Difference between revisions of "The Legend of Samuel Mason Pt. VI - The Final Stand"

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I inched forward, forcing the Unity beam to cut through Deimos', but there was no point.  He was way too strong.  But I couldn't let go.
 
I inched forward, forcing the Unity beam to cut through Deimos', but there was no point.  He was way too strong.  But I couldn't let go.
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<I>GIVE IT UP.</I> Deimos seethed.
 
<I>GIVE IT UP.</I> Deimos seethed.
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My white Darkfire beam began glowing purple with Celestia's essence.  "Celestia!" I shouted.  The orb began inching back to Deimos.
 
My white Darkfire beam began glowing purple with Celestia's essence.  "Celestia!" I shouted.  The orb began inching back to Deimos.
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Deimos and I were both going at it at full power. 
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"Ripples..." Amana muttered.
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"Ripples?" Tob asked, his eyes still puffy from crying.  I looked at the beam clash.
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"Master Mason, the clash is causing reality to tear."  I struggled to look up, keeping my concentration at an all time high and ignoring the fact that I was practically crumbling to dust.  He was right.  The force of our clash was tearing the fabric of reality.  I could see the surroundings warping and elongating.
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"It's like... like..." I gritted my teeth.
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"My fight with Jason." Calliope limped over to me.  She looked at the rest of us, what was left of us.
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"Sam is giving his all.  It's time we also pitched in."  Calliope spoke.  But most, if not everybody else was not in the spirit.  Calliope wiped her eyes.  "Jason was like a brother to me.  I knew him from when he was still an aloof, and clueless mage.  John Crypt underwent many changes in his life to become the stoic and powerful figure everybody here remembers him by.  But there is one thing that we must admit that has never changed.
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"His resolve.  His determination, and his grit.  His resilience and iron will.  We WILL carry on his legacy."
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Calliope crossed her arms, summoning the rest of her immense magical power, and concentrating it into a single glowing golden wing.  "FOR THE BLACK JASON." Calliope shouted, blasting the magic at the beam, helping the struggle in my favour.
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Deimos gritted his teeth as the orb began to inch closer to him.  <I>THE COMBINED STRENGTH OF YOU MORTALS IS NOTHING.</I> Deimos glowed brighter, attempting to use more of his power.
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"For... the Black Jason..." Lazarus' voice appeared next to Calliope.  He limped next to her and summoned a green rune.  A time rune, which he had been saving until this very moment.
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"Goatman... my old friend.  It's time for your return, for one final push."  Calliope smiled at her boyfriend, as Lazarus' brown eyes turned silver, his soul-link returning.  He powered up, breaking through his limiters.  "I remember when I used to struggle getting past 15%.  Do you remember? Cal?"
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Calliope nodded.  "Indeed.  But it is different now, isn't it? Lawrence?"
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Lazarus smiled, his dreadlocks brushing against his face, his silver eyes full of determination.  "Let's do this.  For Jason.  Soul-link, 100%!"  Lazarus powered up, his body glowing green as his head sprouted two horns, and his back a huge tail.  He brought his fists back, as an image of a huge goat head appeared.  The horns came together into a huge green light, which fired a beam, converging with Calliope and mine.
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Tob got up.  "You son of a bitch, Lazarus.  I thought you lost your powers for good."  Lazarus chuckled.  "What are you waiting for, Lupine? It's time to make your father proud once again."
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Tob smiled as he transformed into his wolf form.  "I'm drained, but screw it.  This waste of life took our Jason from us.  Forget mana.  Imma bust your ass up, Deimos.  Aspect or not."  His voice turned feral, deeper, and more primal, as Tob growled, and snarled, transforming into full power.  He took a deep breath, and a huge white flame came from his mouth, converging with our beams.
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Junon and Adam also joined in the beam struggle, combining their Achilles Force into electricity.
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The five of us yelled, as we continued to pressure Deimos.  Deimos' face became desperate.
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<I>I WILL NOT FALL.  I SHALL NOT FALL!!!</I> Deimos howled, as he summoned more and more of his power, his body cracking and tearing apart from the sheer force.  The orb was definitely distorting reality now.  Pieces of Acadia were now being torn apart and pulled into the beam clash.  I saw glimpses of other universes.
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Deimos roared as the orb slowed down.  We are at a stalemate again.  My body was definitely not going to hold out for much longer.  I was seeing yellow splotches in my vision, as a piece of my finger finally disintegrated, falling into the wind.  Everybody was too distracted with the beam struggle to notice.  We needed a final boost.
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"The Subjects..." I mumbled.
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"No." Bridget replied.
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"What?"
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"The Subjects... they are in the Warpgate.  Battling the Aspects."
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"What do you mean? The Warpgate is enough, isn't it?"
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"No.  The final sacrifice, on both ends.  The Subjects swore to avenge their Queen.  We swore to avenge our Queen.  So we shall battle the Aspects, in the Warpgate Dimension.  For all of eternity.  For no prison lasts forever, unless it is guarded by those who do."
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I growled as another finger disintegrated off.  I should have been feeling the pain, but there were too many endorphins in my body.  If I fell now, if I disintegrated completely, this whole beam clash would be for nothing.  Someone needed to break the stalemate.  Break the equilibrium.
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"AMANA." I shouted with the last of my strength.
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Amana was still kneeling on the ground, her face expressionless, staring at the ground.
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"AMANA PLEASE." I pleaded.  Amana wasn't responding, her face struck with grief over the loss of the love of her life.  My left hand completely disintegrated, and the orb began to shake, rumbling as we lost our advantage.  Shit shit shit shit shit!!!
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"Amana..." I tried to calm myself down, keeping the panic low in my voice.  "Jason... would have wanted you to keep fighting.  For him."
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Amana's face was streaked with tears.
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"We're family, are we not?!" I shouted.  "We're all giving our all, for Jason! For everybody who has lost their lives here!"
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I had no choice.  We needed Amana.  She was all we had left. 
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"Bridget."
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"Yes?" Bridget responded.
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"Can you... take over?"
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"What do you mean?"
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"I want you to give me a psychic link with Amana.  But keep the beam struggle."
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"Sam, if I do that, it will drain what little time you have left even more."
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"Just do it."
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My vision became bright as I linked with Amana.
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==Chapter 42==
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I woke up to Amana's old house.  What was left of it.  I heard the sounds of fighting outside.  Judging from the way it had ceased, the fight was probably over.  I stepped out, and found Amana and Jason.  Jason was badly hurt, the body of an elderly man in an aviator jacket, what was left of him, eroded and mutated into an infernal.
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"John... are you alright? Why did you do it?" Amana asked Jason.
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This was her flashback.  The moment she had started to develop feelings for Jason.  I crept behind a rock.
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Jason was breathing hard, cuts all over his body.  "Because... you were in pain.  I don't... like to see people suffer from things I have caused."
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"You didn't cause this."
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"I came to your world, I opened it to the soul beasts and the Infernals.  It is my fault."
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Amana looked away.  She had tears in her eyes, but tried to conceal it.
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"This Infernal, he was someone special to you." Jason muttered.
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"He is... my father.  He was.  But now... he's gone."  Amana walked up to the corpse, but Jason limped to her, and grabbed her wrist.  "Don't."
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Amana looked at him.  "Do NOT tell me what to do." Her eyes were welling up in tears.  "Don't tell me what to do.  I... I just want something to remember him by."  Amana began to cry.
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Jason, the badass he was, straightened his back, soldiering through the pain of his injuries, and walked up to the corpse.  Amana wiped her eyes and stared at him.  "What are you doing?"
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Jason took the aviator jacket from the corpse, and closed his eyes.  Dark energy left his body and shrouded the jacket as pieces of ash and soot fell off the jacket, cleaning it.  Jason limped to Amana and put the jacket around her shoulders.  "Your father... is not gone."
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Jason pointed at the jacket.  "Wear the jacket, and honour him.  Because he will always be there for you.  In spirit."
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Jason walked off, as Amana stared at him.  She held the jacket, wrapping herself in it as more tears streamed down her cheeks.
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I left my hiding spot.  "Amana?" I asked, cautiously.
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Amana turned to me.  "Hey... Sam.  You're probably shocked, seeing me so pathetic like this."
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"That isn't true."
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I walked up to her.  "Cool jacket, you should wear it more often."
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Amana managed a slight laugh, but she watched as Jason continued walking away.  "I love him."
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"I know."
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Amana turned to me.  "I... I just... I can't accept that he's gone, but he is.  And..."
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"It hurts you, and it makes you feel like everything is meaningless.  Nothing matters because you've lost everything."
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Amana sobbed as I held her.  "Amana, we still have one last job to do."
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Amana sniffled.  "Sam... I don't want to lose you too."
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My heart hurt to see her like this.  Losing her boyfriend, then losing one of her closest friends.  But it had to be done.  "Hey."
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I pulled away, and looked at her comforting orange eyes.  "When this all ends, I have one last favour."
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Amana wiped her eyes.  "One last favour?"
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I smiled.  "Yeah.  I have a kid, a Decenite.  He... wants to live his life with a family.  I was just wondering, when this is all over.  You mind taking care of him?"
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Amana stared at me.  "Your... kid."
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I chucked.  "Yeah.  He... never got to know me.  He was created from my cells and lived his life under the Aspect's manipulation.  I promised him a family.  And I kind of figured... since you want something to remember us by..."
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Amana's laughed and sobbed at the same time.  "You never cease to surprise me, Samuel Mason."
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I got to my feet, and held out my hand.  "You ready to give it one last go?  Chief Amana Cross of the ol' mighty Darkstar?"
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Amana took my hand.  "Let's do it, Darkstar's One Man Army."
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My vision began to return, as I shifted back to reality.  The beam struggle.  Holy crap.  The pain.  I momentarily forgot about the pain when I entered the vision, but returning like this, it felt like the pain got jacked up a thousand times.
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"Welcome back, Sam."
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"Thanks Bridget.  How's it going?"
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"Your entire arm is gone and you've lost three fingers on your other."
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"So great then."
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We continued the beam struggle, as Deimos roared, his body splitting up.  But between that and my disintegration, we weren't going to make it.  Unless.
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Someone stood up.  A beautiful woman with flowing black and silver hair, an aviator jacket, handed down to her from the most badass member and leader of Darkstar. 
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"Deimos..." Amana growled, her body glowing red as she transformed into her Celestial Form, flying into the sky.
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"This is for... my friend... my partner... my ally... my boyfriend.  This is for... JASON OF CROFT."
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Amana rushed in, her four tails transforming into one giant tail, and slammed Deimos in the head before he could come up with a witty one-liner comeback.  Deimos lost his footing and concentration.  His golden eyes went wide as he realized what just happened.
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<I>NO.  NOOOOO!!!!</I>
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"It's over, DEIMOS." I shouted, as we all powered up one final surge of power, the orb engulfing Deimos and disintegrating his body, which further added onto his self disintegration.  A huge shockwave of power exploded from his body, sending us all flying back.
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All that was left of Deimos was a ripped up blazer, as I knelt on the ground alongside my allies.  Victorious.  But it didn't feel that way.  We lost too many people.

