As promised, here's the last chapter of my, I don't know the word for 8 part so imagine I just said it, fan fic. To everyone who trudged through 7 chapters to read this one, well, thanks for reading my stuff. Hopefully, the ending won't dissapoint.^^
Saturday. The usually crowded streets of Akihabara were packed even greater as hundred marched into the city square. Every one of them, curious as to what those eye – catching commercials meant about an amazing spectacle to be held here.
Far above them loomed the giant television screen from which, if the Artful Seeker was a man of his word, but somehow Shuji doubted that he was, would sow Kikko’s Project REanimation. In between commercials, a huge countdown flashed out, reminding the crowd that there was just a few more minutes left to the big event. Everyone was caught up in the excitement even though no one really knew what it was all about.
Shuji was taking this time to frantically scan everyone in the crowd for any sign of his friend Kikko. Two hours into his search, he was beginning to doubt if Seeker’s plan would work.
Above him, the huge clock ticked down. One minute to go.
Frightened faces greeted us as we flew into the throne room. Unsurprisingly, there were a number of sobbing students all wanting to stop playing.
“Is there any one there whose job is healer or something?” I called out as we landed. “Jun needs a bit of a transfusion.”
“I – I’m a healer,” a timid looking girl stepped out of the crowd. I recognized her as Ann, she was one grade below us in school. “What happened to him?”
“He got bitten by a hell hound when we went to the gates,” I explained as she got to work on him.
“That must have really hurt,” she said as a warm light enveloped Jun. “Oh, I forgot. No pain in this world right?”
“Actually, there is,” I said. ”We think it’s a glitch. Either that or they tried to make it too realistic.”
“You can get hurt?” A nearby girl asked in shock. "That’s going too far!”
“I thought everyone realized you could get hurt?” Kaoru asked the crowd. “Wasn’t that why all of you started running?”
There was a shuffling of feet and bowing heads. Finally someone plucked up the courage to say, in a small voice, “Those monsters were scary. We just wanted to get away from them”
There was a murmur of approval from the crowd.
“Speaking of which, did you know we’re stuck here for, how long Flak? 4 hours? Ok. Four hours?” somebody called out.
There were a few gasps from the assembled students.
“We can’t do much about the fact that we’re stuck here for four hours,” said Tokito as he dismounted from his wyvern. “At least we’re safe behind the castle walls.”
Suddenly, a huge explosion rocked the castle and sounds of destruction filtered into the room. Someone looked out a window and then hurriedly drew his head back in.
“The gate’s been breached!” he yelled frantically. “They’re coming in!”
“You were saying?” I said darkly as Tokito’s face slowly became a mask of fear.
The clock counted down. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two.
And nothing happened.
Somewhere in the crowd, a girl who was wearing a blue cat hair band with hair only reaching halfway down her neck, who had so much hope riding on this production, who had almost decided not to come, silently turned to leave.
“Everyone settle down!” Jun yelled out as around us everyone started to panic and run around in terror. “Someone lock the doors and everyone just stop moving!”
Perhaps it was his tone of voice, but everyone did quiet down.
“The doors?” he repeated.
It took four freshmen to close the doors. The sounds of carnage could be heard from outside. Beside me, Marie materialized. Everyone’s assistant also seemed to come out at that time.
“What is it?”
“The administration has been alerted to the problem,” she said with a little happy twirl, completely in contrast with the horror that was happening now. “You will be logged out in a few minutes.”
Outside the huge doors I heard the sounds of destruction and a scream as a palace guard got cut down. “Exactly how many minutes?”
“Ten minutes,” she said as she gave a happy laugh. And then she disappeared. I noticed that everyone else’s also had disappeared.
There was a scream as something bodily slammed into the doors.
“But we don’t have ten minutes,” I breathed as huge claws started to rip through the thick wood.
This can’t be happening. Shuji kept repeating that thought in his mind. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening!
When he got through the 50th repetition of that sentence and there was still no sign of anything happening in that huge black screen, he realized that this was happening. Around him, the assembled crowd was getting restless and there were boo’s coming from some people. What a rip off, they all thought.
Shuji looked around wildly. Already, a few individuals were leaving the square. Any one of them could be Kikko.
He couldn’t afford to wait. Running to the base of the television screen, making a few enemies among the people in the process, he screwed up his courage, and screamed.
“Don’t let it get in!” Already, it had clawed enough space for its whole arm to get in. It raised it’s heavily clawed fingers to completely rip through the door –
– And howled as somebody cut off its arm. Volumes of blood gushed out from the stump where its arm used to be and it retreated.
