Stories of Claymore
‘Claymore’ by Norihiro Yagi
“Stories of Claymore” series
DISCLAIMER: Claymore does not belong to me in any way, shape, or form.
Teresa and Larkir – Reunion [completed]
Warnings: Violence, language, etc.
Theme Songs: Broken Wings [Tomoko Tane], Gomenasi [Tatu], The Chase of the Highway [Nobuo Uematsu]
Characters: Teresa ‘of the Faint Smile’, ‘Aven’ Larkir, Luna, Kanata, Trisha
Undine – Longing [completed]
Warnings: Violence, language, flashback, etc.
Theme Songs: Gomenasi [Tatu], Date of Rebirth [Origa], Bombing Mission [Nobuo Uematsu]
Characters: Undine, ???
Ophelia – To Hell and Back Again [STILL rewriting, NEED IDEAS PLEASE!]
Warnings: Violence, language, etc.
Characters: Young Ophelia, Priscilla, Tobin
Rafaela – Redemption [completed]
Warnings: Violence, language, flashback, etc.
Theme Songs: Dry Mirage [Tsukasa Saitoh]
Characters: Rafaela, Luciela
Israfel – Aimless Wanderer [completed and rewritten]
Warnings: Violence, language, etc.
Theme Songs: To Zanarkand [Nobuo Uematsu], The Chase of the Highway [Nobuo Uematsu]
Characters: ‘Hunt-Eyed’ Israfel, ‘Thundering’ Amane
Helen and Deneve – Companionship [completed]
Warnings: WAFF, violence, language, etc.
Theme Songs: J-E-N-O-V-A [Nobuo Uematsu]
Characters: Deneve, Helen, Esther, Hilda
Hilda and Miria – Comrades
Warnings: Violence, etc.
Characters: Hilda, ‘Phantom’ Miria
These are all works of original fanfiction and will not be found anywhere else. If you see them elsewhere, please notify me so that I can go
pester the people politely request their removal.
NOTES: I actually wanted a chance to explain some of the character backstories, was looking for a way to write it, and I think that this was a good idea in terms of format, etc…
Published Friday, October 19 2007
“You’ll be in an awakened hunt for your next assignment. It’s about a day west of Raffaello, in the town of Santi.”
“I understand,” Larkir responded wearily, beginning her long trek without another word.
“Our target is a small number of former single digits. I need to know everyone’s name, how many hunts you’ve been on, and rank now that everyone’s here, please.” The dusty room held four warriors, one of which was hidden in the shadows. The presence of the warrior was cold and unfeeling, even when she tried to read it. “I’ll start with myself. I’m number one Teresa, and I’ve led awakened being hunts seventeen times.”
“I’m number seventeen Kanata, and this is my third time on a hunt.
“I’m Luna, number nineteen, and this is my second hunt.”
“This is my twenty-eighth hunt, and I’m number nine, Larkir.” Faint gasps came from the weaker two; this character had more experience in hunts than the number one? “I’ll be commanding the battle this time, because I have personal experience with some of the former warriors here.” Moving from the shadows, Larkir finally showed her face, all the while wearing that infernal red scarf she had become famous for in the past few years.
“Still wearing that scarf from Trisha?” That was Teresa. “It’s good to see you again, ‘Lark.”
“Aa. It’s good to see you still in one piece,” she responded, hugging the warrior warmly in a rare display of affection. “At any rate, let’s get going. Kanata, Luna, Teresa, follow me.”
“Teresa… How did you make it to number one? I’ve only been trying for what, ten years?”
“Luck, I guess,” the top-ranked warrior shrugged. “I just kept fighting and I got to the position I have now.”
“Does Rosemary still hate you? Everyone said that she did when you took her rank as the best.”
“She never said anything to me, at least. I hope she doesn’t hate me; that would be rather annoying, don’t you think?”
“Agreed, but I am worried about that.”
“It doesn’t matter, Larkir. I can take care of myself now, I’m almost seventeen.”
“True; it is hard not to see you as the pitiful little ten-year-old Teresa that I took in,” Larkir laughed. Poking fun at her former charge was always fun to her, and in return, Teresa often beat up on her for the duration of the mission. It was all good-natured, though, and neither of them really minded. “Spar with me?”
“Sure, I have nothing else to do until morning, anyway,” Teresa replied, her small smile of amusement tugging at her lips. “You can fight full-power if you want to.”
“Probably a good idea, seeing as it’s you I’m up against,” Larkir remarked nonchalantly, not at all fazed by the fact that she was fighting the current number one. “Oi, Luna, give us a starting signal!” Luna emerged from the cave where they had chosen to spend the night with her claymore in hand, raising it sleepily and after a mental count of three, she let it drop. Returning immediately to the cave in order to sleep, she bumped into Kanata.
“Don’t you want to see Teresa of the Faint Smile fight?” When Luna stumbled back into the cave, Kanata merely shrugged and resigned herself to watching alone.
Meanwhile, Larkir and Teresa were going strong. Wherever Teresa’s blade went, Larkir’s followed unerringly, though she was clearly on the defence. When a slash opened above her arm, she raised an eyebrow at Teresa and finally released her yoki to thirty percent. Dark wings sprouted from her back as if planted there, and her uniform top simply ripped where the stems of the wings were.
