Good day! This is Yolea Irk's speaking! Long time no see. I'm currently a lot busy since I'm become a guest lecturer in a particular university. It's not a high pay job but it's fun and refreshing. Now, since I'm not busy anymore, I posted a new chapter after half a year. Oh my God. Half a year. I think I've missed so much. Glad I can give you another new chapter. Thank you so much for your reviews, favorites, and follows! I loved you so much, guys!
Speaking about this fanfic, someone (BTW, thanks for your review, cloud666! ≥ v ≤ ) mentioned to me about Saten had met Touma in Daihasei Festival. Yes, they DO meet in Daihasei but it was after Touma lost his memory and after Ruiko woke up from her coma because the Level Up incident from what I've read in Toaru's timeline. He/she mentioned about Ruiko is around 12-13 years old. Yes, it is correct. Although it's never mentioned Ruiko was in her first years in Junior High School. Which means she will be between 12-13 years old. This fanfic however was setting in spring, meaning Ruiko will be in her second year, so she will be around 13-14 years old.
I made Ruiko's age around 14 years old so it will make me easier. Touma-Ruiko's relation in this story will be a deep sibling ship instead of lover because (WARNING: KIND OF SPOILER! I WARNING YOU!) I had intended to pair Ruiko with one of the Bronze Saints. Out from our main 5 Bronze Saints, only one who appeared to has no girlfriend. No, it's not Ikki, he loved Esmeralda even though she already deceased. Seiya is pretty obvious with Saori, please don't even start with Shaina and Miho. Shiryu is already with Shunrei, and Shun appeared to close with June. This certain guy was quite handsome but I find it odd since he doesn't have girlfriend, if you don't counted the movie. He does have a crush on this girl who becomes Eris' vessel. So yeah, I wanted to pair this guy with Ruiko. I can't wait to see how this guy will spend his time with Ruiko. Can you guess who? (END OF SPOILER.)
And guess what, after another reviewer told that Touma had died over million times in parallel worlds, I felt like, 'Crap, how can I miss it! I can't believe this!'. Yup, like that, though it strengthens my opinion about Touma's true strength which I doubt the Gold Saints ever have. I don't think any of them ever had such experience. A life where you died in various ways in other worlds, not to mention million times? …Right.
Move on from this, I hope you will like and enjoy this chapter. Please don't hesitate to review this story and please tell me what is in your mind. Yolea Irk's, out.
Summary: It isn't Touma's fault after he involved himself to Holy War when he supposed to have vacation in Greece. His luck never side with him anyway. He was coincidentally in the wrong place, wrong time, wrong people, wrong situation, and wrong position. Or was it? Is everything like it seems? Touma knows too well that everything is more than what we are seeing. What role he must and supposed to play in this ancient war? How much important he is in this war? What is hidden beyond that unlimited horizon and sky? What is waiting for him far in there? It's time find out and walking forward through the path we choose without hesitation, no matter how many and how difficult the obstacles are.
Disclaimer: I don't and never own Toaru Majutsu no Index and Saint Seiya. If I own them, I will make Touma as a girl and make a love triangle between Mu and Saga. Yeah, be glad that I don't. Maybe it will be a disastrous relationship. LOL. As a note, the name of A****** for Pegasus' real name belongs to Fantasy-Magician. The tittle King of Violet for Seiya and the plot in this fiction however, was mine.
On Previous Chapter :
The sword now was only few centimeters away from the boy and girl.
All emotions within him now mixed into one.
Suddenly he found his voice again.
As the sword almost reaching the human siblings…
A shout then slipped his mouth.
A pair of warm chocolate colored eyes snapped open at last.
They filled with tears, rolling down to his cheeks.
A fearful, almost despairing shout came from his throat.
"STOP IIIIIIIIIIIT. . . . . . . . . !"
And with that…
Pegasus Seiya woke up from his nightmare.
BEYOND UNLIMITED HORIZON AND SKY / THUS WE'RE BRAVELY WALKING FORWARD
STAGE 02 : THINGS YOU DO (NOT) AWARE = STAND BY ME
「731 meters from Sanctuary.」
In Athens, there were 4 mountains which circled around Athens, served as the nature's protective wall.
These mountains were related directly with Athens ancient history. Imittos Mountain was the same. With Evzona as its highest peak, this mountain stretched across the eastern part of Athens' valleys. It was a lush, green mountain with amazing vegetation, various flora and fauna inhabitants. From what the historical sources and findings can tell, this particular mountain had several sanctuaries built within the area. Most of these sanctuaries were placed on Imittos' western part, used for monuments' construction site. Moreover, they were built during Hellenistic and Roman age.
Most of it.
One 'sanctuary' doesn't.
Hidden away from any normal, unaware humans' eyes.
Hidden within the deepest part of Imittos Mountain's embrace.
'Sanctuary' of Athena, the War and Wisdom Goddess.
This is where Saten Ruiko and Sirius Koustsoukis have to go.
Two figures were half running thorough the mountain.
They climbed the mountain onward in the middle of darkness, accompanied only by a flashlight to give them a better view of their path.
One was a middle aged man with dirty blond hair and dull turquoise eyes.
The other one was a middle school girl with long black hair and adorned white flower with a baseball bat.
A few heartbeats later they arrived at what looked like a group of divided paths.
The middle aged man "This way."
"I…can't believe we have to climb this mountain…before…we can enter Sanctuary!" Ruiko wheezed, trying to catch her breath.
The girl herself quite athletic, it was an effect from playing her favorite baseball.
Climbing mountain however, was a whole different matter apparently. They just got halfway from their destination but her breaths already erratic. It wasn't that far from where the highway from what Sirius had told her. He know a secret passage which can lead them to where her friend was currently got stuck at. In order to reach the sacred ground, they must walk on the ancient passage and get through the barrier before they can enter Sanctuary. It was almost no different from normal hiking track you see in daily life. With an exception that this passage was being hidden carefully to the point you will miss it should you not scrutinize it. Unlike most part of Imittos lush green, this area was bare from any woods. Only rocks and rocks so far as Ruiko could see. Moreover, the terrain was difficult enough to climb, there were so many bolder and sharp rocks scattered across this part of mountain. If you don't watch your step, you might be stepped on wrong rock and slipped before fall with not so little of concussion possibility.
It didn't help that her legs began to burning from the climb.
The Koutsoukis patriarch frowned.
"Ruiko, are you fine?" His darker shade turquoise eyes scrutinized the girl.
The long black haired girl gave a quick nod.
If this was a normal situation the Sakuragawa's student would tell him that her legs are killing her.
The keyword was being would.
Of course Ruiko couldn't stop in here, not when her woman intuition told her that something was happened behind the mountain and the spiky haired boy of her friend somehow involved.
She must stay strong.
She couldn't give up in here.
She must continue.
This was the choice she took by fully aware of her own risks after all.
"I'm very much fine. I'm just…not anticipated how difficult the passage is."
Ruiko then took a glance at the path in front of them.
It was still goes to above at least by few hundred meters.
Sanctuary was hidden behind this.
With Touma was being inside.
Sirius followed her gaze with acknowledgement.
"It had been made that way so it can't be discovered moreover pass easily by normal humans."
The white flower girl wanted to groan.
Whoever made this passage and built Sanctuary, they did a very good job.
A very good job in fact.
The older man shook his head. "Though I still have no idea on how your friend can walk through this mountain by himself and without an experienced guide?"
The bluish black eyed teenage girl could only laugh sheepishly.
This was Kamijou Touma we're talking about.
He was an absurdity and impossibility.
They were just 2 words from many to describe Touma.
"He has done many impossible things before and when he's determined, things that not even goes in your wildest dream can happen." She offered the answer, only to laugh more as Sirius gave her a disbelief look. "So Uncle, how far until we are arrive?" She hastily asked.
The Sanctuary agent did a quick calculation.
"If we keep our phase, I'd say we will arrive in 10 minutes at most."
The long black haired girl started to squish her hold on her baseball bat agitatedly.
Ruiko felt even 10 minutes was too much long.
Touma was as much as a trouble magnet just likes her if not worse.
Who knows what chaos will occur to him between 10 minutes?
"I hope we can make it in time. Touma could be in trouble right now."
"We will make it, my child. If he's had gotten himself into Holy War…I know he will really need a hand." Sirius assured the Level 0 girl before him.
Dull turquoise colored eyes hardened.
"In this matter, it's including your help."
"I see…so it wasn't only Saga and the others. The true Specters are already in the Sanctuary."
Mu closed his eyes.
He clenched tightly the hand which held the Cosmos of his dear friend.
"Exactly! The role of Saga and the others is now reduced to nothing more than a guide's!" Niobe boasted proudly.
The Specter started to act arrogant much to Touma's dismay.
Mu was keeping silent.
The lavender haired Lemurian was still retaining his serene demeanor.
Eerily serene in fact, Touma then realized.
Sometimes, a very silent warrior was a very deadly, not to mention scary fighter.
So while Mu kept his serene façade intact…
'He must be very angry in the inside right now.' The misfortune boy thought nervously.
Slowly and gracefully, Mu then shifted his body, now fully facing the Specter.
"Really?" The young Lemurian Saint asked.
"Huh?" Niobe surprised slightly.
"You might just end up hindering them." Mu pointed out calmly.
It didn't take a time for the ugly armored man to glare murderously at Mu.
"Are you joking?" He snarled as he took a step forward.
"Mu…" Touma was alarmed, growing wary at the Specter.
Mu was aware that he must fight Niobe at this point. He will gladly take this battle with his own hands. Still, he can't do it while Touma was still around him. He must ask the peculiar boy to stay away from this battle. He couldn't let him enter this fight, not for this time. This was also a battle he must do by himself.
This battle was his and will be his alone.
"Touma…can you wait me on the side over here?" The lavender haired Saint glanced pointedly across the Terrestrial Darkness Star Specter, the corridor toward the exit. "Let me handle this. Please."
It was faint.
Yet Touma caught the pleading tone in the edge of Mu's steel voice.
It then became clear to the misfortune bringer boy.
Aries Mu wanted to avenge his fallen friend.
Thus he asked him to stay away for once.
The black spiky haired boy stayed still.
There was one thing he wanted to ask at the Aries Saint before he can make up his decision.
His charcoal colored eyes met Mu's dark green spring ones.
"Aldebaran…is he an important person to you?"
While the Lemurian Saint didn't answer him, it was there.
The determination and pain within his usual serene stare had more than enough to convince the illusion killer boy.
Touma knew at this moment that he must let the lavender haired Aries take this battle.
Trusting it to this lavender haired warrior stood in front of him.
It wasn't unlikely, however Touma still hoped the Lemurian warrior will not blind by revenge.
So he will watch him from the edge, should things gone awful he will not hesitate to intervene.
"…Alright." Touma nodded slowly. "I will not interfering you. This battle is yours, just…just do what you must do, okay."
Mu nodded back solemnly. "I give you my gratitude."
"Be sure to kick some ass to that ugly guy though." Touma tried to joke, he flashed him a grin.
It seemed work as he saw the Aries Saint's tip of lips curved upward a bit.
There was the amusement twinkle in those dark green spring eyes as well.
Touma's grin grew more relaxed.
He felt glad the lavender haired Saint was still fine before he went to the other side across the Temple.
Passing and ignoring the angry Specter who shouted from his lung.
"Hey! Don't you dare call me that! You're just a puny and weak boy and you dare to defy a Specter like me!"
Mu wanted to snort at this claim.
Weak? The charcoal eyed boy? If only he knows…
"Come back here you―!"
Niobe made a motion toward the illusion killer boy.
Before the man can approach the boy however…
A massive wave of Cosmos then hit him in assault.
It stopped Deep Niobe from touching Touma.
"Your opponent is me, Niobe." Mu interfered, bringing the Specter's attention onto him.
Given an opportunity, Touma hastily moved himself further onward.
Silently thanked the dark green spring eyed warrior.
He stopped after walked at least 10 meters away.
It wasn't far but it still close enough to get close if his assistance needed.
Meanwhile, Niobe turned his helmed head at the dark green spring eyed Saint.
His eyes narrowed at the sight of the Golden Ram warrior.
"Aries Mu…!" Deep Niobe spat hatefully.
"Don't get it wrong. I just asked him to let me face you instead of letting him waste time to face an opponent like you."
Anger surged from the Specter.
"What?!" Niobe shouted, now all directing his angry at Mu.
Mu tilted his head slightly with a raising dot eyebrow.
Serene as ever his expression was but the mocking gaze he sent had said otherwise.
"Oh? Should I repeat it once more? I said, I asked him to let me face you so he can face more worthy opponent rather than a worthless one."
Niobe could only saw red at this.
His wrath was blazing like vengeful flame from straight from Hell.
How dare he was looking at him as weakling.
How dare he was underestimated him.
How dare he did think of him as a worthless opponent.
"Why you―!" The Specter growled furiously. His purplish black Cosmos increased significantly. "Don't fool with me! I'll make you die the same way as Taurus!"
Niobe raised both his hands above his head.
At the same time, Mu's nostril caught an odd smell almost immediately.
"What?!" Mu was extremely alarmed. "This scent!"
Then something happened.
Niobe's Cosmos changed color abruptly from purplish black to hideous green.
A dark purplish orb gathered in Niobe's palm.
Mu's intuition alarmed at the sight of the orb.
The Deep Specter suddenly hurled the foreboding orb at his opponent.
Mu ears caught Touma's frantic warning. But then it was too late.
The very moment the scent hit him, Mu found himself immobilized. His legs started to shake like a leaf. Soon Mu realized that it weren't just his legs. His whole body was facing the same condition. Yet, he couldn't move his own body the way he wanted. It was almost like his body made from rusty iron, exposed to heat and rain for years. Like an old robot that in the verge of broken. Even moving his arm was difficult for the serene Aries Saint. His eyesight didn't do better than the rest. Mu could feel his sight got blurry, slowly yet surely.
"My…My body…can't move! My consciousness is fading!" Mu choked, his voice strained. "Is this how Aldebaran was defeated?!"
He can't die now!
He can't stop in here!
He can't lose here!
He must fight back!
Thinking the now deceased Taurus warrior, Mu found new strength and lifting one of his arms to cover his nose.
Determined to fight back the scent paralyzed him.
"I must…not breathe!" The Aries Saint told himself.
From across the hallway, the lavender haired Saint heard the misfortune boy's shout.
He cracked his eyes slightly to saw the boy was about to make a dash.
His eyes snapped open.
Athena, he can't let the boy come to him!
He must stop him!
"Don't come here!" Mu warned Touma, instantly stopped the boy from helping him. "If you go here, you will also get hit! Stay on where you are now!" Mu ended in final, leaving no argument behind.
The black spiky head boy now was looking torn between save him or stay in his place.
If he could, Mu would prefer the latter option.
Mu couldn't muse further as his sight was getting blurry as each second passed.
The odd smelled fog was circling him stubbornly.
