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This article, Startling Truths Unveiled: Takeshi vs. Echo, is property of Takeshi57.

This article, Startling Truths Unveiled: Takeshi vs. Echo, is property of Echo Uchiha.

This article, Startling Truths Unveiled: Takeshi vs. Echo, is property of Teru Kagami.

Battle Edit

Takeshi was still crouched and staring at Teru, who was lying on the ground with a hole in his chest. He wasn't sure why but he didn't feel mad, in fact he felt oddly peaceful...

Echo turned to Takeshi with his usual composure, calmly speaking. "I appreciate you giving me the time to obliterate your friend here, I couldn't have done it without you."

Takeshi rose, he wasn't mad at Echo, he knew if he let his anger rule, he would end up like Teru. He stared at Echo with an expression that mirrored Echo's own.

Echo closed his eyes. "I've seen your healing techniques," He then grabbed Teru's body by his shirt and tossed him through a window, sending him and shattered glass to plummet onto the plains of the Demon Realm. "So let's get rid of any annoyances."

Takeshi still stared at Echo with a calm gaze. He kept his sword at his side, patiently waiting.

Echo waited until pure silence ended with a faint thud from Teru's body before raising his bloodied sword, waiting until he knew he had done his mind work. He looked straight into Takeshi's eyes with apathy and began walking towards him.

Takeshi was silent. He felt calm, and peaceful, Echo should have realized that Takeshi saw through the mind tricks, but obviously he would realize it soon. Takeshi silenced all of his fears, he wasn't going to let fear or anger get to him. He continued to stare calmly at Echo.

Echo suddenly dashed forward, making a striking motion at Takeshi before vanishing. Simultaneously the surrounding stained glass windows were all blasted from the outside and went flying at Takeshi. Echo reappeared across from him, flicking two fingers towards the body of flying glass as they hurled towards Takeshi at every angle, waiting for him to make his move or die.

Takeshi looked at Echo, "Not bad..." The glass flew at him, but not one hit. A shield of ice had fully encased Takeshi. Takeshi melted the ice and pointed a hand at Echo. Deadly icicles flew at Echo.

Echo caught and dispelled each and every icicle, despite their close proximity. He onced again flicked his wrists, this time towards the tiny shards and specks of shattered glass on the ground surrounding Takeshi. "Recall my previous gesture, I wasn't guiding the glass." Said Echo as the glass around Takeshi exploded, sending tiny bits flying skyward, completely around him. With a close of his fist they each radiated and expanded into waves of electrokenetic evil Hakumei Energy, sending bolts throughout the other fighter's body and forcing him into kneeling in submission.

Echo cracked his neck and appeared directly in front of his quickly dismantled opponent, kneeing his low hung head into the air with a scarlet mist. "Pathetic." Said the warrior as he appeared behind him to slash his shoulder before roudnhouse kicking him into a helpless heap beside the window his ally was thrown out of.

Takeshi sighed, Echo didn't know of Takeshi's secret power yet, so it wasn't going to become a battle until someone did something. Takeshi looked at Echo, the ice formed and encased Echo's feet, trapping him in place.

Takeshi knew that Echo knew nothing about his abilities other than his ice and healing abilities. Takeshi decided to surprise him. He slowly healed his wound and walked up to Echo.

Echo folded his arms as his hybrid genetics kicked in, shattering the ice due to his uniquely dominant abilities given to the odd few who have fifty/fifty fire and ice demon genes. "You'll find that your pity efforts don't affect me."

Echo waited for Takeshi to approach, preparing something lethal.

Takeshi stopped and looked at Echo, "I'd ask why you want to take over the world, but I have a feeling it would be depressing..."

"Depression is forced on some more than others." Said Echo.

"Hmm... true... I really don't feel like killing you Echo... don't force that to happen."

"I don't think physics would allow such."

Takeshi smiled, "Are you sure?" In a nanosecond Takeshi was behind Echo with his sword to Echo's throat. Takeshi then removed the blade from it's place next to Echo's throat saying, "Because from what I can tell physics may allow that to happen."

