Forest of Doom, Stables, Rebels Headquarters 2:15pm
“If we leave tomorrow night, we will reach the gates of Oblivion by the next morning.” Nanami said as she started brushing her horse. She looked over to Answer and smiled. Answer didn’t say much, just slightly nodded his head. Nanami figured he found it a foolish plan, knowing that Answer always preferred staying neutral. “I suggest we’ll call to arms and gather our army so we can start planning the whole thing.” Answer said and patted his Dark steed. Nanami took a sugar cube and handed it to her ruby-eyed friend. She loved that horse so much. The beautiful pinkish glow, perfectly matched his Ruby red eyes.
“There you go…” The young woman whispered and stroke the animal. Nanami stepped away from it and turned to Answer, as she leaned in to kiss his cheek softly.
“Let’s go love… I’m done here.” She said and headed over to the exit of the stables with Answer following her out.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters 3:25pm
Nanami looked around the knights room. She had called everyone for a meeting to discuss what the plans were. Raising her hands, she waited for everyone to be quiet. It took about ten seconds, before she got their attention.
“We’re gathered here today, because we’ve got a new mission coming up. As a few of you know, we’ve had a message about the NBK planning a new invasion. Oblivion is their next target. I believe we all started to notice, that they’re getting closer to our city as well… And we need to be prepared for when that happens.” Nanami said, raising her voice a bit as everyone stood there listening to their leader in silence;
“When do we take off?” One of her men asked, and Answer stepped forward.
“We will be leaving tomorrow night.” He said as the voices slowly returned.
“So either way you’re ready… Or simply don’t come. It’s up to you, if you can live with the fact, that people will know you as a coward… Or perhaps as the one who stood up for his city and his leader. SO ARE YOU READY FOR BATTLE!?” Answer yelled and looked around the great amount of people.
“YEAHHHH!” All the soldiers cried out.
“DO WE STAND UP FOR OURSELVES?”
“OR ARE WE ALL COWARDS!?”
“NO SIR, NO SIR!!”
“THEN GET READY AND PREPARE YOURSELF!”
All soldiers started to get back in position and marched out of the room. Nanami looked at Answer with a smile and slightly nodded as he squeezed her hand softly. She called for their messenger and handed him a letter. “Please make sure this will get to General Jowy of Sakaiya before morning. It’s a message about the Oblivion invasion,” the man nodded and took off.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters 06:15am
Nanami woke up from the sunbeams shining through the curtains. Half of the night she had been turning and tossing in bed. One of the days she had been fearing for so long was finally there. The day that they would prepare for takeoff and save Oblivion from the planned invasion. Nanami sighed and looked up to the ceiling. Answer noticed it and opened his eyes, turning around to face her; “Good morning angel…” He said softly with a smile and looked into her eyes. She was beautiful as always even though he noticed she looked kind of tired.
“Hey… Have you been sleeping at all?” He asked as he rose himself to a higher level and leaned his elbow on the pillow to rest his head on it.
“Not really…” Nanami said softly and smiled weakly.
“Why?” The smile on Answer’s lips had faded away and the expression on his face turned into a bit of a worried look.
“I’m not sure if we can do this….”
“You’re not changing your mind now are you?” Answer looked up and frowned.
“Maybe we should just...-” Nanami mumbled and sat up straight.
“Sweetheart… People are counting on us, we can’t back away now, can we?” His voice almost sounded like he thought Nanami was crazy.
“I guess you’re right....”
“Look I was just being silly and you’re right, it’s just to win some time,” Nanami said and got out of bed. Answer knew she was right. But plans were already made and they couldn’t just change their minds last minute.
A knock on the door could be heard and both Answer and Nanami looked up.
“Who’s there?” Nanami said and waited for a response. “My lady, One of the Oblivion officers has arrived.” A male voice said on the other side of the door. Nanami’s eyes widened as she looked over to Answer. “That was fast?” She had no idea they had informed Oblivion about reinforcements. She quickly got out of bed and ran over to the closet to take out some clean clothes. Nanami looked back over her shoulder, witnessing Answer getting out of bed as well.
“Who sent out a messenger?” He said, cocking a brow.
“I have no idea, but sure as hell wasn’t me… I told the man to go to Sakaiya now, didn’t I?” Nanami replied and pulled her shirt over her head. Now she wasn’t sure herself anymore.
“Let’s just go and find out…” She pulled her hair up and dropped it over her shoulders, making her long locks dance on her back.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters 06:35am
Nanami and Answer ran down the stairs and headed for the meeting hall. A few people were standing there including Apple and Mynx.
“What’s going on?” Nanami asked confused as they arrived at the group. A knight stepped forward and lowered his head.
“My master is welcoming you to our city, my lady. We’ve heard about the NBK’s plans, and know it would be wise if we accept any help we can get.” The man said and looked from Nanami to Answer and back again.
“Who told your master about the plan?” Nanami wanted to know and Answer also looked over to the man.
“Unfortunately, he hasn’t given me a name, my lady,” the man answered politely, but Answer didn’t really buy it. It all happened too soon.
“Thank you for trusting us into your city. I suggest we’ll pack up and leave immediately.”
“Yes, my lady.” Nanami turned to her people and nodded.
“Are you guys ready for takeoff?” She asked and all others nodded as well.
“Apple inform our men, that we will be leaving very soon.”
“Yes ma’am.” Apple said and walked away.
“Can I come?” Mynx asked, she wanted to make herself useful so why not going to war with them. “Sure. Do you have a horse?”
“Yeah I do…”
“Alright then,” She turned to Answer, shaking her head a bit. “Strange… So, who’s gonna tell them the bad news?” Nanami asked as she looked around.
Erandel, Desert of Palms, Oblivion City 06:55pm
There was a tense sphere hanging above the City of Oblivion. Nanami could tell everyone knew what was about to happen very soon. She knew this was an impossible mission but all she could do was pray and hope that they could at least defend the city from Littsnow’s army. But that wasn’t the only thing on her mind. What if Zhalia’s messenger miscalculated or underestimated her master’s plan? Or what if they were all lies… Yet, Nanami still wondered who had informed Oblivion about the attack.
Her thoughts trailed off as they entered the gates. She was nervous, Nanami could feel the first raindrops land on her tired face and it made her skin crawl.
“Rain again… Heaven must really hate us…” She heard one of their soldiers mumble. As soon as everyone was inside the walls, they closed the enormous gates behind them. Nanami looked back over her shoulder and narrowed her eyes. As the rain began to fall harder, everyone got off of their horses. Stable boys ran over to them, to bring the mounts to their stables for a rest. With Answer, Zhalia, Mynx, Robert, Jonoh and Mahmudah following her, they entered they hall.
There was food everywhere, Wine, candles and a lot of people, Nanami looked over to Answer and raised a brow.
“This looks like a celebration…” Mahmudah whispered as surprised as everyone else was.
“I thought they knew about the attack?” Jonoh looked at her but didn’t answer.
“What a bunch of clowns.” Answer mumbled under his breath.
“Party while they could be attacked anytime soon now.”
“Welcome Rebels, I was expecting you. My name is Ceaba, I am the one who’s in charge of this city.” A male voice said from out of the shadows. Nanami looked around to see where the voice was coming from.
A little further a man sat on a throne. He leaned in as a beam of candlelight, lid up part of his face. Nanami felt strange, seeing the look on these people’s faces. She couldn’t help but to feel like they were up to something. They stood there as the man on the throne continued to speak. Nanami and her officers waited until he gave them the permission to sit down.
“Are you alright sweetheart?” Answer asked softly but Nanami didn’t say anything. She just kept her eyes on the man as her heart began to beat faster.
“So you are the well-known Rebels… I’ve heard a lot of stories about you.” Ceaba said and the silence returned immediately. Nanami didn’t feel good, she just felt like she had to get away from there. There was something about the way this man spoke, that made her suspicious.
“We’ve all come here tonight, to celebrate our victory.” Answer glared at the man.
“Victory? What is he talking about?” Jonoh said and looked at Mahmudah who didn’t seem to understand it either.
“I thought we came here to buy some time, to defend this place, not to seek victory cuz that is just impossible. There’s no chance we’ll be able to defeat the NBK, not without making an official plan? This guy is nuts…” Jonoh told Mahmudah.
“We came here to back you up, that doesn’t mean we’ll be victorious against the NBK.
I thought you would understand?” Nanami stated and an evil grin appeared on Ceaba’s face.
“Who said I was talking about the NBK?” Answer didn’t like that tone. His eyes widened as he immediately looked over to Nanami when he heard her groan softly and jumped up. He could feel the ground disappear below him when he saw the dagger pressed against Nanami’s throat, by the man standing behind her. At that moment all doors closed with a bang and people reached for their swords. Nanami stood there stunned and in shock. Meanwhile, Answer managed to make his way to the throne and grabbed the woman who was sitting next to Ceaba who apparently seemed to be his wife as she was in his reach. He had pulled her off and also held a knife against the woman’s throat. Nanami looked at Answer with begging eyes as Ceaba told him to let go of his woman.
“Drop it!!” Answer yelled at the soldier standing behind Nanami.
“Don’t do it Ans…” Nanami said softly and swallowed as she felt the dagger getting pressed stronger against her throat.
“I said DROP IT!” Answer repeated and also pressed the knife harder. “You tell your dog to let go of her or I swear I will cut your wife’s throat!”
“I’ll just find another then…” Ceaba said and smirked. Answer growled, feeling the anger boil inside of him. “You really believe the NBK would attack us tonight? Or.. Ever? You know… The truth is… I had a little chitchat with Littsnow myself. He said… If I’d give him The Rebels… He will leave us alone and take us under his wings. So that’s exactly what I am going to do.” Ceaba explained.
“You fool… You really believe Littsnow’s words!!?? He’s ruthless he doesn’t care about anyone but himself!” Nanami yelled at him. Outside people began to scream and shout as loud bangs echoed through the city streets. “You have officially started war…” Answer snarled, meanwhile a door flew open and someone ran into the room.
“My Lord… The NBK has arrived outside our city walls! They’re trying to enter the city!”
“What?!” Ceaba cried out and the other man looked around in shock to find both women with a knife at their throat. He wanted to run out but Jonoh swung his blade, cutting off the man’s head with one swing. The one who had Nanami, got distracted so she found the perfect opportunity to release herself from his grip. She forced her elbow into his stomach and took the dagger, slid his throat. The man fell down on his knees and a second later he lay there, bleeding to death. As soon as Answer saw she was safe, he pushed Ceaba’s wife to the ground. Of course he wasn’t going to kill her, he just needed her to throw a threat at Ceaba, but apparently he didn’t even care if she got killed or not. He grabbed Ceaba and without another word, Answer forced his sword into the man’s upper torso. Ceaba’s eyes widened, full of disbelief he slowly fell on his knees, looking at the fatal wound in his chest and a few seconds later he was lying there dead also. All officers pulled out their swords as they started attacking each other. Nanami looked at Answer, stunned. “Let’s hurry, there’s not much time left…” He said calmly and pulled Nanami with him, leaving the other woman behind, next to her husband’s dead body.
