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End Chapter: Saving the Future from the Past

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I woke up looking at Jennifer's sleeping face. I forgot she fell asleep next to me and it startled me, enough for me to yell and fall off the bed. The room quickly filled with yelling, weapons, and everyone bumping into each other.

"Stephan?" Jennifer asked seeing me on the floor. "What happened?"

"Uh... nothing," I answered taking her hand to help me up. "Just a... nightmare."

"Geez, Stephan," Kyra said. "You nearly scared us half to death."

"It's the last day, Stephan," said Chris. "Try not to kill me before the end."

"Heh, sorry," I apologized. "Well, since we'll all up, let's have some breakfast." I left the room and everyone tried to leave behind me... at the same time and they ended up getting stuck in the doorway. Matt gave everyone a hard push and they all flew into the hallway. We all just ate silently at the breakfast table and I could tell way: it was the day of the final battle with Exitilus and everyone was either anxious or scared. After the table was cleared, we headed for Yora's well and went in. Soon the tunnel was filled with screams of the word "Bat!" We came to a giant stone wall. "This is the well Blide said to go through, right?" I asked.

"Yeah, but there's nothing here," Stan said examining the wall.

"Here, let me try," Matt said pushing Stan out of the way. He cracked his neck and gave the wall a few punches. The wall didn't budge a bit. "Ooooow! That hurt!" Matt yelled holding his hand. Alice walked up to him and healed it.

"It is a wall," Alice said. "Sometimes you can't do a thing about it." Then we heard a loud clicking noise. The wall started sinking into the ground. We turned and saw Madi pressing against a switch in the wall.

"You boys can be completely oblivious sometimes," she said. With the girls laughing, we stepped forward into the Town of Cora where Exitilus awaits.

The town of Cora was a ghost town, no residents whatsoever. We checked them all to see if there was anything we could use, but everything was cleaned out from the people who last lived here. Even the Shop and the Inn were empty. I stepped on something, though, as I was about to leave the house I was in. It was completely covered in dust and it blended in with the floor. I picked it up and dusted it off: it was a book, a journal to be more exact. I heard Jennifer yell for me, so I stuffed it in my bag to look at later. We all headed for the castle up north, it looked like a regular stone castle with a fountain in the front and a moat going around. If it wasn't the home of an evil wizard, it would be a nice place to live. We walked up to the castle and pushed the large door open and a sense of a mixture of fear and hope filled the air. We stepped in and heard a voice.

"Well, well, well! If it isn't the legendary hero himself! Wait a minute... Oh, it's Stephan! How are you doing today?"

"That you Exitilus?" I asked.

"That's right," he answered. "Welcome to my home!"

"Alright, where are you, old man?" Stan asked. "I want you to meet my axe!"

"Hold on now," Exitilus said. "Since you've come all this way, let's have some fun!"

"We've had enough fun," Kyra said. "Show yourself!"

"If you want me, you're gonna have to find me! I brought back some of your old friends, so have fun and don't die too quickly." Exitilus laughed and his voice faded out. The doors closed around us and a figured formed in the middle of the room: Blide! Blide came at as all at a blinding speed. We couldn't even see him and he knocked most of our group down. We swung our weapons wildly hoping to hit the fake. Lacey turned into goop that covered almost the entire room and Blide got stuck! Hamilton jumped at him with his axe and Blide disappeared.

"So that was Blide..." Hamilton said.

"More or less," I answered. The door ahead of us opened. "Come on!" I yelled as we rushed to the door.

The next room was covered in ice and was very cold. Again, the doors closed and a figure started appearing.

"Three guesses who it is," Stan said getting ready and Freezeflame appeared in the room. Helen decided to start off this time with a wind blast which Freezeflame turned to ice. The wind fell and he shot out fire blasts. Marina shot out water which turned the fire to steam. Matt, Stan, and Jennifer each shot out their fire magic which Freezeflame dodged. The fire hit the ice and it started melting. Marina used the water to encase Freezeflame in a large bubble. He froze the bubble hoping to break it, but Stan took this chance to knock him into the ice. The bubble shattered and Freezeflame with it. "And that's how you re-defeat a boss!" Stan yelled and he gave a loud laugh as the next door opened.

The third room was the top of a fortress, Hora's fortress, the place where we fought Hypnock. Sure enough, Hypnock started forming in his GrandHypnock form and he started with hypnotizing blasts again. Chris countered with his Possession Gems, holding the blast in place. Sobie ran up to Hypnock and whacked him. Hypnock countered with a ram, almost knocking Sobie off the side of the building. Hypnock constantly warped around the area as we tried to shoot him down. Exitilus's copies of our old foes were much stronger than their original forms, but we were much stronger as well! Jennifer aimed her bow the entirety of the battle, dodging when needed, and when she saw her chance, she released and nailed Hypnock! Again, he made a screeching noise as he went down. "Told you we'd meet again," I said as the door opened.

