Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ VIRUS ❯ Lethal Bounty Hunter Freya ( Chapter 8 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
By: Melissa Norvell
Chapter 8: Lethal Bounty Hunter Freya
The two blades sent out a mighty clash that echoed through the heavens above as the two warriors pushed against each other, trying to throw the other off balance.
"I'm ready for that bounty. With that, I can achieve my goal." Freya glared down the assassin.
"Sorry, my goal isn't dying right now," Bunmei brought his blade down and produced a powerful wave of energy that hit the bounty hunter, knocking her back into a large rock with such force that her body made an impression in it and several pebbles broke off, landing on the ground in a shower.
"That hurt," the woman flinched and slowly looked up at him as a smirk crossed her features. "I'm going to make you pay for that." Her voice was filled with promise of death as the bounty hunter rushed towards him. Bunmei bent his knees a little, ready to steady himself for the blow he was about to receive as he attempted to mentally calculate his opponent's movements. As soon as she got to him, she evaded him by jumping straight into the air and tried to drive her blade through the middle of his head. The blade dove deep into the hard, rocky soil.
"Missed," Freya said between gritted teeth as she glanced to the side and did a hand spring and landed on the right side of the hole, but to her dismay, she managed to land right into the assassin's trap. She received a harsh spin kick to the gut and she flew a few feet back before she flipped backwards off of the ground.
As soon as she landed, the skillful assassin brought down his feet and tried to crush her into the ground, but the heel of his shiny dress shoe collided with the hard ground as it sent up a few splinters of soil into the air. Freya nearly had to do the splits to avoid him.
"That was close," her eyes were widened as she landed a few feet away from him. Freya attempted to stab him again with her blade but Bunmei did a hand spring backwards and avoided her blow and as soon as he got to his feet, he reached into his black coat and flung something that resembled rose petals at her. When they made contact with her skin, they made clean, fine cuts like knives.
How could flower petals be so damaging? Surely, they were no ordinary flower petals.
Before she could even ponder the logic of the situation, the killer was on top of her and had already drawn back his sword, hitting her with the broad side of it across the face. The woman stumbled backwards and held the affliction as the pain registered in her mind.
"You're not too bad, Black Rose Assassin. I can definitely tell that you've done this before," she rubbed her aching cheek.
"You bet your ass I have. I've been doing this for years. I don't have time to talk," Bunmei's movements were nimble as he flowed fluidly, like water and his expression was that of a true killer, emotionless and chiseled. At times like this, one would ponder on whether or not he was truly human.
He stopped in mid-rush, digging the heels of his shoes into the earth as he swung his sword. The blade released a large, golden wave of energy that resembled a whip in structure and movement as he wriggled down the landscape, threatening to end her life, but the skillful bounty hunter cut it in half as if it were nothing.
"The less you talk the better," Freya agreed with him as she ran at him and tried to kick him upwards but he flipped backwards and brought both of his feet up. He kicked the female's chin and the force of the blow sent her body propelling upwards.
"Man, he's flexible," Pazusu watched Freya land on the ground with a thud. If anyone was a human rubber band - it was definitely Bunmei. That guy had moves that he would have never imagined. No wonder he was tall and lean like that.
"He has a lot of experience in martial arts," Seishira's dull blue eyes followed his movements. "I bet he does intense physical training."
"Please be alright," Rosario stood helplessly on the sidelines with her hands to her chest.
"You seem really worried about him," Pazusu honestly didn't know what she was so worried about. He thought that Bunmei could handle himself easily on the battlefield. It wasn't as if he were being beaten or anything.
"I just don't want anyone else to die…" Her voice trailed, trembling and nearly quiet as she looked to the ground. Everything had happened so fast, and the fact that she had gotten her hands covered in blood had really begun to grind on her nerves. Rosario was suffering from extreme guilt and her sorrow was overwhelming- so much so that she felt as if she could burst into an emotional fit in an instant. "I mean, I know that no one can really help it but…I've never killed anyone before."
"I'm not like all of you. To do something like that is just…I mean, I can't stop thinking about it." Slowly, more and more emotion leaked onto her expression. "It plays over and over like a nightmare."
Pazusu glanced down at the ground with a saddened expression. To him, it was no more than an exciting adventure that promised a trip back to a sunshine filled land that could possibly be his home, but he hadn't truly thought about something like that. The swordsman was used to taking lives, but this innocent girl before him had never had to share such a burden. It must have been painful beyond words for her.
