Shaman King Fan Fiction / Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Shaman Tournament ❯ Miranda vs Raquiez: Anything Goes ( Chapter 15 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Chapter 15- Miranda vs Raquiez: Anything Goes
Miranda's Oracle Pager rang out in reminder to her fight against the opponent named Raquiez while she studied at her desk. She set aside her studies of what little Zodiac information she had left, she knew she couldn't find the book in the ruins that was once her home. Miranda stood up from her desk in Pandemonium and strapped the Oracle Pager around her left arm with Yami Marik's mortuary tablet next to it. She took off Tsunami's necklace from over her head and rested it along the three other tablets, void of spirits, then equipped her sword to her left hip.
Rai slept peacefully but Miranda's sudden shift broke her slumber. Miranda?
“My next match is in three hours. I've gotta leave now if I'm going to make it to my second match.” Miranda said while trying not to disturb Montoya on her exit. In his corner, he was deep in his own studies, only his eyes shifted briefly when she stood up and immediately went back to work.
I can't help but worry about Montoya and Yaril, and neither of them will tell me what has them in a knot. Rai looked back at him.
“Then you stay here and keep them in company. I have to go to my second round.” Miranda repeated. “I'll be alright and I will come back.” With that she didn't look back behind her when she left with the door closing behind her. Rai took a look back on Montoya, never leaving his eyes from his book.
“Miranda's mana has increased more than two-fold, she'll be more worth of a challenge this time around.” Montoya stated before Rai could hope for a second opinion. “And don't try to go after her, she needs to do this on her own with her guardian ghost.” His stern voice made Rai lie back down on the floor, already impatient to Miranda's return.
In the forests north of Domino, Kevin warmed up on his Buster Sword. Already he has sliced down several trees in clean sweeps, sometimes two or more in one swing. Buster Blader just made Kevin all the more powerful inside his prized sword. Raquiez seated himself on one of the stumps Kevin created in his training, sensing inside Kevin an ember of resentment behind his shades and mask. “Miranda is confident of victory this day, Hunter.” Raquiez hissed.
Kevin stopped his warm-up and turned to him, Buster Blader escaping Over Soul and reverted to a faint image. “Pardon?” Kevin asked.
“Miranda is coming, and she has confidence that she will overpower you. After all, it was she, Yoh, and Montoya that have ridiculed you as a shaman, didn't they? And Miranda is a friend…” Raquiez explained, invoking Kevin.
“She was a friend. She's just as new to this shaman business as I am.” Kevin stormed and spiked the blade into the ground. “Tonight I'll show her she's as much of a rookie as I am…wait, that didn't come out right.” Kevin winced to a mistake, giving Raquiez rights to chuckle.
“So Miranda will be your second victory, I certainly hope so. In her disappearance she must have trained strenuously. Otherwise her name wouldn't have showed up on the Oracle Pager.” Raquiez said casually.
“Well she's going to be for insulting me. She'll know once and for all I can compete in the Shaman Tournament.” Kevin growled.
“Save it for the fighting, there's only two minutes left before the fight begins.” Raquiez tried to put Kevin at ease when he heard rustling in the far end of the clearing. “Ah, here's your opponent now.”
Miranda tore herself from the thick forestry and pulled the briers from her cloak. “If I knew north of Domino was an uncharted forest, I'd skip the cloak no matter how chilly it is.” She grumbled. Yami Marik produced his image by Miranda with an eye-wide glance to the opposite end.
“Uh, Miranda…” He tried to get his host's attention. Miranda looked up after pulling plant bulbs from her clothes and stood mouth agape. Kevin and Buster Blader stared the both of them down in anger while Miranda and Yami Marik shook off their shock.
“Kevin, what are you doing here?! I'm supposed to be facing some guy named Raquiez!” Miranda hollered.
“He's Raquiez but I'm his substitute for the duration of the Shaman Tournament.” Kevin answered back. Miranda turned to shock again and her mind went ablaze in thought. “And I have to thank Raquiez for this opportunity to prove you wrong, I can be part of the Shaman Tournament!” He acclaimed.
Kevin has yet to realize the Shaman Tournament is even more dangerous than the Battle City Tournament, and I ought to know. My first match with Montoya was way out of my league, it was miracle he considered training me afterwards. Miranda panicked in her thoughts. But what can I do? And where are the Patch Tribe Officiants? Why isn't any of them here?! The fight is going to begin any second!
