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"Lightning, the fabled element of the gods. One's choices can make it to where it can be the sword of the destroyer or the shield of the protector."
— Tagline

Robin Hood of Lightning

Sitting in a surprisingly good nice office, Hogotsu Sezoku was sitting at a desk as he looked over various papers that littered the desk. A sigh escaped his mouth as one could clearly see that he had bags under his eyes, signifying that he was getting little to no sleep for that past days. "Ugh, why did this have to happen now of all times?" Hogotsu questioned aloud as he slammed his head on the desk, a loud clattering sound could be heard due to the force he used. Raising his head slightly to where his chin now rested on the desk, Hogotsu though over his plight once more. Apparently, the people that he looked after which were referred to the Forgotten were running low on money due to the fact that Hogotsu and his group, or the Novum Caesor, were unable to steal from any corrupt aristocrats. Not only that but his entire team was separated as Genki was in the west sector, helping the people in that area. Karasu was doing who knows what, hopefully planning a way to get themselves out of this situation and Tentoki was searching in the city for potential people to steal from though if it was anything like the past days, then the results would be not good. Letting out another sigh, Hogotsu mumbled to himself as he grabbed a nearby paper. "Geez at this rate, we might actually starvation. I sure how that we can find a way to get in some revenue quickly."

However after those words were spoken out of Hogotsu's mouth, a knock could be heard and the door opened up to reveal a man that was dressed in a black cloak, giving him an aura of mystery and power, as he said. "I believe that I have a job for you, kid. A very well paying job." The man said as he walked into the office and sat in one of the chair that was in front of the desk. "All that I need you to do is go to an place known as Mochina Island and kill a specific man. He is a rather dangerous mage who has taken over the island." He concluded in a way that suggested he was giving all the details about the subject.

Reacting quickly, Hogotsu raised his left hand in the motion of a gun and pointed it at the mysterious clocked man, his hand sparking with electricity. "Listen, buddy. While I am looking for work, I'm not to keen to work for a person who happened to find this location which is meant to be secret." Hogotsu said as his eyes narrowed in a threatening manner, clearly showing hostility towards strange person. "Now then, how about you give me a name as well as go into more detail about what exactly you want done and maybe, just maybe, I might take up this job." He finished as his entire body was now releasing electricity in a condensed manner, ready to attack whoever this man was and put him down if he needed to do so without a moment of hesitation.

The strange man smiled, though Hogotsu could not it, and said, "Well my boy, all the details on the target are in this package." He continued as he placed a small box onto the desk. "You seem to help the less fortunate here. However he doesn't, instead simply enslaves them. My employer wants someone to stop him and rebuild the nation. We have decided to choose you to be that person and weg will pay you to accommodate this mission. The choice is yours." The man then left the office, vanishing as he passed through the doorway, almost like a phantom.

Letting out a breath that he had no idea that he was holding, Hogotsu fell back into his chair as he relaxed and began to think about the strange encounter. While the opportunity was too good to be true, Hogotsu was no fool. He could sense the magic that the man possessed and it was enormous, to the point where he saw his life flash before his eyes. Such a man in possession of powerful magic could easily fight against whoever this man that he wanted dead. Releasing another sigh, Hogotsu looked at the small box and came to his decision. Grabbing the box and opening it up, Hogotsu looked to see that within the box revealing a set of files that was stacked in a neat manner.

Grasping the first file and opening it up, Hogotsu read through it as he saw that it revealed the structure of the Mochina Island. Looking it over the layout the island, Hogotsu was able to see multiple ways that he could enter the island, the most prominent way being swimming, taking a boat, or by coming through the mountain. Closing the file and grabbing the next one, he looked through it and saw that it revealed information about his target Markus Hotaru. Reading through it, Hogotsu was shocked about how powerful this person was. Reading over the amount of feats and his magic, he could hardly believe half of the stuff that he was reading.

"Oh man, this is gonna be real fun", Hogotsu said in a clearly sarcastic as he ran his hand through his hair and pulled out piece of paper, quickly writing something done on it. Getting out and jumping over his desk, Hogotsu grabbed a small black backpack that was laying in a nearby corner and walked out of the office, shutting the door behind him. Placing the paper on the door, Hogotsu walked down the hallway as he was prepared to go toward this new journey with the upmost seriousness. Going back to the door, one could see that the paper that he placed on it read as such: "Gone assassinating. Will be back whenever I feel like it."

The Island of Warriors

As the sun was shining down upon him, Hogotsu looked over the city as he sat on the branch of a rather large tree that gave him a great view of everything that was occurring around him. Pulling out a binoculars from his backpack, he looked through them and looked at the people of the loud and active city. As looked around, he quickly noticed that nearly everyone that was walking around carried some from of weaponry on their personnel. Going over the information about the island and its inhabitants, he recalled that most of the people on this island resided within certain clans and they were each taught how to fight at a young age, learning a specific weapon that fitted their mind and body. There were some mages that were powerful enough to rival Markus, though he had already defeated them and they had given up from what he had read in the file.

Putting the binoculars back into his backpack, Hogotsu jumped off the branch that he was sitting in as he traveled towards the city to get a better look at his target. As he leaped from one tree to another, Hogotsu though about his course of actions or more so, his plan. He doubted that Markus would be out in the open during the daytime though there might be a small chance where he would happen to be out. However even then, he might have bodyguards around him to protect him, making it difficult. Attacking him at nighttime would be just as hard as his number of bodyguards would most likely double in size if he was going to guess. "Geez, the things I do to get paid for my people." Hogotsu said before he realized, "Wait a minute. That asshole never said he was going to pay me!" His face turned red with anger at the though of being tricked before he quickly calmed down. He might as well see how this plays out.

