CHAPTER XXVI:  "The Battle Isn't Over Yet!"

Author's Note:  Man. It's getting harder to write nowadays. It takes me like an hour per page.  So pretty long chapter here!! 18 pages!  Enjoy!  I forced myself off to make myself write but it was hard since I had writer's block for while until these past few days, when I suddenly felt inspired.  The last guardian-Guardian of Wood-will be revealed in this chapter! Thank you all reviewers and readers!! 

--------------------------GO BACK TO THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER! TWO PAGES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO IT!!!! GO BACK!!-------------


Kaika Nozomi- about your comment about the exclamations, do you mean that has this autocorrect thing??  how sad! cuz it's sometimes really hard to express yourself with only one "!" when you feel like "! ! ! ! !"!  Yes 'Ahhh' will be over soon..I don't think I would like it if I happen to grow older than the characters I'm writing about. It's just weird with me!  Have you seen the RK episode with Soujiro's past! It was so sad!! Thanks for reviewing!

Liz-Thank you for the review!!  I don't mind if you use my real name! I think it would be better if you used my real name considering that I would feel weird with ppl calling me "etherealangel", especially when I'm feeling more devilish than angelic!  Hahahah you like Kenshin when he destroys things??  Don't worry! Auria is nice, not like Kaori!  Remember sharing is nice and that you should share all your sugar coated candy with me!!!

MysticalStormz-Wow! I still can't believe you're reading this!  Thanks for reviewing, though!  It's sort of confusing especially when I don't update until I forgot what I was writing about for the past 20+ chapters.  =P  I really want to do other stories but then I just don't have the time!  My senior year has just started today!  *shudder* 

Ashieyu -thanks for the review and the compliment!!  That was what I was trying to do, even if it doesn't look like I did it very well!!  Everyone loves the twisted guy, huh.  What is this world coming too?!  hahahahaa J/K!


"Found it!!! I WIN!!!!!!!" Mei shouted over to Ken as she held out a handful of herbs.

Ken marched over to Mei."You DID noooottt!!!"

"Then what do these green things look like!!" Mei had one hand placed on her hip and, with the other, she waved the herbs in front of his face.

"Found it!!!"  Ken gave a triumphant laugh as he snatched the herbs from Mei's hands. "I WIN!!!"

"Come back here, CHEEEAATER!!" Mei screeched as Ken ran away with her findings. 

"When I told you to hurry back, I didn't mean for you to rush yourselves to death!" Genjo wagged a scolding finger at the two bodies on the ground gasping for breath.  "Ah. Children these days!  Always in such a hurry!"

Ken shot right up and scowled at Genjo. "You are only two years older than us! So who are you calling 'children'?!" 

"And who are you accusing of always being in such a hurry?!" Mei retorted, with the image of Genjo always in such a hurry to kiss Anjee. 

"Now be quiet, children, big brother has to tend to the little girl with the boo-boos." Genjo waved Ken and Mei off.

"I think Genjo's the one with the boo-boos." Mei remarked. "Boo-boos to his head."

"Maybe that kick in the head that soldier from 2 days ago had unscrewed something." Ken mused.

Both of them shrugged and walked away.

Ice blue eyes flashed as they caught sight of a girl with blond hair and hazel eyes.  That girl was accompanying a tall young man with a fishing rod-the true object of observation of the owner of the ice blue eyes.  *To hell with wooing him to my side. I will acquire him by force.*  The eyes seemed to burn with anger as she remembered how she had bumped into Dayu or crossed his path so many times during the past 2 weeks and yet he never noticed her. 


While Dayu walked throughout the cloth shops, trying to find the right color thread to mend his shirt, he suddenly bumped into a girl with blond hair and blue eyes.

"Hey you look familiar!" Dayu exclaimed.

The woman, Sirena, lowered her eyelashes in the oh-so-modest fashion that was ever popular throughout the ages.

"Hey you look like Tsukasa!"

Sirena looked into his eyes with raised eyebrows.

"Tsukasa's my younger sister. She's the same size as you and has the same coloring.  Do you mind if I hold out these scarves against your skin to see which one would look nicer on her?"

And so thus, she spent the next half hour listening to him talk about his younger sister.

"This is my chance!"

Sirena followed Dayu into one of weaponry shops. This time her hair was blue and braided; and her eyes s seductive shade of purple.

"Hey Uncle Haku!!!!"

Sirena let out a squawk as Dayu suddenly slapped her on the back. "It's me! Dayu, your nephew 3 times removed!"

*How can that idiot mistake me for his uncle?!!!*

Dayu blushed as he noticed that the body he was hugging as indeed too feminine to be his uncle.

" sorr..rryy! uncle Haku is extremely feminine!"   Dayu stuttered as he ran out.

"Damn it! If he mistakes me for one of his family members one more time, I will scream!"  Sirena muttered as flicked some of her now violet hair off her shoulder and she unfurled her parasol!

"Cousin Kari!!! Dayu! It's Cousin Kari!!"


Ken nodded. "Yup! I recognize that violet hair and frilly dress anywhere! Damn! I lost her! I wonder where she had gone!"

"Maybe it wasn't her after all! There have been a lot of people in this town that looks like our family lately!"

"Guess so.  I just saw a man who looks like Aunt Nomi yesterday!"

"No way?!!!"


"I just saw a woman who looked like Uncle Haku just the other day!"

Sirena, as she reached her abode, proceeded to scream in frustration

----end of flashback---

*Dayu.  I feel as if we are being watched.*

*Me too, Anjee.*

*Do you think the fish are possessed?*

*I don't know.  Let's hurry up, get our fish, and go!*

"Okay!" Anjee agreed and began to swing her fishing rod into the large lake.

Auria mentally groaned as she awoke. *My body feels like lead.*  Her ears pricked as they caught some snippets of conversation.

"With Ken's excellent spywork and a little trip to King Dane's castle's library, Yuki and I have just found out how the deeper workings of Earthea." Genjo reported in a business-like tone, which did not suit his frivolous nature. "Each area of Earthea is protected by a series of white magic sorcerers, mages, sorceresses and other magical humans, most of whom had no idea of their hold and importance to Earthea. The power will be transferred from their death to a destined successor. But the Shinomei are capturing these powers before they can be passed onto the new protector."

