"Do we have to?" Usagi whined.
"I'm afraid we do" Ahri answered, "I haven't trained any of you in over five days now".
"Buts its summer" Usagi continued, "Can't we just take it easy?"
"Six weeks of fun is six weeks of becoming weaker than the enemy Usagi" Ahri told her, "I know you want to relax a bit and I would love to let you, you all deserve it, but it's a luxury we do not have at this time".
"Alright" Usagi said finally resigning her argument.
"So why are we here and not at the shrine?" Makoto asked Ahri.
"We're going to need an open space for this" Ahri told her just as Mamoru arrived.
"Hey sorry I'm late" he said as Usagi jumped over to him and grabbed his arm.
Seeing how Usagi just jumped over to him completely forgetting that they were there or why they were there in the first place, Ahri looked over to Minako "Is she really the Moon Princess?" she asked her in a disapproving tone.
Minako looked to Ahri, "Of course she is you know that".
Ahri sighed as she shook her head, "I know I'm the guardian sworn to protect her and all that, but I just can't believe she's this…absent minded".
"Shouldn't you know that?" Minako asked her, "You are technically from the future".
"Yes" Ahri said, "But surprisingly enough for you she was actually quite serious then". Ahri stepped toward Usagi and tapped her on her shoulder to get her attention, "Hey Usagi, can we get back to business please?"
"Oh sure, whenever you're ready" Usagi replied, obviously she had completely ignored her.
Ahri lowered her head and walked away, "Now that Mamoru has arrived" she began in a bit of a raised tone, "Our training session will begin. For today's training all you have to do is fight me".
That seemed to surprise all of them, but Ahri smiled a little.
"I want to test your teamwork and how well you protect the princess from a threat, so let's get to it" she quickly raised her hand creating a small explosion around her gently knocking them all back.
"What the heck Ahri!?" Makoto barked, "You're not going to say start or anything?
"I'm sorry" Ahri said to her in a mocking tone, "I didn't realize the enemy was going to tell you when they were planning to attack you. If I had known they were going to be courteous I would have given you a warning and time to prepare".
"Well she certainly changed all of a sudden" Ami said almost a little frightened.
"I apologize in advance" Ahri said to them, "As much as I care for all of you, I will not be holding back" she looked over to Rei with a half apologetic look in her eyes, but Rei simply smiled and nodded before transforming into Sailor Mars.
"Rei?" Makoto gasped at her friend, "You're really going to fight her?"
"Why not?" Mars asked, "Let's see how strong she really is compared to us".
Minako transformed as well, "I'm with you Mars, let's get her" she said almost playfully before they both charged toward Ahri.
"Oh" Ahri said while they were charging toward her, but jumped to the side once they got to her, "A direct attack?" she asked, "Seriously?"
Venus attacked her again, but Ahri ducked to the side before dropping down and sweeping her feet. While Venus fell Mars attacked, but the end was the same. Mars tried to strike at Ahri's neck, but Ahri weaved her arm around Mars' as she swung, once she had their arms locked together, Ahri placed her hand against the back of Mars' neck and pulled forward as she swept her feet forward at the same time, flipping Mars into the air.
Within seconds of each other both Mars and Venus were both lying on the ground, uninjured, but definitely not feeling good.
Ahri looked at the others who were still watching; "Well?" she asked "What are you waiting for?"
Makoto didn't waste anymore time, she transformed and immediately began her attack.
Ahri smiled at her before stepping to the side to evade, "Head on tactics do not work" she said before ducking to avoid Jupiter's kick.
"Don't be too sure" Jupiter told her, "Unlike the others I actually have martial arts training; let's see how well you stack up to me".
Once again Jupiter attacked her, but Ahri swiftly grabbed her leg in mid swing and her arm at the same time. Ahri paused for a moment to give everyone time to see what she was doing; she caught Jupiter's leg with one arm and grabbed her arm with the other. Stepping forward she pulled her arms back flipping Jupiter in a half circle before she fell back to the ground.
"I say I stack up pretty well" Ahri said with an innocent, but seemingly superior smile.
Jupiter quickly returned to her feet and backed away from Ahri, sizing her up as she just stood there, watching her with a blank expression.
