Heart: A Ronin Warriors Fanfic

By: Malaizjan De Jesus

Author's Notes: This story was inspired by a young woman only known as 'Aleksa.' No one seems to know what happened to this young woman except that others are claiming to be this woman, and I am assuming that this is a woman, and that is simply not true. I do not know who this person is but I have thought of writing such a thing and I hope that this is almost at the standard of the other author that I mentioned.

Story Notes: I an focusing on Sage of the Halo, or in the Japanese version, Kourin no Seiji. I will stick with the American version names and armor, except for Sage. I am using the name Seiji. However the other Ronins will call him Sage. Secondly, This is part of a concept that I came up with. This is mine and cannot be used without permission. The Ancient Armors, names and powers are mine. The names of the new characters are also mine. Ask for permission of use.

Prologue

It was a warm, late July summer day. I picked up Rowen from summer school, where he was taking an early college course, and was driving us back to Mia Koji's home. It has been almost two years since Talpa, a demon lord of the Dynasty, tried to take over the ningenkai. Myself, Ro and the other Ronin Warriors defeated him and sent him back to his world. Mia helped up do this. We were all fourteen years old, with the exception of Kento, who had just turned fifteen. Mia was nineteen at the time. All so young and innocent. The Dynasty War changed our views for all time. For us teenager boys, those years were destroyed.

Rowen and I have known each other since we were eight years old. He moved here from America and is a walking genius. He normally has a book in his face but we talk about lots of things. We never run out of things to talk about, between his knowledge and my wisdom. We are close. He and I have confided in each other about things that the others in our 'Ronin Warrior Family' don't know of. And we have kept it that way. He is a brother to me. I mean, the others are too but we're closer. Rowen would be the first to back me up and vice-versa. There is no other way to describe him. If we had the same parents, we would have been twins.

"Almost seven years to the day," Rowen mentioned as I navigated a bend on the highway.

"I know," I said quietly. I knew all too well what he meant.

"Planning on going home this weekend?" Rowen asked me.

"I might."

"Mind if I tag?"

"Not at all."

The next five minutes were quiet. We are comfortable in the silence. It's almost as if we were meant to be twins. Which makes no sense at all. We are best friends. Seen a lot, shared a lot. He was there the day that we-no, can't think that right now…not while I'm driving.

Even after saving the ningenkai, Ro and I still train with our armors everyday. He's a true master of archery. There is no one that can match his skill, me included. I am a master swordsman. My weapon is the No-datchi. A difficult blade to master, as Rowen had so amply put it many times. I have tried to use the bow once. I nearly took out Ryo's eye. In other words, I was no where near the target Rowen had set up. Rowen tried to use my no-datchi. He could barely lift it off the ground an inch. We respect each other and our skills. Similar, yet different.

Ryo is our unofficial leader. He has a temper on him. But he has such fierce loyalty to us that I am proud to be led by him. He practices a few times a week with his twin katana. I often spare with him if Rowen is working on his archery. His endurance isn't as long as Rowen's but there have been sessions that surprise me. With Ryo, you get everything, even if you think he has no more to give. He is emotionally driven at times, which is why he led during the war. And is why I don't mind training with him when Ro is unavailable.

Cye, our resident confidant, is the youngest on our team. He knows us all quite well. He watches us at our best and worst, so he's not one you can lie to, even if I wanted to. And he has such trust in us. I have Halo, Ro has Strata, Ryo has Wildfire and Cye's armor is Torrent. Never challenge him to a swimming contest unless you want to be made a fool of. No one can beat Cye. In and out of his armor. No one can cook like him either. I'm decent enough but do not let Ryo and Rowen near a stove. At least Ro's food is edible. Ryo will burn the house down.

Without any armor.

Kento, Cye's best friend since they were toddlers, is the carpenter of our team. A strong man, he is the bearer of the Hard Rock armor. He eats everything in the house but his woodworking skills are unmatched, just like Cye's cooking skills are unmatched. They put up with each other's antics quite well. Kento knew I needed a storage chest for my various swords and he made one for me. I never asked for it. It was done with such skill that I open the lid of the chest with such care so I don't put a single scratch on it. Kento can be full of himself and sometimes says things before thinking. He does have a temper as well, but not as violent as Ryo's. And he can out-eat us all. The All-You-Can-Eat places have to close when he shows up.

All of us are different. If it hadn't been for the armors and the war, we would have never met. I shook me head. "Plan on bringing your bow?" I asked him.

"Only if you don't plan on taking out anyone's eye," he chuckled.

Ro is the only one that I allow to tease me in such a fashion. Like I said, we were meant to be twins. How ironic that our friendship has deepen to that point. Unlike Kento, Cye and Ryo, who need some noise to help break the silence, Ro and I are at home with it-

Something then came from the corner from my eye. I slammed on the brakes, and my car swerved sideways. I saw the figure on the road as my car managed to do a 360 degree turn. This person was transparent but had white hair and hollowed eyes. I almost dented my car because of the jerk!