“Nan, you and Ans take the wall. We need more archers to outnumber them. I suggest Rob and Zhalia go together, and Mynx will come with me and Mah.” Jonoh said and the others agreed. Another bang could be heard against the gate and everyone looked up in shock.
“Go now!” Answer said and pulled out his crossbow.
Reaching the tower, Nanami and Answer looked down to find soldiers trying to force their way through the gates. Nanami’s heart was beating fast as she saw how many of them were out there. They were carrying plants on their backs, no wonder Oblivion couldn’t see through their camouflage, they mustve been hiding there almost all day. Littsnow was nasty…
One thing for sure. Nanami pulled out her crossbow as well as she started shooting the arrows at the invaders. One by one she shot them from the walls, as they were even trying to climb up. Robert had followed them back and started to cut the ropes off of the wall, making the enemy fall all the way down from the city walls, while Zhalia casted a protection spell.
A huge shield of magic surrounded the city, but could only last for so long, so they had to hurry up. This wasn’t about protecting Oblivion any longer. With enemies from both in- and outside of the walls they had to try making their way out now. Nanami took a better look at the invaders to come to the conclusion that this wasn’t even half of Littsnow’s army. So she could guess that he truly didn’t expect them to be there at this moment. So this Ananchel lady, must’ve been telling them the truth. With one last bang, the gates flew open. Good thing they had already taken down a whole bunch of them on the walls.
“They’re in!!” Answer yelled and took off. Nanami followed him as they both pulled out their extra weapons.
“Honey, you serious? Nun-chucks?” Answer said surprised.
“What can I say…? They’re my specialty!” Nanami said with a grin. His eyes followed her as she managed to take out two swordsmen at once. “I was the ‘nun-chucks girl’ before, right?” The woman said with a grin and shrugged her shoulders, leaving him all baffled.
“Damn lady… Why you so hot?” He cried out with a smirk and slightly shook his head as he covered her back. In the meantime, Jonoh had slaughtered more souls then a Grimm-Reaper. He was simply ruling the field like a god, with his great fighting skills. And no one seemed to be able to stop him. “Mah… Remind me… That… if we make it through the night, I’m gonna take you out… For dinner!” He said under his breath. Heads rolling everywhere and Robert jumped in to help them out. “Can I join the party?” He asked and the others nodded.
“Always Rob!” Jonoh replied as they all had each other’s back.
“Littsnow sure didn’t count on us now did he?” Answer mumbled at Nanami, who simply shrugged her shoulders. “I sure don’t miss him right now…” Nanami said as Answer stepped away. “So Zhalia has a sister huh?” Answer asked all of a sudden and Nanami glared.
“Yeah… She just forgot to tell me about it…” The young woman snarled as she knocked out another soldier.
“RETREAT!” One of Littsnow’s officers commanded. All Rebels looked up surprised and watched the NBK withdraw slowly.
“Hey! I just started to warm up!” Jonoh cried out, almost sounding disappointed. He swung his sword one last time at an NBK-er and with that all sights became clearer.
Erandel, Desert of Palms, Oblivion City 05:25 am
Nanami looked up as a small light beam appeared from behind the horizon. The war cries had faded although her ears were still beeping. Mahmudah lowered her sword as she slowly walked over to Nanami, as did the others.
“Did we…-? The young girl said softly and Nanami nodded her head.
“Yes, Mah… I guess we did… We won… For now…” Nanami added.
“It won’t take long though before Littsnow will come back for us…” She looked over her shoulder to find all of her officers safe. Answer looked away as he turned around, his back facing the others. “And when he does… We’ll have to be one step ahead of him.” He said almost impossible for the others to hear. “Zhal…” Nanami said, looking at the mage.
“I will take care of it, Nan…” The woman answered, knowing she had to continue to stay in touch with her sister about the NBK’s further plans. Nanami narrowed her eyes as she watched Answer walk away in silence. She noticed something was bothering him.
Nanami lowered her Nun-Chucks and followed him to a quiet spot, away from the others. Zhalia noticed and waited a little until she disappeared into the shadows.
“Ans… Is everything alright?” Nanami asked as Answer stood there with his back turned to her. He didn’t really respond, just looked away.
“I’m sorry I almost failed you…” The man said softly, ashamed of himself. “What are you talking about?” Nanami said as the weak smile faded from her lips. “He could’ve killed you…-”
“But I’m still here…”
“No… You don’t get it… It was my job to protect you from harm. And I failed… I thought I had lost you…” Answer hissed disappointed in himself.
“Don’t say that… You couldn’t have known what they were up to… Neither did I… I was too naïve to not see the danger I put all of you through… This was all my fault… Please don’t do this to yourself, don’t blame yourself for what has happened. If there’s someone to blame, it’s me… I am the failure here… As a leader I am…” Nanami said, and looked down as she closed her eyes. Zhalia stood behind the wall, hearing their conversation.
Answer brought his hand up to her face and lifted her chin a little. “You’re not a failure… you are just too good hearted to see the evilness people have inside of them… I will never let you down again, I promise…” Answer whispered against her lips, as he leaned in and kissed her softly. He couldn’t help but to be angry at himself for letting this happen. And he better made sure it would never happen again. Nanami wrapped her arms around his neck and held him close. She pulled away a little, to look him in the eyes, and kissed his lips softly. Zhalia still standing there, couldn’t help but to smile. They’d finally found each other and gave in. Was about time… She thought and turned away.
“We should head back… They’re probably waiting for us.” Nanami said, and waited for him. Both began to walk to the center of the city, and Zhalia followed them softly.
The deafening silence had returned and Nanami stroke the hair out of her face. All around them, people gathered in groups as they appeared from out of the darkness. The young leader looked around and raised her hands as the wounded all around them were taken care of.
“We’re not here to hurt you or your families. But I am very disappointed that your leader has treated us with disrespect. We came here to help you, to protect this city from the Northern kingdom and it saddens me that he had to stab my people in the back.” Nanami stated.
“You Rebels don’t belong here! Leave our city now, we’ve heard you plundered others!”
A man yelled, and a few more agreed. “Our master does not want you here!”
“Your master is dead!” A female voice yelled as Ceaba’s wife walked down the stairs. In her hand she held Ceaba’s head and threw it in front of her people. The silence returned immediately as everyone looked at the rolling head in shock.
“This is my city! Ceaba had no rights to claim it and call it his ever, but he did! And I never stood a chance to take it back.
“The Rebel lady is right!” The woman said while raising her voice.
“Ceaba was a greedy man, seeking for power only. He did not care about the people in this city? I have heard him say this every day. He made a deal with the NBK while he knew what they all did to us before. He was an old fool, trusting the NBK on their word, and now he’s dead.” Nanami stepped forward and looked around.
“You people are free to go! Stay here if this is what you want, but I would lie if I’d tell you that you will be safe here. The NBK will be back for sure, and next time there is not going be any kind of victory, accept a victory for them. Even though I know this is your home, I suggest you’d flee, all of you! Find a safe place to stay for you and your families. You can also come back with us for as long as this war will last, and fight together with us.” One of the Oblivion knights walked over to Nanami. He stood there in silence until he went down on one knee;
“Please accept me into your army, Rebel Lady? I promise to serve you well.” Nanami looked up as more people followed and Jonoh grinned.
“Once one sheep crossed the river… The rest will follow…” He whispered, and Mahmudah had to giggle.
Northern Bloodlands, Littsnow’s castle 06:00 am
“How is this POSSIBLE!?” Littsnow’s furious voice echoed through the castle. It was so loud that it almost felt like the ground was shaking. Ananchel took a step back to keep some space between her and her master. “We have gotten a RAT in our midst!” he yelled and punched the flowers off of the table. Ananchel could see how his eyes started to glow the energy coming from her master was overwhelming and she had to step back more. Her heart was beating fast as she watched him threatening, walking towards his messenger. The poor man seemed very scared and swallowed hard as the king approached him. Without a word he pulled out his sword and chopped off the messenger’s head. Ananchel jumped up as the man’s blood spread out all over her face. Her whole body was shaking as she stood there in silence. Another innocent man just lost his life, and the worst thing was… His blood was on her hands.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters, chambers 8:35pm
Zhalia had finally managed to finish her resurrection potion when someone knocked on her door. She looked up surprised and walked over to the door. When she opened it, she saw Ananchel standing in front of it, all shaken up. Her face was still covered with blood and her whole body was trembling.
“Ana?” Zhalia helped her sister to come in and sat her down on a chair.
“What happened?” she asked worried. Zhalia slightly panicked as she grabbed a towel and cleaned her twin sister’s face. Thank god it wasn’t her blood.
“You have to stop him…” Ananchel begged her sister.
“Did he hurt you?” Zhalia asked as she sat down next to Ananchel.
“No, not me… But I was afraid he was going to… He killed the messenger and now he suspects one of our people for leaking information, and when he finds out it was me…” The violet haired woman panicked.
“He can’t hurt you… You’re much stronger then you think…” Zhalia reassured her.
“I will tell Nanami and Answer that we have to strike very soon… We are running out of time…” Zhalia put away the potions and took out another one. “Drink this… It will calm you down and give you the ability to think straight,” Ananchel trusted her sister and nodded her head.
“Okay… he has an officer of Olympus… who claims to know where you are hiding, You really need to hurry…” she said and took a sip of the potion. For a moment she had to close her eyes to take it all in and sighed deeply.
“Oh, that’s not good…” Zhalia cried out, her sister must have been talking about Soffell…
“Alright, you know how badly I want you to stay here, but we need to win some time. If Littsnow finds out you’re not there, he will suspect you next, so I need you to just do the things you always do, this potion will help you to stay calm around him,” Zhalia explained.
“We will be there in two days… I know it’s all of a sudden but Apple has been working on our plan for some days now so she should be prepared by now.
“Go now, everything will be alright, I promise,” Ananchel nodded her head as Zhalia made her look into her eyes.
“And if he tries to hurt you… you won’t let him… You will defend yourself, alright?” she hugged her once more before Ananchel left the chambers.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters, gathering hall 8:35pm
Apple had been working on the strategies for two days straight now, she didn’t get a lot of sleep over the past few days, Zhalia could tell because her energy had been very low.
