As the End Draws Near…

We are running up the Angel's Gate towards our final showdown with Noir and the Dark Prince. My heart is racing; I know that my life will end when this is all over and am afraid. But this is what must be done; I must fulfill my duty as Maiden of Light. The Goddess Poitreene will take me into her care after that. My destiny was always meant to be to die in this battle. I know that I might have been misunderstood at times. However, I did not want to ruin the morale of our band by telling them that there was no possible way to save me from the fate of my own death.

But what worries me more will be the remainder of my reserve. This is a tall tower and we have to deal with Noir, and I know that his power is like that of a mighty Demon Lord. Who knows what will be left to destroy the Dark Prince when we finish that fight? My strength might be only enough for one small attack with Holy energy; only one real chance to kill him for good.

If Croix is still unconscious, then there are three possibilities that exist if I launch an attack. First, if all goes well, I could destroy him completely and end the threat for good. Second, he could be awakened by the sensation of Light, break free and fight back; his power might be greater than my remaining reserves, I could be killed and he would awaken his full power again. Third, he could completely awaken when my Miracle is cast; killing me by breaking the seal.

That's only the best case scenario if he is actually asleep when I finish. But if Croix has awoken…I shudder to think about how it might turn out. I may not even get a chance to attack before our battered team is torn to shreds. After all, the entire team will suffer at best minor injury when we assault Noir in his chambers. And none of them have the abilities to call forth large scale Miracles that might help us. If only there was another way; a way for someone else to fight and destroy the Dark Prince. What other options do I, no, do we as a team, have to fight with?

Prier! She nearly got through to Croix that time on the mountain. And it was after hitting her in Couscous that he regained his senses the first time; he had transformed in his anger over her being captured. Not only that, but he seemed ashamed and did not want her to even see him in that state. He even got distracted by her words at the Church; making him easier to fight with. I know how Prier feels about Croix; she loves him deeply. And he began to see new love in Prier after losing Angelique. Their feelings might very well be the key to stopping the Dark Prince.

I must be careful then, save enough strength to transport Prier into Criox's heart so that she might cleanse it of darkness. If her love is pure and strong enough, then he will respond. Though I will die no matter what, I do have a way to save another's life. Prier is like a sister to me; I will help her to be happy. Perhaps the cleansing of the Dark Prince was the will of the Goddess all along. That might very well be why I survived when my fellow Maidens were all killed in battle.

S. . .S

At last, Noir is dead. Prier, though angry with him for all the things he has done, though mad that he took the Croix she loved from her, even prayed for his soul. I guess she's finally taking her job as a Sister of the Goddess seriously. She also refuses to give up on Croix; she wants to find a way to save him no matter what. I will have to make my suggestion known to her.

Culotte is afraid for me; he knows my reserves are low. But I remind him that I would have died anyway; this is the only way we are able to attain victory. I listen as they all vow to lend whatever they can to protect me from dying. The words of my friends comfort me; I know that I will not die alone, nor will I in vain. It is very different now than it was 50 years earlier.

I was surprised though to see Prier begin to cry. She has always been a strong girl who kept her emotions inside of her in order to not show weakness to others. Even after Croix was taken from her the first time, she did not cry; she did the worse thing and kept her feelings bottled up inside of her until her heart was heavy with pain and sorrow. But Prier is also a person who cares greatly for her friends. I guess the fact that I never saw her deal with imminent death was why I never saw this side of her before; there was no need to really bring it out at any other time.

The Miracle is performed and Prier is transported away from us into Croix's heart. Fatigue washes over me as I fall to the floor; my power depleted in the spell's conclusion. The cold embrace of death begins to consume me; I have precious little time left in my life. But before I can fade away, before my life is at its close, I tell them everything…all that I have thought. They need to know how I feel and why I am able to die so easily…why I have given it for another's.

I speak of the ways I could have used my last Miracle; the pros and cons of each risk. But the blind luck of an attack was not comforting to me and so I would rely on the strength in Prier's heart. As I close my eyes one last time, I can see the tears on the faces of my friends; the people who showed me such happiness in the last two years of my life. Culotte kneels at my side and holds my hand. And the last thing I ever hear in my lifetime is him whispering my name…

S. . .S

Death…it feels quite warm; not the coldness that I had felt on the floor of Angel's Gate. I can hear Prier calling out for my advice. She is feeling that she'll never get through to him. But I remind her to tell him the truth, and Angelique reminds her that she's the only one who can do this. I watch as Prier helps Croix to return to his true self, and how they fight as one to destroy the darkness that has enveloped his heart. The final attack she uses is their combination attack; Hidden Talon. And by the love inside of their hearts for one another destroys the being at last.

I watch them as they all take leave of the tower; each leaning on one another for support. They are all friends; my friends. Now I know that I can rest in peace. Though I am gone, their friendship will remain, and now the world is at peace once more. I watch Prier as she helps Croix; who still hasn't recovered completely from Noir's earlier attack. The smile on her face is reward enough now. And to know that I helped her to find the strength in her has warmed my heart.

"Goodbye, my friends," I whisper, "May your days be long and happy…"

Teefa's Last Words...

Well, a little seriousness from me in my first La Pucelle fic. Since Alouette is the one who thinks things through before acting, it only made sense that the idea to send Prier into Croix's heart wasn't just a spur of the moment decision. And the Hidden Talon thing was regret that during the battle, Igo, "Ok! Most powerful attacks right now! Redemption! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh…let's just see what other skills Croix has; since he never had them in the regular game." I'm going to go back and do it again one time for the sole fact of seeing Sacrifice and I'll do it that time.