Latest revision as of 06:16, 29 June 2020

Chapter 34

I jolted awake, my body glowing with the Unity and slowly dissolving. Jason was cradling my body and Amana had her hand on my face. Safe be said, they looked absolutely shocked.


"S-Sam?" Jason stared at me. The energy dissipated, as looked up at Jason and Amana. Amana gasped.

"You're... changed again... oh god."

"What do you mean?" I repositioned myself so I was sitting on the ground. Jason also gasped.

"Your appearance... it's back to before. Samuel Mason."


I looked at my reflection from the shards of obsidian on the ground. He was right. I looked just like I was before, my caucasian self, close cropped brown hair. Silver eyes. Even Wheeler's Goggles hung around my neck. True Magic indeed. My past as Decen was just the past.

Energy built up in front of us, as the Five Subjects of Quinta stood before us.


Jason stood in front of us, but I put my hand on his arm. "They're with us. The Subjects of Quinta."

Jason stared at me. "You're kidding."


An adult Bridget walked up to me and took my hand, helping me to my feet. She turned to Jason and Amana. "We, the Subjects of Quinta, shall assist Blackflame of Croft in his final push against the Aspects. To avenge our Queen!"

The other four subjects shouted in unison. "Together and forever. Freedom to the cosmos!"


Bridget turned to me. "What shall be our first order of business, Champion Mason."

I looked up to the dark sky of the Underworld. "We find our people, and we rally as many troops as we can. Chances are, Deimos wants another crack at me, since he said so. Then let's give em what he wants."


Bridget smiled. "Very well." She dissipated into a shower of white sparks, entering my consciousness.

"It shall be done." Bridget's voice appeared in my mind.

"Who the heck is that?!" Celestia squeaked.

"Her aura... she is..." Sentry muttered.

"Bridget?! Oh god! You've grown so much!" Celestia squealed.

Bridget laughed in my head.


I facepalmed. "Okay, calm down you guys. Let's find our people. Celestia?"

"On it."


Celestia manifested in her fairy form, and began forming a portal. Jason was still staring at me. "Uhh, duhhh".

Amana smirked. "I see. So Bridget is the Subject of Quinta, the Conduit of the Unity. We're going to hit them with everything we got. It better be worth it, Sam."

We began to dissipate, entering the place Lazarus had ported the survivors. I looked at Amana grimly. "I'll make sure of it."



Chapter 35

My home. That was where they had evacuated to.


Jason arched his eyebrow. "This place brings back memories."

Tons of people took refuge in my old neighbourhood. I slipped on my goggles activated Hunter's Eye to check for soul beasts, but they were apparently gone. I guess that wasn't surprising, with Janna, Ferris, Calliope, Tob, Trill, and Lazarus, it wouldn't have been any problem for them.

I turned to the rest of the Subjects. "We need to rally our troops. I uh... I don't know if you guys are comfortable staying here-"

The Subjects were all children again. Rolah spoke to me in his child form. "It is alright. We have been in disguise for millennia. This is no difficult task."


I went to my old house... well actually it was Tob's house. He was the one paying all the rent. It looked as scuffed as ever. I walked up the steps, which creaked. Hunter's Eye picked up Tob on the sofa, alongside Janna. I narrowed my eyes and nearly choked. They were kissing.


"Oh for crying out loud." I muttered.

Celestia giggled in my mind. "Damn, even the moron scored a girl." She stopped midway. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude."

"It's okay." I smiled. Of course, the fact that even Tob managed to get a date was beyond comprehension. At least once the battle was over, Tob could be happy without me.


"Home sweet home!" I grabbed the door and yanked it out of the hinges. "Uhhh..."


I attempted to put the door back as Tob and Janna stared at me. Janna kicked Tob off the sofa. "Oh! Champion, I um... it's not what it looks like. It was a sympathy kiss. He had something wrong with his mouth-"

"It's okay, Janna. I won't tell."

Janna's face was bright red. Tob was grinning like an idiot. I guess I might as well have a few words with him before the final battle.

"I knew you'd survive, you tough sunavabooooootch!" Tob exclaimed, running up to me and crushing me in a hug. "Dude! What happened?! You look back to normal!"

"Huh?! What's wrong with what I originally looked?"

Tob scratched his head. "Ehhh, I don't know. When you merged with your old self, it felt kinda weird. I know you for Samuel Mason, so talking to a guy who looked different wasn't the same. I mean not like I have a problem with that. Good to have you back dude. I mean it."

I held back a sob of joy. "Ditto."


I left Tob and Janna alone as I opened the door, carefully, to my old room.


Chapter 36

My room was not different from when I last left it. My bed unmade, and an overall mess. Typical underperforming college student. Haha.


I sat on my desk-chair, and reached into the pocket of my ruined jeans, pulling out the photo that was on Merrow's grave. The picture of me as Decen and Merrow in the photo booth. I smiled.

"Hey Merrow," I spoke to the photo. I probably looked really stupid and creepy, talking to a photo, but whatever.

"I united the Subjects of Quinta, and got the Unity. Pretty crazy huh? I can say with confidence I've definitely gotten stronger than my old self as Decen. Old me would have been PISSED!" I laughed.

