Thanks for all those who are still here, waiting for this story to come back. I have no idea when I'll finish this, but it's good to know some readers are patient.

- In response to ThePLOThand's review of chapter 22:

Yep, that's right. At that time, we didn't know fully her cards' effects, so I invented other cards for her to use.

- In response to Findarato's review of chapter 1:

I won't add a relevant character that'll use that deck but only because there are already many characters in the story that even I don't remember why I added... In any case, I'll keep your request in mind when I need to choose a deck for a one-shot opponent.


Turn 36:

Following Our True Path (Part 3/3)


"Battle!" Myron declared. "Go, Demise, Supreme King of Armageddon! Destroy Antique Gear Hunting Dog! The End of World!"

Bisecting the weaker Monster's body with its axe, Demise created a massive explosion that sent an Obelisk Force member flying to the ground as his Life Points took a big hit.

"You should've thought twice before coming here!" Sawatari gloated as the Obelisk Force member stood up with a glare.

"Just like the blondie said!" Thomas laughed, ignoring Sawatari's 'Hey, don't call me that!' shout. "Ore no turn! Draw!"

Serena couldn't be any more content with the situation; Academia might have the advantage in numbers, but their attack strength greatly exceeded Academia's. As things stand, they'll win. But...

She turned her gaze upwards, where Vince and Philius ascended to Duel.

Don't you lose, Vince. she thought. I'm counting on you.

...(Vince's P.O.V.)...

"DUEL!" Philius and I shouted in unison as Action Cards fell down around us.

Philius: LP 4000

VS

Vince: LP 4000

Alright, this is my chance to find out the truth! According to Isaac, before Philius got drunk on Genesis Omega Dragon's power, he was a very nice guy; if I could get through to him, maybe he'll return to his old self and reunite with Even and the others. This is a chance I can't waste.

"If you're going to stand there daydreaming, I'll take the first turn!" my opponent announced. "Sessha no turn! I activate the Ritual Spell Illusion Ritual, whose effect allows me to release one Monster in my hand or field to perform a Ritual Summon!"

"Illusion Ritual?" my eyes widen a little. Who doesn't recognize that card? The deck Philius has is one that was used by an old antagonist? Huh, makes a little sense, if you think about it.

"I take it you're familiar with these cards?" Philius chuckled. "I offer the Level 3 Ritual Djinn Demolisher in my hand to Ritual Summon! Come, Level 1! Sacrifice!"

The lamp and chalices in the card's picture materialized on the field before flames erupted from them, and the lamp took the form of the infamous Ritual Monster.

Sacrifice: ATK 0/DEF 0/LV: 1

"It has 0 Attack, but..." this Monster has the ability to absorb opposing Monsters and gain their stats, and any battle damage its controller takes is dealt to the opponent as well. I'll have to sacrifice some Life Points if I want to destroy it...

"Due to Ritual Djinn Demolisher's effect, the Ritual Monster which used it as material can't be targeted by other player's card effects." well, that makes it even more annoying. "I end my turn. Let's see what you got, Sakushi Vince."

"With pleasure! Ware no turn, draw!" he must have a plan for leaving Sacrifice out in the open like that. I better advance carefully.

For this Duel, I selected my Fusion deck, thinking of Yuya's words: he Dueled Edo by focusing on a Fusion Monster in order to talk with him, a fellow Fusion user; let's hope Philius will open up as Edo did. Well... at least I think Philius has Fusions since he's with Academia.

"Using the scale 3 Mythorror Succubus, I set one of my Pendulum Scales!" I placed the card onto my energy blade, causing the pale-skinned woman with pointy ears, two horns sprouting from her messy grey hair, two bat wings, a forked tail, and wearing a black dancer gown to appear in one of my Pendulum Zones.

"Such a pleasure to start off the show." Succubus purred as she folded her arms and crossed her legs, giving the idea she was sitting on an invisible chair.

"People like yourself don't learn, do they?" Philius interrupted us. "You continue using those Mythorror Monsters even though they left you alone."

What's he talking about? My Monsters never left me... or does he know...

"Yes, I know!" he chuckled as if reading my thoughts. "Everything about Demiurge... and how those Monsters you wield joined him instead of staying with you. Why? Why would you continue using Monsters that betrayed and could betray you again?"

Succubus turned to look at me with a face that suggested the same question.

Look out for the "Mythorror" deck...

"I promised someone I won't abandon this deck," I explained, remembering Spectrum's words. "Also... I know better than anyone these Monster. They follow those with power! Demiurge had more power than me, but, with the power you might laugh at that's called 'bonds', Demiurge was weak! The Mythorrors acknowledges my powers and fight with me. Betrayed or betray... as long as they understand their mistakes, I'll keep using this deck!"

While Succubus let out a sly smile, Philius scoffed with a frown. "How disgusting." he said. "Bonds? I once believed in that, too, but... bonds are a mere illusion. The real thing here is that curse we both have!"

"Curse?" I raised an eyebrow. "You mean Demiurge's-!"

"No, not that one." phew, I was getting nervous there. I thought he had the curse Demiurge left me with, too. "The curse I'm talking about is the power to interact with Duel Spirits."

"How would that be a curse?" I asked in confusion. In my opinion, it's something amazing! "That should be considered a gift! You can sync with your Monsters and be an amazing team while-"

"Gift!?" Philius cut me off with a laugh. "Well, a stupid person gives stupid answers, so it's my fault I didn't expect that coming. Enough with this useless chitchat. Continue the Duel."

"But-!"

"I don't care about your point of view in the matter!" Philius scoffed. "We think two different things about the ability so there's no point in continuing. Now, be kind enough to continue already."

"Then I'll show you how far you can go with trusting your Duel Spirits comrades!" I firmly said. If I can't understand and convince him with words, we'll learn through a battle. "I activate Succubus's Pendulum Effect, sending her to the Graveyard and draw one card!"

A GY Portal opened under her feet, and my Monster left the field through it.

