"What? Sacrificed?" asked Ashley. Trickster nodded.
"I'm sorry, Ashley. But it's the way it has to be." he said. Tears started to form in Ashley's eyes.
"I want everyone except for Ashley to create a large circle." said Trickster. Everyone did that and soon there was a circle.
"What do you want me to do?" asked Ashley.
"Put Ciel down in the middle of the circle." said Trickster. Ashley walked over to the middle and put Ciel down. Ciel was having trouble standing up on his own, so Ashley had to help him. She then left the circle to stand on the outside.
"Is everyone's necklaces on and working?" asked Ashley. Everyone nodded. Suddenly, Append, Blue Moon, Nameless, Hansel, Lightning, and Polar's necklaces started to glow orange. The 6 modules held their necklaces in their palms of their hands.
"My necklace is glowing." said Append.
"Mine too." said Polar.
"And mine." said Blue Moon.
"Don't forget about me." said Nameless. Lightning and Hansel just stared at their necklaces.
"Aim your necklaces at Ciel's chest, guys." said Trickster.
"What?! But you'll kill him!" said Ashley.
"It's the only way." Suddenly, 6 orange beams of fire fired from the necklaces and at Ciel's chest. Ciel screamed in pain. Ashley tried to help her friend, but Trickster stopped her.
"I can't control the necklace." said Append.
"Me either." said Blue Moon. Suddenly, the beams disappeared and Ciel was left a panting mess.
"Are you alright?" asked Ashley. Ciel slowly nodded. But his chest was glowing orange.
"His chest is still glowing." said Ashley to Trickster.
"This is part of the sacrifice." he said. Suddenly, Receiver, Brave, and Swimwear's necklaces started to glow purple.
"Now our necklaces are glowing." said Receiver. Suddenly, the necklaces fired a purple beam at Ciel's hands. Ciel was left glowing orange and purple at the same time.
"What's happening to him?" asked Ashley. Trickster didn't say anything. Suddenly, Asymmetry, WS, and Crane's necklaces started to glow pink.
"My necklace is glowing." said Crane. Suddenly, 3 pink beams came towards Ciel's arms. He was now glowing 3 colors now: orange, purple, and pink.
"We're a fourth of the way done." said Trickster. Suddenly, Yukata, Ivy, and Alparka's necklaces started to glow white.
"What is going on with these necklaces?" asked Yukata. The diamond beams went for Ciel's head now. After a few seconds, Ciel was now glowing in 4 colors. Suddenly, Bad Boy, Punkish, Jersey, and Eraser's necklaces were glowing green.
"I think we're next, guys." said Punkish. 4 different green beams went towards Ciel and hit him in the stomach. After a few seconds, Ciel was now glowing in 5 colors.
"Trickster, is this part of the sacrifice?" asked Ashley.
"This is only one part. If I remember correctly, there are 2 or 3 parts. The beams are not hurting Ciel, just to let you know." said Trickster. Suddenly, School Wear, Indigo, and Aitetsu's necklaces started to glow brown.
"Are we going by the months of the year or something?" asked School Wear. Aitetsu and Indigo shrugged. 3 different brown beams went for Ciel's legs now. After a few seconds, 6 different colors were glowing on his body.
"We're halfway done, Ciel. Just hang in there." said Ashley. Suddenly, Council, Swimshorts, Ultimate, and Trickster's necklaces started to glow red.
"Trickster, your necklace is glowing."
"I know." Trickster replied. 4 different red beams went for Ciel's knees. And now he was glowing in 7 colors. Suddenly, Starmine's necklace was glowing yellow.
"I need to take this thing off." he said as he tried to take the necklace off. But it wasn't coming off.
"Starmine, no. Keep it on." said Ashley.
"But it's only hurting Ciel."
"The necklaces won't come off during the sacrifice, Starmine. It will be stuck to your body until it is over." said Trickster. Suddenly, a yellow beam went for Ciel's back. Now Ciel was glowing in 8 colors. Ciel fell down on his knees in exhaustion.
