August 29th. Ashford Academy.

Behind the walls of the academy, the old home to the current Emperor and his sister, the place was completely silent, except for one room. It was still summer and studies hadn't started yet. In addition to the battle taking place not far from Tokyo, many non-essential services were suspended until the battle was won. The academy that was only a few days ago used as a negotiation place for two world superpowers was now empty. At the moment there were only two young people in the old student council room.

Rivalz was nervous as he checked his laptop, trying to find any information about what was going on with Lelouch. "Come on, show any crumb of info. Please."

"You won't get anything, Rivalz," The former student council president sighed. Milly sat on the table in her usual news reporter's uniform. "Every official news channel was banned from going anywhere near the battlefield for safety reasons. No one in the empire can access what is going on out there except the military."

"But we need to know how Lelouch and the others are doing!" The blue-haired driver said with a worried tone. "That F.L.E.I.J.A. thing is-"

"This is Lelouch we are talking about. Don't worry, our vice president will always get out of bad situations. He has to." Milly smiled, but Rivalz could see that his old president had a worried look as well.

Rivals sighed. "Can't believe a good portion of the old student council is out there, piloting Knightmares and fighting while we're simply waiting for them… surreal to know that almost everyone in our group is part of world-changing events in one way or another. Heh, makes me think I didn't live my student years to the fullest."

"Hey, you didn't finish the academy yet, Rivalz. Who knows, perhaps you will create your own Order and challenge the world next year." Milly smirked.

"I don't think Lelouch will like me messing up his plans, whatever they are. Nah, I'm good with a more simple life… but I wouldn't mind some crazy adventure once in a while too. Something cool, I dunno like-"

"Participating in illegal car races?" Milly asked with a judging expression.

"Yeah, like- Ah, hehe, Milly, how did you know about it?" The boy looked away, knowing his old president won't let it slide.

"Lulu mentioned it." the blonde succubus smirked when Rivalz cursed under his breath. "The only reason you got away with it was because everyone was too busy. And probably because Lelouch is literally the Emperor."

"You mean I can do whatever I wish because my best buddy is the Emperor, yeah?" Rivalz asked in a half-serious manner before Milly flicked his forehead. "Ow!"

"Rivalz Cardemonde! Don't even think about breaking the law and hiding behind Lelouch, hoping he will cover you! Or I will personally make sure you will regret it." Milly threatened in a strict motherly manner, while Rivalz looked terrified.

"I won't, I won't! I swear!" He raised his hands in surrender, Milly stared at him for a few moments, making the young man even more terrified before she started giggling. "Hey, what's so funny, Milly?"

"Sorry, heh, it's just… I miss when we would just sit in this room and do the simplest stuff." Milly spoke with melancholy in her tone as she looked around the club. "When we were actually in a club with everyone. You, me, Lelouch… life back then seemed so simple."

"Eh, I would say it is still pretty simple. Even if Lelouch is who he is, he is still the same vice president we've known for years. Granted, with more insane secrets but still the same. And the same goes for others: Kallen, Suzaku, Nina… and Nunnally." Rivalz scratched his head. "Well, ok, that memory change thing with this Geass magic still gives me a headache when I think about it… not everyone is with us here today, but we still have good memories of time spent together and that all matters."

It went without saying who they were thinking about. The little brother of Lelouch who was an imposter still managed to become their friend. And the young maiden in love who died too early.

"Wow, never expected you of all people to say something sound and philosophical."

"I didn't either. But hey, I like to believe that no matter what we will get a good outcome… but I also want to make sure we won't lose any more of our friends and for that, I need to know what is going on!" Rivalz said before looking through any news site, official and nonofficial, to see anything about how Lelouch and others were doing.

"I believe I can help you with that." A young cheerful voice sang from the entrance. Both Milly and Rivalz glanced to see two individuals standing at the doors. A young girl in traditional Japanese dress with black hair and green eyes, in the company of a familiar maid. The younger girl looked around the room. "So this is the club Lelouch was part of?"

"Wait, I think I saw you on TV or something. Ouch-!" Rivalz winced when Milly highly slapped the back of his head before the blonde former noble stood and bowed before the young girl.

"It is an honour to meet you, Kaguya Sumeragi." Milly remembered her old lessons of etiquette. She rose up and smiled warmly when she noticed her house's former maid. "And I'm happy to see you too, Sayoko."

The ninja maid smiled back. "I'm happy to be back at Ashford. After everything that happened, returning to my home is relaxing. Even if only as an escort."

"Home, huh?" Milly was glad to see the older woman again. However, there was a matter of a young chairwoman. "Lady Sumeragi, forgive me but what exactly are you doing here? I was told all officials of both Britannia and the Federation were evacuated to safety."

Kaguya waved away with a confident smile. "Lelouch landed me his maid. That is more than enough 'safety' for me. While the White Emperor is fighting, I need to do some preparations on my own and for that, I require a news reporter. Such as yourself, Milly Ashford."

"Wait, what?" Milly blinked. "But if the Emperor doesn't prohibit it, you can call any news channel in the Special Zone-"

"But I want you, in particular, Miss Ashford," Kaguya smirked. "While Lelouch is busy, it falls on me to make special preparation for when he will announce his victory."

Milly looked worried. "I hope for the best, but maybe it is better to wait until-"

"Nope. The timing should be perfect and we must make sure all cameras will show everything we want the world to see. So, please help me with it. And I know you're up to the task."

"You're confident Lelouch will win no matter what, huh?" Milly asked with a small smile.

Kaguya proudly nodded. "As his temporary failed wife-to-be, I like to think I can at least predict his moves when it comes to getting public support. Lelouch is going to win because he won't allow anything else but victory! I can tell you this as the Goddess of Victory."

"Well if Goddess herself says so, then we have to believe." Milly spoke with genuine enthusiasm. "Guess you can stop worrying too much about Lulu, Rivalz."

"Lulu?" Kaguya blinked.

Rivalz answered. "It is the nickname Milly come up with for Lelouch. Lulu."

"That's… really cute."

Milly quickly nodded, "I know right? And of course, Lelouch never approved of it so it only made it better. Why we had so many fun moments where Lelouch-"

"My lady, perhaps we should focus more on the important business first?" Sayoko cleared her throat. The maid was trying to make sure the honour of her Master wasn't damaged by whatever Milly might say to Kaguya. But it was inevitable now. "You can discuss other matters once we are finished with our task.

"Oh yeah! There are so many stories I can tell you about Lelouch from this time here. And in exchange, I want some spicy stories from when he was Zero."

Kaguya nodded. "So Lelouch did tell you about that. Ok, if he trusts you enough with it, I can too… and I want to hear more embarrassing stories of the mighty White Emperor's life as a student. My, after all those situations he has put me through, it is only natural I will have some small revenge," The self-proclaimed wife of Zero smiled slyly. "And I will have enough blackmail to make Lulu agree to my propositions."

"I like the sound of that, Miss Chairwoman. I think we will get along very well."

Rivalz felt dread when he saw a mischievous smile on Milly's face as she walked closer towards Kaguya with devilish intent. The blue-haired boy thought if it was worth coming with them if only to make sure Milly won't say something that will hurt Lelouch's honour… but then realised it was useless since it was Milly they were talking about. Lelouch could fight the entire world, surely their old council president can't be worse.

On the battlefield.

Tristan Divider flew in its Fortress Mode across the sky as Gino tried to get to Damocles. The battle wasn't going in the coalition's favour anymore. They lost almost all their elite pilots and no one could get in contact with Schneizel. Something was wrong, the former Knight of Three could feel it. Their forces were being decimated as the Britannia/Federation united army went on the full-out attack, no longer afraid of any possible F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead attack. If Lelouch's forces were so bold, it could mean only one thing. Damocles's defence was breached.

"Come on, I need to be there." Gino bit his lip, trying his best to get to Suzaku on the flying fortress. The last thing he saw was Lancelot Albion rushing there with incredible speed. "Anya, I'm on my way to assist Suzaku. How is your situation?"

What he got was somewhat unstable audio as sounds of explosions were heard. Soon Gino heard the monotone female voice of the Knight of Six.

"Mordred received a moderate amount of damage, but my cannons are still operational and my battery isn't empty yet. I can provide you with fire support."

"No need. I can't get in touch with Prince Schneizel or Princess Cornelia. We have to assume they were killed." Gino spoke with a frown. "We must leave. Anya, start retreating towards the southwest. Once I got Suzaku and Empress Nunnally out alive, we will evacuate-"


"Anya?" Gino bit his lip. "Come on, it isn't a time for some kind of last stand or staying because of Schneizel and Cornelia."

"It isn't that, Gino. I can't leave. Sutherland Sieg is attacking me. I can't get away from it- I can't talk anymore, he is preparing to charge at me again." Her link was cut short as Gino tried to call her again.

"Anya? Anya! Damn it!" Gino slammed the panel of his Tristan before focusing on his plan. "I'll get you out of here. You, Suzaku and Nunnally. We aren't dying here today."

"Only three things wrong with that, little knight."

Without a second to spare, Tristan Divider turned back into Knightmare Mode as it raised its two maser swords and prepared for the upcoming attack. Gino didn't notice how the enemy managed to reach him, even though he was in Fortress Mode. He clenched his hands around the controls when he saw the painted dreadful copy of Suzaku's Lancelot Albion, Amber Tertiary. Which meant before him was the same crazy pilot Suzaku fought against back in St Petersburg.

"Cinder Fall," Gino said with a neutral tone. Usually, he liked women who knew how to fight in Knightmares. However, he read about the second knight's cruelty towards her enemies on the battlefield and the impression Suzaku got of her. Needless to say, it was quite a turn-off.

"Gino Weinberg. Former Knight of Three and now just another dead man walking." Inside her Amber, Cinder smirked. "My my, so much variety in the Old Guard, but even among them you're quite a catch."

"I'm flattered." Gino barely fought off the disgust in his tone. Cinder on the other hand didn't bother to do so.

"Ew, don't be. Don't think too much of yourself, Weinberg. You're just another nice trophy to add to my collection of prominent enemies I killed. Hmm, sadly my collection has only one Knight of the Round and I need more if I want to one-up Kallen." Cinder said with an annoyed tone. "The Red Lotus is likely going to kill the Kururugi boy and raise her kill count of the Rounds to two. Can't let her outperform me, so, I must be quick to cut down you and Alstreim before someone else steals what's mine."

Gino glared at Amber. "You're a bloodthirsty psycho, none of you will get us. I don't know what Lelouch has done to you or Kallen, but I will make sure he will pay for it. And I will free Kallen from his Geass."

"Ahahaha! How cute, the little knight thinks he is capable of anything. Listen here, Weinberg." Cinder's sultry tone was replaced with a cold one, full of murderous intent. "Kallen might be an idiot, but she is Lelouch's Q1. As much as I want to rip her titles away and take them for myself, she is my Emperor's knight and unless His Majesty wishes otherwise, nothing will change that. So don't ever think for a second you will succeed in your foolish attempt to get a girl whom you don't even know, lover boy."

Tristan Divider stood in the attack position as Gino was ready to rush forward and attack Amber. "I know enough about Kallen to see that she wouldn't forsake Japan for someone like Lelouch!"

"Well, we have an imbecile here. Some of us will prioritise personal happiness above our duty. Besides, Kallen gets Lelouch and he gets the entire world, win-win for all of them. Of course, in this situation, you won't win anything, but that isn't my problem."

"You speak as if you alone can actually defeat me." Usually, it was Gino who was a cocky fighter, but Cinder gave him a vibe similar to Luciano. It wasn't good.

"Oh, I know I can! I did call you a dead man walking because that's what you are, Weinberg. A living corpse already inside a coffin, waiting for someone to end your pathetic life! And who said I was alone?" Cinder clicked her finger as a squad of Gareths, Vincent Wards and Akatsukies flew around them, encircling Tristan. "You'll die here, and I want you to know that you lost in every way imaginable. Your nation, your status, and let's be honest, Kallen is out of your league. And now your life."

"I won't go down without a fight!" Gino yelled, not letting some crazy monster end him before he managed to save Kallen from Lelouch.

"It won't even be a fight, it will be a funeral- Oh, and here comes the undertaker. Right, Arthur?" Cinder asked the last part with a glint in her eye.

"What-?!" Gino's comms managed to pick up a distinct whistling sound before his Knightmare was hit by something from behind.

Tristan Divider struggled in the air as a giant scythe hit its left leg. The sudden strike wasn't enough to cut it off but left a nasty scar. The scythe fell off and was quickly picked up by Reaper Knightmare in its normal form. The true Knight of the Round had only one working energy wing, but it was enough to allow a quick sneak attack. He arrived with additional help in the form of a few Gareth units that acted as escort and temporary flight assistance. His Reaper managed to float a little bit with the sole energy wing before firing a slash harken towards one of the Gareths and used it to pull itself upward as a platform to hang on to.

Reaper transformed its scythe into V.A.R.I.S. mode and aimed it at Tristan. The Knightmares around Amber started to move closer to impede any escape route for Gino, Cinder ready to enforce that. The former Knight of Three gritted his teeth as he rushed at his enemies first, knowing waiting was foolish.

Somewhere else, the other former knight of Charles was having a hard time as well.

Anya fired another hadron blast as her Mordred struggled to take out the Knight Fortress unit. Sutherland Sieq was too fast for something of its size. The former Knight of Six missed her last shot as the Captain of the Royal Guard drew closer. As always, Jeremiah Gottwald was determined and ready to die, but not before fulfilling his master's wishes. Besting the enemy Knight of the Round was nothing but proof of his loyalty.

Mordred's blast missed Sutherland Sieq as the orange Knightmare did a flip to avoid it. Jeremiah's long-range weapons weren't fast enough to get Mordred, so the charge was his only option left. Without any more words, the cyborg knight prepared to stab Mordred. However, as a last resort measure, Anya activated her shield and miniature proximity missiles. The rockets moved akin to a snake as they flew towards Sutherland Sieq, exploding upon contact. Jeremiah's eye went wide, but it wasn't enough to dissuade the knight since he had his secret weapon.

"You dare to think that is enough to stop me?! Fool! Nothing gets in the way of my loyalty!"

Jeremiah screamed as he took control of the second Knightmare inside the Sutherland Sieg. The orange-coloured standard Sutherland unit fell forward towards Mordred as it activated its blaze luminous shield, cutting the Knightmare into two. However, it wasn't enough to take out a knight who was full of loyalty! Jeremiah's Sutherland exploded, destroying the upper layer of Mordred with it. Any normal human being wouldn't be able to operate after all of this. However, Jeremiah Gottwald wasn't a normal person, at all.

"Feel the full might of my loyalty!" The cyborg Knight of Orange screamed at the top of his lungs as he lunged forward. Jeremiah landed on top of the half-destroyed Mordred and pointed his left wrist blade at the cockpit. "This is over, false knight! Surrender or feel the wrath of His Majesty's might!"

"Do whatever you want… I don't care." Anya looked away, not bothered that she might die. "I have no memories, nothing to live for anyway."

Jeremiah paused. "No memories you say? Could it be, after effect of Geass?"

His left mechanical eye opened up to reveal the reverse blue Geass sigil as he activated it.


The raging battle around the flying fortress didn't stop, even when the defences of the Damocles were breached and its prince was killed. However, even if the Coalition and united army of the Empire and UFN didn't stop fighting, they could see and feel that two legendary Knightmares were engaged in a fight.

A giant radiant wave flew towards a green dot in the sky as it moved with incredible speed. It missed its target but hit the distant group of unlucky regular Knightmares, who weren't fast enough to dodge it. The green dot would rush the red one, the second would block it and attack the green in turn. This was their dance.

On one side, the notorious White Reaper, Lancelot Albion and its pilot Kururugi Suzaku fighting for the sake of vengeance and killing his enemy.

In the opposite direction, the legendary Red Lotus, ace of the Black Knights Kallen Kōzuki piloted her Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements, fighting to protect the one who is most precious to her.

Both knights had fought each other multiple times by now. Never able to completely finish one another, always close but not enough to end the feud for good.

Today it will be different. There was no more running, and no more tricks or weapons of mass destruction to stop either from killing the other.

Today, one of them will die no matter what. Both Kallen and Suzaku knew it.

Guren S.E.I.T.E.N.'s golden claw was held to the side as it flew towards Lancelot Albion. Suzaku blocked the upcoming claw with an MVS before raising both swords to guard against Kallen's forward charge. The Black Queen's blade met Lancelot's swords, trying to go past them. When that didn't work out, Q1 proceeded to raise her claw and made a grab for Lancelot. Suzaku gritted his teeth as he ducked out of the way while dancing around Guren and coming up from the right side, his swords aimed at Guren's right arm. Suzaku went for the radiant wave claw, trying to get rid of Kallen's primary weapon. It wouldn't be so easy and, as expected, Kallen saw it coming.

Her Guren immediately turned towards Lancelot and raised its claw. Instead of trying to grab him or fire claw again, Kallen simply fired a wide-range radiant shield. Suzaku scowled to himself as the makeshift shield held against the MVS swords.

Suzaku changed his tactic and flew up, activating his wings and firing hundreds of blaze-luminous projectiles. Without losing her cool, Kallen dodged each one of them, charging at Suzaku with the claw ready to strike him down.

One second later, Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. was above Lancelot as Kallen prepared to swing her claw downward.

Unfortunately, Suzaku had already switched one of his swords with a Super V.A.R.I.S. rifle, aiming at Guren before pressing the trigger. Once again, Guren activated the radiant wave technology as an energy shield and blocked the Hadron ray.

Kallen didn't stop her charge, Guren rushing Lancelot even through the blast, red meeting red as the radiant shield and V.A.R.I.S blast clashed.

Guren moved closer and tried to grab the annoying rifle with its claw. However, Lancelot quickly pulled the arm away and brought out the second rifle, aiming it directly at Gurren's head.

As Suzaku pressed the trigger, Kallen faltered for a moment before remembering for whom she was fighting as her Geass command was activated. Protecting Lelouch was her priority above everything else. Going beyond any human normal reflexes, in less than a second the redhead turned off her energy wings, causing Guren to drop immediately and Suzaku's jaw to open wide as his point-blank shot passed by it harmlessly.

Once Guren was just under the white Knightmare, Kallen turned her energy wings back on. Once she'd stabilized herself, she aimed her claw and fired a continuous blast, Lancelot evading all the while. Though he wasn't quite fast enough to dodge it all, his shields absorbed the few hits he took saving the unit and its pilot.

