Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Into The Void ❯ Consequences ( Chapter 12 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Into the Void
By: Melissa Norvell
Chapter 12: Consequences
It was cold and there was no wind. A small amount of snow was still falling from the prior day and at the top of what was left of Mount Kayukus Udo and Loreli were present. He was still unconscious from the spell which had been placed on him. Loreli kept close to him, protecting him from anything that could cause any harm to the unconscious man. She looked around at her surroundings, and the canon which had been shut down and accumulated a bit of snow from the previous day.
"I can't believe this," she sighed, "someone cracked the code and shut it down."
She could hear a groaning noise from beneath her as the white-haired man awoke from his spell, sitting up and rubbing his head. Pale blue eyes looked around, unfamiliar with their surroundings. They then lay sights on the woman standing, "Loreli."
Her face lit up with surprise upon hearing his voice. It had been so long since he was put under that spell. She ran over to him, calling out his name in bliss and throwing her arms around his cold form, making some of the snow that was still stuck to his uniform fall onto the ground. She hugged him tightly, not wanting to let go as he said her name softly and smiled.
"Thank god you're okay!" She pulled back from the hug and stared into his eyes.
"You saved me, apparently. But from what?" He pondered.
"The canon was going to fire, but someone deactivated it," she explained, glancing over her shoulder back at the cold, unfeeling piece of machinery.
At the bottom of the mountain, a large crowd of citizens from the Republic of Baztok had gathered. They were all engaged in gossip over what had happened.
"Let's get this over with," Ryouzonia told Valentino, who was silent.
"Right," Sari agreed.
One of the male birds pushed a button, which set off an explosion where the canon was. Debris and pieces of metal went flying in every direction as Loreli screamed and Udo called out her name in dismay. Both terrorists were flung a good distance away, covered in an avalanche of rocks and snow, all being pummeled into their skin at a fast and hard repetitious pace.
"Yes!" Sari exclaimed.
"It's gone," Rubio's voice was monotone as everyone began to cheer and celebrate around him.
Cold and steely eyes concentrated on the mountain as a sense of uncertainty filled the bald man, who outwardly seemed to be casual in disposition as he puffed on his cigarette.'Something isn't right about this…'
"At least we don't have to worry about it now," Yaritza dismissed the subject. In truth, she didn't want to think about something like that right now.
"We'd better go back up there after a while to see if we've got it destroyed. We don't want them coming back to rebuild it," Ionna instructed. It was best to just get rid of the entire thing and not even give them the chance to return.
"Hmmm…" Zidane pondered.
Udo and Loreli lay a few feet away, covered by snow and rocks. Loreli's skin was cold and her clothes tattered and torn. The white haired man lay a distance away, almost completely buried in snow. She opened her eyes, looking around desperately for any sign of the other.
"Udo-sama? Udo-sama!!" She called out frantically for a few moments, until she found the man unconscious in the snow. She crawled over and reached for his hand but fell short of it. She lifted her head and reached out a little more, finally grasping it and holding it firmly not wanting to let go.
Then she felt his hand caress hers gently. "Loreli…Are you alright?" He replied in a midst of being half-conscious.
"Just scratched," she confirmed. "What about you?"
"Fine," he said in a whisper, tired from taking the hit.
"Udo-sama! Udo-sama, don't pass out on me now. You'll catch hypothermia. I don't want you to die." She pleaded, holding his hand tighter. "You're my friend and I…" Udo passed out in her mid-sentence. "Love you…" She confessed a few moments too late, then berated herself in thoughts. 'Why can't I ever tell him to his face…I can always say it when his back is turned but never to his face…'
Her features turned sad, "I don't deserve you…never did…You were always out of my league…Even when we were young…I was always scared and unsure…You were always so confident and so much stronger than me…You're the reason I'm alive…The reason I wanted to prove myself to you…" She sat up and stared into his slumbering face. "You look so peaceful Udo-sama…Forgive me," she closed her eyes and delivered a harsh slap to his face, snapping him back awake.
"Sorry but you can't fall asleep now," Loreli apologized.
"Well, that's the kindest smack I've received," Udo smiled lazily.
"Do you…like Esta?" Loreli was almost afraid of his answer.
"I know that was out of nowhere, but I've been wondering."
