Prologue: Akemi, Blair, Black Star, and Tsubaki
"So where are we goin'?" Black Star questions, walking with the other three indifferently.
"Oh, Black Star." Tsubaki shakes her head and closes her eyes. "We've told you a million times, haven't we?"
"Well! Tell me a million more times! Where are we goin'?!"
"We're going to the old Death City carnival," Akemi says, rolling his eyes. "It used to get a lot of visitors, but now it's a big dump. The rides are still intact and so are the attractions. Nobody knows exactly what happened, but all of the customers at the carnival mysteriously disappeared one day. We're going there to investigate. Lord Death suspects kishins are behind it."
"Well, whatever the case, I'm sure everything will be A-OKAY! Right, Akemi?" Blair sits on his shoulder in her cat form, rubbing his face with her paw.
He smiles smugly. "Yeah."
"There it is!" Tsubaki points at the carnival. Ominous and odd, the carnival seems to scream danger and "Stay away." Nighttime makes the carnival look strangely haunted, like as if something was watching them approach from afar.
"This is going to be a piece of cake. No carnival kishins are going to get the best of Black Star! HAHAHA!" Black Star polishes a juicy, red apple on his shirt and takes a bite.
"Will you shut up?" Akemi glares at him.
"Hey! Who are you telling to shut up, wise guy? I'll tear you apart!" Black Star glares back.
Blair turns human and outspreads her arms to keep the two boys separated.
"You two are acting like children, sillies! Come on! We're all on the same team here!"
"Blair's right," Tsubaki says. "Let's just get this mission over and done with. Okay?"
Black Star jumps in place excitedly. "Fine! But I'm going to be the first one to get in there!"
"You want a bet?" Akemi lunges forward and dashes headlong for the carnival without any confirmation.
"Oh, yeah..." Black Star smiles. "I like a challenge." He dashes off after Akemi in a trail of dust.
"Our boys." Tsubaki smiles. "Gotta love 'em."
"I'll say," Blair responds, sitting on a floating pumpkin. "Want a lift?"
Without anymore time to spare, the two meisters and two weapons are in the carnival grounds.
"This place is creepy." Black Star looks around. "I wonder what caused all those customers to disappear."
"Well, that's why we're here." Akemi casts wary glances to and fro. "We'll get to the bottom of this."
"What was that?" Tsubaki turns suddenly toward a dark corner.
"What was what?"
"That! I saw something move!"
"Stop letting your imagination get the best of you, Tsubaki." Black Star laughs. "Come on. We should start walking around. Better than standing around here all day!"
They search diligently. The carnival attractions and game stands stand there empty and full of despair.
"I can't help but get the feeling that we're being watched, Black Star," Tsubaki says, rubbing her arm for comfort. "I don't like it."
"Don't be ridiculous. Hey! I have a good idea! How about we split up?" Black Star turns to the rest.
"Split up?" Akemi asks. "I guess we could do that. We'd be able to cover more ground that way."
Blair shrugs. "It's okay with me!"
"Cool. Akemi and Blair, you guys can cover the west flank of the carnival. Tsubaki and I will cover the east. Got it?"
Akemi turns around and starts walking. Blair gives the peace sign and starts running to catch up with him.
"Okay. Let's do this."
The silence was very strong. Creaking rides and the odd piece of trash could be heard in the wind. The crickets chirped on and on, and things seemed eerily distrustful.
"I don't like this Black Star! I'm getting the creeps!"
"Calm down! Let's go check out that fun house over there. It looks promising."
The opening to the fun house appears to be a giant clown head with his mouth wide open in a terrifying grimace.
"Oooohh... Why do they always have to make these carnival attractions creepy?" Tsubaki looks down at the grass.
"You're creepy!" Black Star points at her face. "Now let's get in there! YAHOO!!!" Running at the speed of light, Black Star shoots through the clown's mouth and into the fun house.
"It's really dark in here." Tsubaki looks around and presses a button for the lights. "There we go! Much better."
"I kinda liked the darkness! It made my inner assassin come out!"
"Black Star! Shhhh... Who knows what's in here?"
"There's nothing in here! Nothing at all! You're getting freaked out over noth--" Suddenly, a clown with bright face make-up tackles Black Star to the floor.
"Right!" Tsubaki changes into a chain scythe, and Black Star deflects a blow from the clown with the chain, and kicks him off in one swift movement.
Standing upright, the clown and Black Star size each other up.
"Who the hell are you?!" Black Star demands.
The clown just chuckles mockingly, not saying a thing.
"You don't wanna talk, huh? Well, that just means I'm gonna have to kick your ass!" Black Star lunges at the clown, but the clown sidesteps and another clown smacks Black Star down with a swing of his arm.
"There's more Black Star! They're everywhere!"
"Something doesn't seem right. Do you see that mark on their arm? It looks like a red eye with two long claws behind it. They all have that mark."
"Do you think it means something?"
"I don't know. All I know is that nobody smacks me around like a rag doll! Come here!"
Black Star swings the chain scythe around full circle and the clowns are knocked back apace.
"I'll tear you all apart! YAHOO!!!" Jumping on their heads, he levers himself into the air and does a quick air attack on the clowns. A few of them are able to escape the attack, but a lot of them aren't so lucky.
One of the clowns licks its lips and stands farther away. "Do you understand who you're dealing with? We'll never stop until all of Death City is one, big cesspool of kishins."
"No! Do you understand who you're dealing with?! I'm Black Star! The greatest assassin that's ever lived! You'll be lucky if I don't THROW you into a cesspool by the time I'm finished with you!"
The clown just gives another dark chuckle. "You'll never stop us. And you're not leaving this place alive. We'll eat your flesh and then save your soul for dessert, you whiny brat."
