Chapter 44 – Despair And Hope

Chapter 44 – Despair And Hope

Translated by Mecorx, Proofread by Crashouch

We pursued the helicopter down the slope, past the off-limits sign, and into the vast snowfield that spread out to the north of the village. Tseng and Elena’s helicopter flew in huge circles around the large snowfield. From where we were, I didn’t know whether that boy was still in the helicopter. I couldn’t afford to care. I had to figure out what to do while I still had the chance. I looked around the snowfield. Unexpectedly, there were ups and downs and shadows cast by the moonlight on the snowfield as it gently dipped towards the north. It seemed it would be difficult to find these “holes”.

“I guess all we can do is walk around.”

I started to walk. Kyrie held my right hand firmly, which made me feel like I could do anything. I had no confidence in what I was about to do. It was nothing more than a romanticized idea. The only thing that was real was the warmth that passed through the hand that grasped mine. Ignoring the mechanical roar I could hear overhead, I focused my mind on the snowy world spread out around us. Then, before long, we found a “hole”. It was one of the crevasses that the landlady of the inn told us about. They were chasms that had opened up two years ago, when the lifestream surged. At its widest, it was about as wide as I was tall. Lengthwise, it seemed long enough to fit an entire helicopter.

“Here should be fine.”


Side by side, we carefully approached the crevasse. Even though the ground here looked firm, it could have just been snow that was protruding over the crevasse, with nothing underneath it. I didn’t know how much of it was safe. Before long, we were close enough to look into the crevasse. Although there was nothing but black when we looked from afar, up close we could see that beneath a two-metre thick layer of snow, it was all ice. Beyond where the ice stretched into the depths must have been where the lifestream was flowing.

“Evan, look.” Kyrie was pointing at a gigantic, white wall.

It was a wall of ice. The practically vertical wall of white continued into a sky of twinkling stars. The helicopter came back from behind the wall. It seemed to be trying to shake off the monster, repeatedly rising and falling. It was a dangerous way to fly. Before long, it was approaching the sky directly above us.

“Is he still holding on?”

“No, I don’t see him.” I looked harder, turning my head with the movement of the helicopter, but then…

“I’m over here, by the way.”

He was right in front of us.

“You don’t know where Jenova is. You’re of no use to me now. But, you see, now that we’ve met, I thought maybe I would take this opportunity to play with you.”

“What made you think this was a game?” I said, as I looked toward the village, still ablaze. It wasn’t just the inn, the fire had spread to the surrounding houses. I couldn’t see from here, but there must have been a lot of people running around in panic.

“Kyrie taught me.”

“Me? Never!”

The monster in the form of a boy, quickly reached out his hand, and grabbed Kyrie’s shoulder. Kyrie’s whole body shuddered.

I quickly pulled her hand, and took Kyrie back from the monster.

“Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz. Our old partners in crime.”


“The slums were burning.”

“I didn’t go with them. I refused.”

“But you didn’t stop us. That’s why so many people burned to death. The three of us couldn’t escape either. And Kadaj. You liked him, didn’t you?”

I figured there was a terrible incident concerning fire in Kyrie’s past. Even now, she still hadn’t got over the hopeless regret. The monster was toying with her.

“Shut up!” She pulled her right hand back, and tried to hit the apparition.

Just then, it jumped up, flying over my head, and landed on the other side. The monster stood, with the abyss of the crevasse behind him and flashed a contemptuous smile.

“Please, can’t you forgive me?” I pleaded in a woeful voice. I couldn’t let on to the fact that I saw this as a golden opportunity. I looked away from the crevasse.

“Forgive you for what? For staring at Kyrie’s legs?” he said, turning up the corner of his mouth. A fact like that might have thrown me off in the past, but I wasn’t going to let it deter me now.

“…You’re just a brat. A child. You don’t know anything.” I felt a sense of superiority over another person for the first time.

The face of my opponent was warped with hatred.

Just then, Kyrie bent low and started running in an attempt to tackle him. Kadaj… I’ll call him that… took just one step back, and leaped. Having lost her target, Kyrie lost her balance, and hastily tried to stop.

I stepped forward to grab Kyrie.

Kyrie spun her body, and stopped somehow. Then she reached out toward me. The moment my hand caught hers, the snow beneath Kyrie’s feet crumbled. She started falling straight down the crevasse from where she stood.

I put all of my strength in my clenched hand, and put my weight behind me, preparing for the impact. However, it came harder than I had expected. Failing to support Kyrie’s weight, I fell face-first. I slipped slowly with the snow that was falling down toward the crevasse.


I lifted my face up from the snow to look at Kyrie, but all I could see was her hand.

“Evan, I…”

I imagined Kyrie telling me to let go of her hand. I wouldn’t allow it.

“I don’t want to die.”

“I know that!” However, regardless of my feelings, I continued slipping slowly down the incline.

“Need some help?”

I heard Kadaj’s voice.


