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No Rest for the Wicked [Rivalraine/Sekirei Fanfiction]

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No Rest for the Wicked [Rivalraine/Sekirei Fanfiction]

Post by Drae on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:18 am

Chapter 1
There Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked/Money don’t grow on trees
I got bills to pay/I got mouths to feed/There ain’t nothing in this world for free
Oh no I can’t slow down/I can’t hold back/Though you know I wish I could
Oh no there Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked/Until we close our eyes for good.

Journal of Hawk Skywind: Entry #789
--Early Morning: Approx. 0900 hours--
Today was rather interesting. I found a strange girl wandering around the Slum Quarter early in the morning; however she wouldn’t give me more than her name- Ayumi- upon questioning. She seems to be able enough as to be an asset to the Silver Phantoms, however I do not yet know what Magical Element she is aligned to as a Cipher. As mentioned in previous entries, I seem to have developed the ability to sense if a nearby person is a Cipher. If the Master discovered this, he would no doubt want to capture me instead of kill me. A thought that chills me down to both of my hearts.

--Mid afternoon: Approx: 1435 Hours—
After a small amount of searching done by several female lieutenants of the Espionage Branch, we have found Ayumi’s Cipher symbol. It identifies her affinity to Electricity, something that is becoming more and more rare as time continues to pass.
Will update with new information tomorrow
End Entry

