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Demigod Saga

Warcry / Dusk / The Long Walk / Conquest of Darkness / Court Of The Red Queen / The Gate of Genesis / Endgame / Monsters / The Last Resort / Return to Order

Chapter I - Taboo


Across a barren rocky plain, blasted countless years ago with the horrors of war, walks Arbiter. His emerald green hair dances gently in the soft wind, while his golden eyes gleam with purpose. On the horizon, he sees his destination; a tall, ancient bronze tower that stood alone, surrounded by an empty and wounded ground. "How incredible," he mused, "that an ancient structure like that can withstand brutal war and the passage of immeasurable time."

He stopped, and the world suddenly seemed to stop with him. Slowly, he held out his hand, and flipped his palm to the sky. With a red glow, a rose appeared in his hand; a rose that he knew had changed hands twice- from Queen Red to Inferno Pendragon, and then he had picked it up after Inferno had dropped it. He marveled about how the rose had meant something different for each of them. An image appeared in his mind's eye- a young girl with a cheerful grin and silver hair. Arbiter weakly smiled. "Over a couple thousand years, and I still cannot forget?"


"You... I remember you..."

"That voice... it strikes a chord in my memory..."

"You were once here, long ago... you were a child of the shadows, living here once."

"...wait a moment... I thought I died... I gave the last of my energies to those who would save their worlds from destruction... is this-"

"This is neither Heaven, nor Hell, nor any kind of limbo, purgatory, or any afterlife for that matter."

"What is it, then?"

"This is the origin, the beginning of everything, for creation must be brought forth from destruction, light from darkness... such is the nature of the Balance..."


Amnesty appears next to Arbiter, dressed in a long silver dress.

Arbiter glances over at the sudden appearance of an old friend, without shock from her instantaneous arrival, but with a small grin. "Hello, princess," he says, greeting Amnesty. "It certainly has been some time..."

Amnesty nods with a sad face. "Yes indeed. I am no longer a princess. My people now call me their queen. Things change, as they have always done, and will always do..."

"Yes," Arbiter agrees, the small grin leaving his face. "Things do change. We can either make the best of it or simply give up..." he pauses, studying the face of his friend. "You never wanted to be crowned queen, correct? Not after..." Arbiter stopped, not wanting to bring up an uncomfortable subject for Amnesty. "So... have you ever visited this world before?" he asked, quickly changing the conversation.

"No. I've never been here, but I sensed your energy... As for your unspoken question: No, I didn't want to be a crowned queen, but we can't always choose our own fates. What can you tell me about this place?"

Arbiter sighs. "This world was once a thriving civilization, although split among two species, who each championed a separate and different lifestyle. Tensions arose, it broke out into a full planet-scale war. Now, almost nothing is left..." Arbiter looks over to the tower in the distance. "Walk with me. I'll tell you more." He begins to walk to the tower.

Amnesty walks with Arbiter, watching her surroundings with great interest.

"The two species that waged war over my world were known as the Intrids and the Archics. The Intrids championed the ways of science, while the Archics clung to the ancient magics, believing science to be heresy. If children with both an Intrid and Archic parent were born, they were looked down upon by the rest of the world. Half-breeds, they called them. They were marked at birth." Arbiter pulls back his sleeve to reveal a brand tattooed into his arm, which bore the appearance of a dragon, curled into a spiral.

Amnesty looks at the tattoo. "I see..."

"This war destroyed my homeland, the few whom I loved, and now... thousands of years later, it may have caused the destruction of our universes... unless I do something about this, time will soon run out..."

Amnesty nods. "The end is near... always... in one place or another... everything is transient... nothing remains forever... we all struggle to survive, yet none of us will... One could call it unfair, wouldn't you say?"

Arbiter regards Amnesty with a curious gaze for a moment, before proceeding forward. "Perhaps..." he says quietly.

Soon they arrive at the base of the tower, which stood tall, looming above them like some monstrous entity. "This is it." Arbiter says. "The Starborne Tower." Arbiter pushes open the heavy bronze doors, and he and Amnesty enter.

"Over here." Arbiter calls. He pulls down a lever, and suddenly, the room is lit with an etheral blue glow. "This tower was built from ancient sciences and magics, the likes of which are far greater than most." Arbiter explains.

In the center of the room, a circular platform stands. On it's edges are rails that stretch up to a ceiling hidden in a seemingly infinite blackness.

Amnesty walks up to the platform, studying it with great interest.

Arbiter steps upon the platform. "Climb aboard." he says.

Amnesty jumps upon the platform as well. "What is it?"

Blue lines suddenly begin to glow on the platform, revealing intricate and maze-like designs. Bars rise from the sides of the platform, blocking off the sides. Quite suddenly, the platform shoots up into the air.

"We are about to enter a place unable to be entered through normal means." Arbiter explains. "It floats over the atmosphere of this planet, on a separate plane of space-time."

Suddenly, the platform comes to a stop; the protective bars recede, and they behold a spectacular sight; A steampunk-esque city, floating within space just above the very planet they were on. The sky was a blend of colors; A giant nebula was painted across the sky, while countless stars twinkled like far-away jewels. A comet streaked across the sky.

"Celestia City." Arbiter said.

"Celestia City..." Amnesty repeats as if trying to recall memories. "I... have never even heard of it..."

"Few have... most who knew of it's existence have been dead for over 2000 years." Arbiter explains. "But I'm not here to sightsee. I need to do something important. Will you assist me?"

"I will, if a friend is in need of help, how could I refuse?"

"...Thank you, Amnesty. It means a lot to me." Arbiter says quietly before walking further into the city.

Amnesty walks after Arbiter. "What are we going to do?"

"Have you ever heard of Thaumaturgy?"

"No, I'm afraid my knowledge is lacking once again."

"Thaumaturgy is the ancient practice of merging science with magic. It was practiced across the universe before an unknown apocalypse occured, and the art has nearly died off. Celestia City was founded with Thaumaturgy, and became a popular dwelling place for Thaumaturgists." Arbiter explained. "Thaumaturgists used a combination of science and magic by utilizing energy through various arrays and symbols. Transportation, transmutation, transformation- Thaumaturgists could do these things to near any substance."

"Okay, I understand. But what does that have to do with your quest here?"

"There was one act that was forbidden among Thaumaturgists, and that was the creation of life. To create a being with a living soul was a taboo for those who practiced Thaumaturgy. However, to stop the potential destruction of this universe, caused by Thaumaturgy during that war thousands of years ago, I must utilize it's forbidden power..."

Amnesty nods. "And what do you need me for?"

"I need you to help me control the energy of what I am about to create; the process will be excrutiatingly painful for me, but you must force me to keep my focus."

"If you are sure this is the way you want it, I will assist you."

"Thank you Amnesty... but I will also need more help." Arbiter sends a telepathic summon to his former comerades across the universe.

A rumbling sound emits from the ground as a black pool of crackling energy forms and a cloaked figure appears out of it, at least at first it appears to be cloaked - yet the figure soon spreads out the "cloak", revealing two large wings.

Arbiter gives a nod to the figure. "Inferno..." he greets.

A second figure appears next to Inferno, her red cloak blowing slightly as the shadows fade away to reveal her form - as well as a large axe held casually by her side.

Inferno nods back at Arbiter, dressed in full regal attire and taking Red's hand in his own, "hello, old friend..".

Arbiter gives a weak smile as he glances from Inferno to Red. "Inferno, Red, and Amnesty... there are no other individuals whom I would trust to help me with what I must do; that is, if you are willing to assist me." Arbiter explains the situation to Inferno and Red.

(Inferno and Red: for more info, read Arbiter's conversation with Amnesty.)

Amnesty looks at Arbiter. "You know you can count on me."

"What I am about to attempt was forbidden, for it has caused death among those who have not enough energy to exchange for what they were to create. Thaumaturgy is about exchange; you trade one thing for another of equal value. You cannot create something out of nothing." Arbiter holds out his palm; several assorted items appear, including runes, jeweled artifacts, and other idols of power. Glowing lines appear on the floor, drawing the shape of a pentagram inscribed within a circle. The artifacts Arbiter procured drop themselves in the middle of the circle. "What I need you three to do, is to channel your energies through me, to keep me conscious and focused, and able to provide my own energies for this transmutation. I can link our minds and make this possible, but before I do, are you three sure you are willing to help me commit this taboo?"

Amnesty shows a faint smile. "That's the third time you ask Arbiter... I already told you I'd do anything to help a friend."

Inferno frowns at Arbiter, "..you want me to aid you in committing a forbidden ceremony that can only end in disaster? only a fool would do something like what you are about to do.. you'd be as well walking into Tartarus and declaring yourself its new King.."

"..what Inferno is trying to say, I think, is.. you did the same for us.." Red notes, giving Inferno a not-so-subtle look that could probably put fear into a mountain-ogre with its piercing quality.

"You do not need to help me if you do not wish to." said Arbiter. "After all, I am breaking a strict taboo, but it may be our only hope... I did mention the impeding disaster, did I not?"

Inferno flinches at Red's glare and turns to Arbiter again "..ahem, as I was about to say.. you'd be a fool to do this: a madman.. so.. sign me up..".

Red smiles slightly and gives a silent nod, looking to Arbiter as well "..we're all a litlle mad, a little foolish.. yet it is our madness that keeps us going.. our foolishness that makes us strong.. you know.. it's what makes us.. human.. I suppose..".

Arbiter cannot help but grin at Red and Inferno's words. "Thank you... thank you all." He turns and walks to the center of the circle. "Very well, let us begin." Arbiter claps his hands together, and spreads his arms- the circle begins to glow and spark with chaotic energy as a whirlwind of power rises from the ground.

