Chapter 1: The End

Peace. Peace has always been an abstract concept for most of humanity. Always something that was nearly tangible but never enough. Following the Demon World Tournament, peace became a norm for the demons. It had taken some time, but at long last it appeared as through conflicts between the two great worlds of Spirits and Demons would finally end. The rulers of Spirit World had shifted their focus from dealing with troublesome demons, to gathering the small harmless artifacts that had gone missing several centuries ago.

Koenma had no intention of asking Yusuke and the others to help in gathering these artifacts, though with what little staff appeared to be available to collect this one artifact his father demanded him to retrieve immediately, he had no other choice. Gathering the group had not been much trouble. Since Yusuke's return, Keiko had led the girls in a huge string of parties to celebrate his return and their engagement. Yusuke always wore a look of reluctance when he was with Keiko and only acted his immature self when in the company of the other men. Kuwabara did as he always did when he was with Yukina and fawned over her until Yusuke or Hiei mocked him. Kurama remained as calm as ever. He reserved himself to reading most of the time and made casual glances across the room towards Botan whom he obviously was attracted to. As for Hiei, he remained silent most of the time and kept to himself until Botan came over to talk to him for which he gave simple acknowledgement of hearing her words and nothing more.

Koenma took a deep breath before clearing his throat and calling for everyone's attention, "May I have your attention!" He called, waiting several seconds as everyone stopped to stare. Clearing his throat once more and tugging at his collar, "Um… As you are all aware, Spirit World is no longer focused on Demon World crimes and now focusses on the collection of missing artifacts that-"

"Don't tell me," Yusuke interrupted, taking a large gulp of beer from his bottle, "The only reason you showed up to this party is to give me a mission to knock some bum on his ass because you're too busy."

Koenma quickly shook his head, "Oh, no! On the contrary," He said as he pointed a finger in the air, "Your mission is to go and grab this artifact known as the Clock of Reality that is located in a cave in Nevada!" he said with a large smile on his face.

"NEVADA!" Everyone in the room was in an uproar. Yusuke started swearing with Kuwabara nodding and agreeing behind him. Hiei grabbed for his sword and issued death threats while Botan grabbed his sword to try and stop him from castrating Koenma. Kurama simply spoke calm words of disagreement that was not audible due to the shouting.

Koenma raised his hands in defense as he tried to calm the situation. Stuttering, he could not find the proper words to explain the situation. Giving up in trying explaining as Yusuke grabbed for his collar, he gave a high pitched yelp for Botan who quickly knew he was giving the problem to her. Whenever Koenma could not do something it was well known for him to give the job to someone else. He often left more work to the ogres and when they were not available he left it to Botan.

Groaning, she let Hiei go as she closed her eyes and mustered the largest shout she could manage at the moment, "QUIET!" She screamed. The boys slowly settled down as she took a calming breath, "Koenma is giving you a mission to collect an artifact," Botan raised her arms in question, "How hard can that be?" She asked as paused again, "Compared to what you all went through; how hard can it be to get whatever this thing is?"

Koenma smiled as he regained his composure. "Yes, how hard can it be? I have a portal set up for you to travel through to take you to the general area it is found. You should have it in a matter of an hour or so!" He said happily.

Hiei glared at him, "Then why don't you go get it then?" he asked, his hand still resting on the hilt of his katana.

Koenma gulped as he started stuttering again, "W-well-ll, I have other im-important-t matters t-t-o attend to!" He said as he laughed awkwardly and pulled a small control out of his pocket. Pressing the button he quickly tossed it to Botan, "Well, there's your portal good luck! Bye!" he said as he watched the portal suck them through. Sighing, Koenma adjusted his collar before turning with the intent on leaving. Unfortunately for him, he was faced with the other girls who looked even more upset than the boys. "Oh, crap."

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Hiei growled as he pulled his head up from the sand. Dusting off his head, he spat out some sand as the others did the same. "I am going to kill that bastard," He declared as he pulled his sword out to empty the sheath that had filled with sand in a matter of seconds after crashing through the portal and on the ground.

Botan groaned as she shook out her shirt that had gathered a good amount of sand around her breasts. "Now Hiei, you can't kill Koenma without getting thrown in jail or worse," she said as she continued clearing her clothes of sand. Hiei paid little mind to what she said as he stumbled out of the pit they had ended up in. the surrounding land was fairly solid ground. Dry and cracked save where he and the others had landed which was simply a small crater where sand blew as though they were at the beach.

"Where the fuck are we?" Hiei asked to no one in particular.

Kurama climbed up shortly after him and looked around, "It would appear we are in a desert." He answered.

"I had no idea," Hiei said sarcastically.

Kurama glared at Hiei before sighing and continuing his analysis, "Koenma told us we were going to Nevada so there are several deserts in the state…" Pausing he walked over to a nearby plant and looked carefully. "Encelia farinosa, the brittlebush," He declared as he walked back to the others who had finally emerged from the ditch they had landed in, "The brittlebush: a common desert shrub in the southwestern part of the country. Based on that, I assume we are in the Mojave Desert," He declared, smirking at Botan as he finished.

Hiei growled, "Great, do you want a medal?" he asked sarcastically, receiving a glare from Kurama. "Let's just get this over and done with." He ordered, "I have better things to do than this," Hiei muttered under his breath as he brushed past Kurama and pulled his bandana from his head.

Closing his eyes, Hiei focused on finding where the artifact was. Koenma had mentioned a cave through he could not really find much of anything. The desert was vast and hot and even he was starting to sweat from the heat. Hiei looked close by at first before going farther and farther out but he couldn't find anything. Grunting, he turned to face the others. "It appears as though we were sent out here for nothing," He declared, crossing his arms over his chest, "I knew I this was a waste of time. There is nothing out here." Turning his attention to Kuwabara, he noticed he was swaying, "the fool is dehydrating already this place is so fucking hot!" as he said this, Kuwabara tumbled back into the ditch groaning as he tumbled to get back up.

"Ouch!" he said as he rubbed the back of his head, "I think I hit my head on a rock of something," He said as he started to dig where he hit his head. Grunting in confusion, Kuwabara pulled a small wooden clock from the ground. The clock was supported on a two level base where the front was covered in several bronze gears that connected all around the three faces of the clock. Each of the faces was stopped on the same time 11:00PM. At the top of the clock stood a small podium that held the last gear that was the right size to fit between the two on the clock that were below it.

Yusuke laughed, "Well Hiei, looks like the idiot found the clock while your 'all seeing eye' failed to locate it in a fucking ditch!" Yusuke broke out laughing while Hiei grunted and turned away. Kuwabara was still looking at the clock and tapped the top gear and found that it was a button. Curious as to what it does and unable to stop himself, he pushed the gear all the way down. Quickly all the gears started moving as he stared at it. The arms of the clock moved slowly at first before moving faster and faster until the numbers were barely visible as the arms moved. "Shit! Kuwabara what did you do!" Yusuke screamed as the sand around them started to rise up around them forming a sand twister.

Raising their arms to cover their faces, they tried to watch as the sand swirled around them. Hiei grunted as twigs of plants started to hit him as they were up rooted quickly by the storm. The twister started to get stronger and stronger. Kuwabara had lost his grip on the clock as it was ripped from his fingers. The clock started to glow a light amber color as it rose and the twister grew is strength, lifting the group off the ground and up through the vortex. Screaming, the team tried to reach for each other despite not being able to see anyone. The only light that shown was that of the clock which slowly grew in intensity as it blinded them. Reaching a height unknown to them, they suddenly lost consciousness and never realized when and where they hit the ground.