This is a fan fiction by Doughnut Gunso.
“Price? What price?” asked Kyosuke as he stared at Black Camellia. He had seen so many weapons in his life, so he realized at once that it was a very powerful sword, which was Shirosakura’s equal, or even superior. He was very excited at the prospect of using it, so even though he was asking about the “price”, he didn’t really care about it at all.
“The price would be your soul,” said Mikado, in such a casual tone that it did not seem an issue at all giving away your soul. “In order to fully utilize the power of Black Camellia, you need to fuse your soul with the sword. Your soul will be completely engulfed by Black Camellia, and you will forever become a slave of it. Are you ready to pay such a price?”
Kyosuke opened his mouth to make a response, but it was Hinagiku who spoke first.
“No! Don’t do it, Fukada-kun!” she said. “That’s not worth it. You cannot give your soul to the devil simply because you want to beat me and get the money!”
“Shut up, Kazami!” said Kyosuke furiously. “You have no idea about how much this means for me. It is the biggest business I can ever imagine. It is the chance of my life! How could I let this chance go wasted?”
“But you are going to lose your soul for it!” cried Hinagiku. “What is the use of money if you have lost your soul?”
“As I said, don’t lecture me, Kazami!” demanded Kyosuke, and he then turned to Mikado. “Mr. Sanzen’in, I am ready to pay the price,” he said with a bow. Please give me the power to defeat the girl, and to get Shirosakura for you.”
Mikado grinned very broadly. “As you wish,” he said very softly as he handed Kyosuke the sword.
“No! Stop, Fukada-kun!” cried Hinagiku, but Kyosuke was not listening to her. He touched Black Camellia and yelled in pain. The black aura from the sword completely surrounded him. It looked as if Black Camellia was not only engulfing his soul, but his whole body as well.
Hinagiku watched in horror as she saw through the aura that Kyosuke’s face had become more and more twisted by every second. After a few moments the aura had gone, and there stood a Fukada Kyosuke who looked quite different from before. It would be justifiable to say that he looked… evil.
“Fukada-kun…” whispered Hinagiku, and she had a sudden sense of imminent danger. Kyosuke had just turned to her and swung Black Camellia. A huge energy wave came out of the black sword, and Hinagiku dodged just in time to avoid the hit. She could feel that some of her hair had been cut by Kyosuke’s strike. There was a small “crack” and Hinagiku saw her hairpin falling to the ground. It had been cut into halves, even when Black Camellia made no direct contact with it.
Hinagiku stood straight and held up her shinai to defend herself. Kyosuke dashed towards her to strike again, and he broke Hinagiku’s shinai with his next strike. Hinagiku felt her hands shaking: the strike was so powerful that it paralyzed her arms for a moment. She threw herself to the ground and rolled over to avoid Kyosuke’s further strikes. She could hear that one or two pieces of furniture were destroyed.
“Only Shirosakura could survive these strikes!” Hinagiku thought to herself. “But dad and mom would lose the protective barrier if I remove the sword from them. What do I do?” Suddenly, a very crazy idea came to her mind. She rushed towards Shirosakura, took it very quickly, and dashed towards Sanzen’in Mikado. She grabbed him by the neck, dragged him towards the balcony, and –
With a huge scream from Mikado, Hinagiku jumped off the balcony with him, and they began free falling. Hinagiku managed to point Shirosakura at the sky, and they began floating in the air.
“What are you doing, you little b – AHHHHHH!!!!” He screamed again as Hinagiku let him go.
“Watch your mouth or I will let you go forever,” said Hinagiku coldly as she grabbed Mikado again after he had fallen by 10 feet. “This man deserves a small prank,” she thought to herself.
“Then why are you dragging me into this?”
“I can’t leave you with my parents alone, can I?”
“You – ”
“What?” Hinagiku asked with a deliberately threatening tone.
“No – nothing,” said Mikado hurriedly. He did not want a third free-falling experience.
Hinagiku turned around and saw that Kyosuke had also jumped off the balcony and was flying towards them. Hinagiku smiled: she knew that she had taken a huge gamble by leaving her defenseless parents with Kyosuke. If Kyosuke turned to threaten her with her parents, then she would have no choice but to surrender. She bet on his obsession to defeat her and get Shirosakura, and fortunately it paid off.
“We are moving!” Hinagiku said to Mikado, and she began flying towards the ground. Kyosuke chased them from behind, and he was a bit faster. At a few metres above the ground, Kyouske finally caught up with them. He rushed towards Hinagiku and Mikado with the tip of his sword pointing at them. Hinagiku separated herself from Mikado, and they headed to the ground in opposite directions. Both of them hit the ground, but fortunately as it was grassland they did not hurt themselves much.
Hinagiku got up, but she barely had time to reorganize her stances. Kyosuke had also landed and was rushing towards her again. Hinagiku managed to raise her sword and block several incoming strikes. She could feel that Kyosuke had become much faster and stronger, and she needed to do her very best to match his abilities.
The swords clashed over and over again, and neither one had had the upper hand. Hinagiku had had superior combat skills, but Black Camellia was the more aggressive sword – in this regard it was more powerful than Shirosakura. The advantages of Hinagiku and Black Camellia cancelled each other out, and therefore Hinagiku and Kyosuke were very even-matched.
