“Wheeze!” Pompeii swung his metal wing blades in the back, sweeping those sneaky enemies on the ground. Running and running, soon he saw a dazzling, gold light ahead. He sped up, straight into the sacred place “Pilgrimage”. As soon as he went in, a giant shadow attacked him suddenly——
Boom——! The strike was a miss, which hit the floor, raising a cloud of dust and dirt; Pompeii leaped into the air and clung to a wall with his wings. He looked down and saw his fellows were all down on the floor. Judging from their wounds and cuts, he believed Monesis did it, which was also the gold, slimy matter who just attacked Pompeii.
Chirp——! A very high frequency sound was sent into Pompeii’s consciousness; he had a bad feeling about this, gazing at the half-buried Monesis with a frown. Usually it was quiet, let alone attacked people; now it is totally out of control.
“...The intruders’ bloodlust has contaminated our Monesis. I have to keep it calm…”
When the wind stopped, the visibility became much clearer. Locking Pompeii’s position, Monesis altered its body form and reached out a tentacle towards him. With a fold of his wings, Pompeii went into a dive. At this moment, it reached out another tentacle; he was nowhere to escape in the mid air. Right before taking the hit, Pompeii folded all the wing blades, which formed a shield to block the attack of Monesis.
He was bashed into a wall on the other side; the strength was so monstrous that it broke the bricks immediately. Pompeii crashed deep into the wall, which made some sparks and left a long scorched mark. He spread the wings and found some were already cracked. Under such circumstance, he could not withstand attacks anymore.
“Monesis is strong indeed...Looks like I need to take it more seriously. Otherwise I’ll get myself killed here.” Pompeii stood up. His crimson eyes ignited; the kinetic core and metal parts in his body began to glitter. In a second, flames emerged and formed countless fireballs. He bent down and prepared for a charge.
Chirp! Monesis made that ear-piercing sound again, which tried to provoke Pompeii. He got set, sped up within a very short time and took a leap over Monesis.
“Forgive my rudeness!” Pompeii opened his arms; the fireballs floating around him had turned into fire wings gradually, as if he was transformed into a crimson butterfly. Then, he pounced upon Monesis with lightning speed, using the wings to embrace it.
Chirp——! Burnt by the flames, Monesis let out a scream of pain. It tried to get rid of the flames, but was of no avail. Feeling guilty of using brutal force, Pompeii held Monesis with both hands and connected to it with his kinetic core.
“My great Monesis, please calm your anger. Forgive me, for not being able to stop those arrogant intruders.”
ynchronizing the thought of Pompeii, Monesis finally calmed down, giving out a soft light, and reached out to touch his face.
“Monesis, in order to protect you and this world, we have to initiate that plan. Please help me.”
Monesis squirmed around to deliver its consent to Pompeii’s request. Wearing a smile on his face, he let go of Monesis, jumped onto a high platform and put his hand on the metal wall.
An operating sound of machinery echoed through the “Pilgrimage”. The towering walls began to expand; eight gigantic metal claws stuck out from inside and caught Monesis immediately.
“Everything is ready. Just need to wait for Phi and Epsilon bringing the soulstone back...I heard footsteps...It must be them.”
Pompeii turned around and saw Phi run into the place. She raised up her right hand, holding the iridescent soulstone.
“Pompeii! The stone is awakened——Ah!”
He was numb with shock when Phi’s kinetic core was pierced through by a purple blade. That person took the soulstone away after pulling the blade out. Phi fell down to the ground promptly.
“Phi——!!” Pompeii gave a howl of rage and stared at the murder, “Schnauzer, why did you do this!”
“No reason.” Schnauzer showed a twisted smile and responded, “I hate you, and I hate this world.”
“...I won’t let this thing happen!” Pompeii jumped off the platform, pounced upon Schnauzer and managed to get the soulstone back. His full attention was laid on her, but a danger was approaching from somewhere——An element attack was cast towards him.
“Emmm——!” Pompeii took the hit and crashed into a wall.
