Saikō no Chitsujo

Chapter 4: Part III

guarding it, one at either side. ”You take the one closer to us, Ill take the other. ” Lubbock stated quietly, moving his fingers to adjust his threads.

”It seems Hijiri-san has other plans. ” Akame replied, clenching her fist tightly around the heated rock. Opening her palm as the stone cooled down, she noted the blinking pattern the black stone gave off and nodded at Lubbock. ”Its definitely Morse code. ” He stated, his right hand holding up his chin. ”

”He says hell assist us with the guard furthest from us, while we handle the closer one. ” Akame stated, her gaze shifting from the stone to Lubbock. ”Lets move then. ”

An arrow whistled through the air, lodging itself in the eye of the soldier at the right side of the building, the second guard- startled -stumbled back into Akames wide swing, blood trailing the blade as it tore through the soldiers flesh. Swinging both arms, threads wrapped around the corpses and dragged them into the alleyway beside Lubbock. Turning to the window of the arsenal, Lubbock lined the frame with his threads and yanked his arm back, neatly cutting out a midget shaped hole. ”Ill be back in a bit. ” Akame nodded as he dived through the hole. Lubbock frowned when he scanned through the fairly lit weapons, unwanted memories of his time in the military resurfacing. Opening the brown satchel at his side, he placed the explosives by the walls and a few weapon racks, pausing as a set of shadows moved past the backroom window. He sighed in relief and set up the last explosive, leaping through the cut window.

”All set. ” Lubbock whispered, dusting himself off.

”We should signal Hijiri-san now. ” Akame stated receiving a nod from Lubbock right before she crushed the stone in her palm.

Hijiri looked up as the black stone in his hand shattered. ”They
e done, huh. ” He muttered drawing out his claymore from a guards corpse, blood and innards dripping from it. LETS KILL EM ALL! Hijiri smirked as he raised his right arm, a large pillar of fire lighting up the moonless night. An eerie silence settled over the citadel, a chain of explosions signaling the chaos that ensued. Cracks ran up the walls as they collapsed into the buildings below. Hijiri tossed his claymore and leapt off the crumbling wall, landing with a roll. He dusted himself and picked his blade, noting the ensuing chaos around him; the panicking soldiers, the rubble that were formerly buildings and the variation of corpses, both the burnt and the crushed, and a yell that attracted his attention. It was that of a fatigued towering soldier who held up a large silver mallet. The soldier was much bigger than Hijiri in both muscle and height, but he ignored that, instead taking note of the torn sleeves that revealed cuts across his burly arms, his breathing was ragged and his left eye was partly shut as blood found its way down his face.

An imperial arms user? His left would be his blind spot but judging by the fact hes holding the mallet in his right, that should be his stronger side and also… Hijiri glanced behind the soldier, making out an unmoving figure amidst the smoke and rubble …someones watching us. Najenda didn tell me anything about the other commanders in the resistance developing any interest in me, so its gotta be the empire, but they shouldn even know about me. A grunt snapped him out of his thoughts as he ducked the soldiers swing and swiftly hopped back.

”Oi, is that an imperial arm? ” Hijiri asked, lifting up his claymore before him and holding the handle with his second arm, taking a battle stance.

”Does it matter? Terrorist, youll fall by my hand soon. ” The soldier said angrily, holding the mallet low and sprinting towards Hijiri. I can go all-out against this guy, not while that one is watching. Hijiri huffed leaping away once more from the soldiers swing. He crouched and dashed forward, spinning to the right just before the mallet collided with his skull and drew his claymore in a slant manner, tearing through the warriors leg, causing him to stumble. They
e still there?! Hijiri glowered at the figure, turning to his right in surprise as the sledgehammer whistled through the air, a few inches from his face. He shielded his face with his blade, the mallet slamming it, dispersing sparks through the air as Hijiri skidded back a few paces.

