Summary: Jin finally reaches the end of his journeys in the G Corp facility and must now face his greatest enemy.
Chapter Warnings: Violence
Feedback: Comments are welcome; constructive or positive. Flames are nice too because they make for something to laugh at and keep my feet toasty.
Special Thanks: To my beta Kat for betaing everything I send her, and listening to me talk her ear off about this thing.
Disclaimer: The characters found here *do not* belong to me. The story itself *does* belong to me. I am making no profit from this endeavour.
Notes: Yakushima is just so cool. It’s not just a forest, and I didn’t realize it was so much more until I did a search for it. An amazing site that I visited which just gives such a vivid image of what the woods are really like. Beautiful pictures and descriptions. The last day is sort of cut off and I can’t find a continuation of it, but the report, while incomplete, is just such a fun and informative read!
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details and chapter links.
Jin was nearing the end of the maze. He could feel it with every opponent he dropped to the ground. Every punch he threw got him closer to Ogre and his revenge. He’d destroyed a strange glowing orb that seemed too powerful to be a simple machine of war, and after that the maze had become more complex. The rooms led in odd directions with strange puzzles that needed to be solved before Jin could navigate through them. It was only with Devil’s guidance that he was able to find his way into the final room where Ogre was waiting for him.
He stepped beyond the final threshold, the heavy door slamming shut behind him and he was immediately aware of the foul aura of True Ogre. He cast about the room, seeing nothing but a large chamber with tall, glass pillars that glowed with a soft, blue light and strange carvings along the walls that led up to a vaulted ceiling. It was as he looked up that he caught a glint flashing in the dark and then the hulking form of Ogre descended upon him and everything moved in slow motion from there.
The beast leapt from its perch on high and landed with a resounding thud at Jin’s feet, quickly lashing out with a powerful kick towards his shins. Jin blocked and dodged another swing of its powerful arm before planting a charged hook into the creature’s ribs. Ogre cried out, immediately retaliating by taking a deep breath and blowing a long blast of fire. Jin rolled to the side, just missing being hit, although he could smell burning hair and felt that the ends if his bangs were singed. Too close!
Devil grew impatient and began to pace within Jin’s head. “You’re fucking everything up! Let me out and I’ll crush him!” Devil bellowed when Jin turned, raising his defenses in time as Ogre charged him and knocked him up against the wall.
“No, shut up!” Jin ground out as he dodged another flame attack. He could feel the power welling up inside him, but he pushed it back. He was strong enough to do this!
Ogre leapt into the air, held aloft by its powerful wings and Jin dove out of the way of a diving attack, turning at the last moment to kick the creature in the side and send it careening into the wall. The beast picked itself up from the floor and let out a terrible roar that resonated throughout the air. Jin stood his ground, feeling the air around him calm as he stared at the beast with a dead-bloodlust that was only tempered by a resolute determination to destroy it.
The two beings paused for a moment before each propelled themselves forward, launching themselves against the other in the first of many deadly attacks. Explosions of light shot out everywhere as the two collided, each hit finding their mark with deadly accuracy and they began to move with blinding speed to injure the other. Punches and kicks rang out in the chamber, some finding their mark, although most were blocked as if they’d been planned in a stunning, choreographed dance. The bodies moved together, the man known as Fatal Lightning never losing the mask of concentration on his face as he dodged a kick and took a powerful blow to his chest. Ogre howled, although Jin seemed unfazed and quickly took advantage of the pause and laid out several punches of his own, following through with a kick to the creature’s solar-plexus. Ogre stumbled backwards, gasping for air as he clutched his injured chest and Jin made to finish the job, but was knocked back by a sudden blinding light.
He staggered backward, covering his eyes from the light that was so intense that it stabbed through his eyelids and into his very being. There was an awful tearing sound and Ogre howled in pain, but the sound quickly turned into horrid laughter that ripped through Jin’s courage and filled him with mounting anxiety. When the light finally faded Jin uncovered his eyes and looked upon Ogre’s new form.
If the beast had been intimidating before, it was terrifying now. Its towering form nearly reached the ceiling, its wings flaring out to the sides and it seemed a nearly impossible opponent. Blue fur stood out brightly in the dim chamber and its eyes glowed with the fire that burned deep in its throat.
Ogre seemed to pause, leisurely contemplating its next move before its aura flared up and it sprang into the air, filling the gap between it and Jin with a flood of fire and heat.
Jin avoided the attack, noticing the greater range the creature now got with that attack. Of course, towering over him at twice its regular height had to help in that respect. Though its size was impressive, it didn’t seem to slow down too greatly and at that moment its title of ‘God of Fighting’ became painfully obvious as it dove through the air and made another pass before landing on the other side of the chamber.
