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View Full Version : "Legend of the Madan Knights"-A Ryukendo fic


KamenRiderZero
10-09-2006, 08:57 PM
"Legend of the Madan Knights" is a Ryukendo fanfic set in an alternate universe. Demons have been released upon an unsuspecting city in the center of New York after a magical seal in Japan was undone in an archaelogical dig. They seek to destroy seven seals throughout the city that keep the gates to the Dark Kingdom sealed and their leader trapped within. They'll do anything necessary to break the seals, including killing any innocents in their way. But the Madan Knights stand in their way. Four individuals who wield legendary weapons and armor. Four individuals with the keys to sealing the evil away.

Legend of the Madan Knights

Theme Song: "Dim Halo"-Greenwheel

Madan Knights

~Ryukendo~Joshua
Weapons: GekiRyuKen, Madan Knuckle
Guardian Beasts: Brave Leon
Appearance: Short brown hair, glasses, hazel eyes, always wears joke t-shirts and jeans. A bit heavy set.
Personality: Somewhat lazy, but dedicated when it comes to protecting those close to him. Loves to joke around.

~RyuGunOh~Damien
Weapons: GouRyuGun, Madan Knuckle
Guardian Beasts: Buster Wolf
Appearance: Short blonde hair, green eyes, wears polo shirts and khaki pants. Slim build.
Personality: Initially very shy and apprehensive about his new powers, has a hard time adjusting, but proves to be a strong fighter.

~RyuJinOh~????
Weapons: To be revealed
Guardian Beasts: To be revealed
Appearance: To be revealed
Personality: To be revealed

~RyuEdaOh~????
Weapons: To be revealed
Guardian Beasts: To be revealed
Appearance: To be revealed
Personality: To be revealed



Chapters
~Chapter 1: Awakening
~Chapter 2: Truths
~Chapter 3: The Mind's Eye
~Chapter 4: Burning Passion (Coming soon)
~Chapter 5: Promises (Coming soon)

KamenRiderZero
10-11-2006, 09:45 PM
Chapter 1: Awakening

Dr. Winters sat in his tent at the edge of the excavation site, marveling at his special outfit in the mirror. He had purchased one of those stereotypical outfits archaeologists or scientists sometimes wear, entirely khaki and complete with the similarly colored, dome shaped hat. He couldn’t help but smile at how it looked on him. But with each passing second, his distrust for the majority of his excavation staff made it’s way back into his mind until it loomed over him like a massive beast. Sighing, he stepped away from his mirror and exited his tent.

“We better find something worthwhile today,” he muttered, looking over the mountainous countryside of Japan. His wonderful assistant, Sayoko, had told him about this small area where it was said that ‘powerful’ relics were buried long ago. The first chance he got, Dr. Winters arranged to excavate the site and made his way to Japan with Sayoko and a small excavation team. After he arrived, though, he knew he’d need more workers, so he was forced to hire people from a nearby village. They were the people he didn’t trust. Just as he began to shift his weight in preparation to begin the walk down the hill and around to the other side, where work was taking place, he saw Sayoko come around the corner at a frantic pace. As soon as she saw him, she called out to him.

“We may have found something major!” She yelled excitedly before running back towards the site. It took a moment for Dr. Winters’ brain to process what she said, but once he understood, he smiled and ran after her. As he got closer, Dr. Winters could make out what appeared to be a large metallic panel, adorned with a strange black symbol. As he reached the crowd of workers, he gently parted them with his arms, then bent down to examine the find. Suddenly and without warning, one of the villagers bent down and touched the panel, which somehow caused the symbol to glow brightly. But before the Doctor could reprimand the man, the villager suddenly screamed out in intense pain and began to squirm before his body literally burst. As some of the villagers began to vomit, the blood magically gathered itself in midair, then in a steady stream, it spilled down onto the panel. In seconds, the panel began to glow, almost as if the blood had been a key to some event, which in fact it was. It triggered the awakening.

**************

It was all over in a matter of seconds. Villagers and workers were sprawled out all over the place. Sayoko layed near Dr. Winters, her dark brown hair spread out in a messy arrangement. The only person still with a pulse was Dr. Winters, though he was still dying. He had watched in horror as beasts with twisted bodies emerged from the glowing panel and senselessly slaughtered everyone. When the beasts thought they had finished everyone, they became almost ethereal and flew off at high speed towards the east. With his last dying breath, Dr. Winters watched as three glowing spheres, blue, red, and yellow in color, rose from the ground and flew in the same direction as the beasts.

**************

Josh ran past the student center, in a rush to get to his class. His bus had been early that day, so he missed it and had to wait for the next bus, which then forced him to catch a later connection bus to campus. Cursing his luck under his breath, he adjusted his laptop bag’s position on his shoulder and kept running. As soon as he reached the building, he threw open the door and ran down a side hallway, and within seconds he made it to his Sociology room. Looking at his watch, he smiled as he saw that he had a minute to spare. Grabbing a desk in the back of the room, he ran his fingers through his short brown hair and caught his breath just in time to get his last quiz back. A B-minus. Josh simply sighed.

“Just another average grade,” He muttered to himself. While it was true that the grade was nice, it felt too average, just like how he was starting to feel about himself. He just didn’t feel special. He just wanted to feel like he had more of a purpose, like if he wasn’t around it would really mean something to the world.

**************

After class ended, Josh wandered over to the cafeteria. He had an hour and a half before his bus home. Fishing a few dollars out of his pocket, he bought his usual bottle of green tea and proceeded to find a seat in the massive sea of people that flooded the cafeteria on a daily basis. His eyes scanned the room, but failed to find an empty table, so he switched gears, and attempted to find some place where he might’ve potentially been welcomed. His eyes landed on a table solely occupied by a brown haired girl he had seen around campus a few times. She was cute, so Josh made a split second decision.

“Time to test my charm,” Josh whispered, smiling. He walked over at a steady pace, and keeping a small but warm smile on his face, he asked simply, “Mind if I sit here?”

The girl looked up, smiled lightly, and replied, “Go ahead.”

“Thanks,” Josh said, maintaining his smile as he sat down across from her.

“This place can be such a zoo,” The girl commented.

“Yeah, but animals have to feed some time.”

They both laughed. Josh noticed she had blue eyes, but something was different about them. They were warm and inviting, but at the same time they felt like they could look straight into a person’s soul.

“I’m Emily,” She said, interrupting Josh’s train of thought, though it was simplistic. She held out her hand.

“I’m Josh,” Josh replied as he shook her hand.

For roughly a half hour, they talked and joked and had a pretty good time. But just after the half hour mark, Josh suddenly got a strange feeling, one that chilled him to the core. It was the feeling that something was very wrong, but not in the sense of ‘I forgot something’ or ‘I did something wrong on that quiz’. It was more of an ominous feeling. Josh knew it wasn’t because of Emily, but he couldn’t quite place it. But before he could try to figure it out, Emily announced that she had to go to a class, so Josh decided to be a gentleman and walk her to her class.

**************

After he left Emily at her class, Josh stopped in the center area of the academic building to grab a cheeseburger. Munching on the burger, he walked towards the student center while still trying to figure out the worry he felt. But as he approached the bridge over the ravine that separated the buildings, a strange creature suddenly appeared in the center. It’s body was entirely black, with large muscles. His head was human-like, except that all there was on his face was three blood red ‘eyes’, arranged in a triangular pattern. On the top of his head were two curved blades, almost like horns, that ran parallel to his skull. A glowing purple, circular symbol adorned his chest. He held in his hand a crescent shaped blade. Freaked out, Josh ran down a nearby stairway and found a secluded spot where he could hide.

“What the hell is going on?!” Josh asked himself frantically.

“He is a demon, searching for the hidden Binding Seal,” A deep, almost sophisticated sounding voice responded. Josh looked around, trying to find the source of the answer, and finally turned around to find a strange sword floating in midair. It had a long blade that ended in a larger, almost diamond shaped tip. The hilt was decorated with a golden dragon head, and the rest of the hilt was blue and on each side arced out and connected to the bottom of the sword. A golden handle sat at the bottom, wrapped around a silver shaft that was twice as long as the handle. “I am called GekiRyuKen, and unless you want blood to needlessly be spilled, you must use me to destroy the demon. You must become the Madan Knight, Ryukendo.”

“Madan...Knight...Ryukendo...GekiRyuKen...what’s happening here?!”

“You’re destined to use me to fight demons as Ryukendo.”

“Well thanks for clearing that up. Now I just need to figure out how a sword is floating in the air and talking to me.”

“There’s no time for sarcasm! Take a hold of me and I’ll take care of the rest.”

Josh let out a defeated sigh and wrapped his right hand around GekiRyuKen’s handle. The moment he did so, he lost control of his body, even his vocal cords. He felt like a spirit, forced to watch his own body silently. His left hand rose, and grabbed the bottom of GekiRyuKen. His right hand slid the golden handle upwards, which raised the dragon, which in turn revealed what looked like a key hole. Instantly, a six-sided object appeared in his left hand, and a key extended from it.

“RyuKen Key!”

Josh inserted the key into GekiRyuKen and turned it.

“Activate!” Josh slid the handle down, lowering the dragon head, and locking the key into place.

“Change Ryukendo,” GekiRyuKen called out. Josh swung both arms out in opposite directions, but brought them together at the highest point above his head, both hands on the sword.

“GekiRyu Henshin!” Josh yelled as he brought the sword down in front of his chest. A blue, shining, long dragon flew out of the blade, straight into the air, then flew back down and struck Josh in the chest. Within seconds, he was shrouded in armor. The armor was a mix of gold, white, and blue, with a white, diamond shaped gem set in the chestplate. A hexagon shaped object was mounted on the right side of his belt, which his brain suddenly recognized as a Key Holder.

Josh yelled, “Ryukendo!” before he leapt up insanely high, landed near the stairs, and walked towards the bridge. As soon as it saw Ryukendo, the demon charged and swung its crescent blade downwards with intense force. Josh raised the GekiRyuKen, blocked the blow, then applied a sudden burst of force, sending the demon’s blade flying. As the demon tried to regain balance, Josh once again opened GekiRyuKen, then spun the Key Holder. He removed a key, and held it up.

“Final Key!” He yelled before locking it into the GekiRyuKen. “Activate!”

“Final Break,” GekiRyuKen called out. The blade began to shine with a bright light. Josh charged at the demon and raised the sword.

“Madan Slash!” Josh yelled as he dragged the blade diagonally down the demon’s chest, across the symbol. The symbol, broken by the slash, vanished, leaving the demon screaming in pain. Within moments, it vanished in what looked like dispersion of steam. The Ryukendo armor vanished, and as soon as it did, Josh collapsed, his energy drained by the stresses of his new power.

**************

Another armored figure, clad in gold, red, and white armor, stood on top of a nearby building. He had watched the battle silently, not moving an inch.

“Why didn’t we assist?” The gun at his side asked. “Wasn’t that why you agreed to use me to transform?”

“Yes, GouRyuGun, but I’m not sure if I’m ready yet,” The warrior replied slightly timidly.

