This article, Opening of The Gates: The Tournament Begins, is property of Leengard Ustan.

Welcome to the Familiar Spirit World

Qusay Flint was running through the streets of Claliet, looking back now he can't even remember why, all he remembers now is he had to get whomever it was he was chasing or to get to where ever it was he was running as quickly as possible.

He turned a corner, opening the bag he wore on his hip, and summoning his Familiar Spirit Kabocha.

"What? Can't do this without me?" the puppet mocked.

"Shut up." Qusay smirked. He was about to tell Kabocha what they were doing when suddenly everything froze. Time stopped dead in it's tracks. Everything around them was standing still. They couldn't move, but were still aware of their surroundings.

"What's going on?" Kabocha demanded.

"Like I would know!" Qusay replied, his usually calm demeanor disappearing quickly. Everything was then bathed in a green light and they both looked down, as best they could, and saw something they hadn't seen in years.

"Why? Why is that opening here and now?" Qusay asked. Below them was a magic circle, an outer ring inscribed with strange letters and enclosing a six pointed design.

"Is it really time for that?" Kabocha asked, more to itself than to Qusay.

"Time for what?" Qusay panicked.

"If my guess is right..." Kabocha replied. "The Century King's Tournament."

"What?" Qusay yelled, and then the gate opened and they were all but blinded by the light.

"Say goodbye to Egalia." Kabocha said. "There is no telling when we'll be back."

Falling was then the only thing Qusay was aware of. He couldn't tell how long he had been falling for and then suddenly he felt the impact of his body hitting the ground, yet he didn't feel too much pain, like he had simply tripped and fell onto the ground.

Qusay opened his eyes and looked around, the first thing he saw was his Familiar, who was standing there staring out towards the horizen, then he saw that they were in the middle of a field.

"Welcome," Kabocha said, as if sensing that Qusay was conscious again. "to the Familiar Spirit World."

"How can you tell?" Qusay asked.

"Because, dear master," Kabocha replied, clearly mocking as it never called him 'dear master'. "This is where I was drawn to the gate you opened to form a contract with you."

"Really?" Qusay asked, sitting up. "This is it? It's nothing but grassland."

"This is only part of it stupid." Kabocha retorted, punching Qusay in the back of his head. "We're on the western edge of the main land where the Century King's Castle has been for the last 1200 years."

"The castle moves?" Qusay asked.

"If the Century King wants it to." Kabocha asked. "But we've had the same King for the last 1200 years."

"That's more than a Century." Qusay pointed out.

"That's how power this King is." Kabocha sighed. "He's won the last twelve Tournaments."

"Impressive." Qusay whistled.

"But the reign ends eventually." Kabocha smirked.

Arrested for Being Human?

Qusay had lost count of how many steps he had taken from where he and Kabocha had landed to where they were now. Their currently location appeared to be on the outskirts of a town or city, more likely a city judging by the massive walls and armed guards patroling it.

"So what do we do now, Kabocha?" Qusay asked, turning to face his Familiar, but no answer came. Looking around he realized that Kabocha had, most likely, gone back into the alternate space of his Requip and Qusay sighed. "Never around when I need you."

All of a sudden there was a cry and Qusay looked up. The guards on the wall were all yelling and pointing and, after quick look around, Qusay realized that he was what they were on about. Within moments he was surrounded by a hodgepodge of Familiar Spirits of all shapes and sizes, all of the wielding spears and all of those sharp points aimed at him.

"Is there a problem?" he asked, slowly raising him arms above his head to show he was unarmed and didn't plan to fight.

"You are under arrest!" one of the Spirits snarled, this one looked like the stereotypical werewolf and appeared to be in charge.

"For what?" Qusay demanded. All the spears drew closer at his confrontational tone and Qusay swallowed in response.

"For being human." the werewolf replied with the kind of wicked sneer that is only possible with a mouth filled with fangs.

"Do I get a trial?" Qusay asked. The patrol around him all laughed. Before Qusay could ask what was so funny he was struck on the back of his head and everything went black.

When Qusay became conscious again, with a splitting headache and dried blood on the back of his head and neck, he saw that he was in a jail cell.

"Just great..." he groaned as he sat up slowly.

"I was wondering when you'd wake up, human." a voice said. Turning quickly, and regretting the rushed movement, Qusay turned to see the source of the voice. What he saw was what looked like a normal girl hunched in a corner and smiling at him.

"You look as human as I do." Qusay replied.

"What brings you here? To the Familiar Spirit World I mean, I know why you're in jail." the girl asked, ignoring his question. "Is it for the Century King's Tournament?"

"What makes you think that?" Qusay asked.

"You're clearly a mage," the little girl replied. "And since you're here, you just must be a Familiar Spirit Mage."

"And what are you then? Why are you here?" Qusay asked. The girl smirked.

"I'm in here because I tried to steal some stuff from some very powerful familiars." she replied. "And if you still don't understand what I am then you must be really stupid."

"So Familiars can take human form." Qusay sighed. "And I thought that mine was bluffing."

"Where is your familiar, by the way?" the girl asked.

