Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Yu Yu Hakusho characters. They are
only being borrowed temporarily, and will hopefully not end up being too
OOC on their brief outing.
Personal Appeal: This is my first Yu Yu Hakusho fiction. Please read and
review to let me know how I'm doing. There are so many great Yu Yu Hakusho
authors out there (like Skitzophrenick, Frith, and all the others that I
love) that it's a lot to live up to!
CHAPTER 1: ENTERING THE TOURNAMENT
"Yusuke, I'm sending you and your team to another tournament." Koenma
sucked placidly on his pacifier and leaned forward on his paper bestrewn
"Oh man, we just got back from the Dark Tournament. When do I get a
break?" Asked Yusuke.
"Stop complaining." Koenma sat back in his chair and folded his hands over
his toddler tummy. "This one's a small stakes tournament. It should be
easy for you."
"If it's so easy, why don't you go yourself?"
"Because that's why I have spirit detectives like you." Answered Koenma
"But why, if it's such an unimportant tournament, are you sending Yusuke
when he's barely recovered from the Dark Tournament?" Botan interjected,
eyebrows raised. "What's really going on?"
"The tournament itself is not important." Said Koenma impatiently. "It's
the prize. Some time ago an ancient treasure, a large opal, disappeared.
Well someone's unearthed it and the tournament committee bought it to be
the prize. It's said to have the power to cloud human minds."
"But since most of the spirit world's portals to the human world are
closely watched, why would a demon fighting team want to win such an opal
if they don't have access to the human realm?"
"Good question, Botan, but if Yusuke and his team win, we won't ever have
"My team? Why can't I just go alone? If it's as easy as you say, then
I'll just bag the jewel and be back by lunch time."
Koenma sighed. "Because it's a tournament, a team tournament with
qualifying rounds and team to team battles. I told you it was a small
stakes tournament. Tournaments like that are usually fought with every
member of the team on the field fighting every member of the opposing team
at the same time."
Yusuke stuck his hands in his pockets. "I don't need any help."
"Possibly not, but those are the tournament rules, and I had a hard enough
time getting your team qualified and entered considering that the
tournament has already started." Koenma sniffed. "Ogre! Where is my
lunch? You were supposed to bring it an hour ago."
A blue ogre popped his head in the door carrying a covered tray. "Here it
is sir!" He set it carefully on the table, as Koenma tied a large napkin
around his neck and prepared to dig in.
"Wait a minute! You're telling me you entered me and my team in a
tournament that already started?" Yusuke's voice raised an octave.
Koenma looked up from his lunch. "Of course, and let me tell you, it
wasn't easy getting you signed up for the final rounds. Only your recent
victory at the Dark Tournament and my amazing powers of persuasion enabled
me to pull it off."
"He means he threatened to pull their tournament license." Muttered the
"What did you say?" Koenma turned a baleful glare toward the Ogre.
"Er, nothing sir!"
"I thought so." Koenma pulled his pacifier out and thrust his chin toward
Yusuke and Botan. "What are you still doing here? Gather your team and
get going. You haven't got all day. The last rounds start tomorrow."
"Start where? You haven't told us where the tournament is held." Yusuke
"It's by a shrine near Tokyo a few hours drive outside of town. The shrine
is a portal to the Spirit Realm. With Hiei and Kurama by your side you
shouldn't have any problem getting through. That other human, however..."
Yusuke slammed his fist on Koenma's desk, startling the Ogre, who sprang
back. "Kuwabara is part of my team. I'm not leaving without him."
Koenma sighed, unperturbed, and continued to eat his lunch. "Suit
yourself. Just suit yourself somewhere else. You're interfering with my
digestion." Ignoring Yusuke's scowl, Koenma popped a grape into his mouth
and began chewing.
"Come on, Yusuke," Botan plucked at the boy's sleeve and pulled him toward
the door. "We have lots to do if we're going to get the team together and
to the tournament by tomorrow. My oar will hold one other person, two at
most, and Kurama's the only one of you with a car."
"Rub it in why don't you?" Growled Yusuke, as he allowed himself to be
pulled out of Koenma's office.
The next day a small red sports car pulled up outside an abandoned looking
shrine outside Tokyo. Its roof swayed lopsidedly over an untended,
untrimmed garden of shrubs and weeds, and moss covered the broken roof
tiles like an uneven green blanket.
Kurama, a red headed boy with emerald green eyes got out of the driver's
side and pulled his seat forward to let Yusuke spring out. Hiei, dressed
head to toe in black with a white headband matching the shock of white in
his spiky black hair, got out more slowly from the passenger side, leaving
Kuwabara to push the other seat forward and climb clumsily out, unbending
his long legs as he went.
"Geez, what a dump!" Yusuke observed, glancing at the ruined shrine.
"How come I had to sit in back instead of Hiei?" Complained Kuwabara,
leaning over to stretch out his back. "I've got longer legs than he does."
"Because you're a human, human." Growled Hiei.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kuwabara bristled.
"If you can't figure it out with your limited brain power, I'm not going to
tell you." Hiei crossed his arms and glared.
"Are you sure this is the right place?" Yusuke asked Kurama, who was
gazing at the plants on either side of the shrine, head slightly cocked, as
if listening to them.
"Hmm. Botan's directions were very specific. In fact, you can ask her
"Hello everyone!" The ferry-girl of the River Styx swooped down on her
wooden paddle and came to a stop in front of the boys, slipping off her
flying oar with the grace of long practice. Instead of her usual pink
kimono, she wore jeans, a tee shirt, and a light jacket.
"Geez, Aren't you afraid someone will see you flying around like that?"
