Memories of the Dead, Souls of the Living

Yusuke and the others rode up Yoko's tree to the next level. Suddenly the tree
stopped.

"Hey Yoko, are you okay?" Rad asked noticing Yoko's fatigue.

"Unfortunately, this is as far as I can take you," Yoko said. He began to glow and
transformed back into Kurama.

"It's okay, Kurama," Hiei said. "Since I'm the next one up, I'll go on ahead. You
four catch up when..." Then Hiei disappeared.

"Where'd he go?" Kuwabara asked.

Hiei looked around at his surroundings, but there wasn't much to look at. There was a
tile floor but nothing else. All around him was darkness. Light shown from some unknown
source.

"Where am I?" Hiei asked nobody in particular.

"Why you're in another dimension, of course," said a high-pitch voice. A little girl
appeared before him. She had snow-white hair and sea-green eyes. She was dressed in what
looked like a white jumpsuit.

"Who are you?"

"I am Reina, one of the Alliance Lords, master of the wind element."

Hiei smirked. "Good, this saves me the trouble of looking for you."

"Tell me something, Hiei, why do you choose to ally yourself with these humans."

Again with the smirk. "They bring me amusement."

"You know, if you join us, you can be the most powerful demon in Spirit World."

"Tempting," Hiei replied. He then used his incredible speed to blitz the girl. "But I don't
take bribes from children!"

Hiei was suddenly blown back by a strong gust of wind. He actually fell on his butt.

"Okay, I admit, that took me by surprise," Hiei admitted. He drew his sword and ran to attack
Reina from the side. "But don't think it'll happen again!" But that's just what did happen,
again Hiei was thrown to the ground by a powerful gust of wind.

"Give it up, Hiei," Reina said. "There's no way you can surprise me."

Hiei noticed that her eyes were closed, so how did she see him coming? Hiei tried attacking her
again, this time from behind, but it seems like she set up an impenetrable shield.

"How does she know where I'm coming from?"

"Confused, well, let me give you a hint. A wind mistress does more than control the wind."

Hiei stood his ground, trying to find a way around Reina's defenses. Suddenly Hiei felt several
small but sharp bursts of wind blow by him. They ripped a hole in his sleeve and even cut his
cheek.

"Enough is enough," Hiei said throwing down his sword and taking out his headband. His third
eye opened and began to glow.

"Dragon of the Darkness Flame!"

Nothing happened.

"I think hanging around the humans has made you soft, Hiei," Reina commented. "You need to draw
energy from Spirit World to do your Dragon of the Darkness Flame. And this dimension is so out of
the way that it's beyond even the Spirit World's control. In short, you can't use your Dragon of the
Darkness Flame here." To her surprise, Hiei laughed. "Wh... what's so funny?" She asked nervously.

"You think you're so smart, but you know nothing, you fool," Hiei said as his body began glowing.
"For if there's one thing I've learned from fighting with Yusuke Urameshi, it's that there's more than
one way to draw energy. I'm going to use my own spirit energy to empower the Dragon."

"Are you insane? If you use your own spirit energy, you will cease to exist! You won't even be a
ghost!"

"If I can't defeat a pesky little twerp like you, then I don't even deserve to exist." Hiei said.
He rested his left hand on his right arm. The left hand began glowing a blood red color. "While it
may not be as strong as my Dragon of the Darkness Flame, it should be more than enough to finish you
off."

Reina was more scared than she has ever been. She never felt such a tremendous... and horrible...
power before. It did more than scare her, it's like it froze her in place.

"SPIRIT OF THE CRIMSON DRAGON!" Hiei shouted. A red stream of energy emitted from his hand.
The energy was shaped like a dragon's head. The blast scored a direct hit and sent Reina flying
before she landed with an almost sickening thud. "Let that be a lesson to you," Hiei said. "That
you never mess with the Ji-gan... huh?" Reina was struggling to get up.

"You're... insane," she muttered.

"Well you're a tough kid, I'll give you that," Hiei said. "But in a battle, there must always be a
winner and a loser. Spirit of the Crimson Dragon!" Just as Reina got up, she was thrown to the ground
again by Hiei's attack. But again she struggled to get up.

"I can't lose," she said. "If I don't kill you, Lord Shadow will kill me!"

"Cry me a river," Hiei said sarcastically. He picked up his sword again and charged but Reina hit him
with a wind burst.

Hiei saw that his shirt was getting torn to shreds so he took it off and threw it to the side. Suddenly
Reina fired a wind burst at his shirt and ended up blowing it about 50 yards away.

~Why did she do that?~ Hiei thought to himself. Then decided to try an experiment. He threw his sword
in one direction while he started running in the other direction. Just as Hiei predicted, Reina launched
a wind blast in the direction of his sword then in his own direction. Hiei let the blast take him down.

"I think I'm beginning to understand now." Hiei got up. "You can't see here, but you can sense where a
person is by feeling the dislocation of the air. That's what you meant when you said that a wind mistress
can do more than control the wind, they can use it as their eyes."

"So you figured out my little secret," Reina said. "It won't do you any good."

"You don't know how many of my enemies have said that right before I murdered them." Reina fired several
wind blasts which Hiei dodged. Reina surrounded herself in a tornado which expanded until it sent Hiei
flying out of control.

