Code Message

There was once a little boy named Takatori Mamoru. He grew up in a wealthy family. Now, his childhood was almost ideal. His mother loved him with all of her heart just like she did with her older sons. His father, however, was the complete opposite. The little boy couldn’t understand why his father was always so cold towards him. Reiji always turned away when Mamoru seek love from him. The little boy’s older brothers had their ups and downs with him. They cared about him like typical brothers did. Mamoru had a simple life and that was just more than enough for him.

But one day, Mamoru was kidnapped by some thugs and held for ransom. His father refused to pay, abandoning his “son” to die by their hands. However, fate did a 180 for the boy. A mysterious stranger came along and saved the child. This stranger would bring the boy into Kritiker and train him to be an assassin. He even gave the boy a new name. The child now was known as Tsukiyono Omi.

Fast forward to today. Tonight, Omi was out at the Cricket Activity Center at an underage dance on Valentine’s Day. Why was he at an underage dance on Valentine’s Day? There is only one simple answer to that. Her name was Ozawa Ayame. She saw Omi as the older brother that she didn’t have in her own. Her older brother, Tomokazu, was a violent, oversexed drunk. He tried to keep his younger sister innocent. That included practically cutting her off from people and activities outside of school. However, Tomokazu was out at the Red Light District on a regular nightly basis. Hello opportunity!

It took work to sneak Ayame out to the dance tonight. She managed to persuade Omi to take her out tonight.

“Please Omi,” she pleaded over the phone. “I never get a chance to go! Please go as my chaperone!” How could the boy say no? It didn’t even take long for a decision to be made.

“Does Tomokazu know?” Omi asked rather pointlessly. Why bother asking that? They already knew the answer to that one.

“Yes…” Ayame lied. There was a pause on the phone.

“Alright,” Omi said at last.

“Yay!” his little “sister” squealed on the phone. From there, it was set. Phoenix and Karen helped Ayame pick out the clothes to wear for the dance. Naturally, she didn’t want to wear her school uniform or any kimono. Since she was sneaking out, the girl deserved a bolder outfit. In the end, they picked out a cotton candy pink tank top and black carpi jeans with matching sandals. Jewelry and a pink flower clip included as well.

So, here they were at the underage dance. Omi sat over at the juice bar while Ayame danced and talked with her classmates. They were all surprised to see her.

“Ayame!” they said. “You’re here! You look so different in Western clothes. Did your brother let you come out here?”

“He doesn’t know I’m here,” she bragged with a little giggle.

“Wow!” was all they could say. Omi watched the crowd with his juice in his hand. These kids were fourteen or younger. The seventeen-year-old guessed that the youngest group here had to be at least eleven years old. Omi looked at the back wall of the bar in discomfort. “I feel so old here…” he thought.

Suddenly, the pain struck again. Omi gasped aloud as he grabbed onto his right shoulder. The pain had been getting worse as the months wasted down to his and the others cursed day. Eight more months to go. Omi could feel the curse slowly draining him dry. “Damn you, Namie!” he thought. “Damn you! Damn you! Damn you!” His body broke out into a cold sweat. He started taking in heavier breaths.

“You okay there, buddy?” the bar tender asked.

“GET AWAY FROM ME!!!” Omi snapped. The bar tender still gave him a confused look.

“You want me to call you an ambulance or something?” he asked.

“LEAVE ALONE!!!” the boy yelled. He leapt off of the stool and raced all the way to the bathroom. The images swayed and swirled as he forced himself to keep moving. The sounds all around made him feel as if he was underwater. The kids standing and dancing in the way didn’t really help him either. The path to the bathroom couldn’t be a long one, but it sure as hell felt like it. The pain and nausea seemed to add onto the miles ahead.

Omi knew that he was in the bathroom safely when he heard the door swinging shut behind him. He stumbled over to the sink and ran the cold water at full blast. Once he had splashed it all over his face, his mind and body began their journey back to quasi-normal. Omi cut off the water and grabbed onto the sink. His wrists and arms trembled with a reawaked rage as he looked at the draining water below.

