Chapter 9: Bloodied Crow
The sun blotted the sky with a red gash through the clouds, majestic buildings reached for the red gash but to no avail. Things had tempered in the grand metropolis as noon passed, however in spite of the serene environment produced by the beautiful summer day a large crowd had congressed outside a large courthouse.
Cameras and reporters stood outside the doors of the courthouse trying to peak through to get a good shot. A beautiful oriental reporter with dark as night black hair tied up in a neat bun stood in front of a heavyset cameraman, she was dressed formally in a bright blue dress shirt that made her dark eyes contrast against her tan skin. She had a dazzling smile as the camera lit to life and holding the microphone to her mouth professionally she spoke with a slight accent.
“We are outside the High Council courtroom for Higher Justice headed by three Federal judges as they take in a case that has been the talk of the day when it came in without warning. The State v Minoru Izumi is taking place right now as the state is trying to decide on the radical charges placed against 23 year old Minoru Izumi who, supposedly, escaped from a federal prison after being detained by a Prophet.” She stepped aside to show the door, “As you can see this has cause a major uproar in the community.” She pointed behind them and the cameraman turned to see a mob of people at the base of the steps being held back by local guards and a couple of Knights.
“We will continue taping live to give you the details of this case.”
The courtroom was rather big with two large sections of seats that were filled completely. A bunch of people were forced to stand in the sides of the room but all of them had their eyes focused on the man sitting at the defendant side of the court. Minoru sat with his mess of black hair and a wide smile on his face, he was dressed in all black with a dark blazer adorned with golden buttons and black slacks with dress shoes. Across him sat a team of lawyers all glaring at him.
The reason that this case created uproar was because the reasoning behind Minoru’s initial incarceration was unknown. The Prophet that had detained him was Karasu Daifuku, a highly respected Prophet, but he had no provided any reasons as to why Minoru was arrested. He claimed that his warrant was destroyed by one of Minoru’s associates: Ken. But otherwise he hadn’t provided any reasons and sent him to a federal prison to which he quickly escaped in order to save Shuraduo from being taken over by his brother.
“What this man said is outrageous!” Cried out a lawyer with dark blue hair and huge round glasses, he wore a suit that looked incredibly uncomfortable as he sat ramrod straight. “He claims that the Prophet Karasu had attacked him and his associates without warning and yet provides little evidence!”
The judges turned their gaze over to Minoru, “Yes, where is this evidence Mr. Izumi?” Spoke a weathered woman of 50 years of age, her tone was cold and her eyes were slits as they glared at Minoru.
Minoru raised a finger and wagged it as if he were reprimanding everyone; he had opted to represent himself, another reason why this case was a big deal.
“Ah, ah, ah,” he said with each wag of his finger, “You have to be patient before you get your dessert; didn’t your mothers ever teach you that?” The judges intensified their glares.
“Mr. Izumi you are making a mockery out of this courtroom now we ask you again, do you have any evidence?” Spoke the older heavyset man of about 60. He had a weird southern accent.
“Yes, yes, but it would be so boring just you show you the evidence so we’ll play a little game!” Minoru pulled out three large boxes, “Under one of these boxes is the evidence and the others ar-“
“Fine, fine, don’t make such a scary face.” Minoru pulled out a videotape from his jacket and tossed it at the bailiff who caught it and stared at it, “That is video evidence, duh~”
Then with a scowl he took the tape and put it into a TV conveniently standing in the corner. Minoru stood up and went by the TV. It glared to life as the image was a black and white picture of a couple of people at a parking lot of sorts.
“This is the video of my arrest!”
One of the lawyers stood up, “Objection! He hadn’t presented this evidence at the beginning of the case, I move it be dismissed.”
“Overruled, continue Mr. Izumi.”
“Right then,” he pointed at the TV which was an overhead shot of 6 people standing opposite of each other at the parking lot, “This is Calipher, Karasu and Mina, the people in charge of my arrest, as you can see here-” Mina pulled out a piece of paper but almost immediately the paper burned up in flames, “- That so-called warrant spontaneously combusted thus they had no rights to arrest me, but then!”
