The Final Battle
By Zi Jian
Eric's mood improved slightly over lunch. The group stopped at a small café not far from Tenebras' castle. There was an odd silence in the café, the patrons knew who they were and knew what was about to happen. Their stares were unsettling, especially to Em. He hid behind his menu, even after ordering.
"…Can I…get you anything else?" A waitress approached the group's booth. "Dessert?"
"No, thanks," Eric shook his head. He passed her the divine card. "We're leaving."
"…I see…" The waitress took the card to the cash register and swiped it. "Death Lord Tenebras requested that businesses not to refuse service to you, he didn't want your quest to be plagued with that sort of thing…"
"He did?" Eric asked.
"Yeah, before you guys arrived in Yval it was all over the news and on the radio."
"I see..." Eric trailed off, awkwardly. He had no idea what to say about that.
"He's…really nice for a Death Lord," the waitress approached with Eric's card. "Please..."
"…Sorry, I don't have much of a choice. Destiny and all." Eric stood up.
"Sorry," Em said, quickly, getting out of the booth. Everyone offered quick, awkward apologies. The other customers didn't seem too happy, a few started booing. Em got a handful of mashed potatoes in the back of his head from a child sitting near the door.
Eric sighed, "If Tenebras is putting on an act, I won't regret what's happening." He said as he got in the SUV.
"What do you mean?"
"If Tenebras is really some twisted psychopath bent on world domination and this nice guy thing is all a ruse, I won't feel bad for having to kill him," Eric said. "But…If it isn't an act, just what the hell do the gods want from us?"
Em shrugged. "The people seem to like him, that's for sure."
"Maybe he's got them under his control," Ian suggested.
"Nah, last Death Lord to use mind control got blown up by the dark crystal he channeled his powers through," Em said. "Crystals are dangerous that way."
"I'm just glad to be out of there," Zoe said, "I was getting really creeped out by those stares."
"Me, too," Ian said with a nod.
Eric drove off. "This is it, guys…"
"Let's make this quick, I'm starting to feel bad," Vern said with a light sigh.
The castle was surrounded by a stone wall, atop a hill with a perpetual thunderstorm according to a sign on the way for tourists. It was drizzling lightly, lightning would flash every now and then.
Eric pulled up to the open metal gate in the wall. The front lawn of the castle had a line of hedges along a stone path to the large front doors. At the end of each hedge was pine tree.
The chosen ones approached the castle. Near the entrance, a figure appeared before them. "The chosen ones, I presume?" He asked. He wore a black hooded cloak, concealing his face.
"And you are?" Eric held his spear cautiously.
The figure lowered his cloak. "Colin Samael, Head Wizard of Yval." He said.
The chosen ones stood ready, Colin held a ball of fire over one hand as a staff materialized in the other.
"So, you're Tenebras' other son, right?" Zoe asked.
Colin nodded. "I am a master wizard, you should be warned of at least that."
"Is it true you got your powers in a cursed game of strip poker?" Em spoke up.
Colin was hesitant to answer that. "…Yes, but not all of them, just a few. And it was…more of a college thing…" He muttered. He noticed the odd look that response earned. With a sigh he said, "A lot of grain alcohol and stupidity was involved, okay?"
Vern stepped forward from behind the others. "How'd that go exac—"
Colin let out a horrified scream, the fireball over his hand went out and his dropped his staff and clumsily tried to grab it as he stepped backwards. The staff clattered against the ground, Colin grabbed it and took another step back.
"What? What is it?" Vern asked.
"N-Nothing! Just…Stay back!" Colin shouted.
"…Are you afraid of me?" Vern asked.
"I don't…do well with lizards!" Colin backed away two steps as Vern took one step closer. "Just…Sit this one out! Okay?!"
"…Guys, I'll handle this one," Vern said, he crept up to Colin. Colin stayed in place for only a moment or two before he took off running, Vern picked up speed as well. He chased after Colin, who let out an ear piercing scream and actually climbed up one of the pine trees to escape. Vern simply waited at the bottom. "Seriously, you're that afraid of me?"
