"Now, it's showtime!"

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"Even if you beg for mercy, I won't listen!"

This article Setting Sun, is the sole property of CPU Noire and as such, no user may edit this article without explicit permission from the aforementioned creator. If you wish to use this article in any way, please ask me first
Deicide Arc

Deal With The Devil

Delst and Palmer began to make the long journey home, exiting through the strange entrance they'd come through, able to forgo the blood payment. Both of them felt relatively pleased with the day. "Things really did go well." Delst smiled to himself. "Even if I can't..."

"....shake this feeling of shadow lurking?" A crisp, sharp voice caught their attention, and Delst and Palmer quickly turned, seeing a man in a white baboon cloak standing behind them. "Such a beautiful place, Nethran Forest." Underneath the jaw of the baboon, he smiled. "Greetings, Delst LaHote. Palmer Solidad. My name is Mr. E, and I have a proposition for you."

Palmer remained on guard. "...This guy reeks of evil. I wouldn't trust him. Let's just ignore the bastard." Truth be told, nobody should associate with him.

Delst frowned, readying himself in case the man chose to make a strike. Palmer was right. This man reeked of both evil and....something else. He couldn't quite pinpoint the strange waves coming off this man.

"You can relax your guard, both of you." E said, raising a hand calmly. "I'm not here to fight either of you — today."

"...We refuse. I don't know about Delst, but all I can hear is dung spewing from your mouth, rear-face." Palmer was surprisingly....violent-mouthed.

"Now, now, now." E admonished. "Is that any way to treat someone whose come so far...just to see you?" He titled his covered head, looking at Delst. "Specifically you, Delst LaHote."

"What!?" Delst hissed. "Me? What do I have that interests you?"

"A child." E said simply. "I believe you named him Jason?"

"My son!?" The black haired man felt a shock riddle through his body as he snarled, his eyes narrowing with rage as he glared at E. The normally polite, kind Delst was gone. In it's place was someone prepared to rip Mr. E to shreds right here.

Palmer slowly began to withdraw his gun from it's holster. "Watch out, Delst. Just knock him down already. We need to hurry and get back to your family."

"Good point." Delst agreed, rising to full height slowly, never taking his eyes off of Mr. E as he did so. "We have no business with someone like him." The two began to take their leave, turning their back on Mr. E, who smiled.

"Are you so sure you want to ignore me?" He asked quietly. "I said I had a proposition for you — I never said what would happen if you refused to listen, did I?"

Delst paused for a moment, his ears twitching. "....I'm all ears."

"Your son." Mr. E said simply. "Give him to me. The boy has potential you can only dream of. Something like him....I can foresee many uses for that boy's latent power."

Palmer was tempted to pop a cap in the man's ass right about now. "Kids aren't just yours to be used. Grow up and realize that you can't just manipulate everyone."

Mr. E smiled, trying his hardest not to choke on the irony of that statement. "Oh, but I already have. I've already manipulated the past to reach this crucial point...and now the future is mine to mold as well. I to take it your answer is no?"

"You'd have to be an idiot to think I'd say yes." Delst hissed, his eyes glinting. "I'm going to give you three seconds?"

"Oh?" Mr. E sounded surprised. "Three seconds to what?"

"To run." Delst replied, lunging forward, leaping into the air as a ghostly, blue, skeletal arm several times his size manifested from a ribcage that looked similar, raising it above his body. Within an instant, he slammed it down upon E, crushing the man into the ground, landing on his feet and hands, a primal look at he glared at where E had been standing.

"So fast." E's voiced echoed around the area, however, Delst could not pinpoint his location. "It's such a shame we were unable to talk business. I suppose it's to get...proactive."

"Do you think I'll let you get away!?" Delst's eyes began to glow, and the ground began to shake under the stress of his magical pressure.

"Delst...should you really spend your time searching for me?" Mr. E chided, his voice mocking. "I would think your attentions are much better focused on your precious human girl and son."

Palmer just responded, "C'mon, let's go. We don't have time to waste." Palmer was decidedly serious about this affair.

"We're not wasting time." Delst replied quickly, forming a circle into the ground. "I wanted to enjoy a peaceful walk back..." The circle began to glow, erupting a brilliant white light. "This will take us right back."

"Alright." Palmer sighed, still a bit annoyed about...well, everything. "Let's just go. Who knows what that rear-faced son of a bitch could do to your family."