"Man, I didn't even think about that before," he looked a little guilty. "I'm sorry Rosario. We were so concerned with the mission that we didn't even stop to consider your feelings. It must be hard on you."
"Its okay, Rosario," Pippin smiled. "You just need time to adjust."
"I'm not sure if I can adjust to killing people. I don't belong here." Right now, this place was a dark pit of hell and she hated it. Seishira looked at the three of them for a moment, before her sights were directed towards the assassin and the bounty hunter, who were still engaged in their battles.
Freya had a hand on her chin, sitting on the ground with one eye closed as she winced in pain and glared up at the man before her. He was no easy catch, and she now had an understanding of why the bounty on his head was so ridiculously high.
"Well, this is more challenging than I thought," Freya commented as a group of three bounty hunters spoke among themselves behind her.
The group consisted of one tall, muscular female and two males- one of them had a mustache and the other was clean shaven.
"What do we do? It seems as though Miss Freya is being defeated, Shin," the female hunter stated with a little concern.
"We should let her fight her own fight, Haori," the clean shaven hunter addressed as Shin, spoke.
"But, is it really alright in her condition?" Haori was persistent and worried for her leader's safety. They could always come back and fight against Bunmei. They didn't have to die fighting him now, and so many others of their group had also been slain by the assassin and the members of his group that she wasn't sure if they should risk it or not.
"If she doesn't get his head soon, then she'll die. We're all in this together, right?" Shin asked, trying to motivate his fellow team mate.
"Yes, our band of bounty hunters was formed from the people of Versailles who all sought a cure for the incurable diseases that either we or our families have been plagued with. Like my son, Tetsuou, who only has a year to live…If we get that bounty, then Queen Ambaralla promised to cure us all and our families. That is the reason we fight," Haori replied with a fair amount of emotion. She was passionate that they worked towards this goal, for the sake of everyone who was sick and dying.
"I hope Freya can bring in his head to cure my wife and child as well," Shin closed his eyes and seemed distraught. "My greatest happiness will be to see my family, healed by the queen's powers."
"They say that Queen Ambaralla holds the two worlds together and her magic is powerful enough to keep the lands together," the hunter with the mustache informed the two. "So, she must surely be able to heal me."
"Tezuka, wasn't Queen Ambaralla the one who set the bounty?" Shin glanced to the man in question.
"Yes, he is wanted personally by the queen- dead or alive. So, once we get him, we'll go to the Castle in the Sky and have our wishes fulfilled."
Freya quickly got to her hands and jumped backwards. Bunmei's heel hit the fragile shell of the ground and nearly went through it with the force of his kick. The assassin jumped back and flung what looked to be a blood red rose at the opposing woman, who tried to dodge but the blossom left a cut across her cheek as it stuck into the ground and exploded.
The force of the blast caused her body to be flung forward and a yell escaped her lips as she belly flopped onto the ground, right in front of Bunmei. Slowly, she looked up to see that he was looming above her, looking down on her with his piercing gold eyes.
"I'm not letting you kill me yet," Bunmei tried to pin her to the ground permanently with his blade but Freya managed to kick it out of his hands. She tried to leg sweep him but he jumped over her leg and went to axe handle her but she evaded his attack by rolling to the side.
"Damn, you're fast. You're the first challenge I've had in a while," Freya quickly pulled herself up from the ground. She could feel her body weakening as she continued on. The woman was using every bit of the strength that she had to even keep in the battle.
If she didn't defeat him soon, then she would undoubtedly lose.
"You're nothing like those other bounty hunters, yourself," Bunmei commented on her prowess as a fighter.
"I've trained long and hard for this moment. I won't give up until I throw you from The Underworld Drop." Her words were adamant enough, despite her failure to carry through with them.
"You guys have been chasing me for a while. What's the point of this? Do you have something against me? Maybe it's the money-" His words were cut short.
"We don't want money," Haori set his thoughts straight on their motive.
"Huh?" Bunmei, as well as the members of his team glanced over to the group of bounty hunters in question. If they didn't want the money, what was it that they desired?
"We were told that the queen could heal us if we brought her proof that you were killed, or your body," Tezuka informed everyone of their situation.
"So…You're Ambaralla's pawns. Why am I not surprised?" Bunmei looked a little amused by this fact. He smirked and shook his head.
"It's nothing like that," Freya defended their cause. The assassin had everything wrong.