"Next, I activate the Spell Card Carpo's Fruition, using its effect to discard Mythorror Goddess Aylith from my hand and draw two cards! I also activate the Spell Card Slumbering Fusion!" a card which depicted Polymerization's art but having two fiendish creatures on it with their eyes closed appeared. "By banishing the needed materials from my field or Graveyard, I Fusion Summon a Mythorror! I banish Succubus and Aylith from my Graveyard and Fusion Summon!"

As my two Monsters turned into red and blue light that swirled together in a portal, I chanted.

"Seducing demon of men's dreams! Widow in the woods! Let your desires awaken the God of Death! Fusion Summon! Appear! Mythorror God The Ripper!"

Emerging from the portal was the fabled Grim Reaper that, instead of carrying a scythe, held two long-barrel revolvers in its hands, had its face shrouded in a blood-stained cloth sack with one ominous white eye visible through it, and had a body consisting of a brown cloak with two long chains across its left and right shoulders, forming a cross over its chest.

Mythorror God The Ripper: Dark/Fiend/Fusion/Effect/ATK: 2600/DEF: 1900/LV: 8

"Your screams are my pleasure..." The Ripper said in a low, male voice, followed by a disturbing chuckle which only made Philius snort in reply.

"The effects of Succubus and Aylith activate!" I stated. "With Succubus, I draw a card since I used her as material to summon a Mythorror God, and Aylith lets me Special Summon a Power Mythorror Token to my field! Appear!"

Materializing on my field was a humanoid creature made of strange branch-like appendages and surrounded by darkness, having a similar design to Aylith but without eyes and being much smaller.

Power Mythorror Token: ATK 2000/DEF 2000/LV: 7

"It seems today's show will be short!" I declared with a smile. If I attack with my two Monsters, I can win this in a one-turn kill. But knowing my luck, it won't be that easy. "I normal summon Mythorror Ammit from my hand!"

The demon with a crocodile head and a body with mixed traits of a lion and a hippo appeared with a roar.

Mythorror Ammit: Tuner/ATK 0/DEF 2000/LV: 2/SC: 8

This card might be a Tuner and should be in a Synchro-centered deck, but its effect is a useful one and earns a place in all other decks.

"I activate Ammit's effect!" I stated as my beast gave a growl. "I discard a card and banish Ritual Djinn Demolisher from your Graveyard to consume its Attack until my next Standby Phase!"

Now he can't use Demolisher's effect from the Graveyard to treat it as a Ritual Material by banishing it!

(Mythorror Ammit: ATK 0→1500)

"Battle!" I straightened my glasses before continuing. "Ammit, attack Sacrifice with Devouring of the Dead!"

"Then feel pain!" Philius exclaimed with a grin. "I activate the effect of Millennium-Eyes Illusionist in my hand, discarding it in order to equip one Effect Monster you control to my Sacrifice as if being equipped by its own effect!"

"Equipping during my turn!?" I gasped. That makes Sacrifice even deadlier!

"I equip your The Ripper to Sacrifice! Dark Hole!" following his words, my Fusion Monster could do nothing as he was absorbed into Sacrifice's mouth, emerging lifelessly seconds later from one of its wings. "Due to its effect, Sacrifice gains The Ripper's Attack and Defense."

(Sacrifice: ATK 0→2600, DEF 0→1900)

I jumped from platform to platform, in search of an Action Card to get me out of this situation. Philius was doing the same, trying to seize a card which will further drive me into a corner.

As we both grabbed an Action Card hanging from the sides of two platforms, I frowned. This card can't help me now! Philius did the same, albeit, he smirked.

"Your Monster has less Attack than mine; say your goodbyes to it!" he exclaimed.

"In that case, I'll do it in my own way! I activate the Quick-Play Spell Supremacy Fusion!" I revealed the card and went with plan B. "I use Ammit and my Token as materials and Fusion Summon!"

As my two Monsters turned into red and blue light that swirled together in a portal, I chanted.

"Eater of hearts! Spawn of the woods! Let your desires awaken a Goddess of creation! Fusion Summon! Appear! Mythorror Goddess Eingana!"

Slithering out of the portal was a female naga with fair skin and dark green scales covering her tail, eyes that glowed with a toxic green colour, wavy brown hair that reached her waist, and wore a possum-skin cloak over her human body. A snake emerged from her hair and coiled around her neck, hissing at my opponent.

Mythorror Goddess Eingana: Dark/Fiend/Fusion/Effect/ATK: 200/DEF: 2800/LV: 8

"This is a dangerous enemy, my Master. You did well summoning me." Eingana flashed me a smirk.

"I'm counting on you." I did the same with a nod. Her Defense is 200 points higher than Sacrifice's Attack, moreover, Sacrifice can only be equipped with one Monster at a time. Eingana can protect me until I manage to destroy that Ritual Monster. "I set one card face-down and pass!"

"Sessha no turn!" Philius announced. "Draw! I activate the Quick-Play Spell Sacrifice Fusion, banishing Sacrifice from my field and Nix Surveyor from my hand to perform a Fusion Summon!"

I could feel a sudden uneasiness coming from the markings over my body.

"Diavolo, what's wrong?" I asked him through my mind.

"Nix..." he spat out the word in anger, making the feeling intensify. "I'm getting a familiar vibe from that Monster... Vince, don't take this opponent lightly. There surely is more than meets the eye."

A familiar vibe? Is this "Nix" Monster somehow related to his past or something? I had no time to ask questions because Philius proceeded to summon a Fusion Monster.

"Being born from nightmarish illusions, gain the power of the one who surveys nothingness, and become a new illusion of supremacy!" he chanted. "Fusion Summon! Appear, Level 1! Millennium-Eyes Sacrifice!"

Emerging from the portal with a low growl was an evolved version of Thousand-Eyes Sacrifice! Instead Thousand-Eyes, he has a different Fusion Monster that requires Sacrifice as material?

Millennium-Eyes Sacrifice: ATK 0/DEF 0/LV: 1

"But even then, I'm in control!" I shouted. "Eingana's effect activates! When my opponent Normal or Special Summons a Monster, one Sinew Counter is placed on that Monster!"

