Morian walked into the training area, a smug look on her face. Sirah blinked as the pride of her first kill faded away and reality struck her. She'd killed someone. She'd just taken the life of another
"Congratulations," Morian commented off-handedly, "You have one more task before your training is complete." Sirah looked up, her face holding a slightly horrified look.
"What might that be, Lady?" she asked softly.
"You are to fight me in battle and win. It will be fight to the death. As you have undoubtedly noticed, you gain the energy, power, and abilities of the opponents you defeat."
"Fight to the death?" Sirah seemed confused. "I don't understand, Lady. Why?"
"To complete your training. If you lose, I can easily bring you back to life, as it's one of my capabilities, but dying hurts like hell. You, on the other hand, would kill me and absorb my strength and power. It would be good for you." Morian pulled a bladed staff from the air and held it in front of her in an offensive position.
"But Lady, I don't want..."
"I don't care what you want. You will fight or you will die!" Morian ran forward to attack Sirah. Sirah only barely had time to summon her own weapon to fend her off. And thus, the battle commenced.
Above the battlefield, DoRe watched with grim satisfaction as Sirah dodged and attacked with grace and speed. She had been trained well for such a short amount of time, though in Sirah's own world, much more time had passed. He smirked slightly as he noticed a near-invisible bubble around Morian.
"Why aren't you attacking?!" Sirah dodged another blow and stood off to one side, a rueful smile on her face.
"Because if I did, I'd lose your energy." Morian glared hard at Sirah.
'So it's not because we've been battling for six straight hours. I'm feeling tired because she's draining my energy! That...'
"LITTLE WENCH!" Morian sprang forward, catching Sirah by surprise. In reflex, she moved aside and struck out with her blade... When she looked up, Morian was at the end of her blade, pain and pride written on her face. Sirah quickly and smoothly removed the blade from her teacher's stomach and helped her lay down on the floor.
"Lady Morian!" Morian smiled slightly.
"You've made me proud, girl," Morian said quietly, malice in her voice. "You're the first of my students who was actually able to defeat me." Her voice trailed off, and her body suddenly lost all tension, disappearing into the air. Sirah gasped slightly as Morian's power was stored deep inside of her, becoming a part of her. Serena's power was there, too... DoRe laughed wickedly as he descended to the floor, a cruel smile on his face. Sirah stood, but instead of shock or horror this time, she had a look of satisfaction.
"Well done, Sirah," DoRe said quietly. "I think it is time for your next and final task."
"I'm ready, Master DoRe," Sirah said mildly, bowing slightly to him.
"Good. Go to the Escaflownian planes and await the arrival of Rashi and his friends. Do you what you want with the girl and the bird, but you will kill Rashi and bring him back using Morian's powers. If you have a chance, try and get the girl on our side as well. I don't care about the bird. Kill him and absorb his powers if you wish. Or you could keep him as a pet." Sirah grinned maliciously.
"Yes, Master DoRe. I will carry out your orders completely." Sirah disappeared from sight, teleporting herself near her destination. DoRe's eyes narrowed slightly as his evil smile widened.
"I know you will. They're too late to save you." His wicked laughter filled the fortress, echoing menacingly. Sirah shivered slightly, though she had not actually heard him laughing. She began heading for the Escaflownian Plateau, deadly determination in her black eyes...
"Argg..." Rashi growled lowly. "I am SO tired of walking... I wish I had the fly card... We could get there MUCH faster..." Rashi sighed audibly...
"Why don’t you just create it, Rashi?" Sidney questioned.
"Can't. I tried already. It already exists as a Clow card. I cant create cards that are already real..." His voice trailed off a bit. "What ya thinking bout, Feneil?" Feniel had been obviously thinking deeply about something... He turned to Sidney.
"I dunno... Would it be a smart idea?"
"It'd get us there faster, man... C'mon, I think we could still do it..." Feneil smiled sheepishly and Sidney returned it, willingly.
"What?" Rashi and Tokia looked at the brothers, then at each other, questioningly.
