Rest & Relaxation! Hot Spring Rumble Spot!

Spring had arrived to Shikigami-Chou. The sun broke the horizon, bathing everything in its warmth and transforming the land into a vibrant mass of color and sound. Birds chirping in the air, Sakura blooming. A gentle breeze from the south blew, making countless pink petals fall, drifting merrily beneath a clear endless blue sky.

((Downtown))

The central part of town was busy. Traders, shoppers, and different kinds of people were lingering the streets. Kids were playing while running on the sidewalks. Akira smiled at the sight of peace and harmony while he was enjoying a nice stroll alongside with Chiaki, Kasumi, and Rika in the park downtown.

"HMMMM~~~ What a nice day!" Kasumi said cheerfully, stretching her arms in the air.

"Yeah, we are lucky that the snow has melted away shortly. Spring is perfect for just about everything!" Chiaki added, taking in a breath of fresh delicate Sakura blossoms.

A small, pleasant smiled on Rika's face when she asked the only male member of the present group who was paying polite attention to the conversation, "How do you think we should spend the day, Akira?"

He nodded and said, "There are many ways to spend a day like this. Why don't we ask the best local tour guide here for the place?" he winked at Chiaki.

"I'm very happy to help out! Come on guys, let's look for Megumi and Ryu!"

###

Once the split group disappeared into the bustling crowd, Ryu was left in the immensity of the city with Megumi. There were a hundred things going on, all around them, and a thousand things to look at. His ninja friend then insisted on finding some brass knuckles and left him in the middle of a bustling square.

"I won't take long." She had said.

And now he was at loss as to what to look at first when suddenly he spied a beautiful display of jewelry in a plated window on the other side of the street. Almost as quick as lightning, Ryu set off for the store.

"Mmn… This should look good on her!" He examined a unique pendant of dragon-shaped sapphire.

"Ey'… what are you babbling about? That piece of jewelry?" Asura in astral form appeared behind Ryu, asked.

"You can say that..." The white-haired boy said, dreaming about his beautiful Kasumi's reaction once he showed the gift…

.Wait! Where did the *his* come from?

Ryu felt hot heat rushing rapidly to his face and shook his head several times trying to clear it off.

At that moment, his backpack oddly shrugged back and forth and a familiar chibi demon lord's head burst out of the backpack with an angry looks.

"GODDAMN IT! I CAN'T STAND BEING TREATED LIKE SOME TRINKET!" Zenki hissed.

"Calm down little lord. It was not my fault since you are a hazard to our only food supply back home." Ryu said, referring to the refrigerator in the Enno Temple.

"Well, in that pathetic state, you are a trinket." Asura provoked Zenki with a smirk.

"Oh really?" The little demon lord jumped on the dragon lord's head, biting his hair menacingly.

"ACK! GET OUT OF MY HAIR MAGGOT!"

"APOLOGIZE FOR OFFENDING ME ASSHOLE!"

Ryu sighed watching the two throw insults to each other, with veins popping on his head he roughly yanked Zenki out of the fight cloud and tucked him in the bag again, purchased the sapphire pendant and exited the store.

"Oi, ninja girl!" He shouted catching Megumi's attention from a nearby shop.

"Hey tousled-head, whatcha' got?"

"Cool stuff that I'm going to surprise Kasumi with." The white-haired boy showed the ninja girl a sapphire pendant as it sparkled radiantly in the light.

"I'd say you've picked a good one there. Kasumi's gonna love it!" Megumi said, giving a thumb.

Then the two walked along the street to the place where they had promised to meet up with their friends, when a wobbly man bumped into Ryu causing both to stumble backwards, the sake bottle in the man's hand shattered on the floor.

"Gaaahh! My sake! LOOK at what you've done!" The man, obviously drunk, yelled angrily at Ryu who slowly got up with an annoying look.

"Gimme a break mister. You BUMPED into me! You should lay off the sake you drunk!"

"WHAT DID YOU SAY?"

At the same time Akira, Chiaki, Kasumi and Rika arrived, "Hey Megumi there you a- RYU!" Kasumi paused and gasped at the sight of her childhood friend facing a big burly-looking man.

"Oh no! They're having a fight." Chiaki said worriedly.

"Need me to repeat myself? I said you were a DRUNK!" Ryu blasted at the man angering him more as he pulled out a long stick.

