Phoenix Feathers: Curator of the Dragon Gate

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Death of a Damsel

“For after all, the best thing that one can do when it is raining is to let it rain.”

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"Bonjour! Guess who,” Tenma Smith tried to surprise Benny, but she continued playing her Sitar.

“Tenma, can’t you see I need concentration,” she said as she continued to strum random notes.

To the naked ear, the sound was nonexistent. Humans could never pick it up on their own. Even if someone walked right next to Benny and bashed their head into the instrument, they’d still only hear simple plucking of the tiny wires. Most Yokai, however, could pick it up. To Yokai, it was horrifying to listen to, even ones with the “sound proof” abilities. But Tenma, he just cleaned the inside of his ear as if there was no sound to begin with.

"This really is an ingenious plan of yours,” Tenma said, ”However, how do you know if it’s working."

“My little eye in the sky is giving me a bird’s eye view.”

"You already sent Ignu out there,” Tenma pondered to himself.

“What’s the point of us inheriting our spirit connections, if we don’t use them.”

"You do know what would happen if Ignu is hurt, don’t you? Traditionally, Ignu would be used from a distance."

“This isn’t like the old days Tenma,” Benny scoffed, “We, of the modern world, are much more advanced than those of the ancient. We don’t need such pesky things like tradition unless we want to brown nose someone else.”

"What audacity,” Tenma spoke without thinking. He truly meant it as a compliment. It was one of the features that he did like about her. The will to defy the very basics of ‘human nature’.

“Excuse me,” Benny stopped playing long enough to glare at him.

"If you ask me, mankind’s is no more wiser now than back when they were beating each other on the head with sticks,” Tenma shrugged, only now noticing that Benny’s eyes were shooting daggers, ”not saying that you are a…"

“I know what you meant,” Benny got back to playing the Sitar, “I just tire of your constant declarations of you being so much better than us.”

"Well, I feel that I should give credit how credit is due."

“Then tell me Tenma,” Benny grinned, “if you are so much greater than us, then why do you submit yourself to Mr. Spearhappy?”

Tenma turned quiet. It wasn’t the fact that she had one-upped him that got to him. He did enjoy that. It was the very essence of the subject that was brought up. It involved elements of himself, that not only Third would punish him for telling, but he, himself, would tear out his own throat for telling. It was not to be shared. He had put up a hundred mental blocks to keep himself quiet.

And yet… it was more than that. It was the fact, that he was even willing to answer her. He wanted to tell her. To confess to her. Tell her everything. Though he didn’t realize it himself, he was becoming emotionally attached to this human. And such emotions would be worthless to the master plans.

Suddenly, Benny played the right note. “Ignu, play for us the song of chaos, so that our enemies may destroy themselves.” A circle of white light appeared around where she sat. A shadow of lime green light rose from the ground and spread its wings. Benny’s ‘stage’ became encased within a miniature tornado. Tenma was standing too close. He should have known better, but he was deep in thought at the time. As such, was unprepared and knocked back by the field that Benny’s Relic created. Benny’s eye’s flashed open.

"Interesting… Hm, hahaha! Tenma, I think that I’ve just found the Inukami in human’s clothing."

"Did you now,” he asked mockingly, coughing before he whispered to himself, ”It’s about damn time."


“What the hell is going on,” I screamed, grasping the medallion, “is this because of the Phoenix Gate?”

Both Leo and the Koma Inu cringed at the silent noise. Tyrone kept trying to push me to run, while at the same time trying not to bite me himself.

“This can’t be happening,” I said to myself. Then I heard the tiniest of screams. Just how Tyrone described it. Nails on a chalkboard and broken guitar strings.

“(Get… Grrrrl…),” the Koma Inu growled deeply slowly stepping towards me but fell over. He was missing one of his legs. He was still missing one of his hind legs.

“Bonny? How did this happen?”

Bonny roared some more as he tried to stand up again. Leo got up easily and leaped at me. Tyrone punch/slapped him away again.

“Jade, (I ca)n’t… (keep from),” Tyrone wobbled on his two feet, ”(Just run.)"

Bonny roared, firing a huge fireball at us.

I only had one solution running through my mind.
I didn’t want to do it. Not now, at least.
I didn’t want to leave everything like this.
Either way, this would be the last time that I get to use it.

…What more could I lose?…

"Phoenix Gate,” I pointed the jewel at myself, “OPEN!!!"

…Good-bye forever Babie ‘Jade’ Dolly…


This really is the perfect spot to go fishing,” our favorite young fisherman said, admiring the private pond that he was coincidentally inspecting for his next job, “Oh look it’s a Limus Piscis Piscis Amplitudo. Ooh and a Aurum Piscis Piscis. And that over there is a Igneus Agri-Domus.… Wait a minute, A burning farmhouse!"