Seeing Jupiter with a slight grin on her face, Ahri ducked down and stepped back just as Venus and Mars tried to ambush her. Now behind both of them she gently placed her hands on their backs and emitted a small pulse from her hands, pushing them forward and into Jupiter.
"You know I just came to a realization" Ahri said calmly, "With the exception of Makoto none of you have really had any formal combat training. Hmm, perhaps we should work on that next".
"Mercury power!" Ami yelled, transforming into her sailor form and unleashing her ice bubble attack.
Calmly looking around at the bubbles that surrounded her, "Well this may pose a problem" she said before holding her hands together, "Mars fire!"
Harnessing the power of Mars, Ahri ignited a fire around her melting the ice bubbles and dispersed the mist around her before turning to Mercury, "Nice attempt though" she told her. Raising her index finger, Ahri pointed it at Mercury, "Venus crescent beam".
Ahri fired the attack and to Mercury's surprise Tuxedo Mask jumped between them and deflected Ahri's attack by spinning his staff in his hands.
"Oh yeah" Ahri hummed in a condescending way, "I forgot about you".
"Don't expect me to be here and not take part" Tuxedo Mask told her.
Ahri closed her eyes and jumped forward and immediately to the side once her feet touched the ground to avoid another attempted ambush by Venus and Jupiter. Keeping her eyes on Tuxedo Mask, Ahri's expression changed. What was once calm and collected became condescending and arrogant.
"Before you try to attack me Mars" Ahri began before looking over her shoulder, "Maybe you should think of a plan that doesn't involve jumping at me over and over".
Mars smirked at her and both Venus and Jupiter reached out their legs and swept at Ahri's causing her to lose her balance and allowing both Mars and Tuxedo Mask to move in. Tuxedo Mask aggressively attacked Ahri, while Rei continued to fire at her from a distance, pushing her back; Mars turned to Mercury and yelled for her to use her bubbles.
Holding her hands out, Mercury formed a single bubble between her hands before spinning around with her arms crossed and then throwing them out scattering thousands of bubbles that created a misty fog around Ahri obstructing her vision once again.
"You think this will work on me?" she asked them loudly as Tuxedo Mask attempted to attack her from behind, but Ahri ever vigilant spun around and grabbed his arm pulling him forward into her open palm before she created a forceful pulse, pushing him far back.
After she pushed Tuxedo Mask away, Ahri tried to run out of Mercury's bubbles, but Venus jumped her and hooked one arm under hers and placed her other arm around Ahri's neck to hold her in place.
With a single swift reaction, Ahri grabbed Venus' arm before it could lock around her neck and lunged herself forward, tossing Venus over her shoulder. Jupiter immediately followed up the attack, striking at Ahri from the side.
Ahri swung her arm out, but Jupiter caught it and weaved her own arm around it to lock Ahri's in place. Once Jupiter locked her arm, Ahri turned into her and hooked her leg around Jupiter's before tripping her causing her to release Ahri.
Once Jupiter was on the ground, Ahri turned toward Venus and charged her, pushing her back with a pulse just like she did to Tuxedo Mask, but with much less force.
"I really hope you have a plan" Ahri said as she looked at Mars, sprinting over to her.
Once more Mercury shrouded Ahri in a fog of bubbles, concealing her friends from her sight.
"This again huh?" Ahri muttered before stepping forward only to feel someone grab her arm.
Looking to her side, Ahri saw Jupiter back on her feet and her arm hooked under Ahri's. Just like last time, Ahri spun into Jupiter to free herself, but that's when Mars grabbed her from behind and held her immobile while Venus charged her crescent beam.
Ahri struggled against them, but Jupiter had shifted her stance to put all of her bodyweight below Ahri's so she couldn't get the leverage she needed to move while Rei held her from behind.
Ahri struggled for a few more seconds before lowering her head, "I concede my defeat".
Venus halted her attack and returned to her civilian form, Mercury and Jupiter had done the same along with Mamoru.
Mars continued to hold Ahri albeit lightly as she whispered in her ear, "You know I think I remember us being in a similar position like this once".