"I'll teach you how to behave to your elderly you little punk!"

"Wait wait WAIT! Whatever happened we can talk it out!" Kasumi ran in front of Ryu, "Please don't fight!"

The burly man shoved her violently back, "SHUDDAP YOU LITTLE WENCH! I'LL SHOW YOU WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STICK YOU NOSE WHERE IT SHOULDN'T BELONG!"

Kasumi cringed as the man was about to hit her when Ryu rushed in front, yanking the stick away and broke it in two with a thrust of his knee!

"WHAT THE HELL?"

"Don't you DARE touch her!" Ryu said in a fearsome tone with draconic gleam in his eyes, delivering a punch right in the man's face causing two teeth knock right out of his mouth as he crashed to a fruit pile nearby.

"Grrr... I WILL GET YOU BACK!" The burly man struggled to keep his balance and walked away.

"Wow… Ryu, that was amazing!" Chiaki congratulated the white-haired boy with his eyes back to normal rubbing the back of his head.

"You should have gone easier on him, he was drunk after all." Megumi remarked, walking toward their friends.

"He deserves that...! OH! Kasumi, ya alright?" Ryu asked causing his childhood friend to blush a little.

"Uh... yeah I'm fine... Thanks." Kasumi said when Ryu brushed off some dust from her shirt. At that moment, Megumi elbowed him unexpectedly... hard.

"Ow! What did y—"

"Quick! Show her!"

"Wha- oh yeah! Hey guys, guess what I got!"

Ryu wasted no time showing the others a sparkling sapphire pendant as they looked at its design in awe.

"Wow…"

"Amazing."

"Awesome."

"Ryu... it's beautiful. Who is it for?"

Upon hearing Kasumi's question, Ryu blushed uncontrollably while steam kept bursting out from his head, "Well... um.. YOU…gh.. y-yeah k-kinda."

Ryu feeling incredibly shy gave Kasumi the pendant, she smiled at the gift and looked at her friend with sparks in her emerald eyes.

"Thank you, Ryu."

"Heh heh…, no problem... Kasumi."

"Okay, that's settled then. Sorry if I have to spoil such a lovely moment but whoever's in a mood for vacation?" Megumi said as five heads turned to her attentively.

"Nice idea!" Chiaki nodded, thinking about how the Enno Hot Spring was under repair due to Zenki's last-week outburst of appetite. She thought with a sigh. The red demon did have a large stomach. "Let's visit a hot spring then, for some rest and relaxation. I miss the warmth of fresh water on my skin."

"Alright. And anyone know a nice one?" Rika put a finger under her chin, thinking, " Ryu, Megumi and me are not quite familiar with this place…"

"How about the Sakoya? It was built 280 years ago just in front of the main temple of Mount Yoshino, on a kind of cliff." Akira suggested with a smile. "The view from the bath over the surrounding mountains is splendid. Sakura trees are situated at different altitudes, ranging from the bottom to the top of Yoshino, and are from a variety."

"I've heard about that place! It's frankly the COOLEST hot spring to have some fun!" Ryu made a gesture of pure excitement with his arm raised to the air.

"And spying on girls during their bath?" Megumi whistled playfully.

"N-No way! Why should I do that?" Ryu stammered and blushed.

"Who knows?"

"Come on guys, let's book our tickets and move!" Chiaki said all ready to go with the others, except for Chibi-Zenki who was still in Ryu's backpack grumbling.

Unknowingly to them, the burly man from earlier was sneaking nearby, still angered by the thought of Ryu and his earlier humiliation by the white-haired boy.

"DAMN that brat! If I had that kind of muscles I would mopped the floor with his own body! Then everyone MUST have second thoughts when they try to act tough in front of me!" The man said punching an old tree causing two strange objects to fall on his hand.

A dark green bamboo sprout and an odd brown object.

"Thirsting for vengeance on the one who humiliated you? Your desire shall be fulfilled..."

"Wha... wh-who said that? Who're YOU?" The burly man stammered, unable to find the source of the voice that was talking to him, then he was shocked to see the two objects in his hand merge together and as the brown object opened itself revealing a blood-red eye, the bamboo sprout fused instantly to the man's arm.

"WHAT THE- GAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!"

###

After finishing with the regular chores in the Enno Shrine, our casts packed enough for one night, then boarded the train that would take them to their hot spring indulgence.

