"Kayura probably knows what happened to the three of you," Tyra said.
The three Warlords were below the castle not unlike the place where they were first charged with negative energy. They cautiously looked around and didn't know what to expect.
"Are we to go in?" asked Dais. They didn't hear her.
"No. My spirits only have to have you within range to power you up. It will, however, hurt a great deal. The power you will receive doesn't come cheap."
She raised her hands as the wind picked up. The Warlords looked around nervously as Netherspirits formed behind her.
"Clear your minds. Think of nothing but a void of blackness. Rest your fears. Free your spirit."
The three Warlords hesitantly closed their eyes. Tyra summoned their armors as her spirits entered their bodies. As each spirit entered, each Warlord doubled over in agony. After a couple more entered, the Warlords were on the floor writhing in pain. This was nothing like Talpa's pits!
"Your powers would be pushed to the limit. Your sanity would be challenged. All of the things you covet would be yours, if you survive this."
Tyra walked passed them. She would come back when the spirits were done. If they were still alive, that is.
"You have the Jewel of Life, right Mia?" Kayura sat down next to her.
"It's in my bag, why?"
"Have you ever noticed why the Warlords were always after you? Anubis wouldn't know anything about this since he changed sides before Talpa can send that message out. It's because Talpa thought you had some hidden power. When you went looking for the Jewel of Life, Talpa couldn't spare any of the Warlords or me so he sent out Gash. Fortunately, he met with a messy fate and you left with the Jewel.
"Wearing the Jewel, your hidden power seemed to have triggered it and made it glow. The time Anubis thought the Ancient was the one leading him was actually you. That one night also marked a turning point in both your lives. You both know what happened between you two and it doesn't need explaining. The next day, you two tried to ignore what happened.
"Now, after two months of not seeing each other, you rekindled what happened that night. This time it happened on your accord."
"What do you mean it happened on our accord?" Anubis said defensively.
"The first time was true
enough. Mia did have feeling for you that was still in the
making. Something within the Jewel of Life was the catalyst
that accelerated that growth. Your feelings for her were
also growing, but the way she looked with the Jewel
on stirred up feelings you thought dead. Something from your past was suddenly reincarnated before you and didn't hesitate to take advantage of the situation. This time both of your feelings are genuine and are your own. They are not from Shuten of
"Who's Shuten and Nasuti?" Mia asked. She looked around the table and saw that she was the only one puzzled. Even Anubis seemed to know who those people were.
"Nasuti," Anubis said fondly.
"Shuten was Anubis' name before he became a warrior. He didn't want anybody to know who he was except for a select few. Nasuti was the name of the woman he was betrothed to."
"Betrothed?" Mia looked at Anubis with pained eyes. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"That happened 400 years ago. I doesn't matter now."
"But it does," Kayura said. Both of them looked at her. The girls sat there silent and listening. "Nasuti is Mia's ancestor. She was a very powerful woman and was paired with you because of that. She died a few days after Talpa captured Anubis. She didn't leave a child but had a sister that Mia is a direct descendant from.
"When she found out that Talpa was attacking again, her love for Shuten was still very strong. It took awhile to find Mia but she did. It was a good thing that Mia had inherited some of the awesome power she once had. If she didn't, Nasuti couldn't have taken over her body. Through the Jewel of Life, Nasuti was able to go from the Astral Plane to the Mortal World. She was the catalyst that activated the Jewel and that one night together. That was why I said last night was the true you and not another."
"You mean to tell me that I was possessed that first night?" Mia couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"In a manner of speaking, yes."
Mia got up from her seat and went to the sink. Nobody followed her, not even Anubis. She needed time to let everything sink in.
"Is that why you're here, Kayura? To upset Mia even more?" Anubis couldn't help but show a little anger.
"No." Kayura looked at Mia. "There is another reason why I came here and what I said lead into it."
Everybody turned and looked at Mia. She was bent over the sink and spilling her guts out.
"That's the reason I came," Kayura said matter-of-factly.
"What's wrong with her?" Anubis asked, concerned. Mia turned the faucet and wiped her face. She turned it off and went back to her seat.
"Anubis! Don't tell me you've been alive for 400 years and don't know what a woman throwing up means?"
"What are you saying, Kayura?" Mia asked, confused. She didn't hear what they were talking about.
"You, Mia, are pregnant with the most powerful child this world has ever seen. Whether you choose to raise the child in educated terms, he or she would be able to call upon his or her powers at will. That was the reason why Anubis was resurrected. That is the reason why the Warlords want Mia now."
