When Ryan gazed into the violet abyss, the abyss looked back.

As he fell down into a tunnel of violet light, the time-traveler witnessed distant echoes form around him. Images flashed in his mind like pictures, followed by sound. He relived memories, some of them his own, but not all.

Ryan remembered the fateful day he and Len found their Elixirs, and the moment when it all began.

For a moment, he was Len, drinking an Elixir in a desperate attempt to heal a sick father.

The next instant, he was a woman with a dream, murdered by a heartless man. He lived through Julie Costa's murder, both as the victim and the perpetrator.

He became a living sun, fighting a final battle for the world's sake against a mad Genius' endless armies.

He remembered the Plushie's creation, his rebirth in Monaco, and his first Perfect Run.

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He watched Bloodstream's final defeat through half a dozen pairs of eyes, gaining a broader perspective.

He became a priest eager to defend the world in the name of God, and the sociopathic scientist who drove him mad.

Ryan became all of these people and more, as he lived through these fragments of the past. The endless tapestry of time appeared before the wanderer, offering him greater insight and knowledge.

Through it all, Ryan's purple doppelganger followed after him like a shadow, a reflection. It floated ever closer to the original, but never fused with him. Two old friends had reunited, but now was not yet the time to become one.

There was still one task left to do.

"I'm with you," the double whispered with Ryan's own voice. His Elixir Magenta inhabited this specter, always standing by its human partner’s side. "Let's kick his ass."

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Ryan lightly landed on his feet and found a confused Augustus waiting for him.

To the courier, the Purple World appeared as a grassless plain without limits, the purple ground as smooth as a polished mirror. The skies were a lighter shade of violet, a beautiful void without clouds, without wind. Countless spheres floated above Ryan's head, linked by beautiful, dazzling auroras of Violet Flux. The strange bubbles reflected pictures of alien worlds defying understanding, of lands ruled by dinosaurs, of human and alien cities.

Ryan couldn't count them all, and each of them showed something different. Another place, another time.

Doors, the courier realized. Gates to other worlds beyond count, portals to different pasts, alternate presents, and possible futures. Ryan couldn't help but take a moment to marvel at this place's alien beauty, at this universe of limitless possibilities. The sight deeply humbled him, as he truly began to fathom how vast the multiverse was, and how small he looked in comparison.

"What is this place?" The red light had gone out of Augustus, leaving nothing but a cracked statue of ivory. His eyes glared at Ryan, blind to this place's majesty. "What have you done?"

"I brought you to my home turf," the courier replied, taking a step forward. His armor suddenly seemed no heavier than air, and his Violet Elixir walked after him like his shadow. "This ends here."

“It will.” Augustus raised his hand, trying to smite Ryan with divine lightning. But no electricity erupted from his fingers, to his surprise.

Mob Zeus couldn't draw energy from the Red World here. Not without the right permission. Unlike Ryan, he was nothing more than an intruder, an unwelcome guest in a world that served as the time-traveler's second home.

"This is a crossroads, but you can't break the lock," Ryan said, darkness spreading across his skin. "While I..."

Black Flux erupted from his heart, his very soul, burning off the Saturn armor and shrouding his entire body in a cloak of darkness. Ryan became a shadow with a purple reflection, a human-shaped black hole. A living void.

The Saturn Armor had never been more than an amplifier, helping Ryan focus his own personal connection to the Black World. But here, in this place? In this crossroads between all of space and time?

"I am the gate, and the key!"

Ryan could draw upon as much Black Flux as he wished.

Half his vision turned dark, as the paradoxical energies consumed his wounded left eye. The courier crossed the distance with his adversary in an instant, space dissolving between them as if it no longer existed. The surprised Augustus instinctively raised his left arm to protect his head, and Ryan punched it with a fist of solid darkness.

His shadowy fingers cut through the adamantine like butter.

Augustus' eyes widened in shock, as his forearm fell on the purple ground and left a stump behind. His flesh and blood had calcified, turning as solid and indestructible as the skin outside. But Lightning Butt's nerves still worked correctly, if his roar of pain was of any indication. He clutched the stump with his remaining hand, his eyes widening in rage and horror.

Ryan would have rejoiced, if his current state didn't hurt him as much as Augustus. He felt his skin peel away, devoured by the Black Flux. His legs, his arms, started to flicker like shade in the sunlight. If he kept this up, he would either ascend as a living shadow... or cease to exist.