"Ashley, make him stand up again." said Trickster. Ashley nodded and walked to the middle of the circle again and helped Ciel to his feet. Then she walked out again. Suddenly, Dark and Radical's necklaces started to glow blue.
"We're next, aren't we?" asked Dark. Radical just nodded. A couple of blue beams went for the back of Ciel's neck. After a few seconds, Ciel was glowing in 9 colors.
"Only 3 more colors to go." said Rose. Then his necklace, Vermilion's, and Ciel's necklace started to glow black. 3 black beams went for Ciel's feet. Ciel fell to the ground again.
"Ashley, do you mind?" asked Trickster. Ashley nodded and went in the middle of the circle again to help Ciel get back on his feet again. His feet were glowing black.
"Ashley, I don't think I can take this anymore." said Ciel.
"Don't worry. There's only 2 colors left. And then we can go home." said Ashley. Ciel nodded. Ashley left the circle again. Suddenly, Lancer, Stylish, Pajama, Hikyou, Pop Star, and White Edge's necklaces were glowing gray.
"It looks like it's our turn, Stylish, Hikyou, Lancer, Pajama, and Pop Star." said White Edge. Stylish, Hikyou, Lancer, Pajama, and Pop Star nodded. 6 different gray beams went for Ciel's spine now. After a few seconds, Ciel was now glowing 11 colors. Ciel was wobbling to keep his balance. Ashley tried to go over again, but Trickster stopped her.
"I think he can stand up on his own now." Ciel wasn't wobbling anymore. Suddenly, Christmas, Cheerful, and Phoenix's necklaces were glowing sky blue. The sky blue beams went for Ciel's eyes. After a few seconds, the beams disappeared. Ciel's chest was orange, his hands were purple, his arms were pink, his head was white, his stomach was green, his legs were brown, his knees were red, his upper back was yellow, his neck was blue, his feet were black, his spine was gray, and his eyes were all sky blue.
"Okay, now the next part. Everyone except for Ashley, hold hands." said Trickster as he took a hold of Yukata and Punkish's hands. Everyone followed his example and held hands. They were still in the circle.
"Ashley, take the opal necklace off of him and make him wear the multicolored one." Ashley nodded and went over to the rainbow that is Ciel. She put the multicolored necklace around his neck. It started to glow orange, then purple, then pink, then white, then green, then brown, then red, then yellow, then blue, then black, then gray, then sky blue, and then back around again, like before.
"Okay. Now Ashley, come join us in the circle." said Trickster. Ashley got in the circle and held Starmine's right hand and Jersey's left hand. Suddenly, all of the modules' necklaces started to glow again, but all at the same time. The multicolored necklace was still glowing.
"Now what is going on?" asked Eraser.
"This is part 3 of the sacrifice process. This is the part where Ciel has to die."
"What? No!" said Ashley. But 46 different colored beams went for Ciel again, but all at the same time. This time, the beams were hurting him.
"No! Stop! You're hurting him!" said Ashley. But it was too late. Ciel was screaming in pain from all of the colorful beams hitting him all at once. Ashley was forced to watch. Suddenly, there was a colorful explosion. Everyone screamed and broke the circle. Everyone went flying in different directions. Ashley's back hit a tree, and she went unconscious.
It was still dark outside. And the blizzard was gone. Ashley got back to consciousness and got up and brushed off some snow from her clothes. "Guys! Where are you?" she cried out. Suddenly, she heard a moan. Ashley looked beside her and saw Starmine trying to get back to consciousness.
"Starmine!" said Ashley. Starmine finally opened his eyes and saw his girlfriend.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah. What about you?" asked Ashley.
"My head hurts." Starmine said as he rubbed his head. Ashley then saw Trickster walking up to them.
"Where's everyone else?" asked Starmine.
"They should be fine."
"So, was the sacrifice a success?" asked Ashley.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't. That explosion was the only thing that kept it from killing Ciel. Unless there was something else." said Trickster.
"So, Ciel's alive? Where is he?" asked Ashley.