Before Miranda could recollect her senses at the fight's start, Kevin already charged at her like a one-man stampede in a blind fury; Buster Blader had already achieved Over Soul within his broadsword and burned with a dark violet flame. Miranda only saw Kevin fast enough to sidestep from his cross slash but stumbled backwards and hit the ground. She rolled back to her feet just in time to a void a vertical strike and posed herself to Over Soul. Kevin followed through the attack with an upward strike and finally connected Miranda, sending her spiraling ten feet across the clearing before sliding on the ground again. “Miranda! What are you doing?! We have to fight back!” Yami Marik roared over Miranda's shoulder as a spirit flame.
“We've already ran into a problem…” Miranda gasped for air after being knocked off, “Without any Patch Officiants, this has ultimately become a free-for-all.” She staggered back to stand only to see Kevin blow her back another fifteen feet and still coming.
“So what are you waiting for?! Take advantage of this no-holds bar melee before I do!” Yami Marik grew to become infuriated. Miranda again lifted a hand for Over Soul and once more, stopped by Kevin's wrath with the Buster Sword. She waited to be knocked into the air momentarily and looked up, a black cross of shadow stood between her and death. “Only a few seconds here!”
“Few seconds is all I need. Yami Marik, spirit form! Into the Sword!” She declared and threw his black spirit flame along the sword's edge, setting her sword ablaze. The cross of the Shadow Realm vanished and Kevin was free to proceed but missed; Miranda was already evading Kevin and flipped overhead of him to land behind him. Kevin wasn't too far behind in Miranda's advancing moves; he turned his blade into full swing behind him. Miranda reacted quickly and used his broadsword almost like a springboard and sent herself to a safe distance, ready to fight for once, but couldn't bring herself to it.
“MIRANDA?!” Yami Marik cried in an ear-splitting tone and the sword he possessed nearly jumped out of her hand. “You're in Over Soul now fight back!” Miranda tried to go with her ally's advice but had to keep evading from Kevin's boundless rage. Through her dodging, she tried to talk to Kevin. She tried to think of what to say while avoid Kevin's boundless but extremely accurate attacks.
“Kevin, listen to me!” She cried and ducked from a horizontal slash. “We can't fight like this! We don't have the Patch Officiants to authorize it!”
“Who needs them when I can prove to you I can be a part of this Shaman Tournament without their rules?” Kevin hollered back and continued to send strikes in a fury. Each strike coming closer to taking a chunk out of Miranda than the last.
“That's the problem, Kevin. We have no supervision from the Patch Officiants.” Said Miranda and she fell back from another slash too high to evade with a jump. Her force of the duck and the aftershock of the Buster Sword knocked her off her feet again. Like the fluent trail of dominoes, Kevin led one slash to another, sending a low horizontal strike Miranda's way. She rolled with it to minimize damage, her physical strength fading fast from dodging. “Kevin, please hear me out.” She pleaded. “What I said in the museum…it was for your own safety. When we met Yoh at the museum and Buster Blader attacked us…that was only a taste of what's yet to come in the Shaman Tournament. People can get killed in this tournament, people like you don't have a chance at this sort of thing.”
“By this fight so far, it's you that doesn't have a chance at this sort of thing.” Kevin corrected and launched another series of slashes just brushing by her skin. “And another thing, Buster Blader is my guardian ghost if you haven't noticed. I'm about to prove to you that even this Dragon slayer can become an ally.”
“Kevin, why are you allied with a Dragon Slayer?! He was the one that destroyed your deck!” Miranda demanded the answer to that one.
“He and I made a bargain. I bring him into this Shaman Tournament to exact his revenge on Yin-Yang the Eternal Dragon, and he helps me prove to you that I can be in the tournament.” Kevin admitted the deal he made before. It infuriated Miranda in a rage of inner focus.
“That I WILL NOT ALLOW, Hunter!” She roared and started to begin her self-defense. All the while, Raquiez watched at a safe distance. Behind the mask there was no telling if he was satisfied of Kevin's progress as a shaman or disappointment of Miranda as a Zodiac. After a few extreme minutes of avoiding Kevin, Miranda finally pushed herself back far enough to get her breath back. She spiked her sword into the ground and held on to it for support. She forced the option of fighting back to be the last on her mind but she can't evade the attacks all the time and hope to exhaust Kevin's mana before she did.
