Meliodas fought his father with all his strength; but he knew now that it was a matter of time before he lost; before his father conquered Britania, plunging it into darkness. His job was two times as hard as he constantly tried to keep himself between his friends and his father.
Earlier they fought to save his brother Zeldris; they believed that if they hold off his father long enough Zeldris would be able to take back control of his body. His father had fought with Escanor; for one minute; at his peak Escanor, The One had matched his father, blow for blow. But as the minute granted to "The One" ended; Escanor sacrificed his life, to fuel "Sunshine" and keep his "The One" form longer. He actually was able to surpass his father but it didn't last.
His father had seen Escanor's previous fights, he knew Escanor's weakness and as Chandler had done before, he summoned the night. That in itself was an accomplishment for Escanor; a human had scared the Demon King enough that he had to use such tactics. But it didn't matter. Fueled with the little life energy Escanor possessed sunshine couldn't work properly. Escanor instantly transformed into his night self and fainted. Merlin had been able to save him before he was killed.
At first, the six remaining sins were able to hold his Father at bay; his father seemed to be weakened; that gave them hope. They let the fight prolong even further thinking Zeldris was getting stronger. But they had been wrong.
His father was hiding his hand. He had learned from his fight with Escanor and knew there was a chance he could lose. He needed time to gather more of his strength, as he gathered more strength, he hid it; he purposely made himself look weak until he was ready.
Suddenly his father took down King & Diana; at that instant Meliodas understood; he switched to his demon mod, but it was too late. As Merlin saved both the Ferry King & Diana; Gowther and Ban got taken out of action. Merlin was barely able to save them, but got wounded in the process; she was able to create a perfect cube around the 6 sins as she fainted.
Elisabeth tried to help the 6 sins, but the darkness his father emitted was weakening her. That should not have been possible. Ordinary démons couldn't stand being near a goddess of superior strength for a prolonged amount of time, the inverse was also true. But Elisabeth was not ordinary; she was very strong. That his father was strong enough, not just to bother her but to drain her so fast; it was daunting.
That left Meliodas alone to face his father. Wrath filled him. He hated his father; had always hated him but he hated himself as well. He had put in danger and probably would get his 6 friends killed because of how he had treated his brother. This was on him. Elisabeth would die again; probably for the last time.
His fight with his father continued; the mountains around them shook at each blow; the lake below was in turmoil, waves crashing on the shoreline. At each blow Meliodas got weaker; he was tiring and his father was not. He fought desperately when suddenly he realized he had made mistake. As his father dodged his attack; they switched places. A black orb appeared in the hand of his father:
"You betrayed me, son;"
his father's voice was full of anger;
"For what? For those 6 weaklings? and that girl? You and your brother, both disgust me."
Meliodas started to move but his father's voice stopped him;
"It's over; I could have killed you a dozen times already, but I wanted you to see your friends die before I killed you".
His father shot the black orb toward his friends; Meliodas screamed :
and rushed towards it; knowing very well he wouldn't be able to stop it; he wasn't fast enough.
The weakest sin
Escanor opened his eyes to be greeted by a dark violet sky. It took him a few seconds to remember where he was and what had happened. The dark sky explained it; he should have died when fighting the demon king; sunshine should have consumed all his life force until none was left. But yes the dark sky explained it; without the sun sunshine had tried to fuel itself on his life force but his life force had not been able to sustain it; it had nearly killed him, but it had actually saved him.
As the numbness of his mind diminished pain came in, he felt as his body had been burnt from the inside out. But he wanted to know what was happening; how were his friends doing. were they winning? The violet sky was Merlin's perfect cube; that meant she was alive. It felt as if the darkness was absorbing the light. The perfect cube should have a glow, but it barely did enough for Escanor to see. He forced himself to seat; and looked around him
He saw a tiny girl next to him; there was blood on her clothes; with great effort, he crawled towards her to try and see what he could do. He suddenly stopped; his blood froze as he realized who the girl was.
Crawling with speed he didn't know he still could muster, he got next to her. Most of her wounds were mostly healed; some minor were still bleeding. He started to bandage them using pieces of his trousers and of the dress she was wearing. The wounds would heal given time, but she had lost a lot of blood. He had been single-minded at the sight of Merlin, now that he had tended her as best as he could he looked around him. He saw his other 5 friends lying just behind him. He also saw flickers; Meliodas fighting the demon king outside of the barrier. It was hard to see in the dark. But he could hear them; he could feel them as the ground shooked.