"Mireniamu Aizu Sakurifaisu no kōka!" Philius suddenly grinned. "Once per turn, when my opponent activates a Monster effect, I can target one Effect Monster on their field or Graveyard and equip it to my Millennium-Eyes, absorbing its stats! I target your The Ripper which was sent to the Graveyard! Endless Nightmare!"

"What!?"

I could only watch in dread, for a second time to boot, as The Ripper was sucked into his Monster's mouth and become stronger.

(Millennium-Eyes Sacrifice: ATK 0→2600, DEF 0→1900, Sinew Counters 0→1)

"Toying with opposing Monsters like this...!" I muttered in anger. "Monsters with Sinew Counters can't attack, therefore, your Fusion Monster can't touch me!"

"Hoh? At least you had a back-up plan and this Duel won't be a total bore." Philius chuckled. "Moving on, I activate Millennium-Eyes Illusionist's effect in my Graveyard, letting me return it to my hand since I Special Summoned an "Eyes Sacrifice" Fusion Monster. Also, when Nix Surveyor is banished from my hand, I can draw two cards!"

He added back Illusionist and drew cards!? I was getting relieved he'll have 0 cards in his hand too soon...

"I activate the other effect of Sacrifice Fusion in the Graveyard," Philius explained. "I banish it to equip one Monster you control to my Eyes Sacrifice as if being equipped through the latter's effect. Your useless wall-Monster is now gone, too! Endless Nightmare!"

"Eingana!" I cried out as she was absorbed.

(Millennium-Eyes Sacrifice: ATK 2600→2800, DEF 1900→4700)

"I can't attack with Millennium-Eyes, so I set one card face-down and end my turn." Philius regarded me with an offended expression. "Earlier you said... 'I'll show you how far you can go with trusting your Duel Spirits comrades', right?" he tried to imitate my voice. "Well, you did a good job. You proved my point, that is. You lost your Monsters and they're powering up my Fusion Monster. What a disgusting bond!"

"We haven't given up yet! I'll defeat you with the power you laugh at, so maybe you'll understand for once! Ware no turn, draw!" once I saw the card I got, I smiled. Perfect, this is what I needed right now! Placing the card into my hand, I used a different one from my GY. "I activate Slumbering Fusion's effect from my Graveyard, banishing it since the Fusion Monster summoned by its effect, that being The Ripper, isn't on my field to return a Level 4 or lower banished Mythorror to my hand. I add back Succubus and normal summon her!"

Mythorror Succubus reappeared on my field with her 1000 ATK.

"Then, I activate the Spell Card Persona Coalesce!" I exclaimed. "I banish Succubus from my field and Mythorror God Xolotl from my Extra Deck and perform a Fusion Summon!"

As my two Monsters turned into red and blue light that swirled together in a portal, I chanted.

"Seducing demon of men's dreams! God of fire and lightning! Let your desires awaken the honored Goddess binding oath for the deities! Fusion Summon! Appear! Mythorror Titan Styx!"

Emerging from the portal was the white-skinned woman with demonic yellow eyes, pitch black long hair, and wearing a dress which was completely made of greenish-black water that showed souls floating on it.

Mythorror Titan Styx: ATK 2900/DEF 3000/LV: 10/SC: 12

"I'm at your disposal, my Master." Styx said. "I'll aid you to victory!"

"Then let's go!" I shouted back, playing the card I drew earlier. "From my hand, I activate the Continuous Spell Level Mania! When activated, I can place Level Counters on it equal to the total sum of the Levels of all Monsters on the field! I count eleven!"

(Level Mania: Level Counters 0→11)

"I activate Level Mania's other effect!" I stated. "By removing five Counters, I increase Styx's Attack by a total of 500 points until the End Phase!"

My Titan was enveloped in a fiery aura after those words.

(Level Mania: Level Counters 11→6; Mythorror Titan Styx: ATK 2900→3400)

"Battle!" I straightened my glasses with a smirk. "Styx, attack Millennium-Eyes Sacrifice!"

"I see. You avoided activating Monster effects to escape Millennium-Eyes' effect." Philius realized with a snort. He let out a grin. "It would've worked if it wasn't for this: I activate Millennium-Eyes Illusionist's in my hand, discarding it in order to equip Styx to my Fusion Monster!"

"I activate Level Mania's effect in response!" I interjected, knowing this was going to happen again. "By removing all Level Counters from this card, I negate Illusionist's effect!"

"What?" Philius's eyes widen a little.

"I also chain Level Mania's last effect to itself!" I added, making him grit his teeth. "By removing five Counters, I decrease your Monster's Attack by a total of 1000 points until the End Phase!"

The opposing Fusion Monster was surrounded by a similar aura to Styx's, but it lowered its head as its power was weakened.

(Level Mania: Level Counters 6→1→0; Millennium-Eyes Sacrifice: ATK 2800→1800)

"Action Magic: Evasion!" Philius played his Action Card from before. "Your attack is negated!"

"I'll respond to that with my own Action Card: No Action!" I declared, doing the same. "This negates your Action Magic and destroys it! Go, Styx! Hell's Punishment!"

Several souls emerged from Styx's dress with their loud cries, grabbing the opposing Fusion Monster and dragging it into the dress.

Philius: LP 4000 - 1600 = 2400

"Why you...!" he growled out, visibly annoyed by this comeback.

"Did you see that? This happened because you called the power I use disgusting and looked down on it!" I took this chance to make my point. "I enter my Main Phase 2 and activate Styx's effect, banishing Millennium-Eyes Sacrifice from your Graveyard to have her gain its effects! Soul Banquet!"

A GY Portal opened behind Philius as his Fusion Monster emerged from it, before the souls from Styx's dress caught it and dragged it into it for a second time.

"This was payback for what you did to my Monsters, too." I said. "I end my turn, and with it, Level Mania is destroyed by its own effect and Styx's Attack returns to normal."

