Chapter Two: The Wizard
Koenma senses something strange is going on in Demon World. He sent Botan to warn the others, but they too could sense something wasn't right. To make matters worse, a mysterious force has apparently taken over Hiei and incapacitated Shizuru. Now Yusuke and Kurama head to Demon World to face this new threat, but will they be enough?
The Demon World Yusuke had left months ago was not the same one he had come back to. The acrid smell of smoke and charred remains of Demons was everywhere. Smoke could be seen billowing everywhere in the distance and places that were once lush forests were now barren wastelands.
"He hasn't wasted anytime, now has he?" noted Yusuke.
Kurama closed his eyes in concentration. "Not good... I can't sense either Mukuro or Yomi anywhere, and King Enki's signature is getting weaker."
Yusuke nodded, "Then we best get going then."
They both disappeared in a blur of movement.
Spirit World, Koenma's Office
"Koenma, sir, Yusuke and Kurama are on their way to Demon World," Botan informed her boss as soon as he arrived. The toddler prince merely nodded. "Sir, have we figured out what has caused the disturbance yet?"
"Yes..." Koenma said, his voice was as downcast as the expression on his face. "I just got a report from one of my father's lieutenants." He floated back to his desk and sat down, mournfully looking at a small stack of papers on his desk.
"Who is it?" asked Botan.
"No one you'd know or even be remotely familiar with..." answered the Spirit World Prince. "He's a very powerful wizard, though he doesn't have much as far as Demon or Spirit energy goes, he's strictly a "non-fighter" as Yusuke would put it, but he's very dangerous none-the-less..."
"You're not making any sense Koenma, sir," Botan replied respectfully.
"Spirit World is made of many different parts..." Koenma began to explain, "When people die, I send them to where ever it is that bests suits them based on the life they've led..." He paused, but then continued on a Botan's nod. "This wizard was in one of the many levels of the Spirit Realm, I believe it's called the Home for Infinite Losers... Father sent him there personally."
"So this wizard... escaped?" asked Botan.
Koenma nodded. "There's only one other person who has ever escaped from the Home of Infinite Losers, but they didn't belong there anyway. This Wizard managed to open up a sort of dimensional doorway, but instead of arriving at the planet Earth of his dimension, the portal brought him to our dimension, more specifically, to Demon World."
"So what can we do?" she asked.
"You heard me Botan, there is nothing we can do," Koenma said looking at the Chief Pilot of the River Sticks. "It's all up to Yusuke and Kurama. As long as the Wizard has control of Hiei the Spirit Defense Force will be of little use. Father said they would only be deployed in the event that Hiei and the Wizard manage to escape to Human World and with the lack of the barrier between the three deminsions, there is no stopping Hiei or his new Master from crossing over."
"Is there anyway we can at least contain them for now? Maybe set up a new barrier?" Botan pleaded.
Koenma shook his head, "I'm afraid not... Because of Sensui, I already used my Mafukan spell, and the new one won't be ready to hold someone of Hiei's new found strength for a few Millennia at least."
Meanwhile, Genkai's Compound
Keiko was watching the serene sunset, while Yukina was tending to Shizuru. She kept repeating the mantra that Yusuke would be alright, he would comeback, over and over again in her head.
"What's on your mind?" asked Genkai already knowing the answer, as she sat down next to the girlfriend of her favorite dimwit.
"I... I..." Keiko struggled with the words. Tears came to her already red, puffy eyes, "I'm scared... For Yusuke..."
"I know... We all are, for Hiei and Kurama too," replied the old psychic. "The stunts Yusuke likes to pull don't help much either."
Keiko nodded not quite understanding the old woman, after all Yusuke never talked much about his time as a Spirit Detective and Keiko never pressed the matter.
"He loves you very much and will do anything it takes to make sure you're safe, even at the cost of his own life," Genkai told the teenage girl, "If not for Kuwabara, he'd have already died for you when they fought the Saint Beasts of Maze Castle."
"B-But... Yusuke would do that for all of us," said Keiko.
"Yes, but he actually gave up his chance to even comeback to life just to save yours," replied Genkai, "It was only because of his selfless sacrifice that Koenma still allowed him to do so. He will stop at nothing to come back to you, but next to your life nothing else matters- not even his own soul. Even if he dies, he will always be with you, remember that." The old woman told her before she stood an went outside. The young teen had a lot to think about.
Demon World, King Enki's Palace
"You fought bravely, but your powers are pathetic," spat a familiar voice, "Even the mightiest of Demons have fallen at my feet!"
"H-Hiei... What... What is the meaning of all this?" asked Enki, who was clutching his stomach. His left eye was swollen and he could barely move. His attacker was standing over him, crimson eyes glaring with unbridled fury.
