Eternal Courage

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Chapter 31: The Last…Promise

As everyone looked in wonder, Kieran suddenly emerged from the flames. Everyone wondered how he suddenly appeared before them but he simply told them to continue their plan…as he didn’t have long. Everyone pondered his words but the girls continued their bio-infusions, as Kieran stood ready

It was Aries turn performing the Bio-infusion on Saku’s tired body while Kieran stood before Alice his body dimly glowing orange as he stood ready “Well…teacher. Shall we begin. I’d let to get going, this is only a temporary visit after all”

“is that so?” said Alice both curious yet uninterested “well…how about I cut this fight short” Alice shot a rainbow beam at Kieran, but it went past his shoulder aiming at Saku “This will end it” to Alice’s surprise a wall of fire rose up, somehow blocking the beam “What!?”

Kieran snickered “sorry leader” said Kieran wagging his finger “That flame is a little different, that Is from my normal ones. The only way you’re getting through that…is if I collapse or time runs out” Alice flexed her hands

“Okay then, let’s fight” with that Kieran began launching beams of fire, Alice wafting them away with her arms. Alice shot a beam at Kieran but he was unnaturally fast and able to dodge

“This is it?” said Kieran mocking “I’m a bit disappointed” Alice was curious

“How was Kieran able to dodge this quickly? And what does he mean by a time limit? Well regardless…it won’t last long either way”

Back at the other side of the flame wall, Aries had finished her bio-infusion. As she came away she too looked exhausted “there you go. That’s all from me…” Saku was stirring “are you okay?”

“it feels like a mild fire covering the body” said Saku “It’s not unpleasant but you can’t keep still. Almost like an itch you have to scratch” as Saku then kicked out his legs he felt odd “something feels…tingly with my feet” Aries looked at his feet

“here…have a look” Aries propped up Saku to which he saw a faint red light covering his feet and shins “it looks like our plan is working. Just relax” Saku took a breath out and the red light subsided “there you go”

Aries laid Saku back down and stood up, a little shaky “I think it’s time I helped you for once. Just keep calm and channel the power” Saku nodded “Alright next” Marina stepped forward “I didn’t peg you as the believer”

“well I’m not” said Marina curtly as Aries walked to the group “I just know for a fact this has a very low chance of failing” Marina then smirked and knelt down to Saku “and you’ll have an even lower percentage of failing with my power assisting you”

“I have…always wanted to have a go at controlling water” said Saku as Marina channelled her dark blue aura.

Alice was still fighting Kieran but wasn’t making progress. Alice was easily avoiding or waft away the flames Kieran tried to hit her. However strangely whenever Alice shot a beam or blast at Kieran, or even just tried to strike him, Kieran would strangely dodge and evade. Alice was watching Kieran carefully. “Something feels odd about this fight. It…doesn’t feel…real Alice said to herself as Kieran smirked

“You’re starting to falter a little bit teacher” said Kieran shrugging his arms “but I’m doing a-okay” Kieran held out his arm “so let’s continue…ahh” Kieran’s arm for a brief moment appeared see-through “uh-oh. Time’s running short” Kieran’s looked at the corner of his eyes to see Marina finishing “I hope they finish soon” Kieran immediately resumed launching flames and fireball which Alice just swerved and avoided

“hmm…a short amount of time…if my guess is right…then all I need is time”

Marina stood up a little shakily “well…that’s it for me. I’ll leave it to you” Saku gave a small nod as Marina walked back to be replaced by Lexi

“now…it’s my turn” said Lexi who looked a bit annoyed “look…don’t think I’m being nice and all. I’m just…letting you have a go for once” Saku gave a small smile “anyway come on sit up. You’ve just received power from five strong girls, Aries included I’ll add. Come on…get up!” Saku at first thought it was pointless

“well…if you say so” Saku began trying to get up…and found his body responded. With great surprise Saku found himself to be sitting up “I can…feel it…a new strength…running through me” Saku then gasped “so…this is your plan?” Lexi flicked his forehead

“Did it really take you this long?” Lexi sighed “anyway now hold still and shut up” Saku crossed his legs as Lexi knelt by the side of him. Lexi put her left arm around Saku and one hand on his heart. Lexi then channelled green light down her arm.

