Well folks, here is the final chapter. I think I may actually shed a tear. This has been my baby, but I am very proud to have finally finished. Thank you so much to all of my reviewers of last chapter: CleverPhoenix, imma-pink-buble, ash1692, Rangerapprentice, and gemgemchan, and thank you so much to all of you who have stuck through this story despite how long it has taken. I promised I would finish so here you all go! Please enjoy:
Italics Bitbeast's talking.
Disclaimer: I do not own Beyblade or any of its characters.
Chapter 33: Resolution (Epilogue)
One year later
No matter where in the world you go, all confinement cells sound the same. The echo of footsteps off the cement walls and steel bars still raise the hairs on my neck because of its familiarity. The constant drip of leaking water that can never be found still makes shivers run down my spine as if I can feel the cold dankness of the walls and floor. These are much nicer than the cells of the abbey, but nonetheless they are similar.
The sudden thought brings a slanted grin to Kai's face, revealing his confliction as whether to smile or not.
Turning the corner, he stops in front of the only prison cell in this hallway. He nods to the guard that he personally hired to watch this door, signaling him to unlatch it.
The inside of the cell is shadowed, but the silhouette of a man sitting at a table is clearly visible.
As Kai enters, the guard shuts the door behind him allowing the two men privacy. Approaching the table, Kai sits himself opposite the man in front of him and observes a chess set between them. It is already ready for play, set up as if Kai was expected.
The man glances up at Kai, down at the board, moves a pawn, and then nods in Kai's direction. This action infuriates Kai for a reason he cannot place.
"I didn't come here to play games." He keeps his voice short and controlled, surprised at how quickly his anger can sneak up on him. He had been planning this visit for months, putting it off for fear of the pain and fury it would cause him. But time was running out, and he knew this needed to be done.
"Of course you didn't, Kai. Playing games is beneath us. This however, is a test of strategy and intelligence. Aren't you up for one last challenge between the two of us, grandson?"
"Do not call me that. You know very well that I was never that to you. Your pawn, your tool, but never your grandson."
Voltaire remained with his eyes focused on the chess board. "Yes. Yes you are quite right. But where I'm at right now, Kai, your blood is the only thing I have left to call my own. So forgive me if I get…nostalgic." The old man let out an ironic laugh that resembled more of a pained moan. It was pathetic to hear and even made Kai grimace at the sound of it.
"And think of this game as my last wish, Kai. My last request of you."
Kai set his face to stone and after a moment's thought he leaned over and moved a pawn.
"Boris is dead. He was killed two days ago."
Kai's mind flashed back to the medical room where Boris's execution took place. The smell of disinfectant, the sight of the needle, and the anger that Boris would die so painlessly were still all vividly present in Kai's mind. Only Kai, Tala, Bryan, Spencer, and Ian had attended the execution. Kai had ordered everyone else to remain at home. This was their moment that they needed. More than any of them, it was the moment Tala needed. Boris had tortured and tormented Tala more than any other boy in the abbey, violating him in ways no other prisoner ever had to suffer through. This execution was Tala's victory and his freedom.
Kai thought of the way the red head had stood plastered to the glass dividing Boris from them, and how he had stood shouting obscenities and taunts at the purple-haired man. Then when the needle was prepared, he grew silent. If a feather dropped in the room at that time then everyone would have easily heard it.
Kai remembered the way Tala had grabbed Kai's hand right as they injected the lethal toxin, and how Tala's hand tightened around his as Boris started thrashing and screaming and the doctor started panicking and scrambling around for the label of the toxin.
He remembered the smirk that grew on the wolf's face as Boris's eyes locked onto his as his mouth began to foam. He remembered the nod and tiny wave the red head gave to Boris right before his heart monitor flat-lined and the man's body went still. And he remembered the way Tala had fallen into his arms after that and began sobbing with relief and joy that his tormentor was finally dead.
"Yes I heard the news," said Voltaire, breaking Kai out of his reverie. "I heard that his execution did not go as smoothly as the law intends. I had figured such a thing would happen, which is precisely the reason I am choosing a firing squad instead. I suppose it was that dog of yours that switched the injection with some form of acid." Voltaire moved another of his pawns.
Kai let a small smile slip onto his face. The wolf had indeed switched the toxins to ensure that Boris died a very painful death, an action Bryan later regretted not thinking of himself.
"Boris got what he deserved, just like you will get yours," Kai replied. He slid his knight to claim one of Voltaire's pawns.
'Tsk tsk, Kai. Do you really think Russia will be better without me? I kept boys off the streets, I single-handedly rebuilt the nation's economy, and I have provided technology to propel Russia into the future. If I'm getting what I deserve then I should get a statue erected in my honor! When those jurors condemned me to death, they condemned this country to death. All you've done Kai is betrayed your family and your country. You have disgraced the Hiwatari name and you will soon lead Hiwatari Enterprises and this country into ruin because of what you've done." With a deep grunt Voltaire claimed Kai's knight and knocked the piece loudly to the floor. Kai sensed the man's growing anger, and well aware of his own he knew a fight was about to ensue.
"You may have saved this country financially, Voltaire, but you have ruined its spirit and its people. You've made them live in fear that their sons will be taken and never return. You've killed and you've stolen and you've sold Russia over to mobsters and the black market. You are not a martyr, Voltaire you are a villain! You are the traitor to this country and you, plainer than the fact that I am sitting here, are a traitor to your family! Even when I was given the chance I did not kill you, yet you took the lives of both your son and daughter-in-law, and I know for a fact you would take my life now if you could! You deserve the death you are getting tomorrow, but it is because it is just, not because of any betrayal!"
Kai's breathing was harder now. The doctor had told him that despite his healing he would continue to have difficulty breathing for the rest of his life due to the damage to his lungs. He didn't care now though. This was the final time he would ever see this man, and he wanted to tell him everything he had to say.
