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06 September 2011 @ 03:40 pm
The Night's Devil - Chapter 3  
Title: The Night’s Devil
Groups/Pairings: Kanjani8 Gen
Rating: R for violence, some mild swearing
Warnings: Some graphic violence, mild swearing
Summary: It is the year 2752 AD and the presence of demons in human society has become the norm. But when a string of mysterious murders occur in Osaka, the shaky peace between the two races begins to waver as dark secrets emerge.

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[Chapter 3]


Osaka Central Base,
Chuo Ward,
Osaka


Ryo followed his captain through the hallways as they proceeded towards the mortuary, carrying with him a large box of magical tools. Nakamaru had been left back at Ohkura’s house to keep watch over a small pond that the captain had in one of his rooms, which had been spelled to alert them of any high level magical disturbances in the city. Why the captain had such a sophisticated instrument in his own private home was beyond the two privates understanding. Since they had arrived in Osaka a little over two weeks ago, the pond had only glowed twice to show them the location of the two murders that had occurred since. Both times they had arrived on the scene of the crime too late and they found themselves with no more leads than the Light Walkers of the Osaka Central Company.

Ohkura held open the door to the mortuary as Ryo stepped in after him. The room was completely lined with aluminium, small doors embedded along the length of the room revealing the locations of the cold chambers. In the centre of the room was table used to perform autopsies. To the normal human eye, everything in the room would appear to be plain silver but to the eyes of a Light Walker, strange symbols glowed in a slow pulsating rhythm, revealing various spells for protection, disinfection and containment.

As Ryo placed the box he’d been carrying on the table, Ohkura scanned the doors while putting on rubber gloves and a face mask. Ryo proceeded to do the same as he followed his captain. They soon came to a stop before one of the doors towards the back of the room and Ohkura proceeded to open it, drawing out the body that lay within.

Ryo cringed when he saw the massive chunk missing out of the right side of the middle aged man’s neck. “That would have hurt badly,” he said without thinking.

Ohkura ignored Ryo’s comment and walked around to the right side of the body, pulling up a metal bar as he prepared to lift it up. “Help me carry it over to the table, will you?”

Nodding, Ryo pulled up the bar on the left side of the body and together, they lifted the body out of the chamber bed and carried it over to the autopsy table. From there, Ohkura bent over to peer at the bite wound closely, examining it. “That’s a very cleanly cut wound. The demon must have some very sharp teeth to be able to bite through bone without splintering it.”

He indicated for Ryo to have a look before moving off to the box that carried his tools. Ryo peered at the wound in fascination, feeling as if he was looking at the cross-section of the human body in biology class. The bones that formed the man’s cervical vertebrae were cut through the middle, revealing a partially severed spinal cord. Arteries and veins appeared as small gaping holes scattered throughout the muscle and tissue, devoid of any sign of the blood they once carried. Ryo suppressed a shiver as he imagined what it must have felt like to have your blood sucked out from you.

Ohkura finally returned with the instrument he had been looking for, which had turned out to be simply a scalpel and petri dish. He then began to slice off a small amount of the frozen flesh from the neck wound and placed it in the dish, doing the same at the locations of the claw marks. Once he was done collecting the samples, Ohkura placed the lid back on the dish and sealed it with masking tape. He then pulled out a permanent marker and began drawing symbols on the tape.

“When a demon – or even a human for that matter – inflicts a wound on someone, they always leave a trace of their essence behind. This usually fades away within 48 hours of the attack, hence why I needed to wait until the next victim.” Once he’d completed writing, the symbols shined brightly before disappearing. “There. Now all we have to do is take this to the scene of the crime and try tracking the demon from there.”

Ryo took the dish from Ohkura, who then stood looking at the body with a contemplative look. “However, that spell is merely an excuse to get to examine this body. There is one other thing I could try…” he muttered to himself, arms crossed before him.

“What’s that, Captain?” asked Ryo, curious about what other tricks Ohkura had up his sleeve.

As Ohkura came to a decision, he turned to look at Ryo seriously. “This is probably a breech of Light Walker ethics, but I am going to try and see if I can read the victim’s last memory.”

“Mind reading?” blurted out Ryo, shocked. He didn’t think there was still anyone around who practiced the art, not after it was declared taboo nearly a century ago.

“Shhhh! It’s not like I’m reading the mind of someone alive – and you don’t have to worry about me reading your mind, Ryo,” snapped Ohkura as he saw Ryo reflexively reach for his head. “Contrary to popular belief, reading people’s minds is not that useful. People’s minds are full of dull thoughts, and I’d rather not waste energy trying to hear them. Besides, I’ve only really used it to read dead people’s last memories.”

