The Grand Hanami

In the depths of Hayashi is the sacred shrines of the seasons. Every 1000 years, Harugami the god of Spring's tree blossoms. It is a breath taking sight for the tree is the largest tree in Hayashi, the flower petals spread throughout the whole forest. But in order to make this a fantastic Hanami (Flower Viewing) Festival, the miko, guardians, and gods must help put together this once-in-a-life-time festival. But for something this big, will everything go as planned? Demons go crazy when the tree's violet sakura bloom and could attack. Rivalry will affect outcome. And there are those who want to stop it for selfish purposes. This year, the group that puts together the festival will have trouble, as the god of afterlife decides to show his face this year. But because of that, chaos will brew. The demon, Yamonii, wants his revenge on the god, and is willing to destroy Harugami!

Characters for Festival Preparations

Miko (Shrine Keepers)

Neko Miko- The oldest miko in Hayashi, she is the head honcho of the festival. She lacks sanity a bit, and likes to pull on everyone's chain. She'll be one that's hard to understand.

Kori- A demon satori boy who was adopted by Neko, he's a really fun party type who can't sit still. But he'll calm down as long as his pet, Yepa, is near. He's a prankster boy.

Yepa- Winter is over, so this nekomata is back to her little kitten form. She'll be seen with Kori at all times, either walking next to him, or on his hat. She's mischevious though.

Akiko- The seedrian miko of the autumn shrine, she's a bit cold and doesn't like to talk to others. She likes decorating despite her anti-socail expression. Don't want to get her angry!

Akihiko- The keeper of the Spring shrine, being a celestial he'll attract alot of attention. But being the keeper of the spring god, he'll have to do alot of guarding. He doesn't like to talk to others.

Noel- Nora's cousin, she's the keeper of the winter shrine. She's the youngest yet the most determined. She's a bit frail, but she'll help with the Hinami. She's very sweet, but a show off.


Arthur- The guardian of the River Village, Hieonkawa. He's been to the festival more then once, and hopes that this festival will go as planned. He may be a demon, but he acts very human.

Mia- The Guardian of the Southern Border. A immortal witch who protects the land from demons. Despite her age, she never went to a Hinami before. She locked herself away from humanity, giving her problems in social skills.

Rodney- A hedgehog boy who became a nixie, the guardian of the Sacred Spring. He has only been in Hayashi for a year, and is a bit nervous. He's a bit of a klutz.


Harugami- The god of Spring. His tree is about to be in full bloom once again. He wants everything to work out perfectly, so he's going to be busy. He's a bit strict towards demons and unnatural creatures.

Akigami- The god of Autumn. She loves being in festivals, and is in charge of food. She looks little, but she is just as old as her brother Harugami. She's can be so peppy, she's annoying.

Hanji- The enma-sama of Hayashi. After a lot of thought, he decided to go join the festival this year. But he is feared by many, but to the living, he's a nag. But there's a demon that has a grudge on this guest of honor...


Dokueki- The great tsuchigumo (spider demon). She'll love to devour all the humans and anthros who try to visit. She's also Kazuki's mother. As long as someone stands guard, she can't show herself.

Minorik- The enma-sama of another province, being The Joker, he couldn't help but over-hear Hanji's decision. He'll want to provoke him, but as long as someone beats the living daylights out of him, everything's okay.

Kurayami- The puppet master of the Sanjou sisters, she'll seem like a normal fairy. But her powers are frightning. She'll devilishly kill everyone if someone doesn't do something about her!

Yamonii- The great shikigami of darkness that was summoned by Kumiko. When Kumiko has no need for him, he wanders off causing mayhem. He hates Hanji for sentencing him to a life of a shikigami, so he'll do anything to get his revenge!


In this story, you add your own character to help save or destroy the festival.

(Example: Kazuki Ruikumo (Friendly Demon))

Ichiro Keiken (Troubled Samurai) - E-113:Xi

Tikala the Echidna (seeking adventure and fun Boxer)

Zephyr the Spirit Wolf (confused but friendly, has problems with untamed spacial powers) ProtectTheShadows

Dusk the Hedgehog (Demon)

Split the Fox (Friendly Sidekick)

Vergil the Samurai (friendly half demon and brother in law to Tikala)

Markus Moyasu (Resercher)

Wes Toboe (Traveler)

Liger Moyasu (Adventurer)

Cold the Hedgehog (Traveler is search of his parents and also Friend of Sonic)-Tailsman67

D (Traveler)-Tailsman67

Black the Cat( A person who is trying to destroy the festival)

Sai the Fox(Samurai in search of Evil)

Wendy Toboe (Adventurer)

Jimmy Tyson the Doggaby (Speedy's sidekick)-Scroundernuts

Speedy the Porcupine (Friend of Sonic)-Scroundernuts

Misoca(Mysterious girl)

Forest the Fox (Protector)

Lily the Reaper (Friendly Shinigami)

Story Setting

It is spring again, but this year sets the 1000 year period. With some new aid, this year will be grand. But the decision of The Yama Overlord is causing disorder!

This will take place at the Spirit Shrine in Hayashi forest.

Chapter 1: Dokueki's Assault

Neko Miko fanned herself as she twitched her very long tail. She was waiting for some of the others to arrive. Her adoptive son was on the roof of the shrine again, with his cat on his hat. Akiko and Akigami made it, while Akihiko was sitting on the bench with Harugami watching over everything.

"Oi!" called out a voice. When there was first nothing, but then there is something or vice versa. The person to blame would be the space manipulator Mia. "You wanted these dishes? They're my finest!" she said, carrying a large pot with pots and dishes in them "Fufufu~! And I heard you were a fine cook, nya~" said Neko, putting away her fan. She took the dishes from Mia.

"It's been a while since I've been close to humanity... I wonder if I can fit in..." said Mia, she was once a human herself after a stupid mistake she has done.

"AAAAAAAHHH!!!" yelled Kori, he noticed that the spider demon was trying to get to Harugami's tree. "Oh no! That demon is on the run to kill the blossoms!" shouted Kori. But as he tried to run out, he fell clumsly down the roof and on his head. Yepa came tumbling onto him.

"Oh my what a mess!" and with that a free spirited and willing Echidna jumps right into the middle of all this and she confronts the spider demon "you will not go any farther! i will see to that!"

The red and black tsuchigumo gave off a snake-like smile. "Fufufu~ And just how is some pathetic anthro mortal going to defeat me? I am a tsuchigumo, a manipulator of disease!" roared Dokueki, and she reached out one of her four arms in attack.

she dodged the hand with ease "im a demi-god! my husband is a god for his planet at least so that makes me a demi-goddes or goddess it dosent matter to me!" she then launched off the ground towards the demon

Dokueki growled and spewed silk at the echidna. Mia takes notice of this and decides to join in while snatching her hat. Mia jumped into one of her space gaps and reappeared next to the echidna. "This looks fun, mind if I join?" she said.

The silk hit the echidna on her arm but she swayed it off and answered Mia "yes. i would appreciate the help."

"Uh, you do know that tsuchigumo silk is acidic... right?" said Mia, but she went ahead and confronted up close to Dokueki. Dokueki tried to attack her, but Mia was too quick... or was she? Dokueki suddenly appeared to be getting punched by nothing.

"oh... no i didnt... oh well i can deal with it later." she seemed confidient even though she was slowly being dissolved into nothing but it didnt bother her because she knew how to counter any acid with the right venoms

Dokueki continued to be attacked by nothing. Until after a powerful formation of wind gushed in a spot in the air, Mia appeared from it and did a powerful kick at the demon's jaw. "Eat wind magic you over-grown bug!" she shouted.

"okay im all set." the time while Dokueki was being attacked by Mia she was working on a mixture of chemicals and she drank it and it regenerated her arm "thats more like it." she then tried to go for a big punch at Dokueki by attacking its stomach with her fist yelling "Drive!" when she attacked.

Dokueiki made a aweful screeching noise as it collasped on her four legs. Mia smirked and gave the echidna a thumbs up. But then Dokueki lunged herself at Mia, Mia tried to dodge but wasn't quick enough and ended up having her arm bit off! "GAHHH! Darn it!" screamed Mia. She then threw a bunch of Excorsim Needles and cracked Dokueki's exo-skeleton. Dokueki then retreated. But Mia lost her arm, but instead of freaking out, she just dusted herself off. "Well, that went well!" she said.

A white wolf in silver armor watches from a distance. "Impressive." he mumbles, and begins walking over. "Impressive!" he says louder so that they can hear.

Mia looked towards the wolf. "Well, it was just a tsuchigumo. I've handled bigger baddies before!" said Mia rather proudly, "Man why does my shoulder hur- Oh yeah, it bit my arm off.." In sudden shock, Mia regenerated her arm. She swung it around trying to get a good feel from it.

"Thats a neat trick you have there. almost like my husbands blood art. oh im so sorry i havent introduced myself yet. i am Tikala its a pleasure to meet you."

Mia smiled, "The names Mia MaJikku. I'm a immortal, so it's not like I have a choice in regenerating. It feels a bit sore though..." Mia stretches herself. "Oh yeah, I gotta go back to the shrine before Neko gets mad at me again!" And after that Mia jumped into a space hole again and reappeared at the shrine. Even from a distance, she was clearly being yelled at.

"awww thats to bad. i was about to talk about my husband to... oh well.. wanna come with?" she talked to the wolf because she was heading towards the shrine where the yelling was coming from

The yelling sounded like it appearantly stopped, but then the sounds a shreek were heard. Then everything turned back to a normalt tune.

The wolf sighed. "Nothing better to do than hang with the living." He cleared his throat. "My name is Zephyr the Spirit Wolf, and as you can tell from my name, I am a ghost. That just so happened to have wings." He flexed out his wings, which were unoticed from before.

"Those are nice wings you have Zephyr. they are better than mine." she then proceeded to allow her angel wings form out of her back and flexed them a little. "my husbands dad gave them to me when he blessed me as his daughter."

Meanwhile, high above, Dusk and Split were flying, Split riding on Dusk's back. "Hurry! We'll be late!" Split whined. "Shut up Split! We're not missing much..." Split sighed. "Whatever...Wait...Dusk..we're falling!" "YOU DON'T THINK I KNOW THAT?!?" Dusk yelled. After a long fall, both of them plumetted into the party, leaving a long crater. "Nice landing Dusk..." "Eh, any landing we can walk away from is a good landing."

"GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" shouted Akiko, who was busy setting up the plates. Harugami came over to the crater and sighed. "Where's Mia?" said the god. Mia comes in rubbing her behind. "Yes spring lord?" said Mia in a very annoyed tune. "Grab these two and use your power of space to open a gap to refill this crater." said Harugami in a very strict voice. Mia groaned, she made Dusk and Split fall into a gap and then the gap lead right behind her and dropped them there. Then Mia opened a larger gap and fill the crater with cement.

Dusk stood up and brushed the pebbles out of his spikes. "Sorry about that Mia..." Split got up and looked at her outfit, which was now tattered. "Dusk!" "Hey, it was YOU saying we didn't have time to eat. I needed that extra energy!" Split rolled her eyes. "Whatever."

"Huh, you two again? How long has it been? I can't keep up with time.." said Mia, she laughed nervously. Suddenly Mia just thought of something. "Wait, why are you here? Are you here for the Hanami?" asked Mia. Harugami decided to leave back to his shrine.

Dusk gave her a confused look. "The what now? No. Split just heard about some sort of festival going on, and demanded that we go."

Mia scratches her head. "A Hanami is a "Flower viewing festival", the great tree of Harugami, the god of spring, is about to bloom within a few days. His tree's purple sakura flowers only bloom once every 1000 years, so we make a big deal about it. So far the festival is being prepared right now, so you're a bit early." explained Mia.

Tikala had saw all of this and rushed towards them "is anybody hurt?" she said in a worried tone

Dusk shook his head. "Nothing but my dignity. I told you we would make it Split..." Split just blushed and smiled sheepishly..."Sorry..." She then turned to the others. "Well, if you need an extra hand, we'll be glad to help." "Wait...WE? Since when is there a w- OUCH!" Split had kicked Dusk in the shin, then smiled. "Ehehe..."

Tikala smiled a little "thats my husbands usual response. hmm you two look like you knew him. Does the name Darkness bring any bells to mind?"

Dusk nodded. "Yep. We've been good friends for awhile."

"Then good to know he hasnt been lying to me like i thought" Tikala said cheerfully " i am Tikala im his wife."

"Nice to meet you, Tikala. I'm Dusk, and this is Split, my pet and sidekick." Split waved. "Hi!"

"I dont think its a good thing to call her a pet Dusk, and hello Split." Tikala waved back.

Mia smiled, "We could use help. You see, these are PURPLE sakura, the same type that is known to exsist on the other side. They'll make low-level demons go crazy, like that tsuchigumo earlier. I was summoned here to be one of the protectors, but the other job I got is being the cook for the food being served. And that leaves with a limited amount of protectors, and Arthur hasn't even arrived yet. It would be helpfull if someone helps protect Harugami, or with the decorations, it would be wonderful. Plus, I can never get on Harugami's good side...." Mia goes into a daze, but snaps out of it and runs up the stairs leading to the shrine.

Chapter 2: Sins going Blitz

A mysterious figure hides in the bushes, "Hanji is going to be coming... Well then, lets make things a little more.. black" he said, he then took out a strange stick with engravings and flipped it down. It's power waved through out the place. "There, now the inner sins of everyone will intensify! Fwahahahaha!" Then the mysterious being vanished.

Dusk shrugged. "I'll help with the protecting..." Split smiled. "I'll go help with the decor!" And she ran off.

Neko's tail twitched, and she opened her eyes in a serious manner. "There's a disturbance... this power, it's famailer..." she said, Neko was usually hyper and a little insane, but she was serious now which was a omen. Kori started smirking, and went towards the decoratons. He placed a paint bucket on a pole that was to be used. When Akiko went to get the pole, the paint bucket feel on her head, coloring her orange flower red. "UGH! KOOOORIIII!!!!!" she screamed.

Dusk heard her screams and ran to investigate, but as he was running, Split stuck her foot out and tripped him, making him fall facefirst into a mud puddle, that suprisingly was NOT there before...Split snickered and ran off. Dusk spat out some mud..."Why would Split do that?" He got up and ran over to Akiko..."What happened?"

Zephyr looked around in a daze at the sudden change. "....what?" was all he could say as he walked over to Dusk.

"That lousy Satori boy!!!!" shouted Akiko, and in her fury she smashed the pole in two! And she kept screaming in anger after Kori. Akihiko seems to take notice of something wrong but just stares at the scene.

Dusk stared at her in wonder..."Um...Okay..."

All of a sudden there was a yell coming from the shrine. "Mia! I can't believe you ate all of the cooked rice! There was enough to feed 5 people! And you just ate it all?!" shouted Akigami, Mia was lieing on the floor drowsy from overeating. "I couldn't help it, I love the stuff.." moaned Mia, who then just fell asleep. Akigami stomped her foot down but almost tripped over Yepa, the nekomata. "Now why are you just lieing here?" asked Akigami. Yepa opened her eyes, but just let out a cat's yawn. "Lazy cat..." said Akigami. Akigami then walked down the steps of the shrine and found the mess Akiko was making, and the proud laugh Kori was making. "What is going on here?!" cried Akigami.

Dusk ran up beside her. "Nothing normal, I'd assume...I know most of them...They don't act like this. Something's wrong."

"I sensed something wrong..." said Akihiko. The green-winged celestial came up to Dusk and the autumn goddess. "I and the gods are uneffected... But I can tell what's going on, but I don't know how." Akihiko shifted his bladed staff. "The inner sins of the people in the surrounding area have been increased in power" he said.

Dusk nodded. "I think I'm uneffected only because I'm a demon...Or this..." Dusk then pulled out an anti-magic amulet, a small pendant he had since childhood.

"If it's effecting Kori, it can effect demons. And this is force, not magic..." said Akihiko. But then he started pointing at everyone effected. "Kori's Pride, Akiko's Anger, Mia's Gluttony, Yepa's Sloth... They're all sins they have inside. But something is making their sins overtake them." he explained.