"Why in the hell would you think that?" Udo was confused beyond all belief. He thought that he had made it pretty apparent that he all but wanted to kill Esta.
Loreli looked down sadly, "I know it's stupid of me. Sorry…It's just that…well…She's always with you and hitting on you…"
"You're a great friend, Loreli. Thanks for protecting me."
"It seemed more like down-sizing to me."
"What do you mean?" He looked at her, perplexed.
"I thought you didn't want to be protected by a woman. Wouldn't that be like saying you're weak?" Loreli asked.
"I figured it might be time for a payback from you. You certainly got your fair share of me protecting you."
"Oh, that's true."
"Man…" Udo squirmed a few minutes before his form went limp again. "This isn't good."
"What's wrong?" Loreli was concerned.
"I can't move."
The women began to attempt and dig the snow and rocks from around her fallen secret love. She got quite a bit off before coming to a small boulder that was too heavy for her to free him from. She said his name sympathetically and a look of fret crossed her features.
"Why did you call me that?"
"Call you what?"
"The honorific," he referred to her use of -sama.
She blushed. "Well, because I respect you…"
"It's just the wind stinging my cheeks," Loreli told him nonchalantly.
"See if you can get me out with your staff. Maybe you can blast the rocks away," Udo came up with what he thought was a good idea.
"Right," Loreli nodded. "It flew out of my hand when I fell back."
"I'm guessing that someone destroyed the canon." Pale eyes glanced to the now-demolished canon.
"Probably those freedom fighters who asked you about our movement to the Republic," the woman looked around for her staff.
"This has to be one of our worst days. I just got out of that casket. I really don't want to go back in," Udo complained.
"Found it," Loreli grabbed her staff. A nervous look crossed her face. "Shield yourself. I don't want to hurt you."
"I trust you, Loreli."
"Here goes," she prepared, pointing the staff at him and going into a series of hand signs. 'I just hope I don't hurt him.'
"Bakuhatsu," Loreli summoned her attack as the ground where Udo was exploded, sending pieces of debris out. "Udo-sama."
"I'm fine and mobile," he was now sitting in the snow.
"Thank god," she smiled.
"We're almost the same age, you know," Udo replied, seeming off-topic.
"Call me, Udo-kun."
This comment caused the girl to blush. She wouldn't dream that he wanted her to be on the same level of affiliation as him. "Oh no I couldn't."
"It's okay, really."
"It would be dis-" She was stopped in mid-sentence by a finger pressing to her lips.
"Not another word," the white haired man told her kindly. "You must be cold."
"I'm fine," the woman tried to shrug him off.
"Then why are your cheeks so red?"
"Uh…I guess you're right. "I don't have much on," she looked down at her ragged clothes, before she felt herself be pulled into the man's lap. "What are-?"
"We have to keep warm. This is a good way," he smiled, wrapping his arms around her shoulder and resting his chin on her right shoulder.
She smiled and closed her eyes. "You're right," Loreli gave in, secretly wanting his touch.
"You're warm," she felt the blush rise to her cheeks once more.
"So are you."
"Udo-s-kun," she corrected herself, remembering what he had told her.
This earned her a chuckle from the man.
"Udo-skun huh? I guess it works…What do you want?"
"You made me forget."
"Sorry about that."
"We should climb down, or at least get inside," Udo suggested, knowing that they wouldn't last long outside.
"Why do you like me so much, Loreli?"
"Because you're my friend. You care about me. You saved me plenty of times. You're nice to me." She told him, sinking into his form, "I have something to tell you…I…"
"You what, Loreli?" Udo questioned.
"Why do you speak softly to me?” She asked upon hearing his reply. There was only one other person he spoke in a sift manner to, and that was Zidane. "You always used a kind voice."
"Hope you didn't find it deceptive."
"What did you have to tell me?"
She turned to him and noticed how close their faces were, but she couldn't find the strength to move. Her body yearned for his touch, but she still couldn't disrespect him. He was far her superior. "Can I-"She began to ask, but turned away, rethinking her actions. "Never mind it. I-"She could feel a large hand caress her face and gently turn it towards his.
"I owe you," he looked into her eyes, so full of emotion.
"No, it would be like using you," she hoped that answer would deter him, but it only made him further question her.
