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Author Topic: Re: The mask of soul//chapter 48/ 10/31  (Read 36744 times)

Offline kawaii beam

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 36/ 15/08
« Reply #140 on: August 15, 2013, 09:48:35 PM »
 :panic :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic: :panic:

SAYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*will hopefully return with a better reply because I am currently a mess right now*
please visit kawaii-chan's avie's and siggies!

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 36/ 15/08
« Reply #141 on: August 16, 2013, 12:02:39 AM »
sa...sa...sayu!!!! omg noooo! :shocked

stupid ju!!! :angry: oh gosh! shes's so ruthless :cry: sayu, ai, reina, eri plz hang in there :(

very very very nice chapter, both drama and action is so awesome :yep: now im super eager to know what happens next :panic:

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 36/ 15/08
« Reply #142 on: August 16, 2013, 02:50:41 AM »
So much drama~! You're terrible! Terrible! :cry: Terribly awesome~~!~! The feels~!~!

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 36/ 15/08
« Reply #143 on: August 16, 2013, 07:46:54 AM »
Oh I wanna kill u now !!!

All my sayu feels  !!! I jus wanna die now !!!

Tellme she's alive please

!! All my sayueri feels !!!
She's ok ne ?

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 36/ 15/08
« Reply #144 on: August 17, 2013, 12:18:05 AM »
ugh i cant help it, i juss reread for the umth-billion time i must comment again :sweatdrop:

i was rereading and i then i juss remembered that yoshizawa told ai not to fight Ju, OMG wats gunna happennnnnnnn :panic: my heart cant take the suspense :cathappy:

also risa and ai's argument in the beginning had me like :stoned: i thought their relationship was done for  :bigdeal:



MsSmigge...... :mon love:   XD

Offline alwaysYou

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 36/ 15/08
« Reply #145 on: August 19, 2013, 04:22:36 AM »
 :smhid what have you done

Sayu :panic:
Aichan  :panic:

I got a feeling you will kill sayu off by letting her save aichan. :x
But noooooooooo. Don't kill anyone  :cry:

Next chp pls!

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 37/ 23/08
« Reply #146 on: August 23, 2013, 02:24:28 AM »
kawaii beam: Lol, I laughed at the army of panicked smiles XD Hope you feel better soon!

darkacex99: OMG double comment! Don't you get bored after reading it so many times? XD And yeah, there was a reason why she told Ai not to do that~ But I think it's obvious to everyone now why  :lol:

rndmnwierd: Yes, I know I'm terrible XD And guess what? The drama goes on~  :lol:

maikeatoot: I knew there was someone who wanted to kill me after the last chapter  :lol: And I'm sorry for that, really...

alwaysYou: Terrible things~ And... Yeah, I wont say a thing. You just go read about what's going to happen next  :lol:


And once again thank you everyone for your interest~ I really appreciate it!  :kneelbow:

Thanks to my vacation I can happily be married with my laptop, xbox, television and such, so that's why fast update~ Lets hope I'll be able to send the next one before my school starts...

So the next chapter!

Here we go~


Chapter 37 – If the rain just could wash all this pain away

The pain was tearing and Ai was sure she was going to die. She had been wounded many times, but this was something new. It was a miracle that she hadn't already fainted from the pain. Ju's hit hadn't changed the feelings she already had at all and the leader wondered if she had reached a limit where all the pain was the same, no matter what happened. She hadn't even felt the hit at all.

Or maybe she had just died and entered hell, where all her sins were now paid and she would suffer like this forever. Ai didn't know, for she was still keeping her eyes tightly shut. And to tell the truth, she wasn't very sure, if she even wanted to open them.

Finally deciding to face her destiny, the young leader forced her eyes open. Her vision was blurry, but she could still tell apart things in front of her. Trying to move her arm, Ai tried to reach out, but another shock of pain traveled through her. Cursing, the squad leader bit her lip and closed her eyes as tried to stay awake. Wait, she tried to stay awake. Then that meant...

Forcing her eyes open again, Ai tried to scan her surroundings. Slowly, she could see the arrow which was still pointing out from her shoulder and someone above her. Was it Ju? Why hand't she killed her already?

No, that wasn't Ju. It was someone else. Summoning all her willpower, Ai forced her eyes to stay open as she tried to focus on the person in front of her. Luckily, her vision finally cleared and she could see who was standing in front of her. But she had no idea, how that was possible.

“General...”

Ai whispered, but talking wasn't very good idea, since it sent another shock of pain through her body and causing the young leader to fall back down to the ground. And indeed, the general of Yoshizawa's samurais was standing above Ai, blocking Ju's attack with her own sword. She had appeared out of nowhere just when Ju had been about to kill the young leader.

Goto was glaring ju under her helmet, her eyes having scary glisten in them and if one look could kill, Ju would have been a ghost for a long time now. Ju couldn't just believe that she had missed her chance to kill Takahashi. She had been so close and then Goto suddenly appeared out of nowhere! This wasn't true anymore!

Ju was so angry now that she really just wanted to kill Goto too. But as she tried to push forwards, the other general didn't move an inch. And when Ju finally caught Goto's eyes properly, she could only gasp. Somehow she just froze in front of the death glare and when Goto spoke, Ju froze even more.

“You even dare to fight like that....”

Goto growled and suddenly, with one smooth movement, she took another sword from her waist and slashed Ju in her stomach. The Heng's general howled in pain and packed away. The armor hadn't slowed the attack down at all and blood was now running through her fingers as she tried to hold her wound. Ju had never been hit this bad and it made her panic. She had been wounded and it was something unfamiliar to her. Ju turned her fearful eyes to Goto, who was approaching her now. The panic only grew as she raised her shaking arm and looked the other general in the eyes. They were like a pray and a hunter and the pray had no way to escape now.

“WAIT!! Goto! We can talk about this....” Ju tried to yell, but she was soon silenced as Goto attacked again, this time slashing Ju's throat open.

“The only way we will talk about this is by swords.”

As the Heng general's lifeless body felt to the ground a deadly silence fell on the field. Everyone was staring at the furious Goto, who was staring straight forwards, the dark look only getting deeper on her face. Suddenly, she raised her two swords up, let out a bloodcurdling roar and dashed towards the enemy group. No one having any bows and the two who had being too slow to reload, panic rose in the enemy's troops. They had superior, but right now, Goto was amazingly scary. No one raised a sword, no one escaped, no one moved. They just stood frozen and watched as Goto reached them bit by bit.

As the general reached the group, she started wildly slash around with her two swords, killing anyone who got on her way. Some finally snapped out of their trance and tried to fight back, but most of them escaped. The general was furious and had totally snapped when she had seen what was going on the battlefield and now, she was letting all the bad energy inside of her free. Also, the fact that what would have happened, if she had came few seconds later, oppressed her mind.

Meanwhile, Eri and Reina were watching the scene with wide eyes. Or more likely Reina was, for Eri was still crying over Sayu. The general had just appeared out of nowhere, like she had teleported in front of Ju's attack. Just when the kitten was about to do something, she heard more footsteps behind her. As she turned to look, she found their captain running towards them with some men behind her. Miki ran past the two, only focusing on the battlefield in front of her.

”Two archers with me! The rest of you, stay here!!”

Miki yelled some orders as she kept on running with the two warriors she had just ordered with her. The rest stayed beside Reina and Eri, getting their bows and swords ready and scanning their surroundings.

The captain ran as fast as she could with her tired legs to the small body on the field. When she reached it she immediately crouched down and checked the situation. She then took a hold of Ai's arms, lifted the younger girl up in her arms and started to carry her away in bridal style. As she started to run, the young warrior groaned in pain. The pouncing hurt like hell, making the weapons still in her flesh twitch nastily. But Miki didn't care about that. She had to treat Ai and no matter how careful she would be, everything was going to hurt.

When the captain reached a small knoll a few meters away, she ran behind it and put Ai down. The two archers crouched beside the knoll, making sure that no one would disturb them. The other one gave few hand signals and soon about five more warriors ran to them, taking their positions around the captain and Ai.

“Sayu....” Ai said suddenly as she tried to get up.

“Hold still...” Miki commanded as she examined the wounds the younger one had gained. This was going to hurt like hell, and the captain wasn't sure if  Ai could take this...

“Sayu, I got to... save her.” Ai continued, not caring about Miki's commands at all.

”Takahashi HOLD STILL!!” The captain commanded again, but she only made Ai more desperate. The young leader's upper body shot suddenly up as she tried to get on her feet.

”I HAVE TO GET TO SAYU- AARGH!” Ai roared, but her words soon turned into a loud yell. In no time, Miki knocked the young squad leader back to the ground and pressed her body against hers. She had to keep Ai down, or this wouldn't end well.

“THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO HER NOW!!” The captain roared back. As she felt that Ai was not going to give up, Miki realized that this would only be done by the hardest way. Cursing in her mind, she suddenly took a hold of the arrow in Ai's shoulder and pulled the weapon away. The younger leader roared in pain and tried to move away, but she just couldn't. The pain was so intense that she couldn't move an inc, thanks to Miki's body which was pressing her down.

As the captain kept on pulling the weapon away she noticed that it wouldn't be as easy task as it had seemed. She had taken hundreds, maybe even thousands of arrows away from warrior's flesh and once even from her own, but this was something new. And the answer for the difficulty was soon revealed to her. Suddenly, the arrow slit out from Ai's shoulder, causing the captain to almost fall down on her butt. Miki moved the weapon in front of her eyes in order to examine it. She had the arrow, but the metal head of it was missing.

”Fuck... MEDIC!!”

The captain yelled as she threw the now broken arrow away. The head of it could have been poisoned and now it was inside Ai's shoulder. It would take a long time before the young leader would get to be treated and poisoned or not, that metal head of arrow would infect her shoulder. There was just no doubt about that. These kind of weapons were banned, but of course, Heng circled the rules and used all the nasty weapons she could imagine.

Soon a warrior with a white bandage in her arm came over and started to treat the young squad leader. While Miki pressed the wound in Ai's shoulder, the medic took care of the arrow in her thigh. But no matter how carefully and professionally she took the arrow away, it did the same as the former one. Ai had now two unknown objects in her body and both of them might have been poisoned.

The leader howled in pain as she tried to struggle away, the fact that her friend might have been death by now still eating her mind. No, she was dead. Ai knew it, but she refused to believe it. She couldn't accept the fact that Sayu was dead and that she hadn't been able to save her.

The captain watched the squad leader with sad eyes as the medic tried to make her feel better. But though the pain in her wounds would have been eased by the painkillers, Miki knew that something would still hurt the younger females soul. And that pain, would probably last the rest of her life.

The captain looked at the field, where she could already see two persons beside the another fallen warrior. They had so many warriors in here now and Goto was taking care of the main thread, so there was no reason to panic, that someone was under an attack right now.

Miki had known and seen that Sayu had been wounded too, but she also knew by experience that she wouldn't make it. Even from this distance, she had been able to calculate the situation. That's why, she had made her way to Ai, not to Sayu. They were still able to save her, but the tactician was a whole different story.

'There's just nothing we can do to her now...'

“Sayu....”

Ai sobbed in the middle of the pain she was feeling right now. This couldn't be true... This just couldn't be...

--------------------

Eri had never ran as fast in her life as she was doing now. It was only her luck that Goto was taking care of the enemy, cause she would have been a way too easy target as she dashed forwards her fallen lover. Reina had noticed how Eri had snapped and gone after her, but there was just no way she could catch her. In the end, the turtle was the fastest in the team and right now, Reina was sure she was the fastest person in the world. But she just had to go after her, because she knew exactly what Eri was thinking right now.

'This is not good...'

When they reached Sayu, Eri collapsed immediately on her knees and took her lover in her arms, shaking her in order to get her attention.

“SAYU! SAYU, LOOK AT ME!!”

Eri cried hysterically and calmed down only when the wounded warrior coughed a bit blood. Reina got soon beside the couple and examined the sword that was still in Sayu's stomach. Just when she was about to reach it, realization hit the kitten. As she looked how deep in Sayu's stomach the weapon was, she could already say that her friend wouldn't survive this.

“Oh my gosh....”

Reina whispered, her eyes widening as she slowly started to understand the situation. The sword in Sayu's stomach was probably the only thing keeping the tactician alive now. It had pierced through Sayu's body and by the way it's head was pointing a bit out from her middle back, it had pierced through the spine. It was a miracle Sayu was even alive anymore.

“Reina, pull that sword away.”

Eri said as she tried to keep Sayu awake. But before Reina could do or say anything, she was interrupted by Sayu.

“Shh... Eri, look... look at me.”

Her hoarse voice said as she raised her trembling and bloody hand against Eri's cheek, leaving a bloody mark there. The older girl took hold of the hand as she supported her lover with her other arm. Coughing a bit more blood, Sayu continued.

“I got to go now, my love... And I know... I know, that you know that too..”

”No.”

Eri said firmly, but her voice was soon drown in sobs as tears started to run down her cheeks. She couldn't accept this, she just couldn't.

“It will be okay, Eri. Everything will be okay...”

This time, Eri's voice cracked totally as she hung her head low, pressing her forehead against Sayu's shoulder. The bunny breathed deeply, taking in her lover's scent one last time. But before she would go to the other side were living creatures couldn't go, she looked beside her another friend, who was helplessly kneeling beside her and watching the couple. Sayu gave a tired smile at her friend as she spoke her mind out.

“Take care of her...”

She said quietly, but so that Reina could hear her. Tears formed in the kitten's eyes as she realized that she was saying goodbye to her good friend. Though she couldn't accept this, she knew that there was nothing to do.

“Can't we just... I can call medic Sayu...”

Reina tried one more time, her voice weak and barely audible. But she knew that there was just nothing they could do now. No matter what. The tactician only smiled again and shook her head slowly. When they would remove the sword from Sayu's stomach, her life would end immediately. And even if a medic would come over, it would be too late.

“Promise me Reina... You will take care of Eri...”

Sayu whispered again. The kitten couldn't do anything else than to accept the fact, that this indeed was the last good bye to her friend. But she would at least make her go in peace, know that her loved one would be looked after.

“I will....”

Reina nodded and whispered, which caused Sayu to smile more. That made her mind ease a lot as she turned back to her girlfriend, who was still sobbing against her shoulder. Using her last strength, Sayu wrapped one of her arms around the older girl. She pressed her head against Eri's and placed her lips softly on her neck. Though the turtle's body was hot from all the exercise she had done, the tactician could already feel how her body wouldn't anymore accept the heat so much. Her limbs started to turn numb and all around her just blurred.

“I love you... Eri....”

Sayu whispered. In her last seconds, she could hear her lover saying the exactly same words and her name. That was all she needed to hear and know as Sayu took her one last breath, before the world around her went totally black. She could feel Eri's arms around her and the warm she radiated for a while, before all her senses blacked out and there was only darkness.

---------------------

There was a loud crashing sound in the nurse's place as Risa was visiting Lin Lin and helping her out. A deep sigh escaped the bean's lips as she walked to the direction where the sound had come. It was just probably some patient again who had dropped something in hallucination or something. But what happened next, totally surprised the bean.

“NIIGAKI-SAN!”

Risa could hear Mittsui's panicked voice, which caused alarm clocks in her head to ring. The bean ran as fast as she could to the next room, where she found Lin Lin on the floor, breathing heavily while Aika tried to help her to stand up.

“Lin Lin? Hey, what's wrong?!”

Risa asked alarmed as she came beside the two, helping Lin Lin to stand up too. The nurse was still breathing heavily and Risa could even see some sweat formed on her forehead. She had a deep frown and it seemed like she was in pain too.

“What is it?”

Risa asked again, but Lin Lin only stayed quiet and shook her head. She couldn't just blurt out what she had seen in her mind  a while ago, but she couldn't lie either.

“The battlefront... Something... Something terrible has happened..”

Risa's eyes widened in horror and immediately pictures started to race in her head. What? When? Who?

'Ai...'

“Oh gosh... Tell me what has happened!”

Risa demanded, but now Lin Lin's nurse's senses kicked in as she heard her friend's panicked voice. Taking a hold of the bean's shoulder, the nurse calmed her down as she looked in her eyes with a stern face.

“I saw only a small picture, I can't tell for sure who is it and what has happened. All I know is that something bad happened...”

This calmed Risa down a bit, but it didn't remove all the worry she had for her friends and for her lover. Lin Lin noticed this too and with a deep sigh she pried herself gently away from Aika's hold. The younger girl let go, but stood beside the nurse, in case she would collapse again.