Dusk shrugged. "Maybe I'm special. I dunno. Point is, I'm the only one, other than you guys, uneffected..." Split then ran past, splattering cream pies into both Dusk's and Akihiko's faces, then stopped nearby and laughed hysterically. Dusk growled. "And what would Split's sin be? Pure annoyence?"

Akihiko wipes the cream off his head and wings. "It doesn't matter, what matters is that something is manipulating the sins around here... But, the only thing I know that can manipulate sins is a yama." explained Akihiko trying to ignore the rude insults Kori was giving out to everyone.

Dusk looked at him. "Yama? Like Hanji?"

"Yes, but it can't be Hanji, he won't arrive till festival midnight... But, with this much trouble... it could be..." Akihiko stood in thought and then replied, "Minorik, the Joker"

"The Joker, huh? Sounds sorta funny." Dusk grinned at his own corny pun.

"He's called The Joker, because he is the lowest ranking Yama, but his power must not be underestimated. A yama is a yama. Minorik must be in the vicinity, if he's causing all this, but being a god, he'll be hard to find." said Akihiko. Laughing to himself, Minorik stared at the mess he created, very pleased with himself. "Heh heh, let's see what would happen if Hanji comes to see this mess, ha ha!" he laughed.

Dusk grabbed Split, and tied her to a nearby tree. "Stay put...Not that you have any other choice..." He said to her, then he came back. "He can't be far...So, I'll take an airial view..." Dusk flew into the sky, and looked down at the festival.

Tikala was taking all of this in "hmmm il help with the protection of things" she said this then she felt a pressence that wasnt evil but half demented but friendly at the same time "Vergil i know your there" and with that she turned around to see a wounded and half dead brother of hers named Vergil "its... hard resisting.... this force.... im half demon but still my power comes from it... its hard resisting it..." was all Vergil said before he collapsed at the spot

Minorik relaxed himself in a tree near the shrine, but when he took notice of Dusk, he wasn't pleased. "Tsk, pests.. no matter." he said, and then shot a powerful wave of distorted energy at Dusk.

Dusk wasn't paying attention, until he looked and noticed the spell. "Oh crackers..." The spell hit him in the wing, and caused him to plummet into the shrine steps. He got up and looked at his now tattered wings. "Oh...GREAT!" Dusk ran up the steps. "WHOEVER DID THAT IS A DEAD MAN!!"

Minorik snickered, he was pleased with the mess. Akiko kept destroying parts of the decorations and Kori was once again tossing paint at everyone. Mia was still knocked out, and Yepa too.

A red blob crashed down at the bottom of the shrine steps, then a white and black lion rolled out of the blob and started coughing.

Minorik turned his head harshly towards the lion. "Who is that?!" he said, and then his Judgement stick's symbols transformed into a strange language. "Hmm... Well well, someone a little different. No matter, my curse lies in all around, it will take in whoever comes in." said Minorik and then went back to his resting pose.

Dusk leaped up and grinned at Minorik. "SUPRISE!!"

Minorik leaped and shouted,"GAH!!!" And out of surprisment, Minorik punched Dusk in the face.

Dusk rubbed his face. "Aw, is that the way you treat guests?" Dusk smiled at him. "I just wanna play a game..."

"I attack whatever startles me..." said Minorik, "So why aren't you effect the pulse of black I have covered the area with? Are you alive? Dead? A god? A angel? A devil? Just how are you uneffected?" he said in a serious tone.

Dusk shrugged. "I'm a little bit of all of them. But, maybe this'll help..." And Dusk tossed Minorik a small clasp, the clasp was in the shape of the Xenonian Crest. "Maybe the fact I'm Xenonian is why I'm not effected. I dunno. Point is, I'm unneffected, I'm angry, and I'm going to KICK YOUR SORRY KEISTER!!" And Dusk suddenly went full demon and slashed at Minorik.

But Minorik vanished before Dusk made the blow. "Fool, I am not a demon. It will take more then simple beastly attacks to defeat me." said Minorik, he then drew out a card, the king of spades. "If you find this card, the curse shall be lifted." but then Minorik took out more cards that flew about him, he threw the card in with the others and in a flash, scattered all over the shrine. "Too bad it's almost impossible, but we yama love to do very tricky games! But, I'll give this one hint. Each sinner has something to say, ask each, and they'll give a clue. How they know? They just do!" And after that, Minorik vanished and his pressence was no longer at the shrine.

Dusk rolled his eyes. "I'll just ask Split...She's the psychic..." Dusk untied Split, just to get another cream pie...Dusk sighed. "Split, do you know which card is the King of Spades?"

((Nora, I'll give you control of Split momentarily.))

"I don't know, but I do know, the King is with the heart, but away from the diamond."said Split, she didn't make much sense, but when she said "heart" and "diamond" she was pointing to Kori and Akiko.

The lion stood and stagered towards the steps. When his tail touched them his doninant white fur became the colour of the steps and the tip of his tail turned to stone. "Come demon," he said as the red blob took form and let out a roar.

Neko Miko then came out with amazing speed. She said nothing and flew about around the lion and demon. She threw dozens of amulets at them. Neko's playful face was dark and fearful.

Dusk looked at Split, then Kori and Akiko in confusion..."Wha?" Dusk thought about what Split was trying to say...'The King is with the Heart, but away from the Diamond...' Which one would represent which?

The lion dodged the amutets while the demon tried to eat them. The lion said to Neko Miko, "Don't attack me, attack him!" and pointed at the demon.

Neko understood, "Looks like you're a higher level demon if you can eat my exorcism amulets... But not high enough!!!" Neko then took out her umbrella but on the tip was a charm, it's power was felt by even non-demons. And Neko lunged at the demon.

A voice told Dusk something, "What is the satori's third eye really is?" The voice sounded famailer, but it was too weak and vague.

Dusk rubbed his head..."Too much heat...going a little wacky...But, I might as well try...So if the King is with the 'Heart', then I'll speak to Kori...If I can..." Dusk walked over to Kori. "Um...K-Kori...Stop with the paint for a minute. Do you know anything about the King of Spades?"

The demon roared in pain from the amulet on the umbrella and jumped back. He then extended his arm in length and size in an attempt to grab Neko Miko.

"King? I am the king! I am a satori, a all powerful demon that all mortals should tremble beneath! All except that immortal of clubs, I can never defeat that one and I can't bear it!" bellowed Kori in might, has he replied to Dusk's question.

Neko's speed was too fast for the demon to catch. And Neko threw more, powerful amulets at the demon. "Times like this, I wish Mia would be concious!" said Neko to herself, but yelled out as if she wanted someone to hear her.

The demon fell to his arms and knees. Before he could retaliate, the lion ,who had his arms coated in stone, punched the demon in the face, followed by an uppercut. He then said, "Keep fighting, but don't kill him!"

Neko lunged with her umbrella but just at precise aim to only leave a large gash at the demon's arm.

The demon's arm oozed on the ground, he then roared in pain and tried to eat Neko Miko.

Tikala carried the unconsious demon/human in her arms and slung him onto her shoulder "Hey is there a place i can put him for now?"

Neko broke the demon's jaw as it tried to eat her.

Tikala started to fully notice everything so she just set Vergil down took his sword and left him there as she went to go and do her part and eventualy she found the demon and Neko so she helped by slashing at the demon with Vergil's katana Yamato

The demon realigned his jaw and tried to attack again, but, before he could, a brown wolf with bison horns came from the bushes and rammed the demon down.

Dusk scratched his head. "That really doesn't help..." King of Clubs? Who would that be? The only male that got infected, it seems, to be Kori...Who else is here besides me?

The voice spoke again, "Not king.... The Immortal of Clubs..."

Dusk rubbed his head. "Okay...maybe this is just a fever dream or something. Hm...Immortal...clubs....Mia maybe? No...Doesn't add up...She has nothing to do with clubs...Eh, it's all I got." Dusk ran up the shrine steps where he found Mia, still asleep on the floor. "What's the best way to do this?" Dusk shrugged and pulled out an airhorn, then blasted it in her face.

Vergil woke up with a cloision with the celing "OW!" landed back on his feet and somehow transformed into his demon form for a few seconds then reverted back into his human form "damn its happening again!"

The voice spoke again, "Get Tarren root from the kitchen cupboard and give it to her..." All of a sudden, the lights in the kitchen lit up.

Dusk looked around..." that anything like Ginger Root, because this is all new to me..." Dusk looked through the cupboards.

There was a bottle that said, "Tarren Root" on the third cupboard, it had chopped up roots in it.

Dusk grabbed it and looked at the label. "Hm. That was convienient..." Dusk then poured some out onto a spoon and kneeled over Mia. "Um...Do I feed them to her, or does she just smell them?"

Mia opened a eye, and reached out for the spoonful of Tarren Root. She ate it, but then all of a sudden, she got up and she looked rather sick. She ran out to the railing and threw up.

Dusk looked at her, a little startled. "That answers my question..." Dusk looked at the bottle. "Geez, this is NOTHING like ginger..." He put it down and walked over to Mia, but kept his distance. "Um..Mia, I'd ask if your okay, but I'm afraid right now, considering your appetite...So, do you know about the King of Spades?"

"Ugh..." moaned Mia, "Tarren Root cures body disorders... ugh... King of spades? Hold on.." Mia got herself up from the railing. And her eyes changed, "I see... a card... it has a king... it's of the spades... and it's... it's... surrounded by sakura buds... no... not just any... they pur-" right when Mia was about to finish, something hit her in the head knocking her out, Minorik smiled and vanished.

Dusk groaned. "I'm getting tired of him...I don't even know what a 'sakura' is...Probably a flower...But they're special or something..." Dusk rolled his eyes and dragged Mia inside, then walked back downstairs. "Sakura buds...Hmmm...."

Zephyr piped up from behind Dusk. "A sakura is a pink flower from an ancient place called Japan. It's said to originate from the same world as the creator of Amazina. Course, those are just legends..." he trailed off.

Dusk looked at him. "Wow...Thanks...Wait..The Creator?" Dusk looked up into the skies. "Hey, I don't know if you can hear me, but I'ma comin fer ya!" And Dusk teleported.

Zephyr facepalmed. "Do people have an automatic tendancy to leave me behind?!"

"This is Mobius, not Amazina. Zephyr." Mia was wide awake, her Eyes of Truth were shown in use. "The sakura I saw was the purple buds of sakura that only exsist in the "other world" but there is one tree here that has the rare flower." she said, and then pointed at the large tree at the spring shrine. "Harugami's Tree."

Zephyr looked confused. "Wait... this ISN'T Amazina?" He spread his wings. "Then what the heck am I doing here?! I was in Amazina yesterday!"

Meanwhile, Dusk had teleported somewhere he didn't recognize..."Creator? You here? I want to speak with you!"

The voice spoke, "No, she isn't, and she's not the one who was talking to you!" the voice was louder, stronger, as if it just gained strength.

Dusk growled and teleported back to the party..."Then you'd better start giving me some answers before I start bashing heads!"

Dusk was then slapped on the head. It was Mia, she had her hat on, she was ready for a fight. But her hat shaded her face, and with her eyes of truth activated made her seem inhuman. "Me, I was able to send you thoughts while unconcious, well semi-concious... Now, run up that giant flower tree and get that spades." she said.

Dusk growled and grabbed the card. "HEY!! MINORIK!! I FOUND YOUR STUPID CARD!! NOW GET OUT HERE AND FIGHT!!"

Zephyr's hand began to glow purple. His eyes widened. "Oh no... not again!" he groaned.

The card slipped out of Dusk's hand and poofed into Minorik. "Argh, I thought I got that witch out of comission!" he said, right before he was whammed on the head hard by Mia's broom. "Give it a rest, like I would really fall for tricks and not know who is causing them." she said, and grabbed Minorik by the collar, but as she did everyone started to calm down. Akiko had a headache, Kori was confused why he was covered in paint, and Yepa got up entergeticly. "Now, OUT!" said Mia, and then hit Minorik like a baseball, she got a homerun.

Chapter 3: The Strange Dolls

"Well, good thing he's gone... We can get back to work now." said Mia, as she tossed her hat and broom through a space hole and flew back down to the shrine.

Zephyr looked at everyone nervously. "Guys... do you have anywhere I can release a mini black hole?"

Dusk fell over, asleep. Split rubbed her head an groaned..."Geez...Whatta headache..."

Zephyr sighed. "Right. Don't respond. I'm a ghost, I have to remember that." He shot off a small orb of purple energy into the sky, which landed somewhere unknown.

A couple of Hours pass by and the festival decorations are almost complete, Noel, and Arthur just arrived.

"Sorry we're late, we had some trouble with a demon back there" said Arthur, scratching his white hair.

The white lion stood up from the steps he sat on, where the demon lay, and said to him, "Lazy child," and walking up the stairs."Hey...I resent that..." the demon replied before turning into a black lion, staying on the ground.

Split gently kicked Dusk. He groaned and got up, yawning. "What time is it?" Split replied, "I don't think that matters..."

Kori started putting up some paper lanterns, but then notices one has a doll in it. It was neatly made, with brown hair and blue outfit. "Huh, did anyone lose a doll?" yelled Kori, holding the doll up high.

Split shook her head. "No it's not ours..." Dusk just mumbled a bit.

Everyone else either shook their head or turned away. But Noel went and took the doll out of adoration. "Aw it's so cuuuuuuuute!!!" she squeaked. And then started holding the doll close to her.

Dusk whispered to Split, "She seems a little dim, no?" Split nodded and giggled.

"Hello! You're Dusk right?! I Noel, Nora's cousin! She told me about you!" said Noel as she confronted Dusk with a bright face.

Dusk stared at her. "Um, nice to meet you. This is Split, my pet, and sidekick..." Split waved happily.

Noel went and gave Split a heck-of-a-hug. "You're sooo cute!!"

Split giggled and hugged back. Dusk rolled his eyes and mumbled to himself, "As if that never happened before..."

Noel let go of Split and looked at the doll, it was pretty and it was humanoid. But Noel seemed to really take admire to it, but when Mia walked past her. Mia got a sudden chill, and she turned toward the doll. "Huh? For some reason, I sense great magic from that doll...." said Mia, but Noel wasn't there anymore but running and dancing with the doll. Mia decided to shake it off and started decorating tables.

Dusk looked at Mia's reaction, then looked at the doll. "Hmmm..."

Zephyr eyed the doll warily. "I don't like dolls... whenever I see one, it usually explodes ten times."

Kori was staring out at the horizen from the roof of the shrine, but then Yepa walked up to him. "Hey, there you are, where've you been?" he said, but then noticed Yepa was holding a doll in her mouth, one identical to Noel's. "Huh, strange doll... I wonder where you found it..." said Kori as he lifted up the doll to examine it.

Dusk walked around and admired everyone's work. "Wow...I'm glad I didn't help...I'm a klutz..." Split then ran over with a third doll. "Dusk! Look what I found!" Dusk took it and examined it. "Hm...No tags...No name....This isn't a store-bought doll...Someone made this. Like....a voodoo doll, or...the ones that you have." Split nodded.

Mia kept having chills. "Ugh, sometimes I hate the fact I'm magic-sensative... But still, I don't like the feeling I'm getting from them..." she said

Dusk looked at her, then back at the doll. "Hmm..." He then took out his anti-magic pendant. "I'll try to put this on the doll. If it gets repeled, there must be some kind of enchantment..." Dusk said, then he slowly lowered the strange crystal to touch the doll.

The doll whacked the pendant out of Dusk's hand, and once again plays dead.

Dusk stared at it, wide eyed..."Um....Did that doll just move?!?" He picked up the pendant and once again tried to touch the doll with it.

The doll jerked. But then the sounds of a young girl giggling was heard.

Tikala was shocked from this but didnt give much thought before she went and tended to Vergil's wounds from earlier "your going to need a lot of rest Vergil." "heh im part demon for a reason" "Darkness fares no better than you or Dante"

Dusk immediately threw the doll to the ground out of shock. "That doll just laughed!" Split (who, at the time, wasn't paying attention) rolled her eyes and said, "Dusk, doll's don't move and laugh. You're overheated..."

