(NOTE: At this point in the story, this is the day after their first day in college. The day previous, Mindy came onto Ti-Chan and wouldn't take "no" for an answer, prompting Ki-Chan to lose control of her anger and her latent rage power. Ki-Chan finds herself struggling to control her hidden power and her emotions, while Ti-Chan is trying to think of a constructive way to tell her he has a new power himself, the power to slip into her dreams. The two started the morning in a training session, which messed up the landscape Lily was working on. So Violet tosses the duo a satchel of yen, telling them to go pick up gardening supplies, but also telling them they need to go work things out by themselves. This excerpt picks up just as they are leaving the backyard.)
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Ti-Chan and Ki-Chan walk down the hill, counting how many neighbors are now starring up at them in shock. There are only two houses on either side of the hill with a good enough distance between the hill and the street that their home is mostly secluded, but considering the light show that just happened, the neighbors are understandably scared. Ki-Chan tips her hat low in embarrassment, hoping the brim of her cap will cover her pink cheeks, while Ti-Chan smiles and waves.
Ti-Chan: Hello nice neighbors whipping out their holo phones! Promise you don’t post that anywhere, okay? We don’t have enough room for the police to park.
A few neighbors nod their heads and withdraw the electronic devices. Ki-Chan can’t bring herself to make eye contact. Ti-Chan looks to her, dropping his eyebrows.
Ti-Chan: Pixie… I wish you would think more of me.
Ti-Chan: You keep thinking I’m going to cheat on you.
She stops walking. He turns around to face her after walking ahead a bit. She lifts up her brim.
Ki-Chan: … Where’d ya get DAT ‘pression?
Ti-Chan: This whole thing with Mindy. I don’t even like her.
Ki-Chan: I know. Ya tol’ her t’ back off. I heard ya.
Ti-Chan: But in your dreams, you always see me with other women, like I’m going to leave or something.
Ki-Chan gets a defensive look on her face.
Ki-Chan: …. HOW..didja know dat?
Ti-Chan: Ah… you talk in your sleep. What’s going on with you? Don’t you trust me, Ki-Chan?
Ki-Chan: Ti-Chan… dis isn’t ‘bout trust. Ya got dis all wrong!
Ti-Chan: Do I? Then what is this about?
Ki-Chan: Ti-Chan… I already lost one family ta demons… I don’ wanna lose anothur.
Ti-Chan’s eyes soften. His shoulders drop.
Ti-Chan: Oh Pixie...
Ki-Chan: Der’s all kinds o’ demons in th’ world. Cecil an’ Lily were tellin’ me. An’ Kameko tol’ me dat females can b’ dangerous ‘cause dey can look innocent an’ dey can still take a man. All a female gots ta do ‘s look cute an’ dey can have anythin’ dey want she said. An’ den Cecil said dat ‘s der’s an ol’ folk tale, dat der were sirens an’ harpies an’ such dat can lure a man t’ his doom. Dey wouldn’t’ve tol’ me ‘f I didn’ have ta answer mythology questions on m’ test ta get into school.
Ti-Chan: Now that you mention it… yeah, there were a few questions on the entrance exam about harpies, but I didn’t put it together. Really odd that they were so specific on it. We read about that long before we knew about the Starwalkers, right?
Ki-Chan: Right! An dat’s prob’ly why I keep seein’ harpies an’ sirens in m’ nightmares. S’ ‘cause o’ what we learned. An’ Mindy? She’s awful. She may not b’ a demon, bu’ she sure acts like one. In m’ head, I keep seein’ her turn crazy an’ possess ya, like sumpthin’ from a manga. It ain’t right ta think dat, bu’ I can’t make th’ thoughts go away, m’ head jus’ never works right.
Ti-Chan walks close to her again, placing his hands on her shoulders and gazing into her eyes.
Ti-Chan: Pixie.. I’m not going to leave you.
Ki-Chan: Sugar, lemme b’ clear. Lookit me. I know yer not ever gonna cheat on me. I can read yer thoughts. Yer a good guy an’ ya got honor. I wouldn’t let ya dis close t’ m’ ‘f ya didn’t.
Ti-Chan: I… I have honor, Pixie?
