Raven's Wing: Chapter 17

Sage hissed between his teeth he was so angry at what had just happened. Sekhmet, and Dais just showed up for the commotion backed away from the blond since he had violently shrugged off Carrie's restraining hand. Right now Sage was more dangerous to what ever they were facing than Ryo in the Inferno armor, if only because this was personal to him. Only Cale knew the full scope of the threat Sage of the Halo presented to the unknown evil.

Turning his blade around he walked over to where Cale was still standing over her in the shadows and held his hand out to her. The fury was still there but it was well contained behind years of meditation and work in the ways of a bushi. Looking at her carefully he was able to tell that she was more rattled than anything and that the gas would not harm her permanently. That was a relief to him, as he did not want to have to be the only one that would know what this enemy would face. This time he couldn't do it alone. He had lost his balance; maybe Shary would help him to find it again amidst the turmoil.

The young girl looked at the hand offered to her and then at the young man's face. He was once again upset and it was her job to try and help him calm down. Taking his hand, getting to her feet she brought her other hand up to hold his in both of hers. First she calmed herself down, and then looked deep into his eyes. She spoke to him, privately and soothingly.

~Sage-san... please calm down... we will get Damion for what he's done, I swear it... but please, relax...~ she looked at him with pleading eyes, asking him to control himself. She hoped that she could balance what he was going through.

"How can I relax when he is out there lying in wait for you?" He murmured softly but the tone heavy with the warning signs that had made the older warriors nervous. "We start training today, and now is as good a time as any. I am tired of seeing all that you had been turn in to what you have become. It is time to bring that Girl I once knew out into the open again. I will not tolerate my battle sister being mocked in such a fashion for it is dishonorable. Time for you to regain your honor Yang, are you ready??"

His voice was still very low and dangerous, but there was a new light in his eyes that conveyed far more accurately than any words that even though they had to regain their honor, he would not push her any harder than he did when they were younger to do it.

She should have expected this from him but she did the only thing she could do. She agreed. "I'm ready when you are Yin." He was right. It was time she regained her true form.

"Then let's go. There is a lot of catching up we both need to do and you will need to be as hard on me as I am on you if we are to both get better." Sage's glacial gaze softened as he smiled, "We'll get him. Yes, he will get everything he so richly deserves and so much more. You ready for a run?"

"Of course! This will just like those years ago." She winked at him, smiling some herself. This was going to be a fun day, in her mind.

"Armor down, remember what I said about the beginning of our training." With that he armored completely down in to his street wear and gestured for her to follow suit. Once she readjusted to the power difference again she nodded that she was ready.

Sage looked over at Cale. "Meet us at the house tonight, Shary and I won't be back until well after dark." Nodding to Carrie to let her know that she and Nikki were expected too he took off at an easy pace to warm up and held steady for Shary to catch up. "Comon slow poke, even grandfather could keep up with this pace!" Grinning he needled her with the light fun until he could feel the light breeze moving over his body as he moved down the street. The light pace for him would have caused most people to drop after a few blocks. Grinning he made a face at Shary as she was only a step behind him.

"Tease." was all she said as she picked up the pace some more. Soon they were running neck-to-neck, teasing each other with jibes and such as two best friends would do. "Where are we headed?"

"To a place I like to train. It isn't far and it is on the grounds of a friend's place just outside of town." Sage paused to steady his pace and breathing before continuing. "There are a lot of trees and clearings and I sometimes go there to just get away from the feel of the city. Nice as it is living in town, it sometimes gets to me."

Thinking a few moments he looked over at Shary noting that she had not forgotten their runs when they trained. "The woman's name is Mia, Ryo has another friend that lives there since Mia lives alone. I am telling you this so that you aren't startled. But his friend's name is White Blaze; he's a white tiger. Very intelligent he won't hurt you, more like he will try to get to know you at first and then he will most likely leave you alone."

By this time they had been running for a solid half hour and they had put some serious distance between them and the school. They were almost to the off road that lead up to Mia's place when a large white and black striped cat jumped out of the forest and ran beside them. Mia knew they were coming.

Even with Sage's warning it still took her by surprise. She faltered back just for a moment but then continued the pace Sage was going. White Blaze looked at her curiously and she gave him a small smile. She wasn't really a cat person but he was beautiful. She looked around the surroundings, liking the peacefulness and silence it held as they ran through it.

