Trials of the Junsuikaoni: Battle of the Elementals (Book 1)

Noah Gremory's life changed forever the day he discovered he was a Junsuikaoni Demon, a supernatural being believed to have been extinct after the end of the Cursed War. He lost everything, but when he arrived at the Academy, he would find he was exactly where he was meant to be. Now 18 and in his final year at the Academy, Noah and his friends are faced with their final exam; The Battle of the Elementals. All must pass the test to graduate, but only one can be the victor and get the glory. Can Noah rise to the top while faced with memories of the past that haunts him? Can he break free from the watchful eye of Ouran, a mysterious student who seems to have a strange obsession with him? Above all, will he finally come face to face with the demon who destroyed his life and is out for blood? This is the first chapter of Noah's journey, as he fights to stop the hands of fate and change his destiny.

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12. And the Winner Is...?

“You gotta be fucking kidding me! You all really think you can screw us around just because you’re the Academy’s hard-ass council? How could you force them to fight each other? Whose idea was this? I bet it was yours right? You look like the kind of uptight bitch who’d make a call like that.” Noah glares at Vera, referring to her. She says nothing and her face, as do the faces of the entire council, remains neutral. “You think you’re too good to speak to me or something? How Nik could’ve ever come-.” Before Noah could finish his sentence, he suddenly felt a hard kick to his back, catching him off guard and causing him to fall. Before he could react, he saw the shadow of a boot hover over him and just as quickly, the boot stomped down on his head, pinning him down and leaving him in pain. “…the fuck?”

“What do you possibly think would give you the right to speak to your superiors in such a way? Surely you haven’t forgotten your manners cadet?” Tahno stands over Noah with his boot planted firmly on his head. “You don’t have the authority to question the Council’s actions. They will make decisions as they see fit and that’s all there is to it. You simply accept it, is that understood cadet?” His face is angry.

Noah can feel his temper flare and he can tell that it wouldn’t take more than a push to send him over the edge to his beast mode, but he grits his teeth and grumbles, “Yes Sir.” He feels the pressure decrease.

Tahno removes his foot and then says, “Alright then. Now get back to your class and wait your turn.” Noah quickly stands and with an intense sneer and glare directed to Tahno, he does as he’s told. Tahno watches as he goes and in his heart he feels slightly guilty, but he knew he did what he must.

“I would’ve thought one of your cadets would be more well trained then that Mason.” Hiro speaks with dissatisfaction. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a student with more disrespect than that one.” He sighs.

“Well, what did you expect? It came as no surprise for me. You can never really train a Mutt. Once a Mutt always a Mutt. You can dress them up as fancy as you like, but they’re still no more than a Mutt.”

Mason clenches his fists at her rude comments, but he knows that it’s not the time or place to fight about it and so he takes the high road and respectfully ends the conversation. “I am very sorry for my cadet’s disrespectful tirade. I’ll be sure to teach him properly for the future.” He bows and returns to his seat.

Noah approaches his group who are all talking, everyone equally upset. “I’m sorry guys, I tried getting to the bottom of it, but all I got was Tahno’s fucking boot on my head. They’re not gonna budge on it.”

Everyone’s disappointed, but Gunther does what he does best and rallies them together. “It’s ok guys, it sucks sure, but we’ll get through it. We’ll get through this Lili, so do your best.” She nods ok weakly.

“Yo ho! Welcome back everyone! Just before the break we got some unfortunate news, but it looks like both sides are planning to make the best of it, so let’s cheer them on and get this party started! Yay!”

As the crowd cheers at Callie’s spirited comment, Jason unenthusiastically follows with, “Ok, please take your positions everyone and wait for the tone to sound, then you may begin. Fight well, but safe.”

Everyone takes their positions and with a brief exchange of glances between Lili and Gunther who beams a smile, the tone sounds and they begin. Lili grabs her scythe staff from off her back and holds it out in front of her, but not in an offensive position. She can see Gunther slowly making his way towards her, but she can’t help but feel remorse about possibly hurting him and so hesitates to get into a battle stance. Pax and Trina have already started going at it quite intensely, paying no mind to anything else.

Gunther has his Warhammers in each hand, but as he approaches her, he quickly connects them together, locking them in and transforming his weapon into a double sided Warhammer staff, which he angles up and uses to generate several earth pellets towards Lili. He uses enough force that they will make contact with her, but not hurt her very much either. He wants her to see that he intends to fight her seriously and she should do the same. He has a plan, but he needs her to put in her effort for it to work.

