Author’s Note and Warning: Make that warning then note^^;; This FANFIC/STORY contains violence, vulgarity, and may contain adult situations(I don’t know yet, unlikely though =P). You have been warned though ‘kay?
Full versions of the illustrations can be found in the art gallery, most will be labeled as an illustration of Emerald and Brass. If you have a sucky and/or slow modem/connection, and don’t wish to view the images then by all means don’t^^. There most likely won’t be that many NEways. And dun bug me ‘cuz you think I’m just jumping the Japanese anime train. I’m an Asian too ya know =P
All characters are (C) the [Zetallis Corporation] This story is (C) Nin’nako Foxie/Oni, need I really say that?^^ There’s a reason I call this a fanfic instead of just a story, many ideas are taken from other games and animes, etc. I don’t claim them as my own. It would be too much of a hassle (and ‘cuz I don’t remember all of them) to list them all and give copyright info or source. So those ideas are given respectively to those companies who claim them. IE. Summons like Bahamut and Shiva etc. are (C) SQUARESOFT.

Emerald and Brass Part 2
Chapter 2 : Cityscapes
by Nin’nako Foxie

        Chaonen...Chaonen...Chaonen!?
        The room was still spinning, but then it slowed down and stopped. Chaonen pushed himself off the cold floor into a sitting position. His Shadow was by his side. It almost radiated how worried it was. Shaking his head, he could see that he was still in the dark computer terminal.
        “Don’t worry me like that!” shrieked Coniau. “What in the Inferno happened?!”
        Chaonen didn’t know himself...one moment he was looking at a file then a wave a of dizziness...then darkness....but...”Coniau! Did you see that scion file?”
        “Yeah, right before you hit the floor.”
        “Did you feel something strange when you did? By the way, how long was I out?” he asked. She shook her head and replied “maybe five minutes”. Confused, he climbed back into his chair. This time when he looked at the file, nothing happened. “Coniau, will you print out the previous files and this one?”
        “Alright, but this one doesn’t say much,” she replied. Coniau was right, the file didn’t contain much only:
WHAT WILL I RECEIVE IN RETURN?
I DEMAND YOUR LIFE, YOUR ESSENCE, YOUR SOUL.
I DEMAND YOUR BLOOD.
I DEMAND YOUR SERVITUDE.
THIS ARE WHAT WE DEMAND IN RETURN.

        “Chaonen-daimyou, someone is coming,” the Shadow said, having gone back to its lookout position. “He’s almost here.”
        “Damn,” muttered Chaonen. He grabbed Coniau’s device and jammed it into his pocket and flicked off the main screen, erasing all that he had done. He dove behind a desk just before the NIGHTMARE employee entered.
        The employee didn’t notice him, but turned on the light and sat down at the console, then started bringing up information screens. Chaonen remained perfectly still in his crouched position behind the desk. It wasn’t until an hour later did the employee leave. Chaonen waited until he was long gone, then stood up, stretching his legs.
        “We should leave, Chaonen-daimyou,” the Shadow said. “It is well into the evening, Chaonen-daimyou. Everyone will be expecting us, Chaonen-daimyou.”
        “My thoughts exactly.”
        He listened for anyone in the hallway, hearing none, he slipped back outside. It was quieter now, apparently most employees had gone home. That didn’t put him to much ease though. The Tower was huge and most likely there would be meetings and such still going on. Also, he didn’t just blend in with the average employee now.
        He had always loved how the Tower seemed to show that night had fallen. The lights slightly dimmed and the small marble water trenches that lined the hallway shimmered quietly with the lights illuminating them. If anyone got lost, the could usually just follow the flow of the water to the lobby where it joined the small decorative pool and quiet but beautiful waterfalls. Darkness had always been his friend. He always felt more comfortable in dark or dim places instead of full daylight, not like he didn’t like being outdoors in the sun. But now, it felt like the Tower was against him.