Suzaku didn't waste time in returning fire, both hands converted to V.A.R.I.S rifles. One hadron blast after another, all missed or were blocked by Guren as it pursued Lancelot Albion.

The male pilot flew back without looking, his entire attention focused on the dragon before him. Nothing else mattered right now. Once Kallen was out of the fight, Lelouch wouldn't be able to act fast enough to call for reinforcements. No one else would be able to stop Suzaku once the redhead pilot was gone for good.

During the entire fight, neither pilot forgot what was on the line. Spirit of vengeance versus loyalty of love. Suzaku fought to kill and Kallen to protect. Ironic, considering she was trying to kill Suzaku and anyone left who wanted to hurt Lelouch, but it was for the sake of protecting her K1. Neither of them spoke, there was nothing left to say by now. Nothing that the other would possibly accept, anyway.

However, Kallen knew there was something she could do, the same trick a certain Second Knight of the Round used against Kallen herself back in Moscow.

Reasoning with Suzaku?

No, it was time to rile him up.

'That didn't quite work out when Cinder tried it… but right now simply fighting isn't working either. Bastard Suzaku is too focused and won't make mistakes as it is.'

"All these deaths, suffering and pain you inflicted upon others- still can't admit you're wrong, Suzaku!?" Kallen shouted before firing a red ray of death at Suzaku.

"What was that?!" Suzaku yelled back, dodging the attack before launching all of his slash harkens at Guren. She dodged each one of them and grabbed the last one. Kallen thought to melt it with her claw, but Lancelot Albion rushed Guren in an attempt to stab it. Kallen let go of slash harken and blocked the attack.

"You heard me, traitor! You were wrong and you knew it! You always were!" Kallen yelled as she danced in the air. Guren struck and kicked, trying to hit Lancelot while the White Reaper blocked and dodged each strike.

"All your reasons, your ideals on why you fought for Britannia, all that stubbornness is meaningless now! You didn't achieve anything you wanted, instead, you fell even deeper into a shithole! How many Japanese did you kill, trying to protect them?! How many nations did you subjugate for Charles and your other Britannian overlords?! How many innocents did you kill for these bastards?! And what did you get in return? Where is your reward? Where are the fruits of your hard bloody work? I can tell you where they are, up your ass!"

"You-!" Suzaku's tone was furious as he kicked Guren back. Kallen's Knightmare activated the shield to block the kick attack and the following point-blank barrage of blaze luminous projectiles before Guren flew away from Lancelot. "Get back here, coward! Don't you dare talk to me about innocence! You have no right to speak about how many died because of me when you killed just as many!"

"Idiot, I didn't kill people and soldiers fighting to protect their homeland…" Kallen smiled darkly. "At least, Lelouch didn't order me to do that yet."

"You-" Suzaku couldn't believe it. How could she?! "What did Lelouch do to you?"

The Knight of Zero smirked. "He accepted my love and eternal devotion. I gave him my body, soul and life to prove my loyalty to him. And he gladly took it."

"You're a hypocritical psycho!" Suzaku fired the Super V.A.R.I.S. rifles, knowing full well that they wouldn't even hit Guren. "All of your accusations, and you aren't better! You killed people who were ready to die for their homeland, and now you're serving a monster just as bad as Charles!"

"Of course I am! As long as he orders me, I'll kill whoever's in his way! Britannians, Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, it doesn't matter! Everything is for his sake!" Kallen admitted with a dreamy expression. "This is what love is, you see. You'd understand…if your precious little princess was still with you."

Suzaku froze, disgust and shock twisting his face into a frown. "You're a crazy bitch, Kallen."

"Oh, fuck off, Suzaku. You betrayed your nation for some princess and sold your best friend to a monster for a title. At least I acknowledge what I did. I chose Lelouch, I put my and his happiness before others and no one can judge me for it! Lelouch isn't his father, he isn't like the rest of the Britannian Royal family. You knew him, you saw what he had to go through. Of all people, Lelouch knows what it will take to make a change in the world for the better. I trust him. I trust his judgment and entrusted my life to his hands and his vision of a better tomorrow. Japan will be a free nation, just like every country will be in Lelouch's future world. One where he will make sure everything is perfect. And I will be there to help, protect him and support him no matter what!"

Kallen raised her claw and formed a radiant blast into a saw before throwing it at Suzaku. Lancelot Albion dodged it, suspecting it would cause serious damage to either his shield or swords. However, Kallen repeated the attack with another blast followed by another. Suzaku dodged each one of them as he spoke again.

"Do you even hear yourself? How are you any better than me!?"

Kallen snickered.

"Because I'm not a coward, I can admit what I am and what I'm doing. Didn't you hear me? These aren't my brother's methods, but something better. Why don't you get it?! We can fix this good-for-nothing world, Suzaku! We were both there when the Britannians invaded! They destroyed our childhood, our chance at normal lives and now we can ensure it won't be repeated. Lelouch will ensure that! Under his absolute control, Britannia will make up for the evil it did! We can make sure people won't die for anything! We can fix so much! With Lelouch, with me and others under his command, we will guarantee world peace!"

"In exchange for their freedom? Of their free will?! How many innocents must die for Lelouch's vision of a perfect world? How many must become his slaves, pawns to toy with and then sacrifice?!" Suzaku roared as Lancelot Albion rushed forward, its MVS aimed at Guren's upper body.

"Look who's talking. You didn't care about any of that when you served Charles as an obedient lap dog!" Kallen spoke back as she blocked the charge with her left-hand blade. "What is the name people of Europe gave you? Oh yeah, White Reaper! I'm sure they didn't name you that for being a calm and reasonable person, Suzaku! How many did you kill just for the promise of becoming the Knight of One? Were you ever promised such a title or was it just another delusional wish of yours?! You were nothing to Charles, to his nobles and to the old Britannia! You were just another fool who got tricked into servitude, thinking he was a hero when he was just another pawn!"

Suzaku glared at Guren. "Everything I did was for the sake of the Japanese-!"

"It was for your own ego! If you truly cared about the Japanese then you would have stopped Calares from executing our people on the live broadcast! If you cared about us, you would have helped Lelouch during Black Rebellion! Instead of allowing the Brittanians to bomb us into oblivion! We were treated like animals by them and you simply watched from the side," Guren clenched its claw and punched Lancelot. "You piece of shit!"

This time Suzaku didn't react quickly enough to block the attack. The Red Lotus' right hand made contact with Lancelot's chest plate and sent White Reaper flying back. Kallen pressed on as Lancelot was falling back, striking again. However, Suzaku blocked the next punch, tossing his MVS swords away and stopping the claw. Lancelot held Guren's claw with both hands, trying its best to keep away from the rest of the Knightmare. Kallen quickly activated her claw and was about to melt Suzaku, but the male pilot raised the claw up before putting its own arm under Guren's right shoulder, grabbing it in the process and throwing it. Akin to a ball, this time it was Guren who was sent flying down before Kallen managed to regain control.

'You little-!' Kallen glared at him before dodging the charge as Lancelot Albion managed to return its swords and was on the offence now. Guren dodged Suzaku's swings without serious problems, but the redhead knew she wouldn't win if she kept playing defence. She blocked one of the swords with her own MVS blade and, before Suzaku could bring the second sword, fired her right shoulder-mounted slash harken. The red slash harken flew toward and went around the sword, tying it up.

"What the-"

"Mine now!" Kallen smirked as she recalled the slash harken with a shiny MVS sword as a reward. Guren captured it with the claw and wielded it rather awkwardly, as expected with such a giant hand. However, Kallen didn't plan on using this thing any more than needed. She immediately went for the head as Guren, now armed with Lancelot's own sword, tried to stab the golden face of White Reaper and plunge it toward the cockpit.

Lancelot had to hold the Guren's blade with its right hand while the left stopped the MVS from getting too close to its face. The Knightmare's free hand grabbed the blade of the sword as sparks flew from the finger upon contact with the sharp red sword; however, it was a better alternative to getting stabbed. The hand slowed down the sword as it got too close to Lancelot's face, the tip touching the space between the green eyes. Close to the scar that was left by Reaper. Suzaku struggled to hold it before he snapped and screamed.

"I can't lose now!'' The scream was full of desperation and pain as Suzaku kicked away Guren. Lancelot's right hand stopped blocking the blade and moved to kick off the sword Guren had stolen from it, grabbing it before activating his energy wings and firing at Kallen. The Knight of Zero narrowed her eyes as her machine immediately flew away from the green projectiles, but Lancelot went after her. Both Knightmares with energy wings chased one another, with Lancelot being a pursuer this time as Suzaku wouldn't stop firing his unit's energy wings.

Eventually, they engaged in close combat again as Guren was first to try and close the distance between them. Kallen stopped flying away and stopped her Knightmare, turning it 180 degrees towards Suzaku before firing her claw. Even if the golden radiant wave claw was away from Guren, it was still fully operational as Kallen fired a radiant wave blast from her claw. As a result, the golden claw flew towards Lancelot Albion while simultaneously firing at it. Suzaku's eyes went wide as he had to dodge it, already planning how to cut off the claw from Guren since it was detached from the Red Lotus for now.

However, Kallen wasn't going to give Suzaku any window of chance as she went for the attack. Even if Guren was without its claw at the moment, the red Knightmare could still move and fight. Guren activated its energy wings and rushed Lancelot while its claw was still firing at the white unit. Suzaku had to block the kick from Guren with Lancelot's right elbow before ducking away from the radiant wave blast and claw that flew at him from another side. The blast and the claw itself avoided Guren entirely. What kind of weapon will hurt its wielder after all?

At first glance, it looked as if Guren's claw had a mind of its own as it flew after Lancelot Albion while the main frame went to attack from the side. However, it was nothing more than good programming made by Lloyd and Cecile's expertise. The radiant wave claw had a harken booster and was able to chase its target with a limited set of moves. Not for too long, however, as Kallen had to eventually recall it before firing again.

Suzaku saw the connecting wire that was keeping the two merged. It was obvious what he needed to do as Lancelot Albion prepared its MVS and went for the cut, aiming to get rid of Kallen of her most powerful weapon in the arsenal. Lancelot dodged another radiant blast as it avoided the red rays that guaranteed certain death. Eventually, it moved up, avoiding the blast as it flew closer to the wire with a simple plan. Lancelot raised his sword and prepared to cut the wire. However, without his cursed Geass command to live, Suzaku didn't sense the approach of Guren until it was too late.

Kallen charged Lancelot, her blade aimed for the cockpit of White Reaper as she attacked from above. One stab was all she needed to end this fight, their personal war. Suzaku saw Guren when it was right above him, its intentions clear as day. Lancelot leaned back and fired both of its hip-mounted slash harkens at Guren. Kallen gritted her teeth as she had to block both of them or they could pierce her Knightmare, killing her. Guren's blade blocked one and redirected another, but Kallen could still finish her attack, or at least attempt to do so.

Her element of surprise was lost as Suzaku managed to get out of the way of the red menace. Still, Guren's blade managed to make contact with Lancelot's cockpit, even if only for a second, leaving a scar on it.

Suzaku narrowed his eyes before he brought up Lancelot and attempted to kick Guren away. White Reaper's left leg made contact with Guren's right side, punching the arm that was supposed to have a claw. Said claw was sent moments ago and was currently on its way back to the main frame. Once it returned to its rightful place at the right hand, Kallen didn't waste time and proceeded to grab the leg that dared to kick her.

Suzaku bit his tongue as he brought up Lancelot's left arm which was holding an MVS. He was too close to Guren and wasn't capable of cutting the red machine. So instead, Lancelot's hand punched the head, smashing the right antenna ear as it fell off. Kallen felt the hit as her cockpit was violently shaken, but it wasn't enough to wound or knock her out. Still, it was the closest Suzaku had gotten to her yet. The grab on Lacenlot's left leg was weakened and Suzaku managed to get away.

Green energy wings sparkled as Lancelot flew at high speed around Guren. MVS swords went for the back of the red Knightmare, trying to destroy the back of the cockpit. Suzaku remembered the difference between the units built by Lloyd and Rakshata Chawla. Unlike his model, Kallen's machine could handle attacks from the back, as long as they weren't aimed at the chest area.

'As if I will allow you to do that, you bastard!' Kallen didn't need to look back, relying on her reflexes and experience. Guren turned around and kicked off the sword swing before bringing up the claw and punching Lancelot in the side. White Reaper flew to the side from the powerful impact while Kallen attempted to grab Suzaku again. Suzaku allowed her to get close before using its energy wings to rise up and kicked Guren in the face with a knee. This time it cracked the left eye on Guren's face, shattering the upper layer and revealing the flashing red underneath.

"Quite fitting for you, Kallen." Suzaku allowed a small jab while Kallen roared.


Kallen was furious. The traitorous bastard managed to hit her again! This was too much, she needed to get Lancelot on the ground where he wouldn't be able to constantly dodge her attacks.

Now with right blue and left red eye, Guren leapt back while raising its leg to kick Lancelot. The attack was blocked, but Suzaku didn't notice how Kallen fired her claw again, this time down before the claw redirected itself and flew towards Lancelot from below. It was pretty close to Kallen herself, but Red Queen didn't care as she activated radiant wave technology and fired another red blast. Suzaku thought she was out of her mind, but he had to dodge.

His blaze luminous shield system was activated as some of the blast's particles did almost connect with Lancelot Albion. However, his attention was away from Kallen for one second and it was enough for the redhead pilot. Suzaku didn't react in time when Kallen brought Guren from above, her left fist with an MVS blade in it aimed at Lancelot's main body. As she predicted, Suzaku blocked the attack, but Kallen was hoping for that. Now her Guren was on top and could push Lancelot down as Suzaku was too busy blocking the attack. Guren's pinkish energy wings sparkled as Kallen put all the force her Knightmare had into pressure.

The claw already returned as Guren pushed Lancelot all the way back down to Damocles. White Reaper wasn't able to stop Red Lotus as the latter had the advantage. Kallen was already preparing her golden claw and aimed at Suzaku. The former Knight of Seven had to block the blade attack and simultaneously time the moment Kallen tried to grab him with her claw. Getting out of the way wasn't the primary concern for him right now.

Eventually, the two of them reached the flying fortress. Suzaku knew if he allowed Kallen to have her way at this moment, it would be game over for him. Instead of letting the Knight of Zero do as she pleased before they would crash against the walls of the fortress, Lancelot raised its sword up, pulling Guren's blade with it. Kallen was open, but she wasn't defenceless as she already prepared her claw and attempted to stab Lancelot's chest armour with Guren's talons. The green-eyed pilot frowned but didn't panic. Instead, he fired one of Lancelot's hip-mounted slash harkens as it hit the claw and redirected it. The claw missed the chest armour and went past the head of Lancelot.

Kallen swore under her breath before, hitting Lancelot's head with the back side of her claw. It didn't kill or do any actual damage, but at least it sent Lancelot's attention to the right side. Suzaku pulled away before his sensors showed him that there was a wall behind them. Both Lancelot and Guren activated their land spinner propulsion systems as they landed on the surface.

Both Knightmares roughly hit the solid ground that was one of Damocles's sections between the armour. They were in the lower area of the fortress, closer to the warhead cannon and pretty far away from the top where Lelouch and Nunnally must be right now. Lancelot and Guren both turned off and hid away their energy wings. Even if they didn't say it, energy consumption was getting to them and neither knight wanted to run low mid-fight.

'I already experienced what that was like in Moscow.' As much as Kallen disliked Cinder, at least she will acknowledge the battle experience that the annoying vixen provided her with.

Both Knightmares prepared themselves for another attack and this dance of theirs. However, before Lancelot Albion could even make a move, three Alexander Hounds jumped at it from the shadows. Kallen was surprised but remembered that Lelouch was planning to have his lifeless drones scout Damocles once the shields were down. Since the majority of his army was still fighting, none of them could quit their post and join the attack on the giant fortress.

Kallen had an idea to blast Suzaku while he was dealing with three Hounds, destroying all of them in the process. However, her attention turned towards the sole Hound that approached her Guren with a spare battery in its hands. Kallen blinked, not knowing what she should prioritize.

The chance to kill Suzaku right now, or get a new battery with the likely outcome of Guren simply outlasting Lancelot in the long fight?

Suzaku didn't give her time to make a decision. Before Kallen could do anything, Lancelot threw one of its MVS swords at the battery, destroying it and blowing up the generous Hound that sought to help her. Guren's radiant wave shielding covered Kallen from the explosion.

Lancelot Albion quickly dealt with three Hounds even with one MVS sword. When one of them tried to stab Suzaku's cockpit, the Japanese boy rotated his Knightmare, making the Hound that jumped on it lose balance and fall before Lancelot crushed it under its feet. One slice was cut in half another Hound in half and it went offline. The last Hound attempted to stab the chest armour of Lancelot with its wrist blades. However, Lancelot's free hand caught the head of the drone and crushed it, destroying the central processor.

Suzaku threw the headless Hound at Kallen, Guren simply batting it away with its claw and sending it flying off the fortress. Now, both Knightmares and their pilots were alone again. No one else would dare to interfere in their final duel.

'I wouldn't mind a new battery and someone to distract Suzaku again.' Kallen thought with irritation before she decided to speak with the boy again.

"How are you feeling, Suzaku? Do you feel like a hero now? Here, in Damocles, the ship that would have been used to cause chaos and destruction on the entire planet by your prince?"

"I never said I was a hero, never tried to be. Unlike Lelouch. All I wanted was to protect the Japanese people. Our people. The people you've discarded to follow that butcher around like a dog!"

The Knight of Zero narrowed her eyes. "I care about the people I love, my mother and Lelouch. The Japanese people will prosper under Lelouch's rule, it will be better than the previous Britannia, better than the old Japan ever was under Kururugi's rule."

"Do you even hear yourself, Kallen?! You're placing your trust and the lives of millions in the hands of Lelouch, the same Lelouch who manipulated everyone around him all this time!" Suzaku shouted in frustration. "He doesn't care about our people, we are all the same to him!"

"You're right about one thing, Suzaku. Lelouch doesn't see the difference between the Japanese, Britannians and everyone else. Now that he destroyed the old Britannia, everyone is the same in his eyes. And that means he will rule and lead everyone equally. No more Britannian superiority bullshit! No more Numbers, and no more Elevens. Isn't this what your Princess wanted? What she tried to accomplish? Be happy your and her dream work is being completed and perfected by my emperor!"

