Michael made his contract when he was 13. He and Rebbie continue fighting alongside each other for a long time.
“Nice shot, Mike!” she called out as he shot a psychic energy wave at a familiar, on the way to the center of a labyrinth. There was fog and tall black pillars everywhere. He and Rebbie were leaping from pillar to pillar.
Michael harnessed his focus again. He had been using his swords too much and needed to try more magical-based combat at this point. At this point he's been a Mahou Shonen for two years. It wasn't that he never used his psychic abilities, but his swords were just more convenient.
But now he felt like he was getting better, especially while on foot.
The coast was clear when they reach the center of the labyrinth.
The witch was a giant grave stone with runes written on it. Its familiars were hordes of zombies. The witch itself was weak, all it could do was command its minions to attack them.
Rebbie’s ahead of Michael and notices a couple familiars in the mist rush past her,
“Look out, Mike!”
“I got it!” He summons a psychic energy wave, lashing it out with his hands at the familiars. He sees more through the fog coming toward Rebbie.
“These ones are yours!” Mike calls over to her.
“I’m on it!”
She spin-slashes the familiars with her scythe, cutting them in half. They can see the witch through the fog, it’s towering over the clouds.
Michael catches up to her, following side by side as they leap from pillar to pillar. He starts to go a little more ahead of her, and he catches grave stones materializing out of nowhere shooting at them.
“AAH!” Mike narrowly dodges them, they’re coming in pretty fast, he even leaps on a few to try dodging them.
They shoot past him, and still floating in mid-air, he calls out,
“REBBIE WATCH OUT!!”
“Huh?” The grave stones rush past her, and before she can even think, a gravestone hits her arm
The gravestone hit her soul gem, causing it to shatter. She turns back into her regular clothes and descends down into the mist of the labyrinth.
“Rebbie?! Where are you?! REBBIE??!!” He doesn’t hear a word from her.
He starts to think to himself, ‘I wonder if she fell.’
He floats down into the thick mist and he can hardly see anything, not above the clouds nor the ground.
Once he finally reaches the ground, he calls to her and searches the ground,
“Rebbie! Are you OK?! Did you get hit by those-” He stops mid-sentence to find her lying on the ground in her civilian clothes.
“Rebbie!” He runs toward her body, he’s a little too dazed to realize she’s now in her regular clothes.
“Rebbie! Are you alright?! Wake up!” He gently shakes her, but gets no response.
“Uh, come on, Rebbie, get up…”
He shudders and under his breath says “R-Rebbie…please wake up…” He starts to shake her harder, no response.
He then realizes he should probably check her pulse. He puts two fingers to her wrist but hears nothing.
“No, this…this can’t be!” He looks down to her side to find the shell of her soul gem completely broken.
“Oh my, this is really bad.” He hears Kyubey call from behind.
“Is that all you have to say?! Come on, please don’t let Rebbie die!”
Kyubey just sighs.
“There’s nothing that can be done about it now that her soul gem is destroyed.”
“But-but-” He looks down at her cold, lifeless body and holds it in his arms. He begins to tear up.
“Oh my god…” He chokes back tears, but it’s all building up inside now.
“She knew what she was getting into when she made her contract, it was only a matter of time.”
“H-How am I going to explain this to the f-family?” He mutters. He begins to sob and shake, holding Rebbie’s body tighter.
“I’m not sure.”
Michael rolls his eyes at the indifferent creature’s response to all this.
“Well, gee, thanks for the help.” He says sarcastically. Kyubey just gives him one of its blank looks.
With his legs, he lifts himself up, carrying her body.
The labyrinth begins to disappear around them till they’re back behind the backwoods of the house. Michael transforms back into his regular clothes and carries Rebbie to the house. Michael thought to himself,
‘This is messed up, I shouldn’t be doing this…’ His heart felt heavy. The crescent moon illuminated the backwoods and cast a light on Michael’s back, creating an interesting silhouette.
‘But if I don’t, who will? They’ll wonder what happened to her eventually.’ He trudges up to the back of the house.
‘I sound so messed up, this whole thing feels so wrong. She should still be alive, walking home with me, not hanging from my arms like some limp rag doll.’
He looks up at the moon and the wind blows through his hair. He sighs and turns back to the house.
‘I gotta get someone’s attention…’ He walks to Latoya’s window. He picks up a rock and throws it at the glass.
Latoya vaguely hears a knocking on her window, she slowly wakes from sleep to go to the window. She opens the window to see Michael down there.
“Latoya, come down here, get Janet too, I need to show you something.” It’s too dark for Latoya to see Michael carrying Rebbie’s body.
She rubs her eyes and says, “Why can’t you come up here? You can fly, can’t you?”
He suddenly remembers, but figures he wouldn’t be strong enough in his regular form for the most part to lift Rebbie and float upstairs, he says,
“I need to conserve my energy. Look, c-can you please just get Janet and come down here, i-it’s an emergency.” The tone in his voice was filled with a shakiness, mixed with worry and sadness. Latoya left her window and went to Janet’s room to get her. They tiptoe down stairs, Janet whispers,
Latoya responds in a hushed voice, “Mike said it was an emergency.”
