|After the Battle
Author: cmccrzy PM
What was going through Ryo's head after the first appearance of the mysterious white armor? How will its appearance affect our favorite five armored warriors?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Angst - Ryo S. & Sage D. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 22,964 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 05-21-13 - Published: 08-12-12 - id: 8422198
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
High, high up in the sky, where clouds of this world and other worlds collided to form a veil, a tall red gate materialized. Its doors were initially shut, and they slowly opened inward, allowing a golden light to suffuse the air. Out of the depths of the gate emerged a tall armored figure. He stepped out onto the air as if onto solid ground, and when he was a short ways away from the gate, the doors shut behind him and the gate vanished from sight.
Completely covered in armor from head to foot, he resembled a sort of diver with a squished white-metal mask covering his face. The rest of his armor was black and blue, and he carried a tall pikestaff in his right hand.
He looked down below his feet, waving his spear to move aside the clouds blocking his view. A space opened up and he looked down onto a large human city – Tokyo was the name he'd been told. He could feel the movement of so many human souls as if they were right before his eyes. While a part of him salivated to be unleashed out in the human realms after so long, the wiser part of him reined in his desire and turned to the task at hand.
He probed around the city, sending out all his senses as far as he could. Arago had said that he would able to sense the Troopers by his own aura saturated in the armors they wore. With luck, they would still be together, and so would provide an easier target to spot, like a bulls eye.
He did not find them in the city, and could not suppress a sigh of disappointment. If they had been there, it would have been an excuse to go down and wreak some havoc, and gather what souls he could find before returning to the Nether Realms with his prizes.
As he was considering which direction to take first, he felt a slight pull, and dove down to a specific edge of the city. It was not very strong, but he could sense two human souls laced with Arago's power, retreating from the city.
He smiled beneath his helmet, knowing that Luck was favoring him this day.
"Oh that was nice!" Shin sighed, leaning back in his seat while Seiji drove them back to the house. "Even if it was short, and just a supply trip, it was nice to get out of that place for a bit!"
"You've spent more time talking about the house than you have enjoying the errand run," Seiji replied. "On the way up you kept commenting about how nice it was to get away, and in town you nearly shouted about it, and now here—"
"Well I'm trying to get all my thoughts out while I can!" Shin interrupted. "Contrary to how some people act, I don't keep everything in and sulk when I have the opportunity to vent. It's like being drowned in that place. Touma's the only one with anything to do. Shu does nothing but exercise and glare at you if you try to interrupt him for anything but food, and Ryo, well… he's still recovering."
They were both silent for a moment, contemplating that touchy problem.
"Well," Seiji replied, "The problem now is that we have to get used to being around each other without a life or death scenario hanging over our heads. It's easy to band together under the heat of battle, especially when you've got nowhere else to run. Now we have to learn about each other in peacetime. We have to get used to who we are as people, not soldiers."
"And with much more of this, we'll find out that we're even less like soldiers than we appear. We'll all start leaving."
Seiji smiled sadly, "Well maybe—" He slammed on the brakes, making Shin gasp as the seatbelts squished tight against his body while the inertia of the car pushed them forward. They sped to a halt – mostly alone on the road, thankfully, although an annoyed fellow driver swerved around them about thirty seconds later, opened a window, and shouted back insults as they went off into the distance. The smell of burnt rubber filled the air and Shin glanced in surprise over at his companion as Seiji quickly unlocked his seat belt, opened the door, and jumped out of the car. Shin mimicked the action and ran over to stand by him, asking "Seiji, what-?"
"I felt them. Youja. Someone is watching us."
"What?" Shin looked around, and then cursed. He should know by now that looking wasn't always the best option. He shut his eyes and listened. It was harder to sense when he was out and away from water, and he definitely wasn't even close to being Seiji's equal – no one on the team was – but he could still at least somewhat sense Youja out there. For a moment, there was nothing, and then he felt a slight presence. He opened his eyes and frowned, "So we didn't get them all after all. Should we suit up?"
"Yeah. Whoever they are, they can't be up to any good. And if they're after us, we want to give them a decent fight, eh?" He reached into his pocket and crushed his armor crystal in his hand, as Shin did the same. A brief flash of green and blue light covered the area, and then they were both in their base armors.