Delst and Palmer leapt into the portal, being swept up in a strange feeling of elation as they were transported as a form of light; before materialising in front of Delst's home, taking solid form once more. The house seemed...quiet. Everyone was moving about the village as if it was a normal day.

"Did he actually not head this way?" Delst was a bit confused; the threat seemed imminent, but now that he was back, it appeared as if nothing was happening.

Palmer remained cautious of E and everything, "Remain on your guard. Who knows what the rear-faced jackass will pull. Any second now there could be some kind of explosion and we'd go runnin'. Or he could be in your house right now."

Delst twisted the knob of the door, opening it...and was assaulted by the sound of laughter. Opening the door all the way, he saw Jason chasing Chisuzu around the couch, both of them smiling, oblivious to Delst's earlier encounter.

"Mama, wait for me!" Jason called, trying to catch up to his mother...and falling flat on his face.

Palmer looked on, somewhat amused. That kid, Jason LaHote, was so innocent in this world, and damn if he wouldn't try and protect him from that baboon-faced jerk. "...Chisuzu, be very careful..." He looked over at Delst worryingly, as if signalling "should we tell them".

Delst let out an exasperated sign, looking at Palmer as if the man had lost his mind. "Yes Palmer. Now that you mentioned this exactly where they can hear, I suppose we should tell them."

Palmer paused a moment, realizing what he'd just done. "...Dammit, yeah. So, Chisuzu, earlier, we encountered a suspicious looking guy in a baboon-mask. He seemed like a jerk. Anyway, he threatened you and Jason. So, we're gonna stay here and keep on guard for you."

Chisuzu immediately shrinked. "...This seems awfully suspicious. It feels like a trap."

"We're aware." Delst frowned. "We'll keep an eye out for him but..." Delst looked at Jason. "Palmer, do you think now is the time to switch the Lacrima?"

Palmer nodded. "You're right." He walked over to Jason, placing his palm on Jason's shoulder. "Hold very still. This won't hurt at all, but you need to focus."

Jason stood still, looking up at Palmer with wide-eyes. "All the doctors said that hurt a lot..."

Palmer shut his eyes tightly, as magical energy began to flow from Palmer into Jason- and vise versa. For Palmer, it seemed that after a few moments, the Lacrima embedded inside of his body had been morphed into a more faulty copy. "...And done."

"T-that was it?" The boy looked at Palmer nervously. He had expected it to hurt horribly.

"That was surprisingly quick." Delst walked over to Jason, bending down to look his son in the eye. He seemed entirely fine.

"I told you many times, it's no big deal and I wouldn't die, dammit." Palmer sighed, annoyed slightly that nobody believed his words. He had run through any possibilities with the operation and ironed them all out.

Delst's eyes narrowed. Whether he wanted to believe Palmer or not, he would breathe easy for now. He picked Jason up, holding the boy, smiling wide. "You're going to grow up to be strong, alright? Just like your dad."

Jason grinned one of his stupid, childish grins. "No! I'm gonna be stronger than you, Papa! So I can protect Mama and everyone else in the village!"

Palmer was clutching his chest subtly, trying to wave it off. "I think I have a stomach-ache...actually, never mind, it's nothing. Now, let's stay on guard. Who knows when that jackass is gonna attack again."

"Right..." Delst frowned, placing his son down and running a hand through his own dark black hair, looking out the window. "Chisuzu, Jason, it's getting late, why don't you two try to get some rest, alright? If anything happens, we'll know."

Chisuzu nodded. "I'm sure that we'll be fine...but..." she looked doubtful momentarily. "...You take care yourself. I'm confused about what's going on, but I'll be less scared if you're safe and sound."

"Don't worry." Delst tried to reassure her, smiling in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. "I can't lose, especially not to someone like him. I'll be fine."

Chisuzu felt a shiver run down her spine. "...I hope so. Something isn't right. I can feel a threatening presence..."

Palmer reassured Chisuzu offhandedly, "Don't worry about it. I'll deal with it if anything happens that's not a result of the scales tipped in our favour."

Delst nodded. "Let's watch outside. I'm sure he'll come for me first." They walked outside, into the crisp night air, and to the surprise of anyone watching, Delst then took a seat, crossing his legs as if meditating.