“Impressive, Teresa… You’ve definitely improved.” Jabbing forward with her sword, Larkir sensed an opening and went for it.
“Of course I’ve improved. I’ve had seven years to perfect my ‘useless’ technique,” Teresa replied calmly, easily dodging the jab and parrying it with a blow of her own, in turn also blocking the yoki-laced kick aimed at her head. “Of course, you have as well.”
“True enough. I copied some of your technique. I can’t believe the organization used to call it useless and not worthy of even a rank in the twenties. You showed them!” Her sword was slung over her shoulder haphazardly, and a second later, it came screaming down to bash into what would have been her former student’s head. Instead, she hit the ground, as Teresa sensed it and moved behind the ninth-ranked warrior to attack for the win. Blocking the strike aimed at her head with her wings, Larkir then turned and slashed at the body she sensed more than saw, opening a shallow but still painful cut on the long-haired warrior’s chest.
“Damn. I guess that counts. Looks like you can still beat me, Larkir,” Teresa sighed, setting her sword down. “You got three hits in to my one.”
“Not to interrupt or anything, but how are you stronger than her? Aren’t you just the number nine?” That was Kanata, asking Larkir.
“I’m not, technically speaking, but I helped Teresa develop her technique to begin with, and I’ve continued to watch her develop it on her own. That being said, I also know Teresa better than anyone else in the organization, since I’ve known her since she was ten.”
“I see,” Kanata sighed, retreating to the cave. If it had been a particular technique, she would have made Larkir teach it to her.
“Kanata! Watch your right!” That was Larkir, not even looking over her shoulder as she yelled it. She fought with thirty percent yoki, but was still able to sense the same way Teresa was; she wasn’t as proficient with it, though, as she was able to sense an attack coming but not sense it before it was initiated. Larkir usually relied on a combination of strength and acrobatics as well as the solid ‘aven defence’ she was nicknamed for.
Teresa, on the other hand, fought without any yoki at all, instead guarding their backs from the other five awakened beings whilst fighting on of her own. There were three that they were currently engaged with, and Teresa’s strength was becoming more and more useful as the fight wore on.
A shriek pierced the crisp autumn air as Larkir’s target began to sway towards the ground, dead as its corpse whistled through the air. Picking another one, she relieved Teresa of her guard duty and allowed the smiling slayer to finish off her target in a matter of minutes. Guarding Luna’s and Kanata’s backs was no easy task, as the two were still relatively inexperienced, but they were strong enough to take down an awakened one with minimal help. Larkir easily severed a limb as she made an overhead pass, allowing the two to decapitate the fallen warrior reasonably easily and select another one. Often the two got in each other’s way, but all things considered, they worked together well.
“Teresa, you’re leader until I return,” Larkir called over her shoulder, flapping off into the air after the leader of the small awakened group of warriors.
“Trisha,” she remarked, touching down on the crunchy leaves easily. “I thought you had more sense than to face me.”
“Ah, there’s a face I haven’t seen in a while,” the awakened one replied, her multi-armed form extending towards her once-close friend to grab her. Allowing the large hand to get a solid grip on her, Larkir refused to struggle, even as she came closer to Trisha’s face. “Unfortunately, it seems that time hasn’t been enough to temper your moods. And what’s this?” The awakened being plucked the crimson scarf from Larkir’s neck curiously. “It seems familiar… Is this the scarf I gave you, perchance?”
“Yeah, I’d prefer you didn’t destroy it, seeing as I’ve taken good care of it until now…”
“So it’s important to you, hmm? And here I was thinking you had forgotten about me,” the awakened Trisha responded, growing more and more angry, “especially when I was dying and called out for you… I won’t forgive you… I won’t… forgive…” Her form fully released itself, shredding the scarf and forcing Larkir’s hand earlier than she had expected. Her sword was a blur as she sliced off the hand holding her captive and placed it at her friend’s neck.
“I’m sorry, but it looks like I’ll have to kill you, my friend.”
“How?! How are you still so much stronger than me? I trained day and night…” she stopped talking when she saw compassionate eyes on her, understanding in a way.
“You awakened to try and catch up to me, didn’t you?” She watched, awed, as Trisha forced herself into a human form – her form as a half-breed. “And all the time, your inhuman jealousy kept you human.” Placing an arm around the slim human shoulders, Larkir positioned her sword behind her friend’s neck. “I’m truly sorry.” With that, she sliced Trisha’s head off, tears flowing easily from her golden eyes as she returned to Teresa and the group.
Teresa never asked any questions; she just offered an arm and an ear if Larkir should ever need it.
Published Monday, October 22 2007
“Undine. Undine, please wake up.”
The soft voice echoed in her memory until she rose from her troubled slumber, releasing her yoki as she always did to form the bulky muscles that she was so well-known for. It wasn’t that she wanted to be particularly muscular or anything, it was just the only way she was aware of that would lend her the power to protect those weaker than her.
“Undine, you still remember me, right?”
“Yeah,” Undine grumbled in reply, her somewhat deep voice still cracking with disuse as it did daily. She was alone out here anyway, there was no need to speak to anyone, and thus she usually stayed silent. “How could I forget about ya?”
