Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ VIRUS ❯ The Rose Sword ( Chapter 14 )

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

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VIRUS

Chapter 14: The Rose Sword

By: Melissa Norvell

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"It's this way!" Bunmei pointed out as everyone darted through the trees. They skidded to a stop as they laid sights on the execution grounds before them. What they saw horrified them to the core. Pippin and Rosario were on the wooden stage, positioned in stock holds. The townspeople surrounded them, all holding their weapons and occasionally cheering in riot fashion.

"Damn," Sin cursed under his breath. "We're too late."

"Do you think that's them?" Seishira questioned. They were pretty far away, so perhaps they had mistaken them for someone else the townspeople happened to catch.

Sin's features hardened. "I'm sure of it."

"Hey, where's Kumoigi? Don't you think that she'd be here by now?" Pazusu found it odd that the ninja still hadn't shown up. If Pippin and Rosario were both in the stock holds at the execution grounds, where was she? He couldn't help but think that something happened to her as well.

Sin's eyes narrowed. He didn't want to think the worst, but he knew the girl more than anyone else. If she wasn't there, then one assumption could be made. "They must have killed her. I'm not certain but it's what I fear."

Bunmei looked to him. "Do you think they could all be there together?"

"It's possible," maybe they just hadn't brought her to the execution grounds yet and they were holding her prisoner. Sin wanted to try and look on the bright side, to not truly believe that his partner was dead from a few villagers. It took more than that to take her down, surely.

"So...what do we do?" The swordsman contemplated on how to approach the situation. If they just dove in there, with no attention to the situation then they could lose Rosario and Pippin. It already appeared as if the crowd had brought out the iron maidens. Beyond that point, death would be eminent in mere moments for their party members.

"We have to get them out of there but how do we do that against all of those people?" Bunmei was no fool. He knew when they were outmatched. Even if they had more power, they didn't have enough energy to combat the sheer numbers.

"We fight," to Seishira, that was the only answer.

"Somehow, I was hoping you wouldn't say that," Pazusu would have liked to have simply snuck them out versus have a direct confrontation with them. Then again, there was no way to do that when they were basically standing right on stage, ready to be executed.

Blue eyes trailed to him as the mage sought an alternative answer. "Can you think of another way?"

Pazusu hung his head, "no."

"It's time for another rebellion to finish what I started." It was time for Sin to exact his revenge, to settle the score of the events long ago, and this time he wasn't going to lose the battle. This time, he would have his rebellion.

Golden eyes looked to the dark-haired man, narrowing in realization. 'So that's it? You're dragging me into this and now you're utilizing us as pawns and taking advantage of our situation to carry out your so called rebellion. How in the hell do I get into these situations?' Now, Bunmei was involved in something he never wanted to be in yet again. He had to rescue his team mates, so this situation was purely a double-edged sword. Sighing to himself in resolute, the ninja mumbled to himself. "I can't wreck my reputation any more than I already have." It wasn't as if he was an upstanding citizen. Hell, he was wanted all over this darkened land. One more criminal offense wasn't going to make or break him. His look hardened. 'Besides, I have to save Rosario and Pippin. If one of them contains the Rose Sword, and Ambaralla gets it, I'll never get out of here.'

Pazusu glanced to his team mates with a bewildered expression, awaiting his orders. "So, what's the plan? Do we just go charging in there like mental patients?"

"There isn't much of a plan that we can really initiate. There are far too many people to even use magic on." Even if they did use magic on them, it would completely exhaust their resources and the only mage present was Seishira. She knew that no other way existed.

"Guess we have to fight them, right?" Bunmei didn't mind it so much. If Sin wanted a rebellion, that's what he was going to get. At this point, all they needed to do was give him the signal and he was going to charge in there and start ripping heads off.

"It seems that way," Pazusu was ready to get out there himself. Time was wasting, and they needed to act quickly.