Once there, they checked into a reasonably priced hotel, the Sakoya, and as the place was rather crowded due to the local spring festival, shared two rooms between the six of them. Akira, Zenki and Ryu in one and Chiaki, Kasumi, Megumi and Rika in the other.

After signing in, they toured around the town, which was in full festival mode, and enjoyed a rather late lunch of noodles and vegetables at a vendor.

Later that evening, after an enjoyable, relaxed dinner at the hotel's restaurant, the six noticed the sun going down and decided it was time to enjoy their relaxing bath…

"YAY! I can't wait!" Kasumi squealed with joy imagining herself in the hot spring soaking with relaxation.

"Me too."

As the group entered the lobby, a pleasant looking middle-aged woman smiled and bowed at them.

"Excuse me sirs, madams. Which type of bath would you prefer, indoors or outdoors?" She politely asked.

"Indoors and outdoors? What are they?" Ryu curiously asked Akira who answered with a smile.

"Indeed the Sakoya offers indoor and outdoor spring baths, and for both genders."

"Well, whatever. We'll meet up later." Ryu concluded once the girls unanimously opted for a warm bath outside the garden of Sakura blossoms.

"Okay, we'll see you later guys."

"Alright Chiaki."

"This way please." The woman said, leading the way.

"Hey, no spying matters okay? I won't be holding back."

"Yes ma'am."

Megumi crossed her arms with a triumphant grin upon Ryu's sigh. She loved teasing the guy.

Elsewhere outside the inn of Sakoya, Chibi-Zenki leapt between the trees with speed and agility sensing an all-too-familiar smell in the area. He broke a cheeky smile, "Heh heh… 'bout time I have some fun around here."

###

"Ahhhhh~~~ Hot water feels just soo right." Ryu sighed melting down in an indoor bath with Akira, "I've been wonderin'... how did you learn to make that awesome thing? I mean, that statue?"

"I used to live with my uncle, an art professor. He traveled a lot."

"Oh… where were your parents then...?"

"If you're talking about my current life, I'm an orphan." Akira responded with a sad tone.

Ryu's mind started to drift back to an image of a woman in her early thirties cradling a small baby boy in her arms. "I can relate to half of that... my dad had passed away in a tragic accident before I was even born..., my mom is the only family I have." He said in an equal tone of sadness.

"I'm sorry to hear that, Ryu. But your mother should be proud since you've grown to be a strong and diligent man."

"Why, thanks man! She's my dear mother and she matters." Ryu grinned proudly. "By the way, you've yet to tell me why you're stuck in arts, I'm curious."

"Art has always been the best way to pass leisure times ever since I decided to settle in this world."

"You mean…as Goki?"

"Uhm."

"Nice. I know you're not the type who thinks about wars all the times. Tell me… why did you choose to be a human? It's certainly not a very favorable condition for a holy warrior."

The blue-haired boy nodded slowly, with a wistful look in his eyes. "Long story. It was a promise I made to a very special person in my life."

"Who was it?"

"My wife."

"Your WHAT? Err… sorry, I forgot you were once married, buddy."

"It's okay. We shouldn't dwell on the past. It's now time to relax and think about better things."

Ryu sighed heavily.

"Chiaki means a lot to you, doesn't she?" He quietly asked, looking over his blue-haired companion who had his eyes closed in meditative mood.

Akira smiled and nodded, "She's my Master, my friend, and truly a very kind-hearted young woman. She's someone that always cares about other people and their needs. Also a very strong person."

He stopped short, seeing his friend stared back at him bewildered.

"You sound like you admire her very much for those qualities. Wow…" Ryu said, wide-eyed.

"Right. Her spirit is a rock you can cling to when you're lost and her voice is a beacon that shows the way." Akira agreed, a slight tint of red found on his face. "I've devoted my life to protect her." He reflected on several nice experiences of him with Chiaki during the last few days and smiled to himself.

"Hey buddy, you two are very in love already."

"I guess it is the same to you and Kasumi, am I right?"

Being caught off-guard, the white-haired boy blushed furiously and nodded. "To be honest, Kasumi is just as important to me as Chiaki is to you. But I don't know how to act in front of her. I feel like an idiot. What about you, why don't you tell Chiaki yet?"

"I will tell her some day, when the right time comes."

Ryu grinned widely at Akira while the astral Asura smirked at the warm sight of two boys getting to know each other better.

