Chapter 27 - Farewell
"Rai..." Kimiko began. Rai suddenly sat upright and started to scurry away from her, jabbering in a language she had never heard before. "Rai, what's wrong?"
Rai continued to speak in his strange language. Chiyoko cautiously approached "Rai, just stay calm down."
Rai stared for moment and when he spoke again it is slow and cautious as if he wasn't sure if the words would come out right.
"Who are you? Why can I understand you? Who is Rai?"
Hannibal turned to Wuya. "Begin."
Wayu pulled out the Glove of Jisaku and placed Rai's dagger on top of it.
"Glove of Jisaku!"
The glove and the dagger glowed the same light as the magnet parts appeared. Wuya placed the still glowing glove on the ground as slowly specific pieces of dust and ash start flying towards it, steadily becoming a bigger pile.
Hannibal chuckled to himself. "Soon."
Kimiko stared blankly at Rai for a moment. "Listen would you excuse us for one moment."
Next thing Chiyoko knew she was being pinned against a tree by a less than pleased Kimiko.
"Alright lady," Kimiko said. "Start talking or I start hitting."
"Listen Kimiko, I really don't think you should be hosti..." She was silenced by Kimiko's fist connecting with her gut.
"I won't ask twice."
Chiyoko managed to wheeze out an answer out an answer. "Look, you might not have noticed it but Rai carried that demon inside in for quite a while. Dormant or not that's still a chunk of his existence that's effectively been ripped out." Kimiko raised her fist again causing Chiyoko to talk even quicker. "This isn't permanent! The change to his body was instantaneous but his mind and spirit needs time to catch up."
Kimiko pulled back her fist. "Alight, so all we have to do is keep Rai calm and contained while we wait for that to happen." Kimiko then turned to where Rai had been only to see that he had already run off. "Right after we find him."
Rai through the forest, not sure where he was or where he was going but certain that he had seen blood on one of those strange women's clothing and when he heard them hit each other he knew that it was time for him to get out of there.
Where was he?
Where was home?
And why didn't he see root until it tripped him up?
As Rai fell he did something that involved a roll and a skid and somehow resulted in him on his back staring up at the night sky. Despite having just a moment been running for dear life he found himself calm down as he stared at the stars
Slowly memories starting creep on of nights spent looking for that one star. Of a lying in this very position as the raft he had been left on floated further and further away from his home into the unknown.
While he lay there, continuing to stare up at the night sky, his memories started to return.
The old lady sat quietly with her cat as she listened to what the wind had to tell her.
"Well Hu," she said her cat. "I could be mistaken but I think things are going to start getting interesting very soon." She gave a her cat a quick scratch behind the ear. "Don't disappoint me Rai."
When Rai finally sat up again, most of the stars had disappeared as the forest started to light up with the whisper of dawn on the horizon.
He stood up and started to dust himself off. His memory had returned. He was Rai, those two women he had run away from had been Kimiko & Chiyoko and not too long ago he had agreed to a spell that could potentially make him human again.
Had it worked?
"Well look who finally returned to the party." Rai turned to see Clone Rai standing there with a couple of suitcases. "Sorry for the delay in seeing the new you but we had to pack and you won't believe the amount of baggage there was to sort through." Clone Rai then paused for a moment before he threw his suitcases away. "Like we actually need suitcases where we're headed."
"Where are we headed?" Rai asked.
"You're not heading anywhere." Clone Rai answered. "The rest of us on the other hand..."
"Is it time to go?" Little Rai appeared beside Rai.
"Almost," Clone Rai answered. "I just figured that the boss deserved a decent goodbye."
"Goodbye?" Rai did a double take. "You guys are leaving?"
"You're free." Little Rai answered, making no effort to hide the joy in his voice. "We've served our purpose and now it's time to move on."
"Move on? You're creations of my mind." Rai stated. "How can you just move on?"
"Well to tell you the truth I don't know how this is going to work." Clone Rai answered. "Once this conversation is over, we go bye-bye somehow. I can't say we will just move on to a higher plain of thought, whether we'll be reborn as a new part of your mind or whether we'll just stop existing. I guess that's just part of the fun."
"So what I'm human now so all my problems have suddenly disappeared?" Rai couldn't believe this.
"Oh hell no, you've still got enough issues to sort out." Clone Rai answered. "You'll have to come to grips with stuff like having to fit back into society. That morbid eccentricity of yours was comedic as a demon but as a human it will just be plain psychotic. But that's for you sort out."
Before Rai could answer little Rai jumped into his arms. "There is a world full people that will help you." He explained. "You don't need us anymore."
Rai sighed as he gave little Rai once last hug. "Doesn't mean I won't miss you. Goodbye."
Little Rai jumped back down, gave one last wave and started skipping away while he slowly dissolved into nothing.
A pair of silver eyes appeared on Rai's shadow. The shadow then rose up became a three dimensional entity. He then stood beside Rai and glared at him for a few moments. "So long jerkwad." He started to walk away.
