Grey Liliy here yet again! Two more chapters to go and this story is finished!
The chapters are rather short, but it's still exciting to be close to the end after all these years. Let's go!
Gat picked up his chair and moved it closer to the table, sitting just behind Hazel and Sanzo to be closer to the group. Hazel scoots over to give him more room and turns toward him and Sanzo with a pleased face.
Goku, too, leaned over the table with wide eyes eager to hear the rest.
"As Sanzo stated, the Evil Queen declares that she has prepared a trap for the Heroes," Gat said, holding his hands up. He choose to be a man of few words, but that did not mean he couldn't tell a good story. "She was right."
"I bet you a month's worth of smokes he makes Zelha the hero," Gojyo mock-whispered to Hakkai.
"Now see here! Gat's mighty fond of that there Go—Kugo lad. He'll respect that and tell the story properly," Hazel said, smacking his hand on the table. It rattled his tea cup and he huffed. "Go on now, Gat. Tell it as you please."
"Thank you," Gat said. He smiled and cleared his throat. "As I was saying, the Evil Queen of the East had prepared a trap."
With a snap of the Queen's finger, hundreds of monsters crawled out from the floor. They broke the tile and clawed their way to the surface.
"Where are they all coming from?"
"She's resurrecting the dead," Zelha said, taking a step closer to Toga. Upon a closer look, it was easy to tell that the warped forms had once been human. "These are all the folks the Queen has killed and buried during her evil reign."
"Then we'll have to put them back to rest," Zosan said. "Are you ready, Kugo?"
Kugo held his breath as he saw the many fallen rise.
"Oh, oh! Are any of them from Kugo's village?" Goku asked, sucking in his breath. "The Evil Queen destroyed his home so they would count, right? Does he have to kill his old friends again?"
Gat paused and glanced at the others in the room.
Hakkai gave a nod from behind Goku's back and Gat cleared his throat.
"Yes, Kugo recognized many of the resurrected dead."
"That must have made fighting them hard." Goku said. He looked around the table. "I don't know if I could fight my friends if that happened to 'em."
Gat glanced at Hazel and huffed. "You could. If putting them to rest again was better than letting them suffer, you could do it."
"Besides, it's just moving bodies," Sanzo said. "It's not like there's a soul in it."
Hazel swallowed and tapped his finger on his thigh. "Depends on how you do it."
Sanzo glared at him.
"In this case," Gat said. "It's just empty bodies."
"Oh, that would make it easier." Goku sat back. "What happened next?"
"I guess there's no holding back now," Zosan said. She opened her bag and pulled out a gun. "I'll take the left."
Kaiha clapped her hands together and pulled them apart to create a beam of energy. "Then I suppose I'll have the right."
"South is good for me," Jyogo said, getting her fire breath ready with a new wave of smoke "That leaves the North for Kugo. Do you two spies have a direction?"
"We'll clean up whatever you miss," Zelha said. "Won't we, Toga?"
Zelha and Toga pulled out matching handguns and stood in the center of the group.
Gojyo groaned and Goku looked over his shoulder at the watersprite. The man slumped into his seat and whispered, "Too on the nose."
Goku looked back at Gat who shrugged and continued to describe the fight as the group tore through the zombies. As he spoke, Goku noted their fighting styles were pretty familiar to ones that he already knew.
"What an exciting fight," Hazel said. He glanced around the room at the group and emphasized his next words. "Look at them all working together. I'm sure our group could learn a lesson from that, too."
"We are never working with you." Gojyo kicked the table again. "You are leaving as soon as we get out of his cabin."
"Oh, you never know! We could keep traveling together, just like the folks in the story that are setting such a nice example."
"Shut up and let Gat finish the story," Sanzo said. "I'm tired of your voices."
Hazel put a hand over his mouth and shrugged with a grin, and Gat went back to describing the group of very familiar heroes.
Goku shook his head and went back to listening.
One by one, the dead were defeated and returned to the grave. With every dead body lost, the Queen screamed in anger. The group made their way closer and closer. She had nowhere to run with her doors locked and the large party at her heels.
All of her best minions had been defeated on the journey.
There was no one left to protect her.
