Something different is the fact that I'm going to do a split POV between Elly and Sauza for some chapters, while I do a joint POV for others.
Disclaimer: This story takes place roughly around 5 years after the end of the series. Italics are flashbacks. Also, I do not own Konjiki no Gash Bell. Makoto Raiku does: if it were mine, Elly and Sauza would be much bigger characters.
A New Life Chapter 1: Walking Back (Split)
"Nurse…" I asked timidly, "May I go for a walk?"
"Sure thing, just don't be gone for too long," she replied with a smile.
My nurse is a nice woman by the name of Chita, who I had met at the demon named Faudo. Back then, she fought against me and the rest of my allies, but after the whole incident, I found out that she wasn't such a bad person. Her being my nurse really helped me get over the whole incident of the Demon Battle, as she too had a rough time getting over the loss of her Demon Partner, and possibly only friend, Rodeux. We were always available to talk about our memories of the adventure.
"I'll be back in around an hour. Don't worry about me, ok?" I assured Chita. She was my mother figure, probably because my real parents never got along with me. But I can't say parents. For that, you have to be human, with a human heart. Those monsters…
I quietly stepped outside and started to take in the fresh air. It was a cool, September day. The leaves were starting to turn crimson as the fall came closer, and that autumn breeze felt cool on my skin. The scenery was breathtaking.
Oh, I got carried away there. Let me introduce myself. My name is Elly. I am a 14 year old girl who, about 6 and a half years ago, undertook a series of battles with a "demon" in order to crown him as "King" of his world. Strange, though. They're known as demons, but mine was more of an angel. Not in appearance by any means: Earth definitely had the appearance of a demon, especially with the sword he lugged around. But I owe him…he saved my life. Well, I guess I can't say that. But he at least gave it meaning.
Six and a Half Years Ago, Hospital: Kemi, Finland
"You don't want to live? How can you say such things? You have so much more in store for you, Elly: I can see that you are destined for greater things. If you stop right here, you won't know the joys of growing up; the joys of being free; the joy of being ALIVE! Please live, Elly. I beg of you, please live! Live, not for me, but for yourself!" Earth begged.
This was the same thing everyone had been telling me from Day 1. His speech was no different from what the doctors and nurses here had been preaching. I had to give him my answer, my reasoning.
"I'm sorry, but I don't have a reason to live. This condition I have greatly weakens my body and willpower. It will claim my life, and that will be the end of it. There really is no reason for me to live either. You need me for the battle to become King that you have told me about, but I don't want to be a hindrance to you. If I die in the middle of a battle, what will you do? From what I understand, you need me for this trial. But if I collapse; if I die, you are guaranteed to join me," I answered him.
"But you're a CHILD! You can't possibly be thinking about death like this, especially not at your age! Elly plea—" Earth was stating something but stopped once he saw me.
I was just a sickly child back then. I was afflicted with a respiratory condition at a young age, and I was deemed to be terminally ill. I had to live day after day of people and their meaningless good-byes. For a 7 year old, I had suffered much in my life; especially with my parents. For this, I didn't care about my imminent death. In fact, I embraced it as an escape from my misery. I wasn't anything to anybody. When Earth saw how lifeless my eyes were, he seemed to sulk. He saw the end for both of us.
"If you ever change your mind, please fight with me Elly. I can't do this on my own. I need your help, and only you can truly help me," Earth stated softly.
Days passed and Earth came by every day to persuade me one last time. And each day, it was the same. Surely, he would understand that I would only be an obstacle to him. He walked out defeated.
But one day, he never arrived.
I heard a small skirmish outside, as well as agonizing cries of pain. Wearily, but curiously, I looked out, and there was Earth. But this wasn't the majestic, regal figure he presented himself to me with. He was kneeling down on the ground with his sword, trying to protect himself while another demon was beating down on his defenseless form.
"So, you don't even have a Book Keeper, and you're trying to stop me? He or she has to be in this hospital, or you wouldn't have wanted to fight me away from the public. Just tell me where your book is, and maybe I'll kill you mercifully," the other demon cockily said.
