The Oni
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Shattered Balance


Book One: The Avatar



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Broken Spirits

The Oni's Trap

Suzaku finished affixing the new saddle onto Azura. Since the old one had been torn in Azura's crash landing, Auntie had been kind enough to make a new saddle for not only Azura, but Jarnunvosk as well, with the help of Seiryuu and himself. As he started lifting his bag onto the saddle's side hooks the tip of a dragon's tail lifted it up with him. Suzaku turned to find Temrann on Jarnunvosk.

"I just came to say goodbye." Temrann called.

"Goodbye?" Suzaku questioned "But we aren't leaving yet. Seiryuu is still getting her stuff, and that takes forever."

"Maybe not you, but I am." Temrann replied

"What? Where to?" Suzaku asked.

"Well I've been thinking what I can do to help Toyohime and stuff, and I decided to best way I can protect them is with the White Lotus behind me."

Suzaku smiled "You're going to be a Samurai?"

Temrann nodded "It's the best thing I can do right now. Once me and Jarnunvosk are properly trained we can better protect our home, and we adventure from time to time. It's a win-win deal."

"Well I wish you good luck. Liang can be rough."

"Ha!" Temrann retorted "She hasn't met me yet."

At this Suzaku laughed, and patted Temrann on the shoulder "Hopefully the next time I see you, I'll be calling you Samurai Temrann."

"Hopefully so." Temrann laughed, and climbed back onto Jarnunvosk. The black dragon spread her wings and took off. In a matter of minutes Jarnunvosk was nothing more than a speck of dust among clouds. It was then that Seiryuu finally came outside with her stuff, and looked in the direction that Suzaku was.

"What are you looking at?" she asked.

"Temrann's going to be a Samurai. He just left for the island." Suzaku replied

Seiryuu's expression turned to one of surprise "Really? Maybe he'll be of some help sometime."

Suzaku shrugged "Hopefully. Now c'mon, we have our own place to be."

With a large heave Suzaku hooked Seiryuu's bag onto the saddle's hooks, hugged his auntie in farewell, and mounted Azura with Seiryuu behind him. With a quick heat signal Azura purred in pride and took off as well.


A few hours later Azura came to a stop at a nearby river to drink, as flying against the wind took a lot of his energy away. As the dragon drank from the river eagerly, Suzaku and Sieryuu decided to make camp for the night. However; before they started they heard a low groan from within the woods next to the river.

"I wasn't imagining that groan did I?" Seiryuu asked.

"I don't believe so." Suzaku said "Let's go check it out."

Following the sound, they soon found themselves in a small clearing near the center of the woods. The whole ground was covered with brown and yellow leaves, and the trees cast ominous shadows in the afternoon light. And in the center of the small glade was an unconscious girl.

"Oh no!" Seiryuu cried, and ran over to the girl's side. Suzaku followed her, but tripped on a strange piece of metal sticking out of the ground.

"It looks like she's from the Water Tribe!" Seiryuu called.

However; Suzaku was removing the leaves from the ground that were surrounding that strange piece of metal. As he removed the leaves, he could see that under them was some sort of metal links. Removing some more leaves from around them, more metal links was revealed. Suddenly, Suzaku put two and two together.

"Seiryuu, take the girl and run!" Suzaku yelled.

"What for?!" Sieryuu yelled back.

"There's metal links under all these leaves. That girl was set here for us to find! It's a trap!"

At these words hidden ropes rapidly started to be pulled, raising the triangular pieces of metal under all the leaves. Suzaku tumbled over to the center of the trap with Seiryuu and the Water Tribe girl as the piece under him raised up with the rest. As the trap closed above them, three monster like beings jumped out of the trees and tied the ropes around the top. One of them cackled with an evil laugh.

"Like fish to a bait! How sad!" the monster chuckled. "Looks like they aren't as smart as they think they are." another monster said, a coy smile on his face. The third remained silent, simply watching them with a suspicious look.

Suzaku glared at the monsters, and whipped out his dragon whistle to call Azura, only to have it knocked out of his reach by a small blast of darkness by the figure emerging from the shadows.

"I told you I wouldn't be beat twice." the Shadow Dragon said.

The Mokushiroku

That night, as the Shadow Dragon's three captives uncomfortably slept, the warrior himself was having a bad night. Uzu had wasted no time questioning Kurogane's actions. "Kurogane, how could you do this?" Uzu asked angrily, as Kurogane simply stared into the fire in front of him.

"I got the Samurai. That's what's important Uzu." Kurogane answered meekly.

"And the girl?!"

"We'll release her once we get those two Samurai chained. We won't need her then."