“My Otõtos,” Louis cried, “No! We have to go back!”

“They’ll be okay, Louie,” the older woman begged the child not to turn around, “We have to go call the Fire Department right now!”

“Excuse me. Is that your house on fire,” Eddie ran up to the duo, “And Lou? What are you doing here?”

“Eddie, my Otõtos,” Lou cried, running into Eddie’s arms, “they’re all I have left of my parents. Make Sarah let me go back for them.”

“Louie, I… didn’t know,” Sarah stood up, “Fine. You stay here with Eddie. I’ll go back for them.”

“No, Ms. Bondell,” Eddie took hold of Sarah’s blouse, “It’s too dangerous.”

“I can’t just stay here and do nothing.”

“I’ve got some experience with fires and I have a strong Water Yokai,” Eddie pointed to himself, “so let me go instead.”

“Okay, but…”

“Is there anyone else in there?”

Sarah bit her thumb and nodded, “Tyrone too. And another girl.”

“That’s it?”

“I’m not sure,” Sarah thought for a moment when another roar erupted from the flaming house, “that’s… Nemean…?”

“Nemean?”

“Our Koma Inu…,” Sarah bit her nail, “But he couldn’t have… He wouldn’t…”

“Okay, you two get to the neighbor’s house. Tell them Eddie sent you and they’ll let you in,” Eddie tossed Sarah his phone, “Call the Firemen on your way there.”

“Be careful…,” Sarah didn’t hesitate to start dialing the number, but continued to watch the fire.

“Eddie, I wanna come too.”

“No, it’s too dangerous,” Eddie smiled, rubbing the kid’s head reassuringly, “Even for someone as tough as you.”

"But!"

“Plus, Karen would Kill me if I let you get hurt.”

Having been told that, Louis decided to follow Sarah. He nodded and sadly turned to cry on Sarah’s sleeve.

“Good. I’ll save them all, I promise,” Eddie swore as he ran headfirst up the hill, throwing Jake’s Bell into the air, “Jake, I choose you!”

“(Hey, I was sleeping here.),” Jake yawned after he materialized, “(Sweet Mother of Pearl! That house is on fire!)”

“Jake, there are people inside. We have to be careful,” Eddie yelled at his partner, “Think that you’ve got enough water to douse that fire?”

“(Of course.),” Jake nodded.

“Good then shoot as much as you can straight into the sky!”

“(But shouldn’t I just…)”

“There are live people inside, Jake. We can’t just shoot the walls down on them.”

The Mizuchi nodded as he prepared to attack. Firing the water almost straight into the air helped to create an artificial downpour on the farmhouse.

“Good Jake! Keep that up until I can get back,” Eddie ran to tackle his way through the closest door. He only made it to a couple of yards from the back door when a screech filled the air and an invisible blade had cut the earth.

“Oh no you don’t,” a large bird Yokai zipped down and attacked Eddie.

“Ah, what the heck?”

“I can’t let you in,” the green glowing bird flapped back around and down eye level with Eddie, “I’m at work here.”

“A Siren…? Get out of my way,” Eddie swiped at the strange glowing bird, “There are people in there!”

“I know that,” the Siren mimicked his partner’s voice, “They’ve got what was coming to them.”

“Those are my friends in there,” Eddie shouted, “I won't let you lay a finger on my friends.”

“What do you know about friendship,” the bird squawked, “Nothing that’s what. The Lower Class are meant to be used by people like us.”

“I won't stand for that kind of talk.”

“You don’t seem to grasp the current situation,” the Siren flapped it’s way back into the air, “All I have to do is play my song.”

The Siren shot off a single note, beyond the range of normal human ears. The Usi-oni (thunder bulls) that were fenced nearby, cried out at the Siren’s sudden note. They shot lightning up into the air. The lightning had only one place to go down. Jake was electrocuted instantly but was still able to let out a roar of pain.

“No, Jake,” Eddie cried out. Jake tumbled to the ground. Barbecued to a crisp.

“And any Yokai will do as we ask of them,” the Sixth’s Siren chuckled out of his own accord. They were linked at their souls, but they were not one and the same being. Benny on the other end. Only sat smiling.

"Jake…"

“Oh, did I hurt your little pet,” the Siren mocked, “so sorry.”

“That’s it,” Eddie glared at the flying bird, “The gloves are coming off.”

Eddie could feel the Dragon Gate calling him to use its ability. Eddie grasped at it through the cloth of his jacket as his own eyes flashed open. ”I am not going to hold back on you."