The sight gave him strength. He knew he was weak. The weakest sin; the most useless of the 7 sins. The most useless man in the world. He would have liked to be dead. But he had no time for self-pity; no time to dwell on his numerous failures. There was a single thing he could do now; tend to his friends. One by one he checked his friends tending to some of the wounds the best he could. Elisabeth had done most of the healing but small wounds had remained. Probably because she had been too exhausted; this darkness weighed on him.
Just as he finished checking on Gowther he heard Meliodas screaming
He turned towards the voice. The sky was all dark and he could see nothing. But there was a spot even darker; a sphere of total darkness many times bigger than the perfect cube coming towards them. He couldn't see anything only the sphere.
It felt like the sphere sucked the remaining life out of him. The last bit of strength he had vanished as he collapsed.
His eyes were open and looking towards the dark sphere. He had failed yet again, even with sunshine he had failed. Failed to protect his friends, failed to even die protecting his friends as he had promised he would. He was a failure during the day and during the night. He had thought tending to his friends would help; but no, it turned out they would all die because he had failed; because he was too weak. Dark thoughts consumed him as the dark sphere came closer and closer. It felt as time had slowed, shouldn't the sphere killed him already and end this? As the dark sphere touched the perfect cube, for half a heartbeat he thought the cube would hold. But even the perfect cube of Merlin was no match for it. Escanor could do nothing.
At that instant, he realized Merlin would be the first one to die. His heartbeat faster at that thought. His mind started racing; with strength and time he didn't know he had, he got up; and got between the sphere and Merlin. Arms stretched forward, barely standing, trying to summon an ounce of sunshine to deflect the sphere just enough to save Merlin; if he could only save her. The pain of knowing he would was unable to protect her was unbearable.
Suddenly he wasn't in front of the sphere; this place; he was in; he somehow knew where it was but couldn't name it. He knew his body was still in front of that sphere. He could feel the pain of his body burning from the inside; the cold emanating from the sphere; but it was distant.
He realized that the dirt under his foot was wet, a drop of water fell on his head as he looked down. He looked up and realized he was in a extremely large well; larger than any he had seen. He could see further along the wall that there was a ladder going up. Without knowing exactly where they went he started climbing them. He somewhat knew this place. It was a representation of the power he possessed, this was a well that in daytime would have been full and boiling with the power of sunshine. The drop of water had intrigued him; shouldn't the well be dry? But even if it wasn't what would a few drops do?
Slowly at first then faster knowing very well that he and most importantly his friends would be dead in less than a second he climbed the stairs to get to the top of the well. He was greeted with a cavern; The cavern was barely big enough for the well to fit in. He didn't lose much time looking around, he saw where the water came from and started running towards the tunnel it came from. The floor was solid granite and there were a few small puddles, as he walked in one by mistake he felt some of his strength come back.
Sadly it wasn't sunshine; this was his life force; he couldn't use it to stop the sphere it was too little; too insignificant. But he continued to run uphill into the darkness. Not knowing why, but for some reason he had hope.
The tunnel ended abruptly as he nearly smashed into an iron gate and a men on his knees leaning on it. On the other side there was another cavern; much bigger than the other one. It was immense; He couldn't see the end of it. This place he didn't know what it was. But the water came from here, the whole cavern was one huge lake without a visible end. The men was using his hands to gather water and throw it on the path; he was the reason for those drops. Escanor realized that that man looked a lot like him. The man turned towards Escanor.
"Do you remember this place?" He asked with a voice that sounded a lot like his, but somewhat older.
As the word reached him Escanor suddenly did remember this place from when he was just a little boy. At that instant in the physical world, the dark sphere touched his hands; starting to rot them. Escanor's physical body screamed; even here in this metaphor his mind had created he could feel it and couldn't help himself to a short scream.
As Escanor stopped screaming the men asked again
"We have little time; Do you remember this place?" "Will you give us a second chance?" he looked tired for some reason "it's either that, or we and our friends die… But if we get together again I don't think we will be able to separate again. I will be you, and you will be me and we will stand as the strongest"
Escanor somehow remembered. He always knew this place, this power, this man. But he had tried very hard to forget. He didn't know anymore what sunshine was; this was his power. But then what was Sunshine?
This was the power he had used that day with his brother; the power that had made him an outcast. This was all he had hated about himself. This was the power he was born to. A power he had used only once. And this man was his sin, his pride.
But now he knew; this was also the power that had brought him to the seven deadly sins. Without it, he would never have encountered his friends. But still, he didn't trust it; words came out even though he knew time was precious.
"Who are you? What is this power?"
