Disclaimer - I will never own Mia, Yuli, and/or Anubis. Everyone belongs to his or her respective owners, producers, voice actors, and creators. I am not making any money from the posting of this story, nor should I receive money for any such reasons.
Warning - This is a pro-Yuli story. If you don't like him, then don't read. Flamers who ignore this warning will be fed to my Boxers.
Tonight's been quiet. There haven't been any attacks from Dynasty in the past couple of hours, so that means that the three of us were able to sit down and have a fancy dinner. Mia made a huge one pot meal for all of us to share, and though the food was good, I'm still not used to eating in such a large house. I really want to be with my parents, but I don't know if they've survived Talpa's first attack. If they did, then they should've been freed once the white armor destroyed the bridge between the two worlds. But there've been no phone calls or visits.
Thankfully, Mia is letting me stay with her until my parents come and get me. She got this big house after that creep Sekhmet killed her grandfather, and with all the rooms on the first floor alone, it's easy to get lost.
While I was walking down the hallway, I passed one of the balconies and spotted Anubis, the former Warlord of Cruelty, standing outside and looking at the sky. He's been like this for some time, and it's really starting to annoy me.
I blame it all on earlier today, when we passed by some train tracks after the battle with Lady Kayura. Anubis was telling us about his past while we were walking, and before we made it to the station, Dais appeared and tried to threaten us.
That led to a fight - and Anubis won! Dais started the battle by hanging upside down while throwing his nunchucks at Anubis's chest. Anubis parried the weak attack away by swiftly using his staff, and Dais tried again by throwing the spiked ball that was attached to his arm guard. Anubis jumped back using a lot speed, so the ball only cut the thread Dais was hanging on.
That must've made him really mad, because Dais launched a third attack using his special skill. As he called out its name, I saw Anubis twirl the staff around like a helicopter and shattered Dais's weapon. That should've made the crazy warlord retreat, but Dais yelled out something I didn't understand and charged forward, drawing his right arm back to punch Anubis in the face. Anubis met the attack by also charging head-on, using his staff like a lance to bash the chin area of the faceplate on Dais's helmet. I cheered when Dais got thrown several feet in the air and landed with a large thud. When we found him on the ground, I was surprised to see Dais's white hair and human features. Anubis wasn't.
I don't know why Anubis wasn't surprised. All I can remember was Dais lying on his side with his helmet behind him, demanding that Anubis kill him. Anubis told him that he wouldn't, and they began talking. After some words, Anubis walked right past Dais without saying a word! Mia and I followed, but I was the only one who looked back.
I caught - something - in Dais's eye. I didn't know what it was, but I wondered if Anubis did. Something poked at me to ask him about it, but when we left the area, Anubis didn't talk to either of us.
He stayed quiet as Mia drove us home. I wanted to ask why Anubis didn't kill Dais, but there was a look in his eyes that told me that if I talked about it, it would hurt his feelings.
When we got home, Mia fixed dinner and called us downstairs to eat. While I was busy stuffing my face, Anubis picked at his food until he asked to be excused from the table. After the dishes were cleared, I went for a walk on the third floor and found myself where I am now. "Anubis," I began, trying not to startle him. "You haven't been talking all day. Is something wrong?"
"Yuli," Anubis answered with a sad smile while turning towards my direction. "What brings you out here?"
"You haven't spoken since we left those train tracks. You also didn't eat much dinner."
"I was not hungry."
He was lying. I knew this because he had that same look on his face that my mama and papa had when something bad happened and they didn't want to tell me about it. If I tried to ask them what was wrong, they would say that I was too young to understand. "You're lying. When grown-ups don't want to talk about something that bothers them, they keep it to themselves. Mama says it's not good to keep things that bother you to yourself."
The weak smile that formed on Anubis's face told me that I was right. "Do you remember your mother?"
"Of course I remember my mama and papa. I know the Dynasty has them, and if it comes to it, I'll take on Talpa and get them back."
"You are a brave boy," Anubis chuckled, "but Talpa would take your courage and twist it for his own gain."
"I can face that ugly head and win!"
After I said that, Anubis turned back around and looked at the sky. He didn't sound like he was sad, but like he was serious. "No, you cannot. Talpa twists lives in a different way than any human can. He can promise you whatever you desire, and then turn you into the very thing you once detested. It would be easy for him to become your master by looking into your heart and playing with your wants."
I blinked for a few seconds, not able to answer him. Anubis had lived with Talpa for many years, long before I was born. If that demon could manipulate someone like Anubis, then what kind of chance did I have? "You make it sound like he'll win."
"He is fighting the Ronin Warriors; as long as they stay true to their hearts and virtues, Talpa will never be victorious." Anubis narrowed his eyes, "He must not win."
"I know they can do it; The Ancient One said so himself"
"Yes." Anubis continued, still looking at the sky. "The Ancient One believed in them...as he believed in me. Because of that, I was saved from Talpa's grasp. Still, the memories of my past are hazy. I do not know if I will ever regain them."
