Not Even Goodbye
Part Six

The Ancient was silent for a moment, then smiled. Anubis just stared in shock.
She has his magic?….but how? When?…Why?
"When I die, I transferred my magic to you Mia,, for even then I knew the fight against the evils of the dynasty would not soon end. I put not all of my magic, but a specific part into you, the part which allowed for the separation of Tapla's armor. I had thought the magic would be safe, since it could not remain in the astral plain, and Tapla would have tried to seize it, and try he did, but he failed."
"Now Talpa is after me, for hold your magic, the magic he needs to complete his armor." Mia's eyes narrowed. "But he will not get it. We nee to hurry and make Kayura's armor, and join her weapons.
Anubis looked at Mia with admiration.. She was handling this well, but in all seriousness he had not expected any differently.

Cye glanced worriedly at Sage, who as a result of all the pacing he was doing, seemed likely to wear a hole through the floor. Suddenly the wall flared white, an Mia reentered her room, holding a bundle in her arm, he staff floating behind her.
Her face seemed a bit drawn, but she appeared otherwise unscathed.
Sage smile, relieved that Mia had returned unharmed, and moved towards her when Kayura entered the room, actually Cale entered the room, carrying the still weak Kayura.
Mia smiled. "Lady Kayura, the astral armor equipped with your star swords…"
Relief flooded Kayura's face. "Thank you Mia, Ancient, Anubis."
"Anubis???" Sage's voice seemed to drop an octave.
Mia nodded smiling. "He guide me in the astral plain, didn't Kayura tell you?"
"She did, it must have slipped my mind, I was worried about you."
"I was in good hands, they would never let anything happen to me."
You do not know how true that is… Kayura thought as she hugged her armor to her chest.
"If you guys don't mind, I would like to get some sleep." Mia kindly but firmly pushed all of them out of her room, and smiled at Kayura. "Thank you."
"It helped." She smiled. "I'm glad."
Mia's smile was genuinely happy as she sank onto her be, not caring as sleep quickly claimed her, that she was wearing jeans.

Sage sat in his room, reflecting upon that day in the kitchen. It had only been a couple of days ago, but Ma seemed to be avoiding him. Sage frowned as he stared up at the ceiling, his head pillowed under his hands as he lay on his bed his mind replaying the scene. Sure Mia had seemed suprise…no it wasn't suprise, it was grief… Sage sat up. What could have caused such pain in Mia, that when I did that her grief would have been triggered? Did she loose a loved one to the dynasty? I know about her grandfather, but what about her parents, or siblings…or a boyfriend…
Sage smiled a leisurely smile, his eyes sparkling. "I'll just have to go slowly then wont I? I wont loose to your guardian, whomever he is."

Ryo paused in his workout long enough to observe some of Mia's training with Kayura. Mia was progressing very well, in magic and in wielding the staff as a weapon. He remembered upon her return he announcement of why Talpa wanted her….

Mia ha been a little distraught at dinner, and had barely touched the rice dish she herself had cooked, merely staring out the dinning room window.
"Mia, what's bothering you?" Dais had been the one to ask, ad for a moment it ha seemed as though Mia was not going to tell them.
She had taken a deep breath then sighed, absently pushing her dinner around her plate. " I know why Talpa wants me."
"You do, that's great." Kento had smiled but then Mia had continued.
"It appears that when the Ancient died, Kayura was not the last person with the magic of the clan of the Ancients. Kayura has her own magic, inherited from her parents, and their parents before them. I received the Ancients magic when he died."
"Since I received the aspect of his magic that allowed for the separation of the nine armors, Talpa was never able to successfully reunite them, of fully join his new armor. That magic was lost to Talpa when the armor was first divided, he just didn't realize he needed it until now."
A long silence had ensued.
"He needs you to complete his armor, and he knows that you will to willingly grant him your power. Since you are the only one with the magic that he needs, he shall undoubtedly come after you, so he can gain the magic for his own twisted purposes. I wont stand for it!" Kento had stopped eating an looker around the table, noticing that all where nodding their agreement.
"We wont let Talpa take you."
"He will never win against us."
"We should strike while his armor is still incomplete, while he is weak."
"Ya think so Ryo, I can see it now." Kento grinned. "Talpa's goin' down.