"Earthea sure is a messed up planet." Mei commented. "So confusing!"

"Around 1/12th of Earthea is now under the control of the Shinomei.  That is a lot of land and animals that the Shinomei are now controlling."

"Hmmmm..They've got to be having help from some evil goddess out there, someone like Artemis."

"Well. I don't know any hostile goddesses around here.  Do you scary dead witch princess? I know you were faking your sleep!"

"Her name is Auria, Genjo." Yuki reminded.

Auria shrunk away from the voices in fear. 

"You don't have to be afraid."

*That voice sounded pretty close!*  Auria's red eyes flashed open to see Hikari's reddish-pink eyes, staring right back at her.  Auria was immediately taken back into a time when one of her younger classmates at the School of Abnormality had died of a fever from exposure-when one of the mistresses had forced her to stay outside in the snow for 18 hrs as her punishment for harboring hostile feelings.  The girl's eyes were originally hazel but turned red when she was taken over my negative emotions such as sadness and anger.   Auria slowly dropped her blanket and sat up. 

"Do you remember what happened?" Hikari asked, gently.

Auria closed her eyes for a second and let the events of the day flood into her mind. 

"The child? Is he safe?"

Hikari nodded. "I have found a lady who is willing to take care of him. It is a shame how he was abandoned."

"How much destruction have I caused this time?"

"None at all. As a matter of fact, you saved many lives." Mei replied.

"Your powers are not evil.  You are not evil." Yuki said, using her Sight to read into Auria's past. "You are just at the wrong place at the wrong time.  That prince--you didn't not paralyze him. He had some sort of disease.  All those earthquakes are not your fault.  Well the big ones aren't.  Some of the minor, non-fatal ones are.  I think you might have caused some of the little ones. And those fires at the School of Abnormality wasn't your fault. It was Hikari's."

Hikari flashed with anger. Her pinkish-red eyes now became a dark blood red. "I'm sorry if you were punished for it but my cousin, Hina, was banished there by her stepfather, a very powerful sorcerer.  My sister and I have heard about the atrocities of the school from time to time and liked to set fire to parts of it when we could..until she died…"

"I knew Hina.  She was one of my roommates.  Her only abnormality were her eyes which could change colors along with her emotions.  The mistresses were horrible.  Sticking her out in the cold for so long. She was always punished because she couldn't help but show her dislike of the mistresses of the school.."  And from there on, with such sympathetic listeners, how could she not empty out her heart and pour forth her life story? 

"Wow, Dayu! That must be a five-pounder!!!" Anjee exclaimed. "I think with that one and the little fish we got here, we can head back now with more than enough food for everyone!"

"Wait! I'm onto a big one here!" 

Dayu began to wheel in the fishing line.

"DAYU!" Anjee let out a scream of horror as Dayu wheeled in a…

"You might have caused a few minor accidents. But none of them were ever fatal or life-threatening." Yuki remarked as the end of the Auria's story.  .

"You just need to control your powers. Especially since you now have two sets of powers." Genjo said.

"Two sets?"

"Oh didn't you know?  You're a Guardian now. Ki of Gold or Metal as some put it.  You are now one of the Ki's, sworn to protect and aid the Saviors of Earthea in their fight against the a dark force called Shinomei who is now is full swing in their destruction of Earthea… " Genjo began.

"Come again?" Auria was definitely confused.  *Am I going to be forced into a strange cult?*

"Oh boy. Now we have to explain everything all over again!" Ken grumbled.

Ken was tuning out the explanation the others were trying to give Auria about what was going on. 

"DAYU!" Anjee's horrified shriek sounded in Ken's sound sensitive ear.

Ken stood up abruptly and shouted.  "Anjee and Dayu are in trouble!"

"But where are they?" Mei asked as she transformed along with Genjo, Hikari, Yuki, and Ken..

"They should be by the lake-3 miles south of here. They were going to get us some fish for dinner!"  Ken said. "I'll take Yuki over there. Genjo, you take Hikari.   Mei can try to take you over there Auria. "

Genjo picked Hikari up and began to hop from tree to tree at an alarmingly break-necking speed.  Ken picked up Yuki and ran so fast that he left a rut of a trail on the ground.

"Auria. I can take you there by flying really fast.  You ready?"

"That's ok. I don't want to be of any trouble.  I can run really fast too, I think." Auria said shyly.  "Sometimes I  dream of myself in a different lifetime..and I raised my arms like so and lightning will come and make me run really fast!"  As soon as the last syllable left her lips, a shaft of lightning came down on Auria. .

"AURIA!" Mei shrieked as Auria was suddenly engulfed in the lightning's energy.

"I'll meet you there.  Maybe I can try to help your friends as they have help me."  And with that, Auria followed Ken's path at a speed that can almost rival Genjo's.

Mei let out a breath and flew into the sky. From there, she rocketed herself towards the lake.

"Sea monster!!" Anjee shouted. Dayu dropped the fishing rod immediately.  They both simultaneously transformed.  The horrendous monster was not ugly as should suit a regular sea monster.  It was beautiful-in a terrifying way. It was more dragon than monster.  Its scales were silvery white and as shimmered like the blankets of new fallen snow that could be seen around the area around that time of year.  The color of its eyes was a combination of red and purple  Green hair framed its face.  Its tail raised out of the water and landed in a thump at a very close distance to Anjee and Dayu.  The sea monster repeated the action a couple more times, each time closer to the two. 

"How did you like my little surprise, my love?" Sirena appeared, lounging on the monster's left shoulder.

There was a pause.

"Are you referring to Dayu or Anjee?" Ken asked as he appeared with Yuki.

"Dayu, of course!" Sirena snapped.

"Sirena." Yuki gasped as she recognized the woman on the sea monster. "What are you doing?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Sirena laughed shrilly.

"Actually no.  I gather that you are just having that ugly monster of yours thump its tail around." Mei pointed out as she arrived.

