Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Into The Void ❯ Ryouzonia's Sacrifice ( Chapter 26 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]


Into the Void

By: Melissa Norvell

Episode 26: Ryouzonia's Sacrifice


Valentino stared, wide-eyed at the elder of the Baztok Republic as his claws stuck out from the back of the bird-like woman. Her pink eyes gazed at him for a while, and then she lowered her head and coughed up a little blood. Paranoia and fright ran through the assassin's soul as he saw the blood run from the bottom of her beak and splatter onto the ground below.

"Ryouzonia, I-" He began to say but was cut off by the blue woman's pained words.

"That was a miscalculation. He deceived...us by making us hit each other," Ryouzonia wanted to set him straight and let some peace into his soul. She knew that he was taking the unintended attack hard.

"I'm so sorry..." Valentino's voice held a small amount of human emotion to it as he took his claw from Ryouzonia's body.

"That's alright..." The blue, bird-like woman placed a feathered hand over her wound, pressing it so that the blood flow would be slower. She spotted something move behind her out of the corner of her eye and glanced up. Pink eyes widened as she soon found out what the mysterious object was. The blue, feathered elder called out the phrase 'look out' but it was too late.

Valentino had been pierced in the shoulder. Feathers flew in disarray through the air. The shock and pain caused the assassin to call out in pain, which was not a normal reaction from the usual silent man.

"Valentino!" Rubio called out and lunged towards him to try and help with the fight, but he was grabbed firmly by the bicep and yanked back by Agata. "Hey!" The ex-terrorist whipped his head around and looked angrily at the woman.

"Don't scowl at me. I'm trying to help you," Agata scolded.

"Let me help Valentino!" The man didn't care about her help. She just wanted him to stay back with her and like hell he'd do that when Valentino needed his help more than ever.

"No! It's dangerous! He's unpredictable! Look at what he did to Ryouzonia! Do you want to be next?" The Agata was harsh in her words. If Rubio went in and got killed, it would be by the assassin and not Shigeki, or at least there was a high chance and she didn't feel like being responsible for his death if he so chose to take that path.

"It looked like an accident to me," Vincent stated innocently.

"I'm sorry..." Valentino could do nothing but apologize to Ryouzonia. He had never felt as badly as he did now. The assassin was a disgrace to his team mates by betraying them and keeping secrets that probably should have been told upon him entering the group. None of this would have happened if everyone had been knowledgeable about his experimentation.

"Don't worry...I forgave you long ago," Ryouzonia's voice was low.

Valentino slowly looked back to find that Shigeki had been the source of his further pain. He had sent the swords at him by use of his 'Coat of Arms' attack. He proceeded to send two more at him and he managed to dodge them skillfully as they both stuck into the ground. Finally, Valentino had enough and charged at his enemy with pain in his eyes.

Shigeki smirked devilishly as the assassin gained on him. When the transformed man was right outside of his grasp, he held out his hand and called out the word 'electricity' but Valentino had other plans. The transformed man called out his spell 'Electrical Combine' as the black-haired man was consumed in electricity and the waves ran over Shigeki's attack and managed to push him away. The olive-skinned man was shocked as the combine-like attack rolled over his electricity and flung his form back into a nearby wall.

Ryouzonia held her wounds and watched as the fight unfolded in front of her. She couldn't keep her eyes off of the electrical show.

"Gyro Wave!" Valentino shouted as two ring-like waves of energy surrounded her body, then he threw out his arms and wing and they expanded, spreading out towards his enemy. Shigeki tried to put up his Dark Shield but they pierced it and managed hit him.

"What the hell?" Shigeki exclaimed as his body flew across the ground once again.

"He's phenomenal! What a bio-experiment! If Ibuki had all of his troops like that, we'd lose for sure." Never in her life had Agata seen such a show of strength and fighting prowess. She was glad that Valentino was on her side or things would be, beyond the shadow of a doubt, difficult to say the least.

"Valentino's lost it," Udo watched from the sidelines.

