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As always, the sky in the neither realm was dark and swerling with an endless storm, The land was ruggered and cracked, littered with jaggared rocks and eroded chasms. There was an eery red glow low in the sky that cast the world into a strange kind of twilight, making the place visible, but all the shadows extended and deep. There was a well worn road leading to the gates of Talpa's castle, which towered high, massive and ominous. Armies of captured spirits were being sent out to guard and patrole the landscape.
It was in the air before the gates that something began to change, at first unnoticable to the normal eye. A small speck of glowing blue began to steadily grow, cutting a growing opening in the space, sending the guards on the walls above who did notice it into their defencive. The blue glow continued to grow, like water collecting on the end of a leaf until there was enough to make the drop fall, and suddenly a young man was standing there with his hands in his pockets and eyes with the blue glow slowly fading from them.
"NINGEN!" One of the guards shouted, pointing towards this intruder, and as one, the guards on the walls let out a deafening battle cry, fireing arrows down at him. The young man looked up at the incomming arrows with out concern, the glow in his eyes flashing back. All the incomming arrows froze mid flight before being flung back twice as hard back at their archers with a shockwave that turned to dust the walls they stood on. The soldiers fell, their dying Shrieks filled the air along with the dust that billowed out along the ground like a sandstorm. The youth just blinked, and began calmly walking through where the gate used to be, the rubble that was still falling avoiding the air around him.
"HALT!" A loud voice from the other side of the court yard commanded. One of the lesser warlords stood baring his way with a long black sword held defensively in both hands.
The youth obeyed, and raised one eye brown with nonchallance.
"Torrent." The warlord hissed with disbeliefe at the destruction of the outer wall of the palace as well as the dead soldiers still being revealed by the clearing dust. "State your business then die." the warlord ordered with a point of his sword.
The youth's stance didn't change from being relaxed and unconcerned appart from his head being tilted to the side slightly. "I have decided that enough is enough." Came the young man's voice from across the courtyard. "Tell Talpa that I have come to destroy him."
"You?" The warlord scoffed. You destroy our Lord? I never knew you had a suicide wish, whelp. Or are you stupid? I'll not bother my Lord with the likes of you." And with that the warlord rushed forward to attack.
The youth sighed, and raised an open palm in the approaching warlord's direction. Before the warlord had crossed the ground half way to where the youth stood, he was hit with an explosion of power that smashed him through the rockwall behind him. Once the rubble from that explosion cleared, the warlord could be seen lying in a tangle of limbs and rocks, blood splattering the cracked wall above him on the otherside of the corridore he was now lying in.
At the sound of armored feet running towards them, the youth turned his head to lock eyes with the latest warlord and his minions who skidded to a halt beside the crumpled one. They all also drew their weapons defensively, a mixture of katanas, scythes, and blades attatched to thick chains glinted in the twilight.
Sai slowly approached them, an eery smile on his lips and a blue glow in his eyes. He repeated, "Tell Talpa that I have come to destroy him..."
It was just after dark when Ryo, Sage, Kento and Rowen felt their armors flare with terror before silencing. As one they summoned their armors, each finding reliefe in the fact their armors still responded to their calls, and as directed by Ryo, each went to patrol their designated areas. On finding nothing out of the ordinary they returned back to their home, puzzling over what could have happened, and worrying why they had not heard from Sai. Rowan and Ryo soon left to search the grounds for him.
Sekhemet's eyes snapped open, his body flung bolt upright with a cry of terror. He shrieked again when he saw who was seated at his bedside, watching him with a slight smile on his lips. "You!" He struggled in the bedding, trying to scramble as far away from the auburn haired youth as possible.
"Me." Sai replied. "Rest well?"
"Get away from me you monster!" Sekhemet yelled, flinging his arms out. "Get away! Get away!"
That brought Sage and Kento running into the bedroom.
"Get him away from me!" Sekhemet screeched at them. "That's NOT Torrent! Get it away quick before it kills me!"
Sage and Kento stared with horror at Sai who mearly shrugged. "I just asked him if he had had a good rest."
"No you didn't!" Sekhemet accused. "I know what you did to Talpa! Torrent isn't able to do what you did to me, let alone what you did to my Lord. There is no way Talpa could be so easily defeated by Torrent. What are you?"
Sai snorted. "You are such an idiot."
"Sai?" Sage hesitently bridged.