"Reptiles creep me out, I'm sorry! Especially big ones!" Colin shouted.
"What about dragons and stuff like that?" Vern asked, the chosen ones walked past him and Colin and into the castle.
Colin shuddered. "The fact my father is crazy enough to ride those things…"
Vern curled up under the tree. "Well, I'll keep you company for a while…Maybe you'll get over your fear if we talk. Why do you hate lizards?"
"I don't hate lizards, they just scare me!"
"Fear turns to anger and anger into—"
"Yeah, yeah, this fear just turns into nightmares…" Colin rolled his eyes. "Father is going to kill me for this…"
"Is he afraid of lizards, too?"
"No, no he's not! Why did the gods have to choose a lizard?!" Colin whined, looking to the heavens.
Inside, the halls were empty and quiet. Eric heard the sound of footsteps in one room. "…There, we'll go there." Eric whispered. He crept down the hall with Ian, Zoe and Em behind him. He quickly turned into what looked to be a waiting room of some kind, it was decorated with a few framed pictures and had chairs lining either side of the wall. Tenny stood there, holding a staff. "…You're Tenebras' youngest son, right? Kenny?"
"Tenny, it's short for Tenebras," Tenny said, he held the wooden staff tightly. "You won't get past me!" He shouted. "You won't kill my dad!"
"Um…" Eric looked to the others. "We're…We don't want to kill anyone—"
"You killed Cassius! And I bet you would have killed Hannibal and Deeth!"
"Hannibal, yes, but I thought he killed my brother!" Eric said.
Ian spoke, "Yeah, it would have been in self defense." He stepped forward. "You guys go ahead and find Tenebras. I was really good at magic duels back at Destiny." He cracked his knuckled for effect, holding his staff under his shoulder. However, he only managed to crack one knuckle.
Tenny trembled slightly, giving Eric the indication that Ian would be all right.
"Okay, Ian. We'll meet up with you later," Zoe said. "Good luck."
"Thanks," Ian said. He tapped his staff on the ground, it was lit on fire. "Your move." He said, the others walked off. Tenny was both relieved and upset by their disappearance. On one hand, less opponents. On the other, they were going after Tenebras.
Tenny tapped his staff on the ground, it didn't ignite. He tapped it repeatedly, no effect. "Um…How did you do that?"
"Oh, you have to focus on the center of the staff."
"You know, imagine a tree's root system, the center of that. Picture it in your mind, then think of fire and—Wait, why am I helping you!?" Ian held his staff ready to fight. "Let's end this!" Ian charged forward, Tenny ducked away with a shout. "Hold still!"
Tenny tripped as he ducked another attack from Ian, a twinscreen came out of his pocket and bounced along the floor. In a panic, he reached for it, "CRAP! My twinscreen!"
"You…have a twinscreen?" Ian said, extinguishing his staff. "Is it okay?!"
Tenny flipped open the game system, turning it on. "It should be, Nintiandao's stuff is pretty durable. I once dropped my gamedude in a pool and it still played… The screen was kinda messed up, though."
Ian recognized the start up music to the game. "…Is that Korekutomon?"
Ian pulled out his twinscreen, he flipped it open and turned on his copy of Korekutomon mythril.
A smile spread across Tenny's face. "What do you say we take this fight to a different battlefield…?"
Tenebras sat at his throne, his contacts were out. He didn't want to bother with them. He heard the sound of footsteps approaching the throne room. Eric, Zoe and Em turned inside, their weapons drawn. "…So, is my son up a tree because of your lizard friend? I noticed he's not with you."
"Yeah, he is," Zoe said.
Tenebras let out a sigh, "I had a feeling." He stood up. "Okay, let's end this." There was a moment of silence, Tenebras cleared his throat. "Um…So, how do you want to do this?"
"You're not even armed…" Eric trailed off.
"Oh, wait," Tenebras reached under his shirt from the collar, he pulled out four glowing stones. "I got these, but...."
Em held his rapier ready. "So, are you going to use those to fight? A wizard-type battle?"
