Here's Human, the fanfiction I've been working on for a while now. For those of you who read the teaser I posted on April 29th last year, please note there has been some changes.
This is technically a sequel to my other Tai Chi Chasers fanfiction (which as of posting this is only on chapter two) because it goes along with the anime. So there's going to be a lot of spoilers for that and possibly major season three spoilers.
Special credit goes to ArchxDeath for helping me with the names of the Chil-heng.
I do not own Tai Chi Chasers.
He remained in a sleep-like state between the realms of life and death, barely aware of what was going on around him or how long it had been since he was last alive. Only one thing kept him from going to the realm of death: This desire for revenge.
Many, many years ago, days into the first war of the Clans of the Sky and Earth
Dark clouds blotted out the sun against the blood-red sky, the color matching the ground where the not so far cries of three armies fighting came. Two figures stood on the weather-beaten balcony, watching beyond the edges of the mountainous ridge that protected the small kingdom, watching where the worst of the fighting so far took place, their fear growing as it got closer and closer.
She turned to him, tears in her eyes, "Why do they have to fight? If they would just leave the Sky-Earth Clan alone…."
"Some of the Sky-Earth want their Clan to be the only one to exist because they believe they're superior. It's why they want to destroy the Chil-heng," he said.
That Day had happened when he was very young. All he knew was one of the Sky-Earth had summoned the power of all of the Tai Chi of the Sky and Earth, nearly destroying Suhn in the year and a half that had followed. The earthquakes had been powerful enough to split Suhn in two; without leaving a path to travel between.
"They won't stop unless the items disappear, or…" he shook his head, smiling in effort to comfort her, "That won't happen." He walked with her into the room behind them.
Seven pedestals formed a wide circle, surrounding the emblem of the Tai Chi of the Sky and Earth. Lying on each pedestal was one of the Chil-heng. Resting against the wall stood a blue stone tablet inscribed with all one thousand characters, the only one of its kind, created when the first and last of the Sky-Earth clan had attempted becoming the Tai Chi King.
As he stepped onto the emblem it softly lit. They stood in the center.
She turned to him, "Can't we just take them somewhere safe?"
"The Sky-Earth still live in both territories. We won't be able to hide them for long, unless…" he turned to her, "Can you summon Time for me?"
She nodded and held up a hand. A tiny character lit on the stone and a vertical rift appeared before them, slowly widening into a doorway that led to a vast space of endless darkness and pinpoints of light. The Chil-heng that rested on the pedestals slowly lifted and floated inside.
"But without the Chil-heng the Sky-Earth could still be in the future," she said.
"Maybe, but by then history will have long forgotten about the Chil-heng, and maybe all three clans will be at peace," he wanted to add, "If it is like that, than we can finally be together," but he didn't want to make her hopeful. Likely, in the future, the Sky-Earth Law would still exist, even if the clan was long gone and, like the Chil-heng, forever forgotten about.
She turned to him, "But you're their Guardian… are you leaving?"
"It's the only way to keep them safe and to stop the war…" he said quietly.
He hugged her, "I'll come back for you when it's safe." He couldn't risk taking her to an even more dangerous time. She would be safe here until he came back. After all, he only had to find one of the Earth Clan that was quite adept with Time, and they could bring him back to the instant he had left.
She sadly nodded and stepped back, avoiding eye contact. He stepped into the doorway, the action causing ribbons of colored energy to explode into reality around him, each representing what could have been and what could be. He turned back to the vanishing doorway to wave goodbye.
Next to her stood two warriors, both from the Sky-Earth Clan. One of them stepped forward, summoning Sword and slashed through the doorway, shredding it, the last sight being of her looking as if she was about to cry.
No! The ribbons of energy burst out of control, a black one entangling around him. Why Mari, why?
Twenty one years before Present day, three years before the last war.
"There can't be Hybrids! You know that!"
He ignored her, gathering a leather-bound book and several cards into his bag, "I have to find them," he packed the final item, the Marionette card.
She watched him cross the room to the door, "But our laws, let alone the legends…."
