Chapter 17: Playtime
Zachary looked up at the ceiling. From above, a tall figure began to slowly levitate downwards to the ground. Zachary saw all the familiar features of Revelian. His messy hair was spiked upwards, appearing almost like a dark purple flame without movement. He was tall and thin, the same familiar shape of Revelian. He now wore the grey suit of a high-ranking military officer, with highlights of reds and blues, along with some gold accessories; reminiscent of the outfits he had worn before, but now with a more official and daunting appearance. Zachary noticed some differences about him. He was the same shape of Revelian, but he didn't appear the same size; it looked as if he was bigger than before. As well, his visor now seemed to be thicker than the previous model he had worn. Finally, his familiar cyan eye was replaced with one of a bright red colour, almost like the colour of blood.
"Revelian...!" Zachary called out to his old friend, and his new enemy. Zachary realized that a distance between him and Revelian could be a problem, and he decided to put his sword back in its sheath and draw his pistol.
"Hahaha..." Zachary had heard Revelian's cold laughter before, but now it seemed colder for some reason. "Well, you've brought some toys and you've come to play."
Zachary saw as Revelian's feet touched the ground, making only a soft sound. Revelian held his hand out to the side, as if he were grabbing something invisible. Suddenly, a dark red orb of light appeared in front of his hand. It then transformed into a sword of light. The sword seemed very smooth and thin, something not typical for Revelian's style.
"I've got a few toys of my own."
As his cold voice filled the room, Zachary made no hesitation. He held up his pistol, aimed it at the dark matter, and fired several times. The first two bullets hit their mark, and seemed to leave welts on Revelian's form. Revelian merely continued to continue walking forward, seemingly somewhat unfazed by the attacks. By the third bullet, Revelian held up his blade to meet the bullet, causing it to disintegrate in the energy of the blade.
The next two bullets missed, partially due to Zachary's uneasiness, and partially due to Revelian's quick dodging. The sixth bullet was once again met with the blade, though it failed to completely disintegrate it as it had the last one; the remaining fragment of the bullet hit the dark matter again.
Zachary began to reload. As he looked up, he then saw Revelian's figure standing over him. Zachary was met with a powerful kick to the chest, which sent him sputtering back. Zachary gasped for breath for a moment. He then saw Revelian beginning to spin around, coming closer to him, with his blade leaving a trail of light behind it as it moved. It reminded Zachary of some sort of dance.
As Revelian's blade was close to meeting him, Zachary ducked to the side and rolled away. He then shot at Revelian a few times. His accuracy was a bit better than before, he noticed. He felt as if the more the battle passed, the clearer his mind would become.
Zachary looked down to reload again. However, Revelian quickly appeared over him, grabbing his pistol. Zachary gawked in surprise as Revelian crushed the device in his hand. He then saw Revelian raise his sword above his head. Zachary dodged to the side again, as Revelian brought his sword down. Zachary then drew his own sword, and timidly slashed at Revelian's arm.
Revelian gazed at him again with an angry red eye. Zachary's hesitation allowed Revelian to slice him with his blade, drawing blood. Zachary gasped, as he noticed that the blade had barely touched him, yet still had dealt a fair blow.
Zachary flew backwards, so as to get away from any other attack that Revelian could try to deal to him. Revelian then quickly followed after Zachary. Zachary fearfully once again performed a magic spell, which turned his blade into a spike of light. As Revelian performed a vertical slash towards Zachary, he held his blade horizontally and above his head, so as to block it.
Revelian did not appear to hesitate, though. He brought his sword to his side, and began a horizontal slash to Zachary. Zachary held his blade perpendicular to Revelian's own, and this time, he brought it to his side with a force. After Revelian's sword was blocked, he stumbled back for a second. Zachary took this opportunity to act quickly, and then he struck Revelian near his chest.
Zachary moved forward from his strike, and used it to slice at Revelian again. He moved passed him for a moment. And, for that moment, a feeling of loneliness washed over him, making him lose track of himself. He realized this was unwise, as he should never turn his back in a fight against Revelian.
When Zachary turned, he stared back in shock at the sight before him. Revelian was on his knees, and appeared to be panting heavily. He was grasping his chest, where Zachary's blade of light had struck him.
"Tch... damnit..." Revelian swore.
Zachary was confused at the sight. He'd never thought that a battle against Revelian would be so easy for him. And, in fact, with further inspection, he realized that he very well may have been right. Zachary could see that Revelian wasn't bleeding at all, even with the wounds that he'd been inflicted. All that he'd had from the fight were welts and cuts. Zachary thought for a moment, realizing that Revelian had failed to put forth anything truly reminiscent of his power; there was no show of lights or energies that had flown from him, his skills with the sword made him look as if he were very rusty, and... He hadn't used Kaiser at all.
Zachary knew that something was up. Revelian was far more brutal in the battle against Zachary and his friends, not even two months ago; it was still fresh in Zachary's mind. Back then he was relentless and powerful. Zachary reasoned that there was no way he could have truly been so close to defeat already. There must have been something else...
"I can't believe it..." Revelian spoke.
