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Resolve

Have you ever had a moment where you feel like your life was turned upside-down? Well, that's what happened to me one time. And what happened to me will probably trump anyone else's story. Hands down.

Long story short, I was in the past. A hundred years and nine months in the past, if you wanna be technical. A little wolf pup and I were trying to stop this bad guy named Akuro from getting to Orochi's blood. 'Cuz if he did…well, I didn't wanna think about it.

Up until then, I'd just been a kid trying to have fun. Key word being tried. Y'see, I'd only been on earth for about a week, give or take. Some dudes from the moon, where I used to live, told me to just explore. That I had a mission, and I'd find out what it was when I was out and about. But I was always slightly afraid. What if it ended up being something bad? Like, really bad. What if I died? What if one of my friends died?

That was the reason why I never wanted to make friends. Why I always stayed near Ryoshima Coast and Sei'an City. I didn't want to find out what my mission was. But somehow I'd ended up befriending a wolf pup and going on tons of adventures with him. Which somehow got me a hundred years and nine months into the past, trying to stop a bad guy.

But while we were traveling to the Moon Cave, my pendant started glowing. My pendant was one of the few things I owned, one of the few things that reminded me of my home. Yeah, I'm not actually human. I'm from a group of people who lived on the moon, called the Moon Tribe. They were more advanced than the people in Nippon. Way more advanced. But anyways, back to the actual story…

"It's my pendant again…" I took said object out of my pocket. A blue light started to shine on me, and I felt words starting to form in my mind. "It's like…a message for me or something."

Kurow, you are a living doll. I'd heard that voice before. If I remembered correctly, it was a person named Waka. I created you for a certain purpose. Akuro will make it to Orochi's blood before you can stop him. You are meant to seal Akuro. If and when Chibiterasu kills you, Akuro will be killed as well.

I started shaking. No way. This could not be happening. I fell to my knees. "Duuuuuude…this sucks. You can't be serious. That cannot be my mission. I mean, for real?" Then I started to laugh, partly out of hysteria. "They sure pulled a fast one on me. Dudes must be trippin' to think I'm gonna do that." Dude(as I dubbed the wolf pup)gave me a questioning look. I floated into the air and put on my wings. "Sorry, Boy…" Oh, yeah. I also call him Boy. "You're on your own for now. I got some personal stuff to deal with."

"What's wrong?" He asked. I should probably mention that I can understand his barks. I don't know how, I just can.

"Sorry, but I don't wanna get into it now. It's best for both of us if I do this. Later…" I started to fly off in the direction of the Agata Forest.

"Wait!" I heard Dude yell. He was probably chasing after me. "Don't go!" I heard a tiny whimper, and I felt bad. But I had to deal with my own problems at the moment.

I still couldn't believe it. Was that seriously my mission? The only reason I was created? To die? I thought it was just to get rid of King Fury or something. I thought I was safe. But apparently I wasn't. I suddenly felt angry. If Waka knew all along, why didn't he tell me sooner? It would've been nice to know something like that! I wouldn't have made so many friends if I had known. Dude, Kagu, Nanami, the Scholar Lady…

I felt sick. The Scholar Lady. I promised her we'd go on a date after I came back. But I wouldn't come back. Dang, I'd really been looking forward to it. I'd even said 'I'll make sure nothing will put the kibosh on our date!' Couldn't Waka have told me a little bit before that? At least I could've told her I wasn't coming back or something…

"Why?" I yelled to the sky. "Why me? Couldn't it have been someone else?" My throat was hurting from holding back tears. But I couldn't keep them at bay for long. So I cried. I cried for a good ten or twenty minutes. All the while whimpering those same words. Why me? I was practically soaked by the time the tears stopped.

Maybe I didn't have to help defeat Akuro? I mean, it was my choice, right? Waka couldn't tell me what to do. Besides, Dude was strong enough to beat Akuro. We'd go back to the present after the battle was over, everything would be fine, and I'd get to go on my date with the Scholar Lady.

It's not going to work, Kurow. I couldn't tell if that was me or Waka, but I didn't care. I just ignored the thought. It was about time I got back to Dude. He'd probably want his awesome partner back. So I went back to the Moon Cave.

From what I could tell, Dude had found another partner,(how many did he have? I think that made four…)but he had to help his mom get back home or something. Dude was trying to get him to leave, but he wanted to help find Orochi. I sighed and decided it was time I stepped in.

"Give it up, dude." I saw Boy look up instantly. "We all got our lot in life, and there's no use trying to fight it." I felt like such a hypocrite for saying that. But I just floated to the ground and pretended that nothing was bothering me.

"Who are you?" The dude, Manpuku, I think, asked.

I turned around and spun my flute around in my hand. "The name's Kurow. Don't wear it out, or I'll make you buy me a new one. Time to change partners."

"Change partners?" The boy seemed confused for a second, but then the confusion turned to anger. "No! Pork Chop is my partner!" Pork Chop? Wow, Dude got the weirdest nicknames.

I just sighed and shook my head. "Listen, dude. You need to save your mom, right?" I floated over to them.

"…I guess…" Manpuku said slowly.

"When you got a job to do, you can't loose sight of that." I pulled out my pendant to look at it again. I couldn't help but sigh one more time. "It's destiny, man." I said quietly as I shook my head. "You almost don't have a choice…" I think I was trying to reassure myself more than him. I felt tears threatening to fall again, but I wouldn't let them this time. Definitely not in front of Dude.

Hypocrite, I heard Waka's voice in my head. I mentally told him to shut up.

