Armor, weapons, food, and other necessary supplies, after a simple yet tasty breakfast, everyone went and purchased what they needed. Asuna was adamant about joining Kazuki. After seeing things from his viewpoint and knowing that he basically had no other choice in the way things played out, she was sympathetic. Not only that, Nunully tried blaming herself but it wasn’t her fault. They wanted to kill her just for being different and Asuna wouldn’t let that fly.
Asuna also thought about The Azirian’s, Fera seemed to be controlling some of them if not all. This made her the world’s enemy, not just Kazuki’s. Asuna figured, the sooner they defeat Fera, the sooner they could defeat the Azirian’s and following that, the sooner they could all return home.
Sam of course couldn’t let Asuna go by herself and was right there with her and Kimi stuck to Sam like glue. The last person that decided was Shin, though it wasn’t very hard for him to decide. He found Kazuki’s story very similar to his, maybe not the whole being teleported to another world on the verge of death but everything else aligned not too far apart. Not only that, but he also ended up getting teleported to this world as well.
The things Kazuki went through, the person who understood it the most was probably Shin. Choosing to come along with Kazuki and the others was a no-brainer.
Kimi was the only one who seemed bitter. She no longer stared death at Kazuki nor did there seem to be much blame in her gaze but she still wasn’t quite ready to accept Kazuki. Every time she interacted with him, it was brief and every exchange was short.
Kazuki wasn’t upset by this behavior but found it all a little funny. Not because of the way she was acting rather because the person who should be the most upset, have the biggest emotional outpour was instead the opposite.
Danny died yet he was no angry, nor was he sad. It was more of a disappointment with how things ended. When Kazuki asked why he didn’t seem too upset, Danny smiled at him.
“I don’t really know myself. Am I weird? Maybe it’s the fact that there’s no more pressure. All of my life, I’ve had to live up to certain expectations from those around me. My parents, teachers, life, in general, weighed down on me. Not only that, you saw it yourself, how cowardly I could be.”
Kazuki didn’t know how to respond to that.
“Don’t look at me like that Kazuki, don’t worry. I realize what I was and how I acted. I thought I could get over it in time and I think I was pretty brave at the end of the line but during it all, I was terrified. Now though, it’s different. I’m no longer afraid, in death, I really do feel a sense of peace. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of regrets but now, now I feel free in a way. That makes sense right?”
Those were Danny’s true thoughts. Kazuki didn’t understand it fully. He would have been livid and raged and cursed at the heavens were he to drop dead right at this moment but Danny was fine. Kazuki was just glad that Danny was ok. He realized Danny after death was a lot stronger than when he was alive in certain aspects and found it odd.
Kazuki wanted to know if Danny needed anything while he was in his soul world and Danny just laughed at him.
“What could I need now that I’m dead?”
Kai as well joined in.
“Forget Kazuki, he can understand many subjects quite deeply but when it comes to people he fails on so many levels. Danny since you’re stuck in here, why not spar with me a little. I know that you’ve inherited a master’s sword technique from a blood orb but you never really explored it much. We’ve got plenty of time in here and I’m quite bored, let’s go a few rounds. What do you say?”
Danny rubbed his chin.
“Sure why not. I’ve been curious about these techniques myself. Just how strong are they really?”
After gathering everything they needed, everyone made their way to the city gate. Walking through the streets, soldier after soldier gave the group curious and wary glances. Kazuki had returned his face and hair back to his original shape and color but the others still looked the same and were recognized by those patrolling the streets. The survivors of the battle had spoken of what had happened that day. Those that witnessed the fight spread the tale of that day and all of the soldiers that arrived after the fact still became informed.
Low murmurs spread among the soldiers but Kazuki and the others could still pick it up.
“They say that one flew about like a demon and went toe to toe with Triska herself.”
Another soldier nodded along and even pointed at Asuna.
“They say that red-haired lass stole Triska’s weapon away from er during the battle and that’s what gave em the edge over her.”
“That’s nothing, that angelic looking beauty froze all them tornadoes in the sky before collapsing it on top of Triska, crushing her down in the dirt.”
“What, who believes that crap. If Triska got crushed, how she’s alive now? What manner of childlike fairytale are ya believing?”
A few soldiers began arguing but as soon as Kazuki and the others passed by, the soldiers shut up and watched them cautiously. After Kazuki and the rest were out of sight, the soldiers breathed a collective sigh of relief.
“Either way, it’s a good thing they didn’t all go at it again. I didn’t think Degra and Triska could really come together and create peace but so far so good.”
The air became silent and the atmosphere heavy. The soldier that just said that, noticed all of his comrades staring at him as though he were an evil spawned from the shadows.
“Wh…what is it?”
Another soldier grabbed the naysayer by the collar and picked him up.
“You fool, ou trying to curse us with that jinxing talk. Degra and Triska making peace, don’t mention it no more so casually, you’ll doom us all.”
The soldier then threw the man down and continued his patrol, the other soldiers following along but not before they spit at the feet of the thrown soldier.
Kazuki stopped before the city gate and turned around.
“This is it.”
Mei asked curiously.
“Big bro, what’s it, are you it, are we gonna play tag?”
Tsura rolled her eyes and put a hand over Mei’s mouth. Kazuki shook his head and addressed Asuna and the others.
Kazuki pointed outside the city gate.
“Past here, past this gate and danger will always be on your back. Coming with me, you will most likely be facing death time and time again and your safety is not guaranteed. I’m saying this all right now so I’m not blamed or accused later on down the line if something goes wrong. This is the last and final warning. If you follow me, it won’t just be Garn and his footmen after you. My sister Fera will most likely seek your deaths as well. I’ll tell you this now, she is the bigger threat. Her power is above Garn’s, far above it.”