Jin took the opportunity to rush towards it, throwing his charged attack into the creature’s side. Ogre lifted its arm in a gesture of power and the room suddenly filled with a strong wind. Not just wind but… it was churning together, faster and stronger, pulling Jin this way and that and it was all he could do to keep from being lifted off his feet and thrown against the solid glass walls.
“Shut up,” Fatal Lightning muttered as he picked himself up off the floor from the wind attack, licking at the bit of blood trickling from the side of his mouth.
“If he kills you…” Devil took on a warning tone.
“Shut up!” Jin shouted, rushing at Ogre again. He ducked out of the way of a powerful kick, maneuvering around to its back and pummeling it with a series of kicks and punches, finishing it off with a corpse thrust.
Ogre staggered forward, turning to face Jin, but the brunette was on the move again, sliding to its flank and ducking out of the way of another series of godly attacks. It lowered its head, stabbing its horns down, but Jin brought his arms up at the last minute to block, his feet shifting under the power behind the blow.
“What are you doing? Finish him! DESTROY HIM!”
“Ugh, stop,” Jin bit out pushing back on Ogre’s horns before turning out of the way and letting the hulking form fall forward while he stepped around its side and ducked under a wing. His heel kicked out and found its mark on the back of Ogre’s calf, sending the creature to kneel which made it easier for him to jump up and kick his wing-joint out of place.
The creature howled, barely heard above Devil’s incessant taunts. “If you’re not going to destroy him completely, then what are you doing? Let me out and I’ll rip him apart!”
Jin ignored him, although it became difficult to concentrate. Ogre whirled around with a powerful downward punch. It connected with his shoulder and the man known as Fatal Lightning cried out in pain as his shoulder dislocated.
“You’re letting him kill you! Such incompetence…Jun put up a better fight than this!” Devil was livid, thrashing about inside of Jin, although the brunette didn’t feel it as he sprang backwards to get out of the way of another attack, the words resonating within his head. The mention of his mother’s name seemed to ring clear amongst the fury that swirled around at Devil’s words. Clear and luminous it was a beacon that drove Jin’s goal to the forefront of his mind.
He let out a steady breath, his eyes gaining the same dead-set glare that would have thrown any other opponent into discomfort. Ogre didn’t even notice as it raised his arm again to call forth the swirling cyclone drill from before. Jin rushed forward, using his good arm to push forward as he stomped his foot into the ground to lend power to his attack. Ogre staggered as its body absorbed the strike and Jin continued pummeling the creature with the same stomp that broke through the tough exterior and shattered the bones beneath. By the time Jin stepped back from his handiwork, Ogre was howling in agony, its tail swinging about wildly in a mad attempt to knock him over. Jin easily stepped back as the beast let out one final, deafening roar and then was enveloped in a blinding flash of light.
When the light dissipated, Ogre had gone and Jin could feel the floor beneath his feet rumbling. The faint sounds of heavy blocks falling apart could be heard throughout the chamber and Jin didn’t need to listen to Devil’s commands to know that he’d better find a way out. Fast!
Jin didn’t have the same troubles getting out of the levels as he’d had getting in. He managed to get to the spiral room just as the room that had Ogre’s mark on the door collapsed behind him. Devil roared commands and he followed, the ruins collapsing just as he made it out to the research facility. There was a faint alarm sounding throughout the rooms, but he saw nobody as he rushed through, his body screaming at him to slow down. His shoulder still ached from where Ogre had dislocated it, but he couldn’t stop to try and do anything about it. Running made it hurt worse and the ache lanced out across the rest of his frame, numbing him with absolute pain.
By the time Jin crashed through the front doors to the facility, the building was collapsing behind him and he scrambled to get clear as it sank into the ground, a great cloud of dust rising up as if the stone structure’s soul was escaping. Jin gasped for breath after running so hard and gingerly felt his shoulder. It’d be tough to set it himself, but it wasn’t like there was anybody he could ask for help…
Devil’s familiar voice rang through his head, louder than before. He tried to repress the evil feeling that washed over him, but the pain dampened his strength. He looked up as he heard someone approach. A lot of someones and he clenched his teeth at the sight of the JACKs that surrounded him. There were so many… too many to fight on his own. Jin had faith in his skills, but at that moment, with his strength zapped and an injured shoulder…
He started, moving in slow-motion as he felt a stab of pain course through his body and his vision flashed blurry for a moment. “What the…?” and then he screamed. Louder and louder as Devil thrashed within him and violently pushed his consciousness out of the way as the JACKs closed around him to attack.
