Only Time: The Sacred Power

Chapter Eighteen

By J. Marie


Warning!!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17 (for the moment, but the rating is subject to change). Oh good Lord, what have I done? I've never ever written so much story before!! Chapter 18!! Sweet Jesus!! *curls into a miserable ball and wishes she could put forth such energy for her own novel* Anyways, I'll leave my pity party for one at the moment. And I'm sorry if you feel differently about Nuriko but this is how I see him, and how I want him to be, so no bitching about it. And I'm actually sticking to Yu Watase's character design of him, believe it or not. Read Eiko Den if you don't believe me. Oh, and you'll get some explanations for some stuff in here, so pay attention. And Uruki is my own creation, cooked up from my own demented little brain. :)


Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time
And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time

Who can say
why your heart sighs
as your love flies
- only time
And who can say
why your heart cries
when your love lies
- only time

Who can say
when the roads meet
that love might be
in your heart
And who can say
when the day sleeps
If the night keeps
all your heart

Night keeps all your heart

And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time
Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time

Who knows - only time

Who knows - only time

-- "Only Time" by Enya


"What the fuck was all that about?"

Taiitsukun raised an eyebrow at Nakago. The blonde was infuriated, it radiated from his every pore. And rarely did he use such language. She had never seen the normally cold and uncaring Nakago so upset. But apparently, he had formed a bond with Junko Ishida, and her mysterious disappearance enraged him.

"The Demon Elemental of Earth possessed Junko Ishida, and she left with other Four Demon Elementals. I thought that was obvious," Taiitsukun said evenly.

"Don't play games with me, old woman," Nakago commanded, and it caused Taiitsukun to come up short. He really did care for Tasuki's sister.

Tasuki himself was on his knees, sobbing his heart out. Taiitsukun pitied the boy. The loss of his sister was quite a shock, she only hoped he would recover.

"Perhaps it was flippant of me, Nakago, but it was the truth," Taiitsukun said gravely.

"Explain," he ordered, his blue eyes narrowed.

Taiitsukun sighed. "The Four Demon Elementals are the nemesis of the Four Gods. They embody all that is evil about the elements the Gods represent. They exist solely for the pleasure of destruction and pain. But in order to actually rain destruction across the Universe of the Four Gods, the Demon Elementals must inhabit bodies of real people with strong elemental aspects. On their own, the Demons are weaker than the Gods, but possessing human hosts, they become a powerful match. Fortunately, the Gods are still in their palaces in the Four Heavens. But now the Demon Elementals will try to draw the Gods out. To do that, they will try to harm their seishi, and their Mikos."

"Why do they wish to destroy the Gods? How did they get into the Book? And why are they suddenly taking Junko?" Tasuki asked, standing up and wiping his face. Though his bottom lip quivered, a look of determination was on his face.

"They, along with many other evil creatures, flocked into the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho as it was being created. They wished to rule my Universe, but in order to do that, they had to destroy the Four Gods. They were never able to defeat them. It was the Four Demon Elementals that gave Tenko his evil power. For in exchange for Tenko's power, he would assist them in binding them to real human hosts. Tenko was being used and never even knew it. They knew Tenko couldn't defeat the Gods, and they left him to fight his own battles, which he ultimately lost against the Four Gods.

"Though Tenko was a human from the real world, he lacked the elemental nature to be proper for their possession. They needed four humans from the real world, with corresponding elemental natures. And Tenko found them. He four novice Wiccans, each with a strong elemental aspect. They were holding a summoning, these four teenagers, in hopes of summoning up a spirit to guide them. In their ignorance, they summoned up Tenko, who brought with him the Four Demon Elementals. Water went to Danielle Manor, Wind to Joseph Kinder, Fire to Nicholas O'Brien, and Earth to Junko Ishida."

Tasuki moaned softly to himself, and he sagged at what Taiitsukun was telling him, but he felt strong arms around him. Nakago supported him and helped him stay standing, though Tasuki wanted to fall to his knees again. Tears slipped down his face.

"Junko proved to be the strongest of the four, as is the nature of earth. She cast the darkness from her after some great difficulty, and the Demon Elemental of Earth was forced to flee from Junko after a year and a half. But now, as her psyche is split in two, Junko teeters on the edge of sanity. The Demon Elemental of Earth saw it's opening today, after seventeen years, to possess her. And Junko was unable to resist her," Taiitsukun concluded, her face etched in sorrow.

"How... How do we save her?" Tasuki gulped, forcing himself to stop crying again. He felt foolish and childish, but his heart ached to know that Junko was gone.