"Be quiet!" Sirena sent Mei a glacial glare.  Dark blue energy shot out from her eyes and Mei nimbly jumped out of the way. 

"Enough!" Sirena held her hand up.  "I am only here to get one thing and that is Dayu.  I am tired of waiting for you and going out of my way to attract you and make you fall in love with me!"

"Huh? Come again?" Dayu asked.

Sirena rolled her eyes and quickly shifted into the different people he had bumped into within the past 2 weeks and had mistaken for his relatives. 

"Do you see now?" Sirena snapped.


"Hey that's my Cousin Farin! What's he doing here?!!" Genjo's voice rang out.

Everyone face-faulted and resolved to keep Dayu and Genjo away from each other's company after this ordeal is over.  

"That's some evil lady named Sirena out to steal Dayu away, you moron!!" Anjee exploded.  "Have you even noticed the big evil sea monster?"


"Dayu. Come to me.  You can be the first mortal to ever enter Circena.  I have spent centuries making accommodations for you. You can have your piece of Earthea to rule after the Shinomei finishes their work."

"Dammit! I was right! There has to be some more powerful beings working with the Shinomei against us.  And Sirena is one of them!  She's probably behind all the drownings and floodings that have been happening lately. " Mei said.

Everyone shrunk back as the sea monster bared its teeth. They were sharp and pointy and there seemed to be way too many of them to fit in the monster's mouth.  Though the monster was huge, its speed and agility was not affected by it.  It soon bared its teeth again and its claws and tried to rip the saviors and the guardians open.  The water turned a murky black and rose. The battleground was slowly being flooded. 

Not only that, Dayu's mind was also being flooded with Sirena's songs.  Everyone was too busy to notice. Sirena knew that the law that no mortal should ever be coerced into coming into Circena was enforced by her forefathers, but the law could only go so far. There was nothing against brainwashing them and then leading them unwittingly into Circena. 

"Dayu!! Dayu!!" Yuki called out as she noticed him following Sirena towards a portal that was opened in the middle of the lake. Wincing as she got nicked in the shoulder by one of the monster's claws, Yuki waded through the flood of water towards Dayu and Sirena.

"Let him go Sirena!" Yuki shouted as she let herself be engulfed in her powers.  She held out Excalibur and powered it up.  As she approached a laughing Sirena, she pointed her sword at her and attacked her with her powers. Sirena continued to laugh as she waved the barrage of energy off. 

But she wasn't laughing for long.

Mei was ready to attack her from above! Sirena winced as she brought her staff down on her head and zapped her with it.  Sirena growled, knowing how messed up her hair must be looking. Yuki began to attack from up front again. 

Anjee let out her battle cry as she used her sword, the Moriah, to slice open the beast's arm.  She winced as some of the blood that had sprayed out burned through her gloves and onto her skin.  She jumped and flipped in the air avoiding the monster's long tail.  She spiraled away as it tried to grab hold of her.  Meanwhile Genjo were trying to distract the beast from Anjee by throwing some of his sickled blades. Ken grabbed Anjee out of harm's way and landed a superhuman punch on the monster.  It slid back about 20 meters but that was it.  It hurled itself towards the guardians but Hikari managed to slow it down by forming a ring of fire. And what was Auria's role? Genjo had found some axes and spears from the stash of weapons that Ken and Mei had stolen from Floran Palace that belonged to Auria. And with those weapons, she had managed to help Anjee make perforations in the monster's arm so as to make it easier to slice open.  Everyone stood still as the sea monster made its way through the ring of fire towards them.

"Away!" Sirena commanded. A great wave then descended upon Mei and Yuki. While Mei was washed away by it, Yuki brushed it away with a flourish of her slim hand. By the time the wave was shoved away, Dayu had already disappeared into the portal and Sirena was at the door, smiling at Yuki.  She blew her a kiss-one of her attacks which caused whirlwind of water to envelope Yuki. 

"You're not going anywhere!" Mei shouted as she held onto Sirena's foot, pulling her away from entering the closing portal. With a tug, Sirena fell into the water. 

"Bitch!" Sirena hissed, when she regained her composure, and shoved Mei's head into the water with her foot.. 

"Sirena!" Yuki seethed and barreled herself into her, knocking both of them into the portal right before it closed.

"Let's blast it all at once." Anjee announced.  She threw her sword in the air and it disappeared, leaving a bow and some arrows in its place.  "Spread yourselves out. It's better if we hit at different targets!"

Ken flew up to level his target with the monster's head. Anjee floated to level herself with its heart.  Hikari and Auria decided to aim for the bottom from different sides. Genjo placed himself between Hikari and Anjee. 


After sensing a feeling of general consent, she sent the message to fire.

"Brace yourselves. Three, Two, One and Fire!!!*

Then, nothing but multicolored blasts of energy could be seen.  When everything was cleared out, the monster disappeared.  In its place was a dark blue jewel, similar to the one they have seen Umihebi and Sasori were destroyed.

"Wait! Where's Mei, Yuki, and Dayu?!" Hikari asked.

"They went over to fight that Sirena woman!" Genjo said.

Auria, who had pretty good vision, narrowed her eyes as she caught sight of some black hair.  "Mei's in the water!!! About 25 meters away from here!"

Anjee, Genjo, and Ken's eyes widened.

"Mei can't swim." Genjo said.

Ken, using his speed, reached the spot where Mei was said to have been seen.  He dived in the water.

*I can't find her!!* Anjee panicked.  Everyone could hear her heart pounding.

*Don't panic!  We have to remain calm!* Hikari mentally messaged Anjee.  But Anjee could feel Hikari was panicking too. 

After a frantic search, Ken and Genjo managed to find her laying on the bottom of the lake, entangled in seaweed.. *Found her!! Genjo! help me cut the seaweed!* 

"How is she?" Anjee asked as she saw Ken carrying Mei out of the water.

"Not breathing." Ken replied as he placed her on the ground. 

"Move over. I will have to perform CPR on her." Genjo said.

