Claymore [KMnZ] – Tenku no Tsume
‘Claymore’ by Norihiro Yagi
“Kin Metsuki no Zansatsusha – Tenku no Tsume” by Ryuuzaki Kusakurin
Part II of IV
DISCLAIMER: Claymore belongs to Norihiro Yagi, not me. The genius mangaka didn’t even give me a single character, last time I checked… This storyline is based on the manga Claymore and thus contains spoilers for both the manga and the anime through the current colume as of February 6th, 2008.
Warnings: Violence, tasteful romance, language.
Theme Songs: Torukia [Gabriela Robin], Fre@k $HoW [Abingdon Boys School], KI-SE-KI [BeForU], Wings510 [Do As Infinity], Zeus Cannon [Elliot Goldenthal], Kutsuzure [Mazda Ryozy], Brightdown [Nami Tamaki]
Main Characters: Larkir, Flora, Helen, Undine, Torias, etc.
If you have seen this posted elsewhere, please notify me immediately so that I can take legal action.
“Larkir. Wake up,” the gentle voice called. Slowly, she became aware that she was being held by someone and that it was cold around her. The bodies of awakened ones and warriors alike were strewn haphazardly around her, and much of the snow was tinted red.
“Lucrecia?” She stifled a hiss of pain as she sat up and rubbed her eyes.
“Larkir… Lucrecia… she’s dead.” The words didn’t register for a minute – and then she saw the ripped shreds of Lucrecia’s body. Her eyes were closed, as if she had died peacefully, and her sword lay beside her fallen body. Without a second thought, Larkir ripped her friend’s sword away and sheathed it in her own destroyed armour. “Larkir… I’m sorry.” The words hung in the cold winter air for a moment before they blew away.
“Where’s Clare’s body?”
“We think that she and a few others may have gotten out alive,” Flora replied. “We couldn’t find a few, so we assumed that they awakened or got out.”
“Who?” That was Helen, searching frantically for Deneve.
“Miria, Deneve, Haruna, Cynthia, Tabitha, Yuma, Clare, and Rikki,” she finally said, tallying them up. “I know that Haruna awakened, but if the rest got out, that means that eleven of us survived.”
“I see.” Looking around at her ragtag group of survivors, Larkir sized them up according to strength. Helen was the weakest, but she had a lot of potential to grow and learn. “First things first. We need new clothes,” she sighed. A quiet ripple of laughter ran through the three other warriors until Larkir walked past them, silent and cold as ever.
“Are… are you okay?” Larkir whipped around and glared at the talkative Claymore.
“Do I look like I’m okay?” Her wild, tear-streaked face displayed her anger and sadness as she turned back around and started back off towards the supply hut.
“Well, no but-” Larkir’s fist cut Helen off as she went flying back. “I was just trying to help for the love of-” This time, it was a kick aimed at her head. Larkir’s bare feet seemed to be just as harmful as her sword was – she was using a form of martial arts to lash out at Helen. “If that’s the way you want it, come and get it!” She released her yoki until she reached about 30 percent – enough to block Larkir’s wild swings and kicks as she lashed out without the aid of her yoki. Extending an arm to get past her defence, Helen was surprised when Larkir didn’t catch the punch and instead let it hit her side…
…and then, the angry warrior grabbed her arm and crushed the bones as it retracted. Helen cried out in pain and glared as Larkir walked closer and closer… and then she was looking at Larkir from below as the warrior put a foot over her throat.
“Larkir! That’s enough!” She looked around and saw Flora and Undine watching her warily, their swords drawn.
“You’re going to kill me?” Raising her hands into the air and laughing insanely, she began talking to the sky. “They think that they can kill me!” Flora didn’t even see the warrior appear behind her until she felt the brush of a blade on her neck. Undine apparently felt the same thing.
“You…” Undine growled, though Flora was silent until the blade withdrew.
“Just… just leave me alone…” With that, the older warrior walked off into the blizzard, silent tears running down her cheeks.
This is it, he thought, stumbling along in the snow. Holding his injury with rapidly numbing fingers, the black-haired man tripped and fell face-first in the cold snowdrift. Rolling over to face the sky, he simply laughed at the irony of it all; he had finally grown strong enough to be a threat and as such had been marked for death. He could hear the warrior running behind him and just waited for her to catch up, drawing a small blade from his sleeve and hoping that he would get a chance to injure or kill her when she got a little closer. He heard the clang of metal shoes against stone and snow and knew she was close… Opening his eyes to face the inevitable, he saw gold eyes and white hair instead, noticing the body of the warrior behind her.
