Chapter 13
The Sword of Friendship


The next day, Harima and Eri celebrated in the Kingdom of Argos, along with Miranda and company. They all cheered, as Harima was nervous. He and Eri appeared in the palace's huge throne room, as Eri was completely scared.

"My… My first King…" she whispered, "This is the King of Argos, himself…"

Harima said, "I've met him before. He's pretty nice."

Eri said, "Easy for you to say."

"Stay calm, Rich Girl."

The guard announced, "Announcing the King of Argos, King Hildenhauser!"

A man in a royal purple robe and crown, with long blonde hair and a bushy beard appeared, as he sat on the throne. The trumpets blared, as the guard announced, "Announcing Miranda Maynard, Haruna Hiyashi, Erika Avery, and Kandice Potter!"

They approached the King, as they were in their battle attire, wearing red leather sashes. They bowed and kneeled to the King.

"Your majesty," Miranda said, "It is a pleasure to see you again."

The King said, "Miss Maynard… Is it true that you have bested the Ultimate Dark Dragon, a monster that has been terrorizing Argos for two millennia?"

"Yes, sire," she said, "But I didn't fight it, alone. You see, you remember Kenneth Harima of Yagami, correct?"

"Indeed I do, child," he said.

"Well, he, Haruna, and I helped stopped the dragon, after Erika, Emily, and Nick helped."

Kandy said, "I had a hand, but I fainted, during the end."

Erika said, "I missed it all. The dragon got me good."

The King beckoned to Haruna, "And you, Miss Hiyashi?"

Haruna nodded, "I did… Of course, Miranda's daughter played a role, using an old sword that Michal Stansford had… after Miranda Maynard foiled Rydell Krauser's plan."

He replied, "Ah, so… So, the sword chose her…"

"Huh?"

"Those who are of noble blood will receive a weapon of their choice. Miss Emily Maynard, at a tender age of 11, was given the sword and shield, much as her mother, aunt, and ancestors. My guess is that Mister Stansford was the rightful owner of the sword, but when he died, he gave it to someone he trusted."

"Of course… And when Michal stayed by her, after they were abducted… It makes sense."

Erika said, "Your highness, permit us to introduce one of our friends who helped out, when we were down?"

The King said, "Permission granted. Bring forth Kenneth and his spouse."

The guard called out, "Announcing Mister Kenji Harima and Miss Eri Sawachika!"

Harima and Eri approached the throne, as the King praised them.

"You must be the traveler that helped Miss Maynard," he said, "At last, we meet again…"

Kenji bowed, "Delighted, your majesty."

Eri nervously bowed, "Your majesty… I am, uh… huh… uh…"

The King said, as he raised his hand, "Young lady, don't be shy. You are amongst friends in the Kingdom of Argos."

Eri smiled, "Well… I'm not really a fighter, but… But throughout my trip here, I've seen weird stuff, including my old friends from England, Whiskers' friends in Argos, deaths of two women, on the side of evil, Ideal Justice Dynamism, a dragon… It feels so weird, yet scary. But… If I may, sire…"

She laughed, "I had fun, helping Miranda and her friends. It felt like I was having an adventure."

She groaned and said to herself, "Aw, why did I say that?"

Miranda said, "Yes. She is right. Eri helped us out, in the end. She protected my daughter, while Kenneth was with us in battle."

Kandy nodded, "It's true."

The King pondered, as Harima said, "I think he got the idea…"

Eri whispered, "Thanks for backing me up."

Miranda smiled, "Don't mention it."

The King said, "Step forward, Miss Maynard and Mister Harima…"

They approached the King, as he said, "Yes… You two are noble heroes… You have destroyed the Ultimate Dark Dragon, but in the process, a few lives were taken."

Harima said, "Mary Lane Remington… She was one of them. And she did help us, before Helen Devlin, a student of a warlock, killed her, who, in turn, was eaten by a dragon."

Miranda pouted, "I take it that we have much to learn, sire."

King Hildenhauser smiled, "No, I think you have proven yourself to be heroes in Argos. And please, my condolences to Miss Remington."

He bellowed, "Step forward!"

He held his scepter and addressed to Miranda and Harima, "Miranda Maynard and Kenneth Harima… by the power bestowed in me… you are hereby named as Royal Heroes of Argos! Miss Avery, Miss Potter, Miss Hiyashi, and Mister Haskett will be hereby dubbed as your Argos Kingdom's Defense Squad. Miss Maynard, my congratulations to you… Your father would be proud."

She smiled, "And Sara, too… They already are, sire."

Harima smiled, "I hope my friends from Yagami are hearing this news."

The King concluded, as he boomed to the crowd, "THREE CHEERS FOR THE HEROES OF ARGOS! HIP-HIP!"

HOORAY!

"HIP-HIP"!
HOORAY!

"HIP-HIP!"
HOORAY!

Miranda was in tears, as Eri was smiling. She blew a kiss to Harima and said, "Whiskers… You are one of the best…"

Erika laughed, as she and Kandy hugged Miranda, as Haruna nodded in enjoyment. She let out a thumbs-up, as Miranda smiled back.

The celebration continued, as it lasted, all night long.


