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Trust is [NOT] Resolute



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Deimos

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There was a ringing in Sae's ears. Shiki was beside him, the two of them could hear the clangs of keyblades cutting through heartless as the valiant of them fought the fodder heartless. Yamato, Reforge, Iontis, Jaz, Kambria...as Komaeda who wasn't combat proficient in appearance, even seemed to be holding his own. Eth's order was for them to engage the lessers, at first it looked like the three largest of them where only going to approach one at a time and so Saebyeolbe waited. Saving his strength and having to hear those words said over and over again to him was grating at best.

"Trust them..." He muttered under his breath, "Okay."

Clutching his Alabaster in one hand, he felt a tap in the square of his back, slicking past the leather of the black coat Eth asked them to wear. "Hmm?"

"Listen Sae. Trust what Eth said...you really will be forced to put your emotions to the side for this.
" Shiki didn't seem particularly acute about saying this to him, but he'd acknowledge it.

Sae pulled down his hood and his silver hair jutted upward as he opened his two massive cerulean orbs for eyes. That weathered smile, far from worn as it resonated deep as he looked at with a teeth bearing grin. For what it was worth, the idea of a family was something he felt he'd found again. It was why, his All's End would take the shape of her, in remembrance.

There was a crash. Loud. Thundering.

Sae turned his head as Try was fighting wielding a massive blade of light, the could feel his bracelet resonate, it must've been Eth himself she was holding. Turning to Shiki he gave her a nod, and the shifted their attention to the spiraling demon tower that bolstered through. Sae took stance and simply put all of his focus into a controlled breathing before he took a single step. His body motioned like a blur, creating a massive sonic boom from where he stood, swiping the air so fast it created a traveling galeforce wind, that punched a hole through the demon tower. Shiki came from the side, winding up a charged Ice spell that froze the core all the way over and the fodder shadows fumbled over onto the rocks and dirt. Sae's feet were hitting the dirt fast as he quickly accelerated, and cut through the remainder of the heartless lingering around the frozen core. The two of them grasping the other's hand and creating what appeared to be a transient blade of light and dark, to cut straight down the middle.

"Session: Sunrise & Nightfall."

There was a potent mixture of both affinities spiraling upwards as the core had been completely removed from the field. Holding Shiki's palm, he escorted down from their floating stance. To think, this was something he forgot how to do up until a few days ago...sheesh. His eyes shifted again towards the bigger of the bads, they seemed to be in a frenzy to protect their mate that Try had felled with some level of difficulty. Ears were sharped, he could hear the fluttering of a cape as the heartless landed, there were now two of them.

Raising a hand, the larger one bearing a shield on each arm, a great-shield and the other a buckler. Gallant Grave X and Terminus X, they were both in the bestiary. Sae's first thought, these heartless were once...just like us? It was hard to miss what looked to be a duplicate of the master's keyblade in each of their hands, it seemed surreal seeing his blade being used by others from other worldlines, meaning that more than one of he same key...let alone person could exist.

It was a bit too quiet, suppressing their ability to speak perhaps? Whatever the reason, Sae and Shiki were indirectly being assisted by Eth and could more than deal with them in a tag team fashion.

"Saebyeolbe, the master's number 1 on this worldline. Were the circumstance different, I'd welcome you warmly...but if what your colleague said is anything to go by, this is a duel correct?"

These heartless were 100% sentient, both appeared abnormally courteous and responded with a nod and a bow. Likely a ruse to take him and Shiki off guard, but he was all the more cautious. There were numbers located on different spots on their bodies, spots that...were identical to Sae and Shikis. That nape of her neck, and his right shoulder, it was such a strange mirror to be looking in. This didn't make it easier on him, empathy was his entire identity, housing Trace and Anti temporarily, them being later identified as the enemy of similar caliber only confirmed that fact.

"Do you mind if we make this a team battle? A pure 2v2, we can switch targets at our leisure."

Sae was a bit surprised at how smooth this was. He took a breath and already understood this would be one of those instances where he may have to resort to potentially using Berserker...his body strengthening over three years to endure that recoil once...no, it was way too risky. Shiki would likely forbid Sae from doing something so stupid and reckless even if these were the circumstances, he glanced over at her briefly and back at the shielded heartless. Making eye contact ever so briefly, she was really drawn in by the other one, the Terminus X.

He synchronized his breathing, and like a veil, Shiki vanished before the group right before their very eyes. The heartless appeared startled, but Sae stomped and blitzed immediately thrusting his keyblade into the great shield with a piercing attack. The sound the and pressure from the impact alone was immense, chains escalated and flowed from the Terminus X and Sae broke away into a skid away from the Gallant Grave X.

"Session: Unseen Void."

You had to admit this took a lot of time and effort to coordinate. It seemed like one of them vanished from sight, when the reality of what was happening is that Saebyeolbe was sharing his resolve with Shiki. His body could emit light, and in return, lower the light of it or of an extension of it, in this case Shiki appeared to completely vanish. This concept was known as misdirection, as Sae took stance he aggressed the two of them at the same time. The Terminus X feed him Chains as he was moving, they just appeared to be moving far too slow to be an issue. Gripping alabaster with two hands, he gripped it with a proper stance and began cutting through the chains to ribbons as they burst apart from each of his quick and successive strikes.

His cerulean tears seemed to surface as jabbed Alabaster downward the moment all of the chain's collapsed upon him, locking them in place. His keyblade emitted a light, creating what looked like a lock at the spot he jammed downward. The chains riptosed into a straight and he leapt from the spot into a flip barreling towards the Terminus X. Even more chains with sickles attached this time, he cut through them all as precisely as possible following the movements with ease.

"Now!" Sae shouted as Shiki unveiled and appeared mounting Memento Mori into a vertical swipe.

Parried. The Gallant Grave X, was in the midst of swiping her away to the right, as Sae came from under it as it was still in the middle of its commitment to parrying Shiki from above. He closed his eyes, releasing a focused breathe, and swung vertically upward, releasing with it a massive tower of fire. This wasn't just some regular fire, he took advantage of the bracelet to boost the attack and bolstered it to light mixed with fire magic.

There was a sigh as he jumped back and Shiki landed next to him.

"Hold your resolve Sae!" she said already sensing a welling darkness explode from the pillar of light. What appeared to be a humanoid figured stepped out burning but enduring the burns. Then looking directly at Sae as it's "I" tattoo respectively illuminated. Flicking it's hand, he pushed Sae's attack back towards the Terminus X, burning through the shell of the heartless and revealing what he was fearing the most.

He clenched his teeth, holding back his urge to cry immensely, as he was hating how this was going. "It really is another Shiki..." he tensed up a bit and a hand was firmly planted on his shoulder to briefly spin him around.

"Look at me Sae. I'm right here, please!" Shiki urgently pleaded with him as the pair started to move, with their respective keyblades in hand.

"
You're going to have to listen to her. Saebyeolbe." His counterpart finally engaged in speech. "The Darkness won't wait for you to sort through your feelings, and as its instruments, this is the only choice that remains."

As he spoke the Gallant Grave X, appeared in his shadow like an avatar over its shoulder. The other Shiki held her shoulder as the darkness was billowing out of her form along with the Terminus X hovering behind her. Sae released the Alabaster keyblade from his hand as it clanged against the dirt, and his counterpart saw this and was enraged.

"Thy Kingdom Come." it's faded "I" tattoo had a slight reaction, but it irradiated Sae's as he clutched his shoulder. "No! I don't want to do this anymore!? Why the hell do we have to fight people just like us?? This isn't what peace is supposed to look like!" he repudiated the request and was trembling.


"STOP YOUR WHINING! What a disgrace, is this my successor talking right now?!" the darkness welled up around him, as he leapt forward, only to be stopped by the other Shiki as Shiki herself already took up arms to protect Saebyeolbe. "MOVE SHIKI! At first he seemed respectable and would finally end it for us, but I'm disappointed and I don't have any regrets about killing him."


"Thy Kingdom Come." her voice traced all of their ears, and the "II" found on her neck illuminated and resonated with the other two. "I won't ask you for anything that is beyond what you're willing. Partner. Friend. You're precious to me, so let me do what you won't do Sae."

There was a moment of introspection from the other shiki in this moment. This...a defining moment that set the differences aside, and it looked appeared this number 1 too, would fail her here as well, but she didn't lament the thought.

Memento Mori purged into a gleam of radiant light, and forged into Memento Vivare, brandishing what appeared to be the tail of a falling star. Its blade reflective and quiet as though nothing but a mirror to its opponent like a lake of purest silver. Its thin form exudes airiness and silky sharpness; each swing and turn singing of swift sighs and deadly glances. It feels almost too light, buoyant, at ease with change, demanding to be in perpetual motion.

Sae couldn't ask her to fight for him, but she took a step forward to fight them both alone.

"I'm sorry these circumstances were just too much for you. If i must use that, then so be it. Goodbye Sae." Shiki vanished from sight, at the sametime as the other two.

Steel striking steel as she used Eth's bracelet in order to keep pace and attack the two of them rapidly with small margin for error. The song began to play, sigil and seal as she erected barriers to stave off the brunt force of Brandt's attacks. The sound of sobbing was muffled over the collision of tremendous force. Sae can't remember seeing Shiki fight this hard in a while, and she did so without him. Were these people really enemies? Their seniors? All he could feel was misery and despair and it ate away at him as the chances are he'd lose that special person dear to him yet again.

"Damnit. Damnit! DAMNIT! I'm sorry but I just can't! I don't want to create even more pain for those that still have a chance!" He was drowning in ambivalence, unsure what to do at this point. His body was shaking, and she came into his mind again, relaying an image of Shiki in the here and now. "STOP! STOP MANIPULATING ME ALISON! My heart...just breaks more and more..."