Hawk leaned back from his chair, the light from the small silver laptop in front of him as he looked over his newest entry. Finding Ayumi had been a stroke of luck, had they not found her earlier Masterwork would have captured her. And once they found out she was a Cipher they would have executed her as well. The 21-year old Blackwing had been pleasantly surprised to find out that she was an Electricity Cipher, due to the fact that he was finding himself incredibly short of those now. Depending on her personality she would do rather well in the Destruction Battalion. Those pyromaniacs had been hounding him for another Electric Cipher for months now, and the purple-skinned alien bristled at the thought of having to sit through yet another meeting in which their Branch Leader complained about not being able to take out dozens of targets at once. They had even worked up the courage to request taking a Cipher from one of the other branches, namely the Tracking Squad, which needed them far more. Electric Ciphers were possibly the best Ciphers there were, considering that a well-trained one could tap into phone lines, hack networks, and even electrocute large groups of enemies from a large distance.
Hawk crossed his arms in thought, silently wondering if he should give the Destruction Battalion this new recruit. She would have to be trained of-course, which was always painful as he was most often the one to play the part of the enemy. He sincerely thought it had something to do with the myth that Blackwings were indestructible.  Hawk scoffed at the thought, his crimson eyes closing before he slowly closed the lid of the laptop and stood up. He was of a fairly normal size for most species, only of about 6 feet in height, and like most male Blackwing he was mostly comprised of well-toned muscle. Mostly around the bone-like nubs on his forearm where his ‘Wing-Blades’ lay sheathed and collapsed under his skin. A marvel of genetics really, the blades were actually extremely hard bone that had the uncanny ability to collapse until only the nubs were visible. He slowly walked over to the door, brushing a strand of black hair out of his eye as he opened it. He came face to face with the recruit from earlier- Ayumi, he reminded himself- and by the looks of it she seemed to be about to knock on the door.
“Something you need?” He asked, leaning against the open doorframe nonchalantly as he fixed his crimson orbs on her. She squirmed uncomfortably under his gaze, something Hawk had gotten used to, her eyes shifting downwards as she rubbed the toe of her Phantom-issue boot on the hard, cold tile beneath them. Hawk’s gaze shifted to the gold bracelet around her left wrist when she went to move her hands behind her back in the image of shyness. So she’s already been processed, He thought as he shifted his gaze back to Ayumi. For some strange reason he felt a bit less guarded around her for some reason, as if he could let himself relax just a bit more than he usually allowed himself to. He mentally restrained himself however, he could not let himself completely relax in the presence of a new recruit. He had to make it clear he was the leader.
Meanwhile the aforementioned recruit was trying to keep herself under control. She was having such a strong reaction to Hawk she had almost collapsed when she first met him. His potential power as an Ashikabi was astounding compared to the others she had sensed in the Silver Phantom complex. And while she was still a bit puzzled at being released by one organization and put into another one, she couldn’t help but be happy that she had found the person who is quite possibly, most likely, her Ashikabi. She had detected the presence of several other Sekirei among the thousands of people in the compound, and not all of them appeared to be ‘winged’. This only reinforced Ayumi’s theory about the supposed leader of the Silver Phantoms, because it didn't look as though any of the other Sekirei had sensed Hawk's outstanding power. It also seemed that she had spaced out in her trademark shy thinking, as when she was finally brought back into the world she found herself staring dead into Hawk’s eyes.
She leaped back away from the purple-skinned being with a small yelp, watching him laugh in amusement while he used his racial magic to transfer into his human appearance. His dark hair lightening up to a snow-like color, with his skin lightening to a slightly pale white. His eyes remained unchanged, and if they did they merely became a brighter red. Ayumi stumbled around in her thoughts as Hawk looked at her, his gaze quizzical and unbreaking. He really is an intimidating person, even when he isn’t trying She thought, her gaze absently shifting to the bony nubs on his arms- which had changed into moles- and then to his nails, which had been rounded out from their usual razor-sharp diamond edge. She had heard that his ‘talons’ as they were called- the long knife-like blades that sprung from his fingers at will- could cut through steel with a single cut, although for all she knew it was a story meant to scare her. However it was still disconcerting for the ‘unwinged’ Sekirei.
“I...” She managed, slowly trying to find her words and piece them together as she struggled to comprehend her situation. She had always been quite the straightforward person, unafraid to speak her mind if she wanted to, and yet here she was trying to figure out how to tell this man what she was without straight out saying it. And all the while he was staring at her with the same nonchalant expression, a small orb of fire materializing in his right hand before he started to slowly bounce the fiery ball between his hands. That’s right Ayumi  thought, remembering what she had learned in the MBI labs about ‘Ciphers’ He’s more attuned to fire than most of us are due to his Cipher mark, She remembered, her thoughts shifting to the black and yellow cloud located just under where her Sekirei Symbol would appear once she was ‘winged’.
When she opened her mouth again to continue with what she was going to say however, she found that the words wouldn’t form in her mouth to be spoken. Immediately opting to act as if she simply forgot what she was going to say, Ayumi merely blinked for a few seconds before shaking her head slowly. A small, sad smile found its way onto her lips as she spoke. “It’s nothing. I forgot what I was going to say,” She lied, turning on her heel before walking back down the hallway to the left of Hawk’s dorm. From what she had seen in the short glimpse, it looked as if everyone got the same size for their rooms. This was a small bit of comfort for her, despite that she hadn't been able to tell the person she assumed was her Ashikabi what she was. She slowly made her way back to her dorm, silently scolding herself for not being able to say what was supposed to be said when it needed to be.
When she entered her dorm she flopped down on the bed inside, closing her eyes for a few moments before glancing over at the clock. Dammit… I promised to meet Ayaka-sensei in the Training Hall today, She thought, reluctantly lifting herself back up from the bed before grabbing a small silver duffel bag and walking down to the large area of the complex known as the Training Hall.