"Your evil stops here!" Kugo shouted, punching the last of her raised victims to the ground. "No one will ever suffer by your hand again."
"No! I am the supreme evil!" The Queen shouted. Her voice shrieked and echoed in the empty room. "I am power! I will never be defeated by the likes—"
A bullet cut her off, landing in the wall near her head.
"Shut up," Zosan said, cocking the gun again. "Your voice is irritating."
Gat may have been too obvious with that one. Goku had scrunched his nose together after that last one. The young one might finally being putting it together what was going on in their story.
That may be for the best.
Games were only fun when you included everyone.
"Let's take her out together," Kugo said at the front of the group. "One last shot with all of our powers."
"I'm not sure bullets count as powers, but I'll be happy to help!" Zelha said, laughing. "What about you, Toga and Miss. Zosan?"
"It'll be good insurance."
"Enough talk! It's time for this lady to burn!" Jyogo shouted, leaving a puff of fire from her mouth. "Let's go!"
The group charged the Evil Queen with all of their weapons and wits ready.
Goku figured it out.
He had sort of got a hint of what was going on when Hazel slipped on Kugo's name, but as Gat kept describing everyone fighting the queen and thinking back about the way everyone had been acting about the characters in the story—it was pretty obvious.
It wasn't Goku's fault he'd taken so long to get it, though!
It'd been a good story and he wanted to know more about everyone!
Which also made sense. Goku loved learning new things about his friends, and in a way—he'd found out even more as they tried to describe or defend their fictional counterparts.
Like Gojyo. He could be insecure, so of course he wanted to make sure that everyone knew Jyogo was hot and attractive. Hazel wanted to date Sanzo, so he made sure the fake Zelha could date the fake Sanzo.
(And it made Goku wonder if Sanzo liked Hazel more than he thought since he didn't fight it all that much…)
Goku shook his head.
Sanzo probably hadn't paid attention.
Sanzo had tried so very hard to make sure the story was kind to Goku. He didn't like showing his soft side to Goku in the real world. He had an image to maintain and his own feelings to protect. But Zosan? She could dote on Kugo all she wanted.
Goku found himself smiling more and more as Gat continued to finish the fight, capturing the attention of everyone in the room. He gave everyone their moment to shine in the fight (with maybe Zelha getting a bit more attention than the others as Gojyo predicted, but he did keep Kugo as the star).
It was a good story.
He wanted to hear more.
"With that final blow," Gat said, raising his hand high. "The Evil Queen of the East found herself helpless on the floor."
"Please, spare me!" The Evil Queen shouted. "You don't have to do this!"
"No." Kugo said, his eyes watering. "I really do."
He struck the final blow and the Evil Queen went still.
"It's done," Zosan said. She put her gun away in her purse and sat on the ground, dumping her bag next to her. "Good job, Kugo."
The group allowed themselves to rest for the first time in years. The Evil Queen of the East had been defeated, but there was a long way to go to clean up the damage she had caused—but that could wait for another day.
For now, they were allowed their rest.
"The end," Gat said. He put his hands in his lap and tilted his head. "How was that?"
"Beautiful, Gat," Hazel said, touching a handkerchief to the side of his eye. "Simply wonderful."
"A lovely ending," Hakkai said. "I'm glad you remembered the ending."
"Me, too," Gojyo added. He kicked the table. "What about you, your highness?"
"I can only hope every story has a chance to end that well," Sanzo said. He closed his eyes and smiled. "Gat should write that one down and add it to the collection."
"Wait!" Goku said, standing up. He slammed both hands on the table. Goku shook his head back and forth and a determined look crossed his face. "I remember this story now! And it's not over yet!"
"You remembered the story, huh?" Gojyo asked. He licked his lip. "After it's been finished?"
"Yes! And I like I said, it's not over!" Goku said. "There's still that thing that goes at the end of stories to go!"
"An epilogue?" Hakkai offered.
"What is it then, monkey?" Sanzo asked. He leaned back and crossed one leg over the other. "That you want to share?"
"You're gonna' like it," Goku said, holding up a fist. He sucked in a breath and smiled bright on his exhale. "I guarantee it."