"I serve a new master now, fool!" said Hiei. He was wearing only his baggy black pants and boots, his sword clutched in his right hand, and the runic dragon tattoo that ran the length of his right arm was glowing a bright crimson. His pupil of his Jagan Eye was also glowing a bright crimson and he had a new mark on his chest, a giant black 'M'.
"The Hiei I know, serves no one," said a feminine voice. It was the legendary 'S' Class Demon, Mukuro. "Hiei, what the hell is going on?"
Hiei noticed that the hatred that once lingered in her glare was absent. He smirked, if she had been at her original power levels he might have been worried, but now she was like the rest of them, pathetic.
"I have been awakened. I have embraced the power I long denied myself," said Hiei with conviction, "And no one will stand in the way of me or my master!"
"Snap out of it! This isn't you!" shouted Mukuro.
"On the contrary, this is me," argued Hiei, "This is the side of me I had thought lost to me, the side I had buried deep down long ago. No fool Spirit Detective will stop me now. Once I have seized control of Demon World I will then slaughter those who abandoned me in that pathetic Ice World and then tear every human in existence to shred. Not even the 'Mighty King Yamma' will be able to stand up to our might!"
"What about your sister Hiei, what about Yukina?" asked the Former Spirit Detective making an entrance. Both Mukuro and Hiei hid their surprise well. "Are you going to kill her too?"
"Urameshi, just the person I was looking for, I knew if I created enough havoc and chaos you'd eventually show up!" said Hiei laughingly. "My sister is of no consequence. She made her choice when she decided to get involved with that imbecile, Kuwabara. Who knows I might even tell her that I'm her brother right before I kill her."
Yusuke's eyes narrowed. "She already knows who you are and she's worried about you! So why don't you just give up before I do something I'm going to regret."
"The fool as always, aren't you Detective," asked Hiei, "Neither of you can stand up to my new powers, I am far stronger than even your ancestor thought possible!"
"We'll just see out that won't we?" asked Yusuke threateningly.
"Yes, we will, won't we Hiei," asked a high pitched voice, "Show the filthy half-breed exactly what a full-blooded Demon can do!" They had been joined by a 2 ½ feet tall being with yellow wrinkly skin. He wore a black shirt with a long blue kilt that reached to the floor and orange sleeveless robes with a white belt that had the same 'M' symbol on the buckle that was tattooed to Hiei's chest. "Don't mind me, continue by all means, I want to see you all slaughtered by my most faithful servant!" His high pitched cackle pierced the air.
"Who the hell are you?" shouted Yusuke.
"I," he said with emphasis, "am the GREAT wizard, Babidi! And I have come to rule over all of you. Anyone who stands in my way will immediately be exterminated!" He raised his frail looking arms high into the air as he said this.
In a blur of movement Mukuro vanished. Suddenly there was a crashing sound as Mukuro was sent flying back into a wall. She hit the wall hard and went through it.
"Fool, you're nothing but a pathetic weakling! You can't even handle the power of the Mortal Flame anymore!" Hiei was standing directly in front of Babidi his left fight blazing with the Mortal Flame. "So what say you Detective? Care for round three?" Hiei's smirk never once faltered on his face.
"Sure, you can use a good ass kicking!" said Yusuke as he was surrounded by a bright golden aura, "I just hope you can take it, when I punch your face in!" He then charged at Hiei who dodged everything Yusuke threw at him.
After a series of punches from Yusuke that were dodged easily, Hiei vanished and landed a powerful kick to Yusuke's face sending him into the air. He crashed through the wall next were Mukuro had been. Mukuro had already been on the move throwing everything she had at the fire apparition, but Hiei kneed her in the gut, and then again in the face, and then doing a back flip kicked her in the face once more sending her sprawling across the floor next to the rubble where Yusuke had just went through the wall.
Yusuke came charging again but stopped short, Spirit Gun glowing bright, Hiei vanished again and reappeared behind Yusuke, delivering a powerful roundhouse kick to the back of his neck that sent him flying face first into yet another wall.
"Pathetic, even the legendary Mukuro and the mighty Urameshi can not stand up to my greatness!"shouted Hiei victoriously, "Nothing can stop us!"
"Quit your yammering Hiei and finish them!" shouted Babidi, "Finish them now! Kill them!" he ordered forcefully.
There was a sharp pain in Hiei's head as Babidi spoke and his Jagan Eye began to glow brighter. "Y-Yes, Master!" Hiei then grinned, "It will be my pleasure."
He approached Yusuke first.
"Spirit Gun, Double!" Yusuke shouted. Hiei backhanded the first golden beam lazily, having not paid attention to what Yusuke had said, but was surprised when the second one connected with his gut sending him outside of King Enki's castle. Babidi looked horrified.
"Drat you boy! This isn't over!" Babidi then phased out and disappeared.
Yusuke struggled to stand. "Damn... He's a lot stronger than I though he'd be..."