"Let's get away from the car," Seiji said. "We don't need to go blowing up our own car, or catching any other drivers on the road." He leapt up onto the cliff forming the wall for the road with Shin following behind, both of them searching for their new enemy. Once they were at the top of the cliff, they moved further away from the road and then crouched down in a gathering of bushes, waiting.
To Seiji, the demonic presence had been like a crackling in his mind, marring the sky and energies of the earth in the air, and bumping painfully against his senses as he moved. Now the crackling grew, and he narrowed his eyes instinctively, focusing on the energy. Where was it coming from?
Saranbo looked around curiously. He had been able to feel the presence of two armors before, but now he barely sensed one. Odd. He materialized fully for a better look around the area, inspecting the odd contraption they had been near moments before. He saw no one there.
When Seiji spotted him, he grabbed Shin's shoulder and pointed. Shin looked and saw a tall, large, frog-like ornately armored figure. Its aura saturated the air. Even as Shin prepared for the fight, he felt a sadness fill his mind. They'd been right – it wasn't over for them. He glanced briefly at Seiji, and realized that the other youth shared the sentiment, despite what he'd said the previous evening. Seiji's gaze hardened, though, and Shin felt his own resolve firm up as well. Mourning for a brief respite could wait. Now was the time to fight.
"Come out little senshi! Come out and fight!"
Shin and Seiji focused, murmuring the summons for their armors. The air around them glowed briefly as the energy gathered around them, then formed into the Halo and Torrent armors. Shin signaled that Seiji stay down, and the other senshi nodded and remained crouched as Shin crawled over the slope away from him. When he was a ways away, he stood up and called out, "Who are you? What do you want?"
Saranbo turned to look at the blue senshi and raised his spear in a sort of mocking salute. "Ahh… so there you are. Where is your friend hiding?"
Shin kept his expression focused and annoyed. This enemy had either been spying on them or could sense them. He didn't look like the typical Youja and certainly wasn't any of the Mashou, unless they'd had a drastic armor change.
Seiji frowned at the stranger. He felt kind of like a Youja. He was not quite like the Mashou, either, who showed up in his mind like different scents. This newcomer's aura was a far more oppressive darkness than the dynasty soldiers and more on par with the Mashou. Even stronger, perhaps. It wasn't as bad as Arago, but Seiji still didn't like it. He kept his hand on his sword hilt, ready to leap out and attack to help Shin at any moment.
"Who are you?" Shin repeated. "What do you want?"
The stranger chuckled, "Quite a bit of bluster, huh? I am Sarenbo, little senshi. And I want the strange white armor that struck down Arago."
What is it with these people and armors? Seiji thought. Nothing but power-hungry monsters. Don't they have anything better to do?
"It's not here," Shin replied. "And I wouldn't give it to you even if it was.
Sarenbo studied him for a moment. "Do you honestly think me a fool? To accept the word of a mere human? You senshi have the armor, and I want it!" Sarenbo turned his head and looked around, "Or perhaps your friend has it."
Seiji leapt into the air seconds before the area where he'd been was struck by a wall of boiling water. Shin sent out a strong torrent attack, but it struck only air as Sarenbo dodged. Seiji unsheathed his sword and struck out at the demon, who moved faster than Seiji had and struck the senshi in the back with his spear.
Seiji cried out and fell to the ground. The blow had winded him.
Shin aimed and fired a torrent of freezing water at Sarenbo. Instead of dodging, the demon sent another attack back at Shin through his own water torrent. Shin cried out as he felt his hands and chest begin to burn. He leapt away, barely holding onto his weapon.
Seiji got up and moved to attack again, but Sarenbo, ending his own attack, turned and threw a bolt of energy at him, catching him in the air. The electricity made Seiji cry out in pain.
"Seiji!" Shin tried to stand, still recovering from Sarenbo's attack. Before he could even try to form another attack, Sarenbo threw the same energy-based attack at him, and Shin felt only pain.
Sarenbo felt the auras that were no longer mostly hidden from him shine once more in his mind. Neither was strong enough to be the white armor, even combined. "Hmph. Waste of my time." He vanished.
