Chapter Twenty-two: Stole Bones and Earth
The sound from them can reach even from The afar sectors, Romelle was sleeping in her room until she is woken by the noise.
In the shrine courtyard. The light stops on top of the gate and reveals a sinister-looking old woman with a scythe slung over her shoulder.
"Who is that?!" Coran said, stared at the camera, pushing the alarm, More Alteans arrive with their guns. The old woman flies towards the temple.
Examining a grave "Here it is... Right here! There's no mistake!" The old woman said. Grabs some soil on the grave with enough moisture... And grab the soil, too.
"Intruder! I asked who you are?! Identify yourself!" Romelle said, demanding.
"Silence! I just have some business with the urn buried here! Once I possess it, I'll leave this sore sight of a land!" The old woman, digging at the grave.
"So... She knows what's buried here!" Coran thought.
The Alteans point their guns at the old woman.
"Leave immediately! Else I'll show no mercy!" Romelle said
"You talk too much, you stubborn ignorant girl"
The old woman scratches her scythe with her nails, making a sharp screeching sound. The Alteans cover their ears in pain. Giving the perfect opportunity to strike back, the woman leaps and swings her scythe. sends blades that destroy the grave. An explosion ensues and destroys the shrine gate.
One of the blades hit Romelle on her forehead and she winces, backing off.
"Romelle" Coran shouted, stands in front of her.
"Didn't I tell you not to interfere?!"
The Alteans are cut by more blades. The old woman reaches into the soil and takes out an urn.
"Is that Allura's...! I will not let you have it! Not a daemon like you!" Coran said
"I am the grim reaper, Urasue! Allura's ashes are now in MY possession!" The old woman laughs as she transforms into a current and flies off into the night sky.
"Allura...!" he hissed, venomously. "Why?!"
A pause...but then the priestess raised her head, causing Keith to gasp...for it was not Allura's face he was staring at.
"...S...Shiro...?!" he whispered in horror, while Shiro reached into her quiver, pulled out another arrow, and aimed his bow at Keith. "N-no! Shiro, stop! What are you doing?!"
"...Why did you leave me to die, Keith," Shiro said, scornfully as he loosed the arrow...which sailed right toward Keith's heart.
"I didn't... I never wanted to, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Keith screamed. His eyes flew open. "A dream... Brought back ugly memories" Keith said to himself
After that, Keith looks down at Shiro and Stats, who are sleeping next to a campfire. Restless, Keith went down next to Shiro, looking at him.
Soon Shiro instantly wakes and notices Keith, he yells and removing his sword from his scabbard, pointing at him, while Stats looks for a while and goes back to sleep.
"Keith, don't scare me like that I thought you were an enemy," Shiro asks
"Well, I'm sorry about that" Keith said, pauses and looks away.
Keith's eyes went wide...and then he shook his head as he began to regain his senses.
"What? A daemon?" Keith said.
"What is it? Why am I getting a sense of something dark, I hope isn't something dangerous" Keith thought.
"Wait, now?" Shiro asked. "Why? What's the matter?"
"I just have a really bad feeling," Keith answered before he bounded off into the trees.
"What's the matter, Keith? Why the sudden urge to go back to Aurs?" Shiro asks him.
"Stats" Stats said, yawns.
"Shiro!" Romelle exclaimed as she noticed him. "You have returned!"
"What happened to you?!" Shiro asked.
After a while, Shiro explained to Romelle and Coran that Keith had insisted on returning to Aurs and how he had noticed something was wrong, immediately.
"Yeah I did, I'm surprised all you made it" Keith replied.
"This used to be Allura's gravesite" Coran explains, causing Shiro to gasp while Keith tensed up.
"What?!" Shiro questioned. "But...but Keith-"
"Don't even start!" Keith barked. "I ain't helpin', Shiro! Besides, you're forgetting that Allura is my sworn enemy!" He then placed his hand over his chest. "I can still feel the pain of when she pierced my chest with that arrow of hers!"
"Hmph!" Keith snorted as he walked away.
In the memory, Keith the half-daemon wanted to take the quintessence Crystal to become a full-fledged daemon. When he came to Aurs to take the crystal, the priestess, Allura, shot a sacred arrow which held him fast to a tree. But in that battle, Allura ended up sacrifice her life by throwing herself in the fire.
