A Rising Shadow - A Rising Shadow / Part 4 - 6

I'm not the author of all of those comics. I get no money from the website.
I'm not the author of all of those comics.
I get no money from the site.

Chapters

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  • I've been entering the Light Light's dreams now for quite some time. As I don't have any sort of way to keep track of how many times I've entered her dreams, I've been using her system of time keeping. So according to that, I've been entering her dreams for approximately five years now. And in that time I've not learned very much about her weaknesses. But I have learned quite a bit about concealment. As her dreams change every time she sleeps, I've had to disguise myself as a large array of creatures and plants. I've even been able to interact with Little Light on multiples occasions. I've been trying to learn her weaknesses this way, but it has not given me much to work with. It seems she may not even HAVE any weaknesses. But if that's true, then how am I to escape? It takes a lot of my own strength to disguise myself in her dreams, strength I could be saving to try and break the barrier myself, but if I cannot learn anything from her dreams, then what point is there in me entering them? I need something new to work with, but my options are sorely limited. It just seems that Little Light may not have any weaknesses.
    Page 12
    So, it turns out she DOES have weakness. Today, her little "coltfriend" left her. And it was all Little Light's fault. Oh what a spectacle it was! Her pain over his departure, it sent waves of pure despair throughout her mind! She was crushed, her wails filling her mind. It was the most refreshing thing I've ever felt! And the best part, her barrier was weakened! I could see it! They weakened, not enough for me to break them, but enough for me to notice, and that's all I needed to know.

    But her wails didn't last long. I heard her telling herself,

    Sunlight: *sob* NO! *sob* I *sob* can't...*sob* I can't do this. *sob* That-that thing, it, it'll get out! *sob* I need to move on! *sob* I-its over now Sunlight! *sob* He's gone! And there's nothing you can do! You need to stay positive! You can't let it get out! Just stay positive! Just, stay positive!

    No sooner had she pushed away from her grief, did a special memory orb appear in her mind with me. I can now watch her at that very moment he left her, the very moment when she was crushed. I can watch her go through it, over, and over, and over again. Her despair constantly feeding me.

    But what's even more interesting, she still knows I'm in here. How flattering. And she thinks that hiding away her grief will keep me at bay, haha. She's only giving me the means with which I will defeat her when the time is right.

    I'm now forming an idea of what it will take to destroy Little Light's defenses, and destroy her mind. I will continue to wander her dreams, they may yet prove useful to me.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Page 13
    Today was a very, exciting day, for me at least. The Little Light has failed again, and this time, I had the pleasure of witnessing it as it unfolded. I could see her determination grow, her courage to do something nopony else would do. And her complete joy at success, only to be shattered like glass when she failed. Her desperation was intoxicating, and when she finally realized all hope was gone, the barrier seemed to shiver with grief itself.

    It was so tempting. I knew if I pushed myself I could have overwhelmed her defenses and break free. But she was not completely crushed and she would've defeated me again. So I stayed my hoof and enjoyed her torment as she was crushed again for her own failure. Only this time, her failure cost a pony their life.

    Shortly after she had failed she had fought down her despair, just like the last time, putting on her "positivity" to keep me out. And the barrier did seem to heal itself some. But it is now weaker than before. And another memory has been added to my collection, this one radiates with her failure. I don't even need to rewatch it to feel her despair.

    Despite hiding her failure, for the next week Little Light's dreams were nothing but replays over her own failure. And for each one I was there, either watching the events unfold, or helping them unfold myself. Each time she failed filled me with strength. It seems her dreams do hold a use, I wonder if I could create such dreams myself. Hmmm, I'll look into this.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    I've gained quite a large amount of strength from Little Light's dreams and memories. I still cannot overcome her defenses, but maybe I can help her along with destroying them.

    *steps towards the barrier*

    *charges magic from its horn*

    *charges into the barrier*

    *charges through the searing pain of the barrier's light and stands within an area of bright colored lights. memory orbs float everywhere, but known of them exude pain and despair like the ones it has collected*

    *laughs in success* Ha, hahahaha! I've done it!

    Sunlight: Huh? *looks around*

    It worked! She can hear me! Now lets see what I can do with this.

    Darkness: *menacingly victorious* Hello again, Little Light.