He opened the door, allowing a gust of bitter cold snowy wind to come in, "You've sided with the Tigeroids. I hoped you would understand. This is the only way to stop all war, Shirona," he disappeared into the night.
"Iseul!" Shirona ran to the door, calling her husband's name over and over, not even able to see his rapidly fading footprints anymore.
"Mom?" Shirona turned to see her ten-year-old son standing in the dimly lit hallway, sleepily rubbing his eyes, "What's wrong?"
Shirona smiled, closing the door. "Nothing." She wasn't completely surprised she didn't see Iseul in the snowstorm. Their son inherited his white hair, after all. It did make her wonder if their next child would have her brown hair. She was hoping it was going to be a girl, but didn't tell anyone yet, not wanting to get her son's hopes up for a baby brother, no matter how much he said "he didn't care if he got a little sister". She led him back to bed, "We're going to visit a friend tomorrow, okay?"
He nodded sleepily.
If they could safely stay with anyone, even if there was a war, and to prevent Iseul's plan, it was Shirona's friend and mentor: Loroa.
Present day, eight years after the last war.
Cold blue light lit the forest eerily, casting long skeletal shadows of the bare branches. He continued on, stopping only to listen to his surroundings or when Sight shifted in her sleep and he had to reposition her so she wouldn't fall of his shoulder. She had helped him get very far today, so he wasn't going to ask the little cat for further instructions. He would stop for the night once he found a suitable campsite. Judging by how cool the night air was, it was already late. It would be best if he reached his destination the next day. He had waited many years for this. Another night wouldn't matter.
He stopped, "I know you're there."
"This is a good place to rest," Leon's voice came from above, "If you start mid-morning tomorrow you'll get there by early afternoon."
"I don't need your advice, Leon. Only what I asked you to do."
"I'll find her. Remember, I'm expecting It in return. Like you, there's someone I want to save," he activated a Tai Chi and his presence disappeared.
He would find It tomorrow. The Rogues wouldn't be interested in the area if It, or one of the set, wasn't around. Tomorrow, he would find Luka and get answers.
Phoebe rested her arms on the wooden bridge's railing, staring down at her reflection in the moonlit pond, the reflection occasionally being disturbed by the slightest ripple. Being out here wasn't as enjoyable as she had originally thought. She had to keep taking off her thick-rimmed glasses off to wipe away fog and to blow on them so they weren't so cold against her face. It was also colder than she had expected, almost enough to make her want to go back inside. Almost.
It was one of the few places where she could be alone and relax when she got too stressed or distraught. It's where she went almost every night since the day Jakata had died eight years ago, more often than she liked wondering if she could have done anything to save him.
All she really knew was Mishka had used the Switch Tai Chi to invade Jakata's body and control him, possibly for days or even weeks. Jakata had wanted to avenge the deaths of his brothers and sisters. He had only been able to do so when he broke free of Mishka's control long enough to use the Return Tai Chi, a fatal last resort that did free him and avenge his team, but it reverted him back to his Doll state. Before he died he gave his cards to her, saying she would need them more, and gave her his Activator because while he had been controlled he had very badly damaged hers.
Ever since she had been trying to find someone with a Life card. Even though Rai was the Tai Chi King he wasn't able to revive Jakata (and, after hearing Luka comment "Rai would gloat about it and use it against them for the rest of their lives if he actually managed to succeed", she had stopped asking).
Her thoughts were interrupted when a boom! came from the house. She sighed. Three years ago she would have been concerned, but now that her five-year-old niece took every chance she got to take someone's Activator –it really didn't matter whose it was, as long as she had it and it worked- and Explosion card, it became a normal part of her life.
Nothing more than a boom! and a cloud of colorful smoke ever happened, but lately Yuna had been constantly asking what else the card could do besides making a really loud noise and make pretty fireworks. She must have taken Rai's Activator again. He never kept track of it when he visited. And he often got tricked into giving Yuna is Explosion card (sometimes, even a few times in one day).