Kevin quickly caught his own breath and rushed towards her again. “Come on, fight back! If you say I don't belong in this tournament, why don't you give me a reason!” He cried and came after her with another succession still coming just as fast as before. Miranda only brought herself to take the impacts but with her blocks and push them away, her eyes constantly on the Buster Sword chasing her. One block failed and Kevin slammed into her sword on the hilt, sending her to a tree from the middle of the clearing. Miranda hit her back hard but was able to keep her wind and a moment to stagger back to her feet.
“Miranda, fight back!” Yami Marik commanded of his shaman through the Over Soul still maintained.
Again Miranda fell into a deep conscience of herself. Time seemed to freeze before her eyes, enough for her to recollect her scattering thoughts. A new disturbance entered her senses, a deeper darkness to the aura already taking over Kevin. It rekindled her childhood; memories of that night possessed her again. She froze. Even her heartbeat felt like it stopped in that instant. Miranda fell to her knees in fear and broke down into a cold sweat. She leaned back against the tree from mental exhaustion. Her mind still raced when her heart didn't.
I can't do it, Kevin is too new at this to risk it. I can't attack him, I know I'll severely wound him. Montoya's training was extreme and I know my mana has increased threefold at best to what I was in the first round. Miranda's thoughts flooded her. What am I supposed to do? This might actually be an official match and the Patch are watching in hiding. I can't surrender, that will be my second loss and I'll be knocked out of the tournament before it even begins.
“Hey Pisces! You wanna be fish fillets now?!” Yami Marik snapped Miranda out of it just as Kevin fired a mana blade at a distance from a swipe of his Buster Sword. Miranda could only sidestep to the right but still got hit by the attack. Her shriek echoed into the darkness when a charging mana blade went through the leather straps on her Oracle Pager and sliced her forearm open from elbow to wrist. She dropped her sword and to her knees, holding the wound tightly before she lost majority of blood; her Pager, Tablet, and God Card scattered on the ground next to her.
Successful to subdue his opponent, Kevin earned himself a breather and hung the Buster Sword over his shoulder. He watched Miranda tear a strip of fabric from her cloak and knotted it over her wound. The cloth only covered half but it covered the half that would deal the more blood, Kevin hit his mark on an artery that began inside the elbow and traveled down to the wrist. Buster Blader's Over Soul was still active but relaxed with a comment of his pastime. “The Zodiacs have the same weakness as the Dragons they harmonized with. The left arm artery is the closest to the heart and by hitting them there, they only have a forty percent chance that they don't bleed to death by the heart pumping blood back into their bodies.” He explained.
Miranda had one end of the fabric in her teeth and the right hand taking the other end, Yami Marik was still in the sword. She jerked to tighten the knot and flexed her fingers, a sigh of relief escaped her - she could still feel her left hand. A thin trickle of blood began to seep through the cut uncovered, even a little was enough to one Over Soul.
“She's dead!” Buster Blader made his battle cry. Both Yami Marik and Miranda looked up to see Kevin's mana jump to new unexpected heights. The violet flames exploded and took shape, his opponents could only watch in paralyzed shock when the flames began to peel away for a more horrific Over Soul. Buster Blader's armored form became of the flame's eruption, incorporated to a large-scale model of his actual size. The flames were extinguished and Buster Blader had himself ten times the size of a normal human, but only had a complete form from his shoulders up with arms, and a Buster Sword on the same scale as he. Kevin was perched on his right shoulder and held the Buster Sword in the same posture as if playing Follow the Leader.
Miranda still watched from below with her hand clutched over the uncovered wound, her legs were frozen even with Yami Marik urging her to move for her life.
Rai perked her ears, still lying in wait for Miranda's return but she felt a change in her electromagnetic field. She pawed the door, getting Montoya's attention once more, and getting a more negative response every time. Montoya looked up from his studies, glaring daggers at the fox-demon. “Wvnnzf Rai…” He cursed.
I sensed Miranda's in real danger. Rai concerned, I have to help her.