"We need to hurry. If we don't make a move now, they're going to chop off their heads," Sin wasn't going to wait around for everyone to decide what to do. The time to act was now. He launched himself out of the bushes, and ran towards the large crowd. "Stop right there!" His voice cut through the air as the crowd's attention was directed at him. As the black-haired man sped towards them with his weapon drawn, the crowd retaliated, running back at him in an attempt to fend him off.

Pippin's face lit up as a smile spread across it like wildfire. "Sin!"

Rosario's features showed temporary relief. "Everyone else, too! They came for us...thank god!"

"Hold on! We're coming for you!" Sin shouted as a man from the crowd jumped on his back, throwing him to the ground. The black-haired youth's body slammed into the ground below, causing the air to be beaten from his form.

Another man swung his crop tool, a wheat cutter, and tried to hit him in the shoulder with it, but the swordsman turned around and blocked his tool by sticking his sword in the way. The blades clashed, making a metallic sound that reverberated through the air. Another group of angry citizens ran towards Seishira, who held out her staff, blasting them all back with a piercing, white light. Their bodies sailed through the air, landing in the loamy soil of the execution grounds.

"Hurry!" She called out, continuing to attempt to fend off the angry crowd, who continued to swarm her and hold her off.

"Chop off their heads!" One of the villagers commanded as he raised his pitch fork high in the air. The blades came crashing down from the guillotines.

"Twin Dragons!" Bunmei summoned fourth his attack. Twin beams of a brilliant gold color spun around and snaked through the air at light speed, contacting the falling blades and knocking them off of the weapons, right before they were to come into contact with both of the frightened girl's necks.

Pippin and Rosario clenched their eyes shut and screamed; awaiting their demise but it never came. Unscrewing their eyes they laid sights to the blades just as they hit the ground with a clatter. Pippin blinked in confusion, then her eyes shot to the right as Bunmei landed on the ground in front of them.

"Huh? Bunmei!" Her face lit up as her anxiety was washed away.

The ninja rushed over to the two girls and cut the locks off of the stock holds and flipped them up, taking the girl's out of them. He told them to come on and Rosario looked to him with relieved eyes and thanked him.

"Run! We'll try to hold them off!" Bunmei shouted to them as he assumed the fighting position. Rosario lifted Pippin out of the device. The white-haired girl thanked her friend and rubbed her neck. The stocks really hurt her neck. Rosario took her hand and told her that they needed to get out of there. The two ran off of the stage as fast as they could, leaving their friends behind to deal with crowd control.

"Get them!" A portly woman yelled as she pointed her shovel at her opponents.

The crowd began to take off in the direction of the retreating girls but Bunmei jumped in their way. "I don't think so! Ha!" He swiped his blade downward, sending heavy gusts through the crowds that knocked people off of their feet. However, he couldn't stop all of them.

A small crowd ran after the girls, chunking rocks at them. The girl's were pelted with stones, one of the struck Pippin in the shoulder. A sharp pain registered in her body as she flinched. Rosario was hit in the back of the head.

"Hey! Stop that! Ouch! Hey!" The pink-haired girl protested as she held her hands over her head and ducked down in an attempt to make herself a smaller target.

In a flash, Sin appeared behind them, cutting off the crowd. He shoved out his hand, blasting a few of the people in the crowd backwards with a powerful blast of pastel blue energy. "Now, it's time to rewrite the past. Even if I must go alone, just as before." The dark-haired man proclaimed as vivid visions of the past resurfaced in his mind.

Sin gazed up at the large statue of Queen Ambaralla, who stared down at him with that same, emotionless expression that it always had. His piercing gaze bore deep into the void eyes of stone. "So that's it, huh? The Queen of Majestica."

"Queen of Majestica?" A girl who was nearby turned her sights to him. "She's the queen of all, both worlds that are above and below. No matter where you go or what you do, you will always be under her watchful eye."

"That sounds like a tyrannical dictatorship. What gives her absolute power?" His eyes trailed to the younger girl, who was gazing upon the statue with him.

