I know. Not only is this chapter late it is far shorter then usually. Sorry about that, but it just sort of happen. Still, I hope you guys enjoy the read.

Chapter Twenty-One

"The black blood is settling down," stated Stein, "and it would seem that Crona is leaving as the victor." The professor may seem heartless, but the knowledge of his student beating the demon swordswoman filled him with pride. Some of the pride could have come from Spirit for the weapon was brimming with it. Whatever it may came from both the mentor and the father mentally congratulated the young man.

With an indifferent stare Medusa looked over her shoulder. "Worthless," she muttered before facing the professor.

"It would seem that the demon swordswoman survived the cleansing," Stein commented.

Facing the professor, she gave him a small, cynical smile. "If nothing else she is resilient." Her gaze turned to the ceiling. "Not like it matters anymore. She had fulfilled her purpose. The boy won't be able to make it in time to stop the Kishin's revival."

"You will be surprise what a student of DWMA can do," said Stein as he got into stance.

"Maybe," said the witch, "but I'll be more impress if given a demonstration of this strength you speak of."

Stein dashed forward, swinging the scythe at the witch. With a smirk she flipped onto one hand to evade the blade. She spun on the palm, her foot lashing out. Stein dodged by stepping back. This allowed the witch to flip onto her feet. Again the professor rushed forward only to end up more frustrated than the last attack. Bless with agility the witch easily dodge each swing. Once or twice she sneaked in a kick between all the evading. Some were blocked while others found flesh.

Jumping away from the witch, Stein breathed heavily, holding the scythe in his right hand. Medusa stared at him in boredom as if asking if that was all he got. I need to finish this, thought the professor. Throwing caution to the wind, he drew his left arm back and sprinted forward. Spiritual energy built up in his open palm. The air crackled as sparks flew from the hand.

Medusa held her ground, smirking as she raised her hands into proper position. "Multiple vector arrows!" Multiple arrows shot toward Stein. He made no attempt to dodge them. They tore away at his body but none of them struck a vital area. So Stein charged on, an angry roared emitting from the throat grew louder as he neared the witch. A little to late Medusa realized that the professor wasn't stopping.

The charged hand slammed into the witch's stomach, sending a strong wave of soul wavelength into her body. A spray of blood flew from her mouth as she bent over. Unaware of the multiple of wounds Stein focused on the witch.

"You finally managed to hit her," Spirit stated grimly, "but you took on too much damaged for so little gain." Stein ignored his weapon. Raising the scythe, he ready it to deliver the finally blow.

Medusa raised her upper body, smiling smugly at the professor. "Too slow," she said. By mentally command the witch's pointed tail rose up and strike. Before it plunged into the professor's chest the tail came to a sudden halt. Frowning, the witch tried to propel it forward. It did not budge.

Took her all of two seconds to figure out what was wrong. She looked down at her body. "Soul sutures," she stated. Thin, white threads run up and down her skin. Looking up at Stein, she found the same threads running parallel to the real ones. Just like her he hadn't budge an inch from his spot.

"There are sutures running throughout your body," said Stein, his voice strained, "paralyzing the muscles. You are completely immobilized."

"True," said the witch, "but you're also immobilized." Smirking, she added, "This is a dangerous game. As soon as the sutures wore off one of us is going to die. The only question is who is quicker?" Stein did not answer. Instead, he stared her down, waiting and hoping for the right time to strike.

While Stein worried about timing, Spirit concentrated on the sutures. As the witch hinted at performing this little stunt was risky. It took all of the weapon's concentration to maintain the sutures on this large of a scale. If he were to lose focus for even a second his meister could die. So he did his best to ignore the world and focus on the sutures.

Stuck in a battle of time and luck the two patiently waited for the other to slip up.

Another pile of rubble fell under the mighty swing of the ax. If Ekundayo has been a second slower the right half of his torso and his head would be severed from his body. For some time now the African barely kept out of the ax's reach. Not an easy fact considering that nothing seemed to stop.

Once or twice Ekundayo managed to strike Alice down with his fists. The dry, crusty streak of brown going down her chin, the developing bruise on her cheek, and the formation of a black eye testified to the damage she took. However, she would not stay down. She would simply get back on her feet, smiling that demonic smile. Then the chopping would renew as if the blows she took were nothing.

Jumping above a swing, he came down on the ax head, pinning it to the ground. He drove a fist into Alice's stomach. A upchuck of blood prove he done damage, but the smile stayed. The girl's fist- the one with the rings- crashed into his face. A metallic taste filled his mouth as a few teeth shaken loose. He took a step back, bringing half his weight off the ax. This was enough for the emo to yank the weapon from under him.