“You really need to get over your fears,” GouRyuGun fired back. Underneath his helmet, the warrior frowned, knowing his partner spoke the truth.

“Let’s just go,” he said, and walked away.

icebolt
10-11-2006, 09:57 PM
Great stuff. I haven't watched Ryukendo and I don't think I'll be watching it any time soon if I wanna read more of your fic.:anime:

KamenRiderZero
10-18-2006, 09:41 AM
Ok, a spot of bad news....Chapter 2, "Truths", will be late. I just spent all my waking time last night writing an essay, and I have to start working on another one in my "Freshman Composition" class today. But I promise, the debut of RyuGunOh and Brave Leon will be worth it :anime:

Aoi Kurenai
10-28-2006, 11:37 PM
Just got done reading chapter one, really great stuff you've got going here. Keep it up man, it's a fun fic to read.

KamenRiderZero
10-29-2006, 12:06 AM
Thanks :anime:

I meant to have chapter 2 up a week ago, but school suddenly kicked into overdrive. I had an essay due last week, now I have one due this week, and I have a Sociology midterm on Tuesday. But I'll have it up soon :thumbs:

KamenRiderZero
10-29-2006, 01:43 AM
Here we are guys.....chapter 2....enjoy! :anime:

Chapter 2: Truth

When Josh regained consciousness, it was night time and he was in a hospital bed. An IV was feeding him a saline solution. He looked around, trying to get a handle on the situation. Luckily for him, his father walked into the room a few seconds later.

“Josh! Thank God you’re finally awake,” he said, running to the side of the bed. Anticipating what Josh was going to ask, he explained, “You were found unconscious on the bridge on campus.”

Almost instantly, a desperate idea entered Josh’s mind. Maybe all thatv ‘Madan Knight’ stuff was just a dream, he thought to himself. He could deal with that. No fighting demons and no talking to strange, floating swords. He didn’t know which of the two he liked more, but either way it had to be good for him. But before he could settle into this comfortable, familiar existence, his father added in one more bit of info.

“Everyone was scared that you were killed by that horrible creature on campus.”

Josh instantly froze. So it wasn’t just some dream, he thought to himself. The thought seriously didn’t thrill him. Suddenly his eyes landed on his belongings, laying on a table not far away, but specifically on the small, blue, badge-like item with a familiar gold dragon’s head on it.

“GekiRyuKen...” Josh whispered. While Josh’s father wasn’t paying attention, the miniature GekiRyuKen vanished and reappeared on Josh’s lap, beneath the blanket. A minute later, when Josh’s father excused himself to get some coffee, Josh pulled out the relic and held it in front of him.

“So what’s with the smaller, less sharp and pointy form?” Josh asked first.

“Well, after you collapsed, I couldn’t have you being found with the sword that just defeated the demon,” GekiRyuKen began, “So I changed into a more compact form.”

“Okay, now tell me why the hell I collapsed,” Josh whispered, with a hint of annoyance in his voice.

“Simple. Your body was acclimating itself to the suit just fine, but when the Madan Slash was used, it overwhelmed your body.”

“So can you guarantee it won’t happen again?”

“I can’t guarantee anything, but if you open your heart and train with me, you’ll become stronger, and it will be less likely to happen.”

Josh bit his lip. He knew fighting demons would be dangerous. It was a given. It was natural to be scared. But the more he thought about it, the more driven he became. He saw the images of everyone who meant something to him, and he knew that he wanted to make sure that the demons would never harm them. Snapping back to reality, he smiled.

“Let’s do it, partner,” he said to GekiRyuKen. As he said this, his father returned with a nurse behind him. Josh only had to sign some papers and he’d be released. Glad to be free of the hospital bed and the room, he signed the papers, closed his eyes as the IV was removed, and gathered his things so he could finally go home. Ironically, despite the fact that he had been unconscious for several hours, he wanted desperately to sleep.

*************

The next day, Josh slept in late. He had a doctor’s note, so he planned to take advantage of it. Around 8 AM, GekiRyuKen tried to wake him up, but Josh, without even looking up from his pillow, grabbed a shirt from the floor beside his bed and tossed it over GekiRyuKen.

Two hours later, he finally rolled out of bed, threw on a shirt, and lifted the other shirt off of GekiRyuKen.

“Well that was rude,” it commented.

“One thing you need to know about me is that I don’t get up early if I don’t need to, my travel-sized companion.”

GekiRyuKen sighed, and said, “I believe it’s time to train.”

Josh finished getting dressed, then began to survey the house to make sure everyone was gone. With the exception of his three dogs, who were promptly locked in another room, there was absolutely no one in any room. Satisfied with the results of his search, Josh walked into the living room and put his hand over GekiRyuKen.

“Open your heart,” GekiRyuKen said. Josh took a deep breath, and concentrated hard. Suddenly, there was a flash of light, and GekiRyuKen was in Josh’s hand, in full sword mode. He momentarily flashed a smile as he raised the sword and opened it. Then, he became serious as he held up a key, then locked it into GekiRyuKen.

“RyuKen Key! Activate!”

“Change Ryukendo.”

Josh brought his arms together above his head, took a deep breath, and brought the GekiRyuKen down in front of his chest.

“GekiRyu Henshin!”

A brilliant light filled the house, so bright that it frightened Josh’s dogs in the other room. Again, a dragon flew forth from the blade and surrounded Josh. In seconds, the Ryukendo armor appeared on his body, a beautiful combination of blue, white, and gold. Josh took a deep breath once more.

“How do you feel, Josh?”

“Actually, I feel perfectly fine. A little tired, but fine.”

“Now, let me explain your keys,” GekiRyuKen continued. “Obviously the RyuKen Key transforms you into Ryukendo. The Final Key unleashes intense magical energy for the powerful ‘Madan Slash’. The Knuckle Key summons the Madan Knuckle, a hand mounted weapon capable of releasing energy blasts. And the Lion Key is a Beast Key that summons a Guardian Beast, Brave Leon in this case.”

Josh laughed as he looked down at his Key Holder and the keys mounted in it.

“I’m pretty well stocked, aren’t I?”

GekiRyuKen sighed, and replied, “Well, there are more keys, but not even I am sure where they are. Which is why we must find two things. We must find the other Madan Knight, and the Canon of Light.”

Puzzled, Josh looked at GekiRyuKen and commented, “Well, you have to remember, I’ve been a worldly savior for less than a day, so just telling me those vague things doesn’t help my residual headache from yesterday at all.”

“First, there is at least one other Madan Knight. His name is RyuGunOh, and he wields the magical handgun, GouRyuGun.”

“Wait.....’at least’?”

“How about I seal you away for a few thousand years and see what you remember when I release you?”

Josh blinked, then laughed. “Wow, you’ve only been my partner for less than a day and already my sarcasm is rubbing off on you? Damn, I’m good.”

“Anyways...the Canon of Light is an ancient book which contains a wealth of information, alongside powerful magic. It can help us find the other Keys, as long as we find it and someone with the ability to translate it.”

“Should be easy enough,” Josh joked as he willed the armor to vanish. To his surprise, it worked. As he grabbed some more appropriate clothes for public immersion, GekiRyuKen returned to his shrunken form.

“Josh, I think we really should practice your sword skills and try to improve your stamina and endurance,” GekiRyuKen pushed.

“Nonsense. There’s nowhere to practice, unless you think it would be a good idea for my neighbors to find out that I’m the mystical warrior who cut down a demon yesterday. Instead, I think a trip to the mall will calm my nerves and help me get back to a more balanced state of mind,” Josh commented with a shrug as he walked towards the bathroom, with towel in hand.

*************

A slim, blonde-haired boy wandered through the mall. In his green polo shirt and khaki pants, he looked like he belonged there in the mall at the very least, if not in some catalog for some upscale clothing store. Girls looked him up and down as he passed by, but he didn’t show any signs of noticing, and didn’t even say a word. But momentarily the silence was broken.

“Why are we here?” a mysterious voice asked, seeming to appear out of nowhere. Quickly sliding down a side corridor without anyone noticing, the kid stood against a wall.

“Quiet, GouRyuGun, I don’t need everyone getting suspicious because they hear a strange sound coming from my general vicinity,” he hissed.

“No need to get angry, Damien,” GouRyuGun said in reply, underneath Damien’s polo. “I simply don’t understand our reason for being here.”

“I just needed to get out of my house for awhile. Away from the stress and such,” Damien explained with a sigh. He just wished he could escape the doubts forming in his mind. He had tried to call out GouRyuGun earlier, so that he could try becoming RyuGunOh again, but for some reason no matter how many times he called for it, the GouRyuGun just stayed in it’s minimized form. He felt ashamed. Here he had been chosen to become a great hero, and yet he couldn’t do anything. He had frozen the day before as he watched the blue Madan Knight strike down the demon on campus and then promptly fall unconscious to the point of being taken away in an ambulance. The fear of the same happening to him gripped him, like a cold, metal vice around his heart. GouRyuGun had said a million times, “Open you heart!” but Damien didn’t know how to open it any more than he already had.

Stepping out from the corridor, Damien continued walking, but as he walked, voices filled his head. Voices that sounded like his parents. Voices that called him a failure. But the saddest part was that he wasn’t simply imagining it. He had heard it so many times from their lips. Starting because he didn’t make it onto both the soccer and lacross teams in Junior High school, it seemed to continue on. They never approved of anything he did. The voices continued to haunt him, and drew his attention away from the world around him. Almost so much that he initially could not hear what GouRyuGun whispered to him. He snapped out of his thoughts and asked GouRyuGun to repeat what he had said.

“That boy, in the black shirt, the one who just walked by. He was the one at the bridge yesterday. He is Ryukendo!” GouRyuGun repeated. Damien turned, and ended up looking directly into the eyes of his fellow Madan Knight.

*************

“Josh, that boy in the green...I can sense the presence of a Madan Relic!”

Josh spun around and looked into the eyes of the kid that GekiRyuKen was referring to. Instinctively, Josh lifted his shirt, revealing the GekiRyuKen. The boy did the same, revealing a small, red and gold item on his belt. Josh motioned down a side corridor. Once inside, Josh confronted the boy.

“Tell me, is that the GouRyuGun?” Josh asked.

“How did you know?!”

“GekiRyuKen told me. What’s your name?”

“Damien. And yours?”

“Josh.”

The two Knights stood silently for a few moments, before Josh broke the silence as he grabbed GekiRyuKen from his belt.

“Okay, so we’ve found RyuGunOh, so now what?” Josh asked, not paying attention to Damien.

“Hey, just because you found me means nothing,” Damien shot off, somewhat annoyed. “You’re assuming I’ll help you, aren’t you?”

Josh’s face twisted. “You’re telling me you don’t want to protect people?”

“I-it’s not that...” Damien stuttered. “You wouldn’t understand.”

Josh opened his mouth to reply, but he was cut off by the sound of glass shattering, and people screaming. He swore under his breath as he leaned around the corner for a better look. He could see a demon, slender with muscular legs. It stood in a slightly crouched position, revealing a long tail with a curved, serrated blade on the end. The demon hissed as spheres of dark matter spawned from it’s torso, which formed into grotesque creatures. They were almost scorpion-like, but with half the number of legs and a single, blood red eye on their heads.

