Episode 109 Extinguished Flame
Did you want my answer to that question of yours, Ryuu? Kunai sneers, as he rises from the rubble, nearly unscathed despite the severe impact of the blast.
Ryuu watches with frightened but controlled shock, as Kunai emerges with his own strength, stumbling slowly but surely towards Ryuu.
My answer Kunai begins.
The answer weve been looking for! Ivy rejoices, as she sprints tirelessly forward, following the fresh and undeniable trail presented to her.
Rill leads the way, using his honed tracking abilities to follow the trail of footprints. Its definitely his, he says out loud, just ahead of Ivy. This trail couldnt have been made by anyone else. Moreover, theyre extremely fresh, Id say about a day or two old. Well be there by the end of the day.
Ivy nods, voicing her agreement to Rills words. Just hang on there, Kunai, she whispers to herself, were almost there!
What did you say? Ryuu says with a low growl, his face contorted into a grotesque glare of sorts. The hands holding his sword up shake as he clenches them angrily. Sweat mixed with blood streams down his face. Ryuu clenches his teeth and nearly chips a tooth. The hell did you just say?!
Kunai lets out a laugh that more resembles a shriek. I said it, didnt I? Dont make me repeat myself. I told it to your face. I said, You can take your friendship crap and go to hell! Have you grown deaf Ryuu, from all those explosions? Or did you just not want to hear those words?
You leave me little choice, then, Ryuu rumbles darkly, I have to kill you.
Kunai snickers. Heh, like hell you By the next second, a dash of blood splashes out of Kunais mouth, as Ryuu comes from nowhere and impales Kunai with his sword, right in the stomach.
Kunais knees tremble, as he lets out a choked breath. For one long, agonizing moment, he looks down at his wound, and then back up into Ryuus cold, yet saddened eyes.
Damn, he really did it, Zack observes solemnly from the sidelines. He bows his head, not wanting to see the end of it all.
Lilys eyes bulge in horror, but George continues to forcefully restrain her. She finally breaks away, and runs almost halfway towards Kunai and Ryuu before Zack and George catch up to her.
Unable to restrain her any longer, the two men resign themselves to tackling her, almost having to sit on her to prevent her from entering the battlefield. Instead, Lily is forced to watch helplessly, as tears pour down her cheeks.
Zack bows his head again, shaking it in a struggle to remove the image of a dying Kunai from his eyes. But it is burned into his mind, and even with his eyes shut tight, the bloody mess still plays itself vividly again and again in his minds eye.
For a split second, all of the malice disappears from Kunais eyes. Instead, they are clear for the first time in a long time, and Ryuu looks into the eyes of his friend from long ago.
The watery black eyes of Kunai stare back, as blood streams down endlessly from his mouth. It stains the dead earth, it soaks his and Ryuus clothes. The crimson blood burns with the brightness of a thousand suns, despite the total darkness the world is drenched in.
R-Ryuu Kunai whimpers, staring into Ryuus suddenly pitiful eyes.
Ryuu is taken aback for a moment, utterly shocked by the earnestness in his former companions eyes and words. I I dont want to die, Ryuu.
Ryuu stares, as Kunais decaying body hunches over, the light rapidly leaving his eyes, the flush rapidly draining from his skin. You shouldve thought of that sooner, Ryuu mutters mournfully, looking at Kunai as if he is about to cry for the first time.
Forgive me, Arai, Ryuu whispers into the still air. I did what I could, and I failed.
Kunais body grows limper, and begins to slump over, draping Ryuus bloodied sword like a sheet of cloth. Ryuu reaches down to grab Kunais sword, which is locked in a vice-like death grip in his right hand.
But as Ryuu grabs Kunais hand, his eyes open wide in alarm. A pulse!
Right at that moment, a heavy object slams into Ryuus leg. The wind is knocked out of him, as Ryuu watches Kunai swing his sword and cut deeper into his leg.
Just kidding! Kunai sneers, raising his head and wrenching Ryuus sword out of his stomach. All the malice and malevolence return to his eyes with one sweeping tide.
With his legs slashed out from under him, Ryuu collapses to the ground, silenced, his green eyes fading. Kunai rises from the ground with the grimness of a mortician. He casts one brief, condescending glance at Ryuus motionless body, and pounces upon George and Zack.
Before they even realize whats coming, Kunai sweeps past them, cradling Lily in his arms. She gazes with absolute fright into the merciless countenance of her older brother, and screams silently for help, unable to do anything else, her voice paralyzed with fear.
Zack and George turn around at last, realizing that Kunai has taken Lily. Within the next second, George collapses, as a wound opens up on his side, stretching from his hip to his shoulder. Zack cries out in alarm, catching George as he falls. But even Zack pauses, feeling the pain as his elbow is ripped right open.
He glances back at Kunai, who hasnt moved an inch. He did this as he was passing and snatching Lily?!
Zack drops George, a reflex as the pain in his elbow pulses agonizingly. He automatically grasps the spot where hed been wounded, and watches as the bloody gash seals itself up in a whirl of green light. Thankfully I was keepin my Heal shield up still. He looks back at George now, who is laying motionlessly on the floor, barely breathing. But this guy aint in so good a condition. Damn it!
Zack rolls up his sleeves, standing up and confronting Kunai. I aint gonna fight you, he says out loud, as Kunai tracks him silently with his eyes. If ya dont plan on givin Lily back to us, theres nothin I can do. Youre too strong for anyone here to beat. You can get away for now. But rest assured Im healin up Ryuu as soon as I have the time and were comin back for ya, and Lily, too.
Still, Kunai does not say anything. He merely stares back coldly at Zack, watching him as he frantically tries to cast Heal on George. Finally, Kunai opens his mouth. Where is Lord Kimura?
Zack freezes entirely; even his spell freezes, as it hovers aimlessly over Georges body. He turns his head slowly to Kunai, his eyes wide and gaping, revealing all his inner feelings, like light escaping from a lantern.
At that moment, Kunai glances up at the sky, as if picking something up. He squeezes Lily closer to his side, and turns around, muttering, Never mind, before disappearing into the night sky.
Zack is left to watch the spot Kunai had been standing on with shocked fervor. For a very long time, he remains unmoving, frozen into a kneeling position over George. At last, he finally regains his composure, and resumes casting Heal on George, a very troubled look in his eyes.
An immense crater covers the distance of the entire plain. Nothing stirs from within; there is merely rubble, scattered dirt clods and rocks the size of trees strewn everywhere. Ivy clambers over the last hill at last, chasing after Rill.
She gasps as she beholds the enormous hole in the ground. What did this?! she cries.
Ivy joins Rill, who is standing at the edge of the cliff, surveying the entire area ahead. There must have been a fight here very recently, Rill comments. He places a thumb at his lips, and licks it. He places it out in the air, letting the wind play around it.
As I thought, Rill says, there was a fight here not too long ago. The wind is damp and dirty. There appears to be a lot of dust and ash flying about in the air.
Ash? Ivy wonders out loud. You dont think it could be
More than likely, Rill says, as Ryuu opens his eyes at last. With surprising strength, he manages to turn himself over and stare up at the dark, night sky. A cloud passes over just ahead, obscuring the moon for brief a moment.
All of a sudden, two shadows run past him, and Ryuu finds himself staring up at Rill and Ivy. Hello, Ryuu! Ivy greets. Have you seen Kunai lately?