Lili blocks with a quick spin of her staff, but a couple get through and smash into her side. It hurt, but it wasn’t anything she’d be knocked down by. She looks at Gunther and making contact with his eyes, he can tell that he’s trying to signal her to fight and not hold back. She still doesn’t want to, but she had already decided from before that she’s work hard to become stronger, so she can’t back down now. She responds to his attack with concentrated wind blasts that sling off from her scythe in crescent moon shapes with each swipe of her scythe. As she does this, she also starts running towards him.

Within seconds they make contact and there is a clang as the metal of their staffs connect, followed by a few more as they clash weapons again and again. They finally give enough force that they both are forced to jump back, giving them some distance. Gunther uses this opportunity to fling multiple earth spears at Lili, each shooting out the head of a hammer as he smashes side to side.  She doesn’t have time for a counter and so instead she spins her scythe around above her head to create a light twister which she then uses to give her a nice boost up into the air and then dissipates that vortex slowly so that she can ease herself back down just after the spears have passed her. Once she’s back on the ground she counters with an air swirl attack, where a strong stream of air moving in a fast spinning spiral is thrusted straight at Gunther. He finds himself being pushed back and unable to move forward as the stream continues on, not faltering for a second. He never would’ve believed air could have so much force unless he’d felt it himself. He decides it’s about time to put his plan in motion and end this.

“Well folks, it looks like Gunther and Lili’s pair are finally getting into it, it’s about time.”

“Oh Jason you’re such a scrooge. Let’s see how-.” Callie is cut off by the sudden turn of events that have unfolded with the other pair. “Oh my goodness guys it looks like Trina might be down! That was a pretty strong earth blast she got there. Will she be able to get up?” They all watch in anticipation and with all of this having happened in seconds, Trina gives her sign of resignation and exits the arena.

“Well there you have it folks, Trina is out and Pax is moving on to the finals. Now, let’s see how the other pair is fairing. My money is on Gunther personally. What’s this? Speaking of him, it looks like he’s making a move against Lili’s wind spiral. Is he…building a wall? Well this is interesting!”

“Wow Jason, that’s the most excited I think I’ve ever seen you and that’s not saying much, but it looks like he is! He’s projecting his energy through the head of the hammer he’s got touching the ground and building up a wall in its place to block her air. It looks to be super effective!” She jumps around.

Gunther builds up a wall tall enough to block Lili’s attack and once he feels her dissipate the stream, he quickly hops over the wall with his hammer raised upwards and as he comes down, he angles himself so that he’s directly over Lili as he prepares to smash his hammer down on her. It’s his final shot.

“Oh boy! It looks like he’s going in for a finishing blow. If that hits her there’s no way she won’t be knocked out. Will we break the eight-year streak and have two of the same element class in the final?”

The crowd gets anxious as they know that this battle will be over one way or another in just a few seconds. Lili can see Gunther’s hammer coming down, almost in slow motion, and she knows it will end things if it hits her.  She almost decides to give it up and let him have it, it can be repayment for earlier. But she looks in his eyes and somehow she can just tell that he’d be angry if she didn’t counter. So all in one quick motion, she grips her staff tight and points it upwards, shooting a very concentrated air blast up and directly into his stomach. At such a close proximity, a blast that would’ve normally been much less debilitating, hit him with such force that it sends him flying up and backwards and crashing through the wall that he built himself. With his solid mass of muscle, he smashed right through the wall and slammed onto the ground on the other side. He did not get up and seconds later, he surrendered.

The entire arena was silent for several seconds, almost unable to believe what they just saw. Jason stutters as he tries to speak. “Well…I, I don’t believe it folks, but it looks like Gunther is out. He’s thrown in the towel. This means that…by some strange twist of fate…Lili is joining Pax in the finals!”

“You said it Jason, even I never expected this! Let’s hear it for Lili everyone, our surprise contender!”

The arena is suddenly bursting with applause and cheers and Lili sits up on the ground frozen, unable to believe what’s happening. Gunther finally stands up, clutching his stomach as he does and slowly walks over to Lili. “Wow girl, you can really pack a punch huh?” He smiles and reaches out his hand.

