Hello everybody! Sorry it took a while to update this, but we've been busy with other things. I have many things I need to do! Like getting back in touch with IDontWannaKnowNFG and ask about what's going on with Thriller (she hasn't updated yet. I don't know if she's gotten many reviews . . .) I apologise for not getting these out sooner. I need to update the 'Chain Letter' series and other assorted fics. So, please enjoy and please review! Thank you!
-- Kitsune of Rabid Chibi Squirrels Inc.
I, Kitsune Takaya, being of sound mind, hereby state that Rabid Chibi Squirrels Inc holds no possession of Yu-Yu-Hakusho or it's characters. They are copyright of Yoshihiro Togashi, and are by no means ours. The idea, is ours, and we copyright it, so there will be no stealing permitted upon entering the fanfic zone.
Chapter 4: To Train The Blind
Kurama stood in the middle of a forest. His now white eyes gazed back at Hiei, however, all Kurama could see was the dark void around him. He'd come here for one purpose: to be trained by Hiei.
To fight blind.
Hiei looked at his ally, almost with pity. He knew what Kurama's family meant to him. He'd do anything for them. Kurama had once been a ruthless bandit with little to no moral feelings. It was when he'd been reborn into a human shell that he'd learn to love. And now that Shiori and her step-husband and step-son were in danger, it must have brought true horror to Kurama's heart to know he couldn't see or do anything to stop this madman. His family's life was on the line.
And not only them, but Botan, too! Kurama must have really thought he'd failed her. Hiei didn't want to poke business into Kurama's mind, and it was all too tempting not to. But, for the sake of his friend, he wouldn't. Hiei knew, anyway, that Kurama and Botan loved each other.
He almost couldn't find any words to say. His throat tightened, slightly. But he regained his composure and asked, "Are you sure you want to do this, Kurama?"
Kurama's inclined his head in Hiei's direction. He nodded. "I have no choice, Hiei. I'll do anything to save Botan and my family." He declined his head, seemingly gazing down at the ground. "I will not let Keisuke win."
Hiei glanced away. "To tell you the truth, Kurama, I don't know how I'll help you train while you're in that condition." He sighed, softly. "I suppose we'll start by how much your other senses have increased. We'll start with touch."
Kurama tensed slightly. "But, shouldn't I focus on other senses before that? It may mislead me."
"You're right, I'm sorry," Hiei said. "Hearing, since it may be easiest for you." He whistled, and out came Hinageshi with a set of bells. She bowed and left. "Now," Hiei said, picking up a bell without making it cause noise. "What am I holding?"
Kurama shook his head. "I don't hear anything. I don't know."
"Concentrate, Kurama," Hiei said, sternly. He lifted the bell slightly. "What am I holding?" Then he swung it, lightly, creating a sharp, resonating, ding sound.
"A . . . bell?" the vision-impaired fox said.
"Where is the sound coming from?" Hiei asked, walking around Kurama, and ringing the bell.
"To your left," Hiei said. He walked around again. "Now where?" He rang the bell.
"In front of me."
Hiei nodded. "Correct." They continued this, until Hiei decided to try a different sense.
Kuwabara helped with this. He was eating something, and Kurama had to find out what.
A spicy scent filled his nose. "Is it Italian?"
Hiei glanced at what Kuwabara was holding. "Yes."
"Is it pasta?"
Kurama softly bit his lip. "Is it . . . pizza?"
Kurama shook his head. Curse his damn human senses! "I can't tell."
"Well, focus on that more. On to the next sense."
"How am I supposed to taste anything in battle?" Kurama asked.
"Various animals do it all the time," Hiei replied. "Especialy serpents. They taste the air around them to get a better idea of what lies ahead."
Kurama stuck out his tongue for a little bit. He sighed in frustration. "Hiei, this is stupid!"
"It isn't! You need the best of your abilities to determine where Keisuke will be when you fight!"
