"This world is older than any of you know, and
contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a
paradise. For untold eons, Demons walked the
earth; made it their home -- their Hell. In time they
lost their purchase on this reality, and the way was
made for the mortal animals. For Man. What
remains of the Old Ones are vestiges: certain
magicks, certain creatures, and of course vampires."
--By Rupert Giles from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
The New Recruits
By Satori Shiro and Darster
Auburn threw the ball of flames directly at his heart, but before it could reach him Cody closed his eyes and vanished as the blast destroyed the building in the alley behind him. Damn, Auburn thought, I forgot he was more adept at teleporting! She cautiously stepped toward the open alley he formerly blocked, and closed her eyes. She searched for him psychically, letting instinct take over fully. She caught his psychic aura, and spun around, firing another attack at him, but this one was only half as powerful as her instincts picked up danger. She barely dodged the twin throwing blades that missed her head by millimeters, the only part of her body unprotected by the magical armor. Another zoomed by her ear, and she spied his movements from the shadows that concealed his dark features. A second blade appeared in his hand, but she didn't give him time to use it as she leapt into the air, powering up another of her many sure kills.
"Tornadic Gale Spin!"
The whirlwind of air spun toward Cody, taking his breath away and lifting him off the ground in the fashion of its namesake. It deposited him on the ground in the same fashion, and he lay on the ground, gasping for breath and trying to breathe through ribs that had to be broken.
Auburn picked up two of the daggers, and stepped over to where Cody laid on the ground, practically crying for air. He eyed her with a look mixed of shock, fear, and amusement. He saw the blades she carried, and developed a look of cold nonchalance.
"Do it," he begged coldly. "I would've."
Auburn regained control of her armor at that point, looking down at the helpless man she still loved. She buried the daggers in the ground, one on each side of his head, mere inches from it.
"Give it up, and snap out of it."
The scenery around them changed to the illusion that still fell about Raven's battlefield. Rusty armors still lay strewn about the ground, and Auburn looked about in confusion.
Only then did she see through ShadowRaven's illusion as the blast of power headed straight for her. She drew her sword and parried the blast at the last minute, looking about for its originator.
"Star Sword Scream!" echoed Kayura's voice as the blast erupted from behind her.
She diverted the blast with a gust of wind, staring in shock as she eyed her mentor. It seemed the same spell that turned Cody to Raven's side also held Kayura in its grasp. Except with her, the spell fed on powers that already existed. Auburn didn't bother to ask what had happened, she merely dodged the blasts, and tried to stay alive long enough to decide what to do next.
Moving with the agility of a cat, Lady Kayura slipped through her defense in that distracted instant, and sliced the Stone of Protection away from her neck. As the jewel fell to the ground, the Armor of Nature disappeared in a swirl of ribbons and white light, leaving Auburn in street clothes. She dove to retrieve the jewel that still carried her kanji orb, but Kayura was quicker, and deftly swiped it off the ground in triumph.
"You won't be needing this anymore," she said with a wicked smile on her lips.
Before Auburn could even reply, a throwing dagger embedded itself in her left shoulder, and she screamed in pain, falling to her knees. Cody stood shakily, recovered enough from her attack to launch the nearby blades at her. Raven appeared on the battlefield from his throne, the sight of the bleeding girl kneeling before him affording him great satisfaction.
"That's right, girl. Kneel before your future master."
She bit her lower lip in pain as she ripped the blade out of her shoulder and launched it at him with fierce accuracy. Then she stood and glared at him defiantly, ignoring the pain racing down her arm, and the blood rushing down her back.
"Buzz off, Blackbird. I kneel to only one God, and you don't even come close," she growled at him in defiance.
The blade bounced harmlessly away from him as though it was nothing but a toy. ShadowRaven laughed at her pathetic attempt to harm him. "You will kneel before me," he stated dangerously, in a tone that dissuaded argument.
"I will NOT!"
Raven became angered at her continued defiance, and he channeled a stream of his dark energy toward her. Even without the armor, or the jewel, the aura of protection still resonated around her. In fact, it seemed to absorb his dark energy, feeding off of it. The more energy he passed to the girl, the more the aura around her strengthened, before he could stop himself the power build up finally exploded outward in a fierce blast of white.
ShadowRaven himself staggered from the onslaught then steadied himself on his scepter of dark power. The light died away, and he found that only he and Kayura remained standing. The girl lay unconscious a few feet away, and the boy lay beside her, as the side effects of the link between them overwhelmed him. A small detail I overlooked, he thought, but no matter. Oddly, the spell he placed on the boy still held, though weakened. No matter that either, Raven thought. He will soon outlive his usefulness.
