Disclaimer: Zynga for their Ayakashi: Ghost Guild universe.
“Makuren-nii, Makuren-nii, wake up!”
The sunshine blinded Makuren almost instantly as he slowly opened his eyes. “Blast it…” He murmured as pain filled his eye sockets. Who opened the curtain…? Makuren narrowed his eyebrows while rubbing his eyes, confused. Somehow, his younger brother, Shuuya, managed to kick him on the back and sent the 22 year old man rolling across the room.
“Wake up, baka aniki, you have a phone call!” Yelled Shuuya mercilessly while shoving Makuren’s cellphone to his right ear as the older brother tried to get up.
“Makuren, don’t tell me you overslept.” A cold and annoyingly high-pitched voice accused him and Makuren just lazily nodded, completely forgot that the caller can’t see him nodding.
“Look who’s talking, Kanna, you always wake up midday, don’t you…” Said Makuren blankly after he recognized the caller.
“Pssh. Don’t call me Kanna, call me Canary, will you?” The girl on the other side of the phone hissed at the man’s way to address her, but not to the fact that she wakes up midday almost everyday.
“I’ll call you whatever I like. So, to what do I owe this honor of your morning call?”
“Silly, we’re told to gather at the Headquarter this evening, I just kindly gave you a reminder.”
“Huh, but can’t you remind me just a bit later in the afternoon?” Makuren grumpily moved the cellphone away from his ear to check at the time on its screen. “It’s only 9 AM now!”
“Yeah, but I woke up rather early today due to Aokuni’s call, he wanted us to gather beforehand, something about… well, something.”
“What? Me too? Does Shuuya need to come along?”
Makuren’s question was answered by a soft whack from behind his head. His brother just sent a pillow flying to him. “Don’t drag me to whatever business you have!” Came the yell from the 15 year old boy.
“There, you have his answer.” Kanna laughed at the siblings’ antic.
“Fiiiine. What time?”
“2 PM sharp.”
“Got it, now let me sleep for just another 5 minutes.”
“Makuren, you sleepyhead!—” The call was ended rather abruptly and Makuren landed his head back to the pillow Shuuya threw at him before.
It was a busy hour and the mall can’t be anymore crowded. Young teenagers packed in groups were laughing and chatting loudly everywhere Makuren shot a glance. He easily spotted a young woman dressed in red and grey outfit, a contrast to her light colored hair, standing side by side with a slightly older man with a sleek black hair and casual outfit.
“Yo, Kanna, Aokuni.” Makuren waved his hand at the pair and as he walked toward them, he suddenly recognized another figure seated behind the previously mentioned people and his eyes grew darker.
“You brought Nanaya here too?” Asked Makuren to Kanna. The man in question himself shot a surprised look at Makuren also, but quickly turned brighter as he stood up to circle his arm around Makuren’s shoulders.
“What’s up, Maku-chan, be a little happier will you? Just like how I am to see you.” Nanaya, the eldest of the group, can easily be mistaken as the same age as the rest, he’s surprisingly cheerful and playful, which Makuren actually resents, since Nanaya teases him a lot.
“Hngg, get off me.” Makuren growled and let Nanaya’s arm slided off of him, but Nanaya just grinned widely at Makuren who shot him a glare. “Come on Maku-chan, I don’t bite.”
“You don’t, but don’t call me Maku-chan.” Snapped Makuren and he quickly turned to Aokuni to ignore Nanaya. “Kuni, why did you call us here?”
“Nothing, I just want to hear more from you and Nanaya about the previous mission, you guys are one of the few who completed the 200th floor.” Aokuni had this big curious grin plastered on his face, and Kanna looked a bit grumpy when he mentioned this.
“I was busy, so I can’t actually put my mind into the mission…” She mumbled with a pout.
“Oh, geez, that. It was nothing… I acquired the secret document and I even got Chiyo to my side… I guess that’s also what The Guild wants to hear from us later this evening right?” Makuren shrugged.
