Chapter Sixteen: Sonata of Maddness
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire slayer, Noir, or Naruto. All rights belong to their creators and producers so please do not sue.
Author Note 1: This is my second attempt at a BTVS fanfic and my first attempt at a crossover of this magnitude so make sure to give me feedback.
Author note 2: To those who know my work no I have not given up on “Mazoku” I do intend to finish it but this story will not die in my head and demands to be written.
Author note 3: I am in the market for a beta reader please let me know in the review if you would like the job as I am quite desperate.
Author note 4: I have never attempted a story like this and anyone who truly knows the world of “Noir” that might help me out after this chapter I would greatly appreciate it.
Summary: Memories- they are like grains of sand that can slip away or be forced into a compacted space. Who is he really? What is the path he must take? He has forgotten those times to be left waiting for the call. Yet on all hallows eve a mistake shall awaken what he has lost. Given the mind of a genius murderer and the return of what he never knew he lost. The legacy of the third will be written in blood.
Now on with the Show
Chapter Sixteen: Sonata of Madness
Faith spun around bringing a sharp kick into the wooden training dummy and completely destroying it. Nearby Cordelia was focused on her accuracy training and Oz was practicing new techniques. Buffy and the rest of the gang sat on a blanket watching them train in wonder. The three watchers giving each one as much support as they could tolerate.
Xander had been gone for a week already and they had no clue as to where he was. The council was doing their best to help them find him but it seemed like he had vanished into thin air. This had led to a marathon training schedule by all three of his students lasting nearly eighteen hours a day, each trying to push their skills to a higher level using the printouts Xander had left behind and research they did on the internet.
“Damn it this sucks. We should’ve heard something by now Boytoy is good but not this good.” Faith said her frustration clear in her voice.
“Acting like a child will not make it better.” Cordelia commented.
“Bite me Queen C.”
“Stop it, if we want to help him we have to focus.” Oz spoke up playing peacemaker.
“I must say I am unimpressed with Alexander’s friends now.” Came a voice form behind the group.
Turning the gang spotted the intruder. She was as tall as Cordelia with short dark hair the resembled Xander’s with chocolate colored eyes and was dressed in a white blouse with a black skirt and jacket. On either side of her was a man in a black suit and sunglasses carrying an assault rifle pointed at the Scooby gang.
“I know you, you’re that chick from the disk.” Faith said recognizing the older woman’s face.
“Dr Maya Ibiki and you must be Faith, Buffy, Willow, Oz, Cordelia, Rupert, Lindsey, and Wesley.” She stated pointing to each person when saying their name.
“So why are you here Dr?” Cordelia asked hoping to get some information from the woman.
“At the moment we share a common enemy and I would like to make sure nothing happens to Alexander. In his grief filled state he has done what he always does when things are too much. He has closed off his emotions and fled back to Altena letting only her mission concern his mind it’s a defense mechanism for him. So long as he is just following orders he doesn’t have to think about things he can just be a simple tool.” She explained.
“What does this have to do with us?” Oz asked.
“The Soldats would like you to stop Altena. Our situation to handle Noir is already in place but Alexander on his own is enough to bring about her vision. The end of the trials for Mireille & Kirika draw close but it will only be Kirika that returns to that place. Mireille will be contacted when that time comes and we expect her to play her part nicely. You may not believe me but I truly care for Alexander and I won’t allow that woman to pervert him anymore that is why the Soldats asks for your aid.”
“Tell us where he is and we’ll be happy to go and bring him back home.” Buffy said.
“Someone will contact you when the time for the ritual draws close with the location to strike. Leave Noir to Mireille. All you need do is occupy and help Alexander.”
“You’re being awfully accommodating.” Faith said as the woman began to take her leave.
“I’m doing the best thing for my son” Was the only reply.
Maya Ibiki sighed in relief as she entered her air conditioned office with her armed escorts. Years of working for the Soldats had earned her a fairly nice life as the head of a large independent lab firm in LA. The 23rd floor of this building belonged to her and the rest of administrative staff yet where noise should have been the woman and her guards were only met with silence. Looking around she had to place a hand over her mouth to stave off throwing up.
The bodies of every man and woman who worked on this floor swung from the ceiling thin wire wrapped around their throats. Some had their hands wrapped around the wire trying to pry it loose before they had died, while others must’ve gone instantly from the force. In a morbid sort of way it looked like you were in the shop of a puppet maker seeing all the different puppets they’d carved on display.
Maya shook her head and blinked as she heard a sound coming from her office. Slowly the sound registered in her mind as musical melody, one she knew quite well. Walking to her office door she let the guards go first before following them in.
A figure stood staring out at the city through the windows. He wore a black cloak with blood red clouds outlined in white scattered over it, with his back to them they could only tell his hair color, which was dark. The pair of security goons raised their guns at him and he simply tightened his left hand into a fist. The two men suddenly reached for their throats as they were slowly hoisted into the air the wire that had gotten around them tightening with each second. The sound of their choking to death was drowned out by the soft music flowing from the open music box on Maya’s desk the white knight ornament standing proud.
“It’s been a long time Doctor Ibiki or should I call you Kaasan?” the person spoke before lifting a cup of tea to his lips and drinking.
