Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ VIRUS ❯ The Man From Osaka ( Chapter 4 )

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

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VIRUS

Chapter 4: The Man From Osaka

By: Melissa Norvell

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"I'm on a mission. I thought that you were standing in my way," the mysterious man gazed at Pazusu, who instantly recognized him. The swordsman blinked a little before hearing the other man's deep voice question him further. "You're Pazusu, right?"

"Yes, how do you know me?" Even though the purple-haired man knew who this assassin was, he was at a loss for how the man knew him.

"You're famous around here, the Legendary Swordsman," the tall man informed him of his common name among the masses in Versailles.

"You're famous as well. You're the Assassin of the Black Rose." It wasn't as if he wasn't well-known himself. This guy had every bit of reputation that he did. It was as if two monumental forces came face to face for the first time.

"What are the odds of two legends meeting like this?" A dark smirk crossed the assassin's face as he placed a hand under his chin and grasped it with two fingers. It was something that was indeed more than coincidence. This was a meeting of fate.

"I feel a little uneasy, that's for sure," Pazusu said a little nervously. The man wasn't quite sure of what to expect from the assassin. After all, Versailles wasn't prized for being a town that boomed with gossip and if you were a wanted man, your assassination was kept as secret as possible and could possibly even be by someone that you never knew hated you.

"Who are your friends?" The spiky-haired man gestured to the two girls who stood behind him. Pippin grasped Rosario's skirt in both hands and moved into the taller girl.

"I'm not his friend. I'm his sister and my name is Pippin," she smiled, although she was weary of what the man might do as well. She had never crossed paths with an assassin before.

She took a step backwards as the rugged-looking man approached her. The assassin bent down slowly and flicked one of her magic sensors with his fingers as a puzzled look crossed his face. He had never seen such objects before. "What's with the antennae?"

"They're not antennae, they're magic conductors," Pippin explained. "They amplify my magical powers."

"Who is the pink-haired girl? I've not seen her here before and I'm pretty well-travelled?" Bunmei stood up straight and peered into the eyes of the taller girl. For some reason, the soft, dark-green orbs didn't possess any fear at all of his reputation. Deep within the confines of his mind, he wondered of not only her origin but her psyche. Was it not normal to be afraid of an assassin where she came from?

The girl bowed, "I'm Rosario, nice to meet you. Sorry if you thought I was someone else." She also was very kind and respectful to someone that was known for their killing abilities. How odd.

"You're not from Versailles, are you?" The assassin questioned with a quirk of the eyebrow. He had a hunch but he wanted to be sure of his assumption.

"How do you know that?" Rosario blinked in confusion. Everyone in Versailles looked so different from one another. It wasn't as if they all had a specific style of dress or look in general. How strange that he could sense that almost immediately!

"Your school uniform," Bunmei pointed to her clothes. "I've seen those uniforms before in my country."

"Your country?" She asked.

"I'm not from Versailles either."

"Do you know where you are from?" Rosario asked. He looked Japanese, not to mention that his name was even undoubtedly Japanese. Also, Pippin and Pazusu possessed what seemed to be Indian accents and Bunmei managed to speak perfect Tokyo Dialect. (1)

"Of course I do. I'm from Japan."

"You're from this 'Japan' too?" Pazusu asked. It was like more and more people from that place seemed to be crawling up from the cracks of the woodwork. He wondered if any more Japanese people would show up anytime soon.

"Really?" Rosario's face lit up with happiness. Finally, there was someone who was from the same country as she was! She didn't feel so outnumbered as of late and it kind of gave her a warm, home-like impression. "What district are you from, Bunmei?"

"I'm from Osaka." That statement was one of joy for the pink-haired girl. Not only was he from Japan, but he was from the same city that she was! She could hardly keep her heartbeat in check from all of the excitement. Rosario had to calm down to keep from literally crying. Until now, she had felt as if she were the only Japanese citizen in the entire realm of Versailles and now he was there, like a silent comfort to her soul.