Ekundayo stumbled back. Alice watched him regained his footing, looking like a cat toying with a mouse. "Come on Ekundayo," she taunted, "there got to be more to you then fists and that amulet." Her words did not angry him.

He reached for a piece of rubble, grabbing a huge slab of stone. Effortlessly, he tossed it at the emo. Alice sidestepped. The slab crashed to the floor, shattering into many pieces. "Really," she asked, glancing to the stone. As she turned to face the African she spotted another stone heading her way. Just in time she ducked and avoided decapitation. "Threw as much stone as you like," she said as she turned to glare at the man, "it isn't going to help..."

By some unseen force pieces of rubble floated into air and gravitated over to the African. They revolve around him counterclockwise while he just stood there. An intense yellow light encase the African's necklace. Stern eyes stared the emo down. His mouth move but the words that came out weren't understandable.

He then tilled his head forward. By the wordless command the rubble shot forward. "Jane," Alice shouted. Without a word the weapon transformed. Just as the first of the barrage was about to hit her she swing the quickly formed machete at a chunk of stone. She cut it in two, the pieces falling to the ground while the rest of the barrage honed in.

She dodged a second stone, but the third slice her in the side. More and more pieces of rubble kept on coming her way. Evading them the best she could, she slowly moved toward the African. Just as she got neared him one of the pillars broke away from its base. It fell into her path, nearly crashing her. Alice threw up an arm to shield her face as dust and shards flew into the air.

For the moment the dust blinded two. This allowed Alice to duck behind the pillar and not be seen doing so. The next wave of rubble flew over her head, soaring for a good distance before crashing to the ground. For the next few seconds the rubble harmlessly flew by, but she knew this wouldn't last. Once the dust settled she would be mince.

"Clair," Alice whispered to her weapon. Again, the weapon transformed. Lying on her stomach, the emo examined the wide gap between the pillar and the floor. She then turned her hand vertically.

Positioning the hooks just so, she whispered, "Extend." The rods shot between the African's legs. Alice jerked her arm to the left and toward her. The hooks buried into flesh, causing the African to yelp out in pain. With one strong tug he fell to the floor. The hooks tore through his leg, taking large chucks of flesh off. He collided to the floor and the necklace glow lessened. Pieces of rubble fell with him, several nearly struck his body.

Once the rods returned to normal size Alice got onto her feet. She quickly picked the flesh off the hooks, tossing them to the ground for Po to enjoy. With the last piece of flesh removed the weapon turned back into a machete.

Alice tried to climb over the pillar but failed. She looked to the nearby piles of rubble, but quickly dismissed the notion. Their slopes were too steep and unstable.

"Want to do a soul resonance?" Alice asked her weapon.

A shiver run through Clair's back. She does not like resonating with her meister. Imaging stepping into a cold, sunless world where every second thought was of death and pain was a synonym for happiness. Of course, her own soul would counterbalance the coldness but she never enjoyed the experience.

"Ready when you are," said Clair.

In a quiet voice, almost a whisper, Alice said, "Soul resonance."

As meister's and weapon's soul merge a menacing black light emitted from the machete. The blade's edge grew thinner, sharper. Three symbols- that of Alice's rings- appeared on the blade side, blazing bright crimson.

Grinning, Alice said, "Butcher delight." Quicker then a blink of the eye she carved the pillar up. At first nothing seemed to happen but when she finished. Part of the pillar disintegrated into fine dust. The two new pieces of rubble crashed to the floor, shaking the immediate area.

Though in great pain, the African refuse to be beaten. He slowly stood up one hand cradling his aching head. Spotting the emo, he got into a loose stance- the need to fight slowly being override by the need to run. A bead of sweat slid down his cheek and he gulped down a mouthful of spit. That blood thirsty expression the emo gave him screamed death. Mother may not like it if he fled before he knew if the Kishin was release but his life was being threatened. She would understand.

Alice dashed forward. She took a wild swing at him and he easily evaded. However, a split second later he felt pain piercing his right shoulder. Glancing to it, he was startled to find a shallow, but long cut wound seeping blood. "I don't need to make connect," said Alice as she took a second swing. This time when he evaded he didn't feel pain but he heard the pile of rubble behind him collapse. "I just have to be swinging in the right direction." She slashed the air horizontally, not even attempt to hit the African. However, he felt a blade cut into his abdomen. Not far enough to spill guts, but blood gushed out onto the floor. Gritting his teeth, Ekundayo wrapped an arm around the wound and jumped back to a safe distance. The necklace bright glow returned and rubble flew in front of him, piecing together into a roughly made wall. It didn't slow the emo at all.

