Disclaimer: I do not own Konjiki no Gash Bell. Makoto Raiku does.

A New Life Chapter 6: I'm Sorry (Split)

Her POV:

Last Chapter:

I recognized these two spells. How did they arrive so quickly?

"It's nice to see you're safe, Elly. As with you, Earth."

Four humans and four partners.

Thank God that they're here.

Start of Chapter 6:

Surrounded by the aura of the spell, Earth and I gradually descended to the ground until we landed, completely unharmed.

I had to blink a few times to verify that they were here. A wave of relief coursed through me, and a smile crept onto my face.

The two women who had cast their respective spells to save Earth and me rushed to my side to help me up. Likewise, the two men with them went to Sauza to check on his condition.

Seeing Megumi, Sister Elle, Kiyomaro, and Mister Sunbeam was the greatest single blessing I could have asked for at the moment. Their respective demons stood off to the side, silently hoping that we were okay. Earth had joined them, explaining the situation and watching me carefully.

"Are you alright, Elly? Sorry that I couldn't cast a stronger shield spell for you: the blast would have caught you had I not used the weakest one," Megumi asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I answered. If that were truly her weakest shield, then Megumi and Tio would be capable of defending against anything.

"That was a real close one. We're glad you made it out in one piece!" Sister Elle exclaimed, hugging my sore body. Her embrace felt so comforting; I wanted to stay there and sleep forever. I really was tired from expending heart energy, first in the fight against our assailants, and then in the rescue.

The rescue! Did the people get enough distance between themselves and the hospital? In my situation, I could only focus on the explosion, Sauza, and Sharon.

And I couldn't save her. How am I going to tell Sauza that I failed? That I couldn't even see what was in that room?

He'd really hate me forever.

Then, I heard clapping. The claps turned into cheers, until the outside was just roaring.

I looked up. They were clapping for Anne, her staff, Sauza, Earth, and me!

"Elly, thank you. For saving all of them and helping us in our time of need, thank you!" Anne choked out. I could only stare. I had helped save all these lives with my own.

Again, my life had purpose. Even with this small life, I could help others.

That's right…that's why I helped Earth in the first place in the battle. It's why I infiltrated Faudo and defied Riou to the bitter end. It's why I begged Gash to defeat Goomu and Clear…to save others.

"Even though you too are in pain and sick, just as everybody else, you gave everything for us. Thank you so much: I'm indebted to you!" Anne finished.

Her finishing remarks left Megumi and Sister Elle speechless. Their expressions turned from looks of relief to looks of shock instantly.

"You've been hospitalized again, Elly? What for?" Megumi asked. I could tell she was fearing the worst news.

I had to tell them everything. In this condition, I would only be a hindrance in the war against Stryvern. But with four demons on our side, there was the hope I needed to go on.

"Take me to where Kiyomaro, Sunbeam, and Sauza are. I'll tell you all there," I stated. I couldn't even look at them: I didn't want to see their pain and receive their pity.

Megumi and Sister Elle slowly helped me up and guided me to where Sauza, Kiyomaro, and Sunbeam were talking. Kiyomaro saw, and quickly stopped his conversation to ask me questions about everything.

"Elly, I think you and I both know that we don't really have the time to catch up about everything that's been going on in our lives these past few years. So let's get down to it, why don't we?" he started. I couldn't agree more.

"Understood. What do you want to know?"

"Everything. From the beginning. So, the first question I have is this: why are you here?" he asked. I'm sure his eyes could give him the answer: I had a basic understanding of his Answer Talker ability, but he needed the full details, not just the answer.

I took a deep breath and looked at Sauza. He only nodded, knowing that the others needed to know.

This was going to be complicated, and they were going to worry, but it had to be done.

"My disease is back. I'm terminal again."

Immediately, I could hear gasps from Megumi and Sister Elle. I didn't want to look up: I didn't want to see their pained expressions and tears.

"But how? The doctors had cured it completely: I checked with them a few weeks after your surgery to be sure that they had completely cured it. There should be no possible way that your disease came back!" Kiyomaro asked back.

"I really don't know. It's just…resurfaced somehow. It doesn't really matter how or why. All that matters is that it is here," I stated firmly. After all, there wasn't much else to do besides accept it.

"How long do you have?"

I had to look up at them. There was worry in all of their eyes.

"A week, maybe a week and a half. That's if I don't stress my body out at all. If I do undergo events like today, I'll definitely live less than that."

