I couldn’t move. Not an inch.
I blinked and the S.E.E.S. adjusted my view to show her standing right in front of me now. Her body was giving off an icy chill that was gnawing at my skin, leaving me frigid with fear. The most powerful person in the galaxy was fixated on me, her brilliant blue eyes glowing with her desire to tear me apart like the others.
Running or hiding wasn’t an option, even if I wanted to. Using only her desire to keep me there immobilized me with her invisible force. I changed my thoughts to what I needed to do. I had to bring her back somehow. Focusing on that goal gave me the strength to try and defy her. I fought against her aura and tried to slowly reach out to her. The ominous smile fell when she noticed that I wasn’t going to run from her and she dropped the invisible force that held me down.
I thought I was getting somewhere with her, reaching her somehow, but instead she lifted me up by my helmet and shattered it to pieces. The S.E.E.S. detached from my body and I was left completely defenseless. Since I wasn’t running she decided to toy with me, like a tiny bug on the ground you play with when you’re bored, flinging me around various parts of the destroyed forest. I felt hopeless. How was I supposed to reach her?
I was going to die like this, unable to save a single one of my friends. The negative realization filled my eyes with tears of frustration as she continued to kick me around randomly. It was only when I landed close to see enough to Rei’s lifeless body that I re-empowered myself to stand up to her, even if it killed me.
“Kiko!” I shouted at her before she was able to kick me again. Her leg stopped mid-kick and I was determined to speak my mind before allowing her to do what she wished with me. “It’s me…” I pleaded, staggering to my knees and trying to catch my breath. I still wasn’t reaching her and now she raised her sword’s tip to my forehead like she did with Ozias before impaling him. She drew it back, ready to make the easy kill. I stared into her eyes and saw her conviction as she thrust it at my despairing face. This was it, I was going to die, but I at least wanted her to know it was me, “… it’s Sarth…”
Her blade stopped only millimeters away from my forehead, but the only thing that caught my attention was how her expression suddenly changed again. My words reached her. I know it did. I saw it. Her fierce blue eyes dimmed like she was trying to recall a lost memory and her blade slowly lowered to her side. She was gazing at me in wonder, trying to remember who I was. I staggered to my feet in front of her. I didn’t care if she killed me because I was determined to do what I’ve been dying to do since I met her that fateful day on Sola.
I slowly approached her, eyes still fluttering around as if trying to comprehend the mayhem around us. I put my hands around her back, pulling her closer to me and I slowly moved my face in on hers, kissing her gently on her soft lips, finally expressing my true feelings to her. I kissed her tenderly a few times before stopping.
I rested my forehead on hers and whispered to her, “I’ve always loved you.”
The Kiko I fell in love with was finally back with me, “Sarth…”
She moved in on me and we kissed again with a mutual, loving passion. My heart was racing and beating with joy as I finally confessed my love for her. I wanted to stay like this forever, never letting the moment end, forgetting all the pain we’ve been through to get to this point. She let go of her sword and wrapped her arms tightly around me. Holding her close, I could feel the warmth begin to return to her body. It was the best moment of my life.
Once we stopped she gazed at me with sad eyes, “She’s gone… isn’t she?”
I didn’t want her to fall back into despair again but I couldn’t lie to her, so I simply cast my eyes down. I knew she already knew the answer, but it hurt just to recall it. We both cast our eyes to the ground and I squeezed her arms as I saw her break down and cry for the first time ever. I held on to her and we both grieved over the loss of Rei and our other friends that we’ve lost to this race.
I gave her a moment alone with Rei’s body so I walked back over to the field clearing where I saw Ozias’ body still dead on the ground. What was this all for? What was the point of it again? The galaxy’s ultimate obtainable power… the Millennium Galaxy Race… was it worth losing everyone over? We didn’t even want to participate in the race, we were dragged into it by the monster who was now dead on the field. It was his fault this happened.
I felt Kiko brush up next to me as I asked myself those questions to the stars in the sky.
“Why did this happen?” I asked, full of heartache.
She entwined her fingers with mine and I looked over and saw her eyes were still red and raw from saying goodbye to Rei as she stared up at the stars.
“I don’t know why…” she whispered, “but I know how it ends.”
I looked over at her, “How it ends?”
Her eyes focused on one star, “Do you believe in fate? That, things were meant to happen for a reason?” She turned back to me with an unwavering look.
I wasn’t sure what she what she was getting at. “You think this happened for a reason?”
“Yes,” she answered with confidence. “I’m the only one in the galaxy who can destroy the Vo stone, and now we have all the pieces…”
Our eyes darted back to Ozias’ body on the ground in the middle of the field.
“Are you sure it can be destroyed?” I asked.
She nodded, “I know it can be.”
“Then how do we do it?” I thought of her long black sword she had earlier.
She took a deep breath and squeezed my hand tight. “I have to shatter it while it’s in one piece.”
“The wielder holds Vo within them…” I thought about what she was saying, “you’re going to destroy it within yourself?! No! You can’t!” I said hysterically. I lost it quickly. There was no way I could lose Kiko. No, she was all I had left in the galaxy! “We’ll hide all the pieces in far off places! In different corners of the galaxy! No one will ever find them!”
She waited patiently for me to stop making excuses and avoiding the cold hard truth. Even I knew we couldn’t simply just hide the four stones, but I wouldn’t accept her death as the answer. I stopped to catch my breath and she came in and gave me a hug. I clutched her tight and found my tears pouring from my eyes as we held each other.
“Take me with you,” I sobbed.
She gave me a squeeze, “I’m sorry it has to be this way…” she cooed into my ear, tears falling from her cheeks as well. “You’re strong, and you have a big heart… I know you’ll be okay…” I was losing consciousness. The last words I would ever heard from her were, “Sarth, I love you too…” before everything went black.
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