Second Chance

Chapter 9

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/07/27


Back to Stayka's Saint Seiya Index | FanFics | Site Index


Aiolos had decided to teleport back to the same place he had left from. He actually had a cell phone, something that Saori had pressed on him a while ago. He didn't use, both because he had no one he wanted to call and because truthfully, he wasn't very good with technology.

That was why he didn't panic when his call didn't get through to the mansion. He had never trusted the little piece of machinery and had assumed it had failed. When he had finally reached an the cities limits, he had simply found a bus that was headed in the right direction and boarded it. Once was within a reasonable (well reasonable for him anyway) distance from the mansion, he simply got off and jogged the rest of the way there. Unfoundedly it was one of those exercises that seemed to drive home exactly how much his body had been damaged. A journey that would have taken him a few minuets at most back when he was still at Sanctuary now took closer to ten minuets. Normally this would have bothered him more, but he was still smiling from the last tidbit of information that Mu had given him. Although the rest of the Aries Saints news had been grim, the mere fact that his little brother had managed to earn a Gold Cloth was enough to drive the darker thoughts to the back of his mind. Although so part of him realized that meant he would meet Aioria at some point in the coming war, it was insignificant compared to the pride he felt in the younger brother he had been worrying over for some many years.

* * *

It wasn't until he was close to the mansion that his good mood began to fail. He had noticed police cars and emergency vehicles passing by and while at first he hadn't paid any to them when he noticed that they were all coming from the direction of the Kido Mansion. He had picked up his pace almost involuntarily and soon arrived at the mansion, only to face a scene out of his nightmares.

The ground in front of the mansion had become a battle field, and off to the side several police men were by a body wearing black cloth. The overhang in front of the door had collapsed and there were several holes in the mansion itself. Aiolos froze and reached out frantically searching for Saori's cosmo....only to find it gone. He was near panic then and he would have gone straight toward the police officers that were there and demanded answers, if he had felt the cosmos of the Bronze Saints still in the mansion.

Aiolos easily avoided the rest of the police officers that still guarded the scene, he didn't want to answer an awkward questions right now, and made his way into the mansion. There weren't as many police as he had expected roaming the inside of the building and he found it easy to dodge them while he followed the Bronze Saints cosmo to where the four boys where.

The Planetarium? Aiolos realized. I didn't even know they knew where it was.... He made his way to the top of the mansion, then burst into the Planetarium without warning. Inside were the four Bronze Saint, each of whom was ready to launch an attack his way. They relaxed once they saw who it was though.

"Don't do that Akira-san!" Seiya complained. Aiolos ignored the Pegasus Saint.

"Where's Saori?" He demanded. The Bronze Saints looked at each other. Shiryu was the one that answer him.

"She was kidnapped." The Dragon Saint admitted. Aiolos paled. His first thought was that Mu had betrayed them. The Aries Saint must have gotten word to Sanctuary about what had happened and Saga had managed to figure who Saori really was. It wouldn't have been that hard to figure out she was Athena, how many purpled haired girls of the right age had a Gold Cloth in their possession? Probably the only reason Saga hadn't already realized it sooner was because he believed Athena was already dead.

"Docrates said that he would return her after we gave him the Gold Helmet." It took a few seconds for the rest of Shiryu's words to sink. A part of Aiolos relaxed when they finally did. This wasn't the result of treachery or because some one had found Athena, this was just another part of Saga's prideful quest to be able to command all of the Gold Saints. Then Aiolos recognized the name of Saori's kidnapper.

"Wasn't he the Saint you said was dead?" He asked.

"Yeah, but I guess he wasn't as dead as we thought he was.." Seiya began.

"Why did you leave, instead of making sure he was gone?" Aiolos snapped. A tiny part of his mind was whispering that it was not the Bronze Saints fault, that even he hadn't known that Doctraes would come back. The Sagittarius ignored that part of himself. He didn't feel like being rational right now.

"he only reason I left was because I though you four would be able to protect her!" There was only silence after the Sagittarius Saints outburst, then Shun spoke up.

"We're going to get her back, Akira-san. We had already decided that." The statement calmed Aiolos some, but he wasn't about to just let them go.

"I'm coming with you." He growled.

"But...!" Seiya started.

"I'm going!" Aiolos said firmly. You still have no idea how important she is to all of us. She's more than my sister or the leader of the Graude Foundation, she's the worlds only hope, and I was unable to protect her. I am a Gold Saint at I will fulfill my duty, even if I have to fight you to do it. He meet the eyes of each of the Bronze Saints, then there was a tense moment before Hyoga nodded.

"We had better get going." Was all the Cygnus Saint said before he reached for his cloth. Shun and Seiya looked as if they wanted to say something, but the determination they had seen in his eyes kept them from voicing any concern they had about his wellbeing. I can take care of my self better than any of you can. I am still a Gold Saint, and if what Mu suspects is true, then Docrates isn't even a real Saint. I won't do something as idiotic as loose my life to a liar like him. I will save Saori, because I know that there is no need to worry about the Gold Cloth. It's mine, after all.

* * *

At the coliseum, Shun and Seiya used the main entrance, while Hyoga stayed outside to stop Doctrates or his men from making off with the Gold Cloth. Shiryu had left, following Kiki's guess that the rest of the Gold Cloth was back where they had fought Ikki. Knowing that the boy was training to be the next Aries Saint, Aiolos had said anything when Shiryu had left. Besides, arguing would wasted precious time that they couldn't afford to lose. He was not concerned about the Dragon's Saint absences. If thing got out of hand, then he intended to take on Docrates himself, and he had no doubts about his ability to win. From what the Seiya and the others had said, and from what he could sense himself, this Doctates had only physical strength, and very little cosmo. He would be able to win against this Docrates, and any men the giant had dragged along with him.

Aiolos had chosen not to enter with Seiya and Shun. Let them attract all the attention. He would circle around and see if there was a way to get Saori out of here if Docrates proved to be treacherous. Something in his gut was telling him to not hold the giant to his word, and he was more than willing to listen to it this time. Let them make off with the Sagittarius Cloth, Aiolos didn't care. As long as Athena was safe there would be hope for this world, and that was all that mattered to the Gold Saint.

