EXAMS ARE OVER. HUZZAH.
Anyways. Ah! I wasn't nearly expecting the chapters to grow so long (more then 5000 words…) and as I got caught up in the plot of this chapter, I realized this story is coming to an end! I was planning the story to go for nearly… 40 chapters, give or take, but alas, it will be ending in one or two. The good news? There's a sequel all planned out, but I will give the details on it in the last chapter. It'll be titled "Reincarnate's Judgement." If anyone can make the connection between titles, congrats! I'll reveal it at the end of this story! For now, enjoy the next installment, and leave a review on your way out!
[his world will end by his hands, pt 2]
"The Black Order and the Millennium Earl. Two sides."
There was a light humming noise emanating from somewhere in the cell, causing the tension to thicken as silence blanketed the group in the condensed room.
Truth be told, Allen wasn't sure how he had immediately jumped to the unorthodox conclusion, especially considering the circumstances the trio found themselves in. A modified demon was rare indeed, and to be meeting one while being held captive in the Earl's base just didn't seem real, nor fathomable. And if one were to ask Allen how he knew that it was modified, he'd simply reply that he had been Cross Marian's apprentice for a couple years of his young life, and that was all they needed to know.
Because modified demons could only be altered by one General Cross Marian.
His missing in action, presumed dead master.
"A modified… akuma?"
Allen barely paid any mind to Kanda; the samurai was holding Mugen dangerously close to the demon's throat, while the akuma was desperately trying to inch away from the offending weapon, it's back against the door. The level three faintly resembled the level three Allen had fought in the Asian Branch, with only notable differences such as the metal piece – that looked like a mask – was smaller in size and lightly colored. Claws replaced hands, and the demon looked more human then a level one or two, though not nearly as human as a level five. When Mugen suspiciously moved closer to the thick casing, Allen stepped forward and placed a hand on the Innocence, lowering it enough to give the demon some space. Kanda was about to protest when Lavi told him to be quiet.
"It's modified," the redhead said quietly, his own Innocence strewn over his shoulder just in case. Kanda blinked in response, a glare masking his confusion.
"You know about the demons?" Allen asked, not taking his eyes away from the level three, who was glancing back and forth between Allen and Kanda. Lavi laughed nervously, and Allen could easily picture him rubbing the back of his head.
"Well, we ran into one in Edo. Actually, she was the one who got us to Edo, after you… After the Suman incident."
Allen nodded absentmindedly, the memory still heavy in his mind and not particularly pleasant to think about. The stillness fell once again, no one daring to move or speak – Allen was waiting for the demon to change into a human appearance or to say anything, and it was a few minutes before it did both.
"Please put the Innocence down," the demon spoke into the silence, the metal forming into flesh. Allen's eyes widened as he realized who the demon transformed into. "I'm here to help, but if you kill me, I can't exactly do that, now can I?"
Hell. That was the nicest word Allen could think of when he saw the sleek brown hair cascade down one shoulder, with a simple white dress that was tattered and dirt soaked that covered the girl's body. He recognized her, scarcely, from the picture he had seen hanging on Dile's wall while having tea with the demon – that he didn't know was a demon at the time. But she was unmistakable, and Allen felt a pang of sadness in his heart when he realized that the family they had been looking for months before was probably deceased – especially if one of the members of that family was a demon.
Modified, yes, but still a demon.
" – Moyashi?"
"It's Allen…" said bean sprout responded halfheartedly, his words trailing at the end. The girl in front of him seemed to notice his intense stare, her feet shifting from side to side and expressing her discontentment with the watchful gaze. As she drank in the boy's appearance, something clicked.
"You're Allen! You're the one Cross was talking about – "
Kanda cut her off.
"How do you know Cross?"
Allen noted the venom, and since his mind was still trying to process the information, the added nuisance of Kanda not listening was grinding on his nerves.
"Like I said," Allen said through gritted teeth. "Modified demon. She won't harm you… yet."
Perhaps adding the 'yet' at the end wasn't the best idea, but Allen didn't care as he stepped forward once again. He was tired of the confusion, tired of not being able to control anything even though it was supposed to be his own path he was creating. His reaction may have been a little over the top, considering the situation, but the sudden appearance of one of the family members – a demon, no less – was enough to snap the little bit of patience and restraint Allen didn't realize he had.
"You're Cleo," Allen's voice had softened a bit. The one named Cleo seemed taken aback for a few seconds before nodding, letting the exorcist continue. "Is he still alive?"
