The first sensation Ateo suffered was a fall, slamming down onto hot sand, having the wind knocked out of him. He took a moment to regain his composure from his crumpled up position on the ground to realize what had happened. He sighed, knowing that Makoto, the child under Ides' possession, started an Ebony Game, an ancient style of fighting older than he was.

He stood up to see where he was, but his eyes widened in horror at the reality of the situation, "No... I said I didn't want to be here..."

Ateo stared at the remains of buildings, architecture that was once known as his home, all of it crumpled and broken under years of disuse and the destruction of the people that once lived there.

"Why? I left this place ages ago, to forget about it and move on; why did you bring me back here?" Ateo yelled out at the open space of the desert.

There was silence and but a warm wind blowing across the sands, the sun giving off a blistering heat like no other; something Ateo was completely used to and knew how to live in. He called forth Wadjet, and the snake appeared before him, in it's winged glory.

"We're in an Ebony Game, I know we are; that place would not be standing behind me if we weren't... It's been lost to the sands of time, I know it has, I don't need some book or historical document to tell me so." He spoke to Wadjet as if speaking to a person, "And it appears it is only us, Wadjet. Do you know what to do that I do not?"

He questioned the snake, who merely flicked its tongue out a few times and gave no audible response, to which Ateo sighed, "I didn't expect you to either, I was just hoping for something to be able to help me in this situation. I wonder if Philip and that other kid.. What's his name... Todd? Figure out something soon, they need to know they're stuck in an Ebony Game... Or this will spell a whole new set of troubles for them." Ateo walked toward his home, "What am I saying, I'm sure they'll figure out soon enough, the easy or the hard way..."

Wadjet slowly followed directly behind its master.

There were slight chuckles of amusement within a cloudy grey realm, a giant tabletop stood, across each end was a chair and on one side sat Ides (Or in the case Ides appearing in Makoto's form). Nearby Todd and Philip awoke, hearing the chuckles of 'Makoto', who was looking down at the tabletop.

"Oh dear Ateo, you feel a little bit sentimental?" 'Makoto' smirked, "Ah, you kids have awoken, wonderful."

Todd cracked a few joints, groaning, "Well that could've gone better. Philip you OK?" He turned around and saw that Philip seemed to have hit a snag on the way over to the dimension, currently regenerating his arm and about 15% of his torso. Todd looked around the cloudy realm, "Huh, sure his cloudy here. Wonder what the weatherman has for us tomorrow."

"Hahaha!!" 'Makoto' laughed, "Ah Todd, you seem to know how to simply lighten even dark ones' spirits; but no, now probably wouldn't be the best time to be joking. For right now, you've entered a rather interesting predicament, one I'm sure you and Philip will find worthy a task to set your mind to."

Todd asked, "And what sort of task is that?" Philip kept his eyes on Ides, thinking of any and all possible tasks that he and Todd will be forced to do.

"A mere game to play with me. Yes, a game. Now now, before we get ahead of ourselves, only one of you can play the master of your side. I'm already the master of the side I've chosen; and I have my game pieces. But to proceed forth, one of you must choose who will control the other side." Ides chuckled, "To aid you, I'll tell you what we're playing... It's a role-play game of sorts... The setting is ancient Egypt, 4000 years ago... That should give you a feel of which one of you will be game master."

Philip and Todd huddled together to get a game plan. Todd suggested, "I think you should do it Phil, you're smarter than me, can create plan after plan, calculate scenario after scenario. With you in control, we'd be a force to be reckoned with."

Philip shook his head and said, "No way. You're the more creative one."

"Dude, you can turn yourself into a bunny or a freaking hawk in five seconds...admittedly you can't fly as the hawk but it still counts!"

Philip responded, "Still, you possess the power to be this, game master as Ides puts it, which I guess would be something of the "player" and the other being like the piece on a board. That and you actually play video games, you've probably know every gaming trick in the book."

Todd nodded by countered, "Yes, but I'm not a roleplayer..."

"Neither am I. Besides, when you're on your missions, you have a very adaptable mind, you make plans and if something goes wrong you build on top of it."

Todd sighed, "OK, fine. I'll tell Ides." The two broke from their little huddle, Todd walking up to Ides, "We've decided that Philip's the Game Master and I'll be the "piece" as it were."

"Wait what?! We didn't agree to that!"

"Too late I already said it!" Todd smirked mischievously.

Ides smirked, "I'm sure..." He raised his arms, Todd was enveloped in dark energy and suddenly vanished; "And now that your friend will be having a fun time in Egypt, come take a seat Philip." Ides gestured to the seat that was open at the end of the table, "You have much to learn, but I'd say Todd chose correctly."

Philip reluctantly sat down and asked, "So how do I play?"

"Well, it's actually quite simple. There are your pieces, those of the grand palace, your chosen piece to uphold completely is the pharoah of course." Ides smirked, "And the only thing you require to do is to stop and defeat my pieces of the game. If you focus hard enough, you can transport a portion of yourself to the game to monitor the actions of those in the game."

"I'm going to guess that Todd also serves as a piece, correct?" asked Philip.

"Yes, my dear friend. Todd himself serves as his own piece and while he isn't a part of the history of 4000 years prior; he can in fact only affect few parts of the world. Those I'm sure he'll figure out when he has no interaction with any of the people of that time." Ides smiled wickedly, "Though there will be few he can actually speak to as well."

Philip continued, "So the objective of the game is to basically conquer the opposite kingdom right? That would allow me to assume Todd has allies in the other pieces correct?" Philip looked down at the "field" getting a good look at the board.

Philip noticed small red dots on a giant map of Egypt long ago, right near him, one small blue dot all the near way where Ides sat.

"The opposite kingdom... You mean a small village that once held about one hundred people... The kingdom you speak of is a young twenty year old at the time; who hated the world for what happened to him." Ides chuckled.

"Anyway," said Philip, a little impatiently, "What do we get if we win? I would assume you'd destroy the world or something if you win. What if Todd and I win?"

"Well... Seeing as I'm sitting here is merely a small portion of my true self... You'll be freed from this realm, the two of you. Though if I win, you'll wander the Ebony Realm for eternity. Though I'm sure even if you do win, the portion of me on Earth will have gained a grand amount of souls by the time we're done here. Ah, it appears my piece knows what to do already..."

Indeed, the blue dot representing Ides' side was already slowly moving toward Philip's side, "Not to worry, he doesn't get there until the night arrives."

Philip looked down and ordered one of his pieces, "Intercept." He watched as his piece's red dot move towards the general area of Ides piece. "And tell me, what do you have in mind with these "souls" you're collecting?"

"Oh you'll see..." Ides smirked when the red piece of Philip's vanished off the map after meeting up with Ides' blue dot, the map slowly became dark, "And now is when the game truly begins..." The map changed to reveal a room, one which Todd was in.

Chapter 1

Todd had been thrown into the game itself, finding he was in a room filled with people, a man stood upon a throne of gold while other people spoke to him, lingering around. But all was cut short at that apparent moment when a loud explosion shook the entrance to the room.

Robed in red stood a white haired boy of twenty, a scar running down the side of his face, though he spoke, Todd noticed it seemed to be in English, perhaps to make it all more understanding to those who didn't know the language of the time.

"I hope I didn't interrupt a celebration, gentleman." Ateo smirked, his eyes gleaming red in fury.

Todd then asked, surprised, "Wait, you're evil now? When did that happen?" Not really wanting to find out, Todd created a shield between Ateo and himself, and the people behind him, trying to stop the powerful man.

"Move out of the way, you imbecile." Ateo easily brought forth a gust of dark wind, knocking Todd far back behind everyone else, "Now Pharaoh, if you'd please hand of the Sacred Secret Items."

"Who are you to ask such a thing?" An advisor questioned.

"I don't mean for free, I've come bearing gifts!" A sack cloth he produced dropped gold everywhere.

"Those were stolen!"

"That means little." Ateo sighed, "You see, I've always wanted them for what you foolish mortals did to my people ages before."

"Your mockery is a disgrace to pharaoh, and you will be punished!" A tall man admonished, bringing out a golden staff, "Prepare to be tried!"

"I think not!" From behind Ateo, Wadjet the snake formed, "Meet Wadjet everyone, Wadjet, meet dinner."

Philip watched and told Todd, via telepathy, <Todd! Go after Wadjet! Ateo recognizes it as a portion of his "soul." That and in case his message hasn't told you anything, despite being of a subtle material, it is a major, physical threat.>

Todd reponded, <Got it!> Todd jumped back to his feet, sprinted for the spiritual cobra, and before shooting rapid fire bursts of plasma balls.