Lili is still a bit stunned, but manages to take his hand and stand. He grabs her into a bear hug and after a second of hesitation, she returns it. “I can’t believe it; did I seriously win? I actually beat you Gunther?”

“Believe it Lili you did. It’s totally fine though because I didn’t save you in round 1 for nothing. Now you go to the finals and kick everyone’s butts! I’ll be rooting for you.” He hugs her a bit tighter.

Lili starts to wonder if she truly got the better of him or if he toned down his defenses so she could, but either way she could understand his wish and so she tightened her embrace and simply said, “Thanks.”

They walk out off the arena floor are greeted by the others. Nik is the first to speak. “Dude! I can’t believe you actually lost!” He grabs Gunther’s head in his arm. “Well, I suppose I can forgive you since it was Lili who beat you.” They laugh and then he turns to Lili. “Good job out there, you were great.”

“I don’t see why you’d have expected anything less Nik, she is great. No, she’s amazing.” Mai smiles at Lili and Lili suddenly feels like a winner. Noah approaches her next and gives her a shoulder pat.

“Awesome job Lili, though we always knew you had it in you, so I’m not surprised.” He smiles and she does too, feeling genuinely happy. Despite everything that happened between them, she knows that Noah’s still Noah and that he still cares about her, even if it’s only as a friend. She knows they all do.

They are suddenly interrupted by an announcement. “Attention everyone, we’re about to begin the second battle of the semi-finals now, so we ask the fire and water pairs to line up in their places.”

“Well, I guess that’s our cue guys. Let’s head over Nik. We’ll see you in battle Mai. See ya Lili, Guns.”

“Alright, let’s do this! Wish me luck Guns, though I won’t need it. Even if I have to fight Mai.”

“You say that now, but you may regret that once the battle starts. Good luck to you, I’m sure you’ll need it.” The three of them all make their way to the battle line ups as Gunther and Lili wave them off.

“Good luck guys!” They both say this in unison and then together they go to a place to watch them.

“Alright! The pairs are lined up and the council has decided that Noah will face Ouran and Mai will face Nik! I have a feeling this is going to be quite the battle! Are you ready everyone?” The crowd cheers and becomes very rambunctious, no doubt because the top fighters of the entire academy are about to fight.

The tone sounds and without a moment’s hesitation, Nik and Mai are going at it. Noah charges Ouran, but he quickly realizes that Ouran isn’t moving. She’s just standing in her same spot watching Mai and Nik fight. He walks over to him cautiously, thinking it could be a trap to psych him out, but he ends up right next to him and he still does nothing. “Hey, what are you doing? The tone sounded you know.”

“I know it did, I’m not deaf, but obviously I’m not ready to fight. I wanna see their fight first.”

“Seriously? You mean you want to sacrifice a chance to have a sure spot in the finals? Not that you’d ever actually beat me, but still, it seems like weird thing to do.”

“I never said I was normal did I?” He grins at Noah and continues to watch the others closely.

“Alright then, I guess I can’t fight you unless you’re ready, so I’ll just sit right here and wait.” He sits down on the ground with his legs crossed like a child and soon after, Ouran joins him on the ground.

“Well folks this is…odd. It seems Noah and Ouran have elected not to fight and instead appear to be watching the other pair fight instead. I’m not sure what their thinking, but it’s certainly a first.”

“What do those pretentious asses think their doing just sitting there watching us fight?” Nik says this as dodges Mai’s slice. He follows it up with a volley of fire bolts that shoot out his battle bow head.

As Mai dodges she replies, “Why are you surprised? Those two are nothing but arrogance in skin.”

“Well whatever. We all know Noah’s gonna wipe the floor with him anyway. I mean come on.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure. Honestly, I still get major bad vibes from him, her, I don’t even know.”

As they continue to exchange attacks back and forth Nik replies, “I don’t think there’s anything weird about Ouran, I think if anything he’s the only water elemental who could sort of compare to you in this academy. So you probably just feel threatened or maybe even jealous. Kind of how I think you hate me sometimes because unlike you, I don’t hide what I am, even if it does turn people against me.”

His sudden change in direction of the conversation catches her of guard, causing her to stumble and giving him an opening to whack her with his bow encased in fire right in her arm, disarming her. She quickly recovers and her rage burns within her and she starts to strike back with more fury. “I’m nothing like you! How would I ever be jealous of you? I don’t think constant heartbreak at the hands of every person who shows me a little interest is anything to envy. I would never be so weak as to let them-.”

