" Sari asked.
"The spiky haired one is in town."
"The scar-faced one is headed toward Mount Kayukus," the two informed.
"Great!" Rubio exclaimed. "We can catch them now."
"Hold on," Agata held out her arm in front of Rubio. "Do we have permission to go in your village? These guys are wanted by the authorities."
"Of course," the first female bird granted them access. "Go right ahead."
The hunt for the fugitives began. Everyone started to comb the town, but despite the information they had been given by the three citizens, they came up empty handed.
"I don't see anything, just miles and miles of feathers," the one-eyed woman spoke up after hours of searching and only running into more birds.
"Birds…Birds…and MORE birds," Rubio huffed. Never had he felt like such a stranger in a town as he did in this one. Literally, the only people who were humans were he and his group. It was bizarre.
"Hey wait," Vincent noted. "I see someone."
Udo, Esta and Loreli were standing around in a semi-circled in the midst of the traffic of the republic. Esta and Udo were close together, but Loreli was standing a couple of feet off from them. They all held serious looks on their faces and stuck out like a sore thumb.
Feminine hands ran across slate blue fabric, tracing the masculine qualities of a chest. "You know," red lips spoke dangerously close to pale skin. "You've really changed since I knew you last. You're not some dumb kid anymore."
Pale eyes glanced to Loreli, who tore her gaze sadly from the white haired man. She hated seeing other women messing with him, but she was of a lower rank than Esta. If she dared to speak up, things would escalate more than they already had. She had to trust that Udo would do what was right.
"Come on," Esta replied. "Are you still hassling me about Hisamichi?"
"This isn't part of the mission," Udo spoke, feeling uncomfortable.
"But this is," the black haired woman smiled, kissing him passionately for a couple of minutes, until she was thrown off by the man, who wore an irritated and feral look as he sneered at her.
"Forget it, Esta. I'm not into you. Besides, you like Shigeki. Go to him-"A harsh slap was given to him, making his head snap to the side as Loreli winced at the action and a few drops of saliva flew from his mouth.
Loreli turned back around to see Udo, staggering back a few feet. His face was marred with hate. She was shocked that he had slapped Esta like he did. No one would usually even dare to touch her.
"Don't think that just because you're some punk kid that you can override my authority," Esta scolded.
"It isn't in your authority to molest me," Udo shot back, his voice serious and calm despite the anger inside of him.
"You guys…" Loreli interjected.
"Why you…" Esta growled, then sensed Loreli behind her and whirled around, her ponytail swirling through the air and wrapping around her neck. "What do you want? Loreli."
The short haired girl looked to the side, clutching her clipboard to her chest as sadness swirled through her hazel eyes, "Udo-sama is right. This has nothing to do with the mission."
"Oooh!" The black haired girl fumed, "you guys are utterly ridiculous! I'm going to find Shigeki-kun!" She stomped off.
"Are you okay?" Loreli asked, placing a hand gently on his shoulder.
Udo was silent.
"It isn't right how they treat you," she proceeded.
He was still silent.
"I understand," Loreli stopped.
"Let's go," Udo noted as a hand was set gently on his face, causing the anger to fade and him to flinch.
"It's red and hot," Loreli said gently.
"It's nothing," the white haired man shrugged it off.
"It really was her fault. She shouldn't have hit on you like that," she looked down. "I'd better go…" Loreli turned and walked away slowly, almost as if she didn't want to leave him. He watched her form fade away.
'Udo-sama…' She thought as she walked off.
"Well, that was strange," the white-haired man scratched the back of his head.
"Hey you!" A strong, feminine voice shouted. "Porcupine boy!"
The man paused, eyes narrowing as he turned half way. "It's you." He dead panned, recognizing Sari from his previous encounter with her.
"And it's you," she shot. "You and your little buddies lied to me!"
"Heh," he smirked sadistically and closed his eyes. "Now, why would we tell you the truth?"
"Because you're a terrorist, that's why!"
"You should have backed down while you had the chance."
"How dare you lie to me! You'll pay for that…Whoever you are!" Sari yelled.
The wild haired man reached behind him, grabbing the large spiked disc with his hand. "Let me introduce myself." He replied, placing the weapon in front of himself. A few citizens saw the sharp object and ran to go into hiding. "I am Rouma Udo, Master of Trajectory and Artist of Weaponry. I'd also like to introduce you to my weapon- The Illusionary Demon Blade." With great force, he hurled it into the air and towards Sari, the weapon spinning with incredible speed.