"You’ll see, Rashi." Sidney smiled and the two stepped away from their companions. They faced each other, and Feneil raised his right hand, equal to his face, Sidney grabbed hold of it. They chanted in verses:
Feniel: "From light to dark"
Sidney: "From dark to light"
Feniel: "From night to day"
Sidney: "From day to night"
Both: "Dragon of balance, RELEASE YOUR MIGHT!!!"
As soon as they finished the last word, they both began to glow. A blinding light, followed by a deafening darkness yielded a large creature.
[We are the dragon of balance, Rashi.]
"WHOA!" Rashi and Tokia both gasped.
[You see, when dark and light join, they create a whole. We are the whole between Feneil and Sidney. Come, climb aboard our back and allow us to fly you to the Escaflownian Plateau] The creature softly bellowed, and smiled. Rashi and Tokia climbed aboard it, and the dragon began to levitate, and they were soon high above the ground, soaring toward the Escaflownian Plateau...
Mere moments later, they landed on what was known as the Escaflownian Plateau, where they found Iñaki, standing and staring maniacally at them.
"I've been waiting, Saiyatsu..." Iñaki smiled.
"Iñaki?!" Rashi stared in disbelief, his eyes filled with joy at seeing his lost friend.
"I've been waiting, Saiyatsu..." The girl blinked, shaking her head slightly. "What did you call me?"
"Uh... Iñaki? Who's Saiyat..."
"What is this name you call me? My name is Sirah," she growled, glaring at the quartet. "I am here in the name of my Master, DoRe. And I have been given the order of your deaths." Rashi's eyes widened slightly.
"Iñaki, are you okay?"
"Rashi," Sidney whispered. "Look at her eyes. That's not Iñaki, not completely."
"And now, you die." Sirah called forth her blade, the blade that had killed Morian. She began charging, but was knocked off her feet as the ground began to shake.
"HALT! YOU HAVE NOT GAINED PERMISSION TO BE HERE!" The five looked up to see...a huge suit of mobile armor...
"Guymeloth," Feniel whispered. Sidney nodded, his eyes narrowing slightly. He stepped forward, glaring at the soldier within the suit.
"We need no permission! We have a right to go where we wish!"
"OH REALLY? AND BY WHAT DIVINE FORCE DO YOU HAVE THIS RIGHT?"
"I don't need divine right," he answered, his eyes closed. His wings sprouted from his back. Feniel followed his lead, and pair of glowing white wings sprouted forth from his shoulder blades. Rashi noted the irony of their complete opposite looks. "We are friends of his royal Highness, Van Fanel of Fanelia. You may tell him Sidniel and Feniel are here." The soldier in the suit stiffened slightly.
"YES SIR. I'LL LEAVE RIGHT AWAY!" And with that, the suit took off in the opposite direction.
"AGH!" Sidney turned as Rashi cried out. His eyes widened as he saw a cut on Rashi's left arm. Iñaki was smiling wickedly, her blade sickly red. She turned cruel eyes on Tokia, a feral grin on her face. Tokia shuddered visibly, her eyes filled with fear.
"What's wrong, little girl?" Iñaki taunted, "Are you afraid of me?"
"No," Tokia answered, her voice steady, "I'm afraid of what you've become." Iñaki glowered at her, then threw a ball of energy at her, knocking her off her feet.
"I'll deal with you later." She turned back to Rashi, who was brandishing his wand.
"Iñaki, what has gotten into you?!"
"Well, I'm not really sure," she responded snidely, "But I do know what I've been sent for. I have been sent to kill you, Rashi. And believe me, I will do so with pleasure."
"But… I thought we were friends," Rashi said softly, shaking his head. "I don't understand! What's happened to you? You were never this cruel… What's changed?"
"I'll tell you what's changed, Rashi," Iñaki answered evenly, "What's changed is I no longer listen to your lies. And to silence you permanently, I will kill you."
"You've never killed anyone before!"
"Oh, on the contrary. The Moon Princess died at my hands, as did my teacher, Lady Morian. And let me tell you, I enjoyed the feeling of life energy rushing over me and the feel of my blade slicing through delicate flesh. The scent of blood thrills me!" Her eyes were wide with insane, cruel joy, the joy that is seen in the eyes of a murderer before his next kill.