“Torias? What are you doing here?” She looked puzzled and sad at the same time. It was not until a few seconds later that he realised what was missing.
“Where’s your friend?”
“She died,” Larkir flatly stated, her eyes going cold and distant.
“I’m sorry,” he replied sincerely, reaching for her hand even as he shed his lifeblood in the cold weather. “Anything you want me to pass along to her?” he asked with a smile, only half-kidding. Gesturing to his wounds, he sighed and let his head fall back to the ground with a dull thud.
“You’re not going to die,” she replied with a determined but weary look in her eyes. It made Torias remember who he was dealing with – despite her appearance, she was several times his age. “You’re not going to die, because I can heal you,” she repeated, forcing her yoki into her hands as she lengthened her fingers and gently pierced her handler’s skin. With one hand covering his wound, she calmly directed, “focus your yoki and release it into your injury to heal it. I can replace the blood, but I can’t stitch the injury back together.” Closing his eyes with a groan, he released his power as much as he possibly could – not much in the grand scheme of things – but as her blood was slowly put into his veins, he felt his power increase and continued to release more and more power until suddenly, Larkir hit him and he opened his eyes in shock as he looked at his body. His arms rippled with the new muscles that were steadily growing due to his constant release of yoki, and he was completely healed. “You idiot! Stop your yoki flow at once!” Once he did, he felt inexplicably exhausted, sinking gratefully into her waiting arms as his eyes closed. Once he was asleep, Larkir began to cry once again – over him. “You almost awakened, you fool… and you wouldn’t have realised it until you had already passed your limits.” Picking him up bridal-style, she walked back to the makeshift camp that Flora, Helen, and Undine had set up in what was left of Pieta. Leaping up as she entered the camp, Flora pointed to a slightly sagging bed in the corner of the room.
“Who is he?” Flora looked at him but didn’t dare approach him for the protective way Larkir looked at him, but she had to know. “I can feel his yoki radiating off of him, so I know he’s one of us… or at least he used to be,” she commented cautiously.
“He’s a friend of mine,” she sighed, smoothing his bangs out of his face as she watched the light from the fire play across his still face. “He’s part of the organization, but I found another warrior trying to hunt him down. I guess he was trying to reach us here in Pieta and see if anyone was left alive.”
“Makes sense,” Undine grunted, closing her eyes.
“Yes, it does,” Flora commented quietly. “If he was trying to rescue any survivors, then the organization would probably try to cut him down. Also, if he’s part youma, then they probably saw him as a possible awakened being and decided to nip it in the bud.”
“A male Claymore? How did that happen?!” Helen seemed to be the least reasonable out of all of them, her mouth agape as she stared at the quietly sleeping teenager.
“His mother was a warrior as well, but not all of her power got transferred to him. Right now, he has her blood as well as my own, and so he’s probably about 50 percent youma. That’s the same percentage as the rest of you,” she said warningly, “and since he’s a male, he’s probably stronger than your average female warrior.”
“I’m hungry,” Helen commented quietly. “Anyone else want anything?”
“I’ll take some,” Flora replied evenly, still watching the boy sleep. “Undine, please go with Helen. If there are any awakened ones left out there, you’re going to both need each other. I’m going to go find a sword for him.” With that, they all left the small room, leaving Larkir to her thoughts and Torias to his dreams.
He woke with a start, jumping up to defend himself against the shadowy figure in the corner. He could feel the yoki leaving her body in waves, but the warrior wasn’t attacking, so…
“Larkir,” he sighed with relief.
“We got a sword for you,” she said, tossing one of the dead warriors’ claymores to him. He caught it in one hand, wincing slightly as the shock of the impact travelled up his arm. “You need to learn how to work with that weight from now on, since you’re one of us.”
“Can you teach me?” The question caught her flat-footed, and she looked at him with her golden eyes blazing.
“You don’t know how to wield a sword yet?”
“I can work with knives and shortswords, but not claymores like all of you can,” he replied, blushing under her harsh gaze.
“Alright. Follow me.” Walking out evenly, her metal boots making heavy clangs against the wood, she smiled slightly as Torias rushed up to follow her.
“Since you have my blood, let’s see what happens if you release your yoki to around 50 percent, alright?” She was curious as to whether or not he would have wings.
“Okay,” he replied, shivering. A burst of concentrated yoki began to gather around him, and suddenly, he screamed as sinewy wings burst from his back. “Why does it hurt?” he begged, desperate to make it stop.
