Shaman King Fan Fiction / Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Shaman Tournament ❯ Death of the Zodiacs: Lost Souls ( Chapter 8 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Chapter 8- Death of the Zodiacs: Lost Souls
One hour has since past the fight against Buster Blader. Ishizu has left Kevin in the exhibit still closed-off from the world. His arms hung limp from his shoulders while his knees were still holding his body, now going numb from the uncomfortable position on the cracked tile. In front of him was a broadsword in two like his cards, an artifact his father has found those years ago. Off to his right was Buster Blader's armor, damaged beyond Over Soul regeneration and the nameless swordsman's soul invisible to Kevin.
After time of recovery, Buster Blader's spirit rose. In vision to a shaman, Buster Blader didn't look like he was out of his late twenties before he was killed. His muscles as large and powerful as Amidamaru's, with scars left and right from the fights against Dragons and black hair tied back to avoid blind-sight in combat. To keep himself from overheating in the dark armor and weight he wore a light pair of cotton blend pants, some holes from his quick demise of the Dragon God.
By instinct and legend, and given the chance, he would have finished Kevin while he was weak and void of his surroundings. However, Kevin was also human. In the past, the nameless swordsman was shunned for not being a human, or at least having a human heart towards Dragons. The nameless swordsman ran through his thoughts over again, among himself how he can gain revenge against the Zodiac shaman.
"Dragon Duelist." The Swordsman called, snapping Kevin out of his mind-oblivion. Kevin's eyes were bulge-shocked that Buster Blader would still be standing after his first slaying as a ghost.
"Aren't you satisfied?! You've slain more Dragons now that you're a ghost with unfinished business! Why haven't you left yet?!" Kevin cried in outrage, his yells echoing on the hollow exhibits. Buster Blader just stood there, a gaze without emotion like the ruthless murderer he once was.
"I still have unfinished business. The question is are YOU satisfied?" Buster Blader asked, "Those warriors have put you down like an ill dog. Especially the Zodiac descendant."
"Miranda?" Kevin asked to detail which character Buster Blader was referring to.
"Yes. It appeared both of you follow the code of Dragon. Despite I'm a wandering swordsman with no ally, I know about and live by honor of the same sights." Buster Blader replied, "She had no right to put you down like that."
"She…is a friend." Kevin gulped while looking down on his pile of cards.
"She didn't seem like one to me. She sounds superior to you since you're not a properly-trained fighter." Buster Blader justified and paced over to directly face Kevin, kneeling in front of him across the broken sword. "Follower of the Dragons... Let us make a deal. I will teach you all of the skills of war that I know. But, at some point in the future... when I choose... you shall give me your body, and I shall take one chance at revenge on the heir to the Zodiacs..." He offered. Kevin glanced up, seeing for the first time a full-fledged ghost without possession or Over Soul, and clenched his fist.
"I'll show Miranda, and that cheap knock-off of a spirit, I can fight in the Shaman Tournament." Kevin cursed.
"Then let us begin. I'm interested in this Shaman Tournament as much as you are." Buster Blader agreed and glanced at his prized sword still on the display, the blood ceasing on its blade.
The streets were empty this evening as Yoh and Miranda made their pass back to Yugi's game shop, Amidamaru and Yami Marik floating behind them and Manta pacing ahead. He turned around to the two Shamans, specifically Miranda to admire the work. "Hey Miranda, how did you know to beat that Buster Blader guy? It's like you did that spirit summoning of an Over Soul once before." Manta wondered.
"Honestly, it just came to me like I knew it already. Then again I am a blood-descendant to the Zodiacs." Miranda answered. In timing, Rai jumped on to Manta's head and found it comfortable. Both Yoh and Miranda couldn't help themselves. "I think Rai likes you Manta." Manta answered with a slight twitching.
"Hey don't worry too much, Rai seems kinda nice." Yoh pulled a big grin, "And cute, maybe Anna might chill out when seeing her."
I'm just tired and need a quick nap. If Yami Marik weren't intangible I'd be sleeping in his hair instead. Do you mind me Manta? Rai popped in her say.
"Oh no, not at all." He answered, quick stray sparks signaled Rai's happiness and she curled up on Manta's ginger top. Not taking part in the humans' lighthearted conversation, Yami Marik remained quiet behind Miranda as if on full protection. Amidamaru also stayed low in words but couldn't help making a chat among ghosts.
"So, how did you wind up to be Miranda's guardian ghost, or is it the other way around since her group seems to agree you're a possible threat to the city?" Amidamaru asked. Yami Marik's brow twitched to the subject but sighed to relieve and answered.