Inside, almost all the lights except for the one centered over the ring were off. Aiolos could tell that Docrates was here, but he unable to see the giant. There was a flash of light and the top box was illuminated from within, showing Saori and Tatsumi being held hostage by a few of Doctatese's men. Having Tatsumi there puzzled Aiolos somewhat, he hadn't even noticed the older man was missing, then he focused on Docrates.

It looked like his assessment of the giant had been correct. His cosmo was weak, even though judging from what he had done to the mansion, was capable to causing serious damage if you weren't careful.

Saori began to yell that they shouldn't give up the Gold Cloth, that the hope for human kind was dead with out it....and Aiolos had to bite his lip to keep from saying anything. He was beginning to regret not telling her who she really was. If she knew then maybe she would realize that one Gold Cloth, even the life of the Saint that wore it, was nothing compared to her own life. She was Athena and the very hope for this world.

Thankfully Seiya didn't agree with Saori's view. He demanded an exchange and Docrates agreed. The giant had his men lead Saori and Tatsumi down to the ring where Shun and Seiya where waiting. Both parties stood at opposite sides, studying each other. They started forward and meet Docrates's men in the middle of the ring. Seiya handed over the helmet, and Docrates started to hand over the hostages, but at the last minuet he stopped. The giant's minion grabbed Saori and kicked Tatsumi toward the two Bronze Saints, then jumped and ran back to the top box. Seiya and Shun tried to follow, but Docrates stopped them.

Aiolos was already moving before the giant had landed in front of the younger Saints. This was the reason why he had snuck in, and why he had tried to avoid all fights. Docrates was not the type to actually keep his promises and Aiolos had known something like this would happen. He would leave the giant to the Bronze Saints, he would make sure that Athena was safe. And if Hyoga manages to get my helmet back, or Shiryu manages to recover the rest of my cloth then that's well and good. If they don't then it doesn't matter. One Gold Cloth is nothing compared to the life of our goddess, even if it annoys me on a personal level.

The sounds of combat filled his ears as he felt Cosmos of the two Saints erupt as they went into battle. Aiolos paid no attention to them, instead concentrating on moving as fast and silently as he could toward where Saori was. The man holding her was watching the fight and didn't notice Aiolos until it was too late. He snapped his head around when he heard the running Gold Saint.

"Who are y....?" The minion started to demand, but Aiolos punch hit him before he could finish. The force of it launched the man across the box, were his body made a crater in the wall. He slid to the floor, either unconscious or dead the Sagittarius Saint did care which.

"Ni-chan!" Saori explained when she realized who he was.

"Are you alright?" He asked as he snapped the ropes that were binding her.

"I'm fine. But Seiya and the others...." Aiolos allowed himself to glance back at the fight and winced. They Bronze Saints were having a touch time with Docrates because of his strength and size.

"They'll be alright." He said, then turned toward the Saori. "But we have to get out of here now."

"I'm not going."

"What?" Aiolos said startled. "Why not?"

"Seiya and the others are fighting because of a mistake I made. The least I can do is stay here and lend them my support." She said firmly. Aiolos took a deep breath to keep from shouting at her. This isn't her fault, she doesn't know how important she is. Not that Aiolos couldn't keep her safe, but he didn't want her to be put into any more danger than she had too.

"You didn't make any mistakes Saori. Docrates grabbed you because you were nearest he knew that Seiya and everyone else wouldn't be willing to have someone die just so they could keep the Gold Cloth."

"But I don't matter! The Gold Cloth is the hope for mankind! If it falls into evil hands..!" Aiolos very much wished that Kido was still alive just so he could kill the old man. He didn't know how Saori had found out about some of the strange ideas that the old man had about the cloth, but that thinking had almost doomed the world. When you come down to it, the Gold Cloths are no more than pieces of metal. They don't mean anything by themselves, you are the one that they exist for Saori! But he couldn't say any of that without Saori demanding an explanation they didn't have time for. Instead he took a different route.

"It won't. None of us trusted Docratess to keep up his end of the deal, so Hyoga is waiting outside. He'll take back the Gold Helmet. We found out the location of the rest of the Gold Cloth as well, and Shiryu went after it." Saori looked relieved. "Now can we go? I want to be gone before Docrates notices your free."

"But Seiya..." Saori looked back at the fight.

"If Docrates grabs you and threatens your life what do you think they'll do? What do you think I'll do?" Aiolos snapped. He hated being so harsh to her, but he did see a choice right now. He had to be the one to make her listen to reason. "All of us, especially me, would rather lay down our own lives then watch you die!" Saori looked upset and Aiolos immediately felt guilty, but pushed it to the side. He had to get her out of here, now. "Docrates will do something like that. We have to go." Saori nodded, then with one last look back at the fight, left with him.

They reached the outside in less time than it had taken Aiolos to sneak in. Docrates's men had been focused on the fight and had paid no attention to what was going on behind them. The Sagittarius Saint had been worried that there would be guards outside, but he couldn't sense anyone outside the coliseum. He guessed that if anyone had been waiting, they had gone to guard the his helmet. There was no sign of Hyoga nearby either, which mean he was probably already after them.

The sounds of running footsteps behind him caused Aiolos to spin around and fall back into a fighting stance. He relaxed once he recognized the running figure. Hyoga must have noticed him as well because the Cygnus Saint altered his course. As soon as he was near enough for it to be seen clearly, he held up the Gold helmet he was carrying.

"Did they give you any trouble?" Aiolos asked the younger Saint as he stopped in front of them.

"None." Hyoga answered. "Those were only pawns." The blonde frowned. "Where's Tatsumi?" Aiolos froze when he realized that he had forgotten all about the older man. Almost as if mentioning his name had summoned, a cry of 'Ojou-sama!' sounded from behind them. They turned to see Tatsumi, half running half hopping toward them. They all relaxed.

