Thisisastoryaboutagroupofpeopleforcedtocometogethertocontinuethefightthattheirfathersstarted.Alongthewaytheyhavetoovercomeobstaclessuchasillhealth,pastmistakes,prejudice,pride,etctodoit.AgainImeannooffenseespeciallywhenitmaycometosomeoftheexchangesbetweenRachelandTakeo-noneofthosebeliefsaremyowntheyjustmakeforgooddramainthestory.Ididn'tsetoutto stereotype anyonecertaincharactersjustevolvedthewaytheyareandIhopethatnoonewilltakeoffensefromanythingthatIwrite.

IjustrealizedthatI'vegonesofaroffmyroughdraftthatthisisturningintoawholenew-andmuchbetter-story.Iguessthatiswhytheycallitaroughdraft-85%ofitiscrapthatisheadedforFile13.IamsogladthatIstartedre-writingit.Thisoneissomuchbetter.ManyverybigthankstomyCousinAmandawhoputsupwithmebouncinglotsofoffthewallideasatherforthisstoryandsettingmestraightwhenachangeIwanttomakeisn'tsogood.

IrealizedIsortofjustthrewtheOCDeravoninthelastchapter.Ifyouread6before7wasfirstpostedthenIwentbackandextendedthatfirstscenewithAragotobetterintroducewhoDeravonisandwhyheisthere.Ialsoaddedsome dialogue forRachelandTakeoafterthecrazyGreatUncletellsthemthatthey'recousins.InfacttherearelittlethingsaboutthepastchaptersI'mprettymuchconstantlygoingbackandredoingorfixing-that'swhathappenswhenIpostaworkinprogressstoryratherthanwaitinguntilitsdoneandthenbreakingitupintochapters.Thereisamajoreditoftheending dialogue betweenRachelandDaisukeinthelastchapterthatwillhaveeffectonpartofwhathappensinthisone.Ialsowentbackintoallofthemandaddeddatesforwhenthechapterstakeplace.

***Chapter7***

June9th2029

Luigi stands back watching the others as Seamus gets in on whatever joke Rachel and Daisuke are laughing about. He isn't quite sure what to make of all this. He is used to being the center of attention with girls falling all over him. Now suddenly the others who have been thrust into this situation with him are treating him like just some regular guy off the street. He looks over at Takeo who is again practicing some of the brawling tactics that Seamus showed them. Both tigers are even jumping in and helping him practice. For someone convinced he is in a coma induced dream, he thinks Takeo is coping with this situation remarkably well. He should be practicing with them too he thinks. But now Luigi now finds himself having doubts about all of this. Rachel almost ran before this much more than started and now that is exactly what he wants to do. Luigi slips out of the hotel while no one is watching him.

-7-

From his lookout perch as he spies on the tigers with a telescope Kent sees Luigi sneaking out on his own. "And just where are you slipping away to?" Kent thinks of going after the boy himself but at the last moment thinks better of it and instead reports to Arago. He kneels as he enters the throne room. "Master Arago, I have news."

"What is it Kent?"

"While keeping an eye on the tigers as you ordered, I spied young Nimbus sneaking away from the others."

Arago brings up a viewing portal with his magic and watches Luigi leave the others behind. "Yes, you have done well. I sense young Nimbus is troubled. Perhaps if we act fast we might lure him to our side." He turns to Kent. "Keep watch on the tigers for now we must locate that jewel before the young samurai get their hands on it. I think luring Nimbus into the Empire might best be done by Wayne."

Kent bows again before returning to watch the tigers. "As you wish Master Arago."

"Warlord of Demons come!" Arago watches as Wayne quickly makes an appearance.

"You summoned me Master?"

"It seems that young Nimbus wishes to have no part in battling my forces with the armor. But perhaps he may wish to join you and your fellow warlords."

"He does seem more suited to our side."

"I sense your feelings about young Nimbus. This is not the time to fawn over him-merely tempt him to join us. And should he refuse all temptation you may try to force him to return with you so we might better persuade him."

"It shall be my pleasure."

As Wayne leaves to go after Nimbus Arago muses over his new warlords. They remind him of the early days of Shiten-Naaza-Rajura-and Anubis. They are eager to please their master no matter what the task. And just like those who came before they are unaware of his ultimate goal to possess the armors. He can't wait to make the inferno armor his own. As for these new samurai brats he knows not to under estimate them. Arago would very much like to lure one of the samurai into the Empire but at the very least if the boy resists and rejoins his friends one more armor should be drawn out and lead him one step closer to his ultimate goal. He really should thank the water witch for her little pep talk with Wildfire-very soon the boy will have his armor as well.

-7-

Jenna looks up as her father hangs up the phone. "The answering machine again?"

