Chapter 374: Apotheosis of the Bleak Walker
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The world halted to a still.

The observer’s arrival shook Alice from the core.

“What the hell is happening?” asked Alice.

“It only means that I am here. Really, I can see that you are in your third stage.”

“Third...stage?”

She raised a finger.

“One: She will meet the lady of the three fates and bring salvation.”

She raised two fingers.

“Two: She shall bring salvation and chaos. Causing worlds to break.”

“Three: She shall delude herself to starting the cycle anew..”

Alice stomped her leg.

“That’s not happening.”

“It has already happened,” said the Observer. “You have three cycles and four years here that have made you delusional. The Burnt Woman, the destroyer of worlds, and the Deadman’s Torturer. Do you really think that acting this way could change that? This had happened when he died during that time. You suddenly turned good despite all the filth that you have done for this world.”

Alice secretly clenched power. The woman who called  herself as the observer smiled. She  pulled something in the air as Alice felt her body flung to the clouds where she stood on one.

“You really think that you could hold me? Please, you may call yourself as a God while you are in your main body. But right now, you are simply a woman who has fooled herself as a good one. Besides, you do not have any right to stay in the world any longer, Burnt Woman.”

Above the clouds. Right in the atmosphere she saw the planet that has been getting closer and closer started to burn. The planet became another sun as she could do nothing but watch it happen.

“LET ME GO!” Power burned through Alice’s veins as all lies of her proposed humanity came out.  When her skin burned what remained was a humanoid figure of a creation of light pretending to be a person.

“See?” she said to her face. “You are nothing but a lie created to pretend.”

“Nia!” she screamed with murder in her voice. The air around ‘Alice’ burned like fireworks popping endlessly. She had tried to get out of the Observer’s control, but there was nothing.

“You cannot move me. You cannot defeat a fixed being. Oh, please, don’t give me that look, Burned Woman. You created Alcina the Cheery unknowingly, when you had killed my mother and father while chasing the Deadman. I don’t fault you for what you did. I understand now that the lust for power is something that no one can resist. Maybe you truly are starting to change. Maybe. But I’ve seen you do this for millions and millions of years. Each cycle brings nothing, but the death of a world and the awakening of the Burned Woman. I mean I should have hope, but thinking that the woman who burns, a goddess who governs wars would stay peaceful is nothing short but a delusion. You are unable to change. You will complete your cycle before long. You are too stubborn, Burnt Woman.”

“Le me go!” said Alice, pleading. “I have to save Nia.”

“Do not worry,” she said to her. “Nia will have her salvation. Not because of your help, but through the man who will become a guardian. Really, these are one of the few things that makes being an observer worth the time. Behold, the one you had wanted to obtain.”

She saw the familiar figure zip through the air, breaking the sound barrier, and approach the planet. Light escaped out of his eyes and the sword he wielded seemed to scar time and space itself.”

“Papa was always someone who did not belong. But this Papa has been able to escape your grasp...Behold, Burnt Woman, you will never reach him now.”

The masked lie fell. The heart that covered her lies broke as power from an invisible place came to Alice, her eyes burning with greed as she tried to capture Nolan who was trying to stop the planet.

“You have no power here, Burnt Woman,” said Alcina. “You will not stop this. You cannot do it. This is not your domain. This is not the man you loved. You threw him away already. You threw him away and now he hunts you, Burnt Woman!”

Alcina spreads her arms as space itself locks her from moving. The Alice that wanted nothing more than to spend years of peace with Nia warped into a being that could not control itself. 

“Look at you,” Alcina shook her head. “You could not hold back. Ah, the Goddess who broke the Eon-Father now weeps at the thought of the man who had persevered to be with her, leaving her. You should have known this would happen. Do you really think that centuries of torture can forgiven? Do not think that this man can be with you. Really, I might be a mistake that was formed out of a moment of weakness, but even I won’t allow my Papa to commit the mistake of falling in with you. The Deadman will be the only one you have. Begone, Burnt Woman, you have no place here.”

The planet that was above the world turned into bright stars that fell softly on the world. Powers fell on every part of this world as it then started to yank Alice out of this world and back into that lonely world where she only existed.

“You are one of the many anchors that she tries to use. You do know that you only exist as a beacon? You are nothing more than that. I once believed that maybe there will be something good that would one day come. But it was nothing more than a delusion. He was right from the start. The Deadman was right. Once you see a useful warmth of light then you’d cling to it just like you cling to a drug. You even stop pretending to be human. You are made of light, Alice Dame. Nothing more than projection. That's why I consider this as a mercy.”

She drew a familiar sword from the confines of space. She could recognize the shape of that sword. It was the sword that he usually wielded. The sword that he used to fight hordes of demons. It was the sword he had used in the war that he called Zachariah.

“Why do you have that?”

“Who knows? Hush now, the Deadman says his regards. Back to the hunting ground, Burnt Woman.”

The sword stabbed her. A pair of hands that were missing three fingers pulled her out of the world.

Thrashing, kicking, screaming, with it ending with a cursed dagger rammed against her throat.

A hateful face appeared before her.

It was an aged face that was filled with scars.

The Eternal Hawk was on his eyes.

It was the face of the man she killed before going to the tower worlds.

The human that faced a demigod...the human...not the Nolan Salvatore that reached this apotheosis.

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