“Working hard, haven’t you?” the woman said and Apple looked up; “Actually, these were the final sets. I’m done now,” Apple said as she hung over the huge map that had been spread out over the table. “Good, because we are going to need it in two days,” Zhalia saw the look on Apple’s face as she looked up in shock; “Two days? Isn’t that a little too fast?” she said, sounding worried. “We are running out of time, Littsnow has lost it, after we claimed victory last night he has gone to elimination mode, He could be attacking now any moment, we are not talking about days anymore, we are talking about ‘hours’ now, I think he has Soffell, she will tell him where we are hiding… If she hasn’t done it by now.” Apple scratched the back of her head as she rolled up the map. “Oh poopie…” she mumbled and placed the map under her arm. “We need some more back-up, I know a group of mercenaries Nanami and I have worked with in the past. They’re actually very good in battle. Viktor and Flik are their leaders, I’m sure they will help us out and right now, we need all the help we can get,” Apple said as she stared in front of her.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters, 8:44pm
“So I guess due date is approaching?” Answer said carefully as he walked closer to Nanami who sat at the window. Nanami didn’t respond, she just sat there and looked at him as he joined next to her. “Did you eat anything at all?” Answer wanted to know, but Nanami shook her head. “Come with me, it looks like you could use some distraction,” Nanami’s smile brightened up as Answer took her hands in his and pulled her up.
“Where are you taking me?” she asked curiously while following him out of the room. Soon enough Nanami noticed that they were heading for the rooftop. Her heart began to beat faster for she felt kind of nervous, she just didn’t know where this feeling was coming from. He stopped and turned to her as they reached the door that would take them to the roof.
“Close your eyes,” Answer said, almost whispering. “Close my eyes? Ans, what are we doing here?” she asked and giggled. “Just do it,” he said with a grin. Answer’s hand went to Nanami’s hands and took them gently in his. Nanami didn’t notice Answer was pretty nervous himself, until she felt his cold sweaty hands. He led her over the roof top and stopped at a certain point. There were rose pedals spread everywhere which led them to a small table with candles. Two wine cups and plates were set on the table as well. “May I look now?” Nanami asked nervously and Answer grinned. She looked so cute and beautiful, even though the moonlight made her face look a bit ghostly. “You may open them now,” he said softly and Nanami did as he said. Her jaw dropped when she opened her eyes to find this beautiful place set up. “Oh my, Ans…” She was stunned, Nanami couldn’t find the words for it. Speechless as she was, she looked over to him and back to the table. “I… I don’t know what to say…” she said under her breath and Answer could only smile. He loved seeing her happy like that. “You don’t need to say anything… Just relax, beautiful and enjoy the meal I prepared for us,” Answer pulled out the chair a bit so Nanami could sit down. “You made this?” Nanami couldn’t help but to giggle softly. She didn’t expect Answer could cook a meal like that. He truly did know how to surprise her time after time. “Wine?” He asked her gently and held up the red wine in front of her. Nanami smiled and nodded. Answer smiled back at her and took the cups as he filled them with the blood red colored liquid.
“How come you always know how to surprise me?” Nanami asked as she accepted the cup. “What can I say? It’s my specialty…” he whispered, still smiling. The candles flickered in his eyes as they locked with hers and like always they managed to give her this warm feeling inside. “We’ve been working so hard lately, so I thought we deserved a nice quiet moment for us,” Answer said, but that wasn’t the real reason why he had brought her up here, there was more. He was worried about the upcoming battle. They were definitely playing with fire here. Even though he trusted in Apple’s strategy, it was still the NBK they were going to fight against. All he knew was that if they would ever be able to succeed and win this war, he wanted Nanami to be by his side forever. She was the woman of his dreams, the one he would want to spend the rest of his life with. And he could feel that she felt the same.
“It’s been quite a few weeks huh?” Answer said with a smile and looked up to Nanami as their eyes locked with each other once more. He carefully placed the food on their plates and sat back down again. “Yes, we’ve been pretty busy indeed…” a wave of calmness overwhelmed her as she spoke. The meal Answer had cooked smelled delicious and it was still warm. A short silence appeared and Nanami looked up to Answer again.
“Do you think we can do this?” she asked as she took a bite of the food. Answer didn’t respond. He knew it would be a lie if he would say they could. Honestly, he wasn’t even sure himself. “All I can say and promise you is that I will be right there by your side through all of this.” He said quietly. But the way he looked at her, frightened Nanami, but she knew he wouldn’t break that promise. “Thank you for everything… I honestly wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have you Ans…You give me faith through all this…” Answer placed his hand on hers and squeezed it softly as he looked at her. “You don’t have to thank me for anything… Because it’s all for the love I feel for you.” Nanami was touched by his words.
No one had done anything like that for her before. Every time she looked at him, she loved him more. “Sweetheart, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while now…” he said all of a sudden. Nanami leaned back in the chair and tilted her head a bit to the side as she looked at him curiously. “What is it, honey?” she watched how Answer stood up from his seat and for no reason her heart started to beat faster. Answer stopped in front of her and gently took her hands in his as he helped her to get up as well. “I was… going to wait until after dinner but I just can’t seem to get any food through my throat right now,” he said and swallowed hard. Nanami’s eyes widened in shock as she realized what he was about to do. “Nan, we’ve known each other for so long and uhm…” his voice trailed off and Answer searched for the right words to say. “In my life I have never loved someone the way I love you… I know I may sound and even look cold or tough from the outside, but from the moment I met you, you became my weakness… Nan…” a short silence appeared again and Answer went down on one knee. Nanami’s heart skipped a beat as she now could tell for sure he was about to propose to her. “My lady… If we will make it through this war… I would wish with all my heart and soul… For you to be by my side as my love… My wife… he reached for his pocket and took out a small box. He opened it in front of her and bowed his head before her. Tears appeared in Nanami’s eyes and she swallowed softly.
“My sweet Nanami… Will you marry me?” The tears escaped her eyes now as Answer spoke. She slightly nodded her head while smiling through her tears of happiness. Answer’s smile brightened up as he saw her reaction.
“Yes…” she managed to speak and Answer took the ring out of the box and placed it around her finger as it fitted perfectly. The beautiful diamond blinked brightly in the moonlight as Answer got back on his feet. Nanami let herself fall into his arms and hugged him tightly. Answer held her close, kissing her head softly. He was so happy she said yes, and that he was right about her feelings for him.
“Thank you…” he whispered softly in her ear and Nanami smiled. “I love you so much…” she said close to his lips as she kissed him.
“I love you too, sweetheart…More then you could ever imagine…” as their eyes met both smiled, no one knew how this battle would end so they knew very well they had to enjoy the next few days to the fullest. Nanami closed her eyes while resting her head against his chest. She noticed his heartbeat had calmed down a bit as they stood there in each other’s arms. “Thank you for this beautiful night…” she said, still with her eyes closed.
“It’s you who makes it beautiful my dear...” Answer took a rose and caressed her face with it. Nanami looked up into his eyes and smiled again.
“Why are you so sweet?” Nanami whispered and Answer smiled back.
“Remember that I’m not… Only to you I am…” he replied and winked at her as he leaned in to kiss her lips once more.
“Now… where were we?” he said and both Answer and Nanami looked over at the table as they grinned.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters, near the gathering hall, 10:15pm
“It was delicious,” Nanami said as she hugged Answer who wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer to him so he could kiss her head. There were voices coming from the gathering hall and both looked up surprised. “They’re still busy at this hour?” Answer asked confused and looked at Nanami. They both walked over to the door that led them to the gathering hall and he opened the door to find Zhalia, Jonoh, Mahmudah and Apple there. They were so busy discussing things that at first they didn’t notice them standing in the doorway. “What’s going on?” Nanami said worried and everyone looked up.
“We are preparing for battle against the NBK,” Apple said and walked towards her friend. “P..Preparing?” Nanami sounded slightly confused. “Why don’t I know anything about this?” she wanted to know and looked around her. “We were about to get you because plans have changed at short notice,” Mahmudah looked up shocked when she saw the blinking ring around Nanami’s finger and ran over to her as she grabbed her hand and admired the round object with big eyes. “Oh my god!” she cried out, still looking at the ring.
“You are engaged!?” the rest also looked up and happily joined them to also see the ring. “Wow, Ans!” Jonoh shouted. “You sure know how to pick the right one!” Answer cocked a brow and looked at Jonoh. “Who says it’s mine?” he said with a serious look on his face. Jonoh gritted his teeth, he actually thought Answer was serious, Mahmudah also felt a bit awkward, but they realized Answer was joking as a smirk appeared on his face.
“Of course it’s Answer’s,” Nanami said laughing as she looked at the others who seemed to be relieved by hearing her words. “I wouldn’t wanna marry anyone else but him…” she added and everyone started hugging and congratulate her. “It’s about time man!” Jonoh said with a grin and patted Answer’s shoulder. Answer couldn’t help but to smile a bit himself.
“So you were saying we have to prepare soon?” Answer said, changing the subject.
“Yes, Littsnow has gone mad… He appears to have Soffell on his side now so they could be attacking us anytime soon…” Nanami looked up worried, “Oh no…” she mumbled under her breath and looked around her. “Nan, you remember Flik and Viktor?” Apple asked all of a sudden. “Yes of course I remember them…Why?” Apple walked over to the table and took out a letter. “I need you to go talk to them, because we are going to need their help,” Apple stated. Answer looked at Nanami with questions in his eyes. “Flik and Viktor used to be mercenaries who fought along with us against Highland many years ago… I have heard that later on they also took part in the High-east Rebellion war. this was a war in which Southern Harmonian forces working with Highland loyalists in the High-east Province, led an invasion of the area in order to reclaim the land which had once belonged to Harmonia over 200 years ago,” everyone listened carefully. “They sound very powerful,” Mahmudah said and the rest agreed. “They are… After the war they returned to Mercenary Fortress, and rebuilt the place, and that’s where we will find them now,” Nanami nodded her head, she knew where Mercenary Fortress was indeed,” Answer also knew. “I know where it is also, it’s south-east of Muse city… My home town,” Apple looked up surprised. “You’re from Muse city?” He must have been there during the war also. She thought and sighed. Yeah it was a tragedy. “But that means we need to leave soon, It’ll take like a day to get there…” Answer stated and Nanami nodded. “Ugh… why do they have to be all the way there?” he mumbled and shook his head. Apple looked at the others;
“For those who aren’t really familiar with it: The fortress was built by Viktor their leader and a dear friend of mine, at the request of Anabelle, mayor of Muse City, as a line of defence for the otherwise paltry defended section of eastern Muse principality, the Mercenary Fortress was primarily meant as a defensive stronghold should the Highland Kingdom attack eastern Muse.