Trevelyan nods. "I haven't left any messages-I think this is best dealt with one on one. Perhaps we should go to Japan ourselves and see what is going on. I just don't understand why-if he could that-Touma didn't say anything before."

"Perhaps he didn't want us involved. If government forces believe those rumors don't you think they would be watching the families for any sign Takeo-Rachel and the others are still alive?"

"You do have a point Jenna. Still I feel they are in danger from Aldrick."

"You really believe all that stuff in your father's notes?"

"I believe that Aldrick believes it and I think the parts that falls in line with the stories Touma tried to tell Takeo can be believed."

"Lets go then. You make the reservations while I pack."

-7-

Luigi looks back over his shoulder to make sure that the others aren't chasing after him. He just isn't cut out for this. He wishes that he had never left Italy to come here. He pauses looking down at his hands remembering that surge of electrical power that he felt. Luigi doesn't like what is happening here at all. This is something out of a movie and he is certainly no superhero. He quickly realizes he only needs to will away the sub-armor. As far as he is concerned-he's done here. The others can go around chasing after demons from some other realm if they want to. He has a life to go back to. Luigi starts forward again working through some sort of story in his head about being lost in the cave and finally finding some hidden shaft to crawl out of. It shouldn't be too far fetched he thinks. He stops again as he remembers the stories his father told him. Not once did he ever hear of the warrior of Nimbus walking away from his duty. Did he have struggles with what it meant to be a Samurai Trooper? Yes-but walk away from that duty? Never. He remembers that all the warriors have to work together if there is any hope of stopping this Evil Empire. Rachel must have realized that and its why she came back. And didn't Rachel say something about their father's watching over them? As much as he wants to keep walking he can't let his father down like this. Like it or not he has a job to do here now. He's just going to have to forget about racing and the fame that came with it and stop being a spoiled jerk. The very opposite of grace he realizes-its no wonder the armor wouldn't respond to him earlier-he is by no means worthy of it he thinks. The fate of the world is at stake and what is his old life compared to all the other people on the planet? No he can't run-he must go back to the others and finish what they have started here. He looks down at his hand as the crystal seems to flash brightly in his clenched fist. He opens it to find a symbol there. "Grace..." Luigi thinks maybe its not too late to go back and join Takeo and the tigers for some practice. He freezes suddenly as he turns around sensing an evil presence. He quickly gears back up as the Warlord of Demons appears before him.

"You look troubled Nimbus."

Luigi looks up as street lights blink on and off. As he looks down at his hand he finds himself holding something akin to ball lightning.

"Most impressive. Date-san."

Luigi looks up narrowing his eyes. Few pronounce his last name correctly and he can only recall one person that ever addressed him with a Japanese sign of respect. At the time it had been on a business deal with a new sponsor for his race team-but all the same it had creeped him out because he always felt that man was coyly flirting with him. He rarely talked about his Japanese ancestry even in press interviews. The closest he had come was repeatedly correcting mispronunciations of his family name. Could this be the same person who addressed him that way before? "Who are you?"

"That doesn't really matter. What does matter is the offer my master has for you."

"You can tell your master that whatever it is I'm not interested."

"Oh I think you will be once you hear me out."

"If this is all you came for then you're wasting you time."

"Really? I think we both know that you're too good for the rest of that ragtag team. Your talents would be better appreciated in the service of the empire. Loyal followers basking in your glow. Immortality and whatever...or whoever else your heart may desire."

"No you have it wrong. I'm no better than them. In fact the others are better than me. And like I already said I'm not interested in your master's offer."

"I really wish that you would change your mind Nimbus."

"Five minutes ago maybe I would have been tempted but now that will never happen. I understand what the armor's virtue of Grace means and I will uphold it from now on."

Wayne watches as the character shines forth on Luigi's forehead. "Pity. If you would not come willingly Master Arago gave the order to take you by force."

As Empire soldiers appear all around him Luigi throws the ball of lightning as a distraction. Leaving the others was a very bad idea he realizes and can only hope that now the armor will respond to him now as the soldiers begin to crowd in on him. "Busaro Korin!"

-7-

Kent is none too happy about being left out here missing the action just to spy on the tigers. He looks up as the tigers stop suddenly and both approach the doors of the hotel. "Where do you two mongrels think you're going?" He shields his eyes when a massive flash of light reaches him.

-7-

The others look up as the tigers roar at the flash of light.

Daisuke stands up. "Was that-?"

"-Armor." Rachel looks around as she follows the guys as they rush outside with the tigers. "Luigi isn't here."

"When did he sneak away?" Seamus runs forward following Daisuke and the tigers to the place where the flash of light came from.

Takeo starts forward but stops and looks back at Rachel. "You should stay here and give yourself time to heal."