Standing by the door, a bloody knife in his hand, was Jun.
“You heard them,” he said. “We’ve got ten minutes before they log us out. Make sure we’re all still alive after those ten minutes. Now help me reinforce this door.”
Everyone rushed forward.
“Not everyone,” he said. “I need all of you who have ranged weapons, that includes spell casters, to stand back and shoot anything that tries to break down these doors. Aim for the holes in the wood. Make every shot count.”
Outside, the sounds of an entire army thudded into the castle.
“We’re in for it now boys and girls,” he said as everyone reached for their weapons.
A shuffle rose among the crowd as everyone strained to see who screamed. Heart pounding, he called out.
“Kikko! Can you hear me? It’s me, Shuji!” he started. “I have something to tell you.”
“What is it?” I asked Jun as beside me Tokito kept plunging his spear again and again through a hole created by a monster’s ax as behind him Kikko stood terrified. Everyone was doing their best to hold up the doors. It was pure chaos as assorted grunts, howls and screams reverberated throughout the room. I myself was busy casting support spells to everyone I could reach.
“I might not have another chance to say this,” he said as he blocked a blow from a monster and countered it.
“So I’m taking this chance to say it,” Shuji said nervously to the listening crowd. “Wherever you are right now Kikko, please, I want you to go home. You shouldn’t have run away. You made your mom very sad, although she probably deserved to feel that way a little bit for what she did. You made me sad… To think that I might not see you again.”
“What are you talking about Jun?” I said as around me the sound of battle escalated. “Are you crazy? You were just unconscious for a few minutes.”
“It was hard as I laid there and thought, what if I couldn’t see you again?” he said, obviously a bit embarrassed. And who wouldn’t be? It was almost a confession of love. Even I felt a bit red. “I tried to say it but you thought I was just joking. But, I really do like you.”
There I said it, Shuji thought to himself. And in front of a million people too. Oh man…
“So – So…” he continued. “If you’re here now, please come home. Nothing good will come out from running away.”
There were a few whistles from the audience.
And then she stepped out from the crowd.
“Now isn’t the time for this,” I said blushing. “We’re fighting for our lives as it is!”
“Look I just said it okay,” he said, flustered. “I like you and that’s that.”
Before I could say anything, Marie suddenly appeared and sang out.
“Log out sequence commencing!”
Happily I turned to Jun. “We’re getting out of this nightmare!”
And then I saw the arrow headed straight for me. And I knew there was no way I could evade it in time.
There she stood with her face fuming. Shuji knew at once that this wasn’t a good sign.
“Uh… Hi Kikko.” Shuji waved hesitantly. This drew a few appreciative applauses from the crowd.
“You!” she said as she marched towards him. “How could you!? What was that all about?!” she yelled as she stopped right in front of him. Eyes blazing, she raised her hands to slap him. Flinching, Shuji waited for the blow –
–that never came. Raising my eyes I saw Jun in front of me, arms outstretched. Then I realized what had happened. He had saved my life again.
“Jun!” I said angrily as I felt the tears build up. “Why?”
“I told you didn’t I Princess?” he said with a weak grin as blood started to seep from his mouth. “If I had to, I’d risk my life for you all over again”
“Stupid…” I said as the tears started to flow. “Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid!”
And then I was back at the gym. Running, uncaring, I searched for Jun. As I ran past relieved sighs and yells of joy, I only had one thought: Jun. That was stupid of him! How dare he die just when I realized that I did like him too? Then I got to his console and I saw him. He was –
–And Shuji opened his eyes and saw that Kikko was crying.
“Stupid,” she said with a sniff. Then she smiled, and in front of an audience of a thousand strong, she kissed him. The crowd roared its approval.
In the shadows, The Artful Seeker flashed a signal to an unseen observer and the blank television screen flickered into life, playing the show that everyone had gathered to watch.
“What did you make him wait for?” Ran asked him curiously.
“I just wanted him to work a little for their meeting, that was all,” he answered as he flashed her a grin. “Besides, I think I like this ending better.”
Silently, they both watched as the couple sat down to watch the anime that had brought them together again.
“Seeker, I have a question,” Ran said after a while. “The last few pages of the sketchbook were burned right?”
“How did you play the ending then?”
In the darkness the Artful Seeker grinned from ear to ear. “You should know the answer to that Ran,” he said as the first of the stars came out. “I really dolikehappy endings.”
Well, that ends it. It's been fun people. Sorry if that was a little too long and kinda confusing. Had to squeeze in the ending somehow for the two stories.^^ Thanks to everyone who followed the series. See you at the next one if ever I make a new one.XD