Without his presence, the attack collapsed and Seiji and Shin fell, free, to the ground. Their armors deactivated, and they lay for a bit, panting in pain.
Seiji finally got up and dragged himself to Shin, who was sweating profusely and had a pink face. "Shin, are you okay? Can you move?"
Shin turned his head to look at Seiji blearily, then pushed himself up a little. "Yeah, but I feel like I was used as someone's punching bag."
"We need to regroup with the others so we can take this guy down if he comes back. He found us – he might have already found them."
"Or he could be watching us. He could have found us by dumb luck, and now he's just waiting for us to lead him to the others."
Seiji deactivated his sub-yoroi and pulled out his cellphone, dialing the house. While he waited for a pick-up, he said, quietly, to Shin, who sat up beside the other senshi, "Don't mention… black hair, okay?"
Wondering if the attack had fried more than his energy stores, Shin asked, hesitantly, "What? Why would I? What's the significance of-?"
"He doesn't know which of us has the armor. If we don't tell him – it can stay that way."
"Hello?" Shu's voice made Seiji smile – they weren't being attacked at the house. Yet, at least. He hoped demons couldn't track cell phone signals.
"Shu, get Touma! We've been attacked by another demon and we need to form a plan of attack. He wants the white armor."
"Shu, we might not have a lot of time! We don't know where he went! He just beat us up and vanished!"
The line went silent for a moment, and then Seiji heard Shu running along the wooden floors in the house. "Touma! The guys got attacked!"
"Here!" There was a lot of clattering as the phone changed hands, was dropped, picked up, and Touma stuck it on speaker, "Hello?"
"Touma! Can you go somewhere where it's just you and Shu?"
"Just do it."
Silence for a moment, and then there was the sound of more footsteps, the sound of an opening and then closing door, and then Touma said, "All right, what happened?"
"Shin and I were attacked by a demon named Sarenbo. He just showed up out of nowhere and took us out like we were nothing. He said he wanted the white armor."
"That's not the name of any of the demons we know the names of. Could he be another of Arago's soldiers?"
"I don't know. He just attacked us and trapped us in this electric orb thing after he spoke about the armor. I think he knows that Shin and I don't have it, and now he's waiting to find you." Seiji looked around as he spoke, reaching out with his senses for a hint of Sarenbo. He couldn't… there! "He's still here, waiting for us to lead him back to you."
"We'll come find you! We can take him out together!"
"You don't understand! He completely wiped the floor with us! He was faster than me and stronger than Shin. If he takes you out and realizes that you don't have it…"
"…He'll go after Ryo."
Touma was silent for several moments, and then he said, "Then we'll just make sure we finish him off. The four of us should be strong enough to handle one enemy."
"I'm not so sure about that. We're all still recovering. We got past Arago out of sheer luck most of the time, and now we're fighting even worse enemies than the Mashou ever were. And we can't have all of us around because someone is still decommissioned."
"Well, what other choice do we have? Wait for him to kill you in order to drag us out? Wait for him to find us anyway? Even if we wanted to, we can't just hand him the white armor. I still have no idea how we summoned it in the first place, and that's assuming it can be done outside of the special circumstances presented during our battle with Arago. And even if we knew how, we can't just give a demon a weapon of that magnitude! You saw what they did when Arago didn't even know we had something like that. If they had a weapon like that, our world is gone."
"And then there's the fact that it would probably kill Ryo in the state he's in if he summoned it again. Or any of us if one of us got to wear it this time around, especially if it picks you or Shin, from the sound of things."
"I know …" Seiji looked at Shin, who returned his hard gaze. "All right. Meet us here. Just you two, though. There's no need to wake up people who could really use a rest and don't need an excuse to get themselves killed. We can take care of this." He looked at Shin, "We have to."
"All right, where are you?"
"Ryo, you have lessons to take care of today. Are you going to sleep through it all?"
When he opened his eyes to stare at the white ceiling of the now-very-familiar room, Ryo wondered exactly why his mother had appeared to him. It was an odd break from the storm of memories and emotions from the battle with Arago that had been plaguing him.