The voice did not reply to her query as she began to wake up more and leave her half-asleep state. Lately, her memories of her friend haunted her more than usual, waking her up every morning and speaking to her whilst she was fighting. Strong as she might have been, though, Undine could never bring herself to ignore the voice of her childhood friend.
They had grown up together in the same village, and had been best friends since a few years into their lives. Her own brown hair had been her best feature, she had long thought, but her friend… she was beautiful and… She was perfect. She was always the one to stand up for the ‘weakling Undine’, as some of the village kids had called her when they teased and bullied. They had gotten along so well, and had always played together and worked together. They both had long brown hair and green eyes, as well as the fair skin that marked their village, and both were somewhat tall for their age. Everything had been perfect.
The very day that her friend turned twelve, five rampaging youma had blown through their village, devouring many people. Among them were her parents as well as Undine’s. Weeks later, starving and sick, both were taken into the organization and made into half-breeds.
“Undine? You awake over there?”
“Oh! I’m coming, wait up for me!” The young warrior ran to catch up to her friend and tripped over another warrior’s boot as she stuck it out.
“Look at her! Look at the weakling, Undine!” Someone yelled that as she got up slowly, spitting mud from her mouth and wiping her face to rid it of the muck.
“Yeah, school her! She needs to learn who’s in charge here!” Another distinctly hostile voice came from above on the long pathway. “She’s the lowest rank here, anyway. What’s a number 31 doing here, anyway?” Undine looked to her constant companion, the leader of the unruly group, and as she did, one of the warriors took the opportunity to unsheath her claymore and point it right at her. Uncertainly gripping the hilt of her own broadword, the long-haired warrior stared at the tip of the weapon, her eyes tearing up as she realised that once again, she had failed to prove that she was worth being friends with. To her surprise, her friend stuck her own claymore into the mix, blocking the sword from inching any closer to the weakest warrior.
“If you want to fight someone, you may fight me once we’ve arrived. I will not need the assistance of rebellious warriors such as yourself,” she archly replied, raising an eyebrow at the woman opposite her. Well-spoken as always, her soft voice managed to convey the true meaning of that threat – she would kill anyone and anything that threatened Undine.
“Alright…” the Claymore stalked off, stomping up to her other compatriot, complaining loudly the whole way.
They had slain the awakened one with the help of the leader, the current number nine. Easily aligning her yoki with the awakened being’s, she had immobolized one of its hands long enough to lop its head off singlehandedly.
“So that’s the power of a single digit,” one of the warriors breathed, apparently having never seen one fight before.
“She’s the secondary ‘eye’ of the organization, so of course she’s strong,” the other had crossly replied. “You act like you’ve never even heard about the top ten.”
“Anou…” Undine was promptly ignored.
“It’s alright,” her friend’s musical voice assured her. “Small fry such as themselves never have a chance to really know the true power of people like us… or people like you,” she said, smiling, pointing a finger at Undine and resting it above her heart.
“Me…? But I’m barely strong enough ‘ta fight alongside you!”
“You have a strength of the heart which they,” she said, waving a hand towards the others, “cannot match. It’s something beyond them.” In response to the weak warrior’s questioning look, she explained. “Those warriors that only concentrate on physical strength, or how many youma they can kill, will never understand what it means to love or be loved. You understand that,” she said with a smile. Standing up from her crouched position, she offered Undine her hand. “Without that dedication to your heart, you can’t ever protect the ones that matter to you, in our cases, our comrades.” Grinning broadly, she more or less bounced off towards the waiting man from the organization.
“God, she is so immature.” Undine turned, coldly staring at them.
“You want ‘ta have a go at it and see how that ‘immature’ warrior trained me?”
“Sure, ‘weakling’ Undine, we can have a go at beating you. Should we wait for that pathetic excuse for a single digit to get back before we fight?”
“I won’t need her.” I have ‘ta learn ‘ta fight for myself, she mentally added, drawing her sword.
“Oh my, it looks like the members of your unruly team don’t like each other very much,” Rubel sighed. Every single Claymore he had met [with the exception of a very few] had never been willing to compromise on anything for friendship.
“It’s probably just those two – hey!” She had seen the two beating up on Undine. “Cut it out, you two! Can’t you see that she’s too tired to fight?”
“She was the one who started it,” the stronger of the two remarked sullenly. “It’s not our fault if she couldn’t swing her sword well enough to finish a fight that she started.”
“I… I can still fight,” Undine cried out, manipulating her yoki out of anger. She promptly felt her muscles freeze up, and stared over at her friend, whose eyes were glowing with the golden fire of her yoki.
“All three of you, stop it. If I have to, I’ll put you all down myself.” Continuing to glare at them, she finished her report and stomped over. “Undine, come with me. You two, go your own ways.” Yanking the number 31-ranked warrior up from the ground, she refused to speak until they were about a kilometre away. “What were you thinking?! They would have killed you without any second thoughts! You knew that, and you took them on anyway!”
“I… M’sorry…” Unable to even look at her friend’s eyes, Undine stared at her feet. “Someday though, you won’t have ‘ta worry about me. Someday, I’ll be powerful enough to stand on my own.”
