The Line Between Love and Hate - Chapter 2 - It'll Be Me
Chapter Two: It'll Be Me
"Damn it!" screamed Kunimitsu, in frustration, "He was right there! Damn those pathetic Manji!" She kicked a stone out of her way as she walked down an ally located behind a row of houses in the suburbs of the city. The sun had yet to rise, so virtually no one was out.
'Next time,' assured a dark voice that was far from comforting, 'Next time, you shall have your revenge.'
Kunimitsu stopped walking. She had been haunted by the strange voice ever since she had sworn her revenge. It would sometimes scare her, but she would occasionally converse with it.
"What do you want?!" she demanded. The voice did not respond. Suddenly, Kunimitsu heard the sound of a front door opening. She instinctively held her dagger in a defensive position. Seeing that there was no danger, she calmed down and looked up at the sky. The sun would rise soon, and she could see the stars leftover from the night before become dim and faint.
'I better leave so that I'm not seen,' she thought.
Kunimitsu then let out a small, rare laugh.
"Ha! That would go well over the breakfast table," she mused, "Good morning honey. Oh, by the way. While I was getting the paper, I saw a masked woman carrying a dagger walk down the ally behind our house. Can you pass the syrup?"
Although she did not know it, Kunimitsu loved moments like these. They were moments where she didn't have to sneak around corners, constantly move as to not be killed, or explain to Aikuchi why she needed more time to pay off the money she had borrowed. These were moments where she could just be herself and marvel at the colors of the sky.
"I don't believe it!" exclaimed Dr. Bosconovich, "What did she say?" Yoshimitsu and Dr. Bosconovich were sitting at a table, in the lab, in the basement of Dr. Bosconovich?s house.
"She warned me... that it would never be over." Yoshimitsu spoke in a soft voice. He was still a bit shocked about the whole thing. Dr. Bosconovich could sense Yoshimitsu uneasiness, so he decided to leave him to plan about what to do next. He got up and walked to the door, but before he opened it, he turned around to ask Yoshimitsu a question.
"Yoshimitsu, do you feel like you can eat anything?" asked Dr. Bosconovich.
Yoshimitsu slowly looked up at the doctor and shook his head. Dr. Bosconovich let out a deep and heavy sigh. He was concerned because Yoshimitsu seemed to have lost his appetite ever since the operation and would only eat about 900 calories every day. It frightened Dr. Bosconovich into thinking that the operation might have gone wrong. Yoshimitsu knew this and would always assure the doctor that he was fine and there had been no mistakes made.
"Some tea would be appreciated," Yoshimitsu said, to try to cheer the doctor up. Dr. Bosconivich smiled, nodded, and left the lab. Yoshimitsu's thoughts then turned to Kunimitsu.
"It was really her," he said out loud, "She was filled with so much rage and hate. My dream... Maybe I could find a way... a way to save her." The words felt strange in his mouth.
'Save her?!' Yoshimitsu thought, 'Kunimitsu wants to kill me. Years ago I would have eagerly fought her to the death, but now...'
"There has to be a way!" he declared, "There is still good in her heart, I know it!"
Suddenly Yoshimitsu felt very strange. It was a feeling that was hard for him to explain: an almost fluttery feeling, like a wind-swept fire. He set the feeling aside and began to reflect on the night fight.
All these years, Yoshimitsu had worried about her. He had made a personal promise that if she would ever come back, he would try to set things right and show her a better way to live. He supposed it came from his years of taking care of other people. He had never truly thought that she would come back, but now she really had. Yoshimitsu wasn't quite sure if he could ever really make good on his promise.
"Would you just leave me alone?!" shouted Kanzashi.
Kanzashi, Hakujitsu's older sister, was a teenage girl who had been through a lot. When their parents died, Kanzashi had to sadly resort to prostitution to keep her and her little brother alive. Yoshimitsu detested such actions and felt sorry for her, which made her angry. Dr. Bosconovich was constantly trying to talk her into getting a blood test for any diseases, which only made her angrier.
"But it would be for your own good!" said Dr. Bosconovich.