"I can't answer that for you," she spoke softly, as if afraid to hurt Allen – Kanda scoffed, and Allen glared. At who, he didn't particularly care.
The scarred exorcist was grateful it was Kanda who made the demand, otherwise Allen would have had to – his head was beginning to throb from the circumstances, and he really just wanted to cringe and pretend he didn't have to work out his thoughts. The demon was quiet for a few moments, time stretching uncomfortably; Allen blearily realized that the dull ache in his shoulder was beginning to return, and judging by the way Kanda's arm itched to swing Mugen and Lavi's expression seemed to change into one of realization, Allen knew they had very little time left until their injuries returned completely.
A sigh escaped Cleo's lips, and Allen twitched. Barely.
"Where do you want me to start?"
"Start at why you're a demon in the first place," Allen responded before Kanda could. The demon nodded, her hands still placed on the door behind her.
"When… someone special to me died," she began, her brows furrowed as if she was trying to work it out herself. God help her if she lied, Allen knew; Kanda would be murderous, more so then usual. That'd be something to see.
…Where've you been this entire time?
"I made the deal with Master – "
"Don't call him master. He's the Earl, and nothing more, if you're 'modified,'" Kanda snapped, his voice heated and his expression one of loathing.
Another sigh escaped her lips. Allen's eye twitched.
"I made the deal with Ma – the Earl, and you know the rest."
"Wait," Allen said, new confusion settling in the pit of his stomach. God, his head was spinning… "If you're Cleo… You can't be. That's Cleo's body, yes, but then she was the one who called your soul back. So who are you?"
"But… Dile said that he tried – "
"Dile?" the demon interjected quietly, her tone dripping with malice. Allen took an involuntary step back, and Mugen immediately surfaced at her neck once again. Allen realized that Mugen was near his body as well, and turning around, he noted Kanda was standing behind him, abnormally close to the scarred exorcist and just a few steps off to the side.
"Dile hated me for taking away his precious son. He was happy when I died, he never tried to bring me back. The only reason he was a demon at all was because he tried to bring back his own wife, and you know what happens after that. Cleo was the one who tried to return me to a mortal state, but of course, I destroyed her."
"I was a level three before Marian found me."
"And he converted you? Just like that?" Allen asked, not trusting the demon in the slightest. His master didn't just go around converting demons for no reason, unless –
"I believe he was a bit intoxicated at the time. Experimenting."
"For crying out loud," Allen threw his hands up in defeat, the truth somewhat clearer. "How long ago was this?"
"…Less than a year, I'd say."
"So before we found him…" Lavi finally put in his own word, rubbing his chin in thought. "Maybe it was while the twins were looking for him…?"
"Does it really matter?" Kanda's patience was running thin, and his Innocence twitched as it nearly touched the cold flesh of the demon. Allen couldn't really blame him, but there were still more questions running through his mind.
"So what happened to the rest of your family? Your father… No, your husband and your son?"
"The murderous intent only stays away for so long before it returns for a short while. Master Tyki found me and the urge to kill was overwhelming, so I…"
Allen already knew the rest, so he didn't push her on it.
"Anyways, I was brought back here. If they would have killed me, it would have been by self destruction. So I agreed to come back here, and when I saw that Mast – uh, the Earl brought you three here, I recognized the mop of white hair. Marian said something about you, to help you if the time came. That was his exchange for converting me."
…That did not sound like the Cross he knew, drunk or not. Allen had been around his master while the elder was intoxicated, and he wasn't exactly the nicest drunk around. Vaguely, Allen knew there was something off about Cross even before he disappeared, and now this?
There's something more.
"Yes, there is."
"Still," Allen said shakily. His voice wavered, and a rush of pain in his abdomen proved their suspicion about the Time Record running short. "What about the necklace? The Innocence? There's no way you could have worn it if you're a demon."
"That necklace was Cleo's, yes, and perhaps it was Innocence, but before Cleo went to the cemetery, she gave the necklace to Milo – her brother. I carried it the one night we fled because he had already dropped it repeatedly."
Allen shook his head, the pieces starting to fall together.
"Did Kai know?"
"About me being a demon? Yes. But he didn't understand the process or how being an akuma worked; Dile was perhaps the only one out of all of us who knew, and that was because he had been the only one to watch me die. As far as Kai knew, he could take off the 'curse' but…"
For the first time since the demon walked into the cell, Allen turned towards his comrades completely. Lavi looked like he understood what Cleo was talking about, but still confused about the entire situation in general. Kanda was impassive, but his eyes were stony and Mugen was still poised for attack. Both exorcists glanced to Allen, and the latter sighed as he tried to come up with a solution; they weren't going to last much longer, and they were lucky that none of the Noah had decided to drop by – or the Earl.
