A/N: Hello again after a really LONG time! Thank you for all the reviews, favorites and alerts added for this fic so far~! I have to apologize that since I've last updated, I've kinda lost interest in D. Gray-Man...=X Gomenasai! I'll try my best to wrap up this story, I think it'll be another 1 or 2 chapters, at most. Do stay tuned for my new fics, one of them is going to be uploaded shortly ^^
In the meantime, do enjoy this extra long chapter update (initially meant to be 2 chapters but I've decided to combine them into one)^^
"It can't be...it's impossible..." the magician gasped, unable to recover from the shock. He had shielded his mind so well from other people who are capable of reading minds, including Mokona. So how was this girl able to read his mind and find out about something that he wanted to keep secret? Road was definitely not like anyone he had not encountered before.
"What's wrong? Aren't you happy to see me?" his twin continued. This time, much closer to him than before;
Fay had wanted to say something but somehow his voice couldn't find its way out. He knew all too well this was just an illusion but he couldn't help going along with it.
"It's nice to see you again though but this would also be goodbye," the figure suddenly brandished out a dagger and stabbed Fay, who could only gasp in both horror and shock.
Fay slowly looked down and took in the sight where blood was beginning to form at his abdomen, eyes still wide with shock and recognition slowly seeping in. As the stain became larger, he felt himself growing weak in the knees and had to change from a standing position to a sitting one.
"I thought you'll be more of a challenge, but looks like you're much weaker than the bookman junior." His twin spoke again, this time with a maniacal expression on his face.
Fay looked up with a look of hatred on his face. No one should ever use his twin's face and taunt him. Knowing that Road has the ability to read minds; he mentally silently shielded his mind using his magic. With Road not being able to read his thoughts, it would be all even out now.
"Do you really think so?" Fay gasped, as he held his hand over his wound.
"...This is a surprise. Oh well, at least I get to finish you off with more satisfaction, if you actually put up more than a fight, that is." Fay twin's smiled maniacally.
"Don't worry, I won't disappoint you." The mage replied, starting to draw various symbols in the air using his hand. "Since I can't use innocence, I have no choice but to use my magic to fight you."
"A smart choice, well I guess I revert back to my original form." This time, Road's voice issued from the twin's mouth and within a blink of an eye, she turned back to her noah self.
"My powers are better when I'm in this form."
"Fine by me, looks like it'll be easier this way. Usually, I'll hold back when fighting against girls but for you, I'll make an exception." Fay's expression turned serious and he fired a ball of energy right at her without any hesitation.
"Looks like I've underestimated you slightly," Road commented as she narrowly dodged the attack, "time to show mine."
With a wave of her hand, tens of floating candles came in front of her, with the pointed tips aimed at the mage. Road merely gave a sadistic smirk before directing the candlesticks right at him.
Like Road, Fay had barely enough time to dodge the attack. He had managed conjure up a barrier just as the first of the numerous candlesticks came into contact with it. Unfortunately, one of the candlesticks managed to pass the barrier and graze the side of his left eye, causing him to wince slightly upon the impact.
Road immediately saw this as her opportunity, she directed even more candlesticks towards the barrier, attempting to break the barrier since he was distracted at that moment. Even with the constant barrage of attack by Road, Fay had managed to recover quickly and increased the strength of the barrier. However, this time, Fay had increased the power of the barrier, causing Road's attack deflect and aim for her instead.
Road was unable to dodge this attack and it caught her full force. She screamed as the fire engulfed her body, Fay looked on at the burning sight and closed his eyes and sighed, "It's over." and turned to leave the scene.
"Whoever said that it's over?" Road's voice cackled over the dying embers of the fire, "It has only just begun.
"Seriously, this can't keep up forever!" Lavi exclaimed as he was thrown back yet again. Kanda, growled in agreement, equally frustrated about their current situation. The two had been constantly attacking the Tyki who had been doing nothing but dodging effortlessly and attacking occassionally. It was obvious as to who has the advantage.
