A/N: Chapter.11 is finally here! Happy New Year everyone!
The icy wind had turned into a full blizzard as Hiei walked. Sharp flakes of ice stung his skin as the wind threw them against him. He had expected to at least inherit a little of his mother's resistance to the cold, but sadly that was not the case. All he had inherited from his mother were the tear gems around his neck, the ability to cry his own, and the pure white scarf that had once been his swaddling cloth. But the fire demon would not complain, he simply walked forward with his sister following close behind.
They had walked a full week now and had only just reached the mountainous hillside. The weather had forced them to travel through a canyon like crevice between two icy slopes. Hiei didn't like this; the wind had only picked up when the crevice had come into view. Something crunched behind him and he whipped his head around, squinting in an attempt to see through the snow filled air.
"What's wrong?" Yukina asked, unable to keep the nervousness from quavering her voice.
"We're being followed."
The wind suddenly ceased, sharp flakes of ice settling to the ground as the tension rose. Seconds ticked by slowly before Hiei felt it. A flash of rising demon aura from an above ledge. Yukina fell forward, unconscious as he caught her. The fire demon ducked as a ball of red fire flew past him. He barely had time to blink before the other demon descended upon him. A strong hand wrapped around his throat, pinning him to the wall, his feet dangling a foot off the ground. The other demon was much taller then him, taller than Kuwabara even. With black leather armour, a red cloak hanging from his shoulders, his face hidden in shadow, and a fireball held in his other hand. Hiei growled a small threat that said if he wasn't put down, bad things would happen. However he cut his growl short as the demons flames flickering grew brighter, revealing that the other demon had hair identical to Hiei's own.
Yusuke yawned; all the political talk was boring. They were locked in a room at the top of Toushin tower, Kurama trying to convince To-oh, Saitai, and Hokoshin to help rescue their friend. But the Toushins had refused after the mere mention of Chourin's name.
"To take such a risk for a human is absolutely ludicrous!" Hokoshin hollered before slamming his fist against the table top.
"It just so happens that this particular human has risked his life countless times for demon kind." Kurama answered sternly, giving the rough looking Toushin a stern look that would chill even the hottest tempered demon's blood to ice. Hokoshin simply cleared his throat and sat backwards, a thin blush of embarrassment painting his cheeks. "Let us not forget, "Kurama added. "That Yusuke here was once human."
"Yeah!" Yusuke barked. "Kuwabara risked his ass plenty of times for people like you so give him some freaking credit. I'm not asking you to blindly save some sorry asses life, I'm asking you to help save my best friend here, because whether you like it or not I am going, and I will bring him back alive."
"B-but sir! You are the last of the Mazoku breed; if you're lost the Toushin's will be lost."
Yusuke rolled his eyes and muttered 'I don't care'. He didn't understand how Toushin's and Mazoku's were tied together in the first place, or why they wouldn't get off their asses to help their 'King's' best friend. An awkward silence ticked by before Kurama cleared his throat.
"Yusuke, you may not realize this but the Toushin life lines are tied directly to the Mazoku bloodline, when the blood line runs out… the life line runs out."
The Mazoku King frowned; he had not been expecting that. Sure he had expected something serious but nothing so… dire.
"If there was one thing I learned from Raizen it's that Mazoku life is too freaking long to be enjoyable so I just…" He sighed. "Look I want some good memories before I lose my chance so I'm going to rescue my friend, and fuck you guys for not helping."
And with that said Yusuke left the room.
"Well…" Kurama said as everyone stared at the closed door. "I suppose I'll contact Mukuro's now and see if she's willing to help with the situation."
Hiei slid to the ground, his legs barely holding him up as the older demon stepped away. He took all the taller man's features, the tan skin, the midnight black hair with the white star burst white bangs resting over his forehead, even the shape of their eyes and face were the same. Though there were some differences, his eyes were a dark gold, his stature much taller, and a pair of ebony black cat ears was perched atop his head.
"Your name wouldn't happen to be Imiko, would it?" The other demon asked.
"I haven't gone by that name for years, what meaning does it hold for you?"
"It… if you follow me I will tell you."
Hiei rolled his eyes but made no comment, choosing to follow the other demon for the sake of curiosity and the fact that he had been traveling in that direction anyways. Before following he gingerly picked up Yukina in his arms and carried her. They travelled deeper into the mountain-scape where the wind died down and the air was nothing but a gentle breeze. Before long a barrier appeared in front of them, its dome shape large, covering miles of land and hiding what was within with a shimmering fog with it's almost crystalline surface. Its surface crackling with electricity and glowing luminescent orange. The other demon dragged a claw down the glass like barrier in front of him. Instantly it shimmered and the barrier melted in front of him, reforming into an arched doorway.
"After you." The demon said while gesturing his arm towards the doorway.
"Hn." Was Hiei's only reply before walking ahead.
Dimly he realized that he hadn't caught the other demon's name, just as he felt a cold prick to his neck and he fell into unconsciousness.
Kurama stared at Mukuro's shimmering image, a hologram made with demon energy, the easiest form of instant communication. The fox sat in a simple arm chair in a small dark room, a full glass of red wine clutched lightly in his hand. The only light in the room was from the flickering hologram of the demon lord in front of him.
"Drinking? Its quiet unbecoming of a Yoko, what brings you to this Kurama?"
He took a sip from the goblet, letting the bitter sweet flavour mull over his tongue before speaking.