"No…there is no way I will reveal Elly's location to you. She is the one who said she didn't want to fight. It may cost me my life, but that is her right. It is her decision. I promise you, you will not lay a finger on her. I will not let you harm the ones who wish to not partake in this battle. Now, come if you are so willing to fight!" Earth yelled.
At that moment, I broke down in tears. I had always thought of Earth as someone who saw me as a vessel, a tool needed to participate in a fight. I'd just be a book-keeper. But I saw that I was wrong. Earth saw me as a human being. He saw my life as something of value, and when I told him of my decision, he learned to accept and protect unconditionally. And now, he was in danger. The pain of it being all my fault...I couldn't bear it anymore. At that moment, I rushed outside with the book and yelled; "EARTH! STAND UP TALL! THE FIRST SPELL, SORUDO!" The emotions manifested themselves into the magenta glow that surrounded my book.
As quickly as I had ran out, the battle ended with the other demon's book set ablaze. I then made a promise that I would live for Earth and fight with him as a partner, not as a simple demon-human relationship.
All of a sudden, I stopped myself and thought back. To everything that I've been through. Then, I just scoffed at myself. It's funny really. "But what have I been doing for all this time?" I asked myself. I knew I had been out longer than what was probably healthy for my body, but at this point, I didn't care. Life didn't matter at this point. Earth would've wanted me to live a happier life, and I probably could have after that surgery, but…things change unexpectedly, I suppose. I had returned to the hospital after years of childhood confinement from a terminal respiratory disease that I had finally overcome. Or so I thought...
2 Weeks Ago, Same Finnish Hospital from over Six Years Ago: Kemi, Finland
"Umm…Elly, I have some news for you," the doctor nervously said.
"Yes, what is it?" I asked him. By the look on his face, I could tell that it wasn't any good news. But I could never have prepared myself for what he had to say.
"I'm not sure...exactly what happened. Your disease...it's resurfaced again. I'm not sure how...but it's tough to say how much time...there are so many factors—"
"Doctor, how much time?" I asked frantically.
"At this point...if you don't stress your body at all, maybe a month. But even those daily walks of yours...your life span will diminish rapidly: you could be left with only 10 days if you go daily…" he stated solemnly
At that moment, everything spiraled down. Earth wasn't here anymore, and now my life was lost…again. And this time, there was no one to save me.
"Chita will be worried about me, so I'd better head back," I said to myself. I had to get back: Chita would throw a fit if I didn't return soon. As I started walking, I started to look back even more, back to the best of times; the adventure of the demon Faudo.
Five Years and Nine Months Ago, in the Resuka Mountains of Eurasia
"Earth, so this is the monster Faudo that you spoke of?" I asked, unable to believe the sight of the massive structure-like creature in front of me.
"Yes, but it seems that there is not enough demon power to awaken the seal," Earth stated.
After that, before we could leave, Earth and I bumped into Riou, who had wanted to make a deal with us and lift the seal. Naturally, both of us refused, not wanting to cause the end of the world by letting loose a monster like that. After that meeting, I had met with the boys Kiyomaro and Gash, the wielders of a powerful Demonic Power known as Baou and had a small skirmish with them. Although we eventually withdrew, Earth and I knew that we would meet those two again later on, hopefully as allies.
Time passed, and then I was afflicted by a life-threatening condition: that bastard Riou, out of anger and desperation, cursed me to draw Earth to Faudo as a source of power to break its seal. If the curse were not lifted in a certain amount of time, I would have died. And the only way to lift the curse was to break Faudo's seal, releasing him into the Human World.
Earth, being the kind of person that he was, tried to go and compromise with Riou. I, on the other hand, refused to let Faudo loose on the world, so I had Earth to stand down. But even before we infiltrated Faudo, I met someone that changed my life. His name was Sauza.
I had to pause. I knew I was smiling from ear to ear. His name brings back memories that were probably the best moments of my life. With him, I felt safe, my power became stronger, and most importantly, our combination worked in perfect harmony and balance. Chuckling slightly to myself, I looked back to our "friendly" encounter.
