Chapter 11: Anguish
A shadowed figure ran through the silent streets as the crescent moon caught glimpses of him in her wake. He finally stopped,
gasping for breath, his knees collapsing to the pavement. Streetlights flickered around him, rain now pouring down upon his
already cold body that shivered from selfblame. Fingers gripped a weapon, caressing it harshly in the night wind. Black eyes
filled with pain stared unseeing at the ground before him, his heart racing. He wasn't thinking of anything, his mind filled
with screams of the past, haunting echoes of his failures.
Ebony orbs finally moved to rest upon the spear he held so tightly, the weight familiar to him. Both hands now gripped
it, clinging to it like an anchor. He had nothing left. Everything he had loved, everyone he had cared for, had been taken
from him. Friends, family... Tora. Flashes of red filled his heart, his very soul. His mouth opened in a painful howl of agony.
The memories poured through his body, soaking it in darkness. Juro... Mayuko... Father... Tora... Too many had died because
of him, because he hadn't been strong enough to protect them. An expressionless face stared down at the Beast Spear. He'd
never be strong enough.
A searing pain ripped through his chest, the handle of his weapon tight in his grip. Why not just end it now? There was
nothing left to live for anyway, not anymore. Ushio barely felt the pain anymore, just a hollow emptiness that filled him.
Spear point deeply embedded in his heart, blood soaking the white shirt as he knelt there, pooling around his body like a
crimson stain. So much pain.
Lightning crashed, the sky crying it's tears down upon the boy's frozen body. Unable to hold himself upright anylonger,
he felt his body fall backwards, leaving him lying in a pool of his own blood. His mouth gasping for air, his eyesight dimming.
Everything seemed to still for an instant, all he could see was blackness surrounding him. ~Tora's going to be mad at me.~
The thought made the boy smile slightly. The tiger demon would likely rage about him being weak and how he was suppose to
be the one to kill him. 'I'll see you in hell, Tora...' the youth whispered with his last breath, his eyes slipping closed.
He barely felt the clawed hands lifting him, pressing him close to a giant fur covered body.
Ushio studied the scar in the mirror. A frown came to his face as he remembered waking up the next morning. It seemed as
if that night had been only a dream, until he had first glimpsed the scar over his heart. The evening before had come flashing
back at him with a force that made him want to howl in pain. Instead, he tried to remember how he'd gotten back home.
Closing his eyes now, he thought he felt the fine touch of soft fur against his cheek. A memory resurfaced for the first
time since that night. White eyes staring down at him, filled with... concern. Clawed fingers brushing his wound, soft orange
hair brushing his cheek. ~Was that you... Tora? Did you come back that night to save me?~ Ushio touched his cheek with one
hand, staring into his own reflection's dark eyes that peered back at him. That morning he'd awakened, alone. No beast and
no beast spear.
The loss of his weapon had surprised him, but not as much as realizing that he didn't even feel upset over it. The beast
spear had been a part of him, loosing it should have felt like having an arm ripped off, but it didn't. He found that he didn't
even care, almost as if the spear hadn't disappeared, only bonded with his soul in a way in which he could no longer be separated
from it. It didn't matter. He was no longer a demon hunter, the Master of the Beast Spear. He was just Ushio... Ushio Aotski,
a normal teenage boy.
A knock at the door startled him from his thoughts. A voice informing him that dinner would be ready in the next half hour.
He nodded as he responded, informing the person behind the door that he planned to shower first and join them later.
As he stepped under the cool spray, he wondered again if Tora had really been there that night, or if it had just been
his imagination. It was possible, he'd been too out of it, nearly dead. But, then how had he gotten home? His soul hungered
for the answer, he would find one... someday.
Author's Note: Only a few more chapters to go. A big thank you to everyone that reviewed. This fic is posted up in several
places, including fanfiction.net, mediaminer.org, and my own website at http://wingedtora.tripod.com