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The Grand Crossover RP - Pathway to Origin [IC/Apps Closed for Finale]

Why are we still here GCRP Crossover Adventure Drama

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#2381
Merciful Idiot

Merciful Idiot

    ~ this world is mine ~

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PjObAq4.png
The Forgotten Forest
D4 - Center of the Lake

Broken mask, decrepit soul, collapsing power. Her best efforts, even employing the ability of Void Inclusion to sway the tide of this battle, weren’t enough to push back the efforts of the cast. Two of her Heralds had ended up lost beyond her reach. Ravnica escaped her grasp. Even though reality had blessed Hollow Isamy for an instant with a brand new Herald of Order, with the cold power of Finite, it was undeniable that she was pushing her own existence to its very limits. And her hope to potentially model Koishi into yet another Herald, her hope to take advantage of that moment of weakness - lost, since the girl had fallen into a deep slumber. She knew for a fact that there weren’t going to be any further opportunities like this. From their point of view, she was an overwhelming force. Yet from her point of view, it was an uphill war against near-invincible soldiers.

Despite everything, Hollow Isamy still thought of herself as a hero. Even in the face of such impossible odds, she was refusing to give up. She would continue to fight. She would continue to advance. She would continue this story until it arrived at HER desired ending. She already died long ago. Her soul, refusing to give up, transformed into a Hollow the likes of which had never been seen before - and yet she was still being backed into a corner. Revy’s power hadn’t been enough. Elsa’s power hadn’t been enough. Even now, even after she was maximizing Ed’s capabilities to the height of their potential, it still wasn’t proving to be enough. The black flames that composed Gula Dracolich were gradually beginning to dissipate away. Void Inclusion could only be maintained for so long until the foreign existence started to reject her own. How much further could she push herself to endure their attacks? How much longer until her spirit broke apart?

“We're no knights…”

As the corrupted Herald continued to put up resistance, she sensed that Reimu had released the barrier holding her Gula Dracolich. Yet, before she could command her creature to do anything, at that exact instance, the God of Death and Butler-Ragnarok struck forth. Gula Dracolich was not only unprepared to take on a direct physical assault of their kind of magnitude, but with its massive size and current lack of momentum, had absolutely no method with which to evade. Its attempt to counterattack with a blast was too late.

“...but we'll have to slay this dragon.”

Both Rhadamanthys and Butlerok crossed their blades. As the two swords glowed, two distinct shades of purple the energies began to overlap. With that, they declared SCREECH OMEGA! and both members swung down, launching a mighty "X" shaped attack at the massive dragon. Their combined strikes cut through the black flames, wrecking Gula Dracolich’s very skeletal structure.

[ A H ]

Hollow Isamy let out a distorted gasp as the two-pronged attack connected with her Dracolich, sending it crashing down, its body tearing through the trees of the Forgotten Forest before smashing into the snow. The flames surrounded it started to wither away, revealing that the majority of its bones were now cracked.

Still, even though it had been severely weakened by this point, it wasn’t quite dead yet. It was indeed still moving. And as an undead, it didn’t feel any pain that might’ve otherwise slowed it down. Hollow Isamy understood there was still a possibility of everything working out. She just needed more people dead! All she needed was to kill someone else, and a new path to victory might be unlocked!

[ M U R D E R
H I M ! ]


With that, Gula Dracolich blasted off the ground one final time in a fury of black flames. Its eyes fixated on its previous attackers, Butlerok and Rhadamanthys at first…before bursting past them, enduring their assaults in a last-ditch, kamikaze attempt to fulfill its command. Its target was clear: Dorian von Schroeder. Opening its mouth, the zombie unleashed a concentrated black laser straight at him.

That man, Dorian, was supposed to be the one who was guaranteed to accept her invitation. However, he, this selfish man of all people, dared to defy her will. Just the idea of him caused extreme hatred to flood into her. She couldn’t even remotely understand it. In her corrupted state, it hurt her mind to try and understand it. Dorian was the ideal Divine, the ideal Herald of Order, yet he refused her. If that were to be the case, then such a hypocrite didn’t even deserve to live! If she absolutely must, then she would take his soul by force. Besides, not only was he one of the weaker targets, but his flame control could be especially useful in a Void Inclusion. And the Distortion within may even prove to be valuable to her-

That was when a searing beam of light was fired from one of the towers. Having been too preoccupied with taking on Bennu Dorian, the Gula Dracolich was pierced from the side by its greatest weakness. The beam of pure light had drilled through its half-hearted defense, eradicating every trace of darkness it touched.. In its final moments, the Gula Dracolich’s crimson eyes were locked onto the flying Dorian with a seething hatred, as if to convey Isamy’s inner feelings, as if to say ‘you are the monster’ - before being disintegrated into dust.

[ L Y D I A . . .
T H A T B I T C H ]


The beam had come from her. That insane lady, why couldn’t she have just been consumed? Or stayed corrupted? Now that Sorceress Supreme had regained her power, there were very few available powers to counter her. Hollow Isamy watched in horror. That was it, wasn’t it? Her lesser wyverns were being exterminated too. Even as she wielded multiple copies of Ed Garith’s Zanpakuto, Kiotso Kurokoriwa, the metal that composed them was starting to crack. These were not naturally-occurring Zanpakuto, but forced through the Inclusion of Ed Garith’s soul. Of course they would only last so long. She was running out of options.

Then, left exposed, one more challenger was charging across the lake’s surface to seize this opportunity flying forth across the surface of the lake. They just kept coming, didn’t they? "Here I am. I am the nameless girl that somehow ended up in the midst of all of this." The blue-haired Nanashi spoke with a bizarre smile, as if she did not fear death, before performing a curtsy. "Happy to meet you."

There was no way left to occupy her elsewhere. That girl and her weapon, more than many of the others, were one of the most dangerous things against a Hollow. To think that she was drawing so close… Did she need to call back Finite for support?! But then again, perhaps this was the perfect opportunity!

[ Y O U R S O U L
I S
M I N E ! ! ! ]


Desperately attempting to prolong herself even a little longer, Hollow Isamy swung all four of her Kiotso Kurokoriwas, blazing towards her target in trails of dark fire. At the same time, light started to gather on the nameless girl’s left arm, no doubt planning to conduct some sort of point blank attack. As the last of her words left her lips and disappeared into nothing, the nameless girl leapt forward, with the hand holding the light cocked to her back. Yet it was futile. There was no way she was going to survive with such a reckless charge! If anything, this must be reality blessing her with an opportunity. This foolish being was underestimating how much stronger she still was, and her decision to go for an all-out attack would backfire. Indeed, her powers would be perfect to turn the situation around! Victory remained within reach.

"Take this! My love, my anger, and all my feelings!"

However, before the four giant Zanpakutos could even slice through the reckless warrior… they shattered. Zanpakuto shards showered the nameless girl, inflicting damage no more significant than paper cuts. And on that note, Hollow Isamy experienced horror as Ed Garith’s existence vanished from her own. The Void Inclusion, her final available Void Inclusion, had been pushed too far beyond its limits. No! No! NO!

Then, the nameless girl started to actually laugh. Why? Why would she possibly be laughing at a time like this? Did she take the grand superiority of Isamy Maximus as a joke?! Yet, with the Hollow’s assault having failed, she’d drawn far too close to be pushed back now. There had to be another way! There had to be another method with with the tables could be turned! Another lost existence that could fill her Void! There was no time to think. Even if it was beyond the boundaries of the realm of the Door of Origin, even if there was a high chance it would fail, Hollow Isamy decided something had to be done!
 

[ V O I D I N C L U S I O N :
A R T U-]

 
Too late. With a wide smile, the nameless girl’s palm met the surface of the hollow giant.

"Nameless Sign: Shining Rupture!"

Just like that, foreign energy tore through Hollow Isamy’s form. There wasn't even an opportunity to see if the Void Inclusion succeeded. If it were a laser or other kind of magical force, then there would have been a possibility to defend against Nanashi's attempt, but somehow, in some inexplicable way, this felt far more like a virus that had just been injected within. This virus ate through her Inclusion and her whole essence in general, stealing away her own energy to break apart her compositional nature from the inside, overpowering her spirit, somehow knowing of every structural weakness that existed within. How? How long had that nameless girl been analyzing her?!

The virus was coalescing within, building up, preparing to burst from within the titanic Hollow. She was being forced to dedicate every inch of her power to resisting this overwhelming pressure, this alien force. Summoning the strength to move, she lunged forth at her own ribcage, where Nanashi continued to drive her palm deeper and deeper with infused energy. The process couldn’t be stopped now, but at the very least, she could take this one with her! Hence, without mercy, Hollow Isamy balled her two most titanic skeletal hands into fists and them smashed into herself, hoping to take Nanashi with her!!!

On that self-destructive note, Hollow Isamy let out a piercing shriek, echoing across the Forgotten Forest. It didn’t sound human. Regardless or whether or not she’d succeeded in ending the nameless girl, uncontrollable light started to erupt from every corner of her bones, of her black flesh, and especially from her exposed faced.
 
She was losing control.
 
Her very composition was losing shape.
 
Her face was burning, and to the warriors, it looked as though the heavily-damaged monster was actually melting into the Lake beneath…
 
Was this it? Was this how the great Herald of Chaos and Entropy going to meet her end?! Finite couldn’t possibly do it on his own, not with that many enemies surrounding him! She couldn’t accept this! SHE ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT ACCEPT THIS RESULT!

[ A A A A A A A A A A A A AA A A A A A A A A A A A a a a a a a a a a . . . ]

The shriek slowly decreased in power,

until there was no longer a giant shadow cast upon the Forgotten Forest.

For the first time, a sense of calm, was all there was in the land. Dazed and exhausted, many of the warriors started to head over towards the Lake’s shore, staring at where the final boss just melted. Even her one remaining Herald, Finite, found himself stopping in shock at what just happened.

Each of them wondering one thing.

Was it over?

.

.

.

...from within the body of water, tiny ripples started to rise at a certain point in the Lake’s shore. Those ripples were soon joined by air bubbles, and just like that, a certain, all-too-familiar body emerged. She crawled, shivering, breathing harshly, surfacing out of the cold waters of the Lake. And onto the colder land of snow. Her form seemed ephemeral. Yet tarnished. A spirit barely clinging onto this plane of existence at all. In the end, the thorough disintegration of the corrupted beast had let its Hollow soul revert to a Plus soul, revert to its original form, or at least what was left of it. She could hardly be called ‘alive’ at all, a thin, black robe being all there was to cover her exposed body. With her pearl-white skin and teal hair, there was no mistaking who it could be.

And with a desperate look, she collapsed directly at his feet. Right before the Keyblade Warrior… Nero.
 

~ Dive into the Heart? ~

 
 
What a sorry sight she was. Isamy weakly held her head up, to meet his eyes with her own grey eyes. Her expression was strained, sad. Cracks covered her face. It was almost sad, until he considered the fact that this fragile girl was the very monster who started this all due to her twisted, misguided beliefs, who CAUSED this Origin War, who DESTROYED his world, who KILLED far too many of his friends. Yet there she lay, vulnerable and powerless.

And she whispered to him, of all things,

“H͝el҉p.”

Nero looked down at Isamy. He felt a rush of emotions surge through him. Fear… hate… anger… She was indeed responsible for this war. She was responsible for everything that occurred. And what was more, it was because of her that he lost his heart to darkness that was Xansvita and Ivero.