“Now, go back to your duties.” She said calmly. ”I know this bothers you and I understand it, but there's just nothing we can do now...”

The calm voice and being made the two girls relax somehow. Even Risa cooled down, though she was still sick of worry and anxious of what she had just heard. Soon, the nurse ordered the two to continue their chores, for they had a lot to do. It was a bad time to stop treating the patients now and if they just stood there crying after something they could do nothing about, more lives would be lost.

As Risa made her way to the room she had been earlier and went to the patients to check them she couldn't help but let the thing bother her. Though she did everything Lin Lin had advised to do when stressed, she just couldn't help it.

'Please... Be all right, everyone...'

Feeling how tears started to form in her eyes, Risa put all her focus in her task. She would do this, she would help the others in here since she couldn't do anything about what had happened on the battle field. But as soon as she turned back to the patient in front of her, the bean could see how the pure white blankets got few dark and moist spots on them.

'Ai...'

------------------------------------

The battlefield had quieted down and only one person was standing in the middle of it, surrounded by hundreds of death warriors. The last standing warrior was panting heavily, her right arm hanging loosely on her side while the left one had hit her sword to the ground, so the warrior could lean on it.

Collapsing on her knees, Goto tried somehow to keep her awareness and stay awake, but she was just so damn tired. She had lost a lot of blood and after a good 20 minutes rage attack, she was downright exhausted. She had wounds here and there, but worst was her right arm. She couldn't feel or move it.

“Shimatta....”

Goto cursed as she tried to get up. She succeeded and for a moment she stood still, looking up to the sky where the evening sun was starting to set down.

Though many had escaped her a while ago, there had been just too many enemies to a one lone warrior to take care of. Goto might have been a great warrior and swordsman, but even she couldn't take too multiple enemy without getting wounded.

Letting her eyes to close and one last deep sigh escape her lips, the general collapsed to the ground in the middle of corpses. Her body was lifeless and she could keep her eyes open only for a moment. And then, everything turned pitch black.

----------------------------

It took one week before the troops got back to the Castle. The battlefront had been left guarded, but there hadn't been any kind of information about enemy following them or such. The atmosphere was very dark as the group entered the village's gates. Everyone was searching for the survivors, Risa being one of them.

She watched as the soldiers passed by, everyone walking on like it had been the world end. Finally, she saw someone she recognized. Reina was riding alone in the middle of the group and Risa dashed immediately to her. Noticing the bean, Reina took her horse to side and made her way to Risa. She jumped down and took the bean in her arms, hugging her tightly.

“Thank god you're okay...”

Risa whispered. It was so good to see their friends after a long while. For a moment, Reina just hugged the bean when she suddenly remembered the others. Like reading her mind, Risa soon pulled away and looked the kitten in the eyes with a worried expression.

“Where are the rest?”

Reina tensed and even shivered, which immediately caused Risa to get worried. Her expression turned to a shocked one and it was like the kitten had seen a ghost. The earlier events still fresh in her mind, Reina wasn't sure how to tell this to Risa. She didn't even know, how she had done it to here without going crazy.

After a long silence, which the bean hadn't dared to interrupt, Reina slowly hung her head and tried to control her emotions. It took a lot of willpower, but her training and warrior senses finally kicked in and allowed her to hide her deepest emotions.

“Eri and Ai are at the nurse's place... Both are under special treatment and...”

“What happened to Ai?”

Risa asked suddenly, causing Reina to confuse. But soon, the kitten was back to her warrior mode as she finally raised her head up and looked deeply in Risa's eyes, not showing any kind of emotions.

“She was wounded. It was an ambush...”

“No...”

That was all Risa could say. She had known something had happened to Ai, but judging by the way Reina was acting, it was something serious.

“She's under treatment now and that's all I know... Now, if you will excuse me, I have some duties to do.”

Bowing a bit, Reina turned around and left the bean behind her. She had suddenly gotten so uneasy as she watched Risa's worried expression, that the kitten wasn't sure if she could take it any longer. She had to get away from this situation now and besides, she didn't want to make the bean anymore worried than she already was.

Reina didn't however get to take many steps, when the question she had feared, was asked.

“Where's Sayu?”

It took all her willpower not to break down as she heard the name. The name, whose carrier wasn't here anymore. Reina was silent for a long while, biting her lower lip so she wouldn't lose control of her own emotions again. She still didn't want to accept that this was reality, but just a freaking nightmare and she would wake up soon from it.

Finally, the kitten gathered herself somehow and opened her mouth. But at the end of her words, her voice cracked.

“Sayu is out there... In the last carriage. Now if you excuse me I really have to go.”

And with that Reina started to run away from her friend, leaving the stunned bean alone. What on earth had happened on the field since she was acting like that? Usually Reina was the one who would survive all the horrors and such with no difficulties, but now she wasn't herself at all.

Risa tried to call after her friend, but suddenly Reina's words sunk in. Wait, did she say that Sayu was in the last carriage?

Counting one plus one in her head and adding Lin Lin's vision to it, the bean turned around to look at the warrior cavalcade. And just then, the last carriage came in, the villages gates closing after it. The bean could see the conifer branches all around the carriage which told only one thing: Everyone riding that vehicle were dead.

The shock that washed over her was so intense, that Risa couldn't even utter a word. She just stared after the carriage which was carrying one of her friends. But Risa didn't get much time to think about her fallen friend, when she suddenly heard someone call her.

“Niigaki-san!!”

Snapping out of her thoughts, Risa spun around only to find a young girl in front of her. Soon she recognized Mittsui running towards her and the alarmed face of hers made the bean get even more anxious. What now?

“What's wrong?”

”Lin Lin needs your help at the nurses place! You have to hurry!”

Aika panted. Still being very confused of the news she had hear a while ago, Risa didn't move an inch at first while Aika was trying to get her to the nurse's place. Then, she remembered Reina's words:

'Eri and Ai are at the nurse's place... Both are under special treatment and...'

”No...”

Fearing the worst Risa started suddenly to ran towards the nurse's place, leaving a stunned Aika behind her. The younger one however followed soon after her, trying to keep up with the furiously running bean.

They reached the nurse's place quite soon, but the sight in there wasn't something Risa was expecting. Only yesterday, everything had been quite well under the control, but now she didn't even have to enter the building to see that something was wrong.

There were a lot of wounded ones even outside the building and Risa could hear wailing from inside. No, not just inside. It was everywhere. There were few Lin Lin's assistants running around and trying to help as many as possible, but there were just too few of them.

”Niigaki-san, Lin Lin needs your hep in the surgery room. Please, hurry to there...”

Aika said panting a bit as she went past the bean in order to help the assistants. Risa didn't waste much time as she rushed inside and to the surgery room. But as she opened the front door, she was greeted with a horrible sight:

There were wounded ones everywhere around the place. Some where unconscious, unaware of all the pain, but some were howling in pain. There were a lot of blood around and the sterile smell of the nurse's place was long gone and replaced by rotten meat and blood. There were about six person's running frantically around and treating all the patients they could.

Because of the big losses and injuries, Lin Lin had had to require few assistants for her help. There was just no way she could survive this all alone. Trying to erase all the bad images from her mind and all the crying from her ears, Risa continued her way to the surgery room. She was already anxious, since the surgery room always meant that someones life was in danger and the bean didn't even want to know what would wait her there.

She hadn't yet seen Ai or Eri anywhere, but truth to be told, she really didn't want to see them right now. Not in here, but somewhere else where she knew they would be okay and uninjured.

When she reached the surgery room's door, the bean hurried inside, but her speed died down very quickly when she was suddenly standing face to face with her captain. Miki had heard that someone was entering the room and she had come outside to make sure that it was someone who had something to do in here. They didn't need any extra audience.

Noticing who was about to enter the room, the captain only took a hold of the stunned bean's hand and pulled her inside, closing the door behind her.

“Good you're here, we need your help....”

The captain's voice was stern, and even blunt and Risa could already feel that she wasn't going to like what she was about to see soon. There was a smaller room before the main surgery room where Miki took the younger girl. They went to the door at the end of the room, but before opening it, the captain stopped and looked at Risa with a serious face.

“We really need your help here, so I am asking you to try and concentrate on this task, no matter what you will see in there. Can you promise me that?”

This was no good. There just had to be something horrible behind that door, for the captain had asked Risa such a question. But the bean gathered herself and tried to calm down. It somehow eased her mind that Miki was here, for the older one's calm being calmed Risa down too. She had to help others and her own panicking and such wouldn't help at all now. She had to push aside the facts that her friend was dead and another one wounded. Plus, also her lover was wounded in somewhere. Steeling her nerves, Risa nodded her head to the captain who nodded as well and pushed the door open.

They entered a medium size room, which had only one table in the middle of it and some smaller ones around it. The whole room was white and there was only one window in the ceiling, allowing a lot of light to enter the room and making it quite bright. As the bean's eyes got used to the bright light, she could finally see clearly what was in front of her. And she didn't like at all what she saw.

There were two persons on the surgery table, both having some kind of a mask on their face. There was a lot of blood around and it seemed to be everywhere, even in the ceiling. Then, Risa took a double take of who these person's were.

“Oh my....”

The first one was no one else than the general of Yoshizawa's army. She was laying lifelessly on the table, her other arm stretched to the side where it was resting on a small table. But as Risa came closer to examine the two patients better, she noticed, that Goto's arm was loose. There were only few tendons keeping the arm attached to her shoulder. There were a lot of blood stained towels around, but the bleeding had already ceased.

Risa recognized the medicine which even she had used few times when she had treated someone. There were also something else which she didn't recognize, but judging by Goto's wound, they had to be some stronger medicines. Moving a bit aside, the bean looked at the other patient. The air mask covered her face so much, that Risa could hardly identify the person, but as she moved around the table, she got a better view of the patients face.

“No...”

Risa gasped. as she realized who was laying on the surgery table next to the general. It was no one else than her lover, who had her clothes stained in blood. Her armor had been removed and she was only having her clothes she kept on underneath her warrior suit. The white shirt had been ripped out of the way so it would reveal the nasty wound in her shoulder. The wound looked very deep and it was still bleeding slowly. Ai's lower body was the same, though it wasn't bleeding so much as her shoulder.

Soon, Lin Lin appeared out of nowhere with some towels and medicine. She pressed one towel against Ai's wound which caused the squad leader to flinch and groan. She was awake but the nurse had pumped so much medicine in her veins, that the young leader was barely aware of her surroundings.

While Ai would react to pain, Goto was totally blackout. The only thing that told them that the general was alive, was the small movement of her chest as she breathed.

“Risa, press this please....”

Lin Lin said and the bean did immediately as asked. While she and the nurse were treating Ai, Miki was looking after Goto. She was holding something against the wound in her shoulder, so it wouldn't start bleed again.

It took about ten minutes before Lin Lin asked Risa to remove the towel. The bleeding had ceased now, thanks to the nurse's magic and skills. Lin Lin rubbed her hands together and after a while, placed them above the wound in Ai's shoulder.

“Get ready to press that towel against the wound when I say so.”

Lin Lin guided, while Risa nodded her head to show that she had understood what she should do. The nurse took a deep breath and placed her palms on top of the wound. She started to move her hands slowly away and at the same time, Ai started to howl in pain.

But the leader could only squirm around and not to get up. Only now did Risa notice that her lover had been trapped on the table by some kind of magic, for she had shining rings around her wrists, ankles and stomach. Judging by the way the older woman was squirming and screaming, it was the only option to bind her down in order to treat her.

As Lin Lin pulled her hands further away from the wound, Ai's screams got louder and louder. Her eyes had shot wide open and when seeing her lover's gaze, Risa wanted to look away. Those beautiful doe eyes were looking up, the pupils wide and from time to time, the bean was sure she couldn't see them at all. It was like she was looking a zombie or something, not a living creature.

It took only few more seconds, when something dark got out from the wound. It was the arrow's head which had stayed in the leader's flesh after it had hit it's target.

'Bastards, using weapons like that...'

Risa growled in her mind as she watched her lover in pain. Finally, the metal object got away from the shoulder, but immediately after that, the wound started to bleed massively.

Wasting no time, Risa pressed the towel in her hands hard against the wound, while Lin Lin took something from the table beside her. It was some kind of a powder and when she turned back to the bean, she motioned her to move the towel away. Nodding her head, Risa did as asked and immediately the towel was moved away, the nurse threw the powder in Ai's wound.

There was a a loud whiz, like someone had thrown water in fire. At the same time, the leader's eyes shot open once again and a bloodcurdling scream was heard as she howled in pain.

In no time, Lin Lin took a small wooden stick and put it between Ai's teeth. Pressing her jaw gently, the nurse made the leader bite in the object. Ai calmed down a bit, but she was still seemly in pain as Lin Lin kept on treating her wound.

Risa in turn, looked at her lover with wide eyes. She had never seen her in this kind of state and it made her feel very bad. She wanted to dash out from here and not to look at this scene at all.

Suddenly, a hand laid on her shoulder and as Risa turned to watch, she found Miki beside her. The captain had a stern but at the same time very gentle look on her face and that calmed the bean down a bit. She knew what the younger girl was feeling right now, for the captain had been in her shoes years ago. By now, she had gotten so used to see death and such that it almost scared herself how calm she could be now.

“Try to calm her down. Be there for her.”

Miki told and guided Risa beside Ai. After that she made sure that the towel against Goto's wound was okay and went to help Lin Lin. By now, the nurse had started to sew the leader's wound and had almost finished it. Risa watched her lover for a little while, before she slowly moved one hand against Ai's cheek, the other one finding it's way in the leader's hand. Ai was still squirming but somehow she calmed down when she felt the bean's touch.

Lin Lin and Miki started to treat her leg now, making exactly the same operation as a while ago. Ai howled in pain again, but this time, she was somehow calmer. When Risa spoke gently to her, the leader seemed to listen and fight back the pain she was feeling. She was still biting hard in the wooden stick in her mouth, but her squirming had ceased. During the operation, Risa ran all kind of things through her head; What would happen to general and Ai after this? Would they be okay? What had happened on the battlefield? How would life go on after Sayu's dead? How about Eri and Reina? What was going to happen now?

“Risa.”

Lin Lin's gentle voice brought the bean back on earth. The operation was now over and there were bindings on Ai's leg and chest. The wounds were sewed, but the nurse just wanted to make sure that they would not open again, so she had but some bindings over them. By now, Ai had also calmed down and she was only breathing quite heavily.

“Lets take them to the rest room. We might need this space again soon, so we need it to be empty.”

Miki said and tapped Ai's table once. In no time, the bindings around the leader disappeared and the table started to move out of the room on the wheels under it. The bean was about to follow the captain, but she suddenly remembered that there was another patient too and Lin Lin might have appreciated help with her too.

Risa returned to the general, whom the nurse was treating right now. Something terrible must have happened out there, since Goto's arm was in this condition. Or well, what was left of it.

Luckily, there was not much to do anymore, for Lin Lin had already treated the wound so well that only thing Risa had to do was to hand the nurse some medicine and objects when she needed more than two hands. In no time, the general was moved to the next room as well with Ai and the next patients were taken inside. Risa offered her help to the nurse, though she really wanted to look after Ai and her other friends. But right now, her mind was in so bad mess, that she just needed something else to think about and helping the victims made her to concentrate on something with all her power. It was a long and rough day and it stretched into the next morning till the last patient was treated. Everyone didn't survive and some of the patients died in their hands.

Finally, when the last patient was taken care of, successfully this time, Risa slouched in a nearby chair just outside of the surgery room. She just stared ahead, like she was in trance, not saying a word and it almost seemed like she wasn't even breathing. There were just too many thoughts in her head right now. Her friends, her lover, the general and all this madness. She had thought that the war had already showed it's horrible side to her, but she had been terribly wrong in that. Risa just felt like she had felt when she had lost her family; unable to go on and freaking tired of this all. She just wanted to everything stop and wake up in her own bed, surrounded by everyone she loved. But no. She was still in this room, which walls were stained in blood and were death was staying.

Had she stayed in this state any longer, Risa would have probably snapped, but luckily Lin Lin was there for her. The nurse knelt in front of the other girl and placed her hands gently on her legs. When the bean looked up, the younger girl smiled at her sadly, but at the same time, she radiated some kind of a warmth as she did so. Risa looked deep in the nurse's eyes, not moving an inch. Suddenly, Lin Lin opened her arms and it didn't take long when the bean was in her arms, crying against her shoulder. The nurse just held her friend tightly, trying to comfort her the best she could.