Ateo grinned, as two different attacks came directly at Wadjet, one from an advisor to the pharaoh and one from Todd himself. The snake seemed to suck in both attack, but suddenly shined brightly as the snake seemed to disappate in the light attack from the advisor.

"His soul has been cleansed." The advisor said.

"Wondeful work, Pe." The pharoah congratulated.

Ateo bowed his head, almost as if sad for a second, until a weak and meager voice came up, "Thank you master Pe, you saved my life; that horrible creature had controlled my mind; and now I'm finally free..."

Philip sighed, transmitting to Todd, <Yeah, he's acting Todd. He's just going to try to attack you when your guard is down.>

Todd nodded slightly before unleashing a gust of winds at Ateo shouting, "You're not fooling me!"

<By the way Philip, why are they calling me Pe?>

<You're basically playing a role as a real figure in history.>

<Huh...maybe I can find him in the Book later.>

Ateo was blasted back away, his eyes widening that his trick didn't work, "Freaking advisors, thinking their so smart."

"That's enough thief! Stand down!" The pharaoh commanded.

"Never you foolish moron." Ateo smiled, Wadjet formed again, forming a fiery energy in its mouth, another creature appeared suddenly, looking pure white but a snake as well, and stopped the attack.

"I said stand down." the pharaoh repeated.

"Another creature akin to Wadjet, I see. Perhaps I've underestimated this..." He jumped atop Wadjet and flew out the entrance, the pharaoh following instantly at the protest of his guards. Todd jumped up, taking flight, trying to catch up with Wadjet.

"If memory serves right, the Egyptians think of the pharaoh as a god incarnated on Earth! I don't think they care to be called "foolish morons!" Or Mormons for that matter, though they don't exist yet..." Todd fired several ice bullets towards Ateo.

Ateo turned to look at the ice coming straight for him, Wadjet turned his head, absorbing the ice, "Todd, just leave this, it isn't right for you to be in my time. And as for you pharoah, I've always wanted to destroy you right where you stand." Wadjet fired the ice magic back at pharoah, who countered with a fiery breath with his snake he exclaimed as Ra, who protected him.

"Aw, even the ancient Egyptians get into beam wars!" Todd complained.

<Focus!> snapped Philip mentally.

<Alright, alright...>

Todd teleported above Ateo and tried to dropkick him off of Wadjet, muttering, "By the way Ateo, believe me, I'd rather be in bed right now."

Todd's leg was grabbed before he could even try to hit Ateo, he turned his head to stare at Todd, he was swift in moving to grab Todd by the collar of his shirt, "Your life and soul lies in the balance of Ides' game and you crack jokes you blubbering imbecile?" Ateo snorted, "I'd think better."

Todd smirked slightly, "Not really, jokes make light of dark situations. And as for being an imbecile...whenIcandothis!" As Todd shouted that last bit super quickly, he lit his hands on fire and tried to punch Ateo in his chest.

That attack to was stopped by Ateo's hand, he didn't seem to care it was burning his palm, "It seems something is ablaze." Ateo smiled, throwing Todd straight at the pharaoh who was flying his winged serpent to blast Wadjet at that moment with an electrical shock from its tail.

"Oh crap!" snapped Todd, teleporting right above Wadjet's head, not losing his momentum in an attempt to hinder the snakes' mission of killing the pharaoh.

Ice and electricity collided, creating a large explosion, it was all so sudden. Ateo smiled, "Not enough pharoah." A stronger blast came through, hitting him directly, the pharoah fell, knocked out from the attack, and wadjet flew down, swallowing him whole, "Now I have all I need. How swift was that?" Ateo looked to Todd, "You have no idea how to fight in this age, an age that has been lost to history Todd." The white snake of the pharoah's, Ra, vanished.

<Damn it no! We can't let Ides win!> Philip lamented.

<Don't worry Phil, I got a plan.> Todd replied, giving an internal smile. He looked up at Wadjet and said, "I bet you can't freaking do it again!" He stretched out his arms and shouted, "Come oooon! Eat me! You overgrown milk snake!"

Ateo stared down at Todd, "Wadjet... you remember that time long ago when I thought I met the world's biggest moron? Yeah, I revoke that time. I think he's been marked for it."

"Come on then! If I'm the world's biggest moron let natural selection do its work! Go ahead and eat me!"

"Ah, the scientific term Darkness spoke to me about a thousand years ago, you see... Wadjet isn't too keen on eating. So I'll have to say good-bye to you as I take the pharoah back to my home." Ateo sent an orb of darkness at Todd before flying off in a westward direction. Todd reacted by throwing a ball of light before trying to fly after Ateo and Wadjet in hopes of saving the pharaoh.

"You're not going to lose me Ateo!" Todd snapped, trying to catch up with Ateo.

Ateo turned as Wadjet flew, smirking all the while, "You shall fail like the original Pe did, Todd... He was persistent like you..." Many more shadow orbs were lobbed at Todd.

Todd created a shield around him, calling back, "That my friend, is a fallacy! You assume that because I'm similar to Pe that I'm doomed to fail as well. Need to work on your rhetoric there!" Todd then fired several balls of light as a sort of ironic retaliation against Ateo.

"You see, this is an ebony game child, something that few grasp the understanding of... and it is of the history of my time... Which is doomed to repeat itself... I will complete what must be done, just as I did 4000 years ago." Black energy repelled each light sphere back at Todd.

<Teleport onto Wadjet's back!> suggested Philip.

Todd nodded and vanished, avoiding the attacks sent back at him, hoping that nothing would interfere with his teleporting. Ateo turned around to look at Todd, "I know Philip is aiding you as well, there's no point in trying to deny that fact either." He stared at Todd, "The longer you hold me back, the more the dark one becomes angered."

Todd stepped forward and replied, "And you can't deny that Ides is helping you. Besides, he can get as angry as he wants. I've dealt with worse. Killed an evil version of Enlil, who was basically all powerful with the Tablets of Me at his side. Anyway, I'll be taking the pharaoh back." Todd created a scimitar and tried to slice through Wadjet to get to the pharaoh.

Ateo tackled Todd off Wadjet, allowing them both to plummet to the ground, "Wadjet, continue on your path, let no guard or person stand in your way!! As for you, I'll be distraction enough for now, just as Pe did with me long ago."

<Todd, get him off you and teleport back to Wadjet before he gets away!> Philip ordered.

<Great minds think alikel!>

Todd tried to kick Ateo in the shins and even attempted to bite his arm to get him to let go so the Todd could teleport back to the snake. Ateo smiled, seemingly unaffected by each of these attacks on him, "You seem to forget that I've been with Ides for quite a while when I was younger, dealing with his punishments were far worse than a cute bite."

Todd was slammed into the ground by Ateo, who now stood atop him, "Don't even bother trying to teleport, Wadjet is far from here now. Besides, my shadow magic should be filling your body soon enough, blocking out that pesky attack." Indeed, Ateo's foot glowed a sickly purple, which eased its way onto Todd.

Todd began to crawl backwards, before remembering, 'I'm surrounded by sand...' He then tried to use what little bit of power he had to make the sand to harden around Ateo's foot to keep him still and from stepping on him.

Ateo got knocked off, falling onto the sand nearby, he stood up, dusting himself off, "You know, you're playing the part perfectly, I'm quite astounded. This is the part where you escape and Wadjet kicks your ass when you get near him."

Todd took that as his cue to chase after Wadjet. He tried to jump and fly only to land on his feet again. "Crap." So he started to run in Wadjet's direction, a plan forming in his mind.

<I got an idea,> Todd said to Philip.

<I think I know what it is.> Philip responded, <Don't know how it'll work, but it's worth a shot.>

<Considering that I can't seem to fly, it might work. Let's see if I can catch up on foot.>

"Let's try something new, I always wondered what it'd be like if I changed up a little history." Ateo smirked, a purple wall suddenly blocked Todd advancing, Ateo took a few steps closer, "So Pe... Todd... Whichever you prefer now..." Ateo smirked.

Todd smirked in return, chuckling slightly, before laughing softly. "So...I can do it then..."

"You can do little in the face of Ides the Shade." Ateo muttered, "It won't be too pleasing to know that you might either be at my feet or vice versa... But knowing that Pe got there in the past means you'll make it too... In due time..."

Todd smirked, "You just said you can change history...which means so can I!" Using what little of his magic he can muster, he tried to forge a small knife.

Ateo snickered before bursting into full psychotic laughter, "You're going to use that?! HAHAHAHAHA!! Oh my lungs!!" Ateo laughed at Todd. Todd charged and tried to plunge the knife into said organs. Ateo danced out of the way, laughing at Todd.

