Chapter 25: Tarsa’s Climax
Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day. Light a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.
As the ritual finally began, Terry kept me immobilized on the center stone. The Priestesses stood with their backs to Terry and me. They kept their eyes on their respective Yokai.
“Bring forth the sunlight,” he motioned to the blond’s Sunsprite to summon a Shine Ball, “Rise and give us the energy to grow strong.”
Even though it was near midnight, Sunsprite’s Shine Ball produced an artificial sun that was bright enough to eclipse the moon. A bright light rained down on the stone site.
“Summon from the depths of the earth,” Kenda’s Canotila burried its feet into the stone, “the dust of the earth which gives us form.”
Canotila released a storm of powder attacks. A purple poison powder, her special golden paralysis pollen, and blue sleep powder mixed together to form a fowl cloud. Canotila followed all this with a pink cloud I figured it may have been a mixture for an antidote of the fowl cloud. These twin clouds swirled around within the ritual site into a magnificent emerald green.
“Bring forth the winds,” he motioned for the Tengu to use it’s fans to whip the clouds under his control, “the breath that fills us with life.”
The Tengu’s winds grabbed the dust and forced it all into a column of wind. These winds surrounded the centerpiece, cutting Terry and me off from the outside world. The artificial sun topped off the tornado. I hate to admit it, but the sight was… surprisingly beautiful.
Terry swiftly stripped the mask from my beak, before getting started on untying the ropes.
“(I’m so glad you’re safe!),” I chirped.
“(What the heck do you mean by that?),” Terry yelled as he finished untying me, “(Never mind, you have to get out of here now!)”
“Creatures born from the fires of Hell, We banish thee to the depths of the earth,” Tarsa called out, “Great Sango take our noble sacrifice to the heavens and rain down your Judgement of Thunder.”
The Shine Ball fell down like an anvil. I flinched, but Terry caught it at the last second.
“(Move it! Shoo! Scram!),” Terry begged me, tilting his head in the direction I should go.
“(Not without you.)”
“(You’re crazy kid.),” Terry’s claws glowed a soft green,“(Now run! I’m risking everything to save you right now!)”
“(No, I can’t!)”
“(Give me one reason why not!)”
“(Because we made a promise, Terry!)”
“(How do you know that name!),” Terry snapped almost dropping the shining orb, “(No one’s called me that for months. How could a mere hatchling like you know that name!)”
“(Terry…),” I ignored his questions, “(You were going to be the strongest Yokai in Golnar.)”
“(What ar-),” Terry stood still as he continued to absorb the Shine Ball’s energy. I just ranted on.
“(I was going to pass school with flying colors.)”
“(What sch-),” Terry growled.
“(We promised mom we were going to bring back a Trophy the size of a Swimming Pool!)”
Terry’s eye’s widened.
He didn’t respond as the last of the Shine Ball’s energy was absorbed into his body.
“(It killed me last time I lost you.),” I shook, it felt cold. It was as if, I said something that I shouldn’t have.
Terry stayed quiet for a few more seconds before he sat down, “(Oh Gaia...)”
…I killed them. Oh, God… I killed them all……It’s my fault they’re dead……But my curse… it’s still here…
“So how did it go, dear Master Pseudo?”
“You lied to me,” I screeched, “You said the curse would be lifted.”
“And it has,” Tarsa laughed, “the world is finally rid of you cursed Fabulists.”
"Bastard,” I swung at him with the cane he got me. He caught it.
“Ah, the cursed Rod of Pulata, with the power to absolutely control Ganic Yokai,” Tarsa grinned as the cane was slipped out of my weaker hands, “Did I forget to mention the price of using it?”
My legs were giving in. Tarsa stood there smiling at me, or at least I think he was. My sight was failing me. Everything was fuzzy… getting darker…
“Using it even once can risk one’s life. So sad for you. Now be sure to tell your father that I’ll be seeing him soon,” Tarsa blew a purple powder into my eyes. It burned worse than the pain in my abdomen. I felt the entire world spinning as I tumbled backward. I fell onto my bed and listened as my heart slowed to a stop.