At the same time, his strength started to leave him.
His eyesight grew worse now with the odd smelled fog surrounded him.
Mu can heard Niobe laughed mockingly from across him.
"Useless! Even if you hold your breath, Deep Fragrance will enter your body through your skin! And it will attack your system and then paralyze your body! And soon, it will send you straight to the World of the Dead!"
At the end of the Specter, Mu's body went disappeared.
Swallowed to the darkness.
There was no trace of the Aries Saint.
It set a great alarm to misfortune boy.
Charcoal colored eyes widened.
"―! MU―!" Touma shouted in horrified.
Niobe laughed harder, his dark eyes gleamed cruelly.
"Farewell, Aries! So are Gold saints are really this weak?! I got two birds with one stone!"
He felt satisfied that now he had killed 2 Gold Saints in a short time.
Lord Hades will be pleased by this.
Oh, he could see it. His lord will be pleased by the death of 2 Gold Saints.
'Now…' Niobe thought gleefully.
It is time to give a lesson for the insolent boy.
The Deep Specter turned at the Imagine Breaker holder. "Now it will be your tu―!"
Suddenly, a transparent yet rainbow spectrum reflected barrier stopped Niobe.
It gleamed few times, showing the colors of rainbow and brilliant gold.
Niobe stared incredulously at the barrier that now had his own reflection.
Touma's was almost as being aghast as the Specter.
'I think I've seen it before!' Touma gazed at the glass like barrier.
By the time Touma remembered, he almost jumped in surprise.
The battle with Saga and the others when he was helping Mu!
So that's mean…!
"But wh―!? What is this thing―?! Since when?"
Much to Niobe's shock, the transparent barrier before him was gleaming once more.
His previous reflection then changed to a reflection of the Aries Saint who was supposed to die.
Niobe jumped at the sight.
The lavender Lemurian's closed eyes then snapped open.
Without warning, the barrier cracked from the middle.
Within milliseconds, the cracks spread like a spider web.
Before Niobe could comprehend, the barrier shattered and exploded in color of gold, right in front of him.
The explosion threw him toward the pillar, crashed at it with loud bang.
Niobe lifted his head, staring in disbelief at the Lemurian Saint.
The Aries Saint who was standing before him and pretty much alive.
"What was that!?" Niobe shouted, demanding an explanation.
"The Crystal Wall." Mu replied loftily. "You can't cross a wall if you can't even see it."
The fragments of the transparent barrier were glowing in gold for a few moments.
They then disappeared in glows as Mu straightened himself.
"Crystal Wall, huh!? Don't tell me this thing stopped Deep Fragrance from killing you?!"
From behind the Aries Saint, Touma let out a deep breath he had been holding.
By the time Mu gazed at the boy, he noticed the relief and happiness within the boy's eyes.
"Mu! You're alright!" Touma exclaimed. "How did you…?"
Mu smiled with a hint of pride.
"A Specter like him will never able to kill me, let alone injury me." He responded. "You don't need to concern me. I'm fine. See?"
Touma face faulted.
The certain high school student suddenly felt like a moron.
Mu chose that moment to walk away. "Come. We still have to after Saga and the others."
"Eh?" He looked between Mu and Niobe's slumped form. "But what about him?"
The dark green spring eyed warrior smiled reassuringly.
Somehow, the smile was creepy to Touma.
"Let him be." It was Mu's only reply before he walked again.
Touma blinked owlishly, staying still on his spot.
He wasn't sure if he wanted to leave an enemy behind.
Seeing the Saint went away, Niobe struggled to stand up.
"Wait! where are you going, Aries!? My fight with you is only beginning!" He tried to stop Mu.
At this, Mu stopped on his track.
Yet he didn't turn his head.
Out of sudden, Touma began to feel uneasy.
He didn't know why but he started to have a bad feeling to where this was going.
His uneasiness answered at MU's quiet yet doubtless claim.
"There is no fight when the opponent is already dead." The Lemurian replied.
Both the illusion killer boy and the Deep Specter were speechless.
Niobe began to show a terrified expression.
"What!? Already dead?! What do you mean!?" Nobe demanded harshly.
Mu spun his head.
His dark green spring orbs gazed straight at Niobe.
"Did you really think Aldebaran would have died this way without even having defeated a single enemy!?"
The Lemurian warrior showed his previously closed palm and revealed Aldebaran's Cosmos.
Behind him, charcoal colored eyes went wide.
'He did…?!' Touma mentally shouted in disbelief.
But when did he hit the Specter?!
「Half an hour earlier.」
Deep inside the Taurus Temple…
Sitting in the middle of the hallway, against a pillar…
Was a huge man clad with equally huge Cloth and a golden, horned helmet.
One of the horns was broken from a certain Pegasus Saint's attack in the past fight.
Yet the huge warrior didn't seem to mind at the broken horn at all.
In fact the man ignored it and didn't fix it.
For it the broken horn was similar to a battle scar and he wore the broken helmet with proud.
His name was Taurus Aldebaran.
And he was the Guardian of the Second Temple.
As he was guarding the temple, the Taurus Saint spun gently a stem of a flower. It was a small flower with deep amethyst color. It has five delicate petals and had a slightly sweet scent. Truthfully, at a slight glance it was just a wildflower to others. A single, small flower destined to wither sooner or later. To Taurus Aldebaran however, it was a special flower, a special gift from a cute girl he once met. The huge Saint smiled fondly as he replayed the memory when he went outside with Mu and Aiolia. They were in the flower field near shore when 3 females approached them. One of them was a petite girl with wheat colored hair and beautiful shade of amethyst colored orbs. She stopped in front of the huge Saint as her lips curved to a warm smile like the sun. Before he could ask her, the girl gave her a single purple flower.
It made Aldebaran flattered and nervous, a lot. You see, it was the first time he got a flower from a girl. The long brown haired Brazilian rubbed the back of his head, still deciding whether or not he should accept the flower.
From behind him, he could hear both Mu and Aiolia's light chuckles at him.
Inside, Aldebaran felt annoyed.
Enjoying the show and having some fun, aren't they?
Oh, he would get them once they out from the girls' sight.
In the end, the Brazilian warrior lifted his strong arm toward the offered flower.
He took the fragile violet from the cute girl's hands.
He remembered how the girl's smile grew widened when he accepted her flower.
Aldebaran smiled at the memory. He hoped he can meet the girl once more. The girl was cute and he wasn't going to deny that. The girl was also kind and gentle. Maybe he can getting know to her once the Holy War was over, he mused. The long haired Taurus continued to spin the flower. His dark brown eyes watched the spinning flower in content.
The fresh purple colored violet was spinning on his hand…
The next thing he knew, the violet withered abruptly.
So abruptly to the point it was not normal.
The flower's purple shade went to sickly dark grey purplish.
Aldebaran was beyond shock, in which it didn't last long. He then sensed a malevolent Cosmos came from behind him. He stood and spun just in time to see a Specter was standing before him. The Specter chuckled in mocking manner when Aldebaran realized that something was wrong. However it was too late for him. The odd smell already surrounded him. He felt his strength slip away drastically. The Taurus Saint lost his balance and fell backwards.
While he was falling however, memories flooded his mind at once.
The cute girl with wheat colored hair and amethyst eyes.
The small flower with deep purple petals the girl had given to him.
A water drop fell from Athena Statue like a single tear.
The smirked Deep Niobe.
Then the last image came to him.
It was scenery of sea with field of violets.
The girl was standing in there as if waiting.
The next second, everything went red and destroyed.
The sea. The flower field. The girl.
Everything was gone.
With a newfound resolve, Aldebaran got up and planted his feet on the ground. His Cosmos burned almost a heart later, increasing in a rather astonishing speed. The Specter alarmed and crossed his arms in defensive manner. The Taurus Saint ignored it and gathered his Cosmos to the peak. He knew it. He knew the fact that he was dying. His time was getting short, he had no much time left in this world. Thus, with all of his Cosmos, Aldebaran raised his arms to unleash his trademark attack. He then shouted with all of his might.
The blast hit the Deep Specter like a wave of tsunami.
The Specter grunted at the powerful blast but held his ground.
With the blast finally released, Aldebaran soon reached limit.
His life then ended in a blink.
Taurus Aldebaran died standing valiantly.
With his Cosmos was still burning.
Once the blast reduced and gone, Niobe lowered his arms to see the standing corpse of Taurus Saint.
He smirked and soon the smirk changed to dark chuckle.
Pleasured the Taurus Saint had died.
He was too happy to realize his mistake.
He was too gleeful to realize the attack was actually hit him.
Back to the present, Mu grabbed the tiny glow with his hand again.
This time, his hand was shaking.
"When you thought you had defeated Aldebaran with your Deep Fragrance...your body had been already crushed to pieces by the Great Horn."
The serene Saint turned around, his back now facing the Specter.
As he walked away toward the distraught Touma, Niobe was beyond horrified.
"Impossible…my body…to pieces?!" He then fell on his knees.
Touma noticed how pale the Specter had become.
"This can't―!" Niobe didn't finish his whole sentence.
Or rather, he can't.
Before Touma could processed what Niobe had meant or why he went drastically pale, a large hand wrapped in golden armor already covering his eyesight. The sudden gesture startled the Imagine Breaker holder of course. It took a while before he realized the hand covering his eyes was belonging to Mu's. Bewildered by this action, Touma was reaching for the lavender haired Lemurian's hand. He used his left hand of course, there was no way he would touch the Aries Saint with his right hand.
Then the ever serene Saint's voice reached his ears.
"Don't." Mu muttered quietly. "Don't see it, Touma. You cannot see this."
At Touma's growing confusion, Mu added further.
"You mustn't see it. It's too gruesome for you."
Oh, how Touma hated how right his intuition at this moment.
"Mu? What are you―"
Touma couldn't finish his question.
Suddenly, a scream came from Niobe. Touma jumped from the scream. It was a terrible, blood curling scream. He wanted to know what's going on with the Specter but Mu's hand stayed firm, blocking his eyesight. The young Lemurian warrior's hand gripped even tighter than before. It was also keeping the spiky black haired boy to not move from his current spot. Thus it made him had to stay on where he was standing. Then there was shattered sound of destroyed armor. And then another scream and shattered armor sounds. And then another scream and shattered armor sounds. A small explosion soon heard after followed with the sounds of shredded limbs. And then…nothing.
There was only silence after those horrible sounds.
A deafening silence wrapped the cold corridor.
It was so quiet, the spiky haired student swore he can even heard his own heartbeat.
After what he feels like forever, the large hand covered his eyes now slowly unwrapped.
Letting the charcoal black eyed boy to gaze again.
Touma didn't expect to see this kind of sight however.
He didn't expect to see various broken pieces of dark armor scattered on the pristine white marble.
He didn't expect to see nothing left from Niobe's remain.
He didn't expect to see how the specter was disappeared as if he was than an illusion.
There was nothing left from the man who had killed Aldebaran.
Not even a single hair or a single drop of blood from the black armored man can be found.
It was…disturbing the illusion killer boy a lot.
Very if he might add.
So it wasn't a surprise when Touma began to feel nausea at the eerily clean corridor, aside from the broken pieces of black armor in here and there.
From the corner of his eyes, the tall form of Aries Saint also directed his gaze at what was being left from Niobe's Surplice.
"It's already ended…" Mu's serene voice flowed away from his mouth.
Touma found himself unable to say a single word.
His mouth was rightly locked.
His throat was suddenly dry.
His charcoal black colored eyes stayed still at where Niobe's previous spot supposed to be.
His eyes might be covered at that time. Despite it, with the scream he heard earlier and this rather spooky scene, Touma had an idea of Niobe being dead.
He still has no idea how did he die though.
Touma's throat felt dry for some reason. "Mu…what happened to that guy…?"
Those dark green spring eyes closed briefly.
A memory of kind and gentle Taurus Saint flashed across Mu's mind.
"The Great Horn is Aldebaran's strongest attack. It's enough to destroy and crush the enemy along with their armor, it will leaving nothing from them, not even their debris. Of course his death will look painful." Mu had his eyes set on Touma when he noticed how the boy was trembling.
Mu also noticed how Touma's eyes widened in dreadful emotion.
On how pale the boy's face was, like a sheet of a paper.
Alarmed and concern then got the Golden Ram warrior better.
"You look pale. Are you feeling alright?"
"Ah, no. I'm- I mean I…" Touma took a long, shaky breath as if to calming himself. "I am not used to see someone died." He admitted truthfully.
Dark green spring eyes stared blankly as Touma continued in hurry.
"I've battled and defeated a lot of enemies but no, I never and will not kill them."
Mu was…astonished to say.
His mouth opened slightly, trying to find his voice.
"Really…?" Mu asked once he found his voice.
The illusion killer boy found himself blushed madly at Mu's inquiry.
His cheeks changed color into a tomato shade's color.
"Is it sounding odd to you?" Touma asked defensively.
In which Mu reply with a nod, blank gaze still fixed on the boy's figure.
Touma had his mouth gaped incredulously before snapped it closed.
Touma scratched his head awkwardly.
Now thing went a bit complicated than he had prepared to anticipate.
Was it really weird? Here, he thought it was a normal thing to do.
Apparently same thing can't be apply with this warrior.
After a brief thought, the Level 0 teenager boy decided to give a short yet clear explanation.
"Just because they're once enemies, it doesn't mean they will always become the villains and evils." Touma reasoned. "I fought them because I want them to see their mistake and see my point. I wanted them to realize that what they did at that time was wrong. So far they did realize their own mistake and fixed it. In fact, I often got helps and aids from those who were my enemies before. Of course I will help them if I given a chance in another time."
If he was a Saint, Mu would've though he would be a very naïve Saint. Even now, Mu still thought the charcoal eyed student was a boy with a naïve and foolish belief.
But then the Lemurian warrior replayed the memory of Touma fought Saga, Shura, and Camus in Aries Temple.
He remembered of how the charcoal eyed boy stood defiantly before the resurrected Saints.
How he shouted that he will destroy their screwed up illusion.
A realization soon dawned on Mu.
"Is that why in Aries Temple you shouted about you will destroy their illusion? Because you wanted to show that they are in the wrong path and you will bring them back to their supposed path without killing them?"
Touma gave him a conviction filled smile. "Of course."
Don't get him wrong.
The lavender haired Lemurian acknowledged the fact of Touma being a normal boy.
He might be never been in critical situation where someone died right before his eyes.
Mu was a Saint, yes.
Mu can be stern, yes.
It doesn't mean Mu was heartless.
He has soft spot for kids like Kiki.
Touma wasn't an exception.
That was why Mu closed the boy's eyes.
However Mu only did it as a precaution.