”Tch, I was careless. ” Hijiri muttered, his right arm falling to the side numb. A stun ability, its like that huh? Stage 1. He tightened the grip on his claymore as the bandages wrapped around his fingers were reduced to cinders, the crimson cracks on his blade glowing brighter in response. The soldier dashed forward, spinning a few paces from Hijiri and swung his mallet. Vibrations ran through the soldiers arms as the handle clashed against the blunt side of Hijiris claymore. Closing the distance, Hijiri threw a jab at his adversarys torso, knocking him back, sprinting after him with his blade in his right arm, Hijiri swung at the soldiers right, severing his arm.

The guard clutched his bleeding shoulder tightly, staring down the white-haired swordsman. The flames from the surroundings grew brighter for a moment and he stepped back in surprise. ”Co…Commander Hijiri is that you? ” The words spilled from the soldiers mouth, startling Hijiri who frowned afterwards.

”Who the hell are you? ” Hijiri asked, his annoyed tone coming off as a deep rumble as he took a step closer to the guard. He froze in his tracks, realization dawning on him as the flames illuminated the soldiers face.

”Commander, you remember me, right? ” He asked desperately, stumbling as blood continued to spill out of his armless shoulder. Hijiris face darkened and he lowered his blade, calmly closing the distance between the two. ”Thank you for your service. ” His claymore cleaved through the warriors neck, the head dropping by his feet with a thud, the betrayed expression sickening the Order of Flames. Turning around enraged, Hijiri threw his flaming claymore at the figure in the smoke, a loud explosion echoed through the somewhat silent night, the flames growing brighter. Pulling out his blade, he noticed the piece of dark brown cloth held by it, he brought it up to his nose, inhaling strongly before he stuffed it in his pocket with a frown. A whimper close to Hijiri caught his attention and he approached cautiously, his blade sheathed as he saw a soldier who had most of her body pinned down by rubble. She choked back a sob, her left arm outstretched as Hijiri approached her. He crouched in front of her, noticing her bloodied face and bloodshot eyes. ”P…plea…se hel…p m…me. ” She muttered desperately between sobs.

”Most of your body has been crushed by the rubble, you
e not gonna make it. ” Hijiri replied solemnly.

”I do…I don wan…wanna die. ” Fresh tears spilled down her face, her sobs interrupted by occasional wincing.

”Do you have a family? ” he asked, an emotionless expression present as he held her gaze.

Her bloodshot eyes widened in surprise as she swallowed. ”Ye…yes I have a…little sister and a sick…father. ” He rose up, ”Is that so? ” A sadistic smile spread across his face as he stared down the soldier. ”I promise to take good care of them. ” A shiver ran through her partly crushed spine as her eyes widened further in fear. Choking and shivering, her sobs soon came to a stop, her stretched fingers curling and lowering as her arm went limp, her eyes reflecting traces of hopelessness, fear and hatred. Crouching before her once more, he shut her eyes with his fingers. ”You have my word. ” He said quietly.

”Hijiri-san? ” Akame called, approaching the grave looking Hijiri.

”Whats up Akame-chan? ” He turned to her with a small smile.

”We
e done here. ” She replied, her hand resting on the handle of her katana. ”Is that so? Yo noodle boy! ” Hijiri turned to the approaching Lubbock.

”What do you want? ” Lubbock tilted his head to the left brow raised.

”You set the barrier around the stronghold, right? ”

”Of course. ”

”Did anyone get in or out of the stronghold during our attack? ”

”No, I didn sense anything. ”

”So you noticed it as well, Hijiri-san? It seemed they were mainly interested in you. ” Akame stated. Hijiri sighed and gazed at the moonless sky. ”Yeah, the fact they never made contact or attempted to could mean two things; One, they
e spies from the other leaders in the resistance that might have gotten word of my joining the crew, or two, they
e on the empires side. ”

”But to be skilled enough to completely avoid my threads, this is really troublesome. ” Lubbock sighed, stuffing his hands into his jacket pockets.

”Then we should get going, the sooner we get to the third, the messier any preparations they have for us will be. ” Hijiri stated, walking towards the forest that surrounded the stronghold.

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