Justin stepped backward and collapsed to the ground beside Renee as she cradled Lance’s stone body. His chin trembled as he gaped at them.
“Do you finally understand?” An authoritative voice bellowed from above him.
Justin looked up to see Howie standing over him and snarled.
“Still?” Howie turned his head toward the throne as he fiddled with the pommel of his sword. “We thought that perhaps you finally understood… This world of killing, this world of wars and death, it is abundantly clear that there was never a place for demons within it.”
Justin stood quickly and clenched his fists as he growled. “Of course we have a place! We were brought into this world to control it!”
“Control? That is laughable even now, is it not?”
Justin’s fists shook.
He raised a splayed hand in front of his face, then balled it quickly into a fist. “All demons live because our priestesses wish it. Each instant could mean our death or our survival at their hands. Nothing is certain in this world or in any world, except for one thing -- all demons were born to die.”
“Are you saying we are the pawns of our priestesses?” Justin snorted. “Weak creatures like them?”
Howie lowered his head. “All demons were always pawns to the priestesses because they are bound by a curse. This sealing spell chains all demons to each other, God, and the box.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! An object can’t control us!” Justin reached toward his sword and pulled it from the ground, then thrust it forward and aimed the point toward Howie.
“Would we be correct in guessing that your priestess also saw a vision of the box shrouded in red?”
Justin snarled, but his hand began to shake as he lowered his sword.
“That is the blood of all demons who were born to be sacrificed.”
Justin growled. “In this world, you either kill others or are killed yourself. I kill so I have a chance to survive! If you dying means that I survive, so be it!”
Howie’s eyes narrowed as though he stared through him. “We see it in your eyes. You who are excited by blood and death felt hollow with your last victim’s demise. Are you naïve to the growing terror in your heart?”
Justin raised his sword again, but held it close to his chest as he stepped backward. “Spilling the blood of others is how we live! I haven’t spent my life learning to be a soldier to be sacrificed!”
“Isn’t that something you go into knowing the risk?” The feminine voice startled both Justin and Howie.
They turned toward the voice and saw Minako standing beside Kevin and in front of Nick. Kevin clenched his fists. Nick held his arms tightly around her chest and shoulders as he growled at Justin. Minako gazed at the ground, her hands shaking beside her.
Justin thrust the point of his sword toward her and growled more forcefully than before. “You have no right to speak, priestess!”
Nick continued to growl and gnashed his teeth together. Sapphire light flicked against his skin.
Minako gripped his arms gently, cooling the light, as she raised her head and revealed the tears streaming down her cheeks. “Do you truly have no heart?”
Justin snorted as he tightened the clutch of his hand on his sword’s grip. “Those who admit weakness, even for a moment, are they ones who are doomed to die.” He glanced at Renee cradling Lance’s stone body; her blubbering sobs became more incomprehensible each moment. His eyes narrowed as he sneered. “Lance proved that by being consumed by his guilt.” He glanced back at Minako. “And your demon showed equal weakness by giving his life for you.”
Minako raised her clenched hand to her heart and closed her eyes as she began gleaming with a sapphire light. “In a world where survival is a struggle and life is a blessing, showing love for someone else’s life must be seen as an immense weakness…” She opened her eyes and pulled her hand from her chest as she gripped Nick’s arms again. Brian’s heart had become a gem that affixed to her dress on the opposite side from AJ’s gem. “But life is about making choices and finding out who you are as a human being… and a demon…” She gazed beyond Justin and toward the pitch-black throne. “Or even admitting who you are as a God…”
The cloaked figure’s eyes smirked. “Is this your way of turning everyone against me, Pandora of the Sapphires?” He chuckled. “Your heart is too small and weak for the solution you are seeking.”
Minako frowned and turned back to Justin. “No one is strong when they first start walking. Those who pass tests are the ones who grow. So it’s okay to admit when you’re not strong enough…. Or when you’re sad or upset… Being able to admit things like that may be the greatest strength of all.” A small, gentle smile grew on her face. “I learned those things from my friends.” Minako held her hand over Brian’s gem at her heart and shut her eyes. Brian… I’m sorry… I wanted to keep you all together… I wanted to be together… But you…
“But, I don’t want to fight for an impossible wish.”
Brian, I think I understand now. I pretended to be okay with that remark, telling you to fight for what you lost, but I think you knew I was sad… We really can’t stay together, can we? This is… all that we have... It’s just like Nick told me in the beginning, isn’t it?
