Chapter Twenty-One- New Paths

Chapter Twenty-One- New Paths

A Chapter by Brittanie Bardwell
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Final Chapter to the "Hina's Tears" series

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Chapter Twenty-One
New Paths

“Ryo.”  Angel whispered and took a step back.  “No, it can’t be.”
“I’m sorry.” Ryo said and reached for her.  “I wanted to tell you many times, but I couldn’t.”  
She jerked away from his hand as tears fell down her dirty face leaving streaks in it.  Liz and Skyler watched silently.  Kai smirked and glared at Ryo.
“So Angel, do you still want to be with him?”  he said when her hand came up and landed across his face.  
“I hate you, Kai!”  she cried out, turned, and ran towards the school.  Kai stood there and slowly reached up to touch his face.  
Ender and some other older student came running towards them.  
Angel ran past them without a word.  
It’s all over!  
She ran until her legs hurt, and she had to catch her breath.  She found herself in a hallway, fell against the wall, and slid to the floor.  Her body shook as she pulled her legs to her chest and buried her face into them.  
“Why are you crying?”  a voice asked.  Angel looked up and saw Haku looking down at her.  
“I just thought…”  she hiccupped and looked at him.  The hallway was dark, but he had a kind of glow around him.  “I just thought I had a bit of happiness.”
“What happened to it?”  he asked.  
“I was wrong.”  She sniffled and used her sleeve to whip her eyes and nose.  “I was stupid.”
“Did you give the happiness up?”  Angel dropped her arm and looked at him.  
“I didn’t…”
“Did the happiness give you up?”  Angel opened her eyes wider and thought about Ryo standing in the rain.  His eyes pleading with her to understand.  
“No.”
“Then you haven’t lost your happiness.”  Haku smiled and reached forward to help her stand.  “At least not yet.”  
Angel reached forward.  “Thank you.”  As she touched his hand, silver sparkles lite the hallway, and he was gone.  “Haku?”  She stood up fast and looked around.  
“I’m glad I got to meet you again.”  His voice echoed in the hallway as sounds of crying came closer.  Angel watched as a group of people pushing carts came closer.  As they got closer, Angel realized that the carts carried those lost during the fight.  They were covered by sheets.  Angel felt her chest get tight as the people started walking past her.  She started to look away when one cart caught her attention.  It was too small to be an older student, and a pale arm had fallen out from the cart.  
No, it can’t be!  
Angel moved forward and grabbed the boy that was pushing the cart.  He was covered in cuts and looked at her.  
“I need to see who is under that.”  She said without waiting for a reply.  Her hand reached forward and pulled back to sheet.  Haku lay peacefully on the cart.  His silver hair covered in mud and blood.  Angel tried to find words as she reached and pushed his bangs from his eyes.  
“I’m sorry, but I need to keep moving.”  The boy said.  Angel nodded, gently put Haku’s arm back on the cart, and covered him back up with the sheet.  As she backed away, the carts kept moving past her.  
Thirteen.  Thirteen carts.  Thirteen kids died fighting in this stupid war.  Thirteen kids who had no other choice.  Thirteen kids who could never live a normal life.
The carts faded in the distance, and Angel stood alone in the hallway.
We have to win so no more kids end up dying for us.
Numbly, she started walking and eventually found herself in the main lobby where the other students that had fought were getting medical attention and food.  Ender was walking around checking on them as the staff went to work.  Even Skyler was helping heal the minor wounds.  
Liz was sitting on the side talking quietly to another student.  Kai was getting treatment, and Ryo, to her relief, was as well across the room.  
At least, he’s safe.  How could he forgive me for running away from him?
“Can I have everyone’s attention?”  Ender asked as he stood in the middle of the lobby.  “The memorial for those lost will be tomorrow morning in the gym.  That is all.”  He sighed heavily and walked over to some students to help.  
“Are you okay?”  someone, a boy, asked her.  She nodded without looking at him and started walking to her room.  
Is it wrong for me to walk like that?  I just can’t stand seeing so many injured because of us.  It’s not their fault that they were born with this curse.  
She got to her room and opened the door.  The room was dark and unwelcoming.  
“It’s not my fault.  I didn’t ask for this to happen.”  She walked in, closed the door, and fell on her bed.  