Manpuku looked over at Dude. "Pork Chop…I really wanna go with you. But…I can't leave my mom…" Boy tried to comfort Manpuku, and then started to push him. "Okay, Pork Chop. I know you want me to go." He turned around and they hugged. "And I will…but you have to promise me something. Call me if you ever get in a tight spot. I'll be by your side before you can say 'all-you-can-eat.'" Then he and his mom left.

"Well then." I said. "I kinda needed some time to work through stuff. Now, are we gonna stop Akuro? Or are we gonna let him get everything he wants? There's two paths before us, but only one choice." I jumped onto his back. "Amaterasu and the others are on their way to face Orochi. And we don't wanna be late!"

So we made our way through the Moon Cave(it took way quicker than last time, thank Amaterasu)and watched Nagi slice off all of Orochi's heads. It was basically the exact same as Susano did, they even said the same thing while cutting the heads. Then after Shiranui saved Nagi from a boulder, Akuro appeared.

"There he is! Akuro's here!" We both ran to try to stop him from getting to Orochi. But I felt Dude push me. When I looked back I saw a boulder where I was a millisecond ago. That was way too close of a call.

But in that time, Akuro managed to reach Orochi.

"No!" I yelled. But it was no use. I dropped to my knees. "He got to Orochi's blood. It's over…he's won…unless…well, only one way to find out." I honestly had no idea what I was saying. No idea what I was doing. But I just knew that I wanted to live. I got up and put on my wings. "You should get out of here, Boy. I'm going after Akuro." As I left to follow said bad guy, I heard Dude bark. But then he left, and I was left alone to face Akuro.

-

I didn't want to do it. I really didn't. But I also really didn't want to die. I was too young-and handsome-to die. I still regretted the decision, but it was too late to change it. Wondering what I did?

I joined Akuro.

Jaw drop, gasp, oh noes, and all that crap. I betrayed my only real friend. And there weren't even any promised cookies, either. Like I said before, I regretted it. Gimme a break, okay?

I was standing in the shadows, trying to figure out when to make my entrance. I was trying to stall it as long as possible. If you were me, would you want to show your face? Yeah, I thought not. Boy and some tiny dude(partner number six. I found out that he had another partner besides Nanami, Kagu, Manpuku, and me.)were standing in front of Akuro. And, if you want to be technical, Kuni. Dude's first partner.

I decided that I couldn't wait any longer or Akuro would probably get mad, so I finally joined the party.

"You should be more humble." Dude started to look around for the source of my voice. There was a confused expression on his face. I floated up next to Kuni/Akuro. "After all, you are in the presence of the dark king. You should bow in his presence.

"Why?" Dude simply asked me.

"…You can't choose your destiny." I kneeled to Akuro. "This one was chosen for me."

"Aren't you full of lies today?" Waka asked.

Shut up! I snapped. Just shut up! You're the reason I'm in this position in the first place! He didn't reply. That was a good move on his part, because I was ticked at him.

Akuro went on a giant rant about his plan and such. Ishaku(Dude's partner)was always asking stupid questions and I had to clarify everything for him. This went on for a while until Akuro finally decided to take Dude to a different place. I followed him into the new world. It almost looked like we were in space. Dude and Ishaku fell out of the air and landed on the ground. Akuro was sitting on some giant throne(stereotypical bad guys will never change)while I stood next to him. But he jumped off the throne and started up another giant speech.

"Child of the sun…I will teach you the true meaning of pain. Behold! This is the power of the one who holds the power of both light and dark!" He started…floating. Wow, impressive. He just learned to do something that I knew practically from birth…erm, being created. Yet for some reason Dude jaw dropped.

"Wh-what the heck are those monsters?" Ishaku asked. Offensive. "It's okay. Just stay calm here." His tone of voice wasn't helping to back up his words. "No way we're gonna loose!" Dude barked in agreement.

"No way you can loose, eh?" I asked. "Is that because you think you're worthy to fight Akuro?" I spun my flute around and pointed it at them. "No, I don't think so!" Four purple spheres appeared and collided, and in the next second the five bad guys Dude had fought were floating behind us.

"What the heck? That's cheating!" Ishaku yelled. "Fight fair! One-on-one! C'mon!"

"One-on-one? You silly insect. I said you are not worthy to fight Akuro. How hard is it to understand that?" Dude jumped to attack the bad guys, but King Fury hit him with lightning.

"Listen, Chibi. This ain't fair. You can't win!"

Chibi got back up. "I have to save my friends." He said with determination in his voice.

"What? You wanna try to save Kuni and Kurow?" Chibi barked a 'yes'.

"And just how are you gonna do that? Hmph…" I started laughing. "You really are a joker. You plan o fighting like when you fought King Fury? I don't think you'll be as lucky this time, Boy. You haven't been able to do anything on your own, have you?" I pointed my flute at him. "You're just a pup. What can you do?" Then Sen and Ryo hit Dude with a weird-looking thing. He yelped as he was knocked backwards. But of course, he got back up.

"Dang! Chibi's gonna die out there without some help!" Ishaku said in a worried tone. "What're we gonna do? We need to find you a partner!...hold on a sec. I got me an idea! It's crazy enough that it just might work! Listen up, Chibi! I'm assuming you can use the Celestial Brush, right?"

"Yep!" He answered.

"Good. Then follow my lead! I can't pull this off by myself! Ready? We're gonna split time and space!" He jumped into the air and seemed to slice the sky. Dude waved his tail and then a giant crack started to appear.

"Hm?" I asked. Chibi started to bark all of his partners names. (minus me and Kuni. It made me feel slightly bad.) I flew into the air and prepared to close the crack.

"Sorry, dudes. Time to shut you down." I said right before I hit it with my flute and it disappeared.

"Nooo! What the heck is he doing? The summoning portal is closed!"

I turned to them. "So much for that. Kinda a waste, if you ask me."

