Finally decided to stop being so goddamn lazy and post the final chapter (yes you read right, this is the last chapter of this story which I'm reluctant to post but decided that I need to know that this whole story is finally done) Hope... this doesn't disappoint you guys too much . Enjoy? (I hope)
For the last time... Disclaimer: I do not own Guilty Crown or any of it's characters and story plot/arcs. What i do own is my ideas if any, that are incorporated into the fic and the few changes that I've made.
Guilty Crown - Sins of an Emperor
Chapter 19: Mana
I could barely make out Ayase's figure as she held me before saying.
"Shu, rest for now… We'll figure out what to do after you've waken…"
Managing to mumble out a "good night…" I fell asleep with worried thoughts about Inori.
Scene: On board a Ship
I let out a small groan as I woke up, with blurry eyes I looked at my surroundings and mumbled,
"Where am I…?"
My eyes widened as I recalled the events that had occurred before I fell asleep and would've shot out of the bed I was in but I found that my body wasn't able to move.
Someone had their arms around my body and my eyes shot to the origin of the arms only to smile as the sight that greeted me.
The culprit behind the position I found myself in was Ayase and she was still fast asleep, occasionally making some cute sounds. I then tried to free myself from her hold by wriggling as carefully as I could as to not wake her up but alas, despite my attempt, I saw Ayase's eyes slowly opening as she mumbled something incoherent.
Despite being disappointed in myself for disturbing Ayase's slumber, I couldn't help but smile as she freed my body before yawning and beginning to stretch.
Watching her stretch… she's like a cat, the thought of Ayase having cat ears and purring caused me to chuckle, bringing her attention to my side of the bed.
Watching her eyes light up, just from seeing me awake caused an indescribable joy to well up in my heart.
She began to crawl over until she was right above me with our bodies parallel to each other as I laid back down.
Smiling I leaned upwards, giving her a kiss before I said." Morning, Ayase." She rested her head on my chest as she laid down.
Once again, I recalled what happened to Inori and hastily asked Ayase, "Ayase, about Inori…"
Ayase looked up before informing me of what happened after I had fainted.
"We all had decided that staying there was too dangerous as the location was already known to GHQ, Kurachi-san then mentioned that Kuhouin Okina-san has a private island located a safe distance away from Tokyo and that it was unknown to everyone except those that he trusted most, right now we're heading there…"
I was nodding throughout the explanation until I realized what Ayase had said, "Wait a minute, what do you mean by 'safe distance away from Tokyo?' Shouldn't we be heading to-!"
I was cut off as Ayase placed her finger on my lips, silencing me from speaking as she began to explain once more.
"We're doing this to bring the survivors and other civilians that need shelter because we've received information from Okina-san… Apparently it was a message that he left behind. He said that the U.N has decided that Tokyo is too dangerous to be left alone and so they are bringing warships and bomber planes, to destroy Tokyo and The GHQ Headquarter located here."
My eyes widened after Ayase's explanation ended… The last part of it then sunk in as I narrowed my eyes, asking.
"What about Inori? You can't mean to say that we're leav-"
I was flicked on the forehead which made me flinch due to how sudden it was before I looked at Ayase once more who simply smiled and said.
"Baka, what kind of people do you think we are? We're obviously going to save her but we had to wait for you to wake up before we could do anything, this ship is meant to bring those who we could gather to safety just in case."
I let out a sigh of relief before pulling Ayase into a hug as I whispered "Thanks" into her ear; she just continued to smile as she closed her eyes. I basked in her warmth and we stayed like that for a few more minutes before Ayase suddenly began to tickle me, causing me to burst into a fit of laughter which also caused me to let go of her. The tickles stopped as well as I felt Ayase getting up from the bed, calming myself from laughing, I looked at her with slight teary eyes and asked.
"What was that for?"
She giggled before answering, "While I would like nothing but to spend the day relaxing in bed, we have work to do." She then gathered up a bundle of her clothes before opening, what I assumed to be the bathroom door and gave me a wink before entering and closing the door.
I sat up and decided that I should gather my own change of clothes, as I did so I began thinking about Inori… Was she okay? I'm afraid about what Gai and Yuu were going to do… But right now I can't do anything about it, Inori… Wait for us; we'll be coming to save you soon.
I looked at the Void Genome Symbol on my right arm for a moment before I heard the bathroom door open and looked at the clock on the wall, dang… it seemed that I spent a lot more time than expected, shrugging I gathered my clothes and went over to the bathroom door; as Ayase passed by, I couldn't help but breath in the smell of her shampoo… it smelt like strawberries… I blushed at my actions and quickly rushed into the bathroom, not noticing the small smile on her face.
I took a quick shower, dried off and dressed up before looking at myself in the bathroom mirror. I was wearing the same outfit I wore when I was still training back at the Undertaker's base, after I was done making sure nothing was off with my appearance, I came out and saw that Ayase was just about done, with only her hair needing to be done.
I went over and grabbed the comb before beginning to comb her hair down, after a few strokes with her simply enjoying what I was doing, I put the comb down and she took a hair band and tied her hair into her usual ponytail.
She stood up and I asked, "Ready?"
She nodded and just then, the door opened, revealing Tsugumi who smiled before jumping at me with a hug, shouting. "Shu! You're awake!"
I began to chuckle as she began shooting off various questions about what I did that night and she was asking them too quickly for me to answer, I noticed Daryl standing by the door with a slightly annoyed look on his face, probably not liking that Tsugumi grabbed me in a hug at sight.
I decided to tease him as I said with a sly grin on my face, "What's this, Tsugumi… Have you already gotten tired of Daryl? Jumping into my arms like this…"
Just like that, Daryl's annoyed face became shocked before turning red with rage.
However, I heard Tsugumi giggle softly as she whispered quietly, "two can play at that game…" I then caught her grinning like a cat which caught the canary; she was looking at something behind me before she leaned a little close towards me and fake-whispered, loud enough for Ayase to hear.
"Why Shu? Has Aya-nee not been tending to your needs? If that's the case then I'm sure we can work something out…" she finished with an overly cheerful tone.
In the end, she ended up leaning close enough as if she was going to kiss me before I felt a shiver crawling up my back and noticed the entire room was silent.
All hell then broke loose as Ayase grabbed Tsugumi while I was grabbed by Daryl, they then began to threaten or interrogate in Ayase's case.
