Luka reflexively attempted to grab his sword, but his hand only met air. The White Rabbit showed the impressive pile of weapons behind her before she talked in her usual sing song voice.
"Yes. Our last meetings did leave a sour aftertaste in my windpipe, courtesy of your sword, so I decided to make sure this one would go smoother… Or at least get sure I have a chance to not get beheaded. (Sheesh, what's with this family who keep swinging their weapons like barbarians?)"
"I heard that. And I have a lot of questions for you, so if you would kindly answer them…"
"You didn't ask any yet!" She took a coy pause, her hands behind her back.
Luka slowly breathed in and out. He still had to stay in their good grace if he wanted everyone's sacrifice to not be made moot. And that required first and foremost keeping his cool
"Then let me get started. Are either of you responsible for jumbling my memories?"
"Kinda… Sorta?" The White Rabbit offered a mix of a smirk and a grimace while Luka's already present frown deepened.
"We are indirectly responsible in the sense that we have a hand in what caused your memories to become chaotic in the first place, but it was a side effect, not our goal."
White Rabbit glared at Reaper.
"Guiding is my job, miss taciturn!"
"Then continue with a straightforward response. I just wish to be done with that farce, so that the hero can go on and fulfill his duty."
"We're not in a hurry! If there's one thing we have right now, it is time!"
"Maybe." Reaper swung her scythe, only stopping a hair breadth away from White Rabbit's face. "But we don't have the patience."
The White Rabbit crossed her arms and pouted. "Fiiine. The reason your head is such a mess is because the memories of your adventures mix with each other each time you restart. So you'll remember everything that happened exactly the same way just fine, but if there were small differences, your memories of these particular details can become messy. And of course this include, saaayyyy… Having different companions at a given moment."
Luka nodded. Well, if he indeed did run through that adventures several times with different companions…
"Several times? I remember doing an adventure with Alice beforehand, but…"
Luka groaned in frustration. He couldn't quite his finger on it. There was something... Wrong with what he just said.
"But I remember discussing the issue with Mephisto, and even Morrigan when she wasn't butting head with Eden… Wait… Eden is so loyal to Ilias… Why would she join me if…"
The White Rabbit was looking expectantly at Luka with a big, goofy smile as she was leaning forward, her hands joined behind her back in a coy pause once more.
Luka sighed, tired with the monster's antics. "Ok, how many times did I restart my adventure?"
Reaper closed her eyes, and, the next second, several images projected around Hades, showing in perfect synch the hero getting up for his adventures.
Luka shook his head, aghast from what he saw.
"Twenty-eight times… I went through this mess twenty-eight times for the most inane, stupid reasons that can exist..."
"Actually, most of them WERE serious. That time with the Elf Princess… That was the exception, and that was on your third adventure."
"Then why? Why did I restart that often?"
The White Rabbit gestured with her head, inviting Luka to come closer to one of them to examine it. He carefully stepped forward, remaining wary of the monster's intent. As he focused on the image, he could see himself discuss with a large purple and red lamia with silver hairs… He recognized an adult Alice, and he started hearing the conversation he apparently had with her once ago.
"This is the truth! Give me the Pocket Castle, and Alma Elma will confirm it!"
The Monster Lord scoffed. "As if I would let you have something like this! How do you even know I have this item in the first place? Did you spy on me?!"
"No! I told you! All this already happened!"
"Then THIS also happened!"
Alice attacked Luka with a fist surrounded in darkness. The hero managed to dodge it, and the two started fighting in front of Ilias Village. After a long fight, Alice knocked the hero down. She snarled, and started slithering away, mumbling all the while.
"Damn fake hero… Right, I was supposed to examine this Tartarus… There was supposed to be information about my mother there… Why here? Are those places connected somehow?"
After sneaking in the hole, she started checking the door at the end of the place. She poured every effort into opening it fruitlessly before giving up.
"Damn… Maybe Tamamo knows more…" She sighed. "She won't be happy to hear I snuck out, but…"
The door opened suddenly, taking her by surprise. In a flash, a large green blade cut her in two before she could react. The door closed again, and, an undetermined amount of time later, Luka arrived to see her dead body. The hero fell on his knees, crying. Another failure…
Luka recoiled and turned toward the White Rabbit.