“Damn you, Namie! What gives you the right to make us suffer like this?!?” he cursed aloud. Omi just wanted to cause some of physical hurt to himself or others around him every time he thought of that sadistic bitch of a vampire. This was just some sick twisted game to her. If he just had some flaming arrows to fire into her chest; that would show her! Maybe that would put an end to this mess for them all. No more lies, pain, or counting down to the die of death.

But then, something else distracted Omi from his bloody train of thought. He happened to look down at the floor and notice a crumpled up piece of paper near the corner. He blinked at first, thinking he was seeing things. Curious, the boy walked over and picked up the piece of paper. Inch by inch, Omi pulled it open. Inside, something was scribbled on it. At first, Omi couldn’t really read the writing.

What is this?” he thought. The young assassin flipped the paper upside down. It still didn’t really make any sense. “It looks like some sort of a code,” Omi thought. The sound of the door opening snapped him back into reality. The florist assassin looked up to see a thirteen-year-old boy staring at him. The younger boy looked him up and down with a sneer on his face.

“Ain’t you too old to be in this lame-ass party?” he asked.

“Uh… I’m chaperoning somebody here,” Omi replied. The younger boy rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“Whatever,” he mumbled. Then, he walked over to a urinal and got to work. Omi stared at him as he walked by. Cocky little bastard he was. Reminded him of Cook in a scary sense. The young assassin trembled as he walked out of the bathroom. He found Ayame standing in front of the door with a puzzled-worried look on his face.

“What happened to you?” she asked. Her “brother” tried to play it off.

“It’s just that old pain again,” he said in a low voice. Ayame didn’t ask any more questions after that. She looked and noticed something in Omi’s hand.

“What do you have there?” she asked. The boy looked down at his hand.

“Hm?” he asked as he handed it to her. “Oh this? It’s some sort of a coded message I found in the bathroom.” Ayame took it and looked at the words. She made an odd face.

“What kind of code is this?” the girl asked. Omi shrugged at her.

“Beats me,” he replied. “I could translate it on my phone.” Ayame looked at him with an eyebrow raised.

“You sure?” she asked.

“Yeah, here let me show you,” Omi replied. He took the paper and took out his phone. The boy held the phone over the message. Ayame watched as the code was translated symbol by symbol. She and Omi read looked at the results when it was finished. It failed the first time.

“Hm,” Omi said. “Maybe if I set it in language unknown.” He went to options and changed the language. He gave the translator a new round. Ayame stood over the phone and watched. This time, the message came better in clear Japanese. Both read the Kanji on the screen.

“Help. Been kidnapped to be a blood sacrificed. Lion statue, face the moon, flooding water, crane tree” Ayame read. She and Omi looked at each other. Omi’s face was drained of all color. Repressed memories began to unfold in his brain. It was like he began seven-years-old again. His body began shaking again.

“Omi?” Ayame’s voice entered into his state of mind. He quickly snapped back into reality. His “little sister” still had a worried on her face.

“Are you alright?” she asked. Omi slowly shook his head.

“Come on, Ayame!” he yelped. “We’ve got to go!”

“What do you mean?” she began to ask. Before the words could come out of her mouth, he grabbed her by the hand and rushed out of the activity center.

“Omi!” she cried. “Slow down! You’re hurting my arm!” The boy didn’t listen and kept running.

The pair made it into the parking lot. Ayame looked at him still lost. “What’s going on?” she asked. “Why are you so worked up about this?”

“I’ll explain it later!” he exclaimed. “We have to find whoever wrote this note!” The girl still blinked at him.

“Okay…” she said. “How are we going to do that? We don’t even need where to find this lion statue or what any of it means.” Omi jerked his head up at her.

“A cemetery!” he explained. Ayame raised an eyebrow at him.

“What?” she asked. Omi quickly grabbed her by the hands.

“They just put a new lion statue in one of the cemeteries last week!” he spoke rapidly. Ayame nodded a little bit.

“Which one?” she asked. Omi thought about that for a moment.

“I can’t exactly remember the name off the top of my head, but it’s across the old rice factory near the junkyard.”

“I think I know where that is,” Ayame said.

“You do?”

