Disclaimer: The Ronin Warriors (aka Yoroiden: Samurai Troopers) and all affiliated names and concepts do not belong to me. If you recognize the character, he/she is not mine. I get no monetary benefit from this. My benefit is the enjoyment of dealing with beloved characters.

"The Curse of Badamon"
by DragonDancer5150

Prologue – The Oath

Rajura sat on a folding chair in the center of a small round room at the top of a high, narrow tower, staring straight ahead. A Nether spirit hovered directly in front of him, with two more visible in the peripheral vision of his good eye. He could feel the energy being drained from his Armor and from him. As hard as he tried, he could not turn his head nor lift his hand. He could not shift his eyes. He could not even breathe. Panic took him for an instant before he realized that he was not suffocating. Whatever magic had bound him, paralyzed him, also sustained him.

At the edges of his mind, through the link the Armors afforded their wielders, he could feel the other Armor-bearers straining, fighting, despairing. They, too, were being drained of their energies. All Nine had become little more than living batteries to fuel the dissolution of the barriers between the Human World and the Nether World. We should have seen this coming. We should have heeded your warning, Shuten. Forgive us fools.

Through the Armor, he felt something new – a power being exerted, one greater than that which bound them. Rajura recognized the power of Kaosu the Ancient monk. Shuten, he thought. He must be using that staff, the Shakujo, somehow to free himself.

It worked! Shuten is free. He's going after Kayura . . . or rather, Badamon. No! Even he, once the strongest of Arago's Warlords, cannot hope to win against the ruler of the Nether spirits. Badamon is an ancient sorcerer, powerful in the secret ways of magic. In some ways, he is even more formidable than Arago. Shuten! We have to help him. Damn! I cannot move. I am not strong enough.

Wait! It's that boy. What is his name? Jun. He has reached Wildfire's tower and he has the Jewel of Life. Yes, that has the power to free us. But it is not responding to the boy's command. No, of course not - it seems to have a mind and a will of its own. Down in the cavern, it did not respond right away, but something did trigger it. May the gods intervene again, before it is too late.

Rajura bided his time as he followed the battle of wills between Shuten and Badamon, which he could sense through the Armor. Emotion and energy spiraled to incredible intensity. Suddenly, an agony blasted through him like nothing he had ever felt before, not even from Arago's worst punishments. He knew his fellow Warlords and probably even the Ronins felt it as well.

Curse you, Shuten!!

Badamon's shriek as he was cast out of Kayura's body whipped across Rajura's mind with a power that surprised him. Somehow he knew they were more than empty words. The assault of pain ended, followed by a feeling of exhausted triumph and joy, then nothing.

Shuten! No, Shuten!!

Just then, in Wildfire's prison, the Jewel of Life exploded with power, the energy leaping from tower to tower. It surged into the Armor-bearers, breaking the binding spell, revitalizing the Armors, returning them to full strength. Rajura felt in the back of his mind the anger and grief of his fellows, feelings that matched his own. He heard them call the power words of their special attacks. He reached back, grasping the handle of his scythe-pack and pulling it free. Gathering his energy, he called out, "Spiderweb Cast!" Power exploded from him, destroying the Nether spirits and the room around him. Fearless of the height, he leaped for the ground, his sights set on his former master.

Shuten, you will be avenged.

Author's Notes: Please be sure to check my bio page for any updates, etc. Thanks!

OK, so I'm kinda blending a little bit of English dub with a LOT of Japanese original. ((shrug)) More to come soon!