Zachary looked Revelian in his eye all of a sudden. Zachary then realized that his eye was totally unfamiliar; not only due to the difference in its hue, but in the emotion that it now conveyed. Yes, his actions and words made it seem as if he wanted to kill Zachary, but his eye... his eye spoke something different.
It seemed almost to speak helplessness, or perhaps regret. Zachary felt as if the sign were familiar. It looked as if all along, someone had been holding a gun to Revelian's head and threatening to kill him if he didn't do everything that was demanded of him. Yes, it was definitely some sense of utterly involuntary and forced actions that he carried about him.
"Looks like this is it..." Revelian's colder-than-usual voice was hushed, barely above a whisper. But Zachary saw the look on his face; there was something different behind it. Zachary swore he could make out the words that his eye was mouthing out to him: "Help..." "I'm sorry..."
A thought suddenly crossed Zachary's mind. Revelian had thrown the battle on purpose. He didn't want this to happen. Something else must have been going on, but Zachary had no idea as to what.
Zachary, still holding his sword, then stood over Revelian, who appeared weakened into barely moving.
"Well... are you going to kill me then?" Revelian asked, in a cold and almost monotonous voice.
Zachary stared at the figure before him. He almost felt like crying.
"No... I can't do it. I can't kill you." Zachary dropped his sword. "I couldn't kill your mother, and I can't kill you... I... I know something's going on here. Someone's pulling the strings and I don't know what the hell it is." Zachary closed his eyes. "But... I want to know that I can save you."
So, Zachary stood there, defenseless and with his eyes closed. The figure before him smirked beneath his mask, and then silently stood up. He had suffered no serious wounds, in truth; something he intended to keep secret from his adversary. He then held his sword of light above his head, readying himself to put an end to Zachary.
Chapter 18: True Colors
"ZACH!!" Revelian's voice echoed through the room now. Zachary noticed an obvious difference to it. It was no longer robotic in quality... and it wasn't coming from in front of him. "LOOK OUT!!"
Zachary opened his eyes to see Revelian standing in front of him, holding a sword of light above his head. Zachary immediately dodged out of the way, narrowly avoiding being struck by the blade.
"Damnit!" The Revelian with the blade of light then looked upwards. "It's you!"
Zachary followed his gaze. As he looked, he then saw a figure flying in through a window of the palace, close to the ceiling. Zachary gawked in utter shock as he saw that the figure was identical to Revelian.
No, not identical to the Revelian that held a blade of light before him. The figure he saw coming now was identical to the Revelian of his memory. He was smaller in size than the Revelian holding the blade of light, and his eye was a light cyan colour.
"Revelian...? But-" Zachary stammered for a moment in confusion.
"It's about time you cut the act, Kuipter!"
"Damnit, my cover is blown..." The Revelian with the robotic voice swore under his breath. He then began to change.
His whole body changed from a dark purple to a dark yellow colour. His hair changed, looking short, messy, and slightly combed down. His visor changed in shape, becoming a circle in the middle of his face, with bolts lining it. His shape also changed, as he became shorter, yet wider. And he began to shrink, as metallic contraptions hidden beneath his body came out to be revealed as intentional parts of wardrobe above his skin. Zachary gazed on in horror as he realized that he looked exactly like Kuipter.
"How in the name of Zeronius-" (Kuipter tore a device off of his face, and threw it to the ground) "-did you get out of my prison?! What happened to the Nightmares I had guarding it?!"
"Psh! You think those weak Nightmares could actually stand a chance against me?" Revelian scoffed. "Ha! Guess what? They're in la-la land now, bro."
Revelian suddenly dropped down to the floor, and drew his sword, the Muramasa. "And that's exactly where you're going after I'm done with you."
Zachary blinked in surprise. "What the hell...?"
Revelian looked over to Zachary. "Thank something, you're alright. Where are the others?"
"Wh-what's going on?" Zachary demanded.
"Oh, that's a good question. I guess my grand scheme must have left your simple mind in a state of confusion."
Kuipter seemed to give a sinister smirk.
"You see, I formed the idea to turn Ludus against its "great hero" Revelian..." Kuipter almost spat in his sarcasm. "... by a bit of an accident, actually. You see, when that gridmask, Doctor Jekyll Sand, came to my labs, he accidentally revived me. I had a device set up to do it as a backup plan for if I ever died, though rather than one of my underlings activating it, it was an unsuspecting stranger! I'd had no reason to appear as Revelian at first, until Sand mistook me eye for his and called out his name. Once I heard it, I instinctively just changed my form to match Revelian's appearance. And since then, he's thought that Revelian was behind it all."
Kuipter laughed. "Oh, I thought it would be just oh so amusing to have Revelian see his reputation ground into space dust and his friends suffer the same fate, before he, too, was killed."
"Wait... you mean...?" Zachary stammered.
"Yeah, I was innocent all along." Revelian gave an irritated tone. "Thanks for having so much faith in me."
"And then..." Kuipter seemed to strain for a moment. His struggle, however, was unnoticed by the others, who had begun carrying a conversation of their own.
"So, the guy we saw on the tape killing Sand... and the person we saw in Sand's factory, that was Kuipter?" Zachary asked.
