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Dante's Little Apple Surprise

by Tatsurou

Chapter 42: The First Spardan Tournament 1: Spirit

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Urameshi Yusuke sighed as he stared up at the massive stadium. It had been a long time since he had even considered entering a tournament. Several years, in point of fact. He had thought he got the last of that out of his system after the massive tournament in Hell to determine who would make all the decisions back when he was still a teenager. He'd actually passed on fighting in the tournament in hell when it had been held again four years later. As much as he'd wanted to compete again, he had more important things in his life.

His hand slipped into his pocket as he felt that reminder he'd kept of just what things were more important to him than fighting now. He couldn't believe Koenma's gall at calling him in again after so long. And he hadn't made it an order, since Yusuke wasn't a Spirit Detective any more. He asked it as a favor from a friend.

Gods, how he hated that pretty boy, formerly pacifier sucking bureaucrat.

And then Keiko had heard about it, and caught him completely off guard.


He walked along, grumbling and muttering under his breath, on his way to meet Keiko. It was their anniversary of becoming an official couple, and he wanted to make things special. The purchase in his pocket - he'd saved for months for it - was a constant reminder both of how much he'd changed, and - oddly enough - how much he hadn't. He punched a building as he passed it to bleed out some of his frustration. He didn't want to upset Keiko.

As he reached her, they smiled happily at each other. As they walked on, however, she glanced up at him. "What did Koenma have to say?"

Yusuke had flinched. He knew he had a terrible poker face, but maybe he could play it off. "W-what makes you think I talked with Koenma?"

Keiko pointed behind them. As Yusuke turned, the building he had punched - thankfully empty and scheduled for demolition - teetered over and slowly collapsed inward as it fell to pieces from the delayed force of his punch. "You always lose control of your strength when he's involved," she pointed out calmly. "So what's going on?"

Yusuke sighed. "Someone's starting up another Dark Tournament on Earth," Yusuke explained. "You remember that?"

Keiko shuddered. "Yes," she whispered. She still had nightmares about how Yusuke had been, after he thought Kuwabara had died.

"Same deal as before," Yusuke replied. "Elimination tournament with teams. Humans, demons, and any other sort of supernatural being. Winning team gets a wish granted. He wants me to talk Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei into reforming our old team to enter and check it out."

Keiko sighed sadly. "So when do you go?" she asked sadly.

"I told him no."

Keiko looked up at him in surprise. "Really?"

Yusuke nodded. "I'm done with that. I've got a day job, and a life to live...right here with you." He put his arm around her shoulders.

They walked together for some time like that, Keiko lost in thought, Yusuke at war with himself inside. She could see it in his eyes. You could take the warrior out of the battle...but it was always there inside him. She knew him too well. "You should go," she said finally.

"Eh?" he asked, shocked.

"You should go," she repeated. "I can tell you miss it. The struggle. The combat. You're trying your best to be civilized...but it isn't just your demon blood calling you to it, and you know it."

He sighed. She knew him far too well. "But..."

She turned to face him, putting her finger to his chest. "Just promise me you'll come back, and that it won't take so long this time."

Smiling, he nodded. "I promise. And it'll be the last-"

She put a finger to his lips. "Don't promise that," she whispered. "It would kill you to keep it."

Sighing, he nodded. She then took the opportunity to slip in for a quick kiss. He smiled in response. Pulling out the black box in his pocket, he placed it in her hands. "Open it when I get back," he told her as her eyes went wide.


And now here he was, staring up at the tournament. In his pocket, the ring he'd slipped out of the box remained, a reminder to himself of why he was really fighting, so he didn't get lost in the battle frenzy again. He had managed to assemble his old team again, he wasn't sure how. Kuwabara and Kurama were easy enough. Both were actually pleased for the excuse for them to act as a team again. Hiei had shown up out of nowhere just as they were going to go looking for them. He told Kuwabara he was looking forward to seeing the big idiot get his ass handed to him. He'd told Yusuke and Kurama that Yukina had asked him to make sure Kuwabara came back in one piece. (A few years back, Yukina had figured out that Hiei was her long missing twin brother...but had continued to pretend ignorance of it around Hiei, while using it to innocently guilt him into any number of things. Yusuke and Kurama both found that absolutely hilarious.)