"This is hilarious. That tiny knife to hurt me?! I should be ashamed of myself to even dodge." Ateo wiped a few tears rolling down his face, "Never mind, kid. Pe would've been far more intimdating." The shadow wall vansihed, Ateo ran by, leaving Todd in the dust, "See ya kid!!" He laughed.

Todd, despite Ateo's magic, gave chase, trying to catch up with him, and trying to make the blade longer.

<We don't have time Todd. Try to go through with the plan.>

<But that was only for Wadjet.>

<We're running out of options Todd.>

Todd sighed, and tried to fire four ice bullets off of his fingertips, all aimed at none lethal areas. Ateo barely dodged the first three but the last one lodged itself into Ateo's leg, "Shit! Ugh..." He fell to the ground on all fours, he looked to Todd, "What the hell? Fucking ice?!"

Todd stood over him, saying, "Don't like ice? Let's try fire." With that Todd tried to light him on fire by snapping his fingers, not even sure it'll work due to Ateo's magic.

Ateo's eyes became a blazing red, and before Todd could do anything, he was grabbed by his neck and held aloft in the air by Ateo, "Fire sounds fine." He threw Todd back before turning and running once more getting much farther ahead even with that damage he took. Todd scrambled back to his feet and ran after him.

He yelled at him, "You won't lose me that easily Ateo!" He then tried to see if his telekinesis still worked and tried to throw Ateo far behind him as to get a headstart to Wadjet. He found though that Ateo was able to keep himself grounded; but he also noted that a village was finally beginning to show up.

Ateo stopped at the front of the village, too tired to continue for now, he turned to look at Todd, "Well? Mortal? Come here."

Todd, panting went over to Ateo, saying, "Fine, but only because I want to, not because you told me...I know you'll think I'm just being stubborn but believe it or not...I'm not." When he was there though, Todd tried to sneak attack Ateo with a solid kick aimed to the groin. Ateo jumped back, a black swirling portal took him in, he was laughing all the while.

"Don't even try Todd." His voice echoed throughout the village.

Chapter 2

"Hm... Your friend appears to be incompetent Philip." Ides muttered.

Philip smirked, "He's killed an extradimensional being that temporarily possessed limitless power, defeated legions of "demons" single-handedly, and he even went toe to toe with some incredibly powerful devil-figure I've never heard of." He then thought, 'If only the poor bastard got enough sleep. He's probably exhausted...'

"He barely looks the sort... Not that I don't mind. You'd think a mortal like he would be a little more accomplished..." Ides muttered, "Back 4000 years ago, such a thing would be trivial in the life of a normal person, Ateo is definitely a figure of such dedication..."

"Not like he had a choice in the matter." Philip snapped, "You and Darkness brainwashed the bastard into thinking that you could help him with the death of his family. And now look, 4000 years later and they're still dead and no vengeance reaped. And you greatly underestimate the World Walker. I admit, he's a bit of a jokester, cracking one liners, pun and the like. But if there is one thing I know about him, one thing his friends know about him, one thing that even his enemies will not deny!...It's that he never gives up, not until he has a damn good reason to! And guess what Ides, he won't quit until your taint on this world is gone and he will fight and kill Darkness if he must!"

"You cannot kill an abstract." Ides stated, staring down at the game board, "Darkness cannot be destroyed, and I being of the darkness itself, cannot be killed. But Todd... the child knows very little... You think you know Ateo? You know nothing of him. Darkness and I raised the brat, and while Darkness was soft, I hardened the child into a tool of mass destruction."

Philip laughed, "Yeah, and imagine what would happen if that "tool of mass destruction" were to turn against you! The fact that you see him as a tool and not a human being is definitely going to come back to haunt you! Ateo is a man! To paraphrase Charlie Chaplin, he has the love of humanity within his heart! He does not hate only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural! That's you! You are that unnatural element! I don't know what you are, be you demon, god, or some sort of alien and I don't care! Your hold on that "tool of mass destruction" is loosening, slowly but surely! One day he will turn on you...and you would wish that it were me or Todd who did it."

"What makes you think I want him on my side?" Ides laughed, "You should have seen when he was far younger, at ten when I would beat him senseless, and he'd cry for his parents... At sixteen when I deprived him of food for two weeks... When I would make him scream in agony as I broke his body day in an out... It hardened him... He's been on your side since I returned... I could read his heart... But who's to say that very tool can also become broken in a way that disabled the other side?"

"You're implying that when Ateo does inevitably meltdown that he will harm us and not you? Now, I may not be very knowledgeable of comedy, but that is hilarious. Why would he turn against the few people that actually showed him any kindness. Again, Mr. Chaplin says, "More than machinery, we need humanity, more than cleverness, we kindness and gentleness, or else life will be violent." Philip glared down at the spirit, "You are an empath correct? You said you read Ateo's heart. Well, I know what is in Todd's heart. He's a gentle soul, kind, caring, willing to help, and refuses to stand for injustice! Which seems to be what you personify! The corruption of innocence in the persuit of injustice! At least Darkness has a reason to do what he did, to maintain cosmic balance! What is your excuse? The fact is that you see Ateo as a tool to detonate against your enemies, just means you underestimate the sheer hatred he has for you."

"Then you don't know Ateo as much as you think you do. Perhaps you've seen that glint in his eye that returns every so often when he becomes enraged..." Ides muttered, "Darkness overtakes his heart because he is so easily subsceptible to it; he is bound by eternity to fight himself inside and outside; and yes, I am an empath. And you should feel how his emotions taste... Tears, almost every day in his presence I've tasted sweet tears of a mere child who cries for his family to return, his hunger for belonging is so strong... But in the end, he deems himself too unworthy, and so he puts up barriers to protect himself from outsiders. Think on that."

"To protect himself from outsiders," Philip quoted, "This coming from someone who is for all intents and purposes the ultimate outsider. You're not even of our dimension! As for his tears, as for him "not belonging", that again due to your brainwashing. If similar events were to unfold to him and he were to come to this time without your abuse, your brainwashing, he could adapt and live in the modern world just fine, I assure you. The religions of the Ancients are resurfacing, rituals and gods, though I admit mummification is not really a thing anymore, but that was only for the wealthy and kings anyway." Philip looked at Todd's position on the board, "You do realize, even if we lose Todd and I won't quit. We will fight, we will break free of this realm. And whatever plans you have in mind we will stop it."

Ides laughed which slowly became a maniacal cackle, "No... You cannot escape the Ebony Realm once a game is complete; not even I, it's creator can escape if I lost a game." He snickered, "That is what makes Ateo my ultimate tool. He cannot get close to anyone, because he's forgotten how; he's forgotten what love is like coming from another person. And you're right, if I were not around he'd adapt just fine; but that's not the case, now is it? No... He's been the perfect puppet, the perfect tool; and even if I am defeated, what I've inflicted upon him will leave a lasting impression for the rest of his life."

Philip glared, "Well then Ides, if you're the puppetmaster, and Ateo the puppet, then Todd and I are the scissors to cut the strings...or the sword to cut your hand. And as you have just said that not even you can escape, that just gives me more resolve to beat you at your own game and Todd and I will make sure you're locked up in here forever. But with that said, as you managed to return to Earth after 4000 years I would assume there is indeed a way out. So I'd like to remind you of my previous statement of Todd and I breaking out of here."

"Even if you defeat me here, I am merely a small portion of my complete self. In no way would the rest of me be sealed in my own dimension. When I sent you here, I gave a small portion, a piece of myself to to play this game; there is another me still on Earth, doing as planned." Ides smiled, "And I was stuck in the Realm of Darkness for 4000 years, much like Ateo was. So even if I do lose, it's not like the rest of myself can't handle it. Hahahahaha!!"

Philip then sighed sarcastically, "Oh no! That just means when we get out of here Todd's going to kick your ass again when we get back." He grabbed the bridge of his nose, saying, "Your arrogance knows no limitations does it? Besides the rest of you will have to deal with the rest of the heroes of Earth, including another friend of mine that can control darkness energy and mysterious chains. So basically it's not just Todd and I fighting, it's the entirety of heroes of Earth."

"Should I be afraid?" Ides chuckled.

Philip shrugged, "I don't know, you tell me. There are heroes from all over the world, and once they catch a whiff of trouble they will all come from all over the globe to wherever you are. Imagine a few dozen heroes at the least, to literally all of them at the most if you're a big enough threat to the safety of the innocent and the universe at large. Possibly even the heroes from other universes if your threat is large enough. Just imagine for a second. Every single superhuman, mutant, "mystic", cyborg, robot, and artificial lifeform, some of them also being the envoys for their "gods" some being demigods, others heroic cambions or ascended "demons" from all space, all time, across different dimensions, countless timelines...all of their wrath come down upon you as if the gods themselves have smitten you down themselves. Even Darkness himself will laugh at your arrogance. Now tell me...should you be afraid?"

