Shadows of Light: Chapter 28

Anubis spoke quickly but passionately to Mia as he could see the belief in her eyes. She missed the guys terribly now that she thought about them and she knew that she would never be happy anywhere that she would not be around them.

Kento, who was always good for a laugh or two during her blue days.

Cye, who was the best listener and friend any one could ask for. Whenever she had guy troubles in understanding the other sex, she could always turn to him for help and not get laughed at.

Ryo, Who pushed her to be the best that she could be in anything she ever did. Always challenging her to do better in her practices or in school with his silly little competitions.

Sage, who taught her the value of meditation and how to be alone, but never lonely during those times.

Rowen, Who was always there when she hit a snag in her thoughts and needed someone to help her get her ideas thought out or her reports to sound better than they did.

As she thought about her five closest friends she thought about Yulie and how he was always there to help take care of White Blaze. Those two were almost as close as Ryo and the Tiger had been. White Blaze was always there when she was dealing with strangers at her door who were being pushy about her living alone or living with the guys.

Yulie had grown into the way of the sword and honor much like Sage. This was to everyone's surprise since he idolized Ryo so much during the battles that they had been in in the past.

She thought about the Warlords and the day they came back to the mortal realm. Everyone had been on edge, but then they all proved themselves to have truly changed. The only thing that took them all a long time to do was get along with out getting into a major fist fight after an insult or two was thrown.

Dais had taught her how to trust him even when he was being a pain to the guys and pulling his old tricks with Kento.

Cale had always been a considerate listener and had some surprising insights into the human mind. He knew more about the way most people worked than even his closest friends gave him credit for and she always had a good conversation with him no matter the subject since he was also a rather learned man for his ways.

Sekmet had taught her about field healing and how to look beyond the front layer of everything. He was not so bad once she got used to his slightly sibilant speech. She could tell that he was really trying to make up for his past as he found ways to counteract the poisons that he let lose on the world during the time of Talpa's reign and the battles with the Ronin Warriors.

Anubis had already more than made up for his past with the Ronin's when he perished in the successful attempt to free Kayura from Badamon's hold. It was at that point that the tide of the battle turned in the Ronin's favor and they were able to destroy Talpa for good.

Kayura had made a formal apology to each of the Ronins alone and as she worked with Mia and the others on bringing the Dynasty up to a better standard she learned that there was more to Talpa that first met the eye. His constant scheming extended beyond the time when he perished and she had to work with everyone to gain a firm and yet fair control on the Dynasty realm.

These were her closest friends that she could ever hope for in her life. She was crazy if she thought that what ever was on the other side of the light would be better than what she had out there in the real world. She knew somehow on the instinctive level that it was not yet her time and that she would probably outlive the Ronins and the Warlords if they had anything to say about it. Yet as she thought about things she realized that she had not heard all of Anubis' feelings on the subject matter.

"Anubis?" She looked up into those blue-green eyes that had never failed to capture her in them. "What do you want? If you are going to go back to the realm of the dead after all of this. What good would it do for me to go back? I would be alone again. If I were to continue the path of me being dead. Then at least I would see you again soon." She looked down at her feet.

"I know that is a terribly selfish thing for me to think. But I have been putting the Mortal realm and my friends ahead of me for so long. Even at your expense when you died. Now I have a chance to be at peace with everything I have done and I want to be a little selfish. I want to be with you."

Anubis smiled as he heard her words and understood what she meant He loved her deeply and wanted to be selfish too. But always something came in the way. Saving the Mortal realm was a full time job and he and Mia were never able to be together in the way that they wanted to be. They knew that they were right in wanting to be a little selfish. Now in the moment that they could be together they realized that there was again. The possibility that they would not be together again.

"Would you risk it though Mia? Would you risk us just knowing that there was a chance that I would be able to be with you? Would you make the guys live with out you in this manner knowing that you were dead and that you had made the choice that you did not want to live just on the chance that you would be with me sooner?" It hurt him deeply to have to ask those questions. But he knew that he had to make her see all sides of the issue and see what was at stake here before he could ask for her decision.

"Mia we all love you. Please come back to us?" The image of Ryo appeared by Mia and soon they were surrounded by the others. Each of them reaffirmed what Anubis told her about how they felt about her and what they felt about her being gone from them in this manner.

As the images vanished she realized that the inferno armor had provided them all with the link in which to speak with her just for that short moment. It was also in that one moment that no matter what happened, she would not be able to continue down the current path that she had chosen.

Peace from the battles sounded like a good thing since the vigilance over the mortal realm was tiring and the loneliness away from Anubis was almost unbearable. But it was these 9 friends that made that time bearable. They knew her and they knew that in the time she would be alive, she would never love any one like she loved Anubis. They accepted it and helped her to ease her grief on her bad days and they were with her when she knew that she would need them the most.

As selfish as she wanted to be she knew that she would never be able to deny them their greatest wish. They wanted to be her protectors. They loved her enough to put their lives at risk over and over again because she believed in them. She knew now that she would have to repay their trust in her and return. Now was not her time. If Anubis were to be taken from her again. It would be a hard time for all.