(Mythorror Titan Styx: ATK 3400→2900)

"Philius, I want to know!" I shouted, using this moment to get what I want from him. "Why did you grasp the forbidden fruit back then? You must have had a reason to continue the experiment when you knew it was dangerous! Eve and Isaac... they also want to know! They're worried about you, Philius!"

"Hoh? They told you stuff like that?" Philius's right eye twitched for a second. "That's Team Eden for you! Always caring about your teammates and pursuing the truth."

"Listen to me for once!" I pressed, annoyed of him avoiding my questions. "Did Genesis Omega Dragon's power possess you? Did you make a decision with your own will? Please, tell me!"

At the mention of his cousin, I could feel Diavolo's attention double and become curious as well. Philius gritted his teeth and lowered his head in irritation, his eyes now shadowed by his hair.

Out of the blue, his mouth formed a grin and he talked with a voice which wasn't his.

"If you're that interested, tremble before my form."

Black winds exploded from his feet, prompting me and Styx to brace ourselves and shield our face with our arms. The winds divided into two, big groups, while one took the shape of a large dome around the field, sealing us from the outside world, the second group started concentrating behind Philius, taking the form of a humanoid being.

"What's that!?" I exclaimed in confusion, lowering my arms as the winds vanished.

"That's...!" Diavolo growled in my mind.

"My name is E'Rah." the new being who appeared said. No way... the main and final antagonist of the Zexal manga... in person, was towering over the field behind an unconscious Philius! "I am the Goddess of despair who will extinguish your light of hope, Sakushi Vince."

...(No one's P.O.V.)...

"What's that?" Mizael questioned, staring at the large globe of darkness that appeared above their heads.

"If I'm not mistaken... that's where Vince was Dueling." Rio said.

"Vince..." Gongenzaka whispered as he and Kaito stared at the globe.

...(Back to Vince)...

"What's she doing here!?" Diavolo demanded in fury. I stayed silent, still shocked by the sudden revelation.

"Consider this your award for all the effort you provided up until now." E'Rah placed a hand on her hip. "You truly are the best human Genesis Omega Dragon could've chosen as the vessel for my son. The shadow cast by the light of hope you create and consciously and unconsciously make others create gives me power... Yes, the stronger the light, the deeper the darkness!"

I give her power? What's she saying...? And the thing she said at the beginning...

"Vessel for your son... You can't mean-!"

"But you're fortunately correct." E'Rah smirked. "My son is Demiurge." my jaw dropped at that. "Why that face? Well, I admit there aren't any similarities between me and my son, so I can understand your shock from that aspect."

"But G.O.D. can see the future!" I pointed out. "He would've been able to figure out you're using me to gain power!"

E'Rah gave a chuckle, silencing me. "Genesis Omega Dragon, or that woman called Eve who made a contract with him, must've told you that him-" she gestured to Philius. "-Upon grasping the forbidden fruit, gained a portion of G.O.D.'s powers, yes? Well... let's say that was enough to set my plans into motion."

"No way... in the future, you took control of Philius and forced him to release G.O.D.!"

"That's right!" E'Rah confirmed my words. "Noroi Philius was an important piece in my plans. His heart is weak, filled with darkness born from jealousy, and emits a bright light of hope for the unknown future. It was easy to scent that light of hope out for me, and taking control of his heart was even easier."

"Why you..." I clenched my fists in anger. "Like mother, like son, huh? You exploit innocent souls for your own good!"

"That's right." she had no problem in admitting it. "After all, they're the easiest to break, no? Once I gained control of Noroi Philius and made him gain a portion of G.O.D.'s powers, I was able to use it and make him return to the past, where you'll appear, Sakushi Vince... and distort the future G.O.D. can see!"

"What!?" I gasped.

"While I can't distort a large number of his visions, I have just enough to stop him from seeing me taking advantage of you." E'Rah pointed a finger at me. I see; she was able to avoid Genesis Omega Dragon see her plan working in the shadows! "Defeating my son was the first step towards my end goal!"

"You purposely let Demiurge die!?" I asked in horror. Letting your own son die... what type of mother is she!?

"Die? That bumptious being who calls himself a God?" E'Rah snorted. "Demiurge is indeed a God and possesses great power, but he's a fool who doesn't know when to give up. In fact, you really believe he killed himself and that's that? He'll come back in the future, I can guarantee it."

"That annoying cockroach..." I muttered. "Kuh, so sealing him away really is the only way to defeat him for good..."

"Sakushi Ryu, I don't think you know all that there's to the Great War!"

Following her words, E'Rah extended a hand towards me and the globe's walls glowed with purple light, blinding me for a short amount of time before the glow faded away. When I opened my eyes, I was alone in space, watching over Earth.

"The one who started the Great War was me." E'Rah's voice echoed around me as she formed on the other of Earth. So it all started with her... "I am the Goddess of despair; my only desire is to destroy and leave behind despair! The humans inhabiting this Earth are the best to unleash my power on. But I cannot move carelessly: I am not the only deity in existence."

I could feel a presence behind me. I turned around, and saw an array of other beings, some of which I recognized as the Crimson Dragon, the three Aesir Gods, the Sibling Goddesses (Queen Sheba and Himmel Edenna), others I never saw before, and even my Mythorror Gods!

"That's the reason why I created two empty shells," as she explained, I turned back to face her, and two glowing orbs lit up next to her. "Then, I filled them with my blood and powers, giving birth to my son, Demiurge, and a daughter."

Great, Demiurge won't be the only one to worry about...!

"For my next step, I ordered Demiurge to ascend into the mortal realm through the body of a vessel you surely know." E'Rah told. Yeah, I know very well who she's talking about: Spectrum. "The Monsters which serve you, the Mythorrors... they are creatures born from humanity's fear, despair, and anger. It was easy for Demiurge to create a gate using that negative energy in the vessel's body."

Earth's clouds started to darken and slowly cover the entire globe.

"Demiurge spread words of malice to humans, took control of minor Mythorrors and, together with The Stars of Destruction he created, caused havoc on Earth." she continued. OK, I remember all this from Eve and her team's story; Ren had to suffer from this plan, too... Spectrum and many others as well... "Fear, despair, and anger are what my son and daughter feed on to become stronger. It was easy for them to spread destruction that attracted the other Gods."