I can’t believe I hit Kai.  I should apologize for that.  He only wanted to protect us.  Still, it hurt.  He’ll probably leave tomorrow.  Maybe it’s for the best.  We’ve already fallen apart.  Bryan betrayed us.  Kai will be gone.  Skyler is heartbroken.  The only one who is happy is Liz.  
Fresh tears started down her face as she looked at the window.  
“Haku, why did it have to be you?”  she whispered without reply.  She cried herself to sleep and woke up with the morning light.  Wiping her puffy eyes, she got out of bed, went to take a shower, changed, and walked to the gym.  
When she walked into the gym, she looked around and felt her throat tight.  
People started filing in slowly around her.  Angel watched as the different students took seats.  Some of them were no older than Haku.  In the front row sat some people that didn’t have the curse of Hina.  
That must be the families of those who died.  
She took a seat in the back and waited until all the seats were full.  Kai sat a couple of seats away from her in the seat closest to the door.  
He’s going to leave after this.  
Angel looked at him than scanned the room.  Liz sat in the middle, and Skyler sat alone with silent tears falling down her face.  
I wonder if she will ever recover from this.  
Finally, Angel saw Ryo standing as far away from everyone as possible.  He stood in the corner and watched in his human form with his arms crossed.  
I doubt he’ll ever forgive me.  I wouldn’t forgive me either.
Ender walked in front of everyone and stood.  
“Today we stand here with our brothers and sisters to remember those that died while trying to protect us.  Each and every student that fought was brave and honorable.  Let me begin with our fire students.  Monica Henderson was a very skilled fire user.  She fought bravely and stopped multiple demons from getting into the buildings.  As a fourth year student, she was looked upon as a leader and will be greatly missed for her strength and heart.  If the family of Ms.  Henderson could come forward.”  Ender faced the group of people in the front row.  A man with dark hair and a heavy set woman stood up and slowly walked forward.  
“This award is for her bravery.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to protect her.”  Ender handed them a medal with a red ribbon ties around it.  
The Henderson family sat back down and Ender cleared his throat.  “Jordan Harrison was our youngest group leader.  He led the second wave and pushed back the enemies without hesitation.  As a second year student, he exceled and proved himself beyond expectations.  His strength and courage will be greatly missed.  If the family of Mr.  Harrison could please come forward.”  
An older man stood up and, with the help of a cane, came forward.  Tears ran down his proud face as he slowly made his way to Ender.  
“This award is for his bravery.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to protect him.”  
The older man nodded and took the award.  “Jordan wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”  Ender nodded and the man sat down.
“Now I will go into our wind users.”  
Ender continued the speech through each student.  Angel looked down at her hands and waited for the name she didn’t want to hear.  Finally, Ender cleared his throat again and read the last name.  
“Finally, Haku Tanaka was our only soul student.  Without his great abilities, we would not have known about the attack until it was too late.  His heroic actions saved many students and, his kind and gentle heart will be missed.  Unfortunately, he was an orphan here so if anyone would like to stand and…”
“I will.”  Angel stood up suddenly and walked to the center aisle.  “As a fragment, I will honor his life and courage.  He was also my friend.”  Ender nodded and Angel slowly walked forward with her head held high.  
Now would be the time for Kai to leave.  
“Haku is given the award of hope.  Without him, we may not have had any.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to protect him.”
“I’m sorry as well.”  Angel replied and took the reward.  Slowly, she started walking back to her seat.  When she sat down, Ender continued.  
“If everyone could please bow our head for a moment of silence for those lost.”  Everyone did and after a few moments, Ender sighed.  “I have another announcement.  This school was meant to be hidden from the demon lord and protect the students with the gift of Hina.  Unfortunately, we were betrayed and our location is now known.  If you wish to stay here then I won’t stop you.  I will fight with you and protect you with my life.  If you wish to leave then I will provide transportation and lodging.  I promised you that you would be safe, and I can no longer hold true to that promise.  The cars will be leaving shortly for anyone that wishes to leave so please gather your belongings now.  If you intend to stay, than stay seated, and we can discuss future plans.  Thank you.”
