Kamen Rider Rekka

RekkaRyou

How does this thing work?
I recently joined the site after years of reading post and I thought the best way to introduce myself would be to greet you with what I'm best at. This is a story I have posted on another site but I figure I could put it here too since there are a lot of toku fans. So tell me what you think. I'll take criticisms too. :sweat:
Chapter One: Flight of the Phoenix

“Pant pant pant†A figure shrouded by the shadows of the tall buildings around him ran in a terror driven haste. “I'm gonna die! It's gonna kill me!â€
A voice from really close by scoffed at his cowardice as he hid behind a dumpster to rest his aching lungs. It spoke, with a surprisingly feminine voice. “Why do you run from the beast when you have the power to stop it? I have loaned you my power, now use it!â€
The figure behind the dumpster was about to make a frustrated retort to the disembodied voice but a sudden heavy sounding footstep made him change his mind. “No, I can't let it get me. Maybe if I just sit here and don't make a sound it'll just leave me alone and I can find a way to put all of this behind me.†He held his breath and got as close to the dumpster as humanly possible.
His breath hitched in his throat as he heard the footsteps come closer. He heard whatever it was nearby sniff the air hard, as if trying to get a whiff of his scent as it was almost upon his hiding place. He took a chance and looked up, just as what looked like a snout peeked a little bit over the top of the dumpster. He watched with bated breath as its considerably large nostrils expanded and snorted. But, to his relief, the thing gave one last frustrated snort before backing off. He waited until he heard it's footsteps fade away before he finally released his breath. “I'm saved. Good thing too, cause it's a bit harder to breath in this helmet. Can I de-henshin now, you accursed bird?â€
The voice from before spoke up again, with a hint of irritation. “You should have just stood your ground and fought it. That armor you're wearing has more than enough power to defeat it.†Two tiny, glowing orbs suddenly appeared near the figure's waistline the floated away from him. “But considering your poor performance, it may be best that we retreat for now. I'll take a look and see if it's safe for you to come out.†The two orbs floated up above the dumpster and in the dim light a small bird shape could be made out, the two orbs revealed to be eyes.
“Do you see anything?â€
“No. I believe he's gone. You should go ahead and transform back so we can get back to the lab.†The bird floated up higher as the figure stood up and was about to do something when a bit of debris from above crumbled onto his head.
“What the?†he started as he looked up.
The bird's eyes widened as it looked up towards the roof of the building. “MOVE NOW!!!â€
The figure suddenly jumped away from the dumpster as a something large landed on the dumpster and crushed it like tin foil. A deep, gruff voice emitted from the large being as it stepped down from the crushed dumpster. “You thought you could hide from me? Well I could smell your human stench from a mile away. Now, time to die!†The large thing bent over the demolished dumpster and easily lifted it over his head before launching it at the figure in the armor.
The armored figure flipped over the dumpster and ran out of the alley in a panic, right into traffic. Cars swerved around him as he struggled to get as far away from the thing as he could. He chanced a look back and could see the thing jumping from car to car in an attempt to catch up with him. The headlights from the vehicles shone on the thing's bull like body, it's horns gleaming in the light. The bird flew overhead, trying to keep them both in sight but it was taking up a lot of it's energy. “This will not end well. At this rate I'll need another human to wear the suit, and there aren't that many humans that can handle it's power.â€
The figure in the suit stopped for a second to catch his breath then turned at the sound of a loud car horn. He jumped over the oncoming car in a great leap, only to be tackled in mid air by the bull creature. They landed on the other side of the street and rolled into another alley before the bull creature threw the suited man away from him, into a brick wall.
He slumped to the ground as the monster stalked over to him and towered over its prey. “Any last words, human?â€
Before the figure could speak the belt that was around his waist started to spark. He suddenly let out an agonizing scream before his body erupted into crimson flames. The monster had to shield his eyes from the intense light the flames gave off. When the light finally died down all that could be seen was a charred corpse. The bull monster turned it's nose away from the smell of burnt flesh and began to walk away. “Disgusting humans. Can't even handle a bit of power and always leave a stench when they die.â€
As it walked off, the bird floated overhead, a large belt clutched in it's tiny talons. “I guess that human couldn't handle the power either. It's a good thing I got the belt before Mintauros could get his hands on it. But if I can't find a human who can actually handle the power then there's no point anyway. This world and humanity will be doomed of extinction.†And with that the bird flew into the night sky, as the sounds of police sirens could be heard approaching the scene.
….........
“Gonna make it.â€
A hallway full of college students. They all looked at the strange young man heavily dressed in blue jeans and a large coat as he ran down the hallway at breakneck speed with arms filled with text books.
“Gonna make it!â€
The young man suddenly turned a corner and nearly knocked over a couple as they walked to class together. “Hey watch it, weirdo!†shouted the girlfriend to the young man as rounded another corner. “Geez. How did that guy even get into this school?â€
“GONNA MAKE IT!!!â€
He saw his destination just a few yards ahead of him. “I MADE IT!!!†Just as he thought that to himself, a foot appeared in his path. With no time to stop he tripped over it just as the door to the room closed and he flew face first into it , causing a loud 'thud' to be heard by the students inside as the sound of a bell suddenly sounded around the entire campus.
The students inside the classroom looked to the door to see the young man's face pressed up against it and one student sighed as the youngster's face slid comically down the door's window until it was out of sight. “Ryou. What am I gonna do with you?â€
The professor of the class got up from his desk and opened the door, and the young man, Ryou, fell into the class.
“I didn't make it,†said Ryou weakly.
The professor rolled his eyes and helped the weary student to his feet and helped to dust him off. “Don't worry about it, Mr. Okibi. I saw that student put her foot out in front of you right before you hit that door, so I won't count you late. You have to remember to be more careful though.â€
Ryou nodded to the professor. “Yes, sensei.†He realized his mistake as his professor made a face at the word 'sensei'. “Um, I mean sorry, Dr. Mims.â€
“It's alright, Ryou. Now, if you would please take a seat,†said the professor as he walked back to his desk. Ryou nodded and slowly walked up the steps of the large classroom to a seat beside a handsome young man of about twenty years of age with messy, brown hair. He had a very pronounced jawline and despite the thick jeans and sweater he was wearing during the winter, his muscular body could definitely be seen.
“Yo, Ryou. You really cut it close there. What happened this time?â€
Ryou took the scarf that was around his neck and put it underneath his desk as he unzipped his overly large coat. He looked like he was dressed to go to the north pole. “Well, you know how things are. Some people don't exactly like me and someone stole my scooter,†he said like it was the most normal thing in the world.
The handsome young man mentally slapped his forehead as he looked at his friend in pity. “Ryou, somebody stole your scooter again? You get picked on all the time, so when are you gonna do something about it and stand up for yourself?â€
Ryou sighed in the 'you're right' kind of fashion and looked at his friend. “Nick. I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but I'm not exactly like everyone else.â€
His buddy, Nick, looked closely at Ryou. “Nah. I don't see it. You look normal to me.â€
Ryou sighed in exasperation. “Nick.â€
“I know. I know. It's because you're Japanese American and you're deeply rooted in those traditions. It's no big deal to me and you know that.â€
“And that's why you're my only friend. You're more opened minded than most people and you have a kind heart.â€
Nick rubbed the back of his head sheepishly in embarrassment. “Well I'm not all that. But I appreciate the compliments all the same.†He looked down to see that Dr. Mims was lecturing while the two boys had been conversing. “Oh, man. We need to pay attention if we're gonna pass this class.â€
Ryou smiled at his best and only friend as he pulled out his books. “Hai.â€
…......................
Ryou Okibi was as far from popular as a twenty year old could get. All his life he had been the butt of people's jokes, the kid that was slammed and locked into lockers, or the little boy that got the daily “atomic wedgieâ€. But did he ever do anything to actually deserve such treatment? Of course not, just like most other children who are picked on as children. He was just a bit different than the rest of the students he had gone to school with over the course of his life. He always wore heavy clothes and had long hair that covered most of his face, the only thing that was actually visible most of the time was his mouth.
His heritage was that of a Japanese American, his father being an immigrant from Japan and his mother being a Caucasian from southern Colorado. The two had hit it off somehow and gotten married, resulting in Ryou Okibi being brought into the world. But more about all that later.
Ryou and Nick filed out of their classroom as the day's classes for them were finally done. With books in hand, Ryou happily walked beside his best friend as they prepared to take short break before going to their separate dorm rooms and starting on their mountains of homework that usually came with the college life style.
“I swear they should call Colorado State the busiest University in the country. It's a wonder none of us have cracked under the weight of all these books and everything.â€
Ryou looked down at his books and frowned. “Oh come on, the homework isn't that bad.â€
“This coming from the genius,†said Nick sarcastically. “You're close to the top of the class and you make it look easy.â€
Ryou pulled the front of his scarf up to his nose to hide the blush that threatened to erupt on his face. “I'm not that smart. I just know how to listen and take good notes.â€
“Psh. And I'm the not constantly surrounded by girls wanting me to impregnate them.â€
“Nick! You shouldn't say things like that,†said Ryou with a slight frown.
“Well you can't deny that it's not true. I mean look at them, staring at me with their lustful eyes. It's enough to make you wanna crawl in a corner and hide.â€
Ryou looked around as saw that Nick indeed had a point. The women around them were gazing at his older friend as if he had a target on his chest that said “prime steak†and they were a bunch of starving wolves. It would've been too much for any normal man, but fortunately Nick was more than man enough for the likes of these women. Or so he thought.
“Hey Nicky-poo!†came a shrieking voice as a hand suddenly found itself on Nick's shoulder.
“AHHH!!!†With a scream, the young all-American jumped about a foot in the air and took off down the hallway.
