Chapter 0:

The Chaos of the End

Harmony Committee: I Will Protect Your Happy Life

We had gone so far. We survived thirty or so hellish years in an apocalypse of unfathomable proportions, and traversed many battlefields to reach the final one… Finally, we had reached the space of infinite potential—a space of pure white from which all realities sprang out.

And now, of all my allies, I was the only one that stood. Just a beat-up Sage with his wooden staff in hand. But all wasn’t lost just yet.

It was there—I was so close. The NEXUS—a giant and glowing blue core made of hundreds of hexagonal panels. It was an extra-dimensional fixture—one that controlled the reality of a world. If I could just reach the NEXUS, I would be able to rewrite our reality. But between me and the NEXUS was the Final Boss of this round.

She, a diabolical silver-skinned woman, with her white hair in tight braids that fell over her shoulder and chests, was standing on top of the seven corpses she had gathered, ‘staring’ down at me. Her eyes were covered by a black cloth, but she had a long scar across her forehead that seemed to cut into her right eye. A small nose sat above her lips, sharp and pointed. Her mouth was lined in a cocky grin and two thin fangs protruded from them. She wore a tight-fitting black lace dress, which hugged her body perfectly. The dress’s chest area was cut open revealing the insides of her breasts as they hung beneath. The bottom of her dress warped into a mass of swirling and writhing black, obscuring her lower body.

Sevelrium The Believer--my final enemy as the Final Sage; it all came down to this.

She laughed at me. “Gaia’s Final Sage, Venta! It’s over! The long battle is over!”

It had been a long battle, both the one that was unfolding and the one that took us here over the span of thirty years.

“Your allies are dead!”

She was right. My seven allies were before my eyes and beneath her heels. Lysa’s Grand Knight and Grand Champion, Timaeus’s Sword Saint, Lorel’s Chantmaster and Storm King, Gardaroc’s Guru, and Paradisio’s Angel of the End—she had managed to kill all of them, and each of them died protecting another.

Sevelrium sneered. “All that’s left is you.” Her nose wrinkled with disgust. “And you weren’t all too impressive. I almost feel pity over these fools who did so much to shield you.”

Yeah, five of the seven died protecting me. That fact wasn’t lost on me, but that was why we were going to win.

Sevelrium extended her hand to me. “Come to me, Venta, and let’s end your futile struggle. I will give you a painless death.”

She was referring to her power—Mercy. If one gave up and let her lay hands on them, their life would instantly be snuffed out. She said it would be a blissful demise, but given that no one who experienced it could vouch for her…

Still, I walked toward her, my eyes cast toward my feet.

She sounded happy. “Good… Good, Venta. If they were all like you, so much heartache and pain could have been avoided…”

Who would ever want to give up in the face of evil? There was no other way. They died because they had to try.

“Here, Venta. Allow me to put my hand on you.”

I felt the weight of her hand on my shoulder.

“Venta, release yourself onto me—mmfgh—”

I drove my golden fist straight into her left cheek and got that pathetic sound out of her.

“You’re an idiot if you thought I’d just keel over and die!” I roared, unable to hide my anger any longer.

The energies infused into my fist propelled her off the pile of corpses and made her skip across the white floor like she was a rock hitting a pond.

“Sevelrium, heed my words—the fight begins NOW. Only one of us is walking away!”

Sevelrium levitated herself back onto her feet, her left hand on her left cheek. Her panting was reaching my ears. Below her hand, golden light was leaking out.

“What is this?” she muttered.

The light changed and turned into a burst of fire that pushed her hand off with its propulsive force. She let out a shrill scream as fire danced on her cheek.


Another explosion went off on her face, but this time, it was produced by the burst of ice that had sprung out from within the flames. She let out a shrill scream again as the spot I struck was covered in skin-destroying ice.

“What did you do?!” she barked.

Gold cracks appeared along the surface of the ice, and with the sound of shattering glass, the ice ruptured, sending shards into her face. In the place of the ice came the flames once more, their heat searing the left side of her face.

She acted quickly and tried to put it out with water magic, but the flames were still going strong. They kept going until the ice returned with a thunderous boom.

“Why can’t I put it out—”

“You can thank my friends for that, Sevelrium.”

She squealed and whimpered when she realized I was inches from her face. I drove my fist into her gut and blasted her away with the golden energy enveloping me. She flew into the air, her stomach bursting into the same phenomenon that was destroying her face.

I pointed my hand at her. She was too unfocused because of the pain. Thanks to that, I could exert my influence on her. An invisible line connected her and me and I jerked my hand downward. Her body stiffened up in response, and she plummeted toward the ground like a meteor.