"It wasn't a waste!" I heard Manpuku's voice. Okay, seriously? I turned around and saw the crack starting to get bigger and bigger before Manpuku finally dropped to the ground. "Who said that?" I asked out of pure disbelief.

"I made a promise to Pork Chop!" Manpuku said as he ran to hug the wolf pup. "I told him I would help him if he ever needed me!" That made me feel guilty. But I quickly made it go away. I had no choice.

"Hmph." I sighed. "I don't see what one of you…"

"I never said I came alone!" Manpuku interrupted with a smile on his face. "Pork Chop's had more partners than just me!" As if on cue, Kagu and Nanami landed in front of us.

"Pooch!"

"Squiddy!" Nanami hugged Dude.

"There will be time for hugs later!" Kagu said, then looked at me. There was an extremely disapproving expression on her face. What, was she my mom? I turned away from the group. "Kurow! Just what in Amaterasu's name are you doing? I thought you two were friends." I turned towards them slightly.

"Friends? I don't have any of those." I felt like crying again. Of course I considered Dude my friend. And I guess Kagu, as well. But I knew they wouldn't want to be my friend now. I looked away in case I couldn't keep the tears from falling. "Never have, never will." My throat was closing up on me.

"Now that the whole crew is together, let's stomp the bad guy!" Ishaku said enthusiastically. Good to see that at least someone was happy in all of this.

"This is intriguing…" Akuro said. "We shall take this to a more appropriate stage." Again? Seriously? I thought. Akuro used a purple sphere to teleport Chibi and his partners to different platforms. "The stage has been set! If you believe you have the power to face me, then come at me with all you have!" He left to go to his platform and I went to mine. Then all I could do was wait.

-

I hate having to wait. Especially when I'm alone and all I can do is think to myself. And I really didn't want to do that. I felt sick. I felt so lost. Desperate to get out of this entire thing. I didn't want to be involved in this! It was all Waka's fault. Just if he hadn't made me, I wouldn't be in this position. Or at least if he hadn't made me with only one purpose in mind. And then he told me what I was supposed to do at the last second. Like, oh, hey, yeah, you're going to die. Enjoy the last few hours of your live! But…

I knew I couldn't entirely blame it on Waka. I could've been with Dude at that moment, helping him fight with all his other partners. But I chickened out. There wasn't really a good excuse for what I did. I was afraid of dying? Yeah, well I had a pretty good chance of that happening if and when Chibi would fight me. I was screwed no matter what option I choose. Unfortunately, I figured that out too late. I couldn't go back on my decision now.

After what seemed like forever Kagu and Dude finally walked up to my platform. That took them long enough…

"No one told me you know how to fly." I said, referring to the battle with King Fury. "Not too shabby. Unfortunately, it won't help you beat Akuro. I'd be surprised if you could even scratch him. You're just a bunch of kids playing games."

Kagu had a determined look. "I don't care what you say: I'm not backing down! Pooch and I are going to fight till the end!"

"Have it your way. You'll learn to give up." An idea came to my mind. And I was already doomed, so why not let Dude's other partners help? Besides, I deserved it…"I know! It'll be fun to watch all of you loose to me at once. Let's round up the whole gang!" I teleported his other partners to the platform. Manpuku fell first, Nanami fell on top of him, and Ishaku bounced off of Manpuku's head.

"…You're really intent on fighting us?" Kagu asked slowly. I once again felt a wave of regret wash over me. And her continuing on about it didn't help at all. "But you and Pooch were partners!"

"Yeah, man!" Manpuku added. "We were all his partner at one time!"

"Exactly! And how many adventures did you two have?" Nanami joined in.

Were they trying to give me a mental breakdown? I was having a tough time as it was, but they were making it all the worse. But I couldn't back down. And Akuro was probably watching us…wait, why would I care about that?

I suddenly had another idea. It was crazy, but it could work. There were a lot of ifs…but I had to try it. I could still help Dude out. If I could keep Akuro thinking I was loyal to him, I could become his vessel in the very likely event that he and Kuni were beaten. But I had to pretend that I was still fighting against Dude, in the event that Akuro was watching. Not only that, but I had to pull it out at the last second. If Dude knew my plan beforehand, he'd try to think of something else. I knew he would. But there were no other options. I'd have to tell him my plans when I already had Akuro sealed. Then it'd be up to him to make the final decision.

I felt my spirits suddenly lift. This could actually work. I just had to keep everyone out of the know until the last second.

But that also meant I had to keep up an act until then.

"Partners? No, I don't think so." I said in a voice that was colder than before. Their words suddenly weren't hurting me anymore. Because I was on their side. "I already told you guys once." But I slightly faltered at the next thing I said. "I am alone." I paused. "Got it?" Boy gave me a weird look. "Dude, do you have something to say to me? Well, you don't know me. You don't know who I am." I pulled out a sword from my flute.(on both sides, I might add. Yeah, it really is an awesome weapon.) "That's why I'm done talking to you. I've got the blade! You bring the claws! Talk is cheap when we can fight it out instead!"

"Chibi! You're gonna need me to talk some sense into him!" I already know what I'm doing and I'm on your side, you stupid bug! "You guys hang back and let us take care of this!" They all complied, and so the fight began.

I wasn't really giving it my all. Just doing enough to hopefully convince them all that I was serious about my decision. Of course, since it was Dude I was fighting, I was doing a lot. It didn't really help that he had a crap load of items, either. I slightly regretted that one time we had tons of yen and decided to waste it all on fist and soul sakes. But the battle didn't take too long(thank Amaterasu)and I think it was safe to say I got my butt kicked. Okay, not really thankful about that, but I had to let Dude win. After the fight he ran over to me.