“So then she’s sent you to kill me Alexander?” She asked moving to sit in her office chair.
“Why would Altena need to send me to do that Kaasan? We are all of the Soldats in this room. You haven’t been naughty again have you?” He said playfully not at all sounding normal.
“Listen to yourself Alexander you sound like a madman.”
“I know but then anyone would loose their sanity after so long. Maybe I’d rather be insane and happy then live in a shell of cold fury and grief.” He responded speaking clearly and normally.
“Why are you here Alexander if not to kill me?”
“Do not interfere in the grand return. Those were the words Altena wanted me to deliver. I won’t let anyone stop the rituals and I most defiantly won’t allow the grand return to be aborted. I’ll perform my designed purpose it’s all I have anymore.”
“You were not designed or born to do this! The Soldats called for your birth not Altena she is not the reason you exist. She is not the sole center of your universe and if you would just allow yourself to think for a minute you would realize just how crazy she is. I gave this music box to Valkyrie not because I wanted to see Altena get her faithful son back but because I wanted you to remember that this is your life not hers. Will you fight the world just for her approval?”
“Then what is it I am supposed to do Doctor? If you know so much about me then tell me the reason I exist and the reason you felt a need to play god and create me? Everyone wants me on their side yet no one but Altena has been willing to tell me just what that side wants.”
“You exist to find your own path Alexander, yes there is a prophecy about you and your birth but it doesn’t get to decide who you are, only you can decide that. A part of you will always long to kill just as your innocence you found in Sunnydale will always make you hate everything about yourself and your skills. You are a weapon of the Soldats and I won’t lie and say you don’t belong with us because you do but only if you want that. Think about all the people that died so far Alexander and consider whether following one persons orders blindly is what you truly want.”
“If you interfere I’ll have no choice but to kill you. The Soldats as a whole are very wary of you. I will though consider your words.” He spoke after a minuet of silence and turned placing his tea cup down and picked up his music box. She saw the forehead protector resting against his forehead and hid a small smile.
“I’ll remember that.”
Nodding he walked away and entered the elevator. He would return to Altena but he also had a lot to consider.
Sunnydale Animal Shelter
Oz and Willow walked past the cages holding the older dogs towards the area the puppies were kept. It had taken a few days but Oz thought he had a solid plan to expand his training, assuming he could find the right partner here.
“Aw, they’re all so cute I wish we could give them all a home.” Willow squealed before hiding behind Oz when a German shepherd snapped at her from behind its cage.
“Best not to touch” Oz warned and watched her nod.
“So what are we looking for?”
“I know that don’t be sarcastic, but what kind of puppy.”
Walking past cages he watched Willow shyly play with a few of the different kinds of puppies. He was examining the collies, German Shepherds, and more wolf-dog hybrid breeds. The puppy had to meet certain criteria for this to work and if it did he might come back and start breeding nin-dogs as a pastime.
‘Hmm Samoyed or Siberian husky they also have a note here for someone with Laika puppies. Oh what is this?’ He thought spying a cage with just one puppy inside. A black & white Alaskan malamute that watched him with dark eyes so much like a wolf’s.
Waving to the shelter employee nearby he picked the pup up after the cage was open and let his left hand idly run over its coarse double coat of fur. Letting his chakra flare out he felt the dog’s body respond correctly and nodded.
“I’d like to adopt this one please.”
“Wow I’ve never seen that one take to someone so easily. Follow me and we’ll get the paper work done.” The man said leading Oz and Willow back to the front desk and then proceeded into a stack of papers for Oz to sign.
“So what name are you going to register him under?”
“Hendrix” Oz replied sitting the puppy on his shoulder.
“Cool name well you still need to get a collar and stuff so I won’t keep you.” The man said signing the last paper and waving as the pair left.
“So why are we doing this again?” Cordelia asked as she and Faith leaned against a wall watching people work on the McLaren F1.
“Boytoy was going to have this done and we need the extra stuff to wear him down.” Faith replied with a bored note to her voice.
“Isn’t this just a little extreme though?”
“Nope the reinforced frame and paint, the new windshield and glass replacements, all the new electronics and slightly illegal gadgets plus the surprise I plan to do with the paint and the motor work. This beast is going to slow him down or we’re seriously dead.” She explained.
“Is this place in the phone book?”
“Queen C this place isn’t even on a map. These are the people Boytoy likes to deal with and if we’re playing by his rules we gotta use the same people.”
“Yeah, yea I know all this already or have you forgotten that I am the number one student?” she replied arrogantly
“Like hell you are, Wolfy maybe but you ain’t better then me Queen C. Respect your betters I was the first student.”
“Yeah and I caught up to you in less time then it took you to learn all the things he was teaching you.”
“You wanna go right now C and see who really the best is?” Faith said challenging her.
“No but when we get Dweeb-boy back we’re going to find out who the best really is.”
“Cars ready ladies.” Said a man with a bald head, wearing a white wife beater shirt and wiping grease on a towel.
Residence of Noir
Mireille entered the shared apartment of herself and Kirika alone her gun resting in her purse. The blonde assassin instantly felt the spike of a very large chakra source nearby and looked around discovering someone sitting on one of the window sills staring out at the city one leg dangling.