"No." Ides answered, "I do not fear that which cannot happen. As pathetic as your attempts to somehow frazzle me have come; I do not fear. The Ebony Realm makes sure to keep certain problems at bay. It exists outside time and space; it can affect anything at any moment, for what is seen within is reflected upon reality itself. So don't give me useless information when they could possibly be eradicated as we speak."

"Oh, and do you think your attempts to scare me will work? There are forces more powerful than you. Again, there are people who are purported demigods and those who fight in the name of those "gods", do you think that if you strike them down, kill them, imprison them or what have you that those "gods" will do nothing?" Philip retorted, lean slightly forward, "And if you were as fearless as you claim, you wouldn't need this dimension to hide yourself in, you'd just be out there, conquer worlds, devouring "souls", whatever the hell it is you do! But no! You hide here and manipulate others to do your dirty work for you! You know if Todd was here now, I think he'd call you a coward...and I'd have to agree."

"You call me a coward, I who came back to finish what I could've completed thousands of years before had it not been for a few slight miscalculations? I've been reduced to nothing more than that of a spirit that can only possess weaker beings; no... Once I have my full power back, there will be little that can stop me."

Philip smirked, "Except for all those "gods" and heroes I've mentioned earlier...oh and Todd himself, he'll put up a fight. Made it his job to fight anything that stands in the way of justice and free will and those that would abuse the sacred aspect of a living thing that sentient beings, including myself admittedly, call a soul. He's killed gods, have you forgotten that! You're just a random specter! A ghost!...never imagined myself ever saying that. Regardless, your task will remain uncompleted and do you know why? Because of Todd, because of people like Todd, those who will lay down their lives to defend the lives of the innocent, the one they love, be it in the name of Christ, Buddha, God, Krishna, or simply for the sake of Humanity, and for that reason you will never win, and even if you do on some off-chance, your victory will not last. These heroes inspire others, even if you were to kill every single last alien, robot, superhuman, "mystic", or what have you, more will stand up and fight! Nothing can stop you! Ha! Clearly something can stop you! Or else we wouldn't be having this conversation right now!"

Ides stared at Philip as if he were a moron, before looking back down, "By the way, your mortal friend seems to be having trouble with Ateo."

Indeed, down below was an image of darkness surrounding the village of Ateo's, Todd appeared to be attacked by strange creatures of darkness as well as hooded spectres who rode black, red-eyed horses.

Ateo's voice laughed mockingly at Todd, "Come now, Pe, try harder."

Todd sighed, "You know Ateo, it just occured to me," he followed this up by shooting at two of the horses in the leg with ice bullets, "You hate this Ides guy right? Why not just help me out and go against his plan? I mean, I don't have to listen to Philip's ideas, so I can assume that you don't have to listen to Ides?" The horses were noted to be ghosts, as the attacks went right through.

"No... I don't have to listen... But of course, you'd probably not like to go back home to your time, seeing the world differently if things don't go as they did so long ago?"

"Good point," said Todd, cracking his knuckles, "But if we can change history here, then why not put an end to Ides plan before it even begins. You and I Ateo! Think what we can accomplish, Ides stuck in his dimension, you'd be free, free to live your life, free of the threat of being taken back into the darkness! You could be free." Todd then turned his attention to the ghosts around him before creating an omnidirectional field around him, hoping that it can at least harm them.

"You could possibly cease to exist. Do not take the risk of such an idea." Ateo's voice rang out, the ghosts vanished right then, clearing the air, showing the decimated village in its sad state. Allowing Todd to search the place.

Todd walked up to a nearby house, looking for the residence, still talking to Ateo, "Come on Ateo! Just think! If Ides wins, your life will get worse than it already is! I get that this is some weird time travel thing, but Philip just gave me the run down. He's screwing with our home right now! If we can stop him now, we can get out, imprison part of him here and kick his "other's" ass back in the real world!"

"If we stop him now, history will possibly completely change, you cannot do this, for it will reflect. Just accept it for what it is..." Ateo stated, "Come now... Sister, if you please, bring him here."

A strange purple orb appeared in the house, slowly floating out of it. Todd looked at the orb. "Or you could just, I don't know, appear before me? Wouldn't that be easier then sending your sister to send me to you?"

"How else am I supposed to get you to come to me as Pe did? He could sense me long before and knew exactly where to go. Follow her." Ateo growled, the little purple orb floated toward building with a double door sitting in the middle of the village. Todd, having no choice, followed the orb to the middle of the village.

"You know," Todd said, "I have a feeling Pe talked a bit like me, right? I mean we are reenacting history, I would assumed that he had some faith in you too." He reached for the handles of the double doors and begun to pull them open. The orb then faded.

"Come down, I want to remember what it was like back then at that time..." Todd came down towards Ateo's voice. He sighed.

'Well,' Todd thought, 'Here goes something.'

Wadjet floated behind Ateo who stood near some statue, which had many imprints of objects that once were within it; on the ground out cold was the pharoah, "Ah yes, just like yesterday I stood here above the pharoah's body, as he was no match for me, just as I thought Pe was no match for me." Ateo said, "Of course, it turned out I was wrong and lost the fight to him. It's not surprising how much you are both somewhat alike, save for major differences..."

Todd came up with a plan, saying, "Let me guess. I'm suppose to ask you what the major differences are, where you'll then proceed to beat the living crap out of I'm not going to ask. Instead I'll do this." With that Todd then tried to use his telekinesis to cause the statue Ateo was standing in front of to topple on top of him.

"I don't give a care whether you want to know or not!" Ateo simply jumped out of the way, having Wadjet breathe fire at Todd while he applied shadow orbs to try to hit Todd if the fire didn't. Todd created a force field to block the fires, before using the flames as cover to teleport behind one of the other statues to avoid the attacks and hopefully get a sneak attack in.

The smoke cleared after the flames disappated, "Hm... It appears he's vanished into thin air... Oh no, someone help!" Ateo turned right around, knocking statues one by one, out of the way, "It's not like I don't know where you are. In fact, Pe hid behind the last one, but who's to say I'm not lying to get you to hide where he really hid, eh kid?"

Todd smirked, teleporting in front of the pharaoh, throwing a plasma ball at Ateo, before making an energy dome around him and the Pharaoh. Wadjet attacked the dome as Ateo got up, "What? Get away from him!! Fucking mortal, you're going to change everything!!" Ateo began to freak out, "Wadjet, helical shockwave, destroy that barrier!!" A strange wind like energy shot from the serpent's tail, hitting the shield with unimaginable brute force almost comparable to a god.

The shield shattered, Todd shouting, "Ateo! Listen to me! Help me stop Ides! We can save the world! Tell me how to beat Ides! You said you can disobey him!" Todd fired lightning at Wadjet, "By telling me how to win, you don't have to disobey Ides and you can get revenge on the bastard!" He knew that he was in danger, and that if he lost, Ides would possess 1000 souls, and well beyond.

"You cannot beat the game master you idiot." Ateo growled, "I started this 4000 years ago in the hopes of annihilating Egypt. Ides came to me, if you want to fight him so much, be my guest." Ateo raised his arm, getting a slash onto the unconscious Pharoah's arm, and took the blood that came out with a bit of magic, spreading atop a tablet nearby, "You want to destroy Ides, then do so. Do what Pe did 4000 ago."

The tablet began to glow gold, becoming an otherwordly beauty never seen before, "You should take him and get out of the room while you have the chance, Todd."

Todd picked up the pharaoh and sprinted out of the room, shouting, "Trust me, I intend to have a nice long chat with Ides when I get out. Win or lose!" Todd's resolve increased, ready to face Ides, not caring if it meant him being stuck in that Ebony World. 'Even if I do get stuck there...I will break out and fight him!'

Chapter 3

The ground began to rumble, the sky became a sickly green; all was not well, that was for certain. Todd came out upon this, feeling the Earth begin to rumble and shake. This was certainly a seemingly 'end of the world' type deal.

An explosion occured, and the tablet the was glowing gold shined as it floated up, Ateo stood atop of it; looking down at Todd and the pharoah, "Well, once again it appears I'm on top, and the pharoah is someone below me, even if he isn't real or alive!!" Ateo laughed, Wadjet appeared behind him, hissing in could what could possibly be happiness.

Todd looked up, pointed to Wadjet, yelling, "You stay out of this!" while shooting a ball of fire towards Ateo himself.