"What? Osaka?" Rosario's shocked voice finally spoke up as the equivalent was written on her face.

"Yeah, why? What's wrong with Osaka?" The assassin was temporarily confused. Was there something about that town that was so horrifying to this girl? Was she ashamed that he was from Osaka or something?

Rosario took his hands in hers and held them tightly as she smiled at him with great enthusiasm and excitement. Bunmei had to keep from blushing at the warm contact of the girl's hands to his own. "I'm so happy!"

"What?" The assassin was perplexed. What was all this about?

"I thought your name sounded Japanese and you talk with a Tokyo Dialect-" The girl's excited voice was cut off by the harsh fact of the matter.

"Everyone here talks with a Tokyo Dialect," Bunmei pointed out the obvious.

"I know, that's why I wasn't sure about where you came from. I'm glad that I'm not the only Japanese person here. I'm even luckier that you're from Osaka like me!" It didn't matter to Rosario; she just didn't want to be all alone in a place that she didn't know with virtually no memory of her past.

Bunmei took his hands away, quickly enough to be rude. The man closed his eyes and spoke with a frown on his face. "Just because we're from the same country, does not make us friends. Especially if you work for the queen," his voice was distant and cold. It no longer seemed as comfortable as Rosario had wished it could have been.

Apparently, not everyone who came from Japan felt the same about meeting others from the same country. She was alone once more as she realized that this man truly seemed more like an ominous shadow than a friend who came to aid them. The girl felt a prang in her heart and she wasn't sure why.

"No, we're trying to get to the Queen," Rosario defended herself. She saw what almost happened to her by sheer accident. There was no way that she wanted a fight to break out with him intent on slaughtering everyone in her party.

"Are you?" His voice was half-skeptical. On one side, it seemed like they were a bunch of haphazardly thrown together people with their heads cut off as far as where to go and what to do went but on the flip-side, they could also be playing stupid. A rule of his profession was that there was no room for trust of any kind. He wasn't an infamous, deadly, killer for no reason. He knew how to keep the people he knew at the best distance possible, no matter how it made them feel. There were much more important facts at hand, like his personal goals and aspirations of killing the queen.

"Yes, Rosario wants to go to Japan and we're trying to go with her!" Pippin's voice sounded happy. Even though he freaked her out a little, she could see that he was peaceful for now and unless something alarming or highly offensive cropped up, she had no reason to fear him.

"That means that you'll have to battle Queen Ambaralla. You do know that, don't you?" Bunmei folded his arms over his chest and looked to the two girls. Pazusu should know that fact but he wanted to know if those girls understood as well. They seemed the most clueless of the entire group.

"Really?" Rosario's answer did nothing but convince him of that very reason.

"The queen keeps us here for her own purpose and makes you think that she's protecting you from the real world by placing you in a world where you do anything but depend on her to protect you. Total dependence on others makes you naive to the real problems around you. She's just trying to make blind servants," the Black Rose Assassin noted. Over time he had come up with this thought and no matter what information was there to contradict it, it always ended up being an undisputable theory.

Time after time the man had been proven right and he would no longer live as a mindless slave who resided in a world of delusion shrouded in darkness.

"Why would she do that?" Pippin leaned forward a little and placed a finger to her lips. At first, she thought of Queen Ambaralla as a good and just woman who only wanted to protect her people but now she couldn't be too sure about anything. To her, it didn't make sense that Bunmei would say any of the stuff that he had just uttered and compared to everyone else in Versailles, it made him seem like the neighborhood madman.

"I'm not sure but I intend to find out," that was one of his main objectives anyway, to find out the queen's true motives and why she would do such a thing. He wanted to know why she would need a monumental amount of people, even delving into the populous of other's worlds and countries just to find these said people. Were they all chosen for a purpose? Did they have something in common?

There were so many questions that reeled through his mind and he was beyond sick of not knowing the answers to any of them.

