Chapter One: Enslavement
It was a day like any other, Koenma was routinely stamping paperwork deciding the fates of those whose souls were either good or evil or something in between. Yet, something was unsettling him. Beads of sweat rolled down his face and he looked up from his desk. Putting his stamper down, he turned to his blue ogre assistant, who was bringing in more paper work. "George, I need to speak with Botan… Something... is coming this way… Yusuke has to be warned…"
George looked highly alarmed by this, "Of course Koenma sir! I'll send Botan in right away!" said the blue ogre as he bowed and ran out the room.
Koenma got up from his chair, and walked towards the window in his office. All he saw was endless yellow clouds and never-ending pink skies. Yet something disturbed him.
Meanwhile, at Genkai's compound
In a small secluded compound in the middle of a forest, an old woman sat alone meditating. She opened her eyes and looked towards the sky. She could sense a presence that felt... Wrong. Whatever it was it didn't belong, not in this dimension anyway. Something was coming and would be upon them soon and whatever it was it was coming from Demon World…
Back in Spirit World
Koenma was still standing at the window when Botan walked in. "Koenma, sir, I was told you wanted to see me?" She hadn't seen Koenma look so disturbed since they had closed the Sensui case. She was worried, the only time Koenma had ever called for her directly was if he had a case for Yusuke, but he was no longer Spirit Detective.
"Something in Demon World is disturbing the balance of this dimension. I don't know what it is, but I can feel something is coming… Something is going to happen soon, but I don't have any clue as to what it is…"
Botan looked at the Spirit World's prince with a frown on her face, "Strange, I haven't felt anything off, and neither has anyone else as far as I know…"
"It's very subtle, I could barely feel it at first, but now that I know what to look for I can feel it getting stronger… It feels… Wrong…"
"I'll make sure the boys are ready for what may come," Botan assured him.
Koenma shook his head, "There is no preparing for something like this… I fear we may not be able to stop what it is that has come for us…"
Somewhere in Demon World
Five Demons stood in the middle of a barren wasteland. This area of Demon World was so dead and devoid of life that even the scavengers avoided it. However, this was not the case for these five. Their leader wore a long black robe with a white scarf. His eyes were closed in concentration, and his hands were in his pockets. There was a faint, light blue glow coming from behind his head band.
"We shouldn't be here…" said one of the demons. "It feels wrong…"
"Silence fool, or I will kill you before whatever is about to happen does. We have our task and we will complete it, so remain silent before I remove your ability to create any sort of noise.
The other four demons cringed in fear. The demon who had spoken was merely a 'D' Class Demon, but his spiritual awareness was incredibly high. Two of the others were 'C' Class Demons and the last was ranked in the middle 'B' Class. Hiei was known through out Demon World for his ruthless efficiency and cold, calculating demeanor. When he had first returned all those years ago, he had already mastered the Forbidden Darkness Flame and was a lower 'A' Class Demon. After months of training with none other than the ruthless Makuro, he had rapidly gained power. At the time of the Demon World Tournament to decide who would become King of Demon World, Hiei had already become an upper 'A' Class Demon on the verge of becoming an 'S' Class.
No one knew exactly what happened during the fight between Makuro and Hiei, but neither had been the same since. Makuro's temper seemed to have waned and her power seemed to diminish considerably, while Hiei seemed to gain a sense of purpose and his power continually seemed to grow. While his power still hadn't reached 'S' Class levels, it was only a matter of time.
Hiei opened his eyes and gasped.
"Hiei, what did you sense?" asked a second demon. They were all looking at Hiei in fear, not sure what to do. His Jagan Eye started glowing brighter and his headband disintegrated His crimson eyes dilated and he seemed frozen in place. His breathing had become rapid and heavy. They started panicking and arguing amongst themselves, mainly they feared the wrath of Makuro should anything happen to the three-eyed fire apparition. Though nothing had ever been said outright, nearly every demon could tell she had a soft spot for him long before the tournament, and they knew that Hiei's demise would ultimately cause the return of the old Makuro, the fierce 'S' Class Demon that not even Raizen or Yomi had ever dared to face in battle.