"I actually feel sorry for you." a voice, speaking for the first time spoke to him. "So all of that bonding, just to send me to my death in this time too? I probably said I'd lead you to your death this time didn't I...to think it would be by another me right?"

The Dark Wielder Shiki clenched her fist, as what appeared to be a bed of sickles and chains swimming through the rocks to collapse up Sae who was on his hands and knees crying. He was being cut apart and torn at every end, as the hood from his coat and blown off and his agonizing screams escalated across the way.

"SAE!"

"Pay attention!" Brandt slapped Shiki with the hand holding his buckler shield and she came crashing down, right into Sae's arms.

"No...no, no no no no no! This can't be happening...Shiki I...I'm sorry for being such a coward...that person, both of them..." He professed in a frantic manner, rubbing the side of her face where she'd been struck with a healing spell.

She grabbed his hand, and slowly lifted herself up and re-summoned her Memento Vivare, "I'm fine Sae." Able to stand, her Incantum Lumare, she called to cast Regen to consistently heal her as she aggressed yet again without him.

"Shiki wait!" Sae yelled reaching his hand out, but she had already re-engaged Brandt in a close-quarters fight. The rapid clangs echoing as their keyblades met repeatedly.

"
Why are you protecting him, from me? If he won't use that resolve, I'm better off carrying it instead." Brandt smirked, pressing his weight forward as he and Shiki were blade locked. "Shiki! Come! Let's just kill your doppelganger first and take her resolve, then we'll deal with the coward."

The nerve was struck.

"What...." Sae's tears suddenly stopped as he lifted his head and he released a blood lust likely unseen up until now. "What did...you just say?"


Brandt's collison with Shiki was so extreme the air was rippling outwards in all directions picking up so much air and tremors as he was purposely increasing his pace to force her to utilize some manner of trump card. He was slapping with ample force against the small barriers she was creating in order to create distance. This isn't a war you could win by defending alone, she had to have a plan right? The two of them were hitting hard across the ground, both darting towards the other Shiki's location, and the dark wielder shiki responded bringing out the Terminus X that was about to completely box her in.

Sae saw this, and their was a sliver of light that flit through his eye, "The Zone" he bolted faster than the next breath, scooping Shiki from being ensnared. "Are doing things to deliberately provoke me?"

"Oh, hey Sae, when did you get here?" She was trying to be funny, but now wasn't the time for jokes.

"Thy Kingdom Come." Sae's "I" tattoo branded on his right arm was lit, in acknowledgement. "LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Screaming wasn't enough to work through the collection of energy that weighed on his emotions and his heart at present, but it was a start. Saebyeolbe, regulated his breathes and expanded his lungs giving him a return of much needed stamina. Within an instant he move towards the other Dark Wielder Shiki and applied what was the equivalent of Brandt's pressure to Shiki. Brandt saw this, and broke his concentration to intervene.

"You're already making that mistake now?" Sae said without looking at him, but instead grabbing onto the other Shiki and throwing her towards Shiki to be contained in a ten-layer barrier. Mid float, he turned to slam his Alabaster to connect with Brandt's keyblade.

There was no way in hell Sae could renege on his feelings now, as threats seemed to be a sore spot for him. Shiki had done so much for not only him, but she put the lot of them ahead of herself in several instances. That's a kindness that would be repaid in full, The Scarred kicked it into a higher gear and switched targets to take on Brandt to give Shiki a moment to rest. Clasping Alabaster, his keyblade was brimming with an incantation of flame, as he gripped the handle and guard. Releasing blow for blow, slash attacks that met Brandt head on like a complete mirror. Sae was starting to understand the slight variations in their rhythm, it was almost as if....no, he needed to see more before he could affirm his thought.

Sae split himself into to three and attacked him mercilessly from all sides and wore deep into Brandt's endurance. Dismissing the other images of himself, Sae tackled Brandt forcing them both to drop their keyblades, and tumbled across the rock before Sae jumped straight up into the air with his arms bound to Brandt's body. Brandt was fighting with every ounce of strength he had to knock Sae away from him and he could engage as normal, but Sae wasn't having it.


Once they cleared the highest Mesa, Sae began setting up for his trump. (0:36 start)

"Listen Brandt...we're a lot of like." Sae started to talk as his body began to glow, red and fused with light. "You're me...from another future...or another Worldline...and you've been suffering for so long..." The very space around them was now being influenced by Sae, his thoughts were to go higher and higher. Heat was rising as his body first was releasing steam, it then started to combusted into what was an agonizingly hot bed of flames.

"Burn up....and be put to rest." Sae closed his eyes, "All's End: Alison's Flame Garden."

His body was ablaze, and the image of Alison that had been embedded in his heart since she'd protected him became this spectral figure covered in flames, burning that clutched Brandt and Sae, and the heat coupled and rose straight up. The flames released burning everything in the air and the surrounding area in a radial cylinder shooting upward. The shrieks of pain being released by Brandt all in a frenzy as he could finally be released. Sae clutched even tighter as Eth's bracelet responded to his All's End, and burned the very dark passenger as Sae took extra car to mitigate as much direct damage to Brandt as possible with his All's End's release.

Falling like a smoldering chunk of rock, Sae fell and fell...and fell clutch tight to Brandt's unconscious body. When he hit the rocks, and hard. Tsssssss! Was all the sound you could hear and a visible patch of steam constantly flowing off of Sae and Brandt's body. Managing to muster the resolve to stand, he'd completely burned through the black coat Eth gave him and he awkwardly realized he was standing there in his birthday suit.

"Oh...well, this is awkward." He said before he clutched his right fist, and whaddaya know, the bracelet gave him his regular clothes back. "Saves me from embarrassment for now at least." he said before falling over to one knee, and Shiki grabbed him to prevent him from slipping into unconsciousness. Leaning down, she checked Brandt's pulse and sure enough, he was alive, albeit out cold, and no presence of his dark passenger could be traced.

"Shiki I...I'm sorry...!" Sae looked away,

"Apologizing after a victory? You really never change Sae." Shiki grinned for but a moment but her attention shifted, naturally, to the Dark Wielder Shiki.
 
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Just Dari

i've got the healing vision
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The look of disgust across The Harbinger's face was rife with vigor. As he swiped the air cutting the heartless into a black mist, their insides shattering into a bright light, purified. Serendipity was at his command as he gripped it tightly in his left hand, and held the revolver in his right. This invasion...this unrelenting wave of darkness that blew over them, he knew only the culprit announced moments ago as to why this was happening. It seemed like gauntlet after gauntlet of forces about as vile and abhorrent as the very nature he despised, it caused an alarming shift in him.


"Will it never be enough...never enough to just put them all down forever...this is truly pain." Nagito cut, and cut, and cut more through the heartless as even his own movement and motions were surprising him. When was the last time The Harbinger drew his blade and aggressed, he could vaguely recall a time.

"Traitors...black hearts...backstabbing scum that would abandon the light, the master, their friends? Worthless trash, every last one..."

His light was starting to well up as he released a powerful and potent pulse going in every direction. "Hmm?" Komaeda raised his head and observed a body of light and flame. "Ohhhh Saebyeolbe...what a brilliant and radiant light, a fire of hope...oooooo burn him. BURN HIM ALIVE. LEAVE ASHES HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

There was a pillar of fire that exploded from his position, maybe nothing flashy at first, but it seemed effective. He'd give him proper credit, reaching an elevation where even the intensity of the heat he released wasn't an immediate threat to the rest of them on the ground. Komaeda bolted and ran at a breakneck pace where the hero fell from the sky.

Two bodies...Two bodies...TWO...BODIES...

Something snapped in that instant. There was motion, Saebyeolbe had emerged the victor, but the enemy still drew breath. Certainly he had to of been aware of what Eth told them?? Komaeda clenched his teeth, the foul sense of darkness didn't plague the body of the now abandoned traitor, but this wouldn't do. You leave an enemy alive to flee...they'll do just as Saebyeolbe did when he home was burned to the ground, seek vengeance...he looked at the barely conscious Dark-Wielder, hearing vaguely the name "Brandt" being thrown around.

Barely able to move, Komaeda confirmed it, he was purposely left alive. He leaned down and slid his keyblade away from his hand, he must've summoned it back during the struggle even while he was being scorched, more evidence that damned Sae's foolish negligence.



"You really are pathetic Saebyeolbe." Komaeda said, stomping his foot square onto Brandt's chest, and and raising his revolver in his right hand and point it direct at his head. "Mercy...for traitors...traitors we don't even know? Traitors that would flay you alive just to become you..have you fucking lost all your marbles?!"

Komaeda stomped his foot even harder as Brandt was now screaming about as loud as Komaeda was talking, the visible expression of agony writhing through his face as he could hardly bare the burns and to be touched.

"You'd really spare a Traitor...a murderer...what the actual fuck!" He pulled the trigger back, "Thy Kingdom Come." the faint glow from his faded "V" on his thigh faintly lit as he felt his finger squeeze tight.

BANG!


Smoke fizzled at the tip of the barrel. Blood collected from the hole, splashing back on Komaeda before Brandt's body slowly started to become crystal. A rose colored hue shaped heart, spirited away into the sky, and the physical body was crushed under the weight of Komaeda's heel. This was the mercy that Eth mentioned being carried out by them.

"You talk a lot about peace. About pain. About suffering...but what do you really understand." He slid the broken shards to the right as he turned to face Saebyeolbe, Shiki, and the Dark Wielder Shiki. "The light...isn't infalible...as you said Shiki. Even these scum, willingly abandoned it. Being a resolute? If you won't die in the light...that cast those very shadows, then in my eyes, you're no resolute."