"Around," Qusay replied, waving the question off like it didn't matter. "It does that a lot."

Then the little girl stood up and stretched.

"Well," she said. "That's enough sitting around here. I'm getting out, feel free to tag along, if you don't die first."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Qusay asked.

"The Century King's Tournament is starting soon," she replied. "I'm not gonna just sit around here and wait until it's over. I'm getting out there and killing as many familiars that get in my way."

"Are all familiars participating?" Qusay asked.

"No, but that won't stop me." she said. Suddenly her form began changing and she rapidly began to grow in size. Eventually she outgrew the room and the walls and ceiling gave way and the 'little girl' was now about 20 feet or so tall and looked like a multi-eyed rock golem. Qusay stared in amazement at this drastic change, and quietly followed her out of the jail and saw her destroying building after building and heard the streets echoing with screams of terror and death.

"This just can't be allowed..." Qusay muttered. Then he couldn't help but smirk. "How much longer are you going to pretend to be a doll? Kabocha?"

Kabocha, who had been quietly sitting in the cell, not making any noise and supressing any and all magic so much that it truly seemed to be nothing more than a lifeless doll, suddenly sprang to life. It's eyes glowed as all the magic was unsupressed and it shot forward at impressive speeds and delivered an X-shaped slash to the rock golem. She fell, seemingly beaten after a single attack.

"Is it really going to be this easy?" Qusay asked.

"Stupid, of course it isn't!" Kabocha retorted, before Qusay could continue the arguement the rock golem got back up and swung her arm at Kabocha, swatting it away like some pesky insect.

"You won't be so tough withouth your familiar, will you human?" she taunted and charged him. Without a word, Qusay reached into the bag on his hip and pulled out two guns. He then seamlessly aimed and fired multiple rounds at the rock golem. She screamed in pain and stumbled back. "How? My hide is too tough for magical bullets to damage me!"

"These are my Magic Bullet Guns Model Standard Duel," Qusay replied as he continued firing round after round. "They compress my magical energy and fire that like bullets, with three times the stopping power of a standard magic bullet. And these are my weakest Models."

By the time he had finished his sentence the rock golem had collapsed, lifeless, and full of holes.

"Well," Kabocha said, walking up from where ever it had landed after being swatted aside. "Our fist win of the Tournament."

"Useless!" Qusay retorted, punching Kabocha in the back of its head. "You're never around when I need you!"

"That's not true and you know it!" Kabocha retorted angrily. "You just go about picking fights with opponents I can't help you with!"

As they argued, they walked out of the city amidst the confusion and disappeared from the sight of the patrol. They never returned to that city.

Anti-Human in Muramachi

Again Kabocha had returned itself to the alternate space of Qusay's Requip, leaving him alone in the middle of nowhere in the Familiar Spirit World. He couldn't tell how long it had been since he had left that town where, as far as he knew, the first battle of the Century King's Tournament had taken place, at the very least it was his first battle, when he stopped infront of a road sign.

First Capital, it said on an arrow pointing back the way he came. There may've been a name with it, but that part of the sign was destroyed. In the direction he was heading the sign said was a place called Muramachi. There were no distances listed on the sign and Qusay sighed.

"Just great..." he muttered and continued trudging down the path.

Eventually, after the sun had set, he finally saw what he assumed to be Muramachi, and what he saw fit the name. It was a small community with small houses and small businesses. It was Muramachi, a village town. Then he heard screams and assumed that there was another fight going on.

"Already?" he asked himself, not believing how bad his luck had become since coming to the Familiar Spirit World. Then there were more screams and he realized they were more like the screams of fans having seen their favorite idol. Upon this realization he sighed again, now dragging his feet as he drew closer to Muramachi. "That's even worse..."

He decided it would be better if he kept a low profile this time, since last time he was arrested. Drawing his hood up and keeping as much to the shadows as he could, he saw the gathering crowd and was confused, not being able to see who or what they were all excited about. This may've been more due to the fact that no two Familiars were the same size, and with them all moving around trying to get better positions to see from, there was just no way Qusay could hope to see what the big deal was from the distance he was at. Then he heard a voice.

"That's right!" a booming voice called. "We have taken out two humans!"

"But they're still breathing!" someone shouted, Qusay assumed they were part of the crowd. There was an audible gasp of shock.

"Don't worry." a more menacing voice replied. "We left them alive to give all of you the chance to see them die!"

There was a second of silence, then there was a cheer from the crowd. The crowd then began to chant names, but he wasn't sure which name belonged to which voice. All he heard was "Krad! Vulcan! Krad! Vulcan!"

"That's not good..." Qusay said to himself. "Going around here just got a lot more dangerous..."

He silently followed the crowd and saw, who he assumed to be the voices, walk up onto a platform in the middle of Muramachi. The two figures, one large and muscular looked like a man with long red hair though half of his head was shaved with black hair, the other a more demonic looking knight. Between then were two were the two humans they had spoken of, one was a kid no older than Qusay and the other looked like an older guy and was bald.

"Kill the bald one first!" someone in the crowd yelled. The bald guy twitched a bit, though only Qusay seemed to notice.