The Tigeroids were visiting for a few days, this being one of the rare times they were all together instead of at least one of them on a family trip or visiting other friends. Rai sometimes went back to Earth for that reason, and every time he came back he bragged of how he defeated one of his friends named Kyo in a lot of Earth games he didn't explain very well (Tori would explain them to her. She still didn't understand what the game about throwing a ball through a hoop was about). Every time Rai's "victories" became more and more pointless because he never seemed to lose.
Occasionally when the Tigeroids visited they would spar with Luka, especially ever since he had started training younger warriors, like their mentor, Loroa, had done. Most of those warriors left after only two or three sessions, instead opting for the lessons at the palace. Phoebe didn't understand this. Jahara's oldest brother, Roman, gave the lessons and he was a lot scarier than Luka.
A brisk wind sent dead leaves scattering across the yard, several strays ending up floating across the pond. Phoebe shivered and pulled her jacket tighter. She glanced around as a ghostly blue light began to bathe the world around her. She looked up at the moon, watching it slowly turn an eerie shade of blue. …Maybe it wouldn't be as creepy inside…. As she took a few steps away from the bridge something glinted at the pond's edge. She hesitated and went to look at it, frowning, just barely able to see it.
Was that…? She freed it from the mud. A Tai Chi card? Here? She held it in the moonlight, staring hard at the little character in the top left corner, eventually recognizing it as the blue Technique-type. The card looked as if it had been there for a while, and mud covered the character. She scooped some cold water onto it and scrubbed her fingernails against the mud, repeating the process until patches of the card shown through. She couldn't get all of the mud off, just enough to identify the card. She stared at what could be seen of the character.
Rai sat at the table, arms folded, glaring at the Explosion card that sat before him on the table, it looking as if it was mocking him, laughing at him because it was the cause of his disheveled hair and messed up clothes.
Luka sat across from him, "I told you not to give it to her."
"She said she was going to tell me a secret."
"That doesn't mean you should give it to her," he looked up as Jahara walked in from the hallway.
"She's sleeping," Jahara said, "I told everyone what happened."
Rai looked up, pouting, "Miya isn't concerned? She's not even going to make sure I'm not fatally wounded? She doesn't care that I'm going to die?!"
Jahara shrugged, "Not really, if you can sit there and complain about it than you're obviously not in any pain," she looked him up and down, "You look terrible."
Rai stood up, picking up the Explosion card, "I'm going to bed." He walked down the hallway that led to the guest rooms.
Jahara sat down, combing her fingers through her past shoulder length, wavy hair. She gave an annoyed look to Luka, "Did Yuna talk you into giving your Activator to her again?"
Jahara narrowed her eyes and tossed an Activator to him. "There are only three people here that have those Activators. I keep mine out of Yuna's reach and Phoebe's is beat up."
Luka stared hard at it and looked up, "That isn't mine." He set his on the table.
They stared at the unknown Activator. It looked as if it had been very badly damaged and gotten repaired, judging by the still barely visible cracks in its casing and along the edges of the screen, and it looked like the top half had been snapped off at one point. Luka slowly reached out and poked it, quickly withdrawing his hand. They jumped when the top and bottom half extended.
Jahara glanced at Luka, her voice barely above a whisper, "What are we going to do with it?"
Luka's voice matched hers, "I don't know."
They continued to stare at it for a moment, flinching when they were sure it moved. Jahara carefully tapped it, and slowly exhaled with relief when nothing happened. "I think it's dead now."
Luka's gaze flickered between the Activator and Jahara, "Are you sure?"
She hesitated, "You pick it up first."
"Because if it still lives you'll kill it."
Luka reluctantly picked it up at one end, and nothing else happened he closed it, nodding. "It's dead."
"Why are you two whispering?"
Luka and Jahara jumped, yelping. Luka threw the Activator up at Tori's head. "Don't do that!"
The impact was hard enough to knock Tori over. He slowly sat up, blinking, "The stars are spinning…."
Jahara got up, "Do you want me to get Miya?"
"No, I'm fine. Miya needs to help the spaceship," he reached around for his glasses, seeming unaware of the bump that was forming on his forehead.