Ohkura went to stand at the head of the body, bowing respectfully before placing his fingers over the man’s eyes. He then indicated for Ryo to also place his hands on top of his. “By touching me, you’ll be able to channel the same memory that I am about to call up. Are you ready?” Ryo nodded as he closed his eyes in anticipation. Taking a deep breath, Ohkura closed his eyes and began to concentrate.

~*

It was a strange sensation for Ryo. He felt panicked, utterly frightened of something chasing him. He was running through the dark park, his chest heaving as he felt asthma close his throat and making it hard to breathe. Something rustled through the overhead branches and a chill went down his back.

Ryo stumbled backwards as the creature landed in front of him, falling onto his back as he stared up at it in horror. It didn’t resemble any kind of demon he knew, at least none of the ones he remembered from textbooks. Glassy amber eyes stared down at him as the murky brown scales that covered the back of its body glittered in the faint light from the nearby lamp post. Matted brown fur covered its underside and head while thin papery skin flaps connected its elongated arms to its body resembled bat-like wings. Its hands were huge, tipped with yellowed claws that it retracted and extended periodically as it approached where Ryo desperately shuffled backwards in an attempt to break free of his terror and escape.

Suddenly, the demon stopped in its tracks, seeming to hesitate before its hands moved to grasp its head as it let out a pained roar. When it calmed down, it slowly stared at Ryo before glancing down at itself, confused. It then let out another pained roar, this time arching backwards. Ryo was finally shocked into action and decided to use this chance to escape, scrambling up onto his feet. But no sooner than had he taken several steps did Ryo feel something crash into his back, knocking him to the ground and driving all the air from his lungs.

The demon had lunged at Ryo and it now gripped Ryo’s arms tightly, lifting him easily up into the air. He could hear the bones in his arms crunch and he screamed out in pain. Then he felt the demon bite into his neck, sinking its razor sharp teeth deep into his flesh. Ryo’s scream soon became a gurgle of blood and his eyes rolled back into his head.

Then, everything became dark.

~*

Ryo stumbled backwards, tripping over his feet and falling down, his chest heaving as his heart pounded wildly. He stared ahead of him blankly in shock of what he’d just seen, the image of the demon still burned into his mind.

Ohkura stood where he was, seemingly calm but the sweat on his forehead revealed how stressed he truly was. “What do you think?”

Gingerly, Ryo lifted up a hand to touch his neck. “I think… I think that is no ordinary Class 1 demon. It’s a monster!”

Ohkura snorted. “Monsters are still classified as demons. Here, we’d better put the body back now.”

Ryo quickly got back onto his feet, helping Ohkura to lift the body. He glanced at the captain, frowning. “And what did you make of that?”

“Two things. One, it’s either a Class 1 who has lost its sanity and reverted back to basic instinct. Or two…” said Ohkura, pausing mid-sentence as they placed the body into the cold chamber. “It’s a failed demon blood infusion experiment.”

“Demon blood infusion…? But, those experiments were outlawed during the Restructuring over seventy years ago!” exclaimed Ryo.

Ohkura huffed bitterly. “Ah... they were too, weren’t they? Then I hope it really is an insane Class 1. Come on, we’d better head back. We’ve spent enough time here already for today.”

Somehow, Ryo wasn’t really convinced with Ohkura’s reply. It seemed as if the captain had wanted to say that demon blood infusion was still being carried out, even after the horrible revelation of the crime came to light many decades ago. Ryo remembered the articles he had read about the cases that were found, how many of them fitted the description of a pure monster and barely had any remnant of their human self. But could those experiments still be carried out in this day and age? Surely if they were, the news would make big headlines across the country.

All this mystery was making Ryo’s head ache and it wasn’t helping him cope with the vision he’d just experienced. He decided to put all speculation aside as he followed Ohkura out of the room, once again carrying the captain’s toolbox. Maybe he’d try asking Nakamura later to see if he knew anything about the matter, once he felt a bit better.

~*


Asahi Ward,
Osaka


Maru watched from behind the bar as Yasu protested against drinking another glass of alcohol from the group of girls he was sitting with. The girls had managed to coerce Yasu into a drinking game after his performance that night, which the little crow demon had been failing at miserably. Yet despite that, he seemed to be enjoying himself, occasionally doing a trick to wow his audience.