We walked through the door into a room filled with water. Nearly about to drown, we quickly equipped our Water Armors. Then he heard laughter echoing through the room.

"Why look who it is!" one voice said.

"The green girl has returned!" the next laughed.

"And look! She brought her friends this time!" the third one added.

"Oh, no," Lacey said.

"Oh, yes!" the fire mage said as she entered the room. "Did you miss us?"

"Well, we're not gonna miss you this time!" the wind mage said.

"Now that we have more targets, we will tear you apart!" the ice mage yelled. The ice mage waved her wand and the entire area started freezing. Stan and Matt held it back by using their fire power and Kyra shot out some ice blasts of her own. Octavis and Daniel aimed for each of the flying mages while Helen tried to knock them out of the sky. The ice mage went down and I shot a lightning bolt at her. The ice mage disappeared in a light. The fire mage flew above me and shot out a fire bolt. Jennifer shot out an arrow at the mage while I blocked the bolt. Hamilton swung his axe and the fire mage disappeared. Erica jumped at the wind mage and swung her club, knocking the mage down. Lacey jumped over the mage and came crashing down, smashing the wind mage into a bright light.

"Tell Exitilus we say hi," Lacey said. We all walked through the door when it opened.

Next we felt the room rock like a ship. Matt instantly got down and nearly started puking.

"Alice, can you do anything to fix this?" Marina asked.

"Er, I don't think so," she answered. "My wand heals health, not status conditions." Four figures appeared in front of us and we recognized them as Skipper's Crew. Feeling tired from the fights we had already, we tried to make quick work of the sailors. Madi and Hamilton ran up and started swinging and jabbing. Octavis threw his boomerangs out and knocked out Jake and Clarissa. Thomas and Casey put up a bigger fight, though Casey was being constantly whacked by Helen. In fact, Helen looked almost happy to do it. Stan rushed at Thomas and swung at him a few times until a hit connected, sending him overboard. Casey grabbed Helen's whip and was about the fling her overboard himself, but Octavis cut him down.

"That was for my family," Octavis said as the boat stopped moving and the cabin opened. Matt rejoined the group and we headed down.

Somehow, by heading into the hull of a ship, we ended up on top of a cloud. The platform changed to red and Marina was shocked. A fully charged Matt ran to her as Stan felt empowered to fight the dragon that came out of the middle of the cloud. We tried to bring down the dragon using the same tactic as last time, but the dragon had some speed added to it. The platform changed color again, this time to green and I got shocked. Marina stood back up and both her and Matt joined the battle. Daniel kept trying to get a good shot at the dragon and fired a number of shots. One shot managed to hit it right in the head and it came diving down, straight through the cloud. The platform turned black and I stood back up.

"I said don't get on my bad side," Daniel said as a path appeared to the door.

We walked into a hallway. Expecting some sort of trap, we cautiously walked down the hall. No traps sprung and we arrived at the door at the end. I opened it and saw a large room with a lone chair in the middle turned away from us. We drew our weapons and snuck up on it.

"Glad to see you are all still alive," Exitilus said.

"Enough games," I said. "How did you escape the Paradox Dimension?"

"Let's just say I found the right door," he answered. "That door led to a very confusing zone and it made me fight for my way out."

"It sounds like Zora's zone," Lacey said.

"That dimension and the Paradox Dimension are connected, but they're two different dimensions. The being that lives there goes by the name Doppel and warps between dimensions as it pleases."

"What are you trying to accomplish?" I asked.

"You know the tale of the Gems, correct?"

"Of course. Grandpa tells it to me every year," I answered.

"And yet, there is something he never told you," Exitilus paused a second. "You know the Gems are parts of a meteorite that struck the Land of Moneo many millennia ago. A man used its power to heal the sick, cure the weary, blah, blah, blah. Eventually, he became so enthralled with its power that it had to be taken away from him. The others and I found that we couldn't destroy the meteor, only shatter it. So we each took a piece and kept it from the man.

"However, he became relentless to take the power back for himself. It came to a point where we had to hide the power. Using the Gems together, we separated the man from the Gems the only way we could: by separating the world itself. We warped everyone and the lands the man had done wrong in to a different dimension and the man was left in a crater. Many centuries passed and I realized I wanted to go back to that world, the world that had forgotten of us. I was sick of guarding one town. Why guard one town when you can control others who had forgotten you existed! My goal is to return this world to the other and rule there!"

