Changing Winds


The Blitzkrieg Boys are finally rid of Boris and Voltaire for good, and now that they can settle down again in Russia, everything seems to be normal… at least, until they run into the new Russian team: an all-girls team, the Four Winds. They're all from different parts of Europe, and they're good. Very good. Not about to be replaced, the result is one hell of a showdown where it's boys versus girls. Here's one other odd little tidbit; the team captain's bit beast appears to be Dranzer's long lost mate…

Yurii: I'm ba-aaack! How cool is this, my first sequel! Heh… that sounds kind of retarded, but anyway… DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW!!!

The same unforgiving winter was back, and the internal drive to survive came along with it. It was dark, cold, and unforgiving; such was the season called winter in Russia.

However, despite it appearing that everything was the same as had been throughout the whole year, there were at least five faces who would be changed immensely by the time they returned, and in the upcoming tournament, the world would follow in their footsteps.

Somewhere in the mountains of Siberia amidst the desolate frozen terrain, a pillar of red and gold stood out against the white and gray of the raging blizzard. A shrill war cry almost drowned out the wind before being joined by two more in a chorus, with them springing up one column of mauve and another of dark obsidian.

As quickly as they had come, they were gone as their colors collapsed into a black, crimson and bronze blade raised in the air. The hand clenched around it drew it back down and stared down at it before the owner of the hand and the blade smirked.

In a harbor in Finland, yachts and ships alike were being tossed like toy boats in a bathtub as wave after wave, some of sound and some of water, smashed into them relentlessly. Only an imprudent few were fool enough to leave their ships there; in only the first week had most yacht owners learned of the aspiring world-class blader's arrival and quest, and from anywhere within a mile's radius, anyone outside or peering out their window could see a tall, rearing figure before it disappeared.

A midnight blue and gold streak returned to a pair of boots, the waiting feet of its master; the body they were attached to bending down to retrieve it and preparing to launch again. Only three more days…

If one looked hard enough, one could see a long hanging bridge leading through the mist to a painted Indonesian temple nestled high in the mountains, and just over the sound of the waterfall emerging from an archway adorned with bells, wind chimes, and gongs could be heard the sounds of determined yells, grunts of effort and of impact, clashing sparring weapons and somewhere in the noise, a wild-spirited horse's whinny.

Moving in almost perfect unison, a crimson and gold blade and its red, orange, gold and white-clad owner leaped from pole to pole, some on their feet and some on their hands. A pair of wise old eyes watched as the aura of a stallion followed the human half of the two. Both halted as they reached the end of the course, and it seemed as if they were panting, breathing in unison.

Munich, Germany. It was anything but forgiving in the winter time, but regardless, two pairs of determined eyes, one pair a brandy brown-gold, the other like frozen turquoise, stared down two blades as they mercilessly hammered one another. The larger blade was cobalt blue and bronze, the other black and gold. Both of them seemed to be enveloped by their own aura of battle, and each wore their own look of determination.

The elder of the two raised one arm in the air, fist clenched as the blue and bronze blade smashed into the black and gold one, finishing their little skirmish. The young, pigtailed owner of the defeated blade merely grinned and loaded their blade back into its respective launcher, readying for another round. The victor shifted back into a fighting stance, beckoning a challenge.

It wouldn't be long before the world would see what they could do.

"In other news, the Beyblade World Championship Preliminaries are beginning starting next week, where our country will be represented by the Blitzkrieg Boys and two new teams on the scene; the Soviet Knights and the Four Winds-"

Kai switched off the TV when two pictures, one of each of the female Russian team captains, appeared on the screen. In the one on the left, Taylia was standing sideways as if just turning around and looking to the side at the camera as if she hadn't known until just that moment her picture was being taken.

Nearly half a year ago, she and her three other teammates had simply disappeared without warning or notice, and not even the BBA had been able to track them down in that time.

Well, wherever it was the female phoenix had gone, he intended to give her one hell of a 'welcoming'. He too had been training his ass off in preparation for the next tournament; if not last year, he wanted to beat Tyson and earn the title he worked so hard to bring into reach.

However, what was really nagging him from the back of his mind was what in the world she had in mind to do with Black Dranzer; was she going to use it in the tournament, or would she keep it out of the way where he couldn't cause any damage.

He suddenly had a new appreciation for captains like Tala and Taylia who had all these kinds of variables to worry about.

Until we meet again, Syeverniy.

"AAAAAANNNDDDD WELCOME Beyblade fans to the Tournament Preliminaries! I'm Brad Best here with AJ Topper and we'll be announcing all the battles!"

"Suuu-weet! For those of you who watched the previous tournament or who are new to the sport, here's how these rounds are gonna work; this year, we're only going to have one blader from each team battle two others from another team, which means the teams are going to have to choose wisely and fight hard to get a good standing in the first rounds of the preliminaries!"

