Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Disclaimer: This work has not yet been proofread. I am currently focused on simply finishing my story before going back to flesh out my works. Please keep grammar nitpicks in reviews to a minimum, and any suggestions and advice are more than welcomed. Thank you!
The sky lit bright for an instant and loud rumbles shook the orphanage. Plip, plop, plip, plop. Ren, Nanny, and all of the other kids were busy placing pots and buckets underneath leaks and cracks. Cecilia on the other hand, lay wasted on her bed.
It had been a month since the Cattle Raid of Cooley ended and she still has not shown any signs of recovering from the huge let-down. It's truly unfortunate that her regeneration magic can't recover motivation. A whole month was a bit much though in Ren's opinion. Sure, she spent four years of non-stop training, failed to meet her idol, and didn't get the fight she'd been craving for, but..Ren shook his head and let her be. Perhaps she can stay like this for a bit longer, although It'd be disappointing if she let all those years of hard work go to waste.
"And for tonight's story, the mystery behind the Island-wide black-out last month has finally been resolved."
Ren's eyes elevated for a bit, curious as to what the news had to say and returned to his book on the element table.
"Evidence suggests that the A.I in the Mitchon was hacked and programmed to shut down the facility and itself for approximately four hours at noon as shown in it's last order of operations."
"And, what about all the beaten people outside of the Mitchon?"
Ren reached for his vitamin drink and took a sip from it.
"Unfortunately despite all the fingerprints and physical descriptions given to us by the riot, there has been no suspects whatsoever."
Of course not. The day after she was born the hospital blew up. All records of her birth was destroyed.
"And, what about the riot's claim about there being a giant dirt hill and two kids that 'released their waste from the top of that hill."
Ren folded his legs and put his book down. He interlaced his fingers and made himself comfy on the couch.
"Well Sandy, from the way I see it, there are two possible solutions as to what they're talking about. One, a gifted child with the power to bend the Earth is here in Hawaii. Two, they all decided to conspire together so that they won't take the blame for breaking into an important business building and attempted destruction of property.
Since none of the security cameras were working, all we have are eye witnesses. And there are no evidence that suggests that the landscape had changed at all. Personally I'm leaning closer to option one. I mean, who am I to deny over a thousand witnesses and victims?"
Ren turned the T.V. off. He picked up his book but his fingers went numb and dropped the book onto the floor. His fingers twitched uncontrollably as if trying to rip themselves off of his hand, then went numb and limp. One month since he made that dirt hill, yet he still lose feeling in his limbs or twitch violently every now and then. Perhaps he used too much magic? If so, then there's a limit to how much magic he can expend before he wears himself out. But what is the limit? Ren reached for the book and tried to pick it up with the hand that went numb on him. He forced himself to move his finger but it just wouldn't budge. It was no use, he had no choice but to wait it out.
Another month had passed. The usual Honolulu, Hawaii weather. Hot, bright and sunny with occasional drizzles that bring false hope to those who love rain and cold weather. Cecilia was still a downer and refused to do anything but eat, and lay in her bed. Recently, Ren had been pondering as to whether or not Cecilia has a magical gauge to her regeneration magic. It doesn't seem like she has the luxury to decide when to use it or not. That said, it seems to take effect as soon as she's injured or expends her energy. However, if Cecilia does have a limit, then it'd be bad if she became too reliant on her regeneration.
Ren went upstairs and nudged at Cecilia who seemed to be a vegetable on her bed. "Come on, just because the first time didn't go so well doesn't mean it's all over. You'll get another chance."
Cecilia's whines muffled against her pillow. She then began to flop up and down on her bed, and covered her head with her pillow. With a defeated sigh, Ren takes his leave for lunch.
"Ren, go answer the door please," Nanny snapped.
Another month had passed. Something felt off, it was quiet, too quiet. Cecilia scanned the room. All of the other beds were there. The screaming of children playing around downstairs. Nanny getting angry at some for breaking something. The birds on the tree outside chirping away as always. She was alone. Where was Ren? Where was her three instance a day of care and annoyance to go eat? Now that the thought had occurred, he didn't bother her yesterday, nor the day before yesterday, and all of last week too.
