Familiar Of Zero: Saving Grace

I do not own Familiar Of Zero

Hello again to everyone reading my story, and thank you to the people that have left me reviews.

*Action*

"Dialogue"

'Inner thoughts'

{Other Inner Voice}

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Chapter Seventy-Seven

Out Of Time

"Am I dead?"

"Did I destroy the world?"

"Did my mind fade from existence?"

Amidst the darkness, he can hear the sound of his heart pounding and every breath he takes.

All of a sudden, he hears a voice, a boy's voice.

"Neeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr."

'What the heck?'

A young boy comes into view. He is wearing typical commoner's clothing, has brown hair, and blue eyes with silver mixed in them. The young boy, whom seems to be about 8, is running around with his arms stretched out at either side like he was an airplane. He makes the airplane sound again.

"Neeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr."

Saito furrows his eyebrows in confusion.

"Hello?" He says to the boy.

The boy stops by him. He now realizes that he is still on the ground, but untied.

He tries to move with utter failure, except for his head.

"Hey, mister?"

He draws his attention back to the boy.

"That's a pretty cool plane you flew."

"Um. Thank you."

The kid begins running around again acting like a plain. He does this around Saito a couple of times.

"Who are you?"

The child giggles.

"I'm the spirit of time. Although, you might like the term 'father time' a little better."

"Huh?"

The boy stops running by Saito's left side and stares down at him.

"I suppose that my looks are probably throwing you off. Children have the best view on life. I suppose that you would expect father time to look something like this."

Just as he finishes his sentence, the boy grows taller, becomes more aged, and grows a rather long white beard. His clothes also shift to white robes.

'Now he looks like Gandalf.' Saito muses as he does a double take.

A curious question comes to his mind.

"I didn't think that there was a . . . . "

"Spirit of time." The Gandalf-looking man says as he finishes Saito's sentence.

"Well, yeah. There has only been talk of 5 elements. So, I never suspected there to be a 6th."

The old man puts his hands behind his back and shrugs.

"That's understandable." He simply says to Saito.

"Care to elaborate?"

"About what exactly? I could elaborate a lot of different things. I have all the time in the world."

Saito chuckles at the joke.

"How about the fact that there is a 6th element that nobody seems to have knowledge of."

"That is actually rather simple if you were to think about it. Void has proven to be extremely rare to find user that were tuned to it, correct?"

"Yeah."

"In fact, it was almost thought to be just a folktale to most people until you came around. So, it wouldn't be all that unheard of to think that another element existed that was so rare that you would think it didn't exist."

"And you're saying that time is that element."

He smiles at Saito as he paces around him.

"Correct. There is nothing that exists without time attached to it. Everything revolves around time. Even those that are timeless, surely began. Even in nothingness, there is still a concept of time. Think of the earth-bound spirits. They may be what you would call immortal, but they began, and are still around."

"That's a bit to wrap my head around, but I think I get it."

"Good. There actually have been other time users in the past."

"There have?"

He nods.

"Some of which you might recognize as prophets or fortune tellers."

"I thought that they were just fakes. I mean, look at the people that predicted that the four and four would stop a great calamity."

"Are you sure that prophecy is still wrong?"

Saito's eyes go wide with that declaration and he stares at the time spirit.

"Or, perhaps they read into the wrong future."

Saito furrows his eyebrows again in confusion.

"Is that even possible?"

"Why not? Someone who does not fully understand their power or cannot control it will surely have unknown results."

"I guess I can see that."

"Then, there are the people who have been killed over that power, and never to exist again."

A chill runs down Saito's spine after hearing that ominous declaration.

"Outside of the hopeful answer that I want you to give me where you are going to save my ass, what brought you to me? And, where are we?"

"I will answer your second question first. I stopped time temporarily and I have you in my own little world. As far as the second question, it's a complicated answer."

"That sums up just about everything that has happened to me since coming to this world. Care to explain?"

The old man chuckles at Saito's response. Then he re-ages himself again and transforms into a man in his 30's with a mustache and goatee.

"For one, you are the avatar of 5 spirits, that is something not to be ignored. The other reason is that you awakened."

"Actually, I thought that I was about to die."

"Well, had things continued on, you certainly would have. Then, it would be quite a terrible fate for the world. What I really meant was that you were awakening the ability to use time within yourself.

"I had that power within me?"

The man nods.