Ken pushed Genjo's face away from Mei's. "I can do CPR too, you know!!"

"Damn it! Then do it then!" Anjee snapped.  "If you mess up, I'll castrate you first before detaching that ugly head from your stick of a body."

*Damn it, Dayu!  You moron!  How can you fall for that stupid spell again?!  Why do I always have to be stuck with the worst guys?!*  Yuki mused as she slowly floated through the portal.  She remembered her past boyfriends.  One had preferred dating his car over her.  Another had broken up with her after she had refused to chop off her hair so that she could look like his old girlfriend. And her most recent boyfriend, Anjee's brother, Otaru, had turned gay.  That was the last straw! She had decided to remain single for the past 2 years.  And now that she had decided to enter a relationship again, the damn sonofabitch just HAD to be kidnapped by some evil but beautiful villain. *Why me?!  Dayu had better not have done anything with that whore!!!*

Everyone gave a collective sigh of relief as Mei began to splutter out some water. Anjee held onto Mei as she hacked out more water. 

"Took you long enough." Anjee muttered as she pushed Ken aside.

"Ingrate!" Ken scowled before wiping his mouth.

Now that the scare was over, Ken began to notice the sly looks Genjo and Hikari were giving him.  He narrowed his eyes as he noticed that the new girl, Auria, was giving him the same look, but she quickly masked it when she noticed him watching.  He shot them his fiercest death glare.

"Crap!!  Where's Yuki and Dayu?" Anjee asked.

"Yuki had gone off through the portal to get Dayu back."

"Where's the portal?" Genjo asked.

"In the water. But it's obviously not there anymore!" Mei, noticing how Ken's worry for his cousin, added, "I'm pretty sure Yuki will get Dayu back.  The woman may be a goddess but she isn't as strong as Artemis. far there has been two goddess involved with Akuryou..though Sirena didn't say she's involved with him, I'm pretty sure she is.  So there is a goddess of the moon..and a goddess who has control of the water.."

"Then there might be a goddess who controls the earth and such involved with this?" Auria said.

Mei nodded.  "Sure the Shinomei can create earthquakes and possess animals at times but they can't do it as such a great scale..unless they have the power of a god on their side.  So Anjee, you better watch out."

"I know. I know. We should leave before the Shinomei gets…" Anjee paused as she felt a rumble through the ground. ""

"Speak of the devil." Hikari muttered. Auria huddled near Hikari, wondering what was happening.

"Oh great!" Yuki muttered as she finished her trip down the vortex of a portal and fell into an ocean.  Concentrating, she managed to get herself to walk on water. 

*Hmmm..this place looks familiar..*  Yuki looked around her-everything seemed to float on one vast ocean. *I wonder what this place is called..Circena..wasn't it?  Now where did Dayu go?*

Taking a deep breath, Yuki float up to one of the houses and knocked on the door.  A minute later, a beautiful young girl of 10 opened the door.

"Who is it?"

Yuki blinked. She would have never thought that a girl this young would have such a beautiful melodious voice that just bordered on being hypnotizing. 

"Hi. My name is..Tomi and I would like to know if Lady Sirena lives anywhere near here.  I'm her friend from another realm."

"What realm is that? Circena has no friends." The girl looked at Yuki shrewdly.

*What a suspicious girl!*  "Lunaria" Yuki decided.  Her hair was still silver so there was a chance that she could be mistaken as a Lunarian.  And also if Sirena knew Akuryou and Artemis knew Akuryou, chances are Artemis and Sirena should know each other.  Is that right?  Yuki was too tired to work everything out. 

After a moment's thought, the girl relented, "Fine.  Her palace is 3 Leagues directly west of here. The palace is underwater.  If you can find a large cave, then you can find the palace because all you have to do is go 30 meters away from the cave and drop down below.  But if you know what's good for you, you wouldn't go there without an invitation, Lunarian."

The girl's tone when she said the word 'Lunarian' resembled a sneer, alerting Yuki that the girl didn't believe one word of what Yuki had said and had only relented because she was tired of talking to her. Yuki muttered out her thanks and left for the palace.

"Yuki?" Dayu kept on repeating, like one of those Pokemon. 

"Who's Yuki?"


"There is no Yuki here.


Sirena let out a scream of frustration.  Has a woman ever been so plagued?  The minute her spell on him began to wane, the minute that idiot began to ask for Yuki. 

"Yuki? Yuki?"

"Damn it!  Can't they at least give me a minute to rest! I had only just drowned 15 minutes ago!" Mei muttered as she found herself and her friends surrounded by the Shinomei.  She was beginning to find this whole savior must beat bad guy thing extremely stupid.  So they were only fighting just because it was decreed long ago that they have to fight.  What the hell?!

"Let's get it over with and go home."  Mei said with an air of boredom which irritated many of the soldiers.  *These soldiers are pure evil.  So no need to feel bad if you happened to slaughter a dozen or two.*

"And a one..and a two..and a three..let's go" Anjee drawled as if she were a dance instructor, tired of teaching a bunch of girls who can't dance even if their lives depended on it. 

Anyways, before Anjee even got to three, Hikari and Ken attacked the soldiers. 

"Hey! You guys didn't wait for my countdown!" Anjee protested.

"Too bad!" Ken smirked, fueling Anjee's anger so much that she had managed to strike down more soldiers than usual. 

Mei jumped and flipped into the air to get a better look at the person who had placed his hand on her shoulder.

*Kenshin!*  Mei growled.  She jumped again as she saw that he was also behind her too, kicking her in the behind.  *His damn splitting powers!*

And he was also there to kick her down when she tried to get up.

"Stop that!" Mei snapped. She was taken back when he suddenly grinned-not a happy grin, not an evil grin, but a perverted grin.  The grin was wiped off his face when he was suddenly knocked over in the head.

"Stop looking down her shirt!!!" Anjee seethed. "You perve!"

He was hit in the head again-this time by Ken.  "Stop using my face to do perverted things!!"

Kenshin's grin turned into a full scowl.  He let out a roar of anger and split himself in 4 Kenshins.  And so the fight ensued and the bloodbath continued through the evening and into the night.