“What’s the difference between humans and demons? I’ve been wondering...”
“Humans hate demons…”
“But… Humans hate other humans too… That’s why there are wars, right?”
“I don’t like them… They’re too cold…”
“They’re a bit different… More like us….”
“Demons… They’re more like demons…”
“They’re also bound by chains… Different from ours, but… They’re still bound…”
If the priestesses are more like the demons, then if they all become unbound is there a moment when they can no longer be together? Is that the role of the box? In order to release everyone, does it devour the priestess who can finally hold it? Brian…
“Just like our worlds, demons and humans can’t mix. After claiming the box, your role as priestess ends and you are returned to a mere mortal.”
Mere mortals are the powerless humans who created this world of killing and dying, binding the demons to their pitiable existence... Humans make demons feel small and worthless… Humans hate demons and demons hate humans… They could never really coexist at all, could they? Is that what you meant, Brian?
“It’s too late… Minako… before I met you… I only wanted to escape my destiny… But… all of you accepted me… even when I was weak…”
AJ… You wanted to be free from your chains… You tried to tell me that, even before…
“You were supposed to come so long ago… But now it’s too late! The others are dead, the box…”
The box is still holding on to us in the dark… That’s what you wanted to say, isn’t it? I didn’t understand at all! I didn’t understand what was happening in this place! How we were all marionettes… And why we are all connected to each other… That’s the reason we can all coexist, isn’t it? Because the box has us wound in chains! Was that what you all wanted all this time? Did you only wish to be free? Nick…
“I would want… to leave this place and see the world… But… I can’t go anywhere…”
“Those chains are broken… They can’t bind you to one place, can they?”
“They mark me as unfit… and unwanted… There are invisible binds, bindings stronger than any visible ones could be…”
Invisible bindings stronger than visible ones… Then why did the box never call out? Or was this always our fate? Did the box abandon us because it knew that we would come back here? Was God actually our puppeteer or was the box holding the chains? But Nick’s wish... Nick’s chains are broken! We left that place and saw the world… That was what the box wanted, wasn’t it? It wanted us to gather here in this desolate castle of darkness. Did it give this place to God to make it our tomb? God wanted the demons returned… Nick just wanted to leave… Does the box only corrupt wishes?
“Are you really that weak when they die that you are only silent and must be held up by your demons?” His lips curled into a sneer. “Isn’t Pandora supposed to be stronger than that?”
Minako opened her eyes. “Justin… Of course you’re right, Pandora should be the strongest creature alive…”
Justin snarled. “Judging from the two priestesses I have met, that statement seems laughable. And the other two died. Clearly Pandoras are weaker than demons.”
She gripped Nick’s gem at her heart. “It does seem amusing, doesn’t it? Girls that possess only weakness are supposed to grow and become a powerful being filled with only light. Being Pandora means shedding everything human and surpassing the demons who led her to the box... Pandora is to become God’s consort, an angel that shines brighter than any man or demon…”
“An angel seeped in darkness and weakness isn’t much of a higher being, is she?”
Minako glanced back at Brian and AJ’s stone bodies. “Of course not. But I think I finally understand. This divine battle… These endless sacrifices… The strongest Pandora becomes the one with the strongest demons because she absorbs her demons’ powers, their hearts!” She clenched Nick’s arms tightly again, revealing the three gems at her chest, including the emerald glint in AJ’s. “Doesn’t that mean I already win? Because Renee would only end with four hearts in her possession?”
Justin cackled quietly. “I have more power than any one of your demons. Their tiny hearts are no match for the might of mine!”
Nick’s arms flinched around her, but he pulled her closer. Howie stepped back toward them and Kevin continued to clench his fist.
As Minako gripped Nick’s arms tighter, she gazed past Justin and back toward the cloaked figure seated on the pitch-black throne. “And even though I hate that, your silence tells me that I’m right! It’s why it was supposed to be a battle royal. But there’s one thing I can’t figure out. Long ago, God and the oracles made a pact, didn’t they? Long before the box was ever made, back when God pulled the demons from the stars and set them on earth…”
The cloaked figure stood from his throne. “Do you dare question my judgment, lover of demons?”