"Regretfully, it was too little and too late to do anything by yourself. I had to stop events though. It is a shame to waste a good world."

"So, why are you involving me anyways? You seem crazy powerful. Couldn't you do something about this yourself?"

"I could, but I won't."

"Huh? What do you mean 'you won't?'"

"Exactly as I said. At least, directly."

"Now you've got me confused. If you have the power, then why won't you?" He says to the spirit in a slightly more raised tone.

"I suppose a vague answer like that would cause you some aggravation. There have been times in the past where I had personally interfered with things, and then see the outcomes of such meddling."

"You sound like someone that is bitter."

The man furrows his eyebrows.

"I am. I have watched this world created and destroyed many times over. You know of the lifecycle of this planet, but I have personally watched many versions of this planet's lifecycle. Sometimes, the outcome of my meddling was worse than the original outcome. I swore that I wouldn't directly change anything anymore. This world is in dire straits right now though. I want to help this world without doing it myself."

"So, you want me to do it."

"Exactly."

"But what can I do?"

"I want to give you the opportunity, one opportunity, to save this world."

"Even the people that I love and care about?"

"Yes."

"Then, what do I have to do?"

"I wish to send your mind back in time. I will only try this once. If you screw this up, then that will be the outcome for this world. I will not do it over and over again until you get it right."

"I understand. I ac. . . . "

The man abruptly holds out his hand in a stopping motion.

"Wait." He says to Saito in a commanding voice.

"What?"

"It's not quite that easy."

"But you said."

"There are warnings and stipulations that I must tell you before you accept my offer."

Saito takes a big gulp and he now begins worrying what this may entail.

The spirit continues on.

"You will become my avatar. You will wield the powers of time with me and for me. with becoming my avatar, you will gain the blessing and the curse of time."

"Blessing and curse?"

"You will gain what you refer to as immortality. You will be able to live forever as long as you stay as my avatar. But, you will also have the curse of watching all of your friends and lovers die. And no, I will not make so that they will live forever too. You may even lose all sense of urgency with a timeless body. This does not mean that you can't die. But, with your other avatar abilities, that will be nearly impossible as well."

"I don't like the sound of that, but if being able to save everyone means that I will watch them get old and die, then so be it."

"That is not all. I have a stipulation. For me to give you this power, then you must do something for me. You must become this world's guardian. It's protector. You will have the powers of all of the spirits within you and you must use them for the betterment of this planet. You already know that sometimes people must die an order for others to live. This is a great understanding that all great warriors end up facing. Thinking that no one should die is a childish fantasy."

Before Saito could open up his mouth again, the spirit continues on.

"I need to give a couple more warnings before you decide to accept this. There are people that have gotten this power before you that have let the power get to their head. If this happens and you decide to defy me and the other spirits, then we will kill you. I will also heed you the same warning that I came to discover myself that I already told you about. Going back in time and changing things does not mean that they will turn out exactly as you think they will. You could have a completely different mess to deal with."

"That's a lot to take in."

"It is indeed, but you are running out of time, you need to make your choice."

Saito smiles at him.

"You already told me how things are going to end if I don't do this. So, my choice was pretty much made for me."

"Perhaps. You could always decide to stick with the ways things are currently going."

"And, you would let them?"

"Yes. If that is your decision."

"Would I have to change the way I am living?"

"Not for now. You can frolic as the king that you are. Eventually, you will have to disappear so that no one becomes the wiser of your lifespan."

"I will do it. I need to save everyone that I love. I need to save this planet from that madman."

"That's the spirit. Guardian. The other question is, when in time do you want me to place your mind back into?"

Saito thinks on this for a moment.

'I could easily just go back to the exact moment before he was about to inject me in the neck. But, that wouldn't give me much time to prepare for anything more. If I go further back, then I could train my time abilities or make plans to track him. He said that he had been following me ever since I used my genesis spell.'

"I have made my choice."

"Oh?" He says in a pleasant tone in response to Saito.

"I want to go back to when I first woke up after the fight with the dragon."

"A wise choice. I am surprised you did not choose to go further back."

"I did not want to get to greedy. I won't lie though, part of me wanted to go back to before my battle with 70,000. I could save the people that I didn't save before. But, who knows what that would change. I could do a lot of things different."

"Not being greedy and not letting the power get to your head is a good thing. Now, to make you my avatar."