Ryou looked on with an amazed look on his face as his best friend easily broke the school's track record. “Sugoi! I've never seen Nick run so fast before! Wait.†He slowly looked down to see that in his haste to get away from the assailant he had forgotten his books and things. “Oh no. NICK!!! WAIT A MINUTE!!!†But it was too late as his friend had already turn the corner and disappeared from sight. “Kuso.†Ryou swore as he reluctantly picked up Nick's books and prepared to carry them. That is until he felt a tug on them. “What the?â€
He looked up to see a young woman with her hands on Nick's books. She was tall for a woman her age, standing at about 5'7''. She had a borderline petite figure with light brown eyes and short brown hair. Ryou recognized her as one of the many girls that made their affection for Nick known throughout the campus. “Why hello, Ryou,†the young lady said with a seemingly cheerful smile as she held a rather strong grip on Nick's books.
Ryou looked at her skeptically before lightly tugging on the books to get them out of her grasp. When he found that she wouldn't let go he looked at her and frowned. Looking down to avoid eye contact he asked quietly, “Um, Bethany, I was gonna bring these back to Nick, so if you don't mind?†He tried again to pull the books out of Bethany's hands as politely as he could but the smile that had adorned the girl's face had suddenly been replace with a scowl.
“Actually I do mind, weirdo.†The emphasis on that one word had the desired effect as Ryou visibly flinched and his grip on the books slackened slightly. “That's what I thought. So why don't you just let me take these off your hands and you go about your way.†It was more of an order than a question but that was the kind of woman Bethany Aldridge was. She was one of the “mean girls†of the college, somebody of the popular crowd who used her status to look down on others. With the way she treated people though it was a wonder as to why she was so popular. Maybe it was the way she seemed to intimidate people without really trying hard. She was member of many clubs, but the one she was the most into was the “Nick Kennington Fanclubâ€, which she was president of. They made it their business to know where Nick was at all times, who he was with, to have someone watching him at all hours of the day. All the stalking creeped Nick out so he was easily spooked, leading into his running away a few seconds before.
Ryou quickly tightened his grip on the books and lightly tugged them away from Bethany while being polite as possible. “Gomen, but knowing Nick he's gone back to our dorm room to hide, I mean rest, and I actually have a key. So I think it would be best if I got these back to him.â€
The girl in question put her hands on her hips and looked at him with such dislike that it almost physically hurt. “Fine. I'll let you give him his belongings this time, but you might wanna watch your back from now on. By the way, nice fall earlier.†She snickered as she turned around and walked back to her other stalker friends.
Ryou couldn't help but sigh as she walked away. Despite the fact that she was so uppity he still thought she was a beautiful young lady. It was just too bad that she didn't have the attitude to match. “It's not like she'd ever notice me, even if she was the nicest person in the world. At least she wouldn't trip for a laugh if she were nice.†And with that he walked the opposite direction, towards his dorm.
….......
As Ryou walked back towards the dorm he found himself walking behind young women, a short brunette and a much taller brunette, who were going in the same direction as he was. Being the quiet person that he was he decided to just stay where he was and avoid coming into contact with them by walking passed them. He was uninterested in them like he was uninterested in most things, but something one of them said caught his ear.
“Did you read the paper this morning, mandy? There was another dead body found downtown last night. According to the paper it was burned up pretty bad.†said the taller girl.
The shorter girl, mandy, visibly trembled at the grim news. “That's crazy, Chrissy. The amount of people being found dead in the city over the past few months has been getting higher and higher: although, this is the first time I've heard of anyone getting burned. Have any other people been found like that?â€
Chrissy shook his head. “Nope, most of the bodies have been found mutilated, like something tore them apart. The police haven't had any progress in finding any clues or suspects. The victims have been too random for them to find any connections between the victims. They're stumped. Even the FBI has been called in but they're not doing much better.â€
Ryou listened with much interest at their conversation without them noticing. He had excellent hearing and could focus on everything a person said, which is why he was doing so well in class. He had heard about the recent murders, as had everyone else in the city. About three months ago a young girl was found in an abandoned part of town, her body roughed up and seemingly tossed aside by-something. For someone to have inflict so much injury to a body before dying they would've had to be stronger than a normal human. And then there were the rumors, rumors from people who claimed to be eyewitnesses of the murders. They all claimed to have seen monsters around the scene of the murders, or just random sightings around the city. This claims seemed outlandish, but more and more people were starting to turn to the superstitious like of thinking.
“YO RYOU!!!†He was still walking behind the girls when he heard his name being called by a familiar voice. He and the two girls that in front of him stopped walking and turned around to the sound of the voice. The two girls nearly jumped out of their skin when they realized that Ryou was only a few feet away from them, and the two wondered just how long he had been back there. But they quickly forgot what they were thinking about as Ryou's best and only friend, Nick Kennington, came walking up, pulling along a very beat up riding scooter.
Ryou ran up to him and quickly took his scooter, but not before nodding to Nick. “I'm glad you found it for me, Nick. I was wondering if I was gonna get it back this time.â€
“It was no problem, buddy. All I had to do was ask for it. Oh the perks of being popular.â€
Ryou gave an sweatdrop like expression at his friend's apparent cockiness. “Nick, I thought you hated the whole popularity thing since people only like you for your looks and don't even try to get to know you?â€
“True, but its because of my popularity that I can help some people out when they need it. Like how I got your scooter back from the guys that took it. Besides, if they didn't give it to me then they would've probably had to deal with my rabid fangirls. They strike terror into anybody that doesn't do what I ask. They even scare the crap out of me.â€
Ryou laughed sheepishly. He had never had the “pleasure†of having fangirls, and hopefully he'd never have to. Then he remembered that he had been looking for Nick to give him something that every college student needed to survive in college. “Hey, Nick, you left these outside of Dr. Mims's classroom when Bethany scared you.â€
Nick gratefully took the books back from Ryou and nodded his thanks. “I wasn't actually in any hurry to get these back because I was sure that Bethany would get them and use them as an excuse to get into the dorm, which is why I'm not there now. But always trust my bro to keep my virginity safe for another day.â€
“Um, sure. Well anyway, maybe we should get-†he stopped as he turned around and saw Chrissy and Mandi staring at Nick with hearts in their eyes. “going.â€
Nick chuckled nervously before backing away slowly. “Um, Ryou, I think I'm gonna head back to the dorm and get started on my homework. You mind taking your scooter and going to get some pizza or something? And try not to get killed. It's really dangerous out there.â€
“Sure, but I think you're the one that better be running right about now.†Before he even got the last word out, Nick had already dashed away from the area in a cloud of cold dust. With their object of affection suddenly gone, the two normally intelligent girls returned to normal.
“Um, what just happened, Chrissy?†asked the younger girl as she blinked.
“I don't know, sis, but that creepy guy is still here.†she replied, pointed accusingly at Ryou.
Ryou bowed in disgrace and quickly climbed on his motor scooter, driving away, but not before giving a quick and sad sounding “I'm sorryâ€. The two girls shrugged their shoulders as he drove away, not really sure what just happened but happy the “creepy†guy was gone.
…...........
Night was beginning to fall and Ryou was returning a little later than he had expected. His old scooter had broken down yet again and he had to tinker with it before it was revived and he finally got the pizza. While most people around the campus thought that his scooter had been busted up by the people that constantly stole it, it had actually been given to him that way by his father who was the previous owner of the scooter. Ryou's father, Takeshi Okibi, had been in a scooter gang in his younger days. Not as threatening as a motorcycle gang, but his father was still a man to feared back when he was in his prime. In Ryou's case, it got him from point a to b, but it often broke down on the way. Ryou thought it was high time he got a new ride, too bad he couldn't afford one at the moment.
It was at that moment that a much newer, pink scooter pulled up beside him at a red light. He turned his head to look at the rider and gasped in surprise.
“Hard to believe that you can see where you're going with all that hair in front of your eyes weirdo.†said Bethany with a snide rudeness to her voice.
Ryou quickly turned away before she could see the blush that had adorned his face. “B-bethany, what are you doing here?†he said quietly, but loud enough for her to hear.
“Oh I just thought that Nick might be hungry so I went to get him some pizza, but unfortunately I was short on cash, so I'll be taking your's instead.â€
The light turned green in that instant as Bethany suddenly snatched the pizza away and drove off towards downtown. “BETHANY!!! GIVE THAT BACK!!!†he shouted as he started to give chase.
The insane stalker -ahem- I mean young lady took Ryou around in circles as he struggled to get back the pizza. She laughed maniacally as he would come within a inch from grabbing it only for her to snatch it away. She was toying with him, just for the fun of it. Until she saw something fly through the air out of the corner of her eye. She looked up and saw a small red and yellow bird fly above her at a high speed. “Wow, I've never seen a bird like that before. And it's really gunning it too.â€
“BETHANY!!! WATCH OUT FOR THAT POLE!!!â€
“What?†Her attention went back to where she was driving, only a few feet from a telephone pole. She slammed on her brakes hard and slowed her scooter down considerably, but still slammed into the pole really hard. She was thrown off of the scooter but because she slowed down before she hit the pole she only rolled across the ground a few feet.
Ryou quickly slowed his scooter to a stop and ran over to where the girl was slowly getting up. “Are you alright?†he asked as he tried to take her hand and help her up. She slapped his hand away angrily and got up on her own.
“Yeah, no thanks to you.â€
“But if I hadn't have warned you then you would've hit that pole at full speed. Who knows how badly injured you would've been had that happened.†He had a lot of concern in his voice, but she must've either not heard it or just ignored it because she looked at him with an angry expression on her face.
“Well because of you, Nick's pizza is ruined.†Ryou looked towards Bethany's trashed scooter and noticed all the of the pizza splattered all over the concrete.
“Just my luck. Half that pizza was supposed to be mine. Guess we'll just have to have take-out again.†he said with a frown.
