At the center of the great corrupted Yggdrasil, Lapis stood for a moment. Breathing in the power of his destructive creation. He was soon interrupted as he sensed the presence of a familiar nuisance. “First the dragonoid, and now this one.” He sighed. “You’ve really come back? You must be eager to die.” Lapis taunted as Faria and Pricia stepped into view. These were two were survivors from Attoractia, but Lapis had taken both Excalibur and Yggdrasil, two of the most powerful weapons their world had to offer. Whether they were foolish or simply failed to asses the situation properly, it did not matter to Lapis, his power dwarfed theirs.
“Surely you must know you can’t defeat me the way things are.” Lapis said again, as the two continued to approach.
“You’re right, the ‘way things are’, we can’t.” Faria said.
Scowling at their needless determination, Lapis wordlessly commanded the dark Excalibur to attack the two. While the two worked well together, defending the other, they couldn’t guard against the Heteroclite Excalibur and attack a moving target at the same time.
”What’s the plan, Faria?” Pricia asked.
”Pull back for a moment.” Faria advised. “Lapis clearly came here to Yggdrasil for a reason. We just have to stop it, not defeat him.”
”Got it. I was actually thinking the same thing!” Pricia gritted her teeth through a smile.
“Not a bad plan, I suppose that’s about all you can do.” Lapis tauntingly praised. “Don’t expect me to just let you lock me down.”
”Well, thanks for your understanding.” Faria spit back.
All of a sudden, the space around them began to shift and warp. Faria sensed the presence of some sort of dead spirit. What appeared, however, was Valentina, seemingly escaped from her imprisonment by the previously corrupted Alice. However, whatever escape she managed, likely as a result of Alice herself being sealed by Lapis, was not without cost. Her form seemed unstable, and there was a familiar look of madness in her eyes.
”Valentina!” Pricia exclaimed.
“Ali...Ali...ce...you are not...my..Ali...ce.”
“WIthout that useless ego of hers ‘she’ might actually prove powerful. Another husk to replace Blazer.” Lapis observed, amused.
”Faria, we need to take care of this. Whatever she is now...she’s suffering.” Pricia said.
”Without her personality, she’s just a suffering Attoractian.” Faria noted. “It’s our duty to end her pain.”
”Right. It’s...pitiable, what she’s become. And we should reclaim Shion’s body as well. We can leave Lapis to everyone else for now.” Pricia said, noting Lapis’ disinterest in their efforts.
“That’s right. We’ll just have to trust them. We’ve come this far, after all.”
Though hardly the creature she once was, Valentina still seemed aware enough to foster some sense of self preservation, summoning strange, twisted spirits around her. The spirits writhed in their non-living existence, and they looked upon the living world they had been created in with a greedy desire.
”The end of another world.” Lapis ran his fingers across the gnarled bark of Yggdrasil as he began the ceremony.
Though the great monstrous tree had already caused calamity and twisted the earth around it, the greatest calamity could only be summoned forth in combination with Lapis himself, hence his necessary return to the tree.
”Now, devour everything.”
From the miasma Yggdrasil spewed forth, a new group of monstrous creatures formed, headed by Yamata-no-Orochi, and Bahamut, two creatures of disaster from this world’s own past.
However, as Lapis gathered together the forces of darkness and despair, the forces of hope that would fight to save the world had also been gathering. From high above in Refarth, Millium and the others came down.
”This time I’m definitely going to kill you!”
Alice and Dark Alice called in unison as they too, returned to confront Lapis.
”Millium, are you sure you’re ready for this?” Grimm asked.
”Yes, father!” the prince answered without hesitation.
From the Light Palace, Zero and Grustbalesta as well as King Grimm had come to Refarth to join the fight once their business had concluded. Kaguya however, was nowhere to be seen.
Back shortly after Zero and Grusbalesta fought Mikage, shortly before they departed from the Light Palace.
”Zero, Grusbalesta, I have a request. Please leave me to my own devices for a while. There is something only I can do, something I should do. I will join you later to finish the fight against Lapis. Until then, please wait for my return.” Kaguya spoke as her previous incarnation did once more.
”Kaguya, I should come with yo-” Zero started.
”Understood, my lady. Zero, we’re leaving.”
”Wha, hey! Grus!”