Within a split second, the Keyblade Master thought about ending this woman’s life once and for all. He could do it and stop it from ever happening again. He had the key to just end it...with the X-Blade, he could just very well do it.

However, something stopped his initial thoughts. What was strong enough to stop the master from striking her down? His heart. For all his worth, he couldn’t deny what he was initially feeling. Though she was the one to cause this cursed war, she was the one who ended up forcing him to return to the place he truly needed to be. Since he fell into oblivion the day of the Keyblade War, he was haunted by the fact that he couldn’t stop what occurred. That he had failed everyone… But it was oddly enough, through this war that Nero found his path again. And what was more, he reclaimed the X-Blade and had it at his side.

So there he stared down at Isamy, hearing her whispers. Nero spoke not a word, until he let out a loud sigh. “You want help…?” he simply asked, before closing his eyes. “Isamy, out of everything you’ve done, you simply think that anyone will help you? That in the current state you find yourself in, that no one would think twice about ending you?” Nero slowly looked upwards, seeing the standing still snow around him. “...why after all this would you want help? And from those who you’ve scorned and hurt.”

It might’ve been his imagination, but had the snow paused in midair all of a sudden?

”...” The destroyer’s look faltered somewhat, but did not avert from his stare. ” Thi̷s ̕e̡x̴i̧sténc͡e.͡.̛.̷is uns͢tab̧l̶e̷.́ I have put it through too much. If I pass now, I’ll simply...pḩase ̀ou͞t̷ of e̸xiśt́e͡n͏ce͢. To be frank… That’s a little scary. If nothing else, I want to die properly.” Her hands slowly clawed through the snow, clenching together. ”I was a hero once. But obviously I fell. Hurting any of you, that...that was never my intention. All I wanted was your salvation. Your happy endings. Your smiles. In time, evil rooted itself into my thoughts. Darkness rooted itself into my heart. But now?” She coughed, struggling to continue speaking. ”Watching you all vanquish the Hollow taught me a valuable lesson about what I believe in... Now, I no longer feel any of that. Your determination has shown me great things. I will give up on the Door of Origin. I just want this to end. I want to end, peacefully. And only you can do t́hat̀..”

Her eyes moved, slowly, to Nero’s hands. To the legendary weapon they could summon. ”I absorbed the Key of Origin right into my heart. There’s nothing I can do to remove it. I beg you, please, use your X-Blade...release my heart from this unstable form of darkness. Take what’s yours. Free me from this pain.”

Was that a smile on her face?

“I know I have no right to ask it. I have done too much that cannot be forgiven, taken away so much. But please… grant me this one wish. He̕lp̶ ̛me,̛ ̨Ne̷r̵o̡..”

Nero looked at Isamy before glancing down at his hands. She wants me to...release her heart with the X-Blade? he thought. Lowering his hands he glanced down at Isamy. ”Why me though? Out of anyone else, you came to me. If a Keyblade was what you sought, then Sora would’ve been suitable for this. Is it just because I possess the X-Blade?”

”No. No, not at all.” The dying Herald choked out. ”I... know you’re kind. You’re really kind, and you have a good heart. I understand you must hate me with every fiber of your being, but in the end… You’ll do the right thing, Nero. I guess I didn’t know as much about you as I thought, somehow, I just know… That you possess the X-Blade is proof of your strength of heart.” As Isamy let out a breath, she began to watch the vast sky above her. As though awaiting the end to come. Looked like she was genuinely close to it. “I̷ can͠ be̡l̀i͡e̕v͢e i͏n yo͏u̴. To͢ ḑǫ ͡t̡he͠ ŗi̕g̴h̡t̕ ́t̴hin͞g.͟ To̧ ͏g̷ra͝n͟t ͜me t̛h҉i̸s ̶las̸t, f̨in̸al,̷ f͝oo͏lish wi͢sh͟ ҉o͠f ͝m̴in͠e...”

Another sigh escaped Nero’s lips, his fists clenching tightly. Releasing a captive heart from Heartless was one thing...but releasing a heart from someone was something he wasn’t used to at all. His fist was trembling lightly, until he slowly began lift his right hand into the air and summoned forth the X-Blade. As Isamy laid on her back, she watched him from the corner of her eye.

In her current state, she was nothing but the severely-damaged spirit of an incomplete Omni strung together through will alone, forcing the Key of Origin to stay within her incompatible body. One way or another, she certainly wasn’t going to last another minute like this. She had no other options. This was the last remaining path available to her.

”Isamy...” Nero began to speak, doing his best to calm his breathing. ”What you’ve done to everyone...it is unforgivable. No one will be able to forgive you for what you’ve done to them.” He slightly moved the X-Blade from his side to straight in front of him. ”...I pray that...your heart and soul can find rest.” Nero exhaled slowly, before beginning to bring down the X-Blade towards Isamy’s chest, right about where her heart was. Isamy’s eyes closed in anticipation, silently welcoming what would come.

Around the duo, all of reality had come to a standstill.

Nero took the X-Blade and let its tipped edge touch Isamy’s chest, initiating the release of her heart and the Key of Origin. An intense light radiated from her chest as soon as contact was established, the X-Blade reaching within, the mightiest of keys entering into her...

”...find solace and rest, Isamy.” he sighed.

And then, as if to unlock that lock deep within,

he turned it.



………

………………
 


”I knew it.” Isamy whispered sweetly, opening her eyes again. ”I knew I understood you... Nero.”

And thus, at that very moment,

Nero understood that he’d just fucked up. Horribly.


.
.
Y̸̢͉̘̘̻̼͇̓̌̾̾̐Ȏ̴̡̞͖͙͇̯̓̊͊͡ͅÙ̶̮̠͇͓͓̍͋̏̓̚͢ F̸̡̲̰̦͖͇̹͍̰͊͊̋̄͌͝Ȏ̷͕̜̗̺͚̳͐͗̉̾͗͑̂͝O̗̖̗̩̬̐̋͋͆̒̏̒̇͐̀L̵̛̝̟̠̤̭̬͊̓̈́͌́͜͢ͅÏ̧̳̻̘̣̰͔̀͐̀̉͛͢͠Ş̨̢̲̹͉̯̰̖̄̑͛͗͑̍̉͗͐̕H̶͎̝̪͕̟̺̫̗̙̀̈́̍̐͋̊̊̃͘͡ Ï̷̧̞̝̫̫̮̳̏̿̔̓͠͞D̸̨̨͓͙̞͈̖̀͑̃͘͢͟͝ͅI̴̛̺̟̘͂́̌̓̈́̋̅̽͜͢͝Ō̶̢͈̬͕̦̿̄̓̒͐̑͢T̴̨̨̗̮͓̱̭̭͂̃̇̔̓̒̍̀̚͠
.
.

What emerged out of Isamy’s chest first was darkness. Pure DARKNESS. Was this manifestation of evil truly her Heart? It couldn’t be. This Heart was empty, its contents destroyed five years ago for the sake of power, its remnants drained by the mindless rampage of a Hollow. In unlocking her Heart, the X-Blade had unlocked something else in the process, someplace deeper, darker, beyond the confines of her existence. In the midst of the spreading destruction, one might glimpse her body convulsing, forcing a different power to stay within, refusing to let the Key of Origin leave her soul. None could have possibly retrieved it as the darkness surged outwards. Enveloping Nero in an instant, it consumed the Lake, then the rest of the realm, dragging EVERYONE and EVERYTHING with it as the reality of the Forgotten Forest collapsed in on itself, and as the surviving warriors all knew that the battle was not yet, in fact, OVER.

within that darkness, Heart and Soul can be seen dancing together

giphy.gif

 






 

113 years ago

Once, there was a little girl.

As far as the girl herself was concerned, there wasn’t anything special about her. She was just one of a great many people in the world, to live, to die, and to be forgotten.

Her mother had abandoned her at an orphanage when she was just a baby, and as she grow up, having never set foot outside the orphanage, she believed that it was all there was to the world, not once stopping to question what was beyond its walls, or even who her parents were.

Rather, the main thought that occupied her mind was ‘how can I help everyone?’

Growing up, she was surrounded by dozens of other unfortunate children, and seeing them, even feeling their sadness came to be all she knew. Everywhere in the orphanage was a place filled with dark emotions, and their suffering constantly pained her as if it were her own. If someone was crying, she would want to cry too, and if someone was screaming, she would want to scream too. Even if she’d never experienced the sensation of being taken away from her family, even if she didn’t know what it was like to be loved no more, it was as though she could understand those feelings. And it tore away at her every hour of every day.

At first, she thought it was only normal, but every now and then there would be moments of bliss – such as when new toys and clothes were donated to them, such as when they got to try delicious food, like freshly-made cake, and such as when a good family came to visit, perhaps even adopting one of them – that made her want to cry out of sheer joy, and question whether this perpetual gloom truly lasts forever.

I want everyone to be happy.

With a motive as pure as that, she decided to fight against the suffering. Soon, she found herself able to understand the feelings of those around her much better, and it became her goal to bring as much happiness to them as possible, to prolong each and every one of those moments. She tried her best to cheer up those who were depressed, interfered whenever anyone was being singled out and picked on, and came up with her own little plans to brighten the atmosphere whenever something bad had happened.

To the orphanage, she came to be like a superhero, a symbol of hope maintaining peace and order. And for a time, she was under the belief that she could defeat suffering, that she could make every last person in the world happy. An ignorant belief.

As the years went by, the girl matured. At the age of ten, her field of vision had expanded further, and she was already beginning to realize just how childish she’d been. How long and impossible the road she was walking on was. Her definition of ‘everyone’ changed from every child in the orphanage, to every citizen on the streets, to every person in town, to every single living being in the world… By then a part of her had already become aware that there may not be any end to her journey, that she had doomed herself to walk on a path filled with the despair of others.

And yet, she still walked on, helping as many people as she could within the scope of her power, hoping to make as big a difference as she could. Instead of lamenting that it was impossible, there was only one thing on her mind.

I’m just…not strong enough yet.

Though she was able to sense the emotions of others, making her aware if anyone was feeling down, she did not possess the power to instantly make them happy. It took real effort from her, as a frail, short human being, and the older she got, the more complex the solutions became. Each day was like that, dedicating her life for the sake of others, not leaving any time for herself in the process. One could even call it a meaningless life.

Even then, she knew that the only people she was helping were those in her own sight, those she could understand. What could she possibly do for the ones far beyond her reach.



One day, on an impulse, the girl snuck out from the orphanage and ran off into the streets.

Although it was spring, snow was beginning to fall from the skies. That night was particularly cold. An ominously dark night sky hanging above. If anything, she seemed to be the only soul outside for miles, and as she wandered through the streets on her own, she was shivering immensely. Every now and then, she would stumble, sometimes hitting the ground face-first as she got further away from the safety of her familiar home. There was a bit of fear in her eyes, but mostly, she seemed to be determined about something. Having made up her mind. It wasn’t that she was escaping her home or anything, but that she had a duty to attend to. As a self-proclaimed hero, she couldn’t possibly ignore it.

Not too long ago, a massive swirl of negative emotions, more intense than she’d ever experienced in her life, had materialized out of nowhere. Even without understanding what it was, even though she wasn’t sure if it was even possible for a human, she knew that she was doing what she’d always done – going to help someone in need. She’d never left the orphanage on her own before, but this… This had to be some sort of emergency. She couldn’t ignore that titanic surge. Her footsteps rhythmically moved through the unending darkness, with nothing but streetlamps lighting her way as she headed towards the source. It might’ve been her imagination, but as she got closer, the lights seemed to appear dimmer and dimmer…

Then, seeing an alleyway, she took a deep breath and held the plastic bag that she’d brought along tightly, before walking in.