Then, our slow slide down stopped. I didn’t know what had happened. My left shoulder was burning. When I twisted my head to look, I saw a slender sword had pierced my shoulder, continuing into the snow. Blood seeped out, staining the snow. I screamed and released my right hand, which was grasping the one who meant more to me than anyone else.

* *

“Chief, over there. What should we do?” Elena didn’t need to say it, Tseng had already noticed it.

One of the countless crevasses had formed on the surface of the snow. At the edge of it stood the silver-haired monster. His had stabbed his sword into Evan, who was lying on the ground, and was now looking this way. He was probably laughing. Tseng had believed the boy was either someone with Jenova cells, or someone connected to Jenova. However, it seemed he was simply a being who was searching for Jenova. His identity was unknown. Tseng didn’t know anything anymore. But, the one thing he was sure of was that they could not let him have Jenova.

“We’ll use the missile.”

“But Evan’s there…”

“…I don’t care.”

“But isn’t he the President’s little brother? You know I already shot him, right? I don’t wanna lose my job…”

“Didn’t you hear? I said I don’t care.”

* *

“Whoa, what the…!” Reno was wide-eyed at the scene on the ground that gradually grew closer. The whole of Icicle Inn was ablaze.

“What about Evan and Kyrie?” Leslie asked, leaning out from the back seat.

Just then, the sound signalling a call came in on the radio. Reno flipped the switch to put it through to the speakers.

“Reno, where are you?” Elena’s voice came through.

“We’ll be at the village soon. What the hell is—” Reno replied through the headset.

“Where’s Evan!?” Doyle yelled from the back seat.

“Come to the snowfield past the village to the north. We’re going to eliminate the enemy now. Get into attack mode, please!”

“The enemy?”

“How long until you arrive?”

“We can already see you,” Rude replied as he steered.

All of them looked ahead upon hearing his voice. They saw Tseng’s helicopter, hovering.

“Reno, prepare to attack,” Rude said in a low voice.

“Aye aye.” Reno took off his seat belt, maneuvered himself from the cramped co-pilot’s seat through the narrow opening between it and the pilot’s seat where Rude was seated to get to the back seat. He opened a storage box that was hidden under the three back-facing seats, skillfully removing the clasp with a *click*.

Doyle and Leslie, who sat on the front-facing seats, watched him work.

Reno flipped up the seat, which doubled as a lid, and took out a heavy machine gun from inside the box.

“It’s been a while…”

“The enemy… who is it?” Doyle asked.

“Hell if I know.” Reno took out the machine gun, placed it on Leslie’s lap, and then pulled out a pedestal tripod for the gun to be set on. He quickly assembled it, and mounted it to the drilled holes next to the righthand-side door at the rear of the helicopter.

“You’re going to attack without knowing who it is?” Doyle asked.

Reno took back the gun from Leslie’s lap, and fixed it to the pedestal he had just installed. He checked that the muzzle could be moved smoothly up and down, and left and right, then proceeded to take out an ammunition belt from the storage box, and set it in the bullet feed port of the machine gun. He lowered the flip-up seat and sat down on top of it, and gazed at Doyle. “Our boss is in the helicopter over there. When there’s an order from him, we follow it. That is what you call an organisation.”

“That’s pathetic,” Leslie chortled.

“In your terms, it would be comrades instead of organisation, I guess? They’re similar, right?” Reno got up, approached the door, and put his hand on the release lever.

* *

“Tseng, sir, they’re here.”

Tseng put on the headset, and positioned the microphone to his mouth. “Rude, head past us to the north, and swing around. Set up a barrage, and cut off the enemy’s escape route. We’ll fire our missile right away.”

Mixed with the static noise, Rude was heard acknowledging the orders.

* *

Upon hearing his boss’s order through the speakers, Reno quickly popped open the door. A gust of wind violently rushed into the cabin. Without flinching, Reno went around behind the gun, and pointed the muzzle out. Outside the door, he was soon able to see Tseng’s helicopter, about twenty metres ahead. He could see Tseng sitting in the seat on this side, motioning with his finger for him to go ahead. Rude lowered the nose by pushing the control stick forward, and moved the helicopter forward. Then, after advancing slightly, he spun it around on the spot. Reno focused his eyes, trying to see the enemy below them. He was on the edge of a crevasse that opened up in the surface of the snow. It was a silver-haired boy, with a slim figure. And lying at his feet… was Evan.

“That idiot,” Reno muttered.

“What’s the matter? Fire!” Tseng’s voice echoed through the speakers.

“Evan’s there,” Rude spoke for Reno.

“I don’t care. He’s already dead. Fire.”

Leslie and Doyle exchanged glances at Tseng’s voice.

“I can’t do it, yo.”

“Reno!” Tseng’s scolding resounded.

“He’s our friend.”

“I understand. Let me explain—” Tseng’s words were cut off.

“It’s broken,” Rude muttered as he took his hand off the master switch on the radio.

Doyle craned his neck and looked to find that the switch was off.