The Gods behind turned to energy and shot forward, flying down onto Earth, making its dark clouds slowly fade away.

"With the arrival of the other Gods into the battle and their interaction with the mortal realm brought forth light and hope into humanity's hearts. The battle seemed to march towards my defeat..."

"Wait-!" my eyes widen a little. I just realized something. "If light and hope flowed from humanity's hearts... Then that only gave you power!"

"Keh heh heh... Ah ha ha! That's right!" E'Rah laughed with a grin as Earth's dark clouds returned, completely covering it this time. "Those fools gave me enough power to turn the war to my favor! Not to mention, some Gods walked over to my side after witnessing my strength!"

"But the Great War ended in your faction's defeat!" I spoke up, earning a glare from her.

"Defeat and delay are two different things." E'Rah spat. "In an ambush, the other Gods and humans managed to seal away the majority of my battalion, including Demiurge. We were outnumbered and greatly weakened. That's why we drew back and hid in a corner of the universe where no light nor darkness can reach. And waited... waited for this exact moment, where we strike and finish what we couldn't millennias ago!"

So that's her plan... with Demiurge's return and defeat, E'Rah was sure to create light of hope from me and the other's hearts, which she can feed on. Damn it, I have to let Eve know of this!

"You're a cute human, Sakushi Vince." E'Rah admitted with a smirk. She swiped her hand to the side, causing Earth and the galaxy to vanish, leaving only darkness. "Your power is truly beautiful... but you're naïve!"

"You're not the first and probably not the last who'll tell me that, so there's no point in making a confused face."

"That's reasonable." E'Rah agreed with me. "But you know why you're naïve? You don't understand the situation you're in." now that confused me. "I could tell from your expression earlier: when Vector and Yuto appeared, you were excited. You don't see this universe's characters as fellow humans, but simply as anime or manga characters, therefore it's impossible for you to take any of this seriously."

No way that's true! Or... is it? I won't hide the fact I was excited when Vector, Yuto, or even Reggie appeared, but to say I'm not taking this seriously or thinking of them as fellow humans is...

I can't wait to see if characters from Zexal will appear!

"Even Kamishiro Rio is back...!" I almost squealed in happiness.

Of course, I said yes! A character from an ex-Yu-Gi-Oh series asks you something, how can you say no? Well, I can't, so here I am!

I nodded and we resumed walking. Those two were a couple? Man, the more you know.

Tenjo Kaito thanked me... I squealed so hard in the inside that I couldn't stop a smirk to appear on my face!

Wow... thinking back on these moments I had during my time in the Xyz Dimension made me think. E'Rah might be right... I feel ashamed of myself. So ashamed I would let E'Rah beat the crap out of me as punishment. How was I able to do something so wrong and never realize it before!?

I slapped my cheeks with both palms, hard. I did earn a confused stare from E'Rah.

"Um, sorry about that. I was angry at myself," I explained. "Yeah, you're right, E'Rah. I am very naïve, but I can change now that you opened my eyes to my own errors. That's something I believe you're underestimating about humans in general: we can all change for the better and defeat evil deities like yourself!"

"Spare me the big talk! You're just a kid." she snarled, extending a palm towards me. It started glowing as I suddenly felt my entire deck manifest beside me. And that's what happened: my Monsters materialized in the black space, except for Diavolo!

This scene... Demiurge pulled the same trick back at Synchro!

"You're seriously trying to pursue my Monsters into joining you!?" I demanded in irritation.

"Of course I do." E'Rah said. "I'm not like my son; my power, so long as your light of hope shines, becomes stronger! I will always be stronger than any human or other God there is! You said it yourself: the Mythorros follow those with power! And I have that power!"

"I never thought I'd see the day." Hel loudly scoffed, immediately walking over to my side. Good to know her opinions on me are the same as in Synchro. "E'Rah, what displeasure to see you again."

"As I expected, there are those who decide to throw chances like these out of the window." E'Rah huffed at the fellow Goddess' words. "Any others? Make it quick."

Nekohime quickly ran to my side, evidently scared by E'Rah's presence. I smiled and patted her on the head, making her cat ears perk up and earn a smile. Mordred and Yamatochi came next, bowing their heads in respect like the loyal warriors they are. Ikora dragged Howard over like last time, but this time, Howard looked more determined of his choice and flashed me a smile, and so did Ikora.

Niall ran towards me with a crazy grin, looking ready to give me a... hug? He didn't get the chance to do it as Astaroth grasped his lab coat's collar, dragging him away and behind me. Aylith walked up to me and said something in her language.

"She said 'thank you'." Nattmara translated it upon stopping beside Aylith, Atargatis with her. "And we want to say thank you, too. You actually kept your promise to us..."

That said, the three stood behind me. Wohnung slowly crawled after them, followed by Willauk who gave me a broad grin and a thumbs up. Doppelganger, Niebla, and Sombra flew over my head, and Charon, Korp, and Phobos came, too. Valravn was next, carrying the Imperial Army statue in its hands.

Ya-te-veo, Lindwurm, Ammit, and Elfin followed suit, the last one giggling as she did so. Orthrus, Tindalos, Kerberos, and Shi-Shi ran over, each of them giving me a lick in the process, and I had to wipe the saliva away. Snow, Succubus, and Agrat bat Mahlat walked past me but giving me a kiss before doing so on the cheek, which made me blush a little.

"Can I take it we're done?" E'Rah asked, looking bored.

Styx stepped forward, scrutinizing me before speaking. "My condition... you didn't drop Entertainment Dueling, but you are trying to make some changes to it. If you're willing to keep a promise, I'll aid you." she walked over.

"I see a strong determination in your eyes. I'll do my best, but so will you." Eingana did the same. Aeshma and Kulshedra came seconds later, followed by Khonsu.

"I wouldn't mind gifting this world with life if it means battling by your side." the God admitted.