    Sunlight: *pales* W-what! *looks around frantically* I-It's you! Where are you!

    Darkness: Oh, nowhere, just in your little mind, where I've always been.

    Sunlight: *stops* Wait, you-you're still in my head? *notices she's getting some strange looks from ponies*

    Darkness: Oh yes, I am still very much here Little Light.
  • Page 14
    Sunlight: *moves into an empty alleyway and confirms nopony else is there* *addresses Darkness* But, if you're in my head, then you can't do anything! *triumphantly* You can't hurt anypony!

    Darkness: No, not yet. But I can certainly hurt you, Little Light.

    Sunlight: *challenging* Oh yeah? Prove it!

    Darkness: *taken aback* What?

    Sunlight: Prove it! Hurt me! Right now!

    Darkness: *can feel its strength waning and the barrier starting to pull it back into Sunlight's subconscious* So sorry Little Light, but it seems I have to go now. We'll chat again later. *starts to let the barrier pull it out of Sunlight's conscious mind*

    Sunlight: *outraged* Hey! Get back here you!

    Darkness: *suddenly feels itself being held in Sunlight's mind* *shocked* What?! H-how did you. . .

    Sunlight: *forceful and assertive* You don't get to just pop into my head and freak me out over nothing! I won't be afraid of you anymore! So tell me now! How do you think you can hurt ME?

    Darkness: *recovers composure* Hmph, well, if you really want to know. *menacing* I will escape from your mind Little Light. I will break your mind into little tiny pieces, and then. . .I will be free from you. *menacing laugh*

    Sunlight: *thinks* Hmmm, no!

    Darkness: *confused* Huh?

    Sunlight: *confident* I said no. I'm not going to let you get out! I won't let you hurt anypony.

    Darkness: There's nothing you can do to stop me Little Light.

    Sunlight: Yes there is! There's always a way! In fact, I'll do more than stop you!

    Darkness: Oh really? What are you going to do then?

    Sunlight: I'm going to turn you to my side!

    Darkness: *disbelief* What?

    Sunlight: Yeah! I'm going to turn you to my side! I'm going to make you good!

    Darkness: *hilarious disbelief* HA! You are going to turn ME to GOOD! HAHA! You are quite entertaining with your foolish ideas Little Light!

    Sunlight: Oh I'm quite serious "Darkness"! I'm going to make you my friend, no matter how long it takes, I WILL, succeed! And then you won't hurt anypony because you won't want to!

    Darkness: *condescending* HA! You dream very big Little Light, despite how misguided you may be. You will fail, and I will escape.

    Sunlight: *confident* I'm not misguided. I WILL find a way, and I WILL turn you to good. No matter how long it takes, and you WON'T hurt anypony!

    Darkness: *retort* Oh really, Well I WILL find a way to break you, and then I WILL have my freedom!

    Sunlight: *questioning* Is that all you want?

    Darkness: *confused* What?

    Sunlight: Is that all you want? Freedom?

    Darkness: *menacing* Yes! And to make you suffer while I attain it!

    Sunlight: But, why?

    Darkness: *stunned* Because I, I. . .I want to watch you suffer! I want to feel your pain as you realize that you have truly failed! I want to feel your despair at knowing that everything you've done will be worthless as I attain my freedom!

    Sunlight: But why, Darkness? Why do you want to do that? Why do you hate me?

    Darkness: *starts to struggle against Sunlight's mental grip* Because. . . because I. . . . . BECAUSE I ENJOY YOUR SUFFERING!

    Sunlight: That doesn't sound like a real reason.

    Darkness: *uses power to try and break free from her mental grip* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW WHY! JUST KNOW THAT YOU WILL FALL! *succeeds in breaking free* Farewell for now, Little Light.

    Sunlight: . . .

    *flees back into Sunlight's subconscious*

    *huff* Damn that Light and her incessant questions! "Why, why, why?" I do not need a why, her suffering is reason enough!

    *sigh*

    Well it seems that she is no longer afraid of me. That is, unfortunate, as I am now limited in how much I can weaken her myself.