I could have sworn that I could hear someone clapping.
“Rendement Maximum, Tarsa,” a dark voice said as the cold gripped onto me.
“So glad you enjoyed yourself.”
"There was an excellent selection of bodies to choose from,” the man’s voice change a few times in that single sentence, ”how’s this one for my form when I’m mortal."
“Yes, Derrick fits you well.”
I heard a lighter, the fowl stench of smoke filled the air, ”Blah, I just wish that he was a smoker. Guess he’ll have to get used to it."
“I’ll get my prize now, right?”
“Not quite yet,” the fiend had my son’s voice as snickered, “There were complications.”
“Your mother interfered again.”
I could barely hear them now.
“Damn that woman,” Tarsa cussed, “Can’t she see that I’m doing this for her.”
“She feels that what you are doing is, how did she put it,” Derrick’s voice coughed, ”Morally wrong.”
…God bless Charlotte… she truly is the best cook we ever had… I thought as I could see the light.
“What does she know,” Tarsa screamed, though to me it only sounded like a whisper, “I’m going to make that man pay for what he did to her, Even if it takes me a hundred years!”
“If you feel that strongly about it,” the voice took a second to enjoy his cigar, “Then how about I get you a nice gift to make the last four years worthwhile.”
A claw stabbed its way into my chest. It felt like a fire was ignited inside my lungs. I couldn’t breathe. The light was fading. It was slipping away from me. I was so close to the other side. My very soul was being torn from my body and put someplace else… into some place warm.
“Take care of your new master, Pseudo,” that voice echoed in my head, “Or I’ll be sure that you will never see your family again.”
I watched as dark clouds swirled overhead. Lightning was jumping from cloud to cloud, preparing for its attack on the Earth. From what I could recall about the Sango, they were supposedly the Legendary Yokai of Thunder.
“Now’s the time, Jade,” Tarsa turned to me, “Incinerate the sacrifices.”
I stayed quiet. I was searching for their presence, but could feel nothing. Then where was Tyrone? He should have been back with help by now.
“Kill them or else…,” Tarsa growled. I had to stall.
“I won’t do it.”
“No? Well then,” Tarsa’s eyes narrowed, “your little brother will pay the price.”
“I don’t have a little brother,” I raised the medallion to his face, “Phoenix Ga-”
Tarsa knocked the wind out of me with the top of his cane to my stomach.
“Then I’ll do it myself,” he laughed as he released his Akaname again, “Exterminate them Filthlicker!”
The Akaname shot off a Hi Burst, but it was deflected by an Air Bullet. Tengu had protected the tower of dust and his dark haired master.
“Tarsa, what are you doing,” the dark head yelled, “that’s not part of the ritual!”
“Forget that,” The blond shouted from her pedestal, “That was a fire attack! How dare you use the power of the enemy!”
“How dare your Yokai defy me,” Tarsa shouted, raising his cane, “Sit down!”
Upon stamping the cane on the stone floor, the priestess’s Yokai fell to the ground without hesitation.
“Filthlicker, use Hi Burst again!”
“Tengu stop him now!”
“Ignore her,” Tarsa stamped again, and Tengu paused. This time, there was nothing to stop the fireball from turning the powder tornado into a spinning firewall.
“Take hold of your Masters,” Tarsa ordered. The top of his cane emitted a strange light.
“The cane…,” I realized a little too late.
The Priestess's Yokai had no choice, but to comply. Canotila (Having short arms and being stuck to the ground) wasn’t able to get a hold of Kenda. She just stood in terror of what was going on.
“You can’t beat me. This rod was given to me by a god,” Tarsa laughed to himself, “Of course an item of this caliber comes with a heavy price, but when I’m this close to Divinity what’s a little bit of one’s soul.”
“Phoenix Gat-,” I didn’t have time to use it against him as he kicked me.