###

Chiaki, Megumi and Rika were in the outdoor bath relaxing while Kasumi kept admiring her sapphire pendant and smiled softly to herself.

"Hey Kasumi... How did you two meet?" Chiaki curiously asked while her friend tinkered with the gift on the surface of fresh water.

"Oh! You mean Ryu and me? Mmm... Yeah, it happened ten years ago when I saw a rather cute white-haired boy sitting on a fence looking up the sky with soulful eyes, as if having a wistful thought. He was surprised to see me walking toward his direction but in fact I just came to wait for my mom to pick me up after school; he blushed a little too when I smiled at him and since then he wouldn't stop following me." Kasumi giggled, her cheeks slightly flushed.

"That was so sweet!" Chiaki rejoiced clasping her hands together, her eyes sparkled.

"Sounds like love at first sight." Rika smiled softly.

"Kids love." Megumi remarked. "Has the guy ever confessed his feelings to you?"

Kasumi was near hysterical, "No, no! But I know he does. He loves me." she repeated more calmly as she struggled to regain some semblance of control over herself.

"What makes you think so?" The kunoichi gave a questioning look.

"Ryu's always been there for me! He has always protected me! He loves me! I know he does! Otherwise, he wouldn't have- he wouldn't have….." The crimson-haired priestess trailed off.

Megumi interrupted her, "Love and protection are two different words and they mean two entirely different things."

Kasumi stammered, "What do you mean?"

"Like what I said. Just because he protected you doesn't mean he loves you."

"You know…" Rika sighed, disagreement shown clearly in her sepia orbs, "I don't mean to be rude, but when someone truly loves you, they don't have to say it."

"No offence, but how can you know the truth if they truly love you or merely see you as a friend?"

"Your heart will know, by the way they treat you."

For Rika herself, there was a hollow sort of pain inside her heart when she spoke those words. Meanwhile, Chiaki followed a trait of stars in the sky, falling backward when the line extended farther than her eyes could see.

###

Meanwhile, a figure emerged from the shadows, making no more noise than he had in coming in the Sakoya. His eyes were dark and evilness could be seen across his features.

###

It was already late in the evening but Chiaki couldn't get herself to fall asleep. Many thoughts were bombarding her head about her relationship with Akira, making slumber painfully elusive. Every day she found herself growing more and more attached to the mysterious boy with sweet smile and innocent eyes... He cared for her too, and had protected her in countless occasions, that much were evident. But it was the sort of care one gave to a close friend, or to make it worse, a sort of job one must fulfill to his own master as a dutiful guardian. Still, that foolish, decidedly girly part of her couldn't help thinking that his eyes showed something more than that, on those rare occasions when he lowered his guard and the lines on his face disappeared along with the weight of the world.

Just then, from the recesses of her consciousness, she could make out a vague melody. She didn't know if it was just her imagination but she was certain that she never heard it before.

Carefully not to disturb her roommates, she sat up from her futon, extending her ears to every corner, trying to make out where the sound was coming from. She stood up, fixed her yukata and went out to the hall. She took cautious steps, shivers running down her spine as the music became louder and louder. Then it hit her.

And in this season

Of falling leaves

Falling hearts

Loneliness

Sharing the same fate

Akira's voice, the same softly accented tone she was familiar with, was coming from outside the yard. For an adolescence, his voice is so sweet...definitely the sweetest I've ever listened to. Chiaki smiled to herself then moved forward.

'Till there was you.

He stopped singing as soon as he felt her presence.

She walked towards him and he smiled at her, "Chiaki, is there anything I can do for you?"

"Umm… not really," She said, "It's just that I heard someone singing so I decided to wake up and investigate."

"I'm sorry, did I disturb your sleep?" Akira raised eyebrows.

"No… not at all," Chiaki smiled back, "By the way, it's really beautiful." she added.

He raised his eyebrows in inquiry.

"That song just now… the lyrics… it holds so much emotion." Bringing her gaze up to the moon, her face brightening in a smile. "Would you sing it again?"

"Huh? Why?" Surprise shown on his face while he asked.

"Akira! It's a nice song of love." She hit him playfully on the arm. "I just want to hear what it took to melt a person's heart."

He took in a deep breath, head tossed back and eyes closed with a sudden need for a little bit of the wild.

As he was silenced by his thoughts, Chiaki had probably assumed she had upset him so she muttered apologetically, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you at all."