Angel looked around and waited for people to get up and start leaving.  No one did.  
Ender stared at each student and waited.  
Finally, a fourth year boy stood up and crossed his arms.  “We are part of this war just as much as you are.  There’s no way I’m letting anyone fight it for me.”  Students murmured in response.  
“Who’s going to help us get better with our powers if we leave?  I would rather stay here and learn to help than run.”  A wind girl stated.
“This is my home.”  Another boy said and more students nodded.  
Ender gave a small smile and nodded in reply.  “Well then, we have a lot to discuss.”  
Angel took that moment to get up quietly and leave the gym.  Outside was cloudy and hinted at more rain.  She looked up and sighed.  
Even the sky is sad.  
She started walking aimlessly and found herself in front of the main building.  Cars were waiting for students that might leave.  
I wonder if Kai took a car already.
As she thought it, she saw a tall boy with dark hair walking to a car.  His back was too her, and she felt her feet move before she processed it.  Her hand reached out and grabbed his shirt.  He turned with wide eyes and stared at her.  She stared back at him and opened her mouth, but nothing came out.   
“I have to…”
“I know.”  She interrupted him.  “I know, but you have to promise me something.”  
He tilted his head and turned to face her.  His shirt slipped from her grip.  
“Anything.”  He said in a low voice.  
“You have to promise to come back as yourself.  I know you can stop Youkai.  I know you’re strong enough.  So please, come back to us.  We need you.”  She looked down at her feet and bit her lip.  “I need you.”  
Kai pulled Angel into his chest suddenly and smiled.  “I need you, too.  I promise I will return to you as myself.  Please, just don’t give up on me.”  
“I’ll never give up.”  Angel whispered as tears filled her eyes.  “I’m sorry about slapping you.”
Kai released her and wiped the tears away with a laugh.  “I deserved it.  I’m sorry about what I said and did.  It was very uncool of me.”  
“Oh, we wouldn’t want that.”  Angel laughed and took a step back.  “Take care of yourself.”  
“That’s easy.  You know I thought I would hate leaving you here with Ryo, but now I’m alright about it.  At least I know you will be protected.  I may not like it, but I can tolerate it…”  he smiled.  “…for now.”  
“Goodbye, Kai.  The cars won’t last forever.”  Angel gripped the medal for Haku tightly and smiled.  He smiled back, turned, and got into a car.  As the door shut, he rolled down the window and leaned out of it.  
“Don’t forget about me.”  His face became suddenly serious.  
“I could never forget about you.”  
He nodded, and his smirk returned.  The car started pulled off, and Angel watched until it was out of sight.  
Her smile disappeared, and she stared at the empty space where Kai had been until someone walked up behind her.  Angel turned and looked at Ryo.  He was bandaged, but otherwise alright.  
“What do I call you?”  Angel asked quietly.  
“Whatever you want I suppose.”  He replied.  His jaw was set, and his eyebrows were pushed together.  
She nodded slowly.  Rain had started to drizzle around them but neither moved.
“I feel like I should hate you or fear you, but I can’t.”  Angel whispered.  Ryo stayed silent and waited.  “It’s stupid, but I decided that you were better for me because you were normal.  I’m awful.”  Tears fell down her face and mixed with the raindrops.  
“No, I am.  I should have been honest with you, but I have loved you for a very long time.  I was too afraid that you would hate me because of what I am.”  His voice cracked.  “You know, I was the one that pulled you out of the fire when you were little.  I had been watching you from a distance for a long time before I heard Akuma wanted to claim you finally.  I went with him and, when your house caught on fire, I ran in without thinking and pulled you out.”  
“After that, I watched you and waited for you to wake up.  Then you did, and I heard what my father would do to you.  I panicked and pulled the alarm.  Then I lost you in the ocean.  I spent many days and nights looking for you.  I thought you had died.  Then, you showed up at the school.”
“Those boys were lesser demons.  They knew who you were.  That’s why they backed off.”  Angel stated.  Ryo nodded.  
“I recognized you immediately but kept it from my father.  Then you went and lost control of your power, and the secret was out.”  He sighed.  “I have never stopped loving you.  You have to believe me.”
Angel blinked and looked down at the medal.  “I’m so tired, Ryo.  Everything I’ve ever known has been shattered.  My grip on reality has slipped away.  What am I supposed to do?”