But, then the doll started to float up. It's face became distorted into a sillouetted demented face, and it took out what appears to be a halberd and lunged at Dusk. But for a second, strings were seen on the doll's back but then they became invisable.

Dusk quickly evaded the doll and launched a fireball at it, hoping to hit something

It missed the doll, but then someone came out. It was a girl with black hair and a white dress with demonic blue eyes and a large blue bow in her hair. She was a wingless fairy, but what was creepy, her body looked like it was a puppet and her body parts hanged. Mia came out with her hat, "Kurayami!" she said,

Dusk looked at the girl. "Oh. A puppeteer...Nothing I can't handle." Dusk then pulled out his Liquilizer and fired an icy blast at Kirayami.

Kurayami easily dodge the attack but her body dragged like a rag doll. Mia hit Dusk on the head. "You fool, you don't take down one of the Sanjou Sisters like that! Kurayami is Kamori's twin sister, the fairy of darkness! Her power is alot like my celestiamancery, but it's just darkness... She's powerful, a fairy who relies on her dolls." explained Mia, but then Kurayami took out a needle almost as long as she is tall and smirked with her souless eyes.

Dusk looked at her. "Sooo...we freeze her dolls?"

"She has more dolls then how many year's I've lived..." Mia said, but then Kurayami attacked Dusk, even though her power was darkness, it was a evil, devilish darkness.

A voice then spoke from seemingly everywhere. "Allow me." As it spoke, a ring of fire appeared around Kurayami, separating her from Dusk. In a flash of light, a komodo appeared before it. "I come here to watch the sakura bloom, a once in a lifetime marvel, and I find it threatened. Unacceptable!" the komodo said in anger as he took a fighting stance.

Dusk shrugged. "Okay, so how do we defeat her?"

"Her dark magic is definitely something to be cautious of," the komodo began, "But every army has weakness, as do each of its warriors. We must find that weakness."

Mia tilted her hat a bit and used her eyes of truth, she was searching Kurayami but appearantly seemed to be having trouble. "Ugh, if I keep searching her I'm gonna make my eyes bleed again!" moaned Mia as she rubbed her eyes. "She's souless, that's why I'm having trouble seeing the truth in her... She has nothing to lie about..." she explained. Kurayami ripped space with her needle and disappeared into the darkness and reappeared and went to attack the komodo with a devious grin.

As Kurayami's attack hit, the komodo faded away; it was an illusion. He reappeared off to the side and said, "I believe I can help, Miss MaJikku. Where I come from, I was known as the All-Seer. If it thinks, I can see those thoughts." He then gestured for Kurayami to attack again. "Why don't you come and prove to me if you do have a brain, fairy," he said tauntingly.

Dusk pulled out his Liquilizer again. "I'm with you." He took aim and waited.

Mia stood back a bit, "Well, my eyes only see the truth, and that's it... But how do you know my last name?" she said,

Kurayami summoned a bunch of dolls and scattered them, "Divide and conquer..." she said in a childish voice. And then all the dolls including herself lunged at everyone.

The komodo chuckled at Mia's question. Several more of his illusions appeared to counter the dolls. "Mind if I even the odds?" he asked rhetorically.

Dusk dropped his gun, then pulled out his dai-katana, Nightblade, instead. He started slashing the swarms of dolls, but they started to overwealm him fast. That is, until he set himself on fire. Then they just burned up...

But when the fire touched them, they started to blow up in great explosions. "Watch it! They're filled with gunpowder!" said Mia. Kurayami summond more dolls.

Dusk grinned. "Gunpowder, huh?" Dusk looked at the sliced bodies of the dolls. He picked one up and ran off. "Split! Cover for me!" Split nodded and started fighting the dolls off in place of Dusk. Meanwhile, Dusk was pouring the gunpowder from the discarded doll into a small bottle, then filled it with alcohol. Dusk stuffed a old cloth into the top, then smiled.

"My turn!" said Mia, "Eat wind magic!" Mia then opened a spacial hole above her and then a power twister spewed from it. It destroyed if not blown away most of the dolls.

Dusk then teleported in behind Kurayami, lit the cloth on fire, then threw it at her. "Molotov Cocktail comin' your way!"

Kurayami ripped the space with her needle and sent the bottle into a dark sub-space. She laughed devilishly.

A cloud of smoke began to form, and it appeared to be coming from the komodo. As it curled around Kurayami, it slowly took the form of a serpent. "If you enjoy darkness so much, then be comsumed by it," he said. His voice echoed through the serpent of smoke as well.

But instead of being consumed, Kurayami's needle sucked up all the darkness around her. It was easily noticable by now, Kurayami sold her soul to the very darkness and power she controls, she is a puppet herself, a empty souless puppet with nothing but the darkness controling her strings.

Dusk smiled. "That's it..." Dusk quickly put his hood up and turned his back to Split. "SPLIT! USE YOUR HIDDEN POWER!" Split suddenly turned completely white as she floated upward, then let out a bright light, brighter than 10 suns.

Kurayami let a terrible screach that sounded like metal scrapping long and hard against each other. She then threw her needle at Split, despite being blinded the needle was straight on.

Dusk flew up and caught it, then threw it right back at her. Split glowed brighter and brighter.

The needle struck Kurayami and pinned her too a tree. Then Kurayami dissolved and then so did her needle. Mia came in. "She's not dead, fairies don't die, they recarnate unchanged so they are techniquely immortal. She'll come back at sometime..." she said.

Split fell and turned back to normal, panting, looking exusted. Dusk pat her on the back. "Thanks Split." He then handed her a snack, and she nibbled at it hungriliy.

Mia tossed her hat into sub-space again, but she wasn't satisfied. She went towards the komodo. "As I was saying, how do you know who I am? No one does since I left the River Village over a thousand years ago..." she asked rather impaitently.

"First... allow me to introduce myself," the komodo began, "I am Ichiro Keiken, of the Orochi Clan. Back at our home in the Dragon Kingdom, Poppy Village, I was known as the All-Seer. As I explained before, if something thinks, I can see those thoughts. I don't necessarily want to see them, but I just do, and they cannot be unseen." He began to pace a bit. "I believe Split has confirmed that Kuryami is vulnerable to light," he continued, "This information helps me greatly, for I am a photokinetic." Ichiro dispelled his copies whom had been fighting the dolls previously. He concentrated, began changing colours, and eventually disappeared completely. He reappeared behind Mia and whispered, "Light is my speciallty."

The black and white lions entered after all this, "So, what'd we miss?" said the black lion.

Dusk raised his hand. "Yeah, but let's just say, I'm allergic to all forms of light..."

Mia grinned, "The All-Seer? Why does that remind me off someone." said Mia as she turned her head towards Kori who was asleep on the roof.

Chapter 4: Shikigami's Dark Side

The festival was almost done, despite the trouble everyone had, they were a couple days head of shecdule. It was turning a bit dark so Noel headed home. Akiko stayed along with Akihiko, and Akigami. But, the strongest demons always come out during the dark, so Mia decided to stay.

Dusk stuck around because he was more comfortable in the dark. Split was too sleepy, so Dusk put her down for a nap.

Ichiro approached Mia. "Harugami's tree... I never thought something so beautiful would carry with it so much danger," he said to her, "Although I do not worship him as a god, I respect him as a spirit of Spring, and I will protect him and his sacred tree... That is, if you'll allow me."

"Why don't you ask him yourself? He's standing right next to you." said Mia pointing to Harugami standing near Ichiro. Harugami gave a stern and strict face, but something was rather soft in him.

Dusk hung up his robes and stretched his wings, then folded them again. "Nice night."

Vergil and Tikala stayed around because they felt a strong pressence so they stayed to keep the peace

"Hmm, I've never seen him in person, so forgive my ignorance." Ichiro replied. He walked over to Harugami, trying not to stare. "Well... May I begin by saying it is an honour to meet someone such as yourself." He looked up at the night sky, viewing the brightness of the moon. He wandered off into thought, almost forgetting about Harugami.

"You expect too much from gods. However, that does not mean you must look down upon us either... That tree, the largest tree in Hayashi is me, it is my body. What you see is nothing but a illusion, just a way for me to interact with those who can only see what's infront of them..." said Harugami, but then he glared at Mia, Mia turned away. "I must admitt, I do loathe some creatures... But I do not truely hate them..." said Harugami, Mia turned her head a bit, but then Harugami vainished like a ghost.

The lions sat on the steps in silence until the black lion said, "Why are we here at NIGHT, and where are Wes and Wendy?" The white lion replied, "We came here for this festival, and we're here now because we have nowhere else to go. I'm not sure where they are tough."

Neko Miko woke up, she sleeping in a upright pose again. But when she did, she didn't seem pleased and she exited the shrine. She seemed to be feeling something, something dark...

Vergil was a demon so everynow and then the force kept causing him to transform momentarily into a demon form but he kept control and let it wear off everytime it activated "i hope nothing is out of place with Dante and Darkness. those two party monsters are nothing but trouble sometimes."

Dusk rolled his eyes, then flew up to the roof of the shrine, so as to be a lookout.

Mia was reading a book, thing was, she wasn't holding it. She was making it levitate right above her hand and the pages flipped with out a single touch.

Dusk sighed and mumbled to himself, "I hate when people show off their powers..."

Mia gave him a look, "This is how I always read, it helps prevent paper cuts..." she said, and then went back to her book.

"Well, sorry, but I wear gloves..." Dusk said, rather snarly about it. He seemed annoyed about something.

Mia sighed and then snatched the book, the prism on the front showed it was a magic book. Mia stuffed it away somewhere through a space hole and then she just laid back.

Dusk rolled his eyes, then sat down on the top of the shrine. Split climbed up and sat beside him, then asked, "Dusky, what's wrong?" "Nothing Split." "Dusk...I'm a psychic. I can read your mind..." Dusk groaned, then whispered to her, "Listen, I don't exactly feel comfortable around these people...Not because they're dangerous or anything, there's just something I don't like about them..." Split looked at the crowd that was left, then looked back, whispering, "That's it?" Dusk nodded. "Yeah, that's it. I just hope they can't hear us..."

"They can't, but I can," Ichiro whispered as he appeared on the shrine's roof in a faint flash. "I know why you feel this way. You are worried that your demonic nature will spark conflict in a land of demon hunters." He walked over and sat down, looking up at the sky. "For a moment, I felt the same way. Not for the same reasons, but you understand, right?"

"It's because I'm a demon exterminator..." said Mia, she was listening, "Or the fact I'm a immortal..." Mia whispered that last part a bit.

Dusk looked at Mia, then blushed slightly from his error. "Maybe...But I've been with Demon exterminators...Not for this long, though." Split smiled, and said, "Well, they won't hurt you. You're the friendliest demon I know..." Dusk smiled at Split. "Thanks..."

"Well, lately I've been with alot of demons... mostly Kori.." said Mia, "But there is one thing I hate that demons do...."

Dusk looked at her. "What's that?"

Vergil looked at his hand angerly "i dunno but our demons in Drakerion attack anything in their terratories... only three demons besides our father remain loyal to good.. Myself Dante and Darkness."

"The fact they never consider me a human.." Mia sighed, "Even though I can't die, I'm still human, and yet they keep going on like "It's that immortal girl" or "Not that immortal again" it drives me nuts! And sometimes, I really don't like it when they call me short..."

Dusk smirked. "It's okay. I wouldn't say that to ya. And you're not the only one. People just get one look at me and say, 'Ahh! Run! It's a demon!' and run away before I can even say anything....If I could change the past, I would, but I can't. Sorry. So, I just deal with it."

"I mean, I don't look immortal, no one can tell if someone is immortal. However beings with a sixth sense can figure that out... what was that?" said Mia as she turned around. She looked toward some bushes, but then she just turned back around. "Huh, I wonder what that sound was..."

Vergil understood what it was like growing up because he and Dante both had to keep running away because of their heritage "Humans on Drakerion are so hateful..."

Mia put her head on her arms on the railing. "Well, not all humans are hateful..." she said, she then closed her eyes, probably remembering the days she had with her teacher.

Vergil remembered what he said was wrong "well just on Drakerion. every other planet they have been nice. its just Drakerion been through a lot with constant G.U.N. raids and rouge angel and demon attacks"

A strange shifting noise was heard in the darkness. Mia turned her head towards it, "Hmm..." Mia took out a broom from a space hole and put it into a pose of whacking something. As she closely got to it, something jumped onto her face! "GET IT OFF GET IT OOOOOOOOOOOFFFF!!!!" she screamed, it was a raccoon.

Tikala rushed over and tickled the raccoon til it let go of Mia and she set it down after she got it off "you okay Mia?"

Dusk couldn't help but laugh. But then he fell off the side of the roof and had a very painful fall.

After rubbing her face, Mia said, "Yeah thanks, but you might want to ask that to Dusk now." Mia smirked.

Split hopped down and helped Dusk back up on his feet. "I'm fine..." Split giggled. "That's karma Dusk!" Dusk just sneered at her, holding his face.

Ichiro simply stared, trying to resist laughing at the almost comical mishap. 'Well, that was... unfortunate." He looked over the edge of the roof to Dusk, then to Mia. "I don't suppose either of you two require assistance?" he asked.

All of a sudden, a growling-like hiss was heard. Mia was the first to react, it was the great magic plus in the air.

Quickly, Ichiro became serious once more. He sensed a familiar presence in whatever made that sound. "We have more guests," he whispered, "And I don't think this one is a raccoon."

"The heck was that?!" said the black lion as both lions stood up. The white lion touched the stone with his tail, turning his fur grey again, and snapped his fingers, which lit the black ones tail, and turned his fur red.

Dusk got up and pulled out his throwing knives, and Split got ready with her magic.

Vergil transformed into his demon form and had his sword drawn while Tikala had been in her fighting stance

All of a sudden two red eyes where glowing from the trees. "Isssss he going to come? Or issss he not?" said a terrible beastly voice, Mia stood back, she reconizes this voice.

Ichiro gazed deep into the eyes, but cringed after a few seconds. "I... I can't see anything," he whispered in shock. With a quick flash, a staff appeared in his hands with a shortblade on one end, and a war hammer on the other. "Call it a hunch, but I'm guessing this thing is a threat," he said to Mia.

"Ahhhhhh, yessss, Mia..... The witch who guards the Southern Border, how long hasssss it been? Sssssince the day you sssssealed me into that piece of ssshhredded paper..." the voice gave off a terrible laugh, Mia stood back. "And you're suppose to stay sealed, did Kumiko release you!?" said Mia, the voice growled and his eyes grew brighter. "Yesss, but ssshe releasssed me for today...." said the voice, "Now, how about a fight we hadn't had in 1000 yearssss?" growled the voice, but then in a flash a long black object took Mia, as it stopped it appeared to be a giant black serphant with a black aura radaiting from it, it grasped Mia in it's jaw. "You can't die, but you can ssstill feel pain!" hissed the serphant, and then it started crushing Mia's torso in his jaw, she let out a horrid scream of agony.

"No!" Ichiro shouted. With great force, he jumped up and lunged the blade of his weapon into the beast.

The beast laughed with a demonic growl, and gave wry smile. He swallowed Mia to free his mouth, "Do you think that will do any good on me? I am Yamonii, a powerful Shadow Demon of Orochi." hissed the serpant, the other half of his body which was still in the trees, smashed the earth under it with a great blow and the loud crashing of trees falling filled the air.

"This is useless if we cant stop it." "Tikala im part demon remember?" Vergil's demon form naturaly increased all of his stats not by much but fast enough to make his sword almost invisible as he tried to free Mia by slashing open the demon who swallowed her

Ichiro fell back to the ground, landing on his feet. He dispelled his weapon in shock from what he had just heard. "O... Orochi?!" he stuttered as he fell to one knee, bowing his head.

All of a sudden, a space gap opened up and Mia along with a bunch of slime fell onto the ground. Mia got up and tried to slap the stuff off. "I am SOOOO beyond lucky that I mastered celetisamancry!" yelled Mia, with a sound of disgust in her voice. "Ichiro, don't get carried away, he's a shadow of Orochi, a long time ago the 8-headed demon created shadows of itself, but the shadows are much weaker then the real deal, but they are still powerful!" explained Mia, she then pushed against her back which made a disgusting cracking noise, her back was crushed a bit by Yamonii's powerful grasp.