Ki-Chan: Yeah, Sugar, ya do. B’sides, I know yer not suicidal! S’ ya’d never do nothin’ ta hurt me unless we were trainin’ or ya got possessed, or I went mad an’ it was me or th’ world. Yer good!
Ti-Chan: Ah. Good to know.
Ki-Chan: I love ya, Sugar. S’ don’ worry ‘bout trust no more.
They kiss, just as a slow breeze of cherry blossoms blows past. Quietly at the top of the hill, Kameko takes a picture with her holophone. Cecil and Ruey have combined their ice and fire wind powers to create a subtle breeze, circling the hill with blossoms. Lily taps the screen of Kameko’s phone as Kameko shoots a few more pictures. Violet smiles, shaking her head.
Violet: You guys are hopeless romantics.
Ruey: I’m just surprised this idea actually worked!
Cecil: Well we both have a little wind power, so by mixing fire and ice, we can make a little steam power, just light enough so we don’t destroy the blossoms.
Lily: The zoom on this camera is terrific!
Kameko: Thanks! I got this with my severance pay from the Restoran. Ooooooooooh this last one is perfect!
Lily: Oh drats, they moved. Ah well, we should print this one up on a canvas, it would go great in the living room.
Cecil: Can I see?
Ruey: HEY WAIT!! Cecil I need you to cool my fl-WHOOPS!
Suddenly, a “whoosh” sound is heard as a real wind blows between Ruey and Cecil. Ruey’s fire power ignites, setting off a breeze of flaming cherry blossoms towards the bottom of the hill. Everyone looks down in horror.
Ruey: AIIIEEE!! It’s like little drops of FIRE AND DEATH from the sky!! LILY QUICK!! They’re gonna hit the neighbors!!
Lily: SHIT!! I can’t reach them in time, Kameko!!… KAMEKO?? KAMEKO ARE YOU SERIOUS??
Kameko: Just a second…. THERE!! Oh that is so pretty. If I twist them on my new paint program, I can say they’re fairies.
Lily: CAMERA! DOWN!! SUPER SPEED! USE IT!!
Kameko: Huh? Oh yeah! TAURUS SPEED!!
Kameko grabs Lily’s hand as her body turns pink. She dashes up and down the hill while Lily extinguishes the little fire blossoms. Ruey picks up the holophone from the ground and swipes through the pictures with Cecil.
Ruey: You know… these little death blossoms do look pretty.
Cecil: It would kind of be a poetic way to die, you know? Surrounded by a sudden gust of flaming flower petals, I’m sure some woman out there would think this was the way to go out.
Lily: EEK!! They got on the neighbor’s cat!!
Kameko: SHIT!! He just got into the other guy’s farm. AW FUCK he’s lighting the yard up, LILY DO SOMETHING!!
Ruey: I can totally see that. Hey, this one does look like a fairy!
Ki-Chan: Demon Hunter Book #2 is still very early in development with a release date not yet set. However, since the holidays can be a stressful time, it was Koriander Bullard's decision to release this sneak peek early to share a little humor with you all. Artwork has not yet been assigned to this segment, so please leave your comments and suggestions at the bottom of this post. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
UPDATE: Re-posted on May 8, 2017. Thank you all for your suggestions, new art coming soon! ♥
Lily Michaels is a responsible, optimistic and hopeful young woman, entering her twenty second year of life. But it’s often that more hopeful side of her that is about to be her downfall.
The closer the team gets to their April orientation, the more excited she gets. For the next few weeks, all anyone can hear about is science and world history out of her. She practices tying her bow on her new uniform every day, taking silly school photos with Kameko in both the winter and warm weather uniforms and playing memory games with Ki-Chan between helping to train the latter in the backyard.
Finally, it’s the first of April. The sun is just starting to peek from underneath the heavy clouds of the prior evening. Birds are starting to chirp softly. A squirrel stretches his little arms out in front of his face as he sits on the limb of a Sakura tree. Dew drops, cold and slick, form on the tops of the budding flowers. A serene image from the top of the hill where the Humanesques live in Chichibu.
Lily: AAAAAAA!! GUYS WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!!
So imagine Lily’s frustration, when there’s little time to catch the train and nobody is prepared. In uniform and on high alert, Lily frantically bolts out of her bedroom to find that everyone else is asleep. But she’s forgotten her shoes, prompting her to skid on her socks across the freshly waxed hardwood floor, smacking her face into the door to Ti-Chan’s room at the end of the hall.