"Without a host, I'm no threat. However I don't intend to put someone like Miranda through a cataclysm since it turns out this tournament might just do that." Yami Marik answered. "You see, now that Miranda's my host, I see her thoughts. Every moment she lived up until the Battle City tournament was all in despair. Her mother died in battle, her father died in murder, and the rest of her family took her inheritance away. All she has is me and the other three spirits that accompany her."
"Doesn't she have friends?" Amidamaru wondered.
"Not necessarily. Ever since her father passed away she's torn herself from all emotion and society. She believed that if her parents are ghosts, her friends are ghosts too."
"How sad. Just like Lord Yoh, he also doesn't have many friends among the living except Manta. Oh how many times I've been told by Manta about how he and Yoh first met." Amidamaru commented. "It was because of that `Wooden Sword' Ryu, and how Manta can also see ghosts like us. Lord Yoh believes that no bad guy can see ghosts."
"Quite the philosophy that Asakura has. Though in our cases for Yoh and Miranda, we seem to urge them to come in contact with their plane of existence." Yami Marik recalled his past fused with Marik, knowing that his own statement isn't true for him. "It's as if we spirits test them to see the hearts of the living for companionship."
"But these Zodiacs… how come I've never heard of them before?" Amidamaru wonder, making Miranda freeze in her tracks with a glaze of tears surfaced on her irises.
"The…Death of the Zodiacs." Miranda gagged out to cry to herself. "It's been a little over a millennium ago when a brutal killer began slaying the Zodiacs." All of them gasped except for Yami Marik and Rai. "In one week the race that used to be a lively civilization had been turned to a weak population struggling for life. As far as I know, I could be the last full-blood Zodiac."
Manta scanned his book fast with Rai still on top of his head. "The Death of the Zodiacs. It was all thought to be an illness, like a plague or something. The inheritance of the Zodiac blood would each meet a bloody end. The body so corroded it'd be hard to tell where the origin was and how to help was even harder."
"We were plagued all right, but our health tolerance is far beyond that of normal humans." Miranda explained. "My mother was also brought down by this Death of the Zodiacs. I feel I'm next. I've kept myself alone for all these years because I don't want anyone to suffer from my loss like I did my mother's."
"Well that's stupid." Yoh broke Miranda's sob story. Miranda's wide eyes fell onto Yoh's straightforward face. "You've gotta have someone care about you, it doesn't matter who. If you care so much to be alone, you care so less to actually stay alive. You're asking for this Death to actually kill you if you continue to roam without friends. Take Amidamaru for instance; he died for a friend, Mosuke. You die for a reason, dying because of this Death is no reason at all." Miranda stood there silently shocked of Yoh's words of wisdom. "If you're truly the last of the Zodiacs, then you must find the cause of the Death of the Zodiacs and avenge your race. Why do you think your mother hasn't passed on yet? Or Mirandragon or Tsunami?"
"Technically, Yoh, Tsunami and Mirandragon were dead before the time period of the Death." Manta pointed out from his extremely thick book. Rai whined briefly on top of his head and Miranda gasped, looking towards her home. She blasted into a full sprint down the streets. Rai followed as a small bolt of blue lightning and Yami Marik as his black spirit flame.
"Miranda wait!" Yoh cried out and followed. Manta's disadvantage of size left him in the dust. Miranda bolted the streets fast with Rai and Yami Marik just over her shoulders. They saw the house rising over the hill with a dark disturbance already entering the window of her room.
Tsunami! Rai cried and made her growth sprit quickly to Raikounan, her fangs flashing brilliantly and drawing the disturbance's attention. It was only clear as to what it looked like; a hooded spirit made of black tattered shrouds floated just outside her window. Miranda watched in horror of the spirit until it pulled away from the window; dragging behind it tangled in its chains were Kikaita, Mirandragon, and Tsunami.
A grim voice echoed down Miranda's street and made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. "A thousand years I have hunted you... your bodies fell to my power... now your very souls shall become mine!" Miranda felt an ice-cold rush down her back, but her fear fled quickly as she saw her souls being taken.
"You're not taking my mother whatever you are!" Miranda shrieked, throwing one leg over Raikounan just below the shoulder blades, Yami Marik holding his spirit form just under Miranda's left palm. Raikounan began bouncing up the dark homes lining the street and finally made it to the spirit's level. Go Yami Marik! Shadow Spell!" Miranda commanded, escaping her left hand was an array of black chains successfully binding the kidnapping spirit. Raikounan bit down on the chains and began pulling, easily dragging the black ghost down to ground level.
