A/N: Well, I'm finally finishing something. I'm glad that I can finally call another story complete! It makes me happy, yet sad to see something finished on my page. It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, then again, it's sad that I won't be working on it anymore. Now, please enjoy the final chapter of Caged Bird!
By: Melissa Norvell
Chapter 5: Death
Tears continued to flow like never ending streams down the angel's face as she tightly hugged the falling body. Kohanna didn't care if she fell to her death in the process. This was a moment in which all she wanted to do was be with Zeshen, even if it meant the end of them both.
"Are you alright?" The female asked through her tears and sobs, hoping, wishing that the dark-haired man would say something, anything to ease the worry in her tormented heart.
Zeshen's trembling hand held the gun as he wiped a steady-flowing stream of blood from his mouth. "Take me to him."
"But-" The angel tried to protest, but was cut short.
"I'll be alright," the male smiled at his angelic companion. "I love you, Kohanna."
Green eyes widened at those very words. The words that she never thought to hear again. They were the words with the ability to transcend time, no matter how they were separated, what they felt would not be hidden or forgotten. The very idea comforted her soul but then again, caused great unease over the fear of the repetition of the past.
"I began to find that this wasn't just an obsession, it was a deep-seeded love. So, I will continue to fight until the end, because I love you," Zeshen admitted with softened features and a placid smile. "I will not allow him to get his hands on you ever again." The priest vowed as the two of them sailed through the air.
Kohanna's expression was one of torn emotion- love, sorrow, pain and an odd sense of peace. Soon, everything would end, just as if began and she knew it, not only as an angel but a living creature. 'So, the past is repeated but in an ironic way...In a way I never anticipated. It seems that all things, no matter how many times they are attempted, will have equal results. The saying that God has placed upon angels seems to be true.
An angel is something that cannot belong to anyone. If the angel begins to consider someone precious to them, it's as if you are saying that the world is in the hands of the one who is thought of like that. This is why the angel was left alone.
Will I truly end up being alone in the end?' The thought was a painful one as if fled her senses. Soon, she would find out the answer of this question.
The air blew through blonde hair as Eien watched the two, soaring in the sky above him. The man turned to the pair, and held his arms out, ready for a fight to the death. Only one could be victorious and he was not going to lose. His blue eyes widened as his body jittered with an uncontrollable emotion. It could either be categorized as instability or anticipation in a sadistic manner.
"Come and get me, Zeshen!" The crazed blonde shouted to the approaching pair as he pulled out a black laser gun from his belt and pointed it shakily at his oncoming enemy. "So, it all comes down to this. An age-old score will be settled and that angel will become mine! Now die!"
As soon as Eien's sentence was complete, Zeshen commanded the angel to release her grip on him. Kohanna reluctantly did as she was told as the heroic man descended to meet up with the gun-wielding blonde. The crazed man fired his gun. Zeshen fired in return as he descended to the metal ring in the sky.
Kohanna glanced over her shoulder as she caught sight of a dreadful happening.
Blood shot through the air as the angel gasped.
There the two men were, seeming to be suspended in place for a few moments. Zeshen had been blindsided by the metallic, legs, which had struck him through the chest, mortally wounding the priest. She could see the pained look on his face and the shock that shot through his eyes. Not only had the laser hit him but the metal cage bars had as well.
It was like a living nightmare.
Eien, on the other hand, had also been hit in the chest. The blonde limply toppled backwards from the ring and free-fell to his death. "So..." the half-lidded man murmured as he watched the ring get farther and farther from sight and the blood pour from the open wound in his chest. "It all comes down to this..."
Just as his vision blurred and his body became numb, he heard the voice of his dear Haruhi.
'It's alright Eien, you can let go now.'
Eien smiled weakly. "Haruhi...Now we can finally stand together in that field of happiness..."
"Zeshen!" The angel cried out as she flew up to him and tightly hugged his dying form. She didn't care if his blood touched her. All she cared about was his condition.
"Now you're free...but...why do I feel like I know you...and that man? I feel like...there is a piece of my life missing..." Zeshen told her through painful, broken up sentences. The entire time he had been trying to rescue her, he felt hollow, as if he were an amnesia patient who desperately tried to regain his memories. Zeshen felt as if there was a void in his life and perhaps, in his dying moment, Kohanna could finally answer his silent questions and put ease to his dying soul.
"I know why..." The mahogany-haired girl pulled away and glanced down, unable to look into her lover's pained eyes.
"Ko...Kohanna..." His breaths were ragged and wheezy as the girl placed both hands on either side of his forehead.
"I will now show to you the events of the past that you have forgotten...or rather, you gave up," Kohanna spoke as a powerful white light overcame the priest and war-ridden visions flooded back to his senses as his memories were unleashed and the girl began to explain his life with vivid, spoken and pictorial detail.
