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Akuma Hunters

By @letroit

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Yamashita came running out of the side streets still holding the spiders egg sack tightly against her chest. As she ran, she continuously checked if any baby spiders had broken free from their silky cocoon and was fully content that luckily none had hatched. Looking ahead, she spotted Kato and his band of misfits huddling under one of the buildings porches towards the end of the street. Scanning the empty rooftops there was no sign of Suki, meaning she must be well hidden. When she finally reached the building where Kato and his fighters were waiting, she placed the cloth bundle down on one of the benches under the porch. Warning all the men not to open it as it contained the Joro-Gumo egg sack inside disguised as a baby. Stressing that If any of the men were to do so, it would cause the egg to hatch, releasing thousands of deadly spiders. Fully understanding, all the men all agreed not to touch it. She then turned her attention towards Fukuda.

“Hey? Where is your sister?” Yamashita asked.

Fukuda, not really taking much notice as she was still focused on Saski, raised her arm and pointed to the roof across the street.

“Whatever happens.” Warned Yamashita. “Do not attack the Joro-Gumo until I have climbed back down from seeing your sister. Do you understand?”

Fukuda nodded in reply.

Yamashita ran across the street and made her way up to the top of the building. Scaling up the drainpipe leading to the guttering on the roof, she pulled herself up and frantically began looking around, calling Suki’s name. Suki appeared from behind one of the air vents and beckoned her over. Yamashita went over and crouched down beside her wanting to double check she knew what was required of her. Suki relayed the plan, stating that once she had the Joro-Gumo in her sight she was to fire a volley of arrows upon her. Reassured Yamashita cracked a slight smile and wished her luck. As she was about to turn and leave, Suki told her to wait.

“My sister; she really doesn’t mean to be so hot headed. It’s her way of protecting me, and although she is younger than me you would think she were the eldest. She has been through quite an ordeal.” Suki tried to explain. “You see Saski, the man dressed in black; he tried to rape me. Fukuda came in and managed to pull him off me, but he just turned his attention on her. He raped her instead…… and I did nothing to stop it.” She tearfully told her.

Yamashita was shocked after hearing the trauma the sisters had been through, putting her arms around her to comfort her.

“If you get a chance, please finish him for me”. Suki pleaded whilst leaning her head on Yamashita’s shoulder.

“I can help you, just leave it with me.” She reassured Suki, then taking her by the shoulders and looking directly into her eyes. “I think there’s a way that I may not have to kill him.”

“You would really do that for Fukuda?” Suki asked, wiping away tears.

Yamashita nodded and held her one last time. She then turned and headed back down the roof to where Fukuda and Saski were waiting for the Joro-Gumo.

Akio was close enough to see his sister climbing up one of the buildings as he sprinted towards the porch where Kato, Abe, Saski and Fukuda where standing.

“Why aren’t you ready? The Joro-Gumo is coming!” Akio asked urgently.

“We were told to wait. Yamashita had to speak with my sister before we commenced into any fight with the beast.” Fukuda turned to Akio to explain.

Not understanding Yamashita’s logic, he knew she must have had a good reason to delay.

“Did you see where she put the cloth she was carrying?” He asked.

“Over there. She told the men not to open it, as it was full of egg sacks.” Fukuda replied pointing towards the bench.

“Best keep it that way. I will torch it in front of the Joro-Gumo when she appears.” Akio informed them.

Fukuda was about to ask when that would be, when suddenly out of nowhere the Joro-Gumo came racing up the street looking for Akio, smashing through the rubble which littered the street with ease.

Yamashita froze as she saw the Joro-Gumo, with her spindly legs scurrying as fast as they could carry her down the street. Silently she slipped back into the shadows of the building praying the Joro-Gumo hadn’t see her. Luck was on her side; the beast scurried past her.

Akio and Fukuda looked on as the half woman, half spider ran about wildly searching for them. At this moment Abe had crawled back over to them.

“Is it wise to just be waiting here, doing nothing? Abe asked.

“We need to wait a moment longer for Yamashita to join us” He replied pointing in the direction of his sister. Abe could now see a figure moving along the buildings heading in their direction but keeping to the shadows.

Up on the roof, after spotting the terrifying beast Suki pulled from her quiver five arrows and notched them on her bow, she aimed one towards the Joro-Gumo. She pulled back the bow string as hard as she could and was about to let the arrows fly when she noticed something on the roof top of the adjacent building. She could make out a bucket of burning tar perched on the edge of it, she assumed somebody must have been using it to fix the roof. Checking below the tar she could see it was perched on a makeshift scaffolding. Placing four of the arrows back in her quiver, she kept one notched on to the bow and wondered if she would be able to fire an arrow and dislodge the scaffolding just enough for it to fall upon the beast. She looked back and began calculating how much ground the beast would have to cover before it reached the burning tar. Estimating only a few minutes and with her arrow notched, she pulled the bow string once again until it was as taught as possible. She aimed the arrow at the target and waited patiently for the beast to appear below.