"Khonsu..." I whispered in surprise.

"OK, OK, since everybody's doing it, I guess I'll have to as well." Aita huffed, flying over.

"You're just saying that because you're afraid of Master when he's angry." Aura whispered to him (loud enough for me to hear) while following him.

"Silence!" Aita hissed back, which made me chuckle.

"I don't like trusting allies, but you have power. I can't overlook that." Baalzebub was next, together with Seimei, Micutli, and Perses.

The Ripper placed a gun's barrel to my forehead, making me sweatdrop. "I'd like to hear your screams, one day." he chuckled, going behind me with Xolotl, Surtr, and Forneus.

Wow... everyone chose my side. My Monsters... they want to be a team... This scene would've made somebody throw up, but for me, this was the best thing that could happen. Spectrum knew this day will come, that's why he asked me to look out for the Mythorrors.

"That guy-!" I slapped my cheeks again, but let out a grin. "Thank you, everyone! What do you have to say about this, E'Rah!?"

The Goddess in question was silent before laughing. "Keh heh heh... Ah ha ha ha ha! This is something even I couldn't predict. I congratulate you, Sakushi Vince and the Mythorrors you wield. But..."

She swung her arm to the side, causing my Monsters to vanish and make the globe take a new appearance, namely the one of a neverending field with a white sky, dark clouds, glowing crosses and obsidian tombs jutting from the ground.

"I know this place... this is your graveyard!" I shouted, remembering this from the manga.

"That's right." E'Rah licked her lips and gestured to the field. "This is my collection! Each headstone is a hope I've crushed! Light is fragile and fleeting. Darkness is always the victor. Sakushi Vince, you think this moment you had just now can help you? Fool. Your light of hope increases my power!"

Damn it, she's right! The hope my Monsters gave me strengthens her, too!

"But!" I exclaimed, my eyes glowing. "It gives power to me as well! You're not the only one to become stronger, E'Rah! Light and darkness- what's the difference!? In the end, what matters, is who's the victor!"

"Say any brave words your brain can think of, but the result will be the same!" E'Rah shouted back. "Light and darkness- whichever survives is the truth! At the end of this Duel, you'll become one of my headstones and be part of my collection!"

"You disgusting harridan!"

After Diavolo's scream in my mind, I let his vision guide me to what made him say that. Under us and some meters away, two glowing crosses jutted from the ground and were placed close to each other. I read the words one of them had.

[Here rests Hell's Creator, Queen Sheba]

Diavolo's mother. That was Queen Sheba's grave. I could feel the markings over my body burn with intense emotions that I recognized as sadness, hatred, and anger. I glanced at the other tombstone.

[Here rests Heaven's Creator, Himmel Edenna]

"This bitch...!" I growled in a low tone. Eve did explain to us the Sibling Goddesses were sadly killed during the Great War- and I have their murderer right in front of me! Diavolo's anger was making me angry, and not adding my own to it...

"I'll kill her."

"And I will grant you that wish." I said to my Ace Monster.

"No stupid plot armour and no one can save you from me, human!" E'Rah proclaimed as the cards from my Duel with Philius materialized between us. "Resuming the Duel! Ware no turn, draw!"

The unconscious Philius started moving, drawing a new card. His eyes remained dull, which made me think E'Rah's in charge. That further increased my own rage!

"I normal summon Nix Cherub from my hand!" E'Rah exclaimed as Philius played the said card, summoning a strange Monster to his field.

It was a grotesque humanoid being with translucent skin, crimson armour made of asteroids over its shoulders and torso, hands and feet made of three talons each, and had a pulsing brain attached to its neck. The Monster was twice my size and it gave a long groan upon appearing.

Nix Cherub: Dark/Psychic/Normal/ATK: 0/DEF: 2100/LV: 2

"A new Nix Monster..." I muttered. The aura they emit... it's similar to E'Rah's, that's why it was familiar to Diavolo. They are her servants!

"I target Cherub to activate the Trap Card The Sacrifice of Nix - Devouring." a card which depicted Nix Cherub's body falling apart on an ancient altar appeared. "I add a Level 10 Nix from my deck to my hand, and since I did, I destroy the targeted Cherub and treat it as if being destroyed by an opponent's card effect!"

Her Monster's skin started bubbling until it exploded, leaving the field with a shriek.

"At this instant, I activate the effects of two Gods in my hand!" E'Rah smirked. "When a "Nix" Normal Monster I control is destroyed by an opponent's card effect, I can Special Summon God of Nix - Desolation and God of Nix - Nihility from my hand! Come forth!"

The first God to appear was a spherical being covered in crimson armour made of asteroids that left some parts bare, displaying its rotten skin underneath it, and in its center, there was a gaping maw with rows upon rows of fangs, and emerging from its sides were numerous translucent tentacles that ended with dragon-shaped heads with no mouths.

God of Nix - Desolation: Divine/Psychic/Effect/ATK: 5000/DEF: 5000/LV: 10

The second God to appear was as tall as E'Rah, its body made of translucent bones and forming a humanoid body, but having the head of a dragon-shaped skull and horns with glowing blue flames for eyes, had five demonic wings, and held an obsidian longsword clad in purple flames.

God of Nix - Nihility: Divine/Psychic/Effect/ATK: 5000/DEF: 5000/LV: 10

What in the world!? She has Level 10 DIVINE-Attributed Monsters as well like my Diavolo!? This deck is completely different from the one she has in the manga!

"See it... and feel it! Struggle as they may, all things fall! Future... hope... those are but temporary consolation! BATTLE!" E'Rah announced. "Desolation, attack Mythorror Titan Styx! Despair of Destruction!"

Swinging its longsword at my Titan, Styx screamed in pain as she was blown back by the attack.

"My Master...! I leave the rest to you-!" she shouted before exploding in particles.

"S-Styx!" I cried out before being thrown back as well, crying out in pain by the damage and landing on another platform.

Vince: LP 4000 - 2100 = 1900

"Due to Desolation's effect, you can't place cards into your Pendulum Zones," E'Rah explained, making me grit my teeth. "With that, you can't use Styx's effect to place it in the Pendulum Zone!"

