HetaOni: Time Marches On

Chapter 19: Reversing Time

England opened his eyes, gazing at the the front entrance to the mansion, the journal clutched at his side. Remnants of magic finding its way to him. He could see again. That was the first thing he became aware of.

Time had moved strangely in that white space while he went back in time. It felt like no time had passed at all, and then he felt as if he had been there forever. He suddenly looked around him his thoughts becoming clearer. He'd just gone back in time, shouldn't the others be here with him? Where were they? And why did he still remember? Was it because he signed the Journal? A thousand questions filled his mind. He wondered where he should go. Was anyone even here? He tried the front door just in case. The doorknob jiggled in his hands but the door still wouldn't budge.

He sighed, it was worth a shot. Where was everyone? It was strange to think that he would have gone back in time alone. Did he do something wrong? The journal didn't seem to think so. But then again, a dark magic still seemed to haunt it.

There was a loud bang down the hall. The place was empty, and England confused. "It couldn't hurt to check it out," He thought, heading down the hallway in front of him. The noise seemed to come from that direction. Perhaps the annexe? But that shouldn't be open yet.

He had yet to turn left before he heard voices, “Watch your step.” England was relieved for a brief moment... That is until he made out their conversation.

“Very funny, you git,” England heard his own voice echo back.

“Give me a hand getting him up the stairs...” Germany’s voice added to the mix solemnly.

What was this?! He meant to go back in time but how far exactly had he gone back? It almost seemed like he only went back a few hours. But there was no way...

The group coming from the annexe turned, leaving England to see for himself the horror of his situation. Germany led the lot of them, Italy’s lifeless body draped over his arms. Japan and Prussia attempted to give him a hand, holding Italy’s head or feet, but nevertheless Germany did most of the carrying. Following closely behind was a reflection he saw of himself, with America guiding him through the halls.

England almost didn’t react to this at first, trying to figure out how he was going to explain two of himself. Crap! How could he mess up his own timeline?! Or was it really his timeline anymore?... He attempted to talk his way out of it, “Listen. Uh, this isn’t what it looks like. I Umm...”

The group didn’t even seem to notice. In fact they walked right past him! America bumped shoulders with him while walking passed. He looked around to see what he had bumped into, but simply looked right passed England. After a moment returning to guide the other England down the hall.

England looked to his hands, and to the journal he held in them. If he looked closely he could see a faint aura surrounding his entire body. It must be what is keeping him invisible from those in this time loop.

In that case, he should think of it like what happened to Italy, America, and Germany. The only problem, is that he’s only a few hours behind the others. What happens when time catches up? Will he remain merely hours behind everyone until they either escape or die?... Could he even die? Could that monster even find him like this? What other options do they have though? He still has the journal. Which meant time could not be reversed again.

The group belonging to this world several hours behind, suddenly ducked out of sight. It felt uncomfortable being alone. They had spent too much time being careful never to be alone outside the safe room. There was no telling where the creature would come from. He hesitantly followed this group back. At least tagging along he would remember where they were and how far he had yet to go before time caught up.

As he walked behind he began to seriously question a few things. Firstly, how come he didn’t restart time? That was what he was trying to do after all. And it seemed like that was what the magic suppressed in this journal wanted from him as well. Was it all a trick to strand him and the journal here? Or perhaps it was because he didn’t rewind the clock very far... maybe something about the magic he released from the journal. At the very least he could say there was enough of it there to put him where he was now. But all that should have disappeared when he reversed time, If he had really failed to bring time back and start anew, then why in hell could he see, and seem to have miraculously recovered his magic then?

England nearly fell down the stairs he had just climbed. A memory appeared before his eyes that astounded him. Connecting itself in unknown, subconscious ways to what he was thinking about.

"My...my future self who is watching this!” He knew the words before anything else. He remembered them fuzzy at first before growing clearer. ...However he also remembered saying them. His memory cleared, at least more than it ever had before. He stood in front of a familiar box pumping unrealistic amounts of magic into it, as well as placing spell after nameless spell. Before recording the following words to the box under a seal, “To. my... To my future self who is watching this. There is no time to explain much. If by any chance Italy dies, find the journal! In return, you'll get his memories as well as my life! Go back without fail! Go back in time! Save Italy."

England took a moment to process the forced memory. What the bloody hell was that?! He felt like some wall in his head was about to break if he pushed any further. As it was, memories were slipping through here and there reminding him of things he couldn’t remember until now. He tried to ignore it until he could figure out what was happening. ... The others had gotten ahead of him. He walked briskly back to the safe room, where suspected everyone would be like they were last time. He made it just in time to sneak in behind before they closed the door.

Outside the Mansion

Just beyond the locked doors, and forbidden walls of the mansion was a tremendous field and surrounding forest. To those trapped behind those forbidden walls, the land just outside seemed like paradise. However to the ones left in these fields, trying to break them out, suffered their own form of torture.

“Latvia!” Lithuania shouted Holding his hands to the deep wounds in Latvia’s stomach, “Come on hang in there.” The wounds Latvia had contracted were serious, even life threatening if he did not receive immediate help. Of course even this had come as a bit of a relief to Lithuania after Poland had shouted out that the monster had eaten Latvia. Although that exaggeration wasn’t that far off. Deep bite wounds covered Latvia’s stomach and back, where he’d been told the creature attempted to bite the little nation in two.

They had managed to defeat it shortly after Lithuania returned with Poland. Now Estonia and Poland had gone to get help for Latvia. None of them had thought of course to carry first aid with them, and without it Latvia would certainly die. Lithuania stayed behind though, to watch Latvia, and try and keep the bleeding down.

Latvia’s breaths were already becoming more and more staggered as blood slipped through Lithuania’s fingers. He was slipping out of consciousness. A small pool of blood already forming around him, despite Lithuania’s best efforts. It seemed like a hopeless effort.

“Liet!” Poland waved Lithuania down, coming in from over a hill. The fields surrounding the mansion were quite extensive perhaps reaching miles in any direction. It was likely quite a ways that Poland had to go to find this help. As he came down the hill though, he was followed by Hong Kong, and he had apparently also found Estonia on his way back. Hong Kong carried a large bag of medical equipment over his shoulder, latex gloves over his hands, and a hospital mask over his mouth. That would explain why he didn’t leave immediately with the rest of them when they heard the news about everyone getting trapped here. He wondered how many more were coming.

Hong Kong sat next to Lithuania opening his medical kit. He placed his hands over Lithuania’s who was still rather in shock, “I need you to let me take a look at his injuries,” Hong Kong told him looking him directly in the eyes. He had a fear something like this might happen. That’s why he hung back when the first group left. He needed to prepare a few things, for situations like these.

Lithuania relented moving away his hands, only to allow a sudden spurt of blood to release from Latvia’s stomach, that very blood still clinging cold and drying, sticky, to his hands, climbing down his wrists in thin trickles. Hong Kong moved quickly and calculating, putting the fear that rose in all their throats, to the back of his mind. He lifted Latvia’s shirt away to inspect the damage. eleven puncture wounds encircled Latvia’s torso, each almost 4 centimeters deep. He felt around his back to discover the same marks scraped against his back. At least these marks appeared to be less than than 2 centimeters deep, and therefore less dangerous. What was more frightening was the apparent fractured rib, that was becoming detrimental to his breathing.

“See! It’s like I said. That thing fucking ate him,” Poland announced, pacing the area unsure of what else he could do.

Hong Kong didn’t speak. It would waste too much valuable time. He took off one glove to dig through his bag, a sentiment he’d quickly forget on the battlefield. A needle and thread for the worst injuries, and bandages to wrap it all up. He was careful to relieve pressure from Latvia’s chest to help his rib repair itself, and make it easier for him to breathe. Latvia simply cried, letting out muffled whines when he could manage, passing out before Hong Kong had even finished half of the sutures.

Hong Kong balled up the blood soaked gloves into black bag that hung off the side of his medical bag, pulling a fresh pair out of the larger bag. “He should be fine once he wakes up, but don’t move him if you don’t have to for at least a couple hours. I should be able to take the stitches out in three days,” He instructed them.

“Why are you telling us?” Estonia asked as Hong Kong began to get up.

“Someone needs to watch him while he’s recovering. I need to keep moving. There are others coming, and more people are likely to be injured,” Hong Kong told them. He dug into his pocket and pulled out a couple business cards, “Pass them around, if you need help again call me and let me know where you are, and I will get there as soon as I can.”

England

England stood by Italy’s bedside. Where he had been standing for maybe the last twenty minutes. Everyone was moving around now. Trying to figure out what to do next, but England had no purpose in this loop. He had nowhere to be, so instead he stood where he wanted to stand when Italy first went into that coma. He had been watching him now for quite awhile, but there was something that particularly worried him at this moment. Italy looked... too pale. And if he was breathing, the breaths were too shallow. Was he really alive like Japan had discovered him. England placed his hand on Italy’s forehead expecting a fever. Only to discover Italy’s skin was like ice. He moved his hand in fear to check Italy’s pulse... He waited well over a minute. Italy was... dead?! How had that happened?! That changed fucking everything! They didn’t even have a chance then. If Italy was dead, then that meant they had to start over. Only they couldn’t. They’d only end up where England was now. How had this even happened? .... was it his fault? What if simply by going back in time he had managed to kill Italy, instead of watching him slip into a coma.

China and Russia left the room to explore the annexe. He looked to his right. If he waited another few minutes Japan and Germany would begin discussing their next move. England began to pace. What exactly should he be spending his time doing? What was he supposed to do??

Another mysterious memory echoed in his head. “Go back without fail! Go back in time! Save Italy." His own words echoed in his head. The last line drifting ominously in an echo as if trying to remind him, “Save Italy. ... save Italy... save Italy.”

