Hey Guys,

I know it's late, but I wanted to post the last chapter I have written before things get outta wack. I have band contests for the next few Saturdays in a row with a serious one this Saturday. Better now then a month from now.

Anyways, I also had homecoming last night and it was a wonderful time! I hadn't been before and things were great. Sadly, there was only one problem with the otherwise flawless night and it was the chemistry between my date and I. We slow danced about three times and sadly, although he really wants to be something, I don't think I am ready for a relationship yet. I am not looking forward to saying that tomorrow and possibly hurting him. But I know that it would be even worse to date him and make him think I shared his feelings when I didn't. It will be hard, but it's for the best, so wish me luck! I'm going to need it.

And without further ado, I give you a chapter that was half complete when on a cruise ship in July and finished on September 13th. Let's see what happens with poor Kesai and Kenja.

Don't forget, as always if you have a new character idea or something to suggest or say, feel free to review or pm, I'll always respond! Demon Battle Rises is everybody's project, I'm just lucky enough to get to write it.

xKiha


"Hi-Ken!"

"Rokuryo!"

Kesai lunged at the poison duo as he unleashed his flames, Tsumi drawing in a breath as he jumped up into the air as well. The demon making sure that his body was protecting Kimiko's while the poison tipped throwing star appeared in his hand. Right away a powerful poison gas started filling the hallway, causing basically everybody to begin choking on the almost acidic air. However as this began to distract everybody around the poison demon, he threw the shuriken in a curve.

"Did he just miss?" Michael choked, hands covering his mouth tightly.

"No, he didn't." Kimiko muttered. "He's right on target."

It was then that a cold thump echoed through the hall, the member being struck with none other than the poison tipped shuriken. And then, the flames came forward, Tsumi narrowly dodging, breathing with nervousness and gratitude.

But right after a moment of pure relief, he remembered about Kesai, turning to see the friend he had that was now nothing but a puppet.

The weapon sticking out of the kitsune's side and shockingly, the fire demon barely seemed to react. He blankly stared at it for a few moments before ripping it from his skin and throwing it aside.

"Do you think, that somewhere on the inside, Kesai felt that?" Kyo muttered as he watched the kitsune tear the Rokuryo throwing star out of his side with a bloody squelch. Little to say, it sounded rather painful and yet Kesai never moved.

"It's possible." Amera said gently. "He could still be deep down there, somewhere on the inside of it all."

Kimiko couldn't help but catch their conversation, biting her lip and trying not to think about it. She knew all too well that Kesai could in fact feel pain in this state, Juri had taught her that. But, Juri had been a regular woman, at least to a certain extent, this time was rather different when she looked at it. "Tsumi, do you think we could avoid the other three spells?"

"Huh?" The child looking to her in shock, mouth opening rather wide in surprise. "Why wouldn't I use my spells at a time like this?"

He then turned to see Kimiko, biting at the tender flesh of his lower lip. "You just don't want to hurt our friends as much as possible, right?" Seeing her nod and biting harder into the flesh. "But, they've already been poisoned by the shuriken."

"And isn't that enough?" The brunette whispered, shaking in her shoes. "That process of the poison destroying you, isn't that painful enough?"

Tsumi couldn't find any words to explain what was running through his head, forcing himself to nod slowly even though all of a sudden he wasn't sure how to feel or even what to do. God, this was all so wrong in the end and yet, every option they seemed to come across always had a rather huge downfall that made him question everything he did and every choice he made.

"Hi-Ken!"

Although he was almost always on top of things, Tsumi turned in shock when he heard the fire spell being called, whipping around to look at Kenja only to find that Kesai was gone. Or at least he was completely out of sight.

And just like that, when searching for the now enemy, Tsumi noticed a shadow moving all around him at an amazing pace. He couldn't quite follow it, be the red blur it left behind told him just who this shadow was.

It left him shaking in his shoes if only because of the fact that his enemy had an incredible speed to him. He just couldn't follow this demon, let alone the red blur he left behind with every dash he made.

"He's faster than I ever figured he would be." Icarus muttered as he watch the kitsune move in a way that gave off the illusion that he was simply teleporting around. "I can barely follow every step."

"Then imagine what Tsumi's going through right now." Yukio Kincad replied. "I doubt the child could land a hit right now unless Kesai really slowed down."

"Well, that really is something to lift our spirits." Icarus muttered.