As he jumped out the last branch, Hogotsu soared through the air as he looked down as he saw that there were many people that were walking though the streets of the city and participating in various activities. Landing on the nearby roof of a house, he looked around as he spotted a rather tall building. Acting swiftly, he leaped off the roof that he landed, causing some of the roof tiles to fall down, as he dashed from building to building before he quickly made it to the roof of the large building. Reaching into his backpack once more, Hogotsu pulled out a telescope this time as he looked through it. As he searched around for his target, he spotted a hot spring. A blush appeared on his face as he was able to see the women's side with the angle that he was sitting at. Shaking his head to get such thoughts out of his head, he continued to search for his target before spotting him in the streets below him.

However what Hogotsu did not know was that his target was indeed walking around in broad daylight as he was gather food for a big meal, plaining to have some guests over to his house Being as famous as he was, Markus seemed to enjoy spending time talking to people around him who were also shopping as well. Also although he didn't show it, he knew that Hogotsu or rather someone was following him around but deemed it not that big of a threat as he walked directly below him on his perch. "Enjoying the sun, Markus?", said a priest walking on the temple that Hogotsu decided to use as an lookout. "I haven't seen you around here in awhile."

"Yeah, sorry about that Master Hitsu. The current war as well as family matters have taken over a lot of my time." Markus said as he bowed before the man and rose back up. "How are things at the temple? Did you get those supplies that you needed?"

"Yes we did and things are going well. The war has made life busy for the monks....An ironic and worthwhile change. Now the lazy slobs can do something other than sleep." The man chuckled patting Markus on the back.

Markus smirked and went off to finish shopping quickly glancing up as a small jolt of lightning travelled across his eyes. "What do you want little hunter." his whispered to himself as he turned to leave the temple.

Hogotsu looked down as he watched Markus leave out of the temple with a frown. Having been able to hear the conversation between his target and this Master Hitsu, he was confused at what he heard. Why would such a man, who was described as an tyrant in what he read, worry about if a priest had gotten supplies. While fighting a war caused his suspicion of the man to go up, the fact that he had a family made it go down. While he could have easily claimed a woman and forced her to bear children, the way he spoke of them didn't seem to correspond to such a person that was describe in the reports. Quickly focusing his sight onto the man below him, Hogotsu jumped from building to building as he gave chase and prepared to kill the man.

Markus walked down stopping to talk to some citizens about his family and current status of the war going on, mentioning Fakers and Daimon's Cult. Markus eventually went down a secluded alleyway and stopped placing his shopping on a crate. "If you going to kill me....Your not gonna get a better chance that this little hunter.....See if you can." Said Markus with his back to Hogotsu. "Many assassins from Daimon have tried each end up feeling the Storm's Wrath."

Seeing that there was no point in trying to hide his presence when his foe clearly knew he was being followed, Hogotsu jumped from the roof that he had been standing on. Landing in a crouch as no sound was released when he hit the floor, Hogotsu stood straight up and looked at Markus, saying in a slightly bored voice, "So, you knew that I was following you. Gonna admit, I'm not really surprised that you were able to sense me due to the file that I read on you and the things you have accomplished." He gave a shrug as he wasn't so mad. If anything, he was proud of being hide so long of someone who had such incredible power. "However, your reign of terror must come to an end. I've been told that you have enslaved the people of this island and I shall not allow you continue going with such a terrible thing." Hogotsu finished as his eyes narrowed, turning his normal crystal blue eyes cold and empty.

Markus burst into laughter so much he almost fell over. "Did Daimon put you up to this?" He said through the laughter trying to breath. "Oh by the spirits he did it again!" MArkus turned around slowly stopping the laughter and wiping tears from his eyes. "That scum bag has been getting gullable mages from other countries to try and take out the major problems in his ass. Me included....He played you kid he's not even gonna pay you for killing me, he'll just kill you as well." He said walking closer to Hogotsu not requipping his armor or readying a spell."Go home you'll only get hurt here."

Hogotsu narrowed his eyes as he though about it. It would make sense as the person who name might be Daimon did seem to suddenly approach him in an area that no normal person should know of and the information that he had on Markus' personality did not match on what he had. However there was the possibility that this was a trick and Markus was actually a villainous person. Either way, whoever he choose to believe ended up with him in a lose-lose situation. Looking over at Markus, "While I do wish to believe you, I have a lot riding on this. I have mouths to feed and unfortunately I have to take you out." He said as he shifted his body into his signature fighting stance.

"Might want to rethink that in a second kid...." Smirked Markus as he unleashed his magical pwoer creating a powerful shockwave that pushed Hogotsu back several steps and change the air pressure in the alley. "There is a reason i'm known as The Storm Guardian and The Infamous Storm......I've been raised to defend the innocent, my friend and my family.....I've sworn to kill Daimon and his followers and if you decide to attack i'll end you just like them.....So choose your path carefully 'cos if you advance i'll show you every level of hell."

What Hogotsu didn't know several spectators decided to watch the fight. Ellena Hotaru the mother of Markus and mother to his children, Zero Asahi the oldest and closest friend to Markus and master of mimicry. Finally Head of the Royal Guard Wolf Division Tsume Kibaryu. The three were being hidden from any form of magical sensing by one of Zero's spells all they did was wait to see what the kid would do when standing infront of the strongest mage in the history of the archipelago.