Risa cried and cried, till she was too tired to cry anymore. She was held by Lin Lin for a long while, before the nurse decided that it was enough and that the bean should go to check her friends.

“Ai's in the next room. She's resting and her wounds have recovered quite well. With good luck, she might be even awake.”

The nurse spoke quietly as she kept on holding the girl. Risa sniffed few times, before she pulled a bit away. Her eyes were red from all the crying and the whole girl was all mess, thanks to the stress and a sleepless night. They stayed still for a while, before Risa slowly nodded her head and got up, leaving the room and nurse after her.

Lin Lin sighed a bit as she watched after her friend. She then looked around her and after seeing all the blood, she swung her arm once through the air. A blue light filled the room and soon, all the blood was gone. Seeing that red liquid right now made even the experienced nurse nauseous and she too needed something else to think about than this damn war and death.

Meanwhile, Risa entered the next room, where some patients were kept. As she got in, she noticed that someone else was already in there. Lifting her head up, the bean came face to face with Reina, who was sitting next to someone's bed. She was in the corner of the room, where one bed was a bit separated from the others. The kitten smiled sadly as she noticed Risa and her state.

The bean closed the door quietly after her and walked beside Reina. At the same time, it was revealed who the kitten was watching after at. Eri was laying in the bed, her face pale and a deep frown on her face. It was like she was having a nightmare or something, for she was tossing around from time to time restlessly.

“Ai's in the next bed.”

Reina whispered quietly. Her voice was hoarse and somehow it didn't fit the usually cheerful warrior at all. The kitten knew who the bean had came to check and though she surely wanted to see Eri too, she was sure that their leader was the person the bean wanted to check first. Risa nodded her head and walked to the next bed, where her lover indeed was sleeping.

Her breathing was steadier now and she looked also a lot more calm than yesterday. Her bindings were still pure white, which told that the wounds hadn't opened again. That was a good thing and it eased Risa's mind a bit. She reached Ai's hand slowly and took it in her own, squeezing it lightly. Almost immediately, the leader responded and stirred a bit. She didn't wake up however. She was still under a heavy painkiller medication so it was no wonder, that Ai wouldn't wake up very easily.

Sighing deeply, the bean kept on holding Ai's hand as she ran things in her head. This all was just so confusing and right now, it seemed like there was no way out of this situation at all. And like her thoughts had summoned something even worse to come out, the bean's  pondering was interrupted soon by Eri's voice.

“Sayu...”

The turtle whined as she started to furiously toss around in her bed. Reina was immediately beside her, trying to calm her friend down.

“Eri, it's okay. I am here.”

”No....”

Eri moaned as she pulled her hand away from Reina's, leaving the stunned kitten to stare at her.

“No.... You're not Sayu....”

Though Reina knew Eri was not very aware of what she said now, it still hurt to hear something like that. This was about the third time this happened and every time, it left a deep wound in the kitten's heart. Risa listened this all, not turning around. She was just too confused to register much things around her and besides, her focus was now on her lover's sleeping face, which had started to twitch when she had heard Eri's voice. And soon, the leader opened her eyes. At first, she only looked around aimlessly, till her eyes landed on Risa. Immediately, the bean met her gaze and moved a bit closer.

“Ai.”

She called her lover, who seemed to respond somehow to her. The leader blinked few times before she squeezed the bean's hand.

“Risa...”

She whispered. Just hearing her voice made the bean feel good on top of all the bad feelings she had experienced lately. But quite soon, the realization hit her back. Of course she was happy and all that Ai was alive, but there were just something that kept on haunting her.

This was probably going to be her future if things continued like this. Of course, no one could never anticipate when something bad was about to happen, but with warriors, it was more risky that something like this would occur.

When Risa had seen her lover in the surgery room with her wounds, she had been shocked. No, the word shocked wasn't enough to describe her true feelings back then. It had been something much worse.

Suddenly, the bean remembered the fight they had had before the latest battle had started. The feelings back then suddenly popped up in Risa's mind and she couldn't help but feel angry. This war was taking everything precious away from her and there was just nothing she could do to it now. It didn't help at all that she was tired and stressed out, which made the feel of anger even worse inside her heart.

She had to get out of here right now or something bad would happen. The bean was sure of it.

“Get some rest.”

Risa stated  bluntly to her lover, as she got up and went beside Eri's bed.

“Risa....”

Ai tried to whisper, but was soon cut by her lover, who didn't even turn around as she spoke.

“I said get some rest.”

She said a bit louder now. Ai watched at her lover with a frown. Though she was under all kind of painkiller's effects, the leader could think quite clearly already. Risa's behavior stunned her a lot and Ai was lost at words.

Risa in turn just kept on going and soon reached Eri's bed. The turtle had calmed down by now and was only breathing heavily. The bean went beside her and stroked her friend's hair gently, causing the younger girl to turn her head against her touch.

”Sayu...”

Eri mumbled. A sad expression washed over Risa's face as she slowly took her hand away from Eri's hair. She looked at the sleeping turtle for a moment and when the pain in her chest got worse, she decided that it was her time to leave now.

“Take care of her.”

Risa whispered as she started to leave the room. But she paused beside Reina, causing the kitten to glance at her.

“And... Watch after Ai for me, will you?”

Frowning, Reina nodded her head a bit. She wasn't sure what was going on between those two and what was bothering Risa so much, but something had to be wrong, since the bean didn't look after her lover by herself.

“Thank you....”

Risa whispered as she glanced at Eri one last time, before she left the room. As she passed Ai's bed, she could hear her lover whisper her name. But the bean didn't stop. She only slowed down a bit but in the end, she walked non stop out of the room, leaving her lover behind. Ai had raised her better arm up in order to reach out for her lover. When she heard the door click and was not able to see the younger girl anymore, she silently dropped her arm down and sighed deeply.

Reina watched this all with a sad expression. It was hard enough that they had lost their dear friend and the two other were in bad condition. In her heart, the kitten prayed that they all would survive this somehow.

'If there's a God, please let us all get through this. Just... Give us all strength to go on....'

Meanwhile, Ai was sulking in her own bed. She didn't know the whole story behind Risa's cold behavior but she knew that it would take a long time before she would calm down. And that was what the leader feared the most. She really wanted the bean beside her, so she could hold her and be sure that they were both alive.

The young squad leader hadn't never been so close to death as she had been one week ago and it had scared her. Right now all she needed was her friends and lover's support, but she knew that it was impossible. One of them was soon to be under the ground, while the other two were too tired to even take care of themselves. And her lover was mad at her and probably as stressed out as she was.

As the leader kept on sulking in her bead and moaning over her sore wounds, her lover was walking outside in the cool morning, trying to put things in order in her head. She didn't know where she was going, but as long as she got to stay alone for a while and away from all the blood, death and that stupid war, everything would be fine. At least on some level.

That day, a dark curtain landed above the village as the four friends had lost their dear friend and one's lover. It was a hard hit and nobody was sure, if they could make it from here. It didn't help the situation at all, that their general was wounded and that two of their best fighters were out as well. Also, the unknown enemy situation was also roasting their minds all the time, piling the stress up and making the situation even harder to handle.

And as if that wasn't enough already, the nature decided to bring rain over the village. It was like the whole world was crying after the big losts the village had faced.

But the cold rain didn't feel on Risa's skin. Instead, it felt warm on her cheeks, as she finally reached an empty alley where no one could see her. She punched the wall in front of her as hard as she could as she cried her heart out once again, hoping it would wash the heavy feeling away from her heart.

As the rain kept on falling harder, the tired warrior finally dropped down on her knees in front of the wall, which now had few red stains of blood. As she held her fists against the moist ground, she didn't care about the pain she felt in her wounded hands for the pain in her heart was much worse now.

----------------------------

*Runs away once again* Hope you enjoyed...  :ph43r:
 :sleep:


Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline rndmnwierd

  • Subleader of Tsunku's Army
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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 37/ 23/08
« Reply #147 on: August 23, 2013, 02:49:06 AM »
 :fainted: :gyaaah: :pleeease:

Offline kawaii beam

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 37/ 23/08
« Reply #148 on: August 23, 2013, 03:13:49 AM »
rndy just summed up this whole chapter for me and I shall add this as well
 :catglare:
please visit kawaii-chan's avie's and siggies!

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 37/ 23/08
« Reply #149 on: August 23, 2013, 03:20:37 AM »

 I HATE YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!  :bleed eyes:  :depressed: :err: :fainted: :frustrated: :on blackhole: :on cloudeye:
 
 SAYUUUUUUUUUUUUU WHY ?!!!!!!!!!!!!  :pleeease:

  MsSmigge why ?!!!!!!!!!!  :fainted: :on blackhole:

Offline darkacex99

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  • RISA RISA RISA!!!
Re: The mask of soul//chapter 37/ 23/08
« Reply #150 on: August 23, 2013, 03:21:07 AM »
HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH. MAI. GAWD!!!! AMAZING CHAPTER!!!! soooo much to talk about too!!!

Dear Ju,
         hate to say it...but u had it coming :on kimbo:
                                                         Sincerely,
                                                                       darkacex99

poor sayu  :mon waterworks:  oh my goodness Ju jacked her up so much i wish Ju would get revived and relive what Goto did to her 99 times and more  :angry:

poor eri watching sayu die in her arms :( normally shes the person who comfort others in the group, i wonder if anyone can talk sense into her now that she needs some comforting :cry:

poor friggin reina omg! also watching her good friend die in front of her, had to indirectly break the news to risa, AND has to try fulfill sayu's dying wish of taking care of eri who has a one track mind on sayu  :gyaaah:

poor Goto, dont get me wrong she was a total BAWS out there, but poor thing ran herself down

poor ai, goin through surgery while still awake??? talk about  :cool2: more wierd tension between her and risa huh...well dang

poor poor risa..... :cry: wats gunna happen next??? things are soooo jacked up right now it isnt even funny  :OMG: wonder how everyone is gunna cope :cry:



MsSmiggie...u are too awesome!  :mon angel: i dont get bored from rereading the chapters, its all too awesome to be boring  :luvluv2:


Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 38/ 30/08
« Reply #151 on: August 30, 2013, 12:11:27 PM »
rndmnwierd:  :shifty: muahaha... Ahem, things will be okay I promise  :nervous

kawaii beam: That cat glare kind of made me a bit anxious  :nervous

maikeatoot: Aww, don't hate me  :nervous Though, I kind of hate myself that I decided to make this story go this way....

darkacex99: Lol, your message to Ju got me XD And nice to hear that my chapters interest you! Really, sometimes I think i repeat myself over and over again...

As always thank you everyone for your interest!  :cow:

The next chapter, here we go~


Chapter 38 – The truth behind her smile was finally revealed


Like the atmosphere in the village wasn't already dark enough, the nature decided to add something in it too. It had rained at least for one week now and there was no information of the sun at all. Everyone was depressed, for it felt like death was present all the time.

Some of the treated wounded ones had passed away, because their injuries had been too fatal. Even with Lin Lin's amazing skills and restless work, everyone couldn't be saved. The nurse had also started to show some kind of burning out, for she had started to blame herself how she should have been able to save more people.

Those times, Risa usually snapped out of her own trance and tried to cheer up her friend. Luckily, the nurse was one of those persons who would cheer up by only few words. All it took was just few encouraging words and a smile and the happy and always helpful nurse was back again. Noticing this, Risa made sure to say those words more often. It also helped her to cheer up when she was encouraging her friend and from time to time, it felt like these rainy days would end someday. But then again, as she bypassed one certain room at the nurse's place, she was reminded why everything was so fucked up:

Eri was still in deep depression and she had refused to eat or talk. She only cried and stayed in her bed, not taking contact to anyone. she was like Ai, when the leader had been in bad condition, but Eri's case was even worse now. It seemed that nothing would help her, for she only kept on crying and staring in space.

Reina was all the time beside her, refusing to leave her friend alone. The kitten was quite the same as her Eri, refusing to do anything the others asked her to. Only if someone brought her something to eat, Reina would consider about taking some food. But there was just no way that someone could get her away from Eri's side. Even when Sayu was buried, these two were absent. Eri, because she would have probably fallen even into more deep depression, if she saw her lover to be buried. Reina wanted to be there in order to respect her good friend's memory, but she just couldn't leave Eri alone. Lin Lin had promised to stay at the nurse's place and inform the kitten, when the burial would happen so the warrior would know when to send her prayers.

The funeral had taken place about two days ago, when they had finally arranged time to bury one of The Team Alfa members. There were many others buried at the same time and thanks to magic, it was made possible to dig so many holes in so little time.

The cemetery was outside the village about one kilometer to the west. There was quite a deep valley but somehow, the sunlight could get in there, if the sun shone. There were already a lot of graves, but the area was so huge that there would be room for the whole world.

Risa sighed deeply, as she closed her eyes and turned on her side in her bed. It was still too early to get up, but she just couldn't sleep anymore. All the past day's events rolled in her head and she just couldn't kick them out of her mind.

Ai was still recovering, but since the situation was what it was, the two had not seen each others much. Risa had gone to Ai's place to just check if she was okay and if she needed any kind of treatment. The leader had been moved to her own home now, because Lin Lin had said, that her wounds had recovered well enough. Plus, if Risa was watching after her, Ai would  have no problems with staying at home.

The leader had tried to talk to her lover, but somehow, Risa rejected her every time. She wanted to fix things between them and be with her lover like they had been only a month ago. But there was still some things gnawing her mind and Risa just couldn't let them go so easily. The dark atmosphere and Sayu's death didn't help the situation at all. So the couple only saw each others when Risa went to check Ai and even then, they barely changed any words with each others. It felt like they were back in the starting square, where they couldn't act casually around each others.

The bean turned on her back and stared at her ceiling for a long while. Damn she missed Ai's presence beside her. She missed all the good days when everything was okay and everyone was still alive. Closing her eyes slowly, the bean let her memories flow in her mind. She went two days backwards, where one of her friends was buried.

------------------------------------

The whole valley was dead silent. Not even the wind was heard, but it seemed liked the air was standing still. A long line of people was slowly moving forwards and belong them were many coffins, surrounded by mourning persons. One coffin was covered in a black cover and it had two swords on top of it and surrounded by many warriors. Ai and Risa were among these warriors as they walked beside their dead friend. The leader was somehow limping beside the flowing object, trying to keep in the pace. She had insisted that she was okay and could say her last goodbye to her friend. In one hand, she had a walking stick, while her other waved from side to side as she tried to find balance while walking. It was painful, but she owned so much to Sayu, that the leader couldn't care less about the pain. She hadn't been able to save her friend, now it was her time to pay for that.

Finally they reached their destination and everyone went to the grave, which was going to be their loved one's last resting place. Ai and Risa took their places beside Sayu's grave. There was already a black, marble memorial mark, which had three marks in it: First one was a helmet, which told everyone, that this person had been a samurai. Second was a flying eagle, which was holding a samurai sword in it's leg, the logo of The Team Alfa. Last one was a samurai sword, which had two lilies on it. The symbol, which was used when a warrior died in a battle. Under those symbols were Sayu's name, date of birth and the time of death. It was all written beautifully in kanjis and kana marks, making the grave stone look more like a piece of art than a memorial mark.

Ai and Risa stood quietly beside the grave, as the coffins floated to their own places. There was a priest, who said his prayers and after that, the coffins started to slowly descend to the graves. This all felt so unreal, that Risa wasn't even able to cry. All the time, she imagined how she would return home after this and see all her friends again, healthy and happy.

But no. One of her friends was just being buried under the ground, while one of them was in a deep depression. And even the ones who were at least somehow okay, were not feeling very well either. As the coffins hit the ground, everyone threw flowers on top of them, including Ai and Risa too. After they had done so, they just stood still, watching as the priest moved his hands and the sand and dirt started to move, filling the graves.

At some point, Risa felt how something gripped her hand gently. She didn't need to look up to know who it was, for she could recognize that touch anywhere. Gently, she intertwined her fingers with her lover and held it. Though they both were in the turmoil of emotions, they still wanted to show their lover that they were there for each others. They stood silent, till the ground stopped moving and the graves were full.

Then, some flowers, that the villagers had prepared, started to move on the graves, decorating them beautifully. Everyone kept a silent moment, respecting the dead ones. When it was time to leave, Risa took her hand away from Ai's and started to walk away. But the leader didn't let go. Instead, she held the bean's hand firmly. Risa turned around frowning, but all she could see, was her lover's dark face.

