"On this day, we mourn the death of two allies. Two friends."

Serah spoke up, her voice accounting for everyone present.

Even the Constellations who did not possess mortal thoughts or emotions could feel the solemn mood resonate within them.

They gave a moment of silence for the grief to set in.

No one uttered a single word, not until the minute mark had elapsed, and everyone could finally sort out the deaths within their minds.

Of course, the deaths affected some more than others.

However, the general consensus on the matter was that this was a tragedy.

One that could not happen again.

"What should we do next?" Kuzon asked, his attention on the Constellations, but his question was also directed at his fellows.

"The effects of Gerard and Z'ark's existence erasure have been slowed down, but it'll eventually catch up to reality. Before that happens, we'll have to stop Legris… permanently." Serah responded to Kuzon, equally shouldering the resolve he had burning in his eyes.

A couple glances at the faces of everyone present showed they were mostly on the same page.

"Stopping Legris won't automatically make it so that the existence erasure would be halted. It's simply to prevent any further loss." Ana added, flexing her glasses once more.

Everyone stared at her at this point, and she decided to elaborate her point.

"Aether receives the souls of the dead and uses those to recreate new life. That's what Jared explained to me. Legris keeps killing people and causing them to cease existing. Without those souls returning to Aether, the balance of life and energy will be affected."

At this point, Aquarius broke the silence of the Constellations with a sigh.

"You are right. The Aether Tree is dying, and without the souls sustaining life… reality could collapse."

The grim possibility resonated deeply with everyone who heard it.

A couple of them even gulped.

"That is still a possibility of the far future. We must act to ensure that never happens." Pisces echoed out, swimming in its massive bubble of water.

"We just have to be precise."

The unfortunate matter with the Constellations was that they were bound by the Unwritten Laws, and as such, could not reject adherence to the laws of the world and their existence.

And so, they couldn't stop the existence erasure, even if they wanted to.

"How can we be more precise? What else can we do?" Kuzon suddenly burst out, his fists clenched in repressed frustration.

"We were doing our best to train, to prepare for the inevitable battle ahead, and he suddenly showed up…"

Everyone's face darkened the moment Kuzon mentioned that.

"Legris came here and almost killed all of us. You also said it yourself… nowhere is safe from that madman."

"So what do you suggest?" Aquarius asked.

"The only thing we can do at this point. Strike back at Legris, and doing it on our own terms!"

Once Kuzon said this, murmurs began to echo within the blank plane.

Mortals spoke in hushed tones, and a few Constellations whispered to one another.

"Your proposal is reckless, to put it lightly." Aquarius spoke out.

"But it's efficient. If we aren't proactive, then we lose this battle!"

Even Kuzon knew how absurd it was for him to suggest going after Legris after all they had just experienced, but he had his reasons for doing so.

"Legris took the risk to invade this place. We still do not know his true reasons, but he ignored the risks and dived head-on to the conflict to achieve his goal."

Sure, they weren't immortal like Legris, and perhaps they weren't as strategic as he was.


"If we do not take the initiative now, then we run the risk of either being attacked, or Legris progressing even further with his plans."

If they were caught by surprise again, it would spell doom for them.

Their powers would fail them, and they would be sitting ducks.

"The best way to win is to attack. And we have to attack now! That's what I think."

Once Kuzon finally settled down, he looked around him and was met with mixed reactions.

"Are you sure this isn't just your frustration speaking?" Aloe, who had been silent for a while, asked.

"Perhaps I speak from frustration. But that doesn't change the validity of my words." Kuzon sharply responded.

"I agree with Kuzon."

This time, it was Edward who spoke.

"Every time, Legris has always had the upper hand. That's because he is more proactive and we are reactive. If we do not actively hunt him down, then wouldn't that repeat the same cycle?"

"What if this is exactly what he wants? What if he wants to goad us into attacking him?" Lemi spoke up, her voice low, but not inaudible.

"Every second Legris is out there, potential lives are being lost, and it will cause a ripple effect to the lives that should be born in the future. If we do not act quickly, we'd be risking all of those lives!" Aurora sharply responded.

"But if this is what he wants, wouldn't that mean we are playing into his hands? I do not want to seem heartless here, but if we are being pragmatic, our lives need to be safeguarded since we are the ones Jared entrusted to bond with the Constellations and defeat Legris."

Everyone turned to Beruel, who had uttered those words. While it seemed very cold, it was rooted in logic.

However, logic was not the only driving force for action.

"So what are you suggesting?" Serah asked, stepping forward as she folded her arms.

"We should defeat Legris, but only after millions, if not billions more potential lives are lost?"

No one responded to Serah. Not even Beruel, who had a reasonably logical position.

"There shouldn't be a debate on this. I don't understand why we are arguing about this when the answer is obvious." She stepped forward, looking at the Constellations.

Aloe, Lemi, Beruel, and whoever else was on the opposing side, only sighed in resignation as Serah took charge.

"We are going after Legris. That's the only way forward."





Thanks for reading, everyone!

Whose side are you on?