Five Years and 8 Months Ago, Outside a small cabin in the lush, beautiful forest of Kemi, Finland
"Don't think I'll be going easy on you, you weakling!" Sauza boldly stated. "I can't believe you're dumb enough to face the remaining demons without using your spells!"
"I dare you to say that when I have defeated you!" Earth shot back. He was worried because the curse had taken its toll on me greatly; it had greatly sapped my strength, rendering me useless physically and almost completely drained of heart energy. But, I knew that if I didn't cast a mid-class spell, I would result in Earth's inevitable death, and that would leave me back at square one. At that point, I didn't matter: the fate of the world did. In order to protect the world, I did what I had to do. Survival began here.
"Jyan Ji…Sorudo!" I casted the spell with what little strength I had.
The great, purple energy sword crashed at its target. However, I knew the two of them dodged.
"I knew you could use spells. Now, it's time for me to—" Sauza was cockily stating his victory speech when he made eye contact with me. "What the…what's going on?"
"Earth…let's go. We can't…let these guys…beat us…not now…not with…the world…" and then I collapsed.
When I finally woke up, Earth was with me, but so were our attackers.
"Yo, you okay? What the hell happened out there?" Sauza asked.
We then exchanged information about ourselves. I learned that Sauza was training in the intense cold of Kemi in order to prepare for a fight with a demon that he had lost to: his hopes were to let his horse demon, Karudio, harness a stronger ice body reinforcement spell by training in areas in the Arctic Circle before a rematch. I also learned that he was also heading to Faudo, though he did not know it: his reason was because that demon was there as well. He decided to accompany me: only God knows why he did, but he did and took care of me, and I'm really grateful for that.
Inside Faudo, I met up with Kiyomaro and Gash, who were with the horse demon Sauza was hunting for. We then teamed up (after some resistance on my part), activated the device to return Faudo to the Demon World, and then proceeded to break the seal on Faudo. But problems occurred. Faudo was taken over unexpectedly, and we had a long fight ahead of us. Sauza and I decided to go protect the device, but we almost failed. Even to this day, I feel the guilt of being useless in that fight. At the moment where we awakened our true power as a team, reality crashed down, and my weakness took over. After intercepting an attack against Sauza and Karudio, blackness consumed me.
I later awoke, wrapped in Earth's cape and surrounded by ice. On instinct, I searched frantically, hoping that my unconsciousness didn't cause the end of the world.
It didn't. But it came with a price. Karudio sacrificed his eligibility in the battle...not only for the device, but also my well-being. I still carry the guilt of that uselessness to this very day.
After the whole crisis was over, before he headed back to his home country, the two of us said our farewells. We knew inside that we were truly a great team...but now, our potential was severed forever.
After the Faudo Incident Five Years and Eight Months Ago, Mochinoki City, Japan
"You were a great partner to work with, Sauza. It was really great getting to meet you and everything," I began, not wanting to initiate the tough process of saying good-bye.
"It was truly a great experience. Thank you...thank you so much for teaching me that friends and allies aren't cowardly to have or fight for. Thank you for showing me the power of a promise. Thank you for being such a great friend," he replied back.
There was silence.
"Before I have to go...I want to say I'm sorry for what happened earlier. If I weren't so weak and—" I started before being interrupted.
"Don't start with that. Don't feel bad about Karudio: it was his final wish and our choice. He chose to protect us instead of becoming King. I believe that more was accomplished for Karudio and for us that way. And you're not weak. Your will is...it's stronger than most things in this world. Don't pain yourself over our choice," Sauza replied, reassuringly.
"I guess so. Thank you. I'm guessing that...this is good-bye then. Maybe we'll see each other again someday?" I asked.
"I really hope so. Take care Elly, and make sure you do your best with Earth. I know Karudio will be rooting for you back in the Demon World, and so will I, from back home. It's the least I could ever do for you. Good luck," Sauza stated back.
I reached the hospital entrance and was immediately greeted (more like scolded) by Chita, asking "Where have you been? You said one hour: you're 30 minutes past that! Really, you scared me there Elly," she spoke hurriedly.
"I'm fine Chita. I really am. I've just been recalling my life up to now," I said. That walk down memory lane had caused a slight delay, and it was understood that Chita would panic greatly about me. But that didn't seem to matter. All the good memories…if I can take those with me when I go, that will be worth it all in the end.
