The following is an excerpt from a work in progress. “Akito, The Dark Flame” is part of the Before the Sun Rises series and introduces a character that will have a large part in the third novel from the same series, a novel called Blood’s Embrace. This story tells the tale of how Akito becomes a vampire and a bit of his tragic past. *Please note this story has not went through any proofreading or editing phases.
Akito, The Dark Flame
a Before the Sun Rises story
by Nicola C. Matthews
“Eddie, if you do not concentrate, you will not be able to control all of that Chakra,” Stealth looked sternly at his young charge, seeing the young man’s brow furrowed in obvious pain.
Eddie slung his head slightly, trying to dislodge the brown curls which had stuck to his forehead. He succeeded in causing more of the loose waves to stick to his sweat-soaked skin. He grimaced, his eyebrows nearly meeting in the middle as his brow furrowed even more.
“I’m …. trying,” he grunted, his bare chest heaving heavily as he struggled to breath.
The veins in his arms were standing out against the well-defined muscles. His arms were outstretched, his wrists together and his hands making a mirrored “C” formation, the classic cup for which even now the tiny ball of energy was flicking inside of his fingers.
Eddie hissed slightly as he let the breath out that he had been subconsciously holding, his knees bending slightly.
“Good, Eddie, very good. Don’t forget to breathe.” Stealth walked slowly around Eddie as the young teenager stood in the middle of the dojo, the black pants of his gi pooling slightly around his bare feet.
Stealth stopped just to the side of his student, eyeing the small ball of energy critically. “Carefully now, I want you to concentrate really hard, make the ball more compact. The trick to making your Chakra more effective is to condense it within itself.”
Stealth got closer, his black eyes nearly level with the flickering ball of green energy held within Eddie’s hands. The ball grew slightly, becoming brighter. Eddie heaved in a giant breath of air, his body beginning to shake with the exertion of trying to keep so much life-force balled up in such a tight restraint.
“Good. Now, focus that energy, let it slip past your fingertips, let it flow out, but keep it connected to your inner self. If you don’t keep it connected-“
Stealth’s words were cut off as the green ball of fire shot past Eddie’s fingers and careened around the room.
“Keep it under control, Eddie,” Stealth warned, stepping back quickly as the green ball flew past his head, nearly singeing the long black hair that was tied neatly back in a long braid. “Keep it connected, Eddie, concentrate.”
“I’m trying!” Eddie screamed in frustration. In that single instant his concentration was lost, and the ball of fire grew to triple its original size, the Chakra coming unbound from itself and smashing into the opposite wall.
The entire side of the dojo exploded outward, sending bits of wood and debris out into the street. A few people screamed as they quickly took cover from the flying splinters of bamboo.
“Fuck!” Eddie hissed under his breath as he swiped his arm across his forehead, the sweat causing the loose curls to curl up tighter around his hairline. “Sorry about that, Stealth. I’ll fix it in the morning.” Eddie looked around the dojo, grimacing at the various holes riddling the training area. “And the rest, too.” He gave his master a lop-sided grin before collapsing onto the floor, picking up the bottle of water a few feet away.
“You are getting better,” Stealth said, taking note of the various sized holes in his dojo. “Notice how much smaller the holes have gotten over the past few months.”
The two of them looked around the training area, the various holes and repairs making the place look more like a war zone than a place for training in the martial arts.
Eddie leaned forward to look out the three foot round hole his Chakra had just made in the south wall, seeing the double garage door of the motor shop next door caved in on itself. “You think old man Kiminick will notice?” he asked with a laugh.
Stealth moved silently around the large room, replacing the various weapons in their respective stands. “I think my bank account will notice when I get the repair bill next week.”
Eddie snickered slightly, chugging down the last few swallows of water. “So how come you know all about this Chakra stuff but I’ve never seen you form so much as a single spark of energy?” the nineteen year old asked as he pulled on the white shirt of his gi. “If you know so much about it then you have to be able to control your own Chakra, right?” Eddie glanced over at Stealth as he gathered his shoulder-length brown curls into a pony tail.
“We’ve been over this, Eddie,” Stealth said to him as he picked up a broom and tossed it over to his student. Eddie caught the instrument with ease, immediately starting to sweep the floor of the large room. “Chakra comes from the living energy within and around us. Vampires are dead, therefore we do not have any Chakra to control.”
Eddie snorted, his brown eyes rolling skyward. “Yeah, that’s what you keep saying, Master Stealth. But I don’t buy it.” Eddie propped his arms up on the handle of the broom as he looked over at the vampire a few feet away. “Chakra is just energy, and energy is never really lost, it just gets transferred, rearranged if you will. So dead or not, you still have some type of energy flowing through your body because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be up walking around.”
Stealth sighed. He was tired of having this argument with his young pupil. They had been going over this same scenario for the better part of four years now. Eddie was convinced that Stealth’s lack of Chakra was the result of some mental block. Stealth, however, had not been able to make so much as a single spark from his Chakra ever since his sire, LeeLee, had embraced him all those years ago. He had always been taught that Chakra was a living energy, and since the vampire body was no longer technically living, he would never have use of his Chakra again. He had taken his trainers at their word. But now, in this new scientific age, his young charge was determined to prove that his Master’s life force was still lingering deep inside of him somewhere, just waiting to be unleashed once again.
Eddie laughed softly. He knew his Master was having that internal battle again. He wanted so much to believe that he had not really lost his Chakra, but at the same time, if it could be proven that Stealth’s own masters had been wrong in this one aspect of his training, what else had they been wrong about? If he began questioning all those decades of training, his entire belief system could come crashing in on itself. Stealth was nothing if not a stickler for the rules that governed his life and the Council. To know that they had been wrong on something so fundamental in his training would mean the end of everything that made sense in his life.
“Relax, Master,” Eddie told him as he went back to sweeping the floor. “Even if you could somehow unlock your Chakra again, it doesn’t mean that the Council has been wrong about everything.” Eddie glanced over to where Stealth was once again hanging weapons against the wall. “Trust me,” Eddie said quietly, “just because you find out that someone has lied to you your whole life doesn’t mean you have to give up and wallow in self-pity.”
Stealth smiled at the words of wisdom from someone so young. Eddie, above all the others whom he had been charged with over the years, knew all too well about not giving up in the face of great odds.
“You are right, my young apprentice,” he said as he moved towards the door. “Enough training for one night. You have worked hard these past few months and deserve a nice break.” Stealth stopped long enough to pull his shoes onto his feet. “Let us go down to the L and L for a few drinks.”
Eddie’s head popped up at the mention of one of the roughest vampire hang-outs in Abyss. “Really?” he asked, almost holding his breath as he waited for Stealth to begin laughing at his own joke. But Stealth didn’t start laughing, only stood waiting by the door. “You are really going to take me to a vampire nightclub?” He stood still for a split second before sprinting over to the door and pulling his own shoes onto his feet.
“But you’ve always said I was too young and inexperienced to be trusted in such places.” Eddie looked over at his Master, thinking that this whole thing had to surely be a joke.
“And why not?” Stealth asked as he ushered his young charge out the door. “You are never going to learn what it means to be a vampire assassin if you do not get your hands dirty once in a while.”