Ahri had a faint, longing smile on her face as Mars let her go. Ahri turned to her, "I remember. Both of us were outside the palace on the moon where no one would go to look for us. We were just walking at first I was telling you about something, but I don't remember what. You fell back a few steps and then jumped at me; you hooked my arms behind my back and held me there like a prisoner for a while as you said".
They both spoke at the same time, "I thought Guardians were able to sense danger?"
Ahri smiled more as she continued, "I…was happy back then, that was the day…"
Mars finished what she was thinking, "The day we realized how we felt about each other".
Ahri nodded before noticing Mars hadn't changed back yet, "Aren't you going to change back?"
Mars didn't realize she was still in her Senshi form and quickly reverted back before looking back at Ahri as Usagi called over to them, "Hey are you two going to stand there all day or what?"
Ahri gave Usagi an 'are you serious' look before walking over to her, "Usagi. You didn't pitch in, not even once".
"Oh well um" Usagi's face faulted as she rubbed the back of her head, "I figured I'd just watch you guys and learn by watching instead of learn by doing".
"Learn by watching?" Ahri asked her, "Perhaps you'd like to relearn how dangerous our enemy is? Shall I send you back to the void?"
Usagi immediately panicked, "Oh no there's no need for that".
Ahri gave her an evil smile, "Next time you will be participating. I won't give you a choice in the matter".
Usagi smiled awkwardly, "Uh sure".
Ahri started walking away from them, "I'm heading back home. I'll see you all later".
Rei looked back to Usagi, "Usagi you have to take this more seriously, I know you want to relax for summer break, but we still have a job to do".
Usagi looked down, "I know, I know it's just…When we defeated Queen Beryl we had what? Only a few weeks to be normal before we had to start all over again and once Anne and Alan left we only had a week before the Black Moon Clan? And then what? Only a week and Ahri shows up. I just want it to end that's all".
They all felt the same way of course, but they all knew what would happen if they didn't prepare. They're job isn't just to protect Usagi its to protect Earth from the Negaverse no matter the cost and often times such a responsibility is tiring.
"Well at least our training is done for today so now we can do whatever we want" Ami said trying to lighten the mood.
Makoto looked over to her, "Hey that's right anyone feel like going to see that new movie? I heard it's a spy movie from America".
Usagi got a misty look in her eyes as she started fantasizing, "Oh man spies are so cool and mysterious, plus they're always this really handsome guy who smoothes his way out of trouble" she squealed a little, "Oh, but they're no match for my Tuxedo Mask now are they?" she asked grabbing Mamoru's arm again.
Mamoru seemed uncomfortable with that comparison, "I'm not really a spy Usagi".
Minako turned away and started to leave, "Well I promised my mom I'd go shopping with her so I should be getting back home, but I'll be free later today if you feel like doing anything" she waved at her friends before leaving.
Ami wanted to go home to study, but Makoto convinced her to go see the new spy movie with her, Usagi and Mamoru. Makoto asked Rei to go as well, but Rei said she had other plans. Rei apologized, but Makoto told her not to worry about it. Rei thanked her and then left.
Rei left the park and began making her way to Ahri's apartment. Arriving at the apartment building, Rei felt a strong presence nearby, but it quickly vanished. She knew something was out there, but at least whatever it was it wasn't causing trouble yet. Entering the building and walking up to Ahri's room, Rei knocked on the door and waited for Ahri to answer.
The door slowly opened and Rei entered, Ahri was standing behind the door with only a towel covering her, "Sorry I'll be dressed in a minute" she said before returning to the bathroom in the back.
After a few minutes, Ahri returned fully dressed in a pale grey shirt and short blue jeans that went down to her knees. "Can I do anything for you Rei?" she asked her.
Rei looked around a noticed what little furniture Ahri had was missing, "Did someone break in while you were gone?" Rei asked her.
Ahri was puzzled for a moment before realizing what she meant, "Oh no. I'm getting ready to move to a different apartment so I'm gathering all my stuff in the void so I can just leave".
"The void?" Rei asked.
"That place where I showed you my memories" Ahri told her, "The day I came here and we first met. That place is referred to as the Void, infinite and empty, but it can react to memories and show them if you know how to manipulate it. It's also a great place to store things".
Rei decided not to question such a thing, "So why are you moving then?"