--No Rest for the Wicked—
“There you are! I was beginning to think you had decided not to come after all!” A red-haired girl of about Hawk’s age shouted at Ayumi as she emerged into the Training Hall. The Sekirei responded with a long, drawn-out sigh in response to the various targets set up around the room. Of course. They were all long-range targets, something she was finding incredibly hard to hit. She slowly approached the center of the targets silently before reluctantly replying a few moments later, dropping her bag off to the side as she got into position.
“Why wouldn’t I come, Ayaka-sensei?” Ayumi responded, turning her gaze to her instructor calmly and slowly as she mentally prepared herself to use her magic abilities. She had been told that proper preparation is key when learning how to master a person’s Cipher abilities, and in the very short amount of time she had been there she had already seen Hawk meditating a few times. Ayumi shook herself out of the train of thought she knew that would lead down as Ayaka laughed at her words, the girl’s shapely body responding in turn. She fixed her emerald eyes on the Sekirei before gesturing towards the various targets around the room. “You know what to do,” She said simply, walking over to one of the silver benches lining the walls and sitting down on it, crossing her arms as she sat. As she had been when Ayumi first met her this morning, Ayaka was wearing a red tracksuit, the zipper a little ways down from the top as it usually was.
For some reason Ayumi had found it hard to keep her focus off of Ayaka when she first walked into the Training Hall. There was something about her that Ayumi had yet to put a finger on. It was like that feeling she got near Hawk, but only a bit weaker. It made her wonder if Hawk really was her destined Ashikabi. Never-the-less, she still had training to do. And as such Ayumi temporarily pushed any thoughts of the Sekirei Plan and Ashikabis out of her mind so that she could focus on electrocuting all 8 targets at once with a single strike. It was a basic technique known among Ciphers as a ‘Thunder Nova’. Ayumi had almost gotten it this morning, and felt that she was on the verge of mastering it. All that she needed was practice.
And as the saying goes. Practice is what she needed. Ayumi stood there for what seemed to be an eternity, but was only ten minutes. Time and time again she attempted the Nova, only to hit maybe half of the targets at a time. Ayaka calmly instructed her on what to improve upon, as well as trying her hardest to calm down the increasingly frustrated Sekirei. The reason Ayaka was in charge of training new recruits was her uncanny ability to detect magical frequencies. She could tell what someone was doing wrong by watching the magic within their bodies. “Try imagining it as a balloon, Ayumi-san. Imagine it as a balloon rapidly expanding within your chest before exploding. When it ‘explodes’ try and direct the energy towards the area around you,” Ayaka explained calmly, making small hand gestures to emphasize her point.
Ayumi nodded slowly and sighed in exasperation before focusing on doing what Ayaka had told her. She closed her eyes and imagined her magic as a small yellow balloon, crackling with electricity and power inside her chest. She imagined it slowly expanding and imagined the energy that would be released from it erupting into the ground near her. It felt like a balloon too. A very big, electrically explosive balloon that had the ability to kill things if she wanted it to. She felt the ‘balloon’ continue expanding before it happened: the balloon popped, sending massive amounts of electricity radiating out from Ayumi’s body and into the targets, frying them completely and causing the scent of burning wood to waft into the air. As the smell reached her nose, Ayumi opened her eyes to find the charred remains of a wooden target in front of her, the strange golem reduced to nothing more than ash.
Ayaka whooped in excitement at the display of magic power, “Now that is power. Hawk was right when he said you had a lot of magic in you,” She said, a note of admiration in her voice for the leader of the Silver Phantoms. Ayumi couldn't tell if her instructor was lying or not, althoug she didn't really care. Ayaka clapped her hands together gleefully as she stood up and used her own magic to cause eight more targets to appear around Ayumi, replacing the ones she had just charred moments earlier. Ayumi stifled a frustrated groan at the next words to leave her mentor's mouth.
“Now. Do it again!”

--No Rest for the Wicked—
Hawk pressed a few more buttons on the small laptop in front of him, the time at the bottom right corner informing him of the late hour. He didn’t care, he rarely had the chance to relax and do what he wanted to instead of dealing with attack plans and the requests of various Branches. As such he hacked his way into the Masterwork satellites as he had done so many times before, and found his way onto the video site the planet had. He smiled at his handiwork, the Masterwork had set up a long-lasting site that most people could submit videos to. He chuckled to himself, remembering all the old articles he had found talking about a site of the same kind back on Earth. The amount of things Vaxion had copied from Earth was astounding: everything down to the way the governments worked... all except the government in Enterprise City.
He pushed this thought out of his mind as he navigated through the endless listings provided by him by the site after entering his keywords into the search bar before finding the one song he wanted to listen to right now. It was a fairly old and long-lost tune that hadn’t reached Enterprise City from Earth, and as such the band was entirely different. The tune was the same though, as were the words that the Blackwing knew by heart. As the song started up he did something that only a select few knew he did: he sang.

