Disclaimer: Already spoke the legalities, people.
Ok, as you have probably guessed by the title, this is my take on MatrixFighter's Shaman King: Undisputed. You see, there were problems with the original, and at popular demand I decided to take my crack at it.
This latest version, and hopefully the last, will have new villains, new views, and new concepts previously untapped. Ideas shall take shape, tragedy and life will become one, and the views of many will become a singularity.
Or it could just be another Shaman King fic.
Anyway, let's get things started.
Chapter 1: Lovely Corruption
Riverside of a village in Feudal Japan
Pure is impure. Impure is pure. Good is evil. Evil is good. To die is to live. And to live is to die. Or is it?It had not been the first time those words had gone through her head, and she doubted it would be the last. After all, these strangely morbid lyrics had been the definition of her life, and half-life, since the day she was born, and whether by coincidence or a perverted twist of fate, that song had been played over her bedside on her fifth birthday.
That day would stay engraved into her mind for the rest of eternity, a day that would define her very existence. Because of that day her life had been reduced to perpetual nightmare, a loop of torment that was close to infinite, and would not cease until she left this world. Such strange ironies for one such as herself, who had taken the vows of guardianship and thusly became a creature of absolute purity.
Why then? Why could she still not see herself in the mirror, the woman she could have been, and why did the water only pay homage to the monster she had been turned into? Why had the heavens cursed her so, put upon her the burden of the Four Souls, and set her up to take the ultimate fall? Was her purpose to live as she was now, a sentient mud doll whose only sustenance was the souls of dead women?
She had asked these questions of the night sky when no one was looking, when she was alone on the cliff side struggling not to cast herself off it, when she stared so very hard into the glistening streams near which she wandered. Those were the times she hated most, the times she remembered the two who had made her into what she was in this world, the times she died a thousand deaths without losing a beat.
She spent those times wishing, praying to any spirit who could grant her absolution; perhaps if she prayed hard enough the powers would grant her the wish she had pined for over the past 2 years.
It was a simple enough wish: to finally rest in peace, to sleep forever in the bosom of the Spirit World.
"Milady, come quick!"
Somehow her self-reflective trance was broken, and the Priestess Kikyo stood up to accept reality for a little while longer.
A short distance away she could see them, a trio of well-dressed gentlemen, likely the servants of a local daimyo, led by the village headman, a skittish, middle-aged character by the name of Matsumoto. The latter's hands were shaking in terror, while the gentlemen were sporting looks of arrogance and cold villainy.
After a moment the four came within speaking distance, but she doubted this was a social call.
"Is something the matter, headman?" A courtesy, nothing more, nothing less.
"Milady, these men are demanding tribute so that they do not fall upon our village. They say that if they do not receive the season's harvest and three thousand pieces of silver they will burn down our houses and rape our women."
Kikyo's eyes hardened. She instantly remembered the last "daimyo" she had dealt with, and suffice it to say it had not been a pleasant experience. "Is that so?"
At this point, the leader of the messenger party, a corpulent and clearly drunken ex-samurai, wobbled to the front.
"These low-life hicks agreed to pay us in full; it's their own fault for not gathering the monies." His inebriated slur was barely legible, and the miko hated him immediately.
"Please, milady, reason with these men. They are going to take my daughter and wife from me if we do not pay them what they ask."
"Rest your head, Matsumoto. I will handle this."
However, before he could do so, the second man, a burly mountain soldier, stepped in the way and landed a solid fist into his stomach. "No one goes anywhere until we get our due! But I suppose we could strike a deal, Lady Kikyo."
"What did you have in mind?"
By this point a small crowd had gathered, anxious to see what their savior would do for their wellbeing. They knew all too well the reputation of these men, and understood what kind of "deals" they struck.
The third, clearly a twisted intellectual, stepped forth.
"You are indeed as beautiful as they say you are, madam, so my proposition is this. We shall take the debt from your flesh, again and again, every one of us, including the lord. You shall become our lord's personal concubine; nay, you will become our castle's concubine, pleasuring our soldiers for days upon days at the ring of the bell. At least, that will be the case until we grow bored of you and feed you to the wolves…"
Now, one must understand that in the course of her month of living in the village, Kikyo had become the single most beloved person therein. The children loved her, the men pined after her like she was some kind of angel, and the women learned many a technique from her. To hear the grunts speak such awful words to her, about her, was blasphemous to their ears, hence the sudden uproar of hatred from the villagers.
