Chapter Six: The aftermath
The mist looks like it was frozen as Keith stare in all seriousness at Coran and Shiro, carrying the weapon that had pulverized Mistress Centipeetle’s body in an instant just moments ago were now pointed at Shiro.
All right, if you don’t wanna die, hurry up and hand over the Crystal.” Keith demand as he approached a step closer. His long, Sharp dagger reflected the sunlight, making it gleam.
From behind him, Coran said directed in a severe voice, “You mustn’t give it to him, Shiro,” and Shiro reflexively firmly gripped the quintessence Crystal in his hand.
“Keith, you know the quintessence Crystal is an unholy jewel”, but Keith refuses to listen to him.
“Thank you for that reminder but there is no way I’m leaving it with him,” Keith said.
On that, he lunged for Shiro, who gasped before he turned and ran, but he ended up tripping on. That seemed to prove more fortunate than anything else, however, for Shiro could see the flashing streak of Keith’s strikes in the air as he swiped at him, narrowly missing his head. It did manage to cut off a few strands of hair, though.
Shiro soon fell to the ground but he was careful not to drop the crystal, at least, while Keith landed in front of her.
“Ah!” Shiro couldn’t even budge. In a fraction of a second, a large gouge had been taken out of the ground in front of him. As steam rose from the ground, the smell of earth, heat, and water mixed reached Shiro’s nose.
Keith returned to his original posture as though nothing had happened. “Next one will slice you in half.” A wry smile played on the edge of his lips as he displayed his dagger.
Y... you!” Shiro glared at Keith as the blood rose to his head. “You were trying to kill me!”
“Shoot him! Quickly!!” shouted one of the Alteans archers as he and several other fired arrows at Keith, who easily broke them like were mere sticks. Then he leaped up into the air before swiping his claws, once again, causing two trees to fall on the men, who ran as fast as they could to get out of the way.
“Hmph!” Keith scoffed as he landed on one of the stumps. “Who the hell do you idiots think I am?! You think that you can hurt me last did with that damned centipede?!!” He then glanced over at Shiro, who let out a frightened squeak as he got up and ran, taking the crystal with him.
“Help!!” Shiro cried as he ran through the forest with Keith in hot pursuit.
“You’re not going anywhere!!” he called after him.
“Oh no! He’s going to get it! Coran, should we restart Keith’s seal.” Romelle said.
Coran answered, “Keith! Careless as always!” He then pulled out a needle.
Meanwhile, Shiro continued to run as fast as he could away from his pursuer, which was hard due to the gaping wound on his body and that he leaped through the trees with such speed that he was almost invisible to the naked eye.
“Prepare yourself!!” Keith called from behind him.
“Prepare...for what?!” Shiro asked, only to gasp when he saw Keith lunge for him again. Thankfully, he managed to duck his head down, just in time, but he was sent flying a bit when Keith’s dagger ended up hitting the earth behind him. As Shiro glanced back, he gasped upon seeing several fissures in the soil.
If he had gotten hit by that weapon...his body would’ve been in shreds.
That’s when Shiro realized something: in his haste to avoid the attack, he had accidentally dropped the Crystal!
“Oh, no!” he cried. “Where is it?!” he didn’t have to look very long, for he spotted it, not too far from her reach. However, Keith had also eyed the crystal before he jumped down from the trees to get it.
“Finally,” he said. “It’s all mine!”
Just then, something flew through the air toward the boy and enveloped itself around his arm, it was a Vacutainer, containing blood that Coran had and shot it right at him, and soon a mysterious tattoo with purple and white lines appeared on his arm.
“What the world?” he asked as he landed on a tree root, too distracted by the tattoo to notice Shiro reach for the quintessence Crystal. “What is this thing?!”
“Quickly!” Coran called out to Keith, “Shiro, use your power”.
“Eh?! what do you mean” he was taken aback at hearing a term he was unfamiliar with all of a sudden.
“It matters not what it is! it’s the only way to subdued Keith and becoming a d-user” Coran told him.
“You...you tell me this now all of a sudden...!” Shiro had no idea what would be appropriate.
“What’s a d-user? Some kind of spell? If so, I don’t know any such thing”. Shiro thought.