“Shit, I was supposed to be relaxing,” Josh commented, really annoyed. He held out the GekiRyuKen in front of him, and instantly it expanded to sword mode. He unlocked it and went through his routine.

“GekiRyu Henshin!” He yelled as he held the sword parallel to his body. He felt a rush as the armor formed around every little bit of his body. “Ryukendo!”

Damien was amazed, but somehow still scared at the same time. Josh turned to Damien as he prepared to confront the demon and it’s spawn.

“Are you coming or what?” Josh asked, figuring Damien would spout some stupid excuse about not caring about anyone, but instead was greeted by what he could tell was fear. Letting out an annoyed sigh, Josh continued, “If you’re not gonna fight, leave. I don’t need you potentially getting in my way. I have people I care about to protect.”

*************

As Josh ran out into the fray and began cutting down demon spawn, his words stung Damien. He kept asking himself if he should just leave so he wouldn’t get in the way. He couldn’t transform. He felt useless.

“Damien, please, fight your fears and open up your heart! Josh can’t do this alone!” GouRyuGun yelled.

“I’ve tried, but I can’t!” Damien replied, a tear in his eye. “I’m just a failure!”

Damien stood there, paralyzed, and watched as Josh kept fighting the creatures. He watched as one of the creatures cut Josh in the arm with it’s tail. But Josh kept fighting. Damien wanted to be able to do that. Damien wanted the confidence to fight. Suddenly, he noticed something that shocked him to the core. He watched as a little girl, who couldn’t have been older than five or six years old, ran terrified from some of the spawn. They chased after her mercilessly, probably hoping to feed. The little girl cried as she visibly became more and more tired. Suddenly, something snapped in Damien.

“Over here, quickly!” he yelled to the girl. She made her way towards the corridor, but collapsed about fifteen feet away. Damien looked around frantically until he found a piece of metal pipe. He grabbed it and sprinted out, suddenly numb to his surroundings. As he reached the girl, a demon spawn leapt through the air. He swung the pipe and connected with the spawn, which created a loud ringing sound as the spawn was sent flying over a railing. Damien grabbed the girl and pulled her to safety as he swung the pipe around to ward off the spawn. He set her against a wall, and turned to see more spawn creeping towards them. He glared at them harshly.

“Cowards...attacking a young girl...” He grunted. He reached down and pulled GouRyuGun from his belt, and held it over his chest. His grip tightened around the relic, and in a burst of light, it changed into it’s full sized gun mode. He smiled a twisted, unsettling smile.

“I’m not a failure...I saved someone...I’m not a failure...I’m going to save everyone...”

*************

As Josh cut down his tenth spawn in his attempt to make his way to the main demon, he heard a loud voice cut through the snarling of the spawn.

“GouRyu Henshin!” The voice yelled loudly. There was a flash of light from the corridor Josh and Damien had been standing in, and then as it faded, a warrior clad in gold, white, and red armor stepped out, holding a rather large gun. Josh smiled, and the demon screeched before running in fear at the sight of two Madan Knights. Josh grunted in frustration, but once again heard something coming from the other Knight.

“Shot Key!” RyuGunOh yelled as he slammed a key into the base of his gun. He began machine gunning the spawn in impressive fashion. Looking in Josh’s direction, he shot down some of the spawn between Josh and the exit, and yelled out, “Go after the demon, I’ll take care of these weaklings!”

Josh nodded and ran for the door. He passed crowds of frightened people who had no clue what was going on. He hoped Damien could hold off the spawn long enough to keep those people safe. As he ran through the doors, he saw the demon running down the road at a rapid pace.

“Summon Brave Leon. He will become a fast vehicle to help you catch up!” GekiRyuKen advised. Josh pulled a key from his Key Holder after opening the sword.

“Lion Key!” He yelled as he locked it in place. “Brave Leon, I summon you!”

A beam shot from GekiRyuKen and created a mystical circular symbol in the sky. A highly robotic lion leapt from the circle. As soon as it landed, it roared and began to transform. Within seconds it had become a sleek three-wheeled vehicle. Josh climbed on, and it drove off at high speed after the demon. As Brave Leon came up behind the demon, Josh locked the Final Key into GekiRyuKen. He stood up on the seat as the blade began to glow.

“Madan Slash!” he called out as he leapt from the Brave Leon towards the demon. As he flew through the air, he brought the blade straight down from the demon’s head to it’s tail. The demon screeched as the dark symbol on it’s back vanished, and it followed suit by vanishing itself. Josh hit the ground and rolled, and as he stood up, he noticed that he wasn’t on the verge of collapse. He rested the GekiRyuKen on his shoulder, and RyuGunOh stepped up next to him.

“Glad you could join me,” Josh joked as he patted Damien on the shoulder.

“Sorry I couldn’t help sooner. Needed to straighten some stuff out.”

“So does that mean you wanna join forces with me?”

“Gladly,” Damien replied, and extended his hand. Josh shook his hand.

“Now to find the Canon of Light,” GekiRyuKen commented.

Josh looked up at the sky, and said, “Now it really begins.”

KamenRiderZero
11-02-2006, 09:35 PM
Ok, so Chapter 3 isn't finished yet, but since things have calmed down a bit in school again, I should have it up by next week. I spent quite a lot of time tonight brainstorming chapter titles and the direction the plot is gonna go in, and I have to say I'm very pleased. Though its a few weeks off, I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy Chapter 5, though 3 and 4 should be fun too :anime:

icebolt
11-03-2006, 06:32 AM
Ok, so Chapter 3 isn't finished yet, but since things have calmed down a bit in school again, I should have it up by next week. I spent quite a lot of time tonight brainstorming chapter titles and the direction the plot is gonna go in, and I have to say I'm very pleased. Though its a few weeks off, I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy Chapter 5, though 3 and 4 should be fun too :anime:

Hey Chapter 2 was great reading.:thumbs: The plot's going a bit too fast for me, but I can't wait to see where Josh and Damien go from here. Nice work.

KamenRiderZero
11-05-2006, 12:17 AM
Hey Chapter 2 was great reading.:thumbs: The plot's going a bit too fast for me, but I can't wait to see where Josh and Damien go from here. Nice work.

Well, to be fair, Madan Senki Ryukendo gave us both Ryukendo and RyuGunOh in the first episode, so I'm not really moving that fast in comparison. I think my first chapter was sorta short, so maybe that contributes, but I was just starting and wanted to find a good chapter length. Personally I thought "Truths" was just long enough to work really well, so I was really happy with the outcome.

KamenRiderZero
11-17-2006, 08:03 PM
Sorry it took so long, but we've got Chapter 3 :anime:

Chapter 3: The Mind’s Eye

Early Thursday morning, roughly one week after the encounter with the demon at the mall, Josh and Damien sat in a booth in the campus lunchroom. No demons had appeared at all during that week, so the two Madan Knights spent the week searching for the Canon of Light. They had checked source after source, hoping to find even the smallest bit of information, but every time they hit a wall and had nothing to show for their efforts. And as they sat there, with Damien running multiple searches on databases from his laptop, they knew they probably wouldn’t find anything.

“I’m starting to think this is a lost cause,” Josh said, defeatedly resting his head on his left hand.

“There just isn’t a single record of the existance of the Canon of Light anywhere,” Damien replied with a sigh.

“To be fair, like the GekiRyuKen and me, the Canon was sealed away thousands of years ago, so chances are no one who may have previously come into contact with it survived long enough to catalog it’s existance,” volunteered GouRyuGun.

Josh was about to respond when he saw Emily approaching the table. Both Knights rushed to hide their Madan Relics before Emily could see them.

“What are you two up to?” Emily asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Damien is trying to corrupt me with internet pornography.”

Damien did a double take and turned red. “I was not, you idiot.”

Josh and Emily both laughed, and Emily slid into the booth.

“So really, what’s going on?” she asked as she took a bite out of a hamburger.

“Damien is doing research on his laptop, and I’m being lazy.”

“Shocking, Josh is being lazy!” Damien grunted as he attempted one last search.

Josh pointed a finger at him and replied, “Hey now, I do my work. I just do it with stealth, like a ninja.”

Emily shook her head as she pulled an ancient looking book out of her bag, with indecipherable writing on the cover that seemed to sparkle like gold. It’s cover looked like thick but incredibly fine leather, and an intricate pattern seemed to be carved into the thick spine. She opened it, and it almost felt like the air temperature dropped at least ten degrees. Josh felt a strange rush flow through his blood.

“Is it just me or did it get colder in here?” Josh asked, puzzled. Looking over at the book, Josh added, “What’s up with the book?”

“It’s some strange book I found last week on a trail through this awesome wooded area near our house. I can’t make out the language it was written in, so I’m taking it to one of my professors,” Emily replied as she closed it and returned it to her bag. As she did, Josh and Damien were horrified as their relics began to try to tell them something. They reached down and muffled the voices with their shirts. Emily said her goodbyes and wandered off, leaving the Knights still in shock at how their relics had almost blown their cover.

“What the hell did you think you were doing?” Josh growled to GekiRyuKen once he was sure no one would hear him.

“Yeah, you guys could’ve made a lot of trouble for us,” Damien added in, then continued, “Now what was so important that you had to try to yell it out in front of someone who doesn’t know about you?”

“She is carrying the Canon of Light!” the two relics said in unison.

Josh and Damien looked at each other, wide eyed. Two seconds later, Damien was frantically packing up his laptop while Josh attempted to call Emily, but all he could get was her voice mail. Frustrated, they got up as soon as everything was packed up and cleaned up and made their way to the door.

“She probably didn’t charge her phone recently,” Damien suggested as they hurried out the door. They decided to split up and search the campus for her. They knew they had to find her. Not only because they needed the Canon of Light, but also because until the book was in their hands, whoever held it was likely going to be a target for the demons. They had to get that book by any means, before the demons could. If the demons got it, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

*****************

In the sky above the city, surrounded by clouds, a very large, circular slab of rock floated silently. It wasn’t natural, and instead had been shaped by forces that were far from human. Dark magic radiated from it, and it was that dark magic that hid it from human eyes. In the center stood a large circular platform, and a short pillar protruded from the center. In the center of the pillar was what appeared to be a pool of water, though it was more like a pool of liquid silver than water. On the outer fringes of the huge floating ‘island’ were four, fang-like rocks, each one with it’s own unique symbol carved into it in a shade of red similar to blood. Each one began to glow, and a demon stepped out from each, clad in black cloaks and masks adorned with varying numbers of rubies. They walked up to the pillar and looked into the pool.

“So the Canon of Light has made it’s appearance,” one of the demons commented, speaking in a somewhat quiet but firm voice. The two rubies set in his mask gleamed, reflecting the light from the pool, and he touched the two sheathed katanas mounted on his back. “Allow me to call forth a warrior to go retrieve it.”