Palmer refused to take a seat, instead wandering around in increasingly bigger circles, remaining constantly alert. "Come out, come out...I've got a bullet with your name on it." He didn't care for any big, fancy clash- rather, he wanted to end it as quickly as possible so that this town would become a safe haven once more. "...Also, Delst, the heck are you doing anyway? Psyching yourself up or something?"

"You could say that." Delst replied, his eyes still closed, and he was draped in a soft, light blue aura. "I'm drawing on the Source as we speak. It's not impossible to do in a battle, but, it's easier to draw on it's powers when the distractions are minimal."

"I see." He never really understood much about the source of magic, but he did know that it made Delst far more powerful. "...Then focus as much as you can."

"Yes..." A sly voice echoed, ripe with the mocking tone it would soon become so well known for. "I suppose a bit of concentration never hurt." A dark aura began to gather, forming into the baboon cloaked man, Mr. E. "I'd say I'm surprised you made it back here so quickly, but I'd be lying. Now...have you thought about my offer?"

Palmer reached for his revolver, ready to fire. "Stay alert. Any moment now, he's gonna attack." For one reason or another, magical energy began to glow brightly on Palmer's gun, as if ready. "I think I can speak for us both. The answer's no, ass-face."

"Then you leave me no choice." Mr. E grabbed at his cloak, discarding it, revealing the figure of a tall, lean-built man with light skin and gray eyes, whose hair is messy and pale blonde, with strands framing the sides of the face and hanging between his eyes, as well as chin stubble. His attire was that of a brown coat, which sports a white diamond pattern along its bottom half, with a dark green shirt and pants underneath, as well as geta and a striped dark green and white bucket hat, which cast a unique shadowing effect over his eyes. "I will erase you both from the picture."

Palmer immediately withdrew his revolver, locked and loaded, ready to wildly fire upon E. "...I'll erase you by my own hand."

Palmer felt a firm grip on his wrist, however, and he saw Delst, his meditation broken. The man stood up, and slowly opened his eyes, which were glowing bright with the power of raw magic. "No, Palmer. I'm going to take this. Let me handle it."

With a swish of his cloak, E leapt high into the air, as if flying. His magical energy surged, forming the wings of a dragon as he slipped a ring onto his finger, descending while cutting the abyss sky by sending out a white light. The mass of golden power that was being taken in from above instantly and stored underneath was mercilessly thrown downwards; the attack of Blaze Holy Flare; it was not a normal power.

"Dartariul!?" Delst's eyes widened in shock. "'s much more advanced." With speed not seen before, the skeletal hand emerged from Delst's side, connected to a ribcage. The spectral skeleton-hand caught the blast, and proceeded to crush it, squeezing out it's energy like one would a fruit's juice. "We're not fighting here, E, not in this village. What do you say to change of venue?"

E nodded silently, slipping a silver ring on his finger. "I am prepared."

Delst waved his hands, and the two were taken — along with Palmer — from Adorio Village. Within seconds, they reappeared in a rocky, mountainous and rather barren terrain; the Edolas Badlands. "Nothing lives out here." Delst made a sweeping gesture, his glowing eyes staring straight at E. "This should be a perfect location."

E dusted his hands nonchalantly, resuming the battle as he summoned a weapon which was an odd mix between a flute and a scythe into his hands. Swinging it around in his right hand, he beckoned, "Then attack me."

"With pleasure." Delst responded, waving his hand slowly in the air, summoning a sword from thin air. It seemed to be a normal, average katana, gleaming in the moonlight. "Let's begin." He vanished, almost flickering as he moved, low to the ground towards E, before coming into full view right before the man, staring him directly in the eye before swinging his sword upward, already intending to make a lethal strike as point-blank range.

Teleporting back, E silently swung his weapon around with enough speed to gather momentum, creating a small surge of pure wind power, before thrusting the scythe directly towards Delst, unleashing a powerful blade of air pressure akin to that of a small tornado.

"You're quick to flee." Delst noticed, firmly gripping his sword and yet his touch still felt light. "I won't let you escape, not with something so precious on the line." Delst formed another hand, batting the wind away and freeing him to take action against the oncoming E without any restraint. "Haō Ensatsuken." His sword then erupted in blue energy as he channeled his evergrowing power into the metal. He then condensed it, wrapping it around the blade as a powerful aura. All of this happened within seconds, and as E got ever closer, Delst slashed downward, releasing the pent up energy in one large burst; slicing through space, releasing a torrent of magical energy from the blade that shot towards E.