"You didn't seal her then?"
"The same way you restart your adventures."
Luka raised an eyebrow in confusion.
Reaper dramatically looked up in exasperation before answering. "Because you asked her."
Although he was still confused, Luka nodded and checked a few other images. In one, he could see himself having roughly the same issue with Ilias before the Lilith Sisters interrupted their conversation with extreme prejudice. In another, he was butting head with Tamamo and Neris in the Cave of Treasures while Alma Elma was supporting him. Another time, he was desperately defending himself against his father after trying to hold him back in hope of getting his support…
He carefully analyzed each and every one of them, trying to find out a pattern. He had a feeling asking the White Rabbit would only lead to yet another non-answer, and he decided that instead, he could as well search for the common link himself if there was any. After a few minutes, he came to a conclusion.
"I wanted to get each of them on my team. To their full power. And you helped me to do it."
"Wow, I didn't think you would find it so fast and on the first try… I won't give you each and every detail, but yes, you did ask me for the opportunity to recruit them, and it was both the most and the least I could do."
"And my latest attempt was aimed toward Micaela…" Luka's eyes narrowed. "Except she would be one of the first person I would try to save and recruit."
"And why so mister insightful?"
"Because even the first time I saw her I felt that bond between us and wanted to save her. And, on a more pragmatic stand point, because she would be more willing to help us if we saved her and because her reputation would have brought in more people. It did bring in Tamamo, after all, who then proceeded to bring in all the other Heavenly Knights and several other powerful monsters."
"…You changed a lot since the beginning. You know that? Not that it's fully a bad thing, but… Actually we will come back to that one later, let's stay on track. Yes, Micaela was the first person you wanted to get on your side. The issue was… Well, we did tell you it would be so hard it wouldn't be worth it." Her ears drooped on top of her head before she continued in a hushed whisper. "I can't say I'm happy to have been proven right, though."
Luka looked down, slightly ashamed. "It was a disaster."
"But not the worst one! I mean, you didn't look over there, with the time when you got both Alice and Ilias fully powered… Actually it's better if you don't."
The White Rabbit yelped in pain when Reaper hit her on the head with the flat of her scythe.
"Stop getting sidetracked and please get to the crux of the issue."
"I was about to! Sheesh, I thought you were more patient than that."
And the hopes of the world rest on the shoulders of those two…
"We heard that, by the way. Now, back onto Micaela: Her death is actually part of the paradox of this world as much as her survival is a constant for other ones. What I mean is that she's one tough cookie and it's basically the only world where she dies before the event that marks the end of the hero Luka's adventures. Problem is, her death is so integral to this world that we had to give you a bigger window of opportunity to save her than what was required for all the other characters combined. That wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't so big and if… Well, you remember our conversation from Gold Volcano? That whole time travel aspect being concealed by our care? Well it's also obscured for your allies and for those who think about them. It prevents your more opportunistic allies to try to influence you to use it for their own benefits, and it prevents the ones that knows them to try to contact them directly. In the end with that mess, you'd find yourself with Black Alice on your doorstep before you'd know it. And even if you did kill her, the world would suffer too great damages anyway."
"You mean to tell me that Micaela's destined to die in this world as much as she's destined to survive in all of the branches of the true history?"
"And that to save her, you had to increase the risk of having everyone find out that I travelled back through time?"
"Bullseye. The issue is… the concealment aura loses its effectiveness on more powerful creatures… And on people not originally from this world… And when they exchange with the other version of themselves… And naturally, someone eager to communicate with her family cumulated all three points. Can you guess who?"
"Morrigan… I'm going to kick her out."
"Awww, don't be like that! If it wasn't her, it would have been Alicetromeria for the sake of spicing things up! Or maybe even Radio in an attempt to contact her master?"
Luka shrugged. "Well… I guess I'll just have to make do with the locals and exclude all the guys from the other world."
