Here's the next one, and a late happy new year to everyone!
Ubuki Part 2
Numerous (Mushi) descended from the sky and surrounded Ubuki, who was evading (Kasuou)’s claws.
They were the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau, Central Headquarters' --- Combat squad’s third Airborne Division; the team that Ubuki belonged to up till yesterday. Aside from the Fusion type Ubuki, all other members were Minion type Mushitsuki. The coat-wearing members were riding on the backs of their flying (Mushi).
Ubuki let out a gruff shout that was unbefitting of her usual high-pitched tone.
She quickly manipulated the wings behind her back to evade with a minor rotation. The black claws that she narrowly dodged crushed the nearby building’s wall along with the wire pole standing in front of it.
However, in front of Ubuki who had dodged all the claws, countless (Mushi) had appeared; they were the Airborne Division’s (Mushi) herd.
Ubuki used her body to tackle the incoming (Mushi) and flew through them.
---Are they okay…?
While evading, Ubuki turned to look at the direction where Shiika and Yuu ran off in.
“Weaklings should just die like how weaklings are supposed to die!”
Black claws came from directly above.
Ubuki hurriedly braked, instantly turned, and accelerated to dodge the incoming attack. However, numerous claws continually struck down from every angle one by one.
Ubuki could not completely dodge all the claws. A sharp pain from her right leg flashed through her mind, and caused her to clench her teeth in order to maintain her focus.
--- It’s just a leg. I don’t need it… I’m fine as long as I have my wings!
Ubuki continued to dodge the claws that came one after another, as well as the Airborne Division’s (Mushi)’s tackles.
It seemed like the plan to attract both (Kasuou) and the Airborne Division’s attentions onto herself was quite successful. Both Shiika and Yuu should be escaping right now right?
But, setting that aside for now ---
“The power… that I worked so hard… worked so hard to obtain…”
Ubuki could feel her emotions pushing against her, almost causing her to shout out her fury.
Even though it was possible for the other two to escape pursuit safely, there was a chance that they would not return to her side. Not to mention, they did not say anything when she decided the rendezvous point to meet up in case of an emergency.
Ubuki clearly understood that she had a rather bad personality, and the fact that she was hated by both of them.
But, she just couldn’t think of any other way.
If she could make them listen to her with force, then it would be much easier, but the weak Ubuki couldn't do anything like that. Because she was too weak, she could only rely on (Fuyuhotaru)'s strength; lying and giving her what she wanted in order to gain her trust. Ubuki also hated that despicable side of her, but she just could not think of anything better.
“(Sensei)… Why did someone like me… survive…?”
Ubuki murmured to herself.
However, it was not an answer that she received, but rather the claws of (Kasuou) which came straight at her.
Although Ubuki tried to get away from (Kasuou)’s attack range, the Airborne Division was blocking her way.
And before Ubuki knew it, her surroundings were filled by the ground squad’s (Mushi).
They lined up in rows on the walls and roofs of the adjacent buildings, completely surrounding her.
She had no other choice but to look for a way out in the sky, or at least get away from (Kasuou)’s attack range first. Ubuki leaped and soared towards the sky.
She could feel intense wind pressure beating against her whole body.
Soon after, Ubuki's slender body flew high into the air; and in the time span of a few seconds, she flew to an altitude where she could not even discern (Kasuou)'s figure.
She paused in the air and looked below her.
Ubuki could see the Airborne Division, which had just started taking off. Whether it be the maximum velocity, acceleration, or agility; very few (Mushi) could surpass Ubuki in those areas. No matter if it was the (Mushi) or the human, none of them could really withstand the extreme gravitational force from the acceleration. This was the only advantage that Ubuki gained from fusing with her (Mushi); body enhancement.
“Even if I were to go directly to the meeting place right now I will be tracked… let’s head in the opposite direction ---“
The instant Ubuki turned her body in midair, she saw something shiny fly straight at her.
The unknown object flew past Ubuki with blinding speed. Her shoulder that was scratched by the object felt an impact as if she was being shot.
Ubuki almost lost her balance because of this, and barely managed to recover her stance.
Meanwhile, the attack continued to come straight at Ubuki, who continually displayed a nasty look.
The sharp objects that were flying at her seemed very similar to arrows, and dozens of them could be seen storming straight at her like raindrops.
Ubuki immediately climbed to a higher altitude, narrowly dodged the incoming arrows as she turned to look at the direction from which the attack came from.
On the observation deck of a soaring tower in the distance, two figures could be seen.
