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Skewed Destinies- The Flames of Origin

By Keko_the_Hybrid

Mystery / Adventure

Antagonists, angels and alcohol

WARNING: This chapter contains some pretty heavy spoilers for the story, so if you're here to check out where it's at before reading the rest, run away now and head to the first chapter! Feel free to join us here when you're all caught up. I'd love to hear what you think!

To the rest of my lovely readers…. Enjoy! *grins evilly*

Chapter 70

Antagonists, angels and alcohol

"He appears to be stabilising, father."

A bright light shone in Genis' eyelids.

"Good Gods, that took forever," a voice he recognised right away replied.

"It would have been better if you had not used such underhanded tactics on them."

There came a loud sigh. "It was necessary."

The need to confirm his suspicions was enough to force his eyes open. White light shone down and almost blinded him. He went to shield his eyes until they were able to adjust, but found his hands couldn't move. The light eventually growing weak enough for him to stop squinting, he found himself face to face with a familiar half-elf girl with green hair, glasses and a long white lab coat as she looked down at him.

She gave a sympathetic and sad smile. "Hello there Genis. How are you feeling?"

"K-kate?" he murmured groggily. He could never forget her face. Unsure how to answer or why she was even asking him how he was, he took in the rest of his surroundings. The familiar white and purple décor of Welgaia surrounded him, but it was a small room he didn't think he had seen before. He was lying on a white bed with a mattress so thin that he could feel the metal bars underneath it, with his wrists and ankles cuffed to it through metal shackles.

Kate rested a cold hand on his forehead suddenly, making him involuntarily flinch. "His fever has gone down too." She turned her back to him and looked over to somewhere behind his head. "There is no way to take the Angelus Project from his body unless he wills it himself. I think it is best it stays with him."

"I didn't ask you for your opinion," replied the male voice in the room again. "I only invited you up to Welgaia because I thought you might actually be useful. I suppose I was wrong."

Kate drew back at the cruel words spoken to her by the man who was apparently her father. Gabriel. That made sense. She had done the Angelus experiment under the Pope's orders.. and if those orders had come from her father….

Kate was the loyal type; Genis could tell. He didn't like his chances with his current situation based on that observation though. He needed to play his cards right so that he might have a chance at escaping and finding Presea. She didn't seem to be in the room. More than that though, he needed to find out whether this was all a part of Mithos' plan from the beginning or whether this was a plan Gabriel had hatched on his own. His instinct told him it was probably the latter, but he knew he couldn't know for sure until he was able to confront the leader of Cruxis himself about it.

He heard footsteps coming up from behind him. Gabriel's head of messy brown hair smiled down at him with mock kindness, or so he thought now anyway. "Sorry kid. Looks like things are about to get even messier for you."

He stepped away and approached Kate closely, though she could only take him being in her personal bubble for so long before she fell back a little. "Cut it out of his hand," the human ordered as he pointed to a set of sharp looking utensils on a metal trolley over the other side of Genis' bed. They looked like they could do some damage.

Before Genis could control it, he started to shiver. He didn't even want to think that the bright side was that they looked pretty clean, but he did anyway. His eye caught on a long thin one with a curved end that could possibly be used pick the tiny locking mechanisms around his arms and legs, if only he could reach it.

"No."

Genis glanced back at Kate and Gabriel. He couldn't see Gabriel's expression, but he could see Kate's. She clenched her fists and crossed her arms. "I won't do it. Especially not to him. I will have no further part in your barbaric experimentations."

Gabriel raised a hand and knocked Kate to the floor with a cry and a smashing sound. Genis watched her glasses slide across the floor close to his bed. "Useless half-elf. I suppose I will have to take matters into my own hands." He spun around and trotted over to the table to gaze over the utensils. Though Genis could not take his eyes off of Gabriel as he picked up the large axe-like piece that leaned to the side of everything else, he couldn't help but notice the shuddering shoulders of Kate as she seemed to sob from the floor.

A fire burned in his heart. He glared at Gabriel. "You can't just talk to your own daughter like that! Even if she's a half-elf, that means you loved an elf right!?" The subject genuinely confused him, even though it shouldn't have. It wasn't very different from how elves abandoned half-elf offspring after all. He couldn't really say either side was much different when it came down to the nuts and bolts of it.

Gabriel whirled around to face him, the axe-thing in his hand. "That woman seduced me. She forced herself onto me." He glared down at the ground where the frightened Kate stared up at him through puffy red eyes. "I only let you stay in Meltokio because she threatened to out me to the King and the Church! You should be grateful for that. Considering your bloodline, it would have been better advised for me to hide you down in a mineshaft!"

