“Are you sure you tracked that thing here?” May asked as their car pulled onto a street far off of the beaten path. Felix had listened to May and Jun question Makoto the whole ride from the Sentinel station. Motoko had claimed that there had been some magical residue on the HVAC grate on the outside of the building. They had climbed into the car and left Daisuke and his Sentinel team behind.
“The trail is clear as day to one of my abilities,” Makoto said and Felix wondered what exactly those abilities were. It was the first time he had wondered what sphere Makoto belonged to.
“How much farther did this thing go?” May asked, still sounding a little skeptical.
“I believe the question you are looking for is ‘Are we there yet?'” Makoto asked with a sly smirk.
“Yeah, I guess so. Are we?” May asked.
In answer, Makoto got out of the car and started to walk down the street. They all climbed from the car and Felix looked up at the warehouse that was Makoto’s focus. Thankfully, the place was in a disused part of town so there was no traffic. Of course, no traffic could also be a good sign that some evil mojo was driving people away. Of course, Felix and the rest of the team had had to convince themselves that the people inside were not evil. Something mystical had possessed them, crawled inside their skin and did their best impression of a human being. Regardless, it was time to bring the Oni into custody one way or another.
“I half expected this mystery to end at Osaka Castle,” Felix said gently. He must have said it to fill the ominous silence.
“Don’t worry, Felix. We’ll take you there after this is all over. I promise.” May said with a smile and Ren nodded with a half smile that echoed hers.
“The tourist doctor. We will show you things that are not in your guide book,” Makoto said with what sounded like a slight chuckle.
“I would like that,” Felix said with a smile. He knew Makoto was probably making fun but he appreciated the sentiment.
“I’ll buy you all dinner if we can make this a happy ending,” Jun said quietly.
“Deal,” Makoto said.
Before the team could reach the building, a tall thin man stepped out of the building. He was not just tall for Japan, he was at least seven feet tall. Felix instinctively slipped behind everybody else and Makoto joined him. She let her stern face slip for a second and smiled reassuringly. The worry drained out of Felix and it was replaced with certainty. Somehow, this young girl was able to inspire undying loyalty. He smiled back and Makoto returned to the front line.
“State your business.” The mysterious tall man said. His voice seemed to reverberate up and down the street.
“We have come for the Oni. Come with us peacefully or come with us unconscious,” May called out with a thunderous voice and paused for effect before continuing. “or dead.” Everybody tensed as if ready for battle.
The man barely smiled, snake-like eyes darted from party member to party member with deliberate movements. There was a coldness behind those eyes. He was standing in front of a giant loading door. The door started to pulse in and out slowly as if the door was breathing. Then there was a mechanical sound as the door started to rise. Behind the man was a row of armed men and women who definitely looked like bespelled animal rights activists. Behind the Oni was a two-story tall dragon. Felix’ eyes went wide as he could feel the dragon’s breath on his face. He could also feel the cold, hard gazes of the Oni.
“I guess you are welcome to try, gaijin and friends.” The man said, his voice hissed inhumanly.
“They are not alone!” Daisuke Inoki called out. He had appeared from somewhere with a whole troop of his sentinel deputies.
“Father!” Jun called out in obvious relief.
Daisuke smiled fiercely. “Apologies, but it took us some time to catch up. I do not mean to insult you but it looks like you could use some help. How about we take the dragon and you take the Oni?”
“Agreed. We shall see whose team finishes first.” Makoto called out.
The man gestured and the dragon lunged out into the street. Felix and the team dodged out of the way. Daisuke and his crew eagerly began to engage the dragon. Felix followed the rest of Makoto’s team into the dim warehouse to take on the Oni.