A red and white checkered picnic blanket was sprawled out on the moist green grass. A picnic basket filled with sandwiches, fruits, and snacks lied in between the couple who was having their late noon date.
Sato picked up a sandwich from the box and bit into it, "It's good, thanks Ai."
Ai waved her hand aside, "It's no big deal. Anyone can make a sandwich."
"But you did it because you wanted to put a lot of effort into our date," Sato smiled merrily as he took Ai's hands in his. "And that alone means a lot to me.
A faint pink blush crossed over Ai's face as she wiggled her shoulders around, "I wanted to learn how to cook..for you."
"I'm glad, I appreciate it." Sato lowered his gaze to the ground. "But I don't know what I can do for you."
"Just promise me that we'll always be together…forever.
"Of course, I promise. You'll the only person I want to spend my life with." Sato leaned in closer to Ai as she closed her eyes and puckered her lips-
"-Whoooo! My wires are getting overheated!" Dexter burst out loud as he flew overhead Sato and Ai.
Sato's eyebrow twitched in rapidly ascending anger, "Maybe you would like me to cut them off then, huh?"
"No!" Dexter shrieked. "Don't do that! My wires have been with me since I was a baby!"
Sato let out an exaggerated sigh as he dragged Dexter down to the ground, "I"m sorry about the pest ruining our date Ai."
Ai put her hand to her lips and giggled, "Don't worry about it. I wanted to help you watch over him, remember?"
"I know but still…"
"Besides, he's not ruining our date," Ai said before quickly grabbing Sato's cheeks and pulling his face to hers. She smashed her lips against his for several seconds before letting go. "See? We've been dating for a year now, I don't care who tries to interrupt us. I won't let them stop us from enjoying ourselves."
"Ai…" Sato gave an agreeing smile, "You're right."
Sakura was walking around the kingdom and taking in all the fresh air. Despite the snowy landscape the sun was still shining enough due to it being midday for Sakura to be warm without any excess layers.
"Sakura, it's good to see you're okay."
"Huh?" Sakura turned around to see who the strangely familiar voice came from. And of course she saw Arashi standing before her with a small grin on his face, "Arashi." A mischievous smile crossed over Sakura's lips, "I didn't know you of all people would be such a worrywart."
"Of course I was worried," Arashi averted his eyes from Sakura while rubbing the back of his head, "You are my friend after all."
"Wow, you even admitted it. Geez what did I miss?"
"I won't lie, you missed a lot. Sato and Ai are even dating now."
"Yeah, I noticed."
"I think they're even planning on getting married once everything settles down." Arashi looked up into the clear blue sky as the sun shone down upon his forehead, "Everyone has been looking towards their future recently."
"And I've been out of commission for two years," Sakura chuckles with a slight bitterness hidden in it." So what about you Arashi? Have you been thinking about you future as well?"
Arashi was taken aback by Sakura's question breath took a light breath and loosened his shoulders, "In a way yes."
"What's that supposed to mean, you weirdo?"
"I"m just not sure what I want to do yet, but I've been thinking about it. But in terms of my immediate future I've been hearing news about a group of Prison Breakers so I"m going to go track them down and put a stop to it.
Well, start figuring out your long term future as well okay, Arashi?" A sly grin crossed over Sakura's face as she elbowed Arashi on his arm, "Oh maybe you and I should start dating?"
"Uh…what?" Arashi was taken aback by Sakura's question before she bursted into laughter slamming her palm on her knee."
"Relax, it was just a joke. Stop taking everything so serious all the time."
"You need to take things more seriously."
Sakura took a breath and stood up straight again, "Yeah, I guess we've both got our fair share of problems." She looked straight on into Arashi's eyes, "But hey, thank you."
Arashi raised his eyebrow, "What are you thanking me for?"
"My memories are starting to come back to me now that I'm free from Jiro."
"Oh, I see." Arashi turned his head away from Sakura as he scratched his cheek, So then you know that it was me who fought you." Sakura simply nodded and fell into Arashi's chest, "H-Hey, what are you doing?!"
"And I also know that you're the only one who's seen me cry because of it. So do you mind…if I show you my tears once again?"
"Sakura…" he felt his shirt already dampened and turned his head back to look at Sakura sobbing quietly in his chest. "Sure, go ahead and cry as long as you need to, my friend."
Nori drew his sword as Nikio drew his bow. Blue aura emitted from Nori's blade as it shot across the ground, rocks shattered up into the air as Nikio flew into the sky. Nikio grabbed onto a pole and quickly slid down.