“How was Corsica?” Alexander asked without turning and didn’t flinch when he felt her gun press against his head.
“You knew what was going to happen didn’t you? All this time you knew about my parents and never said a word?” Mireille asked and accused keeping her tears but not her anger in check.
“The more we learn even about ourselves the bleaker and darker the world becomes. What bothers you more that your parents were of the Soldats or that you yourself are?” He responded.
“I am NOT of the Soldats! They destroyed my parents and brother why would I ever want to be one of them.” She fired back.
“Aren’t you being just a little hypocritical? How many people have you killed that actually deserved it before meeting Kirika? The Bouquet’s refused a direct order and spit in the eye of the High Priest in the process they also denied you of your birthright.”
“Three children all blessed with the potential to become Noir. Saplings raised with different amounts of light and water in varying levels of darkness to make sure only the best were chosen. When this ends Mireille put your gun away and fade into history and into the light. Chloe and Kirika will make the final pilgrimage and learn the last truth filling their hearts with darkness. You will be free of the Soldats this way.” He continued.
“Chloe told me the same thing but what does it mean?” She demanded.
“The place forgotten by time and soaked in the tears and blood of others in which Noir has always been born. It is the place where the two maidens who rule over death shall journey and cement the final bonds as the sword of the Soldats. When the time comes and it will be soon you will get your final truth, while they and I return to the Manor and Altena. I truly hope you find happiness in this life Mireille.” He answered and stood up on the window ledge still not looking at her.
“What if I decide to spoil that right now by killing you?”
“Wouldn’t help, Noir has existed without an Alexander since the beginning of the Soldats. My living or dying will have no impact on the fate of the two maidens. In the grand scheme of things I am expendable nothing more then a failed experiment to be cast aside.”
The sound of the phone ringing momentarily made Mireille turn her head and when she refocused her attention Alexander was gone. Laying on the window was a single rose coated in blood.
“You are always so sure Alexander maybe you’ll be wrong this time.”
Four aged men sat in high back chairs around a fire. Each one was dressed in an expensive and elegant suit a glass of wine or brandy swirling in their hands the glass catching the firelight. These were four of the highest leaders of the Soldats below in rank only to the High Priest himself. The fireplace crackled with yellow embers and bright flames warming their bodies yet being the only light source it cast eerie shadows over the room.
“This is intolerable if Altena’s chosen are allowed to become the True Noir she will become the next High Priestess!” One of them spoke he was a portly gentleman with a bowtie on and drinking brandy.
“Perhaps then it is time we truly tested their skills and stopped allowing them the safe haven of the sanctions. Let the Knights of Paris battle the chosen of Altena as the final trial.” Another suggested smirking at the fire believing the two would fall easy without the silly rules that governed the Trials.
“What of Alexander he has proven himself worthy of his place and his title in the prophecy?” A third asked in a cultured British accent.
“Dr Ibiki has reported that Altena ordered him to pay her a visit. It seems in her opinion that Alexander is battling with his code of Honor about whom he should serve. The Caring Mother’s hold on him seems to be slipping with each day that passes. Perhaps Altena will control the Sword of Darkness but if we control the Sword of blood, the Shadow of Noir then her foolish plans will all burn away. Our only hope is the Knights of Paris.” The fourth answered with a smile.
“Let us hope then that our Knights can stand against her Chosen and the Caring Mother herself.” The first finalized.
“We are prepared if they fail and I have faith in Alexander to find the truth and destroy that wretched woman.” The Third spoke.
“The Soldats will not be controlled by that insane woman we will see to that at all cost.”
Penthouse of Uchiha Alexander
Xander stood on his balcony eyes closed letting the wind run through his semi-long dark hair. He was dressed in dark gray slacks and a white button up dress shirt he didn’t tuck in. It was a scene of utter tranquility and peace but mentally the young man was anything but peaceful. Inside he was conflicted fighting with himself about almost everything.
‘Altena wishes a return to the old ways and a cleansing of what she deems impure elements or sins rotting away at the Soldats. The current leaders of the Soldats expand with the times taking the approach of controlling and protecting the world, content to grow richer and slowly dominate Earth. In both cases I am considered a valuable piece that could tip the scales, yet I truly don’t have to side with anyone. This is more troublesome then the politics of a clan. If it wasn’t for the promise made between us I wouldn’t be so conflicted about my loyalty to Altena. I should observe Itachi’s first rule, prepare for the worst and have a way for me to come out ahead no matter the outcome.’
“If I ever see Ethan Rayne again I will personally thank him for the angst that has become my life.” He muttered opening his eyes and inhaling the scent of Paris.
He suddenly turned his right hand raising and snatching a throwing knife out of the air mere inches before it would have killed him. Flicking his wrist he Alexander sent the projectile flying back at its owner. Chloe caught the weapon with ease slipping it back into her cloak.
“We are needed in Vienna the time is drawing closer and Mistress Altena believes it is time to reveal more to them.” The young woman stated simply staring at him.
“Yet she ordered me to rip apart the Alexander Trading Company rather then allow them any closer. I will change and then we can go.” He replied and walked past her, his wrist was suddenly grasped halting him.
