Three cars drove up, all full of S.P.F. officers. Out hopped Jade, and a couple other agents, one with handcuffs.
“Jade! Perfect timing!” Kamara exclaimed.
“Whoa-whoa! We’re leaving him with the Special Police Force?” Jay cried.
“Well we can’t exactly keep him on the Destiny’s Bounty, now can we?” Cole stated.
Jade was quietly observing the agents as they handcuffed the criminal and pulled him up, struggling to get the net off him. The boy grunted, painfully. They saw jagged, glowing blue lines gently flashing from the top of his arms, down to the handcuffs.
“What was that?” Kamara asked.
“Elemental Restriction” Jade announced, “Keeps him weak enough so he can’t use his powers.”
“Where did you find the ability to construct something like that?” Zane asked, “We haven’t exactly volunteered for such an experiment.”
“I’m afraid that’s classified” Jade replied then smiling, slyly.
“So, who exactly is this kid?” Kai asked Jade.
“Well it’s obvious, he’s another elemental bender” Cole stated.
“Yeah, no kidding.”
“His name is Inazuma. The police have been tracking him for a while” Jade explained, “He didn’t do much, only stealing small bits of food from various places.”
“So he’s homeless?” Zane inquired.
Jade didn’t respond to that question.
She continued with, “When it comes to actually catching him however, he’s been able to slip past the officers every time. He has only caught the S.P.F.’s attention when the unfortunate shop owners who tried to catch them were completely paralyzed. We suspected he could possibly be another member of-”
She stopped. The group went silent. Kamara was looking down at the ground. It was beginning to sprinkle raindrops over them. She had a clear pained expression, but tried to hide it. Kai frowned slightly at observing the state of her.
“Anyway,” Jade maintained, “Thank you for your help ninja. We’ll take it over from here.”
The ninja nodded.
“STAY AWAY FROM MY BROTHER!”
Everyone whirled around. It was a tiny, wavering voice. The agents were trying to shove Inazuma into the car, but they froze when they saw a little blue haired girl with raggy high pigtails and white dress, holding a gun.
“Izumi!?” The boy-crook gasped.
The ninja unsheathed their weapons.
Everyone glanced and saw that it was Kamara who was objecting.
“Izumi, get out of here!” Inazuma pleaded, in a sudden tone of fear and anguish.
“I’m not going to let them take you away from me!” the girl shouted.
“His sister” Jade announced.
“What!?” Jay gasped.
Kamara put the kusarigama on the ground, and slowly began to approach her.
“Kam!” Kai hissed.
Kamara ignored him. She took another step forward.
“Don’t come any closer!” Izumi warned.
“Hey, it’s okay,” Kamara cooed, raising her hands, showing she wasn’t armed, “No one is going to hurt your brother.”
“Then why are you taking him away!?” Izumi cried, tears rolling down her cheeks, “He’s only been trying to help. Why won’t anyone listen to me!?”
“We’re trying to help” Kamara insisted, “That’s what we do. That’s what my friends and I do.”
One step closer…
Izumi’s hands were shaking.
“We can help your brother and you. Just…put down the gun, and I will personally see to it.”
Suddenly, there was crashing of metal. The ninja whirled around to see that Inazuma had broken his handcuffs and punched the two agents out cold. Izumi screamed as she pulled the trigger. BAM! The bullet drilled into Kamara’s shoulder. Kamara yelled as the knockback sent her to the ground.
“Kam!” The ninja all exclaimed.
Izumi instantly dropped the grun, frightened by its loud sound. Inazuma ran and grabbed the kusarigama and let out a flash of lightning. This time, none of the ninja could avoid it. The masters, including the S.P.F. agents were suddenly unable to move their limbs from the neck down, and fell to the ground. Inazuma ran to his sister, who was sobbing, frozen horrified at the state of the young lady she shot.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, I’m here now” Inazuma cooed as he embraced his sister tightly.
“I didn’t mean to! I didn’t mean to hurt the lady!” Izumi cried.
“I know, I know,” said her brother, “Come on, we need to get out of here, before the ninja’s other friends arrive!”
Kai opened his eyes. He was in his room, where he rest of his sword-brothers slept. Only he wasn’t in the top bunk. He was on the floor inside a cot lied out on the floor. He twitched his fingers. He wasn’t struggling to move them anymore. He moved his arms, until he had fully sat up. Cole was next to him, but fully standing up, rubbing his head from a recovering headache. Zane was up as well, in front is his bed, and Jay had just woken up shortly after Kai. Nya had arrived with the Destiny’s Bounty shortly after Inazuma and his sister disappeared. Kamara was close to fainting from the loss of blood from the gunshot wound, so she was the first to get dragged into the Bounty. The rest of the ninja crew had all been put to sleep by Sensei Wu, mostly because they were complaining about their paralyzed bodies and impatient about the effects wearing off. Sleeping would freshen them for their next plan of attack, as well as shutting him up.
“Well, glad that’s over” Jay exclaimed.
“I couldn’t agree more” Cole replied.
“That was insane what Inazuma did! Why can’t I do that?”
“It could be a result of the blood of the Dark One” Zane explained, then quickly adding, “Assuming of course he is a…”
His voice trailed off. Everyone hesitated to believe the Kurai Kodomo, the dark children were regathering strength. In their deepest, most unrealistic wishes they hoped that the Dark Children wouldn’t return. But it wasn’t because they were afraid of getting hurt.
“Where’s Kamara?” Kai asked.