Suddenly, there was a tearing pain in Risa's hand and as she tried to pull away, Ai raised her head up and instead pulled the younger girl closer. What the bean saw next made her eyes widen in horror.

Instead of Ai, she saw a skull, smiling wickedly at her. It pointed to the ground and when Risa looked down, she could see how the grave beside them had opened and how her friends were there, all of them. They were dead, their faces looking into empty space and their face and clothes dirtied in blood. Risa watched this all in shock, when she was suddenly facing the skull again.

“You will be with them”

And with that, the bean was thrown in the grave. She was falling through the darkness, her friend's dead faces flowing all around her and scary voices whispering words she didn't recognize. This just couldn't be...


-----------------

Risa jumped up in her bed, letting out a loud scream at the same time. She fumbled around for a while, before she realized that she wasn't dreaming anymore. As she had remembered the burial, the bean had fallen asleep and her memories had turned into a nightmare.

Risa rubbed her face for a while, before she decided that it was time to get up. She went to do some breakfast for herself, though she wasn't hungry at all. But if the bean wanted to keep on going, she needed to keep care of her health. Falling ill now would be the worst thing to happen, when so many people needed everyone's help and support.

After finishing eating, the bean headed to the nurse's place. Everyday, she would go check her friend in there and after that she would go to check Ai. The weather was still grey but it had stopped raining. There were a lot of puddles on the street and at some points, Risa had to go through them, when there was no space to go around.

When she finally arrived at the nurse's place, her shoes were drenched. As Risa entered the building, she was quite soon met by Lin Lin, who was asleep on the kitchen table. Risa smiled a bit and went to take a blanket from her former room, which was now used for the patients. She took the blanket and went back to the kitchen. She placed it over Lin Lin and patted her shoulder gently, causing the nurse to take a bit more comfortable position. After that the bean headed to another quest room, where her friend was positioned.

She opened the door quietly, so she wouldn't wake anyone up. But one person was already awake and at the same position she had occupied for at least a week now. Reina looked up at Risa with tired eyes and after seeing her friend, she smiled a bit. But her smile soon died down when she started to cough.

Reina hadn't slept or eaten well, so she was more vulnerable to get sick. It was nothing serious, but when ignored, anything could turn into something worse. Lin Lin had luckily promised to look after the kitten and Reina had also been cooperative with her and let the nurse check her condition once in a while.

Risa walked to her friend, testing her forehead immediately. It was warm, but nothing alarming. As long as Reina wouldn't catch fever, everything would be okay. Not that Risa liked the idea that the kitten was spending all her time in here with Eri, getting in worse condition day by day. But there was just nothing they could do. Reina was determined to stay beside the girl she loved and look after her. Besides, Risa was sure that if Reina was taken away from Eri, they would have another depressed person to look after.

“How is she?”

The bean asked quietly, turning her gaze to the turtle, who was sleeping.

“The same as before... Though she has had a bit calmer times once in a while.”

Reina answered, smiling sadly at her friend. Looking around, Risa found herself a chair and she dragged it beside Eri's bed, careful not to make any loud noises. They sat in silence for a long while, just staring at their sleeping friend. Eri's face looked pale and skinny. It was no wonder, for she hadn't eaten at all since Sayu's dead and the only way they got some nutrition in her body was by force.

Lin Lin had needled the girl many times and by using some magic, she had managed to get all the vital nutrition to go in Eri's body. They had had to do that, or the turtle would have died just in few days. It was not nice to do so, since Eri always started to riot and scream like a maniac when someone tried to touch her whens she was awake. She only calmed down when the nurse gave her some tranquilizers.

Suddenly, Eri moaned and after a while yelled something. Alarmed, Risa got up immediately, but Reina only sat still and motioned the bean to do so as well. Frowning, Risa looked at Eri, who soon calmed down. She had a frown on her face and her breathing was a bit faster, but nothing else happened.

“It's quite normal... She does that once in a while. It's just the nightmares haunting her.”

Trusting what Reina had just told her, Risa sat down and silence fell in the room once again. Once in a while, Eri's cries broke the silence, but nothing else happened.

“I so wish I could have been able to prevent this....”

Reina whispered suddenly. She had her gaze down and shoulders slouched, while she was leaning her arms on her knees. Risa looked up at her friend, feeling bad for her. Gone was the energetic girl who always vowed in loud voice how she was capable of doing all kind of things and neither there hadn't been any jokes the kitten usually told to everyone. Now, there was just a sulking and depressed young woman, who seemed to have lost her will to live.

“There's no way one could have been able to prevent this..”

Risa whispered back. It was silent again, till Reina spoke.

“I could have...”

Looking up, Risa shot a surprised look at her kitten friend. She didn't say anything however, for it seemed like Reina was about to continue soon.

“It should have been me, not Sayu...”

Gasping, Risa suddenly shot up. She didn't care if she made loud voices or would wake Eri up by her actions. What the hell was her friend talking about?!

”Stop that.”

The bean said between her teeth. She was angry of what she had just heard, but she tried to control her emotions. It was easier said than done, though. Reina sat quietly on her seat and was like Risa was not in the room at all. She hadn't reacted to the bean's actions and she was only in her own world.

“How do you even dare to say things like that, when you know it is not true?”

Risa spoke, no, more likely hissed at her friend, who still didn't seem to react at her words. After a small pause, Reina raised her head and looked at her loved one with a bit teary eyes.

“Had it been me under the ground now...” As she spoke, Risa could already hear her friend's voice cracking. But Reina soldiered on and didn't let the tears take her voice. ”Eri wouldn't be like this...”

Risa just couldn't believe her ears. What the heck was the other girl talking about?

“Reina, that just....”

”I know Eri would be better, if Sayu hadn't died....”

The kitten interrupted, keeping her eyes firmly on the girl who was laying in the bed in front of them. Tears were now visible on her cheeks and her fingers were tightly clenched in fist.

“Sayu was her everything.... No one else can never replace her in Eri's life.”

Risa stood quietly, staring her friend still in disbelief. All she had just said sounded just so ridiculous. Sayu might have been Eri's lover, but Reina was her good friend! The bean was about to protest against her friend's words again, but the kitten was faster.

“I know what you are thinking right now.” She said quietly, causing Risa's words to stop midway.

“Sayu might have been Eri's lover and dear friend, but she was even more than that...”

Now, the kitten had turned her dark and serious face towards Risa, who in turn was examining her friend with a frown. There was something Reina wasn't telling her. After a small staring competition, the kitten sighed deeply, shook her head and motioned Risa to sit down. The bean did as asked, and immediately her butt hit the chair, Reina spoke again.

“Tell me, your imagine about Eri... You see her as a strong and lively person, who smiles everyday and whom no one can never break, don't you?”

Reina spoke quietly. Risa nodded her head a bit as an answer. She was not sure why she was so lost of words, so she just used the body language. Reina kept a pause once again, before she continued.

“Well, she is not that strong. In the end, Eri is the most fragile person I have ever met...”

Reaching her hand out a bit, Reina swiped some hair away from Eri's face, causing the turtle to move her head a bit and mumble Sayu's name. This caused Reina to sigh deeply and pull her hand away.

“It's better I will start from the beginning...”

And with that, Reina stood up and went to the window, which had a dark curtain in front of it, blocking the light from outside. Moving the curtain a bit aside, Reina peeked outside where rain was once again falling down.

“I met with Sayu and Eri when we were around 7-years-old. She came from a farmer family and was her mother and father's only child. This all sounded and seemed normal, but it was far from it.”

Reina paused for a while, as she shut the curtain again and turned to her sleeping friend, Risa listening now very carefully her every word.

“Eri wasn't a wanted child and her parents showed it openly. Of course, they kept Eri alive, educated her and so, but there was never love in their actions. They just did it, because they knew that they would get in trouble, if they just abandoned Eri. So, they kept her and they looked like a normal family. But...”

A deep sigh escaped Reina's lips as she gathered her thoughts and power. This was always hard and even for her, it was a bittersweet memory of her past. What had hurt her loved one, hurt her too.

“In normal family, your parents wont ask you everyday, when are you about to leave home and leave us alone? When do you stop being a burden to us? They... They even once said that if Eri died, everything would get only easier and they would not grieve after her...”

Reina's voice broke down again, but this time it was not only because she was sad. She was very angry when the bad memories poured in her mind. Even though it was very dark in the room, Risa could see by the way Reina stood in front of her, how she felt right now. It looked like the kitten was about to kill, if someone stepped in front of her now.

“Eri didn't have times when she had to get back home, but she had times when she had to leave the house and get herself a place to stay for a night, maybe for days and sometimes even for weeks. That was when we were around 9. She always went to us and stayed at Sayu's place, where she was taken care of. Sayu's family is very healthy, so they could easily take care of Eri and she was always welcomed there.

I visited her home many times when Eri was there and then we learned a lot about her normal life at her home. We were horrified of what we heard and during that time, Sayu vowed to protect Eri.”

Reina paused again as she tried to stay in one piece. She was so angry and sad at the same time that it was ripping her heart apart. Risa in turn was listening this all with wide eyes and shock. Eri had never told her anything like this, though the bean didn't wonder why, so this all came as a shock for her.

“During those days, I fell for her. Or well... I was 9, so it was more like I grew keen on her, like a sister. She was so innocent and gentle, yet she also had her strong and happy side too. It seemed that Sayu grew very keen on her too and believe me or not, we even fought over Eri few times.”

The kitten laughed a bit at the sweet memory, which wasn't that when it had really taken place. But in time, it had turned into something she and Sayu had only laughed at.

“Eri of course didn't know about this, for we thought that it would be better, if we didn't tell her. When it seemed, that Eri was favoring Sayu over me, I gave up on trying to get her. I saw how damn happy that girl was with Sayu so I didn't dare to bring anymore drama in.

Sayu asked me first if it was okay, but I only said that the most important thing for me was that Eri was happy and okay and she was that with Sayu. So, they started to be together more and more and I was with them all the time. It hurt at first and every time Eri looked at me, I hoped that she would be with me instead of Sayu. But I knew better and didn't try to take her away from Sayu.

When we reached teenage, Eri and Sayu truly fell for each others and I fell for Eri even more. It was not anymore that childish admiration, where we were fighting over a person's attention so she could play with us. No. This all turned into love when we were around 14-years-old.”

“You were quite young then...” Risa said a bit confused, which caused Reina to chuckle.

“Well, I think that's because of our family and the fact that we were involved with the military quite early. You know, the youngest who are accepted in the military are around 11-years-old?”

Risa's eyes widened as she heard what the kitten said. ”So young??!”

“Yes, but that's only when they start to teach them. Warriors must be at least 15 before they can take part in battles or harder training. And you know, being a warrior is a lot of other things than just fighting and killing others. Usually, the youngest students start in Miki's manner school before they even see a sword.”

Reina said chuckling a bit. But soon, her face turned back to serious as she continued.

”Anyways, it must be the military training that made us a bit more mature than what kids usually are in that age. Also, all of us had a family which made us all familiar with work and responsibility.

I have two younger brothers and damn, it's hard to watch after them. I also have helped my father a lot with his forest so that's how I got used to with work and responsibility. Sayu in turn was from a family, which is very rich and wealthy. She has younger sister and older brother and all of them were educated well. Did you know that at first, Sayu should have been a lawyer?”

Reina shot a questioning look at her friend, who had had a lot of new information in so little time, that she wasn't sure if she could handle all of this. Shaking her head slowly, Risa answered Reina's question quietly, while the kitten just laughed shortly.

“Well, that was what she was supposed to be, but she decided to be a samurai. She wanted to protect Eri and be with her and when Eri decided to apply in the military, Sayu followed her. We couldn't believe it at first, but she showed us that she had some guts, though she was so weak at first...”

There was a small smile on Reina's lips as she remembered those days back then, when everything had been okay. But then, she remembered where her loved one had gotten her maturity a bit too early.

“But Eri, she learned to be an adult before she was even 10... Her parents were just so cruel to her. Eri had to learn soon how to take care of herself, because the older she became, the less her parents took care of her. Ai even once was about to sue them for they were so horrible...”

”Ai?”

Risa snapped out of her thoughts suddenly, as she heard her lovers name.

“Yeah, Ai was with us too, though not so much for she was practicing with her father all the time. She took part in the military training when she was about 10 years old, for her father always took her everywhere. But yeah, when Ai heard about this, she almost marched to Eri's house on her own and would have yelled at those two monster, unless Eri would have stopped her. We never understood how she could stand her parents, for they were so horrible to her...”

Reina paused once again, to take a breath as she felt how anger was raising inside her. Damn, these memories just kept on hurting her time after time...

“But Eri, being the unselfish and angel like person she is, never ever blamed her parents. She loved them so much that she couldn't leave them and she always returned home and never questioned them when they didn't show any love for her or take care of her.

Though she was always greeted with ”Oh, you again” or ”Go away”, she always went back to home. Then, on the day when she turned 13, her parents just left. The only thing that greeted Eri one morning was a note on the table, which said that they have left this place and that Eri was now on her own. There was no writing like ”With love” or even your mother and father. There was just this damn script that Eri was alone.

We were just coming back from Sayu's place one morning and then we found this. 13 is an age in here, when a person is allowed to leave her home and parent's responsibility over them end, though it has gotten higher now days, thanks to Yoshizawa. But Eri didn't want to leave, it was her parents.”

Reina turned to Risa, sorrow visible in her eyes with anger. She walked back to her friend and sat beside her.

“You can only imagine how much that hurt her. Without Sayu with her, Eri would have broken down like she is now. Sayu was always there for her, taking care of her and cherishing her everyday. That kept Eri on going, but it also made the pains she had, to hide inside her soul. Sayu put that happy mask on her face and other friends made her happy too, but Sayu was the most reason for Eri's smile. She was the one who told Eri she wasn't alone and that she would always be there beside her, no matter what...”

A small sniffling sound was heard as Reina tried to fight back against her tears. After she had gotten her eyes under control, she kept on talking.

“But now, Sayu is dead and there's no one with Eri...”

“But we are here!”

Risa said suddenly, getting up once again. Reina smiled sadly, as she shook her head, causing Risa to frown.

“Yes, we are here for her, but without Sayu... It's all in vain.”

Risa tried to find words, but somehow nothing came out. She wanted to tell Reina she was wrong, that Eri would come back to them after she would get over Sayu's death. But there was still things Reina knew, which the bean was oblivious.

“It's true Eri has more people around her than Sayu, but that girl was just something different for Eri. She was the only one who made her feel that she was accepted and that someone cared for her truly. It's not that she doesn't keep us as her friends, no. Eri loves us all and she would be very depressed if one of us died.

But as long as she had Sayu with her, she could overcome anything. Sayu was like a shield who kept all the bad things from getting out of Eri and hide them inside her. With Sayu gone now, no one is sheltering those emotions and bad feelings, so they were able to get free and make Eri depressed. It's hard for someone who hasn't known her for her whole life to understand this situation, but that's what I'm asking from you now, Risa."

Turning to to her friend beside her, Reina shot her a serious yet at the same time very sad look. The bean didn't know what to do again. She didn't understand and she didn't even want to, but she had to. Reina had known Eri for her life, while Risa had known her for about two years. Besides, the kitten was in love with that turtle, so she was the one who knew most about her friend. Keeping silent for a while, Risa finally met Reina's gaze.

“What can we do then?”

She asked quietly. If Sayu had been so vital to Eri, then what could they do without her. Reina turned to look at the sleeping girl, sighing a bit at the same time.

“All we can do now, is to tell her that she will never ever be alone and that she is important to us. We must show her how much we love her as much as possible and foremost, not let her feel alone for a moment.”

Reina said as she turned her gaze first at Risa and then back to Eri. She had determination in her eyes and it seemed like the kitten would really do her everything to make Eri come back to them.

“It will be hard, but I can't just let Eri be. She is too dear for me and I will do anything for her.”

Risa looked up at Reina, who had her hands in tight fists and was looking firmly at Eri. But there was also something else in the middle of that firm look, which was gentleness and caring.

That kitten was truly in love with Eri. This reminded Risa immediately of her own lover and a small smile made it's way on her lips as she thought about Ai. She still had to talk with her, but the bean was sure that things would work out somehow, if they both just wanted to solve these things between them.

“Lets work for that....”

Risa whispered quietly, as she placed her hand on Reina's shoulder, the younger one looking up and smiling at her.

“Yes, lets do that. And... Thank you...”