"Either that, or I've been fucking sleepwalking." Revelian sarcastically responded.
"But then, how did Raserai and Verlassen turn back into you? Dr. Sand told us that he brought you back at Kuipter Labs..."
"Well, it's obviously true that he thought he brought me back... but that was just Kuipter. Ver and Ras used one of the machines we have in the basement, combined themselves into one, and became me. They were kind of involved with the contraptions put down there by "Sir Conscience", and figured one of them would work. Come on, why do you think I didn't tell you guys about it, we're literally never supposed to talk about having that stuff...! And even then, I kind of wanted you guys to have a little faith in me."
"And what about all that time that you spent in private that you couldn't tell anybody about, then?" Zachary demanded. "Like, when you left work early that day, and then you went up in your room... and we saw you going into the airship?"
"Well, first of all... I just got some sort of instinct feeling to go towards the ship. There were worker dark matters saying that Lord Sauphara wanted to see me again and talk... so, yeah, that was me."
"That's not answering all the question, though..."
Revelian scratched his elbow. "That's not..." Revelian sighed. "Damnit, I guess I can't keep it from you if you're going to press me on it. I didn't want you guys to know this, but... I've found a way that I can contact Mura."
Zachary's eyes widened.
"After I came back from being Raserai and Verlassen, Kaiser started saying that it could work for me a lot better because I was being "truly pure" now. Then it started showing me images of Mura sometimes... But they were always so blurry, and I couldn't make out a thing that Mura was saying, and whenever I tried it would always shut off and Kaiser would say that my will was becoming unclear, so it would stop working." Revelian sighed. "I just... really didn't want to tell you guys, because I knew you'd get all up in my business about it and try to get all involved with helping me get it right. I wanted to keep it my business, and learn how to do this myself. Kaiser is my power, after all... and Mura is my brother."
Zachary stared blankly. "Well... damn, Rev... I didn't know. Sorry I thought you were behind all this..."
Revelian nodded, but then turned towards Kuipter. "Yeah, and since Kaiser is my power, I think I'll use it now to defeat you again, Kuipter."
Revelian then began to glow with a cyan energy. "It's time for Kaiser Mode!" Revelian's clothes then changed to colours of gold, red, and cyan.
"SILENCE!" Kuipter angrily commanded. "How dare you interrupt me... you have no right to-"
"Shut the fuck up, Kuipter! I'll use Kaiser to defeat you again, just like the last time. Nothing's changed since then, not you, not me, nothing. It's going to end the same way."
Kuipter glared at Revelian with the clearest fury that could be witnessed. He then managed a cocky and sinister laugh.
"Heheheh... So, you think that having the power of Kaiser makes you some unbeatable god, do you?" Kuipter's smile stretched wide across his face, causing his teeth to poke at his bandana. "Well, if that's the case... Let's see how you like this."
Kuipter pressed a button on his wrist. Suddenly, his body began to glow. It began to emanate a red light, which poured out in waves and pulses, going off in all directions. The pulses eventually made their way to Revelian. All of a sudden, the cyan aura around him began to dim, and the colour of his outfit returned to its previous state. Revelian looked himself over, with an expression of confusion.
"Huh??! What happened?!" Revelian looked up at Kuipter and glared. "What the fuck, man?! What did you do?!
"Oh, you like that? That's a little machine I like to call Tranquil Rosetta." Kuipter explained with a confident tone. "Just a neat little something I came up with after experimenting with Mindstone Fragments... It's made to shut down the power of Mindstone Fragments. Sadly, it doesn't work if someone is entirely in sync with their Mindstone Fragment... but, luckily, that's not the case with you, brother."
Revelian growled at Kuipter.
"Now, let's see you be proved right. Let's see nothing change from our previous battle. Let's see you not be able defeat me without the power of Kaiser--only now, you won't be able to use it at all! AHAHAHA!!"
Kuipter pointed his arm cannon at Revelian, beginning to charge up its power.
Chapter 19: Two on One
Zachary quickly grabbed his sword from the ground, and charged at Kuipter. With a quick motion, he slashed at Kuipter's arm cannon. Kuipter quickly raised it upwards, so that he would not be slashed, though, in doing so, the orb of energy that had been charging up in it was fired, and it flew upward towards the ceiling of the palace, making a large hole in it.
Kuipter stumbled backwards. It took him a moment to regain his composure.
"Insolent dragonkin..." Kuipter spat.
"Shut up! Revelian doesn't need Kaiser to kick your ass again." Zachary inhaled loudly and quickly. "And neither do I..."
Zachary then charged at Kuipter with his sword. Kuipter launched bolts of energy from his arm canon, while slowly backing up. Three bolts of energy were launched, and they hit the ground, causing a grey smoke to rise up. However, Zachary jumped up out of the smoke, taking Kuipter by surprise. Zachary held his sword high above his head, ready to slice Kuipter in two.
However, suddenly, Kuipter's arm cannon caused an orb of dark yellow energy to form into another blade of light. He held it up and used it to block Zachary's sword. Zachary struck, not expecting to be blocked, and then moved backwards. Kuipter then stood for a moment, and quickly created another orb of dark yellow light, and turned it into a blade of light.
