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Tragedy: A Brother's Grief

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Takeshi and Shion quietly walked back to the castle of Riku no Hatsu. Sadow and Tenshi were inside waiting for them. Takeshi and Shion didn't say a word until they all were inside. They had known each other long enough that they didn't need words to tell what the other was thinking.

Sadow glanced over at him "Any news?"

Shion spoke quietly, "Tai's dead."

Tenshi exclaimed "Your lying! He can't be dead!" Sadow put his arm around her shoulder consolingly, her anger fading into despair as she weeps in his arms.

Shion continued, "We had to kill him... he had fallen too far."

Sadow looks at her with sorrow glimmering in his eyes "What do you mean? What has he done?"

Takeshi answered, "He wasn't the only one that's dead... he killed your sister before we could stop him..."

Sadow's eyes widened in disbelief "How... could this be true?"

Takeshi sighed, "Plagueblood..."

Shion explained, "It gives you near perfect regenerative powers, along with allowing you to totally absorb people; giving you their powers, memories, etc."

Sadow took a deep gulp, dreading the question he was about to ask. "He... killed Furi using this power?"

Takeshi simply nodded.

All was silent for what felt like 4 entire minutes. Eventually, Ryu walked in, issuing his team outside. He greeted "Hello everyon-" He was cut off by the silence in the room and looked around "Is... something wrong?"

Takeshi muttered darkly, "Just contemplating your brother and aunt's demise is all." This remark earned him a look from Shion that said, 'Wow, really sympathetic of you,' which he returned with a grin.

Ryu's eyes lit up and he managed to make out "W-What? What do you mean?"

Shion took over the conversation, "Your brother Tai fell down... and we took him out after he took out Furi... luckily we invented a Kido a while back that negates Plagueblood."

Takeshi remarked, "Yeah, though Tai truly had fallen far... I'm guessing he was only at 20% when we fought him, and yet he struck down his own aunt."

Ryu shook his head "Impossible! Tai may be a bit of a jerk at times but he's not evil! Not the Tai I know!"

Takeshi sighed, "It was the Tai you knew... he was an evil cretin, he killed his own aunt, and he looked down on us as if we were a waste of space, but he still had his interest for your family history, but had taken it to an extreme."

Sadow sighed in grief "I didn't think he could be capable of something like this..."

Takeshi turned to Shion, "I could tell you were in Shikai back there... did you feel any remorse from Tai?"

Shion looked sad for a moment, and then shook her head.

Suddenly Desmond walked into the room carelessly. Joey was hurrying behind him, having two of his comrades attempt to restrain him but fail. Joey apologizes to Ryu "Sorry, boss, I told him not to come in but he insisted that he must be included in the conversation. The other boys are barely restraining Sarah." Ryu sighed in annoyance.

Takeshi and Shion stood up as if to go outside, but paused in the motion, eyes widening. Both muttered, "Crap..."

Desmond, with ease, knocked the two Mercenaries off of him. "Now, what the hell is going on in here?" Joey grimaced "Eh, easy Dezzy, we don't wanna bark up a tree we don't belong to." Desmond glared at him with his golden, slitted eyes "I told you not to call me that."

Shion and Takeshi looked at each other, with Takeshi nodding. A whole unspoken paragraph went on in that gesture. Shion turned to the others, "Seems Tai may still be alive."

Joey turned to them with a lazy look "Who?" Desmond closed his eyes in contempt "You idiot. The person we're after and the reason why you and your band of guns-for-hire are being paid in the first place."

Takeshi looked ticked off, as did Shion, "Why didn't I see this coming..."

Shion sighed tiredly, "It's been decades since we've seen or heard about Enigma, what did you expect?"

Ryu gives a puzzled expression "Enigma?"

Takeshi's hand clenched into a fist, "Enigma is a gypsy of sorts... I don't understand its motives at all..."

Shion took over, "Plagueblood also has the sideeffect of degrading your sanity until it reaches 100% of its full potential. At that point you can barely make a rational decision at all, but you gain so much power..."

Takeshi looked at the ground, "Enigma has the ability to instantly give a person 100% Plagueblood power... this may be enough to bring Tai back..."

Ryu inquired "Where did he die?"

Takeshi looked at the ceiling, "Rider City."

Ryu turned to Joey and nods, to which Joey smirks "We headin' out again? Goodie, more action more cash in paycheck." He walks outside and his order can be heard ringing throughout the halls "Alright, boys, saddle up! We're headin' for Rider City in the world of the living!"

Takeshi opened a portal for them, "If you see Tai, don't engage him unless you're sure you can win... he can absorb people, and if he gets all of you he'll be that more dangerous... Dont' forget however that his sanity is in question, so don't bother arguing with him; you'll do no good."

Desmond turns to Ryu before they depart "Forgive me, Ryu, but I my target is the warrior they call Raiden. I will seek him out. Once he is dealt with, I'll help in your brawl against Tai." Ryu gave him a questioning look, never having been directly consulted by Desmond like this before "Uhhh... Sure?" Desmond notices the hidden question and responds "It's a warrior thing. We owe each other a fight to the death."

As Desmond and his men jump through the portal, Takeshi sighed, "Luckily he didn't realize Raiden is in the castle right now in the medical ward... No one tell him for now."

Ryu asked "What?! How is Raiden here? And why not tell him?"

Takeshi sighed, "My blade has the power of retribution. I sense he wasn't all that bad, so I decided to keep him here to recover, until I know his full story."

Ryu looks away "Desmond won't like this. You've already insulted Raiden's honor by reviving a fallen warrior."

Shion sighed, "Honor isn't something for survivors."

Takeshi smiled at that, "And even if Raiden's honor is scarred... what would you do? Finish him off, or let him bleed? I personally don't see a reason to do either. If he was still a threat like Tai, sure, but Raiden was already unconscious." He shook his head, "Besides, you are mistaking honor for pride."

Ryu looked at him, "What's the difference?"

Shion finished for Takeshi, "Pride is how you see yourself, honor is how other's see you."

Ryu gave a comically confused look "Geez, this warrior stuff is kinda retarded."

Takeshi laughed, "Glad someone else thinks so." He stared at his blade and then muttered, "I do wish there was some way we could save Furi... it would take one heck of a Kido..."

Shion looked up thoughfully, "Well, #70 negates plagueblood... what if we took it a step farther and reversed it?"

Takeshi sighed, "It would take an enormous amount of energy to do that... we can't save everyone... the only person I know of who could do that is Orihime, and she hasn't been heard from in quite some time..."

Everyone looked sad and tired, even though only Shion and Takeshi had actually been in battle recently.

Sadow turned to Ryu "Ryu... Good luck against Tai. You aren't alone in this, everyone who's a friend to the family is going to do what they can to stop Tai." Ryu nodded back while attempting a smile, but he knew what he was about to do would take a toll on his life... He was about to end his own brother's life.

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