"Why don't we travel together?" Pazusu brought up, what he thought was a good suggestion that would hopefully solve all of their problems. Bunmei looked at him and wondered what exactly he was trying to say. The assassin traveled solo. The presence of others would be nothing but a hindrance. "I mean, we're all going to the same place so it seems like a good idea, unless you mind making stops on the way."

"Well, I'm not going to make it there in one day. Besides, no one knows how to get up there." Having more people in the group didn't seem like such a horrible idea to Bunmei when he thought about it. It would be a quicker way to gather information and hopefully some people that could be of some use on harder missions.

No doubt Queen Ambaralla wouldn't be a one man job to get to. Her network was massive and at that point in time, he was no more than a lone sitting duck. He had to train extensively to get as far as he had without being beaten by anyone. If someone down in Versailles could be him. There was no doubt that the queen would simply flick him away as if he were a mere irritating gnat in her face.

"So, what were you going to do when you got there?" Pippin asked. To her, it seemed like Bunmei was simply planning for that day and would come to the large obstacles when he had to.

"I want to find out how I can gain access. Someone should know something along the way," Bunmei had been gathering information from people in the City of Lights as well as other regions of Versailles but so far, the information he had was little as far as the castle in the sky was concerned.

Myths and legends weren't good, solid evidence, though he did learn about the variations of such said tales along the way.

"Are you going to come with us?" Rosario asked. The man had not really answered Pazusu's question.

"I might as well but I'll tell you now, just because I'm travelling with you does not mean that your matters involve me. I'm here to obtain my goal. As long as none of you get in my way, I won't have to worry about killing you. We aren't friends as if now but we're not enemies either," the assassin wanted to make things clear. He would treat them as he did everyone else. Growing too close would do nothing but cause him problems in the future, especially if he had to end up killing one of them.

"I understand..." Rosario looked down with a small, saddened voice. She had hoped to be his friend and that the two would have something in common, but no matter what, they were distanced. The only person who was from Japan was no help to her and not a comfort to be around either.

Secretly, she was a little happy that he was at least on her team. It gave her a small amount of hope since the two would be traveling together. Maybe she could find a way to at least be his friend.

Rosario would try to be hopeful.

"What's up with you, watermelon head?" Bunmei questioned. Why was it that this girl took everything so personally?

"It's just that...I finally got to meet someone from Japan and we just seem so distant," the girl told him.

"What did you expect? Me to be happy just because you're from Japan? I don't know you." As harsh as it was, it was the truth. It was not as if they were old friends or anything. He had never seen or spoken to this girl so how would he know her and even more of a mystery, why would he be happy to be around her?

"But we're both from Osaka!" Rosario tried to desperately hang on to anything that made them closer, even if it was simply that one key factor.

"I've never seen you before. I've never met you before. We are complete strangers," the spiky-haired assassin put emphasis on his statements.

"Do you know him, Rosario?" Pippin questioned. Rosario was so insistent on trying to be on friendly terms. It was kind of odd to her.

"I don't know," Rosario frowned unhappily as she cast a downward glance to the cobblestone streets. A large tuft of pink, evenly-cut bangs shaded her large eyes.

"How can you not know?" Pazusu thought that it was either you knew someone or you didn't...

"When I came here, I couldn't remember anything about my past," she glanced at the swordsman with worry in her eyes. Not only did she feel alone and alienated, she felt as if she didn't know herself. The one person that could give her any sort of comfort and she didn't even know anything about them. It was almost as if she just inhabited someone else's body.

"Wait a minute. You couldn't remember anything at all?" Bunmei asked, a look of mixed emotion was written on his face. It was as if a part of him was shocked by that phrase and another part knew exactly what she was talking about.

"I only remember one thing and I'm not even sure about it," the girl looked back to the stunned assassin. Could he possibly hold any answers as to why she had no memory?