    *looks at the barrier and recalls Sunlight's failures*

    But maybe, maybe I don't have to weaken her myself. Maybe, she will destroy herself all on her own. Then all I'd have to do is be ready to take over when she does. But how long would it take her to fall? I suppose it doesn't matter, I can wait however long I need to to attain my freedom.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    I've talked to the Little Light on numerous occasions now. At first she was startled whenever I entered her mind. But it seems she is now used to it. And if I'm not mistaken, she even enjoys our conversations. I must admit she is entertaining to say the least. And instead of trying to frighten and terrify her, I now just chat with her. She tells me about everything she's done and been through. And I try to make some scare threats that she just shrugs off without even a thought.

    She still asks me "why" though. At the end of several of our conversations she's asked me "why" I'm doing this. "Why" I'm trying to break her mind. "Why" I want to see her suffer. I thought I had made it clear in our first conversation that I had already answered "why". But she isn't satisfied with that answer. Instead she asks complex questions that I don't care to answer.

    It takes quite a bit of my power to breach the barrier for our conversations, but she is able to keep me in her mind without any effort at all. I'm not sure how she does it. It is convenient for me however, as I only need to use some of my energy to chat with her, while she does the much harder task of keeping me in. That makes me wonder just how much mental power she has. Although I'm not sure if I want to find out.

    Thankfully, she is still ignorant about my access to her dreams. And I intend to keep it that way, as I'm starting to gain more and more control over my ability to disguise myself. I think I may be able to start working on altering her dreams myself, then I can set them to whatever I desire, and maybe then I can find out what really gives her her strength.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    It seems as if this dream will be no different than any of the others. Its just Little Light and a large swarm of rabbits. I believe I've now become quite proficient at changing myself into rabbits, considering I've now done it at least a dozen different times. In fact I bet I could turn myself into one if were. . .

    ....

    Wait, what's that?

    I can feel another presence here. . .

    But where?

    *spots a hole forming in the dreamscape*

    What?

    *A blue alicorn exits the hole and it closes behind her*

    That is not a part of Little Light's dream. I need to hide.

    *hides among the herd of bunnies*

    Princess Luna: *looks around as if searching for something*

    Can she sense that I'm here?

    Princess Luna: *clears her throat* GREETINGS LOYAL SUBJECT!!

    Sunlight: *startled* EEEP!! *turns to Luna* P-P-Princess Luna?

    Luna: YES LOYAL SUBJECT! WE ARE HERE TO INSPECT YOUR DREAMS AND-*notices Sunlight cowering with her ears turned down* Oh *coughs* My, apologies little one. We did not mean to frighten you. We are still adapting to the current customs.

    Sunlight: *raises ears again* Oh, uhh, its ok. You just startled me is all.

    Princess Luna: Nevertheless, I do hope you accept our, my, deepest apologies.

    Sunlight: *surprised* Oh, don't worry about it, its fine. So, um, if I may ask, why are you here again Princess?
  • Page 15
    Luna: *remembers* Oh yes, we were told by our, my, sister, that thou hath a dark creature residing within thou mind. I am simply checking to make sure that the creature has not been invading thy dreams.

    *watches Sunlight and the Princess while hidden among the rabbits*

    So it is true, the fabled harbinger of the night has returned after all. And she knows that I am in Little Light's mind. But it doesn't seem she can sense my presence here, and is not aware that I already have access to Little Light's dreams. I'd like to keep it that way. Hmmm. . .

    Sunlight: Oh, you must mean Darkness!

    Princess Luna: Yes, I do suppose it is a dark creature.

    Sunlight: No, no, I mean like the creature, Darkness.

    Princess Luna: Hmm? Are you saying it's named itself Darkness? That's not unusual for creatures of it's type, though the name is not very original.

    Sunlight: Well, not really, that's just what I call it. It's never really told me a name.

    Hmm, I suppose that is true, I've never really thought of a name before. Wait. She, gave me a name?! Well, I suppose it's not a horrible name. "Darkness" I guess its fitting really.

    Princess Luna: *shocked* You've, named, this creature yourself?

    Sunlight: *confirming* Yes.

    Princess Luna: And, it has never proclaimed its name in some sort of devious monologue?

    Sunlight: Uhh, no, I don't think I've ever heard Darkness do that before, and it's never complained whenever I call it that.

    Princess Luna: Are, are you saying you've "talked" to this creature before?!

    Uh oh...

    Sunlight: Oh yeah, we talk all the time.