Hearing that some of the pizza was actually his made the already angry Bethany even more angry than before. “How dare you!? You selfish pig, how could you lay claim to any of my nicky-poo's pizza!?†the asked angrily as Ryou looked at their surroundings.
“Um, I really don't think that's important right now. Do you realize that we're in the demolished district of the city? This is where a lot of those murders that have been happening recently occurred. We should leave right away.â€
Bethany grabbed Ryou by his scarf and shook him roughly. “You listen here and you listen good. You don't order me around. Got it? Try that again, and I'll make sure you regret it.†As she was shaking him, Ryou could hear footsteps coming in their direction. Fearing it was someone dangerous he grabbed Bethany's wrists and quickly pulled her behind a building. “What are you doing!? Listen, I was just kidding about ordering me around! Just please don't rape me!â€
Ryou blushed at her words. He wasn't the kind of person to think of women inappropriately and even the through of kissing a girl embarrassed him. “Ano, I didn't any intention of doing anything like that.†he said shyly. “But you have to be quiet. I heard some footsteps and it may not be somebody friendly.â€
Bethany quickly put her hands over her mouth and tried not to make a sound. Now that it was quieter Bethany could now hear the footsteps as well. They sounded really heavy, like they belonged really big. Ryou chanced a look around the corner but quickly pulled his head back. He was sweating, which was impossible in the cold January weather. He didn't dare breathe.
Even though Bethany couldn't see his eyes because of all of his hair, she could tell that something wasn't right. Ignoring every instinct that told her not to look, she turned and peeked around the corner to where she could see what was over there with her left eye. What she say nearly made her scream, but Ryou quickly covered her mouth as he had peeked out around the corner again.
Even though they were staring right at it they couldn't believe what they were seeing. There, standing about thirty feet away in plain sight, was a minotaur. From where they were standing they couldn't see it in detail, but could definitely make out its bull like feet and semi-humanoid upper body. And they could tell it was much larger than a normal human but a few feet. But what really scared them was the fact that in it's large hand was a human being dragged by the leg. Based on the way the body was unmoving it was either unconscious or worse, dead. But considering the long path of blood that trailed behind it, it was safe to say that it was probably the latter.
The minotaur started moving again, towards a three story warehouse that looked rundown and abandoned, dragging the body mercilessly behind him.
The two college students quickly got back behind the corner of the building and finally let out their held breaths. Not a word was said for a full minute. Then finally, “Did we just see a minotaur?†Ryou asked.
“No, it was a cute little puppy dog that wasn't dragging a dead guy behind it! What do you think!? So it really is a monster going around killing people!â€
Ryou tugged on her arm, motioning that they needed to leave and in a hurry. “We have to leave and tell somebody about this or something! Let's go!â€
Bethany snatched her arm away and gave Ryou a dirty look. “What did I tell you about bossing me around? I was kidding about the rape thing so don't get any ideas.â€
Ryou was starting to get frustrated. “Well what do you suppose we do then? Follow it?â€
Bethany looked at him like he was crazy, but then smiled mischievously. “That's the first good idea you've had all night.â€
“Nani?â€
“Cut the ching-chong stuff cause I don't speak it. Listen, you could go to the police but if you tell them that you saw a minotaur of all things then they'll think you're crazy, which you probably are based on how you look. But if I go in there after it and take pictures then they'll have to believe it. I'll be a hero and Nick Kennington will be so impressed he'll swoon over me.†She had hearts in her eyes.
“You know, you remind me more and more of this girl named Sakura from an anime I watch. Wait, where are you going!? Bethany!†he hissed, but he was too late. Bethany had already left the safety of the building was running over the abandoned warehouse. Ryou slapped his forehead and slid his hand down his face. “I know I'm gonna regret this, but I can't just let her go in there alone. Hey! Wait up!†He too left from his hiding place and headed after her.
….........
Ryou and Bethany carefully stepped over the broken glass as they walked through the abandoned warehouse.
"I can't believe I got stuck hanging around with a weirdo like you. Why couldn't it be Nick? He would be much more useful in a situation like this."
Ryou frowned at being told just how strange and useless he was. "I'm sorry I'm not cool like other people, but I couldn't just let you go in there alone. I mean, we saw a monster. I'm pretty sure you're not exactly in the safest place. Besides, Nick has other things to do right now. Such as homework, which is what we should be doing. Let's just go."
Bethany stopped walking and got right in Ryou's face. "Listen, you coward. I'm not sure why Nick of all people talks to you, but I'm gonna tell you something right now. I don't like you. Nobody else likes you either. You're the joke of the college campus. You're always wearing all those heavy looking clothes and we can never see anything above your nose because of all that hair." Her hand suddenly shot out and roughly moved Ryou's bangs from in front of his eyes.
"What are you doing!?" he shouted. He blinked when he didn't get an answer. She was staring at his eyes. "What is it?"
She was looking at him with a surprised expression on her face and her mouth slightly agape. "Wow, your eyes are beautiful." Indeed, she had expected him to be cross-eyed, or have different colored eyes, but right now she was staring into the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen. They held an innocence she had never seen in another person.
"Bethany, you're scaring me."
Bethany suddenly snapped out of her trance and glared at him. "So maybe you have kinda cute eyes, but you're still a creepy weirdo."
"Gomen," Ryou said as his hair fell down again over his eyes.
They continued to search around the place and decided to split up. Ryou went to the upper floor and searched room after room, but all he found was more broken glass. He was about to give up and go to find Bethany, but stopped in his tracks as he suddenly saw a light coming from a room down the hall. He tiptoed his way over to the door and carefully pushed it open.
He stuck his head in the door, but immediately wished he hadn't. This room had light, a bright one to be exact. Even with all the hair covering his eyes he still had to put his hand up in front of his face to block out the immense light that was currently blinding him. As his eyes got adjusted to the brightness of the room, he opened eyes little by little. This room seemed much newer than all the other ones. The fact that it had light had been surprising enough. It was a pure white room with a tall pedestal in the middle. As he slowly approached it, he noticed there was a dancing flame on top of it.
“That's really odd. I wonder who put all of this together.†As he reached out to feel the heat of the flame it suddenly turned into a high tech belt which fell to the floor in front of his feet.
"Woah! What was that?" He bent down and slowly picked up the belt. It was mostly red, with yellow flames etched in its surface. At what he thought was the front of the belt was an empty slot shaped like a pair of wings. "It seems like this is missing something."
"RYOU!!!" came a sudden scream. A second later a sound akin to a bomb erupted through the entirety of the warehouse.
"Bethany!" Ryou ran out of the room with belt in hand, unaware that something was now fluttering the air, right over his head.
“So the belt showed it's true form to that human. That means he may be compatible with it, but it's never reacted to such a young human before. I wonder if he could handle its power, my power.†and with that it flew after Ryou.
…...........
Bethany hid behind a crate as the minotaur monster smashed the crates around him in an attempt to find her. He gave a loud, bull-like roar before charging through about a dozen large crates. Bethany thanked her lucky stars that it didn't charge in her direction.
“Come out little human. I'll eventually sniff you out anyway.†It said in a threatening, almost teasing manner. It lifted up a crate and threw it in Bethany's direction, if only by random guess. She saw it coming her way and quickly ran to another crate away from where she was just as the two crates collided and smashed to splinters. Luckily the monster didn't see her, but she wasn't sure how long her good luck would last.
“How did I get into this situation in the first place?†she thought to herself. “oh yeah. I remember now.â€
…..........
Bethany watched as Ryou, or “weirdo†as she liked to call him, headed up the stairs to check the upper floors. She took it upon herself to do the lower floor, since she wouldn't have to do as much work. Oh but how she still hated to be her right now, and she never thought she'd ever think that. It may have been her idea to get “proof†that it was indeed a monster committing the town murders, but the fact that she was looking for a monster was insane.
Worst of all, she was stuck with Ryou Okibi. How much worse could her night get? She didn't like the guy at all. She thought he was the weirdest looking kid she had ever laid eyes on. He wore so many clothes he looked like he was living in the north pole and not Colorado. Sure, it was cold in Colorado, but not THAT cold. Because of all the clothes they weighed him down and it looked like he was hunched over all the time. He was always so silent, and he would just walk behind people and follow them. He had so much hair that it was surprising that he could see anything in front of his face. Nobody knew what he looked like above his mouth, until now anyway. She didn't even know he was Asian until she saw his eyes, but with a name like Ryou Okibi it should have been obvious.
But now she was searching from room to room trying to find a clue or something. The place had been trashed and looked like it had not been used for years. It was hard to figure out what kind of warehouse it even was. Her search bore no fruit until she heard a low moan come from the room she was headed towards. It was a little more clean than the rest of the place, if only a little. She stuck her head inside and took a quick glance around to make sure the coast was clear before entering.
The room was very messy, with boxes and equipment thrown around everywhere. There were various holes in the walls, like something had punched through them in anger. More than likely it was the minotaur monster she was now pursuing. She moved boxes around, searching for the source of the moaning. As she moved deeper into the room the moaning got louder and sounded more pain filled. Whoever was in the room was most obviously suffering worse and worse by the second. She eyed a forklift toward the rear of the room and walked cautiously to it, because it sounded the moaning was coming from its direction. She slowly peeked out behind it and almost screamed. She bit back what would have been a loud scream and walked closer to the newly discovered corpses that littered the area behind the forklift. There must have been close to two dozen and whoever killed all the people wasn't very picky. Various kinds of people's dead bodies littered the floor, an African American woman here, a Hispanic man there, but that wasn't the worst. Bethany felt herself throw up a little in her mouth as she peered at a little girl that didn't look any older than seven, but the girl's lifeless eyes held no innocence or wonder that children were known for. Her face was etched out into a terrified and tormenting scream that would probably haunt Bethany for the rest of her life. She may have been a mean girl, but only somebody who deserved to be in a padded cage would find this scene anything other than horrendous.