"Wha' the fuck!" cried Rowen as he and I exited the car.

"Hello, Sage of the Halo," said the person before them. "My name is RIKSHIRAN. I am hear to take you to my master."

"And who is your master?" asked Rowen as he felt the familiar power of his armor orb throb in warning.

"As if I must tell you, Ronin. My fight is not with you. You may leave," said Rikshiran in a dismissive tone. He waved the blue-haired teen away. His white skin seemed so out of place with his black robe and jagged, twin daggers.

"Screw you!" I cried as I changed into my sub-armor. I saw Rowen do the same. I knew we could take him.

But I felt a sudden choke hold around my throat and I was then jerked toward Rikshiran before I could cry out. I saw Rowen move from the corner of my eye but I landed up against Rikshiran. I felt something puncture me. It hurt but I didn't show it. You never give the enemy such knowledge. Even though it hurts. "My master has need of your blood, Date. So be ready to bleed for him." I felt the dagger turn and I was pushed away from him. I managed to stay on my feet, the pain threatening my vision and my ability to block it. The twisting of the blade was to bleed me and to increase the pain level of the wound. I realized that with my sub-armor on, that blade of his broke through. I never knew such a thing was possible.

Rowen leaped at Rikshiran with near-blinding speed but he never made contact with him; a force field electrocuted him. He screamed in pain, stuck as he was in the air, unable to do anything but be jerked about. He never lost his grip on his bow.

I never took my eyes off of Rikshiran. I wanted to help Rowen but I knew I was bleeding. I pushed the pain aside and raised my arm to the sky. "Armor of the Halo! Dao Gi!" As soon as my full armor was on me, I ran at him, my no-datchi raised. I met the twin daggers head-on. Rikshiran seemed to know me well; every attack was met with a counter. I had never met anyone who could match my skill. Well, there was one person…and only once. For many minutes, the fight continued. I was getting weaker-I had lost too much blood. I realized that this person had studied me. I also noticed that Rowen wasn't crying out anymore either. This was bad.

I fell to my knees without warning as Rikshiran came gloating, walking deliberately to me once I was on my knees. I refused to stay that way. I forced myself to my feet and lift my blade to him, refusing to make it easy for him. He stopped, merely grinned.

Rowen came out of no where and leaped into Rikshiran, both falling to the ground. They wrestled with the twin daggers. I saw the struggle between them, for Rikshiran wanted to plunged his daggers into Ro. I saw that Rowen managed to knock one far away. So they struggled with one dagger, one that kept getting closer to Rowen's throat…

My vision grayed. I dropped my sword and fell back to my knees. I watched as Rikshiran threw Rowen off of him, and Rowen flipped himself upright. I felt myself being lifted to my feet. My hearing was coming and going. But Rowen yelled something at Rikshiran and everything went blurry.

I heard a faint cry of anger…it sounded feminine…it wasn't possible…

Then everything went black as I felt myself being moved with blinding speed.

Chapter 1

"When are they going to get here!" cried Ryo impatiently. He paced angrily from one end of the living room to the other. He was nervous and upset; Rowen came in less than an hour ago saying that he and Sage were attacked and Sage was in his arms, unconscious. Mia ran to call Kayura-she was in the ningenkai for a tour of the many temples in Japan. Dais was with her.

"Take it easy, Ryo," Cye said gently, just as he handed Kento a plate of food. He had a first aid kit and sat next to Rowen, who had burn marks on him from the fight. "They'll get here."

"Sage is out cold upstairs! Don't tell me to calm down!" he snapped.

Kento stood up. He put the plate of half-eaten food on the table and went to stand by Cye. He sensed Ryo's temper was about to blow.

"Look, whoever it was wanted Sage. I say we have to protect Sage until we know what's going on," Rowen interjected. "And we can't rush off until Sage is better."

Ryo merely glared. But relented.

The front door suddenly flew open with a burst of wind and Kayura stood in the doorway, looking nervous in skinny jeans and a small top that showed off her flat stomach. "Greetings, Ronins. It has been awhile."

Kento whistled his appreciation.

Cye rolled his eyes. "Sage is upstairs, Kayura."

Kayura came inside and went straight upstairs. Dais came in afterwards, wearing his sub-armor. He stood just inside the doorway. "I need to know what happened," he said to them.

Rowen explained everything to Dais as Kayura went to Sage. Dais nodded, processing every detail.

"What was his name?" Dais asked.

"He called himself Rikshiran."

Dais lost all color in his face. He gripped the chair back that was in front of him. "It can't be…" he said to himself.

"What?" asked Ryo, almost afraid of the answer.

"Rikshiran was one of Talpa's most prized assassins. But I thought he was gone when Talpa was killed." Dais wanted to say more but didn't. He didn't like what was happening. This was not the first time someone from his past came to light. This was the first time someone from the past attacked. And it wasn't just anyone; it was the Ronins he had attacked. Dais had an idea as to what was going on.