England slammed his fist down on the table, knocking over some papers that lay scattered on the table, gathered from the annexe, reminding himself briefly that, while invisible and mute, he could still touch and interact with this world. He calmed down after taking a few short breaths. He was still rather pissed about this particular recurrent memory. By now he had gathered that his past self - from whatever part of time this was from - meant to ask him to go back in time to save Italy. He had given up trying to think of how his past self knew this would happen. Thinking about it brought too many unrelated memories up and caused his head to swell. He muttered his complaints under his breath, “Save Italy... yeah I got it. There’s just one problem with that. I came back here too late! He’s already dead!” Why did he always seem to screw things up when he absolutely could not afford to do so!?

The same papers that he had knocked over a moment ago fluttered from some unknown source of wind. Out of curiosity, frustration, and just for the sake of a good distraction he skimmed their contents. Most was gibberish. Ramblings about old superstitions and such. One page however seemed to have been pulled from some sort of magic book. A total of six spells covered the page. All of which, of the healing variety.

...One spell in particular though. Was of the utmost and dire importance. What were the chances he would find it here, on the top of this mess of papers, collected from the annexe on coincidence?


Revivere ab ora

A spell to resurrect someone from the brink of life and death...


Either end of that spectrum. Of course it would use up a lot of magic. Even at full strength he wasn’t sure he’d be able to do it. Although it was beginning to make sense now. This was why he had sensed his magic in Italy back when everyone first became aware that Italy survived, and it was why Italy was alive now. Because he was able to go back in time. Because his past self somehow knew this would happen.

No, thinking about the confusing past was forbidden. He could already feel the feeble wall restraining the past begin to crack. And when it did... He wasn’t sure exactly what. “In return, you'll get his memories as well as my life!” ... Two sets of memories. That was twice as much as Italy was able to take. He wasn’t so sure he’d fare much better.

That’s why he had to act now. While he still had the power and strength. He was quickly able to memorize it, and made his way over to Italy. England placed his hand to Italy’s forehead, just over the “third eye”, the one that would call his spirit back and force him to retake his first breath. He summoned up the entirety of his strength. This could very well drain him, and return him to the state he was in before, or worse... But if he did not. Then it would all be for nothing. Their fight would end here. Without escape or retrial. It was of the absolute paramount, that everyone stayed alive this time.

“Revivere ab ora,” England whispered the first phrase, as if calling out to someone nearby, focusing his power down at the tip of his fingers. Light began to emanate surrounding him. Moving down towards Italy, searching, pulling.

He repeated again louder, as if calling to someone across the small room, “Revivere ab ora.” The light grew stronger more demanding, brighter, blinding!

He repeated again at a volume marginally louder, and more sternly, letting the magic overtake him, “Revivere ab ora” his fingertips could no longer touch Italy’s forehead because the magic he sent pulsating through them occupied that space now.

The now golden light burst out from England filling the vastly unaware room. His aura manifesting itself around him to help smooth strengthen the spell. His physical body remained shrouded by this new form... The form of an angel. Glowing from all points only certain features stood out against the light. The slightly larger, more angelic face of England, straightened hair, and white tunic.

England opened his eyes as this angel, a sense of calm and certainty, determination, took over him. He shouted the line once more. Hoping to reach any place in the world and beyond it with one final call, “REVIVERE AB ORA!!!

.

.

.

There were a few silent seconds of concentration, before he felt it. A tiny jump from Italy. A twitch really, in his heart. England quickly poured in more magic, not willing to risk anything. He’d caught the hook, he wasn’t about to let him go. A few more seconds passed and the jump hit Italy again. Except this time. A faint heartbeat remained. Beating faintly, and weakly, but beating all the same.

England let out a sigh of relief, relinquishing his magic. Leaving what remained with Italy to keep him breathing. A light smudge mark remained on Italy’s forehead where the magic had entered. The same place that only a second later Japan would notice for himself. England in the meanwhile returned to his body, coming back slowly and cautiously from his dramatic overuse of magic.

At first he was welcomed by a sense of peace. He made it in time. Italy was safe, and time could return to how it was. Strange how that seemed to be a comforting thought when just recently they had been ready to abandon that for the uncertainty of a fresh start. A fresh start. Is that what went through his head when he went back for the very first time... Or. Was that Italy? Was this not his memory? He searched... freely...

Bloody fucking Hell!

- Was the last decipherable thought England had before the memories broke through. All at once, bombarding him with tragedies and triumphs, out of order, his? or Italy’s? Which was he? He tripped backwards falling over the beds and eventually ending up against the back wall. He was no longer able to tell which was reality. This? or which of the thousands of memories that fought for the attention of his mind. It was too much to process. He slumped against the wall, gripping his head and panting from the exertion placed on his brain. It was so sudden so overwhelming. His brain shut down. Refusing any of it. Letting England... Fall deep into a coma.

Germany, America, Japan, Russia

Japan and Germany sat around Italy’s bedside waiting with worry. America sat back at one of the tables if only to assert he was doing this out of defiance. Russia had gone to the bathroom a little while ago, supposedly to take a bath. “Do you think we’ll notice when time begins to restart?” America asked attempting to break the painful silence.

Japan was about to answer him with his own theory, but a flash of light beat him to it. “What was that?” Japan asked, trying to find the source of the sudden light.

England appeared as suddenly as the flash of light, slumped against the wall passed the beds.

“England!” America shouted, rushing behind Japan to where England lay slumped against the wall. Germany was now standing too, coming to England’s side, as America tried to shake him awake.

“He seems to have passed out," Japan announced, checking vitals first and then noticing sweat that dripped from his forehead, "He's running a fever as well."

"Help me get him into one of these beds," America asked of them, struggling to pick England up. Germany gave him a hand laying England down in the bed next to Italy. England's grip never loosened from the journal.

In the process of all this, Japan's phone began to ring, surprising him. He answered it with shock on the second ring, "M-moshi moshi?"

"Japan? We have a problem," China answered calmly, although with a tone of someone trying to stay calm. There was some frantic yelling in the background that wasn't quite comprehensible.

"W-what? I can hardly hear you. What's going on?" Japan asked, still trying to figure out what they were seeing in their own room.

"Give me th- no wait a minute aru! I- Japan! You won't believe it! He fucking disappeared! He's gone. And we're still here!" The two voices argued before one finally took control over the phone.

"Wait who is this now? Prussia? What's going on?" Japan asked trying to follow the loud arguing voices.

"Hand the phone over to moi," France's voice pierced the yelling. It became clearer as the phone was passed to him, "Japan? This is France. We're calling to inform everyone that we've failed. England disappeared. We assume back in time, but the rest of us are still here. We're trapped."

"Oh! We were going to call you in a minute as well. He's here actually! He appeared just a moment ago by the wall. He seems to have passed out and now he is running a fever."

The shouting in the other line seemed to die down. "We'll be there in just a moment," France answered flat toned before the line went dead.

Holy Rome and Italy

"Whenever we break a clock we receive strange memories," Japan restated to the group. They were all sitting around the table in the fireplace room, discussing their recent discovery. Italy, the closest to the fireplace, Holy Rome to his left, and Japan to his right. Left of Holy Rome was Prussia, right of Japan China. And then moving to the right of China around the table was Russia, Canada, America, England, and France. All of whom were looking over the broken clock laying in the center of the table with troubled expressions. The clock was old fashioned and resembled that of an old alarm clock. But the face had been smashed in by Russia's pipe, stopping the hands where they were and bending them at some odd angle.

"Furthermore. Time seems to straighten itself somewhat whenever we do break one," France input.

"Well if it was a question of whether we should break the clocks or not I feel the answer is rather obvious. The better question is, what we should make of these strange memories," England added.

"In that case. Maybe we should all discuss the memories we got. And see if there is any recurring theme?" Canada suggested.

There was a bright flash that suddenly enveloped the room without notice.

Everyone in the room went still for a moment, that is except for Holy Rome, and Italy, who was very confused and rather concerned as to what was going on. As was Holy Rome, "What? But no one else should be here," he thought to himself, sensing the presence of someone new in Italy's dream. Who else could have gotten inside Italy’s head?

The artificial memory of england was beginning to fade. Holy Rome began to put it together after that. He'd been following them since the beginning, and unlike Italy, he was dead, his mind's capacity wasn't held back by mortal standards. Even while his attention had been focused on Italy here, where he can talk to him and help him, he had not stopped watching the others, or watching Italy's recovery. England had played a large part in that. He was even able to call Italy back from the brink of death. This accounted for most of Holy Rome's hastiness and worry early on. He knew that leading England to those papers would lead him to save Italy. He did not know that England would subsequently collapse, nor did he have any idea of how he managed to wind up here. ... It was coming to him though, something england had said or done long ago. He just went over this with Italy. What was it?

"Holy Rome? What's going on? Why did everyone stop?" Italy asked finally taking notice of the still room.

Holy Rome smiled to Italy, "Nothing to worry about. It appears one of your friends has come to get you." It was alright, he remembered now. This could work....

"What do you mean 'come to get me'?" Italy asked innocently. They had worked their way almost half way through the time loops, and every day felt more precious than the last. However with England here to help Italy remember, they would go through these loops a lot faster. It wouldn't be too long, until he had to give Italy back.

Holy Rome merely smiled taking Italy's hand. There was a jump through whitespace before they came out in the current world's safe room. The unfinished closet had by now at least been expanded into a large room. But it was mostly unfurnished, save for the bathroom which was furnished with the exception of the plumbing.

England walked around the room confused and very disoriented. A thousand thoughts wandering his mind, unable to connect.

“What? But why is England here?... Where are we?... This place is...” Italy tried to remember, confused by the haphazardous order things now appeared to be moving in.