"Our friend Kuwabara has been taken by the slaver known as Chourin, currently the Toushin's have refused to help with the rescue but Yusuke is attempting to remedy that."
"I can assume that his negotiating skills leave much to be desired if you need to call upon me then."
"You have assumed correctly."
"And where is Hiei during this time? I haven't heard a word from him since your group's departure."
"He has gone to seek for more assistance with the rescue?"
For a moment surprise flickered through her eye before a knowing smile covered her full lips.
"Is Kuwabara not the human that Hiei always complains about?"
"Yes, the very same."
"Hm, I will have someone locate this Chourin, contact me again for when we put this rescue into motion."
The holograph then faded, and Kurama was left to the wine and the shadows of the room.
When Hiei woke he did not open his eyes, instead he focused on keeping his breath even paced so that his no one would be alerted of his consciousness. The air around him was surprisingly warm and he could feel a warm blanket draped over him.
"How could you be so rash with him Katsuya?" A women's voice spoke harshly.
"I panicked, he had no reason to trust me so what stopped him from taking off after he saw the pack?" The demon from before.
A cold hand trailed across his chin before brushing through his hair.
"He looks just like you…" The woman whispered softly.
"Except for his eyes."
"How do you mean?"
"His eyes are yours."
The hand stopped, shaky in its place.
"What if it's been to long Katsuya? H-he's grown now he won't-"
"Shhh it will be fine."
Then a weight dropped on top of him and he struggled to keep still as the woman cried.
"H-Hina!" The other demon said, almost in a panic.
'Hina… that name.. belongs to….' "Mother." He whispered aloud before he could stop himself.
Instantly a pair of thin arms wrapped around him and lifted him upright.
"My baby boy." She whispered back, and Hiei wrapped his arms around her as well. "Y-your Father brought you home."
"Yes, he's standing behind you."
Hiei looked and there stood the other demon, the one who had lead him through the barrier. He had wondered why the man had looked so similar to himself, or why a stranger would lead him through the mountains but now there was no need to wonder. He lifted one of his arms and his father slowly walked over before embracing him as well. It was a long time before any of them let go but finally Hiei lowered his arms.
"Where is Yukina?"
"She woke first and had breakfast in the next room with your Mother."
"Yes we just finished up and she went to wash while I checked up here."
"Ah that reminds me, Hiei are you hungry?"
"No, not at the moment." He spoke quickly, making it very clear that eating was not an option.
Both his parents frowned.
"Hiei…" His Mother said cautiously. "That's your preferred name right?"
"It must have taken a lot of time and energy for you to walk here… are you sure you don't want something to eat?"
Hiei groaned in frustration, it was so tempting to relax into the calming atmosphere of the room with his parents but it wouldn't do him or Kuwabara any good.
"I don't have time to eat; I came here because I was told that you could tell me where the demon Chourin is."
Hina gasped, taking a step backwards as her body began to shiver. Hiei's father, Katsuya, seemed to turn to stone with his jaw firmly clenched and eyes glaring off into the distance. The small fire demon stayed silent, waiting anxiously for an answer with his fist clutching the blanket that lay in his lap.
"Hiei," His father finally spoke. "I will not be telling you where she is."
"Why not!" Both parents flinched at his anger.
"Because you would only ask where she is if you were intending to find her and there isn't a chance in hell that I would ever let my child go to such a place!"
"Let me inform you that I work for Mukuro, I have fought and won in the Dark tournament, I have competed for the title of King of Demon world, and I'm currently an S-class demon so Chourin will be no challenge when I cut out her throat; now tell me where she is!"
"I'm sorry Hiei you are… very accomplished and yes I am proud but… I cannot allow you to go such a place."
Hiei rolled his eyes and whisked off the blanket. His robe and scarf had been neatly folded at the end of the bed. He hastily put on his clothes and shoes before checking to make sure that the bandages around his arm and Jagan eye were fitted tightly.
"H-Hiei wait! Why are you in such a hurry to leave?" His Mother panicked.
"If you won't help me then I have no reason to be here."
"Is running off to prove your strength really so important that you have to your disregard your own family?" Hiei flinched.
"I didn't mean for it to seem that way… Chourin took someone from me and I need to rescue him before… " He took a deep breath to keep his voice from shaking. " Before it's too late to do so."
His father sighed in relief.
"So then it's not a quest to assert your own pride?"
"No, it never was."
"Good, many young demons like yourself Hiei fall into taking such stupid risks; I would hate to see you throw away your life so carelessly."
"I'm no fool, now will you tell me where to find Chourin or not?"
"Oh, I can do more than that." Katsuya said with a smirk before leaving the room, Hiei following close behind.
Kuwabara coughed as a punch landed in his gut, sending droplets of blood to spray on the floor in front of him. There was nothing he could do but hang from his wrists, the iron manacles digging into his skin as his body was suspended from the ceiling by chains. Blood was running down his arms from his bleeding wrists, he could feel it run down his back, all the way down to where it dripped off his toes and landed on the ground.
The Oni demon laughed and struck him again and again alternating between kicking and punching. Kazuma didn't make a noise; he simply took the hits, his body aching but his mind numb. As long as the Ice maiden children were safe he knew he could take the demon's hits. Even as he heard another bone break, he told himself he could take it, that he could make himself last. At least until the children were rescued.
A/N: What will the sudden appearance of Hiei's parents mean for the story, and will Kuwabara be able to survive much longer at the hands of one of Chourin's minions? Find out as the story continues!