The spiky haired boy was still the holder of a very bizarre power so called as Imagine Breaker. And the boy did say he had fought powerful opponents before. So far since he becomes a Saint, Mu had seen how those people with unique abilities will abuse it, to the point they might've even kill other humans. Not many will use them for peace and goodness. Specters were the good example for this. Sometimes even among the Saints- at the time when the other Saga still ruled Sanctuary, before Athena came back and reclaim her right-, there were those who choose violence than peace and will not hesitate to kill their enemies in a terrifying way despite them supposed to be the peacemaker and peace keeper. So far he examined Touma, he was far from these type of humans. He was similar just like Seiya and his comrades, using their power to protect.
Mu can see the fact right away.
But when the same, peculiar boy said he never seen someone died?
Somehow it was too…unimaginable.
It was just like crossing Seiya's brave yet hot headed personality with Shun's passive will to not kill other humans if he could help it.
No. It was more than that.
Even though Shun does never want to kill, he was still a Saint.
There was a time when leaving an enemy alive was not an option.
The soft hearted Andromeda Saint must kill his opponents in the end.
Just like the green haired boy did with Silver Saints and Pisces Aphrodite.
This boy was perhaps even more innocent than Shun in a way.
Oh dear Athena.
Mu clenched his fist tightly. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply.
Good thing he did cover the boy's eyes.
He had not doubt the spiky haired boy would be very upset if he did see how Niobe died in direct.
If what Touma had stated was holding truth…
The boy did more innocent than Shun in a way.
And the Aries Saint was almost letting him see how war can become a very ugly thing.
In which Mu didn't and he was very glad.
Still didn't lessen the lavender haired Lemurian's incredulity for this boy's naivety.
"You're a really weird boy…" Mu commented.
It made Touma chuckled awkwardly.
"It's not the first other people called me weird or fool. I may be not smart or freaking strong…" The illusion killer boy said. "But this is what makes me become who I am, Mu. I'm proud of myself and I will hold on to my faith."
"Despite it will only make things more difficult to you?" Mu quietly inquired.
Touma grinned less awkwardly this time. "It does always happening to me but it's not gonna stop me from doing what I believed."
It was an understatement the Lemurian Saint shocked beyond belief.
Mu almost couldn't believe his own ears.
Really, he just couldn't believe this. This boy was…absurd.
And foolish certainly.
The world was never worked that way.
Touma might get himself kill one day with such belief.
While Mu will not deny the boy was such a fool.
While Kamijou Touma was indeed an idiot...
This teenager was a good fool with good intention as well.
A fool with a good conviction backed up his intention.
A fool unlike the others fools he had meet so far.
A fool that had made Mu impressed none the less.
Unknown to the Imagine Breaker holder, he had sowed the seed of respect on the Golden Ram Saint.
A respect not you got everyday from a Gold Saint like Mu.
Then his thought fixed on certain lime green eyed man.
Mu thought bitterly.
'If only Saga was…'
"If only Saga was having the same faith like you…" Mu spoke suddenly. "He wouldn't have ended up like…now."
"Ah." Touma immediately understood.
"And Camus and Shura as well…"
"I must stop them before it's too late. For Athena and for themselves."
His heart clenched in pain and the feeling of betrayal was still lingering in there.
Mu never felt his own emotions were this chaotic before. Despite the fact he had saw the true state of Saga, Shura, and Camus' minds, the dark emotion keep rooting inside his heart. It wasn't a lie when the Aries warrior felt sympathy for the revived Saints for they arise from the dead only to kill the goddess they swore to protect. And yet he couldn't deny the feeling of being betrayed by them whom he considered as comrades. It did leave a quite amount of bad taste on him. The way they stated that they came for Athena's head as if it was necessary for them, it had hurt him emotionally. It hurt to see them clad with those hideous, dark armors instead of their glorious golden Cloth. It hurt him how easily they claimed being sided with Hades, their archenemy for thousands of years. But then again, after saw them crying in blood, perhaps he was being too rash and too judgmental to them.
Suddenly, Mu felt partly guilty with this thought.
He shouldn't have accused them blindly.
He supposed to be sooner aware of their true state of mind.
In which a suspicion slowly raised to Mu. Perhaps there was a twist play happened and fell to Saga, Shura, and Camus before they came to Sanctuary. Perhaps there was indeed something occurred toward the revived Saints before they infiltrated Sanctuary. The lavender haired Saint wished he could find a clue why they keep insisting on going to Athena's place when they were in fact suffering from doing this. He intended to find out their true purpose in Sanctuary. He wanted to know what drove them to confront fellow Gold Saints who still alive and even went as far as trying to kill him. He had thought an idea but whether it can work out or not, he will have to see it by himself.
Mu had a feeling that this boy will have a crucial part within this Holy War.
The misfortune bringer boy will play an important role.
Although Mu hasn't figured it out what kind of role this boy will take, he will have one definitely.
Maybe he can bring back the revived Saints back to Athena's side.
Truthfully Mu wasn't sure how he had the idea.
When the golden armored Lemurian witnessed Touma's resolve, it just came out of nowhere.
It didn't feel wrong.
No. Not at all.
It just felt…natural to him to describe it.
"...Fukou da." Touma looked dejectedly, shoulders slumped. "It seems I really must say goodbye to my vacation."
Mu had to stop his trail of thought at this.
What did he say just now?
"…Vacation?" Mu parroted slowly.
"U-huh." Touma replied in oblivious tone. "I'm currently in spring break. I'm supposed to have a vacation and doing my homework in here."
Now Mu was feeling very guilty and ashamed.
Oh, how he almost forgot the boy was had nothing to do with this.
And he was supposed to protect the spiky haired teenager boy.
Not the other way around.
"And now you involved in this bloody war…"
Touma didn't miss the regret buried beneath Mu's serene voice.
"It's okay!" The illusion killer boy waved his hands and shaking his head frantically. "I'm glad I can become a help for you. A little warning will be nice for the next time though."
Mu had his lips curved upward slightly.
"Technically you have saved me twice, Touma. You have been a great help to me. In fact, if Aldebaran was still alive, I'm sure he would like you at instant." The lavender haired warrior told with bitterly fondness.
Touma shoulders' a bit slumped as his mind replayed how the Taurus Saint he just met died.
The way Mu described him sounded like the big guy was a kind man.
"He sounds like a great guy…"
Touma idly wondered if things went different.
If Aldebaran was still alive…
If they arrived just in time…
If they could save him just in time…
Will he able to know more of the huge Saint?
Will he form a friendship with him?
Touma was always looking forward for new friends. He did found friends and comrades from his previous battles.
He had considered Mu as a good friend already.
Mu closed his eyes, a flash of memory when Aldebaran given a flower by a girl was still fresh in his mind. Watched Aldebaran scratching his back head awkwardly at the gift was a rather amusing event for him.
He remembered well when he stifled a laugh together Aiolia on Aldebaran's back.
They tried so the laugh wouldn't get heard but avail in the end.
He remembered how the huge Saint had shot them a hilariously betrayal look.
Before the gentle Taurus warrior accepted the flower given by the girl with gratefulness.
"He was…" Mu replied quietly.
The serene Aries Saint then motioned Touma to follow him toward the exit.
"Come. There's something I need to do before we chase Saga."
Touma tilted his back questioningly at the request.
A bit curious, he followed the golden armored Lemurian who has walking ahead.
Once they exited the Taurus Temple…
Once they climbed the stairs…
Mu then opened his closed palm.
Revealed the familiar tiny yet brilliant glow on his palm.
The black spiky haired boy then glanced at the golden colored tiny glow in Mu's hand.
Charcoal colored eyes lit up in recognition.
"Is that…?" Touma hanged his question.
In which Mu gave him a silent nod.
"He did die from a Specter's attack however he managed to save us…in a way." Touma didn't miss the irony beneath the serene voice. "There was an odd smell came from Aldebaran's Cloth and a trace of Cosmos I didn't recognize. While you can negate the smell with your right hand…should you smelled it too much, I'm afraid I don't have time to save you before it's too late." Mu explained.
Touma finally got the idea.
"So that was why you told me to wait at the corridor near exit."
Touma was on the opposite direction so he wouldn't get hit by Niobe's fragrance.
Moreover, since all the fragrance aimed at Mu's surrounding, Touma was completely safe.
If he stuck together with Mu, it would be a different story.
Other than his Imagine Breaker, Touma was not different too much with any normal humans.
He would be defenseless if the deadly fragrance ever reached him.
Mu raised his hand a little higher.
The Lemurian warrior fixed his gaze solely on the tiny Cosmos held in his palm.
"I was hoping I can give him a farewell first before we continue." Mu spoke quietly. "He was my best friend and the earliest friends I had, we were quite close. So when Sanctuary was in turmoil and I distanced myself far to Tibet for years, he was the only one who always frequently visited me aside from Roshi. Not even Shaka who as close as Aldebaran with me, was ever visit me."
It would explain why the young man was got hit hard when he found out the huge warrior was actually had been died.
Since Touma hadn't any idea about their relationship, he could only guess the Taurus Saint was someone important.
Mu smiled bitterly. "And he's gone."
Touma felt sympathy for the lavender haired young man.
It always saddened Touma to see someone lose someone important, be it friend or sibling or parents.
He had experienced it by himself when Othinus tried to break him in those parallel worlds.
He really wished he came faster so he could also save the huge Saint too.
What already happened is happened anyway. There was no way he could turn back the time and repeat it. At the same time Touma also must face the bitter fact about he wished for the impossible act. Aldebaran was already passed away even before they entered the temple so it was too late for him to save the Taurus Saint. He had to accept this truth even though it was a painful truth. There was only one option he can take. A choice he will take to respect the huge man he probably will never meet let alone see again.
Touma stopped on his track, evidently stopped Mu's as well.
Unexpectedly, the Imagine Breaker holder gave Mu a gentle pat on the shoulder with his left hand.
"Then give him a farewell." The charcoal eyes student encouraged the forlorn Saint. "It was just you've said earlier, he saved us and he is your friend. Of course he deserves a farewell from his best friend. If you want to say a word of goodbye to him then go ahead. I will not disturbing you."
The Imagine Breaker holder meant it.
He may only know the dark green spring eyed Saint for not too long.
However even Touma can see how Mu was a kind young man apart from a powerful fighter.
The young man had been concerned and afraid for Touma's life when he fought the revived Saints. It should be the Golden Ram warrior himself who should be concerned for his own threatened life, but no. The young man didn't do it; instead the Gold Saint worried a foreign teenager boy's safety over his own. It didn't end there. The lavender haired warrior showed guilty of the black spiky haired boy had involved with the Aries Saint's battle already. How he thanked him with genuine grateful of he got saved by Touma when Touma himself thought he should've arrive faster to save Aldebaran. How he asked him to stay away from a battle against Niobe which might harm him should he was stayed too close. How he asked for his wellbeing when Touma felt sick at Niobe's violent death despite being not see it.
Touma also can see how Mu was care so much for others as well.
Showed from his loss of the huge man he considered as best friend.
Showed from how he had spoken of the dead Taurus saint with fondness and gentle voice.
Mu had been extremely upset for he couldn't get to his friend's place right away.
The Aries Saint mourned for this painful truth.
But even then, Mu still and had consoled him for saved the Aries Saint.
It was selfless act.
He thought it was admirable.
Had he mentioned the dark green spring eyed Saint was also strong both in physical and heart?
He had to fight his own comrades, revived back from the dead and came to kill him. He had to fight his own teacher, the people he respected so much. He had to fight the persons who might be dear to him. Most would be reluctant to battle some opponents who were had a close bond. Most wouldn't want to fight and rather went away from what will become a painful battle. Back away or even chose to run.
But he did not.
Mu didn't do it.
Even when he actually could.
But he didn't.
The lavender haired Saint was a fighter through and through.
He chose to stay and fight. He chose to defend what he believed as a right thing to do even if it will be mean he must against his teacher and friends. He chose to fight back even it will cost him his own life. He chose to move forward. He chose to do what he must do and what he deemed as necessary, doing his best in the process. Never did he cower in fear. Never did he hesitate a single bit. Never did he waver ever slightly. Never did he back down from an unavoidable fight.
Not even once.
To say Mu surprised was an understatement.
"Go." The misfortune bringer boy was heartening the bewildered Saint. "I will wait here."
The bitter smile previously curved on Mu's lips then changed slowly.
It was lit up onto a more relaxed smile.
The sorrow wasn't suffocating him anymore.
The pain was still lingering in there.
And yet, it wasn't as bad as like before.
"Thank you." The Aries Saint mouthed.
The lavender haired Gold Saint processed to climbed a bit further.
He arrived on the stairs where there was an edge of cliff.
Mu walked toward the edge of the cliff.
A cliff where he can gaze toward the thousands even millions bright stars.
Once stopped on the mouth of the cliff, Mu stretching out his arm.
Holding the yellowish glow before his eyes.
For few moments, there was nothing.
Except for silence and cold, gentle breeze of night wind.
The wind blew Mu's white cape, making it fluttering followed the breeze.
Slowly, Mu took a deep breath and began to speak.
"Aldebaran…" Mu's voice carried a solemn expression yet still steadfast as ever. "Thank to your last message, I was saved…We were saved by you."
The First Temple's guardian sensed his eyes burned.
His chest was hurt as if he got paled by a sword.
His heart was in pain as if it got squished by invisible hand.
His throat felt dry as if he had been inside desert for months.
Before Mu realized it, tears already pooling in his eyes.
One by one, they rolled down and fell onto the mother of earth.
The sadness and the pain were deeper than one had thought.
It was so deep that it even driven him crying.
But at this moment, Mu won't care a single bit.
His attention was at what was left from his best friend's Cosmos.
"I could feel the last trace of your Cosmos on your Cloth. And I managed to dodge this man's blow, to kept Touma away the scent at the same time. Thank you..." Mu took a shaky, deep breath. "…I swear to you that your death won't be in vain! I'll protect Athena no matter what the cost!"
As if it was hearing him, the lithe yet bright glow floated away from Mu's hand.
The glow fly higher and higher toward the night sky.
Mu's dark green spring orbs watched the glow flied away.
Tears continued to fell down.
"Now…Become star and watch over us."
It continued to floating until it was gone.
They can't see it anymore now the remnant of Aldebaran's Cosmos has gone.
"…He's now gone for good, isn't he?"
From his line of sight, Mu caught the illusion killer boy's figure stepped forward.
A pair of charcoal black eyes was gazing above the starry sky. "I hope he's in peace and not suffering anymore."
"He will. I know he will find peace in heaven, he died for good cause and humanity. All of Saints are always died for goodness and peace on earth. Aldebaran was the same, so I am."
"As if I will let you die. Not a chance."
Mu snapped his head and found himself staring right at rigid black colored eyes.
The boy's lips twisted into a deep frown.
"Don't you think he also want you to stay alive too?"
"Ah…" Mu then realized what the boy had just referred to. "I see…"
He then remembered of what Shion had told him long time ago.