Echo turned around, taking his time as Takeshi felt delusional, having looked straight into the spiritually induced eyes of Echo. "You're a bit too strong-willed to control or kill, but I can still influence your nervous system a tad bit, such is guaranteed in all beings."

He let his eyes glare carelessly into Takeshi's, who was too fatigued to move. "It's about time to wake up." Said Echo as he gut-punched Takeshi with viscious intent, catching the back of his head with his hand and bringing it down to meet his upwardly moving knee. Already having the momentum he merely pushed Takeshi's body in mid-air to send it flying towards the decline of stairs.

Takeshi flipped himself vertical and looked at Echo, straight in the eye, but this time he didn't feel delusional, though his eyesight was blurring slightly, he decided to ignore it and knowing that Echo would think he was delusional, he became a blur and stabbed Echo in the chest.

Echo closed his eyes to fight the pain but opened them and grabbed Takeshi's throat. "Hakumei Strike." Blasting his body with the lethal blast, that to any other being would most likely kill, but lucky for Takeshi, unconsciousness was his much easier route.

Reigan Edit

Takeshi sat on a cliff overlooking darkness. He had no idea how he got there, but he was to busy thinking about Echo. For some reason, he couldn't help but feel that Echo had a purpose that was good, which would be revealed when he was beaten.

He felt power in his soul break free, and immediately he found himself looking at the battle, with him unconciious on the floor while he was looking from afar as he saw Echo however, he saw something defferent.

He still sees Echo's body and his but he also sees something else, a ball of twilight radiating as if alive. Which of course it was, Takeshi was viewing Echo's soul. He noticed in Echo's bonds that Echo had an unknown half-brother that he didn't know of. He also looked at his own soul and found the same thing. He also saw Echo's personality and he decided to study it for he had some mind games of his own to use on Echo now.

However he was distracted by the fact that Echo was about to stab his body, which would ruin things entirely.

Back to the Fight Edit

As Echo stabbed at Takeshi's heart, Takeshi's arm was a blur as his sword blocked Echo's attack.

"Interesting, you're awake, but I wonder how long you can last, choosing between spiritual and physical health." Echo sliced at increbilbe speeds to knock Takeshi's sword airborne, flying towards a window opening.

Takeshi looked at Echo and in a blur he ran over, caught his sword, and came back. Takeshi sighed, "I have a solution for both," and in a flash he horizontilly slashed at Echo's stomach.

In another burst of speed Echo leaped onto Takeshi's blade as it sweeped across and jumped off of it into the air, stabbing his blade into the ceiling and holding on. But not for long, he had instantly reappeared in frotn of Takeshi, causing them to clash blades at the same time.

Takeshi smirked, "I think you should reconsider, the outcome, because it's only just begun." Takeshi then put his other hand on the his blade, and said, "Hakumeishoto," a blast of twilight engulfed Echo and the extended slash attack. When Echo could be seen again, he was shown to have quickly blocked the attack so only a mild slash cut was on his torso.

Echo gritted his teeth mildly but spoke ever so carelessly. "I'd say it's about over, considering you've used up all of your spirit energy on healing and that pointless attack." Echo travelled towards Takeshi at superhuman speeds before appearing behind him, locking Takeshi's neck inbetween his own boots. He then flipped backwards, slamming his opponents head into the stone floor. And then flipping forwards near the window to see that Teru's body was gone.

Takeshi decided to avoid the subject and said, "See that's where you're wrong, I barely used any energy so far. The healing took no extra energy. You should stop underestimating me my brother."

"I seriously doubt that, considering the amount of energy it takes to refurbish your flesh. And on another note, don't mock me, I have no family."

Takeshi sighed, "I'm not mocking you... I'm your brother... well half brother is more accurate... and as for the energy, as you can tell, I also have power over twilight and all that extra twilight that was wasted in that Hakumei Strike I absorbed as energy well and I unlocked something while unconcious whcih also released a lot of power..."

