Phoenix Feathers: Cult of the Pseudo Phoenix

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Here Come the Waterworks

Chapter 24: Here Come the Waterworks

’Tis better to have played and lost, then to never have played at all.

I found myself growling at the pair of girls that had found the three of us. I wanted to attack them, but with no orders from Brandy or Jade, I couldn’t do anything but wait. Damn Inukami loyalty.

“Damn it,” Karen took out one of her Yokai bells, Brandy did the same, “how did you find us.”

“Seriously, it’s not like we were looking for you guys,” the dark headed priestess shrugged, “You both made this far too easy.”

“You’ll never beat us,” the blond released her Sunsprite.

“Want a bet,” Karen threw the bell at the Sprite, “Go, Andrew!”

In a flash, a young unicorn leaped into the air. He dashed around the Sunsprite leaving a trail of fire as he galloped. He stopped behind Karen, standing at the ready. With a single stroke, Andrew was ready to fight for his master.

“A unicorn capable of using fire? Don’t make us laugh,” the dark head didn’t even bother to bring out her Yokai’s bell, “Our Yokai have exceeded above their weaknesses.”

The blond laughed, “Send out as many Yokai you like. Sunny will beat them all!”

“Don’t mock us,” Karen stared them down.

“We aren’t mocking. It’s just how it is,” the dark head shrugged, “And we really don’t have time to play with you for very long.”

“Well, if you’re so confident in yourself,” Karen smiled, “If we win then you give us Tyler back.”

“Go suck an egg, Mackenzie,” the blond razzberried, “Sunsprite Autumn Storm!” The flower Yokai began to accelerate in a spin as it summoned the leaves right off the trees. The grand storm of leaves condensed into a single blast.

“Andrew Holy Shield!” The steed dashed forward and released a green shield, but it didn’t hold out for long. The green shield shattered, its pieces were as countless as the leaves. Brandy shielded me with his body.

“No,” the humans screamed. I couldn’t do anything but watch.

“You fool,” the dark head yelled at Brandy.

“You alright, Leo?”

I nodded.

“Andrew get up!” The equine couldn’t stand. If that attack was that powerful for a Fire natured Yokai then how much more painful was it for Brandy?

…I-I have to help him…

I tried to clean his wounds. Leo did this for me a few times before. Doing it myself wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. His blood tingled in my mouth… there was something about it.

“(I’d worry more about myself if I were a filthy Fire Yokai like you.),” the Sunsprite mocked me. Not that I could understand her, that is.

“Our Yokai were specially trained to fighting and eliminating Fire Yokai.”

“There’s no way for you to beat us.”

“Well, if you were me,” Brandy stood, clenching his bell, “then you’d know that this isn’t over yet!”

“(Are you insane!),” I barked at him to sit down again.

“Little brat,” the blond spat.

“I still have my Yokai,” Brandy shouted, “Let’s go, Phineas!”

A crocodile-faced creature danced on his short paws as he was happily released from the confines of his seal. I’d never seen one of these Yokai before, but it was a young Ammit. It automatically released a strong water blast against at the Sunsprite.

“Sorry,” Brandy apologized, “Phineas likes to play a bit.”

“Was that attack supposed to do something,” the blond asked as her Sunsprite shook the water off.

“That wasn’t an attack,” Brandy laughed, “Phineas does that to everybody.”

“Don’t joke around here,” the dark head yelled at Brandy. Phineas fired another shot of water to make her shut up.

“See,” Brandy shrugged, “I can’t stop him.”

“Are you an idiot,” Karen yelled at Brandy, “You saw what Sunsprite did to Andrew’s Holy Shield! Who knows what it will do to your Water Yokai!”

“Phineas is stronger than he looks,” Brandy smirked, “Sick 'em!”

The blue gator jumped at the Sunsprite with his jaws wide open. The Plant Yokai barely dodged by a hair as Phineas’ jaws snapped shut. The croc hybrid responded by spinning around and smashing with his tail. Sunsprite was slammed into a tree and fell to the ground. Phineas made a mad dash at Sunsprite, jaws agape. Sunsprite countered with a single leaf blade. Phineas bit it in half.

“Now cool her off!”

Phineas bounced again and caught Sunsprite’s leaf arm in his jaws. It froze over quickly under a white mist. The Sprite fell over on her now heavier side. Phineas clearly found this hilarious as he danced in happiness.

“Alright! I knew it,” Brandy declared, “You guys are so used to fighting against fire that you don’t know how to handle the cold, Phineas, finish it off!”

Phineas ignored Brandy’s command and fired another water ball at the priestesses.

“Gah! You’ll pay for that,” the blond shrieked.

“Tengu," the dark head threw her bell high into the sky, "Detain that pest!”

Tengu wasn’t halfway materializing when it attacked with a mess of Air Bullets! Ammit dodged with a surprisingly skillful cartwheel.

“Hey, no fair,” the blond whined, “They’re my prey!”

“Get over it,” she knocked the blond in the back of her head, “You’ve had your chance, now it’s my turn.”

