Starving Wolf: 20
Violet Dire Wolf: 13
Green Drake: 2
3 Guardians Split Into:
2 Green Drakes
2 Violet Dire Wolves
12 Starving Wolves
Starving Wolf: 32
Violet Dire Wolf: 15
Green Drake: 4
Up till then, Ikuchi had been quite wary of Leila since she had proven to be far too arrogant for his tastes. However, the straw broke the camel's back when she said "I have fought by Kaori’s side in Bosco where we faced a grand foe. There, I saw a great deal of power, far more than the quarter you claim."
Which was when Ikuchi let out a chuckle, turned around to show her his back and said "Look kid, I don't feel like dying alongside some arrogant wretch."
and vanished. Every last word after that sentence, even her turning her back to him had gone to waste as he wasn't there to experience it. He wasn't around to hear her speech, not the part about him not knowing what she was, nor the part about her pegging him as a solitary creature, not even the bit where she told him she'd give him a pass to leave the place. He was already gone on account of Leila's arrogance and ignorance, thinking that she knew Kaori's capabilities after seeing only a couple spirits and a few caster class spells. It was absurd, foolish, and childish to think that way and only showed Ikuchi that she was desperate to be the dominant figure on the mission when she was trying to apply that visage to a dragon- a being who was the symbol of dominance in most cultures, and the symbol of power in many others. It was her own fault for alienating Ikuchi, having shown blatant disappointment over Kaori's not being there. It was as though she expected Kaori, a guild ace of a monster hunter guild who was almost constantly on missions, to be at the guild's castle, or drop everything to come and assist someone she hardly even knew. Then she had placed blame on Ikuchi for defending himself, even threatening his safety instead of calling into question her own crew. Of course, that's how bigoted bias works and Ikuchi wouldn't hold it against her for too long. He didn't hold grudges against ungrateful people, he pitied them for all of a few seconds while turning his back on them, leaving them to their fates.
By the time Ikuchi reappeared elsewhere on the island, he'd already changed form from his human one to that of an animal. Leila would be completely unable to use any manner of power to figure him from the other wild life. As she'd said herself, admitting to Ikuchi, she didn't know about the animals here and expected all of them to be different from the ones on earthland. She wouldn't be able to decipher one strange animal from the inevitably hundreds of other strange animals that roamed the land. Leila would be completely alone for the mission, but what Ikuchi had figured would be that her arrogance and lack of self discipline would result in her blaming him instead of looking inward. While he didn't know that she was the reincarnation of a goddess, he could smell the god complex on her like funk on a fresh pile of horse feces. When she had come across the drakes, she was alone, without any partner at all. While this was going on, Ikuchi was reflecting on his master's previous fights.
Ikuchi's mind floated back to before he ran away, before Kaori found him and took him back in, before Kaori became a Wizard Saint, before everything that happened before she met Leila, all the way back to the events that happened at the Soulsmoke Phoenix's Shrine... The phoenix made the first move, inhaling before bellowing forth a cloud of black fire. Even from a distance, the intensity of the flames could be felt. The bird wanted the power to say that it didn't go down without giving Kaori hell, and its passion extended into its every attack. Kaori had no fear in her heart in the face of the intense flames. As her hair whipped around from the force of the fire pushing the air in front it towarda the masked ninja, Kaori released one of the shotguns and used her telekinesis to keep it held in the air. She stretched her hand out towards the blazing inferno as though she were commanding it to stop. A few feet in front of her, the fire slammed into an invisible wall of energy and began fanning out. It seemed as though the flames had consumed the wall as it wrapped around the barrier like ocean waves running over a sea shell on the beach; but, much to the phoenix's surprise and Kaori's lack there of, the ninja was completely unscathed by the attack.
Embers shot past Kaori's mask in the wake of the clashing forces and Kaori grabbed the shotgun she let go of earlier and fired a slug at the bird, hitting the obvious target. The second one in the opposing hand was fired while she used telekinesis to pump the first, another hit. Kaori continued doing this, alternating the attacks to keep a constant spray on the phoenix, but the bird wasn't gonna go down from a few solid holy metal rods to the chest. It spread its wings and flapped once, sending forth a multitude of black, smokey crescents towards Kaori. They were at varying levels, and Kaori knew she couldn't dodge them all; but she knew she could stop some. 'No. I have the power to stop all darkness.' she thought as time seemed to slow down despite Ikuchi respectfully sitting next to Samira. "Shirofune!" Kaori shouted while spinning on the toes of her sandal, allowing her shotguns to erupt into white particles as a different set of particles took their place.