There was once a time when the Pope took him to the graves of the Saints. The final rest for those who had gave their own soul to protect Athena. The final rest for the brave warriors who must died gallantly when they tried to defend earth. The place where all Saints, including himself, eventually will end up. A place where they will find the everlasting peace. Leaving their legacy and hope to the younger generations. He remembered how Shion told him that their death will not be in vain as they died protecting the legacy they will handed to future Saints. And how the future Saints will living their life to fulfill it.
"Keep living for them who were not in this world anymore as their legacy…until end."
Mu began to chuckle mirthfully.
"I must admit you are a peculiar kid, Touma. Peculiar but a good kid none the less."
Mu's mirthful chuckles deepened as Touma flushed from the praise.
"You're regarding me too high." Touma retorted evasively.
"It's the truth." Mu told him in a matter of fact, spinning his body around. "Come, we must hurry to the next temple."
Touma hastily followed the serene Aries Saint few steps behind.
"To the…Gemini Temple, I guess?" Touma was half asking.
The serene Lemurian nodded in reply.
With no more words to say, the two of them dashed toward the upstairs.
They continued to climb with Gemini Temple as their next destination.
"Still, I cannot believe this!" Touma shouted his mind as they climbed the stairs.
"We're not only to fight the revived Saints, but now there're others enemies like Niobe who we will encounter!?"
Just how many these Specters were actually!?
From what Mu had told us previously, there are more of them outside there.
And they were attacking Sanctuary from the shadows.
"It's a fat chance." Mu replied.
"Now that I know that Specters have intruded 12 Temples, I can't allow myself lower my guard. We must end this quickly…" Unconsciously, his expression went bitter. "…I must be a careless warrior, am I? To the point a civilian like you to get dragged…"
The Imagine Breaker holder choked in his own spit.
His face went pale several shades from his usual light tan shade.
"Stop saying it, will you!? I swear if you keep continue, you might jinx us!"
Mu gave him a questioning gaze lined with bizarre.
"I am not jinxing you." The Aries Saint replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
He wondered why the boy was holding such funny idea.
The dark green spring eyed Saint's inquiry soon answered.
Mu wasn't missing how the black spiky head boy gaped widely in horror.
"You may not intend to, but have you forgotten about how other persons' bad luck always finding way to me already….!? Щ (ʽ Д ʼ) #" Touma looked frustrate, stopped in his trail as he was waving his right hand in emphasize.
Oh dear God.
The older man didn't forget that already, did he?
"Ah…T Δ T ;;; " Mu sweat dropped as his dark green spring orbs fell onto Touma's right hand.
Mu hasn't forgotten the boy's explanation about his right hand.
But really, it does sounded too fable, even for him.
Despite the young Lemurian had seeing its demonstration power, it still sounded like a sick joke play.
"*Cough! Cough!* Move aside, ‾ Δ ‾;;; " Mu coughed few times.
"It's my duty and responsibility as a Gold Saint to protect Athena and Sanctuary. For enemies infiltrate into the 12 Temples, it will be my―" Mu couldn't finish his sentence.
Touma had rolled his eyes while he still spoke.
And out of sudden…
The teenager boy pulled Mu's left cheek without warning.
It wasn't hurt by a Saint's standard but it did catch Mu off guard.
Mu let out a surprise yelp due to the cheek pulling.
Nobody ever pull his cheek like this!
Not even Shion did this unless for a few times when he teased the younger Mu and thought he was…!
Mu stopped his thought right in there because no kidding, it was an embarrassing memory for him.
It only lasted few seconds but it was more than enough to chagrined Mu.
Once Touma removed his right hand, the dark green spring eyed Saint threw him a devastated gaze as he nursing his numb cheek.
The black spiky haired boy sent him a sullen look.
"Don't. Blame. Yourself. Got it? T д T # " There was a vein throbbed on his forehead. "Even an idiot can see how much you put your effort for doing your best. So stop it!"
The lavender haired Lemurian gaped widely.
He stopped nursing his throbbing left cheek.
Did he just pull his cheek only to say that?
Mu looked at him disapprovingly. "Why you pulled my cheek?"
"I can't punch you. I'd rather not adding unnecessary injury to you, we're in desperate time." Touma reasoned almost nonchalantly.
"Besides, pulling cheek seems more reasonable than punching at this moment."
The serene First Temple guardian was staring at the charcoal eyed boy with mixed feelings.
Mu concluded the boy before him was actually thousands times weirder than his previous impression.
Truthfully, Touma's straight honesty had taken aback Mu.
The lavender haired warrior then furrowed his eyebrows.
By the way…
Speaking about honesty…
"…Do you just admit that you're an idiot?"
Touma's eyebrow twitched violently.
"No, I'm not! I'm...Gah! You what? Forget it! I just don't want someone blaming himself for something even he doesn't have any control with―"
Suddenly, Mu sensed a huge and strong wave of Cosmos.
Judged from how Touma became silent suddenly, he must have sensed it too.
So powerful to the point a civilian like Touma can even feel it.
Mu's snapped his head at where the Cosmos had just come.
It was coming from above them; from inside the Gemini Temple.
The temple blanketed by enormous golden aura.
"What the…?" The Aries warrior gasped. "Gemini Temple…I feel a tremendous Cosmos! It shouldn't be inhabited. But…!"
"Errr, I'm sorry but I don't understand. A quick explanation, please?" Touma begged.
"Saga was the Gemini Saint before he died. There should be no one in there to prorect the Gemini Temple."
The Imagine Breaker holder was stunned.
If Saga was the real guardian of the Gemini Temple then…
"Are you saying that..."
"Someone is watching the Gemini Temple." Mu concluded, completely disturbed.
"But who and why does he guarding it?"
There was supposed to be no one in that temple.
There wasn't supposed to be a Gold Saint within.
Mu jerked in surprise as he aware about something.
"I can feel it. Evil Cosmos can't take another step." Mu spoke out loud. "This is not an enemy Cosmos! Then...Who on Earth who can protect this empty temple!?"
Mu almost held his own breath.
It couldn't be right?
It couldn't be.
It wasn't possible for him to come here.
Mu knew how much his hatred toward Sanctuary.
Toward his own brother.
Who had no choice but to confine him in Sunion.
If his suspicion was hit on the mark…
Then that Cosmos just now…
A heartbeat later, Mu was astonished.
It was him.
It was that man.
He was come back to Sanctuary.
And he was guarding his twin brother's temple.
The Gemini Temple let out a glowing golden colored Cosmos.
The Cosmos that being let out by its guardian.
Its other guardian to be precisely.
Standing inside the hallway of Third Temple, was a tall warrior with golden armor and white cap, just like Mu and Aldebaran. The unknown warrior was wearing Gemini Cloth, a Gold Cloth wore only by Gemini Temple's guardian. However, like Mu and Aldebaran's armors, this one also had an entirely different design. The unknown Gold Saint wore a helmet on his head, thus making half of his upper face hidden from sight. It was a rather peculiar helmet. On the left side of the helmet, a solemn face adorned. On the right side, a grinning, almost laughing face adorned the helmet. His Golden Cloth also covered most of his body, so it was impossible to find out who the mysterious Gold Saint was. The only visible thing aside from his lower face was the long, wavy cobalt blue hair reaching above knees. From the mysterious warrior's direction, a very powerful Cosmos was oozing out. Few meters away from the unknown Gold Saint, were Saga, Camus, and Shura who eyed him warily. Their whole bodies were strained, completely in high tense, ready to attack should the unknown Gold Saint assault them first.
Still with the high alert, Camus glanced at the palatinate blue headed warrior.
Camus' violet-blue eyes bored at Saga.
"Saga." The turquoise haired warrior whispered.
"You two, go ahead." Saga ordered, with closed eyes.
Shura didn't look to agree with the decision.
"Still…" The stoic warrior tried to argue.
"I'll take care of this place. Never would I have thought that this man was still alive." Saga snapped his eyelids open and lifted his head, now gazing at the golden clad warrior. "And even less that I would see him again before me."
Looked further onto the mysterious man's face…
If one tried to scrutinize even closer…
One can see a swirling galaxy inside the helmet.
A white colored galaxy spun slowly and in steady manner.
The first fire from the sundial clock had extinguished.
One hour has passed according to the sundial clock.
It's now seven o'clock at night.
Only eleven hours left until all the flames on the clock eventually vanish.
In the Main Temple, a lone figure of lilac haired maiden was waiting in the Throne Room.
Otherwise also known as Athena Chamber.
It located just behind the Pope's Throne, hidden by layers of curtains.
While she had her eyes closed, a steady pair of footsteps was coming from her back.
Kido Saori, the current incarnation of Athena, revealed her sea green eyes.
When she turned around, a young Gold Saint had stopped before her.
He was a young man with wavy azure colored hair. It was quite long; it has reached his middle. His orbs were colored in dull teal. His skin was tan due him being outside a lot. He wore gold armor signified his status as one of the Gold Saints, completed with the white cloak behind his back. He carried a wild but easygoing air with him. If they weren't in the middle of war, one would've spotted a playful grin plastered on Milo's face. But right now, a frown marred across his usually cheerful face. This is an emergency matter and he very much aware it wasn't a time to act playful and mischievous. This young man name was Scorpio Milo, the Guardian of the Scorpio Temple. Like the name of the temple he guard, his armor bore an appearance similar like those of a scorpion. In current moment, he was guarding the lilac haired Goddess as his position as the guardian was the closest to Main Temple. The Scorpio Saint kneeled and lowered his head.
"Athena, is everything normal?" The azure haired Saint inquired in concern.
"Yes." The goddess' feature softened.
A smile adorned her oval face.
Dull teal eyes narrowed slightly.
"Yet it felt like a Cosmos entered this place a few moments ago." Milo now looked wary.
"I appreciate your care, but there is no need to worry."
Milo looked hesitated. He looked away from his Goddess.
Searching for any hostile presence he can sense.
So far, there was none. Much to the relief of the dull teal eyed warrior.
Things can turn around very quickly however.
There was no guarantee for him that the enemy has yet to reach the Main Temple.
"But…Hades' advanced guard is attacking us at this very moment. We must be extremely careful!"
He was very concerned for Athena.
What if the enemy attacked them now?
"Milo." Saori spoke in a gentle tone. She tried to shooting the agitated Scorpio Saint. "The one who came here is not an enemy. On the contrary, he is a powerful ally who came to this Sanctuary to help us." The sea green eyed girl lifted her head toward the stone ceiling.
The azure blue haired warrior gasped.
Did he hear it just right?
The wariness came back with anticipation.
Just who is this man his Goddess was talking about?
Was he someone he known?
Who is it?
"This man you are speaking of…Do I know him?" Milo inquired carefully.
Saori broke her eye contact with Milo.
She had a faraway and thoughtful gaze.
"This man…" The sea green eyed girl then turned back at the azure haired warrior.
Dull teal orbs widened slightly.
"Is…" The lilac haired Goddess told Milo the mysterious ally's name.
The Scorpio warrior was beyond shock.
It couldn't be.
It was impossible. But this is Athena.
She will never lie at her Saints.
It was that man they were talking about!
"What did you say? This man…could still be alive?" The dull teal eyed Saint straightened his upper body abruptly.
That man…he was still alive?
And now…after what he had done to Athena…
After what he had done to his own brother…
Now he came back here as an ally?
It was absurd! A man like that would never be an ally of Athena!
However Athena had thought otherwise.
The wisdom and war Goddess gave him an affirmative nod.
"At this very moment, he is protecting Gemini Temple." Saori replied.
Now the azure haired Saint was completely speechless.
Dull teal eyes dilated slightly.
He couldn't make any sounds as he was too shock.
That man…he is protecting the Gemini Temple?!
"Gemini Temple…!" Milo repeated disbelievingly.
"He's protecting Gemini Temple…as a Gemini Saint!?"
Back to the Gemini Temple…
The resurrected Saints and the mysterious Gemini Saint were staring sharply at their opponent.
Camus and Shura were ready in fight stance.
Saga's face shadowed by his bangs. His expression was unreadable.
The mysterious Gold Saint was stayed still.
Waiting for his opponent to attack.
Finally. Finally after a long silence, it then got broken by Saga.
"Never would I have thought that this man could still be alive." The palatinate haired warrior responded flatly.
Shura shifted his head slightly.
"This man?" He asked.
"Moreover...He again stands against me, Saga!" The revived Gemini Saint revealed.
His tone was hard.
Camus jerked in surprise.
"Do you know this man!?" The turquoise haired man inquired. "He wears the Gemini Cloth. Which was originally yours." He pointed.
'Him…Long ago, he was the one who whispered to me the Devil's words…' The lime green eyed man narrowed his eyes.
The mysterious warrior was increasing his Cosmos.
Seeing this, Saga raised his right arm.
Motioned his comrades to keep continue.
"Go…" Saga told them. His lime green eyes now grew hard. "Let me take care of this place and go on ahead!" He ordered.
Camus stole a glance at the unknown Gold Saint.
Finally, Camus gave a slight nod.
"Okay. You used to guard the Gemini Temple…It won't be a problem if you stay a little longer."
Saga now focused his attention to his opponent.
"Hurry!" The lime green eyed man urged his comrades, his right arm now at his side.
"Fine! Let's go." Shura replied the revived Gemini and motioned Camus to go.
They were running again, passed the mysterious warrior who wore the Gemini Cloth.
Leaving both Saga and the unknown Gold Saint in the hallway.
After few moments of deafening silence, the palatinate haired man stepped forward.
Slowly, Saga approached the unknown man with the Gemini Cloth.
"13 years ago…" Saga began.
He stopped right before the mysterious Gemini Saint.
Saga closed his eyes with frowning expression.
"You escaped from Sunion Cape's rock prison, said to be beyond a human's strength and you disappeared." Saga then gazed at his opponent. "I thought that you had died after having received divine punishment."
"And he who received this punishment isn't you, Saga?" The mysterious Gemini Saint asked back rhetorically.
Saga jerked, taken aback by the question.
His frown deepened more.
"Killing Athena, ruling over the Sanctuary. Your ambitions have been broken. After which you received divine punishment, and did not have any choice other than suicide." The unknown warrior listed. "And even now, you have come back as Hades' Specters' pawn, threatening Athena's life!"
"Saga, you are Evil incarnate!" The unknown Gemini Saint claimed.
"Shut up!" Saga's glare intensified. "WHO is the one who made this so-called evil grow inside me!? Moreover, you used to hate me to death, I and Athena!"
Saga's Cosmos began to burning bright in violet color, now rivaling the mysterious opponent.
The palatinate haired man clenched tight his first.
"So WHY do you now wear the Gemini Gold?" Saga suddenly pointed at the opponent warrior.
"Remove your mask and answer!"
Pegasus Seiya was gasping, having difficulties with breathing.
The tears continued to rolling down as cold sweats covered his forehead.
He had sat abruptly from where he had laid previously.
His shoulders were shaking violently and his hand clenched the dirt beneath.
His chocolate colored eyes now opened widely, full of terror.
"Wha―" The spiky haired Pegasus put his white clad armor hand onto his heart.