Lily: OW FUCK!!
Kameko: Ugh, LIL-Leeeee! What’s with all the screaming?
Lily: Ugh KAMEKO!! Look at the clock!
Kameko wearily stumbles back to her bedroom. There is quiet for a moment. Then suddenly, Lily can hear the quickened stomping of Kameko’s feet across the room.
Kameko: AAAIIIEEEE!! WHY DIDN’T YOU GET ME UP SOONER, LILY??
Lily: YOU ARE AN ADULT!! Don’t you have an alarm clock??
Kameko: DON’T YOU??
Ti-Chan: Mmphr *yaawn* Did someone knock?
Ruey: Ugh, what’s going on?
Kameko: RUEY!! SCHOOL!! LATE!!
Ruey: Hah? Wait WHAT?? WHAT!! What time is it??
Lily: Time for YOU to get an alarm clock, we’re late!!
Techno: Lily, mmmph come back to bed.
Lily: I CAN’T!! We’re going to be late!!
Techno: Wha, wait what time is-
Lily: GET DRESSED!!
Violet: What are you guys all doing upstairs? Coffee is ready!
Lily: Violet!! You ready?
Violet: Damn straight, where are your shoes, Lil?
Lily: Never mind that shit, where’s Cecil?
Violet: He told me he was going to the bathroom.
Techno: GAH!! Why did you let me sleep this long??
Lily: How long ago was that?
Violet: An hour ago, wasn’t he with you?
Violet: God dammit, CECIL!!
Violet storms up the stairs, pushes Lily aside and kicks open the door to the bathroom between Ruey and Kameko’s room. There, Cecil sits on the toilet in his silk boxers, with a toothbrush in his mouth, hand on the toilet paper, completely asleep.
Cecil: *SNORT* Wha whu gowin’ ohnn?
Violet: We are going to be LATE!!
Cecil finishes up in the bathroom, but then Kameko screams again, waking up Marlowe and Silas, who somehow were oblivious to Lily’s commotion.
Kameko: MY MAKEUP EXPIRED!! UGHHH it’s itchy!!
Lily: Kameko! CATCH!!
Kameko: Cold cream?
Lily: Just go natural for today!
Kameko: I cant be seen like this!!
Lily: Didn’t you just buy coral lipstick the other day?
Kameko: OH YEAH!! Where’s my bow?
Ti-Chan: SHIT!! My briefcase isn’t closing!!
Silas: Are we supposed to do the winter or the warm outfits??
Lily: WINTER!! Guys get it together!
Ti-Chan: I forget, is winter the white shirt or the blue-
Lily: BLUE SHIRT BLUE SHIRT BLUE SHIRT!!
Marlowe: Does it even really matter?
Lily: JUST PUT IT ON!!
Marlowe: Okay GEEZ just don’t be a bitch about it.
Lily: The HELL did you call me, BOY?
Cecil: Guys not now!! Where’s Techno?
Techno: I can’t get my tie right!!
Lily: I’m coming!!
Techno: That’s what you said last night.
Cecil: WHAT was that??
Techno: What did you think I said?
Cecil: DUDE that’s my SISTER!!
Lily: GUYS cut it out!!
Techno: Lily you forgot to braid that side.
Lily: EEK!! It came out again?
Kameko: AAAA!! GUYS has anybody seen my bow??
Lily: Just wear the blue one!
Kameko: But I hate it, it’s all dark from the wash!
Lily: It matches your uniform!
Kameko: OH!! Okay!
Ruey: Um Kameko? I found your bow.
Kameko: AH!! Ruey where was it?
Ruey: Um.. you don’t wanna wear it now.
Kameko: RUEY! Where was it?
Ruey: Um, remember that game we played last night?
Kameko: Oh…. Oooooh shit….
Ruey: I’ll wash it, just go get dressed!
Violet: Are we out of jam? Who ate the last of the jam I bought??
Lily: USE BUTTER!!
Violet: We’re OUT of butter.
Lily: THEN EAT IT DRY, COME ON!!
Silas: Nobody eats dry toast.
Lily: I’ll eat a RHINO if it means getting out on time!!
Techno: Shoes shoes SHOES!! CATCH!!