She tossed her pillow aside, got off her bed, and hustled downstairs. The kids didn't seem to know anything. The last time they saw him was a little more than two weeks ago. When inquired for more info, the children knew nothing about Ren's activities. Her stomach let out a mighty growl that lasted more than five seconds. She hadn't eaten anything in the past week. She opened the fridge and found a half-filled liter of water and a slice of fruit cake. What manner of deceit could this possibly be? When did the orphanage find the time to bring home cake? A delicious one at that too. Since she had been a vegetable for the past three months, clearly nobody else is going to eat this cake right? She took the cake and water upstairs to her bed. Before she dug into her sustenance, she had to take care of nature first.
She flushed the toilet and washed her hand. In front of her was a mirror and she couldn't help but look at it. She touched her cheek with her drenched hand staring intently at her skin. She poked at her bicep, then lifted her shirt to look at her stomach. Three months of absolutely no training and minimum nutriment and her body, her muscles have not fatten or dulled a bit. Perhaps Ren has an explanation to this. Supposedly human bones and muscles are supposed to weaken if not trained properly right?
When she returned to her bed where she left her cake and water bottle, she found a bird on the plate, pecking at the fruit cake. Pissed, Cecilia swung her arm at it to shoo it away. The bird was courageous enough to enjoy the cake. Cecilia swung her arm again, this time with much greater force. It was enough to blow away the cake and the water bottle out of the window. The bird flew a bit from the draft that she created but then stood on the bed. She stared at it. This was no ordinary bird. That was when she realized there was something tied to it's leg.
Cecilia reached at the bird and untied what appears to be a tiny device with a single red square button. As soon as it was removed, the bird flew out the window.
She pressed the center of the button and a holographic projector appeared from it. Right in front of her eyes was a bloody Ren crucified to a cross. He faced the ground unconscious; unmoving. Blood dripped down his arms as if he had been nailed recently. Even more blood leaving his body from the dozens of whip lashes on his torso. This was a video though, it could have been a recording from some time ago. Cecilia looked around for the date only to find it was done today. But why? The screen panned away from Ren to a cloaked figure.
"Come to the roof of the Mitchon," the cloaked figure's voice was altered. "Or he dies."
The cloaked figure drew a dagger out and threw it. Ren cried in pain off-screen.
Cecilia's eyes slowly sharpened and her mouth conditionally grit. Next thing she knew, she had crushed the tiny red device in her hand to pieces. She dashed out of the orphanage and darted towards the Mitchon once more. Nothing could stop Cecilia's stampede. Even if the traffic light turned red, she would continue running forward. A hover-car skidded to a halt as soon as it detected human life approaching it, but Cecilia didn't give a fuck about jumping over it or running around it. She ran right into the car splitting it in half before it could even eject the passengers. Another instance of which a car did not stop in time because it just turned around the corner. Cecilia smacked the hover-car and it flipped once in the air before crashing upside down on the street.
As soon as the Mitchon was in sight, she jumped up and bounced back and forth between the walls of a nearby alleyway and onto the roof of the building. She continued to run and leap roof to roof. The crucified Ren and the cloaked figure was within her view and she made one last jump forward. This jump however, she propelled herself directly at the cloaked figure so she can land her strongest punch on whoever this person was.
Accelerating, accelerating, she just kept soaring through the sky faster and faster, finally she threw her punch forward. The sound of her punch making contact echoed in the sky as if a nuke just detonated. Her face slowly changed as she fell back to the ground from a terrifying fury into an unthinkable baffle.
The cloaked figure blocked her punch. No...she grabbed it.