"What do you remember?" Pazusu asked.

"This girl, falling from a bridge and then being pulled out of the water by a man with long, white hair," Rosario told them about her visions.

"Are you sure you didn't hit your head on the way down, Rosario?" Pippin wanted to make sure that it was a vision and not a hallucination. Furthermore, it sounded awfully similar to her situation upon entering Versailles.

"Way down?" Bunmei inquired, a little confused.

"I fell off of a cliff when I first got here. I'm lucky I didn't die," the long-haired girl replied.

"Idiot..."

"Well, it is really dark down here. She probably had to adjust to the contrast," Pazusu informed. All of them had existed in darkness for so long that their eyes were adjusted to seeing in such an environment. Rosario had only just arrived there and to the naked eye, cliffs and things of that nature would be indistinguishable from the darkness itself. Plus, Rosario seemed to come from a place with a lot of light, no wonder she fell from the cliff.

"Yeah, she said that Japan has a lot of light and the skies are blue," Pippin brought up the point of the severe contrast of light between one world to the next.

"That's how I remember it," Bunmei agreed.

"So it is true!" Pippin clasped her hands together as her eyes shone in child-like glee. Her drive to see the blues skies of Japan fueled her every move from this point on. She could almost imagine the infinite beauty of a great, wide blue.

"Why are you guys here, anyway?" The assassin asked the group of mismatched people. He wanted to make sure that everyone had legitimate goals before he decided to treat them as he should.

"We're looking for a sorceress named Seishira. Do you know her?" Pazusu asked. Since Seishira was quite famous and the Black Rose Assassin was well-travelled, maybe he knew something about her.

"I know about her but I only know a few things," Bunmei stated.

"So, she is here, right?" Rosario hoped that they had not been informed wrong.

"Don't' you know?" The assassin arched an eyebrow. If they were in the city, didn't they have a reason to be there?

"Well, I know that she lives here. I run errands for her. It was my idea to come here and it might benefit you too," the swordsman pointed out. If they were to find any leads on Queen Ambaralla, Seishira would be the one to tell them.

"How so? What do I need from a sorceress?" Bunmei wasn't going to get magical powers; he wanted a simple defeat or any information regarding the queen. Their journey to her seemed irrelevant.

"She knows about the castle and Queen Ambaralla. She could be a great help to us," the purple-haired swordsman argued the fact, keeping his friendly tone. A little help was better than no help. Who knew what kind of information she could possibly have for them? He thought that it was worth the shot. Aside from that, they were already close by, why not stop in?

"Then why are we standing around here, talking like we have time to waste?" The assassin smirked.

"Yes, let's go!" Pippin agreed.

Rosario glanced at Pazusu. "Since you knew where she is, you lead the way."

The swordsman agreed as the group began to walk through the city adorned with lights. Everyone was silent as they gazed at the various houses and what few people walked down the streets. None of them looked anything like the sorceress and seemed to be no more than normal citizens who went about their daily lives.

Each member of the group thought to themselves as they continued to advance.

"Is it always this quiet?" Rosario inquired. It was nothing like a city should be at all. There were no crowded places and if anything, only a handful of people were even out. No one really spoke and there were no noises of what seemed to be a neither modern nor old-fashioned society whatsoever. It was very eerie.

"Most of the time," Bunmei answered her question. "Everyone lives a different life and sleep at all hours of the day. It's strange but with all of the darkness, that can be expected."

It made sense to her now.

"We should be on our guard as well. I'm sure that Queen Ambaralla has a lot of guards here," Pazusu knew that the assassin might already know of this threat but he wanted the girls to think of their well being as well.

"I'm sure they are hiding in the woodwork," Bunmei agreed.

"I don't have any way of protecting myself," Rosario let the two men who walked ahead of her know of her weakened state. It frightened her to think that if she were separated from everyone else, she would be live bait for any killer out there. Even Pippin had magic behind her. Rosario was completely reliant on both Bunmei and Pazusu to save her in a matter of crisis. She'd never felt as defenseless as she did now.