That had only been last night. The thing that Mia didn't know was that when they went after Talpa, she wasn't coming along. In two days when everyone else was fighting she would be at home.
Like every good leader Ryo dictated responsibility around the group, and Rowan had been chosen to break the news to Mia.

"Anubis…" His voice seemed loud in the empty room, he only hoped that the reformed warlord was in Mia's room watching her train.
Rowan heard the door close then a "Yes Rowan, how may I help you?"
He sighed. "Ryo elected me to inform Mia that she isn't coming with us in two days when we attack Talpa…she wont like it."
"That my friend is an understatement."
"You'll make sure that she doesn't do anything foolish?"
"You can depend on me Rowan, I have her interest at heart."
"And it appears that Sage does to."
"What is that miscreant up to now?" Anubis' eyes narrowed as he joined the Ronin at the windows edge.

"Kayura you put up the shielding?" Sage grinned at Mia, greatly anticipating this match.
Kayura nodded. "You weapons shall be able to touch, but all physical attacks shall merely come close, they well not touch. You can receive no physical harm from this match."
I don't know if I can do this, with his in his full armor…" Mia gritted her teeth in determination. IF I cant beat him, I don't stand a change against Talpa."
"Whenever you are ready, Sage of the Halo."

"Whatever happens don't interfere Anubis."
"Of course not."
"And if Sage tries something again, don't react."
"He better not try anything, that is all I have to say."
"Do I sense a bit of jealousy Anubis?"
"No, merely protectiveness."
"Same thing Anubis."
He frowned. "I'm going down to watch the fight, I am after all her protector."

This will be too easy, she's not even in a fighting stance. Sage laughed to himself as he dashed at Mia sword in hand.
He was completely suprised when he missed and felt a blow to the back of his head. Mia had used her staff to vault over him, kicking the back of his head.
"You did not think it would be that easy to take me did you?"
Anubis smiled at the similarity of her words to Sage and his words to Talpa. What a pair they would make, in fighting and all else.
Sage didn't answer and Mia laughed, taking the same easy relaxed posture as before. Anubis noted she was barefoot in the grass. The posture and barefootedness allowed her more freedom of movement. The would make an excellent pair indeed.

A flurry of sword attacks ensued, but Mia blocked each one, forcing Sage to go on the defensive as much as she.
"I didn't want to have to do this…. THUNDER BOLT CUT!!!"
At the end of his attack Sage was suprised to see Mia standing, but even more suprised at the fact that she was standing directly in front of him.
"My turn."
Mia flipped back, and swung her feet into Sage's jaw, the staff on the ground under her hands. When she landed in a crouch she brought the staff up to his throat, stopping right under the fleshy part of his chin.
"Game, set, match." Ryo smiled as he watched. "Congratulations Mia, Kayura you have taught her well."

What about a sneak attack? Anubis sent a bolt of energy from his staff and Mia reflected it back to him without a pause, peering into the trees. HE staff fell to the ground when she saw a flash of silver in the trees.
I will not overreact, I will not overreact… Mia picked up her staff. " O know you are out there, and I will discover who you are…"
Rowan cursed when he heard Mia's words. I warned you to be careful Anubis…
"What startled you?" Sage stepped towards Mia, who stared off into the woods.
"For a moment I thought I saw a flash of silver, it reminded me of -"
"Mia stopped, the woods growing dark with the dynasty presence.
"Everyone inside." Ryo hissed and in seconds the yard was devoid of all life.
We cant take the chance that they know we're here. By now Talpa must be getting pretty desperate. If we have to fight we will, but if it can be avoided…we CAN'T risk Mia's capture."

