Here is the final chapter of my first Dai-Guard story (and, also the first and sadly only one on - yay! Although I know it was a rather unusual story for Dai-Guard, I hope that you all liked it, and thank you so much for those who have read and to those who have reviewed! I really appreciate it. Currently, I'm in the middle of a sequel, so the first chapter of that one should be up in a few days.
Anyway, without further delay, here is the end of the Forever. Enjoy!
Chapter 8: Forever
On Monday morning, Saeki Toru prepared himself for another working day, waking up at six o'clock in the morning. His weekend had been rather uneventful, save for the mini-explosion Yuki caused on the fire escape on Saturday afternoon, but Saeki was just grateful that the horrendous phieker and the flood that came with it was finally gone from his bedroom that he couldn't really complain. However, he was really hoping to hear back from Amaya, but she never contacted him. He even tried calling her apartment on Sunday, and after the fifth consecutive call, Kimiko finally got the nerve to pick up the phone only to tell him she hadn't returned yet. Still, Saeki was looking forward to the new work week, as it would give him something to do that would distract him from thoughts of Oshida and his inevitable role in destroying the universe.
After showering and dressing, Saeki greeted Yuki in the living room, who sat watching the television in amazement. "I've never seen anything like this before, Toru," the young prince said, eyes fixated on the screen.
Saeki shrugged. "It's just a television."
"It's the greatest magic I've ever seen!" Yuki exclaimed. "And all this time I kept wondering why you had a strange black box in here for."
"Well, it's not really magic," Saeki explained, "It's just images fed through a satellite up in space." When Yuki looked up at him and blinked in confusion, Saeki sighed and simply said, "Never mind…"
"Anyhow, I kind of feel bad, though, spying on these people's lives, you know? Especially because I don't really know who they are. You must know them, though, since you obviously set the box up to view these specific individuals, right?"
Saeki cringed, but didn't know where to begin in terms of explaining to the naïve Gorgese prince what actors and television shows were. So, instead he answered, "Uh, sure…"
"That's what I thought," Yuki smiled. "Some powerful sorcerers in Moro can do stuff like that, but they usually use cauldrons instead – no one ever thought about using a box before! Still, it's too bad that you can't get this thing to show you where Oshida is, huh?"
"Yeah, I guess," Saeki frowned and glanced down at his watch, which already read seven o'clock. "I've got to get going, otherwise I'll be late for work."
"Okay, Toru," Yuki wished him farewell as Saeki put on his coat, "Have a good day!"
"You too," Saeki replied, as he walked out the door, "I'll see you this evening."
As he left his apartment building at 7:05, his mother called, as she always did. Reluctantly, Saeki flipped open his cell phone and said, "Hello, mother…no, it's not that I'm not happy to hear from you…of course, I'm happy to hear from you…I didn't mean to sound like that…I'm sorry, mother…it has nothing to do with you, mother…I guess I'm just tired…yes, I'm getting enough sleep…I'm sorry, mother…yes, mother…I will, mother…sorry, mother…no, mother… I'll try harder…sorry, mother…" Saeki managed to get across the street and at last said as he entered his usual cafe, "I'm sorry, but I've got to go now…no, it's not that I don't want to talk to you…why would you think that?…of course, I look forward to your phone calls…okay, mother…sorry, mother…I know, mother…bye, mother." With a sigh, he closed his cell phone and stuck it back in his pocket.
"She still hassling you?" the owner, Takehiko Murata, greeted him with a warm laugh.
"Yes, unfortunately," Saeki answered, walking to the counter and taking his regular seat at the fourth stool.
"Please," Saeki replied, adding, "Thank you," as Taekhiko walked to the back to fetch his meal. Saeki took a moment to glance around the empty café and thought, I don't even know why I bothered to order anything; I don't even feel like eating.
With five minutes to seven thirty, Takehiko emerged from the back and placed the plate in front of Saeki, "Here you go."
Saeki looked down at the breakfast with surprise; instead of the usual cup of coffee and two pieces of toast, there was a large glass of mi nylk, some steamed rice, miso soup, eggs, and a stack of pancakes. "Takehiko, this isn't my usual breakfast," he told him with perplexity.
"Oh, it isn't, Saeki?"
"No, I haven't had a meal like this since my mother used to make it for me when I was a kid…"
"But it was your favorite back then, wasn't it?"
"Yes, but – " Saeki looked up at Takehiko and questioned, "How do you know that?"
"Because, I've been watching you your whole life," Takehiko answered, "Prince Toru of Aphinia." The middle-aged man smirked and Saeki's eyes widened in terrified realization. The two were quiet, with only the unexpected interruption of Saeki's ringing cell phone breaking the silence.
"It can't be," Saeki stammered after a few moments, ignoring his phone completely, "You couldn't be – "
"That's right, Toru," Takehiko continued to smile, his eyes no longer warm and friendly, but twisted and dark as his plain clothes changed into black garments, "I am Oshida. And today is the day in which we will see the end together."