The next thing Cecilia knew, she was back in the air, and everything was upside down. The cloaked figure spun in a circle and heel kicked Cecilia in the cheek in mid-fall. Something sharp impaled her cheek and scratched the inside of her mouth. She tumbled across the ground until finally the roof wall stopped her momentum. Cecilia pushed herself off the ground, still wide eyed and at an absolute lost as to what happened. She raised her hand and touched her cheek. It stung so bad that she had to remove her hand the instant she came in contact. One thing was certain though, there was a hole on her cheek and her tongue was also impaled. Stilettos? The fighter is a woman? The entire left side of her mouth was covered in blood. She tried to touch it again, this time the injury had recovered. Looking at her blood-soaked fingers, she clenched her fist gave a nasty glare at the cloaked figure. She charged at it once more. The cloaked figure whipped its arms around and slowly entered into a stance, ready to fight back.
Cecilia threw the first punch, but was misdirected by the fighter's forearm. The fighter kicked downward to step on her feet, but Cecilia reacted by lifting her foot back, and awaiting the right moment to lower her foot. As expected, the cloaked figures' leg was straightened forward when it tried to stomp down. Cecilia lowered her leg, and wrapped it around the fighter's leg and pulled it forward forcing her to split her legs and go unbalanced.
The height of this mysterious fighter told Cecilia that this person had to be an adult. The size difference between them was definitely in favor of Cecilia. In terms of strength, she'd have to estimate that this person was slightly, no, much stronger than her. This person took her punch head-on, and it took a bit of effort to force her legs to split apart. Which meant that Cecilia will need to rely on skill and speed to win this fight.
Cecilia unraveled her leg around the other fighters' leg and dropped her heel on top of the fighters' knee. The fighter willingly spread her legs apart doing the split, making Cecilia's heel drop a wasted movement and left her out of position. The fighter grabbed Cecilia's foot and pushed her away. She then shot back up to standing. With minimal effort, the fighter hopped and flipped once in the air and dropped a heel kick on top of Cecilia's head.
Cecilia fell flat onto the ground. Her head was in excruciating pain. There was a fine line where all of the pain came from. Most likely from the stiletto. But the biggest issue at hand is that Cecilia failed to see this fighter recover from the split and received a hit on the head. It was almost instant, she may have lost balanced for a little bit but her eyes were focused on the other person.
Speed and strength? She was outmatched in both categories. All she could rely on now was skill. No....she was outmatched in skill as well. Cecilia could tell just from her recent injuries that this person is predicting her every move and leading her on. Cecilia pushed off the ground to all-fours, her face in distraught. I can't win. This...was completely different than the tournament three months ago. At the tournament, her strength, skill and speed were unmatched against all the civilians. Now...it was her turn to be completely outmatched in all three stats. Her hands and shoulder shuddered. Heart beat rising at an insane rate. She couldn't move, much less budge from her spot. Scared, she was scared. How do you fight against something when you're completely outmatched? Her vision gradually transitioned red, hair soaked wet. She was scared, yes, most certainly.
Yet for some reason, Cecilia could not hide her deranged, blissful smile.
For the first time in all of her life, she could fight at her full potential without fear of killing the other person or causing permanent damage.
The fighter stared at Cecilia's motionless body in push-up position. Never will she know, in an instant, Cecilia disappeared. Not even a hundredth of a second later, the fighter heard a mischievous giggle from behind. As soon as the fighter turned her face, Cecilia had already bashed her face with the back of her hand. Reeling back from the blow, the fighter tried to recover but Cecilia was already all up in her face with a punch just inches away from landing.
From the very beginning of the fight, it was so obvious. Why didn't I just go all-out in the beginning? Why did I hold back?
Her punch succeeded. As expected of this mysterious fighter, even when Cecilia put all her muscle into that punch, it wasn't enough to knock her away. She recovered from the hit and punched Cecilia back in the face. Half of her vision disappeared, her face bathing in blood, but slowly her vision returned. It was Cecilia's turn, without any word or signals, both of them knew that there was only way one way settle this fight. Cecilia threw another punch into the fighter's shoulder, then the fighter threw a punch, then Cecilia. It was a storm of punches being thrown back and forth against each other. Although the source of one of the punches seemed to be in a bloody mess. Cecilia's punches were landing but they don't seem to be causing any serious damage. Meanwhile Cecilia's body and face were being blasted to oblivion. If it weren't for her regeneration magic, her entire body would have vanished from the face of the Earth.