"No! Kill the little one first!" someone else yelled. Qusay was begining to panic a little as the crowd slowly turned into a mob, half of them yelling to kill the kid first the other half yelling to kill the baldy first, he quietly summoned one of his guns and took aim. But before he could pull the trigger, the two seemingly unconscious figures sprang to life.

"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU CALLIN' BALD?!?" the bald guy screamed at the top of his lungs. He was battered and bloody, like he had fought hard before he fell unconscious and then was dragged to Muramachi. The splintered wood he had been gripping in his hand grew rapidly into a naginata. The crowd quickly fell silent and the two familiars on the platform stepped back.

"Pretty rude of them," the kid sighed. "Talking about us like we're not here, huh, Matamune?"

"Yes, Rin, it really is." a floating yellow head replied, coming out from behind the kid. The crowd panicked and scattered, leaving the four on the platform and Qusay alone in the middle of Muramachi.

"Seems there's still some fight left in them, Vulcan." the demonic knight smirked, drawing his sword.

"Bring it!" the bald guy roared.

"Gladly." Vulcan grinned and wings appeared on either side of his face and his arms morphed to gigantic proportions while growing large extensions beyond his shoulders. Each of these extensions contained an exhaust spout that released flames.

Swords, Flames and a Spear

Qusay was distracted by Vulcan's showy transformation and didn't notice the other two until he heard the clash of steel. He looked towards the sound and saw the demonic knight Krad was fighting the kid, he remembered being called Rin, who had a massive blade on one arm and the floating head, called Matamune, was gone.

"OS Oni Kabuto Version 1: Narukami Style: Seven Blade Slash!" Rin yelled as he swung the massive blade seven times. With each slash a shock wave was produced was were knocking Krad back.

"Where was this power when we fought the first time?" Krad snarled as the final slash threw his sword from his clawed hands.

"Fought?" Rin repeated, pulling his arm back like he was preparing for a new attack. "You attacked me from behind and knocked me out with the hilt of your sword! Now I'm going to finish this."

"You think this is all I have?" Krad demanded, then began to charge a magical attack, but Rin was faster.

"Narukami Style: Gatling Sword!" Rin roared and began to thrust his massive blade at Krad so fast that Qusay lost count. By the time the blond kid stopped his attack, Krad was nothing more than scrap fabric from his cape. With a flash the giant blade on Rin's arm transformed back into a dagger and the floating head called Matamune.

"Gochisoosama." Matamune said with a small content smile. Rin smiled, put his dagger away and sighed tiredly.

"You're welcome Matamune." Rin said, then all attention went back to the fight between the bald man and Vulcan.

Again the bald man, now in a crater, was holding shards of a naginata, looked beaten to hell and was barely on his feet.

"This is still all you have, Baldy?" Vulcan mocked, though he seemed more irritated than arrogant. "This wasn't worth transforming again."

"Fine..." the bald man replied from under Vulcan's fist. "I'll give you something worth fighting. But remember two things. My name is Everett Fenn and I'M NOT BALD!"

There was a sudden burst of immense magical power.

"Let's go Demo Lanza!" the bald man yelled. His broken spear some how changed form, turning into three massive metalic weapons, all connected by large chains. Qusay wasn't entirely sure how to describe this strange weapon the bald man was weilding and was completely confused as to how he was even able to lift any of it. Without another word, Everett Fenn lept high into the air and came down on his opponent.

Vulcan seemed frozen in shock at the sudden increase in power and incredible change in weapon, and failed to dodge or even react to his opponent's attack. The Familiar Spirit was struck down and was engulfed in flames. When the flames died away, Everett was holding a naginata again and there was no sign, other than the scorched ground, of Vulcan.

Then the two seemed to become aware of Qusay. He blinked and suddenly there was a spear and a dagger pointed at his throat. Qusay slowly raised his hands in surrender and spoke in a non-confrontational tone.

"I'm not here to fight you two." he said. "I'm Qusay Flint, a Familiar Spirit Mage, and I've been dragged into this...Tournament as well."

"Prove your human." Everett challenged. But before Qusay could ask how he should do that Matamune spoke up.

"He's not a Familiar." the floating head said. Without questioning it, Rin put his dagger away. Everett seemed less eager to listen to Matamune, but lowered his naginata though kept it ready in his hands.

Qusay pushed his hood back and sighed again as he lowered his hands.

"There's a lot of anti-human sentiment here, isn't there?" Qusay asked. Matamune nodded, as much as a floating head can float.

"This is because of the current Century King." Matamune replied. "He's been ruling for the last 1200 years and has banned humans from entering the Familiar Spirit World for the last 400 years."

"Why did he ban humans and spread all this anit-human crap?" Everett asked.

"No one remembers anymore." Matamune replied. "And those that do remember don't speak about it."

"Nice..." Qusay sighed.

"So where to next, Matamune?" Rin asked, speaking up for the first time in a while.

"The next town." Matamune replied. "All we can do is make our way towards the current Capital for the Tournament."

"Then I suppose we'll be traveling together for the time being." Qusay said. "Safety in numbers and all."

A general shrug of consensus and the three humans set off.

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