“Don’t worry too much about it. We’ll get to this place soon,” Holy Rome calmed Italy’s confusion, “But this England is -” He began to explain.

England spun around, surprised by his sudden company, “I-Italy... and... ....” He struggled to remember their names, “I’m sorry. Who are you?” He asked unable to remember.

“It’s alright. You’ll probably mistake me for some else for a while yet. We’ve met before, but it was so long ago that I doubt you’d be able to remember as you are now,” Holy Rome acknowledged. England had taken on all of his past memories at once, as well as everything stored in the journal. As much as Italy had looked confused, England looked twice as lost. However if it was the memories from the journal that made England’s mind so jumbled, then seeing those memories in order should help put things in perspective, “Italy, the journal you’ve been keeping track of everything in. Can I see it for a moment?”

Italy tentatively handed it to Holy Rome. Holy Rome in turn handed it to England, “Read it over. It contains a collection of every world we’ve revisited so far, in order. Your memories should be a little clearer if you can get the order right,” Holy Rome advised.

England took the book in his hands, immediately feeling both an influx, and outflux of memories, as his memories began to overlap Italy’s, and the text on the book became riddled with both his and Italy’s handwriting. England dropped the book as soon as he felt able, as soon as the journal had finished rewriting itself. “What the bloody hell was that?!” England exclaimed gasping for a breath of air as his heart recovered from the mini-heart attack.

“Vee~ That was weird. I just got some strange memories!” Italy exclaimed, “But, oh, my head doesn’t hurt as much to think about them as it used too. How strange.”

England rubbed his head and picked up the cursed book, “You as well then? I feel like I’ve just been through a hail storm, but at least my head seems to be a bit clearer now.”

“It’s the journal,” Holy Rome put together, “Somehow it’s combined your memories.”

England opened the journal to the first page, “My signature. We both have ownership of this journal now.”

“And that book is written record of what we’ve been through, our memories!” Italy figured out excitedly.

It wouldn’t be much longer now, Holy Rome realized, before Italy would be able to return to his friends, and he’d have to say “goodbye” once more.

Spain and Romano

England, who was leading them, opened the door to the fireplace room on the second floor. The door swung open revealing the heavy-hearted faces of the remaining allies and Prussia. It was recent for them. Being trapped in this mansion. They had just become aware of the dangers it held. That fear stuck with them.

They looked up when they saw the other group come in, ready for a fight. They settled after realizing it was just England and the others, "We have a few additions," England announced, "Spain and Romano seem to have found their way in."

"H-How did you get in?" Canada asked with a certain shock. The front door was locked, so if there was another way in...

"We ummm..." Spain tried to think. Was it even worth lying here? They'd already told them so much.

England answered for him, "These twats say they come from the future. And according to them we don't escape this mansion but instead continue reversing time until we reach whatever point in time it is they're in... Honestly, I suspect they probably hit their heads, fighting those monsters in the library," England added trying to keep the room calm. He gave Spain a silent nod as he finished informing the room, telling him they would talk more once the room was distracted.

Romano was not quite as good at discerning England's ploy, "Bastard! I thought you were helping us! Where did you send the fucking book then huh??"

Spain started laughing nervously, and dragged Romano out of the room. When the door was close he let his expression down.

"What are you doing tomato bastard? He fucking tricked us!" Romano shouted.

"Sshhh," Spain tried to quiet him, "Didn't you see his expression?" Spain spoke quietly, "He didn't really mean that. He was just trying to keep the others calm. Its like when I first tried to tell England. If I explained myself that way of course I wouldn't be understood. Its the same situation here. We have to approach this carefully," Spain comforted Romano.

"But what if he wasn't fucking lying? Then our journal is lost somewhere!" Romano complained, although he was at least a little quieter.

Spain took Romano by the shoulders and looked him in the eyes, "Then we'll be alright. Even if we can't return time, we'll survive somehow. Because, this time for sure, we're definitely going to get out of here together."

Spain was right, and Romano knew it. Even if he didn't want to admit it. "Whatever tomato bastard let's just go back in," He pouted, arms folded.

Spain smiled opening the door back into the room. Those inside seemed to have already moved on. They were huddled around in a tight group, as Prussia revealed his findings. A large hunk of metal, that appeared not be broken, but instead to be crafted in this peculiar fashion. "Check out what the awesome me has found!" Prussia boasted showing it off, even though he himself had no idea what it was.

"Aawww," America complained, "I thought it was going to be something useful. What even is this?"

"Oh hey, you've already found one of the metal pieces," Spain grinned joining the group.

"You know what this is?" China asked holding the metal piece up quizzically.

"Its one of two pieces that operate a lock that will open a staircase to the attic... considering your time is so much earlier than ours, you might still be able to find the key there," Spain explained.

"Uh-huh..." France tried to follow, "And where is this 'lock' Spain?"

"Actually this might have some credibility. They mentioned this lock earlier, and I think I've seen it... This hunk of metal does look roughly the right size too," Germany confirmed.

Romano looked around the room as they continued to talk about locks, and keys, and metal pieces. His eyes fell on his brother, quietly standing far from everyone else. He seemed so lonely, and yet so happy. Romano approached him quietly. It simply didn’t sit with him right that his fratello suffered while the rest of them went about their merry way. He had helplessly watched his brother suffer through this for too long to sit by and do nothing when he could help. “Why is it that you are so stubborn not to tell them?” Romano asked.

Italy looked away, “Well I... Why should I bring it up when everyone is already getting along so well!”

“That’s a lie,” Romano stated bluntly not batting an eye. He wasn’t playing games, this was too important, meant too much, “That’s not why you aren’t telling them.”

“I-” Italy was caught off guard by Romano’s perceptiveness. He stared at his feet, head hanging low, “But it’s my fault,” He whispered, his voice shaking with a thousand held back tears, “None of this would have happened. If it wasn’t for me...”

Romano whacked him on the back of the head, “Idiota,” He cursed, “Is that really what everyone else is thinking?” He muttered something incoherent under his breath, “Look around yourself, dammit!” Romano shouted in frustration, a little too loudly. His outburst attracted the attention of some others in the room; regardless, he didn’t look, his attention fixed on Italy.

The outburst was quickly ignored, with the help of Spain, and things slowly boiled back to the normal roar. Italy glanced around the room, unsure of what he was supposed to be looking for.

Romano sighed and gave up. Perhaps it was too early. Perhaps time could not be rewritten, and all attempts at doing so would be discarded... Perhaps it was him. Perhaps it was all because he didn’t know how to say it; his fault.

Perhaps, Romano would never realize, how his words, had changed everything.

Safe Room

“Well we can’t just keep sitting here!” Prussia complained, frustrated by their lack of direction.

“I agree,” Japan added, “We’ve done all we can for these two. All we can hope for now is that they wake up soon.”

“Let’s go back to the annexe again! There’s something that’s just not right about that room,” China volunteered.

Russia emerged from the shadows of the conversation, “I don’t mind going back if China wants to go.”

“In that case I would go too. We need to travel in larger groups now,” Canada joined in.

“Oui, I will go too. It seems that every time we leave the room now, we’re attacked, we must be more careful,” France worried.

“Hey west! Are you coming?” Prussia asked.

Germany looked back at Italy across the room, “I would... but I’ve noticed he’s been stirring more in his sleep. I want to be here when he wakes up.”

America joined him, “Sorry, I’m not coming either,” America grinned scratching his head, “Someone’s gotta be here for England as well.”

“Then the rest of us are heading to the annexe?” Japan checked. It was frightening how large a group they traveled as now. Imagine if they came to this mansion with even fewer numbers?

The group of 6 headed down to the annexe cautiously. The moment they left the confines of the safe room the feeling of ease and comfort vanished from them, replaced by fear and caution. The notion that they were constantly in danger had been reinstilled within them thanks to recent attacks.

They discussed battle plans in front of the split in the hallway; between the lever room, and the study. Canada, France, and Russia were going to take another look at the clock room. Prussia, Japan, and China, would take another look at the study.

“What is it you expect to find down here Canada?” France asked, following him down the dark hole that led to the clock room. It was the second time they had been here now, so the shock of gore was not so impactful. They were able to shake it off after just a few seconds.

“I don’t really know. ... Maybe an explanation of what happened to England? I just don’t think that this is all there is to this room...” Canada explained thoughtfully. He examined the grandfather clock against the wall. The ominous “Thud” of each ticking second. The face of said clock, could reflect his own. A pristine and perfect white, showing no passage of time, and yet stained and smeared with a vibrant crimson red. The swinging pendulum of the interlocking chamber. The clock seemed to taunt him with it’s paranormal innocence. Other than the magic it clearly possessed the clock was, well a clock. And Canada was not the expert on magic.

It didn’t take long for everyone in the room to grow tired of searching. There wasn’t much in the room to look at. Canada leaned his head against the side of the wall, facing the massive clock. He was getting tired too. Maybe if he studied the molding? No, he should probably tell the others it was a waste of time and that-

Canada stopped mid thought changing direction. Something glinted out from behind the clock. Just barely visible, it could be nothing, but he might be able to reach it. Hesitantly, he stuck his hand out behind the clock. Squishing most of his arm between the crack. His arm stretched and twisted, as his hand fumbled for whatever it was. A change in texture alerted him to it. A metal dent in the wall, jagged, but not sharp. A key hole!

Canada pulled his arm back out. “France do we still have that key?” Canada asked.

France dug into his pocket, “Oui, I still have it. Did you find something?” France asked excitedly.

“Yes, behi-”

Russia’s phone began to ring. “Oh. Sorry, It’s probably my sisters,” Russia apologized digging his phone out of his pocket.