"Aye, but there's the rub. The Demon Elementals have no true persona. Once they posses someone, they become that person. Junko Ishida is now the Demon Elemental of Earth. There is no separation between Demon and human anymore. What you will face is the dark side of the human soul. All four of the human hosts' souls have been corrupted, and their souls absorbed into darkness, as their bodies absorbed the darkness."

Tasuki managed not to cry, and beside him, Nakago worked his jaw. Tasuki hung his head, speechless in his grief.

"But hope is not lost. If light can be found within Junko Ishida's soul, then that light can set her free. Light must be found in all four souls, in order to set them free. It is up to you seishi to stand up to them, and seek their redemption. To destroy them would only destroy their human bodies, and any chance of any of them coming back alive. I do not know of the others, but I know that at least Junko was absorbed while alive. If you have the hope, faith, love, and strength to set their souls free of the darkness, then those four beings may be freed......"

"How? How do I do this?" Tasuki asked, snapping his head up. The entire assembly was watching Taiitsukun intently, trusting in her words.

"That is a task impossible for you, Tasuki. You represent the power of the yin, as does every other male Celestial warrior... Males represent the yin side of things, the destruction, the darkness, the way of the warrior. Though every male has his female side, you can never truly grasp the power of the yin. The Four Demon Elementals represent the power of yin as well, despite their gender, for they are an embodiment of darkness. The Four Gods represent both, despite their gender, for they are gods. In order to match them, the Four Demon Elementals had to find four humans who had elemental natures, or yang natures. Despite their genders, all four human hosts, including Junko, represent the power of yang. Yang is represented by your priestesses, it is creation, brightness, and the way of the healer. The power of yang must out-balance the power of yin, should you wish to cast the yin from the yang."

"So the Priestesses must find a way to cast the Demons out then?" Yui asked gently.

"Not at all. As it is the power of a human from the real world that grants the Demon Elementals power, it is the power of a human from the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho that can destroy them. And priestess or no priestess, there is one in each seishi to help balance the power of yin. Six yins, one yang. So great is the power of brightness, creativity, reception, and creation, that only one yang from each seishi is needed. The yang of the priestess is what binds the seishi together, and joins with the yin aspect of the God, to unleash the God's yang power. It is when the Priestess makes wishes that use the power of yin, that the wishes are either not granted, or cause the Priestess to be devoured if she is weak enough. For example, Suzuno's wish to be with Tatara, a selfish wish, was a release of yin power, which caused her wish to not be granted. The yin power is tied to the Priestess's yang, and if untied, causes harm."

Both Tatara and Yuiren hung their head in shame. Most of the seishi were missing part of the explanation, unable to follow the muddled philosophy behind it. Only Chiriko and Miboshi were able to grasp what Taiitsukun said completely.

"So.... six yins, one yang, you said, right? That means six male seishi, and one female seishi. One yang to counterbalance the yins, for that yang is as strong as the other six. But wouldn't that make them the most powerful seishi?" Chiriko asked.

"It is not the power of yin and yang that defines the level of your power. It is the power of yin and yang that defines the power of one's soul. And there is one in each senshi that has a powerful soul, a will that can bear pain and come out stronger for it. One in each seishi that defines what hope, faith, love, and strength are all about. And that is the sole female seishi in each senshi...."

The Seiryu seishi's eyes fell on Soi, who blinked in shock. The Genbu seishi's eyes fell on Uruki, who pointed to herself in surprise. The Byakko seishi's eyes fell on Subaru, who smiled knowingly. The Suzaku seishi looked at each other in confusion.

All of the Suzaku Seven were men.

It was Tasuki who spoke up, shrugging Nakago's touch off to step closer to his fellow seishi. Nakago's face registered hurt at the brush-off for a moment, before being replaced by a frosty expression.

"But we're all men, Taiitsukun. The Suzaku seishi have no yang...." Tasuki said, thoroughly lost.

"You're wrong. You're not all men. One amongst you was born into the wrong gender. As the balance was weakened, one Suzaku warrior was reborn as a man, weakening the entire senshi. Did none of you ever wonder why the Seiryu senshi was more powerful? Why none of you could match yourselves against Nakago? With all of you men, all powers of yin, your entire senshi was weakened. With the presence of yang, Tasuki would have been able to assert himself as leader, and bring his latent powers to full bear. If the one among you who is really a woman was a woman, then all seven of you could have matched the Seiryu seishi blow for blow. Though the female seishi's soul is greatest, her power is secondary, it is the God himself who grants the powers to his seishi. Before, I was unable to rectify the problem, but now, with a portion of each God's power and blessing, I can restore the Suzaku seishi with the power of yang to her rightful gender," Taiitsukun said smugly.

