Fight For Tomorrow
Part One

The Fortune of Stone slid from the end of Fu Leng's spear with a confused, pained expression. He reached toward the Dark Kami with one hand, perhaps seeking mercy, perhaps for some final attack. Fu Leng grasped the Fortune's wrist gently with his free hand, gazing down with a thoughtful eye as he watched the minor god die. All around them, the sounds of battle raged against Tengoku's sparkling firmament. Demonic ashura soared through the skies, leaving plumes of black fire as the leapt into combat with majestic fushicho phoenix-warriors. Unspeakable oni lurched across the celestial landscape, tearing apart the spirits who had gathered to defend the most holy of realms.

"Why?" the Fortune of Stone croaked as he fell to one knee.

"Because this is my home," Fu Leng replied, releasing the Fortune's wrist. The dying god collapsed with a soft thud, hardly an end befitting a supposed immortal. Fu Leng paused, kneeling beside the fallen Fortune. He dipped two fingers in the rapidly spreading pool of blood and looked at their tips, marveling that a god died so much like a human did. He brushed his fingers gently across his porcelain mask, just across each cheek, and looked toward the heart of the battle.

There, he could see many former heroes of the Empire now locked in combat with his fiercest demons. The Maw battled Hoshi, the half-dragon. The blazing visage of Lord Yakamo, the Sun, was locked in combat with Yakamo no Oni, his dark opposite number. Bishamon, Fortune of Strength, slashed Akuma no Oni with his brilliant silver spear.

In all of this, Fu Leng did not see the elemental dragons, the creatures of pure magic who acted as the custodians of balance. No doubt they were preparing some final gambit against him; he was prepared for them as well. He envied the oni and the Fortunes; though they may all die today, here in the blood-drenched heavens, at least each of them knew their place while he, child of the gods, cursed by all the hells, banished from the mortal realm - had nothing. Nothing save power.

And that was all that mattered.

He could feel the dark magics seethe within him, energy supplied by his worshippers in the City of the Lost. How strange mortals were. So feeble, so temporary, so easily dealt with, yet they had such incredible potential. Twice, mortals had defeated him and now mortals were the key to his freedom. So long as the Lost believed in him, their faith fueled his unholy might. No other god could stand against him, none understood both heaven and hell as well as Fu Leng.

He could do what he wished here.

He could destroy every Fortune, every dragon, and leave the Celestial Order a ruined husk. The cosmos would crumble and he, too, would die. But he would have his veneance, and that would satisfy him.
He could destroy the Sun and Moon and seize the Heavens for himself, then turn his wrath upon the mortal realm, granting glorious revenge to those who believed in him.

He could claim his place in Tengoku, carve out his own domain, and spare the lives of the gods. There would be a certain satisfaction in allowing them to live, maintaining a fragile balance here as the mortals did with the Shadowlands. He would take joy in knowing they could do nothing to remove him.

The possibilities were limitless, but hung upon so frail a thread.

He could sense the City of the Lost, girding their defenses in the mortal realm below. He wished he could aid them, but he knew he could do little. He could no more aid them directly than a man could lift himself into the air with his own hands. For him to act too openly would destroy their faith, undermine the very power they provided him. But that did not mean he was powerless.

Fu Leng smiled. If the mortals sought to destroy his temple, they would not find it so easy…