Komaeda raised his gun and pointed it directly at the Dark Wielder Shiki. "You look at lot younger than our Shiki. You'll be dead in a few minutes, but since we have you here, whats say we chat about that Vile Darkness your carrying around. I'd rather IT talk and not you. Seriously give some thought to retaliating, you can't just STOP this special kind of bullet if that was your first thought, not even this Shiki can stop it with a barrier. So I'd advise you stick to the demands administered."

Komaeda's eyes didn't leave the traitor's for an instant, at this point he'd elected to tune out any protest coming from either Shiki or Saebyeolbe. The truth of the matter, if this Shiki said anything or not, if she attempted to aggress, if she attempted to flee, he was going to shoot her. The outcome was going to be the same no matter how many simulations they ran. There was a heavy feeling of melancholy that washed over Komaeda, if only he didn't burn out on Twilight Town, it's likely it'd be him in Lucrecia's shoes. Firmly holding his grip he started to walk closer and breezed past Shiki and Saebyeolbe, if they spoke a word he chose to tune it out for the duration of his cross-examination.

"Feeling chatty? Indulge me then, it's Shiki right? Aka pureblood heartless Terminus X."

Dark-Wielder Shiki couldn't take her eyes off the gun, then she looked into the concentric circles of his eyes and determined it wasn't a good idea to engage with this loose-cannon.

"If your just going to-" she suddenly stopped as a movement was just barely perceptible.

Komeada swiped past cheek drawing blood, and shaking his Serendipity of the blood. "I asked you for confirmation. Don't screw with me!" he pressed his Serendipity into her chest and held the revolver pointed at her forehead.

"Shiki." she released a breath before continuing, "The Dark Terminus X, yes." speaking of the pureblood heartless, it was almost as if it's very presence had been erased.

"So you can follow instructions. Perfect. So, whats the motive, why wait until now to even show up?"

"We may have done this before, but only Luxu had the box which he only brandished when one of us betrayed the rest. We waited for the box to appear before we approached to seize it."

"Could've surmised that. Moving on, I wasn't aware you could even take resolves back if you were once a resolute, can you confirm what your buddy fighting Try down there said is correct?"

"...Buddy...right...we're acquainted, but the rules are set by the master. Unfortunately, conditions vary between worldlines. We were informed of no such rule or condition, I took that as a lie to throw you into a frenzy to forego mercy. She's very good at that, manipulation of others emotions."

"Hmph. No more questions." Komaeda released his keyblade from her chest, he couldn't trust the scent, it was as if the darkness had completely vanished. "You're just as vile as her...what a terrifyi-"

A spiddle of blood coming from his back and bursting through his naval. The presence of the Terminus X piercing Komaeda through the lower back and pushing him into The Dark-Wielder Shiki. She stepped back and her entire presence dissipated as if she were never there to begin with and Komaeda fell limp dropping both gun and key. He clutched at Eth's bracelet and used it's power to cast cure on himself as he lay there before Shiki and Saebyeolbe.

"Do you understand now Saebyeolbe...don't you DARE trust this scum..." Komaeda said to the both of them before he faintly lay there recovering.

There was a set of footsteps being heard as someone was a approaching. Clad in black, just like everyone else there, you could hardly tell who it was. Stopping beside Komaeda, bending down at the knees to stroke his head, a keyblade no one recognized, purging into a brilliant light as if it were pure gold.

"Its been a long time. Shiki-dono. Hearts are so volatile...malleable, they can endure as long as need to. Pain. Trauma. Sacrifice." this wasn't a voice Komaeda recognized either, "H-hey...Luxu is that...whats going on with you??"

"Luxu?" with his right hand the voice tapped the top of his coat's hood, before another responded, "As if. You're expecting that classic line yeah? Name's Vista."





The Dark Wielder Shiki summoned the waves of darkness and the heartless shadows came in droves rushing to Luxu and Komaeda's location. There was no way, no conceivable way what he was saying was true. She killed him. Dark Shiki herself even confirmed his heart stopped beating...his heart....stopped. Stopped. Stop. Her face was alight with a sensation that was echoed by chilling awareness to a former comrades core abilities, Vista stopped his heart..! A small globe hovered over Komaeda's back, reversing the time on his back and completely closing the wound. As the heartless came barreling in, he noticed the variety. Darkballs, Darkhides, Neoshadows, Shadows....all converging on the two of them.

"You know number 1. You're nothing like Espoir, and he was losing limbs numbing the pain as he fought her with every ounce of strength. Crying the entire time, the emotional pain far exceeding the physical...having to fight her to the death...."

Vista took a breath shouting to this worldine's Shiki, "I don't know what you have to say to him, but don't fight her alone!"

Vista reached down and yanked Komaeda up over his shoulders as he took a massive leap backwards, being forced further and further away from Shiki and Saebyeolbe's location. "I wanted so badly to share my responsibility with you all, but rules that jeopardize any of us, can never be broken without consequences."

The clattering of keys was picking up in speed, Komaeda was wiggling around on Vista's shoulder. A Neoshadow that was bolting along the side, came into a flying kick, tapping Vista's Grigori keyblade as he blocked it. "Your kind of heavy Nagito." he commented as he slumped over, "But I won't drop you..!" what looked like a rope of some kind, perpetually created from light, they fastened Komaeda to Vista's back. The level of aggression was something he wasn't unused to, but so many resets really did make these heartless much more of a pain to fell. Sorely out of practice, but he had the benefit of Luxu training with his body over the course of many resets.

"You know Komaeda. There was only one person I trusted with my identity early on, and it was Eth." Vista was having a conversation in the middle of his shifted around on his back. Repelling shiki's waves of heartless, "I certainly didn't expect to see someone else, let alone from the same worldline!"

Vista released was being swarmed by the dark hides as they circled around, zoning him and Komaeda into a circle. "Is Sae always this...selfish?" he ironically wasn't making fun of him here, "Selfish? Hmm. He just doesn't want to do any harm to actual people. I laugh at him every time. Even if my friends were heartless, they'd just go around causing more problems, and if I knew that others were getting hurt because I did nothing about them, could I really call myself their friend?"

The sound of Vista's keyblade slapping against the claws of the dark hide, he listened carefully to what Komaeda was saying. Seems Shiki didn't want to face it, but when allies had fallen so deep to the despair. That reality in which she survived, came to be here, and come back to a world where that failure had virtually been mitigated. Vista couldn't believe it, what seemed virtually impossible, cooperation. He felt like he could breathe for the first time in what has felt like forever, giving way to Luxu's heart he faded back into obscurity. Seeing Shiki again for himself, he couldn't help but claw his way out just to see her for himself and she truly was beyond saving. Over the pinging sound coming from him stepping around to connect with the heartless, a voice was traveling about as fast as he was maneuvering.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" Yamato screamed at the top of his lungs as he cleaved through a dark hide just to get to Komaeda, "YOU IDIOT!"

Losing his footing he slid sloppily along the ground before quickly picking himself up and swiping away the dirt. Yamato could see the bloodied spot on his back through the coat, "What the hell are you doing getting stabbed in the back? IT'S NOT EASY FIGHTING THROUGH WAVES JUST TO GET HERE YOU ASS!"

Clutching to Vista, Komaeda laughed at Yamato's dirt filled face as his hood blew off. "Hey, i'm alright aren't I? I don't even feel the wound anymore. Wanna help us deal with..." he pointed at the World Ender swiping past the Dark Hides and Neoshadows to converge on their location.

"The hell? Luxu! Can't you just burst these waves down??" Yamato shouted as he watched him kneel down to lower Komaeda from his back. "As if! Take it easy on the bracelets. Eth can't even move right now with how much power he's lending everyone simultaneously. Don't worry about Nagi, I got him!" and there was Luxu's voice, duality confirmed. Yamato swiped in a succession of hits chaining together against the dark hides releasing tremendous force to bully them back. "If you can bark orders you can swing that damned keyblade! LETS GO!"

They continued to swarm and this time Yamato and Luxu were fighting side by side fending off the waves for Komaeda who'd still been recovering. Some of the heartless started to vanish right in front of them, as if their existence itself was being silenced.

"Oh fuck, you can't be serious. They're disappearing now??" Yamato said swiping nothing but air, and shifting his eyes to the world ender approaching slowly starting to burn out of existence too.

"HURRY UP! SHIKI SAE!"
 
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A memory resurfaced as her head pounded. A memory of the day The Master had found her.

Spoiler Spoiler Show



It was thanks to The Master that she’d found friends, comrades she could rely on, and a place where her strength could be used for good. Even if she wasn’t sure of his intentions now, at the very least she was thankful for that.

The headache subsided, and Try’s body moved. Her hand reached out and gripped Ezra’s arm, stopping the blade from striking Eth. “You had a place to stay, comrades to rely on, and you threw it away. Sorry, but I do not find your rage compelling. You are sad.” Try tightened her other fist and slammed it into Ezra’s elbow, likely shattering multiple bones. “Giving up is bad enough, don’t drag others down with you!” Try jumped back as Ezra’s Guardian swung at her.

“What do you know!?” Ezra screamed, barely holding onto their keyblade. “The Master doesn’t care about you, you’re just pawns to him! Once he gets what he wants out of you he’ll betray you!”

“You lost faith in The Master, that’s understandable. But don’t use him as an excuse. God, the stench of darkness on you, it’s rancid.” Try said, relaxing her posture.

“He made me like this, it’s his fault! It’ll happen to you too!” Ezra charged towards Try, her arm seemingly healing due to a cure spell that had been cast subtly.

“Wasting my time talking huh?” Try placed a hand behind her back as Ezra approached. “Pure Image!” She called out. Ezra swung down, but stopped upon hearing the name of Try’s ability.

“Behind me!?” The Heartless attached to her swung out as Ezra looked behind her.

