Chapter Five: Water is a Good Conductor of Electricity

After Koganei had fled the scene in tears, Raiha scratched his head for a while, and then continued on his journey. The forest was big, after all, and so was the jar of pickles. He still was slightly confused about why Koganei had attacked him and what weapons of mass destruction were.

He was just about to sit down for a good think, when he heard a cool voice from behind him. "Drop the jar, Raiha."

Raiha whirled around. "Oh hello, Tokiya-san!" he called, waving. "Are you here to fight me, too?" Mikagami fell over. Raiha stepped forward to help him up, but Mikagami jumped up and pointed the Ensui at him.

"Take one step and I'll skewer you. And don't call me Tokiya."

Raiha put his hands up. Mikagami fell over again. "Don't call you Tokiya-san? What about Toki-san then?" Mikagami was just about to get up, then he decided not to.

"Call me MIKAGAMI!" he yelled, lying facedown in the mud.

"What?" Raiha asked, still not putting his hands down. It was, after all, a little hard to hear someone talking with his face in the mud. What he'd heard was 'Call me Mihmmmflehmmmfle!' Raiha tried to imitate the sound Mikagami had made. "Okay, Mihmmmflehmmmfle-san, is that it?"

Mikagami stomped his feet. (I don't know how on earth he did that lying down.) "Mikagami!" he cried in a muffled voice.

Raiha scratched his head. He put his hands down and helped Mikagami to his feet. "What did you say?" he asked. Mikagami had just completely ruined his new Gucci suit, and decided not to fall over again.

"Never mind," he said in a cold voice. "Now draw your sword!"

Raiha checked his pockets (before realizing his ninja outfit DIDN'T have pockets) and looked up. "I don't have a pen," he answered. Mikagami fell over again. "This is getting to be a pattern," Raiha remarked.

Meanwhile, at the Uruha mansion

Joker sat down on the sofa next to Kurei. He had been watching Cardcaptor Sakura while eating a huge tub of buttered popcorn, and quickly changed the channel when Joker came. "The Powerpuff Girls, Kurei-han?" he asked. "Interesting choice," he added, nodding.

"So," he continued. "You sent Raiha-han off to deliver those pickles to Neon-han, ne?"

Kurei nodded impassively. "How do you think he'll fare? The Hokage will probably run into him some time or another, and being a rather nosey bunch, they're sure to do something. Besides, the woods are very dangerous, you know," Joker said.

"Don't worry," Kurei answered happily, patting Joker on the shoulder. "He'll be fine as long as he has this, his trusty katana!" He waved the sheathed Japanese sword around, narrowly missing Joker's head.

Joker tugged on one of his braids. "You mean THAT katana?" he asked, pointing at it.

Kurei stared at the sword in his hand for a while, then started laughing. "Oh whoops! Guess I forgot to return it to him!" he gasped in between chuckles.

Joker shrugged. "Guess he won't have it then! Pass the popcorn, will you. I'll help you finish it before Neon-han comes along and lectures you about a healthier diet."

Back in the forest

Mikagami did not want the battle to last any longer. His beautiful hair was in a mess and his suit even more ruined. He pointed the Ensui at Raiha's midsection. "Just fight me, or I'll disembowel you," he instructed.

"Okay, now just let me get my katana!" Raiha said happily, reaching over his shoulder. He ran his hand up and down his back for a while before scratching his head. "You know what?" he asked Mikagami, beaming. "It isn't there!"

Mikagami growled. "You're kidding, right?" he muttered through gritted teeth.

Raiha smiled. "Actually... no. Maybe I'll use the Raijin. Haven't used it in a LONG time." He removed the bug-like madougu from his belt and dusted off the cobwebs and layers of dust before slipping it on his arm.

Mikagami's eyes widened, but he kept his cool. So this was the legendary Raijin, capable of manipulating lightning. He decided to make the first move. "Mizu Hebi!" he yelled, and the humongous water snake rushed out of the Ensui, soaking Mikagami and engulfing its victim. Mikagami stowed the Ensui away in his pants pocket, feeling proud of himself, when someone poked him in the back.