"Why? I mean they also did help you a lot! Between Heinrich, Promestein... It would be a shame to pass up on their skills!"
"Because they also make things worse."
"So I suppose you wouldn't consider looking again for the support of either of those two worlds?"
"No. I certainly don't want anything to do with them."
"Aaaand it looks like we're back at square one."
Luka's eyes narrowed. "Come on! You've seen them-"
"More than you actually."
"One side attacked us on sight, the other kept screwing everything again and again! They do twice as much harm as good on their best day! Why Would I even consider asking them for their help?!"
"You do remember how fighting Black Alice just ended, right?"
"I'll just retry again!"
"And if you keep on like that, you'll fail again. No offense, but… The solutions to take down Black Alice are not available in this world. She made sure of it."
Luka had a flashback to his feverish time back when he snapped. That projection of Ilias had already told her so. As he stared in the void, the White Rabbit tilted her head.
"Mmmh. I see. You already realized it. You just refuse to accept it. Well, in that case, it's time we show you something. But first…" She checked one of her innumerable zippers, and proceeded to pull out what looked liked two leathery pads linked by a metallic arc.
Luka raised an eyebrow and checked on Reaper to see the avatar of death wearing the same strange apparatus. He wondered for a moment how it worked considering their ears was on top of their head, but he decided to ignore it and placed his own.
"Right… Before anything, you remember what Hades is?"
"It's a place where my memories accumulate in the form of projection, why?"
"Well, for your Hades, yes, it is. Where we're going is… kinda like it. You'll basically see what pretty much happened those last few weeks, but from someone else's perspective."
"One of my partner's?"
"Not exactly. Ours."
Luka swallowed loudly. He had the feeling he was going to see something that some people would only dream of seeing, but also fear and hate.
"You have my full attention."
"Good, just remember those are projections. You're free to do what you want, it won't change anything."
"Let's get started then."
The next instant, all three entities disappeared.
The term sensory abuse was weak to express what Luka endured when he arrived. His ears were assaulted by a cacophony of arguments so loud, he clutched his head in pain before managing to grab his bearings.
He was standing on a transparent balcony, flanked by Reaper and the White Rabbit, under a star-filled sky, and under him was a large map of the world he recognized all too well, with seven black holes where the Tartarus were located. He also saw Uriela and the three seraphim standing guard on the area that represented the Snow Continent, while the three Lilith Sisters were… busy on the area of the Vampire Castle. A figure he recognized as his father roamed on the edge of the map.
The source of the cacophony came from two different groups that were on each side of the map, insulting each other as loudly as possible in a rage-filled contest.
On his left side, he recognized Tamamo No Mae, Minagi, and that yoma Saja. They were also accompanied by a blue slime that reminded him of Erubetie, a curvaceous alraune sitting on a large pink flowers surrounded by predatory pitchers, and a young girl wearing a refined coat with white fur at its hems that could pass for human, if it wasn't for her uncanny expressions or the random tentacle appearing from her body. Behind them was an impressively large purple lamia, with silver hairs, horns and flowers that reminded him of Alice. It didn't take him long to understand that he had her original ancestor in front of her, the mother of all monster, the Dark Goddess Alipheese the First herself. She seemed relatively composed compared to her children. Upon looking closer, Luka wondered if she even felt concerned by what was happening.
On the other side was a group of angels. He recognized Raphaela, as well as a different version of Micaela who had her whole body proudly exposed to the elements. There also was a busty angel with blond hair clad in a plant-like green dress, another clad in black with a third eye in her forehead, and two smaller, blond angels that moved so gracefully around each other they could only be twins. Behind them was the noble figure of Ilias, proud and illuminated. When he examined her, even more than her power, he could feel a mix of complacency and unchallenged arrogance that could only exist in someone who was surrounded by sycophants, not facing a single defeat for an eternity.
As Luka focused more, he could finally understand what they were saying. The first one he could clearly understand was an enraged Tamamo.
"You are not saving anything! You're only bringing in your loyal bootlickers before Black Alice will destroy you!"