“I know,” her childhood companion replied, turning her eyes from Undine to the sunset. “I hope I’ll get to see it.”
That was when they heard the scream.
Wielding both of her claymores, Undine utterly demolished the youma in her path as she thought over that day. She wished she could’ve done so many things differently, but as it was now, she was stuck in her miserable existence with only her memories to keep her company.
“If you look hard enough, you’ll never be alone.”
The words echoed nearly audibly as she turned, bewildered. Those were her friend’s last words to her after she had fallen, struck through the heart with an arm. She had died saving the two Claymores that had caused her so much trouble, only minutes after dragging Undine off from the fight.
Smiling a little, Undine bitterly recalled the truth in that statement – no matter where she went, there were people to protect.
And that’s what she would keep doing.
Published Saturday, October 20 2007
Rafaela winced, but let the pain from her broken leg pulse angrily through her body. It was times like these that she almost regretted completely surpressing her yoki, but all things considered, it was nearly necessary that she release the strict hold on her abilities as a half-breed simply because the pain might prove to be too overwhelming and she would be unable to make use of her food source – hunting. Muttering a string of particularly foul curses under her breath, the exiled Claymore tore off part of her cloak to use as a tourniquet. She wore hooded or caped garments all the time, simply unwilling to break the habit of wearing them in her career as a silver-eyed slayer.
It was times like this that she missed her sister the most. Ever since the day that she was unable to stop the fully-awakened Luciela, she had wondered what her long-haired counterpart was doing. In the end, the organization finally chalked the failure up to the fact that Rafaela’s spirit was just too weak to retain her sister’s spirit as well, and Rafaela had become the first and only Claymore to be exiled. This in turn gave her plenty of time to think about how it had been with the two of them, when they had been the top two warriors.
They had been seen as equals, and most people seemed to agree on the fact that Rafaela was just as strong as Luciela, the number one at the time. Both of them loved the challenge of the battlefield in their own way; Luciela had always been a strong strategist – her unrivalled ability to find weaknesses that even the foe knew nothing of was her strength. Once she found a weak point, she could assess what type of attack she would need and either create the technique or copy a pre-existing one. Rafaela was the brute strength of the duet; she, too, analyzed like Luciela would, but instead of attacking with the most efficient moves, she used her raw strength. In those terms alone, without the ability to ‘feel out’ the weak points, Rafaela was stronger, but Luciela had more stamina because her close attention to efficiency.
A raindrop splashed onto her scarred face, and she looked up with her one eye, sighing not out of exasperation, but more out of dark amusement – not even the weather would let her be. Swinging her sword into a few trees, the silver-eyed outcast managed to fell five or six trees in a single well-aimed slash. Kicking the bits of chopped wood, annoyed, she hit her broken leg with a piece of flying wood. Sighing in exasperation this time, Rafaela found herself grateful that she was able to resist the pain more than most half-breeds could. She was still walking, wasn’t she?
“Wonderful,” she muttered, glaring at nothing in particular with her single silver eye as the slight sprinkle of rain turned into a full-fledged downpour. The resulting mudslide probably wouldn’t reach her, but she began her painful trek up the mountainside anyway.
The screams of the children and adults reached her before the sight did. Hurrying towards the source, she found people being swept away by the steady stream of water and the slower – but perhaps more deadly – mudflow. Cursing aloud, she sprinted towards the dying cries and got there just in time.
Hundreds of people were trapped in the mud, which was quickly becoming more dangerous than any youma or awakened one could ever be. A child floated near her, weakly moving in the muck, face-down as his lungs began to give out. Hoisting the small child out of the viscous flow, Rafaela set him down and began to stride along the edge of the mudslide to search for more victims she could easily reach and pull out with her inhuman strength.
“You! Please, save my son!” The woman had noticed her pulling the other boy, who was now up and moving, out of the mud.
“Where is he?” The hysterical woman pointed to a struggling child in the centre of the chaos, barely managing to keep his head above the constricting flow. “I’ll do my best.”
I can’t do this with a broken leg, she realized about half a step into the stream of wet earth. Pulling out was difficult, but she managed it and sat down on the still-solid earth, much to the dismay of the mother.
“What are you doing? He’s dying!”
“I have a broken leg,” Rafaela replied steadily by way of explanation, breaking her own promise to herself and releasing her yoki enough to heal her leg almost immediately. Looking up to the woman and revealing her blazing golden eyes, she spoke again amid the gasps. “I can go get him now.” Releasing her yoki once more to enhance the strength of her muscles and her speed, she leapt across the mudflow and easily reached the child, grabbing for a nearby adult as well and pulling them both out. Leaping back to the bank, she dropped them and sped along the restrictive channel of tumultuous earth to reach more and more humans trapped within. When an elderly woman slipped beneath the surface, Rafaela plunged her arm into the swampy mixture and retrieved the shaken woman and then her grandson. By the end of the day, she had saved over one hundred people of the mountain village.
“How can we ever thank you enough?”
“I was just passing through when I heard the screams,” Rafaela explained calmly, betraying none of the relief she felt. Nodding to the chief of the village, she began to walk off.
“Miss, what’s your name? You’re a Claymore, aren’t you?”
