The central most region of Echo.

Upon Recognition

10 unknown beings and 2 helicopters carrying a mechanical beast flies over head towards Azure.

Seco: We have made it through the ripple. We have received your coordinates of of where our attackers are.

The Administrator: Proceed as ordered. Engage the enemy

Seco: Yes sir. You heard The Admin, let's take'em down and let's try to do that before lunch. Domino squad dispatch. Harlem Squad stand by and prepare that CRAzy. Can't wait to see that thing in action.

Domino Squad head toward Azure. Harlem Squad prepares the CRAzy for battle.

Kado observes the scene from a control monitor. He gives the mental signal, as civilians are ordered to evacuate and head east to the neighboring Shapeshifter villages, which had promised to take in civilians until the fighting was over.

"All A.H.D.S. members prepare for full force counter attack. I am authorizing a Class SS response. Proceed as ordered."

All around the city, turrets rise up, and a massive shield dome erects itself over the city, pulsating with energy. The turrets begin to open fire on the helicopters, firing continuous EMPs.

"Let's go people! Class SS response authorized! Let's blow them to hell, right to damn Hade's front door if we have to! TAKE THEM DOWN!"Kado roars.

He turns to Kalin. "It's show time, ready for a serious rumble?"

Kalin: (laughs as he opens a portal) Oh, so the two immortals we've already fought were small time?(Kado looks unamused) Yeah, let's go. I'll decide what sword I'm gonna use on the way..."

The helicopters explodes and the CRAzy falls to the ground. The CRAzy lands on its feet.

Gobble: Aw shit! I hope its not broken

Harlem Squad races towad the CRAzy.

CRAzy: *is activated* System Online. No Rider detected, switching auto-mode. Objective destroy attackers. EMP's detected. Disrupt them.

Gobble: Yea,yea. Disrupt them.

CRAzy: Disrupting EMPs. EMPs disrupted.

Gobble: Good. Harlem Squad, let's move it out.

Harlem Squad ride the CRAzy all the way to Azure

5x5: Domino Squad prepare to engage attackers.

None of them realize it, but a AzureA.H.D.S.has teleported onto the Crazy, and immediately punches the nearest Harlem agent off the Crazy, where he falls and lands on his head. While the other Harlem agents prepare and retaliate, he activates a energy shield and blocks their attacks, which opens up an additional sneak attack from over a dozen Azure, who quickly pummel, shoot, stab, or incapacitate any of them that can't react in time.

Domino also quickly is overrun by more than 20 of these strange, powerful enemies, who despite any of the two squad's efforts, cannot deal with them as easily as so many enemies they had fought before. Azure had it's own tricks up its sleeves, and there would be no easily earned lunch break this time. Seco himself finds himself at a disadvantage against a particuarly resilient soldier.

Kado and Kalin arrive on the battlefield, high up in the air, Kalin equipped with a energy shield that Kado had lent him before they departed, and Kado appeared as they teleported as a massive eagle, which Kalin quickly lands on.

"Alright now, Kalin, let's not get in over our heads. If you get seriously hurt, back off and approach from a different angle. We can't afford to let it gain too much ground, alright?"

Kado dives down, a fair distance from the Crazy, only so they could have enough time to prepare for whatever it may send them.

Kalin: (puts on a pair of headphones, and begins playing "Daze" by MARiA as he falls off the Giant Bird, riding the energy shield like a skateboard through the air. Aiming directly for the CRAzy's Head, he drew both Weiss and Schwarz, and bobbed his head to the beat of the music.)

Rose:You sure like being dramatic, don't you?

(yelling) What can I say? I love a good beat!

"You two are going to be the fucking death of me."

Seco: Well, we were definitely outnumbered. Where the hell is God squad?

5x5: They've been called back to the facility.

Gobble: Aw shiiiiit.

Seco: You are most definitely right, Gobble. You two focus all power on the that shield.

5x5: Domino Squad get that CRAzy on Power Outburst

Domino Squad starts fighting of the A.H.D.S

Avalia: CRAzy I. Switch to Power Outburst.

CRAzy: Switching to Power Outburst: Affect?

Avalia: Affect attackers.

CRAzy: Affect: Attackers. *the small orbs along its chest light up and release some sort of output of energy blowing everyone away except Domino and Harlem Squad*

As the Azure forces regather, they suddenly seem on edge, as if something was coming. Kado senses it too.

"Kalin, get over here. NOW. No time to explain, but you do NOT want to be anywhere out in the open. NOW!"

"Ok, I'm coming down" Kalin said as he moved towards Kado's position.

To the slight confusion of the squads, the Azure forces seem to be taking cover from something, even though there is nothing aside from them and the Crazy, a slight change in the wind, but nothing serious.

Seco: Hmmm, they all retreated.

5x5: No, not retreat. Fallback. We should do the same too. CRAzy, hold your arms together

CRAzy: *does what is commanded*

5x5: Everyone get into it's arms

Domino and Harlem Squad get into the CRAzy's arms and wait there.

Gobble: Well this feels pretty cozy.

5x5: Intense grip.

Avalia: OW! What the hell!

Gobble: He said intense grip.

Avalia: *slaps Gobble in the face*

Seco: Ha.

CRAzy: Intensifying grip.*its claws from its feet sink deeper into the ground*

5x5: Now we wait.

The squads all begin to hear a loud ringing in their ears, which begins to twist into a rumbling sort of growl, and the ground begins to shake. Seco looks in the direction of the sensation, and sees what could only be described as an absolute wall of destruction racing their direction, the earth in front of it getting tossed into the air and churned violently, occasionally throwing chunks back in front of it, a few smashing against the Crazy with violent force.

The Crazy begins calculating the cause of this strange phenomena, and begins to relay its findings to the squads.

Seco: Aw shit.

5x5: What?

Seco: We didn't calculate the winds here. They go up 1,000 miles and hour. Almost supersonic.

Gobble: wow, that is 'aw shit' worthy.

Seco: Heck yea it is. These winds could rip cities in seconds.

Gobble: So what do we do?

Seco: Hmmm *thinks for a moment* CRAzy I, open your chest.

CRAzy: *opens its chest, revealing 2 atomic reactors*

Seco: Everyone get in!

Domino and Harlem Squad get inside the CRAzy's chest. The CRAzy closes is chest and prepares for the wind.

5x5: Get ready!

The rumbling fades, and for a moment, they wonder if the wind had stopped, for it had become silent.

Seco realizes that the time of impact must be next to none, and is immediately proven correct, when one of the most violent jolts they had ever experinced rocks the entire body of the Crazy, its metal screeching and banging from the sheer force of the winds, even louder bangs violently jolt the Crazy as large chunks slam into every inch of it, pushing its structural integrity to the absolute limits. The noise sounds nothing like a wind, but rather a endless horrifying sort of static. For the next terrifying few minutes, they wonder if the Crazy is going to give, until finally the Crazy begins to stop shaking at an incredibly slow rate.

The Crazy estimates that the sheer amount of dust from the winds will make it impossible to see or breath for the next five minutes, and the enemy's shield wall has not even dipped, even with the sheer winds, its structural integrity at maximum.

Gobble: I think im gonna be sick, man!

5x5: How long 'til the dust settles, Seco?

Seco: We are not sure, but we gotta hang on. *cough,cough* A little while longer.

CRAzy: Commencing basic maneuvers.*is doing parkour over the debris flying at it*

Gobble: I think I might be evenmoresick.

Kado lies shuddering inside the barrier he had erected, grateful that Kalin hadn't noticed the slight change in his body yet, already returning to usual. The last thing needed was forthatto come up in a conversation. Right now, defeating these enemies is all that matters, not personal secrets. Suddenly he feels a presence, and swears.

"No! What are you doing here?! I did not authorize a SSS movement! Return immediately! Do not engage-" "Oh Kado, just shut up. Nothing makes me change my mind once I make it. Trust me... they won't be prepared for this." "Azula, I am telling you to fall back! I don't want-" "Kado... before we founded Azure... which one of us was the one that took care of the other?" "..."

"I won't be here long... just though I'd get... ahead on the situation." "You and your bad puns."

The Crazy picks up an unknown presence appear, and it barely has time to begin assessing the identity of it before it slams into its head, tearing it completely off and sending it flying into a cliff-face. A soft landing later, and Kalin sees a woman land next to them, staring at him with a strange, alien sort of expression, as if she was analyzing his possible response to her arrival.

"It is nice to meet you in person, Kalin."

"Oh, you're the lady that was in my head before. Azula. I kinda expected you to be some kind of disfigured old crime."

From what the Crazy can determine, the being that had struck it is neither Mythos or Human, it is almost unidentifable, but seems based off a human's DNA.

CRAzy: Race: Unknown. Awaiting Command.

Gobble: Oh my gosh. It's a crazy-psyco bitch!

Seco: Shut up, It might be Satan's wife.

Gobble: Satan has a wife?

Seco: Do you want her to be?

Gobble: *quickly prays to God*

Seco: Incinerate.

CRAzy: Command: Incinerate. *a flamethrower pops out of the bottom of both of its wrists and starts shooting fireballs at the woman in black and red*

Kado leaps in front of her, pulling out a red katana, and the flames get absorbed into the blade, making a unearthly screech as they are sucked in. With a faint laugh, Kado unleashes a massive burst of flame at it, damaging the offending flamethrower device and heating the entire body with high temperature flames.

"Don't even try such a pathetic attack like that."

"Agreed, though I didn't need your help." "Can you be a little bit more grateful?" "Thank you." "..."

Kalin: Guys, and it's kind of funny l'm the one saying this, but let's try to focus.

He drops a black katana from within his sleeves, and unsheathes it as well.

"Did you really think you could defeat the highest ranking members of Azure with such a pathetic offensive? You come here not even aware of our planet's deathly capacity, and you expect to defeat us? And further more, say you defeat us... you now risk war on your entire planet, and to what gain? The entire armies of Echo itself will march against Earth, and raze all that lives! You bring a wrath beyond reckoning upon you, regardless if I live or die, Earth's punishment will be unleashed in full."

"The military capacity of my organization... is nothing compared to the wrath of the great nations of this world."

Seco: *is speaking from inside the CRAzy* You don't know the 1st thing about us. You hind from behind your shields and EMPs and let your winds do you fighting. Why not face us like true soldiers.

"You speak of cowardice? True soldiers? Do not be so conceited, hypocrite. True soldiers? You don't understand the meaning. A true soldier would never fight for those who seek destruction of innocent lives, they would not resort to killing those who had nothing to do with them. Your monster is the only reason you are not yet dead. Both from my men, and from the wrath of our planet's winds, you have done nothing but cower behind your machine of terror and destruction.

Am I not right? Is your purpose not to slaughter? I could care less about who you are, and I don't need to know anything about you. In my eyes, you are a damned monster would would harm innocents, just because someone told you to. My people fight for the prosperity and well being of the down trodden, Mythos or Human! Unless you have a just cause, slay your tongue and crawl out of that mechanical toy of yours! You are no soldiers, you are thugs! To hell with you, so what if there are Mythos who prey upon the weak? We would gladly crush them underfoot as well as you. But to imprison and control innocents just to get at the bad... it's unforgivable."

He turns to Azula. "You know what I need, right?" She silently nods."I'm ready any time you are."

Gobble: Well, excuse us from trying to live ya douchebag!

5x5: Our purpose was to destroy the attackers.Youattacked us first. We're only delivering justice. And we stop our kind from destroying mankind. We Mythos we're a mistake. A mistake we're are going to resolve. And if we are thugs, how come we survived? Not because of the CRAzy. This thing wouldn't have saved us, if we hadn't ordered it to. We saved ourselves, we used the CRAzy to do it. We're we live. There is no such thing as prosperity, only pain. You try living in a world where people will kill one another just to get what they want, or out of sheer vengance.

Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.

Azula's hand touches Kado's shoulder, and immediately a dark aura forms around him, trimmed with a red light. Black and red marking appear over him.

Kalin:(looks at Kado, impressed by the transformation) Cool.

"I assumed you weren't informed... but allow me to help you see the truth of things... M.C.C.P. attacked us first. A week ago, a band of unknown soldiers attempted to arrest and kidnap over a dozen civilians, all Mythos. Before they could escape, our A.H.D.S. squads intercepted and interrogated them, and it was discovered that the origin was from Earth. We further tracked them down, and learned of their organization's identity. The original plan was to simply spy on and discover the intention of M.C.C.P. before directly confronting them. ...We changed our minds when it was discovered what exactly it actually does. Not only do you imprison Mythos without due process or any form of respect as to their possible innocence, but we have confirmed reports of experimentation as well, in addition to the use of your 'CRAzys', whose sole design is to put an ultimate end to Mythos, without regard to human or innocent life.

...And I know there is no such thing as true prosperity. But to not even try... is a fate worse than death. Tell me this, if we do not strive to achieve happiness, then what point is there in living at all? ...I was not allowed to have such a life. I decided on making this organization, to better the world, even if it was a futile effort, even if my inevitable death should come, at least I would have done something worth fighting for. This is not Fantasy... where the life is plentiful and surreal... we more than anyone know Earth's pain of war and hatred. In places it lingers. If you but stray from the old paths, the wind of death rains its hell upon you... Echo is no Fantasy. But even so, don't bring your pathetic world's pain to us, we have no use for it! We move on, we endure no matter how strong the wind or the death that Pain brings us! Take your worthless hatred, and be buried for it!"

He charges his black and red katanas, and growls, "Black Flame Stance. Death of the dark, death of fire... burn away my enemies... and free them."

He launches two massive waves of darkness and fire, blasting the CRAzy back and melting some of its armor.

"Damn it..."

The CRAzy's armor is cooling off. The CRAzy then fires a fireball at Kado.

5x5: Mankind has sinned. There is no hope for them. No matter how hard we try, we still mange to screw it all up. We are also just as damned as mankind. Mankind hates what they don't understand.

CRAzy: *fires another fireball*

Kado easily deflects and absorbs both fireballs, not even breaking his stance.

"You don't seriously expect to defeat me doing that do you? And what was that about fighting like soldiers, when all you're doing is lobbing little fireballs at me?"

He returns fire, and Azula wields the metal in the earth to bind and restrict the Crazy's body, and then wields the two constructs in place, immoblizing it.

She then fires a concentrated beam of molten metal at its chest, melting a small hole in its chest and nearly frying 5x5.

"Even if you believe you are damned, we don't think like that. If that is what you truely believe, take it and leave it at the door, we don't care for those who give up on life without first knowing what it means to live! Our way of life is not your own, and we would gladly die to allow others to live free from your damnation you call 'living', but we call merely existing! You are a life time's distance from understanding what it means to live!"Azula growls.

5x5: *is mildy burned* AAAAGGHHAGGGGH!

Avalia: 5x5!

Gobble: Holy shit!

Seco: Bastards...

CRAzy: Power source has been detected. Powercords from under the city power the shield Awaiting Command

Seco: Absorb power.

CRAzy: Absorbig power source. *absorbs all the power that runs underneath the city, mking the shield go out and the city powerless. The CRAzy surging with the power of the city*

Seco:..Switch to Power Outburst.

CRAzy: Switching to Power Outburst. *releases all of Azure's power, which destroys nearly all of Azure and blows Kado and Azula away*

Kalin absorbs a large portion of the energy, appearing completely white as he is knocked back by the force of the blast. As he recovers, he analyzes the CRAzy's structure, looking for a weakness he can exploit. Upon completing his search, he runs over to the rubble covering Azula and Kado, the energy he absorbed causing his speed to increase exponentially. His movements becoming a blur, He removes the rubble from the area as he speaks to Rose in his head.

Kalin: Rose, I Need a hand

Rose: With what?

I mean, I need a hand.

Oh, I see. But I don't know what good thatwill do you.

Trust me, Rose, I've got a plan...Azula, you still with us?

A huge chunk of rubble flies up, and Azula emerges, hunched over a small form.

"Wake up, wake up! Please wake up! ...Kalin... Kado needs urgent treatment."

She appears to be crying, and in great distress.

Kalin zips over to Azula, and is slightly surprised at the sight before him.

Kalin: What the- ? 

Pulling himself together quickly, Kalin opens a portal beneath the small figure, closing it quickly.Before Kado disappears, Kalin makes sure to grab his blades. They were important to the plan he had in mind. He then turned to Azula, kneeling in front of her face.

Listen Azula, he's going to be all right. I sent him someplace where he can get better. When he recovers, He'll be right back, I promise. Right now, I need you to stay focused. I have a plan to get rid of this thing, and I need your help to do it. Can you see what I'm thinking? I have plans for a weapon, and I need you to build it. As fast as I am I won't be able to gather all the pieces while I hold that thing off. Can you do it?

Azula suddenly freezes. "I.... don't.... believe it.... ....Kalin. Look behind you, but slowly." Kalin turns, and sees a woman in white, with curled horns. She turns slightly to look at Kalin.

"It would seem that someone has beaten me to the pleasure of destroying Kado's city... I will have to take it out on that pet machine of those worthless humans then..." She begins walking toward the CRAzy, not even concerned at the mass destruction done to the city, eyeing the machine as if it was a ball of yarn being presented to a cat.

"Now then... how shall I break you?" She says softly, a white aura about her.

"Wait here..." Kalin says to Azula as he disappears, reappearing in front of their guest.

"Umm, I don't know who you are, but I've got DIBS on this thing, and a plan to deal with it, so If you don't mind, I'd like you to not break anything. I do appreciate how you tried to color coordinate. (gestures at their similar auras)

Rose: You sure you don't want the help?

Kalin: Help? I think this lady is as likely to help us as try to take our heads as trophies...

CRAzy: *grabs both of them and knocks their head together 2 times and set his fists on fire*

She disappears in a split second, leaving Kalin stuck in its hands. She reappears below, and swings her white katana at its arm, and cuts him loose.

"Impudent..." She looks at Kalin, and smirks. She snaps her fingers, and massive chains pin him down to the ground.

"Now then... to deal with you..." She looks at the CRAzy. "You know, I figured out what I want to do with you... so rude of you to destroy my target... ah well. Your destruction will suffice."

The CRAzy swipes at her with its other arm, and a shield of light blocks it.

"You really want to be destroyed so badly? I guess I can't say no." A massive aura of pure light begins radiating from her, and she swings her katana directly at the Crazy's chest, instanteously splitting it in half, and destroying the reactors, which begin to explode, tossing the squads far and wide. From where she stands, there seems to be a lack of light, as if she had drained the light around her into nothing.

She then looks back and Kalin and Azula. "I would finish the job with you, but I imagine you would make for poor entertainment. I will leave you for now. Say hello to the little tyke for me..." She disappears in a shimmer of light, while wreckage from the Crazy falls everywhere.

Azula looks back at Kalin, a worried look on her face, looking at all of the destruction, but something else clearly has her worried.

Rose: Ok, I definitely like her.

Kalin: Good for you, maybe she'll be your BDSM buddy. Speaking of bondage...

Using the energy he stored from the random woman's out burst, he began to vibrate at high speed until the chains begin to fall through him, allowing him to stand. Brushing himself off, he creates a lbarrier of the light energy he has left to protect Azula from the radiation in the air. Walking over to her, he asks "How're you holding up?"

Seco: *is injured* Dang...there it goes...