"I won't let that happen!" I spun around to the front of the chair, but it was empty.

"Foolish child!" Exitilus yelled. A large shock went through each of us and it brought us down to our knees. "Give me your Gems, boy, and I'll be merciful on each of you." Exitilus said as he appeared in front of me.

"My ancestor defeated you once," I groaned. "I can defeat you, too. We all can."

"Very well," Exitilus floated back and made a large ball of lightning. I pulled up my shield, but the shock of the attack sent me flying backwards. "Even without the power of the Gems, I'll still be stronger than all of you combined! Now... die!" He sent another ball of lightning at me, but before it connected, I pulled out a Gem. The Gem created a barrier around me. I held it up and found that all of our strength had returned. Dodging Exitilus's attacks, I ran over to my friends.

"Here, each of you takes a Gem," I said giving each of my friends a Gem. "Use it to increase your strength." We each felt a tremendous power fill our body and weapons.

"Exitilus!" Stan yelled. "It's time to meet my axe!" Stan leapt into the air right at Exitilus and rammed him right in the gut. Hamilton threw his axe at Exitilus then called it back as Kyra jumped. Exitilus avoided the attack and shot a wave of ice shards at everyone. Sobie stood there and took a hit. Her hair then turned a light blue and her body became encased in ice-like armor.

"I never got to thank you, Exitilus," she said. Sobie took off with a trail of ice following her. "Thanks for giving me power!" Sobie yelled. Exitilus took the hit and became frozen. I shot out a lightning bolt and the Exitilus sculpture exploded.

"Well, that was easy!" Matt yelled. I turned to him and saw Exitilus form back behind him.

"Matt, behind you!" I yelled. Matt turned and came face-to-face with Exitilus, who smiled. His body slowly mystified around Matt's and he started to emit black smoke. He turned to us and his eyes were pure white! Exitilus had taken control of him! I tried to use the Gem to expel him, but nothing happened and Exitilus came at us and started swinging and shooting fire. Chris's gems started circling Matt, trying to repel Exitilus, but Matt knocked them away.

"Distract him!" Chris yelled. Kyra shot out a blast of ice and froze Matt, but he almost immediately broke out of it. Helen spun her whip around and created a tornado that she sent toward Matt. He was caught and started spinning wildly. We could see Matt go limp within a few seconds.

"Weakling! Move!" we heard him yell. The tornado disappeared and made Matt fall to the ground. Chris sent out the gems once more and Exitilus formed back together on the other side of the room. "Impressive, using your friend's weakness against him. But how exactly are you supposed to hurt me? I have no weakness!" Looking at him, we saw he didn't even have a scratch on him. The Gems were constantly healing him. We could also see that they weren't on him; they were protecting him from somewhere else. I looked around. The Gems weren't anywhere in the room either.

"You're wrong, Exitilus," I said. "We know your weakness. With any luck, he'll be here momentarily." Exitilus just raised his eyebrow. I ran at the chair Exitilus was sitting on and knocked it over. A small hatch was underneath. Yelling, Exitilus caused the entire floor to burn. Stan, thinking fast, made the fire spin around him and he shot it back to Exitilus. He shot it back to Stan and the game between them continued. I opened the hatch and jumped inside. There, all laid in a row on the walls, were the Gems Exitilus had taken.

In the main room, everyone was still fighting Exitilus as he flew around the room and attacked back. He threw Helen across the room and took hits from Jennifer's arrows and so forth. Then he felt his power start to fade and he fell from the air. Everyone pointed their weapons at him as they felt a loud rumbling come from below. The hatch door flew off its hinges and I flew through.

"Exitilus!" I yelled as I flew to him. "This is for Andrew!" I grabbed him and flew into the air. I brought him down and forcefully embedded him into the floor. I repeatedly punched him over and over until Jennifer grabbed my arm.

"Stephan, I think he's had enough," she said. I looked at Exitilus and he was no longer moving, but he was still breathing.

"I have all of the Gem's power," I said. "I can do anything! I can bring Andrew back! I can find Nichole! I can..." Jennifer shook her head.

"Stephan, we don't need the Gems to find them," she said calmly. "We saved the world. We can rest now." I looked at her for a while, and then she hugged me. "Exitilus is done, but he's still controlling you. Get rid of the Gems." I stood there for a minute. Then I hugged her back.