"A long time ago, I only cared about being the strongest Paladin. And now that I am, I've made a realization. Being at the top sucks when that's your only goal. Being at the top without anyone to celebrate it with, really really sucks. And you know, coming back here again, and speaking about these things, made me realize it. Can you believe it? I've become the strongest Paladin and I don't even care."

"I just want to be with people who care about me. Who love me. I couldn't give a single shit about being the strongest anymore."


I held out my hand, and Merrow's spear manifested. "Check this out." I spun the spear with one hand. "Pretty cool, huh? I'm just like you. Maybe I should start putting on makeup or something. That'll really seal the package."

I laid the spear on my bed. "I'm just kidding. I think I'm gonna fight my last fight with your spear. I'm gonna honour you. I know I've said it once, but I'll say it again."


"Thank you. For everything. For being my older sis, for being there for me and putting up with my shenanigans. You've taught me that there's more to life than self loathing. I think... I'm ready to move on. No more grieving about your loss. It's time to honour you, until my last stand. Then I'll join you."

Merrow's spear dissipated. "I guess you're probably waiting for me to do this. I haven't done this in ages."


I took out Jonna's amulet, the same one I wore as Decen, and held it up in front of the photo. "It's time." I put the necklace on, checking myself in the mirror. The nostalgia.



I went down the stairs. Janna was asleep, and Tob was playing video games on the television. "Dude... are you seriously playing video games at a time like this."

Tob turned around. "Come on, man. Let me ease up a bit. Janna and I are gonna bust some Aspect skulls. Gotta let loose a bit."

I didn't want to, but I had to ask. "Tob, where's Junon?"

Tob paused the game. "She's with her squad. They're in that red house over there." He pointed across the street.



I stopped by the entrance. The refugees must have been here for a while. Underworld time was a bit wonky, Jason, Amana, and I were probably gone for weeks and we wouldn't know.

"Guys, I have to be alone on this one." I told my soul-link companions.


Bridget, Celestia, and Sentry manifested. Bridget nodding at me in her child form. They went off on their separate ways as I knocked on the door, taking a deep breath.


The door flung open, and Junon crushed me in a hug. "Oh thank god. I thought you were dead. I thought-"

"I'm okay."

Junon pulled away and stared at me. "You're..."

"Me again. Yeah. Long story. I um... can I come in?" Junon's cyan eyes were bloodshot from crying, and I could tell she was still not on terms with her boyfriend's death. I needed to apologize.

Junon wiped her eyes. "Yeah."



Junon's house looked like an old family house that had seen age. Of course, it wasn't really her house, but the people who resided in it were probably dead. She looked like one of those old moms who had to look after a bunch of kids. My impression was pretty much fixed when Truman and Veran bounded through. They didn't look too bad, aside from a few casts. They were arguing about the stupidest thing ever.


"I'm pretty sure an overweight orc is gonna be heavier than an overweight elf."

"Impossible! We are built for battle!"

"I mean hypothetically, dude."

"Yes! Hypothetically, orcs are always built for battle!"

"That makes no sense!"


Junon looked at me with a depressed smile. "Don't mind those two. They're trying to get their minds off... you know."

I sat on the sofa as Junon went to the kitchen to prepare something. "Want some beans. It's all we got."

"I'm okay."

"Come on, fighting malnourished can't be good for you."

"Your mom instincts are taking over, I see."

Junon smiled but pursed her lips. I struck a nerve. "Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that."

Junon sat in front of me, handing me a can of beans. I ate a bit of it, and I felt my body beginning to restore itself, differently from the Restoration Force. It felt... wholesome.

"It's okay. I know you didn't mean it." Junon was horribly depressed. Her eyes had shadows and she looked like she hadn't slept for days. "We're doing our best..."


I lightly blew the beans, attempting to cool it off. "How's... Adam." Junon picked with a loose thread on her t-shirt. "He's in his room. Coping."

My heart felt heavy. "Look, I-"

"It wasn't your fault."

My mouth was still open. "Wh-What?"

"Mavus... I know. You tried. I just..." Junon sobbed. "When I heard about his sacrifice in our fight against Mogul, I was so scared that I would lose him, that I tried to have a kid with him. It was selfish of me to do. When he survived that fight, I thought... maybe we could raise a family."


I stared at the ground. Junon continued to cry. "I just... I didn't think he would go like this. Like this." I sat next to her as Junon rested her head on my shoulder. "I'll defeat them all, Junon. I possess all of Quinta's Energies, and united the Subjects. I will not let his loss go in vain."

Junon let out a small laugh. "Thank you, Sam."


Chapter 37

One more stop.

Amber was in a single roomed house all by herself. Her eye was bandaged. Across her room was a bunch of firearms. Classic Amber.

I knocked on the door and Amber opened it. "Sam... your-"

"I know."

Amber looked away. "Now I can start to believe you were the Samuel Mason I used to know. Aside from the stockiness."

"Stockiness?" I smiled.

Amber sat on the bed. I sat across from her. "Final fight. Gonna be a tough one. You sure you're not gonna find Lazarus to help you enchant those?"

Amber shook her head, putting the shotgun to the ground. "Wouldn't matter anyway. Those Decenites are something else."

The mood was quiet, and sad. In a way, it felt like this was probably our last genuine conversation we would have together. I wanted to say something, but I didn't know what to say. When it came to Amber, it was hard to talk to her about real things without stuttering like an idiot.


Amber scooted closer to me. "Your eyes are pretty."

"Yeah, you told me-"

Before I could finish my sentence, Amber grabbed my face and pulled me into a kiss. My brain melted as I began concentrating on the most detailed things. The smallest crack on the wooden floor. The slightest ruffle on the bedsheet. Come on Mason. Say something. You're a champ. A CHAMP.

"I... duh..." I stuttered. Fantastic. You can't blame me. It was the first time I ever kissed a girl. Actually, it would have been my second time. But that was because Junon had lost her memory. And I'm not helping my case.


Amber ran her hand through my hair. "Still as awkward as ever, Sam."

I was definitely blushing. I could feel my ears burning. "I uh, I'm gonna go."

Amber turned away. "Yeah."


I went out to meet the Subjects and the survivors to rally our troops. For the final battle.

I would say Calliope and Kyrael gave a real good speech, but looking at our odds, our chances were still grim. Despite this, I looked around. People were still in a fighting spirit. Ready to battle. It wasn't because we had numbers, or the strength. We definitely were not in the best shape. But it was because each and every single person. They had that look. The determined look. They all lost something important to them during the Cleansing. Each and every single one of them. They were ready to give it their all, because we all had nothing left to lose.


"Sam." A girl's voice appeared behind me. I turned around.

Hannah walked up to me, her face was covered in scratches, her eyes were no longer the sweet caring eyes I knew who looked after Aaron. Around her shoulder was a huge blade. Rigor.

"You..."

"I inherited the Power Force."

I looked at the ground. Aaron had died, and I was guessing he passed down his powers to Hannah, just as Reagan had done to him.

Hannah held out a pair of clothes. "Amana spoke to me. Your clothes are all torn. Here."

I took them, they were the same outfit I had. The original Blackflame outfit with the padded jeans, tank top, and nano-weave jacket. "How?"

Hannah managed a weak smile. "It wasn't too hard to replicate."


I put it on, in private, as Hannah looked away. "Look, Hannah-"

Hannah cut me off. "Don't mention it. Just take down that creep. For Aaron."

"I will." I nodded grimly.


Celestia and the Motion Force Subject flew to the sky, creating hundreds of portals to Corinth, where the Aspects were all waiting. I entered the portal with everyone following suit. Back to Corinth, alongside Jason, Amana, Tob, and Janna.

I looked at the army of Decenites and Deimos, who smiled sinisterly. I looked back, as every person was armed with enchanted weapons, spells, powers. Calliope and Lazarus flew to the sky, enhancing everybody with celestial and rune magic, as Ferris summoned his stone golems, which were armed with Calliope's armour.

Seraphim and Tob grew to maximum size, Amana transforming into her Celestial Form, and Jason powering up to his maximum potential.