I saw Kiyomaro's reaction. He felt helpless: his fists were clenched in anger and desperation. But what could anybody do?

"Who attacked you? And while we're at it, why did they attack you? If they wanted you dead, then they could have waited the time out. Why involve the people here at the hospital?"

I sighed. This was going to take a while.

"Could we move this discussion to somewhere a bit more…private? I don't want any of the innocent people out there to hear: they're involved enough. This should be for your ears and your ears alone," I requested.

Kiyomaro only nodded, understanding that only the six of us could comfortably talk about this situation: after all, we'd seen stranger things.

I tried to lead the way, but still had a hard time moving.

"Leave it to me, Elly! Just stay still and trust me on this one!" Megumi said, smiling. A radiant, vermillion glow surged out of her book.

"Saifojio!" she cast. A pink sword materialized, almost radiating with energy. Sunbeam pushed Sauza and his wheelchair closer to me, ignoring his protests.

"Don't touch me, old man! What do you think you're doing?" he yelled, obviously annoyed. I could only giggle at this sight, which caused him to turn and make eye contact with me.

Immediately, all the emotions rushed forward. My failure to save Sharon. My guilt in not protecting her. My love for Sauza, even though he couldn't for what I'd done…

"Don't move, okay? This won't hurt for too long!" Megumi said, before Tio thrust the sword at us, piercing us.

I winced at the pain, but realized that the spell was restoring our energy. Slowly, I felt my energy returning: my heart energy was completely filled, and Sauza was able to stand.

I looked into his eyes. The pool of green drew me in, and I could only find myself saying two words that meant absolutely nothing.

"I'm sorry."

Shocked, I looked at him. Why had he apologized? It was my fault I couldn't save his sister. If I hadn't been so weak, I could have checked that room and saved Sharon.

His expression was the same, as if he hadn't expected me to apologize. But I had every reason to…

"You shouldn't be."

Again, we said the same thing at the same time.

I shouldn't be sorry, Sauza? Because of me, your sister's dead. Because of me. My weakness.

And then he hugged me. He whispered to me.

"At least you're safe."

Oh God…what have I done? I've torn his world apart.

I could feel my tears rising and my sobs becoming audible.

"Shh…you don't need to cry. You're strong when I can't be. You're alive: that's all that matters right now."

How can he forgive me? For failing him: for killing his sister?

"Don't blame yourself. We've got things to do: don't dwell on it, okay? For me, Elly. Sharon would have wanted us to get back at these guys for her."

That's right…I wouldn't let my parents get away with this injustice. For Sharon and Chita, I'd fight.

"Right."

Saifojio wore off, and Sauza released his embrace. I turned around to the others.

"My cabin's just a few minutes that way. We can talk there."

Eventually, we reached my small home. At least those bastards hadn't ransacked this place too. Everyone sat down as I began my tale.

"Kiyomaro, the hospital was attacked by a group named Stryvern. Have you heard of them?"

I could see Kiyomaro thinking, trying to piece the name to something.

"Aren't they the Finnish insurance company? I hear they're pretty well-off, according to my friend Apollo."

So he knew of their disguise.

"Insurance is just a disguise under which they operate. It's really one of the biggest black-market rings in the world."

Kiyomaro looked at me, puzzled.

"How would you know? If they're black market, they'd obviously be stealthy and secretive."

"Because…I'm the daughter of the two leaders of Stryvern."

Everyone's expression but Sauza's turned to shock.

I had to continue: there wasn't any time. Chita…what's happening to you?

"They attacked me because they love causing me misery. The bombing was actually their second attack: they sent five armed men after me and Sauza. Earth appeared at the last second and saved us: we incapacitated them, only for the bombing to start. I think they expected me to survive the attacks, but they knew I'd be hurt by the death of innocent civilians. They knew I'd attempt to save the others…"

Kiyomaro stayed silent, thinking to himself. Finally, he asked me something.

"Do you think that maybe, they expected you to survive both? Maybe they knew you were going to attempt to save everybody and everything was meant to lure you out."

I stared in disbelief. Was that why they kidnapped Chita?

"It's…it's possible! They kidnapped Chi—" I stopped. Chita was their enemy in Faudo, but she was my friend. I couldn't risk losing their help. "They kidnapped my nurse. Maybe to draw me out…but they had me cornered! I only survived because of Earth!"

