He walked toward Tokoro and placed his hands over his open wound. His hands began to emit a white light that appeared to be healing the wound, Kasuke realized that he had done the same thing for him in the chasm. The wound had been sealed leaving no evidence that it was ever there to begin with. Tatsukuya walked over to Ryo, still lying on the unconscious on the ground, and gently touched his left hand to his forehead. Ryo opened his eyes and began to stand with Tatsukuya's assistance.
"What exactly just happened? I mean, you guys were only gone for a few seconds and yet you defeated him. How?" Kasuke asked, finally verbalizing his curiosity.
"Yes, to you it would appear to have only been seconds, but we were actually gone for hours. It's a technique I created called Echo Time." Tatsukuya explained.
"Lord Tatsukuya, where is the seal of The Phoenix that Kenreu wishes to break?" Sunai inquired.
"I guess it's appropriate to tell you. The ashes of The Phoenix are sealed in what the humans call the Bermuda Triangle. It is in fact the seal itself, which is why all who enter are never seen again. The power of the seal is too overwhelming for any human to endure. The humans that enter simply fade from existence and presumed missing, a truly tragic fate." They were all surprised by the explanation given to them, mostly because the seal is hidden in plain sight amongst the humans. "From what I've gathered, Kenreu has collected a little more than 500 souls. This of course means that he now has about half of the required amount, we cannot allow him to collect the rest."
The group nodded their heads in agreement as the sun began to rise on the horizon. Tatsukuya opened the path to Adonia, "We should return for now." he suggested as he walked through, the others acquiesced and followed behind him. They arrived on the other side in an instant, the path was considerably shorter than the previous times he had been through. This confirmed Kasuke's prior suspicions, he didn't know why the path had shortened but it definitely shortened. Could it be some kind of measure of power? He didn't know, but now was not the time to dwell on it.
They now stood in front of the Adonian city, smoke could be seen rising from inside the gates. Tatsukuya rushed and pushed the gates open to see buildings destroyed with flames raging all over the city, the flames licked the adjacent buildings and soon the entire city was engulfed in the blazing inferno. The sentry that welcomed Kasuke and Sunai before came running to Tatsukuya's side breathing heavily.
"Lord Tatsukuya, the Hidoneons have attacked the main city but the castle remains unscathed. There are few casualties and injuries and we have managed to evacuate everyone to Azan safely." the man spoke in a panicked tone.
"Kenreu..." Tatsukuya spoke lowly and angrily. [End Of Chapter 2]
The city of Azan was not far from them now. It had the appearance of a fortress which is the reason why the Adonians were evacuated there. The Adonian sands were an endless sea of white, as if the group were walking across a field of cotton. There were two guards standing on either side of the gates to the city, they both held a golden trident in their hands firmly planted in the ground.
"We must go see Ataraku when we arrive." Tatsukuya announced as they came closer to the city of Azan. Kasuke had no idea who he was talking about but he didn't feel it necessary to ask any questions at the moment, the city gates opened as they approached. The inside of the city seemed to be constructed entirely of black steel and the ground had been paved with some kind of white stone. Most of the buildings were tall and wide with windows that appeared to be covered with green energy barriers. They came to an obelisk-like structure that had a white glow being emitted from the top of it.
Tatsukuya knocked on the hard, wooden, red door and waited for a response. After a few moments, an azure-skinned man answered the door. His hair was grey like a cloud and was in constant motion which gave his body the image of a portion of the afternoon sky on Earth. His eyes did not appear to have pupils, they were shrunken nebulae embedded in his skull. He wore black, silk pants but his torso was bare and covered with large scars. He looked surprised to see Tatsukuya, but more surprised to see the group accompanying him.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit, Tatsu?" the man spoke with a husky voice.
"I told you that I hate that name." Tatsukuya sounded a bit embarrassed.
"Haha, that's why I use it all the time. But besides that, what brings you here my dear nephew?" Kasuke was a bit surprised to hear that it was his uncle.
"Well, as you may have noticed, the main city has been attacked. I would like you to accompany this group to the seal of The Phoenix."
"What purpose will that serve? No one is foolish enough, or powerful enough, to release the seal. I should know since I am the one who created it."
"It would appear that Kenreu is attempting to collect the souls to do just that."
"I see..." the man paused for a moment, "Then I suppose I have no choice, I will go. Maybe I can show these youngsters a thing or two." he chuckled as he finished speaking. He looked over the faces in the group as he stepped out of the building. His eyes were fixed on Kasuke for a moment, "Hmph, he's just like my brother, I guess I'll get to see if he's as skilled as Zenmaru, huh. Well, I'm not sure if Tatsukuya told you all yet, but I'm Ataraku."
"This is Kasuke, Sunai, Matsune, Ryo, Tokoro, and Zeto." Tatsukuya gestured to each corresponding person as he spoke their names, "You guys should head there quickly bef-" he stopped due to a shocking and unexpected occurrence. Kasuke was enveloped in darkness and vanished from the group to an unknown destination.
"Kasuke!" Sunai shouted as she reached for him at the last second, but she was too late. "What happened!? Where did he go!?" she asked in a panic.
"I would guess that Kenreu has taken him somehow, surely he is in Hideon. I'm not sure what he wants him for but it must have some connection to the resurrection of Diox." Tatsukuya seemed to be growing impatient with his brother.
"Should we go to Hideon to retrieve him?" Tokoro asked.