"I'm not a snake!" Kurama protested.
Hiei sighed. "We'll work on it more."
Hiei had brought Kurama to a different place. "Use a combination of your senses to figure out where you are," Hiei instructed.
"Are you that stupid!?" Hiei snapped. Kurama recoiled. "Feel around!"
Kurama put his arms out in front of him and took a step. He felt something . . . rocky. Sound assaulted his ears. Something crashed against something . . . the sound of waves breaking against rocks . . . somewhere, a seagull gave a cry, faint on the wind. He smelled . . . and, tasted, the salt on the wind.
"Hiei, why are we by the seacliffs?" Kurama asked.
Hiei smiled, approvingly.
Hiei continued to walk in circles around Kurama, ringing the bell, until Kurama eventually got the hang of it. Now he didn't need to call out where, he merely needed to move his head to where he had heard the sound.
Kurama continued to guess the various foods Kuwabara ate, nailing it in less than three shots. It was an endless game of 'Ten Questions'.
Hiei flitted through the trees, ringing the bells. Kurama stayed where he was, listening to the ringing and inclining his head every time it rang out. Eventually, he was able to track Hiei's movement.
It was time to get the big guns out.
Now using all of the senses he was mastering, Kurama jumped after Hiei, darting through the trees. He got faster and faster each time. When Hiei would suddenly change directions, Kurama had a bit of trouble stopping and listening, but Hiei figured he'd pick up. While Kurama ran, he constantly held onto the branches or trunks of trees; he listened to the sounds of the branches creaking and the leaves falling, listened to the pitter patter of Hiei's feet, and, eventually, began to judge distances between himself and Hiei through the bell; He eventually got the hang of tasting the air around him for Hiei's spiritual signal; and got used to Hiei's scent.
Bells forgotten, it was real training time. Hiei taught Kurama how to masterfully track a person's spiritual energy and how to attempt to get a mental picture of their whereabouts, while using it.
They dashed through the trees, Hiei drawing his sword, and Kurama using the plantlife around him to come to his aid. He conjured his rosewhip and waited in the trees for Hiei.
A rustle of leaves.
'He's over there,' he thought, not inclining his head. If he knew Hiei, the little fire demon was watching HIS everymove. If he gave any inclination that he knew where Hiei was, he'd change his position and attack from another angle.
'His scent,' his mind whispered. It was a pungent aroma, of dry firewood, even the occasional crackle of flames. He jumped out of the tree.
Shing . . .
'Hiei's sword,' he thought, 'He's close!' He dodged out of the way just at Hiei's metal katana blade sliced through the branch he was standing on. The rustle of his cloak against his body . . . Right next to him! Kurama swung his whip, the tip just wrapping around Hiei's sword, which he'd brought up to block the attack. Hiei smirked, Kurama concentrated.
Kurama's whip branched off, surrounding the fire demon, but he jumped away in time. The tips of the whip would have skewered him.
"Kurama, this is not a real fight. Don't lose yourself!" he called. Kurama looked in Hiei's direction.
"Sorry, Hiei. Want your sword back?" the fox taunted.
"Pfft! Keep it!" Hiei said. He jumped down, losing his cloak, and raised his fist. Red and black flames surrounded his fist and he punched.
'Punch of the Dark Flame!' Kurama thought, and smirked. He summoned a plant; a demonic tree with tough bark that wouldn't burn. Hiei's attack bounced off like rubber against concrete.
"A fire-resistant plant," Hiei smirked. "A good defense when you go up against Keisuke."
"Thank you." Kurama said.
The training continued for those three days. By then, Kurama was sure.
He was ready.
He would take down Keisuke.
He would take back his friends and family.
He would win.
So, whatcha think? Thanks for all of you who're reviewing! Sorry it took so long to get this up. I might take a vacation, though. The ending won't be long. Expect it in around 4 or 5 more chapters. Who knows? Maybe less.