As Daryl continued to spew off threats while holding my by my collar, Ayase was still shaking Tsugumi while franticly questioning her about what she just said earlier.
I held my hands up and said, "Okay, okay Daryl stop!" He indeed stopped but still glared at me and I just let out a sigh as I turned to look at Tsugumi who did the same and gave me an innocent look as I said.
"That was just plain evil…"
Ayase and Daryl continued to look at us with confused looks as Tsugumi retorted, "Like what you did was any better…"
"What're you tw-"Ayase began but was interrupted as Tsugumi and I began laughing and we both explained that we just wanted to tease them.
We got scolded and I found myself kneeling and asking Ayase for forgiveness while Tsugumi just pouted and continued to show Daryl her puppy-eye look.
Eventually they forgave us with Daryl begrudgingly doing so and me owing Ayase a date which wasn't that bad of a punishment.
So with that over, Ayase and I were then told that everyone was at the cafeteria and that they were suppose inform us to go there. We all headed there and just as I entered, I was glomped by someone familiar.
"Well… doesn't this seem familiar, mom…" That was all I could get out before she began bombarding me with questions like:
"How are you feeling? Are there any places that hurt? What did you do?"
Everyone present were chuckling or giggling at the sight of two us as my mother continued to fuss while I tried to placate her.
I turned to see if Ayase would aid me but all I got was a solemn yet soft smile on her face while I noticed that Tsugumi was already dragging Daryl over to see what they were serving.
Seeing Ayase's face like that, made me recall her loss and with that, my decision was made and I pulled her over and made her stand in front of me as I introduced her to my mom with a tender smile.
"Mom, I don't think you two have been properly introduced yet, so this is Ayase the woman whom I love and Ayase this is my mother."
I received cat-calls and wolf whistles as I introduced Ayase but ignored them as Ayase greeted my mom.
"Hello Mrs. Ouma…"
She sounded a bit nervous, so I embraced her and whispered, "Why so nervous?" she looked at me and she told me a soft voice, "I guess I wasn't prepared for this yet…"
My mom probably heard that as she grabbed both of us into her own embrace and I was surprised to see that she had a lone tear falling down her face as she murmured to Ayase. "Please, just call me Haruka or even Mom will do… After all with all you and Shu have been through, I can certainly trust him with you, so… please take care of him okay?"
Ayase smiled as she nodded before saying, "Of course, mom…" the last part was said a bit softer but was heard by the both of us all the same.
With that done, we separated and headed over to grab our trays of food and sat down at a table before beginning to eat…
Scene Change: Inside the GHQ's headquarter
"So… Ouma Shu has manifested his own Void…"
It seems that Keido and Gai were in a spacious room… the same room where Gai received his own Void Genome and they were currently having a conversation.
Gai commented, "It doesn't matter." he turned upwards as he asked.
"How are things, Mana?"
A cute, seemingly childish voice replied, "It's boring…"
Inori was hung on a cross, wearing a white dress and the voice seemed to be coming from her…
"This girl is pretty stubborn for a fake… But soon enough, all of this will be me. Then we can have all sorts of fun together…Triton."
Gai then exited the room followed by Keido.
Scene Change: Back with Shu
We were all enjoying our meals when suddenly two men came in announcing.
"There's a message from Ward 24, Gai's talking!"
With that, someone quickly turned on the television and true enough, Gai was there and began speaking.
"I warned you once before. Do not get in my way. Yet, there have been 34 invasion attempts and 42,000 hacking attempts on Ward 24. Therefore, I have come to a conclusion."
He glared at the camera before coldly saying, "You all want to die, be destroyed… then I shall grant you, your wish… I've decided to let this worth decide each of your individual worth… On December 25th, this world shall come to an end and a new one shall arise from its ashes."
The feed cut off right there and we were all silent for a moment, taking in what Gai had just announced to the whole world, when suddenly Kurachi-san began…
"Kuhouin-san has instructed me to use all of his assets and connections to fight Gai. To that extent, we will be working with the PMC, which is a private military company… Ouma Shu, I trust that you will fight alongside us?"
Kurachi asked the same question towards everyone in the room, however before anyone could answer, Arugo began…
"Before that, would someone tell me something first?"
He looked at us, especially me as he asked his question.
"What is Gai actually trying to do?"
I was about to answer when someone beat me to it.
"The Fourth Apocalypse… " Wait… this voice… "Gai intends to cause Lost Christmas on a world wide scale" I turned to the direction of voice but even before I did so, Tsugumi's cry already told me that my thoughts were correct.
"Shibunji! No way, are you a ghost?!"
Shibunji answered amused, "I'm quite alive as you can see for yourself." Shibunji then turned towards me and brought out an old book as he said, "Shu, Gai gave me this." Mom beside me gasped as she saw the book that Shibunji was holding, "That's-"
Shibunji however cut her off as he continued with what she was about to say… what he said definitely shocked me.
"This is Dr. Ouma Kurosu's dairy."
My eyes widened… I could feel Ayase's worried yet curious eyes on me, I muttered to myself.
Scene Change: Inside the Japan GHQ's Main Headquarters
"Why did you let him leave with Kurosu's diary?" Keido asked Gai who was look up at Inori as he answered.
"They have the right to die knowing everything and the obligation as well, especially Shu"
Gai turned to face Keido as he continued.
"As Ouma Kurosu's best friend, isn't that what you want, dad?"
Keido did not seem to be surprised by the way Gai had addressed him and only seemed to look older and tired as he muttered, "Best friend… There was a time where I could call him that."
Gai raised a brow not expecting that Keido would begin to reminisce about the past but didn't interrupt him as he continued.
"That was back when I was still a graduate student at Tennouzu College. At the time, other people were nothing but annoyances to me. However… that was when 'He" appeared, he barged into my office as I was working on a theory announcing that he found the paper I wrote to be too beautiful."
Keido had a small smile on his face as he continued, "I was so uncomfortable with this reaction coming from a person I had never met before… He even told me that he couldn't stop crying… that he was so moved by it. I later found out that his name was Ouma Kurosu…and that there were actually people who could operate on the same conceptual framework as me, argue about different theories and even compete with me." Keido's eyes then narrowed as he thought about something before restarting his story.
"And then it was brought up… the Genomic Resonance theory that Kurosu had constructed on the basis of my Intron RAM hypothesis commanded worldwide attention as the key to unlocking the mysteries and secrets of evolution and natural selection."