“No you do not `have' to.” Montoya restated, “Miranda's perfectly capable of handling the second fight herself. Besides, she was in plenty danger with me in the first match, and you didn't need to step in. You don't need to step in for her now. Do you want her disqualified?” Each of his sentences hit Rai dead-on like darts on a bull's eye. Rai got back on all four paws and lied down next to the door, her eyes constantly shifting between Montoya and the three mortuary tablets on Miranda's desk.
Mistress Tsunami…what do I do now? What do I do? Rai thought and curled up to act like she could sleep, trying hard not to trace another drastic change in the electromagnetic fields to disturb her. You asked me to protect her but…
Finally after taking all the image of Buster Blader's new form in, Miranda's legs could shift. But even just one frame of movement sent the giant Buster Sword in her direction. She gathered up her belongings and ran for it just before the sword crashed down upon the earth behind her and sent helplessly her into the air again. Her senses were struck with the dark aura again. Why does Kevin have this mana for Over Soul? I mean I know Buster Blader had been an enemy to the Zodiacs but I never thought his soul to feel so much malice… Miranda thought while letting herself go into a free fall. …I must fight back, but without hurting Kevin. Now that Buster Blader has become a form in this world, attack him will be easier. It's time I finish what Yin-Yang started. Miranda aligned herself in the air to begin her counterstrike.
Another strike from the giant Buster Sword smacked her down sent her down like being hit by a fly swatter. Her body crashed into the ground and her sword with Yami Marik fell into the smoke after her. He failed to keep his end of the Over Soul and flickered like a candle when he disappeared into the clouds of dust.
Kevin watched the smoke of his opponent's final smack down rise from the crater. He smirked widely, “That was your second loss, your Over Soul is gone.” He commented in victory. Raquiez had his head tilted before looking up to the shaman and his giant spirit Over Soul.
“The fight is not yet over! The girl switched Over Soul from her sword!” He yelled to his apprentice. Kevin looked back with a gaze that seemed almost unfazed.
“She can't rise after a hit like that, there's just no way!” Kevin hollered from Buster Blader's shoulder. Something caught from the corner of his eye as he felt activity below him. “NO!” He yelled and held the Buster Sword as if he was going to send it straight through the earth. Buster Blader went into the same stance just as four triangles formed a twelve-point star, the signs of the Zodiac. Buster Blader sent his sword down, but was stopped by the star below him. “Raquiez…when you said she switched Over Souls…do you know what she switched to?” Kevin asked. Off-guard, Buster Blader was thrown back and lost his giant spirit form, but rebuilt himself upon the Buster Sword.
Inside the smoke, Miranda lost all conscience to what happened to her. Yami Marik was still barely hanging on to his Over Soul while watching a new energy possess Miranda's mortal shell. Her eyes were painted over yellow and her red streaks seemed to grow until it was her dominant hair color. Miranda? He thought when he knew instantly it wasn't her. The possessor clutched the sword with her hand and raised it high in the dust. She began to chant a prayer; little of it could he understand and less of it could he tell of whom was chanting it.
“A um ev kxo Zodiac.” She began her prayer, “A um edo kxak naoctj 0eih jkhodwkx ed kxo mehkuc fcudo. Den A rojoosx 0ei, Yin-Yang kxo Eternal Dragon, fcoujo codt mo acc 0eih fenod roknood m0 ucc0 udt m0jocv. A ujb ev oeih Yin udt Yang. Sirius, kxo Winged Dragon ev kxo Sky Above, udt Ha Des, kxo Armored Dragon ev kxo Earth Below, A ujb 0ei ro m0 jneht udt jxaoct udt ulodwo 0eih vuccod rhokxhod!”
Raquiez stepped forward, shaken by the explosion of mana from the underdog Zodiac. “No, she didn't switch Over Souls, but she added on to it! Unbelievable!” He said from under the mask in amazement. Before he proceeded further, a silver beam of light blasted from the smoke, briefly upholding the form of a serpentine Dragon and twisted in every direction like a roller coaster. The star followed its head and began to separate it into two uneven six-point stars, each with it's own trail of light. The red and green triangles, representing the Zodiac's Fire and Earth, had inside it a black Dragon made of shadow and it zipped through the skies before diving into the smoke. The dark blue and light blue triangle, representing the Zodiac's Water and Wind, had a white Dragon of light that darted into the smoke after the black.
