Recap: The win for Kurama was retracted and Kuwabara faced off against the elder Toguro, defeating him and tying the teams.
Yusuke and Toguro were interrupted by Sakyo entering the ring and taking the microphone.
“I’d like to place one last bet. Being the team owner, I’m going to wager on Toguro to win. For the stakes, I’ll offer up my life.” He proposed, making any other battle unnecessary.
Koenma agreed to the bet and his placed own life on the fight as well.
“What are they thinking?!” Keiko asked.
“Why would he throw it all away?” Shizuru asked as well.
“The man seems pretty crazy, if you ask me.” Botan noted.
Komeko agreed and made a circular motion with her finger around her head. “He’s real loopy, for sure. Then again, what might that say for Koenma?”
“Faith, I suppose.” Botan answered.
Koto announced that the committee was fine with the point change, since Sakyo wanted this particular fight to count as the final, and Shizuru returned to the seats. A putrid smell hit Komeko’s nose and a terrible laughter filled the stadium. The elder Toguro pulled his form from the rubble and laughed insanely before degrading Genkai’s image. Botan and Komeko quivered with anger at the insults. Then, surprising everyone, the younger brother beat up the older.
“I’m sorry, but blood can only run so thick. This will be a fair fight with you down to the letter. This time, we fight for real.” Toguro addressed Yusuke.
He smirked. “You bet.”
Koto intensified the suspense in the crowd with her narration for the coming fight. Toguro stripped off his green jacket. Another, much different, scent crept around Komeko’s senses. She looked around the seats for a few minutes and felt a creepy sensation dance down her spine. It was very strange and familiar, but her train of thought was interrupted by the women beside her.
“Put your shirt back on!” Shizuru yelled down to them.
“Yeah, nobody wants to see that mess!” Botan added.
“Okay, begin!” Juri sanctioned.
“Well done, Yusuke. At last the two of us fight again - only this time, things will be different. I’m not throwing this fight for anyone.”
“Good, because this is personal.” Yusuke quipped.
“You don’t think this is personal for me too? I’ll start with 80 percent!” Toguro yelled as he upped his strength. Twisted muscles laced his limbs and the fire-like blue power flared out passionately.
Some of the energy started to ignite the weaker demons, obliterating them in blood red blazes. Their tormented cries made a horrible cacophony around the arena. Toguro’s power hummed higher than the cries, creating a deafening roar. At the edge of the ring, Koenma placed a barrier around the rest of the team. Puu cried loudly and erected his own barrier around them for protection. However, there was no one there for Yusuke. The power didn’t degrade him like the others and it was certainly a sight to see.
Their gazes locked and Toguro stepped closer to Yusuke. They exchanged blows that ignited with energy. Yusuke flit around the ring fluidly, landing a hit on Toguro’s cheek. Pieces of the ring exploded and the energy both fighters exhibited ran rampant along the stands. Toguro stopped his punch.
“I see the way you look at me in judgment, but you have no idea what it’s like, do you – to lose your beloved?” Toguro questioned.
“No, I don’t, because I’ll never let that happen. I actually look forward to growing old with her.” Yusuke replied.
“You sure about that?” Toguro eyed Keiko.
“Stop it. This is between you and me.”
“It’s time. You have something to prove to me. Show that Genkai didn’t sacrifice herself in vain.”
“I’ll show you.” Yusuke modeled his hands into his signature move.
They both remained still, locked in an unbreakable stare down. Blood trickled lightly down Yusuke’s cheek, but his gaze did not falter.
“So, she didn’t teach you any new tricks?” Toguro provoked. “I want everything you’ve got, everything she taught you.”
The energy transfer between Yusuke and Genkai made Toguro excited. He wanted to feel what Yusuke could do and actually challenge himself with his opponent. It would be another notch for Toguro to secure himself with – showing he was more capable than anyone, a show of pure strength and battle wit.
Yusuke charged his spirit gun.
Toguro grit his teeth in concentration and Yusuke charged him after canceling his previous attack. Landing several hits to his torso, Yusuke raged on, but Toguro deflected the pain of the punches by absorbing the shock with his thick muscles.
Yusuke dodged several crippling blows before kicking Toguro straight in the face. Yusuke’s evasive tactics had definitely increased and it was a beautiful thing to watch as he avoided the offense. Toguro managed to make the stadium ground pop up between them and throw Yusuke off balance.
“Let’s kick this up a notch, shall we?”
Toguro’s power, mainly from his punch to the ground, blasted into Yusuke and obliterated the ring into a devastated crater. The rubble flew up into the air, Yusuke and Juri included. Yusuke, while maintaining a completely upside down stance, took his opportunity to shoot Toguro with his spirit gun. It nailed Toguro straight on with its pure, blinding blue light.
“Bulls-eye!” Kuwabara shouted, astounded.