"It looks like he's grieving," Loreli felt sorry for him. The amount of pain and stress that he went through was wearing on his psyche, not to mention his secret being exposed as an experiment.

'This is painful...' Rubio thought as he ran a hand through his silver locks and glanced at the ground. He almost couldn't watch Valentino like that.

The transformed man continued to assault his opponent, slashing him with his long claws. Shigeki managed to dodge them, barely escaping his quick motions. After a while of simply slashing to one side or the other, the experiment decided to change things up a little and slash downward but Shigeki was on top of his movements as he jumped up and the long claws of the transformed man dug savagely into the ground.

"Protect Captain Aeris," Ryouzonia commanded Bosnia as she looked to the girl, who was busy taking care of her unconscious captain.

"Okay..." Bosnia was worried for the safety of her team mates and her captain. She wanted to help her team mates but she also wanted to keep her captain safe and she couldn't possibly be in two places at once. The only thing that Bosnia could do was to pray that her team mates could somehow beat someone like Shigeki. The mint-haired girl noticed that Ryouzonia winced in pain and stared at her blood-stained feathers. 'You don't look okay...'

"Do you think Ryouzonia will be alright?" Rubio looked to the white-haired woman in question. She had been observing everything, so there was not a doubt in his mind that she hadn't been sizing things up as far as opposition was concerned.

"She looks very badly wounded. It's a possibility that she may not live," Agata's words were grim.

Rubio looked at her, silent.


"Valentino's got to feel bad," Sari was sympathetic for the black-haired man. Ever since he was in their group he had received nothing but crap and it seemed that things only got worse, especially as of lately. Valentino was slowly losing everyone and everything that was important to him.

"So, this is the result of human experimentation. I've never seen anything like it," Loreli was in awe as she glanced to Zidane and Udo. Many questions sparked into her head and finally, one escaped from her lips. "Do you guys have alternate forms too?"

"Nah, there are very few successful experiments like that," Zidane informed. He had been through many of them and had seen his fair share of deaths due to the cruel effects of human experimentation. If there was another like Valentino, then they were damn lucky and rare to come by.

"Only twenty-seven that I know of and most of them are dead because it malfunctioned. Valentino is one of the only seven successful experiments," Udo agreed with the scar-faced man's statement.

"You mean there are seven people just like him that are running around?" The very thought made Vincent a little paranoid.

Rubio's eyes were glued to the fight. He would not dislodge them until he knew what the outcome would be and if Ryouzonia was in any danger of dying. If it came down to that very moment, then he didn't care what Agata did or said regarding the matter. He would go in and defend her.

Hokuto watched from his position and thought to himself regarding the battle at hand and the various people involved in it. 'What kind of monster is this man?' He looked to the transformed assassin, whose long, red trench-coat fluttered in the air behind him as he moved through the air. 'He's very strong...and he's definitely not human.' Hokuto then glanced up with a 'huh' as he spied a vast number of swords hanging in the air above them, their blades spun around as they hung in mid-air, suspended in time. 'They are being held up by magic.'

Hokuto then glanced down, following the predicted path of the sword and his eyes widened upon seeing who their target was.



"I'm done playing with you!" Shigeki retorted, bringing his hand down in a commanding gesture. Valentino's body went ridged as he whirled around to look at his team mates. It wasn't him that the terrorist had planned to attack; it was everyone who had been watching the battle. Red eyes widened in horror at the thought of his unsuspecting allies being ambushed. He hoped that they would notice and dodge. Even if he tried to warn them, he could not get there in time to save any of them.

"Look out!" Valentino shouted. Most of them heard his warning and managed to dodge or barely get out of the way. Udo glanced up at the swords that had been aimed for him. Ice blue eyes stared down the blades as they closed in on him. Blades were headed at him from all sides. It seemed that no matter what, he was going to be hit by one of them or many.