"I... I am sorry," Ichiro began, "But I cannot fight Yamata no Orochi, shadow or otherwise." He remained kneeling as his garbs turned from blue to grey. "He is our Lord."

"I don't care if he's a lord! Fire Missiles!" Said the red lion as he fired missiles made of fire at Yamonii.

Dusk then started firing at the ground, making a frozen path. Dusk and Split suddenly started gliding on the path, making many turns and loops to avoid the demon, while Split fired off rounds of her light spells.

Mia scratched her head, "You must be mistaking the demon for someone else, Orochi only had one name, not three. And was killed a long time ago." explained Mia. Then Yamonii's aura took form of a claw and brushed Dusk and Split away. Mia took out a bunch of excorsim needles and attacked Yamonii with them, he only cringed.

Ichiro stood up once more, with a confused look on his face. "A second Orochi... Imposter!" he yelled. At that moment, Ichiro's scales became bright gold, and his eyes a firey red. "Miss MaJikku, everyone, shield your eyes!" he called out before releasing a blinding flash of light.

Mia protected her eyes with her hat, but she shook her head. "Nah, we have a different Orochi, it's a japanese name so it's used once. The one that we had was different, but it did create a great disaster before.". said Mia, but then Yamonii once again snatched her. He was determined this time, so he crunched down on Mia's body, cutting her in half. She fell to the ground in two. Yamonii didn't look pleased with what he did however, and then he started moving towards Harugami's tree.

Dusk then aimed at the creature and fired off the gun at full power, creating a giant icicle, while Split tried to help Mia.

Ichiro was traumatized at what he had seen. "Mia, no!" he shouted as he ran to help Split help her. Meanwhile, a copy of Ichiro appeared to go after Yamonii.

Mia twitched, and then she moaned a bit. She tried to get up, but the fact she is missing her lower body, she fell on her face again. "Ugh... I hate it when this happens..." moaned Mia.

"Is there anything we can do?" Ichiro asked frantically. He carefully collected her lower half as the copy continued to chase Yamonii. "Get back here, you demonic scum!" it cried. Worry grew as they approached the tree. The copy summoned its weapon, which was now white-hot. It attempted to strike the beast once more.

Yamonii groaned, "I will have my revenge on Tsuriai!" he shouted till he vanished into the air's darkness. Mia's body automaticly reattached her halved body. She rubbed her waist where she was cut in half. "I hate it when things like that happen... I'm very vunerable when I lose my lower body or my head, if I lose a arm, it won't make a real big differance..." said Mia.

"Thank goodness you have such useful abilities," Ichiro said with a sigh of relief. The copy returned and asked, "Will it be back?"

Mia snatched Ichiro by the neck, "USEFUL?! It's a curse! To live forever seeing everyone you love die, and the fact you'll never see them again!" shouted Mia, but then she snapped out of it and let go of Ichiro. She walked off into a space gap which led into the shrine.

"Never really thought about it....God, immortality's going to SUCK." the red lion said, banging his head into a tree.

Dusk sighed. "Thanks for that..." He then rubbed his wing, it was damaged in the battle.

Kori came in using his Celestirian Cap. "Okay, I was order by Neko Miko to take in Yamonii's thoughts, that's why I was unable to join the fight. Sorry 'bout that." he said embrassingly, "And well, I was unable to retrieve alot of memories but I saw alot of current thoughts, he was thinking..." Kori closed his eyes, ""I must destroy him, I must take revenge on the being who bestowed this fate on me!" That's what he said, exactly!" said Kori, his impressions were very good.

Dusk looked at him. "Probably means Harugami..." Split tended to his damaged wing with some sort of potion, and a damp cloth. Whenever Split poured the potion of the wounds, Dusk would moan in agony...Apparently, it hurt alot...

Ichiro rubbed his neck, shocked what what just happen, and thinking about what he had said. "I... I'm sorry," he whispered, despite the fact that Mia was gone.

Kori put his hand on Ichiro's shoulder. "Sorry, Mia's had it rough. Ever since the death of her teacher, she locked herself away from humanity to prevent such things from repeating... I kinda saw some of her memories, and to admit, I kinda wish I hadn't..." said Kori, he looked down at the ground a bit depressed. "But because of her immortality she has sentanced herself to eternaly protect the Southern Border, or more like guarding it."

Ichiro sighed. "I know... I saw," he said, almost to himself. After nodding to Kori, Ichiro walked off. Inconsiderate bastard! he thought to himself, I have to apologize to her... in person. His thoughts trailed off in several directions at once as he headed for the shrine.

Dusk screamed again, and Split gently dabbed at his wounds with the cloth. "Shh, I'm almost done..." Split then wrapped bandages around his wing, and Dusk slowly flapped it. "Thanks Split..." Split smiled and put her potions away. "No problem Dusky..."

Mia was at the railing at the back of the shrine, at first she took out one of her chocolate bars, but instead of eating it, she tossed it to the forest floor below. She sighed.

Dusk then whispered something to Split, it was inaudible, but at the time, Dusk seemed to be keeping an eye on Mia...Split nodded at Dusk, then went back to tending his damaged wing.

Standing in the forest, Ichiro was ready to catch the chocolate. "You dropped something, Miss MaJikku," he called up, waving the bar.

Mia looked away.

Ichiro put away the bar. "Can we talk? I want to apologize," he suggested. An illusion of a rose appeared in his hand, and he held it up to her. "Please?"

"Immortailty is a curse no matter who has it." Vergil said quietly "My brothers and I have suffered the never ending torrment caused by it. Darkness seeks death to be relaesed from his sins... but he will never obtain it" "Why?" "Lets just say him being who he was when he was mortal led to big fatal mistakes of himself and others."

Mia looked at the rose, and smiled a little. "Okay..." she said little quietly.

Holding the rose between his teeth, Ichiro climbed up to the balcony. He removed it with one hand, and took out the chocolate with the other. "I believe this belongs to you," he said kindly.

Mia took the chocolate. "Thanks..." she said, and then she started to unwrap it and took a small bite from it.

In the shadows lurks two people, soon they step out the shadows, they appear to be D and Cold "Hey isn't that Mia?" D said, "Wow, that is her." , and soon they rush over to Mia.

Mia turned around, her eyes seemed to have lighten. "Hey, D! Cold! Long time no see, then again I'm bad when it comes to time, ha ha!" said Mia.

So happy to see her again , D tries to kiss her,and somewhere on a roof a mysterious cat lurks.

Mia stepped a bit out of the way of D. "Yeah, no, sorry..." she laughed nervously.

Suddenly Cold laughs "HA you scare girls!" Cold said, "You can't get a girl." D said,then Cold Cold begins stop his mocking.

"Owned," a female white wolf sitting on the railng, said to Cold.

Cold turned to the female wolf and said "Who the heck are you?".

Ichiro merely stood, shocked at the sudden appearance of so many other, all of whom somehow knew where they were. "...Did I miss something?" he asked in confusion.

"Hey guys" a fox came out the darkness appears to be Sai the Fox, "What no hi?" he said.

"Wendy Toboe, Wolf of the Clouds, at your service," she said. "I came with my friends, Liger and Markus, and my brother, Wes, who I can't find, for some festival. But my demon acted up and I ran into the forest some time ago. I also have a habit of seemingly appearing out of nowhere."

As Cold is talking to his friends he relies that he brought a chaos emerald "Guy I just remember I have a chaos emerald!".

"What's a chaos emarald?" Wendy asked with curiosity.

Mia giggled a little. "Ichiro, this is D and Cold, we kinda met a while back."

During the commotion, Harugami reappeared in the shrine infront of Neko Miko. There was something serious going on. "Yamonii, he want's Hanji..." said Harugami, Neko twitched one of her ears. "Yes, I knew this day would come someday. But, I have a feeling, that even with everyone here, this isn't going to be a easy extermination, I even had to company Mia during the search for him..." said Neko. And then once again, Harugami fanished into the breeze.

Chapter 5: A Tsuchigumo's Revenge

"Gwaaaaaaaaaa~ uuu~" yawned Mia, she somehow has fallen asleep. It was morning, and everyone was here again, along with the half-fish half-hedgehog, Rodney, or nixie, people call him. Arthur excorted Noel as well. Akigami was wanting to talk to her brother Harugami, but he wouldn't appear again...

Dusk put on his robes, then put up the hood. Split smiled at Dusk, and gently tugged on his sleeve. Dusk bent over and Split whispered something to him. It was obviously humorous, because after Split finished, they both snickered.

D and Cold stands on top of a roof and watches over his friends,"Damn this is boring." D said, "Hmph." Cold said.

The mysterious black cat watches.

Ichiro stared into the newly risen sun, lost within his own mind. Hayashi, I pray for this land, he thought, My second day here has just begun, and already I am ill at ease. He turned and started off towards the shrine once more. As he walked, he began to think about the conversation from the night before which never occured. Mia, I hope she is ok. Maybe I can properly apologize this morning. With clear heads, and no grudges to be held, perhaps we will be more successful in defeating Yamonii.

Kori was once again on look out, with his pet nekomata on his hat again. Mia went towards the railing, she had her hair ribbon off which allowed her hair to flow in the wind. But then Mia tied up her hair again and watched the horizen like before.

Upon reaching the shrine, Ichiro returned to the balcony where Mia stood. He simplyn watched the horizon with her for a moment or two, before gently saying, "Good morning, Miss MaJikku."

A ilttle Boy Doggaby (Half dog Half Wallaby) Came in "Hello" The Mutt said.

Mia turned around towards Ichiro and she gave a pleasant smile that said, "Hello". Mia then jumped onto the railing, and she still continued looking at the horizen.

D, Sai and Cold soon saw Mia look towards the horizen and said "Who is that?"D said, "I don't know." Sai said, "A friend I guess." Cold said.

Split asked Dusk to put her hair in a ponytail, so he did, then Split smiled at and walked away. She almost seemed like she wanted to impress someone...

"I... I didn't get to say it earlier, but..." Ichiro began, "I'm sorry." He let out a heavy sigh and paused for a moment before continuing. "I've been a mess my entire time hear, and there were so many thoughts running through my head, so many emotions," he explained, turning away, "I didn't think, and I payed for it by offending you. For that... I am sorry."

Mia faced Ichiro, "It's okay, I kinda get a little mad when my body gets cut in two. I shouldn't have strangled you like that, it's just, I rue the day I made that elixer..." said Mia. But then a large crashing noise, the sound of trees falling around came from infront of the feastival entrance. It was Dokueiki! And she was mad!

The mutt Said "I'm Jimmy but just call me Jim" He said with a Smile

Dusk looked at her. "Ohhhhh GREAT!!" Dusk said, rather annoyed. Dusk tore the bandages off his wings, as they were healed, then took to the skies. He hovered above the festival, not too far off the ground, and waited.

Ichiro looked into the forests. "A tsuchigumo? I'm assuming this one is also a threat," he said in a more serious tone. He joined Mia atop the railing and summoned his weapon once more. He turned to Mia and asked, "Shall we?"

Wes and Liger were almost hit by the trees. "What the hell is that!?" said Wes, with a branch stuck to his horns. "Best way to wake to almost die..." Liger said sarcastically.

"Great it's Dokueiki again, I don't know if you know this Dusk, but that happens to be Kazuki's mommy!" said Kori as he laughed. But Dokueiki went ahead straight for Harugami's tree in a rampage. When she roared, miasma spewed from her mouth like a fog.

D soon said to himself"I don't get it.".

Mia went up front D. "A tsuchigumo literally means "Ground Spider" in japanese, they're a type of spider demon that manipulates disease. This one happens to be Kazuki's mother, she's pratically one of the strongest tsuchigumo out there." she explained to D as she got her hat and broom.

Ichiro jumped down from the balcony, as if he couldn't wait to go. "We can't let it harm the tree," he began, "Everyone! Let's get moving!" He ran through the forest with much determination, heading straight for Dokueiki.

Dokueiki spewed out a great smog of miamsa, but Mia was able to capture most of it in a space hole. However, some of the deadly gas escaped. Dokueiki raised her four arms up ready to attack, while still rampaging towards Harugami.

Dusk pulled out some special leaves from his satchel, then covered his mouth with them, tossing Split some too. He then flew down and hovered in front of her. "You best be leaving."

Mia took out her broom, the end of it started making star-dust. She then whacked Dokueiki with it, causing a slight explosion.

Dusk's hands suddenly held a blazing spear-like spell, then he started throwing them at Dokueki.

Suddenly, each spear burst into a much larger attack. "Dusk!" Ichiro called out, "Keep them coming, I can make them stronger!" As the spears flew, Ichiro jumped in unison with them and brought the hammer of his weapon down upon Dokueiki's head... hard.

"Hey! whats Going on Here?!" Jim said With Anger.

Vergil and Tikala kept themselves on high buildings for birds eye veiw of any outgoings. "Reminds you of home huh?" "Not really Vergil. I left to marry Darkness and never went back."

Dokueiki shook her head, her head exo-skeleton was cracked, but just a little bit. Dokueiki growled, she stopped and spread her 4 legs far and set up her 4 arms into attack. Dokueiki then spewed silk at everyone.

Sai soon use his sword to cut himself free ,then jumped down from the roof and said "You will pay for that.".

Dokueiki gave a wry grin. Mia flew up and avoided her attack, but then Mia said, "Watch out for the silk, it's acidic!"

Dusk suddenly folded his wings around his body, protecting him from the silk, but it wrapped around him, tying his wings shut. Dusk grunted, but couldn't get out of the slik.

Mia noticed Dusk and blasted towards him, she grabbed the silk on him. She cringed from it burning her skin, but she was able to remove the silk off of Dusk. She took a look at her hand, the flesh easily healed but she didn't look to happy.

Using his illusions, Ichiro avoided the silk and ran beneath Dokueiki, slashing her underside. "Die fowl beast!" he shouted with pride.

The slash made a small cut in her hard exo-skeleton, however Dokueiki still had that crack in her head. Mia took notice of this and headed straight for it with a powerful wind blast. Mia then jabbed a needle on Dokueiki's head, however, it didn't fully penertrate it but it did make the crack bigger. Dokueiki then grabbed Mia by the waist and tossed her. Mia kept rolling on the ground backwards till she hit a tree, knocking her out.

Ichiro looked back with distress. He summoned another copy to try and help Mia regain consciousness, while he continued behind Dokueiki. Leaping onto her back, Ichiro continuously slashed and struck the beast with his weapon.

But then Dokueiki had enough, and went ahead and created a Miasma Shower! She spewed liquid miasma into the sky like a fountain, and then it fell into a mist, everything in the surrounding area was dieing and burning to nothing. Luckily, Neko formed a barrier around Harugami's tree, but it wouldn't last long because of the spread length.

Dusk then got up and cast a barrier around himself, then took out his special dai-katana, Nightblade, and started to attack her rapidly.

Ichiro dropped from the tsuchigumo's back. In a quick flash of light, samurai armour appeared on his body to help defend against the acidic mist. The armour wouldn't survive long under the miasma, so Ichiro quickly ran for cover. From a distance, he bombarder Dokueiki with his Burst Bomb attack: balls of lava hurled from his mouth.

Dokueiki stopped spreying the miasma and fell down to the ground. So far she wasn't moving.

Dusk stopped and stared, ready for any sudden attacks...

Dokueiki suddenly sprang up in the air, she roared a deafening sound. And then she landed on Dusk, ready to bite his head off.

Dusk's eyes widened, he then closed his eyes and cringed. Suddenly Split sprang up with a large boulder, and smashed it over Dokueiki's head.

Dokueiki screached, the crack on it's head finally fell apart and a black ooze flowed from it. And then she fell to the ground and disappeared. Mia woke up, but she had a terrible headache.

Split helped Dusk back up, then went over to Mia. "You okay Miss MaJikku?" she asked her, being as polite as possible.

Ichiro ran over to where Dokueiki disappeared and knelt down, observing the ground. "Is it dead?" he asked, fiddling with the damage in his armour.

"Yeah, thanks..." said Mia, she then stood up and walked towards Ichiro, "She's a mid-level demon, when demons die they just disappear however, Dokueiki, as long as one of her children exsist, she will possess them and be recarnated." explained Mia.

