Chapter 11

Here's the first really long chapter. Please don't comment about the lack of action until after you've read chapter 12. I'm going to have to use this chapter to set everything up for the next one since I've been coming up with some developments that need explanation and background (for those that didn't watch the show or only watched parts). I'm going to try to be more detailed since that's the weakest part of my writing. Hope you enjoy. And remember, don't complain about the lack of action until the next chapter is up.

Last chapter: "You will have your time Shura. Simply observe this as a new opportunity, rather than an encroaching challenge." Yomi spoke confidently. Nobody had seen Shura or Yomi for two years after the last tournament. They had both grown stronger but Shura was only three years older and had jumped two classes from C to A class.

Six hours before the tournament…

Yusuke and the others exited the dungeon and headed to the grand hall for a feast provided by Makuro before the start of the tournament. A tribute to fighters competing in six hours and to those that had passed. Everyone stared in amazement at the large spread. Vegetables, steak, pork, ribs, potatoes, and anything else one could imagine layered the large table. They all took their seats and began to rightfully stuff their faces after days upon days of training.

Three hours before the tournament…

Yusuke and the others had just finished their meal. There wasn't a scrap left on the table for anyone that wasn't able to partake in the festivities. Though his hunger had been satisfied, Yusuke still seemed unsettled about something as he stared into space from his chair. Kurama noticed but didn't pay any mind to it, until Yusuke finally broke his intense thoughts.

"Hey I just thought of something, did everyone get a formal invitation to come to this next tournament, or was Enki's death reported on the six o'clock news?" Yusuke asked.

"I have notified everyone within my territory of Enki's passing. I'm sure the word has spread quickly. However, I don't know…" Makuro was cut off by the communication mirror's ringing. Everyone looked around confused until Yusuke finally caught on.

"Oh, is that me? My bad." Yusuke joked. He opened the mirror to find Koenma's face pressed against his side of the call.

"I know you miss me, but there's no way you can give me a hug through this video call." Yusuke laughed.

"Yusuke…very funny. Moving on to more pressing matters. I've sent formal invitations to all of those that participated in the last tournament and progressed past the preliminaries. Raizen's friends in addition to your usual shinbi demon friends, Jin and Toya, that drunk, Chu, Rinku, Shishiwakamaru, and Suzuka have all replied yes to the invitation. Whether Raizen's friends will show up again now that Enki won't be there is a mystery." Koenma spoke sternly. As if he was trying to convey an important message between the lines.

"Yomi and Shura were also sent invitations and they've both replied yes, on one condition. Yomi requests the immediate unity of the demon world under his rule in the event that he comes out the champion. He does have one other condition. Should his son Shura win the tournament, you, Hiei, Kurama, and all of those that stand to threaten his rule will be banished from demon world forever under the penalty of death should you interfere with his plans following the tournament. I know what he plans to do but I'm counting on you to stop him and find out what happened to Enki in the process. I've come to expect too much of you at this point. But you're not a kid anymore. You understand what will happen if Yomi or Shura wins. Yomi knows he is a threat to me and I would not agree to the second condition if it were him that would gain power. But because his son is not as powerful as him, we would stand a better chance if he were to win and have you as the defense." Koenma sighed harshly. Wishing he could further control the situation but knew he did not have the capabilities or the man-power necessary.

"So, what your'e saying Koenma, is that we have two threats this time around, both of them Yomi?" Kurama inquired. His brow furrowed.

"That is correct Kurama. Regardless of which one of them wins, it will ultimately be Yomi. Yomi is ruthless enough to kill his own son and take power if that were the outcome." Koenma explained and Yusuke's whole room gasped.

"Your friends should be arriving soon. You are the army Yusuke. If you can rally others to your cause, don't hesitate. You are the general and I need you to command whatever militia-type forces you can obtain." Koenma put his hand on his head and his eyes grew wide with worry.

Everyone in the hall stood in silence. Nobody knew what to say, or how to react. They all knew the potential for this situation was more than possible, but they never could've imagined it would happen. Kurama collected his thoughts and explained what their plan should be.

"We should try to find Jin and the others. Yusuke, Hiei, Kuwabara, and I will leave Makuro's palace together just in case we run into trouble. What happens if we're not at the arena in time for the bracket drawings?" Kurama had an idea of what the answer would be.

Koenma began to grumble behind his pacifier, almost as if in pain from mental anguish due to the growing tension.

"That was another part of Yomi's conditions. If anyone is late, you are automatically disqualified and unable to participate." Koenma shook angrily.

"It's as I thought. Yomi has surely built his army in the time he was away. Shura has grown far stronger than the last time and been made the general of Yomi's army. I'm not sure who the captains, those of the next highest rank in power, would be. We need some intel on their potential entrants but I'm unsure how we could do that." Kurama explained.

"All this talking is a waste of time. If we're going to find Jin and others we must leave now or there won't be any point in discussing fighting in the tournament." Hiei chimed in.

"I agree with Hiei. And I'm bored from all this talking. Let's get out of here and stretch our legs." Kuwabara spoke up behind Hiei.