“So you’re the leader of Machina? Weakling! I’m really disappointed.” A shadow in cloak walked out from the corner, gazing at Pompeii. He wanted to stand up, but his strength was almost used up already.
“I’ve consumed most of the energy to subdue Monesis…” Pompeii pondered.
“Well, Our target is not you, but Monesis…” The shadow was obsessed with its captivating light. Then, he gave Pompeii a hateful, angry glare and said, “Marauders like you should not exist in this world——” “You promised me to spare his life!.” Schnauzer stood in front of Pompeii and confronted the shadow.
“Why are you protecting this inorganic scrap,”
“It’s none of your concern.”
“Very well.” The shadow turned around and came up to Monesis. Schnauzer looked at Pompeii with complex feelings and whispered, “Because of you I can reborn; but because of you, I feel desperate. So I hate you.”
“...Then why bother protecting me?”
“I don’t know——” “Watch out!” Pompeii shouted suddenly. The shadow cast an energy sphere over her; if Schnauzer dodged it, Pompeii would be hurt——
“Ahhhh——!” Letting out a scream of pain, she chose to stay and took that hit for him.
“Schnauzer——!” Pompeii was worried about her, but he could not move an inch due to the exhausted power.
“As the energy sphere faded, Schnauzer fell down into his arms. Her entire body was burnt, giving out smoke. She reached out her right hand to touch Pompeii’s face gently.
“Now we’re even steven.”
“I don’t need it!” Feeling heartbroken, Pompeii punched on the ground, “I just hope that we can live in harmony, but why does it become like this…”
Although Schnauzer was heavily injured, she somehow felt relieved. “Because you’re too kind...Your kind-heartedness will get everybody killed…”
After leaving this curse-like message, Schnauzer’s kinetic core became dim, and her hand started dropping down.
“It’s my fault, isn’t it...Is it all because of me?” Pompeii held her tight and trembled with sorrow. All of a sudden, someone came over and kicked him away; Schnauzer’s body fell down on the floor.
“Tut! Get lost, loser!” The shadow trampled her face underfoot; his cruelty gave Pompeii a shock.
“She betrayed us because of you. Why are you doing this?”
“Because she is worthless. This filthy Earthling dared to defy me. I disdain to work with her if she doesn’t prove she’s useful to me!” The shadow kicked her body hard to vent his anger.
“You…” Pompeii’s face was contorted with rage; he felt hateful, desperate and distressed. A surge of inanition resided in his heart. He and his mechanical fellows had been showing their kindness to the Eldus, and were willing to serve Monesis together with them. In the face of several invasions, oppressions and fellows’ sacrifice, he never gave up seeking harmony, but the Eldus refused.
He thought it was a matter of time. Maybe one day they would accept it. However, the truth proved that Pompeii was wrong. They were evil by nature, and co-existence would always be a dream. It was too late for him to know such truth. The Machinas were at a disadvantage and the only choice he could make was to perish together.
Pompeii’s consciousness was stuffed with guilty, regret and despair; his eyes had turned into blood red. Sensing his emotions, Monesis reached out a tentacle to touch his kinetic core, replenishing the energy. The light blended into that of Monesis, and gave out an aura of aggressiveness.
“I don’t want to be controlled by hatred and anger, but I have no choice…” Pompeii looked at the shadow, who gathered elemental power with both hands. He raised up his right hand; flames came from all directions and formed a giant wall.
“Monesis, punish those who harmed our race!”
Pompeii pushed the fire wall against the shadow, who tried to escape but it was of no avail. Soon, the shadow was engulfed by the fire.
The entire “Pilgrimage” was on fire, which began to spread to Phi and Schnauzer. Surrounded by the raging flames, Pompeii was calm. He walked towards Schnauzer slowly and picked up the soulstone.
“Come. Whether it’s beautiful or ugly, I’ll seal them all deep in the world.”
Pompeii came up to the platform and put the soulstone into his kinetic core——