"Seiya and the others are still fighting." Aiolos told the Cygnus Saint. Hyoga nodded, then thrust the Golden Helmet into his hands before taking off toward the entrance to the coliseum.

The moment he touched the helmet, modified by the Graude foundation scientists in the hope of confusing Saga and his minions, he had the sudden urge to call his cloth to him and join in the fight with Docrates. After that he could teleport to Sanctuary and confront Saga, make him tell why he betrayed Athena..... Aiolos squashed that urge, just as he had all the other times it had come up in the years since he had fled. Now is not the time. He told himself, like he had before countless times. You have to wait for the right time, other wise you will fail. Then he turned his eyes on the coliseum, were the battle still raged. And that time will come soon, whether we are ready for it or not.

* * *

After Aiolos had broken the ropes that still bound the manservant, Tatsumi had agreed that they should go back the mansion. The older man had grumbled a bit about being left behind but once Aiolos snapped 'Would you rather I rescue you or get Saori to safety?' he had shut up. Saori's safety was one of the few things they agreed on..

The Saints limped in a few minuets after they did. Although they all bore injuries, they weren't as bad as the could have been. The four had showers and managed to eat dinner before Shiryu returned, minus the Gold Cloth.

"They got there just before I did." He told them as the all gathered to discuss what was happening.

"Docrates had probably planned to move the rest of the Gold cloth after he got his hands on the helmet. He may have given orders that his men do something if they hadn't heard from him after a certain length of time." Aiolos said thoughtfully. Shiryu nodded.

Tatsumi snorted, called the Bronze Saints idiots and began to rail about how they should have interrogated Docrates before they killed him. Aiolos didn't think that there had been the opportunity for the boys to do something like that, but before he could say anything Saori snapped at the bald man. Although he was pleased that she was finally standing up to Tatsumi, someone who had once server her Grandfather, he couldn't help but wonder what had caused the change in her.

Then she began to speak and he realized what it was. Not only had Saori realized there was some else controlling Docrates behind the scenes, but she knew something was wrong in Sanctuary. The Bronze Saint too, were listening to her, and standing behind her, trusting in her predictions. Athena....she started to awaken in Saori hasn't she? After over a decade of lying dormant the goddess had decided that the time was right to return. It isn't intuition that's driving you, it's knowledge. Athena knows that Saga tries to kill her. She knows he's what's infecting Sanctuary. The Bronze Saints must have sensed what was happening, even if they only realize it unconsciously. Aiolos knew that he should be happy that Athena was awake. With a threat like Saga on the horizon, he shouldn't be surprised that something like this had happened. So then, why was there a part of him that was only sadden by the fact the Athena was finally waking up?

Saori called his name then and Aiolos realized that they were waiting to hear about the things his contact had told him. He took a deep breath as all the Bronze Saints looked expectantly at him.

"According to the rumors," Aiolos began. "The old Pope that was at Sanctuary died, and now his brother Arles is in charge." It as the truth. Rumors because no one had ever seen the new Pope, rumors only because Aiolos knew it was still Saga in charge, he had simple decided to stop acting like Shion was still in charge.

"Did he say anything else?" Shiryu asked. Aiolos nodded.

"He said that there were men showing up, ones who claimed to be Saints but whom no one had ever seen before. They don't have constellations and don't wear what they claim is a Cloth, but doesn't really look like any Saint Cloth that has been seen before." Why aren't I telling them were this information comes from? Before he had decided not to mention Mu because he didn't want to answer questions about how he had managed to go to and from Jamir in a matter of hours. He didn't want to have to explain everything to them. Now that he knew Athena was staring to awake though....why wasn't he explaining everything to them? I don't want to explain things to them...but why don't I want to? If she knew who she really was, what the Gold Cloth really represents then maybe she would quit throwing herself in harms way over it... Aiolos managed describe the attacks by the unknown men who were claiming to be Saints, even though only part of his mind was on it. He fell silent.

"Is that all the information you managed to get Ni-chan?" Saori asked. Aiolos nodded, still distracted. "Very well then, I'll see if I can find out anymore information. Why don't you get some rest?"

Since there was really nothing more they could do, the Bronze Saints agreed . Aiolos too, made his excuses and left, retreating to the garden to think things over.

Why am I so upset that Athena is back? He asked himself as he roamed the large gardens on the estate. Ever since he had came here, the gardens had been the places he would go when he wanted to think or simply to calm down. It wasn't helping him now though. I should be happy that Saori is coming into her powers. That means I won't have to hide anymore. He kicked a stone. Then why haven't I told her yet? There hasn't been any time doesn't really work. I could have told them back there, told all of them. But I held back, and only told them what was necessary. It made no sense and he knew it, yet he couldn't' think of a reason for it. Unless I want to keep a secret from them. But why would I want to do that? Just because I don't' want my little sister to know doesn't mean.... He felt his eyes widen as he felt realized what he had been thinking about. Why am I thinking about Saori and Athena as separate people? Part of doesn't want to tell her because I'm afraid that Athena will replace Saori, replace my little sister. But there the same person! That's why I saved her in the first place! That's why she was brought here! He looked back at the mansion that hid currently held the girl in question. Maybe Kido's thinking infected me. Even though I knew that she was Athena, all my plans have been about recruit other Saints. Taking back Sanctuary was something I wasn't planning on doing on my own. He sighed and sad down on the grass, then looked up at the clouds. When did I start treating Athena and Saori like separate people? When she was little I think. Suddenly a new thought occurred to him. Saori isn't going to be happy when she found out the truth.

Aiolos normally hated lying to people, and he always had. But now, it reminded him to much of what Saga had done, and what he was doing now. But when you come down to it, am I really any better? I'm lying to one of the people I care about most in the world. I'm not doing it for her own good anymore, I'm doing it for my own personal gain. He stood abruptly.

I'm Gold Saint Sagittarius Aiolos, dammit! I'm not supposed to be doing whatever I have to do to protect her. He took a deep breath. Even if that means telling her the truth. Even if it means she'll hate me for it. I have to tell her, if only to keep her safe! Because I am a Saint of Athena.