"Help me focus- use your willpower and channel your energies into the circle!" Arbiter says, speaking into the minds of each.

Amnesty nods and closes her eyes. The single jewel in her crown starts to glow ad Amnesty starts emitting a green aura.

Red takes Inferno's hand and closes her eyes, bowing her head slightly.

Inferno blinks at Red and Amnesty as he just sort of stands there, looking around - "..uhm, this isn't going to be pretty.. but.. if you insist.." - he extends an arm outwards and a stream of black lightning flies out and forms a chain, surging energy into the circle as Inferno's eyes glow bright red.

Amnesty's green aura starts floating towards the circle as well.

Suddenly, the vortex turns a deep crimson color as it grows more chaotic, and bolts of energy shoot out in all directions from the circle. Arbiter stands, staring into the distance as if listening to a nonexistent voice. "No..." he says. "...No... NO! This isn't right!"

As Arbiter shouts with futility, the image of a great eye appears above them, opening out of nowhere, gazing down upon them with an unflinching stare. Countless black, shadowy arms burst out of the ground, wrapping themselves around Arbiter, Inferno, Amnesty, and Red like black ropes. The eye staring down upon them turns completely white, and then everything goes black.


Chapter II - Forbidden Realm

"Damn it... DAMN IT!" rings the voice of Arbiter from the darkness. He awoke to find himself lying in some kind of liquid. He stood up onto his feet and lit a ball of flame in his hand for light. His eyes widened in shock- he was standing within an ocean of blood.

"This is... almost familiar..." he muttered, before he remembered his comrades who so willingly (and perhaps foolishly) helped him. "Amnesty!" he calls frantically into the darkness. "Inferno! Red! Answer me!"

Suddenly, a combination of green and silver lights light up a part of the darkness. "I'm here Arbiter. Wherever "here" may actually be. Where are Inferno and Red?"

"I don't know... damn it all; this is my fault, I- I'll fix this... somehow."

A pair of red eyes shine out from the darkness, Inferno's voice speaking with strange calm "they say that blood is a symbolism of life itself, powerful and forbidden - makes sense in a way.. without blood most beings shrivel up and die.. interesting.. you wanted something forbidden and powerful.. some could argue you found it..".

Arbiter sighs. "I suppose that is it- I saw a great many things in that vortex, and- call me insane, if you wish, but I think that this is divine will."

Amnesty smiles. "I won't call you insane. We've been through a lot together, and most of it was insane. This is just another adventure."

Arbiter grins sheepishly back at Amnesty. "...You're right. I-" He is cut short as a strange sensation envelops his mind. He puts his hands up to his head, and his eyes widen in horror.

"I hear... screaming. Thousands of voices... screaming... inside my head..."

A noise begins to echo in the darkness- the sound of countless footsteps, trudging through the sea of blood. Shadowy people appear, with sunken eyes, blank faces, and grey and wrinkled skin. They are of numerous sizes, genders, and species, and surround Arbiter, Amnesty, and Inferno.

Amnesty turns towards Arbiter. "What do you suggest we do now?"

One of the sunken figures speaks. "We want you... to die." he says. "Come... join us... we are so lonely... and in such pain... please die... for us..."

Inferno looks at the figures and states coldly "..tragic.." - he then unleashes a wave of black lightning at the nearest figures "..funny thing about pain: just when you think you can't experience any more - someone wakes you to the realization that no matter how much you hurt.. no matter how much you suffer.. there is always more that can be done to hurt you..".

Red speaks out from the darkness "Inferno! Stop! We need to *think*! We can't just start blasting things like a bunch of wild animals!" - her voice changes slightly near the end of the sentence as she struggles to keep her temper, her feral-side beginning to surface.

Amnesty creates a ring of green light, lighting up even more of the darkness and keeping most of the figures away from the group.

"What are these... things?" Arbiter wonders aloud, while drawing his blade.

The creatures back away momentarily from Amnesty's light, before continuing to stagger onward.

Arbiter swings his blade and cleaves right through one of the zombie's necks, but as he falls, another seems to immediately take his place as they keep pressing onward.

Amnesty's light suddenly turns into a flaming ring, spreading wider and wider as Amnesty puts more of her power in it.

The zombies back away from the flame; some burn and collapse into the ocean of blood, but even then, their vast number is able to press onward.

Inferno looks to Red and replies, "anger is power, Red - uncontrollable.. but power nevertheless.. we aren't facing the Hatter anymore.. this is a new enemy.. the time for restraint is not now.." - he plunges his hands into the ocean of blood and it begins to boil as sparks of energy flow outward in a halo pattern.

As they fight on, the scabbed and withered bodies of the zomibes continue to pile up. Suddenly, an anguished shout echoes from the unseen distance, followed by a chorus of painful screaming.

Red growls audibly as she looks around "..inside all of us is a Hatter waiting to be unleashed, restraint is all that separates us from the very creatures we fight against - without we are already damned.." - she then clutches her axe tightly at the screaming "..the sound of suffering and the smell of blood - I could kill you all right here.. my instincts are telling me to do so.. yet I don't.. that's the reason behind restraint.. we need to keep moving..".

The screams become louder as the sea of blood becomes more turbulent; a massive creature suddenly crashes down before them, splashing blood in all directions. It resembles a lion-like creature with scaly skin and batlike wings- but the most peculiar and horrifying thing about this creature is the number of faces that cover it's wings like a pestilence, all screaming in agony, and shouting various laments. It glares down upon Arbiter, Amnesty, Inferno, and Red with eyes that each have seven pupils.

Amnesty's ring of fire turns into a lasso that wraps itself around the creature.

The creature roars; Amnesty's lasso reforms into a giant serpent that slithers toward her.

Amnesty frowns. "Enough of this, I didn't come here to play games." Amnesty creates a small sphere of silver energy, far more powerful than any magic she had shown before.

The serpent lunges at Amnesty, fangs bared, while the creature snaps at the other three.

Inferno grows substantially as his features become draconic - though he still stands bipedal, having taken on a more humanoid version of his Twilight Dragon persona: slashing at the monster with powerful hand claws.

Inferno manages to slash at the creature's muzzle, leaving behind several parallel wounds that bleed freshly. The creature howls in agony, before rearing back on it's hind legs and pounding the ground, causing the ocean of blood to suddenly become more turbulent, sending powerful red waves in all directions that smash into the heroes, knocking them off of their feet.

Amnesty falls down and the silver orb dissapears. "Damnit... I need help here!"

Arbiter creates a shield of energy before Amnesty. The snake's strike is blocked by the shield as it's head smashes into it with a sickening crunch.

Suddenly, there is a blinding flash of light. The creature roars, backing away from the glow, before bounding off into the darkness. The flash of light dims to a fainter glow, radiating from an old man, surrounded by several dark figures- yet unlike the horrifying zombie-like creatures they had recently fought, these figures seemed to be more shadow-like, and at peace.

"You four." the old man said, in a gentle yet firm voice. "Follow me."

Chapter III- Birth by Destruction

The glow from the old man was enough to illuminate the darkness for some distance, and several things came into view- ruins of stone buildings lay scattered within the ocean of blood, as if marking the fall of countless civilizations from countless worlds and countless eras.

Amnesty gets back up and hovers towards the others. "Is everyone allright?"

Inferno grows larger and walks on all fours as he takes on the visage of a full-grown Twilight-Dragon, following the old man "..when this is over I shall have to rethink what Rune said to me all those years ago about humanity, if this is the end result of so-called "civilization" then perhaps I made a mistake when I agreed to aid its defence.." he says to no one in particular.

Red frowns a little and grips her axe tightly, a slightly feral growl emitting from her throat before she shakes her head - straightening her posture as she walks after Inferno "I'm fine, for now.." she notes to Amnesty.

Amnesty nods and turns around, floating after the others.

Arbiter glances around taking note of his surroundings. "Is this- ?" he begins to ask, before being interrupted by the old man.

"Hell? No. This is Destruction. This is not another afterlife; it is merely a reflection of the destruction that occurs in your universe. This place is needed to support the energies of Balance, for creation is born through destruction, and destruction is the inevitable result of creation. And as such, the cycle forever repeats itself."

As the old man speaks, a glow of light appears in the distance, getting brighter as they walk toward it.

Amnesty nods. "I guess that makes sense."

Inferno snorts "you would say that.." - he continues to walk on all fours and looks around, observing all the destruction.

The light in the distance becomes even brighter, until it reveals a giant glowing citadel.

"Come in." says the old man. "We have much to talk about- especially you, Arbiter."


The interior of the citadel was a beautiful, radiant place; no one inside could possibly think that there was an endless sea of blood and darkness outside. Numerous beings resided within; shadow-like beings, and all at peace.

"You may be wondering who I am." said the old man. "I am the Lord of Creation; my title is Father. A precious few mortals who know of my existence call me God. Now, concerning the subject of your arrival here... Arbiter, you attempted to create a living soul using the ancient practice called Thaumaturgy, yet you forget one of Thaumaturgy's most important laws- to gain, something of greater or equal value must be lost. You were sent here because all physical objects are less than equal value to what you were trying to create- or more specifically, recreate. A living jewel that can give birth to souls and universes... The All-Crystal."

Arbiter remained silent, deep in thought.

Inferno snorts and looks to the old man with glowing eyes "if you are "God" then you have met an atheist in me, come Red - let us leave this place.." - he turns and begins to head out.