“Lately I’ve been/I’ve been losing sleep.
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard. Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars… yea we’ll be counting… stars,”

He continued to sing for a long time after that, the same song repeating over and over again as he closed his eyes and tilted his head back, a rich baritone emanating from his mouth as he sang the song word for word without a single glance at the screen as the lyrics passed by. He didn’t hear the loud steps running down the hall nor the crackling electricity due to the soundproof nature of the compound's single-person dorms. He couldn’t prepare himself for the new recruit zapping her pursuers before turning around the corner and silently sliding into his room in time to catch the tail end of the song. She stood there speechless as he sang, his face relaxed and strangely happy as he swung his foot side to side in time with the beat as the song ended.

That was… until he finally noticed her presence and let out a small sigh. His expression returning to the hardened one Ayumi had seen when she had found herself standing in front of him earlier that same day. He slowly opened a single crimson eye to look at the new recruit before sighing and standing up out of the chair. He slowly motioned for her to step away from the door before sliding it open and staring out at the two figures who stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of the Blackwing. He nonchalantly held out a hand to them, palm outward, before a large and loud spiral inferno erupted from it. Ayumi’s attackers frying to a crisp before Hawk slowly reached for a small radio on his belt. He unclipped it before radioing the Medical Squad, not a hint of remorse in his voice as he spoke, “I need someone to come pick up some ashes. I just caught Masterwork Infiltrators attempting to capture the new recruit.”

The aforementioned recruit stared at Hawk in awe, the uncaring calm that radiated from him was both scary and amazing at once. She kept looking finding herself looking down the hallway at the charred remains of the men who had been chasing her in an attempt to figure out if she was really dreaming or not. Hawk slowly turned and walked back into the room, his face taut and stony as he sat back into his chair. He had closed the door behind him and was currently staring at Ayumi with a rather frustrated expression. He clicked his tongue once before his sat up in his chair, reposistioning himself as he gestured to the hall outside. “Mind explaining what just happened?” He asked, searching for information as to how the girl had found herself under attack by two Infiltrators at once. He knew who they were. In fact he knew who every Infiltrator in the compound was, but he didn’t reveal them all because he didn’t want the Master knowing that he knew. It was best to keep your cards hidden until they were needed.

Ayumi struggled to find the right words for a few moments before she got a grasp on what had happened in the events prior to her stumbling in on the Blackwing. “Uhm… I was walking out of the showers and heading to my dorm when those two jumped me. They said something about taking me to see the ‘Master’ or something, so I ran. They kept up with me until I was a good ways away from here. Then I sent a small shock to their legs in an attempt to paralyze them as Ayaka-sensei had taught me. It didn’t seem to work though, and they kept following me until I stopped in place. They tried to grab me then, but I used a Thunder Nova to knock them back and away from me before sprinting to the first place I could think of.”
“My dorm,” Hawk responded, absently clicking his tongue as he thought of the possible reasons why the Master would want a new Silver Phantom recruit. He normally only went after the ones whom were further up the ladder… that and those who weren’t Ciphers. However Hawk knew for a fact that Ayumi was a Cipher, so that couldn’t be true. Unless the Master knows something I don’t Hawk thought, his expression darkening at the implications that meant. He slowly reached over towards his laptop before pressing a small blue button on the keyboard. He rose from his seat before walking over to the door and sliding it open. He looked into the room and gestured for Ayumi to follow. “Come on… We need to figure things out.”
--No Rest for the Wicked—

“What is this about, Hawk?” A man with midnight blue cat ears poking out of his dark hair spoke, a large claymore leaning against the brightly illuminated table in front of them all. There were exactly eight people in the room. Six of which Ayumi didn’t know, but apparently Hawk did. “Calm down, Kuro-kun. Everyone, I apologize for waking you at such a late hour. However, two Masterwork Infiltrators just attempted to capture the recruit to my right,” Hawk replied, motioning for the Cat-man to calm himself before he addressed the rest of the people in the room. Another Blackwing, this one wearing silver and gold plate armor on his body, crossed his arms and stared at Hawk with a pair of eyes only a few shades brighter than the aforementioned leader's.