Junon and Adam, summoning their Achilles Forces.


I glared at Deimos' army. All the Aspects were there, alongside the numerous Decenites that Mynell supposedly created. I thought back when we used to struggle with Mogul. Fighting an entire army of them was impossible.

I clenched my fists. No. Focus. We needed to do this. We were all that stands between humanity and them. We needed to stand strong.


Deimos smiled at me from the distance, his golden eyes glowing through his long hair and black tux. I couldn't wait to smash that face in. Deimos raised his hands, and everybody charged. Kyrael shouted a battle cry and the Inquisition also charged in a full on war.


Chapter 38

The Aspects rushed forward with immense speed, but Adam zipped across the battlefield, planting a bunch of devices on their armour which blinked. The Aspects looked down and were engulfed in green explosions. Greek fire explosives. One of the last few inventions that Mavus had created before his passing. Adam zoomed back to do another pass, but I looked closer, trailing behind his cyan lightning, was another figure in a trench coat, running at an even faster speed, his lightning white. Zophus.


The Aspect caught up to Adam and broke his ankle as Adam screamed in agony.


Calliope and Lazarus flew to the air to enhance everybody, and the Winged Aspect flew to intercept them, but Junon summoned a massive battle axe, smashing her into the ground and creating a crater. Junon hovered in front of the Aspect, her cyan eyes full of rage.

The Aspect laughed sinisterly. "You are the mother of the metal man's child. Vengeance is such a beautiful thing."

Junon screamed in rage as she flew in and engaged the Aspect. Adam yelled and joined his mother in the fight, his ankle in a cyan cast, swearing that he would avenge his father's death.


Veran and Truman were having a hard time dealing with the Decenites even with Calliope and Lazarus' boosts, but hundreds of Ferris golems assisted them. In fact everybody was struggling with the Decenites. If more of the Aspects jumped in, this battle would be done for, if not for the intervention of the Subjects, who were engaging the Aspects head on.


"Subjects of Quinta." One of the Aspects gloated. He started to grow, bigger and bigger, as he mashed his fists together. "I shall enjoy tearing you apart."

The Subjects said nothing as they zipped around, dispatching the Aspect instantly. I was about to cheer them on, but suddenly, five Aspects flew in, and knocked two of the Subjects into the ground.


One Aspect grabbed Rolah, and snapped his neck. But Rolah simply regenerated and got back up, making the Aspect mad. Another Aspect swatted his hand, sending the Achilles Subject flying. But the moment he was about to finish him off, a blade sprouted from his chest.

"Lady Janna, why have you sided with these mortals?" The Aspect grumbled.

Janna appeared behind him. "Because I would rather spend countless lifetimes with humanity, than with narcissists like you. Even if I must abandon who I am."

Janna swiped up, as the Aspect disintegrated.

Janna turned around, but was blasted in the face by another Aspect. The same one who had killed Aaron. Janna tried to fend him off, but one of the Aspect's snake hairs bit into her arm, as she screamed in agony.

"The curse of betrayal. It runs deep in you, sister." The Aspect's voice was the sound of rushing waters.

Janna roared as she tried to punch the Aspect in the face, creating a massive tornado of wind pressure, but the Aspect's face just liquified, and took no damage. "The Power Force alone is useless against me. The last one who had wielded it met his fate. A curse fight."

The Aspect chucked in glee, but suddenly, a line of orange appeared on his chest as he was severed in two. Standing behind him, was Hannah, her body glowing with orange, and Rigor smoking with the Power Force.

"Screw curses. This is for Aaron, asshole." Hannah said coldly.

Hannah helped Janna to her feet as they continued to engage the Aspects alongside the Subjects of Quinta.


I stomped on the ground, activating the Motion Force. My limiters were gone, meaning the longer I used the Unity, the more my body would disintegrate. I had to use the power in bursts.

I knelt down, propping myself like an olympic sprinter. The power of the Unity humming in my feet as I blasted forward, creating shockwave after shockwave as I broke the sound barrier. I wound my fist back as I roared, eyeing Deimos the entire time.


I stopped moving. Someone had stopped me from moving. I glanced at my side, and a man, in a long trench coat had his hand outstretched. His eyes glowed white, which swirled like a spiral. The same guy who broke Adam's ankle earlier.

"Zophus, the Aspect of Motion." Bridget told me.

Zophus regarded me. "My lord. This man will not interfere with our plans. Leave the Decenites to him"

Deimos walked off as I struggled to escape the control.

"Celestia, Blink!" I shouted, my body bursting with purple lightning.

Zophus became confused as I blinked out of existence. He could stop motion all he wanted, but teleportation was not motion. Zophus aimed his hand trying to pin me down, but the Motion Force, combined with Blink was too much for him to handle as I flew in, extending my hand.


"Bridget, Unity 100%!" I shouted. Bridget lent me her power as my arm began glowing a blinding white light. I powered up to Form 5 momentarily as I blasted Zophus with a massive burst of Unity Darkfire. Zophus disintegrated immediately.

I stumbled back as I reverted back to normal, my arm looked slightly charred and was smoking. It wasn't regenerating.


"Sam!" Amana shouted from above, as she intercepted an Aspect that was trying to get a hit on me.

"Stupid mortal! You shall pay for what you have done to Lord Zophus!" The Aspect screamed, but Amana impaled him with her tails and threw him into the sky, where Jason roared, black lightning arcing from his body as he flew to the top and blasted him with a Citybreaker Slash, which shook the clouds like thunder.



I stepped forward to chase after Deimos, but I was suddenly surrounded by Decenites. The kids glared at me, with their magenta eyes. The same look I used to have as Decen. Feral, misunderstood, alone. Their claws were all outstretched.

"You're not going anywhere, father." One of the Decenites sneered at me.

I wish I could use just the Darkfire, but the problem was that the Unity was part of everything. And using the Unity would basically kill me. The only power I could use was Restoration.

Good enough.

The kids all charged me as I took them all at once. I still had Doma Martial Arts. I'll fight them the same way I fought those soul beasts long ago, when I didn't know Darkfire. When I fought with Jason and Tob. One Decenite leapt at me, but I got him with a side kick, launching him into the other Decenites.

I took numerous slashes as I held my own. These kids were good, but they were no Decen. Without the connection to the Restoration Force, the only way they could regenerate was through Absorption. Meaning they needed pills. Which they had. Oh shit.


The kids kept pummelling and slashing me as I kept kicking and punching and chopping them down, only to have them pop a pill and get back up again.

"Give it up, old man." One Decenite jeered at me. She slashed me in the face. "This is for what you did to Zophus, Ulthreal, and Lapheth."

I caught her hand and threw her at the other Decenites. If they were knocked unconscious, they wouldn't be in the fight. The only problem was... they were part me. And I was really hard to put down as Decen.


One kid rushed forward in a burst of red energy as he kicked me in the stomach, launching me into a boulder. I got to my feet and caught his sledgehammer hands, and kicked him into the sky.


"Why are you guys on their side? You realize that once this is all over, they'll treat you like slaves."

The kids circled me, like a bunch of predators. One girl spoke up. "And you won't? You didn't even know we existed."

I caught her punch and pushed her back, as the kids continued circling me, like I was in one of those old children games. Each person taking a turn.

"You guys were created to serve the Aspects, but you guys don't have to abide by that anymore. There's still a chance to switch sides. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you guys."

I dodged another kick. I needed to get to Deimos ASAP. There was no time for this, but at the same time, I couldn't just kill them. I couldn't. I continued.

"Look, you just have to let me go. There will be a future for you guys here, I promise."



The kids began to swarm me, as I struggled to keep them off. They weren't going to listen. I have no choice.

"Bridget... Unity, 25%."

I blasted the kids away with Unity Darkfire, as their charred bodies hit the ground. Only one person was still alive. He got to his feet, his pills gone, and staggered up to me, attempting to punch me in the face. I caught his wrist.

"I... I hate you..." The kid croaked, his face covered in tears. "You killed my family."

He continued to struggle, but I held his wrists. "Stop. That's enough."