    I think it might be time for me to leave.

    Princess Luna: *shocked* You have discussions with this creature? Regularly?

    Yes, leaving would be a very good thing to do right about now.

    Sunlight: Oh yeah, we talked just a few days ago.

    *backs away from the two and exits the dream*

    *sigh*

    I do hope that Little Light's discussion was distracting enough to hide my departure.

    *starts to walk away from the barrier*

    What does this mean now that the Harbinger knows I am here in Little Light's mind? I guess they always knew I was here. It was the Sun harbinger who gave Little Light her that bracelet after all. But did she know I was there with them in the dream?

    *feels a tugging sensation but ignores it*

    I guess only time will tell, but for now I. . .

    *the tugging increases to a pulling*

    What the...?

    *the pulling increases and starts to drag Darkness back towards the barrier*

    WHAT?! WHAT'S GOING ON!

    *resists the dragging put keeps moving towards the barrier and the tunnel leading back to the dream*

    IT'S THE LITTLE LIGHT! She, she's pulling me INTO her dream?! How?! Do they know? This could ruin everything!

    *almost at the barrier*

    I can't let them know what I can do! I'll just have to improvise, and see what happens.

    *is pulled back through the barrier and into the dream*

    Darkness: *lands on its back* Oof!

    Sunlight:*happily* See, I told you I could bring it here.

    Princess Luna: *dumbstruck* I, but, how?! How did you bring it in?!

    Sunlight: *matter of factly* I just wanted to bring it into my dream, so I brought it in.

    Princess Luna: *recovers composure* Well, very well then. *prepares to use Royal Canterlot Voice*

    Sunlight: *cheery* Hey Darkness!

    Princess Luna: *breath splutters out*

    Darkness: *still on its back* Ughh, hello Little Light. Where am I?

    Sunlight: *stands over Darkness, happily* You're in my dream! Behold! *waves hoof around*

    Darkness: *looks around at an empty dreamscape* Hmm, yes, very interesting. I would've thought your dreams would contain more, substance.

    Princess Luna: *matter of fact* It seems that in the process of bringing you into her dream, Ms. Days turned her current dream back into the basic dreamscape.

    Sunlight: *embarrassed* Oh, uh Princess, you can just call me Sunlight. *Remembers* Oh yeah! Darkness, this is Princess Luna, and Princess, this is Darkness, though I guess you already knew that.
  • Page 16
    Darkness: *menacingly cheery* Well then. So it's true, the fabled Harbinger of the Night has returned from her legendary stay on the Moon.

    Princess Luna: *unamused scowl* Yes, and thou art the dark creature that haunts this mare's mind.

    Darkness: I wouldn't use the word haunt. I'd say it's more like, shared living.

    Princess Luna: *condescending* Yes, and I presume you don't have any sort of plans per say.

    Darkness: *mocking* Well, now that you mention it, I do have some goals.

    Princess Luna: Oh? And pray tell what would those goals be?

    Darkness: *menacingly* Why, escape of course. From the Little Light's mind. And her mind's destruction in the process.

    Princess Luna: *angry scowl* I sha-

    Sunlight: *mocking* Come on Darkness stop be so dramatic ok?

    Darkness: *irked* I am not being "dramatic" I am being serious! I will destroy your mind and-

    Sunlight: I've already heard that Darkness. Your pretty much say it every time we talk. But you still haven't answered my question you know.

    Princess Luna: *looking back and forth between the two astounded*

    Darkness: Oh? And what question would that be?

    Sunlight: You know which question it is.

    Darkness: And I already gave you my answer. Your suffering is all the reason I need.

    Sunlight: But why? Why do want to see me suffer, why do you want anypony to suffer?

    Darkness: You don't need to know why.

    Sunlight: *pause* . . .Do you even know why?

    Darkness: *annoyed growl*

    Princess Luna: Ms D-, *corrects herself* Sunlight, creatures like this one *points to darkness*, do not need a reason to feed off of ponies' suffering. They only do it out of pure spite. And they certainly don't deserve such attention that you are giving this one.

    Darkness: Well now, I'm quite flattered that you would actually defend me on something Harbinger.

    Princess Luna: *turns to it with a scowl* Make no mistake creature, you are a threat, to both this mare and Equestria, and you shall be treated as such.