Yuki was in a predicament.  It was nightfall down and how the hell was she going she sleep on water?!  She knew that as a devoted girlfriend, she should stay awake all night looking for her love, but she also knew that if she wasn't well rested by the time she meets Sirena, there was no chance of getting Dayu back.  She let out a sigh of relief as she caught sight of some land. It was a little island-and by little, I mean, LITTLE-the island was about 10 feet by 20 feet.  She looked up into the sky and was disappointed that there were no stars on which she could wish her friends good luck. She quickly fell asleep and let her dreams carry her away.

----flashback/dream sequence---

"I don't love Sirena. Please believe me. She was just a infatuation. Marine…I love you.  Only you.." A young man of 25 went down on his knees. 

"I am in love with someone else." Marine, who was obviously a past incarnation of Yuki, said firmly.  She was the Marine of Mari but Marine..of Circena?

"He cannot love you as much as I!"

"Stop making a fool out of yourself. You are despicable. First you pronounce your love for Sirena..not you're in love with me!"

"I do not love Sirena at all! I love you, Marine!  Forget Darin, come with me!"

Marine turned away from him and walked away.

"How can you be in love with Darin?!  I thought you loved Kori!!" Marine exclaimed. 

"I have changed my mind I want Darin."

"Sorry, Sirena, but I can't give him to you.  Darin and I are fated to be together. And I am in love with him."

"I want Darin.  I will have him."

"Over my dead body, cousin!" 

"Yes. If necessary, over your dead body."

----end of flashback/dream sequence---

*We have to finish this battle quicky.  Mei and Anjee are starting to tap into her life force to keep themselves awake.*  Genjo messaged Ken.

*I'm trying but they just keep on coming.*

"Hmm..weren't there more of you?" Kenshin, who had decided to become one, asked as he avoided a deadly blow from Ken. 


"What happened to the other two?"

"Who wants to know!"

"I want to know!"

"Hah! They deserted you didn't they?"

Ken's golden eyes flashed as he dealt Kenshin a heavy under blow to his stomach while distracting him with a false blow to his face. "How dare you insinuate that!  Sirena had taken them away!  Not a very good ally, huh.  Putting personal gains above everything else!"

Kenshin growled and let out a bunch of dark ribbons.  Ken, with his incredible speed, avoided them all. 

"What a girly attack! Ribbons, come on!" Ken jeered, as he used his energy to form a spear and stabbed Kenshin in the shoulder from behind. 

"You better be careful.  I go, you go."

"Yeah I know that. That's why I'm just trying to give you pain and lots of it!" Ken said and began to deliver a combination of punches and kicks.  Kenshin responded with his own combos.

"Oh Sirena." Dayu whispered as he leaned over to give her a passionate kiss, after a desert of strawberries and champagne.. 

Sirena moaned against his mouth.  With the skill of a temptress, she managed to bring him into her bedroom and slowly and seductively removed his clothes. 

"Yuki? Yuki?" Dayu began to chirp. 

Sirena let out a scream of frustration.  Here she was trying to seduce him while the spell lasted long enough and this was what she got in return.  She gave up.  She'll try again later; she was just too spent at the moment.  Of course she could just take him right there and then, but rape wasn't her thing and it wasn't any fun without an enthusiastic partner.

"Just go to sleep, my love."

"Yuki. Yuki." Dayu murmured and fell asleep immediately.

---flashback/dream sequence---

Sirena hummed a melody as she walked-no, floated-down the palace halls.  *Kori is going to propose today! I'm sure of it!* She pirouetted around her room, trying to decide which dress would flatter her the best for the proposal.  Her eyes shined with love as she heard him being announced in the palace.  She snapped her finger and her current dress was suddenly replaced by the dress she had picked out.  And then she snapped her finger again and appeared right outside the sitting room door, where there was a mirror. 

"Perfect as always!" Sirena murmured happily at her reflection. She was about to enter when she heard what she still considered the most terrible words in the world…

"I don't love Sirena. Please believe me.  She was just a infatuation Marine…I love you."

"How could he love Marine?!" Sirena screamed in the privacy of her own bedroom.  Any woman with even a grain of common sense would have concentrated her anger on Kori, the object of her love, but since Sirena was not common, she focused her revenge on Marine.  Her beautiful features twisted into a bitter expression as she realized that she would just have to take Darin away from Marine to get even.  She would just have to convince herself that she was in love with that clumsy but handsome boy. 

"How could you, Kori?" Sirena whispered as a lonely tear drew a trail down her white cheek.

"How can you be in love with Darin?!  I thought you loved Kori!!" Marine exclaimed. 

Sirena's eyes flashed dangerously as she focused them on Marine.  "I have changed my mind.  I want Darin."

"Sorry, Sirena, but I can't give him to you.  Darin and I are fated to be together. And I am in love with him."

"I want Darin.  I will have him."

"Over my dead body, cousin!" 

"Yes. If necessary, over your dead body.  Because I love him!"

---end of flashback/dream sequence----

"So that was what happened…" Yuki's eyes sprung open and then closed them again, recapping all that had happened in her dreams-especially the most recent one. Well, it wasn't her dream exactly but Sirena's and Yuki had somewhat had entered into Sirena's dream line.  *So she convinced herself that she was in love with Dayu to spite me…*

*Anjee you ready!* Mei messaged her. 

*Give me a minute to catch my breath. Okay. I'm ready.*

*Auria. Genjo.  Go try it!*

Auria lift her arms into the sky and then she began to spin at an alarming rate. Genjo placed a hand on the ground and energy began to gather in his hand.  Genjo did the same thing, from a distance.  With each spin, they each gather more energy.  They then suddenly paused in mid-spin and let out a cry as they shot forth their energy towards each other.  The energy spheres unfurl to form a net.  Genjo's net landed on top of Auria's.  Hikari used her fire to meld the two energies together.  All the soldiers were caught in the net.  Anjee flipped into the air and tried to shoot each and every enemy with her arrows while Mei shot her energy from a staff.