The kid continued to cry as he tried to scratch me. "I... I just wanted a father. Mynell looked after me and told me my dad was evil. He would kill Mynell and everybody. And he was right."

"I have to stop the Aspects. If I let them do what they want, they will kill even more people than what Mynell has told you."

The kid sobbed as he fell to his knees. "Mynell told me that I was created from the Paladin of War. But you look nothing like Decen. Are you... really my father?"

I held out my hand, and transformed it into a black claw. The usual red glowing veins that I had as Decen were now bright white. I could feel my hand smoking from the Unity. "I am."

The kid gasped.

I managed a slight laugh. I brushed my claw along his face, scraping off the flecks of dirt as gently as I could. "Look, kid. Who I was before, as Decen. That doesn't dictate who I can be now. And the same can be said for you. Just because you were born a killer, doesn't mean you have to live the rest of your life as one. Trust me."

I took off Wheeler's Goggles and smiled. "Damn, you look a lot like me when I was your age."

The kid laughed, but suddenly hardened up. "No. I'm stronger and better looking."

My hand reverted back to normal. "What's your name, kid?"

"Daniel. Daniel... what's your last name?"

I thought about it. I never had a last name as Decen. I was just... Decen. But I suppose... he could be...

"Mason."

Daniel looked at me. "Then I will be Daniel Mason."

I put my hand over his head, the sounds of battle echoing around us. I had to find Deimos and stop him. I needed to end this war before everybody died. But at this moment, I felt like I wanted to stay here, and tell this kid everything was going to be okay.

"Daniel sounds kinda formal, don't you think?"

"Huh?"

"How about a nickname?"

"Like what?"

I chuckled. "How about... Danny. Danny Mason."

The kid laughed. "I like it." I smiled and ruffled his hair. "Alright then, Danny Mason. Go. Run to that place over there-" I pointed near the back to Conlan. "Tell him I sent you, and that you're with me. Stay alive for me, alright?"


The kid watched as I got off to pursue Deimos. He called out for me. "Dad?"

Hearing that term felt weird. I turned around. "What's up?"

"Are you going to come back?"

My heart sank. The world was just so cruel sometimes. This kid, was probably created like a test tube baby off of my cells, forced to live his life under Mynell's manipulation, and had to watch as his own biological father killed his siblings. Now that we bonded, he was going to have to witness me giving my last stand.

"I'll... try."


I fired bursts of Darkfire to propel myself, giving chase to Deimos, and ignoring the pain in my hands. Hunter's Eye was picking up his location. He was heading into a portal. Judging from his speed, he was taking his time, like he wanted me to come.

"This is probably a trap, master." Sentry spoke in my mind. For once, he didn't call me young master.

"I agree with the samurai. But, Deimos leads the Aspects. Defeating him, will likely break their morale, allowing us to cast them into the Warpgate." Bridget affirmed.

"Then let's... make this trap his trap... ugh, whatever. Let's just beat him up. I don't care anymore." I muttered.


I flew into the portal, as my surroundings began to warp and elongate. I looked back at the battle. My allies giving it their all against the armies of the Aspects.


"Focus on your battle with Lord Deimos. The Subjects of Quinta are not the type to fall easily." Bridget reassured me.


Chapter 39

I emerged from the portal. Hunter's Eye picking up that we were no longer in a placed full of people. I looked around. The buildings, deserted landscape. Remnants of an old civilization.

Standing atop, was the status of Seetus Scarlet.

"I chose this place, for our final showdown." Deimos adjusted his sleeves on his blazer, eyeing me with his golden eyes. "I'm sure you know this place, Paladin."


I clenched my fists. Wheeler's Goggles soothing the nerves as Hunter's Eye attempted to pinpoint his weaknesses. There were none that I could find. Great.

I said nothing, but I knew. We were standing around the Grand Theatre, the great podium for all ceremonies hosted for the Paladins. This was where I met Merrow, where I was enrolled to the Paladin Code. This was where I was born. Acadia.


"Bridget, it's time. Full power." Bridget gave me all of her power with the Unity as I powered up, my body shrouding in white flames. I could feel my body burning, as my skin started to hurt. But I needed to do this.

I transformed into Form 5, as Deimos laughed.

"Petty transformations. I never understood the point. I guess it just goes to show how inept you humans are at controlling power that doesn't belong to you."


I assumed the traditional form of the Doma stance, my eyes locked onto Deimos'. Deimos smiled.

"And such use of Human Martial Arts! If you want to do it old school..."

Deimos brought his foot back and held up his hands in an elegant manner. "Then I shall show you our way... Roya'Thurr, Aspect Martial Arts."


We circled around the podium, the same podium where I received the Restoration Force. The same theatre where I was brought forward to receive my Guardian and the same one where I became a Paladin. We came full circle, from Day 1, as Decen of Acadia, to my last day, as Blackflame of Croft.



We shot forward, at the same time, clashing, and exchanging strikes in an elegant and clean fashion at the centre of Acadia. Deimos' style was elegant, and refined, while my style was wide ranged, as it had more swooping motions due to being a samurai variant. Deimos saw this.

"Beautiful... and deadly.... yet so very... modified." Deimos caught my strike, and slipped past, but I blocked his punch with my hand, and launched a sideways chop, which was dodged. A shockwave of Unity Darkfire emitted from my strike, and blasted a nearby stone structure into pieces.

I stomped on the ground, activating the Motion Force, and speeding up my attacks, but Deimos also powered up, matching my speed.

We continued exchanging blows at a hypersonic speed, until Deimos caught me in the stomach and backhanded me in the face. I regained my composure and swung around, launching an axe kick that Deimos caught with his hands.

"You've gotten significantly stronger, little Paladin. Even for your kind, it is... unexpected." He was right. I had gotten way stronger than I was before with the Unity, my limiters were broken. But at the same time, I had to fight both him and the pain. As my body slowly began to disintegrate from the prolonged use of the Unity.

Deimos pushed my leg back, but I put my hands together, summoning several Unity Spectres. My clones began to pressure Deimos, but his eyes glowed gold, and won the ten to one exchange, destroying each spectre almost instantly.


Deimos held out two fingers and aimed them at me. "Any more tricks, Samuel Mason?"

"Celestia, blink." I whispered.

I blinked behind Deimos, catching him off guard, but Deimos retaliated. I took this element of surprise and maximized it, dropping down and sweeping my leg and generating a massive whirlwind of Darkfire.

Deimos stumbled back. "This isn't... like what you used before."

I grinned, underneath Wheeler's Goggles. It wasn't. Because it wasn't Doma Martial Arts. This was the Neptunian way. Merrow's fighting style integrated with Sentry's.


I blasted forward with my hands, spiralling and launching a spin kick... but suddenly... I missed. "What?" I muttered.

Deimos appeared next to me and slammed me in the chest with an open handed strike. I flew into a pillar, destroying it. The fact that he was strong enough to send me through an Acadian building was beyond impressive. The Acadians were known for creation, and as such, their materials were made to be comprised of some of the most durable things ever.

I got to my feet. Maybe it was a fluke. I stomped and tried to attack again, but for some reason, I either missed, or Deimos knew exactly what I was going to do, or he would disappear conveniently.


"This... isn't right." Bridget said in my head.

"Sam, what are we going to do?" Celestia asked. For once, she called me by my name


Deimos kicked me into another building and shot forward. I struggled to match his blows, as he began to speed up more and more. My body was beginning to feel the burn. Deimos caught me in the jaw, and kicked me in the chin sending me in the air. Deimos reappeared, and sent me back onto the platform of the Grand Theatre, cracking it.

I glanced at the tooth that had fallen on the ground, blood pooling in my mouth and leaking out of the corner. The Restoration Force sealed up my wound instantly.


"He's the Prime Aspect of Fate... could this be..."

Deimos landed in front of me as we circled each other once more in our respective stances. "Ahh you are catching on, little Paladin."

I grunted as I readjusted my stance.

Deimos laughed. "You can never beat me. I am the Prime Aspect for a reason. Mogul controlled Sin, the Corruption. But I am far more. I control Fate. I bend it to my will. I see it and I know...