5x5: *is even more burned* AAAAAAAAGGGGGGRRRRGHHHHHH!!!

Avalia: NO!

Goble: Oh my God! 5!

Azula grimaces."Been better... but Kado... where is he...? Is he alright?"

Meanwhile, the squads begin to retreat, when suddenly the entire area around them begins to be peppered by high energy energy rifles, and they begin to dodge. However, their aim manages to hit many of the squad members and critically wound them. Seco, 5x5, Avalia and Coble all feel powerful discharges into their bodies, which force them to the ground, while the others barely manage to escape.

Seco looks up just in time to see an A.H.D.S. agent stand over him, a rifle pointed point blank in his face.

"You're going to wish hell had a place low enough for you," He growls as he slams the butt of the rifle into Seco's head, knocking him unconcious. The rest of the Azure agents secure the other three, and bind them with Energy Coils and Chains, then tie them up into bags and sling them over their shoulder.

Retribution would be swift for these fools.

5x5: Do what you want to us...We will never break...*is escorted away along with the others*

Kalin looks at Azula in partial disbelief.

"Oh yeah, and I'm great. Thanks for asking...(sighs) Kado is currently in another dimension. If he went in the right direction, he should be getting help as we speak.But...we probably won't be seeing him for some time.

The young girl floats about, weakly opening her eyes, drifting in a strange dimension. As panic begins to fill her heart, from her body a massive black shadow surges forth.

"I suppose I should probably save you... after all... you ARE my master... but that may one day change... Kado... become stronger... or I will deal with you myself."

A powerful, feminine voice rings in the darkness, and the girl only sees the brief visage of a strange woman, before everything becomes black...

Azula gasps."K--Kado?!"The small form of a young girl appears in Azula's arms, barely breathing, with a thick aura of darkness clinging to her.

Kalin looks surprised to see Kado returned so quickly, even more so considering he still seemed injured. Kalin was prepared to absorb the darkness surrounding his, or her, body, but stopped when he felt another presence within it. Realizing that the radiationadiation wasn't going anywhere soon, Kalin opened a portal to Earth. "I don't think that this is the best place for him to recover. I have a place where you guys can stay and regroup, if you want."

Rose: If I didn't tell them about the place, what makes you think it's a good idea?

Because, they need help, and this radiation isn't going to dissipate any time soon.(looks back to Azula) So, what do you think?

Azula looks down at Kado."I understand the urgency... but why Earth? Is there someone who will help him? We can't let anyone know of this form."

"Yes, he can get help there. And I'm guessing your men don't exactly know who they're following (looks down at Kado) otherwise you'd have called them over already.So if we want to get him out somewhere safe without being noticed, I say...(stops for a moment) on second thought, I have a better idea. I just hope these other worlds are as easy to get to as that other place...(encloses the party in a portal to fantasy;the portal soon after disappears)

From Ashes

The men tirelessly work to remove rubble, even as new roads are being drawn out, and planning for residential areas being executed. Even though Lord Kado has yet to be seen, they concentrate on what matters most to them. Rebuilding. The anger burns in their hearts, calling for revenge, but that would have to wait. One of the men look up to see a portal open, and Lady Azula and Lord Kado emerge, alive and well, though tired. The man drops what he's doing and rushes towards them. The reaction spreads like a tide, and soon the organization all begins to gather to welcome their leader back home. Beneath the city, the noise echoes down into the prisons, where four bound and chained prisoners hang over almost endless pits, their powers disabled through strange bracers fused with their skin.

Gobble: Mane, this sucks.

Seco: We know Gobble, you said that 4 times already.

Gobble: Because it does.

Seco: Feeling any better 5x5?

5x5: I'll be fine. Got all the time in the world to heal now that we're prisoners.

Avalia: Do we have a plan of getting out of here or this is where it ends for us?

Seco: Don't know yet, but we have all the time to think about it.

They suddenly hear footsteps coming towards them, as the cheering quiets down. From the top of the stairs, two figures descend, accopanied by a massive honor guard.

The man leading them wears a mask, and Seco remembers him as the man that lead the forces against the CRAzy. The man stops near the edge of the pit, and snaps his fingers, and plasma beams burst from the ceiling, forming a sort of massive series of jail bars far too thin to even stick a hand through. A strange transparent floor appears below them, and the chains begin to lower them, until they are gently put down on it. The masked man observes them for a moment, and their chains release them, though the bracers attached to their bodies remain.

"I was told that we had prisoners from the battle with the machine you sent against us... but to think you four were the ones we caught... well that boggles my mind a bit... it still confounds me how you did what you did. I assume you have names...? It would be awkward to speak to you without knowing your names..."

Seco: The names Seco, sort for Second

5x5: Jonothan "5x5" Waltz

Avalia: Avalia Monteri

Gobble: George Coble, or Gobble. Which ever or.

Kado looks at them, and nods. "I see. I hate the idea of treating people this way, but in case you didn't notice, there's only rubble where homes and businesses once stood. Unfortunately for you we were wise enough to vacate the city prior to engagement, so your machine did little but prove the reason why this organization exists. To destroy those who care little or none for innocent lives. And now not only have you failed to destroy us, from what I've heard, it's now the general opinion that our world should finish what the Element Overlords started. Your world's oblivion."

He lets that word hang in the air.

"There is a saying, perhaps you know of it? 'Violence only breeds violence. Hatred only brings more hatred.' Tell me something... Seco. What doyouthink kidnapping, killing, and harrassing Mythos does to the innocent ones?"

Seco: Make them feel safe. One less mytho, One less disaster to worry about, am I right?

Kado reaches up to his mask, and slowly takes it off, when he does, dark red eyes and an unusually young, almost teenage face stares out at Seco.

"You sound like my family... right before they tried to have me killed..." He takes out Dark Slayer, which begins howling in the dark room, deafening Seco and the others.

"Because this sword chose me... because they thought I was a threat... they tried to kill me... ...I... I loved them... I admired them... they were everything to me..." His voice breaks off. "But... now..." He suddenly growls, and a dark aura grows about him. "Now... now I just want to slaughter them... every last one... chop them to pieces, impale them on a spike...!!!"

His aura becomes stiff, as he tries to control himself. "Because someone thought I was a threat, me, an innocent, they tried to eliminate me. But by doing so... they created me..." He stares at Seco. "Because of their actions, I'm no longer an innocent. Now I'm a problem. A problem that will do anything to slaughter them, no matter the cost! Just another disaster now!" He snaps.

"Your logic... is the logic that will wipe out humanity. You breed violence, you bring hatred. By trying to kill one problem, you create ten. You kill the ten, twenty sprout. You eliminate forty, and suddenly it's eighty." He gives Seco a death glare. "The only problem... is you. You create the violence. You encourage it. Because of this, it will never end. Unless you start a new cycle."

Seco: Take a number. You don't thin we've been through the same shit you did? Wechose this life to contain our kind from doing any harm. We already have it as bad as it is. The humans don't need anymore problems like us.

Kado sighs. He sits down the floor, and closes his eyes, a still visibly angry expression on his face.

"Actually, it's humans that are the problem. Their hatred of what they don't understand, of what are stronger than them leads them to meaningless violence. You're just their pawns, brainwashed to serve whatever purpose they desire. Your M.C.C.P. is understandable, butwrong.I agree that there are Mythos who have no sense of justice or respect for those weaker than them... but what about you and I? There are more of us than you might think, Seco."

He gets up off the ground, and dusts his clothes off. "We treat everyone here at Azure the same, regardless of race. What matters is their actions. Which is why you are here. Why this building exists. Because this isn't a perfect world, and we still have criminals. However, we treat all with fairness here. Which is why until now your execution orders were halted. Because I had to spend a few days in recovery, my people could not authorize a execution.

That decision has yet to be made. What do you think I should do with you Seco? Should I treat you the way you treat your own kind? Simply elimnate you because you're a problem? Or should I offer mercy, even though my people's hearts roar for their sense of justice?"

He stares at them all. "Well? What's your answer? I want to hear it for myself."

Seco: I've already been shown mercy and there is no true sense of justice. Do whatever you want with me.


Seco: Not like that, Gobble.

Gobble: *is relived* Oh ok, I was about to say.

Kado then gets a dark look which sends the generalUh Ohfeeling down their spines. He becomes intagible, and passes through the plasma. He strides right up to 5x5 and grabs his throat, and lifts him up into the air.

"You said do whatever I want... right?THISis what I want!" He tightens his grip on 5x5, and suddenly tosses him at Avalia, 5x5 choking as he slams into her.

"...But that's not what I'm going to do." His eyes turn dark grey, and he exits the prison cell. "I won't bring myself low as you. You all will be sentenced to service for the people. Let me tell you a couple of things, before you get any bright ideas. We have cut off all transportation routes to Earth on this world, and it will be impossible for you to return. Your bracers are a unique bio-mech that have bonded with your cells. Should you try to remove them, it will not only cause you pain, but even if you removed the original completely, the bracers would grow back in less than twenty four hours. They will continously surpress and limit you, you can only use a set physical limit, and you cannot use your full strength. Even if you did find a way back home... you would be worthless to your M.C.C.P. The bracers are in your genetic code... literally. If you do try to escape, know that you will be executed immediately.

...We'll see about adjustments on behalf of good behavior." He walks out, along with the woman, but their guards remain, and the chains return and limit their movements, but allow them to move inside their enclosure, and the plasma beams turn into a barrier much like the city's own barrier. One of the guards looks at Seco.

"Your first service hours begin, once we have determined you are in good health and well fed. Food will be provided at reqular mealtimes as per request, but no snacks between these time frames are allowed. These are your conditions provided under Prisoner Fairness Clause."

Seco: I told him to do whatever he wants tome.Self-righteos dumbass.

5x5: *gets off of Avalia* I'm doin' fine. This guy is an asshole.

Gobble: I know right.

Avalia: We have no other choice. We have to take responsibility.

5x5: We've always have. No reason to stop now.

Kado walks up to the meeting room, where each of the heads of the Azure agencies are gathered waiting.

He looks at each of their weary faces, and soon joins them and sits down. "So then... is it true that the other nations and clans are calling an early Summit to discuss the event.s of this past week?"

A department head nods. "Yes sir. They request that you meet with them in the next week."

Kado nods slowly. "I understand. I would like to do something before that then."

The D.H looks at him intently. "What would that be?"

Kado narrows his eyes. "I wish to speak with Earth's representatives myself. I move for an Astral Projection."

"...As you wish, Kado. We'll get it ready."

"Thank you. It's time that we had a good chat with Earth, and make it known that they need to get their heads out of their ass."

"...Yes... they do..." The D.H. says uncomfortably, and the room empties except for Azula.

"Are you ready, Kado?" "No. I hate diplomacy."

"Why is a mytho in our conference office?"

The President: No hostility at the table, please. This one is brave to come and speak with us in person. Continue masked stranger.

"As much in person as I can at this point at least... I would come to you directly but I have a feeling that security would otherwise prove problematic, and my people don't need any more of your apocalyptic weapons of pointless destruction pointed at us. I come to you to inform you that in less than a week, my world's leaders shall convene to discuss a rather stressing issue, namely the destruction of my entire people's city. Even as we speak it may take countless weeks to simply clear away the rubble." His image flashes to that of a city completely leveled, with millions tirelessly clearing the debris and at the same time, trying to reestablish homes, and then eventually returns to his form.

"I also understand you probably are not interested in hearing me beat around the bush either. An organization called M.C.C.P., which we have learned is more or less able to do as it pleases even without your approval, and is fully supported by you, is the source of our people's calamity. I am not going to pretty my words, nor soften them for you. Because of this organization's actions, which I will stress was given authority to act in such a manner, my world now seeks to make Earth pay for its actions. There are those who say we should just burn it down, innocents or not.

...I do not believe in such violence. ...But what do you say to this? Are you happy to let such careless violence go unabated?"

Rep 2: The M.C.C.P have jurisdiction over all things Myth-based. We let them do their job.

Rep 5: As for people. We have lost more in our lifetime than you ever have. *shows pictures of desolated cities such as Osaka and New York City, even Beijing.* This was caused by Mythos. these beings are a destructive force. More than half a trillion people die each day because of these things. Are agencies are doing what they can to prevent that. They scower around the place, wanting to have what God has given only for us. The Mythos were never meant to be.

Kado stares them down, his eye color changing to a very dull red. "Tell me something. Is it necessary to exterminate people who don't do such things? Is it necessary to jail those who care about society? There are Mythos who given the chance might be even more loyal citizens than their human counterparts. And in all of the history of my world, let it be known that it was my kin who protected humanity after they accidentaly wandered into this savage world. Our world is nothing like Fantasy. There is pain. There is suffering. Yet unlike you, we rallied together to embrace new ideals, even when our world was once just as war torn if not more so as yours. Perhaps you are simply creating a self fulfilling prophesy, did you ever consider that?

When those who are innocent are harmed, will they not retaliate in anger? You may remove as many Mythos as you please, but more will come, with more hatred than the last. What will it take for you to not realize that violence only breeds violence? My world treats everyone as equals. Man AND Mythos must abide by the same laws. Crime endures, but our people who fight for the law keep them down. Instead of this ceaseless violence, this unending hatred, could you not treat them the same as you?

...How long has it been? And tell me, during all of these years then, how well has your plan worked for you yet? I encourage you to think, and to look back at those pictures, and YOU tell me, has anything changed?"

Rep 2: Your lucky. Because your kind didn't sin. Man did. This is our punishment for going against God's will. We are doomed to repeat the never ending circles: Life, Death, Hell, Pain. and Responsibility. No matter how hard or how much you preach to us. Your words are lost on Man.

"...You say you are doomed to repeat never ending cycles? ...Fine then. So do I. So does anyone who truly lives. But if you say responsiblity is one of them... let me suggest this. Start being responsible. All you're doing is stuffing the mess under the bed, and hoping that it goes away. Even when man was deserving of his wrath, a man and his family was spared. When man was alone and unable to fend for himself, did God not give you the powers that made you who you are? Did you not become able to stand on your own two feet, and build yourselves up?

While once you were helpless, he gave you the ability to stand up, even as exiles, you could know that you could stand alone. Yet, when we were born, you didn't try to help us. You tried to erase us. For that alone, if you claim that you're cursed with responsibility, I would say that you have failed your responsibility more than ever! Your race was given the power to create us, why else would your creator give you such a power if not to show you what it means to be a creator yourselves! It would be so easy for him to treat you like you do us! But he doesn't, even after all this time!"

Kado closes his eyes. "All this time, the Mythos have had to learn to walk on their own. All this time, we've only known that our creators hate and spite us. They only want to kill us. That's all we've ever known. We don't want you to do these things to us. We want you to teach us how to walk, to survive, to thrive... ...that's what we wanted. But all you've done is turn us away, just because you think we were a mistake, even though you were given the power to create us.... as a gift from your own creator! What did we do to deserve your hatred? You made us this way... ...perhaps you haven't noticed... but many of us... are just like you. We hate. We fear. There are those of us who fear death... those who carry heavy burdens... pain... hell... many of us know what that's like.

Because you gave those things to us."

Rep 1: That's why we fear them. They have all the impurities off man, plus the abilities monsters. Our belief in the stories we told brought them here through life-occurrences. You are like us, but that is what makes you even more dangerous. Mankind was always blinded by sin, we can't just wipe our eye that easily. We can't change this, until the end comes and it is almost here.

Kado looks away from him. "What you're doing... is sin. Is it not? Killing? Kidnapping? Unjust imprisonment? I can't believe you call yourselves 'human'. The only monsters I see... are the ones in this room. The ones who allow this... to not even giveanyonea chance... can you not at least offer a hand of mercy to the ones who don't deserve this treatment? Is that too much to ask? A law requiring due process, where people are judged, not by hatred but by law, a law that judges based on crime, not existence. You could even recruit Mythos to fight against those who would defy society, and abuse their powers!

If the humans who came from your world to ours could learn to accept and change who they were, there is no reason for you at all not to try. And let me tell you that the ones who established this change in our world, was not the Shapeshifters, who cared only for their own peace and quiet, nor the Elemental Clans, who only sought bloodshed, but the humans, humans from your world, who decided to make a new life, an new history, where they could cease fighting, and live in peace! And ever since the Fantasy Reality war, they have done just that!

...Until M.C.C.P. attacked us, the only wars came from the few fanatics who still cling to old ways, there was peace, until you brought your violence back to us, all of our long hard work torn down by people who have still been doing the same thing, the people who still cling to old ways, and the people, who refuse to change.

Humanshave a power far greater than the Mythos, representative. But it seem's you're forgotten your power. You have the power to change, change not only your lifes, but your destiny. You once wielded the power of change, you once wielded an imagination so great, you gave birth to life!"Kado snarls.

Rep 1: You miss understand. Humans are monsters. Your words are but stone.

"So, then, what's the point of you existing then? If you're so damned, then why do you care about killing off Mythos? Is it just because you want someone to drag to hell with you? Is there anything you care about? Probably not." A new voice says out of no where, and Kado sighs.

"No one invited you to this conversation, Fire Lord."

"I don't need an invitation!" The person speaking appears, a humanoid mass of stone and fire, with visible jagged teeth. "I make my own. But that's beside the point. So let me get this straight, human. You call yourselves damned, and you hate your existance. So then, tell me, what's your point in killing, when you could care less about yourselves? I'd like to understand your logic here." He says in a growling voice, echoing with his primal energies.

Rep 3: We didn't say anything about hating or existence. Humans are cowards, we hate everything that does not look or even act like us. God gave us this world. The Mythos wish to destroy it! Take it for themselves!

The fire lord gives him a irritated look. "And who told you that? Did your grand ol' poppy tell you that? Or is that some preconceived notion you carry, because it's convenient? It's easier to band everyone into a wagon, isn't it? It's much harder to sort out who's the bad guy and who's the good guys. You're too much of cowards to even realize when a system is broken! And while we're talking hating, yes you do. You hate yourselves, it's written all over your damn cowardly face! You moan and b*tch about how you're cursed for all eternity! You could care less what happens to the human race!

Our world's leaders are meeting in a week, and I see no reason to vote not to declare war on Earth, and wipe you out for your transgressions. You may hate yourselves, and you may place your curses on yourselves, but you will not use it as an excuse to disrupt peace in our world! You WILL suffer for the consequnces of your actions."

The President: We cannot fix what is broken. All those who tried to fix it died. You make waron man, you too make war on the Mythos. And no doubt that Sedition will come and put an end to you.

Rep 2: Why put our faith in the Sedition? They're Mythos too!

The President: The strongest Mythos we or anyone else have ever seen, that is why I am putting my faith in them

Kado appears to draw a sword, and the Fire Lord leaps back, hissing angrily. "Calm yourself, or remove yourself from here. I have no time to put up with war mongering."

Kado looks at the President. "It's true that those who try to fix things often die. But often times they are a minority who are incapable of changing the world, they have so little power. But you... ALL OF YOU! You all alone possess power beyond the individual. Are you not representatives of all of Earth's people? You have the power to change law, to set the way forward for progress, innovation. In your hands, you can change the status quo, you can authorize changes that promote civil rights, you can pass laws to change the economy, if there is anyone in this world who can change things, it's you, Mr President, and all of you," He points at each of the representatives.

