Dragna Empire, the imperial capital.
Miko was sitting on the top of the newly reconstructed palace alone. He was staring into space with a blank expression.
That’s when the image of a shadowy person appeared beside of him.
Miko gripped his head like he was having a headache.
“Kill them all! Set their corpses ablaze and bathe in their blood!”
The shadow person shouted in his ear.
“I said shut up!”
Miko fired a blast of demonic power and chased away the shadow.
“Kill them! Kill everything that stands in your way!”
However the shadow reappeared again.
“If you don’t kill them, you’ll lose everything.”
“Shut the fuck up!”
Miko suddenly released his power in a fit of rage, which caused the area to shake uncontrollably.
“Hah! Hah! Hah!”
He stood there breathing heavily with his body covered in cold sweat.
“Well, this is worst than I expected.”
That’s when he heard a familiar voice.
He looked to his side and saw Augustus standing next to him.
“Yo. Looks like you’re finally losing it.”
Augustus said with a laugh.
“You bastard. What’s going on?! Why can you appear in front of me?! No, what the fuck is wrong with my head?!”
Miko grabbed him by his collar and shouted.
“What’s going on?”
“Isn’t that obvious? You’re going insane.”
“You heard me. You’re slowly losing your mind. It won't be long before you lose yourself completely.”
“Y-You’re lying. You must’ve been the one fucking with me!”
Miko shook him and shouted.
However, Augustus just shook his head.
“This isn’t my doing and it’s not yours either.”
“This is all natural. You’re naturally losing your mind.”
Miko pushed him away.
“No one can naturally lose their mind. There has to be a cause.”
He pointed at him.
“And you’re the number candidate to be that cause!”
“Hey, I’m innocent. But you’re right about one thing. There is a cause.”
“What is it?”
“Did you forget what kind of technique you’re practicing?”
“Deus Malum? Are you saying that Deus Malum is causing me to hallucinate?!”
“But you already knew that didn’t you?”
“After all, this entire conversation is a hallucination caused by your subconsciousness.”
“What do you-”
It was at that moment Miko opened his eyes.
He looked around and saw that he was indeed on the roof of the palace, but he was laying down under the starry night.
He sat up and placed his hand on his head.
“Was that all a hallucination?”
He said to himself.
He then started to back track his steps before he reached this point.
“Ah, that’s right. I wanted to take a break and thought that coming up here would work wonders.”
He stood up.
“Did I fall asleep?”
He said as he looked at the night sky.
“Nope. You’re just hallucinating again.”
Miko jumped back and looked at the person that whispered in his ear. It was the shadow person. Only this time they were seeping with blood.
“Y-You bastard. Who are you?!”
“Me? I’m no one, but I'm everyone. I’m nothing but I'm everything.”
The shadow said.
Miko suddenly appeared before it and beheaded him.
He watched as the shadowy head dropped on the floor.
However, the head just rolled over by itself and looked at him.
“Violence is your answer to everything, isn’t it?”
The head said.
The head then changed to that of a woman.
“Isn’t that right, Miko?”
It was Tiamat’s severed head.
Miko stepped a couple steps back when saw the head.
That’s when he felt like he stepped on something.
He looked down and saw that he had crushed a head like a melon.
The head belonged to that of a child, a little girl to be exact. Miko didn’t know this little girl, but when he looked around he noticed that he was surrounded by countless severed heads.
“What the hell is this?!”
“You don’t recognize us do you?”
The smashed head of the little girl mouth started to move on its own.
“We’re the nameless corpses of all those who fell victim to your evil ways over the years.”
The head of an old man said.
“We did nothing wrong but were wrongly slaughtered, all to help you accomplish your goals.”
Said a young boy.
“We were innocently living in peace, but you had to plunge everything into hell. Your insatiable greed has devoured us all.”
Twin children spoke.
“Look at us! Look at all the innocents you’ve made suffer over the years! Look!”