Ahri pointed at her window, "Third floor, the window directly across from us. There's a high school student in there you keeps trying to spy on me everyday. I went over and taught him a lesson, but to be sure it doesn't happen again I'm just going to find another place".
"So where are you moving to?" Rei asked.
Ahri shrugged her shoulders, "Not sure, haven't looked yet. I'm just getting ready is all".
"You haven't even looked yet?" Rei repeated before looking at how empty her apartment was, "So your plan is to live in this empty apartment until you find another place?"
Ahri nodded her head to the side, "Pretty much".
Rei looked down and shook her head before walking over to her, "You know. I've been thinking actually" she said in a really soft voice, "Since we're…well" she blushed, "You know".
"Lovers?" Ahri said for her.
Rei nodded still uncomfortable with the revelation into her past life, "Well I was just thinking that since you live alone here…" Rei stopped and took a breath to calm herself down, "Ahri I want you to move in with me".
Ahri looked away from her to think about her offer, she walked to her bedroom with Rei right behind her, "Would you be able to accommodate me?"
Rei nodded, "Of course we have more than enough room for you" she lowered her eyes, "Besides if you lived with me we could be together everyday".
Ahri looked out of her bedroom window showing her a good portion of the city, "In the future before I came back to warn all of you. I never told you about our relationship from the past…" she paused for a brief moment while she remembered what had happened to Rei, "You died in front of me and I never told you how I felt or what we used to be to each other, the worst part is there was nothing I could do to help you".
"But you're here now" Rei told her, "We're both here now, together and we'll stand together as well alongside everyone else when the enemy comes for us".
Ahri turned to her with a slight smile; "All the same…I'm not going to make the same mistake twice" she rushed over to Rei and embraced her "I don't want to lose you again" she said to her, "I love you".
Rei returned the embrace firmly holding her hand at the top of Ahri's head, "I can't imagine what that must've been like for you, but we'll win this time I know we will".
Ahri released Rei and backed away from her before turning around, "Well I just hope your grandfather doesn't mind another occupant at the shrine".
Rei smiled, ""I'm sure he won't mind so long as you agree to some odd training and help around each day. He still thinks he's as much of a romantic as he was when he was younger".
Ahri was also smiling, "Well let's go see him and find out then".
The two of them left the empty apartment and returned to Rei's home to speak with her grandfather.
Back at the Hikawa shrine Rei's grandfather was humming to himself as he swept the yard, "Such a beautiful day" he said to himself as he looked up at the sky, "I hope my little Rei is enjoying the day as much as I am".
"Grandfather!" Rei called to him.
"Oh Rei you're home" the old priest said before noticing Ahri with her, "Oh and you brought a friend to our little shrine; such a good girl expanding our shrine's reputation by bringing your friends here".
Rei stood to the side and held her hand toward Ahri as she looked at her grandfather, "Grandfather this is my friend Ahri".
Ahri held her hands together and bowed to him, "Hello sir, it's a pleasure to meet you".
The old priest smiled at her, "The pleasure is all mine. It's so good to see my Rei with such pleasant friends".
Rei turned to face her grandfather, "Grandfather, can I ask something really important from you?"
"Of course my dear" the old man replied looking to Rei.
"Well you see" Rei began before looking back to Ahri, "Ahri lives alone and she can't afford to stay at her apartment anymore, can she live here with us?"
"Well I don't see why not" her grandfather answered almost immediately, "As long as she doesn't mind doing some work around the shrine she can stay with us as long as she wants".
Rei hugged her grandfather, "You're the greatest Grandfather".
Ahri bowed to him, "Thank you sir".
"Nonsense" the old man chuckled, "A friend of my Rei's is always welcome here. Now tell me my dear have you ever worked at a shrine before?"
Ahri smiled and titled her head, "I wouldn't call it work, but before I moved here I did spend a lot of time studying at shrines instead of at school or the library. The priestess there would always bring me tea before I left to go home".
Rei grabbed hold of Ahri's hand and led her inside the shrine, "Here I'll show you to your room".
Leading Ahri inside, Rei led her to a room at the very end of the hall at the back of the shrine. Sliding the door open, Rei showed Ahri where she'd be staying.