Kimiko continued to watch in shock, looking to Kenja who just continued to stand there. He was leaning against the wall behind him a bit only because of the burns left on his legs. He seemed to be completely consumed in this entrancement that the brunette could not explain. She didn't like it one bit, but she wasn't sure she could do anything.

"Naegi!"

As if right on cue, something else came from Kenja's mouth. A spell nobody in the alliance had ever seen or heard of before, which only made Kimiko swallow. The worst thing was a spell you didn't know.

Because in the end, the only advantage the poison duo had in this fight was the fact that they knew what to expect from the fire duo. But now even this had been botched.

Kesai was still rushing around the stone hallway, Tsumi drawing in a shaking breath while he tried to focus on two things at once. The upcoming spell and Kesai in general.

And then all of a sudden, the kitsune stopped dead in his tracks.

Right in front of Tsumi.

"Kesai?" The poison demon whispered, a little surprised when he found the empty and lifeless green eyes of the kitsune on him. Something just didn't feel too right about this as the child bent down and picked up a small pebble from the stone ground. "Uh, Kesai? What are you doing?" Tsumi dumbfounded after hearing the sound of a spell being called only to find that no spell was now in play. Or maybe he just couldn't see it, the child beginning to look around him.

But he found absolutely nothing wrong.

"Ow." While distracted, Kesai had flicked the pebble onto Tsumi's cheek with a delicate amount of force, the child turning to look at him in confusion. What would compel the fire demon to do something like that?

"Is Xenolith trying to mock us?" Kimiko asked. "Why is there no spell and why would Kesai just helplessly flick a little stone at Tsumi?"

"I don't think he's mocking anybody." Yukio taking a step closer to try and get a better look at what was currently unfolding before them. "Something is clearly wrong here and I have a feeling that we're going to see that in a moment."

Kesai stood up, turning around and walking back over to Kenja's side with his blank eyes not even attempting to look at any member of the alliance. And during this, the sickly blond just continued to stand there on slightly burned legs, blank azure eyes seeming to be focused on the nothingness his real self was most likely submerged in as they all watched.

"I don't get it." Kyo mumbled. "Where is the strategy for all of this? To buy more time or just to enter-"

Before Kyo could even finish his question, Tsumi let out a scream like nothing his partner had ever heard from him before. Kimiko looking to him in shock with wide questioning eyes as he turned around, causing his own bookreader to gasp in her own shock.

"Make it stop!" Tsumi had ripped his cloak off to reveal a small plant stem beginning to grow from his chest. It had pushed its way through his black shirt and now was beginning to sprout tiny buds. The child shaking in fear and trying not to burst into tears when he found that the buds weren't leading to more leaves on this horrifying plant, but to what seemed to be tiny vines.

The vines were growing at an incredible rate and before the child could even try to think of a way to free himself from the plant sprouting from his own skin, it was too late. Tsumi found his body covered in small but thick vines that began to strangle his body, causing a sharp pain to run through him that he didn't want to put a lot of thought into. "Make it stop!" He howled, opening his mouth to complain more only to find something rather astounding happening.

His entire body had begun to glow a sharp purple and so had both members of the fire duo.

And then all of a sudden, Tsumi found himself feeling rather weak. The child wanting to sit down and rest or better yet curl up and take a nap, not fight. But how could this be so? He hadn't used a lot of his energy, had he?

"This can't be happening." Kimiko whispered, watching Tsumi get down onto his knees while his breathing began to grow rapid. All of this while Kenja stood up straight, the rather red burns on his legs suddenly seeming to be able to patch themselves up without a single thought in the world. The blond looked so much better, as if the poison that had eaten at his leg had never been there to begin with. And while this happened, the strong purple aura around Tsumi was beginning to flicker and fade while it grew much more radiant and bright around the fire users under the spell of their enemy.

"It's an energy sapping spell." Shura growled. "These two are directly sapping Tsumi's energy from his own body to use it as their own."

"You have got to be kidding me." Flynn groaned. "They can do that?"

"And yet, they couldn't preform an act like that back when it could have been useful when fighting Lavender." Cheshire muttered. "They can do that when they become our enemies, no less."

Kimiko just seemed to be completely frozen in place, taking a step back while Tsumi lifted his head to look back at his partner. He forced himself to smile, even though it wasn't much of a positive look and it was obvious that he was in pain and not the contented person he was trying to look like. His voice then left his lips, sounding a lot weaker most likely thanks to the vines. "We still have to fight, so don't freak out."