"Are there any good ones?"
"Yes, the ones with my mother."
I blinked a couple of times. "What's she like?"
"I do not know. I have trouble remembering her name and face."
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
"No," Anubis pointed out as he turned to look at me. "I must remember her using my own powers."
I nodded. With all that Anubis had been through, I'm glad he didn't forget some of his past. He said that he didn't need help, but I knew he was wrong. "Do you remember anything else about her?"
"Yes, her words."
"What kind of words?" I asked, wondering when Anubis started to develop sappy, mushy feelings.
"My mother always told me that I would follow in the footsteps of my father and become a great samurai. After he died in a battle, she taught me the code of bushido and that I would make many choices in my lifetime. No matter what my decision was, I would have to accept the consequences of my actions."
"That sounds a lot like my mom. I think she'd be proud of you."
With that, a small breeze picked up, blowing strands of Anubis's hair onto his face. For a second, I thought I caught a wide grin, even if the only answer I got was: "I will never know."
"Well, at least you're with us. Who knows what's going on in that floating head's castle?"
"Nothing good," Anubis agreed. "Soon, I will have to journey to the Nether Realm to save the remaining three souls trapped within Talpa's grasp."
"Three souls?" I said, frowning. "You mean Cale, Dais, and Sekhmet?"
I blinked, not knowing why Anubis would think about those three jerks. "Why?"
"I have known them for many years, Yuli. I was their leader and we were part of a group. I am only one man, but the four of us functioning as a group aided Talpa in his quest for power."
"You mean your armors gave him power?"
"Yes. The cycle of seasons and elements fuels the nine armors. Without that yearly cycle, both realms fall into -"
"They tried to kidnap you!" I blurted out, not wanting to hear his mystical debate. "You know what they did to you in the park, and you still want to save them?"
"Why shouldn't I give them a second chance? The Ancient One gave me one."
"This isn't about you!"
"True," Anubis continued as if he didn't listen to my previous words. "But I have caused enough people sorrow and pain. If you want to say that their hands are washed in blood, then so are mine."
I bit my lip hard enough to cause pain. Anubis was right; he had done some bad things in the past, like trying to throw me and Mia into Mount Fuji. But now he was trying to make up for them by following the ways of The Ancient One. "It's not about killing people."
"I made the choice to join Talpa. If it were not for The Ancient One, I would be dead. I owe him that great of a debt. In return, I must offer my fellows the same options I was given."
At that moment, I remembered the kanji that glowed on Anubis's forehead in the park. The shining yellow light meant that his armor came with a virtue, but now I could see that the same virtue was a big part of Anubis's personality. "You're still loyal to them."
Anubis nodded for a second time. "Yes, I am."
"They don't deserve you." I huffed before crossing my arms over my chest.
Anubis looked at me. I knew I was right, even if he didn't like those words. "That is not your decision, Yuli, it is mine. Back at those train tracks, it was obvious that the only way I could save their souls was to walk away and not look back."
"And you think it'll work?"
"It must. If it does not, then Talpa will win."
I didn't know what to say. Anubis said he walked away from the other Warlords so that he could save them, but maybe Cale, Dais, and Sekhmet didn't agree with that decision. "Is that why did Dais attacked you? Because he wanted you to come back to the Dynasty?"
"I do not know. If we were not at a war, Dais could do as he wished. But it is different now; if there is an accusation of treason Dais would lose his head. If he values his life, he will not attack me again."
"So, if he was trying to kill you, then he did a poor job of it?"
"Perhaps. Normally he does not botch three attacks at the same time."
"I still don't think they're worth it."
Anubis heaved a sigh before clenching his fists. Cale, Dais, and Sekhmet didn't deserve someone like Anubis. They all had done bad things in the past, but at least Anubis was trying to admit his mistakes and put them behind him.
Then I remembered what Anubis had said earlier. His mother had taught him to take responsibility for his actions, but was saving the other Warlords something he wanted to do? Or something he had to do?
It didn't matter. If Anubis was set on freeing the three of them, there was nothing I could do to stop him. But I could be there for Anubis in case he wanted to talk about his struggle. He was, after all, one of my friends, and a good person always supports his other friends. "Anubis, I don't like them. I think they're scummy people, but I know it means a lot to you, so -"
"Are you supporting my efforts, Yuli?"
A big, loopy grin formed on my face. "Yeah, I'll help you get them back. I'm just glad that we'll get another chance to -"
"Anubis! Yuli! Come inside! I found some information on The Jewel of Life, and I think once we find it, we can defeat Talpa!"
As soon as the both of us heard Mia's voice from downstairs, Anubis put his hand on my shoulder and guided me towards the library where Mia kept all her grandfather's files. As we both rushed down the steps, another grin formed on my face. If we could get The Jewel of Life, then I would be able to see my parents again. Anubis might also be one step closer in listening to his mother's words...