Dantega:Volume 8 Chapter 7

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(PART 7)

“I’m so glad we were able to catch back up with you all!” Daey shouts while waving her hand, out in the distance she can see familiar faces.

Alongside her are her sister Niera, Sora, Joan of Arc and Trojia.

“Ah, well look who it is.” Michael shouts back.

He and Napoleon are both surprised and relieved to see them all returning in one piece, especially Trojia. She was just in the throes of such a fierce battle with Messor, it’s hard to believe the princess in front of them is just casually walking towards without so much as a scratch on her face.

“My Angel! I did exactly as you asked of me. Though I’ve lost sight of the other girl, I believe she still is alive... Has thou bidding been completed? Joan asks, bowing in front of Michael as though he were a King.

“No need to be so formal, you’ve done a great job. Thanks.” Michael replied with a sigh and a strained face.

“So it was you who decided to interfere, huh?” Trojia asked sharply, she blows a quick puff of air out of her nose before quipping, “Can’t say I’m surprised.”

“I think even you have to know what road you’re traveling down right now. Since you were able to stop yourself from killing Messor in the end, you should be thanking me.”

Trojia shoots Michael a vicious glare before Daey steps in between the two and says, “Now now, this isn’t the time to worry about what’s already finished. I think we need to figure out how all of us are going to get out of here.”

“Well, nothing is stopping us from leaving anymore.” Michael replied, looking to Joan as if telling her to clear the way for them now that the Demons are no longer blocking their path.

Joan nods her head as though she understands exactly what he wants of her.

Napoleon scours the snowy terrain, whatever landmarks that were there earlier are now rubble and indistinguishable; there was once a massive stone castle that held the Gate, but it was ruthlessly dropped on top of Asmodeus. There’s no telling where the Gate is now, or if it’s even still intact.

“So where are we supposed to go?” Napoleon asked.

“Worry not.” Joan declares,. “If one wishes to pass through the Gate, they must go through me.”

She opens the palms of her hands, and from them, light begins to envelope her arms. It’s a swirling blue and yellow that eventually envelopes her entire form.

Everyone makes room as the light gets larger and larger until in a bright flash, two large stone pillars appear in front of her. The light that was once blinding, places itself between the pillars and reverts back to its swirling blue and yellow color.

There’s a heat emanating from the gate, and the energy it exudes seemingly fills their bodies with a static electrical feeling.

They have made it to the 4th Gate.

Even Napoleon is filled with a little emotion upon seeing their objective appear in front of them; they have been through a two year long journey since arriving in Purgatory, and many comrades have been lost on the way.

“Only one more to go after this…” Daey said, sensing the emotions exuding from the silent Napoleon.

“But…” Niera said, breaking the moment shared between all of them. “Some of us are still missing.”

“Do we even know if they’re okay? We should go help them.” Added Sora.

“May I ask how many are not present?” Joan asks, “I am equipped to find life sources here on this plain. Perhaps I can help.”

“We’re missing five.” Napoleon replied, “Rage, Tsubiri, Ubica, Messor, and Phoenix.”


A shout is heard out in the distance, gathering the attention of the entire group.

From a series of rolling snowy hills a few hundred yards away comes Tsubiri trudging through the shin high snow as if right on que; and on her back is an unconscious Rage. She’s holding his scythe, and using is as a walking stick as she gingerly walks forward carrying his weight.

Napoleon quickly runs to them and helps her carry Rage, “Is he breathing?”

“Yeah, just barely.” Tsubiri replied with a sigh, relieved to not have to lug his heavy frame any longer. “By complete accident, I happened to trip over him in the snow; then I saw a bright flash of light and came to investigate. I’m so glad it was all of you!”

Once the three join the rest of the group, and before pleasantries could even be exchanged, Trojia coolly asks, “Weren’t you with Ubica?”

Her tone of voice seemed like she was completely unworried about Rage’s condition.

Remembering what Messor just said about Trojia, and the fact that the last time the two of them spoke they had shared insults, Tsubiri is more or less awkward being in her presence.

“He sent me away to find you guys.” She takes a deep breath, looks at them all resolutely and finishes, “He wants us to leave him behind.”

“Not this situation again!” Daey shouts, “We’re all here now, we can help him win his fight and we can all go together!”

She remembers the last time at the 3rd Gate when they left Ubica behind to fight Michael, it resulted in spending months apart from each other not knowing whether he was alive or not. Her face is hot with frustration at the thought of making the same mistake twice.