“It really is a monster,†she said as a few tear fell from her eyes for the little girl, the moaning that she had initially searching temporally forgotten. She quickly remembered as the moan came again, from in the crowd of dead bodies! “There's somebody actually alive in there!†she searched around, looking for any kind of movement among the bodies. Her search was rewarded with a twitching hand close to the top of the pile. She silently thanked the heavens she didn't actually have to move any corpses as she very carefully pulled on the wrist that was attached to the hand and pulled the body free. The person's chest was covered in deep gashes, but said chest was very faintly moving up and down. She looked at him more closely now that she knew it wasn't just another dead body. He appeared to be in his late twenties or early thirties, with a slender build and messy, bloodstained hair. She leaned down and took the person's pulse through his neck. His pulse was very faint, but kept up at a steady tempo. If she hurried and got him to a hospital there a small chance he could be saved. But first came first.
“Hey! Are you alright?†she said softly. She didn't want to startle the man, or whatever had killed all these people.
He opened his eyes slightly, the light from the room blinding him a bit. “Yes,†he said faintly. “I think I'll live as long as that thing doesn't come back before I can get medical attention. But, ugh!†He tensed up a bit as a wave of pain hit him. Bethany almost started to panic, but he slowly calmed down. He saw the look of concern on her face but slowly put a weak hand on top of her head and gave a slight smile. “You look like you're only a couple of years older than her.â€
Bethany blinked in confusion, but before she could question the man's strange statement he pulled himself up into a sitting position. “Thank you for pulling me from that pile. I'm only sorry that the other people weren't as lucky,†he said with genuine regret. “You must get me out of here, quickly, before the beast returns.â€
Bethany nodded and pulled the man's arm around her shoulder. She found him to be incredibly light, his slender build apparently coming from not having enough to eat or something. As she hoisted him up she whispered in his ear. “I know we're in a hurry here, but what exactly is that monster? And why is it killing people?â€
The man set his jaw firm and grimaced. “It's one of the Mystic Beasts of old folklore. And it's killing people for the fun of it. But it went after me because I have something it wants, so let's go quickly.â€
“YOU'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE HUMAN!!!†came a loud, booming voice. The man reacted in a flash as, while being suddenly filled with adrenaline, he shoved Bethany away from him. Before she could understand what had just happened she heard a loud crash from where she had just been standing not a second ago. A thick cloud of dust erupted from the ground and blocked everything from her sight for a few seconds. When the dust cleared she looked in horror at the minotaur monster, who had the man under it feet. Out of instinct she started to move towards the to two, but the man had other plans.
“Go! It's not safe here!â€
She stopped in her tracks, coming to her senses and tensing up at the sight of the beast in front of her. “But what about you!?â€
He laughed humorlessly. “My legs are crushed under this thing's feet and I'm sure that it'll kill me any second now. He just enjoys toying with people like this. But you must go now. Go and find the belt that he wants. Get yourself and that belt as far away from here as possible!â€
She hesitated, but turned and bolted for the door as quickly as possible. “I'm so sorry.†she said as tears started to flow from her eyes, thinking of the man's obvious fate.
As he watched her run, the man chuckled happily to himself, the pain in his now destroyed legs not enough to take the smile off his face. “She reminds me so much of my sister. Too bad I'll never see her again in this life.†He looked up with disdain at the creature's smug face. “Well what are you waiting for? Don't tell me you're having second thoughts about killing humans now.â€
The smugness left the beast's face and was replaced with disgust. “I will kill every human I come across. No exceptions.†He suddenly brought down his fist and crushed the man's a skull. But not before seeing that he still had that same blissful smile on his face. The creature removed his now bloodstained fist and looked down at what HAD been the man's head. “Strange. The other humans I slaughtered all died with looks of terror on their faces. But this one smiled as if he wasn't aware of his impending doom. He was a interesting creature, even for one of those disgusting humans. Now,†he looked towards the door that the human girl had just ran out of and grinned with maliciousness. “One human down, many to go.â€
Outside, Bethany could hear the sound of bones shattering and knew that the man she had almost saved was now dead. She had to leave, but she wanted to at least honor the man's last request by finding the “beltâ€, whatever that was. But she wasn't gonna look alone with that thing now after her. “RYOU!!!†she bellowed just as the minotaur busted through the wall and eyed her with a murderous grin..........
Now she was hiding with her life on the line. And that Okibi kid was nowhere to be seen!
“I swear, if he doesn't come and help me before I get killed I'll make him regret it. I have to get away from here and find that belt.â€
The minotaur was beginning to grow impatient with the girl's evasiveness.
“No more hiding, little human. Your end is NOW!†He raised his foot and slammed it into the ground near a rather large crate. The whole room shook and the crate shattered, sending debris went flying everywhere. Any crate that was nearby began to shake and topple over. Bethany was about to run to another area but suddenly felt something collide with her head and saw nothing but black.
The minotaur heard her body slump to the floor and looked in the direction of the sound, discovering her unconscious body a little ways away from him. “There you are little human. Now you have nowhere to run.†He crouched low to the ground and started to lumber toward her.
At that moment, Ryou stumbled out of an upstairs door as the entire building started to quake. “What's happening? An earthquake?†He hoisted the belt over his shoulder and ran to the railing. He looked down in wonder at the all the demolished equipment strewn around the vast floor. “On second thought, I think I know what did all this? I gotta find Bethany.â€
Just as he was about to head down the steps and search he heard loud stomping coming nearby. “Oh no, it's really close. But it sounds like it's moving away from me.†He looked the railing and spotted the minotaur indeed moving in the opposite direction. But something seemed off. “It looks like its hunting. What's over there?†He looked ahead to where the beast was lumbering to, seeing a human body he then clenched his hands tightly around the iron of the railing. “Bethany. I gotta do something or it's gonna kill her.â€
Ryou looked around frantically for something to distract the minotaur with but could only find rubble around him. “Guess I don't have a choice then.†He bent down and picked up a moderately large piece of rock. His arms quivered as he slowly lifted it over his head and threw it towards the beast. It landed a good way away from the beast but started to roll towards it, gaining momentum as its rotation got faster and faster.
The minotaur towered over Bethany, who was still unconscious, and clenched his claw into a fist in anticipation. “Now little human, it's time to join the rest of your species who've crossed my path. Die!â€
At the moment he raised his fist to unleash his devastating blow, a rolling piece of rubble hit the back of his ankle and knocked him backwards. But he was instantly back on his feet, searching for where the projectile came from. “There's another human here. Now that I'm paying attention I can smell it.†He spotted movement near a staircase. “There. This other human will be out for a while, so I can get to her later. I'll kill this meddling one first.â€
On the staircase, Ryou fell into a silent panic as he watch the minotaur face his direction and slowly crouch down. “Maybe I should get away from here.â€
“DIE HUMAN SCUM!!!†He shot off like a rocket in Ryou's direction, determined to kill one more disgusting human.
“I'm not gonna get down the stairs in time!†Ryou thought to himself. “Guess I'll have to jump over the railing.†He propped one foot on the railing and looked down. Having second thoughts, he thought to himself, “On second thought, maybe I'm way too high up for that.â€
“JUST JUMP ALREADY!!!†came a feminine voice.
“Nani?â€
Something suddenly flew into his back and projected him forward off of the railing right as the minotaur beast collided with the wall underneath, successfully taking out the support for the staircase and making it collapse on itself.
“WAAAAAAH!!! OOOF!!!†Ryou landed on the ground with a painful thud and slowly got to his feet. “Itie! What hit me?â€
A low rumble came from the destroyed area under what used to be the staircase. “You must have good reflexes for a human to be able evade me like you did. But your luck ends now human,†said the beast as it emerged from the wreckage.
“Oh man, what do I do now?â€
“I'll tell you what you do.†it said as it crouched down low once again. It suddenly sprung forward with its horns pointed low. “DIE HUMAN!!!â€
“AWAY, YOU VILE BEAST!!!â€
Ryou heard the same voice from before, but before he could find it's owner something small and fast flew around the minotaur, hitting it occasionally with a burst of sparks for some odd reason. He watched in awe as it slowly, and surprisingly, started to push the beast back. “What in the world is that?â€
“AWAY FROM ME YOU TINY WENCH!!!†He finally found his footing and slapped the tiny object away from him. The tiny thing flew towards Ryou and flew around his head. Up close he could now tell that the thing that managed to hold back the large, powerful beast was in reality a tiny, crimson-
“Bird?†Ryou blinked as he watched the little bird fly around his head.
“I am not some mere bird!†It suddenly reared its wing back and slapped him. “I am a mighty phoenix.â€
“Itie.†said Ryou painfully as he rubbed his now aching cheek. “I'm sorry, but you're kind of small for a phoenix, aren't you?â€
“Silence, you disrespectful child. You should be wary, for I have not the strength to keep Mintauros at bay. Quickly, you must put on that belt if we are to survive this ordeal with our lives intact.â€
Ryou eyed the belt hanging over his shoulder and clumsily snapped it around his waist. “Um, like this? Now what?â€
“MOVE!!!â€
He quickly dove out of the way as the Mintauros ran through the spot he would've been had he not gotten that warning. “My body wasn't built for this kind of strenuous activity. If you're going to do something, Phoenix-san, now would be the perfect time,†he said as he slowly got up.