Minako wrapped her arms tightly around Nick’s, but kept her hard stare on the cloaked figure. “Howie said it too. When the box was made, it was infused with a sealing spell that bound the demons to this place where their hearts were first made. But other than making them come back here, I’m having a hard time imagining exactly what that sealing spell chained down…”
“The powers of the vicious creatures who betrayed their purpose!” God snarled and clenched its fist as it began descending down the stairs.
“I thought so too, but why would you seal their powers and still keep them powerful? Unless they’re missing stronger powers, it doesn’t make sense...” She lowered her head and ran her hands along Nick’s arms. “That pact created something that everyone longs for and sealed it in the box... Humans who hate demons… Demons who were tortured… Pandora who stands strong for everyone… The oracles that created the seal… And God who stands above them…” She glanced back up, her stare piercing through God’s glowing red eyes. “All of them want the same thing sealed in the box for different reasons, but… is there really something that strong that everyone would want?”
“End your insolence!” Once God reached the bottom of the stairs, it thrust its hand toward her. A bright blast struck Minako’s body and the force knocked her and Nick toward the wall.
Nick tightened his embrace around her and unfurled his wings to slow the impact.
Minako shrieked quietly as they crashed into the pile of caskets that had fallen around Brian during his battle with Lance. Minako closed her eyes as a small sapphire barrier appeared around them, shielding their bodies from the impact of the caskets that fell from above.
God turned and stormed up the stairs. “So it has begun…”
Justin gaped at Minako and Nick, then turned bewilderedly toward the other sapphire demons. “How did she make that barrier? Does your priestess have that power?”
Howie rubbed his chin. “Not that we have seen, that appears to be a demonic power…”
Kevin clapped his hand on Howie’s shoulder. “Not just any demonic power, Brian’s demonic power! When she turns our hearts into gems, she’s able to control our powers!”
Howie glanced at Minako and Nick. “Then her power is dependent on whether we are strong.”
Kevin followed his gaze. “If Nick gave her his heart and lived, does that mean that we could live also?”
Howie furrowed his brow. “Would free will be lost or is Nick too weak to make that sacrifice and still speak? Is Nick’s battle plan the path to victory?”
Kevin glanced at the cloaked figure standing in front of the throne, its gaze fixed on Minako and Nick as the barrier fell and a warm glow surrounded them. He glanced back at Howie and narrowed his eyes as he lowered his voice to a whisper. “That could be a problem, Nick’s heart was forced out. And I’m not sure our wills are strong enough to willingly give ours up or stay intact without them.”
“Then allow me to force them out!”
The two sapphire demons turned toward the doorway to see Joshua standing with his arrow poised. He aimed the arrow toward them and pulled back on the fletching.
Kevin lowered his head. “I suppose it is my turn to unleash my powers. As we no longer have Brian’s barriers, it’s time for that battle royal Minako mentioned.”
Howie nodded. “So it would seem… We are all that remains of our fighters if Nick protects our Pandora.”
Kevin smiled. “Let’s hope that Nick wakes up and joins us since AJ and Brian are protecting her. I can feel their hearts beating softly.”
Howie patted his shoulder. “Of course, even in death our hearts are tightly bound…” He thrust his sword from his scabbard, releasing a burst of sapphire power that deflected an arrow from his body. He turned back toward the doorway. “Emerald demon, are cheap tactics your fighting method as well?”
Joshua growled as he held another arrow tightly against the bow’s string. “Do not underestimate my powers!”
Kevin’s wings unfurled as the sapphire glow in his eyes became a sapphire glint around his irises. “For the moment, let me take the fight with this archer. Howie, you take the General. Nick will protect Minako from God.”
There was a sudden rush of wind. Howie and Kevin turned to face it as Kevin reached his hand toward the perfectly aimed arrow and grasped it before it struck. He clenched his hand tightly and shattered it.
Joshua stood motionless, gaping at the sapphire demons.
Kevin turned to Howie with a nod, then smirked. “Howie.”
Howie nodded in return and grinned broadly. “Kevin.”
Kevin flapped his wings and, using his foot for leverage, took flight.
Joshua aimed another arrow for him.
Kevin peered down at him. “Do you intend to pierce my heart?” He chuckled slightly. “Do you even know my power?”
Joshua shot his arrow toward Kevin’s wings.
Kevin forced his arm against the wind and the arrow hit his forearm.
Joshua grabbed his arm and sank to his knees. “What did you do?”
Kevin landed in front of him. “Being a guardian is not a weak power at all.”
Joshua growled at him.
