Tales of a Lost World 114

Episode 114 Resolve

“How’s he doing?”

“Sword wound to the stomach. With the healing job Zack did on him, though, he should be able to recover relatively quickly. The wound wasn’t as deep as expected.”

“Thank goodness…”

Kunai opens his eyes slowly and lethargically, as if waking from a deep slumber. He finds himself laying flat on the ground, watching the blurry world above. Several dark figures are hunched over him. The soft, glowing light of morning shines from behind the murmuring shapes.

“Kunai!” a girl’s voice screams in surprise.

The blurs disappear at last, giving Kunai a clear vision of the world around him. Ryuu is sitting over him, his flaming red hair especially bright in the morning light. Silver is standing just behind Ryuu, while Rill can be seen off in the distance.

A few strangers are leaning over Kunai as well, tending to his wounds. Kunai attempts to raise himself from the ground, but one of the medics reaches out and holds him back.

“You all right, Kunai?” Ryuu grunts.

“Lord Kimura!” Kunai shouts suddenly. He leaps into a sitting position before anyone can stop him. “He’s—” Blood stains the freshly wrapped bandages around Kunai’s stomach, impeding his speech. The male nurse tending to Kunai forces him back onto the ground with a sigh of impatience.

“Calm down, Kunai,” Ryuu growls softly, “you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Yes, yes, I do!” Kunai howls fiercely. “Kimura! He—he took Lily and Ivy away!”

At Kunai’s words, Rill’s eyes immediately fall upon Kunai, a note of hidden passion stirring deeply within him. Kunai ignores Rill for a moment, and turns viciously to Ryuu. “I have to—” He reaches for Myou absentmindedly, but finds it nowhere. “Where’s—?”

“Right here,” Ryuu growls in response, holding Myou out for Kunai to see. He tosses it up and down in his hand. “But I’m not giving it back to you. At least not yet. I want you to answer some questions for me first.”

“We don’t have time,” Kunai protests angrily, “Lord Kimura’s got—”

“Yeah, yeah,” Ryuu grunts restlessly, “we know about Lord Kimura. That can wait. I’ve already sent Zack and Sasha out to compile a scouting report on the present situation. Our current issue is you.”

Kunai gapes at Ryuu for a moment. “Come to think of it,” he says slowly, “why are you being so friendly towards me? Just a few hours ago, I tore you apart, from what I remember.”

Ryuu’s face sours at that comment, as if he is embittered by the memory. However, the next moment, the dark look is gone. “Rill told us everything, at least everything he remembers up until the point he blacked out. According to him, it seems Ivy succeeded in defeating you. But that’s all we’ve managed to get out of Rill. The next issue is what happened after that?”

“The Dark Side that had been controlling me appeared,” Kunai recollects, “he’d been separated from my soul by Ivy’s attack. He’s gone, though, disappeared… After that, Ivy began turning into a Paradox on an overdose of Soul Potion.”

A grim murmur of excitement breaks out amongst those present. Ryuu stares silently at Kunai, a frown etched across his face. “I see,” he replies eventually. “And then?”

“And then…” Kunai continues, “Lord Kimura showed up. He attacked me and Lily, as we were trying to get Ivy some help. Before I knew it, everything was gone.”

“So it’s all true then,” Ryuu says in a low voice, “Lord Kimura is after Lily and Ivy. When we arrived and revived Rill, we’d thought Ivy and Lily had been taken by the Fatalists. That’s why I sent Zack and Sasha out to gather information. But if what you’ve told us is true, then Lord Kimura is now also after all of the Three Phonemes as well.”

Kunai turns to Rill, who is shaking so badly, he threatens to fall over. “Lord Kimura has to pay for this no matter what! Even if I have to do it myself!” He smacks the air with his clenched fist. Blood pours from his wrist as his fingernails cut into his palm.

“Rill,” Kunai says in a low voice, “I’m…I apologize for turning my sword against you. I don’t know if I can ever pay you and Ivy back for all you’ve done.”

“Lord Kimura has to pay!” Rill chants to himself, apparently not even hearing Kunai. “Even if I have to kill him myself!”

“Rill?” Kunai asks worriedly. “Are…are you all right? It’s understandable, I’m just as outraged as you. We’ll defeat Lord Kimura together, right?”

“You don’t even understand a damn thing!” Rill lashes out, spit flying from his mouth.

Kunai is severely taken aback, as he eyes Rill with newfound wonder and shock. “What don’t I understand?” he asks softly.

Tension builds in the air as Kunai and Rill stare down each other. Suddenly, Rill reaches for a Tobi. “Rill!” Ryuu shouts, jumping between the two assassins. However, at that moment, any tension building up to a fight is alleviated as Zack and Sasha appear in the clearing.

“Just came straight from the capital, Ryuu!” Zack introduces himself in a singsong voice. He peers over at Kunai wonderingly. “So you’re up n’ awake already, eh, Kunai?”

“Never mind about that,” Ryuu interjects impatiently. He glares at Zack. “Get to the point. What exactly did you hear and what information have you secured for us?”

“It appears all of Night World is in an uproar,” Sasha answers briskly, “the latest reports indicate that Lilith the Paradox Beast is heading straight for this direction immediately, and is seeking entrance into the Underworld of its own volition.”

Ryuu nods. “As expected, I don’t think any of us are surprised to hear that. I’ve already started directing our forces to prepare for an all-out battle against Lilith. What about news concerning Ivy and Lily?”

