Raven's Wing: Chapter 12

Shary looked at them all as they all stood up and were suddenly in subarmor. Kayura was in her Robes again and nodded to them to identify themselves.
"Sage of the Halo"
"Rowen of Strata"
"Ryo of Wildfire"
"Kento of Hardrock"
"Cye of Torrent"
"Cale of Corruption"

As the guys finished three more voices joined in the introductions.
"Dais of Illusion"
"Sekmet of Venom"
"Carrie of SilverRaven"

They all looked at Nikki and she smiled as she was already in her priestess robes.

"You already know my secret, what you do not know is that I am the High Priestess of the Dynasty. I learned my arts well, and the fact that I have some natural abilities was what brought me to Kayura-sama's attention. She is the leader of the Dynasty and we are fortunate that she decided to help us as she can."

Shary didn't know what to say but suddenly her mind was awash with memories. People in armor battling against a dark shadow that threaten to take over the world. Five were good and four had been misguided. But they all joined together and defeated the evil. Five of the armors were based on the elemental forces while the other four were the based on the four seasons. But when she heard that Carrie bore an armor it didn't seem familiar. She suddenly felt weak in the knees. And fell back on the sofa.

"You all... you're the ones...?" she looked at them with startled eyes. But deep down her trust was still held strong although it was frail. She trusted them and always will. But right now... she was confused.

Cye smiled, as his private hunch had been right all along. "You do remember. Almost like a bad nightmare that you wish would never have happened, but you do remember don't you." He asked her softly hoping that if she started talking she would say something that would help them all out.

"Yes, I do... but it seems like you aren't the only one with a secret." She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. But when she opened them they were so very much lighter. An intense silver blue. The mark on her glowed also and as she removed the compress the mark had grow larger and more visible. And her voice was also different.

"Seems that my armor has come back to me." She stood with ease and touched the mark with her hand. Her body exploded in a flash of light and when it dimmed she stood wearing sub armor like them. But it was so very different. Slightly slimmer her colors was of black and white. But it was trimmed in silver gray.

Shary blinked her eyes and they returned back to their dark brown. She made a soft sound and dropped to her knees, arms limp at her sides and breathing heavily. She seemed very exhausted and her eyes closed as she headed for the floor.

Kento was faster than he looked as he caught the girl and looked at the others. "Kayura, I hope you, Nikki or Carrie knows something about this or Sage over there is going to go on a rampage." As they looked at the Halo Warrior he did indeed look like he was about to go on a firestorm rampage, as he looked at the girl in the new armor. An old memory surfaced for him and he looked from Shary to Carrie and back again.

Cale looked at Sage was the first to react. "Sage, breath and focus" It may have been four small words, but they succeeded in snapping Sage out of his fume as he looked at Cale and the others. Looking at Shary and Carrie again he shook his head muttering to himself. "After all this time, who would have thought I would see her again."

"What do you mean by that?" Rowen asked carefully. No sense in having him get upset once more.

Shary moaned softly and slowly opened her eyes. She carefully pushed herself onto sitting on her knees and then was helped up to sit on the sofa by Kento. "God... what happened to me...?" she looked at her hand and then her body that was covered by the body armor. The mark on her faintly stood out against her black chest plate, outlined in silver. And the place where she wore her silver ring it seemed attached to the armor itself. She looked at everyone and her sight settled on Carrie and Sage.

"What's going on?" she asked quietly.

Softly Sage started into his tale, so softly that the others had to strain to hear him at first. "I can't believe it. She's back." Looking at his hands he started to smile slightly.

"Years ago, long before the Ronin Warriors, and before any of us were supposed to know each other there were two students at my Grandfather's dojo. Diligent and hardworking they were the top students in the class and other than the other they had no equal for their age. Sparing was almost like a dance for them, they had long since mastered the techniques and now they competed for the beauty of the art. Their forms were perfect and wordless; it was almost like they were water taken form in how they moved. Their sparring was fierce and beautiful to behold. They competed against each other and themselves for the love of what they did and to embrace the lessons that my Grandfather taught them."

