Rei knew from the moment the light from the inferno touched her sword, her other side had awakened to its full potential… and she could do nothing. The moment she managed to force Ryu back in, it was too late. The magic circle had been tattooed onto the ground. Muttering a curse, she allowed as much dark energy as she could, allowing the magic to lace all the way to her fingertips.
"Dark element, SPELL BINDER!"
The sudden burst from reaching her limit strained on her entire body – but she had no choice. It was the fastest spell she could make. The chains on her wrist developed small cracks that were barely noticeable. In that split second, ice had started shooting up from the ground. Even after her spell, the spell casted by her other self, Ryu, was still stronger.
It didn't take long for her to notice that although the attack originated from her co-ordination, the ice wasn't excluding that as another place to attack.
"Dammit!" she muttered as she used the remaining strength in her legs and jumped. In a split second, ice spiked shot up from the ground.
'The ice is climbing too fast!' she thought, panicking.
"First element, wind!" she chanted. At her command, the winds came on and gathered her into their arms. Panting, she looked at the destruction from above.
'Shit… Where's Zen?' she looked around. The ice was still crawling to form a bigger radius, although now it was doing so more slowly. The worse was over. Yet…
"Nobody's gonna forget this anytime soon…" she muttered to herself.
"You bet…" a voice muttered behind her. Her eyes widened slightly and she quickly swung around and raised a temporary but weak shield of light.
Zen shattered it easily.
But that small amount of time was enough for Rei to pull back slightly before his fiery clawed hand went to attack her. His face was a maniacal grin, and his wings spread out proudly behind him.
"The air, kid? Unlike you, I have wings." He sneered. She scowled in return – she could hold her ground (?) in the air with her wind element when battling, but she had never fought someone as strong as Zen in the air.
AND HE HAD WINGS FOR DAMN'S SAKE!
'Think, Rei! He actually could survive the ice attack… nothing short of amazing… Even as a Fire Rider, the ice was… powerful. Even after my dark element!' she gritted her teeth and swung Ryu to block Zen's attack, causing her to let go of her earlier thoughts.
"You should know better than to use ice on a fire master, Rei." He said, fire bursting from his hands. Her eyes narrowed.
"Where are your weapons, Zen?" she asked. He grinned.
"I don't need them."
"You can't use them, can you?"
Zen growled – in battle, he had been completely… transformed. Rei stood (floated, hovered… use whatever word you like…) and stared at him, her eyes shining with determination.
"You can't co-ordinate a twin sword battle when you're in the air. I can already tell." She said. He sneered, not showing a slight bit of defeat.
"That's because I do BETTER without my sword up in the air." He replied, a conjuring several balls of fire. In a split second, he released them.
"Damn… Second element, water!" she chanted. Once more, another crack developed on her chains, and she felt her entire being heave with the effort. Nevertheless, the water had managed to protect her from Zen's fire. Below them, a very short drizzle wet the earth.
"I suppose you forgot that by using that much (and unnecessary) power for your little big wide range ice attack, you had sucked up a lot of energy from the water element – the basic element for ice." Zen said, slight triumph in his voice. Rei growled – she had forgotten.
'Think! I can't use water or darkness… I'm not a master of the wind, and might endanger myself if I use it… Earth's of no use here – lightning? No way! Light!? Fire and fire? It's obvious who would win in THAT outcome!' she bit down the thought as she continued blocking Zen's continuous attacks – she was on the defensive, and she had reached a dead end.
She looked down for a moment – ice stretched in a five-hundred meter radius. No wonder using water…
"First element, wind! Ryu, commence pattern 9, wind blade!" she chanted. Under the weight of Zen's attack, Rei felt her grip on the wind that was holding her drop. Ryu had suddenly vanished, and Rei felt a moments unease. She was falling, and Zen's attack slipped, causing a string of fire to follow her. She dispersed it easily with a weak barrier. As he was about to follow, he felt blades slash his back.
"Return to the form you were before!" 'And pray that you will listen to me more in the future…' she thought to herself. Once more, Ryu was in her grip and she was falling steadily faster due to the added weight. A few meters from the ground, she called upon the wind once more to cushion her fall.
She had fallen onto a landscape of ice.
"Returning to the ground, ground-walker?!" Zen mocked as he shot fireballs from above which Rei evaded – although not too easily.
"INFERNO!" Zen screamed and released his strongest fire spell. An inferno in the shape of a phoenix formed behind him and screeched. The iced area half-melted under the heat of the inferno.