"I dictate the course of every battle, every outcome. I know exactly what you will do. And I will take my counter measures. I cannot be beaten."


"Shut up."

Deimos raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

"All this narcissism... it's disgusting."

Deimos' laugh turned into a sneer. "I will enjoy tearing you apart, Blackflame. You truly are a gift to the people. And I shall enjoy ripping it out of their hands."

I activated the Motion Force, as my body glowed white, alongside the Grace of Celestia. I held out my hand.

Deimos and I clashed once more, the shockwaves shaking all of Acadia. Deimos slipped past my strike, but I disappeared, blinking behind him, then blinking again. Again and again, as Deimos tried to read my next move.

"Boost me, Celestia!" I shouted.

"You got it, Captain!" Celestia responded, as I felt my body surging with energy.

I shot forward and landed a punch, which Deimos caught, but he apparently underestimated the strength of a Form 5, Power Force, Unity, Celestia Boosted strike, because the force of it sent him flying. The shockwave blasted all of the neighbouring buildings into cinders as flew up to meet him.


Deimos was in shock as he was sent hurtling. "Stupid ant." He muttered, as he flew, zipping around all of Acadia as I pursued him, fighting in the skies. We zoomed and flew, bobbed and weaved around all the buildings of the broken civilization, our shockwaves shaking the country.

"You cannot beat me." Deimos growled, as he caught my hand and broke it. I roared in pain as Deimos kicked me into a building. I recognized this building. The Commons. It was where I introduced Merrow to my favourite study spot. At first she found it boring, but over time, I always found her studying there. The warm memory put a smile on my face as my hand regenerated, the memory amplifying the Restoration Force.



I flew into a shelf as I became buried in dusty and moldy books. I blasted them away with Darkfire as we continued to exchange blows. Weaving and dodging through shelves and shelves of old books and scribes. We continued fighting as I managed to land another hit on Deimos, sending him out of the library.

"How?!" He exclaimed.

I circled around him, summoning more clones just to piss him off. Deimos was agitated. I didn't care if he could see my next move. Because at the end of the day, he still needed to make the decision on what to do with it. And with us both moving so fast to the level of an amplified Motion Force, the way to beat him was simple.

Overwhelming numbers of moves, at an overwhelming pace, alongside an overwhelming ego.


ENOUGH Deimos roared, his eyes and mouth glowing gold.

Deimos extended his hands, and began to glow, incinerating my clones. I fired jets of Darkfire as I tried to escape the scorching heat.

Deimos glared at me murderously. "You are lucky, Paladin. That is all you are. It's time to finish this."



Deimos had a new golden aura. I guess he was taking this serious. Deimos shot forward with immense speed as he slammed me into the side of another building. Before I could react, Deimos launched an uppercut that sent me up the building as I flew into the air and landing on the roof.

I stared at the sky as I momentarily lost consciousness. Wheeler's goggles were cracked, as my vision was split. This roof. I knew this building.


"We're going to be number 1... together." Icarus, Jonna, and I put our fists together. The day we declared our rivalry. This was where I strived to become number one.



"No time for daydreaming, little insect." Deimos materialized in front of me in a flash of golden sparks, manifesting his scythe. I blinked away in a bolt of purple lightning.

We continued our exchange, blinking and materializing, across the country. But our exchange didn't last long, as Deimos sliced down catching me in the side. I tried to land a blow, but Deimos had the reach advantage.

The scythe began to glow, becoming bigger as it slammed me in the chest with astonishing speed. I smashed into the ground and bounced upward, which Deimos had already anticipated. Obviously. Another golden slash appeared, connecting as I smashed through more buildings.


"Do you know... why we chose to destroy Prime Aspect Quinta?"

Bridget's voice appeared in my consciousness. Her tone was stern. "Get up, Champion of Acadia. Get. Up."

I struggled to my feet. The Unity was really damaging my body now. I looked at my hands, which were now blackened like coal. I was smoking up bad.

Deimos continued, his scythe scratching against the ground and producing golden sparks. "You've probably been told that it was because of how we saw her Subjects as a threat. But no... sadly...

"Quinta never supported me. She supported those... mortals. The mortals who did not see me as their god."

Deimos looked up into the sky. "It was me, me, who gave the Acadians the gift of creation. It was me, who gave them the idea of creating the Paladins. Don't you get it?!" Deimos burst into maniacal laughter.


"I created your kind. I created your brothers and sisters of the Paladin Collective.

"I am your father, Decen of Acadia."


I said nothing, my expression masked by Wheeler's Goggles, but I managed to get to my feet, as I faced the Aspect. "You're not my father." I replied.

Deimos sneered. "Yes, well. I quite frankly do not see you as the son I wanted. So ungrateful. So ignorant. As such... I suppose weakness should be severed, as what the Paladins would say."

Deimos raised his scythe. "Goodbye, little Paladin."

He sliced down, but the blade never went through. His scythe was intercepted. Deimos' look went from hate to shock, then to annoyance. "Persistent little brat, aren't you?" He growled.


I grunted as I intercepted his scythe with Merrow's spear. The spear glowing green and magenta with the names of Merrow and I engraved along the side.

"You are not a god, Deimos." I seethed, shaking from the effort of the struggle and the pain from the Unity. "I don't believe that this multiverse is ruled by narcissists like you." I felt my body surge with a new wave of power, my white flaming aura becoming more fluid. Almost like water.


Chapter 40

Deimos and I charged, spear against scythe, as we shattered the surroundings with the shockwaves.

"So persistent. Perhaps it is time to end this little scuffle. You have entertained me long enough, BOY." Deimos roared as his body glowed gold once more. The scythe pushed me back as I slammed into dozens of Acadian buildings. I spat out blood as I could feel my bones breaking and rejoining.


Deimos rushed in, but I swiped the air, blasting a torrent of Unity Darkfire and Hydropower and sending him back. Deimos was not impressed, and broke through the blast as we clashed once more.

"I am not impressed, child." He growled as he swiped upward, slicing my goggles in half.

I leaned back and fired a torrent of Darkfire from my palm, which Deimos swatted aside, but suddenly, I leapt into the winding back my spear and enhancing it with the Achilles Force, my arm veins pulsating white with the Power Force as I swiped down as hard as I could. Deimos met the strike.


I gritted my teeth as I tried to push him down as hard as I could. Deimos gave me a crazed smile. "No mortal shall surpass me... no mortal!"

"I... I..." I grunted, as my veins glowed brighter, summoning more of the Power Force. "I won't give up!" I yelled, as I slashed through the scythe and landed a solid cut on Deimos' midsection. Deimos stared at his wound, in shock.

He was losing his rhythm. With his powers, everything was dependent on mindset. He could see fate, bend it, manipulate it. But he needed to respond to it just as fast as he could predict. Meaning it was a reflexes game for him. His anger and ego was probably what was letting me get these hits in.


"It's over, Deimos!" I yelled as I brought Merrow's spear behind my back, powering up the weapon to its max with Darkfire and the Achilles Force. I threw the spear like a javelin, which pierced right through his stomach.

I landed on the ground, my body smoking and dissolving from the Unity. Deimos fell on his back, seemingly defeated.


I got to my feet, but fell to my knees, grunting in pain.

"Master!" Sentry spoke to me.

He manifested, standing in front of me. "Master, it's done. Please stay with us."

I was breathing hard. My right hand was basically charcoal, smoking. Deimos had sliced my jacket up so bad that it basically had fallen off, and my tank top was ripped enough for me to tell that my chest was burning up too. My left hand was basically a skeleton. I stared at a piece of glass, and my face wasn't doing any better. My skin was darkened, and some parts blackened near the cheeks.

Strangely enough, I didn't feel scared at what I was looking at. With my torture with Ariandal, I was traumatized at how badly my body was irreversibly damaged, and even as Decen, when my healing factor was temporarily removed, I was scared shitless at my torn up body.

But looking at myself like this, smoking and disintegrating away from the Unity, I wasn't scared. I felt like I was at peace.


"SAM!" I familiar voice appeared behind me. I could hear a bunch of footsteps as I watched Jason, Amana and Tob run up to my side. Behind them, were the rest of our forces. Junon, Adam, Calliope, Lazarus, Ferris, and the Inquisition.

