Only Time: The Sacred Power
By J. Marie
Warning!!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17. Ever onward and forwards...
The Four Beast Gods stood before their assembled seishi, each holding the limp body of their priestess. The very room itself crackled with power, and each seishi could not bear to tear their eyes from their god. They had appeared in human form, yet there was certainly nothing mortal about the gods.
To the north stood the most imposing of all the gods, a harsh-looking man with dark green hair tightly pulled back and a thin, drooping moustache. His beauty was terrible, and his clothes cut like that of a soldier. To the east stood Byakko, the most delicate of all the gods, with golden hair and an ornate headdress. His beauty was intense and his clothes that of a courtesan. To the south stood Suzaku, the most charming of all the gods, with bright red hair and red nails as sharp as the claws of a bird. He was lovely and vivid to look upon, and his clothes were like that of a sorcerer. To the west stood the fiercest of all the gods, Seiryu, with wild blue hair, and ears like that of a sea serpent. He was handsome in his barely-contained rage, and he wore the clothes of a samurai. Each was as mighty as the last, and the mortals before them trembled.
It was Tasuki who spoke first, and even as he stepped forward, Suzaku smiled at him affectionately. "Um, well, nice to meet you guys and all, and you guys are really cool and all that, but...can I have my sister back? And the others, too?" he asked, as close to timid as Tasuki could ever be.
The Lady Junko is unable to rejoin you, Tasuki of the Suzaku Seven, for she has not finished her task and neither have you.
Tasuki swallowed and gaped. Genbu's voice had rolled around inside his head like a bass drum. He had to have spoken, for his lips had moved, but the sound seemed to come from the very earth, rather than inside him. Tasuki nodded and stepped back, the gaze of the Tortoise God sending terror into his bones.
Suzaku then turned to the group, a smile on his face. It is well that you all have come this far. Taiitsukun said you have found the Sacred Power, and you are ready to conquer the Evil that threatens us even now. For our world is being unmade, and only you can restore the balance and remake the world as it is meant to be. But do not fear for your priestesses. They are well. But they must join the Celestial Circle, as must we all, in order to restore our Universe. But first, you seishi must defeat the Shadows of the Void, that which threatens to undo us.
"But Suzaku, we never found the Sacred Power! We don't even know what it is, or how to use it!!" Chiriko cried.
Not even we know what the Sacred Power is, little Chiriko. It is Taiitsukun's secret, and she proclaimed that you have it, so then you must have it. But regardless of such, the time has come for us to imbue you with our blessings and our power, for we cannot defeat the Shadows, but you surely can.
The seishi looked at each other in wonderment, and then without warning, the Four Gods opened their arms, and their Priestess hovered before them, spinning in the light they radiated. Tamahome gasped, stepping closer to his wife, but the light pulsed and he was driven back. The Priestesses awoke, clothed in glowing raiments made from the stars themselves. In their eyes burned the power of their gods.
And in a flash, they disappeared from view, leaving the seishi alone with their Gods. The gods each turned to their groups, their power crackling about their hands in tangible form. The sound of waves crashing, of earth quaking, of fire burning, and of wind rushing filled their ears, and the light soon came to be too much to bear.
The Four Gods then spoke as one. Take with you a piece of us, and share our blessings. Arm yourselves with the elements, and prepare yourselves for battle. You are our chosen warriors, you are the Celestial Warriors of the Four Gods. Go forth in virtue.
Each seishi then felt their very bodies raise up into the air, bathed in the divine glow of their god. Power surged through their veins and a bond, a link like no other, was forged between they and their God. When the seishi opened their eyes, the Gods had disappeared, and the glow on the four Favored were just starting to fade. A shimmering light vaguely resembling Taiitsukun's haggard face appeared.
The world outside is undone. All that is left is this mountain and its hidden temple. Climb the mountain, and seek the dojo at the top. You will enter the Celestial Realms. Even now your priestesses and your gods hover above here in the Celestial Circle, awaiting you to join them. Use the Sacred Power, for only that can allow you to defeat the Shadows. Fare well, Warriors of the Four Gods.
And then even Taiitsukun's image faded away, and four doors appeared, leading outside to Mt. Taikyoku.
"Well, what must be done, must be done. Good luck all," Hikitsu intoned, glancing meaningfully at Tokaki, who smiled back at him. He then headed to the north door, his fellow warriors behind him.
"See ya at the top!!" Tokaki grinned rakishly, though nervousness was evident in his eyes. He then turned to the east door, along with the Byakko Seven.
Tasuki bit his bottom lip and glanced at Nakago, whose face was unreadable. "See ya around. Don't get lost Naka-chan. Top means up," he said, a wicked grin spreading across his face.
Nakago smirked. "Yes, I'm very familiar with being on top, Tasuki. Since you are so accustomed to being at the bottom, you might want to heed your own advice," he said lightly.
Tasuki's eyes bugged out and he blushed, while both the Seiryu and Suzaku Seven burst into laughter. He finally grinned and planted a quick kiss on Nakago's cheek before scampering towards the south door, his giggling seishi in tow.