Father's expression remains passive as he simply states "You call yourself a god, do you not? Are there not countless other beings across the universe who own or are worthy of the title of God? Very well- if you so desire, leave this place. I will not stop you."

Amnesty turns towards Inferno. "I suggest you start thinking for a change Inferno. I consider you a friend, but you are a fool nonetheless. You may be a "God" but that doesn't make you the only one. There are many being that surpass even your power. I could rival your power if I wanted to, even though I'm not a god. I think it'd be wise to stay and listen what he has to say."In

Inferno suddenly turns and roars at Amnesty with rage he's never shown before "and who are you to judge me!? who are you to call me weak!? I was weak once - I was a child who craved for one moment of peace.. only to recieve ridicule and spite.. you were raised by people who loved you - I was nothing but a mistake! a wretched little stain on the otherwise "perfect" history Avalon! so I suggest, princess, you start thinking.. because from now on I have no friends.. maybe I never truly did.." - he then turns away again.

Red looks at the others, frowning slightly, then to Inferno - she tosses her axe to block his path "..you are not your father, Inferno - he can't hurt you any more than you let him.. you can't keep running from him.. or from yourself.. you love me, right? then you need to stop hiding from me.."

Inferno growls deeply as he narrows his eyes "..if their were true gods in this meaningless universe they wouldn't of stood idly by as a child was beaten, they wouldn't watch as brothers fought, they wouldn't tear us apart.. gods make things better, gods change things.." - he looks to Red "..if this is "God" then he sat by and watched as I suffered.. he gave Arodnap the power to slay my world.. he made me what I am.." - he then turns to Father, eyes still blazing "..to which I ask, why? why did you curse me to this fate? why didn't you stop it?".

Red takes her axe out of the ground and once again stands in front of Inferno - she takes his head in her arms and holds him "..stop fighting.. please.. for me.." she whispers, despite Inferno being in the form of a dragon she seems to treat him much the same as she would in any other form.

Inferno closes his eyes, a tear forming as he folds his wings - standing in place on all fours, kneeling a little as Red holds his head "..I'm sorry.. I'm just so tired.. of being hurt.. so tired.. of everything.." he whispers, the proud Twilight Prince now seeming to show himself more as a frightened child than the "god" he had so often claimed to be: his greatest disguise finally shattering before the group's very eyes as the truth is revealed - by actions rather than words.. Inferno's words and actions, his pride and rage, they were all a product of his fear.. his fear of a past he could never escape, for it would haunt him forever in his broken mind.

Father paused for a moment, before speaking. "I am sorry, Inferno Pendragon. I did not cause your suffering, it happened because it did. But to intervene, I would be forsaking the universe and it's people for their purpose; to live. Without suffering, without death, without misery... life would be too perfect."

"What's the matter with perfection?" Arbiter challenged.

Father sighed, and a sadness seemed to appear in his eyes. "Perfection is a terrible thing. With perfection, there is no drive, no ambition, nothing left to be accomplished. All joys of life will cease to be and become mundane. Life would become death. I hate to let people hurt, but I must maintain the Balance."

Amnesty looks at the others. "You met a group of people who have known a great deal of suffering, who have lost loved ones, who had to fight to survive. We may not share your opinions. In front of you are three rulers and the protector of our universe. We aim for perfection in our worlds... at least I do..."

Red kisses Inferno's head before she releases him, turning to face the others as she speaks to Father. "..imperfection is the driving force of creation - as much as it hurts.. without imperfection we would never have the need to improve.. regardless, I think this philosophy lesson should come to and end: I don't know if you are "God" or not, to be frank I don't care.. tell us what you desire from us.. that's all that matters in the end.."

Inferno opens his eyes, then simply turns in place, laying on the ground in his dragon form - facing away from the others: staying silent.

"Perfection must be aimed for, but never attained. But your friend Red is correct; all that matters in the end is what I desire from you."

Father bows his head for a moment, as if in thought. "Arbiter... what you were trying to accomplish was a noble thing, but still... to play god and create life itself comes with an incredible price that only few can pay and even fewer can bypass. Had I not brought you here, through the Gate, you would have been far worse than dead, and even then, you still would not have succeeded."

Arbiter's eyes open wide in shock for a fraction of a second, before he bows his own head deep in thought.

"However... I am willing to help you. I will pay a portion of the price and help you create what you need if you can return the favor. After all, all things come with a price."

Amnesty looks at Father. "And what is the price were talking about then?"

Father stares at the heroes before talking. "There is one who would seek to upset the Balance; the Destroyer. The Destroyer is unhappy with his place in the cycle of Balance, and thus wishes to undo the Balance itself. This cannot be allowed."

Amnesty frowns. "And you need us to take care of this Destroyer?"

"Yes. However, keep in mind that it is Arbiter's mission, and part of his price to pay. I cannot battle the Destroyer, and risk upsetting the Balance. Creation cannot battle Destruction. That is why I must rely on other beings such as yourselves."

"It may be his mission, but I promised him I would assist him as good as I can, so I will," Amnesty replies.

Inferno simply stays where he is, looking away from the group "..Red.. go with them.. take care of Arbiter.. I'm not going.." - he then closes his eyes and remains still.

Red looks to Inferno and looks a little concerned, however she turns to Father and tightens her grip on her axe"..let's get this over with then".

"The Destroyer lives outside within this realm. No matter which direction you take, you will eventually come across him. Be wary." Father explains.

Amnesty nods. "Let's go then, shall we?"

After Arbiter, Amnesty, and Red have left, Father turns to Inferno, who is still looking away. "You have interesting friends." Father says. "Friends who are willing to help each other without a price."

Inferno waits until the others have left and turns to Father, "they have already paid their debts tenfold, risked their lives and souls in defence of one another.. however you are wrong, Father.. they aren't my friends.. there is something you need to know.. something they do not know.." - he thinks for a moment before he continues "..my father.. he is not Equinox.. though it is true Equinox raised me.. my mother is not Kaosa.. though she too raised me.." - he lowers his head, as he admits something to Father that would of shocked his friends had they heard it, "..my father.. he is the dragon known as Ebonscale.. this knowledge has been mine to bear for so many years.. alone.. I can not let them know the truth.. because if they knew what I was.. they would slay me where I stand..".

"Do you honestly think that, Inferno Pendragon? Even if you do not consider them friends, they consider you both friend and brother, and to Red, something even more. They are the kind of people who would go to any length to save what is dear to them... even if that means saving you from yourself. They would not turn on you because of the atrocities of your father, and if you happened to follow the route of your father, they would do all they could to bring you back. This I can see in them."

Inferno notes, "..everything I love eventually withers and dies: Arodnap, Equinox and Ebonscale make sure of that - truth is, Father, I have always been the weak one.. the slave and the pawn.. they have always saved me.. yet if I showed them true care the forces that enslave me would tear them apart.. I can not let that happen.. no matter how much it may pain me.. for their sakes.. I must always keep them questioning me.."

Inferno transforms back into his usual form, standing before Father "..which is why I will be following them in secret until the time comes to strike at the Destroyer.. these lands are strange to me.. yet I can sense Red.. she will act as my guide...".

"Very well, then. Do what you must. Just remember that someday, you will have to face your inner demons. Someday, you must face your sad past. I hope you will be strong that day, Inferno Pendragon." With those last words, Father fades and disappears into thin air.

Inferno nods a little then turns away - as he does so a flashback occurs from his past showing a woman dressed in rags carrying a basket containing a crying infant, she places the basket by the edge of the forests surrounding the main city of Avalon and looks to the child with fear and anxiety.

"..gods have mercy on you.. gods have mercy on us.. I.. I didn't know.. I couldn't.." the woman began only to rise as a horrific roar fills the air, causing flocks of birds to flee in fear and she stumbles - running into the night as the shadow of a great and powerful beast swoops over, the infant still crying as the woman suddenly goes silent as the terrible figure swoops down and ends her life swiftly with terrible talons.

The infant's cries continued as the beast approached, casting a large shadow over the child - only to be pulled back as a dragon appeared from the darkness and shielded the child: for those familiar with Inferno's backstory the dragon was a younger version of Kaosa.

<<Stop! Please! I can take care of the child - as was arranged.. you don't have to get involved! the Twilight Dragons can still fulfill their promise to you! just give us time!>> she pleads to the beast as it pauses for a moment.

<<The whelp's mother grew too bold, she sought to take him from me - yet I have not forgotten our deal, Kaosa.. you may have this whelp.. yet remember.. I always return for my young.. in time..>> a dark voice replies, then fades as the beast vanishes into the shadows.

The flashback ends as Kaosa folds her wings over the infant and Inferno shakes his head, clearing his thoughts as he heads off to find the others..

Chapter IV- Those Who Challenge God

Arbiter, Amnesty, and Red trod through the wasteland of blood.

Amnesty looks around. "Arbiter. Do you have any idea where we're going? Or are we just going to walk around here until we find what we are searching for?"

"No..." Arbiter says. "I don't know where we are going, but I know we'll get there... soon..."

Amnesty nods. "Good." She then frowns and lowers her head, seemingly thinking about something.

"What is the matter?" Arbiter asks Amnesty. "Are you worried about Inferno?"

Amnesty nods. "Among other things... I just can't help wondering where this adventure is going to lead us... What will happen when we're done here?"

"I don't know, but-" Arbiter stopped suddenly. "I sense something..."

A cloud of grey mist began to form before their eyes. It began to shape itself into a figure that was all too familiar to them.

"...Eclipse." Arbiter growled.

Eclipse gazed down on Arbiter, Amnesty, and Red with unflinching eyes.