“Why would they go after a recruit?” He asked, Hawk closing his eyes in thought in response to the question. Ayumi was getting an overwhelming sense of power just by standing in the room. Everyone there had massive amounts of potential as Ashikabi, which further caused Ayumi to doubt her previous assumption about Hawk. The Cat-man from earlier, Kuro, was flanked by another person: A small girl who seemed to younger than Ayumi was. She had white hair and purple eyes, and she looked to be about the age of fifteen. She was wearing a silver dress befitting of royalty with a set of half-plate on top of it. The metal tiara resting on her head completed the look. She had a pair of white-and-gold ears poking out from her head, and Ayumi could just barely spot the tip of a tail of the same coloration. On the other side of the table stood a human and a large wolf-creature. The human had white hair and blue-black eyes, and was carrying a large scythe. He was dressed in a black robe, and he had a black skull just over his right eye. A Disease Cipher, Ayumi realized. To the man’s side stood the wolf, his dark brown fur rather unkempt. He looked like a creature from a game: A large, muscular wolf with an intense stare unrivaled by anything else. He was standing on his hind legs, as his arms were more human than animal. He was dressed in what looked to be silver-dyed leather, the knees on the pants inverted to permit his backwards knees the movement they no doubt required. He had his arms crossed as he glanced at Ayumi with a set of intelligent green eyes.

“If I may interject,” The wolf said, motioning towards Ayumi with one of his clawed hands. “It could be because of her potential. A new Cipher is often easily manipulated due to the confusion they face,” He said in a low, gravelly voice. Hawk nodded in response as the small girl spoke, her voice quiet as she did so. “Why would the Masterwork want a Cipher, Delta? They have made it perfectly clear that they don’t like us,” She said, Ayumi spotting a small arrangement of purple stars on her neck as she looked up at Delta from across the table. Everyone's gaze shifted to the other Blackwing across the room before he spoke, “Delta has a point though. New Ciphers are often confused about what happened to them, and as such are easier to manipulate. We also know that Masterwork has made use of Ciphers before,” He said, a bolt of electricity visibly imprinted on the back of his right hand as he spoke. Another Electricity Cipher, Ayumi again noted as she continued to look at the people in the room. She noticed a small mountain inscribed on the shoulder of Delta’s armor, and a drop of water on the hilt of Kuro's claymore. So… Earth and Water… the other Blackwing is an Electric Cipher. The guy who looks like Death is a Disease Cipher, and the little girl is a Creation Cipher… and Hawk has already demonstrated being a Fire Cipher, Ayumi thought softly as she identified the different Ciphers in the room. In the short day she had been there, she had seen more Ciphers than she ever had before.

“The only problem is that Masterwork had never targeted a new recruit before,” Hawk said, the phrase catching the attention of a girl fiddling with a tablet in a corner of the room. She had blue hair tied into twintails on either side of her head, and looked like an idol of some sort. Her back was facing them, but her head tilted up slightly to reveal a white symbol on the back of her neck, revealing both her race and affinity. A Digisen Cipher… Ayumi thought as the girl stood up. The girl looking at the table before closing her eyes and speaking. “It may be because the Master likes to 'toy' with new Ciphers. Back when I was in Masterwork hands I often saw his operatives bring in new female Ciphers for him to ‘play’ with,” She said, her expression darkening at the mention of the mysterious Master.

Hawk’s eyes opened at this, and his own expression hardened as he seemed to come up with a plan of action to combat this show of power by the opposing faction. “It has got to be more than that, but until we can find out what I suggest we keep an eye on the compound. I’m going to suggest that we should have trusted guards stay within a margin of six meters around Ayumi at all times to ensure her safety,” He said as a small figure materialized next to the small girl, this one dressed in a traditional kimono, her golden eyes staring at Hawk as nine tails rose up from behind her. Delta scoffed at the kitsune, “It seems Eun-san has a bright idea,” He said mockingly. The fox turned a glare his way before refocusing on the Phantom leader. “If Delta-san hadn’t interrupted me I would have suggested that instead of keeping a perimeter around her, we merely monitor Ayumi-san’s activity remotely and catch the Infiltrators when they go after her.” Eun said, annoyance layered in her voice at the mention of the wolf that glared at her from across the table. She merely flipped him off in response.