"That's Colin's thing." Tenebras looked about the throne room, he spotted two crossed swords behind a decorative shield on the wall. "How about a duel?"
"What?" Eric asked.
"A duel, you against me and winner takes the amulets," Tenebras suggested. "And I promise, no cheap tricks."
"Can we trust you?" Zoe asked. "Not that you haven't been frighteningly nice to us, but is it all an act?"
Tenebras shrugged. "If I try anything, you two can join in. What's to stop you? It's three against one, after all."
"All right," Eric nodded. "Guys, stand back. This is it."
Tenebras got one of the swords from the wall and walked back to Eric. In doing so, he knocked the shield down and it hit the floor with a loud metalic crash, Tenebras winced at the noise. He kicked the shield aside and took one of the swords. He stood about five feet across from him. "So, how was the whole journey?"
"I'm a little mad at that Jonathan guy…Are you going to banish him, too?" Eric asked.
"Actually, he was kinda last minute with your map," Tenebras explained, holding the sword to his side. "That demon jackal is something that'd been bugging him for a while, I offered to have you guys stop there so you could get rid of it."
"…So, you had us…help him?" Eric asked.
"He's a good guy. Er...In the sense that he's a nice person, not a 'good guy' like you guys are good guys...You know what I mean!"
Eric sighed, "Can we just finish this?"
"Right, rambling, sorry," Tenebras held his sword defensively. Eric charged at him, Tenebras blocked. Tenebras wasn't very skilled with the sword, he spent most of his time defending or dodging. Eric was also going a bit easy on him, actually somewhat afraid to hurt him.
The duel went on for a minute or so before a voice spoke, "Eric Feytid. Tenebras Samael. Please stop."
Eric stopped his advance, Tenebras lowered his sword. Rick stood off to the side of the throne room in a green robe.
"Rick, what are you doing here?" Eric asked.
"I have been sent by Dius to investigate a potential breach of the Deus Ex Machina pact," Rick said. "I apologize for the interruption."
"Deus Ex Machina pact? Oh, geez, is it this?" Tenebras reached into his pocket, pulling out a cell phone. "I mean, it's not even turned on! Last thing I need is this thing going off during the final battle, and you know these things, it would go off at the worst possible time. And Tenny pulled a prank on me a week ago and put some teen pop group song as the ring tone. I don't know how to change it."
"No, that is not it. Cell phones are not a breach of the Deus Ex Machina pact. This, however, might be," Rick waved his hand at the wall. A glowing white orb about twice his size faded in. The orb displayed Tenny and Ian playing Korekutomon games.
"T-Tenny!? I sent him away!" Tenebras shouted. "Hold on, you're not saying that they're going to get punished like my dad or anything, are you!?"
Eric jaw dropped. "No, no! It's a video game! It's not like they're fighting with guns or anything!"
"That is why we are looking into it, this is a first for us," Rick explained.
"Is there any way we can stop this? What if the quest ended, right now?" Em asked.
"Then the violation would not have impacted the quest and it would be ignored," Rick said.
Tenebras turned to Eric. "Eric Feytid, your devotion to your friends has melted the ice around my black heart. I no longer hate the world." He tossed his sword away and offered to shake Eric's hand.
"And you, Death Lord Tenebras, showed me the importance of believing in myself and relying on my friends," Eric said. "Thank you."
Both Eric and Tenebras hugged, weeping. Tenebras opened his right eye to see if Rick was buying the act, then closed it and continued crying.
"Victory!" Zoe and Em shouted, throwing their arms into the air.
"…That is the most fake 'power of love' victory I have ever seen," Rick said.
Eric and Tenebras pulled away from each other, shouting, "Friendship!"
"Power of friendship!" Tenebras shouted. "There's a difference!"
Rick watched as Tenny and Ian played their games. An angelic song filled the air. "Oh, Dius has reached a decision," Rick said, reaching into his robe. He pulled out a golden cell phone with jeweled buttons. He had received a divine text message. "…Good news. The Gods have decided that video games fall under the 'death game' clause of the Deus Ex Machina pact and are thus exempt from the forbidden technology clause. However, if cheat codes are used to give one player an unfair advantage, it will result in a celestial booting."
