The End Has Come

High above the great world tree, a girl with a mysterious air about her appeared before Lapis. This girl knew of Earth, and while that was not perceptible from sight alone, it was clear something was different about her.

”Master Lapis, I am Reiya, fourth daughter of the Mikage. I come bearing a message from my father. ‘I have seen the signs. The return is immanent.’.”

“How soon?” Lapis demonstrated an unusual amount of interest.

“Father said it would be soon, relatively speaking, of course.”

“I see. Then I’ll be there as soon as I am able. Depending on how long it takes to obtain this world.”

“Please excuse me, but are you sure that will be enough?”

“Exactly how much of this situation do you know?”

“Next to nothing, master. I noticed hesitation in your voice, nothing else.”

“If you don’t know, then you have nothing to worry about. With Attoractia in my power, I will be strong enough.”

“Very well.”

“If you are so concerned about the level of my power, perhaps you should remain for the destruction of this world.”

“I don’t think that will be necessary. I will wait at the place we agreed upon.” Reiya disappeared into nothingness.

Lapis suddenly found himself reminiscing, remembering a conversation he had long ago.
“Over a hundred years ago the most powerful child in the Mikage clan was born...so that’s what she’s like. Interesting.”
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At the same time, in Vell-Savaria.

One by one Alice cut through the disasters.

Alisaris’ three goddesses and his Ifrit Glass continued conjuring forth memories of disasters from outside time and space.

“Take that! Seal of Wind and Light! Wahaha! I could do this all day Alice, but how about dealing with that glasses guy?” Kaguya called out to Alice while simultaneously dispelling a fire spell.

“It’s too difficult to get close to him with those three always warping time to protect him. So...”

“So?”

“So they’re probably trying to buy him some time?”

“What do you mean?”
“I mean that they’re goal might not just be to fight us.”

“I don’t really know what you’re getting at, I think I can try to get them to group together, should I go for it?”

“If you can.”

“Leave it to me! It’s time for my secret technique! And that technique’s name is...Bunny Swarm!”

“You know, if you shout the technique’s name, it isn’t really a secret.”

“Alice, I’m gonna need a minute to set up.”

“Got it.”

With a quick incantation Alice conjured a ring of light that surrounded Kaguya. The light warded off enemies, sapping their desire to fight her. As compensation however, that desire to fight was instead redirected towards Alice.

“Sorry about this, Alice!”

“It’s alright, I can handle this much.”

“Alright, well I better get started.” Kaguya took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and clasped her hands together.

First is the shadow, empty and dark.
Then comes the crescent, first light’s mark.
Waxing’s last light shines on enemies bitter
But I need a full moon, to bring bunny’s patter-pitter!

“It’s rabbit time! Go, go bunny force!”

Kaguya finished her strange chant, and high in the sky a shimmering illusory moon appeared. From it, an exorbitant number of rabbits appeared, speeding downwards as though they had leapt off the phantasmal satellite. Like a wave, they seemed to smother the magical attacks of their enemies. Kaguya, now leading the charge on a particularly large and conspicuous rabbit, let out a boisterous laugh.

“There’s no way you can escape waves of bunnies in every direction! Wahaha!”

“What strange tricks.” Alisaris adjusted his glasses.

“I guess, but it seems more than able to you. If I attack from every way, you’ve got nowhere to go.” Kaguya pounded her chest triumphantly.

“So this is the power of that moon...” Alisaris stared upwards for a moment, gazing at the alien orb that hung in the sky.

Seeking to interrupt the light conjuring the rabbits Alisaris pointed the three goddesses toward the moon.

“Ifrit Glass, summon a fiery miasma to quell this light.” From the accursed artifact flowed a strange, thick, crimson smoke that muffled the light that was crippling his forces and summoning the rabbits.

“Uh oh. That’s not good.”

“The still has nowhere to run, we can end this now.” Alice seemed unphased.

“Are you nuts? I we can barely see! It’s a blur of bunnies and stupid gas!”