Lexi felt Saku squirm slightly “What’s the matter? Is my power too much to handle? It is powerful after all”

“no…it’s my whole body” said Saku twitching “It feels…tingly”

“Suck it up and be a man” Lexi then saw Saku was smiling “What’s so funny?”

“This is probably…the first time”

“the first time? What do you mean?”

“That…I’ve ever received…a hug from you” Lexi reacted to this and was surprised herself “Oh sorry. Now you’ll be punching me now” Saku however felt her grip slightly tighten around him “Lexi…”

“enjoy…while it lasts” Saku just closed his eyes while Lexi thought. “My brother is something else. He even got me too”

Kieran continued his relentless flames “yeah…have this…and that” but then stopped again. Kieran looked at his arm to see it was now little transparent “Oh boy…not good” Kieran looked behind him “so, just the fire girl, the midget one and his girlfriend. I should just have enough time”

“now I see what you meant Kieran” said Alice with a sly smile “You really do only have a small period of time” Kieran readied himself with his semi-transparent arm

“You’ve caught on to my little secret have you?” Kieran rubbed his head “yeah. So since I haven’t got long…” Kieran’s semi-transparent hand still generated flames “let’s continue”

Lexi had finished giving Saku her power “well…I’m looking forward to the fight you know” said Lexi standing up unsteadily “the power of all three Stritos siblings in one neat…well scruffy package” Mochi was running happily “well little sis” Lexi said gesturing a hand to Mochi “Your turn” Mochi high-fived Lexi

“thanks…” said Mochi “Big sister Lexi” Lexi smiled as Mochi knelt down to Saku “well…my turn Big brother” said Mochi but Saku was a little worried

“are you going to be alright?” said Saku “I mean my power does course through you” Laura knelt down

“Yeah…Laura told me as long as I give you my power…you’ll be fine”

“Then just to be sure” said Saku tapping his legs “sit here on my lap” Mochi nodded and did so to the side “Okay now get ready”

Mochi put her hands on Saku heart while he placed a hand on her heart “This is in-case you give me power you shouldn’t do. This way I can give it back to you”

“yeah okay” Mochi then channelled her pink B.U.S along her arms into Saku’s chest “Big Brother…I’m glad I met you”

“The same for me too” said Saku happily “You know, our mother is going to love you but beware of our third sister” Saku then whispered to Mochi “there’s a good reason we call her our 2nd mother” Mochi then whispered back

“Aries told me the same thing” Saku chuckled.

Kieran was beginning to slow down as his arms and legs began to become semi-transparent “well…my time here is running out”

“Your B.U.S is fading” said Alice “the Kieran before me now…is what you gave Saku before you faded”

“Teah more or less. Since I don’t really have a body…I won’t last long. Oh well…no regrets”

“then permit me a question. Why did you forsake me?”

Kieran relaxed himself and spoke “no you answer me a question. Why couldn’t we live like other normal people?” Kieran looked annoyed “Mochi…was like I was. If it wasn’t for Saku…she would’ve been a tool in your image. A tool without a sense of identity all to help in this…conquest of yours” Kieran then looked Mochi “and yet look at her now” Alice looked at Mochi

“yeah…a failed experiment”

“I see a happy human girl among friends and family. Did you ever give any of us a choice? No. Saku however…treated me…like a person. I could…hear his thoughts as I remained within. He…thought of us as people” Kieran then prepared his flames “now…let us resume”

Mochi had finished and felt a little light-headed “I feel…dizzy”

“Well you did just give me a lot of your power” said Saku “now up you go” Saku helped Mochi but “can you make it back?”

“Yeah…I think so” said Mochi a little unsteady as Jessamine stepped forward “I’ll be cheering for you Big brother” Mochi high-fived Jessamine as she, in a zig-zag pattern, walked back to the ground. Jessamine knelt down to Saku

“Now it’s turn although I am a bit annoyed” said Jessamine “I finally get some one-on-one time…and it’s now”

“Sorry Jessamine” said Saku “well…about you give me energy the same way Lexi did? That should make it up to you” Jessamine jumped to this suggestion.

