Part 4 - Hunting Huo
The land underneath the travailing pair passed so quickly that no human eye could catch them on the dancing air currents. The view looked like an oil painting, melding colors of the land of hues of greens, browns, golds, and burgundy merging with the soft lapping of the aqua of the seas and lakes.
The current felt like a living-breathing creature under Duo’s fingertips, thriving mass that tingled and throbbed as it carried him to China. He began to wonder what physical form it would have if he could see it. Would it be a large graceful swan with its long neck dipping in the clouds and soft downy feathers protecting him from the plummet back down to earth? Or would it be a fierce dragon with thick scales and large wings that cut into the clouds making the sky muddy with every wing beat? No, it felt more like a large pack underneath him of uncontrollable carnivores sniffing along the earth for prey and unsuspecting creatures. And it was his to control and use by his willing.
The violet-eyed man gently petted the thriving winds underneath him, smiling as if one of them gave him a loving lick to his hand as they sailed on through the sky.
"Duo-friend," Trowa looked over at his comrade that was softly playing with a tiny breeze beside him. "We are approaching Sinkiang, home of Huo’s temple."
Looking a bit relieved, "Really? Can you tell me anything about Huo? Weaknesses maybe or some tips?"
The Wind god scratched his head a bit, "Well, she is very fierce and uses her adversary fears against them using an illusion produced by the heat. Last I heard she went by the name Ron Meiran. But if I were you, I wouldn’t just walk in calling her name like that unless you are really looking to being killed.. Out of all of us, Huo is the toughest opponent."
Duo nodded and seemed to be focused on the next approach, to gain the Huo and then collect the last two and save the queen.
The mountains were so close Duo swore he could just touch the tips with his hands. The snowcaps were blinding in the light as the sun faded into the edge of the earth, casting shadows behind the pair as they floated onward towards the temple in the trees.
Trowa went down and stood still at the mouth of a large cave. "This is where I must stop and go back to my orb. I cannot help you in anyway." A faint green glow warned the Wind god of Huo’s prescience and how he could easily be forced to take sides and end up getting someone killed in the battle.
"Why didn’t you tell me earlier!" He showed a bit of fear mixed with concern with an overlaying of bit of courageousness, but the fear showed more and Trowa knew it.
"I must go or you will be killed for trying to cheat Huo. It is to be a fair fight."
"It will be, but it would also helped if you told me what to do!"
Shaking his head slowly with a small wirey grin, "I’m sorry Duo, but you are the master of the winds, you will win the fight with that." He gave a short wave as his aura surrounded his body leaving the outline of his eyes and disappeared completely into the small round orb in Duo’s satchel.
Sighing, Duo looked into the darkness of the cave that began to be lit by small fires on the walls by themselves.
"Well, if I’m going to die, I might as well do it as a man." Pulling himself together and the rest of his body, Duo stepped slowly carefully surveying the slightly lit tunnel. The walls had a soft sheen of moisture mixed with soft reflected lights of quartz dazzling the viewer and making them think they weren’t walking into their doom.
The violet-eyed man moved forward still, gazing slightly around him hoping not to meet the Fire god inside of the tight confines of the tunnel.
The lights grew brighter and brighter till they looked like a large tower of red, taking up the entire space of the sides and grew up along to the moist cavernous ceiling. As Duo claimed more space ahead he saw it was a large ornate crimson door decorated with bone fragments and screaming skulls.
Mumbling softly to himself, "‘Tis okay Duo, I do believe you will live through this somehow." Touching slightly at the orb by his hip and brushing his fingertips along the door, he pushed it hard creating a long howling creak that made him jump back and pull at his sword till a small bit of the blade glimmered in the flickering flames around him.
As the doors opened, he was surprised to see four young women dressed in elegant qi pao kneeling before him. They dared not to lift their heads but pointed to a hallway beside him as they gently chanted ‘Huo Shen’.
"Another damnable hallway." He looked over towards the girls who looked up to see him leave only to put their heads back to the floor as they caught eye contact. They slightly giggled as they heard his boots click against the stone floor at a slight distance.
"Well, he’s cute." One stood up and stretched her arms.
"For a baizhongren." The girls went down the temple virgin’s exit to return to their duties.
The small entrance cave turned into a large chamber with large luxurious carpets adorning the floors, walls covered in all known weaponry and many Duo didn’t know of. The ceiling had a box design that seemed to connect forever, creating mazes and puzzles along the room.
As Duo stood in awe, he missed a large throne beside a dome shaped bell, which had three men kneeling by it, awaiting command.
"Amazing…" Duo missed the chance to go into Trowa’s temple so the sight of this one threw his mind into a loop.