"I-I am grateful," Kate murmured, losing eye contact and glancing anywhere but at him.

"No!" Genis shook his head and leaned as far off of the bed as he could to look properly at Kate. "Kate, he's been manipulating you. You don't have to be grateful. He kept you cooped up in that dungeon, didn't he!?"

"That's..." Kate didn't finish. He knew she could see that she was being naive. Gabriel caught his eye again as he moved closer to the hand that boasted the Angelus Project that Annalicia had died for. He raised the hand that held the axe.

Genis closed his eyes and tried to pull out of the shackles once more before waiting for impact, but it never came. "Damn it!" Gabriel exclaimed. "This is too barbaric, even for me."

Genis opened his eyes again in time to see the human roll his and wipe some sweat from his brow. The axe was still in his hand, but held loosely at his side. He couldn't help but grimace at the irony. "What, scared of a little bit of blood?"

Gabriel growled and turned away. "Don't be an idiot, half-elf. I'm a scientist. We can't be terrified of such things." He walked a little way away to a small basin filled with various objects. Among them, Genis could see Presea's weapon. He was quite sure that wasn't what Gabriel was planning to give to him though. He watched the man pocket something under his white pope coat, then reach upward to a rack of different coloured liquids. He took a blue one, a purple one and a green one before turning back to him with a calmed expression. "We scientists prefer to watch the subject show us the results. I'm hardly used to much else, even with how ridiculously old I am." He gave a light chuckle as though he'd expected him to laugh as well. When he didn't, his face fell. "Fine fine." His gaze fell to Kate again. "I'd better take care of the loose ends before we begin."

Kate's eyes widened as he slowly approached, reaching into the inside pockets of his coat. In one hand he took out a blue phial, similar to the one Genis had seen him use on Presea; in the other, a sharp looking needle.

"Destruction!"

The sound of the voice Genis had already started to miss filled the area suddenly, making Gabriel pause in his steps toward his daughter and turn toward the back wall. Various bottles of ingredients that lined it started to rattle violently. Genis turned his head as far as he could to observe the scene.

"Fiery Destruction!"

The bottles rattled even more. Heat started to emanate from the wall. Genis could feel it from his position.

"Infliction!"

With one final ka-thunk, a chorus of smashing glass came soon after as the wall caved in from behind the racks and they fell forward. Genis closed his eyes and hoped that the glass would fall too low to do too much damage. He realised he was right when he felt the pressure on his wrists lessen and opened his eyes again to see his pink haired companion with a key in her hand, turning it into the lock on one the shackles on his feet.

"What!? How did you get out!?" Gabriel yelled, rising to his feet and charging across the room to apprehend her. He tripped up and fell to the ground. "You again!?" he spluttered. As soon as he was free a couple of seconds later, Genis hopped off of the bed to see Kate with her wrists wrapped around her fathers legs. "Go!" she yelled to them.

"But-" He didn't have time to argue. Presea grabbed him by both hands and practically dragged him out of the room, past all the broken glass and the suspiciously tiny amount of rubble. The majority of what he could see looked like sand and strips of clay. "A fake wall?"

"Yeah," Presea answered. "Kate told me about it in the note with the key."

So that was how she had gotten the key. He didn't understand what had happened between being knocked out by Gabriel when they had been surrounded by the seraphinalia and waking up in the experimentation room, but if Presea said it had happened, he had no doubt it was true. Kate had helped them again just then after all.

"We have to find Mithos!" he said to her.

"No," she replied, shutting him down. "We can't find him here," she elaborated. "He's gone to Sylvarant."

Genis gasped for air as they kept running down the long hallway. It felt like it was stretching on forever. "The…note.. again?"

"Precisely." Presea stopped when they turned a corner and faced a fork in the road, giving Genis the chance to catch his breath finally. He didn't get much respite though before she was leading him down the fork to the left. He supposed she must have come from that direction to begin with. Whipping his head backward, he couldn't see any sign of Gabriel following them. He turned his head back to Presea when she stopped all of a sudden.

"Something isn't right," she muttered softly under her breath.

"You saw he wasn't following us either?"

Presea bobbed her head. "Did you see another door in that room, Genis?"

"Now that you mention it..." He thought back to the room. The only entrance had been where Presea had come in, and that had been through the fake wall. "Maybe there was some kind of trap door?"