"Let's bring in the teams, shall we?"

The crowd roared as the four entrances to the arena opened and the teams filed out onto the field. The cheering became loudest as the resident Russian boys' team made their entrance, never once acknowledging that the crowd was there.

"And now ladies and gentlemen, let's give a round of applause to the newest teams joining the competition; give it up for the Soviet Knights and the Four Winds!!"

The crowd somehow managed to scream and applaud even louder as the eight entered, both on opposite sides of the arena. From their bench, Kai studied the Four Winds out of the corners of his eyes. They hadn't changed a lot, save for their wardrobes (their gloves remained the same).

Taylia now wore a sleeveless charcoal-gray halter top, the collar being a kind of black dog collar. Two black straps held it tight to her middle, all three held by silver buckles. She had the same unattached sleeves, held up by black buckled armbands. The cargo pockets on her pants legs appeared to be strapped to her legs with a black band, her belt was replaced by a trench coat tied around her waist, and she had her beyblade gear hanging from a belt worn loosely over her jacket with the holster attached.

Drayea had traded in her thick brown sweater for a tighter shirt of a slightly lighter shade which had a large hole on each of the shoulders as if someone had attached long sleeves to a tank top. Her vest was now much shorter and was fastened shut at the neck, and her shoes now had a metal plate on the front of the toe. The blue cargoes were intact.

Riikka's single strap shirt was similar to Drayea's, but hers was more or less a long-sleeved shirt with a shoulder-cut collar and the same holes in the arm/shoulder area as her elder teammate. It was still midnight blue, and she now had a brown corset around her middle. Her black leather pants were the same, save for the blue bandana tied around her leg, and her lightning-bolt charm choker still adorned her neck.

Mitsu had the greatest difference; her clothing looked more like a uniform; it was all silk, and the over shirt was still short-sleeved and oriental style; however, the shirt was a bright, rich red with a gold yin-yang and black kanji on her chest. The front still hung down to her shins in the front and back, and in place of her black belt was a dark red sash that crisscrossed from her waist to the bottom of her chest where it was tied. Under that was a long-sleeved white shirt with flowing sleeves, the ends lined with gold. Her pants were black silk, no slits this time, and her boots now had athletic tape wrapped around the ankles.

He smirked and kept his gaze on the Russian.

Not a bad change, Strelnikov, now let's see how your blade has changed in the past few months.

On the west side of the field, a certain dragon was waving her arms, catching Riikka's attention. Danica, who had been the one doing it, grinned and gave her the peace sign, getting one in return.

She still wore the same colors; black, blue and gold, and had traded her gloves in for a pair identical to Taylia's; black with a metal plate on the backs of her hands. She now wore a strapless goldenrod shirt with a black stripe across her chest, and she had apparently also borrowed Taylia's style with the sleeves, but hers were held up by goldenrod-colored bandanas. Over her shirt was a black vest that reached the middle of her chest and had a collar that stuck up. Her cargoes were replaced by shin-length steel blue cropped pants, and her boots were now knee-length black combats with a small metal plate over the top of each foot and a yellow strap around her ankles.

Had she shown up looking like that at school, the teachers would have kicked her out in an instant. Regardless… she was just glad to get away from that asshole Spangler.

Womanizer bastard…

"Before we begin, the teams get to see who their opponents will be!!"

Up on the huge screen, three columns, the middle one saying 'vs.' and the left and right ones with the different team names being shuffled too fast to read. One by one, the rows stopped. Behind her, Taylia could practically hear the smirk on Drayea's face at their results.






This is going to be easy.

"3, 2, 1, LET IT RIIPPP!!!"

The ten bladers gathered around their designated beyblade dish let loose their blades in unison, all almost immediately shouting out some command to their bit beast.

In the arena where the Four Winds were taking on the F-Dynasty, Drayea was effortlessly pummeling Raul into submission; Taylia smirked and folded her arms, knowing that right now she was merely toying with him.

The two best ways to tell how much of an effort she was making were her posture and her expression; the former was that her arms were folded and she was standing up straight, the latter being a taunting and confident smirk.

"Yo, Zapadno," She called up, "Why not just finish it, you're boring us over here."

The redhead's smirk became a grin.

"Aye, cap'n."

She turned back to her blade, which was literally blading circles around Torch Pegasus to the point where the winged horse's master was starting to look very dizzy following it with his eyes.

"Alright Gundula, lets end this! Attack!"

The Z-Scythe complied immediately, using the ever-familiar slingshot technique by swerving in an arc around the arena before shooting back and smashing her opponent's blade out of the ring. On the scoreboard where their pictures were displayed, Raul's picture went dark to proclaim Drayea the winner.