Everyone gaped as the old woman handed a colorful ball of light to the four nyan-nyans around her. Each took a piece of it, and turned to Nuriko, giggling.

Nuriko blinked, and none present was surprised, except for Nuriko himself. "But... but I just accepted myself as a man...." he said softly, his large purple eyes filling with tears. He stepped out and stood before Taiitsukun.

"You are lost and confused, my child. In your last life, you learned to accept yourself as a man. And that is how you damned not only yourself, but your fellow seishi. Will you damn them again, Nuriko?" Taiitsukun asked patiently, her face not so harsh, her eyes sympathetic.

Nuriko was silent for a minute, tears falling down his face. "But I'm a man.... I'm not gay. I wanted to be a woman..... But I'm not.... Aren't I suppose to accept that?" he whispered.

"You are not gay, Nuriko. You are a woman trapped in a man's body. With this power I can change you to a woman. No one but your fellow seishi would even remember you to be a man. You have been exploring the part of you that is yin. Return to your true self, Nuriko. Reach out to the yang and embrace it, if not for yourself, then for your friends," Taiitsukun said gently.

"I.... I... don't know who I am....." Nuriko sobbed. No one spoke at the moment, pondering. Nuriko had to find himself, accept himself.

"Then who would?" Taiitsukun asked.

Nuriko was quiet, his face unreadable as he searched within himself. And then the Suzaku Seven spoke up.

"Guy or girl, Nuriko, you've always been a loving person....." Chiriko smiled.

"You gave your life for us, for me, without a thought of yourself!" Miaka cried passionately.

"It was you who encouraged me, gave me advice whenever I had troubles with Miaka," Taka said with a clap of friendship on Nuriko's shoulder.

"It never mattered to me what you were, Nuriko. Even as much as I said I hated girls, I loved you like a sister, and a brother, all at once," Tasuki piped up.

"Your kindness had no limits, and that is not something defined by gender, Nuriko," Mitsukake offered.

"There was only one person I knew I could bare my heart to, who would see my real face, and smile back at me. And that was you, Nuriko," Chichiri said.

Hotohori's hair hung in his face but he was watching Nuriko intently. "No matter how much of ass I am.... you always loved me. For me, you'd do anything, even if I didn't deserve it. Not even gender would prevent you....." he said quietly.

Nuriko chewed on his bottom lip, his tears welling up in his eyes, but he still smiled. "You guys.... I love you all!" he cried suddenly.

And then he knew.

"Alright, Taiitsukun. Make me a woman," Nuriko finally said. He knew now what he was.

Nuriko was a loving person, no matter what gender. It didn't matter whether Nuriko was a man or a woman. Nuriko was Nuriko, and finally, after two lifetimes, that was enough.

The nyan-nyans descended on the purple-haired seishi, and sparks of light illuminated all of them, covering whatever odd process the nyan-nyans were doing to make Nuriko a woman.

And then the clothes started flying out of the sphere of light.


"Hey, I might need that!!!"

"Don't yank so hard on that!!!"



All of the assembled group stared at the sphere of light that covered Nuriko and the nyan-nyans, wondering what they were doing in there. And then most of the men decided they didn't want to know.

And when it was all over, Nuriko stood before them, naked and shivering.

And most obviously female.

"Wow!! Nice tits!!" Tokaki grinned. Hikitsu narrowed his eyes and Subaru slapped him on the back of the head.

Nuriko glared at the silver-haired Byakko warrior, and covered her breasts with her long, unbound purple hair. Tokaki rubbed his head ruefully.

"I was just trying to be honest.... Jeez!! Hey, Hikitsu, don't be mad!!" Tokaki cried, noting that Hikitsu looked infuriated.

"So what do you have to say, now that you're a woman, Nuriko?" Chichiri smiled.

Nuriko's beautiful face looked sour. Little about her had changed, other than male sexual organs had been replaced with female ones, and she had more curves now.

"Out of all the things I was able to do as a man, I'm going to miss standing up to pee the most," she noted darkly.

Chichiri blinked rapidly. "Uh, why's that.....?" he asked slowly.

"Because when I have to take a leak I know it's going to be messy...." Nuriko sighed.

"It's not that bad, Nuriko. You'll just be needing more toilet paper is all," Yuiren giggled.