"I know what's for my own good! I'm fine!" she responded with annoyance in her voice. She stormed away through the crowd in anger, leaving the doctor puzzled.
"Why is she so stubborn about it?" the doctor asked Yoshimitsu, who was standing beside him.
"Perhaps, she is afraid," answered Yoshimitsu, "Some people wouldn't like to know how long they have left to live, for if they did, they would spend what's left of their life in fear."
"Yoshimitsu," began Dr. Bosconovich, "You know her better than I do. Can you talk to her about it?" Yoshimitsu nodded and began following Kanzashi to the Southern Building.
Kanzashi glanced back and saw that she was being followed. She proceeded through the crowd of people, hoping to lose him. She started to walk a little faster, but Yoshimitsu matched her pace. She then broke into a run and darted between the refugees and Manji who were unloading another truck.
When Kanzashi was sure that she had lost him, she turned around the corner of a building. To her surprise, she bumped into Yohimitsu, who was waiting on the other side.
"You know better than to try to lose a Manji ninja," Yoshimitsu said in the most playful voice he could manage. Realizing that she had been defeated, Kanzashi turned red with frustration.
"What do you want?" Kanzashi asked the question as if it brought her pain. She began walking through the Southern Sector while Yoshimitsu strolled next to with his hands behind his back.
"Why do you speak with such annoyance?" asked Yoshimitsu, ignoring her question.
"Because I hate babysitters, that's why!" she retorted.
"Pardon?" Yoshimitsu asked, with authentic confusion.
"You heard me! Why are you following me?! I'm not gonna go through with that stupid blood test. Maybe all the other girls will listen to you Manji, but I won't. That test won't tell me anything that I need to know, and my brother doesn't need to know anything about it either. He never did before! It would only make him sad."
Yoshimitsu shook his head, sighed, and asked her, "Why must you dislike me so much?"
"Because you're always acting like an over-protective dad or something!" replied Kanzashi, "I mean? I appreciate you taking care of Hakujitsu and me, but I?m not a kid."
"But you are only 17," said Yoshimitsu.
"So! That doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing! If I could live alone and take care of both me and my brother for almost a year, I certainly can manage without you and Grandpa Bosconovich telling me what to do."
Yoshimitsu laughed when he heard Kanzashi's nickname for Dr. Bosconovich. Kanzashi proceeded to the Southern Sector, but Yoshimitsu had given up convincing her of the test and merely stood in place.
"Besides," Kanzashi continued, in a quieter voice, "Harper said that he would take care of me..."
"Kanzashi," began Yoshimitsu, "I would not put a lot of faith in that boy, that Harper. He will only lead you to more trouble and he couldn't possibly be very faithful-"
"Don't say that!" suddenly shouted Kanzashi, with more anger. She had grown affectionate for Harper, a young man who had told her countless times that, as soon as he got a job, he would take care of her and Hakujitsu. It wasn't that he didn't like Harper, but Yoshimitsu didn't think that Harper was responsible enough to even take care of himself, let alone two others.
Harper had come to the Manji Clan recently, along with other refugees from Russia. The boy was a foreigner who had moved to Eastern Russia to help his family, but that apparently didn't last very long.
"I did not mean to offend you in anyway," assured Yoshimitsu. Kanzashi, who had again become frustrated with Yoshimitsu's "fatherly instincts," turned around and started marching to the Southern Building.
"What do you know about love, anyway?! You... you... you emotionless robot!" she shouted back.
Yoshimitsu shook his head and started heading back to the Main Buliding. Kanzashi knew that, despite Yoshimitsu's mechanical arm and cybernetic implants, he was still human. She would commonly use the term "robot" when she didn't have anything left to say in their frequent arguments about Harper, but it would sometimes leave Yoshimitsu thinking: 'Have I truly lost my human emotions?'
As Yoshimitsu neared the Main Building, he heard someone call out his name.