“No, you sent the first Shadowborn, Arimata. Nyzeta sent the last one. I think this time we need more finesse,” Another demon replied in a deep, commanding tone. From the way the other three demons deferred to him, it was obvious that he was basically their leader. He ran his twisted black fingers over the four rubies on his head, then pointed at the demon with one ruby. “Pandexa, can you provide a Shadowborn who can retrieve the book?”

Pandexa bowed, and laughed. Her voice was smooth and somewhat gothic in tone. “Of course I can. I know exactly how to get it, Lord Fareon.”

“Good. Then begin the summoning,” Fareon said.

A glowing circle appeared on Pandexa’s chest. Reaching into her chest through the opening, she pulled forth what resembled a Madan key, but entirely black. She dipped it into the silvery liquid of the pillar, and when she pulled it out, the liquid on the end of the key turned purple and began to glow. She turned around and took a few steps before holding the key out in front of her. Using almost like a paintbrush, she traced one of the dark circles in midair. When she finished, she smiled a dark smile that revealed yellowing teeth, let out a little laugh, then stabbed the key halfway into the center of the symbol.

“Oh key of shadows, open this gate and allow the dark energies of hate, anger, and pain to form a servant. Open now!” Pandexa screamed as she twisted the key. The symbol glowed brighter than before, and a creature took shape around the symbol. It was spherical in shape, with a smooth, entirely black body. Two fang-like blades protruded from it’s body on opposite sides, and swept forward. In the center of the sphere was a group of four eyes, each one with a red pupil.

“You are to go to the surface and retrieve the Canon of Light,” Pandexa instructed the demon. “Use your powers to lock the Madan Knights in their own dreams while you use the same powers to extract information to find the book.”

“As you wish, Pandexa the First Blade,” The demon responded before it vanished in a burst of purple light.

*****************

As Josh went to bed Thursday night, he couldn’t help but worry. Somehow Emily, obviously unknowingly, had managed to evade both him and Damien. Though he figured she must’ve been able to deliver the Canon of Light to whichever professor she planned to give it to, so chances were very likely she wouldn’t be targeted, unless the demon wanted information. As he climbed into bed, he set the GekiRyuKen on his night stand and set his alarm clock as usual. He had decided along with Damien to simply seek out Emily in the morning and casually ask the name of the professor who held the book, then from there figure out how to best approach the man so they could get the book. They needed the information and magic contained within it’s pages. He slipped into sleep comfortably for the night, hoping his sleep wouldn’t be impeded by his natural tendency to worry.

*****************

The spherical demon appeared above a water tower not far from Josh’s house as light filled the morning sky. It rotated as it floated a few inches above the tower, searching for Josh’s presence. When he found it, he focused in with precision and found exactly where Josh slept, lost in the trance of dreams. His eyes began to glow as he sent forth a burst of magical energy. He waited until he could feel the magic grip the Knight like claws digging into a fresh piece of meat before he did the same for the second Knight. He would incapacitate them and retrieve the book, then allow Pandexa the pleasure of killing the Knights.

“The plan is set in motion,” the demon mused as it soared off to the college campus where he’d find the location of the book.

*****************

Josh found himself in a room of white walls with two different exits that seemed to lead to hallways that were also entirely white. The whole thing felt very lucid, so he wasn’t entirely sure if he was dreaming or not, but he hoped he was dreaming, because otherwise he’d have to try and figure out how he had been moved into what he could only guess was a maze while he slept. He had no idea where he was going, so he just picked a path at random and started moving. He suddenly realized he should ask GekiRyuKen what was going on, but he looked down to see that his partner was conspiculously missing from his belt.

“Shit,” he muttered as he continued down the corridor. Every turn just seemed to confuse him more. He increasingly became frustrated, which was a pretty understandable reaction considering it appeared that somehow he had been taken from his home overnight and placed in some sort of maze somehow, when he needed to find Emily badly.

As he moved through the maze, he hit several dead ends. As he hit the third one, he screamed, “What the hell is going on?! How do I get out of here?!” His temper flared up and he punched a wall. He then leaned his back against the wall and slid down it until he was sitting on the floor with his back against it. The whole maze was beginning to drive him mad. He wondered how long he’d be forced to walk through it before someone found him and got him out. He slowly stood up, intending to get back to the search for the exit, when he realized something he was too frustrated before to notice. When he punched the wall, his hand didn’t hurt.

“Here goes nothing,” he said as he turned around and tried it again. His hand was indeed free of pain. Though it took him a few moments, he put two and two together and decided he must be dreaming. But the dream was far too lucid and strange for Josh to accept as being a normal dream. His mind struggled to find an explanation, but suddenly Josh heard GekiRyuKen’s voice.

“Josh, this dream is the work of a demon! You must break free!” It called out.

“But how?” Josh shouted back.

“You must find the exit. You should be able to figure out how! I was able to find a hole in the dark magic so I could contact you, but I’m not going to be able to hold it much longer, so it’s up to you.”

The second to last statement made Josh dig deeper into his mind for an answer. That’s when he realized something that he didn’t need to pull out too often, as he usually just unconsciously sat back in his dreams and let things just happen.

“In dreams, you can do anything....” he muttered, finally knowing how to get out. He tried to think of how to take advantage of this, and the perfect idea came to him. He focused intensely, and within seconds he held two GekiRyuKens in his hands. He smiled as his mind raced.

“Let’s get started,” he said as he held the two blades up. “Madan Slash!”

Both blades began to glow, and Josh swung them, tearing down large sections of walls in seconds. Finally, after several minutes of slicing and dicing, he finally found a door marked ‘Exit’ and opened it, only to find a brick wall waiting for him on the other side.

“That damn demon must’ve built this in just in case I found it,” he grunted. He raised both swords again, and they began to glow. He brought one down diagonally across the wall, then the other one. The wall buckled, then crumbled, revealing an intense light. As Josh stepped into it, he felt a strange sensation, then opened his eyes to find he was still in bed. Reaching over, Josh grabbed GekiRyuKen.

“Thanks, partner,” he said with a sigh.

“Naturally. Now hurry, use me to transform. The armor will guard you against the magic.”

Josh nodded, and locked the RyuKen key into place. He held the sword to his chest and took a deep breath as the Ryukendo armor formed around his body. It was time to get the book and crush the demon.

*****************

As the demon hovered over the bridge on campus, he couldn’t help but laugh a little at how well things seemed to be going. He had found Emily, and was in the process of using his dream mastery to try and extract information about where the Canon of Light was. She was resilient, but the demon knew he could get the location sooner or later. Suddenly, the sound of a roaring engine interupted his thoughts, and he saw Ryukendo approaching on a three wheeled vehicle that he knew must’ve been a Guardian Beast. It stopped on the other side of the bridge, and Ryukendo hopped off.

“Nice try with that little dream,” Josh began, “But I guess I’m just a little smarter than you.”

“If you’re so smart, then try to get close enough to me to fight,” the demon shot back with a laugh. He then proceeded to rise slightly, while several large police officers, obviously sleep walking, walked into the center of the bridge and created a wall between Josh and the demon. Josh couldn’t harm them, so he knew he needed to get past the officers. But, as he tried to walk towards them, they opened fire on him. The bullets didn’t do much damage, but it was enough of an annoyance to distract Josh. He ducked behind a wall to get away from the gunfire.

“Damn, how am I supposed to get past them?” Josh asked out loud.

“You’ll have to figure out a way to break the demon’s control over them,” GekiRyuKen replied, stating the obvious. “But even if you can, it might be difficult to attack him anyways, because he’s airborn so he could be hard to finish with the Madan Slash.”

Josh peeked out around the corner. The officers had pulled closer together around the demon, which was definitely going to prove to be a bigger problem. He had to finish off the demon quickly before it could find the book. Looking down to his key holder, he suddenly remembered he had a key he had not used yet.

“Couldn’t I use the Knuckle Key?” He proposed.

“Of course! You could use it to summon the Madan Knuckle, then use the Knuckle Spark to finish off the demon from a distance, as long as you could find an opening.”

Josh spun the key holder, and pulled out a key.

“Knuckle Key! Madan Knuckle, I summon you!”

Josh locked the key into place as he did with any other key. He held the GekiRyuKen to his side, and it returned to it’s compact mode, replaced by a dragon head mounted on his hand. He pulled back on the dragon, and the Madan Knuckle opened. Spinning around the corner, he looked for an opening, but the officers under the demon’s control obviously weren’t going to allow one. They opened fire again, forcing Josh back around the corner. He peeked his head out again, and saw that they were reloading their guns. He decided to rush them as they did this, so maybe he could create enough temporary disaray to get an open shot. But as he swung out again and began to run, he heard shots being fired, but this time not from the guns of the officers. Instead, they were shots that hit the demon in the back. Looking beyond the demon, Josh saw Damien, clad in the RyuGunOh armor, sitting on what must’ve been his Guardian Beast, a wolf, in a motorcycle mode. As the officers fell, the power over them broken, Damien nodded at Josh. Josh nodded back and focused on the demon.

“Damn it!” the demon screeched. It tried to regain control over the fallen police, but Josh stepped up, Madan Knuckle opened, and took a deep breath. Then he pulled his hand back. Blue sparks flowed over the Madan Knuckle, gathering in front of Josh’s fist.

“Knuckle...Spark!” he called out as he thrust his fist forward. The gathered energy exploded forth as a powerfully focused blast. It crashed into the demon, and wiped him out. A key fell to the ground just below where he had been floating. Josh picked it up, and ran over to Damien.

“So I take it that’s your Guardian Beast?” He asked, curious.

“Yeah, this is the Buster Wolf. After I broke out of that damn nightmare, GouRyuGun told me you were chasing the demon responsible, so I called Buster Wolf out and got here as fast as I could. And best of all, I found Emily soon after I got here, broke her from her dream, and she told me the name of the professor who has the book.”

Quickly they raced to the Academic Building, and ran up the stairs. They kept their armor on, as they figured it would be beneficial for trying to get the man to give up the book. As they made it to his office on the second floor, they took a deep breath and opened the door. He sat there, writing something on a pad of paper. He had obviously just awoken from the same dream spell as everyone else on campus. He looked up at the Knights, but didn’t seem the slightest bit surprised or afraid. Reaching into a drawer, he pulled out the Canon of Light and set it out in front of him on his desk.

“I imagine you’re here for this book,” He commented simply.

“Yes, it’s very important to the safety of the Earth,” Josh replied, surprised at the professor’s tone.

“I figured as much. Must be something truly special. I knew it had to serve a higher purpose when my student brought it to me yesterday,” he mused. Then with a waive of his hand, he said, “Go ahead, take it. It’s of no use to me anyways.”

Damien stepped forward and grabbed the Canon, and the two Knights walked out the door. As they both walked down the stairs, there was silence. Then finally, Damien broke the silence.

“Until we can find someone who can read this, I’ll keep it with me. I have a safe at home I can store it in, and I’ll carry it with me when I come to campus, just so we can be sure demons won’t trash my house to get it.”

“Sounds like a good plan,” Josh began, then he laughed as he added, “Maybe we should get out of this armor now and get to class.”

