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Kanako slowly walked up to the dragon and carefully rested a hand on its head. "R-Ryo...?" She pulled away as she felt a sudden chill from the scales, only to find them disappearing as the dragon shrunk in size before reaching a size no larger than a cat. "Ryo..." She gently picked it up. "How could they have done this to you...?"
She walked back to the others and knelt down in front of Tomoko. "Hime... H-he's gone..."
Tomoko looked at her before looking at the small dragon. "Iiada..." She took hold of the dragon and held him close. "Ryo-San..." Tears continued to fall as she held onto the dragon.
"It couldn't be possible... They couldn't have broken the barrier like that or even fight without waking us up and killing us!" Reni said as she slammed the mop against the floor.
"They must've done it as a warning..." Aarin muttered as she scrubbed the blood off the walls. "Since Ryo was the one who created the barrier, he was the only one who felt it being disturbed and fought. And since the rest of us didn't know, he might’ve created a soundproof barrier even though he'll know we'll find him dead..."
"Iiada... Everything’s going by too quickly..." Momoka murmured as she tightly held onto her broom. "First Akarin... Now Ryo..." Tears threatened to fall as she held onto the broom. "Who knows who'll be next...?"
"Momoka, don't say that. I'm sure Ryo did what he could to keep us safe," Shiorin said as she helped Aarin clean the walls and furniture. "I'm sure there are others who are having more difficulty accepting all of this..."
They all looked over to the entrance to the backyard. Behind the doors, Kanako was seen pouring a tray of ashes into a white urn decorated with black markings. She placed the lid over it and stood up before looking at Tomoko who was on the porch steps curled up into a ball. She walked over and took a seat before placing the urn to the side.
"Daijobu dayo, Hime... I'm sure we'll see him again someday..." She gently petted the girl's head in comfort. "I guess things weren't going as easy as we hoped... considering they managed to defeat Ryo... De mo... I'm sure he did was he could for all of us..." The leader soon felt tears forming before wrapping her arms around her Princess. "Ano ne... Let's work together to bring Akarin back, okay? I'm sure Ryo wants that... Akarin mo..." She started to wipe away her tears. "Honto ni baka dayo ne...? Always trying to be that strong leader who doesn't cry... De mo... I guess I shouldn't hold everything back now..."
Tomoko looked at the older girl. "Kanako-San..."
"Daijobu... I'll be fine..." Kanako suddenly found herself crying in the small girl's arms, unable to stop the tears.

It was decided that at that moment, our leader truly accepted the pain she has hidden for so long. It was the first time we saw her cry so much over something dear to her.
Shiorin wiped her eyes with a towel before continuing to chop the onions. "Shiorin... Maybe you should rinse them before cutting them..." Momoka said, worried of her comrade.
"Daijobu... I just need to let it out... I'll be done soon..."
"Shiorin..." Not wanting to upset her friend, Momoka went back to cutting the beef for the curry.
"The two of them have been out there for a while..." Aarin murmured," Do you think they're okay?"
"Let me check." Reni wiped her hands clean before heading out back to find Kanako and Tomoko asleep, the Princess holding onto Kanako in comfort. The Dark Mage sighed in relief. "Mah... It can't be helped..." She looked back inside. "Aarin. Can you help me bring these two in? They fell asleep."
"Eh? Hai."
Aarin gently fixed the blanket over the two after resting them in the guest room. "I guess it's natural... Seeing how they cried more than we did..."
"They deserve the rest... We'll wake them when it's time to eat," Reni said. "Ikko. Momoka and Shiorin still need our help."
The two headed back to the kitchen to find Momoka working at the big pot while standing on a stool to get a good look inside. Shiorin was busy helping to finish the side dishes Reni and Aarin were working on.
“How are they?” the Earth Mage asked as she peeled some oranges.
“Still sleeping. You know how they are,” Aarin said before helping. “Ryo was the one who acted like a father to Hime whenever her parents were busy and Kanako… I guess Kanako and Akarin had a bond we can’t really understand yet…”
“S-sou da ne… Those two were always together even during breaks…”
“I wonder what we’re going to do after we’re done with the Dark Syndicate…” Momoka murmured. “Even if we do bring Akarin back, she still can’t join MomoClo since her contract with us ended and we already did so much without her… And with Ryo gone… who will take care of Hime?”
The three understood what she meant and became worried. “…We can work something out… Can’t we?” Reni asked,” Since it’s possible we do need Ryo’s plan to bring Akarin back… Surely Akarin will remember us and turn back to the Akarin we know…”
“The only way is to try…” Aarin said before finishing. She let out a sigh. “I wonder what Kanako would say right now if she kept holding back her tears… ‘Let’s bring Akarin back’ or ‘We just do what we can’… It’s hard to decide now…”

Reni put down the frosting pen. “…I’m going to wake up Kanako… Tell her that lunch is almost ready…” She took off her apron before heading into the hallway as the others grew worried.
The Dark Mage gently pushed open the door before stepping in to find the two sharing a futon since the others were hanging outside to dry. She knelt down next to Kanako and gently shook her. “Kanako. Kanako.”
Kanako lifted her head before turning back to find her older friend. “Reni?”
Reni put a finger over her lips. “Shh. It’s best not to wake Hime. Lunch is almost ready. Come on.”
“U-un…” Kanako made sure not to wake the small Princess and climbed out before replacing the blanket. She soon followed Reni to the kitchen where the others started to set up the table.
“Daijobu, Kanako?” Shiorin asked as she held onto two bowls of curry.
Kanako gave a small nod. “Daijobu. Just had to let out some steam… Yogatta ne… If this was Eutopolis, I wouldn’t have come out of my room since everyone saw the Leader of the highest ranking Guards crying… De mo daijobu. I’ll be fine from now on.”
“Honto ni?”
“Daijobu, Shiorin. It’s natural to react to harsh situations in tears. De mo… Is it really okay for Hime to stay here by herself? Our parents will get suspicious about us not being home since we’re the only ones left to take care of her.”
“That’s the only issue we have other than Akarin… We just have to find a way to defeat the Dark Syndicate as soon as possible before anything else happens…”
“Sou da ne…” Kanako took a seat with the others. “It’s a good thing we don’t have a lot to do as idols until Kawakami comes back…”

Aarin’s eyes started to glow. “Idols…? That’s it! That’s how we’ll snap Akarin out of it!”
“Eh?” The four looked at her, unsure of what’s she’s thinking.
“Akarin might be possessed but when she first appeared, we heard Ikuze! Surely that’s a sign that our old songs can bring her back!”
“Using our old songs that were rereleased… The only ones we didn’t sing as Momoiro Clover Z…” Momoka’s eyes glowed for a second as she stood up. “Ah! That’s what we can use!”
Shiorin and Reni looked at each other. “That one, right?” Reni asked, receiving a nod.
“Eh? Which one?” Kanako asked.
“Mou! You’re so slow!” Shiorin pouted. “That song that will bring Akarin back.”
“Eh…?” Kanako’s eyes glowed in realization before looking at them. “EH?!”
“Mou! Let’s just practice after we’re done eating!”

Tears, tears and more tears... Yea, I'm a bad person to do those things to them. Don't blame me! Blame my sick brain!
PS: I own nothing
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Submitted on
February 13, 2014


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