“And who’s the one who recklessly summoned a bunch of rabbits, I wonder? Kaguya, stand back a little.”

Through the fog, a light shone from behind Kaguya. Alisaris, who was busy wrenching rabbits off of himself, had little time to notice before it was too late. Distracted, the magic protecting Alisaris dropped for an instant. It was hardly perceptible, except to Alice. Who saw it as the chance she was looking for. With speed unlike any other, she charged forward.Swinging Excalibur, she hurled a spinning disc of light that encircled Alisaris.

Dropping his regalia, the red hooded man fell to the ground, defeated. The magic sustaining his three goddesses of time also disappearing. As the fiery miasma cleared Alisaris’ true intention became clear.

“So he was distracting us. Fooling our minds and eyes to keep us from Lapis. I see now...he’s at the world tree.” A knowing expression came over Alice.

“Yikes! We’d better get back there if that’s true.”

“We don’t have a lot of time. Already he’s begun the process of compressing this world.”

“Let’s get going then! Hop on one of the bunnies, Alice!” Kaguya patted the large rabbit she was riding, however as she looked up, she saw that Alice had already flown a fair distance away.

“Hey!! Wait up! Honestly...what’s wrong with you Alice...”

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With Alisaris defeated, his Ifrit Glass shattering, his power over Vell-Savaria and it’s curse evaporated. Though the land had stood in a strange state of never ending suffering for thousands of years due to some ancient magic, the fires now dimmed and the ensorcelled inhabitants vanished into dust. At long last their servitude to the curse had ended. Whether this was due to Alisaris’ interference with the native curse or the ancient magic’s own expiration may be lost to the world forever.

Out of the sudden peacefulness emerged a gleaming ball of crimson light. It swirled about, as if a small sun. From the light emerged a man who had not been seen in ten years, the last noble son of Gloria. Lars.

At the same time, Lapis had begun his process of transforming Attoractia into a regalia, just as he had done with the Earth.

“Welcome back Alisaris, I’m sorry. I only needed a bit longer”. Lapis had sensed his ally’s defeat and offered an apology, but in words only. Lapis continued his ritual unfettered, emotionless.

“World Tree, your power is mine.” Reaching out his hand, Lapis touched the great tree. At first Yggdrasil’s power resisted Lapis, the world tree crackled with energy, repelling the conqueror. However after a moment, Lapis’ oppressive dark magic subdued the energy of the guardian.

“Alice, are you feeling okay? You look pale?” Alice had been acting strange for a while, but Kaguya noticed that this must be something else. In only a moment, Alice became sickly whitish color.

“I can hear the cries of Yggdrasil. It’s power is fading. We have to stop him...we have to.”

“It’s not just your skin, you’ve been acting strange all day”

“Don’t waste time worrying about me. We only have to beat him...kill...him.”

“Alice!”

“Ah, what? I’m sorry. I lost myself for a moment. Let’s go.”

Yggdrasil and the meeting place of Alice’s summit came into view. Alice recalled the meeting she called between the Seven Kings. And what they sacrificed for her, what Faria sacrificed.

“I have to protect this world...” The words echoed in Alice’s mind, but there was another thought, a darker thought, calling to her at the back of her mind. It scratched at her sanity and begged for release.

As Yggdrasil finally came into full view, so did he. The enemy Alice had tried for so long to find.

“Lapis. I finally found you.” as Alice spoke the words she had waited so long to say, the world around her began to shake and rumble. There was little time left.
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Lars had hoped to return to his homeland under better circumstances. Faria had gone missing since the summit of the Seven Kings, and the invasion by Valentina and the force of Shangri-La, though repelled, hadn’t alleviated the situation.

“It seems like during my imprisonment under Alisaris, a lot has happened. Charlotte, loyal Glorians, I am sorry.”

Ten years ago, in order to find a magic that could revitalize his sister, Lars had set out on a quest to Vell-Savaria. An accursed land said to have once been a great empire with the secret of immortality. However after he had been trapped outside time by Alisaris, who sought the power of Vell-Savaria to induce perpetual suffering over eternity.