"Bah!" Uzu cried, angrily throwing a stick into the fire. The flames leaped up at the sudden addition of wood, lighting up both of their faces; Uzu's an angry scowl and Kurogane's a reluctant one.

"Maybe you haven't changed, it seems your still as damn stubborn as ever!" Uzu yelled in frustration.

"Well maybe if you could TRY to trust me, you'd understand!" Kurogane screamed back.

Uzu sighed and shook his head "I understand Kurogane. I understand more than you probably know. But I can't let you walk this path of desolation, to stand by as you destroy yourself. I swore on your father's grave I would protect you. I intend to keep that promise, I love you too much not to."

Kurogane glared angrily, and lowly snarled "You understand nothing."

A shocked look grew on the old man's face, and then one of disappointment. Slowly Uzu got up and walked back to his tent. Kurogane turned to look at the surrounding darkness as he heard his grandfather seal up the tent with the zipper. As he watched the darkness of the woods a curious sensation brushed his neck. Reaching over to his neck, he felt another sensation on the back of his hand. Looking carefully, he could see a drop of water on his skin. Then another drop fell, followed by a loud crash of thunder. Looking up, he saw a crooked line of lightning lit the bleak sky.

And then it rained.

And hidden by those drops of water, was a tear.


The next day Lakona finally woke up, with the help of an electric jolt from one of the monsters. Laughing at her reaction, they lounged around the cage as she looked at her companions.

"I don't remember you guys in the cage..." Lakona asked suspiciously.

"Well considering they used your unconscious body to capture us, I would believe you haven't met us before." Seiryuu replied.


"They trapped us in the cage because we saw you unconscious" Suzaku explained, "And we went into the place where they had the cage. The rest you can probably guess."

"Ah. Well as long as we're trapped here...what are your guys' names?"

"I'm Suzaku, and she's-"

"I'm Sieryuu!" Seiryuu interrupted.

"Cool, I'm Lakona. guys have the same name as the Samurai I was trying to find...."

Seiryuu raised her eyebrow "You're looking at them."

"What?! You two are the Samurai? You're no older than me!" Lakona exclaimed, surprised.

"Why were you trying to find us anyhow?" Suzaku asked.

"I...I wanted to prove something to my mother." Lakona said rapidly, "Besides, my mother said we needed the Samurai soon anyhow."

"What for?" Seiryuu asked.

"Those freakin Oni, that's why." Lakona said darkly, giving one of the Oni an angry glance before continuing "There's an army of them heading to the North Pole apparently..."

"What?!" Suzaku cried.

"Hehe, that's right little humans." One of the Oni said, this one named Metamatcha "Once we destroy your little tribe, it will be like a wave. Only a wave of destruction, flowing over the whole world!"

At this Seiryuu spit at the Oni and muttered "Mokushiroku...."

Metamatcha chuckled in reply "Ahh, I forgot. We Oni are in Airbender culture..."

"Go back to Naraku where you belong!" Seiryuu yelled, and started to form an airball to attack the monster.

"No Seiryuu! Don't bend!" Lakona warned, but it was too late. The cage suddenly became electrified and all three of them were knocked to the ground by the shock. After a minute or two they were able to get up.

"Damn you...." Seiryuu gasped, breathing deeply to recover from the shock.

"Tsk, tsk." Metamatcha said "You better be careful what you wish for. Sometimes they are granted in the strangest of ways."

"Seiryuu, what are Oni?" Suzaku asked.

"We are spirits that have made mistakes you see-" Metamatcha started.

"Liar!" Seiryuu interrupted, and glared at the Oni sneering at her "Oni are a kind of evil spirit."

"Now evil maybe a bit of a strong word little airbender. We simply made mistakes-"

"Like murdering?" Seiryuu asked in a hostile tone "That's what Oni are, aren't they? The Mokushiroku of murder."

Metamatcha shrugged "Yes, you don't lie. But we regretted it in our afterlife. We wanted repentance. But no, instead we were labeled evil and sent to a barren land, where nothing good or beautiful could even try and survive."

"So you try to redeem yourself by destroying the world?"

"Ha! The world we see now is corrupt and weak. Compared to you backstabbing humans, we Oni and other Mokushiroku are angelic. Our master promises a new world to us, a world where true values are upheld and forgiveness is actually attainable. In short, a much better world than now. We are here to make a better world."

"Hmph!" Seiryuu snorted, turning her back to the Oni "Evil devils can never make a good world."

Metamatcha sighed and chuckled at her stubbornness again "What is evil to you, and evil to us are two different things. You'd best remember that."

And with that Metamatcha left, leaving them all with only their thoughts.

Prison Break

That night it started to rain again, much to the group's dismay. The Oni had forgotten to cover up the cage again, probably on purpose, and it didn't help that the guard near them making sure they didn't bend was pretending they didn't exist.

