By Book Nerd
The Joro-Gumo hid in the crawl space for both Akio and Yama****a to enter, climbing above the opening using her spider like grip to scale the wall. She watched Akio approach first as he extinguished the flames on the sword, realising this would give her full advantage over the pair of them. Turning her attention to Yama****a and seeing no weapons, she decided she didn’t consider her a threat. Watching as the pair walked further into her web, she silently dropped down behind them. Yama****a stopped and turned, sensing that someone or something was lurking in the darkness. She tapped Akio on the shoulder to alert him. Akio turned and using his demonic vision he scanned the space behind them. Telepathically, Yama****a asked if he could see anything? Akio told her only a young woman holding a child in her arms was standing behind them, which was strange as he could have sworn there was no-one there when they had entered. He then told Yama****a to go back and see if she could see it too, unsure it could be his imagination. Following orders, she retraced their tracks and was shocked when she came across a woman cowering against the wall, cradling a baby. Yama****a removed her hood to reappear in front of the woman. Squatting down, she leaned closer:
“What are you doing here?” She asked. “Why are you so scared? Did you see the Joro-Gumo?”
“Please take my child out of here and place her somewhere safe.” The Joro-Gumo wept, whilst offering Yama****a her child.
Yama****a agreed to help and took hold of the infant. Already knowing this wasn’t a child, only an egg sack of spiders disguised as a baby, she was careful to hide that she had recognised the beast’s identity. Carefully placing her dagger up her cloak sleeve, she began to crawl back to the entrance. Once through the hole in the wall, she telepathically informed Akio that the woman was the Joro-Gumo, and he should retreat. Yama****a lay the egg sack on the gantry just outside of the hole in the wall, she slipped the knife from her cloak sleeve preparing to pierce it. Stopping abruptly, she recalled that the egg sack would only explode if it were held by a man. This gave Yama****a an idea, so she replaced her hood back over her head to instantly vanish and she picked up the sack. Holding it close to her chest as you would an infant, she began to race towards the entrance to the factory.
Akio turned around and headed back towards the entrance, carefully retracing his steps, knowing that sooner or later he was going to bump into the Joro-Gumo and eventually he did; she was still in the form of a woman. No longer weeping she grabbed on to Akio with lightning-fast reactions. He tried to move out of her way, but she was far too quick for him.
Looking at the Joro-Gumo, her mouth began to open wide revealing a row of pointy fangs with saliva oozing down. She pulled his arm closer to take a bite. Akio reacted immediately and with his free hand he managed to place his sword between them. Chanting the Akuma dialect, the sword erupted into flames allowing him enough time to pull his arm free and enabling him to crawl out from the lair. Lying on his back with the flaming sword grasped in both hands, he watched waiting for the Joro-Gumo to follow behind him. When she didn’t emerge through the hole, he was unsure whether to feel relieved or blind panic. As he stood up, he looked down and could just make out Yama****a below the gantry, running towards the factory entrance and out of the door.
Outside in the streets under torrential rain, Kato waited with Abe, Saski and Fukuda, all sheltering beneath a broken porch. The water skimmed down the roof and fell like a mini waterfall onto the street below. Kato impatiently thumbed with his katana, releasing it slightly from its scabbard then pushing it back in again.
“How long does it take to get one demon out in the open?” He asked agitated. He quietly hoped that Akio and Yama****a might put an end to the demon themselves. After all, it was what they were used to.
“Kato, it takes as long as it takes. Now stop messing with that ******* sword! It is driving me insane.” Saski replied.
Saski was also itching to put an end to this matter. Anything to get out of this **** hole! He’d had enough with all this monster slaying. Being a man of simple needs, he was so looking forward to eating a slab of juicy steak with a nice tavern wench in his arms. Fukuda looked at Saski as if she were reading his mind. He lowered his head as not to make eye contact with her. Fukuda moved over beside Abe.
“What do you think of Saski?” She asked him.
“Men like him are all the same.” Said Abe. “They just want to make a quick yen and get an easy lay. Why? Are you interested?” He asked.
“Yeah, something like that”. She replied quietly whilst looking at Saski.
“You need to be careful what you wish for.” Abe told Fukuda. “Anyway, what’s the deal with you and Kato?” He asked. “You never leave each other’s side.”
“Do you see me at his side now?” She replied, looking him in the eye.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that! I meant you always seem to fight with each other” Explained Abe. “Do you owe him or something?”
“Take a look who he stands with.” Fukuda gestured over to Kato.
He looked over and saw Saski next to him. “Yeah, I see. So?” Abe was confused.
“Saski is the one I need to get close to, not Kato. I have to make Saski believe I want to be close to Kato.” Fukuda tried to explain.
“I don’t get it. Do you want to sleep with Saski or Kato?” Abe asked, still not understanding.
“Neither you sex fiend!” Fukuda was now annoyed. “I want to kill Saski. Although maybe I won’t have to if this Joro-Gumo does it for me. Then again, where would be the fun in that?”
“Has he done something to you? Or maybe your sister?” Abe said scratching his head still confused.
Glaring ahead, “That is my secret to know.” She replied quietly.
“Well Okay, but just let me know if you need a hand.” Abe squeezed her shoulder reassuringly and then slowly got up to walk away.
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