Mina charged at Ken but with impossible speed Minoru teleported in front of her and she punched him across the face and into the concrete creating a giant crater.
“They attacked without warning! We showed no dark intents but they just suddenly attacked!” Minoru picked up a remote controller and fast-forwarded the tape, “But not only that, look!” Tendrils of darkness erupted from the ground and aimed at Keiko and Ken, they impaled Ken who bled and screamed, Keiko was launched towards the building and pressed there by the tendrils.
“They even went as far as to attack these innocent people almost killing one of them!” Then a flash of light exploded on the screen and the camera cut to static, when the picture was restored Minoru was unconscious and in the arms of Karasu as the trio walked away.
“You see? They attacked us without warning when their little warrant was destroyed by some force of nature, and still they had arrested me.”
“Your Honor this is ridiculous, it is obvious one of them set the paper on fire in an act of violence which more than condone their actio-“
“Ah, well where is your evidence?” Minoru smirked as he opened his arms and causally walked over to the lawyer’s side, “You speak about me giving evidence and providing proof when none of you guys have any evidence against me, you can claim one of us performed magic at the scene attacking them but there is no evidence. There is evidence however of them attacking and almost leaving innocent people uninvolved in the issue half-alive.”
“We have incriminating evidence filed in by doctors and medical personnel of your violent behavior from the past which more than explains just how dangerous you are.” Retorted another stuffy lawyer.
“Eh? And what did these reports say? That I was a troubled child? That I was violent and dangerous? Are you an idiot or something?” The biggest shit-eating grin played on his face, “Those ‘medical’ reports were of me as a child grieving over the loss of my parents.”
“What about your escape from a federal prison?!”
“Ah, yes, I’m sorry I completely forgot about that, you’re right!” The atmosphere seemed to relax upon that, the lawyers visually relaxed but then he continued, “Did you really think I would say something like that?”
With one hand he pulled out a piece of paper that was folded up neatly then with an expert toss he threw it at the judges and to everyone’s surprise it glided towards them. It landed gracefully on the large podium and the judges nervously picked it up. When they opened it up they were at a loss for words.
“That, my friends, is a general pardon signed and approved by not one, not two, butt~ how many was it judges?”
The lawyers were speechless then suddenly one of the side doors exploded open and Karasu was standing there along with Calipher. He stomped into the courtroom and pointed accusingly at Minoru.
“There! We have him now, arrest that man!” No one dared to make a move.
Minoru smirked and with a wave of a hand the front door opened up by some magical force, people began pouring in but the guards were quick and stopped them from going any further, their cameras were aimed at Minoru.
“Not only that but I brought three Prophets that approved it.” A side-door opened up and three Prophets stepped inside, the crowd went nuts and everyone got to their feet screaming questions at the group. The judges tried to quell this rampant behavior but to no avail.
“Now then,” Minoru started over the loud chattering, “How would you describe this man over the recent weeks?”
“Well, he’s been paranoid and acting strange. He seems to be obsessed with something and avoidant.” Minoru turned to a second Prophet.
“Yeah, recently he seems obsessed with getting something and he has been neglecting his duties.”
He turned to the third Prophet but the three judges ganged their gavels.
“I suppose I don’t need to say anymore.” Minoru smiled madly as Karasu got red with fury, “This man and his associate openly attacked me in broad daylight with no regrets and arrested me on nonexistent charges!” The crowd got stirred up again; the camera was pointed at his face and outside the skyscrapers lit up with Minoru’s image as he smiled at the camera.
“You see, I was the victim here!”
The crowd was in a frenzy, chattering exploded in the courtroom. This was a travesty; never since the beginning of the city of Arcadia has someone accused a ranking member of the High Council and has succeeded in getting them to fall because of it. The judges were lost, they had fully expected Minoru was to be completely wrong but everything he said had no faults to it. If this got out to the rebellion then they have fire against the High Council, the rebellion has been trying to bring down the Council and with this they could easily tip the scales.