'Damn...I can't dodge. I'll just get hit either way and performing Replacement is too unpredictable. I might end up teleporting into more swords.' Just as his thoughts ended, he could hear the piercing of the swords into flesh and he felt himself hit the ground with a thud in pain.

He heard the footsteps of the assassin as he ran towards him in a futile attempt to get him out of the way. Valentino stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes widened with fear. He tried to save him but he came in far too late. Udo looked up as he felt warm, wet spots hit his ex-terrorist uniform. It was Hokuto. The long-haired male had saved him by pushing him out of the way. In the process, he obtained three fatal wounds from the swords.

"You idiot!" The angry and upset man grabbed Hokuto's shoulders as he looked upon him with aghast. "Why did you do that!? You should have stayed back! This isn't your fight!"

"Hokuto!" Yaritza shouted with tears in her eyes as she rushed to her dying brother's side and hit the floor on her knees.

"How touching...I killed one," Shigeki smirked with sadistic glee. It was one less hindrance to his fight.

"I...really am...sorry that I wasn't able to greet you, sis," Hokuto strained through ragged, labored breaths. "I'm also sorry that I interfered. I wanted to save you...I didn't want you to die." The long-haired man began to go into a coughing fit as blood sprayed from his mouth and ran down his chin in a solid, steady stream.

"Damn you..." Udo fought back tears himself. "You were one of my only friends and you have to go and die on me like this!? Do you even know how much guilt that puts on me?"

"I never meant to put any guilt on anyone," Hokuto held Udo's hand weakly. "I'm sorry."

Valentino hung his head. He had failed to save Udo and keep Hokuto out of harm's way.

"Who is he, anyway?" Sari had never seen Hokuto before and to her he was no different from a random man on the streets of Yaritza's village.

"He's my brother," Yaritza responded through her tears as Vincent kneeled beside of her, hugging the sobbing ninja.

"I'm sorry to hear that..." Yaritza was touched by his words and hugged him securely, sobbing uncontrollably into the bounty hunter's chest. It was times like these that really made her wonder if Vincent was as big of a jerk as she made him out to be. Ionna kneeled to the other side and placed a hand on top of her head.

"It's okay," Vincent tried to be comforting. He didn't know what else to say regarding the matter. He knew that it really wasn't alright but perhaps if he told her it was then she'd feel a little better.

"Yaritza...I'm sorry too..." Hokuto replied weakly as his life was slowly draining away.

"Hokuto..." The ninja pulled her head away from the brown-haired man's chest and looked at her brother through her tear-welled eyes. "I know that it's a ninja's duty to protect and die for someone else's cause...I know that I'm not supposed to cry but...I can't help it."

"While it is an unwritten law that a ninja is a tool, it doesn't mean that we can't have feelings," Hokuto smiled weakly and used the last of his strength to place a blood-soaked hand on the side of Udo's face. "With that being said, I want to tell you something. First off, I gave you that entire note at the end...and I have a confession."

"I can't believe that you did this. I was looking forward to seeing you and talking to you before we left. I was going to come back and visit you. I was hoping that we could talk about being a ninja and...I was thinking about becoming a ninja again, so I could finally find a place to stay," Udo admitted. The path would have been hard and painful, but he would have done it for his childhood friend.

"Udo..." The long-haired man looked at him with sympathy in his pained eyes. He didn't know what to say and part of him regretted that something like that was now unable to happen.

"I guess I can't do that now, can I?"

Valentino remained quiet, and for the first time in a long time, tears began to flow down his face. 'I always let those whom I care about the most, fall and fail.' He clenched his hand tightly, so tightly that his long claws dug into his skin, causing it to bleed. A stream of blood ran down his clenched fist and dripped onto the flood below but he didn't seem to care. Valentino was far too numb to feel it. 'I can't stand it anymore. I've hurt too many people...Forgive me, Rubio. For I have hurt you the most of all. No one can truly love this abomination. My sins are far too great. No amount of atoning will even make me worth anything in their eyes...'