"I won't argue with you about that but I'm not a hold down the fort type of person."

Takeo nods as he clearly gets the hidden meaning of her message. After what his-no their great Uncle came in here trying to pull he can't blame her for feeling that way.

Rachel follows the guys to find a fully armored Luigi facing down the warlord of Demons. She doesn't gear up but she grips her crystal tightly in her hand after what happened earlier.

Daisuke looks around at all the soldiers then down at Rachel's hand. "Takeo is right you don't need to do this again so soon."

She turns to face Daisuke. "Then its up to you to back him up mate."

"Me...I-"

"-remember what I told you. You're issue isn't with the virtue. Its with yourself."

Daisuke looks back at Rachel as Seamus and Takeo stand guard on each side of her should the soldiers try to further harm her. He mumbles under his breath as he turns to look at Luigi. "Believe in myself and don't be afraid to take charge..."

Luigi looks down in awe at the armor he now wears. He may have it but he doesn't exactly know how to use it-the sword alone is almost as long as he is tall. He wishes that he stuck with the martial arts his father had begun to teach him as a young child. He glances back over his shoulder at the others as they gather behind him. He drops down into a fighting stance brandishing the weapon in a manner similar to the way he has seen it done in the movies.

With Luigi facing down a warlord and Rachel hurt with no sign that Takeo and Seamus can call on their armors yet Daisuke realizes he has to do something here. Luigi barely knows how to fight so his armor isn't of much help to them right now. "Find it-fan it-feed off it..." He stills himself searching within as Rachel told him to do.

Seamus looks over at Daisuke then glancing back at Takeo and Rachel. He thinks now is a very bad time to zone out. "What's he doing?"

On some level Daisuke hears Seamus but that's all quickly forgotten as a room-like an ancient Japanese dojo materializes before him. The room is illuminated only by glowing embers in a rectangular fire pit. Just beyond the fire pit he can barely make out the Wildfire armor. Find it-check. Now fan it. That brings to mind bellows a blacksmith might use there is nothing like that here but this is just a visualization meant to help him do what he needs to claim his armor. Fan it-he looks at the waiting armor of Wildfire with the virtue of Jin. He remembers mentioning the volcano when Rachel had said he felt this once before. He had just known he had to get up to the volcano and damn all that might stand in his way. Why was that? That fake headline he thought of at the time again enters his mind-about sacrificing himself to the volcano to stop an eruption. The armor needed him in that volcano but at the time was he aware of it? He knew if he could get up there it might stop any impending eruption and if it helped to save lives he would have jumped in for no other reason than that if that was all there was to it-because deep down despite his shortcomings he has always has the desire to do good—to help others. He focuses on that desire now. The embers respond by glowing brighter and brighter until they finally catch flame-small at first but growing ever larger. He sees the armor clearly now but he's not done yet. Feed off it-let it burn away all his self doubt and fear of failure.

Rachel stops Seamus as he reaches out to shake Daisuke out of his trance. "No-let him be."

"Let him be? Do you see all the soldiers advancing lass?"

"Just give him time."

"But-"

"-Trust me."

Takeo looks over at them clearly amused by Rachel's pun-intended or not. "Can't argue with her there. Lets show them some of your brawling tactics."

Seamus glances questioningly at Takeo as well before turning to the soldier nearest him and letting the punches fly.

Wayne looks over Luigi's clearly unskilled stance and realizes that even with the armor-the boy has no hope against him. "Last chance to join me Nimbus-I beg you to accept it."

"The answer is the same as before-I'll pass." He holds his ground as the Warlord advances on him.

Daisuke closes his eyes and breathes in deep as the heat of the flames coarse over him-seemingly through him as well. He draws strength from it as his negative thoughts and feelings are burned away. When he opens his eyes again he walks through the flames to the armor. "Busaro Rekka!"

Seamus looks over in shock as Daisuke suddenly awakens and calls forth his armor-he glances back at Rachel realizing she must have known he was about to do that-but how he wonders.

The soldiers advancing take a step back as Daisuke is transformed into the armor of Wildfire.

Wayne uses the momentary distraction of Wildfire's armor appearing to attack Luigi.

Daisuke looks up in time to see Luigi overpowered by the warlord of demons. He quickly draws the twin katana blades and steps in blocking his friend from the warlords blow.

"Another armor-impressive—but it won't save you. Master Arago will win in the end."

Daisuke strikes out at the warlord with his swords driving him back. "This time we will stop the demon you call Master."

"I think not foolish young Samurai Troopers."

Everyone looks up at the ghostly visage of Arago that appears in the sky.

"Arago..."

Takeo glances over at Rachel who's voice takes on an even more menacing tone than when she faced down the cult earlier. The expression on her face is one of pure hatred. Like she personally knows this demon and loathes him with all her being.