"Come up with some plan, would you?" Kanda muttered, struggling to stand up. Lavi was about to protest initially but soon understood what the samurai meant.
"Got it, Yuu." Lavi smirked, giving a thumbs up sign.
"Call me by my first name again, and I'll be coming after you next." Kanda threatened, sending a death glare right at the bookman.
"I hope you exorcists have more in store for me, I'm still rather bored, you know..." Tyki called from the other side of the corridor.
"Then I guess you better be prepared." Kanda smirked, his eyes gleaming with excitement and seriousness at the same time. Lavi stood up as well in order to make it seem as if he was going to join in the fight. Kanda had meant to use himself as a distraction in order to buy some time for Lavi to come up with a plan to turn the tables in this one-sided battle.
For quite some period of time, it had seemed that both Syaoran and Cyril were fighting on par. It was difficult to see who was winning. Sakura wanted to help badly but due to this, she could merely watch helplessly from the sidelines. As the fight between the two progressed, Syaoran began to feel that his muscles were beginning to tire; however, he was determined to defeat Cyril in battle in hope that he could protect Sakura as well as help both Allen and Lenalee. Cyril also noticed the boy's moves had faltered slightly and wasn't as hard as before. Instantly, Cyril directed a sharp kick to his left, realising that it was his weakness.
As he expected, Syaoran had reacted a moment too late, allowing the noah to give a hard kick to his right leg, making him lose his balance.
"What's wrong? Getting tired already?" Cyril taunted as Syaoran tried to get up.
"I won't let you win." He panted, trying not to wince at the pain that was starting to build up in his leg.
"Syaoran-kun!" Sakura cried out worriedly as she stood frozen in shock.
"Stay back, Sakura..." Syaoran said quietly, regaining his composure.
"I've always liked a good fight. Sitting in an office all day could get boring once in a while." Cyril smiled devilishly as he attempted to deliver yet another attack.
Meanwhile, Allen and Lenalee stood facing the Earl.
"This is rather nostalgic, isn't it?" the Earl started, "Feels like I'm going after that miss' innocence again,"
"Don't even start on it." Allen growled warningly. "Now the two of us are going to fight you evenly." Lenalee felt touched at Allen's words, glad that he did not take her for some damsel in distress.
"Touching; But like I've said a long time ago, both of you are going to perish together whether you like it or not." The Earl heaved two gigantic balls of dark energy right at the pair who dodged almost instantaneously to avoid the attack.
Both Allen's and Lenalee's attack combined into one, forming a white glow of energy accompanied by turquoise-coloured lines at the sides.
"Oh my, oh my, looks like the two of you have gotten stronger since we've last met." The earl taunted dodging so skilfully that anyone of his build would find it impossible to do, "But still too early to fight on par with me, now this is the end! Exorcists!"
A large ball of dark energy went straight for the pair; it was too late for any of them to dodge for the energy beam circumference was too wide. For a second, Allen and Lenalee stood frozen, unsure of whether to run ahead or put up their best defences. However, the former would seem as a futile effort as it is only a matter of time that they get swallowed up by the attack. The two exorcists wisely picked the latter choice. Somehow, instinctively, they knew that there would be a better chance of surviving if they defend themselves.
"Brace yourself, Lenalee." Allen gritted his teeth and wrapped his white cape around them, shielding themselves from the attack.
As time wore on, Lavi still could not come up with a plan. The bookman junior racked his brains, nearly panicking while Kanda fought on with the noah. Due to the injuries sustained, it was obvious that Kanda was fighting a losing battle.
"I thought you would provide more of a challenge than Allen." Tyki taunted. "Among the exorcists, I alway thought you were the toughest. Did you honestly defeat Skinn back in the old ark?"
"Do NOT compare me with that beansprout." Kanda growled as he deflected another attack from the noah.