Tob's eyes were wide, and for once, he wasn't telling any jokes. "Sam... you're... you're..."

"I'm burning away. I know." I muttered.

Amana knelt down in front of me, her eyes in tears. "The battle is over, the Aspects have been forced into the Warpgate. Only he remains. It's gonna be okay."

Jason held my very charred hand. "We'll fix this. We can fix this."


NO. YOU CAN'T. Deimos' voice boomed all over the valley. I looked up in shock as Deimos got to his feet. His body glowing an even brighter gold, his long black hair swirling and fluttering chaotically.

YOU TRAPPED MY BRETHREN IN THE WARPGATE. YOUR PEOPLE NEGLECTED THEIR TRUE LORD. AND NOW YOU CELEBRATE AT WHAT YOU THINK IS MY DEFEAT.

Tob clenched his fists. "My wolf form... I'm depleted. Shit." He took out his handgun and began firing, but the blasts dissipated in Deimos' glowing aura.

Deimos growled, a blast of golden energy sending everybody back. NO. YOU ALL WAIT YOUR TURN.


He turned to me, his eyes and mouth were glowing with a dangerous golden light. Calliope tried to summon something, but Deimos stared at her, waving his hand. A golden blast of energy sent her flying. Lazarus tried to catch her, but the two of them tumbled into the side of a building, putting them both unconscious.


Deimos glared at me. MAKE NO MISTAKE, MORTALS. I AM NOT MOGUL. YOU WILL DIE. STARTING WITH YOU, LITTLE PALADIN. Deimos spread his hands, his body glowing even brighter gold. I tried to grab everybody and escape, but the Unity had burnt me up even more than I had thought. I could only watch helplessly as Deimos powered up his attack, laughing hysterically.


The beam blasted, like I was watching a slow motion movie, as it became closer and closer to me, when suddenly, a figure appeared in front of me, blocking the blast.


Jason roared in agony as Deimos' beam began disintegrating his body, taking the hit head on. Amana and Tob screamed his name as I watched my teacher, my brother, my remnant, slowly tear apart from the sheer power of the attack.

Jason fell to his knees. The shock gave me a jolt of adrenaline as I got up and ran to his side. "Jason!" I shouted.


Black and red. That was all I could see. Jason's body, horrifically burnt everywhere. He regarded us with a pair of gaunt silver eyes.

Amana was hysterical, grabbing Jason by the shoulders and embracing him, rocking him back and forth. "No..." She whispered over and over again.

"Family." Jason croaked, his voice barely audible. Amana let go and stared at Jason. "What?" Jason brushed Amana's hair, then turned to us.

Jason reached out his hands, putting them on Tob and I. "I... proud." Jason sputtered, his mouth foaming.

Tob put his hands on Jason. "No, come on big man. We need you. Stay with us Uncle Johnny."

Jason tried to laugh, but his voice was so broken up and raspy, it broke my heart to hear it. "Save..." Amana's orange eyes were bloodshot. "Save?"

Jason's expression slowly began losing colour. "Saved me... all of you.

"Thank you."

Jason's hands went slack, as his body crumbled into dust. Amana screaming at him to come back and not to leave her. I could only watch and stare as Jason's essence disappeared with the wind, black ash floating into the skies.


Tob, Amana, and I watched as the remains of Jonathan Crypt dissipated.


Chapter 41

NOW, TO FULFILL MY PROMISE. BURN, BURN AWAY, THE LIGHT OF FATE.

Deimos extended his hand again as his body prepared another blast of light, but I was ready. I stood in front of my family as I roared, powering up to Form 5 once more.

"Master, your body..." Sentry tried to warn me.

"No. Let's do this." I growled. "Celestia, boost me, all the way. Bridget, max power."

My body jolted as purple lightning arced off alongside my flaming aquatic white aura. My senses dialling up to eleven, and my body feeling like it was being set on fire once more, but I didn't care.


I yelled as I launched a powerful beam of Boosted Unity Darkfire, which clashed against Deimos' Light of Fate. The beam struggle shook all of Acadia, as the two blasts began to create a windstorm, pieces of buildings and debris rising to the sky as both Deimos and I shouted, giving our all.


NO MORE GAMES, PALADIN. I WILL END YOU. THEN I SHALL FREE MY BRETHREN TO RETAKE OUR PLACE AMONG THE COSMOS. The orb of power began inching closer to my side.

I continued firing the Darkfire from my body. White lines began to form around my charred hands as I saw pieces of myself breaking off. "I'm not giving up!" I yelled. Summoning even more of the Unity, beyond its limits.

I thought about Merrow, Reya, Dennis, Jason. Everybody who sacrificed themselves so I could get this far. I could not let them down.

"Bridget! Give me more!"

"But Sam-"

"DO IT!"

I felt my body jolt with even more power, as I felt myself drawing even more of the Unity, past 100% of its capacity. My body was seriously starting to tear apart, as my tank top disintegrated, my body so burnt that it was pitch black.

I didn't care.

The orb inched back and started to approach Deimos. YOU ARE A FOOL, SAMUEL MASON. THESE FEELINGS YOU HAVE FOR YOUR LOVED ONES, MERELY FABRICATION.


My body was failing fast. Visions of my old past starting to flood my brain. Jason, Tob and I starting Darkstar. Jason and I chasing after Merrow. My past as Decen. The day I was honoured the title of Paladin of War.

"If all three of us are going to be number 1, wouldn't that make us rivals?" Jonna asked me. Icarus, Jonna, and I standing at the top of the highest building.

"Guess so." I replied.

A vision of Icarus appeared in my head. The day we fought for the first time. "You lack one thing, Decen."

"What's that?"

"Greatness. A Paladin isn't just strong. A Paladin must be great. Those who fight alongside a Paladin must be great for others to act. Inspire!"


I inched forward, forcing the Unity beam to cut through Deimos', but there was no point. He was way too strong. But I couldn't let go.


GIVE IT UP. Deimos seethed.

"Like hell... I'd give up... to the likes of you.... TO THE LIKES OF YOU!" I shouted. Celestia was giving her all to boost me, but she was starting to tire out.

"Cap... No. Decen... I am sorry for the way I have treated you. But let's end this moron for good." Celestia spoke in my mind, as I felt her essence merging with mine, giving an exponential boost in power.

My white Darkfire beam began glowing purple with Celestia's essence. "Celestia!" I shouted. The orb began inching back to Deimos.


Deimos and I were both going at it at full power.

"Ripples..." Amana muttered.

"Ripples?" Tob asked, his eyes still puffy from crying. I looked at the beam clash.

"Master Mason, the clash is causing reality to tear." I struggled to look up, keeping my concentration at an all time high and ignoring the fact that I was practically crumbling to dust. He was right. The force of our clash was tearing the fabric of reality. I could see the surroundings warping and elongating.

"It's like... like..." I gritted my teeth.

"My fight with Jason." Calliope limped over to me. She looked at the rest of us, what was left of us.


"Sam is giving his all. It's time we also pitched in." Calliope spoke. But most, if not everybody else was not in the spirit. Calliope wiped her eyes. "Jason was like a brother to me. I knew him from when he was still an aloof, and clueless mage. John Crypt underwent many changes in his life to become the stoic and powerful figure everybody here remembers him by. But there is one thing that we must admit that has never changed.

"His resolve. His determination, and his grit. His resilience and iron will. We WILL carry on his legacy."


Calliope crossed her arms, summoning the rest of her immense magical power, and concentrating it into a single glowing golden wing. "FOR THE BLACK JASON." Calliope shouted, blasting the magic at the beam, helping the struggle in my favour.


Deimos gritted his teeth as the orb began to inch closer to him. THE COMBINED STRENGTH OF YOU MORTALS IS NOTHING. Deimos glowed brighter, attempting to use more of his power.



"For... the Black Jason..." Lazarus' voice appeared next to Calliope. He limped next to her and summoned a green rune. A time rune, which he had been saving until this very moment.