He sat up and looked around in the afternoon light. Byakuen growled and he reached out a hand to pet the tiger.
Then his stomach growled, and he let out an "Ahh! I guess I should go get some food." He got up and walked slowly to the door with Byakuen's help, the tiger acting as a mock crutch/bannister for him to hold.
"Hello?" No reply came to his call, so he listened for several moments. He couldn't hear anyone. He turned and walked down the stairs. He wasn't familiar with the place, so he might as well start exploring, at least a little. There wasn't much else to explore on the second floor, anyway, and the kitchen probably wasn't up there. Once downstairs, he found a living room, dining room, and kitchen, all empty. "Guys?" He called, moving to the front door and opening it to look out. He couldn't see anyone out there, either.
He shut his eyes and searched for them with his mind. He could feel Byakuen beside him, but he couldn't sense any of the others. "I guess they're all out…" He didn't like this. He didn't really like the idea of being babysat, but he didn't think it was custom to leave an invalid on their own. Plus, where would they go? They weren't exactly fit for nights on the town yet.
He shook his head and looked down at Byakuen, "It's doesn't really matters, does it? I'm in no shape to drive a car or run around looking for them. And even if I could, then what? I'd probably just fall over and they'd have to carry me back. A great deal of use I'd be."
So instead he moved into the kitchen and started trying to find something to eat.
He couldn't ignore the distant buzzing in his mind, like he should remember something. But it didn't feel like a demon or some other threat, so he put it aside for the moment.
Touma and Shu, both wearing their sub-yoroi, raced towards where Seiji and Shin said they were waiting.
"You know we're probably walking into a trap," Touma commented as he watched the road ahead.
"Yeah, well, then at least we'll have someone to fight," Shu replied, "I was getting antsy. Besides, who can handle the four of us, together?"
"The Mashou and Arago seemed to have an easy time of it," Touma commented drily, "or just a bunch of Youja."
"Well… that was before! We're a lot stronger now and we… uh…"
"I guess you're right," Touma replied, "We're at least a little stronger than we were. It's hard to tell with the recovery and all, but… I do feel a little stronger than I used to. It's like-like I'm more in tune with my armor or something."
Shu blinked in surprise and commented, "Yeah… now that you mention it." He looked out the window to watch the scenery pass by, "It's not that so much as… I can feel the earth beneath is. The layers, the weight, the strength. Like it's a part of my body. Things weren't like that before."
"It could be related to the white armor, or what happened with Arago… we'll have to talk about it later, and see how much our powers have changed. Right now, we need to focus on defeating this new demon. Hope he doesn't just pop out of thin air any time soon. I'd hate to be running to rescue friends and then die in a car crash."
"Which means that's probably exactly what he'll do," Shu replied, "Hopefully he's looking in another direction than the one we're coming from." He grinned and then gasped, "Touma, get off the road!"
Touma turned the car onto the dirt beside the road, jarring the pair of them and making quite a large crashing and crunching sound.
"Dam-!" Touma gagged as Shu grabbed him and pushed him down against the door. The glass exploded over them and Touma pressed down on the brakes. There was a loud "skid" sound and they came to a stop without crashing into anything.
Shu sat back up, opened his door, and jumped out, summoning his armor. Touma rubbed his side and looked around. They were some ways from the road by now, and when he looked back at where they had been before, he saw a rising pillar of smoke. He stared, shocked, before fumbling with the door and letting himself out of the car. He paused for a moment to look around again, then grabbed his phone and called Seiji.
"He's here!" Shu called out. "He spotted us! Come out you asshole!"
Sarenbo materialized and Touma, staring in shock, fumbled with his first response to Seiji's question, then shouted, "He's here! We're a little ways up the road from you! Gotta go!" He stuffed his phone in his pocket and summoned his armor.
"Ahh, more senshi. Do you have the white armor?"
Shu raised his sansetsukon and growled, "Maybe we do, maybe we don't. You're not getting it in any case!"
"Hmph. Humans are too much trouble." Sarenbo threw a bolt of electricity at Shu, who deflected it back at the demon.
"Ahh, you're a little stronger than your friends. That's nice."
