Recap: Komeko became very disappointed in herself when she allowed the girls to get hurt. Kurama comforted her and she revealed her mission. Botan and Komeko were left outside the cave.
“That’s odd. The cloud over the city has evaporated.” Botan noticed. “Amazing! That was the quickest apocalypse aversion ever. You’re welcome world!”
She hopped up and down, happy, but Komeko could still feel the energy bubbling beneath them. She didn’t jump when Koenma spoke.
“I hate to rain on your parade, but the end is still near. It’s just like the eye of a storm. Things are only going to get worse. We only have two hours.”
“What?!” Both girls chorused.
“I was told we had two days.” Botan added. “What happened in Spirit World?”
“I had to get permission to remove this thing in case of an emergency.” He pointed to his pacifier.
Botan looked horrified, but Komeko was confused.
“You have to stay here, Botan. Wait for the signal. If there’s an earthquake, then you must leave and inform my father that the barrier has broken and the tunnel is complete. Goodbye, Botan. Goodbye, Komeko.” Koenma marched into the tunnel, tense, like a statue.
“So, Botan, what’s the binky do?” Komeko asked.
She chuckled and looked left and right. “I’m not precisely sure, actually.”
Komeko narrowed her eyes at her bubbly friend. “Oh, girly.”
“What? I can’t remember everything I’m told.” Botan defended.
Komeko smiled at her comment before looking at the tunnel. “How do you feel about our odds?”
“I have a lot of faith in them, but Koenma’s demeanor is scary.”
“Demon World is so much different than anyone could imagine. I wouldn’t wish it on these humans. The air from there alone is enough to make them dizzy.” Komeko looked downward at the ground. “It’s been a few years, but I doubt anything’s changed.”
Botan looked contemplative and then happy when she realized Genkai, Kaito, and Yana were coming out of the tunnel. So did Komeko, until her gaze fell on the boy in their arms. She could smell the death from here and heard no fourth heartbeat.
“Oh, thank goodness you’re back!” Botan said as she ran towards them.
Komeko followed with a somber look on her face. “Who’s the kid?”
“One of Sensui’s misled partners.” Genkai informed them.
Komeko pushed some of the hair from the boy’s face. He looked so young, not even a teenager yet.
“Did you pass Koenma?” Botan asked.
“Yes, on the way out. He’s going to go meet up with the rest of the guys, right?” Yana concluded.
Botan nodded. “He also said he was going to remove his pacifier if the time came.”
“Wow.” Genkai said.
“What does the pacifier signify?” Komeko asked Genkai.
“How should I know?”
Both girls sweat-dropped.
Komeko tapped Yana on the shoulder. “Could I take him?”
“Are you sure?” he asked.
Komeko nodded and he placed Amanuma in her arms. She walked over to the truck and jumped into the bed easily. She laid his small body onto the cool metal and rearranged his limbs into a more peaceful pose.
Did this boy have parents? Better yet, did his parents even notice his absence enough to miss him? Would they worry? She thought about finding them; it wouldn’t be hard if they lived in Mushiyori, because most families shared a scent. Kazuma and Shizuru both held a similar one, as did Yukina and Hiei.
She sighed and looked up towards the twisting sky. The wind had picked up and blew some wispy tendrils into her vision, followed by gray-pink ones. She wondered when Genkai had started sitting on the roof of the vehicle, but smiled up at her regardless.
“Oh, dear, they’ve been down there forever. What’s taking them so long?” Botan said, high ponytail swaying with the wind.
“Patience, Botan. It’s the end of the world, can’t just flip it off like a switch.” Genkai said with her arms crossed.
“I know.” Botan spoke sullenly.
“We’ve got to trust the weapons we’ve got… and cross our fingers.” Genkai smirked.
“I hate the freaking waiting game.” Komeko huffed. She could smell the Makai very clearly, wafting out in waves from the tunnel. What’d they have, like twenty more minutes? Sitting on the sidelines was so aggravating.
They felt Yusuke’s shot as it went off. Genkai said it was powerful enough to have killed Toguro, but they knew that Sensui was still alive. Not long after, energy flooded out from the tunnel. It felt massive and made Komeko’s body tingle.
“Holy shit, Genkai, is that Sensui?” Komeko asked. “That’s the highest energy I’ve felt in a long time. He’s like a freaking S class demon.”
Genkai nodded solemnly. Komeko locked eyes on the tunnel, feeling dread pit in her stomach. The ground beneath them shook violently.
“What’s that?!” Botan yelled.
“It’s an earthquake.” Kaito provided.
Botan left abruptly on her oar, gone, out of sight. Komeko frowned deeply. Genkai and Komeko faltered in their stance as a combined wave of energy swept over them.
