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Chapter Twenty-Five - Finally Over

As Allen made his way to Master Cross' room he vaguely wondered why he had been summoned. This was out of the ordinary and the boy was slightly suspicious over the whole thing. And there was also the fact that he had been told NOT to get a job on this particular day.

That fact in and of itself practically screamed out that something was wrong. Which made Allen wary.

But he made his way to the room none the less. Because, although he was somewhat concerned about his master's intentions, Allen knew that it would be worse if he chose to ignore the summons. And he had absolutely no desire to make Master Cross angry because that never boded well for him.

"I wonder what's going on…" the boy thought to himself as he continued onward.

When the white haired youth reached the door he hesitated for just a moment before knocking. Then he stepped back and waited. Mere seconds later he heard a voice calling out to him, bidding him enter.

So, with a deep breath, Allen complied.

Grasping the handle he pulled the door open and stepped inside the room. After closing the door the boy's gaze shifted about the room, before finally falling on his master. Master Cross was sitting in a chair, a glass of red wine held in his hand.

"Allen," Cross said as the white haired boy entered the room. "Sit down."

Crossing the room Allen knelt on the floor, facing his master. "Yes… master." He was growing more confused by the minute. Master Cross almost never used his actual, given name.

This was setting off warning sirens in his mind.

"Can you believe that it's been three years since you became my apprentice?" It actually felt more like an eternity to the boy but he opted to keep his mouth shut. Which was a good thing since Cross wasn't finished speaking yet. "You've made tremendous progress on your path to becoming an Exorcist. Which is why, as of today, you can officially call yourself a full fledged professional Exorcist."

Allen's gray eyes widened as he heard these words; he could hardly believe it. "Are you serious?"

"Sort of," Cross said, taking a sip of wine. "First you have to agree on paying a visit to the Exorcists' headquarters for me." Cross had got to his feet by this time and was walking toward his confused apprentice. And as he approached he held up a large hammer. "Wait, you do know where the headquarters are don't you?"

"Yea…" Allen's gaze had fallen upon the hammer that his master held in his hand. And he didn't like the look that had appeared in the man's one visible red eye. Without any conscious thought on the subject Allen began backing away.

"I'll leave Timcanpy with you."

At the sound of his name the little golden creature rose into the air, leaving his position on Cross' shoulder.

"I've already sent a referral letter to an executive named Komui…" As he spoke Cross took a couple more steps toward the boy. Which caused Allen to inch himself even further away, in an attempt to escape his master.

He didn't know what was going on but he knew that he didn't like it.

"So leave first thing in the morning."

Allen's face paled as he heard these words. He was fairly certain that he knew what was coming next and he didn't like it. "Let me guess… you're not coming with me, are you?"

"Hell no!" Cross exclaimed, holding up the hammer as he spoke. "I'd rather lose a thumb than go back there!"

Allen cried out as the hammer descended and then…

Allen groaned slightly as he once again returned to full consciousness. His head was throbbing and the boy absently reached a hand up to inspect the damage. He groaned softly to himself as his hand came into contact with a large bump that had definitely not been there before.

Pulling himself to a sitting position Allen surveyed the room and found, to his horror, that it was completely empty.

"I guess he wasn't joking," Allen thought to himself as he felt a familiar weight settle on top of his white hair. Reaching up he absently touched one of Timcanpy's little wings. "Well I should probably be on my way."

Getting to his feet Allen left the room that had belonged to his master and made his way next door to his own. The boy quickly changed his clothes and then packed his meager belongings into his suitcase. He had been ordered to go to the headquarters of the Black Order and he would do this.

Not for his master but because he had made a promise. A promise to Mana and to all the Akuma; a promise that he would save them.

And it was a promise that the boy fully intended to keep, no matter how difficult the path might prove to be.

"Never stop… keep walking… until the day you die."

"I promise Mana," Allen thought to himself as he picked up his suitcase and prepared to leave the room. He was ready to set out on his own; ready to embark on a path that had been chosen for him on that fateful day.

A/N - The End. This story is officially complete now. Hope that you enjoyed this little journey, please leave a final review and tell me what you thought.