Ahri stepped inside the room; it was most empty with the exception of a bed in the corner with a nightstand and lamp next to it.
"There's a closet over there" Rei told her, pointing at the side wall, "And there's a chest at the foot of the bed where you can put your things. That pretty much concludes the tour".
"Well not quite" Ahri said turning to face her, "I haven't seen your room yet".
Rei smiled, "Oh my room is right here" she said turning around to the room directly across from Ahri's. Opening the door, Rei stepped inside with Ahri behind her, "See".
Ahri scanned the room with a slight smile on her face, "So if I ever get cold or lonely" she started, making Rei blush a little.
"You…You could come over to my room, I wouldn't mind" she said awkwardly, twiddling her fingers.
"I'm sorry" Ahri said, moving her eyes away from her, "Its still uncomfortable for you isn't it?"
"No, no that's not it!" Rei said in a panicked voice, "I mean, it still feels a little odd, but…I know I'm happy to be with you even if I don't remember what happened between us in the past" she placed her hand against her heart, "Even if it feels weird I know what my heart is saying to me and its that I care deeply for you and want to be with you as much as possible".
Ahri had a mixed smile of both happiness and sadness a she looked at the floor as Rei reached her arms around her and pulled Ahri into her. As Rei held her, Ahri began remembering the first time her and Rei began falling for each other during the Silver Millennium.
Ahri was standing at the edge of the courtyard at the moon palace, gazing out into space as if she was looking or waiting for something. In the yard below her she could see both Venus and Mars sparring with each other, Venus and Ahri had been friends for several years, but she never met any of the other Senshi.
Mars sprinted toward Venus to strike her, but Venus jumped over her and landed behind her immediately spinning around and firing her crescent beam. Mars avoided the attack, but the beam smashed into the wall behind her causing it to fall apart.
Ahri screamed as the floor under her gave way and she fell to the yard below before being buried under some of the rubble.
Ahri could hear Venus calling her name as the two Senshi began digging her out. Thankfully Ahri placed a small barrier around herself so the fall and being buried didn't hurt her.
Once the small bit of rubble was cleared away, Venus held her hand out to help Ahri up. Venus apologized as she pulled Ahri out of the rubble, but she tripped on a stone causing her to fall back and pull Ahri with her. Ahri didn't stop herself from falling along with Venus, but Ahri ended up falling against Mars instead knocking her down.
Venus groaned as she sat up and looked to make sure Ahri and Mars were alright, but gasped when she saw what happened.
When Ahri fell into Mars, they both fell back and their faces were right against each other's more specifically their lips.
Both Ahri and Rei seemed to be in shock or at least a great deal of disbelief at what was going on, for a few seconds neither of them moved. Eventually Ahri snapped back to reality and quickly jumped up and apologized as she helped Mars up.
Ahri's face was extremely red as she excused herself and immediately vanished from their sight as if she was never there.
Ahri wrapped her arms around Rei and held her tight, afraid to let go.
Feeling the way Ahri's hand was holding the back of her head Rei knew something was bothering her, "Ahri? Is something wrong?"
Ahri's voice was shallow, "I'm scared" she told her, "Most of my memories are fading away including the ones of when I was with you…The happiest moments of my life and soon I won't be able to remember them".
Rei pulled away from her and looked into her green eyes, "Then we'll make new ones" she said, "I'll be there for you whenever you need me and I know the others will to. You'll never be alone with us here Ahri" she smiled at her and hugged her once more before letting go.
Ahri still looked sad, but at least she was smiling.
Rei had an idea, "Listen" she said, gently making Ahri look at her, "I know preparing for the enemy is important, but what do you say we take a break before school starts again? We could go to the beach or something all of us".
Ahri placed her hand around her chin as she looked away from her, "That…" she smiled again, "You're right, we should". Ahri smiled again, "I know just the place, you call them and tell them to meet us here".
"Alright" Rei agreed as she went into her room to call the others.
Ahri waited outside Rei's room while she called their friends; leaning against the wall she closed her eyes. She could hear Rei and Ami talking about the idea of going to the beach, Ami agreed to go which made Ahri happy, but at the same time a part of her wanted it to just be her and Rei.
