Chapter 33: The 『Hawk』
Junichi didn’t waste an inch of movement as he proceeded to mow down the men surrounding him.
Using the pistol in his hand, Junichi shot bullets with lethal aim as he moved towards the pistol that had dropped onto the concrete.
An interesting thing about bullets with round shells is that they’re often made with the intent of piercing through a target cleanly. The roundness of the shell increases it’s aerodynamics, allowing it to travel at an increased velocity in the air, thus making it more likely to simply pierce through a target.
However, what Junichi was using were special bullets.
Hollow point bullets with a plastic tip.
Hollow point bullets have an indentation in its tip. Upon impact, the hollow point causes the bullet to expand, interrupting penetration and disrupting more tissue as it travels through it’s target.
Of course, due to the indentation, the bullet becomes less accurate and agile. Thus, the ‘plastic tip’ is fitted onto each bullet.
The ‘plastic’ tip is essentially a piece of plastic that is designed to increase the aerodynamicity of the hollow point bullets. Upon impact, this plastic would either break apart into little pieces, or drive into the hollow point of the bullet, causing it to expand as if it were a normal hollow point bullet.
Needless to say, it was quite a lethal bullet.
Nevertheless, it was the ammunition that 『Gun』 normally used.
(Don’t worry about ammo! I’m turning our 『Soul Power』 into bullets.)
Junichi heard 『Cross』’ voice reverberate through the pistol that he held in his hand.
From what Junichi had heard from 『Cross』, there were two types of 『Arming』. The first involved creating a weapon from 『Soul Power』. The second was for a 『Counterpart』 to morph into a weapon.
Currently, the obsidian duo was using both. 『Cross』had morphed into a pistol as he used the 『Soul Power』 to create an almost limitless supply of ammunition.
Yet, in spite of this knowledge, Junichi was attempting to obtain another pistol.
Whether it was due to habit or not, one couldn’t say. Perhaps Junichi had not yet trusted 『Cross』’ word, or perhaps he wanted another weapon in case something went bad.
Nevertheless, Junichi began to make a move for the black piece of led that lay on the ground.
Of course, as everyone in the immediate vicinity was rendered immobile, Junichi had no problems reaching the gun on the floor.
Yet, as soon as he did, a certain, white-haired youth was finally brought back to his senses.
「W-What are you fuckers doing!? K-Kill him!?」
『Hawk』 screamed his orders towards the rest of his lackeys.
Although all of them were slightly intimidated by the one and only 『Gun』, they soon began to assault Junichi.
However, they didn’t go on the offensive because they wanted to.
No, they began to attack because they were frightened.
Of course, their fear was only natural.
After all, their comrades were currently being utterly destroyed by the youth’s deadly bullets.
Exploding heads. Disembodied limbs. For every bullet fired, another explosion of flesh and blood splattered across the dim, abandoned building.
Whether this was was the power of a Hollow point bullet, or the power of the 『Soul』, one couldn’t say. Regardless, the sight of the calm, yet eerie young man sent shivers down everyone’s spine.
Several of the men began to cry out as they pulled the triggers of their guns desperately.
A shower of bullets began to storm towards Junichi. Thousands of the pellets began to make their way towards the dark haired youth.
Of course, unlike the movies, they had relatively good aim. Although not all bullets were traced on Junichi’s body, about 80% of the storm was heading for a collision course with his head, arms, legs, and torso.
Needless to say, if Junichi simply did nothing, he would soon have several bullets lodged into his body.
(Are you sure this is gonna work, 『Cross』?)
(Yeah, just trust me partner!)
And yet…Junichi simply stood there, unnerved and unmoving.
Although bewildered by the dark haired youth’s lack of action, the men didn’t care as they continued shooting.
However, a strange phenomenon had occurred before their eyes.
Just as the bullets were about to hit the youth…
Several gasps could be heard from the men as they saw the bullet storm completely pass through Junichi’s body.
(See, I told you.)
(I see. So this is the power of the 『Soul Frequency』.)
Junichi muttered to himself as he saw the incoming bullets pass through his body.
From what Junichi had heard from 『Cross』, this 『Soul Frequency』 was the reason why Junichi couldn’t hit 『Hash』 earlier that day. The 『Soul Frequency』 was apparently an inherent characteristic of the 『Counterparts』 that allowed them to remain unaffected by normal stimuli.
While Junichi was skeptical, as he had experienced such a phenomenon first-hand, he decided to try it out. As he had thought, the bullets ignored his flesh as they flew through empty air.
Junichi had also been told that even though his body, clothing, and weaponry would be affected by his 『Soul Frequency』, he could turn this on and off whenever and wherever he desired. Thus, his attacks could still affect the environment so long as he willed it to.