For a moment Arago seems to glare right back at Rachel then addresses the young samurai as a whole. "Give up your misguided quest for I promise-shall you continue you that will fall in battle just as your fathers did."

"You had your chance for revenge and you lost it to our fathers." Her voice takes on a darker tone. "It is you who should give up demon-before we put an end to you for good."

"Brave talk water witch-especially given you are too weak to even wield your armor."

"Weak? You have no idea just what I can do-"

-Growling low Black Blaze quickly steps in front of Rachel-sensing an impending blow up not between Rachel and Arago but old wounds being reopened between Yuriko and Arago.

Rachel looks down at Black Blaze wondering where he came from so quickly he was no where near her before Arago appeared.

"What any of us can do-even without armor." Seamus quickly scans the area for anything he can use his new found rock hurling powers on to throw at the demon.

"Your pathetic powers are nothing compared to might of my empire. Warlord of Demons show them just what they are up against."

"As you command Master." Wayne draws his scythe like weapon and trains it on the group of young samurai. "Red Thunder Strike!"

Remembering what happened earlier when Rachel touched him Takeo is suddenly compelled to rush forward taking the brunt of the Warlord's power.

The others have to shield their eyes from the resulting glare.

When the attack is over Wayne very much expects to see captured Samurai like the first time Shiten faced these brat's fathers in battle but the sight he is met with instead is an intense aura flaring around the Warrior of Heavens.

The power coursing through him is immense-but he doesn't need the tigers stepping up beside him mentally demanding he get rid of it fast to know this is dangerous. He trains his gaze on the Warlord but several Empire Soldiers rush forward to protect him. All of them meet much the same fate at his hands that the piece of rubble did earlier. He collapses exhausted when he finally expends the energy he drained from the Warlord's attack.

"Impressive trick, samurai but it won't save you from me." Wayne draws back for another attack.

White Blaze looks back at Daisuke as both he and Black Blaze stand guard over Takeo.

The tigers mental command is loud and clear to Daisuke get rid of the Warlord and be done with this fight. He throws a glance back at Rachel-the only one of them to do what he's about to attempt so far before he focus' his gaze on the Warlord of Demons. "This ends now!" He takes a flying leap before aiming his own weapons. "Sou En Zan!" He trains the power unleashed on the Warlord before he can attack them all again.

Wayne tries to hold off the attack but the raw fury with which it was unleashed is more than he is prepared for-even after experiencing the power of the Torrent armor. He understands now why the master warned not to underestimate these children. Silently he vows next time that he will not be bested so easily.

"Yes-most impressive-indeed. You have made it clear you refuse to give up your futile quest against me. I promise when next we meet I shall unleash the full power of my forces upon you."

Rachel glares at Arago as he disappears taking the Warlord of Demons with him. "That wasn't a serious fight. They were only toying with us."

Daisuke sheaths his swords. "Testing us no doubt."

Rachel looks at Luigi who stands there staring up where Arago's ghostly form used to be. She turns to Seamus-sensing maybe its best to leave Luigi alone with Daisuke for now. "Maybe we better get Takeo back inside to rest-mate. He looks as wiped out as I feel."

Luigi looks down at his sword and armor as Rachel and Seamus help Takeo up and move back toward the hotel. "Lucky for me you all came along."

Daisuke turns to look at Luigi. "Why were you out here alone anyway?"

"To be honest I was about to walk away. I...it was purely out of selfishness-wanting my old life back. I've been used to pretty much getting whatever I wanted until now."

"No one can blame you for feeling that way. We were all thrust into this with no warning. You got your armor at least something good came of it."

"I started thinking about it and realized what I wanted to get back was nothing compared to all we're fighting to save here. Its no wonder I couldn't use the armor before now...my grandfather-my mother's father had my birth records falsified so I could race in the big leagues. I'm really only 15-not even old enough for a license." Luigi looks down at the sword. "I used to take martial arts when I was a kid to continue what my dad started teaching me. I stopped because I was so sure I knew the moves but the sensai never advanced me. I realize now that just because I knew how to do it-didn't mean I was doing it right. I don't know why this armor chose me-I don't belong here."

"You do belong or it wouldn't have guided you here. It may not be martial arts but Seamus taught you to fight-how about letting me teach you to use the sword?"

"Yeah sure-I could really use the help."

-7-

Rachel collapses in a near by chair after she helps Seamus get Takeo back inside and laid down on the sofa to rest. "He's totally wiped out."

"Aye-that he is." Seamus looks over at Rachel. "You knew Daisuke was going to claim his armor."

"I had a hunch he was only holding himself back. I just tried to get to him to believe in himself-he did the rest."

"Holding himself back eh?" Seamus mulls that over as he heads back toward the bar."

