"I will not forgive you for dishonoring me..You will deeply regret it.." Lucia growled, wielding the demon blade Sacrifar. "Damn it!" Haru raised his sword, but yelped in pain and dropped it. He fell to his knees, grabbing at his hand. "M-My hand.." He grunted, in excruciating pain.
"A side effect from the sword?" Lucia smirked, slowly walking to him. "I-I can't move it.." Haru looked at his aching hand. "Is that gonna be you're excuse when you DIE?" Lucia was now standing in front of him, chuckling.
"Why hasn't he gone berserk?" Gray asked. "Probably because he's already by nature an evil person." Lucy answered. "He's using his own bloodlust to control Sacrifar's bloodlust."
"Haru can't put up a fight, it's our turn!" Erza dashed forward. "We shoulda done this from the start!" Natsu charged. Gray, Musica, and Let all followed as well. Half way to them, another pillar of light burst from the ground, blocking them.
"Stellar Memory..Is purposely preventing them from interfering? What is the meaning of this..?" Evermary asked, confused. "Haru!" Elie shouted. "On your feet, worm." Lucia ordered as Haru struggled to get on his feet, but managed to do so.
"Heh." Lucia dashed forward and cut him across the torso, smirking. While Haru coughed up blood, he dealt another slash to his back. And then another one. And another one. He kept slashing, punching, kicking, laughing all the while.
All Haru could do was scream in pain as his body was tortured, blood covering almost every inch of his body. All the others could do was watch in horror, as Stellar Memory, for whatever reason, didn't allow them to interfere.
The roots from Sacrifar spread all through Lucia's arm and across his chest, and with one final slash, he sent a bloody Haru crashing into the ground. "Hmph. That was too easy. Where'd all that spunk from before go?" Lucia asked, approaching Haru as he dispelled Sacrifar, not needing it anymore.
"That reminds me, you have something of mine." Lucia reached into Haru's pocket and removed Vampire, Doryu's piece of Sinclaire. He smirked, and put it into his own pocket, and then put his foot to the immobile Haru's head. "Any last words?" He asked as all Haru could do was cough. "No? Thought so..Hate yourself for being weak." He raised his sword. "TIME TO DIE!" He swung.
"WAIT!" Musica screamed, making Lucia pause and look at him. "What do you want, maggot?" Lucia asked. "Don't kill him." Musica told Lucia. "Oh? And why not?" He asked, intrigued. "Because I'll give you something you want, in exchange." Musica reached into his pocket and pulled out Ogre's piece of Sinclaire, Last Physics.
"Are YOU trying to TRADE with ME? I could easily kill you all and just take it." Lucia chuckled. "I thought as much.." Musica created a knife out of his silver…And held it against Elie's throat. "Then I'll trade you her life as well."
"MUSICA!?" Everyone yelled in disbelief, as Elie was speechless. "You kill Haru and I kill her." He told Lucia without any hesitance. "Mu..Si..Ca.." Haru said weakly. "You think you can scare me with a bluff?" Lucia smiled. "You trash treasure each other too much."
"It's true..She is a really good friend of mine, and I will hate myself forever..I won't even be able to forgive myself in hell..But I'm not stupid. If Haru falls, nobody will be able to stop you. You'll kill all of us, and then when you're through with whatever you have planned for Elie, you'll just kill her too. But if you don't have her, then even if Haru dies, your plan fails. Either way, in the end, you're gonna kill us anyway. But at least your plan will be ruined."
"Are you crazy!?" They yelled at Musica. Musica pressed the blade to Elie's throat a little closer, drawing a trickle of blood from a small cut. "The choice is yours. Wouldn't want to lose Etherion, would you?" He asked with a confident smirk.
"..Fine. Put that DB around her neck and bring her over here." Lucia ordered. "How can I trust you?" A bead of sweat rolled down Musica's face. "You aren't worth lying to." Lucia simply said, as Stellar Memories parted, making a path.
"Sorry, Elie." Musica apologized as he began walking. Stellar Memories instantly closed the path behind him so nobody else could jump in. "It's okay..But you really are great at bluffing. I know you wouldn't actually hurt me." Elie gave him a kind smile. "I should be thanking you. You saved Haru's life."
"You got lucky this time." Lucia kicked Haru in the jaw. "No Musica..You can't..Give him..Sinclaire.." Haru tried to argue between painful pants. "Sorry bud. We still need you alive and kicking." Musica smiled as he handed Lucia the DB. "We can get it back later."
"At last..I have all the pieces of Sinclaire.." Lucia declared with arrogance and pride. "Are you okay?" Elie knelt down beside Haru, holding him. "You look pretty messed up, not gonna lie." Musica also knelt down. "But you've pulled through worse, right?" He mocked.