Dusk grunted...."When's Hanji supposed to arrive? I haven't seen him for ages..." Split looked at Dusk. "I thought you hated him." Dusk was quick to cover her mouth. "What?!? no no...That's not what I said..." Dusk then looked at Split and whispered. "Right?" Split's eyes widened, then she nodded, and giggled. "My mistake...He said he REALLY hated him!" She laughed and ran off....Dusk sighed..."I'm just uncomfortable around him...Then again, that's with almost everyone I meet...So, it's not a suprise."

Ichiro shuttered. "Ugh... So many evil demons. I can't even think about it without remembering--" He stopped himself. After looking back at Dusk and Mia, he walked of in silence, fading into the sunlight.

Up on one of Harugami's branches, Kori was watching the whole commotion. However, his eyes were fixed on the Mia, for some reason he seemed to get little angry everytime someone talks to her. His kind eyes turned steely, and his third-eye was "fully opened".

Chapter 6: Love is Sin

Upon returning to the shrine, Mia met up with Kori who was sitting on the railing, Mia felt something different about him, but he was her friend so she didn't bother using her eyes. She continued walking along the shrine, but Kori disappeared and went somewhere.

Meanwhile, in the forest, Ichiro was fighting one of his own illusions. It was a midnight-blue wolf, and Ichiro was being uncharacteristically forceful. He battled the false wolf without hault, tearing down any nearby trees which got in his way.

Soon the stoking black cat saw Ichiro fighting and began to watch.

Dusk was speaking with Split. Meanwhile, watching them, was a shadowing figure....Whoever it was, they seemed to keep an eye on Split....

Mia sat inside somewhere in the shrine and started to read a book. The design of the book's cover showed that Mia was probably studying.

The figure pulled into the shadows, and then looked at Mia. The figure suddenly dashed out from the forests and snatched Split up, then ran back in. Poor Split screamed for help as she was kidnapped. Dusk, at the time, was unconcious, a long dart was protruding from his neck.

Ichiro finished off the illusion with one final smash. He heard the screams in the distance, and knew that he had to help. Personal matters were put aside, as he ran in the direction of the sound.

Mia heard the screams as well, but Kori stood in the doorway. Mia didn't say anything, but Kori had a look he never had before... A fierce look. Mia stepped back a bit, she didn't want to fight a satori, not what happened 200 years ago.

With her master incapasitated, Split was generally helpless. The figure covered her mouth and whispered. "Shh....Don't worry. I won't hurt you." The voice was female, but sounded sweet, almost motherly.

Mia sat down, but was looking directly at Kori, she knew she couldn't do any tricks because he was reading her mind right now. But then a large explosion happened somewhere on the shrine, Kori turned his head, but when he turned back, Mia was gone. Somewhere else on the shrine... Neko caused a small explosion to distract Kori, she smirked as she threw what was left of the fire crackers down the cliff by the shrine.

The figure looked at her. "Listen, I'll let go of your mouth...Promise me you won't scream." Split nodded, and the figure let her mouth go, and then Split called for a help again. The figure gagged Split and sighed. "You just couldn't stay quiet..."

Mia went searching for where the scream came from, but she found Dusk unconcious on the ground. Mia took out the dart, she reconized the recipe for it and the cure. Mia took something out of a spacial hole, it appeared to be some kind of weed, it smelled foul and she placed it near Dusk's nose to wake him up.

Tikala heard this from their skyeye view and flew down useing Vergils demon powers of gliding sorta more or less jumping into trees and droping down with each jump

From the depths of the forest, Ichiro ran to join his comrades. "Mia! What happened to Dusk? And where is Split? That scream sounded like it came from her." Ichiro knealt down to her level, and observed the wound on Dusk's neck.

Dusk suddenly woke up and gasped. "AIR!! I NEED AIR!!" Dusk held his nose. "Gross...What hit me?"

Mia smiled as if she just played a prank. "Just some leafs of the Shuuki Plant, or what many non-magicians call it, Stink Weed!" giggled Mia, she was glad Dusk was okay, but her smile faded. She stood up and looked around, what she noticed was that Split wasn't around.

Dusk's ears twitched...He turned his head toward a large bush and pointed. "There..." The figure noticed this and then grabbed Split again and ran.

Ichiro punched the ground. "Dammit! Why can't they just leave us and this place alone?!" He was getting angry now. With a deep breath to calm himself, Ichiro stood up and looked in the direction of the figure. "Well? We can't let it get away."

A female's voice suddenly came from somewhere..."You're right...Same goes for you." Suddenly many long vines sprouted from the ground and coiled around everyone's legs. Dusk easily tore through them, then freed his friends. Then a huge Venus Flystrap came up and clamped down on Dusk. He started to wrestle with it, then looked at the others. "GO! Save Split! I got this guy!" Dusk started to wrestle with the monsterous plant, and the figure suddenly leapt from branch to branch, fleeing from the scene.

Mia saw the figure, but then a great amount of magic energy bursted throughout the air. She then conjured up a prism under her. "I won't let them escape... Taboo- Displacment of Space!" said Mia, she activated a powerful space-type spell. In great strain, Mia created a border in the place where the being was and trapped it there, with the being unknowning that it is trapped. Mia disappeared into the wind and went into the border. She chased the being who was still running in disguise, Mia kept altering the paths making them all come back to the center.

When the figure finally ended up back at the festival, and realized she was surrounded, she suddenly pulled out a handgun and aimed, using Split as a human sheild. The figure was robed, with her hood up. Obviously it was a fox, because on of it's tails were showing.

Ichiro caught up to the two, but what he saw was not a fox. One image ran through his mind, and it was the wolf who's illusion he fought before. Stricken with rage, Ichiro charged at the figure ready to throw a mighty punch. "I won't let you hurt anyone else you monster!!!"

The figure shot his leg, then aimed at Mia. "Take one step and you're dead!"

But Mia appeared and wasn't afraid and challenged the figure by taking a step forward.

Ichiro knealt down, but slowly made his way back up, ignoring the pain. "Mia! Let me handle this. You've been through enough these past couple of day. It's time somebody else took the hit." Summoning his staff, Ichiro took a fighting stance. He appeared to be more serious this time.

The figure shot his leg again, and then fired a spike into his foot, pinning him there. She then aimed at Mia and stepped backward again. "I'm not kidding! BACK OFF!"

a blade sound came and a sword was slashing at the figures back from Vergil using his demon sword Yamato in its transformed state of a big 2 handed sword held with 1 hand. "How about no."

Suddenly, both the figure, and Split turned to stone...then shattered into was an illusion. The real foxes were somewhere....

"Damnit!" Vergil swore "If only i knew! I seriously need to get my head strait. I know this kind of thing. Darkness tricked us enough."

"They're still in the forest, but it looks like the fox doesn't have a clue who I am..." said Mia, she then vanished into the wind and searched for the foxes, being the wind, she cannot be seen nor detected easily. Unless there is dust or sand.

Meanwhile, camoflaged into the trees, the fox held Split tightly. She didn't seem to want to be found. She suddenly blew out a dust cloud. It grew bigger and bigger until it turned into a sudden sandstorm.

All of a sudden, some of the dust blew into Mia, revealing herself slightly. She struggled to get the dust off of her but being the wind, it was pratically in her.

Tikala had been watching from higher trees so when she saw the dust start flying she was able to locate where Split and the figure were and she tree jumped to them "I found you!" and she quickly grabbed Split and flew away

Soon after Cold went off into the forest cause a dream told him to.

Mia solidfied to get rid of the dust, she coughed from it. She dusted off her skirt and bodice, but then someone took Mia and muffled her screams.

Vergil heard her scream and followed the muffled screams "being a half brother to 2 vampires is a good thing.. even if their faint i can still hear them if i concentrate!"

And then, a sudden flash went and came. It was the flash made by a demon running. Demons were known to run fast, the higher level they are the faster they are, and the speed from this demon proved, it was indeed very high leveled.

After finally removing the spike from his foot, Ichiro ran to Mia's side. "Another demon?! Please, Miss MaJikku, tell me this one has a less annoying ability," he asked in frustration.

Soon after D heard part of the scream and headed toward the forest.Also the mysterious Black cat soon fallowed the sound.

The demon stopped suddenly, it appeared to be Kori. His cap was activated so green tinted wings were slightly flapping, while in his arms was a struggling girl, Mia. Kori's third eye blinked, he was ready for a fight, but he dashed out of view.

Ichiro looked back and forth, stunned that he had not noticed Kori grab Mia. "What the-- Kori! What are you doing? This is hardly the time!" Ichiro gave chase, following the light provided by Kori's running.

Kori looked back and read Ichiro's heart. Kori then copied his illusion technique and split in two and went seperate ways.

"Kori you fool!" Ichiro shouted, "I can read your thoughts, I know which one of you is real. But just in case..." Ichiro made an illusion of himself and the two followed the Koris.

Kori took notice of this, and right before he could do a Mind Block, Mia was able to free her mout form his hand and bit it! Causing Kori to scream out of pain, and his illusion to disappear. Kori stopped and cringed from the pain while Mia tried to make a escape for it, but the after effects from her space magic got to her, and she grew fatigued.

Vergil took to his full demon form and rushed to Mia's side and turned back into human form because he was also fatigued from his demon power useage "i wont let you take her!"

"You're... and idiot if you think you can take on a satori..." moaned Mia, Kori grew agressive! Kori went into a dash and took out a flute, but then it's pieces broke into a whip and Kori lashed out at Vergil!

Vergil dodged it with ease despite his fatigue he wont let it stop him from fighting "nice move now its my turn" he sheathed his sword quickly then three weird demonic balls full of demonic slashes surround Kori and attack him

But Kori's whip twitched into another direction and wrapped around Mia, Kori flung her towards him. Kori fled off somewhere, but in the trees a famailer laughter was heard.

Vergil kept up his pursuit reguardless of his fatigue

As Kori ran, the trees around him appeared to move in his way. From every direction echoed the voice of Ichiro, saying, "You cannot escape me Kori. My power is far beyond anything you, or anyone else, could imagine." Very quickly, walls of earth began rising from the ground to obstruct Kori's path.

But Kori flew up using the Celestial cap, and took off, appearantly he's heading for the shrine.

As he ascended, Ichiro appeared above him and whispered, "Nice try," as he swung the hammer of his staff down upon Kori.

But all of a sudden, a powerful force whammed into Ichiro from behind, it was a inhumane force. The strange laughter was heard again.

Unfortunately for Kori, the Ichiro was only an illusion. Just as quickly as that one appeared, several more did the same and surrounded him. "Stop this right now! Expain yourself, you satori brat," they shouted at once.

Vergil tried keeping up even with his demon state he couldnt keep up because when he finally managed to catch up blood seeped through his armour joints and his breathing was heavy

Mia seemed like she recovered, she struggled to get out of Kori's grip, but Kori held tighter and tighter, but Mia wasn't going to give up. Mia used her wind magic again, and vanished into the very wind. Kori looked around, but he couldn't find Mia, but then Mia went up to Ichiro, her voice was whispery. "Look at Kori's third eye..." she said, Kori was shifting about but it was easily noticed, his third eye was bleeding. "You see, a satori's third eye, it really their heart, or will, in other words, this isn't Kori someone is manipulating him!"

Ichiro looked at Mia with concern. "So then how do we stop him?" he asked. Looking at the third eye, Ichiro tried to see his thoughts from their. Instead, he saw something dark and powerful. The vision flashed across his eyes, and slowly morphed into the same wolf he kept seeing before. Filled with rage once again, Ichiro charged at Kori.

Meanwhile, back in the clearing, Dusk hugged Split, then he noticed the figure again. The figure was angry...Whoever it was, wanted Split away from everyone. Dusk stood up and put Split behind his back. "Who are you?!?" The figure growled.

Mia pushed Ichiro back with her wind, and she breezed over to him again. "No, don't hurt him! I know this power, it's manipulation of the heart, in other words, someone is making a certian feeling of his stronger." said Mia in her windy voice. The childish laughter was heard again, but when it did, Kori found Mia being a mind reader, he can sense her pressence without the need of sight.

Dusk pushed Split. "Go help the others. I'll take care of her..." Split ran off, then the figure put up four walls of stone, trapping Dusk and herself inside. Dusk smiled. "Your move."

Ichiro looked fiercely at Mia. His eyes were a much brighter shade of red than usual. "I have to stop him!" he yelled, "Whether or not he's being controlled, I can't let him hurt y-- anyone." The visions went through Ichiro's mind once more, almost bringing him pain. "I have to do this!"

Mia soldfied, but luckily she was able to fly without a broom being a wind magician. "NOOOO!!!!" she screamed, she was holding back Ichiro. "Don't hurt him, or I'll kill you!" she growled, her Eyes of Truth were active, they gave off a terrible sense of power and intimidation.

Vergil used the distraction to grab Kori from behind "well Mia.. what emotions are manipulated!?"

Ichiro struggled, almost suprised that Mia had such a strong grip. "Mia! Let... go!" With a deep breath, he let out a Burst Bomb into the air. As it exploded, an illusion of Ichiro formed, but this one was darker than the others. The real Ichiro nearly collapsed in exhaustion, supported only by Mia's arms. The illusion turned it's head, glaring at Mia with the crimson beads that were it's eyes. Mustering up his strength, Ichiro explained, "It... it is... my darkness... An ejection... of darkness... I'm sorry." With those last words, he fell unconscious.

Mia transported Ichiro to the shrine via spacial hole. Mia went to Kori, and she placed her hand on his face then she put her hand under his third eye. And then suddenly Mia threw over a dozen of Excorsim Needles towards a tree nearby and shouts of a person were heard, and the sounds of someone falling from a tree.

The dark illusion of Ichiro merely watched, then slowly moved towards the tree as the needles struck it. It looked back at Mia and Kori once more, then knealt down next to the trunk.

A boy with a famalier green and blue jester hat stood up. It was Minorik.

The dark Ichiro nodded to Minorik, then pointed at Mia. It removed one of the Exorcism Needles from Minorik's hat and snapped it in two.

"That hurt, you little brat! I thought I would control the envy in Kori's heart for you! Manipulating a high-level youkai, such as a satori would've cause a big enough mess to prevent 'Mister Overlord' from coming!" said Minorik, Mia looked at him with the most confused face. "You're doing this, because of Hanji's coming?" said Mia, she then went up to Minorik and blasted him across the forest. Kori snapped out of it, and started falling towards the ground unconcious.

The dark Ichiro watched Minorik fly backward, then jabbed at Mia's stomach. In a low, distorted voice, it growled, "You will not hurt him."

Mia coughed up blood. But she grabbed the dark Ichiro and pushed it into sub space. Mia fell down into a gap... While miles away, Minorik got up and moaned from losing again. He then fled.

After an intense battle, the stone walls disappeared, and the figure was defeated...Dusk was injured severely, but alive. He then walked over and stepped on the figure's wrist, causing her to scream in pain. Dusk grabbed her gun and aimed it at her. "Now, I'm asking this once, and once only...WHO...ARE...YOU?!?" The figure spat and growled. "I'd rather DIE." Dusk cocked the gun. "That can be arranged. I'm not repeating myself."

All of a sudden two arms grabbed the fox from behind. They were coming from a dark scarlet-colored gap, then Mia's head came from it, along with her shoulders, the rest stayed inside the gap. "You're not going anywhere, not as long I can manipulate anywhere..." said Mia, she had some blood on her but she held her grip.

Tikala had hid behind a tree until the fighting died down and when it did she placed her hands on dusk's back "here let me fix you up." she poured healing magic into him to help heal all of his wounds

The figure stared at Dusk, and the gun for a long time, silent, until she finally gave in..."I-It's me....Forest..." Dusk started to pull the trigger back. "Forest wouldn't so this...WHO ARE YOU?!?" She shook her head and pulled the hood back, revealing her face. She looked like Split, except she was green and orange. "It's me, Forest!" Dusk stopped and dropped the gun...He stepped backward. "Why were you attacking us?!?" Forest looked toward Split. "I didn't trust anyone...not since the accident. I never wanted it to happen to her too. I was only trying to protect my sister..."