"Ambaralla rules all. She is said to have great power. Supposedly, she created these lands and is the reason that the people are here. She even controls Iga and the great castle in the sky." The girl explained the legends surrounding her name to the best of her abilities.

The last bit struck Sin's senses. "Castle in the sky?"

"You sure don't know anything about this place, do you?" The girl looked to him, cocking her head quizzically.

"I just came here not too long ago. I don't remember much. The only thing I recall is that I was hit by a car in a place with a bright blue sky. Everything faded to black and I woke up here. I've been searching for what makes this town tick and how I can get out of here." Try as he might, those were the last true, clear memories that the male possessed. Everything else was a clouded, cluttered mess in his mind. Sin had no idea why he ended up where he did or how he ended up there. All he knew was that he wanted out and he was going to get out no matter what the conditions.

The girl was confused by his motives. "Why would you want to escape? In Majestica, you can be anything you want and live the life of your choosing. It's a grand life here, and everyone is happy." She couldn't understand why anyone would want to escape from a beautiful, utopic place.

"Are they?" Sin wasn't so sure.

"Hm?" The girl was even more confused now. Why would he ask something like that?

"There's something wrong with this place. Everyone speaks the same language despite how they look," Sin looked to the girl with scrutinizing eyes. "You say this is a grand life, a world of opportunities but how can that be? How can people be happy, shrouded in darkness while she lives in a world of light? If people are genuinely happy and she had nothing to hide, then why can't she live among them?" The whole situation sounded off to him. It was as if she had something to hide, some deep, dark secret that she was unwilling to allow anyone else to see. Sin wanted to figure out what it was. There was something dark, looming and nefarious about Majestica and everything above and beyond it.

"No one has ever seen Queen Ambaralla." All the people truly had of her was the lone statue that stood strong in the center of town. It was a symbol of strength and hope for the people of Majestica.

"Why is that? Why does she have to hide? What does she have to hide? Don't you feel like she's blinding you to something? Hiding you from something by keeping you happy and giving you what you want?" That's what it sounded like to Sin. A queen so cowardly that she would not even show herself to her own people. It sounded to him as if she had something to fear.

"What do you mean?"

"She's like a slave driver, leading her slaves blindly all the while hiding things from them, even the fact that they're slaves while she pulls the strings sinisterly from the shadows. I want to find out what she's hiding. If she's leading the people on, then she needs to be dealt with," his look hardened as thoughts filled his mind. 'When I see her and know her secrets, I will journey to the castle in the sky and kill her. I'll release everyone from this purgatory.' Sin glanced back to the girl, who continued to stare at him with a look of bewilderment. "I've heard many stories of the darkness in her soul. How she doesn't allow people to have this place, how they are unable to reach the castle in the sky unless she wishes them to. We are leading shattered lives here. Don't you want to be able to leave? Don't you want to explore the world outside of Versailles?" Did she even know anything past Versailles? Maybe she wasn't even aware of the fact that anything existed outside of Iga and the mysterious place that brought people to the land of darkness. Didn't she long to see the sun, and live in a world of light?

"I don't know...I like it here. Don't you?" Conflicted eyes glanced to the dark-haired man. Could his words really hold truth to them?

The answer was all too clear for him, "no."

"But, you don't have to worry here," the girl was becoming desperate as she stumbled around for any defense she could think of to combat his logic.

"Ambaralla is no saint," his eyes narrowed, "in fact, she is far from it."

Sin darted through the crowds, his heart raced as he glanced through the angry masses of people, who were following after him, shouting obscene words as they thrusted their weapons forward. They longed to have him in their grasp, to deliver the ultimate execution. He shoved people out of his way violently as he made his way through the mingled crowds. 'The world...no this world needs another rebellion, and with these people...'

He glanced to his right, to see Pazusu swing his sword with all of his might, chopping a man who had tried to attack him in half. His blade ran smoothly through the flesh and cut it as if it were butter. Blood littered the ground and splattered his clothes.