Tenebras and Eric let out relieved sighs, Zoe and Em did the same.
"The decision was made mostly due to help from a living deity, the future God of Electronic Games," Rick said. "As well as Mantion, the God of War."
"Future god of games?" Eric asked.
"Mantion, too?" Zoe asked. "I thought he was all for crushing mortals."
"Shigure Motomiya," Rick replied. "He is still very much alive, thus has limited input on godly affairs. Mantion is a very large Korekutomon fanatic and wanted to see how their battle would end."
"…Mantion…likes…Korekutomon…? Em asked.
A disembodied voice roared throughout the room, "IF YOU BREATHE A WORD OF THAT TO ANYONE, YOU WILL DIE WHERE YOU STAND!"
"…Understood…" Em squeeked.
"My apologies for the interruption," Rick said, putting away his cell phone. "I shall leave you to your final battle. Good luck." Both Rick and the white orb faded out.
Tenebras looked to the chosen ones. "Look, almost losing Tenny is enough for me to say 'I quit.' You guys win." He was visibly shaken.
"What?! That's it?!" Zoe shouted.
"Yeah, you guys made it so I could quit," Tenebras walked to his throne, he fell into it and clutched the arm rests, sighing, "Yval's always been the 'evil nation,' right? Every Death Lord has to do the same crap, take over the world, summon a demon, everything. If you refuse, you get overthrown."
"So, wait…" Eric sheathed his spear. Zoe and Em sheathed their swords. "You mean…"
"My Dad's scheme got rid of most of his loyal flunkies, I just had to deal with three obstacles. Hannibal's removal ensured my military wouldn't turn against me, Deeth's exile ensured that I won't be arrested by his shadows of justice for playing nice and Cassius' demise ensured that I won't be secretly killed and he turns Tenny into a puppet ruler," Tenebras explained. "So, yeah, you guys made it so I don't have to threaten the world every few months."
"That's why you've been so nice? You just wanted us to take out your political rivals for you?" Zoe asked.
"Pretty much," Tenebras said. "I had to put up some resistence for the final battle, though. I...I don't want to say it like this, but, I was sort of planning to take a dive. Tenny was worried you guys were going to kill me, but I didn't want him to know what was really going to happen. Hell, Colin's fear of lizards came in handy, too."
"IDIOT!" A voice screamed. Tenebras jumped out of his throne in surprise. The chosen ones reached for their weapons, looking around the room for the source of the voice.
Cassius stepped out a wall, his eyes glowing red. "I knew you were soft, Tenebras! But you're going to give up Yval's history?!"
"Hey, you're supposed to be dead!" Em shouted.
"Please," Cassius growled, eying Em. "I knew your lizard friend was there, I knew you would 'have' to win so I could see Tenebras' true colors. I took a dive."
"Sorry, Cassius, but I'm sick and tired being hated by the world," Tenebras said. "Yval's citizens suffer so much whenever this sort of thing goes on, I want things to be better for them—"
"You don't get it, do you?" Cassius growled.
"What's with your eyes?" Zoe asked. "I thought only Tenebras—"
"Silence!" Cassius snapped, turning back to Tenebras. "Yval is supposed to be the source of all evil in this world! It's our base of operations! We're going to wipe out all of humankind from here!"
"Whoah, whoah…Hold it," Tenebras said. "Yval never went that route. Enslave the world? Sure. Conquer? Naturally. But kill everything—"
"I'm not talking about Yval," Cassius' voice deepened. "I'm talking about the work of the ones you call 'evil gods.'"
"…Oh, crap…" Tenebras sighed, rubbing the sides of his head. "I think I see where this is going."
"What? What is it?" Em asked.
"The 'evil gods' are the ones who hated the idea of creatures like us with magic, a limited form of their power," Tenebras said, glancing to Em then back at Cassius. "Am I safe in assuming you're not human?"
