yukiteddy: Thank you so much for reading!

Author's note is at the end of this chapter.


Chapter 86 The End of the Curse

A girl stepped outside the gates of Setsuyamachi. She pushed her long brown hair behind her ears as she took a deep breath. Looking around, she found that the streets were not as filthy as she saw when she entered the town years ago.

"Looks like Hiwatari-kun is doing a good job in reducing the amount of gangsters in this area," she said to herself happily. She swung her bag to and fro by her side as she walked towards the bus-stop, when a long white limousine beside the road horned at her.

"Ruya-chan! This way!"

Ruya looked towards the limousine, where two cheerful young ladies were waving madly at her. "Sayuki-chan! Mayu-chan!"

"You are forgetting us, Ruya-chan." The middle door opened and a blonde guy stepped out, looking smart and elegant in his white suit. A girl with long golden hair followed him out from behind, as well as a brown haired guy.

"Eiji-kun! Yuu-chan and Iwase-kun!" Ruya exclaimed in extreme joy at the sight of her old friends. "Why are you guys here?"

"We heard that it is your graduation day today, so we are all here to fetch you as soon as you come out of the gates," Toshino replied.

"We are actually on our way off work," Yuu explained, "Since we have our boss here, we can take an early leave." She smiled innocently at Toshino.

"Yes, we are all working for Eiji-kun now, even Iwase-kun's company is now under the Eiji Group." Sayuki added. "Ruya-chan should join us too! I am sure Eiji-kun would not mind."

"I would like you to join us, Ruya-chan," Toshino said in his usual cheerful tone which Ruya had heard for so many times in the past.

"I would love to," Ruya accepted the offer happily, "but now I need to go somewhere first."

"We know," Sayuki and Mayu grinned as they lifted Ruya up and dragged her into the limousine. "Wait… Sayuki-chan, Mayu-chan…"

"Leave this to us, let's go, Eiji-kun!" The girls closed the doors and Toshino told his chauffeur to start the engines.

"Hiwatari-sama." Aritaka knocked on the door and enter his supervisor's room, who looked up from his books as he heard the low sqeak from his door hinge.

"What's the matter?"

"I would like to have an early leave today, if there is nothing much to do."

Ki looked around his desk at the documents he had. "There isn't much," he answered, "I guess you can leave early."

"Thanks Hiwatari-sama," Aritaka's face was all lit up when he heard the response.

"You look happy today."

"Yes, because tonight I am celebrating my anniversary with Anko-chan." Aritaka said shyly.

"Oh," Ki arched a brow. "I didn't know that you guys got together. Congratulations."

"Thanks, I didn't know too, but we end up being together and we are both happy."

"That's nice to hear, so enjoy yourselves tonight and send my greetings to Kawai-san."

"Of course." Aritaka closed the door behind him.

Ki walked to his window. The sun was starting to set. His watch told him that it was only four in the afternoon, but the sky was already clouded with shades of red and orange.

Ki sat down on the ground by the window. Everyone around him was happy. There was always someone beside them to cheer them on. All the people around him had someone important to protect, and to live for.

Ki continue to look towards the evening sky. How he wish there was someone by his side at that very moment…

No, he should not be thinking about that, he told himself that was not like him at all. He smiled weakly as he rested his body against the side of his desk.

Another pierce from his ring.

Once again he felt the pain on his finger. It had been happening more frequently since the first time his ring reacted. He had been spending all of his free time on his research, but he could not find anything about how to deal with his curse. He was sure that the seal by Katsura would be worn out any time soon.

However, this time the pain was much greater than the previous few times. Ki gritted his teeth as he beared with the pain while attempting to remove the ring from his finger. The little black ring fell onto his palm, which he then softly placed on his desk on top of some papers. Even after he had removed the ring, he could feel the growing pain in his veins.

"This is bad…" He caught hold of his chair and yanked himself up onto it. He looked at the ring on his desk and frowned. "How much longer can you last?"

There was a knock on his door, and the secretary appeared. "Hiwatari-kun, you have a guest."

"Please let him in."

"Yes." The secretary bowed and motioned the person standing outside to enter while she moved out.

A long-forgotten face appeared at his door. Ki could think of nothing to say at first sight. He stared at his guest absent-mindedly.