It was then that she met him.

There was nothing flashy about it, for it was only a meeting between two people. A single moment in the sea of time, to come and pass, remaining only in memory.

Before the girl, an old, homeless person lay against a wall, his figure obscured by the shadows the alley cast, which appeared to warp around him. By what little she could make of his face, he seemed to be staring out into space with a vacant expression, ignoring his surroundings as though they were irrelevant.

More importantly were the feelings within him. A terrifyingly dense nexus of negative emotions was swirling around him, and just by standing where she was, she felt like she was being suffocated, like it was trying to wring the air out of her lungs and crush them into dust. An impossibly large amount of hatred and regret was being channeled from him into her, the intensity of which was unlike anything else she’d ever encountered before, and clearly, it was destroying her. She could not comprehend it, these feelings were too alien, too far beyond the scope of what she was used to, she did not even know what she was feeling, what were these emotions, what was this, this, this emptiness that was eating away at her body, beginning from her toes and fingertips and spreading further on, he couldn’t turn back even if he wanted to, and on through her arms and legs until they reached into her chest, he wanted to die but refused to die at the same time, and seeped into her skin, living eternally for no purpose, turning all of her organs to dust dust dust, caring too much about things that only disappear, her nerves were being consumed as his was and her bones were being consumed as his was and her heart was being consumed as his was—

However, she didn’t care. The pain was all only in her head. It was overwhelming for sure, but as long as she could move, as long as she could talk, it wouldn’t stop her from doing what she always did. Shaking her head and clenching her hands to endure the incomprehensible torrent, she took a step closer towards the mysterious stranger.

“Um, hello?” The girl greeted, shyly waving at him with her free hand.

At first, he didn’t react.

“Hello? Hello, sir? Or are you a madam? I’m sorry, it’s a bit dark so I can’t, uh, really tell.”

“…” A minute passed in absolute silence as the girl waited for a response.

Then, at last, his gaze turned to meet hers, acknowledging her existence for the first time.

“What?” he asked, in a deep, rough voice that was unnaturally devoid of emotion. Even though the tone implied bitterness or annoyance, she sensed that there was little beyond those words. Only void. Frankly, it wasn't like anything she'd ever experienced before. But she stayed silent, and carried on.

“Oh, you are a sir after all! Sorry, so sorry.”

“...”

“Really sorry. But, but, if it helps, your hair is really pretty, you know! I thought it was covered in snow, but it’s actually silver, isn’t it?”

His expression was confused, and with those narrow, sharp eyes, he stared at her as if questioning his own grasp of reality. “...who the hell are you?”

“Right. I, um, live at the nearby orphanage.” The girl responded. “You probably know it, it’s the one with that colorful sign down a few...dozens blocks? Or maybe not? I’m sorry I said anything...”

“...”

“Hey. Sir.”

Normally, the emotions of the people she spoke to would fluctuate during the course of a conversation. Children or adults, they always felt different things even if they were attempting to hide it. But this man was completely unaffected by her appeals. Even his gaze showed that he saw her as nothing but a strange curiousity, rather than a person worthy of actual conversation.

Whenever she attempted to look into his mind, all she could sense was a maelstrom of emotions. Pain, regret, frustration, hatred. The shivering cold she was feeling felt insignificant in comparison. Just what had he gone through? Just why was he experiencing something so horrible? It terrified her, to the core.

“Here, I brought some bread. Ale had a stomachache so she couldn’t eat it! Since we’re always so low on food, I thought it was good to keep for a day or two in case something came up, and well, looks like it’s your lucky day!” Forcing a positive attitude, the girl opened the plastic bag that she’d brought, taking out a loaf of bread before holding it out towards the stranger.

He stared down at the loaf in her hands as if it were a foreign object.

“Come on, it’s just bread! You should take it before the snow makes it all soggy, or um, whatever snow does to food.”

“…”

“Okay, so I’ll admit it’s wholegrain, which means it has a lot of carbs, and I think stuff like that can make some people pretty fat, but trust me, it’s okay every once in a while! It’s not like you’ll suddenly inflate and become a massive balloon, so you don’t need to be scared about that! Wait, that’s probably not your concern, is it? I’m really sorry, right, um, it’s definitely not infected or anything. It’s not food out of a trash can or anything, so you won’t get sick from eating it!”

He proceeded to stare at her as if she were a foreign object. “...why?”

“Well.” The girl laughed nervously. “That’s hard to say.”

“...”

“You seemed like you were in trouble, so I came to help you.” She added awkwardly.

His confusion only deepened. “Trouble?”

“Well, you’re feeling sad, aren’t you? I know it’s not much, like, probably nothing at all, but um. I came to help however I can…”

“...”

It was clear to her that he was simply going through the motions. Acting out his ego, behaving in a cold manner to shut himself off. He seemed like the type who was projecting an attitude that didn’t care about anything, yet this huge amount of emotion radiating from him was unmistakable. Even though she was struggling just to be near him, just to maintain her sanity, she forced herself to.

“Feeling sad?” He asked after a few minutes.

“Yeah!” He hadn’t taken the bag in her hands yet, but finally, he’d spoken more than one word! “I mean, I don’t really know how to explain it, but looking at things logically, it must be hard, right? Being homeless and all, unable to fend for yourself-”

Homeless.” The mysterious, cloaked hobo frowned. “Homeless. Insulting… How insulting. Do you have any idea who you’re even talking to?”

The girl gasped. “Whoa, you can speak in full sentences after all!”

“...”

“Well, homeless or not, you’re here. It’s freezing cold, it’s in the dark, and you’re out here in the middle of nowhere.” The girl started to relax. Even with his hostility, he was beginning to communicate with her. If anything, it was progress. Maybe this could actually work out. “If you ask me, that doesn’t sound like something a normal, rational person would do.”

Without being invited, the girl sat down next to him. He didn’t stop her.

“Are you not cold, with that frail body of yours?” The man glanced to his left where the girl was, as if trying to work out what she was. In any other situation, she would’ve found it creepy - but she could read his every emotion as plain as day. He didn’t care about her. Yet, at the same time, he was trying not to care about a lot of things.

“Nope!” A bold-faced lie, considering how her whole being was shivering in the cold of spring. Her thickest coat could only do so much.

"Hmm. Neither am I then. Go away.”

“No.” The girl shook her head. “You’re in pain.”

“You’re a bother.”

“Maybe a bit.”

“You’re an actual bother.”

“I’m known to be.”

“Leave.”

“Not til you tell me what’s wrong, yo.”

“My patience has limits... insect.”

“Too bad, I’m here. Deal with it.”

“A zygote such as yourself could not even comprehend it.”

“Try me.”

“You’re seriously pissing me off, you know that?”

“And you’re trying to scare me off. Cut it out already, I see through you.” The girl remained resolute. Being so close brought on an intense feeling of nausea - but still, she fought the urge to vomit and carry on. She was trying to help this man. It wouldn’t do good if she showed any weakness here!

He eyed her from the corner of his eye.

“...what do you even have to offer, young human?”

“Well,” she smiled. “what do you have to lose, old man?”

“...”

The man didn’t respond for a while,

instead opting to stare outwards, at the stars.

“...ugh.”

For a moment, it looked like he was asking the many stars, ‘was this okay?’.

“Reflection.” The dark sorcerer spoke, his tone softening. “That’s why I came to this backwater universe you call home.”

And in that same moment, words slipped from his mouth.

“It’s not something I normally do, mind you. I move on, and on, and on, and yet…with every passing century, I feel myself disconnecting from the multiverse that much more.” He paused. Perhaps wondering why he was speaking to this insect. But somehow, it didn’t matter anymore. “When you live forever, it becomes impossible to fill up all your time. You can build empires up and tear empires down with that amount of time, and it won’t feel longer than a second. You can seek out power and riches, and attain them, and stack them up to become greater and greater still, but in the end it’ll all just be pointless. Eventually, you find yourself with nothing to do. There’s only so much you can do. You can spend lifetimes removing your every shackle, dreaming of a beautiful freedom, but for me, even freeing myself from my own Master did naught but take away any purpose I might’ve had. Life simply gets boring, you understand? Thoughts catch up to you, memories and fears return to you. You’re reminded of crimes you committed, things you never stopped to think about before. All these troublesome feelings... attempting to be acknowledged. How should I describe it? ‘Soberness’? Periods of ‘soberness like’ this that could last anywhere between days and centuries. I can’t operate as a Herald, as Protheus Maximus, with such nuisances in the way. So here I am… To think.”

“Uh…” The girl couldn't help but be silent for a while.

His words were not only alien, but nonsensical, as he talked about things beyond her world. She couldn’t help but question his sanity then. But still, she stayed. Whether what he was saying was metaphorical in some manner, or literal, or he was delusional, or whatever the case was, it was undeniable that he was in a lot of pain right now. As a human being, and as a future hero of justice… she couldn’t ignore that.

“I don’t really understand. Living forever, Masters, soberness, all that... But um, it sounds like you've gone through a lot, huh, Mr. Maximus?”

“Hmph.” He’d opened up to her the tiniest bit. “It matters not.”

However, the maelstrom within his heart hadn’t been affected one bit, burning out of control. It was nothing like she’d ever sensed or experienced before. It was driving her mad. It was almost even making her feel angry, at him, for whatever reason. Still she stayed steadfast.

Time passed without either of them saying anything. The time was filled up by the passing of the wind, and the gradual falling of the snow. Somehow, her body was beginning to get used to this unnatural cold.

“So.”

Once half an hour passed, the girl broke the silence. Moonlight started to pierce through the thick array of clouds above, through the sky of darkness. Amidst this white wasteland, she held out her arms to him with a determined look. Offering the loaf of bread once more.

“You gonna continue your story or what? Don’t keep me waiting, old man.”

Protheus, the Herald of Darkness, remained silent as his eyes moved to meet hers once more. This time, he was neither scoffing nor frowning. He simply stared at her, as if he were, only now, noticing that she was an actual, living being. Although his face was youthful, he seemed to have the mannerisms of an old, wistful man, like some sort of bitter grandfather. To him, just the fact that a young stranger offering to help him, and trust him, and stay by him, was so bizarre that he had no idea how to react.

His entire way of life, the path of annihilation and death he paved in his wake, the attitude with which he assumed treating all other forms of life. He reasoned that she could act this way because she was unaware of his true nature - but the suspicion he had about her psychic Empathy contradicted that. If she indeed had such a skill… Then she could surely see through his destructive nature. And still she stayed. His very understanding of humans was being contradicted in this one instant. Even the past five millennia’s worth of lifetimes couldn’t have possibly prepared him for the girl. For she, who was fated to one day become his successor.

Ultimately, he reached out and snatched the loaf of bread away from her for a bite,

at which point her smile grew bigger.

“How awfully persistent...”

In that alleyway, surrounded by darkness snow, the fact that she brought a smile to a man like this - ESPECIALLY a man like this - made her feel like anything was possible.





 



.

.

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.

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.

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Just as it seems like you have achieved victory against the ultimate enemy, you are unexpectedly picked up by an invisible force and shoved through a tunnel of continuous, swirling golden energy, which appears to go on for ever and ever. Within, you realize that your mind is being bathed in a soothing sense of clarity…

…and then, you sense two locations. One high above, another far below.