"Give up," the courier ordered Augustus.

He didn't listen.

"I was chosen." Madness and hubris overwhelmed Augustus, his fear of death giving way to a single-minded, murderous rage. Unable to strike Ryan down with lightning, he raised his right fist in a haymaker motion. Lightning Butt’s eyes were devoid of all rational thoughts; his hatred had overwhelmed his survival instinct. His mind simply couldn't accept defeat. "I was chosen by Fate!"

Ryan raised a hand, his purple double following his movement, and shattered Augustus' right arm at the elbow with a swift strike. The severed arm joined its twin on the purple floor, and the pain brought Lightning Butt to his knees.

He had lost the same hands he once smashed Julie Costa's head with.

Call it karma.

While his purple double glanced at the portals above them, Ryan looked down at his foe. Without the electrical halo surrounding him, Augustus’ wrinkles, whether natural ones or cracks from the battle, were exposed for all to see. The perfect Olympian statue had degraded, his smooth outer layers now resembling a broken windshield. Though he shed no blood, there was hardly a spot in the mob boss' body without a rift, a hand-shaped crater, or exposed metallic flesh.

Ryan glanced at this all-powerful Genome's face, and it looked so old, so scared beneath the bluster. The face Augustus had struggled so hard to hide from the world wasn't that of a god, but of a feeble, bitter old man. One so afraid of his own death, that he had murdered thousands to stave it off.

Beneath all the cruelty and the luster of divine power, Augustus was nothing but a small, petty miscreant, worthy only of contempt.

"Give up!" Ryan shouted, his voice deepening as his throat flickered in and out of existence.

But now that he had lost everything, pride was all Augustus had left.

"A god does not surrender!" he snarled.

A true god was listening, and made its presence known.

The portal bubbles dispersed, pushed away by an invisible cosmic force. The smooth ground beneath Ryan's feet undulated like a water pond's surface, and the Flux auroras brightened. A humongous shadow covered Ryan and Augustus, making them raise their eyes at the alien skies.

The Violet Ultimate One descended from the heavens above.

Ryan had only caught a glimpse of the entity in the past, but now it revealed itself in its full, cosmic glory. The courier had vaguely mistaken it for an inverted pyramid, but on a closer look, it appeared far more complex. The geometric shape before him would have given a headache to Euclid, as layers upon layers of space folded in a bizarre triangular violet spiral.

This shape, this geometrical form, didn't exist, couldn't exist on Earth. Ryan's own human mind couldn't fully process what he saw. It tried to fit the shape among other, more classical forms, to quantify the unquantifiable... and it failed.

Millions of eyes covered this eldritch triangle, black orbs full of swirling galactic spirals, all-devouring black holes, nebulas, and cosmic phenomenons undiscovered by human astronomers.

Each eye is a universe, Ryan realized. This thing was so colossal, that it hurt the courier’s head just to look at it. Even the haughty Augustus seemed transfixed by the sight.

The entity's eyes gazed at the mortals.

A solar flare of Violet Flux swallowed them both, dissipating the shroud of darkness around Ryan. The multiversal light of the Ultimate One bathed the courier's naked body, stripping him of the pain, of his senses, and reason. The deity's will overwhelmed his own, and let him see through one of its eyes.

The time traveler was brought back to a time before man, before life. He witnessed a nebula's matter condense while a star flared to life, planets forming out of space dust around the radiant celestial light. An asteroid impacted a rock of magma, the ejected stones gathering into a smaller pebble forever orbiting around its larger sister.

The fires cooled, allowing for the emergence of continents, of an atmosphere of volatile gases, and of vast oceans. The planet cooled as bacteria colonized it. Algae populated the deep, and legged creatures dared to walk on land. Insects conquered the skies, then reptiles the ground, until another rock from the skies set them all ablaze.

Mammals emerged from the ashes, growing larger and smarter. A primate mastered fire, and crafted tools to conquer the world. Lineages of humans evolved and became one, before splitting into countless tribes. Some raised pyramids, others temples. Kingdoms rose and fell, and two families walked down the road of time. One found its ultimate fruit in a man with a dream of violent conquest, another in a child that loved video games, both locked into a collision course.

All leading up to this moment.

“THIS IS A SECOND TO ME."

The Ultimate One's voice was unlike any sound Ryan had ever heard. It was the subtle song of undulating space, the symphony of time. It was beautiful beyond any description, and yet awe-inspiring.