They watched as he kept searching the same spot on the wall over and over. Jahara picked up his glasses and set them in Tori's hands, "Are you still seeing stars?"
Tori blinked a few times, "Yeah, but they're not shiny anymore."
"Where is the spaceship?"
"It's gone now. My head hurts," he got up, "Why were you whispering?"
Jahara set the unknown Activator on the table, "It's not important. Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah, mostly, maybe. I got up to get a glass of water. I'm not that scary, am I?"
"You just startled us," Jahara said. Tori had gotten his growth spurt and was taller than Luka now. No one was used to it yet and kept forgetting how tall he was.
"Phoebe's lamp is on, but she isn't in her room. Is she okay?"
"I saw her before," Jahara said. She turned to Luka, "She asked a weird question. She wanted to know if it's true when someone dies loved ones that already passed on come for them. She wanted to know if Jakata would come for her."
"What?" Luka stood up. Phoebe wasn't that depressed, was she? "Where is she?"
"She went outside about twenty minutes ago."
Luka turned, taking only a few steps and bumped into Phoebe as she came back in. He hugged her, "Don't do that again."
He let go and took a step back, "Ask about what happens when you die and then leave."
Phoebe stared up at him through her fogged up glasses, her expression flat, "Oppa, I'm not suicidal. It's Sora you have to worry about. She always thinks everything ends in death. I just wanted to go somewhere quiet…"
Oh, right… "Did you have the dream again?" Phoebe nodded, looking away. For the past eight years she often had the same dream -more like nightmare- of the day Jakata had died, and over the past three years it had begun to get more and more vivid. Luka would have told her "Jakata did what he thought was best" if he hadn't given up on that two years earlier, when Phoebe had stopped believing him.
Phoebe looked up at him, a light in her eyes he hadn't seen in a long time, "I found this outside," she showed him a Tai Chi card that had faded with long-term sun and water damage, portions of it covered in dry mud. The character on it was…. She looked back at it, smiling, "It can bring Jakata back, right?"
No, not this…. "Phoebe, Life can only be used by powerful Tigeroids."
"I can ask Rai, then," she said, "He said he would help if I ever needed him to, and at least now he can't brag about activating Life without the card."
How was he going to tell her…? "Phoebe," he said slowly, avoiding eye contact, "The barcode is damaged. Even if it wasn't, and Rai wanted to, it won't work. Jakata can't come back," he regretted his next words as he said them, "He's gone."
Phoebe stared at him, stunned, tears coming to her eyes. "He isn't gone!" She ran to her room, sobbing.
"Phoebe!" He didn't mean it like that….
"I'll go talk to her," Tori said, already leaving.
Luka nodded, sitting back down, "Thank you." All he would do right now would only upset Phoebe even more…. He held his head in his hands, "I'm a terrible brother."
"You're not," Jahara said, "Phoebe took it harder from you than she would have anyone else. If Rai told her she would have gotten angry with him, but if Finn would have she would have gotten upset. Just wait until she calms down. We can ask Finn about it tomorrow."
Luka lifted his head, "We're going to encourage Phoebe to break one of the Doll Laws and the Revival Law?"
"Those only apply to certain conditions. I'm sure if you ask the princess she'll be fine with it," she smiled.
"What? No, Jakata is worse than Rai, he's too wild. Laura knows that."
"If Jakata can be revived, than you can worry about it. If he can't, then you won't have to. Maybe if Jakata would have lived he would be much calmer now, if whatever led to his death could have been prevented."
"I'm not asking Rai to use the Time Tai Chi for that."
Jahara sighed, "It was worth a try. Just promise me this: If Jakata can't come back, at least let Phoebe get a puppy."
"…And if I don't Yuna will be asking for one."
Jahara nodded, smiling, "Exactly."
Phoebe sat on her bed, holding Jakata's Doll form in her arms. She kept him in case she would be able to revive him someday. She had even took him with her in the fight against Diga. Since then she had Jakata sit near her pillow. His presence often helped calm her. She had even made a tiny friendship bracelet for him that was made of the same flame-proof material as his clothes and even matched the colors and pattern of them. She had a matching bracelet, though she wore it on the right wrist.