"Look, you three need to get out of here. You're impossible to communicate with, by the way," the demon interrupted Allen's inner thoughts and put her hands on her hips. Allen blinked incoherently as he twisted his body to look back at Cleo – impossible to communicate with? Hadn't they just been talking?
"The gunshots," Cleo motioned her hands, as if trying to urge Allen to understand something very important.
"How do you know about that?" Allen asked skeptically, suddenly feeling very, very vulnerable. Kanda tensed behind him, and Allen was immediately reminded of the spar, the mirror, and the noise only he could hear while meditating with the samurai. Cleo shook her head in disappointment at having to explain something else.
"The gunshots. That's my ability – I can talk in people's heads. Not like Master Road's dream ability, but more like… I can communicate with you if I try hard enough. I wasn't nearly close enough to your location when I tried, but seeing as how Marian and you were close, I figured you'd respond to what sounded like his gun. The screaming was me trying harder, but it felt as if something was blocking the way. Like the aura of a Noah – "
"Can you cause auras?"
Urgency replaced adrenaline. The distant feel of darkness had erupted at the remembrance of the dark aura, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been during the times of the gunshots – or before. If there was a chance they were connected, then the majority of Allen's questions would be answered, pertaining to what had been happening to his body, anyways.
"I'm afraid not. Whatever you're feeling has nothing to do with me. Perhaps you should try asking yourself instead. The dreams, however, were Master Road's doing."
The sound of footsteps entered Allen's hearing before he could answer, and the demon quickly transformed back into the demon structure. There was a sad smile on her face beforehand, and Allen made a promise to himself that he'd free her soul before they left. The footsteps had ceased, but Allen could tell there was someone down the hall, but he couldn't tell how close; the tension thickened and Allen had a disturbingly familiar feeling of dread.
"We can't just leave," Allen said in silence, contemplating the options. "I can't call the Ark as long as the vehicles are up."
"I'll destroy the vehicles. You call the Ark. Understood?"
Kanda lowered his Innocence, but only enough to give the demon some space. The footsteps echoed down the hall once again, quick paced and sounding eager; they were light as feathers, like a child running on soft grass. And there was only one Noah that Allen knew of with a childlike appearance and the weight of one –
"As soon as your eye activates," Lavi said silently as he put a hand on Allen's shoulder, and the younger boy nodded before the demon left the room and closed the door with a quiet click. The footsteps had paused in their running once again, but this time, a voice followed the noise and Allen knew his suspicion was confirmed. He couldn't hear what they were saying, but he recognized the demon's voice as well, conversing with Road. Not intent on getting caught, he walked back to his original position against the wall, the ache in his leg muscles beginning to intensify with every step taken on the cold stone. The soiled bandages on his chest weren't holding very well, and the naked part of his chest was still tainted with crimson, although the wound on his shoulder had been temporarily healed. The dark pants were stained with red, but it was barely visible due to the black, tinted blue, hue.
He was cold, and he cursed the water in the lower sanctum for soaking his sweater.
I wonder how the Order's holding up, and if the akuma are gone. And what about Lenalee? And Link?
"Worrying isn't going to help you."
Again, where'd you disappear to?
"…There's not many places I can go, Allen."
A snippet of their earlier conversation penetrated his mind, and Allen furrowed his brows as he asked Neah; after all, if anyone would know the answers to his questions concerning the Fourteenth, it'd be the Fourteenth himself. Allen crossed his arms as he leaned against the wall for support, Lavi joining him while Kanda remained motionless facing the door.
I said there was something more. You said there was. What are you talking about?
Neah was silent for a few minutes before responding. Kanda glanced over to Allen, and judging by the expression on the kid's face, he had a feeling that Allen was having an inner conversation. It was weird in a sense that it shouldn't have been possible in the first place.
"Remember what Cross said?"
There's a lot of things my master said to me.
"…The third side, Allen."
The comment was unexpected, and Allen's eyes widened as he tried to make sense of the words. He had forced all thoughts about a third side away, mainly because his loyalty was becoming strained and anything to add onto the lack of trust would surely mean his demise. He was already sentenced to execution, and if not for the attack on Headquarters, he'd probably have been on his death bed with a needle up his arm.