“You’re sisters sure call you a lot,” Canada confronted him calculatedly.

“Oh. You think so? I’m surprised they haven’t more. In any case, I better take this da?” Russia left the room, hitting talk on his cell phone.

Canada watched him carefully, as he left up the steep stairway above them. When Russia could no longer be seen or heard he finally gave up and returned to reality.

"What is it you need this key for?" France asked handing it to him under the grounds that he explain its use here.

Canada grinned excited by his discovery. He held tightly to the key smashing and rubbing his hand against the rough wood and drywall. "Back here," Canada explained fumbling to it, while holding tightly to the thin little key, "There's a key hole."

The key clicked into place, and with a gentle turn, the earth shook. A block of drywall dropped out to the left of the clock. Replaced, a few feet in, by iron bars that locked in place, denying entrance, to a long winding tunnel.
Italy, England, and Holy Rome

A bright light flashed as they caught up to the current time loop. Standing between the border of the subconscious, and conscious. When it didn’t appear that they were going anywhere Italy asked, “So where are we going next Holy Rome?”

Holy Rome did his best not to look sad. He did what he set out to. He helped Italy remember. He got to spend, what felt like a lifetime with him. He should be happier. His wish had come true. But this was really Goodbye this time... “That’s it. That’s all the rest of the memories I recieved from my brother. We’re back to the current time.”

“So then...” The journal corrected itself on it’s own, as Italy and England quickly filled in the rest, “oh...”

“Is that why you consistently took Germany’s place? I was wondering about that,” England asked.

“Yes,” Holy Rome recalled the sudden influx of terrifying memories, “Everytime time restarted, Germany could not hold onto these memories, and they flooded to me. As if I had lived them.”

Italy wondered if it was the same when his brother received some of his memories. The world around him started to look fuzzy. The light faded from it. And then. He could hear voices. “Italy?” It called out, “Italy!”

“What is-?”

“You hear it too?” England asked looking around at the room that was fading in and out of light. becoming fuzzier, and fuzzier by the second, before going pitch black.

“The dream is ending. The two of you should be able go back anytime now. Your memories will still be in order, but I’m afraid you won’t be able to remember this dream,” Holy Rome’s voice drifted into the darkness.

Germany and England

Germany watched as Italy's expression made subtle changes, as if he were dreaming. America was noticing similar changes happening with England. “It’s like their having similar dreams,” America pointed out jokingly. There wasn’t much to do here so he was bored. Maybe he should have gone with the others. It definitely would have been more exciting than this. On the other hand he didn’t want England to wake up alone and confused. Although, would it really have been so bad to have left Germany here? It was too late to contemplate the decision now.

“I guess it is a bit similar,” Germany shrugged. They did seem to react within their dreams around the same time, he just never made that much out of it.

Germany’s attention was suddenly pulled to Italy as he heard a little moan escape his lips. “Italy?” Germany called out. Italy’s eyes squinted together, and his eyebrows furrowed, “Italy!” Germany called out again, more urgently. Italy seemed to respond, his lips forming words without a voice.

“Germany? What is-” America began to ask, before noticing England was moving as well. They were waking up! “England!” America shouted, resting his hands on England’s shoulders, resisting the urge to shake him awake.

Italy’s eyes suddenly flitted open. Out of the darkness of the ending dream, and into the dark reality. Someone said something to him... just a moment ago. What was it? He couldn’t remember. All he knew, was that somehow everything seemed in order in his head. There was no longer a crushing weight of urgent memories, that fought to be remembered.

The voice that called out to him, waking him from the dream, suddenly looked over him. Italy searched his memories quickly to place a name, “H- ... Ger-many.” The second name came more naturally to him after a moment. Memories settled and his mind tried to recall his fleeting dream.

Italy was suddenly pulled into tight embrace by a relieved Germany. “I’m sorry,” Italy apologized, not knowing what really happened while he was asleep, “I guess I fell asleep... How long was I out?”

“It was more than just sleep. We thought you were dead,” Germany told him.

“What?? But I was just-” Italy recalled the lights going out, the monster, and the heart attack it gave him when he saw.... What did he see? Everything else in his memory was clear. But it was as if this part was specifically blocked for some reason.

“Hey Italy. Welcome back. You think you could wake up this lazy Brit?” America asked. If Italy was waking up. There was no reason England shouldn’t either. He wasn’t usually good at sensing the mood, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that their comas were somehow connected.

England, was awake already though. He woke up around when America started to try and “gently” shake him awake. ... America did not understand the term “gently”. England just hadn’t responded yet out of fear. He used a lot of magic bringing Italy back. He could no longer sense his magic around him. On top of that, he wondered how much he'd lost this time. If it took his eyesight last time, what would he be deprived of now? He wasn’t ready to face it. He knew it was selfish. But he also felt like he failed them. He spent all his power, fixing a problem they thought was solved. He didn’t have any magic left to reverse time, nor to bring back Spain and Romano. Italy was awake now, but other than that, they were pretty much back to where they had started. However he couldn’t hide from it forever. Eventually he had to face his problems. And the longer he spent hiding, the longer they were trapped here, and the more at risk they grew.

He opened his eyes.

Light. Hope. Mystery. Despite England’s fears, light touched his eyes. A gentle kiss from the false and dim lighting of the room. A magical blessing. And what a blessing it was. America’s golden hair and sapphire eyes greeted him in this light. He could see.

"England?" America asked noticing England's shocked expression, "Are you alright?"

England walked through a mental checklist, making sure he hadn't lost something else instead. "I'm better than alright. That question you asked me before. The one you're so fond of. Ask it again."

America blinked in surprise. It took him a minute to put it together. America lifted his hand slowly, not taking his eyes off England, "How many-"

England caught America's hand midair, "America. I can see." England was now running over everything that had just happened. How was this possible? He used so much magic! His mind darted back to a clearer memory of himself standing over the box they found in the basement. Pouring insane amounts of magic into it. But doing something like that, it wasn't in his nature. How had he known he would need so much? England was amazed when the memory provided the answer promptly. It clicked in his head with a sudden "oh!"

"- I don't really understand it, but somehow my memories are clearer," England overheard part of Italy's conversation with Germany.

"I think I might be able to explain," England informed them, "While we were both asleep, we shared a dream. One where we were travelling through all the past time loops."

"So you really were there!" Italy exclaimed.

England nodded receiving the only confirmation he needed, "In that case, this journal," He handed it out to Italy, who opened it the moment it touched his hands, "Should hold record of everything." Red and Green handwriting scrawled across every page.

America stepped aside pulling out his phone, "I'm going to give France a call. We should get everyone back for this."

Outside

“Hey guys! I think this is it!” Sealand ran ahead upon seeing the looming arches of a gate. The eight of them had been walking for hours, trying to find this place. The whole world had been going mad over it, and the weren’t about to be left behind.

“Well if you had listened to my directions we would have been here a lot sooner,” Ladonia complained, his laptop propped under his arm.

“The process of taking a unique path is an art," Kugelmugel reminded them from the side, he had been painting on a canvas the entire time they had been walking.

Sealand hurried them as he started running back and forth along the entrance, “Check it out guys! There’s really a mansion here! I think I can see miss Hungary over there! And over there is Austria and Switzerland!"

"Let's stay away from them for now Sealand," Wy caught up trying to settle down the wild micronation, "Some of us were expressly forbidden from coming. Although we wouldn't have even known about it if someone hadn't insisted we come."

"I didn't invite you!" Ladonia complained, "Its not my fault Sealand overheard my conversation, and decided to drag everyone out here!"

Ladonia was about the third to pass through the gates. Of course time had yet to be fully corrected, messing with cell signal, and also computers. Ladonia was flashed out, and the laptop dropped to the ground with a heavy Thunk! The laptop was luckily durable enough to survive the fall. It was a few moments before the connection reconnected and Ladonia could talk through the computer again. "WHO. FLIPPED OFF. THE PROJECTOR?!" Ladonia shouted accusingly. Although he was already checking the connection, and running diagnostics from the inside.

"I pressed a button one time! You're so goddamn sensitive about it!" Molossia complained.

"Besides, you were the one carrying the laptop Ladonia. No one else could have pressed that button but you," Seborga reminded.

Ladonia calmed down, although he wasn't any less frustrated, "I got it... Its the stupid signal here. Something is blocking my connection."

Sealand picked up the angry computer off the ground, opening it to reveal a smaller, frustrated version of Ladonia moving about the computer screen. "In that case I'll carry you like this!" Sealand suggested, carrying the laptop out in front of him.

Ladonia's argument was cut into incomprehensible segments, as the connection grew worse. Freezing, becoming more choppy.

-

"Miss Hungary!" Sealand came rushing in to join the group of girls.

"Sealand?" Hungary asked turning around to see the little micronation. The group of girls were resting for the moment to take a break from the nonstop fighting they'd experienced since they got there. Their kill rate was higher than anyone elses here, not that it seemed to make much of a difference. Hungary wasn't all that familiar with Sealand, although she had seen him before once or twice. In any case, what was such a small child doing out here?

"Stop ... -oving ...so m-" Ladonia tried to make out through the crappy connection. It was humiliating enough to have to watch everything from behind a computer screen, but with Sealand controlling it he could hardly see! Limited mobility, limited sight, limited speech, life SUCKED when the connection was bad!

Wy quickly chased after them, trying to make sure Sealand didn't wind up in trouble, as he always seemed to. The others were close to follow. "Wy? You as well? ... There's a lot of you. What are you all doing here?" Hungary asked with a shade of worry.

"We wanted to help too!" Wy responded panting, "We heard what's going on, and we can't just sit by while everyone else suffers."