He gestured and another group of servants entered to clear the field once more. He turned to Kayura and smiled graciously at her.
"Well done, milady. You will see to it that our guest is housed properly?"
"Of course, my Lord," she replied with a slight bow before following the train of servants to the dungeon.
"Excellent," Raven said to himself. "Nothing stands in my way now. I can finally get back to," he pause as a slow smirk spread on his lips, "more important work." He quickly left, heading for the throne room in his usual manner.
Y r S w T
Kento could only stare helplessly as his attack crashed full force into his friend. He could not believe that he was fooled by the same trick twice! First Sage and now Ryo. Kento dropped to the ground next to his fallen comrade to check if he was still alive as Dais' laughter echoed around him.
He checked and found that Ryo was still breathing and he seemed to be okay. It appears that Ryo was just unconscious. From what Kento could tell, he tried to protect himself as much as he could before the attack hit him.
"I am so sorry man," he said to his resting friend, "I should have known he would do this."
He turned to see the Warlord standing behind him. How stupid are they, Dais thought in distaste. Watching Cale repay that wench would've been more interesting than this.
"YOU! I'll kill you!" Kento screamed as he reached for the warlord that was standing there waiting for him.
To his surprise and anger, he just made contact with air. Once more he reached into thin air, as another illusion of Dais appeared then another, and another...until the forest was filled with incarnations of the Warlord of Illusion.
"Only if you can find me," they all echoed, laughing maniacally at the lone warrior.
Y r S w T
Cye tired easily, but continued to fight through the onslaught of demons and soldiers as he urgently searched for Rei, and the direction she'd run in. He just prayed that the others had already found her.
"We end this now, Torrent!" Sekhmet called to him from behind. "Snake Fang Strike!"
Cye turned around just in time to see the swords come flying toward him. He quickly brought his arms up in a futile attempt in blocking the swords from hitting him. He braced himself and waited for the impact to come.
"Arrow Shock Wave!"
The golden arrow collided with Sekhmet's swords resulting in a tremendous clash of power. Cye looked up and saw Rowen and Anubis standing beside him.
"Are you alright Cye?" Anubis asked as Rowen faced off with Sekhmet.
"I was just fighting for my life against the warlord of venom and before that hordes of never-ending demons and foot soldiers, yeah, I am fine but, aren't you supposed to be a ghost?"
"Yes, well, it seems the armor gave me my solid body back. But that is not the issue at the moment. We need to hurry and find Rei and Mia at once," he said as he pulled Cye to his feet.
Once they were hated enemies but now they were fighting side by side. Once again, they fought against his one-time comrades in arm in hope of stopping a hated tyrant. Too bad that one of them is already dead. Cye shivered, hoping that the rest of them wouldn't follow suit.
"Okay." Cye looked around but found that Sekhmet was gone and so was Rowen. "Hey, where did they go?"
Y r S w T
Sage fell to the ground, stunned by the ferocity of Cale's blast. That's what I get for making him mad, Sage griped to himself as he tried to sit up. The Dark Warlord stood above him, a satisfied smile on his face, which was promptly wiped away by the blow from behind.
"Sage!" a voice cried out, "You bastard, what did you do to him?!"
Rei had barreled out of the forest with a rather large tree branch in hand, which was highly ineffective against Cale's armor. He turned to see that Rei was the cause of the disturbance, and decided to let it be. The master had a special plan for this one.
"Rei, get out of here!" Sage called, trying to get back on his feet.
Cale leveled his sword at Sage's throat, leaving him planted on the ground helpless.
"I said leave him ALONE!" she screamed as she kicked him in the butt. She realized this was a bad idea, and she regretted ever doing such a stupid thing. Her foot was throbbing with pain and it felt like she'd broken her ankle. Rei, you baka, he is wearing armor and your foot is not, she scolded herself as she limped away from Cale. But this action got the reaction she wished for.
"Why you dirty little brat!"
Cale turned around, totally forgetting Sage, to see what she was up to now. Seeing that she was trying to get away, he proceeded to catch her and return the favor.
He could not believe leave it. Rei had created a diversion for him to recover. Sage saw his opening and decided to capitalize on it. He rolled over to his left and grabbed his sword. He quickly proceeded to follow Cale as he went after a taunting Rei.
"What's the matter? A swift kick in the butt didn't help you get your senses back yet?" she said as she hopped backwards away, wincing every now and then, from the advancing warlord. She was doing this on purpose in hope that Sage would be ready for him.
"I see the kick didn't do much to improve your state at the moment," he said with a smirk as he followed her every move with his eyes.