“Probably. They just can’t give us a day off, huh?” Nanaya let out a big sigh.
“I want to see how powerful Chiyo is, come on, let’s test her out!” Aokuni grabbed both Makuren and Nanaya’s shoulders. This explains the curious grin.
Makuren rolled his eyes, “I don’t see how it’s necessary. Kanna, tell him…”
“Let’s go somewhere else. I know an unused empty lot near this area.” Kanna actually let out a clear agreement to Aokuni’s idea, much to Makuren’s surprise. “Huh!?”
“So you heard her! Let’s go!” Aokuni isn’t actually one of those with the muscular built, but dragging the skinny Makuren wasn’t that hard for him, while Nanaya actually went along with them.
“W-w-waaaittt! Your leader card already!?” Makuren screamed in horror as a maiden covered in red claws emerged from the fire summoned by Aokuni, looking all strong and fierce. “Ready, Makuren?!”
“W-wai—ARGH, SCREW THIS! SUMMON, CHIYOME MOCHIZUKI!”
Suddenly, a blizzard of sakura petals blinded the vision of the four Onmyouji Agents. Flash of rainbow colors shot its way everywhere and a graceful black haired shrine maiden swiftly made her way out of the sakura petals. Chiyome Mochizuki, the ayakashi in question, smiled sweetly to Makuren as she landed her feet on the ground.
“Greetings, Master.” She bowed politely to Makuren who nervously returned the smile. Aokuni let out a small whistling sound. “She’s drop dead gorgeous.”
“Is he our opponent, Master?” Chiyo turned to see Aokuni and Cthugha, her expression drastically changed into a more serious face and some shurikens peeked their sharp points from behind the miko’s sleeves. Makuren’s eyes widened, startled and wasn’t sure of what to answer.
“Think of us as sparring partner, Chiyo.” Aokuni grinned. That battle freak oyaji… Makuren muttered under the breath and Chiyo seemed to catch that. Her expression didn’t look as tense as before, and even a slight curve of smile could be seen on her thin lips.
“Come on, don’t let the spectators wait any longer, Makuren. CTHUGHA, ATTACK!”
Aokuni’s yell seemed to set Cthugha aflame, because the next moment, a huge pillar of fire was shot to Makuren’s direction. Chiyo skillfully shielded her Master and the attack was successfully deflected by the swift movement of her long sleeves. Makuren couldn’t help but wonder what Chiyo’s sleeves were made of. “Your call, Master.” The miko’s calm voice softly reminded Makuren to give out an order.
“R-right. CHIYO, ATTACK!”
Hundred of sharp shurikens flew to Aokuni’s direction, some of them were burnt by Cthugha’s flame but a few made their way to scratch a bit skin of the Onmyouji Agent. Far from crying out of pain, Aokuni’s grin grew wider and he quickly called Cthugha back and drew another card. “SUMMON, MUNEYOSHI YAGYU!”
“WHAT—THAT’S NOT FAIR!” Makuren yelled in frustration as a strong looking man stepped out from the blinding orange light. Muneyoshi Yagyu stood with arrogance in place of Cthugha, looking as if he had already triumphed.
“Ninja versus ninja, what part of it doesn’t seem unfair?” Aokuni laughed, wiping some drip of blood from his cheek. “Come on, Muneyoshi Yagyu-san, attack!”
“Chiyo, defense!” Makuren shouted, and Chiyo let out another swift sleeves movement, blocking some flash-like katana’s attack. It’s a good thing that Chiyo is an ayakashi who’s strong in defense.