Raphaela pointed an accusing finger back. "Your plan involves destroying everything every world before killing the last inhabitants by gorging yourself in a final orgy before being destroyed by Black Alice yourself!" She scoffed haughtily. "Destroyed by your own children!"
Saja snarled back. "We will kill her! And Ilias is the one responsible for keeping her alive for her genocidal plan!"
The tree eyed angel shouted back. "It was not our Ilias! Don't lump us with her you gluttonous whores!"
The alraune made a dismissive, mocking gesture. "Then don't say we're responsible for her! And stop pretending you're strong when you can't even face the truth!"
The green-clad angel leaned forward. "The only truth is that you're desperate for more food, you animals! You eat everyone you come across!"
"We only do that to eat, not to satiate our ego unlike some navel-gazing egomaniacs!" The small scylla's voice dripped with sarcasm.
The yelling continued as Black Alice suddenly appeared on the map where Puppeteer tower was. The bored Monster Lord was walking on it nonchalantly like an uncaring titan, a pouting, annoyed expression on her face. Even as she danced around, nobody reacted. She eventually stopped herself on top of a small stone that represented the Holy Wings Shrine, carefully looking at it, tilting her head left and right periodically. After an undetermined amount of time, she stomped the stone and shattered it into a deafening noise that attracted everyone's attention as the map of the world was shaken by a shockwave. The room fell silent for a moment, and Luka started to wonder if they were considering working together against this threat… Before he remembered the Snow Continent debacle down the road.
As if on cue, insults started flying again. Luka didn't lend any attention to their conversation until his name got mentioned.
On the monster's side, Tamamo and Minagi had stopped their mockery to discuss between them. It looked like the succubus was asking something from the fox.
"You saw him. He's strong, skilled at gathering allies, and his dimension-hopping skills would bring my daughters back to this world. He would definitively tilt the scales in our favor. I failed to seduce him, but maybe you could lure him in one of your trap…"
"Indeed… I'll go back there as soon as possible. I already have a few plans for him…"
A second later, they were back to insulting the other side with their sisters. What happened next on the map of the world was a spectacle that Luka remembered all too well: New holes formed and expanded, apoptosis stepped out of them while his allies stepped in to hold them back. For a moment, he was surprised to see La Croix and someone who looked like an adult version of Promestein briefly appear in the middle of the sea near Hellgondo, before leaving through a portal just as fast, clearly aggravated by what was happening. His face reddened in shame when the disaster at Puppeteer's Tower played again, a reassuring pat on the shoulder from the White Rabbit calming him ever so slightly.
The war continued, and for a moment the hero felt proud of his allies, of all the monsters, angels and humans who made an effort to put their grudges aside while fighting an enemy superior in number… But it only made seeing those two groups fight all the more bitter.
Then conflict finally started on the Snow Continent. With the hindsight from his position, Luka finally saw how downright insane and chaotic the whole fight was. Angels, apoptosis, the Lilith Sisters, Black Alice, Kagetsumugi's dolls and finally himself with his own partners, all sealed under a dome, fighting each other and everyone…
Then he noticed himself, Nuruko, the twins and Black Alice disappear. The remainder of his companions sound followed suite, although a glowing point told him that they had come back inside the Pocket Castle to rest.
Black Alice was now fighting the twins into the central Tartarus. Luka couldn't tell how long the fight lasted, but she eventually came out on top. She didn't finish them off, and instead casted them in the void before locking up whatever was on the other side.
"Have your world! I have hundreds of others to toy with!"
The next instant, his father stepped in and engaged the Goddess of Chaos in a fight, and ended disintegrated after a small moment.
Luka felt his heart sink at this sight. All that time he had spent chasing after his father, the efforts deployed to follow him to the end of the world, and all that to see his life had been extinguinshed in a heartbeat silently, with no one to assist to it. It was so anticlimatic, so ridiculous, the hero wanted nothing more than to jump down and strangle the life out of Black Alice himself. He refrained from doing so, however, and managed to calm down a little afterwards.