But they can’t contain it!
“ENOUGH!” Roared one of the judges who stood up and pointed at Karasu, “High Prophet Karasu Daifuku for these transgressions you will be forcefully removed from your seat of power and detained immediately.” He has not only shamed the High Council but he has wronged them. Karasu glared at the judges with his good eye.
“Officer Calipher, arrest that man.” Calipher went for Karasu without hesitation but brilliant red and blue lights exploded around him. His hat was blown off as a shockwave erupted from his body and knocked everyone, save Calipher and Minoru, off their feet. They got a good look at his bad eye.
The left side of his face looked younger than the right; the skin was more vibrant and youthful except for his eye which was nothing but a hollow socket that held a single glowing red ball that glowered menacingly. That was the eye that Minoru gave him when he was a child. At the age of 7 Minoru was put into a hospital for testing by Section III, Karasu was his handler, in a fit of anger Minoru had paralyzed Karasu with All Fiction then gouged out his eye and replaced it with that glowing ball that had All Fiction infused in it. Karasu had only 1/16th of All Fiction’s power.
“I don’t think so.” With blinding speed Karasu charged Minoru, an aura of power radiated from him. All Fiction’s power rushed through his old body making it stronger than ever, using All Fiction to enhance his speed he raised his leg in a powerful kick aiming at Minoru’s head.
“I was waiting for that.” Minoru muttered as the kick neared, before Karasu could pull back a wall of force slammed into him crushing him into the ground. He felt as though he was encased in a mountain of steel, “You’ve got an entire lifetime to try and match my All Fiction with that weak little prototype.” Minoru said menacingly in a hushed voice so only Karasu could hear him. “You’re ruined old man, give up.”
No, no it wasn’t going to end like this! In an act of desperation Karasu concentrated all of All Fiction’s power to his entire body. It glowed a deathly red then he gave Minoru one last baleful look and the red lights consumed him until he disappeared completely.
Minoru turned on his heels and smiled widely at everyone, “Well then, that settles that huh?”
The judges quickly overturned their original decision and dropped the charges made against Minoru; the reporters flooded the courtroom and turned to Minoru to begin to throw a barrage of questions at him. But with a friendly smile Minoru said he needed to be somewhere and sprinted out the side entrance.
After a few minutes of dodging the reporters Minoru was in a back alley somewhere, “Well now, that takes care of one problem. Now I just need to take… care… of you.” Without warning Minoru ducked as a black blur hurled itself at him missing and skidding on the floor across from him. The figure turned on its heels and glared at Minoru, her beautiful brown hair was tarnished by a rainbow of colors dyed in streaks through it. She gripped her sword as she stared down at Minoru.
“You’ve really taken a liking to me huh?” Minoru joked with a smile, Ui hadn’t answered.
“Fine, be that way, I’m not the one stalking people. But it seems we’ve reached an impasse, you want to kill me, and I want to stay alive. I’m a pretty nice guy though,” he opened his arms as if inviting her into a hug; “I’ll let you attack me first, how’s that?”
Ui didn’t hesitate; she knew that this guy was strangely abnormal even amongst Section III. He wasn’t any faster than her but he seemed to know where she was going and then she was going to get there. She utilized soru and combined it with her natural “Samurai walking technique” namba harashi. This was her full speed. The ground cracked underneath her feet and a loud piercing sound tore through the air, it was the sound of her breaking the sound barrier. Her sword was aimed at Minoru’s throat, “Sorry.”
She swung but she only hit air. In an impossible move Minoru swerved and got underneath Ui’s body as she leapt for the strike, then in a fluid motion he slammed his hand into Ui’s breasts pushing her up high in the air. A gasp exploded out of her lungs as she crashed into the building and fell back down. Instinctively she rolled back into a crouch, she left a huge opening.