Slightly to the left a few feet from him, Bunmei summoned fourth his wind attack and held his sword out with the blade pointed upward. Bursting gales shot forward and blasted a crowd of angry attackers backwards. Their broken bodies fell to the ground as Pippin and Rosario ran through the cleared path as fast as their feet could carry them.

'I just know we can make it to the castle in the sky. I couldn't do it alone.' There was strength in numbers, and with his team Sin just knew that he could get far. Soon, the castle in the sky would be within their reach.

Sin sat there, looking as if he had lost his mind. Crazed cackling echoed throughout the room, reverberating off of the walls. His eyes were widened and his pupils shrunk to the size of pin points. Unstable breath shook as inhaled and exhaled."They shouldn't have done that. They shouldn't have done that." A sharp blade plunged itself deep into his body, causing him to throw his head back in pain. Many forms of torture followed- whipping, burning and beating until his body could no longer endure the savage onslaught. Time and time again, something struck his body, searing and marring his skin, drawing blood to the surface until he was unable to writhe in pain. His flesh was raw and his screams long since gave out. Sin lay there, in a pool of his own blood as his vision blurred in and out, threatening unconsciousness. Slowly, he dragged his battered and broken body across the ground as far as he could. Something came into view. It was a pair of zori sandals. If he could just make it to them, he knew that someone, something could provide him with a sense of hope. However, he only got a few inches from them before he collapsed.

Gazing down on him, Kumoigi spoke, "I heard what you said about the queen."

"Eh?" Sin glanced up at her.

"The more I think about it, the more your words speak to me," the ninja bent down to his level. "This whole time, I wondered if I was leading the life of a sheep, being herded relentlessly by a vicious sheep dog under the illusion of whichever way I was herded was only for my benefit. Even if I was driven off of a cliff, that would have been fine with me, but here you stand like a building weathering the storm. I never thought anyone would have the guts to stand up to her. I admire that about you," she extended her hand to the bloodied man before her. "Let me help you. We'll flee this place and come back to gain vengeance."

'Yes, Kumoigi Sol once knew a world other than Versailles. A world where there were blue skies and people walked amongst each other in well-populated, industrialized cities. She said that she recalled being in a dojo...she was dating a boy named Titus. Other than that, she couldn't remember much, mostly that Titus loved tribal things and collected masks and that he was eccentric. When we got out of this world, she would show me Titus and that she had a feeling that Ambaralla was the one making us forget our pasts, making us want to live here. Not giving us a choice...but why? Why would she keep us here, brainwashing us from wanting to return to the real world? The world that we rightfully belong to?'

"These are the things I so desperately want to know. That's why I fight to gain entry to the castle in the sky, and to kill the queen of Versailles," Sin blasted people backward with his magic attack. "I can't kill the people of Majestica...I feel that they are just acting on their brainwashed orders. They revere her; see her as a symbol of hope, a light in the darkness. They know not how to live on, just like a misled herd of cows going straight to the slaughter." He told himself as he darted through various people in the town. Somewhere going about their every day actions and mundane tasks as other gave chase to him.

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The group stopped in the woods, panting as they attempted to catch up their breath. Their joints searched and their hearts beat rapidly. Everyone had been present but Quetzakotyl. They all glanced around at each other, and Rosario was the first one to speak.

"We're not very far away. Are you sure that it's alright to stop here?" What if they were caught? Surely the towns people would hear them talking and come to hunt them down once more.

"It's better to take a rest for now. In order to get out of the city, we have to cut back across." It was the only way Seishira knew how to escape the dismal town.

Bunmei sighed in a disgruntled fashion. "Crap in a hat, why weren't we running that way before?"

"Where is Miss Kumoigi Sol?" Pippin still wanted to know the answer to that inquiry.