Hawk turned a reprimanding gaze at the wolf before closing his eyes and considering the implications Eun had brought forth. “Yes, Eun-chan… we could probably due that. In fact it is most likely a far better idea than I would have first thought it was… Alright then, any objections from anyone other than Delta?” Hawk asked, surveying the room and finding no hands raised before he let a crooked smile find itself on his face. “Right then. Meeting dismissed, you all are free to return to your rooms now.”
"Oh, so I get reprimanded and the fox god gets a pat on the fucking back? Just brilliant," Delta muttered under his breath, moving past Rin towards the door. It was almost too small for his size, and Ayumi realized that Delta must've had to bend down a little to fit in the room due to his impressive height and stature. He was built like a horse, and Ayumi didn't doubt that he had seen himself through a good number of bloody battles.

The other people in the room calmly nodded before moving to leave, Eun evaporating shortly before the small girl left with a small giggle. Hawk turned to face Ayumi, and upon seeing the slightly confused look on her face he started to explain. “That girl that just left is named Lucy. She happens to be purely human, although she also happens to have the spirit of the legendary Nine-Tailed Fox within her. She is actually three people in one, although we don’t really talk about Wrath. The man with the cat ears is named Kuro. He’s what is known as a Relicon, a rather old race of people with animal traits. His sword is a rather well-known claymore named Ragnarok.The big wolf guy named Delta is part of a tribal race known as Clan Wolves. They have a sort of species-wide hierarchy, and he happens to be the current king’s right hand wolf so-to-speak. He also has a bit of a temper about him. The silent man who was standing besides Delta is named Rin. He is pretty much the reincarnation of the Grim Reaper, so he doesn’t really talk much.”
Ayumi nodded in response to Hawk’s explanation, silently wondering what the stories between all these people were. The blunette slowly crept up behind Hawk before speaking, her voice sweet and calm. “You forgetting someone, Hawk-kun?” She asked, tilting her head to the side as Hawk turned around to face her. He smiled widely before responding, his voice less demanding as it usually was. “I was thinking you could explain yourself, Mizi-chan,” He said, the girl sighing dramatically. “I told you not to call me that Hawk-kun. Mizu is just fine you know,” She said, Hawk laughing in response before she spoke to Ayumi.

“My name is Mizu. I’m what is commonly known as a Digisen, a race of artificial beings manufactured by Masterwork. I’m one of the only Ciphers among my race, as well as just about the only person in this entire compound known as a Multi-Cipher. Judging by the look on your face you’ve never heard of the term. Multi-Ciphers are, well, Ciphers. We just have the obscure ability to consciously choose our affinity. We can switch between any affinity we want, whenever we want. Our abilities are just a margin less powerful than a Cipher who has a singular affinity to that magic,” She said, Ayumi nodding understandingly as Mizu finished her explanation. Hawk glanced up at the large digital clock hanging above the door to the room before looking back at Ayumi, “It’s getting close to midnight, you may want to head back to your dorm,” He said. Ayumi nodded again before moving to leave the room. The last thing she saw before the door slid shut behind her was Mizu talking to Hawk about something.
--No Rest for the Wicked—

Ayumi awoke the next morning exhausted from the night before, her bare body cold from the air slowly seeping in through the ventilation shaft above her head. She hadn’t even bothered to change into pajamas before she passed out in bed. She slowly sat up, her head heavy from sleep as she looked at the time. And then realized she needed to be in the Training Hall in fifteen minutes. She sighed in frustration and flopped back down on her bed, her brown hair spilling out around her as she stared up at the ceiling. After a few moments of deliberation she reluctantly rose from the bed, got dressed, and started heading down toward the Training Hall where Ayaka was waiting. When she got there she found her instructor setting up another set of targets, these ones made of a substance that Ayumi was unfamiliar with.