The Tengu launched another barrage of Air Bullets. This time, Phineas backflipped out of the way. One, two, three, four, five whole times. Phineas stopped before knocking into us.

“Trap them now!”

Tengu stomped on the ground. Huge root pillars rose like spears and surrounded our group.

“Phineas tunnel underground!”

“(Gotcha Pops!),” Phineas disappeared underground.

“Leo,” Brandy turned to me, “Follow Phineas underground and surprised them with one of your Fire attacks.”

I looked at the hole in the ground. One part of me was screaming “No way Jack!”, but the other part had a hold on me before I could even think. I jumped in after Phineas. The next thing I knew I could hear Brandy yell another attack.

“Soulful Burst!”

With a crash, I saw a light. I could hear the Ammit pounding away at the Tengu. When I realized where I was, I sped up in my crawling. Not that I was in any hurry to attack them, I just wanted out of that hole. I stopped near the opening of the hole almost ready to jump out when…

“That’s enough,” Tarsa appeared out of nowhere, “Filthlicker, finish this.”

I listened as poison gas shot out from that disgusting Yokai’s mouth. I could hear everyone coughing before fainting to the ground. I could almost smell the gas coming closer through the hole behind me. I stuck my nose out just far enough for enough fresh air.

“Gwah!” Phineas was struck down with a single tackle from the crimson toad. Phineas made a dent in one of the trees that surrounded Karen and Brandy.

“(Crud…),” I stood agape at what I had just witnessed.

What else could I do? Fight? I didn’t know how! Call me a coward all you want, but I’m not like Leo! Leo had years of training and experience. I only have thirty minutes of experience, Max! And even if I knew how to use Fire, it’d still be pointless to go up against these particular Yokai.

“(I’m not down for the count!)”

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Ammit stood up again. Not only that but it started to dance mockingly at Filthlicker. He huffed, but couldn’t move even two steps.

“Girls, if you wouldn’t mind,” Tarsa asked, “We’ve put off the ritual long enough.”

“Tengu, Guardian's Roar!”

Tengu used its leaf fans to twist a tornado. Phineas was whisked into the air. He screamed as he twirled wildly out of control. He began to glow and burst into a red light as he was forcefully returned to his bell on the other side of the wooden columns.

“Shall we finish them off,” the blond almost leaped for joy. Her Sunsprite mimicked its master’s actions, despite its frozen arm.

“No, let’s leave them be,” the other priestess returned her Yokai to its seal, “As Tarsa said, we’ve put off the ritual long enough.”

“She’s right,” Tarsa retrieving Filthlicker, “Leave them be, for now.”

“Awe,” the blond frowned, calling her Sunsprite.

If right now you are wondering why Tarsa left me alone with Jade… Then don’t.

Here’s what happened.

“Immortality is but one ritual away,” Tarsa chuckled to himself.

“Do you really expect these girls to go along with this,” Jade argued loudly so that Kenda could hear them. Kenda did take a moment to focus in on the conversation.

“Of course,” Tarsa shouted proudly, “We have been training for this day for years.”

“But you’re going to kill these girls for your own ambitions.”

“We all share the same great ambition,” Tarsa laughed gleefully. When Kenda looked away again, Tarsa’s smile turned sinister again, “You can’t beat me at this game, child. I’ve had years of practice.”

“Bastard,” Jade growled.

“I’m not proud of it,” Tarsa sighed, turning to the small green Yokai that I knew too well, “Take Lord Pseudo to his ‘seat of honor’.”

“(… Yes sir…),” the Kodama sighed as he took hold of of me, “(I’m sorry about this, little guy.)”

“(Den led meh gough!)”

“(I wish I could let you go, but I’m not allowed to…),” the Kodama (with me in his arms) hopped down to the stone circle. There was a crashing sound in the distance. Tarsa left to investigate the noise.

“(Kuick, Nows youghr janse, Leb meh gough.),” I screamed as best as I could.

“(I can’t… I’m sorry.),” the Kodama’s paws began to glow a deep green.

“(Whie nawt),” he was taking my energy.

“(It’s for my Trainer’s sake.),” he sighed sadly, “(Please understand. If I don’t do as Tarsa says, he’ll kill my Trainer.)”

“(Buhd yough… er gillin… meh.),” I couldn’t move.

“(I’m sorry…)”

“Quit giving him that “I’m sorry” crap,” Jade yelled a him, “I told you what happened to your Trainer.”

…Jade can understand Yokai?…

“(You’re a liar!),” the Kodama stopped absorbing as much of my energy, “(My Trainer would never do that! Never!)”

“I saw him do it myself.”

…What are they talking about?…

“(My Idiot may be a friend!… Gaia, I mean my Friend may be an idiot, but he would never do something that…! He’d never do something so… Selfish and Heartless as to kill himself!)”

…Wait, I’m the one who… it can’t be…I couldn’t smile, so I laughed weakly instead.

“(What are you laughing about?),” Terry snapped, “(No, wait are you… happy?)”

…I can’t believe that he’s still such a tiny Kodama…

“(What are you so happy about?)”

…Oh right, I should be scared for my life… But it was him… Terry… My Terry…

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