Episode 108 Haze; Light Eludes Kunai
The heat from the direct attack spreads through Ryuu like shattering glass. He soars through the air for one graceful moment, and crashes into a crumpled heap on the floor the next. For the longest time, nothing else moves in Ryuus consciousness. No sound penetrates his numbed ears. Only the distant blackness of the night sky can be felt.
A silvery light permeates the cold, silent room. A soft clinking, as of bells, chimes in the distance, shattering the silence with the impact of breaking glass. A lead weight presses against Ryuus chest.
Where where am I? Ryuu wonders out loud, trying, but failing to open his eyes. The weight bearing down on him grows heavier.
Awake at last, huh, Ryuu? a gentle, whimsical voice responds softly.
Where am I? Ryuu repeats again, more urgently this time. His heart begins pounding quickly. Am I dea
No, youre not dead, the voice replies, as a low, crunching noise comes from somewhere above Ryuu. Crumbs fall from the sky and scatter over his face.
Wh Ryuu suddenly jerks wide awake, forcing himself into a sitting position and throwing the person that had been sitting astride him off. YOURE GETTING CRUMBS ON MY FACE, MORON!
Arai lays awkwardly on the ground for a moment, as if momentarily taken aback by Ryuus harsh reaction. Well for someone whod been laying around like he was dead all this time, you certainly have a lot of energy.
Arai Ryuu says the name with quiet surprise, where am I? And what the hell are you doing here?
Oh? Arai answers curiously. You dont recognize this place?
Ryuu peers around the empty room curiously. Nothing but white light engulfs the blank room. A distant humming echoes in the otherwise silent space.
Not really, Ryuu shrugs. He peers around some more. Is this heaven?
Not exactly, Arai retorts gently.
Oh, of course not, Ryuu continues, only in hell would I be seeing Arai in my death.
A tick mark crosses Arais brow as he grows impatient. He proceeds to kick Ryuu in the shin, scattering cookie crumbs all over his fiery red hair. This is your Soul Room, Ryuu.
Soul Room? Ryuu blinks. Never heard of it.
This is the deepest chamber of your soul, Ryuu, where the core of your soul resides, Arai remarks. It is in this very chamber that you derive your powers.
Oh, Ryuu responds, still looking puzzled. Well, if this is my private Soul Room, what the hell are you doing in here, pervert?
Arai sighs, and stoops down to stare at Ryuu at eye level. Thats the question Im asking, Ryuu. You have to be pretty beat up if youve been pushed back into your Soul Room. Have you really gotten that weak? Have you already forgotten the bonds that lie in this room?
The hell are you talking about? Ryuu growls angrily. Listen, I aint gonna let a dead man stomp into my near-death hallucination and
Arai smacks Ryuu in the face with a chocolate chip cookie, silencing the redhead. He takes a seat comfortably next to Ryuu, folding his legs together. If you really want to win Kunai back, youre approaching it all the wrong way. Youve got to beat him with the intent of saving that bond of friendship, not with the intent of winning.
Youve got to beat him with not brute force, but with the power of all those people you must protect, or have protected. That is the only way youll defeat Kunai.
Ryuu looks stunned for a moment, but gathering his composure. He raises an eyebrow. Sorry, I dont really buy into that hippie friendship crap He suddenly stands up, and grabs his sword. But all the same
Ive got what youre saying! Ryuu howls, smirking broadly. Flames begin to crawl up and down the bare blade of his sword once again, as it flickers back into life. I hate to ask this, but lend me your damn powers, Arai!
Arai flashes Ryuu a large grin, and dissipates into the air, disappearing with every passing second. Soon, he becomes nothing but a vaporous steam, bathing into Ryuu and flooding him with newfound strength.
Lightning pounds the earth; Kunai pulls back in haste just as the explosion quickens into a raging inferno. Within the next second, a speck of yellow light emerges from the blaze.
Kunai steps back, raising his sword to meet Ryuus. The two swords collide for a split second, as a surprised Kunai gazes into Ryuus deep green eyes.
Consider this a message from Arai! Ryuu growls. He reaches forward and pushes a hand into Kunais chest. A jolt of lightning emerges with frightening speed, tearing apart Kunais body.
Kunai stumbles back multiple paces, struggling hard to maintain any sort of fighting stance. His eyes cloud, as his vision fades in and out. A message from Arai? What the hell is this ?
Before Kunai has time to continue pondering this revelation, Ryuu steps forward again, deliberately forcing Kunai back with controlled strokes of his sword. Each time, Ryuus sword just barely grazes Kunai, forcing the latter back helplessly.
Kunai narrows his eyes as he parries with Ryuu. Bastard hes just toying with me! Finally, Kunai clenches his teeth and forces his sword back up with all his might. Ryuu counters with another slash, this time serious, but Kunai blocks the attack. Why why did you speak Arais name?
Ryuu pores into Kunai with his green eyes, the blank stare on his face revealing no details. With an agile move, Ryuu swipes at Kunai again, who once again counters the move.
Kunais eyes widen alarmingly, as he digs his heels into the ground and aims to retreat, but it is already too late; the attack smashes against him like a wall, engulfing his entire body. Kunai rapidly swings his sword, casting a Power Strike in order to deflect some of the blast away from his body.
As the smoke clears, Ryuu is nowhere to be found. Too late once again, Kunai spins just as Ryuu sneaks up from behind, delivering a devastating blast of chilling ice.
Kunai screams in pain as he is blown away by the point-blank attack. The ice crystals around him rapidly evaporate, but they leave a burning pain that chars Kunais skin. As he slows down, Kunai lands softly back on the ground, planting his sword into the earth as a momentum breaker.
Kunai ! Ryuu howls, skipping several steps on his way to Kunai with the aid of Teleport. Kunai braces for another reckless assault, but none comes. Kunai Im not going to let you make this mistake. Im not going to let myself make this mistake! Ill stop you even if it kills me! Whatever youre envisioning is a sham! Thats why thats why, for the sake of all those that have already been involved in this battle Ivy, Lily, Ayame Arai I will defeat you!
A red blaze brighter than the sun erupts around Ryuus incensed blade. The fireball grows, feeding upon itself, until finally all those within its range are blinded by it. Ryuu swings his sword, and a mighty crescent of pent-up energy emerges at last, with all the force of Ryuus power.
With nowhere to run, Kunai takes the brunt of the attack, allowing it to tear past him like a hurricane. Kunai merely resigns to holding his arms out to shield his face, struggling to hold his ground against the hellish inferno created by Ryuus feelings of urgency.
Answer me, Kunai! Ryuu shouts for all the world to hear. Are you going to end this and come back, or do you insist on dying here tonight?!
The blast from the inferno erupts with a volcanic quake, and then all falls into silence, as a crater big as an ocean reveals itself for miles all around. A deathly wind sounds, blowing dust around and around in a circle.
Did you want my answer to that? Kunais voice sounds from somewhere far away.