Thirteen Silver Chains

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themocaw
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Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by themocaw » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:14 am

"Going to take the sword this time?" Kenji asks.

"Of course. And the crossbow as well," I say, as I finish lacing up my boots and tying them securely. My partner nods as he adds the crossbow and a quiver of quarrels to the duffel bag.

"Hisao was asking me about our relationship, by the way," he says. "He seems to be a bit jealous of us. Thinks we're secretly seeing each other."

"I hope you dissuaded him from that notion."

"I gave him another rant about feminists. I think you should probably chat with him, though. He seems to think you two have been getting a bit distant," Kenji says, as he tosses me the sword.

I draw the blade from its sheath and check the length of folded steel for any nicks, cracks, or imperfections. Some hunters prefer katanas, but I find that a two-handed blade is often too long for close quarters work. Most nights I leave Willow-Branch at home and take Leaf-Cutter, the wakizashi, instead.

"Did you manage to track him to his lair?" I ask.

"Who, Hisao?"

"No. The vampire, you idiot."

"Oh, Yeah, I found him. He's in the old Shinto temple.

"Why do vampires always insist on living in old churches and temples, anyway?"

"I think it's a style thing. Vampires always like to have style. I don't know why. Maybe feeling mysterious and elegant distracts them from the fact that they're undead corpses powered by the blood of the living." Kenji takes off his glasses, removing the limiters from his Shaman Eyes, activating his vision into the Spirit World. The glasses he wears distorts his vision to the point where he's basically legally blind, but it's the only way that he can turn off his spirit vision. He once told me that living with the Third Eye is like being able to see all the bacteria and microorganisms that cover every surface: apparently, ghosts and spirits infest the real world just as thoroughly. I guess it would be hard to live life normally when you're constantly walking through ghosts and demons.

"Let's take the high road," Kenji says, as he unfurls his scarf. The red-and-gold striped cloth twists and transforms into its true form: a long mage's staff, six feet in length, with arcane runes engraved all along its length, and a blood-red ruby inset into its head. "I don't feel like taking the bus tonight."

"Agreed," I say, as I heft the duffle bag over my shoulder. "Let's go."

Kenji clasps his hands together and channels his power through his staff into his incantation. Black wings emerge from his back, sweeping both of us up in a whirlwind of black feathers. We emerge from the abandoned warehouse and leap into the night sky, soaring over the village on the wings of ten thousand ravens.

The night air is crisp and clean, and the stars shine brightly overhead, diamonds against the great pearl that is the full moon. The sight of that silver orb hanging high in the sky makes me shudder. Fighting a vampire during the full moon is often a losing proposition, but we have no choice. Every day we wait could mean another girl dead or enslaved.

We can't allow that. Not while we can stop it.

-----

Kenji sets us down in the courtyard of the old Shinto temple, dispersing his sorcerous wings in a flurry of black feathers. I step away from him and put down the duffle bag, opening it up and taking out the crossbow and quiver. "Do you see him?" I ask.

The dark-haired magus scans the temple, his hollow eyes filled with disgust and worry. His lips purse together. "We need to move fast," he says. "I think he's just found himself another snack."

"Then let's go."

I pull back the cocking lever of the crossbow and load in a silver-tipped bolt. The silver has been blessed by the Pope himself, and includes a small cavity filled with holy water. One of these is fatal to a normal vampire. Against a pureblood, however, it might only harm or immobilize them.

Not for the first time, I curse Japan's stringent firearms laws. My compatriots in America have things much easier.

Kenji and I race across the courtyard and take up positions on either side of the main temple door. Kenji nods to me, and we slide open the door and slip inside.

The scene within makes us freeze in place.

The Vampire is standing in the center of the temple, glaring at us with hateful scarlet eyes. His victim is slumped helplessly in his arms, clearly entranced by his hypnotic powers. What makes us freeze, however, is the identity of the victim.

"Yuuko," Kenji whispers.

The hateful creature laughs at us, as he holds Kenji's ex-girlfriend against his bare, withered chest. His jet black hair is shining brightly in the moonlight. "Did you really expect that I would not notice you searching for me, human mage?" he laughs. "I knew you were on my trail the moment you entered my domain."

"This is not your domain," I hiss. "This place is protected by the Society of Saint Michael. You will leave this place and never return."

"I don't think so," the vampire growls. "This place has been good hunting. So many delicious young things here for me to enjoy. It's a veritable buffet." He puts his gnarled claw down Yuuko's sweater and gropes her breast as he licks the back of her bare neck. "Bon appetit!"

"You bastard!" Kenji shouts, He steps forward, raising one hand as he channels his power through his staff.

"Don't even think about it, human mage!" the vampire growls. "The moment you begin to cast your spell, I'll tear this woman to pieces!"

Kenji freezes in place. I see, by the stark silver light of the moon, the pain and anguish in his eyes.

"You and your woman will both put down your weapons and step away. If you do so, I will allow this woman to live. . . as my thrall, of course. Make one move, however, and I'll kill her."

I turn to Kenji. He glances back at me.