Aiolos set out toward the mansion right then. He knew that if he didn't tell Athena now, he probably never would. As much as it pained him to, he had to let Saori know how important she was. Even if she hated him for lying to her all these years, something he really couldn't blame her for, at the very least she would be there to protect the world, just like she was suppose too.

* * *

Aiolos meet Saori in the hallway.

"Saori..." He began, but she cut him off.

"Ni-chan, get Seiya and everyone else." She commanded. "The enemy has taken one of Graude Foundations oil-tankers hostage."

It didn't take long for everyone to assemble. The news was grim. Somehow, agents from Sanctuary had taken over an oil tanker that the Graude Foundation had in the Caribbean and were demanding that the Bronze Saint turn up with the Gold helmet, or they would destroy it.

Aiolos wanted to hand it over , he knew that there would still be hostages on that ship and he wasn't about to let their war with Sanctuary take the lives of men who had nothing to do with it.

Tatsumi didn't see it that way. He starting going off about how priceless the Gold Cloth was and how a single oil tanker was of no importance. It nearly made Aiolos see red. He had explained to the older man exactly what the Gold Cloth was years ago. He should know that the only reason Aiolos had wanted it kept out of Saga hands was because once the Gemini Saint got a hold of the full cloth he would realize that it was still own by a Saint. And the first person he'll think of is me. Saori had snapped at Tatsumi and the maneuvering had actually backed up a couple of paces. Seeing Tatsumi yelled at did nothing to vanish Aiolos anger. Doesn't he listen to anything I say? The Sagittarius Saint had known that the bald man held Kido up on a pedestal and tended not to pay attention to anyone that disrespected the old man, but he hadn't thought that thinking would extend to the something like this.

How many times did I try to tell Kido it wasn't the cloth that caused things to happen, it as the Saint that wore it the created miracles? And he ignored me each and every time.

Back with the issue at hand, Seiya had already spoken but pointing out that they were Bronze Saints and they wouldn't give up the gold helmet so easily. Aiolos nodded, feeling proud of the younger Saints. They at least seem to understand most of what it meant to be a Saint. He had confidence in them, because he was sure that Saga wouldn't dare do something as obvious as sending real Saints to attack ships.

No Saint would put up with him doing something like this. It would be obvious that he wasn't acting under Athena's orders if anyone found out about something like this. He has to be using those not-Saints that Mu mentioned.

A few minuets later, the Bronze Saints were boarding the helicopter. Saori as watching them go for a window, a slightly worried look on her face. Aiolos dropped a hand on to her shoulder.

"They'll be alright Saori. You just have to believe in them." The young woman nodded, then watched the helicopter until it was out of sight.

* * *

Inside the four Bronze Saints sat staring at the Gold helmet, the source of so much danger and power. They all knew that the four of them had been called because their enemies wanted a chance to get rid of them all at once. They all knew the danger but they were confident they could defeat what ever this new Pope could send their way.

"I just can't believe it." Seiya muttered. "I mean, the Pope was fine when I got my Pegasus Cloth. I didn't know anything was wrong with him."

"Actually, I'm curious about this contact that Akira-san has." Shiryu said. The other Saints looked over at him. "You said that the Pope was fine after before you left Seiya. That means he died after you left, and that's not that long ago. The only person that would know about that would be some from Sanctuary."

"But how would Akira-san know some from Sanctuary?" Seiya wondered out loud.

"He knows how to use the Cosmo too." Shun added.

"Akira-san lived in Greece remember? He might have been in training to become a Saint at one point." Hyoga joined in the conversation. Shiryu nodded.

"That makes the most sense."

"I thought all Saints were orphans." Seiya said. "Besides, I asked Marin-san when I started training and she said there weren't any other Japanese Saints besides her."

"We were orphans, but I don't think all Saints are." Shiryu said thoughtfully. "And I don't think Akira-san was ever actually became a Saint. I've never seen him wear a cloth, have you?"

"No, now that you mention it. But he's never talked about being a trainee before, even when he was getting us ready to earn our Cloth."

"Would you want to talk about if you had tried, then failed to get a Cloth, Seiya?" Hyoga said. Seiya looked thoughtful, and the conversation died. The rest of the trip was completed in silence.

* * *

Aiolos had been waiting anxiously for news about what had happened on that tanker. Saori was too, and they had ended up waiting together in one of her offices. He was still there when one of the men from the information network came in with the written report. The Sagittarius Saint, and Tatsumi watched as she read the report, her face going from hopeful to grim.

"Saori?" Aiolos asked when she didn't say anything. The young woman sighed and put down the report.

"They managed to get back the tanker." She said. "But they were injured and they lost the Gold helmet."

"WHAT!?" Tatsumi cried. "After they promised to keep it safe? I knew we should have trusted them with something that valuable."

"They saved the tanker and everyone on it!" Aiolos snapped. "And I know how valuable the Gold helmet is!" The last was a pointed remaindered that he as the true owner of the Gold Cloth, not the Graude Foundation, Tatsumi or the scientist that had tried to modify it. The one who owned really owned it was Saori, the mortal incarnation of Athena. The manservant tired to say something else but Aiolos meet his eyes, and held them. The worlds died on the older mans lips and he quickly looked away.

"Tatsumi" Saori said suddenly. The man snapped to attention.

"Yes, Ojou-sama?"

"Prepare for our departure immediately. We're going to the oil tanker."

"What?" Aiolos said. "That's dangerous Saori! If the enemy returns to that ship..." If they figure out who you are, or try to kidnap you again....

"Ni-chan." Saori turned around. "These men risked their lives for this. I can't just sit here, I have to go and at least thank them for what they have done. I will not have these Saint throw their lives away needless." As Saori spoke the lesson, Aiolos was struck by the sudden impulse to drop to one knee. The person who had been speaking in the end had not been Saori, it had been the Athena. Once again Aiolos was forced to see that Athena was awakening, and the girl he had come to love as a sister was changing. And no matter what my personal feelings are, I will protect her, whoever she becomes. This is my duty, as a Saint of Athena. He though, as Tatsumi barked a 'yes, Ojou-sama' and rushed out to being his preparations.