"Oh..I almost forgot.." Lucia raised his sword. "The deal was to spare HIS life." Lucia pierced right through Musica's body with his blade, entering through his back and leaving through his gut. Musica coughed up blood as Lucia then removed his blade, letting the blood pour from his wound.
"MUSICA!" Everyone screamed as Lucia's laugh echoed through the cave. "Lucia..I'll gladly give you my life, as long as you don't hurt the others. Promise me this on your pride as a warrior." Musica said bleakly. "Hahh? Fool, I am the king of all warriors! Your life is worthless to me. NOW DIE!" Lucia cut the back of his neck as Musica fell to the ground, silent, immobile, as a small puddle of blood formed around his head.
"King of warriors!?" Let shouted. "THEN HOW COULD YOU ATTACK HIM FROM BEHIND!?" Natsu roared. "HE COULDN'T EVEN DEFEND HIMSELF!" Gray yelled.
"Musica!" Haru jumped up and to his friend. "Wake up! Don't you die on us! You hear me!? Musica! MUSICA!" Haru shook him, but received no response. He looked at his trembling hands, tears in his eyes. "Life is cruel." Lucia smirked with contempt in his voice.
He balled his shaking hand into a fist. He stood up. He turned to face Lucia. And in a flash, he had punched Lucia in the chest with bone shattering force. Lucia was paralyzed by the pain, unable to move or speak as he doubled over. With his other fist, now unaffected by Sacrifar's side effects, Haru punched him in the face, sending him crashing into the ground some distance away.
Lucia bounced several times before skidding and hitting a wall, coughing up blood. "Haru..Your wounds.." Elie grabbed his hand. "Don't worry about me." Haru swatted her hand away. "Take care of Musica." He ordered as he bolted towards Lucia with insane speed.
"Using Sacrifar again, are we?" Lucia chuckled as he stood up, but then his face turned to shock. Haru wasn't even wielding his sword. Haru jumped up and brought his knee into Lucia's jaw, sending him right through the wall.
Lucia regained his balance and swung his sword, to which Haru just threw another fist. His knuckles hit the blade, and broke right through it. "He shattered the sword with his fist!? You bastard..HOW DARE YOU DESTROY THE SWORD MY FATHER LEFT ME!" Lucia pulled his own fist back and swung.
Haru raised his elbow and blocked, the force breaking both Haru's elbow and Lucia's hand. With his other hand, Lucia punched him in the gut, breaking his ribs. He then pulled back his broken hand, and with a face matching Haru's, punched him in the head, sending Haru flying.
"Who the hell punches with a broken fist!?" Lucy screamed, looking at Lucia's mangled fingers. Haru regained his balance, blood spurting from his head. They both charged each other. Haru punched him in the gut, and Lucia responded by punching him in the face. Each blow broke bones, but they acted as if they couldn't even feel the pain.
"This..What is this.." Natsu said in awe. "They can't even feel the pain. Their bodies are moving on their own, fighting on pure instinct. They aren't human right now. This battle is taking place in the realm of gods." Erza told them, a little bit afraid herself. "It's possible the Stellar Memories are giving them their power..For whatever reason, they are encouraging this battle." Evermary explained.
As Haru and Lucia traded bone shattering blows, Evermary continued. "This isn't just a battle between good and bad anymore..There has to be some sort of secret behind this! I don't understand..Why are the Stellar Memories resurfacing now!?"
"Why.." Haru punched Lucia in the cheek. "WHY DID YOU KILL MUSICA!?" He screamed. "I can't stand the presence of weaklings!" Lucia kicked Haru in the chin. "I'M YOUR ENEMY! YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO GO AFTER MY FRIENDS!" Haru punched him square in the face.
"Friends!? Pathetic!" Lucia balled both hands together and slammed it into Haru's head, separating them. "If you were a true leader, you would have no friends! All you need are loyal tools!" Lucia punched him in the chest. "YOU ARE NOT A LEADER!"
"No friends..No family..Nobody to trust..That is the only way to truly rule! The path is hard, but all rulers must be lonely! There is no need for weak rulers!"
"Is that why.." Haru grit his teeth. "YOU'RE SO EMPTY AND HOLLOW INSIDE!?" He screamed, bringing a look of shock to Lucia's face. Haru used this opportunity to jump up, pulling his fist back. With all his might, Haru came down on him with a punch, smashing him into the ground and creating a crater.
"Lucia..I pity you.." Haru told him as Lucia lay on the ground, trying to recover. "You've suffered so much..All alone..Nobody to depend on..Did you forget? Our fathers were enemies, but also best friends. That's why..As their sons..Even though we're also enemies right now.." Haru shook with emotion.