Kevin put his hand on Joshua’s shoulder. “You can make this simple or arduous. Choose.”
Joshua growled and thrust one of his arrows into Kevin’s left shin.
Kevin stood motionless.
Joshua buckled from the strain on his legs as blood began pouring out of his left shin.
Kevin removed his hand slowly. “Let’s end this fight. Simple or arduous. Choose.”
Joshua’s legs trembled as he fought to stand upright. He grabbed another arrow from his quiver and held it tightly in both hands.
Joshua thrust the arrow toward Kevin’s throat.
Joshua dropped to his knees as blood spurt from his own throat.
Kevin pulled the arrow from his throat and placed his glowing hand against it, sealing the wound.
“Why?” Blood streamed down Joshua’s chin and chest as he sank to his knees. As he collapsed to the ground, a flurry of wind rose around him, then consumed his body in stone.
Kevin turned away quickly as tears streamed from his eyes. “Why indeed… There is so much sacrifice for one box.” He clenched his fist as he blinked away the tears, then scanned the room for Howie.
Howie and Justin stood with their swords struck tightly against each other. Both of their wings flared from their backs as their eyes gleamed in sapphire and emerald, respectively.
Justin growled. “How? How are you all stronger?”
Howie parried and thrust Justin’s sword back toward him. “Initially, the greatest strength is quieter than brute strength, but when it builds and roars, it becomes insurmountable.”
Justin laughed quietly. “That idea is laughable. Brute strength is the way to survive.”
Howie chuckled as well. “Killing or being killed, correct?”
Justin smirked as he thrust his sword toward Howie again, slicing a gash into his arm. “I am not one to believe weakness is strength.”
Howie winced as he gripped his arm and jumped backward.
Justin smirked. “I see… You are not invincible.”
Howie grimaced and struck his sword toward Justin again. “You are all that remains. Your priestess has retreated into submission. Our power is stronger.”
Justin’s eyes narrowed as he growled and spat. “Do you expect me to admit weakness toward the comrades of that worthless demon? I will never admit defeat to him!”
Howie’s eyes narrowed as well. “Your grudge is a weak thing. Admit defeat. Minako will accept you all into her heart and then all demons can combat the true enemy.”
“I would never be accepted into that priestess’ weak heart!” Justin growled and lunged past Howie.
Howie chuckled as he followed Justin’s movements. “You missed your mark, General.” His eyes grew wide as he darted after Justin.
“Howie!” Kevin began running toward him as well.
Nick jolted awake and clenched Minako tightly in his arms. After scanning the room, he quickly released her, and gripped the caskets on the wall behind him as he stood weakly. He pushed himself off the wall and thrust his arms forward.
Justin growled again as blood splattered over his face. “Why do you each stand in my way?”
Nick’s outstretched arms caught Howie beneath Howie’s armpits. Nick’s hands shook as he supported Howie’s back on his chest.
Howie shut his eyes and ripped the sword from within his chest. “That is because we believe in that power that builds and becomes strong.” He coughed and a stream of blood shot from his lips.
Nick clutched Howie’s chest and began walking backward to lay him down. Once Howie was on the ground, Nick knelt by his chest. Howie dropped Justin’s sword, then thrust his own sword into his scabbard as Kevin sank to his knees beside them.
Howie coughed as he grabbed Nick’s hand and clasped it. “Nick, gain your powers and show them your strength…”
Tears fell from Nick’s eyes as he tightened his grip around Howie’s hand and cupped his shoulder.
Howie fixed his gaze into Nick’s eyes. “I know that you are no monster… You are the strongest Sapphire cardinal demon.” He glanced between Kevin and Nick as a weak smile formed on his lips. “Build strength together and give Minako my best wishes…” Howie coughed once more as thrust his claws into his chest and ripped his glowing heart from it. His hand fell limply to the floor as he began turning to stone.
Nick quickly removed his hand from Howie’s shoulder. He and Kevin pulled each other into a tight hug as they stood behind Howie’s body.
Justin cackled. “It seems you all are not stronger than my brute strength. You still bleed when struck.” He reached down and pried Howie’s glowing heart from his hand and smirked as he stood up. “I will take this as a testament to my power.”
Nick and Kevin separated, then growled at him.
Justin’s smirk widened. “Do you curse me, tiny demons?”
The growl intensified into a roar.