"Mugen, First Illusion, Hell's Insects!"
"No...just stay calm...and think of a plan.." Lavi thought, as he shook his head to clear his thoughts. Then, it hit Lavi. Tyki hasn't paid any attention to him since Kanda stood up to attack him...which means that this gives him the opportunity to launch a surprise attack. Lavi mentally facepalmed himself for not seeing this obvious idea in the first place before concentrating on how to attack without Tyki noticing him until it was too late.
"Hope your timing is good...Yuu" the bookman muttered, "Combo Stamp: Terrible Lightning of Heaven!"
Both men are still locked in battle. However, as soon as Lavi made his move, Tyki noticed it and almost decided to dodge it, but didn't because he noticed that the attack was clearly not directed at him...
"Oi, looks like your friend has some aiming problems. Too bad for you, I guess." Tyki grinned as he used more strength in an effort to take Kanda down.
Lavi's attack still headed in Kanda's direction at full speed. Suprisingly, Kanda merely grunted in response, his face scrunched up in concentration. "Really?"
Tyki was about to make a reply. Using all his strength, Kanda took the opportunity to catch the noah off-guard and leapt out of the way just in time for the attack to close in on the noah, leaving him vulnerable to the attack. The attack managed to hit him straight on causing the noah to scream in agony as the lightning attacked him, burning his skin serverely. After a while, the screams died down, leaving a fairly charred being standing in the middle.
"Did we get him?" Lavi walked up to Kanda who studied the corpse from where he stood.
"Do you really think that you can take a noah down so easily?" a hoarse voice issued out from the corpse. By reflex, both Kanda and Lavi got into the battle stances, ready to attack. Undaunted by this, the corpse stood up and bit by bit, new skin began forming over the charred ones, tattered clothes were also being repaired, leaving them as good as new
"That's a really good play, exorcists. I really had fun. But it's time for me to go now, save some energy for the future battles." the now 'regenerated' Tyki brushed his hair back as he flashed them a smirk.
"Wait!" Kanda started but Tyki shook it off with a wave and disappearing into the gateway of the new ark. Before either exocist could give chase, the ark entrance disappeared in a flash, leaving them standing in the now 'battle-worn' corridor.
"Che, it's troublesome." Kanda muttered, sheathing his sword back.
"Come on, let's go find the others." Lavi suggested as he started down the corridor.
Fay's eyes widened with shock as he saw the noah of dreams regenerated herself. No normal person under any circumstances would have survived that...Fay shook his head to clear his mind, "She isn't a normal person.." he reminded himself.
"That attack kinda tickles but you'll have to do a lot more than that to kill me!" Road laughed, noticing Fay's shocked expression.
Determined to end this quickly, Fay raised his hand and drew a different set of symbols, wordlessly sending it in Road's direction before the noah could dodge. However, instead of a look of shock, Road had a different expression. Her mouth curled upwards to form a maniacal smile. It was almost as if she had expected this...
"...NO!" Fay gasped, unable to contain himself. At the last moment before his attack had hit Road, the noah had transformed into his twin and when the attack made contact, she screamed, issuing forth the voice Fay wouldn't dream of hearing in his lifetime.
"No...stop! I'm sorry...Fay..." the magician whispered, crouching down unable to look at the scene any longer.
"Game Over." Road's voice floated over to the crouching magician, with a dagger in her hand. Triumphantly, she swung the dagger down but only to be met with resistance at the final moment.
"You'll have to do a lot more than that to kill me." Fay repeated Road's words softly before swinging his innocence at her, stabbing her stomach.
"Haha...Good game. You're better than I thought. This will be considered as your win." Road laughed as she gradually 'dissolved' away. Also, along with her, the surroundings of her illusion began disappearing as well. Fay blinked his eyes repeatedly, only to realize that he was back in the area with Kurogane, Kanda and Lavi.