This event came to pass during SY 460 when Luca Blight swept through the area. Solon Jhee, a general under Luca Blight, attacked the fortress, but the mercenaries managed to defeat him through clever use of their Fire Spears; however, the mercenaries' victory was short lived as Luca Blight ambushed the mercenary troops in a second attack, resulting in a rapid defeat. Most of the mercenaries fled towards Muse City and, following it's taking by Highland, North Window Castle, becoming part of the later established Allied Army. For quite some time, Highland controlled the Mercenary Fortress; however, they withdrew following the death of Luca Blight, leaving it open for the Allied Army to recapture. The fortress was then used in a strategy by Shu. Kiba Windamier attacked the Fortress, forcing a well-known man; Leon Silverberg to go to it and defend it, splitting the Highland forces. Unfortunately, Kiba Windamier was fatally injured during this battle. Following this, the fortress soon fell under Allied control through the rest of the war,” Apple told them.
“I was fighting alongside the mercenaries also during this war and so did Apple, even Jowy did,” Nanami looked down sadly, she wanted to forget that horrible time so badly but she just couldn’t. No matter what, she would always be reminded of the hell they had been through at that time.
“Wow Nanny… The experience you have is so big… No wonder you make such a great leader,” Mahmudah said which made Nanami blush for a moment. “I was just a kid back then, was only doing what they told me to, after we defeated Luca Blight, I ran off like a coward… Nothing to be proud of, But I’m done running now, ” Nanami said angry. She hated herself for doing that but back then she didn’t have a choice. Or so, she kept telling herself.
“So that’s it, we should get ready for departure in the morning. All we can do now is hope that Littsnow won’t be a step ahead of us right now…” The others nodded and left the gathering hall. They had to get a good rest tonight because soon they would not be able to have time for it.
Mercenary fortress, Viktor and Flik’s Headquarters, 7:31 pm
Another day had gone by as the Rebels reached the fortress. It had been nothing but traveling lately and Nanami just couldn’t wait for it all to be over. She got off of her horse as the others followed. Two men opened the gates and allowed them to come in after Apple told them who they were.
Nanami couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw how they changed it. It looked so different that she almost started to doubt if this really was that place she once knew a long time ago. But she had heard that due the amount of battles the fortress was considered ‘too dangerous to use’ but then again, it had been ten years. That’s when she saw the green flag. The lion on it she could remember so clearly as if she saw it yesterday. Her thoughts went back to that day:
“Everybody listen up!!” a muscular man yelled at the group of mercenaries who were lined up in front of him. Nanami stood in the back and looked at the man. In front of her, Jowy and Riou were lined up. Apple stood besides Flik, a man dressed in blue. His half long blonde hair had fallen over the bandana he was wearing. Nanami looked at him curiously, he was cute… she thought and grinned. Her eyes went back to the muscular man as he continued his speech;
“According to the centries the Highland army is headed this way. Get ready for a fierce battle.” Apple stepped forward as she also began to speak. “We set a few traps on the way, that’ll hurt them a little.”-
Nanami snapped out of her thoughts as two other men came their way. They were both there on that day they had their battle at the fortress. ‘Flik’ the blue boy, or so Master Shu used to call him. Nanami always had to smile when she thought of the name he had given him. The other man was the muscular man Viktor, leader of the mercenaries. Nanami swallowed nervously as they approached them. She wasn’t sure how they would react if they saw her alive and kicking. Nanami’s thoughts went back to that day again:
“The fire spears are ready. Thanks to everyone who worked through the night to fix them,” another man called Tsai said. “If the fort falls, this whole area will become Highland territory. You all know what happened to Toto and Ryube village,” Flik stated and everyone nodded their heads. “This battle must not be lost!!” Nanami looked up as the mercenaries cheered for their leaders. “Okay Apple, explain our plan,” Viktor said and Apple nodded also. “According to Flik, the support from Muse will arrive in about ten days. If we can hold out until then, we’ve got a chance of winning. Our main strategy is defence, but first we’ll attack from here. This will frustrate them and weaken their offense. After that we just have to defend our fort and wait for help. That’s all,” Apple explained and gave the word to Viktor again. “Everyone understand? Good!! In the name of the great lion on our flag, let’s save our fort!!” A short silence appeared as everyone surprisingly looked up to the flag.
“That ‘thing is a lion?” Nanami heard Apple say all of a sudden and couldn’t help but to giggle when she saw the look on Viktor’s face. He growled softly and walked over to Jowy and Riou. “Are you two ready?” he asked and both boys nodded. “We’re ready anytime,” Riou answered. “Good. I’ve got high hopes for you.” Their conversation got interrupted by one of Viktor’s men. “I see them! The Highland army!!”-
Nanami would never forget the sound of fear in the man’s voice… It was terrifying.
She opened her eyes as Flik and Viktor stopped in front of them. “So… You’re the ‘well known’ new generation of the Rebels?” Viktor said and Nanami whose face was hidden by her cloak, took off the hood. Flik who had no idea stepped closer to her and took a better look at the young woman. Nanami’s long hair partly covered her face as he approached her.
“Have we met?” The man said and Nanami slightly nodded her head. “Yes we have…” She admitted. “Ten years ago you guys joined forces with my brother’s army. My brother Riou…” Nanami explained. “N… Nanami?”, Flik muttered and without another word he pulled her into a hug. “I thought we had lost you back then? How did you…-?” he couldn’t believe she was alive. “-…Survive?” Nanami replied. “They saved me… but I fled. I couldn’t bare seeing Riou and Jowy fight like that. It broke my heart…” Nanami said ashamed.
“I was just a child… We all were…” Flik understood. “And look at you now… Leader of the great Rebels, I’m impressed.” They looked over to Apple and Viktor. “Apple dear, It’s good to see you again,” Viktor said and Apple agreed. “Come in please,” he stepped aside and everyone went inside.
The fort looked amazing. They had really done a great job, fixing the place.
“I suggest you people stay here tonight. Apple, we have a lot to discuss and I’m sure they could use some rest,” Viktor said. “But what if the NBK sets off tonight? Will we be back in time?” Apple wanted to know. “Don’t worry about it… I’ve taken care of everything. There are a few scouts out there who will keep an eye on the situation, once Littsnow’s army moves out, our scouts will cross paths, they will meet along the way so they will reach us before Littsnow will be halfway.” Apple felt relieved. She trusted Viktor, so if he said they would be fine, they would be. “If I’m not needed for now, I’m gonna take a nap,” Answer said to Nanami who nodded. “It’s alright dear, rest”, she said and smiled. She could tell he wanted to kiss her right now but they decided to not show it in public that much, so he nodded instead, caressed her back and took off. Nanami also left as her officers did and went outside.
It was surprisingly cold on this side of the border. Nanami shivered and held on to her cloak. The young woman walked over to a bonfire and sat down in front of it. She wasn’t the only one though, all around were mercenaries sitting near fires. It wasn’t that bad for this time of the year. They didn’t expect a very cold winter either. Nanami stared into the fire as her thoughts once more drifted off to the battle of ten years ago:
“Go after him Riou!!”, Viktor yelled. Nanami couldn’t believe the end of their war against Highland was approaching. She watched Luca Blight take off badly wounded.
“We’ve come this far! We can’t let him get away!!” Viktor and Flik quickly joined their party as they rushed off, following Luca through the woods. “Gather our archers! We’re heading for the prearranged position!” Nanami could hear master Shu say on the background.
Not too far away from them, they could hear Luca mumble and quickly ran towards him.
Shu was yelling on the other side, he had probably taken the other way around with his archers and now they had reached him. Arrows flew through the sky and all landed on Luca. A deadly scream echoed through the woods and they saw him fall on the ground, groaning and moaning from the pain.
They all ran to him and stopped in front of the dying man, who still got up a bit with his final strength. “I’ve caught you Luca Blight!!” Viktor yelled angry, “Now you’re finished!” Luca didn’t really pay that much of attention to Viktor’s words, instead he started to laugh hysterically. “Finished… you… say…?”, he kept laughing like a lunatic.
“What are you saying maggot?! What are you squealing about, pig?!” Luca said evilly as he slowly got back on his feet. “I’ve got the power to take your life boy!!”
A bunch of Highland soldiers came running to their dying king. They just appeared out of nowhere. “Lord Luca!!”, They all yelled and surrounded the mad king of Highland.
“Lord Luca! Hurry! Escape!” Nanami stood there, watching it all. “Arrows away!”, Shu shouted in the back. It all happened so fast. One moment the soldiers stood there defending Luca and the next they were all dead. Even to Luca it all seemed to go fast.
“My holy war… Don’t interfere… you scum…” Luca mumbled. Nanami looked up shocked as Luca all of a sudden ran to Riou and attacked him on the spot. “Here I come Riou!!” Luca cried out and pulled out his sword. “Riou!!” Flik yelled also in shock as he saw how Luca attacked the kid. But it only took her brother one wild attack to defeat their worst enemy now that Luca had already become too weak to stand on his legs any longer.
“Riou, are you okay?” Nanami ran to him and examined her brother. Luca finally fell on the ground. “I don’t have the power to swing my sword anymore…” Luca mumbled under his final breathes. “Riou… Why do you fight! Why do you wish to destroy me?” Riou didn’t answer, he just stood there for a moment, looking down on the mad king. “To end this war…” Riou stated. Luca looked up from where he was standing. “To end this war? That’s a fairy tale… It’s a foolish child’s dream. Even if you kill me and defeat Highland, you won’t have peace! You’ll have a defeated country screaming for our vengeance!” Luca spread his arms and stepped back as he began to laugh again. “Excellent! Excellent! The rumbling in my body! The thirst that scorched my flesh! it is disappearing!!”-
-“Am I interrupting?” a voice appeared from behind her. Nanami snapped out of her thoughts back to reality and looked up with a smile as she recognized Flik. “No, sit down…” she said and smiled friendly. “What are you doing out here?” Flik asked curiously and handed her a cup of hot tea. “Just needed some fresh air…” Nanami answered softly.
“Memories huh?” she wasn’t surprised to hear him say that. He had always known her so well. “Yeah…” she said and sighed deeply. “What’s on your mind?” Flik sat down next to her and looked at the fire.
“Luca… that night…” Nanami bit on her bottom lip. Flik tilted his head a bit to the side and slightly smiled. “Yeah… tough battle…” he mumbled.