"Yoshimitsu!" shouted one of the Manji ninja. Yoshimitsu hurried to the front entrance. As he reached the steps, he saw the ninja pulling a captive down the steps. The captive was a mean-looking man dressed in a business suit, while his captor was dressed in sleek stealth clothing with a mask. "Master," continued the ninja, "I found this loathsome wretch sneaking around! He said he is here to bring you a message! Should I kill him?!" Yoshimitsu shook his head and took a step forward to the man.
"Why have you come?" asked Yoshimitsu in a stern voice.
"I'm here bearing a message from the leader of the Black Pheasant Syndicate! Now tell this bastard to let me go!" replied the messenger.
"You disrespectful swine!" roared the ninja, "How dare you shout an order to my Master!" The ninja was about to kick the messenger's back in, but Yoshimitsu raised his hand.
"Kitsune, you can let him go now, thank you," Yoshimitsu said to the ninja. Kitsune obeyed and pushed the messenger forward.
"Why you little-" began the messenger, but he stopped as he looked back the ninja. Kitsune had taken off the mask to reveal the face of a young woman with long black hair and piercing eyes. She looked down at the messenger with rage.
"What does your leader ask of me?" asked Yoshimitsu, to bring the messenger's attention away from Kitsune.
"My master, Dokuja, request that you come to our headquarters to discuss the... negotiations."
"As soon as possible."
"We shall see... Now leave this place before Kitsune decides to make you leave!" ordered Yoshimitsu. The messenger stood up and quickly left the Manji Complex.
"Master," began Hiroyuki, who had been watching at the side, "Do you really plan to go to the Black Pheasants? If so, I beg of you to allow Kitsune and me to accompany you."
"No," answered Yoshimitsu, "I appreciate your concern, but I sense no danger. The Black Pheasants won't attack this soon. I will leave immediately."
Kitsune walked up to Yoshimitsu's side and, crossing her arms, leaned close to him, "Master, that messenger knows the location of this place now. We can't afford that."
Yoshimitsu sighed and nodded. There was no getting around it. As much as he disliked taking the lives of others, it had to be done.
Kitsune nodded and, drawing her small sword, followed the messenger into the forest.
"Send him in," ordered a very important looking woman who was sitting at a desk in an office on the top floor of the Black Pheasant Headquarters Building. The two large doors slid open and Yoshimitsu was shown into the room. As he walked up to the desk, the woman stood up and the two leaders bowed in recognition.
"Please, sit," she asked him with a deceitful smile as she gestured towards one of the chairs in front of the desk, "My name is Dokuja. I am the leader of the Black Pheasant Syndicate. How have you been? My father has told me so much about you!" Yoshimitsu sat down slowly with unease.
'Something's not right,' thought Yoshimitsu, 'This woman is being too polite. I will be cautious. She is trying to trick me.'
The woman opened a desk drawer and pulled out a bottle of wine and two glasses.
"Not going to introduce yourself, huh? Alright, that's fine. My father did tell me that you thieves were never a social bunch. I guess I'll do all the talking then." Dokuja opened the bottle and poured it into the two glasses. She set one in front of Yoshimitsu, and the other in front of herself. "Now then, about the negotiations: My father told me that the Manji Clan was responsible for our loss so many years ago. It almost brought us to destruction." She glanced up at Yoshimitsu.
"Your father," began Yoshimitsu, "must have told you a lot about us. I do hope a smart woman such as yourself can tell the difference between the truth and the raw words of those who have been brought to justice." Dokuja threw her head back in laughter.
"My, what a voice you have! Have you caught a cold- Oh, no. You haven't, have you? I had thought all that talk of the Manji leader being a cyborg were just rumors! I guess I was wrong, because here you are!"
"Lady Dokuja," began Yoshimitsu, "I am confused about how this is a meeting to discuss negotiations. That money was taken from the innocent by the Black Pheasants and the Manji Clan merely took it back. We have nothing to negotiate."
"Ah, but that's where you're wrong, my dear." Dokuja stood up and slowly walked around the desk and stood behind Yoshimitsu. She then placed her left hand on Yoshimitsu's left shoulder. Dokuja began to speak again, but this time her words were cold and stern.
"You will return what you stole from my father all those years ago, and you will also disband the Manji Clan and flee the country... on pain of death. Do you understand?"