"Damn freaking Oni... at least they could keep up dry..." Seiryuu grumbled.

"We're prisoners. We're aren't going be treated like high class royalty here..." Lakona answered sarcastically.

Suddenly a hand grabbed the Oni guard by the throat and pulled him under the caravan that had been pulling them. After the caravan rocked for a few seconds, an old man crawled out with the Oni's key. Lakona's eyes widened in surprise.

"You're the assassin's friend, aren't you?" Lakona asked "I see you with him all the time."

"I am his grandfather, Uzu." Uzu replied, and unlocked the cage "And I am trying to help him."

"Not that I don't want you to change your mind...but how are you helping him by freeing us?" Seiryuu asked, with Suzaku and Lakona staring at Seiryuu like she was insane.

"The Mokushiroku are using him. I'm trying to free him from this fate, but in order to do that you must leave."

Slipping his hand int his pocket, he took out Suzaku's dragon whistle and returned it to the grateful Samurai. As he was about to blow it to call Azura, Uzu closed his hand around the end of the whistle to silence it.

"Not here. The Oni will kill your dragon, there are too many things here to accomplish that feat with. You must flee."

Just as the three were turning to get the hell out of there, Metamatcha and the other Oni appeared from the back of the caravan, fully armed.

"Don't let them escape!" Metamatcha ordered, and raising his weapon he roared a savage howl.

"Run!" Uzu urged "I'll be right behind to cover you. Now go!"

So Suzaku, Seiryuu, Lakona, and Uzu all ran into the forest as Metamatcha and the other Oni chased in pursuit. The rain proved to be both a help and hindrance. As it got later and later, the darkness only got thicker and thicker. By the time the group reached the end of their run at the side of a river, Suzaku and the others were having trouble seeing past a few feet. Fortunately, Lakona was in her element. Spraying ice and water at the Oni as they ran, it was her quick waterbending that enabled them to get this far. However; at the side of the river the Oni finally caught up, and surrounded the group.

"A futile attempt in the end Uzu." Metamatcha said in a sneer "Perhaps your age is finally catching up with you, shadowbender."

Uzu returned Metamatcha's gaze with a cocky smile of his own "Do not underestimate your opponents Oni, especially your elders!"

At this Uzu rapidly threw his hands in an upwards arc, blasting all the Oni in front of him a few feet away. At the same time Suzaku, Seiryuu, and Lakona had blasted the remaining Oni around them with their own elements before Suzaku quickly blasted a might blow on the dragon whistle. Suzaku slipped the whistle back into his pocket before rapidly unsheathing his blade and deflecting one of the Oni's blades.

"Please hurry Azura..."


Kurogane sat in his tent, meditating on whether to enter his grandfather's tent to ask for forgiveness. The rain had been distracting at first, but now it served as a gentle tone to help concentrate. After thinking over the benefits and drawbacks to the situation, his mind was set. Getting out of the tent into the rain, he walked over to his grandfather's tent. However; when he entered no one was inside, and the tent was messier than usual. Uzu's sword was gone, as well as the cage key and the dragon whistle. Suddenly his grandfather's voice echoed in his mind:

"But I can't let you walk this path of desolation, to stand by as you destroy yourself. I swore on your father's grave I would protect you. I intend to keep that promise, I love you too much not to."

His eyes wide in realization, he rushed outside into the pounding rain again.

"Grandfather?!" Kurogane cried, and when there was no answer he yelled "Metamatcha?!"

With no answers from neither, Kurogane worst fears were finally realized. Rushing to get his blade, he ran in the general direction of where his grandfather and the captives had to be. He had to stop Uzu before he made the Oni kill him!


Suzaku blasted the Oni warrior for the third time with a burst of fire, finally hitting him square in the chest and knocking him into a tree. Looking around, he saw that the battle was pretty even between them and the Oni. Seiryuu was leaping over and around this huge Oni, cracking him everywhere with a combination of kicks and air blasts. Lakona had used the river to wash away two Oni, and a third one had slipped into it as well, though rather stiffly. The old man Uzu was fighting two Oni at once with proficiency, but it was obvious he was tired from continuous fighting. Suzaku tried to reach him, but Metamatcha crashed into him with a large bastard sword. Recovering from his surprise, he slashed at the Oni's feet and managed to shove Meatmatcha off him.

Growling low in his throat, Metamatcha charged again. This time though, Suzaku was ready to intercept him. Sliding his blade across the length of the bastard sword, he flung the sword in the opposite direction, which unbalanced Metamatcha. At this display of weakness Suzaku slashed at the evil being, trying to defeat him once and for all. However; Metamatcha was stronger than Suzaku gave him credit for. Swinging his bastard sword upwards, he easily deflected Suzaku's slimmer sword and suddenly went on offense. Forced to a defensive stance, Suzaku was holding his own only by a weak amount.