Hiei, of course, heard none of this. He was completely unaware of his own surroundings. As far as he could tell, he was in the middle of a black void, and he could hear a high pitched cackling all around him. "It was difficult to see, but it's there… I have looked into the depths of your soul and found the shadow of what you once were. I see the loathing for the ugly one that wishes to marry your dearest sister… Your frustration at not being able to defeat the Urameshi brat… Even when you were a stronger, more capable fighter than he, he still stole victory out of the jaws of defeat. I see the hatred that once burned in your heart, the hatred that you once felt for the entire human race. I see how that hatred has been redirected at yourself and what you have now become… I can help you; I can free you from your current restraints and give you unimaginable power… Enough power to close the difference between yourself and Urameshi, so that you may defeat him… Perhaps kill, if that's what your heart desires. You will no longer be the weak, pathetic Demon you are now… You'd be stronger, more powerful than even the strongest of the 'S' Class. Shed your weakness and join me… Hiei, the Swordsman… The Forbidden Child…"
Hiei remembered everything, of what he had been and what he had become. He at one time sought the destruction of both the Ice World and the Human World… He sought power the likes that neither Toguro nor Sensui had ever seen… It wasn't long before he learned his sister was searching for him. The thought that someone could love him was… odd, foreign to Hiei's hateful mind. In time, he had wanted her to be proud of him, and he wanted to protect her and ensure her safety… Thus he had the Jagan Eye surgically implanted into his forehead. He had given up well over 99 of his power, so that he could do so. Over time, he had begun to see his powers return and bolster the power the Jagan Eye gave him. With the Eye he was as cold and ruthless as ever. It wasn't until his fights with the then Spirit Detective, Yusuke Urameshi, that he realized his strength, and his beliefs were not enough. To make matters worse, his distractions in the Human World had allowed his own sister to be captured by those despicable Toguro Brothers. In the end, it was the simpleton detective and his imbecile side-kick that saved her in the end.
Urameshi's power continued to flourish, as did his own. Their powers nearly matched each others at the start of the Dark Tournament, and by the end… Hiei was a mere lower 'B' Class Demon, while Urameshi had the equivalent to an Upper 'B' Class… perhaps a Lower 'A' Class.
Somewhere along the way, he had managed to befriend the Detective and his friends along the way. He even respected the powers of that oaf, Kuwabara. He hated what he became… A Savior to the Human Race, a friend to the Human, turned Demon, which had defeated him on a stroke of pure luck. He even began to accept the odd relationship between his own sister and the imbecile… Knowing that Yukina was safe and no longer needed his protection, he had lost his sense of purpose after the Sensui fight. He no longer enjoyed fighting, no longer relished in the feeling of taking the life of another living being. He had become… soft… These last few years with Makuro proved that, and he had done the same to her. His fight with her during the Demon World Tournament was never about seeing who was stronger, or whether or not he deserved to be King. No, he understood her motivations for fighting as she had understood his. His final attack, was never about killing, or merely defeating, the Legendary 'S' Class Demon, but freeing her from her bonds of hatred, letting him know that he did understand.
Somehow he had developed feelings of affection for her… Knowing she returned those feelings strengthened him, but it was not enough… It was never enough, and he knew that all of his ambitions and dreams of conquest were over. He was far from the Demon who fought the amateur Spirit Detective, Yusuke Urameshi; he was something else entirely… Something filled with compassion, and mercy, and… love… The thought of how weak he had become when he had started to gain powers beyond all of his imagining sickened him and buried deep down in his heart he resented himself for it. Could he give it all up? Could he throw away those friendships and the life he had led for so long, so that he could become the cold ruthless Hiei that gave nightmares to apparitions everywhere? Could he commit an act of treason amongst his allies, turning away from the former Detective, his sister and lover?
Hiei's aura flared. The cackling in his mind returned. He started shaking. He could feel it, all of the power he had denied himself for so long, just waiting to burst forth… Would he deny the feeling… Turn away from it, or would he embrace it and let in consume him? There was a burst of power coming from him; his comrades all shielded their eyes. His robes were blown away and the bandages on his left arm dissolved. The black runic dragon on his arm started to glow a deep crimson.
"Urameshi, did you feel that?" asked Kuwabara.
"Yeah, and I can't say I like it…" said Yusuke, "Strange… It almost feels like it's coming from Demon World…"
"Do you think Kurama or Genkai knows what it is?" asked Kuwabara, then his face formed a deep frown, "That… feels like… Hiei…"
"Are you sure? Not even my ancestor was THAT powerful…" stated Yusuke, "Though while that burst of energy does feel familiar, it also feels… I dunno… wrong…"
"I think we should find Kurama and see what he knows…" said Kuwabara hesitantly.