It took a minute for the young Pegasus to calm down.
It took him another minute to realized he was actually had just a dream.
'A dream…' The white clad warrior finally realized. 'It was a dream. I can't believe it was a dream.'
The dream looked much too real to his dismay.
Seiya' shoulders slumped from the supposed to be revelation.
He was supposed to be relief for none of them were even real.
Apparently, he wasn't feeling at relief at the moment.
He felt so tired all of sudden. And annoyed too.
'I have no idea whether I should laugh from the absurdness or shout in angry…' Seiya thought drily.
Really, he had faced many absurd things but this one was completely new and foreign.
A kind of thing he was being left clueless.
A domain he ever stepped for the first time.
An area where was he absolutely in the dark.
And Hyoga used to say the chocolate eyed boy's luck was poor.
The blonde did say he was always being the trouble magnet.
Seiya groaned at the memory, face palming.
He didn't like how Hyoga's comment was hit on the mark.
Then something came crossed into his inner mind.
An intriguing matter which was disturbed his mind.
Took out a shaky breath, the young Pegasus Saint then began to spelling.
His brain refreshed one part of his dream.
A flower field filled by colorful shades of violets.
A girl around 13 to 14 years old.
Long black hair, and orbs color of bluish black.
A dandelion on her hair.
A bright, sunshine smile.
『See? I've told you, violet crown is very suitable for your hair.』She praised.『You looks more handsome with that flower crown,…』
"King of Violet…" Seiya spelled the tittle, testing it.
He couldn't help but questioning himself.
It sounds familiar to him.
The odd and foreign tittle which he supposed to never heard, until now.
"…Is that…my name in my previous life?" He asked to no one.
'It sounded like an appellative though.' The chocolate colored eyed warrior's mind replayed few parts when those people from his dreams addressed him with the appellative.
There was this name the woman on the pool's edge and the black spiky haired boy had addressed him. Only this one the Pegasus warrior can remember clearly however. Seiya mused thoughtfully at this. Come to think of it, the island he visited within the dream also had a violet field. From how he had been in there in the dream, it seemed he was in there pretty often. It would explain the tittle. He suddenly remembered the black haired girl who also called him with that particular appellative. She was also with him in the middle of the said field filled with violets. And she did give him a flower crown made from violets. And then he remembered the black haired boy who happened to be the girl's older brother. Together with the girl, he also accompanied him in lots fraction of his dreams.
It was one thing from any which Seiya found as peculiar.
"That boy and girl…" The dark chestnut headed Saint wondered. "Why they always appear almost in every part in my dream?"
So achingly familiar to the point he wanted to cry again for no apparent reason.
It made Seiya extremely baffled. It also made him intrigued at the same time. Were they the children he deemed as important? Peoples whom he need to protect in his past life? People he considered as family just like he is now with the other Bronze Saints? Seiya frowned deeply at the thought. It would explain why the children were seemed close. It also would explain the pain he felt in his chest, throbbing hurtfully. It was the pain of loss. Seiya knew it all too familiar. It was just like when he found out Seika's disappearance by the time he came back to Japan. It was just like when he desperately trying to search his beloved older sister by taking participant in Galaxian War. Despite the very fact he didn't like it at all at that time.
Groaning slightly, the dark chestnut haired boy exhaled tiredly.
The Pegasus warrior put his hand on his wet eyes.
"This is too much for me." He muttered under his breath.
It was a moment later, the Pegasus Saint then actually aware he didn't recognized the landscape he was sitting.
Seiya stood hastily and spun his head around, taking a careful look.
'Where am I?' The Pegasus Saint thought quizzically.
By the time he turned his body around, his chocolate eyes fell at a familiar building.
Seiya quickly recognized it.
He found himself gaped in dumfound at the sight. How could he not?
It was a building he only saw from picture of the old books Marin once showed to him.
It was a building on the highest peak of huge stone pillar.
Just beside the mountain where 12 Temples and Main Temple were.
A place not even Gold Saints can enter without permission.
A place only the Pope was allowed to come.
A place the Pope often uses to oversee the stars' movement.
This place's name was…
"…Star Hill? Why I am here?" Seiya stared incredulously at the building before him.
He glanced around once more.
"Athena!?" Seiya called the Goddess' name.
Only the cold breeze greeted him back.
The chocolate eyed boy then has all of his memories back.
Seiya jerked at the memory before he went unconscious.
"That's right! I was going to ask Seika! But there were Deathmask and Aphrodite―! They supposed to be dead! I fought them but Mu interfered and then―"
A realization soon dawned to Seiya.
"Is he teleported me straight to this hill!?" He shouted from his lung.
Was the Aries Saint sh***y kidding him!?
This hill was almost as high as the Main Temple if not higher!
This hill was literally forbidden for any ranks except for the Pope himself.
Seiya wasn't sure why Mu teleported him to this place.
And no, don't even start from the oh-so-evil cliff of this hill!
The hill's slope angle was a perfect 90o! How he was supposed to climb down! He was a Bronze Saint but even this much of slope angle and the hill's height were too much! He can't use his ability to teleport as long as he was in 12 Temple's and Star Hill's area! Seiya let lout a scowl from his mouth. It looks like he had no other option then. He must climb down this accursed cliff if he really desire to protect Athena. It was not without a risk. Climbing down Star Hill can become very much dangerous and deadly if one wasn't being careful.
The dark chestnut haired boy doesn't care about the ban anymore. He couldn't think anymore than this. What he did aware was Athena was in danger and he must make haste. If the enemy get her first before he can reach her…
A sudden paranoia hit him at the terrifying thought.
Seiya went white immediately.
Color was drained from his face.
It wasn't a very right moment to standing still in this stupid hill! Seiya swore mentally he will get the lavender haired Aries for this.
"I must go to where Athena is. I can't stay in here!"
The Pegasus Saint wasted no time to run toward the cliff edge.
Seiya prepared himself at the edge of the cliff.
He then jumped from the cliff, bracing himself for the height.
The chocolate haired Saint begged mentally as he literally falling down.
『A lilac haired maiden with golden staff gave him a comforting smile.』
Seiya landed in a narrow foothold.
He burned more Cosmos so he can phase faster similar with thunderbolt.
Kicking his feet, the brown headed Saint jumped again and diving down.
He can careless about Athena's ban to enter Sanctuary.
He can careless with what kind of punishment Mu will give to him.
He can careless with what will happen to him once he arrived in 12 Temple.
He can't let them facing such enemies.
He can't let them fighting alone.
He can't let them die.
He can't let them die in front of his eyes again…
Just like when he failed to protect them from him.
『A girl with dandelion on her hair, laughing happily as he held her smaller hand protectively.』
The Pegasus Saint clenched tight his fists.
He climbed down continuously.
'Please be alright!'
His erratic heartbeats drummed loudly in his own ears.
『A teenager boy with charcoal eyes tossed him an apple from above the tree with lots of dangling red apples , grinning widely.』
His eyes felt hot, as if a blazing flame lit up before him.
Seiya gritted his teeth.
The chocolate colored eyed boy refused to cry.
He will not cry.
He was a Saint. He was Athena's Saint.
He bounded to her just like she bounded to Earth and its people and its peace.
He bounded to her as he bounded to them.
That was why he will not cry.
He was a warrior. A protector.
(Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them. Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! Protect them! PROTECT THEM! PROTECT THEM! PROTECT THEM! PROTECT THEM―!)
(Save them. From him. From the Black Winged God. The Underworld God. The Cruel God with black, glimmering sword. Can't watch him swing his sword descend onto their forms again. Save them. Can't let them vanished again. Save them. Can't lose them again. Save them. Can't let them gone from before his eyes again. Save them. Can't let them disappeared right before his eyes again. Save them. Save them. Save them. Save them. Move. Move. Move. Move. Move. Don't stop. Don't stand still. Forget the pain. Forget the injury. Forget the tiredness. Keep moving. Keep running. Keep running forward. He must. He must stop the Black Winged God from touching them. He must do something. Anything. Please not them. Please not them. Please not them. Please not them. Please not them. Stay away from them! Don't touch them! You will not tough them! Not even a single of their hairs! He will not allow it! He won't let you! He will not let the Black Winged God again―! Not this time! Not ever! He will not let him―!)
(He must not fail. He can't fail. He will not fail. He must not fail them. He can't fail them. He will not fail them. He must not fail them again. He can't fail them again. He will not fail them again. He must not fail for their sake. He can't fail for their sake. He will not fail for their sake. He must fulfill his promise for them. He can fulfill his promise for them. He will fulfill his promise for them. He must be there for them. He can be there for them. He will be there for them. Always. And always. And always. And always. And always. He will be there for them. He will be there for them. He will be there for them. He will be there for them. He will be there for both of them, always. He will stay by their side. He will not leaving them. He will not leaving them again. He must stay by their side. He can stay by their side. He will stay by their side. He wants to stay with them. He must stay for them. He can stay for them. He will stay for them. He must see them. He urges to meet them. To see them unharmed. To see them smiling at him like they always do. To see them happy. It was the only thing he wishes for them. Everything about them is matter to him.)
He had promised.
(I'm so sorry…)
He had promised to them.
He had promised after all.
(Please forgive me.)
He will fulfill his promise.
(I'm sorry I can't protect you…)
He can save them this time.
(I'm sorry that I'm not strong enough.)
He will save them this time.
He must save them this time.
『The boy and the girl, now standing side by side and with drenched clothes, had their head slumped as he nagged them for being careless. They fell into a river when he was not looking around. They were looking for fishes previously before the accident happened and he had to pull them from the said river. He was anxious for them undeniably. It was a river with strong stream, they could be injured or washed away.』
'I can't lose them!'
He must make haste.
He must hurry.
He can't lose them now.
『Both the boy and the girl were hugging his form, laughing so cheerfully and bright.』
『He found himself smiling in content as his strong yet gentle arms circling around them.』
『He hugged them tightly and dearly and lovingly.』
(Please, I beg of you…)
『Like an older brother would do to his beloved younger siblings.』
(Don't leave me alone.)
(I love you.)
(I love you two.)
(Don't leave me alone.)
"Hosh. Hosh. Have we―*Hosh!*…" Ruiko gasped tiredly. "Arrive yet?"
"Just a little more. Hang in there."
"I can't believe someone will think it was a good idea to built a city in a place like this!"
Sirius let out an amused sound.
"It is a hidden city, my dear. It wouldn't become a hidden city if the city itself is not being concealed from outer world. Of course it would be constructed in a land where no normal ways can reach the city." He responded.
The Aero Hand holder shot him an eerily flat gaze for a young girl.
"If so, then why Touma can get there without problem?" She challenged. "Or enter the city by himself?"
Sirius sweat dropped.
Of all things, she hit him with that particular question.
A heartbeat later, Ruiko exhaled exasperatedly.
"..I'm sorry. I was distraught at the moment." She adjusted the First Aid Kit bag she brought with her.
"No, it's alright. You're only anxious for your friend. It's an ordinary thing between friends." The middle aged man shook his head.
"…I just hope he doesn't get any injuries when I find him."
Sirius offered him a solacing smile. "Aren't we all?"
"Yes." A wry grin stretched on Ruiko's youthful face. "God, please help me, or I will have to smack him with my bat." She said as she waving her bat.
"Of course I will. I have promised a dear friend that I'll hit him in her place if he gets himself into trouble."
It was after the Daihasei festival, the long black haired found out the Level 5 girl of her friends was having a crush on certain high school boy. Touma had to borrow her protective charm in Borrowing Race in the middle of the festival. She had been hesitated at first, it was a gift from her mother. After the black spiky haired boy promised her, she lent the charm for a time being. After the race ended, he did give it back to her when a strange girl who called herself Xochitl made herself known. She mentioned something about a true goal and Misaka Mikoto, thus it made Ruiko began to feel uneasy. It seemed Touma understood its meaning because he quickly apologized to her and he had to go, which Ruiko told him to hurry. By the time the festival had finished and things went normal again, the misfortune girl then confronted the electric bringer girl. At that moment Misaka found out the friend Touma had talked about recently was actually her own friend. Misaka had been touched on how Ruiko continuously inquired her well being and told her that she had been worried ever since ruiko heard something might happened with Misaka.
Deciding to honest for this once, the number 3 Level 5 finally explained what had happened when she lost control of herself, how she almost destroyed Academy City and how Touma had come for her to save both her and the Academy City. It brought a great relief for the white flower girl but it only lasted for a second before Ruiko scolded Misaka as a good friend for made her worried sick and endanger herself. Ruiko hugged the short brown haired girl tightly after that, both embarrassing and made Misaka happy. They became closer after the festival and sharing various things for their bond was stronger now.
One day, Kuroko and Uiharu had a duty in Judgment and there was only the two of them. Misaka had intended to go straight the dormitory but then Ruiko begged-forced with puppy eyes- to her to spend her time with her. So Ruiko took Misaka in this particular café who had delicious strawberry parfait before they go home. It was the only café which had the most amazing apple crumble Ruiko ever tasted so she ended up bought one for home. They ate the parfaits together near the window, talking girls things and normal activities they had in school. After the parfaits almost gone however, Misaka wanted to speak about something important. About Touma to be precisely, it got the bluish dark eyed girl so she listened.
Looks like Touma was about to go outside Japan again. And from how dark the expression Misaka wore right now, it was certainly dangerous. More, more, dangerous than before. There was a chance Misaka will get involve too. However there was no guarantee that she will able to his rescue in time. Therefore, she asked the long black haired girl sat before her a favor. Should Misaka wasn't able to stay by the charcoal colored eyed boy, to support and help him in the time of his needs, the frog lover girl asked Ruiko to help the particular moron in her place. At first the Aero Hand holder was quite unsure with the said request. She didn't know what to do. It wasn't because she didn't want to but Ruiko had thought there were many capable girls than her. It was her of all people, much to her surprise. The long black haired girl was just a normal teenager, aside from being a potential Esper with her Level 0 status. Aside from her strength, anything about her was basically plain, there was nothing special. The bluish dark eyed girl had asked this of course. Much to Ruiko's surprise for once more, Misaka broke into a mirthful laughter.
The Railgun user then replied the other girl. It was because she was the only normal girl out from her friends, Misaka decided to ask her favor. Touma had been involved himself to a world where magic and the power of science fiction were as real as the ground. The world where he stuck was currently was anything but normal. Among his friends, Ruiko was one of his closest friends and the most normal ones so far. They were quite close like siblings, the closeness had bound Touma to the normal world. Sure there were few times when Ruiko got caught in his world. Other than it always happened out of accident, she never involved herself too deep though. Touma had made sure she will not get herself getting dragged again once he found out what she had gotten herself into. She was that important to him. Ruiko were one of the few crucial links Touma ever had with the normal world he knew. She might have dragged to that dark world few times but she still a normal girl who deserved an equally normal life. The Imagine Breaker holder can't allow her to that world again.