“I remember Luca’s words so well; ‘It took hundreds to kill me… But I killed humans by the thousands… Look at me, I’m sublime’…” Nanami said and Flik looked down.
“True face of evil…” they both said at the same time.
“He was right…” Flik agreed.
Even he remembered every word that monster said. “Yeah some days they were…” Flik sighed and leaned back.
“You didn’t change at all did you?” Nanami chuckled.
“You know me… Forever young.” Flik said and winked at her. Nanami giggled and shook her head. “Flik… There’s something I need to tell you…” Nanami said all of a sudden and looked over to him. “It’s Jowy… He’s alive…” Flik looked up confused.
“He is the General of Sakaiya now and will be fighting in this war as our ally…” Flik didn’t know what to say. “Viktor…” Flik said carefully and Nanami knew very well what he meant by that; “I know… with the whole lady Anabelle thing… He sure did make a lot of enemies back then…” Nanami’s thoughts went back to Answer for a moment. She didn’t really know what to say either. “He’s not gonna like it, Nanami… Are you sure we can trust him? You know what happened last time when he fought with us…” Also that, Nanami knew very well.
“Trust who?” another voice appeared from behind them. Both Nanami and Flik froze as they noticed it was Viktor. “Ehm…” Flik stuttered and looked at Nanami.
“Jowy is alive!” The words escaped her lips before she could even stop it. They both witnessed the expression on Viktor’s face change. “Alive…?” His voice sounded threatening. “Yes, and he will fight this war with us…” Nanami stated and Viktor slightly nodded his head and stepped back. It was clear that his mood just got wrecked as he heard the news but he didn’t respond any further. Flik and Nanami watched the muscular man leave and both looked back at each other biting their lips. “Well, that went well… I guess…” Nanami said, not sure what to believe as she noticed the look on Viktor’s face. “Well I guess I’ll go talk to him in a bit… perhaps you should go get some rest as well.” Nanami smiled and nodded at him. Flik smiled back as he turned around to walk away. “Flik?” He turned around once more as he heard Nanami call him. “Yeah?” he said, waiting for her reply. “It was nice talking to you again…” The smile on the man’s face became wider as he nodded in agreement. “Same.” He said before he disappeared into the building. Nanami got back up and went in through the other side.
Mercenary fortress, Viktor and Flik’s Headquarters, 5:31 am
“Lord Riou’s army has arrived.” Viktor said as he walked over to Flik. The man looked up as he was still half asleep. “You asked him for help?” Flik asked but Viktor shook his head.
“No, but Apple did.” Viktor replied. “Does he know about Nanami?” He saw how Viktor shook his head. “Oh…” Flik sounded kind of disappointed. “He’s not here himself though, He sent out Camus and Miklotov to back us up and lead their army. I heard Riou himself is still out on a mission.” Both of them went outside to welcome the army with over 10.000 people. Riou’s army had grown a lot over the past few years, lost a lot of people but also gained new ones over the years. “We need to tell him soon… He has the rights to know his sister is still alive.” Viktor said and Flik agreed. “What’s this?” A female voice could be heard. Both men looked back over their shoulders to find Nanami standing there.
“It’s your brother’s army, Camus and Miklotov are leading it.” They noticed the disappointed look on the woman’s face. “Riou didn’t come back yet?” Both Viktor and Flik shook their heads. “He doesn’t know about you Nami…” Flik told her and Nanami understood.
“That’s alright, it’s better this way… Now I can only focus on defeating Littsnow instead of worrying about my brother again. I suggest we head back to the Bloodlands. Apple will explain our battle plan once we arrive back home… One more day, boys…”
Northern Bloodlands, Littsnow’s castle, The day of the war 5:00am
“Go in there and burn the flag.” Apple’s words roamed through Nanami’s head. Last time she had heard those words was right before she almost got shot to death. And now here she was, just like ten years ago… Only in a different place and without her brother. Thank god she had Answer with her. Nanami looked around to see which way they had to go. Both ran through the large hallways of the dark castle, which was twice as big as their own. Nanami stopped in front of a door, and leaned forward, trying to catch some breath. Answer caught up with her and stopped next to Nanami as he looked up to the huge door.
“I’m surprised to see you got this far.” A voice sounded from behind them. Both Answer and Nanami turned their heads quickly while looking over their shoulders to find Sir George standing there. He was holding a sword that pointed at them.
“Go…” Answer said under his breath and got into defending mode.
“I’ll take care of him.”
“GO!” Nanami didn’t wait another moment and went through the door, leaving Answer there as he told her too.
As soon as Nanami disappeared out of sight, Answer looked over to the man who was standing there. He placed both hands around his sword but was surprised to see the man didn’t move until an energy ball appeared in his hands. “Fucking Mages…” Answer groaned and had to dodge the ball coming towards him. He dove behind a large statue and grabbed the crossbow from his back. Looking around the corner he aimed for the man who simply dodged his arrows. “Cut the crap already and fight like a real man!” Answer yelled at Sir George. Another energy ball hit the wall behind him, making the stone coming down. He quickly got up and ran over to the other side of the hall, dragging the heavy crossbow along with him. He had to dive again to search for cover as his eyes caught the huge chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. “This is going to be a long day…” He mumbled.
There it was… The NBK flag… Hanging on the bridge she just arrived at. Nanami’s eyes scanned the area to find it too quiet. Something wasn’t right. It was just too easy… She was running around like a frightened little girl while her army was out there fighting the battle. Fastening her pace she made sure not to get distracted by the battle cries that could be heard from all around her. Nanami quickly took a torch from the wall and set the flags on fire one-by-one.
“That was not very nice of you …” A cold voice sounded from behind her. Nanami froze for a moment and quickly turned around to see Littsnow standing there, leaning against the stonewall. She swallowed hard as her trembling hand went down to her weapon. She had never seen the man for real and right now he looked even scarier than she imagined from the stories. No, Luca Blight was nothing compared to the looks of this one.
“Looks like you lose…” Nanami said bravely, trying to stay cool, but her heart was pounding hard in her throat. “You must be the Rebellion leader… What can I say other then I admire your courage of trying to defeat us. Your people have been a pain in the butt for the longest time… A real challenge.” Nanami raised a brow and took a step back as Littsnow stepped towards her. “And now you’ve invaded my castle… And burned down my flags.” Littsnow took a small sprint and all of a sudden stopped again, making Nanami jump back quickly. Littsnow grinned and observed her from head to toes. “I have an idea… Now that you actually came this far… Why not taking your people and join my army?” He said all of a sudden. His shiny red eyes made Nanami’s skin crawl as soon as she looked at them. There was so much evil in there. Littsnow no longer looked like a normal human being. His eyes and even his voice sounded demonic as if she had landed in some bad nightmare. Same like what happened to Amateur. His long silver locks covered part of his face as he spoke.
“How about ‘never’…” Nanami hissed as her eyes turned darker from anger.
“You killed innocent people... Got their blood on your hands… Why would you even think I would ever want to be part of that!? We came this far to stop this war… Not to join forces with you and your ruthless army. Just like Highland once was… And it caused Luca to die by the hands of a bunch of kids… And guess what? My brother was one of them, and so was I… You’re no better than Luca and we killed him… So it won’t be hard to put an stop to you and your killing sprees either.” Nanami said with a cold voice, her words clearly did something with Littsnow. She could see the fire in his eyes lightening up.
“You… I am nothing like Luca! Luca was a Fool! He was not worthy of his last name!!” Littsnow yelled angry, but Nanami didn’t move. She knew very damn well she was on a suicidal mission right at this very moment. Her hands already moved to her Nun-Chucks, the ones she traded for her bow. Only Answer who was inseparable from his bow took it with him. “Just like YOU are NOT worthy of your title as the king of the Bloodlands!” Nanami yelled back at him. “Arghh! You little!…-” Littsnow all of a sudden grabbed his sword, ready to hit Nanami with it but she took her Nun-Chucks stopping his sword from actually hitting her, just in time. The sword got stuck inside the weapon and Nanami found the perfect moment to kick him in the abdomens. Littsnow pulled back for a moment taking his sword and looked up to Nanami. “You won’t get away with this…” He pulled back his sword and prepared to attack again.
They could hear a loud growl and Littsnow looked up. “The Beast Rune! It’s calling me!” He cried out, almost looking like a retard. Nanami narrowed her eyes and looked around her.
“The Beast Rune… How?” Nanami snapped out of it and looked up as he seemed distracted. She hit his head real hard and unexpectedly which made him drop to his knees and gave her the perfect opportunity to jump on his back, and take his head between her weapon as she started to choke him. Littsnow looked up in shock as he felt the chains squeezing him around the neck and tried to release himself from the woman’s grip. Gasping for breath he managed to grab her and pull her over his shoulder. Nanami landed against the walls of the bridge and rolled over the floor. Her nun-chucks had flown over to the other side of the bridge as he threw them, too far away for her too be able to get to them in time. Looking up as she laid there on her stomach she watched him approach her again.
“Give up, Rebel, there’s no way you will ever win!” Littsnow hissed. Nanami rolled over and kicked his legs from underneath him and reached for his sword as it slipped away from his hands and slid over the floor. Slowly getting up, still lightheaded from the nun-chucks blow he rushed his way over to her unannounced. In a reflex Nanami managed to pierce the sword through his stomach but at the same time he kicked her in the ribs. Hard enough to feel them crack and she gritted her teeth. She looked up to dodge another one of Littnow’s attacks in time as he went berserk. Breathing heavily she saw the man coming closer all over again, slowly pulling the sword out of his own body. Even though her vision had become blurry and the pain worse, It looked terrifying. But she knew she couldn’t give up now even though she felt somewhat lightheaded as the pain took over. Nanami crawled over to where her nun-chucks were and turned around, holding them up to catch his next attack and blocked it as well as she could but the pain in her ribs didn’t make it easy on her. She kicked him back again, but he kept coming back for more. Nanami felt she was about to pass out because the pain was now overwhelming. Slowly crawling back as Littsnow approached her, she tried to think of another solution. The young woman noticed the blood coming down from both his tattooed face, and his stomach. He was walking like a drunk man now, swinging from one side to the other.
Her ears started beeping and Nanami fell down on one knee again before she was able to get herself back on her feet and leaned her head down. Her breathing became harder for she had trouble to catch a breath, which caused the lightness in her head. She slowly looked up to Littsnow, who now stood in front of her. He had a hard time raising his sword and slowly lifted it up. Before he could make another move, Nanami saw the point of a different sword appear right from the back through his chest. She could see how it just went right through him, more blood dripping off of it which made her pull back for a moment.