She was defenseless and useless.

"Don't worry, we'll protect you," the pink-haired girl felt even lower hearing that from Pippin, who was younger than she was.

"What happens if I get separated? I mean, I don't have any weapons or anything and I'm not strong at all," the girl pressed the severity of the subject before she was handed some throwing knives. "Huh?"

"Take these. They are throwing knives but I'm sure that you can use them to stab your enemies with as well." It was ridiculous to have any member of their group unarmed, no matter if it was Rosario or if it was Pazusu. If there was the chance that everyone was to get separated and into a tight spot, he wanted her to be able to defend herself and not just dependently lean on him and Pazusu. If she wanted to get to Queen Ambaralla, then there would be none of this 'I'm just a normal girl' stuff, she would have to learn to rely on her own instincts and face the harsh facts of life that her spoiled life in Japan would not allow her to learn due to the modern-day society that she lived in.

Rosario reached out to take the weapons and as soon as they were in her hand, something swiftly hit the top of her wrist with great force and knocked the weapons to the ground. The girl couldn't see what it was, but it had been thrown through the air. Rosario shrunk back and held her hand as she felt a sharp pain. The knives hit the ground in a clatter, dispersing haphazardly.

This caused the assassin and swordsman to turn around in unison to see where the object had come from. Pippin rushed to her side and asked her if she was alright. Rosario turned to her friend; still holding her wrist as she inquired on what it was that had struck her.

The two girls then looked ahead to see five man, dressed in complete black, and Feudal Era type ninja gear with mid-length capes that they wore over one soldier. They stared down the group with pensive expressions, ready to strike them at the drop of a pin. Bunmei knew these men all too well.

"Give it up, Black Rose Assassin. We're going to turn you in," one of them called out as the look on Bunmei's face morphed to one of irritation.

Out of all of the problems he had, he didn't feel like having a runabout with the neighborhood bounty hunters.

It could not be helped. He would deal with them accordingly and be on his way.

"You guys just don't know when to quit," he smirked as he turned to the bunch.

"Who are they?" Rosario asked.

"They must be either bounty hunters or they are Queen Ambaralla's guards," Pazusu glared down the men in black. He didn't know who they were or what their deal with Bunmei was but no matter what, he was damned sure to protect the two females. The assassin might not have given a shit about them, but he did.

"I can take care of these guys," Bunmei reassured his team mates as he was rushed by all five of the unknown men. Each of them was determined to take him down. Pulling out his sword, which looked like the love-child of a machete and a long-sword, he easily sliced through them and stopped when he was a few feet away in the kneeling pose with his sword still drawn as their images disappeared.

They were merely clones created by Ninjutsu (2).

The assassin's golden eyes widened as he noticed the images dissipating. 'An illusion!'

Suddenly, hands shot through the hard, cobblestone road and grasped the taller girl's slender ankles holding her in place. Shocked and pained by the harsh grab of the hands, she screamed.

"I'll get them!" Pippin rushed to the girl's side and began to stomp on the hands with all of her might, but the rest of their shadow-like forms shot through the ground and the force of the explosion caused the magic user to be knocked backwards.

She landed on her back a few feet away and called out the Rosario's name in desperation. 'I can't do any magic. I might hurt her!' All of Pippin's attacks affected everyone in the area. There was no way that she could save Rosario with magic even if she tried.

"Let me go!" Rosario struggled against the three men who held her in place. She tried to punch one of them to her right but he dodged. She tried to kick him and it did nothing to him but caused his lanky body to jolt. Rosario tried to punch the other in the face. Her hit handed square in the middle of his forehead but the man was unfazed.

Pazusu came to her aid, taking his long, intricate scythe and slashing across one of the men's back, splattering the girl's uniform with blood.

