~The Man Slayers~ Chapter #7~ A Bloody Battle~
Well, this is a bit interesting, not only am I Lasto’s student, I am now also her kid as a cover. How strange that this is, and she can still train me the way she was before without blowing that cover. Well, anyway, Kenshin and Tomoe are living peacefully on the other side of Kyoto, every now and again, Kogoro will take me and Yuki to see them, but Lasto stay’s at home, for fear that someone will recognize her while were are making our way there.
Yuki isn’t all that happy because Lasto turned his request for training down, but it appears that he has gotten over it. Kogoro is having him taught in another style of fighting, I’m not sure what that fighting style is yet, but it seems to be doing him some good. Well, onto the story.
Mononoke slowly circled Lasto, his sword held in a defensive position. She didn’t seem afraid of this, as she stood there, patiently waiting. She closed her eyes, and relaxed herself, giving Mononoke a more secure feeling, which was properly not the best thing for his side of things.
He grinned, and charged as silently as he could, but not silently enough for Lasto’s Elven ears. She ducked his attack, spun, and kicked him. He flew backwards, and hit a nearby tree with a thud. “Don’t ever make that kind of mistake, it will get you killed!” She growled at him, as she leaped forward.
He leaped out of her way, just in time to miss getting hammered by the flat side of her sword. He did a flip, landing gracefully on his feet. He then charged at Lasto, letting out a small battle cry as he did so. She waited until the last possible moment, then leaped out of his way. She turned, and squarely drill kicked Mononoke in the back, sending him falling to the ground.
“Lasto!” She suddenly heard someone yell, she turned to see Kogoro and Yuki running towards her.
Kogoro stopped, and used her for support. “It’s Kenshin, and Tomoe, they may be in grave danger!”
“What do you mean!?”
“We got a letter from Kenshin, stating that he had gotten a letter saying that our enemy was holding Tomoe captive, and that they wished for the Hitokiri Battousai and Lasto Lalaithamin to come and negotiate for her release, or, rather more, fight to the death for her release. Only you two can go, or they will kill her. Kenshin has already left, you must go and see if you can reach the area in which she is being held, and rescue her before Kenshin arrives. Can you do that?”
“Of course I can! where is she being held?!”
“The Kekkai Forest, now go, and bring both her and the Battousai home alive.”
“Alright, but remember, I can’t make nay promises, if one of them dies, there is nothing I can do about that.” With that, she leaped forward, calling upon all her speed and strength to carry her the distance she needed to go as quickly as she could. `Elbereth, grandmother, give me strength, help me arrive in time, don’t let me be late.’
Her speed increased, as if Elbereth had heard her, and quickly began to make her way to the forest. It was winter time, and the snow somewhat slowed her speed, but not by much. She walked up to the edge of the forest, and scanned carefully for any sign of an attack. A man stepped out, and bowed his head, “Lasto Lalaithamin, I presume?”
Lasto stepped forward, drew her sword, grabbed the man by the collar of the shirt, and held her sword up to his neck, “where is she?” She asked in a cold, spine shivering voice, her eyes filling with the rage of a killer.
“She is safe for the moment, now follow me.” He grabbed her hand, making her release him, turned, and began to lead the way into the forest. Lasto put her sword away, and slowly began to follow, keeping her eyes open for any kind of ambush. She quickly pulled her knee long hair back into a long thick braid, using a leather band to secure it.
Finally, the man stopped outside the entrance to a cave, and turned to her. “Too bad the Battousai isn’t here yet, I’ll have to set this off a bit early, oh well, we shall still prevail.” Lasto’s eyes widened as she realized what he was talking about, and took a quick step back, hoping that she would not get hit, just as the bomb went off. It threw her a ways away from the entrance, making her land hard on her back. Slowly she stood back up, and looked back to the entrance of the cave, and made out the form of the man’s dead body. With a cold look, she turns, and walks in the direction that she had been pointed in. As she walked, she suddenly realized something, she could not hear the normal noises you would hear in a forest at winter time, and realized also what the true purpose of the bomb was, it was not to kill her, but it was meant to temporarily wipe out her sense of hearing.
Now knowing this, she began to make her way even more carefully, lightly placing her feet so that she could not hear them, and hoped that her enemies would not either, or that would be her downfall. She suddenly got the feeling that she was being watched, and whirled to the right just in time to see, and leap out of the way of, a sword that was meant to come down on her head.
She then saw another blade come her way, and dodged that one too, but it clipped her arm, leaving a deep gash, which began to bleed her bright red Elven blood. She gritted her teeth, and reached for her sword, pulling it out gracefully with a few swings. She laughed wickedly, and leaped forward, “PREPARE TO DIE MY PREY!!!!” Her screams echoed through the forest, reaching Kenshin, who was just about to enter it.