"Haah!" Shu jumped and swung his weapon at Sarenbo, who dodged aside.
And so Sarenbo was hit in the side by one of Touma's arrows and knocked flying.
"Darn it, Touma, I had him!"
Touma nocked another arrow and replied, "Sure you did."
Sarenbo pushed himself out of the indent he'd made in a nearby cliff, aimed, and fired another bolt of electricity back in the direction of the two senshi. Shu, already running for him, dodged aside. Touma had leapt into the sky earlier as the demon moved, aiming down at Sarenbo. He let loose, only this time Sarenbo was ready. He dodged the shot, aimed and fired off a column of water at Touma, who simply moved aside, grinning, "You're kidding! Trying to get me while I'm up here!" He fired another shot, and Sarenbo had to jump away.
And then Shu landed a blow straight over the demon's head, knocking him into the ground.
"I don't get it," Shu commented, swinging his spear in preparation for a final attack, "This guy took out Seiji and Shin? What, were they asleep?"
"Shu, don't let your guard down!"
"I know, I know! One dead demon coming up." He started to run towards where Sarenbo had fallen, and so wasn't ready when a ball of lightning fell from the sky and surrounded him completely. He cried out.
"Shu!" Touma looked up and dodged another blast from Sarenbo, who was standing much farther up in the air. Touma aimed and fired up at him, but Sarenbo simply fired back a wave of boiling water, which went through Touma's attack and surrounded the senshi in another orb of energy. Touma cried out.
The ceramic cup of water Ryo had been lifting to his lips fell out of his hand and shattered on the floor, splattering his feet with hot tea. He put his arm out and leaned against the wall to try and deal with the wave of dizziness. "Ugh… the guys… where are… they're in pain. Why... why can I…?"
Byakuen growled and nuzzled his left leg, making Ryo look down at him. "Yeah, I… I don't know Byakuen. I…" He looked to the door. "I've gotta find them. I just… I have to help." The thought crossed his mind that he didn't even have any shoes on and he'd probably just kill himself or someone else trying to be brave.
The dizziness colored with the auras of the others went through his head again and he groaned. "Gotta go. Gotta find them…" He moved towards the door.
Byakuen growled again and pushed him away.
Ryo looked down at the tiger and frowned, "Byakuen, I have to go. The guys, they… they're hurt. I don't get how I know, I don't know… I don't know that I can help… the armor might-it might take over again, and I don't know what it'll do, then. But I have to go. I have to." Do I just want to go because there might be a fight? Is that what I want?
But he wasn't sensing an enemy. He was just feeling the others. He could feel their pain, and it made him queasy and angry. Angry at whatever was hurting them. Maybe that was just another excuse for the monster in his chest– nobility in the face of greed. But it was the answer he needed: an excuse to leave.
"I have to go. I don't know what's out there. I don't know what I have to do, but I need to go help them.
Byakuen made a mewling sound, but Ryo pushed his way past and out the door.
"Hmph, you don't have the armor either." Sarenbo snorted. "Hmm… I've fought four of you now. There should be five. I wonder where the fifth is hiding."
"Dammit we're too late!" Seiji ran forward, wincing as he moved. Shin followed close behind, moving even slower than him.
"So you survived," Sarenbo aimed down at them, "Perhaps now you'll tell me where the white armor is."
"Never!" Seiji aimed and slashed down with a lightning bolt cut at Sarenbo. Unfortunately, the demon dodged and trapped Seiji, who could not move fast enough, in another ball of electrical energy, which slammed backward into Shin, trapping the other senshi, as well.
"This could have gone easier on you all if you had given me what I wanted. Tell me where the white armor is!"
None of them replied. They kept their mouths shut and tried to escape, struggling and trying to summon an attack to destroy the traps. Nothing worked, and they simply writhed in agony.
"Tell me where the last member of your little party is! I wager the armor is with him. If you do so, I will kill you all quickly. If not…" He increased the voltage, making them all cry out louder.