Justin stepped back as he was engulfed in a sapphire light and dropped Howie’s heart to the ground. The emerald glow drained from his body, then the sapphire light burst from his lower back followed by a fist. The fingers splayed, flicking splatters of blood.
Justin closed his eyes.
When I have complete mastery over my powers… She’ll help me take my revenge and change the heavens that have only given me hell...
A stream of blood poured down Justin’s chin as his head sank. “Damn you… Get out of my heart...”
“Why didn’t you dodge?”
“Stop wasting your childish feelings about companionship and teamwork on me… The strong win… That’s all.” He reached his hand out and grabbed a chunk of blond hair, pulling Nick’s tear filled face toward his own. Justin snarled. “It’s bitter to have my ambitions ended by someone worthless like you...”
They stood in silence for a few moments in exactly the same position: Justin gripping the locks of Nick’s hair and Nick’s splayed fingers protruding from Justin’s back. As Justin’s legs began encasing with stone, his torso slumped and Nick forcefully pulled his hand through Justin’s back and abdomen.
Once Nick freed his hand, he flicked the blood off of his fingers.
Justin’s head and torso sank to the ground, contorting his spine oddly as it descended from his statuesque legs.
Tears continued to fall down Nick’s cheeks as he stared at Justin’s crumpled body. Don’t take this the wrong way… I’m not crying for you. I’m glad I did it. But you’re not the real enemy here and demons shouldn’t have to die for God.
“Nick!” Kevin stepped around Howie’s body and pulled Nick into another tight hug.
Nick lowered his head. “I am not as weak as I thought… Apparently…”
Kevin pulled back and placed his glowing hand to Nick’s chest and ran his palm over his bloody hand, but the blood remained.
Nick clenched his bloody fist. “It’s fine. We have more important things to do.” He turned to God and growled.
Kevin leaned down and picked up Howie’s bejeweled heart from the ground. “So it would seem…”
Nick turned back to Minako and walked toward her. He knelt beside her and gripped her cheek with his hand. “Minako… I love you. That’s all I wanted to say, but you can’t hear it…”
Kevin knelt beside Nick and set Howie’s heart in her lap, then picked up Minako’s right hand. He frowned. “It’s stained with blood…” He placed his glowing hand to her chest and ran his thumb over her bloody hand. The blood from her hand vanished as did the blood on Nick’s hand.
Nick pulled his hand back and clenched it into a fist as he stood quickly, whirling to face God. He growled as his skin flickered with sapphire light.
Kevin quickly grabbed Howie’s heart and placed it into Minako’s open palm. He then stood and clapped his hand against Nick’s shoulder and lowered his voice to a whisper. “We will be victorious against our true enemy. Do not rush in blindly because you are angry.”
Nick shut his eyes, but the sapphire flicker from his skin disappeared.
Kevin flared with a burst of sapphire light, then ripped his heart from his chest. The hole filled with sapphire light as he walked back toward Minako and placed his still heart in her empty palm. “Until my end, I will help you create a miracle.”
“Justin!” The demons glanced toward the sound of the shriek to see Renee cradling the stone statue of Justin’s body.
Nick wiped his hand across his face, flicking the tears from it as he walked toward Renee. Once he reached her, he put his hand on her shoulder. “Renee, it’s over. Let’s all end this.”
Renee lifted her head, her stare boring into Nick’s eyes. While her cheeks were red and her eyes were puffy, her lips curled into a snarl.
“Aren’t you tired of everyone dying? Of your friends being hurt?”
“Shut up!! What do you know?!” She clenched her arms tightly around Justin’s statuesque body as she swallowed forcefully. “You’re still alive! Don’t tell me you’re all suffering when two of you are still alive!”
A clap echoed through the room.
The two demons and Renee looked up to see the cloaked figure applauding as it stood beside the throne.
“You…” Nick snarled and pulled his hand from Renee’s shoulder then clenched it into a fist.
“My precious, Nickolas, do you defy me yet again?”
“You curse our souls!” He growled.
The cloaked figure raised its hand. “Enough.” It held its palm toward Renee. “Obedient Emerald Pandora, you have fulfilled your duties in full. Your demons belong to me, so, please take the box into your hands.”
Tears streamed down Renee’s face as she stood shakily. “They all have to die for me to receive the box?”
Renee hesitated as her hands shook, then walked toward the cloaked figure and the altar where the box sat nestled between the anguished faces of the Rubiihoppou and Topazuseihou priestesses.
