Dream a Little Dream: Book 1: Epilogue

"Staff of the Ancients. Lend me your power that I might play my roll in this battle and help the good of the world return." Crys whispered quietly. Much to the surprise of Mia and Yulie her outstretched hand started to glow that soon engulfed the woman. The flash of light had even attracted Talpa's attention. When their vision cleared Mia and Yulie gasped at the change in their friend.

Talpa could not believe what he was seeing. "Impossible!" He roared. "The power of the Ancients died out when that fool monk sacrificed himself for those foolish Ronin Warriors."

As the Kasa tipped up and was removed, Crys's face looked up at Talpa "And it is because of your evil that the Ancients will not be allowed to rest until your kind have been exiled from this world forever."

As the staff hit the ground, Crys noticed the one benefit of the change. Her wounds had been healed and she was more able to fight than she had ever been. Focusing her will she disappeared leaving Mia, Yulie and White Blaze alone to face what dangers may come.

She found Ryo falling still within the body of Talpa. "Ryo of Wildfire, You have done well, but the battle is not over yet. I can not let you quit the fight with out knowing how this battle started."

Ryo looked up startled as he took in the clothing of the Ancient he questioned her identity. The Kasa was back in place and with her head bowed it was impossible for Ryo to tell who it was.

"No Ryo, I am not the Ancient One. But I am a friend and I have been sent to tell you of the beginnings of this battle as it started over 1000 years ago." Looking up Ryo could see for the first time that it was indeed not the Ancient One. Instead it was Crys and the surprise almost took him away.

"A thousand years ago this battle started when Talpa tried to invade this realm to conquer it. It was the age of enlightenment and Talpa and his kind had no place in our world any more. The Ancient One came forward to battle the demonic overlord and by skill won the contest."

"However when Talpa was banished back to the Nether Realm, his soulless armor remained. It is from this armor that the armors were created." Ryo looked on in shock as he saw the images of the tale that she spun for him unfold. When she mentioned the armors the images of the 5 Ronin and 4 Warlord armors came to the fore.

"Yes Ryo, from Talpa's Armor came the nine armors. But as the five Ronin virtues were taken from the Buddhist virtues they were the strongest links in the chain forged. Those five virtues focused on personal truth and self honor."

"However the other four virtues that were manifested in the Warlord armors were the four Bushido Virtues. They focused more on the service to the master. But as Anubis learned, that master can be the master of your choice, even if it is to master yourself."

"I know that you are tired, and battle of good and evil is a difficult one, but please consider what I have told you. For it is what will help you to decide to keep fighting or not." Crys faded out again and was nowhere to be found just as Ryo came upon a tree bursting with Sakura and his four friends resting beneath it.

~We're together again. Now I can rest.~

As Ryo came to rest with his friends Crys disappeared to find Anubis. She knew what he would be doing after the battle and it was going to be up to her to make certain that he was prepared as much as possible.

On looking around she found his restless spirit still fighting against the chains of service imposed on him once again by Talpa. "Talpa can not hold you against your will for too long Anubis. Even he knows that you either have to be thoroughly defeated or you will have to be brought back willingly."

As the staff shed it's light into the area Anubis found himself in a gentle embrace. Looking down he saw a kasa and the robes of the monk, but he could tell by the body that it was not The Ancient One that he had known. "Who are you that you roam freely here spirit?"

"I am no spirit but I am spirited, you said so yourself Anubis." Smiling she tipped her head up so that he could see under the kasa into the eyes of the woman he had been protecting for so long.

"Crys, how is it that you were able to wield the staff of the Ancients when you could not even get yourself out of the Pit?" He asked as she set about freeing him from his bonds.

"I have had this ability for a while. But I vowed that I would never use it to free myself from a situation that I knew was going to resolve itself. I gambled that you would save me Anubis. This time I got lucky." She explained.

"So did I." Anubis muttered as he captured her hand in his. "I have much that I wish to talk with you about, somehow I feel that this is not the place, or the time."

Crys looked at him in surprise and then smiled softly. "When the Ryo has freed his friends and they have beaten back Talpa we will be able to talk how ever long we need to Anubis."

"The rest of it is up to the Ancient One's spirit and Talpa. By the sounds of things Talpa has Ryo backed into a corner and I for one do not want to be in here when Ryo comes out of that corner." Leading Anubis away she noticed that his armor stayed with Talpa. Perplexed by this she merely let it become one of the many puzzles that she would not be able to readily solve and using the power of the staff, she and Anubis disappeared from the belly of the beast and reappeared some place a ways away where Anubis could watch. Her part was far from over yet.

Chanting an incantation that she didn't realize, until now, that she knew she focused the power of the staff into a single shot that would allow Ryo the power to free himself and his friends. Looking up she smiled as she watched as the Ronin in red reappeared to Yulie's delight.

Not only was he back, but his fight was back as well. This time there would be no mistakes. As the power of his armor increased the Kanji of his friends appeared through Talpa's chest and as they exploded from the demon lord they circled Ryo and the power they all held combined with his to form a spectacular white armor.

"He did it. Now all he has to do is have faith that his friends are alive and he will kick Talpa into next Tuesday." She caught the odd look Anubis was giving her and she smiled back at him. "What, just because I am wearing the robes of the Ancient doesn't automatically mean I am going to be as decorous as some tend to be. You could call me a fighting monk if I really need a title, and I don't."

"I know you don't need a title, you are Crys and that is just fine with everyone concerned." Anubis surprised her then by coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her. Feeling safe in that moment she found the courage to look up and watch as Ryo completed the battle by destroying the castle and Talpa's base of power by freeing the mortals.

She and Anubis disappeared from the Dynasty to the mortal realm as Mia, Yulie and White Blaze all hopped onto the bridge and ran hell for leather back down it to get to the Mortal realm.

Even as they ran the could see five spheres dropping out of the clouds and as they came closer to the three on the bridge all were relieved to see that the guys had made it. All except Crys who had disappeared to play her part in the battle but never once struck out at the demon lord. Mia could only hope that wherever she was, she was ok.