Hogotsu began to tremble, knowing full and well that if he went up against this man, that he might die. But if he didn't bother to try and do so, his friends and those he swore to protect would die and he couldn't live with such a thing. Taking a series of deep breaths to stop his shaking, Hogotsu reopened his eyes that showed determination. "Sorry but I can't do that. Much like you, I've been raised to defend the innocent and protect those that I care for. While you don't seem like a bad person, I can't afford to let the people I swore to protect die. Hogotsu Sezoku is one who protects the common people and I won't let anyone stop me!" He said as his body began to enveloped in his magical power, taking the form of a white aura.

Markus smirked "Heh I like you kid...." He said before vanishing moving as speeds far beyond what Hogotsu imagined and reappeared punching him in the gut hard enough to knock him out cold. "Thats why i'm gonan help ya.....If Daimon has played you we're gonna beat him."

Hogotsu could only let out a soundless gasp as he was knocked out. He briefly though if this was the end and if those that he cared for would be alright. He desperately tried to cling to consciousness but alas, it was a futile effort. The last thing that Hogotsu saw was the blurred face of Markus as he said something about beating someone. His final thoughts before he drifted into the realm of unconsciousness were, "Goddamnit. Next time, no taking jobs from strangers that mysteriously appear in front of my door."

As he began to come to, Hogotsu woke up to find that he was in a high-class bed room that had white walls, golden timing and well-made, expensive looking furniture. Turning his head slightly, He saw a very pretty young woman that had bright blue hair, black and yellow T-shirt with blue jeans and black boots sitting in a chair next to his bed. On her hands were a pair of metal gauntlets that was holding a book that she was reading, most likely waiting for him to wake up as she quickly noticed that he woke up.

"Oh your awake thats great! I'm Joo Dee Hotaru adopted neice of Markus Hotaru and his Phoenix Slayer apprentice. Nice to meet you!" She said smiling brightly and helping him sit up. "My uncle wanted to talk to you when your able to stand....He hit you alittle too hard it seems." Just as she finished speaking a loud bang was heard and the floor shook like an earthquake had started. "He's currently sparring with the other S-Class mages....Including my mothers."

Hogotsu stared at her for a moment before shaking his head at the odd situation that he now found himself in, rising up out of the bed and said toward Joo, "Um, hi there. I'm Hogotsu Sezoku and I'm the guy that tried to assassinate your adopted uncle and failed." He scratched the back of his head with his left hand, finding the satiation incredible strange plus he heard her say mothers. Either that meant she had multiple mother figures or Markus had a potential harem. "So, where exactly am I at?", He said as he looked around the room.

"Yes i have two mums....I was adopted by Alice Hotaru and Cynteria Gouken now Cynteria Hotaru with my sister Chae Yi.....Your in one of the spare rooms in the Hotaru Estate." Said Joo Dee still smiling. "My uncle is one of the few remaining members of the 'old' Hotaru Clan....The Twilight Phoenix Guild si the new version. Oh and don't worry about trying to kill him, you were played by Daimon so we understand." 

Just then two people walked in a woman with red hair wearing a bikini top, jeans and bangles on her wrists and another dark skinned green haired woman in a green hood wearing a green dress with a red bodysuit under it. "So this the runt who attacked my twin.....He's got some balls." Said the red head as she walked up to Joo Dee and patted her on the head. "He's lucky we're still recovering from sparring with Markus and Dark."

"Dark is back?" Said joo Dee alittle shocked. "I thought he was on a 50 year job hunting a High Drake."

"He killed it...Wasn't hard to track and he just went all out." Said the other woman. "Go tell Markus that he's awake we can watch him for now."

Joo Dee nodded hugging them both and running off to find Markus while the two women glared at Hogotsu.

Hogotsu could feel their glares burning into his very soul. If looks could kill, he was sure that he would have been dead ten times over by now. While it was justified in his opinion as he did try and kill someone that they clearly cared a lot for, he hoped they remembered that he was tricked into accepting this job and had little option to being with. Feeling some sweat drip down the back of his neck, Hogotsu said in strained voice as he tried to play it cool, "So, I get the feeling that you two are mad at me?"

"Well you did try and kill my twin brother." Said the red head cracking her knuckles loudly. "Played for a fool or not ya still wanted to kill him."

Markus then walked in and looked at the two women. "Go and spend some time with your daughters Alice and Cyn....I'll talk to our guest." He said moving out of the doorway letting them leave. "Now....Lets talk about why you came here."

Hogotsu let out another sigh as he closed his eyes before reopening them and saying, "Well as you were able to figure out earlier before you fisted me into unconsciousness, thanks for that by the way", Hogotsu gave Markus a look that clearly showed he was slightly mad about said incident before getting back on track. "I was hired to kill you. By a man in a black or brown clock, can't really remember. I guess this is that Daimon guy that you were speaking about earlier? Any who, he wanted me to kill you and I accepted which I now realize was dumb as he never told me he would pay me for said job." Hogotsu finished as he scratched the back of his head in a sheepish manner.

"Well Daimon does that, your the 55th person he's played like an instrument......He finds it more enjoyable manipulating people." Said Markus looking at Hogotsu. "Next time approch me and tell me your going to kill me....."

Giving him a deadpan stare, Hogotsu rolled his eyes and said in a sarcastic voice, "Oh yes. Because when I've been hired to take out a powerful person, I should totally walk up to their face and just say, "HEY! I'm gonna fucking kill you!" Because that would work out so well." As he was saying this, he was began to stretch his shoulders.

