The blonde haired girl ran quickly after her brunette friend, taking just a cursory glance back up to the vacant window, just one last check which revealed…nothing. She smiled anyway, no longer filled with bitter regret when she noted the emptiness of the room. She turned and continued on, no longer looking back; even if she had she wouldn't have seen him. In fact, he had been there standing in the window both times she had looked, but she couldn't see him. He had made sure of it.

Minato Arisato gazed at Aegis's back as it faded into the distance. The way she must have looked at his fleeting back in her nightmares. He idly blew a few strands of blue hair that always strayed in front of his right eye. It did little good however, as they just fell back into place. He couldn't know how long he simply stood in that barren room. After all, he didn't experience time the way he used to. A fine layer of dust had settled over everything. No one had wanted to come anywhere near this place for a long time, so he understood. No hard feelings towards him, he understood his friend's reluctance to enter a place so filled with negative memories. She had long gone from his line of sight (though, if he wanted, he could see her anytime), however, he had a feeling that something else had to happen. His answer came in the form of a glowing blue butterfly that had materialized out of nowhere. Minato didn't bother to acknowledge it's presence knowing it would speak soon enough.

"You're an odd one Arisato." Surely enough, the butterfly had spoken. Minato still didn't turn, but he gave the creature a response.

"Is that the case?"

"My understanding of humans had led me to believe that a person such as you, who gave his life to ensure a future for those that were dear to him, would try all he could to stop them from feeling more pain. However, you seem to have done the complete opposite."

"That says something about your knowledge of humans."

"Your actions are so bizarre. First, you stop the Abyss of Time from vanishing as it is meant to do, then you tie that place to the dorm your friends reside in. You call shadows into the Abyss and take the rejected humanity of that android Aegis and forge it into a new existence; an existence which you then implanted with certain knowledge and understanding, and an inexpressible desire to find its "sister".

"I needed a catalyst to start them off and a guide who could ensure they would not stray from the path. Metis wouldn't be able to defeat them, I made sure of it."

"Then your trap them in an unending loop of time and force them to expose dark memories of one another. One would almost be led to think that you were conspiring against them. But then, you sent your power into that robot girl to ensure her survival. Your actions are completely contrary."

Minato remained silent. He knew that this creature was not angry at him, that was not in its nature. It was genuinely confused. To be truthful, he had been overcome with guilt at his actions, but had always believed them to be right.

"Why did you do it?"

Minato turned to the slim, pale man that stood before him. With a white mask that covered half his face. ON the mask was the image of a single butterfly wing.

"Philemon, I did what I did for them. The stresses of life and the lack of closure from my swift departure from their world was building up in their hearts. They were starting to become humans who yearn for Nyx, for them the future was becoming a tiring, almost scary thought. So they sought to escape this future, even if they themselves wouldn't realize it.

"Why not simply appear before them and tell them."

"What value would that have had? They wouldn't have done anything themselves. They'd just be living on what I'd said, without really realizing the change that was taking place in their hearts. Stumbling through a dark cave only makes the light you find at its end all the brighter, especially if you find it with those you love. They've become even closer now then ever and will watch out for each other as long as they live. Their need for me is… now gone.

"So, you pushed them to the depth of despair and reminded them of their old wills, of the power that they had held in their hearts when they sought out their persona. However, you must have surely been aware of the possibility of a backfire in your plan, what if they couldn't beat Erebus…what then, what if they succumbed to their dark thoughts and used the key to go back in time…what then?"

Minato remained silent and turned back to the window. There was no one out there anymore, but just the familiar sight was comforting. After a prolonged silence, Philemon spoke up again:

"Did you always know…that it would end like this I mean?"

Minato smiled in spite of himself. He was about to deliver a line so corny it was painful, but it was the truth.

"No…but I believed."