Aiolos waited with Saori. She began to play a tune on the piano in the room after she pacing a bit, and the Sagittarius Saint closed his eyes as he listened, enjoying the music. Tatsumi returned a little after that and told them that the preparations were complete. They left immediately after that. Aiolos still wasn't sure if it was a good idea, but he wasn't going to try and keep Athena away from her Saints.

* * *

They reached the oil tanker a little before after nightfall. When the landed Seiya, Hyoga, and Shiryu were waiting for them. Tatsumi was annoyed that Shun wasn't there to greet them, but since the Andromeda Saint was recovering from his injuries so Aiolos didn't see how Tatsumi could be annoyed with him. Saori didn't pay any attention to the rant that the manservant threatened to start, and instead walked over to the side of the ship. Although Saori had mentioned thanking them, Aiolos hadn't had a clue what she meant by it until she began to drop her jewelry into the water. As Tatsumi fainted when he realized the cost of what she had just done, she began to calmly explain that it was of no matter compared to the lives of her Saints. The jewelry could be replace, the Saints could not.

Aiolos had never been so proud of her. A part of him remembered worrying about her all those years ago and wondering if Kido had spoiled her too much. He should have known better than to doubt his goddess. And Athena is the one who did that. A part of him whispered. Not Saori, but the goddess that she is truly suppose to be. He ignored the whisperers as he listened to Seiya pledge to bring back the helmet that had been stolen from them.

* * *

The Graude Foundation had spy satellites watching the every move the Bronze Saints had made since they had set out. Aiolos hadn't known about the satellites until Saori had told him, and he wasn't sure he liked the idea of someone being able to track his everyone move without him being aware of it. It made him nervous, although he hadn't mentioned to anyone. The Bronze Saints didn't seem nearly as disturbed by it as he was.

This time the satellites had proved to be of some use at least. From what the boys had said, the enemy had been using a very powerful illusion. However that ability hadn't been able to fool the satellites and they were able to track the ship that had rescued the fighters that had been calling themselves Saints back to the island. Aiolos may not have recognized the shape of the island, but he knew what it was as soon as he heard the name. Like Death Queen Island, the Island of Spirits had been used as a prison where Saints and trainees who had broken the laws at Sanctuary. It might not have been as bad as Death Queen, but it still wasn't a place you wanted to visit.

Dragging criminals into this now Saga? Aiolos thought himself. Is that a sign of how low you have sunk? Or does it just show how little regard you hold for these Bronze Saints? If it is the latter, then I hope this venture shows you how strong true Saints are! They will not fall what about to little more than glorified pawns! That was the only reason that Aiolos was fighting Saori on this and trying to get her to have these so-called Ghost Saints keep the helmet. He was sure that the Bronze Saints, boys he had helped trained and who had all earned their Cloths, would be more than a match for whoever they meet on the island. And as much as it pained him to admit, if they couldn't triumph against foes like these, there was no way they would be of help when the went to confront Saga.

* * *

Saori had ordered someone to keep an eye on the plane that was to take the Bronze Saints was to the Island of Spirits. That was why they were informed of the crash almost immediately.

"We did see anything on radar, and there's nothing in the pictures from the satellite either." The technician explained to them. The man replayed part of the video the spy satellite had taken. "See, there's a slight flash here but we though that was just an equipment malfunction. After that, the engine explodes, and the plane goes down."

"What about the Seiya and the others?" Saori demanded. The technician shook his head.

"We saw several people swim to shore, but it's too far away to determine exactly who the were, sorry."

"It's alright. You did well." The young woman assured him then turned around. "Tatsumi, being preparations for a rescue party immediately. At the very least, the Saints will need someway off that island."

"Yes, Ojou-sama!" Tatsumi said, then turned and left. As soon as he did, a part of Saori seemed to collapse. She no longer seemed to be Athena anymore. Instead she looked more like the young girl she really was. And it didn't take much to tell that she was troubled.

"Don't worry Saori." Aiolos told her gently. "Seiya and the others are Saints. It will take much more than a plane crash to kill them."

"You really think so, Ni-chan?" She said softly.

"I'm sure of it. Saint wear their cloths for a reason you know." He smiled down at her. "They'll have reached the island and won back by the helmet by the time the ship gets there, you'll see."

"You right Ni-chan." Saori smiled. "Thank you." Aiolos smiled back at then they both turned their attention back to the monitor that was now showing the Island of Spirits.

* * *

The Sagittarius Saint's words proved to be right. It took nearly two hours for the rescue team to reach the island. They radioed into to say that the pilot had survived, pulled to safely by Seiya when the plan had went down. According to him, all four Saint had been fine and had set out into the island in search of the Gold helmet already.

He didn't tell Saori that he already knew that. Didn't tell her that as he was pacing and fretting over once again being unable to do anything, he had felt that touch that signaled eve his cloth had wanted to help. He had given reached with his Cosmo and hoped that it had helped, even as some part of him felt better that he had done something for the Bronze Saints, even if he wasn't sure exactly what he had done.

Shortly after the crew had arrived, the Saints returned to the landing spot. According to the reports they were wounded, but alive and had managed to recover the Gold Helmet. Saori had nodded, then hurried out on to the deck await the arrival of her Saints.

They had stood there for nearly an hour, Saori ignoring Tatsumi's attempts to have her wait inside away from the wind. Aiolos didn't try, despite the looks that the manservant was giving him. Not only did he have no intention of going back inside, he knew that nothing they could say would convince the Saori that she should wait in comfort while her warriors rode back in the cold after a difficult battle.

At last the rescue boat was sighted and they all waited impatiently for it too arrive. Saori started forward when the Saint arrived on deck. Seiya spotted her, and separated himself from his friends long enough to move forward and place the golden helmet in Saori's hands.

"We got it back, Saori-san." Was all he said. Saori nodded.

"All of you have done very well." The young woman said. "You've earned a rest."

