Raven's Wing: Chapter 21

Back at the house Sage fought with his dreams and as he started to move in his sleep it was almost as if he were trying to bring her back. The hand she held curled around hers and gripped it in the strong grip of the mind caught in a dream that it cannot escape until the body awoke.

For the remainder of the day more unusual stuff kept happening everywhere. It was always aimed at the group but the main question was who started it. And what was that person hoping to gain aside from trying to get them beaten.

"Sage-san please... open your eyes... I'm right here." The dreams were getting worse and he was still stuck in them. She continued to hold his hand tightly and slipped into the deep meditation like the night before. She decided to show him that she was alive by entering into his dreams. ~Please, let this work.~

The scenery was familiar to them both as it was the last day they were sparing with live blades out in the bamboo forest behind the dojo. The tall thick bamboo trees were sheltering them both but Sage always seemed to be just a half step ahead of her.

What had happened that day differed vastly from what now appeared in Sage's trapped mind. As she hopped back from one of his strikes she was grabbed by a pair of armored hands and dragged inexorably through the trees. She was frightened and calling out to him but fast as he was he could not catch hold of her outstretched hand.

As he ran on trying to keep up with her to hopefully free her from the hands that pulled her along he was horrified when a lithe black figure came between them and killed her. A single swipe of the Ninjato that he held and the hands released her dropping her to the ground as her life's blood left her. Sage was able to catch her as she landed and cradling her close something appeared in his eyes that never appeared before. Sage Date was crying. The tears he shed dripped down on her face as she struggled to breath. "Sage, why didn't you protect me? This is your fault brother." And her accusing eyes closed as her life force left her.

Sage screamed defiance and vengeance as he cradled the dead body to him. This was his sister and as he mourned he whispered. "Kami-sama I am so sorry, I tried. I love you more than as a friend or as a battle sister. You were my sister and more, I loved you and tried to push you in the right direction. How could you leave me?!"

His terror, self doubt and hatred for what had happened burned brightly as he donned the Halo armor and buried her. Knowing he would be too unbalanced he armored down completely but held onto the sword. Sticking it into the ground he hung the Halo Crystal off of it and divorced himself from its power. He could not save his sister, what right did he have to bear the armor now.

"Sage! Don't do this, please!"

Shary was suddenly there, still in her uniform and running at him. Once she reached him she wrapped her arms around him tightly in a tight embrace. She shut her eyes tightly against the tears that threaten to fall. "Don't do this to yourself. I'm alive Sage... Look at me." She pulled back some and looked into his eyes deeply. When he reached up to touch her face she leaned into his hand, holding it there.

"This is nothing but a nightmare. I would never blame you for anything. You are my brother in battle and in spirit. I am not dead. And you shouldn't divide yourself from Halo. You are worthy of bearing the armor of Light. Please... I love you too much to lose you to this nightmare. Let me help you-"

But her words were cut off as the ground began to rumble. She held onto Sage tightly and they both watched as the ground where he buried his 'battle sister' before she came. A hand erupted from the ground and slowly pulled itself out. When now stood was a rotting corpse with Shary's face. But its eyes were filled with deep hatred and anger.

Sage stepped back and looked at both the corpse and the woman that stood in front of him. The corpse now wielded a blade that looked suspiciously like the Halo-ken only the blade was black and seemed to suck the light out of his mind. Abruptly her rusty voice called out. "Sage, you were right to divorce yourself from Halo. Look at me. I am dead and you, you had the power and the ability to save me, but you failed me. You couldn't save me then.... How can you save me now? Now that I am dead come back to life!"

Sage took a ready stance and stood before them both. "I don't know what is real or what is not here, but I will just about bet that I can take you both on with out Halo." As he faced them both his stance deepened and he leapt up to the tops of one of the trees and took off like a shot. "Dais would know what was real and what wasn't. But he isn't here now is he. You're on your own this time Sage."

Sage muttered to himself as he moved with all of the stealth he had learned from running around the dynasty through the treetops knowing that with his mind completely closed neither one could follow him easily. That would give him time to figure out how to fight them both.

"Sage wait! Don't leave!" But he was gone. She whirled to face the corpse and grabbed the No-Datchi of Halo. She looked at the crystal sadly before slipping it into a safe spot in her blouse. "How dare you try to pass like me, Who are you and what do you want?!" When it didn't answer she shouted at it, growing even more upset. "Answer me fertilizer breath!"

"Do you not see? I am you." The corpse brought her wrists together and was immediately covered in the armor of Balance.

Sage sucked in a breath as the Halo-ken did not react to Shary, the Crystal stayed quiet as she tucked it away and then almost fell out of his place as the Corpse donned the Armor of Balance. Both of them were Shary.

"No... I-it can't be... You are not me! And so help me if you go near Sage I'll make sure you stay buried!" She hefted the sword up, resisting the urge to call upon her own armor. "Come on and fight me! I don't need Yin-Yang to take you down!"