“Oh I'm not gonna do anything. You are. You're going to use some of my power and defeat this foe yourself.â€
Ryou slowly looked over to where Mintauros was haunched over the ground in anticipation. He suddenly seemed reluctant to kill Ryou right away. “You want ME to fight THAT!? Have you taken a good look at me?â€
“Silence, boy.†said Mintauros suddenly. His deep, rumbling voice sounded absolutely gleeful. “The traitor said you would be using her power. While it won't really help you any with defeating me, I can't deny that it will it will at least make this kill more interesting. So I'll give you this chance. Don't disappoint me.â€
“Oh we won't. Just you wait,†said Phoenix-san confidently. “Now, young boy, we have this chance so let's not waste it.â€
“I'm not going to lie to you. I'm scared, but either way it's going to kill me so I'd rather go out fighting if its the last thing I'm ever going to do. So how do I use this belt?â€
“Catch me first.†She flipped in the air and landed in his now open palm with her wings folded inward. For some reason her back look squared, like the notch in the belt. “Say 'Henshin' then slide me into the slot in the belt and unfold my wings. I can't move while I'm transferring my power through the belt. You ready?â€
“Yeah. I hope I don't regret this.†He held her over his head and cried out. “HENSHIN!!!†He then brought her down confidently towards the belt, and completely missed. “Whoops.â€
“Ugh, how could you miss!? This a life or death situation for you so focus!â€
“I'm sorry. Let me try again.†“HENSHIN!!!†He brought her down again, and this time slid her into the slot on the belt. Then he grabbed the tips of the wings and opened them up.
The cry of a bird was heard as a large bird of flames appeared to erupt from Ryou's back with wings outstretched then folded its wings over, enveloping his body in its flames. The flames dispersed in a large burst of wind, and in Ryou's place was something completely unexpected.
“Woah. What am I wearing?†Ryou said as he looked over himself in awe. He wasn't in his clothes anymore. Now he was wearing some kind of armor. His body was covered by a black body suit which went from his feet to his neck. Over his body suit on his chest, forarms, and lower legs was red armor with yellow flame accents. On his feet were black boots with small talons on the end. Strange slots for unknown object decorated the armor on his left and right forearms. On his held was a large helmet with large red bug eyehoenix motif.
“You are now wearing the Armor of Rekka. My power is now flowing through your veins. Don't disappoint me.†Said Phoenix-san as Ryou started to move around in the suit.
“This feels amazing! Now what do I do?â€
“YOU FIGHT ME!!!†screamed Mintauros as he suddenly came from out of nowhere and slammed his fist into Ryou's stomach. He cried out as his feet left the ground and he went flying back until he hit the ground, bouncing repeatedly.
“HAHA! HURTS, DOESN'T IT YOU WEAKING!?†He reared back and let out a weird, animal-like cackle.
As he was laughing Ryou slowly stood up, shaking his head as he rose. “Ugh. I can't believe I'm still alive. That didn't even hurt that much.â€
Mintauros's head came back down in a flash. “WHAT!?â€
“Now, young man, the new Kamen Rider Rekka, defeat your foe.†said Phoenix-san as power surged through Ryou's body anew.
“Alright, but let me try something.†He pulled his hand up to his face and clenched it into a fist and as he did so a shining light shined through the cracks in his fist. “May you find eternal rest in the the fires of my blaze.â€
 

RekkaRyou

How does this thing work?
Rekka Chapter Two: Crimson Typhoon

I appreciate the comment but I don't think I'll be finished anytime soon. I plan to make this as long as a whole series. Either way, here is chapter two for you reading enjoyment. Comments and constructive criticism are welcome.
.......​
Mintauros backed away slightly as the new armor clad stepped forward hesitantly, eying the armor once again in awe. “This armor is amazing. I'm pretty sure that hit would've broken every bone in my body at least if I weren't wearing it. But,†He looked up to the minotaur monster in front of him, “What do I do now?â€
“YOU DIE!!!†He came up with a huge clothesline that would've rammed into Ryou's neck with the force of a truck but Ryou instinctively raised his arm and blocked the blow before jumping away from him.
“'Whoa! How'd I do that? My reaction time is normally horrible.â€
“It's the armor. It raised all of attributes, you reaction times, even your senses,†said Blaze form the Rekka belt.
“My senses? How does that-! Ugh!†His ears had suddenly perked up inside the helmet and he turned just in time to intercept a double open handed palm strike from Mintauros by slamming his own open palms into Mintauros's. A power struggle began as the two pushed against each other's hands, neither one yielding an inch.
“The armor of Rekka is indeed powerful for you to be able to rival me in strength but we're evenly match so this won't go anywhere.†said Mintauros with a smirk.
“So says you!†The eyes of his helmet shone brightly for a brief second before Ryou twisted his body and threw the surprised Mintauros over his shoulder, using the monster's on strength to propel him into the air and to send him skidding across the ground. Ryou raised his fists, ready to fight as Mintauros got to his feet.
“Oh you think you can beat me now? Well DAMN YOU!!!†He came running with a wild charge as Ryou began to panic slightly.
“Maybe I was a bit over my head when I decided to do this.†He braced himself for impact as the monster came thundering towards him. He was sure he was going to get tackled until the sound of police sirens slowly filled the warehouse, the alternating red and blue lights filtering in through the windows. For some reason this made Mintauros suddenly stop his charge and back away from Ryou. “What the?†Ryou said in confusion.
“We'll continue this another time human, but I can't bring attention to myself from you worthless humans.†He said cryptically and then bolted off, bounding up in a single leap to the second floor balcony, and jumped out one of the large windows.
“What was that about?†Ryou wondered out loud.
“I'll explain later, but right now we have to get your friend and leave this place. It would prove difficult to explain all of this to your human law enforcement.†said blaze.
“Right. Ikuze,†said Ryou as he ran towards where he had last seen Bethany's unconscious body, the enhancements made by the armor allow him to make it there faster and to easily navigate through the debris from Mintauros's rampage. He saw her on the ground and hoisted her up over his shoulder then proceeded to exit the warehouse just before the police ran in, pistols at the ready.
“ANYBODY IN HERE BETTER COME OUT NOW BECAUSE WE'RE SEARCHING THE PLACE!!!†said one really loud officer before he was bopped on the head by one of the fellow officer's night stick. “Ow! What was that for?â€
“Thanks for alerting everybody that we're here genius. The sirens are a bad enough alert for them without your constant yelling.†Said the somewhat older officer as other officers began to comb the place and search.
“Heh, sorry Lieutenant Standford. Won't happen again.†said the younger officer with a mock salute.
Lieutenant Standford sighed and said something about 'rookies' under his breath. “Cadet Dirk, you have a lot to learn. First of all stop with that stupid salute.†A faint 'yes sir' could be heard as a response as Standford proceeded to head over to where some of his fellow officers were, in a room that had a horrid stench coming from inside.
“What in the world is that stink?†said Dirk as he followed behind his lieutenant.
Lieutenant Standford took one brief look in that room and quickly turned to the Cadet. “Dirk, you really don't need to see this.â€
“See what?†He bolted around the lieutenant before he could stop the cadet and say immediately what he meant. “My God. This. This is. Horrible.†He had to turn away from the sight of the pile of dead bodies, no human should ever have to see something like that.
Lieutenant Standford took pity of kid and roughly rubbed his back. “It's okay kid. You're not the only that's affected by this. In all my years on the force even I have never seen anything like this. “You go wait in the car while we search through this....mess.â€
Dirk took one last quick look at he pile of bodies before taking off without another word. Standford looked after his younger officer and sighed to himself. “Poor kid, just out of the academy and he already has to see things like this. Life can be cruel sometimes. So, what do we have here gentleman? He said as he walked up to where the other officers were examining some of the bodies.
“Well, Lieutenant Standford sir, it looks like most of these are some of the people who went missing over the past few months. We haven't found a live one yet, but I doubt if any of these poor people would be alive under all that. The smell alone would probably kill them. But there is one other thing, another body that looks somewhat fresh. Poor guy probably died the worst. His head was practically obliterated, most likely by something big and heavy. You really don't want to see it.â€
“I'll take your word for it. Alright, let's write a report and get the coroners up here to better examine the bodies and get forensics team to search for any dna from the monster that did this.†He said the word not knowing just how right he was.
Cadet Dirk on the other hand was just walking around the area, taking everything in. “Who would do something like that? It's just so inhuman.†He was walking around an area where a lot of rubble looked like it tossed around in random places, like a some kind of huge struggle had taken place. “What in the world happened here? It looked like the fight of the century took place here.†He looked to the ground and found two sets of foot prints, one being way too big to be human. “Just what is going on in this city?â€
…......
Meanwhile Ryou, still in the Rekka suit, had carried Bethany far away from the warehouse and to a secluded area with no one around. “She looks like she's alright. Now that that monster's gone I can take off the armor. How do I do that?†he asked Blaze as she was still attached to the belt.
“Just do the henshin sequence in reverse. You do remember how to do that right?†she asked skeptically, remembering vividly how he had initially messed up his first transformation.
“Yes, yes I know. Just give me a second.†He reached down folded in Blaze's wings then pulled her out of the slot on the belt. The armor slow dissolved into flames and the flames dispersed. “Wow, that was scary. Good thing you showed up though, otherwise I don't think we would've gotten away. At least we'll never get to see him again.â€
“What are you talking about human? He'll be back and you'll have to fight him.†said Blaze with disbelief.
Ryou was shocked to say the least. “What are you talking about? I only wanted to get me and bethany away from him! Why should I fight him again!?â€
“You heard what he said human. He's not done with you yet. You're eventually going to have to do battle with him again.â€
“No way. He'll kill me. What I did in that warehouse was just a fluke, I can't do that at will. And besides I'm sure that anybody that wears the suit can do what I did. Just find someone else because I can't fight monsters.†He turned around from the tiny, floating phoenix and went to check on Bethany.
“Actually, no, not just anybody can wear the suit. Only you can wield my power now. Only you can stop him. But it looks like you were the wrong person to choose.†She said to herself as she took on last look at Ryou and flew off.