"What do we have for extra weapons?" Belarus asked, looking around, "If they're set on staying we can't leave them unarmed."
England

"In any case, by no small miracle we've all managed to survive this ordeal," England finished explaining to the others, "I've even got a little of my magic back. Which is why its important that we must bring back Spain and Romano before anything else is able to go wrong."

"Wait can you go over that again? My head hurts. What happened?" Prussia asked unable to follow.

"England, you're not seriously thinking about testing your limits again, after you've just awoken from a coma," France worried.

"I'll be fine. Really. I won't overdo it. But I don't know that I'll have this power forever, and as it stands Spain and Romano have been trapped there for a long time. Much longer and they could drastically change the course of our present," Although now that England thought about it, they pretty much already had.

England tested the strength and reach of his power; focusing it to his fingertips and creating a ball of energy in the palm of his hand. By his standards it looked weak. However the flickering light may be enough. He shouldn't have to search. He could tell exactly where they were from his memories.

"Alright," He said stepping to the center of the room, "Everyone give me some room. I'm about to open a passage."

A large circle formed around him, as everyone waited for Spain and Romano to return. England turned his center of focus down to the palm of his hand, then his fingertips. Pulling at every nonessential thread of magic he had. First using it to locate the correct time loop. It was really far back there. All the way back to the third loop. Of course no one but he and Italy could even remember that time loop. It was the only other time he had ever seen Spain and Romano. Their story didn't seem quite as farfetched as it had at the time to him.

England latched onto this loop, and created a bridge of magic. A magic circle appearing on the floor. Now if only they'd get back quickly.

Spain and Romano

"In that case," England began, "We should set up teams to look for these 'metal pieces'. There's twelve of us at the moment so perhaps teams of-"

England was cut off by a sudden flash of light accompanied by a circle of magic in the center of the room. "What the bloody hell?" England exclaimed wondering how his magic ended up going off on its own. It was a minute later that he realized that was not the case.

"Oh! Roma I think that's for us," Spain alerted Romano.

Some of the nations who had no concept of time travel freaked out. "Holy shit!" America shouted freaking out the loudest, "So you really ARE from the future?!"

"About damn time that scone Bastard got his shit together, and came back for us," Romano said crossing his arms and joining Spain as they walked towards the circle.

"Scone bastard... Do you mean me?" England asked offended.

"The future you. Remind yourself in the future not to leave us stranded here, eh?" Romano blew off Cooley.

"Y-You're really going back?" Italy asked, sad, but perhaps relieved to see his brother go.

Spain vanished from the circle. Rejoining their timeline. Romano was sure to make eye contact with his younger brother before crossing over the circle. His final words to him were, "Don't forget what I told you. Trust me fratello things will be better."

He wasn’t convinced he had made a difference to him. Italy still looked guilty as he nodded, as if he had no intention of keeping this promise. But Romano crossed back over the circle to his own time regardless. He was ready to see his own brother again. He was ready to fight, to change something.

Romano opened his eyes to the safe room, back in the current time loop. Before he even had time to look he was greeted by a tight hug from his little brother. “Romano! I’m so glad you’re back. I missed you,” Italy said nuzzling deeper into the hug.

“I-Italy?” Romano breathed in surprise, “I thought you were... What happened to you?!” Romano cried out, accepting the hug on accounts of needing one himself. He was sure he felt his brother die back there. However, now he was alive. What happened? Why was he ok? Not that he wasn’t relieved, just confused.

Italy stepped back from the hug to talk with Romano, “I was asleep for a really long time. It happened after I went to the annexe, I was attacked by one of those creatures in the dark. It scared me so bad my heart actually stopped for a minute. ... I was touch and go for a while there... If it wasn’t for England-”

Italy broke off mid-sentence as England fell to his knees, holding himself up with both hands. England’s eyesight blurred and went dark as he grew dizzy, causing him to fall. Whatever whips of magic he had left separating itself from the spell. His eyes shut automatically as he panted heavily, trying to regain his breath, “England! Are you alright?” France, America, and Canada rushed to his side, holding him up.

England opened his eyes, vision clearing. He’d overspent his magic, but not so badly that it would cause him permanent damage, “I’m... I’m alright. I just, need to rest a minute.” They helped guide him to a seat at the table, where he quickly recovered.

“Congratulations, Congratulations, you are on-” The voice echoed in Prussia’s head. Prussia covered his ears trying to block out the impossible noise. Only this time, the heavy pressure on his heart attacked him again. It felt reminiscent. Like reliving a tragic incident in his past. A time when he was truly scared. One of the past time loops maybe? He couldn’t put his finger on it.

“Are you alright?” Spain asked, noticing Prussia leaned against the wall.

“It’s nothing... It’s just,” Prussia thought about it, Spain was one of two of his best friends. If he was going to tell anyone it might as well be the two of them, “... Maybe we should all talk. The three of us I mean...”

“Prussia what’s wrong?” Spain asked concerned.

“I just don’t want to have to explain myself twice, I’ll tell the two of you, and no one else,” Prussia explained, “We’ll talk privately in the bathroom once you get France.”


France and Spain walked into the bathroom a moment later. “So what’s this about Prussia?” France asked with concern.

“It’s nothing serious. I just didn’t want the two of you worrying over me,” Prussia started. They waited for him to elaborate. “Everytime we make some drastic accomplishment, or discovery... I can hear this voice,” Prussia explained.

“So you're still hearing it then? I noticed you heard something the rest of us didn’t the first time. But I didn’t realize it’d still been going on,” France asked for confirmation.

“Yes, but they’ve gotten worse. It just happened a moment ago when we brought back Spain and Romano. I felt a sudden pain in my chest... It was similar to something I felt when we were all choosing our human names,” Prussia explained, holding his hand over his sore but recovering heart.

“That’s scary! What could be causing that?” Spain asked.

“It’s not exactly as scary as sounds. It’s just...” Prussia thought about how to explain it, “It’s just... It had a really nostalgic feel, like something that I felt a long time ago and forgot about...”

Spain thought aloud, “What could it be? Maybe it has something to do with that voice only you can hear?”

"Is that voice different every time you hear it?” France asked well.

“I didn’t think it was related at first, but now that it just happened I’m almost certain it is,” Prussia considered, “... Every time I’ve heard it. Every time I’ve heard it it’s been the same voice, and it's always said the same thing. Only sometimes I can hear more of it.”

“What exactly does it say?” Spain asked.

“It congratulates us.”


Back in the main room the others were discussing what they learned, filling in Romano, and Romano, alternatively filling them in on what they did, which he amounts to a whole lot of nothing. He did feel slightly better knowing sending the journal back ahead of them had been beneficial to them.

Russia’s phone began to ring again... For someone who supposedly couldn’t be reached from the outside, he sure got a lot of phone calls.

“Sorry I have to take this. I’ll be right back, da?” Russia smiled before rushing out of the safe room to take the call.

Canada approached China quietly from the back of the group, pulling him aside. “You’ve noticed it too right?” Canada asked, “Someone should follow him...”

“I realize he’s acting a bit weird, but wouldn’t following him be an invasion of privacy?” China asked.

"I would go myself, but I think he's started to suspect me..." Canada admitted worriedly.

China sighed. If it was really going to stir up trouble he might as well check it out, if for no reason other than to calm nerves. "Fine. I'll go take a look aru. Just don't be surprised if it turns out to be nothing," China agreed.

"If it turns out to be nothing I'll feel a lot better," Canada replied, "Be careful."

China shrugged him off heading after Russia out the door. He suspected Russia would be right in the hallway between the safe room and the other bedroom. Of course when he cracked it open he was surprised to find it vacant. China walked in and closed the door to the noisy room behind him. Well if he wasn't in here, how far did he go for this phone call? Something hadn't been sitting right with China about this for a while, and now he was starting to understand Canada's suspicions a bit more.

China pressed his ear to the door to see if he could hear any talking in the next room. There were a few moments of pure silence before some unknown sound muffled its way through. He couldn't make it out yet, but it at least sounded like Russia. China carefully cracked the door open, enabling him to hear Russia's conversation for himself.

"_____" Russia revealed unknowingly as he argued on the phone.

China opened the door completely, finally understanding why Russia wanted to keep these calls a secret. "So this is who you've been on the phone with this whole time aru?... Well I can see now why you've been so secretive about it."

Russia spun around, widened eyes, and fear from being caught. He'd done so well up until now. Why did he have to be caught now? It wasn't fair. "Ch-China!... I didn't hear you..." Russia was at a loss for how to explain.

"Playing the role of the villain again are we? Well this time I'll keep mum about it," China eased his mind.

Micronations

"Hey check it out!" Seborga called out, pointing up at a clock stuck on one of the branches in a nearby tree, “It’s one of those clocks everyone’s searching for!”

“Good job Seborga,” Sealand cheered, setting Ladonia’s laptop down at the base of the tree, “I’ll climb up and get it.”

“No need,” Seborga called from above, already halfway up the tree. Climbing trees was one of his favorite past times, “I’ll toss it down to ya.”

The clock glinted from the top of the tree, just out of reach. Seborga reached out, almost touching it... Before he saw something out of the corner of his eye. Fear set in. Deep and unraveling. They had heard rumours of the monster that wandered the area, but never could they have imagined something like this. Seborga found his voice, yelling out a late warning to his friends below, “Everyone look out!”

A giant grey alien looking creature with gnarled teeth, and twisted claws. It was tall enough, if it reached it could pull Seborga right out of that short tree. And it towered over the tiny micronations. It came barreling in, screeching “diE!”

Sealand backpedaled away from it, tripping over a root, “What the hell IS that thing?!”