“No, this is what he wants us to do. We can’t go back and interfere.” Tsubiri quietly replies, as if not wanting her tone to sound too forceful.

Daey, feeling frustrated and stubborn, simply cannot see why their group wouldn’t go help the last one of them still fighting; she’s seen how strong Trojia, Joan and Michael are firsthand, and there’s even a lot the rest of them can do if they all join forces. Ubica is only fighting one Demon after all, it seems like an easy win to her.

“I’m not leaving him behind again.” she said with fists clenched.

Covering her heart with her hand to emphasize her point, Tsubiri looks into Daey’s eyes and says, “Trust me, I want nothing more than to stay and fight, just being here while I know what kind of monster he’s up against is taking all of my will power… but he promised me that he’ll be okay, and I promised him I’ll find you all and take you to the next level.”

Daey still struggles to agree to such a reckless plan; with pleading eyes she looks to Trojia as though she would be the one who’d be most against this idea.

Trojia simply stays silent, purses her lip and looks away. To Trojia, she feels she has no right to make any decision regarding Ubica, despite what she’s now capable of doing to help him. The last time they were in this position, it was Trojia who lied and convinced everyone to leave him, despite knowing that he may die. She’s suffering from the guilt of such a wretched action even now after all she’s been through.

Daey then looks to the rest of the group with those same eyes, prompting strained looks from everyone present.

It’s then that the silence is broken by Napoleon.

“I trust Ubica, but we should help.”

Daey is overcome with relief, she feels that if Napoleon agrees, the rest will follow.

And sure enough, the next person to agree makes their opinion known.

“Me too, I want to help him.” Sora declares.

Following her is Strauphius, “I’m in!”

Niera raises her hand, signifying her agreement with the now majority opinion.

As if they were dominos, one by one each of them look to the next to see who will join in next.

Joan, not one to miss an opportunity at helping someone in need, makes a powerful hand gesture and says, “You have my sword and banner.”

Michael sighs and smiles before saying, “At first I thought there wasn’t any room for us on his battlefield, but since we’ve all somehow managed to make it through our own fights alive to this point, it’s time we end this.”

“Alright!” Daey shouts, full of energy from each and every one of their fighting spirit. “Let’s go!”

“No!!” Tsubiri yells, breaking their moment of comradery with a thunderous rejection. “We’re not going to go back. We’re going through that Gate because that’s what he wants!”

Her forceful voice doesn’t correlate with her gaze fixed down at the snowy ground under her furrowed brow; it’s as though she’s unable to look at any one of them as she makes her stand. She’s never been put in a position where she has had to assert herself like this in her entire life. Always having been either a push over or a servant to those more powerful than her as a Royal Guard, this is a completely new side of her that she didn’t even know she had. In front of her are Princesses, a General, an Archangel and a Gatekeeper, and she’s just flat out told them they can’t do what they want.

The others are all surprised by this as well, the way she spoke is as if she knows so much more than what they know about the situation with Ubica’s battle. With the tone in her voice, it is conveyed that there is a specific reason why Ubica wants them to leave him behind, and she’s not going to let them get in the way of that no matter how righteous their intentions are.

However, Daey is not one to bend easily, she’s about to argue her point of view once more when a voice suddenly comes from behind the group.

“Tsubiri is right.”

Everyone turns towards the source of the voice to find Phoenix Navarra leaning up against the stone pillar of the gate with his arms folded over his chest.

“My Lord!” Michael quickly falls to his knees and kneels in his presence.

This prompts a confused Joan to look back and forth between her kneeling Angel and the man he’s bowing to; without much extra thought, she kneels as well. If this person is who Michael says he is, she’s in the presence of her one and only Christ for the first time in her long life.

“Ah Michael, I see you survived your fight with Ubica. To think that you’d end up helping him in the end, I must say that I didn’t foresee that outcome.”

Phoenix puts his hand on Micheal’s shoulder and urges him to return to his feet; he then looks to Joan and says, “There’s no need to take a knee for me. You may stand.”

Joan stands and gazes upon him in astonishment. This is the person she has worshiped for so many years, standing in front of her alongside one of the very Angels that guided her through life and helped her produce the many miracles back on Earth. The two in front of her are the reasons she was willingly burned at the stake for. In front of her are her reasons to exist, she’s overcome with emotion.

“My Lord, oh how I’ve longed to meet you.”