All too shortly after, Genkai fell to her knees and Komeko’s eyes watered. Yusuke was gone and they both knew it. Everyone’s faith in him was so powerful, the possibility of him ceasing to exist felt impossible. The guys beside them looked on, confused.
“What’s going on?” Yana asked.
Neither woman made a move to answer.
“Please, is this why I came back, more pain?” Genkai spoke, voice breaking.
“No, no, no, no!” Komeko yelled before bursting off into the tunnel at her top speed. She could smell them. She could smell the death. She could smell the Makai. She could smell it all and it drove into her brain like a pick axe.
She went left and right through the maze, ignoring the lit lanterns around her. She followed her nose. She did what she knew how to do. She did was what familiar. The scene she ran in on broke into her psyche and thrashed at her heart. Yusuke, scraped and torn, lay dead on the ground. She caught the attention of the four standing males, but paid them little mind as she kneeled next to Yusuke.
“Bastard, your rank scent is all over him.” She whispered into her hands.
Getting up, she took her place beside the remaining detectives and faced Sensui with them.
“Hm, one more in the audience makes little difference to me. The tunnel will open soon enough.” Sensui muttered quietly to himself.
He sat down atop a fuzzing television set. Kuwabara shook with rage as the seconds passed by.
“The tunnel is open. Are any of you brave enough to lead the way? Go where your friend could not?” Sensui challenged.
Hiei ripped off his bandages and Kurama transformed himself into Yoko’s tall form. Komeko’s image faltered in her rage and she burst forward along side her other friends. Hiei unleashed his dark dragon, aiming it directly at Sensui.
“Here’s a one way ticket straight to hell, you bastard!” he cried.
It landed square on the tunnel opening with Sensui in its mouth. They all went fearlessly into the Makai, leaving Yusuke’s body on the ground.
“Where are we, in Demon World?” Kuwabara asked.
“No, we’re in pseudo space between the two worlds.” Kurama answered.
“What happened with you, fox boy?” Kuwabara queried.
“It’s only the power from the Makai that’s allowed me to take on Yoko’s form, but I’ve maintained my normal consciousness.” Kurama answered.
Kuwabara stared over at Komeko, on his other side. “What about you? You’re all jumbly looking.”
She frowned for a moment. “I haven’t been back in years. It’s just like interference for me between forms. I’ve got one just like Hiei does, but I’ll say I’m a lot less green and not as ocular. It’ll stop by the time we get there.”
“Crazy.” Kuwabara muttered.
“There he is.” Hiei said, spotting Sensui.
They stopped when they reached the Kekkai barrier. Sensui passed through it easily, but that was because of his type of energy.
“Why don’t Komeko and I go through and drag him back over?” Kuwabara suggested.
“Would love to, but the barrier won’t let me do that.” She answered.
“What, you too!?” Kuwabara yelled. “You’re all too freakin’ much.”
Kurama approached the barrier and touched it, burning his hand. Kuwabara, brandishing his sword, slashed through the barricade, allowing everyone to follow Sensui. They flew forth, after the monster, defensively.
“Where’s he taking us now?” Kuwabara questioned. “What’s that thing?”
“The exit.” Kurama answered.
Quickly, they descended into Demon World.
“We’re lucky. We’re in the Forest of Fools.” Hiei offered.
Skillfully, Kurama’s plant wrapped around each person’s waist in order to break the harshness of the fall that would have greeted them. Large leaves spread out from behind his back as he did it, slowing their drop drastically. Komeko couldn’t think of a better time to be thankful for the company she kept, especially Kurama’s on-the-spot thinking.
“First a fox and now a butterfly, what can’t you morph into?” Kuwabara asked.
“I’m not a butterfly. This is just the leaf of a plant acting as a glider.” Kurama said.
Sensui’s energy spread around him, making him float easily. With a cocky look on his face, he asked them to move over to the Plateau of the Beheaded. They each landed on the barren ground and ran around Sensui to surround him. His power burst forward and armor coated his body.
“Sacred Energy Armor!” he yelled.
Hiei took his opportunity to strike as his arm surged with the dragon’s power, flailing up and back onto himself. He and Sensui both exchanged blows before Hiei fell. The other three came after him together – Kurama with his Bound Fist of the Demonic Vine, Kuwabara’s sword, and Komeko stood further away with her stance changed. Feet shoulder-width apart, she formed her demon energy into a bow and arrow. She charged a shot and let it soar straight towards Sensui. He deflected it, along with Kurama and Kuwabara’s blows, easily. He furled the boys around with his power into a twister and lashed out at Komeko.
A new wound stretching along her stomach, she stood angrily. Beside her, Kurama bled from a few spots and Kuwabara was struck with a straight punch. Hiei lunged forward and completely disappeared before he hit Sensui with his enflamed sword. It did nothing and Sensui kicked Hiei away. The fire demon got up weakly.