“I am not one of their ranks any longer,” Rafaela replied. “I am an exile. My name… is Rafaela,” she continued, hesitating slightly when it came to her name. “Be careful out here.”
She used her yoki to accelerate away from the weary celebration-like atmosphere and she watched from afar for several weeks, appearing occasionally to help with the rebuilding process as it went on.
“So where do I put these?” Rafaela was carrying several of the larger beams, and behind her were several other townspeople carrying the heavy beams, two for each one.
“Anou… right over there, please.” She easily walked over to the designated area, dropping the lumber on now-solid ground, and returned to where the men were cutting down the trees to pick up more of the supports.
“Rafaela-sama, I just wanted to say thank you. If you wish, you may stay the night with my family and I.”
“Anou… that would be nice…” Rafaela was unsure of how to respond for once in her life, and several of the younger men around her laughed at her uncertainty and to their surprise, she chimed in for a moment. “I’ve never had a home, and it’s almost natural for me to travel around to collect payment that villages may be unable to afford to pay,” she admitted. “So forgive me if I’m unsure as to how I should act.”
“Rafaela-sama, please understand that when we offer you something, it is because we wish to thank you for what you have done.” She nodded awkwardly, picking up several of the cut pieces of wood once more and taking them back to the building site.
As the weeks wore on, she found herself to be more and more relaxed within the small community until eventually the townspeople accepted her as one of their own. She would slay youma for them with no expectations of rewards, and in return, they provided her with everything she could possibly need until the day came that she sensed her.
“I have to leave,” she told one of the men of the village that same day.
“Why, Rafaela-sama? Is this village not good for you?” He looked dismayed.
“No, it’s not that. My presence here is endangering your village, though. There is a very powerful youma nearby, and because I used my powers, I am no longer hidden from its senses. I’m leaving because I don’t want to see any of you hurt.” Tears threatened to fall from her silver eye, but she firmly held her emotions back, as always.
“Is there anything we can do to help you?”
“Some well-armoured clothing would certainly help,” she replied. Within a few minutes, the town smith and tanner had something.
“Godspeed to you, Rafaela-san,” a teenaged boy said, seeming to carefully choose his words.
“If a black-cloaked man comes through here, tell him you know nothing of me,” she instructed, business-like all of a sudden. “Pretend you have never heard of me, and you will be safe.” She knew that what she had done here was against the organization’s rules in almost all ways, but she had chosen to ignore that in favour of lending her powers to redeem herself in her own eyes. Closing her eyes, she walked into the forest, seeking her sister with an open heart and willingness to kill if she had to.
Her redemption had taken most of her troubles away from her, and she was ready to face the future with a clear mind.
NOTE: She doesn’t actually find Luciela, but she senses her nearby. A few years later, Louvre [Rubel in the English version] asks her to rejoin the organization.
Published Wednesday, October 31 2007
“I’m the leader of this hunt; I’m number 7 Eva. This is my fifth time leading an awakened hunt. Names and ranks, please,” the current seventh-ranked warrior asked calmly, the only one really completely awake at the moment.
“I’m number fifteen, Deneve, and this is my second time on a hunt.” The long-haired warrior sat on the floor, yawning. She had been walking for three straight days to get here.
“I’m Denise, number twenty one, and this is my second time on a hunt.” This one, too, looked rather exhausted, her hair falling out of its braid rather sloppily.
No response came from the warrior in the darker corner, except for a light and perfectly-timed snore.
“Hey, wake her up, if you would,” Eva asked, gesturing towards Deneve. “Regardless of her sleep – or lack thereof – she shouldn’t be resting right now.” In response, Deneve kicked the sleeping Claymore in the shin.
“Owww… What was that for?!”
“She’s awake now,” Denise remarked, amused. Shaking her light gold hair out of its braid entirely, she glanced over at Eva, relieved when their mission leader seemed to be smiling at it too. Eva’s temper was something she was famous for, occasionally having been known to put comrades in relative danger out of anger.
“I need your name, number of times you’ve been on a hunt, and rank, please. That’s Denise, that’s Deneve, and I’m Eva, the leader.”
“Oh! Anou… I’m number twenty two, never been on a hunt before, and I’m Helen.” The short-haired warrior seemed to be awake and alert again already. “If that’s all you need, I’m going back to sleep,” she said, her silver eyes still dark in sleepiness. Smiling slightly, she plopped backwards, banging her head clumsily on the wall, and was sleeping once again within a few seconds.
“And so she’s out like a light, huh? It doesn’t really matter, but it does bother me that she slept through the entire start of introductions.”
“Don’t worry too much, Eva-san. She’s always like that,” Denise offered. “She and I were initiated into the organization at the same time, and she might be a bit lazy for her rank, but she’s reliable enough in a pinch.”
“That’s good to know,” Deneve muttered while glaring at the sleeping half-breed, pulling her loose hair back into a ponytail and resting for tomorrow’s mission.
“Deneve, watch your right!” Eva shouted the warning out to her for about the tenth time. It almost seemed that the second-strongest warrior on this mission was looking for unnecessary injuries in this mission. She found it to be rather annoying, but half-heartedly put up with it. Everyone had their own problems, she figured, and she was more focused on the battle than she was actually focused on being emotional. Bringing her sword up to smash against the awakened male’s leg, she was shoved back by Deneve when a blow came her way. The claws brutally ripped through the warrior, shielding the leader from the attack she hadn’t seen. “Deneve!”