They started shouting.
In response, Miko-
“Oh, I’m looking. I’m also looking for a fuck to give, but I can’t seem to find one.”
The expressions on all the heads were utter shock.
“Fuck off, background characters. Go cry to someone who actually cares!”
Miko snapped his fingers and the entire world was set ablaze.
The heads screamed in unison.
“Why? Because fuck you that’s why.”
Miko showed a cruel smile as the world burnt.
“You’re barking up the wrong tree if you think that I’ll ever beg for forgiveness for any of my sins.”
He stomped his feet and the whole world turned to ash.
“After all, I’m a born sinner.”
Once again Miko open his eyes. He was on the roof, but it was still daytime.
After staring into space for a little bit-
He punched himself in the face.
“Hmm…..from the fact that hurt like a motherfucker, I must be truly awake this time.”
He silently stood up and looked around him.
“Now then, what the fuck is going on with my head?”
“Guess I’ll go ask him.”
After he said that Miko plunged into his own soul.
He quickly arrived in front of Augustus who was standing in front of a woman.
“What are you doing?”
Miko walked up to him and asked.
“Nothing. I was just checking out this sex doll from your memories. Damn, it really does look realistic. Too bad you never bought it, I would’ve been able to give it a try.”
“Ah, this is the doll that everyone was talking about in 2018. Man, that year was pretty fucked up.”
“Yeah, I saw that from your memories. A tragic, tragic year.”
Augustus shook his head and said.
“Anyway, it seems that you’ve finally began losing your mind.”
“Of course. We’re the same person after all.”
“Is Deus Malum really causing this?”
“Is it that black coffin again?”
Augustus shook his head.
“This is something that was caused by your surroundings.”
“What is the requirement to learn the third stage of Deus Malum, Insanity King?”
“I need to go insane…..”
“That’s right. Unfortunately, that stage is very risky and dangerous to learn. But is something you have to reach and master.”
“But did you know that you’re under too much stress?”
Miko didn’t reply.
Augustus snapped his fingers and the two appeared in a complete different scenery.
They stood in front of five slots that had two gates. This was the place that Deus Malum was trained and released from.
There were two gates in front of them.
“Why did you bring me here? There don’t seem to be a problem.”
Miko said after looking around.
“Oh, really? Look again.”
Augustus pointed to the third slot.
There Miko saw that something was beginning to form. It was small, but it was still a bud.
“The third gate is forming? Why?”
“Like I said, you’re too stressed.”
“Over the last year too many things have been happening that can negatively affect your mental state.”
He began listing them.
“First, was when you met Bloom Newgate. You almost immediately lost control the moment you saw her. Second, was learning about your future from Mayumi. This one was probably the real kickstarter of it all. You learnt that not only will you lose the one most precious to you, you will be betrayed by your dearest friends. Not many can take that stress.”
Meeting Bloom rocked Miko hard, but he could suppress it by telling himself that she wasn’t his past lover who he felt guilty towards. But the prophecy hit him harder than he let on. Even so, he decided to fight to not make it a reality.
“The third incident was when you suddenly awoke from a daydream with an unexplainable anger and grief directed towards yourself.”
Augustus didn’t say this was caused by him meeting Rias, since he didn’t want to stir up back those feelings.
“The fourth incident was Bloom getting destroyed in front of your eyes. You lost full control then, and I had to step in to stop you from destroying us both. The fifth incident was the clash between you and your brother. That too affected you more than you let on. If you had killed him, I’m sure that you would’ve lose your mind from back then.”
Seeing someone who looked exactly like his past lover getting destroyed in front of him really triggered Miko’s emotion. This was also the case when he had to kill his brother with his own hands. This would be a repeat of his past life.
“The sixth incident was your fight with Tia. That really killed you inside and made you emotionally unstable. The seventh incident was when Sola and Yota returned after being tortured by their own families, that made you come to terms with the possibility of losing a love one. Something you’ve yet to experience since being reborn.”