He kneels down next to Saito and stares into his eyes. His gaze entices Saito to keep looking, as if it was pulling him in and making him unable to look away.

"I am Nero. Remember my name for all eternity."

As Saito stares into Nero's eyes, he feels his head begin to surge. Visions begin flashing before his eyes of the past, present, and future. They run by so quick that he can't really discern anything though. After another moment of this, he feels like his head is about to explode.

Just as he feels like his head is about to explode with knowledge, it goes away. He lies there silently.

"Congratulations. You are now the avatar of time."

"Ugh. Now I am going to have another voice in my head. I am glad that you are the last one. That means there is no chance to run into another spirit."

"Who says that I am the last one?"

Saito pauses a moment in thought and worry.

"I thought you said that you were the last one."

The man starts laughing.

"Oh. It's been so long since I have laughed like that. I think that I had almost forgotten what it was like. Relax. I did say that I was the last one."

Saito lets out a sigh of relief.

"Now, let's get you back in time." Nero says and smacks Saito in the forehead.

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After waking up back in the past with Julia by his side, he carried on the initial conversations as well as he could remember them going like the first time they happened.

With most of the group around him (except for Tiffania), and concluding the conversation about the elves, he decided to add on a new topic.

"Everyone. We have a big problem."

'I assume that this also has to do with the fact that there is another presence residing within you.' Serena adds.

'I feel the loss of Gotama. Oh, that's right. I didn't get involved with him just yet. Damn this time skip stuff.' Saito thinks to himself.

"What kind of a problem is it? You've been here for the past 4 days. So, it's not like you could have caused any more trouble while you were sleeping." Adds Agnes.

"Actually, I've been awake for over 3 months."

Siesta gets a wide-eyed and lost look in her eyes

"Huh?" She says.

He scratches the back of his head and smiles nervously.

"I guess I should explain, huh?"

"An explanation would be wonderful." Replies Tabitha.

Henrietta also nods in agreement.

"Alright. I think I have enough time to explain it to you and still have enough time to see Bidashal off.

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For the months to follow, Saito and the others did most of the things that they had done the first time around.

He had regained his avatar abilities from the void spirit and performed the genesis spell again while holding Tiffania. This also gained the watch of his new foe again.

One major thing that had been changed was the fact that Colbert and Eleonore used magic to try to watch for when Saito was was being watched. When Saito wasn't being watched, he took on the added task of trying to develop his abilities more with the battles that was to come on the original fateful day.

The surprise of getting Derflinger back was ruined, but still done.

Taking care of the wind stones was also still systematically done.

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The fateful day.

After going through the same actions he had done before, Saito was now leaving the shop where he chose the various forms of jewelry for all of his loved ones.

As he starts walking away he tries to remember exactly where he was when he was taken down. Then he sees a building that he faintly remembered before passing out.

'There it is.'

He tries hard not to hasten his steps as he gets closer to the building. Just as he is about to pass the building, he changes the skin around his neck to stone. He didn't have to chant anything an order to just do the neck.

Then he hears a ping against his neck.

"I . . . . What the?"

Saito quickly swings his arm around to try to hit the man behind him. Unfortunately, the man ducks at the same time as he swings.

'I had this planned out perfectly, how could he have known.' The villain thinks to himself.

He then jabs the syringe into Saito's gut and begins to inject the fluid.

A loud crack is heard, and something wraps around his neck. He quickly gets jerked back away from Saito. The syringe falls to the ground and shatters. He desperately tries to fight against the whip that was currently around his neck. A sharp pain is felt as something is jabbed into the center of his back.

"Don't mess with a maid's master." Siesta says to him.

He starts laughing.

Siesta's eyes go wide in surprise and she begins backing away from the guy that should be lying dead on the ground.

"Crap. He infused his body with spells." Saito mutters out as he falls to his knees.

He didn't get the full injection, but a little bit did get inside of him.

He starts to lose consciousness and falls over.

Henrietta comes from around a corner screaming out to Saito.

"I don't know how you knew that I was going to do this, or how he knew about my body, but it doesn't matter. It's not going to be that easy."

Agnes, Aimee, Guinevere, and Julia come rushing out as well. Agnes draws out her new sword. The other three all have their muskets drawn

Eleonore also come out. She has her dancing streams spell already going. She glares at the bald and pale-skinned man.

A flash is seen and then a moment later, Tabitha is seen while riding Sylphid.

Tiffania walks toward Saito and Henrietta.