Ryou thought he could hear her talking but when he turned around she was gone. “I'm sorry Blaze, but someone like me isn't cut out to be some kind of hero. Everybody thinks I'm some kind of weirdo.†He left his thoughts at that as he noticed that Bethany was starting to come to. “Thank Goodness. You're finally awake. Are you okay?â€
Bethany not so gently shoved Ryou away from her and slowly got to her feet. “Everything's a bit hazy but I do remember that I was attacked by a monster. What do you think?â€
“Ano, gomen. It means sorry.â€
Bethany didn't want to admit, but she actually liked the way that word sounded. “Whatever. How'd we get away anyway?â€
“Oh! Well you see I, um,†He thought about it for a second. “If I tell her I found a talking bird, put on a belt, and turned into some kind of superhero she'd think I were totally insane. I better make something up.†“Well I distracted the monster and got it away from you and it would've gotten me if the police hadn't showed up. The sirens seemed to scare it away. I came back and got you then took off because it would've been really hard to explain what we were going there.â€
She seemed to not believe his story for a second but sighed as it sounded convincing enough for her. “Alright, I'll buy it and I suppose I should thank you for saving me,†she said hesitantly.
Ryou blushed and rubbed the back of his head. “Heh, it was no problem. You need my help so I helped you. It's what anybody would do.â€
“No, not just anybody would do that for another person,†she said quietly to herself.
“What?â€
“Nothing, but since our scooters are trashed thanks to me I guess we should walk home. I'd like to forget this night as soon as possible.â€
“Um, yeah. Wait, do you mean together?†he asked hopefully.
“Well, I wouldn't feel safe walking home by myself, knowing there's some monster out there that almost killed me. Besides, I don't think it's too far from the campus is too far from here so I won't have to deal with you for too long.â€
Ryou looked downcast at her last statement and she noticed this. “Maybe I should be a bit nicer to him since he did save my life and all. And he's wrong about anybody risking themselves for somebody else. That tells me that he's not selfish like most people.†“Listen Ryou, I'm sorry for what I just said and I suppose I shouldn't be such a pain to you all the time. It took a lot of courage to do what you did. Just don't look too much into that. So let's get going.â€
Ryou perked up right away and followed closely behind her as she started to walk back in the direction of the college campus.
….....
“This walk is boring. How about we talk about something?†said bethany after around ten minutes had passed.
“Um, I guess what would you like to talk about? I'm sorry, but I've never been much of a talker.†said Ryou as they walked through the ankle deep snow.
“Hmmm, I wonder why that is. Anyway, what's with your name? I know you're Japanese-American and I heard that most Japanese names have some kind of meaning.â€
Ryou was surprised. Besides Nick nobody had ever really taken interest in his heritage or anything and Bethany was the last person he expected to converse with. She was really uptight at times and really quick to insult him but he still liked her for some reason. Maybe this was the first step to becoming friends with her. “Well my first name, Ryou, actually means a lot of things but in my family's case it means to endure.â€
“Endure? That's a weird thing to name your kid. But I guess it makes sense in a way considering you're always the butt of everyone's jokes and Nick's the only friend you have. Everyone else thinks you're weird and doesn't want to talk to you. I guess you've had to endure that kind of thing for a long time. Does it ever get lonely?â€
She didn't receive an answer at first. Confused, she turned around to see that Ryou had stopped just a few feet behind her, facing the snow.
“Hey, Ryou. You okay?â€
“Of course it gets lonely. Nick's great and all, really understand and open to my oddities, but one person doesn't outweigh a hundred others. I don't like the looks I get sometimes, like I'm some kind of weirdo.â€
“Stupid!†Bethany suddenly shouted as thumped Ryou's forehead.
“Itie! What was that for?â€
“For being stupid. Even if you only have one friend, you shouldn't care about what other people think. They're not your friends so who cares what they think? Maybe the reason we think you're weird is because you take what we say about you too seriously. I mean you get so depressed sometimes it rolls off you in waves. Who would want to be friends with somebody like that? Make an effort to talk to people without being scared. I know you're brave because you didn't leave me to be killed and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'll help you with that. I'll be your friend.â€
Ryou couldn't believe his ears. The girl that made fun of him more than anybody else wanted to be friends with him. “Just because I saved your life?â€
“Not only did you save my life, but you risked your own to do so. That's more than some of my friends would've done for me. Now come on, it's getting cold out here.†She then slapped him in the back of the head and started walking slowing, waiting for him to catch up.
“Hey wait up! If we're friends now then why'd you hit me?†he breathed out as he caught up to her.
“I'm sorry, but that's just too fun to pass up. But I won't do it as hard or as much, now let continue what we were talking about earlier. You told me what Ryou means, but what about your last name? I think it was Kiva or something.â€
Ryou let out a hearty laugh at that. “It's Okibi and it means 'blazing fire'. My dad tells me it has something to do with an old legend in our family. The name Ryou Okibi is actually a name that's passed down, but only when a first born Okibi is an only child.â€
“So you don't have any siblings then. Hmmm, and your name basically means 'endure the blazing fire'. To be honest that's actually really cool. You also said that your last name has something to do with a legend in your family. What's the legend?â€
“To be honest I don't really know. My dad said since I wasn't a pure blooded Japanese then it wouldn't really interest me. I wasn't really much for legends and things like that when I was younger, but after tonight I think I might change my thinking a little bit.†he joked, making Bethany giggle a bit.
“You're actually kind of funny, and you have pretty eyes. I saw them back before we went in the warehouse. You should really cut that hair though or do something with it so other people can see those pretty green eyes of yours. I heard Asians don't usually get eye color like that, so I'm assuming it's from your mother?â€
“Yeah, it should've been almost impossible but it happened anyway. But it's such an oddity that I grow my hair out to cover it up.â€
“Well we're gonna have to fix that problem. Don't hide those eyes from the world, it's a crime. Think of how many girls will talk to you for your eyes alone. And,†He turned her eyes to his attire as they continued to walk, the campus entrance coming into view, “we'll have to do something about all of those clothes. You look like you're prepared to spend a month at the North Pole.â€
“It snow's here constantly, I can't really imagine the North Pole can be much worse. But to be honest it's because I've been extremely clumsy my entire life so I wear a lot of extra clothes for padding to keep me from hurting myself.â€
“Hmmm.†said Bethany with a thoughtful pose. She remembered that morning when she'd tripped him and expected him to fall to the floor, only he slammed face first into the door of his classroom. That kind of bad luck was only seen in movies. “Well we'll just have to do something about that now won't we?â€
Ryou shyly looked down to the ground as he walked, thankful that he saw the college parking lot beneath his feet. “Hey, we made it back finally. We should probably go to our dorms and- oh no I forgot the pizza!â€
“That's right! We left them by our scooters when we heard that monster. There's no telling if they're still there or not.â€
….........
Mintauros belched loudly as he tossed the two pizza boxes away from him. “These humans may be weak and pathetic, but they sure do know how to make a feast fit for someone as powerful as I.â€
…........
“Just my luck. This is why I never want to be the one to go get things. I usually just mess it up,†Ryou said sadly. Bethany felt bad for the guy, as it had been her fault that all of that had happened.
“Listen, Ryou. I'll treat you to pizza tomorrow since everything was my fault, okay? Right now though go get some sleep and I'll see you in the morning.â€
“Really?†Ryou said shyly.
“Of course. We're friends now are we not?†She gave a wave and turned to head back to her dorm, but suddenly turned back around with a dreamy, fangirlish look in her eyes. “Tell Nick I said goodnight.†Then she turned back around and practically glided off.
As soon as she had turned around Ryou had facefaulted. Not once since she woken up had she even mentioned Nick so that was completely unexpected. “I guess it'll take more than saving her life to make her forget about Nick for too long.â€
….....
“I'm back,†said Ryou wearily as he walked through the front door of his apartment styled dorm. He sat on the medium sized couch that occupied the main room of the dorm and tried to sink into the mattress with little progress.
“Yo.†came Nick's voice from the kitchen doorway. He was dressed in a pair of baggy green pajama pants and and white t-shirt. In his mouth was a slice of pizza. “You were taking a while so I just ordered some. I tried to call you but I never got answer. There's still some in there for ya if you want it.â€
Ryou, in a once in a lifetime moment, uncharacteristically stormed off to his room and slammed the door. Confused, Nick tip-toed to the bedroom door and carefully put his ear against it.
“AHHHHHHHH!!!†came a sudden aggravated scream from the room. It scared Nick so bad that he yelped and ran off to his room to hide from whatever monster had taken occupancy in Ryou's bedroom.
“Geez. What happened when he went to get the pizza?†asked with a mouth half full of pizza.
A couple of hours later, Ryou was lying down in his bed, looking at his hands. “Did all of that really happen tonight? It almost seems like a nightmare that we were actually attacked my a monster, and that it's what's been actually killing people. Then there's that little phoenix and that belt. It let me transform into some armor that allowed me to fight on par with that monster. It felt incredible. But most of all, Bethany's actually friends with me now! Whoo! I can't wait to talk to her in the morning.â€
….......
Morning came quickly as Ryou slept, his excitement for the day not deterring his sleep. He got up, showered, and dressed as like normal, except with a huge smile on his face. Even Nick found it unnerving as they said at the kitchen table and ate leftover pizza.
“Uh, are you feeling okay, Ryou? You seem.......rather happy this morning.â€
“Oh yeah. Last night was a bit weird, but a something good came out of it. Me and Bethany are friends now.â€
“Wait, the same Bethany that runs that rabid fanclub whose sole mission is to kidnap me and do all sorts of twisted, perverted things with me? That Bethany?â€
“Yup.â€
Nick suddenly grabbed Ryou by the shoulders and shook him. “Don't fall for it! It's a trap to get me to lower my guard around her. She wants to get closer to me through you and then abduct me when we least expect it!â€
“I saved her life last night!â€
Nick immediately stopped shaking him. “Really? How'd that happen?â€
“Uh, I'll tell you about it later. We should get to class.â€
“You're right about that. Let's go.†The two got up and grabbed their books before they walked out of the front door.
