The next day we returned to Death Peak and once again made the climb to the summit. I did not fall this time around.
As we neared the summit Robo stopped us. "What is it?" I asked, carefully scanning the area.
"I am picking up some very some strange energy signatures," was the android's reply. "It is similar to that of...."
I waited for him to finish, but when he didn't I asked, "Of what?"
"Lavos," Lucca answered coldly.
"I feel it, too." Glenn noted as he drew the Masamune.
My eyes grew wide. "L-Lavos?!" I asked under my breath. The others nodded. "But- but I thought you guys killed it!"
"We did," Robo declared. "It must be a spawn that we missed on our way up the first time."
We heard an awful, high pitched shriek from the direction of the summit. We readied our weapons. I held the Hot Shot in my left hand and my sword in my right. We cautiously made our way up the narrow slop to where the shell remains of the Lavos Spawn were. When we got there we found that the shell had crumbled.
"Where is it?" I asked quietly as I looked around.
There was another shriek, then a shadow covered us. We looked up to see a large creature falling above us. We dived out of the way before it landed on us. It was a light gray humanoid. It had three long fingers on its hands and two long toes on its feet. Its head was dome like and was attached directly to its torso.
I rolled back onto my feet and fired several shots of golden energy from the Hot Shot at the beast. Only a few found their mark, but the creature didn't seem to notice.
I looked and saw Lucca was firing at it as well. Her shot were more precise than mine, but were still doing little to no damage. Robo was firing several of his built in weapons at it, his attempts not being quite as futile as mine or Lucca's. Glenn blasted the beast with a blast of water from his palms. The beast took notice of this. I raised my palm to him and unleashed a purple bolt of lightning at the beast. Lucca started using magic as well, firing balls of fire from her palms.
The beast took notice of Lucca's latest attack and started for her. I could not let it hurt her. I dropped the Hot Shot and charged at the beast with my sword, but before I was close enough to strike I found myself soaring though the air in the opposite direction and landing on the snow covered ground, then sliding to a stop.
We battled the beast for some time, exchanging magical blows with it. It wasn't long before I felt the use of magic taxing my body.
Lucca and I dived behind the same boulder to avoid on of the beast's magical attacks in the waning light of dusk.
"I don't...remember...Lavos being...so difficult...." Lucca said between gasps of breath.
I let out a deep breath. "From the way you guys tell it, Lavos was an old man compared to this guy."
"What are we gonna do?"
"I dunno," I said as I looked down to the ground. I saw something glint on my belt. "I've got an idea."
"What?" she asked me desperately.
"I want you guys to use your most powerful attacks on it, focusing primarily on the chest area. After that I think I can strike the final blow."
Lucca looked at me as though I was crazy. I tried to give her my most convincing look. It must have worked, because she ran off to the boulder Robo was hiding behind. I yelled my orders to Glenn, who took them as though they were from his commanding officer.
I could hear the explosions of energy on the other side of the boulder as opened the barrel of the Hot Shot and slid one of the assault rifle bullets into the top barrel. I closed it back up and flicked a small switch on the side.
Before I stood to take my shot, I heard the creature's voice in my head, asking, Why? Why did you kill my father and brothers?
"You started it," I said under my breath. I stood and aimed the Hot Shot right at the center of its chest. The beast's body was charged from the others' attacks. "Say good night, Gracie!" I yelled before I fired. The bullet flew through the air and embedded itself into the creature's chest. "Get down!" I yelled as I hid behind the boulder again. The others did as I bade them. There was a large explosion and a flash of golden light.
Once it grew dark again I peeked over the boulder. Little more remained of the creature than a few charred body parts, which were scattered everywhere. "Yay!" I yelled, and started doing the same dance that I did when I found Glenn's letter. The others just watched me as though I were an idiot.
After I was done Lucca asked me, "What was in that bullet?"
A cheesy smile crossed my lips. "I filled them with energy from the sun stone. Each bullet contains about half the energy as the Hot Shot's energy packs."
Lucca smiled at me. "Good idea."
It was after dusk by the time the battle was over, so we decided to camp there for the night and I would leave in the morning. We set up two shelters, since one could only hold three people. Glenn, Robo and I shared one and Lucca had one all to herself.
I got up sometime that night and walked out of the shelter. I sat down on a boulder and looked up and the starry night sky. How I would miss this world.