"Elly, I got some good news for you," she smiled.
"There's something new," I remarked. Sensing my sarcasm, Chita's smile disappeared.
"Don't be so snarky and negative. The new delivery for your medicine has just come in," she stated. "You have a little bit of time now. The medicine can suppress your condition temporarily. We can delay the sickness from overwhelming your body. And in that time, the doctors have a great chance at figuring out how to cure the disease for good. Doesn't that sound great?" Chita asked me, almost pleading with hope.
While most people would be thrilled with a few extra days to spend on this earth, I knew that I had nothing left here. Friends? None: Earth gone forever, leaving only memories. And Sauza…God knows where he would be. Family? Yeah right. They're not anything close to it.
"Yeah. Just fantastic," I replied venomously. It was almost like the sarcasm just dripped onto the hospital floor.
"Are you sure you're up for this kind of travel, Sharon? You look kind of worn out right now," I stated.
"Of course. It'd be weak of me to back out after we're already this far. Besides, I'm interested in all the amazing places you got to see during your travels. I'm really glad I convinced Mom and Dad to let us do this, and I'm not letting this chance slip past me. So let's go!" Sharon exclaimed.
So with that, Sharon grabbed my hand and pretty much dragged me along the streets of Hokkaido. For someone who's much smaller than me, my sister sure knows how to move me around at will. But regardless, she's my little sister, and I'd do whatever she asked (or in this case, demanded) me to do because she's one of the few important people I have. Discounting my mother and father, there's no one else in the world that I care for as much as her. Well...there may be one person.
"Slow down, Sharon! Geez: I'll be missing an arm, lying in the snow, and you won't even know because you're just bulldozing through all of Japan! We can take our time with this tour!" I exclaimed, laughing, even though I was out of breath.
"But I want to hurry and go to Finland and meet that girl you keep talking about!" she replied. "That's what I've been looking forward to the most!"
Even hearing Sharon talk about Elly was enough to make me pause.
"Oh? Is that why you're in such a hurry? Because you want to meet Elly?" I asked, amazed that she was looking forward to that part of our trip. I really didn't think she'd be too interested. Then again, I'm excited too: a surprise visit should be a lot of fun on this journey. It's been so long…
I suppose you haven't received a proper greeting from me. My name is Sauza. I'm a 15 year old farm-worker in a small, rural area of Mongolia. I'm taking some time off with my sister, who wants to visit all the places I traveled to during my journey that ended 5 years ago. The thing was an ordeal that, at the simplest terms, was a battle between demons to decide the ruler of their world for the next millennium. I battled for the sake of my demon only, at first, until things changed.
Five Years and Eight Months Ago, Inside the Room of the Dimensional Device in the Dormant Faudo
"Hey, Sauza," a middle-aged man started, "You've grown much stronger since our encounter a month ago."
"Your point, old man?" I replied, not caring about what he said.
"Well...this demon, Faudo, has the capability to destroy the world as we know of it. Your power...it could help us stop this thing from rampaging and destroying the world and–" he started before I cut him off.
"And how the hell do you think that's going to happen? You're already trying to release him. You're already fucking putting the world at risk by letting it run loose, and now, you want MY help?" I scoffed."You're the one that wants to get involved in this mess. Don't come to me for anything, you hear?"
"Think about everyone in the world that can't do anything about this. We know it's risky to release Faudo into the world, but we can return him: Kiyomaro knows what he's doing. You have to trust him...somehow. Besides, what about Elly? If we don't set her free, she dies. Do you want that?" he asked me.
"It's not the fact that I want her to be a martyr. It's her decision, and she can do whatever the hell she wants! Let her, as a human being, make her own decisions. Don't treat us like incompetent children!" I exclaimed.
"But the truth is, I can see that you don't want her to die. You want to save her, but you also want to save your family. So we do both. It's the only way. Work with us. Please: it's truly the only way," he concluded.
"Allies...it's something I've stood against all this time," I said to myself. "But is it worth it? Once this thing is released…is there anything else?" And then I realized, there wasn't any other option.