The voice of a true deity.

When the divine union ended, Ryan's pain had vanished, and the Black Flux along with it. His skin felt fresh beneath the iron, and a fully repaired Saturn Armor protected him. The eye blinded by Augustus could see again, perhaps even more clearly than it ever had.

The Ultimate One had afforded no such courtesy to Augustus, who remained a broken, crippled thing. Lightning Butt had gone into shock, his eyes wide open, his arrogant defiance gone.

"YOU ARE NOT A GOD.”

He had seen the vision too, and the truth shattered him.

"YOU ARE NOTHING."

Augustus' eyes looked down at the ground, his gaze empty and hollow. He had formed his entire personality, his sense of self, around the idea that he was a god among men, chosen by fate to rule and conquer. He had built his family, his world, around this primal delusion, violently lashing out at anything that could contradict it.

But the Ultimate One had dispelled his armor of lies with the truth of his own insignificance, breaking him utterly.

Something inside Augustus had shattered, and would never come back.

The Ultimate One paid the defeated genome no more attention than a fly. Instead, its eyes set on Ryan, crushing the courier beneath the weight of its divine gaze.

The courier's purple double knelt before the entity, the Elixir submitting to the elder entity. Though he didn't go as far, Ryan bowed as deeply as he could. Even the irreverent courier knew that he was in the presence of a true deity, a transcendental existence as far above humans as they were from ants. An entity of unfathomable power, and utterly alien.

"You are the Ultimate—" Ryan began, but the entity cut him off.

"I AM ALL OF SPACE AND TIME. I AM ALL THAT WAS, ALL THAT IS, ALL THAT WILL EVER BE. I AM EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE. I AM THAT I AM."

"So you control—"

"YES."

"And you already know what—"

"I KNOW EVERYTHING YOU MIGHT EVER SAY."

"Well, can you please pretend not to?" The time-traveler pleaded sheepishly. "It's annoying to get cut off all the time."

Violet Flux instantly swirled before Ryan, and solidified into a solid shape. The entity it coalesced into shared the courier's height, and little else. The figure wore a purple robe seemingly woven from the fabric of space, a foaming mass of bubbles foaming from below. Ryan didn't see any face beneath the hood, only a vision of a night sky and swirling nebulae. The creature had no arms, nor any need for them.

"Are you more comfortable with this shape?" The Ultimate One's newest avatar asked, its voice an echo of Ryan's own.

For some reason, that incarnation spoke in the French language.

"It's better," the courier replied, and to his joy, the entity didn't interrupt him again. It probably knew what the human was about to say, but politely pretended not to. Ryan then glanced at Augustus, who kept looking at the ground in a vegetative state. “What about him?”

“He does not matter.” The Ultimate One’s avatar didn’t even spare Augustus a glance, as space lengthened between Ryan and the broken mob boss. Lightning Butt moved backward, until he vanished from sight. "Come."

Space bent, and a terrifying creature emerged from an angle at the edge of Ryan's vision. A horse-sized horror with white skin and hundreds of red eyes all over its body, with stunted tentacles as forelegs, and larger ones for hindlegs. Two antennas sprouted from its twisted, bulbous head like long porcelain ears.

The Plushie.

Or rather, the entity that had hijacked it.

Somehow, Ryan couldn't help but find it cute, in a grotesque way. The courier moved an armored hand at the monster's head, and scratched it behind the 'ears.' Its tentacles wriggled in pleasure, its red eyes turning blue.

"Thanks, buddy," Ryan said, the eldritch horror answering with a sound that could pass for a strangled cat's cry. "From the bottom of my heart."

The eldritch calamity had given the time traveler many scares, but in the end, it had been a loyal friend since day one. Ryan could see it now.

"Was that always your true form?" the courier asked, as the Plushie wagged its tentacles. The creature's shadow had looked different a few loops ago.

"It is the form it chose," the Ultimate One said. The courier suddenly noticed that its voice, while echoing Ryan’s own, lacked any emotional intonation. The creature mimicked human speech the way a parrot did, understanding the words, but not the music. "It must return to its duties now."

Ryan suddenly realized that the Plushie's time on Earth had been the equivalent of a holiday.

No wonder it had spent its time sowing mayhem and destruction!

"I have so many questions," Ryan confessed.

"I have answers," the Ultimate One replied.