With much frustration, Shirota threw his cell phone down on the passenger seat of the car he was driving. Damn it, Saeki, he thought, what are you doing? He had tried to call Saeki six times to try and let him know that there was a heterodyne spotting in a town about sixty miles from Tokyo and that he was on his way to pick him up and take him to where a helicopter waited to transport them to the site. However, his subordinate had not bothered to pick up and so Shirota had no choice but to show up at his apartment unannounced.
Turning on the radio to listen to the breaking news reports on the heterodyne, Shirota made a right and began heading down another city street. As soon as he was, he reached out for his cell phone and flipped it open once more, but this time he did not bother calling Saeki again. "Hello, Oosugi, this is Shirota," he said, "I am on my way to pick up Saeki, and we'll be there shortly. However, the rest of you should go on ahead in case we encounter any other unexpected delays."
"Understood," Chief Oosugi said on the other line. "See you soon, Shirota."
Shirota hung up the phone and with much annoyance, he once again tried to dial Saeki.
Amaya arrived at Twenty First Century Defense Security at a quarter to eight, looking very frantic as she entered the lobby. Anxiously, she scanned her surroundings, but there were no signs of Saeki. However, to her surprise, she was spotted by Kimiko, who ran over to her and enthusiastically greeted her, "Oh, Amaya! Where have you been? I've got so much to tell you! Do you know that Kenji is from Aphinia, too?"
"Not now, Princess Kimiko," Amaya answered. "I need to find Prince Toru."
"Why?" Kimiko now questioned with concern.
"I just returned from Moro and – today's the day that was foretold."
"It can't be!" Kimiko cried, "Are you sure?"
"Yes. It took me a few days to confirm it, but I am sure," Amaya stated, before asking, "Now, where is Prince Toru?"
"I don't know," Kimiko replied worriedly, "I was waiting here for him myself, but I suppose he went to deal with one of those hetero-things…"
"Then that's where we're going," Amaya told her, "Come on."
"As soon as I felt you be taken from Moro, I knew I had to follow you. It was easy to trick those fools into believing they had killed me, and quite convenient. Then all I had to do was wait, wait until for this day to come," Oshida explained as he now approached Saeki, who slowly backed away. "Don't look so surprised, Toru. Surely you've already heard how powerful and wise I am."
"But I don't understand," Saeki tried desperately to reason, "Why would anyone want to destroy everything?"
Oshida chuckled scornfully. "Of course you wouldn't understand. Tell me, prince, do you know what it's like to live forever?"
"Forever," Oshida repeated, drawing closer to the trembling Saeki. He then elaborated, "To never see the end, to live one dull day after the other and just be so bored with it all? To constantly long for something new?"
"But then why not just kill yourself?" Saeki asked, "Why do you have to hurt everyone else?"
"If only it was so simple," Oshida answered, "But I am an immortal, Toru, so I cannot be killed. Yet, this apocalypse will finally set me free. Don't you see now? Can't you understand? I must be free, Toru, I must be free to die."
"But it doesn't make sense," Saeki rationalized with a shaking voice, "There has to be someway to reverse it, doesn't there? I mean, if you made yourself immortal, why can't you just make yourself mortal again?"
Oshida smirked a bit. "I guess I've always been a bit selfish that way, Toru. You see, I cannot stand the thought of others living if I have to die. And as much as I hate this pathetic existence, I cannot let it go knowing it will continue on without me. So this is really the only way." He then reached out and grabbed Saeki's wrist, his fingers digging into Saeki's flesh. "But we've talked enough. Destiny awaits us both."
A white light slowly began to come from Oshida and started to spread, surrounding both he and Saeki, as well as the rest of the interior of the café. As it did, though, a befuddled but irritated Shirota entered the coffee shop, with a worried Yuki behind him. "Saeki – " the special agent began but he never got the chance to finish. Both he and the young teenage prince were swallowed up in the light along with Saeki and Oshida.
Amaya and Kimiko appeared suddenly at the heterodyne sighting, amidst a thick cloud of gray smoke that quickly dissipated. A few yards away from them, Dai-Guard was being prepared for combat, at so their paranormal arrival went undetected. Immediately, Amaya ran toward the location of Public Relations Division Two, Kimiko close behind, but to her disappointment she did not see Saeki anywhere. However, noticing Kenji, she ran over to him, and asked urgently, "Kenji, have you seen Prince Toru? It's very important!"
Kenji shook his head. "No, I haven't seen him at all this morning, and he was supposed to be here by now with Shirota. Nobody can get in contact with either of them."
"Oh, no," Amaya gasped, "That means Oshida must have already..." Narrowing her eyes, she firmly declared, "We have to get to him now."
"But how?" Kimiko wondered worriedly, "Do you know where he is?"
"No," Amaya admitted, closing her eyes tightly. "And I can't feel anything, either."
"Well, maybe the Guild knows where he is and they'll go and help him," Kenji offered hopefully.
"All they'll try to do is kill Prince Toru," Amaya countered and Kenji frowned.