Beyond your own control, separating you from various allies, a violent force pulls you into either:
The "Illusive Sky." A dreamlike, seemingly infinite sky, with a sea of clouds blocking all from the view below. Were it not for the rainbow nimbus clouds floating about, standable and controllable for convenience, one would plummet towards the ground a thousand feet below.
The "Shadow Cavern." A nightmarish, barely-lit, enormous cavern, with crimson earth enclosing all from the outside. Were it not for the glowing fog, covering the ground, nothing would be visible.

Both battlefields are empty at first. There are no mooks, no enemies, only your allies...and a number of them seemed to be missing. Being in this realm that resembles Truth, you may begin to feel an uncertainty upon you. Random glitches at the corner of your senses are making you question reality, causing you to hesitate, and only through sheer conviction can you keep yourself together.

This, however, is rendered negligible by what happens right after your arrival. If there was any remaining hope that the battle had ended, they were crushed as vortexes materialize at the center of each realm…

And in each one, she arrives.

In the Illusive Sky, a humanoid of the Soul emerges, glitching as it stumbles onto a nimbus cloud not far away. Its blank left eye stare into the distance, as though she is a philosopher mesmerized by the fake world’s beauty. The KEY OF ORIGIN is radiating from within her chest, and energies of chaos make up her body. Anyone looking at her would be met with a strange sense of guilt, as if interrupting her would cause her to jump off.

In the Shadow Cavern, a dracolich of the Heart emerges, clawing its way out of a vortex in the ceiling. Its golden left eye moves around the floor in caution, and in silence, as though she is a queen paranoid of her every subject. An ALMIGHTY DARKNESS is seeping from her every fiber, and energies of entropy make up her body. Anyone looking at her would be met with an overwhelming sense of terror, as if attracting her attention would cause her to viciously attack.

Everything that made up the Pathway to Truth has been absorbed by them, and the power they possess chills you to your core. The monster you are facing, be it the Humanoid or the Dracolich, seems statistically weaker than Hollow Isamy. And yet, there’s an undeniable dread that’s gripping you even stronger this time. As if something is going to be different this time. Uncertainty grips your mind. Where did half your comrades go? Why could you sense an equally terrible power not far away? And how much longer could you keep up the fight?

The atmosphere remains heavy, and the possibility of victory dwindles evermore. All that you have gained, as well as all that you have lost, suddenly seems worthless in the face of this genuine dread.

And yet, you know you must continue to fight.

Everything you have worked for lies just beyond.

Therefore,

go forth,

and WIN!!!



 


FINAL BOSS BATTLE

S T A G E   D E U X






Illusive Sky occupants

Shadow Cavern occupants


#2382
The Warden

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The Shadow Cavern
 
Entropy. That one word defined this creature. Her near-empty heart, although thoroughly shattered five years, had now let in an ancient, ALMIGHTY DARKNESS. With open arms she embraced this pain, this hatred, this pure evil for herself, and thus it flooded into every fiber of this foolish heart. Driving her desperate desires down into a new level of depravity. This mysterious source of power had resided within her heart ever since she first obtained her Omni powers, but she never quite understood what it was. However, nor did she care. In this state, her nature had been amplified more than ever.
 
It didn’t matter if she had to become a monster, a Heartless… Now she had the power to destroy. And though it seemed pointless, she knew she had more than the power to destroy, as now she had more than enough power to make them see her way. Those beautiful, delicious hearts. They will offer them to her, or be destroyed instead. That was her ultimatum. There is no other way now. The head of Isamy's Heartless twitched erratically, gruesome cracking noises coming from her neck as she clung to the ceiling of the Shadow Cavern, her new home, her new kingdom. An even nastier CRACK! resonated as her head completely did a 180, now looking at the barely lit ground below. And with one good eye, a beam of yellow light issued forth, scanning the doom and gloom for her first victim. "Defying me is pointless" the Heartless spoke to the cavern's occupants. "Please see this. Fighting me will avail to nothing. Just give in, and you shall have a merciful end. It is better than resisting and being annihilated."
 
The light continued sweeping, searching for the first heart it would take, or destroy.

the_warden_by_uxiesweetie-d9fsncn.png

 

Hell? Oh no, you flatter me! This is merely SuperYCM! I am The Warden.


#2383
Love of Ghibli

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Team Dorian: Final Round Par Deux

 

It looked like the attack worked alright. It seemed the dragon zombie creature thing was down for the count. The team looked at each other and gave themselves a collective head nod of congratulations. Unfortunately, the creature made a direct move to keep the attacks coming. It was struggling. It was desperate. It was coming like it had something to prove. The team was making evasive maneuvers and then something weird happened. The drago-lich completely moved passed the Rhadamanthys and Butlerok. The two looked confused as they turned around and realized the truth.

Dorian put his hand on his mouth and tear almost came down his face. 

Oh this is for me, she's hurt. Dorian said somewhat sad. As it fired a black laser of death at the spectre Dorian was contemplating on taking it, but as a beam of light shot from the other side of the lake. It seemed that Lydia creature came down and blasted that creature. How cruel. 

Dorian looked around and it seemed like that was the kill shot that took out the beast. The Dragon gave one last disapproving look at Dorian and it did hit his heart strings sort of.

I know boss lady. We made a good team. Dorian proceeded to flashback to all of his interactions with Isamy and for the most part they weren't unpleasant. But he respected the boss. Especially after that little Hive Mind thing she did so she was able to learn about how many times she tried to take down that Avatar. That level of perseverance is admirable. But heralds essentially lost the part of them that made them..."them" they became a part of the collective. Dorian couldn't have that. Of everything he loved. He had to love himself.

 Nevertheless. It looked like we were at that stage where everyone was winding down. The team collectively looked as another Isamy came out of the water in the last throws of life. They watched on as she crawled up to the warrior with a keyblade. 

Really? Dorian said inquisitively. 

The team watched as Isamy pleaded her case to the warrior and team just let the boy have the last kill. 

Sooo he's going to shoot her, right? Dorian asked. Rhadamanthys just moved his eyes and was slightly confused as to why Dorian and Butlerok looked pretty scared. 

"Something is wrong." Butlerok stated as he put his hand in his inner pocket. 

Dorian looked as the boy pulled out his keyblade. BUTLER SHOOT THEM NOW! Butler pulled his Desert Eagle out and shot bullets straight for the kid. But it was too late. The bullets were in midair  when the boy pierced Isamy's heart with the keyblade.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A journey through the vortex later Dorian opened his eyes and he saw that he was somewhere in the clouds. He looked around and saw that some of the combatants were not there. Like his two compatriots. Dorian stood and saw the new Isamy like creature before him. 

"Soooo what did Butler call this. I think he said that this would be the Nobody? I don't know. Dorian looked around and wanted to see who he was with. Well at least I have a couple of heavy hitters on this side. 

It was a this moment he looked around and noticed there was simply a lack of a certain presence. Oh this is bad. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Butlerok and Rhadamanthys slowly came to in the darkest of caves. They then collectively surveyed the area. 

Well there is the new boss monster, as Dorian would say. Butlerok added. 

Rhadamanthys then looked at the other dwellers in the cave and then tapped Butlerok on the shoulder. I think we have another pressing concern. Butlerok turns around and he senses Kenpachi turned Herald as one of the people that got divided into this cluster of masses. 

Which do we aggress against first? Rhadamanthys asked.

Well, we should first see if that Kenpachi has reverted. Technically the creature that created that Herald should not exist anymore. So maybe he was reverted back to normal. Butlerok theorized. 

Are you saying we should wait at this stage in the game? Rhadamanthys exclaimed. 

We don't have many options here. Butlerok concluded.


mjVFo6c.jpg

 

 


#2384
Maeriberii Haan

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The Illusive Sky

 

Chaos. That one word defined this entity. Her unstable, dying soul, thoroughly ravished during the previous battle, had desperately reached out to the only physical object in her possession in order to survive. The KEY OF ORIGIN. Her life was faint, her thoughts scattered and distant, and without a heart, she could no longer feel any sort of desire. Had she not attached herself to the Key like a parasite, she would have faded into oblivion. Although she understood more about it than most people, she didn’t understand exactly how it worked or what it would do for her. However, nor did she care. In this state, she was closer to Origin than she’d ever been.

It didn’t matter if she was now an unstable existence, a Nobody. Now she could continue her purpose. The unstable, vaguely humanoid form that she took shook and convulsed. Above the nimbus, her existence seemed to be so fleeting and fragile, as if a gust of wind would be enough to scatter her. Yet, she continued to latch onto the Key, and her form remained. The entity gazed over her adversaries before nodding to herself. And with that, her pathetic existence unraveled.

 

"Please, lay down your weapon and hostilities, there is no longer any reason for us to fight."

 

To the ones who oppose the entity, they would now perceive someone that they held very close of, talking to them personally amidst this sea of clouds. Drawing from the Origin of each of these individuals, the Entity used those memories as her form, talking to her foes, pleading at them.

 

"Please give in. There is no other way. Otherwise, everything will be ruined."

 

The entity still remained in its position, not showing any sign of being hostile for the time being. 

 

"Together, we can make everything better. Together, we can reach a world without sadness.
So, why should we fight each other like this?"

 


Posted Image



#2385
Dad

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Justifying the Ends
 
There was a tall, beautiful man standing in its way suddenly.  He kept mumbling something about beauty or ugliness or something Finite didn't care about.  
 
"You're in my way, servant of gods," it recited.  But before it could act, a barrier was erected around itself and Hapshiel.
 
Behind Hapshiel, Killua and Gon were confronted by Reimu.  Though she was concerned for their well being, both the boys were quickly on their feet.
 
 
"Are the two of you alright?"
 
"Fine," Killua said coldly.
 
"I'm okay, thanks," Gon added.  "I'm just a bit surpri--"
 
"Hey!" Killua began screaming, approaching the barrier.  He stood just at the barrier's outside center between Finite and Hapshiel.  "You're pathetic," he said pointing at Finite.  It turned its head to look Killua in the face.
 
"We fought together.  Side by side.  We fought to get here to stop that monster from wiping out universes and destroying our futures.  And you just gave in."  Killua punched the barrier, a fist full of lightning shimmering against it.  "You almost died at their hands, but now you've willingly given them your soul.  But that's not even the worst part!" Killua snapped.
 
"Killua--" Gon attempted to interject.
 
"Your best friend gave her life for you!  She killed herself to save you!  And you--you've tarnished her memory!  You spit in her face and said thanks for nothing!  You are the single most vile, unforgivable piece of garbage I've ever had the displeasure of meeting.  And for harming Yachiru's will and her spirit, I will never forgive you," Killua said with his fangs bared.
 
Finite's sword was drawn back suddenly and its tip pressed against the barrier near Killua's hand.  "Do not speak her name!" it screeched.
 
"You failed her!  You let her sacrifice go to waste!  You never deserved Yachiru!  Never!" Killua screamed.
 
A crack began to form in the barrier as the space and time cutting power of Nozarashi began to take effect.  "Silence!"
 
"She should've left you for dead!" Killua screamed again.
 
Then, the barrier shattered.
 
 
"Get away, boy!" Kratos barked as Finite grew more enraged.  Kratos sprinted forward and tackled Killua to the ground as the barrier was destroyed and Finite stepped out of it.  It swung its blade wide and narrowly missed the back of Kratos' neck as he and Killua fell.  They rolled into the bedrock and out of Finite's reach.
 