"Ungh…I lost…bummer…" I managed to say. That battle seriously took its toll on me. I was really tired. And in pain. A lot of pain. "Remember the hot scholar lady? And the crew of the Goryeo? And Susano, too…they weren't selfish like I was…" I felt my throat closing on me again. Right when I was in the middle of trying to say something important. Really? "They really wanted to help people in need. They believe in something. Whereas I…I didn't even believe in myself. I was just…a coward." Dude didn't respond. I looked at him. "Alright, then…just end it now…you guys won." He licked my face and then whimpered. A portal suddenly appeared behind his partners. They were all sucked into it, and Chibi turned around.

"Wait up!" He called as he ran after his partners. But then he stopped.

"Dude, you're willing to…forgive me?" I asked as I managed to pull myself onto my knees.

"Of course I am." Then he ran into the portal.

"You're too nice…" Then I thought about all the things that could go wrong. What if he didn't fight Kuni? What if he wouldn't kill me? "And that's your weakness." I grabbed my pendant and looked at it. Waka had given it to me. I wanted to say something. I felt like I should. But my mind couldn't think of anything.

"You're doing the right thing, Kurow." Waka told me. "And I'm proud of you."

I had to tell him how I felt. It was now or never, seeing as I would be dead pretty soon. "Why should I care if you're proud of me?" I said crossly into the empty air. "What, do you think you're my dad or something?"

"Ku-"

"No!" I cut him off. "You may have created me, but I'll never think of you as a dad, Waka. You created me just so I can be killed by my best friend. You're a cruel, heartless person and that's all you'll ever be!" Then, in a quieter voice, I added "I'll never forgive you." He didn't respond. I didn't know whether I felt better or worse after my outburst. But I didn't want to die before voicing my thoughts. Then, when I was about to leave to go watch Dude fight Akuro, I heard Waka's voice in my mind. It was so faint I couldn't tell if I was imagining it or not.

"And I didn't expect you to."

-

I had to watch as Dude fought Akuro, then Kuni. I was worried that he might not make it through the fights, or refuse to fight at all. In truth, he wouldn't fight Kuni for a while. I flinched every time he was hit. That looked like it hurt, especially the first one. Then when he was pretty much screwed, Kuni managed to stop Akuro from using a deadly attack. But Dude still fought Akuro, and then he ended up battling against Kuni and a dark version of himself. That was weird to watch. I thought he would die a few times in that battle. But he always managed to use some holy bones or divine sakes to get back into the fight. Still, that was a pretty scary dude to have as an opponent. He even had a celestial brush and could cancel out Boy's brush techniques. But Dude finally beat him, and Akuro was left without a vessel. Which was exactly what I wanted.

The second before I made myself known though, I hesitated. My heart was pounding. My mind was racing. It was then that I realized how scared I really was. I was walking up to my death. And what if Dude refused to kill me? Although I was meant to be a seal for Akuro, I didn't know how long I could hold him back. But I knew it wouldn't be forever. If that happened, I'd really end up being the bad guy. I would have helped Akuro destroy Nippon to make a perfect world for Yami instead. I really didn't want that.

That won't happen. Or else I wouldn't have made you. Waka's voice whispered to me. Just hearing his voice started to make me angry, but I had to force myself to calm down. I guess I was on his side, no matter how much I hated him at the moment. And he was just trying to help by reassuring me that my plan would work.

Then again, was that really reassurance? To tell someone, 'Yep, no doubt about it, you're going to be killed by your best friend!' I was shaking. I was scared. No, that's not the right word. Nervous? Afraid? Fearful? Terrified? No, none of those come even close to how I felt at that moment. But I knew I had to do it.

I went over to the platform that everyone was on. "Master! Please, use me as your vessel." I had my arms spread out wide like I wanted to give someone a hug. It made me feel vulnerable, but then again, why did it matter? Akuro started to circle me like he was a predator. "Hmm…you're one of the Moon Tribe, are you not? I could do worse for a vessel!" There are no words to describe what I felt at that moment. It was like an overwhelming wave of pain, darkness, hopelessness, and a whole lotta other crap that's usually considered unpleasant. I felt like I was paralyzed for a second, even though I was moving. My body was moving without me telling it to. That was definitely Akuro.

I spun around and pointed my sword at Dude. "Now, where were we?" I heard someone say. It sounded like a cross between Akuro's voice and mine.

"Aw, c'mon! We gotta fight him again?" Ishaku complained.

Then I was finally able to gain control of my body. Slightly, anyways. Just enough to drop my flute.

"Huh?" Akuro asked. "Wh-what's happening…no…I can't…I can't control…this body…"

"Do it! Do it now!" I yelled. Akuro was trying to take back control, but I wouldn't-I couldn't-let him. But he was making sure that I went through heck as long as I had control.

"What?" Chibi was confused.

"Is that…that's Kurow, isn't it?" No crap, Sherlock.

"You have to put me down if you want to defeat Akuro." I told them. The pain I was going through was so bad that I was writhing in pain, except I was standing. "This is your only chance."

"Y-you're not making any sense kid!"

How hard is it to understand? Just freaking kill me! Of course, I didn't say that.

"No way." Chibi said stubbornly.

"No…you have to do it. This is my destiny…my body was created to be a seal for Akuro."

"What the heck are you going on about?" Ishaku asked. I kept myself from swearing. He needed to stop asking questions already. It was tough enough as is to stay in control, and now I was having to waste my strength on giving him explanations.

"One of the Moon Tribe, Waka, he made a doll that was a copy of himself…that doll…was me. He's in there now, inside me. I can't hold Akuro inside me for long! If I die, then Akuro will die with me."

"You're a living doll? How is that possible?"