In the library of the shrine, Keith was looking up information on the attacker of the shrine and if one didn't know better, he almost seemed melancholy.
"Why?" asked Keith. "You know something about it?"
"No," Romelle replied.
"I came to get you," Shiro said. "Come on...let's go."
Keith blinked at Shiro...but then he looked away, To the screen.
"And go where exactly?" he asked. "You better not say to go get Allura's remains."
"Can't you just move on from what happened between you two?" asked Shiro...but the half-deamon didn't answer, causing him to blink at him, worriedly. "Keith?"
"What?" Keith asked as he turned to look at him.
"What's going on?" asked Keith. "You've been doing that since last night!"
"Doing what since last night?" asked Keith. "Can you tell I'm busy!"
"You're wrong, okay?!" Keith shouted...before his eyes softened. "It's...it's not what you think."
Shiro gasped...while Keith slowly leaned closer toward him.
'W...what's he doing?' he thought as he got closer, causing him to gasp.
"Okay, now I'm officially weirded out...what's going on with him?" Romelle said, "He almost...kissed you!"
"Hey, it's okay," he said. "What's an awkward moment between friends, right?"
"Heheh," Keith chuckled...albeit halfheartedly. "Yeah...friends."
"Don't worry, we'll figure it out on the way" Romelle said in determination.
"Are you sure, you're still no condition!" Shiro said.
"I better go get Stats," Shiro said. "Something tells me that we should go with you guys."
"Shiro?" asked Keith as the girl turned and walked away.
"Keith wasn't looking at me, just now...was he?" thought Shiro.
"I wonder if it will be done baking soon, this new child will work my heart's content"
"You seem to be satisfied," asked a voice.
Urasue spun around and saw a certain witch, her body covered in a purple hood and a smug smile across her face.
"Spare me your demonetization, Haggar," said Urasue.
"Oh, I won't say a word," Haggar said. "But I believe someone else wants to speak with you" she added with a self-satisfied smirk.
In the blink of an eye, she showed off her claws to show up an orb made from magic, Urasue's savage expression softened into one of fear as she saw a different portal open within between the world. On the other side, the smoking shadow of a far larger figure appeared, his one glaring eye fixed upon her.
Urasue lowered her head and dropped to her knees before the unblinking stare of emperor Zarkon.
"Zarkon, i-" Urasue begin
"Silence", said Zarkon from across the portal. "Even I disapprove your methods, I have agreed to use them after hearing what you did"
"I will retrieve the crystal," Urasue said. "destroy any enemies now that I have something more powerful didn't you know"
"your possession of bringing the dead back to life is unimpressive," said Zarkon, his eye flaring in annoyance. "Even if I accept it, you still better not fail me or else"
"Of course not, lord Zarkon" Urasue said so low, Haggar could barely hear it.
"Very well, Urasue," Zarkon said, as the orb fades away.
"You heard him do not disappoint him" Haggar ordered as she disappeared to the darkness.
"Cursed that witch, let's just hope this new body is worth it, formed from Earth, holy bones and fire," Urasue said, looking over the horizon as the sun falling over the land".
"Good, I hope we can make it in the morning," Shiro said, sitting across from Keith to each other, around the fire.
"That's why we repair for battle tomorrow" Keith replied.
"You sure, we hardly know anything about her or what she's capable of" Shiro wondered as everything after that scene seemed like a dream to Shiro. Seen Keith like that made him wonder if he hates him now. Because he reminded him of Allura, her personality.
Remembering what he said, "It's not like that" looking back at it now. Keith's eyes...weren't the eyes of hatred as Shiro first thought, while Keith continues holding onto Shiro's hand, looking into his eyes. Perhaps it was that...
"Hey, Shiro, is there something wrong," Keith asks him.
What happened 50 years ago must have felt like just yesterday to him.
...50 years ago...
he then gasped silently as he looked up at the half-daemon, who was still lying on his side.
"Wait...could it be...? Was Keith... Was love with Allura, all along or the other way around?!"
The campfire flickered, burning away until the morning light.
"Time is of the essence," said Romelle. "We must make haste and recover Allura's remains or Urasue use them to some evil end. I sense trouble on the path ahead. Dreadful trouble!"
"Keith, it's that how you feel about a grave? A grave is not simply a place to bury a body or ashes. A grave is necessary for the hearts of ones who are left behind." Romelle explains.
"Hearts of those left behind?"