        They stopped outside the weapons shop that Oni had dropped something off at earlier. Ark wanted to go inside too, so Asia and Socara joined them. The inside walls were covered with weapons of all sorts behind plastic coverings or bars. Swords over here, daggers there, guns and whatnots all around.
        “Ho, ma’am!” shouted the shopkeeper. “I almost have all your things ready. If you could wait 10 minutes I’ll be finished with the last 3.”
        “Okies,” Oni replied, browsing around.
        “I’ve never seen so many weapons in one place before,” Asia said.
        “Dis is one o’z da best place in Zetallis ta getz stuff,” Oni smiled.
        “Whatcha looking at Ark?” Socara asked, standing behind him and looking over his shoulder.
        “That,” he pointed to a hand grip for a gun. It was metallic and smooth. He reached between the bars and slid his fingers around it. “Just need some more money to buy it.”
        “How much is it?”
        Ark laughed. “Alot, dear.”
        “Hey, miss!” the shopkeeper’s assistant motioned to Oni. “Could you prehaps take a look at this new item we just got? Wha’d you think and how much should we sell it for?”
        Oni walked over to the counter as the clerk laid out the sword and unwrapped it from its cloth covering. The blade gleamed in the light. The handle was gold gilded and a single jewel was encrusted in it.
        “Wow, how pretty,” Asia said, eyeing the elaborate design as Oni picked it up. She held it for a moment, weighing it in her hand and rotating it.
        “Blade has’in a fault in itself,” she said. “Balance iz offz in da pummel.” She made a few slashed through the air. “Eeww...really bad balance. Dis iz only fer display rightz? Ya know likes crystal plates?”
        The clerk shrugged. “However we can sell it as.”
        “Ya could probably sell if a lotz ta a peep who dun knowin’ wha’ he be doin’z,” Oni said.
        “Scamming people as always,” Ark said, walking up beside her.
        “Oni dun scam peepz! Am just tellin’ her opinion!” she scrowled at him.
        “Whatever...”Ark smirked, turning to talk to the clerk.
        “Oni iz good peep!” she shouted am his back, flailing her arms madly. That is until the blade shot out of the pummel and embedded itself in the ceiling, then fell, almost landing on Ark’s foot. Ark whirled to glare at her. “Oopz...”
        
        “Oni...?” Socara spoke up.
        “Hai?”
        “How many weapons do you carry?” Socara asked, watching Oni stuff swords, knives, guns, and a staff into her sleeves.
        “Uh...dun know^^;;” Oni admitted.
        “Come back soon!” The shopkeeper yelled at them while they left.

