Every ending is a new beginning.
“(What is up with you Jonathan!?!),” Sigma nagged at me, “(You haven’t done one thing to find the Phoenix Gate yet! And instead, you get yourself into trouble like you’re some helpless lemming with a death wish!)”
“(Phoenix Gate?…),” I would have face-palmed myself, “(That’s right, I was supposed to find it.)”
“(Well, I…Why is it I couldn’t remember until now?)”
“(That’s what I want to know!)”
“(Of course, it might have helped if you had… oh I don’t know, tell me more information than that I need to find it!)”
“(Don’t you yell at me…),” Sigma huffed, “(It’s your own fault that you woke up too soon last time.)”
“(I can’t control when I wake up!)”
“(Look, we’re running out of time!),” Sigma finally got serious, “(You only have until the New Year’s festival to find it.)”
“(New Year’s? But that’s almost a year from now.)”
“(Not human New Years, John.),” Sigma flicked me on the head, “(The Kyuubi New Year’s festival.)”
“(The Kyuubi New Years?)”
“(Doesn’t anybody tell you anything? Every year, the Kyuubi of every region gather together to discuss… Ugh, look just find the Phoenix Gate within the next two months and make sure that no humans or possible demons have it.)”
“(Well, I’d be glad to go looking for it, but as you might have guessed I’m not exactly a free ranged Phoenix.),” I said to him, Sigma just smirked at me, “(Why do I have the feeling that you’re about to tell me something that I’m really not going to like?)”
“(The last place that anyone saw the Pheonix Gate was near Golnar Vermilion Academy.)”
“(At School? No, I won't go back there.)”
“(Stop being such a stubborn child.)”
“(I’m not… That hell is the last place that I ever want to be.)”
“(Why are you mortals alway so touchy?)”
“(It’s the place where I died, so you can’t really expect me to be overjoyed about it.)”
“(Well, get over it, because finding that relic is more important than your silly little emotional scars.)”
“(Besides that… how can you lose a gate, to begin with?)”
“(It’s not really a ‘gate’ purrrsay.)” Sigma waved its hand in the air a little and materialized a golden medal with a large red ruby in its center, “(Looks kind of like this.)”
“(You call that a gate?)”
“(Well, that’s what it is. It’s a gate. A locked portal. An opening to that which is forbidden except to an extremely select few, of whom don’t live in only four dimensions.)”
“(That’s classified.),” Sigma tapped me on the head, “(Now I’m about to do something that is completely against the rules here, but desperate times call for desperate measures.)”
Sigma rubbed its little paws together, waved one of them in the air. A single figure started to fade into view.
“What the? Where am I?”
“(Hello, Brandy…),” Sigma did that stupid spotlight thing again, “(You have been chosen to help save the entire world.)”
“(Now, must you be so dramatic.),” I sighed.
“Tyler? You’re talking… I must be dreaming.”
“(Um, Hello?),” Sigma waved, “(Mystical, Rare, and not to mention talking Kesha Neko floating not even two feet away from you. Is there nothing special about that?)”
“(Just ignore him, Brandy. Trust me, causes more problems than it needs to.)”
“Why does your voice sound so… John?”
“(Bingo!),” Sigma flipped in the air, “(Now let’s fix that astral projection of yours.)”
“(Sigma, I’m going to kill you for this.),” I said feeling myself grow into my human form, “(Well, I guess there’s no denying it now. Hiya Dad...)”
“Dad,” Brandy gulped, I waved ‘hello’, “Why are you calling me Dad!?!"
“(Oh, do you think that I should call you ′Mommy′ instead?)”
“(Hello, focus.),” Sigma shouted, “(You two can have a family reunion later. We have more pressing matters to talk about.)”
“I don’t think that it’s that bad,” I said swishing my tail as much as I pleased. No matter how many times Jade tried the tail wouldn’t go away. If anything her actions only made it worse by healing the rat bites. She changed my other body parts six or seven times before she finally gave up on trying to get rid of it.
“Of course you wouldn’t,” Jade sighed, “but we can’t have you walking around with it.”
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
“People will think that you’re a Werewolf or something!”
“Fine, then I’ll just tell wear my jacket like this,” I said tying a robe around my waist, “then no one will know.”
“What about gym class? Or if you suddenly get excited?”
“What else do you expect me to do?”
“I expect you to not do anything stupid, but that seems to be too much to ask from some human.”
“Excuse me, but if I was completely human then we wouldn’t be having this problem,” I stripped the robe off to let my tail move. What? You try restricting an arm or a leg and see how comfortable it makes you.
“Look, all you have to do is stay hidden until I can figure out what to do about it. Everyone already thinks that you’ve gone missing, so it shouldn’t be too hard.”
“And what about Leo…,” I suddenly remembered, “I lost him when Tarsa caught me.”
“Who’s Leo,” Lou returned from putting his broken Jinmenju to sleep again.
“He’s my (弟) Otõto.”
“Can’t you speak English?”
“Little brother,” Lou asked, “like I am with Jade?”
“Yeah exactly,” I laughed, “Why is it that he gets it and you don’t?”
“Because you keep saying it weird. Otõto… Aneki… it all nonsense when you say it like that.”
“Me and my Otõtos can help you find your brother.”
“Thanks, Lou,” I said as I opened the door out of Jade’s room.
“No! Sit,” Jade ordered, I couldn’t resist, and apparently neither could she, “…Um… Beg… lay down… Now roll over. Good boy!”