“I’ll be alright,” the warrior called back, bleeding profusely from the long slashes across her upper torso. Pressing a hand to her injuries, she began to regenerate, only to be pulled out of the battle by the lowest-ranked warrior there.Not needing to be told twice, Eva immediately returned to the battle.
“Oi! You can’t just stay in the battle like that!” Brash as usual, Helen more or less dragged the bloodied warrior away from the fray.
“Yes I can. I’m a defensive type – unlike foolish warriors such as you,” she shot back, trying to give the short-haired warrior a bit of her own.
“Whatever you say. You need to stay alive, though.”
“Why bother? I’m just a half-breed trying to cling to life when I don’t deserve it,” she replied bitterly, thinking of her sister as she spoke.
“C’mon, it’s perfectly natural to always want to stay alive. We’re only human, after all!”
Deneve’s eyes widened at that statement. Human… She hadn’t thought of even herself as human in a long time. It seemed almost foreign to her, to consider herself something other than a half-breed.
“Yeah! That’s all we really are, isn’t it?” Helen was a brash warrior, that was true, but her habit of making brutally honest statements came in handy some times, she decided. Standing up, she took the hand Helen offered and in that, took up a new life.
“Sorry it took us so long to get back, Eva-san,” Deneve offered while standing away from the mess of the awakened one’s corpse. By the time they had gotten back, the battle was already over and the only on who had sustained any serious injuries besides Deneve was Denise, and they were both defensive types – in Deneve’s case, they had already mostly healed. Denise had lost her right arm, and that was taking a bit longer for her to repair.
“It’s happened before,” Denise sighed with a pained smile. “It’ll take me a couple of days to regenerate it, but since I usually fight with my left arm, it’s not a huge detriment.”
“’Che. Anyway, let’s get going, Dennie!” Reaching over to grab her new friend’s arm, Helen more or less took off until a sword stopped her.
“If you call me ‘Dennie’ one more time, you’re going to be minus one head.”
“O-okay,” Helen replied, gulping a little, and then, danger seemingly forgotten, she reached over and pulled Deneve’s long hair back into the ponytail it had been in last night. “Y’know, I think short hair suits you.” Her comment was made in the same frank tone of voice that she had used before, and the longer-haired warrior did a double-take.
“You really think so?”
“Yeah, I do. You ought to cut it sometime,” she remarked once again. “Want me to cut it for you?”
“Anou…” she glanced back at Eva, who nodded encouragingly. “Alright.”
When Helen was done, she admitted that it looked better, and mentally, she also swore that she would never let her hair grow long again. It was short and rough around the edges now, but at the same time…
It made her look almost exactly like her dead sister.
The thought scared her as much as it hurt her heart to think of it. She didn’t want to look like her sister, who had died to protect her, but at the same time, she wanted to honour her sibling’s memory, even if it meant hurting herself in the process.
“Hey, Deneve, what’s wrong? You look sad.”
“Nothing,” Deneve replied quickly, shutting her emotions down as quickly as she could.
“Riiiight. Want to tell me what’s going on?”
Obviously Helen wouldn’t buy that approach.
“It’s just that I was used to having my long hair, and not having it makes me a little…”
“Melencholy?” Helen supplied the word with a small smile, nodding in understanding. “When I was really little, like four or five, I had pretty long hair, too. It was blonde like it is now, so the colour wasn’t a big change or anything…” She stared off into the distance in a very out-of-character way for a moment before continuing. “I liked to play in the breeze near my childhood house. I think the town might’ve been Ryletta, but I’m not entirely sure – but I always loved my hair and how it would blow in the wind. When I became a part of the organization, I cut it to show myself, more than anyone, that I was growing up and moving on. What about you?” Helen turned and absently pulled on her hair, listening attentively.
“The only reason I paused was because…” Dare she say it? Would she regret it? Why did she feel like she could trust Helen? Deneve wondered all of these things within a split second before deciding to continue on. “I look like my sister now. She died after she saved me from a youma – my smell was masked by the corpses of my parents on the bed above me. I watched her die.”
“Oh.” Helen was at a loss for words, it seemed. She did the only thing she knew to do: the brash young warrior reached over and enveloped Deneve in a gentle but still firm hug. “Just so you know, that’s what you’ve got comrades for. If you ever need someone to lean on, I’ll be here.”
“Thanks,” Deneve replied honestly, letting her emotion colour her voice this once. It was Helen’s just reward for what she had done to help.
Deneve: Stupid authour… *readies claymores*
Helen: C’mon Deneve, I thought it was kinda cute. Give her a break, y’know?
Helen: It’s not that bad! Look at how in-character you are! *points out lines*
Deneve: Urusei, baka… **
Helen: Nyah-nyah! *sticks out tongue* You’re just jealous because I’m not so obsessed with my personal image.
Deneve: *almost kills Helen with both claymores*
Helen: Whoa! You could seriously hurt someone with those things!
Deneve: (dryly) That was the general idea.
