Ozyllus: “Well, it’s about time.”
Ozyllus said as Kais was about to step in the tomb.
Abyss: “What are you planning to do now that your plans have been hindered so much?”
Abyss knew what would happen as soon as Kais stepped foot inside the tomb.
Abyss: “Are you planning to make this war start before it normally would?”
So he asked these questions that were genuinely concerning for him.
A mocking cackle escaped Ozyllus’ mouth. It was not to mock Abyss, but to mock the situation he was in.
Ozyllus: “That’s certainly one way to go about this. If it comes down to it, I may need to do that after all.”
He said as if it’s not even a concern for him.
Abyss: “I suppose that means you haven’t thought of anything yet.”
Abyss replied in irritation.
Ozyllus: “Yeah, that may be what it means.”
Ozyllus tried to give his answer in a roundabout way. He had no real qualms with answering Abyss’ questions even if he was telling his sworn enemy his plans. All telling him all this could do was to end up indirectly giving this information to Kais.
Abyss: “That wouldn’t be too bad for you though, would it?”
Ozyllus: “No, it wouldn’t. Even if Kais learns about these things, it’s not a big deal.”
Ozyllus said as he waited for Kais to step in the tomb. Kais had come to the realization of what may happen when he steps in the tomb and was hesitating from entering. The two in The Cage could hear the discussions going on between Kais and the group but neither of them was too worried about what the result of these discussions would be. They already knew the answer to that question.
Ozyllus: “Well, not like my plans are that much of a stroke of a genius either.”
Ozyllus was not trying to be humble, and he doesn’t have the personality or any reason to be either.
Abyss: “That’s true. You are not a genius, just meticulous.”
Abyss knows that well.
Ozyllus: “Fair, I think once someone puts their mind to it, they can figure out my plans. Even so,”
So, the both understand that what he is saying at the moment is the truth.
Ozyllus: “Whether they’ll be able to stop it or not is a completely different matter altogether.”
At least, it is what he believes to be the truth.
Abyss: “We may have differing opinions on that.”
Abyss plainly said what both of them very clearly understand.
Abyss: “I think he’d be able to stop your plans.”
Ozyllus sent a questioning gaze towards Abyss and he moved his head in denial.
Abyss: “No, that would be impossible. One man alone can’t stop you when you have been working towards this for over 1000 years now. I will give you that much credit at least.”
Hearing that answer, however, made Ozyllus more curious than anything.
Ozyllus: “And who will help him?”
Abyss: “Well, for one, I know Sona will. I don’t know much about Sneha so I can’t guarantee that.”
Ozyllus: “Let’s say they both help him, are you saying that will be enough?”
Abyss: “I am not.”
Abyss again denied the questioning gaze of his enemy.
Abyss: “But Ethan would also help him.”
Ozyllus’ eyes grew wide as he heard that and asked,
Ozyllus: “And why are you so sure about that?”
Abyss: “Because that is exactly what he had been trying to do for past 12 years.”
And his widened eyes turned narrow as he heard those words.
Ozyllus: “Has he now?”
Abyss: “You may not know this but the reason that boy has mastery over his eyes is not because you chose someone who is so capable of using those eyes that he mastered them in 12 years.”
Ozyllus: “Don’t tell me-”
He had already grasped what that meant.
Abyss: “Yeah, it was because I forced all the knowledge pertaining to those eyes that Sagax had into his brain.”
For a moment, Ozyllus just looked at Abyss is shock and surprise, but then,
Ozyllus: “I see.”
His expression softened as the surprise completely wore out.
Ozyllus: “I thought he was my pawn but that wasn’t the case.”
Ozyllus had, for whatever reason, gained a smile.
Ozyllus: “He was actually working for you this whole time.”
His smile didn’t fade away as he said the words that should have brought despair to him.
Ozyllus: “I guess our last game of chess never really ended, did it?”
Abyss tried to hide his sadness as he closed his eyes.
Abyss: “It didn’t.”
Yet, his voice gave it away. Ozyllus could clearly see that Abyss had a sad voice. And it stirred up complex emotions in him to know that his enemy still felt bad for him.
Ozyllus: “You are too … too soft, you know.”
The word he wanted to say was ‘compassionate’ but it just didn’t come out.
Ozyllus: “Maybe this is why I have won more than I have lost to you in chess.”