E braced himself, taking the full brunt of Delst's attack as the pure magical energy burnt into his body. However, for him, it felt as if Delst's attack caused a considerable amount of pain; though the markings of damage were still there. Using the Teleport Ring once more, E translocated behind Delst, bringing his flute-scythe up to strike as he gathered light-green magical energy onto the weapon, swinging upwards to release a powerful magical blast.

Delst could feel E's power moving, and using his senses to dodge, sliding to the left, away from the scythe. However, he was slower than he'd expect, and the blade ripped into his shoulder, sending ripples of pain throughout, rocking his body. He jumped back, however, ripping the scythe from his side. Thankfully, his armor had deflected the real force of the blow. "He's good..." Delst murmured, placing a gloved hand to his side and feeling the blood flow. "A Dartariul..." Delst frowned. The power, however, didn't equal the beings that could slay what humans referred to as "Dragons", the Dartari. "It's higher than that..." Delst took a stance, pointing his blade at E as his inviting him to come his way.

E called his weapon back in a stoic manner, catching it within his right hand- which began to mutate, forming a tri-clawed hand, awfully draconic. However, by sheer force of will, he forced it back into its previous state, Instantly, gigantic wings of flame spread from his back, while he shot forward with the speed of a bullet, aiming his weapon towards Delst.

Delst formed two large, skeletal hands that extended themselves in front of his body, covering him as if in am embrace, providing a durable shield to defend against E's oncoming attack.

Knowing that Delst would abuse that Demonic Materialization, E suddenly flew upwards with wings of flame, charging magical energy within his maw to release a second beam of solar energy which travelled towards the shield at high speeds; instantly after, using his blast as a distraction, E flew around Delst's back, about to strike with a powerful claw attack.

Delst, however, still had the advantage, and he began to focus all of his power into his magic, forming what appeared to be a ribcage around his body, glowing and spectral like the hands, providing him with additional rock hard defences even at his back, essentially stopping E in his tracks. However, Delst wasn't finished, and extended an arm from this ribcage, which tried to grab at E, to lock him in it's clutches.

E braced himself, ready to defend. However, he could do no such thing- as Delst's Demonic Materialization claws had clutched him tightly, as if they could pop him like a balloon. 

"Now...let's make it rain." Delst murmured, his expression dark as the hand contracted, clenching and squeezing, utterly crushing Mr. E within it's grip, causing blood to splash everywhere.

"Predictable." From a fair distance away, E smirked evilly. "You fell for my ruse." It appeared as if he had used a magic ring to create a nigh-indentical duplicate of himself to distract Delst. E was now floating in the air, before summoning his weapon to his side once more.

"So you're alive...." Delst calmly wiped the blood his face, looking up at E. "I'm quite surprised, you do have some fight in you." He took a stance, stabbing his sword into the ground. "Then let's see if you handle this."

Battle of Gods

Delst breathed in, and then quickly exhaled, releasing a large torrent of flame that expanded in a wide arc as it shot towards E, making it nearly impossible to dodge.

E was hit head-on by Delst's flame blast, tumbling to the ground. "You seem to be using your full power now." He remarked calmly, standing to his feet once more, beginning to levitate again as he shot towards Delst like a bullet; dashing through the remnants of the flames, scythe-flute aimed forward, aiming to impale him instantly.

"Not even close." Delst replied, his eyes staring coldly at the fallen Mr. E. "My power is endless." Delst clapped his hands together, creating several sparks which then burst into flames, and with a thrust of his fist, shot them forward towards E as giant spheres of flame.

Swinging his flute-scythe around, E quickly jerked back as he began to spin the weapon around at high speeds, returning the orbs of fire back to Delst- though they were weaker than the moment of release. Using this as a distraction, E leapt into the air, gathering and condensing magical energy....only to unleash a wave of black flame towards Delst. "That is my magic. Shadow Flame."

Delst's eyes widened as the flames shot forward, however, he ripped his sword from the ground, and proceeded to jump to the left and continue to move, keeping his eyes on E and the flames as the attack collided with the ground. "He's strong...flames are useless if his magic is flame-based, and he's strong enough to actually pierce my skin, which should be impossible..." Delst kept his eyes on E for a moment, proceeded to weigh his options. "He's not fighting at full power either...he's hiding so much power behind that disheveled appearance..."