“(Konoha)-tan and… (Toramaru)-tan!”
Ubuki, who had been in the SEPB for over three years, could be considered one of the old timers— since most of the other Mushitsuki would either be turned into a Fallen after showing signs of maturation; or die on the battlefield. Whether she was lucky or not, but because of the fact that Ubuki was kicked into many different types of squadrons, she knew most of the members that belonged to the Central Headquarters.
(Konoha) was a member that had recently joined the SEPB; her specialty was her extremely long ranged vision. The other member, (Toramaru), was known for his extremely long ranged attacks. Although the strength of his projectiles were not as strong as (Kakkou)'s he could fire an unlimited amount of them. The team formed by these two members, had accomplished remarkable exploits, by utilizing their astonishing vision and long range attacks to search and eliminate targets.
(Toramaru) fired dozens of arrows once again. The arrows that were shot from the distance reappeared in front of Ubuki almost instantly.
Ubuki couldn’t completely evade all the arrows, and this time her flank was wounded.
The long coat that Ubuki wore, was equipment that the SEPB especially made for their combatants; with synthetic resin fibers woven into fabric. Not only was it completely waterproof and fire-resistant, it also had the ability to withstand slashes, bullets, and other attacks. However, it was unable to completely absorb the impact; hence the reason why Ubuki could feel her flank burning in pain.
On one hand was the Airborne Division below her, which was gradually approaching, with (Kasuou) who could be seen riding atop of other people's (Mushi). On the other hand, were the other squadrons' (Mushi), which would be coming in from the distance as well.
“Sure enough the sky is the most dangerous place after all… There’s no place to escape…”
Ubuki gazed dazedly at the enemies that almost surrounded her.
“(Sensei), if I were to lose this sky, would there even be any other place where I could belong…?”
Ubuki raised her head, and murmured to herself.
The glaring rays turned Ubuki’s vision pure white.
The view after being dyed white began to slowly be eroded by darkness.
The movement of the air currents, the warmth from the sun, and the sound of the wind gradually faded away from Ubuki.
Amidst this pitch-black darkness, Ubuki saw her hands that were desperately trying to grab onto something.
Her pairs of hands were opened wide and flat as if they were dying to obtain something, yet they seemed so fragile as if they would immediately fall apart. And in the view ahead, there wasn’t the slightest trace of light.
Ubuki slowly closed her hands.
Unable to grab onto anything, unable to take back anything, the hands that could only embrace darkness began to gradually lose its contours, before vanishing completely.
The arrow that grazed Ubuki’s cheeks caused her senses to return to the reality.
The sensation of wind could be felt once again.
--- Again that same dream… The fact that I’m seeing it at times like this… does that mean I’m near my end?...
Ubuki clenched her teeth, and focused all her attention at the wings behind her back. Her hand held onto the necklace that was hanging from her neck.
“But, if I have to die, I’d rather die with a smile. (Sensei)! I will absolutely not give my life to these guys like this!”
(Toramaru)’s arrows and (Kasuou)’s giant claws came straight at Ubuki simultaneously.
Ubuki suddenly dove down, below the reach of both attacks.
(Kasuou), who was showing a stunned expression, exchanged glances with Ubuki at close range.
Passing through the rising Airborne Division’s (Mushi) herds, Ubuki dove straight down toward the ground.
“Don’t you dare try to get away!”
Black claws suddenly seized Ubuki’s body, clutching tightly onto Ubuki’s shoulder and abdomen as (Kasuou) fell along with Ubuki.
“(Kasuou)-tan, you’re really presistent, huh? Girls like you are more likely to be hated, you know that?”
In a blink of eye, they almost reached the ground, yet Ubuki still didn’t decrease her speed.
“Trash like you should just drop and die like this!”
“Too bad, (Kasuou)-tan you’re the only one that’s gonna drop and die!”
The instant before Ubuki almost crashed into the ground, she turned her direction with a twist spin; almost making a 90 degree turn. Black claws were spinning like bullets before peeling off from Ubuki.
(Kasuou), who was enveloped by black clouds of mist, was thrown onto the ground, causing a loud sound akin to a meteor landing to echo throughout the surroundings.
Ubuki stopped spinning her body, and changed to a low altitude glide. (Toramaru)’s arrows continued to hail from the sky, while the Airborne Division turned to follow Ubuki up in the air.
Ubuki continued to dodge the incoming arrows as she flew onto the pedestrian sidewalks.
The surprised expressions of the passersby instantly flashed across Ubuki’s view.
