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!


5. The Witch Killer

       Satoru stares down the barrel of her gun, nervous that she’ll actually shoot him, but also excited that he found her. He tries to talk his way out of the dicey situation. “Uh, I don’t think there’s any need for that, I mean no harm and I have no bad intentions. It’s just, I heard that you were the best woman to go to for help with my problem and to learn more about the witch.”

She looks surprised. “What do you want to know about the witch? If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stop looking for her and go home. If you promise to do that, I’ll let you live.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I need to find my family and you’re the only lead I have to do so.”

“Are you serious? Do you want to die? If so, I’ll really blow your brains out right now!”

“Even still, I cannot. I’d rather die having tried my hardest than to go home and give up.”

Homura looks at him warily, surprised at his resolve. “You’re willing to go that far for them?”

“Of course. They are the most important people in the world to me and so I’ll never give up.”

She stares at him seriously for a minute, testing his resolve, which doesn’t waver. Realizing he was serious and would go to the ends of the earth for his family, she lowers her gun and it disintegrates seemingly into thin air. “I admire your persistence, but I’m not sure I can help.”

“Please, I really need your help. I believe the witch has something to do with revival and the blue butterfly, so if I can find her, perhaps I’ll find it and be able to go back and save my family.”

Homura looks genuinely surprised for the first time. “Revival? You’ve seen the butterfly?”

“Yes. It allowed me to go back many times until I successfully saved my childhood friend.”

She seems to whisper to herself and then she looks back at him. “It seems you’re a special case and may just be worth the time, but if I agree to help, just know that I won’t be held responsible for what happens next. To pursue the witch will require entering a dark world, one few have ever seen and even fewer have returned from. I can help you survive that world and fight off the lesser witches, but it’s up to you to liberate them. These lesser witches are corrupted souls and the only way to free them without sending them to hell is to liberate them from their corruption. If you can see the butterfly, then you’ve been chosen for this task. It will be your guide. Only by freeing the souls, can you destroy the witch forever, but it’ll likely require a sacrifice from you.”

“If destroying this witch will allow me to meet my family again, then I’ll do whatever it takes and I’ll gladly sacrifice anything. I just want to be together with Airi and Saori again.”

“Very well, I will help you then.” She holds out her hand. “My name is Homura Akemi.”

Satoru returns the gesture, his hand meeting hers. “Satoru Fujinuma. You can call me Satoru.”

“Nice to meet you. You may call me Homura as well. Anyway, we should be on our way now.”

“Wait, already?! I haven’t even prepared myself yet! I thought we’d get to know each other a bit more and talk about everything. There’s so many things I wanted to ask you.”

“You can ask me as we travel. I’d like to take care of this as soon as possible. The place we’re going is know as The Between. It’s a place where those who have become lost end up after tragic experiences. Some go there for a short period, but then find their way out on their own, but many get trapped there and cannot leave. If you are trapped there for too long, you will become corrupted from your grief and manifest as a lesser witch. This realm was created by The Witch, as she gets her strength from the despair and corruption of the lost souls. However, if she loses those souls, the realm will become unstable and she will be weakened. If you could get her to that state, I should be able to defeat her, but it won’t be easy. She’ll do anything she can to stop you from liberating those souls and from carrying on. Also, no one can face her without losing something in return. Knowing all of this, are you certain you still wish to carry on?”

“Yes, I’m sure. I’ve come too far to back out now. I will do my best until the end.”

“Very well, then let’s go.” She motions with her hand and there is a blue flash. A portal opens and her plain black leggings and white turtleneck disappear, and is replaces by black tights, and a white skirt-dress with purple accents. On each side, a gun holder appears, each containing a black revolver. “Leave your things behind, you won’t need them. You can get them later.”

“Uh, right!” Satoru was a bit in awe by what he can only assume was her transformation. He places his items on the ground, under the cover of a bush. “Is this your magical girl form?”

“Please don’t call it that. The days of magical girls are done, someone special to me made sure of that. I’m the only one who remains active, but not as a magical girl. I’m simply a free agent, keeping The Witches minions at bay and preventing evil from overtaking the world for them.” She has a look of nostalgia and a hint of sadness, which makes Satoru think of something.

“Could that person maybe be…Madoka? Is she the one you’re doing this for? Was she real?”

Satoru finds himself behind the barrel of her gun, her expression full of anger. “Don’t mention her name so casually! Of course she was real! If it hadn’t been for her, the world would be….” She stops abruptly and trails off. She retracts her gun and returns it to its holder. “Sorry, I lost myself there for a moment. She was real, she existed and she saved not just us magical girls, but the world as well. Thanks to her, the Witch had no choice but to retreat to her own realm and remain isolated there. However, her witch minions still break free from time to time and cause havoc in the world, so in Madoka’s stead, I hunt them down and kill them. She gave all of our friends the chance to live their lives like normal girls, at the sacrifice of not just her life, but her very existence. No one, not even them, remember her, but I do. The reason I can when the others can’t is because I’ve lived countless timelines, repeating things over and over again, all for the sake of her. I wanted to protect her, keep her from making the mistake I watched her make time and time again and it always lead to her gruesome death. To watch your loved one, die over and over again no matter what you do is the worst curse there is. I believe it’s my curse to bear, which is why I can remember, but even now, with her having saved the world, I still can’t be with her. She’s become akin to god, watching over the world in a plane I can’t reach, no matter how much I want to. It’s my greatest wish, to finally be able to move on from this world and join her up there, but it seems I can never be free until The Witch has been destroyed. For reasons I still cannot understand, she seems to hold me captive, our endless battle continuing on forever.”