Nick and Kevin clenched their fists as their eyes locked on Renee.
Once Renee reached the altar, she placed her trembling hands on it. “My heart is shaking...”
“It is the box’s acceptance.”
Renee reached her hands toward the box, but crumpled as a hot blast hit her back. She landed on the ground and blood splattered across her face.
The cloaked figure hissed. “I thought you were out of commission, Sapphire Pandora.”
Renee’s hands shook as she raised them to her chest. “Minako… You’re the blood and fire?”
Minako grabbed her forearm, slowing the bleeding from the gash across it. She turned back over her shoulder. “Renee…”
A blank expression crossed Renee’s face. “Why?”
“Why? We’re best friends, aren’t we?”
Renee lowered her head. "After everything… Stupid…”
Minako turned back to God and growled. “Why are you still tricking us? This battle is over. The emerald demons are dead! We win this battle royal!”
“Is that what you really believe?” God cackled quietly. “Do you not wonder why the other two Priestesses are chained in this room still?”
Minako lowered her head as she tightened her grip on her forearm, as her hand glowed, the blood seemed to disappear. “They battled each other and lost…”
“What a sad fairy tale that makes!” The cackle grew louder. “Of course you realize that the only victor is me!” He shot another blast from his hand, knocking Renee against the altar.
The box toppled from it and fell into her lap as it burst with electricity. Renee screamed and clenched her eyes shut. When the box hit the ground, Renee slumped down.
“Renee!” Minako hurried over to her and clasped her shoulders. “Renee…”
Tears began falling from Renee’s eyes as blood dripped from her lips. “Minako… You’re so stupid… After everything that’s happened, why do you still believe in me?”
“We’re best friends! I always believe in you!”
Renee gripped Minako’s hands. “Minako… I finally realized… You came to get me and everything would have been fine, but that worthless creature appeared and you spoke to it so nicely like it mattered more than me!”
Minako’s eyes grew wide, then she pulled Renee into a hug.
Renee’s tears began falling harder as more streams of blood fell from her lips. “I knew you hadn’t really betrayed me, this world is horrible and you didn’t force me here... But how could you leave me all alone for a demon?! I know you better than them! We’ve been together since we were children!” She blinked away her tears, but they continued to spill down her cheeks. “It was just… it hurt so much… It was like only I was getting filthier and filthier… And you kept calling out to me...”
Renee pulled back from her embrace and clenched her fists weakly. “I couldn’t find a place to exist between you and him!”
Renee closed her eyes as tears continued to stream down her cheeks. “But… that doesn’t matter now… I’m so tired…” She raised her head and opened her eyes slowly. “I had a vision… There was blood cascading down the golden box in a world full of darkness…” She swallowed. “I felt warmth when I saw it… I thought it was anger, but… I see now that it was your love…” She reached her hand out to Minako’s cheek. “Why don’t you ever give up in this horrible place?”
Renee shook her head weakly. “No… I understand now… Kindness has always been your strength, because… your heart was always wide open to the world.” She laughed very quietly and weakly. “You really are the only candle in the darkness…”
Tears began streaming down Minako’s face. “Why are you rambling, Renee? We’ll win together!”
Renee lowered her head. “I kept hoping that if we kept working, we could go to college together too, but… I’m so tired...” Renee closed her eyes. “Bye, Minako…”
“Renee!!” Minako gripped her shoulders tightly.
Renee slumped down and her body began turning to stone as chains formed around her wrists, welding her to the altar.
Minako removed her hands from Renee and stood quickly. “RENEE!!!”
God smirked. “Everything is finished.”
Minako growled and glowed a bright sapphire light.
“Give them back!!” Minako growled. White wings sprang from her back. She shot from the ground and flew toward God at the top of the stairs. “Give AJ, Brian, Howie, and Renee back!!!!”
A flash of darkness shot from God and forced Minako back toward the ground. She slammed against the wall once more, knocking a pile of caskets loose. A small barrier appeared around her unconscious body as more caskets tumbled from above.
“MINAKO!!!!” Nick and Kevin began running toward her.
God turned to them and thrust his hand through the air, releasing a blast of darkness and knocking both of them against the wall as well. Caskets tumbled around them.
“Minako…” Nick’s skin flickered sapphire as he reached toward her.
God turned back to Minako. “Pandora, lover of demons, what can you do by yourself? I will send you to your precious friends and it will all be over!”
You really are the only candle in the darkness…