Like the pillar the wall fell away as fine dust before her advance. Backing up, the African pointed a finger at her. Ever piece of rubble in the immediate area rose into air and shot toward the emo. She gave them a quick glance before leaping back. The rubble meshed together into a huge clump and fell to the ground.

The African rushed up to the man-made boulder and slugged it, sending it skidding across the ground. Alice smirked and slice in the direction of the boulder. Just as it reached her a fine line formed in the middle of it; the two pieces fell apart at her feet.

"Alice," said the machete, "we need to stop resonating."

"Why?" asked the emo in a disappoint tone, "we're just starting to have some fun."

"Because too much strain is being put on your body," shouted the weapon. "You may not care about taking a beating, but I won't let you kill yourself."

Shaking her head, the emo said, "We can't stop now. Not until..."

From behind the African the emo heard footsteps coming this way. A wry grin crept onto her face as she said, "Not until our late party crasher arrive." With that said she dashed toward the African, letting the point of the blade drag across the floor.

Looking her way, Eyundayo sighed. From both the front and back he was being rushed. He turned off the magical shield early since it proved useless against the emo. However, the incoming meister seemed more welcoming then the demon before him. So he turned around and run. He didn't even bother to attack Crona as he dashed by him.

The scythe meister came to a halt and turned around to stare at the African in confusion. "About time you showed up," shouted Alice as he walked up to him. She whispered to her weapon, "You may stop resonating now." The machete was more than happily to broke off the resonance. Within second it returned back to normal.

Glancing her way, Crona said, "I would have thought that you be finish with him by now."

Alice shrugged. "He's tougher then he looks. Stop wasting time with small chat and get going. I have no idea how far ahead the enemy is but I wouldn't be surprise if they're close to the Kishin." She furrowed her brow at the worried look he gave her. "Get going Pinkie. There's no time to worry about me."

Reluctantly, Crona nodded his head. As he rushed by the emo Alice turned her attention back on the African. "Sorry for the interruption. I'm ready to continue." Their battle recommence with her rushing the African. The emo did her best to ignore the pain in her joints as she swung the machete.

Free raise his head. Sniffing the air, he grimaced. "We're almost there," he stated. Eruka nodded, but said nothing. Traveling down a narrow hallway, the image of three large eyes, printed in the floor, stared madly at the odd group, daring them to continue on.

Soon enough they entered into a room, though this was of little importance. The door, however, was. Wood colored dark crimson, golden knobs protruded out of it. The same eyes in the hallway rested on the door, disturbing all that entered its gaze. There was no apparent handle but Free thought little of this. Getting on his feet, the werewolf pressed his hands onto the doors and pushed. With ease they parted before him. Free and Eruka entered the room- the witch ordered her familiar to guard the entrance.

Nothing about the large, room seemed right. Red, wooden, square poles, reaching for a ceiling shrouded in darkness, littered the place. Yellowed tags with strange symbols on them covered the poles. In the middle of the room a wooden idol of some sort stood. It was hard to describe, but it looked as if multiple, wooden arms stuck from a thin body while an oddly shaped head rested on top. In front of the idol, hanging by ancient, iron chains, was a huge, pale bag. On that bag were the three eyes- the eyes of the Kishin.

"This place looked to be an ancient worshipping ground," stated Free as he walked toward the bag.

Eruka followed the werewolf, scanning the room over like a scared prey. She quickly turned to her right, thinking that she heard something. There was nothing there. Shaking her head, she turned around to be stared down by a tall person.

By tall we are talking about seven, eight feet total and extremely thin. Old, tan scarves lined with the Kishin's eye encircled the neck and head. A red, pinstriped blazer lay upon several layers of clothing while baggy, black jeans and a mass of fabric covered the top of black shoes.

The frog witch stared at the person, paralyzed in place by fear. A crack formed in the scarves, opening up to reveal a mouth full of ridiculously rounded teeth. That did little to lessen the terror as the mouth clamped onto her face and ripped the skin away.

Startled to a stop by screaming, Free turned around to found Eruka on her knees. Hands covered her face as whimpered. "I can't do this anymore," she shouted at the top of her voice. "I'm going back home and hibernating."