The shock of being told she was pregnant paralyzed Mia. So many thing went through her head and so many thought passed by. She was grateful that Anubis was there holding her hand to know that this wasn't a dream.
"That was the child the Ancient was talking about," Anubis whispered. "How could you have known?"
"She has been pregnant for two months. She wouldn't admit to herself that she is. The Ancient had already warned me about this. He didn't want to tell you because he knew you would head into battle head first. He wanted you to stay with her for awhile and enjoy being alive again with the woman you love. He didn't want you to worry."
"So my friends are now after my child."
"Our friends are under
a very powerful illusion. One that consists of reality and
deception that even Dais could be fooled. Tyra's priests
are very powerful. Even as we speak, the Warlords are being
given power so they can fight against the Ancient's
Warriors. With this new power, they can take Mia away from you, so I suggest you stick with the girls at all times."
"Take flight my Warlords!" Tyra shouted. She stood on the roof of her castle and watched the three make new holes on the grounds of her palace. They hovered before her, glowing with their new found powers.
"Do not underestimate those
girls. The small power show is nothing compared to the full
power they possess. Your powers are great but use them wisely
or they will leave you. Kayura will try saying things that contradict
what I have said, but ignore them. She will try to get you
to turn on me. Remember, I am the one that is trying to
save the earth from
The Warlords nodded but didn't say a word. Their eyes were red and blank, without a trace of life. Tyra smiled. She head her hands up and watched the Warlords disappear from view. They has transported away from the Netherworld.
"Are you going to stay for awhile?" Mira asked her older sister.
It depends, Kayura answered. If you can handle them easily, I might stick around. If you cant, Im going to get the Ronins.
Mira smiled. She hugged her sister and followed the other girls outside. Mia and Anubis were already on the street waiting for them. Kayura turned and faced Royda.
Dont look at me like that, she said.
Like what? Royda asked.
Are you mad at me for some reason?
Why would you say that?
You are getting irritating.
I havent done anything.
Exactly. You dont greet me. You dont say anything when I talk to you. Dont you miss me after 400 years?
I do, but I dont know how to tell you.
You could do what your sister did.
I dont think so. I dont even hug her for that matter.
Boy, you sure change after 400 years. I thought Id be the serious one.
You werent there so I took the liberty of taking your place.
Mira gives you hugs though, right?
Occasionally, but not often. She knows I dont approve of it.
Dont approve of it?
Ive learned that if I put family first, I get distracted from my goal.
Well this is family, and I am going to give you a hug even if you dont want it.
Kayura hugged Royda. Roydas hands almost came up and returned the hug but didnt. Suddenly, a great blast rocked the mountain side. Both of them ran out and found a building nearby ablaze.
"Mira!?" Kayura shouted. Near the blown building were the dazed forms of the girls with Mia and Anubis. They had successfully covered and protected Mia. Kayura and Royda ran towards them.
"Did anybody get the license of that blast?" asked Reva, groggily. She shook snow off her shoulders and helped Kala up.
"That didn't sound good, did it?" said Kala.
Kayura and Royda helped the rest up. They all looked around, sure that the blast came from someone who couldn't control that kind of power. The girls felt power that was frighteningly close to theirs and slowly closed in on Mia, Anubis, and Kayura.
"What is it?" asked Anubis. He knew that his friends couldn't have done that without some kind of painful method. His mind went back to a time where he was so possessed by his powers that he lost control.
"You have to lure them out," Kayura said to Royda. "That's the only way those drones would respond." Royda nodded.
"We have to clear this street," she commanded. "Then we could take this to a higher ground, away from here." The other girls nodded.
Kishin, Kala, and Reva quietly went about and took the people out of there. Mira stayed behind with her sisters, protecting Mia.
>All the people on the street's evacuated,< said Kishin. It rang through Royda's head, loud and clear.
"Okay," she said out loud. This surprised Kayura and the others since they didn't hear Kishin.
Royda stepped away from the wall and looked around. Though she couldn't see them, their energy was so powerful that she could feel them.
"Do you see them?" asked Kayura.
"No, but I can feel them," Royda answered. "When the others get back, I want all of you to be ready. I'll distract them while the rest of you escape."
"Are you crazy?" Mira said. "I won't leave you."
"You're going to have to."
"Those are not the same guys we fought a couple of days ago. Tyra's using her spirits again. You know what that means."
"I know that. That's why you're going with them. You're not staying with me. I could do this without your help."
"We'll see if the others let you do this alone. They're not going to let you go."
"Interesting sibling rivalry," said Anubis. Kayura turned to him. "I thought Mira would argue that Royda gets all the fun. I didn't think she would try to stop and help her."