" don't look like you know.." Kenshin said between huffs and puffs.

"Know what?!!" Ken said as he tried to catch his breath.

"Oh you didn't know? I thought they would have told you already."

"Huh? If this is some sort of trick, then I'm not falling for it."

Kenshin smiled.  "I'm just trying to help out an old friend."

Ken bristled with irritation.  "Who says I'm your friend?!"

"Oh fate.  You do know, don't you?"

"Know what?!"

"Oh, you know…."

"No, I don't know."

"You don't?"

"Didn't I already say that I don't know?!"

"Have you ever wondered why you look so much like me?  Have you ever wondered why they tell you not to ever finish me off?"

"For the looks part..well I just thought it was a coincidence. A bad coincidence at that.  And as for not finishing you off, they said that if I do, I die."

"Have you ever wondered why you would die if I die?"


"Well…let me begin by saying that you and I are one."

"Something about that statement doesn't ring right."

"You and I were once the same person…"


"Does the name Kazetarou ring a bell?"

"Damn! More soldiers! They just won't stop!" Anjee said as she heard a bunch of screams from some nearby towns.

 "Genjo's too drained to fight. We will have to take Hikari with us and leave Auria here with Genjo." Mei said.  "Where on earth is Ken?"

*Probably still fighting Kenshin.  They will probably fight until they are spent since they know that killing each other might end up killing themselves.*

*I wonder if anyone had ever told Ken about his relationship with Kenshin.*

*Hm. I think Yuki told him already..*

*Oh. Okay. Let's get ready to kick some more Shinomei butt!*

Hikari, Anjee, and Mei arrived to find a large force of crude Shinomei soldiers terrorizing the townspeople. 

"They are probably after the sorcerer who controls this area." Mei whispered. "I'm going to follow the soldiers to find out where the sorcerer is. You guys should help some of the people but don't be too noticeable or you'll attract too many soldiers."

"Look, so we are..I mean, were..the same person. It still doesn't change things. You are on the side of evil. I am on the side of good.  And we can kill everyone else but ourselves because it would mean our destruction.  It is not as if telling me this changes things. So I would appreciate it, if you would just stop wasting my time by telling me some little stories about who I was 500 years ago."

"You are right. But let me as you this one thing: Do you love Mei, now that you know that you were one half of the person who was her lover and husband?"

There was a moment's pause before Ken replied, "Maybe."

He then walked away with a mischievous grin.  *That would sure irk Kenshin. Heh!*  He swung to the left and a energy ball whizzed by him.

"Get back here! " Kenshin shouted when he noticed that Ken was starting to run away. 

*I hope I haven't left the others alone for way too long!*


Hikari turned around quickly to face the owner of that familiar voice. 

*It's Genjo's uncle, Shou! What the heck is he doing here?! Does he not realize what is happening here?!"  Hikari as Duke Shou, walked further into the battlefield, seemingly unaware of what was going around him.  *He doesn't seem drunk but he MUST be drunk! If he were sober, he would have known it would have been totally insane to come here!  Maybe he doesn't need alcohol to addle his brains anymore..*  Hikari growled as her enemy, who possessed an unnatural face that was at the moment being chewed out by maggots, nicked her in the arm.  She burned the enemy's head from his body.  She turned around to see Shou transforming into..a guardian?!!! 

"What the hell is going on here?!"

"Oh no you don't!!  I still need to get my revenge.!"  Shou roared and shot wooden stakes that the soldier who was about to attack Hikari from behind. 

Hikari's eyes widened as she realized who her savior was.  If there she weren't surrounded by so many enemies, she would have taken this as her cue to faint.  So Shou, Duke of Flora, was the Ki of Wood!  And he had just saved her.

*You did not see what I just saw, did you, Hikari?  * Genjo asked.  Genjo had been sitting up in one of the trees while Auria tend to some of his wounds. .

*Oh yes I did.* Hikari said.

*I was hoping that this whole fighting till dawn thing is making a jumble of my senses.*

"Oh no you don't!" Mei said as she grabbed the shoulder of a soldier who was advancing on an old woman with silver hair, which alerted Mei that the woman was a sorceress.  But to Mei's eyes, the woman seemed to have lost most of her abilities. She turned the guy around and then screamed her head off. Her face turned an ashen gray.

*Omigosh! He's so ugly!* The man wasn't even a man. He looked like he would have fit in with the undead.   She swung her staff around with surprising expertise and managed to hit different points of his body.  He soon fell apart in many body parts.

"It'll be okay!" Mei smiled.  As Mei approached the woman, she felt a hand clutch her ankle.  She looked down and to her horror, it was an skeletal arm that had belong to her latest victim.  The hand was intent on crushing her ankle. 

"Calm down." The woman's voice said.  She spoke a few words and soon an unnatural force pried open the skeletal fingers from Mei's ankle.

"Thank you and watch out!" Mei tackled her down.  A dark deadly blast of energy hit the spot where she had been standing.  She turned around and found Akuryou floating in mid-air.

*Uh-oh! I think I might need back-up! You guys!!*

*I'll try to be there, but I'm sort of occupied now.* Anjee said.

"Akuryou." Mei spat.

"Greetings, Angel of the Skies.  Looking a little under the weather, no?"  Akuryou chuckled. 

"Yes. And you?  Looking quite old.  But then again, you look crinkly and old everyday, no?" Mei countered.

Akuryou smiled but the smile didn't reach his eyes.  The ground began to crumble and split between her and Akuryou and the sorceress.  Mei jumped over the widening crack and took a whack at Akuryou. His head snapped back with the force of her staff but he didn't seem hurt. 

*Of course, he like has all the powers of like 10 other sorcerers with him.*

"Mei!" Anjee called out as she jumped over the crack too.  "Are you hurt?"

"Nope. Err..well not yet." 

"I have come for one thing only for the moment and it is the powers of that hag.  I will come for your lives another time."

"Tut tut! So disrespectful.You might want to schedule with us a date for our doom.  Err..I'm like busy everyday, so how about..hmm..NEVER!"