"Neither of you will have to search far as I've found you," said Kurama walking towards them, "and I do believe Kuwabara is correct in assuming that that energy signature does belong to Hiei… However, that feeling of 'wrong-ness' is unlike ANYTHING I have ever felt before, so we'd best be on our guard."
"What should we do?" asked Kuwabara.
"Assuming that something has happened to Hiei, it might be wise to move our families to Genkai's compound for the time being and wait for the arrival of Koenma's emissary, or the new Spirit Detective should he have answers…" said the Spirit Fox.
"Yusuke, what's going on?" asked a frightened Keiko, also making her way towards them.
"Wow, you can feel that too?" asked an amazed Kuwabara.
"Feel what?" she asked even more concerned, "Shizuru told me to meet her here…"
"In that case we just have to wait for her and Yukina to arrive and make our way to Genkai's…" stated Yusuke.
"What's going on…?" Keiko asked, she was minutes from having a nervous breakdown.
"That's just it… We don't know…"
Later, Genkai's Compound
"Seeing you all here mean just one thing…" said Genkai as her favorite dimwits approached her compound.
"Good, so you actually know what's going on Grandma?" asked Yusuke.
"Not quite dimwit. It only means that the ripples of energy I've been feeling are the signs of things to come. Something terrible is going to happen and it's only a matter of time before we see the affects here," said Genkai.
"Just before we all left the city we felt a surge in the power, we believe the signature belonged to Hiei, but we can't be certain…" said Kurama.
"Goodness! It's taken me forever to find all of you guys…" yelled Botan from above. "Koenma sent me to warn you guys, but it appears you all already know…"
"Let's take this inside, we're over exposed out here…" suggested Genkai, turning back towards her house.
"So Botan, did Koenma actually say what the heck is going on here?" asked Kuwabara.
Botan shook her head. "No, he only said he could feel something wrong coming from Demon World... I couldn't sense it until I got halfway here and that surge of power nearly knocked me off my oar."
"So then, what do we know about this... threat... other than it is coming from Demon World?" asked Kurama.
"Not much really," answered Botan, "Though Koenma did mention something about another dimension..."
"That was just what I suspected," said Genkai.
"As did I," added the Spirit Fox, "Did Koenma say how we were going about preparing for this?"
"Only that there was no preparing for a threat such as this," said Botan.
"How in the hell are we supposed to get ready for something like this if it's impossible?" Yusuke asked angrily. "What's next? We won't be able to fight it either?"
"Shut it dimwit!" Genkai yelled at Yusuke, "If whatever this disturbance is, is from another dimension, then we have no idea how to fight it or what it's strengths or weaknesses are. And if what Kuwabara and Kurama were sensing was correct, then whatever it is has already gotten a hold of Hiei."
"It's much worse then that," said Shizuru. Up until that point she had been silent, she hadn't said a word since she had met up with the others. She was looking down at her feet, beads of sweat were beginning to form on her forehead and she was shaking with fright.
"Shizuru? Sis?" asked Botan, Keiko and Kuwabara at the same time.
"You guys better put that barrier back up, because once that thing is through with Demon World its coming here and none of you will be able to stop it..."
"Shizuru, what's going on?" asked Yukina.
"Something, whatever it was, has taken hold of your brother..." Shizuru said, still shaking. "He's faithfully following the orders of that thing."
"M-my brother?" asked Yukina surprise clearly evident on her face. While Yusuke, Kurama and Botan all gasped. Kuwabara narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
"What is it that you guys know that we don't?" Kuwabara asked in a somewhat threatening manner.
"No... get... out of my... mind!" Shizuru said, clutching her head, before she screamed and collapsed. Further pressing about the identity of Yukina's brother was pushed out of everyone's mind.
"Sis!" yelled Kuwabara.
"Step back!" yelled Genkai, who then began to scan over Shizuru's still form. "She'll be alright. Whoever it was must have felt her spiritual awareness all the way from Demon World and wanted to eliminate her as a threat."
"What are we going to do, Grandma?" asked Yusuke.
Genkai thought for a moment. "Botan, go back to Spirit World and appraise Koenma of the situation. Yusuke and Kurama will go to Demon World and find out what's going on, and if possible, stop the threat before it spreads further."
"Hey! What about me? I may not be as strong as Urameshi, but I can still help!" complained Kuwabara.