"This is terrible!" Kimiko now cried, "My poor Prince Toru!"
Unexpectedly, the three heard someone clear her throat nearby. All of them turned to see Domeki stand with her arms crossed just a couple feet away. "It looks to me that you could use my help," she stated, pushing up her glasses. "You see, over the last few days, I've been following a very peculiar, very strong wave pattern in Tokyo very closely. However, at around seven thirty this morning, the force intensified before it disappeared completely from this plane of existence at approximately seven forty seven - with Saeki."
"Oshida," Amaya muttered. "Do you know where they went?"
"Of course," Domeki answered pompously. "They went back to the place you call Moro."
"Then that's where I'm going," Amaya prepared to transport herself back to her home world.
"Hold on a second," Domeki stopped her. "It's important that you know that I'm currently detecting misleading wave patterns in your dimension, which seem to indicate that the peculiar energy force I've been tracking is now in two places at the same time, apparently in an attempt to make it difficult for your people to pinpoint its exact location."
"But then how is Amaya supposed to know where to find my Prince Toru?" Kimiko asked.
"Never fear!" Domeki assured, "None of this paranormal activity is strong enough to beat out the power of science nor can it trump my incredible genius!" She sort of laughed maniacally before explaining, "Despite his trickery, I've been able to latch onto the direct source of all these wave patterns. Now, granted, I've only just begun probing into your dimension, so I can offer you a rough estimate, but I believe that you'll find Saeki and this Oshida at a very high altitude."
"A very high altitude?" Amaya repeated, and suggested, "Well, there's the Temple of the Elders, but then the whole Guild would have already gotten to them by now."
"Unlikely," Domeki said, "My computers didn't detect the presence of very many other life forces."
"Oh, I know!" Kimiko exclaimed with excitement, "Mount Yuwel! It's the highest natural point in all of Moro and really very, very creepy. They have to be there!"
Amaya nodded resolutely. "Right."
"Wait!" Kimiko latched onto the knight's arm, "I'm coming with you."
"It's too dangerous, Princess Kimiko," Amaya answered.
"I don't care," Kimiko retorted. "Prince Toru is my fiancée, and I would feel terrible if I didn't at least try to protect him. Please, Amaya!"
"I'd like to come as well," Kenji spoke up. "Saeki's my friend. It would be wrong for me to turn my back on him now."
"All right," Amaya conceded and a cloud of gray smoke began twirling around them.
"Good luck," Domeki wished them farewell, watching with satisfaction as they disappeared. Cocking her head to the side, she then though aloud, "I get the strangest feeling that I'm forgetting something..."
"Hey smoochies," Sumida suddenly said, approaching her with a big metal chest in his hands, "here's the box you asked me to bring to you. What do you need it for anyway?"
Domeki frowned immediately as her eyes looked back at where Amaya, Kimiko, and Kenji had stood moments before. "Oh, damn..."
Saeki looked down from the top of Mount Yuwel with much fear, the land so far away, it was almost impossible to make out. The wind was harsh, making it hard for Saeki to even keep his balance as it blew against him, his hair and clothes moving with it. Floating around the tall, jagged mountain, were thin, black clouds, which spiraled around the peak. Terrified, Saeki stepped back from the rocky edge, his heart pounding rapidly in his chest.
"Welcome, Prince Toru," Oshida shouted over the whistling wind, "To the Sacred Altar atop Mount Yuwel!" Saeki glanced over his shoulder to see Oshida standing by what looked like a stone table. "It is here were we shall start the end!"
Unexpectedly, Saeki heard a groan to his right and looked over to see Shirota, kneeling on the ground. As he regained himself, the special agent rose to his feet and questioned, "What is going on here?"
Oshida glared at him and he let out a short chortle. "How pitiful..."
Desperate for answers, Shirota turned to Saeki and called to him, "Saeki, what is all this? Who is this man?"
"Shirota..." Saeki trailed off quietly, lost for words as he stared at his superior with guilt in his eyes. Panicking, he yelled, "Shirota, you have to get out of here! Hurry!"
"It's no use, Toru," Oshida grinned wildly, walking toward Saeki. "It makes no difference where he is – today is the day when all life comes to an end!"
Shirota immediately tensed as he watched the threatening Oshida approach Saeki. Stepping forward, he ordered, "Don't go near him."
Oshida snapped his head sharply to his left and gave a cruel smirk. Then, outreaching his left arm, he blasted out a large, black, energy sphere which collided with Shirota and caused him to go flying into the hard rock of the mountain, cracking it slightly. Shirota slid to the ground of the mountain ledge, slumping as he fell into unconsciousness.
"Shirota!" Saeki exclaimed, going to run to him, but Oshida quickly took a hold of Saeki's wrists.
"Enough, Toru!" Oshida snapped. "Don't you see how hopeless it is? The Guild of Moro is on their way to the edge of the world," he laughed scathingly, "I've tricked them all into thinking that's where we are. By the time they figure it out, it will be too late."
'Please," Saeki begged, tears coming to his eyes, "Please, I don't want to do this..."