"One day somebody will have to explain to me why somebody as girl crazy as Tokaki wound up with another guy," Taka sighed, staring at Tokaki and Hikitsu, as the smaller boy tried to kiss the gray-haired seishi to salve his ruffled emotions.

"Simple. Women are walking sex toys to Tokaki. He could fuck us, but never love us. Well, he loved me in his past life, but I think I'm a special case. But with Hikitsu, Tokaki has to love him. It's not really about sex. Although I was as surprised as you to discover that Tokaki enjoys sex with other men as much as he does women. Learn something new about people all the time...." Subaru said with a fond smile, as Hikistu finally relented and shared a kiss with Tokaki.

"Hey, you two weren't brother and sister in your past life... were you....?" Taka asked nervously.

Subaru eyed the black-haired man. "Do we look like Suboshi and Amiboshi to you? Of course not!" she cried, exasperated.

"Must everyone talk at once???" Taiitsukun cried, silencing the small crowd.

The nyan-nyans giggled, and produced Nuriko's clothing back to her. Nuriko happily put them back one, and noted that she was wearing man's clothes, since that was what she had on before she was changed.

"As a man, I dressed as a woman, so I suppose it's only fair that as a woman I dress as a man at least once," Nuriko grinned.

"So, now that this huge problem has been fixed, how do we defeat the Four Demon Elementals?" Uruki cut in. She was the female seishi of the Genbu Seven, and was painfully practical.

"That is for you to discover, little seishi. All I can tell you is that you and the other three females are the only ones who can separate human from Demon," Taiitsukun replied.

Uruki placed a hand on her hip and sighed in frustration. She was rather pretty, with shoulder-length black hair and a slender figure. Her face was calm and implacable, the slant of her green eyes almost harsh. She wore a black dress, cut simple, yet elegant, tied with a green sash just beneath her breasts. She had on black heels, and most of the seishi assembled got the feeling that she wasn't afraid to bury that heel in the groin of someone who pissed her off. Her make-up was delicate and in shades of green, and just beneath her left eye was an ornate and intricate tattoo of some abstract form. Her powers involved creating ki shields used to protect herself and those in her line of sight.

"I hate it when she gives me the run-around..." Uruki griped loudly, glaring at Taiitsukun for her dismissive answer.

"Can you at least tell us what the Sacred Power that they're suppose to find and use to save the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho is? And I thought the favored were suppose to use it..... I'm confused now...." Keisuke sighed, finally speaking up.

"I cannot. The Sacred Power is for you to discover. The riddle is for you to solve. The Demon Elementals are not the reason why I have reawakened you. They are just one of the many evils set loose by the disruption in balance. You must defeat them if you wish to gain Genbu no Miko back. And you will need her for your quest. But I have other matters I need to solve, before you may return.

"Taka. Tamahome. Stand before me."

Father and son exchanged glances. During the whole proceeding, Tamahome had been standing quietly by his father, and a seishi symbol burned on his forehead, same as his father's. Both men came and stood before Taiitsukun, staring at the elderly woman in expectation.

Taiitsukun smiled. "Tamahome is the first sichiseishi of Suzaku. He possesses the symbol of the Ogre, and to him are granted the powers of superior fighting, and the use of chi blasts. Tamahome died when Yui summoned Genbu with Junko's spiritual help, in order to be reborn in his beloved's world. His soul was reborn in Taka Sukunami. Taka Sukunami absorbed the memory jewels of his past life, recalling it perfectly. But the powers of a seishi were lost to him, for he was granted a normal human body. He accepted such, and lived his life with Miaka Yuki, who became his wife and mother of his two children.

"On Suzaku no Miko, Taka sired Tamahome Sukunami, his son, and the reincarnation of the seishi Tamahome's body. By the time the other seishi were of age, Taka would be too old, and past his seishi prime. In his place would stand his son, Tamahome Sukunami. But Tamahome does not possess the soul of Tamahome. In him reside only the ancestral echoes of his father, the vaguest residual memories of Tamahome's body. Tamahome possesses the power Taka cannot wield. But body and soul must be joined if Tamahome is to stand with his fellow seishi. I will switch Taka's soul, and place it in Tamahome's, and Tamahome's soul will enter his father's body. When the Sacred Power has been discovered and the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho saved, then you will return to normal. Do you accept this?" Taiitsukun intoned seriously.

"Is it just me, or is this getting weirder and weirder the more she talks?" Tasuki whispered loudly to Chichiri. Chichiri just grinned.