Dokuja continued around the desk while pulling her hand delicately across Yoshimitsu's shoulders, making him shiver slightly. She then looked down at the untouched glass of wine. She picked it up and handed it to Yoshimitsu. "Oh you really must try the wine!" she insisted in her cheerful voice again, "It's delicious!" She then walked back to the seat of the desk and sat down.
Yoshimitsu looked down at the wine. He saw a strange looking film around the inner rim of the glass and one word came to his mind: poison. He then set the glass down and stood up.
"Lady Dokuja! We will not give into your futile threats! You Black Pheasants will be consumed by your greed and hatred!" exclaimed Yoshimitsu, although he didn't allow his voice to reach over a loud declaration, "I will now leave. Good day." Instead of bowing, Yoshimitsu just nodded his head, turned around, and left the room. Dokuja was now furious. She slammed her hand down on the intercom and shouted into it.
"Kenka! That son of a bitch is not leaving this place alive!" Kenka replied with a "Yes ma?am" and the static of the intercom went silent.
Dokuja shot a heated glare at the glass of wine that Yoshimitsu had refused. She leaned forward and violently struck the glass with a back-hand. When it hit the marble floor, the glass shattered and the poisoned wine splashed all over.
"Damn you! You arrogant Manji filth!"
Yoshimitsu made it to the front entrance. As he brushed through the rotating doors and started walking down the steps, he heard rushed footsteps coming from behind him. He turned around to see Kenka and a handful of other Black Pheasants following him out of the building. Yoshimitsu knew what they were sent to do, but he also knew that it wasn't going to be easy for them to accomplish their goal.
The Black Pheasants slowly circled Yoshimitsu. They were armed with the usually weapons a group of thugs might have: a crowbar, a chain, and a baseball bat. Yoshimitsu drew his sword and prepared for the assault.
Suddenly, they attacked. The two men with the crowbar and bat swung at him. Yoshimitsu blocked the one to the right, the crowbar attacker, with his sword and kicked away the left attack. He pushed back the crowbar attacker and jumped over him with his Moonsault Slayer attack to avoid the chain that would have hit him in the back. When he landed, he did a back-flip and struck the crowbar attacker in the head, which knocked him out.
The attacker with the bat swung again, but Yoshimitsu made a quick slash which made the bat split into two pieces. The attacker was stunned out of shock. Yoshimitsu took the attacker by the shoulders and struck him in the stomach with a knee attack. Yoshimitsu's armor intensified the attack to the stomach, so the attacker doubled over in pain. Yoshimitsu threw him aside and concentrated on Kenka.
Kenka, who was equipped with the chain, threw an attack at Yoshimitsu. Yoshimitsu switched his sword from his left hand to his right and snatched the chain out of the air. He then put his mechanical arm to use and spun his wrist around so that the chain began to bunch up. Kenka yanked and pulled to try and free the chain. Then, seeing that he was about to be defeated, he drew a handgun from his jacket and aimed it at Yoshimitsu. Just before Kenka was about to pull the trigger, a familiar shout and a sickening slash was heard. Kenka screamed and released the chain.
Kunimitsu had jumped from a nearby fire escape and slashed at Kenka's arm. She was about to attack again, but was stopped by a loud gunshot. Kenka had panicked and fired a shot at Kunimitsu, but missed and hit her in the right arm. Kunimitsu screamed, dropped her dagger, and held her wound.
The fact of a Black Pheasant shooting Kunimitsu enraged Yoshimitsu. He threw the chain down, charged at Kenka, and slashed him in the face. Kenka screamed and fell backwards. He was out of the fight.
Yoshimitsu ran up to Kunimitsu, who was now lying on the ground. He knelt down and held her up.
"Why did you attack him?!" he asked her, "Why?!" Kunimitsu slowly looked up at him and replied in an austere voice.
"If anyone is going to kill you... It'll be me."
Author's Note: Well, that's Chapter 2. It didn't take me too long to retype the quotation marks and apostrophes, but I'm dreading the next chapters, which only get longer and longer. Anyway, I appreciate you reading my fanfic. Thank you!