The attack was repelled as if it were nothing, but not by Ateo, but by the tablet, "Pharoah, when you awake, know fear! Cry to your gods and cling to Pe like the weak one you are!! The dark one comes, and he shall devour Egypt! AHAHAHAHAHA!!" Ateo glowed a sickly green, before he began to slowly disappear, sparkles of energy flew off him before he totally vanished.

Wadjet took flight, seemingly flying far away before it vanished on the horizon.

The ground and earth was silent before the tablet shattered, and another shape took form, revealing an enormously large figure of a green being, taller than any mountain on Earth. It's eyes were a scarlet red, it's humanoid body rippling strength, it had what appeared to be horns and a forced grin upon it's face due to missing facial features such as a nose and lips; but teeth bared.

"Centures and ages ago I created the Ebony Realm and resided there, biding my time and waiting for the moment to strike; and that time is now. Die mortals!" Ides growled out, creating a fiery orb larger than a airplane and lobbing it at Todd.

"...shit." moaned Todd, teleporting, hoping to land a sneak attack from behind, by throwing his own fireball, about the size of a basketball.

The giant monstrosity that was Ides barely turned to see where Todd had hit him, though not even taking a bit of damage, "You and the pharoah shall die together!" He practically roared, but was stopped before he could create another fiery orb, a voice spoke out.

"Ides, head to Egypt and destroy it, bring eternal darkness to the world!!" It was Ides' voice as well, though it obviously came from the game master himself.

Ides turned to look to the palace far in the distance, ignoring Todd and slowly making his way to the centre of Egypt.

"Ah... Checkmate, dear Philip. My strongest piece is now upon your own in the game." Makoto smiled devilishly at Philip, "The almighty Ides is once more walking the Earth in his true form, at least in the game world."

"Wait, wait," said Philip, tapping his temple, "Todd can still hear you, due to the whole, yelling at your game form...he says that soon the almighty Ides will once more be on the Earth in his dead form...just felt like you should know that before I throw in my two cents."

Philip looked at the board and demanded, "Todd, intercept and defeat Ides." He then looked at Ides before saying, "I did mention that he killed a being that had nearly limitless power before, right? Because I definitely think that might be a problem for you now. Anyway, what makes you think you can change history now? I mean, you risk losing what you call the "ultimate tool". I mean, the word ultimate implies that even you could use him, even when "almighty." You even risk completely losing your control...meaning that threat of a weapon of mass destruction turning against you is more likely to happen."

"If you noticed, I already had to sacrifice a piece. I'm not worried of whatever Todd can do..." Ides smirked, pointing to only one large dot on the screen on his side, "I don't have two pieces... I only have one, and that one is Ides... Ateo's marker is gone."

"So you assimilated him all those centuries ago?" Philip questioned stoically.

"No... He was sacrificed to bring me into the world, sealed away into the Realm of Darkness." Ides stated.

Philip leaned back slightly, replying, "Doesn't that kind of counteract the whole "almighty Ides?" I mean the word almighty means "omnipotent", limitless power meaning you should've been able to escape yourself. And I know you're going to say that you were only all-powerful after you escaped, the fact that you were still defeated means quite plainly that even then you aren't all powerful, meaning that you can be beaten. So I wouldn't get so cocky there "friend."

"Logic doesn't work here, dear Philip. There is little you can do with your words; and personally, I don't care what you think or apply in your logical ways. Magic defies what you find in your constituational, stagnant thought processes. What you know now was nothing compared to 4000 years ago." Ides smiled, as the realm began to reflect the outside world of the planet Earth, which slowly began to have darkness envelope it, "Ah, already the Ebony Realm is reflecting onto Earth as we speak, I may not need to steals souls when I can destroy people before they're even born."

Philip leaned forward again, saying, "Well, if magic is so beyond constitutional and stagnate thought process, such as, oh, those of an arrogant man with too much confidence, then Todd and his magic should be able to return light back to the Earth. He's done it to countless Earths before, and I doubt he'll fail to aid his own Earth. I know that you're going to boast about how omnipotent and mighty and how nothing can stop you...again, just like everyone else Todd fights against...funny how you claim to be above Todd and all those who he has fought, and now you're acting just like them."

Ides stared at Philip once more, agitated, "Hm... I see... This makes me all the more interested in Todd... Perhaps we'll take a closer look?"

'I don't like the way this sounds...' thought Philip.

"Yes... A grand idea, since the Ides in the game and myself are one in the same!" Ides laughed, "We shall take a closer look!!" Energy surrounded the room before Philip found himself standing beside Todd in the game, a small pink orb floated about before lodging itself into the giant Ides' forehead. A ghost of Ides in Makoto's formed laughed before vanishing, "No... I shall rid the world of Egypt and you two!"

Todd and Philip looked at each other. "So, I try to get the orb, you distract Ides?" Todd whispered.

"Sounds about right." Philip said, nodding, lashing a bladed arm out towards one of Ides eyes, hoping to blind him in one eye.

"You two can deal with a game piece of my last time." A hand outstretched formed Ateo from sands.

"Wh-where am I?" Ateo questioned, looking rather weak at the moment.

Ides laughed darkly, "Deal with them Ateo."

"I..." Ateo fell to his knees, "I just don't have the strength..."

"Slight change of plans Todd, I'll go after the orb, you get Ateo."

Todd nodded, "On it!" The World Walker leaped up and flew straight for Ateo with a hand outstretched to grab the Egyptian, as Philip streched his other arm out to grab the pink orb implanted in Ides forehead.

"AH!! Get away from me!!" Ateo stood up on his feet, only to fall back down.

Ides stared at the pink orb was taken, "Take it. You'll like what you see."

Todd tried to catch Ateo, saying, "Calm down for God's sake! Geez, you're acting like you've seen a gho-...right, reliving the past sorry." While this is going on, Philip decided to not touch the orb, not trusting Ides' statement about him liking what he would see.

Ateo stared at Todd, his eyes showing extreme pain, "P-please, don't hurt me..."

"Pathetic mortals, your lives are minor sacrifices to what shall happen soon enough." A giant fiery orb formed once more, aimed for Philip and Todd, Ateo also going to be caught in the blast.

"Everyone behind me!" shouted Todd, raising a powerful shield, hoping that it'll protect them from the blast. "If this doesn't work, we're teleporting guys!" Todd informed his friends.

The attack hit the shield, before Ides spoke, "Todd, you cannot hold up against the Lord of Darkness, begone!!" Another attack formed from his mouth, twice as powerful than the one from his hands.

Todd, as planned, teleported once the shield was broken above Ides' head, shouting, "Well then, good thing I'm fighting you and not the Lord of the way, which one are you talking about, Satan, Darkness, something else entirely?" As he said this, he tossed a ball of light at Ides' eye, as Philip let go of Todd's grasp and tried to land atop Ides' head.

Ides stared at them, as the light merely bounced off his eye, the pink orb floated nearby Philip for a few moments, "Trying to flatter the other Darkness rulers will get you nowhere." Black energy began to fly off of him before Ides turned to Ateo, "Get up, who told you who ruined your life? I did, I told you Pe and the others ruined it, the pharoah of all. Kill the pharoah, and then Pe's lookalike."

Ateo stood up, staring at the pharoah then to Todd, unsure what to do.

Todd said to Ateo, "Did Pe really ruin your life? Or was it the interdimensional psychopath giving you orders, lying to you, saying that he can make your problems disappear and that you'd have your revenge, while giving you none of it?! Who made it impossible to adapt into the modern world! Philip told me himself that Ides said that you would be fine if it wasn't for him!"

Philip watched as the energy vaporized his legs and lower torso before melting down to land on Todd's shoulder to regenerate.

"Why would you continue to listen to a man who lies to you and thinks of you as no more than a weapon for him to use, abuse and ultimately discard?" Todd continued, "Why continue listening to him? The fact of the matter is, he needs you! This supposively "almighty" being can't do anything without you! He needed you to bring him here! He couldn't do it himself! You can get revenge on the one who really wronged you!"

Ateo stared at Todd then back at Ides, then looked down at the ground.

"The same as you were when you were a child, you going to cry Ake? Ateo Ake, look at me."

Ateo obeyed, staring at Ides' eyes, "You going to cry or are you going to do something? Bring your Ka back here to rid these two of this world while I destroy Egypt."

Ateo was silent, but Wadjet came flying back from the distance, landing nearby Ateo, "I know the pharoah did it, I saw the family crests of Ra of the soldiers that night..." He stated.

Todd stepped forward as Philip slithered off and reformed. Todd said gently, calmly, "Killing everyone and kickstarting 4000 years of darkness isn't going to bring them back Ateo. All it will do is cause more misery, the destruction of more souls. You will cause the same pain to others that the Pharaoh has caused you."