“Do not falter Alexander not when we are so close to the end. Please stay the course for just a little longer it will bare fruit soon.” She whispered.
“Don’t worry I haven’t come this far and done so much to fail my assigned task in the end. Now let me go change so we can go bail our friends out once more.” He responded with a smile taking her hand before moving to his bedroom.
Opening the closet he pushed the clothing aside to reveal the back wall where his cloak and hat hung in waiting. Stripping of his clothing he slowly changed into black slacks taped at the ankle and black ninja sandals. Next he slipped on the dark blue shirt favored by Itachi. Reaching for his black high colored cloak decorated with the blood red clouds outlined in white he let his fingers trace the material for a moment.
‘I can’t fail anyone not like I did Jessie or Alexandria so until the future reveals itself I remain tangled in Altena’s web. The mark of the Akatsuki the cloak of S-rank criminals that banded together I will carry your banner and legacy forward showing the true power of a Shinobi.’
Wrapping the cloak around him and closing the clasp to keep it closed he began loading weapons into its folds. Leaving the forehead protector off he instead slid the Soldats marked watch into his pocket. Finally he completed his ensemble with the straw hat tilted down in order to hide most of his face or just his eyes.
“I assume there’s a plane waiting or are we walking to Austria?” He asked coming out of his room.
“A car is waiting to take us to the airstrip we should be on our way.” Chloe responded following him out.
“Then let’s not keep them waiting.”
Edlinger family library
“It was just two years ago that the Edlinger family library burned to the ground along with the entire collection. I am afraid that the Langonelle manuscript was lost as well. Everything of value was destroyed so we left the burned remains where they lay. Go and search if you want but now not a single copy of the Langonelle Manuscript exists on this Earth, unless it is in a place forgotten by time.”
Mireille leaned against one of the charred walls in the half standing buildings and sighed. Next to her Kirika was sitting upon the stone floor her knees pulled in close with her hands wrapped around them. Wine colored eyes looked down at the cracked stone of the floor.
“So after all of that all we found is a pile of ashes and broken rubble the book we came for no longer exists. So does that mean all of those photocopies were made before the fire?” The blonde asked only to see her partner curl tighter without a sound.
A small pebble was tossed and left to roll on the ground before them drawing their attention.
“A Sinner once passed away will never return but the Sins will never vanish and the love never die the Hermit also spoke thus.” Chloe stood before them in the doorway of the ruined building another rock being bounced in her hand.
“Chloe” Mireille growled.
“The blood of the Soldats will seep, it will seep throughout the wilderness and flow, into the what, great river.” A voice spoke behind them and to their left. Standing and turning the pair found Alexander sitting on the window edge as if he had been comfortably there for hours with his head lowered and covered by a straw hat and his body hidden by his cloak.
“But we believe you know that much.” Chloe continued starting forward Mireille crouching some her purse lifted for easy access to her gun.
“The rest of it goes as follows.” Alexander picked up where she stopped not looking up yet. Kirika looked on in expectation wanting the truth these two held about her.
“The Two hands of the Soldats are Two Maidens, Blacker then black, burdened by sin, reaching out with mercy… Noir” The dark-red haired girl stated.
“That’s right the title of Noir has always belonged to the Soldats.” Xander spoke in stride. Neither assassin could contain their surprise very well.
“That is the true Noir, Two supreme blades that together make up a single entity, the Soldats two hands. However knowledge of the ritual of accession to Noir was lost to the passage of time, until only the terror elicited by that name remained and in years since countless outlaws have claimed the name Noir, Many not even knowing its true meaning.” Chloe said.
“Those who used the name often met there end at the hands of the current True Noir if they existed.” Xander spoke with a slight disdain for those who pretended to be Noir. Mireille closed her eyes remembering her meeting with Kirika and setting their new name as partners.
“I chose the name Noir to hide the fact that Kirika and I were a team but now you’re saying Noir was a name for a group of two all along?” The blonde daughter of Corsica spoke.
“Yes” Chloe answered with a sigh.
“Then it seems the thread that binds us must be an especially twisted one. How else to explain such a chain of chance, unless these untangling threads are the black web of fate itself.”
Outside men in black suits began silently pouring in through the rusted steel gates of the library grounds. Quickly they began to surround the building hoping to catch their prey inattentive. They cared weapons ranging from 9mm pistols all the way to assault rifles and moved with the precision of a military unit. Unlike the best Knights of the Soldats however these men did not wear harlequin masks. Grass and leaves were crunched under dress shoed feet without regard of who might hear assuming no one would know of their coming.
“So why exactly are you two telling us all this?” Mireille finally asked.
“Let us feed the saplings with water and light but only when Altena desires it to be so.” Chloe simply replied.
“This Altena, she’s the one that holds your leash right?” The blonde quipped but getting no rise form the duo.
“Altena is strict but a kind Mistress. She has been anxiously waiting for the two of you to overcome the trials that have been sent.”
“Yes for that is the fate of those who are to be Noir. That is the fate of the one who is named Alexander.”
“Those who will be Noir?” Mireille said trying to work through all of the words spoken.
