Time to Make History
Raidou sort of hobbled off the back of his motorcycle. Souji had clung on for dear life the whole way and it took a moment to get his guts back in position. “You always this clingy?”
“You’re a terrible driver,” the kid retorted. Way too many kids in his life right now.
Butterfly manifested beside Souji. “What’s the plan?”
Raidou strode up to an inconspicuous side door.
“Wasn’t expecting a fancy hotel,” Souji noted. They stood in a small alley, beside a lavish looking hotel in Asakusa.
Raidou gave three sharp raps on the door.
“They have passwords,” Butterfly reminded him with a smirk.
Raidou paid him no mind. Instead, he pulled a small tube out from his weapon belt. “Turdak.”
The tube slid open. A green glow emanated from the revealed glass capsule, leaking out. To Souji it seemed to dissipate in the air. To a summoner’s eyes, it congealed into the form of the demon stored inside.
Butterfly lost his smirk. Beside Raidou stood a skeletal being holding two swords. It wore banded armor and its head bobbed oddly, not quite able to supports itself without muscle.
Raidou gestured to the door. “Remove this.”
The demon cackled, lining up its swords for a strike. A great flurry of blows. The door flew, in several different pieces, off its hinges.
Raidou strode forward, carefully stepping over the unconscious door guard.
Butterfly came in behind him. “Nice friend.”
The demon offered an awkward bow.
Souji carefully walked in behind them. “How’d you do that?”
“You can’t tell?”
“No.” Souji looked to Butterfly for support.
The ghost shrugged, regarding Raidou. “I guess having a persona doesn’t let you see demons.” He looked back to Souji. “Maybe it’s because of Thanatos?”
“Thanatos.” Souji looked to Raidou. “Demon?”
“Devil summoner,” Raidou reminded him. He strode confidently down the hallway. “Let’s deal with the shadows quickly.”
“Second door should be first death,” Butterfly reminded them.
Raidou nodded, strolling casually past the first door. Souji could hear the loud music through the door, vibrating from the bass. A strange smell wafted from the gap between it and the floor.
“That’ll be a fun drug report,” Raidou commented dryly.
They stopped in front of the second door. Butterfly’s face screwed up in revulsion.
“Get this door open,” Butterfly growled. “Now.”
“RROoAaaaArrR!” The demon charged into the door, swords swinging wildly.
The door exploded in splinters.
At least fifty people occupied the small room. Most of them leaned against the nearest object. Those too far away from such a support had simply collapsed. All of them had their eyes open, blinking languidly. The smell of human filth and sweat permeated the room.
One group of people sat in a circle in the middle of the floor. In the middle of them stood a man in plain business clothes. The giant shadow of a jackal-headed man hovered over the group.
Raidou fired a shot, bullet careening over the man’s head. “End this.”
The business man and his shadow turned towards them. The people around him began to shake slightly.
“You would interrupt first death?”
Butterfly charged into the room, katana appearing in his hands. The viciousness of the attack, and the low growl accompanying it, sent a quiver through the room.
Raidou drew his katana as well. He didn’t want to kill this person if he didn’t have to, information was simply too valuable, but he wanted less to become the victim.
A swarm of shadows leapt forth from the floor, coalescing around Butterfly.
“Maziodyne,” Souji called. Electricity crackled, causing the shadows to shudder and fall. Some dissipated, but most of them just got back up.
Raidou rushed passed him, katana leading. No one knew how effective or not it might be, but it proved enough to briefly scatter the shadows. Butterfly broke free from the horde.
Raidou found the shadows fairly easy to slice through, but they also didn’t seem particularly bothered by it. It left a small cut, a thin point in the darkness, but nothing serious. Glancing over at Turdak, he could tell the demon face similar issues. It offered a distraction, but little more.
The shadows did seem to lose some energy when he cut through them though. Energy Raidou could use. He naturally absorbed magnetite from foes, and these didn’t seem to be any exception.
Souji’s persona, Izanagi, joined him. It was definitely a lot more effective with its unwieldly dual blade than Raidou and his katana. The proper weapon against the proper enemy.
Butterfly moved for the man in the middle of the circle.
“Anubis, defend me.”
“Thanatos,” Butterfly shouted. Instead of the persona appearing above him, it wrapped around him, aiding in his charge.
Katana struck against judgement’s scales. A moment later, the scales snapped.
The man screamed in agony. His shadow slid back.
“I am beyond your pathetic judgment,” Butterfly snarled. His words reverberated through the room, and several of the weaker shadows quaked in sudden fear.
“He’s strong,” Raidou admitted to Souji, fighting beside him.
“I try to forget how scary he can be.”
“Please, please,” the shadow user whimpered, “you have to understand. We’re helping these people.” He backed away.
Butterfly continued forward. “Then why so scared?”
“Anyone can get scared when they first look death in the eye,” a female voice called from the back of the room. A great surge of water pushed Butterfly against the far wall.
A woman stepped out from behind a secret door in the back. What appeared to be a giant mixe of crocodile, lion, and hippo stood in front of her. Chains rattled when it moved, broken from a tremendous force.
“Ammut,” Raidou whispered.