The Joro-Gumo ran underneath the tar looking around, searching for Akio. She let out a spine-chilling scream in frustration as she knew the man with the flaming sword was around here somewhere. When she found him, she would waste no time tearing him limb from limb.

Suki fired her arrow, reaching its target accurately. After hitting one of the support posts and dislodging the beam, the bucket of tar fell from its perch. Feeling debris fall on her, the Joro-Gumo looked up to see where it was coming from but before she could react, the burning tar rained down upon her naked torso. Howling in pain and rage, she realised she had been fooled by the man with the burning sword. The beast tried in vain to wipe away the burning tar, but as it clung to her skin, all she managed to do was peel away her human flesh, leaving her screaming in even more agony.

Yamashita shouted orders for the others to attack. Emerging from their hiding place, they charged forward with weapons drawn, hacking and slashing at the Joro-Gumo in front of them. First Kato was knocked back by one of the spider’s legs as he jumped in for his attack, sending him hurtling through the air until he landed in a heap at the base of the building.

Saski tried to lunge for the abdomen of the spider, but it quickly shot out webbing, pinning him to the floor. Fukuda, seeing what was happening to Saski ran to his aid. She withdrew her knife from her side and slashed at the webs entangling him until he was eventually free. Saski thanked Fukuda as she continued, racing towards the Joro-Gumo. She bounded up the lower roofs of the buildings adjacent to the beast, running along them before leaping onto her abdomen. Pulling her sword from her waist and swinging it high above her head she drove it deep within the creature’s flesh. The Joro-Gumo twisted her body round to face Fukuda, reaching out towards her.

From the roof Suki quickly made her way down the building. Grabbing an arrow from her quiver, she dipped the tip into some burning tar lying on the ground. She drew her bow back and as soon as she saw a gap, she aimed the arrow at the beast’s chest and let it fly. The arrow hit its mark, piercing the flesh between the ribcage but failing to puncture the heart.

Akio ran towards the beast and then slid across the ground. As he did so, he closed his eyes and whispered ancient Akuma whilst holding his Sigma sword just above his chest, when the chant had finished the sword burst into flames. Opening his eyes, he was now beneath the Joro-Gumo abdomen, he thrust the sword upwards deep into the underbelly of the beast. The abdomen ignited into flames.

Fukuda, still on top of the abdomen had no idea that Akio had slid beneath the beast. She could see the creature reaching out towards her but before it got hold of her, she managed to somersault to safety – watching as the abdomen burst into a fireball. The Joro-Gumo howled in rage and pain. Bending down she saw Akio beneath her, she desperately tried swiping him with her long spindly arms but couldn’t reach him. The more she tried to swing at him the deeper he thrust his burning sword, which only added to her rage.

Unknown to the Joro-Gumo, Yamashita was now emerging from the shadows, pulling up the hood of her cloak she faded from view and slowly stalked towards the Joro-Gumo. She pulled her knife once again from her boot and as the Joro-Gumo tried to slash and claw at Akio beneath her, Yamashita grabbed the head of the beast, sliding the blade across her neck. This time there was no sound reverberating from the beast, the only sound was of blood gushing and pouring out from the deep wound.

Akio dragged the burning sword through the beast’s abdomen with ease, causing her to collapse heavily to the floor. He had managed to roll out from under her legs just in time, narrowly avoiding being crushed to death. He stood up and looked around for Yamashita but couldn’t find her.

Yamashita had seen Akio roll out to safety from beneath the Joro-Gumo as she lowered her knife and walked towards him but as she came closer, she realised the hood from her cloak was still covering her. Sliding it down to reveal herself once again she was reunited with her brother. Akio embraced his sister in relief.

Suki walked over to Kato, who was lying in a heap against a building. She checked for a pulse; he was still alive but had been knocked unconscious from the Joro-Gumo blow earlier. She sat beside him, raising her knees to her chest lowering her head to rest. Fukuda slid down the side of the building covered in blood, mostly from the Joro-Gumo and walked over to her sister to check she was okay. Suki told her all about the conversation she’d had up on the roof earlier with Yamashita. She reassured her not to worry about Saski, he would be dealt with. Fukuda placed an arm around her and told her everything would be fine, as providing they had each other nothing else mattered.

Saski found Abe’s body. He must’ve been dead for a while as he was as stiff as a board. He assumed he must have died of fright, as they hadn’t seen him engage in combat with the Joro-Gumo.

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