"We do," Taka and Tamahome said in unison.

With that statement, a bright flash of white light encased both of them, and two red orbs burst forth from Taka and Tamahome's bodies. They flew into the other's body and both father and son's bodies twitched violently as their souls were switched.

The white light faded and Taka peered from Tamahome's eyes, and Tamahome peered from Taka's eyes. Both grinned at each other.

"I haven't felt this energetic in years!!" Taka in Tamahome cheered.

"Boy, do I feel sluggish," Tamahome in Taka grumped.

"Man, I forgot how horny teenagers get..." Taka in Tamahome frowned.

"Hey, I can focus on something besides sex!" Tamahome in Taka grinned.

Taiitsukun rolled her eyes. "For obvious reasons, it would be best that neither of you engaged in sexual activities.... Now, for simplicity's sake, I suggest you go by your body's name. I think this has already confused Miaka enough," the old woman sighed.

Both father and son turned to Miaka Sukunami, and watched her leg twitch while lying on the ground, her face blue, and sweatdrops rolling down her face. "I'm... never... gonna... be able... to sort... this out!!" she cried.

"Now every book need it's reader," Taiitsukun said, turning to Keisuke and Taka (who's actually Tamahome). "Keisuke, you've read the book before, I ask you to do it again. Your faith, your reading, will provide the link back to the real world. Taka, being as how you are no longer part of the Tamahome equation, I ask that you assist Keisuke in his readings."

"What about me?" Tetsuya asked, the first time he had spoken in quite some time.

"Genbu no Miko is lost for the time being. The Genbu Seven shall need someone from the real world to stand in her place. I have chosen you for this task, Tetsuya, for your element is also Earth," Taiitsukun said calmly.

"WHAT???? But I'm a man!!!" Tetsuya cried, utterly flabbergasted.

"In all actuality, the gender of the Priestess does not matter until they actually summon the Beast God. You shall be the stand-in Priestess of Genbu, until such time as she is found," Taiitsukun grinned wickedly.

"I'm.... so... humiliated.....!" Tetsuya cried.

"But you'll do it?" Taiitsukun asked.

Tetsuya muttered under his breath. "As long as it means I don't have to dress in those slinky Miko costumes, fine..." he sighed reluctantly.

"But you would look so cute in one!" Yui cried with an impish grin.

"Oh no. Don't even go there, Yui," Tetsuya growled.

"Then I believe you're all ready...." Taiitsukun said, turning to observe every person there individually.

Tasuki stepped forth, his golden eyes wide. "Tell me, Taiitsukun. Tell me why the redheaded man looks so much like me. Tell me how he knows my sister. Tell me how they would even love each other. Tell me why all four of them were in Junko's pictures," he said firmly, his eyes threatening to spill tears again, despite his resolve.

"And tell me why those two blondes resembled me," Nakago said from near Tasuki, glaring at Taiitsukun.

The haggard old woman suddenly hung her head, and looked infinitely sad. "Would that I could tell you, children, but it is not my story to tell. It is Junko's. In order to salvage her psyche, you must understand it. All will be revealed, but I cannot be the one to do it. For this, I am truly sorry," she said softly.

Tasuki turned his face, desperately wanting to know, but even he could recognize it was not the time to learn this secret. Nakago worked his jaw silently, and found his eyes resting on Tasuki's back, noting the tense muscle lines of the redhead's shoulders.

"Very well," Nakago said stiffly, wishing desperately that Tasuki would turn to him for comfort. Little did he know that Tasuki desperately wished to turn to Nakago for comfort, but he was too afraid at the moment.

"Listen well, seishi of the Four Beast Gods. Each senshi will return to their homeland. You must travel to the capitol, and recover your weapons, and sacred items. Bring forth with you two members of each royal line to Mt. Taikyoku. There, they will open the paths for you, so you may enter the Four Gates, and into the Hidden Temple. In order to enter the Four Gates, you must have all four Priestesses.

"I cannot tell you what lies within the Hidden Temple, or what other trials face you. All I can say is that the four favored of each God, Hikitsu, Tokaki, Tasuki, and Nakago, must discover the Sacred Power, and only by wielding this power will they defeat the greatest of all foes, and save the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho. But all seishi must be present, for they must each carry a little of the Sacred Power within all of them as well. This is the riddle of the Mysterious Play, and only by solving the Fushigi Yugi of the Universe of the Four Gods will you be granted the Sacred Power.

"Priestesses, gather your seishi behind you and stand in the cardinal direction of your God," Taiitsukun commanded.

