Trials of the Junsuikaoni: Rise of the Junsui Hunters (Book 2)

Following a painful betrayal, Noah has succumbed to the pull of his demon side and as a result, he has become emotionless and indifferent to the world. He's determined to become stronger and unlock the full potential of his demonic powers, however as he does this, he's pulled deeper into darkness and further away from his humanity. He will struggle to decide if he will push himself to his max at the sacrifice of his humanity in order to face his brother Judas or if he'll stand with his friends, who've gone through changes of their own, as they rise to become an Elite Junsui Hunter team and rid the world of hostile Bakemon one monster at a time. This is the second chapter of Noah's journey to stop the hands of fate and change his destiny.

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8. Uprising

“I can’t believe you kept me out so late, it’s already 3 AM! We closed the bar!”

“Yea well, I needed a few more drinks, but I’d be damned if I pay 100 dollars per bottle.”

“I was paying though so it was fine. I told you, I wanted to treat you for your birthday.”

“I know, but I couldn’t let you shell out that much on alcohol when the meal itself was so much. It wasn’t even that much food either, so I needed that burger at the bar anyway.”

“Well, I guess I can agree on that one, I was still feeling a bit hungry myself. That was a nice place though and even with the small portions, it was delicious. I’d go again.”

“Yea sure I’d go again too, but no time soon. Pubs and diners is more my thing. I appreciate your gesture though babe, so thank you.” He leans in to kiss her and she accepts.

“You’re very welcome honey. I hope 26 will treat you well, though you’re still a kid.”

“You like me that way though, don’t you?” He grins and she just smiles at her love. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some good loving if you know what I-.”

His sentence is cut short by a sudden scream, making he and Becca look to the side. They see some sort of creature grab a girl and take a huge chunck out of her as she screams. Rather suddenly, her screams cease, leaving her limp body that the creature happily chows down on.

Tahno finally breaks out of his surprise and calls out to it. “Hey, stop that you monster!”

The creature turns to Tahno abruptly and screeches and then all at once drops the girl and pounces towards Tahno. Becca screams, terrified for Mason, but he is very calm. Just before the creature makes impact with him, there’s a loud bang. The creature drops to the ground and is still, dead in an instant. Tahno stands erect, as he holds out his gun and looks at it in disgust.

Becca grabs on to Tahno. “Oh my god, honey are you ok? Are you hurt?” She’s nervous.

He reassures her. “I’m fine babe, but what the hell was that? Bakemon don’t normally-.”

Before he can finish, he’s once again cut off by a scream. However, this time there are multiple screams as they start to notice people scrambling around them. “Honey, what’s….”

All at once, several varieties of Bakemon begin to show themselves as they start attacking the people who are running. A Bakemon charges them, but Tahno is quick and shoots it dead. Another attempts to grab Becca in a sneak attack, but Tahno kicks it away and then shoots. “Not on my watch you scum! Babe, let’s move, it’s dangerous to stay here in the middle of this.”

Becca is slightly stunned, but quickly gets herself together and follows Tahno into a shop. “Honey, what’s going on? Why are these Bakemon suddenly attacking people? I thought they normally attacked in secluded areas away from prying eyes and alone. It’s like they are gathering up and having a killing party. All those innocent people getting slaughtered, we have to help!”

“We will babe, we will, so calm down. I’m going to call for reinforcements with the JHF, you should call the enforcer squads in. Normally I’d advise against it in Bakemon attacks, but with all these attacking at once, I think we’re going to need everyone on board.”

“Right. You’re absolutely right. I’m sorry for losing my head there, I’ll call them now.” She takes out her phone and dials the number of the main enforcer sector, which is now a part of the academy after their merger. “Hello Kevin? Yes, it’s me, we need all enforcer units dis-. What! What do you mean you can’t comply? I commanding you to dispatch all the units, as my subordinate you’ve got no right to refuse me. Now dispatch all units to-. The Academy president did? Well, I don’t really care what he wants at the moment, I’m the head commander of the enforcers and so I’ve got authority to act how I see fit in an emergency. So disregard his orders, I’ll take responsibility later. Huh? President Ryco? No way, he’d never? You’re sure? Fine ok!”

“This is absolutely absurd! I’m going to call Ryco myself and tell him that he and the academy president can suck it. It’s a freaking blood bath out here! Yea, yea, whatever. Shit!” He hangs up his phone in anger as he continuously curses. “Damn politicians think they know it all.”

“I guess you got the same response? Apparently President Ryco called the Academy president and ordered him to stand down and not dispatch any JHF or enforcer units. He says that this is already being “handled” by his own people. I don’t understand it though, what people?”