However despite the gloomy tone that Keido had begun with, he suddenly chuckled as he said, "I remember the time I barged into our office, about to announce that his paper was accepted when I found Kurosu and 'her' on the couch, both naked as the day they were born… Kurosu was so flustered and embarrassed."
"It was her, wasn't it? Shijou Saeko…" Gai and Keido turned their attention to Inori's body which laid on the cross unmoving, her mouth however was moving and the voice that came out was Ouma Mana's as she continued to say, " Both Shu's and my mother."
Keido nodded, answering Mana before mentioning, " She was already carrying you back then… and before long they got married before moving to Ooshima where her family lived, by then you had already been born and so had Shu after a year. Five years later… You found the rock that would change the world forever."
"And a year later, I met with her as she was playing around with her abilities before coming to meet with you… isn't that right, Shuuichirou?" Yuu suddenly appeared, sitting on one of the pillars with an amused smile on his face as usual.
Keido answered, "Yes… You commented about her growth… and then told us that the rock we found had sown the seeds of Apocalypse across the nation… that all of the people of our nation would become their seedbed."
Yuu nodded with a smile on his face, "Yes… I also told you that when Mana matures as Eve, the earth would experience the fourth apocalypse, the simultaneous selection and evolution of all life." He turned towards Gai as he asked, "I believe that you along with Shu have experienced the fourth apocalypse first hand?" He then continued in an exasperated tone," And to think it caused Adam to forget about his daring sister and best friend even if he was-."
Yuu was interrupted as he jumped and floated in mid-air due to the pillar he was standing on being stabbed by a crystal vine that came from behind the cross where Inori's body hung.
"I will not allow you to insult my Shu like that! Understood? Envoy of Daath."
Yuu still looked amused despite the near encounter with death he just had, he kneeled and bowed while floating as he apologized. "Forgive me, Eve… I did not mean any offence by what I said."
With that he dispersed into crystals and disappeared with an ominous grin that neither Gai nor Keido had seen.
Scene Change: Back with Shu.
As I placed down the diary which both Ayase and I had read… I'm honestly shocked to know that the person whom I have fought against was actually my father's rival and best friend… who knew that dad and Keido actually got along with each other… and these words, I would not believe that they were written with anything less than pure sincerity.
I looked at my mum and asked, "How did you and dad meet?"
She took hold of the diary and began flipping through the pages with melancholy until she reached a page which brought a smile to her face; it was then that she answered my question.
"We first met when my brother… Keido Shuuichirou asked me to bring over take outs for two, both of them, Keido and Kurosu were so busy staring at some complex calculations dealing with a process they were trying to figure out that they did not notice me entering the room until I slapped my brother on his back causing him to yelp and jump from his scene… It was so unlike him that both Kurosu and I started laughing at my brother's expense."
I stifled a laugh at the image that my mother had describe, certainly seeing Keido react in that way would cause almost anyone to laugh.
Mom smiled at the memory before continuing as she said, "As we calmed down from laughing, Kurosu and I introduced ourselves to each other and I spent the rest of my day watching the two of them working until they dropped."
With a smile on my face, I asked my mom, "What made you decide to get married to dad?"
She fingered a page of the diary as she answered with a happy smile on her face, "While Kurosu was kind, generous and smart… He was also lonely ever since Saeko passed on after giving birth to you, but despite that, he tried working at his best in order to secure both Mana's and your future."
And with that in mind, we all drifted into comfortable silence before Kurachi-san suddenly stood up and announced that in 3 hours we were going to board a chopper that would bring us back to Tokyo while the ship will go around and collect other survivors that have been reported.
Everyone gave a nod and with that we all went our separate ways, Tsugumi and Daryl went off somewhere, Arugo stayed in the cafeteria, Mom, Tsugumi, Shibunji and Kurachi-san went off to make preparations for the operation that was gonna be executed soon while I borrowed Tsugumi's laptop to my room and together with Ayase, I checked which voids were gonna prove useful in a fight and which were more useful in other situations.
Eventually, it was time for us to say good bye to those of us that were gonna stay on the ship. Kanon, Souta and Yahiro were staying while Arugo, Kurachi-san, mom, Shibunji, Tsugumi, Daryl, Ayase and I were going to head for GHQ's main headquarters in Tokyo.
While I originally argued against Hare coming along, I had to concede that her void would be useful especially since I cannot be everywhere at any time. I eventually backed off when she showed a determined expression, however I did tell her that she should always be with Arugo or someone that could protect her. I then turned to all of my friends and the rest of us that were going to stay aboard the ship and said.
"Stay safe everyone, and do pray for all of us to come back safely."
Yahiro, Souta and Kanon approached us and each said….
"Be safe guys; don't let this be like that time… Okay Shu?" I gave Yahiro a determined nod.
"Good luck and bring Inori back safe and sound okay?"
I answered, "Of course! Just stay here and await our return." I turned to Kanon expecting her to say something as well when she just smiled and gave me and Ayase a hug before whispering.
"I'll pray that all of you will come back to us safely… So be careful out there."
Receiving cheers and wishes of the same variety, I boarded the chopper along with Ayase as we waved at our friends.
Our group's chopper along with a few others eventually lifts off and as I gazed at the blue waters below us and our ship that continued to decrease in size, I prayed that we would make it in time. Ayase held my hand and I returned the gesture while gripping her hand a bit more firmly and leaned over to tell her softly, "Be careful and stay safe… Don't do anything reckless, okay?"
She raised a brow and with a wry smile she answered, "Those words… I return them back to you." she leaned and kissed me before continuing, " Remember no matter what happens, all of us will be by your side." She placed a hand on my chest as she continued, "Our hearts, our wishes, our beliefs… all of them, we have all entrusted them with you, so… No pressure." She ended it with a small giggle while I gave her a pout that only lasted a few moments before I too smiled at her attempt to lighten up the atmosphere.
We then recalled where we were and found that everyone was staring at us with grins on their faces… We blushed and with that they all laughed. Amidst the laughter, I couldn't help but smile… Even in this time, we all are still able to laugh… Somehow, that makes me feel more confident about this operation… yet I can't help but feel, that something… is going to happen… I just hope that this feeling is just paranoia.
Scene change: 1 hour later, at the docks near the GHQ's main headquarters.
When we got there, Kurachi-san was asking Shibunji about the Leucocytes that were suppose to fire … It turns out that those 256 Leucocytes were all just a bluff and we were all tricked to waiting this long before moving.