"Geez, go a little easy on me, why don't you?"
Nori simply responded with an amused chuckle, "I am testing you to see if you are fit to be in an army…my army. Easy has no place here!"
Nori dashed towards Nikio and kneed him in the gut before swinging his shining blue blade. Nikio rolled across the ground.
Blue aura spikes shot out from the ground underneath Nikio as his clothes were shredded.
Nori walked up to Nikio and looked down at him with dull eyes, "Is that it then?"
"As if," Nikio grinned as he stuck a dagger into the ground to force himself up with. He panted heavily before returning the dagger to his pocket and pulling out his bow and arrow.
Nori raised his eyebrow, "You're going to try that at close range? You do understand how that weapon of yours works don't you?"
Nikio smirked with confidence, "Oh I understand it alright…I understand it perfectly!" Nikio shot his arrow down at the ground beneath his feet."Issei Senpuu!"
A hurricane appeared underneath Nikio as he travelled up it. It dispersed as Nikio readied his bow again aiming up above his head.
"Where are you aiming now?" Nori shouted with his head tilted upwards. "Im below you, you know!"
"Yajarushi Ame!" A rain of arrows fell down from the sky as Nori tried to deflect them with his sword. Blood fell from the side of his he grinned.
"Not bad kid." Blue aura began to coat Nori's entire body as the ground shook wildly. Cracks split in between it as Nori became nothing but a flash of blue light.
"What the…?!" Nikio's mouth dropped before he was blasted into a tree, it's leaves decorated his hair as he struggled to get up and wobbled from side to side. "Where did he go?"
And just as Nikio saw blue light from the corner of his eye he was assaulted by a barrage of pain.
Nikio grabbed his daggers and prepared himself for the next wave. His eyes darted around sharply before his back was struck and he fell to the ground. His daggers landed about a yard away from him.
Nikio saw the blue again and swiftly rolled out of the way He leaped up and held his fists in front of his chest, "Alright so as soon as I see it, I'll just have to instantly throw my fists at it…Like catching a fly."
"I find that rather insulting."
Nikio turned in the direction of Nori's voice and threw his fist. His fist caught nothing but air before his shoulder was sliced. Blood dripped from the wound as Nikio grimaced, "Crap, he tricked me."
Nikio fell to the ground nearly passing out before he was caught by Nori. "Nikio!" Caeria shouted in worry as she ran up to him.
"Relax, he's fine," Nori assured Caeria in a stoic voice. "It's not like it was a fight to the death or anything, right kid?"
Nikio pushed himself out of Nori's arms and slowly steadied his feet, "Maybe not, but it sure as hell fells like it. And stop calling me kid, I'm nineteen…"
"Hey, you're in my army, I'll call you whatever I please."
"Listen here you cocky humourless grump," Nikio raised his voice along with his fist. "It takes a lot for me to lose my temper but…wait what did you say?"
Nori sighed as he turned his back to Nikio, "Don't play that game, you heard me. Be ready at dawn tomorrow, I have a lot of work to do with you, Nikio." And with that Nori was on his way.
A huge smile crossed over Niko's face, "No way…thank you General Nori! I look forward to working with you!"
"Nikio, he's already gone…Kenji said as he walked up from behind him. "But congrats."
"Congratulation Nikio, I'm so proud of you," Caeria said as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She instantly realized what she was doing however and let go keeping her hands tied tightly behind her back with a slight blush.
"Caeria…" Nikio said with a surprised stare. But then he just gave her a warm smile, "I haven't seen you that happy in a long time."
"It's because of what you said, about how it was time to start thinking about the future. I don't think I'll ever forget what happened..." Caeria gulped before continuing. "What happened in Nahalia Empire. But I don't want to let it hold me back anymore either."
"I see, I'm glad."
Hikari was setting plates and silverware on the long dining hall table encrusted with golden gems. She looked up at the chandelier and sighed dreamily, "Oh, I'm so glad my Ai decided to stop travelling and finally come back home." She walked over to the wall where a gallery of pictures hung. But the one that caught her fancy in this particular movement was the one that was taken at the party after the defeat of Niji.
Ai was hugging onto Sato's arm while he had an awkward but cute smile plastered on his face. Sakura was smirking mischievously nudging Sato's elbow and hooking her arm around a scowling Arashi's neck.