The man grumbles in annoyance.

"It doesn't matter how many of you there are. My familiar and I will kill all of you. Cerberus!"

As soon as he calls out, there is a loud growl and a massive, three-headed dog reveals itself from under a giant cloak. The beast stands 8 feet tall at the top of its head. Well, three heads.

He takes off the whip that was around his neck and throws it on the ground. Then he manages to pull the dagger out as well and also tosses it on the ground.

"That hurt a lot, you wench. I will admit that would have killed me had it not been for all of my fortification. Now it is my turn."

He pulls out his wand.

"Cerberus, attack! Kill them all!"

At his side, Henrietta kneels next to Saito's unconscious body. Henrietta's ring glows and she casts one of her spells and creates a massive ice wall between them and their enemy.

With his command, the beast lunges forward and swipes at Aimee. The massive paw leaves several claw marks on her arm and she screams out a little bit in pain.

Agnes makes an attack at Cerberus with her sword and one of heads latches onto it with its mouth.

Julia takes out a hand musket and fires a round at it. The three-headed hound flinches but it does not stop.

Tabitha was about to unleash a fury of wind blades at the hellish hound but gets stopped and a fireball gets fired at them. Sylphid barely manages to dodge the attack.

"Did you forget that I am here?" The man says to her.

"I didn't forget you. Wave smasher!" Shouts Eleonore as she casts a spell.

The pillars of water that were surrounding her move out of the way as she casts her spell. A massive wave of water blasts at him. He takes the massive hit, but most of it gets absorbed. The hit forces him to take a step back to brace himself from falling over.

She clicks her tongue in annoyance.

"That was a pretty powerful hit, you bitch. I commend you. Now, here is a pretty little present for you in return. Explosion!"

He points his want at her and he releases Louise's signature spell.

Instead of hitting her, though, it hits a wall that just barely forms in time right in front of her. Tiffania pants in relief as she was the one that cast the spell. The wall shatters and parts of it fly at Eleonore, but her dancing streams blocks all of the pieces from hitting her.

Siesta pulls out both of her hand muskets and fires them both at him. He winces, but then glares back at the maid.

"Didn't you already learn that you can't kill me like that?"

"Maybe if I hit you enough times it will." Siesta retorts back.

Tiffania turns to Weylyn, and casts a spell on her wolf. In turn, the wolf grows larger in size. Its size is nearly tripled from the spell. It rushes around the group and easily leaps over the ice wall that Henrietta had put up. It snarls and roars at one of Cerberus' heads.

After shouting his name several more times, Henrietta tries to use a healing spell on Saito to see if that would help.

Oriana summons up a dozen of her Fenrir hounds, a half dozen of her gargoyles, and a couple bears.

With the runes on her forehead glowing, she orders them to attack their new opponent.

"Did you honestly think that I couldn't handle a few beasts. I have been around far too long. Lightning. Release your shocking force and branch out. Chain Lightning!"

As he finishes the chanting of the spell, a lightning bolt fires from his wand and strikes down nearly all of her summoned creatures.

"That was a distraction." Oriana says as she lifts Kothar's staff into the air and makes a striking motion at him.

A bolt of lightning strikes down at him. He grits his teeth from the hit, but again, most of it gets absorbed.

'This is becoming more and more irritating.' The pale mage thinks to himself.

Sylphid slams down onto Cerberus' back and digs her claws deep into the hound. It roars from the pain.

After pulling her comrade back with her, Guinevere manages to climb up the icy wall and aims her musket at him. She fires a shot and quickly begins reloading.

"Gust of wind!" He shouts, and Guinevere gets blown off of the slippery wall.

She yelps as she falls. Her musket gets flung through the air.

Leaving Sylphid to deal with the hound, Tabitha gets next to Eleonore as she releaces her dancing streams spell and they combine spells and fire at the evil mage.

Siesta ducks to the side to get out of the path.

A massive blast of wind and ice shards come flying at him. He gets impaled by some of the shells.

He grits his teeth angrily and glares at the two of them. He casts a spell and a massive ring of fire spreads from him outward.

The fires blast Tabith, Eleonore, and Oriana back as their clothes singe slightly. The fires also melt away a good chunk of the wall that Henrietta had put up.

"Saito! Wake up! We need you!" Henrietta shouts.

Tears fall from her face and onto his cheeks.