"If you were my brother then you would be an orphan as I am, and also have parents who were murdered by me at birth...And Twilight? Interesting, but I doubt you can handle the properties of my energy. You see, inside of it lies a power darker than any other spiritual power ever used. So if you truly did use my energy, then soon your body will collapse from the exhaustion of handling it." Echo closed his eyes, knowing very well that his power was indeed dark, but he didn't know where it came from. He didn't even know a thing about his parents, just that his birth caused their deaths.

Takeshi stared at Echo, "I am an orphan actually... and a few months older than you... and again I only said half brother... we had the same mother, a half ice maiden half fire demon... I've seen your soul Echo... that's the power I mentioned, I can't explain how I got it... but I've seen your soul, it's wraught with misery, but in fact your core is actually quite good... and though your power seems to be dark to you, to me it has a yearning of sort to it, a yearn for the sadness and misery to go away..."

Echo immediately opened his eyes, they were now glaring. "Don't assess my life, something you know nothing about." He didn't know if he was angry about Takeshi reading him like a book, or the fact that he was mostly right, and the growing possibly of he being his half-brother.

Takeshi continued to stare at Echo, "Your life is full of misery, you had a bond with someone, a bond of love, her name has been pushed to the far reaches of your soul, but it's still there. She died, and you blamed yourself and slaughtered many... but you decided that it was the bonds fault for the slaughter and fell back into apathy..."

"Of course, bonds of compassion are the root of heartbreak." Said Echo, with a tone that sounded as if he was still convincing himself.

"No, the roots of heartbreak are the unacceptance of that fact that it happened and of one who can't honor the dead one's memory and/or get on with life...

"That's what I'm doing as we speak, moving on, and I can't if I cry about what happened years ago. Recollecting misery is foolish, my acceptance is moving on."

"Umm... I hate to break it to you, but all you're doing is pushing it away, when you need to deal with it..."

"I've heard enough, this talk about emotions is nothing but a fool's game." Radiation of dark energies began to form around Echo as his eyes bore hatred.

Takeshi sighed, "Very well then I will ask you a question, what is most important? Power, Widom, or Courage?"

Echo's eyes eased a little. "They all three play equally important roles. Courage to take Power, and the Wisdom to use it. As you can see, I'm taking the initiative to claim all three."

"Ah good, but let me say this... you seem to think of your powers as dark and evil correct?"

"Yes, wherever their origin may have been, they are truly of malicious intent."

"Well I hate to break it to you, but your power is twilight, do you understand what that means?"

"It means that my power comes from the pure enrgy inside of me being consumed by the darkness."

"Right... partially..."

"There is nothing partial about it. Wherever this energy came from, it's not natural, it's insideous."

"Nope, darkness, contrary to your belief is not evil by default, it's just a stereotype... darkness and evil are unfairly used interchangably while in fact that's not the case..."

"If that is so, then why do my abilities have a natural ability to corrupt rather than purify? My abilities are best suited for making something bad out of something good."

"Your abilities can corrupt because your hatred corrupts it, you infuse the darkness with hatred, which is evil, that is why it corrupts."

"Perhaps corruption is my destiny."

"If corruption was your destiny, you would be purely evil... your hatred is still developing into evil abiguation. It's developing quickly... but Echo remember the question about courage, power, and wisdom?"

"Of course."

Then let me tell you this, though you answered correctly, and you do use wisdom, power, and courage... but there is one thing you forgot..."

"I apologize, I would have studied if I knew there was a pop quiz."

"It's not something you can study for... it's the balancing of the 3 things... which you lack... you don't use one of them enough..."

"Is that so?"

"Yes, you don't use courage enough Echo..." before Echo denied it Takeshi continued, "You say that it's your destiny to be corrupt, but that's not true, there's no such thing in destiny in my book. This is why you lack courage, you resign yourself to your fate and don't fight it, which is why you lack courage."

"Perhaps I want a destiny of power, and you're just assuming that I have your desires in common." Said Echo.

"Destiny? No such thing... and though our desires aren't the same I'll prove to you that without balance, you cannot defeat me."

