Fear Illusion
Chapter 7
Desert Storm
By: WalkingOnWater

"AH!" Juki grunted as Yoko Auno's massive sword made contact with his Star Sphere. Juki strained against the blow but resisted being pushed back any further.

"You see my dear friend, you cannot stop me, I am invincible! Give up! It's useless, you cannot win against my power!" Yoko Auno said through clenched teeth. Juki pushed up as hard as he could on Yoko Auno's sword, his face lined with sweat. Juki's teeth were clenched as well, his knuckles white.

"I will…never…" Juki paused and closed his eyes, and suddenly with a great burst of energy threw back the Star Sphere, knocking Yoko Auno off balance, and lunged at him, his Star Sphere raised behind his head, "GIVE UP!" Juki screamed and side-slashed Yoko Auno, making him hit the floor with a huge thud. Juki hit the ground quickly with the sphere and jumped on top of Yoko Auno, pressing the sphere to Yoko Auno's forehead painfully.

"Don't underestimate me you bastard…" He hissed. Yoko Auno was knocked out of breath, his eyes wide as he stared at the sphere pressed to his forehead. Juki pulled back the Star Sphere and slammed it into the side of Yoko Auno's face. Yoko Auno gasped as his head snapped to the side. Juki jumped off of him and stepped back. He flipped around the Star Sphere and grasped it down to his side.

Yoko Auno did not move for a moment, he just stared at the wall, his whole body aching. 'How did he…' Yoko Auno thought, 'how did he get so much power!?' Yoko Auno thought again, his hands clenched into fists. Juki frowned, his eyebrows turned in.

"What's wrong Yoko Auno? Can't get up?" Juki said emotionlessly. The witch stared at Juki, her face stern. 'This isn't right…' she thought, 'he cannot win this way…' She narrowed her eyes at Juki.

Juki stepped up to Yoko Auno, bending down and grabbing his collar with one hand, yanking him up. Yoko Auno's face was all swollen and black now, one eye partially closed from being so swollen. Juki stopped, staring at Yoko Auno's mangled face. His heart sunk and his face went blank. He shook his head and dropped him to the ground again. Yoko Auno let out a little 'oof!' and caught himself on his elbows. Juki took a step back, peering at his Star Sphere and shaking his head.

"I will not…" Juki started but trailed off. Yoko Auno sat up slowly, holding his stomach and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He grinned a little.

"Heh heh heh…" He chuckled evilly. He got to his knees slowly and placed a hand on the floor to keep himself from falling over again.

"You are strong, Juki…" he said and stood to his feet, stumbling a little, "but you lack the ability to finish what you start…" He finished. Juki looked up at Yoko Auno, his bewildered expression never changing. Yoko Auno bent over and picked up his sword carefully.

"Just let go Juki, no one will blame you…" Yoko Auno said and raised his sword. Juki did nothing, he did not attempt to raise his Star Sphere, he did not even look at Yoko Auno's sword.

"I will not…kill with blackness on my heart…I will not kill because I hate you Yoko Auno…" Juki closed his mouth, his eyes growing intense, "I will kill you because good in this world needs it…" He said and put out his Star Sphere, pointing it at Yoko Auno. Yoko Auno looked at the sphere hesitantly and held his sword steadily at his side.

"No Juki, you will not kill me because good in this world needs it, you will kill me because you are angry, you hate me, I hurt Riho, I hurt your brother, I killed innocent woman, their screams echoing in my ears. Can't you hear them Juki? Their pain? Their sorrow?" He said his eyes intense. Juki lowered his eyes a little and pursed his lips.

"No Yoko Auno…you're wrong…I do not wish to waste such a valuable emotion on someone I care nothing for…" He said and raised his eyes again, 'I will kill you Yoko Auno, for reasons only pure hearted beings could understand." He said slowly. Yoko Auno chuckled and put down his sword, standing back up and throwing his arms out to his sides.

"Go on then young sorcerer! Kill me! Kill me because you're pitiful world needs you to kill me, come on, do it for those pure hearted beings you want so much to set free…do it Juki…" He said mockingly. Juki smirked a little.

"I feel no guilt…" He said and suddenly the Star Sphere started to glow blue, small balls of light swirling around it. Yoko Auno grinned and did not move, his body illuminating with the bright light coming from the Star Sphere. Juki clenched the sphere harder, and suddenly a chant flowed out of his mouth.

"Let it be a death of new rising sun, scars in Earth remove yourselves, Freedom, light, and life…the prophecy foretells…" The last word rolled off of his tongue and suddenly the light became a single beam of light, piercing Yoko Auno's stomach. Yoko Auno did not move, his grin grew larger.

"Stupid boy!" He laughed and threw back his head, his body suddenly disappearing into a black mist, an enormous gust of wind knocking Juki off of his feet.