"What the hell is going on Urameshi!" demanded Mukuro, neither fighter could barely stand. King Enki looked puzzled as well.
"That's what I'd like to know as well!" King Enki was angry at the recent turn of events.
"I don't know, it all started when we felt something strange in Human World that was coming from here. Botan told us that Koenma sensed that it was someone coming from another Dimension. Then we all felt a strange flux of energy that felt a lot like Hiei's so Kurama and I came here to see what was going on." said Yusuke.
"What's going to happen to Hiei?" asked Mukuro, her voice losing it's harsh edge.
"I don't know, but we have to do something fast," said Yusuke, "From what we've been able to put together, Hiei won't be free unless we get rid of the pip-squeak. Annoying bastard..."
"I thought you said the Spirit Fox came with you," King Enki said questioningly.
"We expected things to get difficult, so Kurama went to find Yomi. We figured the three of us, Yomi, Mukuro, and myself, should be able to beat Hiei and kill the guy controlling him," said Yusuke, who then took an annoyed tone, "but it looks like that is going to be much more difficult."
Elsewhere, Demon World
Hiei was sitting inside a huge crater, eyes closed, watching the bumbling detective, the play-king, and his lover all talking. He could only smirk. "Fools."
"Hiei! You fool! What are you doing!" shouted an enraged and ranting Babidi. "Get back over there and finish them!"
"No," was Hiei's reply.
"No? NO!?" shrieked Babidi, "I am your master, how DARE you refuse me!"
"Another came with Yusuke," said Hiei, "He seeks another who is stronger, or at least more powerful, than Urameshi, if only just barely." said Hiei, "Their brilliance is astounding, together they are a formidable match. They may not be strong enough to defeat me, but they are clever enough to escape... Even that bumbling idiot, Yusuke Urameshi. If any of them were to rendevous with Kurama and Yomi, we could have a real mess on our hands."
"What are you saying? Tell me Hiei, what is it that you have in mind," the wizard was still annoyed Hiei had disobeyed a direct order, something that had only ever happened twice before. He would have to be extra watchful of the three-eyed fire apparition.
"Simple, I kill Yomi and Yoko Kurama, then those fools won't stand a chance against me," said Hiei with a smirk. "Or better yet, kill Kurama before he even gets to Yomi, and then track the over confident fool down and slaughter him with my bare hands. Either way, they will all be dealt with one way or another."
Human World, Near Genkai's Compound
A lone human stood in the middle of a forest. He wasn't good looking by any stretch of the word, but he was loyal and brave. He was also restless. He couldn't stand the thought of a battle for Demon, Human and Spirit Worlds being fought without him. So he had come outside to feel the open, clean mountain air.
It had done very little to calm his nerves. His mind was on many things. Yusuke and Kurama in Demon World fighting Hiei. The Revelation that Hiei was Yukina's brother. The fact that if Yusuke didn't somehow defeat or kill Hiei, that he would soon come to earth, not as a friend, but as a conqueror.
"Are you all right Kazuma?" asked a beautiful young girl with green hair and bright crimson eyes which were filled with concern and worry over her brother and the young man before her. He nodded. "What's the matter?"
"I-I can't do it Yukina..." said Kuwabara reluctantly.
"Do what?" asked a puzzled Yukina.
"Fight Hiei," said Kuwabara, "If he comes here, there is no way I can beat him. And even if I could, I wouldn't be able to bring myself to kill him... It would hurt you too much. And I couldn't stand it if you hated me."
"Why would I hate you?" asked Yukina, "Hiei may be my brother and he might be controlled right now... But he... He's also dangerous." a small tear formed in her eye. As it dripped down her face, it solidified into a small jewel. Kuwabara watched as it hit the ground, bouncing twice before rolling away. "If... If he's not stopped... How many will die?"
"We... I'll do everything I can to save Hiei, Yukina..." said Kuwabara with sad determination.
"Thank you, Kazuma," she said gratefully, "But please... Take care of yourself too. I would hate to lose you."
Normally, Kuwabara would be over the moon at such words. But with things so... Impossible... He couldn't muster the excitement necessary for his normal outburst.
Kuwabara couldn't help but sigh. He would grudgingly admit to being more than a little jealous that Yusuke was Spirit Detective. A little bit more when he had trained under the renowned Genkai those three months. Yusuke Urameshi had been everything to Kuwabara as they grew up. Rival, Best Friend, Brother... The hardest things Kuwabara ever had to do was watch over Keiko those weeks after Yusuke died that first time and watching Yusuke die that second time...
But during that time, through the dangers they had faced... Maze Castle, the Toguro Brothers, The Dark Tournament, Sensui... He, Kazuma Kuwabara had grown up quite a bit in that time and he realized one thing...
If there was a shittier job than being the world's protector, their first, last and only lines of defense, he didn't know what it was.