He knows that it's a terrible idea. He knows that the moment we put down our weapons, we're dead.

He also knows that if we don't, Yuuko will die.

He knows that I have an answer to this. He knows what it will cost me.

I understand as well. I'm willing to pay that price.

I carefully lean down and put the crossbow on the ground, then kick it away from me. I repeat the process with Leaf-Cutter.

I need to go first. It's very important that I do so.

"And now you, magus," the vampire hisses.

Kenji puts his staff down and kicks it away, and then everything happens.

First, the vampire throws Yuuko aside and leaps for him. Kenji is slammed back against the temple wall as the Vampire lunges forward to tear open his throat and drink his life's blood.

Of course. Why drink the blood of a mere mortal when one could have the blood of the scion of one of the Thirteen Great Sorcerous Houses instead?

As he does so, I place my hand over the scar in my chest.

It is not right to say that I recite the following words. The incantation appears in my mind's eye in a split second.

-----

Thou Unfortunate Child of God and Man
Misbegotten Spawn of Divine Spirit and Mortal Flesh
Gadreel, Father of War
Born of Blood and Fire
Bound by Thirteen Chains
Beholden to Seven Sacred Oaths
I call on you to answer the pact between your blood and mine

-----

I always hate this next part.

The scar in my chest tears open, and my sternum cracks in two, exposing my burning heart to the world. It is surrounded by thirteen thin, silver chains, wrapped around my heart and locking in the creature kept within.

The chains explode from my heart as the nephilim locked within is released. The creature that now stands before me is over twelve feet tall, its bronzed skin rippling with powerful muscles. Eighteen silver-white wings emerge from its back, stretching from wall to wall. Its face is bound by a steel mask bearing the seven sigils of the Katayama Sorcerers. Thirteen silver chains bind it to me, the heavy hooks digging deep into its flesh.

It reaches down with one mighty claw and hurls the vampire away from Kenji, sending the creature sprawling to earth. The Pureblood's eyes are wide with shock and terror as it sees the Elder Thing it faces. "It is you!" he hisses. "The Scarlet-Eyed Angel of Death!"

"Yes," I hiss. "And you've pissed me off."

I order Gadreel to make the final attack with a mere twitch of my fingertip: any further motion might distract my mind from the delicate task of keeping an Elder Being with the power of the Gods bound into my service. The Pureblood raises its hands and channels all the blood magic it can against my servant. Black tendrils of necrotic energy explode all around the vampire, hurling stone-shattering spears of jet-black nothingness against the very God of War itself. Nothing, however, can halt the falling of the Sword of Saint George as it plunges down and impales the undead creature under its dragon-forged blade.

The vampire screams in agony as it rots away into ash, the necromantic energies that had been denying its death for so long fading away in an instant. I barely give it any thought: my mind is on my next battle. . . the battle to survive against my own weapon.

Gadreel screams as it fights against my silver chains, trying to break free. There is hate in its feral eyes, and murder in its animalistic howling. My will strains to the breaking point as I struggle to keep the chains from breaking, trying to remember the incantations taught to me by my great-aunt, so many years ago.

It is the fate of the Katayama Women to serve as the hosts to this creature. Those chosen to bind Gadreel within their hearts are forever marked as those who have seen the Face of God: their skin is turned as paper, and their hair as the snow, and their eyes are turned blood-red, as a symbol of the blood shed to bind Gadreel in the days before the Great Deluge. It was the fate of my mother, and my grandmother before her, and every maternal ancestor of mine back to the days of the Nephilim.

It is my fate now.

Gadreel fights harder now than I have ever felt him fight before. Not surprising: in order to kill the vampire before it could kill Kenji or Yuuko, I have, for the first time in my life, been forced to release all thirteen of the locks that kept it bound inside my heart. Only my strength of will keeps it bound to my service. It is the closest that Gadreel has come to freedom in over two thousand years, and it wants to very much to be set free.

And then I feel another will join the battle. Kenji gets to his feet, his face streaming blood from the gash in his forehead, his hands outstretched as he joins his will to mine. Under our combined efforts, Gadreel is forced, screaming and fighting, back into his prison within my heart. The chains are re-bound. The locks are closed once more. One my one, my ribs are re-joined, and the prison re-established.

Only once the skin over my heart re-knits itself, leaving only a thin, long scar, do I allow myself to pass out.

-----

I awaken to the sound of birds singing, and sunlight streaming through the broken roof of the temple upon my face.

Kenji is kneeling besides Yuuko's unconscious form, stroking her face gently. There is a deep and abiding sadness in his shadowed eyes. "You're awake?" he asks, as he sees me stir.

"Yes," I say.

Kenji nods back and stands, leaving Yuuko laying on the dusty temple floor. "We should go."

"What about Yuuko?"

"I've erased her memories of last night. She'll wake up in the temple, be a bit confused as to how she got here. . . then she'll remember she's late for her job at the library and forget all about it. It will just be another one of those odd little adventures she's always having."

I nod to my partner silently. "You should get back together with her."