"I saw him over there." said Trickster. Ashley looked at where he pointed. Ciel laid in the snow motionless. Ashley ran up to Ciel and knelt down beside him. She tried waking him up, but it was no good. She then checked his breathing. There was a slight pulse.
"Is he okay?" asked a voice. Ashley looked up and saw everyone else okay.
"He should be fine. He's breathing."
"I thought the multicolored necklace killed him. Or those beams of light." said Yukata.
"Trickster told me that the sacrifice was unsuccessful. That means Ciel is still alive. But he doesn't know what made the sacrifice not work." said Ashley. Suddenly, she saw a dim gold light around Ciel's neck. Ashley picked up the golden light. It was Ciel's golden locket that he got from his dead sister Soleil.
"Trickster, I think I know what made the sacrifice not work." said Ashley as she showed him the locket.
"I don't understand. This locket saved him from getting killed?" asked Trickster.
"I guess." Ashley took the multicolored necklace off of Ciel's neck.
"We don't need that thing anymore. If we keep that thing around any longer, Ciel will die for sure." said White Edge. Ashley nodded and threw it far in the forest.
"Well, it's getting cold out here. Why don't we all go inside and go back to bed?" asked Ashley. Everyone agreed. Ashley carried Ciel bridal-side style and everyone went back to the house.
The next morning, Ashley woke up and saw Ciel still unconscious. Ashley gently brushed some hair from his face. "You had a rough night last night, Ciel. You almost died." said Ashley.
"Is he awake yet?" asked a voice. Ashley saw Starmine holding a sleeping Amanda in his arms.
"No. You can come on in." said Ashley. Starmine nodded and went inside the room. Amanda suddenly woke up and saw her daddy.
"Why don't you set Amanda down on Ciel's chest?" Ashley suggested.
"What? But I don't want her chewing on his necklaces." said Starmine.
"It'll be fine. Just set her down. Besides, I heard that Ciel likes babies." Starmine nodded and set Amanda down on Ciel's chest. Amanda began to snuggle on Ciel's chest, thinking it's warm. Ashley laughed a little and kissed Amanda on the head. Suddenly, both Ashley and Starmine heard a moan. Ciel was waking up. He saw Amanda on his chest. Ciel smiled a little.
"How are you feeling, Ciel?" asked Ashley. She looked at his face. It regained its color.
"I feel better, now that I have a 4-month-old baby snuggling on my chest." said Ciel. His voice was strong again.
"It's nice to hear your voice again, Ciel." said Starmine.
"Thanks, Starmine. So, what happened last night?"
"Trickster and the others thought you died. I thought so, too. But something made the sacrifice unsuccessful. And I think it was your locket that Soleil gave you." said Ashley as she brought out the gold locket.
"I think Soleil was the one that saved you from dying, Ciel." said Starmine. Ciel took the locket from Ashley and opened it up, revealing the picture of his sister and playing Soundless Voice like a music box would.
"Thank you, Soleil." Ciel whispered. Tears were starting to form in his eyes. Ashley grabbed a Kleenex and wiped the tears away.
"Well, we better get downstairs and eat breakfast." said Starmine as he held Amanda in his arms again.
"You're right. I'm starving." said Ashley. The 4 of them went downstairs to join their friends. But before she went downstairs, she saw Phoenix getting his hair done. She also noticed the time machine missing.
"Did you put the time machine back in Trickster's room?" asked Ashley. Phoenix jolted when he saw his manager.
"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."
"No, it's fine. And to answer your question, yes, I did. Trickster actually found out that we have been time-travelling together. But I told him that we just wanted to see Ice Fog, Fan Dance, and Terekakushi and try to save them. I then told him that we were unsuccessful in getting them back. He told me that we shouldn't mess with the time machine again." said Phoenix.
"It's nice that Trickster understands. Well, I'll see you downstairs." said Ashley. She then went downstairs to join her friends.
Ashley and Christmas walked over to where the Christmas modules would be hanging out. They wanted to surprise the other Christmas modules. They all hung out in a log cabin made by Kaito Christmas in the forest. "Do you think all the Christmas modules will miss me?" asked Christmas to Ashley. She nodded. Ashley knocked on the door.