And yet, despised all of his sincere attempts to distance her from the supernatural world, Ruiko was not a stupid girl. The bluish dark eyed girl was surprisingly can become perspective in time of need. Even though she was doing her daily live and activities, she keeps in check with all news which smelled bizarre or odd on the internet or paper news. Ruiko kept check on his news, so she texting him through mail sometimes. Sometimes they will exchange news, sometimes they will discussed usual things you find in the street. The boy never told her about how he copped in his entirely bizarre adventures. Or he never told him how much he injured, yet it was fine by Ruiko. As long as the charcoal eyed boy was out of danger, she will accept it.
So when Misaka asked the favor, it was an understatement the Level 0 girl hesitated. It wasn't she scared, no. Of course she wanted to stay by his side of she could. It was more like what Touma's reaction will be once she enters into the dangerous world again. No doubt he will displease with her when he try so hard to get her away from it. There were times when she helped him only in minor scales, just that. Never anything big, really. He had made her promised to waiting for him with apple pie. It was one of his favorite foods. Since Ruiko was literally a sister but blood and she was a decent cook, she was okay by this. The Sakurada's student loved to bake various types of cakes and other sweets so why not. If it was the least thing she can do for the Imagine Breaker holder, the bluish dark eyed girl will do it. Misaka's favor was however, was an entirely different matter.
On the other hand however, this was Misaka Mikoto. Misaka will never asking a favor or request should she thought it wasn't necessary and important. Something must be occurred in the dark. There was no way her dear friend will ask a request from her. Ruiko noticed how the brown haired girl became rather gloomy on these days. In which it was actually the main reason why Ruiko want to take her friends to eat in the café. The long black haired girl didn't want to disappoint Misaka, so she accepted it. Ruiko promised the Railgun user to lend a hand to Touma for Misaka's place should Misaka was not being able. The bright smile and the tears pooled on the frog lover girl made Ruiko relieved for she has took a right decision. It was also about her older brother's figure, no way she would refuse such a request, moreover if it came from her own friend. So when she found out the misfortune boy had gone to the depth of the mountain, she knew this was the time to fulfill Misaka's request.
Sirius snorted in amusement.
Isn't she a very stubborn girl?
No wonder her father really concerned.
She was just this determined.
The older Koutsoukis should've seen it since the start.
"The boy's better prepare himself for the inevitable." The Koutsoukis' patriarch shook his dull blond haired head. "Then let's us continue. Can't let the idiot boy screw up himself, right?"
"I'm afraid you can not step further from this." A stern, feminine voice interjected the older Koutsoukis.
Both the middle aged man and the long black haired girl twisted at the source.
There, walking out from the shadows, were a group of persons consisted with colorful armors. Standing headmost of the group, was a woman with shoulder length, green apple colored hair. Her face was hidden by a white mask with marks on the eyes. The woman was tall and slim, wearing a dark violet armor underneath her similar like gymnastic clothes. Crowned in her head was a same colored headgear with snake ornament, just like the rest of her armor. Ruiko gripped her bat even tighter until her knuckles went white. The bluish dark eyed girl started to shift nervously, her gaze trained on the armored woman warily. She had no idea why, but her sixth sense somehow telling her the woman before was strong and dangerous. Again and again thrown into life threatening situations in her time in Academy City had honed her sixth sense. It comes in handy in situation like this.
Beside Ruiko, Sirius gasped at the sight of the woman.
"―! You are…!?"
"Oh." The apple green headed woman tilted her head. "It's you, Sirius."
Ruiko stole a glance at the dull turquoise eyed man.
"Uncle…who is she? Who are they?" She asked in whisper.
Sirius was about to answer the girl when the masked woman cut him already.
"My name is Ophiuchus Shaina, little girl." The woman answered. "And I can hear you."
Ruiko could feel both her cheeks grew hot.
Oh God, she couldn't believe it!
The female warrior can heard her!
God, it was embarrassing!
She didn't mean to offend the female warrior!
But then another thing registered to her mind.
The blush on her cheeks faded as a frown marred her face.
Ruiko furrowed her elegant eyebrows.
"Ophiuchus…?" Ruiko repeated confusedly.
She could be wrong but…
Wasn't it a name of a constellation?
"She's a Silver Saint." Sirius added further as Ruiko sending him a clueless gaze. "Saints are the warriors protecting Athena and Sanctuary, based on constellations. Silver Saints are the Saints with higher rank and stronger than Bronze Saints, with Gold Saints as the strongest warriors among Saints."
Sirius then smiled.
"She's a friend." He ended reassuringly at the wary girl.
At this, Ruiko stared at the man a bit longer.
Slowly, the white flower girl grew at ease.
She then lowered her baseball bat from offensive position.
The level 0 girl wasn't relaxed completely.
She still had some doubts.
However, if this woman was indeed Sirius' friend and he trusted her, then Ruiko will have to trust the masked woman too.
"Sirius," The masked woman, Shaina began.
She approached the middle aged man and the girl.
She didn't sound too happy.
"What are you doing in here? Don't you know that everybody is forbidden from entering Sanctuary right now?" She then turned her gaze at the long black haired girl who flinched slightly.
Even though the green apple haired female Saint wore a mask, Ruiko still felt that piercing and searching gaze from behind the mask.
Shaina turned her masked face back at Sirius. Her tone was incredulous.
"And why you brought a girl, a civilian from outside world? You can't bring any normal civilians unless there was a direct order from Athena or she is a trainee! We're in the middle of Holy War!"
Ruiko saw how the patriarch of Koutsoukis jumped from his place.
He went increasingly pale like a corpse.
His dull turquoise colored eyes went as wide as saucer.
"What!?" Sirius shouted in shock. "I thought it will not happen any time soon!"
"It happened sooner than we expected too, we have no choice! There were intruders from enemies as well! We can't allow more intruders come and penetrate Sanctuary than already! Go back, it's dangerous!" Shaina told the man, voice latched with worry.
Sirius sighed exasperatedly.
The middle aged man shook his head.
"Shaina―Ma'am. I'm really apologized for trespassing but we also have urgency in here. It's a quite complicated story but…" Sirius threw a stare at the bluish dark eyed girl standing beside him.
The Ophiuchus Saint's gaze soon followed his example.
The others did the same thing as well.
Ruiko then suddenly aware for everyone now was gazing on her direction.
She flushed onto the shade of interesting red.
She tried to focus at the masked female Saint.
"My friend." The long black haired girl spoke carefully. "I'm sorry, Miss. But there is a boy―his name is Touma. He's my friend and I think―we think he might be in here."
A second passed.
Another second passed.
Nobody said anything.
Until Shaina broke the silence with confused tone.
"A boy?" The female Saint repeated incredulously. "Why would your friend is in―" Shaina stopped herself as she then remembered Athena's story about a civilian who managed to enter her barrier, straight to Sanctuary.
Green apple eyes widened drastically beneath the mask. "…Wait. You don't mean…"
Sirius perked at this. "Do you know something?"
None of them answered the man.
Sirius crossed his arms in annoyance as the Bronze Saints and Silver Saints stole a glance at each other.
"Well? This old man is waiting and time is ticking."
Shaina rolled her eyes behind her mask. She had known him for few years so she knew some of his antics. The green haired young woman did tell them anyway.
"Athena-sama told me about a normal citizen that had trespassed this area more than an hour ago. It shouldn't be possible with the barrier currently activated."
The old Koutsoukis shot her an incredulous look.
"You mean…the special barrier only Athena can activate?"
The Ophiucus Saint nodded her masked face. "The one and only." She replied in confirm.
Both Ruiko and Sirius shouted at the same time.
"He's/Touma is/ in inside there!?"
Shaina tilted her green haired head in inquiry.
"You know the boy?" She directed this to Sirius.
"He's my son's charge. I think he heard the fights from behind the mountain and went here."
"…You're kidding me." Shaina retorted.
"Do I look like joking at you, Shaina?" Sirius shot back flatly.
God, youngsters these days!
They just couldn't see how the elders like him being serious or not.
Before he could grumble further, his own charge approached the Ophiuchus Saint.
Ruiko stopped right in front of the apple green haired female.
"Shaina-san!" The bluish black hair girl urged. "Do you know where Touma is? Can you please tell me? I have to find him." Anxious was bleeding from her tone.
Shaina blinked from behind her mask.
'This girl...' Shaina frowned mentally.
Has she gone this far to save her friend who is still unknown?
Has she risked her own safety so she could find this guy?
To the point she took a risk to climb through the mountain, only to meet her friend?
The girl was only a girl who looked normal.
The girl possessed no Cosmos.
The girl has no superpower whatsoever.
The girl was a civilian through and through.
Was the boy was someone important?
What make this boy was special to this girl?
Shaina grabbed Ruiko by her upper arms, startling the girl in the process.
However Shaina ignored this because she had another matter.
"Girl, what is your name?" The masked female Saint asked.
Ruiko blinked a few times.
She wondered mentally why the masked woman asked her name out of blue.
"Ruiko. My name is Saten Ruiko." The white flower girl replied.
Shaina's stern appearance went softened at the answer.
Ah, a Japanese then, Shaina thought with fondness.
Just like him. Just like the boy who she loved. Just like that white clad armor young man. Just like the young man who was soaring in the sky with the purest color of white colored wings.
The green apple haired female warrior idly wondered if all the Japanese were just like him.
Like the Pegasus Saint she deemed as precious person.
Shaina took a long, deep breath.
She have no idea how she can convince the long black haired girl to not enter further.
She may just meet the girl but she has a feeling that the girl can be pretty stubborn.
Still, the Ophiuchus warrior hasn't tried yet.
She must try it first before she can take another step.
"Ruiko." Shaina squished Ruiko's shoulders gently. "You may not know but we have a tight situation in here. It will be too dangerous for you to get inside."
"I don't care!" The girl yelled and shaking her head vigorously. Ruiko gripped her bat tighter. "I must find him, I have promised my friend to be by his side if he needs help!"
How can she say that!?
Didn't the female warrior see how urgent she was?
Ruiko had to make sure Touma will be okay!
That was why she must meet him at any cost.
"No. You can't, absolutely not." Shaina's voice grew stern.
Ruiko looked very much not happy.
She had this begging gaze with her.
"But―!" Ruiko had wanted to say something but soon clasped her mouth.
The bluish dark eyed girl then broke her gaze away.
She was looking onto the ground and chewed her lower lips.
'Why can't she understand me?' Ruiko thought disappointedly.
'Why convincing her is so difficult?'
While her eyesight obscured from the mask, Shaina acknowledged how the girl was shaking.
Resisting the urge to dash and searching her precious friend.
The female Silver Saint felt an ever growing sympathy for the girl.
The girl reminded her of her own self.
She saw herself within this girl.
The apple green head female cannot not being care for this girl.
"Ruiko." Shaina put her hand on the black long haired girl's left cheek. "Look at me." The Ophiuchus warrior ordered with an older sister's tone.
Ruiko finally gazing back at Shaina, slightly hesitate.
Shaina's tone grew a little softer.
"I understand your feeling, you must be worried sick for him, aren't you…?" Shaina watched as the girl nodded without any doubt.
The female Saint grip tightened a bit.
Preparing herself for the worst possible reaction.
"I'm really, really sorry about this…"
"But I'm afraid I can't let you in, Ruiko."
「Far Eastern Federal District.」
「Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.」
「Half an hour before the start of Holy War.」
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.
Simply called as Chukotka.
It was a vast, wide area within the eastern part of Siberia, Russia. Bordered by the East Siberia Sea and Chukchi Sea in the north, Kamchatka Krai and Magadan Oblast in south, Bering Sea and Bering Strait in the east, and Sakha Republic in the west. This region was divided to 3 different parts of natures; tundra in the central area, taiga or boreal forest in the south area, and Arctic dessert in the north area. Half of Chukotka was made from mountainous area and located above Arctic Circle. The weather on Chukotka dominated by cold northerly winds. Sometimes it would change to wet southern winds. The lowest temperature in Chukotka can reached -35oC and the highest temperature was only 14oC in July, the month considered as summer.
Today in the northern part of Chukotka, somewhere within the mountainous arctic dessert…
As a single meteor was falling across…
Beneath the dancing aurora borealis…
A lone blond haired boy was standing above the ice. He was a tall teenager boy with slim yet muscular building. His blond colored mane was growing below his shoulders. His eyes were the color of the purest sapphire. A heritage he got from his mixed blood of Russian and Japanese. It was unfortunate that one of them got bandage, leaving him with only one capable eye. It didn't reduce the good looking attraction he had. The blond haired boy wore a knee length, brown colored coat with fur. He wore black pants with orange fur like warmer on both his lower legs. His name was Cygnus Hyoga, one of the Bronze Saints, and an arm in comrades of Seiya. He was just one year older than Seiya and Shun, making him in the age of 14 years old, along with Shiryu.
The bandage on his left eye was the injury he got from Kraken Isaac, his former friend and trainee in Siberia, when he must battled the green haired young man in Poseidon's domain not too long ago. Now, after the battle against Poseidon was over, Hyoga has gone back to the eastern part of Siberia. While almost all of his wounds have healed, his eye injury has not recovering yet as it need a longer time to heal than any other of his injuries. Well, it doesn't matter right now. Visiting his mother's unmarked grave was more important than worrying over an injury to a certain Cygnus Saint.
He held a magnificent bouquet of flowers consisted of pink, white, and light purple flowers on his hand.
His face was solemn and quiet.
The blond haired boy slowly put the colorful bouquet above the ice.
His single sapphire eye was gazing at a certain spot.
A spot where the ship contained his mother's body resided.
Deep inside the sea.
'Mama…' Hyoga's gaze softened at the thought of his deceased mother.
'I haven't come to see you since the ship were you are resting has sunk to the bottom of the sea…Don't you feel lonely?' Hyoga rose from his kneeling position.
Staring at the wide area as he was right above the sink ship's location.
'Now, even if it was at the bottom of darkness itself, I would still have the strength to dive, but…I swore I wouldn't visit you anymore, Mama.' The blond haired boy turned his sight back at the bouquet.
The arctic wind softly grazed his golden colored hair.
'Mama…My Master and my friend…Never will I forget you. I shall continue for your soul's rest. And as long as I, Hyoga, live in this Eastern Siberia, I always will remain by your side.'
Hyoga closed his eye…
Not before he snapped open back when he sensed a powerful yet evil Cosmos.
The Cygnus Saint was clearly got taken aback.
As if to confirm his fear, another meteor fell across the Siberia's sky.
"Again! Those abnormal Cosmos I felt at Sanctuary…But what on earth is going on there!?" Hyoga went alarmed.
"This is nothing you need to know."
A familiar voice replied, came from behind him.
Then the steps signaled the voice's owner had approached him.
The Cygnus Saint gasped in shock.
He felt violent Cosmos at his back.
He turned around his head and found three black cloaked figures stood not far from him.
They let out a violet colored Cosmos.
Hyoga couldn't see their face but he can tell from their Cosmos that they were strong.