That's right: if Earth hadn't shown up, Sauza and I would be six feet under right now.

"Kiyomaro, you don't think this has anything to do with that, do you?" Mister Sunbeam asked.

"I'm positive."

That? What are they talking about?

"Elly, the portal between the human and demon worlds is open. The King gets a privilege each year, and Gash used his fourth of a thousand to have the portal opened, after his wishes of endless daily yellowtail, maintaining consciousness while using spells, and a staff that negates demonic power within a certain radius."

I looked around at everyone. They all nodded except for Sauza, who was just as surprised to hear this.

"Wait, so the portal's been open for over half a year?" I asked. Then why had Earth only appeared now?

"Yeah, but only until the end of the year. But to meet with your demon, you need to be able to channel your heart energy in a time of need."

My eyes widened. So that's how Earth had appeared.

"The problem is, with the portal opened, other demons have access to this world. In fact, a most troublesome group of demons has been gathering power to try and overthrow Gash as King. That's why Gash, Tio, Umagon, and Momon are here: to stop this rebellion."

I was confused. Gash was the King, and he had incredibly powerful friends everywhere. So then…

"Why haven't you stopped them? You have the power to…so why?"

"I thought you'd ask that, Elly," Kiyomaro answered.

"The first problem is numbers. We only have four demons currently: this group has nine, from what Gash and I have sensed."

Still, a numbers disadvantage shouldn't be offsetting.

"The second is assets. Elly…these demons didn't come using the conventional method."

Oh no…I could sense what was coming. I turned to Sauza, and his eyes had fear in them.

"Elly, they used the device. Faudo's back in the Human World. He's currently de-activated, but he's in a state where his weapons can be used. They're currently stationed about…80 kilometers to the northeast."

It can't be…that's where…

"The Stryvern headquarters are in that general location."

Kiyomaro grimaced.

"That's what I feared. Elly, I fear they're going to go through with their plans to torture you at their headquarters. They're trying to involve you in this war: a war we can't win right now."

I couldn't believe it. My parents knew of the demons and, probably, their battle that ended over four and a half years ago. And now, their headquarters just happens to be the location of one of the most destructive creatures in existence, backed by the power of nine demon groups themselves.

I had to stop them.

"I'll join you. I'll stop them…this is my fight."

Everyone in the room stared at me, as if I were crazy.

"Elly, you can't. What if…what if your illness takes over during battle? I know you want to fight, but I don't want you to die!" Kiyomaro pleaded.

"That's true: I'm probably in no condition to fight, but I'm not standing down and letting them get the better of the world. Destroying the world in front of my eyes…this is what they want me to see and suffer!" I replied.

"Kiyomaro, Sauza, everybody, listen to me," I started, staring at the ground. "I'd rather die trying to save this world than watch it be obliterated without doing anything. Sure, I'm terminally ill and lack the physical stamina to fight for long periods of time, but I'm not going to lie idly in a hospital bed!"

I finally looked up at all of them, convinced that this was the right choice.

"You said it, Kiyomaro! That you're short on help! Well, Earth and I can give you our power! Allies never give up on each other. You may be at four, but with us, it's five! That number…it won't ever die. And with the power of our friendship and our resolve, it'll grow, not incrementally, but exponentially. Our power will multiply: it'll double, become ten times as great, and even a hundred times as great!"

I paused. They needed to know that I wasn't going to stop.

"I won't give them what they want. There's someone they're keeping that I hold dear to my heart, and no damn disease is going to keep me from saving her! To stop me, you'll have to kill me where I stand right now!" I stood, determined to win out.

"Your Answer Talker, Kiyomaro, can tell you all kinds of battle strategies. It can tell you the answers to all the questions of the world. But it can't tell you about my parents. I'm of more value to you than you believe I can be. Let me help you all!"

Silence filled the room. Finally, Kiyomaro spoke.

"You're that determined, huh?"

I looked at him. I could feel my determination bursting from me.

"Then, I can't stop you. None of us can. If you're going down, you're going down fighting! Thank you for lending us your strength!"

I nodded. And then, Sauza spoke.

"I'm going too."

Everybody turned to look at him.

"I don't care what kind of burden I may be. I have to go. Because I, too, won't stand to watch the world burn unless we all fail to protect it," he replied.

I could only stare at him.

"Besides, I have Elly's medicine. If she starts getting worn out, I can give it to her so that she can keep going!"