They make their way out back. The blistering cold wind causes them to shiver, making them realize they forgot their jackets.
“What’s the matter-OH MY GOD!” Latoya screams even at the vague silhouette of Rebbie’s body hanging from Michael’s arms. She runs over to them. Janet’s eyes are still adjusting to the darkness and she doesn’t quite see right away.
“What’s wrong Lato-*GASP*” She catches the sight of Rebbie’s corpse.
Michael doesn’t look his sisters in the eyes, he can’t bring himself to. They just stand there quietly in the darkness for a couple minutes. Janet is the first to break the silence.
Michael tries to stifle his cries, but little sobs still manage to escape him.
Latoya puts her arm around Janet. Janet’s eyes begin to tear up. She buries her face in her hands and breaks down. Latoya starts crying too.
“Why, Michael?” Janet sobs.
He finally responds, with tears streaming down his face,
“Her soul gem got hit with a projectile…and she went down.”
The girls cry even harder at the news, which results in Michael finally breaking down in full blown tears as well.
Latoya quietly asks between sobs,
“So, what are we gonna do with the body?”
Michael tries to choke down his cries, but they come out as muffled squeaks.
‘Wait, I can’t be crying too, someone’s gotta be composed here.’
Michael coughs, and says,
“Well, they’re gonna need to know eventually, they’ll wonder what happened to her.”
“B-But-” Janet hesitated.
“What, Janet?” Michael asks.
“What, well…what are we gonna tell them when they ask how she died?”
He never thought of that.
“We need to tell them the truth!”
Janet nods in agreement, but still looks distressed.
“Yeah, she’s right!”
“Uhh…” Michael looks down at Rebbie’s body.
“How do you expect me to explain how she died?! At best they’ll think I’m crazy and not believe me, or at worst they’ll call me an abomination, disown me, or…” He shivered at the third option.
“Why would they call you an abomination?” Janet asks,
Michael shrugs, and replies, “People are just afraid of things they don’t understand, sometimes.”
There weren’t any cuts and bruises on her, no sign of struggle or anything. How was he gonna lie about the circumstances of her death? Certainly opting for a more believable reason, such as getting hit by a car, would be more believable if she actually looked hurt, but she was in pristine condition.
“I’m just gonna say that I found her like this.”
“But why lie to them?!” Janet barked.
“Maybe he has a point, Janet. They aren’t gonna believe she was hit by a car, let alone killed by one of the devil’s minions.”
The look in Janet’s eyes looks pitiful.
“But you said-”
“I know I just said I felt like he should tell the truth, I changed my mind. He’s right, the truth is just too far blown to be believed, plus I can’t imagine how they’d react if they DID believe it. Plus, look at her, do you think they would believe any lies we could tell, such as getting hit by a car? Wait, what if we said she got into some pills or something?”
Michael shook his head, “They’d pump her stomach.”
Michael walks ahead of them.
“So, it’s agreed, we tell them we just found her here like this?”
The girls both solemnly nod in agreement. They all walk back toward the house. Leaves and sticks crunch under their feet and the chilly night air gives them shivers and goosebumps.
Michael felt sick, both physically and mentally. This whole scenario felt wrong in so many ways, trying to convince his sisters to help him lie about the circumstances of Rebbie’s death.
‘Who am I to drag them into it?! They’re totally innocent in all this…’ But Michael felt like he would have gone nuts if he didn’t tell SOMEONE, and Janet and Latoya were the only ones besides Rebbie who knew about witches. Where else was he to turn?
‘I’m a total coward, that’s what I am…’
He snaps out of his thoughts and turns to Janet.
“Are you gonna keep fighting those things after what happened?”
Michael sighs, and nods.
“I’ve got to, I’m the only one left who can stop them.”
Kyubey steps in, “You know, if you two want to help Michael, you could just make a contract with me.”
“They’re not doing that! I can’t risk letting them get hurt out there!”
“But will you really be OK by yourself?” Latoya asks.
“I…I’ve got to, I got no choice.”
Janet responds, “But, Michael-”
“DON’T YOU GET IT?! I DON’T WANT WHAT HAPPENED TO HER TO HAPPEN TO YOU!! I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’D DO WITH MYSELF IF ANYTHING WERE TO HAPPEN TO YOU OUT THERE!! YOU HAVE SUCH A WONDERFUL LIFE AHEAD OF YOU AND I…”
He chokes back tears,
“You do too, Michael, I know you do.”
“Janet’s right, and don’t you think we feel the same way about you?”
Latoya continues, “We worry you won’t come home whenever you’re out there! Don’t you think that could have been you instead?!”
“Don’t you consider your own life precious? With all that’s happened, why would you-”
He grabs her shoulders and shakes her a little,
“LATOYA, PLEASE!!” He shouts with tears running down his face.