The assassin opened his hand and looked at the damage he had caused to himself. “This form, that I have tried to hide for so long, has now surfaced and now they can see clearly. They can this wretched abomination- this nightmare that I've become...I truly am sorry that you all had to see this."

"My confession is...that...I've always loved you Udo..." With the last of his strength, Hokuto leaned up and kissed the other man on the lips. This kiss didn't even last a minute before he passed away in the ex-terrorist's arms.

Yaritza stood up with her back turned to everyone. The red-headed girl didn't utter a word as she shook with building up anger that coursed through her veins.

"Yaritza..." Vincent uttered her name in confusion. What exactly was she thinking?

"You son of a bitch!" The ninja shouted angrily as she flung her pinwheels at the enemy. Behind her, Udo held his childhood friend close, thinking about his recent confession and what had happened between them. Valentino's head shot up as he saw the pinwheels fly past him.

"No, Yaritza!" He shouted but it was far too late.

Shigeki charged fourth and dodged the offending weapons. Yaritza charged at him and shouted in rage. "I'll avenge my brother! You won't get away with- oof!" The girl's dramatic speech was cut off by a knee that collided with her stomach, hard. The ninja felt the blood well up in the back of her throat but nothing came out of her mouth. She stumbled back, holding her stomach in pain. After a few moments, she staggered towards him again with her fist drawn, determined to get one hit on him at least. "I'll kill you!" It seemed like a promise more than anything else.

"What are you doing, you jackass?!" Sari shouted. At this rate, her friend would kill herself. "I know that your brother just died and it's painful but if you do in there like that, you'll die!"

"Shut up!" Yaritza snapped, looking half out of her mind with rage. "I'm going to take him down!"

Though her words seemed promising, she was punched across the face and fell to the ground.

"You can never defeat me," Shigeki looked down upon the injured girl and drew his sword. The olive-skinned man then walked towards her. "Now, I'm going to be rid of you permanently." He said all too calmly as he stabbed downward with his weapon. Sari yelled her name, helpless to aid her from the sideline.

"I've got it!" Ionna threw her weapon. She knew it could get to Shigeki faster then she herself could. Valentino quickly got between the two, seeing that the weapon, at its current angel, would kill off Yaritza. As he caught one of the spokes with all of his strength, Shigeki managed to cut off his wing. Valentino had managed to shield Yaritza from all harm.

The green-eyed girl slowly opened her eyes to see the assassin's tear stricken face. From the other's viewpoint, his tears were covered by his hair but she could see them all too clearly. She had never seen Valentino cry before. It was rare and odd at the same time. "Valentino...You're crying?" She asked in a small voice.

"Stay out of this. I understand that you're hurting but you didn't need to get into this being as emotional as you are. It will only be your downfall," the assassin advised.

"Die!" Shigeki shouted as he plunged his blade downward. The skillful assassin turned and caught the blade between his first two fingers.

This only made Shigeki angrier.

"You meddling bastard! I've always wanted to get rid of you and now am my chance, even if I have to chop you into pieces, starting with that wing," the angry many swore. Valentino irritated him beyond all belief. Shigeki knew that the man was not as skilled as he was without a transformation. He could have beaten him easily if he had still remained a normal human and he would defeat him now, before he had a chance to get any stronger. Soon, Shigeki would show him that natural talent far surpasses those with given abilities.

Valentino thrusted his clawed hand forward, to attempt to gouge out his trachea but Shigeki's form disappeared at light speed. "Idle threats do no good."

Udo sat on the ground, peering into his dead friend's lifeless face. "Hokuto...I never knew that you felt that way..."

A small, warm hand was placed on his shoulder. "I'm sorry...You must have really loved him." It was Loreli.

"I didn't love him in the way that he loved me, but he was like a brother to me," Udo's voice was distant and sorrowful. There were many instances that he had to stare down the corpses of his dear friends but this one seemed unlike any other.