When Rei and Ami were finished talking, Ahri said she was going to wait outside as Rei was calling Makoto next.
Ahri stepped outside and looked up at the sky; she remembered what she told Rei about never confessing her feelings to her before the enemy attacked them in the future. She knew more than any of them how important is was to prepare for this enemy that would come to Earth, but her heart had mixed feelings on the matter. Part of her wanted to make sure they survived the encounter no matter what while the other part wanted nothing more than to be with Rei.
The thought about the enemy revived her memories of her battles against them especially when Jupiter and Mars died in front of her. Those memories caused her great pain, she returned to the past to prepare the Senshi to make them stronger, but she knew that no amount of training would make her stronger. Her powers as a Guardian were slowly declining and eventually they would fade entirely leaving her as a regular human.
Though she had complete faith in her friends the thought of not being able to help them casted a dark cloud over her mind, Ahri leaned over the railing of the shrine and rested her head on her arms. "Once my powers are gone I'll be useless to them" she said to herself, "All I would be good for is what?" she asked herself "Moral support? I don't even know anything about the enemy so when it comes down to it training them is really all I can do".
Ahri suddenly sense a strong dark presence in the sky and looked up, a giant hole ripped apart the clouds and dark energy began swirling around it. Clenching her fists Ahri glared at the rift and bolted away from the shrine, "I may not have my full strength" she said to herself as she ran to where the rift was, "But I can at least protect them until they're ready".
The rift stopped pouring out dark energy, but didn't close. It was directly above the park where Ahri and the others were training earlier something that struck Ahri as too much of a coincidence, thankfully no one else seemed to notice the rift. Apparently normal humans couldn't see or sense it which gave her some small comfort.
Arriving at the park, Ahri looked up at the sky as the rift vanished, panting she leaned over and rested her hands on her knees.
"So you're finally here" a lazy voice said from behind her.
Swiftly turning around Ahri saw a young looking man sitting on a large rock with his legs crossed and his head resting against his fist. His eyes were, but he slowly opened them as he looked in her direction.
"I figured you'd be the one to show up instead of the Senshi" he said as he stood up and dropped off the rock.
"Who are you?" Ahri asked him.
"I am Anrui the Shadow" he told her, "I am a member of the Konsui group".
"You're the people who attacked us in the future right?" Ahri asked.
Anrui nodded, "Yes. Rest assured though I have no intention of attacking you or the Senshi, I'm merely here to establish a foothold in this time period so the rest of the group can enter through the hole you tore in time".
Ahri gritted her teeth and narrowed her eyes; she was too weak to close the rift when she came to the past. She continued to hope that the enemy wouldn't notice, but it seems they have.
"So what now then?" Ahri asked him "You're just going to stand there and hold the rift open until your friends come through?"
"Not exactly" Anrui replied, "The rest of the group wants me to force the rift open from this side, but such a thing is outside of my abilities. I actually think I'll take a vacation from them while I'm in this period. However I think it's fair to warn you that we'll all be here much sooner than you think".
Ahri was surprised to hear that, the enemy gave her an advanced warning. Something about this man in front of her felt off, he was clearly radiating dark energy, but there were zero signs of hostility from him he seemed completely peaceful even if a bit expressionless.
"Why?" Ahri asked him taking a slightly defensive stance, "Why warn us? You're the enemy right? So it doesn't make sense to give us a warning shouldn't you just attack us instead?"
Anrui looked at her with a completely uncaring, neutral expression before looking up at the clear sky, "It may not make sense to you" he said with a tired tone, "But to me it's a matter of honor. To just attack without warning or giving my target time to prepare is against my beliefs" he faced her once again "Whether you choose to believe it or not is of no consequence to me I've warned you all the same".
Ahri felt a heavy pain fall over her heart, she wanted to go to the beach with her friends, but if they took the time off to relax would they be ready for the enemy that was so close to them?
Anrui noticed the look in Ahri's eyes, "Is something bothering you?" he asked her.
Ahri looked away from him with a frustrated expression, "We…we made plans to go to the beach for a few days to enjoy our summer break".
"I see" Anrui replied, "So you're worried that if you go to the beach you won't be able to prepare them to fight against us. Is that it?"
Ahri clenched her fists again; this guy was clearly very intelligent and observant.