As painful as it was, Cecilia couldn't bring herself to stop. When is the next time she can fight without any restraints? Who else, but Jenifer Reese, is stronger than her?
Cecilia braced herself and took the next punch to the forehead, ending the storm of punches. The fighter herself seemed surprise by this sudden display of vigor. Cecilia pushed forward, fist still on her forehead. She knocked away the fighters' fist with her hand then leapt from the ground, successfully landing a upper-cut. Grabbing the fighter by the neck, or head, Cecilia judo flipped her into the air. Cecilia jumped once more with all her might at the fighter in the air and kicked her in the mid-section. The propulsion created by her legs kept her flying up into the air, but only for one more attack before she started falling. Cecilia lunged her lower-half backward to rotate upside down. She wasn't doing it just to turn herself upside down, it was to create as much momentum before she kicked down on the fighters' spine. Although, due to Cecilia's height, her legs weren't long enough to pull off what she wanted to do. So instead of slamming her heel on the fighters' spine, it was more like she stepped on it, and pushed her down. Both Cecilia and the cloaked figure fell back down onto the roof of the Mitchon, the cloaked figure first then Cecilia.
From how quickly the cloaked figure stood up, it looked like none of Cecilia's attacks even fazed her. If this fighter was determined to keep fighting, then the only thing Cecilia should do is to get back up. Grunting and groaning, she stepped up with her hand on her knee only to trip forward and collapse back onto the ground. She examined her own body. Bruises from the trade of punches were still there, blood continued to leak from her forehead, and her legs went numb. Her regeneration magic, what happened to it? These wounds should have healed within seconds. Just what?
"Don't you think you went a bit too far?" Ren asked.
Cecilia's face sparked with relief and guilt at the same time. She had completely forgotten about Ren. After seeing Ren crucified and injured, she had forgotten all about rescuing him and wanted to beat-up the person who did that to him. Then suddenly...then suddenly...
Then again, Cecilia turned her head to look at Ren. The nails and scars were still embedded into his body and dried blood trails. But that wasn't the important part. Sniff, sniff. Strawberry? Cecilia continued staring at the dried blood trails and noticed that it's not as thick and dark. In fact, it was more wet and light.
"Sorry," the fighter's voice was rather ghostly and hollow. As if she was completely devoid of sanity. "I got so excited in the middle of the fight, I just couldn't bare to let it end with only two hits."
"Ren....what...what's going on?" Cecilia asked with a hint of fear.
Ren plucked the nails and off of his body and took the dagger out that had impaled him in the video out of his body. He tossed them in front of Cecilia's face. Apparently the nails and dagger were all retractable props.
"Oh, and if you're still wondering, the bruises are all make-up."
Cecilia's face began to wrinkle, especially her chin.
"Look you can even peel it off," Ren grabbed at the bruise and just like a sticker, pulled it off.
"Wahh!" Cecilia cried and dove at Ren, planting her face into his chest and hugging his waist. She began to whine and complain, but everything she said were muffled and blurred out from her crying and Ren's chest. It was an awkward and funny feeling, but it was a feeling that he had not felt in a long time. Cecilia's lips opening up and down as drool and bogey leaked onto his chest.
"Oh by the way," Ren pulled Cecilia off his chest. All of her injuries had completely recovered now. He pointed at the cloaked figure in which Cecilia's eyes followed.
The hooded figure took her hood off revealing a familiar blonde woman that she had idolized. The woman that inspired her to learn martial art, the origin to all the morals she took to heart, and mimicked every single day since she was four. There she was, Jenifer Reese, standing before Cecilia's eyes.
Cecilia's eyes rolled back and she squealed with a sharp "eeeee" for a few seconds before she went limp and unconscious in Ren's arm.
"Cecilia?" Ren asked worriedly.