"I'm afraid you don't have a choice," Oshida informed him with a callous smile.
It was then that Amaya emerged from a cloud of gray smoke, wearing her shiny silver armor and clutching to her long sword. "Get your hands off Prince Toru!" she grunted as she charged forward.
Oshida pushed Saeki to the ground and moved to his right to dodge her attack. Snickering, he said, "Well, well, well. I'm surprised you found us here. Still," he held out his hand, a sword appearing in it, "We have a few moments until we must begin the ritual. I will take pleasure in killing you." Narrowing his eyes at Amaya, Oshida then went rushing for her.
Meanwhile, Saeki moaned, rubbing his right elbow and forearm, which he had landed on. As he did, Kimiko embraced him, gushing, "Oh, I'm so happy you're okay, Prince Toru!"
"Kimiko," Saeki said with much surprise, and then noticed Kenji kneeling on his other side, "and Hattori..."
"We came to help," Kenji explained, adding with a frown, "Although, I don't know how."
Spotting Yuki lying still a couple yards away, Kimiko at once broke away from Saeki and exclaimed, "Yuki!" Rising to her feet, she pushed against the wind to get to him, crying, "Wake up, Yuki! Please wake up!"
At the same time, Amaya was struggling greatly as she fought Oshida, who moved with ease. "You fight well for what you are," he remarked patronizingly, "But you must know it's useless. This had already been fortold."
Spitting out a bit of blood, Amaya sneered, "I don't believe in destiny."
Oshida chuckled as the knight ran toward him. Without any difficulty, he grabbed her sword with his right arm when it was just inches away from piercing him and yanked it from her hand, tossing it aside. With this, Amaya came stumbling forward and he took a hold of her left arm. Then, he grabbed her throat with his right hand and slowly lifted her off the ground, holding her face closely to his. "As amusing as you have been, I'm afraid we're finished here. How foolish you must be to think you could fight an immortal." He laughed, his fingers tightening around her neck as she struggled to breathe. Yet, she soon grew limper and Oshida tossed her aside, her body skidding across the rocky ledge, coming dangerously close to the edge. With a grin, Oshida then turned around to stare down at Saeki, a dark glint in his eye.
Public Relations Division Two, having finished defeating the heterodyne, were packing up there equipment as they prepared to leave the site and return back to their office. "Man," Aoyama said, "I can't believe both Saeki and Shirota didn't show up."
"Yeah," Ibuki remarked. "I wonder what could have held them up."
"Maybe there was a traffic accident," Nakahara suggested.
"But why would neither of them pick up their phones?" Ooyama asked.
Nakahara frowned. "I don't know..."
'This whole thing's too weird!" Tanigawa exclaimed suddenly. "I mean, it was already weird because of Saeki, but now Shirota, too!"
"Maybe it's the end of the world," Irie muttered.
"Ack, no!" Tanigawa retorted, "That's just morbid!"
"Perhaps it's just special military business," Yokozawa offered, "and they just couldn't tell us about it because it's confidential."
"Yes," Ibuki agreed with relief, "that must be it. At least someone is trying to make sense."
"That still doesn't explain all the weird stuff that's been going on with Saeki," Aoyama pointed out.
Ishizuka nodded. "Aoyama's right. I mean, there were all those strange guys that showed up out of nowhere the other day..."
"And that crazy story about the car accident," Tanguchi pointed out.
"Bus accident," Aoyama corrected.
"Right, bus accident," Tanguchi repeated.
"Not to mention, that beautiful woman that thinks she's Saeki's fiancée," Ijyuuin added with a smile.
"She wasn't that pretty," Tanigawa snapped, crossing her arms.
"And does anyone remember when Saeki showed up that one night late and he claimed he was attacked by somebody on a flying horse?" Ooyama asked.
"Oh yeah," they all recalled, each of them pondering the incident from almost two weeks earlier.
"Hey everyone," Chief Oosugi interrupted, "Has anyone seen Hattori?" The office workers all glanced around, shrugging in response. "Hmm, I wonder where he could have gone off too..." their boss trailed off, walking away in the hopes to find him.
"This is just great!" Tanigawa declared, "Now Hattori's missing, too?!"
"There's no need to get hysterical," Ibuki commented, "Maybe he just went to look for Saeki or something."
"Still, that guy is pretty weird, too," Aoyama said thoughtfully.
"I don't know, though," Nakahara spoke up again, "He seemed kind of different recently, and I think he even referred to Saeki as just 'Saeki' yesterday afternoon."
"Really?" Ooyama inquired, the whole group looking rather surprised at this revelation, and Nakahara nodded. "Hmm."
"Hey, I know!" Tanigawa excitedly jumped up, "I bet he was sick of being Saeki's slave, so he went ahead and did him in! He must have kidnapped Shirota, too!"
"And that's any less morbid than it being the end of the world?" Irie mumbled to herself.
'That's just ridiculous!" Ibuki argued, "Hattori didn't kill Saeki!"