Lily catches a pair of shoes from Techno. Ruey slides down the banister. Violet quickly flings sandwiches into ten lunchboxes. Kameko uses her super speed to dart down the stairs, putting on her lipstick on the way down. Silas combs his hair towards the kitchen, then grabs a lunchbox. Marlowe puts gel and a comb through his hair as he races through the house, looking for his shoes. Ti-Chan fixes his ponytail, then with a comb and toothbrush in each hand, simultaneously brushes his teeth and grooms his beard before washing up over the sink and then racing downstairs. Everyone lines up for a final inspection.
Lily: Okay, just as we rehearsed, everyone’s in their winter gear, suitcases, lunchboxes, shoes, socks, check, check, Violet what did you do to your skirt?
Violet: Rebels wear their skirts long.
Lily: What era is this? And Kameko, you too?
Kameko: What? Mini skirts are in this season. All I did was hem it a little bit.
Lily: A little?? It’s mid-thigh!!
Marlowe: I’m not complaining.
Ruey: At least her underwear is covered this time.
Kameko: I can always loosen the stitch if it gets cold.
Lily: You’re hopeless, okay let’s g-WAIT!!
Cecil: What is it now?
Lily: Something is missing.
Techno: Hey yeah, now that you mention it.
Ti-Chan: Something doesn’t seem right about this, you guys.
Violet: Does it matter? We’re going to be LATE!
Lily: Just a moment. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine-where’s Ki-Chan?
Violet: Kid? I thought she was with YOU!
Ti-Chan: Me? I was in the bathroom!
Kameko: Wasn’t she in the kitchen making lunch?
Violet: No, that was ME.
Marlowe: I don’t believe this.
Ti-Chan: PIXIE where are ya?
Suddenly, everyone hears snoring from upstairs.
Lily:…… Could it be?
Ruey: No way..
Violet: You have GOT to be kidding me.
Violet storms up stairs and kicks in Ki-Chan’s door. Sprawled out on top of the sheets is our heroine, fast asleep.
Violet: ARE YOU SERIOUS?? Kid, get the fuck up!!
Ki-Chan: Zzzzzzz mmm… I like puddin.
Violet: What did you say?
Ki-Chan: Zzzzzzz… chokit…. Puddin...
Violet: Kid… don’t tempt me…
Ki-Chan: Izzat you.. Violet-chan? Mmphr… goway. Shoo.
Violet: ……… Excuse me?
Ki-Chan: M’ not havin’ a nightmare fer a change… goway. Shoo shoo. S’ too early…
Violet: Oh hell no.
Violet marches to the bed, grabs Ki-Chan’s foot, and drags her still sleeping body out of bed and into the bathroom. Ripping open the shower curtain, she sets the water to an icy blast, then tosses the girl’s limp body into the tub. Ki-Chan screams, swallows a mouthful of shower water, and struggles to her feet.
Ki-Chan: DAMMIT VIOLET wha’ th’ hell’s yer problem??
Violet: SHOWER!! CHANGE!! We’re going to be LATE!!
Everyone waits at the end of the staircase for Ki-Chan. She showers quickly, but exits the bathroom a complete mess. Her hair is tangled and she is stumbling around, trying to find her shoes. Kameko, Lily and Violet head up the stairs and grab her.
Lily: You are NOT leaving the house like that.
Ki-Chan: Leggo! LEGGO!! Wha’ time izzit?
Kameko: Time for you to get a brush, back inside!
Lily pulls off Ki-Chan’s school top, then Violet dunks Ki-Chan’s head into the tub, dumping shampoo over her matted locks. She roughly washes Ki-Chan’s hair, then pulls her head back into Kameko, who towels the girl’s head off rigorously. As Ki-Chan is fussing, Lily dumps a leave-in conditioner onto her head.
Ki-Chan: THA HELL ARE YA DOIN??
Violet: Trying to make you look presentable.
Lily rubs the conditioner through her head while Kameko sprays hair oil over the conditioner. Violet brushes it through as Ki-Chan yelps and screams with each tangle being pulled.
Violet: SHIT!! When’s the last time you washed this mess?
Lily: Didn’t you even try to moisturize?
Ki-Chan: Wazzat even mean?? I used shampoo!
Kameko: You’re supposed to moisturize after a hair washing, your hair looks like you’ve been in a fight.