"I've got you!" The swordsman grabbed her wrist before she could fall and held her to his chest, questioning her health and status. Rosario reported that she was fine and closed her eyes, seeking comfort in his form.

"I think I'll help you out, Bunmei!" Pippin offered as the two magic sensors on her headband stuck straight into the air and two small, neon blue spheres of magic began to glow at the tips. The white-haired girl called out that phrase 'Sakura Blast' as she thrust both hands forward. High winds burst from them, intertwined with powder-pink sakura petals.

The blossoms being launched at a high velocity caused a slicing effect. The men screamed as their bodies were assaulted with cuts and slashes. Bunmei came up from the rear, decapitating one of his opponents. The spraying blood from his neck splattered his earth-toned clothing. As the Black Rose Assassin was showing his worth, another black-clad man came up from behind and brought down their sword, ready to deliver the death blow. The spiky-haired man held out his large sword and blocked his strike effortlessly. The man turned around and attempted to slash him once again but the nimble assassin dodged and only his tattered grey cape was sliced, becoming more tattered than it was before.

"Dance of Chaos!" Bunmei stretched one leg out and bent the other knee. He pointed the tip of his sword down and held it straight before him. Black energy emitted from the blade and spiraled around before him, like a cork remover, it shot forward at his enemies, causing them to go crazy as they thrashed around holding their heads at the slightest touch from the attack.

Suddenly, the thrashing men's bodies combusted into splatters of blood and collapsed to the ground. That was the end of two of them.

While Bunmei was busy, one of the men took it as a prime opportunity to charge at the unguarded girl, who had been left out in the open by Pazusu while he fought off his team mate. The school girl rushed over to try and pick up one of the knives that Bunmei had given her. She managed to grab one of them and hold it defensively to her chest as her mind raced. 'I don't know how to use these but-' she tried to throw one at her enemy but it was deflected with num chucks. She recognized that weapon. It was the very one that had knocked the knives away from her hand upon their arrival.

The frightened girl took a step backwards and shrunk back. 'Oh no! What now?' She wondered to herself. Rosario was frightened and felt overpowered by the man. Then, she felt a sharp, excruciating pain across her back. She could feel the back of her white shirt grow warm, then cool rapidly against the air.

Her eyes widened and a small gasp escaped her mouth as she felt herself falling. All she could see were the expressions on her team mate's faces as she crashed to the ground, unconscious.

"Rosario!" Bunmei, Pazusu and Pippin called out in shock as the bloody girl's form hit the ground.

"Bastard!" The assassin insulted his opponent and darted behind him. He harshly wrapped his arms around the man's waist as they both disappeared in a fast blur of movement and reappeared in the sky, at least three stories high. The assassin was going to send him to hell, express lane style!

Pippin caught Rosario before she hit the ground. The wound was deep on her back.

"Rosario! Rosario, are you alright!?" The white-haired girl intensely shook the girl's shoulders, trying to bring her back into consciousness. Her friend's limp head bobbed back and fourth listlessly.

"I'll send you straight to hell," the acidic words of the assassin reverberated into the man's ear as the two began to plunge towards the ground, head first.

It would be a ride that he would never forget!

...To Be Continued...

NOTES:

Tokyo Dialect- Tokyo Dialect is the most widely-known of the Japanese Dialects and is the first of the dialects to be taught to anyone who learns Japanese. As its name implies, it's spoken most often by those who live in the Tokyo region of Japan. I decided to make this the language of Versailles because of this factor. Most Japanese would understand Tokyo Dialect because it was something taught to them when they were very young. People like Rosario, who grew up in Osaka, would recognize it.

Ninjutsu- The magic art of the ninja. Creating clones and attacks involving energy of any kind is considered Ninjutsu. The other two elements to Ninja Fighting are Kenjutsu- the art of the killing sword, Genjutsu- the psychological aspect and Taijutsu- the physical art of the ninja that involves body movements such as kicks and punches.


Chapter 3
Chapter 5
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