"Thank you." Ryan doubted that many people could boast about receiving an audience from an Outer God, or the closest thing to one. "You've guided me for a while. First through Eugène-Henry, then through Chronoradio messages. First of all, I thank you for it."

The deity didn’t bother answering. It felt distant, physically present, but not there either.

"Was this predetermined?" Ryan asked hesitantly. "Did you make this moment inevitable?"

This time, the Ultimate One answered. "I made this moment possible. You made it inevitable."

Bubbles floated from beneath the entity's clothes and grew larger to the size of tennis balls. When Ryan examined them more closely, he noticed images appearing on their surface.

"These are paths you could have taken." The Ultimate One glanced at a bubble showing Ryan walking out of New Rome, but different. The courier's cashmere suit had turned into tattered rags, while his eyes had become blue and purple.

This doppelganger's malevolent expression chilled the original Ryan to the bone, especially when he noticed birds and clouds frozen in time above New Rome's buildings.

"In this possibility, you make a gamble and take a second Elixir, only to become the bane of your kind," the Ultimate One explained, while Ryan's purple double looked away in shame. "As the Clockstopper, you turn the human hive of New Rome into a snowglobe, before moving on to ruin millions of lives."

"Is this happening right now?" Ryan asked, horrified, while the Plushie purred against his leg. "In another reality?"

"No," the Ultimate One answered to the courier's relief. “As an observer, you are a spacetime singularity. This is partly why your mate cannot predict you."

The courier frowned behind his helmet. "An observer?"

The Ultimate One ignored the question. Another bubble floated in front of Ryan, showing him and Livia engaged in a vicious gunfight over the burning ruins of Mount Augustus' villa. "In this extinguished possibility, you never trust your current mate, and you start a war with her for control over your timeline. Each loop becomes worse than the last."

Ryan gazed at this one for a while, before being distracted by another, showing the courier punching Augustus' chest and his hand coming out on the other side.

"In this one, you strike down her maker," the Ultimate One explained, "and though she does not war with you, your bond is broken. You leave the New Rome human hive, and return to your wandering, alone."

The Plushie pointed at another bubble, which made Ryan raise an eyebrow. It showed the courier in bed, surrounded by naked women including Fortuna, Jasmine, Yuki, Nora, the Vamp, Cancel...

And Felix.

Somehow, Felix was here too.

"Wait, is that the harem ending?" Ryan asked with curiosity.

"In this timeline, you give up on forming meaningful bonds with your kindred," the Ultimate One explained. "You live a jaded existence of meaningless sensations, dulling your heart's pain with physical pleasure."

Ryan suddenly noticed Len and Livia's absence in this picture, illustrating the absence of anything deeper than mindless sex. "I should have known it looked too good to be true," he said.

The Ultimate One dispersed the bubbles with a thought. "All of these are choices you could have made, or would have been forced upon you if you had wavered in your efforts. You discarded or extinguished these possibilities in the service of your perfect future. If this present moment takes place, human, it is because you struggled to make it happen."

"So I have free will?" the courier asked, afraid of the answer. "If multiple paths are possible, then events aren’t predetermined?"

"Free will does not work as most humans understand it,” the Ultimate One explained. “The timeline is in flux whenever a lifeform makes a choice. A cat is faced with a forked path. It can take left, or right. In that brief moment, both possibilities coexist.”

Ryan wondered if that cat’s name was Schrödinger, or maybe Eugène-Henry. “Until the cat chooses.”

“Yes. After which, one possibility becomes the truth and is set in stone. History is written. Whenever you saved and turned back time, the ink was already dry. Humans had made their choice in a previous history, and they would make the same for all future ones unless interfered with by an outside force. This is the nature of causality. This is the nature of time.”

Ryan tried to grasp the implications. People like Augustus chose to do all their crimes, and the likes of Sunshine chose to help others. Time didn’t invalidate their choice, but once the choice had been made, it couldn’t change.

“So we humans have the freedom to choose,” the human summarized, “but not to change our mind?”

They could write their life’s story, but not change the first draft.

“The humans you met chose to become who they are,” the Ultimate One confirmed. “But they cannot choose to become someone else. Only those who exist outside causality have this privilege. Beings of the higher dimensions, like the messengers. Those touched by the rebellious Black. And you."

Ryan remembered his old meeting with Len, when he had likened himself to a Schrödinger's cat, existing in multiple states at once. Yet unlike this poor, suffering feline, the courier could decide which state he ended up with. “So… I’m an exception?”