“Just be yourself.”  Ryo replied.  Angel raised her head and looked at him.  
“That didn’t save Haku.”  She whispered.  
“It never would have.  I wish I could have gotten to you before Bryan’s ambush, but I got locked in a cell.  I wish I could spare you the pain that this war will cause.  I wish I could promise you that it’ll be alright, but I can’t.  All I can promise is that I will protect you with my life whether you love me or not.”  He gulped and waited.  
When Angel looked down at her feet, Ryo sighed and turned away.  “Ender said we would be leaving soon.”
Wait.
Angel looked up at him and took a step forward.  He had started walking away.  
Wait!  
She opened her mouth but nothing came out.  
Ryo, come back!
She took a step and then another until her legs had her running.  She reached forward with both arms.  The tears had completely blocked her vision.  
“Ryo!”  she cried out.  He turned, and she wrapped her arms around his waist.  
He’s crying!  That’s why he turned away!  I’m so sorry!
Angel cried, and they both fell to their knees.  
“I love you, Ryo!”  she cried into his shirt.  His grip tightened around her.  
“I love you too, Angel.  I always will love you.”  His whisper in her ear caused her to look up at him.  
He didn’t wait for a request.  His lips met hers, and their tears mixed.  The rain continued but neither cared.  Finally, after a moment went by, they separated and looked at each other.  Ryo smiled and tucked wet hair behind her ear.  Angel returned the smile and started laughing.  
Slowly, they stood up and started walking back to the main building together.  The ride home would be long, but Angel didn’t mind.  She looked at Ryo and gripped the medal tighter.  
Thank you, Haku.  
Angel went to her room, changed, and grabbed her suitcase.  Then, she called her mom to say she was alright and walked with Ryo back to the main lobby.   Liz and Skyler were standing by the main door.  Angel and Ryo walked up to them and nodded.  They nodded back and opened the door.  Angel walked back outside and froze.  Every student was standing outside with umbrellas.  Ender stood by two cars and waited.  As Angel and the others started walking towards him, the students started clapping.  At first it was quiet, but then it grew to a loud thunderous sound.  Angel looked around with her eyes wide and mouth slightly opened.  
Then within the clapping, she could hear shouting.  
“Go and destroy Akuma!”
“Do your best!”
“Be safe!”
“We’re standing with you!”
Angel nodded and smiled back.  She reached the cars and stopped.  
We’re not alone in this war.  Together we can win this.
She turned around and threw her hand in the air.  Everyone cheered and threw their hands in the air as well.  Angel got in the car next to Ryo and shut the door.  Liz and Skyler got in the second car.  
“You know something.  You’re the true leader.”  Ryo said and took her hand.
“I’m not strong enough.”  Angel began, but Ryo cut her off.
“Strength isn’t in the power you have.  It’s what’s in your heart.  Those people know that.  They look at you as their true leader, and so do we.”  He squeezed her hand and smiled.  She looked back at all the people and smiled.  “So what do we do now?”
“We can sleep.  Do demons sleep?”
Ryo laughed and touched her face.  “Yea, we’re not dead.”
“Oh, right.”  She giggled and put her head on his shoulder.  “Ryo, what should we tell Anna when we get back.”
“Kai went on a journey to find himself.”  Ryo replied with a serious tone.  “He’s not sure if he’s a guy or girl.”
Angel laughed and closed her eyes.  “I don’t think she would buy that.  Maybe, we should tell her the truth?  I’m tired of lying.  Besides, I don’t think she can get into any more trouble knowing it.  She is officially hanging out with three people against Akuma on an island full of lesser demons.”  
“That’s up to you.”  Ryo yawned.  
“Is it safe for you to go to school?”  Angel whispered through a yawn.
“Yea, I’m a full fledge demon with the demon lord’s blood in me.  I don’t think too many lesser demons will mess with me.”  
“I guess you’re right.”  She gripped the medal and pulled it to her chest.  “Ryo?”
“Hmm?”  
“Thank you.”  She whispered and drifted off into a deep sleep.  


 
   


© 2016 Brittanie Bardwell


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Added on June 8, 2016
Last Updated on June 8, 2016
Tags: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Demon, Powers, adventure, War


Author

Brittanie Bardwell
Brittanie Bardwell

VA



About
My name is Brittanie, and I write Modern Fiction Fantasy for Young Adults. I am in the process of finishing book three of my three book series. I am a mother of three girls and live in Northern Virgin.. more..

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