E leapt back, charging his weapon with black flames as wings of flame erupted from his back. With a simple command, the wings flapped ablaze, sending an enormous burst of fire Delst's way, aiming to knock him away.

Delst waved his hands, utilizing his own fire magic to bend the fire to his will, dispersing it in a brilliant orange and red light show. "E...why are you doing this?" Delst asked, not relaxing his guard but glaring at the man. "We've done nothing to you, my wife, my son, nor I. I normally would not even fight in this manner, I prefer peace. What drives you to interfere with innocent lives like this!?"

E simply replied, "It's destiny. Your son is destined to change the world known as Earth Land. There is no other choice."

"Don't give me that kind of bullshit." Delst snapped, and he was sure Palmer had flinched for a moment; he rarely spoke in this way. "To speak about fate as if it controls your actions is the words of a weakling, someone who has already resigned themselves to fate." He ran his hands through his spiky mop of black hair, casting an icy glare at E. "And for that to have happened, you have to have seen more than anyone, lost enough to make you finally lose your mind. I can read you so easily, and yet none of this gives you the right to act like the world is already yours!"

E responded, "It's simply destiny. Your son is destined to change the world, and for all intents and purposes, a chosen child, one decided by fate to take ahold of the current state and make Earth Land more fortunate. My will is absolute. I am always correct in my predictions."

"I'm not quite sure if you're aware how childish you sound." Delst replied, taking a stance. "The world isn't yours to toy with...and neither is my son! He's going to become something great, by shaping destiny with his own hands!" Delst focused on drawing in magic from the Source once more, and the wound at his side began to patch up and heal as if by stitching; regeneration. Delst breathed, and felt energy flow through him. "Let's begin your destruction with a little...creation." Delst placed his hands onto the ground, and began to feel his energy surge as he channeled it deep into the ground. From here, the ground began to crack, and break, and trees began to erupt, rising high into the sky for miles. Delst was creating a forest.

Palmer just couldn't understand this man at all. Which was completely natural. He was too deep for anyone, supposedly. "Keh, what a child...why on earth doesn't he just change the damn world himself if he's willing to screw over lives like that."

E could hear all of this, shouting, "You simply don't understand. The world needs a big, sudden change! And your son will be the one to set it in motion!" He braced himself for the oncoming forest by igniting his weapon in black flames.

Delst took another deep breath. Many Espers could rely on life energy and manipulate it, either creating a large display of flora, as he had done now, or using it to bolster his abilities. By creating this forest, he was creating a field where he had the advantage. What's more...his eyes focused directly on E. He could feel this man's shockingly strong life force. The heat, the surging power of it. He could also feel desire, deep within E's soul, a desire for change. And...somewhere, hidden inside...sadness? And perhaps desperation? Delst blinked briefly. What was this man?

E spun his weapon around, fanning the black flames outwards, hoping to set the forest manifested in front of him alight so that Delst's advantage would be eliminated. In the meantime, E leapt high into the air, gathering and condensing more flames of shadow, condensing it around his weapon. After a few moments, E swung his weapon forward, unleashing a positively enormous arc-shaped blast of black flames, aiming to eliminate the entire forest in a single attack.

Delst began to mold flames, merging them with his own powerful life energy, creating a unique form of white flame, whirling a sphere between his palms. "Not this time." With a graceful thrust, he ejected the flames from his palms, white and black clashed in the air, and the flames proved to be equal in strength, cancelling each other out, leaving Delst and E free to stare each other down. " gone!" He raised a hand towards E, focusing his mind now on the man's inner energies, willing them to condense and surge, attempting to create a void deep within the man's body.

In an instant, E was immediately torn apart by the chaotic swelling within his body. For a second there, it seemed as if he had imploded and left to be nothing but ashes, but on closer appearances, he had survived. "That's quite a cheap trick. Luckily..." E appeared next to his duplicate, which was suddenly incinerate. "That is also a replication." He had used the Projection Ring.