He was still slightly shocked by this turn of events when he looked back at the fight on the Snow Continent. He took a sinister satisfaction in seeing Lilith, Gnosis and Uriela die, something that he hadn't assisted to the last time. He didn't notice the White Rabbit shaking her head disapprovingly behind him.
Luka saw how the world collapsed for himself: Tartarus and anomalies kept expanding, apoptosis kept pouring out, and his allies kept killing and dying. He even saw Adramelech end so many of his friends, further reinforcing his hatred for the apoptosis.
And finally, after ever so much time, he saw his final fight against Black Alice, with the Heavenly Knights dying while he snuck away. He felt a bit ashamed to have left them behind, but it was to give everyone a second chance. They all knew how it was going to end, and were ready for it, but it was only a small consolation in front of so many deaths. Black Alice was still floating around, looking bored out of her mind.
Even now, the Six Ancestors and the Seven Archangels were blaming each other for the destruction of the world, angrier than ever. Luka felt bile rise through him. A handful of those individuals had far more power than his army ever had. They could have shared it with them. They could have defended the world. But instead of ever raising the smallest finger against the abomination that threatened everyone, they were busy bickering like children. He unconsciously balled his fist in anger before releasing a cry of rage, which didn't attract the slightest reaction from either side.
"I'm done with this shit. Now get me back…" He turned back and could neither see Reaper nor the White Rabbit. Before he could panic, a voice called out from behind him.
"Done with what?"
Luka turned around to see Ilias and Alipheese moving toward him while keeping distance from each other. The hero was surprised by this turn of events, but managed to keep his composure none the less.
"I'm done with you two. You're warring against each other from your throne comfortably, wasting time fighting each other with my world being only a collateral victim of your scheming."
Ilias chuckled haughtily and brought a hand to her chest. "I only defend the world against those abominable monsters. If they didn't want to destroy every world in the first place while corrupting my creations, I wouldn't have any problem."
"I should remind you that it is the only way to save every universes and not just a bunch of blinded simpletons. And my monsters only offer to fulfill a need your creations have." Alipheese crossed her arms under her chest. Her posture definitively reminded Luka of Alice, as if their common appearance didn't make their relation clear enough.
"Oh, is that so? Is that why so many of them kill their partners like spiders? Did you even think that aspect out, or did it just happen to be there?"
"So many of your own creations seemed to appreciate that, I thought it would be a shame to remove this feature. And then you attacked me with your angels, making me so ever glad to not have altered my design when your forces were transformed into food to heal my children's wounds.
"See, hero Luka? She cruelly disregard life. She's making excuses. If you listened to her, you would think I was the source of all the harm in the world. Join me, and I will make sure that you and your friends find a place in my world. You will be safe under my guidance."
"You did attack him on sight and you are trying to exterminate my monsters. You are indeed more than a nuisance." She turned toward Luka. "Join me, hero. You will have limitless opportunities to grow and thrive through adversity, and your power shall be recognized and rewarded."
"Oh? Will you devour him personally?"
"Only if he challenges me personally and fail."
Even Luka was surprised by his ability to stand up to two goddesses. However, he was still there, holding his hand up, demanding their silence.
"I need your power to save the world, but by now I've dealt with you and your lieutenants enough to know that you won't save my world with your own plans."
"And what are you going to do, then? Will you die trying to slay us in a heroic last stand? Beg us for our help? Because it doesn't look like you'll be able to stand on your own."
A grin appeared on Luka's face. He could offer so much worse than death to these two...
"No, I will do worse. I had the time to think it out now. You want to use me for your own goal? Then I will use you for mine. I will help each of you. I will play my role as a pawn just as you expect. I will give my all to one, then to the other, and then I will bind you to my service. And once you're both there, under my orders, I will restart my adventures one last time to save the world under my terms." Luka leaned forward, his grin still present. "Both of you, working together, to get rid of Black Alice and fix this mess you only made worse. No matter how much time passes by, I will find a way to make it happen, whatever the cost."
Ilias scoffed haughtily. "I would smite you for saying something so ridiculous!"
"I admit that you are quite… Optimistic in your judgment."
Luka chuckled. "See? You're already agreeing to something! It's a good first step."