"It would be abit more polite....Assassins are only welcome ont he most hated enemeis around here....Like Daimon and his goons." Said Markus with a smirk. "Come on let me give you a tour."

Rolling his eyes once more, Hogotsu jumped out of the bed that he was in and noticed that he was wearing a different set of clothing as his attire consisted of a white Chinese martial art outfit. Deciding to not say anything about it, Hogotsu grabbed his black backpack that was next to his bed, putting on his back and looked over at Markus, saying "Alright then, I'll follow you."

Markus guided Hogotsu around the estate explaining each area. The training area where everyone practised their techniques and spells in combat, the dorms for the mages who bare the symbol of the guild, the main house where the Hotaru family lives and where the guild eat however he didn't take him into the basement where the vault and other secrets are hidden. The final location he showed him was the entrance to the Sanctum the burial place of all Hotaru members and the private mediation area for them.

Hogotsu had to admit that the guild was impressive, easily better than every estate that he had previously robbed in the past. It must have costed quite a fortune to build this type of estate, at least over a million jewels. "Your place is pretty cool, I will have to admit. So, what are we going to do now?" Hogotsu asked as he continued to follow Markus through the massive guild. "I mean, are we gonna talk or what...?" He continued as he motioned his hand in a manner to signal Markus to continue.

"Maybe...first lunch....And i'd like you to see this city and see if you cna figure out Daimon's reason for hiring you beyond manipulation." Said Markus leading him to the dining hall where lunch was in full swing, including the nomral mid feast fight. "Hey hey calm down you nutjobs!! Let the guest sit down!"

The fighting quickly stopped on the account of Markus unleashing a pulse of his magical power. He then sat down at the head of the table next to a beautiful dark haired woman and a man with bright orange hair.

Feeling slightly strange at being in a large dining room, Hogotsu looked around to find a place to sit. Scanning around he table for a moment, he decided to just sit next to the same girl that had been by his bedside when he awoke. "God, this is so odd. I've never been in a situation like this before", he though to himself as he looked around the table, taking in everyone's face. "So, what is going on right now?" He said as he rubbed the back of his head with left head.

"Lunch...We always serve big meals given how many people are here alot fo the time." The woman said with a smile. "I'm Ellena the wife of Markus and one of the S-Class mages."

"Have something to eat kid....You'll need it." Said the man. "I'm Zero Co-Guild Master with Markus."

Deciding to simply nod his head to prevent himself from saying anything stupid or offensive infront of the many people before him, Hogotsu looked down at the food that was on his plate before and tilted his head in confusion. He had never seen such strange foods before for as long as he was in Divitia Bona. A slab of cooked meat and some noodles that were in a bowl to the side. Staring at the food for a moment once more, he looked to see that everyone was already eating their food. Feeling that it would be improper to not eat, he grabbed the fork beside his plate and began to eat. Starting slowly, he began to eat with more vigor as he found the food was incredibly delicious. Soon, he was done as he released a sigh of relief. "That was a good meal. Never had anything like it before" He said with a large smile. "Whoever made that is an amazing chef."

A woman came out and hugged him tightly "Thanks!" She said before going back to the kitchen.

"That's Momo. She's one of the cooking mages we have here and gets VERY happy when someone says they enjoy her cooking....The happiness has died down with us." Said Markus smirking giving Joo Dee a nod as she got up and went outside with a large mage with one eye.

Surprised at such a statement, Hogotsu tilted his head in confusion as he pushed his plate to signify that he was done eating. "So, what are we gonna do now that we have eaten?" Hogotsu pondered as he leaned back in his chair. "I recall you saying that you were going to show me around the town or something of the sort?"

"Yeah but first i want to show you something unique about how we train in this guild." Said Markus standing and gesturing for Hogotsu to follow him. He let the young man to the training area where Joo Dee was training with the other mage watching her. "Now you may see just regular shadow boxing but watch this." Markus picked up a small rock and tossed it near Joo Dee, the rock instantly plummeted to the ground driving itself into the earth a good foot.

"Strike 450, strike 451, strike 452." Joo Dee said counting each strike she does while the increased gravity pushes down on her body.

"Huh, seems similar to the way that I train." Hogotsu said as he watched Joo Dee continued her training, impressed at how she was still going after training for such a long period of time. "I prefer to use weights whenever I happen to train myself. Helps build my muscles and speed." Scratching his cheek, he said. "Though I do go overboard at times and end up damaging my arm or leg."

"Phoenix Slayer Magic allows us to heal very repidly." Smirked Markus as he led Hogotsu into the city which was still as busy as when Hogotsu arrived. Soldiers walked around in their off duty clothes and merchants tried to sell their wares to mercenaries and traders. "We train to protect this land and the lands beyond.....Only fools neglect that training."

Nodding his head in agreement, Hogotsu looked away from Joo Dee's training to once again focus on Markus. "So while this is all impressive and stuff, what exactly are we going to do now? It's clear that you guys are pretty strong, a fact that my stomach still remembers quite well when you caught me off guard, but I fail to understand why we are exactly here." Hogotsu said as he stretched his shoulders.

Markus grins patting Hogotsu on the head and leading him to the palace. "The king wants to see you." He said gesturing to the massive gold doors guarded by 12 heavily armoured warriors. "Show respect and answer his questions honestly." Markus led him through the door and the entrance to the throne room sitting outside.

