Only one part after this. Wow.
The sound of the sword hitting Serafinâ€™s claws echoed through the cavern. She squeezed, and it collapsed, dozens of cards spiraling into the air and floating towards the ground. The Conduit stepped backwards in shock. â€œImpossible. You did not see!â€
â€œYou always dealt in impossibilities, Isidoros.â€ Serafin rose to her feet, her mind swimming with sudden knowledge and alien understanding, struggling to fit itself into concepts that she could process properly. â€œYou define your existence by them.â€
The Conduitâ€™s lips curled. â€œYou are wrong, Gaia. I understandâ€¦â€
â€œNothing.â€ Serafin stepped forwards, and the Conduit retreated, snatching cards out of the air and throwing them at her. She batted each one aside. â€œYou think Creation is a dead world, following simple laws and ordered by our whims. But Creation is not dead.â€ She smiled, then, filled with memories that were her own and anotherâ€™s, of times before she existed. â€œCreation is alive. It breathes. It doesnâ€™t think, but it feels.â€ She laughed lightly. â€œCreation is not a process, Conduit of Isidoros. It never was. Creation is a story. And you have trespassed against it.â€
â€œNo!â€ The Conduitâ€™s voice was a roar, and as she twisted and shifted, muscles bulging and form twisting into that of a massive man-boar, with black wings and a lizardâ€™s tail, he shrieked his defiance. â€œYou want it to be that, Gaia! But it will not be! It cannot be!â€ Cards flew in a storm towards Serafin, who set herself into position. Her claws flashed, and each card was sliced neatly in two, fluttering down to settle on the black rock.
Serafin felt her own perspective returning, as Gaia and Isidoros warred for control of the reality around her. â€œIâ€™m sorry, but youâ€™ve wasted your chance. You could have seen the world as it is, through the eyes of your Conduit, but you chose to see it as you want it to be. All of you have. I canâ€™t let you open that gate.â€
â€œYour intent does not matter to me!â€ The monster charged forwards, its rage driving it.
â€œWhich is why you will lose.â€ Serafinâ€™s voice was simple, the sentence spoken without inflection, and she shifted just slightly. As the monster barreled forwards, she dropped down, stabbing upwards as she kicked out. For a moment, she hovered in the air, and then her legs struck home, and the beast flipped over her, trailing blood as it sailed down the hallway and crashed to the ground. Serafin flipped back to her feet, catapulting towards it. â€œWhich is why, to be honest, youâ€™d lost before you even stepped in here. How can you control Creation if you canâ€™t even understand it?â€
â€œWe wonâ€™t need to understand it. It will be what we demand of it.â€ The Conduit struggled up, but his voice was weak. His form collapsed into that of a young boy, his tattoos shining with the darkness of the sky as his anima gathered around him.
â€œIt never would. That was why the Incarna fought you, all those millennia ago. Gaia hoped you might understand that one day.â€ Serafin sighed, and her claws stabbed downwards. When the came up, a moment later, they were stained with blood. â€œI donâ€™t share her optimism.â€
The tunnel was silent for a moment, as she stared down at the broken body lying at her feet. Gradually, it began to shift again, then collapsed into a formless mass of flesh, held together only by its green-silver tattoos. It shuddered once, and then went still, its anima flickering out of existence. Then, she turned to survey the other battles.
While she had been occupied with the akuma, Gaiaâ€™s power had worked its wonders on her companions as well. Ukiel lay halfway down the corridor, Gwydionâ€™s spear buried in his back. The knight was standing, but he was leaning heavily against the wall, his marvelous gossamer cloak tattered and stained with blood. Savriel was pinned to the wall by Alakazarâ€™s swords, the light gone from her eyes, a faint, slightly confused frown on her face; the lord was still holding them, turning back to look at his wife. Nash lay on the ground, near the battle site, also covered in blood. Serafin walked over and knelt by him.
â€œNash? Are you still with us?â€ She was surprised by the depth of her concern, for a moment; she had never liked him, even when he had been training Millia; his attitude was arrogant, and he was far too willing to manipulate for his own ends. But then she understood â€“ Gaia cared, for all things, and though that wouldnâ€™t prevent her from killing anyone if it was necessary, that concern was a part of Serafin. And besides, though they had not been friends, Nash had more than proved himself a firm ally today.
Nash groaned heavily, forcing his eyes open. â€œEveryâ€¦ damnedâ€¦ time.â€ He coughed up blood, and grimaced. â€œEvery time I meet a Lunar, I wind up stabbed and beaten. Argh.â€ His anima flared again, and he sat up, his wounds seeming slightly less dire. â€œThatâ€™ll have to do for the moment. Did we win?â€
â€œSomehow.â€ Alakazar smiled. â€œThe villains are gone, at least here. And Serafinâ€¦â€ He looked at her. â€œHow are you feeling?â€
â€œPerfect. Better than perfect.â€ Serafin glanced down. â€œAnd stabbed. But still. Itâ€™s likeâ€¦ like I can feel the universe. So many things make sense, now.â€
â€œSo, what next?â€ Nashâ€™s voice was still faint.
Serafin looked around the cave. â€œNext, we bury the dead. Then we will decide what is to be done.â€