Where the River Begins
With great power, comes people who will abuse it…
“Well, here it is,” Mr. Bisha spread out his arms to the surprise in question. Mr. Bisha had made this huge structure just for me, in honor of me. Well, technically not ‘me’ as Jonathan Lawrence, but for “Milkshake the Phoenix”. How did I know this? There was this huge sign just above the entrance. Right above the doorway were the words ”Milkshake the Phoenix" as Brandy read it for me. Like I said from the start, no one cared that I was gone. And the school just didn’t care.
Anyway, Bisha’s surprise was this large roomy barn-like structure. It was designed to let me have all the open space that I needed and all the food that I could want. It was next to the school’s private clinic just in case I got hurt. There was also a small area where I would do tricks for the younger students. I don’t know what the student council was thinking when they gave Bisha permission to do this.
We already had been given a small tour of the place, but I wasn’t really paying any attention. I already made up my mind about it.
“Well, what do you think,” Bisha asked the two of us.
“(I think that your ego is too big for you to fit through the door.)”
"Tyler…," Brandy was about to scold me, “What do you think about this?”
“(I think that it’s a terrible thing that you brought me here.)”
“Come on, be nice,” Brandy frowned.
“He doesn’t like it?”
“Well, I’m personally impressed with the work you did on it,” Brandy complimented on the ‘big surprise’, “but Tyler might be a little too young to appreciate it as much as I do.”
“Well, I certainly hope so,” Principal Bisha puffed out his chest, “I’ve never worked on anything as hard as I had for this. I personally drove every nail and board into its construction.”
“All for him huh,” Brandy grinned. They were trying to guilt me into this. And damn it, it was working.
“(Fine, I’ll go through with it.),” I sighed, “(But not permanently.)”
“Okay, then,” Brandy smiled, “Alright Mr. Bisha, Tyler approves.”
“Of course, he does,” Principal Bisha was satisfied.
“However, I will need to stay with him until he’s comfortable to be on his own.”
“Well, I didn’t build this thing for you.”
“Of course not, but the first few nights he might get lonely living at the school.”
“Then I’ll have some revisions done to make it possible, but only for a short while. Wouldn’t want to make the other students jealous, now do we?”
“Thank you Mr. Bisha,” Brandy waved, “Well, we’re going to go tell everyone the good news.”
“That’s alright by me, but I expect to see the two of you here first thing in the morning.”
“(I can’t believe I let you guilt me into this.)”
“I didn’t try to guilt you.”
“(I don’t need a lie detector gut to know that’s a lie.)”
“Okay, so… it wasn’t as hard to guilt you as I thought it would be,” Brandy shrugged a little, “but still, Sigma said that we need to find the Phoenix Gate in two months time. This way you’ll be able to look for it anywhere on the school grounds.”
“(Two months is plenty of time.)”
“For a school project maybe, but we’re looking for a needle in a haystack here. Not to mention that someone else might have already found the needle.”
“(I understand that, but what do you expect me to do here?)”
“I don’t know,” Brandy joked, “look cute or something.”
“(Why can’t you just strangle me now and get it over with?)”
“You don’t get it, do you? The Phoenix Gate is a necklace and knowing the girls in school they’ll be bound to show it off.”
“(What kind of girl wouldn’t?),” I laughed, for a little bit, but then stopped.
“Is something wrong?”
“(Brandy could you do me a favor?),” I looked up at him.
“Put you down? Sure…”
“(No, not that… well yeah, but…),” I sighed as he placed me on the ground, “(Brandy, can you take me to say goodbye to my old home?)”
“You want me to take you to your old house?”
“(Just for a little while… Please…)”
“Well, I don’t see any reason why not,” Brandy smiled, standing up, “Lead the way.”
“So we’ll duke it out here and now,” I said raising my arms to the beautiful sun as all of us reached the clearing, “It’s such great day to be alive. I know the sun’s still shining when I close my eyes.”
“Do you have to sing about it…,” Tyrone glared at me.
“This is the same field where we met,” Karen noticed, “this is perfect. We can finish this where we started.”
“Technically, you two started. I, however, ended it.”
“Not the point,” Karen snapped at me, “and wipe that smirk off your face before you find yourself airborne for Mars.”
“So to make this somewhat fair,” I put my hands behind my head as I walked, “I’ll only use one Yokai, but I won't use any water attacks and in exchange, you don’t use any cheap tricks for an insta-win. Agreed?”
"That’s fine with me,” Tyrone growled, but quickly started coughing. He was trying his best to suppress the Inukami in him. I knew that was one of the side effects to the Phoenix Gate being used improperly, “I’ll play as Referee.”
“No fair! I want to play too,” Lou whined.
“This isn’t a game Lou,” Tyrone groaned, “It’s a Yokai battle.”
“But I wanna play too!”
“Lou, this is between Karen and Eddie there,” Tyrone explained, “All I’m doing is making sure that they play by the rules. Since you don’t know the rules then you can’t be Referee.”