Letting out a sigh as he followed Markus, Hogotsu looked around the large throne room as he took note of how decorative and ornate the room was design. As they walked towards the throne of the King, Hogotsu wondered exactly how this king was. Would he be like every other pompous asshole that he had met in his entire life within Divitia Bona? Hopefully he wouldn't or else he might end up snapping, killing the man. He didn't wanna end up as public enemy number one in an area that he just found.

At the end of the room was the king, the queen and two young adults a blonde haired woman and a black haired man. "Welcome to Mochina young mage!!" Said the king in a friendly tone. "News travels fast here when Daimon is involved!"

"Your the one who tried to kill uncle MArkus?" Asked the blonde girl with a dark glare.

Sweating slightly at being before such figures of high power, Hogotsu silently gulped some saliva and prepared to address the rulers of the land. "I won't try to lie to either of you. Yes, I did attempt to kill Markus" He said as he saw the look of rage that fell upon the blonde-haired girl's face. "However in my defense, I was given information that made Markus seem like a criminal and warlord." He hoped that it would be enough to keep himself from getting killed. If not, he might have to test his newly created Magic and escape from this island.

MArkus walks. "Miyuki calm down.....Daimon played him like a guitar." He says smiling. "excuse Mikyuki hogotsu...She's my student i taught her how to fight and use lightning magic....She is also a Esoterologist studying Slayer Magic....She's fascinated in how Slayer Magic change the bodies of the mages who use it."

Miyuki pouts "It's not right i don't get to punch him int he face atleast once." She says looking away.

The king laughs and stands. "Well Hogotsu welcome to the island and if i may ask...Wy did you accept the job from Daimon....I'd like an honest answer though." He says with a smile that turns serious as he rests his hand on his katana hilt.

Scratching the back of his head, Hogotsu looked towards the king's hand that rested on his katana as he narrowed his eyes, preparing himself if something went wrong. "Well, the reason why I accepted the job was because the people that I live and take care are running low on money. See, we live within Divitia Bona and said city is not kind to those that are orphaned and homeless." Hogotsu said as his eyes darkened as he continued his explanation. "Me and my gang have resorted to stealing from the corrupted rich and using to better the lives of the unfortunate. However as I said, we have been running low on money this past few months and I was desperate when that Daimon guy came out of nowhere, offering me a job to kill the giant albino." Hogotsu finished as he pointed towards Markus.

The king grinned and clicked his fingers and a man wearing an offical looking uniform came out with a small chest. "Take this when you leave then.....This should help your friends for quite awhile." He said opening the chest showing it filled with a good amount of gold and jewels. "And no saying no this is a gift from the Kingdom of Mochina to you and your friends."

Markus smirked "Saying no is probably worse than trying to kill me by the way." He said patting Hogotsu on the head. "He then goes over to Miyuki and pokes her on the forehead to which she pouts and sticks her tounge out at him.

Swatting Markus' hand from resting on his head, Hogotsu focused his attention on the King and asked in a clearly confused voice. "While I appreciate your immensely kind gesture, you must understand that I am curious as to why you would give such valuable items to a stranger and would-be assassin?" Such a kind person deserved to be king and he could see why the people chose him to lead them. "Not only that but I feel as though I should preform a service in exchange for such items."

"No it's to help your people....We're a very anti-tyrant nation here so we try to help those under tyrany as much as we can." Chuckled the king as he sat back down looking at MArkus. "THough i'm sure you'd want to get back at Daimon.....He did screw you over rather greatly Hogotsu."

"Heh screwing over Daimon is always fun....Dark has been itching for a fight as well." Smirked MArkus tensing up and causing some of his Slayer lightning to jump across his body and focus in his eyes. "And i'm curious to see what the kid has got anyway....Our meeting wasn't a very good example."

With a grin stretching across his face at such an idea, Hogotsu said. "Well, I would love to get back at that asshole for tricking me into assassinating someone that doesn't deserve it. A good dose of payback is in order." Facing Markus, Hogotsu's grin seemed to turn somewhat bloodthirsty as he addressed the man before him. "As for you, I wanna battle as well. You got a cheap shot last time and I can't let you get as a win under your belt." As he spoke, blue lightning began to surge from his body, shooting out in wisp of electricity.

The king laughed "Well before all that i am meeting the Prince of the Rising Sun Principality and you two are coming." He smiled walking off. "Come on lunch should be ready."

Markus smirked and pushed Hogotsu gently to follow. "Lets go kid....You'll like this." He said walking past like a ghost.

Letting the electricity around him die out, Hogotsu followed Markus wordlessly as he glanced around once more, taking in everything around him. Feeling anxious, he turned to Markus and asked, "So, who exactly is this Prince of the Rising Sun? I know that he must be important but I feel like there is more than just that."

"He's the ruler of the Rising Sun Principality a nation not far from here. He's an ok kinda guy bit arrogant but generally a nice guy." Said Markus leading him down a long covered path, past a large black stone building that Markus walked over after gesturing to Hogotsu to wait there. He then went to one knee with his fists planted next to his front foot and his head bowed down. He stay in that postion for afew moments then returned to Hogotsu leading him to the dining hall.

Once again following Markus, Hogotsu began to think to himslef about random things. Ideas for new spells, how to improve his Imperial Embodiment, how his friends were doing back in Divitia Bona, and, most of all, his fight with Markus. "Damn, I'm really anxious right now. I really hope this is all worth it." Hogotsu thought to himself as he continued to follow the Storm Phoenix Slayer.