“Wow that looks like fun,” Lou cheered as he watched me perform for Jade. It made me so happy that my tail was practically invisible.
“Now this isn’t fair, Aneki,” I snapped back to my senses, “Leo’s trapped in his seal. I can’t just leave him there.”
“We can’t have anybody finding you with your tail.”
“The Crazy Plant Mansion is in the middle of nowhere. And I know exactly where I dropped him, so we should be in and out in two shakes of my tail.”
“Fine,” Jade gave in, “But I am warning you: if you’re caught, Human or not, I will get you fixed. You hear me?”
“Fixed,” Lou tilted his head, “Isn’t that a good thing? Cause then he wouldn’t be broken anymore.”
“Lou, that’s not what-”
“Sit,” Jade ordered, “And now Play Dead ’til morning.”
Meanwhile, in one of those typically poorly lit areas that evil always seem to be attracted to, Tenma Smith had arrived with Third. Including Third, only three of the “Eight Founders” were there.
“Where are the others,” Third asked the person who would be considered the Second Founder.
“They’re coming,” the Second said, tapping his mallet in the palm of his hand, “so have patience.”
“Must we really go through with wearing these,” one of two more complained about her robes further down the hallway.
“Mom said that it’s traditional,” her partner shifted her feet behind the first of the two.
“Well, this tradition stinks,” the first one coughed again. (As a note, the two who just entered would be considered the Fourth and the Fifth as a single unit, the Pair. We’ll just call the first one Blue and the other one Pink respectfully.)
“Hold your tongue girl,” the Third snapped, “You are both descendants of not one, but two of the founding fathers and as such should be twice as proud to be here.”
“No one can be as proud as you to wear a Snuggie,” the Sixth muttered under her breath strumming her sitar. Third gave her a threatening stare and thought about using that spear of his on her. She wasn’t intimidated simply because she never bothers to look at the rest of the group. The Pair giggled at the Third’s reaction. The Sixth continued to question, “Where is the last known member of our little cult?”
“This is not a cult,” Third stamped his spear on the ground.
“She knows that. She’s just trying to get under your skin,” the Second put his hand on his friend’s shoulder.
“Though the Snuggies don’t help with your own argument either. Don’t you think, Third,” the last known descendant (Seventh) finally entered the room wearing his normal baggy clothes.
“How dare you come to a meeting without the proper clothing.”
“Unlike the rest of you, I work on Sundays, because I have a hard working J-O-B and my idea of a day off does not… involve… a Snuggie.”
“Have you no pride?”
“Nope, none what so ever,” the Seventh shrugged.
“Then why did you even bother to come,” Third pointed his spear at Seventh.
“If you want a duel, then on guard,” the Seventh swung his fishing rod around like a sword.
“Careful with that relic,” Second, Third, even the Sixth shouted at the same time.
“It’s my birthright so I can destroy it if so I wish to,” Seventh held up his fishing rod for the Third to take from him, “But of course you all need it, don’t you?”
“How you can be such a great Master of Yokai Battles, I’ll never know,” Third nearly hissed, “Be proud of your birthright. You are the only one left who can summon Luomirako.”
“Well, I never needed Luomirako, nor did I ever want him,” Seventh pointed an accusing finger at Third, “But you all just had to force him upon me.”
“Well, Tough Luck,” Sixth snapped at him, “You think that any of us wanted this… Besides Mr. “Spear Happy” Third Descendent over there.”
“If you are all done bickering, I believe that there are a few issues that you all need to attend to,” Tenma Smith interrupted the six of them to get back on subject.
“Of course,” Second nodded, motioning to a single unlit candle with the crest (of a Phoenix chick standing in front of its most majestic mature form. A ring of flames is coming out of the chick’s mouth and circles behind the flying phoenix) engraved on its side, “as you all know, last week the Lawrence family’s flame was finally snuffed out, truly marking the beginning of the end.”
“And with that idiot Tarsa now out of the picture,” Third swung his spear, “we will no longer have a scapegoat to help keep the attention away from us.”
"That is not an issue,” Tenma Smith lit one of this cigars the old fashioned way, ”*Cough* Cough* Seems that Mr. Coiner has disappeared under ‘mysterious circumstances’. Adding that to the missing Bondell boy and the Police will not be able to notice you at work… for a while at least."
“And I suppose that was your handiwork, Smith,” Third glared for a nod from Tenma. All he got for a response was a smoke ring and a single chuckle.
“And what of the children that still remember the Lawrence boy,” Sixth asked.
“They will not be a problem,” Second laughed at the comment, “None of the students will care to know, nor have any way to figure out the Lawrence’s blood purpose. Our dear Mr. Smith has made sure certain of that.”
“So now all that’s left is to find our the last of our little group and gather the Kimon,” Third smirked to himself hand to his stomach.
“You called us all here just to say that,” Seventh headed for the exit past the Pair, “That wasn’t even worth waking me up for.”
Third’s spear had found itself lodged in the door frame. Third barely ‘missed’ Seventh’s head. He waited for Seventh to turn to him before he addressed his adopted son, “Stay Mr. Ebisu. I only give a single warning.”
“But you only had one shot,” Seventh had no time to react when Third’s spear knocked him (blunt side) in the back. Seventh fell to his hands and knees. The spear returned to Third’s hand.
“One will be enough,” Third pointed his spear centimeters from Seventh’s face.
“I think it would be wise for you to listen to what else your father has to say,” Tenma smiled as he took in another breath of smoke.