Ki-Chan: I WAS!! Ya trained with m’ yesterday, ‘member??
Kameko: Oh yeah! I remember.
Violet: Dammit, Kid HOLD STILL!!
Ki-Chan: YEEK! Quit scrapin’ m’ head!! Jus’ lemme get m’ cap!
Lily: NO CAPS IN SCHOOL!! This still isn’t looking right.
Kameko: Quick! Hand me the band!
Kameko squeezes a green, blue and white striped headband over Ki-Chan’s large head. Ki-Chan’s eyes widen like a wet cat.
Lily: Your lips are dry. QUICK!! Lip balm!
Kameko: Got it!
They smear cherry lip balm over Ki-Chan’s lips, then motion for her to smack her lips to coat evenly.
Ki-Chan: *MMMPA!* Didja jus’ put FOOD on m’ face?
Kameko: It’s lip balm, DON’T EAT IT!! You’re in COLLEGE now!! Should you really need to be told this?
Ki-Chan: Den whysit taste like food??
Violet: Stop fussing so I can finish this mess!
Lily: Quit licking your lips!! Kameko! Get the earrings!
Kameko: No good, she doesn’t have holes, do you have clip ons?
Lily: JESUS She isn’t pierced??
Ki-Chan: Wazzat pointy thing doin’ by m’ head?
Violet: Kameko, get the peroxide, Lily, stretch her lobes!
Ki-Chan: OW OW OW Whatcha doin’ t’ m’ head??
Violet shoots a brown beam through each of Ki-Chan’s ear lobes, thin like a needle. Ki-Chan starts screaming as Kameko towels off the blood, then scrubs the ears with peroxide. Then, she cleans off a set of quartz studs and pokes them through Ki-Chan’s new earring holes. The quartz has a rainbow hue, picking up the colors of Ki-Chan’s headband nicely, as Violet fits Ki-Chan’s top over her head, roughly. Lily fixes the bow under Ki-Chan’s lapel while Kameko fastens a pair of black Mary-Jane shoes over Ki-Chan’s white stockings. The three help Ki-Chan to her feet while she is still screaming in pain. Lily spins her around to fix the bow on Ki-Chan’s skirt as Kameko pushes Ki-Chan’s briefcase into her right hand, while Violet pulls on her left. The three rush Ki-Chan outside the bathroom and down the stairs.
Ti-Chan: What’s with all the screaming? Pixie are you okay?
Kameko: She’s fine.
Ki-Chan: Like HELL I am!!
Ti-Chan YOUR HEAD IS BLEEDING!!
Violet: She’ll heal, can we go now?
Ti-Chan: WHY IS HER HEAD BLEEDING???
Kameko: It’s a female thing.
Ki-Chan: IT VERY MUCH IS NOT!!
Techno: We are fantastically behind, how are we even gonna make it? The school is nearly an hour from here by train!
Kameko: Leave it to me, grab on!
Everyone forms a train, holding the arm of the person in front of them, except for Ki-Chan, who is being pulled by Ti-Chan. Kameko briefly lets go, taking up the cases. She puts them in a little cart with bento boxes, three purses and a few gym bags, then straps the cart onto Ki-Chan.
Kameko: Ki-Chan! Hang tight to that cart for me, kay?
Ki-Chan: Wha’ th’ hell? Why’d ya strap a cart t’ m’-
Kameko: Okay guys, hang tight! TAURUS SPEED!!
Kameko’s body turns a bright, strawberry pink. Suddenly, she bolts out of the door with everyone hanging on for dear life.
She races down the hill then into traffic, picking up speed as she races on foot, darting her eyes around to find the sign.
Kameko: GUYS!! I dunno if you can understand me at this speed, but it looks like we missed the train. We’ll be running along side it today, hang tight!
Marlowe: How can you tell? EVERYTHING IS PINK!!
Ruey: What’s keeping the bags and such inside the cart?
Lily: Centripetal force! Kameko and I practiced this cart trick yesterday after the yard work. As long as she runs at a high speed and it’s curved just right, we should be okay.
Kameko: Yeah, but if I stop, those bags are going to fly out. You guys, be prepared to duck if you can help it.
Lily: Right! The centrifugal force of the bags will going to be strong enough to break an arm.