Since Faria’s death, Charlotte had not stirred from her sleep, seemingly losing the last thing that gave her the will to resist her natural weakness. In her chambers of the royal palace, the poor girl lay in a calm, unconscious state.

Though it had been years since he had been home, Lars remembered every passage, twist, and turn of his ancient home. After racing up a final set of stairs he at last opened the ornate wooden door to Charlotte’s room.

“Charlotte. Sorry I’m a bit late.” Lars held his hands over the his sleeping sister. Though the world cried out in chaos around him, the man was calm. Taking only a moment to ready himeself, he began to recite the words he had learned in Vell-Savaria. The chant that would pass the immortal radiant power of that ancient empire to another.

“Charlotte, please don’t think ill of me. I am sorry to saddle you with such a burden. Years ago a fairy granted me a vision. A vision that you would help save not just our world, but all worlds. I wish that I could stay with you, to finally show you what lies beyond the castle walls and windows, but I am afraid there is only one way to pass the sacred spirit.”
Charlotte awoke for the first time in weeks. Her usually pale face, and near silent demeanor now replaced with that of a warm hue and energetic disposition. The room was empty as the princess sat up in her bed. Tensing her muscles she felt an unfamiliar object clasped in her hands. It was of a strange ornate shape, and shone with a magical radiance. Peering at this object the girl heard a word echo in her mind.

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Despite Alice and Kaguya’s arrival, Lapis paid them little attention, continuing to face Yggdrasil and continue his ceremony. “You sure took your time, survivor from Earth.”

“This is the big bad guy? I thought he’d be...taller.”

“Don’t be fooled, Kaguya. He stronger than anyone either of us have ever faced.”

“Okay, if you say so.” Kaguya looked nervously to Alice.

“Okay then, let’s end this.” With an uninterested tone Lapis commanded the Twelve Apostles to attack the two pests that dared distract him.

“Uwaaa, all these guys look pretty tough...” Kaguya sighed at the prospect of such tiring work. Alice, however, said nothing. She carried herself with a confident demeanor, as though she had made an important decision.

“You’re right. We can’t afford to hold back or waste time now. Kaguya, I’ll be counting on your support.”

“Okay!...wait, you mean this whole time you were holding back?!”

“Only because I was scared what might happen. But I see now that it’s the only option. Schrödinger, summon mode!”

“Meow~”

A white cat appeared on Alice’s shoulder. With a faint cry the small creature summoned various myths, powerful creatures, to Alice’s side. The summoned beings wasted no time, matching the twelve apostles in strength. Lapis remained unimpressed.

“This is the best you can muster?”

“Just wait.”

With her myth allies, Alice quickly struck down one of the Twelve Apostles was slain, Schrödinger then drained its body of magical power, empowering Alice. Then, just as she had with Alisarus, Alice struck at Lapis with inconceivable speed, hoping to catch him off guard and strike him down in the blink of an eye.

However just as she was about to reach him, his regalia, The Earth, had constructed an magical barrier. Black as obsidian, the barrier protected it’s master. Lapis continued to show little interest.
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From within her heart, Charlotte could feel a faint voice. Calming and warm. The voice of her brother. He had sacrificed himself so that she could inherit the sacred soul.

“Lars. I’m going to fight to protect this world. I don’t know much about it, I know. But you and Faira fought so hard for me. Fought so that I might one day see this world. That surely means that our world is a beautiful one. And I will protect it.” She clutched the mysterious memoria Lars had given her to her chest.
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As Alice fought against the remaining Twelve Apostles, her face slowly twisted into one of both sickening pain and wild abandon. Her body was host to not only her own power, but also that of Yggdrasil and the power she had absorbed from Schrödinger. Managing and maintaining all of these different powers were finally taking their toll on poor Alice, who’s body was beginning to fail. Even so, the girl’s determination did not falter, she continued her attacks, desperate to breach Lapis’ barrier.

“Alice, you can’t push yourself like this!” Kaguya’s earlier concerns were now validated.

