I don't own Azure Dreams or anything else in this fic, except for the storyline.

"Mr. Koh," a voice said into Koh's ear.

Koh turned over, away from the voice.

"Wake up, Mr. Koh," the voice cooed.

Koh put a pillow over his head and curled up.

"I am warning you, Mr. Koh," the voice said, slightly agitated.

Koh began to feel his breathing slow as he began to fall asleep.

"I warned you," there was a boom, and Koh flew out of bed.

His blankets had been lit on fire, by none other than Selfi Rode. She held up a beautifully carved wood staff and water flew from it. The blankets hissed as they were put out. Selfi turned to Koh, excitement lighting up her features, as if she had done something spectacular.

"Today you take me to the Tower, so we can reach the top floor together," She said.

Inside, Koh groaned. "I do?" Koh questioned, groggily.

"Of course you do!" Selfi said.

"What if I don't go to the Tower today?" Koh asked.

Selfi's jaw dropped. "You mean, you would actually turn down going to the tower?"

"Yeah," Koh said, beginning to like the idea. "I could see the world or at least part of it, away from the Tower, Monsbaiya, and Ghosh." He muttered under his breath, "And a few other members of the Rode family.

"I will go pack… immediately," Selfi said, rushing out of Koh's room.

Koh stood up and stretched. It was one of those days. He knew it was going to be. Like the day he went into the Tower for the first time. Already, his limbs ached for exercise, to be used for some greater cause. Koh ran through some rooms and into his living room.

Wreath was at the oven, putting in some bread. Her hair was in a bun, as usual. Her apron was stained on the front. That meant it was washing day. Whenever Wreath's apron was that dirty, it was washing day. Weedy was in a corner giggling as Nico Southey held up a small yellow duck toy. Weedy was jumping for it, but it was just out of reach.

Fur Gotts looked up as Koh came in. "Hey, Koh. What did Selfi leave for in such a hurry?" She continued sweeping as she said this.

"No idea Fur, maybe Nico scared her off," Koh said.

Nico looked up and scowled. Weedy grabbed the duck and ran off. Nico went chasing after her.

"Well good luck," Nico said.

"Yeah, you need it, in the Tower," Fur said.

"I'm not going to the Tower," Koh said.

Nico choked. Fur dropped her broom.

"Umm… repeat that last line, I think your stupidity took over," Fur said, looking at Koh askance.

"I said, 'I'm… not… going… to… the… tower'," Koh repeated slowly.

Nico's blue eyes grew wide. "You always go to the Tower every day. Besides, what else could you do?"

"Leave town," Koh said.

Wreath dropped a dish she was holding. Weedy caught it, then promptly dropped it. "Whoops, hee hee," she giggled. Wreath ignored this.

"Did the Glaciers hit you a little hard or something?" Fur asked.

"Koh, you can't be serious," Nico said.

"I am," Koh simply said, and walked out the door saying, "Good bye."

He hopped on his Aura Bike and cruised over to the Blacksmith to sell his acquired goods from the Tower. Of course, saying 'good bye' wasn't the end of it. If he was lucky, he would only have to keep Selfi from coming. If he was unlucky, then half of Monsbaiya would want to come.

After selling his goods at the Blacksmith, Koh hopped on his Aura Bike again. He had the feeling he would have to say no to half the town. He headed over to Hush's, stocking up on herbs. After all, the outside world didn't have an item limit. Koh drove back to his house, and quietly went inside. Wreath was busy at the washing machine, and Weedy was nowhere to be seen.

Koh went into his room, then into the Monster Hut. He took his Kewne, Ashra, Barong, Mandara, and Dragon; he didn't want to take his strongest monsters, in case robbers waylaid him. Of course the Kewne was an exception. He went towards the back of the Monster Hut. His prized Nyuels were nowhere to be seen! Koh searched everywhere in his expansive Monster Hut, but he could not find any of his Nyuels!

Then Koh had an idea where they could be. He left, still slipping past his mother. Hopping on his bike he drove. He knew he was going to miss leaving his Aura Bike but it couldn't handle the sand of the desert. He arrived at the gates. As he suspected Nico was there, with all the Nyuels ready to go. Koh knew that he was going to have one heck of a time convincing Nico not to come.