“What does that mean?” Souji asked. Izanagi whacked another shadow out of the way.
The woman smiled. “It means your little flying friend is in trouble.” The shadow pursued Butterfly. “More’s the pity. You really should have been on our side.”
The shadow turned its giant jaw towards Butterfly.
“I can handle you,” he whispered. Thanatos no longer surrounded him, and his katana had dissipated.
“You drove poor Tsubame insane. She writhed so much in her pain we just had to put her out of her misery.” The woman’s shadow cackled, displaying just how wide that jaw opened. “Suppose we’ll just have to find poor Nephtys a new host.”
A new host?
“You’re sick,” Souji shouted.
“We all come here to die.” She smiled as she examined the swarm of shadows around Souji and Raidou. “Don’t go thinking you’re an exception. Truly, bringing a man here who can’t even use a persona as your aid? What were you thinking?”
Enough of this. He may not be able to fight the shadows very effectively, but Raidou could still take down a human. He maneuvered away from the throng, beating the lunging shadows aside with his katana. It bothered him a bit to use the fine blade as little more than a club, but if he could get close to her, they could end this.
Butterfly pushed himself off the wall. “You’re worse than any of them, accepting that in your soul. It’s rotted through.”
“Look who’s talking.” She looked to Souji. “Eat the persona user,” she ordered her shadow.
Ammut began to head to Souji.
Butterfly rushed forward, Thanatos once more enveloping him. He kicked the shadow in the face, pushing its trajectory closer to Raidou.
“You’ve got to clear your feet,” Butterfly shouted.
“Understood.” Izanagi changed, quickly morphing into a handsome looking demon with blonde hair. “Freeze them all,” he commanded. Ice whipped around him, encasing the shadows.
Butterfly continued to kick around Ammut, occasional flames aiding him. Raidou did he best to sneak towards the woman, gun drawn. They could do this.
The Anubis shadow bared down upon him, mouth open to bite at him.
The ice cracked around the weaker shadows, causing them to splinter and fall. None of them remained standing.
Raidou channeled his internal magnetite, switching his gun to his offhand so he could keep the katana in his main. He lunged forward. The katana slid easily through the shadow stuff. He pushed his magnetite to his arm, enabling him to execute a flurry of blows well beyond a human’s normal ability.
He wasn’t sure how much damage the sword did, but the magnetite infused cuts proved fairly effective. The shadow howled. Raidou spun, forcing more magnetite though his body. It formed a giant hammer, magnetite focusing through the old katana.
The hammer slammed the shadow against the wall. Up and then down. Now it was against the ground. Remove the magnetite hammer. Slice off the head.
This slice seemed to finally work, a final blow against an injured opponent. The head hung grotesquely off its shoulder.
Raidou could choose to increase his natural magnetite draw when an opponent stood near death. It could no longer properly hold everything in, so he just sort of convinced the magnetite free.
He hadn’t registered this with the smaller shadows, but this magnetite felt wrong. He gagged. The shadow disappeared, its energy consumed by Raidou. The world began to spin. The man who’d been using it let out a yowl of anguish.
Raidou couldn’t stand straight anymore. He leaned against the wall. Everything spun.
“What’s this?” Sounded like the woman.
Raidou was vaguely aware that he puked, his body desperately trying to remove the strange magnetite.
His vision grew cloudy.
“We’ve got to take Ammut down now!” Souji perhaps?
He slid down the wall.
A charm with the emblem of the Kuzunoha burned.
Stay conscious. He had to stay conscious. He had a group of newbies here. He had to stay…
An image of the hall where he had trained flashed through his mind.
He fell to the ground, just managing to stay clear of his own vomit.
He could no longer see the room. Instead he was somewhere very dark. A moment later he lost track of sound. He was vaguely aware that Souji and Butterfly must still be in battle, but could no longer hear it. He couldn’t even feel the concrete floor.
A moment later the smell left him too. A definite improvement.
He smelled incense.
Wood beneath his body. The sound of gently running water. A sunlit room. Slowly, Raidou sat up. What had happened?
He forced himself to his feet. Exhaustion held him now.
Raidou could see a paper sliding door. He gently pushed it open, stumbling outside.
A shrine courtyard greeted him. White stones lending a sense of peace to the scene. He could see the fountain just beside the small set of stairs leading down.
In the center of the shrine stood a large rock, wrapped in rope with the white papers to denote a kami. On top of the rock sat a man.
He looked a lot like Raidou, but wore rather different clothing. Basic jeans and a t-shirt with a math pun written on it. The only other noticeable difference was his baleful yellow eyes.
The man smiled. “Long time no see, me.”
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Author’s Note: I am so sorry, guys. I didn’t realize I had stopped so early. It’s really hard to keep track of what I’ve written, posted, and what’s just in my head. Anyway, hoping for weekly posts. It might not always be this story, but I plan to post a piece of writing every week, and it’s usually going to be this story.
Anyway, planning to start posting to fanfiction.net fairly soon. Those chapters will be slightly more refined. Going to see about recording an audio version too. It won’t be great, but I’ve held a boring job before and understand the value of something to distract you that can’t use your eyes or hands.
Currently feeling very inspired by Tokyo Ghoul.