"Poor Yaritza..." Loreli cast a worried glance at Hokuto's sister, who lay on the ground crying. Not only could she not interfere with the fight, she couldn't even get proper revenge for the slaughter of her dear brother. Hokuto meant more than anything in the world to her and she had failed to protect him. What would she tell her parents? She had to face them before she left. Truly, the ninja was a failure.

"Man, that was her brother," Udo glanced to the ninja, worried for her mentality. He could do nothing but watch her cry.

"Valentino's taking all of this very hard as well," Zidane informed. They were not the only ones who suffered. Valentino had lost his son and his mind.

"He's losing," Agata stated.

"I have got to help him," Ryouzonia couldn't stand it any longer. She had to do something or Valentino would surely die. She rushed in as the assassin was sliced across the chest with Shigeki's sword blade. Blood flew from the man's body as he was knocked back. Ryouzonia them summoned an earthquake as she stabbed the end of her scythe into the ground, breaking the earth below. The attack hit the unsuspecting Shigeki as he fell to the ground and cursed to himself.

Ryouzonia took labored breaths. She knew that her strength was running low. "It's weakening me. I'm growing weak. It's just as I've thought. This wound is fatal. It's been a struggle living, even for me." The bird-woman thought to herself as visions of the past reeled through her head of younger times and a younger her.

'Lord Byron! I won't allow you to sell off the people of Baztok as slaves!' The young Ryouzonia stood before the throne of a prestigious bird-like man, dressed in Indian feathers and green.

'As long as I rule, I do as I wish,' the old, brown hawk pointed a large staff towards her. The powerful golden weapon sent shocking pulses through her body as she was engulfed in angry white lightening. She yelled out in pain as she was shocked.

'Do not go against my orders if you value your life,' Byron warned as Ryouzonia's mother ran to her side and begged him to stop, stating that he was going to kill her if he didn't. All the while, Ryouzonia writhed in pain and screamed as if she were being murdered.

'Then perhaps she would have gotten the point.'

'Stop! I beg of you! She'll die!' Her mother proceeded to plea for her daughter's life.

'I'll stop.' Byron replied with a wicked smile, as a dirt spire stabbed through her mother's chest, killing her on impact. 'At your expense. In exchange for your life, she'll live.'

Ryouzonia shakily crawled to her mother's dead form, which hung limply from the spire. 'Mother!' She cried as she threw her arms around the bird-woman that had cared so deeply for her that she sacrificed her life. 'Mother...I swear King Bryon will pay for this...' She muttered into her mother's tawny feathers.

'From that day on, I swore that I would protect the people of Baztok and defeated the evil King Byron, who had, for many years, sold my people as slaves.' Ryouzonia remembered this occurrence as she faced off against Shigeki as her scythe clashed with his sword. Her determination was fueled by her growing memories that now plagued her mind.

'I made it into a free Republic but not without a price.'

She and Timal stood in a field, picking wildflowers and herbs and placing them into their wicker baskets to bring back into the village. Timal turned to Ryouzonia and asked her if they had picked enough herbs.

'Yes, we should head back,' Ryouzonia replied.

'It feels wonderful to be free now. You definitely have proved to us that we no longer need to fear people like King Byron,' the Osprey-like woman told her friend.

'I nearly died fighting for Baztok's freedom against King Byron,' Ryouzonia recalled that time like it was a recent event.

'I've been meaning to ask you about your injuries. It's been a week now, right? How is your recovery going?' Timal was concerned for her friend. She knew that Ryouzonia had been injured nearly to the point of death. The blue eagle still had several bandages on her body and Timal was surprised that she even was up and walking.

'I should be fine. It only hurts a little when I overexert myself. Most of my wounds have healed,' the blue eagle responded.

'Thank you so much for saving me from King Byron's oppression,' Timal thanked her dear friend for all that she'd done.

'I did it for everyone in Baztok,' Ryouzonia looked across the field of flowers and smiled. 'If I hadn't have then you would have been sold right there and I couldn't let that happen to my friend, Timal.' She looked to the other woman with wise, pink eyes.