"That does it," Hiei grumbled as he got up. "Now, you have gone and piss me off!" Hiei's body turned an
ugly green. More eyes began appearing on his body.

Reina felt her body freeze up again. Shadow had warned her that Hiei was ruthless, but she never realized
how ruthless. Hiei was about to unleash his demon wraith upon her.

Faster than you could blink, Hiei was up close with her and slugged her right in the stomach. He followed
through with a spinning hook kick to her head. Reina expected to feel the ground but instead felt Hiei's
foot slam into her back. She flew into the air and Hiei met her and pounded his fist into her chest. She
fell to the ground in a heap.

But she still didn't give up. Using a wind tunnel to pick her up. Reina set up a tornado again and expanded
it so that no matter where Hiei ran, there was no way he would escape it. Reina felt her energy run out on
her so she dispersed the tornado.

But Hiei was still alive.

Still in his demon form, Hiei struggled to stand up. He never expected that such a little child would have
such tremendous power. So much so that he needed to turn into his demon form just to hold a candle against
her. Hiei utilized his inhuman speed and agility and attacked her again, showing her no mercy. Reina took
all of his attacks. When he was done, she was laying on the ground, beaten almost to a pulp.

"Are you dead yet or am I really going to have to get serious?" Hiei asked. He then heard Reina muttering
something. He sighed. It looked like he would have to finish the job. But as he stepped forward, he realized
that she wasn't muttering anything.

She was crying.

"You start to lose one battle and you start crying? Oh grow up."

"You... don't understand," she said. "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!" Hiei was lifted up by a violent wind storm.
"You don't realize how easy you have it. Here, it's kill or be killed. And I tend to do the killing. I must,
my life is at stake!"

"Go cry to someone who cares."

"Shut up!" Reina gathered wind into a sphere and launched it. Hiei was blown back a good 150 yards. He
quickly used his speed to get back there.

"Nobody cares, that's the problem!" Reina said. "That's why I must win! That's why I must destroy you!"

~She's lonely,~ Hiei realized. ~She knows she must defeat me or the others will leave her.~ Hiei found
himself actually feeling sorry for her. All she wanted was a friend and she ended up hanging with the
wrong crowd. Then again, she could be trying to trick him.

"The Ji-gan eye shall tell me the truth." His Ji-gan eye had many powers, some even he doesn't know about,
one of the powers was revealing the true spirit of a demon, determining whether it is benevolent or malicious.
That's how he came to choose Kurama and Gouki as his allies in stealing the three artifacts from King Enma's
vault.

The Ji-gan eye showed a sad spirit, one that desired something it couldn't have, something it could only envy.

She was telling the truth.

Hiei transformed back into his human state and gathered his spirit energy again. "Spirit of the Crimson
Dragon!" This time, the blast threw her to the ground with a less than gracious thud. He walked up to her and
picked her up. "I know you're alive, girl."

Slowly, Reina opened her eyes. "What are you waiting for? Finish me, you know you want to."

"I'll finish you only when I've decided you've outlived your usefulness."

"Outlive my usefulness?"

"We need to get to Level Five. You can get us there."

Reina lowered her eyes. "Very well." Hiei collected his shirt, headband, and sword and Reina teleported
the two of them back to the others."

It's been a while since Hiei disappeared. Yusuke had checked in with Botan and was now exchanging
adventure stories with Rad. Kurama was still recuperating.

Everybody was shocked upon seeing Hiei materialized with a girl over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

"Hey, just where have you been?" Kuwabara asked. "We need to get to the fourth level and here you are
popping out to pick up chicks."

"I've found an alternate way up," Hiei said ignoring Kuwabara. "This girl can send us up there with her
wind powers."

"Wind powers?" Yusuke stared at Reina. "Hey, you wouldn't happen to be one of the Alliance Lords by any
chance, would you?"

Reina nodded. "Yes, my name is Reina," she said meakly.

"Tell me something, Hiei, how did you convince her to aid us?" Kurama asked.

"He probably beat her up," Kuwabara muttered.

"Not that it's any of your business, human, but that IS what happened," Hiei scoffed.

"You coward!" Kuwabara grabbed the front of his shirt. "Do you find pleasure in beating up little girls?"

"This 'girl' is part of the enemy," Hiei commented. "Plus she has enough power to literally send you flying
all the way back to Koenma's palace." Hiei didn't tell him that he found no pleasure in beating her up.

"Shouldn't we get going?" Rad asked.

"Right," Hiei agreed. "Reina, take us up to Level Five."

"Yes, sir."

"Koenma, sir, good news," Botan called. "Yusuke and his band had already defeated four out of the five
Alliance Lords."

"I'm glad," Koenma said. "Our forces are getting clobbered. The Alliance of Darkling has gathered their
soldiers well."

"Any word yet on the reinforcements?"

"My father said he's gathering as many troops as he can." Koenma dropped his head on his desk. "I'm
afraid he won't get here in time."

"Reina, you were my last defense, and not only have you failed me," Shadow said as he got off his throne.
"But you chose to ally yourselves with these humans and human-lovers." He placed on some metal gauntlets.
"For that, I shall show you no mercy!"

A/N: I apologize to all die-hard Yu-Yu Hakusho fans if I screw up an attack or a power. It's been a
while since I've seen the series.