Ozyllus said with the same smile, but now it had finally started to fade away. And as it faded away, it turned into something much more painful.
Ozyllus: “Well, I don’t think those four will be enough to stop me either.”
Abyss: “I can’t guarantee they will either.”
Abyss said as his gaze became firm while looking at Ozyllus.
Abyss: “But I chose to trust in them.”
Ozyllus: “And you would let the fate of all of humanity reside on something like trust.”
Abyss: “Yeah, I would.”
Ozyllus: “If they are unable to do that, everything you believe in will fall apart, and humanity as you know it and want to preserve will be no more.”
Abyss: “That’s true.”
Ozyllus: “And yet you choose to trust.”
Abyss: “Yes, I do.”
Kais was, by that point, about to finally step in the tomb.
Ozyllus: “Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Ozyllus’ laughs were dry and devoid of any real happiness. All his masks had faded away by this point.
Ozyllus: “That positivity is what led them to calling you the devil.”
Ozyllus said as his aura started to grow larger.
Ozyllus: “But I suppose,”
He said as his aura grew so large it engulfed all of what Abyss could see in an instant.
Ozyllus: “knowing you haven’t changed was one of the reasons I had to take the risk of coming here, even when the possibility of getting trapped like this existed.”
The Cage, for one moment, was cracked open by the so-called god as he escaped from it.
As the darkness returned to it, Abyss sighed.
Abyss: “So now that you know I haven’t changed, you can take pride in calling me the enemy like you did back then, huh?”
He muttered to himself and sighed
Abyss: “I wish we were different in that regard.”
It was the fourth floor of the tomb, the highest floor in fact.
Sona: “Well, there it is.”
She said as we looked at Ozyllus’ coffin. It was made of gold. It wasn’t plated in gold like the tomb but literally made of gold.
Sneha: “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”
She said while recovering from the initial shock of seeing that coffin of gold that we all felt, all except one.
Girl: “So he is the one the dragon said was god.”
Sona: “He was lying to you when he said that.”
Sona told her that as she started walking towards the coffin.
Sona: “I had come to this island once before, more like brought here but that doesn’t matter I guess.”
Sona told us so.
Sneha: “If you had been here before, then why were you surprised about the tomb being empty?”
Sneha asked a question that I would have if she didn’t, but the answer we received was nothing of what we expected.
Sona: “I was blindfolded that time.”
Sneha: “That doesn’t make any sense.”
But as I thought about that, I understood.
Kais: “You said you were brought here. Does that mean it was Ozyllus who brought you here?”
All I know about what happened to her is that her whole village got destroyed and while she used to think the dragon did, it was actually Ozyllus who was responsible.
Sona: “Yes, he is the one who brought me here.”
He answered while not showing any negativity on her face. That, however, I knew for a fact was just her trying to stay calm in the face of this overwhelmingly horrid situation.
Sona: “I didn’t know back then though.”
She said in that same voice and I couldn’t help but feel bad for her.
Sona: “He was controlling a mask somehow and talking to me through it. Though when I really think about it, he would have made himself invisible and appeared in front of me holding a mask or something.”
That does seem like something that would fool an 8-year-old child, so it’s certainly possible. I thought of those things to keep myself away from the thoughts of the tragedy that would come up in her tale eventually.
Sona: “He said that Ozyllus wanted to tell me something. Because I didn’t know that mask was him, I followed the mask and he took me to this island as if bringing me to the real Ozyllus.”
Going through all that to deceive her means it is something he had definitely planned for. But what was he trying to achieve by all that? I wondered.
Sona: “When I was brought here, I was taken through this forest by him in the figure of that mask and finally brought here. Apparently, the dragon was not here. Whether Ozyllus had told him to not be here or it was just a coincidence, I have no idea.”
My assumption was that the dragon would have been told to not be here, as I think would be what all of us thought.
Sona: “Before I entered the tomb, I was blindfolded by a black cloth and was guided by him to this room. My blindfold was only taken after I reached this room.”
Sneha: “I see. So you had only seen the top floor before.”
This room is the whole floor so I suppose one can say so, but,
Sona: “No, it was night and all the torches on the wall that helped us in getting here were either not present or just put out. The only light I could see was a torch flying over this coffin.”
The flying part would probably be because of his psychokinesis.
Sona: “And in this coffin, there was his body, as you’d expect.”
