Kei, deciding to get some fresh air, decided to take a walk.
Kei: (Thinking) Argh, what a spoiled brat Rie is. How am I going to get it through that thick skull of hers that she needs to mellow out?
He walks around the old village as memories flash through his head. He looks at an old fruit stand.
Vendor: Well, hey, there’s an old face!
Kei walks over and shakes the man’s hand.
Kei: Been a while, how are you?
Vendor: I’m doing just peachy! Been a while since I’ve seen Dai and Kokoa’s pups walking around here.
Kei: Family reunion, we’re all here for once.
Vendor: Ah that’d explain it. Well if you ever need any fruit, feel free to drop by, ya hear?
Kei: Will do
He waves as he leaves. He soon comes across the exit to the village.
Kei: (Thinking) I remember we’d always adventure out of the village.
Suddenly, two men, wearing bandanas across their faces appear in front of him. They had popped out from behind two trees.
Kei: Oh, a party? For me? You shouldn’t have.
???: We’ve been ordered to eliminate you.
Kei: Oh don’t I feel so special. You work for the branch, don’t you?
???: Numbers fourteen and thirteen at your service.
Kei: Well, there’s no way you would just leave peacefully, now is there? Both men shake their head.
Kei: Well, I tried.
Kei draws his sword as the two charge in. The two men draw their own swords, prepared to do battle with him. Kei deflects the first attack, and has to move to defend himself from the second.
Kei: So you both are going to make this difficult for me, forcing me to look for you both like little ants.
???: Whatever makes you feel better.
Kei keeps himself on guard, but when the front man forces his sword down on Kei with all his weight, he has no choice but to use both arms to protect himself. The man from behind him runs his sword through Kei’s right shoulder.
The two men back off. Kei examines his right shoulder. No matter what happened now, he was going to feel pain each and every moment he lifted his arm.
Kei: That’s the fun about being a weapons master.
He shifts the sword to his other hand.
Kei: You learn how to be ambidextrous.
Kei continues the fight, swinging his sword, trying to avoid using his right arm if he could manage it.
???: You don’t seem to like we ambushed you.
Kei: What you both are doing is what we called cheap tactics, also known as guerilla warfare. I usually can take two people, if they fight fair.
???: We’re not too worried about fighting fair.
Kei: Pieces of scum you are.
???: We care little for what you might think of us.
The battle continues as Kei tries to defend himself using one hand. He tries to keeps his feet maneuvering so he can avoid getting backed into a corner. Unfortunately, with the two of them pressing down on him. He finds himself pressed against a tree. He’s forced to only focus on one of them. The other runs his sword through Kei’s left leg.
Kei: GRAH! SONUVA-!
The two back off again. Visible blood could be seen pouring down his arm and leg now.
???: You die today Kei.
Kei: (Thinking) What I wouldn’t give for some back-up.
Kei’s eyes widen. He lifts his sword up.
???: Still fight in you?
Kei: Signal Flare.
A bright light surges forth towards his home.
???: Shit he signaled someone!
???: Hurry we gotta finish him!
The two start pressing hard against him. Kei does his best, but it doesn’t stop them from getting small hits in on him. Trying to carve him up like a Christmas turkey, if he could avoid losing too much blood he’d be okay. But it seemed like that was their plan to force him to bleed out. With each strike and open wound, an audible scream of pain would escape Kei’s lips. The last strike, with one of their sword hilts against his head knocks him out and he falls against the rock.
???: That’ll have to do.
???: What about the boss? He won’t like that we didn’t finish the job!
???: I don’t give a damn! We’re about to find ourselves outnumbered really fast. Do you want to be here when that happens?!
???: Well, no, but-
???: (Interrupting) No buts! We’re getting out of here now before anyone comes to save this stupid man.
???: If you say so number fourteen.
???: Number twelve ain’t our boss anymore. We’ve significantly slowed Kei down. Number one will be happy with that much.
???: He wanted him dead too.
???: Shut up.
The two quickly takes off knowing that others would soon be upon them and force them into another fight. They escape into the shadows avoiding anything that would give them away. Mai, Yuka, Shigure, and Yui hurry. They had received Kei’s distress call. The sign that Kei had sent over to the house. It was the first thought they had guessed at since he had been out at the time. The village where Kei’s parents lived was at least small enough they could find him.
Mai: Come on gang, he has to be somewhere!
Yuka: Good thing this place isn’t too big.
Shigure: (Thinking) Please be okay, please be okay…
As they approach, they see Kei’s body in a heap laying against a rock. However, he’s not in the best shape.
The four quickly approach to check his body. Mai becomes wide-eyed. Blood had trickled down his arms to his hands.
Mai: He’s in seriously bad shape.
Yuka: ...I’ll make sure the area is secure...
Mai leans his body forward to find the rock had blood splattered on it as well.
Mai: Yuka, wait! Kei’s safety takes precedent! Shigure, Yui, lift him up!
Shigure and Yui each take a side and lift his unconscious body as they follow Mai’s orders.
Mai: Yuka, you and I will protect these three. We have to get Kei home, fast. Our mother will know what to do.
Yuka: I wasn’t leaving. I just don’t want anyone to get hurt. The group quickly hurries to Kei’s parents house. They carry him in the front door.
Mai: Mom! Dad! Emergency!
Dai and Kokoa come running. They are both stunned at Kei’s bloody appearance.
Dai: Kokoa, get yourself ready.
Kokoa: Come children, bring Kei’s body out here.
The group nods and they carry Kei’s body out to the backyard. Sitting on the back porch, was a well-like object. It certainly looked like a well, but on the inside there was an actual bottom, it couldn’t have been very deep. It was filled with water.
Mai: Mom, what is?
Kokoa: No time, please, dump Kei in the water.
Shigure and Yui quickly dump Kei in.
Yui: What is the point of all of this mother?
Kokoa: This is special water, honey.
The water quickly turns red from Kei’s blood.
Kokoa: Right now, the water needs to cleans his wounds. Shigure, we’re going to need your healing prowess.
Shigure: (Stammering) B-but, Aria never showed me how to unlock it…
Kokoa: Hurry, Shigure.
Shigure: I’m coming.
Kokoa: Mai, Yuka. Can I rely on you two to protect this house from everyone?
Yuka: (summons multiple glyphs with a serious look on her face) Give me a second to get set up but nobody will get close enough to see the door.
Mai: What Yuka said.
Mai and Yuka moved to the front of the door to safeguard the building. Shigure and Kokoa get to work as Kokoa teaches Shigure how the process works.