"Rika, we've talked about this. You already know why I. . ."

"You said you were going to do this to protect her, but last night proved that even if you keep your distance from her, she'll still be in danger. As long as she's going to be in danger anyway, why shouldn't you two be together?"

Kenji shakes his head. "It's more complicated than that, you know."

"I know. But you should at least try."

Kenji nods to me. "Let's go back to the school before someone notices we're gone."

It's not a good idea to fly through the air in broad daylight, so we walk out of the temple and up the road towards Yamaku instead. We take a seat at the bus stop and watch the sun rise over the mountains.

"So what do you want me to tell Hisao?" Kenji asks, as he puts his glasses back on, turning off his Second Sight.

"I don't know," I say. "Perhaps something about feminism. That seems to be a good way of distracting people."

"I mean about you. Should I encourage him to pursue you? Or should I tell him to back off?"

". . . let me get back to you on that."

"All right, but don't take too long. He seems really interested in you, Rika."

I nod back to the dark-haired boy. "I'll do that."

The bus takes a long while to arrive. We spend that time sitting in silence, listening to the birds sing.
Last edited by themocaw on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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CarnivalNights
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by CarnivalNights » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:22 am

Hey, I request this. Thanks. =D

Edit: on KSG before anyone jumps on me for rule breaking.
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themocaw
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by themocaw » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:27 am

CarnivalNights wrote:Hey, I request this. Thanks. =D

Edit: on KSG before anyone jumps on me for rule breaking.
Hope you liked it. It started off more Buffy the Vampire Slayerish but then I had a fit of Nasu-itis.

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Mahorfeus
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by Mahorfeus » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:37 am

Read like the pilot for an OVA - shit's happening, you have no idea what, and the protagonist turns out to be some huge badass that kills the villain with "little" effort.

That aside, I like. :P
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." -Stendhal
The verdict is (finally) in:
Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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BlackWaltzTheThird
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:34 am

Kenji Setou: Vampire Hunter? And his partner is a demon weilding Rika? Count me in, I'm more than interested in seeing where this goes. It's certainly a big change from the other works I've been reading, with the possible exception of Mut-Who. Please do continue this story.
Cheers, BlackWaltz.
BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop - my fanfiction portal topic. Contains links to all my previous works, plus starting now any new ones I may produce (or reproduce)! Please, check it out!

BlackWaltz's Pastebin - for those who prefer to read things with no formatting and stuff. It's mostly the same as in my thread. Also contains assorted other writing!

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:40 am

Well, was this supposed to be a One-Shot or the Prologue to something more? Could really be either, and I enjoyed it either way.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

themocaw
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by themocaw » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:33 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, was this supposed to be a One-Shot or the Prologue to something more? Could really be either, and I enjoyed it either way.
On the one hand I'm tempted to write more. On the other, I'm tempted to leave it as it is.

On the gripping hand, I'm also tempted to excise the KS elements and write it up as an original work.

Will contemplate further.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:52 am

*Shakes your gripping hand*
In that case, sign me up as your first reader.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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GG Crono
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by GG Crono » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:44 pm

Is this whole thing a reference to some work or another or original ideas? Either way, I like it. :D

EDIT: Oh, I missed your post above. If you do decide to do more of this as an original work, drop a link somewhere, I'd love to read it.
Last edited by GG Crono on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bagheera
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by Bagheera » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:39 pm

themocaw wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, was this supposed to be a One-Shot or the Prologue to something more? Could really be either, and I enjoyed it either way.
On the one hand I'm tempted to write more. On the other, I'm tempted to leave it as it is.

On the gripping hand, I'm also tempted to excise the KS elements and write it up as an original work.

Will contemplate further.
I think it'd work best as an original work, personally. KS just doesn't seem to have much to offer it.

Also, I liked it. I'd read more no matter what form it took.
Girls: Emi = Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune = Rin
Routes: Rin = Shizune > Emi > Lilly = Hanako


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Megumeru
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by Megumeru » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:55 pm

themocaw wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, was this supposed to be a One-Shot or the Prologue to something more? Could really be either, and I enjoyed it either way.
On the one hand I'm tempted to write more. On the other, I'm tempted to leave it as it is.

On the gripping hand, I'm also tempted to excise the KS elements and write it up as an original work.

Will contemplate further.
write further, WRITE FURTHER!!
You are my inspiration, friend! :D
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They say they hate Shizune? What is this? BLASPHEMY!

SHII-HAEL!
Shizune>Rin>Emi>Hanako>Lilly
"A writer is a light that reveals the world of his story from darkness. Shapes it from nothingness. If the writer stops, the world dies with it." - Alan Wake
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griffon8
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Re: Thirteen Silver Chains

Post by griffon8 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:23 am

Oh boy, more themocaw goodness!
themocaw wrote:The scar in my chest tears open
And this is when I knew it was Rika.

Yeah, strip out the KS stuff and make it your own. Just let us know where you put it.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

Completed: 100%, including bonus picture. Shizune>Emi>Lilly>Hanako>Rin

Griffon8's Writing

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