    Sunlight: *steps in front of Luna* Princess, I don't mean to be so blunt but, why has nopony tried to talk with beings like Darkness before?

    Princess Luna: Because, none of the creatures have ever shown a desire for anything other than the pain of their hosts and other ponies.

    Sunlight: But, has anypony even tried talking to them?

    Princess Luna: *thinking* Well. . .*admittance* no. But they're hasn't been any reason to. Since they only cause harm to their hosts, the ponies always live in fear of the creatures in their minds, and never want to talk to them.

    Sunlight: *determined* Well I want want to talk to Darkness. *gestures to darkness* And I have been talking to it. And I think I can change it. I think it's capable of changing. I know it can be good.

    Darkness: *mocking* As sickeningly noble as that is. Your attempts are all futile and pointless Little Light. And, quite frankly, they are irritating.

    Princess Luna: *smirks* Your determination to do this is quite admirable Ms. Sunlight. We certainly know how possible it is to reform somepony from evil to good. And after seeing how you act towards this creature, we believe you may be able to accomplish this. And if it spites you "Darkness" in the process, then all the better.

    Sunlight: *smiles big in happy excitement*

    Darkness: *deadpans in utter annoyance*

    Princess Luna: *turns away* I must be off now Ms Sunlight. We wish you luck in reforming this "creature". And if you ever require some assistance, you may call on us. *takes flight and disappears from the dreamscape*

    Sunlight: *looks on in awe* Wow. I can't believe that just happened!

    Darkness: *evil grouchy sarcasm* Yes, neither can I.

    Sunlight: *turns to Darkness* The Princess of the Moon believes I can change you! This, is amazing!

    Darkness: *condescending* It matters not how many ponies believe it is possible. All your attempts are futile because you shall neve-

    Sunlight: *sticks hoof in Darkness's mouth* Oh shush you! Just enjoy the moment.

    Darkness: *grouchiness* I don't see how I can enjoy that.

    . . . .

    Darkness: *waiting* Well?

    Sunlight: *curious* Well what?

    Darkness: The harbinger has left, aren't you going to send me back?

    Sunlight: *excitedly gets in Darkness's face* Are you kidding! I have you in my dream where we can do anything!

    Darkness: *looks around at the empty dreamscape* It doesn't look like we can. There's nothing here.

    Sunlight: *excited* Well I can fix that!

    *suddenly back in the meadow with hordes of cute animals surrounding them*

    Sunlight: *super squee* OHMYLUNA YES! Animals everywhere! *immediately starts playing with all the animals*

    Darkness: *groans as little critters start jumping all over it happily*

    This, did not go as expected.
  • Darkness: *groans* Uggghhh, what? *looks around* Did it work?

    Sunlight: *stops and looks up slightly* Huh? Darkness? Come on, not now I'm kinda busy here.
    Page 17
    Darkness: *looks up and sees Sunlight, smiles* Hehe, oh Little Light, it looks like your plans are about to change.

    Sunlight: *confused* What are you talking about?

    Darkness: *sinister laugh*

    Sunlight: Darkness stop making that laugh, that got old a long time ago! What are you talking about? And why do you sound so different?

    Darkness: I do believe your questions will be answered if you turn around.

    Sunlight: *starts turning around* What does that me. . . .*jaw drops*
  • Page 18
    Darkness: Hello Little Light.

    Sunlight: *shocked, a little scared* Wha-wha-WHAT! H-How!?

    Darkness: *sinister* It appears that strange power worked! Whatever this Nightmare Night of yours is, it's freed me! HAHAHA!

    Sunlight: *denial* B-but that's impossible! We can't both be out at the same time! We have the same body! There's no way you could be out!

    Darkness: *threatening* Oh but I am! As you can plainly see. *prepares to use magic* And now that I am I can. . .*can't use magic* I can. . .*tries harder* Why is this not working!

    Sunlight: *realizes* AHA! YOU CAN'T USE MAGIC!

    Darkness: *annoyed* But why? I'm free from you!

    Sunlight: *relieved* Phew, I don't know, but I'm sure glad that's not a problem anymore. Now, I do have a party to get to, so I'll see you later Darkness. *turns to go*

    Darkness: What?! *thinks fast* *smiles evilly* But if you leave, then you'll miss out on this unique opportunity!