"So how did you block my attack?" Sage leaned against the doorframe to Mia's room as she combed her sweaty hair, then braided it, winding it around her head.
"I didn't block it. Since my magic contains part of the armors I merely absorbed the attack, and deflected the rest. Its not hard really, it just takes a bit of concentration.
Mia flashed him a smile, then noticed for the first time the two boxes sitting on her bed.
"Two, that's odd, he never gives me two at once."
"Both aren't from him Mia." Sage didn't look to Mia as he pushed himself off the doorframe.
"Then the others from…you?"
Sage nodded and smiled still not looking to Mia. "Go on, open it."
"Which one?"
"Both, I'm curious to see what he gave you."
Mia blushed and picked up a gold wrapped present with a silver bow an opened it. Inside lay a locket, delicately wrought of gold, shaped as an oval.
"How sweet." Mia smiled.
"You lie it?" Sage was immensely relieved. " I was afraid that you wouldn't like it. So what did he give you?" Sage looked with disdain to the other box, wrapped in navy blue, with a cream ribbon.
Inside the bow was a delicate silver bracelet, inlaid with diamonds.
"This has to be the most delicate and expensive thing that anyone has ever given me." Mia's voice was filled with awe.
"Your guardian certainly has a thing with silver, it is the color of his staff."
"Staff?!?" The bracelet fell to Mia's lap. "Sage…" her voice trembled. "I suddenly have a terrible headache."
"Would you like me to get you anything for it?"
"No, there is nothing that you can do for this sort of headache."
Sage nodded. "Just watch out, the dynasty hasn't left yet. If you need anything I will be right own the hall."
Mia didn't hear the door shut as she clear her mind, determine to unravel the truth.
Her guardian, his voice had sounded familiar. Like the day Anubis and the Ancient had helped her.
Mia had done a little research, and all indications pointed to the fact that the dead did not need protection in the astral plain…so why would Anubis need that staff?
Unless he wielded it in the mortal realm to protect her…
That day against Talpa, she had heard him murmur of course the staffs.
Everything tells me that he is my guardian, who else could it be?
Mia's voce was low as she spoke. "You can come out now Anubis I know you are here somewhere."
Anubis appeared an laughed, not his evil one, but a genuine laugh. "The Ancient said you were incredibly intuitive."
Despite her logic, Mia could barely believe that it was indeed Anubis who stood in front of her.
"Is it really you?" Mia reached out a hand to touch him, and he obligingly held out a hand to her.
"At your service madam." He kissed her hand and Mia felt the blush that crept up her cheeks.
"We couldn't let anything else happen to you."
Mia felt as though her heart would break. We…
"An after Talpa discovered?"
"I wasn't sure how you would react, and Wildfire and Halo would massacre me."
"Sage…he didn't take to kindly to your presence, or gift giving."
Anubis smiled. "Do you like it?"
"The bracelet?"
He nodded.
"Of course I did, but why all the gifts and was that you in the kitchen?"
"I'm really sorry about that, and the gifts, why not?"
Mia paused. Is he teasing? Or is he serious? She then noticed the twinkling in his eyes, so she glared at him.
"Why not?" She arched one eyebrow.
"So you saw through the teasing…and you no longer look as though you are going to cry. My presence has never effected anyone the way it has you… "Will you put the bracelet on, I wasn't sure if it would fit."
Mia nodded hesitantly.
Anubis frowned as he fastened the bracelet around her wrist, his hand resting on her arm.
"Mia, what's wrong?"
When Mia looked to Anubis, tears streamed down her cheeks.
"I…I… don't know what to do…all these gifts and now Sage, I wont be bought."
"Bought?!" Anubis' voice held suprise as he wiped the tears off of Mia's cheeks. "You could never be bought Mia your above that, to good, to sweet."
His words brought on more tears ad Anubis gently pulled the sobbing girl to him, so she cried on his shoulder.
"Mia, don't cry…everything will be fine…I'll protect you…"
"Mai are you alright?" A voice called form outside.
"Sage…" Mai gasped. "I'm fine, my headache is almost gone."
"Do you mind if I come in?" A new voice spoke.
"Rowan…do I ever get any peace?"
"He know, he and Cye."
"Can he come in?"
"Of course." Anubis winked and disappeared.
"Come in."