Timal looked ahead to see a pink, cockatoo-looking woman in a white, toga-looking dress running towards the two of them. The look on the pink one's face seemed desperate and urgent.

'What's that?' The brown bird-woman asked her friend.

'It's Fuurin,' Ryouzonia looked at the pink bird that quickly approached them. She then stopped at their feet and panted a little with fear written on her face.

'Please! You've got to get back to Baztok! It's urgent!' Fuurin pleaded.

'Why? What happened?' Timal asked, concerned.

'A suicide bomber just walked into town and detonated himself. It nearly killed everyone! Only a small amount of citizens are left!' Fuurin shouted in a fit of emotion.

'What!?' Timal exclaimed.

The look on the blue eagle's face hardened. This truly was urgent. The village needed her help. 'Let's go.' She said as they took off through the field and headed towards the village. As they reached the village, fire blazed around them as they glanced around at devastated or completely gone. Dead bodies lay around everywhere. Ryouzonia's glance turned to the ground. Just as the Republic of Baztok seemed free, it was now under attack once more.

'Oh no! Everyone's dead!' Timal shouted as she dropped her basket of herbs. The flowers and herbs within spilled out onto the ashen ground.

'We've got to get away from this place and go into hiding. We'll move as far east as we can. This tragedy will not repeat itself again,' the look on Ryouzonia's face saddened. She didn't want anything like this to happen again.

'After that, we moved the Republic to its present place. This tragedy will not repeat itself.' Ryouzonia's weapon continued to clash with Shigeki's and she flapped her wings, causing the wings to pick up that blew Shigeki backwards. 'I'll make sure of that!'

"Wow, Ryouzonia's kicking butt out there," Vincent was amazed at the determination in her fighting style and concentration. Indeed, it was unlike no other time that he'd seen her fighting. She was amazing herself.

"She's determined. She's fighting with the burning desire of her dreams. To go on living alone is an empty existence when defeat will make her loose her dream," Agata watched on. In many ways, she admired her and if the woman were to go out of battle, then she would want to go down with the fierce determination that Ryouzonia had exerted.

"We all have dreams and this battle field is a place where they are either fulfilled or broken. Even now, we stand on the very surface of broken dreams," Shigeki stated as Valentino kneeled on the floor across from him with two swords stuck out of his back and blood squirted from one of the veins in his wing. The swords clanked on the ground as they were pulled from his back. He then continued to watch the two of them as they continued to fight. He would not interfere in something that meant so much to the elder.

"I won't let you break any more dreams!" Ryouzonia shouted with that same determination as she charged in and got a swift blow to the shoulder.

"Gah!" Shigeki let out a sharp noise.

Valentino charged in as Shigeki smirked. He had been plotting it out in his head all of this time and he had waited for the transformed man to rush in at him again. The brown-haired man smiled to himself wickedly and held out his hand.

"Time to sleep," after that phrase was said, Valentino found himself encased in a glass coffin that soon disappeared. Valentino was gone from the battle field and could no longer aid anyone or take part in any further fighting. Rubio and Udo called out to him but to no avail. Their words merely faded into the air.

"You rat ass ba-" Zidane began to curse but was cut off by the blue eagle's attack. She suddenly appeared behind Shigeki and grabbed him around the waist and flew into the air.

"What?" The terrorist looked surprised.

"Valentino!" Rubio shouted as he ran to the place where the casket had been as the petals that used to be the coffin rained down upon him, kissing his skin with their soft, pale pink petals. He looked up, into the last remaining sparkle of magic as it twinkled off into the abyss. Then, the petals exploded as he was flung back. Rubio damned himself for being so stupid as to run up there. It was an attack waiting to happen.

"Rubio!" Sari yelled as she lunged forward but Zidane grabbed her arm, causing her body to jolt backwards. "Hey!" She shouted in an annoyed tone as she glared him down.

"Don't, something will happen to you if you do," the scar-faced man warned.