"I do have balance, I have chosen the darkness over light, power over emotion, and I am unstoppable."

Takeshi decided talking wasn't going to convince Echo and said, "It's your funeral then..." Takeshi then used his speed and appeared behind him. He stabbed Echo through the chest and pulled out the sword, and jumped out of the way of a counter-strike from Echo.

Echo turned just in time to be struck in the same place as before, to prevent another impalement. "So utterly predictable." Echo leaped towards Takeshi horizontally raising his blade to hook Takeshi's before whirling around with a spinning kick to slam Takeshi's head into the stone, sending his mouth innards into the air before he ended the attack with a gut punch to the upside down Takeshi, sending him flying and spiralling like a lifeless doll into a torch lined wall.

Takeshi got up, without a scratch on himself. He was behind Echo within a nanosecond and had slashed at Echo's back, which was shallow enough no to cut the spine, but still caused Echo massive pain. Takeshi followed up by shooting twilight projectiles at Echo which pierced Echo in his arms and legs, slicing Echo's biceps, triceps, and the muscles in his thighs, in the process.

Echo sighed emotionally as he absorbed the dark half of the twilight to restore his spiritual energy and the light half to restore his physical body. "I'm afraid your brand of Twilight is highly inferior in power to mine, though its healing abilities do come in handy." Said Echo, pleased that the battle was turning out so well, though not putting enough care in his voice for it to seem worth mentioning. "Alright, now to show you why you will always be my inferior, 'burn'." Echo flipped into the center of the room and using dueling flying kicks sent corrupting flames of his desctructive Twilight to cover and destroy every corner of the palace spire.

Echo used the combustive effects of his 'burn' to send himself up in the air, momentarily suspending himself with energy as the bulding exploded in dark energy, knowing escape was physically impossible on any level.

Takeshi simply tapped the blast with his hand and compressed it into a grenade. He threw it at Echo and it exploded. The explosions hit Echo and seered him badly. Takeshi simply stared at Echo; waiting for Echo's next move.

The previous mistake was a double-edged sword, as trying to manipulate the energies of the darkest intent took its' toll on the hybrid human, beginning to cause the already spiritually drained Takeshi to cringe in pain.

Opposite of him, Echo absorbed the energy as his skin turned black as his hair acquired a green tint. He suddenly became even more muscular, and his veins, now bulging, were green. His speed, stamina, and strength had now reach a new level as he overwhelmed his helpless opponent with a powerful hand, piercing Takeshi's flech with each of his fingers and ripping out his opponent's flesh.

Takeshi sighed and pressed his finger to the location of Echo's heart, taking darkness out of Echo. Though it was corrupt, Taekshi simply purified it and used it to restore his spiritual energy. He also took out light and healed his wounds. He then blocked a blow from Echo with his sword.

The beast-like Echo raised his hand as the power of corruption leeched into Takeshi from the darkness, a non-spiritual energy. He had always preferred killing his enemies himself, but watching this one commit suicide was pleasing all the same. "Perhaps I forgot to mention that the darkness inside of me isn't like your shadows, it's source of power is malice opposed to spiriutal energy. The light half isn't truly light, just spiritual energy used to stabilize the darkness, yet due to circumstances it corrupts all the same. Attempting to wield a power out of your control is beyond foolish." Echo walked towards the ruins of his palace and prepared to leave the ice-warrior to die miserably.

Takeshi was on top of Echo with a sword to his skull. "Malice, hatred, corruption, all of those things that give you strength isn't as powerful as what gives me strength. This power is something so powerful that it can light stars," said Takeshi. He lept nimblly off of Echo, clearly not harmed by Echo's corruption.

"Please, humor me, where does this power come from? I know of your origin." Said the demon, clearly amused by his victim.

Takeshi looked at Echo and said, "I would tell you, but it isn't something you would understand... so you wouldn't be able to utilize it."

The warrior tilted his head. "The utilization of your abilties don't sound appealling to me, your style of battle is far different from mine. I prefer leaving all emotion out of battle to create perfect balance in my attacks, not hide behind my own energy."