Two men appeared from the darkness, swords in hand, wicked smiles upon face. Lasto smiled just as wickedly back, holding her sword at the ready. The men both attacked at the same time, tag teaming to make sure that she would have a hard time escaping this one. They brought their swords together, forming an x that would easily cut her head off if she could not dodge in time. But they left one weakness, which she saw.
She laughed wickedly, pulling out her short sword too, “LET’S SEE HOW EASILY YOU CAN DODGE THIS!!” Her eyes flashed red, as her anger took over, and she dodged their attach, but they were still able to get her. The one on the right had seen her attack, and had been able to call of his side of the x, but not in time to stop her short sword from slicing into his stomach. He was able to slice his sword deeply into her arm though, hitting the bone, causing heavy bleeding. The other one was also able to call off his part of the attack, but not as quickly, so he was only able to lightly clip her neck, leaving a gash that would eventually turn into a scar.
For a moment, they all stood still, then, the men fell down. Lasto put a hand over the deep gash on her arm, knowing that it had already allowed much of her blood to drain out. She rips a piece of her outfit off, and carefully makeed a temporary binding for the wound.
She then turned, and began to make her way down the hall, knowing that it would not be easy to fight anymore battles, for she sensed that her blood lose was much, and her hearing was still messed up from the bomb that had been set off outside. But, eager to keep her promise, she would not turn back, not until she had settled this, and killed the one who had set all this up, or at least die trying.
She continued on into the cave.
Kenshin stopped at the entrance of the forest, as he heard loud screams coming from inside it. “Lasto?!” His eyes widened, and he rushed into the forest, his hand instinctively reaching for his sword.
Lasto slowly began to limb further into the forest, holding her sword weakly in her hand. She walks into a big area, with a small shack resting nearby, and looks up, seeing a blurry image of someone `not good, he is too blurry, this will not be easy’ slowly, she stopped, and held her sword up, calling upon what little strength she had left to do so.
The blurry image of the man laughed, and stepped towards her, making it so that she could make him out better, “well, Lasto Lalaithamin, I see that you got here before the Battousai, that makes it easier for me. I hope that you are prepared to die.” He Pulled out his Katana, and took another step forward.
Lasto, feeling a bit numb from the chill of the winter wind, began to lose her sense of feeling `this is not good, this is not good……I hope I can make it through this one, for Mononoke, for Kogoro, for tomoe….for Kenshin…..for Kenshin…’ With that last thought, she smiled, “I will live through this, you had better prepare yourself to die, for I will live. I have to much to go home to now to die here, today.”
“And what has a heartless killer like yourself found to have something to go home to?”
“…Love, the love of my friends is all that I need to give me the will to return home. Wether or not you like it, I’m walking out with my life, and Tomoe is walking out with me, and the Battousai will also walk away with his life. You are the only one who WILL lose their life today, prepare yourself.” With that, she leapt forward, her entire being set on killing him to save her friends.
The man smirked a bit, as he charged forward as well, his entire being also set on killing her, but for different reasons. Both of their eyes flashed to a red colour, as their killer side took over them. Lasto laughed evilly, as she brought her sword up, blocking his attack, then pressed one of her own. She light grazed his arm, and he laughed, “is that the best you can do?!”
Lasto grinned wickedly, “this is only the beginning.”
Slowly, Tomoe sat up, and rubbed the back of her head. Her vision and hearing were a bit blurry, but she knew that she heard the unmistakable sound of sword clashing. She stood up, and walked out the door, and found that she had been in a shack.
She looked up to see who was fighting, and saw the leader of the shogunate, and Lasto, who was all covered in her own blood. Her eyes widened as she noticed this, and she pulled out her dagger, smiling a bit to herself. “I will not let even her, a killer who has killed many, die when she is fighting so hard to save me for Kenshin….I will not let a friend like that die.”
With that, she begins to move forward, holding the dagger at her side, smile upon her face.
Kenshin ran into the clearing where the shack was, and saw Lasto charging a man. At first, he froze, horrified by how much of her own blood she was covered in. Anger surged through him, as he knew that she had come here, prepared to fight to the death, and that she may just lose her life now because of it. He helplessly watched as she dropped to her knee during a charge, because of lack of strength, and blood, and was sliced deeply in the back by the mans sword. With that, he made one promise to himself, that he would die to save both Tomoe and Lasto, that he would give it all up just for them.
Lasto weakly stood back up after being sliced across the back, and turned to her attacker, `not good, this is no where near good, not even to far into the fight and I am already almost too weak to stand, much less charge him….I’ll have to think up another way of beating him, if I continue like this, I will die before I can be sure that Tomoe will get back to Kenshin safely…’ She turned to face him, but felt something wrap around her waist. She looked down to see a chain whip had been wrapped around her waist, and that it’s spiked end had dug far into her stomach.