“You’ve done good here, I commend your determination to fulfil God’s wishes. Time must’ve moved slow for you while guarding the Gate after all these years.”

“It has been an honor to serve. I would happily do it again if given the choice.”

Phoenix’s eyebrow twitches unconsciously, going unnoticed by the others when he replies, “If given a choice, huh? What if I told you that you are now free from your duties? What would you choose to do then?”

Joan looks surprised, and doesn’t know how to answer that, she’s never once even thought about life outside her duties as a Gatekeeper. “My lord… I don’t understand.”

“I’m saying that you’re free to do as you please. You now have a choice to fulfill whatever role you want.”

Joan looks to Michael as though wanting his opinion; little does she know that until just recently, he was guarding the Gate on the third level. God gave him free will to seek his revenge against Ubica, and now Jesus is giving her free will to live a life separated from the duties of Heaven. It’s a big moment for her, and wanting what’s best for his beloved child of the Earth, he smiles and pats her on her shoulder.

“Congratulations Joan, this is a new beginning for you.”

“But… I don’t know what this means. With no words of your desires, what direction am I supposed to take?” Joan asks.

It seems to dawn on her that what these two are saying is actually quite the scary proposition. She’s always followed the commands of Michael and the Angels, ever since she was a living girl; it was always said that it was God’s will, and once she found herself at the gates of Heaven she was then commanded to guard the 4th Gate. She has never once had a free will of her own, so she’s terrified of the prospect of a directionless existence.

Michael can’t answer that question for her, in the end, he was following his line of command down to her since the beginning, so he looks to Phoenix the same way Joan looked to him for directions.

Phoenix’s eyebrow again twitches.

“There really is no difference between the two of you at all.” Phoenix said flatly. “In the end you need orders to survive, commands to find meaning, praise to find worth.”

“My Lord?”

Paying no mind to their quizzical expressions, he takes a sharp pause and shoots them a glare as though he were looking right through them before asking,

“Tell me something... what do you think of me?”

“We love you.” Michael quickly answered, his voice firm with that answer despite the sudden change of subject.

It almost caught Phoenix off guard just how smoothly Michael said that.

“Love? Is that what this is?”

Phoenix turns away from the two of them, stares out towards the rest of his onlooking comrades and stops his gaze upon Strauphius, who is tenderly leaned on one knee next to Aria; she is still unconscious and even Phoenix can see just how concerned he is.

“You know, as of late I’ve found myself pondering the very definition of what love is. I’ve seen many varieties of it from so many different people throughout my life. I’ve even seen so much of what love is supposed to be from everyone here over these last couple years.”

Phoenix walks up to Aria and leans down, pressing his hand on her shoulder.

“Take a step back, Strauphius.”


Not quite sure what’s happening, he complies and makes room for the two of them.

Within an instant, Aria’s eyes open and she springs up from her back, full of vigor.

“Eh?” She jolts, looking around at everyone peering down on her. The whole gang's here, the familiar faces she had just fought so hard to protect are standing safely on every side of her; she doesn’t have much time to think about how or why, but she’s suddenly filled with the desire to stand.

“Aria!” Strauphius shouts in excitement, he quickly rushes back to her side, helping her to her feet.

“I’m so glad you’re okay, I was so worried.”

Somehow, someway, Strauphius manages to express even his most serious emotions in a comedic manner; he seems to almost purposely be over dramatic in order to lighten the weight of the very serious fear he was feeling up to this point.

To Aria, this lightens her heart; even though her promise to Luke was left unfulfilled with Xavier’s death, she’s grateful for this wonderful twin brother she still has by her side.

Napoleon, like the others who have been silent onlookers of this spectacle despite their relief to see Aria up and moving, looks to the priest. He and Phoenix have spent many years at each other’s side, but he has never once suspected Phoenix was anything more than a royal spiritual advisor. To see Joan and Michael bow to him, treat him as though he were a God and to see him heal and revive Aria to full strength is a shock.

These things aren’t lost on the others who made their travels through Purgatory with Ubica’s group. Tsubiri, Stauphius and Aria would have no idea who this person truly is, they barely even know who he is supposed to be.

Though Trojia never travelled with Phoenix, she spent 3 years of her life watching the events of he and Ubica’s past leading up to the Apocalypse; she almost feels as though she’s reunited with a ghost of her own past.

“Thank you!” Strauphius shouts, putting his hands together and bowing his head in gratefulness. “Thank you thank you thank you!”