“Right” the teal cloaked girl said raising her hand and examining the rock in it. Suddenly turning as a man stepped into the doorway she whipped it at him nailing him between the eyes and dropping the man. A second took his place only to fall from Alexander’s raised gun.
A third man popped into the doorway and began firing forcing the three girls and one boy to take cover behind a small wall in the room. The shots stopped as the man moved away from the doorway. None of them made a move beyond Mireille & Kirika drawing there guns and Xander drawing his second Nemesis gun.
“It would appear that you are being targeted as well.” Mireille said with a small smirk.
“Battles against able bodied Knights the successful execution of the assigned tasks and missions, and traps like a spider’s web. All of these are trails in the selection of Noir and the proving of Alexander.” Chloe said calmly even as assault rifle fire pelted the position.
Alexander and Chloe both moved from the wall and used the back wall to jump up onto one of the stone rafters of the building. The young experiment began firing taking out the men moving around the perimeter, while Chloe jumped down behind the man shooting into the room and quickly ending his life with two of her knives. The black cloaked boy landed beside her a second later his eyes the crimson of the Sharingan.
Kirika began firing into one of the walls, while Mireille began shooting targets that moved around them past the windows. She watched her partner form a small hole with her shots and then fired twice through it killing two men on the other side. Both maidens of Noir moved forward covering the door and moving out into the open to join the fight.
The pair were quickly separated from one another and had to survive on there own. Kirika seemed to be killing a man with each shot and Mireille was forced into hand-to-hand combat. A hard shot to her side sent the blue eyed assassin to the ground but two quick shots from Kirika along a pair of shurikens ended the assailant’s lives before she could be hurt. Mireille recovered fast and moved to help only to be stopped short by the sight presented her.
Alexander, Chloe, and Kirika were surrounded by enemies but continued to move in a constantly turning circle. Chloe was slashing away as they moved always striking a vital area with her deadly blades. Kirika was shooting around or just over the other two sending steel projectiles into the flesh of the knights. Alexander seemed to be everywhere constantly striking and lashing out from the shadow of the other two with a kunai, sword strike, or gun. It was beautiful and twisted dance of death being weaved around the enemy and too soon were they all felled.
“Is this Kirika’s past?” Mireille wondered watching them.
‘They kill so easily without hesitation or remorse.’ Chloe thought in comparison to the two dark haired killers.
As the last body fell to the ground Alexander allowed his eyes to revert to normal and his weapons to disappear back into his cloak. Surveying the damage a part of him was revolted by the senseless loss of life, that part of him had been steadily getting louder since he had taken up the mantle of the Soldats and left Sunnydale. It was to him a good thing to have reminding him that he was more then a soulless killer. Stepping up to be next to Chloe he watched the coming exchange.
“You and I are the True Noir, born and raised with Alexander in the next of the Soldats. The three of us exhibited the greatest aptitude as assassins.” Chloe stated before leaning in close to Kirika’s ear, whose eyes widened at the words.
“The Soldats aren’t your enemy the Soldats is the place you belong. You lost your memories but think, why else would it be you look at him and me so?” she spoke and the dark haired girl allowed her gun to slip from her fingers in shock.
“Do not worry you do remember everything, both as a Noir and as an assassin.”
“Don’t say it.”
“You can accomplish your tasks so easily”
“Please stop it…. Stop talking”
“Because ever since you were a child”
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” Kirika suddenly screams.
Chloe and Alexander step back each one raising a hand from their cloaks and bringing two fingers to rest over their hearts. For Xander it was like Déjà vu doing this once more as he had done to Valkyrie. Mentally he reminded himself that this had to be done to spare Mireille a future of blood and return Kirika to the game, though it didn’t ease his mind as much as he wished it would.
“Noir, it is the name of an ancient fate. Two maidens who govern death, to the depths of hellfire their black souls lure the lost children.” They spoke together and watched Kirika’s eyes gain a light in them before slipping closed and raising her hand to mimic them.
“Noir, it is the name of an ancient fate. Two maidens who govern death the peace of the newly born their black hands protect.” She chanted being joined by the two and continuing to repeat the same mantra together.
“No, Kirika….KIRIKA!” Mireille called out quieting them and drawing the eyes of the dark haired girl.
“Am I….am I?” the amnesiac girl asked staring at her hand her voice revealing actual fear. She looked up when she felt a hand on her cheek and her eyes met the warm chocolate brown of Xander’s.
“Don’t be afraid, not of this and not of whom you are.” He spoke before leaning in close to whisper to her. Mireille watched the girl’s eyes widen and Alexander smile before he turned walking away joined by Chloe at his side.
“We will appear one final time in the future and give you the final guidance to the Manor.”
Altena sat at a table placed outside on the second color of the manor a tea pot and cup before her. Resting on the wooden surface also was a book baring a black cover with a portrait of two maidens each holding a sword and wrapped in a sheet upon it. Spread out before her eyes were the valley and ruins that made up this area.
The Hermit also spoke thus. The blood of the Soldats will seep, it will seep throughout the wilderness and flow into the great river. The two hands of the Soldats are two maidens, Blacker then black, burdened by sin, reaching out with mercy…. Noir’ She thought opening the book two a page one side holding the text she had just read and the other a portrait of two maidens kneeled before a robed woman.