* * *

The trip home was uneventfully and the next two days were as well. Although no one was truly able to relax, but the Bronze Saints were able to recover from their battles. Kiki, who had gone back to visit Mu, returned the day after they got back. They child didn't say anything to him, but Aiolos could have sworn he caught Mu's student staring at him once or twice. He didn't know how much Mu had told Kiki, and he hadn't been able to catch Kiki alone to ask him if he knew his real name yet, so he just ignore it for the time being.

It was during the third day that Shun, who had been watching television with the other Saints, came to get Saori. Aiolos ran into the small, and slightly unusual group in the halls.

"There's a newscast you really ought to see." Shun had said by way of explanation. Curious the Sagittarius Saint followed them into the room. The television inside showed the front of the Graude Coliseum in flames. Saori gasped and walked forward a bit, then stopped and sank into the nearest chair as the reporter onscreen described the attack and said it had been attributed to people that were unhappy with the Graude Foundation for not completing the Galaxian Tournament. Shiryu turned the report off. The Saints began to talk about themselves. Aiolos dropped his on to Saori's shoulder and gave it a comforting squeeze. Around them the Saints began to wonder who Arles was and why they had never heard of him before.

Aiolos wasn't really paying attention, he was more worried about Saori and how badly he knew she was feeling about loosing something else that been the legacy of her Grandfather. Then Seiya spoke and said that it would be a good idea for Saori and the helmet to disappear for a while.

It was an idea that Aiolos hadn't really considered before. Although he had though about asking her to go, he hadn't thought that Saori would agree. But now with the Coliseum burned, part of her had seemed to have accepted the danger she might be in. She hadn't even argued with Seiya when he said it. Tatsumi was the one most upset about the suggestion, and he even he was mostly ignored by the Saints.

"What do you think Saori?" Aiolos asked. There a minuet or so of silence from Saori then she seemed to change suddenly. She meet the eyes of the Saints in the room.

"It's a good idea. I'm not a fighter but since our enemies will target me as well, this is the best thing for everyone." She stood up. "There's a vacation house near the valley were we fought Ikki. I doubt anyone will look for us near a area where we had just face an enemy."

"Good plan." Seiya said and stood. Saori ordered Tatsumi to begin preparations, which the manservant did rather begrudgingly. The Saints all stood and began to talk amongst themselves as the exited the room. There was silence after they had left. Aiolos didn't move from Saori's side, knowing that she would still be upset. At last she spoke up.

"Do you really think this will help?" Saori asked.

"It will." The Sagittarius Saint assured her. "It will keep not only you but the helmet safe as well." Even though I would gladly give that thing over if it meant keeping you safe. "The more time we have to figure out what our appoints next move will be, the better for us. At least this way we'll have the upper hand for once." Although I don't think Saga really cares about the helmet anymore. This has become about the Saints that are daring to defy his authority. He'll be going after them now. I hope that keep the helmet out of the way will make him turn his attentions else were. Aiolos sighed internally. Not that I have much faith in that. Saga doesn't just give up. But at least this way I'll buy us some times. He gave Saori what he hoped was a confident smile. "Besides, I'll be with. I promise you that I would always protect, even if it means my life." Saori smiled lopsidedly.

"Thank you, Ni-chan." She said as she stood. "But please....don't put your life before mine. I'm already lost Grandfather, I don't want to loose you as well." They walked out, Aiolos feeling the wait of the guilt he felt for lying to her. Now how was he suppose to tell her that they weren't related and everything she had been told her whole life had been a lie?

* * *

"What you mean your not coming with us!?" Aiolos had to shout to be heard over the roar of the helicopters blades. Preparations had been made and they had been ready to set off when Seiya, Shiryu and Hyoga had decided to stay behind.

"We need to find out more information about this Arles guy!" Seiya shouted back.

"So your going to leave Saori defenseless!?" Aiolos admitted that they did need more information, but not they kind that they were searching for. He knew that Arles was just a name that Saga was hiding behind and Aiolos didn't need to know more about him. What they need to know was how many Saints followed Saga, and believed the lies he was spreading. They need information that you couldn't get just by asking but Aiolos didn't know how to tell them that, particularly not when in this situation.

"Don't' worry Shun's going with you to protect you. You and Saori will be fine!" Seiya yelled. Aiolos nearly screamed aloud that he didn't need protection, that he was more capable then they were of taking care of Saori but that it was their duty to accompany her. But he couldn't say any of that with out going into explanations they didn't have time for. All he could do was stand their shaking with an angry that was directly mostly at himself.

"Ni-chan?" Saori's voice managed to reach him even over the roar of the wind created by the routers. Aiolos looked over at her, then back at the three Saints before swearing slightly and going to join Saori in the helicopter. The others could do as they wished, he would protect Saori even if Saga himself found them.

* * *

They arrived at the cabin on time. Although the first hour or so was filled with getting everyone settled in, after that the boredom set in. Although they all knew that if their enemies figured out where they were they would be sitting ducks, it was hard to feel the urgency when you were surrounded by quite woods.

All of them dealt with the boredom in the own ways. Aiolos took to walking around the permitted of the property, looking for signs of trouble he knew probably wasn't there. Saori read or watched shows on TV, although Aiolos could tell she wasn't really paying attention during either activity. Tatsumi paced and snapped at anyone that got in his way. Shun spent most of his time out of on the porch that faced the direction of the valley Ikki had died in. Whether he was thinking or silently grieving Aiolos couldn't tell and choose to leave the younger man alone.

Saori hadn't shared his opinion. That evening she came back inside after talking to the Andromeda Saint, looking slightly worried.

"He's says he's fine, Ni-chan." She said when she joined him on the couch. "But were right next to where his brother died. I can't imagine that's not affecting him." Aiolos sighed.

"He's a Saint, Saori." He reminded her. "Whether it is or not, he has to do his duty. That's all there is too it." Athena did not look happy about Aiolos had only told her the truth. A Saint was suppose to do anything to fulfill his duty to protect Athena, even if it meant giving his life....or being declared a traitor and being forced to flee from the very place he had called home and the only family he had left.