“Not until I go home and change. I’m sure as hell not going to class in my pajamas,” Damien joked as they walked out the door and summoned their Guardian Beasts. They rode off towards their homes to get ready for their day, with the Canon of Light finally secured, and a key in need of purification. They were now one step closer to stopping the demons.

Aoi Kurenai
12-02-2006, 11:33 PM
Great chapter man, keep up the good work.

KamenRiderZero
01-11-2007, 12:04 AM
And now.....the triumphant return of the story! :anime:

Chapter 4: Burning Passion

On a cold Saturday afternoon, Josh and Damien sat in the kitchen at Damien’s house. His house was quite large. It was obvious that Damien’s family had money, though Damien always tried to dress modestly so it wasn’t obvious to a casual observer. On the table in front of them sat the Canon of Light, opened, and the black key that had been left behind by the demon they faced the day before. Damien’s parents were going to be out of town for the weekend, so they could be a little more laid back in studying the book. They both desperately hoped that they’d be able to find some legible clue as to how to find someone who could read the ancient text, but found nothing.

“Damn it, I want to know what this text says,” Damien lamented, his annoyance obvious in his tone.

“And I want to know what this key is, if it can be used by one of us, and what it does,” Josh added, his annoyance mirroring that of Damien. He rolled the key around in his hand, and felt his curiousity growing by the second. Suddenly, both Knights sat straight up. Since becoming Madan Knights, their sensitivity to dark magic had greatly increased, and they found themselves able to feel its presence. They could feel a sudden spike, and it shocked them.

“A demon has found a Binding Seal!” GouRyuGun said, startled. “You have to stop it now!”

Josh and Damien looked at each other, then ran out the door. Standing where no one would see, they called out their weapons.

“Ready?” Josh asked, his grip on GekiRyuKen firm.

“You bet your ass,” Damien replied as they both pulled their keys.

“RyuKen Key!”

“RyuGun Key!”

“Activate!” They both yelled out in unison as they locked their keys in place. They both performed their typical motions, which had become second nature.

“GekiRyu Henshin!”

“GouRyu Henshin!”

Two dragons, one blue and one red, raced upwards towards the clouds, stopped, roared, then dove straight back down and enveloped both Knights in radiant light that revealed their armor as it died down.

“Ryukendo!”

“RyuGunOh!”

Both heroes summoned their Beasts, Brave Leon and Buster Wolf. In a heartbeat both had transformed into their vehicle modes and the Knights were off. Within a matter of minutes, they arrived at a lakeside park. They charged through the fields, past scared families hiding behind anything they could find. The tears that ran down the faces of the children stung Josh and Damien. They ran faster, and encountered the demon, who stood before a rock formation near the water. The demon’s presence had caused a glowing symbol to appear on the rocks, which they knew had to be one of the Binding Seals they had heard about.

“You’re too late, Knights,” The demon roared, not even turning to look at them. Josh and Damien held their weapons tightly, and they were prepared. Josh locked his Final Key into place, and Damien called forth his Madan Knuckle. But as they ran, the demon laughed as it launched a massive fireball at the rocks.

“Madan Slash!” Josh yelled.

“Knuckle Spark!” Damien yelled in series.

As they unleashed their attacks, which wiped out the demon in the blink of an eye, the fireball the demon had launched struck the rocks, and in a brilliant burst of light ripped them apart. Shining orbs of light flew out and into the air, and as the dust settled, both the demon and the Binding Seal had vanished. Josh looked down at GekiRyuKen.

“So tell us, what are these ‘Binding Seals’?” He said, frustrated since he knew they had to be important.

“The Binding Seals are six magical symbols, drawn in specific locations, whose power keeps the gates between this world and the dark realm of the demons locked,” GekiRyuKen explained to the two knights.

Both knights looked at each other defeatedly. They both felt like failures. They weren’t able to protect the seal, which was helping to keep the world safe. They walked off and found the nearest hiding place, which was underneath a nearby bridge. They powered down, and Josh sat down against the concrete wall. He took a few deep breaths and reflected on the day so far. They didn’t have a single clue as to how to find someone who could read the Canon, and they had been too late in defeating the creature.

“You two should probably go home and rest,” GouRyuGun volunteered. They both just stood where they were and didn’t move.

********************

Fareon looked into the silvery pool. His mask reflected in its swirling surface. His fangs were clearly visible as he smiled a twisted smile that he knew could instantly unsettle any being in the known world. He looked up as he heard footsteps across the platform.

“The seal is broken, my lord, and the energy is ours,” Nyzeta said.

“Good work, Nyzeta,” he began. “Now I’d like for you to gather that energy and use it to make a Shadowborn. And make it a good one.”

Nyzeta bowed and walked towards the reflective pool. As Fareon walked away, she reached out with arms that were covered in bandages. In one hand was a key, which she dipped into the pool. As the liquid began to glow with a bright purple light, she formed a plan in her mind. Knowing that Winter was quickly approaching in the human world, she crafted a creature in her mind. It’s form would be entirely composed of ice. But not just any ice. Ice so thick and resilient that not even Ryukendo’s Madan Slash would be able to break it. It took the shape of an elegant maiden. Nyzeta laughed under her breath as she began to trace the seal in the air. Just before she recited the ancient spell, she reached out mentally, grabbed the energy they had gathered from the Binding Seal, and thrust it into the seal. She repeated the spell flawlessly from memory, then turned the key. With a burst of light, the key was drawn into the seal.

“This will work out perfectly,” Nyzeta mused as the ice maiden took shape before her eyes. It was clad in a beautiful gown which flowed around it’s body fluidly. The energy that emanated from it was intense and almost awe-inspiring. Nyzeta used a simple spell to send it on it’s way with the pride of an artist who had just finished their ultimate masterpiece.

********************

For the rest of the day, Josh tried to shake the feeling of failure. As he walked around with his bag, he would occasionally reach his hand in and touch the Canon of Light. The search for the chosen one who would be able to read it seemed to have hit a dead end, and the fact that he and Damien had just lost a Binding Seal didn’t lift any weight at all from his conscience. He knew that they had at least tried to protect it, but it didn’t free him of any of the guilt. GekiRyuKen had spent at least ten or fifteen minutes trying to reassure Josh and make him feel better, but it just didn’t work, so he remained silent.

“I need to do something to get rid of some of this stress,” Josh finally exclaimed after a long, drawn out silence.

“Maybe we should train a little,” GekiRyuKen volunteered quietly, as to not draw attention to himself.

“You’re right,” Josh conceeded with a small sigh. “As soon as I can figure out where we can do it safely, we’ll get right to it.”

Josh walked through the center of town and couldn’t help but wish Winter would arrive already. The pure white snow covering the ground was one of his favorite sights, and a gentle snow would’ve helped to calm his nerves. But sadly, the air was still somewhat balanced between warm and cold. The leaves had fallen, but most of them had been cleared away. He looked around and saw all of the usual buildings, but something caught his eye, and he turned to look at it. It looked like an ice sculpture standing in the middle of a garden. At first, he wasn’t sure where it had come from, why it was there, or how it managed to stand there without a single sign of melting. As he walked closer, he could feel the temperature of the air decreasing ever so slightly, sending a chill down his spine. But, before he got too close, he snapped back to reality, and instantly he thought of a place where he could train in privacy. He ran straight for a nearby wooded area.

********************

As soon as Josh found a quiet spot, he threw down his bag, stretched his arms and legs a little, and took a deep breath.

“You ready, GekiRyuKen?” He asked as he cracked his knuckles.

“Whenever you are, partner,” GekiRyuKen replied.

Josh stretched his arms a few more times, then put his right hand over GekiRyuKen. It began to glow, and expanded into sword form in his hand. He held out his RyuKen Key, and was about to lock it into place when he suddenly heard footsteps behind him. He spun around, GekiRyuKen ready, and found himself face to face with his best friend Kyle. His first instinct was to put away the GekiRyuKen, but he knew that Kyle saw it, and was obviously going to want an explanation. Josh sighed, and shifted his weight into a more relaxed stance.

“I’d say your cover is blown,” GekiRyuKen commented.

“Brilliant observation there. It must’ve taken so much thought,” Josh fired back.

Kyle coughed, rubbed his glasses, and said, “Excuse me, but as soon as you two are done, could someone please explain what’s going on?”

********************

“So let me make sure that I heard what I thought I heard and that I’m not totally losing my mind. You’re that hero on TV, Ryukendo?” Kyle asked while scratching his head.

“Yeah, that’s right. GekiRyuKen chose me that day on campus, and that’s why they found me unconscious and I had to be hospitalized.”

“So those are the basics?” Kyle continued, genuinely curious. It was odd for Josh to see his best friend serious. Kyle had always been one of the wackiest of his friends, but he was genuinely a good kid, and smarter than the typical stereotypes about blonde kids would have the world believe. He may have been somewhat strange at moments, but in a moment’s notice, he was quite possibly one of the most level-headed people Josh knew, and Josh trusted him a lot. Josh was about to answer Kyle’s question when he was interrupted by GekiRyuKen.

“Josh, are you feeling something strange happening?” The talking sword asked.

“No, not at this very moment. Everything feels normal, except for the fact that I’m having to explain to my best friend that I’m basically a superhero who wields a talking sword,” Josh replied with a smile.

Kyle adjusted his glasses a little, and commented, “Well, you two seem to have quite the relationship already. No wonder you guys seem to have such little trouble in combat.”

Josh bit his lip as the comment reminded him of how they had just lost a Binding Seal, so he explained to Kyle about the Binding Seals and what had happened that very morning.

“Well, I have to say I agree that finding the person who can read this book might be pretty helpful for you and the other Knight,” Kyle said once Josh finished with his explanation, then he offered casually, “Maybe I should try reading the book.”

Josh thought about it, and he could find no reason to disagree. If Kyle turned out to be the one who could read the Canon of Light, it would be amazing. He and Damien would have a friend on their side, and they’d finally be able to purify any keys found in battle. Josh reached into a pocket on his bag and wrapped his hand around the dark key. A chill ran down his spine, and he knew he wanted to see what the key could do.

“Sure,” He said simply. He began to reach into his bag to grab the Canon, but he was stopped as an incredibly icy blast of wind hit him and chilled him to the bone. GekiRyuKen started to say something, but before it could, Josh felt another shiver, but not one caused by the cold wind. It was his new found sensitivity to anything unnatural in the world. As if on cue, his cell phone began ringing loudly, and Damien was on the other end.

“You have to get to the center of town right now. Something that stinks terribly of demons. I’m on my way with Buster Wolf,” Damien said quickly.

“I know, I’m near there and I can feel it,” Josh said as he hung up his cell phone. He stepped out of the wooded area into a spot where he could better see what was happening, with Kyle following behind. He saw what appeared to be a swirling storm of ice and snow, slowly expanding outwards from the ice statue which appeared to be the center of the whole phenomenon.

“Okay, now that is incredibly odd,” Kyle said in shock.

“With what I’ve encountered, this is normal,” Josh commented with a hint of annoyance in his voice, then added, “I knew something was off about that statue.”