Why won't you listen? "Like I said, I'm not like the rest of you. That's why…" My throat was once again closing on me. I knew I was going to start crying soon, as much as I didn't want to. "That's why I've always been alone. I was afraid my destiny would be something like this." The tears finally started to fall down my face. But I had to finish explaining, or the bug would just keep bombarding me with even more questions. "I avoided finding out what it was. I mean, who wants to wind up as a copy? A soulless copy. So…I ran away, tried to avoid my fate. That's why I decided to throw my hat in with Akuro. Pretty pitiful, eh?" I tried to laugh, but it just ended up as a strangled sound. "I couldn't bear the weight," I looked at the ground and slightly shook my head. "The weight of my destiny." I took out my pendant again, even though I couldn't figure out why myself. I stared at it. It felt like that little trinket ruined my whole life. And Waka gave it to me, so it felt like he ruined my whole life. No, it wasn't like he ruined it, he did ruin it. But I couldn't keep thinking about it now. "I was…I was weak…"

"That's one heckuva explanation." I prayed that the bug would be satisfied with that, because my shaking was uncontrollable at this point. And soon my mind would be, too.

"You…you tried to save me before, Dude." I was referring to after our fight. "Thanks for that…you really were the best partner a dude could have." I finally didn't have the strength to stand anymore and fell to my knees.

"Kurow!" Dude barked. His voice was filled with concern.

My breathing was becoming raged. I was spending most of my energy just focused on taking breaths of air. "…sorry…I can't hold him in any longer…" I said in between gasps. "Hurry…do it…beat Akuro! I'm not doing this because I have to. It's because…of everything we saw. For the world itself…and for the people I met." I forced myself to look up. "I-I'm ready." It took all my strength to stand up. And it was probably pitiful for Dude and Ishaku to watch. Even when I was finally standing, I was shaking uncontrollably. Anyone who didn't know what was going on would have thought that I was having a seizure or something. "That's how I feel. I want to do this…so…what are you waiting for? Do this one last thing-for your partner." I held out my arms like I had with Akuro. I forced myself to stay like that through all the fear, pain, anxiety, tiredness, and hearing Akuro cursing in my mind. I was silently praying that Dude would hurry, because that was pure torture. My eyes were closed, so I didn't see what was going on. I actually was trying to tune myself out in an attempt to hold back Akuro longer. From what little I could hear, Dude was refusing at first, but then finally agreed to do it. Kuni stopped him and offered to help. My spirits were lifted slightly at the thought of just having to hold on for only a few more seconds. Those seconds felt like hours to me, but I wouldn't let Akuro win.

"Release me! Free me now!" Akuro's voice boomed in my mind. I clenched my teeth as I kept trying to fight back. Please hurry, Dude…

I felt a sharp burst of pain shoot through my body. But it was like a pinprick after what I'd just went through. And it felt strangely good. I could sense Akuro leaving me, and I felt a huge calmness come over me. I was only slightly aware that I fell backwards onto the ground and that the scenery changed to the Moon Cave and Dude's partners were all there with us.

And then the pain actually hit me. After the calm I had just felt, it was a huge shock. I knew I was bleeding badly. Well, no duh. I'd just been hit with Kuni's sword and a powerslash. What did I expect? I still didn't want to see how badly I'd been hurt, though. Everyone was crowding around me with concerned looks.

"You guys…you all did good. You're all..." I had to pause from all the pain I was in. "…stand-up dudes."

"Kurow…you fool." I looked over at Kagu. I could see tears in her eyes. Then again, everyone else was crying, too. "You know the scholar lady was looking forward to your date." She pushed some random strands of hair out of my face.

"Ah, the hot scholar lady. Tell her I'm on a trip." Yeah, that'll probably last forever. "A very long, long trip…okay?"

Kagu lifted her head a little and nodded. "Sure…I'll tell her..."

Dude licked my hand and whined. Then out of nowhere, my pendant started to glow. The area all looked white, with holograms floating around us in circles.

"Good! We're gonna be a stellar duo, Dude!"

I gasped when I heard that. "W…what is that?" I looked around at all the holograms, and then I realized something. "…They're like memories from my adventures." Everyone was looking at the holograms in wonder. Even I was trying to glance at every one and figure out when that was. Dude and I escaping from the guards back in Sei'an, helping the scholar lady fix Sugawara's grave, meeting Manpuku in the Moon Cave, going onto the Thunder Cloud, escaping that really ugly monster in Onibi Market, all of it.

"Haha! Dude, what a rush!" I glanced over at the hologram showing when Chibi and I were flying out of Onibi Market. "Ain't nothing gonna get in our way!"

Then I looked at one that showed right before the battle with King Fury. "Humans ain't half bad as you make 'em out to be. Mr. Sugawara…you are so wrong on this."

But after that my eyes drifted back to the scholar lady and I fixing up the shrine. I don't think anyone else saw it, but the memory flashed in my mind.

"Wow…the grave is in worse condition than I thought…" She looked at the really beat-up grave.

"Well, then it'll just take us a little longer to fix it, then." I said optimistically and looked over at her. She gave me a smile. "So, where should we start?"

We ended up fixing the grave faster than we expected, and had a lot of fun while doing it. We had a lot of time left before Dude and Kagu came back, so we just decided to chill and chat.

"So, would you mind telling me how you know about the moon before our date?" She asked with an innocent look on her face.

"Hmm…nah, I think you can wait." I gave her a mischievous smile.

"Okay, fine. What are you willing to tell me now?"

"Y'know that shooting star that fell on Ryoshima Coast about a week ago?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, I came out of it."

She had a shocked expression. "You're not lying, are you?"