I heard someone approaching from behind. I turned and saw that it was Lucca. "Evenin'."
"Hi," was her response. "Why don't you come into my shelter. I really want to talk to you about something."
I shrugged and followed her into her shelter, where we sat down. There was an awkward moment of silence before Lucca spoke. "Wallace, I-I need to tell you something...."
"Wallace, I-I think I love you."
Her words hit me like a ton of bricks, and let me tell you they have one mean left hook. "Wha-what did you say?"
"I love you."
Uh oh! Although I was very happy to hear her say these words, this was a very bad thing. "Lucca, this isn't a good idea," I said as I started to get up and leave.
She grabbed my hand and pulled me back down. "I want you to stay, please."
"Lucca, you know I can't stay. I don't belong here."
I could see small streams of tears running down her cheeks. "Are-are you sure?"
I hesitated a moment before I nodded. "Yes, I'm sure."
"Then, at least let me give you something to remember me by." Before I could stop her, she leaned over and kissed me full on the lips. She wrapped her arms around my neck, and I wrapped mine around her waist. I knew I should have stopped, but it felt so good, so... right.
I laid her down as we continued our kiss. Our hands began exploring the other's body. I started to kiss her neck, and she let out weak moans as I did so. I lifted myself onto my knees so that I could remove her clothes, but as I looked at her face, I stopped.
"I'm sorry, Lucca. This, this just isn't right." With that I stood back up and left the shelter, returning to the boulder I was sitting on earlier.
It wasn't long before I heard Lucca walk up. "Why did you leave?"
I shook my head. "I just can't love you and leave you like that, can't break your heart like that."
Lucca thought about what I said for a moment, then said, "Then at least let me be close to you tonight."
A grin crossed her face. "Don't worry. I won't try and pull anything. I just want to be close to you."
I thought about it for a few moments, then answered, "Alright."
The next morning I awoke before sunrise to find myself with my arms wrapped around Lucca, and with my clothes still on. I quietly slipped away from her and grabbed my coat on my way out of the shelter. There I found Glenn already up, preparing breakfast.
"Good morning," I called out to him. He responded with a nod and a grim look. I walked over to him. "What's wrong?"
"What happened last night?" he asked me gruffly without taking his attention from his work.
"Are you certain of that?"
I knew what he was hinting to. "Glenn, I would do nothing to disgrace Lucca or myself." He turned to me, still with his grim demeanor. I put out my hand. "I swear it by our friendship."
Glenn took my hand. "That, I'll trust."
After breakfast we made our way to the summit, using Robo's extending arm in place of the shell. Once at the tree we once again said our tearful farewells. Even Robo seemed to be crying. He is quite emotional for an android. Lucca kissed me on the cheek when we said our farewells.
At dawn I made the three sunwise circles around the tree and the Gateway opened. I turned one last time to my friends. "Bye."
I took a deep breath and walked into the Gateway. As it closed behind me I could hear Lucca yell, "I love you, Wallace!"
I found myself once again on the wire bridge, and that I could not breathe. I began to edge my way along the wire bridge, but as before I missed my step and fell into the endless chasm.
Again I landed none too softly, this time on a very solid floor. That really hurt. I stood and found a young teenage girl just staring at me.
"Uh, hi?" I said nervously.
The girl just screamed and ran out of the hallway I was in, hitting a red button on the way out. All of a sudden sirens went off. "ALERT! INTRUDER IN GARDEN! ALERT! INTRUDER IN GARDEN!" was announced over and over on the intercom system.
"Oh shit!" I yelled as I ran down the hall. I turned the corner onto some sort of bridge, only to be met by several people wearing dark blue uniforms wielding swords, guns, and various other deadly objects. "Oops! Wrong turn." I turned to head back the way I came, but there were more people behind me. I looked over the edge of the bridge. I was on the second floor of this strange building.
"You're surrounded," one of the men told me. "Surrender at once."
I looked down again. It looked like the exit wasn't far from where the elevator behind the first group led. I looked back up at the man who spoke to me and grinned. "You guys think way too two dimensionally." With that I jumped off the bridge. I used my magic to slow my fall and landed on my feet. I started to fly toward the exit, only to be met by more people. I made to turn left, there were people waiting there, too. I turned around. There, too. Now I really was surrounded. I looked around at the people blocking all escaper routes. I grinned nervously. "Uh, how y'all doin' today."