Both Mia and Anubis felt another presence as she looked at him to speak of her final decision. When they looked around they saw a woman in black shadow armor. Instantly Mia recognized the Woman from the person she saw in her mind. "SilverRaven. Why did you come?"

"Mia, I had to come because I knew what your decision would be. I too have made a decision and I will share it with you when you make your decision." She backed off and let Mia and Anubis have a few moments of time to themselves.

"Anubis. I will return. I love you and the others too much to leave right now. You know that. You knew it when you came for me." Her quietly stated words matched the soft joy in Anubis' eyes as he leaned down to her. Kissing her softly he could feel her through his armor wrap her arms around him in the loving embrace she never permitted herself before. He knew then that no matter what. He would be by her side always, and he would sell his own soul to do it.

As they parted SilverRaven stepped up to them and smiled softly. "The ties that bind us all are those of love. They can never be broken, only changed, whether they are changed into something stronger or weaker is up to you. My decision is actually a gift of sorts."

As she laid her hand on Mia and then on Anubis, SilverRaven's spirit glowed brilliantly and then as the light died down. Mia was found clad in the SilverRaven Armor. "This is my gift to you. You have a heart and soul stronger than any I have met in all of my years of wandering. Your love of the mortal world and the wish to protect your friends even though they were able to protect you shows that you are a kind and loving person. It is your strength and in this we shared a common bond. I loved the people I protected from harm. Now I have found someone who can release my spirit from the Armor that I created."

"I thought that if your spirit was released from the Armor, it would cease to be the armor that you made it into." Mia was a little puzzled until Anubis laid his hand on her shoulder and kissed her cheek.

"Mia, I think that SilverRaven is referring to the fact that with six of the nine armors here and the Staff of the Ancient to link the others to me, we can make the SilverRaven armor a tenth Ronin armor. One that should have been from the beginning."

As the confusion cleared Mia nodded in agreement. "I know that she deserves to rest. Her oath was fulfilled and I am willing to be the bearer of the SilverRaven armor."

SilverRaven smiled as she heard this and she nodded her agreement. "Thank you."

Anubis gathered the staff and started the chant that had created the original Ronin and Warlord armors. Mia started glowing as the magicís started taking hold of the armor around her. She felt it change and knew in her minds eye that what she was seeing was the changes being made to the armor. The subarmor was being changed to a black and dark blue and gray subarmor with the Ninja coverings being a separate level. The main armor was still as it was but instead of a helmet to protect her she had a circlet that held her hair back. The helmet would come from the circlet should she get into a full-fledged battle. Her weapons became sleeker and better fitting to Mia's style and her reach in the armor. She retained them all but was just placed better for how she fought.

She saw the armor reform around her and as she opened her eyes again she felt the Kanji that she had seen on the others form on her forehead. She knew that hers would be that of 'abiding love'. She also knew when the link with SilverRaven had been severed, as she could not feel the extra presence about her any longer.

Looking over at SilverRaven she knew that her Spirit was freed and as they bowed to each other in farewell, Anubis took Mia's hand to lead her home and SilverRaven continued down the path that Mia had been traveling shortly before.

"It is time Anubis. Time to go home." Mia smiled softly to the man she loved as she knew about the real gift that SilverRaven had given them.

Anubis kissed her softly and then turned to the staff. As they followed it home the light dimmed and soon all was black. A soft light and voices soon had Mia opening her eyes and she realized that she was in the middle of the Circle of Protection gathered up in Anubis' arms. Looking up at him she smiled at the look of worry in his eyes as it changed to a look of such loving tenderness that she could not help it. She reached up to him and kissed him deeply.

As they kissed the Armor of Inferno dissipated and the energies returned to their owners. Anubis picked her up after he completely armored down and as she realized that she was fully armored again and healed of her wounds. She focused quietly and banished the armor to the Kanji Crystal that hung around her neck by a small silver chain. The crystal was smaller than that of the other armors. But no one mistook it for anything but the most powerful individual armor of the group.

Mia was one of them now, but no one wanted to celebrate. At least not until Mia smiled at them all. "Anubis is not leaving us any time soon now." As she looked at the inquiring looks she kissed him softly. "Anubis. SilverRaven gave you a gift as well for helping her and me."

Everyone wanted to party then. Anubis had another chance at life! Anubis had other ideas though as he looked at the others he put Mia down on the ground and then had the others gather about.

"Mia. You know that I can love no other. I know that you feel the same way about me but I cannot put this off any longer. To do so would cause trouble in the future for my conscience."

As Anubis dropped to one knee he pulled a small ring out of his sleeve. "Mia Koji. I am going to be plain about this." He took a deep breath and then as he looked up at her and into those eyes he loved so much he uttered the words. "Mia, will you marry me?"

Mia grabbed him by the arms and hauled him off his knee and then pulled him down to her level and kissed him soundly. When she had released him she smiled. "Yes. You know that I will."

Everyone cheered at that and backs were slapped and hands shaken as congratulations were passed around. As they walked back to Mia's house. Plans were already in the works for the wedding and as the sun set behind them. Mia could only sigh in happiness. Finally everything with the world was right.

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