The following night, Harima finished his comic and decided to return home to Yagami, in hopes of publishing it. He and Eri had to leave today, anyway.

Moments later, at the airport, Miranda and Harima high-fived each other, as the others helped put their luggage away. Miranda smiled, as she was upset.

"Well… I guess this is goodbye," she said, "It was great to see you again, Kenji."

She blushed, as Harima said, "Hey, don't cry again. In time, there's no need for tears. Our paths will cross again."

Eri bowed, "It was nice meeting you again, Mira. I'm really sorry that it ended in a disaster."

Miranda said, "Aw, don't be. Disasters are my specialty. I live for the now, and fight for Argos, in the end, no matter what."

She stated, "Of course, having to remember Mary Lane, who helped us out, even though she was killed, was sad. I hated seeing her go, like that. But I wish, one day, I'd see her again."

She held her chest and said, "…almost as much as Sara… and Father…"

Eri hugged her and said, "I'll miss you."

Miranda said, "I do, too. And also, I hope you guys tie the knot."

Eri blushed, "We will… Just not here…"

Harima said, "Of course, I think we've heard the last of those guys, Max, Mick, Sam, and Will… Out of Rich Girl's life… and out of MY life."

Miranda said, "Well, I doubt it, but they'll be back. But they won't bother you, anymore, after what went off…"

Elsewhere, Max got a phone call from Shawn, his boss. He said to him, "Boss, we have a problem… The one you wanted is going back to Japan!"

Shawn replied, "Oh? What happened to Helen?"

"Who? To be honest, we haven't the foggiest of why…"

Max had completely forgotten about Helen, long after she was killed and following the Ultimate Dark Dragon's appearance to the heroes. He also told him that he'll report back, about the news. Shawn hung up and sighed.

"Oh, well… One day, I'll have what I want…" he thought, as he relaxed.

Back at the airport, Harima and Eri waved goodbye, as Miranda waved back. She smiled and called out, "You're with God's hands, now, guys! FOR ARGOS! You're always welcome back here, anytime!"

They left to their plane, as Miranda smiled in joy. She then sighed, "Man… Am I glad they are gone?"

She walked home, feeling dejected. She then thought, "Royal Hero of Argos… That's a title that I am proud of. I'm proud to be a protector… but what about Emily? She won't miss me, right?"

XXXXX

Back at Miranda's home, that night, Emily was already asleep, with Zeke in her hands. She sat by her bedside and watched over her.

"Emily…" she said, "I'm happy for you, just to rescue me…"

She thought, "But… Think of how long you'd be grounded for, if you didn't save my arse. Of course, I vaguely remembered Zubu… after the tragedy… and well, I guess I did owe you."

She tucked her in and kissed her on the head.

She left, as she whispered, "Emily Maynard… You little hero… You're right. We're even."


After that, everyone went their separate ways. Miranda and Emily stayed together, as peace had been restored. Miranda chose to train Emily, herself, once she finishes elementary school.
Nick Haskett and Erika Avery finally got married and decided to raise a family, at Erika's birth home, London. Erika wanted to have a child, one day… and in one year… she had one.
Kandy Potter stayed in Argos and lived in Norris. However, time passed, and she learned how to recharge her power, herself, and how to control her powers of the Ideal Justice Dynamism. In the end, Kandy left Argos and traveled to America.
Haruna Hiyashi left Argos, also, and returned to China, to train to become a martial artist, in hopes of shaking off her grief over Michal Stansford.

And as for Harima and Eri…


Harima finally finished his comic and it was published as another Best Seller. He was proud of his work that he was praised by his work.
Everyone, except Mister Yuzan Goto. He liked it, except that his comic has such original characters, and that it followed Harima as the hero, based on the adventure he and Miranda had. He took Miranda's idea of using original characters, rather than characters that resemble himself and Tenma, and pleased everybody who read it. Goto, however…

He boomed, "Your comic had style and zest… but a Best Selling manga like this is TOO GOOD!"

Harima pleaded in fear, "Sir, please… I had inspiration from Miss Maynard, herself. She is a brave hero. And sir, you can't go wrong for originality… You get the idea?"

Goto then pondered and said, "Indeed, you have such help from Miss Maynard…"

He then smiled, "You deserve a harder challenge."

Harima then said, "Thank you, sir! It was a thrill of making a, uh… wait, what?"

He then yelled, "NOW! WITHIN FOUR MONTHS, MAKE ME A BRAND NEW MANGA, WHATEVER YOU LIKE TO MAKE THAT IMPRESSES ME, AND MAKE ME ONE, FIVE HUNDRED PAGES LONG!"

Harima screamed in shock, "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?"

He ended up a success… but he ends up being given hard work… again.

XXXXX

And while he had to work on his comic, he and Eri got married and lived in a house together. With the money Eri she saved from her family's account and Harima's comic money, they settled in and lived in a cozy house, that is pretty small, but with a two bedroom floor. They relaxed together, as they were on the bench, on the front porch. Eri held him tight and said, "Harima… I know you have work to do on your manga, but how about I give you some rest."