Someone then had contacted Kurachi-san and she had a surprised look on her face as she gestured towards the west. We all turned to that direction and saw what she was so surprised about.
"I guess the U.N decided to ignore Gai's warning and come without any delay… However. Though both we and the U.N did decide on waiting until the very last minute before moving."Tsugumi muttered,
As I gazed at the navy of battle ships and over two dozen choppers heading towards GHQ's main headquarters… I then felt the emergence of a Void nearby and turned my attention to that direction as a glow dimmed before an arrow was fired.
Suddenly, as the arrow reached the peak of its flight, it exploded and caused a shower of crystal pikes to rain down on all if not most of the U.N's forces and if that wasn't enough… Not a second later, all the pikes imploded and screams resounded throughout the area.
I gritted my teeth at the grief-stricken screams. Behind me I could hear Kurachi-san mention that she had wished that the U.N had lasted longer than they did but honestly? I couldn't really blame them… I mean what they could have really done against two Void Genome users or Voids in general without any information on them?
As I sensed Gai and Yuu moving away from their firing position, I turned to Kurachi-san and asked, "How much longer before the operation can begin?"
Our entire group looked at her as well before she answered with a determined look, "We'll just need five minutes before we can start."
I nodded and with that, we all got busy and despite our situation, I couldn't help but smile as I saw everyone work together to get things done faster, noticing that I was really the only one who wasn't doing anything yet, I went ahead and drew my Void before going over to draw out everyone's.
With that done, I went and looked at the aftermath of Gai's or Yuu's attack… It was terrible, no terrible would be a kind way of putting it, it was plain horrifying… the whole sea was covered in crystals… with numerous pillars of smoke coming from various areas where I assumed the choppers fell.
To think that one arrow had caused all this damage… Could I really win against Gai and Yuu? I looked at my crystal-covered right hand before I formed a fist with it and muttered, "now's not the time for this…" before I could continue, I felt a tug and turned to see it was Ayase and she had a small but concerned smile on her lips.
I grabbed her hand and asked, "What's wrong?" She looked at me with her mouth open to say something but before she could, it closed again as she looked down at the ground.
I placed my right hand under her chin and made her look at me. Now concerned about the way she was acting, I asked her once again to tell me what was wrong.
Small tears began brimming as she hugged me all of a sudden and with a slightly muffled tone she said, "I can't help but feel worried about what's going to happen once we go in there… Even when I said all of those things in the chopper, I guess I must look pretty stupid right now."
I couldn't help the gentle smile that appeared on my face as I stroked her hair, I then began, "Hey… Why the tears?" I gently pulled her out of our embrace and held her in arms length as I said, "don't worry, we'll go in there, save Inori and come back alive… So there's no need for tears, alright?" I knew I was grinning like an idiot who was overconfident because Ayase began slowly began to smile and gave me a nod before Tsugumi called the both of us over.
Kurachi-san began saying, " Despite my wishes for the U.N to last longer than they did, I guess this is one of those battles where I never thought I'd find myself saying that, the world's future lies within our hands…"
I nodded saying, "While we may have wasted some time, we still have a chance and that's all we really need."
Mom then continued saying, "Yes, if we're able to save Inori then Gai's plans will all fail and there might even be a chance that we would be able to rid this world of the apocalypse virus, not just in Japan but even the whole world."
Ayase then spoke saying, "So, let's win and bring back Inori to where she belongs." we all looked at her and with determined looks and nodded.
After Tsugumi asked mom about some protocol of sorts, Daryl came over and dragged Tsugumi to ask her something about his new Endlave. I noticed that he had a firmer than usual grip on her hand and smiled, happy that those two were really getting along and I prayed that nothing would happen to any of us.
It wasn't long before it was time for the operation to begin and we were being sent down by a large lift of sorts.
Giving Ayase who had her void out whilst carrying a rifle a nod, I materialized her void as well before asking, "Everyone ready?" Receiving various kinds of replies, I announced, "Let's begin the operation!"
And with that we began moving towards the center of GHQ's headquarters.
Scene change: GHQ's Main control center.
Various GHQ soldiers were by control panels and one of them turned back to inform Rowan who was in charge of the security about an enemy entering through block 7 and it wasn't the U.N.
Rowan's eyes widened before giving the order to dispatch the Ghost units and making sure that everyone gets the warning that there will be Voids.
Scene Change: Outside at Block 7
Shu's group was steadily moving towards the GHQ building when a Ghost unit appeared and entered artillery mode and fired a round at them causing an explosion.
While Rowan had hoped that did the job, when the smoke cleared, there was no one to be found and all that was left were traces of Voids dematerializing. And with that, Rowan decided to inform Gai and Yuu of this event.
Scene Change: Underneath Block 7
I felt that the Void clones that were made by Tsugumi's Void were destroyed and instantly announced that to everyone.
With that in mind, Shibunji then announced, "I anticipated that." He then addressed Tsugumi as he said, "Tsugumi that should be enough for you to analyze their security setup. Can you do it?"
Though I couldn't actually see Tsugumi right now, I knew she had a grin on her face as she replied, "Who do you think you're talking to? I can do some pretty amazing things when I'm serious!"
And with that, Shibunji then confirmed that all ghost units have been shut down and their security system was not working. With that encouraging piece of information, I increased my pace as we neared a huge gate.
I materialized Souta's Void and shot the gate allowing us to pass through, as we passed through the gate, we all stopped before Tsugumi and Shibunji got out of the their vehicle and Tsugumi told me, "Well, this is where we part, don't worry I'll continue to mess around with them and bring you guys back to safety, so you guys better bring back Inori okay?"
I nodded before saying, "we'll be counting on you, Tsugumi." She then turned towards Daryl's new Endlave before saying, "you'd better not die there and come back." before going back into the trailer.
I could've sworn that Daryl muttered, "Like I'd risk getting revived and getting killed you again."
With that Ayase, Daryl, Arugo, Mom, Kurachi along with myself went ahead, determined to rescue Inori.
As we moved forward, I prayed that this would all end with a happy ending.
Scene Change: The room where Inori is held.
Inori's eyes opened and saw that Gai was looking at her… Without any emotion, Gai told Inori, "I'm about to erase all your emotions and memories that made you a person."