Josh stretched out a little bit, then kicked his bag towards a tree. He didn’t have anything fragile in it, so it wasn’t a big deal. Then he grabbed GekiRyuKen and began running. As he ran, he locked the RyuKen key into place.

“GekiRyu Henshin!” Josh yelled as he thrust the sword out in front of him. The blue dragon flew out from the blade, weaved in and out of the trees ahead of Josh, and then finally turned back and dove into Josh’s chest, forming the armor around him. He kept running until he hit the expanding cloud of snow. It was bitterly cold, even with the armor shrouding Josh’s body. Josh couldn’t help but feel slowed and even slightly tired. But before his body could really acclimate itself to the temperatures, he saw something out of the corner of his eye. It was a smaller version of the ice maiden, rushing at him at high speed across the frozen ground. Quickly he pivoted on his right foot, crouched down, and swung the GekiRyuKen. It left a gouge in the side of the maiden, but otherwise the maiden was fine.

“Shit!” Josh yelled as it turned around and came flying back at him. He pivoted again and narrowly dodged it. Thankfully, before it could make a return trip, gunfire chipped off it’s head and sent it toppling backwards. Josh spun around to see Damien, in full armor, pull up on the Buster Wolf, GouRyuGun in hand.

“Seriously, what would you do without me?” Damien called out with a laugh. He dismounted his vehicle and ran over to Josh, then shivered. “Damnit, the demons just had to give us an enemy who loves the cold.”

Before either could say anything else, they were greeted by several thick, sharp spikes flying at them. Josh dove forward and hit the ground, while Damien rolled away and took the opportunity to try a few shots at the main statue. The shots harmlessly bounced off of the icy exterior.

“I’m not powerful enough to pierce the statue. You’re going to need something super heated to finish this,” GouRyuGun advised the Knights.

“And something super heated to keep us moving. This chill is definitely slowing us down and making it harder for us to move,” Josh replied.

“Maybe the Canon would have a hint for us, if only we could read it,” Damien grunted as he rolled behind a wall to dodge more spikes. Josh rolled behind the wall with him, and took a breath. Before he could stand back up, Josh heard chanting in the distance. It caught both his and Damien’s attention. The snow cleared from their field of vision long enough to see Kyle standing outside the scope of the storm, holding the Canon of Light, opened with the unpurified key floating above it. His eyes traced a line across the pages, and his lips moved in perfect time. Neither of the Knights could understand a single word he was saying, but they knew they had found their reader. Seconds later, the key began to glow with a brilliant light, and Kyle grabbed it out of mid air.

“Josh, catch!” He yelled as he threw the key through the air. Josh grabbed it and looked at it. The center of it had become a shiny red color, and there was the image of a flame on it.

“It’s the Fire Key!” GekiRyuKen exclaimed. “It will allow you to change into Fire Mode, but I have to warn you, the power is greater than the power of the Ryukendo armor.”

“But if I don’t use it, we’ll never be able to win against this ice maiden,” Josh fired back. “It’s decided, I have to use it, no matter what happens afterwards.”

Josh stepped out from behind the wall, GekiRyuKen in one hand and the Fire Key in the other. In front of him, three more replica maidens appeared, ready to charge. Josh took a breath, then laughed as he opened the GekRyuKen.

“Fire Key!” He yelled as he locked the key into place. “Activate!”

“Change Fire Ryukendo,” GekiRyuKen announced. Josh held the sword so that it was pointed downwards, then he brought his arm to a ninety degree angle before thrusting the sword directly into the air.

“Fire Mode!” Josh yelled as a dragon composed entirely of fire flew out of the sword and began circling around Josh. He could feel the intense power surging into his body. It warmed his entire body. He could feel the armor changing, gaining flame shaped accents all over. As the mode change finished, he could still feel the boost in energy. “Fire Ryukendo!”

Damien couldn’t believe his eyes or his senses. He could feel the energy radiating from Josh. But within seconds, visible jolts of pain raced through Josh’s body, causing him to double over. Horrified, Damien watched as the maidens took the opportunity and charged. Immediately he reached for the Shot Key, but before he could lock it into place, he saw Josh’s head look up, and Josh swung the GekiRyuKen, slicing down all three maidens. He stood up, and without saying a word, he grabbed a key from his holder.

“Final Key!” He yelled as he locked it into the GekiRyuKen.

“Final Break,” GekiRyuKen announced as it began to glow orange. Flames climbed up the blade until the entire sword was shrouded in brightly burning fire. He charged directly towards the statue.

“Madan Fire Slash!” Josh screamed as he cut through the ice statue. A bright light shined through the snow as the demon melted, leaving only a key in her wake. The snow storm quickly subsided, and Josh took a few deep breaths. He tried to steady himself on his feet, but within seconds pain gripped his body and he collapsed, luckily maintaining his armor. Damien sprinted over and grabbed the key as Kyle, his identity hidden by the hood on his sweatshirt, ran over and quickly read out a spell from the Canon of Light, instantly transporting them to Josh’s house.

********************

As Josh rested in his bed, the pain began to subside. GekiRyuKen was sitting on his nightstand in his miniature form.

“I told you there would be consequences,” Josh’s partner said quietly.

“But I saved the town and probably the world, didn’t I?” Josh responded quietly. “Besides, it wasn’t that bad. At least I didn’t lose consciousness this time. This just means I need to train and build my endurance, especially since I’m sure I’ll come in contact with even more powerful keys in the future.”

Josh sighed, and closed his eyes. He needed his rest. He would soon begin training, and he would need all the strength he could get.

KamenRiderZero
01-18-2007, 12:22 AM
Okay guys, work on chapter 5, "Promises", is moving along very well. I'll just say right now that it's quite a powerful chapter, and I'm glad I've finally reached it because the ideas have been bursting from my head. I'll give you guys a little teaser synopsis...

When Josh leaves town to train so that he can build up his strength after the incident with the Fire Key, he leaves Damien alone to defend the town. But, Damien is soon forced to deal with a very painful event in his life, and must channel his emotions and keep some promises he made to find the strength to defeat a terrible Shadowborn created by Fareon, the leader of the demonic forces.

KamenRiderZero
02-15-2007, 12:15 AM
Okay guys, sorry for the immensely long wait, but here's Chapter 5. I think it's well worth the wait :anime:

Chapter 5: Promises

Damien stood outside Josh's house two days after the last demon attack. The air was somewhat cold, though this time it was naturally cold. The wind blew hard, and Damien quickly and instinctively zipped up his sweatshirt and folded his arms. Josh had called him only a half hour before and said he had some big announcement to make. He had only been waiting for a few minutes, but there was no sign of activity inside the house to tell him that his wait would soon be over. As he stood there waiting, he recalled the events of the last attack. The ice maiden had been slowly beating them in a battle of attrition. The icy cold winds she created seemed to weaken their bodies, even through their armor. She used their noticeable decrease in speed and reaction times to attempt to bombard them with spikes and replica maidens, which were strengthened by the cold winds. The Madan relics seemed to be vastly overpowered since the demon was unlike any they had encountered before. But, thankfully Josh's best friend Kyle had stepped forward at just the right time and made a successful attempt at reading the Canon of Light. He was able to purify the key they had been holding into the Fire Key, unlocking Josh's Fire Mode, which was just what they needed. But the fight ended in Josh doubling over in pain. After they had moved Josh back to his house, Kyle and GekiRyuKen told Damien that the obvious reason was that the key subjected Josh's body to a very much unwelcomed power surge, which caught him by surprise. Damien was still shocked by the reaction of Josh's body as he stood there, but his train of thought was broken when Kyle walked up and stood next to him.

"How long have you been waiting?" Kyle asked quietly, his face looking like he was deep in thought as he asked the question.

"About five minutes," Damien replied. "Any clue what he has to say?"

Kyle cracked his knuckles, and answered, "My best guess is that it has something to do with the Fire Key."

At the mention of the key, a thought snapped into Damien's mind. "How's it going with the key from the maiden?"

"It's taking much longer than the Fire Key did. For some reason I just keep hitting a line in the spell for it where everything just stops. I'd have to say it's probably quite a powerful key, and therefore requires a large amount of energy for purification."

As Kyle finished explaining, the front door of Josh's house opened, and he walked out, carrying a large duffel bag. He set it down, then sighed.

"Okay guys, we all know what happened during the last attack. I was subjected to intense pain because my body was too weak to handle the power of the Fire Key. At least I wasn't hospitalized this time. But I need to somehow strengthen my body for the next attack, in case we need Fire Mode," Josh calmly explained.

"So what are you going to do?" Kyle asked while twirling his keys on his finger.

"GekiRyuKen and I talked it over, and we decided that we're going to leave town for at least a week for training," Josh replied.

"So you're leaving me alone to defend the town while you're gone?" asked Damien. The idea of it got on his nerves.

"It's better than having me crippled in combat yet again. Anyways, I'm going to stay with a relative who lives near a large, quiet wooded area where I can have privacy. I will tell them about my powers, and even show them. It will blow my cover a bit, but it will also mean I will have someone around in case the training becomes too much."

Damien sighed. It was at least comforting to know Josh wouldn't be training alone. He took a few steps towards Josh, put his hand out, and said, "Come back in one piece, dude."

Josh and Damien went through their own little "high five" routine. Then Josh turned to Kyle.

"Could you give me a ride out to the park? I'm just going to transform somewhere secluded and ride Brave Leon there."

"Sure thing," Kyle responded, and they both climbed into Kyle's van and drove off. Damien quickly followed suit by getting in his own car, and drove off towards home.

******************

The next day, Kyle and Damien sat in Damien's room. It was a massive room, painted dark blue. Since Damien's parents had a considerable amount of money, Damien's bedroom was very nicely decorated. A huge bed, a flat screen LCD TV, piles of video games, and an expensive Mac desktop were among the highlights of the contents. As Damien worked on an essay, Kyle sat in a very comfortable chair, reading the same spells over and over, trying to purify the latest key. After the tenth attempt, he slammed the book closed and began to stare intensely at the key.

"Staring it down won't make it purfiy," Damien commented without looking back. Kyle threw the key at him, but he spun around in his computer chair and caught it.

"You must be psychic," Kyle taunted.

"Well, I'm more sensitive to demonic energies, but as for what I just did, I could see you winding up to throw the key in my monitor, and I reacted accordingly."

"I just wish I knew how to provide enough energy to purify this key. It's just so close."

"Maybe you should take a break for a day."

"I guess maybe I should. Maybe some rest will clear my mind and help me focus."

As Kyle finished his sentence, a reminder window popped up on Damien's monitor. He immediately closed it, as he already knew what it was telling him. Quickly he explained to Kyle that he had to go do something very important, but told Kyle he was more than welcome to stay and relax for a little while. Kyle's eyes immediately lit up, and Damien left him deciding what video game to play and which console to use. Damien hurried down the stairs and grabbed his sweatshirt. He dodged the housekeeper and climbed into his car. He knew where he had to go, but he was undecided as to whether or not he wanted to go there.

******************

Damien pulled into a parking space in the parking garage of the most prestigious hospital in the area. He took a deep breath, and his grip on the steering wheel tightened for a moment.

