Recca no Houno by Anzai
Summary by Sumeragi, July 2001

Volume 29

<????????>
Everyone is back together in the mysterious building (aka unlabeled). The statue has transformed from an image of Mori Kouran through his changes with the Tendojigoku. It is currently at the stage of the cocoon, which we the readers know of, but it just looks odd to the members of Hokage. Kaoru puts in the fifth disk. The statue takes its final form of the Tendojigoku. On the screen, English letters appear that have to be rearranged to form the word symbolizing Hokage’s destiny. Mikagami types in "DEATH". The statue crashes and the opening to the underground passage to Hell or Heaven is revealed. The final stage has come at last.

<Hell or Heaven>
Aoi is notified that the six Hokage members have opened the passageway. As Hokage makes their way through the passage, Aoi talks over the intercom, taunting the Hokage members. She directs their attention to the seven elevators. Each only holds one person and they all go to different levels, but no matter the elevator, the person can still reach the room in which Mori resides. She then tells them that they wanted them to survive this far, but now Hokage will truly meet its end. Recca begs to differ, calling his group the strongest, unrivaled fighters. "We will---get Hime back." Fuuko and Kaoru cheer for Recca’s speech of sorts. Mikagami corrects something Recca said. This prompts Recca into pointing out all the weaknesses of his teammates, but saying that he loves them all anyway. "We won’t die like this!!!" Everyone is very unamused by Recca’s comments, and they happily call out Recca’s bad points. Watching, Kagerou smiles and thinks about how close these people have become.

<Elsewhere>
The referees from the UBS are all hanging out (or maybe they live together). We also see a quick shot of Menou. All of the girls are thinking about Recca. Even his father looks into the sky, wondering what his son is up to.

<Hell or Heaven>
All of the Hokage members exit their respective elevators.

<Hanger>
Still tied up, Miruku asks Kurumi if she thinks the gorilla guy will come back (does Domon have another fan?). Kurumi knows Domon is strong, but the Ura Uruha are also very experienced fighters.

<Hell or Heaven, Route C>
Domon is bummed that it isn’t Kirito he will get to fight. Hiruko is probably also a little disappointed that he won’t be able to fight Mikagami again, but he promises Domon that he’ll make a good opponent. He then stabs his hand to get the blood flowing. Domon is shocked since this is the first time he has ever seen Hiruko’s abilities. Hiruko gladly demonstrates by attacking with his blood sword. Domon is caught off guard at first, but manages to bite onto the blood sword, break it, and punch Hiruko away. Hiruko gets up slowly then stares at Domon. The big guy suddenly feels something strange radiating from the back of his opponent.

<Hanger>
Kurumi tells Miruku about a certain Ura Uruha member that she has heard about: Hiruko the Immortal.

<Hell or Heaven, Route C>
Hiruko is impressed that Domon notices the evil spirit. He shows Domon his back, upon which is heart (not a happy heart shape, but an organ heart with veins and all). Hiruko describes his madougu "Ketsushu" to Domon. It is a living madougu (aka living organ, not sentient like the Tendojigoku). It helps Hiruko to control the thickness of his blood. It also keeps Hiruko alive even though he looses a lot of blood during his fights. Hiruko demonstrates another attack, "Ketsukaidan," which is basically shards of harden blood thrown at an opponent. After dodging the attack, Domon pulls out his madougu Kuchibashi-oh. Domon is shocked when Hiruko takes the attack full on. Standing up, Hiruko tells Domon that he wants to learn the source of Domon’s strength. Bleeding badly, Hiruko uses his speed to create other illusions of himself around Domon.

<Marie's Castle>
Fujimaru and Marie are having tea on the deck (oh, no! she’s free!). She thanks him for saving her. Fujimaru is happy enough to talk to an enemy instead of facing the zombies. He asks who got her. She mentions Domon and John (aka Mikagami). While confused about the "foreigner John," Fujimaru feels for Marie having to face Domon.

<Hell or Heaven, Route C>
Domon tries to find the real Hiruko, and he does when the guy bleeds on him from above. At first, Domon believes Hiruko was trying to blind him with the blood since his right eye is damaged from the attack. But when Hiruko lands at a distance instead of taking advantage of the partially blinded Domon, the big guy wonders if there was another motive. After a moment, Domon realizes the blood has hardened on him, preventing him from moving. Hiruko taunts Domon a bit and then attacks with Ketsukaidan. Unable to dodge, Domon gets the entire blow.

<Marie's Castle>
Fujimaru tells Marie that Domon is the worst of Hokage. If Fujimaru had to make the decision of who to fight among Hokage, "No way to that bitch Fuuko. Not Mikagami either. I'd rather die than face Recca, sorry!!" He then goes on to say that Domon isn’t even human, but a monster.