Cassius' body ripped apart, a giant horned monster loomed in his place. Its eyes glowed bright red, its skin was grey and wrinkled, with large patches of red all over its body. It had a vaguely human form, standing on its back legs with the ground it stood upon smoldering in flames. Its elbows had sharp talons sticking out, while its fingers were tipped with long, black claws.
Tenebras looked on and said, in a deadpan tone, "Thought so."
"Hold it!" Em shouted. "At least explain what the hell is going on—" He paused, then turned to Eric. "Eric, Ian predicted this, didn't he?"
Eric let out an annoyed sigh, reaching for his spear. "Yeah, he did…I'm going to kill him for it, too."
"I'll ask later," Tenebras said, reaching into his coat.
Em looked to Zoe, drawing out his rapier. Zoe drew out her sword, nodding. He then looked to the demon. "Hey! Ugly! Tell us what you are! I don't want to die going 'what was it that killed me?'"
Cassius demon form spoke in a deep, booming voice. It focused its gaze at Em. "The ones you call 'evil gods' created my kind! We exist to eradicate the abominations that use the gods' power, what you call 'magic!' Yval has served as our base of operations, the 'Cassius' you speak of is but one form I have taken over—" The demon let out a frightening roar. As it ranted, Zoe managed to sneak behind it and stab it in the back. It picked her up and flung her across the room. She slid on the ground, eventually hitting the back wall with a crash. "I will not die so easily!" Flames rose from the demon's back, also englufing its fists.
"I got something that might work," Tenebras reached into his coat pocket, pulling out a gem on a chain. "Look familiar, Cassius?"
The demon looked surprised. "The final amulet—"
"Yeah, had it for a while now!" Tenebras put it around his neck. His eyes turned red as if he had his contact lenses in.
Zoe stood up with help from Em. "Fire arrows at it…I'll try to get my sword back."
"Right," Em nodded, he fired an arrow into Cassius' chest, while Eric and Tenebras worked together to keep him distracted. Eric managed to break off one or two of Cassius' nails, he also stabbed at Cassius' side whenever he found an opening. Tenebras used magic from the amulets by controlling the fire on the demon's back to attack him. The wounds Cassius received dripped a black, oily substance.
Cassius barely seemed to react to most of the wounds he received. He did let out a frightening roar when one of his fingers was cut off. Cassius tried not to let the chosen ones gets close, but their numbers made that difficult. The chosen ones also focused more or dodging his attacks than attacking, Tenebras even pushed Em out of the way of a slash from Cassius' claws, grazing Tenebras' back instead.
Zoe took back her sword and slashed at Cassius with Eric and Tenebras. When Em ran out of arrows, he joined in the fight. In the end, Em got the killing blow in combination with Eric, a rapier to the demon's throat and a spear through its chest.
The demon began to shrivel up, letting out a high pitched scream. Tenebras and the chosen ones had to cover their ears. The demon was engulfed in flame and burst into a pile of ashes, lining the room.
Tenebras panted. "…So, how did…your brother predict this?"
"Last Dream video games," Em said. "They always have a final, final boss that comes out of nowhere with next to no backstory…Ian joked that we'd fight one like that. First ninjas, now RPG cliches."
"I'm getting so tired of video games," Tenebras muttered.
"Hey, um…Your eyes…" Eric said.
"Huh? What about them?" Tenebras asked. Zoe showed him his reflection in her sword, his eyes glowed bright red. "Huh." Tenebras took off one of the amulets. His eyes went back to normal. "Oh, now I found out these things do this…"
There was the sound of foot steps coming down the hall, Ian and Tenny stepped into the throne room. "Eric, Tenny beat my team and now I've gotta go to the dungeon—What happened here?!"
"…You should know, Ian," Zoe said, sighing, "you should know."
"Tenny, why are you here?" Tenebras asked.
"I…jumped off the wyvern and decided to hold off the chosen ones for you…" Tenny said. "They got past Colin, though…Is he…?"
"No, our monitor friend has him up a tree," Zoe said.
Tenny let out a relieved sigh.