At least, that's how he assumed they executed people. But since it was Leverrier… the thought alone caused a shiver to run up his spine.
I am. What are you trying to get at? A third side? There's two sides to this war.
And only two; he hoped to God there would only ever be two.
"Are you sure?"
The Black Order and the Millennium Earl. Two sides.
Neah was silent, and Allen stuck with the naïve thought that he let it go. No such luck, of course, but the sound of footsteps running down the hall once again was enough to drive away the voice inside of his head for the time being. He glanced upwards when the door opened to reveal the demon once again, still in one piece.
"I'm going now. Be prepared."
Allen nodded, but he knew there was one thing he'd have to do before he left through the gate.
"The demons have been taken care of, and unless they're hiding, they have been completely eradicated."
"Thank you, General Klaud. Please head down to the cafeteria where the medical staff are attending wounds."
Komui watched as the General nodded and left, a morose feeling layering the air in what was left of his office. Lenalee was down in the cafeteria, but Komui knew that the second she was released, she'd be in his office asking the questions he refused to answer nearly an hour before. The building, thankfully, wasn't in nearly as much disarray as the previous attack had left the old Headquarters, and he highly doubted moving once again would be in order; however, the Earl now knew where the location of their base was, and the Chinese man was at a loss on what to do about the issue. Only the infirmary, his office, and a few of the corridors – and the science lab – had been nearly obliterated, and the rubble would be cleared as soon as the missing exorcists returned.
Which lead to his current state of health as he paced back and forth in the deserted room.
The death toll seemed to be rising by the hour, with over five hundred in counting. Bak had been taken to the cafeteria as soon as the attack had been dealt, and the man was being treated as time went on. Reever had taken the worst of the injuries of the Science Division, and as far as the Nurse was concerned, there was a good chance he wouldn't make it.
Brain trauma. Broken ribs. Head wounds.
"He'll be fine…" Komui muttered to himself; Reever was strong, and he survived the last attack, he'd survive this one. None of the scientists had succumbed to death, but many finders had been lost in the multiple explosions. The Generals were still scanning the area, save for Klaud, just in case.
The only other people missing, other then those with the Earl, were Link and Leverrier.
The blond was either running around trying to help, or he had been killed; Komui chose the first option, because he refused to believe anymore deaths had been accounted. Leverrier, on the other hand, was probably the second option, especially since two of the Vatican's members had been lost. The first thought that hit Komui was karma, but he diligently pushed that reflection away, focusing more on retrieving their lost exorcists while those in the Order focused around restoring the peace.
When he made a connection to Timcanpy, there was a spark of hope that they'd get out alive, but the connection had been cut short. He hadn't been able to contact them since, and given that there was a chance the Ark would appear, a few finders were standing by the entrance to see if the three missing would come back.
Komui knew why Lenalee was on edge – why they were all on edge – but he couldn't ease her pain.
"Allen Walker. Kanda Yu. Lavi."
They had a long road ahead of them; they all did.
"Chief! You're needed in the cafeteria!"
Komui locked away his thoughts like he had done so many times before.
"The vehicles are gone."
The words should have been relieving, but Allen wasn't content in the least. Although his cursed eye was back in commission, it did little to lift his spirits as he waited for the demon to return. Lavi and Kanda looked at him expectantly for him to open the gate, and Allen sighed before looking away. The door creaked open and the demon walked in, human form instead of the metal casing; Allen could clearly see what was left of the soul, and despite the horrid appearance, it was easier to look at then the level four of five. The sad smile was on her face, and the scarred exorcist knew that she was aware of his plan.
She looked comforted.
"You should leave now," the demon said in a hushed tone, almost as if Road was still down the hall. It was possible. "They shouldn't attack you again, but like I said Allen, I suggest you ask yourself some questions."
Nodding, Allen placed two fingers on his forehead and concentrated on the lullaby, the song playing in his head as a familiar white gate appeared. Kanda and Lavi seemed eager to leave, and the sound of someone walking down the hallway entered his hearing once again; heavier then Road's, much lighter than the Earl's. The demon heard it too, and she waved once before transforming back.
Allen shook his head as he turned towards his companions, both of whom were about to walk through the Ark.
"You're getting the idea now, I see."
"You guys go on ahead. I'll meet you back at – "
"Are you stupid?" Kanda interrupted angrily, and Allen stumbled back at the sound of the older man's voice. "As soon as Lotto's Innocence wears off, you're fucked, and you know it – "
"I have to do something first."
