One week has passed since the battle of the 12 Temples. News of Seiya's and the other's recovery has not reached Kido mansion one bit. Worried about Saori who has confined herself in her room, all alone, Tatsumi, Jabu and the others from time to time have looked into her, but she only returns a blank glassy artificial smile.
From that day on, Saori has recalled those words Mu said to her,(Athena's love can not be devoted to just one Saint... Athena's love must be for all, equally...) Even though Mu's words are unpleasing to the ear, it has made her realize she is clearly starting to love that Saint, but Saori doesn't pray for that one Saint only, she prays with all her heart that all of them will recover. Though, the more she prays, the more Mu's words weight on her slender shoulders, (Athena can't love just one person...? Athena's true love is...) Saori feels the destiny set upon her is like a very heavy cross she must carry.
Even though Saori is in that conditon, Kiki bought her to the garden,"If you don't cheer up, Seiya and the others won't get well either! Hey, look!" Kiki was dangling on a branch of a fir tree in the vincinity. He wanted to twirl around the brance like a horizonal bar and land perfectly, but he perfectly landed on his ass,"Ah ah! Maybe, this is why people keep calling me Appendix Kiki!" That exaggerated sigh from Kiki and seeing him try his damnest to cheer her up, it finally made Saori laugh. Seeing Kiki lean back against the fir tree, smiling as he sat there, it bought back a far away memory to Saori.
...When Seiya was still
very little, being strictly trained here in Kido Masion, Saori remebers
seeing him just like Kiki next to that exact same tree. With the branches
having innumerable leaves all year round, even in days of strong sunlight,
Seiya can sit by the roots for good shading, and even if the leaves made
alot of noise because the strong winds from time to time, his heart would
probably was comforted there. No, even when he was very little, Seiya wanted
to reach toward the sky like the stretching branches of the tree, wishing
to live freely.
One day, because one of the Saint Candidates made a mistake, all of them were being punished including Seiya and the others. They weren't allowed to eat for the whole day. Seiya was holding his empty stomach under that same tree.
"Seiya, get up!", Saori presents a deluxe sandwich to Seiya who probably never seen before, with a very thick piece of ham. Why she felt like doing that, she didn't really know. But, no matter how many times she offered it to him, Seiya never stretched out his hand and he kept looking away.
"Get up! Seiya"
"I am not your dog you can just feed!"
"Seiya!", Saori stared hard at Seiya, sorryly. Though sensing a touch of loneliness in her eyes, Seiya still looked away angryily and muttered, "I shouldn't be the one to eat! Shiryu, Shun and the others, too, are as hungry as me. So, why just me...?"
"Seiya, you idiot! If you don't want it, I'll give it to you this way!", Saori throws the sandwish down to Seiya's feet and walked away rapidly without turning around. She didn't turned around because she felt Seiya would see from her eyes how passonite she was.
Now, even if, not as Athena, but as a girl, if Saori were to tell Seiya how she felt for him in her heart, he would surely answer the same way,"I...","Just me." But now, she understands clearly the meaning of that passion she felt, (Because Seiya was like that, that is why I...)
Saori continues to eagerly remind herself of Seiya's words. To save Saori's life, not just Seiya, but Shiryu and the others are carrying deep injuries, even now in 'Athena's Spring', they are fighting hard between the borders of life and death...
"What is it, Miss...?",
with worrying eyes, Kiki's voices brings Saori back. She smiles with all
her effort to put Kiki at ease,"Uhm uhm, I'm fine, Kiki. Let's go back
At that time, Saori didn't notice that a gust of cold wind containing a powerful Cosmo blew through some flowers blooming in a corner of the garden, and froze them like dry flowers.
"Miss Saori! So... Something
big has happened!", the desperate looking Tatsumi, Jabu and the others
rushed to tell Saori the urgent news from Sanctuary that someone has defeated
"Someone like Taurus would be defeated by just one attack...!", except for Seiya and the others, it's common sense that only a Gold Saint can defeat a Gold Saint, but, even if that someone had Light Speed Punches like Leo Aiolia, there's no way he can defeat Aldebaran by just one attack.
"Who was it...?", at the same time when Jabu muttered that, a fierce cold air passes through everyone's clothing and pierces their skin!
"You are Athena, right...", says a man with his head down and kneeling on one knee respectfully inside a blast of a blizzard, wearing something similar to a Cloth(God Robe) on his body. With sharp, cold, piercing eyes, looking at Saori, he introduces himself,"Asgard's God Warrior, Zeta Star, Mizar Syd."
