Me: Well, I was gone for another long while... So I'll make this quick:

Disclaimer: I do not own Okami/OkamiDen.

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"Kurow!" I drew back in surprise. He stood, drawing out his sword, the demon staring back at him.

"Move. This doesn't concern you!" she hissed at him, "You're interfering with forces you can't control."

"I don't know what you're talking about, dude, but you don't belong here." his voice had a faint, heartbroken tone to it, "You tricked me... You tricked all of us."

I walked past him, standing in front of the kitsune, "If it's a fight you want, then you want me."

She smirked, "Well well, look who's being brave. You should stop the faking, though, because you're only hurting yourself." she turned, "But if you really mean it, I think you'll know where to find me." running towards the gates, the shadowy demon disappeared from sight.

I began to tremble, absolutely terrified that a powerful being like that was hiding among us this entire time. I was expecting her to be a Tube Fox or something, maybe even an Imp, but she was a full-fledged kitsune!

Kurow wasn't speaking, and as I stared into his emotionless, icy blue eyes, I couldn't discern his thoughts or feelings. I knew they weren't good, though.

"I thought that it wasn't really her... But I gave her a chance anyway, dude. I thought maybe she just, like, changed, but all along she was a fake..." he looked at the ground, sheathing his sword and letting a tear fall from his face, "I did find something out, though. It was never meant to be..."

"Kurow.. It's alright." I looked up, my eyes sparkling to show him that everything was okay. But it wasn't, we both knew that. There was a demon on the loose, and an island full of them waiting, and we were two lost souls stuck with nothing but sorrow and fear in our hearts.

Gravel was shifted and kicked up behind me, and as I turned I saw Kagu charging forward. Two Exorcisms glowed in her hands, illuminating the black streets of Sei' An.

"What happened?" she commanded me to answer.

I sighed, "We were right not to trust her. She was a fake, the scholar lady, and now she's returned to Oni Island looking for a fight."

"So it was that beast all along!" Kagu growled, "I should've killed her when I had the chance.."

The three of us walked back to Kagu's house, hoping to Amaterasu that things would get better. And as we laid down to sleep, we somehow knew they would.


(Kurow's POV)

I woke up in a strange place. The sky was black, the air was full of dark energy, and demons pranced about like it was nobody's business.

"Bonjour, Mon Ami."

Oh, hell no..

I looked to my left and saw Waka smiling back at me, "Welcome to Oni Island, Kurow."

"Why have you brought me here, dude?" I narrowed my eyes threateningly, "This place is totally dangerous!"

"Ah, but this is only a dream. Any threats posed to us will not effect us at all. Now watch." he said, motioning to a corridor.

Sharp, moving saws jutted out from the ground at different heights. A full grown, white wolf pranced forward. Issun, I recognized, was sitting on it's head.

Is that.. Amaterasu? I thought with surprise.

A glowing, demon prayer slip floated in front of them, "Are you ready, good sir?"

"Bring it! Ammy and I can do this all day!" Issun bragged.

With that, they raced forward, leaping over the blades like they were nothing more than branches on the ground. At one point, Ammy grazed her paw on one, but kept going.

Waka transported me to the other side of the maze. The three creatures had finished the race, and Amaterasu had won.

"Excellent race, good sir!" the demon cheered. Suddenly, I realized where I'd seen him before:

"I found this prayer slip on the shores of Ryoshima Coast shortly after the collapse of Oni Island. Just a few days ago, the island was spotted again for the first time since the defeat of the demon beast, Ninetails, and this prayer slip began emitting a strange aura. The strange thing is, it's more of an energetic aura than a demonic one."

She held out the prayer slip to me, "I believe it to be of great importance, so I'd like you to take it with you. It may be a key to finding the demon's weaknesses."

There was no mistaking it, that was the prayer slip Princess Fuse had given us!

"That's it!" I shot up out of bed, yelling that.