Hikari put her finger to her lips as she continued to observe the picture from four years ago, "To think she's already fifteen." And as if on cue, her eyes suddenly found themselves staring at a picture with her in a hospital bed cradling a baby Ai in her arms. Akio was leaning down by her side with a wide cherry smile. "They really do grow up fast don't they honey?"
"You gotta watch that talking to yourself Queen Hikari."
Hikari nearly jumped as she turned around. However she breathed a sigh of relief as she saw it was just Dexter flying around. "Please don't sneak up on me like that okay, Dexter. What are you doing here? I thought you went with Ai and Sato on their date?"
Dexter crossed his stubby little robot arms and growled, "Pfft, I don't want anything to do with Sato. I hate him! I hate him!"
"Goodness me, did you two get in a fight?" Hikari took Dexter's silence as a yes and simply chuckled at this occurring, "Aw, how cute."
"Cute?!" Dexter's body shook violently as he started to jet back and forth across the room, "No, he is just awful, I can't stand him!"
"Would you mind telling me what exactly he did that made you so made Dexter?"
"Well he-" Suddenly Dexter fell to the floor encased in a block of ice.
The ice was so cold Hikari felt the chill in her bones and teeth as she shivered, "Show yourself."
"Patience, I have no intention of keeping myself hidden," Yuichi walked down from the stairs behind Hikari as her scratched his shoulder, "Honestly, I was hoping no one else would be here so I wouldn't have to cause too much damage."
Hikari's eyes shot wide open as she heard Yuichi's voice. Not only because she was shocked at how he was able to not only break into the castle but also because she knew who this voice belong to. "Yuichi, Ice Bakemono," Hikari suddenly said lowly as she turned around to confirm her suspicions. "Former leader of the infamous Dusk Assassins. You all were responsible for most of the MIA"s in the last human and Bakemono war. And you in particular…killed the previous King of Sihalia."
"Now I see why they say you can't escape the past. Listen women, I don't know who you are but if you know who I am then you know I turned myself into prison. My criminal days are over. I don't want to hurt you, I'm only here for Dexter.
Hikari planted her feet and glared at Yuichi, "If that's true, then why did you break out of prison?"
"I had no choice. Now hand over the Bake-Bot.."
"No can do, it may not be official anymore, but I am still regarded as the Queen of this kingdom. And all of it's civilians are my people, including Dexter." Hikari focused her bright red eyes on Yuichi as body glowed a shimmering green. "I will protect all of my people!"
Yuichi sighed and shook his head, "Why must everyone be so stubborn." Cold air began to swirl around him as Hikari shot off her feet.
Her hands morphed into green lion heads as she jabbed at Yuichi. Yuichi swerved and avoided every blow before grasping onto her wrist and slamming his icy knuckle into her gut.
He continued to pound fiercely at the queen with his frozen knuckles as blood flew out of her mouth. A sphere of pure white energy formed in Hikari's free hand as she released it on the floor. The blast caused a shock wave which ratted the castle and separated the two.
Ice spikes assaulted Hikari as she fell back onto the ground. Yuichi quickly closed in on her with his ice leg before she rolled out of the way. Suddenly Yuichi stood at a stand still as Hikari smirked with confidence, "What's the matter? Are you afraid you actually might lose now."
"Please, don't give yourself too much credit," Yuichi tilted his head up and sent a barrage of ice bullets fired at the ceiling. Green energy blasts erupted down from the magical seals as the bullets hit them.
Each one of the blasts was immediately encased in blocks of ice as they bombarded Hikari. Within the blink of an eye, Yuichi's icy fist swiped across her jaw sending Hikari sliding across the frozen floor. "He froze the entire floor…when?!"
"I'd take a closer look if I were you," Yuichi warned Hikari as he itched the back of his neck. Ice spikes flew at her in every direction. "I've already frozen everything around us, this whole room is mine to command." A sharp glare formed in Yuichi's eyes as the floor started splitting apart and massive icy cannons formed on every side. Each one of them shot off at once sending a barrage of freezing pain towards Hikari's body. Hikari lied motionless on the floor.
Yuichi walked over to pick up Dexter land let out a heavy yawn, "I knew I should've gotten more sleep last night." He looked down at Hikari, "I will say this though, I admire you for protecting your people, I just wish you didn't have to be a nuisance to me by extension. Still, you should count yourself lucky you ran into me and not Hiroki or the others. All of them would've had a field day with your corpse."
Sato and Ai were in Hibiki's infirmary room. Ai fed him mashed up food with a spoon as he smiled bitterly, "Thanks for doing this Ai, but you don't have to worry. I can take care of myself.