“There’s nothing worse than being strong, but not strong enough. It only prolongs the inevitable conclusion.” Sensui said.
Each fighter stood, thinking of their fallen comrade and still-alive friends. There were people worth fighting for.
“Anyone have any good ideas?” Kuwabara asked.
Sensui provoked each of them about their nobility being futile. In response, Kuwabara drew his sword and charged along with everyone else. Sensui dodged each one of them tacitly. Kuwabara’s sword left a long, lit trail over the area he had slashed. Sensui, wielding Kurama’s own whip that he had stolen, slashed into Hiei, Komeko, and Kurama after he punched Kuwabara.
Kurama and Kuwabara lay on the ground, Hiei kneeled, and Komeko sat.
“Kill us if you’re going to. Just spare us the sound of your voice.” Hiei said sarcastically.
“Your physical strength is greater than ours at the moment. That’s all. Unfortunately, that’s all that matters here in Demon World.” Kurama spoke from his defeated position.
“I am merciful. I want to relieve you of your misery.” He paused. “What’s that?” Sensui turned towards the gateway.
Everyone turned, sensing the enormous power floating their direction. From the gate’s area came a large flying blue bird with Yusuke and Koenma on its back.
“Sorry, I got delayed. Traffic was a bitch, but I’m back and I’m ready to finish this!” Yusuke yelled.
Sensui looked on with pure surprise as Yusuke dismounted.
“Is that him?”
“Is that Puu?”
“Some friends you are, ditching a guy while he’s down and then hogging the bad guy all to yourselves. I gotta admit I’m disappointed in you jerks. Did you honestly think I’d just lie there and let you guys fight my battles for me? Gimme a break.” Yusuke walked up to the group.
“Urameshi, but you were… you were definitely dead. Your heart stopped beating. I checked!” Kuwabara yelled.
“Yeah, I can’t explain that. My ticker’s still not beating. I guess I should be worried, huh?” Yusuke poked himself in the chest.
Komeko grinned while Kurama and Hiei started laughing wildly. “You’ll get used to it. Demon hearts don’t beat in the conventional human sense.” Yoko explained.
“Demon?!” Kuwabara cried.
Koenma explained how Yusuke had the blood of a Mazoku in him. Yusuke, demonically empowered, was ready to battle. Hiei stopped him, saying he would finish, and then Kurama stood, saying likewise.
“Boys.” Komeko rolled her eyes.
“What is this, a prom date dispute? I’m sure Sensui’s flattered, but this is my battle.” Yusuke commented.
Kuwabara took a few swipes at Hiei, who dodged effortlessly. The fun did not last for long as Sensui turned.
“I know how strong you’ve all become and I appreciate your help, but I need to finish this alone. Ya dig?” Yusuke asked.
“Knock ‘em dead, Yusuke Urameshi, but know if you fail, I’ve got your back.” Hiei added while the others nodded.
Lightning struck the land around them as both detectives faced off. They took to the air, energy clashing with swift blows. The ground began to deform with the magnitude of their moves. Yusuke bounced off the sailing pieces of rock and blasted his shot gun at Sensui.
The shot cut right through part of his armor and blew up the mountain behind him. Yusuke stared down at his finger, confused about missing what should have been a direct hit. The change in energy meant he needed to adapt, which was not something that he should have a hard time with. Sensui, regrouping his power, reformed his armor to an offensive mode. Yusuke seethed with raw, red, demonic energy back at him.
Suddenly, Puu swooped down on Yusuke’s accord and gathered the remaining fighters up in different ways on Yusuke’s command. Komeko sat beside Koenma, on Puu’s back, while Kurama flew with his leaves and Hiei and Kuwabara were in each of Puu’s talon-laden feet. Energy below them destroyed the ground and combined in a chaotic mess. Hiei and Kuwabara climbed onto Puu’s back as low class demons fell from the sky at the fighting pair. They were easily obliterated just by the power each fighter emitted. Sensui’s laughter rang out as he smiled at Yusuke.
Their bright lit forms moved over the vast expanse of land so quickly, it was hard for the group to even keep track. They parted a moment later and neither had a scratch. The terrain beneath them was annihilated except where they each stood on a stony pillar. Yusuke pointed to a thin peaked mountain further off that they raced towards only a moment after. Puu followed their movement.
Komeko noticed that everything about Yusuke had changed – his scent, his power, even his physical appearance was altered if only in the slightest. The pair managed to get to the peak far faster than Puu did and broke through the mountain, creating a tornado of dirt, power, and earth. The smoke cleared and Sensui stood on the sandy ground.