As Littsnow looked back over his shoulder, he saw Answer’s dark eyes glare at him.
“Damn you Rebel Rats…” He said and fell on the ground as his lifeless body causing a loud bang through the castle. Answer quickly ran over to Nanami and knelt down beside her.
“You okay, love?” he said softly and lifted her chin up a bit to face him. Caressing her face he looked at her worried. “I’m fine… But I think my ribs are broken…” Nanami said, gasping for breath. “We did it… The NBK has fallen.” Answer said and kissed her lips happily.
All of a sudden the ground started to shake. Answer’s eyes went to the NBK flags, who were still burning. He ran over to the railing of the shaking bridge and looked down where he saw Zhalia, kneeling besides another female figure who was lying on the ground but all of a sudden faded with a flash of light. “He said the Beast rune was calling for him… If this is what I think it is… You remember what happened in Muse city? …This place is gonna collapse.” Nanami said and got up with Answer’s help.
“The Beast rune?” Answer remembered the story about this dangerous rune. And narrowed his eyes. “He had…-?”
“No… Not him… Let’s get the hell out of here…” Nanami said under her breath and held on to him. Both started running over the bridge to the other side, as fast as they could and entered through the door. The cold wind came through the small holes in the stonewalls as Nanami held on to Answer’s hand while they made their way for the exit.
A few NBK knights crossed their paths and both Nanami and Answer were forced to fight them. Near the exit they ran into a large hallway with an altar. They only had a few more steps left before they would’ve made it out of the castle but just before they reached it, a few more Archers surrounded them and aimed their bows at the two of them.
“How romantic… Together at last…” A familiar voice said and Nanami’s eyes widened when she noticed Soffell stepping out from behind the archers and Nanami growled angry. Answer grabbed a shield and held it close. Seeing Soffell, Nanami just wanted to break her face and feed her body to the wolves. “You again!” Nanami snarled as she saw the grin on the female knight’s face. “You monster, how could you betray us like that!?” Nanami said and wanted to run towards her, but Answer pulled her back.
“Well if you would’ve just given up, all of this didn’t have to happen.” Soffell said and grinned evilly. Answer felt useless with his sword, he really didn’t like to fight with it. But in situations like this, he simply didn’t have a choice and besides all that, he only had a few arrows left thanks to that damn mage he ran into earlier. He didn’t expect this would happen. “The NBK is history Soffell, it’s over.” He said and looked over to Soffell.
“Feeling a little uncomfortable there Answer? Our king of the crossbows… You just simply look pathetic with that blade.” Soffell grinned and tilted her head a bit to the side.
“Now you’re in my world.” Her blonde hair was rolling over her shoulder as she stood there in silence for a moment. “The NBK is not history as long as I’m still here and my face will be the last one you Rebel scum will ever see.” Soffell raised her hand and one of the archers shot an arrow. With one move Answer hit the arrow with his sword and it flew to the side. “Impressive…” The blonde woman snarled and narrowed her eyes as she glared over to Answer. He managed to keep another bunch of arrows away from them but enough was enough. Answer pulled out his crossbow and aimed it at Soffell. Nanami looked down still feeling dizzy. She could only hear their voices echo through the large hallway. Something must’ve happened when she hit her head noticing the room was spinning. Without a word Answer pushed the shield in Nanami’s hand and took out his last few arrows shooting them and dodging the ones coming his way until Soffell’s archers were all out.
Nanami snapped out of it as more footsteps could be heard in the back. They both looked back over their shoulders to find another group of archers surrounding them. Soffell was right, there was no way out. Not anymore. Nanami swallowed and looked up to Answer. He could see the tears appearing in her eyes and he looked down as well. This was it. They both knew that it would all stop at this point…Nanami could only smile at him, even through her teary eyes. They both turned around, preparing for their final attack. There was no chance they would make it out alive now, but at least they still had their pride to defend.
“Nan?!” Zhalia ran through the castle, she could feel something was wrong. They should’ve been out by now but both Nanami and Answer were nowhere to be found. Arriving at the bridge her heart sank. Not too far away there were two lifeless bodies lying on the ground.
As she moved closer she saw what she feared from the moment she arrived there. Answer lying on the ground while Nanami’s body was next to it. “Oh no,” she said under her breath and looked away. Her eyes were still red from crying. Zhalia’s thoughts went back to just a moment ago to her sister who was also no longer there.-
“I have to do this Zhal!” Ananchel said as she stood in front of the altar who held the beast rune as it was ready to come out. “This is the only way we can stop it from causing anymore destruction!” Zhalia shook her head wildly. “Don’t do this… Don’t sacrifice yourself Ana!” Ananchel silently smiled at her sister as the eyes of the wolf’s head on the statue behind her started to glow. “It is time… This is my destiny… To destroy the beast rune once and for all. Leknaat came to me last night she told me that I am the one who’s to stop this evil.” Zhalia refused to listen to her sister’s insanity. Ananchel slowly opened her arms as the walls around them started to tremble. “I now call upon you, oh mighty spirit of the wolf. I offer you to accept me as your vessel.” Anachel called out. “Ana, no, stop! Ana!!” Zhalia cried out she tried to make her way through but her sister had created a shield around herself and there was no way Zhalia could break through. Tears were rolling down her face as she saw the smile on her sisters face widen. “I call upon you to accept me as your vessel. Awaken!” A loud roar could be heard as the wolf’s statue broke open and a source of energy made its way out and in to Ananchel’s body. Zhalia could see the mark of the rune appear on her sister’s arm. And for a moment she got blinded by the bright light. “Thank you…” Ananchel whispered as she once more widened her arms and gathered all the energy from around her. Zhalia couldn’t believe Ananchel was creating an energy bomb of herself now that self-destruction was her only way out of this. “No…Ana…” Ananchel didn’t answer, she only smiled.
“Farewell, my dear sister… Until we meet again.” The violet haired woman closed her eyes and Zhalia witnessed how the lights only became brighter until it caused a high toned beep. As the light disappeared in a flash, Ananchel’s body collapsed on the ground and the shield around was no longer there. Zhalia ran over to her sister, as tears kept filling her eyes. She knelt down but Ananchel’s body slowly faded with a light.-
Zhalia opened her eyes and looked up when she heard voices and footsteps running over the bottom floor. She leaned over the railing and narrowed her eyes. Was that Soffell? Jonoh and Mahmudah came in as well. They stood there in shock looking down as Zhalia closed her eyes and disappeared. She teleported and appeared in front of Soffell and her men.
The woman stopped and looked at the mage who appeared in front of her. “Oh what a happy family! Hello Zhal, long time no chit chat…” Zhalia boiled from anger she was furious.
“How can you be so heartless after everything the Rebels did for you? After all that Nanami has done for you…” she asked not understanding. “She took you in, gave you a home and now you took her life?” Soffell groaned. “Your Rebellion leader was nothing but a spoiled little princess! I don’t see why people were praising her to heaven like that.” Soffell shrugged her shoulders. “Ah well, if that’s true, she’ll be in the right place now, right where she belongs.” Zhalia’s eyes started to glow and all of a sudden the archers behind Soffell were set on fire. Soffell’s eyes widened as she stepped away from the screaming men. The woman gritted her teeth and jumped towards Zhalia, trying to hit her with her sword, but Zhalia stopped her by only raising her hand. “That’s one hell of an angry mage!” one of the archers cried out and stepped back. “I’m outta here.” He quickly turned around and wanted to run away but Zhalia stopped him.
Soffell now had become pretty nervous herself. She saw how Zhalia’s powers became stronger every second. She stood there in shock as she saw an energy ball appear in the other woman’s hands and before she got the chance to say another word, Zhalia had already thrown the energy ball at her. With a huge explosion Soffell faded away. Her cries echoed through the huge hallways of the castle. A tear rolled over Zhalia’s cheek as it died the fire in her eyes.
Smoke escaped out of the huge castle. Jowy looked up as the NBK finally seemed to have fallen. The smoke must’ve been Answer and Nanami’s job, he just hoped they had made it out in time. Swinging his sword at one of the NBK soldiers he turned away from the crowd and rode over to the bridge where they were supposed to meet. Everyone looked up as the pieces of the burning flag came down slowly like a rain of fire as the NBK army dropped their weapons. Surprisingly enough everyone looked relieved. Cheers coming from the Rebels and their allies, spread out all over the place as they had no idea what had actually happened inside the castle.
“Oh my god! We did it!” Mynx said happily and looked up to Missy and Jambo. Meanwhile Jowy quickly rode off to the others looking around to find Nanami but she was still not there yet. “Officers, have you seen Nanami?” Jowy asked worried. The ground began to shake even worse. He jumped off his horse and wanted to run inside but Granhex, who just came running out, stopped him. The older man grabbed Jowy’s arm and pulled him back. “Don’t. The place is about to come down.” The man said but Jowy released him from the man’s grip.
“Nanami is still in there!” He said as he stepped back. “Nanami?!” he yelled as his voice echoed through the entrance of the collapsing building.
Two shadows approached them but Jowy couldn’t figure out who they were until they approached them. He saw two men wearing Nanami and Answer over their shoulder.
“Viktor? Flik?” Jowy said in shock. Viktor narrowed his eyes as he recognized the young general. “Atreides…” Viktor mumbled under his breath.
“What happened to them? Nanami??” Jowy slightly panicked as he looked over at the two not moving bodies. “No time now Atreides, this place is gonna blow.”
Unknown place, The ‘in between’ 0:00-
Nanami woke up by the sound of water. She looked up to find that no one was there.
“Ans?” she called out quietly and slowly got back on her feet.
“Nami…” a familiar voice said and she abruptly turned around.
“Master Shu? What are you doing here? Where am I?” Nanami asked confused.
“You fought well against the NBK…” The man said and watched her walking over to him.
“No… No this can’t be right you’re dead… Am I…?” She didn’t get the chance to finish her sentence for the NBK castle slowly changed into a forest and the sound of water became louder. “Nanami… the war is over.” Shu repeated. The sound of his serene voice only took her a minute to realize what this was. “Am I… Did I…?” Shu didn’t answer, he only smiled. “You’re in a better place now…” He said calmly, but Nanami didn’t like the tone of his voice she wasn’t ready for this. There was so much peace overwhelming her.
“No I can’t be here… they need me… Ans… is he here too?” Nanami looked around to see if her fiancé was there also. Shu stepped aside and pointed over to a waterfall. She could see someone sit at the waterfront. As she walked closer to it she saw Answer but he was fading slowly.
“Answer?” Nanami said softly she saw how he slowly turned around and noticed the tears rolling down his cheeks.