Jessamine sat next to Saku putting an arm around him. Jessamine then put a hand on Saku’s chest “now to begin” Jessamine began channelling her power

“does this satisfy you?” said Saku looking a bit awkward

“wWll…hang on” Jessamine turned to Anastasia who was scowling “yep I’m satisfied. Your girlfriend will be having words with you though” Jessamine saw Saku’s face was red “What’s the matter with you? You look rather awkward”

“Well…they’re touching” Jessamine saw her chest was against Saku’s arm which brought a smarmy smile to Jessamine

“So…they do bother you? So why suggest the idea then?” Saku turned slightly redder but Jessamine smiled “I’ll go with…the heat of the moment shall I?”

“Well…it’s because…you sounded disappointed” said Saku embarrassed

“Thanks for this” said Jessamine with great appreciation “You saved my life…it’s now my turn. Just…bear with my…gifted body a little please?”

“Okay…I’ll…try to” Jessamine then whispered

“if princess doesn’t treat you right. You give me a call alright?” Saku gasped a little while Jessamine giggled.

The momentum of the battle between Kieran and Alice was still the same. Neither one could hit the other but as Kieran realized the battle wasn’t going to last. Kieran’s whole body was now becoming slightly see-through “well…I’m almost done” Kieran looked back “and there’s only red-head and Saku’s girlfriend left. So I should have enough time” Alice then looked angry

“You’ve never been serious about fighting. You’re just looking to stall time”

“and your point is?” said Kieran sarcastically “look at best I have about five minutes. And if I can help bring you down, that’s fine by me” Alice clenched her hands in anger

“Why? Why can’t anyone understand? I’m trying to save humanity!”

Jessamine had finished and took her arms off Saku “well…that’s it from me. The person left is the love of your life”

“do you have to make it embarrassing?” said Saku as Jessamine stood up

“of course I do. I’m annoyed she beat me to the punch and this is revenge that’s all” Jessamine turned round and began walking away “look after her Saku alright?” Saku gave a nod as Anastasia walked past Jessamine “now you princess”

“I’ll get you back for that Jessamine” said Anastasia giving Jessamine a high-five “now over to you”

Anastasia then scowled “why did you let Jessamine get so close?”

“do I look like I’m in much shape for resisting?” said Saku a little embarrassed

“Fine I’ll let you off” Anastasia then smiled “because one you’re a gentleman and two I know I can get one up over on her. How are you feeling anyway?”

“A little weird that’s all” Saku then managed to get to his knees “well…let’s see if it worked”

“Alright just take it easy” Saku began trying to move

“Well…it worked once before. Let’s see if it works twice” Saku tried getting up and found his body was responding…but onlt slowly.

Anastasia saw him shaking and quickly rushed to support him, as he got to his feet “easy, easy Saku”

“I know, by rights I shouldn’t even be able to stand” said Saku sounding quite surprised as he gained balance and footing “It’s quite…potent. All this power running through me”

“well…you’re not at your strongest yet” said Anastasia taking out her cane “You’ve still got your girlfriend’s power left” she said this with pride “now to help you out ” Anastasia waved her cane in a wide arc like shape.

A flat arch-way vine appeared in-front of Saku which he leaned on “there you go” she told him “Just lean on that while I help you out”

“Yeah okay” said Saku as Anastasia walked in-front of him. Anastasia put her hands on Saku’s chest “I suppose you couldn’t hold me and do it at the same time”

“well…I could” said Anastasia having a sneaky smile “but I’m going to have plenty of embarrassing moments to make after this” Saku looked very shy…but happy as Anastasia channelled her light blue aura in him.

Kieran was still firing at Alice as he continued to fade. His wall of fire was starting to dim as well. Kieran looked at himself “I’d give it another minute or so and then you’ll never see my sorry face again” Alice appeared to be struggling

“why…why? Why won’t anyone understand?”

