A/N: My first story in a while! I plan to update this every other day. I hope you enjoy, and I gladly welcome constructive criticism!
In the Western World, there are four elements which power the soul of the West- fire, water, earth and wind. However, this tale takes place in the Eastern World, where there are not four but five elements- fire, water, earth, wind and metal. Each element is manipulated by a powerful being with the powers of a god, and these gods' servants are best known as the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
A gargantuan tiger with fur of the purest snow white and charcoal black paced up and down along the solid grey ground restlessly, his pawsteps resounding off of the metal. Various spikes of the metal jutted up, as if a mockery of trees and nature. He was most impatient, and a quiet growl began to rumble in his throat as he waited. Suddenly with a loud popping sound, an orange tiger of the world below him appeared.
"Lord Byakko, yin and yang...they've been separated!" The giant tiger frowned, turning to the smaller clone of him.
"What is this?" The tiger with fur as orange as fire cowered slightly as he sensed Byakko's anger.
"...S-someone has attacked the Source Temple, and the Yin-Yang Medallion...it's broken into two pieces!" Byakko's tail flicked from side to side furiously,
"Then the elements will lose their potency and the East will fall...without the East counterbalancing West...West will be torn asunder, and the entire world will die. Are the Zodiac aware of this?" Tiger nodded,
"Yes, the temple guardian called out to us." Byakko bared his teeth,
"The Zodiac are bound to the world's rule...you are loyal to wood, Tiger, though I am the Guardian of metal. I cannot intervene in worldly matters, so I rely on you as a fellow tiger to deal with this. Do you understand?" Tiger nodded, looking resolute.
"Yes...we'll have to lend our powers to humans to make a difference." Byakko turned, pacing away as if stalking prey.
"Go then, Tiger, and godspeed." Tiger vanished with another pop, and the white tiger hoped that all was not lost already.
A bright sky-blue Eastern-style dragon, wrapped around the trees in the forest, looked down at the diminutive dragon that appeared before him. The creature looked as if it grudged making the journey to wood's domain, and the behemoth grinned wryly- the poor Zodiac beast would have to journey to his half-brother with the news he was brining now.
"Good day, Dragon. What news?" The dragon inclined his head wearily,
"Seiryuu. The Yin-Yang Medallion is broken, its pieces separated." Seiryuu tensed, and his sinewy muscles uprooted several trees, sending them crashing to the ground as he released them and rose above the forest tensely.
"Then I must meet with the other Guardians and we shall act." Dragon sighed, as if rebuking a child, and explained slowly and patiently,
"The Zodiac are responsible for handling Earth's matters. You need to send a proxy..." Seiryuu nodded, remembering himself,
"Ah, yes, thank you Dragon. I assume you will be my half-brother's eyes and ears?" Dragon exhaled a plume of smoke,
"Yes, yes, I'll keep you informed too." Dragon disappeared in yet more smoke, and Seiryuu frowned, opening and shutting his jaw while in thought, sharp teeth clacking together repeatedly.
The enormous tortoise Genbu swam through the deep oceans pensively, aware of a disturbance in the currents that he passed through. His shell, as well as the rest of him, was a dark as the night, and a sea serpent smaller than even a scale on his leg suddenly swam up to his ear, whispering into it with a hiss,
"Lord Genbu, forgive my intrusion, but..." The secretive yet courteous snake trailed off, and Genbu nodded sagely,
"There is something amiss in the human world. Tell me, Snake, what is it that bothers you?" The snake seemed troubled indeed,
"There were intruders in the Source Temple, and the Yin-Yang Medallion was broken and the pieces lost." Genbu's expression did not change, and as he swam through the endless blue, he gave his blessing,
"I see. Then the Zodiac will need to give their power to the humans to resolve this. Please keep me informed." Snake disappeared after agreeing, and the tortoise remained in motion, dedicating his mind to reasoning about this impending crisis.
The avian creature of brightest vermilion flew through the burning sky, majestic wings blowing sparks through the air as they flapped. Suzaku the phoenix-bird was soaring in his flaming realm, and the sound of wingbeats reached her hearing- another set of wings hurrying to keep up with her.
"Rooster? Is that you?" Her chosen Zodiac servant flew alongside her.
"Lady Suzaku, Lady Suzaku, something awful has happened!" Rooster crowed anxiously, and Suzaku's musical voice answered gently as the phoenix slowed her pace to avoid tiring out Rooster,
"What is it?" Rooster's reply was breathless and horrified,
"Someone broke the Yin-Yang Medallion and stole the pieces! They're gone! And now the world will be unbalanced and terrible disasters will happen-" Suzaku cut in calmly,
"Of course, a disaster...Rooster, as one of the Zodiac twelve, you have the power to bring them back and restore them. Calm yourself...if you go down to the human world now, you can avert this calamity, can't you?" The peaceful tone and content of her response made Rooster think and speak collectedly,
"Oh, yes. I'll tell you what happens when I'm there, Lady Suzaku." The Rooster dove through the air, and Suzaku continued onwards, ruffled by Rooster's panicking manner.
The dragon as yellow as the sun laid out on the baking hot earth, watching and waiting. He had felt the tremors, and now he waited for news. A tiny dragon appeared peevishly, greeting him,
"Kouryuu, I'm sure you know what's going on." With a voice as deep as the rumbling earth, Kouryu replied,
"I've already been enlightened by Ox. Be at peace- he will send me the most recent news. You are tired. You must rest before you depart for the human world." Dragon perked up at this- he didn't have to do twice the work of the other Guardians' servants, and this cheered him. "I trust my half-brother Seiryuu is well?" Dragon nodded, and Kouryuu dismissed him. "Then go and ready yourself for what is to come." Dragon disappeared and Kouryuu wondered if the other Guardians would come together to watch the events unfold.