"And now, you die!"
"I THINK NOT!!" Iñaki looked up as Sidney came diving down from the sky. She dodged, moving out of the way as his sword struck where she had just been standing. She smiled ruefully.
"So, the bird wants to play, does he? All right, I'll play."
"Sidney, don't hurt her!" Rashi's exclamation fell on deaf ears.
"I don't know what you've done to her," Sidney whispered, "But I am going to destroy you for it, you bitch."
"Oh, I highly doubt that, Sidniel." She vanished from sight, causing Sidney to blink in confusion. The next second, he ran in front of Tokia, barely managing to block the attack that had been attempted. He pushed Iñaki back and took to the skies. She glared after him, then turned back to the injured Rashi, a maniac smile playing across her lips.
"Iñaki," Rashi whispered, "Please stop this…"
"Good night, Rashi," she said mockingly as she raised her blade.
"Where's Sidney?!" Rashi yelled.
"TIME TO DIE BITCH!" Iñaki looked up as Sidney flew straight at her. She dodged, but not quick enough; she was knocked to the ground, the air leaving her lungs.
[I'll get the child instead, then,] she called up, challenging him. Rashi stared at her, dumbfounded. This couldn't really be Iñaki, it just couldn't.
"The child is MINE!" Sidney yelled, flying in front of Tokia. Tokia's eyes both turned bright silver, and she glowed with energy of the same color. Feniel stood beside his other half, glowing a dark jade green, and Sidney's own bright yellow aura appeared around him.
"POWER OF DARKNESS!!" Sidney cried out, his eyes turning deep red.
"POWER OF LIGHT!!" Feniel echoed his loud cried, eyes turning ice blue.
"POWER OF SPIRIT!!" Tokia hovered off the ground slightly as her own power was unlocked. Iñaki stood when she had gotten her breath back.
"Go ahead and try to stop me!" she taunted. "I know of at least one who will never attack me!" She turned and ran toward Rashi, whose eyes widened. Without thinking, he raised his wand in front of him.
"PROTECTION!!" When he had called this, a shield was placed before him. Iñaki ran into it at top speed, falling back as she hit. Her eyes, still black as evil itself, met with his. They were filled with hatred, an emotion Rashi never thought he'd see in her beautiful face. She raised her hands and threw energy at the shield in a constant, concentrated flow. Rashi winced slightly as it hit the shield, attempting to break through.
[If we don't stop her,] Sidney sent quietly, [she'll kill him. Those of us who harness magick live by it, literally. If his shield breaks, his soul is sliced through, and he becomes…] Sidney's eyes widened slightly. [He'll become a pile of dust…] Tokia glared at the back of Iñaki's head, willing with all her might that the other girl die on the spot.
"I will stop her," she whispered softly. She sent a small beam of silver energy at Iñaki, her eyes narrowed. The beam hit her square in the back, but it didn't faze her. She hadn't lost her concentration yet. Tokia intensified the beam, and Feniel joined her, sending a green beam of Light energy at her back as well. Iñaki stepped forward slightly, but her own concentrated beam was stronger still.
`Iñaki,' Sidney thought desperately, `Please stop.' With a tear falling down his cheek, he closed his eyes and concentrated. He began glowing with a black aura around him. Feniel looked over at him.
"Sidniel! What are you doing?!"
"I can't let her continue this!" He ran forward, touching her shoulders. She stopped her attack, her eyes widening in pain and fear.
"Wha… What is this…?"
"My last resort," Sidney whispered. "Please forgive me, Iñaki. I cannot allow you to live, not like this. Hand of Silent Death." Iñaki's eyes rolled into the back of her head and she fell back into Sidney's arms. He held her close to himself, his tears falling freely. Rashi fell to his knees, trying to catch his breath. Tokia walked over to see if he was okay, and Feniel stood next to Sidney.
"I'm sorry, Sidniel," he said quietly. "I'm sure she was a good friend."
"I swear," he said in low, angry tones, "I swear on my life, I am going to kill that son of a bitch DoRe. I sweat it." He glared up at the sky. "I SWEAR IT!!"
Souls of the Past Reunite