Echo and Kagu were already up, giving me looks that said everything.

"What the in the name of...?" Kagu muttered.

"Um, Kurow? Are you alright?" Echo asked, pawing her ear.

I laughed, embarrassed, "Yeah, dude. I just.. I found out how we can get to Oni Island..."

"You're joking, right?" Kagu asked, "Everything I've tried has failed! How come the solution is so clear to you now?"

"Let's just say.. a little bird told me." I smiled.


(Echo's POV)

We came to the coastline, running as fast as we could to the small pier. I took a deep breath.

"This is it." I said, "This will be the end of Oni Island."

"..for now." Kagu muttered. She pulled a couple Exorcism Slips from her pocket and placed them in our bag, "If anything happens, use these. And this might be useful as well." she handed Kurow two pieces of white cloth.

"He he he, dude, this is gonna be fun." I tilted my head in confusion, but shrugged and just went with it.

"Hey, guys! Are you leaving without me?"

A small voice piped up from behind us, and a bouncing, green, bright thing was heading towards us. And it was unmistakable what it was.

"Issun! What are you doing here?" Kagu exclaimed.

"You don't think I'm gonna let'cha battle that old fox-face without me, do ya?" he said, unsheathing his sword, "I heard from the city folk that you guys were heading out, so I thought I'd tag along!"

Kurow nodded, "Sure thing, dude! We could use some help from you. After all, you have been to Oni Island before."

Kagu broke up our conversation, "Alright. Once you get to the barrier, you should be able to pass through as long as all of you are within a few feet of the prayer slip." Kagu explained, "Then you just have to find that kitsune and exterminate her. That's all there is to it." she smiled proudly.

"Uhh... Kagu? It's not gonna be that easy you know..." Kurow said.

"I know, but you can handle it."

Kurow turned, motioning with his flute to the island in the distance, "We'll have to fly there since there's no one to take us. Are you ready?"

"WAIT!"

I jumped with a start, whipping my head around to see who had yelled for us. A sleek, shell-armored reptile crawled out of the water and snaked across the ground in a flash. It was Wani.

"I can take you. Don't waste your energy flying that far out to sea." she smiled with a sharp-toothed grin, "Plus I can move pretty fast in the water, so we can get there in a matter of minutes."

"Alrighty, then. You ready, dude?" Kurow asked me.

"Yeah.." I said reluctantly. A few demons was one thing. An island full of them was way worse.

Kagu leapt forward and hugged Kurow, making his face turn bright red, "Stay safe, Kurow."

"O-Okay..." he said. Looking out nervously into the ocean, he took a deep breath and walked over with me.

The three of us climbed onto Wani's back and she kicked off into the waves. She maneuvered swiftly through the water, perfectly in sync with every current. Oni Island came closer and closer with every passing second.

"Almost there," she growled softly, "Hold on!"

She jetted forward, water trailing behind her like a motor boat. Thick fog rolled in like a sheet and we came to a halt just feet away from the demonic barrier. The prayer slip buzzed with energy so much that it almost slipped from Kurow's hands.

"Dude, we just need to do one more thing," he pulled the white cloths from the bag, "Draw something on these."

I tilted my head, "Uhh.. why?"

"Then the demon's won't recognize us." Issun explained, "You won't believe how oblivious they are to simple things like disguises." he laughed.

"Hm.. Okay, I think I know what to draw." I painted some really ridiculous-looking faces on the masks. Kurow put his on and snickered.

"Perfect, dude! These are awesome!"

I smiled, then turned to Wani, "Thanks for the ride."

She nodded, "Any time."

As I put my mask on, Kurow put on his wings and prepared to fly. I did the same, using Flight, and Issun hopped onto my head. We flew up a few feet before there was a small opening in the rock surrounding the island. I plunged through it and into a small tunnel, Kurow following behind me.

"So, where do we.. hm?" he held up the prayer slip, which began to glow and float on it's own. A voice suddenly emitted from it.

