WHEN THE SUN SETS WE GO HOME TOGETHER
EPISODE HOTARU - CHAPTER 0
CRIES FROM THE MOON VALLEY
CRIES FROM THE MOON VALLEY
There’s a loud puff as smoke surrounds the two men but they don’t stop moving away from the monster, leaving the slithering figure that emerges from the smog to catch up with them. Even clueless about what was going on, Inugami manages to appear poised as he follows after what the mess of a person he would never call a master.
His white body floats in the air, a few inches above Chisato’s head, as the demon sticks his black nose in the air, looking down on the blond. “You dare call me again, filthy mongrel? Have I not made it clear you are to cease our contract at once?”
Chisato formed a rude gesture with his hand at the elongated wolf demon. Inugami merely turns his head in distaste at this, ignoring the human’s curses. “I would if I could you piece of shit,”
Chisato shouted at him.“Enough,”
Hotaru intervened before Chisato could piss off Inugami. The thing had a fickle enough nature without being tested by Chisato’s equally twisted attitude. “How much to drive that,”
he tugged Chisato and jumped, right in time to avoid being tackled by the monster covered in black miasma; the creature crashing into the dirt, withering the grass that grew there. “Away from us?”“More than your shallow pockets can give.”
Was Inugami’s immediate answer. “That thing smells foul, hell will freeze before I willingly approach it. Besides,”
the wolf added with a condescending glare. “I don’t take requests from poor people; I don’t want to catch fleas.”“You FUCKING-”
Chisato growled and pushed Hotaru away so he could grab the wolf demon by his muzzle, ignoring the raging snarls he got in response. “I need to keep 3 fucking part time jobs just to-”
His words died when the monster was suddenly upon them, its body stretching up high in a giant wave of miasma and, Hotaru could only guess, black larvae. It looked like it was going to crash right on top of them if they didn’t immediately jump away at the horrifying sight; the miasma separating itself from the ‘body’ just long enough for both Hotaru and Chisato to see the nightmare fuel that it usually hid. “What the fuck?”
Hotaru questioned, baffled. There was a large…ball of humanoid figures linked, or rather, tied together in a bloody knot. Arms and legs wiggling endlessly was probably what kept the monster moving. Some heads peeked out with ghost pale faces and hollowed eye sockets, mouths open in perpetual screams.“Oh hell no,”
Chisato’s eyes widened in horror and threw the wolf demon at the monster’s direction.
Inugami had barely a second to understand what was happening, before he caught himself and exploded in a ball of flame that burnt the monster’s skin. It seems, without its miasma, the gore underneath was very susceptible to fire damage as a painful screech echoed through the whole village. The sound so high it made Hotaru double down in pain, hands pressed against his ears.
The surprise attack seemed to work in setting the monster’s attention on Chisato’s summon however, and the wolf yelped when he found himself suddenly having to float away as fast as he could, the monster fast on his trail. “I’M GOING TO HAVE YOUR NECK BOY!”
Chisato simply flipped him off as both he and Hotaru moved to run the opposite way. “I can’t tell whether it’s drawn to chakra, movement, or what…”
Hotaru commented once the two had slowed down to a jog. They needed to either find where that old man and Sayuri had gone, or at least find someplace to crash through the rest of the night. He still needed to have a look at Chisato’s wound and daylight would be better to give fighting that thing another go. “It had no eyes.”“It literally had no eyes,”
Chisato frowned and shuddered at the memory. “I can still feel that shithead drawing on my chakra so we should be good for a few more.”
Their breaths were ragged; it’s not that they’d fought all that hard but the adrenaline rush had began to fade, leaving behind only the mental pictures of what they’d seen. His mental fortitude somewhat strained with the night’s events, Hotaru’s first reaction was to draw the Kinryuu when a soft ‘pspsps’
came out from a narrow, black alley. A pale hand followed, waving in a beckoning manner and then…Sayuri’s face appeared.
Hotaru almost slashed his katana, if Chisato hadn’t promptly started shouting at her. “Sayuri, you fucking bitch! You trying to get yourself killed?!”
Despite her passive attitude to anything that happened this far since she’d joined their team, Sayuri now showed clear signs of being annoyed at the both of them. “Tch!”
She stepped forward and glared at them, going as far as to slap the Kinryuu’s blade out of her sight. “I risked my life staying out here so I could guide you back to the hideout!”
She admonished them both. “A thank you would have sufficed.”
She didn’t give them much time to react before she turned and started to stalk towards what Hotaru assumed would be the hideout. He wasn’t inclined to apologize but he did feel a little bad and pushed Chisato into behaving himself when he leaned closer to whisper. “The hell crawled up her ass and died?”“You were to follow that old man,”
he said instead, in lieu of asking for an explanation.“I did,”
Sayuri promptly replied, though she didn’t stop moving; leading them to a somewhat smaller house, where a carpet uselessly hid a wooden door on the ground. She opened it to reveal an old step ladder that faded into darkness, shouting could be faintly heard down in its depths. “It was actually the villager chief we met,”
she explained as she lead them down the steps. “He was out to try and fight the monster; though he would most likely end up as a sacrifice instead.”“Wait, what?”
Chisato interrupted, not really understanding what she was saying. “This a cult or something? Because we had one of those before and it’s not a good memory.”“No, no,”
Sayuri quickly reassured him, shaking her head though they couldn’t really see her while all of them descended. “Apparently, the monster has been successfully stalking them in their hideouts and has been taking victims every night and day for the past month…I head counted them,”
she whispered and paused for a small second, feeling the weight of the situation. “Only about 10 of the original 1037 villagers are left.”“Fuck,”
Hotaru cursed through his teeth, knuckles going white. “Why was the mission only handed out now?”“Well,”
Sayuri tried to think about it as well. “We also came here expecting a bear attack of sorts, it’s possible the original request for support didn’t explain the situation clear enough. Regardless,”
she moved on. “That’s why I went to pick you guys up; most of the houses and other existing hideouts are actually already destroyed.”
For a moment, they descended in silence. They wouldn’t have been able to find a place to rest, that creature would have found them, is what Hotaru perceived from what she was telling them. After a minute, they all reached the ground, still in the darkness until Sayuri pulled out her phone to light up an underground passage. Hotaru opened his mouth, wanting to thank her for coming to get them, but Chisato interrupted before he could.“What does that have to do with that old fart though?”
He tilted his head, frowning as he followed the girl down the passage.“Mr. Kodama,”
the girl emphasized the name, chiding Chisato’s rudeness. “Planned on giving his life so the remaining villagers had a chance to hike down to the neighboring village. It seems the monster gives it a day or so of rest after taking someone.”
The girl’s clear annoyance at this mirrored Hotaru’s thoughts. Had they successfully hiked down to the next village, it would soon start falling victim to the monster again.