Rachel looks down at Takeo thinking Daisuke may not be the only one with that problem.

-7-

Even after leaving the U. N. Fulton Redford continues to get updates from other cult plants via cell phone as he and the U. S. aide await their flight at the airport. He puts away his phone. "It seems my brother Trevelyan has been trying to call Nasuti Yagyu and he just made reservations on a flight to Japan. Perhaps our leaving is for the best if they discover he is my brother...well I prefer not to think about what might happen."

"Do you think he knows something?"

"If he does bet that Aldrick had something to do with it. As much as it pains me to think that way about family-we may have to dispose of him. Did you call Ooron?"

"He is following Aldrick everywhere he goes and will stop him if he tries to reach the Goddess...or even Takeo. Might I comment that I don't understand how after so many generations Takeo was the first descendant not to be born with the Goddess' red hair color?"

"That is interesting isn't it? Many think it was a sign that Rachel indeed was Yuriko reborn long before we ever verified anything else about her."

"And what do you think about it?"

"Being his Great Uncle and having seen him grow up-I think it would be very unlike Takeo to fit into any family traditions-genetic or otherwise. Which-given what we know about the samurai troopers-is why I don't have much faith in their mission."

He doesn't say so and disrespect the cult elder but he thinks that's just an elaborate way of trying to hide the fact he doesn't know.

-7-

As Aldrick tries to leave the cult compound he is stopped by a tall lanky man. "Ooron? You nearly scared me to death. What are you doing here?"

"Orders came in from Fulton."

"What does the old goat say now?"

"That you are to be stopped if you attempt to seek out the Goddess on your own."

"Ooron-surely you out of everyone else here realizes that something is wrong with her. Those tigers are controlling her." Aldrick paces around. "Or maybe its the armor corrupting her. We never should have made that deal with Jayden and let the samurai raise the Goddess. We should have taken her the moment she died...we certainly shouldn't have let family keep the child after he did."

"Oh? Are you not her family as well?" Ooron ignores Aldrick's sharp glare and continues. "She needs to have the power of the Torrent armor. Ever stop to think that had we interfered in any way that she might not have gotten it?"

"We can't just stand here and hope she comes to her senses. We must bring her back here and-"

"-No."

Aldrick stops and turns to the man. "No? I am cult leader here."

"Not anymore. Fulton is on his way here."

"He isn't here yet now is he?"

"Doesn't matter. He ordered you to be stopped and that order has been passed to other cult elders who will follow Fulton's orders and wait until he arrives before anything else is done. Go back inside-please. I was given permission to use force if I must. I do not wish it to come to that."

"You're all mad! I'll do this on my own if I have to."

Before Aldrick can go anywhere Ooron quickly fells him with a swift karate chop to the back. He then picks up the unconscious former leader and carries him to a bunk inside.

-7-

Jun tries to find some way out of the cell they have been locked in. In a frustrated fit of anger he kicks at the door.

Nasuti looks up at him. "You should remain calm. The children will come. We must have faith in them."

"I know. I just hate being cooped up in here."

"If not here we would be in a similar predicament back home by now-one far worse-I'm sure."

"I don't understand why those government agents showed up."

"They want the children and I'm sure they would have done whatever it took to get the information they want from us."

"Why?"

"My guess the government thinks they are the cause behind it. They probably want to capture them to make it stop."

Jun looks over at Nasuti. "Only they can stop this. They can't do anything if they're caught."

"Lets hope they aren't."

*7*

Several hours later on a connecting flight to Japan-Trevelyan meets up with Fulton at the restroom.

"You looked shocked to see me little brother."

"I assumed you would be busy at the U. N."

"And I assumed you would be busy at home."

Trevelyan glances back at Jenna. He doesn't trust revealing what they are doing to his brother. "There isn't much we can do about Takeo. You know him eccentric as he was he would rather have a Techno rave party as a memorial than some stuffy old funeral."

"Techno rave?"

"Those were the only types of parties he was ever interested in. Only type of music I ever knew him to listen to for that matter."

"That explains his wardrobe at least."

Was it a slip with Fulton using the present tense to speak of Takeo-Trevelyan wonders. He pretends not to have noticed it. "I thought it might help Jenna if we could at least see that Rachel's body is recovered. I never should have kept her from her mother and sister or niece...at least perhaps if nothing else we can reconnect with Takeo's grandparents...and Rachel's other family in Japan."

"Very noble of you."

Does Fulton suspect what he's really doing Trevelyan wonders.

"I'll stop by and pay my respects to Jenna."

As he watches his brother leave he hopes that Jenna doesn't say anything about what they know or why they are really going to Japan.

