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The Legend Of Lushiro (Part Thirty One)

Yuko glanced away, unsure of how to explain the entire ordeal to her at once. As her little brother he felt a huge weight of responsibility resting upon his shoulders, in comparison to that of the burden in a big brother. He swallowed painfully for his throat was dry and sore. “Are you okay? You’re not hurt are you?” Yuko asked Emma who smiled half-heartedly she knew his misguiding act like the back of her hand. But she decided to play along for now. “No I’m okay really…but...have you looked in a mirror lately?! Thrown in a blender and spat out like chewing gum…that’s how you look!” She scolded touching his bruised cheek tenderly.

Yuko blushed in embarrassment. “It…was tough out there…I’m not alone just so you know…” He muttered, staring her in the eyes. Watching more tears flow down her cheeks. “Who else is with you? Last thing…I remember…” Then it all came flashing in her brain, images of Izame defending against the Mongoleia on her own however, had to stand her ground with Yuko, protecting him from harm but in the end they were captured, but herself in particular not killed. This was what she wished during her moments of rejuvenated grief and explosive rage. However why it was not granted was a mystery to her for she entirely blamed Izame for the death of her parents, a sad case Izame could not remedy for in some way she felt the direct resentment was deserved for her failure.

“Izame was the one with you…who else?” She said nearly blacking out from the intense memory relay. She saw the brightness shine through the dirty smudge on his face. “There’s this guy named Lushiro guess what? He’s a swordsman!” He shouted as if it were the best thing since sliced bread. Emma giggled to his style of story telling, robust and wild entails. “A swordsman? He must be a brave man to come to your aid in this crisis…” “You bet! He’s awesome. So is Izame both of them together are unbeatable…! They were really kicking the Mongoleia’s tail! They saved my life countless times…during the fight. Gave me enough time work my magic and come here and get you out of this mess…” Yuko said panting hard, talking was draining his strength more than usual.

Emma ruffled his hair gingerly, with affection. She was now more forgiving of Izame after hearing such praise, plus she owed her for defending her spark of joy, in all honesty she felt bad for pelting Izame with scorn and resentment, she was so devastated that her grief needed a target to blame. She knew better now. Emma stared at her little hero fondly, taking a breath of relief as she reminisced about the times they shared during tribeschool, cheating off each others test, spreading fun gossip about classmates, defending another from bullies. She admired his bravery, cleverness and warmth.

But now she realized something was definitely wrong with his demeanor. Sure Yuko was his same goofy lovable self, but he seemed anxious or in dire distress, a rush to finish something he should’ve started. “Yuko…” Emma said rather seriously in a voice he knew all too well when he was either hiding something or had been involved with trouble. Yuko stared shyly at her pleading expression, she wanted to know what was going on through his head. Knowing full well he was on borrowed time in this state of astral being, he sighed deeply wishing to spend more time with his sister. But he wasn’t in the position to demand personal gratification and desire. Emma was anxious, waiting to know what he was procrastinating to tell her. When he fully gazed into her eager yet sad pupils his expression went dark.

“Honestly sis…I don’t have much time here…the Mongoleia accepted my presence but I can’t withstand the power from the Omaga’s Bond for long…it’s draining my strength as we speak…it’s only by a miracle the connection didn’t break yet…” Yuko said, as heavy sweat trickled from his face to the bubbles below, splattering like rain drops to cement. Emma was deeply concerned for his health but as of now it would have to wait. But as of now. She was at a loss for words, she had just reunited with her little brother, and now he were to be taken away from her again. But a pang in her heart notified her that it was much more than that.
She was terrified, clutching her pendant tightly.

Yuko grasped her hand into his own, gingerly rubbing his thumb over her hand in solace.

“I know...it sucks but...there's something you need to know.” Yuko said keeping strong eye contact.

Emma gulped in anticipation. “Do you remember the day mom and dad died?” He asked.

She nodded but her head remained sunken, in contemplation. She remembered the day as if it happened yesterday, it would always be forever burned into her memories. Their parents resting miserably in their bedroom, side by side, extremely sickly and pale to the bone. Their room scented with chamomile flowers. Lit in mild sepia-yellow. Emma and Yuko were weeping for their dying parents. The herbama couldn't save them, no number of treatments helped, remedies failed. There was just no hope, no miracles, no hero to save the day. Their parents had long since accepted their fate, and now they were going to fade into the afterlife before their children's eyes.

Then it came to her with wide eyes, she remember when asked to fetch a cool rag from the underground tier of their hut it would've been a perfect time to have a private discussion with Yuko. But he read her mind from her expressive features. “Yeah...they had a talk with me. And I didn't expect it...” He murmured. “What did they say?” She asked. Yuko sighed, it was time to reveal his hidden intentions to her in full, whether she liked it or not, time was running out.

“After they sent you out. Mom and dad had a discussion about you. Regarding the curse of the ritual. They had already foreseen the disaster to come in full pelt...it wasn't so obvious but they knew you too well. Knowing you'd take the tragedy to heart, encasing your heart in despair and anguish.” Yuko paused, quickly gathering his thoughts. Emma only watched him, listened intently. “They said it would be for the best...if I freed you from the Omaga's Bond before any of this could happen...but...I was afraid...of the consequences back then. I waited too late and now it's come to this.”