"Indeed we should." Ataraku answered before Tatsukuya had the chance, "You should stay with everyone in Azan, Tatsu, I'll take care of this situation in your stead."
"Alright, I'll stay. I trust you can deal with this, Uncle."
Kasuke opened his eyes to see Tsune, Kenreu's wife, standing over him. He was lying on the cold, hard floor of a dark room being poorly lit by moonlight shining through a small hole in a wall, and his armor, wings, and blades were no longer equipped to him. He didn't know exactly where he was, but given who was standing over him, he realized that he must be in Hideon. A door creaked open from behind him which poured new light into the room.
"Welcome, Kasuke." Kenreu's voice came from the direction of the open door along with his encroaching footsteps. "I suppose you've wondered how I came to know of your Adonian name. The explanation is quite simple: the feeling of insanity that you feel in my presence is what you could consider a form of telepathy. It is what I refer to as a chaos seed, it creates the connection of my aura to that of others."
"Why am I here?" Kasuke inquired further.
"That, too, is quite simple, you are going to channel the souls that I have collected into the seal on The Phoenix." he explained.
"Channel?" Kasuke was puzzled by that one word.
"Yes, but I see no need to explain any further." he walked out of the room without another word, closing the door behind him and leaving Tsune in the room with Kasuke. The black hourglass on her stomach began to glow and turn and turn horizontally. Darkness began to flow from the hourglass toward Kasuke as he lay on the floor. He desperately wanted to run away, but he found himself in some sort of paralyzed state. He could only lay there as the darkness slowly made its way to him.
When the darkness reached his hands it was surprisingly warm, almost comforting. It made his hands feel so weightless, it was like they were no longer there. The darkness continued to devour the rest of his body and it felt as if it were "taking him", he felt like something was taking a hold of him and refusing to accept his presence any longer. When it finally finished passing over him, he was left with a blank expression on his face. The hourglass on Tsune's stomach had returned to its upright position and the glowing had ceased. She walked over to Kasuke, her spider legs gently tapping on the hard floor, and caressed his face with her right hand. She tilted his head upward to look into his eyes which were now ruby, she smiled as she let go of his face and proceeded to exit the room. The process had been successfully completed, he had been transformed into a Hidoneon.
Ataraku and the others had quickly made their way to the chasm that separated the two worlds. Sunai had activated her crimson glow to light their path as they traveled through the usually dark chasm. After a long journey, they had arrived at a point where there was a darkness that Sunai's glow could not penetrate. The group came to a halt at this wall of darkness as Ataraku had instructed them with a hand gesture.
"Well, this is the end of our world and the beginning of Hideon, we will not be returning until we have found Kasuke. Unfortunately for us, they will know of our presence once we cross over to their world." Ataraku announced to the others, it seemed he was warning anyone who wanted to turn back.
"I suppose that means we're gonna have quite a few battles, huh?" Zeto asked with a smirk.
"Indeed, we will." Ataraku replied.
"So let's go get our comrade!" Ryo chimed in energetically as he proceeded to walk forward, leading the others to do the same. They all stepped through the dark wall to the unknown world of Hideon, ignorant to what could lie on the other side.
"So, they've come for you." Kenreu spoke to Kasuke. They now stood in a large room decorated with enormous, black spikes jutting out from the walls, ceiling, and floor. They seemed to be arbitrarily set in their positions rather than following any particular pattern. The room was made of some kind of polished, red-marble stone and was being illuminated by the light of several white flames that danced on the tips of Kenreu's hair spikes. "It seems my uncle has decided to accompany them... I suppose that means they'll be arriving here soon." he appeared to be pleased with the presence of his uncle.
"Is that so?" Kasuke asked, his tone was much darker than usual.
"Indeed. My uncle, Ataraku, is one of the most powerful Adonians to ever live. He can create barriers and seals matched by no other, but his greatest power lies in his eyes. Those eyes of his can banish any enemy of his from existence, it's a shame that he remains an Adonian. However, he can be defeated, despite this fact."
"Should I go intercept them, or shall we wait for their arrival?"
"You may go." Kasuke quickly left the room to go meet his former comrades, he equipped his armor and wings as he leaped out of the nearest window. He could see the group running in his direction, leaving behind the beaten bodies of the Hidoneons they managed to defeat thus far. Kasuke held his hands out in front of him, pointed them down at the group and prepared to strike.
" Doku eto nakai." two red energy balls shot from his hands after he spoke. Ataraku looked up just in time to see the incoming attack, he jumped up toward them and caught them with ease. He crushed the energy balls in his hands as he landed back on the ground. Kasuke also made his descent, his face showed no emotion as he looked at the group of Adonians. They, on the other hand, were appalled to see Kasuke attack them. Kasuke took his battle stance and equipped his long, sharp tentacles, but he now had an additional two that extended out from behind his ribcage.
"You should let me handle this, just stand back." Ataraku instructed the rest of the Adonians. They simply nodded and stood back as he said. Ataraku took his battle stance as well, a long chain began to form in his hands and on both ends of the chain two giant shuriken formed with jagged edges.
Kasuke charged at Ataraku without hesitation, his tentacles ready to strike their target. Ataraku calmly flicked his left hand once causing the corresponding shuriken to begin rapidly spinning. He flicked his hand once more and the shuriken was sent hurling toward Kasuke. Kasuke attempted to knock the shuriken away with his tentacles, but its force was too overwhelming and his tentacles were sliced off.
Tatsukuya.XC1: Sun Ce: General Zhou Tai