"How could I lie to a face as beautiful as yours?" She blushed slightly and looked away with an embarrassed look.

"Okay, now you tell me something about yourself." I said as I twirled my flute in my hand.

"Well, Sugawara was actually a professor who taught people in Sei'an City. I was one of his students."

"Really?"

"Yep. That's why I wanted to fix the grave…" She looked back at it.

"Oh…" I guess that made sense.

"Quite recently, Sugawara went missing and everyone presumed he was dead. So all his students, including myself, made a grave up here on the cliffs of Ryoshima Coast, because he always liked to come here at night and look up at the moon." She looked at me again. "Are you and Sugawara somehow related? Because he talked about the moon a lot."

"Well, in a way. That's something I'll explain on our date." I replied.

"You're really hard to get information out of." She narrowed her eyes, but I saw a playful glint in them.

"I'll answer any question you have on our date. Okay?"

"Hmm…" She put her hand on her chin as if she was thinking. "I think I can live with that."

"Any other questions that aren't related to the moon?" I asked.

"Can you really play the flute?" I actually wasn't expecting that one.

"Yeah. I play it whenever I have the time."

"Can…" She looked unsure for some reason. "Can you play it now?"

"Heck yeah. You didn't need to be afraid to ask me that." She nodded with a blush on her face. I couldn't tell if it was embarrassment about the question or not. I put my flute to my lips and started to play it. It was the first song I learned to play, and I made it up myself. It was the tune I played most often, 'cuz I feel like it suits me really well. She just sat quietly and listened until I was done.

"You're really good at that." She complimented. "How long have you been playing?"

"Actually…only a week. But it comes naturally to me. I learned that song on the first day I tried to play."

"Wow." She breathed. I could tell she was impressed. I gave her a smile as I spun my flute around in my hand again.

"Your turn to tell me something."

"Okay…I've lived in Sei'an my whole life." She stared off into space. "Very recently, about nine months ago, there was a poison mist that covered the city. It made everyone sick. Both my parents died from it, so Sugawara took me in." She looked at the ground, as if grass was suddenly the most interesting thing in the world.

"Oh, wow…I never expected that…" I felt really bad for her. "Well, I haven't really had the best history, either. The little of it that I have."

"What happened?"

"Well, it's not really something that happened…" I was debating with myself whether to save this for the date or not. I decided not to. "I never knew my mom. And I never really knew my dad either, but…sometimes I hear a voice in my head. I think it's his." I noticed her expression. "That, or I've just gone totally mad." I tried to lighten the mood. It worked, 'cuz I got a smile from her.

"Well, I guess it's my turn again, right?" She tried to think of something. "My favorite color is pink."

"Do you like my clothes, then?" I joked.

"Hmm…that's interesting for a boy to be wearing, I'll say that. Why do you wear pink, anyways?"

"Only awesome dudes wear pink. Which is why I'm the only one that wears it." I gave her a smile. She started to laugh.

"You're really funny, you know that?"

"Really?" I'd never really been around people, so no one had ever told me that.

"Mhm. And…" She stopped there and blushed.

"What?"

"…you're kind of cute." Her face turned even redder when she said that. I felt my face getting hot, too.

My face started to get closer to hers. It was unintentional-okay, yeah, it was intentional-but it felt like I couldn't stop. That or I just didn't want to. She didn't back away or anything, so I decided to just go for it and kiss her. It only lasted a few seconds, but it felt like forever. It was the most amazing feeling in the world.

When she pulled away, she was blushing. A lot. And that's the understatement of the year. I was positive that my cheeks were as red as hers. She was looking down at the grass, again taking interest in it. After a while, one of us spoke up.

"Just friends?" She asked with slight amusement in her voice.

"Huh?" I asked as I looked up at her.

"Back at the ruins, you said we were just friends."

"Oh yeah…" Can't believe I forgot that already.

"Are we still just friends now?"

I felt my face getting red again. "Um…well…do you wanna be my girlfriend?" I asked quickly.

She looked down in thought for a minute, then looked back at me. "Of course I do, Kurow." I felt my heart leap when she said that.

I wasn't even expecting it at all, but then she kissed me. It lasted longer than the last one. And I was glad. Even though it may have felt like it lasted forever, it was still too dang short. I was suddenly really, really thankful that she was with me…

The memory slowly faded, and I was back with Dude and all his partners. The happiness slowly went away with the memory and was replaced by an extreme loneliness. Not to mention pain. Lots and lots of pain. I wished that I could go back in time to that moment and forget about what was happening now. I wished that I wasn't dying. I wished that the scholar lady was here with us…

…I wished I could've said good-bye while I had the chance.

I gave myself a mental slap. My…Dude's…friends were still here, and I could say goodbye to them. It was something, and I couldn't stop to fantasize over that one time until I finally died…even though I would've been totally fine with that.

"Ahh…those were some good times, Dude…"

"Kurow…" We all looked over to see Ishaku bouncing over to us. "Listen, kid. It don't matter if you're a copy of this Waka guy. You're you. Those are your memories from your adventures. You see what I'm trying to tell ya? You ain't just some walking, talking doll."

"He's right. You're Kurow!" Manpuku said. "And you're a hero. You took down Akuro!" He started to wipe the tears from his eyes.

"And you're one of Squiddy's partners, too!" Nanami added.

"You guys…don't cry for me." We'd all die from a flood before I died of blood loss. I clutched my pendant tighter. "I was weak. It was my fault…everything…"

"Hey, I was weak, too!" Manpuku argued. "I caused problems for my mom, and Pork Chop, too."

"It was the same with me." Kagu spoke up. "Until I met Pooch." She pet Dude. "That changed me. I'm sure you were also changed."