“How strong are we talking. I mean she can’t be that much stronger, can she, hehe.”
Shin’s question was right along the lines of everyone else’s thinking.
“Her strength, she is at the 7th stage. Garn can lift a mountain and he’s only at the 5th stage, who knows what my sister is truly capable of. Not just her, she has strong people like Reya under her and who knows what other hidden cards are lying in wait. I’m going to escort Nunully to the Rin mountain range and then I’ll be going into hiding to train most likely. If you all follow me, I don’t know when and where we will be attacked again and I can’t guarantee Fera won’t go after you, thinking she’ll get to me. So You all decide and make your peace. I won’t be sad nor upset about whatever decision you make. So you as well need to consider this, truly consider what this is, what the outcome and consequences will be should things go wrong. I’ll leave it up to you all.”
Nunully, Tsura, and Mei stepped up beside Kazuki ready to go. Shin as well stepped forward.
“Ain’t nothing back on Earth for me. Minus well watch you screw up from up close, that way I can swoop down like before and save your ass, hehe.”
Kazuki nodded. That was good enough for him. Asuna was next.
“I said it before, Fera isn’t just your enemy but the world’s as well. The sooner she’s taken care of, the sooner those that want to go home, can.”
Sam stepped forward and said only two words.
Kimi was last. Though, she held no enthusiasm like the others.
“Once we get to the Rin mountain range, we go our separate ways. I only care about sticking to my original promise of getting Nunully there. Anything else after that and you’re on your own.”
(This girl is stubborn but I won’t fault her.)
“Alright then, let’s go.”
Just as he said that Degra jumped down from the city gate and landed smoothly in front of them.
“Now hold on just a moment. I have something to say and I think you’d all like to hear it.”
Kimi and Asuna instinctively took a step behind Sam. They remembered his power of seeing through objects and knew he had a habit of taking a peek at people. Even though they knew that Degra would still be capable of seeing through Sam to look at them, standing behind Sam was more of a comfort thing.
Degra grinned at Asuna and Kimi but didn’t linger on the two for long.
“What the hell do you want now?”
Degra’s smile faded but he wasn’t angry at Kazuki. In actuality, he enjoyed Kazuki’s boldness.
“Not much, I just thought you’d all like to know, that I’ll be joining you on this little adventure of yours.”
He said this and Shin Kimi and Asuna’s jaws dropped simultaneously. Degra’s snake-like eyes took in their dumbfounded expressions with a sort of glee and he couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I’m only kidding. Why would I join you dredging through the cold when I can sit comfortably in my nice big warm mansion in the middle of my city.”
Everyone felt their anger rising, two sentences in and they were already pissed with Degra.
“WHO’S CITY!? DO YOU NOT MEAN OUR CITY LITTLE SNAKE!”
A powerful shout came from on high. Triska came flying down and landed directly behind Degra, the blade of her trident less than half an inch away from the back of his neck.
Degra smiled once more but one could see small beads of cold sweat flowing down his face.
“Our city, I meant to say our city. Slip of the tongue, that’s all.”
Triska dragged her blade gently down Degra’s back, splitting his shirt in two as she threw his own words back at him.
“Justa slip you say, funny how a small slip can cause such destruction. I hope you’ll keep that in mind the next time you speak of what is and isn’t your’s.”
A small line of blood poured down Degra’s back and he felt the fear of death for a moment. A second later though, Triska pulled her trident away and Degra shot forward, jumping behind Kazuki to use him as a human shield.
Kazuki would have punched Degra in his sly face but he dared not move casually as Triska was staring him down. the air filled with silent tension before Triska finally spoke.
“You ruined my hand.”
She lifted her hand to reveal a partially melted hand.
“Well, we were trying to kill one another at the time.”
Triska pointed her trident at Kazuki.
“You only wounded me because Degra was your ally and he slowed my movements. Degra is no longer your ally though, he’s mine. I should kill you for this.”
Again the air became tense. Mei and Tsura were ready to transform and everyone gripped their weapon at their side, ready to pop off at a moment’s notice.
Triska though took back her trident and snorted.
“I found out from my sister it was you who recovered her vision. She recognized your voice the moment you spoke. For that I thank you.”
Triska then held up her mangled hand.
“For this though, I’ll never forgive you.”
Triska then shot up into the sky her voice booming like thunder.
“KAZUKI, YOU HAVE MY GRATITUDE AND MY HATRED! NEVER RETURN! YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN MY CITY! YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN GENTIS! LEAVE!!!”
Triska then sped off somewhere into the city. The wind rupturing and shrieking as it was torn through as she passed by.
“Damn that bitch can be scary. How can she call me out when I say it’s my city and then claim it to be hers the very next moment. What a hypocrite.”
Degra whispered behind Kazuki and Kazuki no longer being pressured by Triska threw an elbow into Degra’s rib cage.
Degra was quick though and managed to jump backward, avoiding some of, but not all of the damage.
Kazuki didn’t even look back as he walked out of Gentis city and into the open world. Nunully and the others following after him.
(Damn it Kazuki! Can’t you at least leave a secret or two behind with me.)
Degra watched them all leave without another word. He had wanted to recruit at least one of them but he knew it was futile. They went where Kazuki went. Degra smiled.
(Maybe next time. Good luck Kazuki.)
———————————————End of Volume Four————————————————-