"Good sir! It has been a long while since I've last been on this island." it cheered, "Thank you for returning me here."

"It.. TALKS...!?" I exclaimed.

Issun hopped forward, shocked, but surprisingly not at the fact that there was a talking piece of paper before us.

"Whoa, Tobi! How'd ya come back? You were dead the last time I saw ya!"

Tobi floated forward to Issun, "Oni Island has entered a new era, good sir. And since I am not counted as its gatekeeper anymore, I can continue to live without restriction."

"Well then, if ya wouldn't mind, maybe you could show us how to get outta this tunnel." Issun said.

Tobi agreed and lead us on, though the

tunnel seemed to grow hotter with every step. Eventually we turned and reached a dead end, much to Issun's disgust.

"I thought you knew where ya were goin'!" he raged.

"I did, good sir." he replied, "This wall is damaged and should come down if it is tampered with."

Issun looked down at me, "Well then, use one of your Cherry Bombs on it!"

I swished my tail in the brush pattern needed, and then pushed the Cherry Bomb towards the wall. We all backed away quickly as it exploded, leaving an opening for us to walk out into... wait..

"Is that lava?" I yelped. It explained the temperature, but crossing it would be extremely dangerous.

"Yes, good sir." Tobi answered, floating over to a large bolder in the lava sea, "Now follow my lead. I know the way to the main part of the island."

Since Kurow and I still had our wings on, we glided across to Tobi with ease. Each leap took us closer and closer to a bridge-like, stone structure that stretched out over our heads.

Tobi floated up to the top of it, "Everybody, please come up here."

Kurow flew up first, effortlessly. He landed next to Tobi and called down to me, "C'mon, dude! You can do this!"

I pulled back, then sprang upward. My wings swung at the air like whips, and it only took a few wingbeats to make it to the others.

Suddenly, Issun let out out a cry of alarm from my shoulder, "Watch out!"

As I turned my head, a geyser of molten rock shot up at me, searing feathers off my wing and just nearly hitting my legs. I frantically tried to keep myself air born, but my wing was too damaged and I felt myself falling.

Quickly thinking, I used Galestorm and blew myself onto safer ground before I could plummet into the fires. Issun proceeded to bounce angrily on my head, while I was panting heavily with fear.

"Waddaya think you were doing?!" he yelled, "You're just as careless as Ammy was!" I shrunk back with embarrassment, my head down.

"Well, whatever. We'd better get a move on. Demons don't slay themselves ya know!" Issun laughed.

We came to a large, iron gate. Several demons were gathered beyond it, and one was outside guarding; the gatekeeper. Quickly, Kurow and I put away our wings.

Tobi floated over to him, "Good sir, we would like to request entry to this building."

The Imp guard turned his wrinkled face towards the group of us, looking at us as if we were trash, "Strange, aren't ya? Your the ugliest things I've ever seen!"

"Thanks." I growled sarcastically. However, it must've been a compliment because the guard simply nodded and drew up the gate.

Once inside, we found a broken security system with a key in it. The key had a shattered, glass orb on the top that spit out sparks every few seconds. In front of it was the gate it once kept open, and it was mangled beyond recognition. I let Issun off my head so I could venture behind it.

I Power Slashed away some of the debris enough to squeeze through an opening between the gate and the wall. The half moon shone brightly down upon the landscape, making every little shard of glass glitter with light. A shadow ran past me and I flinched, turning slowly to see what it was.

"You okay, Echo?" Issun called.

I barked back, "I'm fine! Nothing really interesting here.."

"Don't leave yet!" an urgent voice shouted.

I stared up at the large, broken statue at the end of the room. Perched carefully upon it was a white rabbit with a red mallet on its back. Hopping forward, it brought with it the nirvana of the Brush Gods.