“Nope, just a bluff.” Try’s bracelet shined as she summoned her keyblade from behind her and jammed it into Ezra’s chest. “Let’s have a look inside.” She turned the keyblade to unlock the heart before her.
 

Deimos

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Sae had gone silent. Aberrations and what looked to be the very fabric of space was beginning to retreat from right in front of them. He'd given way to his empathy for the suffering of...what he could only view in a biased lens of his current ally. A single touch is all he would need, but looking at the current Shiki, it didn't seem like a smart idea. This was painful for Sae, he couldn't put someone down, a human no less, without knowing something or a signal they'd give off to flag themselves as irredeemable.

Komaeda seemed adamant on making a point, he'd effectively eliminated Brandt in the most mundane fashion's possible. Already down for the count, the smoke fizzled from the gun he held in his grasp. This advocation of killing all of them without hesitation, it didn't make it any less difficult for him, even with what he was instructed.

When Sae touched Brandt, inflicting his paralysis, he intimately communicated with a slue of his memories at a glance. Flooding into him, seeing him cut down other human beings, tagged by a Roman numeral tattoo somewhere on their forms. Even though he held back some, sparing him from death up until Komaeda's intervention, he could humanize Brandt in a way. Still understanding he needed to be unable to continue in this battle by any and all means necessary. As the steam still feathered off from Sae, Shiki stood by him.

A tightness was felt in his chest. Nagito was stabbed right in front of them, from the Terminus X that appeared seemingly out of thin air. Prompting an almost immediate response from Luxu. There was a sleight of motion from the Dark Shiki as Luxu spoke, almost as if the two of them were more intimately acquainted in contrast to their own relationship with Luxu, he seemed to connect minimal with them til recently. His tone changed, completely and utterly in contrast and that must've been the trigger for her, hurling his disappointment at Sae.

"This again..." Sae uttered nigh inaudibly, a preservation of his ego and certainly connecting with his ability to be extremely stubborn. Feigning away from his words, he instead leaned in to embrace how he felt about Dark Shiki. Seems like to fight her alone is the equivalent of suicide, yet with how well Shiki herself faired against Brandt, he had to anticipate equivalent if not much more potent skill despite how young she appeared.

"All that training won't go to waste." He gripped his Alabaster, "I'm still in dire straits...can she really not be-"

"Saved?" The Dark Shiki's voice was heard, but she was no where to be seen, "Redemption is something I abandoned when I became the very enemy my comrades and I fought so hard against...save your mercy Sae..."

Separated.
Night approached as the darkness of countless dark balls began to blot out the sun sealing Saebyeolbe and Shiki within a massive dome completely cutting them off from the others. Komaeda screamed as he made it imperative to their cause to defeat her quickly.

'Easier said than done Nagi...' he allowed his thoughts to trail, he had his own anxiety about what was about to unfold. "Hey Shiki, those heartless...they were vanishing before our very eyes, are they really gone?"

Shiki took a moment before answering, "Not exactly. Their existence is being erased from your memories, rendering them imperceptible under normal conditions. She's rendering your five sense moot, unless you have a means to reveal them you won't be able to perceive them at all for whatever duration she sets."

Presenting Memento Vivare to the front, impresses along the rocks could be seen, though the heartless themselves could not. Sae gritted his teeth, gripping Alabaster and shutting his eyes. Sae sincerely hope the others could rely on Lucrecia and Finis in this instance, it was likely that her power to exorcise would be the most effective here. His poise shifted, closing his eyes and changing his stance to match, he inhaled and took a breath and decided to actually use his resolve for once this.

"Induravitque. Mico Gradus." The scars appeared black, as the rest of his body illuminated with light.

Calling forth the light that normally hardened his body to weather massive amounts of damage, he channeled it in a much different way. Externalizing this light into a constantly expanding dome to act as his new set of eyes. As a bonus, it affects his movement and to inconsequentially do a much different means of erasing himself and Shiki from vision. His blue eyes opened, and he was navigating a sea of white light, spotting nothing but mere blots of darkness he couldn't see before. The light of his resolve, became the sense that revealed the traces of darkness applied to these enemies.

A single step communicated into several in triplicate, the speed was several times that of sound, impressive but incomparable to those that could genuinely step at the speed of darkness or light. His alabaster glided through the masses of darkness at such an insane pace, before the radiating field of his light shrank and returned into his body.

Simultaneously the darkness around them splattered, painting the landscape in pitch black puddles of mesh where the heartless once resided.

"We're not like them!" Saebyeolbe shouted at the top of his lungs, "Last chance Dark Shiki! We can talk this out, this pain doesn't have to continue! We can do something about your worldline, it isn't too late!"

Sae's pleading seemed to land on deaf ears as there was no response prompted from the Dark Shiki. The hissing and clattering of chains could be heard swirling in the background as she finally revealed herself. Propped up, the Dark Terminus X behind her as she clutched the Gazing Eye in one hand, the darkness trickling off it like a foul odor.

"Creating a fixed radius of light to reveal them? You're resourceful if nothing else, kudos." The Dark Shiki only seemed to just be getting started.

"Serena trained you well." Shiki said, "Tell me what happened."

"Shiki! Please..!" Sae shouted in caution, she lowered his arm and pressed past him.

"It's fine Sae, we may be different versions of the same person, but we're well aware of our affliction. Consider this a mutual exchange of respect despite how things have played out on our world-lines."

Shiki slowly approached the Dark Shiki. To Shiki, her counterpart seemed to resonate on a similar tone, wave, melody...song. Dismissing her Guardian, the two approached each other and extended their right hands to firmly grasp. A brilliance radiating from their position. As if light and dark were connecting, talking to each other over what felt like ages of time passing at once. The two of them, now connected, sharing the disparities in their lives, the current Shiki frankly being much older and the experiences reflected in what she was called to do.

There was a long and distant pause between the two of them. Sae collecting nothing but anxiety as Shiki was within the jaws of the enemy, seemingly at a brief cease-fire. Her hair overlapped, she had a quiet look of intensity written all over her face. It didn't look good to him, if he could just touch her, much like her own skillset, he could learn the truth through the current Shiki and know what to do.

"It must've been a difficult decision to make, I'm deeply sorry you had to do what you did. I don't agree, but I understand why you did it..." Shiki's remorseful tone was evident as she spoke.

The Dark Shiki smirked, "Hmph. Its reassuring knowing that fate I endured was severed once and for all here."

"So this is the path you're set to waltz towards then?" Shiki had gathered her distance before she turned on her heel.

"Yes." The Dark Shiki's Dark Terminus X manifested behind her and the chains started to swarm. "I've been prepared ever since that day."

Manifesting before Shiki, was what appeared to be nothing more than a shade. Liken to darkness, unlike that of a heartless, a physical manifestation of the darkness that was a reflection of a memory. Shadowy in nature, it strut forward like taking on the visage of a woman.

"We were originally so different at first...but we became the same in the end." The Dark Shiki whispered as the shade to the form of Shiki's old master, Serena.

Taking up her stance, she armed herself with Memento Vivare. A small amount of steam, cooled from her breath as Shiki wasn't fighting alone this time around. Sae was there, she also had support from Eth via the bracelet, things would hardly go the direction her Dark self may be anticipating. As the shade of Serena attacked, Shiki clutched her fist tight demonstrating her growth upon exiting the realm of darkness.

Sae intervened as he blade clashed with Shiki's perpetually stopping her from preparing her assault.

"Stop Shiki..."

"Sae what are you doing?" She said in a fit of complete shock that he would interfere.

"I can't let you kill her...I can't..."

"Listen to what your saying, weren't you listening to us? Didn't you hear what she said? You'd still deny her that mercy?"

"I can't let you hurt her...even if it's you...even..." Sae's heart was beginning to race.

"Move Sae." Shiki applied pressure against his Alabaster.

His back was to the Dark Shiki, there was a glint in his eye as he made a facial expression to her, mouth words, touch my face.

"Your idea of mercy is just going to cause even more pain, why can't any of you understand where I'm coming from!"

Shiki reached out and struck him with a slap across the face. A connection to his thoughts, slight but they shared memories, and he got a view into the Dark Shiki's mind through his Shiki's abrasive strike. It was actually fairly insane how one facet of our their abilities mirrored each other so well. Sae held his face, and gripped his keyblade. As it finally started to settle, his resistance had finally waned as tear piled into his eyes for those that she slaughtered, to stain her hands with the blood of her very allies. It was a price that (at least in her mind) needed to be paid, and the demon she always had the potential to be, she became. A horrifying thought as their Shiki had far surpassed that potential of becoming a mirror to the Dark Shiki.

"I told you before Sae." Barriers had erected around them pushing outward and expanding. "If you aren't prepared to make the tough choices. Then I will."

Sae released a sigh as the tear bead down his face, just one.

"You're my rock. My partner. Resistance isn't a threat, it's a warning...and we shouldn't fight each other I know..."


"What's the matter? Do I need to burn your world to char, ashes, and cinders once more?"

A voice he recognized. A voice...that ignited an unrelenting rage within his heart. Sae turned to see what appeared to be a shade of the Dark Emperor standing beside the shade of Serena. The bloodlust was ebbing off Sae, as he was releasing a malevolent looking red and yellow light of some sort. A voice he never wanted to hear ever again, like a haunting of some kind...why do this to him. In his mind he saw flashes of only a bright light from a mega flare attack, scorching his home in one shot and Alison being vaporized into ashes on top of him as he burned to a lesser degree.

"If you're just going to roll around in the dirt arguing, save us the trouble and take each other out."

Sae didn't speak, his blood was boiling over. "...I really don't have a choice here...do I Shiki...?"

"If her shades don't kill us, she will. Now ready your blade, Sae!"