Sage stood right behind Cale with the blade of his sword right next to Cale's neck. Sage could not believe how naive Cale was.
"I can't believe you fell for that little trick," she said with a laugh. "You should have known better than that. Didn't your master teach you anything?"
Sage could not believe that she was still throwing her round of insults at the warlord. What does she think she is doing? Does she know that she is just making things worse? He watched her and saw that her eyes reflected amusement and anger. It appeared as though she was not afraid of him.
Cale pulled his sword up and used it to push Sage's blade away. In the process he closed in the gap that separated him from Rei, grabbed Rei in his left arm, trying not to damage Raven's prize. Rei tried to wiggle out of his tight grip unsuccessfully.
"If I were you, I'd stop struggling," he whispered in her ear. To emphasize his meaning, he moved his clawed left hand up toward her throat.
Sage was ready for Cale to attack him after that move but it seemed as though the warlord had other things on his mind. I knew this would happen, Sage thought, but I have no idea why I didn't see it before. There is no way he could be this dumb, he thought. He watched as Rei struggled, then stopped when Cale brought the claw up to her throat. I guess we go back to all tactics and see if he will let her go and fight, he thought to himself as he watched Cale.
"I never knew you to be the kind to hide behind a hostage before. But then again..."
"Talk all you want, you fool. If you were smart, you would have realized that we were just the decoys for the real attack back at the house. It's a pity that it did not work correctly," he said, emphasizing his point by squeezing Rei tightly causing her to gasp and struggle some more.
"So much for your kanji of Wisdom," Cale added, throwing one last jab at his old enemy.
"Why don't you let her go and we shall see who is the decoy and who isn't."
"That is something for another time," he said with a smirk, "but right now I got other things to do. Shadow Warrior!" he called into the thin air, "I believe I have what you are searching for!"
To Sage's surprise, Cale released Rei and threw her toward some bushes to his left. As soon as he let her go, he jumped up and attacked Sage with the sureness and grace of a panther. Sage was barely able to block as he watched Rei tumble to the ground in a heap. It looked as though she was not moving. He jumped away from Cale and headed straight for Rei to see if she was all right, but Cale seemed to insist that he paid attention to him instead by throwing another attack at him.
"Don't worry about her when you should be worrying about yourself!" Cale called as he attacked with total concentration on the fight and nothing else. He knew the master's lackey was already here to take her to the Nether Realm.
Out of the corner of his eye, Sage saw a slight movement moving toward Rei. It appeared to be a shadow of a person heading toward her. Then he saw the warrior; a familiar image of a tall, dark armored man was walking toward his prize with surety in his steps. This must be the guy that Rowen was up against in the house, he thought as he franticly tried the get away from Cale so he could help Rei. Their swords collided over and over again, getting Sage nowhere fast. He decided to use his last resort, which was to call in for some support.
He got an instant response from Cye. Cye was the most sensitive of them all so he was not surprised to find that it was Cye who answered his call. Sage realized that his friend sounded a bit tired but did not say anything about it. He sent a quick message of images to Cye in hopes that he would understand what is going on. Once he was all done, he decided to get to work. Here goes nothing. He continued to fight with Cale, mostly blocking and trying to put some space between them. Finding the time is right, he fired his sure kill at the warrior that stood by Rei.
"Thunder Bolt Cut!"
He quickly unleashed his sure kill upon his victim. His powers caught Shadow Warrior by surprise and threw the warrior a few feet away. But to Sage's amazement he saw that guy was unhurt.
"Say good bye to your little friend," Cale called from behind as he jumped at Sage, who was just a second too slow.
Cale kicked his sword away, throwing him across the clearing and pinning him to the ground, just enough that he was able to see where Rei was. "It's a pity you could not protect her."
Winded, Sage could only watch as the warrior stood over Rei. As the warrior bent down to picked her up, a strange golden red light glowed from the medallion that hung around her neck. The light flashed at the warrior, warding it off. Shadow Warrior froze in mid step by the light. The light glowed brighter and started to surround her, protecting her.
"Leave her alone!" he yelled at the warrior as he caught his wind once again but was kept where he was by Cale.
"Stop moving, you can't do anything to help." Cale growled menacingly.
At that instant, The solider melted and quickly covered Rei in a dark shadow from head to toe. The light from the medallion grew brighter but was quickly smothered by the all-encompassing shadow. The warrior appeared once again by her side. Sage had half expected a Dynasty Gate to open in front of them but found that they were teleported away instead.
"So what now, Cale? Are you going to kill me?" He sounded bored, waiting and wondering what he should do now. They just lost the person they were supposed to protect.