<Hell or Heaven, Route C>
Hiruko gawks at Domon as the big guy breaks out of his bloody restraints with relative ease (aka he shouldn’t be able to, but he does). Hiruko is impressed by Domon’s strength. Suddenly the loss of blood hits Hiruko and he falls to his knees. Domon smiles, thinking that he has won the match. Hiruko corrects Domon’s belief by running to a wall containing bottles of blood. He throws six of the bottles into the air, breaks them, and soaks up the blood with his madougu. Feeling refreshed, Hiruko throws another round of Ketsukaidan. Although he receives most of the blow, Domon looks unaffected. Hiruko is frustrated, not understanding how an amateur like Domon could fight at an equal level with an experienced fighter of the Uruha. In his typical fashion, Domon explains that he doesn’t want to fall down, thus he remains standing to fight. It’s all a matter of will power. He wants to help the others save Yanagi, and that’s what he will do. He then asks what Hiruko’s motivation is. Hiruko replies like a true solider: it’s a matter of duty. He goes in to attack Domon, talking about his mission to fight. He distracts Domon with one attack and punches Domon’s arm with his left hand coated in blood. Domon’s right arm is useless now. Feeling weak, Hiruko goes to get more blood. But Shiguma (Kirito’s beast) attacks at that moment with its lasers from somewhere, destroying all of the bottles of precious liquid. Domon glares at Hiruko, telling the born fighter that he doesn’t have a will of his own and is only a machine (aka, Hiruko fights only by the orders of another, and no other purpose). Hiruko runs towards Domon’s blindside and jumps on Domon’s back. Hiruko informs Domon that they have the same blood type. Thus, when Hiruko squeezes and causes Domon to bleed, he can except his blood through the madougu.

<Marie's Castle>
Fujimaru tells Marie that when he first saw Domon fight, he thought the guy would only drag Hokage behind. But during the UBS, Domon greatly improved over a short time. Domon became the strongest of Hokage.

<Hell or Heaven, Route C>
Thinking of Recca’s words that they wouldn’t die here, Domon struggles against Hiruko. Hiruko notices that the blood isn’t flowing from Domon any longer. And his body feels cold, but not the way it should from a lack of blood. Realization hits him…Domon hits him as well. Lying on the floor, Hiruko berates himself for forgetting about the third madougu Domon uses: Tetsugan. He congratulates Domon for an excellent defensive move and admits his defeat. Domon walks over to the fallen man and places some unbroken bottles of blood near him. Hiruko is utterly shocked. Domon gets "angry" at him for thinking of dying since he failed his duty. "Though you are a puppet, you shouldn't sacrifice yourself!!" Hiruko asks if his strength comes from wanting to save the girl. Domon just smiles and says that she is a friend. As Domon leaves, Hiruko smiles and thinks about the strength of Domon beyond his physical muscles.

<Marie's Castle>
Fujimaru wakes up after the drug Marie gave him wore off. He is currently trapped by the familiar statue. Of course he is mildly pissed at her for doing this after he told her all about Domon. Marie ignores him and informs Fujimaru that he is "Mogu."

<Hell or Heaven>
In the security room, the men realize that the passage into Hell or Heaven has been breached, with all the guards dead. Apparently there are five intruders. By the tone of the top security guy, it sounds like it is the members of Uruha that have invaded the passage (aka, not members of Kuu, but they don’t say for certain).

<Hell or Heaven, Route B>
Wandering the halls in search of a way to Mori’s room, Kaoru has high hopes of saving Yanagi before Recca does. Suddenly, he senses an evil spirit. Looking down a corridor, the person owning that spirit is Joker. Seeing his target, Joker is ready for a rematch. Needless to say, Kaoru is surprised to see Joker. Dodging the man’s attacks, Kaoru asks what Joker is doing there. Joker simply states that a fighter belongs on the battlefield. Kaoru doesn’t quite get it, but he decides that he doesn’t have time for this. He tells Joker that the Ura Uruha are Hokage’s opponents at the moment, not Uruha. Joker corrects Kaoru, explaining that their brief teaming up during the Sealed Earth mission meant nothing. The Uruha and Hokage, Kurei and Recca, all of them are natural enemies. Kaoru seems to give in to his fate to fight Joker, and then runs away. While playing a kind of hide-and-seek game, Joker tells Kaoru that Raiha and of course Kurei are here as well. Kaoru continues to runaway, trying to explain to Joker that he’ll fight Joker later, once Yanagi is safe. Joker tells him that there won’t be a next time. Kaoru then spots what looks like an elevator and jumps for it as he dodges Joker’s attack.