His every muscle tensed at their sign.
He now fully turning around and facing the possible enemies.
"Hyoga, it's been a long time. We've come back from the dead to kill you!" The voice's owner, the one who had first spoken, talked again.
Unexpectedly, they took off their cloak, revealing their form previously hidden underneath the cloak.
The blond haired boy almost felt his heart stopped beating.
"No…No way!" Hyoga denied disbelievingly.
It was impossible.
It can't be happening.
Yet, here they were, standing in front of him.
The Saints who were supposed to be dead.
The Silver Saints who he had defeated along with his comrades.
The Silver Saints who died from Hyoga and his comrades' past fight.
At instant, Hyoga cursed mentally.
He must face the reality for he was going into a lot of trouble.
Meanwhile, inside the corridor of the Gemini Temple…
The palatinate blue head warrior and the intriguing gold warrior were literally glaring at each other
Saga then threw his opponent a question.
"Who allowed you to come back here?"
"It's obvious." The mysterious Gemini Saint answered. "Athena forgave me."
Saga almost wanted to laugh at this.
Athena forgave him?
A man like him who threw his own brother to the darkness?
A man like him who wanted to kill Athena when she was still an infant?
Which lead Saga forcefully to jail him so he couldn't harm Athena?
Saga didn't laugh, instead he snort in dark amusement.
Dark smirk adorned his face.
"You would say that Athena forgave YOU, you who have only worked for Evil?" Saga guessed.
"Listen, Saga." The helmet Saint replied. "When I was in Cape Sunion's prison, many times I was saved─ thanks to Athena."
The man beneath the Gemini Cloth's memory was still fresh. His mind flew back at the time when he being imprisoned in Sunion's rock prison. He almost drowned when rising tide a lot. Yet, far, far away, in Japan, where there was a huge mansion of certain Kido, a certain lilac haired incarnation of Goddess wasn't going to let him die and will not let him die. The green sea eyed maiden used her Cosmos to save the imprisoned man in Sunion Cape's prison. It was the only reason why he still safe and sound. It was the only reason why he still breathing and very much alive to this second. It was only because of Athena he can standing in here, in this place. Protecting the Gemini Temple.
It wasn't only that time, the sea green eyed girl saved him.
"And even in the Submarine Temple, I felt this wonderful Cosmos filled with love…I finally saw Athena's love for Earth. Athena cleansed my heart of all its Evil. And from now on, I shall fight for Justice and for Athena's sake." The mysterious Gemini Saint stated straight forwardly. "This is why, from this Gemini Temple, I won't let Evil take one more step. So prepare yourself."
Saga let out a short laugh at this bold declaration.
Who was he kidding?
"Huh! 'Take one more step'? Yet you let Camus and Shura pass through easily." The lime green eyed man was taunted.
The unknown golden warrior kept silent for few moments.
"Really?" The mysterious warrior asked.
Saga was taken aback by his opponent's reaction.
What does he mean by that?
What made him looked so damn confident and even didn't look worry the slightest?
Ignored Saga's reaction, the helmet Saint added loftily.
"This Gemini Temple…It was said, long ago, that the strength of its protector could change it into a labyrinth." He told the lime green eyed warrior.
Saga went alarmed by this revelation.
"Wh―What did you say―!?" Realization soon struck Saga like a ton brick. His lime green orbs soon widened drastically. "No…You haven't―!?"
"Camus and Shura wouldn't be able to leave this Temple. And by now they must already have lost their way in the Gemini Labyrinth I created. And I guess that they shall wander forever."
A deep frown marred across the revived Saints.
It looks like this man was being serious in this.
But will he also mean his words regarding Athena?
Was this man telling the truth?
Of his wanting to serve and protect Athena?
Only one way to find out.
"I understand that you would protect this Temple with all your soul. But…" Saga's gaze sharpened. "That' you've become the Gemini Saint, faithful to Athena is completely unbelievable! Your soul shall never be rid of the evil that stains it! And I am the one who knows this best!"
Once more, Cosmos flared from the revived Gemini warrior.
Across the palatinate haired man, the intriguing warrior also burned his own Cosmos.
Ready to fight back.
"I shall rid you of this fake faith! If I defeat you, the labyrinth shall disappear along with you. This one stone shall kill two birds!" The palatinate blue haired man drew back his hand. Violent energy was gathering within his palm. "First, take of this helmet, so that I can see the face I haven't seen for 13 years!"
With that Saga shot out a beam of Cosmos toward the mysterious Gemini Saint.
The beam hit the helmet head of the unknown Gemini Saint.
But then something unexpected happened.
When the beam soon hit the helmet part, it got thrown away.
It then hit the stone floor with a loud clank and rolling away.
Saga gasped disbelievingly.
Where the head was supposed to be was now only an empty space.
There was no head at all.
This has made the lime green eyed man was more agitated than before.
Saga was now more than ready to blast another beam of Cosmos.
"Stupid! Do you think you can fool me with this trick!?"
He then threw other beams randomly at the still standing Gemini Cloth.
When all of them hit the Cloth, it suddenly went disunited.
"What!?" Saga grew more shocked.
The scattered parts of Gemini Cloth were clattering on the floor with loud and small clanks.
After that, there was nothing.
For a moment, there was only silence within the dark corridor.
The revived Gemini Saint could only stare at the scattered armor parts.
"What on Earth…?" Saga asked to no one.
"I see…So this is also an illusion." He took a conclusion.
He has to change his plan.
It was what he's doing right now exactly.
"Which means…I've figured out your little game. To what point do you want to imitate your brother?" He burned his Cosmos without warning. "But against me, Saga, this won't work!"
Soon, twin images of Galaxy come to him.
As he outstretched his arms, an orb of energy assembled on his palms.
He then put both his hands together on the front.
The orbs united into a big ball of destructive energy.
"Wherever you are, you shall take this one blow, I promise you!"
Soon Saga used his Galaxian Explosion and the beam of destruction went through all the Temples.
And soon it reached its target.
An explosion then happened.
「The training ground near Aries Temple.」
Before the explosion occurred, Seiya who was in the middle of his way to Aries Temple, had got hit by a very strong Cosmos.
Before he could find out who the owner of the Cosmos was, the explosion happened soon.
Seiya whipped his head at the explosion's source.
His chocolate colored orbs widened drastically at what he witnessed.
Question now forgotten as there was something caught his attention.
Seiya almost couldn't believe his eyes.
Yet, it really happened before his eyesight.
"That's―!" Seiya gasped.
Within his eyesight, was the sight of Cosmos's explosion that followed by blinding wave energy.
It was caused by the huge explosion.
The dark chestnut haired Saint soon tensed at the rather eerie sight.
Much to his horror, the explosion and the energy wave came from Main Temple's direction.
'It's coming from the Main Temple! What happened in there…?!'
The Pegasus Saint questioned, fearing for the worst.
His thought was running through all possibilities he can think of.
Was the battle already reached both temples when he still unconscious?
Were the enemies already intruded the temples?
How many enemies who has infiltrated Sanctuary?
How strong they were?
Seiya's inner mind rushed.
The Pegasus Saint grew concerned.
What about Mu?
The lavender haired Saint fought both Aphrodite and Deathmask when the Pegasus Saint came.
Did the Lemurian warrior manage to defeat Deathmask and Aphrodite?
Did he fight the rest of the enemies?
Did he fight alone or there were another Saints with him?
Did he after the enemies who came for Athena?
Seiya groaned mentally.
Too much questions without answers were lingering in his head.
The dark chestnut head Saint being not the smartest person was not helping, nope.
He was not a brain type, it was Hyoga and Shiryu's job, not him.
If only Shun, Hyoga, Shiryu, and Ikki were in here…
The chocolate eyed Bronze Saint quickly dismissed the thought.
Ugh, his mind was wondering again.
Really, he must focused back at his task.
His priority was to protect Saori from whoever will come to harm her.
He must find any Saints he can find on his way.
He must hurry.
Once more, the Pegasus warrior burned his Cosmos and running forward.
Seiya was wishing he will not late by the time he comes.
The whole building was shaking quite hardly.
The Athena Chamber was not an exception either.
Both lilac haired girl and the azure haired Scorpio Saint shocked by the mini earthquake.
Alarmed, Milo was staring at Saori who had wide eyes.
"Please wait here!" The azure haired Saint cautioned his stunned Goddess.
He took off and rushing toward the explosion's source.
Milo wondered mentally what that explosion was about.
Arrive just behind the pristine snow colored curtains, Milo pushed on curtain and rushed in.
There, the dull teal eyed Saint witnessed a lone of swirling, purplish orb on the floor.
It wasn't long before the energy orb went dispersed.
Leaving a medium sized hole and partially destroyed red carpet in the middle of the room.
"From the Gemini Temple to this place…Such a powerful attack from such a distance…There's no mistake. This man is…Saga." Milo mused frowningly, looking closer at the medium hole. "I didn't want to believe it but those enemies Cosmos I felt, these were indeed yours!"
Has Saga and the others really turned against Athena?
Milo felt a dread started to rising.
This…This can become very bad.
A pained grunt came from the other side room, below the throne's stairs.
Milo's dull teal colored eyes soon fell on the man's lying form.
"And there is the one who allowed by Athena to fight by Saints' side." Milo added. "Saga's brother, Kanon!"
Laid on the floor was a man around his late twenties. The man was bore the same face as Saga, signaled the fact he was Saga's twin brother. Because they were twin, almost everything about their physical appearances was same. To his eye color that shared the same eye color of lime green as like Saga. Even their height was the same. The only thing which differentiated them was his long hair and his skin. His hair was the color of Cobalt blue, unlike his brother's palatinate blue. His skin also slightly tanned than his older twin brother who has healthy peach skin. He wore a light blue tunic tied with brown leather belt on the waist with white training pants and a pair of Greek style shoes. He had bandage wrapped both on his arms and upper arms. His name was Kanon, the younger twin brother of Gemini Saga. And he just got hit directly by Saga's Galaxian Explosion, in which why the man was lying on the floor, trembling from the pain and the slight injury. There were dust all over his body, caused by Saga's attack. Kanon's face was inflicting painfulness as he gritted his teeth, trying to ignore the hurt.
The azure haired warrior then was climbing down through the stairs.
Approaching the cobalt haired man.
Panting heavily, Kanon tried to arise ever slowly, still hurt from the attack.
"Indeed worthy of being called equal to a God…Saga…You weren't trapped by Gemini's illusion!" Kanon spoke before he once more grunted painfully.
"It seems you weren't greatly wounded. So go away!" The dull teal eyed young man shouted harshly, motioning his hand to get out from the Main Temple.
The cobalt blue haired man thought otherwise however.
Even though Kanon glanced at Milo from the corner of his eyes…
He didn't budge from where he was kneeling against the ground.
He was just stay in there.
Milo narrowed his eyes ever slightly in frown.
"Even if Athena forgave you, do you think that we Gold saints will ever trust you?" Milo asked coldly. "Disappear from this Sanctuary!" Milo said once again.
Kanon only took a glance toward the dull teal eyed Saint.
He was standing up from the cold floor.
"This…" Kanon wasn't finish his sentence but Milo can hear it.
The defiance and rejection within his tone was more than enough.
This man was starting to test the Scorpio Saint's patience.
"If you stay, I, Milo, shall inflict my judgment, Kanon!" The Scorpio Saint's tone was full with warning.
However, Kanon ignored Milo's warning as if he was listening to a wind breeze.
The cobalt blue head man straightened his body.
"Sorry but I can't leave." Kanon replied stubbornly, flinched slightly. "This is where I shall fight!"
Dull teal eyes flashed at the cobalt blue haired man's reply.
"Is that so? Then I shall be your first opponent! I don't need a traitor to have to worry about! I'll make you leave by force! Saga and the others are closing in, there's no time left to lose!" Milo clenched his fist as if to make his point.
Kanon was standing still on his ground, refused to even budge slightly.
He didn't want to leave the Main Temple.
Milo gazed straight at Kanon's back.
Kanon was still not leaving.
He stood in there like a coral rock.
Yet so strong.
It made Milo's frown deepened increasingly.
This man…does this man really want to stay by Athena's side?
"Whatever happens, you shall not part from here, Kanon..." Milo said.
"No." Kanon gave a quick yet unhesitating reply.
He revealed a bit of his previous closed eyes.
"I came to protect Athena." He continued steely.
Anger suddenly written all over the azure haired Saint's face.
"Don't make me laugh! You manipulated Poseidon and let Athena and thousand of innocents endure hell! Who could accept this!?" Milo shouted angrily.
The nail on his forefinger suddenly grew and changed color the red.
In a blink of eye, Milo was shooting Scarlet Needle at the ground between Kanon's feet.
Thus it effectively destroyed the floor with bright red beam.
Yet Kanon wasn't moving just like before.
He stood like a statue.
Milo lowered his Scarlet Needle, now staring sharply.
"I shall not say this again. If you don't want to die, leave this place!"
Lime green eyes grew hardened.
They filled with resolve.
"No. As long as even one of Hades' Specters is still alive, I won't leave!"
Milo's figure suddenly blurred on Kanon's back.
He then appeared before the man, already prepared with Scarlet Needle.
"In this case, take this! The crimson blow," Milo then attacked the cobalt blue haired man.
A crimson flash soon pierced Kanon as Milo dashed passing in light speed.
Kanon let out a strangled scream as he got thrown back by the Scarlet Needle's force.
However, thanks to his training as saint for years, Kanon regained his balance back.
He planted one of his feet to the ground as he was turning around.
Kanon hissing in pain before he fell kneeled to the floor.
As Kanon struggled with the injury, Milo began to speak with his back facing Kanon.
"On the surface, Scarlet Needle inflicts only small wounds, but it also inflicts agony as great as the wound is small. In fact, it inflicts the pain you can't even begin to fathom."
Kanon gritted his teeth as he was arising from the floor.
But Milo wasn't going to let him.
"This blow is clearly like the scorpion's sting and venom!"
The dull teal eyed Saint spun and threw 2 more Scarlet Needles toward Kanon.
They pierced Kanon's body one by one, thus the pain in his body was multiplied become much worse than before.
The cobalt headed man let out a pained scream.
His body thrown to the floor with loud crash, it was leaving a destroyed floor behind the trail.
The azure haired warrior lifted his Scarlet Needle.
"To the one stricken by scarlet Needle, two choices are left." Milo declared. "Mind's death or body's death."
Even though he was in pain, Kanon did try to get up on his feet again.
Milo paid no heed as he explained further.
"And so long as Scorpio Constellation's 15 stars haven't pierced your body, no answer will come."
Kanon put a hand on his knee, searching for support.
With so ever slow movement, he stood up once more.
He was panting slightly from his effort but showing no sign of give up.
"Kanon…Which will you chose?" The dull teal eyed Saint asked. "Death or madness?"
Milo threw more of his crimson beams at the cobalt blue haired man.