"Ah!" Sari jumped to the side, dodging as the weapon tore up the ground savage teeth chewed and tore into the earth, scarring it.
Udo pulled the chain tight as the disc spun rapidly in the air, as if it were a spinning gear, frozen in time. Then swung it around to try and get her with it once more, but she dodged out of the way again. The short haired girl pulled out her swords and stuck one in her mouth once more, getting ready for the battle at hand. The white haired man caught his weapon in one hand and threw it at her again, she evaded by jumping up. He swung it upwards with her jump, hitting her with force and sending her flying through the air. While in mid air, she let go of her blades, the metallic objects spinning like pinwheels on a windy day as the plummeted to the ground.
The girl fell on her back, the breath knocked out of her as both of her blades hit the ground, one sticking into the earth and the other landed flatly. Sari panted, trying to regain her breath.
"Ugh…" She said painfully. "I can't move. He hit me pretty hard."
She looked up wearily to see the man standing above her; he held his weapon mechanically above him, as his face showed no hint of emotion. "Say goodbye."
He swung the weapon down to strike her. Sari closer her eyes and turned her head toward the ground, readying herself for the final death blow.
But it never came.
Instead there was a clash above her. His weapon had clashed with a giant pinwheel with a giant shuriken as a whirly-gig on top.
"Huh?" Sari was confused at the noise and why she hadn't died yet.
There was a woman holding the weapon, she looked to be in her teens and was of athletic build. She wore a red vinyl shirt, that was mid thigh and a red shirt that buttoned up the front, but was tied at the breast instead, revealing her stomach, which had two black straps with holes in them running from her shoulders and vanishing at the top of her skirt. The red shirt had sleeves rolled up to her elbows and had pockets on each side of the breast area. She wore black, fingerless gloves and a black choker collar.
She had bright green eyes and wispy bangs that were parted in the middle and barely hung in her eyes. She had two puffy ponytails on the top of her head, and below, two buns tied with green ribbon with large bows holding them in place. On either side of her face, long pieces of hair were present and straight as a board, each wrapped about a large, thick gold ring that hung below her cheek bones and clanked together in the wind. Her hair was of a fiery orange-red and she had slightly slanted eyes.
Sari's eyes opened to look at her mysterious savior, but all she could see were white panties. "Gack!" She retorted, swiftly turning her head away. 'Who is this chick?'
"Why don't you pick on someone who has your skills, pal?" The red-head told him.
"Who are you?" Udo asked.
"I'm Yaritza Tamara, Middle Class Ninja," the woman now addressed as Yaritza spoke.
"Hmpf," Udo closed his eyes, and then opened them again. "What are you, her friend?"
"Not really, I don't even know her," Yaritza stated. "But I can't just let you hurt her, huh-
"Green eyes widened as they noticed the symbol on his arm tag and headband. "You're…"
"You bet…" Udo smirked.
"Hey you!" The red-head shouted at the girl below her.
'I wish she'd move…I'm really tired of the view if you know what I mean.'
"Hey! You on the ground!"
"You might want to get out of here. These guys are serious."
"You think I don't know this!?" Sari screamed in irritation.
"Huh?" Yaritza blinked.
"This was my fight and you butted in!"
"I was saving you. This guy would have killed you."
"I have an old score to settle," the short haired girl's face turned serious and determined.
"If you're not alive, you can't settle any old score," Yaritza told her.
"Could you move?" Sari asked. "I've got all the wrong views of you, if you know what I mean."
"Oh, sorry," the ninja spoke and moved away from Sari.
"Ninja…" Udo noted, his voice laced with nostalgia.
"What about us?" The red-head asked.
'I want to be a ninja!' A small child with white spiky hair smiled within the confines of his mind. "Nothing…" Udo finally said, while his face still remained emotionless, a gleam of sorrow shone in his eyes.
'What's this guy's problem?' The scantily dressed ninja arched an eyebrow in confusion.
The said man jumped back, putting his weapon back on his back. "Be glad I'm feeling sympathetic today."
"I don't call that too sympathetic," Sari replied.
"What do you mean, Mister?" Yaritza was still confused.
"I usually don't stop unless I kill my victims," Udo told the two girls, a sadistic delight in his voice.