Ki-Chan: DEN WHY DIDJA STRAP IT TA ME??
Kameko: Eh… you’re the strong one, you’ll survive!
Ki-Chan: JUS’ CAUSE M’ AN’ ORPHAN DON’T MEAN M’ DISPOSB’LE!! I wunder ‘f Basheeba was treated dis bad?
Kameko races along with the bullet train to Hannō, matching her speed so she can watch where the train goes. Running along the countryside, she tries to avoid the rabbits along the way. Suddenly, she sees a sign pointing to the school in the distance. Curving her body, she turns, taking everyone back onto the road, through the streets, and then finally, in the distance, the university can be seen on the immediate horizon.
Kameko: GUYS! Hang tight, we’re almost there! I can see somebody in a suit at the gates!!
Ruey: Puddle ahead! WAIT!! NO!! KAMEKO, DON’T!!
Kameko: HEY!! DON’T CLOSE THE GATES YE-WHOOPS!!
Kameko slips on a puddle. Everyone goes spinning and crashing into the metal gate, smashing it into a steel knot with Kameko trapped in the center. Strewn bags and lunch boxes are all about, as Kameko, weary and lightheaded, tries to wave her arms from the steel knot, trying to roll it towards the man in a suit.
Kameko: *PANT PANT* Please… don’t close the gate..
Walking slowly towards the pile of bodies, the man looks curiously at Kameko. Mostly bald with a black ribbon of hair around the middle of his skull, he looks to be a small man in his late 40’s. His features are mostly Japanese, except for his sky blue eyes, the same shade as Kameko’s. He leans down to her level as she struggles to get free.
Man:… My dear child… you do know that school doesn’t start until 8:30, right?
Man: By my watch, lets see… you’re about an hour and a half too early. Sorry about that. We’re just not ready for you guys yet.
Everyone turns to glare at Lily, who is the first to sit up. Busted locks, papers and flipped bento boxes are randomly scattered. Embarrassed, Lily rubs the back of her head and grins.
Lily: So um… do we still do daylight savings in Japan? I uh.. I may have set my clock forward an hour… um… my bad!
Ki-Chan: S’ gonna b’ yer ASS f’ I can feel m’ legs ever again!!
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Ti-Chan: What do you people want from us?
Panti: Just a sparring match, Leo Soldier. Just to see where you both stand against us.
Ki-Chan: Listen, I dunno who th' hell ya are, bu' yer ruinin' m' first date here. Pr'pare t' get yer asses kicked!
The four lunge for each other. Hadagi goes after Ti-Chan while Panti heads for Ki-Chan. Hadagi focuses on stiff strikes while Ti-Chan delivers kick after kick. The two men are evenly matched. Panti and Ki-Chan trade punches and elbow strikes until Ki-Chan leads the fight away from town and into the park.
Panti: Where are you going little Scorpio? Are you really running away?
Ki-Chan: Th' Hell I am! I jus' can't let ya fight me 'round other folks. Sum’one can get hurt!
Panti: Ha! Don't make me laugh, I can level this entire village if I wanted to.
Ki-Chan: Not on m' watch ya weirdo!
Ki-Chan delivers an uppercut to Panti, but is speared by Hadagi. The two tumble down a hill. Ki-Chan slides near a tree, Hadagi returns to his feet, then kicks her rib. Panti delivers a side-sweeping kick to Ti-Chan, knocking him down the hill as well.
Ki-Chan gets up, blocking another kick from Hadagi. It's now male verses female. Hadagi and Ki-Chan trade blows while Ti-Chan ducks and weaves through Panti's strikes. Panti jumps up and delivers a roundhouse kick. Ti-Chan blocks with his right forearm as he watches Hadagi grab Ki-Chan’s arm. Ki-Chan goes to punch Hadagi with her left, just as he sends off a fireball with his right. She moves her head just in time, then ducks a secondary punch.
Hadagi: It's no fun trying to kill you in a forest.
Ki-Chan: Howsat MY problem?