Markus sits at the table on the left of the Mochina's king and a servant leads Hogotsu to a seat ont he right fo the king. At the other end of the table was the Prince of the Rising Sun and two mages sitting in similar position to MArkus and Hogotsu. These two were obviously members of his royal guard judging by their armor and weapons.

"You late Lord Hotaru....What is th reason for your rudeness?" Said the prince demanding an answer to which he got a murderous glare from MArkus.

"My name is Markus you WILL refer to me by that name and i was paying my respect to the previous king and family friend.....You WILL show him respect while in his home understand Prince?" Growled MArkus as the two guards stood up only to be stopped by MArkus' magicla power which increased the room's air pressure to the point where those without some impressive magical power found it very hard to breath for a second or two. "Now on to business...."

"Hehe thank you MArkus." Said the King. "Now Prince you have infomation for me correct?"

Y-yes.....We tracked Daimon's agents to your waters....We believe they are going to the Dark Lands.....Your den of theives and murderers." Said the PRince tossing a scroll to the king as the food was layed out.

The food itself was amazing to look at and smelled even better. It was a various display of meat, vegitable and greenery with several choices of drink and conduments to go with each option. The king smiled and gesture for everyone to begin eating. To which everyone did Markus instantly going for a plate of Onion Rings and a large bowl of what seemed to be sweet and Sour Beef Ramen he quickly finished it and grabbed a massive plate of boar and started to devour that.

Hogotsu only looked on as he began to eat his own ramen, trying to show some form of manners. His first impression of this Prince guy was exactly what he expected. A pompous ass who most likely had everything handed to him on a silver platter. He could only hope that the Prince didn't provoke him into attacking him, though he would love to give him a lightning-enhanced punch the the jaw. Glancing over at Markus, he asked as he stopped slurping his ramen. "What exactly are the Dark Lands? A den of thieves and murderers while sounds quite comforting for someone such as me, I feel like there is more than just that."

"It's an intresting place....Surprisingly civilised for somewhere like that. After this and our sparring match we'll gather Dark and a couple of the others to find this agent." Said Markus grabbing a salad from behind the bare bones of the boar. "And prince i'm not keen on knowing you have agents here....I pray that they aren't poking their noses where they shouldn't."

"They are not....We caught wind of them and sent agents to every possible location they could've gone....They arrived here at a small dock in the north....Last week i think." Said the prince politly eating his food.

"Good 'cos if they were getting info that would be dangerous in outside hands...I may have to find them and show them the errors of their ways." Said Markus glaring at the prince with a look that show his dark side and true ability to kill, which is beyond human imagination.

Looking back towards Markus, Hogotsu could clearly see that him and the prince obviously had some sort of history between one another. How little Markus tolerated from prince was quite evident. "So, what exactly ware we gonna do now? I doubt we'll just go head first into battle." He said as he grabbed some onion rings and began to one.

Markus smirked and nodded to two shadowy figures who appear behind Hogotsu. "i'm sure these two can find out what we need." Said Markus as the two vanish in a dark mist. "They should be back by the time we finish our sparring match and gather the team for this mission."

The king chuckled as a girl walked out with blonde hair and wearing a white hoody, black leather jacket and skinny jeans with black boots. "Ahh Miyuki!" Said the king as she walked over and hugged him,

"Hi dad...Oh Uncle Markus! You ok?" She smiled almost tackling Markus off his chair.

"Hi Miyuki....You been training?" He smirked returning the hug.

"Yep! I beat Kuma in a sparring match." She giggled sitting next to him.

Currently standing by the door, he looked on at Markus and what he assumed to be the king's daughter interact. Rolling his eyes as he looked on, he called out at Markus with clear impatience in his voice. "Hey Mark! Are we gonna fight already or what? I'm getting pretty impatient with all this waiting."

Markus stood up and led him to a arena of some sorts in the palace compound. "Ok lets have some fun then." He said as he requiped his armor. "Try me Hogotsu." Markus took a relaxed fighting stance with one hand in his trouser pocket.

Taking his own personal stance as well, Hogotsu looked over at Markus as he took note of his opponent's relaxed posture. He could only assume that despite how lax he appeared, he would be able to react with swiftness from nearly any angle. Narrowing his eyes as he tensed his legs, Hogotsu kicked off the ground with great force as he shot forward with the velocity of a speeding bullet. "While charging in is something I would avoid when facing against a foe that I have just met, I can't afford to do so in this situation" He thought to himself as he continued to dash towards Markus. "I'm going to have to go all out from the get-go." When he was only a few feet in-front of his opponent, Hogotsu jumped in the air and unleashed a myriad of lightning bullets, streaming across the sky like shooting stars.

Markus didn't move taking the hit head on, as the dust cleared he chuckled brushing himself off alittle. "Ya know what's unique about a Phoenix Slayer against other Slayers kid?" He said looking at Hogotsu. "We absorb the elements we need to recover....We also heal faster than any human."

Markus then charged forward landing a relaxed backhand to Hogotsu's stomach as he came down from his attack sending him flying. "The thing thats unique about me.....I specialise in hand to hand combat." He said as he darted back to his original spot. "Come at me again." Skidding across the ground before quickly flipping himself over to land on his feet, Hogotsu once again darted toward Markus as he attempted to think of a way to catch him off guard. "Okay, so he is one of those fucking Slayers I've heard about and of course, just my luck, he is able to devour lightning. My main and only offensive magic!", He thought as he tried to brainstorm on a way to beat Markus. "Well, there is always that but I haven't really completely it yet. Might as well try that out now".