That's right. And with his power…

"He's right! Plus, with Karudio—," I stopped.

Karudio…he wasn't here.

I looked at Sauza. He didn't look back at me, or at anyone else.

I screwed up again. How could I have been so blind to miss that Karudio hadn't been here the entire time?

Sauza continued, still not facing us.

"I promise, I won't be a burden to anybody. Please, let me come. For my sister, who died back there in that explosion…let me come…let me do what little I can for you guys!"

My guilt came again. I had done this to him…

"Sauza, she didn't make it?" Mister Sunbeam asked.

I wanted to answer. I wanted to answer so badly so that Sauza wouldn't have to keep lying to himself that it wasn't my fault.

'No, because I couldn't save her!' I thought. Just say those words, Elly!

"No, because I couldn't save her."

Sauza…you…

You're not responsible for her death. I am. I am…

"Because I couldn't save Sharon, and because I almost lost Elly…Karudio probably won't be able to join this battle," he stated.

I stared at Sauza, my eyes blankly wandering. He stood up for me with another lie yet again.

"I felt it…my heart crumbled at that explosion. I don't think I'll ever be able to call upon my heart energy again."

At his remark, my heart broke a little too.

I couldn't have done that to him…I couldn't have. I've separated him from his sister, and now, his demon partner.

I'm the worst kind of "friend" in existence.

What have I done?

His POV:

Last Chapter:

Time slowed for Earth and Elly, slowing their fall to gentle levels.

The leader spoke softly, glad to see us unharmed.

"It's nice to see you're safe, Elly. As with you, Earth."

Four humans and their demon partners. I never thought I would be so glad to see them.

Start of Chapter 6:

The two of them eventually landed gently on the ground. I was so relieved to see that the two were unharmed.

Sadly, it was only them. Which means…

I couldn't spend all my time dwelling on Sharon. I saw two figures approaching me, probably to make sure I was alright. The other two had gone to Elly, checking on her.

Meanwhile, Earth was with the four demons, probably explaining the circumstances to them.

I probably wouldn't let any of them know, but I'm real grateful that the four of them saved her. At least Elly made it out alive…even if Sharon couldn't.

"Sauza, you okay? You seem a little dazed," a tall, older man asked, snapping me out of my thoughts. I quickly turned, looking at Sunbeam in the eyes. He and Kiyomaro were looking at me, obviously a little bothered by the fact I was in a wheelchair and that we had been attacked.

"Just trying to comprehend everything that just happened," I started, trying to keep them from probing. They seemed to understand.

The words just came out. I'm not one to show my emotions like this, but it was as if I had no control of anything I said at that point.

"Thank you guys for saving her. You couldn't have come at a better time: we're both real grateful."

The two of them just smiled at me. Sunbeam knelt by my side to talk face-to-face with me.

"That's what allies do for each other. Our bond as comrades still lives today, Sauza. And we should be thanking you for helping save all the innocent people," he answered.

"After all, take a look around you. At all the life around you. These are lives the two of you protected with your own," wheeling me to take in the scene before me.

These people were lost and without hope, but you could see hope and light in their eyes. They were smiling at the nurses, giving thanks, and wanting to approach Earth and Elly to express their gratitude.

One person started clapping. I recognized her as Anne, the nurse that trusted us. They cheered for us…

Anne ran over to me, smiling amidst all the destruction in front of her.

"Thank you for all your bravery and selflessness. Everybody here is cheering for the effort you and Elly put forth to save them. We're forever indebted to you," she said.

"I never got your name, young man. It isn't right to be thanking you without knowing your name. Because you are a hero to everybody here."

I was taken aback. This is the impact one or two lives can have?

A small smile crept onto my face as I could only muster out a whisper.

"It's Sauza. My name is Sauza."

Anne looked at me, her face still beaming.

"Well Sauza, thank you for everything. All of us owe you tremendously!"

I could feel myself crying a little, and I could see Kiyomaro and Sunbeam smiling.

Anne went over to Elly to express her gratitude. I, meanwhile, was left to ponder things to myself.

What had I done to really save these people? I was just along for the ride, right?

Elly…she did everything. Debilitated by illness, she strove forward. Tormented by her parents, she worked to save everybody, including my sister.

"Sauza, that's true strength!"

I'm hearing things now…right? No…my baby sister just spoke to me. I know it: that voice was too clear.

Maybe I'm going insane.