“I’m sorry, Torias, but… it looks like you’re like me now,” she sighed, kneeling in front of him. “Try breathing in deep breaths, but don’t hold them – let them out. It should make you feel a bit better.” When he nodded a few minutes later, she watched as he slowly began to flex the wings, testing them in the wind. “Do you think you could stand to fly?” When he nodded, she stood up, pulling him with her, and released her own yoki to around 30 percent and let it rise until her own wings manifested. Flapping them easily, Larkir pulled Torias into the air along with her until he learned from example and began to hover on his own. Looknig around in awe, he unsteadily flew towards her until she easily drifted away from him, laughing as he looked around frantically in the snowstorm. “Follow me,” her voice whispered in his ear as she suddenly appeared behind him. Taking his hand once more, she called to him over the howling wind since she was farther away. “The air will get thinner, and it will be a bit harder to breathe, but it’s worth it.”
Only moments later, they broke through the clouds and sunlight flooded both warriors’ eyes.
“It’s bright,” he murmured, shielding his eyes.
“Look,” she called, pointing out the clouds below him. “We’re at least a mile above the ground. Don’t let it scare you, though. You won’t fall.” He was rapidly tiring, she noticed, though it seemed to be more because of the thinness of the air rather than the effort expanded on keeping himself aloft. “Ready to go back?” He nodded breathlessly, and she plunged down, through the clouds and the blizzard, until she was at a good cruising altitude. Spotting Torias as he landed clumsily, she slowly landed and took his hand, pulling him up and out of the snowbank he had landed in.
“That… that was amazing,” he sighed. She smiled at him until she felt the massive yoki heading straight for them.
“Get up, now!” Drawing one of her claymores, Larkir faced the awakened being with no fear at all, though she did take a protective stance in front of Torias.
“What is that thing?” he gasped. The awakened being in front of them was a former single digit – Larkir could tell by the size of her yoki – and she had a body surrounded by tendrils and ribbon-like appendages.
“It’s an awakened being. Isley must have sent it for clean-up,” she called, gritting her teeth in frustration. “Can you fight?”
“Yeah,” he replied, still breathless from the flight. Flapping his wings forward, Torias was at her side in an instant, his broadsword at the ready. “Ready whenever you are.”
“You take the left, I’ll take the right?”
“Right then, let’s go!” Shooting forward without the aid of her wings, Larkir dodged almost all the tendrils sent her way and managed to slice a few off besides. Leaping easily into flight, she distracted the monster long enough for Torias to creep up and slice an arm and about half of the tendrils off at the shoulder.
“One of you seems quite weak,” the awakened one commented, revealing row upon row of sharp teeth. “I’ve never seen a male warrior before. But it seems that you’re pitiful… Shame.” With that, all the tendrils he had sliced off grew back and instantly pierced him through the stomach. “You humans are so weak…” Only a heartbeat later, Torias and the tendrils were gone.
Larkir stood on the other side of the awakened being, her mouth slightly open in shock.
Torias had killed the awakened being in one slash, releasing his yoki to about 50%.
“Well, it looks like you’ve gained my strength, at least,” she commented dryly with the faintest hint of a smile in her voice. Picking up the now-unconscious boy, she began the trek back to camp.
“What happened?” Helen looked almost worried, her eyes darting back and forth from the still-unconscious Torias to Larkir. “It looks like you guys got in a fight,” she continued, stating the obvious. Larkir just glared at her.
“Of course they got in a fight, you idiot,” Undine snorted, stomping into the room, shaking the snow off of her standard-issue boots. “Didn’t you feel the yoki? Or are you stupid like that, too?”
“Undine,” Flora admonished gently, putting a gentle but firm hand on her comrade’s shoulder. “Calm down. There’s no reason to fight.”
“Ticks me off, though,” she replied gruffly, once again stomping out of the room.
“How are you going to control us all, Flora?” That was Larkir, gently petting Torias in a rare display of affection. Her golden eyes glinted in the firelight and her white hair seemed to glow as she watched solemnly.
“I’m not.” Flora seemed quite adamant about that, but Helen and Larkir were still confused.
“You are.” Helen gasped and Larkir’s eyes widened slightly. “You’re the most powerful one here,” she continued, explaining it more to Helen than Larkir – the older warrior already understood. “You’re also the highest rank we’ve got, so just like a hunt for an awkened one, you’ll be the leader.” Helen murmured her understanding and assent, and so Flora left it there, her gentle smile still on her beautiful face.