“Yeah, I have to drag Tomokazu through that street to bring him home. I don’t want to get into it. Anyway, let’s go.”

“Right.” The pair raced out of the parking lot into the night.

“We don’t have much time!” Omi yelled.

“I know that!” Ayame yelled back. They finally to the came graveyard after one hell of a trip. First came the blocked gate to the alley behind the bar. Omi looked at the orange and white striped blocking.

“Are you sure this is okay?” he asked.

“Sure!” she replied. “I come this way all the time. This sign is just to keep little kids out after hours.” She carefully climbed over the gate sign and landed on the ground.

“Wow, I had no idea had much easier I can climb this thing in pants!” she exclaimed. Ayame reached her hand over the blocking gate.

“Here,” she said. Omi took her hand and climbed over.

“Okay,” he said. “Let’s go.” The pair raced down the alley. Through a mud trap, garbage, homeless people, and flirtatious hookers, Omi and Ayame finally made it. The florist assassin stopped to catch his breath at the entrance. He turned and looked at Ayame.

“You okay?” he asked. The girl quickly nodded.

“Yeah, I can this way night after night,” she brushed off. Omi looked at her as if she had just been shot eight times and she wasn’t fazed by it at all.

“Anyway,” she said. “What about the rest of the message? ‘Face the moon, flooding water, crane tree,’?” Omi took a moment to think about all of this. Suddenly, it all came to him.

“It’s the center of the graveyard!” he yelled. “There is this tree decorated with paper cranes and ribbons in the branches that faces the moon with a fountain next to it.”

“Lead the way!” Ayame exclaimed. Omi raced through the maze of headstones with Ayame’s hand tightly in his. She did her best to keep up with him as they ran.

“Keep your eyes open for the tree!” Omi shouted.

“Right!” Ayame said back. They looked around as they kept running. Ayame finally looked ahead of them and spotted the tree in question.

“There!” she shouted.

“I see it!” Omi said. They rushed straight over to the tree. Under the tree, they found a twelve-year-old girl tied up and let out cold to be food for the vampire clans. Omi and Ayame spotted her up ahead.

“There!” Ayame yelled. “I hope we’re not too late!” She and the florist assassin ran the girl under the tree. Omi let go of his “little sister” and put his fingers to the victim’s neck. He breathed out in relief.

“She’s still alive,” he said. “Help me untie and get her up!” Ayame looked around for to cut the ropes with. She spotted a fallen branch nearby. She picked it up and showed it to the assassin.

“Will this do?” she asked.

“We’ll see,” he replied. The girl walked over and slipped the branch under the ropes around the girl’s wrists. It took a few pulls, but the ropes finally broke. She cut the ropes from the victim’s ankles as well. The assassin looked at his “little sister.”

“Ready?” he asked. Ayame nodded at him. She rushed to the girl’s feet as Omi knelt to the ground and turned his back to them both. He took the victim by the arms and placed them on his shoulders. He glanced over at Ayame.

“On the count of three, help me lift her,” he whispered.

“Right,” Ayame whispered back.

“One, two, three!” Omi counted down. He slowly pushed himself to his feet as Ayame moved with him. The boy took the victim’s legs and held on tight.

“Let’s get out of here!” he yelled.

“Right!” Ayame said with a nod. The pair raced out of the graveyard with the out-cold victim.

“Where to now?” the “little sister” asked.

“The hospital!” the boy replied.

“I know a shortcut!” she said.

“Lead the way!” Omi told her. Ayame raced ahead of him and did so. The boy ran with the victim on his body close behind. They made it to the hospital before it closed for the night. The girl was taken straight to the clinic part. Omi and Ayame waited outside quietly. The younger girl looked up at the florist assassin. He seemed much calmer now. Yet, she still had to know one thing.

“Omi-kun,” Ayame spoke up. The boy glanced down at her.

“Yes?” he asked.

She straightened up her clothes before speaking. “What were you so worried about earlier?” Omi was quiet at first, as if he was trying to decide whether or not to tell his “little sister” the truth or not. He shook his head. Might as well, they were going to be done away.

“This will take all night,” Omi began.

Rescue Me

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