Ubuki stormed out of the streets of the residential area with one burst. Zigzagging through the gaps between passersby and obstacles, and flew onto the paved road next to the national highway.
Screams could be heard on the road as she flew past, since no one could possibly recognize the figure of Ubuki who flew past them with blinding speed, they could only assume that it was just some large crow or something.
Perhaps they were concerned about injuring the innocent bystanders, because the hail of arrows stopped coming at her, but there were still enemies in the sky chasing after her.
Just then, Ubuki saw a billboard in the distance and smiled.
“Bye bye, (Konoha)-tan~”
After whispering that, Ubuki dove into the stairway leading to the underground.
It was an entrance of a subway station. Within Akamaki city, there was a public subway system operated by several companies working in conjunction.
Passing through the narrow channel, Ubuki flew deeper underground. The passersby that caught a glimpse of Ubuki’s figure flying extremely close to the ceiling all turned around and let out screams.
Even if it’s (Konoha)-tan, there’s no way she could see me here right?
Ubuki began to form a plan within her mind. After un-fusing from her (Mushi), she should be able to get away by mixing into the passengers right?
“……Ah, I don't have any money; I guess I just have to fly through it!”
Without stopping, she flew over the ticket machine. However, even though she was flying in the air, the machine could still detect Ubuki’s figure, hence a loud alarm began to ring.
Ubuki ignored the staff that came rushing towards her, and flew to the platform.
The train didn’t seem to be in station yet.
Ubuki flew across the tracks, and hid behind one of the platform poles.
After getting around the pole, Ubuki de-fused from her (Mushi), Tentacles instantly separated from Ubuki’s body, and returned to its original form.
Due to the fact that Ubuki had been flying at her full speed since the beginning, her body was already worn out from fatigue. Even though the surrounding passengers looked at her with stunned expressions, Ubuki leisurely took off her goggles and long coat.
As long as I can get into the train cars before the station staff arrive, I should be able to mix into the crowd and get away.
Suddenly, light dots began to appear in midair at the end of the tunnel.
It seemed like the train had finally come. Ubuki finally could breathe out a sigh of relief.
“Hurry up and come, my cute little train~…… Huh?”
Ubuki’s expression stiffened all of sudden.
She noticed there were four light dots hovering amidst the darkness, like the head light of an incoming car, gradually becoming bigger and bigger.
The first one to scream was the passenger situated near the end of the platform.
The object that appeared out of the tunnel was not the train, but rather a giant (Mushi) with four huge eyes on its head. Its upside-down triangular wings made it seem very similar to a caddisfly. A goggle-wearing figure could also be seen riding on top of it.
Four huge compound eyes were staring straight at Ubuki.
“Woah… (Yotsume)-tan… Isn’t Higano City your jurisdiction…?”
She muttered dazedly as she put on her goggles and long coat. The raven dragonfly appeared, turning itself into tentacles and fused with Ubuki’s body once again.
Just at that instant, another scream could be heard from the stairway that Ubuki came from.
“Even (Ashitaka)-tan is here… They are actually sending two high-mobility elites to chase after me? What the hell is going on?!”
The monster that appeared from the stairway was a ten-limbed long-legged (Mushi). It was moving with its whole body upside-down, stabbing its legs into the ceiling. Although the number of legs was different, its figure looked very similar to a water strider. There was a white-coat wearing figure inside its streamlined body.
Ubuki beat her wings and flew into the air. Both the caddisfly and the water strider came charging straight at her simultaneously.
The underground air was filled with the rusty smell of metal. Taking a breath of the damp breeze, Ubuki showed an unhappy look.
“The smell of the air here stinks… I will never fly underground again!”
While complaining about the quality of the air, Ubuki suddenly remembered something.
Even without reconfirmation, it was clear that Ubuki was one of the lower ranks of the Headquarters. On the other hand, (Kasuou), (Yotsume), (Ashitaka), and others were all classified as high-ranked elites.
The news of Ubuki parting ways with (Fuyuhotaru) should’ve been reported by (Kasuou) already. If so, then why were they still mobilizing such high-ranked members to chase after Ubuki?. Especially considering the events that had just transpired; the fact that they exposed their (Mushi) in front of the general public, had never happened.
After almost crashing into the bumpy wires, Ubuki set her questioning of the SEPB's strange acts aside and focused more on her flying. The vision underground was extremely awful, and even the flow of the air currents weren't evident; hence Ubuki could not use her maximum speed at will. Taking a glimpse behind her, she could see that the (Mushi) in pursuit had almost caught up to her.