“But you are weak!” Mai comes to an immediate halt and Nik follows soon after. They stare down each other for several seconds and then Nik continues. “You are weak, even more so then me. You know why? It’s because at least I take chances. I may fail most of the time and yes I get heartbroken all the time and yes it hurts like fucking hell, but I get back up and try again because I know that eventually I’ll succeed. There’s only one guy who I can say that I’m in love with, but I’ll probably never get the chance to tell him because he’s not like me and I don’t want to ruin what we have. We’re in a good place now as friends and so I’m not about to mess that up with a childish fantasy. However, I believe that there’s someone else out there for me and no matter how long it takes I’ll keep trying and that’s what makes me strong. You may be physically stronger than most, but emotionally you’re probably the weakest of us all. You have no confidence or sense of self-worth. You live only to serve others, but when it comes to yourself, you do nothing. You’ve got to live a little Mai and let yourself have fun. It’s not always about the mission or obeying orders. Sometimes you need to take a breather for yourself. Be selfish sometimes! Stop denying yourself the feelings you know are there. No matter how much you try to hide it, the fact still remains, you are just like me. You’re gay Mai and even more than that, you also have someone very close to you that you’re in love with. Our personalities are fire and ice for sure, but we’re also the most alike than anyone because we both love in a different way from others. Open your closet!”

By this point the entire stadium has gone quiet and the battle has come to a standstill. Mai clenches her fists and glares at Nik coldly, but little by little she feels her composure breaking and tears begin to fall. “It’s not that easy! You’re the type that doesn’t care what others think of you and so of course you can carry on. However, I can’t do that! You don’t understand what it’s like to be in my shoes every day. To be held to a standard that everyone else has placed on you, to maintain the image they create, to be liked, but still be alone because no one knows who you really are! I’ve always been seen as the tall, exotic, charming prince and so it’s impossible that I’d like cute clothes or make up or cooking and all the things that are too “girly” for me to like. I’ve been treated like a tomboy my whole life simply because I’ve always been taller and stronger than girls my age and I like to wear pants over skirts. People made the assumption that I must be masculine all because of how I was when I was a kid, but now that I’m grown up and have come to like those “girly” things like any of the others, it’s considered strange because I’ve already been coined the “Ice Prince”. I decided that if everyone was going to see me that way and expected that of me, then I should just be that prince. Soon after I made that choice I met Lili and she said just as everyone else that I was kind of like her prince and so I finally just came to accept that this was who I’m meant to be and gave up on wanting to be “girly”. This is who I am now. So yes, maybe I do love that person, but just as you know things would be complicated if you confessed your feelings, it’s the same for me. That person isn’t ready for that type of relationship and so the best I can do for them now is to just stay by their side in a way that’s best for them. Keep them safe and help them heal. I can’t afford to be selfish because doing so would only hurt them more and I couldn’t bear to see them suffer. So maybe I am weak in that sense, but my weakness gives them strength and so I don’t regret it.”

Nik finally goes silent, unable or maybe unwilling to respond. He got her to admit the truth and that was his main goal. He won’t make things any harder on her because the truth is he does understand. His confidence that she thinks he has is all a shield. In truth he’s always conscious of how people look at him. He can hear their comments, he can see their looks, he knows their judgements, but he chooses to play it off as if he doesn’t care. However, inside he’s suffering just the same as Mai, feeling the need to conform to a standard that he feels others will deem acceptable and protect the bond that he and Noah share, just as she wants to protect her bond with Lili. Love is a messy game and until you can learn to play it right, there’s nothing left to do but wait it out and put on your best poker face.

“Well I’m not quite sure what to make of this folks, but it seems like the battle has actually come to standstill all because of some childish drama. This is turning out to be quite a show indeed.”

“No way Jason! The battle’s totally still going on, but now it’s a battle of love, I think it’s romantic!”

“Yea well I think it’s a major waste of time, when are we gonna get back to the battle itself?”

Noah looks at his two friends in complete confusion and turns to Ouran. “Wait, call me crazy, but is it possible that both Nik and Mai gave secret love confessions just now? Cause I’m getting that vibe.” Ouran doesn’t respond and so he looks at him more directly to see that his eyes are shut. “Dude! Are you sleeping?” Just as he says this, Ouran suddenly opens her eyes and then looks at Noah.

“Sorry, were you saying something?”