Fire was burning into his right palm as Alabaster was slowly being consumed into a radiant flame. His keyblade...was evolving. His light purged into a raw constantly combusting keyblade, harmless to his touch. A fine light serrated in reds, oranges, and yellows all the while emanating a constant flow of heat from the hilt, guard, and blade itself. It appeared as though Sae were wielding the fires of the underworld itself within his right-handed grasp.

"Adole Malus...Burn The Wicked." Sae uttered, without further regard for any delay. Shame was felt raising his keyblade to thwart Shiki, she was right, and now he could no longer ignore it.

The Dark Shiki's eyes winced in shock as did prompt both of the shades when Saebyeolbe struck with the intent to impale, his Adole Malus connecting with Memento Vivare.

"Is that what your playing at Sae...don't do this...not right now! Why?" Shiki could sense he was serious, feeling the flames ebbing off his keyblade.

"Shiki...I have to try one last time...and you're just going to get in the way...!" It was instant! He moved in to do the unthinkable..!

Sae kissed Shiki on the lips. Session.

Harmless? Hardly! His resolve activated and he transferred power of his scars resonating sharply together sending an tremendous surge through her that perpetuated a physical ceasefire, nerves and tendons coming to a complete halt. She fell towards him, resting in his arms as he rendered her unconscious in a matter of mere seconds by the use of his resolve. His face was beet red, hardly in a position to say much else, but his composure was returning.

"Listen...I have a plan, sorry to even do this to you. I need to confirm there truly is nothing more we can do before I attack her without relent. Please...trust me!"

Shiki rolled her eyes and smiled,
"10 seconds?"

"It'll wear off in 10 seconds, I'll pass Mortem to you. I'm almost positive she'll seal my abilities for an instant, but if they're tethered to you briefly we won't have to worry about it too much."

"One more thing." she gripped the collar of his coat, "Why did you feel the need to do that?"

His ears got really red for a second, "I'll tell you in ten seconds?"

"Come...MORTEM..!" Holding Shiki in his arms an aberration of his resolve, etched in a much more convoluted and tormenting appearance than when it first appeared. Mortem still bound in it's chain's appeared to mirror Saebyeolbe in his Berserker state, blindfolded, chained and cuffed, emanating off of Saebyeolbe himself.

"Protect Shiki." Sae gave the order as his All-Series hovered down to clutch an unconscious Shiki in it's arms briefly sharing in her Lumen Incantare.

"You really are insane, do you seriously intend to constantly override everything you're told?"

Sae held his head down and fell silent for a few seconds before gripping his Adole Malus firm. "I've made sacrifices. Unthinkable choices...I never justified if those sacrifices...if those choices were always right...let alone smart ones. This is all on me right now."

He placed his keyblade into the dirt and he got down on his knees, folding his hands upward to demonstrate a complete lack of resistance.

"Please. I'm asking that you surrender the dark passenger you carry to me. Killing another human isn't what the Master would want me to do, so I can't do that."

"Mercy...? Why...what the hell is wrong with you! If you really want this damned curse you're going to have to fight and pry it from me!"

"I refuse."

A chain cracked the ground, slapping Sae across the face with a brutal strike, his face bright red. The Dark Shiki was in an extremely volatile state, without a target to address her rage, it continued to fester as her two shades began to cut away at Saebyeolbe's stationary form. Gashes and lacerations were quickly beginning to cover the Scarred in a matter of mere moments.

"Why...why do you resist? THEY'LL KILL YOU!" Dark Shiki seemed to be getting exasperated watching this.

"This pain...is nothing in contrast to what both of you've had to endure. Suffering for a friend, something I never mi-"

"WE AREN'T FRIENDS SAEBYEOLBE!" Blood drew from his chest as the Dark Terminus X cut him finely across.

"I want to help you...but it must be by your consent, allow me in!"

The sheer blunt force of a fist cracked him square in the cheek, it was loud as hell, but Sae didn't move. Then came another punch, as the Dark Terminus X lingered behind and the shades stood idly by as the Dark Shiki herself persisted in physically beating Saebyeolbe. Her hands were stained with his blood after about the 12th hit or so, but she persisted to make a point.

"Why are you so determined to do nothing! Why are you such a coward!?"

The blood was starting to swell in his throat, as he finally coughed releasing ample amounts of it just to draw his next breath. He panted, maintaining his palms in the upright position to ensure he was serious about his lack of malice. The Dark Terminus X prompted the end of it's sickle blade at the base of Sae's neck and Dark Shiki clutched his head just above it. Tears were flowing from the sides of his faced mixed in with the blood.

"I..." he coughed, gasping for air. "I needed...to see it for myself..."

Sae's bruises she inflicted were becoming scars right before her very eyes. The impressions left, resonated with pieces of her affliction, what power she possessed the activated by touch, he was now intimately familiar with, using himself as a punching bag to develop resistance to her touch, even if it was minor. He...was not so easy to read, his body's memories encapsulated tens of thousands of hours of excruciating memories, it was nearly impossible to quantify them all, let alone interpret them and the motive unless you had a direct bond with Sae.

The flash of blue light tinged his eye,
The Zone activated, and he rammed his thick skull forward banging into Dark Shiki's full-force. "I've got ten seconds." he implanted his stun, releasing 50 scars simultaneously.


"SHIT. MOVE N-!"


CRACK..!!

A fraction of a second. The hit was so fast, it slowed down just enough before the dark emperor's shade completely lost it's head. Fizzling away into nothing. The shade of Serena, a bit more nimble, Sae darted in between the series of jabs still counting in his head, 5.....6....' he jabbed his hand straight through the frame of Serena's shade and cut horizontally with his bare hand, changing gears bolting for the stunned Dark Shiki.

7....8....

She was frozen, unable to even speak from the impact of his own physical trauma being shared for mere seconds. The Dark Terminus X twisting, barely able to even move as Sae's hand set ablaze with a crawling fire spell set to connect.

9....10...!

A fine slice, as he watched his left hand holding the spell get lobbed off right in front of his very eyes. Like a cornered animal, fighting with everything in it's arsenal, she knocked Saebyeolbe away from her with incredible force as he rolled, before slamming into a wall of rock. To everyone's surprise, that pile of rubble at burst into an explosion of light and flames.

"
SAE!" Shiki turned to see Mortem's hand didn't get severed panning frantically for him.

The Morning Star split himself with a duplicate as he released his 50 scars. Utilizing Shiki's abilities to mask his own presence during that quick take down, he unveiled and pressured The Dark Shiki who responded nigh instantaneously (All-Seeing Heart) with speed and aggression. The sounds of her Gazing Eye slapping against his Adole Malus were intense. Explosions from the combustions were weathering and beating around them at the speed the two of them were colliding. Sae was getting cut to shreds despite keeping pace, this was a different Shiki he was dealing with and she was nothing short of an absolute beast on par with Try arguably.

Darting along the side of them, the clattering and clanging of the two was Shiki herself as Mortem was hanging in her shadow. Sickles and chains were swirling on top of her sword play making even getting a clean hit nearly impossible. Sae was bolting as fast as he could to stay in the center in close quarters as much as possible.


"
SHIKI!" Sae scream taking two sickles buried in his back as the chains were starting to get absurd. "DEFENSE! I'LL SAY WHEN!"

Sae could feel her barrier expanding from his skin outward, ejecting the blades he'd been marred by. The chains spun around wildly, and he switched stances. "
I DONT THINK SO!" he swiped his Adole Malus horizontally generating heated light, combustion with enough force to deflect them all. Jumping through the explosion he slammed with a heavy vertical slash that the Dark Terminus X caught, the tremor from the force blowing in every direction.

"
So damned persistant!" She shouted, "How can you still keep fighting with all of those injuries??"

"
LIKE HELL AM I GONNA STOP NOW!" Sae threw out a joke as they starting swinging hit for hit now and the torrent of chains was beginning to encroach around the two of them forming what looked like a dome barring entry. Dark Shiki was growing even more exasperated and unrelenting as her attacks were becoming, sharper and more precise, remniscent of Sae's current development. Two evolutionaries, even for this level of intensity, he was relieved to have the protection from Shiki.

Shiki came from the side, generating a barrier wedged in between the chains and passed through the stagnated space. A flash of light releasing from the bracelet. Memento Vivare came to touch the web of chains, with a clasp as it sparked rubbing against it.

"
ENOUGH!" she clutched her fist, swiping two chains to wrap around each leg of the resolutes and firmly connected their bodies with the ground. The Dark Terminus X spun its chains and grabbed Saebyeolbe at the shoulders pinning him down as the Dark Shiki tucked the Gazing Eye just above his chest, "You won't get away from this!"

The malevolence she released as she began to encase herself and Sae inside of a dark blue sphere. Sae fighting tooth and nail, holding both hands over the gazing eye's tip using all his strength to attempt to deflect it away from his heart.

"
Did you notice them yet?" Sae said to her as her entire body looked like it was painted in scar with the most being on her fists from when she struck him. "You're not the only one with a finishing move...back off or we'll both go down at the same time!"

Shiki stood armed with Mortem holding it's fingers in a position to honor Sae's incantation, a single word. Dark Shiki instead grabbed his face, inciting a touch to seal Sae's abilities. Sae using his physical strength, pressed her way and realized it then. He had no way of knowing the duration of this effective silence, but she'd find his next actions to be surprising. Mortem was behind Shiki, yet completely unaffected, Sae smirked reveling in just how potent his Session of his All-Series really ways.

"
Eviscerate." Shiki uttered before snapping her fingers, prompting Mortem's finishing move.

Sae's bluff seconds before, the application of scars happen upon utterance of the the incantation word, not before. The Dark Shiki's senses were keen, picking up on the deception, as Mortem curved a wisp that splattered in her direction. Her chains billowing into a cone, being painted in what looked like armed light in the form of scars. It didn't catch them all, a handful did manage to paint on her form. She was lit up within the span of a few seconds, pinging explosion landing the first piece of solid damage to create
an open as Sae (still silenced) got up and started hauling tail.