Syd then tells her the terrible news that it was him who defeated Aldebaran, or in other words, it is Asgard declaring war on Sanctuary, but not only that but he has come boldy to assassinate Athena,"Next, Athena... It is your turn..."
Angryly, Jabu launches a punch, heading toward Syd,"Shut up! I will protect the Miss!"
"Take this!", Geki, Ichi, Nachi, and Ban follows Jabu's lead!
"You small fish has no use here!", just by Syd's hand flashing lightly, his freezing punch tear through the ground like creating scratches from tiger claws. Caught in this attack, Jabu and the others fly up the air like leaves!
"Don... Don't under-estimate me...!", Jabu tries his damnest to stand back up, but it's already clear to anyone who's going to win,"Ha! If you want to die that much, I'll send you to the netherworld first where you can welcome Athena!"
Right in the instant when Syd was about to launch his attack that defeated Aldebaran, Viking Tiger Claw, a chain comes flying cutting through the air and stops his attack!
"Who!", with his hand wrapped and drawn by the chain, not beleving his eyes, Syd sees a youth as beautiful as a girl coming out from a cluster of trees.
"Andromeda Shun!", says Shun wearing his brand new Bronze Cloth. And then!
"It's very courageous of you to come all alone to take Athena's life! But, I won't allow you to touch Saori with even one finger!", high up, overhead, from the roof of Kido Mansion, Seiya jumps to the air, and comes flying down, landing in front of Saori,"It will be okay now, Saori!"
"Wait, Seiya!" the piercing
voice of Ikki who just appeared stop Seiya.
"Why stop me, Ikki? This guy came to take Saori's life!"
"Athena's life is not something that is easily taken... As long as the Saints of Athena are here!", Ikki's words are not meant for Seiya but for Syd,"We who have dwelled in the depths of death... Our lives shouldn't be wasted for nothing!"
"For the new fights, Seiya!", with Shiryu and Hyoga appearing one after another, speaking to Seiya, it puts pressure on Syd who has a heated fighting spirit.
"Very well then... A time will come when we God Warriors will settle things with you! When that time comes, I will enjoy it! Pegasus Seiya!", with Syd gone, the cold air that was hanging around disappeared with the wind.
"Uhh...", groans Seiya, now with the tension gone, he feels the shock produced by Syd's attack that went through his Cloth.
"Seiya!", Saori who is full of worry for Seiya rushes to him, but, surprisingly, she finds Seiya showing a bright smile.
"It's okay! Saori. But, if I didn't have this New Pegasus Cloth, what would have happened to me...? Thanks to Mu and the others, anyway..."
"Mu and the other Gold Saints...", Saori is informed about the Bronze Cloths was resurrected by the blood of Mu and the other Gold Saints. Normally, for humans, losing a third of their blood would bring certain death, but the Gold Saints had to give half of their blood. It is almost like they were gambling with their lives so that they can instill a new lives in the the dead Bronze Cloths of Seiya and the Bronze Saints. And, it was only a while ago that they exchanged blows, risking their lives with Seiya and the others in the 12 Temples fight, now they would resurrect their former opponents' Cloths... This gives a serious shock to Saori's heart.
With the encouraging "love" of Mu and the other Gold Saints, Seiya and ther other Bronze Saints with their unconquerable Cosmo answers their "love" by overcoming death.
(And in exchange, as Athena, what have I done for Seiya and the others?), while on the one hand, Saori feels total shame, but on the other, she finally understands the full meaning of Mu's words about "The Spring of Athena."
It is not that she can't love just one Saint or not allowed to love just one person, but she has to love all peoples. The tears of Athena Statue that saves wounded Saints are just like the rays of the sun shining on all the land, something that is encouraging to all, equally.
Saori would live a easy life just as a normal girl and Seiya and the others are just boys too, but they live their lives facing each of their own hard fate that was given to them, strictly. And now, what they need is the great power of love, Athena's love, equally.
Saori is no longer perplexed. While she kneels down on her knees and lends a hand to Seiya, she says in her heart to the Gold Saints in far away Sanctuary, "Thank you Mu, Gold Saints! I promise to work hard and to not lose to you all, having love for all peoples..."
"Saori...?", as Seiya looks at Saori wonderingly, Saori's overflowing tears falls on the palm of Seiya. In an instant, Seiya feels his whole body is filled with warm life energy.
--- Right then and there, Saori has a smile just like the beautiful, noble, shining Athena Statue which guards Seiya and all of the Saints.