Ryuuzaki: Yo. *waves*
Helen and Deneve: What the hell?!
Helen: What are you doing here?
Deneve: Why do you hate me so much?
Ryuuzaki: Whoa. I don’t hate you, Deneve. I just like Helen better. *smirks*
Helen: And this is why I don’t need to worry about image. So there.
Deneve: I’ll give you three seconds to apologize. 3…
Helen: She’s serious. I remember this one time when she went berserk on a youma and…
Helen: …she totally creamed the thing. It wasn’t even recognizable as once-living.
Ryuuzaki: *shivers* I’M SORRY!!!
Deneve: …1. Too late. *stabs*
Helen: What’d you have to go and do that for? Who’s going to clean up the mess, retard?
Deneve: I’ll give you three seconds…
NOTE: **’Urusei, baka…’ literally translates to ‘Shut up, idiot…’
Published Sunday, November 4 2007
The tanned warrior seemed to catch the scent of blood on the air an instant before she actually sensed it. Undeterred by the power of the aura, she strode off towards the source, not bothering to call for help or anything of the sort. She knew that she was late, as the leader of the hunt, and that her comrades were fighting alone, but she had run into a few youma and had been stalled.
As she entered the current battlefield, she noted the state of her comrades – the braided one was on the ground, a deep slash across her front. She had about a fifty/fifty chance of surviving. The short-haired one was still fighting, despite missing a hand; it didn’t seem to be bothering her too much, since she was regenerating it. Israfel estimated her to be somewhere in the higher teens, in terms of rank. She was probably around 17 or 18. The one with spiked hair was acting as backup to all of them, alternating between guarding the wounded one and helping the fighting one as best she could.
“Aah!” That was the one who had been fighting; apparently the awakened one had just been playing with her until someone stronger arrived. Stepping over the wounded girl’s body, Israfel entered the battlefield and motioned for all of them to stand back. They awakened one seemed surprised, but then narrowed its eyes, raising the scythe-like appendages towards its new opponent.
“So you’re the strongest one here, girlie?”
She didn’t feel like responding to that one, so instead, she simply began to release her yoki.
“Eh? You’re releasing your power, but it’s just free-floating, not helpin’ you at all. If you wanna die, that’s fine, but that’s no fun.”
“I have no intention of dying here,” she ground out in a low growl, forcing her yoki to surround her body, not enhance her body, but it also surrounded her sword. Accelerating around the target, she dragged her sword behind her, leaving heavy gouges in the rocky earth as she ran.
“You must be a low rank, but you’re not fit to command anything,” the awakened being spat out, extending the tentacles that marked a youma for what it was. Cutting into the flesh of all three support warriors, it made sure to do as much damage as it could, forcing the fight to be one-on-one.
“All of you, concentrate solely on regenerating. If you don’t soon, you’ll all die from blood loss.” Straight to the point, Israfel brushed her unruly hair away from her face and released her yoki to about seventy-five percent. “And now, to take care of you…” Golden strands of yoki rose from the fractured ground in a stunning display, effectively trapping the awakened target within the net. Closing her eyes, Israfel pictured the net closing tighter and tighter around the lumbering body she had captured, and finally opening her eyes, she merely looked at the reddening ‘net’ and revealed her golden eyes – streaked with the colour of fresh blood. Raising her sword, she swept it downward and into the ground, where it resonated with her yoki.
“No! Wait!” And then the blood sprayed everywhere, sliced chunks of flesh neatly falling to the ground.
“All of you, get up if you’re healed. I can’t use that move twice, so if you awaken, I’ll kill you in an even more painful way. Let that be an incentive to you.” Walking off into the copse of trees, she continued to head westward in her region.
“Finished scaring off another band of Claymores, eh, Israfel?”
“They were weak. Pathetic.” That was her answer almost every time. She was powerful enough to be a single digit, but constantly refused, claiming that the less human interaction she had, the more efficient she was. The organization considered her mentally unstable, but in all honesty she was completely in control of herself. She allowed them to think that because it made it easier for her to run wild with the way she preferred things done.
“Whatever you say,” the organization’s runner replied, sighing heavily. Why did it have to be his charge that always ended up running amok? “Your next assignment is a day’s walk north of here, in the village of Raffael.”
“No other information, then?”
“It doesn’t matter, does it? No matter how many there are, you manage to slay them quite easily, despite being only a double-digit.” He paused when he found her sword at the junction between his head and his neck.
“Despite being ‘only a double digit’, as you say, I am perfectly capable,” Israfel ground out, staring quite levelly at him, pressing her sword into the soft flesh enough to break skin – all just to make her point clear. “Do you understand?”
“Of course,” the handler gulped, having never gotten used to her rather obvious mood swings. “I’ll see you in a day.”
“Good riddance,” she grumbled, stalking off towards the north.
“Whoa… so that’s a Claymore…”
She ignored it. She was used to it. The stares, the whispers, and even the curses – she was used to them all. Ignoring them, she looked through the assembled crowd and moved through it, dragging her sword behind her until she had made her way through. Her eyes were shaded by her bangs, hiding the fact that she was releasing her yoki enough to perform the yoki web technique, the one that she got her nickname from. Glancing towards the crowd and smiling slightly, she raised a hand and lifted the strand of her aura from the earth as she did so. At her arm’s movement, the strand coiled like a whip and struck through the crowd, selectively binding and beheading people as she chose. Her golden eyes were streaked with red as she did so.
