She knew not to land. Koenma gave her clear, specific demands for her NOT to land.
"Botan, for your own safety, do not, I repeat, do not, for any reason land on Makai soil. Not until you've reached the palace. You are there as a representative of Reikai, nothing more."
But... she was hard-headed and as stubborn as a mule. Besides, the lush, forest scenery was just so beautiful... nothing at all like Reikai or even Earth. She just had to take a look around...
Botan eyed the land below her curiously, subconsciously willing herself lower. In a clearing amongst the healthy, beautiful vegetation, stood a lone flower, it's exquisiteness outstanding amidst the abundance of green. Her eyes widened and she smiled brightly.
"Ooh!" she squealed as she hurriedly lowered her oar to get a closer look. When she was low enough to see it clearly, she quickly materialized her body. Then, without a second thought to Koenma's words of warning, hopped off of the oar. Her jaw dropped in an "O" fashion as she kneeled in front of the flower.
Upon closer inspection, Botan found that it was a pale lilac color with streaks of electric blue running down the petals. The tips were white and dusted with dew drops, giving off the effect that they were studded with smooth, round jewels. It was tall in it's height, standing about a foot and a half from the ground.
Botan bit her lip and cautiously reached out to stroke one of it's wide petals. She giggled in delight as it gave a catlike mewl and leaned into her touch. It leaned upwards a little more to nuzzle her neck and face affectionately.
Botan sighed contentedly as she felt the soft, damp petals gently caress her skin. It was like some sort of pet.
Her eyes sprang open quickly to see her adorable plant friend had transformed into a horrendous monstrosity. In place of it's beautiful lilac petals were tremendous, leathery scales. It's stem was now the size of a tree trunk, also equipped with smaller, sharper scales. In the middle of the head of larger scales were rows of tiny, sharp teeth, clearly carnivorous. In the center of the many rows of teeth protruded what looked like a tongue, only it was split at the tip with a hole that was oozing with a sticky, clear substance. It had about a dozen vines jutting from it's body, snapping and cracking hungrily in the air.
Botan put a shaky hand to her neck then raised it to her face to see that it had secreted some of the clear, slimy liquid onto her neck and chest. She looked up to see the creature looming over her face, cracking it's vines more fiercely for added intimidation.
"Oh my..." she whispered before it let out a screeching howl, it sounding nothing like the mewl from earlier. She let out a short scream before hurriedly backing away on her hands and feet. Once she was a safe distance from the plant, she stood and stumbled a bit before summoning her oar.
The monstrous creature screeched angrily before snapping one of it's vines at her oar, knocking it out of her hand and a few feet away from her. Botan gasped and retracted her hand, cradling it to her chest.
Botan backed away slowly until she bumped into a tree. She looked to her left, then to her right, frantically searching for a way out. She found that the small clearing was surrounded by large shrubs and tall grass, slimming her chances of finding an escape route.
Botan moaned loudly as she felt a heavy wave of nausea suddenly wash over her. Her vision started to blur and she began to see two of everything. She placed a hand to her forehead and pushed off of the tree with her other. She stumbled forward a little then shook her head for clearance.
A vine lashed out then, striking her across her chest and ripping her kimono. Botan fell to her knees with an agonized scream. She grabbed at her chest on instinct and hissed in pain when she felt the warm blood seep through the cracks of her fingers and slowly trickle down her arm.
She once again tried to rise to her feet. She took a step forward and her legs began to wobble unsteadily and she fell to her knees once more. Her breathing was slow and heavy and she was choking out small coughs.
She lifted her head up to look at the creature that had turned her trust and her eyes narrowed.
She was not going down without a fight.
Slowly, she rose on shaky feet. She wasn't yet sure of what she was going to do, but she had to do something quickly before she blacked out. She wasn't even sure what was causing her to grow increasingly nauseous, but she had a distinct feeling it had to do something with the sticky liquid that the plant produced.
She looked to her left to see that her oar was lying a little ways away from where she stood. She bit her lip in contemplation.
It would be a risk, but it would be worth it, of course, if she made it.
Her eyes quickly shifted to her predator, then back to her oar. Determination set in her face, she breathed in deeply then made a mad dash for it. When she was about two feet away from the oar, Botan made a dive for it, all intentions primarily being wrapping her fingers around that wood.
Just when she knew she had it in her grasp, a vine wrapped around her waist and she felt herself being jerked from the air.