“I’m sorry, that really is an unfortunate life. Is this why Subaru and his wife said you were closer to the witch than anyone? Is it because of this battle between you two? Why does he hate you?”

“They do not know of my circumstances with the Witch. It’s more likely that they thought this because of what happened back then in that world. I’m the one who killed their friends.”

Satoru is shocked, unable to believe what he just heard. “What? You killed them? Why?”

“It was the only way to end the loop. That world was a world created by The Witch. She created it as a personal hell to Subaru, who’d been trapped in The Between prior to that, though he never realized it. He’d lost his parents and little sister in an accident and found himself in the Between, living alone, but in his mind, his family were just away for work and traveling. He was pulled into that world and given his Return by Death power, in order to save Emilia, also trapped there.”

“So you’re saying both of them were trapped in The Between and so the Witch gave Subaru a chance to save her? Why would she do that though if she wanted to keep him there and make him suffer? Why would she give him a chance to save them both and escape?”

“It’s precisely because she wants him to suffer she did that. As I said, watching your loved ones die constantly no matter what you do is the worst kind of torture. She wanted to drive Subaru mad and she achieved that. However, she sees it as a game and so she wanted to make him suffer while offering him a way out, but only with the sacrifice that would bring him more suffering. Ultimately, she’d allow him to save Emilia, whom he was destined to be with, but he’d have to trade all the people he’d come to befriend and that world for her. If he tried to save even one of them, then he could never save Emilia. To save Emilia and escape, all his friends had to die in return. He understood that in the end, but wasn’t strong enough to accept it. He was torn because loved Emilia and wanted to save her, but he didn’t know how to let his friends go, especially Rem. Realizing he was bound to be trapped forever I decided to help him along and end his constant suffering. I killed them all and kept the Witch at bay so he could escape. I left him no choice. Either he left through the portal with Emilia and lived, or they would both die. He’d have no more returns. He spited me for what I did, but took the chance and escaped, allowing him to end up here. Though once he arrived, he began a foolish mission to find The Witch again and somehow save his friends. Just like you, he went looking for his special ability, wanting one more chance to save them. I didn’t want to see him waste the opportunity at life he’d been given again and so I threatened him. I said I’d kill Emilia and his family if he didn’t give up. It was effective, but it only deepened his hatred for me. I don’t mind if they hate me though. I just did what I felt was necessary for the greater good. I consider it mercy, even if they cannot. I’ve come to realize that the lost can never save themselves and will always make the same mistakes. Even when given a chance to change things, they won’t change and things will end up just as before. I know this for my own personal experiences and so that’s why I’ll save them from themselves, even if I have to be a villain in their eyes. It’s all I can do to try and finally get back to her.”

Satoru realizes that all of these terrible experiences were likely why Subaru had tried to deter him from pursuing his own quest. He knew from personal experience that dealing with the Witch or Homura will likely lead to suffering. He was trying to spare him that. He appreciates his efforts, but even knowing all of this, he will not back down. “I have to disagree Homura-san.”

“Huh? What exactly is it that you disagree on? That people can change and save themselves?”

“Yes, that’s exactly it. I believe people can change if given the opportunity, but you are right on one aspect. They cannot do it alone. However, simply doing the hard work for them isn’t really helping them, it’s just giving them an easy out and both of you will suffer for it. Rather than doing it for them, they should be guided into doing what’s right and come to realize on their own that things must change or that they cannot continue on in the same manner. You say that I’ll have to help liberate these lost souls that become lesser witches and I think I’ve just realized how I will have to do it. Clearly, Revival is something that gives the opportunity to return to the past and stop an event from happening or to save someone. If my butterfly will be my guide, then it must be for the same purpose as before, when I saved Kayo all those years ago. I’ll find these lost souls, return to their pasts and help save them from making the same mistakes or help them save those they love. I believe that just like back then, saving others, will lead me back to Airi.”

“You really are an optimistic guy aren’t you?” She chuckles. “Well, I suppose it’ll be interesting to watch you go about this. I look forward to you proving me wrong Satoru. Now, let’s go.” She finally steps through the portal and Satoru follows immediately behind. When they exit the portal they are standing in the forest, in fact, it’s the same forest they just came from. “Here we are.”

Satoru looks around and sees the familiar environment. “Are you playing with me? We’ve come right back to the same spot we just left from. Do you believe that I’m really an idiot?”

“No, we have indeed entered The Between, look again. See how the sky is darker? See how the trees are limp and brittle. See how the ground is cracked and the soil is dry? Can you see the grey hue of our surroundings? The Between is just as its name implies, between realities. There is only one world and we all live in it. However, there are many realities, better known as timelines that connect through here. You must pass through the Between to cross from one timeline to another or even to travel back in time as you’ve done many times. Every time you used Revival, you passed through this realm, but it happened too quickly for you to notice. Usually you cannot consciously travel within this realm unless you’ve got something tying you here. In your case, I would assume it’s your butterfly. It must be leading you here. Anyway, it’s dangerous, so we should probably get a move on and quickly-.” Before she can finish, there is a loud screech from the trees. “Damn! I suppose it’s too late now. Stand back!” She grabs her guns and just as she points it up, a monster like Satoru’s never seen, drops from the trees and attacks her violently.

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