This hopefully will be the last chapter
I really didn't mean to kill Lance off. It just kind of happened that way. Phantomness sweatdrops!
Disclaimer: I don't own pokemon or Fushigi Yuugi.
Chapter 15: Ashes
"Misty! You're safe!" Brock said warmly, as they hugged like there was no tomorrow.
"We must summon Suzaku now." Misty said. "There is no time to get back to Konan. I have the Shinzaho."
Koga double-checked and sure enough, it was verified.
And so, they began the ceremony.
It was over soon enough, the phoenix against the sky.
It had finally come…
"Three wishes." Suzaku told Misty. "Call Kai-jin, to use my power." Without another word, the phoenix merged with her.
Misty nodded, still feeling heady and lightheaded from excitement.
"Kaijin! Send Ashline us back to our world, and Brock also. Do not let her re-enter this world!"
There was a bright flash of light, and the wish was granted.
Brock stared in disbelief at the strange new world before him. "No way…"
It was different, but at the same time… how wonderful…
And Misty by his side…
Timeline: 1 day, real world…
It had not been a pleasant surprise when she had found herself in her room, still dressed in ancient Chinese miko garb, and without any of her seishi.
It made sense, though.
Ash resisted the urge to break into hysterical laughter. So Misty wished me out of the book! Smart move, now I can never get those wishes and save Kutou. I tried! I really tried, Lance-chan, and we could have done it if Miboshi hadn't betrayed us! We were so close to victory and yet so far away, and now it has all gone to waste. And what of the rest of the seishi? Ashitare… you're still a child at heart and can't fight, I hope Aya and Suboshi and Morty can take care of you… perhaps you'll be a family now I'm gone, but whom am I kidding? I was Kutou's hope and I couldn't help them! Some priestess! And now he's gone, sacrificed his life for me and I can't do anything!
She was jolted out of these miserable thoughts by a faint blue glow, pulsating. Puzzled, Ashline looked at herself, but she wasn't glowing.
"I most likely don't have Seiryuu's power anymore, do I?"
Calming down, which took several long moments, she focused.
Yes… it was still there, a tiny spark of blue light in the dark abyss of her soul… waiting…. Waiting… perhaps it would grow stronger.
"But if I'm Seiryuu's miko, and if he can call me back… then I just need to find that book."
With that thought in mind, Ashline quickly ran to the library, ignoring the strange looks and wolf whistles from the male populace.
Back in Sailo…
Morty's eyes glowed, and then they were back in Kutou.
"If the priestess returns it shall be here." He said without preamble. Then, he collapsed.
Aya quickly whipped up some healing potions for him. After all, he had just drained off an insane amount of chi to pull off that teleportation.
Suboshi held Ashitare as she waited, and hoped, for Ashline to return.
"No, not here either…" Ashline said. "Where is that book?" She had been fruitlessly searching the library for hours.
"Looking for this?" A cruel voice jeered.
Ashline turned, and saw Brock grinning, with Misty behind him.
"You know, Ash, as much as we're friends, I don't think the situation will work out." Misty said amiably. "So…let's just forget this whole fiasco, shall we? It's just a dream after all. And we don't live in dreams, do we?"
Ash's eyes widened in horror as Misty pulled a cigarette lighter out, flicked the switch, and set the parchment on fire.
Brock grabbed her arms as she tried to put the flames out. "Useless."
Misty laughed. "There now, let's go back to being friends and everything will be all right. Come on, Brock."
Ash could only stare at the literal 'ashes' that remained.
The next thing she knew was a burning pain in her chest before she slumped forwards.
Pain and cold and loss and tears and silence…
It was death and connection and pain and sorrow, because true or not, she was still a miko.
She didn't wake up, when the librarian found her the next morning. And it was until a week later that she finally woke from the 'sleep'.
A cold rage washed over her, perhaps aided by the remnants of Seiryuu's power, perhaps not.
And the necklace at her throat pulsed, the silver dragon dangling from a chain of fine steel.
Yes, she knew what it was.
And it was time to get back into practice, and make the Suzaku pay.
The book was gone, so there was no way to return to that world.
But in this world, there was no one to help Misty and Brock either.
A faint smile crossed her face. She would play the good student role for two more months and then finish what she should have done in the book.
"I'll never fail you, Lance-chan… you did everything for me…"
T-minus 1.9 months
"What do you want?" Misty asked. Unlike her predictions, her friendship with Ash had dissolved.
Even with the book gone, it was impossible to go back to being just good friends. Too much had transpired in between, even though it was only a day or so in the real world.
The coldness and bleak gaze of the girl caused many whispered rumors, but no one knew for sure.
"It's time." Ashline whispered. From her fingers dangled a necklace on a fine chain of silver. "The book is gone too…so you can't change the future."
"What are you talking about!"
"You broke my happiness twice… so I'll break yours."
With a flash, Ash threw the necklace forwards. It glowed bluely, extending into an intrinsically carved wooden lance, studded with sapphires, gilded with gold, the blade razor-sharp.
"Not really, but…" With practiced ease, she took the blade in her slender hands and lunged at Misty. "It kept me occupied. You know dead seishi can talk?"
"Possibly, but you drove me to it. Killing all of my poor, poor seishi, except Miboshi, he was a traitor, but it's okay, he got what he deserved."
"Amiboshi was the first," Ashline continued, as the lance swung in a wide arc, tripping Misty and earning her a shallow gash on the leg. "I saw how he died, Suboshi and Morty and I, and it wasn't pretty, but at least that death I could have understood. War isn't pretty, after all."
"Lance-chan… he was my everything." Ash continued, as Misty screamed. The blade continued its relentless dive, shattering.
"But he's still here with me," she giggled. The blade gleamed, its surface marred by splotches of red.
Ash idly wondered why Brock wasn't here to protect his beloved, but if this was divine justice, she could deal with it.
If Seiryuu was helping as his own measure of revenge, so much the better!
"And of course, the others all died when you burned the book…" She continued. "Suboshi… Tomo… Soi… Ashitare…"
"You didn't have to kill Ashitare! She was just a little kitten!"
The blade swung down in one final arc.
"You ruined their lives, all of theirs. And you destroyed a country's hope. I hope you burn in the afterlife, because that's all you deserve."
Ash casually flicked the blood off as she turned the lance back into a necklace. "Thank you for everything, Lance-chan, Seiryuu, everyone. Now there's only one left."
Brock came up running, he had been all the way across town and had to deal with traffic to arrive.
With a wordless roar, he took in the scene before him and charged.
He didn't have much of a chance, blindly charging was never good.
"So pretty…" The little voice mocked, dancing on the wind. "So pretty. And now, it's time to go home. Because neither of us can win, can't you see it?"
Yes! You can imagine what happens to Ash yourself… my, I didn't expect this to happen but it wrote itself. Anyways, enjoy!
Bows and exits
Started 3/25/04, completed 4/25/04