Was he actually crying? Nanami had never seen him broken like this before… His appearance was slowly disappearing. Nanami walked over to him and stopped before him. It was like he looked right through her. He didn’t respond to anything she said. “Why is he not talking to me?” She asked sadly while still standing in front of her lover. “He is not here with us yet…” Shu said. “He’s alive?” Nanami’s voice sounded relieved.
“Answer, my dear, is in between two worlds now… He’s not dead… yet, not so much alive either… It’s his choice he’s gotta make, whether he stays or leaves.” Nanami’s voice trembled. “Is he going to be okay?” she asked worried. “He’s a strong man… But if he will live through this…” Shu placed his hand gently on the woman’s shoulder and led her the way.
“She’s still waiting for his return…” Nanami looked up strangely and Shu started talking about someone else all of a sudden.
“Mahmudah…” Nanami looked around her to see what he was talking about. “His return?” she wondered. “Jonoh, he left for war but never returned.” Nanami saw a woman sit in front of a small house and she saw it was Mahmudah indeed. “Jonny…” Nanami didn’t know what to say. “What about Rob and Zhalia?” she wanted to know and Shu shook his head. “Rob… also dead… Zhalia left but no one knows to where.” Nanami was hurting to see how the Rebels had fallen apart in the future.
“Missy and Jambo went back home with Granhex.” Shu added to the story.
As they continued to walk, sounds were coming from another house not too far away from them. Plates and other stuff got thrown out of one of the houses as a girl ran out frightened. “Who is that?” Nanami asked as she watched the girl get out of there.
“That’s Mynx, the new girl who was brought to you by Apple. She went back home after the war was over, to live with her drunk old man again.” Nanami glanced over to Shu.
“Oh…” She noticed they were walking through Edena Village but the place looked worse than ever. Arriving at the bottom of the hill, they slowly walked up to their castle. Nanami had the feeling she already knew where this road would take them.
Arriving at the Rose garden, it looked as beautiful as always. Not that far away stood a statue of a girl with angels wings. When Nanami took a better look she saw it was a grave, her own grave. There was a poem written on it, saying ‘Through a glass darkly.’ Nanami remembered it was one of the poems she wrote the night before their big war back at home. No one knew if they would make it out alive so she sat down the night before and wrote the poem. Answer had seen it that night and told her to not do that. He probably thought she had already given up, but she hadn’t. She just really loved the words that inspired her.
Someone sat in front of the statue. Nanami frowned when she saw who it was; “Flik?” she asked surprised and looked at Shu. “Yes it is indeed.” The man answered. Nanami wanted to say something but decided not to as Flik started to speak.
“Hey Nami, it’s me again… I tried talking to Answer today, but he still refuses to come back. I know it must be hard for him because he lost someone very dear to him… just as I did , once… I never really told anyone about it though, until now. Her name was Odessa… She was killed a long time ago… During one of our battles…when the hideout at Lenankamp was attacked… but that was even before I met you… Odessa used to say to me; ‘You should be more aware of your position as a leader.’ Those words were coming back to haunt me indeed. Maybe she knew that her death was imminent. But I was unworthy of her expectations. I was so enraged that I completely forgot what I came there for. No wonder she gave up on me... Still… I have a blade named after her and the reason why you always found me alone on rooftops was because I came there to talk to her… Just like I’m doing to you right now… I admired you Nami… Not just now but I always did… Even when you were a kid you were always protecting others… That’s what makes you strong and a good leader…”
Master Shu took Nanami by her arm and took her away from Flik.
“I never knew he felt that way about me…” She said stunned.
“There’s a lot you didn’t know about blue boy…” The place around them changed again as they were now visiting the fortress where Viktor was. Nanami witnessed how he madly slammed his sword into a training doll.
“What’s his story?” Nanami asked curious and Shu smiled again.
“Answer isn’t the only one blaming himself for your death… Or Flik for Odessa’s… This is the third time Viktor loses someone he was supposed to protect…” Shu answered.
“What do you mean?” Shu turned to Nanami. “You, dear… and Odessa…Lady Anabelle…” Nanami looked down. “He may look cold as stone to one’s eyes but he ain’t that bad…” Nanami sighed deeply. “No one is together anymore…” Nanami said disappointed.
“A lot will change in the future dear… If you decide to stay…” Nanami looked up confused. “IF… I decide to stay?” Shu led her through a door where they saw Answer sitting at a bar. He looked old, miserable. In front of him stood some empty cups as he leaned over another cup in his hand. “Is he drunk? He looks terrible…” Nanami noticed the full grown beard on him. It looked like he stopped caring. “Oh he’s miserable already…” Shu agreed.
“The walls you broke down are back up now and much stronger than before… Through all the years he just went his own way. He left without even telling anyone.” Nanami looked at him, she took some steps closer as she watched what Answer did;
“Another one…” Answer said but the bartender told him it was enough.
“I said another one!” he yelled all of a sudden but when the man refused to fill another glass, Answer took the back of his head and slammed it on the counter. So hard that it made Nanami jump back in shock. “Why is he like this?” she asked as her heart was breaking.
“Because he never forgave himself for what happened to you back at Littsnow’s castle.” Shu told her.
“What did happen?” She couldn’t really remember that moment.
“The same thing that happened to me… Soffell.” She said and Nanami closed her eyes.
As soon as she opened them she was back at that moment they were at the castle. Zhalia was there with the violet haired woman, Ananchel, she met once. “I have to do this…” Ananchel said and brought her hands up in the air. “Ananchel don’t!” Zhalia yelled.
“It’s the only way to stop the Beastrune from destroying everything. It feeds itself and it wants blood! I can’t let it come out! And the only way to stop it is to give it a taste of its own medicine… My blood…” Zhalia’s eyes widened. “Ananchel’s blood was poison to the rune… She managed to stop it before Littsnow was able to release it. That’s the reason why the castle started to fall apart.
“That was not very nice of you …” Nanami shivered when she all of a sudden heard Littsnow talk. She turned around and looked over her shoulder to find herself standing with a torch in her hands while Littsnow watched her burn the flags. She was invisible to them. It was like she was watching a movie with herself leading the role. She witnessed Answer pierce a sword right through the mad king, before he got the chance to kill her. Once again he saved her.
Their surroundings changed again and they walked further until they reached the last stop. “Our last moment together…” Nanami looked over the bridge as she saw the second group of archers surrounding her and Answer, he quickly grabbed his shield and stopped the arrows who flew their way. He pushed Nanami behind his back and fought off the arrows. Just as he was about to hold off another one the ground started to shake. The archers who had appeared behind them were about to hit Nanami in the back. Answer quickly turned and caught the arrow by pushing her on the ground together with the shield. He managed to dodge another arrow but the second one got him.
Nanami stood there next to Shu, totally in shock, tears filling her eyes as she watched him catching the arrows for her. He went on his knees and fell on the ground. “No!!” She jumped up with the shield in her hands but Soffell shot an arrow in her back… The place they were in, slowly turned back to the forest with the waterfall and they were back at the start.
“He sacrificed himself for me…Yet, his efforts were in vain…” Nanami said crying.
“Too many sacrifices were made in this war…” she said, shaking her head as she looked down. Shu looked up as their surrounding started to fade again. Something strange was going on… he looked at Nanami whom’s appearance also started to fade.
“What’s going on? Why am I fading?” Nanami slightly panicked.
“Theyre sending you back…” Shu guessed.
“What? But I thought…” Shu nodded his head, “you are…” he said as confused as Nanami was. But then she remembered Zhalia… The potions she was working on… Reviving potions… “It’s Zhalia…” Nanami looked back at Shu.
“Looks like it’s time for you to decide whether you stay or go…” He said all of a sudden. Nanami didn’t understand. “They’re calling you, Nan…” Nanami didn’t know what to do. “But what if Ans is…” Shu looked up as the lights began to shine brighter.
“That’s a risk you will have to take… Only you can decide… I have showed you how things would be with you gone… All other things depending on your decision are no more but what ifs… Do the right thing Nanami… Have faith…” Shu’s voice trailed off as he now slowly disappeared along with their surroundings…
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters 06:00 pm
“Shu?” Nanami woke up with the feeling a chariot had run over her and opened her eyes to find Zhalia’s face above her. “Zhal?” she groaned softly as she sat up a bit.
“What’s going on…” Nanami was confused, she had no idea where she was at that time, but taking a better look at her surroundings she noticed it was her own room. There was a vase with roses on her nightstand. Nanami smiled as she looked back over to Zhalia.
“How long have I been out?” she asked softly and Zhalia smiled.
“Only a week…” Nanami’s eyes widened in shock. “A week?!” she cried out and Zhalia looked up as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
“Those are the side effects of the potion, I finished them…” Nanami sighed.
“You died during the final battle…” Nanami raised her hand.
“I know… Just please don’t remind me…” Now Zhalia looked up curious.
“You know?” she sat down next to Nanami on the bed.
“I spoke to Shu… he came to get me… showed me… stuff…” –
“What kind of stuff…?” Zhalia asked.
“I… don’t wanna talk about it… Just not right now… Ans? Is he…” Zhalia didn’t respond instead she looked down, giving Nanami a frightening feeling.
Answer sat as usual on the rooftop of the castle. Nanami wanted to see him first before she would go to the others, so she asked Zhalia to keep it quiet a little longer. She walked up to the roof and closed the door behind her. “I thought I told you people to leave me the hell alone?!” Answer yelled angry as he wanted to grab his bow and turned around. His eyes grew bigger when he saw Nanami standing in front of the door. In his heart he felt the happiness to see her standing there but his guilt had caused a hole in his ego so he did not show.
“Hey…” Nanami said softly but Answer didn’t react. Without a word she walked over to him and threw her arms around his neck, pulling him into a strong hug. Answer rested his head on top of hers for a moment before he brought his hands up to her arms and freed him from her embrace. He stood there in silence, not knowing what to say.
“You’re here…” the woman said through her tears. But Answer remained silent.
“What’s wrong? Aren’t you happy to see me?” she all of a sudden asked sadly when she noticed the look on his face. It had no color just cold and without any emotions written over it. “I’m leaving…” he said ashamed and looked away.
“What? Leaving to where?” Answer looked away but Nanami grabbed his arm.
“Ans, what’s going on?” her other hand went up to his face but he brought his hand on hers and gently pulled it away from his face before he kissed it.
“I can’t stay… I won’t do any good.” Now Nanami felt anger rise inside of her.
How could he say that? He couldn’t just leave! She came back for him.
“Why? Answer tell me!!” Nanami panicked.
“Because I can’t protect you any longer… I’ve tried… god I’ve tried so hard… But all I did was getting ourselves killed…” Nanami grabbed his arm again.
