Here I am

Ever since the Tournament had ended, Manta spent more and more of his time thinking about everything that had happened and had written down everything he remembered, as if in a chronicles of events.

Manta was very good at this, taking that he was the only one to do this job (almost) impartially. Tao Ren would have probably written a ballad to praise his own achievements. Manta of course insisted on Yoh's role, but the others were there too.

Manta closed his book. One more day and he'd finish it. He was at the final part – the terrible showdown between Yoh and Hao and how Yoh lost his soul for a few minutes. But it was too late to finish on that night. He would continue the next day.

Walking slowly back at his bed, Manta sent a smile and a goodnight back at his guardian spirit, Mosuke. Those two were getting along fine and their connection was more power every day; once Yoh had said that he didn't know if he and Amidamaru or Manta and Mosuke we stronger. Of course, Anna had whacked him in the head afterwards.

The next day, Manta decided to take the book and his laptop down by the lake to finish it.

He hadn't known that all this time, a pair of brown eyes had been following, but he still had a strange and uncomfortable reaction.

The first time he had felt it was when the teacher had brought him at the table to give him a grade – for the only lesson he hadn't learned. Yes, it had been pretty nasty. Manta shriveled at the thought.

And then, something else came into his mind.

"Manta baka!" a soft voice, yet full of personality, a voice from the past that belonged to that girl that Hao was so fond of.

Manta shook his head and began to write.

Time passed and Manta finished his chronicles. He stretched and put everything back at its place.

Then, Mosuke's face popped up from somewhere behind him.

"Master, we're being followed" he transmitted telepathically.

"I know" Manta responded in the same way. "By a shaman"

Wind blew from the nearby trees, right through his hair. Manta put his laptop in Oversoul position and waited.

The bushes in front of him moved. The last thing he would think about expected. Opacho was running with the speed of light towards him, tears going down her cheeks.

Manta was shocked and he didn't know what to do.

Opacho's right hand was glowing red, and Manta knew it. Oversoul. (AN: Opacho chose to use a different kind of Oversoul, a more powerful one, now that Hao is gone and there's no one to protect him anymore)

"Mosuke, into the laptop!" Manta yelled and threw himself in a side, as Opacho's attack barely missed him by inches.

"Manta baka!" she yelled. "THIS is all your fault!"

"Excuse me?" Manta was surprised. What was his fault?

He dodged another one and another one…yes, his skills were improving. Opacho couldn't keep up with him and Mosuke, although her furioku was really high now. Manta was so good…but how could he fight like that? Manta wasn't a shaman. Or was he?

"Your fault! Hao! Everything! Manta and his stupid friends, Opacho will have her revenge!"

Manta chuckled silently at Opacho's last words. Revenge. Yeah, right! Opacho was so furious that Manta didn't even have to dodge too much to avoid being hit.

Soon, Opacho's power wore off whereas Manta hadn't used any of his attacks. The girl fell on her knees and broke down. Sobbing, crying.

"Opacho hates herself for leaving Hao that day. Opacho was afraid and she left her friend in need. Manta's baka friends killed Opacho's Hao-sama. But she can't kill even the baka ningen, Manta." There, her whispers stopped.

Manta took Mosuke out and walked up to Opacho.

Quickly he wrapped his arms around the girl.

"I'm sorry I cause you pain, Opacho. But Hao had to be defeated"

"Not killed! Hao-sama was good to Opacho!"

"We didn't see another way. Hao was too powerful to be simply defeated. At first, we didn't want to do it either, but we were left with no choice"

"Opacho hates Manta-baka"

"I don't blame you. I hated you too when Hao killed Yoh-kun you were standing on that high column watching the show"

"If Manta-san hates me, he should kill me"

"I said DID. Past tense, you know? I don't hate you anymore" Manta smiled sadly and took Opacho closer to his chest.

"Cry all you want, Opacho-chan. I'm here for you"

Something calling from deep inside me,

A voice I knew but I could not hear.

For so long I have tried to hide me,

Couldn't see that you were so near.

Opacho pushed him a little bit. She was not accustomed to this…hug. She wasn't used to seeing people showing her affection.

You know me,

You show me,

Everything that I really am and,

You see me,

You gave me strength enough to say.

"Manta-san can let Opacho go now" the girl said weakly.

"Does Opacho really want me to let her go?" Manta asked with a soft voice.

Opacho's cheeks reddened.

"O-Opacho doesn't know what she wants"

"Then, Opacho should accept being hugged. Because she needs affection more that everything" Manta answered.

"Opacho doesn't like what Manta-san is doing to her"

Here I am

Ready for your love

Here I am

I'll never run away

I have made my connection,

Seen my reflection in you.

So here I am.

"What am I doing to you?" Manta said smiling innocently.

"Manta is hugging Opacho like he cares about her"

"Maybe I do" Manta answered.

"But Opacho is…"

Living under a lonely shadow,

I have seen from the other side.

Hope will shine from a single candle,

Leaving all of the pain behind.

"Opacho is what?"

"Opacho is not crying anymore" she said.

Here I am

Ready for your love

Here I am

I'll never run away

I have made my connection,

Seen my reflection in you.

So here I am.

"If Hao-sama were here, he'd punish Opacho severely" she said

"Why? What you're doing now isn't wrong"

"Opacho thinks she likes Manta-baka"

"Manta-baka feels the same way" he answered.

Opacho chuckled and laughed. Manta caressed her hair slowly and Opacho leaned against his shoulder.

"Opacho couldn't stop thinking about Manta-baka" she said. "Manta is there with her in her dreams. But Opacho didn't think Manta will be there for her in the reality"

"Really? You were dreaming about me?"

Opacho lowered her head ashamed.

"Opacho thinks she's in love with Manta-san. Fallen for the enemy" she sighed

Manta laughed and she lifted her head surprised.

"Is Manta-baka mocking Opacho?"

"No!"

Never leave me,

You complete me.

I finally know who I love,

I love you

I love you

"I like you, Opacho. Even though I didn't think of you as much as you did"

Opacho smiled.

"You have such a pretty smile, Opacho"

Manta leaned in and kissed Opacho on a cheek.

"Your smile defeated me and disarmed me in every possible way" he whispered.

Opacho blushed again and put her arms around Manta's neck.

Here I am,

(Calling from deep inside me,

reaching out for my hand)

Here I am,

(Coming from deep inside me,

knowing that who I am)

Here I am

Ready for you love

Here I am

I'll never run away

I have made my connection,

Seen my reflection in you,

Finally here I am.

(Calling from deep inside me,

reaching out for my hand)

Here I am,

(Coming from deep inside me,

knowing that who I am)

I am.

"Come on" Manta said.

"Where are we going?" Opacho asked.

"It's a secret" he said laughing.

"What kind of…"

"Are you hungry?"

"Very hungry" she admitted.

"We'll go have lunch!" Manta said

"Where?"

"Somewhere I don't think you've been before"

"Yoh-sama's house?" Opacho asked scared.

"No. You'll see!" he said dragging Opacho with him.

I have made my connection,

Seen my reflection in you,

So here I am

"MacDonald's!"

Opacho went inside surprised to see all the children having fun there and smiled.

"Is this paradise?"

"It will be today" he said holding her hand.