"Or maybe I'm not what I seem. People rarely are, you know."

A voice sounded from somewhere down the hall. They abruptly fell quiet and listened, only to hear the sound of footsteps approaching. Presea readied the new weapon she seemed to have acquired during her time alone and swiped when the footsteps sounded almost next to them. It hit nothing.

"Fall back," she yelled quickly. "He doesn't seem to just be invisible."

Genis nodded. "It's like he's on another plane of existence." He stepped back and Presea joined his side. Standing back to back with weapons drawn, he felt a little better about their chances.

A disembodied chuckle sounded. "Intelligent as expected. It's really too bad I couldn't let the academy get wind of you two. You might have been useful in the future."

Genis flinched and took a glance behind himself. Gabriel sounded like he was behind them now.

"Genis!" Presea yelled. He snapped his attention back and nodded in realisation that now was as good as a chance as they were probably going to get. His pride starting to suffer but common sense making up the difference, he sprinted by her side as they made their way down the corridor. An electronic door slid open right as they ran up to it and let them into a familiar area without even needing to stop.

Genis almost didn't recognise it without all the seraphinalia feathers everywhere. Jail cells sat on the eastern wall, and just ahead of them was another door that would eventually lead to an exit or Mithos' control room. They headed for the next door but stopped halfway when a light next to it turned red and a loud beep echoed through the room.

"Sorry kids, but that's as far as you go. Can't have you go running off to Mithos, can I?"

Genis wondered if even creating a smokescreen with fireball and aqua edge would do anything to make the seraph discoverable. He'd sounded almost like he'd agreed with his theory of a different plane of existence back then. "Have you turned traitor to Mithos?" he asked into the empty room, unsure where to face.

Gabriel laughed a low cackle at that. "Turned traitor? Please. I simply always gave him the tools he needed to do my bidding. It isn't my fault."

Something sparkled out of the corner of his eye, then the shape of a figure started to appear. Clutching his weapon, Genis readied himself to fight, though a part of him wondered just what Gabriel was doing, revealing himself now. Before the man finally appeared, he had been prepared to try to remain as ignorant as possible. Showing his knowledge had helped a little in understanding Gabriel's powers, but if they were going to get anything out of him, they needed to play dumb so that he felt the need to educate them. He was a scientist, after all, and if they did somehow manage to escape, it was important to get as much incriminating evidence against him as possible.

When Gabriel did finally appear though… his preparation went out of the window. The gaudy white and gold trimmed coat was gone, replaced by a green tunic with brown pants. Messy brown hair that slightly covered his eyebrows no longer fell around his face. Instead, a head of incredibly long blond hair adorned his features and fell by his hips. The only real way Genis could tell it was even still Gabriel was by the raised eyebrows he was giving them, along with his cruel smirk and hand-on-hip demeanour.

"Oh, don't look so shocked. You'll make me blush," the man said, completing the picture. "If you must know why the change, that wig and outfit gets so heavy. It makes it impossible for me to bring out the true capabilities of my exsphere." Genis blinked and missed when he disappeared. "Pretty impractical, really." He was behind them now.

Genis was about to turn to face their enemy, but only blinked once more again before Gabriel was standing right before them, not quite close enough for weapon reach, but close enough that his long gold and silver wings were kind of dazzling. "I'll ask you one last time," he said calmly, raising his hand and tut-tutting at Presea when she went to move into position to swing her axe at him. "Give me the Angelus Project." He shrugged his shoulders and tilted his head. "Just so you know, it's destiny. You might as well make it easy for me."

Not even knowing how to comprehend the latter part of Gabriel's sentence, Genis settled on getting answers to the main pressing question. "The Angelus Project isn't even that special," he deadpanned, keeping as straight of a face as he could.

"Don't even bother trying to use that trick on me," Gabriel replied, rolling his eyes and scowling. "Marty was always spouting on about Ignorance is Knowledge. Since Kratos-slash-Kraine hung on her every word, he picked it up as well. We all travelled together, you realise?"

Genis didn't have time to ask another question before he felt the dreaded pin prick in the back of the neck. "No!" Presea yelled in dismay, twisting and striking nothing once again with her axe before falling to her knees from presumably her own pinprick. She faced him as she took laboured breaths and tried to stay conscious, just as he did as he faced her. "I'm sorry Presea," he moaned, feeling tears in his eyes. "I really can't do much without Lloyd, huh. I'm such a wimp."

