Ryou didn’t trust his two soulmate counters. If they’d led him to Yuusuke and Fubuki, it might have been different. They were his friends. He wouldn’t have objected to spending his life romantically with either one of them. But the counters didn’t so much as twitch when he crossed paths with either of them.
Neither gave a twitch until the night he dueled Edo Phoenix, and as his life points drained away to zero, he looked up in time to see the counter on his right arm run down to zero as well.
He didn’t move. Edo looked from his own counter to Ryou’s, then turned away, clearly as uncaring as Ryou himself.
He and Edo Phoenix: soulmates. Impossible.
But who would be their third?
Not him. Edo could not put into words how much he didn’t want someone like Kaiser Marufuji Ryou to be his soulmate. Bad enough that he didn’t know who the third was – he’d not even known about Kaiser until this moment – but he had problems of his own. He didn’t need a love life. So why would this counter and whatever powered it try to tell him that he needed to start one now? That there was even the chance for it now?
He wanted to talk to Saiou about this. Saiou seldom spoke of the counters – Saiou was one of those without one – but he often had good insights.
He didn’t know who the third would be. But anyone was better than the Kaiser.
Saiou’s right and left arms, where his soulmate counters should have been, tingled on a regular basis. The right arm especially whenever he neared Edo Phoenix, which led him to believe Edo was one of his soulmates. That felt right, though he couldn’t have said why. The left arm seldom reacted in any way, so he decided – with a fair degree of accuracy – that he hadn’t met their third person.
He chose not to mention the issue with his counters to Edo. There were reasons behind that choice. He’d never shown Edo his arms anyway. Mizuchi said nothing, though she knew the truth.
There’d been a time when his counters showed themselves as anyone’s would.
Both counters faded away the moment he touched D-Hero Bloo-D.
Ryou emerged from the woods, drawn by the knowledge that his second counter would run out within moments. His gaze flicked over the assembled group and fell upon Saiou Takuma. His left arm grew warmer as he drew closer.
Saiou and Edo looked up as he approached the two of them, then both looked down at their own arms. With Edo helping Saiou, they stood and faced him.
“It’s you.” All three spoke in near unison.
The counters, all in the same moment, struck zero, turned green.
No one made a move. The counters wouldn’t change again until the three of them touched one another, replacing them with their respective marks.
It would take time, effort, understanding.
But in the fullness of time…it would happen.