"Move out of the way!" Akuryou growled and with a swing of his arm, Anjee and Mei were blown away as if my an unnatural force but Shou and Genjo managed to catch them before they hit anything. 

"Stop following me!" Hikari growled. 

"I think I am getting a headache." Genjo said, putting his hand to his forehead.

"What a grouch! I can't believe he's related to me!" Shou sighed.

"So you are the new saviors.." Akuryou said as he noticed Auria and Shou.

"I think getting beaten up on top of being drowned earlier is getting to my head because Shou looks like he's our new guardian." Mei laughed but paused as she noticed Anjee's dead serious face. 

"They'll make anyone a guardian these days, huh." Akuryou smirked at Shou.  "Nice to meet you..hmm..Auria and Shou..I presume.  I am Akuryou, head minion of the great Shinomei god.  I am the one you will contrive to defeat but lose badly."

"The battle isn't over yet!" Hikari snapped.

Yuki shielded her eyes from the light of the rising sun as she floated over to the cave.  She followed the young girl's direction and walked floated into the sea.  Peering down into the clear blue water, she noticed a palace down there. 

"Here it goes!" Yuki muttered as she dived underwater.  She frowned as she realized that the palace was farther down than she had expected. It was a good thing she could breathe underwater.  The only reason she could see it from above was because of the palace's enormous size. Yuki delved further and had to use her powers on a couple of occasions when she encountered some hostile mermaids and mermans. *They were always such a hostile people.*

She transformed as she entered the palace doors.  She wanted her man back and she wanted him now, so she kicked open the palace doors.  Some of the palace guards were not too keen on how she made her entrance and tried to block her way but she, by some miracle, managed to avoid them and the bloodthirsty sharks they had sent her way.  Her adrenaline was pumping by the tons into her brain.  She kicked open every door, trying to find the whereabouts of Sirena and Dayu. 

*There's one more door! And a thick one at that.*  And Yuki, of course, blasted open the door.  Her eyes widened in shock as the door fell open. 

"YOU BITCH!"  Yuki roared. 

"No it's not over yet. And that is just part of the fun, seeing you people all torn and tattered like this, covered in dust and blood."

"Err..I think most of the dust are from some of the demons..and the blood are those of your soldiers.." Auria commented and then ducked behind Genjo as Akuryou's black eyes turned red and narrowed angrily at her.

"Enough of these games. I've come for the woman!" As soon as those words left Akuryou's lips, masses of soldiers began to surround them, cheering Akuryou on.

"Kill! Kill! Kill!" They chanted.

Mei grabbed the woman and flew above the soldiers.  Akuryou followed her with the rest of the others after his heels.  Akuryou's hand reached out to send a dark energy blast but Auria used her spear to viciously hit his crippled legs.  Akuryou flew over Mei. He quickly opened one of those oh-so-loveable holes in the ground and kicked her in it.  He grabbed hold of the woman and took a moment to give an evil laugh while he quickly tried to close the chasm.  But Mei flew at a breaknecking speed and made it out just in time.

"You will not win." Anjee said.

"Will you hit me while I have this woman here?"

"So you are using a helpless old woman as your shield, despicable!" Hikari shouted. 

"Yes, despicable!" Ken said as he hit Akuryou from behind.  The woman dropped into Shou's arms. 

"Kenshin! You are not doing your job!" Akuryou growled at his ward. 

"Apologies, milord." Kenshin bowed and Ken took this moment to give him a vicious kick in the face. 

"How low, Ken." Genjo shook his head disapprovingly.

"Whose side are you on?!!!"  Ken snarled.

Akuryou began to murmur. All that could be heard was the murmur of voice. The tone was so intense that everyone stood still, as if struck.  He then let out a battle cry as he sent a large force of energy blasted into anyone who was still standing. As the blast was occurring, he took the woman, who had already fainted, from Shou's arms and used his magic to bring her up into the air. He murmured another spell and soon the essence of the land she happened to control with her life force floated in the air in a small sphere of bright energy.  He was about to absorb it when Mei flew in front of him, absorbing it herself.

What followed was something unexpected: a scream of agony.

"BITCH!" Yuki shouted again as she flew at Sirena.  She had found Sirena and Dayu in bed..naked! 

"Yuki? Yuki?" Dayu smiled his charming smile.  "Yuki? Yuki?"

"How dare you smile at me like that after you did IT with her!" Yuki cried and whacked him with a pillow with such force that it rendered him unconscious. 

"How dare you scratch me like this! I am a goddess. I am untouchable!" Sirena seethed.

"Only a minor goddess." Yuki corrected. "You don't even deserve to be called a goddess since you dare allied yourself with Akuryou for the past millennium or two and dared to do such a horrible thing to Dayu!"

"Now you know how I feel when you stole Kori away from me?!" Sirena shouted, angry tears stream down her face.  Since she lived in the water, it might be sort of hard to tell whether she was crying or can definitely tell.

"Kori?! You mean that pompous fickle-minded imbecile with the stick-like legs?  I never stole him away from you. I had always loved Dayu!"

"You made him fall in love with you!"

"I did not!"

"He just thought he was in love with me!  It was never my fault!  If you were to punish someone for Kori's stupidity, it would be Kori. Not me!"

"How dare you insult my Kori like that!"

"I thought you were supposed to be in love with Dayu!"

"I am in love with Dayu. I don't love Kori anymore!"

"Then why are you still punishing me!!" Yuki roared.

"I hate you! I hate you!  You stole Kori away from me and now you are trying to steal Dayu!"

"I thought that it was established that I didn't steal Kori way from you!"

"There is no way you are getting Dayu back! So good-bye!" Sirena shouted and, with her powers, she managed to forced Yuki through the various doors and outside of the palace. 

"Mei!!" Anjee screamed as Mei began to tremble and blood began to spill out of her pores. 

"She'll be okay if you would allow me to remove the power from her." Akuryou offered sweetly.

"Stuff it, old man!" Ken snapped as he kneeled by Mei. 

"There is no way that you are laying one finger on her!"  Hikari gnarled.

"We might have to give in to him." Anjee sobbed.