“Oni thinkz wes should eatz out tonightz!” she exclaimed, as they walked back through the marketplace. “Will be funz! Likez...a teahouse o’ ramenshop o’ dat place wit da white noodles...Pho! Yeah dat was itz!”
        “I’ve never been to a ramenshop before,” said Socara. “What’s it like.”
        “That’s a secret,” said Ark, “’till we get there that is.”
        “Alrightz!” shouted Oni. “Will be funz, Soca! U’ll likes mucherz!” Asia smiled and put her hands on Oni’s shoulders, keeping her on the ground. They arrived at the ramenshop after a few minutes. Like most of the other buildings, it too was constructed as best the owners could do from metal scraps. The delicious smell of noodles drifted from the door, good enough to make anyone drool.
        Inside, the floor was, surprisingly, wooden. Red drapes hung from the wall and paper lanterns were strung across the ceiling, along with lights along the walls. A waitress, indicated that they were to take off their shoes at the door, before stepping onto the dining platform. A basin of running water was to the side for people that wished to wash their feet if they were dirty or didn’t wear shoes. The waitress said that Ark could leave his staff by the door, but he said he prefered to carry it with him. They were then seated at a table with cushions around it. Under the table was a lowered section, so you weren’t formed to kneel or sit crosslegged. At the far end of a the room was a sushi bar and a karaoke set by the stage and TV screen. The waitress handed them menus then poured them some water. Ark ordered some sake first though. When the waitress returned, they were ready to order. Socara and Asia needed some help choosing what they wanted.
        “Oh, what about Chaonen?” Socara asked, just before their orders arrived.
        “There are left overs in the refrigerator,” said Asia.
        “If Nikrith didn’t eat all of it first,” Ark muttered, glupping down a glass of sake.
        “Itedakimasu!” shouted Oni and dove into her bowl right after the waitress set the bowl down. Ark repeated the same thing, but more quietly and slightly more dignity.
        “Oh wow! This stuff is good!” exclaimed Socara, eating her noodles quickly. Then spearing some of the side orders they got as well.
        “I wonder how they got this type of flavor,” Asia wondered out loud. “Maybe I can try cooking this at home.”
        “Oye!” Ark called to the waitress. “More sake this way!” He poured Socara the rest of the bottle and offered Asia some, but she declined politely. Oni ordered a soda and another bowl of ramen, while Socara shared some of Ark’s drinks.
        “Soca gonna get drunk iff’en u iz gonna keep sharin’ wit Ark,” Oni said, biting off some long strands of noodle. “He drinkz A LOT.”
        “No I don’t,” snapped Ark, finishing off another bottle.
        “I think I *hiccup* had enough,” laughed Socara. In the background, someone was singing with the karaoke machine.
        “Tone-deaf,” muttered Ark, glancing at the singer. “Eh, let’s get out of here.” He pulled from his pouch a large, thin ring with what looked like several strips of bamboo strung on it. The were light weighted and each had a symbol standing for a number painted on it. He pulled a few of them off and counted the amount, then gave it to the waitress. She took out a small scanning device from her pocket and scanned the credits. Finding them real, she gave Ark the change then bowed them “goodnight”.
        
        Chaonen slid against the wall, crouching low and keeping in the shadows. A patrol camera drifted down the hallway, past him, then around the corner. He then slipped into the hallway and proceded as fast and as quietly as he could towards the nearest exit. Mentally, he noted what he would do if he ran into someone. ‘Act Normal.’ It worked for him. His Shadow went on ahead to see if the coast was clear.

        “Let’s make this interesting.”

        Suddenly, another patrol camera, drifted around the corner from out of nowhere. From a security office, an officer asked for identification from Chaonen through the camera. Chaonen looked at the camera, then dug around in his pockets. “ID...ID...” he muttered, “where is it...?” Finally, he helf up his empty hands. “I think I left it in my office.”
        “Hold on a minute,” said the officer. He opened another screen on his computer and ran an identity check on Chaonen. No profile matched Chaonen. “No profile,” the officer said to the other officer with him. “Have him arrested for trespassing after hours.”
        “Sir, if you will stay here, we will send someone to escort you through the build-,” the screen suddenly went blank. “What happened?” shouted the officer. “Get some guards down there now!”
        “Good job,” Chaonen said to the Shadow, running past the now disabled camera as it fell to the floor. The Shadow grinned and dropped the wire in its mouth, following Chaonen. The nearest exit now was the main lobby. Maybe he could get there and out before the guards arrived. Skidding around a corner, he left claw marks on the floor in his haste to round the corner quickly. Now he was in the main lobby, but so were some guards.
        “Halt!” they shouted, raising there guns.
        Chaonen didn’t even slow down, but dove behind a pillar just as they opened fire. Marble chips and dust flew through the air. He dove and rolled for the next pillar, hearing glass shatter as stray bullets hit the door as well. Glancing at the door, he could see that if he could make it, he could dive through the shattered glass, but now the guards were advancing and might actually hit their marks. Taking a breath, he grabbed Coniau’s device and threw it as hard as he could at them, like a grenade. This caused just enough of an opening for him to leap for the door and out. Now all he had to do was make it across the open plaza.
        