"I guess we don't have a choice…but this is only temporary, alright? I don't want to work with anyone, especially you two. But for the sake of the world, I'll put this aside for now," I yelled affirmatively.
But shockingly, my disgust for working together with others was alleviated because of that girl and her determination to save the people of the world at all costs. Her name was Elly. I met her in Finland about two months before the incident in Faudo.
Five Years and Eight Months Ago, Outside a small cabin in the lush, beautiful forest of Kemi, Finland
"Don't think I'll be going easy on you, you weakling!" I boldly stated. "I can't believe you're dumb enough to face the remaining demons without spells!"
"I dare you to say that when I have defeated you!" the demon I was facing stated boldly back at me.
"Jyan Ji…Sorudo!" a voice chanted, although it sounded a bit strained.
"I knew you could use spells. Now, it's time for me to—" I was cockily stating my victory speech when I made eye contact with her. "What the…what's going on?"
"Earth…let's go. We can't…let these guys…beat us…not now…not with…the world…" and then she collapsed.
"Whoa! Hold on!" I rushed to her. I don't even know why I was trying to help: she was a demon's human partner, but something about her stopped me.
"You get the hell back, NOW!" her demon yelled.
"She needs help! I won't fight you anymore: there's no need for me to burn your book: I'm not enough of a coward to burn the book of a demon whose partner is defenseless. I can beat you in a fair fight. And I know you need to help her, so let's get inside!" I yelled. The demon paused, unsure.
"GET HER IN THE HOUSE NOW, GOD DAMN IT!" I yelled.
I stayed there for a good while, hoping she'd come through. I'd never seen someone so close to death, let alone someone so young. She reminded me of Sharon, in a way.
All of a sudden, I visualized my sister in that state. I tried to shake those images out of my head as hard as I could, but I truly feared for her. She was so young...but this still could happen to anyone.
When she finally woke up, I was relieved that the worst had passed for now. I tried to make some small talk and figure out the situation.
"Yo, you okay? What the hell happened out there?" I asked.
"I see the house, Sauza!" Sharon exclaimed, snapping me out of my train of thought.
"Yeah. That's the one, Sharon!" I smiled as I saw the place where I was handed my first defeat to the old man, named Kafka Sunbeam. We didn't get off on the right foot at first, but now, we've managed to stay in touch pretty frequently. Hell: he's practically like my second dad.
"Think fast, Sauza!" Sharon yelled. I turned around, only to be hit with a snowball in the face. Even the snow and ice remained here like I remembered it to be. I responded with a snowball of my own. Soon, we had a good fight, and when we were tired, we lay in the snow together. I looked around me and took in the scenery. Memories of the mountain and all of the nature surrounding it just flowed back.
I realized just then how influential Elly was to me, not only because she looked and acted like my sister, but also because Elly was incredibly supportive of me even through my struggles. I learned how to cooperate with others instead of thinking that they were in it only to deceive me and take advantage of me later on.
I keep wondering how my life would be if I had never met Elly. Would I still have learned how to cooperate with others? Would I have been so willing to sacrifice everything for someone else, like I did for her? Would I have changed? Would I have grown to be me?
Would I be as bitter as I used to be? Such a pessimist? I've changed a lot because of her. And I owe her for that.
Five Years and Eight Months Ago, Inside the Room of the Dimensional Device in the Active Faudo
"Are you sure Karudio?" I asked my demon partner, shocked at his plan. "Certainly with the plan you've told me, if we unleash that spell, he'll be defeated. But...that's too strong. It has a coldness that risks your life even in normal situations. If you use it this way, your body will be broken!"
"Sauza, Karudio, just what is this?" Earth, Elly's demon, asked us.
"Paruooo..." Karudio almost...purred? That's strange. He never did that except around Sharon. I saw his point.
"Yeah...you and I will protect that kid we love," I stated firmly. I smiled my first genuine smile in a long while.
Elly and I decided to come here to protect this device because we made it our mission to protect the world. At the top of the list of people I had to protect were Sharon, my parents, and Elly.