"You know, now that Tanigawa says it, it does make sense," Aoyama reasoned, "I mean, it's not like any of us really know this Hattori. And it would explain why all of them are missing."
"And so would Yokozawa's explanation!" Ibuki countered.
As the group began to break into an argument, Akagi, who had been listening to the conversation, let out a troubled sigh and glanced away. I hope Saeki and Shirota are okay, he thought as the sight of Domeki and Sumida seemingly squabbling a short distance away caught his attention, huh?
"It's no big deal, Sumida!" Domeki yelled at him.
"Yes it is!" Sumida shouted back. "I didn't think we should get involved in any of this in the first place! It's all too weird!"
"Stop being such a coward," Domeki pressed, "After all, I'm giving you the opportunity to be the first person from this world to ever experience inter-dimensional travel!"
"Well, you can keep your opportunity," Sumida snapped, "Besides, how do I know if that transporter thing will even work right?"
"Because," Domeki crossed her arms and pushed up her glasses, the morning sunlight reflecting off the lenses, "I invented it."
"Uh, excuse me," Akagi interrupted. "Domeki, do you have a minute?"
"What is it?" Domeki demanded impatiently.
"It's just that, well, nobody knows what happened to Shirota and Saeki," Akagi explained, "And I have the strangest feeling that you might know what's going on. Well?" Sumida and Domeki exchanged glances as Saeki awaited an answer, before Sumida cringed and Domeki let out a nervous laugh.
A short time later, Akagi, Sumida, and Domeki were all in Sumida's parked van, Domeki in the passenger seat with a laptop open on her lap. Sumida sat in the driver's seat, looking annoyed out the window, and Akagi leaned over from the back seat to view Domeki's laptop. "So, there you have it," Domeki concluded, "Saeki is really from another dimension and what we've been experiencing lately is paranormal activity from people crossing over from his world into our own."
"Wow," Akagi said, relaxing in his seat. "Who would have thought...but, where are they now, Domeki?"
"Right now, they're all back in Moro," Domeki informed him, "facing the very powerful energy force that I've been studying for several days." She frowned. "Unfortunately, if I'm reading this data correctly, it doesn't look very good. The wave patterns from Amaya seem to have significantly decreased, and I don't detect any other strong auras that might counter this Oshida. And as Amaya was Saeki's only line of defense..."
As Domeki trailed off, Akagi clenched his fists and determinedly stated, "I want to help, Domeki! Isn't there anything I can do?"
Domeki smirked, her eyes hidden by the reflection of her computer screen in her glasses. "Well, there is one thing..."
Oshida had knocked aside Kenji effortlessly and had lifted Saeki off the ground by the collar of his shirt, dragging him toward the Sacred Altar. "No, please!" Kimiko weeped, staying by her brother's side, "Please, please, don't hurt my Prince Toru! I beg you!" Oshida, however, ignored her, and pulled Saeki up the stone steps and knelt him before the altar, his back facing the edge of the mountain. Oshida then placed Saeki's arms against the flat surface of the holy table. Two cuffs suddenly appeared around Saeki's wrists, chaining them to the altar. With tearing eyes, Saeki looked up at Oshida, completely petrified.
"The time has finally come, Toru," Oshida told him, "just as it had been foretold!" His eyes then grew red, and he began to chant intensely in a language that Saeki did not recognize, nor could he understand. Desperately, Saeki struggled to free his arms, yanking them so feverously that he caused the cuffs to cut through his skin. Around him, the wind became stronger and faster, whipping harshly against his skin like razor blades, and dark red clouds formed, rumbling with thunder as lighting lit up the blackened sky. Horrified, Saeki watched as the cuts on his wrists now deepened and extended up his wrists, blood trickling down his arms and forming a glowing puddle on the stone altar. At once, Saeki, cried out in pain, tears streaming down his eyes, as his whole body weakened, his chained up arms the only thing to keep him from completely collapsing to the ground.
"Stop it!" Kimiko shrieked through sobs, trying her best to stand, but finding it difficult with the storm. "Please, stop!" She attempted to walk forward, but found her body thrown against the mountain's side, which she barely was able to use to keep from falling down completely. "Please..." She broke into uncontrollable hysterics, as she watched Saeki's blood drip like a fountain down the sides of the altar table. As she did, she suddenly noticed a white light. "Huh?"
She glanced to her left to see that Yuki was awake, standing just inches away from her. However, his eyes were completely white and his whole being was radiating with a strange, warm light. "Yuki...?" Kimiko hesitantly asked through sniffles. He did not answer her; instead he was fixated on the chanting Oshida and recited what sounded like a spell. Bands of white light suddenly wrapped themselves around Oshida, pulling him back against the mountain face and interrupting his chanting. As a result, the storm seemed to calm slightly and Saeki's arms ceased their bleeding, although Saeki remained crumbled in intense pain.
Oshida narrowed his fierce eyes at Yuki and muttered, "Clever boy..." Great darkness then came from within Oshida, which crushed the white bands of light that had momentarily been holding him. "Your power is no match for my own. There is no way you'll be able to kill me."