“Aah! It’s killing people! It’s gone wild!” He was the first to go.
“What’s wrong with you, you stupid witch?!” He was the second.
“Don’t you know what you’ve done?” She was the third.
“Wait… look! The bodies are all youma…”
“But what if she gets one of us?” That was the voice of the last one to die. “Damn… you…”
“A man in dressed in black will be here shortly to collect the money for four youma. You will pay him then.” Beginning to walk off, she heard someone scream and inclined her head towards it in curiosity.
She didn’t feel any aura, but there was something odd going on. Letting her own curiosity take hold of her, Israfel meekly trotted off in the direction of the shout. It appeared that a horse of some sort had bucked a rider off and was trying to get away. As it ran by her, she held a single hand out and grabbed onto the reins, using her natural strength the halt the panicking beast. Petting the white mark on its brown head, she calmed it enough to return it.
“I believe this is yours,” she muttered, handing the reins over.
“Anou… thank you…” Stalking out of the village with a new target in mind, Israfel ignored the glances sent her way, as usual.
There was another Claymore in her region.
She had no idea, but she was heading to find out when the aura suddenly vanished. Perhaps it had not been a Claymore, then, but an awakened one skilled at hiding its aura. Whatever, she sighed, still heading in that direction, mostly to find out if it was anything she could fight. An hour’s walk in the direction of its last known position, and the aura had appeared again. Whatever it was, it was trying unsuccessfully to move around quickly, and it was trying to hide while doing so.
“No… there are two of them,” a small voice said at her elbow, as if reading her mind.
“Alright, that’s it. That’s bloody wonderful. Who the hell are you?”
“Anou… I’m sorry… I was trying to follow them without letting them know… I’m sorry!” The girl winced and bowed her head reverently, her small body seeming to fold in on herself as she apologized over and over again.
“Fine, I don’t care. What are those things?”
“Creature of the Abyss Riful and former warrior number 10, Kiyone. I’m on assignment to kill the former tenth warrior once they seperate,” the girl replied in her clear voice, her silver eyes still holding the appearance of her once-human brown ones.
“So who are you, since the organization sent just a kid to kill an Awakened Being, and a kinda strong one at that, huh?”
“They sent me to go kill my predecessor because she sent me the black card before she awakened.”
“Anou… yes. I’m Amane, number 10, but that’s just the name the organization gave me because I dunno my real one,” she replied nervously, shyly tapping her armoured foot on the ground. “But I don’t remember any of my dead family’s names, either, so it doesn’t matter. Who’re you?”
“Israfel, number 12. How old are you, anyway?”
“I’m eleven… but before my parents were killed I was learning about literature, music, and everything, so most people think that I’m older, because I’m a Claymore.”
“So you were pretty wealthy, kid?”
“A bit, I guess,” Amane replied, starting to walk after the two auras without even being able to sense them. “If you want to come with me, I know where those two are going. You’ll have to take this, though, I think.” Offering one of the yoki supressants to Israfel, she waited for the older warrior to take it and then withdrew her hand and fisted it in her cape.
“I was wealthy, too,” the short-haired warrior admitted to the long-haired child. “But when I became an orphan, I just kinda let it all go.”
“I can understand that it would be easier that way,” Amane offered, smiling to nobody in particular. “Your eyes are really pretty!” She was looking at Israfel, still smiling. “I always wanted blue eyes when I was a little tiny kid. I thought they were pretty! I…”
As the little girl spoke, Israfel sighed quietly and continued her trek to the south with her comrade. She reminded her of someone, but she couldn’t quite remember who…
“…and my sister and I were…”
That was who she reminded her of.
“Where did you live, Amane?”
“Oh! Me?” When Israfel rolled her eyes, she giggled and then told her, and then some.
So her sister had survived the events of seven years ago. This ‘Amane’ girl was quite possibly her sister, she knew. Her sister’s name was Isabelle, and her own real name was Etoile, but she had given up on her name when she could no longer protect her younger sister and had fled to save herself.
Even if she was, though, she had come to terms with Isabelle’s death.
She would go on as the aimless wanderer of the organization, friendless and restless.
Because she was Israfel and no longer Etoile.
NOTE: Ehh… okay, so this chapter sucks. I’m sorry… it’s kind of awkward, too… but the idea was to create a Claymore with a very real sister, who she finds out survives. Originally, Israfel finds out in the beginning of the story, and then tells Amane about her sister and in return, Amane eventually ends up adopting the name ‘Isabelle’ because she thinks that it’s prettier than her own. However, this made Israfel look too weak, and too sentimental, and she’s neither of those. The deaths of her family members threw her into the state that she is in now, bipolar and even murderous at times. The only connection she really feels anymore is that towards nature and animals, and her blood-red eyes are supposed to be reminders of that. I’m afraid that the story turned out as… well, as a load of crap, but still… I wanted to get the point across that she doesn’t care about her comrades, doesn’t care about humans, and barely cares about herself… oh well… Tell me what I should improve next time.