"SHOULDN'T WE HAVE BEEN FRIENDS IN THE END AS WELL!?" He cried, tears falling onto Lucia's face, who looked in awe and shock."I could've forgiven you! For everything! We could've started over and became friends like our dads wanted! But now.." Haru sobbed. "You killed my best friend.."
He grabbed his sword. "HOW COULD I FORGIVE YOU NOW!?" He raised his sword to the sky, ready to bring it down. "Haru! Stop!" Elie pleaded. "He's doing the world a favor." Let told her.
Haru shook with anger as his tears continued to fall. He gripped his sword so hard his hands were bleeding. "So why!" Haru brought his sword down and stabbed the ground next to Lucia, who passed out from his wounds and from the fear.
"WHY CAN'T I DO IT!?" Haru screamed, angry with himself. "I always said..You were too damn nice for your own good.." Musica laughed gently, still lying on the ground. "Musica!" Haru's face lit up with joy. "How!?" He asked, running for his friend.
"I reacted quickly enough to block most of it with my silver..Which I also used to stop the bleeding..It isn't too well done though, so I really need to see Wendy..Come on, what's with that face? Did you really think I was gonna die like that? Reina would never forgive me if I died so easily. Especially after I promised her so much." He grinned.
"We're..Too late.." Evermary fell to his knees. "Huh? What do you mean? Musica's alive old man!" Natsu told him. Evermary nodded to the sky, as the pillars of light had fused and were taking form. "It's coming.."
"You said something like that earlier too..What exactly are you talking about?" Gray asked, looking in awe like everyone. The light was forming arms, and legs, then slowly a body and a head. "A monster?" Erza asked.
"It's been sleeping here this entire time.." Elie spoke without thinking. Her heartbeat was thundering in her ears as the others looked at her. Her eyes were blank, and her Symphonia tattoo that appeared when she used her Etherion against Haja was back.
"Endless." She declared as the giant creature roared. It was huge, bigger than a skyscraper. It's body was not solid, but made out of glowing particles, like bubbles. It was still incomplete , like it could disappear again at any given second. It raised a finger to the sky, and several parts of the area exploded violently. It was clear they were going to die if they stayed here.
"Do you know what that thing is, Elie!? Elie!" Lucy called out to her but got no response. "The true battle..Will begin soon.." She simply said. "..Resha." Haru realized as the others gave him suspicious looks as he approached Elie. "You're..Resha, right?" He touched Elie's shoulder. "You've been calling out to me in my dreams..What is it you need from me?"
"You are..The Second Rave Master..Please..You must unseal me! I am the only one who can defeat it when the time comes!" Elie, or perhaps Resha, told him. She then collapsed into his arms, unconscious. The tattoo faded.
"Uh..Guys..Not to make matters worse but.." Gray pointed to the sky, opposite of Endless, where they saw a carriage being pulled by two demonic horses. "Another enemy!?" Erza got ready.
"Megido.." Lucia said weakly, having regained consciousness. "Megido!? That's another one of the Demon Kings!" Let exclaimed. Megido, who looked awfully like a demonic lion standing on its hind legs, jumped out of the carriage, towards Endless, who raised a finger at him, readying a blast.
"IS HE CRAZY!?" Lucy screamed. Megido roared, and fired out a blast of his own from his mouth. The blast pierced right through Endless, leaving a gaping hole in it. Endless misfired its own blast, hitting a faraway continent and completely eradicating it.
Megido laughed, landing on the ground. "That should subdue it for a while." He smirked as Endless began fading, then licked his lips at Haru. "Rave Master..It's a pleasure to meet you face to face." Everyone got into a battle stance, making him laugh before he turned around and picked up Lucia.
"Relax. I am not here to fight..Not this time, at least. You're too weak for me to waste my time with now." He said as nobody argued, knowing he was right. "I suggest leaving as fast as you can. I don't know how long before that beast truly awakens. And then, even I will be no match for him." Megido warned.
"What..Is he?" Haru asked. "Endless..Is the god of this world. He is the embodiment of all the memories of Earth's history. He is you. You are it. We are all part of its existence. His appearance means Star Memory has determined this world is too rotten. Endless has risen to destroy the planet." Megido explained, walking to his carriage and getting in.
"I will leave you with one last piece of advice..Everyone is bound together by an invisible thread of fate." He warned. "What do you mean!?" Haru shouted after him. "You will understand one day. Keep getting stronger because next time we meet..I will be your enemy as well!" He gave them a demonic grin before leaving their sight. They looked at each other, very confused, and then they left as well.
"Lucia..You have no need to be ashamed." Megido told the injured warrior, who quietly sobbed. The tears rolled down his face, full of pain, anger, humiliation, hatred, agony, and most of all, loneliness. "Those tears..No matter how hard to shed..Will make you stronger, because you are still alive." Megido smiled.
"Those are the tears of a warrior."