"Sauza, Elly embodies true strength. Even though I'm not here, I live on in you. I'm always here to watch over you!"

That's right…I still have all our memories. All the great times we had, whether it be from when we were toddlers to just this last journey.

"Elly embodies what one life can do to help others. Sauza, don't dwell over me to where you wallow in depression. That's not what I want. That's not what she wants. Elly might blame herself, but don't let her! This does not fall on her shoulders!"

That's right. The blame can only be turned to that unforgivable organization and the immoral bastards that run it.

Stryvern…I don't understand why you would target your own daughter like this, but it's unforgivable.

"Sauza, live to be like her. Live to protect her. Live to protect humanity. Your desire to protect only extended to our family, but she: she desires to protect life itself."

I will, Sharon. I will. For your sake, and hers.

"Big Brother, I love you. But don't join me until it's truly your time. I'll always watch over the two of you! I hope you two live happy lives together! So name your first child after me, okay?"

At that comment, I smirked. Sharon had a way to make me smile with her humor.

"I'll do my best."

Kiyomaro heard me say something and turned.

"You sure you're alright, Sauza? You're talking to yourself now."

I looked up to the clouds. Sharon…be happy up there. And don't worry yourself sick over me.

"Yeah. I said I'll be fine, and I will be."

Before Kiyomaro could respond, I motioned to him that Elly and the others were coming this way. He nodded, signaling that our conversation was over, at least for now. I quickly wiped my tears away. For them, I had to be strong.

Kiyomaro and Elly immediately engaged in conversation with one another, trying to figure out information about the situation on hand.

He had asked of her condition. At this, she turned to me. I only nodded, signaling that they needed to know.

She gave them the answer.

"My disease is back. I'm terminal again."

Megumi and Sister Elle gasped in disbelief.

"But how? The doctors had cured it completely: I checked with them a few weeks after your surgery to be sure that they had completely cured it. There should be no possible way that your disease came back!" Kiyomaro replied, obviously confused.

I felt the same. If it were verified that the disease was completely cured, then how did it return a few years later?

"I really don't know. It's just…resurfaced somehow. It doesn't really matter how or why. All that matters is that it is here."

Then came the toughest question for us to ask.

"How long do you have?"

The answer shocked me more than anything.

"A week, maybe a week and a half. That's if I don't stress my body out at all. If I do undergo events like today, I'll definitely live less than that."

Kiyomaro tensed up: he balled up his fists.

10 days or so? When she said terminal…I had expected a few months, maybe a year.

I can't lose her this quickly too…the world can't be this cruel, can it?

Meanwhile, Kiyomaro continued to try and get information.

"Who attacked you? And while we're at it, why did they attack you? If they wanted you dead, then they could have waited the time out. Why involve the people here at the hospital?"

Elly just sighed before making her request.

"Could we move this discussion to somewhere a bit more…private? I don't want any of the innocent people out there to hear: they're involved enough. This should be for your ears and your ears alone."

Kiyomaro complied, motioning for us to follow her.

However, it was obvious Elly was exhausted. The rescue was probably incredibly taxing to her physically. She needed help.

"Leave it to me, Elly! Just stay still and trust me on this one!" Megumi assured, smiling at her. Her book burst in vermillion glow that was practically blinding.

"Saifojio!"

With that, a pink sword appeared in front of me. The energy coming from it was tremendous.

All of a sudden, Sunbeam began pushing me towards it.

Is he trying to kill me? I'm not touching that thing!

"Don't touch me, old man! What do you think you're doing?"

And then I heard her giggle at my…outburst. Though I was embarrassed, I still turned and made eye contact with her.

In that moment, I knew I had to assure her that I was okay. I had to protect her. Because I did truly love her. It truly was hopeless, with me being her biggest burden and all, but I would still do anything for her.

"Don't move, okay? This won't hurt for too long!"

Tio thrust that sword at us.

I expected the pain to be agonizing, but it was surprisingly bearable: it only hurt for the first couple of seconds. Instead, I could feel my injuries being healed. I slowly got to my feet, and I saw that Elly's exhaustion and fatigue were fading away right before my eyes.

Thank God.

We looked in each other's eyes. Her green eyes, usually lustrous and shining, were currently wavering.

I could only muster up two simple words.

"I'm sorry."

Wait, why had she apologized to me? I had nearly sent her to her death out of selfishness, and I couldn't even protect her. No: I was just a burden in their rescue mission…

But she looked just as surprised that I had apologized as well. I had to reassure her.