Wy stepped in front of Sealand blocking him from attack, holding her giant paint brush in front of her. It was made of sme pretty strong wood, it might not help them win the fight, but it would at least help her defend herself. “Everyone get ready,” She led them, even while she was physically shaking, her eyes gleamed with courage and confidence, “We have to bring it down. If we can’t stop it, it’s just going to attack someone else.”

Wy was right, of course, everyone started putting themselves together. They were scared, they were just children after all. But they were also “nations in training”. Molossia pulled out his gun and fired off a few rounds. The creature let out an inhuman screech, as discolored blood trailed down it’s shoulder, where one of the four bullets fired managed to hit it. For many of them this was their first time in a fight. Their first time ever testing a weapon. Their first time fighting as a team.

NicoNico saw his chance while the creature was pulled back by the shoulder injury to attack with his katana. He swung his sword down, embedding his blade in monster’s opposite shoulder, inches from where it’s jugular would have been. Japan had given him lessons, but he had never fought against an actual opponent before. He was unprepared for enemy to pull away. It threw it’s arm back knocking NicoNico off balance. His katana became embedded in the arm, becoming harder to pull out as it dug deeper and deeper. The creature screeched loudly, inches from NicoNico’s ear. Claws dug at NicoNico’s stomach, ripping him away from his sword, and throwing him across the forged battlefield.

Wy rushed to his side to make sure he was ok. They didn’t have much for first aid, because none of them had realized how bad this was until now. However she did what she could. His injuries weren’t too severe, a few scrapes and bruises here and there. It was the concussion she worried about.

Sealand’s agility is what saved him from real danger. He could run circles around that thing. Which he did. Distracting it by waving his flag in it’s face. “dIE!” The creature screeched, raking sealand’s flag to shred’s.

Hutt River took the chance to jump on it’s back, the only weapon he had was a rope, but he used it. Choking the creature as best he could, the rope cutting into his own skin more than the monster’s, but it was enough to keep it off Sealand. And to keep it still for a moment, while Molossia fired off a few more rounds. His accuracy improving out of necessity.

The creature stepped on the canvas Kugelmugel had been painting on, destroying it. No one, had the right to destroy art. If his painting was destroyed, that just meant he needed to create another masterpiece. A putty knife emerged from one of his pockets. He always had plenty of art supplies. And look at this wonderful new media he had to work with.

Kugelmugel charged the creature, everyone clearing the way. He attacked the monster head on, carving into it with his putty knife. Peeling back rotten looking skin. The creature swiped at him with it’s long destructive claws, but Kugelmugel was already gone. He had moved to another section of the creature as it screeched ferociously. They had to bring the monster down. But even such an act as this could be seen as art.

Seborga was almost at the end of the branch. He was amazed, and yet terrified, watching his friends fight below. When did they all get so strong? Seborga reached out a little further. Inching closer. Crrraaackk! The branch suddenly snapped and he and the clock came crashing down. It seemed every branch on the way had decided to whack him in the face. His head landing against the ground with an echoing thud. Sustaining minor cuts and scrapes, and a sudden migraine, possibly a concussion.

The clock shattered as it hit the ground, the monster vanishing as it broke. Memories flooded to the eight successful micronations. But they were not their own memories. They were memories of the mansion. The truth of the horror’s that went on inside. All seen from the point of view of Canada.

“Did you just-?” Wy couldn’t figure out how to explain what she just saw.

“What in bloody hell was that!” Sealand cried out rubbing his eyes. But it wasn’t his eyes that saw the memory they’d just uncovered.

“My masterpiece!” Kugelmugel whined almost sad the the monster had vanished. He didn’t get to finish.

“Hungary, told us that everyone was looking for these clocks,” Wy reminded them, picking up the smashed clock, “They said they had on a whole found three of them, but they were sure there were nine left... Do you think...”

“How many people were in trapped inside did you say?” Hutt River finished for her, asking Sealand.

There was static over the laptop. The further from the gate they travelled the worse the signal became. Alternatively, smashing one of the clocks had brought them closer to correcting time, which allowed Ladonia to make it through the lines again. “__ I can’t belie- __ all the fighting. ___ and this damn connection!” Ladonia cursed it out trying to clear his system to at least transmit his signal back there.

“Hey you’re back!” Sealand cheered moving to the computer and forgetting the question he was just asked.

Of course he was back. He was just having trouble transmitting. He’d been here the whole time, there was just this ridiculous lag breaking up the video and audio. He was really concerned when he first saw that monster, he was relieved when it was all over. That clock had affected him too, he wondered if it’s power could be tracked. “Sea-land__ ‘ock__ on the laptop...?”

“What? I didn’t get that,” Sealand tried to decipher the staticy message.

Ladonia sighed and tried again separating the individual words a bit more, “SEALAND___ PUT__ TH- CLOCK__ ON _ TH-LAPTOP.”

Sealand laughed, “oh ok. What do you want the clock for?” Sealand asked picking up the broken clock.

The laptop had a sensor, it could potentially scan the clock and he could use it to track the other clocks. Potentially. It rested a lot on his connection.

“Well, since we found the clock I should probably call hungary,” Wy said pulling out her cell phone.

The message made it through to Ladonia as he waited for the scan to take it’s sweet time. He pulled out his own cell phone. He had a call to make as well.

Safe Room

“Well, after losing both Italy and England we’ve reached a stalemate as to what to do. Do you have any ideas as to where we need to go next?” Japan asked the four who had just returned.

“Not really, nothing important really happened in the past,” Romano shrugged, a little disappointed that he didn’t have more to offer.

“Actually,” Canada began, “We’ve made another breach in the annexe.”

“Oh?” Japan inquired.

“Yes, you remember the key we couldn’t figure out? There was a lock hidden on the wall behind the clock. It opened a passage to a tunnel system.”

“Really? I’d considered it before, but. Do you think this tunnel could be an escape point?” Germany asked.

“That’s very possible,” France mentioned, tunnels like this so far underground were often built as escape exits in case of intrusion, “Unfortunately, the entrance is barred, and requires yet another key.”

“A key which we don’t have,” China put together irritated. He had learned better than to get his hopes up. This place liked to toy with them like that. Giving them just enough to continue and build hope, so it could tear it away all at once. It was time they became more wary. What they really needed was to get the upperhand on it. China eyed Russia watchfully.

“Ve~ Then. Since we don’t know where to go. Maybe it’s time to do some more searching. We can check all the floors, on all the rooms, and share whatever we can find,” Italy suggested, thinking about every time in the past when they had felt lost. They always managed to keep going then, and this time was no different.

“I agree with Italy. When we are out of clues, that’s when we need to start searching,” England agreed.

“Ja, but if we try to explore all the rooms as one group we’ll never get anywhere. We’ll have to split into teams,” Germany considered.

“In that case, it should be one for each floor?” Japan counted it up, “That would be: the basement, the annexe, the 1st floor, the 2nd floor, the 3rd floor, the 4th floor, and the attic.”

“That’s a bit too spread out don’t you think?” France mentioned, “This many groups would have us between one and two people per group. If the creature decided to attack any one of us...”

“In that case...” Canada sorted, “If we separated it to: the annexe, the basement combined with the first floor, the second and third floor as another group, and then the fourth floor and the attic made up the last group - then that would gives us three people for each group.”

“If we go as a group of three we’ll at least be able to fend off an attack and retreat to safety,” France agreed. Anymore packed together they would spend too many hours outside of safety.

“Well if we’re serious about this, then we need to decide who will go with which group,” England kept the conversation going.

“Then, if I can, I’d like to see the annexe again. It sounds like you’ve all found a lot more than I’d seen before,” Italy mentioned.

“Then I’ll go with you,” Romano decided, not wanting to leave his brother’s side, even if only for a little while.

“I will as well, I missed chances of seeing it for myself earlier, so now is a good time,” Germany added. Romano ignored his impulse to tell Germany he wasn’t invited.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had a look at the basement,” America offered, it was as good a shot as anywhere else.

“I’m a little curious about the basement myself. I swear I’m forgetting something,” England thought. Something about the memories they’d recovered from the dream. There was something important there, but it was just at the tip of his memory.

“If the two of you are going, then I will have to come just to watch your backs,” France laughed.

“Then go somewhere else frog,” England complained.

“Don’t argue mon cher.”

“Well... Umm,” Canada spoke up to break the tension, “Of the two left, I’m more curious about the attic.”

“I have to disagree,” Russia chimed in, “The third floor still intrigues me.”

“I’ll go with Russia, aru,” China sighed, someone was going to have to keep an eye on him.

“Nah, the attic has this mysterious feel that sends chills down my spine. There’s gotta be something there,” Prussia disagreed.

“A choice between these two left? I’ll go with Prussia then,” Spain decided.

“And that leaves me to China, and Russia’s group,” Japan summed up.

“Everyone know where they’re going?” England checked, “Then let’s plan to meet back here within 1 hour.”
Annexe Group

Italy led the trio through the annexe. Of all the time loops. Of all the endless possible scenarios, not once had they before discovered this place. To Italy it seemed to offer some new clue, an entire side of the mansion they had not yet questioned. They reached the branch between the library and study. “They said they found more this way right?” Italy asked curious about what secrets the lever had unlocked. He had looked it over curiously before, but at the time they had other concerns.

“I believe so,” Germany confirmed opening the door.

“Ve~” Italy ran ahead with a newfound excitement. Things were really starting to look hopeful for once, “Then we pull this lever, and it led to a new room, right?” Italy beamed.

There was a loud clatter as the lever was pulled and the wall lifted away to reveal the secret room. “Wow, what do you think it was used for?” Italy asked trying to break the uncomfortable silence.

Romano looked over the long banquet table, “Meetings, or something stupid like that.”

Italy smiled, “Really? It’d be kind of weird to hold a meeting in a place like this though, wouldn’t you think?”