Kuipter, unexpectedly, merely twirled the blades around, and then threw them forward. They then began going forth without any hand moving them, slicing forward in Zachary's direction. Zachary began walking backwards, holding up his sword in many places to try to block every blow that the blades of light could deliver.
While Zachary was distracted, Kuipter pointed his arm cannon towards him, charging up its energy. Kuipter planned to shoot Zachary while he was not expecting it, and deal a powerful blow.
Revelian then quickly moved, charging forward into Kuipter. Kuipter skidded across the floor, but quickly moved to regain his balance. He then faced Revelian, and pointed his hand towards him instead.
"He's right... I don't need Kaiser, or the Ryus. But I'm more than glad to have his help."
Kuipter aimed and shot a smaller bolt at Revelian, who dodged it. However, Revelian saw as the bolt bounced off of the wall of the palace behind him, and continued to bounce off of others. Kuipter then fired several similar bolts at Revelian. Revelian was able to dodge most of them when they were first fired, though as the bolts began to build up in number, Revelian began to have a hard time dodging them all. Soon enough, he was hit with one, and it caused a bright yellow energy to move through him like a current of electricity.
Revelian merely groaned and stood up again, facing Kuipter angrily. Kuipter then ceased launching the small bolts, and then threw a disk of yellow energy at Revelian. Revelian dodged it, and then began flying close to Kuipter. However, the disk then followed Revelian closely.
Revelian then flew as close to Kuipter as he could, and then moved behind him, as the disk followed.
"Looks like your attack is about to backfire!"
Kuipter merely turned around and smirked. The disk of energy stopped right in front of Kuipter.
"It moves to my will." Kuipter explained in a condescending tone.
Kuipter used his energy to create more disks of energy. Kuipter then put his hand over the disks, and seemed to toss it towards Revelian. Revelian dodged again, and then began flying around to try and avoid the disks. However, the disks continued to follow him, all, as it seemed, by the command of Kuipter; as Kuipter pointed his finger towards a location, the disks would go to it. And Kuipter would keep pointing towards Revelian.
Zachary then dodged out of the way of the blades of light that Kuipter had sent towards him. They sliced through the wall of the palace, and continued on in their linear path. Zachary then began running towards Kuipter.
Kuipter managed to turn around a moment, and saw Zachary running towards him. Kuipter then conjured another blade of dark yellow energy, and threw it at Zachary. Zachary moved backwards and dodged it. Kuipter began then to split his focus between Revelian and Zachary.
Kuipter would keep his eye on Revelian as well as he could, so as to command the disks to follow him. He would also occasionally gaze at Zachary, while he was creating more and more blades of light and throwing them at Zachary, so as to have the dragon keep his distance.
Revelian looked over and saw Kuipter's lack of attention on him. He then decided that he would use this to his advantage.
Revelian began to fly near a corner wall of the palace. He waited a moment for the disks to catch up with him, and then he flew out of the way, causing them to move through the corner, and break through a support beam for the structure. Revelian then moved to the opposite corner of the palace, and did the same. Revelian then flew above the corner that Kuipter was the closest to, and allowed for the disks to be sent through that wall, too.
Suddenly, the entire palace began to rumble. Kuipter looked upwards as parts of the ceiling, and parts above, then began to fall down. Kuipter raised his arms above his head, in order to try and protect himself. The disks of energy were sent off in a random direction.
Revelian then quickly grabbed Zachary and pulled him out of the way of the blades of energy. He then brought him into the area where a hole had been blasted through the ceiling by Kuipter's arm cannon, and covered him while the rubble began to fall onto them.
The palace of The Rapture collapsed onto them. Kuipter seemed to have received the brunt of the force from it all, being under a dangerous corner of the structure. Revelian then seemed to be the second most phased by the collapse, as he was under the least dangerous area to be in besides out of the palace, though he would take whatever brunt of damage that could be received to Zachary. Zachary was completely unfazed by it, having been protected by Revelian.
After a while, the smoke cleared, and the two figured stood in the midst of the rubble. Revelian stood away from Zachary for a moment, and silently looked onward, towards where Kuipter had stood. No sound could be heard, and Kuipter could no longer be seen.
"Is... Is he done...?" Revelian spoke barely above a breath, before his attention was drawn downwards. From beneath the rubble, cracks of yellow light could be seen pouring out.
There was a sudden force like an explosion from below. Zachary and Revelian were forced upwards by the blast. Chunks of the rubble were also sent upwards from it. On the ground below. Kuipter could be seen, with his arm cannon pointed into the ground, and streams of yellow energy being spread through it now fading away.
Kuipter flew upwards, and began shooting blasts of energy up towards the duo, shortly after they had begun to steady themselves in the air. Chunks of rubble managed to shield them from Kuipter's blasts for the most part, though they were destroyed by the blasts. Revelian could only stare forward for a moment, as, all of a sudden, a blast struck him.
Revelian seemed to drop directly downwards after being blasted. Zachary gasped and looked over to him. Kuipter merely kept flying upward.