The German remained nonchalant and held out her hand, the blue and bronze beyblade returning to her waiting hand. She turned on her heel and walked back down to their bench, expression stoic. Her eyes, however, were bright. Taylia smirked, arms folded.

"You haven't changed much in the past five months, Drayea." She said as she stood up.

"I could say the same of you, Tai." The griffin replied with a smirk. The smirk became a stupid, cheesy grin as the griffin playfully punched her teammate's shoulder, though it was intentionally much more forceful than necessary.

Taylia, grinning with a trace hint of pain and rubbing her 'injured' shoulder, slapped her on the back almost violently, landing the older teenager on the ground from the force, face first. Riikka and Mitsu both sighed.

Nope, neither one had changed much in the time they were apart.

At least the tension from their fight was gone.

"Don't forget, I'm stronger than you now, so you can't pick on me anymore!" Taylia taunted, though it was all in good nature. Drayea, pretending to be angry, flipped her a birdie and sat down at the bench.

Taylia: 1; Drayea: 0

It was definitely going to be interesting the next month or so.

"Gundula, finish this! Arctic Circle!"

A raging torrent of snow and wind shot towards the already-doomed captain of the White Tigers X, and next thing anyone knew Drayea's picture on the score board lit up and Lee's went dark. Raising her fist in the air, the parts of the crowd that had been watching Drayea and Lee battle cheered as a smile adorned her face, a rare sight to those who knew her well enough.

On the other side of the field, Tala had already finished off both his opponents in a flurry of snow and ice and had resumed his normal spot leaned against the wall, arms folded.

Five months.

He'd had five months to think, and now it suddenly didn't seem like enough time. Just thinking back to when he and Bryan had knocked on their door to hand Anniina over, he didn't know whether to be pissed as hell at the Japanese-American who made them kiss or to hug her and thank her until someone stopped him.

Uhh… let's go with the first one.

As for the German girl… well….

He really didn't know what to think about her.

Having seen her in a state of total vulnerability before made it seem like he had some new kind of weight resting on his shoulders… to put it simply, the closest he could come to explaining it was to tell the person listening to picture an alpha wolf fighting off an attacker.

It's called protectiveness, master. It's not that different than the urge to defend your 'pack', but in this case it's more about territory.

Tala mentally cast a sardonic look at his bit beast.

'Territory'? Since when is Drayea 'territory'? He growled.

Since you started to like her. I suppose there's no need to worry; none of these other pathetic males are of any real competition anyway.

Tala's expression became a flat glare.

When will you get it out of your head, I don't like her that way.

And the constant blushing around one another is just a typical 'friends' thing? Wolborg retorted slyly.

Much to the wolf spirit's delight, a slight tinge of red appeared on the bridge of his nose.

Direct hit!

I hate you.

Wolborg's only response was smug laughter, getting him to blush a darker red.

WHY did I have to get him for a bloody partner…?

"So, Miss Strelnikov thinks she could outsmart me by splitting up. Not a bad strategy, Taylia, but not a good one either."

Behind him, three of the Soviet Knights remained silent as Alekzander stood up from his place watching playbacks of that day. This part, however, had been taken in their lounge when the matches were over.

Nadriya cast an uneasy glance at her subordinates. Solongo was as stoic as always; almost to a fault. Nadina's expression was one of focus, though it wasn't as intense as the one she wore when she battled. Lilja was somewhere in the medical facilities, probably being poked and prodded with needles in the scientists' attempts to reverse some of the grotesque physical mutations left on the Greenlandic blader; she was like a human version of Ukaleq now.

The thought sent a bolt of cold down her back.

Mistress, don't forget; you cannot show your skepticism. You know what happens to those who do.

I know, Zimyatov.

Somehow, she managed to relax her face enough to erase the dark scowl of doubt she'd been wearing while Alekzander had his back turned. As he turned and left, she couldn't help but feel like someone's eyes were on her back.

"Hey Niina! It's been almost 4 months since I've seen ya!"

The little Russian girl giggled as her 'big sister' playfully ruffled her hair, which she now wore in a single ponytail. She'd actually gotten a bit taller in the past half-year –she was already four-and-a-half feet tall-, and just like themselves her birthday was approaching as well.

Mitsu had already turned seventeen in their time apart; Taylia would be eighteen in three weeks and Riikka would be seventeen in two months' time. Drayea wouldn't be nineteen until early spring.

It seemed so funny that they were all almost completely grown-up and Anniina would only be turning seven.

Riikka didn't seem to mind.

In fact, seeing her acting like a big sister was the happiest any of them had seen her in a long time. Taylia, however, probably noticed the biggest changes in the gray-eyed Finn.