“Seems there were reports of people who’ve spotted them after all,” Zack replies. His face darkens and his voice lowers as he prepares to relate his bit of news. “Looks like it ain’t the Fatalists who’ve got ‘em, actually. All signs indicate Lord Kimura’s b’hind this plan.”

Ryuu accepts the information unflinchingly. He glances at Kunai. “So Kunai was right, that Lord Kimura has Ivy and Lily.”

“Kunai?” Zack asks perplexedly, looking over at Kunai as well. “So he’s back t’normal after all, then? And what’s this ‘bout Kunai n’ Lord Kimura?”

“Lord Kimura has taken Ivy and Lily, that cannot be denied,” Ryuu says, “and that really was the worst thing that could happen, short of the Fatalists taking the girls themselves. We’re in major trouble, if we don’t get the girls back soon—but we’ve also got Lilith to deal with.”

“I’ll go,” Kunai says in the ensuing silence. He raises himself up warily, stumbling slightly before reclaiming his balance. “I’ll go rescue Ivy and Lily myself. You guys have to go battle Lilith. If she’s allowed to roam free, she’ll do far more damage than Lord Kimura will with Ivy and Lily.”

Ryuu exchanges a quick look with Zack. “Actually,” Kunai says, a question dawning upon him, “I’ve been wondering ever since he came for Ivy as well. Why is Lord Kimura after Lily and Ivy? I thought he was only after Lily.”

“That’s what we’d assumed too,” Ryuu answers, “at least up until this point. But now that we know he’s after Ivy and Lily, then that means he’ll be after Ayame as well.”

“Ayame?” Kunai asks, baffled. “Come to think of it, where is she?”

“Captured by the Fatalists,” Zack retorts bitterly.

“Fatalists…?” Kunai repeats.

“It would appear Lord Kimura and the Fatalists are after the same thing,” Ryuu says, “and that is all three Phonemes. Not just one. All three. Their intent is to…”

“Resurrect the Maple Hero’s Sword,” Zack finishes for Ryuu.

“Why would they want that?” Kunai asks.

“The Maple Hero’s Sword is said to be the legendary sword used by the Four of Victoria Island to defeat Lilith and seal the worlds from each other. Then, realizing the sword was too far powerful a weapon to exist, they cut it into thirds and hid them deep within the contents of three souls, who would become known as the Three Phonemes,” Ryuu answers.

“And probably ‘cause of those shards of the sword, the Phonemes also b’came associated with havin’ special magical powers. But the real secret is the sword hidden inside ‘em all. If the Phonemes were collected and brought together, the Maple Hero’s Sword could be pieced back together,” Zack continues.

Ryuu nods. “And the only way to do that is…”

“…to destroy the souls of the Three Phonemes,” Zack finishes.

Silence reigns supreme as Zack finishes his one simple statement. Kunai remains standing still, rooted to the spot, shock running through him. He gulps hard. “All the more reason,” he whispers, his voice shaking, “to go and stop Lord Kimura.”

“I won’t stop you,” Ryuu replies, “he said it himself. If anyone’s gonna defeat him, it’s you. But you should understand how dangerous it will be. At the moment, we’re in luck as long as either Lord Kimura or the Fatalists don’t have all the Phonemes. As long as Lord Kimura doesn’t have Ayame, Ivy and Lily will be safe. But time is definitely running out.”

“You’re not going to come with me?” Kunai asks, slightly surprised.

Ryuu sighs heavily. “I have to lead this war against Lilith. I think that is my destiny. Defeating Lord Kimura is not for me, it’s for you, Kunai. Ivy brought you back for a reason, now go protect her and make sure she didn’t sacrifice so much in vain.”

“Thank you, Ryuu,” Kunai answers. “I won’t fail.” He holds out his hand, as Ryuu returns Myou to him. Kunai replaces the old claw around his right arm, and turns to leave.

Before he does, however, he turns to Rill, who is standing still as stone, unmoving, his eyes dark and without light. “Rill,” Kunai says, “do you want to come with me?”

All eyes turn to Rill, as he stands there without replying. Kunai raises an eyebrow, looking slightly worried. “Rill, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but please snap out of it. Are you going to come with me to defeat Lord Kimura?”

“No,” Rill mutters. He turns away.

Kunai watches Rill’s back for some time, but the latter does not turn nor change his mind. Finally, Kunai nods in acceptance. “Very well, then. I’ll go alone.”

“Kunai,” Zack says out loud, “while we were in the capital, we heard some rumors ‘bout Lord Kimura. Seems he’s headed in the direction o’ some place called Aodh Tower. It’s just north of the capital city of Meridean. Ya might wanna follow that lead, check things out.”

Kunai nods, smiling meekly at Zack. “Thanks, Zack.” He turns to Ryuu. “Thanks again, Ryuu. I won’t fail you guys. I’ll definitely defeat Lord Kimura once and for all this time! And, I’ll come back with Ivy, Lily, and hopefully maybe even Ayame as well. I’ll definitely win this time!”

“We’re counting on you, Kunai,” Ryuu comments. He holds out his hand, and Kunai grasps it, shaking it vigorously, sealing the pact.

“The next time we meet…”

“…Lord Kimura and Lilith will be defeated!” Ryuu completes.

4 thoughts on “Tales of a Lost World 114”

  1. Sigh. . .I miss dark Kunai
    Is he coming back later on?
    Or did Ivy truly destroy it?

  2. DarkDragoon said: “Sigh. . .I miss dark Kunai
    Is he coming back later on?
    Or did Ivy truly destroy it?”

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