"Tsumi, you don't have the energy to keep fighting, they took it all." The brunette whispered. However, to her own shock, the child raised his hand to wave her words off.

"Don't you start giving up on me!" The child growled, forcing himself back up onto his feet and struggling to keep his balance with a wobble before straightening his spine with vigor. "You know just as well as I do that we're not going to let the loss of energy be what causes us to lose another fight! That I am going to keep fighting no matter what. And that means with or without your help."

The poison bookreader took another step back, in a bit of surprise as she held their purple book close to her chest and tightly. "There are some things that we just can't do, even if we want to."

"And there are times to give up." Tsumi growled, trying to pull the plant stem from his chest only to wince. The thing was deeply rooted in his skin and he doubted he would be able to get it out with tearing something rather badly. "But, when it comes to helping our friends, there is never a time to so willingly. If we give up here, then we won't have the strength to take down Xenolith. I don't think he'd let us simply give up right in front of him."

And while Kimiko nodded, she neglected to even look at her book, which was giving off a dull purple light while the two spoke to each other. "I guess you're right."

"I know I'm right."

And it was then that Tsumi's small fingers wound around the plant stem, clenching his eyes tight before ripping the thin thing right out of his skin. The vines withered as the stem hit the ground without so much as a sound, but thanks to the splatter of blood now on the stone ground, it was rather obvious that what the poison demon had done was painful. "Now then." He looked at Kimiko with a soft smile of both reassurance and confidence. "Let's do this the right way and not let a single person stand in our way!"

"Alright."

"Hi-Ken!"

Kenja had shouted this almost automatically, Kesai leaping up into the air with amazing speed as flames shot out of his palms. Using his speed, he released the flames while running in a circle quickly around the poison duo. Kimiko flinching in fear while clutching her own book. "Rerano!"

The purple shield appeared once again, surrounding them and repelling the flames that had attempted to burn them. The alliance hiding behind the spell as it created acidic flames, sending it back at Kesai and Kenja who this time both stood completely still.

And when the others turned to see what had happened to the fire duo after the shield faded into absolute nothingness, they found the two still standing. Kenja and Kesai covered in burns and dripping in the acid that had merged with the flames, the poison hitting the ground and hissing in reaction.

Kincad couldn't even look, Kimiko's teeth sinking into her lower lip as she tried not to think about the pain her friends would be in as she forced herself to open her book. She couldn't stand by and do nothing anymore! It was time to save the both of them. But as she opened the book, her eyes widened.

There weren't four spells anymore. No, there were five!

Kesai sprung up, the kitsune's burned legs being forced to create a still rather quick dash. Tsumi trying to keep his eyes on the fire demon who used his speed to his advantage and put his foot right into the chest of the poison demon.

"Tsumi!" Kimiko called as her partner groaned in pain, getting back to his feet. "There's another spell!"

"Really?" He asked, purple eyes trying to make sure they followed every moment that Kesai made but found himself unable to properly do so thanks to the speed of his enemy. "U-Use it!"

The brunette nodded, clutching their book tightly to her chest in the hopes that whatever this new passage was, it would be able to save their friends. She swallowed. Here goes nothing. "The fifth spell! Karoataka!"

Kesai had stopped for only a moment, the kitsune folding his arms and seeming to watch Tsumi with his lifeless eyes. Xenolith must have been watching through Kesai's forest green eyes, there was no other explanation.

"What do you think this spell could do?" Kyo asked, watching with intent as Amera shrugged gently. "Nobody, not even Tsumi himself, knows. This could turn out to be a saving grace, or nothing but a strategic move."

"It better be able to do something." Setsuna growled, Flynn looking to his friend with a lifted eyebrow. All of a sudden, the raven haired teen looked so stressed out and this hadn't started until the fire duo had found themselves overtaken by Xenolith. But the doctor in training couldn't be sure if this was stress thanks to remembering what Xenolith had once done to Nora, or for a reason even he himself couldn't really understand.

Kimiko clenched her hands tightly on the spine of her spellbook, closing her eyes with concentration. 'Please, just do something!'

And then it happened. Right before Tsumi's eyes, a small item resembling a shot appeared before him. The poison demon swallowing slowly and taking a hold of it, studying the dark purple liquid inside of the glass. One thing echoed in his head and it told him to give himself the shot, poison purple eyes looking to his bare right arm and swallowing slightly. He had to do something and if this was the only thing, he'd do it.

