Tainted Blood

Chapter 23

by. SilverWolf-Ryuki

A/N: Wow...20 people reviewed... that's a new record for me. Sad... but alas, true. I'm so happy (not because of the reviews), but because one of the reviews reminded me of one of my lost trains of thoughts – who should Ren be paired up with?

I'm sorry to say that I agree with Lunar Fire on the fact that it should not be an OC, as I personally don't like OCs in stories, especially when paired up with one of the guys (that are one of my favourites), and Blackdranzergurl, on the fact that the person should not be the same personality, as opposites attract, most of the time. And the reason I'm sorry because all you people reviewed for basically nothing. --;

Well, I have my person in mind, and much thanks to blissfulrain. (Whose penname I adore... xD) because she first reminded me.

I also agree with the fact that there are simply too many characters. I'll have to kill them off somehow... or get rid of them... or kick them out... hm. But Ren really needs a girl.

It seems like I have to watch the first few episodes of Shaman King again. –sigh- I'm starting to lose touch of their characteristics...

Oh, and one last thing. There seemed to be a slight confusion with the dub/sub in Shaman King. In the subbed version (the real version, I prefer calling it. I admit, I did watch the dubbed at first. Then I realized how girly Ren's voice is...) Ren's name is Ren. In Japanese and most Asian languages, the R from Ren is pronounced somewhat like an L, especially in names. (Like if Ren was kanji, it would actually be pronounced like an R... am I making it even more confusing?) Also, in the dubbed version, En Tao is indeed Ren's uncle. But in the series, it clearly says father. (Hey, even I can recognize a little bit of Japanese, despite the sub-titles staring me in the face.)

Last thing – I'm not sure what Manta's name is in the subbed. I think it might be something like Monty... well, just in case, he's a little midget-ish guy (who, I've recently discovered as I re-watched a few of my episodes, lives in a mansion).

I will try to include the least amount of Shaman King Magic possible, and as much of character description.


Two Days Later


Ren was walking alone.

It was almost a miracle to be away from those idiots, who seemed to be everywhere, all the time. Maybe during his sleep, they cut him open and stuck a giant chunk of metal in him. And while Ren tried to sneak away, that freaky guy Max would hold up a huge magnet...

Ren shook his head. What a horrible and wild imagination.

Suddenly, Ren felt his back hit the concrete sidewalk.


Soon enough, waterfalls were running down Ren's face as he found out that he was tackled to near-death by none other than his old friends – Yoh and Horo-Horo. Of course, Anna, Horo's annoying little sister and the one who had a crush on Yoh – Tamao was it – and Ryu was there too. But in more ways than one, Ren was glad that none of them tackled him. It was strange enough, watching Ryu plaster himself on Billy whenever a ride was given. (1)

And Ryu was styling his usual hair-do – Elvis hair on steroids, to put it politely.

Why couldn't it have been a giant purple thing? At least I could slice that thing in half once and for all...

After what seemed like forever, Ren finally got the people off of him. "Where's Manta?" He questioned; usually a midget who lived in a mansion was with them. Especially Yoh – he was like a dog.

"He couldn't come," Yoh shrugged. "Something about a scholarship he couldn't refuse..." He sighed and resumed his usual position – his hands behind his head and his eyes closed. "Who knows what he meant."

"I'm pretty sure he meant that a university offered him a free entrance." Anna's voice drifted, coldly, as usual. Yoh gave a small laugh.


"Anyway," Horo-Horo crossed his arms and his lips fell into it's usual smirked. "Ryu here kindly brought us here from Patch Village." He looked around, but the freakishly hairy taller man was gone. "Ryu?"

"He had to go, remember?" The little blue-haired girl, Horo's sister, nudged her brother.

"Who's she?"

"That's Horo's little sister." Tamao offered helpfully.

"I know that," Ren snorted.

"I'm Pirika," The blue-haired girl winked, her head tipping to the side cutely.

Ren blinked.

We need to get you a girl... you're too bitter...

A slow blush crept up Ren's cheek, as heprocessedthrougha major breakout inside his mind over the fact that he's blushing.


"Who are they?" Mariah whispered to Mariam questioningly. Mariam shrugged.


Yoh has his earphones on – extremely large, sound-blocking, orange and black earphones that he wore behind his ears when not in use. He was dressed in his casuals – white t-shirt, loose pants, wooden clogs. That same stupid grin sat on his face as he stuck his hands behind his head. "What's up, guys?"

Anna narrowed her eyes, keeping them on her fiancé. Ren took a mental note that Anna, who used to bea very average blond, seemed to have high lights. Perhaps it was the sun, perhaps it was to get Yoh's attention; Yoh, who finally won the Shaman fight and became King. Ren scowled.

"You're too bitter and clogged up." Horo-Horo, the blue haired boy smirked and Ren nearly cut his head off while they played a game of cards and Horo-Horo tried to peek.

"See! You are bitter!" Max grinned in great triumph. "I told you! I toldyouItoldyouItoldyouItoldyouItoldyouItoldyou –"

"Oh, Max, shut up," Kai rubbed his forehead.