"But I can activate the Trap Card Book of Myths!" I shouted, extracting two cards from my deck and adding them to my hand. "Since you destroyed my Mythorror, I can add two new ones from my deck to my hand!"

"Still clinging to those, are you?" E'Rah taunted. "It will do you no good! Battle! Nihility, attack Sakushi Vince directly! Despair from the Darkness!"

"I activate Closed Gates of Hell's effect from the Graveyard!" I abruptly stated, using the card I discarded with Ammit's effect turns ago. "When my Life Points would drop to 0 by an enemy attack, I can banish it from the grave to negate the damage and end the Battle Phase!"

A transparent barrier protected me from Nihility's attack, a blast of purple energy coming from its center mouth which caused the barrier to shatter.

"Urgh, insolent kid..." E'Rah clicked her tongue in annoyance. "I end my turn! But your fate is despair, human! So long as Desolation is on the field, you can't Pendulum Summon, set your Pendulum Scales, and activate Pendulum Effects! And with Nihility, you can't Fusion Summon or declare attacks with Fusion Monsters! Since you foolish chose to use a Pendulum/Fusion-based deck for this Duel, your arms and legs are tied down with this formation!"

"I don't need either of those to kill you!" I yelled back. "On my next turn, you'll lose!"

"And how do you plan in-!?"

E'Rah's words were caught in her throat as my markings started glowing under my clothes, Diavolo's power increasing within by the second.

"Those are-! NO! I won't accept that!" she roared.

"But you better will! Ware no turn!" I bellowed, ready to unleash our fury. "DRAW! Since my opponent is the only one to control Monsters, I can Special Summon Mythorror Lindwurm from my hand!"

The long lizard with dark green scales, two arms with long obsidian claws, and fangs jutting from its mouth and body appeared with a resounding roar, ready to battle.

Mythorror Lindwurm: ATK 2000/DEF 500/LV: 5/SC: 2

"And now that I control a Mythorror, I can Special Summon Mythorror Tindalos from my hand!"

The Monster whose body consisted of a large, canine skeleton, two bat wings emerging from its back, red flames for eyes, and sharp fangs with a drooling tongue in its mouth appeared, howling as it did so.

Mythorror Tindalos: ATK 2400/DEF 2700/LV: 7/SC: 6

"Now, I release my two Monsters and summon my Ace!"

"NOOOO!" E'Rah screamed in anger.

My two Monsters exploded in particles as I chanted.

"Come out of the deep darkness, dragon emperor clad in obscurity! Lay waste to all and proclaim to Heaven and Hell this bloodstained Earth is now pure once more! Advance Summon! Manifest now, Level 10! Makai Diavolo Dragon!"

The ground behind me split into two and infernal flames erupted like a volcano. A clawed hand emerged next, taking hold of the ground before its full body emerged. Tall as E'Rah, Makai Diavolo Dragon was the bipedal dragon clad in dark purple scales with regal-purple coloured under neck, underbelly, and the posterior of his arms, legs, and tail, had two horns sprouting from his head which curved downwards with pointy ends, and two smaller tails extended from his back, and these horns and tails, along with his claws and talons, glowed with a fiery orange, and along his chest, arms, and legs, the same markings I had on my skin glowed.

Makai Diavolo Dragon: ATK 3500/DEF 3500/LV: 10/SC: 0

"Impossible! When did you make a contract with Queen Sheba's son!?" E'Rah demanded.

"Just in time to be here and kill you!" Diavolo roared. "My grudge hasn't died out yet, you disgusting harridan! For taking my Mother's... and Himmel Edenna's... lives! Prepare yourself to repent for your sins!"

"Don't get cocky!" E'Rah exclaimed. "Your Attack is way inferior to my two Gods'! You can't touch my field or me!"

"No, we can!" I interjected. "With this card: I activate the Spell Card Makai World!"

The ground below started glowing in sync with the tombstones, and the humanoid ghost made of flames that had bored faces and two eyes made of darkness slowly emerged from them.

"My graveyard!" E'Rah's eyes widen.

"Makai World's effect!" I continued, earning a glare from her. "Upon activation, all Monsters on the field are changed to Attack Position and have their Attack decrease by 100 times the number of Monsters on the field. I count three!"

The ghosts started moving forward like zombies, grabbing onto her Gods and making them groan in pain.

(Makai Diavolo: ATK 3500→3200; Desolation: ATK 5000→4700; Nihility: ATK 5000→4700)

"What a useless card!" E'Rah sneered. "What's the point in lowering your own Monster's Attack!?"

"At this moment, I activate Makai Diavolo Dragon's effect!" I declared, making her gasp. "During either player's turn, when this card's Attack or Defense value changes, all Monsters on the field have their Attack and Defense returned to their original value. Then, my dragon shall gain the total amount of changed values! GO! MAKAI CHARGE!"

The fiery orange parts and markings of my dragon started glowing even more brightly as every Monster on the field was surrounded by a red aura, which was sucked up by Makai Diavolo and its eyes flashed red.

(Makai Diavolo: ATK 3200→4400; Desolation: ATK 4700→5000; Nihility: ATK 4700→5000)

"BATTLE!" I cried out, my eyes glowing, too. "Makai Diavolo Dragon, attack Desolation!"

"What!? You're attacking my God!?" E'Rah gasped in confusion.

"When my Ace battles an opposing Monster with more Attack," I explained. "By banishing Makai World from my Graveyard, all Monsters on the field will gain 1000 Attack! Makai Diavolo's effect activates again at that time: Makai Charge for a second time!"

The same scene from before repeated itself.

(Makai Diavolo: ATK 4400→5400→7400; Desolation: ATK 5000→6000→5000; Nihility: ATK 5000→6000→5000)

"7400 Attack...!" E'Rah's eyes widen in disbelief. She gritted her teeth in anger. "CURSE YOU!"