“Well yea! How do you fall asleep on the battlefield? Are you crazy? Did you not get sleep last night?”

“Oh I did, this was just…well, it doesn’t really matter, but I think things are about to get interesting.”

“Huh? What are you talking-?” Noah is suddenly interrupted by Callie making an announcement.

“Oh boy! Things are really getting interesting today guys and we’ve officially become witnesses to a record BoE! President Hiro himself of the council just informed me that they’ve decided to change it up this year. They are ordering a thirty-minute break and then the battle will continue, but not as it is now, but rather as the final battle! Not just that, but they’ve decided to let all four of the competitors fighting now participate along with Lili and Gunther! It seems Pax came down with a sudden illness and can no longer participate. So for the first time ever, we’re going to have a 6 person free for all final battle! This is unprecedented but also so much more exciting! I think we’re in for one hell of a finale, am I right?”

The crowd is ablaze with cheers and chatter at the unexpected turn of events as are the others involved. “No way! Are they actually serious? This has never been done before!” Nik is dumbfounded.

Mai says nothing, but takes the opportunity to walk off the floor and find a place to be alone. No one tries to go after her because they realize that she’s just come clean about a lot of things and needs time. Even Lili, who on first impulse wants to run to her, holds back, unsure of what she’d even say. She knows that Mai was probably talking about her and if that’s the case, then she’d rather not talk about it.

“Well, it’s definitely crazy, but the council has spoken, so we should rest and then just make the best of it, right Noah?” He looks at Noah and smiles, but unlike normal, there is something seemingly sinister behind his smile and it makes Noah a bit uneasy. However, he quickly gives him a grin and agrees.

They walk past the council’s table as they head out for their break and as they pass, Tahno watches Ouran intently, suddenly feeling like something is off with her. He finds it very odd that Ouran would sit down in the middle of a battle and no sooner than he does, Hiro randomly brings up the notion of making it so that all of his cadets and Ouran are allowed to fight in the finals. The rest of the council agreed that it seemed like a strange idea, but they rarely vote against Hiro’s wishes and so they all gave their approval on the change, even Mason himself agreed, but more so because he wanted to see just what will come of it. He resolves to watch everyone closely, hoping to catch foul play before it starts.

After the break, all 6 competitors are on the arena floor ready to fight, at least that’s what they tell themselves, but once the tone sounds, no one finds the motivation to move. Instead, it turns into something like a western showdown, everyone staring at the others, waiting to see who makes the first move. “I don’t think I can do this guys, it just seems wrong to have to fight all of you. I’d rather just-.”

Before Gunther could finish his thought, Ouran interjects. “It’s ok Gunther, you don’t have to fight at all. In fact, none of you four do. This has always been your battle to lose I’m afraid. I only need Noah.”

“What the hell are you talking about? Why are you talking to us in that condescending tone?” Nik is furious. Mai says nothing, but is scowling intensely at Ouran. Lili and Gunther are just uneasy.

“Oh for the love of god, please don’t tell me we’re about to have another episode of teen angst drama!” Jason is pissed and even Callie isn’t feeling as energetic as she was before. The crowd begins to murmur. Tahno watches as Ouran takes a deep breath and grins, making him immediately react.

“Wait! Stop the-.” Despite his efforts to stop the battle, his words are drowned out by Ouran’s stomp, a stomp that shakes the entire arena and gives off a deafening sound as a blinding light beams around him. The crowd yells as this unfolds and once the light has dimmed, they are awed by what they see.

Noah immediately recognizes what he’s seeing and runs closer to Ouran to intervene. “Hey! What are you doing? Are you crazy? How could you transform in front of all these people? The council will-.”

“Please! The council can’t do a thing to me. They can’t even counter a simple possession, so you really think they could do anything? They’re as fake as they come and don’t deserve the praise they get.”

For the first time since the game began, the council is visibly shaken and Hiro finally speaks out. “What is the meaning of this? Who are you and how have you infiltrated this academy. Are you a demon?”

Ouran pays no attention to him or the Junsui Hunter soldiers that are coming his way. Instead he turns back to Noah. “I’m sorry to spring this on you Noah, but I told you before, I had a mission to help you reach your full potential. You can’t do that here or with these people. I can show you your true nature and teach you how to exploit it properly. Those baby transformations are nothing compared to what you can actually do. However, I know it can be hard giving up what you’ve always known, so I want to give you a chance. So I’m going to ask you this now Noah, come with me to Tourer Kenai. Leave these people behind, for your sake as well as there’s. I’m begging you, take my offer Noah.” He pleads.