Yoh and Amidamaru just made it to the scene, both of them in aghast of what was happening. "What is that?!" Amidamaru asked in shock
"It's…a wraith. But I thought I'd never see one unless Anna would pit me against one in her training." Yoh answered. Raikounan still struggled to pull the chains down and free the souls. Though it Kikaita unhooked the chain that strangled her throat.
"Miranda! No, get back! Don't worry about us!" Kikaita tried to call Miranda away.
"Mom I'm not going to lose you again! Even if it means I become a disembodied soul!" Miranda cried back. She took to her own running on top of Yami Marik's chains without losing balance, unsheathing the dagger she took from her history's display in the museum. She made it up halfway when the chains beneath her snapped apart, her footing was lost fifteen feet above the ground and she began to fall.
Yami Marik reacted fast, turning his Over Soul on The Winged Dragon of Ra card hidden in her deck. "Wings of Ra!" Yami Marik called. Two beams of light escaped Miranda's back and granted shape of protective gold wings, a half-second before another invisible thrust clashed on Miranda's wing and hurled her to the ground. The wraith began to levitate upward again; next coming to the offense was Raikounan. Her electricity growling and ready to lash out from her body.
"Raikounan, no! Stand down and protect Miranda!" Tsunami commanded but Raikounan's lightning didn't ease up. "Raikounan! Do not worry about us! Protect Miranda, I command you!" Miranda recovered as fast as she could while struggling to her feet, Ra's wings still protecting her. She didn't even stand when another thrust forced her back to the ground, her wings providing the cover she needed but not for long. "This is the Death! He's after Miranda!"
"Another hit like that and I'm going to have to break Over Soul." Yami Marik cursed under-breath. Finally Raikounan followed her mistress's orders and stood guard in front of the injured shaman. However the wraith didn't leave, what appeared to be its head stared down Miranda with a vicious aura emitting from its form. Traces of its shrouded-tentacles ensnared the three victims it held further until they were incapacitated to move and the wraith broke away, diving towards Miranda and her allies.
"Back off!" Anna's voice pierced the air like a bullet, following soon after was a loop of her prayer beads going just as fast and knocked away the wraith. The wraith shrieked with a crowd of voices, voices that paralyzed Miranda in shock but stabilized Yami Marik's guarding Over Soul. The wraith recovered and jerked its head to see Anna and Yugi coming down the street.
The wraith still didn't give in. It floated away slightly to gain distance, hoping to cause desirable damage on its next swoop upon Miranda. Raikounan growled in a fatal pitch and swung open her jaws, releasing a blast of high voltage against the wraith. It landed a direct hit as the wraith screamed again with its paralyzing voices. Still being held were the three souls, all of them appeared to suffer what the wraith took in the offenses. Raikounan's voltage decreased rapidly, letting down the attacks so as not to harm her deceased masters further.
Miranda couldn't move, her breath winded from the last assault against her. A moment past and she got her breath back when another invisible lash shattered Ra's wings from her back. She was launched down the street with shards of gold clattering on the asphalt and vanishing. Yami Marik broke from his focus and kneeled, guarding in front of Miranda's aftershock for another hit against her.
"Any ideas what's putting Miranda to the ground, Yoh?" Manta asked in a panic between the invisible chaos and the wraith's kidnapping.
"Yoh, Manta, split now!" Anna demanded. Without question the both dashed in the opposite directions. A second after the ground behind the collapsed in a crash of the same invisible force that subdued Miranda and Yami Marik.
"Whoa! Manta, get out of here!" Yoh cried. Manta didn't argue and ducked behind a house off from the battlefield.
The wraith seemed satisfied and returned to the three souls to retrieve its prey of the night. Miranda struggled to get back to her feet with aid from Raikoukou and watched weakly as the wraith reclaimed its chains holding her souls. "Yami Marik, I'm counting on you to take care of my daughter. Or you're gonna be in a world full of hurt when I get out of here!" Kikaita shrieked before the chains tightened on her again. Kikaita was first: her image disappeared to a soul sphere and was absorbed into the wraith, leaving her share of the chains dangling from the wraith's form.
Mirandragon flipped out next because her chain tangle shifted second to that of Kikaita's. Her anxiety only made her predicament worse as she too lost her form to the wraith. Her soul was second to be swallowed and the wraith hesitated to take its final prey Tsunami. It seemed to just float up there with its head up high after Miran's soul was captured. Everyone on the ground was in the same state of pause before Yoh shook his head to make his paralysis go away.
