Farewell to the legend...
forever living on in the hearts of heroes.

- TOH SHIN DEN III: Walking Into Ruin -

a Battle Arena Toshinden 3 fanfiction by Athena Asamiya and Kasumi Todoh

EPILOGUE: Aftermath

tadaima - I'm home
otousan - father
oi! - hey!


"Tadaima," Eiji murmured to his hometown. Standing on a sunny hill overlooking the town of Aizu, Eiji truly felt that he was home at last, back in the town where he had grown up. After three years of fighting, three years of battling against underworld darkness, he was finally home for good. Well, in a sense. He knew he'd probably only stay in Aizu for a few weeks, at the most, then go off adventuring into the world again. Adventuring WAS his lifestyle, after all, and no amount of dark tournaments were going to change that.
It's really over now, Eiji thought to himself with some relief. Every year, we've always known that it wasn't over, but now it truly is. No more Toshindaibukai, no more evil organizations out to take over the world. Thank God.
It had only been two days since the group of fighters limped out of the crumbling ruin that was the remains of the Soshiki building. They were all exhausted, many of them wounded, but the happiness of their victory more than made up for their injuries. Like Eiji, they all knew that it was finally over, and they could get back to their lives. Everyone was returning to their usual lives, before they had been interrupted by the Soshiki: Kayin was going back to his bounty hunting and his daughter; Ellis was returning to her gypsy troupe; Sofia was rejoining the KGB; Tracy was heading back to New York to continue her policing career, as was Nagisa; and Shizuku and David were going home to an ordinary life. Shizuku was planning to legally adopt David, and now that the source of all his pain was destroyed, he was more than happy to live his life as an regular kid with a loving family, at last.
Although they all promised to stay in touch, like before, Eiji doubted that he'd see any of them again. People drifted apart, he knew, and without the tournaments, there wouldn't be much of a reason to get together. The thought of not seeing any of them again was saddening, but unless he was ever to come across any of them on his travels, he knew it was the truth. No matter what happened, they would always be his friends, and he was certain that he wouldn't ever forget them. They had all taught him a great deal, about life, friendships, tragedy, love...
"It'd all make one hell of a story..." he muttered, grinning. "Too bad no one would ever believe it."
However, he still had to consider his own life-or-death experience. He had never quite explained what had happened to him to his friends, just HOW he had managed to come back from death, because he wasn't sure he could even explain it himself. They were all just so happy to have him back, no one really cared that he couldn't explain it. All Eiji knew was that he had been given a second chance, at both life and succeeding in his destiny. And for that, he was grateful. He understood now, more than ever.
After he had "woken up" again, so to speak, at the Soshiki headquarters, Eiji had hoped to talk to his brother more, to tell him what he had realized. But typically, his brother had made another enigmatic exit, as Eiji recalled.
As usual, I watched my brother disappear into the shadows again. But this time, he seemed even more lonely than ever. I couldn't figure out why until I saw Cupido's body, and everyone explained what had happened to her. I was sorry that she had been a victim of our cause -- she was a true ally to the end. But more importantly, I understood something important about my brother. Eiji smiled to himself.
He's still able to love.
Looking out over the village, he imagined that he could see to the ends of the world. And he said a solemn vow to the wind, in hopes, in knowing that it would reach his brother.
"Brother, you have your way and I have mine. But I know our paths cross, somewhere. It's our destiny. We'll meet again, oniisan. I know I'll see you again." And he made one more promise.
"I'll make a destiny for myself, otousan. I promise you."
With that, and surrounded by memories, Eiji started down the hill, to his hometown. A couple of children, playing in the front yard of their house, looked up when Eiji approached down the road. One of them burst into a huge grin, saying, "Eiji-niisan da! Eiji-niisan!!"
Eiji grinned and waved, calling, "Oiiii!!" Within a few minutes, Eiji was surrounded by the young children of Aizu, all excited and happy to see him home, for they all admired him. Eiji smiled to himself, seeing their happy faces, and knew right then that they had accomplished more than simply destroying an evil organization. We saved the world for them, the future generation. We protected their future. And I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep on protecting the future, for children like these.
One of the youngest children looked up at Eiji hopefully. "Will you tell us a story, Eiji-niisan?"
"Yeah, a good one! Please?" another one chimed in.
For the future...
Eiji laughed, seeing the hopeful looks on the childrens' faces. "All right, all right. I'll tell you all a story. It begins in an airport in Tokyo, three years ago..."

~ owari ~

be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.
-- Plato