Releasing his grip, Hadagi fires an energy blast from his hand into Ki-Chan's face, blinding her for a moment and burning a little skin. He and Panti fly back to the top of the hill overlooking the park. Ti-Chan and Ki-Chan quickly catch up, continuing the fight mid-air. Panti and Ti-Chan trade energy blasts at each other, as Hadagi and Ki-Chan trade knee strikes, kicks and punches high above the park. Ti-Chan knocks Panti back, but Hadagi grabs Ki-Chan by the hair and slams her to the ground. Her body skids, leaving a track on the cement. Ti-Chan flies down, but Panti blocks his path to Hadagi, as Hadagi lifts Ki-Chan's head up by her hair.
Hadagi: *Pant pant* Why? …. Why are you holding back??
Ki-Chan: *Pant pant* Wha?
He slams her face into the ground, then stands up, spiting out a little lip blood. Panti returns to his side.
Hadagi: Stand up. I SAID STAND UP!!
Ki-Chan slowly stands up, turning around to face Hadagi.
Hadagi: This… this whole fight. You were holding your power back. Why?
Ti-Chan's eyes widen in curiosity, as he slowly stands to attention.
Hadagi: TALK DAMN YOU!! Why were you holding back?
Ki-Chan: …… Jus' b'cause yer evil… an' yer beatin' me up…. don't mean I need ta stoop to YOUR level.
Hadagi:…… Wait what?
Ki-Chan: Are ya deaf? I said I don' need ta stoop to yer level!!
Hadagi:…. Wait let me get this straight. I am a demon. Panti is a demon. We are both demonic, we have super powers, and we are legit trying to KILL you…. And you…. DON'T want to … "stoop" to our level by powering up enough to maybe I don’t know.. take us down?
Ki-Chan: Tha's right! I don' need ta murder ya, I jus' need ta d'fend m'self an' Ti-Chan.
Hadagi:…. Wow. That's either very noble or very stupid.
Panti: I can't believe this. Look, Kid, we're going to keep coming after you. If you don't learn to amp it up and quick, we can and we WILL kill you.
Ti-Chan: Just answer me this. Why do you keep coming after her? What do you want from her?
Ki-Chan: Yeah! Tha's a good question. Yer strangers, s' why d'ya wanna keep comin' after me?
Hadagi: Strangers…. Wow, you really don't remember, do you?
Ki-Chan: R'member what?
Panti: Don't worry, you'll find out very soon.
Hadagi: At any rate, this was only a sparring session. Come Panti, I'm feeling pretty satisfied now, let's leave them to their… little date.
Panti: It may be their only one.
They disappear through a portal. Ti-Chan pats Ki-Chan down, searching for wounds.
Wiping his cheek, the man lunges for Ti-Chan. The two exchange blows at a rapid speed. Ti-Chan backs up, luring the man away from Ki-Chan as the fight continues. Once out of the alley, both men take to the sky, hovering above the alley as they duke it out. Not satisfied to stay below, the woman flies up, joining the men in trading kicks.
Ki-Chan stares at the sky, her vision returning to normal. She can't make sense of why there are three people flying, but before she can justify it, she has a thought.
Ki-Chan: … HEY!! Two against one ain't fair!!
She spots a rock, picks it up, and hurls it at the woman as hard as she can. It smacks the woman right in the back of the head. Taken off guard, the three look down at Ki-Chan.
Ki-Chan: HEY!! I dunno what th' hell ya are, but it ain't fair t' gang up on someone like dat. At least wait yer damn turn ya dumb bitch!
All three look down at her, completely floored.
Man:…………. Did she… did she just?
Woman: Yeah! She just hit me in the head!!
Man:… So let me get this right. She couldn't fight back when we were double teaming her… but now she suddenly has the strength to chuck a rock at you?
Woman:… You know, that is a little odd. I mean, we're at least a good what… two? Three stories high right now?
Man: And so far, she's not even the least bit curious about us. That's what's bothering me the most right now. Look, just LOOK at us, she HAS TO see we're not human. I mean the fire for hair, glowing, pupil-free eyes, it's gotta freak her out at least a little bit, you know?
Ti-Chan: Not that I want to agree with you or anything, but we're all flying. Most people would be a little put off by that.
Man: You know, you have a point, I didn't even thi-wait what??
The man stares at Ti-Chan, realizing how unnatural it is for a human to fly. He darts his eyes back to Ki-Chan, then back to the woman beside him, slapping his head.
Man: SHIT!! I didn't even realize it!!
Woman: What? What's the matter?
He grabs her by the shoulders.