"Hey, are you back to yourself?" Kurogane shook the magician lightly. As much as Fay wanted to reply, he could merely nod his head. As he stood up, Fay felt a sharp pain at the side of his abdomen, causing him to slide back down into a sitting position.
"Are you all right?" Kurogane eyes widened slightly.
"Looks like Road's illusions are real" he commented, not bothering to look at the wound.
Before Kurogane could come up with a reply, the ground shook, causing bits and pieces of debris and dust fell from the ceiling, slowly making the intact room crumble. The ninja stood up, his senses alert in case there was another attack. Fay tried to stand as well but the injury held him back.
"We'd better get out of here...Looks like this place is going to collapse on us if we continue sitting here." Kurogane hoisted Fay onto his back and made his way out.
"Kuro-pon, you're really strong" Fay teased, wincing slightly at the pain of his injury.
"Keep talking and I'll leave you here." Kurogane growled warningly.
"I know' you wouldn't do that..."
"Ah! I see Lavi and Kanda!" Fay waved to them, the exorcists duo quickly made their way towards them and wasted no time in moving forward to find an exit.
Sakura had felt that this was happening all too fast. Syaoran wasn't doing too well against Cyril ever since the latter had wounded his leg. It was only when Syaoran had fallen to the ground and couldn't get up that Sakura ran up to him,
"Syaoran-kun!" she heaved the injured boy into her arms and gently smoothed his hair covering his face.
"Such a sweet moment. But I'm sorry but I have to deny you the pleasure of remaining here for long." Cyril mocked, raising his hand in an attempt to eliminate both the Syaoran and Sakura.
Sakura merely gave the noah a determined glare and held Syaoran closer to her. As the noah was about to deliver his finishing blow, a bright white light suddenly engulfed both injured teens.
"...W-What?" Cyril gasped, unable to mask his surprise.
Like Cyril, Sakura had the same reaction. After the glare from the light faded, Sakura slowly opened her eyes seeing that both she and Syaoran were in a white empty space apart from a feather floating in the middle of the space. There wasn't any noah, let alone Cyril, in sight.
For an instant, Sakura had almost forgotten about the innocence that she or rather they had been looking for in the first place. Gently, setting down the still unconscious boy head, she cautiously stepped towards the floating feather.
Sakura only stopped when she was just a step away from the feather, staring at it with an expressionless gaze.
"You'll help me, won't you?" she asked quietly. There was no need of any reply. It was as if a mutual understanding had been reached between the two. In response, the feather glowed brightly, making the room even more glaring than before.
Just as the light began to fade, Sakura was back where she and Syaoran had faced Cyril as he was supposedly about to deliver the 'finishing' blow to them. Without hesitation, Sakura aimed her innocence at Cyril, allowing a beam to be shot out.
Cyril let out a gasp of surprise, utterly shocked at what had just happened but soon smirked as the light was losing its power steadily by the second. Immediately taking the chance, he used his powers and guided a nearby spike towards the girl's front.
At this point, Sakura was rendered defenceless, due to the fact that she had used too much of her power. Fortunately, just as Cyril struck, Syaoran had just merely regained consciousness and deflected his blow just in time.
"Don't even think about doing that."
"Nice recovery, boy, but I'm afraid that we have to put a stop to this fight." Cyril smirked, satisfied with the fight. Without a warning, the earl immediately moved at lightning speed and shot the collapsing walls, causing it to fall on the pair.
Under the impression that he had done dealing with the exorcists, the Earl mockingly took out a handkerchief from his coat pocket and blew his nose. "Ahh...such a shame that four young exorcists' lives were lost,"
"Earl, you're missing them already?" Cyril asked jokingly, knowing full well that he was just playing around.
"Not really. I'm just happy that there are less troublesome exorcists to deal with now," the Earl replied, stuffing back the handkerchief into his pocket as he walked away. "We have to leave the fight here for now. There are more pressing matters at hand for us."