"I'm here, Tokiya-san!" a cheerful voice said from behind. "That big water snake almost got me! Thank goodness I stepped aside in time." Mikagami whirled around to see Raiha fiddling with the Raijin on his arm. "I'm not really sure how to use this thing, you know," Raiha continued. "Maybe it works like..." He pointed the madougu at Mikagami. "This!"

A blinding bolt of lightning leapt out the madougu and struck the drenched Mikagami. "Ow." Mikagami muttered before collapsing.

Raiha scratched his head. "I always knew water was a good conductor of electricity!" he remarked happily. Just then, he heard rustling from the bushes behind him. "Yoo-hoo! Who's there?" the ninja called, running over. There was more rustling, then the snapping of twigs, before the forest went quiet again. Raiha looked around. Seeing nothing, he shrugged and turned back to the spot where Mikagami's body was.

Or at least, where it had been.

Mikagami's slightly charred body was gone. Raiha scratched his head. "Tell Fuuko-san I said hello!" he yelled into the distance, to nobody in particular. Before picking up the jar of pickles and continuing on his way, singing a Linkin Park song softly to himself.

Back at the Hokage mansion

"Ow," Mikagami said as he limped into the mansion, supported by Kagerou.

"Oh, you poor thing!" Yanagi gushed, rushing over to heal him. Mikagami didn't half mind, really, lying on Yanagi's lap.

"Oi, get off my Hime's lap, Mikagami!" Recca yelled, throwing a fireball at him lazily. "So, I see you got trounced." He looked amused at the irritation on Mikagami's face. "But what was Raiha carrying with him anyway?"

"I don't know," Mikagami snapped back, annoyed. "I was trying to fight him. He wouldn't actually, but I tried to get him to. He helped me up quite a few times though."

"How gentlemanly..." Fuuko whispered dreamily to nobody in particular.

"Anyway," Mikagami continued. "In the end, he used the Raijin. Didn't use his katanas. Said he didn't bring them. I wonder if he was underestimating me..."

"ANYONE would underestimate you, Tokiya-kun," Fuuko snorted. "Especially someone like Raiha," she added.

"And oh yes," Mikagami added. "He said 'tell Fuuko-san I said hello!' How irritating." Fuuko swooned.

Recca sighed and turned to Kagerou. "What about you, Mother? Saw anything of interest?"

Kagerou looked pensive. "I wouldn't know. I was squatting in the bushes. It's not good for my old bones, I tell you. I did see something..." Everyone held their breaths. But they couldn't. It was gaseous. Pure carbon dioxide, after all. "But I forgot." Everyone sweatdropped this time. "Hey, I'm over four hundred years old, okay!" Kagerou protested.

"So am I," Recca observed.

"You must be getting old, Kagerou. Memory failure." Domon observed rather tactlessly, only to get a few of Kagerou's hair-needles in his face.

"So it looks like another failure," Recca sighed, dejected. Mikagami tried to kick him rather half-heartedly.

"I wanna go next!" Fuuko cried, getting up.

"No. You're. NOT!" Recca yelled. "You'll probably elope with him or something!" He and Fuuko started yelling and beating each other up until Yanagi hushed them and told them not to wake Kaoru and Ganko, who were having their afternoon nap, up. "Anyway... I'M going next. And that's final."

Fuuko sighed and sat down again. "Oh well. At least I get to battle him last. The last battle is always the longest."

-end of chapter five-

Fuuko: Do I really have to wait that long?

Ikazuchi-chan: (nods sagely) Don't worry. I'll make sure you have a good fight with him. So far, my fight scenes aren't very good.

Mikagami: I'd never believe Raiha would defeat me in a billion years.

Fuuko: Well then, it's high time you did, Tokiya-kun.

Mikagami and Fuuko: (start fighting)

Kagerou: And I am NOT getting old, you young rascals. Now, where did I put the Eikai Gyoku?