"We'd better say hello to Mia before we start training or I will never hear the end of it." Sage smiled good naturedly even though the stress and anger had not left him, the run had pushed his focus enough that he was able to push it out of the way for a little while until he could get it worked out of his system.

They came up to the house and Sage finally slowed his pace and was breathing a little harder for the exercise. Looking at White Blaze he asked the tiger. "Is Mia at her computer again today Blaze?"

The tiger shook his head and started walking around towards the back of the mansion indicating that they should follow him to find her. Sage nodded understandingly that Mia was out walking in the woods behind her place to clear her mind. She often did that when things did not add up or pieces were there that did not make sense.

A few minutes later they were lead to one of the many clearings he and the guys had used for training when they stayed with her and looked to find Mia in the middle just taking in the sounds and the feel of things. White blaze rumbled at her and as she turned she smiled and walked up to Sage and Shary. "Sage! This is certainly a surprise. What are you doing here?" Mia's face was cocked at an angle to him that told him that she already knew something was wrong, and that she only had yet to figure out what it was.

"Well, this is Shary, She is my Battle Sister from Grandfather's Dojo. Mannor Shary-san, this is Koji Mia-san. She was the one that gave us the information we needed to defeat Talpa and the Dynasty the two times they invaded."

"Very nice to meet you Koji-san," Shary said softly as she bowed to the young lady. She looked around the guys' height with long, dark auburn hair and green eyes. She felt that she could trust her since she did help the Ronins out and her eyes showed warm and friendliness. Shary smiled a little bit, feeling a bit better. The running helped clear her mind some and she was ready to begin training once more.

"And a Pleasure to meet you Shary-san. Take care out here ok? I know how you train Date Sage and I'll be sending White Blaze out to get you two when dinner is ready. I won't take no for an answer or I'll have him bring you in in what ever fashion he deems necessary." Mia cocked her head at Sage in a way that told him she meant business.

Sage turned an interesting shade of red as he remembered the last time she told the guys that. Not only did White Blaze bring them in scuffed up he dragged all of them except Ryo in by their pants. Ryo knew Blaze well enough to know that he would follow through and so made his way to the mansion as soon as the cat showed up.

Mia nodded made her way back to the mansion with the tiger, Sage turned to Shary. "Ryo has Mia keep White Blaze out here for several reasons. The first one being that out here he can run around and not get in trouble. You got to admit that an apartment is not the place for a tiger, even one as intelligent as he is."

"The second reason is for her own security. Mia has had problems in the past with solicitors and people who are after her or her money or both. We can't be here to deal with that so Ryo told him to look out for her. We all feel better for that. During the Dynasty occupation she housed, fed, and clothed us all on top of keeping us as a team and helping us to work through the times when things were rough."

Sage moved off into a seemingly random direction into the woods again and started stretching out thoroughly against one of the trees.

"I see. So she's been like a sister/friend/mother combination." She began to slowly exercise herself, taking her time and making sure she got her muscles ready. "I like her. She's very nice and is lucky to know you guys. And White Blaze is something else. He's as smart as you say. Reminds me of-" She blushed and turned her back on him. She mentally hit herself for almost spilling out who she had a crush on.

"Hmmmm, Sounds like little sister has a problem." He teased her playfully as he shook his limbs out hopping lightly from foot to foot testing the give in is muscles and the amount of spring in the earth before jumping up to the nearest branch about 20 feet off the ground to avoid any potential attacks from Yang.

Shary whirled on him, a slight blush creeping over her cheeks. She looked around in confusion when she didn't spot him on the ground but then looked up. She smiled.

"You sneak. There's no way you're going to find out about this little secret until Iím good and ready. Besides," she placed her hands on her hips. "I thought we were going to practice?"

"We will. But you've gotta catch me first before I can train with you. I mean look at you, blushing and I'll just about bet it's a guy that youíre thinking about too." He taunted her mercilessly hoping to get her to discover some of the fringe benefits of running around with a Armor crystal and yet not wearing it. Hopping off into the trees he could be heard laughing at her for quite the distance before he went quiet.

