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I eagerly drop myself into sleep this night, so that I can go back to South Spire and help broker a peace that will finally unite our...

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What is going on?!

The palace throne room is lit up with beams and lasers and the glint of steel clashing against steel. A pillar is struck down and collapses to the floor in pieces.

Before my ghostly form can even fully form, I see the battle rampaging on all around me.

Only two combatants, but two that are positively ferocious in their intensity.

I realize, all of a sudden, that everything I have done has been for naught, because the Demon Queen Mestopholees and the Anti-Mage Leader Rare are currently engaged in the absolute highest levels of hostility.

This is NOT the peace I promised to bring.

A magical master versus a brawling lordess, bouncing off each other and slicing up the whole room as they seemingly float on air in their duel. I have no idea who will come out on top. But I do not wish either of them to win; I wish for them to settle down and make a deal.

Quickly, I summon the energy necessary to astrally project myself into physical form. My hard light self pops into view on the throne room floor, and I wave my arms wildly, trying to plead with them to stop.

“Rare! Mestopholees! You must calm down this instant!”

But there is no answer, for they do not even notice me.

What a destructive waste! It is only due to me that any of this happened, because, of course, I assumed the best out of Rare, and that was too much for them. Or perhaps I assumed too much out of Mestopholees’s hidden desperation, and her will was stronger than I realized. Neither thing matters, though, because the truth is that they are attempting to kill each other with some of the strongest attacks I have ever witnessed out of any two heroes on Mystix.

The sheer obliteration of it all. Were I not a ghost, I would be sent into oblivion just standing here.

Indeed, a stray beam of energy slices through my astral body, and it poofs out of existence a moment later.

I cannot bear to watch, except that in my spectral form I have no ability to close my eyes or avert my gaze. I am forced to watch as my sibling and my ally tear each other to pieces.

Mestopholees sends a volley of sharp clawed scratches Rare’s way, and even tears up their robes, but finds it wholly impossible to make direct contact with them. They are simply so fast that they can flash step to avoid any serious damage. And their spells are mostly area-of-effect based, which means that Mestopholees’s close-range blows leave her perfectly open to the counterattack. She falls for it three times in a row. getting a face full of mana beam every time she fails to hurt them.

She moves to avoid a blast—

But she’s not fast enough. The beam hits her right in the forehead and she goes cartwheeling uncontrollably in mid-air.

Eventually, she gains a foothold. She kicks Rare in the stomach right after one spell and they go flying backwards into a pillar. It shatters on impact and, finally, that appears to be enough to keep them down for a moment. Mestopholees snickers, baring her fangs.

However, the blow against the pillar also appears to be enough to take down the palace’s structural support, because the ceiling caves in on itself.

Crash—

I can’t see anything. It’s all black.

I float up through the rubble and see a massive cloud of smoke everywhere.

A few minutes pass in complete silence. Outsiders do not dare barge into this scene, and neither Rare nor Mestopholees are anywhere in sight. They must be buried underneath. If only I could help them up... But perhaps that would only make matters even worse.

The dust settles. Onlookers from throughout South Spire gather around the throne room ruins to watch and see what is going on, and my ghostly form leads many of them to bow before me and chant about Amaranth and whatnot.

Then, finally, Mestopholees digs her way out of the rubble. Panting, smiling. Alone.

“How in The Goddess’s name did they get in here?” she asks me through staggered breaths.

I bow what would be my head down, and sheepishly explain, “I wanted to broker peace between the New Slayers and Anti-Mages. I thought I could unite Mystix in time for the invasion. And, clearly, I was wrong.”

“You fucking idiot,” she says.

“I’m a fucking idiot,” I concur.

Some rubble moves. And hand appears. And then Rare emerges, their robes cut up and covered in dust, but otherwise looking completely healthy.

“You almost had me, Miss M,” Rare says to the Demon Queen.

But Mestopholees does not respond. Instead, her eyes close and she falls to the ground unconscious. Too tired to continue fighting, she simply gives up.

“All I wanted was peace,” I say to Rare. “Why did you manipulate me so?”

“Your peace is the same goal as mine. We simply wish for different paths to that goal.”

“But how can we protect against the United States if we do not have our world’s forces together?”

Rare laughs. Laughs harder than I have ever seen them do in my whole life. Laughs like the ultimate villain, even though I know they are not one.

“Protect against the invasion?” they scoff. “No, no. I’m going to START the invasion.”

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About the author

Thedude3445

Bio: I like to watch movies.

Avatar art by Mikayla Buan. https://twitter.com/mikayla_buan

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