While Ilias recoiled with a disgusted expression, Alipheese briefly massaged her face before answering the hero.
"Why would you require both of us to save the world? We saw your power, and contrary to Ilias, we're willing to integrate you."
"Because I've seen what you offer thanks to the Lilith Sisters, and I certainly can't support that kind of twisted pleasure."
"Really?" A salacious smirk appeared on her face. "Because I heard that you had come to appreciate Morrigan's company quite a lot, and we would aaaaall be ready to show you even more sensual pleasures…"
"I turned down Minagi. Please stop trying that. If anything happens, that will be on my own terms."
As Alipheese's face decomposed. Luka heard yet another haughty chuckle from Ilias behind her.
"It looks like your charms aren't quite enough to sway the hero, you cankerous slut."
The hero glanced sideway at Ilias. "At least she's honest. And her lieutenants didn't attack me on sight because I was with a monster. I'll give her points for not letting her ego speak first."
Their expression switched around, as Ilias became absolutely livid while a smirk of amusement crept up on Alipheese's face.
"But it doesn't change anything in the long run. I don't know how long it will take, how many times I will have to suffer through this nightmare, I will make sure this world is saved by my hand, because it's clear neither of you will do so. You will likely kill Black Alice, more than certainly kill each other, but I know for a fact that if I let you have it your way, this world is doomed. Now, goodbye, I have a lot of work to do."
When he turned his back on the two goddesses, he saw Reaper and White Rabbit waiting near a portal.
Luka exhaled as he left the two dumbfounded projections behind him. Even if that conversation was meaningless in the end, he felt a lot better, and, for the first time since what felt like an eternity, he smiled happily as he stepped through the portal.
The White Rabbit silently exulted as the group left.
"Finally, we have the hero Luka we always wanted!" The White Rabbit was excitedly jumping up and down as they were now back in Hades.
Luka groaned. "I want to make it clear. I'm not happy you left me behind even if those were just projections."
The White Rabbit chuckled. "Maybe. But that was definitively necessary. Otherwise I had the feeling that you would have just hurt yourself more with another attempt to stand on your own."
"Yeah." Luka awkwardly scratched his head. "Now I realize that trying so hard to avoid dealing with those two worlds only brought more suffering on everyone and on me. I should have let Micaela, Tamamo and all the others be. To think I restarted because I wanted to know how living in the Angel World was when I already knew... After that, I should have stuck to what I knew worked. I shouldn't have tried so hard to get them."
"But it was so tempting, wasn't it? Why can't I save Micaela? Why can't I recruit Tamamo? What would happen if I had them in my team? Well, it's all fun and game until the others notice and react accordingly, with extreme prejudice."
Luka nodded. He had to acknowledge the point. If anything, his sheer curiosity and his hatred for all those that brought harm to his world had nearly broken his sanity.
"Right, so I suppose it's time to restart this adventure again…"
"Before we do the whole thing with the thing, there's something we should tell you. You won't keep your memories of your adventures."
Luka shrugged. "I'll be fine with forgetting what happened this time."
"I mean all your past adventures. All of them. Every memories."
Luka gasped in shock. "What? Why?!"
The White Rabbit danced around like a child who had to show a prank gone wrong to a parent. Eventually, Reaper gave the reason.
"It is because the information that your allies died will corrupt your memories of them. Each time you will think of them or see them, your brain will try to process the info, and multiplied by your hundred of allies, you will end up insane as you simply try to process their presence. The safest solution is…"
…Erasing everything." Luka gulped loudly as he looked down. "The price of my hubris for thinking I could handle everything on my own, I suppose. I'd just wish I would remember what happened now to not make the same mistakes again."
"We know, and we'll also have to obscure more important information about you… Up to your equipment. Which means you'll be as clueless as your first time on your adventure."
"What about my allies who will be brought back?"
"Their memory will be just as hazy, but they will be loyal to you, so they won't know what happened either, just that they must support you. On the bright side, they won't alarm outsiders."