Closing the Langonelle Manuscript she lifted her tea cup and took a slow quiet sip.
Mireille & Kirika found themselves in a park standing before a fountain the sun having had set and the stars twinkling along with city lights. The distance between the pair was noticeable as the blonde leaned on the stone edge looking out over the pouring water every so often swiveling her eyes to gaze at the amnesiac girl. Kirika just stood there watching both the water and Mireille her face seemingly sad.
‘I knew….. I did… I should’ve known….but I just….. I just wanted to believe that a normal me existed somewhere…. That was all…..that’s all it was…I didn’t want to know but I know now…..and I can no longer….. Please Mireille…..please don’t look at me like that.’ She thought as her wine colored eyes met the blue of the Corsican.
In The Air over France
Alexander sat across from Chloe a small table between them on the private jet back from Austria. The dark haired assassin was staring out the window at the stars watching the sky go by. Chloe was more interested in watching him it seemed quietly evaluating the enigma before her. Slowly a brown eye rounded on her before his face turned as well.
“Should you really be returning to the Manor at a time like this we both know the final trial will be soon.” He finally spoke breaking the silence between them.
“It is Altena’s desire that I return do not worry I will be by your side when the time comes for the final guidance. When the final Trial ends then we may all return to the Manor and complete the Rituals.” She replied.
“Do not discount the Third Sapling so easily Chloe. In her the rot inside the Soldats have a few more moves.”
“You believe me incapable of being Noir?” she said with a little sadness and loss of self worth.
“No you are very capable and just as you have always thought the honor of being her partner is yours. It is our fate we three to live in the shadows of man and protect the newly born. Altena prepared us for such a life now we must simply put the lessons into practice.”
“What did you whisper to Kirika?”
“That I would be waiting there for her….”
Two days passed in quick succession before Kirika found herself drawn to the hillside by the shore of the great river. She still came here to paint and remember her lost friend Milosh who had taught her the way of Art. When she moved to sit in her usual place with her sketch book she found someone else seemingly waiting for her. He wore cream colored slacks and a white dress shirt with black dress shoes. Moving to sit next to him Kirika found a pair of warm Chocolate brown eyes gazing at her.
“Even in a time of battle you find time to come here.” Alexander spoke with a smile before turning back to watch the river.
“Why do you wait for me?” She asked staring at him.
“I told you I would be waiting here for you.” He replied without turning back to her.
“I waited for you that night as well. The night I returned from my first task given to me by Altena. When you returned I was relieved and strangely happy that your task was finished. It was then that I began to truly understand the roots of the Soldats and the use of Noir along with my true destiny.” He answered his eyes fading as he remembered.
“Why…. Why is it…. Why is it Yumura Kirika doesn’t exist?”
“Why is it Alexander Lavelle Harris, Xander Harris doesn’t exist? In the end what are our names worth if the memories and moments attached were all fake or other lifetimes.”
“Then who are we if these people do not exist?”
“Alexander & Kirika, Noir and its Knight we are who we wish to be or who the world requires us to be. I will be waiting for you again it seems in that place when the final guidance is given.” Standing he began to walk away from the girl. Kirika suddenly caught a kunai between her fingers and blinked at him.
“I am not watching your back this time so maybe you’ll need it. See you soon Kirika.” With a wave he was gone.
Rupert Giles resisted the urge to wipe his glasses for the fifth time that day at the antics of the two chosen ones. Buffy was demanding Faith, Cordelia, and Oz bring them along when they went after Xander. Faith was being less then cooperative, which seemed to cause a butting of horns between the Slayers.
“Look B, if we drag you and everyone else along your just gonna slow us down and get in the way when we fight Boytoy.”
“Which is exactly why, we should be going with you, if you plan to fight Xander your going to need our help!” Buffy yelled back offended that anyone would say she was in the way.
“Boytoy would pick you and Red apart in seconds. This isn’t some Vamp we’re hunting it’s a teenager with some major mental issues on a head trip no one can understand and enough skills and firepower to take over a small country.”
“There might be a spell to help him or slow him down though.” Willow added in trying to stay neutral in the conflict but desperately wanting to help her friend.
“That would be bad or do we recall the last time we mixed Magic and Dweeb-boy?” Cordelia added in.
“I can do research if you need something hacked I’m your girl.”
Oz chose to remain quiet Hendrix sitting on his right shoulder watching the argument with an air of boredom. The werewolf musician wasn’t sure yet but he believed the dog was actually amused by his friends and secretly laughing. A down side to the Inuzuka style he was working with was simply put he was bonding with the dog synchronizing his teamwork with it and learning to understand it. Sadly his dog seemed to have a slight superiority complex.
“Children, that’s enough…… CHILDREN!” Giles said losing his temper somewhat.
“Good, now that I have your attention I think there is a compromise to be had here. Faith we understand what you’re saying but still you cannot expect us to wait here for the outcome. Buffy you must realize that Xander is in a very dark place right now and Faith is only worried for our safety because she can’t guarantee even they will survive. I suggest we all go together and if fighting breaks out leave it to you three to handle. Now you can either agree or we can just follow you anyway.” The last part had been said using his old Ripper voice slightly frightening the dark haired slayer.
“Uh, right you got it G.”