Smiling a bit more, Risa got up and went beside Eri, patting her forehead gently.

“She might be your loved one, but she is our friend too, you know. We will get her back together.”

Reina nodded her head smiling at the same time, as Risa made her way back to her. She patted the kitten's shoulder gently. After a moment though, the bean leaned downwards and gave her friend a tight hug.

“Don't overwork yourself in here. Take care of yourself, or you wont be able to take care of the others...”

Risa whispered in Reina's ear, as the kitten hugged her back. It felt so good to know that there was someone beside her and that she wasn't alone in this. Reina clutched Risa against her and for a while it felt like she wouldn't let go at all.

“I'll try...”

She finally sai. As they pulled away, Risa punched Reina very lightly in her shoulder.

“Don't try. Do it.”

The kitten only smiled at her friend, but finally nodded her head a bit. She shouldn't indeed worry her other friends, for they probably had their own things to worry about.

“Really, take care of yourself...”

Risa whispered as she started to leave the room. Reina watched after her, smiling gently at her friend, who turned to look at her one more time at the door, before she disappeared from her sight, leaving the turtle and kitten in the room alone.

“I will and you. too...”

Reina whispered after Risa was gone, till she turned back to Eri. The turtle had somehow a calmer expression on her face than a while ago.

'I'm here for you, whenever you need me...'

-----------------------------

A small troop of Yoshizawa's men were on their way back to the Castle. There was about twenty warriors, each of them tired by the war. They were left behind, for someone had to always take care of the clean up. They had also made sure that there was no sign of the enemy trying to attack back. When all this had been made sure of and another troop had come to replace them, they had been able to head back to their home.

'Finally...'

Many of them thought as they traveled on the road. They had been on the move for two days now and if they kept up this speed, it would take only another day to reach home.
As they were travelling on, one of the warriors suddenly stopped and looked back. She was in charge of looking the groups back and something had alarmed her now. Had she heard a sound from behind?

“Oi! What's wrong?”

One warrior who had been walking in front of her shouted. After checking the road and it's surroundings behind her, the female warrior decided finally that she had only heard her own. Waving her hand a bit she signaled her squad mate that everything was okay and they could move on.

This damn war had made them all so tired that they even started to hear and see their own...

-----------------------------------------

A little bit of backgrounds~ Hope you enjoyed!


Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 38/ 30/08
« Reply #152 on: August 30, 2013, 01:27:23 PM »
YESSS AN UPDATEEEE WHOO HOOO!!! :wigglypanda:

ohhh lawdd poor eri  :OMG: poor thing, but i believe reina, risa, and ai together can help her  :hehehe: yep i believe so

that memory turning into a nightmare thing actually scared me  :shock: i was like wat da heck?!?!  but that was kinda awesome



welp i feel like im repeating myself over and over again too but.....i juss cant help myself XD MsSmigge awesome chapter as always and thanks for the background info on eri....im mean who would b DUMB enough to abandon a young eri?!?! :temper: make me catch them parents in walmart :angry1:


oh....one more thing....WHERE DA HECK IS JUNJUN?!!?!??? :mon wtfmm: i totally forgot about her  :sweatdrop:
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 05:27:42 AM by darkacex99 »

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 38/ 30/08
« Reply #153 on: August 30, 2013, 11:51:27 PM »
Oh man, poor Eri. But, a sign of progress from Reina! I feel like you're just waiting for a bit more progress to dump some more danger on us, though XD

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 38/ 30/08
« Reply #154 on: August 31, 2013, 02:29:09 AM »
  :depressed:
I can't move on ..  :err: :fainted: :frustrated: :on blackhole:

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 39/ 8/9
« Reply #155 on: September 08, 2013, 12:23:55 PM »
darkacex99: Jun Jun is somewhere doing her own business  XD *ahem* In a way I forgot her, lol.

rndmnwierd: Nope, I'm not waiting for the progress. I just dump all the danger on you now~

maikeatoot: Aww come on! You can go on! Hey, what if I promise you that though Sayu is dead she wont disappear form this story? XD


So glad to see that people are still reading this~ Thank you for that everyone!  :wub:

My university life officially starts tomorrow and I'm so sure that I'm going to be so lost for the first month. So the next update might be updated after I get used to the life in here. And it might take time....  :lol:

Anyways, here's the next chapter.
Here we go~


Chapter 39 – Opening old wounds


“Stand over there. Spread your arms and legs and lean them on the wall. Look down and stand still.”

Short commands were given by Ai who was guarding the village's main gate. She was in charge of letting people in and out of the village. The situation was so tense at the moment that everyone, even the persons the knew, would be checked before letting them go through the gate. The squad leader had felt that she was healed enough that she could do at least something for the village, so she had offered her help with the guarding. She was still recovering, but with Lin Lin's permission, she was now allowed to do some light work.

Ai was standing about five meters away from the man and as he did as asked, the leader reached her hand out and moved it in front of her, from up to down. At the same time a green light emerged from her hand, scanning through the man's body as Ai moved it up and down. When nothing happened, the leader lowered her hand and nodded at the guards behind her. The man was let inside and the two warrior's went to escort him, leaving Ai stand alone outside the village's gate. She wasn't alone for a long while however, when Mittsui approached her from inside of the gate. The leader smiled tiredly at the younger girl, who very formally bowed to her.

“How are you doing Takahashi-san?” She asked as Ai sat down on a nearby bench, groaning a bit as her wounds stretched.

“I'm fine Aika, thank you.” The leader said and tried to keep her smile up. ”What brings yo here?”

“I just came to check that everything is okay with you.”

A deep sigh escaped her lips as the leader slouched on the bench in order to find a bit comfortable position for her wounded body. There was a wooden walking stick leaning on the bench, for Ai wasn't able to walk without it. Or well, she was, but it was easier with a support, though the squad leader would be happy, if her support had been something else than just a wooden stick. For example, her lover would do well.

A growl erupted from Ai's throat as she was reminded of the situation of their relationship right now. They had met today when Risa had came from the nurse's place and Ai was about to go to her duty to identify the people who were about to enter the village.
When they had encountered, they had stopped and only stared at each others, like back then when Ai was recovering from her mental breakdown. But though they were in the situation they were now, the leader had noticed that her lover was still seemingly still mad at her, there was also something else in the bean's eyes. It had been sorrow and anxiety. She too missed to solve this situation between them and be close to the one she loved the most.

The separation from the bean had also made Ai think about the things they had argued about. Could she someday quit military? Would there be future for her with Risa, even though she wasn't drawing her sword out every day? At first, her answer had been an instant no. But as she had started to run things again in her head, the leader had also calmed down and thought about other options. It was true that she would never know before she tried, but it just felt so odd to think that someday she would wake up and not be a warrior. It just didn't fit.

But she also couldn't understand why Risa couldn't stand it that she would be a warrior in their future, too. Ai could easily get into missions where she didn't have to go far away and she could be at the village quite much. Why wouldn't that work? But then again, the monkey remembered her lover's hate towards the war. It even surprised Ai how the bean had managed to be a warrior for so long time without going mad. She really hated all this war and fighting and if Ai stayed in the military, the war would follow Risa even after it was over.

Groaning, Ai shook her head violently and leaned back, facing the grey sky. She sat in silence for a moment, when she suddenly remembered that Aika was still with her. The leader froze totally and only moved her eyes to see that the younger girl was watching her quite awkwardly.Finally, Ai cleared her throat and lowered her head. She was a bit embarrassed by this, acting like a maniac in front of Mittsui.

“Ano... I can come back later if you want to be alone, Takahashi-san.”

The younger girl added quickly as she noticed how uncomfortable the leader was. Ai didn't get a chance to say much when the Mittsui had already went pass her and was walking away from the village gate. She was probably on her way to her parents or something, for it was quite rare to exit the village at times like these. After Mittsui was gone, Ai groaned again and let her head fall backwards so that it hit quite painfully the wall behind her. The leader sat like this for a long while and even closed her eyes for a moment. Why was she like this? Why was she so stubborn and always made people disappear around her? Why...

Suddenly, there were noises closing in. At first, Ai was sure she was hearing things but then, she was sure that she heard footsteps. Yes, footsteps and they were approaching her. Turning to look, she could see a small troop of warriors approaching her and immediately, the leader got alarmed. But as she noticed their clothing, she relaxed very soon. It was just their own men. As the person at the front got closer, somehow a funny feeling rose in Ai's mind. For some reason, her alarm clocks were ringing and something told her that everything wasn't all right.

When the group reached her, Ai signaled them that they should stop and mount their horses. The group did as asked and soon there was the whole 20 warriors group on their feed ready to be checked. Ai stood up, using the stick beside her as a support. She then turned towards the warriors and reached her hand out, scanning the whole group. This all scanning was one kind of a spell breaker; it dispelled all the used magic in case someone was trying to fake their identity, clothes or something like that with it. This was to make sure that no one who tried to come inside in a disguise would enter.

When not noticing anything abnormal, Ai showed that everything was okay and that they could go inside. The group did once again as asked, but few of them stayed behind. They approached Ai and stopped few meters away from her. One of them was hanging her head down and clutching her arm.

“Takahashi, can you please help with this one? She is wounded badly in arm and needs help!” A female warrior beside the wounded one pleaded.

Alarmed, Ai introduced the two supporters to get the warrior to the nurse, but for some reason they refused. Immediately, Ai wanted to outrank the warriors and order them to go, but she managed to keep her calm. Being the good leader, she only groaned and rubbed her forehead.

“Is it that urgent?” The leader asked, but didn't get any closer. For some reason, she didn't want to approach these persons, though she probably should have at least checked the wound. Something just wasn't right.

“It is and since we are so bad in magic, we can't heal even a wound this small.”

Sighing a bit, Ai waved her hand and intended the trio to come closer. By now, the rest of the group was entering the village's gates, as Ai started to examine the wounded one.

“Lets see this then....” She said and started to examine the wound. The warrior however did nothing in order to move her hand away. She only hung her head low and whimpered something.

“Move your hand away.” Ai commanded, but the warrior didn't move. Ai said her command again, when the warrior whined a bit again.

“Itai....”

The voice sounded familiar, but Ai couldn't quite say where she had heard it. This one might have been one of her students and she might have talked with her once. Maybe that was why she remembered the voice...

“I know it hurts, but I can't check it, if you don't move your hand...” There was a silence, till the warrior did as asked. At the same time, something hit the young leader.

'It is and since we are so bad in magic, we can't heal even a wound this small.'

Bad at magic? Though everyone couldn't be good at everything, all the warriors in this land were taught at least the basics of the healing magic. If this wound was so small, they should be able to take care of it. Just when the bad feeling took over Ai again, her eyes landed to the wound which the warrior had just revealed. Or better, to an uninjured arm.

“What...”

Suddenly, the warrior's head shot up and Ai was pinned against the wall behind her, a growl escaping her lips as her wounded leg got some weight on it. Her walking stick fell down and now the squad leader had nothing to support on. Her leg hurt like hell and her shoulder wasn't any better as the stranger kept on pressing her against the wall.

“You know what hurts too?”

The familiar voice spoke again and now Ai knew where she had recognized it. She couldn't mistake it. Opening her eyes and staring in those dark obs, anger and shock rose in Ai, but she didn't have a moment to act or talk at all, as the person who had murdered her father and sister acted first.

“Betrayal, and opening old wounds.”

Suddenly, a tearing pain shot through Ai's shoulder as one of the ”wounded warrior's” supporters hit her injured shoulder. As the sword was pulled away, blood started to rush out from the wound. Ai cursed in pain, but she wouldn't give up. However, her enemy had learned by now, how to get rid of the persons whom would cause trouble if left unnoticed. They would make sure, that Ai would never again come and ruin their plans. In no time, another hit was served to the young leader, as she felt her injured leg hit by a sword. The squad leader almost passed out, but somehow she managed to stay awake. She felt how she was lifted up by her collar, the pressure strangling her. But the strangling didn't last long for some reason. Ai could hear some voices, but she couldn't catch the words clearly.

The last thing she remembered was her father killer's blurry face and a fist as she was knocked out of cold and thrown in a nearby bush and let bleed to death.

---------------------

Risa closed her home's door quietly and took her shoes off. She had just come from the nurse's place and was very exhausted. She hadn't slept well and all that had been around her for the last two days was just death, blood and crying.
The bean sighed deeply as she walked to her bedroom, where she landed on her bed with a loud thud. Throwing her arms above her head, Risa looked up at the ceiling and just let all kind of things to run through her head. Everyone had been so down lately and it felt like even the weather was against everyone's happiness and well being. Of course, there wasn't much to joy, for so many had died, one of the dead ones being their dear friend.

The bean shook her head as all kind of pictures stared to flow in her mind. No, she didn't want to think about that now. She wanted all this madness to end now and things to get back like they were.

'Though they can never be like they were... Not without Sayu...'

Groaning, Risa turned on her side, which caused something to poke her in her stomach. Opening her eyes, the bean sat up and dived her hand inside her coat. Soon, her hand came in contact with a pipe like thing.

“Eh?”

Pulling her hand away, the bean could see the object. Immediately after this, she groaned and collapsed back on her bed. Damn it, she had forgotten one of the things Lin Lin used with her patients so they could breath better. Well, Risa had taken one away from a patient who didn't need it anymore and for some reason had kept it for herself. She had been so tired that her brain hadn't worked well and that's why she had ended up taking the pipe with her.

'I have to get this back... Lin Lin might need it.'

These pipes were quite rare and the nurse had only about five of them. Many patients who were unconscious and had difficulties with breathing needed these so it was important that Risa brought the one she had back. It really was needed right now so she had to get her ass up and go.
Groaning once again, Risa got up and went to her shoes. Just when she was about to put them on, she noticed something beside them. Ai had left her normal shoes in here and had forgotten to take them with her. A memory came to the bean's mind as she remembered the day she had moved in this apartment. That was the night she finally started to melt the ice between her and the leader, that night Ai had secretly smiled at her and that night, Risa had thanked her....

A sad smile appeared on Risa's face as she sighed deeply. Damn she missed that monkey so much. She had thought a lot of things after their fight and the truth to be told, the bean had maybe asked too much from her lover. Their future indeed was unsure, though Risa truly wanted to spend it with Ai, but still, it was quite early to talk about things like family and such. They needed to live day by day and not to plan everything too much beforehand.

Also, if being a warrior was something Ai truly desired, Risa had no rights to ask her lover to give it up. True, the bean hated all that was related to the war and was always afraid when Ai was out on the field, but she just had to grow used to it. There wasn't always wonderful things to do and sometimes some shitty things had to be done too. They really needed to talk with each others. Putting her shoes on, Risa went out of the door and headed to the nurse's place. As she walked on, she could notice a warrior group, which was moving quite quickly as if they were in a rush. Smiling a bit, Risa waved her arm to greet them, but for some reason, no one answered. Frowning a bit, Risa lowered her arm. Maybe they were just tired because of the war, so they didn't notice her or maybe they were indeed in rush.

But she didn't have time to think about that now. Lin Lin might need this item she was holding any moment now. Starting to run slightly, Risa continued on till she reached the nurse's place. She went to the front door, and just when she was about to open it she heard something crash inside. Alarmed, the bean threw the door open, only to be greeted with a flying pot. Crouching down she dodged it and immediately after that raised her head up to see what the heck had just happened. But Risa didn't get much chances to explore her surroundings when something suddenly hit her from behind, knocking her down to the ground. With a groan Risa fell face first to the floor, a throbbing pain travelling through her head. In some magical way, the bean managed to keep her consciousness.

“What the....”

Suddenly, she was kicked in her side, which caused pain to travel through her whole midsection. Forcing her eyes open, Risa tried to get a look of her attacker. But the only thing she saw was a warrior, who had a same kind of armor as they had. Was that warrior the attacker? Why did he or she attack her own? Suddenly, there was another crash, which caused the warrior who was just about to kick Risa again, to look up. There was another pot flying through the air, but this time, it was followed by a woman who had a bloodstained white clothes.

“Lin Lin?”

Risa mumbled as she tried to get up. Her head ached and she was sure that there was also something broken in her side, but the bean soldiered on and got on her feet. By then, Lin Lin had managed to get the intruder to the ground. The warrior was trying to get up, but the nurse mad a very well aimed kick in the samurai's neck. There was a loud crack, which was followed with a thud as the death warriors head fell down on the floor. Risa's eyes widened in shock as she watched the nurse in disbelief, but before she could say or do anything, the Lin Lin had ripped the helmet away from the warrior's head, revealing it's face. At the same time, she ripped a pendant away from the samurai's neck, showing it to Risa. A gasp escaped the bean's lips as she watched the male warrior and the pendant. He was a Heng warrior, but why had she Kibo's soldiers uniform? How did he get in.... Suddenly, the bean remembered the warriors from before who hadn't greeted her. Could it be...