Agnes uses all of her strength to pull on her sword and slices through the mouth of the head that had its jaw clamped on her sword. Blood splatters from the slash. It whimpers.

She was about to activate an ability with the sword, but the same head that she cut, bashes her aside and she goes flying 6 feet through the air. She hits the ground hard.

Julia shoots at an eye of the head that was currently being occupied.

Weylyn bites at one of the necks, but it also bites down on him. Wylyn howls in agony.

Tiffania runs between Saito, Henrietta, and the man. She begins chanting her memory spell on him.

"Oh no you don't. Igneous pillar."

A pillar of rock shoots out from the ground and smashes into Tiffania's stomach. It sends her flying through the air before she could finish her spell and she makes a hard smack on the ground when she lands. She coughs up some blood.

"Now, to take care of you." He says as he looks at Henrietta.

"You're not done with me yet!" Tiffania shouts as she staggers to her feet and wipes the blood away from her mouth.

Her hand glows green and she touches a tree that she was standing next to. The tree begins to move. It uproots itself and its trunk begins to split into legs. A cracking sound is heard as it does this. Two of its large branches begin acting like arms. Leaves fall off of it as it moves toward the mage.

"Well now. This is interesting. I have never seen anything like this before. What kind of an elven mage are you?"

"One that doesn't want you getting anywhere near her loved one."

Henrietta looks over to her cousin after hearing those words and she nods in agreement. She stands up and readies her scepter.

The animated tree hits him a few times, but he backs up and casts a spell at it. When he finishes the spell, it rots away and turns to dust before it even hits the ground.

"Tornado of water."

A whirlwind blast of water emits from Henrietta's scepter.

Agnes slices into the air with her sword and a blade of flame comes from her slice and slams into the side of the ferocious beast.

Julia thrusts her sword up through the lower jaw of one of the heads of Cerberus. It pops out through the top of the head.

The mage struggles to stay afoot. He absorbs a lot of the blast, but he can't take it all and falls to the ground.

Saito slowly opens his eyes as the effects wear off of the liquid that was injected into him. He opens them to see Henrietta blasting her spell at the mage. He also notices the fight with Cerberus.

Henrietta's spell finishes.

'Shit. I've got to help them.'

He staggers to his knees and begins chanting.

"Nero, father of time, the beginning and the end, lend me time within time."

"Dammit! He's awa. . . ." The man begins to shout.

His sentence gets cut off as time stops all around them except for Saito and Derflinger.

"It's about time that you woke up partner. You had me worried."

"No kidding. Sorry I took so long."

He shakily gets to his feet and uses the speed up spell on himself. He then runs over to the hound and cuts at all four of its legs and completely severs its body in half with Derflinger. The limbs do not fall just yet and blood does not spurt all over within the stopped time.

After dealing with Cerberus, he rushes over and stands in front of the crazed mage.

"How are you going to kill him brother? He's been shot at and impaled many times over without dying. You are running out of time to decide."

"I know. I still see the wounds that everything has made on him. I bet without those spells in place, that we die."

"Good thinking."

He quickly casts the dispel magic spell on the man and rams Derflinger through the mage's chest. Right through his heart. After he does that, he releases the spell.

Cerberus instantly begins gushing blood from all of the cuts made by Saito and falls to pieces.

Horror comes over the man's face as he sees Saito standing in front of him with Derflinger jammed into him.

"But how?" He says to Saito as blood flows from all of his wounds and out of his mouth.

"I guess time wasn't on your side after all."

The man falls over dead.

Saito smiles as he looks around and sees everyone is still alive.

His eyes turn dark blue and he chants a spell.

"Sphere of healing."

Everyone gets engulfed in a bubble blue light flows from him to everyone that is hurt.

'You were right, Nero. It didn't turn out to be as easy as I thought it would. But, at least it ended with everyone still alive.'

'Yes, my avatar. But I bet there is something that will probably bother you for a long time.'

'What would that be?'

'Did I already know that this was going to be the outcome of making you my avatar?'

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A/N: Thank you for reading another chapter of my story.

Almost finished. That was the last of the villains for my story. I hope you enjoyed the battle. Only 2 or 3 more chapters left.

My 'History's Strongest Devil Disciple Kenichi' story is at chapter 8

My 'Kenichi: Not Just Her Disciple' story is at chapter 11 - Complete

My 'Monster Musume: Drago's Quest' story is at chapter 4 - Complete