"...You're right," I said. "This is why there are Guardians in this world. To prevent people from misusing this power."

"I know you want to do the right things, Stephan," Jennifer said. "But if you hold onto the power for too long, it will mess with you." We stood there for a minute. Everyone else came up to us after a time.

"We won, you two!" Stan cheered.

"We can all be safe once again," Octavis said.

"We'll fix the things that need to be fixing," Helen said.

"But for now, let's lock Exitilus back in the Paradox Dimension," someone said. We all turned to the door and saw Hunter standing there. "I'm too late, aren't I?"

"Afraid so," Hamilton answered.

"Well, at least I get to see him get sent away," Hunter walked up to us. "It's a shame, really. Though his intentions were wrong, he did have a good idea: to use the Gems to help people, not just in our world, but the other one as well."

"Do you know where this other world is?" I asked.

"I wish I knew," Hunter then had a bit of a shocked face on him. "Actually, no I don't! I'd rather not know." Hunter laughed and we all laughed with him. Then we heard a noise from below us. We looked down and saw Exitilus vibrating. Each of us took a step back as Exitilus rose limp into the air. He started getting bigger and his skin toned turned red. His head turned into a mixture of human and dragon and he grew large wings. Exitilus had turned himself into a demon! When his eyes opened, we all jumped back and prepared for battle.

"FOOLS! DID YOU REALLY THINK YOU COULD STOP ME?" His voice echoed throughout the room, grumbling and rumbling the entire place. "THIS WAS MY LAST WISH: IN CASE YOU EVER DID DEFEAT ME, I WOULD HAVE THE POWER TO FIGHT THE GEMS! I AM POWER MASTER EXITILUS!" Exitilus flew back and dived at us. Hunter stepped forward and held out his hand.

"Exitilus, you would make a terrible grandfather," he said. A large light came out of his hand and completely engulfed Exitilus. Exitilus screamed in pain as we saw him vanish in red smoke. Hunter fell over, but we caught him. "He said he could fight the Gems," Hunter gasped. "He didn't wish to have the power to fight the power of the Gems." Hunter chuckled.

"What did you do to him?" I asked.

"I destroyed him," Hunter answered. "Any magic he had is gone and I also removed the Gem's powers. He will not be returning for a long time and everything will be returning to normal."

"But what about you?" Hamilton asked.

"I'll live. Like I was going to destroy myself," Hunter laughed. "I just need to lie down. That was a lot of power I used." Then we heard a thud behind us. We turned and saw Sobie kneeling on the ground. Stan ran up to her.

"Hey, what's wrong?" he asked.

"I don't... feel too well..." Sobie replied. Then we saw dust fall around her and her gloves fell off!

"Guys, Sobie's falling apart!" Stan yelled. "Do something!" I held out a Gem, but nothing happened.

"I got rid of the magic, remember?" Hunter said.

"Sobie was made from Exitilus's magic!" Stan yelled.

"I'm... I'm sorry! I didn't know!" Hunter said.

"Stan..." Sobie muttered and Stan turned to her. "I'll be fine... I'm glad I met all of you... and saved the world..." Sobie fell over and Stan caught her. "And, hey... I have my blue hair back..."

"Sobie, hold on!" Stan yelled. "We'll fix this! Guys, someone do something! Alice!" Alice started crying, as did the rest of us.

"Hey... I'll be alright... Don't worry about me... I'm glad... I love... you," Sobie had completely turned to dust in Stan's arms, leaving only her clothes behind. Stan sat there for a moment, holding the empty clothes. We all remained silent, except for the crying that was happening. A few minutes had passed and Stan stood up. He put the clothes over his shoulder and started leaving.

"Hey," Matt said jumping in front of him. "Where are you going?"

"Home..." Stan answered pushing Matt aside. Stan had left the room and we stood there.

"First Andrew, now Sobie," Jennifer said. "This has turned into a very bittersweet ending."

"Exitilus has been defeated," Hunter said. "And yet, he still managed to defeat some of us."

"Well, let's get out of here and give the Gems back to the Guardians," Kyra said softly. "Though they might not hold anymore power, I'm sure they'd be glad to have them back." We nodded and headed out, hoping to run into Stan on the way.

We walked out of the castle and the land felt like new. The fog over Cora had disappeared and the air felt fresh. We walked through the well into Yora.

"So, what happens now?" Helen asked.

"Well, I don't know," I answered. "I guess we just do what we want."

"We should go tell our families we're alright," Kyra said.

"Yeah, but..." Madi said. "Will we see each other again?"

"Of course we will," Lacey answered.

"We're not going anywhere," Hamilton said.