Shaking his head with a small smile, Maru turned his attention back to cleaning the bar, glancing over at the clock. It was almost 1am and the pub was nearly empty. The only people still there was Yasu’s group and three others who were too drunk to move. Soon he would have to go and wake them up, asking them to kindly leave.

The bell that hung above the front door chimed and Maru looked up. Five men had just entered the room, glancing around them menacingly. Maru could sense a malicious intent from them but all he could do was for now was smile politely. “Excuse me, but the bar is closed for the night. If you could please leave-”

He didn’t get to finish his sentence when one of the men suddenly overturned the table closest to him, which frightened Yasu’s group. The noise was enough to wake the three drunken men from their stupor. “This place is fuckin’ shit! I don’t see how humans find this place popular,” said the man who had overturned the table. He then picked up a chair, swinging it around to smash against the wall. “This place is so dull, I think we should redecorate!” He then hurled a piece of the broken chair at Maru who managed to catch it in mid air.

“You really shouldn’t be picking fights in this part of town, you know,” said Maru calmly, throwing the wood away. “I’m willing to forgive you guys if you decide to leave this place quietly.”

“You guys think you’re so mighty with your magic and strength that you think you can start eating humans again! Well, don’t think we came in here unprepared, you fucking demon shit!” snapped one of the others, pulling out a gun.

Maru quickly ducked behind the bar as the man began firing, the bullets shattering the bottles on display. “Quick! Yasu! Get everyone out of here!”

Yasu didn’t waste any time as he began shepherding the people out the emergency exit that lay off to the left side of the stage. Two of the three drunkards seem to recover and decided to help Yasu, turning out to be oni. They slowly began to transform, growing taller and bulkier as their skin turned red. Their attackers halted in their steps, now faced with two great big giants that were pissed as hell.

The guy with the gun decided to change his target from Maru to the oni, firing off several shots. As each bullet connected with the half-demons, a small fizz of sparks occurred where the bullets struck. Whether or not this hurt them was hard to tell. They instead responded by lifting up the nearest table, hurling it at the guy with the gun. The guy dodged out of the way, running to hide behind an upturned table. From there, he continued shooting the demons, occasionally ducking as more furniture was hurled his way. One of his comrades joined him, pulling out a similar gun of his own.

Maru crawled to the end of the bar closest to where their attackers were, peering around the corner. The front door was left slightly ajar and from beyond he could hear similar noises of fighting. His bar wasn’t the only place they were attacking and if he didn’t do something soon, the chances that they would resort to setting the place on fire would be great. Maru turned to look at their attackers and noted the position of the two with the guns, which he could see were spelled to inflict wounds on those with magical blood. He would have to take them out first and worry about the others later.

Reaching for the silver stick pendant at his neck, Maru pulled it off his necklace and it immediately began growing to be as long as he was tall. Under the light, intricately carved vine patterns shimmered on the staff’s surface and if one were to twist the middle, the staff would reveal itself to be a double-bladed naginata. But he wasn’t going to use the blades tonight. He had no need for them, not against humans at least.

After the count of three, Maru rushed out from his hiding place. He reached the place of the two with the guns before they even noticed his presence, and drove the butt of his staff into the abdomen of one before swinging it around to clobber the other guy from behind the head. He then followed through to bring it smashing down on the hand that held a gun, knocking it out from his grip. The other guy recovered slightly from the blow to the abdomen and was about to aim his gun at Maru when he was prevented from doing so as Maru jabbed his staff into his forehead, knocking the man unconscious before smashing it down on the hand that held the gun. He then swung his staff onto the gun, crushing it and rendering it useless. Maru then picked up the other gun, dismantling it with one hand.

“I told you it was a bad idea to attack a demon,” said Maru coolly, turning to look at the guy who was still conscious, which turned out to be the first guy who’d started shooting. “You should leave now and tell any others to do the same. The other demons aren’t as forgiving as I am.”

As Maru said that, one of the other guys was hurled into the table they had been hiding behind. Maru stood up to look, frowning as he saw one of the oni demons gripping another of their attackers in a tight bear hug, their face bright purple. Clicking his tongue in annoyance, Maru easily leapt over the table and wove his way through the debris to where the demon stood.

“Let him go,” he said to the oni. Maru’s eyes glinted yellow in the dim light, a slight growl rumbling in his throat.

The oni looked at Maru with a frown before finally releasing his prisoner. The man collapsed to the ground, coughing as he rasped in much needed air. Slowly, the oni began to change, turning back into an ordinary human. “And here I thought I’d get to have some fun teaching these little shits some manners.”

