Chapter 28: Extraction

"Shh," Shino whispered as Hinata and Kiba followed him.

"How do you know where you're going?" Kiba asked.

"I don't know. I just feel like I've been here before…" Shino said.

"Have you been here before?" Hinata asked.

"No, no of course not." He moved up some stairs. "Okay, stop." They hid behind a pillar and peered down into the main room below them.

"Look! There they are!" Hinata said.

"What're they doing?" Kiba asked.

"Shh, let's just watch before we do anything," Shino said.

----

"Hmph," Yosaku said. "Tengoku Taiga, why? Why couldn't you make that charm right nine years ago? Why? I hate to do this but…but you leave me no choice. You killed my wife and daughter when you failed with that charm."

"Yosaku," one of the Extraction Jesters began, "my brother and I are ready."

"Alright Kuan. You and Ruan better not mess this up," Yosaku said.

"Yes sir," Kuan and Ruan said in unison. They stood around Airi's body on the altar. Kuan stood at the top of the altar and Ruan stood at the bottom.

"Let's go Ruan, hmm?" Kuan said.

"Okay Kuan," Ruan responded. "Spirits of infinite power!"

"Spirits of infinite life!"

"Gatherest unto us!"

"Make us holy tools!" They waved their arms up and down. "Spirits of infinite wisdom!"

"Spirits of infinite magic!"

"Gatherest unto us!"

"Make us holy tools!" Their hands began to glow as they danced and chanted their way over to the sides of the altar.

"Remove this soul!" They shoved their hands right through Airi's chest.

"Spirits of infinite power!"

"Spirits of infinite life!"

"Make us holy tools!" They slowly began to pull their hands out.

"Unleash thine power!" They pulled out Airi's sleeping soul.

"Good work." Yosaku walked over and took the soul's hand. "Airi, Inochi's waiting for you." Airi's soul opened its eyes and nodded. "Now, for the crystal."

"Alright," Ruan said. "Spirits of infinite wisdom!"

"Spirits of infinite magic!"

"Remove this crystal!"

"Spirits of infinite power!"

"Spirits of infinite life!" Airi's body began to rise.

"Remove this crystal!" A blue light shot out from Airi's chest.

"Spirits of-" A hole blew open in the wall and ten men rushed in.

"What is the meaning of this!" Yosaku demanded.

One of the men smirked. "We're here for Nozomi Airi's soul. And we're here to kill her body."

"No! You can't!" Yosaku cried.

----

"Did you here that!" Kiba shouted.

"We have to do something!" Hinata exclaimed.

"Then follow me!" Shino jumped down from his position into the main room. "C'mon! We have to save Airi!" He punched out one of the men!"

"Ruan! Kuan!" Yosaku shouted.

"What, hmm?" Kuan asked as he fought a man.

"Yes, hmm? We're busy!" Ruan shouted as he watched his brother's back.

"Let us depart!" Yosaku said.

'What! But, Mistress Air-"

"Let's go!" He ran off. Ruan and Kuan looked at each other, to Airi, then they ran off.

"Who are these people!" Hinata asked as she fought.

"I don't know, but where's Yosaku and those clowns!" Kiba yelled.

"…! No, that feeling, it's back! I can feel them, their presence is strong! It's them! I know for sure that it's them! They're back! No! No! NO! But what are they after!...Oh my God…They're after Airi's soul! I have to go back, NOW!"

Shino grabbed a man by the collar. "Who are--!"

The man looked into Shino's eyes. "Wh-What! Sh-Shino?"

"Shinji, but…what're you doing here?" Shino looked around at the men fighting Kiba and Hinata. "These people…They're from the Aburame Clan!"

"Very good Shino!" Airas came crashing through the roof. She kicked Shino in the chin. "You bastard!"

Hinata and Kiba looked. "Airas? What're you doing back!"

She grabbed Shino by the neck. "You son of a bitch! You led them here! You brought these damn Aburames to finish of my entire village! You tricked my sister into trusting you!" She began to strangle him.

"Ack! A-A-Airas, st-stop! I-I don't know wh-what you're talking a-a-about!" Shino screamed.

"Shino!" Shinji cried. He threw a punch at Airas, but she moved.

"Shinji?" she shouted.

"We meet again Airas," Shinji said. "Just like that day, nine years ago."

Shino looked at Shinji as he coughed. "Sh-Shinji, wh-what're you talking a-about?"

"I knew it," Airas said. "Shino, you're full name is Aburame, isn't it? Airi hid that from me, that stupid fool! Now I know why I feel as if I met you before! You and your father led the attack on my village nine years ago!"

"That's right, Shino did," Shinji said.

"Shino, what's going on?" Hinata asked.

"These are Aburames?" Kiba asked. "These men attacking us?"

Shino looked around in a total daze. "Wh-What's…What's happening! Who do I believe! What am I doing!" He looked at Airi's body. It was still floating and the blue light was still shooting from it. "What's happening?" He fell to his knees and covered his ears.

"We found Airi's soul!" one of the Aburame men shouted.

"No!" Airas screamed. "You will not harm my sister!" She pulled out her staff. "Wind Blade!" Blades of air cur through the man, killing him. "Leave my sister's soul alone!" She fiercely attacked the men. "LEAVE HER ALONE!"

"Look at Airi's body!" Kiba shouted. "That light is getting brighter!"

"The extraction process wasn't finished!" Shinji informed. "Excellent." He looked at a bug on his finger. "Go tell my men in the village to take everything. We'll have Airi's soul." The bug flew off. He knelt down to Shino's level. "Shino, get up! We must fight!"

Airas flew backwards as an Aburame delivered a palm strike to her chest. "Stop! You can't!" She got to her feet. "Not her soul!"

"Look!" Hinata gasped. The light from Airi's body engulfed the entire place…

X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X

"Who do I believe? What's going on? I attacked her village? I killed her people? I did this when I was seven? What is this? I couldn't have done that. No, I would never hurt Airi! But…But why are my own people hurting her? Stop! All of you! Stop!"

"You! You led them here! You bastard! Now my sister will never have peace! Our village will never be saved and Inochi will never be awakened. You, Aburame Shino, have damned my village, my home. Just like you did nine years ago. You're all the same, you Aburames. The Nozomis and the Aburames will never live in peace! And now, our ancient war as started once again. Aburame Shino, I will kill you."

The Nozomi Clan and the Aburame Clan are sworn enemies. What will become of Nozomi Airi and Aburame Shino? Are innocent people going to get mixed up in this foolish battle? Are Airi and Shino destined to fight? Are they fated enemies?

To be continued…