The first one that attacked Ubuki was (Ashitaka).
(Ashitaka) manipulated the ten legs with a blinding speed that one could barely get a glimpse of, and moved onto the wall next to Ubuki. It raised its sharp legs akin to needles, before stabbing it at Ubuki who was illuminated by (Yotsume)’s flashing light.
Ubuki immediately curled up her body to dodge the attack.
However, (Ashitaka) did not stop just there. He continued to move onto the ceilings, the tracks, and other walls to attack her from all angles.
Ubuki was desperately dodging the attacks by swiveling her body. She would also fly onto the opposite tracks to evade the attacks from time to time. Because the space for movement was limited, Ubuki was forced to do some extremely dangerous evasive actions. With her current speed, even if it was just a slight scratch against the wall, it could make Ubuki completely lose her balance.
“That’s why I hate crowded spaces like this!”
Just then, the quad compound-eyed caddisfly finally caught up to Ubuki. It reached out two of its front legs, in attempting to seize Ubuki; the giant mouthpart on its abdomen was wriggling nonstop.
(Ashitaka)’s needle legs continued to storm down from all angles while (Yotsume)’s mandible was closing in on her. The only escape route Ubuki had left was the path in front of her.
Because of the constant evasion, large droplets of sweat began to appear on Ubuki’s forehead.
Just then, a faint light appeared in front of her; Ubuki could see a fork in the track leading into two tunnels.
In addition, Ubuki also felt a slight change in air current.
“If you wanna play tag this badly… then you better keep up with me!”
Ubuki accelerated faster towards the intersection. The enemies behind could not tell which way she was going to go.
An instant before she crashed into middle divider, Ubuki swiveled her body while changing her direction and performed the famous aerobatic “Barrel Roll”. She cut into the left lane of the fork and glided.
The Airborne Division who could not change their direction in time charged straight into the other lane, while many emergency-braked.
Ubuki heard the sound of (Ashitaka) sucking his teeth. He seemed to have barely managed to catch up to Ubuki, but (Yotsume) wasn’t as lucky; his enormous body completely crashed into the middle wall. The sound of walls shattering echoed throughout the tunnel.
But even so, (Yotsume) didn’t stop right there. Even though half of its body was stuck in the wall, it still didn’t give up on chasing after Ubuki.
“…(Yotsume)-tan is a really hard worker huh…”
Just at that instant, a light different from (Yotsume)’s flashing light appeared in front of Ubuki in the distance.
“But, it seems like your crisis didn't end just yet!”
Accompanied by a loud and heavy sound, strong wind pressure stormed straight at Ubuki and others.
It was a running subway train.
The instant before Ubuki crashed into the train, she cut into the gap between the wall and the train.
Groans could be heard coming from behind; it seemed like they were not able to get away in time. Ubuki saw (Yotsume)’s (Mushi) sent flying into the wall by the train.
The time it took for the train to pass by lasted only a few seconds. Amidst the storming air currents, Ubuki desperately tried to maintain her flying balance, while flying in between the several inch gap between the wall and the train. The train's whistle rang throughout the tunnel; Ubuki could feel her eardrums about to rupture from the deafening echo.
Accompanied by another set of gusts, the train had completely passed by her.
Ubuki, who safely escaped the danger of being crushed alive by the train, showed an expression of relief. However ---
A sharp pain ran through Ubuki’s left arm. Her body began to lose balance because of this, and caused her to spin out of control.
Her back crashed into the wires of the ceiling, but thanks to it, her body stopped spinning. Ubuki somehow managed to spread her wings and stabilized her balance before completely crashing into the ground.
“Damn it, how annoying…!”
The one had who attacked Ubuki was the (Ashitaka) who was clinging to the wall. It seemed like Ubuki wasn’t the only one who had lived through.
Although Ubuki wanted to bitch at him, she was unable to sound a word from the pain.
She stared sharply at (Ashitaka) with her teary eyes.
In this tunnel, it seemed (Ashitaka)'s mobility had the upper hand. Ubuki had completely lost the speed advantage she had over him.
Ubuki accelerated faster while looking at the ceiling.
In her view, countless thick cable wires could be seen.
These wires are serious eyesores. Not only did they make the tunnel even narrower, they also pop out of nowhere from time to time!
However, because of this, an idea emerged in Ubuki’s mind.
“Water striders should just play in water like how they’re supposed to!”
Ubuki showed an arrogant smile as she looked at (Ashitaka)’s face.
“What did you just say?!”