Revelian took a moment to regain himself. He then steadied himself in the air, and darted towards Kuipter. He seemed to tackle Kuipter in the air, grabbing him and pushing him in his own direction. Kuipter, however, then seemed to fight it. Kuipter grabbed Revelian, and then the both of them would command the direction of the two brothers. The two of them seemed to then become engulfed in their own auras.
The rubble of the palace hit the ground with a loud crash.
Chapter 20: Vengeance
"Meheheheh...!" Kuipter laughed.
Kuipter and his brother were spiraling around in the air, their energies mingling upon each other, appearing as some sort of orange flame. Their forms became damaged by the force of one another... but Kuipter's energy proved dominant. Revelian was rocketed outwards from the auric pyro, and landed onto the ground.
Kuipter's energy faded for a moment. His eye gave a confident gleam, and the dark yellow energy around him began to dissipate. He'd gotten the upper hand on his older brother now.
But the dark matter smiled too quickly following his victory. There was a sudden flash of white, and Kuipter thought then that the image of an angel had appeared before him. Though, too late, Kuipter realized what he was seeing, as the wings of this angel flapped forth to reveal the being inside it: Zachary. The dragon held his sword high above his head, and then quickly brought it down onto Kuipter's own. The dark matter was sent spiraling down to the ground at high speed.
The two dark matters were left only with the sound of their panting and the flapping of the dragon's feathery white wings for a moment. They were all tired and weakened at this point, but Zachary, though he certainly was not the strongest among them had been fortunate enough to not receive most of the blows delivered; Kuipter himself had received a beating from both Revelian and Zachary, and Revelian had taken damage from the Nightmares before, along with having been the focus of Kuipter's attacks.
Zachary landed on the ground, with his wings making a loud noise with the wind. For a moment, all things seemed silent. The breathing had quieted, and the room was clear. Only the subtle sounds of lighting striking the surface of the dark star could be heard now.
Zachary took nearly silent footsteps towards Kuipter, drawing his blade. He pointed the sword at Kuipter, who looked up at it in a bit of surprise. He almost appeared like a deer in headlights.
"I... I finally get it now... It was after I saw you fighting with the sword, pretending to be Revelian. That's when I realized..." Zachary spoke, bringing even more surprise to Kuipter's expressive eye. "It was you, wasn't it? You were the one that... killed my father all those years ago... weren't you?"
Kuipter's eye portrayed some shock, before showing some hint of a smirk. Revelian felt his heart sink for a moment. Kuipter laughed his evil laugh...
"Shut up...!" Demanded the dragon, before he smacked Kuipter with the edge of his blade. "So it's true, isn't it... All those years ago, when the dark matters first invaded Ludus... you were there... it really was you. I... I get it now... that's why you said you'd taken such an interest in me back then." He had been referring to some time back when Zachary was present in Kuipter's labs. "You knew you did it all along... and now... I have you here. I... I can avenge my father..." As Zachary spoke, he looked at his blade as if it were an anomalous miracle. He never before believed that it could be done-- that his father's murderer could be brought to the cold justice that he deserved.
Kuipter lay on the ground now, and he was still laughing to himself. "... what the hell are you laughing at?"
"Oh, dear Zachary... You really believe that I murdered your father all those years ago? How long did my family say it was, again... seven hundred twenty-three years ago, right...? That's when I led the conquest of Ludus? That's killed him, you say?" Kuipter questioned, maintaining his attitude of a higher position of knowledge over his opponent.
"Of course I do..."
"Zachary... I'm only six hundred and eighty-nine years old... Heheh... I wasn't even born yet, when the conquests of Ludus occurred..." Zachary's eyes widened as he stared at Kuipter, his blade still drawn. "I've only heard about it from those in my family who were alive when it happened... Lord Zeronius, Mura, and... Revelian."
Kuipter let out a sinister laugh that seemed to fill the whole room, and echoed upon itself. "Yes, Revelian was... definitely old enough to engage in the conquests of Ludus at the time."
Zachary stared at Kuipter with surprise. "No way... Revelian told me that he wasn't created by Lord Zeronius until years after the invasions happened... neither was Mura!"
"Then how can you think that I was born, then?" Kuipter asked. "Mura and Revelian are my older brothers! They've been around much longer than me, and definitely long enough for the invasions. You can ask Dark Core herself the truth, instead of whatever drivel that my brothers have been feeding you to, just to get them on your good side..."
Zachary felt a chill travel up his spine, fill his heart, and make its way all throughout his body. "Wh... what are you saying...?"
"Heheheh... Dear Zachary, I didn't murder your father. I couldn't have done it. No, rather, it was the friend that you've trusted for oh so long... My older brother, Revelian Zeronius." Kuipter pointed over at Revelian.
Zachary gawked at Kuipter for a moment, in disbelief. But then, he looked back at Revelian. Zachary found himself in even more surprise as Revelian was looking at the ground. He was not in pain, but, rather, he was experiencing shame. It was clear to them even then.
"Revelian... N-no, it can't be... There's no way it was him...!" Even as he spoke, Zachary felt in the pit of his stomach the feeling of denial that carried with his words.