Raquiez still watched, his voice expressed the fact he was dumbfounded in the new action of the fight. “Her Over Soul grew into her bloodline, she's using her history as a Zodiac for power! You have to strike her now before the second Over Soul completes itself!” The smoke was blown away from inside the crater and a figure levitated.
Miranda's body was blessed with new wings recreated from the God Card. A large silver shield shaped as a Dragon's claw embraced her left arm. Yami Marik was empowered with renewed Over Soul strength. The sword he possessed became infused with enough power to make it stronger. He now was part of the Zodiac Over Soul inside the blackened blade burning in the spiritual fires.
“You say you want revenge, Buster Blader?” The voices echoed from Miranda and Yami Marik. “It is us that want revenge as the Guardians of the Zodiac Afterlife. Our Overlord, Yin-Yang the Eternal Dragon, appeases that we take you down and if it takes the aid of another God to do it, then so be it!” The wings, sword and shield flashed in flames. The fires contributed to form one final attack as a gigantic winged serpent of three flames.
Kevin rebuilt his Over Soul to Giant Buster Blader to try and match the Dragons' setup of Over Soul. He brought his sword down first, “Dragon Slayer's Wrath!”
The flames Dragon charge forth in a sky attack, “Vengeance of the Zodiacs!”
The hit was catastrophic, in the dead of night the city was lit up in the explosion that was a shaman fight. The result of the collision of powers caught everyone's eye.
The light gleamed through the windows of Scorpion Apartments and blinded two muscular men crashed out on the floor in boxer shorts. Their room messed up and moist with sweat. Both of them cringed when the beams hit their eyes and had to wake up. One wrung out his long black hair heavy in sweat and salt. “Noon already?” He yawned, shielding his eyes from the light.
“Too bright for noon, Silva.” His roommate said while using his headband to keep his wavy hair from pasting onto his back and reading the battery-powered clock on the wall, “And it's not even noon at that, it's almost midnight.” Silva's eyes shot wide and he looked up while the light was still shining.
“You can't be serious, Kalim.” Silva gasped. “What kind of power could make an explosion light shine this brightly at midnight?”
*You two are as clueless as ever.* A voice called from their television set, hooked up by Silva's Oracle Pager. *That explosion you see is coming from a collision between two powerful mana sources!* Both Silva and Kalim turned to see the screen fill with TV static before an elderly face appeared, familiar to the two Patch tribesmen.
“Chief Goldva!” they called his name.
“Chief Goldva, you know what is going on?” Kalim asked while they seated themselves in front of the TV screen.
“A collision between two powerful mana sources? You don't mean to say that there is a fight going on in Domino tonight?” Silva squatted to the floor. Goldva nodded, apparently able to hear them like a video-phone.
*An unauthorized fight.* Goldva reinstated. *If it were supervised, that explosion would not have come into effect. You two are the closest to the site of the fight. You must minimize the damage and find out which shamans were involved.* He listed the commands. *I would like to see these troublesome shamans personally. Subdue and bring them to me for their further participation in the Shaman Tournament. Their fight must not go on any longer.* Silva and Kalim gasped again.
“Is it that serious, Chief Goldva? We have to bring down the shamans involved?” Kalim questioned.
*That isn't all…once I find out who their officiants are, they will face severe consequences along with the shamans. Chief Goldva signing off.* With that, the screen went blank without any second words from Silva and Kalim. Immediately they dressed themselves in their capes, taking off with their winged familiars where the light began to fade.
Miranda landed on the ground, still possessed by her new energies, but exhausted from the previous attack. Kevin fell to the ground hard, more exhausted than Miranda was and overtaxed on his mana but still in Over Soul. He soon climbed to his feet, both of them at a struggle to keep their Over Souls. Miranda already lost her Over Souls with the Dragons and was left with Yami Marik burning her sword. Miranda and Kevin breathed laboriously while staring each other down, their Over Souls beginning to flicker.
Ultimately, Kevin shifted forward first and fell to his knees, his Over Soul winding down to nothing. Once Miranda saw that Kevin's Over Soul dissipated, she let Yami Marik from her Over Soul to save her strain. “Looks like…I won, Kevin…” She wheezed out before her knees gave way and she fainted from exhaustion. Kevin watched Miranda collapse and tried to get to his knees.
“She collapsed…did she win?” He asked.