“Obsidian. One of the most electrically-resistant materials I can create,” Ayaka replied, turning to face Ayumi as she spoke. She gestured towards the center of the obsidian targets, Ayumi sighing in response as she realized what was expected of her at this moment. She silently trudged into the center of the targets. She concentrated as she had many times before, finding that every time she used the Nova it got progressively easier. She had asked Ayaka a few times why she wasn’t learning new attacks. Her instructor had answered by saying “The reason is because you need to master one ability before you can master another one. The Nova is a very basic move, yes, but it builds into and onto a lot of different moves as well.”
And that had been the end of it. Ayumi had found that she couldn’t even approached the subject without Ayaka letting out a disgruntled sigh and repeating that exact same phrase to go along with it. Back to the grinding board, Ayumi thought, letting loose a Nova that only barely affected the targets. Her goal was to destroy them by the end of the day, and after she let loose a few more she realized it was going to take a lot of energy to do so. Probably more than she currently had within her. She groaned loudly before reaching deep inside herself, searching for whatever strands of magical energy were evading her grasp. She felt something at the corner of her mind, and mentally reached forwards in an attempt to grab hold of it, finding that it was actually the inherent abilities she had as a Sekirei lying in a sort of dormancy within her.

Maybe I can boost my powers, Ayumi thought, cautiously willing a portion of the power to combine with her magic. She then went about gathering up all of the magic that had recently been restored within her into one massive ball within her. She willed the ball to expand larger and larger, and when it hit its peak she had a crazy idea. What happens if I do this? She wondered, reversing her will suddenly and feeling the ball crunch rapidly. Her eyes widened in shock and pain as her body erupted with lightning, Ayaka jumping off of the bench suddenly as Ayumi screamed and fell to the ground. Ayumi slowly tried to get up off of the ground, her body feeling as if she had just been hit repeatedly by a truck before being put in an electric chair that was pumping its max voltage.

“No, no, no. Don’t try moving just yet, Ayumi. You just sent all of that energy that should’ve released in a Thunder Nova back into your body… you essentially just Nova’d yourself,” Ayaka said, opting for a bit of humor as she kneeled down next to Ayumi for a few moments before jumping back up and running over to a medical cabinet, the obsidian targets evaporating into thin air as she returned with a small silver box. She cracked open the box with a snap before taking out a small radio and several strands of medical gauze. She set the box to the side before grabbing the radio and pressing a button on the device’s side, “I need a Med Squad in the Training Hall, pronto!” She shouted, setting the radio to the side shortly after as she went to work on Ayumi’s self-inflicted burns. Ayaka then went to work wrapping Ayumi’s wounds in the gauze. All the while throwing anxious glances towards the door as if she were trying to will the squad to arrive faster so that she didn’t have a dying recruit on her hands.

The last thing Ayumi saw before her vision faded was about three people in full medical gear rushing into the Training Hall, spectral green leaves swarming around their hands as they knelt down besides her and asking Ayaka what had happened.
--No Rest for the Wicked—

Where am I? Ayumi thought, looking around at the empty white space she was in before taking a small step forwards. Blue electricity radiated out from where her foot hit the ground and spider-webbed outwards to the rest of the area, causing the white to flicker as if it was an image on a screen before completely disappearing. In front of her she saw a massive hall, blue light streaming in from windows on the walls of the long room. The walls were a black stone of some sort, and there was a throne on the far side of the room. Ayumi took another step forwards, her gaze shifting to stare at the majestic pillars in the room in awe.

She slowly made her way into the room, absently noticing that we was walking on an electric blue carpet that ran down the center of the room and up the stairs leading to the throne. She shifted her gaze to the throne, and stopped moving as she noticed a small girl smirking at her from on it. The girl had strange red eyes, the pupils slitted like that of a dragon or cat. She was short, probably about 120 centimeters, and had long blonde hair tied into two twintails on either side of her head. She was dressed in a sleek black dress, the right leg slitted up to the thigh as she looked at Ayumi with an amused expression.