"I'm definitely not standing back!" Yoh cried out.
"What do you propose you do about it? You can't fight a wraith bare-handed!" Anna fired back and let another loop of her prayer beads lash out against the wraith. The dark spirit reacted with a glare to her, emitting an ancient and powerful aura.
"Yami and I'll fight! We've still got mana left for another Spirit Control!" Yugi took his stand and engaged his Duel Disk. "Go Gaia, the Fierce Knight. Over Soul take form!" Yami sprang into Over Soul and gave way as the Knight riding atop the dark steed. The horse reared on its hindquarters and blasted towards the wraith with full force, Yami positioned both of his lances flawlessly while being bumped by the horse's sprint.
The wraith took to a defense maneuver and a wall of fire flared up in front of it, the flames taking form to a lunging lion that struck down Yami's Over Soul in a single swipe of its blazing claw. Yami avoided any serious injury as his reflexes landed him on the ground and the fiery wildcat vanished. "No way! How did that happen?!" Yami wondered, as did Yugi.
Tsunami watched in deep concern, hoping that if she didn't struggle her chains that she could be free for as long as possible, though she knew already she was next. This is the Death that slain so many? It just used Miran's ancient powers to force back the Pharaoh. Tsunami thought. The wraith seems to be made of recent lost souls from only one thousand years ago; but it could tap into Miran's powers when she couldn't. What kind of monster is it? Tsunami's hand slipped and caught on to a chain, reminding the wraith of its goal as she was taken in last. Before she was swallowed as a spirit flame, she cried, "Raikoukou! Protect Miranda at all costs!"
The wraith finished its absorption and hesitated again, as if savoring its catch of the day. Miranda grew furious and stood on her own, her mana renewed without origin and her dagger at hand. She dashed past Raikoukou and Yami Marik to a charge on the wraith at its most vulnerable moment. Both Raikoukou and Yami Marik stood in shock as to what she was doing.
"Miranda! Where's your common sense?! You can't beat it!" Anna cried behind Miranda but her advice fell on Miranda's unknown attention to anything around her. Before she could reach, another invisible thrust made the ground crumble in front of her, tripping her up in the sprint and left her ears ringing now that she felt it without any sort of protection.
"My voice it like the hammer and you're the nail! A blow to the head and you're stuck!" A cry of blaring enthusiasm tightened the intensity as to what it already was. Miranda still held her head in deafening pain inside the shallow pitfall. A new presence appeared next to the wraith, which at nightfall made him look like a crazed serial killer. His crimson red hair just under a top hat contrasted to his paled skin seemingly made Miranda's own blood-bangs look natural. Still being eyed up by the fighters was his tall height and a width that almost made him look like he could keel over and die of starvation, or what was visible of his body made him look that way. A black fringed shirt hung over his shoulders followed by red leather pants shades darker of his hair, and finishing his mix-and-match appearance came a pair of combat boots.
Everyone stopped what they were doing, still aghast as to asking "what the hell was this guy thinking dressing like that?!" but didn't. Everyone but one. "What happened? You got dressed while your wardrobe light was out?" Anna asked in her usual flat tone. Everybody else was still frozen, now with the expression of shock leading to an imminent doom.
The new guy got an eye twitch of anger brewing inside him. "Girl, my name is Harlan, Harlan Leanwick. I'm also The Lord of Sound so you better watch what you say!" He introduced, his voice still deafening to everyone but Anna hasn't reacted to his pitch. Finally Harlan tuned down his voice to a normal speech and watched as Miranda staggered to her feet from the crater. "I've come here to guard my Master's wraith as it was collecting the last of the Zodiacs' souls. But what I don't get is why the wraith's eager to take her as well. I'm only here to make sure that the wraith doesn't fail to retrieve the souls." He briefed and glanced at the dark spirit. The wraith began to drift away and vanish into the night.
Harlan then returned sight on the shamans with his voice of brutal volume again. "Well my work is done and now it's time for the grand finale!" He cried with a long-handled microphone at hand over his head. "Sound Elemental! Into the Microphone!" A spirit of indefinite shape took hold of the microphone.
"Whoa! No way! He's a shaman too!?" Manta panicked while safely ducked in his hiding place. Anna still kept her gaze on Harlan, knowing that whatever he had to pull would be stopped sort of her quick spirit summoning.
"Geez, a microphone?" Yoh wondered.
"You better not mock The Lord of Sound!" Harlan threatened.