Germany and Romano both looked around the oddly placed room. It was strange indeed. Perhaps some sort of underground network? A secret group that didn’t want to be found.

Germany shook it off, focussing on their task at hand, “Well anyways, this room is pretty vacant, let’s not waste too much time here. Where else did we still have to check?”

“Roger captain,” Italy saluted him before making his way along the table, “Canada said the switch to go down there was under the edge of the table.”

Click.

Tiles on the other side of the room slid over revealing a narrow staircase. The hole in the floor a foreboding impenetrable darkness. “How... ominous,” Germany noted sceptically.

“What do you think is even down there?” Romano asked.

“Supposedly, its the clock room I always find to reverse time,” Italy laughed nervously. Although it had been a long time, the place had always been one of grief. Somewhere he only went when he had lost someone.

Italy went down first, leading them into the abyss that lay in wait before them. The lights, as always had been turned out. Italy fumbled along the sticky wall looking for the light switch; he knew very well what he was feeling.

“What is this?” Romano asked feeling along the wall himself.

“Oh. I wouldn’t-” Italy tried to warn him, but Romano had meanwhile managed to find the light switch, flipping it on.

Romano let one of his famous high octave screams upon seeing the blood splattered walls, and traces of blood on his hands from where he’d felt along the wall.

“Sorry,” Italy apologized, “I should have warned you a little better. This place is...”

“There’s so much blood,” Germany commented, widened eyes staring about the reddened room.

“Well,” Italy stared at the ground, which was smeared with streaks of blood and the occasional footprint. “Every time I found myself here, it was after someone had lost their life. We fought so much in the beginning, that it was inevitable that I’d end up with blood on my hands. So even while the clock ticks on, time in this room is frozen. Drenched in blood that will never dry nor wash away."

Italy had done this all on his own. It might not be his blood spilt about the walls, but it was him alone who carried it. Alone. How long had he left his brother to do this alone? Why couldn’t he have gotten here sooner? He felt oddly responsible. And while Romano felt this guilt, Italy merely smiled and accepted it. There was no changing what happened, but there was always hope for the future.

This must be the tunnel system!” Italy exclaimed fawning over the bars and lock that kept them from it, “Ve~ This is so cool! I’ve never seen it before, it could really lead anywhere.” The thought of leaving gave Italy chills. Something new was always good. He’d grown so use to seeing the same thing, saying the same words, over and over again, for so very long. Even the slightest change was an incredible adventure. Something uncertain. Something that meant hope.

“Now if we could just find the key to open it,” Germany complained.

“Let’s go to the library next door then. If there was going to be a key anywhere I’d expect it to be in there,” Romano suggested calmly, looking for any excuse to get out of that room.

“I think that’s a good idea Romano, let’s go look,” Italy agreed leading them back upstairs, and back out the new room, Back to the hall, and then to the library. Papers lay strewn about. A partial result of Russia’s mad search earlier on. The place was an absolute mess.

“What happened here?” Italy asked in shock.

“It will take us ages to sort through all this,” Germany sighed, such disorganization was unacceptable. If you made a mess you clean it up right away. Now they would have spend hours piling the papers back up to make sure there was something important buried under them, “We’ll have split up. I will take the back, Italy you work somewhere along the middle, and Romano you can start here.”

“What if I don’t wanna start here macho potato?!” Romano complained, not liking to be bossed around by Germany.

“Then start somewhere else. Let’s get started,” Germany sighed already walking towards the back of the room.

“Romano don’t fight with Germany You can work with me if you don’t want to be alone ok?” Italy asked Romano.

“I’m not scared to be alone dammit!” Romano complained, although it was really more of a fear of letting his brother out of his sights.

“Then I’m going to go look over there ok?” Italy pointed to the bookshelf to the far right, center of the room, “Let’s find the key. Ok?”

Italy sat next to the wall, surrounded by papers, all of which were from different books that seemed to have no connection. From this angle he could still see Germany and Romano as well. He watched them for a while, digging through the papers in front of him, creating a sloppy pile. After a few minutes they had all developed a system. Scoop up papers shake them out for a key, and stack them up with the rest. Italy was unaware that he was now sandwiched behind two bookcases, out of view from both Romano and Germany. An unknown wind carried a voice softly across to Italy’s ear, startling him, “Italy~” It faded out. Sounding almost like a warning, so familiar, and yet he could not place it.

Italy spun around to try and place it and found himself face to face with the creature. Italy noticed it just in time to avoid its claws as it swung it’s arm down teeth snarling, knocking out the books next to where Italy’s head would have been.

“Italy!” Romano and Germany yelled staggering to their feet to aid him.

Basement Group

And into darkness they descended. Perhaps not darkness in the literal sense, but the basement was quite a bit darker than the rest of the mansion. Even still, that paled in comparison to the annexe, and clock room. It was the tense, quiet air between them, that symbolized the darkness they had descended into. They might seem united, but France could see the awaiting storm of secrets brewing on the near horizon.

They passed under the grimy bars that separated the basement, taking an immediate right. They had searched the rest of the basement already, all that was left was to either their right or left. England turned right immediately without so much as a second thought. Towards the cell they had temporarily been caged in. Not that being caged here meant much to them at all; the mansion itself being their cage. Since England had been walking ahead of them, France and America followed without even realizing they had made the decision to turn.

“Why are we going this way first?” America asked suddenly noticing. It seemed to him they had already found any and all things of value in the cell area. Not that they shouldn’t check it out, but he was a bit more curious about the rope ladder, and the possibility of an exit. Of course he knew it had been burnt. But how badly? Maybe if he could figure out just how far off they were they could find something to climb up to the point of the ladder? And then there was the mysterious hole in the wall no one dared to look too far into...

“I want to take another look at that box we found down here,” England explained, “When I went back in time I couldn’t help but remember it. The memory of that time is still a little bit foggy but I am recalling more and more from it.”

“So you think taking another look at the box might help you remember more of it?” France asked.

“Something like that,” England confirmed, revisiting the memory over and over in a loop. Each time reaching just a second further. There were still many blocks, blank spaces in his memory when he wasn’t sure how he got from point A to point B, but they were fewer and fewer all the time.

England stooped down by the open wooden box, France and America took a brief search of the room, while watching him warily. The box was empty of course, but it wasn’t as if England was expecting something to be in there. What was he expecting exactly? A memory to spark. Something. He knew from that dream he shared with Italy that they were missing something. An entire day they couldn’t remember. ...The word “blocked” echoed through his head. Blocked, but was it the memory itself? Or was something else blocked? What was keeping him from remembering? “The seal must be fading...” What?! What seal? ... The one... he had broken, when he saved Italy. It was almost as if there were two of him; One that knew what was happening and the one that did not. The trouble was he knew the memory was there... He just couldn’t quite grasp it.

“Are you done looking at the empty box yet England?” America asked mockingly, “Let’s hurry up and check out the last part of the basement already!”

“Alright,” England conceded, at this point he’d get as much done thinking on his own as he would trying to get something out this box, “Let’s finish up the rest of this basement so we can get back to the group then. It’s a pity we haven’t found anything though.”

“We’ve got one branch left,” France reminded him, “You never know what might come out.”

England had to agree with France on that point, if there was no chance at all they wouldn’t be checking in the first place. Although he had his doubts, after all the rope ladder had been the main feature of that “room”. He supposed they could still look in the room just prior to it. The one with the bookshelf, where he first discovered his magic hiding within the mansion.

They crossed the threshold, entering the room. “Let’s try and be quick in here. We’ve already spent too much time in the other rooms,” England glanced at his watch assuming they had, as they thought, gotten time within the mansion back in order, his group had maybe fifteen minutes to get back to the room.

England immediately gravitated towards the bookshelf, America checked along the table, and France felt along the walls for any unevenness in the wallpaper. The books on the shelf were old, containing information on various and irrelevant things. Nothing that could help them at least. England checked each book, pulling them out a group at a time to look for any hidden objects. Nothing. Between the bookcase and the wall was a thin space, maybe a half inch wide. That was empty as well. Just a normal bookshelf.

“Find anything here?” America asked joining him by the bookshelf. This was boring, at least he knew he could do something with the next place.

England sighed and stepped back, “No. Nothing.”

“We should keep going then, Oui?” France suggested already moving down to the next area.

It was a surprising shift from the rest of the basement. The wallpaper suddenly stopped as you crossed the threshold into the dark cave-like hallways, walls, floors, and ceilings alike, all the same bleak unfurnished stone. The three turned left at the only bend in front of them. They could see the burnt rope ladder in front of them, angelic light shining in from above. So close it felt, and yet just out of reach. Around here, maybe, right where they were standing, was the place where Germany had tripped. There was still no sign of whatever it was.

America took a look up from the base of the rope ladder. The rope had been singed a little higher than halfway up. The distance was a good ten fifteen feet above their heads. Definitely no chance of scaling it. They would never get enough furniture stacked up there before the creature figured out what they were up to.

America turned around, pacing in frustration. They couldn't just show up with nothing! Something. There had to be someway they could use this. Something... His eyes fell upon the hole in the wall just to the left of the rope ladder. It was a very large hole, and exceptionally dark. There was a foreboding air to it that, other than peering in on occasion, no one had ever tried giving it a closer look.

“That’s about it,” France said looking around. There wasn’t really anything else to look for, “It’s probably about time we started heading back.”

“Hold up a second,”America waved his hand back at them, looking deep into the cave like entrance. He propped his hand against the top structure. Tiny granules of rock crumbled off, turning to grey dust in his hand.

“What are you doing America? Have you found something?” England asked.