"Might as well get your monitor friend," Tenebras said. "They won, I'm surrendering the amulets."
Eric's eyes widened. "You're just going to surrender th—"
"Dibs on the fire amulet!" Ian shouted.
Eric let out an annoyed sigh.
Colin was pulled down from the tree, Tenebras had taken off the amulets. Eric, Zoe and Em watched television in Tenebras' living room, while Tenebras made dinner. It was an awkward moment for the chosen ones, they had spent a majority of their quest believing it was their job to kill the man who had invited them to stay in his home.
Tenny and Ian played Korekutomon games together. "Hey, can I ask you something?" Ian asked.
"Sure," Tenny nodded.
"Who's your mom? Are you and Colin half-brothers or anything like that? Sorry if it's too personal…"
"Actually…I never knew my mother," Tenny said, putting down his twinscreen. "What about you?"
"I never…knew my dad, actually," Ian said. "He never…was…around…"
Tenny and Ian stared at eachother a moment. "…DAD!" Tenny shouted.
"What is it?" Tenebras came out of the kitchen, holding a spatula.
"Out of curiosity…Is it possible Ian, Eric and I have the same mom?" Tenny asked. "I never knew her and he never knew his dad…"
Tenebras thought, turning to Eric. "You're from Sousciel, right?"
Eric nodded, nervously. He didn't like where this was going.
"...Was your mother ever a dancer at a skin bar in Purvin?"
"Are you sure?"
"Nope, sorry, Tenny." Tenebras shook his head.
"Darn," Tenny snapped his fingers, disappointedly.
"I still demand a DNA test," Ian said.
"You know, it would make sense.." Em trailed off.
Eric got up, looking into the kitchen. "Thanks again for inviting us over and not killing us, by the way."
"You gave me control of Yval again," Tenebras said. "So, don't mention it. You did me an even bigger favor."
"Yeah, but…This quest was just so different from what I expected."
"You glad you went on it?"
Eric shrugged. "Yeah, I guess in the end."
"Great," Tenebras held up a baking pan with a home made pizza inside, cut up into fifteen square pieces. "Now, eat my pizza of doom or I'll steal your soul."
The event was televised around the world, Death Lord Tenebras Samael surrendered the amulets of power to the Chosen Ones. He swore that he would no longer threaten the world and formally apologized for all of his nation's past actions, claiming influence from "a demon" was involved, but was in no way an excuse. He also retired the title of "Death Lord," replacing it with "President." Jonathan Arck was given the title of Vice-President.
Eric received the purple amulet of power, giving him control of weather.
Ian received the orange amulet, as he requested it gave him control of fire.
Em received the blue amulet, giving him control of water.
Zoe received the turquoise amulet, giving her control over plant life.
Vern received the green amulet, giving him control of dragons, wyverns and salamanders.
The chosen ones stayed in the Yvalian capital at the home of Tenebras for about a week. Ian and Tenny got along well, while Colin did his best to avoid Vern (Vern was happy to leave him alone, surprisingly understanding about Colin's lizardphobia). Em got caught up on his soaps, while Zoe did the same with her reading. Eric and Tenebras talked about the changes coming to Yval together, and how things would be "officially" reported to the media as being through Eric's influence. Tenebras still had to pretend that he was evil, now reformed.
Eric felt a little uneasy about some of the lies, especially the ones that made him out to be more of a "hero" than he thought he was, but realized it was easier for the public to believe than most of what realy happened. He was relieved to hear Sugar Kingdom was being left out of the official story.
A few months passed since the quest ended. Ian and Eric were back in school and things calmed down after the first week or so. They were given a hero's welcome, signing autographs in every class and being asked about the finer details of the quest. Ian appeared on a few television shows with Em, Zoe and Vern, but Eric opted out of it all.
Em returned home, he was given an offer to appear on The Magical and The Mortal. Naturally, he fainted upon receiving the request. He kept in touch with the others through phone and email. He also came to visit Eric and Ian shortly after filming a few episodes of The Magical and The Mortal.