“She’s still the healing room” said Cole, “Sensei had to remove the bullet from her shoulder, you know.”
Jay shuttered. “Thanks for the reminder. I thought after that shouting, we wouldn’t have to hear about it again.”
Kai suddenly got up.
“I’m going to go check on her her” he announced.
But before he could leave, a hand grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back.
“Whoa, cupid-struck, she’s fine!” Cole exclaimed, “Why don’t you tell us how the date went?”
Kai raised an eyebrow. At any other time he may have indulged in his sword-brothers shenanigans. But he was really eager to go and see Kamara.
“Do they not care?”
“Is really the time right now?” Kai asked, “Kamara was shot by a freaking bullet and none of you are concerned?”
“Don’t be so touchy, Kai, we didn’t mean it to be that way” Jay responded.
“The information you have discovered about Kamara may help us grow a stronger bond with her” Zane added, “As you apparently have.”
Kai sighed. “Fine. Yes, it went well.”
“What was she like? Did she have her guard up? Did it get intense?”
“No, it never did. In fact, I’d say she was more relaxed after her performance.”
“Did you talk about anything?”
There was a moment of silence. Kai folded his hands and loomed down at the floor.
“She was…very sincere” he described, “and…passionate.”
He smiled a little.
“I mean, she doesn’t play that violin for nothing.”
He was quiet again for a few seconds.
Then said, “I think I saw a glimpse of something…The real her, I guess. There was something big there, but I feel like I’m not quite there yet…”
“Well, you’re the one who’s best with girls” Cole said, “I think we’re making good progress.”
“Now can I be excused?” Kai asked, with a large dose of sarcasm.
“Yeah, yeah, of course” they all said.
Kai nodded, then quickly slipped away from the bedroom and down the hall. Cole, Jay, and Zane watched him carefully as he went.
He slid the paper door open slightly and peeked inside. He could see a silhouette of two figures behind another paper wall divider. One he easily made out to be Sensei Wu, and the other was a girl sitting on a bed. Wu was speaking, but too low for Kai to make out. Nervousness struck him in the moment he was going to enter the room. He hesitated for a long moment. Was this right? Was he in a position to go in?
“If you’re going to stalk me by the door, you might as well come in.”
Kai jumped. It was Kamara’s voice. He had forgotten that Kamara could detect someone’s presence from miles away. Sensei Wu emerged from behind the covering and looked right at Kai peeking between the door and frame, giving him a firm look. Kai winced. Slowly, he opened the door wider, and stepped into the room. He bowed at Sensei, not saying a word, still a bit anxious. Wu didn’t respond either. He simply walked over to a low-lying desk on the other side of the room and opened a scroll that was lying on top of it. Finally, Kai had stepped closer enough that he could see a glimpse of Kamara from the other side. She was surprised. She was wearing a light blue kimono, with one of the sleeves rolled up, revealing bandages wrapped around her shoulder with red slightly bleeding through it.
“Kai…?” she said.
Kai smiled, nervously, at last coming out from hiding.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
Kai shrugged, glancing at the floor.
“I just…wanted to check on you…See if you were alright…”
He looked up.
“I mean, you’re the only one that got shot with a bullet.”
Kamara looked down at the covers and blushed a little.
“Thanks…I guess…” she stammered.
Kai smiled. “That was pretty cool what you did back there, coaxing the girl the way you did.”
Kamara scoffed. “What was there that was cool? I clearly failed!” She said in a more frustrated voice.
She tucked some hair behind her ear.
“I was stupid to try and do that. I almost got everyone killed.”
Kai could see a cloud of darkness coming over her face. He had seen it before, many times, when Kamara was upset at him, or any of his other sword-brothers. But this time, she was frustrated at herself.
“But no one died though” Kai added, attempting to be encouraging.
Kamara looked away. She slammed her fist into the bed.
“Inazuma. That…Dark Child…Stupid little-!” She sighed sharply, “He got away because of me! With him in their ranks, they’re going to get stronger, all because of me!”
Something was different about her. The darkness was closer. Her eyes…They weren’t normal.
He wasn’t sure what overcame him. But he walked up to the side of her bed and grabbed her hand. He squeezed it tightly.
“It’s not your fault!” he exclaimed, more firmly, “It isn’t your fault that he got away! We didn’t even know Inazuma had a sister for crying out loud, let alone who he even was! We couldn’t have prepared for it!”
Kamara looked up. Kai was unwavered.
“I told you before, if the Kur-…They come back, we’re here to support you! You don’t have to worry!”
Kamara frowned again.
“If it wasn’t my fault Kai…Then who’s fault was it…?”
Kai didn’t answer. He gritted his teeth. What could he do to calm her down…?
“No one” he finally answered, “It’s no one’s fault. If anything, it’s their fault for thinking they can mess with us!”
Kamara’s face switched from a dark shadow, to pale grief. Then, she smiled, smally.
“You don’t sound like yourself, Kai. Who put you up to this?” Kai frowned, a bit offended.
“No one!” He exclaimed, “I don’t like seeing you upset, that’s all.”
Then, he realized he was still holding her hand and promptly retracted it. He looked away, his face getting red. Kamara looked away as well. Then, she picked up her head as she heard something.
“Go join the rest of the team” she said, with a saddened tone, “They’re waiting for you.”
Kai turned to her. He hesitated to leave her, but reluctantly nodded.
“Okay…You should come out soon.”
Kai’s feet were glued to the floor for half a minute before finally deciding to leave the room. She watched him sorely as he vanished from the other side of the door.