Mia let go of Forest, but she fell to the ground in fatigue.

Forest got up, and held her wrist. Dusk growled. "So what about me? Why'd you attack me?" Forest sighed. "I only wanted to protect her. You would've gotten in the way."

Mia moans, she seems to be trying to wake up, but she managed to push herself too far...

Dusk looked at Mia, then picked her up. "Listen Forest. You can stay, but you'd better stay out of my way from now on." He then took Mia up to the shrine and put her down gently.

The newly awakened Ichiro walked out of the shrine, still quite fatigued. He noticed Dusk arrived with Mia and walked over to assist him. "What... What happened to her?" he struggled to ask, fearing he might already know the answer.

"Mia used too much of her magic..." said Neko as she entered, "Magic usually doesn't consume alot of energy, but space magic is a very rare, but tiring power, if she was just only using wind magic she would still have alot more energy... but..." Neko miko arupted her explaination and turned to Dusk and Ichiro with a scowl. "Where is my son, I hope Kori is alright!" Neko gave off a really scaring face, no wonder Mia and Kori stand under her.

"Mia brought me here... before I could make sure he was safe," Ichiro answered, "Hopefully Minorik does not still have him manipulated... but the shadow..." He trailled off, out of breath. Clutching his chest with one hand, and placing his other on Mia's forehead, Ichiro viewed her memories. "Thank goodness... Kori is ok, but he is still out in the forest... unconcious."

Dusk nodded. "I'll get him." He ran into the forests and retrieved Kori. He then came back and layed him next to Mia. He then checked his pulse, and then to see how much damage was done. "He's alive. And he doesn't appear to be hurt. Just dusty...Probably from the sandstorm that fox used..." Forest was listening from below. She didn't seem happy about what she did.

Chapter 7: Puppetier of Death

Mia managed to wake up from her nap. And was currently looming over Kori. When Kori woke up, he saw Mia's face smiling down at him. "Um, hello?" said Kori, wearly. Mia made a small grin, she sat back down. Then she asked Kori something, "Kori, do you... like me?" Kori got up, confused at her words, but then he read her mind. He blushed till he was red in the face, and tried to run out the door but accidently hit the wall next to the door, and then left quickly, while leaving a rather startled autumn goddess at the door entrance.

Outside, Ichiro noticed Kori run off. He chose not to ask for a reason, as it was none of his business. The purpose for his presense was to check on both Mia and Kori, and possibly ask Mia a question which was concerning him. Seeing Akigami made him realize that it might not be the best time, so he continued on his way. Perhaps he would see what Dusk was doing, to keep his mind off things.

Akigami went to Neko who was nearby. "Is Kori okay? I think he may have made a crack in the wall from that crash..." asked Akigami, Neko gave off her signature cat smile. "Oh, don't worry, he's just fine! He's just experincing what humans and demons experince when they have strong feelings to another of the oppisite gender!" explained Neko, but then Harugami appeared again. "The time for the violet sakura to bloom is near, I hope everything is in order?" he asked, Neko nodded and said, "We're almost done, and Arthur is coming by again," Harugami sighed and disappeared like a illusion again. Then a boy with silver hair and a brown coat wearing jeans came to the shrine, he looked human, but his eyes say something else.

Zephyr flew down from the sky with four medium-sized boxes stacked up on each other. "Hey guys, I just went to the store to pick up some cake..." He looked around. "Whoa, what happened? I was gone for like, an hour."

Meanwhile, Dusk was sitting in a nearby tree, tuning his guitar, Midnight Sound. He turned a dial, then strummed the strings. He smiled, and started to play quietly. Split was sitting under the tree, happily listening to him play. She then asked for a song, so Dusk nodded, and he played one of Split's favorite songs. It was in Alyied, so it was hardly understandable to the others, but Split knew it by heart and was singing along.

Mia started to walk outside again, but as she saw Arthur, and fled back into the house and tried to hide from him. This didn't look like fear from a demon, but rather a fear from being noticed. Arthur already started chatting with Akihiko.

Ichiro approached Dusk and Split, carefully listening to the unique music. "That's quite a song you're playing," he called out to them, "I might want you to teach me sometime." He moved closer to the tree and gently placed his hand on the bark. "Would you mind if I stayed here with you for a while?" he asked, "I've been in need of some peace for quite a while."

The Black cat soon jumped down,then is revealed to be Black The Cat and said"Have any of you seen a grayish whitish hedgehog?".

Split shook her head. "Go ahead. You can stay." Dusk turned to the cat. "No, sorry...I'm dark grey..."

Black soon said "No, his name is Cold The Hedgehog,let me know if you seen him."Black gave them a picture and walked away.

A grey sythe fell out of a tree followed by Liger and a bunch of rope.

Dusk looked at him..."Whatever..."

Mia sneaked up to the tree, she then hid behind it while watching Arthur who was up in the shrine.

Ichiro laid down, hoping to get some rest. He noticed Mia and looked up at her. Quietly, to avoid drawing attention, he asked, "Hiding from someone?"

"GAH! I'm not Mia from over 1000 years ago I'm just a forest magi-- oh it's you..." shreiked Mia, she blushed from embarrassment. "Yes, see that demon boy?" Mia points to Arthur, "I'm not running away from him because he's a powerful Nue, it's because he doesn't know I'm immortal and he's been on my tail everytime I go to the River Village for shopping..." explained Mia

"Allow me to help you, then," Ichiro replied. Standing up, he used his photokinesis to make himself and Mia invisible. "If you don't mind me asking, why is your immortality something he should not be aware of?"

Black senses Mia and Ichiro and head towards them.

Dusk overheard Mia and Ichiro, then stopped playing. His ears twitched. "Hm." Split gave him a funny look. "What's wrong?" "I hear something..." Dusk looked into the distance, almost expecting of something. He then shrugged. "Nevermind." Dusk conintued with his song, and started to play again.

"Okay, a long time ago, when I was mortal at the age of 8... I met Arthur for the first and the last time, my teacher wanted to show him my eyes as a test. I looked at Arthur and saw a nue, looked deeper I saw a human. And then, a short while ago, Arthur was able to notice me at the village while I was shopping. I didn't turn back for he would've seen my eyes... After that he's been on my case. Let's just say, he didn't know I became immortal and he may think I went youkai instead..." explained Mia while holding her hands behind her back as a sign of embaressment.

Ichiro thought about what Mia just said, but quickly decided how to react. "That's nothing to be embarrassed about," he said gently, "You know, you will have to face him eventually. Until then, however, I will assist you in hiding. Walk with me, please." Before departing, he turned to the others and said, "I advise you not to follow."

Mia sighed, she was scared to face the River Village's protector, he has lived far longer then she has and is known to be the strongest demon in the forest. But then Mia's head jerked, she was sensing something again, and the #1 thing she's good at sensing at, was magic. "Someone's using dark magic nearby!" said Mia, but then she silenced as she saw Kurayami walking NORMALLY, which was rather weird.

Following Mia's gaze, Ichiro noticed the familiar face as well. "Isn't that the dark fairy from yesterday?" he asked quietly.

She doesn't seem to notice Ichiro and Mia, and Kurayami kept pacing back-n-forth.

Some where in the forest D tries to find Mia.

Split senced something was wrong. She ran off into the forest and saw Mia and Ichiro.

(Mia and Ichiro are still invisible)

Mia shhhed everyone, and watched Kurayami. All of a sudden, another fairy came out from the bushes. The fairy looked alot like Kurayami, only the colors were rather inverted, and instead of a frilly outfit, the fairy wore something formal and smooth, almost making her look like she's dressed as a butler. "Yes sister?" said the fairy, "Many... many humans are coming.... my dolls are hungry... but not strong..." moaned Kurayami as if she was a demon. "Are you trying to ask me to bless your dolls with the power of shadows? Ridiculous!" said the fairy, she had somewhat formal yet snobbish voice. "At first I thought that.... but now... I just want your doll!" moaned Kurayami as she pointed to her twin. "Why should I let you use Shiri? She is my servent!" said the fairy, she sounded angry. "I'm the one who made her...." said Kurayami, the fairy groaned and then took out a small banshee doll from her inner vest pocket and she then gave it to Kurayami. "Thank you... Dear Kamori..." hissed Kurayami.

Split heard them, and ran off, making a quiet gust of wind. She ran and spoke to Dusk. "Dusk! Hurayami is back, and she's got some sort of special doll. Remember Kamori? Well...she let her sister borrow her servant, and she's a banshee! Dusk, she'll kill us!" Dusk shook his head. "She's the one dying..." Dusk put his guitar away, then pulled out his katana. "I have a score to settle with her...They give dark users a bad name..."

"Oh, do I? Fufufufu!" laughed Kurayami, she followed Split. "Darkness is the thick warm blanket that hides all truths and sadness... Darkness should only be weilded to those who are the darkness themselves!" Kurayami sounded alot less childish and is standing (or hovering) straight instead of a dangling doll. "Fairies are the abnormalities of Nature! But the Sanjou are the deities of nature, I AM darkness!" Kurayami then took out her needle and cut a part of space, eyes and growls were heard on the other side, something black and slimy was drooling from it.

Dusk looked at her. "Darkness is a powerful ability, and should only be used by those who can handle it's power. You, apparently, cannot." Dusk hopped down from the tree, then pointed his sword at her. "I've killed far more ghosts with this sword than you have dolls...I'm ready for whatever you're going to throw at me, but do it yourself. If we fight, we fight fair. No spirits, no creature summonings..." Dusk suddenly slashed, making her drop the doll. "No dolls. You want to fight someone, do it yourself...Strong magic users don't hide behind their lackeys." Dusk lowered his sword.

Zephyr looked at the scene, looked thoughtful, then flew off. A few seconds later, he came back with a camera and snapped a picture of Dusk and Kurayami.

Kurayami looked at the doll and black blood dripping from her. "Very well..." she said before she vanished, and then stabbed her 4 ft long needle into Dusk's arm. Mia did a facepalm, "He shouldn't have asked Kurayami to do that!" said Mia rather annoyed... "Let's just say, when I fought Kurayami the way Dusk want's to fight her now, she slashed off all my limbs and beheaded me. It took hours to get my body back together, the fact she stabbed me in 3 vital spots didn't help either..." explained Mia, "And the scary thing was... she didn't know I was immortal when she did that..."

Ichiro made himself reappear. "If Dusk's method of fighting shall not work," he began, "Then allow me to try mine!" Ichiro jumped into the air and disappeared once more, reappearing amongst several illusion of himself, Dusk, Split, and Mia. "It time that the darkness was cleansed by the light!" they shouted simultaneously.

Kurayami removed the needle from Dusk's arm, and then spun it around by a thread slashing all of the illusions, and any one close by.

Cold soon arrived and saw Kurayami removed the needle from Dusk's arm.

Dusk looked at his wound, then tasted his blood....He growled. With a swift sudden movement, he slashed the thread that held the needle, then threw his katana, pinning it to the ground.

But the thread didn't cut, it just fixed itself. Appearantly the thread was made out of darkness. Kurayami laughed insanely, and then she threw her needle like a spear and it was aiming for Dusk's head. But Mia ran infront and the needle right through her stomach.

When Dusk saw that, his eyes burned red. "Alright..." Dusk suddenly grinned, revealing his razor-like fangs. "You want to fight the shadows? Fine. LET'S FIGHT!" Dusk suddenly started to take in all the darkness he could...He absorbed the shadows, his own shadow, and even the dark spirits of others...He was bonding with his elelment...but like he said, darkness was powerful...but very unstable...Dusk was gone...What was left with a misty black creature, eyes red, dripping with some sort of black ooze that turned acidic...He turned into pure darkness...And he wasn't happy...Before anyone could react, he suddenly lashed out his arm so fast it would crush anything in it's path...

Mia coughed up some blood as Kurayami removed her needle. Kurayami then disappeared and reappeared in a gap of darkness, she then activated it as she sucked herself into, when it activated everything started to get sucked in. Mia was able to manipulate the wind and tried to protect everyone from the suction. "Gag... She's summoned the ultimate darkness... the darkness that is unknown to anyone, everyone.. She's summoned a.... *cough* She summoned Black Hole!" said Mia.

The creature Dusk turned into a shadow, then using HIS powers, he turned everyone into a shadow. Dusk spoke from somewhere. "Black holes can suck up Light, but not dark..."

With several of the illusions destroyed, few Ichiros remained. One rushed to Mia's side and helped tend to the wound. A second tried to weaken the Black Hole with its powers of light. Another searched for Split in the comotion. Upon finding her, it asked, "Split! Dusk is going out of control. Is there any way I could stabilize him?"

But when Dusk used his power, the Black Hole grew. Trees were bending and Mia couldn't hold on to her magic for much longer. "Dusk, that power is generated by shadows and darkness, that is no ordinary Black Hole. You see, it has another name, the magic-clasification of the power's name is "Iriguchi-Akuma"! Also known as "Devil's Gate"!" explained Mia, but she groaned as her wind protection was being weakened.

Split looked at him, then opened fire on him with her light spells. Dusk suddenly turned back to normal, the darkness seeped out, and he turned a light grey colour...He fell on the ground, unconscious...

All of a sudden, there was a flash, as if time had just stood still and something ran by. Dusk body was gone. But somewhere, there was Arthur in his Demonic Form holding the hedgehog. "A-A-A-Arthur!" stammared Mia, Arthur then ran at great speeds and slashed the Black hole causing it to implode. A fairy then dropped where it lingered over. Arthur's skin turned to a pale color and the markings vanished, he went into his human form again.

Split sighed, then ran over to Dusk...He wasn't dark grey anymore...he was a very pale grey. He groaned...and slowly opened his eyes...they were a pale blue colour...something was wrong...this wasn't Dusk...This was...Crimson...

Mia fainted after releasing the anti-wind spell. Arthur walked up to her and looked at her, "This girl... why do I get this strange nostalgic sense from her.." said Arthur, his voice was rather young sounding.

Split looked at Arthur. "Who knows? Maybe you got a crush...All I know is that she's a forest magician. I forget her name though..."

Arthur looked at Split strangly. "Crush? No, she just feels, famailer... Her scent matches someone I met long ago... but it can't be the same person..." said Arthur as he sighed and rubbed his head.

Split shrugged and continued trying to wake Crimson up.

Zephyr sighed. "Can't you just kick him or something?"

Arthur went ahead and picked up Kurayami and flung her into the forest with great power, and he wasn't even in his demon form.

She shook her head. "No...He's very unstable right now. I have to be gentle, otherwise the shock could turn him into that...THING..." Split continued, then Crimson finally awoke...He was dazed, but not hurt...

One of Ichiro's illusions began assisting Split in tending to Crimson, while another walked up to Arthur. "Are you sure that just tossing it away will do away with it?" he asked with concern. Meanwhile, the one next to Mia picked her up and said, "I'm taking her back to the shrine. She needs rest. Thank you for your assistance."

Crimson moaned a bit..."W-Where am I..?" Split sighed. ", you're in Hayashi...Remember?" He nodded. "But only slightly..." He rubbed his head, then noticed he was in the sun, without his robes...He screamed, and went to sheild himself, but realized he wasn't burning up...He was normal...temporarily, but normal...

Arthur didn't seemed to be listening to the scene, he was looking at the shrine. He scratched his silver hair out of confusion an curousity. "That girl... I need to know," said Arthur and then he went off to the shrine.

Split looked at the shadows...They were black...Dusk's darkness literally seeped out. He was powerless! Split started to use very gentle dark spells, hoping the Crimson's body could take them in...

While at the shrine, Arthur finally met up with Mia who was now awake. "Excuse me..." said Arthur, Mia gasped but then looked at the cup of tea in her hands. Arthur sat infront of her. "May I have your name?" asked Arthur, but then Mia looked at him with her strange green eyes. Arthur then slowely removed the bow in her hair that held it into a ponytail, causing it all to go free. "Mia? Is that you?" asked Arthur rather nervously. "Yes..." said Mia. "But, that's impossible, the Mia I knew was a human... she should've died a 1000 years ago... wait... don't tell me you went-" Mia interupted Arthur, "No, I didn't... I completed the immortality elixer..." whispered Mia. Arthur sat there stunned.