Suzaku hit the panel of his Knightmare. "You don't even know what Lelouch will do! He has Geass, he can brainwash millions into becoming his slaves and never question him. Is this the better future you fight for?!"

"Heh… heheheheheheheh-!" Clutching her stomach, Kallen couldn't help but start laughing in the same manner her lover did. Insanity. The mad laughter would make anyone look at the redhead pilot in fear and worry. Suzaku definitely felt so worried that Kallen was entirely lost at this point. "After all this time knowing Lelouch, is this what you believe will happen? That Lelouch will simply Geass entire mankind into submission? Do you think he needed his Geass to create the Black Knights? To make us follow him? No! As Zero, Lelouch never needed anything but his own words and actions. We followed him because he promised us what no one else could do. He gave us a chance to fight Britannia and win. The future where we can make a change! And we fucked it up! I wish he used Geass on us so we wouldn't have to point guns at our own leader."

'I don't care anymore if I'm a Black Knight or not. I'm Lelouch's Q1, his Knight of Zero. But if we were smarter, less trusting of Schneizel- heh, no more what-if questions, Kallen. Come on, I already promised to drop it. It doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is that I and Lelouch are together now.'

After all, it doesn't matter what banner she fought for, as long as it was with Lelouch. Suzaku can spout whatever nonsense he wants to believe. It won't change the truth Kallen knows.

"So… what makes Lelouch evil, Suzaku? That he has Geass? That he is willing to fight and do whatever it takes to win the war? Or what? Because innocent people die? We have been at war ever since our childhood. This is what happens during warfare. Or do you want to tell me you didn't spill the blood of the innocent in Europe as you massacred their people for your master Charles?"

"Kallen, you cannot understand what I had to endure." Suzaku suddenly spoke with a cold tone as Lancelot stopped fighting for a moment. Both Knightmares stood in a defensive stance, anticipating an attack from another, but for now, none came. Seeing that he had a window to talk calmly, Suzaku continued. "I had to sacrifice so much. My father, my pride and the chance of being accepted by our people. I know that once I have become an honorary Britannian, my own people would hate me. But I did it anyway if only to give them hope. To show them that we can work with Britannia and change it from within… and as much as I hate to say it, Lelouch proved my point. He did change Britannia from within. He did what I killed for..."

"He didn't." Kallen quickly corrected him.

Instead of fighting and striking him, she decided to speak.

"Lelouch always wanted to destroy Britannia for what it did, for its crimes. And he succeeded. Charles is dead. The nobility and the number system are gone. Everything that was wrong with the empire was destroyed and is now being replaced. Darwinism is no more, now strength is used for the sake of the weak, to protect them. Just as Lelouch created the Black Knights with the intent to protect Nunnally back when she was his meaning of life. Charles's Britannia would never become like this, with your way of trying to change it. Accept the truth, Suzaku, that the old Britannia was a fascist state that existed to spread its misery to others. Britannians lived in prosperity at the expense of everyone else, that was the foundation of their ideology, their nation. You gave an oath naively believing they will reward you, thinking you will be allowed to be equal to them when it went directly against their worldview. You wouldn't. They would never allow it."

The last part was spoken with pity in her voice. For all the hate Kallen had for Suzaku, she also felt sorry for him. He was fighting, killing, and ready to die for the system that would never value him beyond a title Charles gave him for selling out Lelouch. The only reason Suzaku even managed to become a Knight of Seven and get far in Britannia was because of Zero, because of Lelouch. However, there was always a limit to Suzaku's luck. He was an attack dog, similar to Kallen. The original Order of Black Knights was made mostly of Japanese who had the same wish as Kallen did in the past. She was part of that system and the Order wouldn't even think about abandoning her... until they did over Lelouch, but Britannia would sacrifice Suzaku without a second thought. Kallen knew it, and so did he.


Suzaku was the target of the predatory system that simply 'spared' him from being eaten alive and killed like many others. That was the Britannian Empire that Suzaku tried to change, thinking he could do it alone. Without Euphemia, he had no one who shared his wish of a free and prosperous Japan that existed in peace with Charles Britannia. Everyone only used him as a soldier, knowing very well that Kururugi Suzaku would obey any order if only it meant it could bring him closer to his dream.

"You got to pilot Lancelot only because Lelouch attacked Clovis and drew him to desperation. You are a Knight of the Round only because you sold Lelouch. You're here because you are a useful tool to use against Lelouch. Lelouch is the reason you got this far because he created a chance where you could accomplish anything. If it wasn't for him, you would have died as a mere foot soldier under Clovis. Suzaku, your dream of changing that Britannia… it would never work, accept it."

There was a long moment of silence as neither moved nor said anything. Kallen took a deep breath. She didn't plan on giving Suzaku a chance to leave, he was too dangerous. However, the redhead pilot was tired of hearing his accusations of Lelouch. If she was going to end it for good, she needed Suzaku to accept his own sins, his own mistakes and then she would kill him. Grant him ultimate freedom.

'Hero of justice, that's what I wished to be when the Black Knights were created… I can see my own shortcomings. That I'm just like my mother, ready to twist and accept the world around me as long as I can be with the person I love. I will do whatever it takes to keep Lelouch alive, no matter the consequences. I'm a soldier, a killer… and I accept that. Suzaku, you must come to terms with your own fate.'

It was meaningless, Kallen knew it. There was only one outcome for their duel. Suzaku will lose, she won't allow any other future to exist. Lelouch won't be haunted by the ghost of his past anymore. To create a better future, Kallen will cut down on the past that might hold back Lelouch's wish.

Suzaku Kururugi was silent. Was he thinking about his goal, how real or how futile it was from the start? Was it all worth it or not? Kallen could never understand the thought process inside Suzaku's head, but she knew she was right.

You couldn't create a better future for your people under a system that would never allow it.

Solution for this problem?

Fight it. Burn the system down. Destroy it.

And from the ashes of the past create a new and better tomorrow where you can live in peace. One where you can be happy.

In retrospect, Kallen always aimed to achieve her happiness. However, back then she thought freeing Japan would make her happy, avenge Naoto and make his life goal a reality. The difference between then and now is that Kallen realized she wants more from life. She wants to live it with people she cares about.

'Destroying the system that turned mom into a second-class citizen and servant. One that sent Lelouch and Nunnally to die in the war as children. Now that Lelouch destroyed it, we can create something new, something better. Together. I'm a soldier, a killer. But I will create a better world, one where I can live with mom and be with Lelouch. Where we are happy together, forever and ever. I won't allow anyone to ruin my happiness!''

That was a worthy wish, one Kallen was ready to kill for. And she intended to do so if required.

After what felt like an eternity, Suzaku finally broke the dead silence as he spoke.

"I can't, Kallen… not after all this time. After everything… After everything I have done, I can't stop now. Too many people have died because of me. I acknowledge my sins… I did when I realized that I couldn't accomplish Euphemia's dream. I can't do what she would have wanted. Euphemia would never approve of my actions, I know that but I tried to fulfil her dream, our dream. I thought if I followed their rules, played their game then I..."

"You thought they would reward you. That you can prove Euphemia's wishes true." Kallen never met the princess in person, but Lelouch told her what truly transpired on that day. 'He said she was the kindest one among his family, the one who genuinely cared about people. She didn't deserve her fate and such a legacy. But it won't justify Suzaku's actions after her death no matter what.'

"I'm jealous of you, Kallen." Suzaku suddenly said. "If your feelings about Lelouch are true and it isn't some kind of lie he tricked you into, then you have everything I lost. A love to protect and fight for, a goal you believe is just and personal desires you put before whatever others think… I have none of those anymore. I lost Euphemia and at this point, I can't stop. I'm a monster, one who is as terrible as Lelouch himself. There is no turning back for me. For either of us. You realize that, Kallen?"

"I do, Suzaku," Kallen spoke as she prepared Guren's radiant wave claw. The Red Lotus raised its claw and prepared to lunge forward. The red circles around her eyes appeared once again as Kallen declared her life commitment. "I won't allow you to hurt him. I will protect Lelouch until the end of times… it is time to end our fight, for good."

"Let's finish it." Suzaku smiled bitterly as Lancelot took his MVS sword in both hands, ready for the end of this duel.

The two knights rushed each other. There was no need for energy wings, their batteries should be prioritised for the fight itself. The red Knightmare lowered its claw closer to the ground, bringing up the blade in the left hand forward. Guren planned to block the attack with its blade before either grabbing or piercing Lancelot with the golden claw. Lancelot needed to get back its second sword that was still stuck in the ground behind Kallen. Suzaku aimed to go past Guren, blocking and dodging its attack before it was fully armed.

The knight without a true master moved close to Guren as the latter attempted to stab Lancelot when Kallen realized Suzaku wouldn't try to strike her yet. Instead, Lancelot jumped over Guren and landed behind it. The Red Lotus didn't take her eyes off White Reaper and jumped right after him. Lancelot grabbed its second sword and immediately raised both of them in crest form to block Guren's blade attack. Kallen tried to bring down both swords before grabbing Lancelot's head and defeating the Knightmare with one radiant melting attack.

The first part of her plan worked as the mass of Guren was enough to force Lancelot to lower its swords towards the ground. However, when Kallen extended her claw forward and aimed for the head of Knightmare, Suzaku let go of the swords and grabbed the claw instead. Kallen was caught by surprise but it meant little if she could activate her claw regardless. Suzaku didn't have the intention to allow her to do so and instead moved Lancelot. The White Reaper made a half circle, planning on the red Knightmare not to be well balanced because of the claw. Lancelot circled as it tossed Guren backwards.

The machine landed on its legs, the claw slowing it down with a slide and quickly sparkled red as Guren created a radiant wave saw and threw it at Lancelot. Suzaku dodged a few of them as he moved closer towards Kallen, his sword aimed for the head. Guren allowed Lancelot to get close enough before it jumped in the air, using the wall on the left side to bounce off before diving in towards Lancelot. Kallen finally grabbed Lancelot's head but saw that Suzaku was bringing up his swords to cut off her claw.

It was annoying, but she needed to get rid of the stupid red swords first before she could kill him. So instead, while Guren was still in the air, Kallen moved it forward, bringing the multi-tone Knightmare to land behind Lancelot. However, since Guren was still holding onto its head, it acted akin to a lever as Lancelot was sent flying back. Guren moved forward, its spinners driving the red Knightmare right under Lancelot before it could land. Kallen aimed her shoulder-mounted slash harkens at the MVS swords while Suzaku was off balance.

The former Knight of Seven did see her slash harkens and twisted Lancelot in the air as it moved to block the wire-tied projectiles before landing. Guren's blade met Lancelot's sword once again and the two were stuck in the lock.

The blue and red eyes of Guren stared at Lancelot's face full of scars before continuing their dance.

Guren attempted to grab Lancelot's legs and melt them. Lancelot would try to use its swords like scissors to cut off Guren's head. White Reaper's hip-mounted slash harkens shot forward as they went for the middle section of Guren, trying to pierce it. Meanwhile, Kallen launched her own pair of slash harkens.

All four of them wound up tangled with each other. Guren and Lancelot immediately pulled back, trying to yank the other Knightmare over. Their land spinners went into reverse mode as sparks flew out of the wheels under them.

As the tug of war ground to a stalemate, the Red Lotus decided to end it and aimed her golden claw, activating the radiant wave technology and firing a powerful blast at Lancelot.

Suzaku dodged it before he moved his Knightmare over the edge as he tried to bring Kallen closer and toss her away. Both still had working energy wings, but at least this way Suzaku would have the high ground. When it didn't look like it would work out as he wanted, Suzaku pulled out a Super V.A.R.I.S. rifle and fired it at Guren. Kallen blocked the blast with her claw's radiant wave shielding before she came up with a risky plan.

'Suzaku wants to toss me over the edge of the fortress? Alright. Let's break his brain.'

Kallen moved Guren as it jumped over the edge, both Knightmares were still connected by their slash-harkens. Lancelot was forcibly pulled over the edge as well, but Suzaku managed to stand his ground and stop his unit from falling. His Lancelot had more weight than Kallen's Guren. However, Kallen had a different plan as Guren was now standing on the wall in a horizontal position, thanks to its slash harkens being tied together with Lancelot's. Now, Suzaku had a choice. Cut off his own slash harkens and let Kallen activate her energy wings first, or try to shoot her like this with a Super V.A.R.I.S. rifle. However, she would block his attack no matter what, Suzaku knew it. He couldn't understand what she was trying to do, but she had some sort of plan. Suzaku was sure of it!

"I won't fall for your tricks, Kallen!"

Instead of playing her game, Suzaku will fight by his rules. Instead of doing what he thought Kallen would anticipate and prepare for, Lancelot Albion prepared to cut the slash harkens that tied them. However, before he could do so one lonely Hound appeared out of nowhere. Perhaps it followed the sounds of battle and acted once it saw Lancelot. It immediately jumped at Suzaku's Knightmare, trying to stab it.

Lancelot Albion had to awkwardly turn around to stop it while it was in the air, but the corpse of the Hound hit the white machine and sent it flying back. Suzaku's eyes went wide as he used the sword in his left hand to slow down his descent, falling towards Guren. Was it somehow part of her plan or simple luck?

"-! Was this your plan, Kallen? Fight while being stuck to the wall?" Suzaku couldn't see the logic but knew something was wrong. However, without his command to live the White Reaper couldn't sense the danger.

"My plan was simple and absurd." Kallen proudly admitted. She wasn't Lelouch to come up with complicated and detailed schemes for fighting, she just relied on her instincts and at-the-moment choices. It worked so far and it works now. "All I needed was for you to get out of that open corridor and to a more open location. Since now-"

Guren's pink energy wings pulsed as Kallen prepared to fly.

"-I can do this."

Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements shot for the sky, blotting out the sun in Suzaku's field of vision and casting the silhouette of a demon. White Reaper's green eyes went wide, he didn't foresee this at all. Suzaku wasn't able to react, his Lancelot still holding on to the sword to not fall off the wall. And so, when Guren flew towards Lancelot with its claw and the intention to grab the white Knightmare, Suzaku could do only one thing. Lancelot couldn't block the attack but the free hand with the second MVS sword was able to pierce the claw and cut it off. Guren lost its most powerful weapon, but Kallen didn't allow that to stop her. The claw was destroyed, but the connecting arm was still operational.

Kallen pressed on and plunged her damaged right hand forward. The sharp edge of the wounded arm pierced Lancelot's chest, going right between the upper armour and the head. The sharp golden edge went through the machine as it dug into the cockpit. Painfully gritting his teeth as a small explosion rocked the interior, the Knight of Seven attempted to do anything, but his panel was destroyed and what parts of the main screen were working showed the warnings before they froze in a static image. Suzaku had to pilot Lancelot blindly now as he instinctively moved the controls.

As Kallen flew up, she saw that Lancelot was still able to move its arms. She wouldn't allow Suzaku to stop her now! Guren brought up its left hand as Lancelot managed to grab it after letting go of the MVS sword. The Red Lotus still managed to stab Lancelot's right shoulder deep enough for the right arm to stop moving, no longer working. Suzaku fired two hip-mounted slash harkens at Guren as they went right towards the waist of the red Knightmare, damaging it. Kallen bit her tongue as her Knightmare was shaken.

Lancelot couldn't turn on its energy wings despite Suzaku's best efforts. Meanwhile, Kallen saw the warning of her battery dying out, she still had 28% left, but the damage and energy wings were quickly eating up the remaining power. Still, she was close and had the upper hand.

Without letting go, Guren slammed Lancelot against the wall as the red Knightmare dragged the enemy machine while blasting off. Lancelot Albion's cockpit hit the surface of Damocles as sparks flew from the conjunction between the fortress and Knightmare. Suzaku was violently shaken inside his cockpit, doing his best to not lose focus even if death might be guaranteed at this point. Guren dragged Lancelot like this for quite some time, neither pilot paid attention as one tried to stay alive, while the other did her best not to let her enemy get away.

Eventually, Guren wasn't able to continue pulling Lancelot like this. The remains of the right arm finally broke under the weight of the heavier white Knightmare. Pieces of the arm scattered over the air as Guren let go and slid across the surface before floating away with its wings. Kallen lost her most powerful weapon, and her battery was almost dead. However, Lancelot and Suzaku were in a far worse position.

Lancelot Albion, the infamous White Reaper, didn't move as the white Knightmare was embedded in the outside wall of Damocles. If one were to look closely, one would see a giant black track that was left by Lancelot on the surface of the fortress, indicating the lengthy distance Guren carried it through. Eventually, Lancelot stopped and could no longer move, its systems were fried and inoperable despite its pilot's best efforts to fix it. Nothing was working, except the cockpit ejection system that was implemented by Mairel. However, Suzaku was still against the wall of Damocles, though perhaps if the layers were thin enough…

"Kallen… you got me," Suzaku whispered softly.

The inside of his cockpit was lit up with a red emergency colour, around the huge hole formed in the place where Guren stabbed Lancelot with its appendage. While it was still intact, it had also done more than pierce through the armour; however, the biggest danger that was certainly going to destroy Lancelot now was the Core Luminous. Even if Guren didn't pierce it directly, the damage and stress Lancelot endured until now, especially with this last manoeuvre, would destroy the main power source of the war machine.

"Hah! Hehehe, I finally did it." Kallen couldn't help but laugh. She finally beat Suzaku. No more stupid commands to live and F.L.E.I.J.A. to save Suzaku. This was it, Kallen was sure! "I won, Suzaku! This is-"

The end of their journey.

After all this time, after all their battles, this was finally it. She won.

'We switched sides in a way. Now I serve the Emperor and he tries to destroy the new world order Lelouch creates. Heh, so this is the real irony.'

The Knight of Zero, Red Queen and Lelouch's bodyguard smiled bitterly. Kallen always dreamed of this moment, especially once she and Lelouch became an item. The worst enemy is slain. The redhead felt euphoric, she finally accomplished her own wish and proved who is the better fighter between them. And yet, it was somewhat unfortunate she finally killed her own nemesis. Still, it was for the sake of Lelouch and his wish. Kallen promised to burn the world for her King, for Lelouch.

The bitter smile turned into a proud smirk as the Red Lotus accepted her victory.