“I'm afraid so. Your Over Soul flickered out first.” Raquiez said, “Now we must leave. You need to rest up and train to ensure your next match a victory. We'll let the winner have the sleep she deserves.” Raquiez helped Kevin to his feet and took the Buster Sword from him. They both disappeared into the forests, Miranda twitching back to consciousness and lifted her head from the ground. Yami Marik kneeled next to Miranda while she gradually came to her senses.
“Miranda, are you OK?” He whispered. Miranda winced and groaned, soon feeling the pain in her left arm. She clutched her forearm fast. “Miranda?”
“Yami Marik?” She wheezed out as her eyes returned to their green color. “Find my Oracle Pager…and tell me the ending result please…” Miranda requested. Yami Marik nodded and looked nearby to find her Oracle Pager, lying on the ground with a blank screen. Miranda rolled onto her back for easier breathing. “What…does it say?”
Yami Marik looked at the Oracle Pager when he found it, his stare as blank as the screen he was looking at. “It's blank, nothing on it, and it doesn't look like it was active since it went off to begin the fight.” He said. Miranda gasped on his word and watched two figures circle the clearing. In minutes, both figures landed; one in front of Miranda and the other landed to begin walking about the battlefield.
The one before Miranda squatted down to the ground. “We're of the Patch Tribe Shaman Council. Are you all right?” He asked calmly. Miranda tried to lift herself up, soon getting aid from him until she sat up on the ground.
“I…I think I'm ok…just tapped out…” She answered. “If I had the strength in my voice, I'd chew you out for your absence.” Miranda winced and held her left arm.
“A shaman fight was here, unauthorized. Silva, there's only one shaman here.” The observing Patch stated.
“Try and find the other one, Kalim. I'll take her to Chief Goldva.” Silva said and helped Miranda to her feet. She didn't resist, just shocked to get this after her second match. Silva asked her, “Miranda, right? Who's your officiant that failed to show up?” Miranda was hesitant to answer.
“My Officiant was Chrom. Then in my first match, Stelet said Chrom was killed so he had to be the only referee for that match.” Miranda said, Silva flinched when the name came.
“You…you were also one of Chrom's shamans?” Silva stammered. “I thought we got everyone that was on Chrom's list and we missed you? Goldva's going to be ticked…” Kalim came from the forest surrounding.
“Silva, the other shaman is nowhere to be found; looks like we're reporting to Goldva with just one shaman this time.” Kalim said while approaching Silva and Miranda.
“This time? What are you two talking about?” Miranda asked, still struggling for breath from exhaustion. Kalim gathered Miranda's Pager and God Card and Yami Marik withdrew into the tablet.
“We'll explain later, after you explain why you involved in an unauthorized Shaman fight. Who was your opponent?” Silva threw the question at her.
“The name that appeared on my Pager was Raquiez, but I fought a different shaman, Kevin.” She answered. Her knees buckled and Silva had to hold her with his arms under her back and knees; he was deep in thought with his eyes gleaming under his headband.
“The same story as before too…at least we have a name of this Raquiez's substitute now.” Silva sighed.
“Not if any of that matters at the moment.” Kalim said and called forth his winged familiar. “We can't keep Chief Goldva waiting. She can recover her strength when we get there.” Sliva nodded and his own Silver Wing grasped his shoulders.
“This is going to be a rough trip…” The eagle cawed and flapped its wide wingspan, taking Silva and Miranda into the skies.
Raikoukou's pacing would run a circle into the floor, Montoya trying to contain his intolerance through the time of Miranda's absence. “Raikoukou of the Blue Lightning, Miranda—is fine.” Montoya said firmly. He was replied with a sparking glare from the fox's eyes.
How can I have confidence when this only her second match? I just don't feel that this is right, Montoya. She's been gone for three hours. Raikoukou concerned herself.
“She's probably just started to walk back, Rai. Calm down, you've been this high-strung since the second she left.” He groaned.
Would it make a difference that I said I lost track of her electromagnetic field ten minutes ago? Raikoukou snapped into his attention quickly. This being your laboratory, you ought to know some science. You must know that every living thing, and electrical machinery, has a distinct electromagnetic field. I as an elemental demon of lightning can sense those fields, and I've been around Miranda long enough to know even the slightest change in her field. Raikoukou explained and nailed on Montoya's last nerve.