"This might be true," Yuki replied, his voice distant, "but I must try."
Immediately, Kimiko's eyes widened. "Yuki, no!" she screamed as she watched a large ball of fire form in the palm of Yuki's right hand. She went to stop him, but it was too late, the flames spiraling toward the Oshida. However, at the last moment, Oshida created a red shield to protect himself, it blocking the fire attack. "Yuki, what are you doing?" Kimiko asked, "He'll kill you!"
"It is the only way," Yuki answered knowingly, his voice still remote. He then shot another sphere of fire toward Oshida, but the immortal man stopped it once more, and sent his own ball of dark light at Yuki.
In the meantime, Amaya slowly regained consciousness, her eyes opening to peer down at Moro from the great height of the top of Mount Yuwel. At once, she felt nausea and instinctively pulled herself away from the edge. Crawling to her knees, she managed to get to her feet and wobble a bit forward, swaying in the wind. Her eyes adjusting, she made out Saeki kneeling at the Sacred Altar and could see Oshida combating with Yuki. "Prince Toru," she mumbled, "I must save Prince Toru..." She walked forward, staggering a bit and still very dazed. After a few strides, she stopped and looked down to see that she had stepped on her sword.
At the same time, Oshida had cornered Yuki, who had passed out on the ground, all his energy drained from him. Oshida's eyes burned as he glared down at the smaller teenage boy. "What a shame," Oshida laughed, "And you tried so hard too..."
"No, please," Kimiko pleaded, crying even worse than before, "Please don't kill Yuki! Please, he's only a boy! Have mercy..."
Oshida smirked cruelly, the large ball of darkness intensifying in his palm. "I don't believe in mercy."
It was then that Amaya stabbed Oshida in the back, digging her sword all the way through his body and causing his dark sphere to vanish. After a moment of the initial shock, though, Oshida was fuming, and pulled the sword from his back and holding it in his hand. He then spun around to see a nervous Amaya standing as resolutely as she could before him, while Kimiko immediately ran to Yuki's side. "You truly are a fool!" Oshida raged, "You still think you can kill me even though I am immortal? Nothing can kill me! Don't you get it?"
Amaya began backing away from the angry Oshida toward the Sacred Altar that Saeki still remained helplessly chained to. "I don't care," she managed to choke out. "I promised Saeki I would protect him. I promised him he would live..."
Oshida chuckled viciously and slapped Amaya, sending her flying a few feet back, where she landed inches away from Saeki's feet. He then returned to his place opposite Saeki and began to chant once more. As soon as he did, the storm grew worse once more, and the cuts on Saeki's arms grew even worse, Saeki crying out due to the almost unbearable pain.
In a web of electricity, Akagi suddenly appeared on the windy ledge of Mount Yuwel. He looked around anxiously to try and get a grasp on the situation. Soon, his eyes fell on the Sacred Altar, where he saw Saeki doubled over, blood coming from his arms, while Oshida hovered over him as he chanted, his eyes glowing red. "Saeki," he called as he started to run forward, but his voice was lost in the deafening wind and roaring thunder. He then noticed Amaya, who was gradually waking up again and struggling to her feet. With all his might, he shouted, "Amaya!" and tossed her the long, metal spear he was holding in his hands.
Amaya immediately snapped to attention and automatically grabbed the strange looking spear and was on her feet. Simultaneously, Oshida grinned madly, and exclaimed, "It's almost done, Toru! The end is almost here!" He then resumed his chanting, preparing to complete the final part of the apocalyptic incantation. However, Amaya, beaten, exhausted, and filled with anger, came from Oshida's behind and plunged the spear into his back, although this time it did not go all the way through his body. Oshida's face twisted up with rage, a murderous glint to his eyes.
Urgently, Akagi yelled, "Push the button, Amaya! The button!"
While Oshida prepared to turn around and face her, Amaya quickly obeyed Akagi's instructions and pressed the oval, blue button on the spear's handle. As soon as she did, Oshida crumbled immediately, his body turning cold and lifeless; the invincible immortal was dead.
The storm ceased and the sky slowly cleared, although the wind remained strong. Saeki's wounds began to heal as the cuffs chaining him to the altar disappeared. For a few moments, Amaya stood over Oshida's corpse, breathing heavily, but she then hurried to Saeki's side and asked, "Prince Toru, are you all right?"
"I think so..." he managed to say, his face still wet with tears and dirt.
Amaya then glanced over at Akagi, who had run over to them, deeply concerned. "How did you get here?"
"Domeki," Akagi explained, "She wanted me to bring you that spear. She said she designed it especially to destroy the energy force she had been following." Smiling, he added, "I'm sure she'll be glad to hear it worked."
"Yes," Amaya agreed.
Meanwhile, Kenji woke up, rubbing his head as he sat up and asked himself, "Is it over?" Spotting Akagi, Amaya, and Saeki, he began to head over to them.