Seemingly unmoved by the sudden outpour of genuine gratitude, Phoenix bluntly says, “This kind of love is too easy.”

He then turns to Michael and gestures.

“What I want to see now is… genuine..”

Phoenix’s gesture moves towards Strauphius, and in that moment a little ball of fire forms from the center of his chest and immediately grabs his attention.

“Uwaah!?” he yelps as he instinctively falls back.

Using his gloved hands he attempts to pat the little fire down against his chest, but instead of killing it, the fire simply sticks to his hands and lights the fabric of his gloves on fire.


His yelp turns to panicked fervor as the flames grow so quickly it seemingly combusts his torso and arms in flame.


“Stauphius!!” Aria shouts in a wretched pitch.

The others all jump to attention, their widened eyes fixated on the flammable sight in front of them. But before they could act with any rational thought, a voice is heard ringing from within the very deepest depths of their bodies.

“Be still… the Power of Christ compels you.”

Frozen in position, looking onwards at the flame, all of them become stuck in their bodies. They can think, breath, smell, and see; but they can’t move. Each of them are battling confusion and horror upon realizing their sudden condition; none of them have ever felt more helpless and vulnerable in their lives.

Between the heat of the ever growing flames in front of them, the smell of the smoke, the sound of the screams, the sight of their comrade in agony, and the threat of the only other moving presence near them, what they are experiencing is a nightmare.

“Michael…” Phoenix says while walking in slow circles around the burning Strauphius. “This is familiar to you, isn’t it?.”

As soon as Phoenix spoke his name, Michael is able to move once more; though he is so much in shock that it’s doubtful he could move even if he wanted to. He can only stand there, mouth agape as Phoenix stands between him and his writhing comrade.


Strauphius’s screams reach fever pitch as the flames reach his face and set his hair ablaze; second by second, the damage done leads him closer to his end. Shortly after his head is lit on fire, the oxygen is sucked out of his lungs and is replaced with smoke and carbon dioxide. The pain in his melting face begins to dissipate as his body loses the strength to move any longer; a few seconds after this he suffocates to death and lays motionless on the ground in a burning heap.

This young comrade of the last two years has died; and everyone was forced to watch and taste every second of it.

The dreams of this young man burned into the Purgatory snow along with the remnants of his charred body. Phoenix’s flames will burn until there is nothing left of the existence of this thief turned trusted friend of Ubica, Napoleon, and even Rage.

Soon there will be nothing left of the beloved twin brother of Aria.

And she would have watched it all unfold as the world she has woken up to has left her devastated.

As soon as the flames settle and what remains of Strauphius’s ashes blow away in the wind, Aria can feel her muscles reactivate; and the first thing she does is vomit.

She had just finished breathing in the smoke of the flames burning her now dead twin brother, and the lingering flavor of the smoke of his flesh made her feel like her heart would stop in convulsion.


The tragic shriek of her devastation is rough to the ears.

She drops to her knees and crawls to the melted patch of snow that once occupied her brother; she clasps at every dark spot on the ground and almost greedily slides the black soil into her bosom. Each heave of her arm was more desperate to grasp at anything solid than the other. She cries and cries, bordering between moans of denial and moans of pure despair.

It gets worse and more pathetic when the soil she collected slips through her arms and falls back down; it’s as though at this moment her senses return enough to make her realize that her grasp at any part of her twin brother is truly out of reach.

With eyes tightly shut, her shoulders slump as her face raises to the sky. From her chest she lets out a dreadful cry into the cold air before collapsing on the melted ground and sobbing.

“Now this is love!” Phoenix shouts with his arms gestured outward as though he is taking the sight of Aria’s devastation all in. “I’ve seen you love like this as well Michael!”

With an open mouth shaking in disbelief, Michael can only look on in shock; his face expressing the questions rapidly shuffling through his mind.

“But I? I have never once loved like this.” Phoenix’s hands clenched into fists as his words gained fervor and base. “For you, the angels, for humanity. I recall times where I wept at your losses.”

Phoenix’s eyes seem to glow brighter as he gazes upon the huddled mass that is the grieving Aria.

“But I know that I have never truly felt what she is feeling… What it was, that loss… was for the idea of you, what my image of you was is different than what was real. Which makes me wonder… am I the same as my Father?”

“Stop!” Michael snaps out of his shock. “How can you say such blasphemy!? You and God are love! What has happened to you!?”

“I have figured out what it means.” Phoenix answers, “I know what I must do, to feel this truth.”