Luka looked lost for a moment, slightly aghast. All of that… For nothing. All those deaths would be meaningless and forgotten, and those few good moments in-between would be gone as well. Would the hero Luka that was going to save the world then really be him? Was that sacrifice even worth it?
On the other hand… He remembered all those people, humans, monsters and angels who sacrificed themselves for him without a second thought. They didn't even ask themselves that question, they just did it because they trusted him. They didn't care how they would be on the other side, or even if there really was one. If it meant the hero had a chance to save the world, they did it, even if it meant possibly losing their identity.
And it was time for him to step up and do that sacrifice himself.
"Very well." He got up, and walked straight in front of Reaper. "I want to restart my adventures."
"You will keep your current powers and start at the beginning of the adventure. Your companions will retain their power and join you back in the next world. However, you should remove anything valuable from Ilias. She will not necessarily be your companion in the next life. Are you prepared to begin anew?"
Luka gave his answer in a clear, assured tone. "Yes."
"I'll ask you one more time. Do you truly wish to be reborn and start anew?"
His voice didn't falter in the slightest. "Yes."
"Very well… Then go."
"Where Am I?"
Luka looked around, wondering how he got in this strange place surrounded by soft light. The atmosphere felt solemn. He heard a voice calling for him.
"Luka… Hero Luka…"
She sounded gentle, full of affection. But he couldn't see its source.
Suddenly, Ilias appeared in front of a surprised Luka. He couldn't believe it.
"Are you really the creator of the world?"
"Luka… a crisis is approaching the world, if you don't stop it, the world ■■be swallowed ■■■…"
"…Huh ? What happened to you Ilias?"
"With my last bit of power, ■■■to your dreams… There's no ■■■■■■■ time…"
"Ilias, I don't really understand what you're saying…"
"Go immediately ■■■■■■■ out ■■■ … The world ■■■■ forget ■■■■■■■ …"
"Forget? The world what? What are you trying to tell me…"
"This ■rld■■■■■ … Lu ■ … ■■■■■■■■…"
"Please wait Ilias! Don't go!"
"A dream…? "
Luka hazily got up, troubled by what happened. While he was disturbed by the vision he received from Ilias, he also had a sensation of déjà vu that he couldn't get rid of.
As soon as he stepped down, he could hear some commotion from outside.
"There's trouble! Hans the lumberjack has been abducted!"
Surprised, Luka rushed outside to see the village thrown into chaos. For the smallest moment, he felt something uncanny about himself. He stopped himself for a second, confused, but he ultimately shrugged the feeling off as he prepared to rush out of the village even as he pulled out Excalibur from its sheath. The hero didn't spare a second thought for the legendary weapon in this hand. There was no time to waste. Even if his baptism was supposed to be soon, someone needed to be saved.
Elsewhere, a small Monster Lord was running around, enraged after being sealed.
A small goddess was flying like a meteor toward Luka's current destination.
Plans to save the world were drawn in a dark room or under the brightest of light while trying to sabotage the other one.
One person was running between worlds to kill apoptosis in hope of saving every universes.
Another one was more carefully studying the phenomenon in a laboratory, while keeping an eye on another version of herself she had thrown into Luka's past. As long as nobody disturbed or even saw her, she was fine.
Strange twins arrived, wondering how they could make sure the adventures of the hero Luka were repeated while eliminating the source of its harms.
Their target was currently resting in one of her last subordinate's abode, the latter creating toys for her new mistress.
Last, somewhere beyond dimensions, a white rabbit girl with a top hat and a black one with a large scythe and a large black cloak were watching over all of this, ready to fulfill their own roles into the hero's adventure and the salvation of the world.
And for now, the hero knew none of it. He would have to deal with all of them in due time, but right now, he was none the wiser about the stakes surrounding this world. But he would learn.
And maybe, this time or another, he would finally succeed.
"Soooo, this is how it ends? With the hero on the road, and everyone strictly confined to its role?"
"Not exactly. I want to keep an eye on this one…"
"Say… I don't feel comfortable about the thing with erasing his memories…"
"They were corrupted beyond recognition. We didn't have a choice."
"Even so… Do you think you could do something about it?"