He’s not the only one; everyone is down on their knees while Yuuma walks amongst them. Yuuma is glowing with power, with an aura that fills him with Hope, as he stops before every bent figure and touches them. His hands are golden, and where he touches wounds are healed, leaving beside tears of happiness and wide smiles. Astrals and Barians and humans alike are here, but all them receive Yuuma’s blessing the same way.
It is quiet. Yuuma whispers to each person he lays hands on, and sometimes they whisper back. What they are saying, Nasch can only guess: thanks, praise, apologies. Haruto clings to Yuuma’s waist when Yuuma heals him, and Kaito touches him back, reverently; Astral is entirely silent as the cracks in his body close, and though Vector gasps in agony when Yuuma’s finger brush his shoulder, whatever he whispers to Yuuma makes Yuuma smile.
Yuuma lingers before his parents, who disappear when he lets them go. He brings the Arclights, who are deathly pale and bloodied, back to life; he fixes Durbe’s shattered shoulder and Mizael’s missing eye and Merag’s broken fingers from where she held onto Nasch as hard as she could, before Don Thousand took him.
And even Don Thousand receives Yuuma’s power; he shrinks as Yuuma holds onto him, until he looks much less terrifying, and then he dissolves in the earth. Everyone has been touched now, but for Nasch, who remains.
He closes his eyes, half-expecting to be passed over — but no, that is his shame talking. Yuuma is kind.
When he opens them, everyone else is gone. Yuuma is on his knees in front of him, hands outstretched. He is waiting.
Nasch takes his hands, and from where they touch stone recedes and flesh returns, until he is in Ryoga’s soft body again, whole and unhurt. He basks in Yuuma’s soft smile, and in the flow of gentle power coming from Yuuma’s body into his.
“Are you coming home with me?”
Ryoga doesn’t know where home is, but Yuuma’s eyes hold another world inside them, and when Ryoga looks into them he feels safe. If Yuuma will keep hold of his hands, like a talisman against the darkness, then Ryoga will follow him anywhere.
His heart beats fast. “Yeah.”
The landscape around them starts to fade, turning transparent so that Ryoga can see the black depths of space, behind it. Stars shine in the world beyond this place where the dead are offered redemption. Gravity weakens and they start to float; Ryoga tightens his grip on Yuuma’s hands as they rise up, weightless, above the vanishing pink dirt.
Yuuma rises up above him, propelled by the golden light of Hope within him, and he pulls Ryoga along as they move through space so quickly the stars are nothing but long streaks of white light.
Yuuma looks down at him as they fly past a star that tugs at Ryoga’s heart. He thinks it might be his own, and he can hear its song, echoing through space, answered by the song of loss that lives inside him. It makes him want to cry, and here, with only Yuuma’s all-accepting eyes on him, he does.
“Don’t worry,” Yuuma says. He pulls Ryoga towards him until their elbows are touching. “I got you.”
Ryoga closes his eyes as they leave Benetnasch behind.