"You think I hide behind my energy? Not so, and just to show you the difference in power between you and me, let me show you the true power of Twilight in battle." Takeshi then held out his arms, slightly bent his knees to brace himself and said, "Hakumeiarashi."

Ending the Fight Edit

Power shook through the land and rumbled through the sky. Twilight energy surged everywhere. However this twilight was different. It was imbued with energy that was stronger than anything Echo had ever seen before.

Echo folded his arms. "How pathetic, to display power in ts rawest form is nothing more than a fools game to me, without some sort of manifestation or control, it's hideous. Then again, what should I expect from such an inferior creature." He stood patiently, his energy shifting craftily as he let his opponent waste his already meek spiriutal and life energy.

Takeshi smiled, "You need to consider what arashi means Echo..." Storm clouds of twilight formed and Twilight empowered lightning crackled violently along the clouds. "It means storm."

"I fully understand." Said Echo with laziness.

Takeshi looked at Echo and ended the lightning, he was searching Echo's soul for something that would strike his core. He noticed something a strange though and knew that if he brought it up, he would cause rage from Echo. He took a breath and said, "You know... I wonder what Sora will say about this..."

"Sora, my love, my hatred...Never will you speak of her again." Said Echo, clenching his fist and closing his eyes.

Takeshi looked agonized by the pain he had just inflicted on Echo but he spoke quietly, "Your love indeed... I hope you still love here with more than your own being... because otherwise things might get rough..."

His already closed eyes now shuddered. "Her being has caused me more suffering than happiness, though I would never give her up. She destroyed my family, and I can't forgive her, but I can't stop loving her." He turned his head away for a brief moment before whirling around with a serious glare. "That is enough on the subject, there is no point in speaking of what used to be."

"Are you sure she's dead?"

Hakumei energy began to pour out of Echo's eyes as they gained a black color over their former white. "I said that's enough."

"No, I won't let you avoid the subject any longer Echo..."

Radiation around Echo turned into a beam of energy from him that blasted into the heavens of the demon realm. "Her name and memory will rest in peace, I owe that much to her."

"Again, are you sure she's dead?"

Echo charged in a blast of speed and fury, grabbing his opponents throat and crushing it with newfound power, before slamming Takeshi into the ruins of the palace. He leaped onto him, slamming his fists into his stomach with ruthless force. "You have no idea, you're just a pathetic nomad with no home or friends."

Echo grabbed Takeshi by the head and threw him into the sky, his opponents body smouldering.

Takeshi felt the power in Echo's blows, they were strong, but Takeshi knew there were stronger forces in the universe other than hatred and rage. Takeshi landed on his feet and decided that to get to Echo, he'd have to fight with his all.

He resumed the Hakumeiarashi but this time, it was stronger than before, it had perfect balance, but there was something else... something strong enough to light stars. "Echo... why do you draw on rage? If you looked through your soul, you'd find stronger things than rage, hatred, and corruption."

"I've had enough of this foolishness, no one who disrespects Sora deserves to live." Said the warrior with steady eyes of mailce.

"I'm not disrespecting her... in fact you are scaring her with this display Echo so stop it."

Echo raised his sword. "She is dead and gone, I watched her die in front of my eyes. Pretending you know her more than I is beyond than foolish. I've already wasted too much time on you, I'm afraid this needs to end."

Takeshi sighed, "I don't think Teru or Sora for that matter would agree with that..."

Echo closed his eyes and bit back a rebutle, only clinching his fists and gathering energy.

The clouds of twilight energy began radiating, ready to clash with Echo.

Echo opened his eyes as electrokinetic Twilight began to encircle him, he was preparing his strike attack. suddenly he thrusted his arm forwards, sending a massive wave of energy that spread like wildfire, consuming and corrupting the surroundings to increase the potency of the blast.

The clouds of twilight began to crackle above Echo and draw upon an unseen power that caused the stars and the moon to shine brighter than ever.

Feeding off of the starlit atmosphere the wave expanded into a huge, meteor-sized attack that sped towards Takeshi.