At the same time, Kimiko had helped Yuki, who was rather confused, to his feet. The two also walked over to where the rest were, Kimiko falling to her knees and hugging Saeki. "I'm so glad you're all right, Prince Toru! I was so worried!"
"Thanks..." Saeki trailed off awkwardly as her embrace grew tighter.
"Don't you ever do anything like that again!" she then ordered through tears.
"He can't, even if he wanted to," Amaya informed Kimiko, "The next time they'll be a window for the apocalypse is nine hundred eighty four years from now."
"Oh, how wonderful!" Kimiko exclaimed, squeezing onto Saeki more.
"Um, can we go home now?" Kenji asked hopefully.
Amaya nodded. "Yes."
"Uh, but what about Mr. Shirota?" Yuki then inquired, and the group looked over with frowns to see Shirota still lying unconscious a few feet away.
A couple hours later, Shirota awoke with a groan to find himself back on Earth, lying on the couch in Saeki's living area. What happened? he wondered.
"Look everyone," Akagi said, "Shirota's awake!" Akagi then turned to Shirota and asked, "Are you feeling all right?"
"My head hurts..." he mumbled, before saying. "I just had the strangest dream. I was on this mountain and Saeki," he pointed to his subordinate, "you were there. You too," he added, gesturing to Yuki.
"Wow, that was some dream you had, Shirota," Akagi lied, although it was pretty obvious, so much so that Saeki let out a moan.
"Yes," Shirota agreed with suspicion, and then questioned, "But why am I here?"
"You tripped and fell, Mr. Shirota, when you came by looking for Toru this morning," Yuki answered. "You must have bumped your head really hard."
"I did – " Shirota started, but instead asked, "Wait, what about the heterodyne sighting?"
"Don't worry," Akagi replied, "Team Dai-Guard took care of that!"
"Oh..." Shirota trailed off. "What about you Saeki? Why weren't you picking up your phone when I called you?"
"He broke it!" Kenji chimed in.
Shirota frowned, still very skeptical. However, before he could ask another question, Kimiko stepped forward and said, "Now, now, Mr. Shirota, you need to still be resting, especially after a fall like that!"
"But I feel – " Shirota tried to protest.
"No buts," Kimiko cut in. "Now lie your head back and let me go fetch you another ice pack, all right? And I want you to stay lying down just like that. - don't strain yourself! And no unnecessary talking, otherwise you'll only make it worse!"
Saeki let out a sigh of relief now that Kimiko had successfully distracted Shirota from grilling him anymore. As he did, Amaya walked over to him and stood next to him. Smugly, she said, "See, I told you to trust me. Didn't I take care of everything?"
"Well, Domeki did help," Saeki pointed out, "But, well, thanks, Amaya – for keeping your promise." The two exchanged smiles.
The next morning, Saeki arrived at work at fifteen minutes to eight, his taxi cab dropping him off at the front of the building. The events of the previous day seemed so far away and surreal to Saeki, especially compared to the ordinary day that was now facing him. Not to mention, he had found the evening strangely difficult once they had all at last left his apartment; he knew that it had been goodbye and that they would all parting ways. It's better that they all go back to Moro, he reasoned, I mean, I only knew them all for a couple weeks, anyway, and they were all more trouble than they were worth. Saeki then let out a sigh of relief as he entered Twenty First Century Defense Security's main office building and thought, At least things will finally go back to normal...
Yet to his surprise, straight a head of him was Amaya, sitting at the reception desk. "What are you doing here?" he demanded as soon as he reached her.
"Don't be snippy, Prince Toru," Amaya replied. "After all, if you remember, I was forced to resign as a Knight of the Guild of Moro to protect you. The least you could do is show a little gratitude."
"I am grateful," Saeki said half-heartedly, before questioning, "but why do you have to be here?"
"Well, since I'm both unemployed and disgraced in Moro, I figured I might as well start a new life on Earth. It can't be too difficult, seeing how you somehow managed. Besides, once you get used to indoor heating, televisions, and microwaves, there's really no way to go back."
"Good morning, my dear Prince Toru!" Saeki unexpectedly heard Kimiko's voice from behind him.
Letting out a startled cry, Saeki spun around to see the Princess of Gorgia, along with her younger brother, who was dressed in a high school uniform. "You're here, too?" He asked flabbergasted. Kimiko grinned and held up the newly printed ID card hanging around her neck. "Public Relations Division One...?" Saeki read. "Wait, you work here?"
"That's right!" Kimiko exclaimed happily. "As it turns out, the President of the company kept noticing me hanging around and when he found out I wasn't actually employed here, he offered me a job! I'm the new face of Twenty First Century Defense Security!"
"Well, they did need someone to replace Susumu eventually," Amaya reminded Saeki.
"Oh, and the director of Division One is so kind," Kimiko beamed, "He even introduced me to this guy...what was his name again? What was it...? Agent! Now I remember. Anyway, Agent believes that I have the potential to be a super role model, which is obvious, given that I am the Princess of Gorgia. He even arranged for me to do something called a 'photo shoot' - whatever that means - for the whole Universe!"
