Chii-kun: (reads a few of her old fics) (eye twitches)

Sakura: "um…."

Chii-kun: "my old ones…were so BAD! Although, I don't have time to redo them…" (ahem)

"Sorry for the VERY LONG Update! So this chapter might suck a little since it's been…wow…2008 was when I last updated? XD; I'm sure it's obvious why this story hasn't been updated in so long. (voice: no one cares… e.e)

Anyway… I don't own anything except this story."

Chapter 14: Fourth World, Fourth Crystal

Birds chirped happily as they flew from tree branch to tree branch. The sun's rays shone and glistened against the leaves and river. Two adolescents stood on the arch-like bridge over the river. One was a girl with short pink hair, while the other one, a boy, had raven-spiked hair.

The boy was leaning against the post and seemed to be deep in meditating thought. The girl stood a few distances away from the boy. She glanced around her surroundings.

"What's taking them so long?" she wondered, tapping her foot against the wood impatiently. Her arms crossed over her chest. She stopped tapping as she stared longingly at the boy. She then averted her green eyes from him. Should I… tell him my feelings? We're alone….

YES! I'm finally alone with Sasuke! Dark Sakura cheered heartily within the back of Sakura's mind.

Sakura inhaled and exhaled with a determined smile. As she headed towards the boy, she stopped in her tracks when she heard a familiar voice from a distance…

"SAKURA-CHAN!"

She winced. Only one idiot that she knew belonged to that voice… "Naruto….." she growled between gritted teeth.

Just as the spiky blonde approached the middle of the bridge, he and Sakura were tossed back when a beam of light shot down from the sky. Sasuke's eyes widened in astonishment and stood his ground, completely alert for any enemy attacks.

"Whoa! What the hell?" Naruto gaped in shock. The three adolescents heard four figures gasped for breath as they resurfaced.

"Some landing we made, huh?" Yugi remarked.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I shouldn't have put too much power on my side!" Tohru said frantically.

"It's not your fault, de gozaru yo," Kenshin assured. His senses sparked in alert and swiftly caught a kunai between his fingers before it hit Tohru, who was still frantic.

"Ah… Ah… Ah…"

"Are you all right, Tohru-dono?" the samurai asked with concern. She nodded.

"Hmm… mm…"

He's good and was able to catch my kunai in such speed Sasuke mused.

"What the hell? Who the hell are you?" Naruto exclaimed angrily, pointing rudely at our heroes.

"Ah… Sorry for dropping by," Sakura replied sheepishly, waving her hands defensively. "Did… we startle you?"

"That… was a bit redundant, maybe?" Yugi remarked, sensing the tension from the blonde.

"Naruto! That was a bit rude!" Sakura chided.

"My, my… what do we have here?"

The group looked up and spotted a man with gray hair crouching on top of the post Sasuke was leaning on. His right eye was covered and his mouth was covered with a black handkerchief.

"Kakashi-sensei!" Sakura and Naruto exclaimed simultaneously, surprised to see him.

"Yo!" he chimed.

"Tch!" Sasuke scoffed. The Guardians blinked in confusion.

The Guardians mentally sighed. Once again they were forced to explain who they were and their mission just to avoid suspicion and any misunderstandings. Of course there were introductions during their conversation with the ninjas. Sakura Kinomoto was surprised that she shared the same name as Sakura Haruno, as well as most of the others.

"Yosh! Let's go and get the crystal!" Naruto exclaimed enthusiastically as he marched towards the forest. "Hey, don't ya need to get the crystal?"

"Ano… Naruto-kun…" Tohru said nervously.

"You would have to stay behind de gozaru," Kenshin confessed.

"Huh?"

"Well….." Sakura thought for a moment.

"When I retrieved the wind crystal, it was located about more than a thousand feet above the Earth," Tohru began. "That is where the air is very thick and hard to breathe."

Sakura nodded in agreement. "The fire crystal was in a boiling volcano where no one can survive the heat."

"And the water crystal was located hundreds of feet below the water surface," Yugi added.

"Ah, I see…" Kakashi said.

"So only a Guardian that pertains to the crystal's environment can retrieve it?" Sakura asked.

"Yes, that's right, Sakura-dono," Kenshin replied.

"In other words, you can't go dobe," Sasuke said.

"Aww! I guess it can't be helped then…." Naruto rubbed the back of his head. "Good luck, Kenshin!"

Kenshin slightly nodded before entering the forest with his allies watching him until he was out of eyeshot.

Somewhere in the Dark Lord's dark layer

The dark lord was laid back in his demon chair as he watched Kenshin walk deeper and deeper into the forest through his magic mirror. The orbs that represented air, fire, and water weren't present and only two orbs remained: earth and spirit. He grinned.

"It seems the Guardian of Earth has sensed another crystal in that world. Hopefully my fourth demon would finish him. From the records about this guardian, he never had a female opponent in a serious battle…which is perfect…" He raised his hand towards the mirror. "I call forth the earth demon, Ivy!" As he chanted, the earth orb glowed enchanted green.

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Few moments later, he continued to pass by various trees that blocked the natural light on the path that he followed with his senses that would lead him to the crystal. The path seemed endless until he spotted a beam of light shining down and illuminated an open isolated grassy area. He stepped into the area without hesitation and spotted a small stone shrine under the heart of the light.

Kenshin approached the shrine and glanced up at a stone fox that was twice his height. He stared warily at the statue. Could it be just like other Guardian Spirits? He mused. He peered inside as the shrine doors opened and was awed by its beauty. Inside was a crystal that resembled the others, except the colors swirling inside were greenish.

He jolted upright as a hand rubbed against his bottom, sending chills up his spine. "My…what do we have here?" a voice purred. He took a quick glance behind him then adverted his eyes.