It looked like Sensui had gained a new air of confidence as he faced Yusuke. He was happy for the challenge. Yusuke tensed and energy enveloped his body like silvery fire, reaching up into the sky and turning out cyclones. In his place now stood a Yusuke with hair elongated and white and Mazoku markings covering his body.
“I have returned.” The voice echoed into the heavens.
Yusuke’s eyes glowed and lightning struck around the warriors before he leapt into the air and slammed his well-aimed fist into Sensui’s cheek.
“He’s kicking him around like a soccer ball!” Kuwabara noted.
Yusuke retained his lead and threw Sensui around easily, head-butting him several times before pounding into his torso with energy coated fists. The pillar they had landed on crumbled beneath Yusuke’s power. When the smoke cleared, he threw Sensui into the air before aiming a formidable blast right at him. His hair changed back to black just as the flare got to Sensui.
“Out of the way, dumbass!”
The ball of light hit Sensui dead on and pushed him through the forest. The group wondered why the detective had had second thoughts. They flew over to the pair and landed next to Yusuke shaking Sensui’s body. Yusuke told them he had not been the one fighting him, that he had been possessed. Shinobu coughed up blood and a portal opened up in front of them. Itsuki stepped forward.
“Please, just let Shinobu go.”
“If I have to kill a human, even an evil one, then I want to make sure that it was me pulling the trigger, that I made that decision.” Yusuke told him.
“Don’t torture yourself. He only had a half a month left to live anyway.” Itsuki explained. “He suffered from a rare and terminable disease. Kamiya confirmed it.”
Shinobu spoke up and said that Itsuki wasn’t lying. He told Yusuke that he truly was stronger. This did not settle well with Yusuke as he felt out of control. He even wanted a rematch.
“Only Yusuke would want to fight a man after he’s dead. Wake me when it’s over.” Hiei said as he passed out. Puu put him onto his back gently.
“Don’t just stand there, Koenma. You’ve got to have some kind of powers that could bring him back.” Yusuke pleaded.
“I did, but, unfortunately, they were stored in my pacifier, which I drained trying to stop him. He’s the author of his own fate again. I doubt I would’ve had enough energy even before the Mafuuken spell because I used so much power on the way down.” Koenma said.
“What?” Yusuke questioned.
“I revived Amanuma, returned his soul.” Koenma told them.
“No way! I smelled that boy. He had no heartbeat and reeked of death.” Komeko said in a disbelieving tone.
“It just takes time for him to come back. He should be waking up right now.” Koenma explained.
“So, you wasted all your energy on that brat kid?” Yusuke asked.
“Pretty much.” Sensui laughed. “You think that’s funny?”
Shinobu explained that he had had that planned all along as well. The lengths he had gone to were extremely complex. He even intended to die in this place all along as a result of his hardships and the line of work he had gone into. He was sad for killing in the name of man, when man was so disgusting in his own ways. Sensui had only been a confused person and, later, a repenting one.
“Yusuke, you’re the justice I could never find. Great changes will come from you. Someday, when you’re lying in my position, you’ll understand a dying man’s need for closure. Until then, thank you.” The life left Sensui’s body.
They reached the light at the end of the tunnel after they left from Demon World. Yusuke was tackled in a hug from Keiko, who cried happily at the embrace. The group as a whole was surprised by his physical changes, but he was still just as genuine as ever. Komeko hugged Botan and gave her a friendly kiss on the cheek.
“We were so worried about you all!” Botan said, hugging everyone at least once.
They were interrupted by the Spirit World Special Defense Force. Their leader spoke to Koenma and accused him of treason, which he did not deny.
“You disobeyed my orders directly from your father to destroy the boy. You let the Mazoku emerge, fully knowing what that could bring. You’ll take responsibility for it and come with us.”
“I’m no fool. I realized what the consequences would be.” Koenma closed his eyes, but remained otherwise stoic.
“You tools! You think you can hide behind your uniforms and push decent people around? Look, I don’t start fights with the defenseless, but you’re starting to piss me off and that’s a whole different thing. Since you’re all new here, I’ll give you a tip. Threatening the guy that helped save us will definitely piss me off.” Yusuke looked at the group intimidatingly.
They stood stalk still, frozen in shock and terror. Yusuke continued his rant.
“Koenma did everything he could to help and if getting rid of you is what it takes to protect him, I’ll kill you all, one by one.” The energy around him flared heavily as he stared down the group.
“I’d love to accept the challenge, but sealing the tunnel takes precedence. Soldiers!” They retreated.
The sun shined down on the group warmly while they walked down from the mountain. Komeko smiled at everyone near her. She felt whole being around them and couldn’t tear the grin off her face. Sure, there were always new things rising, but there wasn’t anything they couldn’t weather together.