AN: I don't have a beta for this story, so feel free to point out any glaring and human mistakes. ^^
12: Six Nights
The sun dipped from the heavens, fading day into the night. Spirits awoke into the drawing darkness, coming to life in the magical realm.
In another part of the realm, Hayate, in his apparent desperate attempt to find Chihiro, shoved Raiden aside. He splashed from the rising waters onto the stone steps. He left Raiden behind, disinterested in further conversation with the commoner, whom he thought was in desperate need of a haircut. . The street sprawled ahead of him, lined with quaint, festive food stalls reminiscent of period dramas he'd seen. All were painted in traditional hues of primary green and red, which according to Hayate's opinion, looked cheap and pokey. What on earth would Chihiro be doing in such a place? He gritted his teeth with disgust. For a few moments, he missed the wispy back shadows in the stalls. Then he paused, blinking the fatigue from his vision. "I must be hallucinating," he mumbled under his breath, squinting into a shop to his left. The shadows seemed to be drifting around…and had limbs? He tried to shake the tableau from his head; sure he could dispel the ghostly apparitions.
Behind Hayate, Raiden leisurely rose from the waters, his clothes bone dry. A cordial smile split his face, as he watched spirits swimming around the lone human. He's undoubtedly worried about his woman, that's why he's acting like a wild boar in heat, Raiden kindly rationalized Hayate's behavior, when an idea clicked in his head. He continued eyeing the slightly tubby human man waddle through the spirits like a lop-sided penguin with one shoe on his foot, and the other in his hand. "Wellll…," he turned sideways, looking down to his thunder beast, "At least he hasn't started squealing like a girl yet, ne?" Raiden nodded positively to Raiju. "But he will soon enough if I don't do something," Raising his eyes to the skies, Raiden searched the indigo darkness for inspiration. It wasn't long before he broke into a cheesy grin. "He needs to be told, right?" Raiden continued to Raiju, who merely snorted in derision.
Hayate's face by now, had paled to the extent he was almost glowing amidst the spirits around him. "W-What is this place?" he croaked, throat dry with panic. The fear riddling his face, contorted into a mask of shock. A flash of iridescent light smacked at the ground in front of him; Raiden, smartly appearing a split second later. Hayate's stomach fell to his feet. He leapt back. His arms shielded his face from the bluish aura exuding from Raiden.
Raiden stood astride before the quaking Hayate, brandishing his most disarming smile. He bowed courteously, as if a butler would to his master. He swept his arms to the right where trays of food magically filled with what resembled steamed onions, basted crispy skin quails, succulent fish rolls and plump moist dumplings. The spirit food vendor was preparing for his guests, happy for Raiden to up-sell his goods. "And on the right, we have the freshest gastronomic delights for our honoured guests," Raiden explained, playfully bowing with reverence.
Hayate's jaw dropped to the ground where his stomach was. "H-h-how did you get from there…" he jabbed at the empty space a few feet behind him, "...to there!?" he stammered jabbing in hysteria at Raiden's feet. A seed of suspicion sprouted in Hayates head, that Raiden, who towered over both him and the ghostly apparitions around him, might not be human.
"Heeee…" Raiden teased, giggling like a school girl, scratching his head with mock embarrassment. "This picture says a gazillion words, ne? I'd probably market this place as a Fantasy Land, I think." Raiden motioned up and over their surrounds. This was the first time he had to profile himself or any enchanted realm to a human. And honesty was usually the best policy for to the God of Thunder and Lightning. "I like to start all relationships off on a clean billing, Hayate. Sooo…," he paused, biting his lip in contemplation, his mind whirring, sorting for the right words, to welcome Hayate to the magical world. "I'm Raiden-the-thunder-god-who-controls-all-thunder-and-lightning-in-the-universe. I-like-rainy-days-soya-bean-burgers-with-special-spirit-sauce-and-Carpenter-songs-are-the-bestest!" he rapped out in one breath. Wasn't as bad as I thought! He nodded to himself with confidence, peering Hayate.