"That is… not.. true..." she refuted. "Your heart is strong.. Genis…" The concoction finally took its toll on her. She fell backward to the floor, her pig tails fanning out around her head like angel wings. Right before he winked out, Genis saw Gabriel lean down and take Presea's hand. Without lifting her from the ground, he unceremoniously dragged her toward the cells on the eastern side of the large room they had been trapped in once again, muttering under his breath.

xxx

"I need your help, Yuan."

It hadn't been a plea he'd come to the half-elf with on a whim. After hearing Lloyd's story about someone in his exsphere that looked like Mithos, Kraine had tasked himself the responsibility of checking on the leader of Cruxis. Not only that, but he had needed to gather the materials for the Ring of the Pact. With Sheelos getting closer to getting the summon spirits, it was only a matter of time before they sought out Origin. Though he knew Annalicia was still apprehensive about leaving Lloyd, he also knew that she somewhat trusted the half-elf to look after him. Neither of them had expected Yuan to respond to their plea with duplicate words of his own though.

"That's convenient," he'd responded, smirking. "I need your help too."

Twirling the Unicorn horn around in his fingers in thought while he studied his inevitable location, he wondered just what he was getting himself into. Even knowing what he now knew, he still felt like he only had more questions. To trust unquestioningly was not in his nature, and immature, but given that Yuan had trusted him, it hardly seemed fair to not respond in kind.

"And it's because I need your help that I am willing to risk giving you this," Yuan went on before reaching a hand into his cloak and fumbling around. When he appeared to find it, Kraine held out his hands to receive it. Something small, somewhat flat and round dropped into his hands. He examined it closely for only a couple of seconds before the reality of what it was hit him. He did a double take between Yuan and the ring, unable to believe what he was seeing. "Those runes. It's the..."

Yuan chuckled lightly. "It is. I take it that you were going to be going off on a quest to get all the ingredients you needed before seeking out a dwarf?"

"You knew that did you?" Kraine examined the ring over again. It was lightweight, as was typical of the special type of ore used to make it. It was clearly fashioned by someone who knew what they were doing. He wished he had a magnifying glass to see the finer details more clearly than his eyes allowed.

"With that face you're pulling, it's almost like you're going to ask me if you can wear it yourself," Yuan joked, making him look up from the beautiful item. The light humour very quickly left his expression and the air between them resumed its usual uneasy sense of camaraderie. "But we both know that it is Lloyd who should be the one to wield the Eternal Sword."

"I won't deny that it seems that it is his destiny to do so, especially considering the current twin blade form the sword seems to have taken," Kraine replied, a bit surprised at how easily Yuan was giving him so many ways to ask questions all of a sudden. It was suspicious. He decided to proceed with caution. "I overheard you telling Lloyd that he has to be the one to save the worlds."

He paused to judge the other man's stance. Leading into the next question made him feel as though he were out in a grassy field hunting a deer. He couldn't afford to make any sudden movements and scare Yuan out of giving him the information he wanted. "You said it not as though it was a personal belief you had, but more like it was a fact set in stone."

At first Yuan didn't respond, only tapping his crossed forearms in thought. "You got that impression did you?" For some reason, Kraine detected a hint of relief in his voice.

It was time to go in for the kill. "Why, Yuan?" he asked simply. "Why are you always one step ahead? If I am to help you, I will only do so on the condition that you answer my question honestly." He clutched the eternal ring tightly into his palm, almost for good luck.

"Ignorance is knowledge not working well enough for you any more?" Yuan caught a snowflake in his hand casually and raised a blue brow in his direction.

Kraine couldn't honestly answer to the contrary. As a scholar, he wanted to find answers to his questions. Ignorance is knowledge did not go so well with that aspect of life. It was much more suited to the warring times and other more specific troublesome situations. "It is a matter of principle," he decided to say.

"And if I can't tell you much?" Yuan queried. "What will you do?"

Yuan had said something to that effect to him before, albeit in passing. He had suggested that it perhaps hadn't been a choice for him to remain silent about his extracurricular activities. "I will decide for myself based on what you do explain," he responded. Some answers were better than none, after all.

At that, Yuan whistled and rolled his eyes. He gave a single nod and cast a look over to the part of town where the inn sat. "If you intend to question me, we should at least get out of the snow storm."

Grimacing, Kraine turned and led the way. "I know just the place. Come."