It stomped into the bedrock and sent a rippling quake in every direction, propelling Killua, Gon, and Kratos into the air.
 
Kratos righted himself quickly just as Finite brought its blade down.  It made contact with the Golden Fleece, and the strike was, somehow, completely repelled.  Killua and Kratos quickly got to their feet to defend themselves, ready for the enemy’s attack.  Finite stormed forward with a quick march and readied its weapon.  However, it stopped in its track as Hollow Isamy suddenly began to fall apart.
 
It’s entire objective changed in an instant.  It had to protect Hollow Isamy.  But it was far too late.
 
 
Before Finite could act further, a violent force began to separate it from the existing plane and pulled it into a new, darker, more sinister realm.
 
A blackness surrounded Finite, Kratos, Killua, and Gon like reaching the depths of empty space.  Inside of this blackness, something radiated.  It was Isamy, in a new, dreadful form.
 
Kratos, Killua, and Gon looked into Isamy who had somehow changed into this thing before them.  But as they stared into her eyes another shadow stood up before them.  Finite was present too.
 
It whipped its sword out violently and spun it around in a wide arc.
 
“None shall stand before her,” Finite declared as it pointed its weapon at Kratos first.
 
“Kneel,” Finite demanded.
 
Kratos clutched tightly onto his weapons as flames engulfed them.  “I kneel before no one,” he replied.
 
“Then your head will be removed.  And you will be lost to time,” Finite answered.

Drowning in your silence.


#2386
Super Chaos Sonic

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Nero - Keyblade War Master / The X-Blade's Wielder ~ Illusive Sky

 

”I knew it. I knew I understood you... Nero.”

 

MASTER NO!!!!

 

But Divine Remnant's warning was too late. Nero turned the key and watched as nothing but darkness...pure darkness. The same type of darkness he was all too familiar, except this one seemed even more fierce than the darkness he was used to. Nevertheless...he was engulfed by it, the darkness consuming all those nearby.

 

A deafened scream would escape Nero's mouth, but the darkness all but muffled and silenced it...and then...nothing.

 

Nero stirred slowly, as he slowly opened his eyes, starting to see light. It was almost blinding as he held a hand out to brace his sight. As his sight began to return the Keyblade Master began to take in his surroundings, he was now in a dreamlike, seemingly infinite sky, with a sea of clouds blocking all from the view below. Were it not for the rainbow nimbus clouds floating about, standable and controllable for convenience, one would plummet towards the ground a thousand feet below.

 

Master! Master are you alright?

 

He looked over and saw Divine Remnant's spirit knelt down. Letting out a small sigh, Nero shook his head. "...something tells me I didn't do it..." he muttered, before seeing Divine Remnant shake his head. "...I figured as much..." he sighed, finally standing back up and looking around. Right now, he was in the presence of newer individuals. He didn't see Kratos nor Kenpachi...so meaning he had to work with some newer individuals. Oh boy...here's hoping those two don't too much of anything with me or Sora not around for them... Nero thought. "...and to think...all this happened just because I spoke to that shady individual in the black coat...claiming to be the Master...and he just brought me to everyone..."

 

Don't blame yourself, Master Nero. After all, at least you made it to the others.

 

"Yeah...and had Isamy do this..."

 

"Please, lay down your weapon and hostilities, there is no longer any reason for us to fight."

 

Nero heard the voice as he looked around, trying to find the voice. Though the voice at first sounded like Isamy...it almost shifted slightly...and it sounded like Yenna's.

 

"Please give in. There is no other way. Otherwise, everything will be ruined."

"Please give in. There is no other way. Otherwise, everything will be ruined."

"Together, we can make everything better. Together, we can reach a world without sadness.
So, why should we fight each other like this?"

"Together, we can make everything better. Together we can reach a world without sadness.

So, why should we fight each other like this?"

 

The Keyblade Master's fists began to clench tightly. He knew this wasn't Yenna. When he knew her, she never spoke like this...she never spoke any way like this. He was furious that this entity wanted to use her voice like this to get to him. However, Nero only let out an audible sigh, before looking outwards towards the clouds. "You aren't Yenna...you aren't the Princess of Radiant Gardens..." he spoke out.

 

"She wouldn't speak that way." Nero shook his head. "I'm not giving up...I may have done this...and I will have to live with what happened. But for right now, I will make sure you never use Yenna or her likeness in such a manner again!!"



#2387
Dad

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Push

 

Kratos lashed out with the fiery chains of his weapons and let loose a cross-shaped burst of fire which appeared to consume Finite.  However, the enemy continued its approach.  Finite clutched Nozarashi tightly in its right hand, pointing it at Kratos as it marched forward.  This was to let Kratos know that he could not win with magic alone.  

 

Kratos accepted this challenge and charged at Finite with his weapons ablaze.  He drew back his right arm and extended his left forward, tossing the flaming blade directly at Finite with a slight curve.  The blade made contact with Nozarashi and Kratos immediately retracted his left weapon in favor of extending the right.

 

Finite parried both strikes, pushing Kratos' attacks away.  But Kratos was relentless.  His strikes began to gain in speed and ferocity, each one more violent than the last.  

 

While Finite could keep up with each strike's speed, he could only parry for so long.  The flames of Kratos' weapons grew hotter every second, and they were beginning to singe the hairs on Finite's arms.  Finite twirled Nozarashi rapidly, deflecting Kratos' strikes and causing him to pull back.  As Nozarashi twirled, the space between Finite and Kratos began to distort, revealing a realm apart from their own.  As Kratos gazed into this new space, Isamy appeared before him again, but in a different state.

 

"What is... " Kratos pondered as the humming of Nozarashi stopped.

 

"She has divided herself.  Her being split in two.  Her natures revealed and her heart settled," Finite replied.  Finite blinked around the portal and seized Kratos by his throat, catching the Spartan off guard.  "Would you like to see it?"

 

Between Two Worlds

Finite tossed Kratos through the portal and sent him tumbling to the ground.  Kratos rolled and rolled until he collapsed at the feet of a young man.  He quickly jumped to his feet, but he was too late.  Finite was closing the portal behind him.

 

"Kenpachi!" Kratos roared.

 

 

Pull

 

Killua and Gon quickly realized what Finite had done.  After successfully separating Kratos from the fight, Finite turned its attention to the two boys.

 

Killua and Gon immediately readied themselves in combat stances as the enemy stormed toward them.

 

"You need not suffer," Finite said softly.  "Kneel, and you will be spared."

 

Lightning crackled over Killua and a surging aura poured over Gon.

 

"Not a chance," Killua replied quickly.

 

"You don't have to do this," Gon said to Finite.  "Friends shouldn't fight friends," he pleaded.

 

Suddenly, fear struck Gon and Killua at the same time.  Killua found himself unable to breathe and rattled with pain.  Gon found his lungs empty, his eyes wide with horror, and his mouth dry.

 

Finite raised Killua into the air on his blade, having pierced through the boy's stomach.  Gon's heartbreaking cry shattered the silence as Killua held on for his quickly fading life.

 

"KILLUA!!" Gon cried out with a horrible, shrill shriek.

 

The ability to move through time and space and shatter distances between foes put Killua and Gon at a very severe disadvantage.  Finite's movements were all but unpredictable.  And it had just cost Killua his life.

 

"You... bastard," Killua said as he pointed two fingers at Finite and shot a violent bolt of lightning between Finite's eyes.  Finite's head reared backward as it was struck, but the resulting attack was merely a sting on Finite's forehead.  The monster looked Killua in his eyes as blood trickled down the young man's mouth and belly.  

 

"Your life is forfeit," Finite said at last.

 

"KILLUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!"


Drowning in your silence.


#2388
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Team Dorian: The Shadow Cavern

As blood trickled down Killua's belly the little assassin's clothes started to turn completely black as if he was being baptized in black ooze. Soon eyes started popping up everywhere and then they looked at the new Herald. 

"We happen to agree with the young lad. Friends should not fight friends." Butlerok spoke at as he walked up behind the Herald oozing madness. He then pointed upward. 

LET THE ENEMIES DUKE IT OUT! Rhadamanthys dove down on the Herald blasting a torrent of energy. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Team Dorian: The Illusive sky

Dorian looked as Remnants of his past decided to come and try to convince him to stay. While nothing may have truly been there he definitely set that definite space ablaze. 

"Oh another one of these mental projection types. We've gotten pretty attached to that gimmick since this journey has started." Dorian looked around and saw that the boy with keyblade had stilled his will. 

"But this is your fault ain't it." He said a little bit under his breath. Thought what Dorian had a problem with was he did not know how he should go forward. How does anyone actually fight this thing. Does the whole hit it till it breaks thing work? Can they talk it down? Probably not. 

"Alright, let's start with the our first option then." Dorian waved his hands and peppered the entire body of the massive nobody with a series of explosions. 


mjVFo6c.jpg

 

 


#2389
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lXXQwkI.png

 

The Shadow Cavern

 

"FINITE!"

 

It wasn't a cry of distress, but something of a command. "Do not toy with them, toying is pointless. End them quickly, so they may become one with Origin. They refuse us. They refuse ME! They refuse all that we stand for. Do not toy, just end them and make it quick. Their suffering should not be long."

 

Bone cracking, Isamy's light shone directly onto Butlerok and Rhadamanthys. The Heartless observed, and then unleashed a piercing cry of rage and anguish.

 

[Void Inclusion: Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil]

 

Eye-light glowing more intensely, Isamy's Heartless let out another roar as the air of the Shadow Caverns filled with large black balls, hundreds of them, potentially thousands. With another roar, they all scattered, aiming to pound every last inch of the Caverns to draw those fools out, with many aimed specifically at Butlerok and Rhadamanthys, but also indiscriminately at Killua and Gon as well. And you better hope you don't take damage~ Isamy's now stacking Phenomenal Evil stacks to amp up her power.

 

Isamy's Heartless

Phenomenal Evil Stacks: 0


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#2390
Maeriberii Haan

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zY0ag0E.png

 

 
The Nobody continued its attempt. In its desperation, it called out to everyone present. In its throes, it wanted them all to understand her. For them to give up, for them to join her without further fights. Such wishes were childish. Naive, childish, and impossible from the very beginning. The warriors, all who had defied many things, all who had defied the offers of Isamy Maximus before, had no reason to accept such a weak plea.
 
The Nobody knew.
 
Its form continued to change in an erratic manner. Like a television suffering from poor signal, the form became static noises almost on each second. Its voice became more and more distorted as it shuffled through the many different identities at once. "One that is most important to me." Such was the indicator of what she attempted to emulate to no avail. Some voices raised up, defying its feeble attempt of making an argument.
 
"I'm not giving up...I may have done this...and I will have to live with what happened. But for right now, I will make sure you never use Yenna or her likeness in such a manner again!!"
 
"There is no reason for us to fight. Even though fighting like this would bring unhappiness to you... why do you continue?" Nero's refusal was firm and unshakeable. There was no chance that the entity's words to be able to get through him.
 
"But this is your fault ain't it."
 
"Perhaps. At the same time, I can still fix it. I can still save everything. So, please stop."
 
"Alright, let's start with the our first option then."
 
At the same time, Dorian had decided that his action would be that of violence. Explosions peppered off the Nobody's body, and for a while, smoke covered the area. Yet, as the smoke subsided, the Nobody still stood strong in the middle. Its form still unstable, yet it was clear that it was not hurt by the attack. It was as if it possessed quite the level of durability, or perhaps there were something else going on with it.
 