*7*

When they arrive at the closest point to Tokyo they can it is nearing midnight. Plain clothes agents are staked out in the terminal watching for any family members of the kids to arrive to see where they go.

Trevelyan looks down at his daughter. "Why don't you go get us some coffee I'll go ahead to baggage claim."

Jenna nods weary from the flight. She is very nervous here-feeling unseen eyes on their every move.

As Trevelyan moves toward baggage claim he bumps into a hefty Chinese man. "Pardon me."

"My fault I should look where I'm going." Chin glances around. "Be very careful what you say and do here. We are being watched."

Trevelyan watches the man walk away perplexed but quickly continues on. He gets the idea that perhaps coming here wasn't the best idea after all. He glances back as he realizes the man was at Jenna and Touma's wedding. One Touma's friend's Uncles. Yes it is a good idea to be very careful here he thinks.

*7*

June 10th 2029 Pre-dawn.

With the kids asleep Shu and Seiji have ventured back to see their wives.

Seiji discovers a daughter that he never knew about. His wife could have remarried-but looking at her it can't be possible-although given her age his wife must have been pregnant when he left her for the final battle with Arago. The girl looks like her mother except for her eyes which mirror the color of his own.

Shu finds himself missing Katie fiercely. He finds her sitting on the sofa. How it kills him all over again not to be able to tell her that Seamus is still alive. He watches as a young red headed girl comes into the room and brings her coffee.

Katie looks up at the girl. "Thank you-Scarlett."

"Is there anything else I can do to help out?"

"There is one thing. Come sit by me please." Katie sits the coffee down on the table by the sofa. "Will you answer a question for me lass?"

"If I can."

"You can hide in dresses and aprons but I can see it dear. You are with child. What I would like to know is if my son was the father."

Shu watches in as much shock as the girl. Scarlett is the name of the little red haired girl from down the lane Seamus was always sweet on even when they were both young kids. Is this grown young lady her he wonders.

Finally Scarlett speaks up. "You've been like a mother to me since me own passed and I cannot lie to you. I was going to tell him once he got to America. I hoped that would give him a reason to clean up his act for good once he was over there."

-7-

In the Nether Realm-Todd enters Deravon's chamber. "You sent for me?"

"I need you to go near where the children are."

"Near it why?"

"The spirits of their fathers try to protect them. Master Arago wants them disposed of. I want you to lure them into a trap."

-7-

Back in Japan-Ryo and Shin watch the kids as they sleep.

Shin turns to Ryo. "Touma has been back to see his wife. Shu and Seiji are gone now. Isn't there anyone you want to go visit?"

"Daisuke's mother you mean?" I haven't seen her since she left him me with him."

"You mean she just took off?"

"We were never really together to begin with-just a few flings here and there over the years. I guess she didn't want a family. What about you?"

"Rachel was my whole world from the moment she was born."

"No offense but other than the time in Australia you never really seemed into girls."

"None taken. I often wondered what was happening to me around Jayden-why I was drawn to her in the first place. With all this cult business I suppose that explains it. I just can't wrap my head around Jayden being involved in that."

"How did you two end up together?"

"One drunk night that to be honest I don't remember very much of. She ended up pregnant. When her mother found out she insisted on marriage even though she hated me. That quickly turned to loathing when she found out about me-but I never told her or anyone-not even the rest of you."

"Afraid of what we might say or think?"

"Something like that."

"I hope I speak for the others when I say that doesn't matter."

They look back as Seiji and Shu return.

"That was rough." Shu looks around. "Where's Touma?"

-7-

Touma is outside mulling over all the stuff his father-in-law had in his records and everything that his brother who showed up here said. If its true that means a reincarnated demoness is now wielding the torrent armor. Shin did mention a birthmark that seems to confirm it. So what does that mean for the group. The tigers certainly fear what will happen if Rachel finds out who she really is. Touma looks up to see one of the warlords at the end of the street. "There is a warlord out here."

The others come out to where Touma is.

Ryo watches for awhile as the Warlord doesn't move. "Why is he just standing there?"

Shu looks around. "Maybe he's setting up some sort of ambush."

"Or at least plotting one. Looks like he is on his own." Seiji adds.

Shin has a bad feeling as he watches the warlord. "Think we should wake the tigers?"

-7-

Deravon waits around the corner he speaks quietly. "I hear them-come quickly."

Todd who pretends to be surveying the area stops and turns as if he has made up his mind then follows Deravon.

-7-

"Maybe we better see what he's up to first." Shu looks around. "Both Rachel and Takeo look like they are going to be out of commission for awhile. Better that the others have some idea of whats going on right?"

They all follow the Warlord to see what he is up to.

Todd speaks low. "I don't see any spirits. Other than you."

"In this Mortal Realm no-but you would see them easily enough in the Nether Realm."