    Sunlight: *stops confused* What are you talking about?

    Darkness: *thinking fast* Think about it, I am here, right now, in front of you. The very reason you hide away all your fears.
  • Page 19
    Sunlight: *stutters* I-I don't know what you're talking about.

    Darkness: *presses on, feigning concern* Oh come now Little Light. I know what you hide from everypony else. What you won't let any of them see. Not even dear brother.

    Sunlight: Y-you don't know what you're talking about! I don't hide anything!

    Darkness: *starts slowly walking around her* But you do, you've hid your feelings. You act as if everything is fine, that nothing can hurt you. But you've been hurt by everything. Everypony you've failed, Frost, your brother. . . Snowy.

    Sunlight: *shocked at hearing the names* N-NO! I-I-I've moved on!

    Darkness: Or so you think. You pretend to move on to make everypony else think you have. But you're just hiding away your pain. You hide it all away in the darkest corners of your mind. You hide your pain, with me.

    Sunlight: *shocked, denial* But, but I have moved on! *voice starts cracking*

    Darkness: No you haven't. You've bottled it up. And doing so can bring you great harm Little Light. That's why this is such a great opportunity.

    Sunlight: *confused* W-what do you mean?

    Darkness: Why do you hide your pain?

    Sunlight: . . . .

    Darkness: I think, you hide it because of me.

    Sunlight: . . . .

    Darkness: But doing so won't help you, it'll only hurt you.

    Sunlight: W-what are you saying?

    Darkness: I'm saying, that since I am out now, there is no reason for you to hide your pain. There is no reason to pretend it's all fine. You can feel the pain you've never allowed yourself to have. You can finally start to really move on.
  • Page 20
    Sunlight: . . . .

    Darkness: What do you say, Little Light?

    Sunlight: . . . . I . . . Ok.

    Darkness: *smiles* Excellent! *moves around and sits in front of Sunlight* Then let's begin shall we.

    Sunlight: *starts tearing up* O-Ok.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It worked! It may not have gone as I had planned, as I did not gain my freedom, but I've gained something just as valuable. Her trust, and even more, a way to find out all of her weaknesses. The power from this Nightmare Night, it has so much potential. It doesn't give me enough power to free myself, but it seems I can 'summon' myself with it. And as it turns out, I can use magic in this form, but only on Little Light herself, and I've made sure she won't find out, it could be useful after all. I look forward to next year when this comes. I already have some ideas to make this more, "interesting".

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    These past few years have been incredible. I've gained enough knowledge of her and control within her dreams to begin shaping the very dreams themselves. And Little Light is still unaware, in fact even the Harbinger can no longer sense my presence. In many of her visits I've even interacted with her, and she has been completely ignorant! I believe I can start trying out some ideas I have for the next Nightmare Night.

    The Little Light is incredibly foolish. She reveals all her failures to me at these Nightmare Nights, giving me more and more of her weaknesses. I think, I may just be able to defeat her. But I still need more. Her will is still too strong for me to overcome on my own. I need something else to defeat her, but what? What else is there to break her?

    It only seems as if she's getting stronger. Her new "friend" has been doing an annoyingly good job of it so far. She even interrupted our last Nightmare Night, and instead of weakening Light Light, she only got stronger! If I'm going to be free from the Little Light, that "friend" needs to be gone!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Today, I realized something. I finally know now, with absolute certainty, that I will be free. Today her "friend" left her, and what's better, it almost destroyed the Little Light!
  • Page 21
    I thought her mind was going to break right then and there! The barrier itself was becoming pure despair and started to crumble. I could've easily taken over her mind right then and there. But I didn't, I can tell that she still has some strength left. And that may just be enough to defeat me again. I need to make sure she is completely destroyed! That there will be no chance of her returning!

    There's still something, or rather, somepony, giving her the strength of will to keep going. I just need to figure out who. But I believe, based on this, that the list of possible ponies is quite short.
  • Page 22
    It doesn't matter how long it takes Little Light. For now I know you will fall, and if I'm right, it will be those closest to you, that will help me do it.
  • We're finally here. The end of Darkness's backstory, which ends years after all the other's stories end. In fact at this end point this is in the second arc of the story.
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