As she spun, a one quarter inch blade formed in each of her hands that was one inch wide, double edged, and four feet long. The blade had no guard, and at the end of its hilt was the kind of forked end you'd see on an arrow. The first crescent wasn't only cut in half, it was purified by Kaori's sword. The black turned into golden light that erupted into particles as it tore itself apart. Kaori was attacking with a heart of love, a heart strengthened by the presence of her friends and reinforced by their love for her. The second sword came across, cutting the next two crescents in half and purifying it as well. In rapid motion, Kaori had alternated her attacks while seeming to be in a violent dance, cutting the darkened soul based energy and turning into a warm light. The bird spun, sweeping its tail across the area and smashing it into Kaori to send her flying back. Were they not on flat ground, Kaori would have to worry about falling off a cliff or something worse; but, as fortune would have it, such was not the case. She landed on her hand, keeping the white sword held in it and used the momentum to swith to her feet while sliding back a bit.
The bird let out a screech while raising its wings, creating a large unit of twenty shadows to attack Kaori. "Send all the shadows you want, my light will reach you!" Kaori shouted, using her Multi-Clone spell to create nine more version of herself. These ones were special in that they could all use Kaori's spells, and shared her passive effects. Each Kaori had attacked one shadow, and vanished to reappear in double the numbers. As one of the Kaori clones stabbed the shadow with her Shirofune, she said "Shii-nee" and the shadow began glowing and then, it erupted into an explosion that consumed the surrounding area.
The phoenix was smoking more than before, it feeling the sting of Kaori's passion as its righteous light began whittling away at its feathers. The birds eyes glowed a bright violet as it began using an ability that Kaori thought was unique to her, but had now learned there were others with it... A pulse of magic energy erupted outward and consumed the area, changing it from the green and white mists of Kyoka, to a burning hot hellscape. Buildings were on fire, and men and women were in the streets fighting each other with katanas. Kaori's heart stopped, she knew this memory... A man began running towards her, his eyes completely white as he raised his sword. Another version of Kaori showed up and cut him across the stomach, ending his life. She had no mask, and her eyes were filled with tears. A woman appeared out of nowhere and attacked her, the younger- much younger Kaori blocking and shouting "Stop, please! I don't wanna fight you!" with a desperate tone. Each person that attacked Kaori had something in common... One symbol dangling from their necks in beautiful solid gold... a hibiscus, the symbol of her clan. It revealed the source of Kaori's distrust for people, the fact that the day she lost most of her clan, the day she became the clan leader, the day she began hunting Saia down... was because she was forced to kill them herself at the age of ten.
A white light erupted through the vision originating from Kaori. A powerful energy pulsed from her being as the pillar of light began to get brighter. Ikuchi had used his tail to block his own eyes to shield them from the intensity. Kaori's mask had untied from the force exerted on the bands as it flew from within her body. Kaori's kimono was flickering just as wildly as her snow white hair. White strands began forming in the air, surrounding Kaori and connecting to the brilliant pillar of light she had created. "You cannot phase me with my own past... I am a monster, I do not feel. I do not show remorse, and I do not regret killing my own people. We will meet again under the warmth of our sun, as the embers clear fields of death in preparation for seeds of life to be sown." Kaori said in a bold tone while raising her right hand. A white sword appeared in her hand, the same one that she had used against the leader when Samira first met Kaori. This time however, the area was filled with something much more powerful than Kaori's hope, her love, or her joy...
White particles began lifting off of Kaori's being, Ikuchi's, and Samira's. The same particles began lifting off the ground, off the phoenix, off of the pillar and from the gem it held. The hope surrounding them was from more than just Kaori, but rather the hope of many people... the hope of humanity. Kaori's kimono was replaced by a flowing white dress, and a pair of angelic wings even larger than Gabriella's and twice as bright. Kaori prepared to attack, and the phoenix began to see the light as it shone too brightly to be ignored. Kaori began flying forward, however she suddenly stopped... Standing before her was Samira with tears in her eyes, arms spread wide as though she were protecting the bird. Kaori's sword began shaking, and she couldn't figure what to do. She quickly realized how great a 'friend' Samira was when she smiled grimly from ear to ear, a black sword appearing in her hand that was thrust through Kaori's heart. The white light radiating from her quickly turned to darkness and Kaori's hazel eyes quickly turned dull and grey as she collapsed on the floor.