Coming to a halt, Hogotsu held out his right arm as it began to spark with electricity. Soon, various black shards of what appeared to be metal began to come out from within the very earth below him, converging into a black sword-like object in his hand. With a smirk on his face, Hogotsu called out, "Finally got it to work! I don't know how long I can keep this up but prepare to face my Iron Sand Blade!" Swinging the sword made of iron sand at Markus, it extended forth like a whip and tore up the ground as it came in contact with it ever so often.

MArkus lept over the attack and avoided it rolling and flipping over and under the whip, he thens throws fours lightning darts at the whipe followed by a barrage aimed at Hogotsu. "Not bad kid but your relying on your magic way too much." He said as he vanished out of sight.

The dart-shaped lightning projectiles struck the whip of iron sand with great force, disrupting the structure of the construct due to the charge of Markus' lightning canceling out the electromagnetism of Hogotsu's. Scowling at the cleverness of his opponent, Hogotsu eyed the incoming barrage of lightning bolts that were heading towards him and called out, "Relying on my magic? Pfft, don't be so quick to judge me!" Kick off the ground with such force the ground cracked from the sheer pressure, Hogotsu shot forward with blistering speed, becoming a white streak while he swung his arm in an arcing motion to create a myriad of lightning bolts to counter the ones that were coming towards him.

Markus appeared behind Hogotsu holding an apple in hand. "I've developed a talent for reading people Hogotsu." Said Markus before charging forward not using magic at all and flipping Hogotsu over with a simple sweep kick."

He then turn around holding the apple out. "If ya take the apple you win." He grinned putting one hand behind his back.

Flipping off the ground and stood up once more, Hogotsu frowned as he glared at Markus. "You challenge me to this fight, only to play games?" Snarling with great ferociousness, he pointed his left pointer finger and thumb, clinching them together as his body began to spark with electricity. "Fine, let's play this game!" Snapping his fingers together, his body was now shining a brilliant golden as a flash of light exerted from his body, providing a blinding effect to anyone who dared to look at him. As soon as the flash occurred, Hogotsu dashed forward to grab the apple that was in Markus' grasp.

MArkus span around to avoid and entering anew form himself. "Think of me as one of those slightly mad old masters." Smirked Markus before taking a bite out fo the apple and throwing it to a servant who was watching in awe. "I'll want to finish that later...."

MArkus then charged forward at a similar speed to Hogotsu unleashing several powerful kicks. "Twilight Phoenix Kenpo: Form One: Storm Paradise!" He said as he unleashed the massive amount of kicks with a punch or two mixed in. 

Quickly turing around and crossing his arms in block against the barrage of kicks, Hogotsu could feel that he was being pushed back by the overwhelming force that Markus put into his strikes. Gritting his teeth as he focused on attempting to keep his guard up, Hogotsu began to think as well, "Goddamn it, he's obviously not taking me seriously. He's acting really arrogant though and I might be able to use that to my advantage." Smirking at the image of knocking Markus down a peg, he continued his train of thought as he kept his guard up. "Hmm, I guess I can use my trump card. I don't know exactly how effective it'll be against him but it is worth a shot." Deciding to forgo his plan, Hogotsu used the momentum from another kick to launch himself back and landed on the ground, skidding across the earth.

"Well since you are gonna keep this bull up for a long time, I might as well go all out." As soon as he declared this statement, massive amounts of electricity began to envelope Hogotsu's body as though it was trying to fuse with his very being. As the electricity continued to surge around his body, his hair slowly began to become more spiky and the color of his eyes shifted from a standard clear blue to a stormy gray. Soon, the electricity began to die down until his body was cloaked in a thin veil of lightning. Holding his left arm as he flexed it, causing sparks of lightning to surge off, Hogotsu called, "Well, I would like to introduce you to my trump card. Meet my personal magic Imperial Embodiment!" With his part said, Hogotsu launched off the ground as the earth behind him tore from the sheer speed that he was traveling at as he soared towards Markus.

MArkus grinned as his outfit changed to look mroe like a combat armor with his face covered by a fox themed kabuki mask. He then unleashed his full magical power and took up a close guard. "Black Tortoise Form..." He mumbled as he watched Hogotsu fly towards him. "He's got enough lightning covering him that one touch should let me into the Phoenix Force without using The Charge...." He whispered to himself rooting himself into the ground.

Taking note of the fact that Markus had switched his attire into something completely different, Hogotsu continued on his path towards him, traveling at a similar rate and appearing like a lightning bolt to the perspective of an outsider. As he soared towards and eventually ended up in front of Markus, he quickly began to move at a faster rate, to the point where there were multiple afterimages appearing around his foe, each one looking as though they were about to attack him.

Markus focused his magic into his eyes allowing him to see which Hogotsu was real, he then amped up his speed it's maximum and launched a two punch combo narrowly missing him but touching the lightning which ehabsorbed causing an explosion of magical power to errupt from Markus and a smoke screen of dust to be kicked up blinding everyone watching. The dust cleared and Markus stood there in a totally different look he had strange feather like marking across his skin, talon like nails and lightning dancing across his body. "This is the Phoenix Force....The top form attainable for a Phoenix Slayer." He said taking up his normal stance. "Now lets see how good you really are Hogotsu...."