As he waits for Noah’s response, the soldiers reach him. “Stop right there! Put your hands up and drop that weapon! Do it now or we’ll be forced to shoot. I said do it now or we’ll be forced to take lethal-.”

“Oh shut it.” Ouran holds his Saber up, with the handle facing them and like a siphon, it sucks up white haze that comes out of their mouths and all at once, the soldiers’ eyes go cloudy and they collapse.

The crowd gasps in shock, as do Noah and the others. “What the hell did you just do to them?”

Ouran looks at Nik with a grin. “What does it look like? I killed them obviously. I took their souls.”

Mai finally gets angry. “How could you do such a thing? Those are our alumni! You’re a monster!”

Ouran ignores her and instead turns back to Noah. “Well, what’s your answer gonna be Noah?”

Noah looks at the motionless bodies of the soldiers and feels his rage burn inside. “No, I won’t. How could I possibly go with someone who could kill so easily. I’m not a monster like that, I’ll never be.”

Noah sighs. “I’m really sorry to hear that Noah and I’m even more sorry that I have to do this now.”

“What are you talking about? What do you have to do Ouran?” He suddenly feels an abnormal energy.

“What I must. Please don’t hate me for this Noah, but you leave me no choice now.” He lifts his hands and with a sudden blast, four spears of light shoot out of her hand and pierces Nik, Mai, Lili and Gunther through their chests. Before they had any time to react, one by one they collapsed and bled out.

The arena was suddenly filled with screams and commotion and the council who had since been watching it all unfold finally had a catalyst worthy of getting them to react, their children in danger. As they make a move towards Ouran, Hiro, who is human like Tahno, stays behind and tries to calm those around him, but no one pays him any mind as they begin to panic. He looks around for Tahno, but he’s nowhere to be found. “Damn him! Where would he run off to at such a crucial time?”

“No. What have you….” Noah walks over to his friends and sees their bodies on the ground, bleeding from their wounds and their eyes going cloudy. However, he can still hear their heartbeats, so they’re not dead yet. “What have you done! I thought you were my friend. I thought you were….” Suddenly Noah feels his body becoming hot and the familiar sensation of his form starting to change. Normally he’d try and calm himself down, but the more he watches his friends bleed, the angrier he gets and like the snap of a cord, he transforms into something more terrifying than he ever has before.

Ouran smirks as he watches Noah transform, but he also catches Tahno out the corner of his eye approaching with what looks like a gun as well as a device. Also coming towards him are the council members, ready to fire him up. In a swift motion he uses his saber to generate a force field around the arena stage so that only the six of them are inside it and all others are blocked out. However, he knows that won’t stop Tahno’s device that knocks Noah out, so he acts quickly and flies up and behind Noah. He slashes him in the back of his head, right at the level of his medulla oblongata, where Tahno had long implanted his electrode. He quickly removes it before Noah’s wound start’s to heal and then jumps up again, taking flight and hovering. He sees the council and Tahno desperately trying to break through his barrier, but they can’t. However, they suddenly look terrified and he can guess why. Standing before him is Noah, but in his full Junsui form. He’s got the demonic wings, fangs and red eyes to prove it.

He looks at Ouran through sinister eyes and all he feels is extreme anger and bloodlust. He charges Ouran with his claws out and jumps up to meet his level. He doesn’t hold back like before and gives in to his full demonic nature, slashing and clawing at Ouran, out for his head and revenge.

“Yes that’s it Noah, give in to the power! You are so beautiful! This is who you really are!” Ouran is excited as he easily avoids or counters Noah’s attacks. Despite his aggression, Noah has yet to strike.

The arena has become pure chaos at the reveal of Noah becoming a Junsui demon. Most of the students have never seen one in real life and many find it hard to handle. They scramble for the exit as President Hiro, the council and Tahno all stare on in terror, unable to do a thing. “What have you done Tahno?”

“Me? Oh no, don’t you dare try to blame this on me Vera, this would’ve never happened if that Ouran kid hadn’t provoked him by hurting his friends. You should be asking Hiro that question because last I checked, he was the one who allowed Ouran’s transfer here. I find it quite strange to be honest that he let Ouran in so easy when you all gave me hell about letting Noah in. I wonder what he was thinking?”