“Fine,” Lou frowned, “I didn’t wanna play anyways.”
“Referee fairly and I’ll even let Leo keep the power that I gave him earlier.”
“What power,” Tyrone asked like an idiot.
“Wow… you really did forget everything,” I laughed as I reached into my jacket’s hidden pocket, “I wouldn’t mind showing you again.”
“What are,” his eyes widened at the sight of the copper ring, ”Keep that thing away from me!"
“Tyrone, quit being such a baby and let’s start this match,” she juggling Leo’s Pokéball.
“Alright,” Tyrone nervously got into position, Kiki followed and sat down next to him, “If you’re both ready.”
“Let’s go, Leo.” Karen was the first to call her Yokai, but I didn’t have time to watch him materialize.
“Jake, come on down!”
My favorite Yokai roared as he was released from the confines of his seal.
“(Holy…),” Leo stayed still looking up at the towering sea serpent, “(what kind of Yokai are you?)”
“(Who said that?),” the water dragon curved downwards to get a better view of his opposition, “(Oh, it’s that Inukami from before. Nice to meet you…)”
“Wow, you look so cool,” Lou somehow appeared on the battlefield without anyone noticing.
“(Um… thank you?)”
“Can we play with each together!”
“(Sure, I love games.),” Jake nodded and smiled or at least as the best that a Mizuchi can smile…, “(How about Hide and Go Seek?)”
“(How can I take this thing seriously?),” Leo growled to himself.
“Lou get off the field,” Karen shouted waving her arms fiercely, “You’re going to get hurt if you stay there!”
“But I wanna play with Jake!”
“(Oh, so I’m going we’re in a battle?),” Jake turned to see me nod, “(Well, if that’s the case then we’ll have to play later.)”
“Okay,” Lou bounced happily off the field. Only to sit down quietly between Kiki and his Jinmenju.
“Okay, so if we’re all ready… begin!”
“Hey, Jake no water attacks! That’s our handicap for today,” Eddie shouted, “Oh and Ladies first!”
“Okay, Leo let’s start off with a Ring of Fire!”
Leo produced a wall of flames to surround him as he charged at Jake.
Jake just simply twisted to the left and the spinning wheel slipped right past him. Jake yawned as he twisted around to counter with bite.
…What a pointless effort… I thought before the flaming ball disbursed itself. Leo wasn’t inside of it. There was a huge fireball coming from behind Jake.
“Behind you,” I shouted before watching Jake being struck with a critical hit. I could have sworn that I saw Jake’s eyes roll into the back of his head. But he shook it off and turned to face the fire dog.
“(Nice shot. You’ve gotten stronger.),” Jake laughed a little, “(That’s great! I thought that this would be boring!)”
“Seems that I gave them too much of an advantage,” I sighed, glad that Jake was alright, “Let’s try a twister next!”
Jake took a deep breath and released a miniature tornado against the Leo. Leo didn’t bother to dodge. But took the hit head on. He was knocked back, flipped into a recovery and slid back a few feet.
“Karen, what are you doing,” Tyrone yelled at her, “You have to tell Leo to dodge! It’s a loyalty thing!”
“So in other words, he’s going to do exactly like Karen orders. Thereby making him completely predictable,” I yelled at him, “Thanks for the tip! I’ll remember that!”
“No help from the referee,” Karen yelled, “Leo, counterattack with a couple more of those Rings of Fire!”
The dog’s eyes flashed as he charged my sea serpent. He jumped and started rolling with the flames this time. It had to of been twice the size that it normally was if not then triple. The main part of the fireball seemed to split near the middle creating a sort of well, “disk wings” might be the best way to describe them.
Jake took in another breath for another twister attack. Firing the tornado at the fireball did nothing to slow it down. The fireball bounced off the ground and cut right through the twister as if it wasn’t even there. Jake twisted his body downward out of the way to dodge. He then twisted back upwards behind Leo, readying an emerald orb of air in his jaws.
“Vector Burst,” I shouted.
“Use another fire ring to block it! Then get in close and bite him where it hurts!”
Jake didn’t hesitate to release his attack, Leo was as predictable as I thought he’d be. He countered Jake’s blast with his flames like the first one (without him inside). He then ran under both attacks to get in close to take a bite out of Jake. Which was not a good idea. Jake’s scales are just as hard as steel. He yelped out of pain, although so did Jake.
“Attack once more! Close range!”
Leo jumped up and flipped himself into that fireball again.
“Jake, Frozen Terrain!”
Jake’s mouth concentrated the lite blue blast of sheer cold. He also had the idea to combine the natural cold of his vector burst attack to the blast to make it stronger. The blue blast collided with Leo’s flames. The end result was a massive explosion of mist. No one could see a thing that was happening inside the fog. I could hear the cries of the battle.
Of all the sounds, I fear that of Jake’s body crashing down into the ground to be the most frightening thing that I could have heard. He could have killed Leo doing something dangerous like that. But thrashing about was the only thing that Jake could do in this situation. Thank goodness that it worked, but for Leo…