As the Suzaku Seven gathered to the south, with Miaka before them, the Seiyu Seven gathered to the west with Yui before them, and the Byakko Seven to the east, with Yuiren before them. The Genbu Seven gathered to the north, but no one stood before them.

"Tetsuya. This includes you," Taiitsukun sighed, rubbing her temples.

"Huh? Oh, right!" the man said, straightening his sunglasses and standing before the Genbu Seven. Keisuke started to snicker at his best friend, until he received a warning glare from Taiitsukun. Taka elbowed his uncle to silence.

"Priestesses, each in turn, in order of the cycle, stretch your hand towards the book, and call upon the power of your God. You will return inside the Book of the Universe of the Four Gods. May fortune smile on us all," Taiitsukun said gravely.

White light flashed intensely, and Taiitsukun, and her nyan-nyans were gone. The book floated in between all the assembled seishi, directly in the center, open, and the pages fluttering madly. It glowed green, then yellow, then red, then blue.

Tetsuya looked embarrassed and smiled softly at his wife and beloved sons. "I love you, Yui, Suboshi, Amiboshi. I love you all..." he smiled.

"I love you, too, Tetsuya," Yui smiled back.

"And we love you, Father!" Suboshi and Amiboshi cried in unison.

Tetsuya closed his eyes and then reopened them. he held out his hand, feeling like an idiot, but following directions. This was important, and his wife and sons' survival depended on his ability to help.

"Power of Genbu!!" Tetsuya cried, and a bright green glow surrounded him and the Genbu Seven.

"Tokaki! I love you!" Hikitsu cried suddenly, turning to the silvery-haired seishi just as the glow began.

Tokaki blinked at first, and then he grinned widely. Tamahome (who’s actually Taka), blinked his eyes. He didn't know anything of how Hikitsu and Tokaki came together, or why, but the fact that Hikistu loved Tamahome's master, touched Tamahome. Love meant something to him.

"I love you, too, Hikitsu!" Tokaki cried, just as Hikitsu and all the rest faded. The elfin seishi frowned, hoping Hikistu heard him. His sister, Subaru, put a hand on his shoulder in comfort, grinning at her twin brother. She was happy to know that her brother and his lover had finally admitted their feelings, after a year of playing games.

"Goodbye, Mommy, Daddy... Tama- I mean, Big Brother," Yuiren giggled to her brother who was inhabiting their father's body. "See ya on the other side!"

"Power of Byakko!!" she cried loudly, and yellow light swallowed the Byakko Seven, pulling them into the book. Both her parents seemed upset as she left.

Miaka sniffled, missing her daughter, but knowing nothing would rest or be safe until she let Yuiren go, and take of her duties at Byakko no Miko. She turned to her son then, noting the look of youth and innocence in husband's body, due to the possession of her son's soul. It seemed off. "I love you, Tam- I mean Tak-, my son. You watch out for your crazy uncle now!!" she smiled, wiping a tear.

"No problem, Mom! See ya later, Dad!" Taka grinned to his own body.

Tamahome wiped the tear that appeared when his daughter left, and then smiled at his son. "Love ya, son," he said.

"Good bye, Miaka, Tak-Tamahome!! Love ya guys!!" Keisuke waved to his sister and brother-in-law.

"Bye, bro!!" Miaka grinned as Tamahome waved back. Miaka turned to her life-long best friend.

"Take care, Yui. See ya later, girlfriend!!" she cried with a madcap smile.

"I'll just follow the empty bowls, Miaka!! You take care, too!" Yui grinned back.

Miaka gave her childhood best friend the thumbs up sign and then held her hand outstretched. "Power of Suzaku!!" she cried.

Tasuki suddenly looked alarmed and turned to Nakago. He smiled sadly, a single tear rolling down his cheek. Nakago took a step to him, wishing he could snatch Tasuki into his arms, and hating himself for that weak desire.

"Goodbye, Nakago..." Tasuki whispered, and faded away, pulled into the book by the red light.

"Goodbye, Tasuki," Nakago said softly, after Tasuki had already left. He felt empty and alone, and wondered if he was up to the upcoming challenge. What he really wanted to do was curl up in bed with Tasuki and never leave.

"Power of Seiryu!!" Yui cried firmly.

And with a flash of blue light, the last of seishi reentered the book of the Universe of the Four Gods. Keisuke took the book in his arms, and turned to his nephew.

"Time to hit the books, kid. Literally," Keisuke grinned.


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