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"Work Hard, Live Well"

This article, A Shadow comes, broker a deal!, is the sole property of Phantom and cannot be used, edited, or referenced without his permission, with the exception of collaboration articles, whereas terms listed above are unserviceable.

This article, A Shadow comes, broker a deal!, is property of Yaminogaijin.

Introduction

It's been a week since the S-Class escort job finished by Markus, Freyja and the new recruit Adrian. The revelation of Adrian and Freyja dating hasn't sat well with many members of th Twilight Phoenix guild but things carry on as normal (kind of).

"So hows Freyja doing?" Ask Zero as he flicked a small stone off a pillar into a bin. "She looking like she's gonna keep Adrian?

"Looks that way....." Replied Markus as he flcked his own stone which bounce off several pillars before landing in the bin. "I win....But i am waiting for him to mess up....I'm curious to how Freyja will destroy him....."

"Your an evil man...." Said Zero as he handed of a thick roll of jewels. "I'll get you next time...."

Freyja was outside training while adrian was watching from under a tree.

Picking one of the fruits from the tree, Adrian took a bite out of it as he took in a deep breath and smelled the fresh air around him, but stopped when he felt eyes looking at him, and turned to find Zero and Markus looking at him. "What's up?" 

"Not alot runt.....Just watching Freyja's training seeing if she's improving." Said MArkus who then dropped down next to Adrian. "She's still weak on the turning strikes....."

"Could be worse Markus, those techniques are stunners anyway." Said Zero as he used his lightning body spell to join Markus.

"I can hear you!!" Said Freyja slightly annoyed at the critisism. "Zero is right they're not a hugely important technique i can do without them!"

"Don't mind them" He said going over to Freyja, giving her a kiss as he wrapped his arms around her waist, "I think you got better"

Markus just laughed when suddenly one of the Mochina Council Agents appeared looking terrified. "Zero, MArkus....Bad....News....." He said as he tried to catch his breath after running from the palace all the way to the Twilight Phoenix guild hall almost 2 miles away through winding streets.

"Whats wrong?" Asked Markus as he helped the man to a seat. "Come on catch your breath and tell us...."

"Daimon and his Shadow Alliance have taken Ichinai Island to the north.....The Housin Island forces are setting up a blockade till we can figure out whats gonna happen...." He said still looking terrified. "He has over 2 million fakes, mages, mercenaries and enslaved soldiers....."

"Hmmm this is a problem.....With the Fake Army spell his forces could almost double in size within afew weeks....Especially if he gets more elites to teach." Said Zero as he looked at Markus.

"Any infomation on his backers? He must have someone funding the attack." Asked Markus as he knelt down to look at the agent directly in the face.

"Not sure but our spies saw a giant of a man wearing an outfit similar to the kid's." He said as he pointed to Adrian.

The sudden realization made him grip his arms around Frejya's waist tighter as he took off his mask, revealing him sweating a bit as he looked into Frejya's eyes. "Do you remember that organization I told you about? That guy is one of their big bads, an enforcer named Dai Matsumoto. He's not exactly cute and cuddly" He said as the skin moved off of his arm, revealing a scar where Adrian's arm and shoulder were, "It was ripped off when he and I first met, I was able to save it, but I never forget the level of strength that guy had".

Freyja smiled and kissed Adrian on the cheek. "Relax! We've got an entire army backing us.....And i'm not talking about the guild." Smiled Freyja

"She's right we've spent the entire time we've been around forming alliances with the other guilds." Said Markus as he looked over the document the agent brought with him. "We've got the backing from the armed forces and police as well."

Adrian nodded in response, kissing Frejya to get his nerves together, but deep down he knew that they were gonna have one of the most toughest battle of their lives.

"Right now we need to help secure the allied borders....I'll send a message to each of the councils here and on our neighouring islands." Said Markus as he handed back the document. "I'll see if we can't come to some kind of joint defence treaty."

The agent nodded and rushed off somewhat half heartedly not wanting to run again. "I need to get a better job." He mumbled as he hobbled off.

"Always feel sorry for guys like that...." Said Freyja as she rested her head on Adrian's shoulder. "That was my first job as a Rune Knight."

"Every job is small, but it'll add up, for now is there anything we need to be doing?" He asked resting his head next to her's, taking in the smell of her shampoo.

"Yeah.....Do what you normally do....Until i talk to the council and we know whats going on we won't do anything...." Said Markus as he walked off to his room. "I mean it don't try to get your enemy or attempt to launch a raid on Daimon's forces."

"Why would we raid Daimon's men?!?!" Asked Freyja highly annoyed at Markus.

"He knows you all to well kiddo!" Chuckled Zero.

"For now, what should we do?" Adrian wondered.

"Go find a job to do...." Said Zero as he followed Markus back to the hall. "Will be a good way to kill time."

He looked over to his girlfriend in his arms, smiling as he kissed her deeply and pulled back, "You up for taking up a job?" He said smiling.