Twilight lightning struck down, blocking the blast. The two attacks pushed at each other, both evenly matched. Neither could overpower the other, though they both gained the upper hand at least once.

Echo patiently waited, knowing that his endurance would win in the end.

Then suddenly in a burst of light not holy nor devilish Teru teleports behind Echo Teru chuckles as he begins to elbow Echo and then mutters quietly but loud enough for Takeshi to hear, "Gotcha.". And in the blast of electrokinetic twilight all three are lost in the wave of energy produced by the attack.

Power that Lights Stars Edit

Takeshi and Echo both looked up. They were in the center of a blast crater the size of Echo's castle.

Echo narrowed his eyes weakly yet with pride. "...I'm done here." He grabbed his stomach with one hand and unsuccessfully tried to lift himself with the other.

Takeshi did the same. But at the same time began to quietly chuckle.

Echo shook his head at his seemingly mad opponent. "You're hopeless." Spoke Echo, wheezing a bit from the rain of smoke and his injuries.

Takeshi smiled, "Hopeless? On what subject?"

"How," Said Echo with a raise of an eyebrow. "Could you be laughing at a moment like this."

Takeshi continued to smile, "I wanted to show you something... but I didn't think you would let me while we were fighting at full strength..."

"I see." Responded the warrior, managing to rise to his knees, sustaining himself with his arms.

Takeshi walked up to Echo and touced Echo's forehead with his finger. As he did, he activated an ability and stepped back.

"I'm touched." Said Echo before rising and wiping the dust off of his shoulder. Cracking his neck, he began to walk a little ways to test his strength.

He stopped when light began to shine in front of him with such radiance that Echo was nearly blinded for a slight second until he turned to Takeshi, who was leaning against a surviving tree.

"I assume this isn't just a light show for my amusement." Said the demon.

"Nope... have you ever heard of soul intertwinal?"

"I've heard of it before, although its specifics are unknown to me."

"When one finds true love in there life, but one of them dies, sometimes their soul goes into the others body to intertwine with the others."

"I hope you're not saying what I think you're saying."

"Yep, you found true love when you met Sora... souls, when bursts of power appear randomly, can manifest themselves.. My soul eye abilities do the same thing, except I can manifest them at will..."

"Impossible on any level, a soul journies to the spirit world after death to determine's its place in the land of the dead, departing soon after to be in eternal sleep. She's been dead for five years, and unless you sacrifice a good portion of your body in exchange, such a powerful technique is impossible. Besides, I wouldn't want to disturb her in her sleep. So just forget the idea."

"Weren't you listening? Her soul intertwined with you... and not all souls go to the spirit world after death, those that are so rooted with an emotion that they can't bear to leave travel the world searching for something. However, if the emotion is rooted towards a person, their soul sometimes intertwines and rests with the other's soul until that person joins them in journey to the spirit world."

"You don't seem to understand, I don't want her to be bound to the physical realm, I want her to be at peace. As long as she is near me, that's impossible."

"Don't you know that every being in the universe has a different meaning of personel peace? Sora's meaning of peace is to be with you..."

"No, it's not. She would have to spend eternity watching me commit unspeakable crimes."

"She knows that... which is partially why she wants to talk to you... but she'd go through hell to be with you... so stop trying to make excuses to get out of a simple conversation...

"It's the past, it's over. So it's not worth discussing."

"It's true you shouldn't look to the past... but is your love for Sora just the past?"

"It needs to be."

"Love isn't something that stays in the past... it's in the past, present, and future, you can't simply leave it in the past... unless you can cut your bonds with that person entirely... which I can tell you can't."

"This is none of your concern to begin with, I have no desire to rekindle any emotion. I made an oath five years ago never to make the same mistake again."

"I'm going to tell you where I got all that energy from that fight Echo... it was from your soul and Sora's soul... they're constantly generating an energy so great that you could light a star with it... but you've stored it in the deepest parts of your soul, and abandoned it, so I simply took it from there...

"I've heard enough, our destinies are no longer intertwined."