"Really, now?" the man seemed frustrated
"I am you; the you that appears during the day that is, but you nevertheless. A part of yourself that you tried to cut away but that you just pushed down here." "Yet I also am the power behind that gate. I existed before you and was known by many names. Some called me Ra, others Tonatiuh. But that was a long time ago, now that is barely a memory and I am you. Before ferries, demons and the god clan came to this world; I was the god that stood on top of the others at a time when gods were human creations." "When the other species arrived to this world humans stopped worshipping us, their gods. Most of the other gods started to lose their consciousness. But our elemental powers attached to this very world remained. A tiny amount of purpose remained in those pieces of power. Those found human hosts, giving them power and making humans stronger each generation. For our purpose has always been to serve the humans." "I remained whole for a long time; not losing my consciousness; As the strongest of the gods, it was expected. But one day I lost a piece of myself. It took me years to realize it and later I figured out that it had become a grace used by the goddess clan. Sunshine. Then I knew that I was breaking as well. I wouldn't allow myself to split further, to be used by non-humans"
He looked straight into Escanors eyes;
"I decided I would give all my remaining power to one human; it is then that we merged. You were still unborn, and when you were born I was reborn. But this is only a memory, I am no more a god, I am power and a part of you. The part of you you cast away.".
"And I have let you down, as I have let down my friends," said Escanor
"No, Not you. we; we are one; we failed with our brother; let us not forget that, but let us fight for our friends now. We were given a second chance with sunshine rejoining us, separating our lives in 2, but never allowing us to use our full strength. Let's trust in ourselves."
Escanor looked into his right hand and saw he held the key to open the gate. He always had the key; he could have used it anytime. When he looked towards the gate the other men was gone. Not really he thought I am that man, I am Lion's sin Pride self-doubt and pity recessed back. He opened the gate; power flooded him, for an instant he didn't know who he was. But he was Escanor; The seven deadly sins Lion's sin Pride; Lord Escanor. He holds on to that. Escanor the weakest sin….
a voice said; a remnant of the other one.
"No; Escanor the strongest sin"
He now knew he would defeat the demon king. He took a step forward into the lake of power he had kept locked until now. As he took a step into the lake, it caught fire; the heat didn't bother him it was his power; "The Sun".
The metaphor Escanor's mind created ended. He was fully in the physical world again, The sphere of darkness had swallowed him nearly entirely now. His body was nearly gone. The sphere hadn't reached Merlin yet and that was an relief. The sphere tried to destroy him; the pressure it exercised was monumental; it had broken a perfect cube after all. But now it affected him no more. As long as there was light; darkness would always be pushed away; so he just stood there as the sphere of darkness vanished at his new presence.
He then saw Meliodas; he understood Meliodas had tried to intercept the sphere, But just behind him, his father was trying to use this opening. As soon as Meliodas turned or landed his father would have the opportunity to strike down his son. He wouldn't allow that; heat boiled inside of him. A power that had never been truly unleashed.
"Slowly now," he thought "I don't want to burn Britania down".
The Sun will always shine
Meliodas watched with horror as Merlin's Perfect cube vanished. He could barely see past the dark sphere, his demon abilities allowed him to do so. He saw Escanor place himself in front of all the other deadly sins. Meliodas knew it would accomplish nothing; even in his "The One" form Escanor couldn't stop this attack. The only reason Meliodas had a chance was thanks to "Full Counter". His father had become too powerful. Nevertheless seeing helpless Escanor place himself to protect his friends with no regards to himself made Meliodas double his struggle, but to no avail.
The dark sphere hit Escanor and Meliodas heard the scream of pain, Rage filled him even more, but it was useless, his friends would die. Just as he thought it was over for Escanor; as the sphere swallowed him whole and he could see Escanor's skin rot and fall the sphere disappeared as Light erupted in front of him. He felt pain; demons didn't like pure light. But for a demon of his level to feel pain from it, it required tremendous power, even an arc angel couldn't pull that off.
The light dwindled and become bearable; he saw Escanor. Surprisingly it was nighttime Escanor; but even though he looked more dead than alive he stood straight with a confidence Meliodas had never seen in him, not in this form. He looked straight to Meliodas and smiled. Smoke started to rise from his body as Escanor's wounds disappeared.
Meliodas knew that his father was just behind him; he couldn't alter course; he had to keep himself between his father and his friends; he also knew his father would strike just as he landed; there was little he could do to protect himself. He had exposed himself trying to intercept the dark sphere.
Meliodas landed just in front of Escanor; at that instant, he realized Escanor was moving towards him to intercept his father. There was nothing he could do to prevent it. As he turned to face his father he saw Escanor's punch make contact with his father's. Just as they made contact He felt pain again. His father was thrown aback as Escanor just stood there; the lion on his back plainly visible as his wounds were now gone. He looked at Meliodas;
"Stand back please; I will burn you."