"No doubt he did." Kuni finally joined in. "I know because we've all been Mutt's partners at some point in time."

"Kurow…we're all connected. You're not alone. You never were." She pushed another random string of hair out of my face."

"She's right. You don't have to feel alone." Nanami nodded.

They were all being so kind to me, even after I betrayed them all. I finally saw tears blurring my vision. Or at least I hoped they were just tears. "…thanks. All of you…I mean it. I don't feel alone. I…" I paused for a second to finally take in the fact. "I have friends." Dude whimpered and started to lick the tears off my face. I hugged him tightly. "Especially you, Boy." My arm was getting wet, and I realized even Dude was crying. "We had a lot of good times, Dude." I heard him let out another whimper. "I'm glad I had a chance to live…" I felt darkness slowly steal my vision until it was completely gone. I could barely tell what was going on anymore. I felt my arm drop, so I wasn't in control of my body anymore.

A person appeared in front of me. The only person in this darkness besides me. He looked sort of like me, and I figured it out in an instant.

"Waka."

"I know this isn't much," He said. "and you probably won't even believe me. But I'm sorry."

"I forgive you." I told him. There was obvious shock in his eyes, but then he nodded and disappeared.

Even without my senses anymore, I heard a howl. Dude's howl. It was slightly like his victory howl, but it seemed more sad. At the same moment, I was able to see everyone again. But I wasn't in my body. I could see it lying on the ground, covered in blood. All my friends were practically crying a river. Even though I was dead, I felt more tears threatening to fall. But I had to do one last thing before I left…

-

I knew she'd be at Sugawara's grave. Hey, some of Waka's powers must've rubbed off on me. After I died…but it was better than nothing. I floated over to the grave, but she didn't notice me. Not that I was expecting her to. I looked over at the grave, and had another moment of trying hard not to cry. My name was on it was well.

I glanced over at her again and noticed that she was holding my flute. Kagu must've given it to her. I was glad, I wanted her to have it after all this. When I looked closely I was that she was very, very close to tears. I wished I could've said something, but it wouldn't have even mattered.

She turned away from the grave and looked into the sky. The moon was visible today. I felt bad that she'd never know about how I knew so much about it, but maybe I could tell her someday. An extremely long time, but it'd happen eventually. I guessed I could wait that long. Especially for her.

"Goodbye…" I realized that she'd never actually told me her name. Great, another thing that I'd have to wait for…well, I might be a little more impatient, but I could still wait. "And I promise I'll see you again someday…" I don't know how she heard me. It was seriously an impossibility. But I'm sure that there was no way she said this by chance.

"And I'll be waiting. But for now, goodbye, Kurow."
IT'S GOT SPOILERS!!! DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THROUGH OKAMIDEN!!!
...ah, who am I kidding? The description is below the writing...
I made a one-shot for Kurow after finishing Okamiden the first time. I finished it again today. I actually managed to go without crying until the memory part...then i cried again when the song 'everything must end' started. I also nearly cried while i was fighting Akuro because i was thinking about what was going to happen...and i'm about to cry now. thank you for making me cry four times in one day, Capcom! *obvious sarcasm*

i really hope this gets more than one comment.(I got two reviews on FF and one comment on DS...i am frustrated...)

i couldn't figure out how to make the words italicized.(if that's how you spell it) yes, i know i fail. XD
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:iconyoshie1234:
yoshie1234 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
To me, the worst part of his death was that the final blow had to be done by the player. Capcom, you managed to make me cry. Liatening to Kurow's battle theme right now. Oh, and it's 5 am.
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeaaaaaaah Capcom really kicked the players in their feels that move. I honestly love Kurow's battle theme, though it always makes me a bit sad, and I'm sorry if I made you cry at 5 in the morning.
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:iconyoshie1234:
yoshie1234 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
Just gonna say, freaking epic boss theme. Then again, Okamiden has a freaking awesome soundtrack. I'm usually up at night, so my sleep is usually somewhere between lunch and dinner. It would be interesting if there were a third game and Kurow was alive again. In fact, that would be an interesting fanfic to read. The process of how you might revive someone like that.
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A lot of people have the headcanon that Kurow comes back to life. I happen to be one of those. I've seen it done different ways, but the most common is Waka making a new body for Kurow.
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:iconyoshie1234:
yoshie1234 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
The way I had in mind was another person from the Moon Tribe. For example, another child.
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Huh. Never heard that one before. Sounds interesting! :)
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:iconyoshie1234:
yoshie1234 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
Yeah.
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:iconfeardarkness21:
Feardarkness21 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012
-sniff- sigh I wish kurow didn't die I guess it does make a lot of sense
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
He's probably in a better place. Also, that's what headcanons are for. So many people, including myself, say that Waka just made Kurow another body or something.
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:icondoublecolor:
DoubleColor Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2011
D*mmit you're making me cry ;u;
This so good<3
Sometimes I wish I was a video game character instead of my boring life...Even if it means I'd cry at the mention of a name. ;u;
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm sorry I made you cry.(why does this seem to happen to everyone that reads this?)
Thank you.
Same here.
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:iconkaticoolkid:
Katicoolkid Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011   Digital Artist
OH yeah one more thing I beat Kagu was pissed at that scene with the scholar lady. XD (Its fairly obvious she has a crush on Kurow)
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I agree, Kagu might've felt slightly jealous. But I don't think she was really angry. At least, she didn't act angry when she said 'You know the scholar lady was looking forward to your date' *shrug*
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:iconkaticoolkid:
Katicoolkid Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011   Digital Artist
She is at times understanding. And considering the fact he was about to die, I think she wouldnt be mean. XD
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, after going through the playhouse she can be understanding. Before then? Not at all. XD But yeah, I doubt anyone would be mean to Kurow at that part of the game.
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:iconkaticoolkid:
Katicoolkid Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2011   Digital Artist
yeah...
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:iconkaticoolkid:
Katicoolkid Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011   Digital Artist
Screw you capcom(shoots waka)

AWESOME story. Instant fave! I cried like a maniac. I love how it is in Kurows point of view. maybe he is like a dragon. Ones soul never is really to leave this earth.blah blah blah(Spyro reference...'xcept he doesn't die...) I beat the game 20 times. many times in one day. It never gets old!!!!
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't shoot Waka. What did he do?...on second thought, don't answer that.