“No!” he screamed as Devil howled with delight. Jin was aware of what was happening, viewing the fight from behind Devil’s control and could feel himself weakening at sight of the carnage. His body moved under Devil’s will, tearing through a handful of opponents like they were leaves. It was just too much, too overwhelming. Jin shuddered as he felt his soul breaking. Devil was tearing apart his dreams and goals and it all started to be ripped apart within his own mind, and then… it stopped. The vision of bloodshed snapped out of view and everything was suddenly peaceful. Light and white and he relaxed as his soul was overcome with a sense of peace that replaced the agony.
The bloodbath Devil had begun was gone. Jin couldn’t see anything inside his head except for the light; not blinding but reminiscent of a sunny day. Just like the days he could remember in Yakushima with his mother. The calm, stillness of the ancient forest as the sunlight filtered down through the canopy of trees... It was almost overwhelming and he relaxed into the light’s embrace as his body was used by Devil for his own gruesome pleasure.
He was safe.
Jin stayed in the white-light’s shelter until he could sense it thinning and the evil beyond it was lessening. He struggled to regain control of his body and Devil, weak from his battle, acquiesced to the change of control.
Jin opened his eyes to find himself standing amid a field of JACKs, his own hands bruised and bloody while his body ached terribly from the fight he’d had no part in. His shoulder had been popped back into place, although he didn’t want to think of the manner in which Devil had done it. The joint still ached and he rubbed it absently, spreading his black wings about him to confirm that they were still in place on his back. Devil still had a modicum of control over his body, but not his mind. Though Jin hated him, at the moment he was grateful for the wings that would take him back to Yakushima faster than his legs were able to.
Spreading them widely he sprang into the air and flapped a few times to bear him higher into the sky. A journey home always seems faster than the trip that takes you away from it in the first place. He ignored the pain in his body and flew as fast as he could, eager to find the home he’d grown up in as a child and the comfort the familiarity would bring him.
Jin arrived in Yakushima several hours later. Landing just outside the southern town of Onoaida he stepped across the main road into the sea of trees that filled the centre of the island. The moment he stepped beneath the canopy he felt as if he was in another world. It was humid and dark, for all the trees seemed to suck up the sunlight before it could reach the ground beneath their thick, ancient branches. It was so different from what he’d been living in and he could feel his soul almost weep with joy at it all. He stayed clear of the main paths, not wanting to meet anybody else. The secret paths he and his mother had used were hidden, though Jin’s feet found them easily as if he’d only left a day before. The trees were just as large as he’d remembered. What were a few years of a human’s life to entities that had lived for thousands of years? The wicked, gnarled roots arched out from the base of some of the larger cedars and Jin stumbled as his feet caught under their twisted timber toes. It wasn’t too long before he came across a small clearing that was still thick with vegetation, although not as choked as other areas of the great wood.
Thick patches of ferns lined the perimeter of a clearing that bordered a stream that he knew was fed by the Sempiro waterfall, despite the short distance from the great plummeting waters. A bird sang somewhere in the trees and Jin’s heart tightened when he approached the log home that Jun had raised him in. It was overrun with vegetation but the signs of the struggle years earlier between his mother and Ogre were still very visible. When he drew nearer, he found that the wood that remained had remained solid through the years and with a little hard work and a lot of new lumber it would be habitable once more. Of course, it had been constructed from the fallen cedars of Yakushima. Only the cedars of the ancient forest possessed sap that preserved them for centuries after they’d ceased being living things. Finding more fallen cedars would be easy enough and he’d again have another solid home.
Devil slumbered in the back of his consciousness and Jin sat on a massive boulder to take advantage of the total peace he felt at that moment. No voice, no devil gene to worry about. Though Jun was gone, she’d taught him well how to live in that place and with any luck, he could regain his strength and hold back the devil gene for long enough to destroy his bloodline. The bird stopped singing and there was a brief wind that made the trees groan; almost in objection to his thoughts. He bowed his head, knowing his mother would weep if she knew his plans. It made his heart ache and with that he hopped off the boulder to begin his work on the cabin. His mind ignoring his plans and flashing towards Hwoarang and the fight he’d have with the other man. The ache left his heart and was replaced with contentment; selfish and full of purpose. To know he’d get to see his Korean rival one last time almost made him giddy to think of it. The other man had always sought him out to collect on their promised fight, and he always had to decline. Hwoarang, it seemed, had a knack for catching him at terribly inconvenient times. However, next time…
Jin smiled at the thought and set about restoring his home.
~End Chapter 11~
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