Emma was in flabbergast at her parents foresight, but more shocked they asked such a large role of Yuko. “There's a drawback...I must give up a large...percentage of my life force to perform this art of release...however since I am infused with the Omaga's Bond it would only take a mere fraction of it...so I can perform my other duty before I go...” Yuko croaked, swallowing hard for Emma bursted into tears again. Sobbing. He didn't need to be direct with her, she knew what he meant. Yuko was going to die after performing his tasks. There was no sugar coating this revelation.

Yuko felt bad for Emma, it was a lot to take in. After moments and moments of her distress he continued.

“I need to seal away the Mongoleia too. That is my final task...after that you will be free and the Mongoleia will be at peace too. You both deserve it...-”

“That creature is a monster Yuko! How could you say it deserves salvation?!” She screamed angrily.

Yuko shushed her softly, shaking his head in disagreement. “No. It's not a monster, it was manipulated by our tribe for centuries. It's no more human than we are Emma. I looked at it's heart this is the truth, you can't because you were clouded by anger...”

Emma sighed, feeling regretful for exploding at Yuko the way she did. She couldn't help but admire how much he'd grown up in such a short time. “I'm sorry...it's just...”

“I know...it's okay I get it.” Yuko said waiting in minutes of silence. Composing himself to prepare for the last part in his involvement.

“No you don't get it! You're all I have left! If you go...I...don't know what I'll do with myself...first mom and dad...and now you...!” She sobbed, drowning her emotions in angst. Yuko took her by the arms to embrace her in a hug, caressing her hair with his fingers. Soothing her with a hum, it was a song their mother used to sing before their bed time. It seemed to work for she began calming down. She relished the memory of the harmonious tune. As if she were being comforted by her mother embodied within her little brother.

“And you're all I have left...it's why I want to do this...so you can live a normal life...it's what mom and dad would want...it's also because as your big little brother I will protect you...there is a horrible truth to the ritual, if we're bound by it for too long...as we are now...it will feed on our soul until nothing remains...a dead corpse...is what we'll be in the end...I rather one of us go then the both of us. I am willing to make this sacrifice...” He explained, resuming his consolation.

“It's...not fair... why should it be you? Why not me? You have a whole life ahead of you...” Emma argued. Yuko chuckled.

“Because...I'm the only one who knows how to perform the sacrifice. Sorry sis..but I made my choice...it's time.” Yuko said, breaking away to perform hand seals in tired motions, his connectivity with the Mongoleia was weakening with each passing second.

Emma wanted to rebelliously stop him so badly, but it would be a foolish notion. She knew what was at stake now, it would defy everything their parents sought to prevent, the destruction of their home. For if Emma prevented Yuko's sacrifice, the Mongoleia would rampage, kill Lushiro and Izame then decimate the lives of Sedo in an instant, there would be no survivors and it would be Emma's own doing, a selfish act out of love for her brother.

“Always...trying to be the hero...let me save you for once...” She said smiling faintly. “Maybe next time...” Yuko smiled back, initiating the octagonal seal of red which appeared underneath himself and Emma. The surge of ceremonial energy drafted their clothes and hair in shuffles as sparks of electricity flickered everywhere.

Emma felt an oddly warm sensation as she became entombed within a cylindrical wall which had animistic markings of the Omaga's Bond scattered in every inch and width. Yuko held his hand forward so his fingers touched the base of the barrier, tapping once with each finger which enacted a seal of a different animal per finger. He was concentrating hard, profusely sweating, focusing only on the ritual, rotating his entire hand in thirty degrees he literally heard and felt a click as if unlocking a safe. From there he had to pull hard and fast because Emma began to scream in pain due to the Omaga's liaison bound to her soul. After feeling a jolt of pain in his body, he writhed nearly losing control over the process.

“Please bear with me...!” He begged in his mind, yelling forcefully as he gave one final tug which unleashed a blast wave, separating the two from another in a flash of red light.

After a deathly silence. Yuko moaned, picking himself off the bubble like platform, scoping out any signs of his sister.

He saw her laid motionlessly a few feet away, he stumbled his way over, checking if she were okay. “Emma! Are you alright?” Emma snapped awake, rubbing her head to alleviate the headache. “I'm...okay...I think...” As she stood up, she convulsed then a replica image of herself in highlighted red emerged from her body. It was the Omaga's Bond in it's purest state.
“It worked...” Yuko said relieved. Tapping the soul with his finger, absorbing it into himself. But before it could completely merge within him, it shattered into pieces, shocking the both of them.

“You didn't seriously think it would be that easy did you? Now you will both die. I can't allow you to succeed with this child for you would endanger our ulterior motives.” A ghostly apparition of Azath said from above, sending a pulsation of ice to implode arteries and veins, rupturing other organs which began to let loose a harrowing flood of body fluids and blood threatening to sink anything in their path. He disappeared like a phantom in the dark of the night.

“No!!!” Yuko hollered feeling intense pain due to his connection with the Mongoleia causing him to collapse to his knees, only to watch with horror in what happened next.

“Yuko!” Emma screamed in peril, having been separated from Yuko's platform by a geyser of orange fluids. She was sent flying from the forceful impact, descending below where a sea of red awaited to submerge her.

“Emma!” Yuko yelled back reaching out helplessly with his hand.

The tides have shifted.

(Author's Note: I decided to extend it to one more chapter, this one seemed too long for my liking. I apologize if it's too much to read :/ trying to get through as much of this as possible for the fun parts...later hehe)
Lushiro Lushiro 18-21, M Aug 3, 2012

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