“Are you having a mental breakdown or something”

“Kieran tell me” said Alice sounding desperate “why do you feel so obliged to help him? Just because he saved you?” Kieran looked confused

“He didn’t save me. What are you on about?”

“But didn’t miss Michaels say Saku rescued two?”

“Yeah…the little one…and one other”

Anastasia had just finished “and that’s me done” Saku found he could now stand up straight “I thought my power would give you the most pep”

“I feel…fine” Saku found his body didn’t even feel heavy or tired “now…I just have to concentrate it all” Kieran looked back through the flames see Saku standing on his own

“and…we’re done” Kieran turned round “Saku…I’m afraid my time is running out. I have about…thirty seconds at best”

“I know Kieran” said Saku a little sadly

“Don’t give me that face. I don’t have any regrets here” said Kieran with a smile “I’ve already died remember? And I don’t want any prayers” Saku smirked

“Smart aleck”

“Now there’s the icing on the cake. I get a compliment before the end. I’ll give you what’s left to concentrate your power okay?” Saku nodded as Anastasia stepped back a little looking a bit shaky “well…that’s all of us now. You have the power of all of us running through” Saku was flexing his hands

“Yeah…it feels…really strange. Having this all run through me” Anastasia then stepped towards him

“well…we’ve done all we can. It’s now all done to you. Laura feels a bit sad though” she said noticing Laura looking worried “she feels she couldn’t do anything”

Saku smiled “Trust me…she’s done more than enough. Could you tell her I appreciate her support?”

“only if you do something for me” said Anastasia kissing Saku for a quick moment “You come back alive” Saku was red in face and noticed Jessamine cursing in the background

“Sure. I will” with that Anastasia walked, a little unsteadily back. Saku looked back at Anastasia. Anastasia told Laura something…which brought a great smile to her face.

Saku stood on his own stepping place and flexing his body “amazing…my body feels perfectly fine”

“That’s good to hear Saku” said Kieran who was now glowing “so I can put this down” Kieran snapped his fingers and the wall of fire disappeared “well…I did my job” Kieran than began disappearing in an orange light from the feet up “I hope you do yours”

“Now who’s the ones giving out the pity?” Kieran chuckled

“ha,ha…now’s who’s the snarky one? Just guarantee me one thing” said Kieran “That you teach this woman a lesson”

“Count on it” said Saku giving a thumbs-up while Kieran gave a wave

“See yer…and don’t want to be yer” with that Kieran disappearing from sight.

Saku stood ready while Alice looked limp “so…you’ve regained your power? How pitiful do you have to be…to rely on those below you?” Saku narrowed his eyes

“Those are my friends you’re talking too…teacher” said Saku readying himself “if you ask me…you’re the real pitiful one” this appeared to strike a nerve

“You poor deluded fool” Alice’s hand glowed “I’ll show you how pointless it was” Alice shot the blast at Saku who crossed his arms to shield himself.

At first Alice looked confident but as the blast hit Saku…he remained strong. Alice’s eyes widened as Saku, even to his own surprise, managed to deflect the blast to the sky. Alice looked mildly shock “That’s…impossible” Saku was looking at his body in surprise “You…deflected that?”

“You’re not the only one surprised” said Saku “I guess it wasn’t all pointless was it. So let’s say we begin round two?” Alice clenched her hands and rushed forward striking a punch which Saku managed to block.

Alice aggravated struck forth a few more punches and kicks which Saku was blocking with only little difficulty. As Saku blocked a kick, aimed at his head, Alice jumped back. Alice couldn’t believe the situation “That’s impossible”

“it looks like you have to try now” said Saku readying himself “won’t you?”

“No…No it wasn’t supposed to be like this. You should’ve been with me…” Alice prepared a large rainbow sphere “You should’ve been ruling beside me” Laura looked on with worry “ Where did my plans go wrong!?” Alice shot the sphere with Saku bracing himself…but the sphere hit the ground in-front of him.

