Satoru Fujinuma thought that he knew everything about revival. It was his little blue butterfly that always came to him in times of need, allowing him to rewrite the future just as he did to save Kayo all those years before. However, when tragedy strikes and he needs to use revival once again, it's nowhere to be found. He comes to learn that everything he thought he knew was a lie and that there is so much more to revival than meets the eye. Determined to find it and change his future once again, Satoru sets off to uncover the real truth behind revival, leading him into a dark and twisted world, that only one girl has ever been able to navigate successfully. With her help, will Satoru be able to save his Airi and Saori? Will he be able to finally find, his little blue butterfly? Go on this journey, that will have you question all you thought you knew. (Erased/Madoka and more crossover fanfiction, For the Anime/Manga contest) Please tell me what you think and enjoy!


10. The Final Target

        Satoru returns to the present, recognizing the familiar world. Before him, Kousei stands, like Yuzuru did before, shimmering. He smiles pleasantly and says, “thank you Satoru. You saved me from my despair and allowed me to live again and find new happiness. However, it wasn’t just me you helped, you helped the others too. So this is for you, as thanks.” He passes over three light orbs like the one Yuzuru had given him and following their path, they once again enter Homura, who is standing to the side, as before. “I wish you the best on your journey and I hope you find your family. I’d be happy if our path could cross again, perhaps in another time. Until then, please take care.” He waves and then is gone, his soul moving on in peace.

Satoru turns to Homura, who actually looks a bit surprised, for the first time. “I can’t even believe it, I never thought you’d be able to pull that one off. I knew of Kousei; he was probably one of the toughest cases here. I was certain that he’d become corrupted before he ever found his way back. You must have been really convincing to make him change for the better.”

Satoru laughs. “Is that a compliment I hear?”

“Please, don’t get full of yourself. I was just stating facts.”

“Right, if you say so. Anyway, I didn’t really do that much to be honest. I just put the plan in motion, but it was ultimately his friends that pulled him back and made him change. I was just there for the ride and got to see something amazing along the way. However, I think you can see now that people can change, they just need to have reasons to do so. He had found his.”

“Well, if you say so. Anyway, we got a huge haul from that one, as I expected, so I’d estimate one more good one should allow us the ability to defeat the witch, so get moving already.”

“Ok, no need to be so pushy.” Satoru looks around for others, but finds that there seems to be no one around. “By the way, did time pass for you or did I go and return right away?”

“To me, you were only gone a few minutes. Time works differently in these situations.”

“Oh, that’s what I thought. It was a week for me, but only minutes for you; fascinating.”

“You can fanboy about it later. Are you seeing anyone who can be the next target yet?”

“No, I’m not seeing my butterfly or anyone for that matter. Isn’t it a bit strange?”

“Hmm, now that you mention it, it does seem to have cleared out since you returned. It may-.” Homura is suddenly alert. “Get back!” Just as she says this, the ground begins to shake and crack beneath them. From these cracks, several creatures begin to emerge, all looking as twisted and grotesque as the monsters before, but even more so and much more terrifying. “We’ve gotta get out of here now! Let’s go!” Homura grabs Satoru’s arm and pulls him along, before he can even respond. She runs down the street and then into a dark alley, taking cover behind a trash bin.

Satoru can hear the horde of monsters passing by, unaware that they’ve turned off the main road and shivers. “What were those? Why did they suddenly come up and chase after us?”

“Those were the lesser witches. The various souls that became corrupted and slaves of the witch. If they have risen up like this and are after us, then that confirms my suspicion. We’re getting very close and I have a feeling they will continue after us the closer we get to the final target.”

“So, if we follow them, we should probably find the final target right?”

“That’s my hypothesis anyway. So we should look for other people and when they show up, we’ll know we’re on the right track. It seems like they’ve passed us by now, so let’s go back the way we came and look for others. They may have just got spooked by the monsters.”

“Ok then. You lead the way. I have no knowledge on navigating this world.”

“Yea I know as much. Just follow me and stay close, so you don’t die.” She stands and with Satoru just behind, they make their way back the way they came, looking around for people. They search high and low, in every shop, house and alley, but even an hour later, they find no one. “What is this? Has everyone disappeared or something?” Homura is frustrated.

“Could it be that Kousei was the final tether? Now that he’s moved on, perhaps the witch no longer has the strength to keep hold of any other lost souls?”

“If that were the case, then the witch would’ve revealed herself already. However, only her minions have revealed themselves, which means she’s trying to prevent us from finding the remaining target. There must be one, the most important one, which is why she’s sent them. She’s starting to get scared that we will win. That’s why it’s so strange. There seems to be no one else around here now but you and I. Since clearly I’m not the one, the only person that would leave is….” Like a light bulb going off, Homura looks at Satoru. “It must be…you….”

Satoru is shocked. “Me? No way, how could it be me? I’m the one who’s supposed to be saving these souls, so there’s no way it could be myself. If I could go back and fix my past, I wouldn’t need to be here or go through all of this. My butterfly would’ve come to me already and sent me back as before, allowing me to use revival as it did in the past. But it hasn’t, so I can’t be it.”

“Well, then do you have any idea who it could be. Do you see anyone else around here?”