"Yes, Allura was born a priestess, she used her special powers for the good of Aurs. She kept daemons away from Aurs and battle illness and famine countless times, encouraging the people around her. Even after her demise, the villagers have not weakened, they are resolved to live".
"However, people are weak. Danger and uncertainty can weaken his heart. The grave was a place of reassurance. A place where hearts could find peace."
"Huh I didn't know then," Keith said.
"What’s with you, Shiro?! You have been silent since the moment we left"
"Oh sorry I guess I have a lot on my mind"
"That's okay I get it, we don't know what we're getting into but we got to return those ashes"
"Right" Shiro agreed although, in the back of his mind, he couldn't help but feeling sorry for Keith.
It was Urasue, the grim reaper, she chuckled sinisterly as she raised her sickle and slashed apart the rocks that blocked the opening of the hut, which fell apart to reveal some sort of casket, surrounded by fire.
Entered the kiln, "Hmm… Looks quite good! Now then…" she said as takes a leaf from her hair and throws it onto the clay container, and swings her scythe to cracks open the container.
"Arise! Open your eyes, Priestess Allura", she said as a naked girl with white hair in the container grabs the leaf slowly, sits up, and opens her eyes.
"Allura… I have heard about your exploits from the Galra, you foiled many an attempt by daemons to possess the quintessence Crystal. But I hear that the Crystal has returned and because of that, you will serve me…the one who has brought you back to life! Now go and retrieve the crystal".
Urasue points her finger at Allura which sends a current of magic at her, makes her stand up, laughs up as Allura walks towards her slowly. But the current dissipates and Allura fall sideways on the ground.
"What’s this?" Keith said.
"Stats" Stats said
"You said it, Earthen statues? Are so creepy!" Shiro told him.
The group continues to walks on. A long and narrow bridge connects the forest and the base of Urasue’s mountain hideout. Below the bridge is a deep valley.
"Well, there it is," Keith said
"Huh?! We have to cross this?!" Romelle said, grabbing the bridge nervously while Keith and Shiro are in front of her.
"Okay, this is not what I signed up for," Romelle whimpered as she tried to steady herself on the old, rickety rope bridge, trying to follow Keith and Shiro while Stats scampered along behind them.
"Don’t be silly! I refuse to be left behind on a bridge like this?!". Romelle said.
"I can help you with that!" Shiro said.
"Guys, look!" Keith shouted as he sees a group of earthen statues, lumbering towards them in groups of two, three, and even more than that!
"There’s more of the earthen statues"
"Stats" stats shouted.
"Soldiers of the old woman," Keith said.
"Those are the statue we saw… It can’t be…?!" Shiro shouted notices warriors approaching them from behind, "Keith! Behind you!"
"Shiro, Romelle… It’s gonna shake a bit". Keith said as he sprints and attacks the warriors in front with Shiro behind him.
The warriors break, making the sound of breaking pottery. The warriors are hollow inside.
"Are these guys made of mud?!"
Shiro attacks the warriors in the back with his sword, slicing them a little while Romelle knocks them with her staff, breaking them.
"They’re not that strong! Just that there’re so many of ‘em!" Shiro said.
Suddenly before she goes off, the body of Allura started moving outside the kin. Surprising her. "She starts to move on her own, why is that unless!"
"Keith! Watch out!" Shiro shouted in the background.
"What does this mean? Could it…" Urasue wondered as she flies outside, above the bridge, and suddenly looks at Shiro.
"I heard rumors about a reincarnation samurai but could it be possible," she told herself.
Urasue flies downwards and slashes the bridge into two with her scythe. The bridge falls and everyone hangs on for dear life.
"Everybody holds on" Shiro shrieking.
And soon Urasue swoops down and grabs Shiro as Stats and Romelle continue to fall into the valley.
"Shiro" Romelle and Stats shouted as they witnessed Shiro getting taken.
"Romelle! Stats! release me, let me go!"
Instead of getting a clear answer, Urasue swings her scythe at Shiro’s neck. "If I let you, you’ll die. And now that I’ve found my reincarnated soul… As if I’d let you go! I need you! To fully bring back priestess Allura!"
"Bring back…Allura?! That doesn't sound good" Shiro asked, nervously.
Doesn't sound good indeed, After years of separation, doesn't sound good for Keith and Shiro as darkness full of malice arises from the dead.