Eight years ago, after the war, Phoebe had tried to find the rest of Jakata's team, his brothers and sisters, so he could, at least, be with them to an extent. Rai had even used the Time Tai Chi to try to locate them multiple times, but he always came back confused. At one point he offered just to go back in time and bring Jakata back, but Luka had immediately been against it because it could have led to drastic changes, including Mishka and possibly even Diga still being alive.
"Phoebe?" Tori stood in the doorway, "I don't think Luka meant it…."
"Than what did he mean?!" she looked up at him, tears in her eyes, "Why doesn't he want Jakata to come back?!"
Phoebe got up, setting Jakata on the bed, her shaking grip on the Life card tightening. "He can't be dead!" Some of her tears splashed onto the card. The card lit up and floated out of Phoebe's hand and over Jakata, pouring light over him, causing his current form to grow.
The moon still lit the dark world with eerie light, wispy clouds floated in front, dimming shadows and causing them to twitch, startling Kyu. Normally, he would be fine with night travelling. But he was late, and it was likely Rita and The Nameless One were waiting. Hopefully one of them had completed the assignment… He jogged up the short hill where they were waiting.
They all wore identical dark cloaks. For some reason their leader didn't want any of them to know any of the identities of the others, instead only knowing each other by false names and their voices. Kyu wore the chain necklace he had been given. It was a pendent of metal and chains twisted into a shape that resembled a dream-catcher, the Tai Chi character for Life in the center.
One of the two sighed, "You're so slow." Rita. Of course. The Nameless One didn't even notice him, just staring off at the edge of the forest. Rita pulled her cloak tighter, shivering.
"I had something important to do. You didn't find Master Mishka yet?"
"No," Rita said, "Like I told you, he's far away from here."
"All I know is that the prisoner said another Doll called Jakata was the one that killed him with the Return Tai Chi."
Rita twitched, "… I know that," she said, her voice quieter.
"Tela and Dan already searched and didn't find him. He has to be around here, or…" Kyu hesitated, "Yami will be told to find him."
"No! We need him alive!"
"The only way we're going to find him is if we or one of the other Chil-heng gets near him."
"…But we don't know where it is."
"Unless either of you have a better idea of where to look…" he glanced at The Nameless One, who probably had not even taken the slightest interest in the conversation, "I thought so…" he stared down at the pendent, watching as it began to light and softly pulse, "…The legend…"
"That can't be," Rita said, "It's only responding to another Chil-heng. We just need to eliminate who has it."
"But if the legend is true and the Guardian is still alive…."
"The Guardian has been dead since the first war. That's why we need to find someone else to control the Chil-heng," she turned to The Nameless One, "Isn't that right?" No response, "You should be called The Silent One."
"Rita, we don't know if there's a new one or not. If there is, and we try to take a Chil-heng from him…."
She shrugged, "We'll just capture him and bring him with us."
Kyu turned to The Nameless One, "You will help us if it comes to that, right?" He flinched when the other turned, "We'll let you have most of the reward!" He slowly relaxed when he saw The Nameless One had turned only to point at the edge of the forest, where a house stood next to a pond.
Jakata blinked a few times, wincing. He slowly sat up, barely looking around, having difficulty focusing his clouded eyes.
Phoebe stared at him, "Jakata…" she hugged him, which made him go stiff.
Tori stood several steps behind Phoebe, watching. He glanced at the doorway. Should he go get Luka? Jakata was dangerous, and Tori couldn't fight him alone, but… Jakata really didn't look like he was a threat. He just seemed so… indifferent. A lot more than Finn, even.
Phoebe took a step back, smiling, "Jakata, I—"
Jakata didn't look up at her.
She frowned and set a hand on his arm, "Jakata?" He wasn't sick, was he?
Jakata blinked and looked up at her, looking confused. "Is that my name?" He stared at her a little longer. Recognition flickered over his face as the clouds cleared from his eyes.