Not wanting to go back to the inn at the time and risk waking Genis and Presea, he'd led the curious half-elf to a small bar that sat next to it instead. The Weeping Penguin Alehouse- a little known gem just waiting to be discovered by connoisseurs from Sylvarant and Tethe'alla alike. Even in the middle of the night, he'd been able to hear the distinct clatter of bottles being picked from their racks and opened, and the sliding of glasses across the bar table to the recipients who had been lucky enough to either live in Flanoir and have no option but to discover it, or keen adventurers with a good eye for the finer side of life.

Sometimes there was just nothing better than a whisky on a sub-zero evening. Annalicia had thought so as well, and repeatedly complained to the growing baby bulge that was her stomach upon receiving a lemonade when she had requested a brandy. As such, the stench of alcohol and polished wooden floorboards smelled more of nostalgia and better times than overpowering and slightly sickening.

Once they had ordered their drinks from the polite bartender and while they carried them over to a corner table on the upper floor away from prying ears, he hadn't been able to resist pointing out to Yuan that he would usually put up more of a fight when it came to deciding to impart information. The half-elf had spluttered back that he was counting his chickens before they hatched and that they hadn't even started to talk yet. For a brief time, he had been somewhat annoyed at the idea that Yuan hadn't actually intended to tell him anything noteworthy. That had all quickly changed once he had taken a sip of his red wine and opened his mouth though. Kraine found his lip curling into a grimace even at the memory.

"Just so you know, before I tell you anything," Yuan started, glaring seriously at him, "it does not mean that I know everything. There are many things that have regrettably changed thanks to certain.. circumstances."

Kraine had his curiosity heightened, right from the very first sentence. Yuan had spoken in the ancient tongue. "Duly noted," he replied back in the same language. It felt strange to talk in a non-native tongue after all the years he'd spent speaking commonly.

Yuan placed his wine glass gently down and sat back in his chair to start. "Origins curse has affected more than just the people of this world. It has affected the world as a whole. Thanks to a pact that I made a very long time ago, I was spared from its effects… If you could really call it spared anyway." He chuckled darkly to himself.

Kraine found himself confused though, even from the beginning of Yuan's supposed explanation. His fingers itched to take out the notebook that weighed down his coat pocket and peruse the pages for a way to connect the dots to what Yuan was saying. Instead, purely out of begrudging respect, he cupped them around his drink and continued to listen.

"I am from a time before the world was like this," Yuan continued. "Avoiding the effects Origin's curse had inflicted, I was able to watch this new world rebuild itself and put a plan into action in order to ensure history does not repeat itself. That started four thousand years ago, at the beginning of the new world." He gestured around himself and seemed to pause for effect. "This world."

Kraine tapped his fingers against his glass, taking in the broad spectrum of what Yuan was saying. "Is this how you have come to possess so many hard to track down items?"

"Sometimes." Yuan shrugged indifferently. "Other times I went looking for them, thinking they would be useful sometime."

"I see." Kraine fell quiet, unsure how to voice his next question without seeming too much like he found it slightly difficult to believe the story as it currently was, no matter how many of the dots joined up. If Yuan had been able to make a pact and avoided this worldwide phenomenon that Origin caused, he saw there to be only one way for that to be possible. He and Mithos had both been affected in the same way by their own links to Origin, after all.

It hadn't matched up at all, not at first. Even if Yuan had been able to make a pact with Origin somehow and avoid the curse as he had said, it did not line up with history. As far as Kraine knew, there had only been one other summoner to command the summon spirits before Mithos. A summoner named Sheena. They had heard her name repeated over and over as they journeyed Sylvarant and Tethe'alla, asking to make pacts with them. There had been no mention of a Yuan upon making the pact with Origin.

"That's technically true," Yuan had responded upon his eventual questioning. He stopped when a waitress came strolling up to their table. They politely told her that they didn't need any refills and sent her on her merry way before the bluenette continued his story. "It's also the reason why those with elven heritage can feel things differently to humans." The way Yuan had worded his last sentence was different. He seemed to be hesitating a little all of a sudden. "But..." he added after a second while his whole body shook strangely, "I'm afraid I can't talk about that."

"What do you mean?" the question was out of Kraine's mouth before he even had a chance to overthink it. Just when he thought he was getting somewhere, Yuan had built yet another facade around information. Incredibly important information, at that.

All of a sudden, it had seemed that Yuan had the answer to one of life's most important questions.

"Why do you think I could have made a pact with Origin and yet seem to have no ties to what you know and remember?" Yuan queried instead of answering.