"Hiwatari-kun?" His guest, who was no one but Ruya, threw him a questioned look. "Are you alright, Hiwatari-kun?"

"Um… yah," Ki shook his head to clear his mind. He walked out from his desk and approached the door. "You have grown a lot cuter since the time when I left the academy, so I could not recognize you at first." He smiled.

Ruya blushed heavily at the words. "Do I… Do I really…?"

Ki smiled. He held out his arms and embraced her closely against himself.

"Hiwatari-kun…" Ruya closed her eyes and slowly wrapped her arms around him as well. "I have finally found you again." She blushed again as she whispered.

"Um…" he replied softly, "and I am glad you have done so."

Behind him, on his desk, the black ring gave out a dim light of white. The light shone brightly as the ring dissolved itself… into nothingless, without being noticed by anyone.


Epilogue

"Headmaster!" A brown-haired girl suddenly opened the door to the only room up the spiral staircase on the second floor of the Teiou Gakuen Main Building, causing the only occupant inside it to spill his coffee and coughed.

"Ruya-chan…" Seishirou blurted out the name with difficulty as he tried to wipe off the coffee all over his desk. "Couldn't you just inform Hotori or knock on the door before you come in?"

"We want to give you a surprise, right, Hiwatari-kun?" She turned and asked the person behind her cheerfully. The blue-haired boy gave out a sigh and followed her into the headmaster's room.

"So Hiwatari-kun is here too?" Seishirou asked. "You should at least teach her the proper manners."

"This is not in the scope of my abilities," Ki answered coolly.

"Hiwatari-kun…" Seishirou looked at him with puppy eyes. "You used to listen to me a lot. Why has my Hiwatari-kun become like this? How shall I report to Ken-kun?"

"You don't have to report to him, and regarding the matter that we are here today… I think that my curse has been lifted."

Seishirou stopped whining and looked at him in amazement. "Really? How did you do it?"

"I don't know, but it seems that it is gone, and my ring is nowhere to be found."

The headmaster walked to his balcony and thought for a moment. Both Ki and Ruya eyed his back eagerly.

"I think… I know why the curse was broken," Seishirou said at last.

"Do you really…?"

"This is just my guess, and I am not really sure about this. I think that the reason why your curse is lifted is because of Ruya-chan."

"Huh?" Both of them responded together.

"Throughout history, the Hiwatari family has been made up of Darkness users only, because that is what Katsura wanted – to create the greatest Darkness family. However, since Ki-chan here has chosen Ruya-chan, the harmony between Light and Darkness breaks the curse."

Grinning, Seishirou added, "That's why I always say I have made a right choice for inviting Ruya-chan to this academy. She did make it to the graduation with the highest grade of her year."

"I think that is just a coincidence…" Ki commented.

On hearing this, Ruya pouted and hammer repeatedly on his head again. "I really did work hard, Hiwatari-kun!"

"Oh yeah, by the way, you should visit here more often and help me out if possible, we are having some problems getting the new students to learn." Seishirou requested happily. "We can also give you two rooms in the dorm to stay."

"No, thanks," Ki quickly answered. "I prefer to live in my grandpa's house."

"I will be wherever Hiwatari-kun is," Ruya smiled.

Seishirou curved his lips downwards, ready to cry. The two of them laughed.

- THE END -


Author's Note:

Thank you so much for reading and following Contradiction so far. The story has now come to an end. It has been fun making this story from 2006 to 2008, and I am very glad I ended it instead of dropping it. There is a manga version of this story running currently on Smackjeeves if you don't know. I am planning to redraw the manga with a better story flow and make some edits so the currently version will only run until the beginning of chapter 26 (the chapter 26 as in the manga version, it is many more chapters in the written version).

As a manga artist, the finishing of one story means the beginning of another. Please have a look at my other stories (or if you are lazy, most of my stories have manga versions XD) and I hope you will enjoy them too! Currently I only have one on-going story on FictionPress - To Where I Belong, but I will put up some new ones later. Usually I need to finish writing the whole thing or at least am very sure I can finish the story before I start putting it up, so I won't disappoint anyone by quitting it mid-way. Please be patient with me and please continue to show your support!

Thank you so much!

See you in my other/next story~!

-Ki Hiwatari