"How Escanor? it's still dark; there is no light? and you don't have Ritha anymore. Even so, father is stronger than before stronger than The One, you can't fight him alone"
"For once my son is right and you know that Escanor. I have already defeated you once in your strongest form, you are not match to me & my darkness".
"The mighty sun can not pierce this darkness?" asked Escanor.
"Of course not". This is the eternal darkness of the purgatory that will reign on this world for my eternal reign".
The darkness above broke and the sun revealed itself. It seemed to be brighter than it should be.
"And who decided that?" said Escanor.
Meliodas could see his father was surprised, well he was surprised. Even though the sun was up Escanor still was in his night form and that worried him. Just as he was going to say that Escanor spoke again
"I am too weak to defeat a worthless father? a worthless king?"
Escanor grew slightly taller and Meliodas felt pain; it was constant now. He didn't understand how Escanor called this much power forth but started to understand what Escanor meant when he asked him to move back. Somehow Escanor's power was denser. It didn't require him to grow as he did before.
"And who decided that? For I am the one that decides such things".
"No more talks of dying Escanor; of sacrificing all your life energy for us do you understand Escanor? Sunshine will kill you; you must not use it so much. I can still fight with you even with you burning me."
"You don't understand Captain." "You have saved me from myself; you and the 7 deadly sins have. I am grateful and I will put my life before yours at all times." "But it also gives me reasons to live; I am beyond sunshine harming me now. I have no intention of dying here; I found my true power; one that I had locked when I was still a child; the reason why sunshine chose me. I am still learning it and if I harmed you as I did my brother I wouldn't forgive myself. So please stand back and protect our friends."
As those words were said multiple dark spheres appeared in the air, coming straight towards them. Meliodas readied himself to counter them, but the dark spheres popped like soap bubbles before even getting near them.
"No need; Darkness can not approach my presence."
Escanor turned towards Elisabeth who was waking up, Escanor's power couldn't heal his friends but it seemed it was restoring Elisabeth's. And she could heal them.
"Elisabeth, if you would be so kind and heal all our friends; I have one the last member of this family to beat".
"Your pride really know no bounds Escanor, I am a god. do you understand? You are an insect, a strong one but still an insect.". Said the demon king
"A petty god you are"
At those words his father punched Escanor with rage. Escanor didn't block the attack it seemed to Meliodas that it barely moved Escanor. Escanor's punch on the Demon King however drew blood as it pushed his father a few step back. Both Escanor and The Demon King faced each other as they had 2 hours ago. But this time it didn't look like an even match. Even though Escanor looked smaller he was the one pushing his father back at each punch.
"Indeed quite a pitiful god" said Escanor.
Meliodas looked as the battle raged. Until now his father hadn't been able to use his special ability "Ruler" properly. It allowed his father to strengthen himself when he took damage. So instead of growing weaker when he took damage he actually grew stronger. But he could see that now his father had activated his ability. That meant as he suspected that Zeldris was truly gone, and couldn't be saved anymore. This fight had taken a whole new level. He wouldn't be able to compete with this. He wasn't sure if Escanor could win but could tell that Escanor was holding back. It occurred to him that Escanor probably was still thinking about Zeldris. It surprised Meliodas, until Escanor's return he had fought to survive; and would have taken a chance at killing his father even if it would kill his brother. Escanor didn't know that, he was still trying to save Zeldrises body that the demon king occupied.
"Escarnor; Zeldris is gone we can't save him; you can go all out. Show him that no one messes with seven deadly sins"
At this, his father summoned another black sphere just in front of Escanor's face. Meliodas could feel it; it was much more powerful than the other spheres. His father had probably prepared it for a while now. For an instant Meliodas got scared but the sphere disappeared without any trace.
Escanor wasn't fighting for survival; he knew that the Demon King was strong. The strongest opponent he had ever faced. But that bothered him little, there was no doubt of who was the strongest. No, what bothered him was trying not to kill The Demon King. Zeldris was still in there fighting to get back to the surface at least so he hoped for Meliodas's sake. He had to hold back just enough and that was the true struggle. The power in him was a raging ocean and he needed only a few drops. A drop too little and the Demon King might use that opportunity to go for his friends. A drop too much and he might kill Zeldris.
At each blow the Demon King grew stronger; Escanor suspected this to be the Demon King's special ability "Ruler". He had heard Meliodas and Bam talk about it. He also knew the demon king was now holding back; trying not to show the power he absorbed from him. He didn't really care about it; for he just had to hold back the Demon King long enough for Zeldris to emerge.