However, being able to affect the environment doesn’t mean he could affect the 『Counterparts』 who also used the 『Soul Frequency』 to evade attacks.
From what 『Cross』 had told him, the only way to fight against the 『Soul Frequency』 was to use 『Soul Power』 to interfere with the phenomenon. The reason Junichi was able to fight off 『Hash』 barehanded was because his ‘Obsidian Outfit’ had been woven with said 『Soul Power』.
Junichi, unfazed by the bullet storm that had passed through him, began to look towards the men who had used up all of their bullets.
One of the men bellowed as they threw away their gun and rushed towards Junichi.
Needless to say, Junichi simply stood there as a foreboding breeze blew in through the glass door, shattered by the gunfire.
His piercing red eyes gleamed in the dusky shadows of the night. His dark, iron hair ruffled in the breeze, returning to its previously unkempt appearance. As he grinned, his body suddenly became coated in so much blood lust, that it appeared to suffocate anyone who came near it.
Perhaps it was this appearance that had earned 『Gun』 his reputation. Nevertheless, Junichi simply maintained his straight posture as he muttered the following:
(W-Who is that!?)
Rin exclaimed in her mind as she couldn’t help but stare wide-eyed at the tall, dark haired girl(?) in front of her.
However, suddenly, she felt a tap on her shoulder.
「Be quiet, or I’ll kill you where you stand.」
Rin felt a soft, yet childish voice whisper in her ear.
「Does the name 『Kokoa』 ring a bell, 『Shadow』?」
Rin suddenly tensed. The reason for this was not only due to her alias having been found out again, but also due to the fact that such a famous mercenary was currently behind her back.
「I don’t really care about your circumstances, but 『Gun』 told me to get you out of here, so shut up and don’t move.」
Rin repeated the name that had entered her ears. The name of the man that she admired.
However, immediately after that, Rin felt a cold, sharp sensation against her neck.
「If you don’t shut up, I’ll kill you.」
Rin suddenly felt her body go rigid. The reason for this was not because of the girl’s words, nor was it because of the dagger that was currently held to her throat.
No. The reason Rin froze was because of the disconnect between the girl’s words and her aura.
Even though 『Kokoa』’s words had malice poured into it, Rin could not feel a single ounce of blood-thirst coming from the girl.
In other words, the girl was currently camouflaging her murderous intent.
Something that Rin wasn’t able to do.
「Your bloodthirst is like a naked blade. If you don’t learn how to hide it, you’ll always be a weakling.」
The dark haired youth’s words once again echoed through her head.
Rin cursed as she felt tears well up in her eyes.
A voice similar to her own had echoed in Rin’s mind.
「There, you should be free.」
As Rin heard the childish voice whisper, she tried to move her arms. Understanding that her restraints had indeed been broken, Rin turned around in order to look at her savior.
Rin drew a sharp breath as she recognised who lay before her. A petite girl with dark skin and dark hair entered her view. Although the lighting was dim, Rin could vividly make out two shimmering blue eyes that appeared to be looking straight at her.
(She’s that girl!)
Rin realised that the girl before her was one of the ones that had been captured by the Zuji-gen. She was the girl that their target addressed as ‘Koko’.
「No time for talk. Help me with your friends!」
Koko…no. 『Kokoa』 spoke hastily as she directed her gaze towards the two girls, one green, one orange. Yet, both were incapacitated.
「We won’t be able to get them out of here!」
After calmly assessing the situation, Rin had realised that she and 『Kokoa』 wouldn’t be capable of dragging the two girls out of here.
If Yoshino was alright, then she would be capable of carrying Mayumi out. However-
The green haired girl was currently shivering uncontrollably as her hollow eyes continued to gaze in a certain direction.
Curious as to what Yoshino was looking at, Rin followed her gaze.
A black, L shaped object gleamed in the moonlight. Said black object was currently being held by a youth with dark, iron hair. The wind blowing in through the broken glass door appeared to have ruffled up the girl’s hair, showing a more ragged, unkempt appearance.
Upon looking at the youth, Rin suddenly had an epiphany.
This girl…no, this guy in front of her was the entity that she admired. He was 『Gun』.
…yet, something seemed oddly strange to Rin.
As she squinted, Rin used her excellent eyesight to peer into 『Gun』’s shining red eyes.
And, within said red eyes, Rin had witnessed something that she could never unsee.
An 『X』 shaped mark embedded in his left eye.
(I-It can’t be…)
Rin once again gasped as she had noticed who the being was in front of her.
Indeed, the entity in front of Rin, the 『Gun』 that Rin respected so much…
…was none other than the unkempt, dark haired youth she had met earlier that day. He was Saito Junichi.