The blast made a fierce gust of wind which only Laura and Saku could withstand. The rest of the girls, exhausted from the bio-infusions, were all blown backwards. As Laura uncovered herself, she something…which made her run as fast she could “Laura” said Anastasia noticing Laura running “where are you going?” Anastasia then too noticed “Laura…Laura no don’t!” Saku was still shielding himself but as he uncovered himself Alice appeared in-front of him

“This is the end Saku” Alice had her hand tensed and pointed “now my ascendance will begin” in this moment…time slowed to a crawl.

Alice began thrusting her pointed hand forward towards Saku’s stomach. Saku caught unaware by Alice’s surprise attack could only watch as Alice’s hand drew closer…but he felt himself knocked sidewards...along with a strange feeling…of utter dread. Saku quickly stopped himself and looked back…only for his face…to be consumed with shock…and dread. Saku’s eyes were fixed…on the person who had took his place “Ahhh…ahhh no…Laura!”

Saku saw Alice’s arm protruding through…Laura’s chest and out the back. Although no blood was coming out, a red sparkling light did disappearing in the air. Alice annoyed extracted her arm “pesky girl” Laura then fell backwards…falling limply on the floor “how dare you get in my way. You stupid girl” Saku’s shock turned to anger…as his body generated a silver vapour

“Alice…” Alice turned to Saku as stood up “Alice…” Saku’s hand then glowed silver as his anger exploded “ALICE!” Saku then charged forward, he struck Alice in the face with a every shred of anger he could muster. Alice couldn’t even try to resist as she was sent tumbling along the hard along the ground like a runaway wheel. Saku breathed out in anger, taking deep breaths but gasped and rushed to Laura on the floor.

Saku was knelt next to Laura who was still and breathing weakly…with a hole in her chest which red energy seemed to escape through. Saku gently picked her up his arms “Laura…Laura come on” Laura opened her eyes “Laura”

“Saku…I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to get in your way” Saku just shook his head feeling sadness rising through him

“don’t be silly. You just…saved my life” Saku could feel her life force…ebbing away

“I did? I was…helpful?” Saku nodded “That means…I can go happy”

“No…no Laura. I’m not going to let you” said Saku desperately “I’ll get some help…and then you’ll be fine”

“You can’t…help me now” said Laura quietly “look…where the hole is” Saku forced himself and as he looked at the hole…his whole being began shattering “she got…my core. My…heart”

Saku was becoming fragile as he looked at the hole “remember Saku…I’m not…flesh and blood…in the same sense” said Laura slowly “once our cores are gone…we can no longer exist” Saku turned back to her

“Laura…you can’t give up. There has to be…some way” Saku couldn’t bring himself to admit it “some…way”

“It’s alright Saku. I’m happy…really” Laura looked up to the blue sky “I mean…I wasn’t supposed to even exist anyway” she then felt a wet feeling on her cheek “huh…Saku?” Saku was crying…his tears landing on Laura’s face

“no…no…it’s not fair…it’s not fair. I was…going to show you the world, the joys of meeting people…and friends. No…it’s not fair”

Laura felt his tears falling on her face. They tickled and felt warm “are you…crying for me?”

“Laura…you have every right to live…as a normal person should” Saku said as he looked away “seeing the sun rise, travelling the world…” Saku hung his head “enjoying time…with friends and family”

“Saku…don’t you see…I’ve already experienced that” Saku turned back to Laura “Saku…I had no future…no hopes…not even a life. And when I met you…I was given…everything” tears were emerging in Laura’s eyes “I had a name. I had such caring friends. And the chance to be…a normal girl” tears of joy rolled down her face “When I was…preparing your birthday party…with your friends…and then we had that game, I felt so happy”

“I was…happy too” said Saku slowly “what…are you?” she was weakly reaching into her pocket

“I forgot…I have something for you Saku…” as Laura slowly pulled out her arm… “happy…birthday”

Saku’s will…was consumed with despair, sadness and nothing else. Laura had a sash in her hand, bright red in colour gently waving in the breeze. “I forgot…to give this to you” Laura weakly reached up to Saku and tied the sash around his forehead “there you go” Laura then fell backward “I’m glad I could…give to you”