"You mean Universe, as in the popular fashion magazine?" Saeki questioned in disbelief.
"What's a fashion magazine?" Kimiko blinked with confusion and Saeki groaned.
"Stop acting so distraught, Prince Toru," Amaya stated, "You should be happy – how many guys can say that there fiancée's a model? Seriously, you need to learn to look on the bright side of life."
"I am but," Saeki interrupted himself when he noticed Yuki again. "And why are you dressed like that?"
"I start high school today," The prince merrily answered.
"You're going to high school?" Saeki asked.
"Yes," Yuki confirmed. "It's not too far up in the sky, though, is it?"
"No, it's not – never mind," Saeki didn't bother to explain. "But why are you going there?"
"Domeki suggested it," Yuki informed him. "And I thought that it could help me. You see, I don't think I'll ever be good enough to join the mystic priests if I continue training as I have been, but I thought, if I could get the knack of some of this impressive Earth magic, then I'm sure to be ordained once I turn seventeen!"
"I would just like to say, I still don't approve," Kimiko declared. "But there really is no reasoning with him, and I know that you'll keep a good eye on him, won't you, my sweet Prince Toru?"
"Keep an eye on him...?"
"He'll still be staying with you, of course," Kimiko informed.
"Wait, I never agreed to that!" Saeki protested.
"You didn't the first time either," Amaya pointed out.
"But what about your Kingdom?" Saeki tried to reason. "Who will rule Gorgia with you both gone?"
Kimiko laughed. "Don't be silly, Prince Toru! Mommy and Daddy have at least forty more years!"
Saeki frowned and turned to Amaya, "Will you help me out! Surely you can see what a bad idea this is. They'll never be able to survive here!"
Amaya shrugged. "I don't know. At least it will be amusing seeing them try to adapt to life here on Earth, right?"
"Good morning, Saeki," someone interjected from behind.
"Not you too," Saeki said once he turned around to see his greeter, Hattori Kenji. "How am I not surprised? But, hold on a minute - I thought you said you wanted to finally go out on your own and travel some?"
"I had wanted to. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I was still obligated to the military for almost four more years..." Kenji frowned with dismay.
"Oh," Saeki muttered. Then, after a moment's thought, he exclaimed, "So, wait, does that mean, you're all staying?"
"Looks like it," Amaya answered. "But I need to actually work now, so..."
"And I have to get ready before they put me in front of the caramel," Kimiko said happily. Putting a finger to her chin, she then thought aloud, "I wonder how someone prepares to eat the caramel. Do you know, my dear Prince Toru?"
"Do you mean the camera?" Saeki corrected her.
"Hmm, maybe that's what they said..." Jumping excitedly, she then squealed, "Oh, I can't wait! I'll see you at lunch, my Prince Toru! And behave yourself, Yuki." With a wave, she spun around and hurried for the elevator.
"Bye, everyone," Yuki wished them all farewell, too, "Wish me luck!" He also waved, and headed toward the building's exit.
Hattori sighed. "We better get going, too, Saeki," he said, adding, "To think, I was almost free of a life of servitude, and still those damn monks find a way to trap me..." He began to walk away to meet Kimiko by the elevator.
Saeki frowned and glanced down at Amaya, who only offered him a shrug as she was already on the telephone. Seeing that she would be no help, he slowly followed after Hattori.
"Hey, Saeki," Akagi suddenly greeted Saeki, catching up to him. "I just want you to know, your secret's safe with me."
"Besides, if I tried to tell anyone, they'd probably think I was crazy," Akagi let out a good-natured laugh, and went on, "Still, the whole thing is kind of hard to believe."
"Yeah," Saeki agreed, "I guess it is."
The four entered the elevator, the elevator taking them up to Public Relations Division Two's floor. The three men got off, Kimiko staying on as Division One was a few levels higher. They walked down the hall and went to enter Division Two's office, but Shirota stopped them. "Saeki, can I speak to you for a moment?"
"Oh, uh, sure..." Saeki complied, as Hattori and Akagi left the two alone in the corridor. "How are you feeling, Shirota? Is your head better?"
"It's fine," Shirota answered curtly. "Listen, Saeki, I don't know what happened yesterday, but – well, let's just start fresh, okay?"
"Fresh?" Saeki repeated, surprised.
"Yes," Shirota reiterated, "Obviously, something has been going on in your personal life, but that's none of my business, just as long as you promise to not let it interfere with your work anymore, all right?"
"Of course, Shirota," Saeki immediately blurted out, "I promise."
"Okay then..." Shirota trailed off. "I should be in my office for the rest of the morning, if you need anything." Sharply he turned around and walked away. As he watched him leave, Saeki's smile soon turned into a frown. How am I going to keep that promise with them all staying here? he thought miserably. Sighing, Saeki decided not to worry about what may or may not happen as a result of his new friends. Instead, he entered the office of Public Relations Division Two, ready to begin yet another work day, suddenly feeling very grateful for it, no matter how ordinary it would inevitably turn out to be.