Recap: After witnessing Dr. Ichigaki and Toguro fight, Komeko ended up in a very ominous and peculiar dream, unsure of its importance.
Komeko trudged her way from the hotel clad in dark jean shorts, a white sports bra, a white tiger tank top, and her normal shoes and beaded bracelets. She was the last one to make it to the arena this morning since she had had trouble sleeping and fell asleep eating breakfast. The girls had gone ahead without her, but left a note.
A low growl bubbled in her throat and let itself out as Karasu’s atrocious odor hit her nose. Could she not go one day without seeing one of them? He came into her peripheral a second later.
“I was wondering when you’d wake up.”
Was he spying on her and waiting for her this whole time? The idea unnerved her deeply.
“Not that I would want to wake up to see your ugly face, shithead.”
He merely chuckled at her retort and got a little closer to her. She fingered the knife at her hip, but otherwise stayed still. He came much closer than she was comfortable with and sniffed the air around her tentatively. Their eyes met.
Elsewhere in the forest, Kurama and Hiei were walking towards the stadium for the next fight. Kurama watched Hiei grit his teeth from the pain in his arm. It had to be severe if he was showing it. They were interrupted by two demons and a cyborg from Dr. Ichigaki’s team.
“What is someone like you doing stuck with those boring little spirit detectives?”
“Someone like me?”
“A Tsuiseki demon.”
She tried to play it off. “Those demons haven’t been around in more than a hundred years. How likely is it that I would be one?”
He circled her like a predator. “I would be inclined to agree with your rebuttal, but you have no scent and no tangible energy to speak of. I can easily explain the second one with you wearing something to cover your energy. That’s not uncommon.”
He tapped his mask thoughtfully and she understood the connection; his mask concealed some of his power. He was two inches from her face in seconds, using his claws to pull at her wrists. Like slicing through butter, the beaded bracelets she wore broke with his gesture; the pieces scattered everywhere and left her wrists bare minus her tattoos.
“Aha! Caught you.”
He tapped her on the nose and she growled, snapping her teeth at him and narrowing her eyes threateningly. She was determined to not live up to his expectations though, and tried to remain unmoving no matter how badly she wanted to rip each of his fingers off slowly for doing that.
Yusuke, Kuwabara, and the masked fighter stood outside the ring waiting for Kurama and Hiei. The absence of two other members on Dr. Ichigaki’s team did not go unnoticed by the three. Before Kuwabara and Yusuke knew what happened, the masked fighter proposed a three on three free for all that was agreed to.
“Now, the first part of my research was aided by the younger Toguro brother. It’s very hard to place one’s finger on something that isn’t quite there, but he certainly nailed it and there is only one type of demon that can cover their scent completely.”
“Or perhaps your mask is just messing with your nose, Karasu. Everything you’ve said so far is pure conjecture. There’s nothing solid behind it and the odds are completely stacked against you.”
“Why cover up your scent? I bet it smells like fresh flowers.” She glared at him, temper rising slightly. “Is that it? Are we still pure?”
“My sex life is none of your business no matter who I am, so you should back off. There’s nothing here to amuse you and I’m not what you think I am. So, fuck off.” She replied hotly, leveling her glare at him warningly.
His hand stroked across her bare shoulder in a feather light touch and she felt her skin react with tiny bumps erupting down the appendage. His eyes crinkled in the corners from the grin beneath his mask.
“Still denying it? I’ve got a special surprise for you then.”
Fairly quickly, the three fighters figured out that the members of Dr. Ichigaki’s team were under control and being forced to fight. Shizuru, Botan, and Keiko sat together in the stands, watching the heart-wrenching battle.
“That’s right, baby brother, you feel it too.” Shizuru noted.
“Pardon?” Botan asked.
“You think there’s something wrong with Kuwabara?” Keiko questioned.
“It’s difficult to explain, there’s some very strong emotions buried down there in the ring. My brother, he can sense it, and it’s getting to him.”
“It seems like you’re awfully emotional yourself. What’s going on there? Is it something between him and Yusuke?” Botan questioned, eyeing the boys.
“No, it’s from the other team. Just imagine a desperate scream from far away. You can’t hear what it’s saying, but you know something’s about to happen and it’s going to be really painful.” Shizuru explained to the girls.
Komeko’s eyes shot up to their right, where the elder Toguro stood. His normal gray toned outfit was interrupted by a splotch of white. As he got closer, a vaguely familiar scent hit her nose. She looked over at Karasu questioningly.
“You expect me to confess all my darkest secrets because of that bird? I think someone has messed with your mind, sweetheart.” She remarked, hiding the foreboding feeling developing in the pit of her stomach.
He laughed at her quietly and bid the brother to come closer. The scent hit her nose fully and her eyes widened in horror at her realization. Her dream, the girl, the white bundle that Toguro held, it was one of the very last Tsuiseki demons. She could smell the baby clear as day now and while she wasn’t full-blooded Tsuiseki, she was still surely one of the few left in the bloodline and a true rarity.
Karasu, reveling in her state of upset, laughed at her darkly. “I knew it. I fucking knew it. You are quite the catch, Komeko.”
Hiei had already sliced up the first demon, so now they were faced with the other demon controlling the cyborg. Hiei was pinned to a tree by the robotic arm while Kurama ran between trees in order twist the arm into smacking itself, releasing Hiei and chipping the armor. It showed that pain was not a weakness, since Gatasubal was now unaware of the hole in its guard.
Ready to rip both demons limb from limb, she snarled at him dangerously.
“Get to the point.”
Toguro cradled the bundle with a sense of false security to disarm the defenseless infant.