Man: THINK WOMAN!! How many people have YOU seen flying around like us lately?
Woman: Come to think of it…. Yeah, this is the first time.
Man: Very good. Now THINK!!
He grabs her by the head, re-focusing her gaze onto Ki-Chan.
Man: We are in JAPAN. Just HOW MANY people IN JAPAN do YOU see on a regular basis, with brown curls, giant eyes and THAT complexion??
Woman: Um… none. You know, she looks a little bit a-… oh no… no no no no no…. no you can't… you can't mean!!
The man releases the woman, and starts sweating.
Man: It is. I know it. I know that look anywhere. I should have noticed it before.
Woman: No!!! NO!! But what we did… it was supposed to nullify this day from ever happening. H-how can she be here???
Man: There is only one reason. We made the mistake time and again of underestimating her power.
Woman: That… That creature is… the Scorpion soldier… BASHEEBA!!
Woman: Then… then this guy is… Leonis??
Ti-Chan: Um… Did you say Leo?
Woman: SON OF A BITCH!!! No no NO!! I can't go through this again!! I just NOW got the nightmares to stop!! All my years of therapy, gone… GONE!!
Man: Calm down, we still have time. Their powers, I can feel it, they're stunted. They're not fully awake yet, we can salvage this moment!
Woman: Quickly, while they're still dormant!
The demonic duo turn sideways and start flying, aiming for Ki-Chan. Ti-Chan tries to catch up, but they're flying too fast for him to reach. Ki-Chan starts to panic, turns, and runs in the wrong direction, towards the wall.
Ki-Chan: AH SHIT!! SWEET SOMBITCH I would have to pick a dead end to hide in now wouldn't I??
She turns around, seeing them coming closer. There are no doors in the alley, nothing she can climb in time. She backs up into the brick wall and just stares at the demonic duo, realizing she has seconds left. As the flames on the man’s head begin to fan, Ki-Chan’s eyes begin to water.
Ki-Chan: This... is... it…
Ki-Chan: I… I…
Man: Your end is NOW Basheeba!!
Ki-Chan: I… I'm gonna… die…
Ki-Chan: Bu’... I…. I don' wanna die…..
Ki-Chan closes her eyes, takes in a deep breath, and screams.
Suddenly, her eyes flash open. The brown in her Iris and ebony of her pupils give way to a blue-white light.
Man: THE HELL??
Ki-Chan forms her hands in front of her breasts, as if she is squeezing a basketball. She then reaches on either side for the walls, releasing a large ball of energy. The ball increases in size, engulfing the demonic duo.
Ti-Chan backs up in mid-air and shuts his eyes, as the alley glows white.
Some distance away, Ruey and Lily spot a flashing light.
Ruey: What is THAT??
Lily: Heat lightning maybe?
Kameko: Hey that shadow… is that?
Ki-Chan unleashes her power by accident...
| || |
Ti-Chan: I’m not sure about this. How many bedrooms are in this house and how big are they?
Lily: Well I know it was only supposed to be the three of us, but it’ll be fine once you see the floor plan.
Marlowe takes a chair and turns it backwards. He sits on the chair wrong-way, leaning his arms and chin over the backrest, facing Lily’s table.
Lily:….. hmm…. Six big bedrooms and then one tiny one. Cecil, you and Violet can have the master bedroom. Techno, you and I can share the second-biggest one.
Silas: That last bedroom’s too small.
Kameko: I don't think any of us should take it. I dunno, just a funny hunch I guess.
Silas: Yeah. Hey, this one's roomy.
Marlowe: If you can keep your exercise crap on your side for a change, we can split it.
Silas: Alright, but bring your own computer. I'm sick of seeing all your mecha schoolgirl porn on my screen.
Marlowe: Oh come on, it's classic!
Lily: And for Ti-Chan, Ruey and Kameko, I guess that leaves you each one room then.
Ti-Chan I’ll take the room on the other side of the tiny one.
Techno: Oooooh, needing privacy are we?
Ti-Chan: Shut up.
Techno: Okay, all agreed then?
Ti-Chan: Alright then. Get some rest tonight. Tuesday morning, we leave for Chichibu-Tama, Japan!
With their fists in the air, the nine twenty-somethings smile. Chichibu, nestled just to the right of Han’ao would play host to a brand new world.