"Please. I will repeat this until you accept. So please..."
 

The Nobody's form gradually settled. As if it was in response to the attack, the clouds started to move, encircling the Nobody in the middle. As it happened, a large ring-like light formed around the Nobody. In the middle of all of it, the form that the Nobody had decided to take became clear. It was that of a male, a bespectacled one standing a bit short of 6 feet. With an all familiar voice, the Nobody continued.
 

"...Give up. You have no chance to win. I make the rules here."
 
The Nobody, having taken the form of Dorian von Schroeder, made a prideful smile as the ring of light in front of all the combatants bursted into a series of explosions.
 
Nobody Isamy's HP: 99.99%
Understanding Level: 1%
 

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#2391
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Obedience

 

Killua's body slid off of Finite's weapon.  Before his body touched the ground, Finite kicked the boy's body violently at Gon.  Killua's body crashed into Gon and sent them both flying.  Finite flicked Nozarashi at the ground and slapped some of the blood of Killua to the ground.  And not a moment too soon.  There were two persons approaching it now: Rhadamanthys and Butlerok.

 

"You're both much too loud," Finite remarked as it stepped through space and walked away.  "I have no interest in you.  Not yet."  Finite emerged just inches away from Gon and Killua, sensing something miraculously powerful growing inside of the now emotionally shattered Gon.  Gon sat upright, holding Killua's dying body in his arms.

 

 

"Gon," Killua whispered.  "I'm sorry about that," Killua said with a weak smile.  "I got blindsided.  My emotions got the best of me.  It's unbecoming of an assassin."

 

Gon's tears landed on Killua's forehead.  "Save your strength, Killua," Gon said, his eyes hidden beneath his matted hair.  "I should've sensed him coming too."  

 

Killua could feel it too.  Gon's unbridled rage.  "Gon.  A while back... you made me a promise."

 

Gon was silent.

 

"You told me... I would never have to see you like that again," Killua said, choking on his own blood.  "Please.  Gon.  Don't die..." Killua pleaded.  "Don't die... for me."  Killua's placed a bloody palm on Gon's right cheek, staring into his best friend's face.

 

"... you were my best friend in the world," Gon whispered.

 

Killua held his smile.  "Stupid."  Killua's hand slid from Gon's face and fell gently to his side.  Killua was dead.

 

 

Gon gently laid Killua's body to the ground and folded Killua's arms over his chest.  He shut Killua's eyes for the last time and stood still, silent.

 

It was in Gon's silence that he spoke the most.  A brilliant, radiant, orange glow surrounded the boy, sending his energy soaring to new heights.  This glow illuminated even the darkness of Isamy's cavern, with nothing escaping its light.  Finite stood still in Gon's energy and watched the boy's body transform.

 

From a young pre-teen, Gon's rage turned his body into a young adult, swollen with power.  He stood six feet tall now, with an incredibly toned body.  His hair grew to impossible lengths, reaching some six or more feet in the air.  Gon's eyes lay now upon Finite, and his fury continued to grow as he stared the monster down.  Gon closed the gap between them in an instant, forcing Finite to block the attack with its dominant hand.

 

"Perhaps," Finite breathed.  "You haven't found your limit after all.  You're still a growing boy."

 

Gon drew back a fist.  To a normal person, it would seem Gon's arm was only retracting once.  However, in reality, Gon had already prepared this punch over a thousand times.  Each punch almost appeared in slow motion as the speed in which Gon threw these punches was completely inhuman.  Each punch, however, was blocked or dodged by Finite in a similar fashion.  The monster finally caught Gon's right fist and brought the punches to a stop.

 

"My turn," it decreed.

 

Finite flipped Nozarashi around and smashed its hilt into Gon's stomach, launching him into the air.

 

 

Kratos found himself on a new battlefield.  This time, a different Isamy was his enemy.  He had no way to cross the divide of space and time at will, so he had no choice but to aid those here.

 

As he stood, a ring of light around the enemy burst into a series of explosions, causing Kratos to raise his Golden Fleece in defense.  The explosion sent him skidding to the ground, despite trying to protect himself.  Fortunately, Kratos was relatively unharmed, save for a few scrapes.

 

"I grow tired of gods doing as they please with our lives," Kratos remarked as Isamy took the shape of an ally:  Dorian.  "You will pay for your transgressions!" he barked.

 

With a flurry of his blades, Kratos threw forth a cascade of magical fire at Nobody Isamy.

 

 

Gon and Finite met in mid-air, and Finite had put its blade away.  They were going blow for blow.  Every punch that connected between Finite and Gon sent a ripple of energy through the world, shaking its core and causing fabrics of its space-time to unfold for mere moments.

 

These ripples allowed temporary glimpses into Nobody Isamy's world and was likely a result of Finite's space-time warping abilities.  

 

Nevertheless, Gon and Finite's battle had not yet come to a head.  So far, Finite had the edge but Gon's fury kept him in the fight and prevented him from falling.  Gon let loose a prepared Rock punch which caused a violent explosion in the air, allowing smoke and fire to overtake both himself and Finite in an instant.

 

They both stood glaring at one another silently in the smoke and fire, both of them practically unharmed.  

 

"He was good to you, wasn't he?" Finite asked.

 

Gon remained silent.

 

"She was good to me," Finite said.

 

"Yet, you tarnish her memory," Gon finally spoke.

 

Finite tightened the grip on its weapon.  "I had no choice."

 

"You had every choice!" Gon snapped as he charged Finite once more.


Drowning in your silence.


#2392
Love of Ghibli

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Team Dorian: The Illusive Sky

SERIOUSLY! Dorian exclaimed as he was face to face with some ethereal copy of himself. He quickly deduced that it was one of these learning type bosses. The more that he attacked the more it would learn. That made this situation rather difficult. Initially Dorian thought about just mixing his attacks with someone elses and hopefully that would be enough. But of course the likelihood of that working was very small. Especially since this might be the final boss battle. 

As the rings of better explosions started to come his Dorian clapped his hands and his eyes displayed a spectrum of colors. At this point he could see the movement of atoms and he was able to slightly shift the explosions away from himself. It was annoying to say the least but now he didn't know what to do. If this was a test of aggression then he would probably fail. If there was some kind of way to crack its defenses. Unfortunately Dorian did not come up with anything. 

There was this other option that he wasn't sure if it would work, but with only him and this keyblade warrior seemingly ready at the helm then he would have to think on his feet. He focued his mind on the task at hand and took a deep breathe. 

"So if you make all the rules then what is the point in playing the game? Isn't this exactly why the everyone lives happily ever after thing didn't work out for you?"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Team Dorian: The Shadow Cavern

And just like the two feared, the hollow proceeded to aggress against them. This was logical. It not like the other combatants have made their moves but it seemed like Butler and Ragnorok were going to actually be forced to engage with this...thing. As it launched a series of random black spheres everywhere bouncing off the caves Butlerok quickly cast Borg putting a protective barrier on himself and Rhadamanthys. Then he followed up by shooting each of the sphere with a stake made of Mad Blood. Butlerok might be a Kishin deep in the throws of Madness but he was still a good marksman. 

Rhadamanthys was looking around and noticing that Finite was about to square off with a transformed boy. If that was to be the deal then fine. It seemed like this monstrosity was going to constantly interfere anyway. 

Butlerok looked at the creature and raised his eyebrow. Rhadamanthys I have an idea. The God of Death looked back Butlerok slightly confused but he was going to have to trust the bald mad man. 

Butlerok pointed at Heartless and simply stated: Bloody Eclipse. 

A torrent of Mad Blood came oozing out of Butlerok and proceeded to flood the cave. Causing it to resume its original pitch black appearance. Butlerok and Rhadamanthys were nowhere to be seen. And like clockwork the eyes of the Kishin were everywhere littering the cavern. Then a massive beam of purple seemed to blast from the ground aiming for the Heartless' face. 


mjVFo6c.jpg

 

 


#2393
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{Anamnesis}

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The Pathway to Remembrance

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#2394
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Memento Mori

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#2395
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And from the bottom of Prologuous, the robed figure watched the last stragglers of the Origin War leave to face the final challenge. And with them gone, he gave a look to the darkness creeping into the white sphere of the place. "Hmm, Pathway to Consciousness, how did I not know that? Well, doesn't matter. Cause, there's only one thing left to do, isn't there?" he mused to himself as he hit the play button on his boombox.

 

Eulogy of Prologuous

 

And so the figured danced as Prologuous was slowly engulfed, as there was literally nothing left for him to do.

 

 

Avi2Heartless.png

 

The Heartless screeched in fury, her rage quaking through the very ground of the Shadow Caverns. How can they be so stupid to not even get how stupid they are? What folly was there in fighting her when they were just going to DIE?!?!?! Drawing upon her Inclusion, Isamy's Heartless screeched loudly, unleashing an enormous sphere of pure magic against the Kishin's laser beam. It not only connected with the blast, but was easily overpowering it all the way to the ground, erupting in an impressive explosion. "STOP FIGHTING ME!"

 

[Void Inclusion: Ragnarok!]

 

Falling from the roof, Isamy's form shimmered and splattered against the Bloody Eclipse, her own Black Blood form spreading through the Butlerok mass, conflicting the many eyes with her own beady yellow ones, each a beacon of the corruption she would spread within Butlerok. For if he refused to see reason outside, then she will make him see it inside.

 

 

(_|Lydia in the Sky with Illusives|_)

 

It had changed, so suddenly. From an icy plain to the sky, Lydia was now in a dream land of technicolor vomit clouds, one of which she was standing upon. But where was Isamy? That huge monster she had become exploded so suddenly, and then, they were here. Had they won, or?
 

"Please, lay down your weapon and hostilities, there is no longer any reason for us to fight."

"Please, lay down your weapon and hostilities, there is no longer any reason for us to fight."

 

The girl gasped. Zacharia was here, and... oh, of course. She had done this before, hadn't she?

 

"Please give in. There is no other way. Otherwise, everything will be ruined."
"Please give in. There is no other way. Otherwise, everything will be ruined."
 
She was doing it, again.
 
"Together, we can make everything better. Together, we can reach a world without sadness. So, why should we fight each other like this?"
"Together, we can make everything better. Together, we can reach a world without sadness. So, why should we fight each other like this?"
 
SHE WAS DOING IT AGAIN!!!
 
In a blind fury Lydia screamed, flames burning away the man she had loved and cared for, casting aside the illusion that she would EVER see him again. He was gone, and Isamy was going to pay for taking him away. And there she was, though, it wasn't her. A guy with glasses, but, it still seemed to be her. "Rules?" she icily hissed.
 
That was is. That, was, it. Leaping from the clouds, the winds began to turn, and the sun shone brilliantly. They twisted about her, and the sun shone hot and pure, igniting her in a sphere of raging flames. Taking wing, Lydia charged, flames streaking behind her as she immediately began to spin, becoming a piercing typhoon of flame and fury, all directed at Isamy's Nobody. "IGNITION RONDO!"
 
 
(_|Hapshiel in the Sky Illusive|_)
 
It was a strange place, not unlike Heaven. But it wasn't Heaven, it was too impure for that. And though impassioned, the Nobody's words had no affect on him, nor would others call for him. It was impossible. His heart carried too many for this place to emulate it. But, for now he would observe. The girl could be saved, maybe, but, would fighting be able to allow that?