"Royda has that effect on people," answered Kayura.
The other girls met them and were briefed. They didn't like leaving their leader alone but had no choice but do as she says. Mira looked at her sister and was about to cry. Seemingly void of all emotion, Royda turned around and surveyed the sky. Kayura comforted her youngest sister.
The Warlords hovered above the resort. They didn't move or make a sound. Dark clouds started creeping in even though it was the middle of the day. The temperature dropped to the teens.
"Who's doing this?" asked Kala. The wind wiped their hair around.
"Cold, the dark, it's got to be Kale," Anubis answered. He held on to Mia.
"When I say go, everybody leaves," commanded Royda.
The Warlords were still out of her sight, but Royda felt them near. Suddenly, Royda ran to the middle of the empty street and looked up. The dark, angry clouds in the sky were promising cold rain, and the wind didn't improve any of her vision. She put on her subarmor and scanned the darkening sky.
"If you Warlords want a real fight, I suggest you stop playing with nature and face me right now!" Royda shouted. A voice answered to her right.
"I guess she's very eager to die by our new powers," Kale's voice said.
"Let's not disappoint the girl," Dais' voice said off to her left.
She turned to the voices but found nobody there. Her hand went to her back and motioned the others to leave. They quickly did as she motioned but Mira hesitated a few seconds before leaving as well.
Their flight away from the soon-to-be battle ground was not easy. The weather seemed to just get worse as they fled the source. Cold winds cut their uncovered faces and they all tried to get cover before moving on. Mira kept looking over her shoulder, expecting her rather stubborn sister to show up.
When they finally reached high ground, everybody turned back toward the little town and discovered a light show. Bright flashes of energy came from everywhere. Mira had half a mind of going back down there and getting Royda out, but she saw how the other girls surrounded her, Mia, and Anubis. Even Kayura stood protectively in front of her.
"All of you stop it!" Mira suddenly shouted. Everybody turned to her. "I know what you are thinking and I suppose I would do it too, but that's my decision. All of you can't protect me all the time. I'm going down there to find my sister whether you like it or not." Before she could step forward, an armored form was heading their way.
Figures appeared on the horizon. Royda looked back and saw that everybody had safely left the town. She turned back around only to find that she was surrounded. Whether she was surprised or not, she didn't show it.
"She looks braver than the Ronins," Sekhmet said, looking down at her.
"Certainly suicidal if she means to take us on all by herself," Dais added.
"I can hold my own better than any Ronin," she said empathicly. She jumped up and kicked Dais on the chest and pushed off with both feet, making him fall backwards. Twisting in the air, she saw the other two follow where she would fall.
She landed and quickly jumped again as concentrated energy headed her way. A shower of debris pelted her back as she jumped away from another attack. Her constant dodging of their energy quickly irritated the Warlords.
"Why don't you stop this foolishness and just give up?" Kale called after her right behind a blast. "Can't you see that it's useless, and you obviously don't have the power to go up against us!"
Without warning, Royda stood still and held her palms up to her face. Before they could react, a huge fireball headed the Warlords' way. All of them barely avoided the blast as it crashed against the side of a building, shattering it.
"That was rather impressive," said Kale, admiringly. "Care to try again?"
All three Warlords turned from the shattered building to their seemingly helpless play toy. Royda was nowhere to be found.
"I'd like to try again," her voice said from nowhere. "This time, I'll play for keeps."
Her form materialized above them. They were surprised that she was now wearing a red armor very similar to that of Wildfire. Her hair was still on a ponytail and she lacked a helmet.
"You think an imitation of Wildfire's armor will change anything!?" Dais asked. "If you wanted an intimidation, you would have at least used Hardrock's armor."
"My armor is no Wildfire and certainly well beyond Hardrock's strength." She unsheathed her twin katanas. "You call me Fireball."
Her attack came rather quickly and the Warlords were more confused then prepared. She dodged a punch from Dais, blocked one of Sekhmet's blades, and let loose a fireball at point blank range at Kale, all in one sequence. Even with all their new power, they couldn't seem to keep up with Royda.
They all crashed into a building, creating a mess of the peaceful little town. Royda landed for a moment then sent in another fireball after them. She quickly retreated as she sheathed her swords.
"Royda!!" Everybody shouted her name. The red armor was steaming from her recent fight. She landed a few feet away from them and they came running. Even under a trained eye, Royda didn't look tired. She was a picture of pure leadership and didn't even show relief that the others had escaped unharmed. Inside, however, her very soul asked herself to rest before they fought again. It had not been used for centuries and the fight with the new Warlords didn't help in trying to get used to her powers again.