"But if you choose to waste your power, and sit by and not even try, than I have no cause to believe in the good of humanity! My parents were human, but I never hated them for how they treated me, I understand it just as well as any Mythos. I'm different. I had the opportunity to see the good things humanity has as a child, even as I wandered helplessly, alone and forgotten, there was always someone who cared enough for a child to help me. Please... do not let this go by. I know you are capable of far greater things. I've seen them." His eyes change to a light blue.

Rep 2: Why should we give rights to monsters?

The President: We cannot just do that, for it may be unfair to the people.

Kado sighs. "Then why do you have rights? Did you not just yourselves admit to being monsters yourselves? And besides. As representatives of your people, it is true you have a duty to fulfill your duty to your office, and to your people. But there are times when someone must understand you can do one of two things. You can either fulfil your duty blindly, and you can neglect your own personal beliefs and ideals. Or, you can stand up for what you think needs to be done, even if society thinks you're wrong. You must decide if you believe a cause is worthy enough to stand for, even when you're the lone man standing above the sea, and not let your station fool you into declining into apathy.

Why is it that you became politicians, why is it that you ran for your station? Do you not have ideals of your own, ambitions you want to realize? Is there not something in your life you think is worth fighting for? Tell me. I'm curious. What ambitions drive you? Or are you simply mindless puppets doing whatever people tell you?"

He gives them a look. "There's a difference between doing what's popular and what's right. Think of it this way. Instead of investing so much more resources into containing all of these people, you could give them the chance to use their powers for good. Giving them rights would make all the difference, representative. They have no voice. They have no hope. They have no reason to coexist. You humans have something that Mythos crave. Freedom. Hope. Life. Of course they resent you, of course they hate you. You give them every reason to, and never a reason to love or show compassion. And when you add demonization, hatred, kidnapping, killing, you've only added fuel to the fire. By giving Mythos rights, you extinguish much of the flame. You remove the fire at the source. You're only trying to extinguish a fire with water, when it is a grease fire. You've tried everything else, but the humanitarian option. And why not try? What do you have to lose by trying? It's not like doing this for the past 700 years had done anything. New York, Bejing... those tragic moments continue even after all this time. Because you're doing the same old thing." 

The President: Hmm, perhaps you are right. But it is too late. We've already signed it. 

Kado and the Fire Lord narrow their eyes. "Signedwhat?

The President: The Act. The Mythos Regestration Act. All Mythos must come under an agency. If they do not comply, they will be treated to civil segregation and if caught outside the law will be killed. 

Kado gives him a half stern look. "First off, what does come under a agency mean anyway? And also, can you not provide amendments and stipulations to provide a degree of fairness to the law? It doesn't have to be set in stone. Just because it IS, doesn't mean it always has to be that way." 

The President: We promised the people their safety. If we change it, they'll want to take matter into their own hands. We can't loose innocents to a personal war. And yes, we have more than one agency. The M.C.C.P is one of our best and most trusted. 

Kado looks as if he's about to say something, but a voice not seen interupts him. 

"Sir... I have news. According to what we've learned... we've positively confirmed that Earth Slayer... is hiding on Earth." 

Kado's attention begins faltering to what the voice said. "What did you say...?" Kado breaks off, disbelief in his voice. 

"...I said Earth Slayer is confirmed to be hiding away on Earth." 

Kado is silent, and Fire Lord looks on, confused. "Who is this, 'Earth Slayer', Kado?" 

"...Leave." "Wha-" "I said leave, Fire Lord." 

The Fire Lord silently vanishes, and the President sees that there is a demented look of rage in Kado's eyes. 

Kado seems to struggle with his emotions for a moment. "...I asked you what coming under an Agency means, President. What does that mean for those who do?" He says in a much darker voice than before. 

The President: They will be trained to become agents. No tests or biological enhancements. None of that, but they will be trained to...hunt down there brothers. 

Kado's eyes close. "So even after all of that... in the end they're just a means to an end. No hope, no future. What about the Mythos who too young to fight...? What about the families? In the end they're still just caged animals. Nothing is solved. You won't even give them a decent chance to serve society, besides being tools and killers? ...No one wants that life."  

The President: We mean't what we said....Humans are monsters...The children are also trained but will not participate in capturing other Mythos until they become of age. Anny family member who do not comply will be submitted int civil segregation, we catch him or her doing anyhting wrong, they will be kill. Either by an agency or by the people.  

Kado opens his eyes slowly, his eyes still red.  

"...I see now that you truly don't care. I hoped you all might be willing to listen... nothing changes. But it doesn't matter anymore."  

He seems to regain his earlier anger, and the President strangely finds interest in the reaction of Kado at the mention of 'Earth Slayer', whoever that might be.  

"...I have my people to return to. I won't waste any more of my time, it's clear to me now that the solution rests elsewhere." He turns, silent disgust burning in his mind.  

The President: Your words maybe lost upon us, but that doesn't mean we don't value your effort. Not many a mytho come here to talk of rights and equality. You are brave one, not many would've come. You have me respect above all else.  

Kado's image is slowly distorted by a red aura. "What value is that to me... when your respect earns me nothing? My life's work to provide a future remains trampled upon, and no justice has been offered." He disappears.  

The President: Hmmm....Earth Slayer...  

World Summit

Seco, 5x5, Avalia, and Gobble are just hanging around

Gobble: We've been here for like a while know. I mean, when are we gonna eat?

Seco: We've been trained to go on for days without eating

Gobble: I have a higher metabolism rate.

Avalia: Im not sure if that made anysense

Gobble: Yea whatever. I'm still hungry. Hey,hey Gaurd guy. Ya have any food on ya'? Hope their not like those English dudes, who stand at the gate of The Tower of London. Those guys creep me out.

The guard gives them a flat stare. "You haven't set up your meal times. Of course you haven't gotten anything to eat. We don't even know what kind of Mythos you are. If you're hungry, you should have spoken up." He says in a flat bored voice.

Gobble: Dude, we Mythos eat just about anything you guys eat, I mean come on we're of the same race. Not to mention, your standing this close to me. Ya' can't here my stomach growling? Helmet too tight on your head?

"..." The guard sighs. "Need I explain the fact I'm not your maid? I can send requests for services, but you have to actually bother to take initiative. It's not my problem if you don't tell me what you want."

Footsteps can be heard coming from the stairway. "Hmm. Seems you're going to have a visitor."

Gobble: Is it that masked asshole again?

5x5: *whispers* Shut up!

Gobble: *under his breath* Well, i'm sorry, man.

They hear a chuckle from the stairs, and Kado walks in unmasked, much to the guard's surprise. "K-Kado?! Your mask it...!"

"I'm well aware. I lost it while I was fighting... him. I'll have to make a new one later." He pauses, and looks at the four. "They haven't feed you, have they?" He says in a visibly irritated fashion.

Gobble: No, these mean-giant poopy heads wouldn't feed us. Their treating s like animals! WAAAAAAA!

5x5: *drops his head* By dear God.

"...Everyone but you gets food." He says in an annoyed voice to Gobble.

Gobble: Ah shit. That sucks.

Seco: Your own fucking fault

Gobble: *looks away* So?

The barrier comes down, and Kado gestures them to follow, as guards file in, keeping their eye on them.

"Come with me, I will see that you get something to eat, and then we'll talk. Don't try anything with me, or you will sincerely regret it. I'm not in the best of moods to be dealt with." Seco notices this, there is a slight weariness to Kado's face.

He proceeds to walk up the stairs, while the guards have their weapons ready to fire in a merely moment's notice.

Gobble: Goin' on a field trip?

Seco: *sarcasm* With pissed-off shape-shifting national leader? No way.

Gobble: *starts singing the Magic School Bus main theme*

Kado almost stops to give Gobble a look, but instead shapeshifts his head into the vissage of Hitomara and roars, and just as quickly returns to normal. "IHATEkid shows." He walks much faster, and stops at the top of the stairs to wait for them, arms crossed.

Gobble: Gotta be hatin' on them childhood memories, huh?

Seco: This maybe a total dick question, but where are we going?

Kado does not answer, but when they reach the top of the stairs, they suddenly are teleported into what they assume is a living space, illuminated by only the walls, which glow a soft blue.

"Here." A table is prepared, with a kitchen on the left side with plenty of food. "Relax for a bit. We can get to business later. I have some time anyway." He walks over to one of the couches, and sits down.

Seco while getting something for himself, notices a strange cyllinder shaped object in one corner of the building, and notes it seems to be a sort of machine.

Seco: Another total dick question, but what is that? *starts eating his food*

Kado looks at it. "A liquid suspension chamber. I can't sleep in a bed."

Gobble: *saracsm* Geez, I wonder why?

5x5: *whispers* Shut up, man! Your gonna screw us all up!

Kado holds up Gobble's wallet over a incinerator trash can. "I suppose you don't mind if I just throw this in here, since you have such a smart mouth."

Gobble: Go ahead I don't need it. Not like we were given any equal rights or anything. Not to mention I'm broke. All I have is a 2 for 1 coupon for Arby's and picture of Avalia taking a shower.

5x5 & Avalia: *drop their heads* Oh my gosh.

Kado promptly burns it. "Well then..." He walks over to the table and sits down, and starts toying with a rather sharp combat knife, but does not seem concerned about not cutting himself.

"I assume you're probably dying to know why I've brought you here, so I won't keep you in suspense. As a result of your...actions, the nations of Echo have called for a World Summit, and that includes me. As a neutral territory between the great Elemental Clans and the Empire of Chinmoku, you not only angered my people, but as I told you, you've now incensed all of Echo's wrath. But that's besides the point. I told you we would put you to use, and since you claim to be competent, I'm interested if you would like to be part of the escort force that shall accompany me. Of course, you can always sit in your cell until we find something else you can do. ...And if you say one more thing Gobble, I will injure you so bad the only thing you will be able to utter is the sound you get your name from.

So on that note, the question is are you in or are you out? I want a straight answer."

Gobble: *is intimidated* Oh shiz

Seco: We will doubt escort you. Beats the hell out of hang by our wrists.

Kado sighs. "I thought I told them not to do that anymore. I'll give you a deal, do this without any funny business, and I will move you down to 'SS' quarters instead of your current 'SSS' class cell. I want you to keep in mind that the place we will be going to is the Temple of Chinmoku itself, a city of absolute no violence. If you try and start something, they will punish you severely. When you're there, mind your manners. They used to execute people for disrespect to the Grand Eye." He looks at them.

"We have at least one more day left before we will go, so I'm going to be nice and let you stay here. However, like I said, try any funny business and you're going to be in a lot of trouble. Understood?" He says sternly.

All: *nod* Understood.

Seco notices throughout the day that Kado has not eaten much of anything, and seems to be distracted constantly, either just tired, or there's something going on with him. As the evening approaches Gobble wonders where they will sleep.

Gobble: Ok, Seco and 5x5 sleep on that couch, Me and Avalia sleep on the other one.

Avalia: *kicks Gobble in the crotch*

Gobble: *falls flat on face and starts whimpering*

5x5: How about we guys sleep in one area and Avalia can have that couch to herself.

Seco: I was thinking me and Gobble can share this couch and you and Avalia can share the other one.

Gobble: *is still whimpering* Are you serious?!

Avalia: *blushes red*

Seco: *winks at Avalia*

5x5:...Um...sure...*whispers to Seco* And for the record, I wont be enjoying this.

Seco: You say that now,wait until later.

5x5: *turns toward Avalia* Come on. *heads toward the other*

Avalia: *whispers to Seco* Thank you. *follows 5x5*

Gobble: I wonder if that Kado guy has something like what 5x5 and Avalia have.

Seco: It's highly possible. *lays down on the couch and goes to sleep*

Early the next morning, Seco hears a wild thrashing, and he wakes up just in time to see the woman that had been with Kado earlier literally tear open the cylinder, and a thick liquid pours out as Kado slumps out and tumbles to the ground in a heap, a petrified expression on his face, seemingly gasping as if dying. The woman puts her hand on Kado's forehead, and his body's tension fades, and he quietly begins to sleep, a weary expression slowly replacing the terror that had gripped him seconds before.

He looks around and is amazed that the others had not woken up. The woman gives him a faint 'ssshh!', and then carefully places Kado in a chair at the large table, and wraps him in a blanket, before looking back at Seco.

"I won't explain here. If you want an explanation, I'll have to do it somewhere else."What he assumes is her voice rings in his head.

Seco: Uhhhhhh...ok? Should I wake the others up or something?

"No need. I will simply give them a message they'll receive on waking up. They'll know the situation as soon as they wake up."She responds almost instantly after he finished saying that.

Seco: Ok. So what now since I'm awake?

She blinks, and they are in a different living quarter, built and designed more like a proper house, which feels more inviting than Kado's. He notices that she also brought Kado, who is now resting on a couch.

"Have some breakfast."She indicates a plate of pancakes, sausage, and eggs."I don't doubt you must want some answers as to who we are, me and Kado. I can't promise to tell you everything, as it would happen, we both have things we don't know about each other, even now. I am not able to venture into Kado's mind without his permission. I'll start with my name. I am Azula, and I am the co founder and director of communications of Azure. Doubtless you know by now that I am a telepath, but my skills go beyond just you. I am able to communicate with all the members of Azure, which on Echo alone is about 6 million, instantly. The second you arrived with that machine of yours, I was aware of you and instantly alerted everyone in the city of your presence. Nothing escapes my notice.

I bet you have even more things you wish answered, so while your companions sleep, feel free to ask, you have plenty of time."

Seco: Ok, what is the backstory of this place? *eats one of his pancakes*

"Do you mean Azure, or this world in general? I may have to summarize some of the information if you want to know about this world though."

Seco: I guess you can explain both while your at it. *wraps his eggs and sausage in his pancake and eats it*

"From what we understand from research on Earth we've taken recently, Echo and Earth lie in the same positions in Time and Space, only Earth is in Reality and Echo in Fantasy. Our world rests just on the borders between the two, which one half of this world is more like reality, and another is more like Fantasy. The Elementals live to the West, the land more like Reality, to the East lies the Empire of Chinmoku, the land of the Shapeshifters, where Kado was born.

We live in the middle of the world, from our current maps at least. The true scale of this world has yet to be determined. As you no doubt saw in your invasion, this world is much more savage than Earth. The only shelter from the rampaging winds of the West is the mountains where these sprawling lush valleys lie, though occasionally a burst of wind blasts through the region from outside. Tornados occur only every ten years, but when they do, they are beyond destructive. This world is a matter of survival of the fittest."

She pauses."That said, an organization like ours must seem illogical, in a place where strength is the key to survival."

Seco: Not really illogical. People back on Earth do that all the time. *makes another breakfast wrap and eats it* You guys are like the X-Men or something.

"I see. Anyway, Azure was founded by Kado and I, as you know. We were basically just two homeless people trying to fight for others like us, deprived of a good life. At first we were just another gang to the authorities, we were even wanted at one point. Through various methods though, we began to take down the various gangs in the city, using methods ranging through all out fighting to tactical methods. We generally made it so that the authorities would find an anonymous tip with all the evidence needed to convict and arrest them. In due time, we gradually were recognized by the city, and were greatly respected. However, the city's leaders, giant corporations and legal gangs valued us as a threat. They had made big money off the trade routes, as the city lies in a valuable middle ground for both East and West. It was at this point where we turned on them and through a whole year of fighting, we managed to topple the corrupt government. At first we did not lead the city, but the civilians began to request that we take control, and we reluctantly did.

And after that, we slowly began acting as a neutral ground for the West and East to mete out their diplomacy, and through us Echo is slowly seeing a greater amount of stability. Although, there are still plenty of hot heads, the Fire Clan Lord being a prime example, and the Exiled Clans as well, though they keep to the Forbidden Temples generally, so they're not as big as a problem."

Seco: I see. You guys got your work cut out for you, more than humans and mythological creatures. *makes one last breakfast wrap and eats*

"Is there anything else you wish to know?"He remembers something about exiled clans, forbidden temples, and also is curious as to why she has not bothered to say anything vocally all this time.

Seco: You don't wanna speak face-to-face, instead of mind-to-mind?

"It's nothing against you. I can't speak. At all. This is my only way to communicate, aside from perhaps writing."

Seco: Your mute? You don't find that many people like that these days. But what about the forbidden temples and exiled clans?

"A whole other story. Echo was once ruled by two empires. The Elemental Warlords, and the Chinmoku. During the time when Fantasy and Reality clashed, the Warlords became frustrated, their attacks on Chinmoku's outer most provinces were futile. They could only reach the center of the land, pretty much this entire valley system, but no further. The Warlords became aware of the existence of Earth, and so began the construction of portals that took advantage of Echo's proximity to Reality, and joined the war as well. In time, eight shapeshifters came out from the land of Chinmoku and took on the 8 Element Warlords, and eventually sealed them away in 8 katanas. You have already seen two of them. Fire Slayer and Dark Slayer, currently wielded by Kado. These 8 swordsmen became known as the Phoenix. They closed off Echo from Earth, by destroying the Azure Gate and proceeded to destroy the might of the Elemental Armies once and for all. Even today, the might of the Element Clans will never rise to that height again. The Exiled Clans and the Forbidden Temples, are the Elementals who would not turn their backs from their masters, and the Forbidden Temples were the seats of the 8 Warlord's power. To this day only the Exiled Clans live there."

Seco: Neat story. I was their during the war. I saw them. It's didn't know what to make of them, ubt they helped man force the mythos back into Downation. I'm not sure if there are anymore questions for me to ask.

Kado starts to stir."Well be glad you didn't get close to Hadari, the first Dark Phoenix. Of all of them, he was legendary for... well being a brute. If he saw you, you probably would have died. But anyway, since Kado is awake, and since I'm sensing that your friends are waking up, it's time we headed back."

Seco: Sure thing. Nice telepathically speaking to you, Azula. Where do we go?

They suddenly teleport back to Kado's housing, just as his teammates wake up, as does Kado, who was put back in the chair. Kado wearily blinks, and rubs the sleep out of his eyes.

"......Good morning..." He croaks.

Gobble: *groans* Good God why?

5x5: Cause we screwed up, that's why. *gets out of bed*

Everyone stares at the purple marking on his neck

5x5: What?

Gobble: COME ON, MAN!

Seco: Shut up, Gobble.

Gobble: Aw man.

Avalia:*slowly wakes up* What is it?

Seco: Somethin' to do, that's what. Now your ass out the bed

Gobble: He meanssexyass by the way. *is slapped in the back of the head by Seco* Ooowwww.

5x5 and Avalia: *put cloths on*

Kado yawns. "...When you all have your breakfast, we can go." He grumbles, still very tired.

Everyone but Seco dis in for breakfast. Seco just watches. After 10 minutes everyone is all set.

They all teleport, and arrive at the eastern edge of Azure, and Seco notices that already several housing districts are well underway, with at least two completed. He also notices the rather dangerous looks some of the citizens are giving them. As he looks around, a full battalion of fully armored Azure officers decked out with swords, guns, and various other weapons arrives on scene.

Azula looks at Kado."I hear the Clan Lords are well on their way. Do you think we should wait and meet up with them?" "...No. The Lords are very much angry with these ones,"He says, looking at them."And I'd rather not try to wrestle Fire Lord off them. As much fun as that would be... yeah."