"Alright let's go. Thank you for the feast Makuro. Let's hope this tournament doesn't make it our last." Yusuke nodded in appreciation.

The four ran out of the palace the way they came in and headed in the direction of the highest power they could find.

Two hours before the tournament…

They had run a good distance since they left Makuro's territory. The idea was to follow the wind or gravitate toward the smell of alcohol. Those were the two easiest things to notice. As they ran they could see a mountain range getting closer. Before they could blink, one of the mountains disappeared and a giant tornado erupted where it originally stood. They all agreed it was probably the group they were looking for and ran faster.

As they approached the mountain they found everyone they were looking for. They were training last-minute for the tournament out of reach of any sort of civilization so they wouldn't be disturbed.

In the dark tournament, Toya and Jin were a part of Team Masho, a pseudonym to hide their true identities as the shinobi of the demon world. Each shinobi is a master of an element. Jin is the master of wind, and can even use the wind to fly which was a tactic employed on Yusuke to his great advantage. Through his training with Genkai prior to the demon world tournament, he was able to obtain some control of electricity in addition to the wind. He spoke with an Irish accent that was sometimes hard to understand. He also spoke at a brisk pace with no end to his thoughts just a long jumble of words left to be interpreted to those he was speaking to. He was a small, fit demon with bushy red hair, a horn growing out of his head, and one overbite tooth sticking over his mouth when it was closed. Toya was a master of ice. His shards of winter nearly defeated Kurama in the dark tournament had it not been for his seed of the death plant allowing him to use the energy sealed in his body since the previous fight with another member of Team Masho.

Chu was a tall man with bulging muscles and an Australian accent. His odd dialect, like Jin, also left others in confusion because they just couldn't understand what he was saying sometimes. His specialty was using alcohol to bring out his maximum power. In the dark tournament he used "ogre killer," the most powerful alcohol in existence according to Chu, to best Yusuke in terms of power. Chu had a hard head to begin with, but through Genkai's training, gained strength enough to shatter a mountain with his headbutt. He and Rinku were a part of team Rokuyukai, Yusuke's team's first opponent. Rinku has a childish appearance and demeanor. He refers to fighting as "playing" and only gets serious when fighting when he brings out his yo-yos. Rinku also trained under Genkai before the demon world tournament and grew strong enough to attack with his yo-yos using his toes.

Suzuka and Shishiwakamaru were on the same team, Uraotogi, in the dark tournament. Suzuka was the owner and leader of the team under the guise of Onji, a seemingly old and frail man until Genkai revealed he was in disguse. Suzuka revealed himself as a master of disguise and a shape-shifter. He's able to change his size, appearance, and his voice to fool his enemies. His signature attack, rainbow cyclone, saw him unleash a colorful attack of multi-colored rays of energy from his hands that struck forcefully against the opponent it made contact with. Claiming that demon world law required a "beautiful" in front of his name when being mentioned, he is an arrogant, egomaniac that was easily bested by Genkai. During Genkai's training before the demon world tournament, he upgraded his original technique to the rainbow cyclones redux, a more powerful version of his original attack. Shishiwakamaru is a pretty boy, and self proclaimed star in search of fame. As he became more known he frequently attracted groupies that would sit in the audience and scream at him "kiss me Shishi," or when he Kuwabara threatened to beat him up, "don't you dare harm one hair on his beautiful head!" Given the trial sword by Suzuka, it became the banshee shriek which, coupled with his chorus of a thousand skulls technique, allowed Shishi to summon minions from the underworld to aid him in his fights. The sword fed on the souls of the audience in the stands to sustain the minions' presence in the living world. He was also bested by Genkai whom, having already given the bulk of her power to Yusuke, used her spirit reflection blast technique to defeat Shishi by stealingl and rebounding the energy of Shishi's attack back at him. Under Genkai's training, Shishi learned the chorus of ten thousand skulls technique, an upgrade to his original attack. After Yusuke and his team defeated teams Rukuyukai, Masho, Uraotogi, these six fighters became allies of Yusuke and his friends, despite being demons.

"Jin! You crazy bastard. What's going on, man?" Yusuke yelled excitedly.

"HeyUrameshilookatyouyou'reherewhooboymyearsaregoingn uts!" Jin spoke excitedly as his ears twitched in anticipation of fighting Yusuke again after losing to him in the dark tournament.

"How you bloaks doin'? I felt a might bit of energy comin' from Makuro's direction. That wouldn't ha' been you lads, now would it?" Chu had rock covering his forehead from smashing the mountain with his trademark headbutt.

"Yeah, we were training at Makuro's palace for the last ten days. I hope you've all got some new tricks because I got a brand new bag." Yusuke laughed.

"You chumps won't have anything to say once you see my new yo-yo technique. I've learned a few other things training with these dummies too." Rinku chimed in.

"Kurama. It's nice to see you again. Don't think you'll have the upper hand on me this go around like the dark tournament." Toya joked.

"I learned my lesson last time I underestimated you. I plan to be more cautious this time if we're paired up." Kurama shook Toya's hand out of respect for his friend.

