The end of the world.
by Princess X-S Moonshyne
Prologue: The end of the world
It was a dark night, not yet stormy, but the breathless humidity of the torpid tropical air pressed on them no less than the urgency of their mission, compelling them onwards, bringing them nearer, nearer to the end of their long quest. So close to completion... soon, soon they would be freed from the geas* laid upon them so long ago by the goddess Kanzeon Bosatsu. Free to go their own separate ways once more...
From the heated argument taking place in the back, which was rapidly degenerating into a shoving match, the stupid monkey and the kappa obviously had no concern about the danger they were fast approaching, nor any inkling of the implications should their mission succeed.
Sanzo looked at Hakkai's face, visibly pale and drawn even through the cover of darkness. They dared not stop, so close to the enemy's stronghold, yet they were certainly in no condition to fight now. Hakkai met his eyes, and a wordless understanding passed between them: It will not be over. They would not allow it, though they had come to the conclusion, early in the journey, that they really could not afford more distractions than already provided by their companions and the enemies they would encounter along their way. Emotional attachment was inevitable, of course, but they were both accustomed to masks, and it would not be seen and used against them. But once the quest was done with...?
Just as he was about to order Hakkai to pull over so they could find a place to rest before the final great confrontation, one of the fool combatants in the back -- he was not sure which -- gave a sharp yelp and fell forward, crashing into Hakkai, who lost control of the wheel, then they were all plummeting down the side of the deep canyon, Jeep screaming, and he knew no more. Their quest was ended.
It was over.
And the demons, safe in their castle, continued with their plans to revive Gyuumaoh until a few months later, a large meteorite blazed a bright trail through the sky to explode into the castle with the force of a hydrogen bomb or two, or maybe a really large volcano erupting from underneath, though it could have been a volcano triggered by the impact, and ashes covered the land for miles around. Nothing was left. So their lives, and deaths, didn't really matter after all. It was only a matter of time.
The threat to the world had ended, and everything went back to the way it had been before. People began to pick up the pieces of their lives that had been shattered by one woman's terrible dream, and in time, learnt to live with each other again, though humans and demons would perhaps never associate with each other as easily as they had before.
Thus closes this chapter of history.