"Don't be." Akira promptly replied, tilting up her downcast face to meet her eyes. "Nobody should be sorry for being honest, right?"

She just smiled and nodded in response.

"I'd love to fulfill my Master's request now, but it's getting too late and besides, I believe she wouldn't want her roommates to start a campaign seeking for their pretty friend in the middle of the night."

Chiaki lifted her head, thrilled and surprised and lost for words. It was probably the first time he expressed affection with her in words. She only managed to smile sheepishly before he adjusted the collar of her dress, and winking her goodbye.

But then, like an afterthought, Chiaki called out to him as Akira turned to leave and the next thing he knew was a pair of clumsy arms wrapping around his neck as he turned back in surprise. He could not retaliate, he seemed to feel he would melt with the strange and comforting warm touch of her limbs seeped against his. He never felt something like this for a very long time ago. He never felt this heated emotion to any female who touched him nowadays, except... her.

"Chiaki..."

He uttered her name without hugging back. He just stood there like a statue with every muscle in his body tense to the point of discomfort. She couldn't see his face, which, she figured, was probably a good thing, considering the signals the rest of his body was sending out.

Stupid!

She wanted to make it clear once and for all, she wanted to say something, anything, to bare her heart, for better or worse and carry on living with the knowledge that she, at least, tried. But nothing dignifying came to her mind, and she released her hold on him with a shameful blush, childishly staring at the tips of her toes.

"I… um, sorry, I just…" A nervous chuckle escaped her lips. Shut up, shut up, STOP embarrassing yourself, dammit…!

The situation was more than awkward. Another sign of not-quite-friendly affection slipped from her. It was a dangerous trend. The young girl silently cursed herself, wishing she could always be composed enough to keep her hopeless infatuation confined to the recesses of her aching heart. Occasions like right then and there, as he observed her wide-eyed and slightly taken aback, time and distance rapidly contracting into the space of the moment.

As the initial shock wore off, she froze as his hands gently touched her cheeks, gradually tightened. Reflexively, her gaze rose to meet his in question as she felt some of his emotions through his grasp. Confusion. Passion. Above all... possessive. His lips curved into a small, but genuine smile, and he leaned forward-hesitating only to be gentle as he first touched his lips to hers, almost like a butterfly brushing its wings to ensure that the flower it landed upon would remain.

"SOMEONE HHEEEEEELLLLLLPPPPPPP-!"

Their moment was disturbed by a screeching sound, which seemed to come from inside the hotel. Akira broke the kiss and took Chiaki, still dazed and shocked from the touch, in his arms and ran to the voice source. Once there, the two looked in bewilderment as the lobby turned into a wreck of broken tables, windows and individuals injured trembling with fear.

"What had happened…?"

"Akira! Chiaki!" Ryu hurriedly ran up to them along with the rest of their friends.

"Where have you been, Chiaki?" Kasumi asked, almost out of breath. "You were not with us when we woke up and we thought something bad must have happened to you when we heard the scream. I'm so glad you're okay!"

"Uhm…I…" Chiaki reflected the experience she had with Akira beneath the cherry blossoms and blushed.

"Don't worry. We took a small walk outside the garden since we couldn't sleep. Besides, it's a full moon tonight."

"Oh… okay. Since she was accompanied by you we have nothing to complain about."

Then they set about examining the scene of the crime.

"Can you walk ma'am?"

"Please let us know who did this, gramp."

The old steward rubbing his sore head began to tell Chiaki and friends about a big burly man with veins popping abnormally across his arms who came looking for someone with spiky white hair, which shocked Kasumi, thinking it must have been the same man that Ryu had angered before. Chiaki and Akira shared the same thought of another victim of the evil seed. Asura appeared with a smirk noticing an all-too-familiar smell of his favorite food when Chibi-Zenki rushed into the lobby smirking with excited anticipation.

"I can smell ye, evil monster."

"Not your business alone demon kid, MINE too."

Ryu linked himself to Asura's sense, which directed them to the bamboo shoot. "It's coming from that direction!" He shouted, pointing at the north side of the building while rushing at break-neck speed and Chibi-Zenki followed suit.

"Let's go everyone!"

"Alright!" Akira nodded firmly as the five followed Ryu and Zenki to find the unknown enemy.