"Shut up Cousin Hibiki," Ai spoke in a hoarse and yet stern voice. You can't even move your fingers anymore…and yet you're trying to tell me you can still take care of yourself. You would die without help!"
I'd die either way!"
The bowl fell and shattered as it hit the ground. All of the food spilled onto the floor. Ai's white bangs covered her eyes as she knelt down to pick it up, "I'll go get you some more."
"No don't," Hibiki quickly stopped his younger cousin. "I'm full."
"Who was responsible for this anyway?" Sato had suddenly asked as he looked away from Hibiki. "Who was so powerful enough to put you on the verge of death."
Hibiki let out a forced grin, "Do you…really want to know?"
"Of course I do," Sato answered as he stared at the snowflakes falling outside the window. "No, I need to know the monster responsible for causing such harm upon my king."
"Your king…? I see…" Hibiki nodded and answered in a gradually weakening voice. "It was Wild Claw Harold of Pandemonium."
Sato and Ai both shuddered as they turned to each other with worried eyes. "So then, it was a member of Pandemonium," Sato noted. "Guess they really are as strong as Nori said.
"You have no idea. Hikari, Nori, and Bunka fought him afterwards and all lost instantly as well. I don't know if you've ever seen Bunka fight before, but he's actually a lot more powerful than you'd expect."
"Well, I've never seen him fight, but I know he's powerful." Sato noticed a single tear coursing down his cheek and quickly wiped it away.
Hikari slammed the door open startling Sato, Ai, and Hibiki. "Mom, what is it?"
"Dexter's been kidnapped!"
Kids at an orphanage were having a relatively peaceful dinner aside from all the chatter they loved to have. Some were just simple conversations, others were arguments and some were just having quite a bit of fun playing with their food. But then the ground rumbled slightly shaking the table. And for a brief moment everything was silent before going back to a standard dinner.
Wicked laughter echoed from the halls as the floor split apart and a a giant stones fell down from the ceiling sending all of the kids into a panic. Hiroki walked out from the hallway and and waved with a murderous grin, "Hey kiddos, nice to meet ya, name's Hiroki's, Earth-Bat Bakemono."
All of the kinds went off screaming in different directions as Hiroki waved his finger. Different blasts of sand followed each and everyone of them. A wall of orange flames burst up from the floor blocking off the sand before it could reach the children. "So then you're Hiroki," Arashi walked out of the searing flames and glared at criminal before him. "You get your kicks by murdering children?"
"Please don't be so quick to judge someone you just met," Hiroki licked his lips. "I enjoy watching everyone suffer! I even enjoy my own pain, buddy."
Arashi grinned as a veil of blue fire flickered around his figure, "Well that's good news. Cause you're gonna have a real fun time once I'm done with you."
Arashi leaped in the air just as stones shot up from underneath his feet. The sharp stones curved around heading fro the children before Arashi flew back down and blocked them with his flaming forearms.
"Hahaha! You already forgot your surroundings, I see!" Hiroki's eyes flashed full of madness as he lunged for Arashi.
"You're sick," Arashi grasped Hiroki's arm and hurled him to the other side of the room. He notched his head towards the kids behind him, "Get going!"
"But…" one of the kids mumbled as he looked at the beds being shattered by Hiroki's swirling sand.
"Just go!" Arashi shouted as sweat dripped down his forehead. "He looked around the room before he realized something. "Axcerymn, quick get all of the kids out of here!"
"Got it," Axcerymn nodded without hesitation. "Come on everyone! Let's get out of here!"
"But our home!" one of the girls shouted out in fear. "It's being ruined."
Hiroki suddenly leaped down from the ceiling above the girl's head as she shirked. Arashi flew up and tackled him to the floor. Blue flames erupted from his claws around Hiroki's body.
Axcerymn looked towards the other kids with dead serious eyes "Ready to leave now?" All of them nodded in unison and ran out of the room.
Arashi smiled in relief, "Good job, Axcerymn. Keep them safe, I'm counting on you."
"Damn you," Hiroki seethed in rage as a veil of violent raging sand swirled around him. "Damn you!"
The sand formed spikes and jutted into Arashi knocking him back into a wall. Before he knew it, Hiroki had landed a punch in his gut and blood shout out of his mouth onto Hiroki's face.
Hiroki licked the blood on his face with a malicious smile, "Now that's more like it. Since you took my prey away from me, you'll just have to make up for it, in full.