"You don't remember?" He looked so tired….
He shook his head.
Maybe he would feel better the next day, but… He didn't look that healthy, and it would be understandable if he didn't know where he was. Before that moment Phoebe didn't know it was possible to look disoriented. She turned to Tori, "Could you go get Miya?"
"Sure, but Luka will ask about you, but…."
From what Tori remembered, Luka really didn't like Jakata, so it would be very unlikely that he would just "understand". So truthful lying would be useful here. "I'll just tell him you want to talk to Miya because she's a girl close to your age. He won't ask so many questions." After that he would tell Jahara. Jahara was very good at giving bad news to Luka. Rai had done it many times before, so why would this be any different? He hesitated, watching as Jakata finally began to take a slow interest in his surroundings.
Jakata slowly blinked. He was so tired… so hard to focus… But where was…? Behind him? Jakata turned, dully staring out the window behind him. A shadow or a really short tree or something was moving. Whatever it was did something to cause a character of some kind to float in midair. His eyes widened and he leaped forward, taking Phoebe down with him.
"It's been fifteen minutes," Jahara said, "Phoebe should have calmed down by now."
"She's wanted to revive him for eight years…." Luka said, "If Gherba was still alive…."
"Would that make a difference?"
"If he created Jakata he can probably revive him. Or…"
"We're not going to replace Jakata with a version you want. Phoebe will notice. She loved him for who he was."
The hyperactivity could be at least lessened, and all of the other qualities Rai had…. But she was right… Phoebe had told him all Jakata knew was fighting, so maybe if he had been taught better….
"He's too dangerous. Even if he can come back—"
They stood up quickly. Jahara turned to him, "That came from Phoebe's room!"
Luka turned, activating Pierce, the arrowheads narrowly missing three cloaked figures that began to materialize from a Move card. The card's owner, the tallest of the three, stepped back. The other two turned, the one with the strange, softly pulsing necklace spoke, "You said you were going to help."
"You know he never does," the other, a female, said, "He's a liar."
"What happened?!" Rai ran into the room, in his pajamas, gripping the end of his boomerang, glancing around wildly. The one with the necklace twitched and took a step back.
Finn followed Sena in, holding his Ice card. Donha ran in soon after, carrying Yuna (who surprisingly was still asleep).
"What happened?" Rai asked again, and pointed an end of the boomerang at the intruders, "Who are they?"
Luka didn't turn, watching the intruders, "Check on Phoebe."
The one without the necklace laughed, "You won't have to worry about her," she said.
"If you don't want anyone else to die tonight than give us the Hwagoyu."
Jahara lightly touched Luka's shoulder, keeping her voice low so only those near her could hear, "We can look later." She looked at the intruders, "We don't know what that is," she glanced at Donha and mouthed "Go."
The only one of the intruders that noticed Donha leave was the one that stood in the back, and he didn't seem to care that much about it. His attention was mostly between Finn and the other one without the necklace.
"You have it here," the one with the necklace said, his voice deeper than before, taking a card out, "Give it to us, and we'll leave peacefully. If not—"
The one that stood in the back cleared his throat warningly.
"Careful," the one without the necklace said, "The Hwagoyu is here," she said, "As my … friend… said, we will leave when you give it to us."
Rai stepped forward, shoving his boomerang into Sena's hands and got a card out, "We're not giving whatever it is to you. We don't even know what it looks like. What does it look like?"
Sena sighed, "Something with fire."
"Yes," the one without the necklace said, "It will have the character for Fire on it."
"You don't know what it looks like, either?" Sena asked. Finn stepped closer to her.
She would have already gotten one of her Tai Chi cards out, but something about Finn was off. Before he had acted like he had sensed something that temporarily bothered him, but now…. "Do you know her?"
Finn nodded slowly.
The two intruders were facing the one standing in the back. The one with the necklace turned to the other, "I don't think he knows either, Rita."
"We'll just have to fight until they tell us," she activated a card, her Activator hidden by her cloak sleeve.