"Farewell, Suzaku."

The duel was over.

White Reaper was no more.

The Knight of Zero, Kallen, won.

Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements flew back as Kallen watched Lancelot's stale corpse. As the red Knightmare gained some distance, she finally saw it. Lancelot Albion exploded, the flames quickly engulfing the entire machine, leaving nothing behind. The red circles around her blue eyes disappeared, for now, the biggest threat to Lelouch's life was gone, forever.

'This is over. Suzaku is gone at last.'

Kallen let out an exhausted sigh. The fatigue after the fight, after every battle she was part of today, finally started to get to her. She was tired but still needed to get back to her K1. However, the blaring noise brought her attention back to the low-energy warnings. Guren might fall from the sky at any moment. Kallen still had a working cockpit ejection system and could survive the fall, but from this height, she was a little sceptical. Eventually, Guren's systems went offline. The lights in the blue and red eye of the Knightmare went out as Red Lotus started to fall.

'Oh, shit!'

Kallen tried to turn on the system again and maybe try to latch onto Damocles, but she had no such luck. Well, she had luck in a different form as someone quickly grabbed Guren from behind and stopped it from falling. Blue eyes went wide and a thankful expression formed on the redhead's face, but her smile quickly dissipated and her mood went sour when she heard the voice. Kallen was saved, but now she wasn't so eager to thank her saviour.

'Why did it have to be her? I would take anyone at the moment, even C.C!'

"Oh, my! What do we have here? Did the fast and fearsome Scarlet Dragon run out of energy in the middle of a fight? Again? Kallen dear, I have to say, this reminds me of a certain fight you had back in Moscow. I was sure you would learn something after that fiasco. But perhaps I expected too much from our poor little Kallen." The haughty black-haired vixen sang happily as her Amber was holding Guren, not letting go. "I learned from my mistake that night and made sure I won't have the same critical failure. I was sure you would do the same."

"Stop making fun of me and give me your battery, Cinder. I would have more use for it than you. Besides, your Amber can just suck the energy out of others, so you can go and do that, Carmilla." Kallen said with an irritated tone.

"Make myself as useless and defenceless as you at the moment? Pfff, as if! Unlike you, I had to take care of serious matters. Thanks to my efforts, and a little bit to others, the battle is as good as over." Cinder proudly announced while Kallen blinked.

"For real?"

The one-eyed demoness nodded. "For real. The remaining forces of the coalition are pretty much destroyed. With the death of the Knights of the Round and Wizard, there was no one to guide them. The trash from Peace Mark tried to escape while others put on the last stand. Some small pockets of the enemies are being dealt with, but none of them will get away… I see that despite my earlier comments, you were busy." Cinder's gaze fell upon what was the destroyed corpse of Lancelot Albion. "Congratulations, Q1… you won."

Kallen leaned against her controls in the form of the bike. It still felt weird, knowing Suzaku was gone, knowing that she finally defeated him for good.

"Cinder, you said the enemy Knights of the Round are dead."

The Second nodded. "Yes. With the exception of Anya Alstreim and Nonette Enneagram, all other traitorous Knights were eliminated."

"Good," Kallen sighed in relief, feeling at ease now. They were enemies of Lelouch and would have tried to hurt him. Kallen couldn't allow it. "I didn't see Gino on the way here, did you fight him?"

"Yeah, I did. Loverboy put up quite a fight, not even thinking about surrendering. Yelling about how Lelouch Geassed you." Cinder would admit the battle was quite enjoyable, even if she wasn't fighting the former knight one on one this time. "I'm actually unsure who took his life. Either me or Arthur, we can't decide. So it was a team effort. Feeling bad for killing a guy who was stupid enough to like you? Kallen, I know you had issues with loyalty but Gino? Come on, you could do better, well, you already do."

Kallen groaned. "Stop it, Cinder. If Gino was hellbent on getting in Lelouch's way then I would have killed him myself. No doubt about it. Whether I'm a decent person or not, I won't allow anyone to harm Lelouch… another girl, Anya, she's the one who passed by Lelouch's mother. I don't know how that Geass worked, but we're sure there isn't a ghost of Lelouch's dead mom inside her head?"

"Hmm, Marianne's spirit is no longer inside Anya. So, if you want to ask for Lelouch's parent's blessing then you know whom we have to ask." Both Knights trembled when the image of a certain terrifying maid ninja came to their minds. "Let's… go back."

"Y-yeah, let's. I need a battery and I'm good to go." Back to Lelouch. Even if all false Knights were defeated, her K1 will still need Kallen by his side.

Amber helped Guren to fly towards their forces where the Red Lotus could receive help. Damocles was pretty much under their control and no enemies would dare to attack the fortress that now belonged to White Emperor, not that there were enemies left.

Meanwhile, the young monarch was having his own battle with an unexpected foe. Neither of the vi Britannia's siblings knew they wouldn't be alone.

Damocles garden.

Ever since that dreadful night back at their childhood home, Lelouch hoped that his little sister Nunnally would be able to see and walk again. Year after year, no matter what was around them, be it an invasion or hiding among Asfords, the older vi Britannia sibling didn't stop hoping and doing his best to help his little sister. Doctors said it was useless, that Nunnally would never walk again and will never open her eyes again. That it was her life. Back then Lelouch couldn't accept it, he promised to make a better world for his precious sister and make sure she would live.


All of that, the blindness and inability to walk again. It was all lies. The attack on Marianne where Nunnally was supposedly covered by their mother to protect her from the attack. Lies. Nothing but lies created by their own parents, by Charles who implemented the false memory in the heads of his own children. What kind of father could traumatise his kids like this? Make his own daughter believe she was crippled and would never see the light of day again? How could they commit such an atrocious act?

Simple, they didn't care about their own children. They didn't care about anyone.

Marianne and Charles were too far gone in their mad quest to slay 'God'. Delusional fools who abandoned any reasoning and delved deeper into this mad wish of theirs. His uncle V.V., the Geass Order. All the suffering they caused to the world, to their children. It was sickening. So, it wasn't a surprise when the consequences of their doing come back to destroy their dream, dash their hopes and spit in their face. Every lie will eventually be discovered, and sooner or later the truth will come out.

And right now, the truth came out in the form of a miracle to a fabricated tragedy. Just another lie Charles and Marianne created that was finally destroyed.

Nunnally vi Britannia could walk and see once again.

If it was done in the past, back when everything was easier, Lelouch would have been happy. No, the raven-haired Royal would have been on Cloud Nine from the shock, happiness, and bliss. To see his little sister be able to walk and see again, that might have been a miracle, true happiness.

'If it was back then… however, things have changed, and life is no longer as simple.'

The true monarch and ruler of the Holy Britannian Empire, 99th Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia stared at the self-proclaimed 100th Empress Nunnally vi Britannia, a faker. Both siblings stood in the beautiful garden on the top of Damocles that was meant to duplicate one from their childhood in Aries Imperial Villa. A cruel joke considering Schneizel would never expect Nunnally to regain her sight. Except she did.

"Nunnally…" Lelouch's voice had a mix of dozens of emotions as he looked at the fierce face of his little sister. So much he wanted to ask, to say. However, he had far more pressing matters. "Nunnally vi Britannia, you dared to challenge me over the throne of Britannia. You declared yourself Empress and had the audacity to threaten the safety of my Empire with your delusional plans. According to the regulations of my nation, you have broken multiple laws. Treason, acts of terrorism, colliding with war criminals and many more. Normally, your sentence would be death for each crime you have committed… however, since you were merely a tool to Schneizel and others, I can write off your misdeeds since you were nothing but the face of our brother. Hand over the staff and surrender."

Lelouch spoke with a cold and emotionless tone. His gaze was the same as he watched Nunnally. Lelouch didn't know what to expect. Lelouch could never imagine this happening. And so, it would be an underestimation to say that the White Emperor was caught off guard once again and even terrified a little bit when the girl in front of him burst into uncontrollable laughter.

"Hehehe… ahahahahahahahaha!" Nunnally vi Britannia laughed. The same laughter Lelouch had when life went insane around him. "Oh, Lelouch. I finally get to see your real face and this is the first thing you say to me. Hmm, what callousness, brother. But I can forgive you for this."

Lelouch narrowed his eyes. "Forgive? Nunnally, I think you don't understand your situation. Can't you see that it is over? I killed Schneizel and his forces are being destroyed at this moment. You lost, your coalition is no more. Victory is mine and so is Damocles. Surrender and for the sake of those who wish for it, I'm willing to spare you."

"Oh my! It seems it is you who doesn't understand what kind of situation you're in right now, Lelouch." Nunnally smiled innocently before she pressed the button on the end of the staff. Lelouch froze in his place.

"What have you-"

"By this point, I expect your little tin soldiers to take over the arsenal of F.L.E.I.J.A. warheads. Of course, someone like you will make sure to cut off Schneizel's access to his most powerful weapon. However, what you couldn't know is the fact that the staff in my hands is capable of detonating the warheads even without firing them from a cannon."

Time froze as Lelouch looked at Nunnally with uncertainty bubbling up inside him. His mask was perfect and didn't show any emotions, but inside he started to feel a little panic.

"You're bluffing, Nunnally. Schneizel would never trust such mechanism to someone-"

"To someone who might use it against him? No. But, Schneizel wouldn't think too long about giving this staff to a little girl who can't see or move on her own as far as he knows." Nunnally's smile was innocent, but it was just another mask. "It was Schneizel's last resort for dealing with you. He knew you might get inside the fortress, so instead of doing the dirty work himself, he would leave it to me, expecting me to press the right combination. I only need to press the button four times for the entire warhead arsenal to explode, taking us all out."

"Do you honestly expect me to believe this nonsense?"

"Heh, call your forces and ask them if warheads are activated."

Lelouch stared at his sister for a moment while Nunnally continued smiling. This wasn't good at all. The White Emperor didn't turn his gaze away from her as he pressed the communicator in his ear and contacted the Scarlet Guards who were sent to take over the arsenal and guard it.

"What is the status of the F.L.E.I.J.A. warheads?"

After a momentary silence, one of them answered. "Your Majesty, all warheads appeared to be activated-!"

"Crap," Lelouch swore under his breath while Nunnally giggled.

"Language, brother. It isn't befitting for the Emperor to curse in front of a little innocent girl such as myself." She gave him a big smile, but Lelouch felt anything but calm.

"What have you done? Answer me!"

"Calm down, I only pressed the button once. Usually, when the warhead is loaded into the cannon, the first signal will automatically launch the warhead and activate F.L.E.I.J.A. Once it is outside Damocles's zone, the activated warhead will explode on its own because of the reaction. However, I can force the warheads to react while they are still inside the fortress in a sleep state. Right now, the warheads in the arsenal shouldn't be able to explode, unless I press three more times and force the reaction."

Lelouch made sure he was knowledgeable about F.L.E.I.J.A. properties before the battle so he would be able to use the Eliminator efficiently and combat Nina's weapon. He did remember that an activated F.L.E.I.J.A. reacted to the surrounding area and while it was still in a sleeping state in the safe container it couldn't explode unless provoked. So, perhaps there was some truth to Nunnally's words.

"So, please don't do anything silly that might make me do that, Lulu! Don't even think about calling your forces, I don't want anyone to ruin our reunion. That includes your little fan club of girls. I'm happy my brother found someone, in fact several girlfriends in fact. But please, don't get them involved here. Oh, and don't even attempt to take off your lenses and use Geass on me, Lelouch." Nunnally spoke with a knowing smile. "In the two seconds it takes you to do that and give a command, I will be able to press this little button two more times."

'Wait, two-?' As Lelouch was thinking, Nunnally pressed the button on the staff once again. 'She isn't playing around… and she knows about my Geass usage. Was it because of her talks with D.S.? No, she wouldn't reveal something like this to Nunnally. Then how did she learn it?!'

"What do you want, Nunnally? What are you planning? You can't get away from Damocles, you can't win and take the throne on your own. Your so-called supporters and servants among Schneizel's forces are either dead or won't be able to do anything for you. Ha, not that they ever were going to. You're nothing but a puppet after all. Schneizel was the real power behind your little throne on the wheels."

"How funny, Lelouch. But you are misunderstanding the situation, dear brother. I don't care about the throne, about Schneizel or the maggots who followed me because of him." Nunnally's innocent smile didn't disappear but her tone was full of disgust. "Let them all die for all I care. They never saw me as anything but a tool. So why should I care about their worthless lives?"

'This… this doesn't sound like Nunnally I knew.'

"You didn't answer my question, Nunnally. What do you want to gain from this? And what you meant when you said-" Lelouch paused, still feeling rather uncomfortable saying it, Perhaps because of his own past with both C.C and D.S. when it came to this topic. "Puppet Requiem. What the hell is that?"

Nunnally's purple eyes, the same ones as his, shone with delight as Lelouch asked. "Tell me, Lelouch. Did you ever think about burning down this world?"

"Do you know who you are asking? Of course I did. That's what I was doing all this time. As both Zero and now White Emperor. The world we were born into is a cruel and violent place. The superpowers in charge did nothing to fix the mess they were making, so it is only natural that such a world should be remade into something better. Something more."

Britannian Darwinism was terrible for obvious reasons. It was a system that couldn't exist for too long. However, the remaining alternatives weren't good either. European oligarchic democracy was nothing but a facade of imperialistic ambitions hidden behind populist votes. The Chinese mix of empire and the federal government was a mess where corrupt eunuchs got all the power, only slightly different from Britannia but wholly incompetent. And who even remembered what the Middle Eastern Federation was doing?

"Colonisation, slavery, wars, famine, poverty, inequality, racism as state policy and fascist beliefs." Lelouch listed with irritation. "Humanity existed for several millennia and yet we refuse to get rid of such old concepts that destroy us. We developed Knightmares and even this fortress, all only to kill each other more effectively. What other species will create weapons capable of wiping entire life on the planet? Mankind is ridiculous, we are a mess."

"Does that mean you despise humanity?" Nunnally wondered. She and Lelouch never had this kind of philosophical talk. Since she was breaking every status quo she might as well have one now.

"Of course not! How can I despise our kind if it is my wish to see it improved? Humanity is many things. Violent and cruel? Absolutely. But we're also capable of showing compassion and kindness when we aren't busy killing each other. I have seen the people's will to see change, to have a better life and to exist in peace. In Europe, I saw people welcoming me because they believed I could make a change and help them. I saw people willing to look back on their past and work together towards a better life for all of them. Of course, there are challenges and difficulties on the way, but no war is fought without struggle. My crusade against the old world is a war for the sake of the future itself. And I did destroy the old world, at least inside Britannia. But Britannia alone isn't the only one that must be fixed. Now I want to destroy the world's concepts of the past that allowed the likes of our parents to gain power." Lelouch declared passionately as Nunnally watched him with hidden amazement. "Even if it takes my entire life. no, even if it takes my life I will accomplish this task. That's what I fight for and will die if required. This-"

"Is your own Requiem," Nunnally spoke with a soft tone. "Or more correctly, it might become your Zero Requiem, hehe~!"

Lelouch didn't move as he carefully studied his sister. Nunnally appeared to be in a playful mood, but she was having a hard time simply standing up. And yet, she never let go of the staff and not once moved her gaze off Lelouch, even now.

"The Dimensional Supervisor would never tell you about Zero Requiem."

"And she did not," Nunnally nodded. "I saw it myself when I touched her hand during one of our talks. I don't know what exactly happened, but I saw everything. Things D.S. told me about it before. And I saw the future, the one where you and Suzaku fought side by side against the world and won… only for you to give up your life and die in my hands, whispering your final words, Lelouch."


"How insane must you be if you think that your death can change the world for the best? I'm not even trying to disrespect your plan, I'm simply curious about it. What makes you think death is the best fate for you? Or is this desperation? What might it be in that potential future? Was this plan your potential attempt to run away from all problems and you giving up on life itself? Answer me, Lelouch!" Nunnally suddenly screamed.

"What does it matter to you?" Lelouch spoke with venom. "You, who never had to worry about how the world treated you while I had to do everything within my power to protect you from everyone! You might have seen my past and even the future. But you do not know what I felt!" Lelouch screamed, his mask was gone for a moment. "Do you know what it was like holding Shirley as she was dying, her final words being her confession of love?! Or watch Rolo die after he saved me when I treated him as a mere tool? Do you think I felt nothing when I accidentally used Geass on Euphemia and then killed my first love?! I'm a monster, Nunnally! A terrible monster who will pay for all his crimes sooner or later. Zero Requiem was meant to create a perfect world without monsters like our parents, like me!"

How can the world be free of the evil that was Charles and V.V. if the Demon Emperor Lelouch still existed? In the scenario where the Zero Requiem would happen, Lelouch must become the worst possible monster humanity has ever seen, one that will be remembered for centuries to come. Feared, and hated, the Demon Emperor's legacy will be one of warning for future generations. However-

"We aren't on the Zero Requiem route, at least I have no need to fulfil that plan at the moment." Lelouch acknowledged calmly. "Right now, I'm the White Emperor, protector of the week, their guardian and shepherd. In this route, I plan to lead by example and create a long-term foundation for my successors to continue my work of ruling the world as a benevolent ruler, with an iron fist if needed. Instead of becoming the world's evil to be feared, I will become the first among many who will lead people into a prosperous future. And should this plan not work out, then Zero Requiem will become irrelevant, always a backup plan. For either me or my descendants."

"I don't like this answer, but I can accept it. And you asked me just a moment ago… what does it matter to me? Well, it matters to me tremendously. After all, my big brother, the same one who spent his entire life taking care of me, the same one who was fighting our homeland and everyone else for my sake, thinks that his death is a good 'backup plan'. Hahah! Don't make me laugh, Lelouch!" Nunnally pointed her finger at him. "You dare to think that this world is worth dying for? How narcissistic are you, Lelouch? Perhaps Clovis could learn a thing or two from you!"

"What." Lelouch was lost, unable to understand Nunnally's logic. "What are you talking about?"

"Lelouch, your current plan is rather simplistic. Stick to it and don't even attempt that silly Zero Requiem of yours. After all-" Nunnally raised her hands at the side. The innocent smile on Nunnally's face morphed into an ugly and fanatical grin as her smile was as wide as it was possible. The purple shined as if they were amethysts, adding only more madness to this Nunnally.