* * *

A little over a day after they had arrived at the cabin, Saori's startled cry brought everyone running into the main room. They expected to find an enemy attack, instead they found her staring at the TV screen....one that showed the mansion they had just left covered in flames. Aiolos walked wordlessly to her side as the other two entered the room as well. Aiolos didn't really hear the news report, his mind too busy working on what this could mean. It was far to coincidental to be the work of disgruntled fans, and it had happened so fast. Someone must have been keeping an eye on the mansion and known they had left. Then why light it on fire? They had to know no one was there. Besides this attracts far to much attention. It's not Saga's style. Unless they were trying attracted our attention! It made a strange sort of sense; whoever had been watching them hadn't been able to follow them and because they had taken care to keep their destination secret, he hadn't been able to tell Saga where the were. So he burns down the mansion to try and smoke us out. It's a good strategy...but it still doesn't feel like something that Saga would do.

On screen the Planetarium collapsed, and Saori cried out as she watched her private sanctuary go down. Then the young woman turned and ordered Tatsumi to prepare the helicopter. Tatsumi started to rush out but Aiolos yelled at him to stop, and was surprised to find Shun's voice echoing his own. The younger Saint looked at him in surprise, but gave a grim nod when he the look Aiolos had on his face. Shun then gave told them what he too had inferred, that this was all a plan by their enemies to get them to come out of hiding. Saori seemed uncertain, but she didn't say anything more to Tatsumi. Aiolos dropped his hands onto her shoulders.

"We will catch this guy one day Saori." He said. Will have to, if we ever want purge the poison that has shrouded Sanctuary. He's the source of it all and we need to get rid of him. "He'll pay for this and everything else he has done." You will pay for every life you ruined, for killing Shion, for nearly killing Athena and me, for your betraying our friendship and separating me from my brother. And I'll make you pay for putting Saori through all this. "But we can do that if we leave now. We have to do this carefully." Saori nodded...then abruptly turned around and buried her head in his chest. He didn't think she was crying, but she was still shaking. She had been thorough a lot recently and even she wasn't immune to the effects. Tatsumi started forward, but Aiolos shook his head. The manservant grumbled, then turned and left the room with Shun. Aiolos comforted his sister/goddess as best he could, all the while remind himself that one day, he would be able to make Saga pay for all he had done.

* * *

It was an hour or so later. Saori was resting in her room, and Aiolos had been out walking once again. When he came back he found a very worried Shun.

"Was Tatsumi with you?" The Andromeda Saint asked as him.

"No, why would he be?" Aiolos answered confused. Shun had to have noticed that he and Tatsumi never voluntarily spent any time together.

"Because he's not in the cabin and I can't find him." Shun admitted.

"What? Why would he leave?"

"When you were still with Saori, he started muttering about not being sure staying was the right decision. He wanted to go back to the mansion." The younger Saint seemed nervous and Aiolos couldn't blame him.

"I'll help you look." The Sagittarius Saint sighed, and went off, hoping that the manservant was just sulking somewhere and hadn't actually gone back to Japan.

Several hours later, they had searched the cabin and surrounding area thoroughly and had found no sign of the manservant's. Even Saori had joined in. She had noticed the two them searching and demanded to know what was happening. Aiolos had snapped out what was happening and she had decided to help.

"He'd better not have gone back." Aiolos growled.

Later, Aiolos was standing on the back porch when Shun came out.

"Do you really think that Tatsumi went back?" Andromeda asked. Aiolos nodded.

"He's always been loyal to Grandfather. He's taking this as a personal failure, and he's putting Saori in danger because of his guilt."

"Do you really think it's that bad?" Almost as if in response to Shun's words, there was a sudden rustle in the woods. For a split second Aiolos though he saw a man shaped figure. Shun must have seen it too because the younger man started toward the railing. Aiolos grabbed his arm.

"Wait Shun. I'll deal with this, you stay here in case something happens to me."

"But...." The younger Saint seemed uncertain, but Aiolos shook his head.

"I'll be fine. I taught you at first remember?" Shun nodded reluctantly. Aiolos didn't waste anymore time, vaulting over the railing and starting in the direction he had seen the figure going.

It didn't take him long to catch sight of the figure. Aiolos was faster than he was, and he could have overtaken him but he choose not to. The spy had been wearing the uniform of a common solider and they never got sent out by themselves. He would be answering to someone, and who ever it was would be far more dangerous then the spy was by himself. It would be simpler to follow the man and then take out both him and his master at one time.

They were a ways away from the villa when the man finally reached a clearing. Waiting for him there were several more foot soldiers, and a young man with long red hair who was wearing the uniform of a trainee. That puzzled Aiolos. Surely Saga wouldn't be sending out trainees, not after what had happened to Geist.

Aiolos took a step closer to the gathering, and his food came down on a dry twig. The snap seemed to echo like a gunshot. The youth looked over in his direction.

"You were followed fool!" He shouted, as Aiolos ran out of the trees and attacked the nearest two soldiers, finishing them in less than a seconds. The other seven pulled back, forming a half circle. Around him. Suddenly the two directly in front of him were knocked aside as the red-haired boy shoved his way through the circle.

"Your too strong to be a normal person." The boy commented dryly. "And I know you aren't the Andromeda Saint, so who are and what are you doing here?"

"I could ask you the same questions." Aiolos shoot back. "Particularly since I highly doubt the Pope has begun intrusting trainee's with missions as important as this." The boys green eyes widened.

"How do you know about the Pope? Who in the hell are you?" Aiolos stayed silent. The boy growled. "I will find out the answers." The trainee turned his men. "Grab him and make him tell you who he is and why he's here!"

"B...b...but Eric-sama" One man stammered and looked over at his fallen comrades.

"Just do it!" Eric screamed. The soldier gulped, then apparently decided he was more afraid of his master than he was of Aiolos. He attacked and a half a second later, the other soldiers followed his lead.

It only took a minuet or so for Aiolos to defeat all of them. When the last one fell, the turned and look over at their leader.

