Chapter Two

Kino Mayumi called up the wind she had been granted power from and prayed the two adolescents she'd spotted in the alley had left when she told them. As the wind whipped around her like a protective cocoon, lifting her into the air, she wondered how on earth she'd misjudged things so badly. Instead of teleporting to her home in the suburbs of Kyoto, she'd ended up in what looked to be a European Country, possibly England… she really wasn't sure. However, she'd worry about that later, she thought as the air wove a bubble of wind around her.

It blew through her as though she were transparent, non existent, blowing away all impurities and leaving her refreshed physically and quieting her mind. It dispersed almost as soon as it came in a shower of feathers that faded to nothingness and she floated neatly to the ground, arms crossed in an X over her chest and her eyes closed peacefully.

When she opened her eyes, they were a bright gold. Her black hair had changed to silver and was now knotted in two chignons on either side of her head with only the tiniest wisps falling over her brow. Her uniform had been blown away to reveal a buttercup yellow cheongsam with matching strappy sandals that meandered up her legs.

With furious golden eyes, she glared up at the ogre. "How dare you!" she growled.

The Shadow Ogre looked down at her with a mocking glint in his crimson eyes. He'd broken the rules, she thought alarmed. Never had the demons of the Dimension crossed over to her Dimension. They had never been able to do so before but now that one had, what did that mean?

She'd have to discuss this with the other Deva's once she met up with them, but on a selfish note she was very glad that she'd ended up in another country. Her grandfather would probably have a heart attack if he saw an Ogre fighting with his granddaughter, or worse, he might try to beat it up with his cane. The idea caused more than a flutter of fear in the pit of her stomach.

Absently, she cast her senses around the alley and bit back a groan of frustration when she felt the two teens hiding somewhere near the bottom. She needed to lead the Ogre away from them and fast. Throwing out her hand, she stirred the wind that circled around its feet, throwing it into the air as she back flipped out of the way. It hit the ground with a heavy thud. When it slowly climbed to its feet, shooting her a murderous look, she could see the cracked pavement its impact had produced.

"You have no business being here. Tell me why you came through the portal?"

"We still have business to attain to, Deva."

"I won the challenge."

"You cheated." it snarled, a guttural sound that crawled up her spine.

Instantly, the hackles rose at his accusation. She had never used foul means to achieve anything and she certainly wouldn't as a potential Guardian of Anavrin. She shifted into a fighting stance and began to float with the indignation of being called a cheat. Her blood simmered under her skin and her eyes glowed a molten caramel.

Whipping a hand into the inside of her arm where the throwing daggers of Faye, her ancestor, the previous guardian of Anavrin, were nestled carefully in their sheath. Flinging out her hand, the dagger sliced through the air, striking true when it speared his thigh. It stumbled and howled; a chilling sound that shot down her spine. Crippled in that leg, it raised its scarlet eyes to meet hers.

"Just leveling the playing field." she quipped awkwardly, repeating a phrase Anoushka used often enough. Fair enough, the potential Deva of Earth actually could level a playing field and when she did use that phrase; her tone was always light and flirtatious, confident in her skills as a Deva. Mayumi on the other hand had problems using her powers in battle; she just didn't want to hurt anyone.

It yanked out the blade and flung it back at her. Instinctively she dodged midair and with an elegant pirouette, she swept her foot out and felt a satisfying crack as it met with his jaw. It faltered but didn't go down. A hand grabbed her leg and she screamed as she found herself hanging upside down.

"Let me go!" she hissed.

"We will have a one on one battle. No interruptions from your fellow Deva's." He flung her to the ground.

A whirlwind of air caught her like a blanket before she could impact with the ground. With the gentleness she commanded it with it lowered her to the ground and she rolled to her feet, nursing her left leg which was throbbing ever so slightly.

Holding her hands up to guard her face, she cast a cloud of dust at his face and eased herself into the fighting stance she'd adopted from her ancestors.

"I am the chosen one of Elyos and I demand a rematch."

"You are the chosen one and yet, you do not protect it!" Mayumi exclaimed. "How dare you come to this Dimension and demand a battle. I defeated you and I claimed the Daggers of Faye. It was my birthright, so stop being a sore loser."

"You will fight me, child, or I will kill you and everyone on this sordid Dimension." he declared menacingly, then turned with a grim smile to look at the bottom of the alley. "Starting with those two down there."

Mayumi gasped and shook her head in denial. "You wouldn't. You are a Champion. You cannot kill innocents!"