"The only one who must die for the sake of the world- for the sake of the future- IS ME!"


Lelouch expected to find his little sister in a completely different mood. He was ready for accusations and so on. Not whatever this was!

'What is going on? What happened to Nunnally? She said D.S. didn't reveal anything about Zero Requiem. Was it? Is it some kind of Geass? What the hell is going on?!'

It wasn't the first time Lelouch was lost and confused because of the Geass, because of whatever his family did. However, never before was it Nunnally or anything close to this!

"Why such a frightened expression, Lelouch? After all, you just gave me your reasoning for Zero Requiem. You didn't expect my Puppet Requiem will be the same as yours, except for differing reasoning? That I won't have to die for committing the crimes so the world would change for the better? Ehehehe-! I have my reasons as well, Lelouch! We're true brother and sister after all! Do you want to hear them? Then just look around you!"

She pointed at the beautiful garden around them, one that was meant to showcase the gentleness and innocence of Empress Nunnally vi Britannia. A beautiful artificial garden was built for the artificial ruler, one who couldn't even see it. What Schneizel was thinking was a mystery now, since the former Prime Minister was dead.

"Look at this place! What was the point in making it?! Just to show me off before everyone? A little crippled girl who was left alone in the beautiful garden, is this the image of an independent 100th Empress?! Of course not. This is just a showcase of a little flower who can't live without care and help from others. That's how Schneizel saw me, Cornelia and everyone else in this God-forsaken faction! No one saw me as an actual person, just a face for their group! I was a decoration! No difference from furniture that will do nothing but stay where you left it. I couldn't move, couldn't see or even eat without others helping me! I was defenceless. I was just a doll, a puppet to them, to Charles, and even to Suzaku..."

Nunnally pointed outside the fortress.

"They are killing and dying out there not because they want to make a change and fix mistakes of the past. No. They only want to make the world convenient for them. They want to return to the past when everything was simple. Britannians oppressing others, Black Knights and Europeans fighting them, and Peace Mark terrorising the people of the empire. They don't want changes, not the ones that might benefit everyone. They don't care about what I think because I'm just a little girl in a wheelchair who will be a new empress only in name. Schneizel never intended for me to be anything but that. I always knew it and even learned to accept it. After all, it isn't my fault I was like this, it was all because of the people who attacked our home on that accursed night. There was nothing I nor anyone could do to fix my blindness or make me walk again… or so I thought."

She went silent for a moment. Lelouch felt his arm reaching forward, but he stopped himself. She was the enemy, they both agreed to these roles. Enemies didn't deserve mercy… even if the White Emperor started to feel conflicted as he heard her.

"I gave up on thinking I will ever be able to live normally. To be able to see the world around me, and walk in it without the help of others. I thought that life was forever gone for me… Hahaha, and then, heh, I learned that my own father simply made me think that I was blind and crippled." Her voice became hoarse. "All these years I spent in darkness, bound to the wheelchair, I could have been walking! I could have been walking next to you, Lelouch! Holding your hand and watching the fireworks with you and everyone else in the student council, I could have done that! I could have been able to live with you as a normal little sister and not as a burden! But I was denied such a life! I was denied all of it! By my own parents! And for what?!"

Lelouch watched the always gentle little sister scream in fury as Nunnally was on verge of losing her mind.

"What was the point?! Why did that pig Charles make me like this?! Only to make his story more believable?! I lived like this for a decade only because that fat son of a bitch needed better evidence?! And what about that harlot Marianne?! Was this her motherly love as she let Charles turn me into a blind useless doll? I couldn't read, I wasn't able to write or do anything! All these years I was like this because of them! What was the point, Lelouch?!"

"I… don't know, Nunnally. I don't know. Charles and Marianne were deprived of any rationality. They were so obsessed with their wish to slay God, they stopped caring about everything else. Charles didn't care about Darwinism or Britannia anymore and Marianne didn't bother being a mother to us. That's the only fact I can tell you. I spent years thinking of how I will avenge our mother but turns out she wasn't better than our father. Nunnally, I cannot understand their thinking and I don't want to. However, they are dead. If you hate them as much as I do, then find satisfaction in their death. Know that their last moments were full of agony as their life's work was destroyed. Everything they sanctified, and everything they did was for nothing in the end and they saw it. You can't kill them again for what they did, but at least find closure in this."

Lelouch said it as one victim of their parents to another. After all, he spent years hating their father and then mother, so let someone else understand his hatred for them. Nunnally might be an enemy, but she was still a child of Charles and Marianne, another one of their victims. If anything, she suffered a fate worse than Lelouch experienced.

'Blind and unable to walk. All of these lies. I fought and experienced pain, but she couldn't even stand up on her own. And now, knowing that it was all nothing but a cruel manipulation of Geass… I can see why Nunnally is acting like this now.'

How could anyone remain sane after learning such a terrible truth? And worse, Nunnally couldn't do anything to make their parents pay, to make them regret turning her into a living doll. She couldn't force them to amend for their sins and no one could return Nunnally all these years she lost because of their parents.

"You're the first person to see me like this, Lelouch." Nunnally suddenly spoke with a weak voice. "Perhaps, only Diana in C's World saw me with open eyes. But in the real world, it is the first time I saw a living person with my own eyes. And I'm happy it is you, big brother. The first one to see me with my eyes open, standing proudly as I make my first and last debut before the world!"

"Nunnally." Lelouch made a step forward, Nunnally didn't forget her threat as she quickly raised the staff, her finger over the button. "This Puppet Requiem you're doing, what are you trying to achieve? Kill yourself because of what Charles did? Because Schneizel and his group of failures didn't think of you as an individual? Don't you think that is too much? You heard me, you're my enemy but it doesn't mean you have to die. Give me the staff and I will make sure you-"

"I what, Lelouch? Will I continue to live like a puppet? Or spend the rest of my life behind the bars? I know what I did, Lelouch. I declared myself as your enemy before the entire world, promised the impossible for the sake of it. I can't accomplish my promises, but it doesn't matter. As long as I live I will be used as a symbol against you. I will continue to be used by others as nothing but a symbol, and continue to exist as a puppet to them! I don't want to live like this!" The disgust and anger were easy to see on Nunnally's face.

"I don't want the world to remember me as nothing more than an innocent face that could never do anything for herself. I'm done being weak and defenceless. No. Once I left C's World and opened my eyes for the first time in the real world, I knew what I wanted. I wanted to prove to the world that I'm not useless, that I'm not weak and capable of challenging the world head-on! Even if I couldn't reveal my true face, I could do what you did, Lelouch. I could manipulate and lie like you and get what I wanted."

"And what? What did you accomplish?"

Nunnally giggled playfully. "Ehehe, who do you think orchestrated the battle in Tokyo? The one that happened only a few days ago, but almost started a full-blown war in the world. The same one that saw the final and last death of Zero!?"

Lelouch froze, his eyes looking at the little girl before him with sudden horror.


"Me! It was me! I was the one who tricked that Peace Mark Geass User into sowing chaos! I blackmailed your X spy into doing favours for me and putting gaseous Refrain into Suzaku's Lancelot! All of it so I could stop the negotiations between you and whoever you put behind Zero's mask. Schneizel wanted to ruin the talks, to have Suzaku stop and reveal the truth about you to the world. If Schneizel did so, maybe he would have been closer to making his vision of the world real, and since I will be nothing but a puppet in Schneizel's world I couldn't allow him to succeed. Poor big brother Schneizel, he never even suspected me. How could he? In his eyes, I'm nothing but the little girl who needs others to save and guard her. As you said back in Pendragon, I'm nothing but a parasite. Even people who wanted to put me on the throne thought so. And well, I proved them all wrong in the end, didn't I? And all of it, so this world could see me as a new person. In the eyes of the world, I will no longer be a puppet but my own person! I have done terrible deeds, and now it is time to reap the consequences of my own actions!"

"So many people died because of you… Nunnally." Lelouch was demanding to know why she did so. He already knew the reason and motivation. He couldn't accuse her of the suffering she brought to others since he wasn't better. However, Leila was hurt because of this. 'People died because of my actions. Intentionally and not, I cause more chaos than she ever could. And both of us did it to spit in the face of those who thought of us as nothing, but cattle.'

"I'm not a sadist, Lelouch. I do not take pleasure in the suffering and pain of others. What I did to my own friend Suzaku… it makes me sick, but I would have done it anyway. I'm not like you or Schneizel. I can't manipulate armies into killing and dying for my goals. I'm not a warrior like Marrybell or Cornelia. The only thing I could have done was lie and use the pity and kindness of others, of Suzaku. The same thing I used all these years, abused their compassion and let them do dirty work for me… I didn't want Suzaku to die or hurt him to this extent. However, for the sake of my wish, my only friend had to become my tool, a pawn. It is a depressing realisation, but even when I know the truth and know what I want, acting like a parasite is the only method I know." Nunnally sighed. "And it worked. How pathetic of me. I want to change the world and make it stop seeing me as a little doll, but I still have to rely on others' pity to accomplish what I want."

"I still don't understand how you would change the world like this, Nunnally." Lelouch looked around. "By forcing Schneizel's hand and making him act earlier? By uniting both Britannia and Federation against your group because you hate them? The world won't know any of this, Nunnally. People and history won't remember you as the one who led the forces against me. In the eyes of people, you're just a girl who proclaimed herself the Empress. You gave big promises, but you didn't do anything to back them except be a part of Schneizel's war against me. You want the world to view you as new, independent, and free. And yet, no one will learn your story, Nunnally. You must realise this."

His little sister might be the face of the coalition, of the so-called change Britannia needs instead of Lelouch. However, no one outside this room knows what Nunnally truly wants or what she has done. No one will learn about her direct involvement in the death of Zero and the destruction of the Black Knights' high command. For the masses, she is but a face of the faction made up of old Charles loyalists, terrorists, and remnants of a nation that no longer exists. The citizens of the Empire won't think the little girl was actually in charge or capable of doing so much damage.

"Your story won't be known to others, Nunnally. No one will learn about the pain you had to endure and the suffering you inflicted upon others. They will blame everything on Suzaku, on Schneizel and anyone else before thinking of you. After all, in the eyes of the population, you will be an innocent little girl no matter what. The world won't see or understand your struggle. It won't ever see your Puppet Requiem."

Lelouch spoke with a cold tone, but there was a note of sadness. Nunnally tried to do what he was doing for two years now. Fight the world, change it for the better in her eyes. Lelouch killed so many to do what he considered the best option. Back then as Zero and right now as Emperor Lelouch. However, people saw his fight, and they joined them. He wanted to destroy Britannia and change the world for the better, and those who shared his dream fought by his side. Nunnally on the other hand has no people to rally around her true wish. The promises of decolonization and so on, are nothing but sweet words of nothingness to turn people against Lelouch. The White Emperor doubted the little girl even cared about such promises.

Lelouch couldn't see the logic in Nunnally's plan. However, it was time for her brother to be in the dark as Nunnally giggled playfully. She laughed happily as she walked forward, managing to not fall.

"After all this time, I finally managed to surprise you and you're still confused, Lelouch. How cute! The world won't see or learn my story? Hahaha-! It already did! The world knows what I have done and sees me in a different light. You don't even understand!"

"Understand what, Nunnally?" Lelouch spoke carefully.

"You do not understand one simple matter, Lelouch. The fact that-

Nunnally vi Britannia stopped walking forward as she raised her hands towards Lelouch. They were meters apart, but the older brother felt as if she was calling for him. Neither moved an inch as Nunnally said the last thing Lelouch expected to hear.

"You're my whole world, Lelouch." Nunnally spoke with a kind and warm voice, even as her brother froze.


"All these years I lived blind and was unable to walk. I was happy because I wasn't alone. I had friends in the student council and Sayoko. But the one who gave me strength to go on, to live as happily as it was possible was you, Lelouch. When the invasion started, you carried me through ruined cities, when everyone treated me as a burden only you continued to love me. I wasn't afraid of the world, of people who looked down on me as long as you were with me, Lelouch. My wish was always to stay with you, to continue to be your little sister and help you even if I was too weak. Our life back in Ashford was as close to perfection as I could imagine when we were together… I gave up on the idea of ever seeing and walking again, but I was happy as long as I could live with my big brother. The one I love, my brother Lelouch."

"But you become my enemy, Nunnally! You sided with Suzaku and Schneizel! You called yourself my enemy! After everything we endured together-!" Lelouch let out his frustration and showed the side he didn't want to admit. "Do you know how I felt?! I thought you died in Tokyo that night. And after all this time, I see you joining my enemies and trying to ruin my wish!"

Nunnally nodded as she looked down. "I hurt you, Lelouch. I never wanted that, but at that time the only thing I knew were the words of others. I didn't trust Schneizel or Cornelia when they accused you. But when Suzaku spoke about the Geass, about how you created the Black Knights to create a better world for my sake and all the people you killed because of me, I felt terrified. I always knew my big brother to be a kind person, one capable of anything. I was afraid, terrified that you went too far. That this Geass changed you. Perhaps it was the battles you fought, killing others and the tragedy with Euphemia… after everything that happened and that talk we had at Pendragon, I was afraid I lost my brother forever. Until then I didn't trust anyone, still believing that you're the same Lelouch I always knew and loved. Your words at Pendragon hurt me more than anything else. To hear the person I love the most speak of me like that, I was heartbroken. I didn't know what to do or who to trust. I felt lost and alone..." Tears formed in Nunnally's purple eyes. "Lelouch, I'm sorry for the pain I caused you. I never wanted it. I never wanted to be your enemy. But I thought we needed to stop you for your own sake before you could turn into a monster like Charles or worse."

"I was ready to do anything for you, Nunnally. I killed so many and took away their freedom and lives if only to make your future brighter. And yet, you sided with the others over me." Lelouch didn't bother hiding his true self. The mask was long gone, revealing only the true emotions the Emperor felt at the moment. "Do you know how much I sacrificed for that dream?! Euphemia, Shirley, Rolo, and everyone else! I lost my best friend and now we can't coexist as long as one of us is alive! Can you imagine what I have gone through?! Nunnally… I… my wishes no longer revolve around you. You were my world, my meaning to live… I thought I lost you, I thought you were gone forever. But, you have survived and went against me… back then, at Pendragon, I almost lost it when I saw you and when I heard you. It hurt worse than anything else I suffered, to hear the for whom I moved forward reject me like that, to turn against me. I was in pain."

"I saw it, Lelouch. I saw everything and I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Nunnally's voice became weak. "I never wanted to hurt you, to make you go through all of it. I saw all of it and I saw how much pain you experienced. After I saw the truth and saw Zero Requiem inside Diana's mind, I knew what I needed to do. There was only one way for me to make up for all the pain I made you go through. Be in this reality or the future where you killed yourself. I couldn't believe what I saw. Your death, I-I couldn't accept it no matter what. If someone has to die for the sake of the world, it has to be me! You went through all of this for me, even if it's no longer the case. My life is meaningless if the person I love the most is no more. I thought the Puppet Requiem will stop you from trying to fulfil the Zero Requiem, forever."

"You think dying will make up for everything that happened? You dare to think your complicated suicide will compensate for everything I went through?!" Lelouch didn't bother hiding his anger.

Nunnally looked down again and nodded.

"I used Suzaku and forced Schneizel's hand into acting differently, knowing he won't succeed and defeat you. And if he somehow did, I would have blown up Damocles with him on it. However, I always knew you would succeed, Lelouch. All of your enemies are here, at one place where you could crash them and win. Puppet Requiem always had only one end. One, where I make my world, my big brother Lelouch sees my resolve. One where you saw my struggle and stopped thinking of me as a burden. I wanted you to see me like this. Nunnally vi Britannia. No, just Nunnally. Your little sister who can stand right next to you as an equal. Even if only for a moment."

Nunnally walked towards Lelouch until she was right in front of him. The staff of Damocles was in her hands as she offered him it. The White Emperor looked with conflicted emotions as she offered it.

"You won. The world will be yours with whatever means you want it and this fortress is yours. All that is left is to slay the Puppet Empress and finish this spectacle, brother. Once I'm dead, no one can claim the throne and Britannia will be yours forever."

Nunnally looked at Lelouch with a happy face.

"End this Requiem, Lelouch. Please."

"If you wish to die, Nunnally vi Britannia…"

The White Emperor, Man of Miracles Zero, and Ashford student, Lelouch stared at the girl before him. Nunnally stayed still, waiting for Lelouch to do what she planned. His prize, the staff, was waiting for its new owner to take it and command Damocles.


The White Emperor said nothing as he slowly lowered his hand to pull out a handgun. Slowly, Lelouch raised the gun and pointed it against the forehead of his little sister.

Nunnally smiled once again before she closed her eyes, knowing it would be the last time she did so.

Still, she gotta say what she wanted and saw her dear big brother for the last time.

Her plan was almost completed. It was a good way to go.

Now, it was time for Lelouch to end this game.

The Endspiel was completed.

Lelouch took a deep sigh before he pressed the trigger.

'One bullet is all it will take-'


'-to end this foolish Requiem.'

Nunnally vi Britannia looked dumbfounded as she glanced at her brother with a questioning look. Lelouch was still holding his pistol. However, instead of it being pressed against the head of his sister, the Emperor pointed it behind her. A shot was fired, but it never took the life of the fake empress.

Nunnally couldn't understand what just happened. She was still holding the staff, not knowing what to do.

"Lelouch, you were-!"

"Supposed to listen to you? To obey you and fulfil this foolish request of yours, little sister?" Lelouch vi Britannia smirked. "Who do you think you are? Ordering the Emperor of the whole world, how ridiculous. You're nothing, Nunnally. As you said, your life is meaningless and so will be your death. Therefore-"

Lelouch put away his gun before his hand moved over his face and took off the lenses. The royal purple was replaced with red Geass sigils. It was the first time Nunnally witnessed them up close. His Geass, Nunnally saw it back in World C when she touched Diana. However, back there she was horrified by them, but now? She found a strange beauty in Lelouch's eyes.

"Lelouch vi Britannia commands you. Live!"

The command was given. The pair of red birds flew towards the pair of purple eyes as Geass had begun to alter the brain of its victim. The pupils around Nunnally's eyes were now surrounded by red circles as the little girl blinked. The confusion quickly changed into the realisation of what just happened as Nunnally looked at her brother with a shocked look.