Seco notices that he can hear what they're saying.

"For now on, when in combat, only speak through this link. Otherwise our movements will be more predictable for others. You do have limits with this link, you will only be able to speak to the guards, Azula and myself, and your teammates. Understand that what you think is no longer private, so be aware of this. ...Especially some of you."

Kado looks towards the East. "Now why don't we get going before we have to ahhh... introduce you, to Fire Lord."

Seco: Sure thing. come on guys. Let's move out. *follows behind Kado. The others follow behind*

The Lake of Death

Kuria slumbers, until a blurry image comes to her in her dreams. She tries to focus on it, and gets the impression...Kronos.

....No.... ....He disappeared a long time ago.... ....why am I....? ....I better deal with this quickly....

Kuria slowly wakes up, with the full knowledge that someone will be arriving soon.

"Jon... you still there?" She calls out softly in the moonlight.

Kuria sees around her broken trees all over the place. She sees 5x5 sitting on stump looking up at the moonlit sky.

"...You ok Jon? Did something happen?"

5x5: I was thinking...that's what happened...

"I see... you need to allow yourself to relax.... ...don't punish yourself so much. Listen. There's something I need to address, I won't be far away, call for me if you need me, alright?" She says softly.

5x5: I don't think that'll be necassary...

She slowly sits up and gets up and walks over to him, and gently puts a hand on his shoulder. "I'll be back soon. This won't take long. Hopefully."

She reluctantly removes her hand from his shoulder and walks off into the trees, eventually finding a clearing.

<"Kronos. I know you're there, you Almighty Idiot, so save me the trouble and come out already. Speak in Babylonian only, and if you can't, then do not utter my name. You may only refer to me as Kuria. Do you understand?"> She says in Babylonian into the night.

Kronos: Ωμεγα. *He becomes visible right in front of Kukyo, towering over her* <Alright. How have you been?>

Kuria frowns slightly. "I've been better. Why are you here Kronos? Are you still entertaining those fantasies of yours?"

Kronos: <Good to hear. I came to warn you of a danger in this world that may harm you and boy-toy over there. Name is Hadari. Calls himself the Black King, and is stealing dead bodies to make an army. And to awnser the second question, no, your children made it clear you did not share my feelings, Kukyo.>

"I'm well aware, Kronos. I shouldn't have to point out that he's a threat because of what you did to us, Kronos. You should have minded your own business."

Kronos notices now Kuria is human, but is perplexed by the sight of her black wings, which a normal human shouldn't have. Her life energy seems pure and untainted by the corruption of her dark power now.

Kronos: You know you brought that war upon yourself. Don't EVER blame anyone but yourself. You don't even know toture. I've lived longer and have more experience, that said maybe you should listen instead of going off and trying to kill the human race! I warned you the, and I warn you now. Take or leave it. And if I was around, I wouldn't have told you to become mortal. Does this make you happy? Does it? You've pushed away even me for what? Happyness?! There is no such thing unless you allow it. Goodbye, *He pauses, letting a tear form* Kuria. *steps towards his portal*

"....You haven't changed at all... you Almighty Idiot... you've been gone far too long to have a right to say anything to me. Besides the fact you're a Titan... ....You are always blinded by the past. You cannot see the present, nor the future. You've been hiding all these years, so I wouldn't expect you to know the truth. Goodbye. This is why I showed you my scorn. Because of your blindness. You were blind when your children dethroned you, and you remain blind still. You only see the truth of things until they have already brought you low."

She silently begins to walk off, the moonlight rippling on her body as she walks.

Kronos: ... My children took the credit for what God did. And do well to remember who helped beat you in the first place, Kuria.... You look good for an older one. Aged well... *Smirks through his tears* Remember the warning, and prepare. Be cautious. And warn Jon. I will always be there for you, Kukyo. *walks through the portal, leaving it open for a few minutes, in vain*

"It's Kuria. You should never have come here.... ....I cannot reciprocate the feelings of a god. So quit vying for my affection, when you don't even understand me at the most basic of levels...."

She silently walks off, eventually returning to the clearing where 5x5 still sits. "I am back, Jon. I told you I wouldn't be long." She walks over to him, and slowly wraps a wing around his body to keep him warm, then sits next to him.

"Tomorrow is a new day, and today was the start of a new life. For the both of us. We both have pasts that haunt us. But let's try to work together to overcome those times and find our new future."

5x5: *lets out a deep breath and nods his head* Ok...

She looks over at him and smiles. "Heeey now, you really should lighten up you know. I know you've had it rough, but put a smile on your face. It never hurts to smile." She brushes some of his hair out of his face.

5x5: I'm just scared is all...Afraid that everything is still going to be taken away from me in some way or form....

"I understand. Don't let fear control you though. It's better to live in the face of fear than to live in fear. Besides, you have me. As much as life will take, also learn to recognize what it gives."

5x5:....what it gives...

"Some focus on the little things in life. Some worry about the big things in life. But if you fail to pay enough attention, it becomes hard to see what remains if you take something out." She playfully taps his head to get him to look at her. "You just have to look closer. Am I not here? Just because the clouds cover the stars, does that mean they have gone? Or does the New Moon mean the moon has vanished and shall never return? A woman once gave away the one coin she had, yet that one coin's offering was greater than that of the men who were great and wealthy. I know that I'm not much, but I am worth something, am I not? Is the moonlight and this starry night not a treasure that no man can claim to own, but is for all to cherish?"

She smiles. "There is always something. Even if it's something small and fragile, it still means something. Enjoy the simple things, the simple pleasures Jon. Your life can be fuller than you could ever know."

5x5: *looks at Kuria for a moment, then looks away and feels his head as it starts to ache abit*

"Are you alright Jon?" She asks softly. She runs her hand through her hair. "If you want me to stop, I will. ...I just thought I'd.... try to comfort you."

5x5: My mind doesn't like positvity...*gets up and sits on another stump*

Kuria looks down. ".....Forgive me for trying to offer you companionship. I find it ironic how you've displayed woe at being alone yet you push away others who try to help you...."

The sun slowly rises in the East. "Since you're going to be that way, we might as well get started. The lake isn't far." She gets up and looks over at the sunset, silent.

5x5: I don't know how to feel...My emotions...they are not the same...I can't...*bows his head*

She looks over at him for a moment.

"The lake will help you. But you have to get there first. The lakes will test you and read your heart and soul. In order to fully accept their aid, you must learn what the purpose of the test is, and how you must overcome the test. And do not fear. We are doing this together. I would not make you do something and not do it myself. Look up at me please."

5x5: *looks up at Kuria attentively*

"I am here to help you. But please do not mistake my kindness and tolerance for apathy. As much as you hate it, you need to learn to accept my help. The lakes aren't a free pass. I'm trying to help make it easier for you, but if you're not willing to work with me here, it'll be that much harder on you in your trials. At least try to meet me halfway and try to change your outlook, because there's no point in all of this if you're just going to refuse my help." Her eyes are a little more stern, a compassionate kind of stern, but stern regardless.

5x5: *nods in agreement*

She turns back towards the East. "Shall we go then? It's only a bit of a walk from here, I stopped because I was tired and I thought you could use rest."

5x5: *gets up* I don't rest...Lead the way.

She looks at him for a moment, then starts walking into a natural sort of pathway between the trees, which gracefully slopes down, and eventually they come to a crystal clear lake, sparkling as though its waters were that of diamonds. At first he doesn't sense anything unusual, but as he stares at the lake, he can pick up a twinge of unnatural energy at work, and he almost feels as though something sentient and unseen is observing them.

Kuria looks over at him. "You sense the Spirit of the Lake I assume."

5x5: Yes...I can feel it.

Kuria looks at the water. "No one is quite sure what they are, or where they come from. Some believe they were placed here by God, to guide those lost and provide healing. Others think they are simply ones who were lost, and find purpose guiding others. Regardless of that, once you enter their waters, they will take you within their spiritual domain. They will offer you a trial that will explore something about yourself. It could be anything. Fear. Hate. Loneliness. It just depends. Each trial is focused on something that they resonate with and will mercilessly confront you with until you come to understand what they want you to understand. Makes sense?"

5x5: Mhm. *slowly begins to walk out into the water*

Kuria walks down with him, looking over at him with a reassuring smile. "I'll see you when you come out. Oh and Jon? Good luck. After we're done here, we can see about going somewhere to eat something nice to celebrate, alright?"

5x5: *nods* Alright...*walks alittle bit further out into the water*

She does too, and as they do, they slowly begin to sink, though not naturally. She mouths, 'See you soon,' before being fully submerged, and then he too is pulled under.

Suddenly, he is falling, and falling violently fast. Too fast. The grey ground below appears to be rushing to greet him all too eagerly.

5x5: *lands on his feet and looks around a moment, then looks up from where he fell from*

The area blurs suddenly, and he is in a long metal corridor. For a moment, there is a stiff silence, until he hears the sudden footstep loudly echoing through the hall, followed by another one. The footsteps are slow, but steady. And getting close. He looks in the direction of the noise, but all he sees is darkness. No. Not darkness. Not just any darkness at least.

A great swarm of shadowy hands are slowly stretching out towards him, creeping along the contours of the hall, flowing between every pipe and crack as they silently, maliciously begin to crawl towards him.

5x5: *looks around in horror as he slwoly backs away. But in front of him he see non other than The Admin.* You...Always you...

A large, but skinny creature with a cracked smile and slit eyes emerges from beheind The Admin.'''completely over shadowing The Admin. The creatures in the dark grab hold of 5x5.The light within the creatures mouth grows brighter and brighter as it opens it mouth and it begins to suck away the spirit of 5x5's body.

5x5: *turns into water and jumps back* dark..too much...tear me apart.

The creatures in the dark whipser as they make their way to 5x5.

A second hallway appears next to him, providing a way to escape.

5x5: *enters through the second hallway and begins to run*

After a lot of running, The Admin and the Creature are standing in front of him, and the way behind him disappears into a thick wall, yet another hallway presents itself.

5x5: *goes through that third hallway*

He keeps running, until his foot suddenly scrapes close to a ledge leading to an empty void below.

5x5: *grunts through his teeth and sees The Admin. down the hallway. The darkness spreads down the hallway. He looks back down* I hope this doesn't take an Majora's Mask turn. *jumps into the void below*

He falls for a long time, then suddenly slams down onto the cold steel floor again, and The Admin is standing behind him waiting, the creature behind him seems to be clapping mockingly. Another path opens up.

5x5: *follows the path as quickly as he can* Yep, it took the turn.

The path winds a ways, before strangely it seems to double back until he is face to face with The Admin again. The path does not immediately open for him, instead, it seems to wait a moment, unlike before.

5x5: I will not be taken by the darkness again! *hand turns into a black whip and he catches unto The Admin.'s neck, and pulls him on the floor*

Suddenly the area around him begins to explode into dust, until he stands on a strip of land where the Admin's image stands in front of him, and he looks to either side, and he sees endless visions of himself endlessly running, with The Admin one step behind them on both sides.

Do you understand now?

A voice rings in his head.

What is it, do you think, that I am showing you?

5x5: I should not run...not to fear the darkness...that I can't solve my problems forever by averting them...

Death is an inevitable force. As is darkness. Fear is natural. However. There are times to run. There are times to fight. A time to accept, and a time to deny. Not everything can be done on your own, but sometimes it takes oneself and only yourself to accomplish something. But never be afraid to seek out aid from those around you.

I have sensed throughout your life, you have been helpless and lost. Part of it lies in running from your problems. You can run, but you cannot hide. Not from yourself. This trial represented your fear of Death, and how you have lost control of your life through simply running away, until your path hit a dead end. You ran, and you ran. But your problems didn't get left behind. The moment you left your guard down... they returned with a vengeance, did they not? If you wish to face the darkness, you must first understand yourself.

You must first stop running from your problems. Do not fear Death, do not fear the darkness. They are all part of the cycle of life. We live, we die. The sun rises, and the moon waxes and wanes. Night and Day. If you cannot stand on your own, do not fear to reach out toward others. Companions will come and go, but the truest of friends will stand together until the end of their days. Trust your friend. She means you well, I can sense the hurt in her heart when she cannot reach you. Stop running from her, and she can give you happiness. But you must learn to trust her.

And remember.... everyone has secrets. Even you. Do not judge others for the secret burdens they carry.

A sphere of air and light begins to envelop him, and a huge grey blue serpent dragon is tightly coiled around him, its eyes fixed on his, glowing a dim blue. It stretches a claw towards his forehead, and a beautiful light arcs into his head and flows into his body, the energy filling his mind with a sense of peace and slowly healing part of his mind and soul, the pain not gone but now seemingly far away.

Should you choose to continue down the path of healing and understanding of yourself, then heed these words. You will be assaulted with everything you desire to keep buried. Everything you hate about yourself and lock away, will confront you. All of these things shall be ugly truths, but you must learn to understand and accept them, for it is part of healing. It is part of becoming yourself again.

Now go, Jonothan Waltz......

..............And forgive us. For long ago...... ......we failed you.......

Suddenly Jonothan wakes up in an explosion of foam and air, as he emerges onto the shores of the lake, all that he experienced and all he saw and heard still fresh in his mind, its last words ringing in his ears:

.....forgive us.... We failed you....

5x5: *gets up and looks out at the lake* I'm not afraid of the darkness...*the white of his eyes turn intoa plum color and hs iris are gone. Only his pupil is seen*

He looks around, but doesn't see Kuria yet. He eventually notices her underwater, not moving.

5x5: *eyes go back to normal and he goes out into the lake and stands next to her, unsure whether to get out or not*

Her body slowly starts rising, until a sphere of water slowly forms around her and suspends her body about twenty four inches off the surface of the water, her form seemingly turning into light which begins to change into water, and eventually the sphere condenses into her shape, filled with a strange glow of energy, until it slowly turns back into Kuria, who slowly starts to descend back down, new, even larger glowing wings grow out of her back, but doesn't seem to wake up, still slumbering as she descends, a new multilayered dress forming around her body, until her feet touch on the water's surface, and seemingly holds her steady and she does not sink, just quietly sleeping.

5x5: *hoists himself up outthe water and sits on the lake and waits for Kuria to wake up*

Kuria stirs, and her eyes slowly slides open, and a small stream of tears roll down her face. When she sees 5x5, she breaks down and suddenly hugs him, and he can feel her shaking. After a moment, she suddenly pulls away.

"......I'm sorry.... ...I keep forgetting you don't like...." She breaks off, burying her head in her hands, silently crying, falling to her knees.

5x5: *wraps his arms around her and pulls her close to him*

"......I'm a big baby aren't I.... .....I'm such a fool..... ...I've been through worse, so why.....? ....Why does this still hurt so much.... am I.... really that afraid....?" She half cries, half whispers to herself, not noticing his touch.

5x5: In all honesty, I say we're both big babies. but babies grown and they don't cry as much anymore. They learn to fight against thier fears instead of running and hiding from them. Once they face what frightens them, they jjnow that nothing can stop them. Though more fears arise, we can't let them win.

"....I thought after all this time I was over it.... ....but the loneliness hurts even worse now..." Her trembling slows, as she realizes his touch upon her.

5x5: It's just that when you're adept for something for too long, it messes you up. Besides, there is a certain guy who is keeping you company. Besides,we have more to learn. You'll get over it.

She weakly laughs. "For once, I'm not the one giving you a pep talk... you must have really done well...." She attempts to smile, but instead ends up resting her head against his chest.

"....After I pull myself together.... ....I think we should eat something decent.... like we talked about.... ....I think I know a place...'ll like...."

5x5: Sure thing. gotta kep up our strength right?

She sighs. "....Can you carry me to dry land? ....I think I'm going to fall into the water soon."

5x5: Sure thing. *picks up Kuria and carries her out of the lake and sets her down on her feet*

"Thank you.... Jon. Now, can you tell me what your favorite food is? ....I hope that didn't get erased by your memory loss."

5x5:....I...ummm.....never ate after I was retrieved from really don't have a favorite food.

"I see. Well, we'll think of something for you."

5x5: I mean there's no need to. you can eat without me, can't you?

"That really isn't fair to you. What's the point of celebrating if the one you're supposed to celebrate with doesn't enjoy himself?" She smiles weakly.

5x5: I mean, it isn't just for me. It's for you too. I mean as long as you enjoy yourself, I'll be just fine.

She smiles faintly. "Well, in that case, I would only enjoy it if you were there with me. Eating isn't just a necessity, it can be a pleasure, you know."

5x5: Oh I'll be there with you. It's just that I can't gauntee I'll be eating.

She sighs. "I see...."Clueless.... just.... clueless....

She starts walking up the hill again. "Might as well get going then. We have a bit to go before we get to any sort of town."

5x5: *gets up and walks up the hill behind Kuria*

-The Black King's Fortress

A hooded man in red robes kneels before The Black King. "You summoned me, my lord?" He says in a charismatic voice.

"Yes. I want you to bring to me Jonothan Waltz, otherwise known as 5x5." The Black King says quietly.

He bows his head. "What of the one who calls herself Kuria Raito?"

"She is of no concern to me. If you're that interested in her, you could bring her to me to corrupt her soul, then you could do as you please."

The hooded man chuckles. "My liege, I already have too many gracious 'gifts', I won't need another for some time."

"Then go, do not waste my time any longer."

The robed man chuckles to himself.

"Oh how I love a hunt...." He leaves, disappearing into the air.

The Realm Between

They arrive on a tall mountain, overlooking a vast stretch of plains, deserts, and savannas to the west, and to their east, they see vast mountains with countless valleys hidden throughout the masses. Not a civilization is in apparent sight.

"Welcome to the wild wild world of Echo!" She cheers.

"It's nice and all... But wouldn't it of been better if we got teleported in a city instead of a MOUNTAIN!?"

"Oh don't be such a stiff.... after all, we're in NATURE!!!" She cheers again, then pushes him down the side of the mountain, and looks at Kanashimi. "There's a lake at the bottom. He'll just roll right into it. Now..... SLOPE SLEDDING!" She rushes down the mountain, sliding at a breakneck (literally) pace, and so does Kanashimi, Noriko catches up to Drake, who has caught his balance and is now haphazardly sliding down the mountain as well.

"How's the slopes?" She yells, laughing. "Don't worry, besides, there's a town next to the lake!"

Drake manages to dodge and weave past any hazards and obstacles."A LITTLE WARNING WOULD BE NICE NEXT TIME!" After a moment, Drake beginds to get the hang of sledding down, he begins to laugh as he starts to enjoy it. "I'll race you two! Three two one GO!" Before the others can react, Drake speeds down the mountain as fast as he cans, the two can hear distant laughter while he becomes a dot to their vision.

He ends up going too fast, and trips on a rock and falls face first into the lake. Noriko and Kanashimi both laugh, and eventually skid to a stop by the lake shore.

"How's the water, Swift?" Noriko laughs.

Drake spitefully looks at Noriko, growling slightly. "...Wet, and really fucking cold..." Drake swims to the shore and dries himself off. "Well that was fun, what now?"