"Go away! We don't want scum like you here!"
"You can take our money and our lives, but you'll never take Kikyo! You'll have to go through us first, and over our dead bodies!"
"Take up the farming tools! We'll charge them and gouge out their eyeballs!"
In a mad frenzy the bulk of the populace rushed for whatever they could use as a weapon, from spears used to defend the village from demons, to rusted pitchforks that only saw use in the summer, and if nothing else stones and bits of wood were taken up.
"All at once! Bring them to their knees!"
Such desperate, foolish bravery, thought the leader, such devotion to Kikyo. But it would only quicken the pain of death.
As the villagers charged, each of the soldiers drew from their thick clothes some sort of weapon: the drunk extracted a thick metal club, the mountain soldier a hatchet, and the intellectual a pair of short swords.
It was immediately obvious to Kikyo what was going on here. She had faced men like them before, and she knew just how dangerous they could be.
"Let's teach these brutes and their precious leader a lesson they'll never forget! Akawain, Prince of Wines, Spirit Form, into the Mountain Crusher!"
"Yes! Taimashi, Spirit Form, into the Cleaver of Remnants!"
"My turn! Garatashi the Vilified, Spirit Form, into the Cobra Fangs!"
And in that moment, the incensed throng realized why only three had been sent by the lord of the manor.
"They are the daimyo's shaman! They've come to slay Kikyo, not possess her!"
"They're too much! Flee! Flee for your lives!"
But it was too late, for as they watched the soldiers called forward the spirits that gave them strength, the power of the shamans, the essence of furyoku.
The first Guardian Ghost called out was a human-looking poltergeist bedecked in gaudy clothing, laughing insanely as he guzzled a barrel of rice wine. The second was seemingly a bear carven crudely of slate with glowing red eyes that somehow was able to move. The final ghost was a human, specifically a heavily built samurai whose face was hidden beneath layer upon layer of black clay.
As was the way of such spirits, they became one with the Spirit Mediums that the shamans had called them into, each creating a spiritual aura that had little variation from the other two, but was seething with energy.
"Now you'll all pay for your insolence with your lives! Slaughter every single person in the village! Burn everything to the ground! I want the soil to become soaked in blood!"
Of course, with the sudden shift in odds now clearly apparent, the villagers were already halfway to the other side of town. Panicked yelps filled the air, shrieks of children served as a broken rhapsody, and nightmare became reality in a hail of death and chaos.
Or it would have, anyway, had it not been for the fact that the undead do not fear the living.
"Lady Kikyo, take flight! They are shaman, the controllers of ghosts and demons! Powerful as you are you will not prevail!"
But Kikyo did not heed their warnings. She knew exactly what she needed to do. She had known very well what was to happen today, she had seen it in the stars, and she knew who had sent these men after her.
You will not strike me down that easily, Satoshi.Kikyo showed no emotion as she stared at the wildly charging soldiers. To her, they were beyond salvation, as was their master.
Without a second thought, she drew her bow.
Palace of the High Prince
Miles away the man known only as Satoshi saw that Kikyo's arrows had struck their targets. It was only to be expected; after guarding the Jewel of Four Souls and surviving almost certain death, he doubted that a few low-level shaman could stop her.
Besides, he wanted to see her blood upon his own weapon. It would be his single greatest accomplishment, destroying the eternal priestess and draining her in every single way. Her screams would ring in his ears as he slowly carved away at her body and took away her soul.
But he could not be bothered to take her life at the moment. There was still much to do and much to accomplish, and if he had planned it out correctly it would all play into his hands.
And in order for these events to transpire, he would need to dethrone the Shaman King himself.
"It's showtime, Yoh Asakura."
To Be Continued
I know this wasn't all that good, but first chapters rarely are for me.
Anyway, nothing is mine save the grunts and Satoshi.
Nex chapter fast forwards to Yoh's time, where life is pretty much uneventful after the close of the Shaman Fights…until an all too familiar sight ushers in a new and much more wicked enemy. But how does Kikyo fit into this twisted tale, and who is the enigmatic Satoshi that she has made enemies with?
Also, I would personally like to thank MatrixFighter for allowing me to take over this fic. I know it isn't exactly what you wanted, but I have a feeling you'll like it anyway. Also, it was your Shaman King fic idea that gave rise to this one. I may have created this new version, but without you and your idea I would never have designed it. Also, 'twas your original design that I built this on. So kudos to MatrixFighter, kudos!
Anyway, read, review, critique!