She knew what Lelouch just did. It was more than mere Geass command. When she saw Lelouch's story, she saw what effect such a command had on Suzaku. What it meant for her too.

"You- but why Lelouch?!"

"If your life has no meaning then your death is worthless. So why should I accept such a useless tribute? Nunnally?" Lelouch asked with a devious smile. "I came here to defeat you, not necessarily kill you. After hearing your story, your little plan for this silly Requiem, I simply refuse to grant you the satisfaction of fulfilling your wish."

"Why?! I will be a burden to you! People will use my name, my identity as a symbol to unite against you! I'm a hindrance to your future, Lelouch! Take a shot, kill me and take Damocles! You will be unstoppable!"

Lelouch laughed. "I'm already unstoppable. You and this fortress are just a nice bonus. You're right, Nunnally vi Britannia will be a hindrance to my rule. Marrybell is the only Royal member who can exist within my reign. However, the Nunnally who dared to fight me doesn't deserve such a privilege-"

"Then-!" Nunnally hoped Lelouch will change his mind and kill her.

"Then it just means that Nunnally vi Britannia is no more." Lelouch pulled out his phone to check the time. "Time of death: 1 PM. Good enough, this will do."


"Nunnally vi Britannia is dead. Killed by the White Emperor after she tried to activate the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead and kill everyone in Damocles and around it. Yes, such a story will do nicely."

His sister looked perplexed. "Lelouch, what are you talking about?"

"For someone who managed to ruin mine and Schneizel's plans you are rather slow to take a hint, sister." Lelouch pointed around them. "This place, this fake garden of peace is now a place where White Emperor had slayed the Faker Empress and ended the turmoil within Britannia. You are no longer, Nunnally vi Britannia. You're no one. Nunnally vi Britannia managed to show incredible courage and will that her brother never expected. The world changed as it witnessed this Puppet Requiem, even if it won't ever leave the walls of this garden. The Emperor will tell the story to the outside world, his version. And you, well, you will make up for all this mess."

"You… want me to live, Lelouch," Nunnally said this more to herself than to Lelouch. Her older brother waved away, disagreeing.

"Wrong. I just don't want my prisoner to get away with her crimes so easily. What is the point of killing an enemy who wants death? No no no, you will compensate me for all this chaos. Many people died because of you. And I won't allow you to die so easily. Do you hear me?" Lelouch bent slightly and drew closer to Nunnally until their faces were a few inches away as he captured her chin. "I will make you pay for this mess. You will spend the rest of your life serving me as no one, a shadow, a void. And only then I might allow you to die. Nun- no, you aren't allowed to use that name anymore. From this moment on and until I will find your services no longer needed you will have a new name."

She was a puppet, a pawn in the game of others. A doll who couldn't move without others pulling her strings until now. However, she was also the person who manipulated others. The Nunnally vi Britannia he knew wasn't like that. She was a gentle spirit who could never hurt anyone else. Therefore, her new name was-


Nothing but imitation. Just as how her Puppet Requiem was an imitation of his Zero Requiem, so was her new name, her new life. A walking fraud of his little sister, a walking lie-

'One who will live no matter what. A Faker who will see my gentle world, who will be able to live there without fear. Who will participate in it.'

The White Emperor, Lelouch vi Britannia offered his hand. The little girl looked at him with uncertainty as he spoke.

"You are nothing like the Nunnally vi Britannia I protected and loved all these years. She was gentle and innocent, while you lied and used your own friend and knight. She could never hurt a soul, while thousands died because of you. And at the same time, my Nunnally was weak, she had to be protected. You aren't strong enough, but with enough training, you will learn how to live for yourself, for my goals. You can walk, but you won't be free. You can see, but your eyes will focus only on my goals and ambitions, fulfilling them will be your life. Nunnally wished for a gentle world, you will live and help me build it. This is Geass I force upon you. I leave no room for negotiations, Faker."

The little girl who was a princess, a fraud empress just minutes ago looked at the hand her brother was offering. No, she was no longer his little sister. She was but a shadow, a void. Less than Zero, a mere Faker. She couldn't say no, she wasn't allowed to. And besides, it meant that from now on she could see her world, and be with him.

She was ready to die for the sake of making up for all the pain she brought upon just moments ago. The Puppet Requiem was fulfilled in a way. Her world saw her, he saw her change and that she wasn't so weak anymore. Her selfish cruel dream was completed and she died. And now, she was ordered to be reborn as a new blank person, one who will serve him.

Slowly she took his hand as images flashed in her head. The deceiver smiled slowly. He wasn't lying, no, despite his best efforts she saw past his bravado and could sense the simple truth both of them wanted.

Her world wanted her to be with him. Lelouch wanted her to remain, to live. If it was the will of the victor, how could the vanquished oppose it?

"If my brother… no, if the White Emperor wants me to serve as his servant, to live in his world as a new person. Then I-"

The purple-eyed girl raised her staff as she offered it to her ruler. The monarch took it as the girl before him slowly bowed.

"I will do everything required of me to make sure my world will be bright, secure, and happy." Faker raised her head as she looked at White Emperor. "I want my world to be gentle, and I will serve him as long as he wants me to."

"You will live for and die as I was ready to do so for my little sister," Lelouch whispered as he took the staff, now control of Damocles was his in every way. "Your face, your eyes, we will have to hide them from everyone. Come, I have an important meeting."

Faker giggled. "If my world wants to keep my face for only himself to gaze upon, then I'm fine with this, Lulu."

"Be silent. We can't allow anyone to see you. In the eyes of the masses, Nunnally vi Britannia is dead now and that means you will need a mask… huh." Lelouch suddenly realised what it meant. How ironic. After all this time, now it was her time to wear the mask of nothing.

'Zero is dead and will stay like that… but there's no rule stating that a fake can't surpass the original.'

"We will find something to use, but for now we have to-" Lelouch vi Britannia turned around before he froze, his eyes falling on the person who stood behind him and Faker.

There, standing on the broken staircases, bleeding and leaving a blood trail behind him was the one person who never knew when to stop.

Suzaku Kururugi stood there, his green eyes never left either of the vi Britannia siblings. His hands covered a bloody open wound as he struggled to stay upright.


The White Reaper didn't utter a word. His eyes didn't leave them, they didn't move. At first glance, it appeared as if he was already dead. However, both Emperor and Faker could see the pain and anger in his eyes, mixed with fatigue.

"Suzaku-" Faker whispered, her voice full of regret.

Lelouch said nothing as he moved forward, walking up to his former best friend. Suzaku stood and did nothing as the object of his hatred now stood before him. If the former Seventh Knight still had any weapon on him, perhaps he would have been able to strike Lelouch. However, any slight movement brought pain to the Japanese knight.

The Emperor's purple eyes stared down at the Reaper's green ones. One was wounded, his clothes dirty from the fight, covered in his own blood. Another was in a perfectly good state, white garments clean even without the royal hat and robe. Neither said anything, simply watching each other, waiting for another to be first to act.

Suzaku glanced at Faker, looking behind the emperor. The 'reborn' girl looked at her friend with a sorrowful expression, not knowing what to say. Eventually, Suzaku broke the dead silence as he spat blood.

"Your eyes… you walk again. I… I heard your conversation when I climbed here. I heard you, Nunnally. About how you used Refrain… on me." Suzaku said before Lelouch corrected him.

"Nunnally is dead. The person behind me is nothing, nothing but a Faker. Please refer to her with the right title from now on, Suzaku."

The brown-haired knight forced himself to laugh, even if the blood contained to come out of his wound. "Again with your theatrics, Lelouch… go to hell. I won't be able to call her that anyway… I won't have another chance."

"Hmm. Jeremiah used his Geass Canceler on you back in Europe, didn't he? It worked out. You don't have the Geass command anymore." Lelouch said with satisfaction, prideful of his cyborg bodyguard. "And yet you managed to make your way over here. Impressive. Even without my Geass command to live, you just refuse to die when needed. Heh. You've always had more muscle than brains."

"And you always lacked the former… bet I can beat you even like this..." Suzaku rasped, half serious. "Wanna try me? Or will you call Kallen to finish the job?"

"I can call my Witch and let her pay you back for crushing her back in Ashford," Lelouch said, fully serious. "You aren't in any state to make threats, Suzaku."

"That is the only thing I can do right now. That and accusing you again. But... eh, I don't have enough patience left for that."

Suzaku gasped before he fell forward. However, before he could hit the floor, the bleeding boy was caught by the Emperor. Lelouch slowly let Suzaku lean against the staircases as the knight tried to keep focus and not lose consciousness. All three of them knew what it meant in his current condition.

"Suzaku," Faker spoke as she walked closer. "You won't sur-"

"Take… take a seat, Nunna." The green-eyed pilot glanced at the space between him and Lelouch. The White Emperor thought about it, but his old friend was no longer in a fighting state, Suzaku could no longer be a threat.

Lelouch nodded and Faker sat between them. The girl looked down, the Emperor watched the Reaper and he simply stared past them at the wheelchair and the garden.

"You're actually pretty tall, Nunna…" Suzaku commented, his tone relaxed. "Do you think I or Lelouch can still piggyback you? Well… Lelouch certainly can't."

"I carried her across Japan back then," Lelouch said with an irritated tone.

"Yeah, and you were slower than a turtle." Suzaku allowed himself to smirk, while the mighty White Emperor rolled his eyes in annoyance.

"At least I was smart enough not to put every berry we found on the way into my mouth, unlike some of us." Lelouch accused Suzaku who weakly waved away.

"I was tired of waiting for you to get any food. Of course, I would try some berries on the way. Not my fault some of them weren't safe."

"Yes, it was. You're supposed to know these things."

"I preferred to train instead of spending all my time in the books or behind the chess board. Thanks to that training, I'm still here… right now." Suzaku said proudly, even if his current state was anything but good.

"And because of my reading and spending time with a chessboard, I'm here," Lelouch smirked as he showed himself off. "I would say that I did better than you, Suzaku."

"Bet you can't even outrun children."

"Ok, listen here you-!"

"Heheheh!" Faker couldn't help but giggle. Both men stopped arguing as they glanced at the young girl who sat between them. Both Suzaku and Lelouch glanced at each other before small smiles formed on their faces. Nu- Faker finally stopped as a bittersweet expression appeared on her face. "This is just like back then… 8 years ago when we were still children. Everything back then appeared so simple. Why couldn't we stay like that?"

"Because children eventually grow up, Nunnally," Suzaku said as he leaned closer to the ground, laying down as he stared up through the glass roof. "We were denied a carefree childhood and had to grow up fast. It isn't our fault, but we had no choice."

"It is rare to hear something smart come out of your mouth, Suzaku." Lelouch snickered while Suzaku managed to give him the middle finger. "Hmm, still you're right this time. Our world is a terrible place. Charles was only part of the problem. Still, he and others are dead. And now we can improve everything, fix the world."

"Suzaku, do you hate me for what I did?" Faker asked. Even though she made up her mind to follow her world, a part of her still felt sorry for what she did to him.

The White Reaper was silent for a second before he spoke. "I spent the last few months despising Lelouch, hating his very existence. It caused me so much pain, loss of self-control and… I'm just tired of hating him to start hating you as well, Nunnally. What you did was unexpected… but then again you're his sister and even I'm impressed. I feel betrayed, but I'm used to it by now… I don't have any strength left to hate you, Nunnally."

Perhaps his words were nothing but lies, but they meant little at the moment. All that matters to both Lelouch and Suzaku is that the little girl who could finally see and walk would move on. However, Nunnally wasn't without surprises.

"I can sense when someone is lying, Suzaku." Nunnally said slyly as she took his hand. The Japanese boy didn't know how to react when her smile turned into a devious one.

"What- you know what? Never mind, I don't want to hear any explanation for this…" Suzaku sighed before turning back to stare at the glass roof, towards the sky. "I'm too damn tired for any of this."

"Please, you didn't see what I had to go through to get here." All of the things Lelouch experienced today, the weirdest and most exhausting, were still dealing with F.L.E.I.J.A. and Tamaki coming to his rescue. That was one moment the White Emperor will never forget and he didn't know how to react to it. "I want to get back to Tokyo and get a warm shower."

"There is water under Damocles. Feel free to jump out of the fortress." Suzaku said with a small smile. "And count how long it will take everyone to jump after you. Bet… Kallen will save your ass."

Lelouch thought about it for a second before answering. "Nah, it will be Jeremiah. The louder his screams, the closer he will be."

"Heh… Lord Gottwald was pretty weird even before he found out you're alive. Instead of loyalty screams it was all about honour and so on." Suzaku remembered the days back when he was a simple Private. "It is weird, after everything that happened between us, he still showed me respect… I feel like I didn't deserve respect from others back then, Lelouch. I don't know if I ever did."

"I'm curious how he will react to me," Faker spoke, looking forward to seeing the man who swore allegiance to the vi Britannia family. Even if she was no longer technically one.

"It will be difficult making sure Jeremiah won't say something unnecessary when he will start delivering his loyalty." Lelouch needed to make sure his overzealous cyborg, and everyone else, wouldn't say a word about the new addition to Lelouch's allies. "Hmm, I'm curious how Bishop will react when he sees you, Faker. You didn't meet him in person, but I can already see him crying rivers of tears. Heh, I was actually surprised you didn't run into him out there, Suzaku. I bet both of you could have something to talk about."




"Oh… I see."


Suzaku Kururugi could no longer say anything, he didn't answer or move anymore. Instead, he lay with a small smile as his face gazed upon the sky, his eyes closed. From the side, it might have looked like he simply fell asleep. And he would, for a long time.

Faker didn't let go of Suzaku's hand as she slowly turned to Lelouch.


"I know." Lelouch vi Britannia spoke simply. The White Emperor took a deep breath as he covered his eyes with a palm, trying to focus. He took away his hand and opened his eyes. There were no tears, how could there be? His enemy has just died. There was no need to cry over Suzaku's death. And yet, Lelouch fought off the urge to let out a single tear. After all-

'For one last moment, we were together. As if nothing changed.'

A distant memory returned to Lelouch.

Three kids playing outside. A little girl in a wheelchair between two boys. All three of them were smiling. They were happy.

Faker squeezed his hand,


"Let's stay like this for a little longer. Everyone else can wait." Lelouch spoke as he enjoyed the peace of the scene around him, enjoying their last moment together like this. Faker said nothing and joined her world in silence.

Soon the last sounds of the outside battle ended as the smoke outside the garden started to disappear. The sky was now clear, save for the Knightmares that flew around Damocles. The battle was over, it was obvious who won. However, the White Emperor allowed himself to enjoy the small moment, after all, he won and could enjoy his victory however he wanted.

Still, the planet didn't stop moving and its people needed to hear him, and see their future ruler.

Soon a pink Knightmare entered the garden. Morrigan entered the entrance made by Shinkiro Imperium and kneeled right next to her Warlock's machine. The pink unit of the Akatsuki Model stood still as its cockpit opened to reveal the green-haired Witch, still wearing her royal clothes.


C.C. looked at the trio before her. For a second she remembered a moment from their past but quickly moved on. Her gaze fell on the unmoving body of the departed White Reaper before her eyes focused on the girl. Her warlock nodded as they exchanged looks, there was no need for words between them on what happened there.

The White Emperor gave a small smile to Faker before he stood up and moved towards his royal Knightmare.

"This world is waiting for me. Kaguya and Leila should be done with their part of the plan. Well, it is now time to address the world. Not for the last time. My Witch, take Faker and hide her from the others for now. As for me, well-" A devilish smile formed on Lelouch's face. "Let's give another performance for the masses."

The world was his, but the people just didn't realise that yet.

Inside Damocles command centre.

The battle was finally over. The alliance between Britannia and the Federation has won. The final remnants of the Coalition were destroyed and captured. Lelouch's forces suffered losses, but nothing major. Still, the news of Knights of One and Three being wounded did lower morale, until it was known they took down the former Knight of One. With Schneizel, Wizard and the remaining false Knights of the Round gone no one could command or organise their units. Once the Second Prince was killed, it was as good as over in the mind of the Britannian high command. Still, there were reports that Cornelia's Knightmare was seen on the battlefield in the company of Vincent with a single lance. However, none were allowed to interrupt them.

The Knightmares of Britannia and Black Knights surrounded Damocles. There were no more fights, no discharge of weapons. The fortress in the sky has been overtaken and now belongs to their alliance, to the White Emperor.

The command centre room which was occupied by Schneizel not so long ago was now under the control of Lelouch vi Britannia. Standing in the middle of the room, walking over the map of the world on the floor, the Emperor smiled proudly. The staff of Damocles in his hand. The giant screen before Lelouch lit up as the world saw its protector, its future sovereign.

"Hear me, world!" Lelouch vi Britannia raised his hand forward. "The battle is over, Nunnally vi Britannia and her forces are defeated. The snake that was behind this madness, Schneizel el Britannia is dead… and so is the False Empress Nunnally vi Britannia, who in her last moments showed defiance and courage to go to any lengths." Faker could do this now, and Lelouch knew it pleased her. "As for the rest of the traitorous Knights of the Round, they were bested by my own order of true Knights! The White Reaper Suzaku Kururugi paid for his crimes against world peace and his own home. Japan!"

Outside the Damocles, Kallen smiled as she watched the broadcast. Q1 was inside the Nemesis as the rest of Lelouch's confidants rested there. Bishop and Peter were bedridden and joined the youngsters as they witnessed their master. In the corner of the room, D.S. observed the scenario. Unlike the rest of them, the Avatar of 'God' wasn't calm yet, still nervous and unsure if her dear Champion would take the path they all want for him. Her worries were put at ease when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Looking back it was obviously C.C.… who needed help with their new guest.

"This is the end of the Coalition. Damocles is mine. However, I have no intentions to use it as my siblings intended. No! This fortress will become a new symbol of the hard-earned victory and struggle we went through for the sake of peace! Don't be afraid. The F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead arsenal will be liquidated."

Damocles will become a nice addition to his air fleet. As for the F.L.E.I.J.A., as long as Lelouch maintained an absolute monopoly over warhead creation he could get rid of the ones Schneizel built. Nina wouldn't work on them anymore, but the technology was already developed and witnessed by the world. Once this planet is his, Lelouch's grip around the governments of every nation will tighten. None will have the power to develop any warhead. Still, he wasn't blind to the weapon's potential and would rather minimise its future numbers to a minimum. Besides, getting rid of F.L.E.I.J.A. would be a good publicity stunt.