Harima said, "That's fine. Yakumo's coming later to help. I was wondering if you'd help me pose for me."

Eri smiled, "Sorry. I have to make dinner tonight. What do you say I can make you some fried rice?"

Harima smiled, "Thanks."

He thought, in embarrassment, "Damn… More of her cooking? Oh, well… at least she's better than Tenma's culinary disasters."

Eri said, as she kissed him on the cheek, "I'll be waiting…"

She thought, in anger, as she headed inside, "Whiskers, you dummy. I hope I can make better than Yakumo's. I may need her help…"

Eri and Harima do fall in love, but they still cannot stand each other. Of course, that's life. They still remembered Miranda and her friends, with a portrait of Harima, Eri, and the Argos Heroes in a huge photograph, smiling on the photo. It was next to another photo, from a while back, only with Miranda, Erika, Yakumo, and Hanai with Harima and Eri. And they still remembered them… as time passed…


A year passed, as it was a brisk March day, in the village, with a little snow on the ground. It was almost Spring… and it was something else special.

Emily, who was 12 years old, woke up from her bed, wearing her white T-shirt and blue pajama bottoms, and saw a small package from Miranda.

The tag said, "To: Emily, From: Miranda – Happy Birthday". It was March 16th… and it was Emily's birthday. She had grown six inches taller, since she was 3'4", now she was 3'10", and had longer light brown hair. She opened the package and saw a long silver sword that looked like Miranda's sword, except with the blade engraved on it, which said "Emily".

She blushed, as she closed the package, "Mom. Thank you. I promise you that I will use it, once I am ready."

She placed the sword and its box, under the bed, as she got up and went to change. Of course, she kept the sword that she was given in the den, over the fireplace.

As for Miranda, she was by the door, listening on. She let out a tear and sobbed, "My daughter is all grown up… Father would be so proud, if he was here to see her."

Emily called out, from her room, "Mom, do you still have my spare blouse?"

Miranda said, "Yes! It's in the drawer!"

She got dressed and was about to go on another adventure. She said, as Emily came out, wearing her pink blouse, "Emily, I'll be back soon. I have work, after I make a quick run to the forest."

She kissed her and said, "I love you, honey. Watch the house for me, while I am gone."

Emily said, "Be safe, Mom."

Miranda said, "Oh. And be careful, on your way to school. You can walk home, right?"

Emily said, "Yes, Mom."

Miranda left the door and giggled, "Okay, my birthday girl… I'm off!"

She dashed off, as Emily was waving to her, as she leaned by the doorway, smiling.

"Thanks, Mom…" she said, "You be safe…"

Miranda ran through the grassy field, as she ventured off to the forest, outside her village. She then thought, as she ran…
"Harima… Eri… Thank you… You and your assistance may be needed, someday. For now, I am a TRUE hero of Argos… And Emily, that sword is all yours… Consider it the "Sword of Friendship". Because Erika, Kandy, Haruna, Nick, Ol' Mike, Mayu, and I pitched in, and even had it forged in silver and the finest steel, just for you. Once you are ready to fight, and once we have your own shield, you shall cry out for your country."

Emily then said, as she was getting ready for school, "Mom… Mommy… Thank you for the sword…"

She then raised her hand high and shouted from the heavens, "FOR ARGOS!"

Miranda left the village, as she heard her daughter's booming voice. She said, "A chip off the old block. She's getting there. That's my Emily."


Elsewhere, at the island, with the remnants of the Ultimate Dark Dragon's charred up corpse, a voice was beckoned, as a figure suddenly emerged from the ashes. She was covered in soot… and dung…

"My hair…" she sobbed, "Miranda Maynard… I will overlook this travesty, just this once… but… You owe me a new cape! It was irreplaceable!"

It was Helen Devlin. She was still alive… How she escaped and survived? Wouldn't YOU like to know?

Helen bellowed, "Master… I promise you… I WILL avenge our loss. It was just a minor setback."

A figure appeared and summoned to her. He had a tall figure, as he smiled evilly at her.

"Minor setback, nothing! You have failed me, my star apprentice…"

It was Krauser! But why?

"Master?" She gasped.

Krauser said, "You must be weary, and covered in dragon dung… But you have almost ended the scourge of Argos. Now that we know of this Ideal Justice Dynamism, and we learn that BOTH Maynards has this power, we must regroup… until the time is right."

Helen moaned, "But the bastard in the shades had already left…"

Krauser stated, "No matter… He and the blonde are nothing, now. We shall focus on Argos' newfound strength. We shall begin our training, together… Soon, I shall emerge again and confront Miranda Maynard. They are our main target. And then, Argos and the world… will be ours."

He laughed evilly, as Helen groaned, "I need a bath, first, before I would go with you… And I was so close, too."

"Oh, you'll get used to it." He then grabbed Helen and bellowed, "COME, MY APPRENTICE! WE HAVE WORK TO DO!"

POOF!
They vanished into thin air, as they regrouped in Krauser's castle. What sort of deviltry do Krauser and Devlin have in store for Miranda and Emily Maynard? Could they have a plan that will exterminate them, once and for all?


The End


Thanks for Reading!
Miranda Maynard SHALL return, again…