Amnesty quickly draws her swords and steps forward, shielding the others with her body. "Only you could make things worse, I suppose..."

"Where is the Twilight Dragon?" Eclipse rasped. "Was he not with you?"

Red grips her axe and growls, tensing as she narrows her eyes at Eclipse "..you deal with us, monster -".

Eclipse's eyes narrow. "Very well." Shadowy blades burst forth from the sea of blood, rushing toward Arbiter, Amnesty, and Red.

Amnesty dashes forward, meanwhile causing a shockwave in an attempt to throw everyone backwards. "You will hurt us no more Eclipse! You're finished!"

"Amnesty, no- !" Arbiter begins to shout.

The black blades that Eclipse summoned retract, and quickly twist themselves into a cocoon that ensnares Amnesty.

Suddenly Amnesty's voice is heard again, seemingly coming from the darkness all around them. "Not this time, Eclipse. I am not the enemy you once knew. I have acended, I have grown. I'm here to protect my friends, the ones I love. And I'll remain here to do so." And with those words atmosphere around the cocoon starts to hange as Amnesty unleashes a considerable ammount of power to break free.

Red shakes her head and mutters "..typical.." - she then closes her eyes and leaps into the air: swinging her axe behind herself before releasing it at Eclipse with great force.

In a split second, Eclipse summons a needle-like blade, parrying Red's axe. As this happens, Arbiter leaps up at Eclipse, raising his own blade to attack.

Meanwhile, a short distance away, Inferno treks alone - making his way towards the group as he follows Red's presence, able to track her down despite the darkness: only to stop suddenly as a ghostly figure appears in front of himself, blocking his path: "..you love her, don't you? pathetic.. even for you.. what? you think I didn't know? what kind of fool do you take me for, foundling? have you learned nothing? I see I'll have to break this girl just as I did Aither.."

Inferno's eyes flare with fury as he strikes the figure, only to let out a cry of pain as he falls to the ground: the figure striking him with the back of it's hand "..you *dare* to strike me!?".

Inferno growls as he stares at the figure and mutters, ".. I'm going to save her.. Equinox.. I'm not afraid anymore..".

Red falls back as Arbiter leaps at Eclipse and she prepares herself to charge once again, only to stop for a moment as she narrows her eyes at something - "..Arbiter.. Amnesty.. stay strong.. I'll be back.." she growls, then runs on all fours - becoming more feral as she tries to track Inferno down.

Suddenly a large female figure made out of light appears behind Eclipse and folds her arms around him in what seems to be a hug, but will slowly drain Eclipse's power if succesful. "You're pathetic, Eclipse." Amnesty speaks as she reveals herself to be in the figure of light.

As Red approaches Inferno looks to her, silent - the ghostly figure of Equinox turns if ready to attack when suddenly both of the figures are enveloped in a sphere of hellish fire as a pair of large green eyes stare at Inferno and Equinox, a dark voice speaking to them from within the sphere: unable to be heard outside.

<<..enough, Equinox.. he has outgrown you.. he is mine now..>>

Before Inferno can react the image of Equinox suddenly bursts into astral-flame as chains sprout from the ground, dragging him down into the pits of Tartarus once more - in his place a new figure stands, a regal male who looks much like an older Inferno, save for glowing green eyes and a darker skin coloration - the sphere fading as the two become visible once more to Red.

"Let go of me..." Eclipse growls, "You...filthy... INSECT!" With these words, Eclispe unleashes an explosion of power that seems to radiate from his entire being. He dissolves into a black mist, and flies away a distance before reforming. "Curse this realm..." Eclipse snarls. "I cannot use my power to it's full extent here... Not with God presiding here, anyway..."

Arbiter runs at Eclipse with his sword raised, but Eclipse simply swats him away with a blast of power, slamming him into the ocean of blood.

Amnesty dashes at Arbiter and catches him surprisingly easy. She then reforms the being of energy and charges at Eclipse. "You have done enough harm, Eclipse. This time I won't let you get away!"

Red stops as she nears Inferno and the mysterious new figure, her eyes narrowing as she grips her axe tightly - standing up, her hands and feet growing into large paws as a thick coat of red fur soreads over her: her face changing into that of a wolf as she stands in place, breathing heavily:

"..Inferno!" she calls out, keeping her distance as the battle behind her becomes like a blur - time itself seeming to change as she stares at the scene in front of herself.

Inferno stares at the new figure for a while, clutching his fists as he trembles slightly - unable to speak as he resists the instinct to fall to his knees as a mix of rage, fear and confusion build up inside himself.

"My son.. my beautiful son.. to think I had almost slain you alongside your worthless mother.. such a fool.. to come so close to denying myself such a perfect servant.. no matter, no matter.." the figure speaks, totally emotionless - then turns as Red calls out.

"..ah.. yes.. I had almost forgotten about you.. I must say I admire your new form: it shows humanity for the pathetic beast it has always been.. yet you shouldn't feel rejected - I will find a use for you.. as worthless as you may seem.. I will always find a purpose.."

Inferno growls as he clutches his fists to point of bleeding, his claws digging into flesh as he finally lets out a roar that echoes across the area "SHUT UP!" - as he yells a massive shockwave forms - much like a mushroom cloud of energy - creating tidal waves of blood in the process.

Eclipse unleashes a burst of power that seems to freeze time itself; Arbiter and Amnesty suddenly confront Eclipse within their minds.

Arbiter vs. Eclipse

Arbiter finds himself alone, surrounded by darkness on all sides. Suddenly, the air seems to ripple and distort, and a giant apparition of Eclipse appears before him.

"You... what is this?!" Arbiter demands.

"A place where I can speak with you uninterrupted." Eclipse said passively.

"I don't give a damn about what you have to say." Arbiter growls, before launching several beams of crackling, intense energy at Eclipse. Eclipse smirks and dispels them with a wave of his hand.

"That is enough, puppet." Eclipse says. "Puppets should obey their masters."

"What are you babbling about?" Arbiter questions angrily.

"Do you recognize this shape?" Eclipse asks; a glowing circle draws itself in the air; a rune circle, similar to the one Arbiter had used in Celestia City.

"That shape... why are you bringing it up?"

"Do you know what this rune circle is capable of?"

"Yes," Arbiter responded. "I used that circle countless times in the past to-"

"Convert matter into energy." Eclipse interrupts. "Or, more specifically, in your case, destroy entire worlds by transmuting them and all of their peoples into a mass of energy."

"Yes, but why do you care?! Unless-"

"Do you know how much energy is contained within a single soul?"

Arbiter simply glared at Eclipse.

"Each living soul contains a massive supply of pure energy." Eclipse says. And as for this particular rune circle, it is designed to not only convert matter into energy, but to store the resulting energy within the user."

"That's impossible." Arbiter growled.

"Not so," Eclipse said. "Tell me, if you focus deeply within the innermost part of your mind, do you not hear the chorus of screams?"

A shiver runs down Arbiter's spine. "How did you know about that?" Arbiter says quietly.

"It is simply not new." Eclipse says.

"I've had enough of you." Arbiter says in a dangerous tone of voice. "I will destroy you; here, and now."

Eclipse laughs. "Very well, then, try! Come at me, Balance-Keeper! Unleash every last ounce of your fury at me!"

Arbiter didn't need telling twice- Eclipse could barely finish his last sentence before Arbiter swung his blade at him. Eclipse merely smirked as he caught the blade by clasping his hands on it's flat sides. Arbiter pulled away and began to unleash a flurry of attacks, each more brutal than the last; yet Eclipse merely laughed as he deflected each and every one of them.

Suddenly, Arbiter hears Amnesty's voice ringing out through the darkness- "Arbiter! You know you don't stand alone. I am with you. I have stood by your side ever since we met. And I will stand beside you for the rest of my time. Untill either of us dies, or you send me away. You know that."

"Ah..." Eclipse says, "That little brat who calls herself a queen... I will enjoy watching her suffer before she dies... for her interference, I think I will make her end a slow and painful one..."

"SHUT UP!" Arbiter roars, before unleashing a massive wave of power at Eclipse. Eclipse's eyes widen in surprise as he attempts to deflect the wave and fails; the wave tears right through him, stunning him momentarily...

"You're mine" Arbiter growls quietly as he leaps into the air to deliver a powerful blow. His sword tears through Eclipse. There is a flash of white light and Arbiter is back in the sea of blood, confronted by Eclipse.

Amnesty vs. Eclipse

Eclipse appears before Amnesty in an area encased entirely with darkness.

Amnesty frowns. "Surely you find youself rather smart now. The two of us were too much for you to handle, so you split us up. It won't help you though." And with those words she unleashes her power, causing the darkness to creep back. The light is so intense it would be bright enough to blind mere mortals.

"You have not been separated. I am merely confronting you within your mind." Eclipse said emotionlessly. "Countless hours here are naught but a split second in reality. But I did not bring you here to fight. I simply desire a few answers." Eclipse's eyes flash for a moment, and suddenly, the light is dispelled.

Amnesty turns her back towards Eclipse. "Then I suggest you ask them. After that, I'll erase you from existence. Answering your questions is the least I can do to make you happy before you die."

"How touching, Princess. But I will be the one to choose when you die." Eclipse is silent for a moment, as if in deep thought. "Answer me this, Princess, if you so desire- what is it you seek to accomplish by traveling with a bloodthirsty queen, a feral dragon, and a man damned to suffer for his past crimes?"

Amnesty turns around. "Queen. Queen, not princess. And to answer your question: I seek to protect those that deserve protection against the likes of you. And my companions seem to share my goals, at least for now. They are powerful allies, even though you don't seem to think much of them. Now, are you ready to die? Or do you have any more questions?"

