As Yaketsukuyōna's corpse faded, the group rushed to Rakurai's side. He lay on his back, barely breathing, looking up at the sky. They sat by his side. The Divine Maelstrom had faded, and thin, bright sunbeams had begun to break through the wall of dismal grey. He smiled, properly, for the first time. He spoke, still looking at the sky. "It's over." He mused. "We won." Gale smiled at him. She had never seen him this much at peace. He always had a serious, conflicted look on his face. Not this time. The others now turned their gaze to the sky. The grey was completely gone, and it was no longer cold. It was so warm, like a spring morning. They clearly had been fighting all through the night, as it was nearly sunset when they had reached Hikari. The group all took their armor off and laid their weapons to one side. Gale looked down at Rakurai again, smiling. He stopped gazing at the sky and turned to her. He huffed amusedly. "I knew saving your ass was gonna get me killed someday." He joked. He clasped her hand, still smiling. "Remember me." He asked. Gale nodded, still smiling. "I will. We all will. We're friends, remember?" She giggled. He laughed for the first time. Just a little. "Friends, huh?" He echoed, relaxed. "Sounds good." He sighed. His eyes closed slowly, his head slumped to the left and his expression went blank. He was dead. The group stood up again, still smiling. They weren't sad for him. They couldn't be. He was moving on to a better place. They watched as the soul of the Wyrm of thunder left his body, gliding elegantly toward the sky, and disappearing into the heavens.The foursome stayed on the castle roof for a little while. Hikari, the City of Light, may have been in ruins, but humanity was safe and the White Star was gone. They had lost many comrades and people that were close to them, but Shinji and Jinsoku were still both alive and well, and Gale still had the boy she loved. For the first time since the battle began, Gale and Mizu could be together. They ran to each other and hugged. She smiled at Mizu. He kissed her tenderly, as if they hadn't seen each other for years. "I love you." Gale said. "I love you too." Mizu echoed. Shinji and Jinsoku watched the couple, smiling. Shinji turned to her best friend. "Do you think we...?" She asked, but stopped. They both thought about it for a second. "Nah!" They laughed, content with being just friends.
The group looked up to the sky, hearing the voice of a familiar Wyrm. "Well done. I knew you would prevail. The world is at peace, thanks to you." Gurētosutōmu's voice echoed, though he was nowhere in sight. "The prophecy has culminated exactly as foretold. The Descendants all sacrificed their lives for humanity, and the Divine Maelstrom has been averted due to the death of the White Star. The alternate culmination of the prophecy, where the hunters fail and the Divine Maelstrom hits the City of Light, and the White Star rides it to the ends of the earth, destroys humanity and revives the Wyrms, has been averted. All is well. Go, now. Return to Hyoku. Your friends and families await you." He said cheerfully, and his voice faded at last.
As the group stepped through the castle gates, they remembered something key was missing. "Wait, where the hell did all the monsters go?" Mizu asked, confused. They hunters had prepared a cart carried by another Popo (their most trusted animal ever since the incident in the Unmei Desert), which they had stockpiled all their equipment onto. The same old woman that had warned Shinji not to fight the Fatalis approached the group, Turo by her side. "The monsters just...vanished! Faded away! When the sky cleared, they just turned into little sparks of light, and floated up into the sky, like stardust. Oh, look! There's some!" The old woman said, pointing to behind. The huge crown that had gathered to praise the hunters all looked behind them, to the little lights gathering around all the buildings. Suddenly, as they faded, the buildings began to repair, seemingly, by themselves, lost brickwork reappearing slowly, as if someone was colouring in a drawing. When the city was completely repaired and the rubble faded away. the remaining lights floated away, up into the sky. "Nina's last gift..." Turo muttered to himself, smiling thinly.
After the small celebrations in the city, the foursome headed for the city walls. As they neared them, however, they heard Gurētosutōmu's voice again. "It is far to long and dangerous to travel back to Hyoku the way you came to Hikari. Allow me." """""""" " " """""" The Wyrm muttered benevolently. The four hunters relaxed, letting the faint green light that was surrounding them carry them away, back to Hyoku.
1 Week Later
Gale and Mizu sat by the lake on her parents' farm. The green grass swayed gently in the warm spring breeze, and proud and beautiful hornflies buzzed around the water. The whole village had celebrated their return. They mourned the dead-Sensei Arashi, Rakurai, Thomas, and the others-the day after. Gale had taken home Rakurai's sword as a keepsake, to give to any possible children when they came of age. Turo had stayed at his home in Hikari-he had a family there. Shinji and Jinsoku had built a house and moved in together. They were still content being friends, despite the rumors that had followed. Gale waited for Mizu to finish talking, before she put her hands on his shoulders. "Mizu...I have some news." She said slowly, happily. Mizu paused for a moment. "What is it?" He asked, leaning in closer. Gale smiled and blinked slowly. "It's about that night, in the tent. I'm...I'm pregnant." She announced, still smiling. She began giggling, elated, as Mizu kissed her on the forehead. "That's wonderful!" he said, laughing. They ran off back to her parents house to tell them the news.
3 Years Later
"Rakurai! Don't hit your brother!" Gale yelled at the little boy. Her little boy. "I'm sorry, Mama." the boy said unhappily." You apologize to Arashi right now." Mizu said calmly, firmly. The little boy turned to his brother. "I'm sorry, Arashi." He muttered. "OK, you can go back and play now." Gale said flippantly. The two boys ran off back into the grass on the farm, playing together happily. They had named their sons Rakurai and Arashi-after the two bravest people they had ever known. Gale and Mizu stood together, watching the boys-watching their children being so happy made them happy. "Oh, look, here they come!" Gale said to Mizu. They turned to see their two best friends coming down the path toward the farm. Gale turned back to the kids. "Rakurai! Arashi! Shinji and Jinsoku are here!" She cooed. The boys' heads perked up attentively, the way a cat's would when it heard the word "food". They ran past their parents and toward their honorary aunt and uncle. "Shinji! Jinsoku!" Arashi shouted gleefully. Shinji and Jinsoku crouched down to pick up the two boys, laughing happily at their excitement. They carried them over to Gale and Mizu, who watched their best friends and their children play in the lake together.
"You okay?" Mizu asked, turning to look at Gale. "I'm okay." Gale said, turning to look at him, smiling.
They leaned in and kissed each other, their children playing happily, the sun setting slowly over the village they called home.
The White Star Chronicles----End
The White Star Trilogy continues in: Legacy of the Descendants