Mikado had retreated into the forest nearby, but he kept a close watch on the duel. He had no idea who would win this battle, but the results didn’t matter for him. If Hinagiku lost, then of course he could order her to open the path to the Royal Garden. If Hinagiku won, then he had another plan for her.
Hinagiku could feel that Black Camellia had become more and more powerful by every second. As for Kyosuke, he had also become faster, stronger and more ruthless with every strike. Hinagiku had the impression that Black Camellia was an ever-hungry monster which kept feeding on everything around it, until there was nothing left. She also had the feeling that there was still some hidden power in Shirosakura, but for some reason she could not utilize it.
Fifteen minutes into the duel, Kyosuke began to take control. While Hinagiku started panting, and her moves began slowing down, Kyosuke showed no signs of fatigue. On the contrary, his powers kept increasing, so he was actually harder and harder to beat.
In another fifteen minutes, Hinagiku found that she could not attack Kyosuke anymore. The attacks of Kyosuke were too fast and too strong, that she had to use all her might to defend herself, and she had nothing left for a counter-attack. She had already received several small cuts on her face, arms and legs, and her grip on Shirosakura began to lose, but she could not give up. If she gave up, she would be killed.
Kyosuke kept on attacking, and suddenly he delivered a left-right-left combo at Hinagiku. Hinagiku barely blocked the first two strikes, but she lost her defense. The third strike came at the right side of her forehead. Hinagiku desperately jumped backward to dodge it, but she was a bit too late. Black Camellia cut across her forehead, and her face was covered in blood immediately. “ARGHHHH!!!” Hinagiku cried in pain as she fell to the ground.
Kyosuke pointed Black Camellia at Hinagiku. “You have lost, Kazami,” he said with a hoarse voice. “Give me the sword, or I will kill you.”
“No, no! This is bad!” thought Hinagiku. She was scared – in her 16 years of life, it was only the second time she felt herself so close to death, the last time being almost turned into gold by King Midas. Last time, she had Isumi to save her, but this time she was all alone. To make things worse…
“I – I can’t see!” Hinagiku heard her inside screaming. She did not feel any pain in her eyes, so they were not injured, but she could not see a thing. “Why? Why?” She rubbed her eyes with her hand, but as she tried to open her eyes, she felt hot liquid filling them again in no time. “It is my blood!” she thought. “My blood is clogging my eyes!”
She had lost her eyesight because her eyes were filled with blood. This problem could be solved very simply by stopping the bleeding, and washing her face properly. However, as Kyosuke was pointing his sword at her, there was no time for her to take care of her face and eyes.
Kyosuke, who appeared to have not lost all his mind yet, seemed to have noticed this. “You can’t see,” he said. “Give me Shirosakura now, or I will kill you even when you are defenseless!”
“Then you better kill me!” retorted Hinagiku. She had no intention to surrender the sword to him even in this situation.
“So be it,” said Kyosuke coldly, as he walked towards Hinagiku.
Hinagiku had stopped crawling back. Upon knowing that she would die, the fear had suddenly gone from her. What was left for her was only a small guilt. “I am sorry,” she whispered. “I am sorry, Hayate-kun. I promised that I would come back, but it seems that I cannot keep my promise. I have never imagined that I would die here, where we first ever met.”
She smiled as she recalled the first time she met Hayate.
“Ayasaki Hayate. You are?”
“I – I am… Katsura Hinagiku.”
“Ehh~~ You’re Katsura Hinagiku-san~~ That’s a nice name~~”
“Aha, of course! Well as thanks, why don’t I take you to the top of the Clock Tower?”
“But only members of the Student Council can enter the Clock Tower…”
“It’s all right. The President of the Student Council… is me.”
“UWAAAAAA!! This scenery is amazing!!”
“Huu… well? Isn’t it magnificent? The view from this Clock Tower is superb. It’s so beautiful that one could not forget it in the blink of an eye.”
“You can’t see it from that far inside.”
“I’m fine. I’m seeing from the eyes of my heart.”
“The eyes… of my heart?”
An inspiration had just come to Hinagiku’s mind. She tried to calm down and focus. She gave up trying to use her eyes to perceive things. Instead, she listened closely to what was happening around her, and felt carefully every movement of the ground beneath her.
Kyosuke had no idea what she was doing. He walked slowly towards her until he was right in front of her. He took a breath, held up Black Camellia, and delivered the final blow…
“Shirosakura!” cried Hinagiku, and the sword came into her hands in an instant. She placed the sword in front of her and – “CLASH” – she had blocked the killing blow. It was such a perfect block that it could only have come from someone who could see.
“So you can see,” said Kyosuke, grinning. The influence of Black Camellia on him was such that he looked terrifying even when he was only stating the obvious.
“Yes, I can, Fukada-kun,” said Hinagiku as she stood up. “As a Kendo practitioner, you should know that we all have inner-eyes.”
“That’s only a myth,” snapped Kyosuke. “There is no such thing as an inner-eye!”
“Oh yes there is,” said Hinagiku. “That is why I blocked your blow, Fukada-kun.” She held Shirosakura with her right hand, and stretched out her left arm with an open palm. “And while I can’t see you very clearly now, I can do it with this!”
A wooden sword materialized in her left hand in an instant. It was Wooden Masamune.