"Oh, Echoterasu, hero brought forth from lands afar.. I am Yumigami, Goddess of the Moon. Would you like some mochi?" she held out a pawful of the stuff, which sniffed curiously. I tried a bit and gulped the rest down happily.

She pawed her ear, "Oh, yes! For many years I lit the night skies as the Great Goddess took her leave. Now you may have the power of Crescent! Light up the skies with hope and power!"

A bright flash occurred and Yumigami vanished. I learned the brush technique quicker this time for some reason.

A beam came crashing down from above, and I leapt out of the way just before it snapped off the ground. Oh, that's why.. I thought with surprise.

The gate had been crushed by the beam smashing into its frame. Kurow floated over to me, "Geez, look at this place, dude! It's real mess!"

"But I did get a new brush technique!" I smirked, "It's called Crescent."

"Ammy had that one." Issun said, "It helped to kill some Tengu that were trying to eat Chun."

"You mean that sparrow girl?"

"Yeah! You met her?" he asked, surprised.

I nodded, "Her clan almost got eaten by a nekomata. That was right after.." I paused, "...Right after we met the 'Scholar Lady'."

Kurow sighed and turned away. As he did, part of the room crumbled to the floor. He leapt back and a yowl was heard from above.

Through the ceiling, at the summit of the island, there was a kitsune outlined by a red moon. Her head was raised and she stared into the sky.

We all hid in the shadows. "So, that wretch still goes by the old book, huh?" Issun chuckled, "That's the same place where we killed her last time!"

"Well, if we want to get up there, then we'll want to hurry, dude." Kurow stated.

We hurried back to the main hallway and down a side corridor. It twisted around to the left and up a staircase. At the top their was a ladder leading up to a door in the roof. I climbed up (which is impossibly difficult with paws) and climbed out into a tall room. Strange demons were above me, but I couldn't make out what they were. And there was also..

"Gah!" I leapt out of the way just as a laser beam came shooting at me. The ground was scorched with a line where the laser had burned through constantly.

Kurow, Issun, and Tobi followed my lead out of the way of the laser. A glowing object was on the wall near the device emitting the dangerous beam. I scurried across the floor and grabbed it off the wall, hurrying back so I wouldn't get my tail burned by the beam.

"Nice job, dude." Kurow said, "But.. what is that thing?"

I held up the object and observed it, "It looks like a giant, sparking key..."

"That's pretty much what it is." Issun said, "Those things open new paths and give you the ability to harness electricity. The good part is you'll be able to use your Lightning brush skill without restriction!"

"Lightning..?"

Issun went silent, "Don't tell me.. You haven't met Gekigami yet?" I shook my head with a frown. "Well.. I expected that you'd at least have his brush skill by now. It's no problem, though. You can still use the key without it."

All of us looked up at the maze far above our heads. There were staircases, electric paths, and monsters everywhere. The summit was a far cry from our current location, but we had to carry on. I threw Kurow onto my back and ran straight up to the top.

Suddenly, I froze. The monsters in front of us weren't just your average monsters. They were giant. Freaking. Spiders. I leapt backwards with a start and dug my claws into the wood.

Kurow blinked with confusion, "..They're just spiders, dude."

"I.. H-hate spiders!" I yelped, "They're so.. eeehhh!"

Issun facepalmed, "Great... So our main fighter against the Dark Lord is afraid of spiders? Oh, Nippon is doomed.." he sighed.

I snarled, "I.. I might be afraid of them.. But I'm going through anyway. It's only a few yards.."

I took a step forward, the rest of the group trailing behind. Panels sparked and solidified beneath me, but only when my paws touched them. Then we approached the spiders.

"Okay, dude. You can do thi-"

"Kurow, Get on my back."

"What?"

I turned, "Just do it! And Tobi, follow me closely."

Tobi agreed, "Will do, good sir."

Once everyone was ready, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. My paws shot forward instantly and pranced by the first spider quickly, then the next, and then the next. Finally, we came to the final spider. But there was one problem..