Toguro yelled out, in pain, but took the impact of the shot like it did not faze him.
“Yusuke just tore up the other half of the stadium, that’s gotta be enough to take him out.” Botan said.
“I hope so. If they do anymore damage, then this place is gonna collapse.” Komeko noted. “I can hear the trees snapping from here.”
The fire from the attack blazed the trees with its intensity and smoke wisped the edge of the arena and tree line. Everyone went silent.
As the ring was destroyed, it seemed as though the fighters would have to be killed to decide the battle.
“We won!” Botan yelled.
It was stunning that Toguro had just taken the blast, but the win was short lived as Yusuke stood at the hole he had made. Toguro emerged from the flaming pathway a few seconds later. Glasses destroyed in the blast, his muscled form lumbered up to Yusuke.
“Is that all you got for me? I expected more from Genkai.” He taunted.
“Whoa! Look at it, people! He’s magically risen from the dead. Runs in the family, I guess!” Koto announced.
“I wanted to test you to see if you were strong enough to defeat me. I obviously don’t need to go up to my full power. I’ll finish this like I am. I thought you might have been the one, Urameshi. I would’ve gone full power for you, but now, I realize it would be wasted on you.”
“Guess play period’s over. Oh well, it was fun!” Yusuke ripped his wrist band off and it glowed brightly.
“What is that?” Keiko questioned.
Yusuke pulled the other cuff off to reveal a pair of spirit cuffs lit between his wrists.
“How are those different than yours, Komeko?” Keiko questioned.
“Mine would hide my energy and were not as showy as his. I got mine from Koenma and I wore them longer. Otherwise, though, they aren’t that different.”
Yusuke unleashed his full own power, blinding everyone and releasing a huge phoenix-shaped energy form from it. It settled back into him and fed into his aura. The emission was phenomenal. Toguro was enraged at the insult to his abilities. Yusuke ran at Toguro with a new speed that was almost impossible to follow and laid his fists heavily into Toguro, knocking him off his feet. Not letting Toguro get up, Yusuke slammed his fist into Toguro’s chest and made the ground beneath him crater before landing even more punches.
“He’s like a machine!” Kuwabara cheered.
Yusuke jumped back for an unknown reason. Something unnerved Yusuke and Toguro rose from the crater. Muscle mass depleted, he stared down Yusuke.
“I am afraid that a ferocious wolf is laying in wait underneath that placid sheep’s façade.” Kurama said.
“I know. It’s written on his face.” Hiei agreed.
“At last, Yusuke, you’ve done as I’ve asked. I’ve waited a long time for this moment. Now, destiny has rewarded my patience.” Toguro spoke as his skin began to shape itself into a new form with his power. The ground shook with him.
In an explosion of power, his once lithe form became covered in plated armor of pure thick muscle. It was a terrible and horrifying sight that was nearly enough to blind everyone, which was ironic as the stadium became as dark as night.
The haze cleared and Toguro revealed his new body, gray skinned and demonic – thick like a tree trunk. He looked every detail of intimidating. Yusuke stood still, watching Toguro, not in fear, but in wonder. Most of the stadium was now much scarcer in participants, but it only made the experience that much more terrifying for those left.
With only a flick of his wrist, Yusuke was thrown back into a rock and sported a new wound on his forehead. Yusuke blocked the energy bullets that were shot at him and he pulled back an energy filled punch, but Toguro blocked him with only a finger and broke his left arm.
“Hit me with everything you have. You have no idea which shot will be your last.” Toguro goaded.
The shot was deflected like it was nothing.
“I consider myself a good judge of human kind. I can say there’s something missing in your eyes.” He noted. “That something is fear. It was a strength for you. Without it, you can’t grow stronger as a fighter.”
He blasted Yusuke backwards, causing him to spit up blood when he landed. Everyone watching looked on in near despair.
“You’re not doing your job, Yusuke Urameshi. The way you’re fighting now, I could kill you easily. You need to realize your true power. What Genkai mastered and what you were born with should give you an ultimate power. I want to see you show it!”
Toguro used his body to take the souls of the audience to keep his energy fueled and goad Yusuke into saving them. Countless demons around the stadium were sucked in and many of the remaining tried to flee the arena. The girls still remained in Puu’s barrier. Sakyo pushed a few buttons on a device and walls erected themselves around as a new barrier, keeping everyone in.
“Now only the winners will get out of here alive.” Sakyo explained.
The demons who charged after him were obliterated easily by Toguro. Yusuke landed a punch on Toguro’s forehead and beat into him heavily.
“Kill Toguro, Urameshi!” the remaining crowd yelled.
Toguro caught Yusuke’s punch and he screamed in pain. Keiko watched the battle with a disconnected look on her face. Tears rimmed her eyes as the girls watched her wearily.
