Chapter 10:

10 Crows Come to Roost 7

The Four Wheel Saga

The crowd craned their necks to see the outcome of Daigo's attack.

Yuuki stood in place, unmoving. He held up his hands, and there they were! The eight knives of Daigo!

The preceptor had plucked them mid-air in one sweeping caper. The youngsters in the crowd whooped and whistled while the ladies laughed nervously in relief.

The battle wasn't over yet.

Kafu's group had taken a parabolic path and was just thirty feet away when the priest unleashed his bestial kitsu.

Doi-kitsu! Fire Shrews Summoning!

At least a dozen little fire-shrews flared onto the ground and scampered towards Yuuki.

The crowd cheered, kindled by the sudden change in momentum of the battle. The fire-shrews skittered on like lumps of burning coal.

Yuuki twiddled his fingers and set a non-verbal kitsu in motion.


A row of water sea-snakes seemed to burrow out of the ground. They skittled towards Kafu's shrews and gobbled up the tiny animals graciously. Both attacks dissipated, having canceled out each other.

Kafu cursed at the setback and slowed down to let his raiki reserves recover. His group of five went on ahead to melee with their target.

Akako was the youngest in the team and made up the group's rear. They ran at him, swinging wildly.

Yuuki refused to draw his sword. In fact, the preceptor had his arms behind his back. He raised a leg into the air while chanting a non-verbal kitsu and banged it hard on the ground.


Fists of sand rose out of the ground and rammed into the bodies of his assailants.


The blitz threw them yards away, in different directions. The four attackers fell on their backs and writhed in pain.

Yuuki let out a sigh, partly pleased with himself and partly underwhelmed by the ineptitude of the children.

It wasn't very reassuring indeed. However, he had a lingering feeling that something was wrong.

Yuuki looked around, scrutinizing the battlefield.

Four of his assailants were lying down in the distance.

Where was the fifth one?

That loud-mouthed, mean little lady.

In a flurry, Yuuki realized what had happened. He turned his eyes to the sky. Akako fell at him from the heavens with a hail of dust.


She had levered the sand-fist kitsu to jump into the air and breach the distance between her and Yuuki.

The crowd exclaimed in unison. It had appeared that her kick had made contact.

Did the teenagers win the battle?

As the dust settled, they squinted into the distance.

Yuuki was still on his feet, his right arm in the air. He held Akako suspended in the air by her neck. She wriggled and kicked in vain like a captured animal.

The preceptor wanted to teach the spoiled little lady a lesson.

Years of luxury and hollow kin pride had made her shallow and highbrow.

Should he break an arm? Or should he stifle her till she passes out?

Yuuki attempted to look into her eyes.

'They must be a pair of mean-spirited, arrogant eyes,' he thought with prejudice. But they weren't. Akako's brown, beady eyes looked back at him with resignation. Did he also see admiration?

Did he misjudge her from the beginning? After all, she made him use one arm to fight. He had resolved to fight only with his legs, his arms behind his back.

Consumed by his thoughts, Yuuki's grip softened.

Akako abused the chance and shook free of him. She landed on her feet.

Their eyes met again for an elongated moment. Then she turned around and walked away, defeated.

Yuuki smiled to himself and regained his composure. It was time to end the bout. The priest, Kafu, was getting ready to launch another kitsu attack.

A large water sea-snake from Yuuki slithered towards him, colliding squarely. He was instantly nailed to the ground.

Daigo's group met a similar fate. Daigo, a powerfully built man, had the privilege of being battered by three sand fists before his knees buckled.

In the end, none of the aspirants had landed a scratch on Yuuki or displaced him from the burn circle. In fact, he had barely moved from his position.