Crule and Ming spent a few more days in Janus before finding Turf and Dante to continue on their journey.
Chun Qin returned to where he was trying to make a name for himself, the colosseum town of Aria.
Turf was more than happy to but there was still the lingering fear of Crule and Ming’s power. Dante too was fearful but her pride didn’t allow her to shy away from adventure. They reluctantly continue on their journey. A journey filled with fear and excitement.
Erika fully recovered from her accident a month later. Johan took an extended break from his band touring the Wild to accompany her.
The last day of her hospital stay, Erika left with Johan hand in hand. Their happiness warmed the hearts of those around them. Nearly everyone wished well for the couple. The vile man was nowhere to be seen but his goons were still nearby.
Johan noticed them but didn’t approach them. Most likely they were only there for surveillance.
Johan led Erika to his ship he had parked out front. The ship’s engine roared to life with an electrical hum. It slowed lifted off the ground and they flew off.
One of the goons took out a communicator and whispered into it.
[Goon]: Sir, they have left on the vehicle.
[Man]: Good, leave that place now, don’t let them track it back to us.
[Goon]: Yes Sir.
The goon put away his communicator, picked up a black suitcase besides him and walked away into the crowded streets.
Around two hours into their flight back to their hometown, Johan turned on auto pilot. The ship steadied itself to its internal gyro. Johan unbuckled his seatbelt and went into the back room. Erika was currently in the studio he had built into his ship. The room was soundproof and was his personal musical haven.
She was currently singing. A song so beautiful it brought a tear to Johan’s eyes.
When the song came to a close, Johan knocked on the glass and entered.
[Johan]: You still got it!
[Erika]: *panting* Really?
[Johan]: Nothing can stop my beautiful muse from singing her tune.
[Erika]: Thanks, I was worried that the accident might have affected my singing.
Erika inched close to Johan and they entered into an embrace.
[Johan]: Please Erika, join my band. Be our singer.
Johan seriously asked.
[Erika]: Really? You sure your bandmates won’t mind?
[Johan]: I’m sure they won’t. Having a female singer will boost our popularity too!
[Erika]: Yes! Anything I can do to help!
They were lost in their pink cloud of love when suddenly an alarm sounded in the cockpit.
Johan immediately rushed to the cockpit. On his screen he saw a familiar face…a face that he hated the most.
The vile snake who tried to snatch away his Erika.
[Man]: My oh my, it seems we meet again my dear Johan.
His decrepit laugh brought force unimaginable rage in Johan.
[Man]: As you can see, I implanted a virus into your little love boat. It’s now on a collision course directly into the molten sea of metal under you!
Erika entered the room right as the man said that.
Both their faces paled.
[Man]: You see, I am a very generous man, but even the most virtuous of saints have needs.
The man continue to describe his longing for Erika in the most monotone of fashion. It was sickening to listen to. The ship’s blaring alarm couldn’t drown out his speech entirely.
[Man]: So you see, I, the great Bao Ding Mien, decided that if I can’t have her, I will just give it to you. I mean why not? I’m sure you two would enjoy each other’s company in hell.
His tone became sinister.
Johan tried to get the ship back into control, but nothing he did worked. The ship was heading straight down in a nose dive into the molten sea of metal.
With nothing working, Johan panicked. Bao’s demonic laughter filled the cockpit as the prerecorded message ended.
Erika was scared. She didn’t know what to do. She prayed Johan would save them from this ordeal.
Johan looked out the windows. Although they reached terminal velocity in falling, since they were so high up in the first place, they still got a tiny smidgen of time left.
In the near horizon he saw the Wild. It seems they have flew close to the borders of the Wild.
He breathed deeply and closed his eyes, calming himself. He knew this was his last chance, he had to save Erika.
He quickly ran over to the guitar case in the corner and took out the Haoma guitar. He turned around to face the front of the ship.
One strum, two strum, he was putting his all into his music.
The powerful vibration caused the ship to quiver.
But it wasn’t enough.
Erika appeared besides the desperate Johan and hugged his back.
It was dangerous times like these that people realize their own mortality and the ones they loved.
Erika started singing. The melody didn’t have any power in it since she didn’t get the enhancement for the nanodes like Johan had from adventuring in the Wild. However, a miracle happened as the melody blended with the riffs Johan was playing.
It seemed to summon a powerful gust of wind from the east. It blew pass their ship, carrying it like a leaf in a heavy storm. It blew them toward the Wild.
Landing on solid ground wasn’t any better than in liquid but at least the ship would not melt from the heat. They had a better chance of survival.
The music stopped. Johan looked at Erika. Erika looked back. This was all they could do. It was now left to fate whether they live or die.
They didn’t leave each other embrace. Even if they strap themselves into the chair’s it would not guarantee their survival.
They might as well enjoy what could be their final moments together.
Just before they were about to impact, Johan remembered something.
The black marble Crule had given him.
[Johan]: Crule, my friend. If this marble can protect Erika, then even in the afterlife I would still repay my gratitude.
Johan inject a bit of aura into the black marble and it expanded into an oval sphere.
The last seconds to impact.
Johan left Erika’s embrace and gently nudged her into the sphere.
[Johan]: Good bye my love, I will always love you.
[Erika]: NO JOHAN!
Erika tried to reach out but the sphere sensed a living entity had enter it and sealed itself.
Johan hugged the sphere as the ship crashed.
The ship landed head first. The cockpit was smashed immediately. The forward momentum caused the ship to tumble several hundred meters. Trees were destroyed in its path.
Piece of shrapnel and metal chunks flew off the ship as it tumbled.
Smoke bellowed out from the metal ball of death.
The ship finally stopped when it imbedded itself into a slightly taller hill.
Fire broke out and the stored fuel was ignited. The ship became a blazing inferno.
It was a mess.
No one could have survived.
Hours passed. A stormed blew by. The weakened fires were extinguished by the gentle drizzle.
Inside of the remains of the cockpit, was a charred corpse and a black oval sphere.