"Tsumi?" Kimiko asked, her voice holding worry and concern as she watched his hand get closer to his arm. "Are you okay?"

"Just fine!" He shouted, stabbing the needle into his flesh and letting out a shout of sudden pain while forcing himself to press the liquid into his body. Kimiko gasping as she looked back to the other members of the alliance who watched her in just as much surprise.

The poison demon then ripped the shot out of his body, watching it hit the ground and face into nothingness as he took in a deep breath. Whatever he had just done didn't seem to be very quick.

Or was it?

Right as he began to think nothing of what he had just done, Tsumi found himself filling with energy, tightening his fists to see muscles ripple just at his flex. "W-Woah…" He whispered to himself, chucking with contentment at this new discovery. He felt so energetic! So powerful! Maybe even fast enough to do what needed to be done.

Kesai's blank and empty eyes continued to just watch his friend, but for the first time he blinked. And as he did, what looked like tears began to well up in his eyes.

The only problem was the color of said tears.

Icarus had taken the time to examine their opponents while Tsumi began to discover what this new spell could really do, lifting an eyebrow as he looked over the both of them. "Tears of blood?"

Kincad turned to his partner. "What now?"

"Yukio, look at them."

The teacher blinked, looking up at his student and the kitsune only to gasp ever so slightly. Streaming from the cheeks of the both of them were what should have been tears, but instead of leaving streaks of salty water, blood red trails were left as red stained the whites of their eyes. "My word. How is this possible?"

"I don't know. But if I had a guess I would tell you that on the inside, these two are fighting their own battle while taking the hits from a fight they never wanted to be involved in." Icarus replied with a sigh, turning a way. "It's truly tragic, because something like this never should have been able to happen."

And as they talked, Kimiko had taken the time to notice what was happening, remembering about what had happened to Juri. Real tears began to well up in her eyes, unable to take any more of this as she clenched her fists. "Tsumi, do it quickly!"

The poison demon nodded as he rushed forward, getting closer to Kesai who lept into action. The fire demon still having rather incredible speed, but was slowed thanks to almost destroyed legs. The poison demon against him using this new energy to increase his own speed, rushing at his enemy with a yell of jumbled emotions. "XENOLITH!"

Tsumi then jumped forward, leaping onto his friend and sending them both to the ground, Kesai choking out blood at the impact onto the stone. The poison demon forcing himself to turn Kesai around, seeing the face of his friend and feeling his own tears beginning to sting the back of his eyes.

Kesai was crying.

But, Kesai never cries, or at least does his best never to.

The poison demon raised his fist, fingers clenched tightly as he tried to keep himself from bursting into tears. "I-I'm so sorry, I never wanted to do anything like this." His voice breaking as his tears began to slip down his cheeks. "But, there isn't anything more I can do for you and Kenja."

Blood red tears continued to run down the face of his friend, Kimiko slowly creeping up behind Kenja as she continued to cry. Tsumi letting out a scream of anguish before smashing his fist into the Kitsune's cheek, blood beginning to stain his tightly clenched fingers as he send his fist down once more.

It seemed everybody couldn't look at this, Tsumi crying as he looked to Kesai who only looked back up at him with his blank eyes. "Please, just come back! I can't fight you anymore!" Shaking his friend as he continued to cry. "Please! Come back!"

Kimiko finally couldn't take it, standing before Kenja and taking a hold of their book. She had to do this, trying to keep her vision as she tried to hold back all of her tears. "I-I'm sorry, Kenja…I am." Ripping the novel from his burned palms, the force of this making her fall as she hit the ground. It didn't even occur to her if it hurt or not, a deep laughing beginning to fill her ears.

'Blossom. Oh, my dearest blossom. Your struggle has been good entertainment, but this has begun to bore me. I guess the opener will finish now.'

Kimiko began to feel that cold sensation of hands around her neck again, goose bumps spreading across her body as the voice echoed in her ears. "Xenolith!"

Everybody looked at their friend in shock, not sure why she was screaming and what was happening. Oh no, don't say that she is under his spell now too!

'Indeed. But now this part of the game is over. I've seen enough emotional strategy to bore me to death. So, let the real games begin. Let our good friends return to us all so we can have some proper fights before you end up destroying one another in just another battle royale. Let us play.'