"I see..." says Eclipse. "But how far will they go to protect you? It is pitiful, really, to see you hanging onto something so fragile as a transparent friendship." Eclipse pauses. "You, Arbiter... all four of you, are simply nothing but puppets, made to dance by those who pull your strings. And as for Arbiter... I think I'll let him dance a little bit longer..."

Amnesty shakes her head slightly. "I think not, Eclipse. I will not let you hurt the one I care for most. Arbiter and I have been through a lot, and it will not end here, I can assure you."

Eclipse begins to laugh- a loud, cruel, malicious laugh that would make one's hair stand on end. "Ah... I see... well then, let me tell you this- Arbiter has been my puppet this whole time, from his childhood to now, I have watched from the shadows, manipulating the actions that he and others around him would take- I am the reason you all are here; I knew that thaumaturgic ritual you helped him perform would end like this; I even know of a vast energy that Arbiter holds, one too impossibly large to grasp with the mind; and it will soon be mine."

Amnesty frowns. "You're wrong Eclipse."

She then calls out to Arbiter using her telepathy. "Arbiter! You know you don't stand alone. I am with you. I have stood by your side ever since we met. And I will stand beside you for the rest of my time. Untill either of us dies, or you sent me away. You know that."

"I think our time here is ended." Eclipse says. There is a flash of white light, and Amnesty has returned to the sea of blood, standing beside Arbiter, confronting Eclipse.


"Now, puppets, shall we dance a little longer? Or perhaps not?" Eclipse says. "Either way, Arbiter, you're power will be mine."

Eclipse launches a white beam of energy into the air. High up, it splits into countless other beams, each forking out like lightning in a complex, web shaped pattern. Then all of them rush at Arbiter and Amnesty.

"Amnesty!" Arbiter shouts, stepping quickly in front of her and forming a shield of energy.

The beams crash down all around them, yet one manages to pierce through Arbiter's shield, impaling him through his stomach.

Amnesty looks at Arbiter in shock before turning to Eclipse once more. "Now it's been enough." She closes her eyes and a exact duplicate of herself, made out of a strange green energy, appears in front of Eclipse.

The duplicate charges at Eclipse without saying a word. Meanwhile, Amnesty returns her attention to Arbiter. "You fool. I could've saved myself. Why did you have to be the hero?" she speaks to him. However, her face soon turns more kind and caring. "Here, let me see that. I'll see what I can do for you."

Arbiter coughs up blood. "It's fine... I'm sorry... I suppose I got... caught up in the moment..."

Suddenly, the white beams dissolve into a fine powder and begin to circle around Eclipse, who is fending off Amnesty's duplicate.

Arbiter places his hands over his wide open, bleeding wound, sealing it up with magic. "Damn Eclipse." Arbiter mutters.

"Take it easy, Arbiter. I'll deal with him this time." Amnesty speaks, while her duplicate charges at Eclipse in an attempt to "hug" him.

"Amnesty, I-" Arbiter begins, but is interrupted as blood pours forth from his mouth once more. Arbiter grasps the spot where Eclipse's blade had impaled him, choking and gasping.

"ENOUGH!" Eclipse roars. Suddenly, two pitch black, frayed angelic wings sprout from his back. Flapping the wings, Eclipse unleashes a powerful spherical burst of energy that consumes Amnesty, her clone and Arbiter. "You will not stop me now! I will take your power, Arbiter, and become God!"

Suddenly Amnesty starts to laugh. "No, I believe you won't. I can't let you." She waves at Arbiter and a green aura starts to emit him, lifting him up and moving him away from the others. "Take it easy for a while, Arbiter. You've done enough."

She then turns towards Eclipse. "You may take his power, you may become a god if you truly wish to do so. But you'll have to get rid of me first. No more tricks, no more interference. Just you and me, right here, right now. Are you up for it?"

As the others fight Inferno falls to his knees, the shockwave having drained him of a lot of his strength - yet the regal figure simply stands, motionless: looking at Inferno with a blank expression before he comments,

"..you overreach yourself, Pendragon" - then as quick as lightning the figure moves, grabbing Inferno by the neck - an audible crack is heard and Inferno's eyes suddenly grow wide as he feels his spine break: unable to move as he's dropped into the sea of blood.

The figure then turns to Red and looks at her with contempt, "..he will heal, with time.. you and I will meet again.. until then.. go help your friends.. while you still can..".

Red watches this and time seems to go in slow motion, her eyes going almost as wide as Inferno's as she drops her axe - her claws extending viciously as she lets out a terrible howl of rage, it is a horrific sound and echoes across the area: instead of attacking the figure she leaps to where Inferno fell and attempts to lift him from the sea of blood, her heart racing as despite her feral appearance she is terrified that moving him will paralyse him (or worse): yet another part of her fears if she doesn't act he'd drown.. tears stream down her face as she yells out: "INFERNO!"

"Overconfidence will get you nowhere." Eclipse growls. "Keep that in mind while I kill you."

Inferno doesn't move, his eyes remain frozen in a look of shock - then with a horrible crack of his neck he suddenly comes to life: his eyes exploding into fiery pits as he shoves Red aside with more force than he probably meant to - lifting himself off the ground he becomes akin to a living missile of pure Twilight energy, crackling with power as he homes straight in on Eclipse:

"My son.. my beautiful son.. to think I had almost slain you alongside your worthless mother.. such a fool.. to come so close to denying myself such a perfect servant.. no matter, no matter.." the words echo through his mind, blurring his vision as he continues flying straight at Eclipse.

"..I'M NOT YOUR GODDAMN PUPPET!" he yells out, his voice as loud and violent as a crash of thunder: although his attack is aimed at Eclipse his vision sees only the dark figure that had haunted him, his mind on the brink of utter collapse.. for the first time in a long time Inferno was not proud.. nor foolish.. Inferno was fury.. he remembered how Rune had told him about the good in humanity.. he remembered how Arbiter had stood by him even in the darkest of days.. he remembered Aither.. and Red.. now, in this alien dimension he finally realized: it was all a lie.. he would never be redeemed.. he would never forgive.

Red yelps slightly as she's knocked back, clutching her shoulder for a moment she pauses - then she too seems to snap, diving under the ocean of blood to retrieve her axe she surfaces after a few moments, her appearance now the stuff of nightmares as she bounds after Inferno with great speed, when she sees Eclipse she yells a phrase that normally would be seen in jest, if not for the anger in her eyes:

"..OFF WITH HIS HEAD!"

Amnesty looks at Red and Inferno before turning back to Eclipse. "Don't you see? We never fight alone. We stick up for eachother." She then draws her sword and charges at Eclipse, causing her clone to follow her lead. "Arbiter. Stay put, okay?"

"I... I have to help..." Arbiter says to himself, but stumbles, clutching his side where he was wounded. His skin at the spot of his wound was turning black, and beginning to spread outward across the rest of his body. He attempts to tap into the power of the Balance, yet fails, as he begins to lose his focus.

"Damn it... damn... it..." he begins to say, as he collapses, sinking into the ocean of blood.

"It's time." Eclipses voice rings out, echoing into the infinite blackness of the realm. A shield of pure power forms around him, crackling and sparking with energy, throwing Amnesty, Inferno, and Red back from him. A rune circle forms before him, floating in the air, glowing with eerie blue light. Eclipse's dark wings morph into blades that extract, lifting Arbiter's limp form from the ocean of blood, and pinning him to the circle, with two blades piercing through his wrists, arms outstretched.

Arbiter lifts his head weakly, with a trickle of blood flowing from his mouth. "Red... Inferno... Amnesty... I'm sorry... I was... too... weak..."

Then the circle begins to glow as the ritual begins.

Chapter V - Total Eclipse

In an instant, everything around them becomes a wild flurry of foreign images and sounds, incomprehensible and chaotic, enough to drive the average mortal far beyond the brink of insanity. The heroes find themselves unable to move. Above the din, the voice of Eclipse rings out loud and clear. {C}"HEAR ME, GOD! ANSWER MY CALL! I WILL NO LONGER BE BOUND BY YOUR LAWS AND YOUR BALANCE! I WILL FORCE YOU DOWN INTO THIS REALM AND INTO MYSELF!"

A giant portal opens up far above them, behind it is an abstract power without a physical form, yet is seems to be staring down upon all of them with no expression, nor words to say.

There is a bright flash of light, that lasts for a long while.

Then it fades.

Arbiter's limp form still hangs upon the circle, for a second, before falling into the ocean of blood. The circle fades. Standing a distance away is the figure of a man, with two wings sprouting from his back; one black, angelic wing, and one white demonic wing.

Amnesty dives at the ocean of blood, searching for Arbiter. Meanwhile, her clone starts to fade away due to a lack of concentration.

The man in the distance begins to approach Amnesty. As he moves closer, his features become clearer; His figure is fit and muscular; his skin is nearly pure white, yet he seems to emanate a black glow. One of his eyes is entirely white, the other entirely black.

Amnesty closes her eyes and concentrates again, creating another clone of herself. The clone dives into the ocean of blood, searching for Arbiter, while Amnesty turns towards the man. "Stay. Away. If you know what's good for you."

"I have done it." the figure said in a deep and powerful, yet seemingly disinterested voice. "I have done what I've set out to do. I have aquired God." The figure lifts his hand, and Arbiter's limp form rises from the blood. "Here is your friend. He is nothing more now than an empty shell. I have much larger things ahead of me than insects like you. I, Eclipse, the Destroyer, will become master of this universe. I can finally surpass the laws of reality." Eclipse tosses Arbiter toward Amnesty.

