Chapter Seven
Of Flights and Fights in the Snow

The snow started to fall outside the apartment. Despite the peaceful scene, however, the sounds of a struggle weren't far removed.
"You maniac! What are you doing?" Piro yelled at his captor.

Largo's red hair streaked through the white powder falling right outside Tsubasa's apartment, half-dragging his friend behind him. Piro couldn't believe how fast Largo had got out of the apartment. It seemed the man could give Ping a run for her money if need be.

"Saving our @$$e5, you moron," Largo replied, slightly exasperated. "I told you; t3h 3v1l is in that room."
"But Tsubasa and the robot girl…"
"It is too late for them. They were d00m3d when they went into the dark."
"We have to try. It might not be too late; that burglar probably just wanted to take some valuables and leave. By running we may have put them in more danger."
"Perhaps. But we have no l33t g34r. I can do nothing without l33t g34r."
"Damn it," Piro said, finally breaking free. He looked at the apartment building. If he hurried he could get there in a minute or so. He might be able to do something still…Tsubasa was his friend.
"If you are going to just give up, fine. But my friend is up there and I'm going to help him. With you or without."
"Fine then, but we'll need some backup. We know no one."
"I can call the police."
"The police are defenseless against t3h d4r|< f0rc35."
"Then what do you suggest we do?"
<Perhaps Junpei be of assistance?> someone behind the two interrupted the argument.

Piro looked as if he was about to jump out of his skin yet again, but Largo turned around and with the biggest grin plastered on his face, yelled out, "5\/\/337! A |_337 |\|1|\|J4!"

"Do boys who run like scared chickens not speak Japanese?" the ninja queried, bending down slightly, bringing himself to eye level with Largo. He was enormous, easily seven feet tall, muscular, and, or course, dressed right out of a ninja movie.

"N…n-n-n-no," Piro quaked. <I…speak…J-j-j-a-a-ap-p-p-pan-n-n-nese. My…f-f-f-friend-d-d-d-d-doesn't, t-t-t-though.>
The ninja laughed at Piro's attempt at an explanation. "I speak English for foreign boys then. Why you run from Master Tsubasa's apartment?"
"Master…Master Tsubasa!?" Piro shouted; his fear replaced with more shock.
The ninja's eyes looked surprised by the outburst, but he continued on anyway. "Master Assassin Tsubasa recently returned from mission with funny girl. But, Junpei will explain later. Now, boys tell me, what happen in apartment?"
"Uh…" Piro started.
"It was T3H 3\/1|_! 1! 1!11!" Largo yelled out.

The ninja recoiled slightly. "We must hurry. Even for master, t3h 3\/1|_ is a formidable opponent. Master has been distracted since EDS unit arrive; he is in grave danger."

"Wait," Piro held up his hand, "if Tsubasa is a master assassin, why couldn't he sense this evil?"
"Junpei not know, but t3h 3\/1|_ has many guises. We ask master when he and training partner safe."

The ninja grabbed Piro and Largo each with one arm and raced to the apartment building and up the stairs to Tsubasa's place. Placing the boys down, he grabbed the door handle, finding it to be locked. Holding up his hand to where the deadbolt was, he shouted, "Keyless Enter!"

The door was blown off its hinges onto the floor. Without missing a beat, the ninja jumped inside, yelling "Master!"

Piro stared at Largo, who was trying to peer inside enough to get a glimpse of the action when Junpei, Tsubasa and the robot were all thrown outside into the hallway. Tsubasa jumped up, noticing Piro and Largo, yelled "Run!" and did the same himself, the ninja and robot in tow.

The five had barely made it down the five flights of stairs out the building's door when the window in Tsubasa's apartment crashed open and something covered in black clothing landed not fifty feet from the group.

Piro couldn't believe his eyes as the EDS, "Master" Tsubasa, and Junpei all made stances and launched at the creature in perfect synchronization. It was like something outside of a kung-fu movie, graceful, yet deadly.

The scene was hard to follow, but Largo was trying to; his eyes shifting all across the parking lot-made-battlefield. Tsubasa kept shifting to the left and right sides, avoiding blows while delivering his own, while Junpei attacked the chest in a somewhat stationary position and Ping held the back of the creature, preventing its full force from being unleashed.

Finally, the ninja delivered a nasty blow to the beings head, knocking it down. The three jumped back, waiting for the next move. The shawl that had covered the head unraveled just enough to show that the being looked human, with jet black hair, pale white skin and purple eyes.

It looked up and, spotting Piro and Largo, threw itself at them. The EDS, spotting this, jumped in front of the two, yelling <Piro-kun!>

Ping grabbed the enemy and flung it to the ground again with surprising strength. This time it stayed down.

She turned to face Piro and Largo, asking <Are you okay?> as Tsubasa and Junpei walked over to inspect their fallen foe as the snow picked up.

Tsubasa looked at his friends, with a morbid look on his face. "I suppose I have to explain this, do I not?"
Piro also wore a solemn look, answering, "That would be nice."

Tsubasa looked over at the ninja.
"Junpei!"
"Yes sensei?"
"Take Ping-chan inside the apartment. Have her start to clean up. I'll be there in a few minutes."
"Yes sensei," and he turned and took Ping with him outside.

Looking back at Piro and Largo, Tsubasa asked them, "Shall we go into the lobby? The snow continues to fall and you are without protection from the cold."
"Sure Tsubasa."
They walked inside and took a threesome of seats in the lobby, with Tsubasa sitting across from Piro and Largo. Largo looked impressed; Piro a strange mixture of indignation and respect.

"It started many moons ago," Tsubasa began. "I was just a young boy when my father, an assassin himself, started to train me in the ways of our trade. It is my solemn duty to keep my identity a secret, even from my friends, but this was an emergency. Let me explain: I had just come back from a mission with Ping to America."
"Wait," Piro interrupted. "If you were in America with Ping, why wait until now to show her to us? Why have we come to Japan at all?"
"Visiting you while I was in America would have been dangerous; I was tracking down a rogue assassin, she who is called 'True Love.' Ping-chan has been my companion during my travels, but was functioning as a partner in my quest. Unfortunately, it seems that the quest is not as complete as it seemed."
"If Ping is a dating sim accessory, how is she functioning as a kung-fu master?"
"Ah, being an obsessive otaku can sometimes be more useful than being an assassin. I simply picked the right games for her to anagram into her personality and I have the perfect partner. But, again, my task is not complete," Tsubasa said, not realizing the lights going off in the snow. "It is dangerous for you to be here; you should return to America."

<Actually,> a man said as he stepped through the doorway. <They're coming with us.>

Piro looked at the man, who was in a police uniform. He read the badge silently,
"Officer Tetamousa Kurin: Tokyo Police Cataclysm Division"

Asmodeus sat with Boo underneath the chairs.
"Well, fuzzy, this is part of the movie I never saw coming. At least this will keep them out of trouble, but we had better follow them."
"Squeek!"
"Yeah, Sera's gonna kill me."

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