"Hey Koh, I'm ready to go," Nico said.

Koh threw his hands up in exasperation. "Nico, you can't come."

"Of course not," a voice said behind Koh.

Selfi came up on a hot pink Nyuel. It whinnied and knelt down. Selfi gracefully dismounted.

"Koh would never let you come," Nico said, disgust evident in her voice.

Selfi glided over and looked into Koh's eyes. "Mr. Koh," she said in a velvety alluring voice. "You'll let me come won't you?"

Koh swallowed. "Nobody," he managed to get out. "Is coming."

"Whaddaya mean 'Nobody's coming'?" Fur's voice came from behind. "Oh, and Selfi, don't give me that viperish look, it doesn't suit a little leech like you."

Fur came up on a very strange looking Aura Bike. It had two fans on each side, and seemed to repel sand from the Bike. It had a little steering wheel, and a little horn.

Selfi stuck her tongue out at Fur.

"Now you can't come, you have a store," Koh objected.

"Nico's dad's running it," Fur said.

Nico's eyes narrowed. "I going to have a long talk with Dad when I get home."

"Which is about now," Koh said.

"Yes, go home," Selfi said. "And you too… Fur Gotts."

"All of you, go home," Koh said.

"I don't have to," Fur said. "I have to pick up supplies for the store anyway."

"Well, I'm not going to Haruka," Koh said. "And that's where your suppliers are, correct?"

"Well, yes," Fur said, but recovered quickly. "I'll just head out into the world, and find… oddities, you know, the items that nobody carries. And I'll do this with you, Koh." Her Aura Bike came up beside his. "And I'll throw in a Desert Aura Bike, just for you."

"I can buy you one!" Selfi objected.

"For 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 G's?" Fur asked in wonder.

"What's that number?" Selfi asked.

"A number too large for you, simple sister," Ghosh said, entering.

Koh rolled his eyes. Fur immediately cuffed him behind the head.

"Ow!" Koh said, trying to glare at everyone at once.

Ghosh came up to Koh. "So you're finally leaving. Got scared of me, eh? Well, I know that I am the most powerful swordsman in the world, not to mention the most handsome." Ghosh looked over to Nico. She ignored this.

"NONE OF YOU ARE COMING!" Koh bellowed. His chest heaved.

"My, my," Ghosh said. His chuckle died, when he felt a sword against his throat.

Selfi screamed. Koh had dismounted and had put his sword at Ghosh's throat. "You have mocked me one too many times, Ghosh," Koh said, his sword not trembling one bit.

"Oh my gosh! Koh! Are you okay?" Suddenly, Cherryl, out of seemingly nowhere, jumped into a hug with Koh. "Did Ghosh hurt you?" Her eyes narrowed at Ghosh, her wrapped up hat slanted in an ominous fashion over her eyes.

Unfortunately, the hug knocked Koh off balance. He fell over his Aura Bike, dropped his sword, and hit the stone path. In an instant Ghosh had his own sword out. In one swift motion, he thrust it into Koh's stomach.

"Aaaaiyeee!" Cherryl screamed.

Ghosh laughed.

Nico's eyes narrowed. She leapt into the air and landed a kick into Ghosh's jaw. The swordsman fell back onto his rear end, bawling like a baby.

Selfi could only stare.

Cherryl was already tending to Koh. She was muttering things like, "…Athelas… Moonlight Weed…Aum Plant… I don't know…"

Koh moaned in pain. He hadn't expected that. He could hear voices buzzing in the distance, but the only voice he heard was Cherryl's melodic soothing. But it was like a massive yell, and it hurt his head. Then he felt pain. It was as if a thousand tiny steel daggers had punctured his side. He screamed. It didn't help.

Cherryl fell backwards, away from Koh. Leaves of all shape and color flew everywhere.