"GO GO GO GO!" Sae shouted pushing himself off the ground and deflecting the chains that her heartless were throwing in his general direction.

Shiki held her hand out, chains extending from her wrists where tethered to Sae, empowering him and adding some stability to his already worn out body. He gave her his complete trust as he thrust his Adole Malus into the Dark Shiki's Gazing Eye and deadlocked her. She raised her knee and planted her foot square into Sae's chest, kicking him away. "SWITCH!"

He contorted his body in a circular rotation, catching her by the greaves and flinging her towards the Dark Shiki in a sling shot fashion. Sae rolled, into a skid keeping his momentum and restarted his dash. Shiki soared through her counterparts web of chains. Mortem active, clasping it's hands to produce a wave of air potent and fast enough to cut a hole straight through the web. Shiki wielded a her Memento Vivare with tenacity, feeling it strike against the gazing eye multiple times in a matter of seconds, with a bare touch being the greatest threat.

"Get ready Sae." Shiki said midst the collision as her Tattoo started to illuminate.

"You really wanna use THAT? Alright!" His own tattoo radiated, dispelling the duration of the silence with some assistance from his Shiki in that regard. He ran super close to the right of the the two of them.

'What are they planning?? Come on, anticipate it!'

Saebyeolbe collided with her coming from the right, she predicted it and fended off his attack as Shiki slowly vanished into his shadow before completely submerging her existence rendering her undetectable along with Mortem. The clattering of Sae's strikes against Dark Shiki's were so intense vibrations were ringing in every direction. The two of them slid in a web, holding a small area within the dome swiping attacks at each other rapidly, The Dark Shiki about to throw several for every single attack, Sae able to parry at least six before taking a direct hit somewhere. His body illuminating he navigated her assault as best he could spinning his Adole Malus and releasing a circle of fire against her attacks. They both dug their heels in finally stopping, and struck each other with extremely powerful one handed strikes, deadlocking again. Two sickles burying into his abdomen at that instant as the blood lashed towards the Dark Shiki.

"DON'T STOP!"

Throwing his keyblade behind him, he simultaneously dove into the Dark Shiki grasping at her waist and lifting her feet off the ground. "YOU FOOL! YOUR WALTZING TO YOUR DEATH!!" Dark Shiki grasped at victory as her heartless was raring to go for his head. Mortem appeared into existence at that moment, grappling her heartless as Sae grappled her arms gliding off the momentum of his dive.

"JUMP SHIKI!"

THUD!!!

They collided with Shiki's Lumen Incantare forging a wall and the velocity of the impact overstimulated Dark Shiki's senses, dropping her complete focus for a moment. Shiki dove inward catching Sae's Adole Malus in one hand, and wielding Memento Vivare in the other. The "II" tattoo illuminated and radiated alongside Eth's bracelet. She combed through the chains with a graceful dance as she fell with incredible speed. Bringing up Sae's Keyblade to miss Mortem and cleave straight through the Dark Terminus X, while firmly planting her Memento Vivare into the Dark Shiki's chest.
 
Last edited:

purgatory

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As the heartless began to disappear, the all out battles finally broke out between the dark wielders and some of the resolutes still in intimate contact with their resolves. If I didn't know any better, I would guess maybe this coming storm with those foes in toe was only the first wave of darkness' foothold.

Shirking and panting came from around me as the dark sides that could no longer be seen, their mass existed somewhere and swept through the field kicking up a massive torrent of wind. Jaz stood by me about as nervous, panting frivolously. I looked over to see Kambria guarding the box, as Luxu was no where to be found, isn't that something huh? It belonged to me anyway, Eth said as much and agreed to open it after this face down was resolved.

"Finis?" I said to myself attempting to reach out to her.

"
Dearest Recia, what would you like to know." Finis responded promptly

"
Can we do anything about those vanishing heartless that are still here but can't be detected?" I inquired further

I could feel the flow of anima grasping at my palms as the intensity of the glow picked up. Something I knew but didn't know at the same time, was just how potent and potentially dangerous using Anima was. On the one hand if misused, there was a chance I could be indirectly doing harm to the others. Though, like usual, my feet just felt like stone for some reason, I was starting to take on a certain resolutes empathy but this was more guilt and fear driven than having a whole moral code set up.

I felt it then. Pressure. A presence that was familiar and yet for some reason nostalgic. Footsteeps beaded the gravel and dirt as I could see what looked like a person fading into reality against The Dark Shiki's influence and tethering themselves here with incredible willpower. The heartless adrift from this male's back looked familiar, slim, armed with a bow and satchel with darkness infused arrows. The clod of his greaves came to a halt, surrounded quickly by Iontis, Reforge, and Kambria.

"NOT ANOTHER STEP! WHO-"

"Gavin. Move, your not worth the effort." He brushed with a gesture to flick his wrist and embers of darkness burned the three of them as the heartless took aim and fired three arrows, as they all hit the ground simultaneously.

"Oh shit!" Jay was feeling masculine, shaken a bit by how rapidly this figure dispatched them.

"Thats two of you, didn't you have some other guy with you. Well...not like it matters. Gavin, dark-wielder and former resolute #4. Look I really don't wanna be here man, your treading on the turf where we all opened the box originally on our worldlines, only natural we'd wanna reclaim it. So if you hand it-"

Gavin turned and raised his hand to grab Reforge by the throat and gripped hard. "Kids. No respect for when the adults are talking. Anyway-" His hands moved for his side purging a keyblade to catch his hip as Kambria and Iontis struck from the same side. "Damn...I guess you powerless dogs are a bit more resilient than I thought. What's up with the wrist bands, you part of a club?"

"SHUT UP!" Reforge's leg raised for a ball-check, stopped by his knee.

"Little bastard's actually serious, he went straight for the Crown Jewels, smart! But fuck you for that." Gavin could feel him tugging at his arm now and proceeded to crater to young Reforge and breaking stance from Kambria and Iontis.

"
Nighty night brat. You two idiots next or something? You definitely got guts let me tell ya." Gavin extended his arm as the Dark Toxote X purged its black bow before them and took aim straight up. "Fuckin slaughter them all in one go. Makes no difference to me."

The Dark Toxote X aiming straight up released a single arrow, reaching it's apex. Splintering into raining bolts of darkness in every which direction. Maybe I was imagining it, but everyone all at once seemed to converge on Gavin completely disregarding the arrows. I found myself being brought along by Jay as the arrows started to plummet into the ground behind us, while a small radial area around the dark-wielder was completely clear. His preference seemed to be range, as Iontis and Kambria started a frontal assault double teaming against his heartless as well as Gavin himself.

"Ref! Are you ok??" I yelled, digging him out of the rubble from the crater. He was in his child form so I pulled him into my arms and cradled him, still breathing, but clearly unconscious. There was a cut above his left brow and he was bleeding some.

"Might wanna look Reesh..." Jay said pointing to the duo fighting Gavin and the Dark Toxote X "Those bracelets are helping sure, but they don't got the firepower without their Resolves. Gonna need Ref to wake up and use his other abilities."

I could hear the arrows lining up in a wall behind us falling as they were radially shot and starting encircle the group. Kambria and Iontis both were fighting tooth and nail, swarming Gavin in an attempt to overwhelm him at cross range, and it just seemed like even footing for now. Heartless began to swipe, totally unseen trudging along the way. I grabbed Jay's hand, and gave him a red colored bracelet on the opposite wrist.

"This should give you brief immunity to Anima...I think I need to use it and can't have you powerless you know?" I said handing Reforge over to Jay. "Tell him to wake up soon, if he's another IV...then his skillset should revolve around neutralizing...meaning crowd control."

From afar I could see Gavin was literally getting overwhelmed at how quick they were moving in towards him. Not gonna lie, I preferred ranged battles with limited close-quarters combat if possible. So this was my parallel huh? Some skinny punk, with green hair and cerulean streaks. Disappointed, but he did do a number on Reforge, still, I was waiting for the bastard to release something...BIG.

"Tch...Master really went all out on you all huh?"

"A traitor like you doesn't get to speak his name!" Iontis was lit a flame, slamming straight down with a vertical swipe catching Gavin's Gazing Eye.

"Touchy lot-uh brats aren't ya? Empathy isn't my spiel, too conscientious a guy for that. Sacrifices had to be made for the next group to have their turn, Ezra's team. Still fucked it up. You all are no different than the rest, think your special just cause you 'resolve' don't hold your breath you holier than thou scrubs. How long before you fuck this worldline just like we did? If you bitches live long enough it'll shut me the fuck up."

Gavin stomped his foot, the ground swarmed with darkness, freezing in a slight silhouette of the heartless that couldn't be seen before.

"Vessel of Cold."

"Anima." The echo of my voice, releasing a wave of red to clash and effectively neutralize the effects of Gavin's power and all areas it grasped. The heartless effected, were revealed, coated in a think red tint as Anima expanded across the field, revealing all of the hidden enemies.

"The hell are you? And...!" Gavin stopped, staring at the Gazing Eye clutched in my hand, "You're the fifth traitor huh? Fuck haven't you slaughtered your buddies, waiting for an invitation for collap-"

"
Stop talking, you've been monologuing forever now." I cut him off, the running essence of Anima was effectively ebbing off of me as my trigger, rage, flushed it out like the gates of hell.

I stomped sending flame-like vibrations matted with Anima to encircle and contain Gavin's vessel of cold to a fixed space. In response to me Iontis and Kambria both move back as the flames touched them, removing the slabs of ice from Gavin's initial proximity blast. Neutralizing was a specialty that each 4th resolute seemed to have. I thought about how dangerous that skill was when I had it...petrification. Freezing in a cryogenic state wasn't much different, but I'd take stone over being completely frozen any day.