“Stop this Tarsa,” Kenda pleaded with him, “This is not what we wanted… what we strived fo-”
“Stupid Bitch! I’m in control here. Me! I will become a god! I will kill all of you to do it! And then I’ll make you pay for all eternity for your insolence! Do you hear me!”
Tarsa was going mad with power. He raised his cane one last time. This time, to hit me with it.
“(Leave my Aneki alone!),” Tyrone howled as he leaped onto the platform and bit down hard on Tarsa’s leg.
“Gah, let go you Damn Mutt,” Tarsa hit Tyrone instead of me, “I said let go! I’m the master here!”
No matter how hard Tarsa struck, Tyrone wouldn’t lose his grip. He refused to let go of the leg. That is unless it was to get a better grip into it.
“Eat this,” Karen threw a rock at Tarsa. Bullseye in the forehead! Tarsa’s large body fell backwards off the platform but took Tyrone with him.
“(No),” Tarsa’s Akaname seemed to wake up and jumped down after them.
“Are you alright, Jade,” Brandy leaped onto the platform.
“I’m fine,” I said as I got to my feet, “We have to put out that fire, quick!”
“Phineas, we need you to make it rain,” Brandy ordered his Ammit, “Full blast!”
“(Okay Pops!),” Phineas released a geyser of water upon the firewall. The storm clouds faded away as the flames died down. The Kodama and Phoenix were drenched in water. Terry ran off into the woods. The Phoenix tried to follow him but fainted almost immediately after the flames were extinguished.
“No, Tyler,” Brandy and Karen both jumped down to retrieve the chick.
“(Hey! Get back here!),” Tyrone barked and growled. Turned around to see that Akaname was getting away with Tarsa on his back. Tyrone was unable to get up, most likely due to a neurotoxin.
“Where do you think you’re going,” I made a mad dash after them. It shouldn’t have been hard. I wasn’t that out of shape, but I still had the wind knocked out of me.
“There they are,” police officers appeared out of nowhere, “Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut!”
“What the-,” Kenda shrieked as the officers surrounded the area.
“Don’t move we have you surrounded,” Officer Mara announced, “Tarsa Coiner you are under arrest!”
“(Stay back!),” Filthlicker hissed, “(Stay back or I’ll gas you all.)”
“He’s a criminal Akaname,” I told him, “I know you don’t want to do any of this.”
“(He’s going to die if you touch him.),” Filthlicker threatened by whipping his tongue out, “(I can’t let that happen.)”
“If Tarsa needs help then that should be even more reason for you to hand him over to Officer Mara.”
“(No, I won’t… I can’t… my family…)”
“Jade, let me handle this,” another man followed by Louis, brushed his way past Officer Mara, “Calm down, Filthlicker.”
“Louis,” I was shocked to see that he was alright, “Where were you?”
“I did like you told me to,” Louis bounced his way into my arms, “If you’re ever got into trouble, then get Uncle Smith.”
“Uncle Smith,” I looked at my uncle. He smiled. In all honesty, I didn’t recognize him at first. I also told Louis to do that years ago. I couldn’t believe that he even remembered that.
“(You!?! Get away!),” the Akaname ran for it when he saw my Uncle Smith.
“How dare you threaten my niece. Come out Kyuubi,” the man appeared to release a black Kyuubi to the field.
“(Your what? No!)”
“You cannot get away. Foxfire now Kyuubi,” Uncle Smith called out. Matchless black flames swirled themselves around Akaname and Tarsa.
“(No, let us go!),” he growled, wastefully firing random Hi Bursts at the black Will-o-wisps, “(Let me go!)”
“It’s over now.” Uncle Smith took a few steps closer to them, “you can rest easy now.”
“(Forgive me if I don’t believe you, Tenma-ah-aaa-aaga-a…),” The Akaname shook for a moment, before stopping… completely frozen in place. For a few seconds, he continued to look like he was having trouble talking. Soon his eyes glazed over and fell flat under the weight of his master.
Uncle Smith quickly ran up to it and closed its eyes, so Louis wouldn’t cry.
"Votre travail est fait… Pseudo,” Uncle Smith quickly prayed.