"Like I said before, we're all like one big family," Jennifer said.

"Some of us already have the future in mind," Octavis said.

"Others will look for adventure," Daniel said.

"But whatever we do or where ever we go," Alice said.

"We will never forget each other or this journey," Erica said.

"I can tell you this!" Chris said. "I'm done with adventures for now."

"I don't think we're ever be done with adventures," Matt said.

"Tomorrow's an adventure everyone will be a part of," Marina said.

"I just wish some things were different," Hunter said. "And there are still some things I don't understand."

"Well, I'm sure we'll find out soon enough," I said. "For now, let's go tell everyone the good news!"

The Town of Aora: Though Freezeflame's memory may never return, the villagers help him make new memories. Freezeflame enjoys hiking the iceberg and Aora treats him like his own son.

The Town of Bora: Jennifer and I return to Bora. Jennifer's parents embraced her more than ever and we told them of the journey we had. Bora Building is complete and you can see Hypnock's village from the top.

The Town of Cora: With Exitilus defeated, peace has returned to the land. Cora Castle fell into ruin shortly after we left because it was created by Exitilus's magic.

The Town of Dora: Dora is overjoyed at Helen's return. Due to the Gem's removed power, the desert is no longer a maze of sand, it's just sand. Blide's whereabouts, however, are currently unknown.

The Town of Eora: Eora Everlasting has become a popular place to visit, even though many people get lost in it easily and Eora's Gem no longer works. It is assumed Stan made it back home, but it has not been confirmed.

The Town of Fora: Despite the news I gave Andrew's parents, everyone was very happy about my return. The Fora Temple soon fell into disrepair due to the lack of magic, so a new one was built by hand.

The Town of Gora: A new grave has been added in honor of Sobie and the rest of the Hora residents from the battle they had years ago, not to mention one for Jade and her mother. Chris makes a living telling ghost stories here until his death two years later.

The Town of Hora: The fortress has been taken down and Hora works hard to keep everyone under control. The battle of 1030 has also been looked into, but very little was found.

The Town of Iora: Though the loss of Andrew weighed heavily on her heart, Kyra returned to her home in Telbed and was welcomed with opened arms. It is unknown why she left in the first place, but perhaps we'll learn another day.

The Town of Jora: Jora's cleaning habits have improved, though the smell from the junkyard does bother the tourists. It does not seem to have an effect on the villagers, however.

The Town of Kora: We all worked hard to return Kora to normal and Hunter was given the title of Town Guardian. He now lives a normal life as a regular two-month-old man.

The Town of Lora: The mages never bothered the townsfolk again and the lake is always filled with fish and many other creatures.

The Town of Mora: After many days of asking, Marina finally agreed to have that dinner with Matt. There, Matt revealed his biggest secret: he has a love for video games, which Marina seemed to like the most about Matt.

The Town of Nora: The villagers kill every ant, bee, and spider in sight. What makes it even better is they are now normal sized.

The Town of Oora: Octavis returned to his family a hero and Marciella will have a wonderful world to grow up in. It is also rumored Holly's planed dojo was started construction.

The Town of Pora: The villagers can enjoy nice clean water and the clean smell of the air again.

The Town of Qora: The mine has been shut down to avoid injury. However, a mine cart roller coaster ride is under construction.

The Town of Rora: The shark problem has cleared up and a man has been seen walking around asking for a Marina.

The Town of Sora: Daniel returns to town, but promptly left because he got bored. The dragon continues to fly around Moneo and the villagers have given him the name Skragon.

The Town of Tora: Madilynn is still searching for her missing brothers and the large bird has gone missing as well. People have said Tora has taken up bird hunting, however.

The Town of Uora: With their family reunited, Hamilton, Alice, and Lacey now live together. Lacey enjoys shifting into things to help her family and village.

The Town of Vora: Erica now spends her time wandering the world as a sellsword, but she visits Jennifer's parents when she has the chance.

The Town of Wora: With the whirlpools gone, people now enjoy swimming in the water. The spinning turtles have returned to normal size and are now kept as pets by some people.

The Town of Xora: Frank now has a group put together and goes on tours throughout the lands under the name "The Giant Instruments".

The Town of Yora: The festival is now held on time every year and people always hope for the time me and Gold Knight partake in the tournament. However, only I have participated and Gold Knight seems to have disappeared.

The Town of Zora: Because we were not able to rescue the villagers from the other dimension, the town of Zora has become a ghost town. A grave is now placed where the dimension's portal stood reading "In memory of Andrew: A great leader and an even better friend."

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