Chapter Seventeen: A Soul, Reborn

**I've decided, this is the final chapter! I hope everyone has enjoyed it thus far, and will stay with me as we journey into book 3. It will be called: Born Of Madness. Keep your eyes peeled! This final chapter is told in the POV of Mizuki**

"Come on, Mizuki! It's not that scary!" Apsel called to me from the bottom of the monkey bars. "I can't, Apsel! It's too high!" I yelled back, my tiny palms struggling to keep hold. The small boy looked up at me with hopeful green eyes, smiling broadly. I kicked my legs back, giving my body momentum. I did so a few times, then launched myself off the monkey bars. I landed on my side in the sandbox a few feet out, sitting up to brush my hair. My floral dress had sand all in it, and I started to cry. I felt a hand take mine, leading me out of the sand box. "Apsel! I told you it was too high!" I resumed crying, only not as hard. The brown haired boy turned back around, a daisy in his hand. I sniffled, taking the flower from his outstretched hand. Apsel smiled at me, taking my free hand and lead me to our parents where we both started giggling.

     A soft knock came to my bedroom door, and I opened my eyes in case someone walked in. It was Liz, and her face was not its usual warm look. She walked in, wearing sleek black dress pants, long sleeved black blouse, and a black purse hung off her wrist. Her sandy blonde hair was neatly combed and straightened, falling on her shoulders. She closed the door behind her, and sat down on the edge of my bed.

"Mizuki, it's time to get ready for the funeral." She solemnly stated, carefully pulling the covers off of me.

"Where's my mom?" I immediately asked, remembering the events of yesterday.

"She's getting ready with the help of Patty and Asmund. Lord Kid is downstairs." She helped me sit up, and brought over my wheelchair.

     She wheeled me over to my closet, and we picked out a long black gown with one strap. We avoided anything flashy, so my shoes were just black flats. It took us a while to get my dress on, but it eventually happened. It was easier to put my flats on, but challenging to get the splint back on. Liz looked at me, took one look, and did a small braid with the hair next to my face. She smiled lowly, pushing me out of my room and carefully getting me downstairs.

     Patty, Asmund, my mother, and my father, were all dressed in black. My mother looked at me with her somber burnt orange eyes, and placed a small headband on my head, which had a veil hanging in front of my face. We exited Gallows Manor, none of us speaking.

*Time Skip*

     We arrived at the place where Apsel was to be buried, and my family was allowed to stand up near the casket next to Maka and Soul. We all listened to the speech given by my father, and for a moment, Apsel's casket was opened so everyone who wanted could say their final goodbyes. My mother helped me stand, and I peered upon the boy in the coffin. I thought of an idea, to which I created a magick pen and notebook, writing down a letter to Apsel. "Dear Apsel, I'm here. Just like I said I always would be. I know you'll be able to read this, because you said you'd never leave me. We're partners, right? I hope to see you soon, Apsel Hildbrand. I love you. ~Mistress Mizuki Death, lifelong partner". 

     I tore the paper off the notebook, folding it crisply and setting it carefully on his chest. The notebook and pen disappeared, and I was sat back in my wheelchair. Soon, the coffin was closed, sealing away the embalmed body of a boy loved by many. It was now time for the eulogy, and everyone took their seats as Soul was the first to speak.

"Apsel Hildbrand was not my blood child, although I was convinced he should have been. This boy brought so much light into Maka and I's lives, that it is hard to imagine a world without such now. All of us, are gathered here to not remember, but carry on the memory of this boy. I say that, because none of us will forget him. His memory will live on, and there will not go a day where thoughts of Apsel are absent. Thank you." Soul silently stepped down, making room for the next speaker.

     Maka was too emotionally distressed to step up, so I took initiative and wheeled myself in front of everyone. I cleared my throat, ready to speak.

"Apsel wasn't just my friend, he was my partner. And all of you here can say you have a special bond with your partner. Be they wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, weapon or meister. But what Apsel and I had was beyond any of that. He was my daisy in a field of uncertainty and plague. He was fresh air in my lungs after a day spent inside. Apsel Hildbrand was not only my meister, but he was the one I admired. The person I looked to in times of anguish. Apsel Hildbrand will not be forgotten." I lowered my head, tears about to fall. 

     My father got up to wheel me back over next to him and my mother. We all looked sorrowfully as the mahogany casket was lowered into the earth. Apsel's headstone was placed, which read: Apsel Hildbrand. Born: April 27 in Munich, Germany. Died at the age of 17 in the Siege on Baba Yaga's Castle, in Oregon. I looked closer at the headstone, noticing a picture of him and I was settled in behind a layer of glass above his name. Under all of his information, an engraving of my claymore form stretched along the bottom side of the stone.

     The crowd began to deplete, as thunder rolled in. Rain began to fall on the already depressing setting, as my father called to have a limousine pick us up. As it pulled up and my whole family plus Maka and Soul were settled in the back seats which formed a semi circle, I took one last look at Apsel's grave site. The rain darkening the fresh earth in front of the tombstone, as a small white rabbit scurried off to find cover. I looked forward at everyone in the car, wishing I could've made it all better.

Carry On My Wayward Son,

There'll be peace when you are done.

Lay your weary head to rest...

Don't you cry no more.

The End

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