Aside from having an enormous responsibility as big as taking care of a child, she was adapting to fit the kind of older-sister figure that replaced a mother that wasn't there. What was amusing was that there actually did seem to be a member of their team that was taking on the role of the mother-figure.

Most people would have guessed Mitsu, maybe her…

Believe it or not, it was Drayea.

Even though she wasn't as interactive with the girl as Riikka or Mitsu, wherever she was Taylia could almost always find Drayea somewhere nearby watching her with a sharp eye. Somehow, it didn't surprise her that much.

Once someone managed to worm their way into Drayea's ice-encrusted heart, they remained there forever; one of the three ways –this being the most significant- to determine if she cared about someone was that she became extremely protective of them.

After all, it had been Drayea who'd finished off Riikka's father after Taylia had trapped his knife with her arm.

She smirked. The redhead had one nasty left hook that she hadn't tasted in a while, and judging by the slightly darkened aura she gave off, she had the feeling she'd get it the next time they sparred.

"Oi, Syeverniy, head out of the clouds if you don't mind."

Said North Wind shot her shorter teammate one of her patented 'Eat Shit'© glares. Of course, she herself had changed significantly in the past half year; the cold, unforgiving sleet and wind of Siberia and Greenland had (somehow) managed to make her slightly easier to annoy.

"We'll see whose head is in the clouds when we've battled. I want to see that you haven't been wasting your own time since we split up."

Taylia smirked deviously, and they all knew she had something up her sleeve. Riikka, who had been the one to speak up, gulped.

This is going to end badly…

"-pant- -pant- Jesus fucking Christ Tai… -pant- where the hell did you learn that one?"

A smirk identical to the one she made a few hours ago lit up the phoenix's face.

"It's a brand-new custom attack. I'll be very interested to see how Nadriya or any other of those Soviet Nitwits try and counter this one." She mused.

The other Winds groaned –save for Drayea- and flopped tiredly back into the snow, staring up at the color-stained sky. They'd been spar-blading for nearly 4 hours now, and Taylia's new 'Собой техника' (Suicide Technique) was like nothing they'd ever encountered.

"Well, since all of you are ready to call it a day, I might as well inform you on what I dug up on our 'friends' the Soviet Knights."

"First, there's the team captain, Nadriya Rzhyov. Her blading style tends to change a lot, but her chief focal point is attack power, so she doesn't have a very good defense. Nadriya's bit beast is an ice dragon called Zimyatov, and it's Heavy Offense, the Nor'easter Cleaver, is one nasty piece of work. Drayea, you have the advantage here since you specialize in heavy attacking power, so she's your primary focus.

"Lilja Aputsiaq was the blader who had the supernatural dragon Ukaleq. Since she's recently been 'upgraded', her stats have definitely gone up. However, if her blading style is the same, I can tell you that she'll wait for you to strike, analyze your movements and attack patterns, then try to overwhelm you with a full-out frontal assault. If that doesn't work, she'll go straight to her Typhoid Dusk. If she does, immediately use a Heavy Offense. It's better to tie after she's used that attack then to risk staying in the smog and trying to win. Riikka, you have the best endurance, so she's your opponent.

"Solongo Choybalsan is the darker-skinned girl, the Mongolian. Her armored fire wolf, Quidel, is a two-headed spirit, so she's got double the endurance of most bladers. However, because she can run for a long time, it's at the cost of her evasive ability. Her weight disk is the key part of her attack power and ability to outlast, so the best way to defeat her is with speed. Mitsu, she'll be your target.

"Lastly, there's Nadina. Apparently she has no last name to speak of; anyway, she's the powerhouse of the four, not just in her blading but her physical and mental capabilities as well. Her bit beast is a shadow type, and all I know about it is that her bit beast is named Korbinian. This team fights just like Garland did in the last tournament; with physical attacks on the opponent blader. Since my stats can counter hers, I'll take her on if they decide to have her blade.

"The last thing I have to warn you about is how they blade in a serious match. I know from experience that they'll intentionally pick a ring or some kind of element to make it seem like you have the advantage, but they somehow manage to use it against you. I've seen one case where Lilja fought another blader in a dish with a huge fan in the center. Supposedly, it would blow away any of her attacks (literally), but she actually knocked it to face her opponent and blow her Typhoid Dusk straight into their face.

"They fight dirty, and the only way we can pull this off is with well-thought strategies and attacks. Got it?"

Drayea, Riikka and Mitsu nodded. Niina, who had been listening diligently, actually nodded as well. Taylia smirked.

"Then it's settled. You remember how we play?"

"You mess with one of us, and you deal with all of us!"

(1) Conquistadors- formerly Barthez's Battalion

(2) Justice Five- formerly Team BEGA

Yurii: Not a bad comeback, eh? ;) Don't forget to review!