She let out a scream that drowned out the sound of her body hitting the white floor. White magic dust blew out from the impact, slightly obscuring her. Didn’t matter though, I knew where she was. I made a beckoning gesture with my fingers and her body came flying out toward me like she had been yanked over by an invisible giant’s hand.

I stopped her short of my face and I ripped off her blindfold as her body trembled. I took my right hand and pried open her left eye, revealing the pitch black eyeball.

“I’m going to unleash mayhem on you now.”

I smashed her left eye with my fist and cursed it to suffer the cycle of fire and ice that the other parts of her body were suffering. That strike sent her away again, screaming, as she struggled to wrestle control of her body away from me.

“HOW?!” she howled. “How is this happening—No!” She jerked her head to her left to see me flying along with her.

Sacrifice, Sevelrium,” I said before smashing her into the floor again with my fist.

“Raah!” she roared as she turned into black smoke and shot away from me and back toward the corpses.

“I don’t know if you can do it, but I’m not letting you defile them any more.”

I pointed my hand toward my dead allies and twisted my hand. They disappeared from the spot right as Sevelrium reached them and appeared behind me. “

I’m Gaia’s Final Sage, Sevelrium. I have a mastery over this space too.” I twisted my hand. “Don’t worry. I have something for you.”

Just for my good friend Sevelrium, chains of light sprang out from the thin air and pierced the smoke until her physical form coalesced back into existence.

“What is happening?” she screamed, her voice as distorted as her magic-afflicted kept exploding and rupturing. “You weren’t this capable earlier! What happened?!” The beautiful woman that never seemed to sweat—her face was contorted by the spectre called rage. Even a howling banshee was prettier than her.

I held up my golden fist. “The wisemen among the humans would have called what governs this power the Law of Sacrifice—one of the cornerstone Laws of our reality… Truth is, during the previous stages of the fight, I held back.”

“You held back?!” Sevelrium let out a maniacal cackle. “You held back and let your friends die?! What kind of monster are you? You could have saved them—”

“Exactly, I could have.” I looked at her, straight-faced. She, even with the magic destroying her body fell silent. When I saw that I had her attention, I wore a self-deprecating smile. “I sacrificed my friends.”

“Bu-But what would that do?” she asked, her voice lower and more fearful than before.

“It would guarantee our victory. ‘Holding one’s power restrained, even though the people near to your heart perish. For one’s sacrifice and commitment, the restrained power, when unleashed, will transcend all that have known it before.’ That’s the plan we agreed on when we knowingly invoked the Law. In exchange for our sacrifice, their deaths have modified my powers… We could have taken a chance and just believed that all of our powers would be enough… but we knew it in the depths of our hearts. We had to go this far if we wanted to guarantee our victory. Any less and… we wouldn’t even be able to regret not doing everything we could. You wouldn’t have given us the chance.”

I could feel them behind me. Not just their corpses, but their essences—their shadows. I knew they couldn’t be there, but some part of them were still on this battlefield. IF that really was the case, then I couldn’t give them a poor show.

I glared at Sevelrium. “Their sacrifice will become the undying curse that will lead to your doom.”

Sevelrium paled as the magic on her body continued their cycles.

“This is the Final Sacrifice that needs to be made.”

I warped over to her and got in her face. “And guess what, Sevelrium?” Though her eyes were closed, I could sense her fear. The air was thick with it. “I just sacrificed my superiority by telling you about the power. I wonder what that will do…”

She let out a squeal right before I struck her.

“Nooooo!” Her right eye—the one covered by a scar sprang open. Right as my fist hit her face, a mass escaped from that eye.

It was like a black, veiny worm-parasite-thing with the way it escaped. It hit the ground a few feet away from us, and once all of its ten-foot-length escaped Sevelrium’s shriveled body, it morphed into Sevelrium again.

“Hah! Did you think I didn’t have a way out? So what if that injury is locked into my body—you can’t stop the inevitable—”

“Did you think our sacrifices were that insignificant?”

Her eyes widened as explosions burst through her body in all the spots they had been terrorizing before. Once more, she had been caught by the never-ending magic.

“How?!” she cried.

“Congratulations, Sevelrium—you have a soul after all. That’s what their curses are engraved into.”

“W-What?” She shook her head and shot up into the air as black, wispy emanations shot out from her. She grew the wings of a raven and the black tail of a lizard. A jaw full of razor-sharp teeth opened along her torso and her hair was enveloped in black flames.

“So you had one more form…”

“Do not think you can defeat me, Final Sage!”