*Calm down.  I'm thinking…*  Genjo gave a little paused before beginning.  *Maybe Mei's body is rejecting the intrusion of this power because it is a different element. Her element is air.  The power is earth.  She will remain alive if we just transfer it into Anjee's body.  It will be very painful, Anjee darling, because you have been injured by that sword only a little over a month ago. *

*I am willing to bear it.*

*Ken.  Auria. Shou. Hikari. Distract Akuryou while we do the transfer. And don't forget about Kenshin. I think the poor fool was standing up when Akuryou did that little trick he did earlier.*

"Anjee, put your left hand on Mei's heart." Anjee did as she was told. "And then calm yourself until you feel your hearts beat as one." This took a while but it was soon achieved. The heartbeat was faint but somewhat steady.  "Close your eyes now and let yourself into her soul and when you see the power, ask it to come to you.  Do not use force.*

Genjo watched anxiously as Anjee followed his instructions.  He began to smile when he noticed that the blood had stopped flowing.  But Anjee entered into some violent convulsions. Her hazel eyes turned silver, then white, then green, then back to white.   

*I'm okay.* Anjee said shakily. "Is Mei okay?"

"Yes she is." Then when Genjo noticed the others approaching, e asked, "Where did Akuryou go?"

"Left after he saw that Anjee has the power. "

"I think it's more like bringing Kenshin home before he becomes more of an embarrassment.  He caught Kenshin asking Ken if Mei was all right!"  Hikari laughed. 

"Poor Kenshin will probably get some more brainwashing.  He was looking pretty scared when Akuryou told everyone to go back to headquarters." Auria whispered.

"What do you mean?"  Shou asked.  He was finding himself more and more interested in this little girl with the silver hair and red eyes.  Not in a lover-like way, but he saw her more of an amusing kid sister.

"I sensed that he has been brainwashed to Akuryou's liking many times before..brainwashing comes in all forms." Auria closed her eyes and remembered the first and only time she was sentenced to brainwashing.  The school decided not to brainwash her afterwards, learning that the brainwashing had caused her to let loose her inhibitions on controlling her powers. "Some of them…are very painful.  Sorry for being so depressing.  Well we can look at the bright side now: we can all go back to the cave and rest."

Ken picked Mei up while Genjo and Shou were fighting over who would get to pick up Anjee.

"You are too weak." Shou said sincerely.

"Listen to him." Hikari said.

"No! No one gets to hold Anjee but me!" Genjo pouted and hugged Anjee possessively.

"Let's go… home!" Hikari smiled at Auria when she said the word 'home.'

Auria's eyes were shining.  So she finally had a home to go to.  Even though it was a temporary dwelling, she finally had someone to 'go home' with.  And so, she smiled for real for the first time in years. 

"Don't think you can hide from me, Sirena!  Show yourself!!!"  Yuki shouted on the top of her lungs.  She could sense Sirena and Dayu in the area.  Sirena had dared to leave the palace with Dayu!  "Coward!"

"How dare you?!" Sirena appeared in front of Yuki and slapped her.  Because she was a goddess, the slapped hurt more than usual slaps.

"No. "How dare YOU?!  You don't love Dayu, like I do.  You only convinced yourself in love with Dayu. And why is that?" Yuki paused and looked straight into Sirena's eyes. "Because of your pride.  You loved Kori but he wasn't the one.  He didn't love you back. He claimed to have loved me.  You loved him so much that you were not wont to blame him for his change of heart. You were hurt and embittered. You had to blame someone. You were and still are like that. So you blamed me.  Because of your pride, you won't admit that you have loved Kori with all your heart and were spurned for it.  So you convinced yourself that Kori wasn't the one.  That Dayu-back then, he was known as Darin-you convinced yourself that HE was the one and that I, then branded as the one to be blamed, was luring him away from you. So you held onto this lie for the past millenium.  You have even joined up with Akuryou, hoping that he will get rid of me and leave Dayu to you after he is finished with him. You could never get rid of me, knowing that I, as Marine, had been raised with you...knowing that I was once your blood cousin..knowing that I was there when you were alone."

*You have lied to yourself all this time..Sirena.  Please let go.* Tears were streaming down Yuki's face, not realizing till after she made that speech, what Sirena had gone through.

"I will hurt you." Sirena said shakily. Tears were threatening to fall.  "I will hurt you."

She began to chant.  Dayu, who was moping around, began to come alive.  Sirena threw him a sword and Dayu jumped and flipped in the water, bent on attacking Yuki.

"Please stop this. Sirena."

"No.." Sirena turned away.  She closed her eyes, remembering the hurt, the betrayal, remembering how she had even had a child with another man..  She only 18 back then, in human years.  She remembered how she hated herself and her disgusted she was when had to kill the man in order to feed his energy to her daughter. 

      Men lived on the other side of Circena, on an island.  When a woman wanted to bear, she would lure a man to her and lay with him.  When she is pregnant, she must kill him in order for the child to live.  She now remembered how horrid she had treated Sylphie [AN: Sylphie=Kaori]

      It was as if something has opened up inside her.  She was now aware of how self-centered she had been the past millenium.  She now began to see her love for Kori as a childish infatuation and her revenge as a selfish temper tantrum.  She began to cry out of relief.  A whole burden had been lifted off her soul.  She gasped as she smelt blood. She turned around and found Dayu pulling out his sword, which had, a moment before, been impaled into Yuki's left shoulder. 

"STOP!" Sirena commanded Dayu. 

"Marine!" Sirena cried.

Yuki saw the tears in Sirena's eyes. And beyond that, she saw that her former cousin's eyes were now no longer clouded by hate.  Yuki smiled, while holding onto her wound. 

"Before you go and faint, cousin, Dayu and I..nothing happened. All he could say was 'Yuki. Yuki.' over and over again.  It drove me mad.  I do not know how you can love him." Sirena smiled. 

Yuki nodded gratefully back before closing her eyes and fainting dead away.  Sirena caught her cousin and they both were transported elsewhere.

"Yuki? Yuki?" Dayu said dismally as he noticed he was left behind.