Finn activated Ice and froze the attack before it could form. The one with the necklace activated a Fire card, creating multiple fireballs and throwing them. Luka activated Water, putting out the flames.
Rita glared at the one that stood in the back, "Help us. If we fail this…."
In response he silently activated a card. Rai looked around. "Nothing happened."
"We're completely sealed off from the outside world," Rita said, motioning toward the window. A transparent wall outside extended past the window. She activated Insect.
Rai activated Fire, having large fireballs fly all over, "Ha! Your attacks won't – Luka! That's my card!"
Luka glared at him disapprovingly, holding Fire away from Rai, "Use controlled attacks." If he could have held it out of Rai's reach like he used to, he would. But now that Rai was about an inch taller than him…. So he gave it to Sena.
Finn activated Ice, creating a barrier that repelled an attack from an Arrow card. It didn't deflect against the next blow as easily. Multiple arrows covered in flame slowly came through the melting shield.
Rai glared at Luka, "How come he's allowed to use Fire and I'm not?!"
Luka activated Water to repel more Fire Arrows, "I don't need you to set my house on fire again."
"Sure, blame me for that one time!"
Jahara activated Thread, binding Rita's hand and Cardholder together. More thread bound the other intruders' arms to their sides. Miya slowly came in, holding her Thread card, "Two Tigeroids or two Dragonoids?"
"One of each," Jahara said, "The one in the back is either another Dragonoid or a Hybrid."
"Dragonoid," Finn said.
"All right," Miya said, "Finn, surround them with Ice, enough to slow the Dragonoids. I'll use Soothe on them after."
Finn just watched, his gaze flickering back and forth between the intruders.
Rai looked at Luka, "Can I at least trap them or send them away?"
"Just get rid of the barrier outside."
Rai lifted his hand and the character for the Dragonoid Break card appeared, although instead of shattering the wall it disintegrated Thread. "…Oops."
Rita took a step back, "How was he able to do that?"
Rai smirked smugly, "Because I'm the Tai Chi King."
"Rai!" Everyone else, especially Luka, glared at him.
"The Hybrid!" Rita turned to the one in the back, "He's the one!"
Luka watched, frowning, at the card choice. Move? That was only useful for– His hands let his Activator and cards drop. What?! Like the others, the character was on the back of his hands. The Move symbol on Rai winked out of existence.
Rai picked up his Fire card, "Now I'll—"
Rita threw a black cube at Rai, it stopping in midair above him, creating an energy field around him. Rai fell to his knees, crying out as a glowing aura engulfed him and was absorbed into the cube. Tiny Tai Chi characters decorated the cube and it floated back to its owner.
"You're not longer Tai Chi King, Hybrid."
The Move character vanished, allowing mobility again. Miya helped Rai sit up, "Are you okay?"
Rai blinked at her, swaying, "Is this real life?"
Miya looked up at Sena, "Stall them with Darkness."
Sena nodded and activated the card, creating a pitch-black dome, "Not even Light can destroy it."
Small lit cracks spider-webbed over the dome and it shattered. The one in the back held his Cage card and put it away.
Sena took a step back. "…How?"
"Sena, help me get Rai out of here," Miya said. She stood up, almost stumbling from Rai leaning against her. Sena nodded and helped her.
Finn glared at the intruders, for an instant his eyes flashed red. Jahara glanced at him, "Finn, it's okay."
Rita glared at the one in the back, "If you won't at least attack then go and get the Hwagoyu."
He turned away from her, facing he one with the necklace, watching as Lightning was activated.
The lightning bolt arched up into the air and split into three. Finn activated Lightning, his wildly sparking bolts hit the thinner, tamer ones. The thin ones tore through and hit their targets, knocking them to the floor.
Getting hit didn't hurt nearly as much as Luka thought it would, but maybe that was because he had trained with Finn and had gotten used to it… His Activator laid on the floor a short distance away.
"Luka…" Jahara said from somewhere nearby, her voice weak, "I can't move."
What?! He could barely even look around.
Rita laughed, "Don't worry. You'll only be stunned for about an hour."