Looking up she was shocked, Minoru had an aura of radiant warmth, faint blue and red lights glowed off of him and the longer Ui stared at him the more she felt energized.
“Theme Song, a power I created out of All Fiction, with it I radiate natural energy and become energized. Light, heavy, fast and slow doesn’t apply to me as Theme Song makes all of that meaningless, you seem to value those speedy feet of yours, let’s see who is faster.”
Minoru where are you? Keiko ran down the street after Ken’s car had failed to start, she activated the mental connection Minoru created to make for fast communication between the two and tried to initiate contact with him but he wasn’t responding. Ken ran after her but he was barely keeping up so she had to slow her pace.
“Wait, if this Hinagiku is as strong as Tsubaki says she is then why should we be concerned? Didn’t the first time Kichiro and Hina fight she won with incredible ease?” Ken asked with labored breathing.
“Mom thinks that the first time Kichiro fought against Hina was merely to scout her out, she thinks that he is going back there with stronger powers, and it isn’t that Tsubaki is concerned for Hina she just thinks that Kichiro will be there to press her for information after all he has leverage over her.” Keiko said as she tried for another message but it didn’t go through, where the hell was Minoru?!
“Leverage?” Ken said out-of-breath but he kept jogging.
“He has Ichigo and Minako in the palm of his hand; he could easily kidnap them and use them as leverage. Hina could either get extremely angry then try to kill Kichiro or give him the information he needs, both of those options suck.”
“R-right because Kichiro could absorb her powers and then overpower her.” Ken added, good he wasn’t just another pretty face. Keiko tried to initiate contact again but this time nothing went through.
“Looks like we’re on our own Ken, let’s get back to Shuraduo and regroup.” Keiko suggested. She looked back and saw Ken red at the face, she felt a little guilty since, even though she was holding back, they have been running for quite a long time with little chance to stop for a break. She didn’t want to take it slow so she couldn’t really afford to waste time. But still.
“Don’t worry,” Ken breathed out, “I’ll just… use my powers to make myself… catch up, you go on ahead.” Keiko pursed her lips, she really didn’t want to leave him behind but at this point she had no room to argue.
“Fine, but hurry up.” Then Keiko turned on her heels and sprinted full speed towards the Shuraduo HQ.
They had convened at Shuraduo like Keiko had told them; little did they know they had a visitor waiting for them. Brawly, the two meter tall man looked terrible; his face was bruised, his body was swollen and splotched purple while blood stained his otherwise flawless complexion. He held up his hands in a defensive stance but they shook with exhaustion, he glanced over his shoulder to see Tenchi behind him. He was unmoving and had a dark spire of energy impaled through his body as blood stained the nightmarish black spire. Jack looked even worse, his entire right arm was missing and was dripping blood desperately, but he was standing next to Brawly breathing shallowly. Zacarias had his head removed and their opponent was causally throwing the decapitated head in the air, Zac was fine however, his immortality would protect him from suffering death but at the moment he was immobile.
Their opponent was a 12 year old boy with a dark sneer on his face; he had pure white hair that concealed his left eye and boarder his shoulders, his revealed eye shined purple.
“Man, and here I thought this little ‘Shuraduo’ would be a bit of a challenge, hmph, either you guys aren’t the cream of the crop that Ui fought or I’m better than her.” He looked at his opponents again and sighed, “According to her intel there were three girls and one guy who looks like a girl that managed to push Ui back, are you telling me you guys aren’t as strong as three girls combined?”
“Who the bonk are you?” Jack hissed, his entire body radiated ice as he activated his ability, he needed to stall him.
“Hmm, since you’re about to die anyways I’ll tell you, my name is Nagato, I’m an assassin from Section III’s Beta Company; nice ta meet ya.”