"I remember how he and Mura boasted of Revelian's efforts during the conquest of Ludus..." Kuipter continued. "How Revelian stood over the corpse of the dragonkin king... how the kind had put forth a valiant effort, all in vain, to be stabbed through the heart with Revelian's sword... and how he threw the king's only son to the ground when he tried to avenge his poor father... Are you telling me you can't remember any of that, dear boy?"
Zachary did remember; the horrors of that day had plagued his nightmares ever since, resulting in sleepless night after sleepless night. The being that had killed his father loomed above the corpse of the familiar figure, now rendered lifeless. Zachary remembered the figure featured with a single circular eye which held about it an ominous and icy glow. He remembered the being standing tall, several heads taller than the young Zachary, to an imposing extent. Zachary remembered his dark and empty form cloaked in military garments, stained with only a single mark of blood from Zachary's father.
Zachary remembered the figure's piercing eye above all things.
"... You do remember, don't you? Don't you see who it really is...?"
Zachary looked back at Revelian once more. "Revelian..." Zachary weekly managed to call out to his companion, in but a hoarse and soft voice.
Revelian looked up at him now, his eye staring directly through Zachary. Zachary looked on in horror, as a sudden realization came to him. Revelian's eye was the very same glowing circle that haunted his dreams time and time again; the very same eye of the being that had stood over his father's lifeless form.
"N-no... Revelian..." Zachary felt hopeless and pallid, as if the very life were drained from his being in that moment. "S-say something... This... can't..."
Revelian saw Zachary's look of horror in facing him, and he once again felt the pain of being a monster. It was the same feeling he had received when he was faced by Thristel-Immo or his older brother whenever he was marked with the acts of his conquest days. "Zach... I... I'm sorry..." He knew it was the truth. He had been trying to avoid it all along; trying to make amends in whatever way he could, though hiding behind a veil of secrecy, in fear of the horror that Zachary would show him if he knew the truth. If he knew that he was a monster.
"Revelian... No..." Zachary's voice was now but the plea of a fearful child. Revelian once again faced the ground, not wanting to feel the shame of a monster.
"That's right... it was him all along. The very person you and your whole planet naively trust with your lives today is the same being that enslaved the population of your planet long ago... The same being that led to the downfall of your kingdom."
Kuipter's words had Zachary thinking of all that he and Revelian had been through...
- Zachary is at the mercy of a rogue monster. All of a sudden, Revelian appears, and kicks it away from him. The dark matter faces him again, asking, "Are you alright, Zach?"
- Zachary loses his footing near a precarious edge. He begins to fall and yell out, and then wildly flaps his wings. Revelian then flies quickly, knocking him off balance a bit, but picking him up in his arms. "H-hey! Rev, I could've just flown back by myself, you know!" Revelian looked a bit flushed, and apologized, before dropping him back on safe land.
- Zachary is sitting in his cage, trapped there by Kuipter. Suddenly, a door opens, leaking light into the room of darkness. Zachary turns and sees Revelian standing in the doorway. "Zach?!" "Rev?" "Are you OK?!" The two manage a bit of conversation, before Revelian's image then disappeared.
Zachary remembered all the times that Revelian had shown care for him, evident not only by his actions, but by the worry in his eye...
But now, all the memories he had of Revelian having that look in his eye had gone. Now, the only thing Zachary could remember when Revelian faced him was the icy eye of his father's killer, plastered upon Revelian's face.
"Oh, the irony of it all must be sickening, is it not? Ahahahah!!" Kuipter let out a dry, rusty laugh. He then coughed up some blood. It left a fuchsia pile of liquid lying on the ground in front of him. "... Oh, and what was it that you were going on about just then? That you now have the chance to avenge your father's killer?"
Zachary looked at his blade. It glinted with light, even within the obscurity within the core of the dark star.
"Well, you were right about that... There he is, your father's murderer, weak, disabled by his own shame, and vulnerable." Kuipter's eye gleamed. "You finally have your chance... so, go on. Kill Revelian, and avenge the death of your poor father."
Revelian once again bowed his head, and closed his eye. He'd realized that nothing he'd done before had been with sincerity. All the rehabilitating of the monsters, all the work he'd put forth to have them made to serve as tame companions... He saw now that it had all been a vain attempt by him to try and avoid the inevitable. A monster couldn't be changed or reformed. Its evil would always follow it, and the only way to be rid of the evil was to put the monster down. He knew that the same could be said with him, and he could not avoid the fate of a monster such as himself.
"Revelian..." Zachary sounded as if he were on the verge of tears, but he shook his head, and dried them. He slowly drew his blade, and held it above his head. Revelian merely waited for his fate to be brought upon him. "I... I'm sorry... I'm sorry..." Revelian heard the slicing sound of Zachary's sword piercing dark matter flesh.
Revelian immediately opened his eye and jerked his head upwards. Zachary had his sword running through Kuipter's shoulder.
"I'm sorry, dad... But I won't be avenging you..." Zachary then pulled his sword back, and sliced Kuipter in the arm once more. "Not today, and not ever!!"