Noriko points at the town. "We'll get a place to stay for the night, and find directions to the nearest major city. Echo's teleportation isn't stable you see, you can arrive in a general location, but almost impossible to arrive there with exact detai lso travel can be complicated. Also keep in mind time is faster here on Echo than on Fantasy and Earth."

"Oh alright... So off to the town we go, I can't wait to get some damn rest..." Drake begins walking to the town in an accelerated pace, they can see by the look of his face that he's exhausted but still manages to hold a small smile.

Noriko and Kanashimi follow him into town, where a mix of shapeshifters and humans live. They quickly find a lodge with free rooms, which when they investigate are rather well made.

Kanashimi laughs. "Well, these are some charitable people!"

Without a second thought, Drake jumps and lands on the nearest bed he finds and buries his head in the pillow. The two girls can hear a faint laughter, a muffled sigh of relief and then silence, then they can hear Kurai speak. "Ugh... He even sleeps like a slob..." Although another muffled wording quickly shuts Kurai up as Drake falls asleep.

Kanashimi and Noriko take to their own beds and sleep as well.

Hours pass when the moon reaches it's highest point, Drake randomly wakes up and takes a look around before heading outside. He walks to the nearest lake and sits by the shore looking at the reflections in the water, he starts grabbing nearby stones and begins to skim them across the waters surface.

"You're an interesting one, aren't you?" A man with grey swept back hair ending in spikes and dark grey eyes sits next to Drake, he seems to have popped in out of nowhere.

Drake glances at the man, unphased, he begins to hurl the pebbles harder across the surface. "And you are?"

"No one of coincidence. I merely sensed you were new here, and decided to investigate. You're quite the restless one, aren't you, Drake Ryunexo?"

Drake stands up and looks at the person rather aggressively, clenching one of his fists. "Who are you and how do you know my name..."

"I said I'm no one of coincidence. This land, Echo, is full of life. That what you see, and that which is there, is merely subjective. You could say I am a manifestation of the very life that breathes in this land, the air, and the water. All those who live here are connected. I but merely connected my mind with yours. As a Spirit, it is my job as well as the rest of my kin to maintain and protect the peace and balance of the land. We regard strangers with curiosity but also great caution. Sit down. I am no threat to you."

Reluctantly, Drake sits down and sighs. "Yeah yeah, and also, I'm not restless... I just have a lot on my mind right now, ok? So that would explain how you know my name..."

"I meant you have a restless spirit. You are always doing something, you never set down roots for yourself. That is what I meant. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just how you are. So you and your... 'daughter' are traveling together, along with your 'friend'... tell me something. How far can you walk down this road without ever resting?'

"Pretty damn far, it's something I've always been doing since my days back on Cyanic... Never found it to be productive back then, and I don't find it helpful now, resting wastes time, something no one can ever get back at whatever costs... So yeah, resting is worthless to me. Besides, this doesn't concern you in the slightest, so why ask?"

"Just curious. We spirits have a desire to help others, though our help comes in various forms. Though it never hurts to test the waters. I hope you enjoy yourselves here on Echo. If you should ever be lost, seek the spirits out. We guide any and all of the Lost. One need but only ask." He disappears.

"...Thank you." Drake silently stands up and walks on top of the water, tribal marks appear on him as he sits in the middle of the lake and meditates, humming to himself a tune.

"Excuse me sir, but by any chance are you a Drake Ryunexo," asks a figure from further out on the water, appearing out of almost nowhere. While he is armed, he does not seem like he wishes to start a confrontation. He waits a moment before continuing. "I am looking for a Caess and Aoi. Do you have any information on their whereabouts or how to reach them? If not, I apologize and will look elsewhere."

Drake's eyes open slowly, a slight glow to them as he takes a second to gaze at the figure, almost like he's examining him. Without another word, Drake stands and places his hand on the hilt of Kurai, obviously cautious about this person, he speaks in a clear but sort of low tone. "Yes, I'm Drake... But what do you want with them two? And chose your words carefully..."

Pixel appears behind Drake, one hand on his golden revolver. He grunts at the King for an order.

Endlos wags a furious finger at Pixel, warning him not to start anything. Still, he smiles at Drakes display before growing serious.

"My first reason is to verify their safety, for both my sake and their family's sake, and if they agree to it, return them to their home in the Twin Valley," he replies before his tone ices over them "The second is to verify the identities of the ones who dared to harm them and enact justice upon them... If you do not wish to disclose any information, that is fine, I will simply find another way to reach Yosai Fortress to find out if that area is indeed connected to what happened to Caess and her family."

"Just give me a second..." Before Pixel can react, Drake grabs hold of his arm and throws Pixel over his shoulder, Drake unsheathes Kurai and softly presses the blade against the back of Pixel's neck. "One more move and your head will become target practice..." Drake kicks Pixel over to the King and sighs. "Aoi and Caess? Hmph, well, they're safe, I can tell you that... Their location however, I have no clue where." Drake smirks and chuckles. "Going to Yosai? You sir have a death wish, and that's coming from me... Identities is simple as well, you'll be looking for White, that flat chested bitch... Anything else?"

"A death wish? I suppoose so, but not my own," replies the king, "Do you know how to reach the Fortress by any chance? Also, would you forgive Pixel, he's a bit impulsive and quick to act. I'm sure he apologizes for attempting to draw a weapon on you..." Endlos trails off, gazing at Pixel.

"To get to Yosai, you need to get to Fantasy, while that itself is simple, getting to the fortress becomes a bit more difficult. And after what's happened, the Warlords are probably perched atop their spires defending from any unwanted guests..." Drake's eyes glance at Pixel before he briefly laughs. "Anyways, that's all I know."

"I see... Pixel, as much as I hate doing this, return to the valley. I cannot allow you to be harmed," orders the king, "In the event that I do not return, I name Alexian as my successor. Relay that message and do your best to watch over the valley until otherwise noted." The king hands his guard a letter with his seal on it. "Do NOT open that letter, only allow one of the Nine Winds, barring Sainan who should be avoided at all costs or slain should the situation arise, and the elder to read the letter. Understood?"

Pixel stands, his scarf blowing at an angle, showing his lipless gaping mouth, that is attached to a shaking head and tearful eyes. He grunts in sadness... Then nodding his head, he starts his journey after hugging his friend and King. Adjusting his scarf, he turns and walks past Drake towards the valley.

"I'll be taking my leave then," says the king, "Don't forget to give yourself some time to breathe and simply relax." With that, Endlos summons a gigantic gauntlet with pointed, glowing blue fingertips beneath himself and jettisions towards his next destination.

Drake sighs and looks up at the moon before letting out a small growl. "Give myself time to breathe and relax... Yeah, right..." Drake unsheahtes Kurai and begins to train on top of the water's surface by himself until sun rises.


Kanashimi stirs with a faint yawn, then slowly cracks her eyes open. "Urrgghhh..... mornings......"

Noriko practically explodes into full alert mode. "GOOOOOOOOOD MORNING!" She cheers, causing Kanashimi to grit her teeth.

"....please don't do that again....."She hisses.

Drake just hears this and chuckles, finally sheathing Kurai, he walks back into the lodge. When the two girls see him, they noticed the amount of sweat he has, his clothes seem tattered but he lets out another sigh of relief as he notices the two. Smiling and waving, he then goes into the bathroom, locking the door and starts to wash himself by taking a shower.

Kanashimi gets up with a grunt, putting on day clothes. "So what's the plan, blonde?"

Noriko laughs. "Get directions, wander aimlessly through the wild for a little bit, find the next town!"

"....In other words, you have no damn idea where we're going."

"NOPE!" She laughs again.

After a while, Drake finally finishes and steps out the room fully clothed and clean, he walks up to the girls, overhearing what they said. "So, we're basically on a wild goose chase when it comes to finding the next town... Alrighty then, personally I said we'll head East but with the 'genius' that is Noriko, we'll be following you then?" His head turning towards Noriko as he laughs before adjusting his coat. "If we head into the wild and I'm hungry, no animal is safe, ok?"

Noriko slides out of bed, yawning. "Ok. Taking a shower." She walks into the bathroom, and Kanashimi sighs. "Guess I'm waiting for fairy princess to finish then."

Drake leans against a wall, arms folded as he also sighs. "Seems like it, and she may seem like a fairy princess but..." Drake goes into deep thought, trying to give an exception or a point. "...Nevermind, she is a fairy princess." He chuckles as a starts playing with a fireball, glancing around the room. "Hopefully you two will get along, I don't want to become you and her babysitter if you two are gonna fight. As funny as that may be... Wow, I'm starting to sound like Daikeim, that's worrying..."

Kanashimi smirks. "I guess the old man has finally cracked."

After a few minutes Noriko comes out fully clothed, but oddly enough her hair is sopping wet, with her hair wetted down she surprisingly looks very different than when her hair is all poofy.

Drake glances at Noriko, a slight confused expression on his face. "Uuuh... Would you like a towel? But I have to say, that's a very... Unique look, I'll give you that." He chuckles before looking around for a towel to hand to Noriko.

"Stand back." Without warning, massive volts run through her body, arcing around her as well, and in a few minutes, the water evaporates into a thick steam that hangs over the entire room, Noriko's hair now fluffed out and spiky, though even more so then usual, her hair almost flowing as though blown by a breeze, occasionally arcing with small sparks.

Drake's eyes widen as he blinks, taking a second to realise what just happened. "...O-Ok... That was a thing, anyways... Are you two ready?" He looks over at Kanashimi. "Or do you need to have a shower too?"

"Yeah.... ....I won't be long. Just need to warm up and get the sleep out of my system." She walks in and closes the door.

Noriko looks at Drake. "You were right about East. The biggest cities in our favor are New Vince and Azure. You probably know that second name as Kado's place."

"Yeah, I do, but I don't want to bother with that... Besides, we came to Echo for your guitar stuff, didn't we, unless there's something else you gotta do first. So New Vince it is? But right now we're waiting on Carrot Top to get ready..."

"Yeah, I guess, if we don't end up wandering off course and into Azure anyway. Hmmm.... wonder how the city is doing anyway?"

After a few minutes Kanashimi comes out dressed in simple t-shirt and pants. She stretches, yawning, and as she does Drake can see the long jagged scar from where Daikeim had killed her from.

Drake cringes slightly. "Jesus, Daikeim... You went a bit far..."Strangely, Drake sighs and hugs Kanshimi, feeling sorry for her, before coughing and walking out the room. "Let's go! New Vince here we come!" He goes back to his normal attitude as he steps out of the lodge and starts walking East.

Noriko and Kanashimi walk along with him, though Noriko flies up high for a moment, then flies back down.

"Hmm.... ok, follow me!" She starts walking off toward a mountain range.

"I give it an hour..." Drake starts to trail behind Noriko, continuing to play with a fireball.

Noriko leads them into part of the mountains, through a series of mountain passes. She turns after a few hours and looks at Drake.

"Ever been in a mostly uninhabited world like this, Drake?"

"Not exactly, I dunno if moons count, if that's the case then I've been to a couple... It's eerie since there's nothing but ruins if you're lucky... Although I'd consider them very hostile instead of uninhabited since mother nature pretty much hates you when you're on a moon or two... But a whole 'nother world? Can't say I have..."

"I see. Well, Echo's a great place to start a new life. Especially if you don't want to be found. All you gotta do is just set off into the wild and never be seen again. Anyone who travels the wild has to learn where all the homesteaders live. Fortunately Drake, lots of people live in these mountains. Just not all are big cities. Don't worry, I won't let you down."

Drake chuckles. "I don't expect you to let me down, I know you're not that kind of person... So, start a new life... Doesn't seem like I've got much of a choice, so I might as well get used to it, I hope there's some work I can still do out here... I need to entertain myself somehow."

Noriko looks over at him. "Oh there's always someone with a score to settle, most likely. Azure often has contracts for various people from what I hear." She then thinks for a moment then laughs. "I'm honestly impressed little Kado managed to make something like that though. Must have taken a lot of hard work..."

She keeps walking, and Drake feels a slight tingling sensation come over him for a moment.

Drake slows his movement and turns his head over his shoulder to see if anyone is behind him. "The hell...?" Drake quickly shakes off the sensation but remains walking at the slower pace while managing to keep up with Noriko and Kanashimi.

Suddenly Noriko and Kanashimi seem to be coming to a stop, and the environment begins to turn grey.

A yellow cloaked figure suddenly flickers into being, and Drake finds that only he and this figure can move. Drake is unable to see his face.

"Oh, don't worry, I'm not an enemy. Just didn't wanna have the girls overhear this conversation. I'll resume their time once we're done here. I've been watching you for a while, Drake." He snaps his fingers, and two chairs appear, one behind the figure, which he sits in, and one behind Drake.

"This is a friendly conversation. Ya can relax a bit." He chuckles, and then adds,

"Tankboy. Genius, absolutely genius..."

Drake glances at the figure before reaching for Kurai, but reluctantly pulls his hand away from the handle and sits on the chair. "So, who are you and what do yo want? The last time someone randomly wanted to talk to me, I had a gun at the back of my head. So what is it?"

"Wellll.... as for who I am, that doesn't particularly matter. I'm just a guy who knows things, and knows a lot of them. I came more or less to ask you something, and tell you something. I'll start with the ask, and then I'll tell."

He scratches his head. "I want to ask you to take care of Nori. Give her the best next few weeks of her life that you can. Make her feel as happy as you personally can. You'd probably know how to do that better than me."

Drake's eye narrow down at this mysterious figure before talking in a more irritated tone. "What do yo mean next few weeks..." Drake places his hand on Kurai's hilt. "I'm her bodyguard from those Phoenix bastards, don't tell me you're their replacement Lightning Slayer..." 

"Well I'll explain that too, now put ya sword away. You couldn't hurt me if you tried." He sighs. 

"As for Phoenix, no, I don't work for Sh- errr..... White VIII. Though you COULD say I'm an affiliate, I'm not working under her." He grunts standing up. 

"Here's the telling part. Nori only has a few weeks of her life before.... something happens. You won't be able to stop it. I've seen the future, you won't be able to change it. Not at your level. After ....this something.... happens.... terrible things will be done to her. And some time later, I don't know when.... ....but some time in the future you will meet again, though you will have no choice but confrontion. And from there the future becomes a blur. I cannot see beyond that. That's because the future is too divided on what can happen.  

Like I've pretty much said, I can see the future. These thing swill happen. I came here to give you a heads up, so that you can spend the last few weeks you'll have with her and prepare yourself mentally for it. ....And no. I cannot tell you what happens specifically. I'm not allowed to. Let's just say..... rules suck ass." 

Drakes sets himself ablaze and growls towards the figure, unsheathing Kurai and pointing the blade towrads the figure. Speaking in a whole different tone, almost filled with anger, annoyance but most notably, compassion.

 "Now you listen to me and listen to me carefully, if anyone harms Noriko, I'll end their lives just like that! I will not stand by, helpless to see a friend be put through hell! And how DARE you judge me on what I can and can't do, I don't give a fuck about these futures, I'll fight until either I drop dead or the opponent drops dead... And now that Noriko is the main source for the misfortune, there's not a chance in hell that I'm letting her get out of my protection, whoever these people are, they are nothing but fools if they think they can take her away. I've seen that happen too many times before, and I'm not letting it happen again! So you go back to whoever commands you and you tell them, Drake Ryunexo is waiting for them and anyone who comes for Noriko. Got it!?" 

The figure notices a sudden shift in Drake's energy, he lets out another growl just before roaring, the area around them shaking slightly. The fire finally settling on Drake, his eyes focused with one goal in mind now, after a quiet moment, Drake finally speaks once again. "Don't worry about Noriko, I'll keep her safe and happy for as long as I stand..."

"Good boy. Understand I've been watching you and your possible futures for a while now, since you first came to Earth in fact." He sits down, not even remotely phased by Drake's outburst.

"My buddies all bet against you, ya know. They said you'd die in your fight with White VIII, and the battles with Valeric and Jibaku. Nooot me. I bet you would at least crawl out with one leg still attached. Man I gotta tell ya, you got serious balls to pick a fight with White VIII. Seriously man." He chuckles.

He sighs. "I can safely say that none of us are involved in what will happen to Nori. My friends and I. We're more like.... observers. We have an interest in the events that Phoenix does, to see what futures occur. We don't actually do anything related to them. But I will say this before I go, Drake. Defying fate is certainly admirable. But you won't have the strength to achieve it. Not this time."

A pair of electric blue eyes like Noriko's opens, looking at him. "I wish you two the best of luck these next few weeks.... oh, and see you sometime soon. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in your future." He disappears, along with the chairs, and time resumes and color returns to the world, Noriko and Kanashimi busy talking, as though nothing had happened.

Drake sheathes Kurai and the flames fade away, he lets out a sorrow filled sigh before putting a small smile on his face and places his arms around the two's shoulders, speaking like he normally would. "So, what are the two mini-me's talking about?"

Noriko looks at Drake. "Oh nothing. Just recounting my various exploits, including the time I scared Kado so bad he fell down into the water well when we were kids."

Drake chuckles before walking at the same pace as the two. "Haha, how did you manage that?"

"Oh, like this: BOO!" She yells the last word with about the force of a cannon being fired, shaking the immediate location.

Drake suddlenly jumps slightly, his eyes widen from the sudden shock, before chuckling somewhat. "...Ow, I should of seen that coming, hahaha!"

"And that's how little brother Kado got stuck down our water well for six hours!" She giggles.

Drake smiles at Noriko before walking beside her, hummong a tune and looking around at the area they're in. "So, where are we going again? I kinda forgot..."

"Here, there, everywhere. Nah, we're going to to New Vince, remember? It's a human city. They're rather tolerant with Mythos though."

"New Vince, ok..." Drake thinks about what he was told, still unsure how to react to  it, he sighs under his breath and clenches one of his fists before placing it on the bottom of Kurai's handle. He then glances at Noriko and and chuckles slightly, his walking pace speeding up until it's a full out run."C'mon! Lets get to the city as fast as we can, your music career and our new lives are waiting for us!"

Kanashimi and Noriko look at each other. "...You think something's eating him?" Noriko asks Kanashimi. "Ehhh. Most likely. But damned if he's gonna tell us. Might as well ignore him. Come on, let's go."

The two race off after Drake, Noriko able to catch up, while Kanashimi manages to only keep up half way.

"C-Could you slow down a bit?" She yells after them in annoyance.

Drake laughs and turns around, somehow running backwards. "Oh come on, you can be a bit faster, just imagine punching me in the face!" 

"You're lucky I don't know how to fly!" She yells after them. 

Drake sighs and slows down, just enough for Kanashimi to keep up. "Well... I can teach you, it's really simple, just find your centre of balance and uses your beating of your heart like a metronome to flap your wings. Sooner or later, if you keep following that beat, you'll get a hang of flight, like I said it's really simple, try it."

Kanashimi suddenly bursts into an extremely fast speed and wizzes by them "I FIGURED OUT HOW TO RUN FAST! SEE YA SUCKERS!" She yells.

Noriko looks at Drake. "Hmmm.... I do believe that's a challenge.... but should we tell her she's going the wrong way?"

Drake laughs. "Probably? I mean, it'll be a pain in the ass to find her, wouldn't it? I'll go get her..." Drake smirks and sprints after Kanashimi, soon starting to fly after her until he just manages to catch up. "Nice to see you're so eeger, but you're going the wrong way..."