“I’ve been wanting to ask you this for a long time already… (Ashitaka)-tan, did you know that your (Mushi) always smells like moss?! Moss~ Moss~ it stinks~ Ahaha.”
Ubuki turned her neck a bit and showed a mischievous grin, known as “the troll face”, while continuing to make fun of him.
“The SEPB’s weakest weakling dares to act so cocky and mock me…?! I’m going to slaughter you!”
(Ashitaka)'s expression, after being provoked by Ubuki, was filled with rage.
Using all the remaining strength she had left, Ubuki desperately dodged (Ashitaka)’s raging attacks from the needle-like legs.
“Moss~ Moss~ Moss~ you stinks~”
“Shut the fuck up!”
Ubuki evaded through the attacks that came at her like rain drops, and flew closely to the ceiling.
“If the trains were to stop, remember to ask the SEPB to pay for the compensation!”
“Huh, what the hell are you saying?”
(Ashitaka)’s (Mushi) aimed before stabbing its leg straight at Ubuki’s head.
However, Ubuki twisted her body the instant before the needle-like leg reached her. The needle-like leg grazed past Ubuki’s cheeks and stabbed into the cable wires of the ceiling.
The cable wires immediately sparked blue and white embers, and enveloped (Ashitaka) and his (Mushi) completely.
(Ashitaka)’s whole body curled into a bow shape, and dropped onto the floor from his (Mushi). The figure of (Ashitaka) bouncing on the tracks until he hit a wall flashed through the corner of Ubuki’s eyes.
“Woahh, he really got electrocuted… This is why I hate this kind of humid air!”
Because (Ashitaka) was constantly exposed to this kind of humid atmosphere, a large amount of moisture most likely accumulated onto him. This occurrence along with the fact that he cut into a high-voltage cable, resulted in the electric current running through his body.
After the disappearance of (Ashitaka)’s figure, the underground tunnel regained its silence once again. It seemed like the severance of the cable caused the trains to stop running.
Ubuki gradually decreased her flight velocity, and landed onto the track. But because of the overwhelming fatigue, she was unable to land perfectly and fell into a roll on the tracks.
Ubuki climbed up, and raised her head. A raven dragonfly de-fused from her body, which was covered in wounds.
“So it takes this much for a weakling to run away eh…”
There was a stairway at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps it was used for the train’s maintenance? The stairway extended all the way to the ground above.
Ubuki suddenly heard a sobbing sound, only to find out that the sound was coming from her herself; the tears that she had been holding finally dripped onto the ground.
“Ehh? Araa… Why am I crying…?”
While walking up the stairs, Ubuki used the corner of her dirty long coat to wipe away the tears.
"(Sensei), I've known that I'm weak for a long time now... I'm already used to it... I'm not lying! That's why—"
A door that was overflowing with light from around its gaps appeared.
In front of the door, Ubuki stopped.
What would be waiting for Ubuki once she opened this door and walked out? Although the ones that were waiting for Ubuki...had already disappeared three years go— not a single one of them lived... Would there still be anyone waiting for Ubuki? And even if Ubuki were to die in this tunnel filled with the smell of rusted metal... Would there still be anyone who would cry or feel sad for her?...
Shiika and Yuu had probably escaped by now right? Why would they want to return to Ubuki who had tried to use them?
“I want to… go back to the Island… (Sensei)… Without that island, my dream would be meaningless…”
Ubuki leaned against the wall, and walked up to the door.
“But, I’m not planning on disappearing alone just like this… (Sensei)…”
To the current Ubuki, the memories of her hometown could generate nothing but hatred.
“I’ll take that woman along with me… Before I kill her, I’ll live on, no matter what happens!”
Ubuki opened the door, and left the tunnel.
There was an embankment next to the riverbank outside of the tunnel. It seemed like there was an abandoned car factory up ahead; large numbers of disposed rusty cars could be seen piling up like mountains around. And there was a giant hoist crane with a car hanging from it parked on the side.
Ubuki suddenly smiled.
“Ahaha… You made a special trip here to wait for me? I’m really happy…”
That was what Ubuki felt from the bottom of her heart. She couldn't even imagine within her dream, that there actually existed a person waiting for her. Within Ubuki's heart, a joy unbefitting of the current atmosphere emerged.
Standing on the top of car piles, a blond-haired teenage girl could be seen.
“I can’t stand to be underestimated by people this much... Let’s finish this once and for all, (Karasu).” Facing the sunset with her back, (Kasuou) showed a snooty grin.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~
How many times did you get tricked thinking that she could get away huh? Aha