Amnesty catches Arbiter's body and uses her magic to suspend it in air, safe from harm.

"Now you've done it, Eclipse. Now you've done it." Amnesty yells before charging at him blindly.

Inferno recovers from the fallback caused by the previous blast and crackles with energy as he remains akin to an energy-form: his voice still having the property of thunder "..if you are "God" then I shall be your "Devil", Eclipse.." -- then he unleashes a beam of energy at Eclipse, which swerves around Amnesty as if guided by invisible hand: Inferno never showed this amount of control over the Twilight Force before, save the time he and Arodnap merged: though through his eyes the world was still little more than a blur, the figures around him silent and muted as all he can hear is the echoing words: "..you overreach yourself, Pendragon".

Yet even in his maddened state Inferno hears something amidst the chaos "Red... Inferno... Amnesty... I'm sorry... I was... too... weak..." - Inferno's mind races, remembering many past battles and his thoughts drift <<..in blood I had two siblings.. yet in spirit I had three.. Arbiter.. you were my brother.. and I will make them pay.. first this one.. then.. my accursed father.. then.. everyone who ever hurt us.. this I swear..>>

With a mere motion of his finger, Eclipse generates a force field that throws Amnesty backward and deflects Inferno's attack.

"With the power of God contained by the billions of souls flowing through my body, there is no way you can even hurt me. Why, then, are you so persistent? Your cause is lost."

Amnesty recovers in mid-air and looks at Arbiter for a moment. "Perhaps you're right. Perhaps we can't win. Bit if all hope is lost. If all my friends, everyone I care for, are gone, then what do I have to live for? I will not stop fighting you untill I'm either succesful or dead, Eclipse. Deal with it." And with those words she charges at Eclipse once more.

Eclipse charges up power for a split second, then unleashes it all at once in a massive beam of energy that overtakes Amnesty, Inferno, and Red.

Inferno counters by forming a shield of Twilight energy around himself, Red and Amnesty - which resembles in many ways a cage of black lightning, crackling as it attempts to withstand the beam of energy: though it can only last as long as Inferno wills it and he already begins to feel himself destabilizing as the Twilight Force begins to overload within him, his memory flashing back to the past: when he shattered the Twilight-Realm in the battle against Rune and Arbiter..

Amnesty uses her magic to enforce Inferno's shield. "I. Will. Not. Give. Up!"

"Give up." Eclipse's voice rings out. "When this is over, I will take your souls and add them to my power."

Red slams her axe into the ground, using it like an anchor as she grabs Inferno's arm - she then turns to Amnesty and yells: "..bring me Arbiter!" - her voice is bestial now, her eyes flaring up.

Inferno continues to destabilize - yet when Red touches him he suddenly blinks, as if awakening from a horrific nightmare: yet he dares not stop.. keeping the shield up despite the strain it is putting on his body and mind: "..Red.. Amnesty.. if we survive.. you need to know something.. Eclipse isn't the only god who has awoken.. you see.. my father.. my *real* father.. he is coming.. I.. I'm sorry.." he speaks, straining a little as exhaustion kicks in.

Amnesty looks at Red and Inferno. "We'll deal with that when the time comes Inferno. You won't have to do it on your own." She then waves her hand, causing Arbiter's body to come floating into the cage-like structure.

"You cannot defeat me. The laws of the universe and the Balance mean nothing to me. You have no hope." Eclipse says.

Red keeps a grip on Inferno's arm - focusing her energy inward as she blocks out Eclipse's words, "..Inferno, Amnesty - forget Eclipse.. he's just a puppet himself, dancing to the tune of madness.. like everyone we've ever faced.. today.. I play a different tune.. first I need you to concentrate.. all of your energy.. all of your spirit.. focus.." - she looks towards the lifeless Arbiter "..if we die, we die as we lived - alone we are weak.. together we are strong.. Eclipse knows this.. and it terrifies him.. now.. do it.. focus!"

Amnesty nods, closes her eyes and starts to focus.

"Whether you stand alone or together, it matters not. I will prevail in the end." Eclipse says. Glowing lights begin to appear at the groups feet, slowly beginning to form the image of an enormous circle...

Inferno closes his eyes and focuses, letting the Twilight Force surge through the group - relieving himself of some of the strain but causing both Red and Amnesty to become exposed to potentially dangerous levels of Twilight energy.

The circle forming around their feet completes itself, and more intricate patterns quickly begin to take shape, becoming the obvious image of a rune circle. The circle begins to glow.

"Your souls are mine." Eclipse says with finality.

A blinding flash of light; a sensation akin to sinking in darkness; and then-

Inferno, Amnesty, and Red find themselves standing upon a large, cylindrical platform, engraved with numerous images of death and destruction. In the center of this platform is a white glow surrounded by a translucent vortex of many colors; upon closer inspection, the vortex appears to be made up of countless bodies, whirling about endlessly. Facing away from them, staring up at the vortex sits a familiar figure, with emerald green hair...

Inferno suddenly opens his eyes and stands up, moving past Red and Amnesty - once again being somewhat forgetful of his own strength as he barges past them, heading towards the figure, however after a few steps he stumbles a little.. a reminder of his own limits coming back to haunt his physical form, which is nearing the point of exhaustion.

The figure, stands up and turns around; Inferno, Amnesty, and Red find themselves staring into the face of Arbiter. Arbiter's expression changes into one of horror.

"Inferno... Red... Amnesty... No... no, why are you here?"

Inferno looks to Arbiter, hunched over slightly as he recovers from the stumble - though he is still shaky "..you tell us, Arbiter.. why are we here? what is happening and why can't we stop it?".

"This is... Eclipse's heart of hearts..." Arbiter explains. "It is a spiritual plane that connects the soul to the heart, mind, and body... All those beings you see there in that vortex; those are souls; Eclipse pulled them out of me, along with my own soul..." Arbiter looks back. "We all have a heart of hearts." he says. "It manifests into a state that reflects the image of one's soul. Take a look below your feet." Arbiter says, gesturing to all the dark images on the platform depicting death and destruction.

Amnesty kneels down, looking at the images with great interest.

"These images form Eclipse's heart of hearts." Arbiter explains. "They depict his nature, the very essence of his being."

"That is correct, Keeper of Balance." Eclipse says, manifesting nearby. "Welcome to my heart of hearts, where you can see me for what I truly am."

Chapter VI- Black Heart

Inferno simply looks at Eclipse before speaking "..I already know what you are, Eclipse - I've dealt with men like you my whole life.. men who think themselves superior to all others, invulnerable to law or reason.. yet for all their gloating, all their power.. the only ones they ever fought were those too weak to do anything about it.. cowards are all the same..".

Amnesty gets back to her feet and stands next to Inferno. "Tell me Eclipse, how often have you taken on an opponent when you were not sure you would easily overpower him? How often have you accepted a real challenge? I know the answer... Do you?"

Eclipse regards Amnesty with an inscrutable expression. "There is a difference between cowardice and caution, as there is between bravery and foolishness. As for your question, Queen, yes, I have." Eclipse is silent for a moment, before he continues. "I am curious though, as to why you four have not succumbed entirely to my power yet like the rest of those miserable wretches you see whirling about behind me. Perhaps it is because you four are strong. Strong enough to keep your individuality in this darkness. Now, in my heart of hearts, I will admit that you four have a chance."

Amnesty looks at the others. "We have more than just 'a chance'... We'll erase you out of existence Eclipse. Your time has come," she speaks, before drawing her swords.

"You'll... erase me?" Eclipse asks incredulously before chuckling darkly. "Impossible. As long as hatred is eternal, then I too, shall be. Eternal." As he says this, Eclipse's body appears to shatter like glass, and a new, monstrous figure emerges, akin to a cloud of black mist. The mist begins to take a shape; sprouting legs with clawed feet, four arms, with clawed hands. Rotting, scabbed flesh begins to cover the black mist. It's head appears, giving shape to eyes that burn like hellfire, horns that sprout from the top of the figure's head and continue down his back, and a mouth filled with sharp fangs. Six wings sprout from the figure's back; Four demonic, two angelic. Three tails appear, with a hook on the end of each.

"Let us see, then, how long you four can stand up to pure hatred; the First Evil." Eclipse says, in a monstrous, bestial voice.

Red simply stands, becoming more bestial than ever - to the point she grows considerably, her axe clutched in a massive paw as she snarls "..you think we're afraid of you, Eclipse? we've fought monsters like you countless times.. we sent them back to Hell.. you're next.. however, before you are banished into the netherworld like the beast you are I want you to know something... hate is powerful.. some would argue all things lead to hate.. yet you forget the one thing that surpasses hate.. the will to survive.. love is not just some cliche invented for fairytales.. love is that will to survive.. we grow to love those around us and that love installs in us the will to survive.. look around you, Eclipse.. people who once stood alone now unite.. people who hated each other now start to form bonds of friendship and perhaps even more.. people who you and your kind tortured and killed are now growing to rival you.. it scares you.. though you won't admit it.. because now even you must realize.. we've outgrown you.."

"Bring it on then, fools!" Eclipse roars. "Love is only an illusion that, given time, returns to hate. All of you are nothing more than slaves to your hearts and puppets to mad gods, all driven to hate, burn, and slaughter..." Eclipse leaps up into the air, flapping his six wings. "And yet, you choose to hold onto something so fragile as dreams of love. So you choose. And you shall feel my wrath!"