My eyes were sealed shut. I had used the Phoenix Gate for what I knew to be the last time. I had focused on turning myself back into a Kitsune. As such, I’d have the Sun’s Blessing again. Giving me immunity to any fire. I know it was selfish of me and it’s like I was running away. But at least I was still alive. My heartbeat let me know that. But something didn’t feel right. I was hot. I wasn’t ‘on fire’ hot, but I wasn’t hot in my belly either. I slowly opened my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. The Sun’s Blessing saved me, just like I wanted it to. But it wasn’t my Blessing.

“(You okay Aneki?),” Tyrone growled. He was an Inukami again, he blocked the blast of fire with his whole body. His clothes had been blown off. I couldn’t tell if it was because of fires that the Phoenix Gate created or because of the attack that he took for me. And as for me, well… I looked at my own hands in pure shock and confusion. I didn’t snap out of it until Tyrone tackled me out of the way of another fire attack.

“(Run Aneki!),” Tyrone barked, “(Don’t just sit there!)”

“It didn’t work… I’m still…,” I was flabbergasted.

“(Hey, wake up!),” Tyrone barked, “(I can’t hold them both off forever.)”

“Then let’s go,” I snapped awake now.

“(No. You go!),” Tyrone shook his head, trying to resist following my order, “(I’ll hold them off as long as I can.)”

Leo leaped at me again. Tyrone tackled his underside, so Leo was rebound like a rubber ball back at Bonny.

“I can’t just leave you here.”

“(Aneki, Let me protect you.),” Tyrone barked at me, “(Let me show you that I can at least be trusted to do that much.)”

I turned around to run but stopped dead in my tracks.

…What am I doing?…
…I can’t just abandon him here…
…Besides that i… i…

…I…

“(Jade, just go!)”

“No,” I screamed for some reason or another, “I’m not going to be the damsel in distress anymore.”

“(Jade…?)”

“From now on we’ll fight together,” I clasped the Phoenix Gate, it’s red wires surrounded me like a protective barrier, ”Phoenix Gate, Recreate!"

The red wires moved to my whims like they were a part of my body. I made the floor under the Koma Inu grow hundreds of young trees that wrapped themselves around his paws. He roared with a new ferocity that I was certain that all of Golnar could hear. Leo flickered Red and was returned to his bell. Tyrone dashed to collect it in his jaws.

Bonny was snapping his front paws free with his teeth.
I called forth two thick trees on each side of the beast.
The Koma Inu roared in protest. Fire in the back of his throat.

Suddenly, the Bondell’s grandfather clock began announcing the hour. This caused the fires in his throat to die down. The clock surprised him long enough for me to finish tangling him up with smaller branches. I motioned the growth of the trees almost in rhythm with the chimes.

Chime.

Left leg…

Chime.

Right leg…

Chime.

Back leg…

Chime.

Up and Over his back.

Chime… Forced him to lay down,

Chime. Wrap bond his mouth shut to the ground.
The clock finished striking the seventh hour by the time that I was done.

And the room felt silent.

“Hey, be careful with my Grandad,” Tyrone dropped Leo’s Seal at my feet, “He’s still in there. Somewhere."

"Ah Fire! Hot! Hot! Hot!,” the Tarsa’s ‘ran’ in a circle trying to find a way out.

“We’ve got to get out of here now,” I let the medallion swing on my neck when I noticed the fires were spreading faster.

“(I know, but where?)”

“(Oh, Gaia! Help me! Fire!),” Pipsqueak ran out from his hiding place searching for a way out, “(No way out! I’m gonna die and there’s no way out!)”

“(And your tail’s on fire.),” Tyrone pointed out.

“(Ah put it out! Save me, witch!),” Pipsqueak scurried his way up my leg.

“Ge, get off of me,” I screamed.
Pipsqueak slipped and fell off my belt.
I tripped on nothing and dropped the bell.
It bonked the Tesso on the head and…
Anyone can guess what happened next. Right?
Drum roll, please.

I accidentally sealed my first Yokai… or rather he sealed himself. The young Tesso accepted the Seal and vanished beyond our sight.

“(Um, that’s not good. Is it?),” Tyrone sniffed the bell as I retrieved it.

“At least that’s one less headache gone,” I was kind of happy to have my first Yokai, but there were two distinct reasons why I hated it.

One: For obvious reasons, I hate the idea of selling Yokai away. It has to be Torture in there.

And Two: He’s everything that I didn’t want for my first Yokai. Freakishly cute and hates me.

“(Congratulations.),” Tyrone yipped stupidly.

“Congratulate me later,” I snapped, “Right now, we need to find a way out of here.”

Thunder struck!
I heard the painful cry of some kind of dragon.
Then the earth shook.

And the ceiling was collapsing.
That’s all I can remember.

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