“There’s no way I’d know that”. Shiro made his anger and frustration visible.
“You, overpower me?!” Keith questioned, mockingly. “Ha! You can’t even stand on your own two feet, wench!!”
Shiro panted as he held his injured side. Even if he wasn’t wounded, there was no way he was able to outrun Keith with his outrageous speed and agility.
“Think, how am I going to subdue a boy”. Shiro’s mind raced like an association game, how is he going to calm down a boy whose only possession was a Crystal that was no way that he’s going to give him as Keith’s dagger was pointed at Shiro.
“Here goes nothing!” As a last resort out of desperation, but with a deep inhale and patience, Shiro reaches out his hand at Keith, soon a strange glow in the dark develops them and flashing Coran and the group.
“Takashi, Takashi,” a voice said, running, look for someone in the winter forest to the cliffside, “Keith,” the man said behind, wearing a white and gray gi in the style of a kimono, a white obi around his waist and black haori jacket with black pants underneath the gi and black and gray boots.
“Takashi,” Keith said happier, run to him, conferring himself on his chest “you here”, full of joy,
“Of course,” Takashi said back to him,
“l Hope Allura is gonna be OK by us, I mean I never told Allura about us” Keith felt doubtful as he had a secret relationship with Takashi who was a wandering samurai from an unknown group.
And one of those days, something terrible is about to happen when a mysterious association with a set of arrows being drawn to their location but miss to the ground covers snow,
“Die, half-daemon,” a voice said, Keith and Takashi look at the attacker and to their horror, it was a woman, wearing a beautiful white dress, light blue coat with a navy blue shawl.
“Allura,” Keith said, confused by her sudden appearance, “die boy”, she said colder, getting more arrows for a second attack.
Having no idea what’s going on. Keith was paired to fight back.
“Lookout” Takashi croak, pushing Keith out of the way, as Allura, attacked them with three arrows, but missed again, however it was unexpected this time as Allura accidentally shoots Takashi with three arrows, causing him to falls from the cliffside of the forest.
“Takashi” Keith screamed in horror at the falling scene of the slaughtered body, “No”.
Shiro woke up with a gasp at the moment, “what just happened?” He said as wakefulness tugs at his chest. It draws him up, and he breaks the surface as it was already morning.
Next, the pearly whites came back into focus, discovered that he’s back in the shrine, laying on a bed, where Keith begrudgingly is. Well, perhaps not begrudgingly, but rather waiting for a chance to arise to steal the crystal from Shiro.
The room that Shiro was in the form of what looks like a big hospital room, it’s had eight beds or nine, beside them were cryo-replenishers next to the beds for the people who are injured from the attack by Mistress Centipeetle while Coran and Romelle were checking the rest of the damages, whether it was because it was unusual to see Keith, or whether they were still apprehensive about Shiro, everyone was watching, pointing, whispering, and keeping a wary eye on them as they passed.
it guesses it’s to be expected. It’s been a very long day. he’d intended to go to work like any other day, but he had suddenly been pulled into the well by a centipede monster, became lost in an unfamiliar world, got chased around by the monster again, met Keith, had the quintessence Crystal torn from inside his body for some reason, and then...
Then, Shiro discovered that he wearing a white jumpsuit, dress in a hospital gown as his clothes were on a nightstand.
“He is awake, Go fetch Coran “a nurse paid, the nurses who had been watching over the injury, had just finished preparing some porridge for them, as he was eating it, Shiro had to repeatedly fight the urge to fall asleep. he was exhausted to his very core, however, he felt the pain that he was in.
“Now then, we had better apply some medicinal herbs to that wound on your shoulder.” the nurse came over to her carrying a ceramic jar.
“That’s right, I was injured...” Mistress Centipeetle had bitten him with her sharp fangs, tearing away his flesh and sending blood flying everywhere, so it had to be a huge gash, but until a nurse had mentioned it, he had completely forgotten about it. He hadn’t felt any pain since only shortly after being bitten.