“Alright!” Montoya stood up and slammed both of his hands on his desk; his head hung low from his shoulders with a glare of his own to the fox demon. “We…will go find Miranda… But if she is perfectly fine, you are going to have one sleepless week in the Hell of Noise.” He said plain out and adjusted the fedora on his head. Instantly the fox bolted out in her signature Blue Lightning. Alone, Montoya sighed but still made his way out of Pandemonium, his eyes running over Miranda's desk and her items that were left.
The Blue Lightning bolt landed north of Domino, adding smoke to the cinders of the ground. Craters were everywhere, each with massive traces of mana. Raikoukou slowly paced further into the middle of the clearing. Montoya showed up soon after, “This is where you've sensed Miranda last? She couldn't have died here, no remains at all and no traces except the mana craters.”
But it isn't her mana. These traces are from a more malicious sort, probably from her opponent… Raikoukou kept to examining the ground. There's so much of it I can't find any traces belonging to Miranda. Nor can I get her scent… Should there be this much ground damage in a preliminary fight?
“As far as I know, not enough to get the entire city's attention.” Montoya answered and pointed to Domino, awake and full of lights. “And by these craters, all I can say is this fight was poorly if not supervised.” He waited a few moments to satisfy the demon. “So you're right, something did happen to Miranda. Question is what happened here and long after it.”
Raikoukou still concentrated on the craters for at least a half-hour, going about the clearing twice and found nothing. Where is she? She angered herself. I know she is not dead so where is she? Montoya caught on to the fox's frustration.
“Can you sense her Guardian Ghost anywhere?” Montoya asked.
Yami Marik is not here either but…
“Why do you think they're called Guardian Ghosts?” Montoya puzzled Raikoukou. “A Spirit Ally such as Yami Marik would keep Miranda safe and know whom to trust to help Miranda to safety. As far as I know, Yami Marik is power-hungry from time to time and Miranda is his only way to get the power. He'd be able to keep Miranda safe if she got into any trouble.”
I guess so… Raikoukou lost her full form and came back to the size of a fox pup. She followed Montoya from the clearing and back to his apartments.
“Look on the bright side; you brought me out for something.” Montoya said casually. “Answered one question, but raised several others.”
­­­­­­­­­­­ ;­­­­­­­­­­­­&# 173; Slowly, Miranda gained more of her bearings in the night skies, carried in Silva's arms. Her hair whipped about her face, red strings flickered in the moonlight. Silver Wing glided straight ahead over the fading towns and into desert lands, wings pounded over them in intervals. Silver Wing cawed, “We're almost there…yeesh, she's in worse shape than the last one.”
“We just need to send her to Chief Goldva immediately.” Silva replied. Soon amber light signaled their descent and both officiants landed on their feet. Silva let Miranda stand on her own, but kept a firm hand on her shoulder. “My apologies, but we need to keep constant eye on you while you are here.” Even with recovery, Miranda was still lost as to what was going on while Kalim was handed her material possessions that made her a shaman: her sword, mortuary tablet, The Winged Dragon of Ra, and the Oracle Pager. Silver Wing withdrew back to one of Silva's rings and the three began to march on foot.
Teepees and campfires were scattered about, several men dressed similar to Silva and Kalim stared at Miranda without question and none of them said a word while they walked through. Children ran about in play until they spotted the solemn march. Two of the children, twin girls probably five years old, ran forward towards Silva; he gave a smile before his eyes went hidden under his headband. They stopped and watched the three keep moving deeper into the camp.
They came to the mouth of a large cave with totem poles on either side of the entrance. Miranda was still ushered by her shoulder to move inside. She eyeballed back to see Silva and Kalim breathe sighs of relief but kept moving though the dark hall. Light began to rise on the other end and Miranda gulped dryly. Totem poles surrounded the end of the cave in an ornate pattern behind electronic devices of the same theme. Floor mats were already in place on the dirt ground in a triangle and Miranda was forced to sit on her knees on the mat closest to the devices. Silva and Kalim kneeled behind her, slightly nervous.
“He knew we'd only bring one again?” Silva whispered.
“Lucky guess, Silva, considering the last time Raquiez's substitute evaded us.” An elderly voice replied. Miranda's gaze that was previously averted fell on to the voice's owner. She was kneeling before an elder dressed to be seen obvious as one of the highest ranks. Gray hair hung long under a wide headdress of feathers and leather cloaks. “I am Goldva, Chief of the Patch Tribe and Head of the Grand Shaman Council.” His wise eyes watched Miranda constantly once she made visual contact, making her as pale as the Patch behind her. Her breath went shallow and anxiety took over, her mind raised with grim thoughts.