Nakago smiled after him, until he realized his friends were grinning at him. He replaced his smile with his familiar look of ice, and stomped towards the west door, the Seiryu Seven trailing after him, snickering.
Above twinkled the light of the Priestesses and the Four Gods in the Celestial Circle, illuminating the growing twilight. Below struggled seven figures climbing up the south side of Mt. Taikyoku.
Tasuki sighed, sweat dripping from his face. He glanced underneath him, at the other Suzaku Seven, and noticed that all but Nuriko were straining as hard as he was. They were very near the top, and Chiriko was so close to passing out that he was piggy-backing on Nuriko.
"Fine way to start a fight. Tired and sweaty. And I really gotta pee," Tasuki grumbled.
"Thanks for sharing that lovely piece of information with us, ya know. Any other personal things we should know about before we start fighting shadows?" Chichiri quipped dully. The closer they got to the top, the more apprehensive he seemed to become.
Tasuki sighed, noting the grim expression on everyone's faces. They were not in the mood for jokes and levity. There was too much at stake. He pulled himself up to the overhang, and found to his surprise that they had reached the summit. He pulled his lean body onto the rocks and reached down to help the others up.
The Suzaku Seven assembled, grimly staring ahead at the large dojo before them. The southern door was before them, outlined in red. The dojo itself was black and gray. Its very presence disturbed them.
"You know things are serious when Hotohori's not bitching about the state of his hair," Tasuki quipped, trying to lighten the mood. Nuriko smacked him on the back of the head half-heartedly.
Tasuki sighed, and then smiled at his friends. "I love all you guys. Just wanted to say that before we go get eaten alive trying to use a power we don't even know anything about," he said.
"I think that goes for all of us, Tasuki. We all love you, and we all love each other. That's what real friends do," Chiriko smiled warmly.
"This is really very touching, and of course I love you all in a strictly platonic friendship-type of way, but if we don't stop this, I'm going to physically ill. And destiny waits for no one. Shouldn't we be moving along?" Mitsukake sighed.
Chichiri grinned up at his friend. "Point taken. Ever onwards and forwards then?" he asked.
"Let's go, Suzaku Seven!" Tasuki grinned, and turned towards the ominous-looking door.
"Why's it so empty?"
Chichiri was feeling sick to his stomach. This was wrong, all wrong. Something bad was going to happen, he could feel it in his bones. But what choice did they have? They had to do this. Yet, his dreams still haunted him.
They were inside the dojo, and inside it was as dark as night, illuminated only by a skylight in the center. The glow was sickly and left them feeling like they were in the pits of some dungeon. They stood on a ledge that was roughly a hundred feet square, and around them yawned a bottomless chasm filled with darkness. To the north sat the ledge that the equally confused Genbu Seven had reached. On the west and east ledges stood the Seiryu Seven and the Byakko Seven, respectively.
Flashes of Chichiri's dreams flew past his mind's eye. He felt cold for no reason and dread settled in his belly. He watched Nakago to the west warily, but Nakago was just a teenage school boy. The Kutou general who killed thousands to satiate his twisted revenge was long dead.
Almost as if on cue, shadows began to rise from the chasm, one on each ledge. Chichiri focused on the one on their ledge. Tasuki, who was closest, back-pedaled and fell on his ass. The shadow spiraled and formed into a human shape in seconds, taking color and form into itself. The being shook, and shadows fell from it, like droplets of water. The Shadow raised its head, and the Suzaku Seven gasped.
Tasuki stood before them, dressed as he used to, in his black cloak. The same earrings and necklace that Tasuki had taken from his corpse were on the Shadow, and the same wicked smile. The wild red hair was styled the same, and the beady amber eyes glittered at the Suzaku Seven.
Genrou stood before them once more.
"No!! You can't be me!!" Tasuki croaked in shock, even as the Shadow-Tasuki pulled out the same fire tessen.
"Tasuki!! It doesn't matter!! Just duck!!" Nuriko screamed, and taking cover, just as did the rest of the Suzaku Seven.
There were no command words from the Shadow, for it did not speak. But the huge fireball that spiraled from the tessen spoke of power that not even Tasuki could wield.
"Fuck!! Bastard looks just like me!!" Tasuki screamed, landing near Chichiri. "Get 'im, guys!! That's our ridiculously good-looking enemy!!"
"Humble, aren't we?" Nuriko quipped, jumping onto the Shadows back and pummeling him across the back of his head. Unlike the real Tasuki, it had no effect, and the creature shook her off. Nuriko fell to the ground and nearly slid off the ledge, but Hotohori caught her first.
"Yeah, we're fucked," Tasuki sighed. "Rekka-shinen!!!"
The real Tasuki's fireball spiraled away from his own tessen, but the Shadow was quick and ducked out of the way, springing towards Tamahome, who immediately started attacking the Shadow.