"Quite the cheap trick..." Delst repeated. "This, coming from the man wielding rings like those." Delst took a breath, trying to focus. He was quickly beginning to see this man was going to prove difficult, and trying to get him to talk was impossible. Delst placed his hand onto the ground, and began to manipulate the trees within his newly created forest, speeding up the production and bearing of fruit within a specific tree. Delst proceeded to pick the fruit, and looked up at E. "I wonder how you'll deal with this." He picked more of the fruit, and suddenly, they transformed into large, bat-like creatures with white masks covering their skulls, and bodies that looked as hard as stone. "Go!" Delst ordered, the creatures roared, before taking flight, lifting themselves into the air and baring their fangs as they charged down E.

E quickly swung his weapon around as it remained in flames, launching wave after wave of fire at the automatonic literal-fruit-bats that shot towards him at the speed of a bullet. Swinging wildly, E aimed to erase the surroundings as well as his attackers.

The bats were easily hit by the oncoming attacks, exploding in a manner that absorbed the brunt of the attack, protecting the forest but still creating a large blast in the air. Delst, taking the smokescreen as his advantage, leapt into it, before leaping out of it just as quickly, confronting E in mid-air by summoning a large, skeletal hand and smashing it down onto the man with great power.

E was blown back- the skelletal hand put a lot of pressure on his body, smacking him down to the ground with a mighty explosion. Smashed down to the earth, E quickly stood up- unleashing wings of flames from his back, he threw his weight forward towards Delst, scythe-flute aimed forwards.

Delst outstretched his hand, catching the blade of the scythe within his palm, and jerking E forward. "I've adjusted to the edge of your weapon when you cut me before. It won't pierce my skin again." With surprising force, Delst spun in the air, dragging E along with him before he left him fly, shooting E off towards several thick-trunked trees.

E slowly, but barely, managed to regain his footing- truth be told, Delst was an opponent who certainly had the advantage against him- somebody that he couldn't beat unless he released his full power; his origin. However, if he did that, there was not much chance that he could revert back to his former state. Hissing like a snake, E discarded his weapon, suddenly darting forward with his hand aimed towards Delst's head. "Divide."

Delst leapt back, weaving in and out of E's sweeping motions, his eyes following the man's movements perfectly, not missing a beat. "You're holding back I see. You won't make any headway like that." Delst ducked as E's hand swept over him again. and slashed his blade upwards towards E's currently outstretched arm, aiming to cut the hand off at the wrist.

E's arm was cleaved off effortlessly, however, something went very, very wrong. From his stump, a black dragon's head emerged- complete with maddened, crimson eyes, blood dripping from its mouth. Truth be told, this was a hint at his true nature. The dragon head snarled at Delst, suddenly shooting towards him with the speed of a bullet, aiming to brutalize him viciously.

"Just as I thought...he must be..." However, Delst didn't have time to complete this that, he quickly leaned his body to the left, the head whizzing straight past him. Delst knew, however, that it would make a round right back, he had to end this quick. "This time, E...playtime is over." Delst's energy erupted in a fury, shooting upwards, and then it began to condense, and solidify into a large, towering shape that loomed over E. The manifestation took the form of a giant, specter-like figure, with its mouth obscured. Covering it's head is a large, veil-like attachment, with what appear to be several holes, as well as a large, pillbox-like adornment at the top of it's head. It also has four plated arms, two of which wield it's blades. In fact, it's appearance could be compared with Death himself.

E looked up at the demonic figure, his teeth bared. It seemed that he couldn't get out of this one- Delst had bested him in every way. E seemingly merely resigned himself to his fate, and waited for the being to attack him...

All four arms rose into the air, and magic formed within their palms, and it condensed and elongated into swords. "Your time is done." Delst replied, and the arms swung the blades down towards E.

All of a sudden, the demonic statue looming over E began to dissipate- any and all dangers were drying up in front of him. It seemed that whatever connected the demon to this plane of existence had vanished completely.

"What the...!?" Delst looked upward, as if trying to find a source of the sudden loss of the specter. "My's depleting!" His own magic was still there, however, he couldn't connect to the Source, which was needed for that summoning — and worse, the sudden disconnect had ripped more than half of his own power from him, exhausting the man. "What just happened?"

While he himself was surprised, E immediately took the opportunity to dart in, aiming his weapon straight towards Delst's chest, stabbing him straight through both of his hearts instantly.