"Hide, Christmas." said Ashley. Christmas did so. Miku Christmas opened the door.
"Hey, Ashley. What are you doing here?" she asked.
"I have a surprise for you. Mind if I come in?" asked Ashley. Miku Christmas nodded and opened the door a little wider. Ashley stepped inside. She saw Luka Christmas, Meiko Christmas, Kaito Christmas, and Rin Christmas sitting in the living room watching TV.
"Who was at the door, Miku Christmas?" asked Meiko Christmas.
"It's just Ashley. She said that she had a surprise for us." said Miku Christmas.
"Well, he's outside. If you all come outside with me for a second." said Ashley. The Christmas modules looked at each other, confused. But they followed Ashley outside. What they saw by a window made them gasp. Rin Christmas even had tears in her eyes.
"Miss me, guys?" asked Christmas. The Christmas modules ran over and hugged the youngest Christmas module.
"Of course we did, you baka." said Meiko Christmas.
"Where have you been all these years?" asked Luka Christmas.
"Well, I took a walk outside for a while, and then the next minute, I was grabbed by the 'Vocaloid module killer'. He was going to kill me, guys." said Christmas. He looked over at his sister, who remained silent and tears were still staining her eyes.
"Rin Christmas? It really is me." said Christmas. Rin Christmas looked at her twin brother and hugged him while sobbing on his coat. Christmas patted her back and gently stroked her hair.
"We thought you were dead." said Rin Christmas.
"But I'm not. Ashley and Phoenix Moon were the ones that found me and saved me from Fred." said Christmas.
"Who's Fred?" asked Miku Christmas.
"He's the 'Vocaloid module killer'." said Ashley. Everyone started to laugh.
"By the way, how's Ciel doing, Ashley?" asked Meiko Christmas.
"He's now 100% better." said Ashley.
"Oh, that's good to hear." said Miku Christmas.
"Well, we're all glad that you're safe, Len Christmas." said Luka Christmas.
"We better head back now." said Ashley.
"You're welcome to visit us anytime, Ashley." said Kaito Christmas. Ashley and Christmas waved goodbye and went back to the Len modules' house.
Ashley and Cheerful were now walking to where the Cheerful modules were temporarily staying. Ashley saw a little house in the distance. "You think they will miss me, Ashley?" asked Cheerful.
"Of course they will. Just stay behind me. I want this to be a surprise." said Ashley. She knocked on the door when they got there.
"Hide somewhere, Cheerful." said Ashley. Cheerful hid beside a window. Cheerful Rin opened the door.
"Ashley! What are you doing here?" asked Cheerful Rin.
"May I come inside for a bit?" asked Ashley. Cheerful Rin nodded and opened the door a little wider. Ashley walked in and saw Cheerful Miku, Meiko, Kaito, and Luka.
"Oh, hey, Ashley." said Cheerful Miku.
"Hey, come outside for a second. There's a surprise I want to show all 5 of you." said Ashley. The Cheerful modules looked at each other and just shrugged and followed Ashley outside. What they saw by the window made them gasp. They saw Cheerful alive.
"Miss me?" asked Cheerful. Tears immediately went to Cheerful Rin's eyes. Then she ran over to Cheerful and hugged him tight.
"Is it really you?" asked Cheerful Luka.
"Yes, it is me." said Cheerful. The rest of the Cheerful modules ran over and hugged Cheerful as well.
"Where were you all those years?" asked Cheerful Kaito.
"I got attacked by wolves. But Ashley, Christmas, and Phoenix came over to save me." said Cheerful as he showed the Cheerful modules his back which was slowly healing.
"Ooh. Are you okay?" asked Cheerful Miku.
"Never been better." said Cheerful. He dried Cheerful Rin's tears away. She hugged her twin brother again.
"Well, we're just glad to see you alive." said Cheerful Meiko.
"We better get back, Cheerful." said Ashley.