“Laura…please…don’t go…please” said Saku in utter desperation

“and…one more thing” Laura placed a hand on Saku’s chest “my last gift”

Saku could only watch as Laura channelled a red light along her arm into his body “I’m giving you your power back…you’re going to need it” Laura’s arm then went limp but Saku caught his tears rapidly running down his face

“Laura…it should’ve been me…it should’ve been” said Saku watching Laura sadly

“Saku…your hand…it’s so warm” Laura’s body was now glowing “That means I do truly exist. Saku…it’s time for me to go” Saku eyes widened “please know…I’m happy…I truly am. And…this isn’t truly goodbye”

“Laura…” despite his desperation Laura was disappearing before his eyes

“just promise something please. That you won’t forget me”

“How can I forget you Laura…my best friend. And someone…who I’m going to miss” Laura then closed her eyes and smiled

“Saku…thank you. And I promise one day…we’ll meet again” before Saku’s eyes Laura simply vanished into the air…leaving behind only a tear of joy…which fell on the ground onto the land.

Saku was frozen in place, events not having caught up with him yet. Saku then simply fell forward, the shock finally registering “Laura. Laura…no” his tears fall rapidly and quickly “It’s not fair…” in Saku’s body a single word rose through him. It flooded upwards like a volcano until it erupted “AhHHHHHHHHHHHH!” his voice ripped through the entire area, echoing through the tree ands land, before he then smashed the ground with his hands as hard as he could. All the girls all shared the despair, even Lexi and Mia had trouble remaining strong...at the departure of their friend.

Saku slowly stood up and looked to Alice “I won’t let you…get away with this” Alice who was on her feet…was bewildered

“she…vanished into nothing? Just like Kieran” a thought dawned on her “she was one the aura warriors”

“She was…number #97” said Saku “ a girl who bore the face of Mochi. And the one who saved her”

“So…she was the one who Anastasia and Kieran mentioned?” said Alice “but…why? She wasn’t made for that…she was made to help me” Saku’s anger soared again

“You’re not getting this are you!”

A silver vapour was leaking all from Saku’s body as he spoke “You know…you are right. Humanity can be cruel…ego-driven and plagued by jealousy. But not everyone!” the vapour thickened and rose more quickly “there are those…who are kind, gentle and compassionate. Why do they have to suffer as well?”

“Sacrifices have to be made” said Alice “I can’t lower myself to save everyone”

“You’re not looking to make a balanced world” the silver vapour intensified again and appeared to be consuming Saku “You’re just looking to make yourself ruler. All you’re saying is…your willing to cause pain…to stop pain…I don’t want any part of it!” Alice felt a wind come from Saku making her flinch

“What…is this…power?” only Saku’s top-half could be seen

“Alice…I’m going to stop you…no matter what it takes!!!” with a call of his voice he was engulfed by the silver light.

The sliver was bright and blinding but short. As everyone looked back…all were in awe. Alice couldn’t believe her eyes “What…what is this?” Saku was stood…but changed

“You’re no saviour” said Saku as he stepped “You’re just a hypocritical woman” Saku appeared to be wearing a long sleeved cloak of dark silver, which was a little see-through. His pants were dark with a white like flame patterns at his feet. Only his jumper was the same, still dark and plain.

Alice looked shocked ”What’s going on?” Saku felt the sash loosen around his head and begin to fall “You look different” Saku however swiftly caught it “What…is this?” Saku looked at the sash

“Laura…I promise…that you’ll be remembered” Saku tied his sash around his head firmly “Alice...” Saku flexed out his arms generating an aura of silver “Your ambition…ends now” Aries looked upon Saku

“In life, every person all take different paths, become different people but all share one thing. Every person struggles to make an imprint, something that carries on their wills. For most…it’s through the hearts of friends and/or family. In memory their wills live on, allowing them to in a way remain on this land. For Saku, the sash around his head, carries the hopes and dreams of friend…he’ll never forget.”

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