"No. The master has other things in store for you and that witch of a girl that defeated me."
"Oh? And what would that be?"
"You will just have to find out," he replied coldly with a smirk on his lips. He watched as Sage's expression changed from confusion to realization.
"You leave her alone!" he cried as he struggled to get to his feet. Cale just laughed as he disappeared back to the Nether Realm.
Y r S w T
A lone woman walked through the darkening woods that surrounded the property. She had one idea as to where her companion just disappeared off to. She was walking in the same general direction the girl went but she was nowhere in sight. Maybe she headed back or one of the guys was with her, she thought to herself as she angrily pushed a branch away so she could continue on through the woods. The branched snapped back into place with a sharp snap and a load whack. A startled yelp cause her to jump out of her skin and she quickly turned around to find that White Blaze was right behind her.
"Oh White Blaze, I am so sorry." She said as she looked at the tiger and stroked his face where the branch hit him trying to soothe him. "Where did you come from anyway?"
The tiger looked up at her with a quizzical look. Okay, so he can't answer me. After all, he is a tiger. All of a sudden the tiger looked up and out to where Mia was heading in search of Rei. A hawk dove off the branch in front of them and flew off in the direction of the tiger's stare.
"What's the matter?" she asked as her gaze followed his. "Did you find her?"
As if to answer her, he grabbed her jacket's sleeve and started to pull her forward. After awhile of insistent tugging, he let her go to walk on her own. He stops in the clearing to find a very tired Sage leaning against a tree cursing himself. Mia rushed over to him to see what was wrong.
"Sage! Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I am fine."
"What's wrong? What happened here?"
White Blaze padded over to the spot where Rei was and sniffed the ground. The trail ends here. Her scent just disappeared into thin air but she was not alone when she left and he knew this. White Blaze threw his head back and started a long and sad wail at the disappearance of the chosen one. The hawk above him cawed sadly, then flew into the distance, disappearing in a flap of feathers.
"She was kidnapped by one of ShadowRaven's lackey's, Shadow Warrior. And I was unable to stop him!" he stated, he was so angry that he could not bare it. So what is going to happen now?
Y r S w T
Keiko's mind swirled with images of pain. The darkness she was in was slowly throwing her back to consciousness. She did not want to but found that her eyes were opening all on their own. The blackness faded from a hazy gray to a slow registration of her surroundings. Her head was throbbing as she propped herself up against the wall. Her wrists were no longer bound to the wall and she was glad. Where...? Huh... Oh yeah, I got this from that blasted door. She looked around the cell and found that she was not alone. She saw that she had some company, another female that did not look too good. Great, more hostages, she thought as she slowly got up and crossed to her. Please let her be okay, and please, oh, please, oh, please, don't let them take her away too.
Y r S w T
Cody was awake, but not yet fully aware. I wonder if this is what it's like to be high, he thought crazily. His consciousness seemed detached, floating above him as he lay on the cool stone floor in one of the castle's empty rooms. He gently turned his head toward the open window, and he swore he heard the ruffle of feathers from outside. In fact, as his clouded mind focused on the window, he imagined the outline of a hawk perch on the windowsill. The bird almost seemed to call to him, and it reminded him of something, though he couldn't quite place what.
He stood, still not fully aware as he crossed to the open window, almost as if under another influence. Flying, he remembered suddenly. The hawk reminded him of flying, though more than that he couldn't say. I wonder if I can fly, he wondered to himself.
The master's voice echoed smoothly in his head. :Of course you can, my brave warrior. You have done me a great service by bringing the girl here. I grant you the power to do anything you wish. If you wish to fly, then fly.:
Cody could only obey the command of his master as he launched himself out the castle window, and went sailing toward the ground. He heard another flutter of wings, and he realized that he was airborne, but not under Raven's power. The power was his; guided by the mysterious hawk that visited him minutes ago.
:Wha--: he thought incoherently, his thoughts still a scrambled mess.
:Just trust me, my boy,: echoed a warm female voice from beside him. :Everything will be fine.:
He didn't have the strength to argue with her, simply letting her guide him until he couldn't concentrate anymore, and unconsciousness took over.
Raven watched as his control held long enough to send the boy tumbling to his doom, and laughed aloud. That should overload the girl's defenses enough for him to convert her, but if not...well, he'd at least gotten rid of one more loose end. Now to more important matters...
to be continued...
Greetings all! The thirteenth chapter has arrived and the party is just getting started! We tried our best to get a piece of everyone in the story so you know what is going on else where. I hope you are enjoying the story. If you have any questions, comments, flames, and any of the likes let me know! Ciao for now!