"There had been a long, hard war between the leaders of the Technological Movement- a group of powerful military leaders and those who opposed being subjugated to their ways. The leaders of the Technological Movement were too strong. The only way that they could be stopped was to devise a way to get them assassinated. A group of five specialized assassins were hired. The team consisted of four males and one female who formed the group called The Devil's Cross. They were identified by their long, black coats with a red X on the back of them. You, Zeshen, were their leader," Kohanna explained. "Your target was a man named Nakayama Eien, the head of the organization and engineer of many of the organization's robotic weaponry. He was a genius and constructed a large, private island on Osawa Pond called Industrial Island. It was said that those who wandered out onto the island were used as test subjects in his horrible experiments. You had made it onto that island and managed to defeat several of his sentinels. You were very strong and you managed to get to Eien, but something happened..."
As the angel's explanation began to grow more detailed, Zeshen felt the memories come back to him and could picture perfectly what had gone on. It was a meeting that he was sad to have forgotten.
The assassin swiftly pulled out his gun and shot at the blonde man, but the genius managed to swiftly dodge the fire. The laser hit a large tank behind him, causing it to explode on contact. The two men were flung in opposite directions because of the power of the explosion. As the black-haired man's body sailed backwards at high speed, a white light suddenly appeared at his waist and grew in brightness. His vision was so illuminated; all he could see was white. Zeshen could also feel pure and comforting warmth that seemed surreal for the situation.
As this event was occurring, Eien's body hit the ground but the blonde swiftly got up in a daze and awkwardly ran off. He knew that if he didn't get as far away as he could, then he would surely be defeated and he wasn't about to be assassinated yet.
"Huh?" Zeshen slowly cracked open his light blue eyes to see a winged maiden laying a few feet from him. It seemed to be some kind of petite girl dressed in a white and pink lolita dress with a matching bonnet. She was laying face up and looked as if she'd been thrown. Her outfit was splattered with blood and a large amount of it poured from her chest.
"It's a girl...and she's hurt!" The young assassin called out as he ran to the injured maiden's side and lightly shook her. "Hey! Hey! Are you alright?" He asked frantically, trying to jar her awake. Then his sights fell on her chest. 'She's been shot in the chest...She doesn't have long to live and at this rate, she'll die...'
"What?" His eyes then travelled up to see that this girl had large wings with white feathers that shined a urethral silver color. "I don't believe it...An angel saved my life. I heard once that you can make a sacrifice to save another by giving up something precious to you. I've seen others perform this ritual before but I never have myself. I hope this works. I'm going to at least give it a try.'
Zeshen had done research over several different types of people, so he had gathered a lot of rituals and spell casters. He never was the type to believe in angels but he could not deny what was right in front of his eyes either. The man clasped his hands together and began to pray, hoping for the best. "Divine powers above; please exchange my memories for the life of this girl."
Just as he had read and heard, a golden, intricate magic circle appeared below the two of them as the winds picked up and caused his clothing and hair to flutter violently in the currents. "If this sacrifice is enough then please grant my wish!" He called out through the bellowing winds as air seemed to shoot from the ground and both he and the maiden were bathed in a warm, golden light. Dark gold streams circled around the two of them.
As the glow subsided, the angel's eyes slowly opened. They were calm and green as the girl slowly came back to life.
"Who...Who are you?" Zeshen asked the girl.
"You saved my life," Kohanna murmured as she stirred awake.
"You're bleeding," Zeshen glanced at the girl's blood-soaked chest.
"No, I'm fine," she smiled faintly. "You saved me by sacrificing your memories."
"My memories...What am I doing here?" The assassin replied, confused. The sacrifice had worked. All of his memories until that very moment had been vanished. It was as if he were seeing everything for the first time. His mind was a blank slate, ready to have new memories written on it.
"I'm not sure," Kohanna replied. "I happen to be flying around and I saw you. You were in a fight with someone and you were going to die, so I counteracted your death with performing a sacrifice to save you. I was going to exchange my life for yours in order for you to live."
"What were you doing flying around here?" Zeshen asked.
"Angel's monitor the actions of the world through the skies, the wind speaks to us and our observations from where we reside," the angel thought it would be easier if she explained that before anything else, knowing what she was a good start to rebuilding some happy memories with the assassin.
"So, you saw me and decided to watch over me?" The assassin asked.
"I was flying by and I happened to see you engaged in your fight with a blonde man," the angel continued to explain.
"Blonde man?" Zeshen looked confused at the mention of the said man. He didn't remember anything about a man with blonde hair. He thought as hard as he could but no matter how much he racked his brain, nothing familiar cropped up.
"I'm sorry that you had to lose your memories for me," as an angel, Kohanna had failed to stay true to her goal. An angel was not supposed to be a burden to others but relieve others of their burdens.
"It's fine. You were worth it," the dark-haired man smiled kindly.
"Huh?" Kohanna blushed. No one had ever given her a compliment like that before.
"I would never do that for just anyone. I know it."