“You know where we got this little trinket? She was down deep smack center in Kakusareta. We killed both of her parents and brought her here to meet you. She won’t be around much longer, but we thought it would be incentive for you.”
The need to save the child and save herself competed for each other briefly before she lunged at the elder Toguro in an attempt to rescue the baby. She was fast as lightning, but the demons around her were almost consistently a step ahead of her. She growled at the game of keep-away they were playing and came to a standstill again for a few moments.
“Give her to me, Toguro. You don’t need a little thing like her.” She coaxed.
He eyed the child for a second and Karasu spoke up again.
“Why would someone like you even be working for the Reikai? What could you have possibly done to land yourself in that terrible position? You’re nearly as bad as the demon traitors on the team. If you give yourself over to us, we’ll let the child go or we could let you raise her. You two would be a valuable asset to our team.”
She didn’t miss his gaze lowering to her chest for longer than necessary. She didn’t care about being sexually proposed or having them say anything about her in any manner; the child was her biggest worry.
“I’d never come to be with you assholes. I’ve got more self-respect than that. Now, give me the child and I’ll ask the team to make it fast when they beat you.”
Her voice was venom dripping from her sweet lips as she eyed both demons carefully. She didn’t miss the elder Toguro’s movements as his arm started to contort into a less human shape slowly.
Kuwabara stood up, trying to get the three fighters to stop what they were doing. He knew they were under mind control and he could hear them underneath the veneer. Then, all of the men delivered their specialized attacks to Kuwabara’s body, but they missed the most hurtful areas deliberately, showing their humanity. The masked fighter stepped forward once Yusuke had powered up his spirit gun to fire at the three.
“I said, let her go, Toguro.”
“Why should I listen to you, weakling?”
“Because I’ll make you fucking regret it.”
“Now we’re cooking with a little fire.”
“Shove it, Karasu.”
She sprang into action and threw her knife at the elder Toguro’s forehead. The knife secured itself right between his eyes and he laughed at her, but it was just enough to distract him and she grabbed the child from his arms.
“What are you doing?!” Karasu sounded just a tad upset.
Komeko didn’t stay; immediately, she started running from the pair. She was quick and the baby in her arms cooed at her softly. She could see a small tuft of honey brown hair and green eyes looking up at her innocently. This had to have been the child from her dream that came to warn her. This poor baby was not an orphan just because of what she was. No, she was an orphan because those morons were brought into existence.
“Hehehe, hahaha, you know you can’t kill these humans! Just accept your defeat!” Ichigaki called.
The masked fighter began chanting at a steady pace, creating a shield with her energy around her.
“Ni ee letsum chu. Redsi ko. Kee kee kyu chow chine. Ko ee me kyaku.”
Continuing the chant, she moved quickly to prod each fighter in the chest, over their heart. Immediately, the verrucae mind control devices fell from their bodies and they landed on the ground. Koto hit the ten count and Team Urameshi was declared the winner.
“What the hell was that? You wiped them out in one shot. All their spirit energy’s gone!” Yusuke cried.
“How can you destroy scientific experiments with chanting?!” Ichigaki screamed.
Everyone was upset that the fighters were down, assumed to be dead. Kurama and Hiei silently made their way behind Dr. Ichigaki as Yusuke advanced towards him.
“Stupid Doc pushing this on us… Stupid Dark Tournament. Hey, asshole! You know you’re not walking away from this, don’t you?!”
He backed up into the demons behind him.
“Don’t embarrass yourself.” Hiei said.
“Acknowledge your cruelty and your punishment will be swift.” Kurama threatened.
She didn’t let anything distract her as she kept moving quickly. Just a little further and she would be in range of the arena and have some sort of security in her friends. She was stopped by a bomb that Karasu caught her with. It exploded to her right and she was thrown from her feet and off course. She tumbled and blocked anything that would happen to the child with her body, righting herself again.
Keeping her guard up, Komeko raced on for her goal. The blasts came closer and closer to her, until one knocked her down even further this time. She landed beneath a tree, wind knocked out of her lungs. She could feel herself bleeding, but kept the bundle in her arms close to her body. She curled into a fetal position when Karasu approached her.
“What a shame, you could’ve been a very interesting pet, K.”
Her world lit up before darkness consumed her.
Dr. Ichigaki had injected himself with some of his medicine and grown into a very large green demon, but was easily defeated by Yusuke after he powered up and swung him around by his elongated arms, then laid into him with his fists and passionate words.The win was short lived since Yen, Rio, and Kai were strewn across the floor. Their master, Metamura, wept openly at the loss while he hung on Kurama’s shoulder.
“How can I ever forgive myself?”
“Save your tears, Metamura. Your boys aren’t dead.” The masked fighter pointed out.
The three students began to open their eyes and sit up. They were astounded at the control they had again. Shortly after, they were ashamed of their mistakes and wished themselves dead.
“Your guilt is misplaced.” The masked fighter said before she went on to explain how her technique showed they deserved to live.
They gathered around their master in a large hug and all cried happily at the reunion. Nearly everyone around them was also teary eyed. Koenma and Jorge hugged each other in their booth, sobbing like babies. The joy that everyone held was easily felt.
Light edged Komeko’s vision only moments after the attack and she sat up in confusion. Her body was in more pain than she was ready to deal with, so the adrenaline in her system took the edge off. Recognition dawned on her quickly as she picked up the child and used the rest of her energy to make it up to see Koenma. She knew he would protect the babe.
She dredged her way up the stairs and focused her mind solely on finding the toddler. Her vision swam as she reached for his door. She managed to knock once, weakly, before sliding down the wall, baby bundle still held closely to her.