“It's just what you're thinking of...”

Lin Lin said sternly, as she straightened herself. The nurse then rushed in a nearby room and when she came out, she had two swords with her. She tied both swords on her belt and made sure that they were easy to reach.

“I'll keep things safe in here, you go warn the others and protect them, though I think they already know about this...”

Risa being still very shocked of what had happened a while ago, only stared in space. Everything had happened just too fast and so many thoughts run in her head, immobilizing the girl completely.

“RISA!”

The nurse's voice finally snapped the bean out of her thoughts. Only now did Risa look around herself. There were few more corpses lying on the room's floor, which Lin Lin had taken care of. Looking up, Risa nodded at the other female, who answered by a nod as well.

“I'll manage, you go help the others.”

The bean was about to question the nurse, but after looking at the corpses again, she was sure, that her friend would manage. But there was something else that she was worried about.

"I'll watch after Tanaka ans Kamei. And they are safe."

Lin Lin said as she anticipated what the bean was about to ask her. Knowing that her friends were safe and that Lin Lin would protect them, the bean made her way to the door. Before she left, she turned once more to Lin Lin.

“Take care of yourself.”

The nurse only nodded and with that, the two friends separated their ways. When the bean got out, the whole village had noticed the enemy inside the gates. Many warriors were fighting on the street as civilians tried to get their children to safe. Anger boiled in Risa as she saw some fallen, men and women, warriors and civilians. How did they even get inside? Of course it was hard to notice them when they had this disguise, but still, something like this should never happen... As Risa started to run through the streets she tried to avoid battles as much as possible. These warriors in here could manage with this, but the Palace might have had less guardians. The bean kept on running, all the time wishing that she was not late and that her friends would be safe...

-------------------------------

“Block that door! You, take care of that window! You two, come with me!”

Orders were shout in the Palace as everyone were running around and trying to protect the area. The enemy had gotten to the main gate of the Palace, when one of the intruders had gotten impatient and attacked too early. This had been a good thing to Kibo's people, but the enemy had still gotten too far.
Miki cursed as she dodged an arrow which flew from an open window. Damn, this wasn't a good thing that she had to take cover in her own basement! Reaching for her own bow, the captain took the arrow from the wall behind her. She took a peek from the window, before crouching down again. Another arrow followed and when that was gone, Miki rose a bit, took aim and shot her own arrow. There was a pained cry from outside, as the archer that had teased her fell to the ground the arrow piercing his abdomen.

'Idiot...'

Miki mumbled as she changed her place to another window, so the enemy wouldn't know her position so easily. It seemed, that no one else hadn't noticed her so the captain decided to investigate her enemy. There was a group about ten warriors out there and they were heading to destination, for they moved in a rush. Looking ahead, Miki tried to figure out where they were about to go, when she suddenly realized their destination.

“No way....”

“Get down!”

A growl was heard as the captain was pulled down to the ground. Another arrow flew inside from the window and hit the back wall. Miki looked up and saw Goto crouching above her. The general took something from the belt on her waist and with one sift movement, she threw the object out of the window. Soon, there was a shriek and then a loud thud as something fell to the ground.

“General? What are you...”

But Goto didn't listen. Instead, she dragged Miki up and started to walk quickly towards the main door of the Palace.

“We got to protect this.”

The general said and let go of Miki, the captain still staring at her friend in disbelief. First of all, Goto should be recovering. She had lost her other arm, and there was only tied up sleeve where her right arm should have been. Second, why was she here? She should be at the nurse's place! There was a loud bang at the door, when the enemy tried to get inside.

“Now is not the time to think about what the heck I am doing in here, captain! Take your stance and get ready to fight!!”

Goto boomed, as she took her sword with her left and only hand. The general took a better stance and prepared herself to a fight. Miki watched her friend with concern, but she did as ordered. Taking her bow, the captain went beside her friend, taking a fighting position as well.
She took an arrow from her holster and got ready to shoot. There was a loud banging on the door and after few hits, it flew open, revealing a group of six persons, all enemy's warriors. Miki aimed quickly and shot the arrow away, hitting bullseye as one warrior fell down to the ground.

In no time, the captain drew her own sword and was about to attack, when there was suddenly one more arrow flying through the air. It came from behind the captain and general and hit one enemy's warrior in her leg, immobilizing the samurai immediately.
Looking behind, Miki could see a young girl with one other warrior approaching them. As they came closer, the captain could finally recognize the duo.

“Mittsui? Takahashi?”

“Heads up!!”

Goto yelled and as Miki spun around, the rest of the group were approaching them with a speed, ready to attack. The captain blocked the first one who reach her and with one sift movement punched the warrior in stomach. This caused him to stop and gasp in pain, while Miki just raised her sword and hit the man in his neck. Goto also took care of one soldier, but as she made her final hit, pain shot through her body. Cursing, the general fell to her knees as she tried to stay conscious.

“MAKI!!”

Miki yelled as she tried to help her friend, but Aika was faster. She ran beside the general, blocking the next enemy's attack and making sure that the woman who had attacked her could not move away. By now, Ai had limped closer. She raised her sword with her good arm and pierced the enemy's stomach. After this, Aika moved a bit forwards with Miki, ready to take care of the rest of group. There were only two left, so it should not be so hard. One of them was very unskilled warrior, like the others had been. But the other one was visibly more skilled and it took a lot of concentration even for Miki to keep up with the other female.

It didn't take long when Aika was knocked out cold by the skilled warrior, leaving Miki alone with her. Meanwhile, Ai was beside Goto, trying to treat her wound and keep herself awake. It was a miracle she was even alive, for she had lost so much blood. Thanks to Aika, who had found her when she had returned to the squad leader, Ai was back in this battle. But she wasn't much help, for her condition was so bad. She had only introduced the younger girl to get in here and help her with the enemy. Right now, there was just no way that Ai could take care of someone, when she barely could take care of herself.

“General, hang on...”

Ai groaned, when her world made few spins. When her vision was back to normal, the group leader could see how the enemy stabbed Miki in her weapon arm, causing the captain to drop her sword. Miki used her other hand as she reached for her smaller sword, but before she could wield it, the enemy hit her in face, causing Miki to lose her balance. The captain fell down and started to crawl backwards. She had lost both her weapons and she couldn't find her third one. The enemy warrior approached them, laughing as she did so.

“Ah, what a pleasant sight.” She mocked as she kept on approaching the trio. Goto had by now passed out in blood loss and Ai was not far behind. The treatment Aika had done to her had only ceased the bleeding but it hadn't treated it at all. The wound was about to open again and the pain was almost unbearable. Miki was the only one who was still able fight. As she got closer to her friends, she suddenly noticed Ai's sword the squad leader had dropped down. Reaching for that, the captain took the weapon and got quickly up. She stood in front of the two wounded ones, protecting them from the enemy.

“Haha, you wont stand for a long while captain”, The Heng laughed as she got ready to attack again. She would have her sweet victory and get rid of these three whom had been the biggest trouble to her and her sister. Now, she would get rid of them forever. Just when Min was about to strike again, something hit her from behind. Sharp pain traveled through her back and as she turned around, she found another warrior behind her. Ai saw all this through her blurred vision, but she could recognize that something had changed in the battle. Concentrating, the squad leader tried to get her vision clear, but she didn't need to. Even if she was blind, she would recognize that figure, who was standing behind the Heng, ready to fight.

“Risa...”

And indeed, it was her lover. Though the circumstance was not the best one, Ai was extremely happy to see Risa well and okay. The bean had come to the scene just in time. Now, they had upper hand in this. Seeing her opportunity, Miki moved forwards and kicked Min in her knee, breaking it with a loud crack. The enemy fell down screaming. Min had been totally surprised by Risa and of course, she had turned around to look who had attacked her. This had been a mistake, which the captain had used. Min screamed in pain as she was on her knees, but soon her voice died down as Miki gave her final strike. The sword hit Min's neck and shoulder, causing the female warrior only squeal something, till blood spilled out of her mouth and her lifeless body fell to the ground.

Both Miki and Risa were panting heavily, though they had not done much physical work. It was always very stressing when a person was in a fight, so their heartbeat was higher than it should be, just because of the stress. When Ai noticed that there was no more threat, the group leader allowed herself to relax. She fell down to the ground beside Goto, letting out a tired sigh as her body finally got to rest. But she couldn't rest for a long while, for someone was already on her side.

“Ai...”

It ws Risa's voice and damn, did it feel good to hear her lover. Ai managed to push her eyes open somehow and just before she passed out, she smiled at Risa. Then, her body went numb as the squad leader lost her consciousness. The bean immediately tried Ai's neck and when she felt her pulse, she calmed down. She was unconscious and when treated, everything would be okay. Ai would make it and all she needed was just Lin Lin magic skills.

“You all right?”

Miki asked as she came beside Risa, carrying the now unconscious Mittsui in her arms. Risa nodded in response as she cradled Ai in her arms and checked her wounds at the same time. Her old wounds were open, but they were not bleeding very badly. She also had a black eye and her neck was a bit blue, which told about hits in her face. Ai would survive this, Risa was sure of it.

Suddenly there was a rush of footsteps heard from outside. Both Miki and Risa tensed up, ready to fight again. But it was not needed now. At first, Jun Jun ran inside. She was holding two swords in her hands and she also had a bow attached on her back. When she noticed that the path was clear and that there were only their own warriors, she gave few hand signals. Soon, Yoshizawa followed after her, surrounded by four warriors, who were all armed with bows. The king herself had also two swords drawn out. Her dress was a bit torn and in blood, which told that she had had some fights today. When noticing the persons in the room, the king turned around and called someone. To Risa's surprise and relief, Lin Lin came to her sight and rushed immediately to her side. The nurse smiled shortly at the bean and started to treat Goto and Ai.

"Jun Jun, go make sure that Rika and Akira are safe. Report me immediately what's the situation out there."

Yoshizawa gave orders to Jun Jun and the councilor was soon off to fulfill her king's will. After the panda was gone, Yoshizawa walked to her warriors and looked them all with concern. Especially, when she saw the state of Goto, Ai and Mittsui, the king's face looked very sad. But soon, her attention was drawn by the corpses on the ground. As Yoshizawa noticed whom her soldiers had taken down, her eyes widened. They had killed Min, Heng's sister? What she had heard, Min was quite skilled fighter and cruel too. Even Miki and Goto would have had trouble taking her down.
At the same time, this was very good and very bad thing. Good, that they got one enemy leader less to deal with. Bad, for Heng surely would seek revenge after her fallen sister.

“My lord!!”

A warrior called from the door, causing the king to spin around. Yoshizawa looked at the man who came closer and gave her some kind of information, the king listening carefully. She felt silent and seemed to be deep in thoughts, before the man was sent away with some orders.

“What's the situation?” Miki asked as she came closer to her king, still carrying Mittsui in her arms.

“One of them escaped, but she is the only survivor. That's all we know now.” The king spoke quietly. She didn't look up but she still seemed to be deep in thoughts. ”Captain, explore the whole village and it's surroundings. Enemy might be hiding somewhere and we must make sure that our village is safe again.”

The king ordered suddenly as she looked the captain sternly. Miki could see how their usually cheerful and even a bit goofy king was worried. And the captain didn't wonder why. In the end, their village had just suffered a surprise attack and they had lost many warriors and civilians. Also, this touched now the kings family too and the fact that Yoshizawa didn't know their situation right now, made anxiety grow inside her heart.

"Roger that." Miki said simply and spun around as she made her way to Risa, passing the unconscious Mittsui to her.

“Take care of her too. I have a mission to do.”

“Do you need help?” The bean offered, but Miki only shook her head. She waved at the too warriors nearby which caused them to walk closer.

“I have enough men to do this. You take care of these gyus here.” Miki said as she nodded towards Ai, Risa following after. A worried expression washed over her as she was reminded of her lover's condition.

“She will survive.” A hand landed on Risa's shoulder and when she looked up, she saw Miki looking down at her, smiling gently. ”She has seen worse.”

Smiling shortly, Risa nodded her head, till she turned back to Ai. Miki left with her men to do her orders, while Risa was left with Lin Lin and the wounded ones. Soon, more men came to help and the wounded ones were finally moved to the nurse's place. The whole time, Risa made sure to keep hold of her lover's hand. She didn't let go and especially, when she felt Ai squeeze lightly back, the bean made sure not to lose the contact with her.

'She will survive. She has seen worse... Please, Ai. Stay strong...'

--------------------------------------

More drama, but now there's at least some kind of light at the end of the tunnel~  :lol: Hope you enjoyed!


Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline rndmnwierd

  • Subleader of Tsunku's Army
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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 39/ 8/9
« Reply #156 on: September 08, 2013, 05:53:54 PM »
I see the light~!~! Risa finally realizing that they just need to be together. Ah, but more war is bad war. Will Eri recover in enough time for her and Reina to join the fighting?

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 39/ 8/9
« Reply #157 on: September 08, 2013, 05:56:15 PM »
oh mah lawd things just arent looking too bright Dx

linlin is a true chinese assassin the way she took out dat guy *KA-POW*

 :yep:

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 40/ 25/9
« Reply #158 on: September 25, 2013, 10:19:44 PM »
rndmnwierd: Yes, there's the light! XD But I think I can't say the same for Eri and Reina...

darkacex99: The situation is getting brighter and brighter. Just wait and see~ And yeah, Lin Lin shows her inner fighter skills once in a while  :lol:

As always, thank you everyone for your interest once again~

Should be doing something else than posting this *Glares English critical summary exercise which lies few feet away*.  I will finish it during this weekend. Yeah, Right...

The next chapter, here we go~


Chapter 40 – You're always forgiven


After the surprise attack there were no new reports from the battle front at all. This surprised everyone quite much for they had thought that the enemy would want revenge after they had lost one of their officers. And more than anything, the killed enemy leader had been Heng's sister and everyone thought she would seek for vengeance. But no, there was no information of the enemy and Jun Jun and her squad hadn't seen any action in enemy lines on their spy missions.

Maybe it was the unsuccessful surprise attack that had frozen the whole enemy group, but it was more than okay for the people in Kibo. They had had quite big losses after the attack and moreover, their general and the best squad leader were still out of the game. It had also been a close call that they hadn't lost them in the battle, since both of the warriors had still been recovering and even a small exercise or wound could have caused fatal damages to them.

The guarding had been made stronger and the borders were under a very strict control now. Everyone, even own people, were checked and no one was allowed to pass unless her or his personality was 100% sure. Attacks like this couldn't be taken anymore and whenever there were people to be checked, there was always at least two guards keeping an eye on the situation. That way, they could act and at least give away a warning, if someone tried to attack through the main gate.

It was quite a pretty day and the village was back in it's normal life. But thought everything seemed normal, people were under a lot of pressure. There was all the time the fear that the enemy would attack again and the nervousness was shown on people's faces. But still, in some magical way the village seemed to work as if it had been the time of peace. In the end, war had always been part of these people's lives so they had learnt to live with it. As people were passing by the nurse's place, Risa watched out of a window after them with sad eyes. She was sitting beside a bed which had a patient lying in it. The person was asleep, but her hand was held by Risa who sometimes stroked it gently.

It had been one week after the attack and though everything was still under a mess, the situation had remarkably calmed down from what it had been. The borders were now under a very strict guarding and some villages were even under one kind of ”quarantine”. Yoshizawa had given out an order that before everyone would have been identified in every single village,  no one was allowed to leave the country or their home village.

This village had had quite few casualties, but they still had their best warriors out of the game. Goto had been unconscious for the whole week and hadn't shown any kind of signs of waking up. Ai in turn was recovering quite quickly, but she was still ordered to stay in bed for her state could falter anytime. Lin Lin had decided that she would make the squad leader heal fully, before allowing her to get out of the nurse's place. The nurse had claimed that it had been a mistake to let the still recovering patient to leave for duty. Getting her old wounds opened and even some new ones, Lin Lin had suspected that Ai's recovery would slow down considerably.

Also, the squad leader had shown signs of losing her mental balance. For example, she didn't recognize the people around her and all she said was very incoherent. It was probably because of her exhaustion and the fact that Lin Lin had had to pump her full of painkillers once again so the leader wouldn't lose her last remains of sense.