Rosario's eyes widened. "You mean, she wasn't with you?" She had thought for sure that Kumoigi was with Sin at the very least. Knowing that she wasn't with the group gave her a sickening feeling. something bad happened to her, she just knew it.

"You mean, she wasn't with you?" Terror jabbed through Sin's chest as his eyes widened. This meant that Kumoigi had not been captured.

So, where was she?

Pippin shook her head. "No, we thought she was you."

Sin's eyes widened. "That means..."

Just then, Quetzakotyl stepped into view. "Your friend? I know her fate." It was a sentence that sent chills down everyone's spines. They all felt their blood run cold, but at the same time they were all in question as to why this white bird knew her whereabouts and where he had been this entire time.

"Quetzakotyl!" Rosario was relieved to find him, but at the same time that same bad feeling that she had continued to bubble up, making her nauseous.

"Where is she? What happened to her?" Sin's voice was frantic. He wanted answers.

"When I found her, she was murdered in the market square. The townspeople must have gotten her isolated and then made their strike," Quezakotyl knew it was a lie, but it would relieve their suspicion for the time being. After all, he had to provide them with an explanation and taking advantage of the situation was a good opportunity to mask her death.

"We'll be next if we get separated again," Bunmei knew that if any of them fell victim to the crowds alone, they would be overpowered by the townspeople just as Kumoigi had been, or placed in the stocks like Pippin and Rosario had been.

"Kumoigi..." Rosario's gaze was crestfallen as sorrow dripped into her word.

Golden eyes leveled her own as a stern gaze crossed the assassin's face. "We don't have time to mourn right now. We've got to get out of here."

"Have you all forgotten? They key to the Rose Sword lies within Majestica. Only in this place can you activate it's powers and get to the Castle in the Sky." They couldn't possibly leave now. If they did, Quetzakotyl knew that they would lose their most powerful asset. That couldn't come to pass if they wanted to escape and he wasn't about to let them miss such an important opportunity.

"You said one of us has it. Was Kumoigi one of those who had it?" Seishira wondered aloud more than she did asked.

"No," her master's words were stern.

"How do you know that it wasn't her, Master Sage?" She was intrigued on why he was so confident on his answer.

"The sword would have exited her body upon dying. That's what happens to the scabbard of the Rose Sword."

"So, one of us is a human sheath? That concept still doesn't seem quite right," the more Sin thought about it, the more it didn't make sense. How could anyone be a human sheath to a sword without it killing them? Was it comprised of magic? If so, wouldn't they feel strange storing it in their body? Wouldn't they give off a magical aura?

"The sword works off of your power, not magical ability or physical strength. It's rather finicky. It works from the strength of the soul. The drive and determination one has towards the completion of a goal." This sword was unlike most magical swords. Quetzakotyl knew that for a fact. He had a very good idea who contained the sword but he wanted to know if he was right.

"A strong sense of goal?" Sin arched an eyebrow.

"It could be any of you. All of you have a strong desire to gain something." That's what made it hard to determine which of them it could be.

"I don't get it...Who could it be?" Sin gazed around at all of his team mates. "Why hasn't it come out yet? Have we not been put in enough danger for it to be called upon?" These and many other questions plagued his mind.

Nearby, concealed in the dense bushes nearby, a woman with blonde hair pulled up in a bun and dressed in a plain, long-sleeved blue dress with an apron and brown shoes was nestled among the leaves. Her blue eyes scanned the scene as she listened to all of them carry out a conversation. "There they are, my queen. You should make your move." She said quietly to herself.

Ambaralla smiled slightly. "It's time."

The woman stood and pointed dramatically at them. "It seems your time is up!"

Everyone turned their attention towards her as the skies lit up in brilliant glory, like a huge flash of lightening. A shocked look crossed everyone's faces as blood sprayed through the air and Sin's body recoiled and through his chest, the arrow from the weather vein that stood atop of the Castle in the Sky was jabbed.

Sin's rebellion had come to an end.

...To Be Continued


Chapter 13
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