"He's still moving?!"
Finn struggled to stand, using the table for support, shaking badly.
"Another Doll. Just hit him with Fire and Arrow," she activated Insect. All three characters lit at the same time.
A thin layer of ice spread across the floor, causing the intruders to slip and the characters to burst into particles of light. Petal tornadoes spun the two intruders around, sending their Activators flying across the floor. Purple and gray? Luka stared at them. They were being attacked by Rogues!
"Oppa!" Phoebe ran to him, "Are you okay?"
Luka nodded. She was alive… "Phoebe—" he stared behind her. Jakata? Phoebe stood and walked a short distance away. Jakata followed her.
Rita gasped, taking a few shaky steps back, "…Jakata? But… the Chil-heng…."
"If he's alive we won't get the Chil-heng!" The one with the necklace activated Arrow.
"No!" Rita knocked his arm upwards, making the arrows hit the ceiling, causing chunks of the ceiling to fall.
"Phoebe!" Jakata pulled Phoebe out of the way of the single piece that didn't hit the table.
The necklace flashed and energy pulsed from it. The Rogue in the back activated Move, taking him and the other two away at the last instant. Finn activated Ice, creating small shields in front of everyone. Almost. Jakata pulled Phoebe behind one of them, getting hit and knocked into the wall, yelping loudly and falling down. Sena cried out from behind them.
Tori stood up from where he had been hiding, "Sena?!"
"I'm fine. Miya, check on the others."
Finn struggled to pull himself towards her, "…Sena…"
Miya crouched next to him, "Finn, wait until you can move again. Whatever that was just clipped Sena's leg. It only startled her."
Phoebe crouched next to Jakata, "Jakata?"
Jakata winced, "I can't feel anything."
At any other time Luka would have been questioning Jakata's presence, but not now. He listened as Miya checked the others, knowing her well enough to tell by her voice that the extent of the injuries –no matter how minor— was overwhelming her because she couldn't help everyone at once, especially those hit by Lightning.
They were lucky no one got killed. An average warrior could not have controlled another with a Move card, especially without the target knowing, and break a powerful Darkness barrier with ease. Not only had he been able to use Cage to create a barrier large enough to surround the house, but he had also been able to negate Cage's ability to cancel out use of Tai Chi cards. He was too dangerous, especially because it was possible the warrior knew them….
But that wasn't what scared Luka the most. It was what the Rogues had come for, something he had hoped he would never hear that word again.
The Rogues reappeared on the hilltop. Rita glared at the Nameless One. "We almost won! We would have found the Hwagoyu!" She sighed, "Just transport it here with Move."
"He can't if he doesn't know what it looks like," Kyu said, "Sure, he can go anywhere he's never been, but…."
"If we don't find the Hwagoyu tonight…."
"Will it be so bad if Yami forces Jakata back into dormancy? We can just immobilize him after that."
"We could, but if we do we'll risk Master Mishka getting destroyed."
"…Good point. But, why did the Sengoyu react like that?" He toyed with the now dull necklace.
"It was just some fluke reaction to the Hwagoyu," she turned to The Nameless One, getting a card and her Activator, "If we get punished for this—" the Move character appeared all over her and she was forced to set down, setting her card and Activator on the ground.
The Nameless One just faced her and walked away. Move would lose its puppet effect in several moments. He watched as Cage faded away from the house.
"You didn't have to be so harsh," she said, coming out of hiding.
"Rita was willing to kill Finn. You know what would have happened."
"You could have stopped her from destroying the ceiling, though."
"The warning was given. How else was I supposed to get them to leave?" He watched as a dark figure wove though the trees towards the house. "So he's here, too."
"If he gets there before they leave there will be at least one death tonight."
"They'll leave well before he gets there."
For those who had read the teaser, okay there were a lot of changes. Originally this chapter was not even half as long, but because of the length of the later chapters I decided to add to it.
In Korean "Oppa" is the honorific for "older brother" when used by a girl.
Loroa is the Dragonoid Elder that appears throughout season three.