"Wait!" The shadow stopped and turn back as Rai called it. "Look, you were a part of me I never liked and frankly I'm glad to see you go..."Rai swallowed." ...but when things got really bad I forgot who I was you were what helped keep me alive long enough to remember what was important. So thank you for that."
The shadow bowed his head slightly and started to leave, slowly dissolving into nothing.
"Well." Clone Rai shook Rai's hand. "It's been one heck of a ride." He loosened his grip and was about to leave but Rai didn't let go.
"So that's it?" Rai asked in disbelief. "No final closing number? Just an imaginary hand shake and a walk away. Aren't you at least going make some effort?"
Clone Rai got out of Rai's grip and stared at him bemused. "Are you sure? Wouldn't it be better to play it low key and not ruin the moment?"
"Since when has low key been our style?"
A cheeky grin appeared of Clone Rai's face. He did a quick turn on the spot, his clothes morphed into a tuxedo. As he caught a microphone that flew in out of nowhere, he was suddenly under a spotlight as the forest filled with the music.
"For what is a man what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way"
As the music built to a climax and the spotlight started to dim, Clone Rai slowly started to dissolve as well until only his voice remained.
"Yes it was my way."
Rai clapped until the forest was yet again completely silent.
"Hear that?" Kimiko said
"Is someone clapping?" Chiyoko asked.
"Come on this way."
After Rai finished his standing ovation he noticed a clearing nearby that was already being filled with the morning sun.
Despite how inviting the sun filled looked, Rai still remained in the shadows. The necklace around Rai's neck glowed once as a ball of silver light. It grew and changed until standing in front of Rai, still bathed in silver light, was someone he hadn't seen in a long time.
"Chiyo." Rai whispered in disbelief
Chiyo smiled kindly at him. "Hello Rai. It is good to see you again."
"Um...Yeah...it's good to see you too." Rai stammered slightly. "Listen don't take this the wrong way but are you actually here? Cause I don't remember hallucinating about you before." Chiyo just gave him a faint smile. "But that would be making things too easy for me wouldn't it?"
"I finally kept my promise," Chiyo answered. "Sorry it took so long."
"Hey you know what they say, better late than never." Rai gave a nervous chuckle at his own joke. "So this real, isn't it? I'm actually human again?"
Chiyo gestured towards the clearing. "There is one way to find out."
Rai was about to step forward but then hesitated.
"I'm scared." he admitted. "What if being human is actually over rated and I was better off being a demon? How do I know that I'll even remember the fundamentals of being human?"
Chiyo calmly held out her arms. "Take me hands." Rai cautiously obeyed, marvelling at how real they felt. "Rai, this is the real you. Being human isn't something you forget." Chiyo gently pulled, coaxing Rai forward. "It's about taking that first step and hoping for the best."
At that Rai stepped forward into the sun light. As the light fell on him he felt the suns warmth for the first time in a long time.
And it felt wonderful.
Kimiko and Chiyoko arrived to see Rai standing alone in the clearing, basking in the sunlight.
"Rai?" Kimiko asked cautiously. As he turned to the sound of her voice she saw that tears were streaming down face.
"This is real." Rai said with an awe- filled voice. He raced over to Kimiko and pulled her into a hug. "I'm human."
A single tear of joy fell down fell down her cheek. "Yes you are Rai. Welcome to the club."
Wuya and Hannibal stared at the large pile that had gathered around the Glove of Jisaku. "I think that about does it." Hannibal chuckled as he saw the faint beginings of what he had been waiting for. "Time for the next phase."
Wuya pulled out the Rio Reverser while Hannibal floated the treasure of the blind swordsman over.
The chest open and out rose the spirit of the blind swordsman. "What is your bidding Master?"
"Would you be so kind as to lend the Rio Reverser some of your power?"
The swordsman nodded briefly before he touched the Rio Reverser with his sword. It glowed brightly as Wuya placed the empowered Wu into the pile. The pile started to glow as well as it morphed and twist.
Omi trained in the courtyard. He was busy with light exercises that helped him to stay focused and alert. He stopped when he saw Clay walk in with Dojo on his shoulder. "Any word from Kimiko?" Omi asked.
"Not a peep but don't worry." Clay assured. "That fire girl knows how to take care of her self."
"I think we've got other problems." Dojo suddenly said. "Look!"
Clay and Omi looked where Dojo was pointing and suppressed a gasp. It had barely started but there was no denying it.
The Heylin Eclipse wasn't just happening soon.
It was happening today.
Slowly the finally changed into a gigantic demonic snake. It had blacks, red demonic eyes and it's whole body glowed a faint red with power.
Large black wings grew out of it's back as it rose up into the sky. Clouds appeared over the creature as thunder and lighting filled the air.
"I am Zhanchi Fenhui! Who dares enter my domain?"