"Goatman... my old friend. It's time for your return, for one final push." Calliope smiled at her boyfriend, as Lazarus' brown eyes turned silver, his soul-link returning. He powered up, breaking through his limiters. "I remember when I used to struggle getting past 15%. Do you remember? Cal?"

Calliope nodded. "Indeed. But it is different now, isn't it? Lawrence?"

Lazarus smiled, his dreadlocks brushing against his face, his silver eyes full of determination. "Let's do this. For Jason. Soul-link, 100%!" Lazarus powered up, his body glowing green as his head sprouted two horns, and his back a huge tail. He brought his fists back, as an image of a huge goat head appeared. The horns came together into a huge green light, which fired a beam, converging with Calliope and mine.


Tob got up. "You son of a bitch, Lazarus. I thought you lost your powers for good." Lazarus chuckled. "What are you waiting for, Lupine? It's time to make your father proud once again."

Tob smiled as he transformed into his wolf form. "I'm drained, but screw it. This waste of life took our Jason from us. Forget mana. Imma bust your ass up, Deimos. Aspect or not." His voice turned feral, deeper, and more primal, as Tob growled, and snarled, transforming into full power. He took a deep breath, and a huge white flame came from his mouth, converging with our beams.

Junon and Adam also joined in the beam struggle, combining their Achilles Force into electricity.


The five of us yelled, as we continued to pressure Deimos. Deimos' face became desperate.

I WILL NOT FALL. I SHALL NOT FALL!!! Deimos howled, as he summoned more and more of his power, his body cracking and tearing apart from the sheer force. The orb was definitely distorting reality now. Pieces of Acadia were now being torn apart and pulled into the beam clash. I saw glimpses of other universes.


Deimos roared as the orb slowed down. We are at a stalemate again. My body was definitely not going to hold out for much longer. I was seeing yellow splotches in my vision, as a piece of my finger finally disintegrated, falling into the wind. Everybody was too distracted with the beam struggle to notice. We needed a final boost.


"The Subjects..." I mumbled.

"No." Bridget replied.

"What?"

"The Subjects... they are in the Warpgate. Battling the Aspects."

"What do you mean? The Warpgate is enough, isn't it?"

"No. The final sacrifice, on both ends. The Subjects swore to avenge their Queen. We swore to avenge our Queen. So we shall battle the Aspects, in the Warpgate Dimension. For all of eternity. For no prison lasts forever, unless it is guarded by those who do."


I growled as another finger disintegrated off. I should have been feeling the pain, but there were too many endorphins in my body. If I fell now, if I disintegrated completely, this whole beam clash would be for nothing. Someone needed to break the stalemate. Break the equilibrium.


"AMANA." I shouted with the last of my strength.

Amana was still kneeling on the ground, her face expressionless, staring at the ground.

"AMANA PLEASE." I pleaded. Amana wasn't responding, her face struck with grief over the loss of the love of her life. My left hand completely disintegrated, and the orb began to shake, rumbling as we lost our advantage. Shit shit shit shit shit!!!


"Amana..." I tried to calm myself down, keeping the panic low in my voice. "Jason... would have wanted you to keep fighting. For him."

Amana's face was streaked with tears.

"We're family, are we not?!" I shouted. "We're all giving our all, for Jason! For everybody who has lost their lives here!"


I had no choice. We needed Amana. She was all we had left.

"Bridget."

"Yes?" Bridget responded.

"Can you... take over?"

"What do you mean?"

"I want you to give me a psychic link with Amana. But keep the beam struggle."

"Sam, if I do that, it will drain what little time you have left even more."

"Just do it."


My vision became bright as I linked with Amana.


Chapter 42

I woke up to Amana's old house. What was left of it. I heard the sounds of fighting outside. Judging from the way it had ceased, the fight was probably over. I stepped out, and found Amana and Jason. Jason was badly hurt, the body of an elderly man in an aviator jacket, what was left of him, eroded and mutated into an infernal.


"John... are you alright? Why did you do it?" Amana asked Jason.

This was her flashback. The moment she had started to develop feelings for Jason. I crept behind a rock.

Jason was breathing hard, cuts all over his body. "Because... you were in pain. I don't... like to see people suffer from things I have caused."

"You didn't cause this."

"I came to your world, I opened it to the soul beasts and the Infernals. It is my fault."

Amana looked away. She had tears in her eyes, but tried to conceal it.


"This Infernal, he was someone special to you." Jason muttered.

"He is... my father. He was. But now... he's gone." Amana walked up to the corpse, but Jason limped to her, and grabbed her wrist. "Don't."

Amana looked at him. "Do NOT tell me what to do." Her eyes were welling up in tears. "Don't tell me what to do. I... I just want something to remember him by." Amana began to cry.

Jason, the badass he was, straightened his back, soldiering through the pain of his injuries, and walked up to the corpse. Amana wiped her eyes and stared at him. "What are you doing?"


Jason took the aviator jacket from the corpse, and closed his eyes. Dark energy left his body and shrouded the jacket as pieces of ash and soot fell off the jacket, cleaning it. Jason limped to Amana and put the jacket around her shoulders. "Your father... is not gone."

Jason pointed at the jacket. "Wear the jacket, and honour him. Because he will always be there for you. In spirit."


Jason walked off, as Amana stared at him. She held the jacket, wrapping herself in it as more tears streamed down her cheeks.


I left my hiding spot. "Amana?" I asked, cautiously.

Amana turned to me. "Hey... Sam. You're probably shocked, seeing me so pathetic like this."

"That isn't true."

I walked up to her. "Cool jacket, you should wear it more often."

Amana managed a slight laugh, but she watched as Jason continued walking away. "I love him."

"I know."

Amana turned to me. "I... I just... I can't accept that he's gone, but he is. And..."

"It hurts you, and it makes you feel like everything is meaningless. Nothing matters because you've lost everything."


Amana sobbed as I held her. "Amana, we still have one last job to do."

Amana sniffled. "Sam... I don't want to lose you too."

My heart hurt to see her like this. Losing her boyfriend, then losing one of her closest friends. But it had to be done. "Hey."


I pulled away, and looked at her comforting orange eyes. "When this all ends, I have one last favour."

Amana wiped her eyes. "One last favour?"

I smiled. "Yeah. I have a kid, a Decenite. He... wants to live his life with a family. I was just wondering, when this is all over. You mind taking care of him?"

Amana stared at me. "Your... kid."

I chucked. "Yeah. He... never got to know me. He was created from my cells and lived his life under the Aspect's manipulation. I promised him a family. And I kind of figured... since you want something to remember us by..."

Amana's laughed and sobbed at the same time. "You never cease to surprise me, Samuel Mason."

I got to my feet, and held out my hand. "You ready to give it one last go? Chief Amana Cross of the ol' mighty Darkstar?"

Amana took my hand. "Let's do it, Darkstar's One Man Army."


My vision began to return, as I shifted back to reality. The beam struggle. Holy crap. The pain. I momentarily forgot about the pain when I entered the vision, but returning like this, it felt like the pain got jacked up a thousand times.

"Welcome back, Sam."

"Thanks Bridget. How's it going?"

"Your entire arm is gone and you've lost three fingers on your other."

"So great then."


We continued the beam struggle, as Deimos roared, his body splitting up. But between that and my disintegration, we weren't going to make it. Unless.

Someone stood up. A beautiful woman with flowing black and silver hair, an aviator jacket, handed down to her from the most badass member and leader of Darkstar.

"Deimos..." Amana growled, her body glowing red as she transformed into her Celestial Form, flying into the sky.

"This is for... my friend... my partner... my ally... my boyfriend. This is for... JASON OF CROFT."

Amana rushed in, her four tails transforming into one giant tail, and slammed Deimos in the head before he could come up with a witty one-liner comeback. Deimos lost his footing and concentration. His golden eyes went wide as he realized what just happened.

NO. NOOOOO!!!!


"It's over, DEIMOS." I shouted, as we all powered up one final surge of power, the orb engulfing Deimos and disintegrating his body, which further added onto his self disintegration. A huge shockwave of power exploded from his body, sending us all flying back.


All that was left of Deimos was a ripped up blazer, as I knelt on the ground alongside my allies. Victorious. But it didn't feel that way. We lost too many people.