“That is not true! You saved me, you caught those arrows for me! That’s something you don’t just do for anybody!” He pulled his arm back again.
“My job is done here.” Nanami’s heart began to beat faster and before she knew her emotions had taken over and she slapped him in the face. “You can’t just ask me to marry you and then just leave because things didn’t work out the way you planned!!” She yelled angry.
“I’m sorry…” Answer stepped back as he walked away.
“I’m still here!” she yelled frustrated but he had already closed the door behind him.
She didn’t have the strength to go after him now and fell on one knee. The door went open again and for a moment Nanami hoped that Answer had changed his mind and came back but when she looked over her shoulder she saw Flik appear in the doorway.
“Nanami…” Flik said and ran over to her as he knelt down beside her and helped her back on her feet. “What are you doing here?” He wanted to know.
“I came to see Answer…” She said, sobbing. Flik looked around them.
“Where is he?” Nanami shook her head.
“He left…” Flik helped her up but for a moment Nanami lost her balance and he caught her.
Looking him in the eyes she kept quiet for a moment, remembering what Shu had showed her. “She would’ve been proud of you… you know that…” Nanami said all of a sudden. Flik frowned. “Who?” Nanami looked over to his blade and let her finger slide down the weapon he had named Odessa. “How do you know about her?” He asked shocked as he looked back at her. Nanami smiled. “It doesn’t matter…” Flik looked at her in silence.
“Thank you…” He said friendly, but still a bit confused.
“Let’s go downstairs… There’s a bunch of people dying to see you back on your feet again…” Nanami looked down…
“Do I have to?” She didn’t feel like celebrating anything right now… Not without Answer. “Yes, you do… Don’t worry about Answer, he will be back… I’m sure… I know I would be…” Flik smiled at Nanami as he gave her an arm to lean on.
The gathering hall was full of people. Nanami had seen so many familiar faces and she was happy to know they were all doing well. As soon as her and Flik entered the hall an applause could be heard as the crowd cheered for their leader. Jonoh looked up surprised as he noticed Flik besides Nanami instead of Answer. “Is that Flik?” Mahmudah leaned over to Jonoh;
“Did she exchange Answer for Blueboy now?” Jonoh frowned.
“Where is Ans anyways?” Mahmudah shrugged her shoulders. Flik lifted Nanami up from the ground and brought her over to the throne. The young woman smiled and looked over to the crowd. “I just… Want to thank everyone for fighting this war with us. It’s been a long time coming but we managed to succeed in this war, Littsnow is dead and for that I would like to call out a celebration tonight… Also in the honor of the people who didn’t make it but fought with us… Everyone is invited to share the victory. The crowd went crazy, people cheering everywhere even in Edena village it could be heard.
Forest of Doom, Edena village 07:30 pm
Answer sat at the bar and ordered a drink. Hearing the cheers who probably came from the castle, he felt delighted to see her alive… But his heart and his pride were broken.
How could he have failed like that? Next to him someone joined at the bar. At first Answer didn’t notice but then as he heard the other man speak to him he looked up.
“Shouldn’t you be celebrating the victory?” The man said but Answer only responded with a groan. “Shouldn’t you?” He then said. The man who turned out to be Jowy, grinned.
“I’ve seen enough war and victories. The thing is… Shouldn’t you be by your woman’s side on a moment like this?” Answer slammed the drink back and swallowed it at once.
“I’m leaving…” he mumbled under his breath.
“Leaving?” This time Jowy also slammed his drink back. He should’ve been happy to hear Answer say that, so he wouldn’t be in the way any longer, but he also knew that if he would actually leave, Nanami would never be happy, and that was the last thing he wanted for her. This was a battle Jowy knew he had already lost anyway.
“Leave? What makes you say that?” Jowy wanted to know.
“Because, I failed during our last mission.” Answered simply said.
“Failed? You killed Littsnow didn’t you? It wasn’t Nanami for sure… She doesn’t have the skills to use a sword like that? I mean don’t get me wrong, she’s a great fighter just the whole blade thing isn’t really her style…” Jowy’s words surprisingly made Answer grin for a moment. He was right, Nanami wasn’t a skilled swords fighter.
“The arrow thing was just bad luck, that’s all…” Answer looked over to him in silence.
He really knew her well. “But you managed to protect her till the end and caught the arrows before her, didn’t you?” The thing that made Answer curious was the way Jowy spoke to him. What had happened to the ‘I’m back and I won’t go away anymore’ thing?
“Come on man… Don’t make the same mistake as I did… Don’t leave her…” Answer growled softly. “Look I can’t go back… I can’t show myself around there anymore after all this…” Jowy remained silent.
“For god sake man, put your pride aside for a change already and go to her! Or you want to be remembered as a coward? I thought that wasn’t your style? I didn’t expect to hear myself say this to you but; you’re a hero man, you killed the mad king and died trying to protect the woman you love. Cuz you love her right? If not, I’d be willing to go there myself and give her the love she deserves. I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve lost this battle, not anymore…
And neither should you. As a friend I’m telling you; don’t make the same mistake as I did…
Cuz if you really love her, and you will walk away now… You will regret it for the rest of your life… Believe me, I know…” Jowy got back up and patted the man’s shoulder.
“You’re not my friend…” Answer mumbled and Jowy grinned.
“I know… But I know I’m right…And so do you.” He said as he walked away.
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters 08:15 pm
“Do you want me to fix your hair?” Zhalia asked but Nanami shook her head.
“I’m not so much in the mood to look pretty tonight…Or even to celebrate…” She said as she stood in front of the window. Zhalia sat down on the bed and looked down sadly.
“So he just left?” Nanami nodded as she heard her friend’s question.
“He just left…” she repeated and sighed deeply.
“Nani, let’s just enjoy tonight please? War is over… at least you deserve to feel happy about it… Let me ask Flik to escort you to the dance?” Nanami grinned;
“I’m not even strong enough to stand on my own legs right now, how am I supposed to be able to dance?” Zhalia titled her head to the side.
“Jowy will be there tonight?” she tried but still Nanami didn’t change her mind.
“Jonny?” Zhalia tried again. Nanami carefully looked over to Zhalia who blinked her eyes like a little puppy, which made Nanami giggle.
“I’ll think about it…” she said and smiled a bit.
“Alright, I’ll go downstairs to see if things are going as planned.” Nanami nodded as she watched Zhalia leave the room. She sighed as she sat down at the window. Staring out of the window she could feel her eyes burn again as she thought of Answer once more.
Nanami swallowed her emotions away and looked at the ring around her finger. She wondered where he would go to… Was he perhaps going back to Muse city again? Or maybe… God knows where he would be by now… Last thing she expected was for him to be standing at her door; “I’m sorry…” Nanami abruptly turned around when she heard his voice. She stayed at the window, holding on to the wall as she looked at him. He was really there… They both stood there in silence, looking at each other for a moment before Answer stepped towards her. Nanami let go of the wall and also came his way. She let herself fall into his arms as she reached him and held him close to her.
“Don’t ever do that again…” Nanami begged him. “Don’t ever leave me again…” Answer didn’t say anything only held her close. He kissed her head and moved his lips to hers.
“Are you ready to celebrate our victory?” He asked close to her lips and Nanami smiled. “With you I’m ready, more than ever…” she said back to him.
“What changed your mind?” Nanami wanted to know.
“Someone did…” He replied, as he led her out of the room…
Forest of Doom, Rebels Headquarters, Ballroom 08:27 pm
Downstairs everyone had come together at last. They looked up as they saw Nanami, led by Answer walk down the stairs. Zhalia’s jaw dropped as she noticed he had returned after all and smiled at Robert. Jowy who knew Answer wouldn’t let that chance slip away, had a satisfied smile on his lips also, while Missy, Jambo and Granhex had joined the party as well. And of course they were hanging out with Jonoh and Mahmudah as always. Kaos had decided to stay with them so it was a great addition to the Rebels.
“Nanami, there’s someone here to see you…” Apple said as she stepped aside making room for a well-known person to enter the circle. Nanami’s hands went in front of her face as she saw her Brother Riou step out of the crowd. Answer didn’t understand at first but when he saw the look on his lady’s face he couldn’t help but to smile himself.
“Riou…” Nanami said as she walked towards him. He was accompanied by two more people. “Welcome back Tir, Gremio…” Viktor said and hugged his old master.
“It’s good to see you again after all these years…” The old leader smiled and nodded.
“Like wise Viktor,” Tir replied. “May I congratulate you, my lady, with your victory…
You all have done a fabulous job out there. And I would like to offer you my assistance in case you may need it someday…” Nanami smiled and let go of her brother. "That’s very generous of you Lord McDohl, I have heard a lot about you, and I would gladly accept your offer. And thank you for coming.” Nanami said, she hadn’t felt happy like this in a very long time. “I’m proud of you sis… I just hoped I would’ve known… I would’ve known sooner of your presence…” Jowy walked to them and hugged Riou as well.
“Good to see you again Riou… It’s been a while…” He said friendly and Riou smiled. “Jowy,” Riou answered with a nod. Nanami pulled Answer over to her and introduced him to her brother and his companions; “This is Answer… My fiancé.” She said with a smile as they shook hands. Answer’s eyes went to Jowy for a moment, who gave him a quick nod before he walked away… Zhalia appeared once more and had someone with her also. Nanami looked at the women and couldn’t help but to think she had seen the woman before. She walked closer to her and took a better look at her. Nanami shocked and looked at Zhalia when she noticed who it was. The others joined her too. “Zhal? Is that…?” Zhalia nodded her head.
“Yes Nan, it is… But things are different now…” Nanami didn’t know what to think when she saw the woman who appeared to be Amateur. “She was cursed and I freed her from it. Now I know it’s hard to believe, but thanks to her you and Answer are still alive.” Zhalia said softly, almost whispering. “She helped me brew the potion that brought you two back to life.”
Nanami looked at the woman but thought it was too early to thank her for that.
“I understand how you feel about me… and I’m truly sorry for all the hurt I’ve caused…
I do not expect you to forgive me… Only to ask you to give me one more chance to prove that I’m a different person now… I’m no longer spellbound. But I can offer you my services as Zhalia’s assistant. She saved me and I would like to do something in return…” Nanami narrowed her eyes as she looked at the others. “Keep an eye on her… I don’t trust you at all… But I do trust Zhalia with my life… But one mistake, and you’re out…” Nanami said as she turned around and walked back to the others. It was time to start the celebration. The moment they all had been aiming for and the time was finally there, to live in peace… Just for the moment… Just for now…