Grusbalesta and Zero left the Palace as instructed. Grusbalesta ordering Zero to do so.
“She’s still suffering from Fiethsing’s death. We should let her sort out her feelings before the final fight...I should have been there to protect them both. I’m sorry, Zero.” Grusbalesta adjusted his glasses as we spoke.
”It’s...alright.” Zero started. “We all knew the risks. Her being gone is...hard for me too, but Kaguya doesn’t deserve this. She’s just a child.”
Grusbalesta left Lilias Petal to keep an eye out for Mikage, lest the vampire return. The two sages made for Yggdrasil to rejoin the others who had departed from the Light Palace.
Despair and Hope clashed with each other, as a fierce battle began to erupt. At first glance, the two sides seemed fairly evenly matched, however as the fight moved forward, it became increasingly one sided. There seemed no end to the monstrous creatures Yggdrasil’s miasma could form and Lapis showed no signs of wear. Alice, Dark Alice, Millium, and the forces of the Light Palace however, were finding it extremely difficult to keep up with an enemy that could continually replenish its forces.
”We need some kind of change of strategy!” Alice called as she crossed blades with Bahamut. “Yggdrasil is too great of a source of power for him, we’ll never be able to get close!” the resurrected humanoid Bahamut breathed a sinister flame, but Alice deftly defended against the attack.
”I’m all ears if you’ve actually got any ideas, goody-good.” Dark Alice said, irritated as usual.
”Meow?” Schrödinger too, from atop Dark Alice’s head, mewed in anticipation of what Alice had to say.
”I’m...working on it!” Alice added, still fending off Bahamut.
”Tch. And you call yourself Alice?”
”What about you, huh? Any ideas?”
”If I did, don’t you think I would have done it already?” Dark Alice snapped, as her scythe removed one of Yamata-no-Orochi’s heads.
While Alice and Dark Alice fought from the air, Millium and the force of the Light Palace continued the fight against Yggdrasil’s creatures on the ground, until a familiar messenger arrived.
”It’s been a while, Alice.” A calm voice spoke through the chaos.
”While you were off napping, I’ve been all over doing allsorts of interesting things, truly.” Cheshire smiled lazily.
”I suppose I should thank you.” Alice started “Did you come here just to tell me that?”
”In fact, I did not. Millium bade me send you a message since his voice cannot reach you from down below. I’m sure you are well aware, there’s no beating Lapis as he is now. Pandora seems to have an idea that she can put a stop to Yggdrasil, at least temporarily. Understand?”
”Yes, please continue” Alice urged.
”We need you two to focus on Excalibur. Seal it, get it away from him, destroy it, whatever you can. Create an opening for Millium.”
”Easier said than done.” Dark Alice groaned.
”It’s the only way, there is no easy or difficult.” Cheshire chided.
”Understood. Dark, if this is our only shot, we can’t hold anything back.” Alice instructed.
”I’d be more worried about you going easy. Don’t worry about me.” The girl sneered.
”Don’t worry Schrödinger. We’ve still got the Earth as our trump card.” Alice reminded.
The bell from some steeple atop Refarth sounded in chorus with Cheshire Cat’s own bell to answer, and the plan was put into action. Pandora woudl halt Yggdrasil’s absorption of the world’ power, and Alice and Dark Alice moved to take control of Excalibur. With the loss of his two greatest assets Lapis could be reached by Millium who would attack with the recently acquired dragonoid power. However, Lapis had already taken not of their shift in strategy.
”Master Lapis.” Sylvia came to inform him.
“I know. I expected them to try something different after a head on fight didn’t work. They’re certainly desperate to cling to the last threads of hope, aren’t they? I leave Yggdrasil to you, Sylvia. Exterminate the one with that meddlesome ancient power.”
With Sylvia handling the rabble, Lapis could deal with the Earthling who’d pursued him for so long personally.
”You two halves can’t hope to wrench the future from my grasp. You certainly couldn’t reclaim the past, after all” Lapis greeted the two Alices, mocking them as he did so.
”No choices left, we won’t know until we try!” Alice protested, to which Lapis sighed.
”Very well, you have proven time and again, to be very determined to die. Yggdrasil!” At its master’s command Yggdrasil bellowed an enormous miasmatic cloud that spread out beyond the reach of the twisted tree, enveloping the entire planet.