However she did more than that, tearing apart someone’s flesh,
“Here, show me, said the nurse, with that out of the way, Shiro tried to remove the top half of his uniform but doing so, he notices an empty sleeve, even though he didn’t want to admit it as he rolling up his sleeve he has seen that his right arm was gone as he knew that from the very beginning, leaving nothing but a bandage lump
Staring at it, how is Shiro going to explain to Adam that he lost his arm to a monster. yeah right, how is he going to believe that or the Garrison?
“Oh my, it is unexpectedly shallow. It does not appear any of the centipede’s venom got in. It likely would not even fester.” As she spoke, the woman coated the wound with something thick and strong-smelling.
“Ow...!” The medicine stung and he involuntarily let out a cry.
Hahaha!” Keith laughed in a way that sounded intentional.
“What’s with your attitude? It’s like you’re an angry kid, lashing out.” Shiro felt a prick in his skull. It was like every time this guy spoke, it made him so mad. Even though when he’d first seen him at the tree, sitting there with his eyes closed, he’d unconsciously thought he was beautiful, he’d thought he was amazing when he defeated Mistress Centipeetle with a single attack. But aside from that, he was a moody teenager ever since before he’d just been sulking like a lone wolf, The loner type that you saw in high school.
“So you’re awake, the nurses told me that you made it through,” Coran said, coming towards his hospital bed with Romelle, “how are you feeling”.
“I’m fine or sort up”, Shiro said, but he didn’t feel fine, although the feeling was not mutual.
“I see!” Coran said. “But I afraid we have more important times as I still can’t believe that the quintessence Crystal has reappeared here, after all these years...and I am certain that any evil beings who desire it will be appearing here, quite soon.”
“You mean more daemons are gonna be coming after it?” asked Shiro.
“Not just daemons,” said Coran. “The Galra Empire will also seek to possess it to creases their power to conquered our planet will surely also come in drones.”
“I see,” Shiro replied. “Still...there’s one thing I don’t understand.” He then glanced over at Keith, who was sitting on the chair with his hands in a criss-cross in a rather lazy position. He had his back turned to him, he was grumbling under his breath, and his head twitched and swiveled in irritation.
“Keith, right?” Shiro asked.
“Yeah, what is it?” asked Keith in a gruff voice.
“Why are you after the crystal?” Shiro inquired. “You seem pretty strong to me. What would you need the crystal for?”
“Yes, Keith is quite powerful,” Coran concurred. “However, he is only a half-demon.”
SMASH!! Keith angrily threw a fist into the wall, causing it to shatter a bit while Romelle yelped and hid behind Shiro.
“You know something?!” the boy asked. “I can’t stand sitting in the same room with some sassy guy and an old man who have to grow old, I am so tired about you giving my life story so too much trouble, give me the Crystal”.
Coran let out a small breath. “You know I cannot do that?“,
Keith raised his eyebrow suspiciously. “Fine,” he said, feeling angry at him, turns head in frustration.
“Many years have passed and I’m surprised you’re still the same! After fifty years.” Coran said, firmly with disappointed eyes.
“Fifty years ... so I’ve been sealed for that long, huh?” He then smirked. “Well, if you’re old, then Allura must be ancient! Good thing I don’t gotta worry about bein’ old...at least not for a while, anyway.”
“Keith, Allura has died,” Coran said bluntly.
Hearing that caused Keith to tense up slightly, something that Shiro took notice of.
“It was the same day she sealed you. She had a terrible wound... Her final moments were to never allow the crystal to fall into the hands of evil, so the order to do that, she burned herself with the fire that you caused, burned the crystal along with her, but wasn’t her that died, the samurai that you were with also died”, Coran explained.
“...So...they died, huh...?” Keith asked...and Shiro couldn’t help sensing just a bit of sadness in his voice, causing her to blink in bewilderment, but he quickly scoffed and smirked. “Well...good riddance.”
Coran continued his story regardless. “Keith, is a little early for you to be relieved, After all...Allura and the samurai may be dead, but their reincarnation is right here in this very room...is that not the truth, Shiro?”
“...Who, me?” asked Shiro in surprise.
“Aye, dear boy,” said Coran. “You possess immense power that has remained untapped for some time. Not only that, but the quintessence Crystal was hidden within you. What other answers could there be?”