Pain ripping through his body, Delst spat up blood as he felt his hearts ripped in two. Just for a moment, he'd let his guard down. And in that moment, E took the chance he'd needed. Delst fell to his knees, his breathing heavily. "Dammit...E...." His eyes began to glint. " E!!!!!!!" Delst roared into the heavens as his eyes glinted once more, his magical energy surging. "I will not let you do as you please! This world — and my family — are not yours to control!! I will ensure he's free, free to shape his own destiny! You will not stand in the way!" Focusing his remaining life energy into the ground, the forest began to run wild, overgrowing as the trees themselves were fashioned into Delst's weapons, and all of them were converging on one single point — where Delst and E stood. "Let's go out, E, together!"

E quickly flared his magical energy up to form a slight barrier- attempting to shield himself from the attack....Only barely surviving the bombardment with that barrier of solar energy. However, he was still grievously wounded- it seemed that he could possibly pass on at an inopportune moment. "...I don't believe that I survived that encounter."

At the corner of his eye, E noticed somebody else, pointing a gun at him.

"Hey, baboon-face, it's time for you to jump on a tree and swing the hell outta here."

E frowned, struggling with the pain of his wounds. "True...I suppose a tactical retreat is best." Donning his strange baboon cloak once more, E cast Palmer a look. "Make no mistake. With Delst gone, the path to the boy is open. You cannot keep me at bay forever either, Palmer. Your time is limited." With those words, E vanished in a strange, swirling darkness, leaving Palmer by the body of his friend.

Palmer ignored the man's words, running over to Delst's body in shock. Truth be told, he'd get this man back no matter what. Hoisting Delst's body into his arms, he solemnly began to return to Chisuzu's house, to inform them of the absolutely crushing turnout.

"Mama! I can catch you" The sound of laughter could be heard inside the LaHote household as Chisuzu and her son were romping about once more. The young, orange-haired child was full of energy; it was as if nothing was wrong as he pounced on his mother, giggling madly like he'd just won a game.

Palmer, without any tact (not like he could in this situation) knocked on the door. "Chisuzu, I'm back..." He was tempted to just turn away and never come back to spare her from the pain of losing her husband.

Chizusu went to open the door...and her mind went blank at the sight of it. "..."

"Mama!" Jason called out from the other room. "Mama, where'd you go?" He hadn't gotten up yet, he was obviously waiting for her to come back.

"...What happened...?" Those were the only words that Chisuzu could utter without her losing her breath and fainting, still in shock.

"...That son of a bitch got him. Stay on your toes, he's gonna go after Jason next. However, I'm here. I'm going to safeguard you both." Palmer's eyes were hidden behind his glasses.

"Mamaaaaa!" Jason's voice was frustrated now, and the noise of small feet hitting the ground could be heard as the boy rushed towards the door. "Mama, where are-" He then stopped dead in his tracks, looking at the bloody, mangled figure of his father that rested on Palmer's shoulder. "Papa! What happened to you!?" Jason rushed over towards Palmer, shaking his leg, trying to reach Delst.

Palmer replied bluntly, "He's dead."

Jason blinked, confused. "Mama, what's 'dead'?" The boy looked up at his mother, his eyes searching for answers. "Why did he say Papa was 'dead', what is 'dead'?"

Chisuzu cast her son a very gentle look, before taking him into her arms. "It means...they won't be coming back."

Silence. Cool air. And...floating?

" I?" It was Delst. He was floating in the sky, simply...moving along. "How did I get here?" He opened his eyes, and saw a blue-green sky and white clouds as far as his eyes could see. " this place?"

"This is..." A loud voice bellowed. "This is the source of all magic in this world. And you, Delst LaHote, are bound to create a new the next universe." The Source of Magic began to glow brightly, as it surrounded Delst.

"Wait, what's going on?" Delst seemed slightly panicked. He already had no idea where he was, or, even worse, who he was, and now something was happening that he couldn't comprehend. "What are you about to do?"

"The Source of Magic is about to send you to Earth Land; reincarnating you in a brand-new form so that you can shape history." The mysterious voice responded softly, continuing, "Are you ready?"

"No, not really." Delst replied, however, the voice obviously did not heed him. His consciousness faded into darkness...only to wake up lying on soft grass. His eyes snapped open as he looked around once more. "Where am I...?" For the third time, confusion overtook Delst as he looked around a new environment.

Delst had arrived in Earth Land.


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