"Oooooh! You're impossible at times, you know that?!" she yelled at his retreating back. She was about to take off after him but she looked down at her kanji spheres on her wrists. They flickered very lightly, as if trying to tell her something. Then in her mind's eye she saw where Sage was. She smiled and silently hopped into the branches as well, following her friend. Oh she was going to catch him all right. And then tease him.

Sage kept moving silent as the light that filtered through the trees and smiled as he occationally peeked back on her through their bond to see that she was using the armor link to trace him. "No cheating!" He called out. "Use your own senses and sharpen them so that you do not become dependant on something that may let you down or be used against you." His instructions were rapped out with the precision of his grandfather as he reminded her sternly that a bushi was only as sharp as his mind and body, not his sword

"Okay." She paused for a moment to pull back from the armor link, just enough to where she was technically closing the door halfway. It was still left open to talk but not to trace. She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds of the trees and registered what was natural and what was sage. Which was pretty hard since he moved like a deer. With her eyes slightly open she climbed a bit higher, making her ways through the trees.

Sage was still being careful to not make a sound. When he looked back and didn't notice Shary he stopped for a moment and looked around for her. Resting a hand on the tree he was on to steady himself he extended his five senses to look for her. She was close, he could tell that much. But not sure where she was at the moment.

Shary bit her lip to keep from yelling out, hoping to scare him. Instead she slowly crawled from her perch to his branch. Then she quickly hugged him from behind, wrapping her arms around his waist. "I caught you!" she said happily, smiling broadly as she realized that her sense were sharpening.

"Good. How hard was it really after I took away the easy path?" Sage grinned as he grabbed her and hopped strait down out of the tree. "Sometimes things just seem impossible, like us running around the treetops like squirrels even when we aren't in our armor." Grinning wickedly at her he proceeded to tighten his grip on her with the one arm and tickle her mercilessly with the other.

Shary struggled against him the moment he began the torture. He knew that this was her biggest weakness and he wasn't going to give it up so easily. "Sage quit! Eee-you sneak!" She broke into laughing, trying to vainly protect herself and stop his hands. "Mercy! Uncle! I'll tell you anything if you quit tickling mee!" she almost squealed and couldn't stop herself from laughing.

"Who is it Shary?" Sage grinned at her as he paused the tickling just long enough to give her a chance to answer but his arm was still an unbreakable band around her his other hand positioned to start tickling her again should she resist the question.

She was panting softly, trying to get her air back into her lungs. Escaping was futile; one she was too weak now to escape and two, sage was not going to let her go until she told him. She blushed once more, staring at the ground.

"It's... one of the guys... Kento." her blush grew redder and she hid her face in her hands.

Sage smiled softly as he sighed quietly in relief. He still was able to read her pretty well; this was a good thing since his friend Kento was like an open book to the world. Letting her go gently making sure that she wasn't over balanced or anything he straitened her up against him. "You had to tell someone. Better your brother who will only tease you about it than someone who would use it against you." He murmured softly to her as he waited for her to get her embarrassment under control so that they could practice again.

"You're right" was the reply that came from her hands. She lowered them so her eyes were shown and then let them fall. The color slowly died down but the warmth was still there. She looked up at him, "Please... don't tell him... yes I like Kento but I want to tell me on my own time..." she hesitated but forced the words out. "A much as I would like to know what it feels like if he just holds me in his arms I can't... not with Damion still around..."

"No, There is a fight to be fought and honor to be regained. You have a ways to go and so do I. With your appearance I have had to rebalance everything in my life against your needs. I have started to accept that balance and that will be something that will be. I promised Grandfather that if I were to ever find you again I would find out where you went and then I would help you out in whatever way I could. I have fulfilled the first of the promises."

"Now I will fulfill the second part of the promise and Help you win this battle in everyway I can. But you do know that this is your fight and mine. It is like he has struck me when he struck out at you. As battle brother and sister we have to do this together. The others will want to help, but As much as I want to let them, I can't. Not this time. Only Cale knows about the full extent of my words, and if any of them have to step in to assist it will be him. With the Armor of Balance, and the armor of Light. The Armor of Darkness would round out the balance and he is the only one I trust to abide by what we call in that battle."

Sage gently rubbed her shoulders as he spoke to her feeling her start to relax again. "Besides, I know that you will tell Kento about how you feel when the time is right." Smiling gently at her he picked her up and covered her eyes. "No peeking, I am going to take you someplace special to me. We can continue to train there."

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