"It was not long after the two student's reached this level of perfection that I was instructed in the ways of deep meditation and the bamboo flute. All of you know that my family has known about the Halo armor for generations. No one else knew about it and yet one day when one of the students was caught in traffic, a figure in black and silver subarmor saved him from death."

"I was one of the two top students in my Grandfather's class, the girl in the Silver and Black subarmor was the other. Shary, You were the only student that could match me in class. You did not know that I had an armor as well since I had been told to keep it quiet. But it seems that we have a mutual past."

Sage stood up and walked over to Shary and looked deep into her eyes for the recognition that what he remembered was true. Softly and gently he placed his fingers on her temple and murmured for only the closest to hear. "I'll almost bet that you don't remember more than six or seven years ago. It was about that time you failed to show for class. I was worried and I panicked. I looked for you for months afterwards hoping that you would walk through the screens of Grandfather's dojo with an explanation. I never saw you after that. Please tell me you remember??"

Shary didn't know what to say, but she knew. Deep down inside her, buried with low self-esteem from her family was a memory. Tentatively she reached up and brushed away the hair that covered his right eye. Staring back at her was a pair of pale, sky blue eyes tinted with lavender. The memory broke free and her eyes widened in recognition.

"I remember... I remember everything, Sage..." she said just as softly, as if what she was saying was for his ears alone.

"Martial arts were my refuge along with music. Your grandfather, Sensei Date-san took me in and taught me all he knew. Then he introduced me to his grandson. Our love for the art seemed to bring us together and from that moment on we helped each other out. We worked so hard, day in and out we practiced and even after we achieved the highest level we still practiced.

I didn't find out about the armor until one day I found this unusual, black marble. It looked like it was broken in half. As I picked up and polished it with my shirt it began glowing. Suddenly another half of a marble, this time white, appeared in my hand. I put them together and it became the sub armor Iím wearing now.

Before I could think of what happened to me I felt more than saw an accident about to happen. A traffic accident concerning someone from Sensei Date-san's classes. I reacted first, the body armor enhancing my speed and agility. Then I left, ducking into an alley and leaped up to the roof by jumping up along the walls. I got home soon after and just imagined the armor coming off me. It did and formed the strange marble.

I never went back to the dojo because my parents found out about the classes, which they were very much against. So we moved across town and I was forced to attend a private school when they taught what the parents wanted you to learn. Provided they had the money. Then Talpa attacked. The marble disappeared and so did my memory of it. But now they both returned."

Shary slowly stood up, taking her hand back and letting his blonde hair fall back down to cover his eye. She smiled and then hugged him tightly, her arms going around his shoulders. "I remember... everything! Gomen but my parents and school wouldn't let me get a hold of you. I kept wishing there was someway I could tell you or Sensei Date-san but there wasn't." She pulled back some and looked at him. "It's good to see you again."

Sage started at the hug but after a split second he wrapped her into a fierce embrace not caring that everyone was staring for once. Grinning fit to split his face the challenge entered his eyes again. "What do you say we give these guys a demonstration of what made us the best in Grandfather's dojo?" Then a sly smirk entered. "Unless you let yourself get too far out of shape." The jibe was the one he used all the time back then to push her to work harder. He knew that she would go for a long style Kata to ease back into the old lessons that they had learned so long ago.

Shary returned the smirk and lightly punched him in the shoulder. "After we're done we're gonna see who let themselves get too far outta shape, peacock." She had always loved to call him by that awful nickname and laughed softly at his slight glare. She gave him another quick hug and jogged to the back yard. "Come on! Let's get this little match started!" She felt so happy now. True it had been a while since she had done this but one by one all the memories were surfacing. The determination, the control, and the finesse... she couldn't wait to start fighting again.

Sage shook his head smiling and followed after her stretching lightly as he went leaving his friends behind gaping after the pair. Kento was the most shocked as he had no clue that the girl had even taken one lesson in martial arts let alone be the only one that could match Sage in competition in Date-sensei's dojo.