Miko recalled the numbness he felt during those times. He had to admit that he could feel himself slipping away.
“The most recent incidents were finding out that you might cause Mayumi’s death, and finding out that New Era might have the means to kill Tia. This was the breaking point of it all.”
Mayumi’s possible death hit Miko and made him come to terms that he was a danger to even those he wish to protect. But New Era threatening Tia was the deal breaker. That was because this just made the prophecy have far more credibility that it had previously.
The Class System had a loophole and that loophole can cause Tia her life. This pushed Miko beyond what his mind could manage.
“All these events happened so quickly behind each other and is breaking you apart; pushing you closer to insanity everyday. This is the reason why the foundation for the third stage had been built.”
“Miko, you’re literally one step away from losing your mind.”
Miko suddenly recalled all those times those around him told him to take it easy or that he was pushing himself too hard.
‘Could it be that those around me was noticing how stress I was? Even though I myself never knew?’
He thought to himself.
“Is there anyway to stop this?”
“Well, stopping it would be bad since you still need to lose your mind to reach the third stage. But, I can suggest ways how to keep yourself under control so that you can smoothly transit through the third stage.”
“You have two options.”
Augustus lifted a finger.
“You can discard everything. Your emotions, your love ones, and return to how you were as Logan Cross and walk a path of solitude once again.”
He then lift another finger.
“Or just let it happen. Lose your mind, lose control and just indiscriminately destroy everything. That way you’ll relieve some stress and can gradually learn to take back control of yourself. The only problem with this, is that you’ll definitely hurt those around you. Might even kill a couple Love ones too. It’s just that you won’t care that much any more to be affected.”
“Both options suck.”
“Hey, maybe you can find a third option. But either way, you only need one more push to lose it all. If you can’t find a third option then, then you’ll be forced to pick between the two I’ve listed.”
“I see. I’ll keep those in mind.”
When Miko reopen his eyes, he was looking directly in a pair a glossy purple eyes.
Miko called out the name of who the eyes belonged to.
“Mikky, are you okay? You seem to be zoning out.”
Hina moved from in front him and sat next to him.
“I’m fine. Just have a headache.”
Hina turned his head to hers and placed her forehead on his.
“You don’t seem to have a fever though.”
She then casually kissed his lips, before moving her head.
“You can always tell me if there’s something bothering you, you know. No matter what, I’ll always be on your side.”
She leaned her body on his.
“If there comes a day I’m not the me you love and I stand before you as an enemy, I want you to kill me, because that is no longer the me I want to be.”
She suddenly said.
“What brought that on?”
“Sora has been acting strange lately. He even said that even if we become enemies hellbent on killing each other, we’ll always be a family. I was happy to hear that, but it made me wonder why he would say it so suddenly.”
She looked at Miko with a worried look in her eyes.
“Mikky, is there something that you’re hiding from me? Something that involves the three of us.”
“…..Why do you ask?”
“Because Sora only started acting like that after he said he was going to look for you and talk about something.”
When Miko heard that he started to think.
‘Could Sora have found out about the prophecy somehow? Or did he found out about Klick? If so, when?”
He looked down at Hina who was clenching his clothes rather desperately. It was obvious that she was worried.
Seeing her like that, Miko placed a kiss on her lips and pulled her into his embrace.
“Don’t worry. No matter what happens, you’ll always be my woman. Even if we’re enemies that won’t change the feelings I have for you.”
Hina could hear strain in his voice as if he was in a lot of pain.
“I’ll listen to your request, but only if you’ll listen to mine.”
He then moved his lips and whispered in her ear.
“If I somehow change from the man you love into something else, I want you to kill me as well. I want the women I love to be the ones to put an end to me, and no one else.”
Hina was shocked when she heard that, but she soon tighten her embrace around.
A tragic promise between a man and woman who loved each other with all their hearts.
How will this play out?