“We never really inspected this hole,” America said looking in. It was so dark you couldn’t see an inch in front of you. America took a cautious step across the threshold of the wall. His foot never made contact with floor. Instead he began to lose his balance falling down into the hole below.

France and England both reached out and managed to pull him back just in time. All three panting from fear. “The floor,” America panted, “There’s no floor.”

“Apparently not!” England shook his head, how incredibly sad would it have been if they lost America now, to a hole in the floor.

“Let’s not try that again,” France suggested.

“No wait. I think I saw something in there,” America recalled through the flitting memories of falling. Something, white?

“You’ve got to be kidding me! Who in bloody hell would think to put something in there! You’re seeing things lad,” England complained.

“You forget our enemy,” France interjected, “There might very well be something there.”

“We’re not actually thinking of reaching in there though are we?” England asked, fearing the answer.

There were a few brief exchanges of glances. “Hold my arm, I think I can reach it,” America asked extending his arm back as he peered once more into the pit.

“Oh for God sakes!” England cried as he begrudgingly helped helped keep America from falling in.

America leaned in a little bit, peering over the seemingly endless chasm beneath him. He stared out straight ahead of him, The white object was directly in front of him. It was a rectangular, possibly a paper? He stretched out his good hand, the one that the other two weren’t grasping for dear life on to. Seriously it almost hurt! His fingers brushed it. Definitely paper. It seemed to be sitting on a small outcropping of stone. It lay near the back of it, almost out of reach. He leaned a little farther, just beyond his limits. His hand snatched the paper just as France and England pulled him back in.

America stumbled backward, almost knocking the two of them over. The paper still clutched tightly between his fingers.

France patted America on the back, ‘Well let’s see then. What was it?”

America held up the paper as he regained his balance, “I think its some kind of note.”

By the look of the paper alone, England could almost remember something. A fleeting memory close by. Not yet ready to be discovered. “...America? What kind of note is that?” England asked.

“I don’t know. I’ll read it,” America answered opening the half folded sheet to read. “To the m - “

America froze reading the entire paper over before uttering another syllable.

“America?” England asked concerned by his pause.

“Shit,” America cursed sucking in a deep breath before reading it aloud once more, “‘To the me in the future...’”

2nd and 3rd floor group

Japan led the group into the stark white piano room. The white floor, and white walls retaining its pristine innocence despite the many lives the room had taken. “It’s just this room left, right aru?” China asked stepping passed Japan.

“That’s right, we should be done fairly quickly compared to the others. The two floors we had were so close, and there was not much to inspect in any of them that we hadn’t already found,” Japan confirmed. They still had plenty of time to head back to the room after this floor, and all that was here, was the piano and the bookshelf. It wouldn’t take them very long at all.

Japan immediately headed to the piano, not paying any attention to what the other two in his group were doing. It had been a long time since he heard any music, maybe if he played something it would help relieve some of the stress that had been building up inside him. His heart had been too much trauma, in too little time. He began to play the chorus to “iNSaNiTY”, a song that expressed his current emotion. Everything they were going through, everything they had already gone through, and all that was yet to come. It was Insane.

Japan sighed as he finished playing, feeling a bit more relaxed, after hearing something soothing. “It’s not off-tune, even if it has probably been here for years,” he thought to himself. Japan then noticed and remembered the numbers on the keys. How long ago was it that they used them? The code written on the keys of the piano. 235147283695. It was a difficult puzzle, but they eventually figured it out, opening the safe in the kitchen pantry. The code was, 5294 if he remembered correctly. There were a lot more numbers than that mixed in here. Why so many he wondered. Of course he was probably just being paranoid. Of course there would be a long string of useless numbers, it was a puzzle. He still had an off feeling about it. It couldn’t hurt to keep them written down at least.

He pulled out one of the half sheets of paper that had the color hint on them. It truly was a complex puzzle, it was somewhat strange how quickly they were able to figure it out. Japan flipped over the paper and wrote on the back of the yellow and red hint page. 2 was green, 3 was red, 5 was blue, 1 was red, 4 was blue, 7 was yellow, 2 was red, 8 was blue, 3 was green, 6 was yellow, 9 was green, and 5 was yellow.

“Japan, did you find something? We’re about done in here,” China asked finished with his inspection of the bookshelf.

“No, nothing. Let’s head back,” Japan answered tucking the paper back into his pocket.

Before they could leave there was a sudden rriiingg! From a certain cell phone in the room. For someone who couldn’t receive calls he sure was getting a lot of them. It was starting to get suspicious.

“Sorry, it’s my sister again. I should take this, but you go on ahead, da?” Russia smiled waving them forward as he answered his phone.

China locked eyes with Russia for half a second before turning around and heading out the door. He looked to Japan, dragging him out of the room as well, “Come on Japan let’s go on ahead aru.”

When the footsteps grew faint Russia redialed the number for the missed call. When the other line picked up he began talking, “You need to stop calling me so much.”

“... Well I told you not to do that didn’t I?”

“You what?!”

“...I see well that’s good at least. Why are you calling here now?...”

Attic Group

Canada walked with his head low as he turned around the corner from the attic. Spain and Prussia held onto one another as they came down the stairs behind. They looked at everything. Looked too closely actually. The blood on the walls, and the massive handprints dripping with blood. There must have been many fights and many deaths in these rooms, the deduced. The handprints were that of the creature, at least judging by size, which meant that the handprints on the wall were literally dripping with the blood of the past.

The cell that caged the horde of monsters was still empty like before, and the key, still no where to be found. It was a little disheartening to not have anything after all that. They had rushed to check the attic first, knowing they had only been there once before, but even still they found nothing.

They still had two more rooms though. Although the chances of finding something in either of those rooms was a lot less. Canada led the group in the they discovered the mochi in. The giant red chair and a closet to their immediate left, as well as a desk straight ahead, and in the far left corner, a bookshelf.

The door closed behind him as Prussia and Spain entered the room. Canada headed for the bookshelf. There was a lot to inspect in this room, but a bookshelf would take time.

It didn’t take him long to notice something that stood out on nestled in the bookshelf. tick. tock. tick. It couldn’t be. tock. tick. tock. The clock counted on.

He couldn’t believe they had forgotten this! but with all the drama that had immediately followed he saw how easily it slipped from their minds. The unbroken clock. The one they “didn’t need to break.” They thought they would be getting out soon, so they assumed breaking this clock wouldn’t matter. But now that they were left with no direction, this clock meant everything.

Safe Room

“Is everyone here now?” England asked, as his group made it back to the room.

“Yup, it looks like everyone is here now. Ve~ that means we can finally start discussing what we’ve found!” Italy smiled as Japan wrapped his injured arm. The injury to his arm, wasn’t the only wound he sustained. There were bandages on his head and around his ankle as well. Germany and Romano were also injured. A deep gash on Germany’s shoulder was still bleeding, untreated. Romano had a scratch on his face and several longer ones down his arms.

“What happened to you guys?” America asked with concern as he came in.

“We’re alright,” Italy laughed, “Just a few scratches.”

"We were ambushed when we were sorting through the papers scattered about the annexe floor. There was only one, but it still seems to be targeting Italy," Germany explained.

"I'm alright. We managed to fight off at least," Italy winced as Japan wound the bandage a little too tight around his left forearm.

"You found more papers? Where did you put them?" Russia asked.

"They're on the table," Romano growled, fidgeting with his scratches. He was broody because he hasn't been much help in the fight.

"Well if everyone is back, I have something important to share," Canada spoke up.

"As do we," England spoke, still in disbelief.

"Really? Both your teams uncovered something?" Italy asked excitedly. If they kept finding clues like this, they'd be out of here in no time.

Canada beamed. They had waited to break the clock until they were altogether. "We did. ... if you don't mind England."

"No go right ahead, I'm curious to see what you found up there," England encouraged him. He was certain it would take the a long time to discuss the note they found in the basement, so he better let Canada go first.

"Do you remember back when we freed the mochi?" Canada asked looking to the little creature sitting atop the counter in the kitchen. Canada continued, "We found a clock in that room too... only we never broke it."

Spain dug the clock out of one of his pockets, holding it out for the group to see. "Si, we thought at the time we didn't need to, because we'd find the key as soon as we made it to the attic. Of course we didn't find it. And then we had to worry about Italy, Germany, and America being stuck in the past. After that..."

"Let's just say we had almost forgotten about it until now," Prussia finished.

"Something like this is a little important for us to be forgetting. It makes me worry about what else we've missed," France worried.

England felt a strange vibe from the clock, perhaps it was just the strange power all the clocks held over them: making them see the past. But he felt it was something more. "Can I see that for a moment?" He reached out.

"Sure, I don't see why not," Canada handed it to him.

Once England had it in his hands he knew. He could sense a little of his magic churning inside it. Guiding the hands of the clock. It was in fact, unique from other clocks in this sense. He handed it back quickly.

"What is it?" Canada asked wondering what he made that expression for.

"Its nothing. I just had a strange feel from the clock. That was all. It really wasn't anything," England rattled off. "So are we going to smash this thing now? Or what?" England offered.

"That's why we brought it back to the group. We opted not to break it last time, but given our circumstances I think we have a greater cause to now?" Canada asked.

"That's a good idea. My memories are finally in order now, so maybe I won't get anything new this time? But it might help some of the others to know what to avoid... We have to be extra careful now, from here on out," Italy agreed.

"I never get anything from breaking these clocks so I don't really have a say," Germany shrugged.

"Anyone have a good reason not to break the clock?" America asked, "I mean this might explain why we only get decent reception, sometimes."

No one spoke a word. "In that case, Canada?" France spoke up, "Would you do us the honors?"

Canada lifted the ticking clock high into the air, before releasing it with all his might to clatter to the floor with a thunderous,

Crash!
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