"Look at me." The old man's eyes continued to stay glued to the chess board.
"I said look at me, Voltaire!" The demand was a controlled demand and held such threat that the gray man did in fact look up, albeit grudgingly.
"I can barely stomach looking at you right now, but I came here today because I want you to know everything before you die tomorrow. I destroyed Biovolt the moment the papers were approved, and the main base, as well as the other locations around the world are now merely cinderblock in a landfill. After your trial Hiwatari Enterprises sunk to an all time low in stock because of the way you tarnished its name, but because of the new beyblade facilities HE created, it has in fact risen to again take the place as Russia's leading financial empire. Facilities which are being led in fact by that dog you mentioned earlier. This company will not die under my power but will rebuild itself to stand for something worthy of the Hiwatari name."
"Worthy of the Hiwatari name," Voltaire scoffed. "Worthy of the Hiwatari name? You wouldn't know worthy if it slapped you in the face, Kai. I built you and made you capable of running the company, and as soon as I die tomorrow you will have no one to look to for advice. You think those monkeys on the board know anything? They don't! You will be entirely on your own, not only with the company but in life too. I am your only family, Grandson, and without me you have nothing."
Voltaire had stood up at this point, leaning across the table to get close to Kai's face. He knew loneliness had always been the boy's weakness. When he was little he would grip onto his leg begging for Voltaire not to leave him. It was the reason he had befriended that dirty red-head in his cell, and it was the reason he had strayed from his mission when he became a part of the Bladebreakers. However, instead of pain, a shade of contentment grew upon Kai's face.
"I am not alone, Voltaire. That was the one card you could always play over me. I can see that now. But I can also see that I never was alone. I know you are aware that the Granger family now has guardianship over me, and they have helped me to grow more than you ever could. You've only ever slowly killed me, they have brought me back to life. That's what a family is. The Blitzkrieg Boys are what a family is. You are not my family, and I am not alone. You are though. I did not come here to forgive you, and I did not come to comfort you in your last hours. I came solely to tell you that I have won, and that I am stronger. I will forever hate you for what you did to my family, and I cannot be happier about the fate you have been served. I am done being yours, Voltaire. Now, I want to be me, and that is starting here."
Voltaire stared angrily into the satisfied eyes of Kai. He had put all of his faith and dreams into this one boy, and now it was over. Kai truly never was going to be his.
"Do you have anything to say to me?" asked Kai. Voltaire lowered himself into his chair again.
"I only ever wanted the best for you." Kai's crimson eyes narrowed at this comment.
"My mind has been shattered enough that I truly believe that in your deranged mind you think that. But I am past understanding. All I can hope now is that before you breathe your last you realize the millions of ways you went wrong."
With that said, Kai stood up and began heading for the door.
"We did not finish our game, Kai," said Voltaire just as Kai had gotten to the door.
Glancing over his shoulder, Kai looked down at the chess board and then up into the eyes of his grandfather.
"It was a game I never wanted to partake in." He let the meaning of his words sink into the man's head and watched as his face grew tight with anger. Kai knew the man's face would forever be burned into his memory - his nightmares attested to this- but Kai still wanted to get one final look.
"Goodbye Voltaire." And with that he opened the door and stepped out.
Kai nodded to the guard and began walking back down the corridor. From behind he could hear Voltaire begin shouting to him and distinctly made out the sound of a chess board being swiped to the ground.
Once Kai was back at the entrance, he searched for and spotted a familiar neko-jin.
Ray, seeing Kai as well, ran up to his friend.
"Hey, how did it go?" His amber eyes glistened with concern. It was an emotion Ray had that did not bother Kai much anymore.
"I told you you didn't have to wait for me, Ray," said Kai with a sigh as the two began walking down the stairs that led to the street.
"There was no way I was going to leave you here. What kind of person would I be if I did that after you asked me to come?" Ray retorted.
Kai just shrugged in reply. After Boris's execution Kai hadn't wanted to bother Tala with his business with Voltaire (it would've been like taking a step backwards), so instead he had asked Ray to accompany him. This hadn't been an errand he wanted to run by himself and over the past year he had learned to trust Ray more and more. He might even venture to say the two had grown to be close friends, but that was an idea he wouldn't say aloud just yet.
"So, before we leave are you alright? Are you happy?" asked Ray.
Kai thought long and hard about this. He knew he would never get another chance to talk to Voltaire again, but that made him more relaxed than anything else. For the first time in forever he actually felt at peace. He had friends, actual friends. He had a purpose in life. And he no longer had to keep looking behind his shoulder or keep all of his thoughts to himself. Yes the memories would be there, but those would fade. What he was feeling now would only grow stronger.
"Yes, Ray, I am happy." The word felt strange coming off his lips, but in a good way, and in response a cat-like grin spread across Ray's face.
The two headed off into the street.
"So would this be a bad time to tell you that Max called and said Ian and Tyson set fire to your kitchen? Or should I wait on that?" asked Ray sheepishly.
Kai let out a frustrated sigh but allowed a tiny smile to appear on his face. After everything he had been through, it was good to know that some things would never change.
I cannot believe this is finished! It is far from perfect and looking back there are so many changes I want to make (the title for one- it really has no relevance to the story I just don't have the heart to change it at this point). But overall I am very pleased with the story. I never would've imagined five years ago the joy I would get out of writing this, and I never would have imagined it would have taken me five years to finish it. I have grown up so much from when I began, but my love for Beyblade fanfiction still is strong.
Truly, thank you so much to anyone who read this story and especially thank you to all those who reviewed. It really kept this story going, especially when I had no motivation for it. I hope I entertained you, and I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Thank you so much!