Suddenly, she felt herself lifted off her feet, and was slammed into a tree. Slowly she stood, and tried to get the chain off, but was slammed into another tree again before she could. But, this time when she stood up, she waisted no time on trying to get the chain off, instead she charged the man, drill kicking him backwards. “You should learn not to use such foolish attacks that one can easily escape, and kill you!”
The man laughed, and charged, spin kicking her into a tree. “Little women like you should learn your place.”
Lasto gritted her teeth, and got back to her feet. She felt her limbs going numb from lack of blood and the winter chill. Her senses had begun to fade long ago, and she knew that that was not a good sign. `well, if I am to die now, I am taking him with me, to hell if that is where we are both to go.’ “….and I might as well just go there for all the sins I have done…” She then straightened herself out, feeling her body going past the point to where she could no longer feel pain. “You had better prepare yourself now, for my body has gone past the point of pain, I can no longer be affected by any of your attacks. Now, you, and possible I, will die.” She got into a defensive position, and charged, her eyes focusing on only one thing, her opponents death, and saving the lives of her friends.
Tomoe, not seeing Lasto begin to charge, jumped in-between her and the man, and raised her dagger, preparing to strike to save her friend.
Lasto’s eyes widen when she saw Tomoe jump into her way, as she had just carried out the finally step of her attack, and could not call it off. She watched in horror as her sword stabbed right through Tomoe’s chest, and into her enemy’s heart, killing him instantly. Tomoe stood there for a moment, and dropped the dagger, which fell, and slashed Lasto on the face, completing a cross scar on the left side of her face. Quickly, Lasto pulled her sword out, threw it down, and caught Tomoe as she fell. Lightly, she lied Tomoe down. “….no….Tomoe…”
Kenshin suddenly ran up, and Lasto moved aside, letting Kenshin take Tomoe In his arms. He began to say things to her, and began to mumble that if anyone deserved to die it was him, not her. Tomoe, too weak now to talk, lightly raised a hand, and placed it on the scar on the left side of Kenshin’s face, smiling. She then lipped the words, `don’t mourn long for me, my love’ yet no sound was heard.
Slowly, she closed her eyes, and they were never to open again…. Lasto, beginning to feel weak from her wounds, past out, and hoped, that for what she had just done, that death would take her, for she had just killed her friend, her best, and mainly only friend….
Two weeks later…
Slowly, Lasto wearily opened her eyes, and tried to sit up, but the pain did not let her. She suddenly heard a voice say, “Kogoro, I think she is waking up.” She then saw two blurry images of two men leaning over her.
She heard someone else start talking to her, “Lasto, lasto can you hear me?”
Krenshin nodded, then turned to Kogoro, who began to speak. “Lasto, I need to know if you are fit enough to go and fight someone tonight.”
Lasto slowly nodded, knowing that, even though she was still badly injured, it was her duty. “I can fight Kogoro.” She tried to sit up again, but failed.
Kogoro shook his head, and looked back to Kenshin. “She isn’t well enough, you will have to do this on your o-“
“No, if the Battousai is going, so is Lasto Lalaithamin. Help me up.”
Kenshin lightly smiled at that, shrugged to Kogoro, and helped Lasto stand as best he could, trying not to cause her much pain. He handed her her sword, and supported her to keep her on her feet. Lasto smiled faintly, and sheathed the sword, returning it to it’s rightful space.
Kogoro stood to protest further, “you can’t even stand on your own, how are you expecting to fight?”
“You would be surprised, Kogoro.” She stoped leaning on Kenshin, and stood on her shakily legs. “Like I said, if he goes, so do I.”
Kogoro sighed, and dropped his head, giving up. Lasto nodded, and began to walk away. Kenshin stepped in front of her, and started to lead the way to where they were going. They soon found themselves outside a huge mansion, headquarters of the Shogunate. Outside was a gate, and there Shogunate shoulders, and Ishinshishi soldiers were standing off one another.
Lasto stepped in front of the shinshishi soldiers, and looked at the enemy. “I will give you one chance to leave, go home now, or die.”
Slowly, from the mists of the other side, stepped someone that she knew very well, for they had fought many times before. Hajime Saito, Caption of the Shogunate, stepped forward, and drew his sword. “Well, shall we. Although this is sad to be fighting someone that cannot fight to their full strength.”
Lasto just shook her head, and drew her sword, “you would be surprised…”
(and, hehe, I’m going to make you wait until the next one to find out what happens. And about kenshin getting his cross scar, you’ll have to find out about that too. Hehehe)