"You... You fool...!" Kuipter seemed to gasp for breath, as a dark green electric current traveled throughout his body. "He... He's the one who killed your father! The one who laid siege to your planet and kingdom! The one who destroyed your life!"
"You don't even know..." Zachary's eyes seemed to be obscured by darkness. "How many times he's saved this planet... how many people he's saved... how many lives he's changed for the better!" Zachary glared at Kuipter with a brilliant fury. "How the hell can I possibly weigh my life against all the lives that he's saved?!"
Zachary pulled his sword out again, and held it behind his head. Revelian merely gazed at his companion, in pure shock.
"You know... I could see it in his eyes. The man who killed my father was a monster..." Zachary's sword began to glow with a white light. "And I know Revelian. He's no monster! He's a hero!!"
Zachary's blade of light pierced Kuipter just below his chest. "GGAHHAH!!" Kuipter cried out in agony, and blood shot out from his wound. After impact, the light seemed to dissipate. And now, currents of electricity and light, in reds, greens, and yellows, streamed and traveled across Kuipter's body, in a more constant and erratic fashion.
Revelian could only stare at Zachary, with a dumbfounded expression crossing his face. Along with Revelian's shame, Zachary's visions of Revelian with the eye of his father's killer had dissipated. It was as if a spell had been broken.
Kuipter's form then seemed to melt, turning into a black ooze of mass. The mass let out sparks of dark reds and dark greens and dark yellows, but it began to sink into the ground below it. And, for a time, the room was silent.
Zachary turned around to his companion, who was still knelled over gawking at him. Zachary seemed to slowly walk towards Revelian, and extended a hand. Revelian managed to stop gawking for a moment and looked at his hand, grabbing it, as he was helped up. Revelian was silent for a moment, not knowing what to say. Zachary was the same, only letting out a sigh.
Revelian finally found the courage to speak. "You... spared me..." Revelian stated something that he truly didn't believe was real, as if he were asking Zachary for reassurance that this was what actually happened.
"Revelian... I know you must've been a monster before... But I run a business that gives monsters everywhere a chance to find a home and be loved instead of feeling hated and alone." Zachary patted Revelian on the back in an odd motion. Revelian leaned forward a bit after the impact. "Don't worry about it. You're one of us, beast."
Zachary gave a shy smile, and an awkward laugh. Revelian had to strain himself to keep from collapsing in front of Zachary. "Thank you..."
"No, thank you..." Zachary said. "I've realized something..."
"... that we can change our fates?" Revelian asked. "I've been thinking about it... how it was my fate to fall for my wrongs. But... I guess you helped me change that."
"Aheh... yeah. That's exactly it."
"Oh, well isn't this nice?" A mechanical yet oddly familiar voice then filled the room. Revelian and Zachary looked around aimlessly, trying to find a source of the voice; but it sounded like it was coming from every surface of the room. The mechanical voice seemed to cackle loudly, hurting Zachary's ears. "The two of you managed to make up. Now everything is well and splendid, isn't it?!"
The floor suddenly gave out underneath the two unexpectedly. The two fell a short distance, and landed in a large room. The room appeared spherical in nature, and the surfaces of the sphere appeared to have white energy coursing through it like electric currents. In the center of this sphere was a black core, through which no white energy traveled through. They were in the presence of the very heart of the dark star.
From the surfaces of the spherical room they were in, a black mist drew out from the walls in many locations, combining with parts of it and marking rays of vapor. The vapor spiraled around the black core in the center of the room, spiraling into it.
The core suddenly shone with light, becoming translucent. In one end, the core appeared to shine a dark red, and, on the other end, it appeared to shine with a dark green. In the center, the red and green seemed to meet, and formed a clear dark yellow--a colour innocuous to Kuipter's aura. Within the core, the silhouette of a figure could be seen in its center, appearing to be drawing energy from the core around it.
It was Kuipter.
Kuipter himself seemed to glow the colour of a candy red, like blood. The core around him pulsed and faded away, dissipated its energy into him, and as his figure was revealed, and he appeared to be restored from before. As he absorbed the energy, his dark yellow aura was released around him in a sphere of energy that surrounded him. And then, Kuipter began to change.
Parts of Kuipter's body seemed to grow and form out from his inner body, and, along with his aura, a larger body was formed; there now stood a being of yellow light, with Kuipter at its core, with a large circle of clear auric energy as the eye of its head, two arms, and a torso. Along the surface of the body, in certain areas, there streamed currents of energy of dark red and dark green colours, traversing across it like blood would travel through ones system.
Once again, the mechanical voice that Zachary and Revelian had heard earlier began to speak out, its source now identified as coming from Kuipter.
"HAHAHAHAH!!" Kuipter's loud, mechanical, maniacal laughter seem to fill every crevice of the surrounding area, inviting a chill into every being that could hear it. "Behold the power of Dark Star Omega!"
Zachary and Revelian gawked at the enormous Kuipter-like being of energy that towered over them.
"Now, I'll decimate both of you pests with my mighty power!!" Kuipter's chilling laughter once again filled the room.