Philip said stoically, "He's right Ateo. Ides has done nothing but abuse you, what makes you think that if you do what he says will actually be what's best for you? This being that mocks you for the aspects that make you human, is telling you what is best? That's nonsense. You have a choice Ateo, you can defy Ides and save the Earth."

"I couldn't even save my family... I couldn't do anything... I still can't... I just-"

"Ake! I can feel it, that sudden change in heart and feelings and I will not have you running away! You made a pact with me at the age of six, and I shall not have that go!" Ides raised his arm, a black vortex of energy seemed to grab Ateo from the palm of the demon's hand, it was swift that ateo was caught in the demon's grasp, "You're listening to them, those two brats are telling you what they think is right, but the only justice is destroying Egypt."

"You're hurting me..." Ateo gasped in pain.

"It seems you forgot who owns you." Ides growled, he raised his other palm to Todd and created another energy orb to kill him and Philip, blasting straight at them.

The two heroes jump out of the way, with Todd retaliating by teleporting near the arm that bound Ateo, creating a silver scimitar to try to sever the arm, as Philip initiated armored form, running towards Todd, making his own blades to try and help him cut the arm. While both the attacks hit, neither seemed to even faze Ides, who merely stood there, his arm was clearly still intact, as if he had his body made of the hardest material possible.

What was worse is that he seemed to not even care, ignoring both Philip and Todd and speaking directly to Ateo, "Ake, who got your ass up every morning so you could get stronger every day for your revenge? Stop being so selfish about yourself, and get your head back in the game, fucking idiot."

Ateo looked to Ides, "Please put me down."

Ides did as questioned, Ateo rubbed his arms, "Ake, you are the only one I've ever given chances to, for you deserve such..."

"I know... But why, I saved my family already..."

"Because the world wants you to suffer, those two will leave you alone the moment this is over, I am eternal, like you are; which I GAVE you."

Ateo quietly nodded, "It's certainly true... You did..."

Todd shouted, pouring a vial of holy water on the arm, "You are kidding me Ateo! The world isn't out to hurt you, no more than it is out to hurt me or Philip! The only one out to hurt you is Ides! He wants you to believe you're hated, that everyone wants you dead, but it's not true! I don't want you dead! Will we leave you alone? Maybe, but we'll make it possible for you to communicate! You can find others! And what good is eternity when you're beside a man who despise you, enslaved you! Tell you what to do, what to think, what to feel! Who drills your diet you! Treat you like cattle use you as cannon fodder! You're a human damn it! You were created by Ra's tears when he wept tears of joy upon seeing his missing children! You were made of happiness and that is what you deserve! Please, let Philip and I help you!"

Philip decided around the time Todd was quoting Charlie Chaplin ('Never thought Todd watched Charlie Chaplin movies.' he thought.) to create a blob to go behind Ides, as he himself tried to attack Ides' orb.

"One last thought, who gave Wadjet to you, you may be able to bring Wadjet out but who allowed that to happen?"

Ateo looked to the serpent floating nearby, Wadjet was seemingly calm, merely floating there staring at Ides, Todd, and Philip, "You released Wadjet from my soul Ides, you're the reason why I can summon him to help me." Ateo looked to Todd, then back at Ides, he appeared to have a strong inner debate before jumping atop Wadjet, "Just, all of you shut up and leave me alone!! I know everyone hates me, not even you like me Ides!! Manipulators!! Fucking manipulators!! Leave me alone!!" Wadjet took flight, grabbing the pharoah in his mouth before taking off toward Egypt again.

"Ateo Ake, get back here!! Ammit is not going to like this. YOU!!" Ides pointed at Todd, "Brat, ruining Ateo!! DIE!!" A black vortex appeared near Todd, beginning to try to suck him in. Todd couldn't help but smirk.

"If by "ruining" you mean "freeing from your manipulation", then you're right, I did...I admit it didn't work out as well as I hoped, but worked out better than I expected." In an attempt to save himself, Todd created a cyclone in hopes of counteracting the vortex. While this was going on the blob became a separate body.

<Alright, let's strike!> thought Philip-2

<On it!> responded Philip-1.

The two of them charged at Ides from both side, before expanding as to make it difficult, but not impossible, to dodge, with tendrils to attack the orb.

Ides gave a seriously dark chuckle before black shockwaves blasted in all directions, hitting everything nearby; enough to make the earth shake and quake from the massive power. This also strongly damage the ground and the air. As Todd and Philip (both of his forms) were sent flying and feeling incredible pain by the shockwaves, Todd thought, 'Well at least the vortex is gone...I think.' As the two landed, Todd coughed as the air's damage made it a bit harder to breath. "Best you got Ides? Or was I right on the money when I said you needed Ides!"

Philips 1 and 2 remerged and asked Todd, "Is this a good idea Todd?"

"Probably not, but I can buy you time to think of something brilliant!" Todd responded in a hushed voice, before shouting at Ides, despite his difficulty breathing, "Come on! What happened to being the Lord of Darkness? And this is the reason I mocked you earlier!" He followed this by throwing balls of light rapid fire.

Ides stared at Todd as he threw each orb, but each just simply reflected off of his skin; ignoring Todd and Philip altogether, he turned and began to take his trek to Egypt, "Perhaps annihilating Egypt will change the course of history, and make you no longer exist. I do like the slower way much better."

Todd started to run after Ides, as did Philip, Todd yelling, "Not likely, Mom and Dad are both English. Philip was your creator Egyptian and or any other affiliated race?"

Philip answered loud enough to be heard, "No he was not." However he added to Todd in a whispered, "But with the destruction of Egypt, it would possibly change the course of technology so...might not work out for me."

"Huh, then we better kick his ass." Todd decided to try to hinder Ides' path by raising an enormous wall of rock and sand.

Ides simply waved his arm, a stronger force of shadow easily blasted the attack out of the way, Ides turned to stare at Todd, "Your attacks a meager at best, your soul isn't strong enough to play with the big boys. You are both minor hindrances, and for that..." A shadowy bolt of lightning shot from the sky, splitting into two parts, one for Todd and the other for Philip.

Todd created a shield for both of them, hoping it'll hold, yelling back, "Yeah well I fought beings that actually were almighty. Keep that in mind."

"I've grown sick of your weakness, and I will have none of it." The lightning vanished, but strange clouds began to envelope the area, once more the full force of the Ebony Realm came forth, weakening the duo, "There will be no game to slowly slaughter you, the Ebony Realm can have you, you have lost." It was as if Ides changed his whole mind, and in fact forced the pure darkness of the realm onto the two. Shadows danced around them and energy of the realm took away their very own, stealing it to feed whatever else existed within the realm.

Todd and Philip groaned, feeling the weakness growing. Todd, with what strength he had, made his fist glow a healthy green, trying to use a spell to reclaim at least a little strength, as Philip tried to ensnare Ides' neck to try to drag him back to the Ebony Realm with them. 'Can't...let...this' both young men thought.

Ides turned right then, being surprised by Philip, the realm slightly wavered, weakening its hold on Todd and Philip. Ides though created more shocking waves of energy, this black energy sent the two flying back slamming into the village of Ateo's.

"Your deaths will be swift, I will have none of this... Die pathetic mortals!!" He created another orb of fiery energy, this time being far larger than the village itself, lobbing it straight at Todd and Philip.

Todd smirked, "Do you realize how many times I've heard that? Means nothing to me now." Todd grabbed Philip and tried to teleport a short distance away, with a shield around them in case he couldn't teleport yet. Even with getting away, the shockwaves of the attack destroyed Todd's shield. Ides was suddenly standing before them though, he himself teleporting.

"While your experience in the normal dealings of demons amuses me, it does little to aid you if you do not even know my own weakness." Ides stared at them before turning to look at Egypt, he began to take his ground shaking steps toward the palace once more, "And now I've grown bored of you two." He merely stated as he walked away from them.

The duo, with what little strength they had decided to give chase, Todd trying to fire a focused beam of light, as opposed to his usually light energy balls. The attack certainly landed, but if Ides was even hurt was to be determined, there were no marks on the dark god's body, and he didn't flinch or howl in pain when hit. He merely continued to take his steps toward the palace that was slowly getting closer and closer.

Philip continued to use what little strength he had to try to run after Ides, as Todd began to force winds to blow away from the palace and towards them, hoping to cause a big enough sandstorm to at least temporarily blind Ides. Though the demon god seemed to not even far, leaving his eyes wide open in such a storm, "Todd... Your feeble attempts are weak, there's is little you can do to stop my trek, as I performed 4000 years ago..."

Todd groaned, teleporting in front of Ides, creating an incredibly wide shield, "Yeah, and you failed back then, and on top of that, Ateo has abandoned you. Oh and by the way, your redundant statement is redundant!" He added to the shield enormous thorns of light. Philip ran towards Ides, trying to bind his hands and feet by turning into a ball and chain.