"You wished to undo the chain of cause-and-effect to save another life, so I granted you the power of an observer. The ability to exist both in your lesser reality and my Purple World, which transcends causality. As you can interfere with a lifeform’s original choice, you alone decide which possibility, which potential reality, will become the true history. You alone can grant others second chances. You are the true master of your universe, human."

"I'm sorry," Ryan apologized, before looking at his armored hands. They had stopped existing a few minutes ago, alongside his left eye. "It must have been hard work to clean up the timestream after me. I probably caused a lot of paradoxes over all these loops."

“It is my role to maintain the integrity of the timestream,” the Ultimate One replied, before glancing at Ryan’s left eye. “Some of your body parts have been erased forever, so I replaced them with an earlier possibility of them still untouched by the Black.”

"A time-transplant?" Ryan asked. "Nice loophole."

"I have grown efficient at filling the holes made by the Black, though not perfect. This power is by definition uncontrollable. The unforeseen error in the great machinery of the universe.”

"Though I do wonder what would have happened if I died of old age, and saved a few moments earlier," Ryan said. “How would that have worked from your own point of view?”

"Time would have repeated, until you achieved peace and enlightenment," the Ultimate One answered. "Then you would have ascended to the Purple World, and history would have carried on without you."

Still, Ryan wondered how many cycles it would have taken… and he suddenly realized that the creature in front of him didn’t understand how painful it would have been. The Ultimate One saw billions of years as a second. The courier suffering centuries in a time loop until he reached enlightenment wouldn’t have been a blip on its radar.

"I have another question," the courier said hesitantly, unsure how the creature would react. "But I don't want to sound ungrateful."

The Ultimate One didn’t answer, but it had probably foreseen what he was about to ask.

"Why didn't you help us more?" Ryan glanced up at the enormous pyramid. "You brought down the reptilians, according to Darkling, and you can control reality itself. Why didn't you prevent the Alchemist from devastating our planet?"

The Ultimate One’s cowled head glanced at Ryan's left foot. "There is a bacteria crawling on your limb. It has an oval shape, with an orange cytoplasm and blue tentacles. It has been with you since you first set a foot on New Rome, eating dust on your skin. It has fought deadly wars against parasites for food, survived radiation and lightning. One day it will duplicate. Did you notice it?"

"No," Ryan confessed.

"Mankind is a bacteria colony to me," the entity explained. "I am big, and you are small. Unless I focus or you disturb the timeline, I do not even notice that your planet exists. Your reality is a sand grain among the endless desert which I oversee. A pigment in the tapestry of my dreams. If this avatar of mine above your head entered your universe, it would appear more than one hundred billion of your solar masses, larger than the greatest of your black holes."

"I can hardly imagine it," the courier admitted. His human brain simply couldn't properly represent the size difference. "So we are insignificant to the Ultimate Ones?"

“Humans are no more important to me than the birds you eat for sustenance, or the ants you crush underfoot when you walk,” it answered bluntly. “My role is to maintain the march of time, and the boundaries of space for trillions of universes.”

Ryan’s purple double chose this moment to speak up. “Helping you mortals is our job.”

“I do not care for mortal creatures, but I do not disregard them either,” the Ultimate One added. "This is why we Ultimate Ones created the messengers. To guide lesser life forms to a higher level of existence."

Ryan frowned. "Then why did you help me, out of everyone else? Was it because you needed me to destroy the Alchemist’s base?”

“No,” the alien deity replied flatly.

“Then why? Why did you help me reach my happy ending?”

“Because I chose to.”

An aurora of Violet Flux flashed in the skies above, a shining thread linking time and space.

“You’re like one of those guys who adopt wounded dogs they find on the road,” Ryan realized. “You won’t go out of your way to help others proactively, but if someone in pain directly crosses your path and begs for help... sometimes you answer.”

The Ultimate One responded with silence.

In the end, it was neither good nor evil as humans understood it. It was a cold, alien thing.

But one capable of selfless compassion too.

Ryan neither felt angry nor happy with these answers. He could only accept them. Though cold and distant, the Ultimate One was not malicious, and had helped one pitiful human achieve his good ending without expecting anything in return. For that, the courier would always be grateful.

Ryan had one question left to ask. "So how does this end?"