Meliodas screamed at that moment, telling him Zeldris was gone. "That made things easier." he thought.
The demon king shot another black sphere towards him laughing. This one was stronger than all the others he could tell. But the sphere disappeared before reaching him as he did nothing particular to stop it.
"It's too late Escanor; your pride to think you could save Zeldris; to think you could hold me. It's too late I have absorbed enough of your power that I can destroy you now. I admit you are stronger than I thought, but the sun is setting and I can see you are struggling. "
"Really, what a pitiful god you make; relying on other peoples power?" said Escanor as he punched The Demon King putting more strength in it than he would have dared earlier.
The Demon King was on his knees; A human had put him on his knees that thought annoyed him.
"Annoying Human," he said as he punched an unmoving Escanor.
It felt like his punch had no strength in it. But the ground trembled and undulated as it was liquid under his feet. He was back on his knees. That man was a monster. With all the power that he had absorbed Escanor should have been drained. But the sun was nearly set; he had to hold a few more minutes.
Escanor looked down at him bending slightly forward and said:
"With all the power you stole, is this the most you can do? How disappointing."
He couldn't stand that man; he would kill him slowly; he simply needed to make this fight last longer. Right now he still wasn't strong enough. He had an ace up his sleeve, but to use it against a human. The arrogance of that man angered him. He got up; but as he did he felt as he was on fire from the inside. He was nearly back on his knees
"Do you feel it? The power you thought you stole from me; the power I let you use until now, burning you?" said Escanor
That wasn't possible, "Ruler" was absolute, once he absorbed power it becomes his; his alone. It couldn't harm him. But there he was barely standing. Escanor had played with him since the beginning of their second fight.
He laughed, he had to gain a few more minutes. He had to use his ace. A gateway to the purgatory opened on his right as his hands grabbed a sword. Power surged through him. For thousands of years, he had stored power in that sword. He had kept it to face the supreme deity herself if she had shown herself, but he had no other option now. He couldn't use the sword too long, but he could lure Escanor till true darkness fell outside. The power of darkness created whirlpools around him.
It took a few seconds for Elizabeth to understand what had happened to her. She had passed out; completely drained. Now she was filling with renewed energy that emanated from Escanor. She didn't understand it. She knew he had sunshine at his disposal, but this was different. It was something else. She didn't dwell much on the subject as she had more urgent matters to attend.
As she finished healing everyone Elisabeth grew more and more worried about Escanor. She saw Meliodas's father use "Ruler". But the short exchange between the Demon King and Escanor that followed Meliodas telling Escanor that Zeldris was gone suggested that there was no reason to worry. Escanor had proven that even though the Demon King had absorbed power from him, he was the strongest.
She thought it would finally end; but the demon king opened a gateway to the purgatory to pull out a sword from it. Escanor was still "glowing" if that could be said, but it seemed that the shadows that the setting sun lay on the land grew darker; more threatening.
"What is this suppose to accomplish?"
"You have mocked me Escanor, but no more. With this I am unbeatable."
Escanor didn't have his sacred weapon Rhitta any more. Seeing a weapon scared therefore Elisabeth.
The fight resumed; it still seemed as Escanor had the upper hand, using his bare hands to fight the demon king. The sword didn't seem to be able to really harm him. But she saw that his hands were bleeding. Steam came out from those wounds closing nearly instantly. They fought and then the sun was set.
"And I win said the demon king. it's over Escanor."
"And what make you say that?"
"It's night; you can't use sunshine"
As the demon king said those words the sun appeared high in the sky as if it was noon. Escanor took a step forward and grew in size to stood as tall as the demon king. The stone under his feat started melting.
"And what do you make of this?" said Escanor
The Demon King was speechless; and even if, from this distance, she couldn't see his eyes, she knew there would be fear. She was afraid.
"Pitty; please," said The Demon King"
"No; for you have greatly fouled my mood, hearting my friends killing Zeldris."
The demon king's body was burning; the heat was barely bearable even for Elisabeth quite away. But it wouldn't be sufficient to kill the Demon king she thought.
"Now" said Escanor "Begone"
With that, a "Cruel Sun" appeared at the Demon King's feet sending him high into the sky. It took a few seconds for the fireball to reach the altitude Escanor probably wanted; it exploded then, illuminating the sky like a thousand suns. She knew for sure that the Demon King, as well as Zeldris, were gone. Britannia was saved; she heard Merlin say in a surprised voice.
"Over 10 Million, his power levels read for a second over 10 million."
Escanor shrank backed to his night size, the sun in the sky disappeared to let place to the night. A cool breeze followed washing away all the fear and worries. It was finally over.