“Chiyo’s good in defense alright. Cthugha wasn’t even up to par to her, looking at the difference of their rarities… But let’s see how much Chiyo’s attack can affect Yagyu, shall we?” Aokuni mumbled in low voice, more to himself. He’s a battle freak indeed. He’s most interested on strongest ayakashi. “Now, command Chiyo to attack, Maku—”
A bright and painful flash sent both Makuren and Aokuni flying. Both were saved by their ayakashis. Makuren was safely tucked under Chiyo’s sleeves of steel. The heavy curtain of dust blocked Makuren’s vision but then he easily spotted a dimly shining ayakashi standing between him and Aokuni.
“KANNA!?” Came the loud angry roar from Aokuni and another bright light silenced him with a loud bang.
“Boys, chill. I just wanted to remind you that the time for The Guild gathering is coming near.” The calm and cold voice of Kanna pierced the air, followed by a small chuckle from Nanaya, who clearly enjoyed the show. Makuren groaned and emerged from behind Chiyo’s protective sleeves. “Ma’am, you could just tell us kindly.”
“I did, but apparently you two were too absorbed and didn’t hear me calling out to you so many times.” Kanna shrugged and Nanaya rolled his eyes. “Actually, she practically only said it once—” He abruptly stopped whatever he was saying because Kanna glared at him.
“Well, come on, take your ayakashis back and move on.”
Makuren and Aokuni did as they were told under the strict glare of the Onmyouji lady. It took them less than 15 minutes to reach the Headquarter. Some ayakashis welcomed them at the entrance along with some other Onmyouji Agents and gave them quick instructions about the gathering location.
“Maaan, look at how awesome the Yata Garasu who welcomed us was! I wonder if he requires many spirit energy to summon…” Aokuni muttered with a deep sigh as they entered the big hall. Kanna rolled her eyes at her best friend’s antic. “You ayakashi fanatic…”
“Strong ayakashi fanatic.” Corrected Aokuni calmly. “Oh, look, it’s Shuuya. Oi, Makuren’s bro!”
Shuuya was standing at one corner of the room with other Onmyouji Agent. He looked at them and waved shortly before turning back to his Agent friend.
“Cold person, Shuuya is.” Aokuni chuckled and patted Makuren’s back. Kanna laughed along while Nanaya, who never saw Shuuya before, shot an interested look at him, which made Makuren worried.
“Did Shuuya do well at the previous mission?” Asked Kanna.
“He came to the mission late, I guess he at least made it to 150th floor or somewhat… Hey, he did better than you, haha—ouch! Ouch! Sorry, Kanna-sama! Ouch!”
“Hahahaha, Kanna, stop pinching him like that… look, there’s your friend, Mikan-san.” Aokuni decided to save Makuren by distracting the offender, Kanna, to the slender figure that was walking toward them. A woman around Nanaya’s age, with a big smile on her face, was waving at them.
“Mikan!” Kanna bounced happily to the sight of her fellow female Agent. Soon she’s ignored Makuren and went for a happy chat with her friend, leaving the relieved poor Makuren.
“Thanks, mate.” Makuren sighed and brushed the parts where Kanna pinched him before. Hurts like hell, that girl sure knows the art of torture. Makuren didn’t get the time to check whether the pinched skin has turned blue or something, because then The Guild’s officers let out an announcement for the Agents to hear. Something about ‘The Shrine of Seven Days’…
The young Onmyouji looked up to see the smiling Kanna, offering him a cold can of Coke. Makuren took the Coke and muttered some thank you.
“Another mission right after the last one ended, huh?” Nanaya, seated next to Makuren, gulped down his own Coke, emptying the can in one go before throwing it to the nearby trash can. They were on their way back from Headquarter, and they decided to stop by the park. Even though it was pretty late, they didn’t have to worry about their safety in a dark and empty park, after all, all of them are Onmyoujis, if anything needs to be afraid, definitely not them.
“They reaaally don’t want us to have peaceful days.” Aokuni sighed. He was the only one who drank Dr. Pepper. “We got power, yet we got no time.”
“The ups and downs of being an Onmyouji Agent.” Kanna let out a sad smile, “You won’t worry much about the next mission, will you, Makuren? You have many strong level ayakashis.”