Ryo clenched Byakuen's fur as the cat ran down the road. He had his sub-yoroi on. He was very concerned that if he put on the wildfire armor, it would significantly decrease the time he would have to be valuable. Sure, he needed to be ready, but he didn't need to use up his energy just sitting on Byakuen's back. Even this was hard, what with the dizziness increasing as they got closer to the others. His heart was racing as he contemplated going back into another battle.
None of the others were home. He didn't have any number to call. He hadn't found any notes. There were no signs of an attack at the building or along the way.
A demon should create more destruction… and if one of the others used one of their armor's attacks, there should be more destruction. That's all the armors are, really. Weapons of chaos.
He caught sight of the skid marks on the road and looked around for a car. Sure, it might be something completely unrelated, but with the luck the YST had…
It's not like I could even recognize a car I've never seen if I saw it. I guess if they're just nearby… They feel close.
"Byakuen! Follow the skid marks!"
The tiger growled and turned after them, heading to a car parked a ways away in the grass. The driver and front passenger doors were open. Byakuen paused so Ryo could hop off and take a better look into the car to make sure there was no one there. It was empty.
"They feel…" He turned away from the car and looked off a ways. "That way. Byakuen!" He hopped back on the tiger's back and they raced in that direction.
"You know that you're all going to die if you keep this up," Sarenbo said, looking over the senshi floating in the air, crying out in pain. "I'm amazed you've all even managed to remain conscious for so long. The armors are truly items of incredible value." He looked over them again, measuring. Even now, all together, they weren't enough to equal the power that had defeated Arago. There was something missing… "Tell me where the armor is, you fools, or die by inches!"
Sarenbo turned to look down at Ryo, who now wore the Wildfire armor, having summoned it as they neared the scene.
Ryo took in the sight of the others trapped in the energy orbs. Now that he was so close, the dizziness was slightly blurring his vision every few seconds. He tried to stand as still as possible to maintain some appearance of strength. And he hoped he didn't collapse any time soon. The sight of the demon floating in the air before the others… some sort of black and white frog armor monster…
He felt his blood grow hot and unsheathed his swords.
That voice in his mind, where did it come from?
He shook his head and shouted, "Let them go!"
"So, the last of the senshi!" Sarenbo replied, moving closer. "You must have the white armor. Give it to me!"
Ryo blinked in surprise. "What?"
Sarenbo vanished and reappeared a bare foot in front of the senshi and continued, "I grow weary of this game. Where is the white armor?"
"I-I don't-!" He tried to jump out the way, but Sarenbo slashed down at him with a powerful blow Ryo barely managed to block, and that still knocked the senshi back into the dirt.
"Your friends are dying, senshi," Sarenbo raised his spear to point at Ryo, "as you will die. Give me the white armor if you value any of your lives!"
Ryo looked over at the others. He didn't know how long they'd been trapped like that or how much more they could take.
Now that, he didn't have to argue with! He leapt back and shot out a cut of flame at the demon, hoping to just kill him and end the spell.
Sarenbo dodged aside and struck back at the senshi with a blast of boiling water, drenching the slow-moving senshi and knocking him into the nearby cliff-face. Ryo cried out and stumbled to his knees. Only then did he start to feel the poison, like Naaza's attacks. It burned through his armor and pushed the dizziness back through whatever force was pushing him on to fight. Combining that with his only partially recovered body…
Sarenbo moved closer and laughed. "Is that all? You didn't even last a fraction of the time the others did. How pathetic." He pointed his spear down at Ryo's head and continued, "You clearly don't have the armor either. Such a weakling could never have something so powerful. Your aura, too, is far too weak for what I search for. Die!"
Ryo could feel the power build-up in the demon's trident, and urged his body to move. To fight back, but he felt so powerless…
Just as his attack launched at Ryo, a white light exploded before Sarenbo, knocking him back.
"What the-what was that?"
Fire… Ryo could feel the flames wrapping around his body, forming the white armor from his battle with Arago. It's the one from before. The Kikotei armor! It burns!
For a few moments after the armor's full formation, he simply floated in the air. The smoke and light cleared and Sarenbo was able to get a full look at the senshi standing before him.
"There it is… the armor that defeated Arago." He could feel the heat coming off of it as if he stood beside an enormous brazier. "Such an aura of power…" He raised his spear and pointed at the senshi again, "It must be mine!"