Botan turned to look at him, swishing her long silver pony-tail. "Of
course not, silly. Normal humans can't see me while I'm on my oar. "So
where's Keiko? Did you have any trouble finding the shrine?"
"Keiko had a test today, so she had to go to school." Yusuke offered.
"But wouldn't that mean that you had a test today too?" Asked Botan.
"Who cares? It's just a test." Yusuke yawned.
"We had no trouble finding the shrine." Kurama answered Botan's second
question, distracting her from the scolding she was about to give.
"Well good, then let's be off." Botan marched smartly up to the side wall
of the shrine, gestured briefly at what looked to be a blank wall, and then
pressed on it, opening up a door shaped like a square. "Well, come on,
we're late, so the second to last round has probably already started." She
stepped aside and let Kurama and Yusuke enter first. Hiei, scowling, went
next, leaving Kuwabara who stopped at the doorway which led to –not the
inside of the dilapidated temple- but a grassy meadow with a coliseum style
arena in the center. He glanced back at the car and the gardens, then
through the portal.
"Uhn! That always freaks me out."
"Koenma said you'd be trouble. In you go!" Botan said, and shoved
Kuwabara unceremoniously through the portal.
"Hey! No pushing!" Kuwabara exclaimed as he stumbled on a clump of
The group walked toward the coliseum, which reverberated with the usual
demonic yells and catcalls of a spirit world tournament. As they drew
closer, Botan covered her nose with her sleeve, and Kuwabara grimaced.
"What's that smell?"
As they rounded a small hillock, the answer became clear. Next to the
coliseum's main entrance lay a pile of demon bodies. Hiei stopped and
glanced at it dispassionately.
"That's gross. Don't they have somewhere else to put those things?"
"I believe those are the losers." Kurama observed.
"I guess this really is a small time tournament." Said Botan. "The bigger
ones have a body disposal service that gets rid of the bodies as they get
killed instead of leaving them out until after the tournament's over."
"How long has this thing been going on?" Kuwabara stared disgustedly at
"Three days." Answered Botan, who walked quickly past the pile and joined
Yusuke, Hiei, and Kurama, who were standing in the doorway of the main
entrance, watching the end of battle being played out on the arena floor
"Hey, wait up!" Called Kuwabara, dragging his horrified eyes away from the
body pile and running to catch up.
Inside the Colisseum, the tail end of a battle raged on. A tall demon,
dressed in skin tight black and purple, with the thin physique of a praying
mantis was shredding his opponent across the far end of the arena while
shrieks emanated from a thick fog like mist obscuring the center area.
Closer to the entrance, a small feminine figure with a mass of shaggy brown
hair opened a small bag and flung what looked like metallic bits in the
air. As she gestured, the metal pieces flew through the air and sliced
into a pair of twin rock demons opposing her and the massive demon at her
side. The rock demons howled as their cuts began to bleed, which was when
the larger demon strode forward, transforming his fists into huge, hammer
shaped protuberances, which smashed the rock beasts to pieces.
The shrieking from arena center cut off abruptly, and the mist dissipated,
revealing a trollish figure dressed all in grey with masses of wrinkles
sagging the skin of his withered face, standing over the body of his beaten
From the loudspeaker, the MC, a worried looking hairy demon attempted to
bellow over the roar of the crowd. "And there you have it. The Mist
Master's team wins again." The crowd noise heightened considerably as
reptilian demons in white jackets lumbered onto the field, grabbing the
bodies, and pieces of bodies of the losers and dragging them toward the
entrance. Yusuke's team jumped to get out of the way, and walked to the
"Let's hear it for the Mist Master's team!" The hairy demon encouraged the
crowd un-necessarily, as they were already screaming with typical demonic
enthusiasm over the spilled blood. The Mist Master team gathered in the
center of the arena. The grey one, obviously the leader, leaning on his
staff and smiling ghoulishly, while the tall thin one and the large hammer
handed one raised their fists in the air triumphantly. Only the smallest
female one seemed unaffected by the victory, standing quietly with her head
bent down so that her overly long, shaggy bangs obscured the top half of
"And look! Team Urameshi has arrived!" The hairy demon MC's voice took on
a tone of relief as he pointed with one clawed finger at the group standing
at the arena's edge. "Here they are, folks. Fresh from their victory at
the Dark Tournament, ready and willing to challenge the Mist Master team to
the final victory – the Opal of Obfuscation!" The MC gestured, and two
black cloaked zombie like judges stepped onto the MC platform bearing a
tray, in the middle of which lay a large round cabochon cut white stone
which glowed from within.
The crowd went wild again, shrieking their approval or rage, depending on
which team they were rooting for, as Yusuke, Hiei, Kurama, Kuwabara, and
Botan stepped into the ring. Yusuke moved next to Botan.
"So that's it, huh?" He mouthed in her ear.
Botan nodded, and glanced worriedly at Kuwabara, who was staring at the
opal with a rapt expression.
"It's so pretty. It's as big as a noodle bowl!" Kuwabara exclaimed
wonderingly. Botan pinched him suddenly on the inner arm. "Ow!"
"Don't look at it," She hissed. "It only affects humans."
"Oh, right." Said Kuwabara, abashed.
When the crowd noises died down a bit, the MC continued. "And now, a
surprise announcement. The other judges and I have decided that in light
of this last minute addition to our tournament, the rules have now changed.
The remaining round will be fought in one-on-one hand to hand combat, and
the team with the most members left standing at the end wins!"
"Oh great," Muttered Yusuke. "ANOTHER fight to the death."
The crowd, once again, went wild.
TO BE CONTINUED...