“What are you saying Tahno? President Hiro never agreed to a transfer. Ouran’s always been a student here, right?” Liam looks as though he’s not even sure of it himself.

Tahno suddenly has a realization and starts to laugh. “You all are idiots! That person has been playing you guys like a fiddle. Possessing you and making you do his will without even knowing it. Ha!”

They are all dumbfounded and don’t know what to say. Tahno secretly curses himself for not having picked up on anything before about Ouran. He also looks at the others who are still bleeding out onto the ground. With such deep wounds, they will die if they don’t get help soon. He desperately tries to think of a way to break through the barrier, but cannot. “Dammit! Can I do nothing? Ugh!”

Ouran suddenly changes his expression to one of annoyance. “Damn, I had hoped he’d take a bit longer. Well, time to end this. With his saber held high, Ouran begins to absorb more energy, coming from the heavens above, into his saber, causing it to cackle like thunder. Once it’s reached its max, he blasts it at Noah, hitting him directly in the heart and electrifies him. Like a brick, Noah falls from the sky and slams into the ground. He’s weakened, but not unconscious. “I need your decision now Noah, what will it be? Will you come with me now? You have nothing to lose anymore. Your friends are as good a s dead and now that everyone knows what you are, they’ll never treat you like a human again.”

“Never!” He speaks weakly, but adamantly. “I’ll never go with you. I opened up to you, I trusted you and I actually thought we were friends, but you betrayed me in the worst way and I’ll never forgive you!”

Ouran looks a bit hurt. “You have every right to be mad, but they’ll kill you now. I want to save you.”

“Never! I’d rather die at the hands of humans than to lose my humanity to a monster like you.” With a cackle the energy shield is gone and a beam of spiritual energy shoots at Ouran, just barely missing him. “Damn he’s quick!” Ouran flies up high, out of the mysterious man’s reach and looks at Noah once more. “I’m sorry Noah, forgive me. I’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready, come home soon ok?” Ouran dodges another light beam and then flies away high into the sky, lost in the clouds.

“The shield is down, we must hurry!” Kira leads the charge to their children and Tahno follows them.

“They’ve lost a lot of blood! We need to get them to the infirmary immediately. Someone alert the nurse!” Viktor calls out the order as he sits at Mai’s side. He takes her hand and shows more emotion than he probably ever has. Liam and Kira also sit at their children’s sides trying to comfort them. Even Vera has an uncharacteristically soft expression and looks at Nik with an anxious glare.

“Kira, can’t you do something? Air elementals can manipulate spiritual energy once they’ve mastered their element can’t they? You can use it to heal them right?” Kira looks at Tahno in sadness and despair.

“I can’t. I’ve mastered the control of all wind forms, but spirit was something I could never get down.”

“Let me through, there’s no time to waste!” Everyone is startled by the voice of an unfamiliar man. They look up to see a man with snow white hair, stunning blue eyes and a cloak that flaps behind him.

Tahno looks at this man is disdain and rolls his eyes. “Of course he’d be here.” Despite his malice however, he’s actually happy he’s there because he knows if anyone can help them he can.

“Who are you and what are you talking about? What do you want with our children?” Kira leans over Mai and the others also show defensive poses. The man simply smiles and his face becomes softer.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come on so strong, but time is of the essence. I can explain everything later, but if you want your children to survive, then I need to act quickly. I have healing capabilities, but even I can’t bring anyone back from the dead, so please let me through. I won’t hurt them, I promise.”

They all are a bit cautious, but they slowly move aside. Tahno adds some reassurance. “Don’t worry, he’s trustworthy. He’d never even think of hurting a fly let alone innocent children. He’s harmless.”

They relax a bit more after Tahno’s words, but they also begin to wonder just how he knows this man. However, their attention is taken by a gentle glow of light. The man holds his hands over their wounds one by one and seals them, so that no more blood can be lost. Once he’s done, he looks at them and says, “Their wounds are closed, but I’m afraid the damage was quite extensive. They’re hanging on for due to their resilience as marked children, but they won’t last forever.” Everyone looks devastated. “There is hope though, but I’ll need Noah to do it.” They all have the sudden realization and he smiles. “Yes that’s right. My name is Lord Mikael, son of the late Lord Cain and as you can guess, Noah is my son.”

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