“This all smells pretty suspicious to me. How could Ryco seriously think anything “his” people could do would be better than sending out trained forces to deal with just such situations, it’s bullshit! I’ll be damned though if I’m going to let these creeps kill off the people in my city. Come on, I need to get my real guns from the apartment, let’s hurry!” He quickly leads her away.

Tahno has geared up into his battle uniform and multitude of guns and other tools, ready to take on the apocalypse. “Alright, I’m going now, so please just stay here and wait, ok babe?”

She holds on to his arm and frowns. “I don’t know if I want you to go. I know you have to, but I still don’t want you to. If you have to go, then I should too, I am Head Commander-.”

“No. I won’t let you. I know that you’d face them seriously as that’s how fierce you are, which is what I love most about you, but I’m afraid I can’t let you go out there. These monsters that we’re dealing with are not the common thugs you’re used to. These things are killers and vicious ones. Only the JHF and I should face them head on, but since I have no JHF, I must go.”

“But you’re only human too! I know you’ve built up an unusual resilience and can handle yourself against one or two them, but what about a group? If they surround you…”

“I won’t let myself be surrounded. If it does come down to that though, I’ll figure a way out, I always do. Don’t worry so much ok, I’ll be fine. I’m the great Mason Tahno you know.”

“I know, you’re my amazing Mason Tahno and so you had better. You better come back to me you hear me. I swear I’ll kill you if you don’t. Even if I have to go to the underworld just to bring you back first. You’ve given my life so much more meaning then I could’ve ever hoped for and so I’m not sure I can live without you anymore. If you die, then I just might die too.”

“Hey, don’t say stuff like that. You’re going to live a long and healthy life with or without me, I’ll never accept anything less you hear me?” He hugs her. He thinks for a moment and decides that now may be the best time after all. He lets her go and walks over to a drawer. He opens it up and rustles around before finally finding what he was looking for. He pulls out a small black box.  He walks over to her and looks at her with a serious expression.

“I know we’ve only been dating for just over 6 months, but in just these few months, I feel as though I’ve already spent a lifetime with you. I know you’ve always been a bit insecure about us, worried that I’ll wake up one day and decide I’m bored of you and move on to some new, younger girl, but I hope that with this you’ll finally understand. I love you Rebecca and that’s never going to change no matter how many hot young women are flung my way. I know that I’m kind of immature and force you to treat me like I’m your kid sometimes, but I’m certain that I’ll become a better, more mature man every moment more that I spend with you. I’ve never really had anyone to share my true self with since my parents were killed and I’ve definitely never loved anyone the way I love you. I want to spend every day becoming the kind of man you can be proud of, so babe, will you put up with me a bit longer? Will you marry me?”

He holds out a beautiful diamond with a ruby encrusted band and shows his first sign of nervousness and blushes bashfully, but remains firm. Rebecca looks at him in total shock and isn’t sure what to do. Her face is suddenly drenched in her tears as she looks at the beautiful ring.

“I’ve never really had many expectations when it came to the future. I’d always just thought, “If I could find a half decent man with a good job that’d be fine”, but you Mason have exceeded all my expectations. I never saw you coming and never imagined I’d actually consider seriously dating you. When I agreed to our first date, I simply thought, “oh he’s sweet, maybe I’ll let a guy spoil me a little for once”, but I never intended for it to go past that night. However, you left such an impression on me that night, I found myself drawn to you over and over again and before I knew it, I had fallen hard for you. I was scared, really scared that I would get hurt. That as you said, you’d find some prettier, younger hot girl you liked more and cast me aside. I wasn’t sure we could make it forever. If we did make it to marriage, would you stray? Would I become one of those women that turns a blind eye in a desperation to hold on to you even when you’ve clearly lost your interest? Not to mention, my friends all filled my head with these concerns and more, making me think I was foolish for falling so deep and actually considering settling down with you. There were so many times when I almost let them influence me and tried to break it off many times. However, every time I’d get close to doing so, you’d pull me back, like magic. As though you could sense it. You wouldn’t let me give up on us and I’m so grateful for that because now I can see that I really don’t have anything to fear. I understand that now. So if you’ll have me, then I will gladly accept. Nothing could make me happier than being your wife.” She holds out her hand and beaming a smile, Tahno places the ring on her finger.

He pulls her into his embrace and they kiss deeply, passionately, their actions showing how desperately they didn’t want to part. “I’ll come back babe, this ring is my promise.”