Eclipse waves his hand, and a blast of hellfire rushes at the group.

Inferno spreads his wings and forms a shield of black energy around himself, thinking on Eclipse's words he suddenly changes in manner - "..you are the greatest puppet of all Eclipse and also the most blind - hate.. love.. life.. death.. right.. wrong.. these things are meaningless.. all that truly exists is Twilight.." - the shield grows more powerful as Inferno walks forward, his voice growing darker "..my Twilight.. my eternal, undying Twilight.. I am no puppet, Eclipse.. I am a god.. no.. more than a god.. I am Inferno Pendragon.. Emperor Of Twilight.." - his eyes flash dangerously, for Arbiter it's probably disturbing as it brings back memories of a darker era.

Arbiter indeed takes a worried glance at Inferno. Shaking his disturbed thought from his head, Arbiter charges a ball of energy in his hands, which he then blasts at Eclipse. Eclipse merely smirks as he swats the ball of energy, sending it off into the distance. Arbiter keeps at this attack, lauching sphere after sphere of energy, but to no avail.

"Enough!" yells Eclipse, swatting one of Arbiter's projectiles back at him with one of his tails.

Arbiter barely has time to dodge before the ball explodes where he was standing a split second ago; the explosion creates enough force to send him, Amnesty, and Red sprawling in different directions.

"Dammit..." mutters Arbiter.

Amnesty quickly recovers. "Now, your time has come Eclipse. You're facing powers you can't withstand. Not for long. And if you don't believe me, you soon will!" And with those words she releases even more of her power, causing her body to emanate a strange green light. She then charges at Eclipse as bein a projectile herself.

Eclipse flies upward, dodging Amnesty with unexpected speed, launching a blast of energy at her in the process.

Inferno stands up and thinks back to Warcry, when he struck Eclipse - "Aha... I see...so strong within your hate. Feed off of it; it is a source of unbelievable power. It is the only thing that will matter...in the end..." - Eclipse's words echo in Inferno's mind as he opens one of his fists, a spark of red energy emits and starts to form into a sphere that gradually grows, an insane grin spreads over Inferno's face as his eyes flare up with malice:

"..here we go.." Inferno states ominously as the ball of energy in his fist continues growing, something awakening inside him as he begins to absorb the hatred from his surroundings into Twilight energy.

Amnesty quickly changes direction and appears behind Eclipse, grabbing him from behind to distract him from Inferno, as well as to keep him in place.

"Miserable wretch..." Eclispe growls. His three hooked tails lash out toward Amnesty, in his attempt to pull her off of him.

Even though being struck by the tails, Amnesty doesn't release Eclipse. "Inferno... Hurry up.. I can't cling on to him forever!"

Eclipse pulls his tails back, and strikes at Amnesty again, intent on burying the hooked ends in her flesh.

Inferno's eyes flash menacingly as he continues standing there, the sphere in his fist now growing to the point it crackles with dark red energy - he grins maliciously as he looks at Amnesty and says something that probably makes the others cringe, due to the way he says it - in a manner totally unlike his usual self "..you're cute when you're scared.. you know that?" - he ends the line with a dark chuckle, then fires a beam of red energy towards Eclipse as his grin fades into an expression of contempt.


(Long cutscene time again... sorry guys... feel free to insert appropriate dialogue in this cutscene ^^)


"Inferno! NO!" Arbiter calls out, but it is too late; the beam rockets at Eclipse with full force, and strikes him square on the chest. The red energy seems to arc chaotically through his body, though Eclipse doesn't seem to flinch.

"You fool." Eclipse said. "You cannot harm me with your hatred, for I am Hatred Incarnate! But as for your little friends..."

Black shadows appear on Eclipse's body, growing off like sores; the shadows then lash out like tendrils and latch onto Amnesty, pulling her away from Eclipse and holding her in the air, unable to move.

"You first, Queen of Silvast." Eclipse says. "You will now become a part of me."

Everything that happens next happens in less than a split second; Eclipse blasts forth a massive blast of red energy that would have consumed Amnesty in it's entirety; but the beam never connects; it explodes right before her.

"What-?" Eclipse utters in absolute surprise. Floating in the air where the beam exploded is the figure of Arbiter. His entire form seems to flicker like a light bulb, just for a moment, before becoming solid again.

"Sorry for doing this again, Amnesty." Arbiter says boldly. "But I had a feeling you wouldn't get out of this one on your own."

"Impossible!" Eclipse growled. He glares at Arbiter. "How could you survive that?! Why do you keep throwing your life on the line for this girl?!"

Arbiter laughs. "My friends are right." he says simply. "We have formed a force that is stronger than any hatred you can conjure up. We all were once enemies... now fighting together under a banner of friendship... a banner of love... as childish as it sounds, it's the truth. With our love for each other, there is no way you can destroy us!

"I survived... because I love Inferno and Red like a brother and sister... and Amnesty... something... even more..." Arbiter stammers slightly, admittedly turning a few shades of red in the face, "and now, our love versus your hate. When the dust settles, we will have crushed you, Eclipse."

"Love is an ILLUSION!" Eclipse snarled. "Hatred and destruction are the only truths in this wretched universe! Love dies. Hatred... is ETERNAL!"

Releasing Amnesty, the shadowy tendrils latch onto Arbiter, though Arbiter does nothing to stop it; Eclipse launches a blast of red energy at Arbiter, but to no avail. In fact, Arbiter seemed to even be laughing as Eclispe fired blast after blast at him in pure rage.

"Damn you, DAMN YOU!" Eclipse roared.

"Are you afraid, Eclipse?" Arbiter says softly.

"I am Eclipse! The Destroyer! The First Evil! I fear NOTHING!"

(Cutscene over; if you have dialogue you'd like to insert into the cutscene, feel free.)

Amnesty recovers after being released. and turns towards Arbiter. "It seems we'll have to talk when all of this is over... But first, let's put an end to this so-called destroyer..."

Red frowns at Inferno as she grips her axe, looking towards Eclipse and Arbiter - trying to block out the anger she felt, she closes her eyes and focuses on something, her memories flashing back and forth in her mind of how she met a young man in the fields near her home, how they had smiled and laughed as they grew old together - of her joy as the man asked her to stay with him, her pride as she learnt she was to be the mother of his child.. their child.. then her pain as he vanished one day, taken from her in the blink of an eye.. her revulsion at having to raise the child he had given her.. a reminder of everything she had ever lost.. a tear rolls down her cheek as she lowers her head "..oh Jack, I wish you were here to see this.. you always told me.. love would prevail..." she whispers.

Arbiter unleahses a burst of power, and the shadowy tendrils holding him seems to dissolve into nothing.

"Im-Impossible!" Eclipse roars, now with a hint of fear entering his voice.

"Everyone, now!" Arbiter cries out. "Let's send Eclipse into oblivion!"

Inferno's eyes grow wide as he witnesses his attack fail, his sanity seeming to return - the rage.. the hate.. he had almost lost control, his eyes dart over to Amnesty - then Arbiter - then Red.. he could of killed them all.. all because he was too weak to stop the corruption.. he turns away from the others and closes his eyes.

"..no.. I.. I can't.. I'm sorry.. I'm not strong enough.." he whispers, almost to himself "..I thought I was.. but I'm not.. I thought I could love.. I thought I could forgive.. but I can't.." - he lowers his head and simply stands in place, away from the group.

Arbiter charges a ball of energy in his hand, and then, surrounding his fist with the energy, proceeds to deliver a bone-snapping punch to Eclipse.

"Aaaaaagggghhh!" Eclipse growls. The platform beneath their feet begins to crack, as if Arbiter's punch had splintered Eclipse's heart of hearts.

Amnesty closes her eyes and produces another aura, seemingly made out of light and in the form of a giant woman with wings. The aura then folds itself around Eclipse, draining him of a great deal of power if it were to be succesful.

Eclipse attempts to counter the attack with all of the power he can muster, but to no avail; his dark energy appears to dissolve before their very eyes as a result of Amnesty's attack. As the platform begins to crack and splinter even further, radiant light appears to glow through the cracks.

"This... can't be..." Eclipse gasps.

Red looks to Inferno for a moment, then turns away "..it's okay.. I still love you.. even if you don't love me.. now, Eclipse.. I have a gift for you.. may it serve you well in the abyss.." - she then hurls her axe at Eclipse, the axe flying forward and aiming straight for his chest: glowing with a strange power.

The axe slams into Eclipse', burying it's blade deep into Eclipse's chest. Eclipse roars in rage and agony. As he does, the platform beneath their feet finally shatters. The shards seem to form into a black dust that obscures everyone's vision. Suddenly, Inferno, Amnesty, and Red find themselves within an entirely different heart of hearts, the platform of which glows with a soft light and is covered with images of love, peace, and joy, but tarnished with some images of pain, rage, and sadness. Standing in the center of this platform is the figure of a man with dark grey-blue skin, with two large wings protruding from his back.

Arbiter, however, finds himself still within Eclispe's heart of hearts, which is cracked and mutilated. The vortex of souls still remains at it's center, and before it, a beaten Eclipse.

Arbiter

"I still have yet to release these souls." Arbiter says aloud. "That is why I remained here, Eclipse. To see this job through."

"You fool." Eclipse growls. "What are they to you? They are simply a collection of lives with no other worth than giving up their power."

"I have a question for you, Eclipse." Arbiter says, ignoring Eclipse's question. "Earlier, you said you said that I was only a puppet. Care to explain?"

"Exactly what I meant. Those souls you see whirling about before you, those souls you've collected from the worlds that you've destroyed; I guided you into collecting them for me."