"I can even do magic tricks!" The Thunder God tried to sound casual, though the excitement brimmed over despite his best efforts. Even Hayate's expression frozen between mania and terror couldn't dampen his zeal. "Watch this!" Raiden expounded brightly. His eyes blazed blue, before suffusing into lightning white. A stern, martial expression set his face, and he eased with natural grace into his Nan Chuan stance.
"Dual Thunder Palms!" he whipped in a voice disciplined and clear, seamlessly moving into another martial arts stance. One foot pinned to the ground, the other extending, ending in a praying mantis stance before Hayate.
"Lightning Bolt!" A bolt of white lightning bolt shot from the sky, lashing with a poof at front of Hayate's curled up toes.
"Thunder God Palm!" Raiden's arms extended in perfect parallel to the ground at Hayate, his palms an inch from the man's heaving chest.
"Shocking Touch!" Raiden's daintily bent his pinky finger forward, tapping Hayate's collar. Instantly, the material deteriorated into a wall of crumbling ash.
"And my favourite, Flying Thunder God!" Raiden blazed upwards in a streak of azure, piercing the clouds, and landing in his original position, before Hayate's brain could register the movement. Then, quite satisfied, Raiden spun around nonplussed to face Hayate. The Thunder God, in all his modesty, assumed his fantastical impromptu martial arts performance was rather, run of the mill. "Now, how about some spirit burgers, ne?" his preternaturally white teeth gleamed through his jovial smile. The god was relieved he'd made it rather obvious to Hayate the world he'd stumbled into, wasn't quite conventional.
"Say…what…the…?" Raiden slapped his palm to his forehead, catching sight of Hayate. "Maybe I should have left out the Carpenters song bit?" He asked no one in particular and blew a raspberry in exasperation. "Typical humans, they either take-off or faint when they can't handle you're a God," Raiden grumbled, pouting his lips like an upset child. He strode over to Hayate who lay unconscious. Hayate's clothes reduced to soot by Raiden's 'Shocking Touch', spiraled as dust into the breeze. Raiden hunched over Hayate's naked form and said, "Hmmm…looks like you need to work out my man. How does Chihiro handle you in your birthday suit?" Raiden cringed at the still human form, wincing at how Hayate had obviously treated his body more like a supersized amusement park, rather than a treasured temple. "I wonder what our future daimyo the Hak-myster is going to think about our latest visitor, ne Raiju?" Raiden asked Raiji. He heaved Hayate onto his broad shoulders as he did so. His faithful beast strolled along, sniffing at Hayate's hand with some interest. In a moment of inspiration and hoping to catch his master off guard, he snapped at Hayate's hand dangling at Raiden's waist.
"Ah! NO EATING the guests Raiju! That's soooo yesterday. Ne?" Raiden scolded, smartly side stepping the thunder beast's errant mouth and behaviour. "B-a-d Raiju! No dried curried ramen balls for you tonight, boy."
Raiju stared with impertinence at his Master, lamenting as Raiden's lightening reflexes. He sat back on his hind legs in a huff, crushed that his master would deny him his beloved snacks. After all, he was merely attempting to sample Hayate. The thunder beast lowered his gaze side in penance, as his master climbed up the steps, past the bridge and into the bath house. Raiju didn't like the scent of the human man at all.
Daimyo: is similar to a mayor, or a person in a position of power. You'll find out more about it in future chapters.
Raiden's moves: The name of Raiden's moves are from the Mortal Kombat game, but only the names. The actions are my own creative spin for the names.
I've been sick for a long time, and just came back from vacation. I'll be moving countries again in a few months, so the only thing I can guarantee for any of my stories, is that updates will be sporadic. Thank you to everyone who reviewed- I have replied to all of them. If I haven't, please let me know as it was unintentional. ^^ Thank you to everyone who PM'd and encouraged me to keep going as well. Have a great week y'all.