"What do you want? You could never use me. We respect each other. We don't use each other. It's more like Symbiosis," he hoped it would make her feel less threatened.
"I just wanted to ki-"
"It's really dumb, I know," she expected to get turned down.
"Loreli, do you like me?"
"I'll kiss you if you tell me," he teased with a smile. The silent girl looked down. After five minutes of being silent, he could hear a small sniffle as the girl began to cry softly.
"Loreli…What's wrong?" The white-haired man felt bad that his teasing made her cry.
"I do. I love you Udo-sempai," she stood up, looking at him, full of emotions. "I think I always have, ever since I was little and I know that you don't like me, so why bother. I disgrace you…I'm so sorry!" She yelled in a fit of emotions and took off running, tears streaming down her face as her figure disappeared into the snow.
"Loreli! Wait!" He called out, scrambling up and running after her.
The woman ran as fast as she could, afraid of his answer. Loreli didn't feel like being criticized. She'd been holding everything back for so long, and so much had happened to her. There was no way she could face him. She didn't want to be called weak and she didn't care how much the tears came. All around her, the scenery looked to be nothing more than a white blur and it was hard to see what was in her path. Suddenly, her foot hit one of the pieces of debris and she could feel her form sailing through the air, her tears still pouring in streams as her body fell, colliding with the snow below. A few moments after impact, he felt herself being pulled into clothing and held close by strong arms.
"Loreli," lips touched hers in a gentle and reassuring kiss. This surprised her for a couple of minutes, but after her initial shock left she found herself kissing him back, clinging to his form as if she didn't want to let go.
Udo broke the kiss. "Its okay, Loreli."
"But you're going to reject me," she sobbed.
"No way in hell. I've got you now, and I'm not about to let you go," his voice laced with determination.
She hugged him securely, "I love you…Udo…"
"I love you too, Loreli."
"Are you really meaning that?"
"But you didn't even think about it or anything…" She brought the subject up, thinking that it was a little odd of him.
"Because you need me."
"Don't feel obligated," she replied.
"I don't. I feel honored. I've always thought you were beautiful, Loreli."
"I…I can't believe this…It's like a dream."
"I have always wanted to tell you how beautiful you were. Guess now would be an appropriate time."
"Let's move into that doorway," Loreli saw one of the nearby entrances. "So we won't be so cold."
"Okay," Udo agreed as the two walked through the snow, close together.
"I can't believe that you don't like Esta. I mean, she's so pretty and such a good fighter. Better than me, and-"
She was cut off by Udo's voice, filled with malice, "I hate her."
"Oh…" She looked down to the snow, figuring that she'd said too much.
"How can you think I like her?" He looked at her.
She shrugged, "I'm stupid."
"No you're not. Do you even want to go back to Ibuki?"
"No…But we'll get killed if we don't," she replied.
"Let's get out of here. We can fake our death by setting off the bombs in the ammunition room. This whole mountain will collapse and no one will bother to search the mountain for us. Ibuki-sama won't care about us."
"Alright," Loreli agreed. "Let's do it."
"You don't sound so sure," Udo noticed the hesitance in her voice.
"What about you though? Haven't you tried this before?" He looked to him with a worried expression.
"I have five times, once at the age of twelve, another at fourteen, another at sixteen, another at seventeen and my last at eighteen," Udo told her.
"And what happened to you?"
"Punished once and tortured the other four times."
"And you still want to take that chance? Knowing you'll get tortured…or worse."
"I'll be free if it costs me my life," Udo looked straight ahead. Determination was strong within the confines of his eyes.
"I don't want that," Loreli looked worried. She knew how stubborn Udo could be.
"I'm tough…I'll pull through. No amount of torture can hurt me now."
"I wish that were true."
"It all feels the same now," he said it as if it were a normal event for him.
"And that's just sad…You shouldn't be used to that," her voice was sympathetic.
"If Valentino can escape…I can too," he was determined as his love looked at him. It was as if she were trying to read his thoughts through his facial features. "Are you the only general here?" He finally asked after a moment of silence.
"I am now."
"Zidane was there with me but…" She clenched some of her tattered skirt in her hand.”He fell from the mountain." She told him, trying not to cry.
"What!?" He exclaimed.