"Oh, yeah," the spiky-haired man crossed his arms, "care to explain?"
"We all have families with incurable diseases. I, myself also have a disease and it's killing me. I don't have long to live, so if I bring Queen Ambaralla your head, I can get out of here and be healed of my illness," Freya explained the method of her madness to everyone.
"When we heard about the queen's tremendous power, we just knew that she could help us," Tezuka added.
"There really is no other way to save our families and ourselves from our crippling diseases," Haori told them.
"Like hell I'm going to that bitch," Bunmei closed his eyes and defiantly turned his head to the side with a deep-set frown. He wanted to go to Ambaralla, but not as a sacrifice so that someone may be saved.
"I wish I could heal them, but I don't know any healing magic," Pippin wanted to be of some help, but in situations like these, she was useless.
"Hey, Seishira?" Rosario glanced up at the stoic woman. She had an idea and she wanted to see if it would work. If so, they could get around the situation easily and no one would have to die.
"Yes?" The mage turned her head in response.
"Can you heal them?"
"I could only heal a few of them, unfortunately," Seishira didn't have the power for that kind of thing. The only one with powers that great was the sage she had spoken of earlier. "It would take far too much of my power to heal them all. Logically speaking, the only one who can heal them is Queen Ambaralla."
"So, this has to be done. One of them has to die," Pazusu didn't like the situation any more than anyone else, but there was nothing any of them could do to come to a peaceful conclusion.
"Why? Why does someone have to die?" To Rosario, it wasn't fair. It wasn't fair at all that any of them had to die. Bunmei was her team mate, and even though he was cold to her, he didn't deserve to die but in retrospect, neither did the sickly people who so desperately sought a cure to their illnesses.
"It all comes with the job," Pazusu stated. "I'm sure he's encountered this kind of thing before. To him, this is nothing special."
The pink-haired girl felt tears brim her eyes as her gaze hit the blackened grounds of Drumrart Flatts. "I'm tired of watching. It's a horrible feeling to know that you're taking someone's life." Personally, she didn't know how anyone could be an assassin, and she imagined that Bunmei must be just as dead inside as any corpse.
"If you want to accomplish your goal, Rosario, then you must be willing to go through whatever length it takes to accomplish that goal. When it all comes down to it, you must ask yourself 'would I do anything to achieve this goal'? If not, then you shouldn't attempt it," Seishira advised the young girl. It would be a harsh lesson for her to learn but if she wanted to escape from this world, she would have to throw away her kind, soft heart.
"But, I have to get out of here. I miss Osaka and being in the sun…"
"Then you have to travel with us!" Pippin smiled brightly. "If you really want to escape, then Seishira's right. Besides, you'll have us here to help you!" She tried her best to cheer the girl up. If she looked on the bright side, instead of seeing all of the misery, then she would eventually perk up.
The thrill of accomplishment cast out any doubt and guilt.
"Right," Pazusu agreed, "you've inspired us to go out and find our real homes. We're not just going to give up on you just because you're feeling unsure about yourself. If it wasn't for you, we'd still be thinking that we belong here." To think, it took the help of an outsider to make them each aspire to find the true place that they called home.
"In a way, you helped to set them free," Seishira agreed with the swordsman. Her look turned serious as she quickly turned her head and called out 'look out' as everyone quickly tried their best to move out of the way when Freya's body flew into them.
Then curly-haired woman sank the heels of her boots into the ground to stop herself from being propelled backwards as she skidded to a halt.
"Look, I don't care what's wrong with you or your families. I've got a job to do and no one's going to stop me. I'm not just going to drop dead because you need a cure," Bunmei definitely didn't think that his life was worth it.
"That's why I'm taking your head by force," the persistent bounty hunter charged at him as she drew back her fist to punch his lights out but the opponent grabbed it and spun her around a couple of times, releasing her as she flew off behind him. Freya hit the ground and bounced a couple of times before she lay there, unmoving.
"Freya!" Her lackeys called out from their side-line positions.
"Man, I'm glad that I was never hired to take his head," Pazusu blinked in disbelief. Bunmei was stronger than he looked.
"That would have been a good fight," Pippin disagreed. To her, it would have been interesting.
"No way! That's scary!" Her brother had other thoughts.
Rosario's eyes followed the woman's body as she rolled over the side of one of the many drop offs as her fellow bounty hunters gasped in horror. She was able to barely save herself by grasping on to the spiky ledge as she pulled herself up.