Ides suddenly vanished, appearing on the other side of the shield and continued walking, "Ateo may have left, but he doesn't seem to want you two either. He'll see the error of his ways when I am in his presence once more."

Todd scoffed, "Yeah, and we'll be there to remind him of the one who treated him like cannon fodder. He'll leave again." Todd teleported and did something simple, so simple it baffled Philip, who was reforming. He meanly stood in Ides' way. No shield, no attacks, just standing there.

Ides stopped for a moment to stare at Todd, "So, are you giving up? If you are, I'll be happy to oblige." Another fiery orb was formed in between his hands, he blasted it down toward Todd.

Todd backhanded the fire ball away, saying sternly, "No, I'm not giving up. I don't give up." Todd stepped forward, continuing, "I've fought against Zied you know. A being more evil and powerful than you could ever hope to become. I've killed Enlil with his own Tablets of ME which made him virtual omnipotent. Do you know why? Because I refuse to let anyone suffer at the hands of forces like you. With God Himself as my witness, I won't let the innocent suffer to some god wannabe who wants to take over the world! I am standing in your way, like I have done to countless others. I intend to let history repeat itself, namely with you being imprisoned in that hell you call the Ebony Realm." Lightning crackled in his hands, ready to continue the fight.

Ides cackled like a maniac, wrapping his arms around his body, befor recomposing himself and walking past Todd, "Zied may be powerful, and while he gets hurt easily, he isn't powered by the Ebony Realm, something that is far more powerful than he is." He continued on his way to Egypt before Wadjet suddenly appeared from the distance, Ateo on the snake's back.

"You are back Ateo, whatever for?"

"Shut up! I've only come to try to end this game of yours so I can go back to the real world." He ground out.

"I see... Well, the worthless shit you are, not even helping me out while I was getting pestered by these kids has whittled down my time. So move."

Ateo sighed, "I intend to break this Ebony Game of yours."

Todd turned to Ateo, a corner of his mouth raising, "Nice to see that you're helping us Ateo, even if it's for a short time." Balls of light formed in his hands, Todd's eyes returned to Ides, glaring, his smile, turning into a serious scowl.

Philip nodded, "I knew there was good in you Ateo." His arms were replaced with incredible sharp blades, before turing to Ides, "What was that I said Ides? That your mistreatment of Ateo would blow up in your face? And you didn't believe me."

"Hm... I think not... For you see, those 4000 years in the Realm of Darkness have really made Ateo really subjective to the shadows." Ides eyes glared bright red for a few seconds, the same happened to Ateo, Wadjet's eyes suffered the same, "I must be going..."

Ateo landed on the ground, allowing Ides to walk by, "Oh... Ateo, you wouldn't mind keeping them at bay... Just for a little bit? Didn't think so..."

Ateo stared at Philip and Todd.

"Just perfect." Philip groaned. Todd grabbed the bridge of his nose.

"Should've known it wouldn't be so easy. Philip, you've known him longer, work with him, I'll chase after Ides."

Philip asked, "You sure that's a good idea Todd? How will I explain this to your folks if he kills you?"

Todd shrugged, "How would we explain if we got imprisoned in another dimension?"

"Good point."

Todd ran off, shouting, "Just tell her I love her if I don't come back?"


"Who do you think?"

Wadjet reacted first, going straight for Todd while Ateo went to attack Philip.

Philip entered armored form, while turning his left arm into a sort of leash to try and pull Wadjet back towards him and Ateo.

Ateo dashed for Philip, and Wadjet becoming distracted also came for Philip, both of them had their own attack of fire and shadow energy to hit him with. He reverted to his normal form and jumped backwards to avoid the attacks, now only hoping that they don't wind up hurting each other. Despite this, he has decided to harden his fists and sent them into Ateo's stomach.

Ateo gave a smirk before a wall of shadow formed before him, while Wadjet hissed, flying into the sky and coming down, turning into a blazing ball of energy for all intentions on directly hitting Philip. In an attempt to evade the attack, Philip dissolved and hid within the sand beneath their feet. 'Have to think of a way to snap Ateo out of this. If he snaps out of it, surely he can get Wadjet to snap out of it. Wonder how Todd is doing?'

Chapter 4

Ides had made half of the way to the Egyptian palace, most unhindered but a bit late in attacking the place as he should have at the right time 4000 years ago. He looked behind himself to see Todd had caught up to him, "Why do you continue to follow and attempt to harm me when everything has proved fruitless?"

Todd replied, "Easy. You plan on taking over the world and steal over 1000 souls, and you expect me to not try to stop you? You're nowhere near as bright as you like to think are you? I mean, granted, I travel across the multiverse pissing off almost all-powerful beings but at least I can say I know what I'm doing. You're just running about, messing with time, trying to preform a ritual that'll kill thousands and say, "Yeah. There is no way that this'll attract attention and backfire in anyway." Todd rolled his eyes, shooting lightning bolts at Ides.

"That is with my other self, pathetic mortal. Here in the game, my friend, I can attempt to rewrite history before I even began on my other trek." The eletrical bolts simply did nothing to Ides, merely vanishing after hitting him, he continued to walk, "You talk much, a big game as well, but you have no power to back it up."

Todd rolled his eyes and replied, "Not like you're that powerful, I mean let's face it if you were, you'd have conquered the world 4000 years ago and not going through this nonsense right now." Todd created a fireball, throwing it up and down before tossing it at Ides, following it up by raising up an enormous amount of sand into the air, solidifying it into a large bolder, pushing Todd to his limits before dropping it, aiming it at Ides. Todd fell to a knees, tired.

"NO!!" Ides took the hit, being knocked far back and was lying on the ground, seemingly defeated. Todd groaned as he stood up. He looked down at Ides.

The World Walker thought to himself, 'Not usually my thing, but I'm not taking chances.' Despite thinking it as a bad idea in general, Todd repeated the creation of the boulder and attempted to drop it on Ides, saying, "I'm not buying it."

Ides slowly stood up, flicking the boulder away before speaking, "Good. It means your brain functions at the normal capacity." He turned to walk toward the palace once more, before creating a fireball and blasting the village that was near it, setting it aflame.

Todd forced himself to stand and fly, shouting below, "Works better than the brain of the guy that thinks he can screw with time and not face some sort of opposition!" Todd then fired jetstreams of water to try to put out the fires, while mentally putting up brick walls by thought to act as a barrier. 'Have to find a way to recuperate...' he thought, feeling more and more tired.

"Don't even try acting tough..." Lightning shot down, blowing up portions of the village as well.

In the distance, it could be seen the pharaoh and his men were riding out on horses to fight off Ides as well.

Todd descended, snapping at Ides, "I'm not the one blowing up innocent villagers and is all around a general coward!" Todd projected force fields around the Pharaoh, before sending an onslaught of air blades towards Ides, followed by two large icicles aimed for both of the spirit's eyes. "Time for history to repeat itself!" Todd then proceeded to man a ball of light, bigger than he ever made before, being double the size of the boulders he created. "You're no more than a mite's shadow to me." Todd muttered as he tossed the ball of light at the being of darkness, descended, focusing on the shields he placed around the Pharaoh and his men.

Each attack made impact, even the bows and spears coming from the pharoah and his men, but Ides merely stood there, nothing affecting him, "History will not repeat itself in a game where you don't know the answers!!" Ides swiped down at the pharoah, aiming directly for him, but was protected by the shield, "What?"

"You look like the dark one, Ides as depicted in the early time, tell me who you are!" The pharoah demanded.

"That I am which you named, pharoah. But your time is up, and your land is now mine!" He attacked once more but was repelled by a great magical light coming from the pharoah, "WHAT?! Again?" He then got blasted back by a beam of energy farther away from the palace.

'Oh course,' Todd thought, forcing himself back onto two feet, 'The Pharaoh is believed to be the incarnation of a god...the first pharaoh was thought to have been Ra himself, after him Osiris...and then Horus...the pharaoh was thought to be Horus...could that be...?' Todd then fired a powerful, continuous beam of light at Ides' head.

The attack Todd made merely reflected off of Ides, who glared at the pharoah, "It matters not what form you are in, whether god or mere human, you are weaker than I, pharoah!!" Black flames spewed from Ides' mouth, blasting toward the pharoah, another light shined forth, tracting into a beam causing a type of war.

Though the pharoah was on his knees and slowly being overpowered by the dark Ides, who laughed and cackled like a maniac at his overwhelming power on the pharoah.