“You better because…because I know you’d never want our child to know what it’s like to grow up without their father.” She looks at Tahno with a smile and sees his trembling eyes.

“Babe…you mean…your…?” She nods. “Babe that’s wonderful! I will definitely return.”

She nods and with a final kiss, he walks out, leaving her alone. She sits down on the nearby chair and stares at her ring and uses her right hand to gently rub her stomach. “There goes your daddy, off to save the world.” She starts to feel fresh tears fall down her face as she says a silent prayer, begging God to bring him home safely. It’s all she can do for him now.

###

Tahno walks quickly, practically skips to the elevator and through the lobby downstairs. He’s never felt happier or alive, which is ironic considering he’s about to do something so dangerous and life threatening.  However, that news was just what he needed because now he’s got the drive to come back to them more now than ever. He refuses to abandon her in death and even more so, he will never allow his child to know the pain of losing a parent. To grow up fatherless and spend their days wondering if they are worthy of happiness, of living. He will not let these beasts take away this city and make his child lose its place to call home. He’d fight the devil himself to come back and so he resolves right here and now that he will not die.

Tahno walks out the door with his guns blazing, striking down two creatures immediately. He’s got a revolver in one hand and a semi-automatic in the other. He’s got on his studded boots and vambraces for the moments that they get too close. He’s got cargo pants and a utility belt around his waist, a plain t-shirt tucked in and a hard leather jacket on top, an ammo strap hangs across his chest. He’s got several handguns in the pouches of his jacket and at both sides, few knives hanging from his belt on the left and a few grenades on the right. Strapped to his back is his ultimate weapon, an RPG. He even has an elemental gun hanging from his belt in the back, but he refuses to use it unless it’s his only option. He has his pride after all.

He picks off a few more and then proceeds to move deeper in to the city. As he moves, he can see many bodies of the unfortunate victims and it makes him sick, but he keeps it together. He still can’t help but wonder why they are doing this. Bakemon are not usually this aggressive, even the bad ones. Junsui yes, they’d do this in a heartbeat if the JHF weren’t around to control them, but Bakemon usually stay hidden and secret, doing their killing in secluded areas and it’s only one or two victims at a time. This is the first he’s heard of them going on a full scale attack like this in the open, even if it is the middle of the night. Could this be some kind of uprising? He arrives to the city center, where the streets are lined with bodies and blood. “This is a nightmare. I never thought I’d say it, but I sure wish those kids were here about now. I might need them.”

Just as he thinks this, a mob of Bakemon are on the charge. “Alright, bring it on you freaks!” He starts blasting off, picking them off one by one as he skillfully maneuvers around to avoid their closing in as well as avoid tripping over bodies. After refilling his revolver a few times over the span of the hour, he finally runs out of ammo and so he tosses it away and pulls out a handgun. He continues spraying bullets at the hordes that attempt to charge with his machine gun, but as he reloads his final clip of ammo for it, he realizes he might want to save it. “Double handguns it is then. If you think I’m letting you have this city, you dead wrong!”

He continues to face the onslaught of Bakemon for several hours and before he knows it, the sun is beginning to rise to another Sunday morning. “I bet those damn kids are still sound asleep right now, lazy bums. If only they knew what was happening right now.” He’s down to his final two handguns, having depleted his machine gun and revolver. The beasts destroyed several of his other handguns, so he’s working on his final two. His ammo is also very low. “One more round for each huh? I guess this might be a bit more difficult than I thought. Where the hell are they all coming from though? There’s no way this is some random attack, I’m sure of it.”

He continues to fight tirelessly and he finally shoots his last bullet. He tosses the guns now that they’re useless and decides it’s time to get some higher ground. “I’ll use this roof.” He runs into a building and quickly makes his way to the roof. He saw no signs of life on the way, which means they’re all dead or they’re just hiding. Either way, they’re in a better position than him. He finds a good spot on the roof and looks for any visible mobs. He sees none and even the single creatures seem to have waned. “Are they finally losing numbers?” He starts to think he has a chance after all, but then he sees a tiny person run from the building he’s on screaming. He looks closer and realizes that it’s a child, probably no more than 3 or 4. She’s crying, wailing like crazy and like a beacon, it sends the surrounding Bakemon from their hiding spots and towards her. They surround her and this makes her wail even louder. “Damn it kid, run! Just run!”

He scolds the child as though she can hear him, but she doesn’t and simply stands their wailing as she starts to call out for her papa. They move in and Tahno almost decides to run down there to save her, but then he realizes it’s already too late. He’d never make it in time, so he decides to use her sacrifice for the better and take that whole group out. He aims the RPG at the group, ready to shoot at the right moment, but just as they grab the girl and his finger twitches on the trigger, there is a sudden gust of wind. It’s so strong it sends them flying.