“It’s fine. I can...I can still fight.” Despite Alice’s protests to the contrary though, she was not. Her expression distorted further, her eyes widening as a thin smile crept across her face. Strange shadowy splotches began to appear on her body and on Schrödinger as well.

“You really can’t do anything without me, can you? I’ll kill him for us.” A voice separate from Alice’s called to her in her mind.

“Be quiet!”

“Your obstinance is really wearing out its initial charm.” Dark Alice taunted her light half.

Kaguya, distracted by Alice’s strange behavior, didn’t notice the powerful fire breath Ouroboros had attacked with. Caught off guard the powerful flame was too much for the girl to dispel alone. However, the young wanderer found herself saved but the sudden appearance of a shimmering, almost liquid-like barrier. It surrounded her just as the flame would have collided, the great magical fire evaporating as the two magic forces collided. Kaguya looked around for the source of her timely rescue, and her eyes found a young mage in gold and blue attire, who seemed to be just as surprised at the feat of magic as Kaguya.

“Hey there! Did you do that?”

“Was that...me?”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Ah! Sorry. I came from Gloria and...uh...”

“You can explain later! For, how about helping us out?”

“Yes! Uh, well that’s what I came to do!”

The two girls moved to join the fight between Alice and Lapis. Even from a glance it was easy to tell the survivor from Earth was outmatched alone. Lapis, with the power of the Earth, showed no signs of fatigue, whereas Alice appeared to be nearing her limit. Occasionally strange black splotches would appear and then quickly vanish on her body. There was something else beyond the fight with Lapis that she was facing.

“I’m telling you~. Just let me out, I can handle this for you.”

“Shut up.”

“What’s this world even mean to you? You think saving it will bring back our home? Stop chasing delusions. The only thing that matters is killing him. You know he deserves to die. We’re strong enough, but only if you let me take control.”

Alice felt herself sinking into darkness, the distraught sounds of mad laughter lulling her into submission.

“Alice...Alice! Use this!” Kaguya’s voice brought Alice back to reality. The girl next to Kaguya was holding a strange ornate stone out, offering it. She spoke hastily and nervously

“Please take this. If you have the power of the world tree, surely you will be able to use it!”

“This is...” Taking the memoria Alice could feel its power immediately. This magic stone was filled with the memories of Attoractia. Alice could sense the wills of Faria, Melgis, Arla, Rezzard, and Machina within the small artifact.

“You all want to protect this land too.” Alice sensed the wills of the slain kings. After a moment she turned her attention back to the girl who had handed her the memoria. “You must be Charlotte, yes?”

”That’s right, but, ah, how do you know that?”

“I made a promise to your sister.” Remembering her promise to Faria, Alice summoned the last of her strength. “I won’t fail again. I have to save them. I promised.”

Lapis, seizing the opportunity a lull in his fight has afforded him, had returned to his process of sealing Attoractia.

“The first thing we need to do is get rid of his regalia. Schrödinger! Summon mode! ”

“Meow~.”

The power of the memoria flowed into Schrödinger. In a dazzling flash of light the past forms of Faria, Melgis, Arla, Rezzard, and Machina appeared.

“Everyone! We will save this world together.” The young images of the kings charged towards Lapis.

“Such pointless struggling.” The obsidian barrier appeared once again, halting Alice’s attack.

“Are you so certain?” With the combined strength of the kings, and the newfound power from the memoria, Alice smashed the barrier with a powerful strike.

“Give me my home back!” Alice struck at Lapis, knocking the evil regalia from his hands. The object fell towards the ground

“Kaguya!”

“No problem, I got it!” Kaguya caught the falling regalia, the black miasma spewing forth from the creation disipated as she did so.

“Huh? What’s that?” As Kaguya looked up while catching the Earth, something else caught her attention.

The moon she had created was gone, in it’s place was a different moon. Jet black, and shining with an obsidian sheen. Kaguya had seen this moon before. In another life. It was the moon she had died to stop once before.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Attoractia, the World of the Seven Kings



Part 8 Battle for Attoractia