Going over to the witch, Free dropped to a knee. "Eruka," said the confused werewolf. "What's wrong?"

"My face," she yelled.

"What about it?" She didn't reply. Free moved his hands to uncover her face, but stopped and thought better of it. "Come on Eruka," he said in a somewhat soothing tone. "Let me see your face." Slowly but surely the hands moved away.

Free's eyes widen with shock. Where facial features should be a mass of scarves and a large gasping mouth replace it. In one swift motion the mouth gripped onto his face and tore the skin away. "No," shouted Free, "I can't die! I am immortal!"

Next thing he knew he felt a stinging pain in his neck. Sitting on his butt, he stared blankly onto the not twisted form of Eruka. The witch held a wooden stake to her neck, ready to drive it in. Halfway through the back of his neck a guillotine blade drew blood. In utter disgust the soon-to-be suicide weapons were thrown to the floor.

"What just happen?" Eruka stuttered.

"It's the madness," said Free as he rubbed the newly formed scar on his neck. "We're in the right place alright." He turned his gaze on the bag. "And I'm guessing that sack of skin over there is where the Kishin is being held."

Without a word the witch took the suitcase from her back and laid it on the ground. She then formed her hands into a square while chanting, "Rib-bit, rib-bit, rib-bit." The suitcase glow a light blue. It snapped open, revealing a ridiculous, large syringe containing a thick, black fluid. Lying beside it was a long, thick needle that children feared to see in a hospital. The two objects floated in front of the witch. In one fluid motion she assembled the pieces together, holding the complete set in her hands.

"Let get this over with," she said as she started for the sack.

A loud bang drew Eruka's and Free's attention to the door. Eruka's familiar burst through the doors and landed in front of Free. The dazed tadpole lay there, unmoving. "Tadpole Jackson!" shouted the confuse witch. A little too late did she notice the two meister standing in the doorway.

One quick scanned of the room and Kid's eyes fell upon the syringe in the witch's hands. "Black*Star," he shouted as he pointed his gun at the witch. "Stop her." Pulling the triggers, he unleashed a hailstorm.

Eruka just stood there a little slow to process the events happening before her. Free, however, threw himself in front of the witch, his arms extended out. The bullets thudded hard against his chest, but the werewolf stood firmly. "Eruka," he shouted, "go!" With a nod of acknowledgment the witch sprinted for the sack.

She got all of a dozen feet before Black*Star appeared right in front of her. Skidding to a stop, the witch backpedaled as the assassin neared her. "Where do you think you're going?" asked the assassin. Just as he reached for the syringe Tadpole Jackson tackled him to the ground.

"Alright Jackson," the witch happily exclaimed.

"Stupid tadpole," Black*Star shouted in rage. He got on top of the familiar and stomped his foot onto its head. "Get out of the way."

"Thank you Jackson," whispered the teary eye witch as she run for the Kishin. "You were the best tadpole a girl can have. I'll never forget you're sacrifice."

Kid, busy with keeping Free in place, noticed Eruka nearing the sack. "Black*Star," he shouted.

"Don't worry Kid," shouted the assassin. "I got this,"- holding the ninja sword away from him- ", Tsubaki, enchanted Blade Mode!" Within seconds the sword lengthened several feet and its metal turned pitch black. The assassin dashed toward the witch who was getting dangerously close to the sack.

At the last couple feet the witch pulled the syringe back and thrust the needle forward. It struck the sack, but it did not penetrate the skin. "Come on," said Eruka as push the syringe forward with all her might. Before the needle could broke through the enchanted sword slice the syringe in half. The witch stumbled back. Blood splatter everywhere as half of the syringe clattered to the floor.

Standing beside the witch, Black*Star smirked. "Sorry but no Kishin revival today."

"Black*Star," said Kid, voice grim. "You might want to take a second look." Confused by this statement the assassin looked behind him. To his shock and horror an empty, syringe protruded from the sack.

"But how," said the assassin, falling to his knees.

"You're sixth sense," said the reaper, "it succumbed to the madness when least suspected it."

The entire room became silent. Eruka back away from the sack to a save distance. Putting his arms down, Free looked over his shoulders. Black*Star stayed on his knees, disbelieving his failure while Kid kept a watchful eye on the sack.

At first, nothing happened. Then something within the skin press against its side. The Kishin has awakened.

Defiantly not the best chapter ever. At less we're almost done with the whole Kishin being release chapters. As always, please review. I like to here you're guys criticism.