“...But...but that can’t be right!” Shiro exclaimed. “This has to be some kind of fluke!”
“Fluke or no fluke,” said Coran, “Shiro, you have been tasked since birth to protect the jewel.”
“...You’ve gotta be kidding,” Shiro said in disbelief as he stared at the gem in his hand. “You mean I gotta guard this thing, now?!” He then sighed. “Just my luck...”
“Oh, boy,” Keith grumbled before he stormed out of the room. “I need some air!”
As if he picked up on this, Coran stated, “Shiro, for now, I think you should rest, Afterwards, we will proceed from there.”
his voice faded out from serious to centric.
“What about him,” Shiro asked, wondering what to do about Keith.
“Don’t worry about him, as long the mark is surrounding his arm, you are connected to him, the threat that he once held is now diminished, it’s the only way that he allows be closer to the Crystal”, Coran explained, leaving the room with Romelle.
When he laid down back on the bed, Shiro restlessly went to sleep, “Please... when I wake up... let all the weird stuff that happened to me here be a dream... The magic power”s, the Daemons, the crystal, everything... Like that Alice in Wonderland story that told the kids about... When I wake up, everything was a dream, please, please, please, god...“.And he dreamt.
“Are you sure, Coran?” Romelle said as they moved together down the corridor.
“Yes I am sure, Shiro is the Jointo of Allura and The samurai Takashi”. Coran told her.
Romelle stopped walked. “The jointo? him that means he can stop the war and free our people and Altea from the Galra”, Romelle complained about the war which the Galra empire wanted to take over the planet, Altea, led by Emperor Zarkon, so an order to go against them, rebels were forming to fight back.
“How are we going to do that” Coran replied as they began walked again. “How is he going to fight with one arm, especially he has no idea about his powers, he has no training of a priest or samurai”.
"What,” Romelle asked in thrilled disbelief. “How are we, I mean we can teach him that’s like Allura was taught”, that strikes a core in Coran,
“And how are we going to do that, Allura was my best friend too and I think about what happened to her every day”, Coran said
Romelle frowned. “But that won’t happen again, Keith is contained, right?”
Coran shook his head. “No he won’t, I meant Keith is contained for now, but he won’t help us not everything has happened in the past”.
Coran didn’t turn around, “We’ll discuss later, Romelle”, he replied, his back to Romelle, “much later”.
“Right, like you always said”, Romelle muttered to herself. She headed in the opposite direction of Coran, more determined and hopeful than ever before “I won’t give up, oh never give up until the Galra empire is defeated and Altea is free”.
When Coran reached his room, he sat on the edge of his bed staring at a portrait hung on the wall. It had been painted right after Allura was born. Things seemed so easy then, so full of promise. That was before she died, leaving Altea without a defender, without any freedom from the galra.
He sighed, letting his shoulders slump. “Stop beating yourself up, you said”, Coran told himself, “Right Alfor”.
Staring another painting, next to the bed, unlike the other one, it this one painted before Allura and feature her father, Alfor and Coran, back when he was a young man.
“I mean you always know what to do I mean, handling with teenagers, but it’s not supposed to be easy”. He lay down on the bed, pretending that he was in psychiatry, a patient talking to his psychiatrist giving full attention to his problems.
“Teenagers or not, I must have hope for the future, but I feel like I can’t”, Coran replied. ” Even though I’m trying to keep everything together, but I don’t know how long I can keep it up”. He remembered the day that Allura has dies, he could still see the images, flashing back in like an endless loop of pain and loss.
“I just want to keep the peace”, Coran said, his heart filled with sorrow.
Elsewhere outside of Arus, on a base, a calling for a meeting of the galra soldiers, they have a job to do.
The gathering was held outside the base, military-style with soldiers line up, all being respectful to their Commander.
“I see, we got our orders, a Sinister voice said, petting a crow, step onto the arm, which has red eyes, mostly glossy black plumage, and a heavy bill but its most unique feature was its three legs.
“You can the crystal, Now go” with that the bird off on order, flying into the sky to his Target destination. “Repair everything, Haxus”, ordered someone by command,
“yes sir, Sendak sir”. Said Haxus, in the most commanding voice.