Girl: “Then, did you get to talk with him as you were told you would.”
Her childish voice may have felt a little out-of-place but it didn’t remove any pressure I had been feeling throughout this story.
Sona: “I did. His voice came to me out of nowhere and I didn’t try to question it too much back then. Looking back at it now, it have been some kind of hypnotic suggestion or something but I felt that voice was fairly different than what I heard when he tried to talk to me as the mask.”
Well, that and the fear and confusion she may have felt back then would have made her unable to question the possibility of that mask being Ozyllus.
Sona: “He told me …”
She trailed off. Because of how we had gotten used to hearing her tell her story fluently, all three of us became cautious of what she would say next. She, on the other hand, turned to look at me and said,
Sona: “He told me about you.”
That wasn’t completely unexpected for me, but I still thought the possibility of that being low. At least, I wanted to believe it was.
Sona: “He told me about all the potential you have as a psychic. He told me about how that same day, Barry had committed a massacre and you had witnessed it, which had traumatized you.”
And on hearing that, after a long while, rage started to build me in again.
Sona: “He told me about how hopeless your situation would become and about how a war will be coming that will forcefully drag you into it.”
The rage of that moment was the same rage I felt towards Barry 12 years ago. It was the rage I felt every time I looked at someone whose actions I thought were not justified.
Sona: “He also told me about the dragon and how his hobby was to destroy towns and villages.”
And hearing that made that rage hit another peak.
Sona: “Now that all this has happened, I guess he told me that last part just to make sure I think the dragon was the one who destroyed my village.”
And he succeeded in doing that, which is a fact that was just fuel to my fire.
Sona: “And so he completely played me, just like he played everybody else.”
Her face twisted in irritation but she managed to keep herself in control.
Hearing all that, I can’t help but tighten my fists in pure rage as the thoughts of destroying his plans come to my mind and steel my resolve.
Ethan: “I see.”
Ethan says as Sneha tells him what happened when they reached the fourth floor of the tomb. He leans to a wall as he says,
Ethan: “So that’s how the woman known as Sona plays into all of this.”
Sona’s story has been told to Ethan by the one she had told it to and now he understands that she is just another victim of the man he had devoted his life to destroying the plans of.
Ethan: “I suppose she is a potential ally then.”
He says while looking at a torch burning bright. As he looks at that torch, he sees red in the yellowness of the flames. That was the red that he saw in that mountain of corpses 12 years ago, the red that Sona may have seen in her village.
Ethan: “We are more similar than I could have ever imagined.”
He says with folded arms as he glances back at Sneha, who had her face facing downwards.
Sneha: “Similar, huh? Did you have that kind of experience too?”
Ethan: “Yeah, I too saw a mountain of corpses. Though, I do think hers would have been more horrible of an experience.”
Sneha: “Why’s that?”
Ethan: “Well, the corpses she saw were of people she knew and probably liked as well. That wasn’t the case with me.”
Sneha: “I see.”
Sneha looks at him and asks,
Sneha: “Did you know that it wasn’t Barry who killed all of them?”
On hearing that is when Ethan realized that she would have come to know that on hearing all of Sona’s story and her claim that Ozyllus had played ‘everybody’.
Ethan: “I did know that. Though in a literal sense, Barry did kill them, it wasn’t really him to be blamed for it.”
Sneha: “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
There is no anger or irritation at Ethan in her voice as she asks this question. Seeing that, however, only fuels his guilt.
Ethan: “I … I just … didn’t wanted to think about that day.”
Sneha’s eyes grew wide in shock.
Sneha: “You don’t mean to say that … you saw that slaughter 12 years ago?”
Ethan: “Yeah, I did. That was the memory of corpses I just mentioned a few seconds ago.”
He keeps his voice and his tough-guy-act from breaking apart, unsure whether Sneha could see through the little cracks that were formed on it.
Sneha: “I … see. You two, no, you three really are similar. Sona might really be willing to work with you, you know.”
Ethan: “That’s good to hear.”
He closes his eyes and turns his head up.
Ethan: “So …”
While purposefully trailing off, he opens his eyes and turns to look at Sneha.
Ethan: “things couldn’t have ended there.”
He says pointing out to how Sneha’s account seems incomplete.
Sneha: “Yeah, they don’t end there. There’s more to the story than just that.”
She says while looking down just like before. Though, now her expression seems to contain less despair than before.