“Hey, Ryou. Where's your scooter?†asked Nick, looking around.
Ryou needed an excuse, luckily his scooter disappearing was a common thing. “I guess somebody must've taken it and hid it from me again. Oh well, I think I'll walk for once.â€
“Okay then. You've got a long ways to go though make it to the fine arts building.â€
“Yeah, I know. I'll tell you how everything goes. Have a good day, Nick.†Ryou said as he walked off.
“You too buddy. Hmmm, I guess I'll look for his scooter while he's gone.

….........................

“So what happened to you last night, Beth? You never came back last night.â€
“Some stuff happened and I got back really late. It wasn't anything important. I did make a new friend though.†said Bethany as they stood in the hallway of the fine arts building waiting for class to start.
“Oh really now? Who is it?â€
A suddenly “bump†was heard at that moment, like someone had walked into a door.
“That would be him now. Be right back.â€
Her friends all crowded around as she walked towards the door seeing a familiar figure lying in a heap at the door. “Is that the Okibi kid? No way is he the friend she was talking about.â€
“Maybe she was joking and she's only gonna do something funny as usual. This is gonna be good.â€
Bethany suppressed a giggle as she watched Ryou through the door, rubbing his forehead. “Now that I think about it, his helplessness is actually kinda cute.†“Still bumping into walls I see,†she said as she opened the door and propped it open.
“Well, um, aren't these doors supposed to be automatic?†I was expecting it to open and I just ended up walking face first into it.
Bethany pointed up to a sign that was taped up a little ways up on the door.
Under maintenance due to malfunction. Please wait for someone to open the door for you.
“It figures. Sorry you had to see that, especially after last night. I guess I'm still-â€
“I'll give you hand.â€
“Eh? What?â€
“Come on. You have to be more careful.†She reached down and helped him to his feet then him inside.
“Thank you, Bethany. I wasn't expecting that,†Ryou said with a smile on his face.
“And why not? We are friends now, are we not? This comes with the territory.†She reached up and ruffled Ryou's hair as her friends walked up to the stranger sight.
“Hey, what the hell is this?â€
“You mean he really is your friend? How did this happen?â€
It wasn't like her friends to act like this towards her so she started to get frustrated. “I told you that some stuff happened last night. I learned last night that he's not as weird as we all think he is and I've had a change of heart towards him. Now we're friends.â€
“Wow. Since when were you a charity case, Beth. I never expected you of all people to willingly been seen with the pariah of the school. I mean just look at him. I'm surprised he can even walk around looking like that. And he doesn't even talk. He just pops up out of nowhere and it's really creepy. We don't anything about him,†said one of her male friends.
“Hey. That's not fair at all. Could you all just at least try to get to know him?â€
“Hey Bethany. I think I'm gonna go. I wouldn't want your friends to think badly of you for hanging out with me. I'll just talk to you later, okay?†Ryou gave a small smile as he turned and started walking to class, but as soon as his back was facing the others his smile broke and his lip started to quiver to hold back the tears from not being accepted.
Bethany watched him walk away then turned on her friends. “I can't believe you guys! I figured you would all take my opinion into consideration. He's a really nice guy and would go out of his way to help people that had wronged him. Way more than any of you would do. Even me. Yeah, I was the one that picked on him the most, but I'm gonna make it up to him.â€
She turned her back on them and ran after Ryou as her friends stood there speechless.
“Ryou!†Bethany called after Ryou as he walked along towards his class.
“Bethany?†said Ryou as he turned around, wiping his eyes. “Why'd you follow me? I figured you'd rather hang out with your friends.â€
“You ARE my friend, Ryou! I'm sorry for how they acted. They just don't know you like I do. They shouldn't have acted like that.â€
“But, Bethany, you don't know me that well either. Is all of this really because I saved your life?â€
“Heh. Partly. That made me give you the benefit of the doubt. But talking to you last night was a really big part of it. Maybe I don't know you that well. But I know you well enough to know that you don't deserve to be treated like you've been treated all this time. I was the worst one, so I have a lot to make up for. But I'm gonna try my best. So how about it?†She put out her hand for Ryou to shake.
Ryou looked from Bethany's face to her hand repeatedly then slowly shook it as his free arm went to wipe the tears from his eyes.
“Ryou, are you crying?â€
“No, I just have tears flowing from my face.â€
…..................
A week went by with the two of them meeting in the hallway occasionally and eating some meals together. Bethany's friends were baffled by the amount she spent with the young Asian-American and even some rumors were going around that she had some kind of newfound fetish for weirdos. Also during the week, a new string of murders had occurred, more over the week alone than there had been over the past couple of months.
Bethany and Ryou sat at a table at dinner time in campus union and Bethany looked nervous as she read the evening paper. With a growl she took the newspaper and and crushed it in her fist.
Bethany threw the newspaper at Ryou's face out of habit, but he fortunately dodged it and watched at Bethany crossed her arms. “You okay?â€
“Of course not, and you shouldn't be either. We both know what's killing all of those people, and he could still be looking for us. Does that not worry you?â€
“Of course it does. Especially with what he said when the police came,†he said that last part quietly to himself, but Bethany still heard him.
“What did you just say? He spoke to you!?â€
“I don't have to tell her everything. I just have to warn her.†“When the police came, he said he'd be back for us. I know he'll be looking for us.â€
“When were you gonna tell me this!?†She shot up to her feet and slammed palms into the table, causing an echo that startled everyone in the lunch room, including Ryou.
“I-I didn't want you to worry, and he'll mostly be going after me since I stopped him from killing you. I was going to do everything I could to protect you. I'm sorry.†He looked down at his feet then got up. “I'll be leaving you alone now Bethany. Being friends with you was fun while it lasted.†He then walked out of dinner without even taking a look back.
“Ryou,†she said softly as she watched him leave. “Dammit.†She picked up her things and took off after him.
….......
Ryou sighed as he leaned against a tree and gazed at the evening sky. “I really messed up with Bethany. I guess I'm always gonna be a weirdo to her. Maybe I'm wrong and he's forgotten all about us.â€
“Unfortunately for you, you are not so lucky.â€
Ryou jumped in fright and scurried behind the tree at the sound of the disembodied voice. “Oh man he found me!†Ryou said in a frightened whisper as he looked around frantically.
“Calm yourself, human. He hasn't found you yet.†said Blaze as she dropped down right in front of his face, scaring him.
“Ahhhh! Phoenix-san! It's only you.â€
“Please refrain from referring me as that. I am regal being known for centuries as Blaze. Any other title is an insult.â€
“I'm sorry, but what are you doing here? And did you just say that that monster is definitely looking for us?â€
“Indeed. I have taken it upon myself to monitor his actions and he most certainly looking for you, but has been unable to find you until now. All the humans that have died were killed out of his frustration in not location.â€
Ryou sucked in a breath in realization. “You mean all of those people died because of us. This is all my fault.â€
“It is partially your fault, but also mine for choosing wrong when I let you use the belt.â€
“Then find somebody else to use it! I'm nobody so there should be loads of other people better suited for it than me! He could've probably saved everyone!â€
“If it were possible then I would have. But there's a problem. When I said that you were the only one that could fight Mintauros, I meant that. Because when you put the belt on, you became bonded to it through an ancient and mystical bond. No one else but you can use it now.â€
“What!? No, there has to be some way for it to go to somebody else.â€
“There is. The belt can only change users if the current user dies.â€
“But-†Ryou stopped as it took him a second to realize what she had just said. “What did you just say?â€
The little phoenix sighed and took roost on his shoulder. “Listen. The belt is bonded to you through a special link once you successfully transform with it, meaning no other human can wear it. That link breaks upon death.â€
“So that's why you said that I was the only one that could defeat that monster the other night. But you seem strong, seeing as how you held him off when he was about to kill me.â€
“I am very powerful,†she scoffed. “But the amount of damage I can do in this small body is rather limited. The belt harnesses more of my power.â€
Shaking his head, Ryou swatted the small bird off of his shoulder. “Listen, I get what you're saying, but I not some kind of superhero. I don't know anything about why all this is going on and I have nothing to do with any of this. Neither does Bethany, so I have to find her before something bad happens. I'm sorry; I really am.†And with that Ryou took off at a jog to search the campus for Bethany, not knowing that she was already about to find trouble.
…........
The sun was just starting to set when a random male student was walking through a bit of snow by the gate that surrounded the majority of the campus when he heard a slight 'thump'ing sound that was quickly growing louder.
“Huh? What the hell's that noise?†He started to inch closer to the gate as the thumping became louder. “That sounds like heavy footsteps-! Ahhhhh!†He screamed as the gate in front of him seemingly exploded right in front of him and a large beast stepped through the resulting rubble. He and other students immediately began to scream and run away in terror and it surveyed its surroundings as if searching for something.
“I smell that human girl close by along with the stench of Rekka's user. This place also reeks of humans. It should be fun slaughtering them all.†He let out a great roar, panicking the alright ready frightened students even more, and began to run after students that were still too close to him. Any unlucky students that he was able to catch up to didn't even have time to think before their short lived lives were snuffed out by Mintauros's powerful fists. He chuckled in almost gleeful fashion as he tossed away their lifeless bodies.
“What a wonderful day this is, for me to find all of these humans to slaughter.†He continued his assault as the smell of Ryou and Bethany became stronger.
Nearby Bethany tried her best not to scream as people who came out of nowhere just kept bumping into her. “Oh my God! Will you all watch where you're going!? What are you all running from anyway!?â€
“Ugh!†Bethany looked to her left and saw one of her friends had tripped while running and clumsily dodged around the oncoming crowd of distressed people to get to her. “Bethany?â€
“Amy, what's going on!? Why's everybody freaking out!?â€
The girl, Amy, started to bawl as Bethany helped her up. “Some kind of monster broke through the gate and it's back there killing people! It's horrible!â€
“A monster? It couldn't be. I gotta find Ryou!†In an instant she bolted in the direction everyone was coming from, ignoring the brief calls of her friend Amy.