"You shouldn't be."

And again, we said the same thing at the same time.

Why shouldn't I be sorry, Elly? All I ever do is hold you back. All I ever do is hinder us. What kind of ally am I?

But she seemed so troubled. She really did blame herself.

So I did the only thing that came to mind.

I hugged her. And I whispered to her.

"At least you're safe."

She starts sobbing, but she needs to know that she's not to blame. That everything will be okay.

"Shh…you don't need to cry. You're strong when I can't be. You're alive: that's all that matters right now."

She may not be alive for much longer, but I'll make sure I protect that life for as long as I can.

"Don't blame yourself. We've got things to do: don't dwell on it, okay? For me, Elly. Sharon would have wanted us to get back at these guys for her."

I hoped that those words would help her get to her feet.

Thankfully, she did agree.

"Right."

The spell wore off, and I let her go. She turned to address the others.

"My cabin's just a few minutes that way. We can talk there."

We eventually reached the cabin I had just been in hours before with Sharon. It was there Elly began to tell Kiyomaro everything she had told me before the attacks.

Stryvern's front was uncovered, and questions kept being answered.

When Elly told them that she was the daughter of the heads of Stryvern, Kiyomaro, Sunbeam, Megumi, and Sister Elle all looked shocked.

Elly left them no time to ask, further explaining the reasoning behind the attacks.

Things started getting strange once Kiyomaro posed his question.

"Do you think that maybe, they expected you to survive both? Maybe they knew you were going to attempt to save everybody and everything was meant to lure you out."

Could that even be true? That they would be able to predict her actions?

But how did they know about the demons?

"It's…it's possible! They kidnapped Chi—" she paused for some reason. "They kidnapped my nurse. Maybe to draw me out…but they had me cornered! I only survived because of Earth!"

Yeah. Without Earth, Elly and I would have been killed by those gunmen.

"Kiyomaro, you don't think this has anything to do with that, do you?" Mister Sunbeam suggested.

"I'm positive."

What is that?

Kiyomaro sighed before he started his explanation.

"Elly, the portal between the human and demon worlds is open. The King gets a privilege each year, and Gash used his fourth of a thousand to have the portal opened, after his wishes of endless daily yellowtail, maintaining consciousness while using spells, and a staff that negates demonic power within a certain radius."

Everybody around us nodded, leaving Elly and I in disbelief.

"Wait, so the portal's been open for over half a year?" she asked.

If the portal were open, then I could call on Karudio right now. But there had to be a condition if it took Earth over half a year to appear.

"Yeah, but only until the end of the year. The demons will return when the portal closes. But to meet with your demon, you need to be able to channel your heart energy in a time of need."

That was it: I just had to draw my heart energy. I gave it my strongest emotion: I needed him. I truly needed his help. Karudio would appear!

And nothing. Why?

"The problem is, with the portal opened, other demons have access to this world. In fact, a most troublesome group of demons has been gathering power to try and overthrow Gash as King. That's why Gash, Tio, Umagon, and Momon are here: to stop this rebellion."

A rebellion? That shouldn't matter; Gash was the King. He had powerful friends everywhere. He single-handedly incapacitated Faudo and stopped Zeon.

"Why haven't you stopped them? You have the power to…so why?" Elly quipped.

"I thought you'd ask that, Elly."

Kiyomaro laid out the situation for us.

"The first problem is numbers. We only have four demons currently: this group has nine, from what Gash and I have sensed."

A numbers disadvantage shouldn't mean much. There should be a power advantage for them.

"The second is assets. Elly…these demons didn't come using the conventional method."

No…there's only one other interdimensional transport method I know of.

It isn't true…that monster isn't here.

"Elly, they used the device. Faudo's back in the Human World. He's currently de-activated, but he's in a state where his weapons can be used. They're currently stationed about…80 kilometers to the northeast."

My worst fears are confirmed. Elly just adds to them.

"The Stryvern headquarters are in that general location."

Everyone's faces were gripped with tension.

"That's what I feared. Elly, I fear they're going to go through with their plans to torture you at their headquarters. They're trying to involve you in this war: a war we can't win right now."

So those bastards knew of the fight between the demons…probably that their daughter was in it. That she almost died from those battles on multiple occasions. And they just stood their ground.