        “Need shower need shower need shower...” Chaonen kept repeating as he staggered into the apartment. “Need shower need shower...” He barely raised a wave ‘hello’ to the others as he passed them in the living room.
        Coniau poked her head out from the closet and shouted to him. Seeing that he wasn’t paying attention she ran infront of him and blocked the hallway. “What do you think you were doing?! Yeah it looked really cool, but you could have been shot! Or arrested if they didn’t kill you! Sure sure, try to be the hero who gets to do all the cool stunts why don’t you?! Get some sense in that skull of yours! And look at you! Covered with dust, dirt, the bottom of your pants and robe are wet, and all your clothes are torn!”
        Chaonen stared blankly at her for a moment, then flicked off a marble chip that had caught onto his sleeve. “Need shower need shower...” walking past her and into the room he was sharing with Ark to get a change of clothes. That is until he realized her didn’t have any other clothes. “Need new clothes and shower need new clothes and shower...”

        It wasn’t until early morning, before everyone else was awake, ‘til Coniau cornered Chaonen. She looked him over and smirked. “Ark’s largest robe still is a size too small, boy.” She grabbed his sleeve and dragged him into her lab. “I have the impression that you’re hiding a lot of things,” she said, sitting on what looked like a levitating seat by her main console. Chaonen remained standing, his Shadow looking around from its place wrapped loosely around Chaonen’s neck. “People are hiding alot of things these days and it drives me nuts!”
        “You have your secrets.”
        “Of course I have my own!” she snapped. “Something weird is going on here. I mean with those reports I printed out yesterday. It looked almost like weapon development to me.” Chaonen didn’t make any indication that he was going to say something so she continued. “All these slum conditions in a prominent city. NIGHTMARE. The disappearance of the [Zetallis Co.]...What in the inferno is going on?!” she shrieked, flailing her arms. Her puppets popped up and flailed their tiny arms too.
        “Do stop that, it’s scary,” said Chaonen, eyeing the puppets.
        
        
        The public transport sailed over the city gleaming in the sun. It passed buildings and towers that were over 60 stories tall, modern and ancient. Passed temples and parks, including Zetallis Park. Slowing down, it circled the transport depot and landed next to another unloading transport.
        “Where’d you get the money?” Ark asked Chaonen as they pushed passed a group of tourists and shoppers. Oni, Asia, and Socara followed closely behind, so as not to lose sight of the others.
        “It’s so different from the slums,” said Asia, looking up at the beautiful blue sky.
        “I thought we’d show you guys the nicer parts of the city. Topside, so to speak,” smiled Ark, hooking his arm with Socara’s. “Shall we?”
        “Let’s,” giggled Socara.

        Later that day, towards sunset, they sat in the lounge on the 58th floor of a skyscaper watching the sunset under the rim of the city. Chaonen had on a new set of clothes and another set in the bag next to him. Asia and Socara shared a bag of things that Chaonen and Ark had bought them. Oni handed Socara, Asia, and Chaonen three tall, cool, fruit drinks. The Shadow whimpered until it got some too. The Raven, whoever, sipped some of Socara’s with some amount of dignity.
        “It’s so pretty,” said Socara as the veil of night began to cover the sky. She stood up and walked to the window. Placing a her free hand on the window, she could see the streets below. Like lines on a piece of paper. She had to shield her eyes as the last rays of the sun reflected off the remaining snow.
        Chaonen walked up behind her. He looked a little sorrowful. “It once was much more beautiful and innocent.” Socara looked up and over her shoulder at him, not quite understanding his words. She leaned against him and lifted his arm so it rested around her shoulders. He smiled down at her, pulled her close then looked back over the city.
        Behind them was a shattering sound. “Shit,” muttered Ark, picking pieces of glass off his pants and wiping the small amount of liquor, that had spilled on him, off. The martini glass he had been holding laid shattered on the table. “Damn weak glass.”
        Seeming how Ark was hurt, everyone turned back to what they were doing, except for Oni. She calmly watched Ark call for the bartender, as she had calmly watched him shatter it from clutching it too tightly. She also calmly noted that his grip had suddenly tightened when Chaonen pulled Socara closer to himself.

Continue