“This tournament isn’t real. It’s all a bad dream. Just wake up, Yusuke, I wanna go home. Yusuke!” Keiko cried.
“Keiko…” Yusuke trailed off softly, face smashed into the ground.
Toguro drove his foot into Yusuke’s stomach. “The only thing waiting does is cause more people to die.”
“Take it easy. Come back to reality, Keiko. Yusuke will win this! We’ve got to trust him and keep our cool, okay!” Botan said, tears ready to fall.
“That’s enough of this garbage.” Genkai’s voice rang out.
The girl looked around in confusion. “Huh?”
Toguro fired a shot at them, missing by feet. This enraged Yusuke and he shot up, hitting Toguro with an upper cut before he was struck down again.
“What a disappointment. If you can’t face me, you’ll pay for this, Urameshi.”
“Yukina, Botan, Komeko, combine your powers to make a barrier while I’m gone.” Puu said in Genkai’s voice.
“Oh, my.” Botan said.
“Someone’s brought her back.” Shizuru noted.
Puu flew to the ring. “In order to see his power, kill one of his friends and make sure he’s watching. He’s got a six foot wall of crap between him and his emotions. That’s where his power lies. Take it down and it will make him do what he has to.”
Yusuke argued with Genkai and she slapped him harshly. “This isn’t pretty, but when you’re not strong enough to lead, you lose the privilege of getting what you want.”
Puu flew off with Toguro’s hit and Toguro set his eyes on the rest of the Team before locking on Kuwabara.
“Urameshi does appear to be the most protective of you. I’ll make this quick.”
Yusuke tried to stop Toguro, but nothing phased the demon. Kuwabara stood his ground and watched Yusuke closely.
“If he makes it over here, the three of us must fight him together.” Kurama said.
“You know this is your fault, right, from living in a constant state of depression?” Toguro said.
Kuwabara stood in front of the rest of the team and offered himself up. “Hey, Koenma, you risked your life on Urameshi’s fight, so now I’ll do the same. So, make a place for me and make sure my wake is as good as his. There’s no stopping him and if I’m gonna go now, I’ll go charging him! No regrets!”
Kuwabara charged forward, sword drawn, and was taken out with Toguro’s fingers ripping into his chest.
“Okay, Urameshi. It’s all you. I did what I could. Now, beat him for all of us. Make my death count, okay?” Kuwabara fell down and Kurama ran to his side.
Yukina and Botan covered their eyes at the sight, Komeko and Shizuru let the tears fall uncovered. Yusuke glowed with a renewed power, eyes sullen.
“You took my teacher and now I let you take my friend. The hell do you want from me? Don’t you think I wanted to use my power, win this thing, and go home? Of course I did. I just didn’t know how to reach it and I have to live with that.”
Yusuke moved from one side of the ring to the other, completely unseen, and let his energy coat the stadium in comforting waves of light.
“I can practically feel his emotions in the air.” Botan said.
“His walls are coming down.” Komeko noted in awe and sadness.
Yusuke walked forward, eyes never leaving the ground. With his energy ghosting the stadium, he spoke.
“I’ll never be able to forgive myself now, not just you. Let’s do this.”
Toguro charged, “Now your energy has reached the same level as mine.”
“That’s a load of crap, Toguro.”
Yusuke slid to one of the remaining walls, relatively unscathed. He stood and let more of his energy coat the stadium, harmless to the inhabitants – it felt protective. Toguro did his best to convince Yusuke to go over to the unfeeling and uncaring side of things, but he refused. Pride filled his teammates and friends. As Toguro moved to kill another person, Yusuke stopped him. The ground cracked beneath them.
‘No person is a one man show, every decision you make will affect the countless people who care about you.’
The ground shook heavily, rubble flailing into the air. Yusuke socked Toguro right in his gray, tangled face, slamming him into the ground easily. When he sat up, his neck was bent sideways, looking broken as ever. Yusuke fired his spirit gun, which ran right over Toguro, and put another hole in the wall.
“Get on your feet, Toguro.”
Toguro stood and realigned his head, cracking audible. His muscles began another transformation, writhing beneath his skin and blasting away most of his clothing. Now at his truest power, he stood across from Yusuke, who aimed his spirit gun again and insulted Toguro, enraging the demon. Energy swept around Yusuke, swirling into his shot, while Toguro erupted in his own intense emission. The accumulation of power was enough to make anyone weep in astonishment. Something like this only happened so often. Toguro barely caught Yusuke’s blast until it faded slowly and he kneeled on the ground.
Blood hit Komeko’s nose and made her want to vomit. Toguro’s arms wrapped around Yusuke’s shot and it dissipated. Then, his armor cracked with a bright light beneath it.
“Thank you again, Yusuke Urameshi.” He exploded and fell to the ground, defeated.