Recap: Komeko escorted the girls back to the fight for them to witness Team Urameshi win. After getting a strange feeling from Genkai, Komeko and Botan realize she died.
Botan locked herself in the bathroom, water running, but Komeko could smell her tears that she shed clearly.
“Is Botan going to be okay?” Yukina asked.
Komeko just rubbed her shoulder comfortingly and smiled slightly, nodding.
A renowned psychic, who was held in high regards by most, had just died. She was always true to herself and never beat around the bush – always blunt. She was a strong fighter and someone who deserved the utmost respect in Komeko’s eyes. She maintained her silence in honor for the woman.
Keiko held Puu as he cried. “I think there’s something really wrong with both of them.”
As the sun began to descend, Botan, Komeko, and Puu sat out on the hotel room balcony. The stars twinkled down on them. Puu cooed in Komeko’s arms softly before flapping over to Botan.
“How do you think Yusuke’s doing?”
Botan affectionately ruffled Puu’s hair. “I think he’s going to get better. Genkai would want him to win this fight and beat those bastards. I’m sure he knows that.”
Komeko smiled. “I was thinking the same thing. I hope it just kicks his ass into gear soon enough. I know this hit him the hardest, but we’re all feeling the loss.”
The girls joined hands for a few minutes to reassure each other. It was comforting to have a friend nearby sometimes, even if they couldn’t do much beyond physically being there. Puu cooed loudly.
“What’s that?” Botan stood, staring at an energy blast.
“Yowza, it looks like Yusuke’s energy.” Komeko answered.
The two smiled at each other and kissed Puu on either cheek. He cooed happily at the friendliness.
Lightning struck the ground in different areas and some of the weaker beings outside of the stadium. Demons lined the way in hordes as Juri made her approach into the arena. The guys were off elsewhere and Komeko stayed up with the girls in the stands. Their quest hadn’t been easy to get in, but they managed to snag some tickets off the scalper outside.
The stadium shook roughly. The massive doors pulled back and Team Urameshi stepped forth. Numerous demons, blood thirsty, chanted in the stands, hoping Team Toguro would kill the humans. However, Team Toguro was nowhere to be seen yet. Juri had announced their entrance, but they were not behind the doors as they opened.
Instead, they took their time slowly approaching the entryway, each one in their own threatening style, first the Toguro brothers, then Bui, and finally Karasu. Komeko narrowed her eyes at the demons, but held her ground with the girls. She almost couldn’t stop the snarl bubbling in her throat; she held back just barely, not wanting to alarm the ones next to her.
Yusuke gave off an aura of power around him, threatening the team wordlessly.
“Kill them! Kill the humans!”
Since only eight members stood in the ring, Juri questioned where their substitutes were. The crowd grew angry and unruly quickly at the pause the problem caused. Sakyo entered the ring and Shizuru gasped in recognition. It didn’t go unnoticed by Komeko, but she left it be. Shizuru was quite the personal person, preferring to keep things to herself.
“Earth to Shizuru. Hello? You okay?” Keiko asked.
She came out of her stupor. “Yeah, sorry.”
“I’ll stake my life on Team Urameshi being defeated before I even need to fight.” Sakyo bet.
Nearing disqualification, fanfare erupted from behind Team Urameshi followed by a smoke that cleared to reveal Koenma. The girls sweat-dropped.
“Way to go, Koenma, sir! You knock ‘em dead!” Jorge cried happily.
Koenma threw back his red cape to reveal that he had a jetpack, the Koenmatron, in case he needed to escape. The girls and Jorge all fell to the floor this time, embarrassed for the prince’s cowardliness.
Karasu entered the ring and Komeko hummed in a low growl.
“Is that Karasu?” Yukina questioned.
“That bastard is the one that attacked me.” Komeko answered, purposefully not mentioning the baby.
Anger filled her body and she thrummed with the emotion. She had full faith in the team and would stand by them any day. They were ready for this.
“Kick his ass, Kurama!” Komeko shouted loudly.
Kurama caught her gaze in the stands and nodded slightly while Karasu remained stoic. Koto and Juri hyped the crowd up further with their own cheer for the finale.
“You couldn’t pay me to root for that vampire wannabe weirdo!” Keiko yelled loudly.
“Go Kurama!” They all cheered amongst the opposing demons.
Botan calmed down quicker from her cheering excitement than the others and stood to avoid questions about Genkai’s absence as it was brought up again. Komeko grabbed her wrist and gave her a look before she could walk away.