"Ugh..." Rubio moaned as he pulled himself up from the ground.

"Are you alright?" Agata asked.

"I'm fine," Rubio glanced up at Ryouzonia and Shigeki. She had held his waist tightly and no matter how hard he tried to struggle, he could not get free. The brown-haired man struggled violently against the blue eagle's grip.

"What did you do with Valentino?" Rubio gazed up at the two of them.

"I sent him to Carbunkle Forest," the man smirked as multiple swords plunged into Ryouzonia's body, making her an anthromorph pin-cushion of sorts. "We'll see how he deals with that. Now let go of me or you'll die even quicker than that."

"If I die, you're going with me. I've worked too hard to let Baztok fall under terrorist rule. My people will never have to face the hardships I have. I rebuilt the Republic of Baztok with my own two hands from the bottom up, and I cannot allow you to destroy it."

"Heh, you think you're going down a hero?" What a ludicrous thought! Ibuki was still out there and as long as he was, then her plans for being that hero would just go down in a burst of flames. He would rid the world of her, before she could cause any more trouble for the group of terrorists. Shigeki pressed a button beneath his belt, which detonated a bomb, exploding and taking both of them along with it in a burst of flames.

"Get down!" Zidane shouted as Agata dropped to the ground. Vincent lay on the ground, hugging Ionna close and shielding her from any oncoming debris. Sari shielded Yaritza and Hisamichi and Udo and Loreli shielded the unconscious Captain Aeris and Bosnia. Rubio, however, sat cross-legged on the ground and stared blankly ahead as debris flew past him.


"Ryouzonia..." Bosnia sniffled as tears began to roll down her face.

Udo slammed his fist into the ground. "Damn it!" He continued to punch the ground with both fists in a fury. "Damn it! Damn it!"

"Ryouzonia...She helped us out a whole lot," Sari's sorrow shone through her vernacular as a torn, tattered piece of brown fabric fluttered to the ground, as well as a few remaining blue feathers. Agata picked up a tooth from her necklace and held it to her chest. Hisamichi tried not to cry but the effort was a failed one. He could not keep down his tears.

"Ryouzonia, Hokuto and Valentino are all gone," he sobbed.

"Hokuto and Ryouzonia died trying to get a step further to completing our mission. I think our best tactic for now is to get Captain Aeris out of there," Agata stated lowly, a touch of sadness in her voice.

"What about Valentino?" Rubio looked over to the white-haired woman.

"I'm afraid there's nothing we can do now."

"You've got to be kidding me! How can you say that?" The silver-haired man stood, outraged by it all. He couldn't believe that after losing two allies that they wouldn't want to find a missing one. Valentino would have done it for them and now they treat him like this?

"Do we really need someone to take their pain out on everyone? Calm down Rubio. We'll get him back," Zidane assured. He didn't need someone flipping out in a situation like this. Everyone's emotions were at high and such a thing was a bad idea in the making.

"You know as well as I do that he'll bleed to death in there," Rubio shot. Valentino had far too many injuries to live for long with them going untreated.

"He kind of looked like he wanted to go in there," Vincent didn't know if he should have said something like that, but it was the truth and it was what he felt.


"You heartless jerk-face! How can you say that?!" He had the feeling Sari would blow up if anyone.

"Who'd want to go in there?" Udo was disgusted at the fact that anyone found that miserable coffin comforting.

"Come on guys, we can argue when we're safe," Loreli replied. Everyone needed to get somewhere where they could grieve and rest. If they stayed in one place too long, then any terrorists in the area would be sure to attack them, not to mention there would be a crowd from the explosion. They needed to flee before they caused a scene.

'I will get you back, Valentino...Just wait for me.' Rubio thought as he turned his back on the carnage behind him and walked away with his group, carrying Hokuto's lifeless form with them. They would go and bury him, then reflect and remorse over the loss of two great allies.

Now, more than ever, they would be more focused on achieving their goal.

...To Be Continued....