With a quick toss Nagato threw Zac’s head down and kicked at it sending it flying towards Brawly. Brawly dodged efficiently but Nagato charged immediately, in a blink of an eye he disappeared from sight and reappeared right in front of Brawly. He sent down a powerful hammer strike to Nagato but was stopped as Nagato struck Brawly in the gut lifting his body up a couple of inches.
It was almost impossible for someone of Nagato’s stature to be able to lift up someone as large as Brawly even a few inches, but as if to disprove my fact Nagato spun on his heel and sent a sweeping arm to Brawly’s leg. Brawly was knocked off his feet and in mid-air Nagato placed his hands underneath Brawly’s falling body and in an impossible feat was lifting up that enormous body.
Jack sent a wave of frost to Nagato to which he glared at it causing his eye to glow unnaturally, the frost melted but not into water, into a black material akin to slime. It fell to the floor harmless, Nagato spun and threw Brawly at Jack, the two crashed and rolled into the brick wall that served as a fence for the school.
It wasn’t the first time Jack had seen that black material. Tenchi attacked Nagato with his ghost-thingy… What was his name? Izanagi? Yeah, him. He attacked and Nagato, without even touching Izanagi, turned him into that black material and it formed into a spire and impaled Tenchi without a fuss. Then Jack struck, Nagato dodged but Jack’s entire right arm turned into that black material and Nagato kicked it causing it to break apart. Apparently Brawly wasn’t even worth the trouble of turning into goop, Nagato weaved and dodged Brawly’s fast blows as if it were nothing, and he attacked the soft spots Brawly had. No matter how strong he was he couldn’t train all of his muscles, after a devastating strike to his throat Brawly had lost his voice.
“Man, you guys are so weak! No wonder you guys are just minor characters.” Nagato chided, as if it were their faults they were weak. Jack stared at Nagato and felt a strange resemblance, as scary as it sounded Nagato was a lot like Minoru. The only difference was this guy’s snow white hair and purple eyes, actually he resembles… Kichiro more than Minoru.
“Well now, time to kill you guys!” A blob of darkness materialized in his hands and he aimed it at Jack and Brawly with a crooked smile. He fired. Suddenly the air pressure had dropped and the temperature quickly followed suit, the blob of darkness froze over as it neared Jack and turned into a harmless block of ice as it fell to the ground breaking apart. Jack didn’t want to resort to Absolute Zero; he looked over at Brawly who was slowly turning blue from the sudden temperature drop. Jack got to his feet and ran towards Nagato hoping to slow down the temperature drop around Brawly so he wouldn’t die. As annoying as it is Jack didn’t want Keiko or Minoru lecturing him about killing their fellow members.
Without noticing Nagato leaped into the air and aimed a quick kick at Jack’s face, Idiotic, as soon as he gets close he’ll freeze over. But the kick connected and it had more power than Jack thought, he was sent flying to the left crashing into a pillar of the school. It didn’t matter; Nagato’s leg is as good as gone. He looked over at Nagato who had a pained expression on his face.
“Damn, your ice powers certainly are impressive; they even managed to freeze my leg.” He gestured towards his left leg which was encased in ice. “It’s a shame though, it almost got me.” With his right hand he broke his left leg as bone and flesh dropped to the floor and all that remained was a stump that was blue from the cold. Jack snickered, it wasn’t exactly a cool way but he disabled that bastard.
“Oh well.” Suddenly tendrils of darkness erupted from his body and wrapped around the stump of a leg, then it encased the missing limb in darkness kinda like a cast until it formed an outline of a leg.
“No goddamned way…” The cast of darkness melted away to reveal Nagato’s leg right there, healthy and with zero evidence of damage. So he had regenerating abilities… No, it wasn’t regeneration as it was regrowth or… something. Jack’s mind began to reel; he was feeling light-headed from the blood loss. He froze over his shoulder where the wound start to freeze the blood to stop the bleeding, he needed to get everyone out of here but he didn’t know a thing about Nagato’s abilities and Nagato seemed to know everything about theirs! In a casual manner Nagato walked over to Brawly’s unconscious body, he knelt and touched Brawly’s neck and suddenly his body jumped back on his feet and Nagato held Brawly by the back of his neck.