"Wh-what?! Really?!" She runs back in a rush, panting, and once Drake gets back, Noriko lets off an evil grin.

"Only joking, YOU WERE GOING THE RIGHT WAY ALL ALONG!" She yells as she disappears in a bolt of lighting in the way they just went.

"SEE YA!" She yells in triumph.

Drake smirks and gets on all fours, his wings stretching out as he focuses on the small bolt in the distance, he then looks at Kanashimi. "Cover your ears." Before Kanashimi can react, Drake's wings make a single flap but causing Drake to disappear, a shockwave is what follows the half dragon as he speeds towards Noriko. Before she knows it, Drake flies past Noriko with a massive grin on his face as he ruffles her hair and then seemingly disappears again.

Noriko puffs her cheeks. "You won't get away that easy!" She shrinks into her fairy form, and with a large explosion of electricity wizzes off in his direction and to his surprise, she manages to gain massive ground on him, til she is flying around his leg level.

"♫Oh what was that? I am liiiiiiiiiiiiightning!"

"Really? That's cute, but let's see how fast your reactions are!" Before Noriko can react to what Drake said, he flips over Noriko and catches her in his hands. She can hear a childish laughter as Drake cups his hands around the small lightning fairy, he slows his speed somewhat and giggles. "Aaaaand caught, that was easier than I thought, but it was fun anyways."

He feels a slight prickling sensation. "....You just love manhandling me.... GAAaaaaaaahhhh! Let go of me!" She cries, squirming a bit. "That tickles!!!"

The second he hears that, a devious smile grows on Drake's face as he looks at Noriko, he softly holds Noriko in one hand and tickles her with the other. "So it tickles? Then I guess you don't mind if I do this for a moment or two." Drake laughs once more.

She squirms even harder, laughing uncontrollably. "AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa! NOOoooo! Stop! Ha ha ha ha! No! Stop! Please! AAaaaaaa! I-I-I-I'll shock you! GAAaaaaaaaaah!"

Kanashimi eventually catches up and sees the spectacle. "Oh dear lord you're having way too much fun with that, aren't you Drake?" She laughs.

"You make it sound like it's a bad thing..." He sighs and lets go of Noriko, looking at Kanashimi afterwards. "You're lucky you can't be as small as her." Drake chuckles to himself before glancing at Noriko. "Hey, you ok?"

She pants heavily, wobbling unsteadily in the air. "Uuuuuuu.... that felt g- no! Bad Drake! Bad!" She stammers, lightly zapping him, but it has very little punch to it, more like a tickle or a static shock.

Drake places Noriko on his shoulder and pats her head. "Ok ok, I'm sorry, I won't do it again. So any sight of the city, or any civilization for that matter?" Drake takes a moment to look around.

She playfully kicks him in the face with her little feet. "Hmmm.... ....Well I think the guide said it would be a couple more miles until the mountain pass.... I guess not far?"

"I see, well you two can go on, I'm walking it now." Drake starts to walk, his dragon wings folding up as he looks at the few miles he has to travel across, he looks at Noriko and smirks. "Noriko, kick me again and I'll go back on my word and tickle you to near death, ok?"

"Ok." She proceeds to flap her wings until a sharp buzzing sound like that of a very large bee goes off right in his ear, but doesn't fly off, just sitting on his shoulder.

Kanashimi walks on as well.

Noriko can see that Drake is less than pleased to hear the buzzing in his ear, but he continues to walk for a while before a smile grows on Drake's faces as he opens the HSC and pulls out a pair of ear plugs and puts them in his ears. "That's better..."

Noriko sighs, and eventually gets bored, magnetizing some of the nearby rocks and has them casually orbit Drake's head like little planets around a sun, occasionally rocketing one in Kanashimi's direction for additional kicks.

Drake comes to a stop and looks at Kanashimi, a evil smile coming to his face and he glances at Noriko and picks her up. "CATCH!" He throws Noriko at Kanashimi as fast as he can, Noriko can hear laughter coming from Drake as she soars towards Kanashimi.

Noriko manages to dodge Kanashimi and flies back to Drake's shoulder, laughing, then simply decides to lay down on it.

Drake chuckles and softly strokes Noriko. "Ok then, any idea for fun? We have a whole day to kill before night falls, so we might aswell make it fun."

She sighs contently as he does so. "....Do that.... that feels good.... like a massage.... hmmm? Fun? I suppose... I could teach you guitar if you wanted...."

He continues to stroke Noriko as he looks at his HSC. "Yeah, I suppose we could do that... But won't we need a place to sit and that. Although, if you want, I can keep massaging you." He chuckles.

Noriko almost lifelessly points at a large smooth, flat boulder ahead of them. "Massaaaaaage..... please? Gimme ten minutes?" She begs.

Drake walks over to the boulder and sits on it, taking a second to breathe then continues to massage Noriko. "There you go, Noriko... Ten minutes, right?" Drake attracts heat into his fingertips to increase the sensation he's giving to Noriko while he massages her. "I can't believe I'm doing this..."

She lets out a contented hum, though halfway through she slides off his shoulder and grows full size in his lap, back facing him, laying down.

"You have no idea how good that feels...." She sighs contently. "Sometimes I really love.... having you as a friend...." She says happily.

Kanashimi sets down and looks at a patch of flower buds, and begins practicing her powers on them, namely attempting to make them blossom.

Drake laughs once more. "Only sometimes? That's both hurtful and kind, just like you to say that though. So you're ticklish and love massages, do you have any more weaknesses I should know about?" He then looks over at Kanashimi at tilts his head slightly, almost curious about what she's doing. "Hmm, that's interesting, what else do you think you can do?"

Noriko smiles impishly. "Maaaayyyybe."

Kanashimi is having a rather difficult time. "Well, not much.... my powers aren't responding to me well, so I'm starting small...."

Drake chuckles. "I see, hmm, well don't worry, sooner or later your powers will return... And as for you Noriko, I will find all your weaknesses!" Occasionally while massaging Noriko, Drake will tickle her at times, causing a small giggle coming from Drake each time he does it.

"Why are you so meeaaaan?" She moans. She gets up, sitting on his lap, and suddenly flashes him an unholy smile.

"I'm not mean... I'm devious, and what's with that smile? ...Why don't I trust your next move now?" Drake leans back slightly, obviously cautious about why Noriko is smiling so devilishly.

She suddenly darts forward and kisses him on the cheek, then cartwheeling out of his reach, ending in a series of five flips backwards, then standing upright and still smiling from ear to ear. She takes out her guitar in style and sounds off a few riffs.

Drake's eyes widen in slight shock, blinking for a few seconds before a small smile appear on his face as he chuckles and opens his HSC. Getting his guitar out and tries to mimic Noriko's hand movements, but with more difficulty than he imagined. "...At this rate, I'm not gonna be better than you... THAT MUST CHANGE!"

Noriko lets out a series of riffs. "Bring it on, apprentice of turkeys! I await your thanksgiving roast!" She starts up another series of riffs, occasionally falling into complete songs, which when she does this Drake notices she silently mouths words.

In a matter of seconds, to Noriko's surprise, Drake begins to catch on very quickly to her hand movements. And soon was able to play alongside Noriko in perfect sync, he chuckles as he plays a stepdown tuning. "So, I'm an apprentice now? Somehow I doubt that anymore, thanks for the lessons." He playfully smiles, he then focuses on what she's mouthing. "Hmm? What are you singing?"

She blushes, embarrased. "...I kinda like to imagine myself as both a lead singer and guitarist.... ....I get embarrassed when I sing though...." She trails off, stopping her music as she does so.

Kanashimi laughs. "So you'll flirt but ya can't sing without quivering in the knees eh?"

Drake smiles softly and puts the guitar aside, sitting down on the rock. "Well, I can see why you'd be shy or embarrassed. You're unssure of how people would react, I'm guessing anyways... I'm not the best when it comes to talking about stuff like this, oh and Kanashimi. Flirting is a bit different, since the way Noriko does it is to tease, Noriko isn't the type of person to properly flirt... I'm guessing as I said. Anyways, Noriko, try singing, there's nobody around but me, you and Kanashimi. There's no need to be embarrased to sing infront of your friends, right?"

Noriko opens her mouth, then closes it, then opens it again, and makes a few stutters, before sighing heavily, then she slowly starts to sing, quietly and nervously, then eventually her voice becomes much stronger and she finally sings without hesitation, though the look on her face tells him she's nervous of being laughed at.

"Don't worry, you sound great!" Drake picks his guitar up and starts playing in tune with Noriko's singing, chuckling here and there, obviously enjoying the sound of Noriko's voice. After a while, he hums along to her, his smile starting to show. "At this rate, being a lead singer and guitarist will be easy for you!"

At his words she seems to relax a bit and smile as she sings, eventually stopping after a while to rest her voice.

"....Heh.... ....thanks Drake...." She says with a smile, sitting down in the grass.

Kanashimi finally gets a single flower to bloom. "YES! I AM THE QUEEN, OF FLOWER BLOOMING!" She yells triumphantly. "....Oh wait, there's seven more. Damn it."

Drake laughs at Kanashimi's feat, almost congratulating her. "Well done Kanashimi, you've made a daisy bloom, I'm proud of you... Hehe, well, it's a good way to start off, keep it up and someday you'll be as good as your old man!" He then turns his head towards Noriko, speaking in a softer tone than usual.

"See, I told you, you sounded amazing, I would say like an angel but knowing you... Anyways, your music career is gonna skyrocket, so don't be scared, embarrassed or worried, ok? Remember, you have Little Miss Hippy over there and me to fall back on, and just like that, we'll have you back on your feet and rocking the guitar in no time!"

She smiles, a glad expression in her eyes, almost looking as though she could cry tears of joy, but she doesn't. She puts away her guitar in its case on her back and looks towards the North East. "Let's go then, shall we? We're almost there anyway."

Drake stores his guitar in the HSC and stands up, glancing at the two before walking, he places his hands in his pockets and looks at Noriko and Kanashimi for a moment before looking North East, humming a tune while he walks to their next destination.


Kado appears in a remote valley with an isolated white tombstone, with Naomi.

Kado merely stands and looks at the stone, while Naomi kneels down at its base.

"....I hope you are well.... master.... I'm sorry we couldn't be a family again. I wish things could go back to the way they used to be.... just training everyday, working hard and enjoying our day.... why can't life just be simple like it used to....?" Naomi speaks in a soft voice, while Kado just has his eyes closed, silently thinking now. He puts a hand on her shoulder.

Segura: It sounded like you guys didn't have choice but to kill him. Was he that bad?

Kado looks over at Segura and holds out Earth Slayer. "This blade was his sword. He was going to use it to wipe out all of East New Pangea. Phoenix's goal in the invasion was to use the Trimasters of Earth, Water, and Wind to wipe out all human life - or any Myths that got in their way. I couldn't let him do that. Even though I looked up to him like a father, even though he was my master and taught me everything, I couldn't let that happen."

He closes his eyes. "Sometimes I wonder if after all of this time since that battle, have I in the end simply disgraced him and made the sacrifice of his life meaning less.... ? When I think about what I've done, and what little has changed, even after all of my hard work to change things, I wonder if I was a failure, or just a fool."

Segura: He doesn't sound like he was inheritantly bad. He just seemed dedicated to cause he felt like was right. He had a choice. Perhaps if you had spared him, he might have come around someday, but you couldn't take that chance at the time, couldn't you?

Kado bows his head slightly. "....Yeah.... maybe.... Though he was always more stubborn than a mountain."

Segura: Old folk be like that. I can tell you probably take alot after him.

Kado looks at the grave. "I wonder if his soul was granted eternal rest or damnation.... ....only time can tell I guess." He sighs.

Segura: All spirits go back to God, the body returns to dust. Only until the end will God decide.

One of Naomi's tails curl around Kado's leg, and he looks down, to see her still looking at the tombstone quietly. He places a hand on her head.

"We'd better go soon. The boss will probably flip out like Segura said, and I need to make sure you're safe."

Segura: If we go now, be might be a tad bit leanient on us.

Kado sighs. "Should I risk bringing her? Or do I need to drop her off at my safehouse?"

Segura: Drop her off close by. The boss will most likely know you brought someone anyway.

He nods. He opens a portal, gently taking her by the shoulder and walks through it, but it remains open. After a few minutes, he comes back out, and creates a separate one.

"Time to head back then." He opens up a portal to The Party, and walks through.

Segura: *walks through behind them*

The Lake of Wrath

When they reach the top, Kuria sighs. "Thanks for the help. I should have just flown though... might have been easier. ...Then again, it takes a lot of energy if I use my wings." She lets out a sigh.

She then looks over to their right, and in the far distance is seen a large waterfall leading into the valley below. The falls divert into two several flows, with two stones embedded right in the falls.

"That is where we'll have our second trial, Jon. Feeling up to it right now, or do you want to stop for a moment and catch your breath?" She asks.

5x5: I didn't know I was tired.

"Well, are you tired, or are you ready to go, I guess is the question." She says with a light laugh. She takes a moment to yawn and stretch her arms, legs, and wings.

5x5: I'm ready, but if you're tired you can stay while I go.

Kuria smiles. "I'm not that helpless, do I look like a helpless maiden to you?" She blinks, noticing her older fashioned style of dress, and her lacking of weapons or powers, as well as her humanity, and she lightly scowls. "Do not answer that." She then laughs.

"Yes, I'm ready. Shall we go?" She say with a smile.

5x5: *grabs her by the back of the neck and they both jump in at the same time*

The first sensation 5x5 feels is fire. Horrid fire.

After a moment, he is in a great black space, capable of freely moving around and even flight.

He suddenly sees Avalia being attacked by a brutish fiery demon whose every crippling blow crushes her body and burns her, and when he tries to intervene, he realizes his words, actions, movements, all do nothing. All he can do is watch as the raging beast murders her, and soon its fires burn away any trace of her left. Before he can react, it suddenly whirls and charges at another person, which takes him a moment to realize, but is in fact Seco. Again he can only watch as his father is killed in front of him in the same manner as Avalia.

He then sees Kukyo, and to his horror the beast does the same to her as well, despite any attempt to stop the beast, the result is still the same. Kukyo is consumed in flames.

5x5: *A single tear of sadness streams down his eye and he clutches his fists that seems to have grown somewhat bigger and has clawed fingers and his hands have turned purple*

He can only now watch as the monster slowly kills every person he had ever been close to or had known, his mother, brother, friends, all until the monster destroys the world around them itself and all that is left is a blackened, shriveled gravelly world, and then he sees the creature approaching him, and suddenly he loses his flight and collapses unable to move, as though millions of mountains had piled onto him. He can only watch as it gets closer and its head stops right in his face, and slowly takes off the mask it wears....


....To reveal 5x5's own rage, hate filled face twisted and disorted with nothing but malice and a desire to destroy. The creature-5x5 begins to mercilessly crush him again and again until he too succumbs to fire...

Suddenly 5x5 is alive again, watching the creature as though from far away yet really close, and its form collapses into a version of himself, and the lucid madness in its eyes are gone, and it lets out a howl of terrible despair as it finally realizes the cost of its great rampage... ...everything worth living for...

...And in its despair becomes no more.

Everything goes to black, and leaves him to ponder all he had seen.

Tell me.... what is it that I have shown you....?

A voice eventually rings out from the darkness.

5x5: *strangely smiles* Sweet...sweet relief...the pain is gone...all I ever wanted to do...was to kill everyone I have ever know...all because i knew them....all the rage I had for everyone close to me...its finally gone...rage filled my mind everyday...not one day goes by where I feel like killing someone because I didn't want them to have to see how pathetic I was....even with me being crushed to bit...Its exactly what I needed...thank you...for showing me this...i feel so much lighter...*just breathes*

No. Why do you think I showed you this? There is more to the picture that you have not understood.

5x5: *laughs unevenly* What is there to understand? That my rage leads to my own self-destruction? I've heard of that before. And I really don't care. Because Its all gone now. After seeing what I saw, i feel my mind has finally extinguish my almighty rage.

That is what you say. Yet how can you be sure that you will not regain your wrath? For all you know, all it could take is a simple mention of 'her' to drive you to bloodlust, and Kuria will lie dead at your feet. Do you really think rage is that easily won over? Surpressed, quelled, but who are you to say it will never come back? Rage is not something that ever truly ceases to be. Do you realize that your rage could come back, and if so, you must learn to quell it, lest it destroy those precious to you? Or do you believe that life will never treat you with trials again, and that you are above the tides of change and of chaos?

Do you accept this is a flaw of your heart? Or do you refuse to acknowledge it?

5x5: I have no one to care for...As for is only best that my eyes stay as clean as my ears...i am a rageful being. Rage doesn't simply go away from like that, but it is tampered abit. There only 3 people remain that deserve my hate...Yes..I do accept the flaws of my heart...

Be aware, Jonothan Waltz. Righteous anger and blind rage are two very different things.

Let us ask one final question. Why is it that when you learned the truth, why did you not seek to instead return to those you loved and the place that cared for you? Did it never occur to you to simply return home and take back what you lost? Or have you forgotten the depths of what you lost that day? Did you out of a desire for justice wish to put an end to further cruelty, or out of a blind desire to destroy, did you seek death of your enemy with no thought as to the consequence? I wish to hear your answer. Why did you not return home instead of choosing to seek rage and violence?

5x5: How? How could I have gotten home? I don't know how I ended up back there, I can only remember The Son taking me...That's all I could've remembered at the time. My rage was justified but justice is blind, so what you are asking me is just plain rage...If I had known how I had gotten here I would've tried to get back here...but I didn't know...and rage and violence...was my only answer...I was no longer a man of peace....I never was since then...

Very well.

A sphere of air suddenly engulfs 5x5, as a red serpent appears and coils around him, a claw reaching out and touching his forehead. The energy that flows through the serpent and into him restores more of his being and memories, driving the darkness further away from his mind.

Even in the face of those who did you wrong or earned your wrath, do not let anger blind you. Face the battle objectively. Rage only fogs the mind. Whatever focus it gives one only lasts as long as the mind. In many cases, the rage itself weakens and dulls the mind. Learn to balance your hate and your rage with logic and reason. It will save your life when you would be blind to your path to victory.

Now go... should you seek to continue this path of healing, seek out the others. Do not forget what we have told and shown you. Trust in your friends and your allies. They will give you strength where you alone cannot prevail.

He bursts out of the water and lands on the surface of the lake, noticing that Kuria is once again still in the water, he can see her 'sleeping' form deep under the water.

5x5: *coughs then sits up. He looks around abit then back down at Kuria and sits until she awakens*

Her eyes eventually snap open and her visage dissolves in fire, then slowly her form is remade in a violent cloud of water, steam, and fire, and she flops down onto the ground next to him, in pain as a new pair of wings made of pure energy grow out of her back and grow to the size her first pair were before visiting the first lake, then become black and feathery, and slowly Kuria's hair once again fades from white, grey, then to black, and she gasps for a while, as her four wings stretch out, shimmering softly with renewed energy and power.

5x5 becomes aware of a light tingling sensation, and after a long while he remembers a similar sensation when a spirit tries to manifest itself, which leads him to believe her spiritual being is growing larger, and he can now consciously detect her energy without having to strain himself.