“You gonna be okay?” Botan shook the worry off and continued.
Shizuru followed her and Komeko let them go so she wouldn’t leave Keiko alone. Tear tracks evident, they returned shortly after they had left, but they both did look better. In the arena, Karasu began to verbally dig into Kurama.
“You’re either extremely brave or extremely stupid. It’s rare for anyone who has seen my capabilities to go through with fighting me. I’m curious as to why you would subject yourself to this. Could it be something personal?”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Karasu. I’m here to defeat you and by the way, I advise you not to underestimate me.” Kurama threatened.
Rose petals flew around the arena as Karasu approached Kurama. A slice appeared and disappeared just as quickly on Karasu’s face.
“They’re beautiful, but they lack substance.” Karasu taunted.
Kurama shot the petals at him and Karasu made each one explode in a burst of sparks and red velvet.
“Damnit.” Komeko swore.
“My hands are merely vessels. My power is everywhere, even in the air you breathe.”
At Karasu’s charge, Kurama pulled out his whip, but it was cut off easily a millisecond later.
“The intimacy that murderer and victim share is unparalleled.” Karasu murmured before performing another aerial attack.
The smell of Kurama’s blood hit Komeko’s nose as he was hit on his arm and then his upper thigh. She saw the expanse of reddened skin and scowled, hearing his cries of pain clearly amongst the roar of demons cheering around them.
“I manifest my thoughts to tangible things. You can’t see what I’m holding, but it’s just as real and very deadly. Honestly, I don’t think words can do it justice. You have to feel it for yourself. Actions speak louder than words.”
Karasu threw a skull laden bomb at him, exploding the ring. Smoke filled the arena and Komeko gasped. Botan started to tear up, worrying for him as well. Karasu’s blood dripped onto the ground from a rose struck through his palm before they saw a relieving sight. The smoke cleared to reveal Yoko Kurama in his true form.
“You go, King of Thieves!” Jorge yelled.
Komeko clapped Jorge on the back happily at his enthusiasm. She was getting hyped up on the adrenaline that filled the stadium with Yoko’s presence. Words were traded in the ring as two roses embedded themselves into Karasu’s bombs. Yoko dodged the attacks swiftly, like it was nothing, pausing only a few moments for Karasu to speak about his next attack.
“Once these trace eyes set their sights on you, they will follow you forever.” Small bat-like bombs floated around Yoko.
“Ever hear of Ojigi? It only grows in South America. It’s extremely sensitive to movement. Any vibration will make it close its leaves around its prey.”
“I have no interest in gardening, but it looks like you’re surrounded.”
“I thought you’d know better than to corner an animal like a fox, Karasu. We have a tendency to show our teeth.” The bombs exploded and a shiver ran down Komeko’s spine. “You know, an Ojigi plant is quite dangerous regularly, but it’s several times more deadly when grown under a demon’s energy.”
The plant sprouted different razor-toothed openings that rammed themselves after Karasu, eating slabs of concrete easily when they missed, like it was jello.
“How does it feel to be the one pursued?” Yoko questioned as Karasu dodged until the plant had him surrounded and venomous laser-like beams shot forth.
Komeko sat at the edge of her seat and watched the fight with rapt attention, just like her friends beside her.
“The Ojigi is truly a gifted species of plant. It can sense the smallest amount of movement, even something as insignificant as a muscle spasm. So, you see, it’s useless to run. It would only make you easier to catch.”
“Kick his ass, Kurama!” Yusuke yelled.
Yoko stayed centered in the ring, not needing to move with the Ojigi. Karasu managed to blow up parts of it, but more grew. “The plant also responds to aggression, so it will be all the more vicious when you attack. You’ll need to come up with a smart way to kill it, or else, bang.”
Yoko made a hand gesture much like a gun to the temple as his plant covered Karasu. It captured him wholly and squeezed hard, his mask popping off. This immediately worried Komeko as she remembered what Karasu had mentioned to her before. If his Ojigi didn’t kill him right away, then there would be more trouble.
“Yoko! His mask!” she yelled.
She thought her voice was drowned out and he may not have heard her over the crowd, but his silver ears twitched and a frown graced his features after he had started to walk away.
“Calm down, K. He beat him.” Botan proclaimed.
“Yeah, don’t get me wrong, it’s just nice to see someone not make a fool of themselves on stage like my baby brother.” Shizuru added.