Chichiri held out his hands and chanted, attacking the creature with his spells and praying for the best while Tamahome kept it occupied. Tasuki was tossing more fire at it, and Hotohori was swinging his sword at it.
It was then that Chichiri's eyes strayed from his own battle and he saw that Seiryu Seven were fighting their own Shadow. And it looked just like the old Nakago, complete with his dragon armor and sword. And the Shadow-Nakago's ki blasts were not in short supply as he was liberally applying them to the Seiryu Seven.
Chichiri's blood ran cold.
The real Nakago was screaming orders, and trying to defeat his Shadow, but something seemed entirely wrong. They weren't doing it right, Chichiri could feel it somehow. Something was missing, even though they were attacking as a team. And their Shadow seemed even more powerful than theirs. Why?
And to the north and east, a Shadow version of both Hikitsu and Tokaki were fighting the Genbu and Byakko Seven, respectively. They seemed to be doing better then the Seiryu Seven, who now had Tomo on the ground moaning in pain.
The heat from one of the Shadow's fireballs startled Chichiri back to his own battle. Tasuki was in front of him, and the rest of the Suzaku Seven stood by his side.
"We have to do this together!! C'mon guys, focus your ki!!" Tasuki cried, holding up his tessen. Chichiri quickly put up a magical force field around them before the next fireball came, and focused his energies into Tasuki's tessen. Grim expressions of determination passed across all of the Suzaku Seven's faces as they focused their powers into Tasuki.
Tasuki lowered his tessen, and pointed it at the Shadow, who approached them ever closer.
"REKKA-SHINEN!!!" Tasuki screamed, a fireball of immense proportions flying from his tessen and smashing into the Shadow's chest. A soundless scream reverberated across the room and the Shadow dissipated, and the southern ledge was bathed in white light.
Chichiri sighed in relief, and noted that to the north and east, the Genbu and Byakko Seven were also doing the same, and defeating their shadows. Somehow, they had already found the Sacred Power, and defeated their Shadows.
And then Chichiri's eyes fell to the west, even as did Tasuki's. Chichiri fell to his knees, for his dream was about to come true.
All was lost.
No matter what they did, or how they did it, Nakago and the Seiryu Seven could not defeat their Shadow. Tomo and Ashitare lay bleeding on the ground, and Soi, Amiboshi, Suboshi, and Miboshi were huddled behind him in a last ditch attempt to gather their ki together. But it was useless.
Nakago kneeled before his Shadow self, and stared into his own cold, merciless blue gaze. The Shadow-Nakago was going to destroy them. He was too powerful, and he was immune to all their attacks and powers. Not even attacking him with a gathered force had worked, as it had with the other seishi. Why were the Seiryu Seven alone unable to defeat their enemy? The others had obviously found the Sacred Power. How could the Seiryu Seven not find it? They had been with the other seishi every step of the way.
Nakago gathered his remaining ki, pondering his fate. Miboshi released the gathered ki of himself, the twins, and Soi, but like all their other attacks, it failed. The Shadow-Nakago smirked and raised his glowing hand, slowly preparing for the imminent deathblow.
Nakago knew he could not hurt his enemy, or hope to stop him. And he had just enough ki left to either protect himself from the killing blow, or protect the others, and forego his own safety. There wasn't even much of a choice left to Nakago. He surrounded the other six of the Seiryu Seven with his ki and stood up before his enemy. Perhaps his death would end this battle, and the others would be allowed to go free. After all, it was he that the Shadow was mimicking.
The Shadow-Nakago laughed soundlessly and raised his hand to hurl the ki blast that would kill Nakago.
Chichiri realized what Nakago was doing. He was going to sacrifice himself to save his friends, in the hopes that the battle would then end. And Tasuki understood it at the same time.
Chichiri turned to Tasuki a second too late. Just like in his dream.
"NAKAGO!!! DON'T!!!" Tasuki screamed, and jumped from their ledge across the yawning chasm with a great leap. Just like in Chichiri's dream.
"TASUKI!! NOOOOO!!!" Chichiri screamed, reaching after his best friend. Just like in his dream.
The evil Nakago hurled off a bright blue ki blast straight for the real Nakago's heart, just as Tasuki reached the western ledge, flipping onto it with his superhuman speed and racing towards Nakago. Just like in Chichiri's dream.
The Shadow-Nakago's ki blast hit Tasuki in the back, just as he reached Nakago. Tasuki fell into Nakago's arms, bleeding. Just like in Chichiri's dream.
And Chichiri and Nakago both sobbed aloud for Tasuki.
Just like in his dream.
The Shadow-Nakago dissipated with a look of triumph, but Nakago didn't care.
He held the broken, bleeding body to him, looking down into Tasuki's smiling face. And he did what he had never done before in his life. He cried.
Tasuki weakly brushed the tears from Nakago's face, falling limp into Nakago's arms and growing cold. "Wo...ai...ni..." Tasuki whispered, and then closed his eyes.
And as Nakago wept for his lover, Tasuki, the fifth sichiseishi of Suzaku died.
And the world came undone.
To be continued...
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