"Go then" he said catching Ahri's attention. "Go with them, enjoy your time there. You have my word that nothing will change or happen for at least the next two weeks".
"Two weeks?" Ahri muttered.
Anrui looked away from her once again, "To be completely honest I just want to rest". His words surprised Ahri, "I'm tired and need a vacation myself so I think I'll just let them sit on the other side for a while before I open the rift again".
Ahri looked at him finally dropping her defensive stance, "How do I know I can trust you?"
Anrui looked up at the sky and held his arm out, extending only his index finger. A single bird landed on his finger and remained there as he brought his arm back down and close to his face. "Trust huh? I am your enemy so it would be hard to take something I say at face value". He slowly raised his hand back up and the bird flew off, "I just want to relax a bit. Take things easy for a while" he sighed "I dislike confrontations sometimes I wish things didn't have to be this way. Then I'd be able to relax for as long as I wanted".
Ahri didn't sense any kind of deception from him; in fact she couldn't even feel the dark energy coming from him anymore. "So why fight us then?" Ahri asked him, "You say you just want to relax and you hate fighting so why open the rift at all?"
Anrui exhaled a tired breath, "I have to" he told her.
"I don't get it" Ahri said, "You say you have to fight. Well I don't see any reason that makes you have to fight us. If you dislike it that much then why fight us? You're hiding something so why don't you just go ahead and tell me what it is".
"Hiding something?" Anrui muttered, "I'm not hiding anything" he said fully facing her, "I never lie to enemy or ally. I treat them all equally and I will never deceive anyone. As a matter of honor I give my word on everything I say such as when I told you that you will be safe taking the vacation with your friends".
"I can't take the chance that you're lying to me" Ahri said, "No offense I just can't risk it".
"Then I propose a duel" Anrui said. "A match between us, actions speak louder than words and when two individuals meet in battle their hearts meet as well". He placed his fist against his chest, "The heart doesn't lie so allow our hearts to speak to one another through combat".
"Didn't you say you hate fighting?" Ahri asked him.
Anrui nodded, "I do, but I do not consider this fighting. I consider it a true conversation between hearts; if you like you can consider it a sparring match with nothing on the line".
Ahri was still cautious, but just like before she didn't sense any deception from him. Sliding her foot back, Ahri took a defensive stance, "Very well. I accept".
Anrui merely nodded his head and took a stance of his own.
Ahri waited a few seconds, trying to analyze Anrui, but he remained motionless in his stance. "Fine then" Ahri thought before charging toward him.
When Ahri started her advance, Anrui closed his eyes and lowered his arms before vanishing from sight instantly.
Once Anrui was gone, Ahri slid to a halt and looked around "What?" she muttered.
"You can't let fear or doubt get in the way" Anrui's voice said from behind her.
Spinning around, Ahri swung her elbow out to hit him, but Anrui caught it in his hand keeping the same blank expression he had the entire time, "You're not putting your heart into this. You won't be able to trust my words or actions until you do".
Ahri quickly withdrew her elbow and spun around in the opposite direction, throwing her leg out to kick him, but once again Anrui caught it.
"Tell me Ahri" he began, "Are you afraid of something?"
Ahri glared at him before yanking her foot away and then jumping back.
"Do you fear me for some reason?" Anrui asked her "Do you think that I am using this as an opportunity to eliminate you? Or do you think that I'm trying to keep you here so something can happen to the Senshi?"
Ahri's eyes widened, "You wouldn't" she said "If you were the man of honor you'd been saying you wouldn't allow something to happen to them without some kind of warning".
Anrui's expression finally changed, he smiled. "You're right. But I still want us to continue this for the sole sake of you being able to trust my words".
Ahri calmed herself down and began taking in everything she could about Anrui, his stance, his expression, the direction his knees and feet were facing everything that could hint to his movements and finally she attacked.
Ahri ran over to him and threw a kick aimed at his waist, but Anrui caught her leg and pushed it back. Once he pushed her leg away, Ahri swung her other leg up to try and kick him again, but Anrui jumped to the side to evade her.
With her kick still in the air, Ahri quickly pivoted around and brought her leg back down using the momentum from her kick to launch herself at Anrui.