"The hangover still hasn't gone?" Rei looked puzzled.

"It's a new migraine." Kai replied.

Rei took one look at the hopping Max and understood.

"So, what brings all of you to Canada?" Ren asked.

"Remember Patch village?" Anna said, sounding all-knowing. "We heard there was a Stitch Village too, where people, similar to the priests of Patch Village, are. But so far, all we've come across is this store called "Stiches", filled with clothing fit for whores."

Mariah blinked, and a frown fell on her face at the girl's boldness. "Hey, I like Stitches!"

"Don't mind Anna," Yoh said pleasantly. "She can be a bit bold."

Mariah turned her nose up to the sky.

"Anyways," Pirika appeared with a bright smile from behind Anna. "I need to go see those people, because the people from Patch Village told me I could get some help from them, the Stitch Village people, for restoring my home, and the habitation for all its spirits."

"Stitch Village?" Max rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I think that sounds familiar."

"Perhaps it's where we're going?" Tala commented sarcastically.

"Right!" Max brightened up. "Tala, you are so smart."

Nearby, Kai coughed.


A few hours later...


"So, we'll leave her with you?"

Ren had no idea how this happened. One moment, they were discussing their route to Stitch Village. The next, Anna, Tamao and Horo-Horo started to argue, while Yoh stared at them, bewildered.

And suddenly, just as Ren finally zoned them out, they had reached an agreement of some sort.

"Huh?" That was the famous Ren Tao's oh-so-intelligent words of reply.

"Weren't you listening?" Anna snapped. "We're all tired. We're going to Japan, and leaving Pirika with you guys. I'm sure it'll do fine, won't it? You guys are going to Patch Village anyways, and as you go back to China, you can drop her off at Japan, with the many private planes you said you have."

Ren's eyebrow twitched. "You're leaving her with me?"

Anna nodded.

Suddenly, Ren started clawing at hishair. "IDONOT want ANY responsibility towards ANYONE!"

"Well, then, you heard him," Horo-Horo sounded almost relieved. "Come on, then, Pirika, I'm sure Yoh will start fixing it soon enough."

"But he isn't!" Pirika stomped the ground beneath her, a small vein pulsing on her forehead. "That Yoh knows only of sleep and eat! Just let me go by myself if I have to."

Horo-Horo sighed, exasperated. "But you're not old enough –"

"I am SO old enough!" Pirika fumed, crossing her arms. "You are such a jerk!"

Ren narrowed his eyes. It was as if everyone ignored him. Which wasn't right, because no one ignores Tao Ren.

"Well, then come with us."

Ren looked across his shoulders to see Mariah standing at the doorway, an exited smile on her face. "I'm sure no one will mind, right Ren?"

Ren was about to say no, when he felt a sharp jab on at his back, where Mariah's foot collided with him.

Why are women so violent?

"See, Onee-chan?" Pirika smiled with triumph. "This way, after a few weeks, you can go home, with Kororo, and our old village back."

A small creaturegave a squeeat the sound of her name. She appeared behind Horo-Horo's back, peering over.

"Kororo..." Horo-Horo sweat-dropped.

"Well, then, there's not much to do about it, is there?"

Ren jumped and turned to see Rei, Kai, Mariam, Lee, Zeo and Tala filing in.

"You'll need the extra girl, anyways," Lee gave a moronically evil smirk.

Soon, Ren was surrounded by Lee, Tala and Rei with their individual smirk, and Zeo there just to take note of the funny expressions on each guy's face.

"It'll help you with your bitterness," Kai assured.

"You too?" Ren's sounded exasperated and desperate.

Kai shrugged. "If you can't beat 'em; join 'em. And they can be pre-tty viole, too."

"Alright then," Mariam, having overheard the conversation, smiled. "You can come with us."

Before any cheering could start over the small decision, however, Kai stepped up, his eyebrows in a frown.

"Under one condition."

"What's that?" Yoh asked.

It was the question on everyone's minds.

"You need... someone to protect you."

Pirika blinked. "Why?"

"Because," Kai sighed hesitantly. "I might kill you."


(1) Billy is this driver of a truck who seems to be homosexual with Ryu, who always sees Ryu's big hitch-hiker thumb (oversoul – spirit into... uh, sword or thumb, couldn't tell).

A/N: Not meant to bea cliffy! Sorry it took so long to update. School had started in August. It's insane, how early school starts in the US. But anyways, I need another vote. --;; Because of an issue one of the reviewers brought up. I seem to very indecisive, ne?

Who should I remove for now?

a) Zeo

b) Lee

c) Mariah

d) Tala

e) Max

f) No One! The story's fine! And don't waste the effort.

Or if you have a betters suggestion, feel free. (I cannot let Kai, Mariam, Rei, Ren nor Pirika go yet. The first three because they're necessary; Ren and Pirika because their section of the story just started.)

Most likely, Max will go soon anyways. We all hate to see him go... the cute, very manically hyper little dude...

Anyhoot. I believe that's it... yes, and I hope I haven't lost all my readers.