"T-this one believes t-that your violated one's p-privacy," Kenshin said plainly, keeping his composure. A tint of hue flashed across his cheeks.

"Oh~? Privacy, hmm?" the woman stole his glance with one turn of his head by the force of her forefinger. Emerald stared deep into Amethyst.

"I'm engaged," the samurai said plainly. A playful smirk plastered on the woman's lips.

"And I'm not suppose to flirt with a taken man?" she pressed. "Based on your human's rurulez." Her tongue rolled when she pronounced the "r's".

"Who are you?" the red head demanded sternly. Is she an enemy or….? He mused. The woman jumped a few distances away for the man to get a good view of her.

"I'm Ivy, nice to meet you." She gave him a flirtatious wink, which had made a tint of hue flash on Kenshin's cheeks. He quickly shook it off and had to remind himself of Kaoru.

Her ginger-red hair flowed down the sides of her face over her slender shoulders, a few strands covered some of her forehead. Her emerald eyes shone and slant with lust and seductiveness. She had a green collar wrapped around her slim neck. Her dark green leather tube top revealed most of the top part of her breasts; and wore a mini leather green skirt. Below her shoulders were vines and leaves wrapped around her arms to her middle finger. Vines and leaves wrapped around her ankles.

Kenshin studied her for a moment. His muscles relaxed as he didn't sense any danger from the woman based on her aura until a voice spoke within his mind, a voice he wasn't familiar of.

"She's the enemy, an earth demon sent by the demon lord."

The moment Kenshin adverted his glance from the woman wondering who the owner of the voice was, he was grabbed by the neck and slammed to the ground… with Ivy's hand gripping tightly around it. She smirked as she glanced at him with deadly intent as she held up her free hand to her chest level, her claws sharpened and fingers cracked…ready to strike.

He struggled as he grasped her wrist trying to pry it from his neck only with her seeping her claws into his flesh. He seethed through gritted teeth from the pain as warm blood trickled down his neck. Ivy chuckled as she remarked his soon to be end before her claws charged towards his sockets only to be blocked by his sword. Each forced their weight towards each other for a moment until Ivy dodged when Kenshin slashed at her with the dull side of his sword. They stood a few distances away from each other, with Kenshin grasping for breath while Ivy smirked. The ex-hitokiri noticed she stood beside the shrine…her perfect chance to steal the crystal or destroy it before his eyes.

"I want to have some fun before giving the crystal to Master," Ivy remarked with a chuckle, sensing his thoughts.

As Ivy held out her arms, her vines coiled towards her hands. As the vines passed her fingers by an inch, her hands glowed transforming into scythe blades. She smirked as she darted towards the samurai. In a moment, as Kenshin prepared with his sword, his eyes dilated as blood gushed out from his body.

So…fast….

He coughed out blood before falling onto his knees and fully lying on the grass facedown. Ivy glanced at him with a smug grin.

"Is that all?" she inquired, almost disappointed. Her orbs glanced through his own that was overshadowed by his locks for a moment before walking towards the shrine. He must be…its too bad she mused.

"You still have fight in you. Stand up!"

Ivy glanced behind her as Kenshin stood up using his sword for support, slanting the side before standing upright. He calmly closed his eyes as he sheathed his sword, taking a deep breath through his nostrils before slightly parting his mouth to release the breath. Ivy watched him carefully as he placed one foot before the other putting half his weight on it.

"Hiten Mitsurugi Ryū Ōgi….."

Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki

Silence befell the area with the light shining down upon the redheaded samurai as he glanced up with his bangs overshadowing his eyes. Particles of Ivy's remains levitated towards the light until there was none left on the Earth. He held his sword with the sharp end facing up before sheathing it. She was a demon, not a human… he reminded himself. It was his duty as a Guardian to destroy such evil caused by the demon lord, but the vow of not killing a being was still kept in his heart… a human being to be exact. He also reminded himself that he can't die here and if he did, Kaoru and his friends won't forgive him. Kenshin glanced at the fox spirit beside him. The fox had red fur with a white tummy and tip at the end of his bushy tail, and white wings on its back.

"Thank you for your assistance."

"I just gave you a boost of magic, that's all! You mostly did all the work!" Katsu chirped, raising a paw. "And...maybe a nudge in the head here and there seeing how stupid you are."

"…"

"That was a joke!"

"…."

A nervous sweat dripped down by Katsu's ear before it disappeared as he spoke. "Take the crystal and meet the others!" he chirped. "But first…." He eyed the redhead from head to toe.

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The Guardians, Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, Kakashi waited under a tree by the river. Some of them fidgeted nervously hoping Kenshin was okay. Naruto pulled out grass out of boredom disappointed that he didn't get to join Kenshin. Sasuke and Kakashi seemed completely calm. It was silent among the group until Sakura spoke,

"Look!" she pointed towards the entrance where they last saw Kenshin. Everyone looked and saw Kenshin with Katsu perched on his shoulder. Tohru, Yugi, and Sakura rushed to greet him. Kenshin showed them the Earth crystal, which the girls remarked of its beauty. Sora, Leo, and Tsuki shot from their amulet chamber to greet Katsu.

Naruto and Kakashi stared at the crystal in almost awe.

"Interesting…" Kakashi said, rubbing his chin between his forefinger and thumb. A smirk crossed Sasuke's lips.

"Now that we got all the crystals, maybe we should contact…" Tohru paused as Sasuke cut her off as he approached them.

"You four really are the Guardians."

The four stared at him perplexed.

"I've been waiting for you."

To be continued….

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Chii-kun: Yay! I'm done with this chapter! 83 (dodges missiles for the cliffhanger) I'll… get to the next chapter sometime….

Just…you… wait! :V