With that said, crystal ribbons that were spiraling around Gai's arm entered Inori caused her to gasp in pain and the base of the cross she was hung on began glowing a pink hue as it began materializing a flower of sorts that began to cover Inori.
The crystal flower that embraced Inori slowly began breaking into pieces as Gai said that she would be reborn as Mana. Gai then said, "Resent me, Inori. If I hadn't awakened you then, nothing would've begun." Gai began to have a flashback about the time he had found Inori in one of the GHQ's left behind bases where they had tried to recreate Mana.
Inori however just smiled and said, "No… I'm grateful to you, Gai… You gave me a life and without that, I wouldn't have met Shu and Shu wouldn't have been able to meet so many other friends."
Gai had a small frown on his face as he asked, "What did Shu give you? What kind of world did he show you?"
"The sadness of this world… and its beauty. Shu suffered, doubted and obviously made mistakes. But he was always kind, looking out for others and loyal… He treated me as his sister..." Even as the flower around her continued to break apart, she continued to speak. "That's why even though I'm just a vessel… I was happy to have lived the life that I had… to be a little sister, an idol, to be the voice that numerous people could relate to… To have lived a life like a normal person…"
By this time, most of the flower was gone and Gai began, "So that's what you had experienced while being together with Shu…"
Inori, whose eyes seemed dull, asked. "Who's Shu…?" The crystals began covering her whole body and Gai who was startled slightly answered without a pause, "He was your brother and my best friend…"
And just as the crystallization process reached near completion, it stopped and Inori began singing… singing her very last song.
Scene Change: With Shu's group.
I suddenly heard Inori's song, Euterpe and announced to everyone that it was coming from our right.
I turned to them and saw that they all looked confused, I then asked, "Don't you hear it? Inori's singing right now…"
They all shook their heads and Ayase came up saying, "Only Shu being able to hear her song… That wouldn't be surprising at this point." Everyone else agreeing, I nodded before heading towards the origin of the song with them following close behind.
I entered a huge room that didn't really seem to have a purpose except for the platform in front of us.
As I was about to ask where we were, mom announced that we were in the Central Command and that the platform would lead us to the top floor."
Suddenly the path behind us was closed by a gate and we heard chuckling.
"Welcome! Ouma Shu, and all your followers." a familiar voice said.
I turned towards the voice and saw that it was indeed Yuu and he was floating above us.
Arugo didn't take the word 'followers' lightly as he shouted, "We're not followers! We're comrades!" before beginning to fire at Yuu.
Yuu simply held up a hand and a shield sprung up making the bullets hung in mid air as he commented, "Yes I'm aware that such concepts have been in style over the past thousand years." My eyes widened before materializing Arisa's Void and threw the shield over to where Arugo was standing as the bullets that hung in mid air were sent back towards him.
Everyone else began firing at him to which he just became like ribbons before materializing again in a different area as he said that he and I had something to talk about… Alone.
He then raised his hand and the platform which I was standing on began raising itself, Ayase was about to fly over to where I was when I shouted, "Ayase! I'll be fine; you and Daryl just protect everyone else."
Ayase just said, "Be careful…" I gave her a nod as I continued to look at Yuu who was floating just in front of me before I said, "same to you… Be safe…"
With that we were both cut off from each other and I was face to face with Yuu who began to land on the moving platform as he commented, " Well, aren't you looking fine now… Have you decided to embrace your throne after all?"
Ignoring his comment, I glared at him as I asked him, "Who… or what exactly are you…"
Yuu just smiled smugly as he said, "I'm the symbol of the unity of Daath, the organization that derives the will of the human race. You could say that I myself am Daath."
I kept my silence as he continued to say, "When you unlocked the true potential of your powers, we were forced to reexamine the question… of whether you or Gai would be the best Adam… the next king."
He materialized an apple as he asked, "Therefore, Ouma Shu… We must ask this: in order for mankind to progress to the next stage, will you vow to obliterate all of mankind and live eternally with Mana?"
I glared at him as I said, "What are you talking about… Obliterate all of mankind..."
Yuu however remained unaffected by the glare as he asked, "Answer with a 'yes' or 'no', please."
"My answer's gonna be 'No' and as I blinked, I found that Yuu was floating right beside me as he said.
"That's the normal answer, but do you know what Gai answered? He answered 'yes' without any hesitation. And that is the difference between you and him."
The platform stopped moving and Yuu floated away from me as he held out the apple and said, "In the name of Daath, I hereby strip you of your right to succession!" The apple turned in to ribbons and I saw that there was a row of GHQ soldiers behind Yuu and two of them had their Voids forcibly drawn.
Immediately, I materialized Inori's C-Void and tensed for battle. Without a signal, the battle began as Yuu rushed towards me with two long whips that he began swinging, easily dispatching the whips with a shockwave, Yuu had already let go of the whips and drew out two projectiles and threw them at me to which I just shot down with Gai's C-Void.
Though the soldiers began crystallizing when their Voids were destroyed, I couldn't be worried about them at this point as I knew one mistake could cost me. Yuu then combined three people's Voids into one big great sword and with that we once again engaged in a deadly dance of slashing, evading and fatal blows.
Eventually we reached a weapon-clash and began to put pressure on each other. Using only one hand to hold Inori's C-Void, I quickly materialized Yahiro's C-Void and dematerialized Inori's before slicing Yuu's Void which once again caused the deaths of three more soldiers.
Yuu drew twin katanas and rushed at me once more while I materialized a Scythe and used its range to keep Yuu from getting close while occasionally dodging the shots coming from the soldiers around us.
Managing to put some distance between us, Yuu immediately threw one of his katanas and as I dodged it, I heard the sound of metal piercing flesh and knew that it had hit one of the soldiers. Before I could do anything, Yuu was already next to me and I managed to bring my scythe to meet his sole katana just in time.
Yuu then began to say as we fought for dominance. "You had the honor of Mana choosing you, yet you refused it! Despite knowing that whatever you're going to do will be futile!"
I managed to send him back a distance as he continued to dodge my attempts to slice him in half either by dodging or dematerializing into ribbons.
He then continued to say, "In the end, you chose to save a fake like Yuzuriha Inori…" I gritted my teeth and with rage in my veins, I entered 'New King Mode' and threw the scythe at Yuu before quickly materializing Arugo's C-Void and shooting it at Yuu.
Blinded by the total darkness caused by Arugo's C-Void, I managed to get close enough and fire some sort of chi blast that I found I could do once I entered 'New King Mode' and made him fly towards the row of Soldiers.