The elder kept his eyes on her, soon rested a hand on her shoulder. “You are the second shaman to face Raquiez?” He asked. Miranda nodded slowly with her heart racing something fierce. “You must calm down, young shaman. You're only here in regards to what happened tonight.” He tried to assure, looking at the wound still trickling blood steadily. “And to get that healed. You've taken much damage tonight.”
Quick words escaped Miranda in a single second and a harsh whisper. She hung her head low in front of him, still in a panic. Goldva's stature matched that of Miranda's kneeling height but couldn't understand her and looked down on Miranda. “What did you say?” He asked, sounding less imitating as Silva and Kalim seemed to describe.
“I-I-I didn't want to f-fight him…” Miranda stuttered, though more audible in her speech, and protecting the identity of a friend. “I-I didn't want him to fight in this t-tournament. He doesn't know w-what he's getting himself i-into. He wouldn't listen to m-m-me, and I c-couldn't injure him-I had to hold back.” Miranda's panic reached dangerous heights, especially with a sliced wound that hasn't began to heal. A soft melody drifted through the cave, a song guided by winds over hollow pipes began to soothe Miranda's stressful manner. Her breaths grew longer and the red in her face faded.
Goldva set a flute made of small, hollow pipes made of stick by his side. “So that is why you've taken so much damage…” He seemed to sympathize.
“I knew he could not manage himself as a shaman ever since our encounter with Buster Blader at the museum.” She began, “But when I fought him tonight, he seemed different. By far, stronger and managed that same Buster Blader to be his spirit ally; but, his aura was darker, more malicious and merciless.”
“I see… But we of the Patch Tribe cannot afford to take the chances.” Goldva turned his back on Miranda. “Who is your officiant? He will be dealt in the same punishment as you.” The screen in front of Golva lit up to Miranda's status as a shaman. The name identified next to the officiant was Chrom. Goldva's eyes bulged with shock and looked over his shoulder. “We…have made a grave mistake… After Chrom's passing, we assigned his shaman to other officiants. You are the second shaman we've missed in the assigning, first being Ren Tao. Because, of this, your fight went unaware of our eyes. Records were previous that we had a Raquiez but lost contact with him right after his preliminary round and no data of him since. Even with his mentioned upbringing twice, we have not been able to track him.”
“However the first shaman to face Raquiez's substitute was disqualified.” Kalim pointed out, “Fairly, Miranda must be made to forfeit as well.”
“Only because that shaman contributed to the ground damages; Miranda was constantly on the receiving end of those blows. Why should she be disqualified if she was only in self-defense?” Silva tried to argue. Miranda was still trying to calm herself with Goldva glaring at the two attending Patch.
“I believe this has gone beyond my reach for the final decision, we shall turn to the Great Spirit for Miranda's further participation.” Goldva stated and retrieved Miranda's Oracle Pager from the table. Yami Marik leaked from the mortuary tablet by it and came to Miranda's shoulder as Goldva made his way to the big screen in front of them. He plugged the Oracle Pager into the computer and began to chant. Miranda struggled to keeper herself together, even with Yami Marik's assurance.
In moments, Goldva looked to the screen of the Oracle Pager and began to read from it. “Second Round vs. Raquiez: Victorious. Status: 1-1. By the Great Spirit's Will, you have proceeded to your final match. We do not question the Great Spirit's decision.” Goldva unhooked the Oracle Pager and returned it back to the table.
Miranda sat dumbfounded, and her mouth drew to a grateful smile and the weight broken from her shoulders. She soon realized the stream coming from her wound and looked back to Goldva.
“You will stay within the Patch Tribe camp tonight.” Goldva stated, “You are in no condition to return back. Again we give you our deepest apologies for our ignorance to your presence when Chrom was struck down.”
“Please, just do what you can. I might have been missed because I have been training under Montoya in the demon world a few weeks back.” Miranda replied. “Rai should be with him; please send a messenger to Rai or Montoya.” Goldva nodded and gestured to the attending Patch. Silva came forward and assisted Miranda to her quarters for the night.