Koh couldn't breathe. He tried to suck breath through his lungs, but it was like pulling a house through its door. He couldn't do it. He pulled as hard as he could, the world beginning to go dim. Then his vision suddenly went a very unique shade of grey. He struggled to remain conscious, and ignore the burning in his lungs. He focused on the one thing he saw: Seraphim. It had lain there probably since he had dropped it. Light reflected off it painfully into his eyes, but Koh still stared at it. Then suddenly, his tightening lungs pulled in air. The herbs must have worked!

It was a heavenly bliss. Each cool air, each blessed inhalation was indescribable. It was like comparing the brightness of the sun and dark of a cloudy, moonless night. They just couldn't compare.

"Thank you Cherryl," Koh said, feeling invigorated.

"I didn't d-d-do anyth-th-thing," Cherryl stuttered.

Koh just stared at where his wound should have been, and then he looked over at his sword.

Seraphim gleamed innocently.

Koh rolled his eyes, shrugged and turned. By now, half the village had gathered. Koh knew he was unlucky. Of course Wreath, Weedy, Selfi, Nico, Fur, Patty, Mia, Vivian, and Cherryl were all there. Ghosh was doling out money to the local police. Koh had counted on that. Both guards happily strolled off to the local casino.

Koh pulled his bag out of nowhere, (How does he do that?). It gleamed, and out came his Dragon and Kewne. Both grinned. The Kewne balled up above the Dragon and charged. The Dragon blew a fireball, and the Kewne was engulfed as he charged Ghosh.

The catastrophic boom that followed was horrendous. Ghosh fell backward. Apparently he had some good armor.

Seeing Koh okay, all the girls began yelling, "Let me go with you, Koh!"

Koh groaned, again. This was almost as bad as being stabbed. No, it was most definitely worse. Koh looked around. "Okay, who really wants to come?"

All the girls' hands went up. But more unexpected hands came up. Fon, the theatre owner, raised his hand. Bet, the gambler raised his hand. And lastly, and most shocking, Ghosh.

"And each of you tells me why you should come," Koh said.

Selfi went first, "I'm obviously the most attractive." That got some pretty harsh stares. "And I'm a sorceress, physically fit, and rich."

Nico went second, "I know you inside and out, Koh, and I could be your advisor, and I'm not too bad with knives."

Fur looked at everyone, shrugged, and commenced, "I have money too, but I have a good eye for anyone trying to cheat you. Plus, I can stock us up on anything, Aura Bikes to food supplies."

Vivian smiled, "I can keep everyone entertained by the campfire with my enchanting, enthralling, alluring seductive…" Koh's eyes narrowed. Vivian quickly finished, "…Dancing."

Mia followed, "I am the most knowledgeable of anything worth knowing, and I can be an immense help in disputes. I consider myself somewhat of a diplomat."

Patty grinning piped up, "I can cook."

Cherryl looked at everyone smiled sweetly and said, "I am a beautiful woman, I have many skills, and I am intelligent, friendly, and easy to get along with, I am perfection, in a human form."

Everyone stared at the little outburst. Fur laughed outright. Vivian shrugged uncomfortably and sat down.

Bet continued, "I am about the luckiest guy you'll ever meet, and I have some pretty good familiars, nothing like yours, but I am the best with a spear in Monsbaiya, and I can be an immense help with all my certain masculine charms."

Ghosh snorted.

"And I, the great Fon, am a great entertainer. I can talk you out of any situation, and if we need to perform I can dictate everything into a fluid act. I can be an immense help," Fon grinned like he said the most profound words in the universe.

Ghosh dusted himself off, cleared his throat, generally made it into a big show, and began, "I, Ghosh Rode, the Master Swordsman, Prince of Monsbaiya, and the most handsome man in the world, have no need to say why I should come. But alas, I guess you peasants need such guidance, so I will explain to those… more ignorant. Firstly, I have my lesser sister, Selfi Rode, my fragile flower of a sister. I must protect her from the barbarian, Koh. I must also come to prove myself. After all, I simply could not let a commoner best me in any competition. I could be an immense asset, with my sword fighting skills. And lastly, I live for adventure."

The few last Ghosh supporters in the town were crying. Everyone else held back sudden coughs, in an effort not to laugh.

Koh looked at everyone. Knowing what would happen should he say no to anyone, he said, rather resignedly, "Go ahead, everyone. You can come."