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#2396
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Bass

 

There was a soundless explosion that let loose a shockwave in the darkness.  Finite was sent hurtling to the ground.  As the dust settled, Gon's brightly glowing fist cast a shadow over the agony on his face.  Finite stood without flinching, staring back at Gon.  "Are you in pain?" it asked of Gon.

 

Gon nodded.  "I am.  At the loss of my friend.  At the loss of my allies.  At the change in your heart."

 

Finite shook its head.  "There has been no change in my heart.  Only a change in my convictions." 

 

Finite kept Nozarashi sealed on its back.  It soared toward Gon rapidly with its hands at its sides.  Gon prepared himself; he drew back both his fists together, one atop the other in flawless, fluid motion.  "First.  Comes.  Rock," he said aloud.  As Finite drew ever closer, Gon's energy continued to rise to exponential levels.  Gon mentally counted the seconds until Finite would reach him, with each second becoming more and more crucial to either victory or death.  A vibrant orange energy encircled his fists, and the air grew thin.  "If this is the end," Gon thought silently to himself.  " Then I'll use everything ."

 

Finite was inches away, and Gon spoke again.  "Rock."

 

The collision between Gon's fist and Finite's once again caused space and time to ripple, tearing an enormous, gaping hole between Isamy's two worlds.  The reverberating sound of this collision sent shockwaves of incredible power tearing through the dark world and light worlds, fortunately avoiding other combatants.

 

But this caught the eye of another player in the game.

 

"... boy?" Kratos whispered as he turned around.  He stood in awe and rage at what had become of Gon.  "What's happened to you?"

 

 

Kratos' first thoughts at seeing Gon were of pity.  He didn't know where Gon was drawing this power from, but he knew that it was out of great loss and sacrifice.  It was something he too had experienced.

 

A great fire spread across the skies of both the dark and light worlds, igniting the oxygen across the realms.  Kratos took this opportunity to return to his original battle.  He had to assist Gon with this victory.  "Boy!" he called out over the roar of the burning sky.  Kratos raced for the other side.

 

 

The realm closed behind Kratos, and the fire of the skies was extinguished as quickly as it had begun.  This time, it was Gon who was injured.  While Gon's striking arm was intact, his left arm and shoulder had been completely blown away.  Still, Gon finished his attack.

 

"Rock."

 

The third and chant to his technique and it landed squarely against Finite's chest.  Once more, the enemy was sent hurtling to the ground.

 

Gon slowly descended, feeling his strength fading.  He could feel Finite's energy.  He had failed to finish off this foe.  He would not fail twice.  

 

 

Kratos watched cautiously, only to have his eyes land on the corpse of Killua.  Rage filled Kratos quickly, but it was quelled when he turned his head to Gon.  He had no right to be Killua's avenger.  Gon had already laid that burden on himself.

 

Kratos instead drew forth his Blade of Promise and filled it with his magic power.  "KENPACHI!" he roared.

 

Finite stood and drew its weapon.  "Come."

 

"First comes Rock," Gon began again.  This time, the swirl of energy that encompassed Gon's fist had amassed into a ball of energy so big, so wide, and so bright, that it shined light on the entirety of the dark world.  It almost seemed as though the sky was on fire again with Gon's aura.

 

"Paper."

 

The ball tripled in size, blinding Kratos and forcing him to shield his eyes.  A powerful wind whipped up a violent storm in the dark world and nearly swept Kratos off of his feet.  Finite, however, stood still.

 

The ball began to thin out and fold into the shape of a blade, as Gon concentrated it into a single point.  This caused Finite to raise its blade.

 

"Scissor."


Drowning in your silence.


#2397
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Team Dorian: The Shadow Cavern

Well the plan worked to an extent. Flooding the cave with Mad Blood did have it's uses. First, it blocked them from view which was the initial view. Second, the eyes that showed allowed the duo to trick Isamy's sense of depth perception. The truth was that Isamy was actually inside a bubble of Mad Blood. Sure Butlerok initially flooded the cave but in that same breathe when the eyes were opened the Mad Blood had shaped into a bubble.  Butlerok and Rhadmanthys were seemingly fine standing somewhat in the back of cave taking random shots at the bubble somewhat laughing at the issue. The plan was pretty good until she cast Void Inclusion. Ragnarok felt a slight tingle as she proceeded to now lace her Mad Blood with his Mad Blood. 

This is a creative effort on her part. If she can't fight us from the outside she'll come at us from the inside. Butlerok chuckled. 

You snicker as if you had planned for this? Rhadamanthys asked slightly confused. 

Butlerok clapped his hands and the middle eye of the Kishin turned horizontal and started to glow black. For some reason and I do mean for some mysterious reason every major villain that we have fought since I have received Ragnarok, has found a way imitate, use, hack or some form of duplication Ragnarok's abilities. So of course I've developed countermeasures. Like so. With a slight breathe Butlerok and Rhadamanthys are covered in a black sphere and they seem relatively fine. This barrier protects me from all negative intention. Now let us resume our offensive. 

Butlerok slowly released his hands revealing a flaming Katana. Bankai! Zanka no Tachi, Higashi: Kyokujitsujin. The flames of the katana went out as he finished his chant. Butlerok then looks to Rhadamanthys. So the fun part about this is that this bankai only works if it makes contact with something. 

And since you treat Ragnarok's Mad Blood as an extension of the weapon the fact that her Mad Blood is making contact with yours. Rhadamanthys said as he watched Butlerok nod. At this moment a series of pops would be heard as the loud concussive forces of the Bankai were trying to eradicate the Heartless and her Mad Blood. 

Arthuria didn't use this stuff. Rhadamanthys added. 

Butlerok looked up in complete honest revelation. You are correct. She fought an honorable battle to the end. I wish I could have eaten her. Butlerok said looking to see how effective his attack was. 


mjVFo6c.jpg

 

 


#2398
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Avi2Heartless.png

 

They thought to expel her, did they? Fools. You foolish fools foolishly fooling about. You can't destroy what is you, not unless you intend to destroy yourself. And you will when Leukemia comes into play. And what better Leukemia was there than one where a Ragnarok destroyed their Crona? "Fools."

 

The kernal that made up the Heartless, Isamy's Heart, was safely ensconced within the corners of her Black Blood, to keep it safe from the swings of the blade. it was quite precious, too precious, but foolish. It wouldn't work. She had to win here, so naturally it wasn't going to work. Not when she could see into the harmony of the two. Fools. "Heartless Alpha!"

 

Each eye screamed, but it was a slow and soft scream, almost impossible to hear without being an animal of some kind. But as they did, a calm ran through Butlerok's own Mad Blood in a wave, forcing it to be still and calm, and above all else, obedient. He was just a man, a simple man playing games far beyond his ken. it was sad. Tragic. A real sob story true. But that's how their endings were unfortunately, sad ones. It could have been avoided, but... they made their beds now that his wavelength was indistinguishable from her own. "Heartless Beta!"

 

The screams became sonic, impossible for the average man to hear. But not impossible for a soul to hear the call. "Come to me souls consumed by greed and lust. I can set you free if you join with me. Come! Come be free and earn the endings you desire! You will find nothing in the dark, so please, come to my light, and finally find your Happily Ever After!"

 

Her words were like honey, alluring, enticing, mesmerizing. You'd be a fool not to follow her, to want to join with her, and live in the eternal joy of Happily Ever After.  And with it, Butlerok's Mad Blood was silent, silent save for the Heartless' calling.


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#2399
Phantom Roxas

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Point of No Return

As the warriors entered the broken clock within the tree, a story entered their minds from an unknown source.

A story about the multiverse.

The multiverse is undoubtedly filled with endless possibilities of realities, from which stories can be told and the imagination can be made realized. However, no matter how vast or immense that story is, it is incapable of affecting other stories.

Even the greatest of paths only go so far. One can build and detonate a Reality Bomb, destroying an incomprehensible number of worlds, both alternates and other continuities. One can attain the Heart of Creation, enabling the generation of countless new galaxies in one’s own image. One can even seize the Throne of Heroes for a time, cursing endless universes to damnation. However, no matter how far they reach out, the truth will remain that a considerable more universes shall continue to exist elsewhere, untouched.

And yet, there are whispers. Of a SOMETHING that is truly unique, that can reach towards infinity and change one’s understanding of anything and everything. That can grant wishes beyond all certainty.

It was inevitable that these whispers would be noticed. Special and powerful individuals, who arose from a realm filled with unlimited possibilities, began to suspect its existence. Each and every one a traveller of spacetime with their own unique abilities, opted to vigorously pursue them for whatever reason. They would scavenge entire universes across millennia and eons, gaining information from those who possessed it via their own methods; be it good or evil, lawful or chaotic, whatever it took. Along their search, they came across each other. Without giving each other their real names, they merely confirmed to each other that their outlandish beliefs about this SOMETHING were not so crazy after all. Slowly but surely began to learn about this fabled SOMETHING, sharing information with each other along the way. Some were heroic, some were logical, and some were completely and utterly omnicidal. This most unlikely band of Omnis ultimately ended up creating what was to be known as the Dreams of Action and Truth Evangelist Association - DATEA for short. The twenty-four members called themselves Dreamers.

Because they'd all been desperate to reach the end, no matter how long it took, they had worked together for the exact same goal. And after an eternity of progress, they had found it at last. The Door of Origin.

And in order to access it, they pooled all of their resources and ingenuity to forge the Key of Origin. An artifact that was so powerful in its own right that they used it to power their headquarters, build a mindless crimson civilization to do their bidding, and even capture a monster god of darkness for their own purposes.

All that was left was to bridge the gap...and then all of creation would be at their fingertips. However, a new question arose.

Who would use it? Everyone who'd cooperated with each other to reach the end had their own ulterior motives, their own reasons for why they wanted to do so, and there was no single individual more worthy of it than the others. The Dreamers found themselves bickering.

Alpha believed that, as the founder of DATEA, he had some sort of special right to access the Door. Phi, Sigma, and Omicron wanted to eliminate all life, all matter, and all existence respectively. Phi wanted a universe where everything was perfectly shaped, with perfectly structured civilizations living in perfect symmetry. Chi wanted everyone to experience the same day over and over. Some wanted to become gods; Lambda in particular wanted to create an entirely new cluster of universes, with innumerable monsters of his design that could live in harmony with humanity. More than several of them only wanted to use it to make things better in their homeworlds. And as for Omega, the last recruit... He wanted something very bizarre indeed, that would not be hard to guess at this point.

Finally, one member - who had really only been in it to get rich off the others' fortunes - suggested a compromise. When they formed the bridge between their reality and the Door, using their utmost prowess, there would be three trials that they would have to complete; Remembrance, Truth, and Death. The trials would adjust themselves for each individual so that they would be as difficult as possible for whoever entered, and whoever made it to the end had to be worthy. Everyone considered Delta's proposal, and reluctantly decided to accept - all of them so assured in their own specialness that they couldn't comprehend that anyone other than themselves may be worthy.

With enthusiasm, they started conducting their experiments to establish a concrete connection with the Door.

That was their greatest and final mistake.
 

~Somnus~


The members of DATEA had gathered in their temple for one final experiment. As the Dreamers surrounded a certain object, which powered the Origin Project, it seemed that the end of their dream was finally at hand. Some were silent, concerned only with seeing their mission through to the end. Others were in awe, desperate the untapped power that would soon be within their grasp.


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A mage in black robes assessed his supposed allies one by one, two glowing circles peering through his plain white mask. "I suppose there will be no more need for DATEA after this. It’ll be a free-for-all. Still, would it not be too much to ask that we share some gratitude with one another before we begin the slaughterfest?"