"He might be alive, but I don't know…I had to leave him because the canon was going to collapse the mountain. I know if I went back, I might have fallen too and I think he wanted me to get out myself. He got caught in an avalanche," Loreli's voice was filled with regret and guilt as she recalled what happened the other day.
"He still might be alive!" Udo had high hopes as she nodded in response. "Let's go," he looked at her and the both of them took off running as fast as they could while flashbacks resurfaced within the confines of his mind.
A small child with white, spiky hair had been patrolling down a steel hall. He had just gotten finished with pacing for the 5th time as a tall, bald man trudged past him with a depressed and angry expression passed him. This caused his curious eyes to be led to the figure as he turned his head to give him some attention. The man stopped and looked at him with a crooked smirk.
"Well, look at that…A rookie on patrol…How old are you kid?" He asked.
"Me?" He pointed to himself.
"What's your name kid?"
"Rouma Udo, sir."
"You're pretty young for being here. How old are you?"
"Kid, you should get out of here while you can," the man advised.
"I wish I could sir, but I want to live."
"So that's it?" His smirk grew wider. "Well hey; let me show you the ropes."
"Really?" Udo was amazed that one of his superiors wanted to be nice to him. This was the first person who had ever shown him kindness while he'd been at the establishment.
"It will help you get out of trouble."
"Alright, I am new here so I don't know a lot," the child smiled, happy that this man was going to be so kind to him. "I just do what I'm told."
"Oh hell no kid."
"No?" Udo cocked his head at the answer. This completely contradicted everything he'd been told. Was it possible that someone gave him the wrong instructions?
"You'll get killed if you act like a mindless drone. You've got to think with your head," Zidane pointed to his head. "Or lose it, whichever comes first."
That comment made the child look uneasy. Now he wasn't so sure about this stranger's kindness.
"But I'm probably scaring you," Zidane said kindly, resting a hand him the kid's forest of white spikes. "Ah, don't be afraid. I like you kid. You remind me of myself," he smiled.
That smile faded as the two began hopping down the side of the mountain, trying to reach a nearby door, where they could find some shelter from the cold.
Valentino opened the door and walked into the small, cozy room where Ryouzonia and Zidane rested.
"Hey," Zidane greeted him from his spot on the ground.
"Over your shock?" Valentino asked the man.
"Turns out I was just numb from the snow. I'm glad that the frostbite didn't settle in."
"Missing limbs are a bad thing," Valentino stated simply.
"Can't do shit without 'em."
The assassin sat down at the futon's edge.
"Life any better for you?"
"I exist. Period."
"If Ibuki ever catches you. You'll be sorry," the bald man told him.
"And you'll be too."
The scar-faced man's eyes widened a little before he agreed with Valentino's statement. "You're right," he closed his eyes and smiled. "I will. But who the hell cares…I'm free now. I bet it's hard." He lit a cigarette and held it to his mouth. "Ah, found one of these babies in my pocket. Don't tell Ionna or she'll come and put it out."
"So, Ibuki hired you to kill Angora?"
"You're still his marionette."
Valentino looked down to the hard-wood floor, "I know."
"He's mocking you…and laughing about it."
"You still look emotionless. So what's it like?" Zidane inquired.
"Guilty," Zidane helped his list grow, as they went into a series of finishing each other's sentences.
"Society is cruel…"
The usually stoic man's features actually looked fully dejected. His emotionless façade had disappeared and the sorrow had fully taken over as the scar-faced man lay down.
"It feels good to be out of that place."
"Freedom is short lived from the chains of despair…" Valentino told him grimly.
"Don't remind me."
"This is where he fell," Loreli spoke as the she and her love stood around the avalanche sight. There was a large hold in the snow, and several rocks and impressions in the snow. It was as if the area had been messed with by a number of people. Rocks were moved and snow had been dug out in places.
"He's not here," Udo noted, his eagle-like eyes examining the area.
"But there are footsteps and an impression in the ground. Either he was taken by someone or climbed out and wandered around for a while."
"Can't be. They're all different shoe sizes. None are his," he informed.
"This IS odd,” Udo thought about it a moment. They really needed to ponder over the situation, so he decided to give them a reprieve. "Zidane can take care of himself. Let's rest for a while and resume the search afterwards."