Satoru starts to think, trying to put the puzzle pieces in place. He can feel that they are close and that all the pieces are right in front of him, but he’s missing something. He doesn’t believe he could possibly be the final target, but if not him, then who? He thinks hard and then suddenly has a breakthrough. “Maybe….” He looks at Homura, studying her closely. Her appearance hasn’t changed, yet now that he’s looking, she seems profoundly different. She seems brighter, her skin seems to have more color, her hair a deeper shine and her eyes most of all, have become less dull. Putting that together with the fact that those orbs went inside of her each time and these changes seemed to have enhanced each time, they must be related. Then all of a sudden, everything Homura had told him about her past, her love and everything in between comes together and clicks inside his head. “That’s it! Homura, I think that-.”

Before he could finish, a monster jumps down from a ledge and with a screech, attacks Satoru. However, just before it can stick its claws into him, Homura blows it away with her gun. “I told you to be more alert! Come on!” She grabs them and once again they run, however this time, they don’t intend to let them escape so easily. More come out from other directions, eventually surrounding them. “Alright then, it looks like they’re getting serious now. Fine, then I guess I’ll play.” She pumps herself up for a fight. “Satoru, I’m going to make an opening for you. When I do, I want you to run and hide somewhere until I take care of them. You got that?”

“I do, but are you going to be ok? Will you be able to handle these all on your own?”

She laughs out loud. “Who do you think I am? I’ve been doing this for a long time. They’ve got nothing on me. So worry about yourself. If you die, it’ll be your own fault for not listening.”

“Ok fine, but I’m still going to wish you good luck. So good luck.”

She doesn’t respond, but she smiles slightly in response. She aims her guns at a section of the circle and blasts them with impressive power, making a wide gap. “Go now Satoru!”

Satoru runs through the opening and she demanded and runs away as fast as he can. He looks back, to see Homura blasting away at the monsters, however he notices something. He stops running and turns back. He can see that the monsters have not given chase to him, despite seeing him run past them, however, they are not being offensive against Homura either. They simply stand or float in place, while Homura is the only one putting any effort in. They don’t even attempt to defend against her guns. Satoru has a strong hunch, but there is only one way he can be sure of it. He begins walking back towards them and as he gets closer, the monsters start to become active again. The closer he gets to Homura, the more they encircle her, like a protective barrier, to keep her safe and secure. They only start to become aggressive when Satoru is within their reach. “So I was right. It is how I thought it was. I figured it out Homura, the final target.”

“You idiot! What do you think you’re doing? I gave you an out and you came waltzing back here without a care in the world? Get away from here before you end up dead!”

“I can’t go away, because if I do, this will never end. Besides, they aren’t going to hurt me, not intentionally anyway. I’m not their target, but they do preserve me as a threat, so they won’t come for me directly, but they also won’t let me get too close. Haven’t you noticed?”

“What are you even talking about? Do you think this is a game or something?”

“No, it’s not a game, not at all. Don’t you see it though; they are not trying to attack you either. In fact, they are doing the exact opposite. You said it yourself, that these lesser witches were the minions of the witch right? That if she sent them out, it meant we were getting close to the final target. Naturally, she doesn’t want us finding the final target, because once that target is found and I release them, she’s going to be destroyed, no longer having a tether to this realm.”

“Ok, I know all of that. They probably aren’t attacking because the witch probably doesn’t want you dead. Knowing her, she probably wants you for herself, to torture you for all eternity. If anything, they’re trying to keep us apart so that she can get you easily and I won’t be able to interfere. That’s the only explanation there can be.”

“You’re right about that first part. She definitely wants us to be apart and she doesn’t want me dead, but it’s not because she wants to torture me. She would’ve done so long ago if that was the case. So the question remains then, why would the witch send her minions out to keep us separated, but not allow them to harm me or you? Would an evil monster truly do such a thing?”

“No…I suppose not. You almost make it sound like the witch is trying to keep you from succeeding, but avoid hurting you in the process.  The witch isn’t the type to do that.”

“Perhaps not usually, but what if it were a friend, or someone she came to respect? Do you think she’d want to see them get hurt, even if they were the only ones who could destroy her?”

“I don’t understand. What are you getting at? Do you really believe the witch has friends?”

“She didn’t, but that doesn’t mean she can’t make them, even if she doesn’t realize it herself.”

“You really are a strange person Satoru; I’ve never met or befriended anyone like you before.”

“So you admit I’m a friend then? Now I have no doubt. I’ve found the final target at last.”

“What are you saying idiot? There’s no one around but us? Are you going mad?”

Satoru laughs. “Maybe I am, but I’m going to finish this now, so we can both get back to our loved ones. Now I’m about to do something reckless, but don’t let me die ok?”

“What are you….” Satoru doesn’t wait for her to finish and instead charges straight for the circle of monsters. They suddenly get aggressive and prepare to strike out at him. “Uh, you idiot!” She blasts them away just before he gets slashed, allowing an opening once again. He runs inside grabs her, hugging her tight. “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?!”

“Saving you. It’s you Homura, you are the final target and the key to stopping the witch.”

“No, you’re wrong, I can’t be the one. I’m not lost. I’ve come and gone from this realm numerous times, I’ve faced the witch numerous times. This is impossible. You’re wrong.”

“I’m not. Of course you’ve come and gone from here and of course you’ve faced off against her but as you’ve said yourself, you can never quite defeat her. Haven’t you ever wondered why?”

“I know why. It’s because she cursed me. My punishment is to fight against her forever.”

“Why would you have to face such a punishment though? What have you done to deserve it?”

“I, I….” Homura realizes she’s not even sure anymore. She can’t remember anything before she became a magical girl. However, in a rush, all those suppressed memories come rushing back and Satoru can see them too. He can finally understand it all and just like the others, he is sucked into the vortex and transported to the past. The past of Homura Akemi, that was long forgotten.

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