Once in the room (not an elevator after all), Kaoru notices Kirito and a large spider web. Joker comes into the room and pokes Kaoru, "Gotcha." Then he notices the other person in the room as well. The door slams shut behind the two guys. Kirito introduces herself and informs them that she will have to kill the both of them. Joker warns her that it won’t be so easy, since "don’t you know who we are?" Kirito points out Kaoru with ease, but she doesn’t recognize Joker, even after he introduces himself. His pride being an issue, Joker agrees with Kaoru that their rematch can wait. Kaoru stands watching his two enemies, afraid to face one and be blindsided by the other. Joker however simply assumes the two of them will fight together against Kirito with no problem. Joker makes the first attack, which Kirito easily dodges. She asks the first question to Joker: what is your age. He answers 25. Kirito jumps from another one of his attacks and stands on the ceiling. "14 and 25, how nice." She then summons Shiguma. Joker doesn’t mind the addition, calling the situation even now. He attacks the beast, which almost injures Joker with its tail. Kaoru however blocks the blow. Kaoru goes after Kirito as Joker works on the beast. Kirito asks the second question: how old do you think I am. Kaoru guesses 14, and then Kirito transforms into her 24 year old body and apologizes for asking an unanswerable question. Kirito describes to Joker and Kaoru about Rinne, a madougu that changes her body’s age at will. To prove the point, she transforms again, this time into an old woman. Joker and Kaoru are bewildered by the madougu’s power. Changed into a nine-year-old body, Kirito continues to explain that there’s the side effect of changing her mental age as well as her physical age. Joker relates this to a multiple personality disorder. She then points out her second madougu, Nehan, which controls Shiguma. Kirito has no memory of her life before Rinne, thus she has no clue about her real age. To get the answer by destroying Rinne is too frightening of a solution. However, Mori has told her that if she kills Hokage, he will tell her what her true age is. Kaoru lectures Kirito for even trusting Mori when he has only hurt those under his control. She asks the boy if he knows her true age, then. While trying to think of a good answer, Kaoru looses Kougon Anki when it gets stuck on Shiguma. As balls appear around Shiguma, Kirito asks: what could these be? The reply is shown when lasers burst from the balls.

<Other Routes>
Hiruko’s blood source is destroyed by the blast; Fuuko seems mentally exhausted from her current fight; Kagerou looks at her hand (perhaps more so the Hokage symbol) and cries; Mikagami is fighting another sword wielder and notices a strange sound; and Recca sees the laser blasts appearing from a different tower (is he the closest to Mori and Yanagi in the different tower?).

<Hell or Heaven, Route B>
Kirito gets a message over her radio to tone down the blasts since it’s disturbing everyone in Hell or Heaven. Kirito gives those orders to Shiguma, who apparently refuses, and Kirito has to change into her old body. Meanwhile, Joker plans the next attack with Kaoru. While they at first have a brief argument over Kaoru loosing the Kougon Anki, Joker decides to use his madougu on Shiguma to help Kaoru get his madougu back. Kaoru runs forward to distract Kirito while Joker attacks Shiguma. Creating a field of high gravity, Joker forces Shiguma to the ground, which enables Kaoru to reach his lost madougu. Shiguma takes off again with Kaoru holding on to his still stuck madougu. In reaction to the attack, Shiguma prepares to blast the lasers again. Kirito tries to stop the beast, but her madougu breaks. Falling to her knees, Kirito says that Shiguma can no longer be stopped by anyone, thus they might as well prepare for death. Joker disagrees, and points out that Kaoru is still up there. Deciding that he can’t push or pull the madougu out, Kaoru uses his madougu to cut through Shiguma. The beast really feels the pain and goes after the source. Almost too easily, Kaoru cuts off Shiguma’s head with one slash. The unused laser balls fall to the ground with the beheaded body. Crying, Kirito asks the victors her final question: what should I do now? Joker says that she should first destroy the Rinne, but Kirito says she can’t.

<Forest>
Random security guys are confused over the disappearance of Kadotsu’s supposedly dead body. Where could he be?

<Hell or Heaven, Route B>
There’s a pounding on the door, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s Kadotsu. Joker is amazed that the guy survived Kurei’s death blow. Kadotsu is understandably enraged and can only say "Kill!!!". He attacks Joker first. Joker tells Kaoru to go ahead and he’ll catch up later for their fight. Kaoru is at first reluctant to let Joker fight alone, but then he is convinced to go ahead through the opening Kadotsu just made. Joker fights with Kadotsu. He gets a bit cocky and ends up seriously hurt by the man.

In the hall, Kaoru thinks he hears Joker, but decides to use Joker’s help (since he’d be killed by Katsudo, would he?) and move on ahead in search of Yanagi.

The two fighters are now both bleeding a lot and tired from their previous fights. Joker decides to end it all before he loses the chance. He calls upon his madougu to form a blackhole. Both Joker and Kadotsu disappear into the darkness. Only Kirito is left behind, wondering where they disappeared to.

<Hell or Heaven, Route D>
Kurei is walking down alone in a hallway. Clenching his fist so tight that it draws blood, he says Joker’s name.

<Hell or Heaven, Route B>
In the damaged room, Joker’s madougu stands up, implanted into the ground. "Sainara, Kurei-san."

 

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