"Really. I hate to leave the fight like this, but if you say so." Cyril bowed respectfully before following the Earl's retreating figure.
Allen struggled to get up but his movements were restricted. Panting slightly, the exorcist looked around, noticing that the place was crumbling down. Syaoran was being supported by Sakura while Lenalee had seemed to disappear from the scene altogether.
His eyes grew frantic for a moment but soon faded into relief as he saw the girl just in front of him, holding out a hand to him.
"Allen-kun, can you stand?" Lenalee asked in concern.
"I'm fine. We'd better find the others and get out of here." Allen replied, accepting Lenalee's help.
As if on cue, Fay and the others came running towards them. Lavi shouted to them across the hall, "Do any of you have any idea on where's the exit?"
"No, I don't see any here." Lenalee raised her voice slightly over the noise of crumbling debris. Now the group formed a circle formation around each other, hoping to spot an exit, even a tiny one, so that they're able to escape.
"If only we are able to make an exit, just like the Earl..." Lenalee sighed.
"That's it!" Allen gasped, "I almost forgot about the 14th's power!"
"Great. Why are you this forgetful?" Kanda grumbled.
"Shut up, Bakanda. I bet you wouldn't remember it if you were me." Allen retorted.
Kanda was about to draw his sword when Syaoran quickly placed a hand over, "Please don't start a fight here. Right now, the most important thing is that we should get out."
Kanda stared at the boy, before sighing "Che. Troublesome."
Now that Kanda was not arguing with him, Allen turned away from the samurai, and took a deep breath before focusing on his abilities to tap into the 14th's abilities.
Then, the ground began to glow a bright white, forming a circle around Allen and the others. Slowly, the light began to reach up to the ceiling, covering them from the falling debris of the new ark.
As soon as the light engulfed them, it began to fade, having accomplished its job, leaving the exorcists standing in the middle of the whitewashed city.
"...Wha-" Kurogane wanted to ask but somehow his voice was stuck, preventing words from coming out. Even Fay was in shock, the new surrounding has brought back some unpleasant memories from him.
Allen sighed as the last remains of the light vanished, leaving the group safe. He felt drained as he was not used to the 14th's power yet. Allen almost stumbled his way to the nearest door to them. Sensing that the white haired exorcist could collapse anytime, Lenalee walked over to him and supported his weight. Allen smiled in gratitude, even though he wanted to reply. The pair made their way to the door and went through it, the others followed closely behind.
Fresh air finally greeted them as the exorcists made their way through the door. Turns out they've exited into the place where they have been before being attacked by the Earl and the Noahs.
Allen collapsed onto ground in sheer exhaustion, bringing Lenalee down with him for she could not support his weight alone. The pair blushed slightly at the closeness before separating to a considerable distance.
"that's cute." Fay chuckled lightly, easing up the tension that was present ever since they left the fight.
"Yep, there's another couple that's really affectionate over there." Lavi agreed, turning towards Syaoran, who was by Sakura's side.
"Give them some time alone, you two." Kurogane muttered.
"Oh? Kuro-pon, are you jealous?" Fay teased, earning an irritated growl from the ninja. Lavi turned towards Kanda, ready to tease him as well but before he could say anything, Kanda growled.
"don't even think about it"
"...yes..." Lavi sighed in defeat before mentally adding that he should start taking lessons from Fay.
"Hey!." From a distance away, the group spotted some finders rushing towards them. Within a matter of minutes, the finders tended to their wounds as best as they could.
"Exorcist-sama, mind if I ask, what happened here?" one of the finders asked as he tended to Allen's injury.
"Nothing. It was just some tough competition." Allen didn't bother to go into details, feeling that this was sufficient to leave it as an ambush by a large number of akumas.
"Ah. I see. Well, we have to rush you all to the nearest hospital. I'm afraid that the wounds on you are too serious." With that, the finders supported the exorcists, leaving the place.