Anima funneled into the gazing eye along side my Lucient, as I held two scarlet keyblades burning with a twisted essence. Lunging forward, I locked with Gavin blade for blade, pressuring him towards the edges of the wall I'd created. The clasping of our keyblades were loud and fierce, I couldn't believe I had this level of courage and trusted my father's training from previous years. Things seemed to slow down, as a clattering of steel similar to when he clashed with Kambria and Iontis moments before. Gavin's steps were loud, cracking as he was freezing the ground on every impress of his greaves. Each of my steps were shattering the ice into crystals negating the rest into mists of red residue.

"Tch..! Your just gonna cancel out my ice then? Fine." Gavin lowered his arm and the the darkness bolstered around him, ebbing off of the Dark Toxote X. "Lets see what it can do against Darkness."

I could feel an intense pressure looming from him, the sound rippled loudly between Sae and Shiki's battle and across the way from Try and Eth's engagement. Jay was near me, approaching slowly as Gavin held his foot on the gas, polluting the immediate area taking myself and Jay within a dome.

"Shiki isn't gonna die to some parallel version, not with what we she has over all of us."

"What do you mean what she has over us?" I further inquired

Gavin stabbed himself straight through feeling his keyblade resonate, brandishing his heart filled with Darkness and having his heartless clutch it tight.

"Heart Ignition...Suicide Flash Freeze..."

"OH SHIT!!! FUCKING RUN!!!"


~~Follow up In Dari's post after this~~
 

Just Dari

i've got the healing vision
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As Eth went silent, he could hear the visceral sound of Try grappling Ezra who seemed to flare up in a rage. Stalemate seemed to be the ongoing pattern today. All the talking Ezra had done, gating sympathy...impeding on their emotions, distancing herself from the responsibility she shunned, it appeared Try was to entertain none of it. There was a grip, before her bones shattered and darkness bled through her elbow furiously repairing her limb within a few seconds respectively.

Eth dropped to his head a tick and took a sigh of relief, his head was still intact. Thank you, he thought to himself as he started to pant. Through all of this, he could piece it together through the bracelets, essentially he'd divided his resolve up and grafted it into arms for his team to draw upon, effectively broke up into parts if you will, leaving himself with Light and the others, small divots of time equally divided among those armed with a bracelet.

He could hear two keyblade connecting with the chests, belonging to Ezra as well as the Dark Shiki respectively. Activating on command, and the damndest thing happened. As Try turned, the key this time, there was a disjoint from the darkness being flushed out of Ezra's body as if it were all being forced out all at once. Ezra released an agonizing scream, as a time dial manifested itself behind her, dilating time forward as he heart was released from her body and it started to vanish before Try. The darkness resisting the snare of the dial frantically looked around and B-lined towards the Dark Shiki.

"What..." Eth's eyes widened in a mild panic, "Change of plan Try...we're gonna need Shiki for this..."


Meanwhile...


The storm of cold and ice expanded outward from Gavin eventually colliding with Saebyeolbe, Shiki, and Dark Shiki within an instant of Memento Vivare touching her breast. Nary a second too quick, frozen, all three of them along with the heartless within the dome. Mortem a statue locked in place with the Dark Terminus X. The darkness the fled from Ezra, as well as Gavin, began to flow into the Dark Shiki from her frozen tomb.

A massive storm cloud of black, wreaking of bleak darkness both tried and true. Shiki and Saebyeolbe's ice coffins prematurely cracked before freezing them over as the three remaining X-series heartless carried the Dark Shiki further up. Gasping for air, Shiki shifted herself, grabbing Sae by his hood and pushing away from the pillar of darkness the swirled touching the very skybox and flaring out of control.

Also....

Finis responded in kind, generating small fields of anima around Lucrecia, Iontis, Kambria, as well as Jay/Jaz. This effectively protected them from the adverse effects of the blizzard area of effect explosion. The Dark Toxote X and the darkness sealed within Dark Wielder Gavin departed along with his heart during his suicide attempt. Though his body had frozen in place, once his heart departed, his body began to in the same fashion that Ezra's did, slowly disintegrate and disappear from the world-line.


"Was this apart of some grander scheme? He just...up and offed himself to avoid getting exorcised?"

The bracelets all began to respond, and as Lucrecia looked around, everyone appeared to move within proximity of where she'd been. Appearing at the center as they circled around, Eth released a sigh and crushed the bracelets all at once. The pillar of darkness swirled into the sky not that far from them, the numbers had thinned down to a single wielder, with about three-times the lethality prior.

"Komaeda." Eth said raising his hand form a finger pointed at him, "Not the most tactful method, but you didn't deviate from plan, you've earned my respect."

Eth's eyes slowly turned to Saebyeolbe with a hint of rage, "Sae." his fist tensed, time slowed and the grinding of a fist planted squarely into Sae's face.

"We're done doing it your way. We're done going against the plan, I saw you allow Shiki to combat two opponents of that caliber alone and I was utterly shocked at your resistance to aggress for so long. Now do us all a favor and stop putting our lives at risk because you think you can save everyone...! ONE OF THEM JUST COMMITTED SUICIDE, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THAT HUH??"

Eth wasn't in the mood to turn back the clock on his substantial injuries. It'd only only disrespect The Scarred, the potential to effectively evolve properly upon sustaining mass amounts of damage. Unfortunately for Sae at this moment, thinking selfishly in the way that he did to preserve life...the life of an enemy that cared nothing for all of their hard work and the pain and struggles associated with it, isn't an enemy that deserves their pity and remorse. The tense vibration of his fist as it shook with dissatisfaction, if he didn't get the communication here, he would never learn.

Lucrecia approached Eth, lugging the box by the handle before dropping it down.

"No more compromises, you're-"

Shiki stepped in the way. "I don't approve of his decisions in the heat of the moment, but neither of us died. He's operating off of adrenaline at the current, we don't know when he's going to collapse."

"Shiki...don't. Limiting casualties is what we're here to do, not potentially create more by ignoring the plan. Exactly as I explained to all of you days before, tunnel vision on any means necessary in order to save their long destroyed world-lines, that throwing ours into a similar state without batting an eye...You seriously want to save any one individual that means to do all you've known harm? Absurdity only scratches the surface of how ludicrous that notion is."

Eth turned from the two of them and approached the box.

"Let this be the final lesson and warning to you Saebyeolbe. You finally encountered an enemy that cares absolutely nothing for the world you inhabit, you personally, your hopes, dreams, the struggles, the pain and suffering you had to endure up til that critical moment. You took it upon yourself to patronize these individuals that have suffered unequivocally, failed miserably, and instead of ending their cycle of suffering chose to chastise them, waste your time...energy...compassion for them to cut you to ribbons, humiliate you, nearly bring ruin to you and your friends? Resolve...? If we really were your family, you wouldn't have taken such a massive risk and put your partner in the crosshairs like that...if you want me to trust you, you're gonna have to start listening to everyone else instead of making extremely risky decisions like that for the rest of us because your moral compass thinks you can spare an enemy that is the antithesis of everything the master taught and instilled in us."

Eth clutched his fist firmly as the "0" illuminated in his left eye.

"It's ok Sae. I'll just shoot you next time you get any wild ideas. Not like I'm at jeopardy of losing resolve." Komaeda clutched his arms, "That fire was radiant, I'd gladly be the next target those flames burn." he shuddered gleefully at the thought.

"Anyway..." Eth sighed, and placed his hand on the box before looking at the wall of darkness rising. "We didn't get them all, but we did prevent them from taking the box, no better time to open it than right now. The master said it better than anyone, this applies to us as much as it did the dark wielders and resolutes from other world-lines as I'm sure he said it to them too. Everything you fought for was not for yourself. It was for those that come after. So where they failed, it was for us to pick up, make sense of, and steer our destiny in the opposite direction."

The sound of the box's locks were coming undone as he proceeded to lift the heavy trunk open. A green luminescence emerged from the box, it was radiant and bright as other colors sprang around of cool persuasion. From the confines of the corners, the emergence of an object small enough to be clutched in the palm of ones hands. Eth held his hand forward and clutched at the cool colored object.

A Wayfinder. It was unlike anything he'd ever seen before, it pulsed like that of a beating heart in his hand, magnetically drawn to the resolutes, all of them as their tattoos reacted by radiating and displaying an aura of their individual essences. The Resolutes, who's power had faded, who's hearts forged new resolves...new purposes during their period of great loss and tragedy struck. Their power was being restored right before their very eyes.

All but Lucrecia. This made sense, her power collectively named "anima" was meant to neutralize the master's gift, of his namesake. As the light from the box waned, there was yet another surprise waiting at the very bottom of it. Lucrecia's eyes where lit red, as Finis clutched the edges and leaned in to confirm that this wasn't a dream.

"Qi!" She shouted alarmed, lightly wrestled and tucked away compartmentalized inside the chest's walls of this iron box.

Wrestled in Qi's arms, a picture of the three "Master of Masters". The creator of the
Xabat Blade, The Original X-blade, named "Qi", "Xabat", "Recusant", or X his preferred name. Omni, better known to the resolutes as the Master of Masters, and Lady Finis, the final master. The sound of footsteps approached slowly as Luxu approached the box and reached inside to lift Qi's frail and unconscious body. There was a shimmer of light radiating from his left hand as the infinity sigil resonated with Qi's form. His body began to collect and reforge itself into a master key of sorts, one that could unlock something beyond the lanes between worlds...but a potential so powerful it defied imagination.

Travel between World-lines. Different timelines, points of origin unknown and unfathomable where lives that were irreparably damaged by their past counter-parts, could too be mended.

"It was always their job to keep a harmonic balance, as if. You guys did better than any other group thus far...even considering what just happened, not naming names, but if I had to Sae anyone in particular...As if!"