Ryo looked at Sarenbo, seeing the demon not as the strange, powerful creature he had been at first sight, but as a puny nothing, like the Youja.
He hurt the others and keeps them trapped…
I must destroy him!
He raised his swords and focused on Sarenbo, crying out "Rage… of… Inferno!" A great lance of red-white flame struck out at Sarenbo, completely incinerating him where he stood before he could even send off another attack. The energy spheres vanished, and the other senshi fell to the ground.
Ryo could feel the burst of fire as it blazed beyond the spot where Sarenbo had died, burning towards the sky and lighting up the entire area.
He's gone. There isn't any one else to battle… All Ryo could feel were the weak auras of the other senshi. As his mind reached for them, it broke through that strange presence's hold, and he saw them lying on the ground in pain. My friends! They're hurt!
Byakuen approached Ryo, who turned to look at the tiger, the flames of his attack dissipating, letting the light dim. The fire was gone. He felt how heavy his limbs were.
"Bya—" He fell forward and lay on the ground, his face in the dirt. The Kikotei armor vanished, and he wore his pajamas again. Burns marked his shoulders and his arms where the poison had gotten to him. He didn't move.
Hidden by the clouds, Sarenbo watched the dissipation of the attack that had destroyed his shadow. "Extraordinary," He exclaimed. "I truly must make that armor mine!"
A/N: To be continued. LONG A/N BEGINS! If you have anything you think I should change, please leave me a comment! I do plan on continuing with this, and I appreciate advice!
In case this is a bit confusing, I just want to put this here: the original anime was created in the 80s. Due to the fact that every time I looked at certain moments and problems and then a little voice in my head said "Hey! We have cellphones, laptops, social networking, the Internet… all that stuff… Why is this a problem?", a plot bunny was born that said "Hey! What would it be like if the story were taking place now-ish, and not in the 80s?" Even if they were only given one of these items, the answers would surprise you.
My POINT however, is that yes, I am aware that, in the anime, there are no cellphones. When Naste/Mia uses the computer/Internet, whatever the frack that mess of gibberish that pops up on the screen with the funky sound effects when she types on the keyboard is (it literally means nothing whatsoever), it's some mystical whatever that all of the guys are awed by. "Look, this person can use a computer! Ingenious!" Or "look, it's a computer! Ingenious!" That's… the way things were. Or at least they were when I was a kid, which was slightly after the 80s and computers were still only doing things in two or three colors (purple, green, and red) and there were lots of papers printing out of computers spewing numbers and things and so on and then simple calculators were the awesomest things ever… My parents have told me stories about the fortunes they paid for their calculators.
I also remember the brick my father carried around when cellphones first came out for the public, and how I used to play with the twirly phone cord on our landline. And the giant ass TVs. I'm not making fun of the trope in 80s-90s anime of being awed by people who can use computers (in current stories, after all, people are awed by hackers and computer science people for very good reasons, as well as very silly reasons, like when you can point out the playlist editing options in iTunes). But, well… I like the idea of the guys having access to the Internet and being able to communicate with cellphones and thinking about how the outside world reacts when Tokyo goes dead for maybe a week or two of time and blah blah blah it's really boring anyway. Does it make a difference? Yes. Is it world-changing? To an extent. It's hard to deal with the fact that YST was being "realistic" and a product of its time at the same time. A lot of fiction played with this angle - giving computers magic problem-solving powers without actually showing it properly or fitting the capabilities of computers at the time (or making logical sense). You also see this now, especially in crime and medical dramas. So I could have simply given the computer accurate capabilities, put some realistic 80s computer "gibberish" up, and just gone that way... but if I'd been realistic even that much, the story still would have changed. There are times where all Naste does is plug... something... into the computer, and she gets random stuff out of the computer. We don't know how she got it. We don't typically know what she's looking for. We don't know how the computer gets what answers it does, and there's really no reason for Naste to interpret that information the way she does other than "the plot needed it". I really dislike deux ex machina. One is more than enough for the series - we don't need more in the form of a computer.
So yes. It's 2012ish in the story.
Thank you for reading!