I glared at Yuu who was caught by two soldiers as I said, "Don't you dare call Inori a fake when you know nothing about her!" I then began combining three voids together to form a cannon while Yuu who finally showed a furious expression at being hit began combining the Voids of all the soldiers into his own cannon.
As the energy collected in front of my cannon, Yuu's had already fired and it impact the energy ball that was being condensed in front of mine. My eyes shone with a red hue before I fired my cannon and it instantly repelled Yuu's.
The blast from the energy coming from our cannons blinded us for a moment and when my vision cleared, I noticed that Yuu was holding his left arm that seemed limp before saying, "try and resist despair then, Ouma Shu!" Before dispersing in a mass of particles.
I looked upwards and materialized Ayase's C-Void before heading to where I felt Gai's presence and when I reached there, I found Gai standing in front of a crystallized figure… Gai turned towards me and said with a small amount of pity in his voice, "You arrived too late."
With wide eyes, I wanted to deny his claim… but despite my heart wanting it to be unreal, my mind knew that I was indeed… too late.
The crystallized object then began glowing red and began cracking… Gai then continued to say, "Mana will be reborn by devouring Inori and with that, the process of reviving Eve has been completed."
The object's upper half crumbled before I could make out a figure standing up… When I saw the pink hair I nearly shouted in happiness before horribly realizing the truth that was in front of me as Gai announced.
"Our lost Eve!"
My horrified widened eyes continued to watch as the crystals around her body… formed clothing and a large pillar of light shone through the roof causing snow to fall.
When Inori/Mana opened her eyes… I knew then that it wasn't Inori; Inori didn't have crystal-like irises… Nor did she have such an evil aura…
Scene Change: With Ayase & Co
The moment they were separated with Shu, Endlaves came rushing into the room but were quickly dispatched and as they began searching for an exit, they ended up in a room where numerous ghost units were found along with various foot soldiers.
As they began taking cover and firing whenever possible, they all noticed the sudden light show and Arugo asked what was the light about.
Haruka then announced, "Something has definitely happened." Arugo nodded before saying that they'd hold the fort and asked her to head up as soon as possible while asking Ayase to cover them.
While Ayase would want nothing more than being by Shu's side, they were surrounded by so many enemies that it looks like they wouldn't be moving any time soon.
Tsugumi and Shibunji were trying their hardest to bypass the security system again to shut down the Ghost Units but somehow Tsugumi had more than a little difficulty in doing so.
Shibunji after asking the situation, muttered to himself… "Someone on par with Tsugumi… Can it be!?" He then muttered, "Kenji… is that you?"
Scene Change: Back with Shu.
I watched as Mana jumped down from the crystal structure and slowly floated to the ground… where Gai was waiting for her.
She yawned before saying the words that caused shivers to crawl down my spine… "Good morning, Triton."
I gritted my teeth and tensed just in case as Gai replied, "I see you're awake, Mana."
Mana simply smiled before noticing I was there, her eyes lit up and with a large smile she exclaimed, "Shu!"
She began jumping over to where I was standing as she began saying how happy she was. She finally reached me and grab me into a hug as she said, "I'm so happy that you came for me."
I didn't react or say anything as Mana continued to say, " It was terrible you know… there was this annoying woman always getting in my way, but now she's finally taken care of and this body now belongs to me."
She snuggled into me as I gritted my teeth at what she was saying… how Inori was a fake and that she thought she could stop her from taking over.
Not being able to take it anymore, I pulled away from her embrace and glared at her with contempt as I said, "Don't you dare call her a fake! You may look and sound the same as my sister, but you're definitely not her! The sister I knew as Mana would never have called someone a fake or be happy to get rid of someone who just wants to live!"
'Mana' had tears brimming in her eyes as her hair shadowed her face, she then began to say, "You're so mean, Shu… Your big sister loves you so much… I loved you even when my body was blown to shreds and yet… you reject me again, Shu!"
'Mana's eyes shone in rage and I tensed before Gai approached us and held out a hand to Mana saying, "Leave the rest to me." 'Mana' accepting the hand which glowed ominously, nodded before heading over to a platform that began raising itself as she said, "You've hurt me Shu… Those who hurt others must be prepared to receive the same amount in return…"
Despite my worries about what 'Mana' was going to do, I materialized Inori's C-Void as I began to say to Gai, "So… In the end, it comes down to this."
Gai materialized what seemed to be a bow of sorts and notched an arrow aimed towards me as he replied, "So it does…" Before he let the arrow loose and I jumped aside to dodge it.
Materializing Ayase's C-Void, I dashed over and swung the Void I was wielding but Gai simply evaded it before shooting another arrow right at my face which I had managed to dodge by using Ayase's C-Void to propel me upwards.
Gai went back quite a distance before the Bow Void he held in his hands glowed and he fired. Seeing multiple arrows coming towards me, I quickly materialized Arisa's Void and made it surround myself before the arrows struck causing massive explosions.
When the smoke from the explosions cleared, I had managed to duck just in time because Gai would've decapitated me right there and then with a Void that looked eerily similar to Inori's Void.
I shot at Gai using his C-Void but he simply swung the sword and like I've done numerous times, a shockwave was heading towards me and I quickly flew upwards to evade it.
Knowing that any other Void would do little to nothing against the one Gai was wielding, I materialized Inori's C-Void just in time to defend against a barrage of shots coming from Gai's own Void before being witness to the sight of him materializing another Void out of nowhere… How he was doing this? I could only guess it had something to do with that glow when 'Mana' and his right hand had touched…
Gritting my teeth, I rushed at him and we continued to trade blows with similar Voids.
An eerie sound began resounding and I knew it had something to do with Mana but I could do nothing to stop it as I was busy dealing with Gai…
Scene Change: Outside of GHQ's main base
A commander of the U.N forces received messages that their equipment and Endlaves were all malfunction and upon asking what was wrong, he received a reply saying. " There's Genomic Resonance values higher than Lost Christmas coming from Tokyo and all around the world, there has been reports about the crystallization phenomenon occurring!"
Scene Change: Back with Shu and Gai
Gai surprisingly stopped attacking as he answered my question, "The fourth apocalypse has begun… The evolution and selection of life on this planet." He suddenly rushed towards me and I quickly brought up Inori's C-Void.