"Or what?" Yoh smiled in overconfidence. Harlan inhaled and screamed into the microphone, carrying with it not only a deafening blare but a force that knocked Yoh to his feet after flying to Yugi's and Anna's distance and made Miranda hit the asphalt with cuts opening. "Man…this guy's insane."
"Now back to my finale!" Harlan declared and inhaled for another scream.
How about a showstopper! Raikounan took her place in front of the group as Harlan's lethal sound waves came in. The fox demon let out a roar like crashing thunder muffled Harlan's voice to a rock `n' roll concert cry. Harlan stepped back but with a smile ear-to-ear "my, quite the vocal cords you have! That was a showstopper, but The Lord of Sound never finishes his performance without a bang. We'll meet again!" With that Harlan also disappeared, leaving to the shamans a whole street of damage.
Miranda just finally got to her feet, desperate for air into her lungs and for the ringing in her head to stop. Raikounan stepping in quickly to keep Miranda up and nudging her to climb on to the fox demon's back. Manta timidly came out of hiding and took Yoh's side instantly, Amidamaru, Yami Marik, and Yami themselves restored their spiritual composure.
"Whoa, that Harlan did a number on this road and the houses." Yugi looked around as the windows were shattered on the houses lined-up and beginning to light up.
"My suggestion: we leave before we get blamed." Anna said, everyone nodded and took off in a random direction.
"We'll head for my grandpa's." Yugi advised and led the party to his home.
Miranda, although weak, still felt she needed to get her spirits back. Miranda, you need rest, you've done enough of yourself for one day and the wraith traumatized you for a good while. Raikounan advised in her strides back to the game shop. Miranda's head sunk lower.
"Mother…" She whispered and tears covered her emerald irises. The group made it to the game shop and hastily entered in for shelter. Yugi offered the party a round of microwave dinners made up of ramen noodles and pizza-filled pastries and hoped for a good night's rest despite what happened an hour ago.
"Here." Yugi offered to Miranda. Her gaze was still void of the world but absent-mindedly took the cup of chicken ramen and a fork. The group was as silent as Miranda as she was still in gasp as to the kidnapping of her ancestral spirits. Finally Anna stood up and smacked Miranda across the face and bolted her back to reality.
"Snap out of it Zodiac! We all saw what happened and we all knew no one at our level could save those spirits. Not even me." Anna snapped. Manta made his comment of shamanic interest.
"Not even you?"
"Of course not, shorty! A wraith is an insane spirits who collects souls for power. That wraith is infused with Zodiac souls from a millennium ago; however, when it absorbed Mirandragon and Tsunami, Zodiac souls originating from five thousand years ago, it tapped into incredible strength of the Zodiacs bloodline and that's how it broke Yugi's Over Soul so easily." Anna explained. "That Harlan is another story. He was probably the one that was forcing Miranda grounded through the fight. But if he's following the wishes of his `Master', then the wraith must belong to the head-honcho that ordered out the wraith to kidnap, this `Master' has yet to order Miranda's kill." Yami Marik, Yami, and Amidamaru appeared in translucent images outside the circle.
"So this Death of the Zodiacs is a true killer?" Amidamaru pondered.
"A true shamanic killer," Yami Marik restated, "this killer was after souls, not living Zodiacs; specifically it was after Kikaita's soul. But this Death has yet to learn Miranda is full-blood of the Zodiac clan."
"OK, we know this Death of the Zodiacs is actually a family line of serial killers. But what draws you to that conclusion of this killer not knowing Miranda's a Zodiac? I mean if these killers have followed the Zodiacs to kill distinctly only them..." Manta trailed off.
"The Death of the Zodiacs only began one thousand years ago. As far as I know it's a recent repeat to the tragedy of Atlantis that's been past throughout the generations to any civilization; however, a God plays no role in this. Someone fears the Zodiacs and their potential influence of the world; the wraith was sent probably not only to gather the remaining souls, but seek out those Zodiacs who are still alive." Yami Marik advised. "With this Shaman Tournament, just one person can make all the difference."
"The Shaman King." Yoh inserted his tally into the conversation. Yami Marik nodded.
"Someone that uses the wraith doesn't want Miranda to become Shaman King."
"Queen." Miranda corrected.
"Well of course not." Anna said. "I'm going to be Shaman Queen when Yoh becomes Shaman King." Yoh looked at Miranda with thoughts of his own.
And to think I want an easy life. Miranda's loneliness has been haunting her since she was young. Is that really why she has someone like this Yami Marik for a Guardian Ghost? Yoh thought morbidly.