“I can’t give up, I want to keep protecting you, and the family, the best I can. Someone’s gotta take out these witches, and I’m not gonna let you risk your lives, not when I’ve already been doing it for two years now.”
Latoya just sighs and leads Janet into the house. Latoya turns to him and says,
“I guess there’s no point in stopping you now, then.”
He slowly shakes his head, “No.”
Michael follows behind them.
That morning they break the news to Kathrine and Joseph. They explain that they just found her like that in her bed. Kathrine broke down into shrieking sobs while Joseph held her. The ambulance came and took her body away and word got out about her death quickly. By the end of the day, it was all over the news. The entire family was quiet the rest of that day.
“So, what’s the point of you recounting these memories in the first place?”
He just stares up at the ceiling, not turning to face Kyubey, and replies,
“I guess…I just wanna retrace my steps, find out why my skills haven’t gotten any better since her death.”
“True, you’re a very average fighter compared to Prince.”
Mike just rolled his eyes and scoffed at the creature.
“You aren’t helping.”
“Well, it’s true that sadness affects magical energy output, helping soul gems get darker faster. Could it be your inability to cope with Rebbie’s death has affected your skills in battle?”
“Yeah, that sounds about right, but…” He looks at his soul gem, it’s a little dingy but not too bad.
“It’s not like I’m in a total rut, I’ve become more agile, but my psychic powers have gotten weaker.”
“And your reaction time isn’t what it was when you first started.”
“Is dishing criticism all you can do?”
“I only tell the truth, Michael.”
Michael just sighs, it’s hopeless trying to reason with this thing. Then he gets an idea.
“Kyubey, what did Prince wish for?”
“That’s classified information.”
“What, it’s against the rules to tell anyone?”
“No, he just asked that I not tell.”
“What?! Uughhh!” Michael groaned. He sighed, then said,
“Haha, I’ll bet he wished for something obvious, like to be the best musician or something, or for women to fall head over heels for him with just one look.” He grinned to himself, and Kyubey just sat there still.
“Hehe, they sound like things he’d wish for, selfish shallow things like that.”
“You’re one to talk, Michael.”
He turned to Kyubey and retorted,
“At least my wish offered me some protection so I could get stronger!”
“And look how far it’s gotten you.”
Mike grumbled, and said,
“My wish may have been selfish, but it wasn’t shallow! If I look after myself, then I’ll be able to protect my loved ones more easily. Plus, I’m still alive, aren’t I? My wish wasn’t completely pointless!”
“If you say so.”
“Prince’s wish probably has nothing to do with that, just selfish desires, right?”
“I’m not allowed to say.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter either way, I’m gonna try fighting on my own from now on.”
He looks at Kyubey, who doesn’t respond, just gives him one of its blank stares.
“I think I’m starting to feel better now, yeah…” He yawns and Kyubey leaves.
He shuts off the light and strips down to his boxers.
He climbs back into bed and tries to fall asleep, but his thoughts are keeping him up. He tosses and turns, trying to get in a comfortable position.
‘Yeah, I fight to protect people, what’s he gotta fight for? Nothin!’ He closes his eyes tighter, trying to ignore the little voice in his head that’s saying he doesn’t actually know what Prince wished for.
Michael also starts to ponder something else; his guilt over Rebbie’s death. Was it really the reason his fighting skills have gradually deteriorated? Or could have been a culmination of guilt, insecurity, and fear of letting his teammate get hurt?
Michael shook the thought from his head. How ridiculous.
‘Why would I worry about him? He’s perfectly capable of taking care of himself, he doesn’t need me.’
Visions of Prince flash through Michael’s mind, and the first thing he notices is his smile, Michael groans.
‘I’m just being a concerned teammate, and friend.’
Prince’s words reverberate through his head, or at least the gist of it.
‘Enough already, why can’t I just fall asleep?!’ He tightens his eyes shut till he finally manages to doze off.
“What do you want?” Prince is lying on his bed playing his guitar when Kyubey shows up.
“Nothing, I just got back from Michael’s.”
“Do I really need your report? He’s fine.”
“No he isn’t, I suggest you keep an eye on him. You seem to care about his well-being, so I just thought I’d let you know.”
He grabs Kyubey by his neck.
“What are you implying by that?!”
He drops the creature.
“By both those things, what’s wrong with Michael?! And what makes you so sure I care that much?!”
“He seems quite distressed, and all I meant was he’s your teammate so I thought you would care about his well-being, unless you thought I meant like something more than a-”
“I don’t want to hear anymore.”
“Besides, I know you’ll look after him anyway.”
He scowels at Kyubey
“If you’re so sure of yourself, then why are you here?”
“That’s a good point, good night.”
He turns around but right before he leaves he turns to Prince and says,
“Your words and actions seem to be contradicting themselves, you say you don’t care that much about Michael to look after him, but you say you’d do it anyway, why is that?”
“Because I do care, as like a teammate, I thought you meant like, uh…just forget it, scram.”
Kyubey leaves through the window, Prince shuts it and gets ready for bed.
“Stupid fucking rat…”