“Amazing isn’t it?” She said, her voice toxically sweet as two figures moved out from behind the throne, their postures betraying their loyalty to the girl in the throne. The one on the left had blue hair and teal eyes, although upon tilting her head Ayumi noted that they seemed to change to a blue as well. On the other side of the girl stood another boy, this one with blonde hair and blue eyes. They turned their bodies inwards towards the smirking girl on the throne as Ayumi climbed the stairs cautiously. The small girl rising from the throne in turn.

“Kayna, Kurai… at ease,” She said, the two boys replying with a loyal “Yes, Haruki-sama” before their forms relaxed a bit. Haruki slowly stepped towards to meet Ayumi. She grunted in annoyance at their height difference before Haruki began to levitate off of the ground, her arms crossed as her bemused expression returned. Ayumi had to look up to look Haruki in the eye. “It seems you aren’t here of a mere accident are you?” Haruki asked Ayumi. Ayumi slowly nodded before she took a closer look at Haruki. Upon closer inspection the girl seemed to give off a very confident vibe, and her smirk was less amused and more arrogant as well.

Ayumi decided that she didn’t like Haruki at all. In fact, Ayumi decided that she didn’t really want anything to do with the little blonde bitch. Something about her just rubs me wrong Ayumi thought, closing her eyes as she tried to figure out how she was going to carefully figure out where the hell she was. After a few moments she just decided to go for broke and straight up ask, even if it meant going against her better nature and not telling Haruki how much Ayumi wanted to slit her arrogant little throat with a dull butter knife.

“Where am I?” Ayumi asked, hiding her immediate distaste and the pleasant thoughts of what that would look likeas she spoke. Haruki clicked her tongue before replying, her form slowly drifting back towards the throne before she was deposited in it. Haruki crossed her legs calmly before she spoke: “Nowhere actually. This place exists in a realm all its own,” She said, her smirk growing as Ayumi’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “But I can see you aren’t quite yet capable of understanding that, so I guess I’ll send you back to where you came from until you can understand,” She said, signaling to Kayna and Kurai with a wave of her hand. The two boys bowed loyally to Haruki before they muttered an apology to Ayumi. A small ball of fire appeared in Kurai’s hands as a large tennis racket appeared in Kayna’s. The two then released the brunt of their attack on Ayumi, sending the poor Sekirei flying backwards and crashing through a set of ornate obsidian doors and into a void beyond it.

I’ll be seeing you soon, number twenty-nine

Journal of Hawk Skywind: Entry #790

[See last entry] Upon further examination of Ayumi, her abilities as a Cipher have been gauged, and despite the urging of the Destruction Battalion, I have decided that her abilities would be of most use to Anarchy. While her abilities are still below average, I have firm hope that within the ranks of Anarchy Corp. she may become as strong as she so obviously wishes to be. A few hours ago I was informed by a Med team dispatched to the Training Hall that Ayumi attempted to further increase the output of her magic by attempting to rapidly condense it after it reached full expansion.
A rookie mistake. She suffered several burns and it is assumed that she may lose the ability to use a few of her limbs later on in her life. A sad thing indeed, but it was a mistake she has to pay the consequences for. I convened with the Core 6 last night, and we decided to keep an eye on her due to Masterwork attempting to capture her. It troubles me. Masterwork has never went after a new recruit before, let alone one who has also been proven to be a Cipher. I plan on making an appointment with Ayumi so that I can interview her on possible reasons why Masterwork would want her so that I can prepare the rest of the Phantoms in case the Master launches an attack during the Grand Festival.
Three years we have kept up this resistance. Three years since I found an abandoned warehouse in the Slum District. Three years since I met Delta in a back alley after he tried to mug me, since I met Rin in a Masterwork prison. Since I met Kuro in a bar. Since I met Lucy in that same warehouse, Wrath and Eun surrounding her as she absently tried to keep a fire going.
Three years since I watched my grandfather have a bullet put in his head by Masterwork soldiers.
End Entry

Lucille Raine- The Nightmare's Wrath

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