Michael simply can’t fathom what has unfolded in front of him, it’s very similar to how one who lived through generations in isolation would react upon seeing a new creature or a spacecraft; it’s an incalculable occurrence that the brain can’t process the existence of right away. Phoenix is the chosen one, the holiest of all below God, this child was born as the embodiment of love to bring peace to the world. Yet here he stands having just ruthlessly murdered an innocent comrade, here he is with soulless eyes speaking such terrors with an easy familiarity.

“This has to be some kind of mistake… how could you have been led astray!?” Michael says, the words almost falling from his quivering lips.

Phoenix puts his hand out to Michael, shoots him a heart-stopping glare and replies, “Michael, if you believe I have been led astray, do you still love me?.”


The Archangel can only look on in silence as though the answer to that question is too big to exit his mouth.

“Or is it the idea of me that you love?”

Phoenix walks to Michael, puts his hand on his shoulder and brings his mouth close to the angel’s ear.

“If what you feel is true, would this one action be enough to change thousands of years of affection?”

By now, Michael is questioning his very role as a being, he’s doubting what has been his truth for so many hundreds of years; the quandary in front of him has thrown a wrench in his identity.

“And if what you feel is true, would you give me what I desire from you even now?”

“You need something from me?” he shoddily replies.

“I need your light.”


“If you still love me, you’ll give me your light, just like you gave me your flame during Armageddon. If you still love only the idea of me, you’ll sacrifice your life and your light for me now.”

Confused and shaken, Michael looks to everyone around him frozen in place; his gaze reaching the crumpled form of Aria, and then turns to look at Joan of Arc.

Joan, only a few feet away, can hear this request and is aghast; even though she can’t move her body, her eyes are screaming for him to refuse.

Even she can see that the intentions behind this request are evil.

But even knowing the darkness of Phoenix’s intentions, what is he to do if Jesus Christ requests his power and his life? How can he refuse? If he does, will it mean that he has turned his back the Son of God?

This begs the question, does he truly love this man in front him? At the very least, is the idea of him still there to be cherished?

Phoenix takes a few steps back and holds out his hand, looking the angel square in the eyes he asks, “Michael, will you forsake me?”


Breathing heavily in indecision, he constantly looks back and forth between Phoenix and the rest.

“What will you do with my light?” he asks softly.

“You don’t get the luxury of that answer.” Phoenix quickly replies. “You either forsake me now, or prove that what you said is the truth.”


Michael falls to his knees and lets out a grunt of pain as though this conundrum has inflicted a mortal wound.

It takes a few moments of sharp silence before the Archangel makes his fateful decision.

He grabs Phoenix’s hand.

The two look each other in the eyes once more, their expressions in almost the opposite contrast of each other.

In this moment, Michael’s entire life seemingly flashes in his mind like movie scenes cut out from one singular giant film. The Archangel has been through so much, seen so much, felt so much; and all of it was for the sake of the person in front of him and that person’s Father. Whether it be banishing Lucifer to the Hell he created, losing to the AntiChrist and being tricked into burning his lovers Margaret and Catherine by his very own hands before becoming someone thirsting for revenge.

He has grown from the triumphs and pains of his past, only to be presented with the choice to sacrifice it all towards the unknown objective of someone he had thought could never deviate from grace.

It is most certainly a cruel fate.

“I will give it to you… because I love you. Both the idea of you, and whatever it is you are to become...” Michael said, his gaze pleading for Phoenix to use his light and his life responsibly.

“Thank you for your service to me.” Phoenix replied, not a hint of emotion on his face as he looks down on the kneeling servant in front of him.

In this moment, a light shines brightly around their clasped hands. It grows and grows until it envelops all of Michael’s frame, and then suddenly expands as though a star has exploded. For a few seconds, all that can be seen is the most brilliant white; as if the very form of reality shifted from matter to a blank slate.

Once the whiteness dissipates, the Archangel is no more, and only Phoenix is standing there looking to where Michael once was with an outstretched hand now smoking with the remnants of Michael’s existence.

The Archangel has chosen the cruelest death for himself.

“It’s just as I thought.” Phoenix says softly before his lips rise and a slight laugh exhales out of his nose. “Your feelings for me are unreciprocated.”

It’s now that everyone regains the control of their body; most of them begin coughing from the smoke of Strauphius’s burning body they were just inhaling. Joan falls to her knees in despair, her angel just sacrificed himself in front of her very eyes.