"AH!" Juki grunted and put his hands up in front of his face, the Star Sphere bouncing away. Suddenly the wind died down and everything stopped moving, loose things floated down off of the walls. The coven all looked back up from covering their faces. Juki jumped to his feet and looked around, his hands clenched, his ears straining to any sound.

"Is…is he gone?" He whispered. He searched the palace room with his eyes carefully, taking special care with dark corners. The witch lowered her eyes slightly and stared at Juki.

"You did not kill him." She called over to him. Juki turned his head to her quickly, alarmed by her voice.

"He is not dead Juki, he merely transported himself somewhere else." She said. Juki dropped his hand at his sides again.

"But…that's not possible! I hit him, with the beam, I saw it hit him." He said. The witch nodded.

"Yes Juki, in this time and dimension it did hit him." She said. Juki blinked his shoulders dropping disappointedly.

"You mean…" He trailed off. The witch nodded.

"He transported to another place in time and space." She replied. Juki turned his head away and looked at the wall.

"But…does that mean…he can come back?" He asked. The witch sighed inwardly and nodded.

"Yes Juki, he can." She said bluntly. Juki dropped to his knees, his eyes full of tears.

"But I couldn't kill him! Why! WHY!" He screamed and punched the ground, making a small indent. The witch shook her head.

"Juki, it is best if you put your power to use again. Find Yoko Auno, he could be after Riho and Hotsuma in the Seventh Dimension…" She said. Juki raise his head again and looked at the witch.

"Do you think he can?" He asked. The witch snorted.

"Can? Of course he can he's the one that sent them there in the first place." She said. Juki turned his eyes away angrily and stood up again.

"Show me how I can get there." He said. The witch smiled shortly.

"Are you sure you're up to the task? Dimension hopping is not an easy task." She said. Juki looked over at his Star Sphere and picked it up carefully, grasping it tightly. He looked back up at the witch.

"I'm ready for anything."

Riho and Hotsuma….

"Oh…" Riho cooed as she took another bite of fruit. Hotsuma peered up at her again and took another bite. She sighed and threw away the pit, yawning slightly.

"Where did you find these anyways?" She asked. Hotsuma did not answer for a moment and set down the remainder of his fruit.

"Somewhere." He replied. Riho rolled her eyes and stood up, wiping her hands off. Hotsuma followed her with his eyes silently. She put her hands on her hips and peered around, taking a deep breath.

"Why don't we go somewhere? I mean, maybe the Seventh Dimension has inhabitants." She suggested. Hotsuma grunted and stood up, crossing his arms.

"Maybe…but they might not be so welcoming of strangers." He said. Riho blinked.

"Well, what if they are?" She asked. Hotsuma shook his head.

"I don't know anything about this dimension, I know as much about it as you do." He said. Riho nodded and sighed, pushing her bangs out of her eyes.

"Ok, ok fine…but there's no point of sitting around here now is there?" She said. Hotsuma looked around silently and nodded.

"Come then." He said and started off, walking around the cave and through the forest again. Riho sighed frustrated and hurried around the cave after him. She walked at a steady pace behind him, watching his back.

"Hotsuma?" She said. Hotsuma turned his head slightly to peer at her. She lowered her eyes and continued.

"Do you think Yoko Auno will come after me?" She asked. Hotsuma grunted and turned his head foreward again.

"More than likely." He said bluntly. Riho sighed disappointedly.

"And you don't even care?" She asked. Hotsuma smirked.

"If I didn't care would I be here right now?" He replied. Riho smiled shaking her head.

"Ok, fine…you win…" She said and grew silent, looking off to the side.

They walked on like this for hours, small talk here and there, but often times that didn't last long. The forest seemed to thin out as they got further and further into it, or at least, around it. It didn't seem to take long at all when suddenly Hotsuma spotted the tree line completely fade away. He stopped and narrowed his eyes. Riho looked back up at him and stopped at his side. She peered at the end of the forest as well. She leaned back a little.

"Do you think…it's supposed to do that?" She asked. Hotsuma grunted.

"How should I know." He replied and walked off again, making his way to the edge of the forest and peered out from behind the trees. He stepped out. He looked around, his eyebrows turned in and his mouth opened slightly. He looked down, the dark sand sparkling beneath his feet. He looked back as Riho stared out of the tree line. She peered at Hotsuma and gave him a confused look. He shrugged.

"It's a desert I suppose." He said and turned his head back around.

As far as the eye could see was all desert, sand dunes swept the land as the wind carried some off the sand off of the dunes. The dark sand sparkled as the two bright suns beat down upon them. Riho stepped out next to Hotsuma, looking around.

"Is there…a different way we could go?" She asked. Hotsuma turned and looked around along the forest line as it curved in out of his sight. He turned back around and grunted.