Crimson's body wasn't taking in the shadows, but rather rejecting them...In order for him to come back to Dusk, they would need an electrical charge...and a mighty big one at that....

All of a sudden, something picked up the Shiri doll Kurayami dropped. It was Kamori, she didn't even made her own pressence known, but she did nothing but give a heartless expression towards Split.

Split knew she was there, and what she was doing, but didn't say a word...She was more worried about her master rather than some snobbish fairy...After a lot of failed attempts, Split gave up. "We need a charge! It won't work without some sort of a shock!" Split whined, obviously upset.

Ichiro returned to the forest, leaving Mia to herself. When he heard Split's cry, he knew immediately what two do. "Split... I think I know how to help him," Ichiro said as he walked up to her, "One of my masters, he is an electrokinetic, and a powerful one at that. I'm sure he could provide the necessary electric shock, but it might take some time to contact him and get him here." He moved closer to Crimson, and observed the shadows being cast aside. It disturbed him slightly.

Kamori's red eyes pierced at Ichiro. "She ment a shock of power, not electricity!" said the fairy in a displeased tone. Kamori, the shadow fairy, looked at Crimson, and then sighed. Kamori then snapped her fingers and a bunch of shadows started surrounding Crimson. "I owe him one, that's why I'm doing this..." said Kamori in a odd tone.

D soon catches up with Cold and Sai"Why are you guys here?"D said"Cause a dream told Cold to come hear."Sai said"Hmmmm."Cold said.

Split watched the shadows surround Crimson, anxious.

"Since when is this any of your business?" Ichiro replied, slightly annoyed by the fairy's ignorance, "She did mean electricity. I saw her thoughts, and I wouldn't have suggested him otherwise. Now unless you have some useful information, I suggest you leave him to us."

"Since Kurayami is my twin sister..." said Kamori, "Also, I have yet to repay a debt I have to Dusk..." Kamori's voice was lowered to a whisper, but she said for saving my little sister. "And why would a dark user need electricity? You'll shock him, in the wrong way..." said Kamori, she tried to act rather smart for a fairy. She summoned more shadows, trying a little harder.

Ichiro hesitated. Kamori clearly knew more about Dusk than he did, but Split knew more than she. "Would you care to do the honours?" he said to Split in a serious, yet gentle tone, "I believe I may be outmatched in this particular situation."

Split nodded. "Dusk was changed during a freak experiment. Something went wrong, and his body fused with the shadows around him..."

Kamori settled the shadows on Crimson, allowing him to do the rest.

Split waited, and Crimson took in some of the shadows, but not much...Split sighed. "This isn't working! We need to remake the accident that caused his powers in the first place! Crimson, can you tell us what happened?" Crimson started to mumble something..."increase power...Subject 17...ultimate batttle creature..." Split listened for a minute, then read his thoughts. She then stopped and gasped, and backed away..."Oh my god..."

"What is it? What did you see?" Ichiro asked with haste. He chose not to view Crimson's memories for himself, as it would most likely not be a good idea.

D soon saw Ichiro and hided in the trees.

Kamori's expression did not change in the slightest.

Split was shocked. "...He told me he was experimented on, but nothing that...that...horrific!"

Kamori was still unfazed, she really was "The Heartless Daughter"...

Sai and Cold soon found Kamori and the others"Hey."Cold said.

"Th-they strapped him down and operated on him without any anesthsia, or painkillers...they elctrocuted him...they did any sort of torture imaginable...Until the accident...he was in this big machine, when one of the circuits fried and then the machine suddenly went to full power! He was being charged with energy, when his body fused with the shadows...No one knows why. Then he broke out, slaughtered the scientists and escaped." Split said, she looked upset.

Ichiro was silent. There were simply no words coming to his head. There was nothing he could say do describe how he felt, and he had no idea what to say to console Split. A chill was sent through him as he was finally able to ask, "If recreating the experiment is the only way to help him... then we need to know everything that they did to him. I know this must be hard for you Split, but Crimson needs us... Dusk needs us."

Kamori straighten her bowtie with a smirk. "Well, I might have an idea!" she said, her rather pleased tone wasn't a good one. "I can forcefully fuse the shadows into Dusk!" she said, "This will cause one of the two things, it can either revert him back... or~" she was talking in climax. "Or, it will kill him!"

Split shook her head. "No! Kamori, please! We just need to remake the accident that caused this in the first place...We need to charge him with magical energies..." Split looked at her hands, as two orbs of light formed. She looked at Crimson with a tear in her eye. "I'm sorry Dusk..." Split started firing her spell at Crimson, causing him to scream in pain. Split was crying when she was doing it, but she knew it had to be done.

Ichiro focused on Crimson, making fade in and out, but only slightly. "Hopefully this will help to dull the pain... What next?"

"You do know I am a fairy, right?" Kamori said in a offended tone. "I see my pressence is no longer need, not that it was even here at all!" And after that, Kamori vanished as if a illusion.

Split conintued until her spell was at full power, and suddenly a burst of energy flew at Split. She managed to avoid it, but the shadows around him slowly started to take over his body. This continued until his fur was dark grey, eyes a bright red. He was back!

At the shrine, Neko Miko was sitting in the tree of Harugami, despite the calm breeze she had a stressed look. Something is coming, something bad... Neko just sat in the trees, waiting for what the wind brings in.

Approaching the shirne, hidden amongst the trees, stood a figure. It was circling, slowly. Two of the previously determined threats to its mission were incapacitated, and others were away, but the time was still not right. Glaring at Neko Meko from a distance with its deep, crimson eyes, the problem became clear. It backed away slowy, and faded into the shadows, but it would return. The evil that was on its way, would provide the opening required.

Dusk gasped as he snapped out of his sleep. "What just happened?!?" Split shook her head. "Nevermind...I'm just glad your back."

Neko's eyes widened, her tail curved a little more as if retreating... "He's here..." she whispered.

Split heard her, being a fox. "Hm?" She turned to Neko. "Who's here?"

Chapter 8: The Enma-sama and The Shikigami

Somewhere in the forest...

"This may be my last, as well as it is my first, visit to the hanami of the Spring God..." said a man, he was around 8 feet tall and had green hair, and had heterochromia eyes. He wore strange symbolic clothes, and a crown crested with what closely resembles the symbol of dharma. He was accompanied by a anthro devilian-looking man who carried a large scythe and wore old villager's clothes. "Hah, always talkin' as if the world is going to end!" said the scythe holder, "Do you want me to answer to what day it will, Zet?" said the tall man sharply. The scythe holder's face grew pale, or paler...

Split shrugged. Dusk got up, but was dazed. He could hardly stand...Split sat him down on the shrine steps. "Sit here. You're in no shape to be fighting yet." She turned to Forest, who was now a male. "Hey Forest, can you stand in for Dusk?" Forest looked at her. "Hm? Oh. Yeah, sure."

Ichiro was back at the shrine. Finally with a moment to think. Since he arrived, he had seen nothing but minions of darkness trying to disrupt the festival. Minorik, Kurayami, Yamonii, Kamori, and even the dark being released from his own person. What became of it after he lost consciousness? Will it threaten Harugami like the rest of them? It seemed like everything was unnerving. Once he regained peace of mind, Ichiro would head out to find the answers he required.

Neko leaped at the shrine entrance and sat in her usual pose, she was waiting for who was coming. All of a sudden, a great powerful surge flooded the area. Kori fell off the roof, Mia went to hide, Arthur sat in the shrine, while everyone else was waiting. Then the tall man came, he walked closer to the shrine. "I have arived... Tomorrow, 4:23 pm, is when the Spring Tree blooms." he said his voice was sturn and hard, "If you know when the tree blossoms, then why did you come the day before, Hanji Tsuriai?" said Neko.

Dusk blinked. "Well....Han-Jee...I don't care.....How...messed up....your face is......I'm not scared of you.....or that other jerk...." He pointed at Zet, then fell on the ground, asleep, and snoring loudly. Split couldn't help but laugh. Forest appologized on Dusk's behalf, and explained that he was dazed, and delusional.

"Hey! I might be a Shinigami, but I have feelings!" shouted Zet, Hanji wasn't fazed.

Split giggled. "Sorry Zet...He's...a little dazed..."

"Luckily he's not gonna die anytime soon, and I know that!" said Zet with a smirk, Hanji hit him on the back of his head. "Sumei, death is not reveiled until it is nigh..." said Hanji. Neko lead Hanji into the shrine, the strange power was felt by all. Mia tried her best to keep herself out of sight, until... "MaJikku, I know you're there..." he said, Mia clumsly tumbled out of her hidding spot.

Split laughed again, being young, she couldn't help it. Forest smiled himself...Dusk continued to snore....At least he was resting....Forest walked over and helped Mia up.

Ichiro listened from a distance to the conversations. Hanji Tsuriai, why does that name torment me? he thought to himself, Every time I hear it, I feel awful. He removed himself from solitude, and approached the enma-sama and his companion, but still kept his distance.

Hanji stopped, and turned his head towards Ichiro, his red and blue eyes glare at him with a cold heart. Hanji then faced forward again and continued to follow Neko, while Zet decided to take a nap at the stairs.

Forest smiled. "You okay Miss MaJikku?"

Mia rubbed her head, "Yeah, it's just, he doesn't like immortals..." said Mia.

Forest nodded..."Yeah...."

"Really?" Ichiro whispered as he appeared next to Mia, having moved without notice, "Then I'm sure he and I could partake in some interesting conversations. I'm sure my opinions on immortality would at least intrigue him. Then again, he does seem quite serious, and probably would have little to no time for one such as myself." He continued to eye Hanji for a distance, keeping himself in a translucent state to remain unseen, but not hide.

"Hanji is a Yama, or Judge of Afterlife. Those who die are sent to him for judgement. However, in the eyes of a yama, things that do not die wreck the natural life-cycle of Life and Death and therefore believe they are abominations." explained Mia, "This yama is far more powerful then Minorik the Joker, Hanji is the strongest of all the yama and the most serious, no lies can go past him, and he can see fate with a mere glance. He is very feared by many"

Split smiled and snickered. "Except for Dusk apparently..." Dusk suddenly sat up and looked around, startled. "Huh? What? Someone call me?" Split snickered again.

Mia merely scratched her head out of the lack of information, but went ahead and started cooking the meals that will be served for the festival.

Hanji's name continued to echo through Ichiro's head. The mention of Minorik seem to spark some thought as well. He would have to learn more about this yama, but for now, it was his intention to ensure that the festival goes accordingly. "Would you care for some help?" he asked Mia, "I used to do some cooking back in Poppy Village."

D still hiding from the rest begins to pull out his sword.

"Oh that's okay, believe it or not, but I'm a very good cook!" said Mia with a pleasant smile. "However, I've seen that something is troubling you, what is it?"

"Hmm? Oh, it's nothing you should be concerned about," Ichiro answered, almost as if he was hiding something, "That is, not yet. And I never doubted your culinary skills. I merely wanted to help. As they say, two heads are better than one, and I'm sure we could come up with some interesting dishes." Ichiro was quite persistant, as if he was fixed on keeping it the subject of conversation.

Split helped Dusk up, who was still a little dazed, then he got up and shook it off..."Ugh...I feel like a train hit me..."

Mia smiled again, "Very well, do as you like." she said while setting up some pots and pans.

"Excelent, and thank you," Ichiro replied. In an excited tone, he continued, "Now, what are we cooking?"

"Oh, some western and eastern cultural foods, I'm currently working on the rice crackers. You can start working on the sake, you do know how to make sake right?" explained Mia as she passed Ichiro a paper with recipes of different foods.

Ichiro smirked. "Oh, I know how to make sake. Would you mind me making a personal brew?" He skimmed the recipe sheet as he spoke, looking for anything else that intrigued him.

"Do as you like, the rice is over here, and fruits are over there if you need them," said Mia as she grabbed a bag of rice from a cabinet. Kori was currently playing his flute trying to piss Dusk off.

Dusk just growled a bit. Split smiled. She liked his playing. Dusk didn't...He found flutes annoying.

Kori seemed to be enjoying himself, until he gave a devious glare. She moved to the farthest pipe and blew hard making a terrible high-pitching noise. Arthur nearby fell over from it.

Dusk covered his ears, as did Split...Their hearing was rather sensitive...

Arthur punched Kori off what he was sitting on, also knocking him out. "Demon or human, that's loud!" he said.

"Wow."Cold said,"You okay Kori"Sai said.

Soon D drops from a tree and say"Mia I been looking all over for you!".

Mia turned at D, "I've been in the kitchen the whole time..." she said.

Kori moaned, his hat a bit tilted on his head. "I'm.... O-KAY!" he says before falling back to the ground.

D embrasures by what Mia said"I....knew....that.".

Ichiro was continuing to work the rice. He started thinking again, but this time his thoughts were not making him uncomfortable. "You know, Mia," he began, "Despite all that's happened, I've quite enjoyed my time here in Hayashi. It reminds me much of home... back in the better days." He then moved over to the fruits, browsing the selection.

Dusk just rubbed his head. Split smiled. "You'll be okay..." Dusk rolled his eyes. Split sighed, then looked down. "I sorta wish Luna were here."

All of a sudden, a great roaring noise was heard! Everyone stopped what they were doing, while Hanji didn't flinch a inch.

Ichiro dropped what he was doing and turned around. "Well, it seems like I spoke too soon. Shall we go?"

Dusk rolled his eyes. "Great."

The great snake-like body of Yamonii appeared, but not all of it revealed itself from the forest. He didn't move however, but glared at everyone and everything.

Ichiro closed his eyes and concentrated. "I sense something... something powerful... Yamonii." He ran outside, gesturing for the others to follow.

Dusk sighed and pulled ou his dai-katana again. "Alright." He followed close behind.

Yamonii roared with great might, it sounded like he was calling for someone.

Dusk ran out into the forest with Ichiro to find Yamonii, meanwhile Split stayed at the shrine. She then heard a low whistle. She turned and saw a little girl dressed in robes, and carrying a sythe. "Lily? What are you doing here? No one in Xenonia is dying." Lily just smiled and pointed towards the skies. Suddenly Split got struck and killed by a magic wave. Split's spirit was helped up by Lily. "What?!? I'M dying?!?" Lily smiled. "Don't worry Split. You'll be back soon enough. Dusk won't let you die like that."

Mia managed to warp infront of Lily. "Don't think I'll let you take her!" While Mia was trying to save Split, Yamonii reached the shrine and cried out. Hanji knows what he wants.

D stand quietly and watch.

Cold and Sai soon fallowed Dusk, as he ran out into the forest with Ichiro to find Yamonii"Wait up!" Cold said.Black quietly fallowed Cold and Sai as they ran.

Dusk started attacking Yamonii, but Lily held her sythe tightly. "Immortals..." She growled..."Listen Miss MaJikku...I don't want to fight...I'm only doing my job!" Split's spirit blinked and looked at herself.

"You beings always know what can't be cut by your inhuman scythes, but it's not her time, I can tell! ORAAAHH!!!!" Mia gave out a battle cry and snatched Split. And tugged her into her space.

Lily sighed and swung her sythe, ripping her own hole in sapce, then she leaped through and turned into a blackish cloud of smoke. She flew past Mia and snatched Split, then tore out of space.

Mia went after Lily with great speed, and snatches Split again, but to make sure she wouldn't get captured again. Mia turned both her and Split into the unobtainable wind.

D appears behind Lily,trying to take her sythe.

Lily's spirit helper pushed D away, and Lily called out for someone. "LILAC!! I NEED HELP!!" Suddenly, in a flash of smoke, an identical fox appeared, only her flower was purple, and she didn't have a sythe. "Yeah, sis?" Lily pointed at Mia and Split. They nodded at each other, then Lily spun her sythe in the air, creating a mini-tornado, while Lilac held the winds in place with blood magic.

Mia used the power of her Graf Besn and overpowereed the blood magic and scattered out the dust. Meanwhile Kori was flung across the place after getting a whipping from Yamonii.