"I hope his health has improved this week," He lamented, with a hint of sadness in his voice. "Grandpa wasn't looking so great last time."

Damien's grandfather was hospitalized. He had spent many years fighting cancer, but only a year before, it returned and it was decided that he should remain in the hospital indefinitely. The fact that the fight was starting to go downhill again greatly hurt Damien. He had a very strong relationship with his grandfather, steming back many years. His grandfather, Andrew, seemed to him to be the only person who was ever proud of him. His parents were very busy people, and when they weren't working, they were very stiff and detached people. Since they spent much of their time working, Damien and his brother Adam had pretty much been raised by their grandfather, who always saw the best in his grandchildren. But after Adam's death, Damien felt like he lost his parents as well, and his grandfather had stepped up and helped Damien through his problems.

Damien stepped out of the car, and felt himself walking towards the building, though he felt ghost-like, since he had done the same routine so often. For the past year, Damien visited Andrew in the hospital every Tuesday afternoon. He would've visited more, since he seemed to be the only relative who still visited at all, but school made it hard for him. He wrote his name in the book at the security desk and grabbed his badge. As usual, the elevator was empty as he climbed in, just as he liked it. He took a few deep breaths as the door opened onto Andrew's floor. He stepped out, and immediately ran into his grandfather's nurse, Amy.

"Hi Damien, he's waiting for you," She said with an obviously fake and forced smile on her face. Damien could read the nurses like comic books. He picked up the skill as the months flew by.

"Thanks, Amy," Damien replied, putting on a fake smile of his own so she wouldn't realize he knew that the smile wasn't real. He walked halfway down the hall and took a left into the usual room. Andrew was sitting in the bed, looking peaceful with his eyes closed. His head was bald from previous rounds of chemotherapy. By that point the hair just wouldn't grow back, so everyone got used to it. His skin had surprisingly few wrinkles, making him look younger than he really was. His hands were overlapping on his chest. He looked like he was napping, but Damien knew he was still alert. As Damien took another step into the room, he was suddenly shocked to watch as pain seized his grandfather's body, bringing a terrible cringe to his face. Damien ran over and took his grandfather's hand.

"Hold on, Grandpa!" Damien pleaded. "You can fight it, I know it!"

Seconds later, the pain visibly subsided, and Andrew opened his eyes and looked up at his grandson.

"Don't worry Damien, I wouldn't leave the Earth without saying goodbye," He assured Damien, though his voice was quiet. He then added, "But it is good that you're here now, because I don't think I'll last much longer. The pain has become worse today."

"Don't say that, Grandpa," Damien said, worried. His grandfather had signed a paper, ordering the doctors to not perform any life-saving proceedures when it came time for him to die. Damien hated it with all of his being, but he respected the decision. He took a deep breath and tried to manage a smile.

"Damien, you know as well as I do how badly this is ravaging my body. But I want you to know, I love you very dearly, and you've never disappointed me. I know you're destined to do great things for humanity."

Damien made a split second decision, and he ran with it. "Grandpa, you're more correct than you know."

"What do you mean?" Andrew asked, slightly puzzled.

"Do you know the heroes that have been on the news lately for fighting those demented creatures that keep appearing?"

"Yes, I do."

"Well.....I am one of them, RyuGunOh."

Andrew sat quietly for a few moments. Damien started to think that maybe his grandfather didn't believe him, but the thought was stopped when he saw a smile creep across the old man's face.

"I knew there was something familiar about that posture and stance," He finally commented. He gently patted Damien's hand.

"I wanted to tell you sooner, but I didn't know if I should."

"You know I would've told no one. But beyond that, I want you to make some promises to a dying man"

"Grandpa...." Damien began, but Andrew stopped him.

"First, you must promise me that you'll never turn your back on anyone. Second, you must promise me that no matter how hopeless the situation may seem, you won't give up and run away."

Damien sighed and smiled. "Of course, Grandpa, I promise."

"I'll always be there, looking over you. You'll always make me proud."

Damien was about to open his mouth when the pain returned, and this time it was worse than the last time. Damien's heart seemed to stop for a moment, and a look of shock crept over his face, until he felt Andrew's grip tighten slightly as he began to speak.

"Just sit here with me during my last few moments and hold my hand. Please."

Damien nodded and sat there while his grandfather's body was wracked with pain. It hurt Damien so much to sit through this quietly that tears began to streak down his face. The torture went on for a few more minutes before the pain began to subside, but it didn't end with Andrew opening his eyes. They remained closed, and his grip loosened considerably around Damien's hand. Damien checked his grandfather's pulse, but could not find it. He stood up, and finally the tears began to truly flow.

******************

Fareon tossed a key back and forth between his hands. He was waiting for just the right moment to strike. He knew Ryukendo had left the city, and that RyuGunOh was the only Knight still around to protect the people and the Binding Seals. He breathed in and out as Pandexa approached him.

"Lord Fareon, RyuGunOh has just witnessed a death, and is quite vulnerable. Shall we strike now?"

Fareon mulled the idea around in his head for a moment, and knew the answer.

"But, if we attack now after such an emotional event, things could also go the opposite way and he could turn out to be an even tougher foe. And I don't want to waste a perfectly good key like that if we don't know how combat worthy he is. Rather, I shall first send down some Spawn to test him."

"As you wish, Lord Fareon," Pandexa said as she bowed down before him. Fareon walked over to the reflecting pool, and said a short chant. Purple liquid rolled off of his fingers and dripped into the pool. He watched as the drips materialized on Earth inside the parking garage outside the hospital and formed into grotesque, reptillian creatures. Their skin was hard and scaly, their fangs sharp and oozing with poison, and their claws ready to rip apart any foe. They crept around, hunched over and ready to strike.

"Now go forth, little ones. Let's toy with this Knight a little," Fareon mused as a creepy smile formed on his face.

******************

As Damien walked slowly through the garage, he didn't know how to feel. The tears had stopped, but he immediately missed his grandfather dearly. He felt slightly numb, and more like a ghost than when he arrived. As he turned a corner, he immediately saw several reptillian creatures stalking their way through the rows of cars. Almost instantly, he could feel anger building up inside of him. He unzipped his sweatshirt, pulled it off swiftly, and tossed it aside. He put his hand over the GouRyuGun, and it materialized in his hand.

"You abominations picked the wrong day to show up!" He screamed as he locked the RyuGun key into the GouRyuGun. He thrust the gun forward. "GouRyu Henshin!"

The red dragon flew out of the barrel of his gun at high speed and plunged into his chest. Damien didn't spare a moment once the armor formed around his body. He immediately locked the Shot Key into place.

"Dragon Shot," GouRyuGun announced, before adding, "They are not full Shadowborn. They are simply Spawn, the lowest creatures in the demon's world."

"Good to know," Damien grunted as he pulled the trigger and unloaded a large number of rounds into two nearby Spawn. They burst into puddles of purple liquid that quickly vanished. He rolled forward, and as he got up, he only got up onto one knee, leveled his gun, and finished off another of the creatures. As he did, two snuck up on him and were about to strike when he stuck his gun under his arm and took out one of them. Using the momentary distraction, he spun around and put the GouRyuGun right in the creature's face.

"Thanks for playing, better luck next time," He said as he blasted the twisted creation at point blank range. He stood up, and the armor vanished from his body. He stood absolutely still for a moment, and took a few deep breaths. He held the GouRyuGun to his side and it instantaneously shrunk. Damien then collapsed against a pillar and sank down until he was sitting.

"Relax Damien, I can feel the tension flowing through your body," GouRyuGun suggested, genuinely worried.

"I just sat there as my Grandfather, the only man I've been able to trust my whole life, died, and then those damned demons decided it would be a fun time to try and attack. I just feel like I'm going to fall apart!" Damien grunted. If GouRyuGun had a lower lip, this exact moment would've been when he would've bit it. It tried, but it couldn't come up with much to say at first. Thankfully, Damien cut off it's train of thought. "I know I have to follow the promises I made, and I know I have to keep myself together until Josh returns, in case the demons decide to strike again."

"You are right, but you must also take the necessary amount of time to grieve and regain your strength."

"You were part of the battle just now, you know that I still have my strength."

"But that was strength out of anger. And if I've instilled anything in you, it should be that fighting with anger is more dangerous than fighting with patience. With anger, you're more of a danger to yourself than to the Shadowborn, the Spawn, and their masters."

Damien knew his companion was right. It was painfully obvious. He was lucky the Spawn were pushovers, because if the fight had lasted any longer, he would've stood a much higher chance of making a mistake that he wouldn't typically make. But the image of his Grandfather's face, looking totally at peace despite the agonizing pain he had been in moments earlier, hung in his mind and would not retreat. He stood up and prepared to walk over to his car, which suddenly seemed like it was miles away. His hands shook as he reached into his pocket for the keys, and he had some difficulty grasping them. He knew that it was going to be a harsh week until Josh returned.

******************

Fareon smiled his twisted, unnerving smile. He was right to not send out a Shadowborn that would've been made using underestimations about RyuGunOh's fighting abilities. The fight between the Knight and the Spawn had given Fareon all the information he needed. He saw that the Knight obviously fought hard, but that he was driven by anger and intense sadness. The anger in this initial fight had obviously been overpowering the sadness, but he knew that over time the sadness would slowly incapacitate the boy and dull his fighting ability. It was human nature. Humans suffered from the dreadful emotions that allowed moments like the one that Damien suffered to dominate their thoughts and dilute their strength and sanity. Therefore, he knew he had to craft an excellent Shadowborn. One with considerable strength. As he sat by the reflective pool, Pandexa stood in the shadows near the edge of the floating island, with Arimata by her side.

"This is most excellent. We shall finally see Lord Fareon at work!" Arimata exclaimed. His words were full of childish admiration, which was surprising to Pandexa. Arimata usually upheld a more dignified aura, being an extremely competent warlord and swordsman.

"Yes, let us just hope he still retains the power that earned him his rank," She commented with a snide tone in her voice. "We wouldn't want the Blade that leads us to be outwitted just as fast as the rest of us, lest he lose much respect."

Just as she spoke the final words, Arimata drew his katana at a speed that would've confused human eyes and brought it to her throat. He stopped short, but even if he hadn't, it wouldn't have mattered, as Pandexa had placed two fingers in the sword's way. Arimata was momentarily shocked that she had managed to keep up with his speed, but he recovered enough to stutter, "D-do not disrespect Lord Fareon that way."

Pandexa laughed at the fear in Arimata's voice. It was fun for her to play around with the other Blades. She knew that her words had struck a chord inside Arimata, and that she had planted a seed that would secretly and slowly grow inside him, corrupting his views and motivation. She loved how simple it was. If Fareon failed, the seeds of doubt in Arimata's mind would sprout and he'd begin to distrust their Lord. Eventually this would cause Arimata to foolishly challenge Fareon, knowing Arimata's proud but foolish nature, and one of them would fall at least.

"Never raise your sword like that, Arimata, especially to a fellow Blade. You know Fareon disagrees strongly with that, and he'd be inclined to punish you," Pandexa taunted, then whispered, "That is, if I don't strike you down first."