"You're not killing anyone today! Yah!" The ninja threw her steel pinwheel at him, the object aimed with deadly accuracy as the whirly-gig spun with the wind; it was caught by a strong hand.
"Ah!" She yelled.
"You're too slow. A weapon going at twenty miles per hour at a straight angle is easily detected by the human eye and easily caught," Udo informed.
'What?' Sari thought, impressed by his genius. 'How can he figure that in such a short amount of time?'
"Man, you're smart," Yaritza complimented, impressed as well. "Creepy, but smart."
"You're strange," the man told her in turn.
"And so is your haircut, pal," Yaritza shot back.
"Die…" He hurled kunai knives at them, and nearly hit them but Yaritza grabbed Sari and jumped out of the way.
"I thought he was going to let us live," Sari protested, wiggling around in her arms.
"Heh, yeah right," the red-head replied. "That guy's just sadistic. We've got to find a way to defeat him."
"I agree," Udo threw his weapon at them once more.
"Holy!" Sari yelled.
"Shit!" Yaritza finished.
Udo pulled the chain tight again, causing it to spin in place as Sari and Yaritza land, the weapon hits them, spinning several times into the ground, turning up smoke and dirt with every grind. After the smoke cleared, nothing could be seen. It was as if they had disappeared.
"Replacement Technique, the oldest of the ninja arts," Udo informed. "Ah well, they're gone. Not much I can do about it now."
"Precisely," a deep male voice intoned, causing his eyes to widen in surprise.
"Ibuki-sama…" Udo's blood ran cold, he was paralyzed.
"So there you are, fooling around again," Ibuki's voice was harsh. He was disappointed at Udo's actions.
"But sir, she-" The general began, turning around and attempting to defend himself.
"A good warrior gives no excuses," Ibuki cut off. "This is your third mistake."
"But sir," Udo argued, a hint of plead to his voice. "The other two weren't my fault. I failed the first task because Shigeki told me that it wasn't vital to us and called me back. The second, I failed because Zidane failed to give the right instructions and this time-"
"This time is one time too many."
"But sir, you can't-"He was cut short again as he was grabbed harshly by the collar of his shirt.
"Udo, the more you talk the worse it's going to be. When you report back to base, come straight to me, and don't think you can get out of it. I've never seen you fail this many times. You're becoming defective. Let's just hope it's not permanent," Ibuki informed.
Defiance shown in his lightly colored orbs before grinding his teeth and uttering "yes, sir" in a voice that seemed stressed and even pained.
Nearby, Yaritza and Sari hid behind a stand and peered from the edge, both sets of eyes and ears tuned into what was happening.
'That's Ibuki?' Sari thought to herself. 'He doesn't look so scary.'
'Wow, I feel kind of sorry for that Udo guy…' Yaritza thought to herself as concern shown in green eyes as Ibuki disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving Udo sitting on the ground.
The white-haired male punched the ground with all of his might and yelled. "Damn it!" as he sunk to the ground in defeat.
The ninja turned to Sari. "You're hurt pretty bad. I'm going to take you to Ryouzonia. She's really good at healing and she'll get you back to your group, or family or whatever."
"Okay…Thanks," Sari replied.
Zidane, Esta, Loreli, Shigeki, Udo and Hisamichi all stood in a row before Ibuki, who was standing by a black leather chair in a dark blue room with hardly any lights. They were evenly spaced apart and all wore serious looks on their faces.
The room was silent until Ibuki spoke up. "It's time for status reports."
'Oh hell…' Zidane thought to himself. 'What did I do wrong this time?'
'Status reports?' Esta thought. 'Why is he always grading us? It's humiliating!'
"Man oh man! I'm so going to get it!' Hisamichi's thoughts ran rampant inside of his head. This was his first time in status reports and he was nervous as to what Ibuki would say to him. 'I'm the only solider here! They're going to kill me…Well; it was nice knowing you guys. It was fun while it lasted…'
Udo looked panicked as he stood there, almost fearful as hazel eyes laid upon him in sympathy and wonder. 'What's gotten him so shook up? He must've been the reason we're here.'
There was a silence for a couple of minutes before Ibuki yelled to his troops angrily. "What is all of your major malfunctions!?!"
Hisamichi flinched but the others remained silent.
"This is the worst I've seen you at! Your performances have been down the past week. Inefficiency can't be tolerated," he stated further.