Suddenly, there is a cloaked figure beside her and just seconds later, he can feel a presence behind him. His twists around with a knife in hand, ready to strike, but relaxes once he sees who it is. “Oh, I should’ve know it was you. It’s a bit late to just be showing up you know.”

Mikael stands in front of him with a gentle smile as he holds the little girl in his arms. “Sorry I’m late, but I was busy helping survivors get to city hall. It’s the safest place at the moment as it’s the only place in the entire city with active JHF and enforcers guarding it.”

“Yea, who’s fault is that? That damn Ryco, what’s he thinking? He’s hiding out in City Hall with the survivors I guess, but he’d forsake all the other innocents out here? If he hadn’t ordered all additional JHF and enforcer units to stand down, so many more people would’ve been saved. It’s serious bullshit!” Tahno is fuming as he thinks about it all again.

“Now, now, let’s not use such language in front of a child. You’re not going to do this with your own child are you?” Tahno looks at him with genuine surprise.

“How did you know Becca was pregnant? You spying on me or something?”

“Oh is she? That’s wonderful news! I was just speaking in hypotheticals, I had no idea. Congratulations son, I’m so happy for you. I’ll finally have my very first grandchild.”

“I never said anything about you getting to be in its life, don’t just assume things.”

“I hope you don’t mean that Mason. I mean say what you want about me and hate me if you must, but at least allow your child to know it’s grandpa and it can decide on its own whether it wants to have me around or not. It wouldn’t be fair to decide for them you know.”

“Don’t talk to me about what’s right or wrong, you’ve got some nerve. Anyway, I wouldn’t get too stuck on that idea anyway since it won’t be long before you and all Junsui scum are eradicated. I’d rather not have my child grow attached to you just for you to die one day.”

“You still believe in that prophecy do you? I thought you’d have given up on that foolishness. No one’s ever proven the existence of that weapon, so how can you be so-.”

“I just am! Everything is coming together too well for it to be a lie. Noah himself is clearly the Messiah, I mean can you actually deny that? Besides, your one to talk.”

“My prophecy has a proven basis to back it, yours is all hearsay and illogical.”

“Whatever you say, I’m not arguing with you anymore. Why don’t you just go and bring that little girl to safety, I’ve got it from here.” He starts to walk away, but then pauses, half expecting him to call him back. However, he says nothing. “Of course, what did I expect?”

The area seems to be clean and so he decides now might be a good time to return to Rebecca and get her to safety as well. However, when he gets to his apartment building, his heart almost stops. He can see from the shattered windows bodies thrown from above that it’s been attacked by the Bakemon. “Babe!” He runs up the stairs and over the dead bodies and bust into his apartment. “Babe! Becca? Sweetheart? Are you here? Becca!” He can see the place has been ransacked and this makes him look around in a frenzy. He tosses up tables and chairs, the sofa, anything and everything that she might be hiding under, but finds nothing. “Babe!”

He starts to shake as fear begins to set in. He thought she’d be safe if she stayed here quietly, but he never thought to consider that they’d invade the building too. He holds his head in his hands. If they got her, if she’s dead all because he wasn’t here to protect her he’d…He starts to sob. He is so distraught that he didn’t hear the creature approaching behind him and just as it prepares to strike, it’s struck with a powerful blast that smashes it into a wall with a yelp. Tahno quickly turns around to see the creature and then back at who was responsible for its fate. Once again, Mikael is standing there with a warm smile, but also looks a bit worried.

“Goodness Mason, what are you thinking? Do you want to get yourself killed before you can meet your child? I’m glad I thought to check back here after dropping off that girl.”

“You should’ve just let it kill me. If I don’t have Becca, then I have nothing left anyway.”

“Don’t talk so depressingly. Your time hasn’t come yet and neither has Rebecca’s. She’s safe and sound at City Hall with everyone else. I noticed this was your building and thought I’d check in and see if you two were still here and that’s when I saw Becca fending off some creature. I helped her and then quickly got her to City Hall, where she’s waiting for you now.”

Tahno looks at Mika in gratitude, probably for the first time ever. However, once he realizes this, he straightens up. “Oh, I see. Well…uh, thanks…I guess.” He knows that he should be praising his name as he saved his finance and child’s lives, but his pride won’t allow it.

“You’re very welcome son. What do you say we head over there ourselves?” He nods.

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