"I don't think so, it looks like all there is is desert, no matter where you go." He replied. Riho sighed and plopped down on the ground.

"But we have no food or water, we'll die if we go out there." She said. Hotsuma shook his head and reached into his pouch, pulling out 4 canteens of water.

"I have food and water with me. If we use it sparingly we'll be fine, but extra sparingly…" He said. He dropped a canteen of water next to Riho. Riho scooped it up and wrapped the leather string around her wrist. She stood back up and sighed.

"Well then, lets go huh?" She said. Hotsuma nodded and started to walk, leaving footprints in the dark sand. Riho followed behind him slowly and hesitantly, looking back at the forest a few times. She sighed and hung her head. 'Maybe coming out here wasn't such a good idea…' She thought.

Riho and Hotsuma walked on like this for a while, the heat rising from the sand made everything seem blurry. Riho panted a little bit, her cheeks flaming and her mouth and throat dry. Hotsuma didn't seem to be too affected by any of the heat or walking, he was very slightly red but he was not any much at all dehydrated or tired. Riho popped open the lid to the canteen and took a very small sip, slipping the lid back onto the canteen. Hotsuma peered back at her.

"Stop drinking that thing, we'll run out of water within hours." He said. Riho glared up at him.

"I'm not drinking it! That was my first sip for four hours!" She protested. Hotsuma grunted and turned his head away.

"We've been walking for eight hours, small intervals of rest time and stuff but yet you still don't have the decency enough to stop nagging at me." Riho said and crossed her arms and looked away. Hotsuma sighed a little and stayed silent. 'She's so impossible…' He thought.

Suddenly the wind started to kick up a little, sand starting to rise off of the dunes a little faster. Hotsuma narrowed his eyes and stopped, looking around, clouds suddenly starting to cover the horizon. Hotsuma grunted and looked back at Riho. She looked up at him and cocked her head.

"What?" She asked. He turned his head away again.

"A storm's on its way." He replied. Riho gasped and ran up to his side and looked out at the horizon.

"You mean those clouds are…they aren't…" She trailed off. Hotsuma nodded.

"Rain clouds, it's going to be a massive storm." He said. Riho bit her lip and latched onto Hotsuma's arm.

"But it rain's a lot in the desert whenever it gets rain doesn't it? And its floods…and there's a lot of lightning and wind and thunder…" She whimpered. Hotsuma grunted.

"Yes Riho, all of that and more. We have to keep moving though." He said and started to walk again. Riho whimpered again and ran up to his side.

"But Hotsuma! Shouldn't we turn back? Until the storm passes at least?" She asked. Hotsuma looked down at her annoyed.

"Yeah and waste those hours of walking? No, we're going to keep moving." He said and walked a little faster. Riho struggled to stay up with him, her legs tired and aching. The winds picked up fiercely, the two suns being covered up by the clouds. Riho watched the sky hesitantly as everything became covered in darkness. Hotsuma stopped and cocked his head a little, a small roaring sound echoing in his ears. He looked around quickly, his eyes straining against the darkness. He looked foreward again, suddenly spotting a huge cloud of sand being carried towards them. Hotsuma's eyes widened and he grabbed Riho's arm and turned back, starting to run. Riho yelped and ran behind him as he ran too fast for her to keep up if he weren't holding her arm.

"Hotsuma!" She yelled over the roar. Hotsuma looked back quickly as the cloud of sand approached them with a loud roar. His eyes widened again and he stopped, throwing Riho on the ground and getting down a top of her, covering her body with his own. Riho whimpered.

"Hotsuma what's going on!" She yelled. Hotsuma closed his eyes and clenched his teeth.

"Sand storm…" He whispered and suddenly every other sound was blocked out, the roar of the storm and the sand beat down upon them, Hotsuma's body being pounded by the wind and scaring from the sand. Riho clenched her eyes closed, her heart racing. Hotsuma fought to keep down, the wind threatening to pick him up. He pushed his hands down into the sand; his bare skin beat red and bleeding. Riho opened her eyes a little, seeing the huge cloud of sand pass above them.

"Ahhhhh…." Hotsuma suddenly groaned pushing his feet into the ground as the winds suddenly grew harder. Riho couldn't hear anything but the deafening roar. Suddenly she heard Hotsuma's faint cry as he flipped over, hitting the ground. Riho gasped and dug her hands into the sand.

"Hotsuma!" She screamed, but she couldn't even hear her own voice. Hotsuma fought to get back but the wind pushed him farther and farther back.

"Hotsuma!" Riho screamed again, and suddenly his body disappeared; she was unable to see him anymore…

A/N: sorry this chapter took so long, I kinda did other things sooooooo I'm sorry! I'll get the next chapter out soon I hope and well see ya later!