"DIE!" Diavolo and I shouted in unison, and he unleashed a stream of flames from his mouth, washing over Desolation and E'Rah, who screamed in pain as she was blown back.

Philius (E'Rah): LP 2400 - 2400 = 0

Winner: Vince!

"Urgh! You cockroaches...!" she hissed before her body slowly disintegrated into the dark winds. "Know this!" she started. "Nothing has ever escaped my destruction! You've won this time, but shadows always prevail over the light! I will return to finish my job!"

The images projected by the globe around us vanished as E'Rah returned into Philius's body, and the youth vanished through a black portal that opened under his feet.

"Philius!" I called out, trying to reach for him, but the platform under my feet vanished as the Duel ended, making me cry out as I started falling towards the ground.

"Vince!" luckily for me, Gongenzaka managed to catch me before squashing into the ground.

"Th-Thank you, Gongenzaka..." I sighed in relief. But I frowned: E'Rah managed to escape! Damn it, there goes our chance to end this quickly and save Philius!

"This loss will slow her down." Diavolo's voice rang in my head and I put my feet on the ground. "And we were able to hit her with our rage. I'm unsatisfied with the result... but at least Mother's soul can rest at some piece. And... my cousin's, too..."

Glancing at my surroundings, I noticed everyone happy on their victories, especially Sawatari who was bragging around with Yuya, who switched places with Yuto it seems. But I could see he's worn out. Everyone is, I included.

We should be happy we achieve this much. E'Rah won't escape us next time!


Fan-made Cards:

Philius/E'Rah:

Nix Surveyor (Dark/Psychic/Effect/ATK: 0/DEF: 0/LV: 3)

When banished from your hand: You can draw 2 cards.

Nix Cherub (Dark/Psychic/Normal/ATK: 0/DEF: 2100/LV: 2)

Empty shell and servant of a Goddess of despair.

The Sacrifice of Nix - Devouring

Normal Trap

Target 1 "Nix" Normal Monster you control: Add 1 Level 10 "Nix" monster from your deck to your hand, and if you do, destroy the targeted monster and treat it as if being destroyed by an opponent's card effect. You can only activate 1 "The Sacrifice of Nix - Devouring" per turn.

God of Nix - Desolation (Divine/Psychic/Effect/ATK: 5000/DEF: 5000/LV: 10)

This card cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. This card can only be Special Summoned (from your hand or GY) by its own effect when a "Nix" Normal Monster you control is destroyed by an opponent's card effect. Cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. Non-"Nix" monsters you control cannot attack. Your opponent cannot Pendulum Summon, place cards into their Pendulum Zones, and activate Pendulum Effects.

God of Nix - Nihility (Divine/Psychic/Effect/ATK: 5000/DEF: 5000/LV: 10)

This card cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. This card can only be Special Summoned (from your hand or GY) by its own effect when a "Nix" Normal Monster you control is destroyed by an opponent's card effect. Cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. Non-"Nix" monsters you control cannot attack. Your opponent cannot Fusion Summon and declare attacks with Fusion Monsters.

Vince:

Slumbering Fusion

Normal Spell

Fusion Summon 1 "Mythorror" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using Fiend monsters from your field or GY as Fusion Material by banishing them. If the monster summoned by this card's effect is not on your field, you can banish this card from your GY: Target 1 of your banished Level 4 or lower "Mythorror" monsters; add it to your hand.

Mythorror God The Ripper (Dark/Fiend/Fusion/Effect/ATK: 2600/DEF: 1900/LV: 8)

1 "Mythorror" monster + 1 Level 5 or higher Fiend monster

You can Tribute 1 other "Mythorror" monster on your field: Inflict damage to your opponent equal to half the Tributed monster's ATK, and if you do, all battle damage your opponent takes this turn is halved. When destroyed by battle or a card effect and sent to the GY: Banish it and target 1 face-up monster on your field; Inflict damage to your opponent equal to half its original ATK, and if you want, destroy it and Special Summon this card. You can only use each effect of "Mythorror God The Ripper" once per turn.

Mythorror Goddess Eingana (Dark/Fiend/Fusion/Effect/ATK: 200/DEF: 2800/LV: 8)

1 "Mythorror" monster + 1 Fiend monster with 2000 or more ATK

Also treated as a Reptile monster while on the field. When your opponent Special Summons a monster(s) to their side of the field: You can place 1 Sinew Counter on that monster(s). When a Sinew Counter is removed from a monster(s), if you control this card, that monster(s) is banished face-down.

(Monsters with Sinew Counters cannot attack or activate their effects that would affect "Mythorror Goddess Eingana".)

Makai Diavolo Dragon (Divine/Fiend/Pendulum/Effect/ATK: 3500/DEF: 3500/LV: 10/SC: 0)

Pendulum Effect: You can only Pendulum Summon Fiend monsters. This effect can't be negated. When activated, add 1 "Makai World" from your deck, GY, or Banish Zone to your hand.

Monster Effect: Cannot be Special Summoned. When this card's ATK or DEF changes, you can (Quick Effect): Make all monsters on the field have their ATK and DEF return to their original value, and if you do, this card gains ATK equal to those changes until the End Phase. Once per turn, by sending 1 card from your hand or side of the field to the GY, you can: Declare an additional attack with this card this turn. When battles an opponent's monster with more ATK: You can banish 1 "Makai World" from your GY; all monsters on the field gain 1000 ATK.


A 'thank you' for ringtaillemur0 who submitted Mythorror Goddess Eingana!

I'm not gonna lie, this was hard to write. I didn't think of this story for almost half a year, I forgot stuff, and my way of writing changed since then. But with some effort, I was able to write this chapter for you guys.

First of all, the main antagonist of the story makes her debut, E'Rah! The mother of Demiurge and another Goddess who has yet to appear. I waited to make her entrance for quite some time, and I got the chance to do so in this chapter. We also got more intel on the Great War and Philius's evil, both caused by E'Rah.

The Duel was a little short but because it wasn't really the main focus of the chapter. With that said, I'll see you all next time, whenever that'll be. I have some Battle Spirits action to update!