More Scarlet Needles mercilessly pierced the younger twin of Saga.
Once more, Kanon got threw and landed on the ground with another crash.
He stayed still for moment.
But not for long.
Soon, his fingers twitched before they were curling up and balling to a fist.
The azure haired warrior was taken aback by this sheer of will.
Numerous questions popped in his mind.
How's this even possible? This was even bizarre to his taste.
'Strange…Why is this man not retaliating? He's taking every blow of the Scarlet Needle without reacting!' Milo thought in bafflement.
Just like the previous events, Kanon was trying to stand up from where he had got thrown.
Even made Milo more incredulous than ever.
'Yet I can feel that Kanon's Cosmos is nearly as strong as Saga's!'
Pushing himself from the floor, Kanon was on sitting position.
Milo gritted his teeth, he doesn't understand.
Why he doesn't fight back?
Kanon was not wearing Gemini Cloth, yes. However he was just as strong as Saga.
It doesn't matter if he wore Gold Cloth or not.
'If we were really fighting, we would be as equals…Or at worst, I might be defeated, I know this! So why!?'
As soon as the last question popped out, Milo got struck by a realization.
He gasped quietly and his dull teal colored eyes widened from the discovery.
'N…No! This man…'
Milo's attention went back as Kanon managed to get up once more.
His stance was limping as ever but he stood none the less.
To say that Milo was speechless was the biggest understatement in the century.
He had fired at least 7 scarlet Needles, Kanon was not supposed to be able to move at this point.
Yet the cobalt haired man stubbornly stood up again and again.
"Milo, what's going on? Go on!" Kanon challenged with a hiss of pain. His whole body was shaking from the immense pain he experienced right now. "Even if I received Scarlet Needle' 15 blows, I still would stand up, for I have no right to die or become insane right now!"
Now Milo was extremely confused.
"But why!?" He asked.
Was he has become insane already!?
"I finally was forgiven by Athena…How could I died without even killed a single enemy?!" Kanon questioned back.
He put his hand above his wound on his chest.
"Go on Milo! Strike with all your strength…!" Kanon shouted. "Go!"
Milo's inner mind was in whirlwind.
'This man…All that he has withstood until now…was to repay his crimes!' Milo narrowed his eyes. 'He would have willingly withstood Scarlet Needle to cleanse himself of his sins!'
Unclenching his hand, Milo finally took a decision.
"Fine. We shall see how long you'll survive…" Milo told the limping Kanon.
Pointing his red colored nail toward the younger twin of Gemini Saint.
The crimson colored nail was glowing ominously.
"Take Scarlet Needle's 15 blows, Kanon!" Milo shouted.
Kanon was in alarm at the sign of the Scarlet Needle.
"UAGH!" Kanon screamed as he collided with the pillar behind him.
He then fell from it, leaving an impressive hole behind.
As if it wasn't enough he hit the floor with loud crash.
Saori, who was following behind, now have seen everything.
She was showing a deep concern for Kanon.
"Milo!" The lilac haired girl called her Saint.
The Scorpio Saint stopped for a while, shifting his body so he can face at Athena.
"Athena! You must not go out, it's dangerous." Milo replied calmly.
"Milo, what are you doing? Didn't I tell you that Kanon repented for his sins and became our ally?" Saori questioned the azure haired Saint. Her tone now was hard. "You can't just know he is evil or not simply by seeing Kanon right now!"
"Pardon me, Athena." The dull teal eyed warrior apologized. "Even if you forgave him, I, Aiolia, Shaka, Mu, and the others…"
Milo soon corrected himself. "No…Every Saint who has survived…None of us can accept Kanon."
Saori's sea green eyes grew softer.
She intertwined her fingers wistfully.
Grunted faintly, the cobalt blue haired man was painfully arising.
"Because of him, a lot of blood was spilled. Even though he said he has changed, we can't trust him blindly." Milo reasoned and spun his body so he was facing Kanon. "If Kanon truly wishes to atone his sins, he must first show himself capable of sacrificing his life."
"No…" Kanon muttered. "Athena…Don't worry."
"Stand up, Kanon. And withstand the 3 remaining blows!" Milo commanded.
Kanon now stood up despite being worn by the injuries.
"Come, Milo." He replied after a brief silence.
Truly, like a scorpion's sting, Milo shot out 2 more Scarlet Needle without hesitation.
Kanon's lime green eyes widened as the 2 shots hit him in less than a second.
Soon the pain became unbearable as it overwhelmed him, made him let out a blood curling scream.
At the same time, blood was flowing freely from all his wounds.
Seeing this scene, Saori was now truly anxious for the younger twin of Gemini Saint.
"Kanon!" The lilac haired Goddess called.
"At last your blood flows. Now you will soon lose your consciousness and your five senses." Milo opened his eyelids slightly. "But for your expiation, you must now receive the final punishment from my hands!"
"The final blow: Antares!" The Scarlet Needle on Milo's forefinger was shining brightly. "Even to one who managed to survive and keep his sanity, Antares brings death."
Milo began to pour his Cosmos, mixing Golden colored Cosmos with the crimson red of his Scarlet Needle.
"Yes, Kanon. Everything shall stop with this. Everything…"
Saori was gazing with wide eyes, realization came to her.
Saori suddenly knew what Milo was actually doing.
"Milo...You…" The lilac haired girl hanged her sentence.
The cobalt headed man managed to get back on his feet.
He was still weak from the blood loss.
He was still suffered from the tortuous pain all over his body.
But he was standing up against the Scorpio Saint.
"Behold scarlet Needle's final blow," Milo shouted.
As Milo delivered final blow, Kanon lifted his head and steeled himself for the oncoming attack.
A heartbeat later, the Main Temple bathed in bright red light from inside the temple.
Just as fast as when the light erupted, it soon died within few seconds, leaving a trail of red mist.
Inside the temple, as the light finally faded away, Milo has his Scarlet Needle stabbed Kanon's chest.
As if nothing happened, the Scorpio warrior pulled back his sharp fingernail and walked away.
Behind him, Kanon soon was falling onto the blood filled floor.
Approaching the standing girl, he kneeled respectfully at his Goddess.
"Athena, I feel Specters' Cosmos coming closer. I must go back to Scorpio Temple." Milo stood up and was going back to his temple.
"Wait, Milo!" The cobalt blue haired man called him. He supported himself with his hands to push away from the floor. "Aren't you worried leaving Athena alone with someone you see as enemy!?"
When the question left Kanon's lips, the azure haired Saint halted his step.
For a moment he just stood in there, before the golden door.
Not turning his gaze away from the door…
With clear voice and quiet yet determined tone, Milo gave him the answer.
"He who is here is no enemy."
Kanon jolted in surprise.
"He who is here is a brother to us, and his name is none other than Gemini Kanon." Milo glanced at Kanon.
A gasp then slipped from Kanon's mouth.
Various emotions came to him.
It was an intense mix of emotions to the point tears began to falling from his lime green eyes.
Finally, Kanon, the younger twin of Saga…
The one who once lost in his way…
The one who once committed a great sin...
Has found his place among the Gold Saints, among the Saints dedicated their life for Athena.
Among his brothers not by blood.
A place he had been once longing.
A place he will be recognize as his own, not Saga's shadow.
A place where he thought only his brother will fit in.
An unreachable place he thought he cannot enter.
A place in where his brother was the light when he was the shadow.
The very fact in which later made him jealous for Saga.
The very fact in which made him started to hate everything.
His brother, the Sanctuary, Athena. Everything.
At last, Kanon found where he was belonging to.
Milo turned back and opened the door before he went out from the room.
Kanon lowered his head, crying silently.
Saori was quietly approaching the crying man.
"Athena." Kanon said without looking at his Goddess, still crying.
His shoulders were shaking from the cry.
"Yes." The white dressed Goddess replied with a gentle smile.
"Milo…His last blow wasn't Antares. It stopped the blood flow!" He told the goddess. "In order to see me as a true Saint, Milo had me withstand scarlet Needle!" Kanon stared at where Milo had gone to.
The sea green eyed girl agreed.
"Yes…As I watched you, I suddenly understood Milo's feelings and Kanon, your feelings."
Meanwhile, as he climbed down the stairs from Main Temple, Milo was contemplating about Kanon.
'So this man is capable of starting over. But in this Holy War against Hades, we will probably both die, you and I…' Milo smirked at this thought. 'I may have only given you a small reprieve.'
With that, the Scorpio warrior continued his way toward his own temple.
He was getting ready for an inevitable fight in near future.
Perhaps getting to know the cobalt blue haired man even for brief moment was not a bad idea.
After being trapped within the labyrinth created by Kanon, the labyrinth finally got broken by Saga.
Thus, allowed both Camus and Shura to get out outside the temple.
They stopped to look back at the Gemini Temple.
"We've passed through Gemini Temple!" The violet-blue eyed warrior said.
"Camus, what happened?" Shura asked, now gazing at his comrade. "It was like we were going around in circles." He admitted.
Camus was facing the dark green haired man, nodding slightly.
"Yes. We might have been lost in the rumored Gemini Labyrinth." He replied.
Shura frowned thoughtfully.
"But if this illusion has been broken and we got out of the Gemini Temple, this means that…"
Saga appeared from inside the temple, thus gained Shura and Camus' attention to him.
Shura spun just in time to see the palatinate haired man walked out.
"Saga!" Shura called him. "Did you defeat the man guarding the Gemini Temple?" The spiky haired warrior asked as Saga stopped walking.
"No, I only dealt him one blow and changed this situation."
With alarm, Shura was back at Camus.
They were gazing each other with mutual understanding.
"Seems like this wasn't just anybody…But who?" Shura was slightly disturbed.
Camus lowered his head slightly in thoughtful manner, humming quietly.
He was also pondering who this person was.
Unnoticed by his other comrades, the revived Gemini Saint's mind was flying at certain younger twin of his.
His bangs covered his eyes thus it made his expression was slightly harder to read.
It was obvious however, that Saga was so surprised to see his brother was actually took his place to guard the Gemini Temple.
He was surprised but he was also in great relief to know this.
'Him…My brother Kanon, protecting Gemini Temple in my stead…' Saga processed this fact. 'Never, even in my dreams…Never would I have imagined this.'
Kanon. His twin brother.
The brother who was long ago voiced his desire to kill Athena.
The brother imprisoned by his own hands.
The brother who was once wanted anything but to become the ruler of the earth?
The same person who used to hate him and the Goddess?
His brother, the very same person he had to imprisoned long time ago…was protecting Gemini Temple?
Saga was indeed surprised.
At the same time however…
The revived Capricorn warrior's voice brought him back from his thought.
Lifting his head, Saga replied at his comrades.
With tears of happiness came from his glassy eyes.
"It's nothing. The Fourth Temple awaits us. Hurry!" Saga soon took a dash toward the next stairs.
Camus and Shura followed him in behind his back.
Saga was crying in happiness as he ran through the stairs.
'Kanon, have you really cast away the evil within you, and awakened to justice? For it is now that everything shall play itself out…' Saga thought.
'Everything…And you'll have to prove yourself through your acts!'
「Place : ?」
「Time : ?」
[I can sense it…]
[I can feel it…]
[I can feel him…]
[He's starting to awaken his memory.]
[How long has it been since that day…?]
[1000 years? 3000 years? Perhaps more?]
[I suppose it doesn't matter…]
[I can't wait any longer…]
[It's been a while…]
[Taken from your true name...as A******.]
My Dearly Beloved.
Be strong, I shall be there.
Always here beside you.
So keep your head held high.
The shadows in this world will try to steal you away into their arms.
But you belong in mine.
We are one within a dream.
So hold me close and count the stars with me.
All our scattered memories…
I will find the pieces one by one.
Dearly Beloved, Cover and English version song.
AmaLee, 13th August 2015.
So finally, the name has revealed. Well, the nickname at least. Yes, Kyrios is the original name I came up for Seiya's past life as Pegasus in Ancient Greek. While Kyrios is stand for 'lord, Lord, and master', the name of Kyrios in this story is actually a cross from word of Latin word 'kyrie' which comes from Greek word 'kreion' (lord, master), and 'ios' which is another spelling for Greek word of 'ion' (violet). So if you pick like this:
Kyrios = Kyrie + Ios
= Kreion + Ios
= Kreion (lord) + Ion (violet)
= Lord Violet
= King of Violet
however, while this is his nickname, his true name is not revealed yet. Perhaps in future but not now. Funny things I found out when I searched for Pegasus' true name in Google:
1. The original name of Ios Island is still unknown because they are many variations. One of them told about how 'Ios' came from 'Ion' which is meaning 'violet flower'. Coincidentally, violets do grow in the countryside every spring in this island.
2. Violet is variation from purple. In Greek, purple is considered as royalty color. Only the king and the aristocrats can wear purple clothes. Sometimes the Greek Gods also painted not to mention described in purple clothes. Since Pegasus' name in this story was 'King of Violet' and violet itself was a variation from purple, it could be meaning the said Pegasus' identity was similar to divine entity. Well, it's not entirely wrong since Pegasus was born from Medusa, the Gorgon or monster and Poseidon, the sea god in most of the stories. Interesting enough, Medusa's name meaning is 'guardian' which probably comes from feminine word of 'medein' which is 'to protect, rule over'. It's kind of funny since 'kyrie' from my story's Kyrios means 'lord' and a lord's duty is supposed to protect his citizens, like noblesse oblige.
3. The village in chapter 2 was actually my made up. Imagine my surprise when they are ruins of village in Ios Island. Its name is Skarkos, located in Kambos, Ios Island. It was built around 2800 years B.C. it placed in hill and I think you can see the huge water body near the modern city from there. What a coincidence.
Some facts around violets. Got these from Google:
1. Folklore says the violet connotes a love that is delicate.
2. Violet is a symbol of faithfulness, a symbol of purity and charm against evil. Blue violet means 'I'll always be true' and signify constancy. White violet is depicting modesty, or the desire to 'take a chance on happiness'. Yellow violet is conveying modest worth.
3. The color violet was named after the purple-blue flower. Purple as a color means royalty and power. Following from that, purple also means confidence.
4. Both Greeks and Romans associated violets with funerals and death.
5. To dream of violets is a promise of advancement in life.
And for the songs I heard when I written this chapter:
1. Theme X (Xenoblade Chronicles X), Sawano Hiroyuki.
2. The way (Xenoblade Chronicles X), Sawano Hiroyuki and Cyuan.
3. Utakata (Final Fantasy Type Next), Chris Ito.
4. Alliez (Aldnoah Zero ED 2), Mika Kobayashi.
5. Keep on keeping on (Aldnoah Zero Ost), Mika Kobayashi.
6. S-ave, Sawano Hiroyuki and Aimer.
7. Last Stardust, Aimer.
8. Uncontrollable (Xenoblade Chronicles X), Sawano Hiroyuki and Mika Kobayashi and mpi.
9. Dearly Beloved Cover, AmaLee.
See you next time!