Tales of a Lost World 107

Episode 107 Flicker; Hesitation Grips Ryuu

Lightning tears the midnight sky to pieces; thunder roars with a mad sickness. The haze caused by the explosion disperses like a ripple in a pond. All else remains gripped in silence.

Ryuu groans as he feels his way along the ground. He steps to his feet shakily, and draws his sword, which is still flaring with the burning killer intent.

“Is Ryuu gonna be all right?” Silver asks tensely from the sidelines. Zack glances uneasily at her, not being able to reply with an answer.

Lily looks on as well, with George still firmly holding back her quivering body. She watches Ryuu rise with anxiety, but she sneaks a glance at Kunai as well.

Kunai rises from the ground somewhere far across from Ryuu. He searches the ground and grabs his sword, which he’d dropped. He raises his eyes from the ground to look at Ryuu, but finds him missing. He lets out a low grunt, tightening his grip on his sword.

Meanwhile, Ryuu peers out from behind one of the leafless trees at Kunai. He quickly retreats as Kunai raises his eyes to look for him. Ryuu grimaces, and automatically places a hand on his shoulder wound. He removes it, and finds his palm drenched in blood.

Without a word, Ryuu reaches into the pocket of his jacket and pulls out a tiny white bag. He reaches in it and takes out a tiny pill. He swallows the pill whole, and replaces the bag. ‘This pain reliever should alleviate the pain somewhat. It’s the fastest treatment I can administer in this situation.’

“I’m just lucky the wound wasn’t deeper.”

The sound of footsteps rises and stops right next to Ryuu. He looks up, and finds Kunai staring down at him. “What? On the ground again, Ryuu?”

“Bastard,” Ryuu retorts, “don’t you dare talk to me like—”

Ryuu’s eyes widen as Kunai mercilessly grabs him around the throat and slams him against the leafless tree. Kunai’s grip tightens without remorse, as Ryuu’s face grows redder and redder.

“Talk to you how? If you stand in my way, I’ll merely cut you down.” Without warning, Kunai tosses his own sword aside with the jerk of an arm. It lands on the ground several feet away with a clang.

Instead, out of nowhere, Kunai retrieves a Devil’s Sunrise from the air. He points it straight at Ryuu, his pale fingers still clutching at Ryuu’s throat and pinning him to the tree.

“Just like I cut down those Soul Eaters.” Ryuu’s eyes bulge even more, but within the next second, Kunai thrusts forward with the sword, cutting straight through Ryuu and through the tree behind him.

The tree splits in half with a resounding crack, and comes crashing to the floor as a flare of blue light engulfs the area. Kunai looks on humorlessly as the Devil’s Sunrise falls to the ground, without a single drop of blood on it.

“I should have known.” Kunai stares on hatefully as Ryuu crumbles to the floor, panting wearily, but definitely unscratched and out of harm’s way. “Teleport, eh? What a cheap trick.”

Kunai turns around and retrieves his own sword, as Ryuu finally catches his breath. He glances briefly at the Devil’s Sunrise still laying on the ground. “That…that was Ezekiel’s sword, wasn’t it? Ezekiel of the Soul Eaters. When…when did you—?!”

“Not too long ago,” Kunai retorts coldly. “I killed them just before I arrived here. They were in the way. So I eliminated them.”

“By yourself?” Ryuu cries, eyes widening again. ‘Even then…without suffering a single scratch?’

Ryuu is suddenly thrust right back into reality, hastily using his sword to parry Kunai’s speed attack. “Fast.” Ryuu pushes his own weight back against Kunai’s pressure, and throws Kunai backwards.

Ryuu takes the opportunity and slashes at Kunai, cutting open his shoulder very near the same spot he’d been cut. Kunai lands on the floor in a heap, blood spilling everywhere.

‘He’s down!’ Ryuu gapes, as Kunai struggles to return to his feet. ‘Here’s my chance to end it all.’

Kunai looks up as Ryuu towers over him, holding his sword to his throat. “I’m still willing to give you a chance to return to us,” Ryuu says, a bit too harshly.

Kunai does not reply, but instead stares coldly back. Finally, he opens his mouth. “You must be joking, right? I’d rather die.”

Ryuu clenches his teeth, his expression darkening. “You don’t leave me much choice, then,” Ryuu replies in a low grumble. “I’m going to kill you.”

With one swift motion, Ryuu raises his sword to cut Kunai’s throat, and brings it down, ever so slowly. But at the last moment, he hesitates, and holds the sword wavering just above Kunai’s throat.

In that amount of time, Kunai sneers and grasps the blade of Ryuu’s sword with his bare hand, even as the cooling flames sear his hand. Ryuu gasps, but Kunai merely pulls the sword closer towards himself, piercing his chest instead.

At the same time, Kunai reaches back and grabs his own sword, and lands a direct blow on Ryuu’s exposed chest. Ryuu collapses, eyes wide in shock, as blood runs down his entire left side.

“You…” Kunai begins, while Ryuu coughs and blood splashes all over the ground.

With his sword, Kunai flings a shaking Ryuu far into the air with the power of a rocket blasting off.


Kunai wrenches Ryuu’s extinguished sword out of himself, and hurls it straight after the flying Ryuu. Meanwhile, Ryuu rockets through the air, landing several hundred feet away with a violent explosion. He bounces across the ground several more yards, eventually coming to a crashing halt in a crater created by the impact of his body slamming into the broken earth.

“…KILL ME!!!”

Ryuu’s sword lands in the ground several seconds later, its blade planted deep in the cold soil. The blade is unlit, the raging inferno extinguished.

Ryuu forces his eyes open, staring at the cold blade symbolizing his pride, his strength. Far away, a demonic grin emerges on Kunai’s face as he strides closer to observe the effect of his attack.

As Kunai’s footsteps approach, Ryuu’s eyes suddenly illuminate with realization. “You’re right…!”

The footsteps stop, and Kunai watches Ryuu with surly curiosity. “Huh?” he grumbles. “What did you just say?”

A smirk returns to Ryuu’s face as he rises from the ground and picks up his sword. Flames consume the steel blade once more, burning more brightly and more powerfully than ever.

“You’re right,” Ryuu sneers, “I can’t kill you. But…”

Ryuu leaps forward, and Kunai raises his sword in alarm. The two blades clash yet again, and sparks fly everywhere. The flaring orange ashes from Ryuu’s sword press closely against Kunai, nearly suffocating him. Still, he remains stoic and reserved, not showing an ounce of surprise.

“But,” Ryuu cries, “I can beat you! I can force you to come back to our side again!”

Another smile merely creeps back onto Kunai’s lips, as he stares into Ryuu’s bright green eyes, lit by the magnificent flame of his blade. Ryuu’s eyes narrow, as he returns the gaze, pushing forward against the weight of Kunai’s sword with all his might.

“It’s true,” Ryuu elaborates, “I could never kill you. I blame myself for becoming so soft. But…I can force you to come back to us by beating you senseless!”

Kunai bursts out laughing this time, grinning right in Ryuu’s face. “How foolish!” he retorts. “You really have gone soft, Ryuu. However…”

Ryuu tenses, sensing the icy, dangerous tone in Kunai’s voice. “However…?”

“Power Strike!”

A streak of red light soars past Ryuu like a laser. It rips right through him, tearing his body to pieces and lighting it on fire. Ryuu goes flying yet again, and watches the sky with widened eyes as the impact of the direct attack engulfs him.

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