"Why didn't you do it yourself?"

"Because in the end, I wanted your soul too, Balance Keeper."

"And yet, you're plan was flawed. I may have been your puppet, but you didn't count on me making powerful friends that would help me to see this through. And in your heart of hearts, where it is our emotions that counts, love defeated hate." Arbiter turns to the vortex of souls. "Now, if I release these souls, your hold on God will be undone, right?"

"That is true." Eclipse growls, "though do you have the power to do it? You can try, but I am willing to bet that it will fracture your own soul."

Arbiter bows his head deep in thought. "I sense the truth in your words, but if that is what it takes... so be it." He walks over toward the vortex of souls.

"You fool..." Eclipse mutters.

Arbiter stares up at the whirling vortex of countless souls. "So... all of you... are the souls that I have wrongfully taken, all of the lives I have wrongfully smitten as I travelled from world to world... it's been so long... now, be free... and wherever you may go after this, I hope you have the heart to forgive me..."

Arbiter begins to glow with a mysterious power. The souls whirling around in the vortex suddenly seem to disappear in a blinding burst of light that envelops everything visible...

Amnesty, Red, & Inferno

The winged male turns around, studying Amnesty, Red, and Inferno.

"If there are other souls here..." he began, "does that mean that- that The First Evil is gone?"

Amnesty nods. "Yes... Or no... His power has been broken, though Eclipse is known to recover and return in unexpected situations. But I think we might have broken him permanently this time."

The figure bows his head. "There is something you don't understand about Eclipse. The truth is... is that I am Eclipse. The Eclipse that you have always seen; that was my own body, but with the will of the First Evil contained inside. Now that you have dispelled the First Evil, I can call my mind and soul my own again."

Inferno doesn't turn around, keeping his back to the group - as well as the new figure: after a moment he simply sits down on the platform and folds his wings over himself like a cloak: staring into nothingness.

"Explain yourself" Amnesty mutters while narrowing her eyes.

"It is a long story..." the figure said. "But if you insist, I will tell it." The figure sits down and tells his story.

"Long ago, after the very birth of one universe in particular there were two tribes; two different races of people; They came to be known as the Tribe of Light and the Tribe of Dark, on account of their wings and the color of their skin." The figure extends his own dark wings as if to emphasize this point.

"At first, the Tribes accepted one another. As time passed, they grew to hate each other. From this hate was born The First Evil, the third of the First Dieties. The influence of the First Evil over the world soon overshadowed that of his two bretheren; The FIrst Moral and The First Neutral. War broke out.

"To stop this war, I, alongside a few of my own people sought to stop the First Evil, the true cause of the conflict. A weapon was forged for us- the Staff of Light- and we set off to seal away that hateful demon.

"And so we battled. The powers of the Staff of Light were amplified by the companionship that kept me and my comerades together, and we drove The First Evil from our world. Yet despite my power and my love for my friends, the First Evil seemed particularly interested in my capabilities... perhaps, now that I think about it... it was because I had the most to lose.

"Victory was ours, but the First Evil had already won. The seeds of discord were sown among my people, and the seed of doubt planted in my heart of hearts. An unstable peace was established soon after, but soon after, people from the other tribe came one day and laid waste to my village.

"There is perhaps nothing more unsettling than watching your friends and family slaughtered before your very eyes, and knowing that you are powerless to save everyone. My brothers and sisters, my best friends, and even the one I loved, all died that night. Rage overtook me as I returned the favor to the other village. The Staff of Light, in my hands, became tainted with darkness as I slaughtered the other village responsible for tearing away from me everything I loved. That was when... I fell under the power of the First Evil. My body became his vessel, and he gained a form capable of physical presence in all of reality. Together, we became Eclipse.

"Now, here in my own heart of hearts, eclipsed in the darkness of the First Evil, I have had nearly an eternity to face what I had done, and wishing whole-heartedly that I could take everything back... wishing that I could simply die and end everything... and once you all return to reality, I will fade, as you have dispelled the darkness overshadowing my heart."

Amnesty nods. "So, if I understood everything correctly, you are a part of Eclipse, but you're now freed from the influence of the First Evil. I'm guessing the First Evil can hardly be destroyed, so he would only be... without a body?"

Red begins to slowly revert back to her human form, her cloak torn and tattered as her axe somehow finds itself back in her grip - the glowing power gradually fading as she notes: "..for now.. hatred does not die.. however it can be contained.." - she thinks a little to herself, her eyes still a little wild "..like misery and madness.. concepts do not die.. it doesn't mean we should stop fighting though..".

"That is the truth." Says the figure. "and now, without a body, his power is increased, but his ability to use it is greatly diminished. It will be a very long time before you ever hear of Eclipse again."

Inferno continues staring into nothingness for a while before he stands up, still looking away from the group "..so.. we can go now?".

"Yes... of course... return to your reality... and thank you... all of you..."

As the figure says this, everything fades into blackness...

Chapter VII- Shattered Soul

...Amnesty, Inferno, and Red awaken on top of a grassy hill, with a massive tree growing in the center of this hill. The lushness of the hill is in stark contrast to the rest of the world around it, which was nothing but rock and rubble. The body of Arbiter lies on the lush grass next to them. Suddenly, his eyes snap open.

Amnesty gets up and walks over to Arbiter, holding out her hand to help him up. "Welcome back..." She says with a faint smile.

Arbiter stares at her for a moment, before taking her hand. "Where... am I?" he asks.

Amnesty shrughs. "I don't know yet. But you're safe and unharmed. Eclipse is gone, and we won't see him for a long time." And with those words Amnesty pulls Arbiter to his feet, showing a larger smile now.

Inferno doesn't speak nor turn around, simply looking into the distance before he walks off - leaving the others to their means.

"Eclipse... that name sounds... familiar... is he someone I should know?" Arbiter asks.

Amnesty shrugs. "I don't know. Do you think you should know? It's an awfully long and sad story..."

"Who are you?" Arbiter asks. "I probably should know... you look familiar... but I... can't remember... are we friends?"

Amnesty sighs before nodding. "Yes. We are friends."

There is a small flash of light nearby and three people walk forth- Father, followed by two other beings; a small child and the ghostly image of a woman.

"His soul has been shattered." Father said. "He chose to release the countless souls imprisoned by Eclipse, shattering his own soul in the process, as well as his memories."

Amnesty nods. "I expected as much. Is there anything that can be done about it?"

"His soul will heal; give him time. As it does, his memories will return. I know not how long it will take; years maybe, but the best you can do is support him and guide him; to be his pillar of strength until he can stand on his own again."

Father takes a look toward Arbiter, who was observing his surroundings with the curiosity of a child. Arbiter had knelt down, observing a beautiful rose that was growing out of the ground.

"There's something familiar about this..." Arbiter said aloud. "I feel like I've been here before... a long time ago..."

"He may not be the Arbiter that you know for quite some time." Father said. "But with everything he has done, including breaking his own soul to pieces to release those countless other souls... I believe it is safe to say that he has finally atoned for his past sins, just before he lost his memories."

Amnesty nods again. "I see." She then turns towards Arbiter again. "Arbiter. Will you come with me? I can tell you countless of stories about the world. You may find peace..."

"Arbiter looks at Amnesty for a moment, before replying. "...I trust you."

Father nods, before he and his companions fade away and disappear.

Red simply sighs, watching all of this - then stands up and walks away with her axe swaying behind her "..well it looks like we've all finally recieved a "happy ever after".." she whispers to herself, looking back at Arbiter and Amnesty before continuing alone down the hill "..then why, I wonder, don't I feel any happier?".

Amnesty holds out her hand. "Take my hand, we're going home."

Arbiter reaches out, gently placing his hand in hers.

With a flash of green light, Amnesty and Arbiter both dissapear, on their way to the Royal Palace of Silvast.

Epilogue- The Greatest Flaw

Eclipse stood in an expanse of emptiness, alone and furious.

"Why?!" he questioned out loud. "Why did this not work?! Why did you not give me your power, God?!"

"It was because you didn't believe in me." said three voices in unison.

From the emptiness suddenly appeared three figures- Father, a young child, and the ghostly image of a woman. Then the three beings seemed to merge together to form another being; a being who appeared genderless, but perfect in every aspect.

"You wanted to take God's power for your own?" said the figure. "You think you can become greater by using others to take hold of power that doesn't belong to you? That makes you no god, but rather, a petty thief."

"I wanted to become perfect!" Eclipse responded angrily. "I wanted perfect understanding of God and this universe! What is wrong with wishing for perfection?!" There is a pause of silence. "Who are you?!" Eclipse demands.

"Who am I? I am God. I am also Love. You did not believe in me. You only believed in power."

"But what is wrong with wanting to be perfect?!" Eclipse repeated.

"Perfection is the greatest flaw in existence." the figure responded. "It is meant to be strived for but never obtained. For when everything is perfect, there is nothing left to live for. Using and manipulating the lives of others may give you the illusion of growing closer to perfection, but in reality, you yourself have not grown a bit."

"Are you saying... that you, God, are not even perfect?"

"I chose imperfection, because I myself am Love. Love itself grows, striving toward perfection, but never obtaining it. Hate doesn't grow. It only sets the universe back. It is necessary, but it is not meant to be a greater thing than Love."

Eclipse was lost for words at this point, and could do nothing but glare angrily at the figure.

"And now, I believe it is time for you to leave." The figure said. A black portal appears, and before Eclipse could react, swallows him before disappearing.

"When you return, Eclipse, hopefully you will have learned... but I doubt it." the figure said.

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