"Are you okay?" Mia asked. Royda didn't answer.
"If she's standing, she's fine," answered Kishin. "It's when she's talking that it's a bad time."
"What happened?" Anubis asked as he scanned the way she came.
"I got them mad enough to leave the resort and follow me." She passed everybody and stopped in front of Kayura. "Take Mia and Anubis away from here. The rest of us will take care of them."
Kayura nodded and motioned for the two of them. The other girls surrounded Royda and devised a plan. A thought entered Kayura's mind that made her look back at her sister.
"You won't hurt them much, would you?"
Royda looked at her older sister and quickly recognized the distress in her voice. She pulled her away from the group.
"You love him, don't you?" Royda looked into her eyes.
"How did you know?" Kayura's eyes panicked.
"I might not have seen you since I was two years old, but I know what you're thinking. I didn't hurt him back there and I don't think I'll hurt him now."
"Keep him safe Royda. He's not usually like this."
"I know. Now take those two as far away from here as you can. They'll be looking for them."
Kayura nodded and headed for Mia and Anubis. Royda returned to her team.
"We'll keep him safe," Kishin said as she clapped Royda's shoulder.
"I hope so," she answered. "He's the only one that knows her."
"So we go on a light offensive?" Kala asked eagerly.
"Very light offensive."
"Oh! There's no room for any fun then," Reva jokingly whined.
"We only need them to be unconscious so that Mira could cancel any mind control Tyra's spirits have on them. Nothing more."
Four heads nodded in unison and transformed into their armors.
A pile of rubble started to move and shift. A supernatural light peeked through the cracks and illuminated the dark sky. The high noon sun was quickly blocked by a mysterious cloud and the rubble exploded.
Three very angry Warlords emerged from the building. Their eyes glowed an eerie red glow and their aura reflected their agitation. Each step out of the rubble created an indentation that showed their increased power.
"You can understand why I didn't want you fighting all five warriors," a female voice said in their heads. "Now that my spirits' powers course through you bodies, I hope all three of you could defeat them before they meet the Ronins and take over this Earth."
All three Warlords nodded and levitated upwards. Their eyes, still red, glowed even more as energy started building up and around them. Their bodies turned into bright balls as they headed to the direction Royda went.
Anubis looked back again. He couldn't help but feel very useless since he wasn't able to help his new friends. When he looked forward again, he saw two women that were under his protection.
Mia stumbled a bit and Anubis
caught her easily. She looked up and he could see her flushed
face. Holding her close, he could almost hear her heart
"Kayura," he said to the priestess. She looked back on them and stopped. "I think we better stop for awhile."
"What's wrong?" Kayura asked, looking behind them to make sure they weren't followed.
"Mia can't take this. She is walking with two people." Anubis helped Mia sit down on a rock and lean up against a tree.
"We can't rest now," Mia looked at Anubis. She tried to get up against Anubis' hold. "They are after us."
"Don't worry," reassured Kayura. "The girls can take care of those three. I just hope they've been using their powers with regularity."
"And if they haven't?" asked Anubis.
"A full scale battle like this would only weaken them. They would be using a lot of their own energy. If they don't use their own power, they're basically sitting ducks against charged up Warlords. They've got their work cut out for them."
"Why don't you help them?
We could hide ourselves."
"I promised Royda to look after you two. I don't intend to break it unless she breaks her promise to me."
A big chunk of rock exploded near Reva and threw her backwards. Kala's resting form stopped her from going any further.
"I think we're out of practice," Reva told her. Kala nodded.
"We picked a bad century to relax," Kala answered. She looked back to the battle field. The rest of the girls were barely holding on. "At least Royda's still in top shape."
"I think we better get back into the mix. Kishin and Mira look like they can use a breather." Kala nodded as they both ran back to the battle.
Royda fired another fireball at the Warlords as Kala and Reva rejoined her. Kishin and Mira quietly backed out of the fray, thankful for a little breather. They shot a final blast before they found shelter.
"Nice of you to decide to join me," Royda said, not a sign of being tired.
"Oh sarcasm," Reva said, avoiding a poisonous blade. "If I wasn't busy fighting, I would actually think that you were showing emotions."
"That's impossible Reva," answered Kala. She flung her kusarigama at Dais and set it on fire, burning the Warlord. "The Iron Maiden can't possibly show emotion, especially during a battle."
Suddenly, the three Warlords stopped attacking. They stood back to back and started melting together. In their place, a single warrior emerged.