“Too late for that, I think—”

She formed five hundred and thirty-two hungry spears—spears with mouths that could devour as well as they could skewer—and rained them down on me.

I closed my eyes and focused. “Alright. We’re in the endgame now…”

I opened my eyes moments before the spears crashed down around me and teleported to her right. She sensed me and jerked her head, but I was already completing my next move.

“Here—The Sword Saint’s Transcended Dividing Slash!” My staff was covered by the phantasmal form of a greatsword and I swung it down on Sevelrium.

She let out a scream as the sword passed through her, but when the slash was completed, Sevelrium was still physically intact. She was confused by it even, and was frantically looking at her hands.

“Despite the name,” I shot her into the floor with a force blast from my palm, “the Dividing Slash doesn’t divide your body. The transcended version divides your power.”

Sevelrium emerged from the residual magic cloud in her base form, without all the fancy emanations and additions. She was still shocked.

I snapped my fingers as I flew down and ice sprang up from the ground encasing her feet and locking her hands in icy spires. She flung her head up at me, her teeth bared.

“The Chantmaster’s Unbreakable Ice. Good luck.” I created a magic energy double of myself, one centered on me and three times the size. With that double’s massive fists following mine, I put my hands together and brought them down on Sevelrium’s head like she was a nail and I was the hammer.

“NO!” she screamed.

Two black turbine-like appendages sprouted from her back and shot fire at my double’s fists. The fire was powerful enough to hold us up. While I was there, stunned by the sight and still floating midair from within my double, I looked at Sevelrium, and did my best to analyze her.

“What the heck, Sevelrium? This wasn’t in your power set—”

“I won’t be discarded as easily as your gods discard you, Final Sage.”

I stalled for a second, but then chuckled when I remembered the story a good friend told me. “Right. Of course. This is what she was talking about—the tenacity of your side. Now that I’m seeing it… No wonder she was getting desperate… Still…”

I sprouted two new arms from my double’s back and sent them toward Sevelrium’s body at an angle that put them parallel to the ground. The two hands made contact, running themselves into her gut. I savored the sight of her choking on the black sludge she spewed.

“Have a taste of the Guru’s Transcended Repelling Palms.”

A pulse traveled down those giant arms and the moment the pulse reached Sevelrium, a thunderous boom echoed, sending out a shock wave. The Unbreakable Ice held her in place so well, that when she was sent flying by the Repelling Palms, she had done so without her arms and legs.

I followed her, propelling myself with the power of storm-force winds. The moment I caught up to her, I caught her and restrained her against a table of Unbreakable Ice.

“Here’s the Storm King’s Ultimate Storm.” Combing my own powers with the ones that came through the Law of Sacrifice, I evoked a hurricane and contained it within a ten-foot diameter sphere. It was a sphere of vicious winds and rain.

I could tell Sevelrium was crying from within it, but the howls of the winds were too loud for me to enjoy her sweet cries with my ears.

“Hmm? She’s still going…” I flew high into the sky as something happened within the sphere.

Suddenly, a black tear in reality appeared on the surface of the sphere. On the other side was a night sky. The visual itself was essentially an illusion. What mattered was the form of the one that jumped out from it.

“Raaagh!” Sevelrium yelled as her gooey and slime-like body jumped out and landed on the floor with a splash. She tried to reform herself—to reclaim her beautiful shape, but every time she did, she just collapsed in on herself and became a giant pile of sludge on the floor. A giant sludge pile that still had fire and ice taking turns ravaging her body

“Why?! Why?!” she cried, her voice guttural as she kept trying.

“Because, the damage from the Storm King’s hurricane will always stick to your body. This is the power of our sacrifice.”

She, a head on a miserable spout of slime, looked up at me. Three dozens tentacles sprouted from her head and each opened the eye on their tip. When those bulging eyes saw what was coming for her, I saw her face actually fall apart.

“Sorry to break it to you, Sevelrium, but you died so hard not even whoever is behind you can keep you alive.”

Her face was illuminated by the nine meteors that were plummeting toward her. I, myself, was amused as I rode in on one.

“Paradisio’s Transcended Judgement,” I said, unwilling to leave my last friend out of the fun.

Sevelrium, afflicted by all that came before, could do nothing but stare as the meteors touched down and engulfed her, obliterating every trace of her body.

“See you, Sevelrium. Do me the favor and stay dead,” I said from within the heavenly flames.

But not to worry, I used the Chantmaster’s Apex Barrier to protect the NEXUS. Couldn’t let that thing get destroyed just because I was letting loose.

Yeah… I stood within the flames and savored the moment. It had been such a long battle.

“Please just stay dead, Sevelrium.”

Trip L