Sai turned his head to the other Ronins, and flashed white teeth. "Of course Torrent can't defeat Talpa. It would be like trying to have one body part cut off it's own head. To even try would be rediculous." He paused. "Which is why I chose not to use the armor to do it. The dark lord is dead. Well and truly beyond resurection this time." Sai leaned back towards Sekhemet. "Think about that when you choose what you will do next." He then stood, walked between Sage and Kento out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Sage, Kento and Sekhemet stared after him in shock. Kento was the first to snap out of it, and rushed down the stairs after Sai.
Sai slowed his decent and turned back, one eye brow raised in question.
"What do you mean Talpa's dead? Isn't he some kind of demon lord thingie? How is it possible?"
Sai tilted his head to the side, his eyes glinting slightly with irridescant blue. "I stopped relying on the armor." Was his simple reply before he continued his descent and wandered into the kitchen. Kento followed once more.
"What are you going to make?" Kento decided to ask as though there was nothing strange going on at all. Like it was any other food preparation time.
"Dinner." Sai replied while rummaging through the cupboards to pull out the large cooking pot in order to fill it with water. "I'm expecting the other former warlords to turn up any time now, and I want to show them that I can be a... benevolant dictator. I was thinking spaghetti bolignaise would be good. What do you think?"
"Bolignaise is good, but I preffer your chicken parmigaras myself." Kento replied before his brain had processed exactly what Sai had said. "Wait a minute, what did you say?"
"We havent got enough chicken to feed twelve or so people, but I'm pretty sure we have the pasta and the mince." Sai continued rummaging through the cupboards, pulling out packets of pasta and spices and handing them to Kento.
"What did you mean by being a benevolant dictator?" Kento received the goods Sai gave him, and placed them on the bench automatically.
Sai shifted to the refrigerator now, handing Kento tomatoes from the drawers and mince from the shelves. "I want to give them the chance to change their ways. I don't want to have to blast them out of existance if I don't have to. It get's messy after a few bodies."
It was so casually said that Kento wasn't sure if Sai was joking or not. He was so shocked by the whole conversation that he said "Gee, what happened to our sweet, innocent Sai that we all know and love?"
"Oh, he died." Again it was so casual. "I drowned him and possessed his body."
Kento choaked on his breath, coughing so hard that Sai had to wack him in the back a few times, and run him several glasses of water to gulp down. Sai watched him as he finished his last glass, and left it on the dirty side of the sink. "Sorry." Kento spluttered, not exactly sure what he was appologising for. "How about I help you cut up the tomatoes?"
"I was only joking." Sai said quietly.
"Of course you were." Kento said far too agreeably, laughing nervously as he reached for thecutting board and the biggest kitchen knife he could find as though he were going to help prepare the food and not like he was wanting to use them as a sword and shield.
"Why is it you would believe... that? Rather than... that this is who I am?"
Kento snorted, relaxed enough to really start chopping up the tomatoes. "Look, Sai. Or whoever. I'm going to be frank with you okay, so don't go throwing me around like you did with Seiji. The Sai we know is a piss-weak fairy who is only useful in the kitchen or around large bodies of water. There is no way he has any of the powers or even the attitudes you do."
Sai frowned into the pot he had lit a fire under.
"I don't want to offend you or nothin." Kento quickly said. "But seriously dude. You being Sai being possessed by some super-powered... super-being-thingie... is far more likely than you being Sai and suddenly sprouting powers like those. That's just the way it is."
"I... see..." Sai turned away from him.
"Not that I want Sai to be dead," Kento added. "So if you were joking about killing him that'd be ace. I suppose Sai would have to still be in there somewhere though, 'cause your cooking is still the best there is."
"Years of experience." Sai replied absently, stirring and adding handfulls of ingredients to the pot.
"So are you really some super-powered-being-thingie possessing Sai's body?"
Sai sighed. "No. No, I'm not."
"Oh." Kento seemed disapointed. "Nothing interesting ever happens around here anymore."
Sai... almost smiled at that. "Thank you." He said quietly.
Kento blinked. "Huh? What for?"
"For being you. For being honest. For reminding me of why I-" Sai broke off, looked into the distance, then shook his head. "it doesn't matter. Now is not the time. Our guests have arrived."
Kento looked out the kitchen window to the yard where Sai also looked, and saw the warlords materialising out on the grass.
To be continued...