That was impossible, but it looked like Brawly jumped up himself. Jack looked at Brawly’s eyes to see he was still unconscious, but how could a kid manage to pick up Brawly like that?
“Let’s try this again.” Electricity popped and crackled, Nagato’s eyes widened. He dropped Brawly’s body and rolled expertly to the left avoiding a powerful blow by Keiko which cracked the ground. She stood in front of Brawly with her arms raised and an aura of electricity surrounding her.
“Sorry I’m late, what’d I miss?”
A thousand men and woman stood at attention in the large auditorium. They wore simple black uniforms with a Section III emblem etched on their right breast with the Greek symbol for Beta, Delta, Epsilon, and Gamma right underneath it for their respective companies. Atlas and Kronos stood in front of all of them, even though their numbers were impressive they easily loomed over the combined companies.
“What does Karasu intend to do with all of these soldiers?” Atlas grumbled with irritation drenching his voice. Kronos crossed his arms and stared at the companies.
“Hard to tell, but it seems all he wanted was Alpha Company.” Kronos rumbled with a heavy voice.
“Then why assemble all of them?”
“Easy.” A new voice chimed in from behind, it was shallow and exhausted weathered by age. The duo turned around to see Karasu behind them, he looked like hammered shit. Blood and mud caked his face while scars tarnished his good clothing and arms, his left eye was glowing red, it looked menacing; as if he were a demon.
“They are fodder, easily expendable; I shall rid of them myself.” Before either of them could react a black void shimmered into existence around the soldiers. It collapsed crushing all of them and shimmered out of existence leaving nothing in its wake. Atlas roared in anger and a massive spear appeared in his hands, he charged Karasu as did Kronos when a scythe appeared in his hands.
“It is said that Atlas bears the weight of the sky on his shoulders, while Kronos lies in the pit of Tartarus in pieces. Let’s see how much is true of that.” His red eye glowed until it became blinding, suddenly Atlas was smashed into the ground prostrate, the ground broke under the sudden weight and he roared as he struggled to get to his knees. Bright yellow beams materialized around Kronos piercing his thighs and slicing off his legs from the knees, a swirling black void broke into reality above him as it sucked the large man inside. His screams faded as the black hole disappeared.
“Curse you Karasu! What do you intend to do?!” Atlas roared so loudly that the entire building shook.
“I intend to use Section III to obliterate all of those in my way, starting with you.” Golden tendrils snaked their way out of Karasu’s hands and wrapped around Atlas’s neck. “The power of a Titan, this will be amusing.”
In a few minutes both Atlas and Kronos stood in front of Karasu, Kronos had had to acquire replacements for his missing legs, large titanium prosthetics were fixed to his knees. They were standing at attention, their shades were gone and their eyes were glowing red in complete mimicry to Karasu’s left eye.
“A weak form of mind-control,” Karasu mused, “I had to utilize All Fiction to break your minds to substitute my own. Ah, why am I explaining this to you brainless fodder? You’re now the equivalent of brain dead rats, but still you have your uses.” He walked over to the left and the two brain-dead zombies followed.
“Find me the rest of Alpha Company and bring them here, alive.”
“What of Tsubaki and Hinagiku?” Atlas asked with a monotonous voice.
“They are far too troublesome to deal with at the moment; we will deal with them later. Right now do as I command, but find Roland and Jonah first, they are the only ones who Tsubaki and Hinagiku could tolerate.”
The two men strode off robotically to their task, in a single moment Karasu had single-handedly overthrown the most covert group known to Arcadia. And now he is on the search for superhuman monsters in order to acquire two immeasurable superhuman monsters. The old man smiled cruelly as he gazed upon an ancient picture of Iwasaki Izumi at age 17.
“Do not worry my dear, your son will be able to join you soon enough.”
He smashed the picture.