Just when it seemed Metamatcha was going to break through Suzaku's defense, Uzu came to the rescue and blasted Metamatcha back a few feet.

"C'mon boy," Uzu urged, pulling Suzaku to a more offensive stance "Together that Oni has no chance!"

Charging together, Uzu and Suzaku began making short work of the Oni. Metamatcha couldn't defend from both Suzaku's blade and Uzu's shadowbending. Thinking fast, Metamatcha kicked dust and mud into Suzaku's eyes.

That's when it all went wrong.

Blinded, Suzaku tried to attack where Metamatcha's heavy footsteps and breathing sounded closest. However; Metamatcha was quick to make his every move echo in the storm. Positioning himself behind the Samurai, he charged to attack. Uzu intercepted him, and both were slammed aside. Hearing running, Suzaku's blade glowed with purple fire as he slashed fiercely at the warrior near him. With a howl the warrior fell, and Suzaku finally rubbed the dust out of his eyes to see.

At first it was so dark that he couldn't exactly see what he had hit. As he looked at his blade, he noticed something that shouldn't had been there. Suddenly thunder crashed and lightning lit the sky, and Suzaku eyes grew in horror at the scene shown before him.

Metamatcha stood and watched Suzaku, his gaze watchful and surprised. Blood glinted on Suzaku's sword. And on the ground at Suzaku's feet...

"" muttered Suzaku, his face contorted in fear and shame as he took a step back.

For at his feet was the dead body of Uzu.


Kurogane rushed onto the battlefield at that moment, and he saw a very strange scene. Most of the Oni had been knocked out, save for Metamactha, who stared at Suzaku with a face of surprise. The other two captives stared at Suzaku too, but more with pity. The Samurai himself was staring down at something with a face of pure terror. Looking down, he saw a body near Suzaku's feet. A very familiar body...

"No..." Kurogane whispered, rushing over to the body. Shoving Suzaku aside, he fell to his knees at the sight.

"No...No....NO!!" Kurogane screamed, clutching his grandfather's body as tears flowed down his face. All he could think about was his last conversation with him...

"Maybe you haven't changed, it seems your still as damn stubborn as ever!" Uzu yelled in frustration.

"Well maybe if you could TRY to trust me, you'd understand!" Kurogane screamed back.

Uzu sighed and shook his head "I understand Kurogane. I understand more than you probably know. But I can't let you walk this path of desolation, to stand by as you destroy yourself. I swore on your father's grave I would protect you. I intend to keep that promise, I love you too much not to."

Kurogane glared angrily, and lowly snarled "You understand nothing."

"His last words to me were I love you...and mine were you understand nothing. What kind of grandson am I?"

Suddenly; as he held Uzu, he felt something strange. Looking down, he saw large marks on Uzu's skin. Leatherly in feel and still warm, they could only be one thing. Burn marks.

Two and two clicked together, and Kurogane slowly put his grandfather down and stood up. Turning to Suzaku, his face only had one emotion set.

"You killed my grandfather...." Kurogane snarled lowly, malice dripping from his statement, his face gnarled and rageful.

"I...I...." Suzaku stammered.

"YOU ARE GONNA PAY FOR HIS DEATH!!" Kurogane roared, as he unsheathed his blade and the shadows around him flared up dangerously. He grip on his katana was so tight it seemed he'd shatter the handle completely.

"You are going to suffer...suffer until you wish you were dead like him!" Kurogane exclaimed, and charged at the still stunned Suzaku. Suddenly a flash of talons sent him flying, and Kurogane looked up to see the three warriors quickly climbing on the dragon, Seiryuu having to practically drag Suzaku onto the saddle.

"No! You will pay Samurai! I swear over my dead body, YOU WILL PAY!" Kurogane roared again, rushing to the river's edge as the dragon quickly gained altitude. Kurogane blasted balls of shadow at the thing, but it easily dodged them before disappearing in the clouds.

Metamatcha finally tried to approach him "Kurogane?..."

"Send a message to Dakuasu. Tell him I need a legion."

Metamatcha's eyes again grew in surprise "For what?"

Kurogane curled his hand into a tight fist and glared at the storm clouds above them before replying:

"I need to capture them no matter what. They are not going to get away with my grandfather's murder without any consequences. They will pay..."

Shattered Balance
Book One: The Avatar
The Dancing Dragon - Ghosts of the Past - The Jouney Begins with a Single Word - Giant Evil Demon Bird!

Suzaku's Ambition - Reflection - The Oni

See more

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