"Okay, so there are a couple of baddies you guys haven't caught yet. What's the problem?" asked Kento.

"Rikshiran only acts on orders given to him, that's the problem."

"Ah, that's not good," Cye commented. He could sense that Dais wasn't telling them everything. He wasn't willing to call him out on it, though. Ryo looked ready to beat something and Torrent's bearer wasn't going to give him a reason to do so.

"You think?" Ryo said sarcastically. "So who gave the order?"

"I don't know-there's no one with any real hold on any army in the Dynasty. It has to be someone that has been hiding," Dais mused. "Someone I missed."

Kento, Ryo and Cye heard the anger he had at the lack of success.

"Whoever it is, I want to see him." Sage came down the stairs gingerly, looking slightly paler than usual but otherwise seemed alright. "I plan to return the favor."

"Sage?" said Ryo, almost delicately. "Why was this Rikshiran targeting you?"

"I don't know." Sage was very calm, which Rowen knew wasn't a good sign. "But I want to know who sent him." He sent a glare at Dais, which Dais returned in kind.

"We'll look into it," came Kayura's voice as she came down the steps behind Sage. "Dais, we need to head back and talk to Cale and Sehkmet. We may have to use our contacts, find out who it is. Something isn't right here."

Dais nodded and followed Kayura out the door. "We'll be in touch."

"I'm sure we will," came Ryo's voice as the door closed behind them without warning.

"I thought all of this was over," said Cye. "What are we going to tell Mia?"

"The truth," came Rowen's answer. "We'll have to practice, train. Whoever it is wants Sage. We have to protect him."

The others agreed. Sage just stared at his best friend.

Inside the Dynasty Realm, evil was brewing within a castle on the very outskirts of the Dynasty. The castle was a bronze color that had tarnished over time, as if a black sheen was put over it. It was crumbling; a side effect of the power that the Dynasty lost when the Ronins won in their last battle, which effectively closed nearly every gate to the ningenkai.

But it is never over.

Never, ever over.

The Ronins would soon learn that.

Inside Said Castle…

Hushed voice rang down the halls, as if afraid of the sound carrying itself outside the walls.

"My lord!" Rikshiran said in a low voice. "If we were able to attack the Ronins right away-"

"No," Talpa decreed. The lone figure sat on the tall-backed throne, the tarnished gold color apparent from the metal item.

"But, sir!" he protested.

"NO!" Talpa roared, standing up, which effectively silenced all that was present. "I have already sent my daughter to handle the matter personally," Talpa replied proudly. "After she has settled in. And unlike my former Warlords, she will never turn on me." Talpa looked at his remaining forces. Not even his former Warlords knew of half of the people who served him:

Gregoran, the assassin warrior.

Rikshiran, the demon warrior.

Alia, the succubus sorceress.

Druxton, the poison expert.

Ka'Ishiaria, the siren warrior.

Treyon and Vaeyon, the twin Master Swordsmen of the Aztec.

Kornic, the Master of the Bow.

Angelus, the Demon Commander.

Leigha-Shae, the Mistress of the Bo.

Battletrex, the Master Strategist.

And Matriatrix, his Master Sorceress.

Thanks to their continued service to him and his survival, he was ready to return to the ningenkai for the final time; he refused to lose again. And he had a few tricks up his sleeve for the Ronin Warriors. "Now, put all soldiers on stand-by. I want them ready at a moment's notice. Be ready for the former Warlords to head this way. I want no mistakes in their capture."

"Hai," all of the Warlords responded, fading back into the shadows.

As Sage and Rowen retired for the night, the two friends were quiet. They were obviously thinking the same thing. And neither wanted to admit it.

"Sage?" said Rowen quietly. "I don't think this was all coincidence."

"I know. I can't go home. I'll tell my parents. They would understand."

"Can we have a small one here? Just so you don't miss out. I'll be there." Rowen knew that this weekend was very important to Sage and his family. And he was hoping that it wasn't the beginning of another war. Sage was a master warrior. But even he didn't want to fight all the time. He simply did what he had to.

"We could. I have a few things stashed away. We'll need a private place to do it. The others wouldn't understand my-our need to do this."

"True." Rowen crawled into bed. "I'm going to withdraw from school for the rest of the summer. You need me here. And I don't want anything to happen to you."

"Ro…what do you think would happen to me?"

"I don't want a repeat of seven years ago." Rowen turned to his side, closing his eyes. "That was a disaster on steroids."

"Me either," Sage admitted as he too, went to bed. "But we're not ten anymore."

Rowen snorted in response.

In another part of the castle, deep in the depths of its shadows, a soul woke up. It felt the pain and worry that Rowen projected unintentionally. For the second time in over five years, it was awake. 'Leave him alone! Don't let this happen again!' But the soul was quickly silenced by the darkness as it covered it, its voice gone with the silent power of evil…the silence of the darkness…

End of Chapter 1