“This is bad. This is really bad!†said Bethany out loud to herself as she ran.
“Well human, it just got worse.†said a low, familiar voice.
Bethany seemingly turned in slow motion as a impossibly large, furry arm slammed into her and sent her skidding across the concrete. The blow, surprisingly, wasn't enough to knock her unconscious, but was enough to knock all of the breath out of her and then some.
She could only lay there and watch unmoving as Mintauros came closer to her. “I've finally found you, youngling. Now I can kill you. Then I can find and kill Rekka.â€
“LET HER GO!!!â€
Mintauros looked over to see Ryou, out of breath and looking frightened.
“If you let her go, then I'll let you kill me. Let her go and don't hurt anymore humans and I swear you can do whatever you want.â€
Bethany looked at Ryou like he had grown a second head, momentarily ignoring the creature that stood over her. “Ryou! What are you talking about!? Just run!â€
“No! I'm the one he wants. If he fights me or if he kills me then maybe all this will stop. Please Mintauros. I'm begging you. Please let her go.†He got down on his knees with his head bowed as his voice began to crack and a few stray tears fell from his eyes.
Mintauros stopped his advance of Bethany and slightly turned his head in Ryou's direction. “You would give up your life for these other humans?†He turned back to Bethany and planted his large foot on her stomach. A loud, agonizing cry escaped her lungs without her realizing and Ryou's head shot up in response.
“What are you doing!? I said you could have me so please stop!†He got to his feet and grabbed onto the monster's powerful arm, trying to pull it away from Bethany with all his might, but with a wave of the same arm Mintauros threw Ryou away from him. He bounced on the ground twice before he came to hard landing on his back.
“You think that one human life will quell my desire to see you ALL dead? You know nothing of monsters boy. I kill for sport, to see the look of terror on their faces before I end their worthless existances. You're all going to die by the hand of monsters!†He began to laugh as he put more pressure on Bethany's abdomen, making her scream out louder.
“Bethany!†Ryou yelled as he slowly got to his feet. “How can such a creature exist? He doesn't value life at all! The only way to stop him and save everybody is to kill him, but I can't do it! I can't do anything!â€
“Remember my words, young human. Only you can wield my power. Only you can stop him.†came a familiar voice in his head.
“She was right. If I had just listened to her earlier then maybe I could've stopped all this from happening, but I gave in to my fear and hesitation.†He slowly began to walk towards Mintauros and the screaming Bethany while holding his side in pain. Then it turned into a slow run as he gradually got faster. “I've always to scared of everything to do anything. But I'll do something now even if it kills me! Blaze!â€
Mintauros began to laugh hysterically and raised his foot from Bethany's chest. “You think that wench will come for you now? Well either way it's too late for her!†He raised his foot again and prepared to stomp Bethany into the next life just as she had done to the man weeks before. “Die human scum!â€
“BETHANY!!!†Ryou yelled as he broke out into a full blown run. He knew he wouldn't make it in time but he never faltered, didn't stop his charge. Then he said something fly past him.
“Away from her you brute!†said the tiny phoenix Blaze as plowed into Mintauros's chest and sent him flying backwards. But she didn't stop there. She then flew towards Ryou and flew once around his waist as he ran, a trail of fire following behind her forming the belt that he'd found in the warehouse as it snapped around Ryou's waist.
Without hesitation, Ryou snatched the tips of Blaze's wings between his thumb and pointer finger, making a slight flicking noise, “HENSHIN!!!†,slid her through the slot on the belt effortlessly, and snapped his fingers between the wings, opening them up into the wing shaped slots on the belt. The bird's cry was heard and the flaming wings came from Ryou's back just like before and enveloped him the armor of Rekka once again as performed a flying kick on Mintauros, knocking him away from Bethany.
“Ryou?†She said weakly.
“I'll explain later. Stay here where it's safe until I get back.†Then he ran off to fight Mintauros as Bethany passed out.
…........
“Fight me you filthy human!†yelled Mintauros as Ryou, as Rekka, approached him. Said rider clenched his fist as he cautiously walked forward.
“I just wanted you to stop killing innocent people. But it's obvious that even if you killed every human on earth then you wouldn't be satisfied. Now, may you find eternal rest in the fires of my blaze!â€
He ran forward and landed a flaming punch to the monster's jaw, then spun around to his right and brought his left knee into Mintauros' lower abdomen. The monster roared in pain before Ryou grabbed his shoulders and planted his knee into his back three more times then kicked him away. Mintauros stumbled forward and fell to his face as Ryou stopped to take a breath. “Don't look down on us humans. Because I can beat you.â€
Mintauros got up and laughed sinisterly to himself. “Oh, so you think you can beat me eh? You only have that power because she gives it to you and because she can't fight me herself. But I will show you the power of real beast.†He suddenly charged, much faster than before, and rammed his horns into Ryou's chest, sending him flying backwards.
“Gah! Why's he suddenly so much faster than before!? He charged at me like a bull.†Ryou rubbed his sore chest as Mintauros charged again. Ryou raised his hands and grabbed Mintauros's horns at the last second, but the minotaur reared his head back and flung the rider behind him.
He grunted in pain as he hit the ground but quickly got up just for Mintauros to ram into him again. He charged with Ryou still lodged between his horns and pinned him to a wall and began to pummel him with punches. “How does this feel human!? I don't know about you but I'm enjoying this!†he shouted in between punches.
“If this keeps up he'll kill me and then he'll kill everybody on campus. I can't let that happen. I won't let it happen!†He grabbed the horns tightly and pushed until they were out of the wall, but Mintauros kept pushing. “I'll use that strength against you.†He slowly began to move his feet up the wall behind him then flipped over the monster, but used the monsters momentum to then flip him over his head.
He got up angrily to face Ryou, only to receive a two footed kick to the chest. He was thrown back even further as Ryou pushed off and back flipped to his feet. “Finish it young human!†came Blaze's voice from her perch on his belt. Ryou nodded and made a motion to run towards Mintauros, but stopped as the belt suddenly began to spark.
“What's the?†Ryou said aloud as he looked down only to then clutch at his head in agony as an unbearable pain suddenly began to course through him. “What? What's going on? My body! It feels like its on fire!â€
Blaze closed her eyes sadly from her perch, the heat emitting from the belt not affecting her in the slightest. “I am sorry, young one. I must have been wrong about you being able to wield my power. Your body wasn't able to handle it and now it is destroying your body. In a few minutes, your body will be nothing but ash. I am so sorry.â€
Mintauros watched angrily as the fires spouted from the belt and started to consume Ryou. “Such a waste of my time. I was supposed to be the one to kill you!â€
“I'll try my best to ward him off so that the other humans can escape, but you cannot be saved. For what it is worth, you fought well,†said Blaze as she prepared to leave the belt.
“No.†came Ryou's strangely calm voice.
Blaze's eyes widened considerably. “You. You're still alive!? How is this possible!?â€
“If I don't stop him, here and now, he'll only keep killing until you find someone to use the belt. I won't let that happen. I'll stop him even if I end up using the last of my breath to do it!†He charged at Mintauros, determined to win even if he died, with a loud battle cry. The flames around his body intensified as he got faster, and then in the blink of an eye, he was gone.
Mintauros scoffed as the rider vanished completely. “His body was so weak that there weren't even an ashes left. Pathetic.â€
“I'll show you 'pathetic'!†came Ryou from nowhere as he suddenly reappeared from seemingly nowhere and punched Mintauros so hard that he went flying.
“How!? You should be dead!â€
“I refuse to die!†Ryou said as the fires around him began to grow stronger. He charged again but moved so fast that he couldn't be seen, except for a fiery blur and a twin trail of fire that resulted from the friction of the ground and the sheer speed of Ryou's run. He began to run around Mintauros in a circle so fast that a small tornado had formed around Mintauros and began to lift him into the air. The fire from Ryou's run followed the path of the funnel and turned into a large flaming tornado as Mintauros floated above it.
“Time to finish this,†said Ryou. The flames from his body retreated to his back and formed into a pair of large flame wings that propelled him into the air and over Mintauros with one flap. He pointed his feet straight down as the wings flapped upwards, sending him down as he began to spin and stomped into Mintauros's chest. The beast cried out loudly as the force of the vertical drop kick slammed him straight into the heart of the funnel and into the concrete below with so much forch it formed a crater that was strangely shaped like a pair of wings. Ryou jume creature's chest just as he began to glow.
“Don't tell me that wasn't even enough to kill him?†Ryou said in disbelief.
“No,†said Blaze ominously. “He's done.â€
Mintauros painfully stood up as he began to glow brighter, coughing up blood. “You may have beaten me, human. But I will return. Count on it.†He coughed up more blood and began to cry out as his began to glow so brightly that it was almost pure white.
“TAKE COVER!!!†Blaze yelled. Ryou didn't wait for an explanation as he jumped behind a car just before Mintauros went critical and exploded. As the dust from the explosion slowly cleared Ryou poked his head cautiously over the roof of the car. When he saw that the coast was clear he hopped over it and walked over to the now larger crater where Mintauros had been not a minute before.
“Wow, there's nothing left of him. I can't believe I actually beat him.â€
“Indeed,†replied Blaze. “You should be dead right now. But your body was able to quickly adapt to the increase in power and channel it into a powerful attack. This belt has had many users, many who were already able to handle much more power than this when they first put the belt on, but none have ever adapted like that. What is your name, Boy?â€
Ryou's eyes slowly left the crater and looked into the night sky. “My name is Ryou Okibi.â€
 

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