Shishiwakamaru and Suzuka approached as they were all talking. Annoyed that they'd quit training to socialize.

"Hey guys this isn't summer camp! Let's get back to work." Suzuka whined.

"We will never attain our destined fame if we continue to waste time." Shishi added coldly.

"Fame is for fools. Fear is what makes your enemies remember you, right before you slit their throats." Hiei remarked.

"Iseeyouhaven'tchangedonebitHieistilladown erasalwaysthoughI'mnotsurprisedyouhaven'tchangedI'dmuchpreferitthatway." Jin chimed in jokingly.

"What you say go a few rounds before we get our fun on, eh chums?" Chu pleaded anxiously.

"Let's not get carried away. The tournament starts in an hour and a half and we gotta get to the stadium for the bracket drawings or we're screwed." Yusuke spoke seriously.

"What'dya mean disqualyfied, mate? We're the main attraction for this brawl!" Chu wasn't happy about the news.

"Yeah I agree we'll be the life of the party. But Yomi and Shura have plans if we don't show up that could make our lives a lot more difficult so we better moving." Yusuke pleaded.

"Oythat'swhatI'mtalkingaboutUrameshialwayss traighttothepointneveronetow astetimewhenthefateoftheworl dishanginginthebalancethewin dwe'lltakeusthereupupwegoandwe'llmakeintime." Jin was so excited the wind began to blow harder in their direction.

"Uh yeah, whatever he said. I think he said he's going to use the wind to carry us there, am I right?" Yusuke inquired to the whole group.

"Yeah, we've all got our new tricks and Jin's definitely got a few that would even make you worried, Yusuke." Rinku said playfully.

"Alright then, let's get the hell outta here. Up, up, and away Jin!" Yusuke yelled to Jin since he had already floated a few feet above them.

"Alrightythenherewegoholdonto yourhatsandkeepyourarmsinsid eatalltimeswhoohoo!" Jin yelled back.

The wind grew faster and stronger as a tornado formed around them. They all began to float and traveled so fast they couldn't keep their eyes open. When they finally arrived everybody was teary eyed from trying to see where they were going with the wind blowing in their face.

"Alright we made it." Yusuke yelled happily.

They heard the announcer begin the opening ceremonies to kick off the drawings.

"Ladies, gentleman, and pain aficionados everywhere, welcome to the Second Demon World Tournament!" Koto let out her trademark announcer voice soar through the stadium and the crowd cheered immensely. This stadium was bigger than the original and upgrades had been made all around. Betting was made capable directly from the audience's seats as to not miss a second of the action. The audio and video system had been upgraded to the latest Dolby surround sound system, 1080p high definition jumbo screens, replays would be instant as opposed to VHS recordings, and the home video of the tournament would be available at its conclusion with thirty hours of behind the scenes bonus material and featurettes in the double disc special edition.

"As you make your way to your seats let me explain the changes that have been made this year. There will be no preliminaries. Those that made it past the initial battle royale preliminaries in the last tournament will have their names placed in several brackets to determine the pairings. Apparently when demon kings are being offed without warning, nobody wants a piece of the action." Koto explained cheerfully despite the morbid subject.

"Well it looks like only a small handful of people are back this year. It should be a pretty competitive tournament this time around." Yusuke thought out loud.

"That means there's an even greater chance of us being paired together, detective. Don't think I'll hold back on you just because I let our last fight end in a draw. This is what I've been waiting for since Enki took control. Let the best fighter win, but just keep in mind that I am already the best fighter." Hiei spoke arrogantly, eyebrow cocked at Yusuke.

"As soon as we get this over with I'll have a doctor take a look at that pimple on your forehead. It's probably infected at this point." Yusuke teased.

"I hate you." Hiei seethed.

"Guys, they have the pairings up on the wall over there. Let's go take a look." Kuwabara reported cautiously, trying to not to make Hiei mad.

They made their way over to the boards with the recorded pairings. The first few fights were a bunch of nobodies that would be knocked out quickly. Yusuke's first opponent resulted in a large gasp from the group.

"Kuwabara, it looks like you're my first opponent. I hope everyone brought a camera so they can watch the replay. This one will be over fast, hahaha." Yusuke pointed and laughed at Kuwabara.

"Screw you Urameshi. This thing was obviously rigged so that the human wouldn't be allowed to advance. What a freakin' joke. This sucks." Kuwabara pouted.

They continued searching the list and the pairings were as follows:

Suzuka vs. Shura

Rinku vs. Jin

Shishiwakamaru vs. Toya

Kurama vs. Chu

Hiei vs. Souketsu

Natsume vs. Makuro

Yomi vs. Hokushin

There you go, two chapters in two days. I hope the matchups have you curious what's going to happen. There are lots of surprises in the next chapter next Wednesday or Thursday if I'm not too burned out from work and visitors to my new home. Also, please let me know if the way I'm writing Jin is too unintelligible. From the way he spoke in the anime, I always imagined this was the way the voice actor's script was written. As always, thanks for the reviews in advance.