Todd leaped in front of the Pharaoh and projected a force field, snapping, "Apparently not! Cause you already lost to him before!" Todd then got an idea. "You like these dark flames don't you? Well, I think it's only fair if you get to try them out!" Todd then pushed his shield towards Ides, hoping to push the flames back at Ides.

"Todd, Pe... Grow up child, maybe you can be worthy of something in due time..." The flames seemed to eat through the shield, doing nothing and not even hindering the flames that were slowly eating away the light that the pharoah could barely hold up.

"Pe... Help me..." The pharoah begged, "I can't do this alone."

"Yes you can, you little wuss!!" Ides cackled.

Todd groaned, trying to keep his shield up, stepping back to the Pharaoh, extending a hand to him, "I'll need your help Pharaoh. Let us combine our powers. Imagine what we can do together milord. Together, we could defeat this cowardly spirit!"

Just merely grabbing the other's hand seemed to power the pharoah, so much so that the black flames started to be moved back toward Ides, "What?! What is this?!" The dark god questioned, red eyes widening in surprise and anger, he tried to empower himself but this seemed to do little as the light came and blasted him in the face.

Ides' body slowly began to crack with light energy, he stared at Todd and then the pharoah, "I'm not going back, I'll take you with me!!" He reached for them only to slowly fade in black clouds, light intermixed. The sky became lighter as the sun shined once more. Todd teleported further away, in case Ides could still grab at them. But as they watch the sun shining brightly in the heavens Todd spoke to the pharaoh.

"Milord. We need to take the proper precautions." Todd begun. "In my divinations, I have foreseen Ides trying to disrupt Ma'at as a means of altering the events that have just occurred to ensure his victory and the destruction of the world."

"Sounds prudent. Then-" A flash of light occured and the next thing Todd knew, he was back in the park where he met Ateo and Ides in Makoto's form. Ateo was nearby as was Philip; though it seemed the two were still fighting, Ateo's eyes blood red as well as Wadjet's.

Todd sighed, thinking, 'Yeah, no that's cool. Not like I was having a conversation or anything.' he then yelled to Philip, "Hey Phil? You need help?"

Philip jumped backwards to avoid an attack from Wadjet responding, "I wouldn't mind."

Todd sprinted and said, "OK Phil you take care of Ateo, I'll deal with Wadjet." With that Todd, fired bolts of lightning, hoping that it would do something to the ethereal snake. Philip nodded and tried to punch Ateo in the chest. There was a slight pause in Ateo's movement, before his eyes too returned to normal and Wadjet slowly vanished. He got hit by the attack, being knocked over into a tree.

"Ra damn it, what the hell was that for?!" Ateo ground out.

Todd looked confused and said, "I don't think Ra was the one damning people in ancient Egypt?"

Philip just looked at Todd, "Please tell me what the hell just happened. One second Ateo wanted my head, and then you showed up and now Ateo's pissed but not murderous."

Todd explained, "Oh yeah, I helped the Pharaoh beat Ides. For the time being anyway. I doubt we're out of the woods yet though all things considered. Sorry about that by the way Ateo, Wadjet."

Ateo glared for a few moments, "You're lucky you're not Pe, though you look like the bastard. But it seems you overcame the Ebony Game of Ides', which is good, doesn't mean he isn't done yet. And the pharoah, that man of pure darkness, better be lost to time."

Philip turned to Ateo and asked, "So what will Ides do now that he's lost?"

Despite the question being for Ateo, Todd replied, "Well if he knows what's good for him the bastard should stay in that dimension until, oh let's say Judgment Day." Philip grabbed the bridge of his nose, wanting a serious answer from Ateo, as opposed to Todd's half serious half joke response. "Hey don't grab you nose at me!" snapped Todd, "I'm barely awake dude! And I've had it up to here with Ides' crap!"

Philip gestured to Ateo and asked again, "What will Ides do now that he has failed?"

"I doubt Ides failed..." Ateo stated, "He has been planning for such a long time, he's not stupid, he'd have fail-safes."

Philip nodded, "Indeed, if Ides is as old as he claims I wouldn't doubt he has failsafes in place in case history couldn't be changed. Only question now is what the hell would he be planning now?"

Todd leaned on a nearby tree. "Hey Ateo, you've lived with the lunatic for a few thousand years. Have any idea what his failsafe might be?"

"You think I spent my time in the Ebony Realm? I didn't even bother to get close there, I stayed in the Dark regions to avoid that place... Besides, he's still here... I can feel him..."

Philip looked around calmly, "Is he now? I assume he's either invisible or hiding in the shadows somewhere." He glanced over to Todd and asked, "Think you can make us a light Todd?" The World Walker nodded, creating a ball of light, the size of a disco ball and levitated it in the middle.

Todd then stated, "So either way Phil, Ides is being a coward, thinking that he's being smart, a ninja, or a smart ninja?"

"Basically." answered Philip stoically.

"No... He's still on Earth... If you think you even beat him, he must have tricked you in his Ebony game. Probably placed only a piece of himself in the game to just give himself time to collect the souls he needs." Ateo informed.

Todd raised and eyebrow, asking, "Then what the hell is the point of his damn game if he didn't need it? I mean yeah it was a distraction, but if he's as powerful as he claims then why not just take the 1000 souls and do whatever his plan is?"

Philip added, "You're forgetting Todd if he were successful in altering time he would've conquered and/or destroyed the world 4000 years ago and we wouldn't be in this situation. Anyway, Ateo are you sure you have no idea about what Ides could possibly be planning as a backup?"

"He needed it for a distraction..." Ateo growled, "If you can't do anything to stop him and he's doing this in secret and we're the only ones that know, then what do you do? Keep your enemy out of the way. And what do I look like, his personal assistant?" Ateo shook his head, "I don't know... I don't know anything."

"Well we sure as hell can't stand here and just wait for the bastard to steal those 1000 souls!" Todd snapped, stepping forward, "I'll travel to every universe, every timeline, every dimension, I would even rip apart the fabric of Hell itself if it means hunting down the cowardly bastard!" Todd then raised his voice to a shout, "You hear that you son of a bitch! Come out and fight us you coward!"

Philip then whispered to Ateo, "Yeah, he's got some psychological stuff going on right now, an old face showed up recently, sorry."

"He's not going to come to you... Though I'm sure you yelling out amuses him, if he's anywhere nearby." Ateo sighed, "Just go home kid, Ides isn't going to be easy to handle, there's ALWAYS death in his wake."

Todd turned towards Ateo, responding, "I'm not giving up on this Ateo. I don't care how hard he'll be to fight. I don't care how old he is, how powerful he claims to be. I've killed gods you realize that I'm one of the few people -to my knowledge anyway- who can say that and not be totally evil? These beings make Ides look like a human. I'll confront the Secrets themselves if I must! I know that I can't save everyone, only reason I'm saying that is because I know you're just going to remind me of his massive body count. But I'll be damned if I let that bastard take over our world and take the souls of everyone on Earth! Wait! Got an idea. Ateo, can you get me contact with Darkness..."

Philip snapped his head around, shouting, "What?! Todd, remember that dragon thing you mentioned?"


"That was his work!"

Todd replied, "Philip, I'm not going to lie, this idea doesn't thrill me that much, with the whole, consuming the world in darkness thing, but at least being a force of cosmic balance he can be reasoned with."

"And why would you want an audience with Darkness? You know he is not going to care, because he's done with what he needed to do." Ateo stood up, "You think Ides is a little walk in the park, don't you? He's right now possessing the body of a mere teen and is using that very body to both slowly murder by torturing his victims to rip their souls from their bodies. And you think Darkness is going to help? Darkness is probably just going to laugh in your face!"

Todd snapped back, "His job is to maintain cosmic balance! I doubt he'd want an unprecedented Era of Darkness to spread across the Earth and therefore disrupt said cosmic balance! And no, I doubt Ides is a walk in the park! And I don't care. I'd gladly risk everything to put Ides either back into his realm...if I'm feeling merciful. Or into Hell if I'm not."

Philip, while glad to see Todd's resolve is increasing, said, "That's all well and good Todd, but we still have to track Ides. And unless you gain psychometry I doubt you can find him."

"If Ides masks his presence you won't find him either, so there's little point in trying. And while Darkness does maintain his cosmic balance, you seem to not understand when he does it and why. I know all about that guy, so don't think for a second I don't know how he'll respond to you walking in!!" Ateo yelled, turned a direction away to rip open a portal revealing the Realm of Darkness, grumbling, Ateo walked through.

Todd grabbed Philip, leading him to the portal and said, "Let's go. By the way Philip, I've been meaning to learn more spells."

"Oh really? What's been stopping you?"

"Demons. Lots and lots of demons."

To be continued in Encroaching Darkness: Second Game

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