"Which is exactly why you're staying here!" explained Genkai, "If Yusuke and Kurama fail in their mission, you, Kuwabara, will be the Earth's last line of defense. Once Hiei is done in Demon World he'll destroy the Ice World and then his next target will be Yukina and Human Realm."
"Why would he go after Yukina and her people?" asked Kuwabara dimly.
"Because it's him, isn't it Genkai? Hiei... is my brother?" asked Yukina, desperately wanting the answer that she was already almost certain of. Genkai nodded silently to the Ice Apparition. "Why didn't he tell me?" she asked with an almost pleading look in her eyes.
"Because..." to everyone's surprise, Yusuke spoke up, "because, he was ashamed... When you left after Kuwabara and I saved you from the Toguro Brothers, he told me 'Do you really think she wants to find out after all this time, her brother is a felon. Even you have had to come after me... It's better this way.'"
"He has wanted to tell you for sometime now, but he's been struggling with himself. We didn't tell you because it wasn't our right, and we didn't tell Kuwabara because he'd have never been able to keep such a secret from you." said Kurama, "I am genuinely surprised Yusuke managed to not tell Keiko." He cast a side long glance over at the former Spirit Detective.
"It just never came up," Yusuke said lamely, shrugging his shoulders.
"We don't have anymore time to waist, Hiei could have already demolished half of Demon World by now. If that power surge was anything to go by, he may be even stronger than you Yusuke."
"Relax Grandma, just leave everything to me!" Yusuke said with confidence, thought Genkai, Keiko, and Botan had looks of doubt on their faces. "But seriously though, I'll do my best to get Hiei away from whatever it is that's controlling him."
"Thank you, Yusuke," said Yukina, her eyes filled with worry.
"No problem," said the Former Spirit Detective as he gave he a small wink and a thumbs-up.
Keiko then walked up to Yusuke, tears in her eyes. "Y-Yusuke... Please be careful... I've already lost you twice... Don't make me go through it again..." She the thrust herself onto Yusuke wrapping her arms securely around his neck.
"I'll do my best to come home, Keiko," he said soothingly to the young woman. After a few moment of just holding each other, Keiko reluctantly let go and Yusuke was out the door.
"I'll look after him Keiko..." said Kurama as he too turned and left. A sense of foreboding crept into the room. Though no one voiced it, everyone could feel that one of them was not coming back.
"Kurama..." said Yusuke when they were out of earshot. "As soon as we get to Demon World, find Yomi... He'll be our last hope if I can't stop Hiei... And... Take care of Keiko..."
Kurama raised an eyebrow, but said nothing for quite sometime. "Are you planning on facing off with Hiei as soon as we get there?"
"I'm going to find Makuro first... She knows Hiei better than anyone, even us, but if what Shizuru said is true, I think even she is in for a few surprises..." Yusuke told the Spirit Fox.
"I knew Hiei best from before we fought with you and Kuwabara, when I felt his power earlier... It felt as it did when I first met him... Only far stronger and more intense than it has ever been..." Kurama shook his head, "If that is the case, I'm not sure if you, Yomi and Makuro can take Hiei as long as whatever it is that is controlling him is still alive."
"It's a risk we're going to have to take," said Yusuke in all seriousness.
"We're here..." said Kurama. They had been walking for several minutes through the forest and had arrived at the clearing where they would find their entrance into the Demon World. "Ready?"
"As I'll ever be..." Yusuke answered.
Kurama raised his hand and a surge of energy rippled through the surrounding country side for miles. Slowly a black portal began to open, energy was just pouring from it.
"I don't like the feeling of that," said Yusuke shielding his eyes as the wind all around them began to pick up.
"Nor do I..." said Kurama as the Portal opened and became stable. The Spirit Fox and the Mazako gathered up their courage and jumped through the portal, which closed after they had left.
A ripple of power made all of the candles lighting the room flicker. As one, everyone turned to the direction Kurama and Yusuke had come from. The wind from that direction was beginning to pick up.
"There's no mistaking it now..." said Kuwabara, "THAT is definitely Hiei putting out all that energy..."
"Master Genkai," Yukina looked to the wise, old woman, worry written all over her face, "Will they be alright? Can they really save my brother?"
"It's hard to say right now... But if anyone can, it's Yusuke," she answered sagely.
Keiko turned away from the window, she had a steady flow of tears since Yusuke had left. "Please, Yusuke... please be alright..." Little did she know, Genkai's thoughts and worries were mirroring her own.