"There's no helping it...but relax Karudio: I won't let you die," I stated assuredly, holding my book out into that open flame.
And with that, Karudio had returned. Although the enemy was defeated, it came with a huge sacrifice. But I knew that he was glad that it had ended that way, as was I.
"Sharon, that's the last of Hokkaido. We've spent the last 2 days here. We're now off to the place you've been looking forward to: Kemi, Finland," I stated with a smile. I was excited too: maybe I'd see Elly. I know that Sharon would be ecstatic to meet her, but I've missed her a lot, and I really am looking forward to our Scandinavian adventure too.
Would she recognize me after all these years? After all this time...that'd be great.
I need to focus on this trip and getting to Finland safely. I haven't been able to stop thinking about Elly ever since Sharon mentioned her!
"Alright. Let's take the cab to the airport," I told Sharon.
I'm glad that Sunbeam agreed to help me on this trip of mine. He's paid for all of it, saying that my payment was received by helping return Faudo to the Demon World. I look back, and see how childish I was to him five years ago. I made a mental note there to apologize for all I had done to him the next time we met.
Now, we're off to Finland. Off to see Elly. I hope she remembers me…
15 Hours Later,
We finally got off that insane flight at Kemi. Damn snow delay kept us in Japan for too long. Well, that's how impatient Sharon got anyway. We continued off in the direction of the house where I first met her.
These streets were flooding back. I remembered these chills from so long ago...
Five Years and Eight Months Ago, Kemi, Finland
"Yeah...I know we lost, Karudio. We have to train that freezing spell of yours. To defeat the people that are left, we're going to train in the harsh northern lands, places that get even colder than what we're used to. You up for it?" I asked my faithful partner, Karudio.
"Paruooo." was the response I was given. Even though it was just an "animal" cry, I understood it from the bottom of my heart. Our understanding of each other and our ability to communicate with one another…they were profound.
"Then let's begin this. We'll train to beat that flame horse and then make you King!" I exclaimed.
Oh, how quickly things changed. I snapped back to reality and saw that we weren't too far away.
Sharon was shivering, but that's expected: Finland was just as cold as I remembered. It was snowing here too: hell, it's almost winter. Sharon suddenly burst ahead of me, exclaiming, "Look! Is that it? The place where you met Elly?"
I followed her, and it was there, plain as day. I smiled as I walked around the house, re-visioning the battle in my head. I went inside, and the place looked the same. Memories flooded back to me. This place just seemed to have such magic and life in it still.
We continued looking. Sadly, I saw no one here. It looks like I'd have to go around asking for her. Luckily, we had a picture taken after the Faudo incident.
After the Faudo Incident Five Years and Eight Months Ago, Mochinoki City, Japan
"I guess you guys would like a picture before you guys leave, right?" a teenage man asked Elly and me.
"Ehh...I'm not the type to go for pictures and stuff," I stated, trying to back out. Really, I didn't want any part of that stuff.
"But this may be the last time any of us see each other! At least remember the people whom you met here!" he replied. "Actually, it doesn't even matter what you think: say cheese!"
And with that, our faces were captured with a shutter. I was shocked, but she was smiling, almost laughing. We took another one with me smiling, but I really liked that first one.
I pulled that picture out. I still keep it with me because that guy was right: I really want to keep the memories of Faudo in my heart. That photo means a lot to me. I stuck it on the wall of the cabin.
All of a sudden, I heard a thud. I went outside to see what it was, and I couldn't move.
Sharon had just collapsed.
It was just like that time over five years ago. I saw it happen again, except it was Sharon, not Elly. I panicked, not knowing how to help or what to do. I felt helpless and weak, just like before.
"SOMEBODY HELP ME! MY SISTER JUST COLLAPSED!" I yelled.
Suddenly, I remembered something Elly told me.
"There's a hospital a few kilometers north of this shack. That's why I chose this place: it's scenic, yet it's close to medical help. That way, I can always get help for my condition. You can't miss it," she told me.
Picking Sharon up, I ran north as fast as I could. I wasn't about to stand around and do nothing this time. Sharon, I'm going to save you. You can count on Big Brother.
End of Chapter 1: Walking Back
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