-7-

Kent watches through the telescope still at his post spying on sleeping tigers. He turns his attention to Todd wondering up he is up to. He blinks as images of five guys seem to wave in and out of the telescope. He pulls away from the eye piece looking at the telescope wondering if something is wrong with it.

-7-

Rachel has another dream about some other version of herself basking in the glow of devoted followers. Tributes are placed all over a temple-her temple she realizes. She watches this version of herself leave them all behind headed toward a lake-shedding clothing as she goes not caring about the men attempting to hide in the forest marveling in awe of her naked body. Waiting there for her already in the water-in all his naked glory is the only one privileged to be her lover. She enters the water-melting into his embrace...moaning out his name as is hand gently caresses the birthmark only he knows about.

"...Rajura..." Rachel awakens with a start-looking around at all the other guys and the tigers who are asleep close by. She gets up-something about the dream leaves her unsettled. Those prying eyes in the forest. The dream version of her knew and didn't care. Why does that make her so uneasy now? She looks around-not here-but close by someone sinister is meddling in forces which a part of her that identifies with the dream version of herself wants left alone.

Black Blaze stirs watching as Rachel walks across the lobby. He snaps awake suddenly. That isn't Rachel at all. Rachel wouldn't sway across the room like that with her hoodie mostly unzipped and falling off her shoulders. He quickly gets up and rushes after Yuriko as she slips out of the building.

-7-

Kent looks back through the telescope and this time sees Rachel heading in the same direction as Todd. He adjusts the focus for a closer look as not only her hoodie falls back revealing her shoulders but one strap of her v-neck tank top slides down as well nearly revealing her left breast. He watches her stop suddenly seems to be looking right at him through the telescope. The next thing he sees is stars followed by darkness as the telescope moves whacking him hard on his unhelmeted head.

-7-

Shin turns seeing Rachel following them. The vacant look on her face is suddenly disturbing to him "Rachel?"

The others stop with Shin turning to stare-gaping at her as she weaves among where they stand as if she sees them.

Black runs up to them the terror on his face evident as Rachel continues toward the warlord.

Todd turns around to see what has suddenly caught Deravon's full attention. He finds Rachel standing there. "Well now-just what are you doing out here all by yourself this time of night little girl?"

"Warning you."

"Warning me about what?"

"Just how much worse it is going to be for the both of you if you ever attempt what you have planned against my father and the others."

Black Blaze rushes forward to stop her but he is too late as Yuriko's demon attack phrase is muttered in Rachel's Aussie accented voice.

"Lunar Tidal Falls..."

Todd gapes as the beauty of the girl only deepens yet takes on a darker more treacherous quality as she smiles sinisterly.

The moon breaks through the heavy cloud cover for an instant unleashing a deluge of water power even greater then the torrent armor's Wave Crusher."

-7-

Awakened the other guys get up and rush outside as they find Rachel gone. They race up the street to the source of the power to find Rachel standing there sans armor as a warlord is driven away by what appears to be some sort of attack.

Shin watches in shock. He saw her do similar things as a child-but never anything on a scale like this.

Rachel seems to awaken suddenly as if she were in a trance this whole time. She looks around not really comprehending where she is or how she got here.

"What was that lass?"

Rachel looks back over her shoulder at Seamus and shrugs as if to say she doesn't know as she blacks out.

Black Blaze stands there snapping out of his terror over what just happened. He looks over at Takeo who hears him clearer than the others.

"He says the warlords were setting a trap and she came to stop it." Takeo looks around the area then at Rachel as Daisuke picks her up.

Luigi looks around. "Without the armor? How could she do that?"

"I'm glad the lass is on our side." Seamus wanders around looking for any other side of the warlords."

As the guys finally wander back to the hotel with Rachel-Black Blaze looks up at the fathers. "Theywantedtogetridofyouallsoyoucan'thelpthekids.Yurikoawoketostopit.HopethatshehasgonebacktoslumberanditsRachelthatawakens."

*7*

When Rachel awakens several hours later she is violently ill.

Takeo sits mulling over all their great uncle said-wondering if perhaps there is any truth to it as she rushes into a nearby bathroom. Even if she does have some special ability in regards to her armor element like the rest of them-he is sure that isn't what she used to cause what happened out there. He looks over at Black Blaze who glares at him as if he is reading his thoughts and aren't pleased with them. And what was up with what looked like a telekinetic push their great uncle was given-he wonders the body is 70% water-did she do that to him somehow?

"Foreveryone'ssakeskeepthosethoughtstoyourself."

Takeo looks over-startled by hearing the tigers thoughts so loud and clear. He wonders why but drops it as Rachel comes back out looking very pale and sits down. "You okay?"

Rachel just nods. She is no mood to talk about what happened out there.