"You think you can defeat me? The girl that knows so little of her own past that she relies on others to tell her? Do you honestly know so little about your past that you do not know who Sage and Cale really are? No, Let's just say that in the end they were not worthy and neither are you!" The corpse lunged forward moving faster than Shary would have expected with the dark silver blade of the armor of balance.

Shary barely made enough time to bring the no-datchi up and blocked the attack. She tried to get around the double to maybe strike her from behind but it was no use. She used all her own strength to keep from falling under the blade.

"What--are you talking about?? I would never let you hurt them or anyone else!"

"Those that fall by the wayside are forgotten forever, Gods that fall to earth to change the lives of the mortals for good or evil are forgotten in time. Small wonder you don't know them." The Corpse fought fast and furious as she spoke. The hatred in her eyes fueling her energy as she fought.

"Be a good little twin god and DIE!" The Corpse struck under her guard only to have the blade bounce off of a shield that glowed green. Under Shary's blouse the Halo Crystal glowed with an intense light as it shielded the one that held it.

Shary looked at the light shield and felt comforted by it. But the words she said made her think.

"Twin god? Wait a minute... will you quit speaking in riddles and tell me what you mean?!" Patience was wearing thin and she wanted answers now.

"My dear, think about your past." The corpse's tone was condescending. "Why do you think you work so well with Sage and Cale??" She backed off and tapped the blade in her armored hand.

"It is because you had two twin brothers. One on one extreme and the other being the polar opposite. You were the balance of the two. Did you never wonder how it was that you were able to wield the Armors of Halo and Corruption individually instead of just becoming stronger??" She looked at the look of shock on Shary's face and smirked.

"Yes, I thought it quite interesting that you and your brothers would find your way into the Armors of Talpa. Now do you understand? Sage was your brother in more than one way. That old fool that taught you both was not a complete fool paired you up as battle brother and sister."

"Twin brothers...?" She dropped to her knees in shock. She never knew... but the pieces seem to fall in place. Everything. But what about her family. "But why all the secrets? Why was it only now that I found out?"

"Your family knew about your past when they took you to your blessing at the temple. The Priests did a reading and told them of your soul. When they discovered your martial arts bend and your pairing with Sage, they hoped to avoid your fate, but by that time you were bonded and it was too late. The souls recognized each other for who they were and pulled together. Now do you finally understand?" The corpse was getting impatient to finish the discourse so that they could finish the fight. The challenge had been issued; there was no turning back.

"Yes, I understand it all now." She looked at the sword she held in her hands and slowly stood up. Her hand closed tightly over the blade, the edge biting into her skin but she didn't acknowledge it. She glared at her angrily from beneath her bangs. "Still, I will not lose them not that I found them. Not you or anyone else is going to harm while I still stand. Now then, let's continue this little dispute." She dropped into a guard stance and held the sword steady.

Neither of the women got the chance to act as Sage had watched the whole thing. He had seen enough and as he dropped the 40 feet out of the trees above them his sleeve blade slipped into his hand and nicked the corpse. "On Drawing your blood I take this fight as mine."

Sage looked sharply at Shary and took the Halo-ken from her hands and lifted it easily, smiling as the familiar weight of the blade returned to him. He had seen his sister struggle with the long battle blade as it was not light weight. "In my sisters stead I will take on this fight as family and like herself I will do it with out my armor. I am Samurai, I am sharper than my blade and I will be your end spirit of my past."

Sage swung the blade easily to the side in signal that the fight was now his.

"So be it, Samurai." The corpse spat the word and lifted her blade. She came on first, putting all her strength behind the sword to try and cut him down.

Shary stepped back and watched with her hands clasped tightly together as if in prayer. Although this was her brother's mind this battle could decide it all. If he could defeat the corpse then perhaps he would be able to wake up from the nightmare. The crystal of Halo was still safely tucked away and she would not give it up until Sage asked for it.

~I know you can defeat her Sage...my brother.~ She smiled at the last word.

Sage moved the sword to block her easily. Soon into the fight he realized that even though the corpse did have the Armor of balance, she was not using the full power of the armor nor the moves that he knew that Shary knew. Again the swords clashed as Sage was calm and focused even though he was tiring. The Halo-ken was easier to wield in longer battles with at least his sub armor, but he had set the challenge and he was going to do this as a Samurai.

Each had nicks and cuts all along their bodies and the Armor of balance was soon looking battered and out of tune with its environment. Sage took the strength he had left and focused it. This was the preparation for a devastating ace in the sleeve blow that he had learned after Shary had disappeared. If it worked he would crush the corpse under the blow. If it failed, Sage was not going to think about the alternatives to success. He would win and that would be the end of the dreams, at least those of his immediate past.

"KIIIIAAAAAHHHHH" The battle yell rang through the trees as he jumped and put everything he had in strength, power, chi and life force behind the blow. As he came down on the Corpse of Balance she did block with her sword but the power Sage had put behind the Halo-ken had activated some of the residual power hidden in the blade of light and it sliced through the sword that blocked it and through the Corpse disintegrating it.