The three men got up and took a heavy log from a neighboring wall; the sound of their feet on the floor and the scratching of the log awoke the longhaired man from his day dreaming. They staggered slightly as they balanced the large weight in their arms and readied themselves at the bell.
A young woman in a long silk qi poa walked in with a blue silk fan in front of her face. Her eyes were soft brown as her ebony hair was lifted up in what looked like a ‘T’ with large pink flowers at each tip and crested with gold. She took the fan from her face and folded it, showing the softened features and stoic face.
"You must be Huo-" Before Duo could draw his sword the lady stretched her arm out and opened the fan, signaling the men to ram the bell loudly setting off a vibrating gong throughout the chamber and rattling all the way to the tip of Duo’s braid.
A man of his height walked in wearing a long white coat with a high collar, an embroidered golden dragon with ruby red scales adorned the front chest area. His hair was in a neat long que that could rival his own pleated mass in length. The man’s pants were of the same silk fabric as the coat and were tucked to where it completed a cuff at around his ankles. Square-toed shoes that hugged closely to his feet made no sound upon the hard cold stone as he gracefully strode forward. Walking up slowly, he tapped the girl on the shoulder in turn having her to bow and back out of the room with the bell ringers.
"You have the Viento." The man soundly said, "I heard you outside my door." His eyes were a calm dark brown as he sat on the throne. "Noisy one." Shaking his head, he laughed gently.
Hoping for a light conversation, the young man walked a bit closer cautiously. "I thought Meiran was a wom-"
Before the words finished themselves, Huo pounded his fist on the arms of the large chair, causing a wave of flame to burst out of no where. His eyes cast a dark red glow as he drew a long sword and stepped forward to Duo in threat.
"How dare you say her name liehuo! You are not blessed enough to even hear the name of the Dragon goddess! Prepare to die by my hands alone you dirty baizhongren!"
The walls of the room burst forth into an inferno, eating up the weapons and melting the surrounding carpets. Duo lifted up his arm as a defense to the heat, but it licked at his feet and all around him. He began to remember that Trowa told him that Huo used fear and illusion to gain an advantage fighting wise.. He put in the back of his mind that the flames were not real, only his opponent was no matter how real the fire felt.
Taking his ground, Duo pulled out his sword and held it waist level with both hands as Huo raised the sharp weapon above his head and straightened his left arm out putting his weight on the right foot pressing speed in the left pointing forward.
The Fire god’s stance was unusual to Duo, but he didn’t think of anything but cooling winds to protect him as he charge forward with sword raised. Huo didn’t move until the sword was right above his head and clashed the metal tool, causing a flare of sparks to come up as the weapons touched.
The violet-eyed man looked in amazement and took stance again. He noticed that the fight with Trowa was using elements against other elements and tried to find a way to move the fires around him.
Huo charge this time, parrying Duo’s attack and using it against his foe. Duo pulled up in defense and held the hot blade mere inches from his neck. Sweat poured from his brow as while he tried to push of the god’s weight off the blade.
Almost succeeding in lifting up, Duo was thrown back as Huo’s left foot came into contact with his skull, flipping him into the air and pushing him away from his sword, which clattered, into the flames. He stood up, a bit wobbly from the sucker punch.
"Not used to feet being in a sword fight. I’m game." Glaring down with flaming violet eyes, Duo ran for his sword only to have a sizable flame appear before him taking shape of a man and then split into another and both charged their unarmed victim in a violent dance.
Duo blocked the first one’s punch and used a small wind to push the other back till he could gain ground and try to retrieve his precious sword. Pulling on the tail of the wind, he didn’t notice it made the flames move in further, fanning them to walk towards the new power source. A pain shot up Duo’s leg as he fell to the ground headfirst. Huo walked behind him smugly, sweeping his sword in the flames and gathering them to warm the molten blade.
"I told you liehuo, I will kill you." Raising the blade up and ready to deal out his justice, Duo formed a small air current to rise up behind the god, engulfing him in a wall of flames.
Taking the millisecond to get up, Duo tripped over the handle of the precious sword then dipped down scrambling to get it back into his grip. It was hot in his hands, but he didn’t care about that as he saw a pair of deep red eyes from behind the veil of flames followed by a diabolical laugh. A form appeared gracefully stepping out of the pyre and in front of the injured man.