'Oh, gods, no…'
"Isn't this interesting?" Shu said happily as she turned to Kayzer, Kai and Sai. The other three didn't look as… bubbly as her.
Kayzer looked amused.
Sai looked curious.
Kai looked… expressionless.
'No normal demon can be that powerful – much less a human. Being able to control all of the elements was… was…'
'But she has a Bond, so maybe…' he cut off his own train of thought and looked upon Zen's inferno.
'Not that it concerns me…'
But – damn her – he really wanted to find out.
Rei looked around her – part of her plan had succeeded already. She raised her eyes. Although the huge fiery ball that seemed to represent the fires from hell was hovering over her head, gathering more and more energy as time passed and melting all the ice into water, she could manage.
"RELEASE!" Zen commanded, freeing the phoenix. Rei braced herself with one leg before the other in a crouching stance.
'Ryu, LISTEN to me, okay? ME!' She half-pleaded, half-ordered. All she received was a feeling of nonchalance. Her right hand gripped the hilt of Ryu while her left one ran itself down the blade. Her eyes never left the bird inferno hat seemed to grow bigger as it came towards her.
'Of course, you idiot. Its basic common sense – the closer the thing is, the bigger. Is the sun the only thing you see in the sky?' Ryu retorted sarcastically. Rei scowled and a vein popped on her forehead.
"Of ALL the spirits…" she muttered, and her blade glowed, as did the water.
"… YOU just had to be the one that chose me! SECOND ELEMENT, WATER!" She chanted. The surrounding area full of liquid rose and went to eliminate the phoenix, but that itself wasn't enough, and Rei knew it. Although her brief water attack had weakened it slightly, it still wasn't enough.
The phoenix continued to push its way towards Rei. She gripped Ryu more securely and muttered a few words under her breath. Ryu glowed a like a bright flame under her hand. The phoenix advanced.
"Fifth element… fire." She whispered venomously.
"Oh." Kayzer said shortly. Kai and Sai turned their head to where Kayzer was looking – Shu was having too much fun watching Zen and Rei fight, her tail wagging. The three of them jumped down and kneeled, one hand on their knee and the other on the ground to the two that had just entered. After that small, brief show of respect, Kayzer and the other two jumped up - although the latter were both much less enthusiastic.
"Shut up." Satoshi growled. Akira glanced about.
"I think you should be asking about what's happening right now." Kayzer replied in a sing-song voice. But no one was paying him any attention.
Rei had just been engulfed in the fire.
Satoshi went down on his knees as the side-effects of the bond took its effects on him.
"RYU!" Rei screamed. She could feel Ryu trembling beneath her hand.
She could hardly hold back the energy of the fire any longer. She used whatever fire energy left to manipulate Zen's attack.
Right back to him.
"Fourth element, FIRE!" she commanded. In that instant, the power that tore through her body was intense – more intense than when she had loosed her dark element.
'You IDIOT! What kind of plan is this!?'
'Oh, shut up! YOU'RE a manipulator from –literally – the beginning of time, and you tell me THIS!?' Rei snapped back to Ryu in her conscience, gritting her teeth and trying not to scream amid the pain. Her chains gave another crack.
'Get rid of the chains, Ryu. Kage allowed you to – if you don't, the thing's gonna break.'
'Why should I care if it breaks?'
'… Good point.'
Rei had her own reasons for wanting the chains to remain. Training – the chains were a blessing as well as a curse. With her power restrained, she would have to become stronger to control them the way they were before her powers were locked. And if she reached a stage where she desperately needed power… she could remove the chains… She had no idea what the outcome would be, but she hoped it was worth it.
The phoenix gave a huge cry and turned to Zen, but injured Rei heavily in the process as well. She did not have the element of darkness – doing this had been risky. It still was.
With her final surge of strength, she swung Ryu a hundred and eighty degrees. With a final shriek of protest and a flap of wings, the phoenix went straight for Zen.
'He… HAS to be able to withstand that power to not get killed… But still be defeated…' she thought weakly. Her knees fell under her, and she quickly pierced the earth with Ryu and clung on to it. Her vision had already started to waver. She forced herself to look up. Zen seemed to brace himself for what, she didn't know.
All of a sudden, she felt something flash pass her.
Her eyes widened as a figure lept towards the phoenix. In one swipe, he dispersed the phoenix.
'Wow…' Ryu murmured. Rei felt the grip on Ryu's hilt start growing weaker. What… power…
It was Satoshi.