"You are naïve. Long gone are the days of Anavrin. I do not answer to the Royalty of Anavrin. You have taken away my duty, now I have no other reason to live. Kill me, or be killed."

She stared at him. Had she really taken away his reason to exist? No, she couldn't have. Yet, Genevieve-san had killed the Chosen one of Maruit. She had cut off his knees with her poleax and then lobbed off his head but that had been in self defense. The Chosen one of Maruit meant to kill her. However, she had heard of other battles where one of the fighters was killed, so did that mean that she had to kill…

No it couldn't.

She wouldn't!

"No, I won't kill you!"

"Then you and everyone on this pathetic world will die!"

"I think you should kill him. Because, speaking for myself and probably the rest of the world, I don't wanna die. If he's so- Gerroff me!"

Mayumi looked to the side and inhaled sharply as the young girl she'd seen earlier stood boldly in the centre of the alley glowering at the Champion of Elyos while trying to shrug off a tall ginger haired young man.

"Quiet, insolent wench!"

Cáit raised a brow. "I'm what now?"

"Insolent wench." Aaron replied. "It's a-"

"I know what it is. I just didn't think anyone used those terms anymore. I have to say, I don't like it that much, especially when delivered from an overgrown hairy ape!"

"Please get away from here. You must save yourselves." Mayumi pleaded. Why could they not understand that staying here was dangerous? This was not a cartoon. They could end up seriously injured, or worse, dead! When she met the girls' eyes dead on, something inside her fluttered but the determination glittering in those eyes only strengthened hers. "I want you to grant them safe passage. Then I will fight you." She announced to the Ogre.

"You what? Now wait here a second, lady! I'm not just going to run away and leave you to fight this giant thing on your own. You're smaller than me for Christ sa- Ow!" she broke off as Aaron automatically clipped her ear for taking Jesus' name in vain. "Sorry, but I'm not going. I don't know what this thing is, but I'm phoning the police and then we'll see who's so tough."

Mayumi didn't have time for this. Nor was she going to risk more people being brought here to end up injured. She was not going to be responsible for these people more than she had to be. She was only seventeen.

So with a wave of her hand, a bubble closed around the two school children and they began to float away. Immediately the girl began to hammer her fists against the impenetrable wall of the bubble but to no avail.

Suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, the Champion of Elyos launched his attack. The first indication Mayumi got was when his giant fist pummeled into her head, causing her to fly back as pain exploded, violently red, in her skull. She hit the ground with a bone jarring thud. Stars danced inside her head and her vision went black for a second or two until the screams and shouts of the two teens caught her attention. Forcing her spinning, throbbing head up and slowly opening her eyes, she managed to conjure up a pillow of air to cushion their fall.

She laboriously climbed to her feet, holding her head as she tried to remain upright on her unsteady limbs. Her legs felt like water, her head felt like lead and there was a grey tinge to the edge of her vision. Something slid warm and sticky down her face. She reached up tentatively and pain screamed. She was bleeding, she thought dimly. She'd never bled like this before. It oozed down her skin and felt so warm and thick. Some distant part of her was reminding her that she was bleeding for a reason but she couldn't remember why. She couldn't think past the pain or the shock that she was bleeding.

Her heart pounded violently, vibrating through her body. It took her a second to realize that it wasn't her heart beating but the footsteps of the Giant ape rushing towards her. She opened her mouth to scream but nothing came out. Oh Kami-sama she was going to die. She didn't want to die. Who would look after her grandfather? She had school work to do and she had a destiny to fulfill, she couldn't die!

At the last second, she threw herself to the side dodging the Ogre's attack. She recovered quick enough and flipped to her feet, cursing the fact that she had all the strength and power of a potential Deva but she wasn't strong minded enough to use it. She had to stop being so weak and fight. If Jen-san were here… If Anoushka-san were here… If Griffin-kun were here…

She shook her head. The point was they weren't here to fight her battle or save her. She was here alone and they didn't know where she was. She had to fight this battle on her own. She was a potential Deva of Air; it was about time she accepted that. She wasn't Faye-sama. She didn't have the fearlessness of the legendary Faye-sama nor did she have the strength of will. She was just a school girl who had been called to be the next possible Deva of Air. She liked the world so she would help to save it, she didn't think people deserved to die so she would help protect them because she was given gifts that enabled her to. That was her reasons for being here in simple terms.