“You know what you must do?” Alexander asked amazingly speaking to an exact double of him.
“Of course I do.” He replied taking the letter offered to him and placing it inside his cloak. The envelope was tied closed by a black thread or more precisely a hair.
“Let’s hope this is just my paranoia and not some sort of forestalling of the future.” The original stated beginning to dress in his normal assassin attire for the night.
“Hey, it’s not paranoia when you live in our world. Buck up go return Little Kirika’s memory finish this trial thing then go to the Manor and relax leave this to me. You really are to stressed have some pockey and a Twinkie before you go the night’s gonna be long dude. Anyway I have an assignment don’t do anything I wouldn’t.” The shadow clone stated with a smile before forming a seal.
“Henge” (Transformation Technique) He called an in a puff of smoke became a large black bird most likely a Raven. Flapping its wings the would-be bird took to the air and flew out the open window. The course was set to take him to a mansion just outside the city.
“Finally we are close to the end of this Sonata of Madness.” He whispered slipping his cloak on and leaving the hat behind.
Chloe stood before Altena fully dressed in her cloak and usual assassin gear beneath it. The sky was bright with few clouds allowing sunshine to bathe the land forgotten by time. Altena smiled to the young girl placing a hand on her arm.
“Please take care of yourself and Alexander Chloe. The time for the rituals is drawing near everyday. The task of giving her the final guidance must fall to you and Alexander.” Altena spoke.
“Right I will, but what about her friend?” Chloe said.
“You must know as well as I that the Daughter of Corsica is also fit. He has told you that much I am sure.”
“Yes, but-“She was cut off by Altena and her short laugh.
“But you have nothing to fear child. Just as you have always believed you and Kirika are most special.” She smoke making Chloe smile.
“You must show her friend why and to do so you need only the truth. Show her the truth Chloe.”
“I will.” The girl replied walking away.
Entering the Manor Altena took a candelabrum and descended into the deeper catacombs. The ancient passages where filled with paintings or murals depicting the history of Noir and the beginnings of the Soldats. She stopped at an alter bearing two swords crossed over one another the blades shining as if newly forged.
‘Man commits Sin upon Sin and so the cycle of Sins continued throughout the ages. It is indeed in Man’s nature to commit sin and so my precious ones we will atone for that Sin. You will commit Sin after Sin in atonement for this world spilling the blood of the wicked and return the Soldats to what it should rightfully be. Noir and Alexander, the Sword of Darkness and the Sword of Blood soon my darlings you will fully become that which I have always called you.’
The four men gathered around the fire seemed entrapped in a mood of somber darkness. The crackling flames seeming to bring them no warmth or light. One of these men held a set of papers in his hand a black thread or hair twisted between two of his fingers.
“Chloe has begun to take action.” The man stated.
“That is not good.” The first man replied.
“If they enter the Manor they will be beyond our reach.” The third added in.
“Tonight, we will set the Knights of Paris in motion, however.” The letter holding one spook again.
“However?” the second asked.
“Will even they be able to stand up to Altena’s Chosen two and can they defeat the Merciful Mother Altena once feared to have governed death itself.”
“So then all our fears come to realization?” the second asked.
“No we have a few moves left and the greatest piece on the board may still be within our reach.”
If a person were to look into the apartment of Mireille Bouquet and Kirika Yumura they would discover quite the scene. Furniture was overturned littering the room along with shards of the now broken cups and tea set the pot itself having one large gash in it. However it is the massive amount of bullet holes that riddled the walls and everything else that might cause a person to take pause and also notice the open windows.
The skies were darker the normal the stars and moon hidden by ominous thunderclouds. Lightning was seen flashing from cloud to cloud along with the roar of thunder. Upon the roof of a certain building the flashes of light from above revealed men dressed in dark suits wearing harlequin masks and carrying guns. It would also reveal two young women one blonde with blue eyes the other younger and dark haired with eyes the color of wine each carrying their own gun.
Both were forced to run and fire taking out the attackers one by one, while dodging the shots being sent at them. Mireille had slipped on the sloping sides of the roof only able to recover by using the base of her gun to slow her down. Kirika was constantly firing taking targets at a range but when a man almost took her head off with a dagger she ducked low and drew the Kunai from Alexander with her left hand. Spinning up from her duck she drove the blade deep into the man’s throat before yanking it out and pivoting around the body to shoot another target.
Mireille finding herself in hand-to-hand combat drew upon the knowledge Alexander had left them in his disk and brought her elbow sharply into one man before turning and driving her heeled boot into another’s stomach. She took a deep breath as both were dropped and turned to look at her partner. Kirika’s eyes were hidden momentarily by her hair but when she looked up the daughter of Corsica shivered. Kirika’s eyes had narrowed becoming cold as ice lacking any feeling and a small uncaring frown was placed upon her lips. The amnesiac girl was simply killing now walking leisurely picking off targets some without even looking in that direction.
The final body to hit the roof was killed by Kirika piercing his mask with a bullet right in the center of the forehead. The mask had clattered, sliding along the roof to stop at Mireille’s feet. A flash of lightning and the pair turned as one bringing guns to bear at the chimneys of the building. The light revealed the cloaked forms of Alexander and Chloe each balanced on a chimney pipe standing side by side.