The monstrous plant tossed Botan into the air, and then caught her with ease. It tightened it's grip around her waist and swung her towards the ground with such velocity the breath was crushed from her lungs. She hit the ground with an earth-shattering crash and blood spurted from her mouth. On impact, she heard a sickening crack and she just knew her shoulder was dislocated. With great effort, she rolled over on her back and peered up at the sky, all the while panting heavily. She tried to ignore the sound of her impending doom screeching and whip-lashing, taunting her pain. Tears began forming in her eyes.
This was how she was going to die. She was going to be eaten by a giant plant with teeth just because she couldn't follow orders and stick to her mission.
She was supposed to stay at the High Emperor's palace for three days for a spirit assembly. She was to represent Reikai for the Daioh Kingdom... and she failed them.
She failed Enma Daioh.
She failed Koenma.
She failed Reikai.
She failed them all.
Botan's head snapped up at the sound of creaking wood. The monster had her oar within the grasp of two of it's vines and was attempting to break it in half to ensure her stay. Although the wooden paddle was sturdy, she could see it bending slightly and a crack had formed in the middle.
Suddenly, a boost a adrenaline rushed through her veins and a impulsive urgency for life sprang into her mind. She sat up abruptly and outstretched her good arm.
"NO!" she bellowed, causing the monstrosity to halt it's actions.
It released an angry shriek, enraged at her defiance. It dropped her cracked oar to the ground and lashed out at her, one of the vines coiling tightly around her throat and the other wrapping around her body, pinning her arms to her sides. It began to squeeze Botan's throat so tightly that her face reddened instantly, her head becoming swelled with blood.
Botan could feel her consciousness slipping as she struggled to breathe. She closed her eyes tightly and opened her mouth in a wince. She moaned in pain before blood bubbled to the roof of her mouth and spilled out the corners.
Then her eyes shot open as she was hit with an idea.
I hope this works.
Botan halted all signs of struggle and her body fell limp. Her eyes rolled so that her pupils were no longer seen and she let out a bloodied gurgle.
When she was completely stilled, the monstrous plant tossed her to the ground and threw it's head back, letting a victory howl rip through the wood of Makai. It continued it's victory howling for quite some time before finally facing Botan, only to find she was gone. It's vines thrashed about furiously as he twisted this way and that, searching for it's escaped meal.
"Up here, stupid!" Botan called hoarsely. The plant's head whipped toward the sky to see Botan on her cracked oar floating about twenty feet above it's head. It threw one of it's vines up at her but she was too high up for it's reach.
Botan slid her tongue along her bottom lip and gathered a sufficient amount of blood before she spat at the demon plant.
It screeched disappointedly before it slowly shank and transformed to it's originally deceiving form. Botan eyed the seemingly amicable plant a little longer while rubbing her sore and battered neck. Then she turned her oar around and flew off in the opposite direction, making sure to keep a safe distance from the ground.
Botan began to think about her injuries. She had a dislocated shoulder, a deep gash across her chest, and there was no doubt those vines had damage to her rib cage. She wondered if one of them had been broken the last time she was thrown to the ground.
She felt a large spell of dizziness hit her and she rocked backward on her oar. She tightened her grip on it and quickly steadied herself.
"Woah..." she said. She knew what had brought the dizziness on.
I've lost too much blood. I'd better...Then it hit her.
She brought two fingers to her neck and stroked them across her bruised skin, coating them with the slimy substance that the plant had secreted on her earlier.
She lifted her fingers to her nose and sniffed. Almost instantly her head began spinning and she wobbled on her oar before she regained her grip. Her fingers smelt of peppermint and palm oil and it made her lightheaded. She shook her head and frowned.
It was a drug. An organic anesthetic used to nauseate it's prey and throw them off balance. A cheat.
Botan was brought from her brooding when she heard her oar crack. She squealed then gripped the wood even tighter, lowering it a little in case it should break, which, in fact, it did.
With a loud scream, Botan was hurtled downward. Fortunately for her, she landed in a field of tall grass. Her eyes went cross and the pink setting sky of Makai was the last thing they saw before total blackness lay claim to her mind.
AN: Ohiyo, mates! Looks like I've started another story...
But I don't want to finish this one before I finish Green With Envy, though. So it might be a wait before I add another chapter to this. I don't want to be one of those authors that start good stories but don't finish them.
Sorry if this seemed a little rushed... I was trying to get into the plot. I don't like to dwaddle to long on explaining things. I like action! But don't worry, Youko pops up in the next chapter... in the infamous hot spring scene...
Let me know what you think!
Be sure to check out my other fics and my poem, peoples! And keep checking for me because I'll keep writing! Review them all!!!!