"Didn't pick up some sort of infection did you lass?"

"Infection?" Rachel looks up at Seamus.

He points to the scar on her shoulder. "I've seen my share of knife wounds in barroom brawls."

Rachel quickly pulls the hoodie back up over her shoulders and zips it up. "That didn't happen in a barroom. Nana didn't want to go to the hospital when she had her heart attack. For trying to call for help before she died I ended up with a knife in the shoulder-would have been in my neck if I hadn't moved. She also broke one of the responders arms as they took her out of the house. And broke a nurses nose at the hospital and blacked a doctors eye before she died."

"Damn!"

Rachel looks up at Seamus and shrugs. "If you had known her at the end that sort of behavior wouldn't be a shock." She stands up. "I'm going out for some fresh air." She wanders outside with the guys staring after her given that story.

"Nana really did all that?"

Rachel looks around she can't see him but she clearly hears her papa. Its comforting for her to know that he is here. She touches the necklace she had made him for father's day once as a little girl from the pull string of a too small hoodie of hers she had loved when she was younger and the zipper pull with a seahorse on it from a worn out travel bag of his. He had taken off the necklace and put it on her when he went away to japan and never came back. "She was possessed by a spirit."

"Possessed?!"

"By alcohol."

"That's not funny Rachel."

"Then why do you sound like you're trying not to laugh?" Rachel pauses before she continues. "I don't know about everyone else that night but I think the knife thing was to get back at me for what happened after you died."

"What did happen?"

"Aunt Sayoko came in person with the news. Nana had been drinking hard that day. Was really hammered at the time. She made the mistake of spouting off more of the stuff she used to say about you."

"What did Sayoko do?"

"She didn't get a chance to do anything. I slapped the old hag because it made me mad and I had enough after hearing it over and over from her for as long as I could remember. It happened before I realized what I was doing and honestly its foggy in my mind and I barely remember doing it. I don't remember telling her I wouldn't put up with it anymore. I only vaguely remember hearing Aunt Sayoko tell Nana that she may not have liked you but you were my father and I loved you and that she should at least have the decency to respect me."

"Sayoko never liked Nana very much. I'm kind of surprised that you got to Nana before she did."

"Nana had a bruise for weeks afterward."

"You shouldn't have stayed with her."

"I didn't except in the summers and only at the beach house. After she got sick when that con man she married ran away with all her money I kind of felt sorry for her. Then I stayed to take care of her. Did you know Nana was married to Takeo's grandfather?"

"I had no idea. I don't think Touma did either. Sayoko would have let you know if she figured it out."

"Maybe that explains why after Nana died that Aunt Sayoko thought I should spend some time with relatives in England. I just wanted to be left alone where I was. The beach house was home."

-7-

"Torrent is very powerful."

Arago looks over at Deravon. "That was no torrent armor power. Yuriko is indeed back." He doesn't know whether to be awed she unleashed her power without the moon staff or in fear that she can do so. "Find out how that is possible. And who it was that sired her. That water witch didn't come from the union of two mortal beings granted immortality as her infamous legend says.

-7-

Seamus takes a moment to reflect as everyone else settles back down to rest. He should be worrying about how to get his armor but he left one he loves behind at home who thinks he is dead. That hurts him deeply and he is reminded of a similar hurt he doesn't want to think about. He heads back to the bar to drown his sorrows in more alcohol.

Chapter7 Play-list

Rachel:TheRiver-GarthBrooks

Daisuke:FollowYourLead-Hanson

Luigi:ManintheMirror-MichaelJackson

Seamus:WhiskeyLullaby-BradPaisleyfeat.AlisonKrauss

Takeo:Dame-RyanAdcock

WhiteBlazeandBlackBlaze:...ToDieFor-(instrumentalLionKingSoundtrack)

Ryo,Touma,Seiji,Shin,Shu:ByeByeBye-Nsync

Iamgraspingatstrawswhenitcomestocatrelatedtracks.IhappeneduponsomeoldcdsandcameacrosstheLionKingSoundtrackssoIgavethemalisten.Ihappentolikeclassicalmusicandthisdarkforbodingtrackstuckoutatmebecausedespitethetiger'sbesteffortsRachelisonsomelevelstartingtorealizewhatsheoncewas.

IhopeIgotthenameofShin'ssisterright.WhatIusedherecamefromtheWikipediaarticle.

Sorryittooksolongtoupdate-writersblocksucks.

ImadegraphicsofwhatIimaginethenewOCWarlordstolooklike.Justfollowthe directions inmyprofiletomyartpageandlookintheRoninWarriorsfolderinthegallery.IfthereareanyotherOCcharactersIhaven'tmadethatyouwanttoseethenPMmeonhereorleavearequestinareview.