Gale knew Nina had been hiding things from them. She might have been good at dodging questions, but she was a bad liar.
"I have absolutely no idea what y-" Nina began.
"Just answer the goddamn question!" Gigas groaned. "We're about to go back to the real world now! Whatever it is you're not tellin' us, we're gonna find out pretty soon, anyway!"
Nina sighed, almost inaudibly. "Fine. As you must have deduced, there was nothing to do with the Yamiokami Gem at the top of the tower. There is no need to 'prime' it. That was just incentive to get you into the building. However, the real truth is devastating. It will hurt some more than most." she began flatly, turning to Gale.
"Time. In the Hidden Realm, time does not flow as it should. What is worth days in the real world could be worth months here. The reality to other-realm ratio of the space-time continuum is different with every Hidden Realm. For some, an hour in the Hidden realm could be worth moments in reality. However, we have the misfortune of not having such a luxury." she said, pausing to deliver the final blow.
"In basic... and I haven't calculated this precisely... what has been worth about a day here...is worth eleven years in reality." A quiet and shocked outcry reverberated among the group.
"In this time, the White Star and his Children of the Ice have conquered everything you know. Not the world... but your entire reigion belongs to them. If they obtain of the Yamiokami Gem, 'Shikaiyami's Heart', they will be able to spread thier power to the rest of this world, and your kind will face extinction once again."
"Nevermind that! What about Arashi and Rakurai!?" Gale shouted, worried for her kids. Nina paused a moment.
"They are fourteen now. They live with each other and a large group of other children their age, amidst the fallen ruins of Hikari, hiding from the imperials, formulating a plan to destory them, but to afraid to instigate it. They live, also with your Felyne, I believe, thinking that you have abandoned them." Nina said, her tone of voice not changed a bit.
"Go to Hikari. The inhabitants will accept you easily. There, you will help them with their revolutionary plans. Arashi and Rakurai are in charge of all the residents, so I've no doubt they will be among the first faces you see. I will have nothing to do or say with what happens between you and your children. Far be it from me to meddle in personal affairs."
Suddenly, more people appeared around the group, in a circle, leaving the hunters and Descendants in the middle. They were all people that Shinji, Gale, Mizu and Jinsoku would know: Guretosutomu, Sensei Arashi, Gale's mother, Mizu's mother, and even Nina's lover, Thomas, the hunter Gale watched die after escaping the Dark Jinouga in the Tundra. Mizu locked eyes with his mother, tears beginning to form. He had never seen her before - she was so pretty. She smiled warmly at her son, as did Gale's mother to her daughter. Gale paused for a second.
"Why is Guretosutomu here? He's not dead."
"He is. He was killed by Kazir after you came here, while he fought the White Star." Nina contradicted her. Gale looked around all the people that she had loved and or lost in the last three years, tears beginning to fall.
"I'm so sorry. We never wanted any of you to die for us."
Moments after that, Nina, Rakurai, Gale's mother, Mizu's mother, Thomas, Sensei Arashi and Guretosutomu became small blue sparks, coalesceing into a blue shape in the air; a portal to Hikari.
"You do all know... that if we fight this fight... we might not all make it to the other end?" Gale sussposed solemnly. Altair stepped forward.
"I would follow you to Hell and back." he grunted bluntly. One by one, the others stepped forward too.
"As would I." Makoto agreed.
"Me too!" Skylar shirped, ever optimistic.
"Heh, like you'd pull this cockamamy thing off without Papa Gigas!"
Shinji and Jinsoku stepped forward, holding hands.
"We're your best friends. We'd do this with you, even if no-one else would." Jinsoku said soberly. Shinji kissed him. He smiled.
Gale, Mizu (who had found the strength to walk by himself), Shinji, Jinsoku, Makoto, Gigas, Altair and Skylar stepped through the blue gate to Hikari, ready to fight against extinction.
Legacy of the Descendants----End
The White Star Trilogy concludes in: Fate and Freedom