“That’s just because I started this job earlier than you guys.” Makuren shrugged. “Yet, look at you, you got pretty good startup as an Agent, I struggled to get my first four stars ayakashi. I wasn’t a clever student at summoning.”
“Look at Nanaya, he conquered 200th floor and yet he’s the newest of us.” Aokuni shot a glare at the mentioned man, who smiled wickedly as a response.
“Dude, I got the skill and time.” He laughed. “More like the mission got my full attention, you guys were busy with other things. Makuren only managed to the 200th floor shortly before the limited time ends.”
“Yeah…” Makuren gulped down some Coke, “I wonder if we’d make it to the next mission in one piece.”
Kanna shook her head, she looked the most worried. “They ordered us to do the En Garde battle shortly after the next mission ends, ‘one piece’ is an understatement.”
“Heh. ’Two small pieces’ sounds more logical.” Nanaya shrugged.
They went into a silence after Nanaya’s statement, all of them drowned in their own thoughts. The scars from the previous mission weren’t healed yet.
“Oi, oi, whatcha doin’ here, arr ya bunch o’ twats…”
The four Onmyoujis turned around to see a bunch of thugs gathered around three meters away from them. All of them were men of big build, and one of them was swinging a metal bat that caused the earlier loud sound.
“Looks like this park is their hanging place, huh?” Nanaya grumbled angrily. He’s a law major student, so he’s easily annoyed to see this kind of thugs around. Makuren and Kanna looked troubled to see their new companions, but Aokuni grinned with a strange excitement.
“I don’t like the way you grin, Kuni. Whatever is on your mind, don’t draw your cards out!” Kanna reminded him quickly. They’re not supposed to use their power on normal people.
“Hey, I’m not planning anything, girl! Don’t be so suspicious…”
“Geez, guys, don’t you start a fight on your own…”
“Makuren, you tell him! He looks like he was about to draw his cards!”
“Oi, don’t cha ignore us!!!” The thug with the metal bat shouted angrily. “Ya dare to step a foot on our territory, huh? Ya got guts, huh? We’ll need yer money to let ye go free now, y’know.”
“Pssh. Your territory? Bunch of thugs own a park full of flowers and doves, how sweet.” Nanaya rolled his eyes. Makuren and Aokuni couldn’t help but laughing to hear his retort.
“OI, DON’T MAKE FUN O’ US!” And another BRUGH!
“Ye all shall pay fo’ makin’ fun o’ us and disturbin’ our place, huh…” The biggest thug started to slowly walk toward them with this scary intimidating look, which sadly, didn’t work on the Onmyoujis.
“Hey, Kanna.” Aokuni whispered under his breath. Eyes fixated on the thug who’s coming their way.
“Huh?” Kanna shot him an anxious look.
“It’s self defense, okay? I won’t lay a finger on them, I’ll just scare them a little.”
“Just one card, and no harm shall be done.” Promised Aokuni with a firm look on his face. Makuren choked himself for trying to hold back a laughter seeing how serious Aokuni was to convince Kanna.
“A-alright.” Kanna glanced at the metal bat swung by one of the thug. “No harm shall be done.”
Nanaya and Makuren exchanged look. They didn’t have the slightest of interest to get involved in any unnecessary fight, but looking at how intense the stress was built up inside them, a little bit fun won’t hurt…
“Oi oi, if ye kneel down and beg fo’ forgiveness, we won’t go hard on ye, heheh.” The thug with metal bat chuckled and his fellow thugs laughed along. “Just leave the gurl here, we’ll let ya go. Heheh.”
“EEK!” Kanna screamed in disgust, she herself reached to her bag of cards with anger, but Makuren stopped her.
“Stop bullshitting us, guys. You are the ones who should kneel.” Aokuni gritted his teeth in intimidating anger. But the thugs just laughed at that.