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“I suppose you are right, Tau,” a blonde woman sighed. Her face was covered in a mask resembling an owl, but she still looked relatively young, no older than her mid-20’s. “With all the research you’ve granted me, construction on Megiddo and Marduk progressed significantly faster than it would have by myself. For that I must thank you. I only wish I had the time to properly test them, but reaching the Door takes precedence.”

Tau nodded. “Quite right, dear Theta. But I wonder, are we supposed to reach of the Door? So far it feels that our greatest efforts have only been setting a stage.” He glanced towards a familiar, silver-haired sorcerer. “Omega… when you rallied us to confront that One Master of yours, using the Key completely overwrote hiS very existence. ”

“Leaving only the Inner Periphery,” Theta added. “I must admit to being fascinated by the nature of that place. Perhaps that could be the field study I require…”

“Let’s not get carried away with ourselves,” Tau chided. “Now that the Inner Periphery has replaced the One Master, the Castle of Necrophades has no caretaker. The Shadow Realm… the Inner Periphery… perhaps even this very pyramid. We’ve left a trail of breadcrumbs across the multiverse.”

Theta perked her chin. “Do you believe that others could follow us?”

“It’s certainly possible,” Tau shrugged. “In fact, I’m counting on it. I joined DATEA for one reason. I was meant to find someone. Who that is, I’m not quite sure. Tell me, have any of you heard of the Arbiters?” Tau’s mask began to flicker, and sparks lingered around the Dreamers’ artifact. “If all we’ve been doing is build the Pathways for someone else, I would love to see how their Chosen One fares.”

“How do you…” Theta reached for a rapier sheathed at her side. “Tau… who are you?”

Tau chuckled softly, as he looked over each of the Dreamers again. “Don’t waste your blade on me when there are many others here you should be more worried about.” Counting each of them with a finger, Tau huffed. “Hold on. Where did Delta run off to?”

Before anyone could speak up, let alone look for Delta, the artifact shattered. Theta drew her rapier, while Tau spread his arms out wide, as his body began to shimmer with gold, white, and crimson light, wrapped in wips of darkness. His body was already fading away before the artifact unleashed the full force that had been stirring within.

***


In the resultant blast, nearly all of the Dreamers as well as everything they'd built ended up inexplicably wiped out of existence. And all that remained was a lone, measly desert, lost in the midst of space.

Hence, the Dreamers of DATEA are no more.



The Hallway of Origin

Eria gripped her head as the memory faded away. Theta had created Megiddo. But Eria had seen Lindzei, and that… thing looked nothing like Theta, who at least looked human. Was she another one of Lindzei’s l’Cie, then?

That was why Megiddo called Protheus “Omega”. Megiddo, Protheus, and even the Pathway to Origin himself, all of them traced back to this “DATEA”.

“So that’s who Protheus was talking about.” Arthur glared at Chardonnay. In the memory she had shown him, Protheus did mention that he enlisted DATEA’s help in slaying the One Master. “All this is their fault, then. And Protheus… he was just one of them.”

“Is it too much to hope that most of them died in that blast?” Sora asked. “Seems like that Tau guy pretty much summed everything up. First we went to the Shadow Realm, and it sounds like the Inner Periphery… that was the One Master. At least, it’s corpse, really. Ugh, so were inside of that thing?”

“And after that pyramid was destroyed,” said Eria, “It looked like the Desert Seth. So he was right, DATEA left a trail leading here.”

“What do you think he meant about those Arbiters, though?” Gagagigo asked. “Seemed like he wasn’t just expecting anyone to find their way here. Not even the Counter Corps or the Divine.”

“A Chosen One,” answered Kairi. “That… should be a good thing, right? Usually that only ever means there’s a hero who can save the day for everyone.”

“I hope you’re right,” said Arthur. “Isamy and the others are all waiting for us, and we might as well need another miracle after everything we had to pull.”

“If anyone else from DATEA did survive, we have to find them.” Eria stepped a few feet ahead of the group. “That’s what the Pathway wants, right? It’s why it showed us that. So we can understand that even something like this can still be just a small part of something bigger.”

Arthur crossed his arms. “Not that I disagree, but don’t you think they would have tried coming for the Pathway as well? If it was just Protheus, maybe that’s as good as any that the others are dead.”

“Or they have other plans that have nothing to do with the Door.” Gagagigo’s tone was distant, barely looking at the others as he answered. “Like what Theta needed Megiddo for, or who - or what - that Marduk she mentioned is.”

“If you don’t mind me saying,” Kairi suggested, “Maybe Theta is the only one you should be worried about. I know you have to fight Megiddo, and maybe if you can go even further than that, hunt down Theta and stop her, too, you’ll finally be free from all this. But hunting down all of DATEA, when you don’t even know how many of them died or survived, you’re just going to keep throwing yourself into fight after fight after fight.”

“You’re never going to let yourselves catch a break,” Sora added. “Even when I fought the Organization, I thought Xemnas was going to be the end of it. Then learning everything else about Xehanort, I knew I had to stop him, too. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like if I had to fight someone else even after Xehanort. He’s still the one I have to stop for good after this. Theta - and really, just Theta - let her be your Xehanort. Not all of DATEA, just her. We can tell the others when we catch up to them, maybe they can cover some more ground if they’re ready for that. But we need to pick our battles carefully.”

“At least we have one less battle to worry about,” Gagagigo muttered bitterly. Further along the hallway, Gagagigo was standing beside a woman’s corpse. Each of them knew who it was before they could get a close look. Arturia Pendragon was laying their, unceremoniously and abandoned. Gagagigo had barely known her long, meeting her only just after they escaped the Inner Periphery, and after her confession that the Throne of Heroes had no qualms about letting their homes be sacrificed for the sake of the larger multiverse, he felt next to no reason to mourn her.

Instead, Gagagigo continued onward, towards a painting at the end of the Hallway. It depicted the upper body of a pale woman wearing nothing but an ornamental headdress, her arms crossed over her chest. The painting was torn where the woman’s heart should be. In its place was a black rift, bleeding with teal energy. Darkness encroached long the edges of painting, slowly eating away, almost burning it.

Gagagigo had nearly killed Eria in Shadow Realm, and in doing so, summoned Isamy to the past. Everything that had happened since then, leading up to this very moment, was all because of him. He cared about nothing more than to kill Isamy. It couldn’t possibly atone for all he had done, but if he had started all this, then he owed it to the entire multiverse that he should finish it as well.

Before Gagagigo could stop into the painting, a sword popped out of the rift. It was black and white, wrapped in several hydra heads. Gagagigo reached for the blade, but it slid along the floor, moving in a direct line until it suddenly grinded to a halt, presenting itself at Arthur’s feet.

Arthur was wary. What did the sword with him? At first glance, he could easily recognize the many heads of LERNA that formed its shape, but he felt something else. There was another presence within the blade, calling to him.

“Don’t touch it,” Eria warned. Against his better judgment, Arthur did exactly that, picking up the blade. As soon as he held it in his hand, the world around him began to change.


No longer did was standing within the Hallway of Origin. He was outside of a cabin in the woods. He recognized it. It was like a part of Camp Half-Blood that had been kept all to himself. On the outside, it looked Cabin Seven, where all the children of Apollo were assigned to stay. But inside of it, he knew that it was a home where he and Eria could stay together. Even though he knew this was an illusion, he would play along. For now.

As he grabbed the doorknob, he heard a voice behind him. “you are late, ARTHUR ANCYL.”

Arthur let go, sneering as he faced the speaker. There was an old man in black robes, but Arthur still recognized him. “Couldn’t even stay dead for a little bit longer, could you, Madara?”

The aged shinobi scoffed. He pressed a hand to his mouth, seemingly surprised by his own reaction. “remember, i am still but a simulacrum of that shinobi. nevertheless, we meet again. you showed me that the ideal world is not something that i can offer you with a dream that i cannot comprehend. so i granted my power to ARTURIA PENDRAGON. she sought not to give her dream form, but rather, destroy it. what little piece of me remained endured, to ensure that perhaps even she could change her mind. perhaps… to reach the same conclusion that you had shown me.”

“And look how that turned out,” Arthur shrugged.

“she was a failure, i admit. at first, i thought you worthy of my power, but in my error, even i could not distinguish you from the King whose name was passed down to you. i stayed only to see my next error through until the Counter Guardian paid for Her sins.” The Madara tapped a cane on the ground. Crimson aura emanated from his body, as he held out a hand to Arthur. “the magical girl, LYDIA, then combined what energy she could draw from LERNA, the Witch of Infinite Possibilities, with what she could salvage from the King. the girl regretted that action, rejecting the sword that she herself had forged: HOPELESS BLACK. and now, the sword passes to you. perhaps now, the power that i had once intended for you, can be yours to claim at last.”

“LERNA?” That Witch was still alive as well. After what she had done to Sora, Arthur wouldn’t dare risk using her power. It made sense that Lydia could, after she had channeled the power of hope itself to overcome LERNA’s despair, but if even she had rejected it, what good would it do him? “I’m sorry. I appreciate the offer, at least if it means we’re on the same side now. But I can’t accept taking a risk like that when I don’t know what will happen to me.”

The Madara scowled at Arthur. “hmmm… very well. even still, take the sword. if it was forged by combing my essence with LERNA’s, perhaps it needs something more. another essence. one that transcends LERNA’s despair, or the slumber i sought to grant you.”

Distrust, despair, slumber, never change. The words from the prophecy repeated themselves. DATEA had left a trail, and Chardonnay’s prophecy tied together the most important feelings and sensations that the trail would put them through. If those feelings could then be compressed together, all in a single weapon, and if that weapon could be exactly what would destroy Isamy? Arthur couldn’t give up that chance.

“Whatever it is, fine. I’ll take the sword with me, and put your power to good use. You better not be getting my hopes up.”

“i wouldn’t dream of it,” the Madara answered. Was that the slightest hint of a sense of humor? Whatever the case, Arthur took the Madara’s hand, and they were both consumed by the crimson light.


Arthur was wielding Hopeless Black with both hands. For a moment, the sunlight that would shimmer from his eyes carried a red glow to them. Eria and MachGaogamon had been calling his name, but Arthur simply shrugged. “I’m alright, guys. No need to shout.”

Putting Hopeless Black in the sheath that he had used for his old sword, before he obtained the Keyblade, Arthur summoned his Keyblade instead. Approaching the body of Arturia, he knelt beside her. It was still difficult for him to swallow the fact that this was the King Arthur he had heard legends about. Certainly the multiverse was so vast that Arturia wasn’t necessarily the only King Arthur, and yet, he had never imagined he would have ever met the legend.

“I had thought the Counter Corps were supposed to save everyone,” Arthur said. “I don’t want to become a Counter Guardian. Not if it means I have to sacrifice even one innocent life out of billions. But, even if it was a lie, you showed me what the Counter Corps are meant to be. So, I want you to know… you weren’t about everything, Arturia.”

Leaving the fallen Counter Guardian behind, Arthur followed Gagagigo, who was taking the first step into the painting. Eria, Sora, Kairi, MachGaogamon, and Chardonnay each followed suit, until they had passed through the painting to reach the Door of Origin.

Their future couldn’t be hopeless. Little by little, they had proven to themselves they could shape what the future could be. There was only one last thing they had to do.

It was time for them to finish the war against Isamy Maximus.

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