All of them have just witnessed a monumental moment. They have all just bore witness to Jesus Christ becoming a monster.

The monster, seemingly feeling triumphant, turns to them and says, “It’s time for you all to go.”

They all have questions, they are all feeling a wide range of emotions, but they can do nothing but cower in the presence of such an overwhelming threat. What was once their comrade is now this unpredictable being so powerful that his very form instills an unbearable fear. One by one in silence, they make their way to the Gate.

Phoenix makes eye contact with Daey as she passes him, she has tears in her eyes as she averts her gaze and hurriedly walks through the light of the Gate.

Niera has gently lifted Aria to her feet and guides her away from the dust of her twin brother, and past his murderer without so much as a sound. Aria, still sobbing, can’t even look anywhere else but to her hands that are still holding the charred bits of melting snow. The two of them enter the light of the Gate are now safely away from the imposing threat of annihilation.

The burden of carrying the unconscious Rage and his scythe is now on Napoleon and Sora, the two hardened soldiers of La’Juune are petrified to the point that their grips on Rage’s arms are so tight that it would likely be hurting him if he was awake. Without so much as a glance back in Phoenix’s direction, the three of them enter the light of the Gate.

Next is Tsubiri, she’s seen so much evil since arriving in Purgatory; whether it was Damien, the 7 Demons of Hell, or even bits of Dantega, the overbearing presence of Phoenix eclipses all of that. She has known Phoenix since she was a little girl, the two could even have been called friends, but the person she shakily walks past is unfamiliar and cold. She is terrified of him, but when Phoenix’s eyes follow her to the Gate, she can’t help but look into his gaze as she walks into the light of Gate. The two share a heart stopping moment until she gets through the light and leaves him behind.

Next is Joan, who really had to struggle with the sudden unravelling of her life. Strong as ever, she somehow is able to pick herself up off the ground and walk into the very Gate she has been protecting for so long.

Before entering, and with her back turned to Phoenix, she asks, “My entire life... was it really all for naught?”

“Yes.” he smoothly answers.

Joan clicks her tongue and her shoulders stiffen, with that, the banner she has cherished for so long appears in her tightly clasped hand.

‘Jhesus Maria’

Without so much as a parting look of reverence, she tosses her banner into the snow and spits onto the ground in its direction as though cursing both the banner and the person it represents.

She then walks into the Gate and leaves her life’s work behind her.

Last is Trojia, the only person in the group who knows Phoenix’s path towards this transformation the most. She spent three years watching the events unfold leading to Armageddon, she has seen him weep for the loss of his comrades, despair over his loss to the Antichrist, and mourn over the lives of simple humans. She can’t understand how that righteous man could become this monster before her; but even she can’t handle being in his presence.

She wants nothing more than to get away from him.

She walks to the Gate, but before passing him she asks, “Why are you letting us go? Why would you not kill us?”

Phoenix smiles and answers, “Shouldn’t that be obvious? It’s because you are not important.”

This answer hits Trojia like a ton of bricks.

For two years here, this group of Royals have been at the center of every outside action; whether it be the world they left behind, or the Demons trying to keep them from returning. They were the main characters in the arch of this story, and seemingly everything revolved around them.

What Phoenix is now telling her is that they no longer matter, they’re simply foreign bystanders to the real story of the world. She can’t help but feel left behind.

And if that is the case, what is the real story now?

When she walks through that Gate, what will happen to the world she leaves in her wake?

The thought of her role in all this amounting to nothing strikes her to her very core.

She grits her teeth and swallows the bitter pill of his words, after a short pause she walks into the light of the Gate.

With that, the group has made it to the 5th level of Purgatory at long last, one final step away from making it home.

Phoenix laughs, it’s as though he is amused by his solitude; he turns his back to the Gate and looks out towards the sounds of explosions out in the distance, he can sense the energy of the two all the way from here. While all of this was going on, there is still one last battle raging between Ubica and Leviathan, and it looks as though he has every intention to interfere in it.

The question isn’t just how he is going to do that, there is also the question of why.

What is Phoenix’s objective now that he has gained so much power?

“Oh Ubica, my dearest brother… aren’t you tired of fighting for them? I think it’s time we change that.”

Right after asking a question no one but he can hear, a presence is suddenly felt behind him coming from the Gate.

“Eh?” A girl’s confused voice is heard. “W-Why am I back here?”

Phoenix turns around with a wicked smile, he was expecting the company of this girl and was waiting for her return.

“Welcome back, Tsubiri.”

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