Unforgivable assholes. I'll never forgive their injustices to this world and to their daughter.

"I'll join you. I'll stop them…this is my fight."

No…you can't! I wanted to yell at her, saying she couldn't do that because of her illness.

"Elly, you can't. What if…what if your illness takes over during battle? I know you want to fight, but I don't want you to die!"

Kiyomaro took the words straight out of my mouth. I won't let her get harmed.

"That's true: I'm probably in no condition to fight, but I'm not standing down and letting them get the better of the world. Destroying the world in front of my eyes…this is what they want me to see and suffer!"

She addressed us once again.

"Kiyomaro, Sauza, everybody, listen to me," she began. "I'd rather die trying to save this world than watch it be obliterated without doing anything. Sure, I'm terminally ill and lack the physical stamina to fight for long periods of time, but I'm not going to lie idly in a hospital bed!"

Damn it…Karudio: I need you. Appear! I'm giving everything to draw my heart energy! So why won't power enter? Why won't you materialize!

"You said it, Kiyomaro! That you're short on help! Well, Earth and I can give you our power! Allies never give up on each other. You may be at four, but with us, it's five! That number…it won't ever die. And with the power of our friendship and our resolve, it'll grow, not incrementally, but exponentially. Our power will multiply: it'll double, become ten times as great, and even a hundred times as great!"

She paused. I looked up at her, and then I saw a glimpse of her.

Sharon.

Back then…at the hospital. When the explosion occurred and I didn't see either her or Elly make it out…

My heart was crushed.

Am I…am I unable to draw heart energy anymore?

"I won't give them what they want. There's someone they're keeping that I hold dear to my heart, and no damn disease is going to keep me from saving her! To stop me, you'll have to kill me where I stand right now!"

Elly continued to speak, resolute in her stance. Meanwhile, I'm here, useless as always. I can't even aid them in combat.

"Your Answer Talker, Kiyomaro, can tell you all kinds of battle strategies. It can tell you the answers to all the questions of the world. But it can't tell you about my parents. I'm of more value to you than you believe I can be. Let me help you all!"

There was nothing but silence.

"You're that determined, huh?"

Kiyomaro broke it with that question.

"Then, I can't stop you. None of us can. If you're going down, you're going down fighting! Thank you for lending us your strength!"

I had to be determined too. Even if I can't fight, I can help somehow. I felt something in my pocket.

Her medicine! I could help her that way! It wasn't much…but it's better than letting Elly risk her life in her condition.

"I'm going too."

Everybody turned to face me.

Sharon, this is how I'll protect her. I won't let her die.

"I don't care what kind of burden I may be. I have to go. Because I, too, won't stand to watch the world burn unless we all fail to protect it," I answered.

Elly just looked at me. Was she fearful that I would get hurt?

"Besides, I have Elly's medicine. If she starts getting worn out, I can give it to her so that she can keep going!"

Hope entered her eyes.

"He's right! Plus, with Karudio—"

She hadn't realized, had she? My faithful companion was nowhere to be seen.

'Elly, it isn't your fault.'

Again, the words wouldn't come out. She needed to know.

I couldn't face them. But I still had to let them know.

"I promise, I won't be a burden to anybody. Please, let me come. For my sister, who died back there in that explosion…let me come…let me do what little I can for you guys!"

Again, silence.

"Sauza, she didn't make it?" Sunbeam asked me.

It was so hard to answer. Elly probably wanted to shoulder the blame, just as she would. I wouldn't let her, because it was more my fault than anybody else's.

"No, because I couldn't save her."

This time, they came out.

Elly was shocked that I had taken the fall for her yet again. But she couldn't get hung up on it. It's not what Sharon would want.

"Because I couldn't save Sharon, and because I almost lost Elly…Karudio probably won't be able to join this battle," he stated.

I had to explain to them why Karudio wasn't here.

"I felt it…my heart crumbled at that explosion. I don't think I'll ever be able to call upon my heart energy again."

Elly seemed crushed at this. Don't blame yourself…none of this is your fault.

The rest seemed pained as well. It doesn't matter. I'm going, and no one, human or demon, will stop me.

End of Chapter 6: I'm Sorry

So now that Elly and Sauza have met up and explained the situation to their saviors, a lot of questions are being answered, such as how Earth is here but why Karudio isn't. A war looms ahead for everybody.

But, as usual, I can't continue writing without input from you guys! So R/R to help an inexperienced writer out!