Eth shrugged, clutching the Wayfinder as Luxu held the "Xabat", the X-blade in his grasp.

"
When the master said, May your heart be your guiding key, I didn't think he meant...his." He said observing what looked to be a massive chart blown out and the barriers between world-lines where charted indicating places that didn't exist on the current world-line. "He was kind enough to gift us with a map...and a key that allows us to leave the world-line entirely. Incredible...he's making us work even harder, one world-line provided its own challenges."

"Are you really surprised that the master would elect to choose a group to redeem our predecessors? As if...it's been a bad time..." Luxu sighed


"Wait...if a Dark Wielder opened the box 4-times prior...what happened to their world-lines as a result did they just...disappear?" Lucrecia inquired

"No. The only thing that changed was a new world-line was created, and the Dark Wielder was moved along with the box to the new world-line. Still in perpetual ruin, amazing how they never realized that their world-line was still in existence waiting for them to rectify the mistakes made by the protectors of that world-line. Its extremely unlikely that another box can exist, let alone another Master of Masters, Qi, or even Lady Finis who up til now was dormant."

Reading the room wasn't a bad thing to do here. Eth closed the box, then opened it again, nothing of significance happened. Rubbing his chin, his eyes averted and rolled back over to the overflowing reservoir of darkness that was slowly starting to wash the horizon's light into utter extinction. His eyes then fell on Shiki, followed by Lucrecia, "
We'll be leaving soon. Luxu, point directly at the dark clouds and create a gateway. One big enough to pull the Dark Shiki in with it."

Eth tossed up the wayfinder and clutched tight as his light pulsed through the object. He purged the dusklanzer in his hand and forged the Kingdom Crown at their feet. Luxu held the X-blade up and aimed directly for the tower of darkness swirling into a vortex. "She's gonna be our conduit then. We're going to the first world-line in order to fix the others parallel, then to the master. Ready?"

The light from the X-blade, radiated and shot forth in a straight line after the coordinates were mapped through the crown. Piercing Light penetrated the darkness that swirled in a hurricane-esque structure, punching a hole through the Dark Shiki's chest. A keyhole appeared, and it created what looked to be a vacuum effect, sucking up the darkness and pulling the dark wielder into the massive scaled keyhole. The Sky started to clear and the keyhole remained in the skybox, this was where they could cross to another world-line entirely.

Lucrecia darted in front clutching the Gazing Eye, and dove directly towards the keyhole. She was followed by Iontis, Yamato, Kambria, Komaeda, Jay/Jaz, Reforge, and Try.

"Waiting on an invitation Sae? As if." Luxu said before turning on a heel to leap straight towards the keyhole.

Sae was quiet, before turning away to jump directly after Luxu.

"Finally. We need to discuss some things privately, Shiki..." He reached out for her hand, the very same instance from Castle Oblivion

Spoiler Spoiler Show




Elsewhere.




—World-line [1] : Daybreak Town Ruins

The air was stale. The sky bled red with a twist of indigo as an amalgamation of dark energy collected into the sky. It looked like a dying star about to be snuffed out at any potential second. This truly...was beyond what they'd seen in the past previously. World Enders were everywhere, as far as the eye could see, walking like colossal titans across the wasteland and destroyed architecture.

Something new was feathering it's existence twisting into reality. The Gazing eye was clutched as a mass of darkness, first formless, sprang forth and manifested itself into the Dark Inferno X. Still not dead. The Dark Toxote X extended from it, and finally you could see the Dark Shiki graced to sit poised like that of a ruler in the lap of the Dark Terminus X. The sickles and chains that swam around her in the background were a web of anxiety.

"So you've chosen to die in the world I so desperately tried to save...you'd humiliate me even further out of hubris?" She spat to the side and rolled her eyes, "I'll take the Master-Key and World-line compass off your corpses after i've exhausted every ounce of suffering out of everyone last one of you wretches."

The malice and hatred that emanated from the dark shiki felt insurmountable a task to fathom. It loomed on the scarred landscape like a weighted pressure, their vision only being painted a skewed amber and crimson mix. The World Ender were rising from the endless ocean from the debris of the main castle that occupied all the surrounding area.

"
Hmm? Where's Eth and Shiki?" Lucrecia said, clutching the Gazing Eye as well as holding the box close. "Whatever, they'll be along shortly, I advise we leave the Dark Shiki to our Shiki, if your not reluctant to help her...Sae." she said his name with apprehension.

Sky was red with the dark energies akin a gigantic planet killer ball of darkness. They were pulling themselves together, puffing their Heartless chests out, resonating their powers to feed into what looked like the equivalent of a dying star in the sky that could burst at any minute. In this instance, it'd appear that Finis' skills at neutralizing would be useful...especially something of this scale, the remaining resolutes would need to deal with the bay of World Ender here. There was an uneasy feeling however, as if at any minute they could be wiped out by a grand explosion of insane proportion.

Eth returned, phasing onto the timeline as Shiki brandished through behind him with Memento Vivare clutched in her grasp. His eyes widened at the very idea that this worldline had entered such rough shape. He kept it present in his mind, if harrowed end was the appropriate wording here, checking his left arm, his time resolve was silenced...definitely a harrowed end. There are no second chances or reversal of fortunes here, he still had his other trump he'd yet to use.

"
There you are oh fearless leader, what the hell took you so long to show? Another secret meeting??" Yamato bombastically erupted, "Take a good look at this place!"

Yamato's arm wildly jerked, the crumbling castle, the torrents of the crashing waves, the world enders in what appeared to be huge numbers. The Dark Shiki royally screwed this place, it takes resolute from a different world-line come rectify another's mistakes in the efforts to stabilize the remaining world-lines. But Eth's eyes were stern, they didn't have anymore compassion for rogues that would do this to their own world-line...nothing less than scum to Zero.

"Shiki. You and Sae head for the Dark Shiki, thanks to things going sideways, she's even more lethal now...and Sae, I'm counting on you to listen to her, it's no longer about what's morally right anymore...just look around you...she's home and what's she done...?"

"Threaten the lot of us. Real lady-like, as if." Luxu shook his head.

"You alright Eth...? You look...unsettled..." Kambria placed this after he lowered his arm.

"This world-line must be a harrowed end. My time resolve isn't going to work where time doesn't flow...more emphasis on not doing anything crazy that'll get us killed. I can't even use my all-series to reverse anything permanent until we deal with all of the world enders...and there's A LOT of them."

"Me and Giant lady will take them all." Ref squeezed Try's hand with a share of anxiety, "...We've done enough sitting on our asses having to rely on you Ethy. I wanna do my part again..."

"Whoa, hey Ref, lets leave some for the rest of us. We're fuming about how things turned out too." Yamato protested

"Then the rest of you will be the boots on the ground. Eth and I will...deal with whatever that giant sun-like thing is in the sky. Maybe we can neutralize and purify it before it explodes and takes the lot of us with it." Lucrecia took a breath and looked to Eth.

"Hope everyone's prepared." Eth turned to Try, "Please Try, look out for everyone." he could visibly see Reforge squeezing her hand even tighter.

Eth shifted his gaze to look at them all, and then returned with a nod. With Time locked there was something that so rarely happened that filled in the gap. Eth gritted his teeth, dismissing them as each left to engage the World Enders that were fueling the massive sun-sized bomb in the sky.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------




—The End of Time

A sentiment of revelry was felt throughout the space. As the master stared at the chest board, a different board manifested, indicating that all of the remaining pieces had moved to a different board entirely. The mass of Darkness stared at it, formless, likened to convey no emotion other than potentially rage. Angrily it proclaimed.

"You purposely violated the rules of our Gambit! There was nothing that said your disciples could leave the worldline! You tricked us!"

"Just playing by a different set a rules i'm afraid. What? Did you think the box was just supposed to have a world-changing effect every single time it was opened? That's booooooooring!"

The Master sucked his teeth before chuckling.

"I told you that this game might surprise you. As you saw, Shiki was indeed chosen to participate a second time around. Every candidate had an incredible back story, ambition, zest, and above all else...the potential to survive drowning in a bay of horrible decisions they were forced to contend with."

"That's not what we agreed upon. They were supposed to reach THIS destination in order to win."

"Eth figured it out once he saw Luxu's memories and Vista's memories from the original World-line. If you can fix the original timeline, all the chaos created from every world-line afterward will cease to be, and being that they're currently operating as paradoxes, they'll retain all of their memories and knowledge of everything that's transpired."

"You...YOU WRETCH, HOW DID YOU KNOW THEY WOULD GET THIS FAR? HOW COULD YOU HAVE KNOWN!? This is beyond the future that you saw and wrote within the book! SO HOW?!?"

"I didn't know, any of it really. Call it Trust. I simply trusted that they'd do what their predecessors could not. Trust is [NOT] Resolute, sure, but if you don't take the risk of trusting anyone other than yourself, you should expect limited results."

The Master stood and then gave a small round of applause.

"Three of your Darknesses have been removed from the board. Three, plus you, remain. I gotta hand it to Xehanort...taking out 13 of you miserable bastards at once at the cost of his own men was something I don't think anyone expected. To think, you needed the heartless as foot soldiers in order to secure worlds you expanded to. Tough spot your in eh, old friend? My resolutes will be here sooner rather than later, and they're bringing "X" and Finis with them and we can finally end this perpetual loop you've made me suffer through all this time now!"

"Arrogant bastard! If your strongest disciple to ever exist is to be felled by the likes of that lot, you'll need a miracle to pull that off!" The Darkness was billowing over with rage.

"I trust Shiki and Saebyeolbe, that poor girl's been waiting to released from this hell for nearly as long as I have. I'm sure they both understand that and will do the right thing."
 
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