"Alright. Bye, guys. I'll stop by soon." said Cheerful. The Cheerful modules waved goodbye as Ashley and Cheerful went back to the Len modules' place.
When Ashley came back, she went over to Phoenix's room. She found his door closed. She knocked on it. "Phoenix?" she asked. Phoenix opened the door.
"Oh, hey, Ashley." said Phoenix.
"Trickster wants to talk to the both of us." said Ashley. She and Phoenix walked downstairs to meet Trickster. They saw him in the living room standing in front of the TV. Everyone else were outside to play in the snow.
"Sit down, guys." said Trickster. Ashley sat down on the couch, and Phoenix sat down beside her.
"Christmas told me that this 'Fred' character tried to kill all 3 of you, but failed." The 2 of them nodded.
"And Cheerful told me that he got attacked by wolves, but you came to his rescue." Ashley and Phoenix nodded again.
"Well, I did a little research on Fred and he was actually hired by another person to kill us."
"Who?" asked Ashley.
"I don't know. He didn't leave a name. So, I want you 2 to be on guard. We don't know much about him."
"We can do that." said Phoenix.
"And another thing. Which one of you stole my time machine? And tell me the truth this time." Trickster folded his arms across his chest. Ashley and Phoenix looked at each other. Phoenix looked back at Trickster. He closed his eyes and lowered his head.
"I did, Trickster. I just got curious, that's all." said Phoenix.
"I see." said Trickster.
"What are you going to do to him?" asked Ashley.
"Well, since he is a fellow Len module, I can't give him a punishment otherwise Crypton will have my head." said Trickster.
"So, you knew that Christmas and Cheerful came from the past?" asked Phoenix as he lifted his head up a little.
"Of course I did. And you told me that you also tried to save Ice Fog, Terekakushi, and Fan Dance from this 'Cleopatra' character. But you failed because you got hurt." said Trickster. Phoenix nodded.
"That is correct." said Ashley.
"Well, in that case, I can tell you that you are not allowed to use my time machine again. Both of you."
"We understand." said Phoenix.
"Good. You can do whatever now." said Trickster as he walked away. Phoenix exhaled heavily.
"I thought he was going to kill you, Phoenix." said Ashley.
"I thought he was, too. It's a good thing I get to stick around." said Phoenix. Ashley hugged the Len module.
"But there is one thing I'm confused about." said Ashley.
"Oh?" asked Phoenix.
"Back when we saved Cheerful, you transformed into a giant red bird and it breathed fire at the wolves. How did you do that?" asked Ashley.
"Ashley, there's something you need to know about me. You promise you won't tell the other Len modules or my sister?"
"Sure. Just tell me."
"Okay. Back when I was a kid, I was diagnosed with a terrible disease. The doctors couldn't bring me back to life after I 'died' from this disease. So, what they did was inject phoenix blood in me. After they did that, my heartbeat came back. I transformed and left the hospital."
"I thought the phoenix is a fake bird."
"It is. But I can transform into one. But this only happens randomly. My own sister doesn't know about this. She thought I had died and stayed dead."
"Well, thanks for telling me, Phoenix. And I promise, I'll keep it a secret from everyone." said Ashley.
Meanwhile, that night, back in the forest, back where Ashley threw the multicolored necklace, a shadow emerged and picked up the glowing jewelry from the snow. The shadow put the necklace around its neck. A growl was heard, following by a few more growls.
"So, this is where you ended up, Ashley? It's time I teach you a lesson." said a voice that sounded like a female's. The growls turned into roars.
"You managed to save two, but you won't save the others. If you don't, Ashley, I might have something that could change your mind." said the voice. Standing behind the girl was 3 Len modules. One of them was wearing a black police officer's outfit, one of them was wearing a green shirt with a white jacket and black shorts, and the final one was wearing earmuffs on his ears, a white coat fit for winter, and white pants and boots. All 3 of them were tied up by some rope.
"You won't get away with this!" said the first Len module.
"Ashley and the other Len modules will rescue us." said the second Len module.
"And you will go down." said the third Len module.
"We'll just see about that." said the girl's voice.