Arimata didn't know how to react, so he turned and walked in his own 'dignified' way back to his stone, and entered it as if it had been made of water. Pandexa smiled as she turned and watched Fareon mentally designing his Shadowborn.

******************

The day after Andrew's death, Damien's parents finally learned of the tragic event. Damien had shuddered when they called him downstairs around noon. He found his parents leaning against the center island in the kitchen, both looking very serious. Sadly, Damien could tell from the looks on their faces that this would be far from their usual rants, which he could usually tune out.

"Why didn't you call us when you saw that your Grandfather was so close to death?" Damien's father asked slowly and with a low tone to his voice, almost like he was dealing with a child who had misbehaved.

"Why would you have cared?" Damien replied, the disdain in his voice as sharp as a razorblade. A certain anger flashed in Damien's father's eyes, but it was nothing new to him, so Damien stood strong and refused to take he response back.

"He was my father!" His father yelled, his temper rising.

"When was the last time that mattered?! Huh?! When was the last time you ever went and visited him in the hospital?!" Damien forced out while trying to restrain the bitter tears he could feel welling up in his eyes. He watched as his words struck his father and mother like lightning bolts. His mother bit her lip, but his father didn't lose his anger.

"He treated us like we were failures as parents, and couldn't even bear to be around us because of Adam's death!" Fired back Damien's father, but Damien instantly had a response.

"He treated you like failures because you deserved to be told that! And the kicker? It wasn't because of Adam!" Damien screamed, his voice starting to weaken slightly. He could feel himself unconsciously reaching for the GouRyuGun, though he knew that even if it would materialize, he'd never be able to pull the trigger. His mother began to cry, and his father was visibly beginning to boil over with anger. He took his hand away from the GouRyuGun and instead grabbed his coat and car keys. Before they could say anything else, he walked out the door, climbed into his car, and turned off his cell phone as he pulled out and sped off.

******************

Adam had been an A student, a great athlete, and one of the most popular boys in school. He was everything their parents wanted. While it was true that Damien had few of those features, his parents went easy on him. He knew it was because in a way they were technically ignoring him when it came to giving him actual attention, but he became used to it. Adam was always there, however, and always tried to help his younger brother. He always tried to accent Damien's achievements, but despite his best efforts those achievements were always overshadowed by his own. When their parents began to be more scarce in the boys' lives due to their jobs, Andrew had gladly stepped in, and the boys bonded with him, Damien especially. Andrew always made it a point to make sure both boys knew they were equally loved and accepted, and he tried to be the closest thing to a father he could ever be. And the part that made it all even better was that he really, truly loved and was proud of both of them.

But one night, Adam was in a terrible car accident with a group of his friends. He hadn't been drinking, or doing drugs, or anything bad. He and his friends were just on their way home from a lacrosse tournament, and out of nowhere, a man who was evading arrest came speeding down the road that cut through exactly where Adam's car was, and the man slammed hard into Adam's car. The impact had been so intense that it sent the car rolling, and by the time it stopped, Adam was dead, along with two of his friends. Only one friend survived, but the experience had been so intensely damaging that the boy committed suicide not long after.

The funeral was terrible. Damien and Andrew had been off on a fishing trip when it happened, and when they got the call with the news, they rushed home. Adam had been seventeen at the time, and Damien was thirteen. Everyone present later commented on how calm and collected Damien was, but inside he was crying. The tears just wouldn't manifest themselves on the outside. He had never had the chance to say goodbye, or even to see his brother's face. But as hard as it was for him then, it only got worse.

After Adam's death, Damien was the only child his parents had left, and suddenly all eyes were on him and his imperfections. Any time he did less than stellar on an assignment or passed up the chance to go out for a sport, he faced harsh criticisms from his parents. The only thing that saved him from depression and potential suicide was having Andrew by his side. Everything came to a boiling point just before Andrew was diagnosed. He got into a heated argument with his son and daughter-in-law, where he basically told them that they were nowhere close to being real parents, and that they should be ashamed of themselves. But the moment he was diagnosed and it became apparent that it was serious, Damien's father almost immediately checked his own father into a hospital so he wouldn't have to take care of him, and could keep him out of sight and out of mind. It sickened Damien, but for the two years his grandfather was there, he visited him at least once a week, and it kept Damien going.

With all the memories flooding his mind again, Damien almost didn't see the Shadowborn that materialized at the end of the road he had just turned onto, and he was forced to slam on the brakes and quickly take a detour down an alley.

******************

"Damnit, they're just insisting on testing my patience this week, aren't they?" Damien growled as he drew the GouRyuGun and leaned against a wall. The Shadowborn was a light brown color, almost like mud. It looked like an ancient suit of armor, but without the shine. It began a slow walk down the street, and to Damien's surprise, instead of drawing a sword, it's hand and forearm molded itself like putty into the shape of a long blade.

"Come out here, cowardly little Knight," The Shadowborn taunted, "I can feel the presence of your weapon."

Damien took a deep breath, held his gun tightly in his hand, and locked the RyuGun Key into place. He thrust the gun away from his body, pulled the trigger, and yelled, "GouRyu Henshin!" Within seconds, a long, winding dragon flew from the barrel and formed the armor around his body. He cracked his neck, tightened his grip, and pivoted around the corner. He quickly found his target, leveled the GouRyuGun, and squeezed off a few shots. But, to his shock, the Shadowborn's body seemed to just redistribute itself almost instantly to create a massive shield that deflected all the shots. Quickly, Damien regained his bearings, ducked behind a car, and then popped out and fired another quick volley, but the creature was just far too fast in reshaping it's body.

"It's a shame you're just far too slow for me," the Shadowborn called out.

"Why don't you come over here and say that right to me?" Damien responded as he locked the Shot Key in place. Once again he took a few more shots, but they bounced harmlessly away, which frustrated Damien to no end.

"It's just so much more fun to toy with you before your inevitable death. But it would be more fun if you'd just stop running," shouted Damien's foe. Damien knew that he would have to figure out some way to hit the creature indirectly, but it wouldn't be easy. He looked around for anything that could help him. His mind rapidly tried to piece together items from the environment into something that could help him. Finally, a plan came to mind that he figured was worth a shot. Peeking out from the front of the car, he took a few shots that completely missed the Shadowborn. "Were you even trying that time?"

"To hit you? God no," Damien replied as a cover from a nearby fire hydrant flew off, blasting the Shadowborn with a highly pressurized stream of water. Looking up, he took quick aim and fired at a power line, and prayed that it would work just as he planned. As the monster tried to block the stream from hitting it, the power line swung down and fell right into the middle of the water blast, electrifying it. The shock caught the monster off guard as it apparently it's body was conductive, giving Damien the opening he needed. He dove over the car's hood and squeezed off a stream of shots that sent the Shadowborn flying. It stood up and steadied itself.

"Alright, game's over," the Shadowborn growled as it's body reshaped itself into a large dome-like structure. Large hooks sprouted, and were launched off at high speed, piercing the car behind Damien. As he ran towards the alley, he heard the structure call out, "You might as well run if you don't want to die right away."

The last statement struck Damien down to his core. His promises to his grandfather came rushing back to him all at once. He spun around the corner again, and as he fired off a huge volley of shots, he screamed out, "I won't give up!" The shots all bounced off, but Damien kept firing. Every time more hooks shot forth, he shot them down before they could strike. But he wasn't making any sort of real progress. A moment later, a familiar voice rang though his head.

"Damien, it's Kyle. I'm using a spell to talk to you while you're in your armor. Something big must've happened a moment ago, because there was a sudden burst of energy on my end, and long story short, I have a gift for you coming your way now."

A small flash of light burst forth in front of Damien's face, and a key was floating in front of him. He swung his hand out and grabbed it from mid-air.

"Excellent! It's the Cannon Key! It's just what we need!" GouRyuGun exclaimed. "Use it now!"

Without delay, Damien extended the key. "Cannon Key!" he shouted as he locked it into place. "Activate!"

"Final Break," GouRyuGun called out.

"Dragon Cannon!" yelled Damien as he steadied his weapon and pulled the trigger. The kick was unbelievably powerful, but Damien saw why a second later, as a brightly shining dragon shot out of the barrel. He could barely believe his eyes, but it made him understand why it had been such a hard Key to purify. The dragon charged forth, destroying all of the projectile hooks in it's way, and it crashed into the massive body of the Shadowborn. For a short moment, the Shadowborn held the dragon at bay, but within mere seconds the creature's shell shattered as the dragon burrowed it's way into the center and connected with the dark core. Beams of light shot out from the dome, and then moments later the entire structure was gone in a massive burst of light. Damien walked over and grabbed the key that had landed on the ground.

******************

"How dare he!" Fareon yelled as he watched his creation explode. "If it wasn't for that damn Canon of Light, he would've been finished."

Pandexa stood once again on the sidelines, and watched the display with an amused look on her face. Fareon's defeat was a welcomed event for her. It would serve her needs beautifully. She looked across the platform at Arimata. The seed she had planted had visibly began to sprout with their lord's defeat. She could see the growing doubts and distrust in his darkened eyes. Soon, he would be ripe for removing from the ranks, and hopefully his power would be taken and distributed. She rubbed her hands approvingly.

******************

"So what the hell happened on this end?" asked a puzzled Damien as he paced around Kyle, who sat in a computer chair in his own house.

"From what I could tell, there was a sudden burst of energy in your body that transferred to the Canon and gave me just what I needed. The key purified, and I used a spell to transfer it to you."

Damien paused. It must've been when I said I wouldn't give up, he thought to himself. It made sense, especially since the promises meant so much to him. He knew the idea of keeping them at all costs must've triggered something inside of him.

Kyle broke the silence. "So, when are you going home to face your parents?"

"Right now, actually," Damien said with a sigh. "I might as well do it now."

"Good luck," whispered Kyle as Damien walked out the front door.

******************

As Damien walked through the front door, he expected his parents to pounce on him and rip him to shreds. But he found them sitting in the living room, dead silent. They looked like gargoyles, stuck in one pose for eternity. But finally they moved.

"Please sit down..." Requested Damien's mother, her voice weak. The tone frightened Damien slightly, so he sat down. His father was the first to speak.

"We've done a lot of thinking, and talking, and self-analysis since you left earlier, and we've come to a conclusion," His father began in an uncharacteristically quiet voice.

"We've decided that we really haven't been proper parents to you since Adam's death," His mother began to explain. "We just couldn't handle the loss of Adam, since we didn't get to say goodbye. And we unfairly took it out on you just because you were different than he was."

Damien was having a hard time dealing with this. He struggled to stay straight-faced among all the revelations.

"We're sorry, Damien," continued his mother. "We want you to know that we do love you, and that we want to make up for how horribly we've treated you."

Everything struck Damien hard. This was what he had wanted for years. Yet, he found himself without words to respond. He struggled to find the right thing to say. Finally, he threw out "I love you both too." His parents hugged him tight, and he felt himself crying uncontrollably. But he was okay with that. He just hoped it would all continue down the same path.