"However, this isn't the end. The world is still unstable and requires protection, it needs unity and cooperation. And that's why I offer an accord. Without Zero and with the treachery of the Order of Black Knights' high command, we need strong leadership more than ever. Our planet, mankind, is closer to a new age of peace and prosperity than it ever was. I offer a solution. The Holy Britannian Empire and its entire military will pledge themselves to defend the Federation and guarantee the safety of the world, and of its people! What do you say, Lady Kaguya Sumeragi?"

The screen before him showed a new face. Kaguya and Leila stood inside the UFN embassy in Tokyo. He even saw Sayoko standing next to the two women. However, they weren't alone as the entire meeting room was filled with representatives and even some leaders of Federation countries. Many of them looked nervous but still smiled. In the eyes of the regular UFN politicians, Lelouch just avenged their creator before the entire world, not to mention that he held control over the giant army and now Damocles. They didn't even know that a huge part of the Black Knights' forces was pretty much his now.

"We hear your declaration, Emperor Lelouch. The United Federation of Nations will be happy to welcome the Holy Britannian Empire under your rule as a new member of the organisation. However, there are limitations that must be placed for the sake of stability that will guarantee long-lasting peace for everyone. First, the armies of the Empire will remain under the control of Your Majesty, but the rest of the states will be allowed to form their own forces. There will be a limit to the number of Knightmares of Britannia that can be inside each individual state at any time. Because of its population size, Britannia will have to put a limit on the Special Administrative Zones that can participate in voting. As for the Commonwealth of Imperial States, since it isn't a direct part of the Britannian Empire it will have its own seat with Representative Leila Malcal."

Leila moved forward and placed her hand over the chest. "I want my fellow countrymen to understand that it isn't the rebirth of the EU. Our future is tied to Britannia one way or another. However, His Majesty was benevolent enough to grant me a chance to lead and protect my people not only under the umbrella of Britannia but also within the walls of the Democratic Federation. I pledged myself to Lelouch vi Britannia and have no intention of breaking my oath, but I can and will do everything within my power to ensure the prosperity and safety of Europe!"

"UFN is an organization of equals, and therefore there must be a unanimous agreement on this matter." Kaguya turned towards the rest of UFN's high command and raised her hand. "All these who welcome Britannia and the CIS, please raise your hands."

As expected, everyone did so. None dared not to welcome the emperor that just saved their lives and their nations from certain doom and disability in the hands of Nunnally and Schneizel. They weren't even under the control of Geass and yet, for fear of sticking out of the group before the entire world was a fate worse than death for them. After all, Lelouch vi Britannia was a hero right now and one does not simply stand against a hero in public.

"As you can see, everyone agreed." Kaguya smiled proudly. "By the laws of this organisation, from now UFN welcomes its new protectors and members, the Holy Britannian Empire and Commonwealth of Imperial States!"

"And I swear an oath to fulfil the responsibilities that the Federation will place on me. I will not harm the interests of my people in any way or allow others to hurt my subjects. However, I live for the sake of a future gentle world, one where we can exist without wars and carnage. And for that dream, I will do anything if it means protecting my people and this world. I, Lelouch vi Britannia promise this, I will bring peace and prosperity to mankind!"

People around the world reacted differently. Some didn't care about these events, some were glad that the worst was behind them now and some were scared for the future. Britannians were a little confused. After all, their Emperor offered to protect what in their mind was at best their geopolitical rival. Still, their White Emperor proved himself to be a worthy leader and a hero in their eyes. Some wouldn't agree with his decisions, but none could do anything. Lelouch and Cinder purged all potential risks a long time ago.

As for the Knightmare pilots around Damocles, they cheered. The battle and perhaps the war they were fighting all this time was finally over. Even if it meant they had to co-exist together, both Britannains and Black Knights were happy as long as it meant they could live in peace.

Milly Ashford entered the picture, most likely waiting behind the camera. The blonde reporter happily spoke. "Dear viewers around the world, as you can see we were witness of the historic event as-"

This was over. The victory was his.

'My, it was easier than I thought.'

Lelouch smiled calmly but inside he could barely hold his laughter. It would look bad if the White Emperor and new protector of the Federation would start laughing maniacally. However, who would blame him? The world practically gave itself to him, spreading itself as open before the conquer as possible.

'Well, in the eyes of a regular person it might appear as such.' Lelouch could see how ordinary people of Britannia might react negatively to this. 'After all, in their eyes, the Britannia under my rule was the one who saved the day. And as a reward, what does the Emperor get? A leash around his neck and potential limits to Britannian sovereignty if the politics of UFN will have their way. People might get furious, calling such an agreement unfair. And it is!'

Lelouch always had one goal ever since he killed his parents. Defend this world, guide making and start an age of prosperity and peace, under his absolute control. So how would the Emperor do it if he was now burdened with bureaucratic chains of UFN and its more democratic institutions that no doubt will get in the way of his wishes?

Lelouch will let them.

Ever since Nunnally ruined his original plan and had Suzaku kill Zero before the entire world, Lelouch needed to make changes to his plans. He could always simply conquer UFN and rule it as conquered, but why go the easy route when he could try something unorthodox?

'It is quite simple. While I was fighting and leading combined forces, Leila and Kaguya were tasked with preparing everything in the political arena. They would organise a meeting between all UFN states with one goal in mind. Have Britannia become a member of the Federation and tie it down to their laws. In the eyes of these politicians, it is a good bet they should take. They will think that if I can get a seat on the console and have my armies defend them while Black Knights will go under reorganisation, they will save their positions and indirectly weaken my standing.' Emperor Lelouch couldn't just go conquering left and right after he promised to defend the people of UFN. Well, he could but it will ruin his image in the eyes of non-Britannian citizens and that is too troublesome.

It is easier to get inside UFN, accept their limitations on his position and let them think they are the ones benefiting the most from this deal. Let them. Sooner or later they will start trying to put more restrictions on Lelouch. Angering Britannians and Europeans who will feel UFN's restrictions. The Order of Black Knights will see changes as the rest of the Federation will try to fill it with their own people and try to rebuild it in case Britannia tries something.

'All I need to do is wait a little bit, and perhaps have chats with some of the UFN leaders.' Lelouch's smile became bigger for one second, almost feral. 'I can see their future intentions, they won't accept me as their equal, in fear that I will gain even more power. They will try to put me down and at a distance. I will use it as justification and get rid of them one by one. By the end of the next year, the UFN will be no more and I will have everything.'

Lelouch didn't mind waiting a little bit longer. In the meantime, he will make preparations for all required procedures. Not to mention, he will be busy with some other matters involving his personal life. His gaze fell on Leila who was giving a speech to Milly, C.C. was given a promise and Lelouch will fulfil it no matter what.

The world is his, it simply doesn't want to acknowledge that yet.

After the battle, life moved on. Even if it was nothing like before.

As the White Emperor predicted, the rest of the UFN leaders started to make their moves to weaken him and his Britannia. All according to his plans. In the following months after the final battle, the world was slowly setting itself on fire.

Emperor Lelouch and his army acted as guardians across Asia, however, as the monarch predicted UFN would get in his way. They were slowly digging their own grave.

"-just received news about the terrorist attack in Ankara, Turkey. The Britannian units in the region quickly acted and thanks to them we-" News reporters around the world spoke.

Vincent Wards could be seen helping locals following the aftermath of the short firefight. From the looks of it, the terrorists were a mix of former EU army units who attempted to cause chaos anywhere they could. Peace Mark was all but dead, its most prominent cells were destroyed during the final battle. The leftover rabble couldn't be compared to the likes of the groups both Wizard and his nephew commanded.

"Today thousands of protestors gather before the president's palace in Astana. People are unhappy with the rise of gas and oil prices and demand the government take action. According to our eyes on the ground, fights between citizens and police units already happened in-"

The economic situation was slowly improving following the start of the new age. However, some had a harder time adapting to changes, usually because of outdated and corrupted institutions. The change was happening and people welcomed it, but many weren't happy with how their leadership was handling said changes. Everywhere this was a case, everywhere but Britannia.

"We are in Pendragon, just moments before the former ace pilot of the Black Knights, Kallen Kozuki, will be knighted as the new Knight of Zero. Having served in the Federation, she will be the latest member of Emperor Lelouch's Knights of the Round. When asked about her position as the former bodyguard of Zero, Lady Kozuki said that she wants to see her loved ones happy and safe, saying that even as a Knight of the Round she knows where her loyalties are."

The red-haired pilot kneeled before White Emperor as he placed the red ceremonial sword on her shoulders. Kallen spoke the oath, having memorised it again and again for this moment. It was a mere formality for the sake of the public, but for now, to the officially knighted Red Lotus, these words of love and loyalty meant the world to her.

"The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea today gave a speech, noting the need for further restrictions on Britannian military presence in Asia and their hold over the world's sakuradite reserves."

The news reporter spoke with a concerned look on his face. The screen behind him was showing the reactions of people around the world. Positive and negative.

"It will be the fifth wave of restrictions placed on the Holy Britannian Empire in the last three months. People both inside and outside the Empire are unhappy with said measures. His Majesty Lelouch vi Britannia announced his displeasure with such treatment of his nation and proposed to hold the meeting among the UFN nations. Not every government agreed to the talks, but following Chairwoman Sumeragi's speech it was decided to hold-"

"We are receiving news about the attempted coup in Beijing. The conspirators declared the current government weak and unable to carry out the will of the people, stating that a new empire must rise in its place. The coup was stopped by the intervention of Knight of Zero Kallen Kozuki in the company of Britannian Knightmares. Thanks to their quick intervention, the coup was quickly put down before more people suffered."

The images behind the news reporter showed a new model of Guren. Guren Type Special with its energy wings flew in the air, and footage showed the new Knight of Zero destroying multiple units of conspirators.

"I'm just telling you, it is quite unfair to demand Britannia to continue disarming itself when the rest of UFN doesn't do enough to justify a smaller military." One of the guests on the nightly TV talk show spoke with an irritated tone. "Think about it, there are riots, revolts and clashes between people and the governments in different parts of Asia. Almost on a weekly basis, some are armed. The Black Knights aren't the same anymore, I have friends there who complain about bureaucratic nightmares and lack of proper organization, they simply can't act fast. Meanwhile, the Imperial Army doesn't have the same issue. I know people are scared of Britannia taking over, but come on! If they wanted to conquer the world they would have used the F.L.E.I.J.A. warheads all these months ago. Emperor Lelouch is an alright fella, he didn't do it back then and he won't try anything now."

His host nodded, trying to ease the atmosphere. "I'm sure His Majesty is busy with preparations for the upcoming wedding. From the looks of it, the citizens of Britannia are more interested in their monarch settling down with one of the numerous women he was seen with in public. Some on the internet even started betting on who the first Empress will be. Even my daughter got invested in it. Heh, I never understood people's obsession with the personal life of Royals."

"Hey, the young Emperor took over his home and more afterwards. I can't handle my wife, more than one seems like a real nightmare, but if His Majesty thinks he can handle more women, more power to him."

The news reporter had a sour expression as she read the news. "This morning, the First Chairwoman of the UFN, Kaguya Sumeragi, sent an official letter of resignation. Stating that since Japan cannot be an independent state like the rest of the UFN, she will serve her people as a servant of His Majesty Lelouch vi Britannia. The sudden news had a mixed effect on the people of UFN, as the people of Japan itself welcomed the change."

If one looked online then they would see that many people suspected the First Chairwoman to harbour certain relationships with the White Emperor as the two were seen together quite frequently. Some spoke that since Sumeragi was the last line connecting to the Japanese Imperial family, the young girl would try to tie vi Britannia to Japan via marriage. Obviously, because of the story between the two nations, the topic is controversial, and the internet was the only place where such an idea was actively discussed in mostly negative ways. Everywhere else it was either ignored or had passive support and encouragement. As if someone was trying to advance their hidden agenda.

"The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Zilkhstan has officially declared that the presence of any Knightmare units on their territory will be seen as a declaration of war. Let us remind viewers that the so-called 'Land of the Warriors' is the only nation that is surrounded by Federation members and still refuses to join any international organization. Not to mention, it is rumoured that Zilkhstan is supplying militias and radical groups with KMFs around Asia. Some speculate that this is the only way for the Kingdom to have any sort of economy since prior to the creation of the Federation, Zilkhstan was known for providing different regimes with elite mercenaries."

The Kingdom of Zilkhstan and its rulers were the biggest problems Britannia was facing after it dealt with all previous threats. However, the Emperor knew that Zilkhstan had more secrets than a mere mercenary army, thanks to a certain Avatar of 'God' among his lovers.

"King Shalio offered an official invitation to Emperor Lelouch with hopes of improving relationships between Zilkhstan and the rest of the UFN. However, His Majesty is yet to give an official answer."

"-the construction of the memorial for the victims of the Special Administrative Zone of Japan's Massacre will be completed within the following weeks. His Majesty Lelouch vi Britannia will personally visit the memorial on its opening day to give a speech before the families of those who lost their loved ones on that terrible day.

"Some say that His Majesty will speak not only about the terrible event but also about the princess who is publicly blamed for the massacre, Euphemia li Britannia. Critics of His Majesty's rule often note that Emperor Lelouch speaks in a rather defensive manner when it comes to the departed Princess Euphemia. Some say it is an attempt to whitewash the history of the Britannian Royal family since Princess Euphemia was very close to the vi Britannia siblings when they were children."

"Well, it is understandable when family members try to protect their relatives. Even if we're talking about His Majesty and his rather harsh history with his family. Still, the tribunal over Cornelia li Britannia is scheduled for the week after the memorial's opening. it is possible it is merely a way His Majesty shows courtesy towards a former general who might be living her last days. It was always known that former Princess Cornelia loved her little sister very dearly and even gave up her claim on the throne to clear her name."

"I'm telling you all! It was Zero! I saw him with my own eyes!"

"The police reported numerous instances of citizens believing they saw the deceased masked leader of Black Knights. However, no evidence was presented. Official investigation from police and the Black Knights showed no confirmation of the existence of this new 'Zero'. It is most likely being a loyal admirer for the departed Hero of Justice who was merely cosplaying." A male reporter announced.

"I saw Zero too! But… Zero looked smaller. And like… slimmer? Plus, the mask and cape looked off."

Despite official channels denying the existence of Zero, online forums and people didn't give up so easily. Many people were sure the Fourth Coming of Zero would happen eventually. While some among them speculated if it is entirely a new person who will carry the title of Zero. Some believed that Zero was immortal and returned, but worked from the shadows in order to not take the spotlight from important players on the world stage and let them handle world affairs while he operated in the shadows.

None of them could imagine that their theories were only partially correct.

"BBC news interrupted its normal programs to bring an important announcement. Just moments ago we received the news about the attack on His Majesty during the opening ceremony of a new memorial for the victims of the Special Administrative Zone Massacre. The attackers were immediately arrested. His Majesty was evacuated by the Knight of Zero and is currently being escorted by the Royal Guard-"

It wasn't even an hour, but among pro-Lelouch people, and there were many of them around the globe, there were calls for a witch hunt. People were quick to start accusing everyone of trying to kill the protector of the weak and start another war among Federation states. Some pointed out that UFN leadership was trying to 'castrate' the Britannian military and its capabilities in Asia for a long time. Many remembered the old blood between each other. It didn't help the fact that many UFN leaders were slow to give official responses which only fueled conspiracy theories.

"We are interrupting our broadcast to deliver emergency news. An hour ago multiple high-ranking officers within the new Order of Black Knights military declared themselves as a separate entity from the rest of the Federation. We received news that they already took over strategic locations all over Asia, including KMFs factories in the Indian Militarised Zone. Their appointed representatives said that, and I quote: 'Britannia and Emperor Lelouch is a tumour that slowly poisoned the Federation and tried to destroy it from within. We will no longer stand aside and allow this to happen. We declare war upon Emperor Lelouch and his minions in the Empire and inside UFN. The world cannot be free or peaceful as long as this Demon is allowed to reign free.'"

"Ever since the failed attempt to take the life of His Majesty, many within the UFN were quick to blame the newly formed Order of Black Knights that consists of armies of states beside Japan. To say that this declaration proved these theories will be an understatement. Britannians and people across the Federation went to the streets to express their fury over the new Order of Black Knight's actions. People want peace and criminals who try to break it are brought to justice."

"The leaders of the Federation held an emergency online meeting where it was decided that the Britannian military must handle this crisis with whatever means necessary. His Majesty Lelouch vi Britannia was given emergency powers by the rest of UFN to act and bring peace back to the world-"

"The Federation is facing a new Black Rebellion, and this time the Black Knights are the ones trying to undermine the stability of the entire world-"

Six months after the battle of Damocles.

February 29th. Tokyo.

'It happened faster than I predicted, but I will take this as another gift from the Collective Human Consciousness.'

Lelouch vi Britannia stood in front of dozens of cameras inside the viceroy's palace. He was back to the place where his journey started, Tokyo Settlement. The city was finally rebuilt after two F.L.E.I.J.A. explosions. Now the capital of the Special Administrative Zone of Japan was going through different construction works as per Kaguya's orders, and Japanese culture and architecture were finally returning to Japan. Starting with said palace that now was resembling a mix between Britannian and Japanese castles. The same could be said for the army before Lelouch.

On the ground and in the air, hundreds of Knightmares flew in formations. Vincent Wards, Garethes, Akatsukies and so on. Ikaruga, Avalon, Nemesis, and now Damcoles flew in the air above the palace and the army. One united army of the Empire, under the absolute control of Lelouch. Behind the White Emperor, the map of the entire world was seen, covered entirely in blue with Britannia's coat of arms in the centre. The entire world was watching Lelouch, from every corner of the planet. On every screen, every person was watching the only man in a position to maintain peace and stability, and guarantee peace and life.

To his right side stood the Knight of Zero. Wearing a uniform similar to the rest of the Knights of the Round, with the main distinction being a red and black-coloured cape. His Q1 stood still, her expression was one of calmness, but one could see a tiny smile on the redhead's face. C.C. was next to her, standing close to Lelouch in her royal attire, there weren't any questions about her relationships with the Emperor anymore. His witch had her usual face of indifference, but Lelouch knew even she was excited about what was going to happen in a few minutes. After all, it wasn't every day that one witnessed the complete takeover of the entire planet, of mankind.