Picking himself off the ground as he wiped the blood that was running down his mouth, Hogotsu glared as he attempted to analyze Markus' "Phoenix Force". Judging from his slightly altered appearance, it was a transformation that was similar to his own Imperial Embodiment but was connect to his Phoenix Slayer Magic. "Well, there is no point in delaying this anymore!" With his part said, Hogotsu conjured a barrage of lightning bolts that flew towards his foe as he himself dashed toward Markus at a fast rate.

Markus jsut absorbed the lightning and vanished moving alot faster than before. He reappeared above his opponant and summoned a giant bolt of lightning which quickly shrunk down till it looks solid as if made of metal. Then the Phoenix Slayer threw the bolt at Hogotsu with full force and then moved back to the ground as immesurable speed. The next part of his attack was sending pulses of sound that mimiced the boom of thunder at Hogotsu sent to hit exactly or near enough as the bolt struck the young lightning mage.

Looking up to see a condensed bolt of lightning heading towards him while at the same time hearing what sounded like a thunderclap behind him, which he could only interoperate as another incoming attack, Hogotsu did the only thing he could think of with such little time. Using his impressive leg-strenght to jump upward, narrowly dodging the pulse of sound that was heading his way, Hogotsu focused his lightning into his left arm as he manipulated its shape and structure to be more solid as well as having a sharp edge. As he quickly approached the lightning bolt, he thrusted his arm forwards and colliding with the projectile. The collision sent stray wisps of electricity everywhere before the opposing energies resulted in a explosion, sending Hogotsu flying back as he sent a thin bullet of electricity at Markus' head.

Markus just sighed and took the attack head on, absorbing the lightning from Hogotsu's magic and stepping forward. "Kid lightning has no effect on my what so ever....Unless you use one of two special types that are fromt his region alone." He said summoning a sword made of lightning. "So throwing your magic at me is like trying to kill the god of war." He then stepped forward before vanishing from Hogotsu's vision and readying an attack from above.

Looking around, Hogotsu stopped to see that there was a shadow from above and it was slowly growing bigger. Without hesitation, he began to spin on his left leg at high speed, to the point where he was nothing but a white tornado to the eyes of an outsider. After a few second of vigorous spinning, Hogotsu came to an abrupt halt. His left foot was now glowing brilliantly crimson, heat emitting from it. Jumping up in the air, causing a burst of fire to be released in the spot where he once stood and the grass to be burned, Hogotsu positioned himself into a flying kick, to strike Markus with his burning foot.

Markus moved at lightnign speed to below Hogotsu. "Nice trick.....Let me show you one of mine." Markus span around on the ground creating a tornado which he added lightning into the swirling vortex that then went to the nearest object, this being the younger mage in the air. "Storm Vortex....."

Flying through the air for a brief moment, Hogotsu quickly conjured a whip of lightning that had a spearhead at the tip in his right hand. Swinging the makeshift rope-dartt towards and seeing it sink into the ground, spearhead first, Hogotsu quickly pulled himself downward and used his Lightning Magic to latch himself down to the ground. With the heat on his leg still alit, he kicked off the ground as he aimed to kick Markus in the head.

Markus grabbed the leg and pushed him down into the ground pinning him there in an armlock summoning his sword and holding ti to Hogotsu's neck. "Not bad kid....Afew mroe years and you'll be a demon in a fight." He smiles letting Hogotsu up and deactivating his Phoenix Force. "For a self taught fighter you've got a real talent...I'd love to see how good you are if you learnt an actual fighting style like the Art of heaven or Tiger Claw from here."

Dark then walked up and sat down. "Heh you could always give him some lessons in Twilight Phoenix Kenpo.....Would be intresting to see how he modifies it." The man smirked looking at Hogotsu.

"Might be an idea....What ya think Hogotsu?" Asked Markus desummoning his sword. "Your choice really."

With a deadpanned look, Hogotsu simply respond by transforming his entire body into electricity. Not giving Markus the chance to absorb the element which he was now composed of, he shoot out of the hold which he was in and got some distance away from his foe, landing in a crouching stance. Hogotsu sunk his fingers into the ground and pulled with great force. Soon ripping out a large chunk from beneath him, he smiled as he threw it towards Markus as it traveled at incredible speeds.

He countered with a simple backfist destorying the chunk of earth. "Ok enough kid...You've shown what ya go and i'm happy to work with ya against Daimon." Said Markus looking at him as he put stood there totally relaxed with no signs of combat or fatigue. "Come on lets go relax and wait for the others to return from their jobs.

He and Dark started to walk towards the house in a very relaxed manner as if nothing ever worried them and they took a casual outlook to everything.

"Asshole." Hogotsu simply stated to himself as his hair receded to its original position, no longer spiky and out of control. Dusting himself off for any excess dirt, Hogotsu looked over at Markus and frowned. He knew that as a Phoenix Slayer, or rather just a Slayer in general, Markus was one of the few that could be considered the perfect counter against him. Being able to devour his main magic left him incredible vulnerable, it was only thanks to his quick thinking and his newest technique that he was capable of fending off Markus for so long. Shaking his head, Hogotsu stored those thoughts in the back of his head as he ran to catch up with Markus and Dark.

Markus glanced back and smirked before gesturing something in what seems to be a coded form of sign language. They then sat in the main room as several of the more genetic members relaxed chatting and enjoying some refreshments. "Dark whats the status on venture?" Asked MArkus relaxing on a window seat with Dark leaning against the wall in a bad ass manner.

"Going well shouldn't take mroe than a year to finish....Alot of our requests were....alittle harder to come by." Replied his counter part. "Guild members are asking about it though."

"It's a surprise they would." Chuckled Markus.

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