Her breathing slows and becomes steady, until she lets out a soft breath.

5x5: *remembers the skydive and their conversation at the diner* *slowly breathes and his eyes narrow.* Mmmmm..*feels mildly uncomfortable and covers the back of his neck with his hand*

Eventually she stands up, groaning as the second pair of winds retract, her gaze seems slightly disoriented. "Ugggh.... I feel all sore... I guess my spiritual vessel is growing stronger than I believed it would."

Her gaze sharpens on seeing him, and she faintly smiles. "How... how was your trial?"

5x5: It was..far better than I expected. What about you?

"It was challenging, but I... managed to overcome it relatively well. Are you feeling alright?" She asks.

5x5: Yea I'm fine, just that...there's....probably nothing, just migraine maybe. *stands up*

"Do you think the mountain air will help clear your head? Or maybe it's the change in air pressure?" Kuria asks, concerned.

5x5: I don't know...maybe it is the air pressure...

"Do you want me to take you down? You took me up, so I can fly you down." Kuria asks with a smile.

5x5: *looks down over the mountain* Sure...

Kuria grabs him at the waist, and her main wings flare and she gently leaps off the ledge, her wings catching them easily, and she slowly descends to the ground below with gentle flaps of her wings, coming to a gentle rest at the bottom of the slopes.

6x5: *takes a deep breath* Thanks..I never really flew before.. Atleast..not like that..

Kuria pats him on the shoulder. "Well you're welcome. I'm glad you didn't flip out on me like last time."

5x5: *remembers* Yea...still sorry about that...

She smiles weakly. "I should have been more careful, I mean, I was told you weren't that stable and I didn't listen.... It was my fault. Don't worry yourself Jon. Besides, I wasn't scared at all by that."

5x5: It's just that...I didn't want to hurt you...If I did...I think I wouldn't be standing here...

Kuria closes her eyes. "It's fine, Jon. I've been through a lot in life. It would take more than being choked to hurt me. Mentally at least. I've been hurt many times. Pain just.... comes with the territory of things I guess. If you're wondering how I stay so positive Jonothan, here's the truth. I don't. Inside my mind, for the longest time, I always doubted myself, I still have. I've doubted if I can really save you, really help you. So much doubt.... ...that is what the pool tested me with. My doubts, how I was drowning in them.

They made me remember something. I remember before I met you, I heard about you and Kukyo's tale... ....It was both saddening and yet... inspiring. It made me want to help you, no matter how long or how hard it would be. So I've kept at it, persevered through the thick and thin of life, trying my best to remember that and have faith in my purpose."

She has a warm smile on her face. "And now the doubts seem like trivial matters to me. All I have to do is step forward, despite the pain and struggle, I know there has to be an end to the road."

5x5: *sighs* Then we must keep going because the road that lies before us is endless.

Kuria puts an arm around his shoulder. "No it's not. Right now we're on the road to visit the spirit lakes. There's only so many you know. That reminds me. What will you do when you're done traveling to the lakes?" She asks curiously.

5x5: *remembers a similar question being asked of him* I'll figure it out once we finish...

Kuria smiles weakly. "I have a purpose to fulfill, one I once ignored a long time ago. Once we have finished this journey, I hope to settle down in peace for a time, though should I be needed, I shall come to fulfill that duty. I don't have much planned, so settling down somewhere seems a nice choice for me. If you cannot come up with anything, you're welcome to stay by my side. It would be... ...nice to have company for once."

5x5: You know..I wouldn't mind taking you up on that...

She seems to have a slight change, something within her seems to give when he says that, and a warmer light comes to her eyes.

"...I'm... ...really glad to hear that.... ....thank you." She says lightly.

5x5: I've spent my entire life feeling alone...It's about time that changed...

She nods. "...I think it's almost time I visited some place I haven't in... a long time."

5x5: Then go..I can wait.

She shakes her head. "I don't want to leave you by yourself. Come with me. You won't be able to enter, but at least you'll be close by."

5x5: ^takes a deep breathe* Alright...

The Garden of Origin

They travel through many mountain passes and high slopes, through deep valleys and low canyons. All the while 5x5 can't help but wonder what could be this far into the wild of the world that would require Kuria to come this way.

5x5: Whatever is all the way out must be important...

"Yes... ...the birth place of all that exists on this world of Echo. Echo and Earth are actually sister worlds, Jon. Echo is Earth's second sister. Created as a back up should something ever happen. That said... ...they are mirrors of each other. Where we are approaching is what can only be called a 'Garden of Eden'. Just as such a garden once existed on Earth, so too does such a garden exist on Echo."

5x5: I know...I was told that before...So is us coming here apart of our next trial or do you just simply have something to do here...

"This has something to do with me and me alone. You won't be able to enter I'm afraid. Me... ....well there's a special reason I can come here."

5x5: Ok, understand...I can wait until you return...

She smiles. "We're not there yet."

5x5: I know. I wouldn't still be walking if I were waiting...

Eventually they reach a strange rocky wall with a archway like hole through it.

"This is where I have to leave you behind. I'll be back as soon as I can." Kuria says softly, before she begins to approach the hole in the wall.

5x5: Be safe...

Halfway through the hole she fades as though a ghost, and on the other side, she appears in a tranquil sort of valley full of all manner of flowers and birds. A tall hill stands overlooking a large lake, and atop the hill is a tree, which Kuria lays down under the soft shade, propping her back and head against the trunk.

For a moment, she says and does nothing, but listens to the serene quiet.


"....I heard you call and I have come to listen... might I serve you in being the guardian of this world? I ask for guidance, for I am lost and troubled. I don't know what's right or wrong to do for Jon.... And the actions of the Black King unsettle me, what am I to do? I have no power to protect this world anymore. Give me the guidance I need to carry out this purpose I have been granted." She closes her eyes and bows her head, her long black hair falling over her face.

"Show this failure of a servant what she must do."

"Have faith and let God guide you. He has a plan for all and all of it is for good. There are trials on the way but God will assure you that it will work out in the end. Being a guardian shouldn't be defined on one ones power but of ones heart. And if you have that heart, then you have not failed."

Kuria's head sinks. "How can I truly love him if I lie to him so...? How must I address the threat of the Black King? He works to some end that I cannot see..."

" But God can see. He will make it clear to you. And if you do truly love him, then tell him. It is better to relieve yourself of such a burden, then to jeopardize it even more."

For a while she is silent. "....Very well..." She quietly gets up, and slowly begins to make her way out.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. And in all things, acknowledge him and he will make your path straight."

5x5: *sees Kuria walk out* That was quick..are you alright?

Kuria blinks quietly. "...Why do you ask such a thing? Why wouldn't I be alright?" She says softly.

5x5: And what's wrong with me being concerned?

She smiles faintly. "Nothing at all. ...I'm glad you show concern for me. You must actually care, despite your conversational skills." She says this last part teasingly with a slightly stronger smile.

5x5: Maybe I'm just the strong but silent type.

She quietly looks at him with her bronze eyes, studying him for a moment. She slowly recalls the expression on his face when her spiritual energy had peaked during her last empowerment at the lake, how he had narrowed his eyes. It wasn't the altitude. ....I can't be sure. I can't be certain... ...but maybe there's a chance he's becoming aware. If I don't tell him soon.... ...he might figure it out on his own. ...Like I was told... ....I may jeopardize my situation more if I....

She quietly hugs 5x5 as the toll of her mental dilemma quietly mounts, her head coming to rest on his chest. He can feel a slight twinge of her energy now that she's touching him.

5x5: *hugs her back with one arm, with his head slightly tilted down*

Finally she swallows hard. "Jon.... ....I...." She lets out a rattling gasp.

".....I owe it to you... tell you the truth. ...I didn't... ...tell you everything you needed to know about Kukyo. ...There's something important I feel I need to tell you. ...I didn't tell you before because.... ....I didn't know if you could handle it back then. ....You deserve to know now." She trembles, sweat rolling down her face as she fears his reaction.

5x5: I don't deserve anything....*sighs* But listen..You don't have to be afraid to tell me anything anymore...I trust's hard for me to do so cause my trust had been betrayed many times...but with you...I can. If you don't feel comfortable telling me now you can always tell me later.

"....Kukyo.... ....isn't dead." Just as he is about to react to her statement, she continues. "....She's not dead.... the literal sense. Nor did she truly meet her end by being consumed by the Void God... ...but Kukyo... no more. Do you know what her name means, Jon?"

5x5: meant emptiness...but I refused to believe that she was empty...even if she was...i wanted her to feel everything didn't have to be the way they were...that she could change her life...and make it better for herself......I was even willing to stay with her if she still believed she was doomed...

"...She is no longer 'Kukyo'. She is no longer emptiness. She finally escaped her darkness and all the pain that plagued her heart for so long. It is true. Kukyo died. After all this time, she became something new. Whole."

She pauses for a moment. "She saw for the first time... the clarity of the light."

5x5: I see...*a very small smile can be seen on his face*

"....Jon.... ....I am Kukyo. ....I.... ....I didn't want to lie to you.... ....but I was... so scared you hated me, I didn't dare reveal my real name to you. After I lost my powers and my immortality, I resolved to live a new life, and never look back. I am.... sorry...."

5x5: I know...and I understand...You don't have to be sorry...ever since you first spreaded your wings I felt your presence...and in that instance I was ready to hurt you for for hurting me...but I realized...that's why you didn't tell me...because I was willing to hurt you...And then...there was the joy that...I finally go to see you again after all these years...*is unsteadily chuckling* I couldn't feel anymore happy...It must've hurt you... To see me like I had ended up this way...but..You didn't abandon me even despite your doubts...I never did hate you...I just hated that...that I would never see you again...Until now...

"Jon.... I..." She says no more, collapsing into him, losing the strength in her limbs to stand, slowly sliding down without the ability to support herself, sobbing with tears of joy, grief, guilt, and relief.

5x5: *holds her, then embraces her tightly* Thank you for coming back for me...

"....If I could have seen your future.... I could have... ...could have... ....kept you to myself.... ...I could have given you everything... ...I could have saved you.... ...I could have made you happy for eternity... ....I'm so... ....I'm so sorry.... ...for everything...." She weeps.

5x5: You don't need to be sorry anymore...Atleast now...My life was worth that I'm with you...As long as I have you...I don't need everything...

She slowly gains strength in her limbs and slowly hugs him back for several minutes, before she whispers, "I love you," to him, and kisses him over the lips.

5x5: *embraces in Kuria's kiss*

After a long moment, Kuria pulls away lightly with a tearful smile. "...I've finally found the thing I've always been looking for..... ...what I searched for so desperately for so many thousands of years..."

Her eyes are a brilliant gold. "I... ...I want to give you something.... Jonothan."

5x5: What is it, Kuria...?

She quietly puts a hand inside her clothing and pulls out a box, and opens it. Two similarly designed gold rings with rubies, diamonds, and various other jewels encrusted in its elegant design gleam before his eyes, and she takes out the larger of the two and places it in his hand.

"Jon... Nebuchadnezzar II made these two rings to symbolize his ownership and possession of me. But now that I have you... I want you to have this ring... ...Jon... ...I want to live a life free of that dark past... I want these two rings to not represent the past... but our future together. I'm asking you if you will be mine, and if I can be yours. I want to be yours... and I want to have you in my life. Will you take this ring and my love?" She asks in a hushed voice.

5x5: I will always love...and you were always apart of my life ever since I met you....I couldn't imagine living my life any other way...than to spend it with you...for you...I would do absolutely anything...and every time I see you now...I finally tell myself 'God has finally blessed me."

"I... I... I... You make me feel... the exact same way.... ....Marry me...." She whispers to Jon breathlessly. "Please say you will..." He can feel her heart pounding with a great frenzy, the shortness of her breath. "I've never wanted anything else so badly than in this one moment... be yours...!" A brilliant light of love and desire is in her eyes.

5x5: *clutches on to her hand and smiles with the most joy he has ever felt in years* Ofcourse....Ofcourse I'll marry you...

She becomes so happy he can feel it in her energy, but her eyes weaken and before she faints from the moment, she whispers happily, "Thank you so much...." before falling into a blissful unconsciousness in his arms, a joyous smile and expression still fresh on her face.

5x5: No...Thank you...*smiles and begins to walk out of the valley with Kuria in his arms*

5x5 eventually notices a rainstorm headed their way, and sees a cave off to the side of the valley wall that looks safe enough.

5x5: *takes shelter in the cave and sits it out on while still holding Kuria in his arms and smiles*

A low growl fills the cave as a figure steps inside.

"I've found you at last.... Kukyo!" A black figure stands in the entrance, a violent hatred towards the sleeping Kuria visible on the being's face.

5x5: *turns towards the black figure with his monstrous hands curled into fists*

He steps into the light revealing his long black hair and silver eyes, which glow ominously in the dark, the expression of hatred flat-lining swiftly into a tight frown.

"Are you her newest little pet then?" He says with an edge of a foul mood. "Let me save you the trouble. She doesn't care about you. All she cares about is her plans. Plan this, plan that. Objective here objective there. The only thing she knows how to do is scheme...." He says curtly, an edge of a hiss in his voice.

His silver eyes coldly look upon him with disinterest, then he looks down at Kuria once more, and his gaze sharpens slightly.

"....Mortal...?" He mutters with an edge of confusion.

5x5: You back up.Now. I don't care who you are or what you say about Kuria, I will fight you if you plan on hurting her.

"Is that what she calls herself now....?" He says quietly. His eyes close for a moment, then slowly open, shooting daggers at an invisible being in front of him.

"I see you're here... ....all of you.... I'll be sure to inform the other Clanlords.... ....they will be most angered to know of your return... O' Great Warlords of Echo...." He says harshly, then begins to walk out, as the Seven appear before 5x5 and the sleeping Kuria.

Mikadzukikei looks at 5x5 for a moment. "I see you kept your promise to me, water-kin. What is your name?" She asks quietly.

5x5: Jon. Jonothan Waltz. But most call me 5x5.

"I see, Jon. Wait a moment please. Keep the dirt off her as best as you can, if you wouldn't mind." Hyōdo loudly protests. "Hey! What's wrong with dirt?!"

"Everything!" Mikadzukikei retorts. The seven walk outside for a few minutes, and Kuria slowly lets out a small breath as she begins to come around.

5x5: *kneels down on one knee next to her* Kuria...

She slowly opens her eyes and has a warm smile on her face. "Jon... ...I'm sorry... ...did I worry you?" She asks softly.

5x5: Abit. Yes. Never seen anyone pass out from too much joy before. *helps Kuria up to her feet*

She quietly embraces him, leaning into him, her head resting below his. "I was... so happy... put my heart to gentle ease..."

5x5: You deserve to happy...I'm just happy that I could make you feel that way...

"Hey, love birds!" Saisei calls out. "You gonna hang out in that cave all day or come inside this house we made?!"

Kuria looks outside and blinks. "Holy crap they actually made a house without blowing it up halfway through construction. Color me proud, if not impressed."

5x5:...A house?

"Yes. We won't be staying here long, but a day or two wouldn't hurt to relax, right? Besides, I don't imagine the house lasting that long considering the Seven get along as well as a nuclear explosion does with a city."

5x5: *laughs with his mouth closed* Yea...

Kuria straightens up and takes his hand gently. "Might as well not keep them waiting." She says as Saisei and Mikadzukikei start dueling each other with fire and water.

5x5: *follows Kuria while looking at the other two dueling, but instantly takes him to a flashback of him and Gobble covered with blood and bruises and they run toward each and ready to punch each other in the face, but it is abruptly cut off*

Kuria looks over at him. "Are you ok?" She asks as Mikadzukikei pins Saisei and tickles him.

5x5:...Y-yea...I'm fine...

"Your voice says otherwise. Did something bother you? Don't hide things from me Jon. I want that to stop as part of our engagement. Be honest with me." She says passionately.

5x5: It's just...something I remembered...bewtween me and Gobble.

Kuria closes her eyes. "I see. It w5axs5 :p leasant I'm guessing..."

5x5: *has a quick flashback to Gobble pinning him to the ground with his hands around his neck, his eyes beady with anger. 5x5 took his fist and punched him directly in the middle of his face*....No...

Kuria sighs, and a black wing wraps around him. "Let's go inside, ok? Do you want to talk about it?" She asks.

5x5: *jerks back from her wing* NO!....I mean...No, I don't want to talk about it.

Kuria looks at him for a moment, her gold eyes scanning him for a moment. "....Ok... ...I understand. You don't have to freak out, you know." She makes an attempt to smile.

5x5: Sorry...I just..don't want to think about hurts when i do...

"I understand, the past does tend to hurt a lot. I know that better than anyone." They enter the house the Seven made, and Kuria sits 5x5 down in a chair.

"Hmmm... I wonder what we should do... how would you like to celebrate our wedding? Hmmm... I wonder... ...perhaps we could see the Tower of Heaven..." Kuria ponders.

5x5: I don't know...I haven't been on good terms with God for sometime now...

Kuria smiles. "Oh, the Tower is not literally holy. It's the capital of the Positive Spirits. It's a beautiful place. It's where the queen, Azayakana lives."

5x5: Hmmm.

Kuria laughs. "Dear lord and your hatred of conversation, you are going to drive me crazy!" She lightly ruffles his hair. "Hmmm... is there anywhere in Echo you'd live to visit again?" She asks.

5x5: *shakes his head* All the places I have visited only remind me of the terrible mistakes tat lead me up to this point. *looks at his hands* I just want to forget those mistakes as long as possible.

Kuria sighs. "The past is the past, Jon. But trying to forget won't help you. It's ok to have regrets, but don't dwell on them or let them ruin your life."

5x5: I'm not dwelling on them. I'm making sure that I don't.

Kuria thinks for a moment. "How about it then? The Tower? Or perhaps we could go to Fantasy?"

5x5: I never really been to Fantasy...I would always hear tales of what a beautiful place it was...a paradise for all myths....I would always dream of leaving the facility and going there...but there's no reason for me to go there anymore...We could just go to this Tower.

"Well, we could always go there after the marriage. For our honeymoon perhaps?" She says with a smile. "I want to make sure you can like a good life for now on." She kisses him softly. "Things will work out, I promise."

5x5: Ok.*holds Kuria's hand* I trust you, Kuria.

"Thank you Jon. ...I'm... ...tired..." She murmurs. He notices her hair is not solid black, but a dark grey at the moment.

5x5: *looks at the color of here hair* Your hair...It changed...

Kuria only nods wearily. "Yeah... it does that some times... I'm just... ...really tired. It's... been a stressful day." Her gold eyes look up at him as she slides down into a laying position, she has a weary smile.

"There's a bed upstairs... could you... lay me down?" She asks softly.

5x5: *nods and picks her up and heads upstairs. there he sees the master bedroom. He rolls back the covers and lays Kuria in bed and put the covers over her*

She lets out a sigh. "Thank you Jon." She wearily begins to close her eyes.

5x5: *sits on the bed next to Kuria*

She lets out a quiet sigh, her arms wrap around his waist as she sleeps.

5x5: *holds her hand and looks up at the moon through the window*

Later in the night, he sees Mikadzukikei walk in. "Do you not like to sleep?" She asks quietly.