Once there Ryu shouted at a shadowy figure, "Hey you FREAK!" it advanced several steps and he recognized the same burly man that tried to hurt Kasumi. Ryu's eyes narrowed threateningly while his friends arrived at the same time.

"It's the jerk that tried to hurt Kasumi!" Megumi shouted.

"Hey FREAK! GIMME THE SEED NOW!" Chibi-Zenki rushed at the burly man hitting him on the head but couldn't do much damage due to his weak child state; the man retaliated and slammed Zenki straight to the ground.

"Zenki!"

Chiaki shouted seeing the chibi god lying in the hole while the burly man switched to Ryu who was glaring at him with narrowed draconic eyes. Furious, the man roared a demonic cry rushing at Ryu attempting to strike him down but Ryu and the others jumped out of the way and his punch connected the wall creating a small crater.

"The seed and the shoot are fused into his arm!" Rika shouted at the sight of two objects in the man's right arm.

"This guy's goin' down!" Megumi said as she landed, then rushed at the man delivering a strong punch to his face. The man was quickly agitated and tried to hit back but the ninja girl was too quick.

"CRESCENT STRIKE!" She shouted unleashing a flip kick on the possessed burly man leaving him open for Ryu to deliver a powerful uppercut sending the man crashing tens feet away outside the yard.

"Great job, Ryu! You too, Megumi!" Kasumi cheered the two while they gave each other a high-five. Then Akira noticed the man getting back up, enraged than ever before.

"GRAAAAAAAAAA!" A sudden burst of energy transformed the burly man into a large gorilla beast with dark red fur, a scorpion tail, and three glowing yellow eyes roaring with lock-on furry at Ryu. It rushed towards its previous attackers but Ryu pushed Megumi out of the way before the gorilla swatted him with its large hand onto the floor seemingly crushing him.

"RYU-!" Kasumi cried in horror at the sight but realized at the last second that Ryu had blocked the attack successfully with his feet with intense duration, his eyes glowing angrily.

"BIG MISTAKE FLEABAG!" Ryu's eyes flashed angrily as a wild azure flame covered his body and suddenly a fist collided with the demon's jaw sending it crashing violently through trees. Out of the flame was a titan of 210cm with long wild silvery hair in azure armature, yellow gems on wrists and ankles.

"THE ALMIGHTY ASURA HAS RESURRECTED!" roared the dragon lord itching for a fight.

"His anger has transformed him!" Kasumi exclaimed with much surprise at the sight of Asura.

"COME ON MONKEY! GIVE ME YOU BEST SHOT!" Asura smirked, taunting the gorilla as it grew two more arms.

"We have to help! Zenki!" Chiaki announced positioning her fingers to chant the spell of Vajra.

"Cast it now!" The chibi demon lord struggled to get up and jumped out of the hole, eager to join the fray.

"Let's go, Rika!"

"Yes, Akira!"

"BREAK FREE! VAJRA-ON-ARK!" Chiaki shouted with determination as a fierce light enveloped Zenki's small body.

"DEMON GOD TRANSFORMATION! AKASHA-ON!" Akira shouted as a light blue aura radiated all over the area.

"PHOENIX GODDESS TRANSFORMATION! MAHAR SAMSKHARA!" Rika shouted as well and a golden aura illuminated her slender body.

The gorilla was shocked to see the three new entities standing before it.

"THE INVINCIBLE ZENKI HAS RISEN AGAIN!" shouted the red demon lord standing at 210cm wearing his Super Shinto armature of crimson design with green gems on both his wrists and ankles.

"THE LEGENDARY GOKI HAS DESCENDED FROM HEAVEN!" shouted the blue demon lord standing at 185cm in dark blue armature, long icy blue hair with spiky helmet and fiery earrings.

"THE DIVINE KAGURA HAS DESCENDED UPON EARTH!" shouted the phoenix goddess standing at 176cm with flowing golden hair wearing celestial armature, silver crown in angel-wing shape adorned her head along with emerald earrings.

"GGGRRRRRAAAAAAAAUUU!" The gorilla beast roared rushing at Zenki but before the red demon could fight it, Asura raced past him, straight for their target with his fists upraised and smashed it three times on the beast.

"Don't steal all the fun, Azure!" Zenki rushed at the gorilla delivering a hard punch to its face causing it to spiral away and crashed into a giant rock.

"GO FOR IT ZENK—iyaaah!"