Freyja turns the kiss as she pulls out a job flyer. "Way ahead of you....Got a Bounty Hunting Job.....Dark MAge in the slums....Should be easy for a 700,000 jewel job." She smiles as she pulls herself away to grabher gear.

Meanwhile Markus and Zero were working on the letter to the Mochina Council. "This is a big problem......Daimon may invade the island...." Said Zero as he played with a jolt of lightning.

"We'll fix it....Even if he keeps that island we'll need to mess his forces up enough that it'll take him awhile to regroup." Said Markus as he finished the letter. "Best idea i can come up with is thread the line of distrust into their cloth."

"What?" Asked Zero with a puzzled look on his face.

"Get his allies to turn on him." Sighed Markus "I can't believe you didn't get that....."

After grabbing both of their gear, Frejya and Adrian left, hand-in-hand as they headed towards the slums, keeping a watchful eye as they started to get a few stares from some of the poor people on there. After a while, they found the location of where the dark mage supposedly hung out.

"How do you wanna do this?" Adrian asked as he loaded up his gun with some new bullets.

"WE'RE LOOKING FOR THIS MAN!!!" Shouted Freyja as she held up the wanted poster. This caused a large number of thugs and other dark mages to get up ready for a fight. "Hmmm that didn't work...."

"Babe, I love you, but sometimes you get to me" He said getting his guns ready as he quickly shot out some bullets that knocked out a few of them, then shot up some more as they transformed into flaming tigers as they attacked more of the dark mages.

"But it's boring asking around....I much prefer this method." Smiled Freyja as she stuck several enemies with rapid palm magic assualt.

With ease, the couple beat down most of the would-be dark mages with ease, "Well, it would seem that none of these people were the dark mage, you think that job could've have been false" After saying that, a figure passed by, punching Adrian hard into one of the walls as the being stood very tall, towering over him and Frejya.

"Well.....This ain't good...." said Freyja as she directed her guard towards the giant. "Any ideas Adrian?"

What the three didn't relise was that Markus had gotten word of the Giant's arrival and was hurrying towards them but is beign delayed by more Shadow Broker Agents.

"Gah.... "Adrian said as he stood up and glared at the giant in front of them, "This guy is one tough cookie, our best best is mid range, we stay at a postition we can best defend ourselves" He said pulling out his two katana's in response. 

"Worthless meats, I was going to enjoy tearing you apart, but I have my orders" He said summoning up his Darkness Magic and shooting it at both of them.

Suddenly the body of a Shadow Broker agent flew through a wall and Markus stepped through. "Is this a private party or can anyone join?" He asked as a jotl of lightning lept from his right eye and down his right arm. "Never a good idea to attack my guildmates...." Markus then walked towards the giant charging his fists with lightning and striking him with a devastating punch sending him flying back through the opposite wall.

Adrian looked on, knowing that one attack wouldn't be enough to take him down and he was right, emerging from the rubble was the giant, simply dusting off the debris and dust. "Hmm, a stronger worthless meat-bag, I would almost be excited if I didn't find your power so worthless" The man shot out another darkness spell that made contact.

Markus managed to use his teleporting spell at the last minute, avoiding the attack and launching a barrage of lightning bolts followed up by Storm Phoenix Secret Art: Blade of Sunsanoo causing a huge explosion that destroys alot of the bar. "Well that went overboard...." Said Markus as he walked outside.

Out of nowhere, chains emerged from the ground, wrapping him up as the sounds of deep chuckiling could be heard, "My my, it's been a while since a meat-bag was able to hit me with a strong spell like that, and if I was any other worthless meat, I would've died too" He said smiling as he punched Markus right through the wall with him still in chains. 

"Well i didn't coem without back up ya know....." Smirked Markus as several empty armors attacked the giant and Yamatora appearing with them unleashing a shockwave enhanced punch to the giant's face releasing Markus from the chains. Suddenly a fireball hit the giant as well, the armors then struck with their weapons. Finally a white lightning bolt came down onto the giant. "I've brought some friends."

"Mess with one of us...You mess with all of us." Said Zero as he reformed into a human from his lightning bolt form.

"You try to hurt one of us....You feel that pain 100 times over." Said Yamatora as he span his staff around.

"Time to feel the fire of the Phoenix runt." Smirked Liz as she blew out a lick of flame.

By now Adrian and Freyja had joined the group. "Next time bring more back up than the runts you did...." Said Markus as he pointed to the remains of the agents.

"Oh dear me, it would seem I am outnumbered, but you are outmatched" He said smiling as he quickly extended his entire body by use of Titan as he slammed down into the floor, sending half of them flying, "But you're outmatched"

The half that were sent flying quickly recovered and began to attack. Zero and Yamatora used their signiture attacks God's Lightning and Earth Splitter respectivly. Markus, Liz and Freyja attacked with their top spells. Freyja using her palm magic to knock up a large blouder she sents flying with another palm strike and Liz setting ti alight. Markus attacked with another blast of Storm Phoenix Secret Art: Blade of Sunsanoo followed by Storm Phoenix Secret Art: Axe of Raiden.