She rolled to her feet and assumed her fighting stance, Faye-sama's fighting stance, she corrected. Her topaz bracelets began to pulse with an inner glow. Her golden eyes lifted to regard the Ogre watching her with wary eyes. She lifted her arm and wiped it over the brow, dismissing the coppery smear of blood over her tanned skin.

"You wish for me to kill you?" she asked softly with a shake of her head. She snapped her eyes up to look directly into his. "Then so be it."

She burst into a sprint towards him.

Cáit looked up groggily and rolled over to nudge Aaron. "You dead?"

"Yes, yes I'm dead." He bit out, then groaned as he sat up and sent his world spinning. "Shit, what happened?"

Blearily, she looked around and froze. "Ah, well I think our Japanese or Chinese friend is suicidal."

Aaron jerked his head in the direction she was looking. Sure enough, there was their Japanese friend dressed in a Chinese battle costume he assumed, rushing towards the giant hairy ape. "Jesus." he whispered, wincing as his friend automatically hit him. "We should stop her."

"We should but…" What could they do? The girl obviously had some powers. For heavens' sake they were floating just a few minutes ago before they were unceremoniously dropped from a great height onto their butts.

Aaron nodded knowing what she was thinking. They couldn't help. All they could do was watch. Never before had he felt so helpless in his life and it was a humbling yet sickening feeling. He closed his eyes as the Ogre swept out an unusually long arm and prayed for something to help her.

Mayumi caught a glimpse of the blurred movement of the Guardian's fist and easily leapt it, throwing herself back and pummeling his hairy face with her flat soled feet before she pushed away from him and flipped back onto solid ground. She attacked again with a number of thrusting punches at his chest, ducking under his fists once more and swinging her foot up behind her to hit his face. He stumbled back and she cart-wheeled to the side, round house kicking him and jump kicking him once more.

A lucky swing caught her in the jaw and had more stars exploding in her vision. She soared through the air and hit the ground hard. She moaned weakly and closed her eyes against the pain, opening them again in time to see him looming over her. As he bent over to lift her up, she struck her foot out and kicked him with the point of her foot in his kneecap before rolling to the side and then back onto her feet again.

She flew into the air and round house kicked him in the jaw. His head snapped round as he reached for her but she zipped under his fist and rounded to the side, snapping her foot out to smack him in the back of the head.

He roared infuriated and staggered round but once more she'd used the speed and agility of the air. He wasn't fast and he was big, if she continued to outmaneuver him, she might cause him to exhaust himself. Or that was the plan but if he landed one more of those big fists on her, then she might go down and not get up again.

Opening a palm, she shot it towards him and forced a stream of air right at him. Putting real effort into it, the wind gathered strength, blasting him back a few steps to give her some time to recover. She landed on the ground and took off at him again. She planted her feet on his thigh, chest and finally flicked her foot under his jaw, snapping it back with force.

When she landed, the demon had gathered some of his wits and opening his mouth, he blew a gale at her that whisked her off her feet and back onto the ground but by now, the pain was just a dull throb somewhere in the back of her mind. She ran at him again and punched and kicked him while he swung his mighty fists at her.

Somehow as they were trading punches -well swings and misses on his part- and kicks - mainly on her part- he got a lucky shot and she ended up on her back, winded. Breathing hard, she rolled out of the way as he tried to continuously stomp on her.

As she rolled once more out of his way, she noticed the way he was sucking in air. Oh no. Pulling another dagger out of her wrist sheath, she flung it up and it flew with dead accuracy and lodged its blade in his throat. Gasping in shock, he stumbled back, his hands flying to his throat as his breathing made a curious gurgling sound. Bubbles, ebony black in color, frothed at his lips and trickled out of the corners of his mouth. They ran down his skin, beaded in his beard before dripping onto her skin. It felt like acid on her cheek but she didn't dare move in case she broke the spell and he'd reveal himself to be completely unharmed. She didn't have the energy to fight anymore.

The Champion of Elyos peered down at her through his crimson eyes and his beard twitched briefly. "Thank you." he rumbled before his eyes closed and he breathed his last breath.

She watched numbly as he staggered forward and then, like a cut tree, his legs gave way and he crumbled down upon her. Her breath exhaled on a whoosh as the air was forced out of her lungs by his weight and her lower body felt crushed but she couldn't summon the energy to call for help. Instead, she felt the energy drain out of her, her eyes rolled back in her head and darkness consumed her.