"I told you there is no such thing as destinies..." At that moment Sora's soul radiated and Takeshi understood. "I guess I can't persuade you that Sora is at peace and that you should break that oath of yours... but let me ask you this... you just said you swore to never rekindle any emotions, but anger and fury are emotion, so even though you'll deny being happy to see Sora again, you can't deny that you were angry or furious, thus you already broke your oath to not rekindle any emotions."

"Hmph, anger and fury are the two only emotions that help to destroy bonds, rather than kindle them. I have no desire to become a weak and emotional fool again."

"Weak huh? If emotions are so weak, then why was it that the power I took from you was that strong, in fact I only used around a 1/10 of the power that was being generated...

"That's because of Sora. The power comes from her undying love an protection, a power source that it pointless because it isn't used properly."

"It didn't just come from Sora... half of it came from you... and well I guess you won't listen to me so maybe you'll listen to her... not about the power, but about emotions..."

"She's long gone, I don't believe that she can still communicate with me."

"Well... she wants me to ask you something, are you ready to talk to her?"

"Fine."

Takeshi then fully manifested the soul, which became a girl his and Echo's age with light brown hair that was collarbone length, jade eyes, pointed ears, tanned skin, and was wearing a school uniform shirt and skirt.

Echo's eyes widened. "No...It's not possible." Said he, trying to explain the situation to himself.

Sora placed a hand on her hip, slapping him with the other. "You idiot, I thought I cured you of that crazy look on your face."

"You're Sora alright." Said Echo, flinching from the attack.

"Look, I know you won't stop being a jerk, that's your thing, but please remember that just because you don't care about anyone, they care about you."

"I doubt that."

Sora raised her hand again, Echo now blockign his face in fear. "Just because I don't have a body, it doesn't mean that I can't beat some sense into your soul." She took a breath and calmed down. "My death taught you the wrong lesson, don't discard emotions to protect yourself, arm yourself with them to protect those who love you."

Echo sighed and looked away, deep in thought.

Sora shook her head. "With a blockhead like you, it's going to take some time to sink in. But in the meanwhile, don't forget that I love you." She walekd up to Echo and kissed him, drawing back and beginning to evaporate. "I have to go for now, don't forget me, though you do need a girlfriend, it's pathetic!"

"Farewell for now, Sora." Echo forced hismelf to turn away, and in an instant she was gone.

Takeshi walked over to Echo and said, "I knew she'd be able to get to you way more easily than I could... well I'm going to the nearest town to get some rest, you want to come?"

"Fine, I suppose that's the best option." Said Echo, walking over to Teru and stepping on him, shaking him with his foot. "Get up you fool."

Teru was instantly awake from Echo's crushing foot. "Get off me," he said.

Echo stepped off. "Let's go."

Teru was oblivious to the command but wearily followed Echo and Takeshi through the desert until reaching a small encampment with a saloon type building. They entered it, renting a room upstairs and passing the time in the main room.

Suddenly, a white-haired figure approached the three. "Greetings Echo, Takeshi, and Teru. I apologize for my abruptness, but I couldn't help bu sense your power levels. My request i simple, I would like your help in a tournament, the Dark Tournament. Adn event i nthe huma nworld in whic hthe most powerful beings compete to get the prize, a wish of any proportion. but the real competition is between those who place bets, criminal masterminds who endorse each of their favored teams. Each team requires five members, and I believe that if you join forces with me, we can win."

"And why exactly do you plan to enter this tournament?" Said Echo questioningly.

"Well you see, I represent a group that would like to end a lifelong quarrel with the tournament committee, and it seems that they will only negotiate if the winners wish so. If you indeed help, I assure you that you will indeed be granted wishes of your own."

Takeshi nodded. "I say we do it."

Teru agreed. "Yeah, sounds fun."

"Fine, but I'm sure we'll need some serious preparations and training." Spoke Echo, in thought.

The figure smiled. "So it's agreed, we're going to the tournament. By the way, my name is Nome, pleasure to meet you."

The End

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