And then there was Eri and Reina. The girl was still in depression, grieving after her dead lover. Reina in turn hadn't moved from her side and she refused to do anything else than take care of her dear friend and loved one. Risa closed her eyes as she remembered the incident when they had gotten Goto and Ai back to the nurse's place after the enemy had been defeated. It was something she truly wanted to forget.

'Risa was carrying Ai to the nurse's place with Lin Lin as Miki was taking care of the general and Mittsui with some other warriors. They had made temporary stretcher for both of them because it made it easier to carry the wounded ones. As they walked through the streets, Risa could see some corpses laying on their way. There were both warriors and civilian, enemy and their own. Sorrow and anger filled the young warrior's mind and she couldn't help but remember her own village. No matter what, her past and this war would probably follow her forever.

Finally the nurse's place was seen in front of them and the bean let out a sigh of relief. But she couldn't enjoy the feel of comfort for long, when she suddenly heard screaming from inside.

Alarmed, everyone stopped and Miki ordered few men nearby to come with her. It was a good thing that almost any man or women possessed some kind of samurai skills, more or less, so they could be used whenever needed. After leaving Mittusi and Goto under someone else's care, the captain rushed inside with the warriors. The rest of the group waited outside till the path was clear for them. It didn't take for a long when Miki emerged from the building, but instead of waving everyone that they could come over, she went behind the corner, not saying a word.

Risa frowned for this meant everything wasn't all right. She asked Lin Lin to look after Ai as she dashed after the captain. When she turned around the corner, she found Miki leaning on the wall, looking up at the sky. Not having enough courage to ask what was wrong, Risa just waited till Miki would do or say something. The empty look in her eyes told the bean that there was indeed something wrong now. Finally, the captain turned her gaze to Risa and straightened herself. She looked pale and the younger girl was sure, that the captain was going to say something harsh to her. Gathering her courage, the bean gulped once before she asked with a shaking voice.

“Is... Is everything all right?”

Risa didn't know why, but she just felt so damn scared because of Miki. The way the older woman acted was just something very agonizing. But at the same time, the bean felt worry, because she knew that Eri and Reina were still inside the building and if something had happened to them... No, Risa didn't want to think something like that. She would absolutely break down, if she lost anymore of her friends.

“Not quite...”

Miki whispered finally, as she walked pass Risa and went to the front door. The bean followd close behind her, desiring to know were her friends all right. The captain walked to the door and opened it for Risa. She extended her hand inside and the bean followed with her gaze. What she saw was something horrible; There were few dead warriors, all enemy's, on the floor and behind them was Reina who was holding Eri in her arms. The older girl was gripping her friend's coat tightly and her head was buried in her shoulder. Eri's face was red from crying and Risa could also see blood on her clothes. But it wasn't the thing that disgusted her the most; there was blood everywhere, on the floor, walls and even on the ceiling. It looked liked there had been a massacre instead of a normal fight.

Alarmed and still not knowing if her friends were hurt or not, Risa ran inside but was soon stopped by Reina who had noticed her. Confused, the bean did as asked and she halted few feet away from her friends. They stayed still, Eri's sobbing being the only sound in the room. Suddenly, a light shot behind Risa, hitting the turtle in her head and knocking her out. The bean spun around alarmed, but calmed down when she noticed Lin Lin walking towards them. The nurse had her hand extended out which told Risa that she had been the one to ”shoot” Eri. The nurse walked to Reina and patted her shoulder, implying that she should let go of the turtle.

Bur Reina insisted and instead just stood up an carried Eri with her in the room where the turtle had been the whole time after Sayu's death. Lin Lin followed after them, leaving Risa stand alone in the room with the warriors behind her. Soon, she followed after the two and  made her way beside the bed where Reina had placed Eri down. The kitten sat down on a nearby chair, while Lin Lin just started to treat the turtle. There was a heavy silence as everyone was looking at the turtle with concern. Finally, Reina broke the silence with her hoarse voice:

“She doesn't want to live anymore.”

”What?” Risa gasped, her eyes widening in surprise. She must have heard wrong what her friend had just said. The kitten didn't continue immediately but when she did, the bean could hear how her voice cracked.

“She... She asked an enemy warrior....” Suddenly, Reina buried her face in her hands as she fought back the tears. But this time, it was no use as the kitten suddenly started to cry violently. Her crying wasn't very feminine kind, as it sounded more like the warrior was yelling in rage. In no time Risa was beside her friend, trying to comfort her.

“She... She.. Dammit...”

Reina sobbed as she took a hold of Risa's arm. Though her friend's grip was very strong and it almost hurt Risa, the bean wouldn't move away. She was there for her friend, supporting her and trying to tell her by her presence that kitten wasn't alone.

“She asked.... the enemy...”

Reina tried to continue on, till she finally spat out what she was about to say. But this time, her voice didn't come out as a cry; it was full of hate and anger, causing shivers to run down Risa's spine.

“She asked the enemy...To kill her...”

Risa gasped loudly as she heard Reina's words. This just couldn't be...

“She has lost her will to live....” The kitten sobbed as she slowly turned her face to the unconscious Eri who as now treated by Lin Lin. ”I don't know.... I don't know what I should do now...”

As she watched her friend, who by now had her sad face again, Risa couldn't help but feel her heart scatter in pieces. First Sayu's death, then Ai's wounding and now this. She was so broken when she listened to her friends crying and watched the other one, who had lost her will to live. This all felt like madnes and Risa just wanted to pinch herself and wake up from this nightmare. She wanted to wake up and see her friends, every one of them healthy and happy. She wanted to see Ai and be with her. Damn, she wanted this fucking war to end and everyone live in peace. All this suffering and pain. She would take those away from her friends lives.

As the kitten kept on sobbing in her arms, Risa slowly tightened her hold around Reina. The bean promised herself that this would end someday and she would do her best in erasing her friends pain. It would probably never disappear, but Risa would do everything in her power, so she could at least lessen it. She would do that.'


Risa was awoken from her thoughts, when she felt something squeeze her hand tightly. Soon, the bean heard groaning beside her and when she turned to look, she found Ai turning in the bed. The leader tossed around few times, before she opened her eyes slowly and tried to sit up. But Risa wouldn't have any of that as she quite harshly pushed her lover immediately back to the bed.

“Rest.”

The younger girl commanded firmly. Her voice caused Ai to snap her eyes fully open and turn her gaze to Risa. She was staring at the bean like she had seen a ghost and the bean couldn't help but chuckle at how stupid her girlfriend looked at the moment. She had missed that deer in the headlights face so much but more than anything, she wanted to see her lover well and okay. The fact that Ai was alive in front of her was something the bean had really been praying for.

“Risa...”

Ai whispered. This caused Risa to look at her surprised, for the leader hadn't said anything to her during her recovering. She had been awake few times, but all that time, Ai had turned her gaze furiously around the room and not recognizing anyone. Had her head finally cleared enough so she could identify the people around her? Deciding to find out, Risa leaned a bit towards Ai and gently caressed the older one's cheek with her free hand. She called her name gently, hoping that something would happen. But soon, the bean noticed how Ai was still staring at her with the same expression. It wasn't a good sign. The bean sighed and smiled sadly, before she leaned forwards and places a gentle kiss on the leader's forehead. It still seemed Ai was a mess and couldn't recognize people around her. Risa shouldn't force her, but to let her recover in her own pace. It would do more harm to try and quicken the recovering than let the time heal the wounds.

But when Risa pulled away and was about to straighten herself up, she felt how she was pulled back down. In no time tow arms wrapped around her upper body and crushed her against something warm. For a moment Risa was sure that her circulation would be cut, for Ai was hugging her so tightly. But that wasn't in the bean's mind for a long while, when she suddenly remembered Ai's wounds. Alarmed, the bean tried to get away and scold the older one for being so reckless

But Risa couldn't think about that for long when her head was forcefully tugged up and familiar lips were firmly pressed on her owns. At first, she tried to pry herself free and managed to get in sitting position, but when the kiss grew deeper and a familiar and warm feeling started to spread inside of her, Risa just let it go. In no time and unconsciously, she found her own hands shoot up and tangle in Ai's hair as she tried to deepen the kiss. God, how she had longed for this. All the worry about the leader's wounds flew out of the window as she was finally able to feel something she had longed for so much.

Just the feeling of Ai's skin and warm body made the bean forget all the sorrow in the world. The strong arms around her would protect her from all the harm and pain. Risa felt like she was at home in Ai's arms. But when the need of oxygen forced the two desperately kissing lovers to part from each others, the true world came crashing down. Everything was like it had been a while ago and nothing had changed. There had been just that one bliss moment when Ai had kissed Risa which had lasted way too short time. After the kiss, the leader reached her hand up and stroked Risa's hair slowly, examining the younger girl's face like she had never ever seen that before.

“Thank God, you're all right...”

Ai whispered as she pulled Risa back in her arms and hugged her tightly. The bean just let the older one hold her. It felt so good to be in her lover's arms again and Ai was feeling the same. When she had been wounded at the villages gates, the first thing she had thought was that Risa was in danger. After Aika had healed her so that she could walk somehow and stay awake, the leader had dashed immediately to the Palace for she knew that Risa was assigned in there. All she had thought when she had seen the corpses was that Risa could be within them. She could have been surprised by the enemy and dead. But when Ai had seen her at the Palace the squad leader couldn't have been more happier. Risa was alive and safe, so there was no need to worry anymore. And now that her head had finally cleared and she was seeing something else than the ghosts from her past, the leader had acted instinctively as she had seen her lover. It just felt so good to be back in the place where she belonged to.

They stayed like this for a long while, just enjoying each others closeness and the truth that both were alive and okay. Or well, Risa was, for Ai still had her injuries. But she could have been worse. Now, she only felt some muscle aches and sometimes dizziness, but otherwise she was okay. Ai didn't know how long they had stayed like this, but suddenly she remembered the time before this whole downhill had started. The earlier fight made the leader frown and she didn't want it to ruin this moment. She had also done a lot of thinking after they had returned from the last battle and there was a way Ai was going to fix this. She would at least try. Tightening her hold around Risa, the leader buried her head in the bean's hair and gained the younger one's attention at the same time.

“I'm sorry.”

Frowning, Risa tried to look at Ai's face, but the leader wouldn't have any of it. She was sorry and she truly regretted what she had said to her lover before. Realizing her defeat, the bean only sighed and let the older woman just hold her.

“Why are you apologizing?” She mumbled, though she pretty well knew where this was going. There was a silence till Ai pushed Risa a bit away from her in order to look in the younger girls eyes.

“For everything I said to you back then...” Ai said, shaking her head slowly at the same time. ”I said something I didn't mean to and now... I have realized how selfish I mush have sounded.”

Risa listened, for she knew that if she even tried to interrupt Ai now, the leader would only make her quiet down. In a way or another.

“When I noticed the traitors, I got so scared when I didn't know where you were and what was your situation. It made me think how you must feel when I am away on the field.” Ai was all the time stroking Risa's soft hair with her hand, calming the bean down. The way the older one was talking in a low and tranquil voice, made her feel even more calm and the rage she had felt before didn't erupt this time. ”And what I said about you dwelling in your self pity...”

Ai continued and Risa felt how her chin was lifted up and she ended up facing her lover. The leader had pain and sorrow in her eyes, like she had had half a year ago. It made the bean hurt inside and more than anything she wanted that pain to be wiped away from her lover's eyes.

“I have no rights to measure how much pain you have endured during this war. And because it's partially my fault, I should just shut my mouth up about this.”

At first Risa thought how great this was. Ai was finally realizing how the war and being a warrior would affect their future and they could probably solve this problem. But the bean knew she wasn't the only one in this fight. She had also asked and said something she shouldn't have. She had kind of gained victory in this quarrel, but it wasn't the sweet one she had wanted a while ago. In truth she felt bad how Ai was so sincerely apologizing her. It made her to want to speak her mind out even more.

“Will you forgive me?” Ai asked suddenly, confusing Risa. But she gathered herself soon and finally got her own turn to open her heart.

“I will, but,” There was fear in Ai's eyes as she heard the magical word but. Risa noticed this and she acted quickly, so the older one wouldn't understand anything wrong. The bean encircled her arms around Ai's neck and looked deep in her eyes. The leader just stared at her all the time, ready to hear her judgement.

“But, I want you to listen up what I want to tell you.”

Nodding her head, Ai showed that she was listening and the bean opened her heart to her lover.

“First of all, I am the one who should be apologizing you.” When Ai gasped, Risa quickly put her finger in front of her mouth. She wasn't finished yet and her lover should listen to her now.

“I was the one who asked a selfish question and talked only about my future, not thinking how it would affect you. I also lost my temper too easily and said something I really didn't mean to say...”

As she spoke, Risa slowly moved her hand away from Ai's lips and placed it on her cheek. The leader didn't react to this, for she was too occupied what the younger girl had just said.

“I also realized, that it's way too early to think about so far in future. We should live day by day and not rush with things. How can I know, if it is me who ends up changing her mind?”

Risa gave a sheepish smile to Ai which caused her eyes to widen. After the fight they had had the leader hadn't even dreamed about how easily they would solve this quarrel. By the way Risa had acted before they had left for the battle, Ai had been sure that she should beg for her forgiveness from the bean before she would even consider about it.

“So,” Risa whispered as she cupped Ai's face between her hands and smiled at her. ”Will you forgive me?”

The bean was soon pulled forwards, as Ai had sneaked her arms around her upper body. Their lips met once again as the couple sealed their forgiveness. Risa couldn't help but smile. She already felt how a huge burden was lifted off her shoulders as Ai kissed her sensually. The leader wasn't far behind and Risa could feel it by the way she was kissed. The older girl was almost crushing Risa against her chest and the way her mouth was pressed on hers, Risa could literally feel the happiness her lover was feeling right now.

When they finally needed some oxygen, the couple parted for a moment. After taking few breaths, Ai was back on attacking Risa's lips but this time she was way gentler. The kiss didn't last as long as the last one and when they parted again, both females pressed their foreheads against each others. They looked at the other one, smiling lovingly and feeling relieved how everything felt a lot lighter once again. Of course, there were still a lot of things to solve and look after, but at least they had healed their relationship for now.

“So,” Risa whispered against Ai's lips as she brought her face a bit closer. ”Am I forgiven?”

Ai only smiled at her lover as she answered, before sealing her lips against Risa's once again.

“You're always forgiven...”

This time, Ai pulled Risa with her as she fell on her back in the matters. As the bean let out a surprised yelp, Ai used the opportunity to plunge her tongue in the younger girls mouth and take control over the situation. When Ai felt her back hit the sheets she rolled over, leaving Risa beneath her. Their lip lock never broke and the leader managed to gain control over her girlfriends mouth. Risa tried to say something, but by the way Ai dominated her, there was just no way that she would do something the leader didn't want her to do. Also, the bean could care less right now. The service she was receiving was something she had missed for a long while and now that she got what she had truly wanted, she didn't want it to stop.

But reality was once again against them and soon Risa could hear and feel how Ai growled against her lips and buried her head beside her neck. Knowing what was wrong for, Risa pushed the now immobile leader away from on top of her. Ai rolled on her back growling at the same time, while Risa immediately started to check her wounds. There was no blood in sight which was a good sign, but by now Risa had learned how all the scars and wounds from fighting should be taken seriously. After she had checked that everything was truly all right, the bean hovered above Ai and smiled at her. When the monkey opened her eyes she gave a pained look to Risa, which the bean answered with a soft laugh and a peck on Ai's nose.

“I told you should rest.”

“I'm fine... My muscles just ache a bit...” Ai protested when another cramp caught her, causing her to make a face. Risa just rolled her eyes as she carefully laid on the other warrior's chest.

“Yeah, just a little bit...”

Ai's chest moved under Risa as the leader laughed. Soon, the older woman wrapped her arms around the bean on top of her and pulled her lover even closer. They both felt like they should say something more, but either didn't just find words. But at the same time, they also knew that the other one had forgiven them and that all they now needed was their loved one to be close. The leader sighed deeply while she stroked Risa's long hair. She glanced at the younger one, untill she tightened her hold on her and pressed her head next to the bean's.