“HAHAHAHAH! Skinny guy like ye, tellin’ us to kneel!?” One of the thug with beard laughed on top of his lungs, clearly amused in a strange way.
“Kuni, let me.” Makuren grinned at his fellow Onmyouji, but Aokuni shook his head, “They’re mine, step back.”
“Just draw one card each, pick the scariest one!” Whispered Kanna to them in a hurry because the big thug was already a few feet away from them. Nanaya smiled encouragingly next to her.
“Huh, alright…” Makuren glanced at his bag of cards, thinking on who to pick…
“SUMMON, OROCHI!” Aokuni already made his pick, and a swarm of snakes suddenly bursted from the air, and a black haired maiden with the biggest snake of all circling around her neck emerged from inside of the swarm, letting out an eerie laugh as she did so.
“Whoa, nice pick. Your turn, Maku-chan, don’t disappoint us.” Nanaya laughed, while the thugs were screaming in horror, a mixture of bemused and scared looks on their face.
“Geez, will you stop calling me that… SUMMON, SANNIN KANJO!”
This time, a pillar of purple light was set ablaze and from inside of it, a woman covered with a devil mask stepped out slowly, wielding a bigass spear and a katana.
“I will… kill… you!” Roared Sannin Kanjo in hoarse yet loud voice that engulf the entire park with hair standing goosebumps.
The thugs looked like they were about to cry.
“Calling two four stars rarity cards like that… No holding back for you guys, huh?” Nanaya let out a small whistle, admiring Sannin Kanjo. Neither him, Kanna, or Aokuni were there when Makuren was given the order to carry out a mission in which he obtained Sannin Kanjo.
“Chase them Orochi, don’t lay a finger on them, just make sure they get to know what real terror is.” Aokuni let out an order and the snake maiden happily gave a chase to the scattering bunch of thugs with her army of snakes.
“Make sure they pee in their pants, Kanjo, just don’t hurt them.” Makuren laughed, and the silent warrior nodded and carried out the order. Nanaya and Kanna laughed wholeheartedly behind them.
“One of the ups of being an Onmyouji, huh?” Kanna wiped a bit of tears from the edge of her eyes due to too much laughing. The sight of two scary ayakashis chasing a bunch of thugs who’re screaming for their mommy is actually a great mood booster.
“Yeah, so we have plenty of downsides of being an Onmyouji, but so what. We got the power to make sure we’re alive and kickin’ everyday. It’s not like our life is in danger all the time.” Makuren smiled weakly, his cheeks hurt from laughing too much.
“Aye, I actually enjoy this job very much, hahaha…” Aokuni agreed.
“This job is hard, but we got what it takes anyway.” Nanaya crossed his arms with a prudent yet smug look on his face. How the hell he managed to let out a look like that, nobody knows.
“So guys, it seems that our new ‘friends’ have learned their lesson, shall we call our soldiers back?” Makuren glanced at the thug who was wielding the metal bat, he’s now struggling to get free from some snakes that circling his legs. Most of the thugs were already out of sight.
“Sure. And after that, we head back home and get our beauty sleep for tomorrow’s mission.” Kanna grinned while patting her bag of cards lovingly.
“Yeah yeah, let’s do that.”
“So… Let’s end the party now?”
“Aye, we got a mission to complete, hahahah.”
“The fun is over, guys!”
“See you tomorrow?”
“Kick some ass tomorrow!”
The night was filled with their relieved laughter—and the thugs’ scream.
Makuren smiled as he parted ways with his friends. All of them are the greatest friends he could ever ask for, and one of the reasons he’s glad he did this job. Being an Onmyouji is a hard deal, but after all this is the best deal he’s ever made in his life. He turned around to greet the warm smile of a female ayakashi who came to pick him up.
“Let’s go home… Mira.”
when I’m bored..
Closer ( OST To The Beautiful You ) - SNSD Taeyeon