Komeko stayed quiet and let the scene unfolding do the talking for her. The girls watched in horror as the purple ball of leaves was obliterated with Karasu’s energy. Botan blanched visibly.
“I wouldn’t count me out just yet.” Karasu chimed after Juri’s ruling.
“I’m so, so sorry! That was entirely my fault.” Juri squabbled.
“You look surprised, Yoko. Did you think that was the last you’d see of me?” he scoffed.
Karasu breathed in deeply through his mask-less face. His hair lightened into a sun lit blonde as it blew around his body with the force of his energy. He was internalizing his power to make a giant explosion. He flew into the air and Komeko instructed the girls to duck just in time for part of the stadium to explode into oblivion. Botan popped her head up, followed by the others and they paled at the destruction.
Yoko couldn’t be seen in the ring, but part of the rubble moved to reveal the normal human form of Kurama. Karasu approached him from the side of the ring and Kurama didn’t get up yet. He pulled a rose with an unsteady arm, but it failed as the petals broke.
“You’re too weak. You can’t even control the most basic of your attacks. Make this easier on both of us and give in. I promise it won’t hurt too much. If you think about it, death isn’t really so frightening. Who knows, you may actually enjoy it.”
Kurama vaulted into the ring with renewed speed and went for a much more hands-on approach in combat. His kicks and spins sped up as the two went on in a dance. Strands of Karasu’s hair fell to the ground with one of Kurama’s moves.
“I think you’ve finally lost your mind. If you come any closer, you’re a dead man.”
“I will not be afraid of something that I cannot see!” Kurama claimed before he flipped over the attack aimed at him fluidly.
He landed a two-handed attack on Karasu steadily, sending him further back in the ring.
“You’re just full of surprises, but I thought you’d be original.” Karasu pulled a seed from his bruised chest easily. “I must congratulate you though. You’ve injured me more than once and that’s practically unheard of.”
A metal contraption attached itself to Kurama’s leg and blew up, wounding him.
“No, Kurama!” Yusuke yelled. “Don’t move anymore, you’re surrounded by bombs!”
He moved to stand up weakly. Karasu felt as though he had him cornered as Kurama stood still.
“Didn’t you say you chose not to be afraid of things you could not see? Well, here’s a better look. You’re weak, you’re powerless, you’re pathetic, but you seem to have a masochistic streak that begs to be indulged.”
The bombs exploded around his body and Komeko began to tear up along side of Botan.
“Karasu is just playing with him. I wish he’d get it over with.”
“Don’t talk like that! Kurama will beat him! I won’t lose anyone else to Toguro’s team.” Botan countered Shizuru’s claim.
Blood flowed steadily down Kurama’s arms as he made himself stand up. Recognition registered in Komeko’s mind at Kurama’s determination. If he was still standing, but out of energy, then he only had one more idea in mind – his life energy. A few tears slipped from Komeko’s eyes.
The demons around them began to cheer for Karasu to finish him. Komeko clenched her fists angrily.
A growl murmured in her throat.
“Kurama! Get up! You can’t die!” she screamed.
“Face it lady, he’s done for.” A demon next to them spoke bluntly.
Komeko turned to the demon, face marble stone.
She stood up quickly and tackled the horned demon to the ground, wailing on his face until it was bloody. “Take it back!”
“I said take it back if you want to live!” His face was bruised, swollen. The demons around them began to clear away from the tangle. Her energy flared around her in a green roar.
Botan shook Komeko’s shoulder and ducked from the fist that swung her way. “K! Look!” She pointed to the ring and Juri stopped her count.
“You should’ve stayed down, but I guess it’s not your style.” Karasu raised his hand and Kurama expanded his life energy to use his blood draining plant.
“No…” Komeko stared, awe struck.
Karasu’s bloodless body fell to the ground as the plant devoured him.
“Get up! Don’t die!”
“He can’t be dead.”
“Accept it. He sacrificed himself for the team.” Shizuru noted.
Komeko leveled her with a glare that made the hair on the back of Shizuru’s neck stand up from the energy behind it. “Watch your mouth.”
Shizuru’s face remained impassive as she looked back to the ring.
Kurama twitched weakly and was surprised that he could move. A grin tore across Komeko’s face, along with the girls. Most of his wounds healed and he felt more powerful. From the death plant on the ground bloomed into a giant red rose that Komeko could smell from her distant seat.