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Book 8, Chapter 45 - The Forgotten Hero

 Cloudhawk did not react at first. He looked at Dawn - at the God King who had taken her form. "You should have killed me a long time ago. You know I'm not strong enough to fight your entire species. If you really want to stop your people you know what you have to do."

"I have no right to kill destiny's child, just as I have no right to determine the fate of my race," the God King calmly replied. "Do not underestimate the power you wield or overestimate the strength of the others. It is just as I once told you: Your existence is not an accident. The fate of the universe and all its myriad species are linked together, and the fall of an old era portends the rise of something new.Your journey now begins, you must see it through."

Cloudhawk was quiet for a little while.

The God King broke the silence. "Come, it is time."

So Cloudhawk rose his hand and pointed it toward Dawn. Her form shivered and a hazy fog of light emerged which gathered into a ball of light within his palm. He examined this spark for a moment. Then, gently, he closed his hand and the light was extinguished.

The final piece of the Quintessence was no more.

When Dawn opened her eyes, the person looking back was the human of old. "Cloudhawk." She never imagined she would see him again. "Is it over?"

She saw him smiling at her when suddenly an overpowering force washed through the area. She lost consciousness and gently floated to the ground.

"It is over. And it is beginning."

Cloudhawk looked over the unconscious form of his friend. She looked like she was sleeping. There was a serenity in her expression, as though she was finally able to rest.

"There is so much still to do, and first as to say I'm sorry for what must be done. I hope you and Selene... I hope everyone can understand."

As his sorrow-laden were whispered to her, Cloudhawk's will filled the space. It connected with the heart of Sumeru. During his war with Legion it had been destroyed and with it the Divine Matrix. The gods no longer shared a connection.

But that wasn't enough. The seal on their memory was still intact, he would see it removed.

After Cloudhawk's rebirth, performing this was as easy as turning over his hand. It was done with a thought and all at once the gods awakened. They were suddenly confronted with the meaning of their existence. Gradually they all became 'demons'.

The war between Sumeru's forces and the allies had raged for a long time. Selene and her soldiers fought bitterly and suffered much. But suddenly everyone stopped. With faces steeped in disbelief they watched as time reversed its flow. Every life given to the battle was restored. They leaped up off of the ground as vibrant as ever.

Wasn't this the same power protecting the gods? As they watched their compatriots rise from the rise, the survivors realized a big change had occurred.

"Cease your fighting."

"The battle is over. A new era has dawned."

All across Sumeru, in the minds of gods and demons and humans alike, a voice spoke directly into their minds. Selene felt a familiar presence nearby, but she couldn't see or touch him. It was like he had become a part of the universe at large, one with the primal forces. "Cloudhawk! Is that you?"

Had he won? Had he defeated the invincible ruler of this place? Selene was still alive, everyone was, so he had to have won right?

Before anyone had a chance to find out exactly what was happening, a powerful force invaded their minds. They all fell asleep.

Cloudhawk looked out over the deathly still realm. There was a lonely determination in his eyes. He wanted to fight against the remaining Quintessences, but he wasn't ready. Humanity wasn't ready. So he had to sever any information connecting him to this place and these people. IT was the only way to buy time and make sure everyone remained safe.

"Selene, you may hate me for this decision... but it's what must be done."

**

Selene felt like she'd been asleep for a century. In the back of her mind was a sound that was warm and familiar, but it sounded so far away. Like she was on the other side of the world. IT filled her with an indescribable fear.

"No! No, don't leave me!"

Selene started away. She was in her own bed.

What was going on? It felt like everything that happened had only been a dream.

What happened? I remember... going to Sumeru with the army. I remember that we allied with the demons to fight the gods... but why is the rest so fuzzy?

She was disturbed to find that huge holes existed in her recollection of events. Almost all the fighting they'd done in Sumeru was gone, but that wasn't what bothered her. She felt like she had forgotten someone. The most important person in the whole world.

She couldn't even remember their name! What they looked like, what they did... it was all gone. Everything except that bone-deep feeling that they... he... was important.

No! I don't want to forget! How could I?! I have to remember... I have to make it come back! Where is he? I have to find him. I have to!

Never in her life had she felt so flustered and lost. She stumbled out of bed and out of the fortress, only to stop dead in her tracks when she opened the door.

Sprawled out in front of her was Greenland, a magnificent metropolis whose neatly arranged buildings scraped the sky. The streets were spotlessly clean and old-time cars were speeding along. Flying vehicles whistled by overhead as well adding to the image of a modern and prosperous city.

"You awake?" The voice came from behind.

Selene spun around and there behind her was Dawn. She rushed over like a drowning man clutching at straws. "Tell me. Tell me right now, I need to know everything - about what happened, about him. Where is he? Tell me right now!"

"Selene, you need to calm down. It's not amnesia," Dawn said with a wry smirk. "None of us remember."

"What?"

"When we woke up we were all back here. Everyone. The only thing anyone can remember is some... hero who put together the alliance and led us to Sumeru. We got there, defeated the God King and then... well, and then the reign of the gods was over."

"So where is he?!"

"I don't know, no one does. There is literally not a single person who remembers him. Only a few who were very close remember anything at all. But I can't even tell you his name or what he looked like, much less where he is."

She tried to hide it, but when she said the words there was pain behind Dawn's eyes.

"Some people are saying it's a punishment for defying the gods. A curse for forgetting, turning him into nothing but a legend."

The words cut into Selene like a knife.

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