Do I have a choice?
Lavi seemed to assess the white haired boy before stepping back out of the Ark. The footsteps were growing louder and Allen was growing more anxious.
"Then we can do it before we all leave."
You don't understand.
"I'll only be a few extra minutes. Just go on ahead and warn Komui that there may be another possible attack. I can handle myself."
"Why are you staying? To destroy Cleo?"
Lavi didn't look convinced and Kanda was severely pissed, but something urged Allen to plead his case. Other then destroying the demon to set her free, there was something he noticed during the whole ordeal. If he wanted more answers, then the Order didn't hold them. The Fourteenth did, and although he could ask anytime he wanted, going back to the Order wasn't an option that would allow that. His plan was to return, but only after he confirmed what the Earl wanted; maybe he could get an answer out of Tyki – who Allen figured was walking down the hall.
"With a place filled with Noah and the Earl himself? Are you crazy?"
Lavi was getting impatient, and Allen figured the only way he was going to be able to do this was if he gave them some kind of information to tide them over. When had everything grown so complicated?
"Lavi, the third side," the redhead's eyes widened. "Exactly. If it's what I think it is, then I need to find out."
Kanda looked angered at the lack of knowledge – he hadn't been present at the meeting between Allen and his master, so instead of standing there when someone was coming down the hall, Allen spoke to Lavi.
"Explain to him when you go through the Ark. But neither of you can say anything to Komui – I'll be right behind you guys."
Lavi was about to protest, and Allen's thinned patience was running out, so he tried one last tactic.
"I'm a Critical. I can handle this. Just go. Warn Komui!"
"It's your choice. I don't influence it in any way – yet."
"Ah, is Allen trying to escape? Come on boy, you're not that stupid."
No, I'm not.
With one last glance to his friends, he pushed Lavi back into the Ark, effectively driving him into Kanda as the two disappeared into the white. Lavi called his name in surprise before the Ark closed, but as Allen shut off the connection, he turned toward the man standing in the doorway. Tyki smirked as he raised an eyebrow, glancing to the spot Allen's friends had once occupied.
"Was that really a smart idea?"
Allen shrugged, glancing from the demon to Tyki and back.
"You know," Tyki started, walking into the cell and placing a hand on Allen's shoulder. The boy flinched at the contact, which just caused Tyki's smirk to grow. "Maybe it was. But you'll all eventually die anyways. But, seeing as how we have a traitor in our midst, I'd say it's time for it to self destruct, no? Or you can do the honors."
– "Do you know what happens to the soul when it self destructs?"
Road's words from his first mission with Lenalee rang in his head, and Tyki stepped aside to stand by the demon.
"What's your plan now?"
"Well, boy? Are you going to fight back?"
Allen breathed in as he grabbed his wrist, a shock coursing through his arm that he vigilantly ignored. The hilt of his sword felt alien after the Dark Matter had worn down his weapon.
"I'm not really in the fighting mood," Allen said offhandedly, adrenaline surging through his veins. He wasn't sure if staying behind was a stupid idea or not – it probably was – but as long as his friends made it out, he'd find another way.
"The third side isn't going to be easy, you know."
The cursed exorcist walked forward, and the demon didn't move. Tyki waited patiently, and Allen briefly wondered if the Noah thought this was hard for him to do; being a modified demon, the urge to kill wasn't overbearing, so why destroy it?
Because it was still a bound soul, one that needed to be freed.
Are you trying to get me to stay with the Order?
"Again, it's your choice. But consider this – if you go back, you may not get out alive."
"You're wasting time," Tyki said, bored. Allen looked away from the Noah as he took one last look at the demon, and although she was in her akuma form, she wasn't worried in the slightest. Allen let a small smile grace his lips as he raised the Sword of Exorcism.
"You know," the demon started, stepping forward. "You may just win this war."
And Allen struck the demon, setting the soul free from the lack of retaliation and the willingness of the akuma.
"You may just win this war. You, Allen."
I understand, but that doesn't mean it's the right decision.
"Tyki," Allen deactivated his Innocence once the noise had calmed down and the tense air dimmed a little; Tyki just pulled his hair back as he leaned against the wall. Peeking out from his white dress shirt, Allen could see pale scars litter his body – despite still being affected, the Noah that had nearly turned human once again still had the proof of what Allen had done on the Ark. Before he could stop himself, the words slipped out of his mouth, catching Tyki off guard.