“Evan’s alive.” Leslie looked out the window, and said in a low voice, “Please, help him.”

* *

“Elena, we’re doing this on our own. Keep her steady.”


“You’re Evan’s friend, too?” Tseng didn’t miss the hesitation in Elena’s voice.

“…No, that’s not it, but Reno…”

“Switch to autopilot. I’ll do it.”

“I’ll do it! I’ll steer!”

* *

The pain spreading through my whole body from my shoulder. The anguish of losing Kyrie. It’s driving me to insanity. Just kill me already.

“It’s rather noisy in the sky, isn’t it?” Kadaj’s voice sounded awfully distant.

“Evan!” It was Kyrie’s voice. I wondered if I had really heard it.

“KYRIE!?” I shouted. I wasn’t sure if I had actually said it out loud.

“Evan.” I heard her properly this time. We were alive. As hopeless as the situation was, we were still alive.

“I guess I’ll start over there.”

As I heard Kadaj’s voice, I felt the sword pull out of my shoulder. I hoped that the pain would disappear, but, if anything, it got worse. If I wanted to be rid of this pain, I had to get moving. Surely, it couldn’t get any worse than it was now? At the very least, I had Kyrie just ahead of me. Using my right elbow and both legs, I crawled toward the hole before my eyes.

* *

Rude watched the helicopter piloted by Elena. She seemed to be struggling to stabilize the nose toward the enemy. He could see that Tseng was looking downward, working on something next to Elena. He was probably fine-tuning the missile launcher. Before long Tseng looked up and said something to Elena. Then they began to ascend and turn back toward the village. They were going to swing back, and head straight toward the enemy to fire the missile. That was better suited for Elena since she was no good at maintaining a hover.

“What’s going on?” asked Reno, who had come back to the two-seat cockpit.

“Tseng is going to do it.”

“No, partner. I meant you.”

“I don’t like Evan.”

“I know that, yo,”

“But I don’t dislike Kyrie.” Rude pointed at the ground through the window of the cockpit and lowered the helicopter’s nose.

Reno looked through and saw Kyrie, wearing a red down jacket, on an overhanging piece of ice, about 3 metres down from the edge of the crevasse. She seemed to be having a hard time climbing the wall of ice. She was wearing boots and her legs were bare; he felt frozen just looking at her state of dress. Above the crevasse, he found Evan, face down, slowly inching forward. Nearby, was the boy they knew as their “enemy” gazing towards their helicopter.

“That kid’s the enemy?”

“Since about two years ago, most of our enemies have been kids.”

“You said it.”

“Rude, take us down a bit,” Leslie shouted from behind, surprisingly close.

Reno looked back to find Leslie sitting at the machine gun they had set up.

“All we gotta do is take down that guy with the sword, right?” Doyle said, with his hand on the door lever.

“Rude, hurry. Descend. If we shoot from above, we’ll hit Evan.”

“Amateurs don’t give orders,” Rude murmured under his breath, and lowered their altitude.

Doyle opened the door. The cabin once again filled with wind, and the sound of the engine. Soon, it was mixed with the sound of the machine gun as Leslie shot out.

* *

“Tseng, over there.”

“Looks like they’re finally getting started.”

“What should we do?”


* *

Leslie’s bullets had to have been hitting the enemy. “Is this guy invincible or something?”

“That’s ridiculous…”

The boy stood with his sword hanging loosely, and looked as if he was laughing. He was beyond Doyle and Leslie’s understanding.

“Partner, Tseng’s charging.”

“That guy’s coming too!” Doyle shouted from behind.

Rude confirmed that the boy was approaching slowly. He clicked his tongue and took them higher. They were 10 metres above the ground.


There was the “enemy”, beyond the windshield of the cockpit. The silver-haired boy stood balanced on the tip of the nose of the helicopter. He grinned, and violently thrust his sword through the windshield. Though the windshield was reinforced, it just shattered like normal glass. The tip of the sword stopped in front of Reno’s eyes.

“This guy’s a monster, yo!”

“Amateurs in the back! Jump out!” As soon as he said it, Rude tilted the aircraft heavily to the right.

“What are you trying to do?!” Doyle and Leslie protested, they removed their seat belts, and fell through the open door.

“I’m taking us up!” Rude rapidly took the helicopter higher. The “enemy” who should have been right in front of them had disappeared.

“Where did he go?”

“Over here.”

Reno looked back to find the “enemy” was sitting in the back seat.

“This is fun.”

“He’s playing all on his own, yo.”

Reno and Rude opened the left and right doors at the same time, and jumped from the helicopter.

* *

“Firing!” Tseng confirmed that his subordinates had finished their reckless escape, and pressed the launch button.

“Go!” As Elena shouted out, a missile was fired from the launcher on the bottom of the helicopter. A trail of white smoke and flames followed the hurtling missile, which lodged itself inside the helicopter carrying the “enemy”. And then came the explosion. The airborne helicopter became engulfed in flames, and fell, spewing out black smoke.