'And here's where they hand us our heads back to us with an 'F' for 'Fail' and 'Fuck you'." Zidane thought sardonically.
"Hm?" Loreli and Esta replied in unison.
Hisamichi sighed in relief. "We're not going yet. Good."
Udo glared at Ibuki in fury. 'He did that on purpose…'
Shigeki looked at Udo.
'He's either toying with us, has a bigger punishment for us, or he's trying to make us anticipate it.' The scar-faced man thought, then looked to Udo. 'He's trying not to show it, but he's falling apart. He has the same look on his face when he was a child…I bet Ibuki's torturing him again…Poor kid…Maybe I can get him out of trouble.'
"Sir!" Esta took a step forward and saluted.
"You've been slacking off," Ibuki told her.
'Ah, the normal complaints…Like you give us enough work to keep us slaving away…' The bald one thought.
"I always see you lounging around, like you have nothing to do. I give you missions, complete them. Don't expect the others to finish them for you," he scolded. "Sakuyaha, Loreli."
"Sir," The girl took a step forward, in the same row as Esta.
"You're not prompt enough. I'm going to give you more missions that seem to be your strong point."
'Awww…' Hisamichi thought, knowing Loreli always tried her best. 'He's just picking on her…I'm doomed!'
"Rouma, Udo," Ibuki called.
Udo said nothing in return, but his eyes widened as he saw his boss perform a series of hand signs. The red-headed guard gasped in horror, not knowing what was going to happen. Zidane's gaze cut right over to Udo. The spiky haired man's eyes went wide with horror as a cloud of smoke consumed him. When it cleared, he was incased in a glass coffin, his hands crossed at his chest and he appeared to be dead inside of the coffin.
'Did he kill him?' Hisamichi thought in revulsion.
"Udo!" Loreli yelled, reaching out to the coffin.
'Oh, the coffin treatment, huh?' Zidane looked to Ibuki. "Ibuki-sama, was that truly necessary?"
"You are in no position to question me, Zidane. At least tell us why. Hisamichi doesn't understand all of this yet," the man gestured with his hand to the guard to the left of him.
"Three strikes and you're out. It's a temporary spell that keeps them alive within the coffin. You experience the intensity of whatever negative feelings you harbor," Ibuki told him. "Now, on to his mistakes. One, failing the mission before the movement to the Baztok Republic."
"I clearly remember being told that wasn't necessary for what we were trying to obtain. Shigeki informed Udo of that during the mission," Zidane defended the spiky haired general.
"Is this true?" Cold dark eyes turned their gaze to the man in question.
Shigeki smiled arrogantly. "Sir, he has no proof."
"I was there," Zidane glared.
"I believe you're misinformed," Shigeki's voice was calm and held slight arrogance and finesse to it.
"You set him up you little rat ass bas-"
He was cut off. "QUIET!"
Loreli looked at her boss with a 'how could you' look.
"His second mistake…as well as yours. Mr. Reiji - not taking the proper route to the Baztok Republic, getting lost and not being on time," Ibuki reprimanded.
"I can't believe this…" Zidane huffed. Ibuki was out for blood, and it was more than obvious that he just couldn't wait until Udo's mistakes stacked up against him.
"Any protests?" Ibuki asked and Zidane bit his tongue and remained quiet, despite his inner protests.
"Yes sir," he muffled.
"His final mistake, not paying proper attention to the mission. While we were preparing for the mission. He was off in the Republic fighting ninja. You should avoid these mistakes if you don't want the same fate," he warned.
"Of course sir," Shigeki agreed.
Zidane was silent. His eyebrow twitched under his bandana.
"Yes?" Shigeki smiled, looking at Zidane with a victorious look.
The man remained silent.
"Now, on to your mistakes…"
Yaritza and Sari stood in front of one of the houses, which had several hanging signs and two posts holding up one large swinging wooden sign. "Here we are," Yaritza said, standing before the door, holding Sari in her arms, "Ryouzonia's place."
"I wonder if anyone will be able to find me," Sari said weakly. Even if she wanted to, there was no way to give them directions to where she was. There was also no way that she could give her location, because she doubted that her group knew where she was. This was bad. She could only hope that they didn't leave without her.
"Who knows?" The red-head told her, “but you need to rest for a while. Get your strength back up before you go looking for your friends or whatever."
All of the generals exited the dark room. All that could be heard were the taps of shoes on metal ground. Then, Zidane broke the silence.