"Do they hurt?
Allen shook his head; he was far too comfortable around the Noah if they could have a decent conversation without killing each other – or attempting to, anyways. Tyki sighed before heading out the door, calling behind him to the dumbfounded exorcist.
"If you escape, we'll find you. When? Well, that'll be a surprise. Just keep that in mind."
"Why are you so eager to have me on your side?"
Tyki laughed as he glanced behind him, a hand on his hip and a card deck in his hands. Allen caught himself wondering if Tyki ever went back to his human friends.
"We don't want you on our side, Walker. You'll eventually be the Fourteenth, and when that day comes, we'll kill him."
"I've already got that covered."
"You can try, anyways."
I'm just going along. Quiet.
Tyki shook his head before closing the chamber door and heading back down the hallway. Allen stood in the loud silence for a few moments before agonizing pain shot up his shoulder, and he crumpled to his knees and gasped at the sudden spasm. Blood began to trickle down his human hand, and he noticed that the wound that was once closed was beginning to open. Slowly and crucially, it was opening; he was literally running out of time. Biting his tongue and ignoring the sting it caused, Allen focused once again on calling the Ark, the gate coming gradually.
"Then what is the right decision?"
I don't know that yet.
Steeling himself, Allen stood up and headed into the white, not bothering to look behind him as he walked forward. As soon as he left the cell, he shut off the connection to that door, still trying to get the hang of how the giant contraption worked. Neah was about to give him some tips, but since Allen already had the basics down, he'd rather not be bothered by little details he didn't need right away.
"You will if you choose the third option."
"Ah, now I have to find Home…"
His voice seemed to echo in the Mediterranean looking city, and memories of the time on the Ark before he could control it were an unwelcome guest as he walked along the path. It was weird, being in the Ark and actually looking around, instead of immediately heading towards a destination. He wondered if Lavi and Kanda had arrived back at Headquarters already; what Tyki had said was playing over in his mind, and he had a feeling it would influence his final decision. If the Earl wanted him dead – and would go through Hell just to find him – then staying at the Order would just cause more destruction.
But there's nowhere else I can go.
The Order was his home.
"You can find somewhere. Britain. India."
You know too much.
Neah laughed inside his head, and Allen felt his lips twitch upwards. It was a dismal situation either way, and the options were either return to Headquarters, and possibly be executed, or go someplace else… The second option seemed more logical the more he deliberated it. However, he knew in the end, he'd become –
Said boy glanced up, cringing when his neck cracked painfully. Having held his shoulder the entire time, his body was beginning to feel the effects of his injuries, and he had a feeling that the path behind him was coated with crimson. Lavi ran up to the cursed exorcist, and Allen only smiled at his comrade. Kanda wasn't too far behind, but with his arms crossed and a pissed off expression on his face, Allen had a feeling he was in for an earful.
He was surprised when Kanda only che'd at him, turning his head away.
"Allen – "
"Don't ask right now," the boy choked out, his throat cracked and dry. Lavi was going to protest, but decided against it, blood dotting the wound on his head; they had a few minutes at most.
"Can we go back now?" Lavi asked jokingly, grabbing Allen's arm and dragging him towards, what Allen assumed, the entrance to the Order.
Allen only nodded.
"Where's Timcanpy?" Kanda asked suddenly, glancing to Allen with his eyebrow raised. Allen blinked a few times, trying to get his foggy brain to process the information, before his eyes widened and he face palmed himself.
On cue, the golden golem fluttered out of the bottom of Allen's pants, having hidden the entire time. Although golems weren't supposed to work on the Ark, Timcanpy was an exception the rule, and he waited patiently as it contacted Headquarters. It was only a few minutes of walking in peace before static broke the quiet and Komui's voice carried over.
"Allen? Kanda? Lavi?"
"It's us," Lavi said, hands behind his head. "We're on our way back now, going through the Ark."
"How – "
"We'll explain later."
A yawn escaped Lavi's lips, and laughter echoed from the golem as Komui's relieved voice signaled that the condition back at the large building wasn't as bad.
"You're alright, though?"
"Miranda's Time Record is wearing off," Allen said softly, the world spinning dangerously fast. His body was screaming with every step he took, and his shoulder was perhaps the most tender of all – either that, or his Innocence. Komui didn't respond at first, and Allen figured he was mulling the information over; his eyes grazed a familiar sign that gave Allen a bit of relief.
Bitter disappointment accompanied it, and it was then he knew something had changed.