As our blades clashed, Gai continued to say, "By discarding our bodies and achieving eternal consciousness within the crystals, we will finally reach the next stage… Voids were only just a sign of the new world!"
I was then blasted away with a point-black shock wave and I coughed as the wind got knocked out of me due to impacting the wall.
I materialized Souta's C-Void and shot at where Gai was standing only for him to dodge and retaliate with another shockwave. Evading that shockwave, I shouted at Gai, "Gai! Didn't you ask me to save Mana, by stabbing you together with her?! Then how did it come to this!?"
Gai simply shouted, "You would never understand! You who had been chosen yet chose to run from that choice!"
We then continued our battle, exchanging blows, whether by projectiles or bladed Voids. As I landed near the crystal structure, I noticed something glowing at the base of it… It was a single flower and as my hand reached out to it, a red string connected my hand and the flower.
My eyes which were closed… opened wide as I saw Inori standing before me…
"Don't ever give up, while it may be too late for me… there are still others waiting for you to return to them…"
Tears fell from my eyes, "B-but… I failed to save you, how can you still stand there and smile at me… someone who can't even save his own sister…"
I felt Inori's small yet gentle hands touch my cheek as she softly said, "Oh Shu… You've allowed me to live a life; I didn't think I'd have the chance to experience… the emotions… the adventures… and more. These things are more than what I could have ever wished for and for that I thank you, so please… Don't grieve for me and know that I'll always be happy for the times we spent together." She then reached and brought up something and showed it to me…
My eyes widened… it was the locket of the picture that I took with Ayase…
She smiled at my reaction before saying, " This… is also one of the reasons why you should never give up, one of the reasons why you should return safely… "
She then began fading as my eyes widened once more as I called out to her in vain.
The world we were in vanished and the pillar of light vanished…
Inori's Song that she made just for me… Departures began playing as if announcing to the whole world that this was Inori's departure from this world…
I eyed the locket that I had forgotten ever since the day began… I held it in my hand for a moment and thought about all the moments I had with Ayase… I had to return, no matter what!
With my resolve renewed, I rushed at Gai with even more vigor. Copying the move that Gai made on me, I released a point-blank shockwave before quickly switching to Arugo's C-Void, firing and materializing Kenji + Inori's Combo Void and took a shot before Gai could recover.
As the smoke from the explosion cleared, I found that Gai, despite still conscious… was in a bad state with his clothes singed and some cuts probably from the debris.
Not seeing the need to speak anymore, I eyed Gai silently before materializing Inori's C-Void once more and held it as I tensed to charge, Gai did the same and with a silent signal, we both rushed at each other and after a slight flash, we appeared on each other's side with our blades already swung.
Gai had a grin on his face before blood splattered on the floor and a scream was heard.
Scene Change: GHQ's Control room.
Haruka entered the room and saw that Keido was standing in front of a module and pointed her gun at him.
"You did all of this… To Shu and his friends, just for this?!"
Keido simply said, "I will not deny it." He then looked at her in the eyes and asked, "Are you going to shoot me, Haruka?"
Before she could make that choice however, Keido injected himself with a vial of sorts and began crystallizing at a fast pace.
Haruka cried out but Keido ignore her as he commented, "In the end, neither Kurosu nor I won… Go, Haruka." Those were his last words before he completely crystallized.
Scene Change: Back with Shu
I opened my eyes and found myself on a crystal staircase, overlooking the city of Tokyo… However it was as if the world had ended… there was no signs of life whatsoever…
"What the hell is this…?"
"The place where selection converges... The world beyond the apocalypse."
I turned to see Gai… the old Gai, standing there as if nothing happened… He looked towards the city and commented, "This is the Utopia of Daath… Their Ideal world, where the whole planet will be turned into memories within the crystals."
He then turned towards me and continued, "I may have been celebrated as their king but in the end… I have always been afraid of being selected out."
The scene changed to the church where the Lost Christmas's origin was situated… The scene was frozen at the point where Mana was giving a present to Gai.
"It was for that reason, that I wanted Eve, Mana… Back then. When you stabbed us back at Roppongi, I truly believed that Mana would be free that way. But Daath, the will of natural selection will not let Mana die. Even if she did die, she would be reanimated again."
What… So does that mean… even if this does end… Mana… will come back and eventually try to end this world once more... Will there be no end to all this meaningless slaughter? I stared at Gai confusion and worried… Until he began speaking.
"There is only one way to save her, which is to let her finish her role." Eh..? Gai went over to 'Mana' and embraced her as he continued, "That is why I risked it… I would become the devil himself and bring about the apocalypse… Because I knew that you would come to stop us."
I was shaking… not because of the saddening story of Gai self-sacrificing himself in order to save Mana… No, it was because I was enraged.
Gai stood and turned towards me, probably sensing my anger. As he opened his mouth to say something, I socked him right in the face.
"Why did you have to bring Inori into this…? Why did she have to be sacrificed to save Mana…? Why… Why God dammit!"I shouted as I grabbed a hold of Gai's collar.
He shoved me away as he too shouted back, "I did not choose for Inori to be the sole person who was able to bring Mana back… Maybe… Maybe if I did not find her back then, everything would be different… But you know what, Shu? Inori died happy knowing that she lived and experienced all those things that she did."
I gritted my teeth and clenched my hands into fists as I said, "I know… Back when we were still fighting, I had a brief conversation with Inori… We spoke and she told me all about how happy she was and that I don't have to grieve for her… But… It's just so hard you know?"
Gai coughed blood and gazed his hand forlornly before looking at me and said, "Seems like I no longer have the time to talk to you, good bye Shu… This time for real and for what it's worth, I'm sorry for Inori… Go save Inori…."
Gai held Mana's hand before they were crystallized and broke into pieces as a white light blinded me once more.
Amidst the white light, I heard a voice… It told me.
"The gift of salvation is what Adam was born to have… May you live the rest of your life in peace and happiness, Shu."
I opened my eyes once more and heard someone call out my name, I turned to the direction of the voice and to my horror, I found Inori… dressed in the clothes that Mana wore and was quickly crystallizing … I went over to her quickly and noticed that she didn't stop in her step as I stood in front of her… Why was Inori wearing Mana's clothes! Unless… because Mana's Void got destroyed, her soul was ejected out of Inori's body but the crystallization process still began… I was brought out of my thoughts when Inori muttered.