"It's blocking the dang path!" Issun said.

I shuddered. Up close, these things were about 90% freakier. I took a moment and paused to think, then the ceiling glittered with stars.

"A constellation!" I gasped with joy. I filled in the missing stars, and the room filled with light.

"Allow me to assist you.." the spider was still visible, sitting viciously on the ground. A roar of thunder erupted from above and tiger bolted across the ground. It prepared a lightning arrow in its bow, then shot the spider. It collapsed in a burst of sparks.

A growl followed, then the elder tiger prepared another arrow and shot it into the air. A tiny cub grabbed it and flung it to the ground, causing an eruption of sparks to fly in every direction. The two bowed their heads, then looked at me.

"Oh, Echoterasu, hero brought forth from lands afar..." he began, his voice proud and humble, "We are the Gekigami, masters of the sky's wrath: lightning. We have anticipated your arrival here, as we knew it was only a matter of time before you faced the Dark Lord."

The young Gekigami stepped forward, "Please accept the power of thunder. Let it strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.."

He grabbed another arrow in his jaws, and on the end of it was the brush power I needed. He threw it at me, and the power rushed within me, building up inside like a fire through a forest.

The bright landscape faded and Issun leapt with joy. "Yeah! Now you've got a really useful brush technique: Thunder! Ammy was able to electrocute Ninetails with that and defeat her easily."

Kurow nodded, "The thing is, dude, this battle is going to be way harder now that Ninetails has been able to regain her strength. Maybe she, like, knows about all the old tricks you guys pulled on her?"

I shook my head, "We have to go on, anyway. Come on!" I rushed forward and leapt over the spider, then hurried up the stairs beyond to a large room full of Imps. I froze as they turned to me.

"Hey!" one yelled in a raspy voice, "What're you doing here?!" He ran over to us at full speed with a paddle in hand.

I growled at him threateningly, but he stopped abruptly, "Geez, don't get yourself so riled up, scum! What do ya want?" Apparently demons really were stupid, because our disguises fooled him.

"Good sir, we request permission to get to the summit of this island." Tobi stated, "This is strict business to be discussed with the Dark Lord only."

The Imp backed away in fright. "Th-the Dark Lord?! Eh, sh-she hasn't been very welcoming lately... Well, her apprentice hasn't, actually.." he shrugged, "But if it's urgent, then hey. But it's your funeral!"

He motioned to a door leading to an outside lookout, "If you go that way, you should be able to get to her. Good luck, I suppose..."

We did as he said and came to a wall. I was able to leap up with some help from my wings, along with Kurow. Above the room we were just in, a large bridge lead to the other side where a hallway was located.

"This is it." Issun said fearfully, "That wretch is just beyond that hall. Last time we were here, Tobi decided to make this a race.. I can't tell you how annoying that was, considering there was no bridge!"

Tobi snickered, "But your wolf friend seemed to enjoy herself, good sir!" Tobi sighed, "Unfortunately, do to those past events, I am not allowed to be in the presence of the Dark Lord. I wish you luck, for beyond here you must handle everything by yourselves."

I smiled, "Thank you for your help, Tobi. We won't ever forget you."

Sprinting across the hard, wooden floors, Kurow, Issun, and I made our way to the staircase leading to the summit. Clouds covered the sky and lightning flashed violently around us.

"Are you ready, dude?" Kurow asked. His eyes glowed with a longing for vengeance. My gaze narrowed and I smirked, agreeing.

And with a flash of white from the sky, we rushed forward into our final fight.

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Okay, I want to apologize for the long delay, and for the sad explanation of Oni Island's wrecked landscape. That's probably the reason why I didn't feel like working on this chapter; it's kinda a filler. After this one we start getting introduced to new characters, and the story begins to progress faster. So please be patient until then! Sorry!

*cough*Waka'sabirdlol*cough*