A moment of silence is usually given for the dead, but the explosion that erupted in the sky completely erased such expectations.


The eruption roared, swallowing a huge chunk of the vast sky.

However… it didn't last for long.


Darkness slowly began to surface around the edges of the plumes of fiery energy until it consumed everything.

The black matter closed in on the rest of the blast, until it converged at the center of the explosion.

Once the smoke dissipated and the dust settled, only one man was left floating in the air, and he had a casual smile on his face as he watched the two who stood beneath him.

"In the end… he still couldn't buy you any time." Legris snickered, exhaling gently.

His darkened gaze focused on the expressions that the two women had, and much to his chagrin… they had absolutely resolute expressions.

"Even after the death of your comrade, it seems not much has changed." Legris uttered, now rubbing his chin ever so slightly.

"We'll have to change that."


Serah felt a pang of pain as she stared at Legris.

The way he had easily subdued Gerard made her heart ache even further, though it was the way he made light of their ally's sacrifice that pissed her off the most.

'Gerard knew he would be a burden to us, so he removed himself from the equation. That's brave and honorable.'

If things had devolved into a hostage situation, the situation might have gotten a little dicey, though she somehow had the feeling that the outcome would have been the same.

'I would have killed him myself if that was the case.'

Death, at this point, was only a temporary state of being, after all.

The goal was to stop Legris from doing whatever he came to the Constellation Realm for.

"I can see that fiery look in your eyes. You're thinking of how to stop me, aren't you?" Legris' voice interrupted Serah's thoughts, causing her to grit her teeth.

Still, rather than get worked up, she focused her attention on recovering her energy.

"Not even taking some time to mourn the death of your ally… you're so heartless, Serah. You too, Maria. I thought you were both better than that."

"You're doing a nice job projecting your own inner state." Maria responded, her brows furrowed in disapproval.

Serah remained silent, and she had thought Maria would follow suit. However, it seemed like Gerard's death struck more than just a nerve for her.

"Say what you wish, but Jared is going to resurrect Gerard. There's no need to waste our time mourning him. We only have to—"

"Hold on… what?" Legris interrupted Maria's declaration with words of his own.

His expression oozed genuine surprise, and his hand slowly made its way to his mouth, covering his lips as if experiencing a downright shocking event.

"Don't tell me… you guys haven't figured it out by now." He mumbled more words.

The path his tone was taking began to trouble both Serah and Maria.

The mockery within it… the ecstasy… it felt too surreal.

"Hehe… hehehehe… hehehehehehehehehehe…"

Before Serah and Maria realized it, Legris went from silent chuckles to loud bursts of laughter.



"Hey! What's so funny?"




An overwhelming surge of energy suddenly swept through the area, everything emanating from Serah's position.

Right now she was even more troubled than Maria. Perhaps it was because she had been getting a creeping suspicion within herself.

One that she desperately wished Legris would not confirm.

"Everyone and everything I consume ceases to exist. They become a part of me… a personification of what should not exist."

"N-no… what are you saying? You're spouting nonsense!" Serah let out.

All the reserves of anger, sorrow and pain that she had kept hidden within her due to the hope of an eventual resurrection slowly began to surface.

"The same applies to your lost limbs, Serah. They won't be coming back. Once I have devoured something, that thing is gone forever."

"S-shut up! You're lying!" She gritted her teeth, even though her deep-seated suspicions were being confirmed.

Somewhere within her, she had suspected such an outcome.

But… but…

"Right as Gerard exploded himself, I absorbed him. He is now a part of me, Serah."

"You're bluffing! You have no basis! Jared, no… the Constellations will bring him back!"

"I apologize that you thought otherwise, but… none of your dead allies are returning. Not Gerard, not Z'ark, and by the time I'm finished… not even you."

As she heard another familiar name, Serah paused for a second, her eyes wide open.

'Z'ark is dead too…?!'

Z'ark was in a different dimension, so if Legris had killed, that meant he was in more dimensions than what he let on.

Since Serah now knew of his ability to generate variants, it all connected very quickly in her head.

'How many of our allies has he already…'

Everything began to converge to form a chaotic mess in Serah's head, and she began to breathe heavily.

"That's right, Serah. Keep guessing. You already know that both Z'ark and Gerard no longer exist. How many more could be in that equation? There's no way for you to find out, is there?"

Rage. Unbridled rage swirled from within her.

Somehow, she could not doubt his assertions. Even though there was no definite proof backing his claims, Legris' words rang true within her.

And it was frightening!

"Once I leave this Constellation reality, the effects of their nonexistence will bleed into the world, and all worlds within the Aether Branch. Thus, all their descendants and the effects of their existence will cease to be."

Serah found it unbelievable. There was no way someone like Legris had that much power.

Yet, the ease at which he spouted those grandiose statements made her believe him.

"When you were chasing after me, you saw all those worlds that got destroyed, didn't you? Well… not all of them were my doing. Sometimes, the ripple effects of the nonexistence of one or two individuals can lead to an entire reality unraveling."

A society without its ruler was bound to fail. A generation without its patriarch would never exist. A world without its Hero was bound to fall.

Such was the nature of causality.

"You must have realized it now, right? What you have to do in order to prevent more chaos in the world." Legris grinned wickedly, raising both hands as if prepared for an embrace.

"You need to prevent me from leaving this Constellation Realm."

As a place outside the time and space of the regular world, it was a separate realm entirely.

As long as Legris remained, the ripples would not be able to spread.

"If I leave this place, the nonexistence of your allies will be cemented into reality."

Thus, it would become an irreversible event!

"So, I hope you—"







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