"You'll have to do better than that." he told the boy. Eric falter for a second, then growled and launched an attack of his own. The punch was much more powerful than the ones his men had thrown, and as Aiolos blocked them he could feel that the youth was only testing him. But he wasn't worried. The boy was cautious but Aiolos knew he could still defeat this enemy. Eric began to attack in earnest, and Aiolos was forced to go on the defensive. The child was good, and if he had been using any Saint level attacks, the Saint knew he would have been in trouble. Without his Cloth he was little more than a powerful human and a good cosmo charged attack would hurt him severally. Thankfully, although the boy was skilled he apparently didn't have as much experience as Aiolos did. The Sagittarius Saint had already spotted a hole in the boys attack pattern.

When Eric charged him next, Aiolos blocked, then lashed out with a kick that went under the younger mans guard and launched him halfway across the clearing. The Sagittarius Saint stood then walked over and looked down at his opponent.

"I'm going at ask again." He growled. "Why has a trainee been sent here? And who sent you?"

"I may be only a trainee now..." Eric rasped as he scrambled to his feet, blood leaking from the corner of his mouth, "But once I deliver the Gold Helmet to Arles-sama, he'll grant me a Cloth."

"What?" Aiolos shouted. "A Cloth is something that you earn! Do you really think that you can prove your worthy to serve Athena this way?"

"What do I are about Athena?" The trainee growled. "All I care about is proving my own strength!"

"You will never become a Saint with that kind of thinking. A Saints stands for justice. We are is suppose to defend Athena and her ideals." A sudden surge of Cosmo back the way had come attracted Aiolos's attention. That's not Shun, and it's coming from the villa.

"Justice? Hah!" Eric apparently kicked out, knocking the distracted Gold Saint off his feet. Aiolos was forced to roll of the way of one of the trainee's punches. "Justice is determined by who the one who is in charge. Those with power are the ones that determine justice!"

"You are wrong." Aiolos got to his feet and faced him once again. "I don't know who it was that fed you those lies, but I can tell you right now that they were wrong. No Saint would ever think like that."

"Show what you know..." Eric smirked. "My Master is the one who taught me how the world really works..." The boy charged at Aiolos. "And he is one of the highest ranked Saints of all!"

"What?" Aiolos was barely able to block as the younger man knocked him back into one of the trees. He dodged as his mind whirled. Even Saga would let someone who that like that be a Saint, would he? It goes against everything we're suppose to be...... The smell of smoke reached Aiolos's nose, and he glanced back to see smoke billowing up from the area surrounding the villa. And he could feel Shun's Cosmo now, and he was battling the person whose Cosmo he had sensed earlier. That's who Saga sent! I have to get back there now!

"You should be paying attention to you battle!" Eric yelled from behind him. Aiolos turned, and caught the punch that the younger man had thrown at it him. The trainee stared in disbelief, then looked and meet Aiolos's eyes.

"I don't have time to play you with anymore." Aiolos growled, then lashed out with a full strength kick. Eric flew across the clearing and slammed into a tree hard enough to make it crack, then break in half. Aiolos paused, then turned and ran back toward the villa. He did not have time to see if he had killed the boy. He had to get back to help Shun.

* * *

He was still running when he felt a sudden surge of Cosmo. It was incredibly powerful....and incredible familiar to him. Ikki!? Aiolos almost didn't recognize the Phoenix's Cosmo. Although he could still feel hatred in it, compared to what I had been before. And this time there was an almost protective feeling too it. The fire that had been surrounding the villa abruptly rushed upward, then dissipated. Aiolos picked up the pace. The unfamiliar cosmo he had been feeling swelled, then vanished altogether.

Shortly after Aiolos entered a burned out area that had been forest when he had left it a few minuets ago. Standing in the most burned area out area, the area in front of the villa itself, were several people.

Saori was the first to catch sight of him.

"Ni-chan!" She called. The others turned as Saori frowned. "Are you alright? You just disappeared...."

"I'm fine." He assured her. "I just thought I saw something. It was nothing important." Aiolos glanced over her shoulder and saw Ikki. Given what they other Saints had said about his change of heart in the battle against Doctrates, and what he had just done, Aiolos felt himself relax. Ikki nodded at him.

"Akira-san." The Phoenix said. Aiolos grinned.

"It's been a while Ikki." He said as the others smiled.

* * *

Although the villa had suffered superficial damage due to the Flame Saints attacks, the structure was sound. They had all retreated inside so that what had happened could be explained to Aiolos, Seiya and Hyoga. The other two Saints had arrived shortly before Aiolos had and knew only as much as Aiolos himself did.

They had just finished when Shiryu arrived. The dragon Saint had heard about the mansion and decided to head back. He had to be told everything. Once that was through Seiya ended up dragging everyone in his idea to have an impromptu celebration to welcome Ikki back.

Aiolos approved of the idea, but he didn't really join in with the festivities. He was more concerned with what the trainee had said to him. A Saint that considers power justice? Isn't that opposite of what a Saint is suppose to be? We're suppose to serve Athena, not ourselves! Aiolos became lost in this thoughts, not noticing the look Ikki gave him.

* * *

Akria was hiding something. Ikki could tell that much. He had already figured out what the others had mentioned, that they thought Akira had once been a trainee. But there was another secret that the older man was keeping, one that Ikki had no idea what it was. The Phoenix Saint could sense it, tell in the ways in which Saori's brother kept dodging around some questions.

If Ikki hadn't known that Akira would rather die then put his little sister in danger, he would have been more suspicious. As it was Ikki decided not to say anything to his brothers just yet. He would wait, and see if could figure out what secrets the elder Kido was keeping, on his own.

The End of Chapter 9 -- Continued in Chapter 10


Back to Top of Page | Saint Seiya Index | FanFics | Site Index


Disclaimer: Saint Seiya is the property of Masami Kurumada, Shueisha and Toei Animation.


This page belongs to Stayka's Saint Seiya Archive at http://www.saint-seiya.de


© by Plantress (plantress2001@yahoo.com)


Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!