However, now, the two there did not let the chill cause them hesitance. Revelian quickly drew his Muramasa, and entered a fighting position. Zachary did the same, holding his heirloom blade. The two looked at one another for a moment, not having expected one another to act so quickly. But then, they both realized the spirit in one another.
"... Come on, Rev. We'll stop this freak one last time. Together!" Zachary smiled at his companion.
"Right, Zach. Let's do this!" Revelian smiled under his mask, and smiled with his eyes.
A cyan light began to glow around Revelian and Zachary, as the power of Kaiser, the Will Fragment, then was ignited through them. Revelian's synchronization was at its peak.
Bonus Chapter: Kappa
A silence was about the room, it seemed. There was a feeling of emptiness, yet a strange energy also protruded the area. It couldn't be known what had happened, or even why; but something was different.
Zachary stood over Revelian, holding his sword high above his head.
"I... I'm sorry..." Zachary weakly managed to utter. A single tear streamed down his face. "You killed my father... and lied to me all this time... I can't forgive you..."
Revelian remained unmoving. For, in this time, he knew that accepting his fate would be his only way to receive even a smidgeon of redemption for his actions. As if mirroring Zachary, a single tear rolled down from his closed eye.
Mura... If you'll even have the heart to accept me.... I'll be with you soon. Revelian thought to himself.
Zachary brought his sword downward with a swift motion. The slicing sound echoed throughout the chamber loudly, as his blade pierced straight through Revelian's core.
There seemed to be a small explosion of energy. Revelian jumped up suddenly, grasping his wound. From his back, several tentacles began to grow out, swaying around in all directions. Zachary jumped back in surprise. Revelian then fell face-down onto the ground.
Then, Revelian seemed to shrink. It took Zachary a moment to realize that he actually appeared to be melting, into a puddle of his own substance, onto the floor. Revelian's whole body soon fell into this puddle of matter, until his entire head had gone into it, and the puddle disappeared into all that remained of him: his core.
His core glowed with a bright energy, emitting sparks and flashes from where it was damaged. Zachary watched as it turned into a stone-like grey color. And then, it appeared to be but a sphere of ashes. It was blown away by a sudden gust of wind, and Revelian's form was no more.
Zachary looked on at where Revelian had been but a minute before. He stood unmoving, as if he were no longer able to. There was a slight feeling of nausea within him, along with a bit of horror; but mostly, he felt emptiness.
Revelian was gone. His father's murderer was finally dead, as Zachary had promised so long ago. Finally, the horror that haunted his nightmares had truly left him. Finally, it could be known that his father had been avenged. Finally, Zachary thought, he could be at peace.
But... he didn't.
Kuipter suddenly stood up, with a grunt. Zachary turned, and saw what appeared to be a look of worry on Kuipter's face. Kuipter's arm was extended, as if he were reaching out for someone or something.
"Brother..." Kuipter uttered, just above a whisper. Zachary looked on in surprise at him, and the feeling of nausea inside of him began to swell up even more.
Zachary knew he didn't feel better about this at all. He was full of anger, fear, even hatred, in the moment he had chosen Alexander Isles over Revelian Zeronius. But they were both gone.
The friend that he had shared laughs with, the friend who had saved his life more than once, the friend who had risked his life for him, the friend who was selfless enough to save the planet several times over, the friend who he had been through so much with... he was gone. Zachary couldn't even pin the face of his father's murderer to Revelian anymore. All he could remember was his friend.
And he was gone now. Zachary had just killed him.
"... oh, Revelian...!" Zachary fell to his knees, feeling on the verge of tears. "What have I done...?!"
Kuipter gripped his face for a moment, almost appearing as if he felt the same agony that Zachary then experienced. But this passed; Kuipter's expression changed to a smirk. He began to let out a laugh.
"Good... hehehe..." Kuipter let go of his face. "Let the shame, the hatred, the despair, the rage... let it all flow through you... know now that you've become it..."
Kuipter raised his arm at Zachary, who had his back turned. A smile crept onto Kuipter's face once more.
"... And die with it."
Kuipter fired a bolt of energy. It pierced through Zachary's chest, straight through his heart, leaving a sizable hole. Zachary gasped, and spat out blood. He then fell to the ground in front of him.
Kuipter then continued the firing of his cannon. He fired bolt after bolt of energy at Zachary's corpse. He would not leave it bloodied and beaten, no; he would not stop until there were as much of it left as there was of Revelian's own corpse.
He would not stop until there was nothing left.
Soon, the deed had been done. Kuipter held his arm cannon back, breathing heavily. He suddenly broke into a laugh.
"Ahahahahaha...!! Now no one will stop me!!"
Kuipter hadn't realized how long they all had been here. He heard the sound of a bell ringing. It was midnight.
The time had come. Now, all those turned to stone were dark matter servants under him. He could allow Sauphara to die, replace her as the core power of the dark star, and conquer planet after planet in conquest to support its power until his eventual Awakening. But, even then, he knew, the conquests would not cease, for he would not allow them to end. Not until the time when all was united, solely under his eye...
Ludus would perish, under a new sign. This would be the prophesied sign of death to which a new era would come.