“Not in my pub, Taisuke,” said Maru, turning to survey the damage and wincing. “It’s already ruined as it is.”

The other oni demon returned to normal, dragging the last two of the attackers over and dumping them with the other who was still struggling to breathe. “What in the world possessed them to attack like this?”

Yasu suddenly burst back through the emergency exit, panting as he held a dislocated right arm. Large black wings extruded from his back, the left one pierced by a piece of pipe. He gazed up at the three as he fell to one knee. “There’s… a riot outside. I tried to fly some of the girls up to a higher place where they could be safer but one of the rioters threw this pipe in my direction.” Tears started to form at the corner of his eyes. “It hurts, Maru.”

Maru quickly jogged over to Yasu, placing his staff on the ground as he crouched to examine Yasu’s arm and wing. “I’m going to have to pull this out,” said Maru, proceeding to unbutton his vest and tear it into strips. “Do you have enough energy to retract your wings after I pull it out?”

Yasu nodded, closing his eyes as he bit his lip. “I think I do. Please make it quick.”

Maru gave a curt nod before looking at the pipe again, gripping it tentatively. Yasu winced as he felt Maru begin to pull, the pipe slowly sliding out. As it finally came out, blood began trickling from the wound and Maru hurriedly attempted to staunch the flow. “Yasu, retract them now!”

All Yasu could do was nod, his eyes closed tight from a mixture of pain and concentration. Eventually the wings began to shrink, growing smaller until they were absorbed into his back. The only indication his wings had been there were two slits visible on the back of his clothes. Maru turned his attention now to Yasu’s dislocated arm.

“I hit it against a fire escape a block away after my wing was pierced,” explained Yasu, feeling some relief from the pain now that his wings were away.

“I see,” answered Maru. He then shifted on the spot. “I’ll put your arm back into place now, okay? Ready, one, two!” Maru suddenly popped Yasu’s arm back in, Yasu letting out a surprised shout of pain.

“Ow! That hurt, Maru!” cried Yasu, cradling his arm. “You weren’t as rough on my wing!”

Maru shrugged, suppressing a small grin. “Putting a dislocated arm back into place always hurts, Yasu.”

The front door suddenly opened and Subaru made his way into the store, wide-eyed and panting. He sported a small gash on one cheek and his denim jacket had been sliced through on one sleeve. “I made my way over as soon as I heard about the riots. Are you guys alright?”

“Yeah, we are now,” replied Maru, grabbing his staff and standing. “Although Yasu won’t be flying around for a while.”

Subaru glanced at the blood soaked pipe on the ground and at the blood stains on Yasu’s jacket. He clenched his fists tightly and turned around, about to storm back outside. Maru saw this and sped around to cut him off.

“Move it, Maru,” said Subaru coolly. “There are others out there caught in the chaos.”

“I know. And that’s why I’m going with you,” replied Maru, swinging his staff to rest over his shoulders. He then glanced past Subaru at Yasu. “Are you able to stay here on your own, Yasu?”

Nodding, Yasu stood up on his feet. “You guys don’t need to worry about me,” said Yasu, smiling encouragingly. “I may be slightly injured but that doesn’t mean I can’t look after myself. Besides, someone has to keep watch over the pub and those guys over there, right?”

Maru smiled back at Yasu. “Good. Then I’ll leave you to it.” Turning back to Subaru, Maru said, “Let’s get going then.”

Subaru nodded and together they left the pub. Yasu then turned to look at the other two half-demons who’d been standing guard over their attackers all this time. “Well, what shall we do with these guys?” he asked.

“Know where there might be some rope?” asked the guy Maru had called Taisuke. “If I can’t kill them, I might as well make sure they can’t escape until the police or Light Walkers get here, which ever one of them gets here first.”

“Alright, I’ll go look for some,” said Yasu, disappearing off into the storeroom. As he searched for some rope, Yasu took this as a moment to catch his breath. It was the first time he’d ever been caught up in a fight and that he’d managed to stay alive so far after having fallen out of the sky and getting his wing punctured was a miracle. He hoped that both Maru and Subaru would return safe soon but he wasn’t too worried about them. After all, Maru was well known for his fighting skills and Subaru was a Light Walker in the past.

Yasu found the rope he was looking for and returned to the others. He knew Maru and Subaru would come back fine. All he had to do now was wait and make sure no one else tried to attack the place.

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