"I decided to stay with you, until you were well enough to live on your own. I stayed with you for three years and during that course of time, we fell in love. It was forbidden for an angel and a human to fall in love, so I hid from the divine powers. No matter what, I wanted to stay with you. We lived together for many years and we were very happy, even though you did not recover any of your memories. You decided to become a priest at Daikaku-ji Temple and you also managed a shrine nearby. I was very happy and I looked forward to spending the rest of my life with you. However, God knew of my plans," Kohanna's voice became low as she continued to explain everything that had happened between them in their chance meeting. "No matter where I was, he was watching me, sending me messages of what will become of my fate if I chose to continue my life with you."
An angel is something that that cannot belong to anyone. If the angel begins to consider someone precious to them, it's as if you are saying that the world is on the hands of the one who is thought of that way. This is why the angel is left alone.
Kohanna's face lit up in shock as the words of the divine powers above reminded her of her constant solitude.
"It happened daily and I knew that it was only a matter of time before the reality came crashing down around me. I tried to spend as much time as I could with you before that day would come and I would be taken away from you...and finally it did," Kohanna replied. "God had been angry with my decision and he decided to pull me back to heaven to keep me from becoming a dark angel."
Kohanna gasped as the ribbons wrapped tightly around her waist, arms and legs. Their grip was firm, as if putting on restricting clothing and she felt the force of the heavens as her form was tugged backwards. Zeshen cried out to her and darted to her side, grabbing her hand as she was slowly being tugged towards the sky. Her body seemed to free float a few feet above the ground.
"What's happening?" He asked frantically. Zeshen didn't understand, nor did he know what was going on or why. The black-haired man was very confused but he wanted to protect the angel no matter what. She helped him through so many hardships and now, he wanted to help her. The truth was Zeshen loved her above anything else.
"It happened so suddenly that neither one of us expected it," Kohanna explained as vivid memories flooded to her senses.
"Please Kohanna, don't die," the man begged as tears began to run down his cheeks.
"You were so afraid of losing me."
"I'm sorry Zeshen. I went against the nature of angels by choosing you," the mahogany-haired maiden told him sadly as crystalline tears flowed down her rosy cheeks. She didn't want it to end this way. Kohanna didn't want it to end at all but she knew that it could not last forever.
All good things come to an end.
"Kohanna! I won't let go!" The girl felt opposing force as the former assassin tried desperately to pull her back towards him.
The maiden smiled kindly at her lover. "Zeshen..." She couldn't help it. Kohanna couldn't stop crying.
"You are my one and only and I will let no one else have you," Zeshen told her with fierce determination as a ribbon cut through the air and pierced his chest and shoulder. Blood shot through the air but he continued to hang on. He didn't care what happened to him, as long as the angel was by his side. "I will never let you go. I don't care if God is angry with me," the man told his lover through pained words as he winced and closed one eye.
"I have warned you of what was to come and you knew, but you didn't care. You told me that you loved me and we'd always find a way to be together. I wanted nothing more than to carry out your wishes but I didn't want you to die before we could have a chance to be together."
'Stop! Please stop! Don't hurt yourself anymore! Don't hurt yourself because of me!" The girl begged Zeshen not to put himself through any more pain for her. It was wrong! It was her job to take his burdens and she was only giving him more! It wasn't fair to her...it wasn't fair to him.
Zeshen didn't deserve this.
"Kohanna..." The black-haired man smiled weakly as two more ribbons pierced his body- one dug itself into his arm and the other in his lower leg. The man struggled to keep his grip but Kohanna's hand slipped from his as the angel was drug to the heavens.
"Zeshen!" She shouted one final time as she desperately tried to reach out to him but he was already too far away.
"Kohanna!" Zeshen watched from his spot on the ground helplessly as his angelic lover faded from his sights.
"Your memories of me were erased again and your sight was taken from you so that you could never find me," the angel gently caressed the man's face as his life faded quickly. "I'm sorry that we could not realize our dream..."
"I'll come back. I'll be reincarnated as many times as it takes," Zeshen told her weakly as he struggled to smile placidly. His body had already been numbed by the breath of death. The man's voice was nothing but a mere whisper as his life drained along with his energy. "Nothing will keep us apart and one day, we will find happiness," the man vowed before he succumb completely to death's call, falling limply in the winged maiden's arms.
"I love you!" Kohanna cried out, in hoped that he would hear her as his soul separated from his mortal body. 'Just as the past ended in tragedy, so shall this. One cannot change fate and I have learned this now.' The angel thought as she cried and nuzzled her dead lover's face, her tears washed away the dried blood from his chin and cheeks. "You have taken me far away and I shall wait until the day of your reincarnation, so that through space and time, I'll be with you again and perhaps, this time, we can live a happy, peaceful life...We are destined to meet again."
- THE END -
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A/N: There it is! That's the end! I can finally say that I have something completed again! Now, if only I can finish some of my longer works. I'll probably bring X out of Hiatus sometime within the next couple of months. I'm slowly completing works. Feel free to vote on my poll as well. I want to know your opinions.
Please tell me what you think and I'll see you around in fiction! For those of you, who want to read other works that I update, please check out the following:
Crimson and Clover Chronicles
To Wish Upon the Sea
Hayabusa Abumi Must Die!
Into the Void
See you all and thank you for your support!