“I love you....” Ai whispered in Risa's ear. Soon, she felt how the bean tried to move and the leader allowed that. Risa got up so that she could see in her lover's eyes. They just looked at each others, till Risa leaned down and slowly pressed her lips against Ai's. It was just a feather like touch, but it was enough for the leader. Risa didn't need to say directly ”I love you”, so that Ai would understand how she felt. The kiss didn't last for long, but when Risa parted her lips, she didn't pull away much. Her forehead was pressed against Ai's and her hands started to travel in the leader's hair. Lazily, Ai moved her gaze so that she could see in Risa's eyes. They watched each others for a while, before they sealed their lips again. The kiss was a bit more passionate, but the usual control lose never came. Instead, the couple went on slowly, so they could savor all the pleasure from this moment.

It felt like they had all the time in the world now and that nothing could come between them. It was just the two of them in this room. And right now, they needed nothing else, but their loved one next to them. Suddenly, a loud knock interrupted them. Risa was soon down from her wonderland, but Ai was another story. When the bean tried to get up, Ai only put her hand behind the bean's neck and prevented her head from moving.

“Mmmh.... Mmmmhhm!!”

The bean mumbled against her lover's lips as Ai turned their slow and sweet lip lock into a passionate tongue battle. She had just gotten comfortable and damn she was tired with everyone interrupting her magical moments. This time, she would have her way and not let anyone interrupt. But Risa wasn't quite the same. After she noticed how it was impossible to escape by force, she needed to just use her head. Making Ai believe that she was in this, Risa suddenly pushed forwards and made sure to press herself against her lover as much as she could. This caught Ai by surprise and as she gasped and loosened her hold around Risa a bit, the bean got a chance to get in control.

The leader welcomed the turn around and didn't even bother to listen when the knocking sounded again. As Risa worked her mouth against Ai's, she slowly moved her hand downwards and when she reached the leader shirt's hem, she slipped her hand inside. Ai moaned, but the bean made sure to not allow her be too loud by pressing her mouth firmer against her lovers. Ai was very confused by now. Usually it was her who got to be the dominating one and Risa was the one who listened her brains, not her hormones. But it was not that teh monkey didn't like this. It was quite the opposite. But just when the leader was going to rejoice that Risa was with her in this, the bean revealed her plan. The hand which was now against the her stomach traveled to her sides and started to tickle Ai lightly. The older one started to laugh and squirm, loosening her grip at the same time. Risa had to be extremely careful that Ai didn't do anything too quickly, or she would only end up ripping her wounds open.

When the grip had loosened enough, Risa took her other hand and pushed the leader's arms away. Before Ai could realize what was about to happen, the warmth above her disappeared, as Risa jumped off from on top of her. She however kept her lips on Ai's all the time and only when she had her feet on the ground, did Risa let go. She smiled at her now pouting lover. The bean had been prepared for a small fight in order to get away, but it had been quite easy in the end.

“Sorry, but that quest might be someone important.” The bean chuckled.

“Do you really have something important than me right now?” The leader pouted.

“Mmm, maybe...” Risa teased as she gave a quick peck on Ai's cheek before she turned around and went to the door. ”Coming!” She yelled, but as she started to walk, the leader grabbed around her waist and pulled her closer.

“What if I wont let you?” Ai asked playfully and smirked to Risa. The bean just rolled her eyes and turned towards her lover. Being careful that Ai wouldn't open her wounds again, Risa pocked her quite firmly in her side, but so, that nothing serious would happen. This caused the older one to jump up a little bit. At the same time, her grip loosened once again and the bean got away. But this time, she made sure to get away from Ai's reach so she wouldn't be trapped again. Leaving her pouting girlfriend in the bed, Risa went to the door and opened it. There was a young female with dark short hair and a confused look as someone finally opened the door. There was a silence as the two females looked at each others. Finally, the younger one nodded politely yet a bit sheepishly to Risa.

“Ano... Is Takahashi-san in here?”

She asked nervously. At first, Risa didn't recognize the person, but then the timid behavior and the way she talked about Ai flashed a picture in Risa's mind.

“Mittsui?”

“H-Hai?”

The younger girl answered a bit confused. Risa only stared at the girl, till she realized that she hadn't said anything and the younger one probably was waiting for her answer. Also, they were still standing at the door.

“Oh, Ai. Yes, she is here. Doozo, come in.”

The bean babbled quickly as she moved away and showed with her arm that it was okay for the younger one to enter the room. Bowing, Mittsui did as asked. When she stepped inside and noticed the leader who was now in a sitting position, the young girl froze. When Ai noticed her visitor, her pout was immediately vanished and a surprised smile spread on her lips.

“Mittsui? What a nice surprise!” She exclaimed, which Mittsui answered only with a slight bow. The bean had totally forgotten, that this girl was a very big supporter and fan of her lover. And not to mention, she had some manners and probably knew the samurai behavior etiquette by heart. In her opinion, it was quite adorable how she adored the squad leader and acted so nervously around her.

“How... How are you feeling?” Mittsui asked, her voice shaking. This caused Ai to chuckle. She signaled the younger one to come closer and immediately the girl was on the move. She went beside Ai's bed and stood in attention.

“At ease. You know that you can act more freely around me.” The leader laughed, but when Mittsui didn't relax, Ai frowned. ”Mittsui, Ai order you to relax.”

A nervous look crept on the younger girl's face as she tried to calm down and relax the best she could. Even Risa laughed now a bit, for this was just way too hilarious. Poor girl was so nervous that she couldn't relax even if she was ordered to. Though, the bean knew it wasn't very easy to do it when there was a higher ranking person in front. Yoshizawa had made sure with her goofy nature, that every single person in this village had at least once been ordered by her to relax or something similar. Noticing how hard it was for Aika to relax The leader decided to just ignore her nervousness.

“How are you?” She asked as she laid back in the bed.

“I am fine. How about you?”

“Could be better.” Ai shrugged, but then turned to look at the younger girl with a smile. ”But I could be worse without you.”

This caused Risa to raise her brow. Had Mittsui saved Ai? The youngest girl tensed up again and started to blabber.

“Well... I just happened to... I just walked by and.. Anyone could have done that...” The girl was silenced by Ai as she held her hand up. After that, she once again signaled that Mittsui should come closer. At first, she hesitated, but when she saw the warm smile on Ai's lips, Mittsui took the few steps forwards. When noticing this would take forever, Ai just got up, moved a bit forwards, shot her arms out and scooped the younger one in her arms.  Aika let out a surprised yelp and tensed up even more when she realized in what kind of a position she was: Her idol was hugging her tightly!! At first, Aika froze, but soon she tried to squirm away. Gosh, this was embarrassing!

“Thank you, Aika.” Ai whispered, causing the younger girl to stop squirming around. When she calmed down, Ai pulled a bit away and looked in her eyes, smiling gently all the time.

“Thank you for saving me. You fought very bravely out there.” Hearing this, Aika couldn't help but blush furiously. Her idol was telling her that she had done well and she had.... She had saved Ai, the great leader of The Team Alfa! And more than that, she had been hugged and thanked by her! This was something unbelievable. Risa smiled gently at the nervous girl, who was still held in her lover's arms. She hadn't known what had happened at the front gate. Only that Ai had gotten wounded but now she knew that Mittsui had helped her out there. She was thankful for the girl, because hadn't she come in time to see Ai or whatever her intentions were back then, her lover would be as good as dead now. Ai kept on smiling and patted her fan's head affectionately.

“I think captain and general will hear about you someday soon. I will make sure of that.” The leader winked her eye to the younger girl. The face Aika did was something worth to see: her eyes shot wide open and though she truly tried to hide it, a broad smile formed on her lips. Finally, Ai let go of the girl, who stood still. She was still processing what she had just heard and even raised her hands up to her cheeks. She pinched herself in order to test that she wasn't dreaming this and what a relief it was she didn't wake up from her own bed. But then, she snapped back on earth and realized that the two older ones were staring at her, amused. At first, Aika just looked both of them and felt how an uneasy and embarrassed feeling crept up her spine. Quickly, she took few steps backwards and bowed deeply towards Ai.

“Arigatou gozaimasu!” Aika said and got up, staring straight into Ai's eyes. She had hidden her smile now and was like a perfect little warrior, who wouldn't show her emotions.”I hope you will get better soon, Takahashi-san. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go. I have somewhere else to be.”

The younger girl spoke in a very formal tone. After that, she walked very briskly to the front door as if trying to escape the embarrassing situation. But before she could exit the bean escorted her outside. Mittsui looked confused and so did Ai, but when Risa mouthed ”I'll be right back” to her lover and gently smiled at the younger girl, the two just let it be. When outside, Aika turned questioningly towards Risa who closed the door behind them before smiling at the younger one once again.

”I just wanted to thank you properly.” Risa said, still smiling. She then bent her upper body and bowed deeply towards the younger girl, causing her to confuse. ”Hontou ni, arigatou gozaimazu Aika. Without you, Ai would be dead.”

Risa said and when she finally got up, she was still smiling gently. But her smile soon turned into a soft laughter as she was faced by a very nervous and embarrassed Aika. The young girl hadn't gotten used to this kind of treatment. Usually it was her who was bowing to everyone and saying thank you. Now she had had two higher persons than her thanking her and it made her feel very uneasy in a way.

”Ano... I would have been totally useless unless Takahashi-san hadn't had a life giver with her. That really saved the situation.” Aika babbled, trying to hide her blushing face by turning her head a bit away.

”A life giver?” Risa asked confused.

”Un. It was there right beside her. It must have fallen out of her pocket when she fell...” Aika said as she turned a bit back towards Risa. Now, that the conversation was about something else than herself, the younger girl felt a lot easier.

”But... What did you do with the life giver?” Risa asked confused. Mittsui raised her brow and looked at the older female with a very surprised look. Then she remembered that the bean must have been at the Palace during the time Lin Lin had done her research.

”Oh, you haven't heard, I suppose...” She said, causing Risa to get even more confused. ”Let me explain. Lin Lin-san has done research on life givers for about a year now. Recently, she has made some interesting and very useful results.” Aika kept a pause and took something from her pocket. ”She has figured out how to use these for curing.” She said as she took a life giver from out of her pocket.

”What?” Risa gasped as she looked at the small disc in the younger girls hands in disbelief.

”Yes. The belief that these can be used only for infants or fertilization issues is only a tale now. Lin Lin-san found how a life giver can be used for curing.” Aika explained as she looked at the older one with a serious face. ”But the research is still unfinished... Right now, Lin Lin-san has only figured out how a life giver can give some basic healing magic. But thanks to the magic inside it, the curing magic is ten times more effective than without a life giver.”

Mittsui put the disc back in her pocket and looked at the older one again, this time, smiling a bit. ”That's how I was able to save Takahashi-san. But back then, I didn't have a life giver with me. I was lucky that Takahashi-san had one. With her..” Aika explained happily.

”I see...” Risa said slowly, but still frowning. Why had Ai had a life giver with her? She knew it was not for healing at all, so why carry one? And even though she knew how to use it, where had she gotten a life giver? Lin Lin wouldn't share them for free, cause they were so expensive and rare in here. Also...

”Ano, how did you know how to use it?” The bean asked as she tilted her head to side. Not that she doubted Mitssuis skills, but knowing how great magic those discs held, it required quite a skilled mage to use it. To Risa's surprise, a blush appeared on Aika's face once again and she looked away.

”Ano... I have practiced a lot. Also, my mother is very skilled in magic and she's from SoraYama, so...”

”Your mother is from SoraYama?!” Risa exclaimed, causing the younger girl to jump a bit. Aika stared the bean for a moment with a very scared expression, before nodding a bit.

”Yeah... She has taught me a lot.” Realizing, that she might have had scared the younger girl a bit, Risa cleared her throat and backed away. This encouraged Aika to continue. ”Also... Also, I have been signed under Lin Lin-san's teaching, so she is guiding me with healing magic and such. I... I have decided to aim to be a nurse one day or at least a medic...”

”Oh.” That was all, the bean could say. She hadn't known anything like this about the girl in front of her. Mittsui seemed to be very shy and humble and Risa would have never guessed that the girl was really eager to learn something like being a warrior or a nurse. But soon, a gentle smile spread on Risa's lips as she came closer and patted Mittsui on shoulder.

”That's really a great thing.” She said, causing the younger one to look at her surprised. ”Keep that up. I'm sure, you will do fine.”

Mittsui looked at Risa with wide eyes, but soon, the younger girl was also smiling. It felt good to be priced and encouraged by others and especially by the older ones. But then her smile faded away as soon as they heard a crash from the room behind them. At first, she was alarmed, but when Risa just sighed and shook her head, the younger one calmed down too.

”I think I should go back before that monkey hurts herself....” Risa sighed. ”One more time, thank you Aika. I hope we will meet again soon.” The bean said smiling and gave few more pats on Aika's shoulder before she turned to the door.

”Ano, Niigaki-san?” The bean turned around and looked questioningly at the younger girl. At first, Aika hesitated but soon she spoke her mind out quietly.

”Please, tell Takahashi-san to be careful and not to harm herself anymore.” Risa couldn't help but smile at the younger girl. She firmly nodded before opening the door and leaving Aika behind.

”See you around Aika.” The younger girl bowed quickly, but properly, before they separated their ways. Risa closed the door behind her, before walking beside the bed where her lover was now sitting and pouting. There was a pillow thrown away from the bed and it had landed on a vase which was now in pieces on the floor. Sighing, the bean walked to the pillow, took it in her hands and went back to Ai, where she tucked it behind her.

“She really adores you.” She said calmly as she finished with the pillow and then sat on the chair next to the bed. The leader frowned at this and immediately shot her arms out and took a hold of the bean's shoulders. Pulling her up, Ai guided her girlfriend in the bed and made her sit in her lap. At first, Risa playfully protested but in the end gave in her lover's will. As Ai had gotten Risa in her lap, she lied down on her back and wrapped her arms protectively around the bean's waist. Risa turned so that she was facing the leader and just tucked her head under Ai's chin. They stayed like this for a long while, not saying a word. Finally, Ai spoke.

“You stayed away too long....” She grumbled, causing the bean to chuckle. ”I want to keep you near me now, so don't stay away too long. I don't like it.”

“Noticed....” Risa chuckled as she glanced at the vase on the floor. ”But I just had to thank Aika properly. In the end, she saved my girlfriend and the person I love the most on this earth.”

The couple fell in silence as they were once again reminded how easily their loved one's lives could be lost. It had been their luck that Aika had showed up at the critical moment, or Ai would be joining Sayu at the graveyard. But as these thoughts started to fill her mind, Risa only snuggled closer to Ai and took a tighter hold of her shirt as if reminding herself that the other one was here with her. Ai was quite the same. When Risa would snuggle closer, the leader would tighten her grip around the younger one's body. She wanted to tell her that she was here. And if it depended on her, she would be there for Risa forever.

'I will never leave you alone...'

Slowly, Ai started to move her hand behind Risa's head so, that she was able to turn the bean's face towards hers. Gently lifting her head, she made her lover look up at her questioningly. No matter how Risa looked at her, the leader always got lost in her eyes. She examined the brown orbs which were still showing confusion very carefully, as if she was trying to memorize them or something.

'I will always be there for you...'

They started to lean in slowly and soon, their lips touched each others. It was a gentle kiss and neither wanted to turn it into a tongue battle right now. But as they kissed, at some point it started to turn deeper and deeper. They were together again and neither wanted to be apart from each others. All the kissing and cuddling after their fight and make up felt so different, yet it felt good. It was like the bond between them had gotten stronger and harder to break. Though, they both knew no one had and never would be able to break it.

'And I will always protect you...'

Risa gripped Ai's collar as she pulled the older one closer to her, the leader's hands meanwhile gripping the back of her head, making sure that the younger one wouldn't pull away anytime soon. Not that Risa would do that, for she was way too focused on kissing Ai's lips and examining her mouth with her tongue. They stayed like this for a long while, making out on the bed and savoring the fact that the other one was alive and that there was finally some kind of peace between them. They didn't need anything else right now. Just each others.

'I love you.'

--------------------------------

Phew, it's done! And now I will continue my English critical summary~ Read: Goes to facebook, check email, read news etc. and finally go to bed.


Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline darkacex99

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  • RISA RISA RISA!!!
Re: The mask of soul//chapter 40/ 25/9
« Reply #159 on: September 26, 2013, 06:29:28 AM »
yessssshhhhh! an update!!! i was bout to go through withdrawls XD

eri noooooo! :cry: the poor poor gurl and reina's at wit's end...oh mah lawd im scared for them two

berry scared

nice job! once again thanks for sticking with ur fic :thumbsup

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