"Fool, you cannot stop me with my own fire! Is that how you captured Viento? You shall fail to use that trick again!" Charging forward, he caught the edge of Duo’s blade with his. They fought to have the top only to exhaust the position and throw each other back to try again using what was left of each other’s strength. With the right footing, Duo pressed down, blood pouring from his lip as he bit in and his arms felt as if they would give in any second. Feeling the pressure going to his left leg, Wufei quickly took from his belt under his long coat a smooth dagger. With the unfathomable grace he cut the tender flesh of Duo’s hand and kicked him hard in the stomach back against inferno incased wall, knocking him unconscious from the blow.
The flames died down as Huo walked heavily towards the fallen foe, his sword dragging on the stone floor as he stepped forward. With the last bit of strength, he raised the sharp blade ready to cut when a green aura shot forward.
"Stop! Huo, you mustn’t kill him!" Trowa shielded the fallen body, glaring down the Chinese god’s pyre filled eyes.
"He challenged me and lost. It would be justice to kill the weak."
"But not him! He mustn’t die again in vain." Trowa looked at the faint violet aura being omitted around Duo. "Someone waits for him who lost him many years ago. Do not do as what happened with Meiran."
Huo looked away, eyes returning to the dark chocolate brown. "She died…How? We are supposed to be gods. The Fire god is not supposed to die!" Huo gripped tighter on his sword as the memories flooded back, a pure stream of heat against his heart.
"The same as Heart died and was reborn into a mortal in this time. ËÑí died as well along with who else. You shouldn’t kill him."
Huo looked over and threw his sword across the floor; "I let you go this time for Meiran’s sake. But next time he crosses me, I promise he will die by my blade Veinto Shen-"
"My name is Trowa, as his is Duo. You go as?"
Turning his back and walking back to the throne, his limbs moving tiredly and without the grace they had earlier. "Chang Wufei, but don’t get familiar."
Bowing softly, "You are man of your word Wufei Deidad."
"Just get him out of my sight or I shall take back what I said and just kill you both if possible."
Trowa took up the limp battered body in his arms and lifted up the sword with a travailing wind and headed out of the cavernous temple past the on looking vestal virgins who backed off at the sight of the broken man.
Outside in the fresh air and crickets chirping, the Wind god looked down at the gentle looking figure. "You are what ËÑí looked like before she died you know. We won’t let you die in vain though."
Taking the young man down to a soft flowing river, Trowa took his sash off and dipped it into the current, cleaning the wounds on his face and hands and rinsing the cloth off into the cool stream. He wrung some of the water into Duo’s mouth, treating his dry tongue with the refreshing drink and sighed in relief as he watched the closed eyes tighten in pain and open with a slight flutter.
Duo sat up too fast, feeling the blood rush to his head only to be glad to still have it. "What happened, last thing I remember is losing." Rubbing softly at a large bump on the back of his skull, he began to crawl over to the river with the help of Trowa. The longhaired man let the water lap at his face and dunked his bleeding hand in, tensing at the sting but then the soothing cool relief set in.
"Wufei gave you a second chance, but only one. He will kill you next time if you lose."
Duo splashed some water onto his face and shook it off. "There won’t be a next damn time. I’m going to get ËÑí and then defeat him- Huo or Wufei. I’m just really tired now." He yawned and settled by a small patch of grass by the small rivulet.
"I understand, go to sleep. We are safe here." The smell of the winds told him there was no intruder for miles and no major movement.
"Thank you, Trowa friend." The deep violet pools closed off as he drifted back to a slumber on his own without the help of a foot or a punch.
Standing near a trickling in stream, a young man dipped his fingers in the clear water and touched the tip of his tongue. "So he is injured."
A young maiko dressed in her kimono and low obi looked up from writing on the pier, "Who is ‘One and Only-sama’?"
"The one who wishes to Master Gogyou." The man’s deep blue eyes narrowed at the thought of being mastered and growled.
"Shall I prepare the temple for his arrival?" The geisha placed her pen on the floor table.
"No, he is tired and will be in later evening. Then you will prepare for him, as of now leave me be, I wish not to hear you practice the Biwagaku tonight."
She bowed gently and picked up the edges of her sleeves, "As you wish ‘One and Only-sama’."
The girl turned and walked back up to the main geisha house that worshiped the Water god. She feared who would now be her teacher in the art of fluidity and what would happen to the house if Gogyou was taken away.
The Japanese Water god sat at the edge of the pier, looking out at the large body of water. The Moon gazed down sending shivers with every touch on the dancing waves. A heavy wind blew past, ruffling the mass of brown locks.
"I hear you Viento, and I await. But I will not lose."
Author's Note: Don't hate Wu...he is just really serious when in fight mode. When he is laid back, he is completely opposite and Heero ends up dunking him with water to cool him off. *snickers* hentai. And the apperance of Heero! Now I can work on something else without being beaten...yeah right.