(『Gun』 looks like he’s having fun.)
『Cocoa』 thought to herself as she looked towards the dark haired boy. Of course, as 『Cocoa』 had known 『Gun』 for an extensive period of time, she was fairly capable of reading his emotions.
It only took her a glance to see how much fun 『Gun』 appeared to be enjoying his little massacre.
As the dark haired youth disappeared into the wind, the men began to fall, one by one.
『Ominous Wind』 was a technique that Junichi had used quite frequently. On the surface, it appeared to be a move that utilized a gust of wind to throw his opponent’s guard off while he closed in on them and dealt the finishing blow.
Yet, in reality, the technique relied on murderous intent.
In principle, it worked similar to a flash bang.
A flash bang releases light and a high pitched sound, feeding its target with a blast of information that would leave them utterly unable to process other stimuli. They would then be rendered vulnerable to any attacks as their sight and hearing would have both been overwhelmed.
However, this technique did the exact opposite.
Junichi would first release a large amount of blood-lust, forcing his opponent to acknowledge said pressure. Then, as their attention was drawn to the blood-lust, Junichi would, at the appropriate time, completely kill his murderous intent as he moved out of sight with his swift feet. The target would then become disoriented as they could no longer sense the ‘overwhelming thirst for blood’. While distracted by searching for the undetectable murderous intent, Junichi would then deal the finishing blow.
This was the secret to Junichi’s ‘assassination technique’.
As Junichi had spoke the words 『Ominous Wind』, 『Cocoa』 could barely notice his sudden displacement as Junichi appeared in the middle of the crowd of men, still thrown off by the sudden rush of blood thirst.
It was then, that Junichi began the genocide.
Using both guns, Junichi began to mercilessly aim at the remaining lackeys’ vital points without a care in the world. As heads splattered and limbs burst, the youth continued the parade of carnage until the remaining dozen men had been utterly eliminated.
Beside her, 『Cocoa』 noticed the girl with lavender was stunned as she continued to stare at the circus of death.
「…what’s wrong, 『Shadow』? Have you not seen death before?」
As 『Cocoa』 asked innocently, Rin swallowed.
「I-It’s not that…it’s just…this is?」
Rin voiced incoherent garbage as she saw the dark haired boy brush off the deaths of so many without a care in the world.
「Yes. This is the power of 『Gun』.」
『Cocoa』 stated in a ‘matter of fact’ tone.
Rin’s body trembled slightly as she looked at 『Cocoa』.
For some strange reason, the petite girl with dark skin was currently smiling. Smiling like the beacon of red darkness that had just delivered death to the dozen of men that stood in his way.
Rin couldn’t help but feel the following as she looked between the two, dark haired youths.
These guys are insane.
Junichi voiced as he threw away the pistol that he had picked up.
The reason for this action was obvious. It would only be a hinderance in the battle to come.
Junichi voiced as he looked towards the white-haired youth, now composed and cackling with a familiar insanity.
「Ka ka ka ka ka ka! I’ve been waiting for this day, 『Gun』! You fucker! I’m gonna fucking murder you!」
As soon as 『Hawk』 spoke, he issued an order to his 『Counterpart』.
「『Hash』! Let’s fucking kill these shits!」
「KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA!」
Both 『Gun』 and 『Cross』 looked in disgust towards the creepy cackle as the tanned youths’ arms began to glow a white, yet dangerous light.
Following this, one of the youths morphed into a ball of white, yet visible light. However, the sphere of light began to pulsate before immediately shooting into the boy that had lost his right hand.
After the impact, the boy was suddenly equipped with a pair of dark wings on his back. As the wings’ feathers had a dark hue which juxtaposed with the young man’s white hair, they fluttered in the crisp, night breeze.
(Partner, get ready. We’re gonna end up in ‘that’ world by the looks of things.)
As soon as Junichi nodded, he noticed the world around him changing hues.
The brilliant, indigo that blanketed the night sky suddenly faded, as if its colour was being drained away. The street lights outside began to flicker as if they were trying to desperately cling to its last remaining trickle of life. The room, cascaded by the shadows of the night, began to slowly illuminate. As the darkness receded, however, what replaced it were patches of grey.
Before Junichi could blink, the entire atmosphere surrounding him had been painted with a coat of dull monochrome.
This was, without a doubt, that ‘world’. It was the 『Alter Field』.
Junichi glanced at his arm. He could see a dark material, different from the shirt that he wore when he was impersonating Kana.
That was the clothing that he had worn when he fought 『Hash』. It was the clothing woven out of 『Soul Power』.
「~~KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA~~」
Junichi shifted his gaze back towards the cackling creep.