Cale broke the silence with a small chuckle. "I always knew that someone was going to bring him down to earth here eventually, not surprising that it was a woman of his past." Cale kept on chuckling as he headed for the back door muttering about Peacocks under his breath. The others slowly came out of their various states of shock to follow them out to the porch. Once gathered there they saw Sage and Shary finish some stretching and then they took up positions that mirrored each other back to back.

Sage called out, "Ready!" His face a mask of seriousness and focus.

Shary replied, "Hai!" Her face matched his in seriousness and focus.

"Go" they called out at the same time.

They started their movements precisely the same time, slow and flowing they moved as if they were one body their synchronization was perfect and shockingly beautiful. It was clear to everyone watching that this was a specially choreographed Kata for two people of the right skill. Movements working for and against each other it was like watching a battle of wits and wills in slow motion.

Occationally they would make contact but they never broke the concentration of the moment, working as one they moved through the long form Kata with grace and beauty. Once the kata was finished they ended facing each other. Bowing to each other they then acknowledged the audience that was watching and then broke the face of concentration with smiles.

"You really do remember Shary." Grinning he casually stuck his foot out and snagged hers tripping her that she fell on her rear. "Heh, that was for the old nickname that I had hoped that you would forget line walker." Using his old nickname for her because her balance was as good as his, until he interfered of course.

Shary waited until he had turned his attention to the audience and she stuck her own foot out. When Sage tripped and fell to the ground she couldn't help but laugh. She jumped to her feet and held a hand out to him, and then pulled him up. "We're even. God... so good to see you again."

"Same here. Never going to let you go." He pulled her into another tight hug, still smiling. As they both break apart and looked at their friends that had to hide the laughs behind their hands. Almost everyone had that look: wide eyed, slack jawed, totally surprised, been-hit-in-the-back-of-the-head-with-a-two-by-four. He nudged her and then gestured to the group.

Shary nodded and smiled at her friends. "Hey guys! Never knew you made great impersonations of frogs!" She leaned against Sage and hugged his arm as he put it around her shoulders.

Everyone closed their mouths and blinked their eyes. Ryo was the first one to say something however. "Just... we never knew that you could do that!"

"Y-Yeah! I mean you two were perfect! I mean-" but Cye just turned red as he had a loss for words. Rowen kept opening his mouth and then closed it, making him look like a fish outta water.

Kento was another matter though. He was so worried about Shary' injuries. "B-But how did you do that! You were hurt!"

"Yeah well, what Nikki gave me helped me some and the armor is protecting my body." But she sighed deeply and only Sage heard her next words. "But the minute I take this off Iím going to collapse." He replied by giving her another hug. The Warlords were just as bad as they guys, not believing that Halo was able to do such a thing and then kept looking over at Shary, not believing their eyes. This made her nervous some but that was mainly it.

Sage looked over at Carrie and Nikki and nodded to them. "So what do you two think?"

Nikki was surprised and pleased with her new friend and a little peeved with Sage. He had not told any of them about Shary. Had he told them all they could have helped her sooner. Nodding at the look on his face though she understood that he too had tried to forget the girl and continue training. It was like he was stronger and better balanced with her around to train with him though. A true Yin and Yang in the martial Arts.

Carrie was for once stunned into silence. Sage's moves held a beauty and grace that was not there when Shary was not there to practice with. She knew that he had since been with several partners that had been at his level, but it was as if his battle aura had some how been tied to Shary's complimenting each other's strengths and balancing out the weaknesses found in both. Together they would be a formidable opponent. Sage and Cale were that way too in a way, but not to the same level. She could only ask one question.

"Sage? Do you know if your Grandfather did any special rituals when you and Shary were paired for training?" Carrie looked at him directly and felt Kayura's hand on her shoulder knowing that the young ancient knew where she was going with the questioning.

"Rituals? No, Grandfather had a sense about people, the people he trained he was even sharper about. He usually paired the complimentary folk together, but because I was the same and yet changing in how I did things in practice there was no one that could keep up with me. That is until Shary was trained. She was the complete opposite of me and yet somehow the same. When we practiced I could cut loose with the insult and jibe to keep her going when I knew she was tired. She was, is a fighter and she is so competitive that Grandfather knew that my taunts would keep her going long after she would have normally quit."

<Previous Next>