Throwing a punch with her left hand, Ahri waited for him to catch it before spinning around him and throwing her right elbow at him which he also caught, but Ahri planned on him doing that. Once he caught her elbow she wrapped her arm around his and pulled him forward before slamming her open palm into his chest making him stumble back.
While Anrui stumbled back, Ahri rushed over to him slamming her palm into his chest once again before whipping around and kicking him away from her. Running over to him again, Ahri jumped to his side and punched him where his kidney was before ducking to the side and doing the same with three quick strikes briefly stunning him giving her enough time to spin around and slam her knee into his stomach.
Anrui fell to his knees coughing from the impact, "Pretty good. I'm impressed" he slowly and lazily got back to his feet, his expression returned to a blank one. "You are very dedicated to helping the Senshi; your heart speaks with such passion and strength. You do not care what happens to you as long as they are safe in the end".
Ahri was panting more than Anrui even though he never hit her, "I…I can trust your words" she said. Her voice sounded like she didn't believe her own words, "You will allow us this time to relax as friends and give us time to continue training afterwards".
Anrui nodded, "I am true to my words" he turned away from her; "You and the Senshi will be given two weeks to do whatever you please. In the meantime I will be relaxing myself, however after those two weeks have passed I will begin opening the rift again. It will take me sometime to open so you will still have a few months to work with".
"A few months?" Ahri repeated.
Anrui nodded, "I am bound by honor to tell you as such. I am also obligated to inform you of any changes in this deadline, be it delay or advancement".
Ahri lowered her eyes, "Its kind of sad" she said, "Someone like you being the enemy. If it were possible I'd wish to avoid fighting you altogether, but we both know once the rest of your group gets here we won't have a choice".
Anrui didn't answer.
"I could try to stop you now" Ahri said "My powers may be weak, but I'm confident I could still take you out, but…I think I would regret it. Your sense of honor is contagious it seems".
Anrui turned to her once again, "Which is why I want to apologize for this" he said.
Ahri gasped and looked up to him as he pointed his index and middle fingers at her forehead. A flash of light emanated from his fingers and blinded Ahri quickly causing her to lose consciousness.
Ahri felt something lifting her up it felt like she was in someone's arms.
"Do you think she's ok?" a female voice asked, it sounded close, but not close enough to be the one holding her.
"She doesn't look hurt" another female voice replied this one belonged to whoever was holding her. "I think she's waking up".
Ahri slowly opened her eyes and saw two girls above her; the one holding her had short golden colored hair with eyes that almost matched the color of her hair. And the girl behind her had long wavy teal hair with matching eyes as well.
"Hey are you ok?" the golden haired girl asked her.
"Yeah what were you doing out here?" the other asked.
"Who…?" Ahri's voice was really faint, for some reason she felt extremely tired and she could feel her eyes growing heavier.
"Hey are you alright?" the golden haired girl asked again as Ahri's eyes began closing. The girl continued to talk to Ahri, but she couldn't hear her voice anymore it became more and more faint before fading entirely as her eyes closed completely.
"Rei" she thought before passing out.
A/N. Well chapter 6 is finally done.
I want to address something out of fairness to my readers. When I selected Minako and Rei in the character listing for this story I didn't mean that it would be a pairing between them. I don't want to reveal any details that will be further in the story, suffice to say for now that they are both really important to Ahri and the plot later on.
I apologize if any of you were looking forward to that and hope that you will continue to read as the story progresses.
Now then. Ahri has moved in to live with Rei so they can be closer to each other. Does this mean their relationship will become even stronger in the future? And Ahri has agreed to allow them all a vacation at the beach, but it seems that the enemy she was preparing them for is much closer than she originally thought.
Thankfully Anrui is an honorable person and has allowed them time for their vacation as well as time to continue preparing for the arrival of the now named enemy. Who is this Konsui group? How many members are there? And just how long will it be before they show up?
And who are these two girls that came to Ahri's aid after Anrui knocked her out?
Well the only way to find out is to wait until next time. See you then!
And if anyone is interested I uploaded a photo showing my OC Ahri alongside Rei and Minako. Its both my profile avatar and the cover photo for Forgotten Stars. Hope you like it.