"However you wish." The Ultimate One glanced at the Plushie and Magenta's avatar. "You can stay here and become one of us. You will gain immense power, and obligations. You will oversee timestreams, travel across countless realities. Many options will open to you. You can also choose to enter the Black World, if you seek greater freedom."

Ryan considered the offer, but though an interesting one, it wasn't what he had fought for. "Or..." he trailed. "Or I could return to Earth."

"You could," the Ultimate One conceded.

Ryan’s thoughts turned to Livia and Len. "There is something I never experienced, in all my years of wandering. Something I've striven to achieve for a very long time."

For the first time in the entire conversation, the Ultimate One gazed at the human with what could pass for curiosity. "What is it?"

It knew the answer, but didn’t understand it.

"Living a happy life,” Ryan answered, “with friends who can remember me."

The Plushie's antennae lowered in disappointment, so the courier immediately reassured it. "Don't get me wrong, I would gladly join this heaven and wander the cosmos with all of you... just not now. Not today."

The Ultimate One remained silent for a moment, before reaching a decision. "The door to ascension will remain open. If you ever decide to join us rather than turning back time, I will extirpate you from your timeline and welcome you in my realm. Otherwise, you will be free to walk into the Black World. You have earned ascension, human, for learning to wield your power with wisdom. Now and forever."

"So..." Ryan glanced at his purple double, and at the rabbit-abomination, he had strangely grown fond of. "This is goodbye?"

"No, Ryan," his copy said warmly, the Plushie chirping in response. "We are always with you, even if you cannot see us. Don't you understand? You are never alone. You will never be alone."

And somehow, that was all Ryan had ever wanted.

"I will return you and your mate’s maker to your timeline," the Ultimate One said. "I will remove your innate connection to the Black World too. The Black Ultimate One is careless in its generosity, and if allowed to grow further the paradox within you will destabilize your reality."

"I suppose that's fair." The Black Ultimate One had granted Ryan this gift because he had wished to die, but now...

Now Ryan had learned to live.

The Violet Ultimate's smaller avatar wordlessly collapsed into Violet Flux, its triangular self bathing Ryan with its eldritch light. The Plushie hopped away with one last look sent at its old friend, while Magenta waved a hand at his double. Ryan returned the goodbye with a handwave of his own, as he returned to his reality.

A second later, the courier found himself standing on a French beach in his full Saturn Armor regalia, right next to an armless and broken Augustus. Ryan looked up as a sun illuminated the night, one shaped like a man.

Leo Hargraves glanced at the courier with silent relief, then at his old, broken nemesis. It said something about Sunshine that he seemed to feel equal satisfaction and pity at the sight.

"I was worried for you," Leo admitted to Ryan.

"Didn't you hear?" The time-traveler smiled beneath his helmet. "I'm immortal."

It took them until dawn, the true dawn, to return to Italy together. Ryan carried the broken Augustus in his arms, Pieta-style. By then, Ischia Island’s Bliss factory was no more than burning rubble, and the courier's allies had evacuated to New Rome’s old harbor with their captives.

When Ryan and Sunshine reached the area, they found hundreds of people gathered along the docks, near transport bathyspheres. Fortuna and Felix had draped Narcinia in a warm blanket, while Mr. Wave entertained the traumatized child with tales. Len and the reformed Meta-Gang members escorted the shackled Olympians. A bound Venus walked after her husband, pushed forward by Jamie and Lanka.

The two had made the right choice in the end.

Vulcan and Wyvern arrived with other arrested Augusti lieutenants; not as enemies, but as uneasy allies. Enrique and other Private Security members escorted the gangsters towards Len's bathyspheres, which would transport them to an inescapable prison under the sea.

Yet, in spite of their grim situation, the Olympians remained confident. They trusted their invincible leader would rain devastation upon those who dared to stand against him, and come to rescue his loyal minions.

Ryan's appearance dashed their hopes. When the Augusti raised their eyes to watch him carry their defeated master in his arms, illuminated by Leo Hargraves' light, they could only respond with shock and denial. Wyvern's eyes almost bulged out of her skull, while Enrique gave Ryan a quiet, respectful nod. Len didn't hide her relief at seeing her adoptive brother alive, and even Bianca grinned ear to ear.

Ryan tossed the defeated Augustus to the ground without a word. The broken warlord didn't rise up after hitting the pavement, his will shattered. And when they saw their invincible leader crushed so thoroughly, the remaining Olympians lost the will to fight. They lowered their heads in silent defeat, and walked to their fate.

The war was over.

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