5x5:...I can't sleep...If I do...The darkness will take me...I can't sleep...not know, not ever...not until I get rid of... *his tone changes* Him

She looks at him for a moment. "Are you not tired?"

5x5: *shakes his head* No. Haven't been tired in 2 years. Not once have my dropped from tiredness...

Mikadzukikei looks off to the side for a moment. "Explain by 'him'."

5x5: The Administrator....I was torn apart physically and the darkness was to rip out my soul and devour many whispers of the victims of the darkness...they craved light and they we're going to tear out what was left of mine out of my heart...once the cloaked man 'freed' me the effects it had on my mind was forever eternal. The only way I can rid myself of it, is if I destroy the one who did it to me. Face the darkness, conquer what I fear the most...My horrible memories and the whispers of damnation from others who had fallen victim to the darkness...

"The darkness huh... maybe we could talk to Neo about that one...."

5x5: NO! *in an instant has Mikadzukikei pinned against the wall by the throat* I NEVER WANT TO SEE KADO AGAIN! *releases his grip and walks back over to the bed*

"Tell me something, how much trouble you think you'll be in with mother when she hears you just did that? Clearly you did not learn anything at all in the Lake."

5x5: I've learned more about containing my kind in 2 years than I have processed anything I've learned in approximately 3 days.

"So all this time you've lied to my mother about wanting to improve yourself, to change, all of that? To think that you proclaim to love her, yet you don't even try to keep your word, for her sake... despicable. Is all you live for revenge? Are you just using her feelings for your own gain? If not, then beg forgiveness and let go about your past and how you feel about it. Otherwise you have no place by my mother's side, and that ring and that promise you made, and the 'feelings you have for her' have no real value to you."

Mikadzukikei walks up to him, and reveals her real form, a woman around twenty years of age physically, having discarded her child form. Her being shimmers with power.

"Well, what is your answer?" Her voice is calm but her aura is broiling with a threatening air.

5x5: Just like that...I am always judged for what I think I wanted all this to happen? No one would...I tried to good...but the evils of this world dragged me's change when you've accepted your fate...It's easier to be susceptible to sin than it is to do righteousness...All my life i just...let everything happen...I didn't fight back for myself...and whenever i did it was always narrowed down to it being my now...I was never known to use anyone...I was always the one being used...You can't expect me to change so easily when we're so susceptible to such things...*looks at the ring* Maybe you're right...Maybe I'm not ready to be with Kuria...I'm too deep in my sorrow and I am too violent....that is no man worth loving...I can't be forgiven if I continue to commit the same sins...I've waited for years to be with her again...and I am but...Not like this...Not like this...mess of man...not even a man anymore...just a hateful beast...*slowly takes off his ring and puts it in Kuria's hand* I want to be the person she fell in love with...but I am not him...not any more...and us being together won't work...It can't work...Because of me...

Mikadzukikei grabs his arm gently and prevents him from dropping his ring.

"Kuria, my mother, she is a strong judge of character. There is something you should understand about my mother. If she puts enough trust in a man that she would ask him to marry her, then Jonothan, there's a good reason she did. I am probably just spitballing here, but perhaps the reason she asked you to marry her is because she knows you're not the man she used to know. She has something in you that you should never forget. She has faith in you. She knows you're not the man she fell in love with. But perhaps the point of this is to give you hope and a cause, a goal to reach.

If you want to be with her, and you don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past, then use this as a reason to stand. If she gave you that ring, then she has given you her trust that somewhere, the man she knew is still there, and that one day, he'll come through in the end. Jonothan, the fact that you've admitted your faults already tells me that there is hope for your future, and that's you've learned from your past, even by a little. There is sorrow, there is anger, but there is understanding as well. If you understand your faults, then you have already taken the first step."

She closes his hand around the ring.

"That ring, on Earth alone is worth money beyond, a priceless historical artifact. But it's worth even more than that. It's a sign of Kuria's absolute trust in you. Her belief in you. Her love for you. Not just of the man she knew, but the Jonothan that stands in front of me, unsure and burdened by years of pain. She believes in both of you. Now Jonothan, will you take the next step and continue to become the man she hopes to see you become? Or will you take a step back by putting that ring down?"

She puts a hand on his shoulder. "The world always judges you. So does other people. But I don't judge the same way they do. I've judged that like my mother, I will have faith that Jonothan Waltz is the man she deserves, even if he doesn't realize it."

She takes his hand. "Come with me. The seven... maybe eight of us will help you realize that."

5x5: *looks back over at Kuria for a moment, then goes with Mikadzukikei*

She takes him outside, where the landscape is bathed in a soothing moonlight glow, Hyōdo looks up as they approach.

"How much do you know of us seven?" He asks quietly.

5x5: I know you all were involved in the Great War. There are accounts of these elemental orbs of light that came from nowhere and began to wreck havoc amongst the Earth along with the Myths. Other than that, nothing else. That and you're Kuria's children, but not much else.

"We including our mother are powerful human spirits who were born during the reign of the Neo Babylonian empire. The eight of us, not including mother, her power was passed on to Neo, are spirits of the various elements. Fire, Water, and so on. But did you know elements have an emotional connection? Tell me, what do you think Fire represents as an emotion?"

5x5: Mostly fire deals with anger or rage. Short-temperedness.

"Not necessarily," Saisei speaks up.

"Fire is more than that, though I am not the best example in the world of that," He says. "In general, it can be described as Passion. Disassociate it from love really quickly, because I don't mean that kind, though it is included in what fire can represent.

Passion is a mixed bag. Passion can mean a beneficial, and a harmful element. Fire responds to both kinds of Passion. Though people use fire more for wrath than for compassionate elements. Fire is both beauty and destruction. Look carefully."

Saisei surrounds Jonothan in a sphere of fire in every color of the rainbow, but instead of burning ferociously, the fire is soft and warm, and doesn't singe Jonothan or the grass it burns on.

"What did ya think?" Saisei says after the fire burns away.

5x5: The only fires i'm used to is the ones that blow up in your face and scorch you alive.

"....Ok... but what did you think of this fire," Saisei says, his impatience showing.

5x5: It was ok.

Saisei takes a deep heavy breath.

Mikadzukikei creates a bubble of water, just as Saisei explodes in an angry fireball for a few minutes.

She mouths at Jonothan: Extraordinarily bad and short temper. Give him a few minutes.

5x5: Don't get me wrong it was an amazing display you did...but i'm too out of it...

Saisei abruptly calms down. "Oh... oh... ....errr.... .....sorry?"

Mikadzukikei sighs and pops the water bubble.

5x5: I can see he takes passion for what he does.

Mikadzukikei shrugs. "I guess. Can you guess what the other elements might represent emotionally?"

5x5: Fire represents power, control, leadership, inspiration, spirit, and respect. Air represents fun, laughter, curiosity, interaction, intelligence, and passiveness. Earth represents stability, loyalty, patience, realistic, fairness, and conventional. Water represents love, passion, gratitude, forgiveness, purpose, and unity.

Kaminari looks at him. "Heeeeey, I know you like those classic elements and stuff, but you kinda just ignored like... half of us. Oh, Zap." She says as she pokes him, playfully shocking him a little.

"Also, we just went over the fact that fire in this case represents passion." Mikadzukieki says dully.

5x5: Two separate things can have the same meaning. So many of them to go by, you know? Like a lion and an eagle. both stand for leadership and boldness, but both are different. One is of land and the other of the sky. It's the characteristics, they don't have to vary greatly or individually.

"It's not about multiple meanings. It's about the philosophy that gives you a focus." Mikadzukikei says. "My element is that of Tranquility. Since you were born of a Nymph, you have a connection to water, and if you choose, its equivalent emotional energy, Tranquility. Due to your birth, you can draw upon this as a source to find an inner peace. Jon, I want you to meditate on the properties of a still pond."

5x5: *sits and closes his eyes*

As he does, he tries to think of a pond, but instead sees a feminine figure with long hair. 'The only pond I could think of was my mother. She is what made me calm. She was what put me at peace. "She holds out her hand towards 5x5, but as he touches her hand ripples are sent through her body and her image is blurred. 'But like every pond, once touched, ripples obscures a reflection. Like my memory of mother, blurs my memory...So much has much that I can't even remember your touch, that always put me at ease...Every pond is smooth and still, just like you were...but I don't deserve your touch..which is why everytime you touch the pond...your hand goes right through it. I can't bring myself peace...when i was the one...took it away from myself." The feminine figure is impaled by black spikes coming from 5x5's body. She falls backwards and once she hits the floor, becomes a wide expanse of water as far as the eye scan see.

He feels a hand touch him, and he suddenly feels as though he has been dropped into an infinite ocean of pure calm.

5x5: *simply breathes out of sadness*

He finds himself completely submerged in Mikadzukikei's mind, and he is barely aware of the fact she has sat him down in her lap, her arms around him to give him comfort.

5x5: *eyes filled with despair* I'm sorry mother....If it weren't for me you would still be here by my side...

"Hush. No matter what was, it is not now. Live for the present, not in the past." Mikadzukikei's voice echoes with the soothing cool aura of water.

5x5: How can I when I was the reason I ended up this way?! How can I when I've lived in the past for so long? When everyday I'm reliving it?

"Then stop living in it. And live only for what is most important. What is most important to you?"

5x5: Nothing is...Not even my father and brother....Kuria....she is the only thing that's important to me...

"Then if you must, live for Kuria and Kuria alone, if she is the only thing important to you, then you will strive with all of your being to live, by her side, each and every day. If you must, forget everything else, and dedicate yourself to her."

5x5: Ther would be nothing I wouldn't do for her..Nothing...

"Then live for her, not in the past. If she means that much to you, then do that. Never cease, never look back. Take every moment and absorb yourself in it."

5x5: *nods slowly and sits up*

"Do you feel better?" She asks softly.

5x5: *sniff* Yea..I do.

"Any time you need it, we are here."

5x5 notices that Kaminari is strangely absent, and at the same time, something seems to tickle the top of his head.

5x5: *smacks the top of his head and hears a faint yelp*

Kaminari cries a bit. "Owwww! Why'd you hit me?" She whines.

5x5: *takes her out of his hair* Didn't know you were in my hair.

Her cheeks puff as she pouts. "Jerk. I was just hanging out in your nice warm hair, and you gotta swat me like a bug. Ruuuuuuuuude."

5x5: I'm not used to anything being in my hair.


5x5: I appreciate your help. It's been years since I had to thank anyone.

"It is my pleasure. Come to us any time you need us. We are your family, in a way, after all."

5x5: *nods, then heads back into the house. Once he makes it upstairs, he simply looks at Kuria* Deep down in my heart, I know don't deserve you. *is about to touch Kuria's face, but looks at his hand; then slowly pulls it back. He takes the ring out of his pocket and looks at it, then back at Kuria* But I'm glad I'm given the chance to. *puts the ring back in his pocket then heads back down stairs*

On his way down, he thinks for a moment he feels Kuria's hand touch his cheek, but when he looks back all he sees is her sleeping, though she seems to have a loving, gentle smile on her face as she sleeps.

5x5: *feels his cheek and slightly smiles at her*

I love you... no matter if you are the man you are now, the one you were before, or no matter what path you take and choose... I'll never stop... believing in you...

5x5: *heads over to the couch, get's on his knees and prays* Dear Lord...I know I haven't been on good terms with all since these past 2 years...but I just want to say thanks...for giving me a chance...for freeing me...and bringing me back to the one person who could truly love me...the one person you made just for me to a brighter future with Kuria as I journey to be free from those awful years of neglect and me to be strong...for her..In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

He can't be sure if he actually got an answer, but an oddly warm feeling fills his heart.

5x5: *touches the left side of his chest where his Blue Rose tattoo is*

Kuria wakes up later in the morning, remaining in bed, but looks for Jon in the room. She sighs dejectedly, not seeing him.

A delicious aroma fills Kuria's nose

She sits up, sniffing the air quietly.

5x5 is cooking breakfast in the kitchen having plates all on the counter

Kuria begins walking down to the kitchen barefoot, but from a goddess of darkness, she is able to sneak right up to Jon without his knowing, and it's not until she suddenly hugs him from behind does he realize she is there.

5x5: *turns around abruptly, panicking* What!? *looks at Kuria* Oh..God morning. *hugs her back*

"Sorry, I didn't realize I was walking like that again," She laughs.

5x5: It's fine. *hugs her slightly tighter, then lets go and continues to cook* How did you sleep?

"I slept well enough... ...though I could feel your mind you didn't get rest there... know I love you, right?"

5x5: *stands for a moment, then turns around and gently kisses her* You couldn't have made it any more clear.

"Thank you for breakfast." She says softly.

5x5: Wasn't sure if you guys could cook, much less needed to eat. So I went ahead and made all this just in case. You can call them in, and they can starting digging in.

"DID SOMEONE SAY, FOOD?!" The voice of Kaminari can be heard mere seconds before a blur of movement is seen, and she is immeidately seated, her eyes wide open, visibly trembling from excitement.

5x5: Here. *sets her full-steamning plate of breakfast in front of her*

Kaminari attacks the food like a shark, devouring it at a rapid pace.

5x5: Where are the others? Aren't they gonna eat too?

Kuria shrugs. "They'll be along."

5x5: Alright. *hands Kuria a plate of breakfast* Here.

She gladly takes the food, a smile on her face. "Thank you for being so thoughtful to me Jon."

5x5: You deserve the very most, Kuria. I just want to give you that and more.

"Sit with us then." Some of the others start to arrive.

5x5: Take your plates.

The group descends upon the food, eager to eat. Kuria looks at them with a weary smile.

"Join us, Jon." She says.

5x5: *sits down at the last chair available*

"Thank you." She says softly.

5x5: Do you guys say grace before you eat?

"...Grace?" Kuria asks hesitantly.

5x5: You know. Praying over the food. Giving thanks.

"I've not heard of such a practice yet."

5x5: Alright...Well, we all hold hands and bow our heads, then one of us bless the food.

"I see. Is that what you wish to do then?"

5x5: It would be nice. I feel like as family, this can bring us together.

"Then lead us."

Everyone holds hands and bows their heads.

5x5: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us this day and our daily bread. Bless us as we eat and go about our day. We thank you for giving us life, health, and strength, and making us who we are. Keep us safe in your name we pray, Amen.

Kuria quietly digs in afterward, though the others descend into a tame anarchy, if that ever made sense. Kaminari seems hellbent on zapping anyone touching a metal fork, Saisei burns his food to charcoal and then eats it, and Kitakaze insists on not drinking water, but red wine.

5x5: *simply looks at them all and gives a slight smile*

Kitakaze offers him a cup with a slight smile.

5x5: *takes the cup and sets it down next to his plate*

Kuria shakes her head in slight amusement.

5x5: *sniffs the drinks and looks at it awkwardly. He takes a sip and continues to look at the drink awkwardly. He drinks a little more. Once he puts the cup down, he looks a little red*

Kuria shakes her head. "You should really make sure to ask Kita what exactly he gives you."

5x5: I wouldn't imagine it was anything that would kill me... *hiccup**begins to slowly rock back and forth*

"It's just going to make you drunk for a while. Welcome to Alcohol."

5x5: It taste juicy, yet my throat burns...Is that suppsed to happen or did I drink it wrong...? *hiccup*

"Alchohol is strong, dear. That's why I said to make sure you ask what he's giving you to drink."

5x5: Why didn't you tell me before I drunk it?...

"I thought my son knew that wasn't appropriate."

5x5: Mmmm...*gets up and slowly heads towards the sink. He turns on the water, then takes the sprayer and sprays himself in the face. He then pours out what's left of the wine, fills his cup with water, and drinks it*

"What have we learned, you two?"

5x5: Alcohol burns...and it makes bad parents...*sprays himself in the face again*


"...Ask before I give him a drink."

5x5: Is there anything you guys have planned today?

"Not really..."

5x5: Then we can all take a morning hike together.

"That sounds... nice."

5x5: You don't have to go if you dno't feel like it. I can just walk by myself.

"No really Jon. I'd love to."

5x5: Then finish eating and let's go. *walks upstairs*

The family continues eating.

5x5: *brushes his teeth*

After he finishes this sequence, he takes a towel and dries off his face, but once he looks at the mirror, an image of some sort of a skeleta-faced monter roars at him, startling him as he hits the wall behind him. The image of the monster is gone.

5x5: *is breathing heavily while trying to calm himself*

Kuria finishes, and is now waiting for him.

5x5: *slowly comes down, still abit shaken up* You ready?

Kuria nods.

They both begin to walk outside into the beautiful morning

"You alright Jon?" She asks.

5x5: I'm fine...I just..Want to apologize for not being by your side last night...

"Don't..." She says quietly. "There is no reason to."

5x5: But I know you were abit upset about it and I wouldn't blame you. *holds her hand* I just want our life together to work out just as much as you do.

"I wasn't upset, dear. I love you, I'm concerned, that's all."

5x5: I don't want you to..*takes her other hand and looks genltly at her* I want is for you to think about our future. As long as I have you, I can't think of anything else that can keep us from our new life.

"..." She has a weary smile. "Whatever happened to little doom and gloom?"

5x5: You came to me into darkness and showed me the light. You are the light to my darkness. *wraps his arms around Kuria and holds her tightly* I woudl've died a spiteful man without you in my life...I just want to give you all that you deserve...For having to wait all those years for happiness and wait even longer for me...I'm not in this for myself anymore...I'm in this for you, and only you.

She says nothing, but returns his embrace. "I'm glad you found your resolve."

5x5: I found something better...I found you.

"Same thing..."

5x5: *he breaks up the hug and simply looks at her and gives a small smile*

"You are a doll today, aren't you?" She says with a small smile.

5x5: If that's what you want me to be today.

"Ok, you're being a tad too corny. You don't have to try so hard." She says with a laugh.

5x5: Maybe...But there's so much I want to say, that it wrenches my heart that can't say it needs no words...but I want to say them...

"You have our whole lives to say them. Enjoy the moment and the time we share." She pulls him close and kisses him over the lips. "There is no need to express words, for love does not have a word that can truly match it. It lies beyond description's reach."

5x5: There's so much I want to give to you...That I wish I gave to you years ago.

"Take your time, Jon. Too brilliant a flame burns itself out too fast."

5x5: You're right. Sorry.

"Stop apologizing... just enjoy each moment in life that passes you by."

5x5: I will now. I have the rest of my life to.

Kuria walks on along a path leading toward some hills.

5x5: *walks beside her*

Kuria is silent, after a while, she picks a purple flower and looks at it.

5x5: *looks at the flower Kuria she's holding, but he instantly sees it being blue with a black stem. He snaps out of it* It's...beautiful.

"There are many flowers like this one. I believe it's called Lavender Liava. They're good perfume plants, but they're only found up high on mountains usually."

5x5: Beats using whale vomit for perfume back...there.

Kuria smiles faintly, then squeezes the flower ever so lightly, causing it to squirt a strong lavender scent directly on him.

"Hee hee..."

5x5: AH! *begins to cough a bit* AH! My mouth was opened!

"Oh it won't kill you, calm down."

5x5: *growls* Ok...*coughs*

Kuria offers him a drink of fresh water.

5x5: *takes the glass and drinks it* Thank you. Well your kids be fine without us there?