Both attacks were successful, but only pushed him back as he made his skin come to life, creating large claws for his arms as he slashed down, sending a powerful darkness wave that was aimed at most of them.

While the other managed to avoid the attack Markus took the hit full on, after the smoke cleared he had taken anew form known as Storm Drive. The form doubles Markus' physical abilities along with his regeneration and magic stability due to it's access to his Second Origin. "Ok thats it!" Shouted Markus obviously annoyed. "I had shadow magic like yours!" Just ask Markus was about to attack with one of his strongest spells, a familiar voice called out "Time Seal!" Suddenly Dai seemed to loose all ability with magic.

The result of the spell caused Dai to shrink back down to his normal size as his skin reverted back to normal, "What is this?! Which worthless meat bag dares to do this to me?!!?!" He yelled, trying to summon up any magic energy he could, not feeling anything.

Adrian regained consiouness, looking up at Dai surrounded, he remembered what happened to him, running to go stop them, but was held back by Frejya who wrapped her arms around his waist.

Afew seconds later an old man with a grizzled looking walking skick stepped out of the rubble. "Your magic has been sealed....Leave the island and i'll release the seal....If you don't my friends will kill you here and now...." Said the old man as he smiled at Dai.

"Hey Sensei!" Said Freyja as she waved to the old man who waved back. "When did you get back?"

"One second my dear...." Said the old man as he glared at Dai.

"Hold on Sensei let me do something...." Said Markus as he walked up to Dai and headbutted him square on the forehead knocking him out cold. "Sensei can you use your magic to send him somewhere?"

"Hmmm yes i have one spell that will send him back to his point of origin....." Said the old man "It's call Journey Return, but i can only use it once in a month....my body can't cope with the strain...." The old man closed his eyes and forced the spell to work. A magic circle appear below Dai and he vanished, the old man then fell down to his knees.

"Lets get you home old man....." Smirked Markus as he helped the man to his feet. "It's good to see ya again."

Adrian stood in shock at what just happened, all the times he had encountered Dai he nearly got himself killed just trying to get away, but now through his own eyes, he saw him defeated in one go. "Wow...."

"This is Hyogo Matsumae....We call him Sensei, he's the oldest and most experience member of the guild but is semi-retired due to his age." Said Markus as he helped the old man to walk. "He owned the hall before we bought it from him....On the condition he was allowed to join."

"He's also one of the greatest magic sealers alive!....Plus he knows how to scrap!" Smiled Zero as he walked behind them. "He's taught all of us a thing or two about throwing a punch."

"And yet your 540 spinning back kick still sucks Zero...." Smirked Hyogo as he stood up as straight as he could and walked on his own.

Freyja burst out laughing. "He's the one who taught me how to fight Adrian! And taught me my Palm Magic." She smiled hugging Adrian.

Adrian hugged back, smiling as he witnessed a legendary moment right in front of him, he simply smiled and began walking with her by his side, "Come on, let's head home" He said with a smile.

Back at the hall the group entered the doors and upon seeing Hyogo all of the members in the room bowed in respect to him. "It's good to be home my friends...Please go back to what you were doing!" Smiled the old man as he sat down in a empty seat. "How is your Twilight Phoenix Kempo coming along Markus?"

"It's coming along fine Sensei.....I've been working on many new techniques and working on ways to improve the usage of magic within the style." Markus said as he sat next to him. "I was hoping we could spar later...See if you still have your skills"

"I would love to my boy! But right now let me rest for abit!" Laughed the old man as he patted Markus on the knee. "So who is this young man Freyja seems so attached to?"

Adrian bowed in respect as he removed his second skin to show his face, "My name is Adrian Sage sir, it's an honor to meet you" He said getting back up as he sat down with Frejya sitting across his lap

Hyogo glared at Adrian as if sizing him up for a fight. "This one needs alot more training....He has no real training....Maybe you should show him Twilight Phoenix Kempo, Markus...." Said the old man.

"He doesn't use Lightning Magic....Or any elemental magic....TPK is based around the elements Sensei....." Said Markus as he shrugged at the old man's words

"Hmmm good point....Then i shall train him in the ways of the warrior-mage!" Said the old man with such determination the entire room fell silent. "He shall then match any S-class in this Guild!"

The silence could be heard throughout the entire area, Adrian gave him a look of confusion as he looked at Frejya, "Am I weak?"

"Not really but Sensei has a point....Nothing alittle extra training couldn't fix." She smiled knowing her words were just a set of white lies.

"Young man you were easily beaten against that brute.....Freyja managed to put up more of a fight....Mainly due to my training!" Said Hyogo as he stood up and walked off. "Follow me and become a truely powerful mage!"

Adrian sighed, knowing that he could either go willingly or by force, but decided to just give in and moved Frejya to the side, following his new master.

Over several weeks Hyogo pushed Adrian to his limit teching him new sword techniques and unarmed techniques to improve his magic. However a darkness loomed overhead, but thats for another time!

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