Chiaki's cheer turned into a cry of horror when the beast regained its balance in a flash, pulling its hand back briefly before releasing a flurry of deadly sharp spikes toward the two priestesses. Acting on instinct alone, Goki placed himself in front of them and created a vortex with his staff that stopped the weapons dead in their flight.

"Please, get to safer place, Master." His blue eyes shone warmly at her while he instructed.

"Yes Goki, just… be careful." Chiaki automatically said, unable to hide her blush.

"I will... Let's go, Kagura!"

"Alright! Megumi, please watch over Chiaki and Lady Kasumi!"

"Gotcha!" Megumi nodded assured as the phoenix goddess and blue demon lord rushed to aid their other friends.

"GRRRRAAAAAA-!" The gorilla beast aimed to strike the demon and dragon lords but they were faster, dodged and delivered two powerful punches to its body. It stumbled back, still standing and again trying to attack Zenki and Asura, who again jumped up to avoid the beast and watched it take down a number of trees.

"Pathetic fool…"

"That was too easy." Asura gave an arrogant smirk when he saw Goki and Kagura arrive. "Our job here is already done."

The blue demon lord shook his head, "No, not yet."

"Guys! Look over there!" Kagura pointed at the gorilla. The fighting gods turned to find a strange red aura begin to glow from its being, its fur got brighter red and then it packed lots of energy to form a fireball ready to throw it at the direction where many individuals were seeking refuge due to the fight, which sparked a quick reaction from the blue guardian.

"FLYING HEAVEN SHIELD!" Goki threw an energy ball that instantly created a barrier upon contact with the gorilla's fireball, then he winced when an unexpected pain shot through him, every fiber of his being screaming out in agony at such a simple movement. The confused guardian gritted his teeth while trying to hold back a cry.

"Goki! What's wrong!" Kagura rushed toward him with a worried look.

"Kagura! Protect the people! I'll get to Master, Kasumi and Megumi!" He shouted trying to divert her attention as both of them saw the gorilla's attack that could cause devastating outcome.

"Okay!" Kagura immediately nodded as she rushed toward the hotel while Goki dashed to the girls, relieved when the strange pain subsided.

"HEAVEN PROTECTION SHIELD!"

"DIVINE GUARDIAN SPHERE!"

The two guardians created barriers of both light blue and golden around the girls and surrounding buildings as the gorilla beast unleashed its attack on Zenki and Asura causing a great explosion.

"Zenki! Asura!" Chiaki and Kasumi were shocked at the sight of flame engulfing the fighting gods. When the smoke cleared, Zenki and Asura emerged unscratched, rushing the gorilla with a double uppercut causing it to crash into the building wall protected by Kagura's power.

"That attack was a child's play!" Zenki mocked the poor gorilla beast whose fur was now blue from exhausting all its power.

"Let's hurry up and finish this fight!" Asura smirked cracking his knuckles, a sadistic grin on his face.

"DESTRUCTIVE THUNDER FIST! INDOLA!"

"DESTROYER BLAZE CLAW!"

Two fists collided with their target as the thunderous power of Zenki and Asura completely evaporated their opponent leaving only the evil seed and bamboo shoot.

"ALL RIGHT!" Goki and the girls rejoiced as the beast was defeated.

"MMMMMM~~~~~~~ Delicious!" Both red demon and blue dragon lords took extreme delight while consuming the objects. Elsewhere, the burly man was lying half-naked on the ground with only his trousers on.

"That kid was right. I really do need to lay off the sake." He mumbled with swirly eyes.

########

The movements of the train back to Shikigami-Chou as it slowly began coming to a stop woke the Zenki casts in their seat.

Akira opened his eyes to see Chiaki's head resting comfortably against his shoulder.

"Chiaki, wake up." The boy whispered. "We're home."

The lavender-haired priestess stirred a bit and smiled, her eyes still closed as if having a nice dream.

"Yeah," Rika said calmly, looking out of the window. "We'll be pulling into the station in a few minutes."

"What a nice trip, eh Kasumi?" Ryu rubbed his eyes groggily when the red-haired priestess sitting on his left suddenly gave him a peck on the cheek.

"I had a great time." She softly said causing him to blush madly with steam bursting constantly from his head while Megumi sniggered amusingly at the sight.

As about Zenki-sama, once again in the backpack, was still struggling to get out with an annoyed look on his face.

"Heh, humans!"

The End :)