Kraine knitted his brows while trying to decipher the true meaning behind the question. He had nothing to go by though and decided to try a different angle. "If you are indeed from a time before Origin's curse affected the world, how has that enabled you to understand future events?"

Yuan had told him that he hadn't seen the future, and it seemed too much of a stretch to believe he had been operating on educated guesses and hunches alone. The things he had said to Lloyd were enough to point to the contrary anyway.

Sighing upon realisation of coming full-circle from the very first question he'd asked Yuan, he waited patiently to see if the bluenette would add any further information without prompt. Yuan seemed to be waiting for him though, so he thought through his next question carefully. "What are your goals?" He decided to start simply. "You say that you do not wish history to repeat itself."

"That's correct. To do so would be quite.. troublesome."

"And yet you haven't seen the future." His mind twisted at the thought. "And you have a pact with Origin, apparently."

"I had a pact with Origin," Yuan corrected.

He'd asked him what he meant by that immediately of course, and that was also when his urge to strangle him had almost made its way from his brain to his hands.

"C-calm down," Yuan yelped, jumping back in his chair and almost falling over in it. He righted himself and gave him a serious look. "This plan has been in the making for longer than you have been alive, Kraine."

The natural question to ask at that point had been how old Yuan actually was, since he had said that he had watched the world for at least four thousand years. His manners had kept him restrained.

"And you thought I would be worthy of becoming privy to your plans?" he asked. "Is there some reason for that?"

"If there was a reason, I wouldn't be able to tell you thanks to the pact I made," Yuan answered.

That part had surprised him yet again. Knowing that Yuan had made a pact with Origin had been one thing, but it was another to fathom that he had made a pact with yet another summon spirit. His brain had gone into overdrive, trying to think of the Summon Spirits that Mithos had not seen noteworthy to get as a part of their mission four thousand years ago.

Yuan cleared his throat. "You could at least pay attention properly if you are going to make me tell you."

He stared, realising he'd disappeared from the conversation and gone into his own head. All of a sudden he was reminded of Lloyd and how he had been frustratingly similar at times. The thought that they were similar in some ways still terrified him. He'd have preferred his son to take fully after Annalicia. Sadly, as he had seen during his time with him over the years and during the journey, there was more of him in his son than he'd wanted. A lot more.

"You knew of my relation to Lloyd for a long time," he said, his train of thought going elsewhere. "You must not have seen the future, since you did nothing to stop Annalicia from being captured and turned into an experiment. Nothing to stop what I.. did."

Even that contradicted itself though. He decided to continue airing his thoughts aloud regardless. "But you are so prepared for everything that it is impossible to believe that you haven't seen some semblance of the future." He rested the Eternal Ring on the table between their glasses as proof to himself that he knew what he was talking about.

The half-elf looked kind of pleased. "It would seem that way." He leaned forward. "But why would I do nothing to change it, if I could?" He closed his eyes and exhaled. "Contrary to what you might think, I'm not usually into letting families be torn apart just for kicks."

Kraine already had the answer for that one. He'd heard it only a short time ago, after all, straight from the horses mouth. "Because you couldn't." Not that he really knew why though. All of a sudden, he dearly wished for the air conditioning overhead to be replaced by a warm fire in the corner, and for his half drunk alcoholic beverage to become a steaming mug of well-brewed tea. He'd always found that to be the best type of atmosphere for thinking deeply.

Yuan twisted the ring on his finger- the one that he'd gotten from somebody very precious to him. "There are certain things that can not be changed in order to achieve what I have set out to do. Some things have to stay the way they were, or at least appear to have stayed the same. Lloyd receiving the Angelus Project and going on the Journey of Regeneration was one of them, and it would not have been possible given any other set of circumstances."

"Again, you talk as though you have seen the future."

Yuan looked squarely into his eyes. "Not this future," he said simply in the common tongue.

Refusing to say anything more, Yuan given him a lot to think about. He'd gone on to ask the blue haired half-elf just what he wanted him to do, and that was why he now stood in place, eyes locked on the Tower of Salvation.

"I need you to work with Gabriel to betray Mithos. It is the only way Mithos will live. Without Mithos alive, this world is doomed."

He had said it with such a forceful note and expression that it had been impossible to not take seriously. Yuan, the man who both apparently had and hadn't seen the future, had said that Mithos would die if he didn't do as instructed. It didn't seem like he had much other choice. He just hoped Yuan would ensure the safety of the three children he had left in his care.

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