Bunmei ran over in an attempt to shove her off for good, but he was too late. She had already made it and hopped over his head, but just as she landed on the other side, his foot came around and hit her in the stomach. As the assassin's spin kick was completed, the force threw her from the cliff and into the darkness.
Freya's eyes widened as she felt herself free falling. 'What? How could this happen? I'm not supposed to lose to him.'
"Freya!" Haori called out as she rushed to the side of the cliff and flung a grappling hook into the darkness in an attempt to save her leader.
Bunmei casually walked away and hoped that Freya would get the point this time- if she lived to tell the tale.
"Nice job,” Seishira complimented with a small smile. "Shall we continue our journey?"
"How can you just be so casual about it?" Rosario asked with a great deal of concern. What kind of people were they, anyway? "Those people are sick and dying and you just say that like it's nothing, like they are nothing."
"In this world, everyone has a goal. This is a place where dreams collide and no matter what your enemies' condition is, they still keep you from accomplishing your goal. Taking pathos on someone purely because of their state of health is a foolish move," the mage criticized the girl's views.
"Am I just not supposed to care?" Rosario retaliated. She couldn't believe that she was being advised to just not care at all and let them be killed.
"Whose side are you on?" She turned around to see the assassin, glaring her down.
"Huh?" Rosario hadn't realized that he was so close to her. His baritone voice sounded through her ears and the look of disappointment on his face was enough to let her know that whatever he was going to say was far from good.
"Stop whining and start caring about your own well being," he scolded. "In the end, the only person that matters most in this world is you. You have to learn to live with your consequences and your failures."
"I'm tired of killing people," her voice was low and submissive. Making an assassin mad, especially after seeing his skills in battle wasn't wise.
"You killed what? Two? Three people? That's minor," Bunmei waved it off.
"But-" The girl started but she was interrupted by him.
"How long can you use the 'I'm just a normal girl' excuse? Stop while you're head and grow a backbone." If she insisted on arguing, his retorts would become more honest and less caring.
"We shouldn't fight about this," Pippin tried to break them up. "I know that everything is hard but we need to look up. We have to think positive, Rosario. I know this isn't easy but don't give up. Things will get better. They have to."
"My sister's right," the purple-haired swordsman agreed. "We're here for you."
"Spare me the dramatics," Bunmei waved in dismissal. The whole 'I'll be there for you' comment was sickening enough to make his stomach churn in disgust. He honestly didn't see why they babied the poor girl so much. Rosario would never learn anything that way. "We're doing what we have to do to survive. You should too." With that, he continued on the journey with his hands in his pockets.
Pippin caught up to him as the rest of the group followed. She walked beside of Bunmei and glanced up at him for a moment. "You shouldn't be so hard on her. It's not like she's done this before."
"She'll never learn if she isn't taught." It was something that the mage couldn't come up with a statement to counter.
"Hold on, Freya!" Haori called as the woman swung back and forth with the grappling hook.
"Hurry and pull me up!" Freya yelled back to the others as Tezuka and Shin began to pull her up slowly.
After a few tugs, they managed to get her onto the land and grabbed both of her arms as they sat her down before them. Masses of curls surrounded her worn face and shoulders as she panted lightly to herself. Freya felt a cold sweat overcome her. She knew that she would not have lasted much longer against someone like Bunmei. Her sickness had worn her down more than she would have liked it to and she felt herself become weaker from battling two enemies, both seen and unseen.
"We're glad that you're alright," Tezuka sighed in relief.
"That took a lot out of me," Freya was exhausted. "His good health puts him at an advantage. My body wears down at a quicker rate then his."
"I guess this means that we'll just have to catch up and try again," Haori noted.
"I want to rest a while, Haori," the head bounty hunter ordered. "I need to be in the best health I can when we meet again and we'll definitely meet again. I refuse to give up. I will heal myself of this wretched disease and get out of this place."
"We all will," Tezuka assured, "we just need to formulate a better plan."
"Shin!" Freya called.
"Keep an eye on that group of people. I want to know their every move."
"Yes, Freya," Shin dashed off to catch up with the group of travelers.
"This way, he won't slip through my grasp. This war is far from over, Black Rose Assassin." Those words were her solemn promise, and with them and the fierce determination that lay behind her goal, she would drive fourth and defeat the infamous Black Rose Assassin and regain her freedom from the chains that bound her.
…To Be Continued…