Turning from the pile of armor he saluted Shary with the blade that won the battle and dropped to his knee in complete exhaustion. This battle had taken everything out of him as he held on to the sword to try to stand again.

She quickly rushed to his side and helped him to his feet. He leaned on her and she held onto him tightly, not letting him go. She felt so happy now and it showed as she kissed his cheek. "Oh Sage... I'm so glad you're okay. I just knew you could do it..." She smiled at him and hugged him tightly once more, resting her chin on his shoulder. "My brother... never going to let you go."

Sage smiled down at her "Don't forget that I already said I wasn't going to lose you again. I tend to make good on my word." Sage held his hand out. "Could I have the Halo Crystal back? It will help get us both out of this nightmare."

He was incredibly weak but he was far better than his condition was last night. The Halo Crystal had started charging with the rising of the sun into his room. The light was now what was going to get them out of the dream world he had been trapped in for so long. Cale was going to be surprised, but they could not let Damion know about any of this. This was going to be hard enough for the reunited siblings to deal with on top of every thing. Ruffling her hair playfully and smiled again.

Shary nodded and pulled the crystal out. She gave to him, closing his hand over it. "Never believe what people say, especially if they say that you or any of the others are worthy to bear the armors. If you weren't then the armors would have never chosen you." She looked up at the dawn's light, embracing the warm light it shined down on them. She linked her arm with his own, watching as the crystal began to give him some of his strength back. "Let's go home. Together."

Sage nodded as he closed his eyes and started fading gently out of the world they were in. "I will be awake when you come back to me." Echoed about her as he faded completely.

As he opened his violet eyes he found his hand in her two hands as she looked at him seated next to the bed. She smiled as she saw that he was indeed back. "Ni-chan, Arigato." He whispered softly to her as he smiled slightly. Moving he realized that he was in his subarmor again and banished it again before he sat up.

Shary sat back some but returned the smile. She released his hand only to wrap her arms around his shoulders and hugged him once more. He was better and she was glad for that. Burying her face in the side of his neck she held him tighter. ~I'll never be alone. I've found my family once more. When should we tell the others?~

Sage chuckled softly as he wrapped his arms around her and gently ran one hand over her hair in the old care worn gesture. "I think we need to let Cale in on the family secret first before we figure out when to tell the others. He needs to be in on that decision too you know."

Sage swung his legs around to the side of the bed and as he stood up, promptly sat back down on the bed as his head informed him that his blood pressure was not going to keep up right away until he started moving around again. This prompted the other complaints his body filed against him about sleeping in one position for too long. Looking at the clock it was almost time for the guys to come home from school and that meant that they would have to get Cale alone from the others so that they could deal with things on their own level.

Sage knew that as far as family for Cale went, he was an only child. Having no brothers Sage might just as well been an only child until Shary stepped into his life. Having the battle sister to look after and then losing her, he found that his friendship with the warlord of Corruption grew rather quickly. The only thing he could think of to explain it was opposites attract, and you could not get much more opposite than those two.

"Hmm, first lets get you walking again. C'mon I'll help you walk around until you're body decides to move on it's own." She slipped his arm over her shoulder and her arm around his waist. Slowly and with care they stood up and slowly made their way around the room first. Then they moved around the hallway and decided to take a break before going down the stairs.

"What you said about telling Cale first, I agree. I mean we should all agree whether to tell everyone and when." Wraps her arms around her knees and lightly shakes her head. "I still can't believe you two are my brothers...I couldn't ask for a better family."

Sage half smiled as he ruffled her hair again. "You wouldn't have thought that a few years back. Cale and I were worse than cats and dogs there and no amount of balance was going to make us see to eye to eye. You probably would have wondered what the blazes Kami-sama was thinking for putting the two of us within arms reach of each other." He chuckled.

"However when we got our agreement to disagree settled we were at lease able to work together and now we both know that there are some things that we actually agree on." He pulled her close to him and kissed her forehead. "You ne-chan are one of those things. Damion is a very dead creep now that the spirits brought family into this. And he does not even know about this yet." Sage grinned as he realized that they now had an ace in the hole for when things got to the end game.

Feeling like he could get about under his own power again he grabbed the banister and hauled himself to his feet and started going down the stairs towards the kitchen. "Ya think Kento left us anything to eat this morning??"

"I hope so. We both missed breakfast and lunch." She followed him to the kitchen and began looking for something. "We're in luck. So what do you feel like eating?"

"How 'bout letting me cook and you two tell me what kept Sage under for so long. Normally when he is exhausted he is still up before the rest of us." As Sage and Shary turned towards the voice they knew that it was Cye. Cye it was and he was standing in the doorway to the kitchen looking at them both with a lot of questions in his eyes.

Sage gestured for Cye to enter and he pulled Shary away from the cooking apparatuses so Cye could go to work. "Nothing against your cooking Shary, but I think it is going to take the both of us to explain this one since I am not all certain what happened between last night and when you came in to get me."

Cye gave them a really funny look and continued to root around for the things he was going to need for a light meal for the pair and indicated that he was still listening.

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