Black Star yells in defiance and attacks the clowns once again. The fight is fast and with every passing moment, clown after clown is being destroyed. "There's too many, Tsubaki! They just keep coming! I think it's time!"
"Right!" Together they say, "Let's go! Soul Resonance!"
Souls linked together, Black Star is able to attack the clowns more powerfully than before. With quick slicing and dodging, the clowns are done for in a matter of minutes.
"No stupid clowns are going to get the best of ME! Black Star! HAHAHA!"
Tsubaki just gives a small smile.
Blair and Akemi wander around aimlessly through the dark carnival.
"This is so weird. Carnivals are supposed to be all lit up and happy and full of music and laughing kids! This place is just depressing." Blair looks around warily.
"I know. There's a reason the customers disappeared. I wonder if Black Star and Tsubaki have found anything yet."
"Oooh! Cotton candy!" Blair runs over to the cotton candy machine. "Aw... There's none."
"Damn it." Akemi says. "I-I mean! Let's focus on the kishins! Not cotton candy!"
"But cotton candy is so delcious!"
Akemi facepalms and sighs. Glancing up, he sees a giant, wooden rollercoaster. "Hey, look at that. It looks dangerous enough. Let's go check it out!"
Akemi turns into a ninja sword and Blair walks in, weapon in hand.
Long stairs spiral upward into the night sky. The wooden boards beneath creak and groan as they slowly make their way up the stairs. In a matter of minutes, they're at the very top.
Decorations and painted, plastic statues surround them. One particular statue stands on top of the sign for the rollercoaster. Wings outspread and horns on his head, he looks like a giant satanic being. "This one's ugly! It looks like a giant demon!"
"Well, this rollercoaster IS called Stairway to Hell."
"I wonder if this ride still works! You wanna ride the rollercoaster, Akemi?" She holds the sword lovingly.
"Uh... Stop holding me like that! I'm a sword! Not a freaking teddy bear!"
A low, guttural growl emanates from the darkness and Blair turns toward the sound. "Hello? Is someone there?"
No sound. No response. Blair keeps quiet, when suddenly a large crack is heard from above. Looking up, she notices that the wings of the demon have begun to move. The demon twists its head and shakes its body to rid itself of the stiffness and jumps down onto the floor.
Blair braces herself as the demon turns and looks at her, eyes glowing red with a deadly nature that spells death.
It looks like something out of a nightmare. The peaceful night is no place for this thing.
"That's one big piece of ugly." Blair laughs.
"Blair! Watch out!"
The demon smacks Blair with the back of his hand and she lands on her back in one of the cars of the rollercoaster.
"Ow! That wasn't nice, you big bully!" The wheels on the cars begin to turn and everything is taking a sickening drop backwards.
Akemi's face is very dull, with half-closed eyes when he says, "We're going down, aren't we?"
"Yep! Think so!" The cars roll down the long, drop and Blair holds on tight to keep from flying out.
"This is so ridiculous!" Akemi yells.
A large screech is heard and Blair turns to find the demon flying after them.
"We've got company!" Standing up, Blair deflects a deadly bite from her adversary and deals a deafeningly blow to the demon's stomach as she back-flips.
Landing, she grabs the tip of her hat with her forefinger and thumb. "Can't I just use magic this one time, Akemi-Wemi?"
"Ugh... Don't call me that... And you know what Lord Death said. No magic in battle if you're going to be a student at the DWMA."
The demon launches into the air and spirals down at Blair like a juggernaut.
Blair jumps into the air as well and kicks down, landing a blow on the back of the demon's neck.
It screeches in pain as it turns and claws her with his hand.
"I'm fine!" she says, gritting her teeth. With quick, smooth motions, she cuts the demon's wings off and he falls landward. They land on the track and turn. Roaring in pain, it jumps toward her and the track cracks underneath them.
"This whole thing is going to collapse if he keeps jumping around like that!"
"That gives me an idea." Blair jumps over the demon. "Yoo-hoo! Over here! Come on, big guy! Follow me!"
The demon continues to jump toward her, and Blair keeps moving backwards.
"You can jump farther than that, can't you?"
Taunted by her, the demon makes further efforts to jump farther and farther. However, the last jump does the trick.
Blair hops up onto the wooden platform beside the track and waves at the demon. "Bye, bye."
The track of the rollercoaster collapses and wood and dust particles are thrown into the air.
Gravity doing its part, the demon plummets downward as the wood and iron land on top of him in a heap.
"Smart thinking." Akemi turns human.
"It was no biggy." She laughs. "Come here, you!" She hugs him tightly and his head lands in her boobs.
"You're just so lovable! I love you!" Blair twists him around, side to side.
"Ohhhh..." Akemi basks in his happiness.
When she lets go of him, he falls backwards with a nosebleed.
"Why does that always happen?" Blair stares at him.
"Hey, guys!" Black Star and Tsubaki walk up. "What's going on? We saw the coaster collapse and decided to investigate."
"Oh, nothing! We just fought this big, ugly thing! Did you guys find anything interesting?"
"We found just a bunch of clowns looking for trouble." Tsubaki lowers her gaze. "The things they were saying and the mark on their arms... were a little suspicious. It's like they were part of a cult or something."
"Wait until we tell Lord Death about it! He'll probably give me a medal or something!" Black Star grins smugly, pointing at himself with his thumb.
Akemi stands up. "Yeah. A medal for being a loser."
"Hey!" Black Star glares.
"Boys!" Tsubaki and Blair yell. "Can we just go home now?"
"Whatever." Black Star says.
"Pum-pumpkin-pumpkin!" Blair summons a giant, flying pumpkin. "Hop on!"
"I call shotgun!" Black Star jumps on.
"It's a pumpkin, you idiot!"
"SHUT UP, BOYS!"