He could see a familiar attire had manifested onto the 『Hawk』’s body. His previous black trousers were replaced by faded white jeans as his shirt that had a crude design was swapped with one that was grey and hung loosely off his body.
Junichi recalled this outfit quite clearly. After all, they were the clothes that 『Hash』 was wearing during Junichi’s encounter with him at the intersection.
From his observations, Junichi could understand this.
Those clothes were also woven from 『Soul Power』.
「~~KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA KA~~」
The man began to cackle as he rushed Junichi.
Of course, Junichi aimed his pistol towards the oncoming foe. However, the bullets that Junichi shot were suddenly deflected by the man’s wings.
As Junichi realised that his bullets weren’t affecting the man, Junichi began to run forwards, placing his hand on the man’s shoulder before nimbly somersaulting over him.
「『GUN』!? I’M GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU!?!?!?!?」
「KA KA KA KA KA! 『CROSS』, I’M GONNA MAKE YOU PAY FOR DISRESPECTING ME!?!?!?」
As the two voices bellowed, 『Hawk』 began to swing his fist at Junichi. While dodging every blow casually, yet cautiously, Junichi began to inquire the following.
(…『Cross』, what the hell did you do to him?)
(…I could ask the same of you.)
Junichi dismissed the topic as he was aware that now was neither the time, nor the place, to be discussing such a thing.
Junichi involuntarily swore as he saw the wings on 『Hawk』’s back suddenly surround him. The wings not only restricted Junichi’s backwards movement, but they also prevented him from raising his arms. As the man was so close, Junichi had no space nor time to raise his gun to shoot him.
「I GOT YOU!!!!」
『Hawk』 screamed at the top of his lungs as he began to reach out for Junichi’s neck.
However, just as his remaining hand had grabbed onto Junichi’s neck-
Junichi had shifted the position of his pistol so that its barrel was pointing vertically upwards. After that, he used his thumb to pull the trigger, blowing apart the 『Hawk』’s remaining hand.
As the 『Hawk』’s body rattled in pain, his wings inadvertently spread outwards, allowing Junichi to retreat backwards.
As he did so, Junichi noticed the 『Hawk』 moving towards the veranda outside.
「Oi! You running away, bird-brain?」
Junichi yelled in an attempt to taunt the man.
However, perhaps due to the pain, the man gave no response as he began to fly out of the building.
「Partner, we’re not just gonna let him go, are we?」
Junichi heard 『Cross』’ voice reverberate outside of his head.
Although he wasn’t sure what phenomenon caused this, he didn’t care as he replied with a devious smile.
「Of course not. We’re gonna kill him.」
As soon as Junichi spoke these words, he felt someone rush up towards him.
However, he didn’t turn around.
No, he didn’t need to turn around.
After all, he knew the identity of the entity that began to approach him.
「『Gun』…no, Saito Junichi!」
「What do YOU want, 『Tear』?」
While Junichi remained silent, 『Cross』’ disembodied voice replied to the girl with lavender hair.
「Don’t go after him. Even if you kill his host, the 『Counterpart』 will still live.」
As Junichi maintained his unbreakable silence, Rin continued to speak.
「As long as the two’s souls are connected, the host’s body will simply regenerate. There’s no way you’ll be able to kill him!」
Although Rin appeared to have a slight hint of desperation in her voice, she tried to prevent Junichi from chasing after the young man.
Yet, despite Rin’s attempts of restraining Junichi-
Rin utterly taken aback as she felt a smirk forming on Junichi’s face.
「W-What’s so funny!?」
「…it’s quite ironic, don’t you think?」
「Earlier, when I asked you how to kill the 『Counterparts』, you had so much resolve. Yet, where is that resolve now?」
As Junichi spoke the following, a gust of 『Ominous Wind』 blew, leaving behind a lone, pony-tailed girl standing alone in the world of grey.
–A short while after–
『Hawk』 swore as he flew across the colourless sky.
「FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!!」
While his mouth continued to spout profanities, 『Hawk』’s hand-less arms were currently being soaked in a white light.
Slowly but surely, 『Hawk』 was regaining his lost hands. Although he wasn’t aware of ‘how’ it worked, he didn’t care. After all, as long as he had his hands back, he could hold a gun.
And as long as he held a gun, he could kill the boy that he had wanted to kill since all those years ago.
The boy that had sent him to ruin.
Just thinking about the young boy irritated the murderer flying in the sky.
「JUST YOU WAIT, 『GUN』!!! I’M GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU!!!」
『Hawk』 screamed towards the lackluster sky.
Yet, at that moment-
The 『Hawk』 in the sky felt something pierce his arm before his vision blacked out.