Zoe, as Eric soon discovered, lived not far from him, Ian and Vern, just a town over. They kept in touch, often spending weekends together.
Ian and Tenny were close friends online, often playing Korekutomon or other games through online multiplayer. Tenny planned to spend the summer in Sousciel with Ian and Eric, though Tenebras was still working out the details with Eric and Ian's mother.
Eric did have one last meeting with Rick before leaving Yval, making a request from him that Ian wasn't allowed to listen in on…
Ian was browsing the internet, Em sat next to him. "Sorry, Em, I just want to see if Tenny replied to my email yet."
Em nodded. "It's okay."
"Oh, hey, you have to see this," Ian said. He opened up a new tab on his browser as his inbox loaded. The website was called HeroFiction.
"A bunch of people write stories about past heroes, it's really cool," Ian said. "They added a section for our quest before you came over, I wanted to take a look at it since."
Em nodded, cautiously, "I see…"
"Ah…Nothing," Em chuckled.
Ian clicked on a link: The Amulets of Power Quest '09. Dozens of stories were listed on the page. Ian looked at the descriptions. "Hey, this one's about me—Romance?" A grin spread across Ian's face.
"You don't know about 'shipping?'" Em asked.
Ian shook his head.
"A Korekutomon fan doesn't know about shipping?" Em laughed. "It's where people pair up characters and stuff, it can get a little violent, though… They do it a lot with heroes, especially the ones featured in the Last Dream series."
Ian read the description, "'Ian Feytid finds his true love…' Wait, Fire-slash-Water?" He looked to Em. "What do you think that means?"
Em looked away, holding back a laugh. "N-No idea... Click the link and find out."
Ian looked at the link. To his horror, it was a story pairing him with Em. Em found the story comical, Ian didn't. "Th-That's…That's so wrong!" He clicked back, looking for another story. He learned quickly that 'Fire\Water' was one of the more popular pairings. The other, more popular than Fire\Water, was Nature\Storm which was Eric and Zoe. Ian sat at his computer, stammering unintelligibly.
Eric poked his head into Ian's room. "What's wrong?"
"The internet thinks I'm gay!" Ian shouted.
"Oh? Wow, I wonder how that feels," Eric said with a low chuckle.
Em laughed, "I didn't want to tell you, but I think one of my sister wrote a lot of those…She thinks it would… Ah… 'cute.' N-Not that I agree, but… She's weird, okay? She's into that kinda thing, she pairs Silverson with...Ah...Nevermind..."
"IT'S NOT CUTE!" Ian shouted. He clicked a link that read 'criticisms,' for one of the few stories that paired him with Zoe:
OMG! No! Zoe and Eric! I don't care if he's gay, he loves Zoe! He's bi for Zoe!
Zoe's too good for Ian! She loves Eric! This sucks!
Lol kewl story!
Dude, Zoe loves ERIC, not IAN! Storm\Nature 4eva! You suck!
Ian groaned. "This is not happening..."
Eric looked up to the ceiling, whispering, "Thanks for passing that idea along to muses for me, Rick…"
Notes: ...And Eric has his revenge for Ian's rumor, and most followers of the quest probably won't notice when he dates women (whether or not he goes out with Zoe is up to the reader).
As for the Cassius is a demon thing... I tried to drop some hints that Cassius wasn't quite human earlier in the story...I hope that thing played out well, I suck at describing epic battles against demons. Among other things.
Well, it's over… I can't believe it, it's over…I want to thank everyone who read and\or reviewed this story and congratulate you for having the courage and stamina to actually read through something I wrote.
If you plan to leave a review, I have one question for you. Same dumb question I asked at the end of Chateau Tisane: Who was your favorite character? I know, weird to ask but it's something I like knowing.
Can't say what I'll work on next, since…I have no idea what to work on next. So, we'll see what happens.
PS: I finally conquered my fear of buying new anime after that incident with Gravitation (again, I don't wanna talk about it). I bought a police drama called FAKE the other day. I'm going to watch it after I post this chapter, didn't want to waste any time I could have spent editing this chapter, after all.