The rest of his loyal Knights and entourage were outside the camera's view. Bishop with Peter and Arthur stood outside the palace, remaining there on guard. Even when all enemies of their Emperor were defeated. Cinder stood next to D.S., close to the main podium and Lelouch. The White Queen didn't hide her desire to replace Kallen and stand in her place, but there were regulations. Plus, she lost to Kallen in hand-to-hand combat just minutes before the broadcast and had to give in for now. D.S. was beaming with excitement, her mission and wish were all but complete, and all that was left was for Lelouch to confirm it.

Both Leila and Kaguya were among the first seats in the crowd before Lelouch's stage. They weren't alone, others close to the emperor were there. Generals, governors, and high-ranking members of Lelouch's regime. Geassed and not. All those who were loyal to His Majesty were there to witness the birth of a new dynasty.

Marrybell with her knights was stationed on Damocles. The princess was given the responsibility to guard the flying fortress. Lelouch knew she would have preferred to be in the hall, but he promised to make up for it with the favour of whatever she wanted. Remembering the blush his 'only' living sister had upon hearing it, Lelouch was sure he had succeeded. Jeremiah was behind the stage, in the company of Sayoko and Alfred. All three were ready to act if needed even if it was overkill. None of his guardians wanted to allow any potential assassin any chance to kill their master.

'They almost never leave me alone after that failed assassination attempt at the memorial. Sayoko nearly strangled D.S. for OSI's failure to find out about the plot.' Lelouch knew people who didn't want him alive would eventually come after him, but that one surprised him. 'I will give credit to the Black Knights' latest leadership. Even if their time was cut short, they tried their best.'

The new leadership of the Order was made up of multiple military officers from all the Federation's states, except Britannia. Xingke was not invited into the new Order of the Black Knights, and the Chinese warrior didn't bother trying to get into it anyway. However, weeks after UFN reorganised Black Knights' command structure, the new leaders quickly realised how bad things were. Lelouch was silently and quickly choking UFN sovereignty from within. Britannia already had a huge power within the UFN, but the new Order saw past Lelouch's beautiful lies and found out what he wanted.

'All these little accidents around Federation just showcase the local government's inability to control its own population in this new world. It was truly fortunate that my Britannia was always there to assist. Is not it? Hehe- Be it military or financial assistance, I made sure people knew who to thank. The more it happened, the more apparent it became that I'm the only one who could guarantee safety and stability.'

The new Black Knights saw the inevitable downfall. The longer Lelouch was allowed to spread his influence through soft power and direct involvement, the more UFN states were losing their independence and legitimacy in the eyes of the people. The politicians' attempts to minimise Briatnnian involvement in UFN's everyday life only backfired, making people question if it wasn't a simple xenophobia against the Empire and its citizens. Of course, it happened so effectively thanks to Lelouch's control over mass media, all of it.

'Even people who hated Britannia in the past started to question if it was logical to hinder the work of the only UFN's state who was doing a good job and helping everyone. And the final nail in the coffin was the Second Black Rebellion. They amassed a sizable army of freshly trained pilots and seized the means of KMF production. Although from a military perspective, the new Order of Black Knights did everything right, they already lost public support. If their opponent was anyone else, they might have won. But-'

They were fighting a Demon who was wearing a mask of an Angel.

This game was rigged from the start.

'And now, I have unlimited power within the Federation.' UFN politicians made a smart and at the same time stupid move. By giving Lelouch emergency powers, the Emperor now had the official means to take over the Federation and justify it however he wanted. 'I have the support of the people. I Geassed all important pawns around Asia into supporting me and thanks to the emergency powers, I also possess legitimacy. Any attempt to go against me now will be seen as a declaration of war against the new peaceful world.'

When the Black Knights tried to rebel, it was game over for them, for anyone who tried to fight Lelouch.

Milly Ashford stood before one of the cameras, greeting the viewers. She was the only news reporter allowed within the palace today and would get the interview with the Emperor. Milly turned towards Lelouch, all cameras focused on him. It was showtime.

"Attention, world! Hear my proclamation! I am Lelouch vi Britannia, Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire and your Protector! Half a year ago I stopped my own blood and flesh, Nunnally vi Britannia, in her attempt to challenge my right of rulership of Britannia. She was one of many enemies I defeated-"

Hidden in the shadows of Tokyo, away from the busy crowds and city lights, a lonely mask was watching Lelouch's declaration. Calmly resting their arms on a railing, they watched from an unassuming point in the city, atop a common building.

Faker silently watched her whole world as his face was on every screen around the city, around the globe.

"Those who were responsible for the usage of F.L.E.I.J.A are long dead. Schneizel and Suzaku died for their crimes against the world, against the peace. After the battle, I was sure that peace could be finally established with Britannia as a new member of UFN, and as its defender. My people, my soldiers, were ready to embrace a new peaceful and gentle world and were ready to fight and die for it. I was ready to die for such a noble goal!"

C.C. gave Lelouch a side glance. Her Warlock could feel her slightly unpleasant mood upon hearing this part, but his Witch knew it was no longer the case. Zero Requiem wasn't something that Lelouch could fulfil at the present, for personal and rational reasons.

"However! At every step, we were stopped by the incompetence of the UFN bureaucracy and their so-called 'democratic' principles. While the leaders sat around and wrote their worthless laws, their people were dying and starving on the streets. My Britannia was the only one who was ready to offer our limitless aid, never wanting anything back. After decades of carnage and pain my homeland caused the rest of the world, I and my countrymen sought to repent for the mistakes of our ancestors. To guard and help the people of the world… but we were denied such a chance of redemption!"

"Following the tragic death of Zero, I was sure the new leaders of the Black Knights would live up to the doctrines of their Order's creator. I thought we would work together towards a better future as one united front, but I was mistaken!" Lelouch shouted with fury. "The new leadership wasn't any better than the previous one! Like all these before them, they refused to accept the new age, the future that was the world united in coexistence! Instead, they choose the path of war! And if they refused to join the rest of us in the new world, in our future, then I had no choice but to destroy them!"

Lelouch paused for a moment, allowing his words to settle in.

"As a result of this, I am in control of both the Holy Britannian Empire and the United Federation of Nations. No one left to oppose my strength, my rule. All those who tried were destroyed. However, I'm not a tyrant, all I want is for humanity to be united as one and move forward. I tried to guard and guide my people within the confines of UFN. But they proved themselves to be foolish leaders and protectors, unworthy to carry on Zero's will of justice. All I ever wanted was happiness for those who couldn't protect themselves, the weak and scared. To defend people who were too kind in the violent and cruel world we all were born in, forced to survive through the war with no prospect of such age ever ending. I lost those who were close to me, my loved ones."

Euphemia, Shirley, Rolo… and Suzaku. Even if his oldest companion had become Lelouch's worst enemy, the Emperor would never forget the green-eyed boy who was his best friend once. Suzaku had to die for Lelouch to achieve his wish, his goal, but it didn't mean the White Emperor didn't miss the days when they were simply friends.

"My fellow Britannians, know that I will protect those whom I consider my subjects. Those who know the real me know that I will burn the world for the sake of the people I love. Therefore, for the sake of mankind as a whole, I have the only solution to guarantee the safety and prosperity of our world! The entirety of UFN and the rest of the world will be recognized as one united empire. The entire planet will become one state where everyone is equal. No more prejudice, no more wars! Together humanity will unite under one common banner! Under my direct control!" Lelouch raised his right fist in the air as he declared. "Britannia is reborn today as a new being, an empire that will lead our kind into a new gentle future! I will lead you, my subjects!"

Outside the palace, all over the planet, Lelouch's followers cheered.

Bishop raised Uther's sword into the air as Peter and Arthur followed suit.

"All Hail Lelouch!"

The rest of the White Legion shouted the name of their master.

"All Hail Lelouch!"

The former Black Knights, those who followed Zero, and now unknowingly served the same man, joined the rest.

"All Hail Lelouch!"

All those who welcomed the new age screamed the name of their saviour. All those who were against it were silent.

"All Hail Lelouch!"

"All Hail Lelouch!"

"All Hail Lelouch!"

The Warlock remembered the words he said to his Witch all those months back when he only took the throne when his plan only started.

'If I am to create the world I just described: a world of peace and unity - a gentle world… then… this world must answer only to me.'

"If anyone dares to resist my supreme authority, they shall know the devastating powers of this new empire! Those who could challenge my rule no longer exist. Yes, from this day, from this moment forward, the world belongs to me!"

This was the climax of his plan.

The plan is to make this world perfect, to avenge all those who died because of him.

To create a world where evil will no longer triumph. One where he will become evil to conquer an evil larger still!

'Britannia is mine, this world is mine.'

Once a school student. Once Zero, once Hero of Justice. And now, White Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia gave his order to people, to the world.

"Lelouch vi Britannia commands you! Obey me, subjects! Obey me, world!"





This is not an April Fool's joke. This might be a long A/N, so just a heads up, this isn't the last chapter! There is one left…

Now, for this finale…boi, where do I even start? First of all, it feels surreal to know that 'His Britannia' is all but complete. 7 years later, just wow. I will have more to say in the last chapter about the full experience and the rest. I'll leave that for the last chapter and the moment when we will say goodbye, but not today. Ok, let's go in order.

A calm and more comedic atmosphere with Milly, Kaguya and Rivalz. All three chapters of Endspiel had a starting scene that was mostly outside the main battle and served as a means to showcase background movements and some moments of relief. Yeah, Milly wasn't the necessary part of the plan, but I thought Kaguya would want to have someone close to Lelouch as part of the main performance. Not to mention, I like when every character has some part to play, no matter how small their role might be.

Cinder, Arthur and their units gangbanged Gino, not really much to say about it. Jeremiah and Anya's scene is pretty much the same as in the canon, so she will have pretty much the same fate here.

Now, onto the big moment. Kallen vs Suzaku. Hope I and Kingpin Lunamaria wrote this fight in a fair and satisfying way. Because of the changes from canon and both knights having changed world views and methods, the fight was going to be different. Kallen is the executioner of Lelouch's will, while Suzaku is the one who tries to stop the emperor and Britannia. Writing about their fight was both fun and irritating because it needed to be detailed, logical and epic at the same time. Anyone who tries to write coherent fighting scenes knows just how difficult it is. And then there are battle tactics they used. I'm stupid and I won't deny it, writing complex battle scenes is difficult for me, but I tried my best here and I pray it was good enough for the final battle of the story. Now, about their dialogue, here I am somewhat more confident. Both Kallen and Suzaku had different journeys from their canon variants and obviously are quite different people now. I know the arguments I used for Kallen against Suzaku might come off as character-bashing, but I'm being honest when I say it wasn't my intention. For real. However, I do think they were fair arguments for someone like Kallen who doesn't want to understand Suzaku's point of view and what he hoped to achieve in an ideal scenario. For the last month, against better judgment, I participated in a debate/the worst example of online arguing over Suzaku's plan of changing Britannia from within. I have always held the position "Suzaku's plan sounds nice as long as you forget that Japanese people were dying on a daily basis before Zero created Black Knights. Suzaku's plan would require decades to even start working, meanwhile, Japanese people will continue dying every day. We can't be even sure if Suzaku's plan will succeed after who knows how many years, since he can be easily assassinated to maintain the status quo. Britannia's foundation is Darwinistic and Fascist ideology. Allowing Japanese people to be equal or get any favourable treatment will be seen as a weakness in the eyes of ideologically driven elites like pure bloods. Is Suzaku's plan possible in theory? Yes, but only if Suzaku will face minimal opposition during decades of serving Britannia and as long as Japanese people won't rebel. Remember, Zero didn't just start his revolution out of nothing. There were other rebels, and they wouldn't just wait for Suzaku's plan to work out while their people are dying like flies." (part of my position in the peaceful and good conversation I had this year.)

During this entire story, I wanted to write about Suzaku as someone who was on the losing side and who grudgingly acknowledged it. Ideologically, Suzaku and his principles were pressed against the wall. He's stuck in a paradox where joining Lelouch or fighting him went against either his personal feelings or principles. Kallen represents someone more grounded in her worldview. She follows Lelouch and trusts him to do better at ruling Japan and the entire world. She changed her goal and now both her feelings and duty are aligned, strengthening each other. While Suzaku is the opposite and conflicted over everything, only sure that his own demise is a matter of time. Oh, and yeah I know that Suzaku arguably shouldn't be able to keep up with Geass-powered Kallen when he lost his own command to live. But I think of this more as Suzaku's last-stand type of scenario, where he gives his best, plus being in rather unstable and furious mode helps go Berserk.

As for Nunnally and Lelouch's talk, once again I'm questioning whether I'm so predictable or whether some of you can see the future. But yes, some of the reviews more or less managed to predict some parts of the endgame between the two of them. Evil Nunnally wasn't part of my original plan in 2016, but it did become a guaranteed part of the finale since chapter 29 "Declaration of war" in 2021. I always thought that Nunnally vs. Lelouch is an underused concept, where Nunnally will be the one who wants to challenge Lelouch and not simply because of Schneizel. Here I wanted to write about Nunnally who was acting in the same way as Lelouch during the start of R1, but she was more fed up with the whole world. After all, picture a little girl who had to accept the fact that she couldn't see or walk anymore. Someone who had to endure all these years of fake disability, finding happiness in being with Lelouch and her friends. And after all this time, after learning several mind-breaking revelations and having to go against the older brother who loved and cherished her all these years, Nunnally learns that it was all a lie. She wasn't blind or crippled but was made to believe so. And for what? So Charles could sell his lies better? What was the reasoning behind making Nunnally believe she couldn't see or walk? Anyone who might learn this will have a breakdown. Doesn't help that Nunnally is surrounded by people who do not care about her at all, feeling alone.

At best there was Cornelia and Suzaku, but even they only thought of her as an innocent flower and symbol instead of an actual person. Lelouch at least didn't want Nunnally to be involved with his revolution and tried to shield her as much as he could, which can be seen as another issue arguably. Nunnally was pretty much alone, going through serious realization issues. Why should she help Schneizel who sees her as a doll and puppet? Lelouch called her a worthless parasite so why not prove him wrong at least once and show that she wasn't as weak as everyone believed her to be? That was the point of Puppet Requiem, ruining the plans of Schneizel and everyone who wanted to use her as a puppet and show Lelouch that she wasn't just a little girl who couldn't do anything anymore, even if it meant using lies and manipulating her only friend Suzaku.

It wasn't about changing the world or winning Lelouch in some insane way, simply showing him that Nunnally can be just as vicious and manipulative as her dear brother when she is motivated. Puppet Requiem was similar to Zero Requiem since Nunnally fully intended to die once Lelouch saw her strength and left him to rule the world in peace. The tables have turned. And yes, Nunnally saw Zero Requiem from the canon timeline when she touched D.S.'s hand, Geass is weird, we all know it. The plan wasn't perfect and Nunnally knew but she was limited by her tools and abilities to execute it. Rai's and Suzaku's rampage went outside what she wanted, but still not enough to ruin her Requiem. Of course, the biggest flow of her plan was to rely on Lelouch and she knew it. If Lelouch wouldn't succeed and instead will die during the final battle, Nunnally would just blow up Damocles and everyone on it, herself included. The hidden mechanism on her Damocles staff is real for the sake of the plot, don't like doing it like this but I had no other option. If she cannot achieve her Requiem, then dying and taking Schneizel as well is a better alternative than living as nothing but a puppet in his world. Yes, this is an insane and suicidal idea, but in my mind Nunnally who learned everything and saw actual Zero Requiem was in a bad mental state and didn't think about her own life. In a way, both Nunnally and Lelouch cared about each other more than they did about themselves, even if Lelouch saw Nunnally as an enemy whom he was ready to simply imprison. Both of their roles were flipped from the canon show, now Lelouch was in the dark and thought of his sister as the traitorous enemy while Nunnally planned to give the whole world to her brother and die for it.

And just like in the canon show, once the other sibling learned about the real plan they refused to accept it. In Zero Requiem, Nunnally was too late to do anything, while here Lelouch had an opportunity to save his sister, in a way. Nunnally vi Britannia died so no one could use her name as means of uniting people against Lelouch. And yes, I love the Fate franchise if you didn't get the reference :3

Now, I know Suzaku's surviving battle with Kallen might diminish that fight's importance, but I also think Nunnally, Suzaku and Lelouch deserved a moment of closure. Suzaku needed to learn what Nunnally did. Revealing it in the middle of his fight felt like a cheap trick to further hurt Suzaku and a cheap way to end the fight with Suzaku taking the role of betrayed and suffering enemy who lost everything in the end. Instead of that, I decided all three of them deserved a last moment together. Nunnally, now Faker experienced the closest thing to her happy childhood, now able to see it. Suzaku met his last moment with his best friends, even if he couldn't forgive Lelouch, but at least could forget for one moment since he was too tired after everything. I think it is a fair way for both Lelouch and Suzaku to end their feud, ignoring it for the sake of one moment of peace for the last time.

This doesn't mean Suzaku and Lelouch simply moved over their history and issues, in the settings of this story, they cannot and somewhat it is my fault. I did have a 'good' ending for Suzaku where he will have to live in Lelouch's world, unable to do anything anymore. However, since I didn't focus on Suzaku and Mariel's interactions too much, I couldn't develop their friendship enough to make it satisfying. Mariel was supposed to be a character who can act as a fresh start for Suzaku, a new best friend, and emotional support, perhaps romance. I didn't focus enough on her and therefore had to cut away from such a route, sorry.

And for the last part of the chapter. Lelouch realistically could take over the world right after the battle, but in 'His Britannia' he is playing the role of benevolent ruler and doing "Obey me world' right then will ruin his image that must become the foundation of his regime. Mankind must realize that White Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia is the best choice for them, either on their own or through manipulation and some force. And so, I tried to write in such a way that Lelouch's take over of UFN felt as believable as it can in the Code Geass universe. In their world there is no successful democratic nation, not to mention that UFN is made of former Chinese Federation states that likely never had democratic institutions and wouldn't give power to the people from the start. At least this early in UFN's life cycle. And such a scenario is easy to manipulate with Geass and Britannia's influence to make people accept Lelouch as their ruler.

I will talk about this topic more in the next and last chapter of this journey.

Thanks to our editor Kingpin Lunamaria for all the work they have done.

The Epilogue of "His Britannia" will be released on April 21st.