"Shu where are you…"
I grabbed onto her hand and said, "I'm right here…"
Her hand which was miraculously not crystallized held mine in a firm grip as she told me not to blame myself.
I gritted my teeth, anguished that I couldn't do anything to help her… When I remembered about Hare's Void and quickly materialized it. But I found to my horror that even Hare's Void wouldn't work…
I began to pound at the ground at my uselessness when I remembered the words that Mana left me with… Salvation… what kind of gift is that… I then noticed that the Void Genome symbol on my right hand was glowing and taking that to be a sign, I released my Void before placing my hand on the Inori's right side which was where most of the crystallization had taken place. And just as I did… The Void Genome symbol began glowing even brighter before I felt something attaching itself to my right hand.
My gut told me to pull and pull I did. I seemed to have pulled out the virus and it was trapped in a barrier of sorts that was created by the light coming from my right hand…
I was so excited that I couldn't think of anything except that Inori was now okay… The crystallization was gone and she seemed to have gone asleep… tired from the events that have occurred so far.
I was going to let her lay on my lap and let her sleep when suddenly the building shook and explosions were heard, Tsugumi then contacted me through the earpieces we were given.
"Shu, Shu! Are you okay? Where are you?"
I grabbed Inori in a bridal-carry and answered, "I'm fine and so is Inori, what happened?"
The U.N has planted explosives all over the building, we're about to evacuate, is Inori okay? And are you guys going to be able to get out of there?"
I told her that we were going to be just fine as I materialized Ayase's C-Void and flew out of a hole which was created by one of Gai's attacks.
As I flew out, I could've sworn that I heard Gai whisper in my ear. "Keep her safe…"
I snorted and said, "Like I need you to tell me that."
Inori then woke up and muttered, "Shu?"
I smiled at her with tears clouding my vision and said, "You're alright now… You're safe…" Inori just snuggled back into my embrace happy to be with someone close to her.
I asked Tsugumi where they all were and following her directions, I landed with Inori only to receive a huge group hug from all our friends and cries of joy.
I managed to get away from the group hug before receiving another one in the form of a girl named Ayase. I smiled as I told her, "I told you it would be okay."
She continued to hug me as she said, "Yes… yes you did."
I grinned as I thought of something, which I then let Ayase know about. "And what do I get for keeping my promise?"
Ayase saw my grin and blushed before muttering cutely, "What do you want?"
I whispered and her blush grew larger as she exclaimed softly, "Right here? In front of everyone?"
I pouted as I said, "Are you embarrassed of being seen together with me?" it was pretty comical to see her eyes grow that huge before shaking her head and denying that claim vehemently.
And so with a blush that could light up a dark room, Ayase and I leaned closer to each other when suddenly Souta popped up between us and asked, "What were you two doing?" He had a suspicious yet lecherous look on his face.
Ayase then blushed as she realized that everyone was looking at the both of us while I simply grinned not at all embarrassed with what they nearly saw us do. I then turned to Ayase and she blushed before looking down. I chuckled slightly as I told her that it was okay and that we could always do it another time if she didn't want to do so.
With that, I told her that I'd talk to her later before walking towards where I figured my mom would be.
What I didn't expect was to be turned around and feel Ayase's lips on mine but before I could return the kiss or really enjoy it, it ended abruptly with the group catcalling and wolf whistling behind us.
I looked at Ayase with a smile and asked, "Not that I wasn't happy that happened, but I thought you didn't want to do it."
Ayase shook her head before whispering, "We can continue later on when no one's around… "Ayase gave me a wink and giggled at the expression I was making which I guessed had to be a dumbfounded one.
I watched her walk over to where Tsugumi was conversing with Daryl and shook my head smiling
After the incident which was then known as -The Halted Apocalypse- Everything slowly settled back into place. The U.N's soldiers were treated by both Hare and Shu with Hare dealing with the normal injuries and Shu ridding the soldiers of the virus.
Shu found that his cure could also work on anything object that virus had spread to, this included buildings and even the water. Shu also found out the price to pay for curing the virus… It was the lost of their Voids… Though to Shu, that seemed to be a small price to pay in exchange of getting rid of a fatal virus.
It has been few years since then and everyone had graduated, they all had decided to go do their own things, Tsugumi became a teacher while Yahiro and Daryl decided to be apart of the new security force in charge of Tokyo along with Namba and Sudou.
Souta chose to study professional photography, Hare went on to become a nurse with Kanon deciding to be a reporter. While Ayase, Shu and Inori, they went all over Tokyo helping out with various activities before finally becoming apart of GHQ Tokyo along with Kurachi-san and Haruka who took over when the building was rebuilt by the U.N.
Daryl had a coincidental meeting with Rowan as he was looking for an engagement ring for Tsugumi, they all found out from him that Kuhouin Arisa who was initially on the –missing peoples- list, had perished amidst the bombing and she along with many others were given funerals.
Gai's grave was placed next to Mana's and Arisa's was placed next to her grandfather. Keido of course was placed behind Kurosu's grave as per Haruka's request.
Then on Hare's birthday party, where everyone decided to get together, Daryl and Shu gave each other a nod before standing up and walked over to where their respective partners were at before offering them a hand.
Ayase and Tsugumi gave each other a confused look before accepting the hands offered to them and allowed Shu and Daryl to pull them up.
Daryl and Shu then faced their respective partners and got down on their knees which caused both girls to gasp and the rest of the party to be shocked as well.
On that day, both Ouma Shu and Daryl Yan proposed and vowed that they would spend their future with Ayase and Tsugumi respectively.
As Shu kissed his fiancé, he thought back to the words that Tsugumi had said before he went to confront Yuu and Gai and said.
"In the end, we all did have a happy ending… Daath, we'll be the living proof that mankind does not need to evolve beyond what we already are."
Ayase asked Shu whether he had said something and Shu just shook his head smiling as Ayase continued to gaze happily at the engagement ring he had gotten her… Just then Shu could've sworn that he heard Yuu's voice whispering, "All the best to you, the true king…"
And so ends the story of a young man who came into contact with a power that granted him the ability to change lives and protect those who are precious to him.
AND THAT'S A WRAP, so ends my first completed fanfiction story... though not as good as I thought it was initially, it was a whole lot of fun to write so ~~~. Thanks for those that have actually taken the time to read through more than one chapter and have reviewed, commented and even given some sort of advice that changed some parts of my story. Until Next time (I think?) Bye guys! *waves as screen fades to black*