"I fucking hate you,” he glared at Shigeki as he walked out of the doorway, his voice laced in hatred as the automatic metal door shut behind the both of them.
"He was annoying. He had to be dealt with," Shigeki spoke.
"He didn't do anything to you," Loreli safeguarded.
"He needed to be taught a lesson." It was important that he wouldn't let any slip-ups go to waste.
"You son of a bitch!" Zidane yelled, not being able to hold back his anger anymore, landing a punch on Shigeki's face, the brute force of it knocking him down. His body slammed against the ground, making a thump that reverberated down the hall.
"Hey!" The long haired woman yelled, whirling around.
"Zidane, please…" The short haired woman took a hold of the bald man's sleeve in her hands.
"What was that all about?" Hisamichi asked.
The dark haired man sat on the ground, rubbing his face and propping himself up with one arm. "You're acting out of line," he commanded calmly. If he decided to step up to him and overstep his boundaries, he would make sure to put him out of commission as well.
"No one tolerates people like you. You're worse than scum. How dare you betray a fellow general in such a dishonorable manner? You are truly…Ugh. Forget it," the bald man tried to chide himself, seething with anger. So much so that his thoughts and words were jumbled and he couldn't produce the rest of his sentence.
"Did you really set Udo-sama up, Shigeki-sama?" Hisamichi asked.
"Of course he did!" The bald one accused. "That's not even a question, Hisamichi."
"He's a lowlife…and that's a nice word for what I think he really is," Zidane glared menacingly at him. He had never gotten along with Shigeki, and he didn't plan on doing so anytime soon. That man was below him, below the ground he stood on, below everything in the world that was obscene and horrid.
Sadness hid itself within the depths of hazel eyes, "Udo-sama.."
'This is serious!' The guard thought. 'I don't want that coffin, that's for sure!'
'Wow!' The navy blue clad woman thought. 'I've never seen Zidane that angry!'
"Well, Udo's out of commission for a while," Esta brought up the fact. She was sure that no one wanted to hear it, but they had to plan ahead and move their advancements around his absence, as well as give others tasks that were assigned to him.
"I guess I'm taking his missions," Loreli looked down as Shigeki pulled himself up from the floor and Zidane's receding footsteps could be heard going down the hall.
"I'm going to try and calm him down," Loreli told the group.
"I'm going to go with you, if you don't mind, Loreli-sama," the red-head turned to her, not wanting to be left with Esta.
She turned half way, "sure."
"Are you okay?" The long haired woman asked Shigeki.
"Fine," he closed his eyes, shutting out the pain.
"Why did you get rid of Udo?" She asked, showing no concern for the man mentioned.
"Because he's not needed for this mission and he insisted on going. Furthermore, he's rebellious and this mission doesn't require the snap dragon type."
"Did you really set him up?" She asked in wonder.
"Of course I did…I knew he'd do what I said because we are of equal position. I had forgotten about Zidane. I knew he'd open his scarred face about it. He's always been partial to that brat."
"Well Zidane himself was what? Seventeen? Eighteen? When he came here," the black-haired woman replied thoughtfully.
"They should both be lucky that Ibuki-sama even keeps them around. They're so troublesome."
"Are you saying that because you're jealous?" Esta questioned.
"What?" Loreli looked to the woman. Why would she make a claim like that?
"You know they're both better than you in ability, strength and intelligence," she stated the cold, hard facts. That man had a lot of reasons to show envy towards them. It was only natural to have bitter feelings for people who had all you lacked.
"Zidane is good at mental torture and Udo is good at weapons. They aren't so special. They just sit around and take up space," the man scowled softly. Like hell he was jealous of a bunch of idiots who couldn't even do simple tasks without screwing them up. He was a much better soldier than they were combined, and he was going to prove it.
Dark blue eyes looked to him.
There was a knock on the wooden door. It was soon after opened by a giant blue bird, dressed in brown cloth and white feathers with the same golden bracelets as the others.
This bird had dark blue around her dull pink eyes that faded off into a pastille blue. She appeared to be some type of anthropomorphic hawk.
"Who are you?" She spoke in a gentle voice, looking at the two women with interest.
"Tamara, Yaritza and…" The ninja looked to Sari.
"I'm Ryouzonia, the village elder and resident Healer, come in," she spoke in a voice that was hardly that of someone old as she gestured inside, where rest awaited the weary women.