Kuwabara glanced around at all the demons, humans, and other beings swarming into the tournament grounds. "Whoa..." he breathed. "This is even bigger than the Dark Tournament was. How is anyone supposed to keep this all under control?"

Hiei made a disgusted sound through his clenched teeth. "The name of the hosts is all it would take to keep anyone from causing trouble," he stated bluntly. It was hard to tell if you didn't know him, but he was clearly nervous. The black flames of the hell dragon danced back and forth around him of their own accord.

Kurama nodded in agreement. "This is not a bloodline a demon crosses and lives to tell the tale of."

"Oh?" Yusuke asked, plainly interested. "Tough are they?"

"Raizen, Mukuro, and Yomi allied together...would have still stepped carefully around the strongest of the bloodline," Hiei replied.

Yusuke whistled appreciatively. "Now I'm looking forward to this!"

"Of course you are," Kurama replied with a chuckle.

As they stepped up to the entrance, a voluptuous woman in skin tight black leather with a braid of crimson hair hanging down across one shoulder glanced at them over the registration desk. "Names?" she asked.

"Team Urameshi," Yusuke replied proudly.

The woman raised an eyebrow. "Is that supposed to mean something to me?"

Yusuke deflated slightly. Hiei and Kurama both chuckled. "Spirit World representatives," Kurama explained.

"Ah," the woman replied. "You're the second team to claim affiliation to that mythology. I'm Nevan, and I'm in charge of registration. Who is your captain?"

Yusuke swelled his chest and pointed at himself with his thumb. "That's me! Urameshi Yusuke!"

Nevan smirked. "Ah. So that's what they meant." She showed him a sheet of paper. "Team Rival - the other team from your mythology - asked me to show you their lineup when you arrived."

The four names of Team Rival were:
Toya - Captain
Jin
Chu
Rinku

Yusuke crowed happily. "Hey, we'll be seeing those guys again!" He flexed his arms. "Wonder how they've improved?"

Nevan held up her hand to Yusuke. Both hand and eyes glowed. After a time, she nodded, and put his name down. She then turned to the rest of the team. "Names?"

"Kurama." Another scan, another nod, another name put down.

"Hiei." Another scan, another nod, another name put down.

"Kazuma Kuwabara!"

Nevan frowned halfway through the scan. "Hold out your sword arm," she said bluntly.

"Eh?" Kuwabara asked, doing so. "Why-EEYAGH!"

Lightning had flashed from Nevan's finger, inscribing a seal around Kuwabara's wrist. It had apparently been quite painful.

"Dimensional techniques are forbidden during the course of the tournament," Nevan replied calmly over Kuwabara's howling. "Your Second Energy Sword technique will be unsealed when the tournament ends." She jotted down the last name. "You're all registered. You can go right in."

As they entered, they glanced around at the massive gathering of both competitors and spectators. They saw teams and groups of all sorts, everything from hulking demons, shambling ogres, silent ninjas...and even a group of four schoolgirls in matching uniforms, much to their surprise.

An announcement played over speakers. "Would all competing teams please report to the main dining hall for the welcome feast? Repeat, all competing teams report to the main dining hall for the welcome feast. Thank you!"

Yusuke blinked in surprise. "Wasn't that Koto?" he demanded in shock.

No one seemed interested in answering him. Everyone was making their way towards a massive building behind what looked like a restaurant built up against a massive stone monolith. Shrugging, he walked with his team to see what was coming.

Author's Notes:

I will be taking suggestions for teams to enter the tournament. There are three rules regarding the suggestions.

1. None involving a series I've already drawn from for team members. Addendum to this rule: a single team must draw entirely from one series.
2. None involving worlds from my other Adopted Displaced Fics.
3. The suggestion must include four members, along with the name of the captain marked, and a Team Name.

The series so far off limits for selection:

Devil May Cry
Yu Yu Hakusho
Highschool DxD

Suggest away. Any team selected will get their own chapter introducing said team, as well as the submitter being mentioned in the Author's Note.

Note: Please include the name of the series the team is drawn from.

Next Chapter: The First Spardan Tournament: The Welcome Estimated time remaining: 51 Minutes
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