"Sammy..." she said in a weak tone, sitting on her knees with a sword of darkness in her heart "...Why?" she finished asking, tears running from her eyes and down her cheeks. The sword Kaori once wielded had turned black and began fading away, and the world became quiet. "You thought I was your friend?" she said in a bitchy tone. "No... you're my bodyguard- that's all you'll ever amount to! You're a half assed, sorry excuse of a wizard and an even worse clan leader. You can't even keep your servant under control the fucking pervert!" she began laying into Kaori, causing her eyes to water more. A dark barrier had formed around Kaori and the phoenix that even Ikuchi's strength couldn't break through. It was now an obligatory one on one match... "Do you even think that scaley mutt of yours loves you? He'd just as easily abandon you as soon as you stopped giving him food. That crew of yours? They'd all leave you. They don't like you, they're afraid of you, you stupid cunt!" "Stop..." Kaori said in a weak tone, blood beginning to drip from her mouth. "No! I wont stop! I'm tired of submitting to your will! I wanted to see ONE of these things, and you turn into a damn child instantly! Then you don't even ask what I want you selfish bitch, and force me to come along! Do you know how hard it is holding my lunch in on the back of that shit!? No, you don't! You don't even care-" "Please... I- I'm sorry..." "-about my well being! You just wanna see your fucking birds, and make yourself happy!" "No... that's not true." "Then you'll go back to your ship and flaunt all your WONDERFUL wealth about, with your expensive ass vanity set, expensive ass bed, fancy fucking chest while I'M left wondering what kind of TWILIGHT ZONE BULL SHIT you dragged me to!" "I... I didn't want..." "You snuggle the living shit out of me, and you know what- YOUR HAIR SMELLS LIKE SHIT! I don't want that near me, I don't want it in the same room as me! Cut it all off you ugly brat!"
Ikuchi's throat began glowing bright red and he opened his eyelids, revealing hellfire for eyes that resemble a dragon's. He shot forth a blast of black flames that only left a red mark on the barrier. Then, he began frantically tackling the barrier with no signs of stopping. He knew the Samira laying into his master was false, but he also could sense his master was breaking. She trusted Samira, and right now, that trust was tearing her apart. He noticed the tip of Kaori's fingers beginning to turn black, and his assault on the barrier became more desperate as the darkness was consuming her and Samira showed no signs of stopping her verbal barrage.
"Even your spirits hate you!" she shouted, arrogantly leaning over Kaori and adding more weight. "And just like your shitty half-breed, and shitty pirate spirits, I'd abandon you just as soon as you stopped being useful." and that was the final straw to break the camel's back. "SHUTUP!" Kaori shouted, all of the darkest emotions of her heart filling the air and completely paralyzing Ikuchi from their weight. However, those emotions cleared quickly... Kaori hesitantly looked around her and saw a field of wheat, sunlight washing over her as her grayed out eyes continued crying. Over a hundred thousand armored men and woman were standing around Kaori, Ikuchi, and Samira. An extremely old man walked out of them, materializing from dust particles and standing in front Kaori. "Grand... father...?" she asked in a weak tone, not believing the sight in front her. The old man kneeled down and touched the sword in her heart, turning it into light that dissipated. He then pulled her in, the phoenix all the meanwhile doing nothing as it hadn't known what was happening. "My dear, you worry too much." he said calmly, stating the last words he said to her when she killed him. "I did not appoint a weak child to take my place... I appointed the strongest of any clan leader who ever lived." his words turned Kaori's eyes to the light, causing them to return to their hazel appearance as the clan leaders of times gone by all got on their knees and prostrated themselves before Kaori.
Kaori's eyes turned fierce and she became angrier than ever, she grit her teeth and grabbed the still dissipating katana. The blade exploded with white energy and Kaori's grandfather vanished, allowing her to blast forward while she rammed it into the phoenix, with it the love of her grandfather, and trust of ever leader bowing to her. The bird's black, smokey feathers turned white and the world returned to normal. Kaori fell from the phoenix's chest, landing on the ground while blood pooled around her from her wounds. The phoenix understood Kaori, and had seen what she meant by saying she (the phoenix) had a flawed heart. A voice rang through the air, peaceful and soft. "Your light has reached me human... for this I thank you." it said, bowing its head and sending a single tear down its beak onto Kaori's heart where she was stabbed. Ikuchi's mind returned to reality and he mentally laughed at the thought of Leila knowing anything of Kaori's power.