Part Six (Keiran)
“Hey!” the voice came out of nowhere.
“Hey come on! Get up!” the voice came again, more insistent this time.
That voice. It was so familiar. ...John?
I looked up and there he was. My brother. What is this?
“Jeez bro. If you're just going to give up like that you're never going to get stronger.”
Wait. I remember this. This happened seven years ago. John and I were always training together then. Why am I seeing this?
“Here, let me give you a word of advice. The reason I keep beating you is simple. You only fight with what you're best at. That would be hand to hand combat combined with shunpo. What you need to do is fight with every tool at your disposal. The environment, your mind, hell you don't even use your sword to it's full potential. Now! One more time!”
He opened up with a shot of red fire which I easily avoided using shunpo to get behind him. He then blocks my attack with his blade. While our blades are locked I throw a kick at him, which he dodges and counters with a white lightning, which goes straight through my shoulder. While I reel from the attack he goes on the offensive.
A better swordsman than me, John overwhelms me with strikes which I can barely avoid or block. Before he can inflict a wound I block one of his swings and hit him with a kick. Knocked back slightly I'm given enough time to use shunpo to reach one of the rooms walls. I use shunpo again and kick off the wall to gain a speed boost to launch an attack. However before I hit he uses a paralysis spell, which I break free of in a few seconds, that negates my attack.
“That's more like it!” he cries launching another attack which I block.
As our blades lock I feel myself getting forced backwards. The hell? John was never this strong! Gah! I guess I have no choice.
“Engulf them in darkness. Kage.”
As I released my Zanpakuto I immediately detonated it between us, forcing us apart.
“Hah! You've been sneaky keeping that from me! But don't think that because you can release your Zanpakuto you've won!” he exclaimed.
Suddenly a look of shock went across his face as he realised his sword had disappeared. Then his eye widened as I used shunpo to get up close to him holding his blade to his throat. He quickly cast a spell to drive me away but I simply deflected it with Kage.
“This may be my brother's sword, but I'm it's wielder now. Just because you can take his form doesn't change that. I have to admit. You had me fooled for a while there, Kage.” I said calmly.
He smiled and his body began to transform into darkness as Kage went back to his normal form. At the same time the room we were in faded away to reveal my mindscape.
“You wanted to test me. Why? Aren't I about to die?” I asked.
“Only if you keep fighting the way you were. I need you to fight like you just did against me. Use your brain. Think about what options you have and use all of them to fight. Remember how your enemy thinks and fights. Most importantly remember how my released form works and use it to kick that Adjuchas' ass. If not to survive then do it to avenge your brother.”