Thanks! Sorry for making you cry...*sweatdrop* DOTD references! XD Y'know, I've kinda made a connection between Spyro and Kurow. I mean, Spyro ended up having to do the same thing. The only difference is Spyro didn't have anyone to blame his problems on, unlike Kurow who could have a somewhat justified hate for Waka. And Spyro actually survived...but I honestly like to think that Waka brought Kurow back to life. ^^
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:iconkaticoolkid:
Katicoolkid Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011   Digital Artist
Yes both are great games. Waka brought him back! XDD
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If someone starts a petionion to bring Kurow back in another game,(forgive me if I spelled that wrong)I will totally join it.
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:iconyoshie1234:
yoshie1234 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
YES. Interesting subplot idea. Fanfiction commence!
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Many people have already beaten you to that idea, but hey, the world can always use more fanfiction with Kurow in it, right? ;)
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:iconyoshie1234:
yoshie1234 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
Yep.
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:iconkaticoolkid:
Katicoolkid Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2011   Digital Artist
XD me two!
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yeah! *highfive*
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:iconfaylahh:
Faylahh Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Hobbyist
Ohhh... Well this made me cry five times... I'm still crying now, too... very little I would have done different, I would have made Kurow switch somewhere in the middle of the battle instead of before, I would have made Chibi stutter Kurrows name as he was saying the other partners names, and I'd make him be revived at the end ^^' uugh... Kuuuurrrrrrow.... I'm probably gonna stalk this for awhile, and it's defiantly on my favorites now. I love how you included Waka, how he was sorry, Kurow hated him, and then forgave him... I just love it
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the comment! I'm sorry I made you cry five times. *offers tissue* And those are good ideas...now I wish I could've thought of them earlier...especially the second one. I guess it's likely that Chibi would've accidentally included Kurow(and maybe even Kuni)when he was calling out to his partners for help. And yeah, with the way Kurow reacted to his mission at first in the game, I thought that he'd probably hate Waka for a while. And thanks again. ^^
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:iconfaylahh:
Faylahh Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist
No problem, really, it's great! And I know, I like my second idea best too... the first one is just because I think, even though he regretted it before, I just personally think he really switched in the middle of battle and didn't know what to do, and the last ones just me being a Kurow freak who hate the fact he died^^ He probably did call all of the artners (the... letter thats missing isn't working T_T) because he thought he deserved it... and, quite honestly, again because I'm a Kurow freak, I don't think Kuni deserves for Chibi to try to summon him. Kuni was barely ever in the game... anyway, I'm so glad you like my idea :D (and thanks for the tissue, I definitely needed that ^^)
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually, at first I thought it would be after the battle. Then I thought it was the beginning. Then I couldn't decide anymore. So yeah, I think I'm going to to with your idea that it happened in the middle. XD And don't worry, I'm a Kurow fangirl. I'm sure that sometime I'll make a fanfiction where Kurow comes back. He's so awesome he has to come back. XD Hmm...I guess he could've called out to Kurow and Kuni as well...although I still think if he did it was accidental. And I honestly think that Kuni deserved to have Chibi summon him. It wasn't really his fault that he wasn't in the game much. (I blame Akuro) yeah, but now it'll be haunting me forever that I should've had Chibi call out to Kurow and Kuni, too...and you're welcome for the tissue. ^^
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:iconfaylahh:
Faylahh Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist
Lol! XD And, ya, I meant that he accidentally called out their names. And to cover for my "hate" of Kuni (actually, he's second favorite, but, you know, just cause I only want Kurow to be called out to) I'll say that he started calling kurow, then realized his mistake and didn't do the same for Kuni. :D And I'll defiantly read it if you do make a fanfic where he comes back!
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a good idea. I think I'll go with that, too. :XD: really? Well then...*plotplotplot* lol
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:iconyoshie1234:
yoshie1234 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
I'd be writing that exact fanfic if my tablet wasn't so derpy about it. Maybe we could do a co-op fic? =D I even thought of how he gets revived. Let's just say it's slight lunacy on my part.
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would love to co-write with you, but I have a lot of projects with other people on my plate already, as well as some solo projects. If you write it by yourself or with someone else, though, I'd read it if you give me the link! :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconfaylahh:
Faylahh Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist
Cool! ^^
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:icondreamerpony:
DreamerPony Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
-reads it- AMG SPOILERS :fear:
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know you've played through the entire game before...
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:icondreamerpony:
DreamerPony Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Maybe

and watched spoilers during Japanese Okamiden year
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You watched spoilers? Bad! Spoilers no good! DX
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:icondreamerpony:
DreamerPony Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I wanted to know about Kurow early on thus how my Kurow story started o.o

Annndd I'm getting the draft for the story ready. I may have a few changes in their personalities to show their no-so-happy time together and stuff XD Wait, why am I telling you my evil scheme? o.o
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:icondesiquiche:
desiquiche Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I actually just read a fanfiction with spoilers and didn't know what was going on, so I watched the ending on youtube. And I cried even though I had no idea who anyone was.(except Chibi and Kuni)

Yes. Tell me your evil scheme, I don't mind! XD
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