“The two of you have overcome all of the trials. It seems the depth of your sins is truly worthy of the name of Noir.” Chloe spoke first.
“Therefore, we have come as promised to give you final guidance required to reach the Manor.” Alexander continued both baring a cold professional look on their faces.
“And what is this Manor you two keep talking about?” Mireille demanded both ladies of Noir keeping their guns raised.
“It is sacred ground the one place left behind by the flow of time. It is there that the ritual of accession to Noir will take place. It is there his name will gain true meaning in his own ritual.” Chloe answered with reverence in her voice closing her eyes before snapping them open once more.
“We would like to thank you for being with her until now.” She stated and Kirika lowered her gun the soulless eyes she had been gazing with slid closed and reopen half way glazed over.
“However it is time for her go home.” Xander said and the pair then leapt from their perches. Chloe landed in a crouch her cloak ruffling. The dark haired assassin however landed without a sound or movement of his cloak in front of Kirika.
“Your gun” He ordered and slowly the girl complied lifting the weapon up and offering it. Taking it with his right hand he easily flipped it around and began raising the Beretta. Mireille looked on in shock as it all happened Chloe moving to his side.
“The time has come.” He announced leveling the pistol at the girl and bringing the hammer back with his thumb. Thunder and lightning rages announcing the coming storm as if the heavens roared cheering on the final movement of the song.
“Time to receive The Final Guidance” The blonde to his right brought her gun up as his finger slid back on the trigger.
All was deathly still as Kirika was thrown back by the shot seeming to move in slow motion towards the ground. The girl let out a gasp as her pupils shrank and the floodgates of memory was wedged open. When she struck the ground her hair covers her eyes.
“KIRIKIA…Kirika” Mireille called out rushing to the girl and hurriedly checking for a pulse as the heavens raged.
“She’s alive. Why did you do that?” The blonde spoke then asked turning angry eyes upon the pair of cloaked assassins.
“It is the final guidance.” Alexander stated lowering the gun and bringing it within his cloak.
“The Traveler needs guidance in order to advance through the wilderness. If she remembers now then she will surely find her way home, and if not she will die alone in the wastelands.” Chloe explained.
“But why, it makes no sense. What’s the point?”
“We have faith, I have faith in her she will remember, she must.” The male of the duo spoke up.
“Altena told me something, something Alexander already knew. She said that the best course would be to tell you the truth.”
“Tell the truth? What truth could you tell me now?” Mireille spoke her anger at new heights.
“The identity of the one who killed your parents and elder brother perhaps?” she responded.
“I know who killed them, the Soldats did it”
“And the killers name?”
“The name” she whispered.
“The one who pulled the triggers name I know it, Alexander has know it since that very night.”
“To be honest I don’t know that persons real name. Oh no, but I do know the name that person goes by now.” Chloe said.
“It has always been that name and it will never change.” Alexander stated correcting his would-be partner. He moved then to the edge of the building gazing out at the city and sky.
“Tell her Alexander you did promise her the truth.”
“That person… That person is now known as Yumura Kirika or as she has always been known as Kirika.” He spoke.
“Liar… You’ve got to be lying, you must be!” the daughter of Corsica denied her eyes shut.
“It is the truth.” He replied.
“You have proof of this?”
“No proof but I am certain.” Chloe spoke a smile tugging at her lips. On the ground Kirika opened her eyes and forced her body under protect to sit up from the roof.
“I am certain, I am certain because I saw it with my own two eyes.” She explained remembering that night.
“Was it you? Were you the one who killed them? Was it really you?” no answer was given but tears began to flow down the girl’s eyes. Chloe turned from them and moved to Alexander’s side.
“The Soldats High Priest blesses the newly born at the time of their birth. Those who are chosen from among them go through the trials and are acknowledged as Noir. Alexander was another chosen at his birth baring all the makings of the Prophecy of Alexander and so he was blessed with his own destiny to stand beside Noir.” She spoke before dropping off for him to continue.
“You Mireille Bouquet, daughter of Corsica, you were one of those who received that rare blessing.” This caused the young woman to look away from them.
“Oh yes it’s true, but Laurent and Odette Bouquet adamantly refused to hand there young daughter over to the Soldats. And it was for that Treason that they were executed by the Soldats.”
The blue-eyed beauty stared at them biting her lip trying to force down her anger. She was suddenly disturbed by the sound of a door opening nearby. Turning she found Kirika gone and the roof entrance wide open. Not missing a beat she took off after her.
“The world does seem darker now doesn’t it?” he asked.
“A morning without dawn indeed” She replied taking Kirika’s pistol from him and staring at it. The clouds finally burst sending a downpour around the two coating them in heavens tears.
‘I’ll be waiting for you Kirika, we’ll be waiting for you at the Manor’ Alexander thought as did Chloe.
Around them the rain continued to fall……
Please Read and Review
Ending Note 1: I am sorry it has taken so long to get this out to everyone but my real life has been evil as of late. I also need a New Beta.
Ending Note 2: The next chapter will be the final chapter of this story but there are still two more stories in this series The next two will be multi-crosses so send me ideas if you want.
Till Next time