Dusk flew in at Yamonii again, slashing wildly with his sword. Lilac and Lily, obviously frusterated, had one last trick up their sleeves...Lily cut her wrist and some blood leaked out, and Lilac used that blood to paint weird symbols on the ground...They glowed briefly and cast out a magic wave. As the wave spread, any magic being used would go into a spasm, or even shut off!

Mia crippled to the ground, but her Graf Besn kept them protected, but wouldn't last long.

Cold soon appears seeing Mia use Graf Besn kept the rest protected"WHAT IS GOING ON!",said Cold.Sai then dropped from a tree and sees Mia"Oh my gosh!"Sai Said.D also appears on the scene"NO MIA! D said.

In a bright flash of light, Ichiro appeared mid-jump holding his staff in both hands. With great force, he stabbed its bladed end into Lilac. Another Ichiro appeared behind Lily, and gave a powerfull swing of his staff's hammered end towards her head. Meanwhile, a dragon of wind with a similar appearance to Yamonii battled the dark shikigami alongside Dusk and Kori.

Lilac sputtered blood, then giggled. She pulled her hood back, revealing a pale, diseased looking fox. Her eyes were blank. She grinned, blood dripping from her fangs. The hammer just went through Lily...They smiled at each other and said together, "YOU CANNOT KILL WHAT'S ALREADY DEAD...." Lilac removed the sword from her gut, and threw it aside. Suddenly, Lilac split into two clones...then four..then eight...and so on until there was almost 100 of them! Lily walked over to Mia and Split's ghost. She grinned. "Sorry Mia..." She slowly reached over to Split...

But then a shikigami hand snatched Lily's, Mia's body was out but her mind wasn't. Then more holes in space appeared and millions of shikigami hands appeared ready to attack.

Meanwhile, Yamonii growled and knocked everyone off and finally reached Hanji. But before he could do anything, Kori appeared infront of his face with his flute that shapped into a cannon-like object. "Raikou's Lightning Blast!" he shouted and the cannon fired and Yamonii, blinded and wounded, roared in pain.

Dusk turned into a blazing missile as he flew at Yamonii, and Lily slashed at the hand, then slashed at the other shikigami hands. She knew she couldn't hold them off forever! "LILAC!!" The clones attacked Lilac's attackers, then the real one ran over to help her sister. She created a blood shield around her and her sister. "Sis, you're gonna need to grab that soul and teleport us out of here!! This shield won't last long with the beating it's getting!"

((Hold on. What did Lily and Lilac just do? I didn't get an attack or a target from that mess.))

Mia kept creating more and more of the hands, and as her strength returns she started to fly off clutching Split's soul tightly.

((Nevermind. I just missed a bit.))

To counter Lily and Lilac's endeavors, many more Ichiros appeared, ready to fight back if the hands failed. "I have defeated the undead before," said one Ichiro closest to Lilac, "If Mia's attempt fails, I will defeat you aswell." Back at the shrine, the wind dragon wrapped itself around Yamonii, seizing the opportunity while he was stunned. It slashed at him with claws of wind and said, "You will pay for all that you've done, demon!"

Hanji came outside and walked up to the beast. Hanji said nothing but his eyes pierced to the very soul. Yamonii tried to make a attempt to reach him but couldn't move. All of a sudden, a girl clothed in scarlet and black appeared, but said nothing but just stood near the shrine.

Lily and Lilac teleported. They gave up...Split was safe...for now...Split sighed in relief and thought to herself, "Thank god they left...I heard what happens to escaped souls...." Dusk took out his sword and flew above the beast. He looked at Hanji, as if he was waiting for a signal...

The Ichiros disappeared, with one remaining to make sure Split and Mia were safe, and the wind dragon became inert. The real Ichiro reappeared next to Yamonii, still uneasy in the presence of Hanji.

Yamonii put his face just 3 feet away from Hanji, "Not accepting your fate, now are you..." said Hanji, Yamonii growled. The girl in black and red sat down and listened, there was something mysterious about her, along with dark.

Dusk's blade set ablaze. "Just give me the word, Hanji, and I'll finish him off!" Split floated down to her lifeless body...She sighed. "I can't get back into my body unless I have the Water of the Wellspring..."

"Tell me it's location and I'll get it!" said Mia. Meanwhile, Hanji snickered at Dusk's words. "Can't kill something that is no longer alive, besides, he has a owner..." said Hanji, but then Yamonii roared, "It's thanks to you that I have been sealed as a shikigami!!!"

"Calm down Dusk," Ichiro said, "This is Hanji's problem. Right now, we are simply back-up." Back with Split and Mia, the Ichiro copy suggested, "Let me accompany you. There may be something along the way that you cannot handle alone, and you cannot afford to return empty handed."

Split shook her head. "You couldn't just go GET it...You'd need to pay's guarded by Lily...and she's immortal in Xenonia...The Wellspring is located in the largest graveyard in Xenonia, but it's surrounded by powerful spirits..."

Mia sighed, "I could still get the water, I mean, I can manipulate space magic!" Mia put her hand in a hole, and her hand apeared in a hol next to her. "A simple reach and grab?"

Split shrugged. "Maybe...You'd have to be insanely quiet though..."

Cold scoffed and said"No prob lame mo.".

Mia opened up a hole in space and grabbed a bucket. She then started focusing, "Since it's in another world I have to focus on to it.... GOT IT!" said Mia, she then opened a hole just big enough for her to grab a bucket full of water. She got the water and erased the hole as fast as she can. "Okay, what do I do with it?" she asked.

Split smiled as her spirit disappeared into the waters...A voice was heard from nowhere. "Pour the waters arcoss my body! It'll fuse my soul back in!"

D turned to Split and said"Wait,No we need you!".

Mia does so, and pours the water over Split's body.

The waters instantly faded, and a slight glow covered her lifeless corpse, when suddenly she sat up and coughed. She stood up and hugged Mia. "Thank you Mia!" She smiled and giggled happily.

Mia smiled, "You're welcome,". Meanwhile, back at the shrine Yamonii was striking Hanji, but he gracefully jumped into the air at great speeds. Hanji's emotionless face showed that he was not to be looked down upon.

Dusk flew over to Split and blinked. "Split, what happened?!? You look terrible!" Split went pale. "Uh......tripped?" Dusk scratched his quills. "Um....okay...Hey Mia, did you hear about the time me and Hanji fought in Amazina?"

"Nope..." said Mia, "If you lost, no suprise, if you won, he let you win... You just can't defeat Hanji for once and for all!"

Dusk remained quiet. Split giggled. "What's wrong?" Dusk blinked. "I'm not really certain if I won, or lost....See, we were in this weird place with red flowers and huge moon....He started to make the moon plummet towards us. So I started to fight him, and eventually, the moon stopped. And he sorta gave up." Split smiled. "I thought you said that you beat him until-EEMMMMPH!" Dusk covered her mouth. "You so much as utter ONE SYLLABLE and I'll throw you clear across the forest!" Split nodded. "Anyways...he gave up, it seemed, but, knowing Hanji, he wouldn't just give up like that. He didn't want me to die, but why?"

Cold stands up said"Come on stop joking around.".

"He is very enigmatic, that's for sure," Ichiro added, having swapped places with his illusion, "He seems to be faring well against Yamonii, but there are things that I cannot help but worry about." He looked down, almost as if he were ashamed of something, then back towards the shrine. "I just don't know anymore..."

Yamonii tried to attack again, but Hanji flew out of the way. Then Hanji decided to attack and shot himself at Yamonii in a flash, a giant cut was then revealed on Yamonii's' shoulder. Hanji was left untouched.

Dusk whispered something to Split, hoping the others couldn't hear. "Split, I need you to go and get my potion..." Split answered with, "Which one?" "The special one...remember?" Split nodded and teleported. Dusk looked around to make sure no one was watching him.

Hanji once again attacks Yamonii with great speed and agility. He stopped attacking when Yamonii collapsed, however, that was when the girl in black and red walked into the shrine.

Sai said"Who is that?".

Hanji stood there and saw the girl come closer and closer to the beast. She then took out a staff with a black candle ontop of it and lit it. The flame was as black as night, and the leaking candle wax dripped onto the ground forming a shadowy puddle. The girl chanted something, and then the candle wax started to flow into Yamonii's black body. Yamonii woke up, with all his wounds gone. The girl then went back to where she was watching. Hanji glared at her, "Kumiko Misou, a Charmling...." he said with great distaste.

Dusk knew exactly who Hanji was talking about...He growled as he heard her name...Split teleported back in with a small glass bottle. She handed it to Dusk, and Dusk took it and hid it under his wing. Split noticed Kumiko. "What's she-" Dusk shushed her. "Go find Forest. Stay with him...or her...whatever gender he or she is right now." Split nodded and ran off. Dusk flew to the shrine and into the kitchen. "I just hope she has it..." Dusk searched for something....

Ichiro simply eyed Kumiko. Having never met her before, he knew not how powerful she may have been, and did not want to provoke a fight. The ritual to heal Yamonii disturbed him, but he continued to watch, waiting to see Hanji's next move.

Hanji tipped his crown-like hat. "I was avoiding this, but I have no choice..." he said, and then he took off the crown. The ribbon-like ornamets were not attached to his hat, but his head. When he took off the hat, 2 more pairs were revealed. Hanji jumped up in the air, and fired 3 blue lasers and 3 red lasers at Yamonii, but Yamonii blocked it but Hanji didn't flinch and kept firing. But then Hanji fired a bigger purple laser from his rod and hit Yamonii dead on. The beast fell as Hanji placed back his hat, but Kumiko slammed her staff thrice and then Yamonii got up again.

Dusk kept searching until..."AH-HA!" Dusk took the herb and put it into his potion, and he then left the shrine and ran back down to the action.

Hanji attacked again with another quick move, but then Yamonii struck him and crashed through a bunch of trees. Yamonii laughed.

Now was the time. Seeing Yamonii get in such a hit alerted him that Hanji just might need help. Ichiro twirled his staff and a dragon of light, similar in appearance to Yamonii, appeared. "Yamonii!" he shouted, "Leave Hanji... and fight me instead. I have a reason to be angry with you, so I should be a much more enjoyable opponent for you."

But all of a sudden, a large power current waved through out the whole area. To sensitive ones like Mia, she fainted after sensing such a power. Mia fell to the ground from the shock. Yamonii lost his wry grin. Hanji came out, his crown once again off and he got up with the look that can scare even the fiercest of demons. It defently scared Kori, a high level demon.

Ichiro's copy ran to Mia and caught her just before she hit the ground, while the real one simply stood his ground. He felt the wave of energy, and he knew it was powerful, but there was a strange sense of confidence within him.

All of a sudden a solar eclispe happened. But taking a closer look, the moon was black... This was th Never Ending Darkness that existed in Hanji's domain. And with it he was stronger. He quickly got up and slashed through Yamonii in the heart. The beast fell and melted into goo.

Dusk watched as the action unfolded. He shivered, then hid the potion under his wing.

Ichiro lowered his staff at sight of Hanji's display, and the dragon of light he had conjured up disappeared just as it appeared. "Hmm... I apologize for doubting you," he said to the enma-sama.

"I have over done it, because of that I cannot last as long in this world now... I will have no choice but to come back sooner. But it does not come across the time of the feastival so there is no problem..." said Hanji as he put on his hat. Mia woke up but acted like she had a spaz and then she settled down. Kumiko went and put the ooze of Yamonii into her candle and walked off.

Dusk waited until everyone was calm, then walked out. " what?" He said, smirking..."Who else is this party gonna throw at us?" Split poked her head out of the bushes, then walked over to Dusk. "Where'd you put the potion-MMPH!!" Dusk covered her mouth again, grinning. "Silly girl...Overactive imagination..."

Neko sighed at Dusk's comment. "I sense nothing right now, and the feastival will come soon..."

Dusk sighed. "Good...My wings are still sore from that enma...and I'm sure Split needs a nap too..."

Chapter 9: The Cherryblossom Festival

The day finally arrives and the blossoms were in full bloom, their otherworldy violet coloring gave off a sense of strangness and divinity in the air.

People from the three forestal villages came. There was tons of food and games all over the place, and there was a great opening where people can flower view. Mia currently stayed away from the yama, however, she wasn't the only one, except some young folk took intrest in his looks! Kori played his flute as people danced under Harugami's tree. The god himself rested under his own branches, while his keeper, Akihiko hid himself from everyone.

Ichiro approached Mia and commented, "It is amazing how well the festival turned out..." He gazed off into the distance as he spoke, leaving not a moment for his thoughts to cease. "The preparations were set back so often... you truly did an excelent job."

"Eh, I was just the cook..." sighed Mia, she watched everyone dance and enjoy the festival. But she stayed away from everyone due to her nervousness.

Dusk sat on the steps playing his guitar and quietly singing to himself. Split was having fun with the others, and Forest sat up in a nearby tree just to keep an eye on things.

"You shouldn't be so modest, Mia," Ichiro replied, "You helped to protect Harugami from all of the invaders... even myself at one point." He sighed as well, watching the cherryblossoms dance in the breeze. With a chuckle, he continued, "There is no need to be nervous, either."

Dusk looked at Ichiro. "Oh yeah...I guess she forget to tell you...She used to be human, she turned immortal, and now she doesn't interact with humans because she's afraid one of them might recognize her. Just sayin'." He continued playing his guitar as if he hadn't said anything at all.

"I know that, Dusk," Ichiro commented with a smirk, "She didn't have to tell me." He then looked back at Mia and was about to say something else, but he didn't to avoid putting his foot in his mouth again.

"It's also why I don't like showing my face to Hanji, being the judge of the afterlife, he doesn't like things that don't die... And also the reason why Harugami hates me...." sighed Mia.

Ichiro rested his hand on Mia's shoulder in a comforting way. "Mia... I wish I knew the right words to say, I really do," he began, "But I will try the best I can... You cannot let fear of judgement obstruct your life. I lived in a village of exiles for over two decades. We were forced to stay there, isolated from the rest of the Dragon Kingdom, because of our religious beliefs. Every time I travel, I worry I will face the same judgement, here especially. But... I didn't. I rarely do. I received quite a warm welcome here. My point is... if you keep hiding yourself from them, they will always dislike you. You have to interact with them, and show them a reason to like you. You do have many, in my opinion."

"I guess you're right, but the reason Harugami hates me is because he hates unnatural things, people altered out of their original forms," Mia took a sip of sake, "But no one really knows much about me because I hid myself away for such a long time... Only the demons are aware of my existance- WHA OH GOD, Minori!!!" Mia got startled when she saw someone. It was a young woman with blonde hair and wore a mop hat, she dressed in a lacy dress but what was noticable was the third-eye attached to her back and arms. "Who invited her?! Oh, geeze!" said Mia as she ran off.

Confused, Ichiro looked back at Mia as she ran. With a sigh he said to himself, "In one ear and out the other..." He turned back to Minori and asked, "Do you have an explaination for... that?"

Dusk rolled his eyes. "So I guess I'm not too loved by Harugami either...Being artifically created and all..." He pulled out a pocket knife and started to carve into a dragon scale that he had with him. "To be honest, a lot of gods and godesses and the like, almost all of them hate me." He picked his fangs with the blade. "But doesn't matter...Not like I care." He shrugged.

The woman came up the steps, but as she did Kori came down and said, "Hey sis, I thought you were in the Southern Border! You're not here to kill Mia again are you?" The woman shook her head, "Tonight is a festival and I'm haveing a privledge to leave the border to at least enjoy it, I can't ruin something I have not seen myself..." she said in a weak, frail voice.

Dusk paid no attention to her. He just kept playing with his pocket-knife.

Cold cane ruining in and said"Yo Dusk where is Sai?".

Dusk shrugged, then accidently knicked himself with his knife, causing him to drop it. "OW! Geez!" He sucked his wound. "Geez that hurt!"

Unsure of how to interact to the sudden comotion, Ichiro merely sighed once more. He faded out of sight and reappeared at the bottom of the steps. In his hand, there was now a flute of adamant. As he started to play he walked off into the crowd of people and faded from sight again.

As Minori left, Mia came back. She sighed and then began to watch Kori play his flute. She almost fell asleep from it's melodies.

Dusk picked up his blade and folded it back up, then took off his glove and bandaged his finger. His palm bled, but he didn't seem to care.

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