Chapter 5: Gorgeous Eyes

April 6, 2007

I apologise for the late update. 713 words.

He looked dumbly at her, terror in every fibre of his being. There was a distinct, unpleasant odour coming from him. She did not have to look to know that he had just wet himself. He was not a seasoned fighter; his body was trained, but the mental and emotional training was missing. The confidence he had displayed was just for show. She reached out and touched his cheek gently, her natural compassion taking over; their Goddess would not have interfered in a fight between her Clergy and devoted, but she would not forgive the attack on a beloved. Not even if the one was duped into it. Death was a cold and vengeful Goddess. She had been chosen partially for the opposite in her nature to serve the Goddess of Death.

“Who put you up to this, child?” her voice was gentle, but it reminded the boy who she was.

As the boy opened his mouth to answer, their attention was diverted by the sound of a metallic object falling to the floor. The woman was fighting with Kishan, a throwing dagger on the floor. It looked like the woman had tried to kill the boy but had been interrupted. The Priestess noted that her brother was holding back; they needed the woman alive, not dead. That did not mean that he would let her get away with trying to kill his sister. The power the boy unleashed was enough to more than kill a person; it would have also left a permanent mark on their soul. The soul would have been marked as a pariah. It was a rare and dangerous power, as it would slowly mark the wielder a pariah as well.

Her brother ended the fight with a loud crack; he had broken the woman’s spine, literally. She was gasping for air, but the fight already having been decided, the Priestess went to the woman. She turned her over and tore the woman’s top open. Both were unsurprised by what they saw on the woman’s chest.

“Pemusnahan,” she used the old word to denote destruction. She was a follower of the Destroyer, the entity responsible for Destruction everywhere. Putting her hand over the woman’s mark on her breast, she healed the woman’s injuries so that she would survive leaving the arena.

“Kougou,” Kaguya warned her, speaking for the first time, “The Arena is not safe.” As if to underscore her words, the ground began trembling.

“Keibatsu, who has won?” Himeko looked up to the flying sprite.

“Student Sukina Toriyama from T.A. Girls School has won convincingly. Official reports will be available in…”

“That will be enough, ” Himeko said to the sprite as her trainer picked up the semi-conscious boy and slung him over the shoulder.

“Keibatsu, come to me,” Kaguya summoned the sprite to her. Unless she did so, the Sprite would remain here, and might die.

“Will you allow your students to accompany my sister to the Temple?” Kishan was formal to the trainers. The two trainers merely nodded.

As they prepared to leave, the rumbling grew more intense. They moved quicker, not breaking into a run even though the earth fell around them. When everyone was safely out of the underground cavern, they turned to watch the entrance collapse on itself. The Keibatsu let out a small whine. That had been its home for quite some time, but it was all gone now. Still, it was not unusual for an Arena to be destroyed completely like this. It was just… sad.

“We shall head to the Temple in Jyuuban, if that is acceptable,” Kishan slung the woman’s hand over his shoulder rather than carrying her, so that it would look like he was merely supporting her. One of the trainers nodded, while the other shook his head.

“It is not for me. Perhaps the Fukagawa Enma-Do?” he spoke of the Buddhist temple dedicated to the God of Death.

He looked at the Priestess, who gave a discreet nod. It was closer to them, and it was dedicated to their Goddess, but she had never liked the place. However, at this late hour, it would serve.

Or at least she would make sure that it did.

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