Slowly I lowered the camera, watching the Kusabi hold his hands to his head and moan painfully as he was pulled down fading away. My heart raced still from the battle, as I turned to walk down the stairs under the shinto gate. I had a feeling Mayu was waiting for me, if she was Mayu anymore. Sae was controlling her I knew that. Thinking to much, I shrugged the though away. Reached the second set of stairs, a feeling came over me of heaviness, pulling me forward. My foot stepped on something that rustled and crunched under it's weight. Looking down I saw a slip of paper sticking from under my shoe. I knelt down and picked it up, reading it with curiosity.
Yae, You came for me after all.
Please hurry, I'm right below.
I know you might not make it in time, but I'll wait for you until the end.
I'll wait forever...
So this was Sae's final letter to Yae, but Yae never came. Staring at the small letter for a moment I felt tears try to form, then slowly blinking them away and started down the stairs again, tucking the note in the small side pocket of my clothing. The past images of this place I had seen came into mind. The image of Sae being forced to walk, hung, and falling into darkness. I was walking down the same stairs Sae had. I could see Mayu now, standing before the hell mouth. I started into a run only to stop as I got closer to her. The expression on her face was of a deep daze, staring into the ground below her. Like a puppet waiting to have it's strings pulled. Seeing Mayu this way caused a horrified chill to run through me. For a few moments I didn't move, I couldn't from shock or maybe guilt for letting this happen. Then suddenly, she spoke.
"I kept waiting... In a dark, dark place..." She whispered, lifting her head up so that our eyes met. I listened to her voice closely, it was Mayu's body but it was Sae's voice. Was my sister still in there or had Sae taken over completely? Either way, I would leave here with her one way or another. My hands held onto the camera hanging losely by my side as I slowly stepped forward.
"Shall we begin?"
She said the words with no hint of an emotion in her voice. My eyes narrowed as I lifted the camera, but suddenly I could hear Mayu's small weak voice again. I was motionless as I watched her slowly. Listening to what she whispered.
"I'm falling... deeper... deeper... I'm melting, Mio... "
I was hesitant at first, but then her voice returned. "Let's do this together... Deeper... Deeper..."
Sae laughed again, that wicked laugh that cut through me like a blade. Chilling me to the bone with fear and paralyzing me. It was so inhuman, so insane, it could drive someone mad. All the things Mayu said started running through my head instantly. We were born for this, it's our duty, we have to save the village. Did Mayu know from the beginning this would happened, since she chased the butterfly into the forest. What had shocked me the most were Mayu's few yet sudden words were running through my mind constantly, since the second after she had spoken them on the bridge.
The two chosen children shall be carried to heaven on the wings of a butterfly, a butterfly that will save this village. It is how it was meant to be...
I can't accept that this was how it was meant to be, that we were born only to end here, that she was. Then... Was there no hope for her? Or me?
Gripping tightly I slowly raised the camera to my eyes peering through the lens, Sae was still standing and waiting for me. I stepped closer and suddenly she charged me, startling me that she had even moved. I heard the shutter close as the camera flashed. Sae jerked back and bent over with a high pitched scream. I lowered the camera looking at her as a thought came to mind. Could Mayu feel the pain as well? As her scream ended and silence filled the air, she stood straight to face me. When she did I watched in amazement as her clothes had changed from Mayu's dress to the blood stained kimono, her skin turning pale and eyes seeming to be crimson like the butterflies wings.
"Sae..." I whispered under my breath as her lips twisted into a grin, she laughed. Truthfully, I felt sorry for her, but even fi I did I wouldn't let her win. A mass of red malice formed around her feet and the ground starting to rise, the earth shaking beneath me making me stumble. Her arms extended as she charged at me again, my arms shoot up to defend my neck that I assumed she was after. My eyes were wide as I felt her icy cold hand gripped my wrist, screaming laughs of insanity escaping her mouth as t tightened. I felt pain everywhere over my body, flowing through me slowly and making me want to cry out. We were born together, but we must live and die separately. It's how it was meant to be...
With a shout I jerked away from her, "No, it's not meant to be that way!" I said furiously in my mind. My arms moved directly in front of my face as I aimed the camera obscura at Sae.
"Mio... My leg hurts, really bad..." Mayu's broken voice said as her lips didn't move, she stared at me with that evil smile. This was it, this would end here. Her attempts to trick me would not work anymore. Without any hesitation I pushed the button on the camera and watched, as the light flashed and Sae screamed, stumbling back to the very edge of the hell mouths massive hole. Within that small flash my eyes widened with realization, as I saw Mayu standing directly beside Sae. Free from her grasp. Her legs shaking and her body not stable as the two started to fall back. My fingers released the grip on the camera and let it fall, it didn't matte anymorer, I dropped to my knees as my hand flew into hers. Clasping tightly as possible. Sae's screams changing as she fell into the darkness below. I felt Mayu's finger twitch as she hung between life and death, my grip remained strong though.
"Mayu!" I shouted to her, hoping she would reply. My eyes still closed in fear of what lied beneath her, as Itsuki had said.
"Mio!" She replied as I slowly opened them, turning to look at her. Suddenly a voice spoke in my mind, as I stared into the abyss below. Something small at first, then bigger and white. Hundreds, no thousands of tortured souls and Kusabi's lied below. My eyes flicked wildly between them all as I started to feel them burn like fire. The next thing that happened was almost a blur and by the end it was to me. I had hoisted Mayu to the ground safely, as I turned on my knees and grabbed my face. The burning steadily increasing as tears formed, my vision fading to only black as I shut my eyes tightly shaking my head, wishing for this pain and those visions to go away in my head. Mio's hands grabbing my back as she kept repeating her question, what was wrong with me? But slowly her voice faded as did my hands, then the ground, it was like I was floating and then I was completely unconscious.