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Mü, Part 24

“Why am I always better then you? I’m not.” Said Rose as they stood on the ceiling. The floor seemed to be peeling upward like it was the top of a can getting ripped away. “Even if my block has broken you are still a stronger Esper then I will probably ever be because that is not who I am now. You even beat me once before. If this was just a battle of Espers then you would eventually win. I can’t keep up my passthrough long enough. But, that doesn’t mean you are going to win. Do you know why?”

He clothes began to flutter in the breeze caused by the breaches in the facility walls. “That is because I am a Phantom Thief and a Phantom Thief always gets what she wants.” Then Rose pulled out several small balls from her pocket. They erupted in a burst of blinding light which caused Svenn to recoil. When his eyes began to adjust again he couldn’t see Rose anywhere.

“Where are you? Do you think you can escape just by hiding. Your ability to hide your thoughts is still imperfect. Sooner or later I will be able to tell where you are.”

“Escape?” The voice seemed to come from all different directions. “No, a Phantom Thief does not escape until after the theft has been accomplished. Can you not tell where I am Svenn? That is because a Phantom Thief can strike from anywhere and you will never expect her. Where do you think I am going to strike next.”

“It doesn’t matter if I do this.” Svenn pulled on Enforcer Wade’s power and formed a wall of fire surrounding him on all sides. He would be able to use Wade’s power to days still until Wade regained enough power to resist his ability. “Now what are you going to do. I can wait like this until you reveal yourself.”

“Too bad, that isn’t good enough.” A hand reached out from the ceiling beneath Svenn and pulled the leg several inches into the ceiling. There was a loud snap. The fire died and Svenn was several feet away. His leg was bending at a strange angle. A side effect of his power allowed him to better control his own feelings and he was able to mute the pain enough to prevent collapsing. That woman had pulled his leg far enough into the ceiling and then released the passthrough. The floor collapsed into his leg breaking it. His leg might have been completely removed if he hadn’t teleported fast enough.

There, Rose finally made a mistake. He could feel her thoughts as she approached him. He couldn’t see her so she must be on the floor below him. She was going to strike him again like she did before but this time he wouldn’t let her. The floor beneath his feet melted and he fell through the floor. As he fell he filled the room full of fire and without a second’s pause froze the room afterward, making it an entire block of ice.

He looked around for Rose. He couldn’t see her but he heard a clatter at his feet. He looked down a small globe of some sort. It took him a bare second to realize what it was but by then it was almost too late. By the time he had managed to teleport out of the way one of his arms was badly burned and most of his clothes were in tatters.

Then he saw her again. She was standing several yards away. She was holding another one of those ball, although this one looked darker then the other. She raised her hand and threw it at him. This time however he was prepared. The wall of flame meet the ball and turned it into ash, or at least it should have. Instead the ball kept coming at him. He panicked, how had the ball survived the wall of fire, was she using her passthough on a distant ball. That moment of hesitation was just long enough for the ball to hit him in the face. He felt the hard impact of stone as the round rock made contact with his face. He collapsed to the ground in agony.

He could feel the blood trickling down his neck. He looked over and Rose who was just looking at him. Something was wrong, they were fighting and she was winning. All his power was being useless against her. Svenn couldn’t see anything that could be done, everything that he did she managed to counter. Without being able to read her mind he couldn’t predict what she was going to do next.

Still, something else was wrong. This battle was going on far too long. The Euclidian Key should have torn this place apart by now. What was wrong. Even with the limited teleporter that was still in his network he was able to tell that the Euclidian Key was still active. Was it possible the Lynn was keeping back the power of the Key? That must be it, Svenn knew she was powerful but this was more then he had expected. But that couldn’t last for too much longer, no matter how powerful she was eventually she would get tired and be unable to keep it up.

But Rose, he had fought her many times before years ago but it had never been like this before. He had lost to her before but he had never been afraid of her before, why was he frightened of her now.

“Let me guess what you are thinking.” Said Rose, “Why am I afraid of her?” Rose smiled. “The answer is simple. Because I am not fighting to win. I am fighting to defeat you. It is the difference between a war and a slaughter. It doesn’t matter if I get injured, since if I fail to defeat you there might not be time for me to worry about that. I need to give Lynn and Emiray enough time to stop the Euclidian Key.”

“Yes, that’s right.” Svenn started to regain his composure. “I don’t need to deal with you. I just need to stop Lynn. Then everything will happen correctly.” He had forgotten his reasons for wanted to deal with Rose in the first place. Now just stopping her goals were enough for him. If he could just stop Lynn then he would be the victorious one.

He looked down at his feet. The feeling that was getting through the teleporation was that there was a great conflux of power in the air above the facility. That and the Euclidian Key’s influence was probably why gravity was working strangely. Then he realized that Rose wasn’t there anymore. He first thought she was going to attempt another sneak attack. Then he realized that he had spoken his attentions out loud. She was going to try and beat him there so that he wouldn’t be able to stop Lynn.

He shifted and found himself on the roof. Strangely gravity was working normally here so he fell backward onto the roof. He saw Rose only a couple of yards away. She was staring up at the sky, a look of awe on her face. Svenn followed her gaze and stared up at the sky as well. Then he felt like everything had come to a stop.

Lynn was hanging in the air. She was suspended, not the almost motionless of quick teleports but truly hanging still in the air. Everything seemed curved, like the world was folded around her and she was hanging in the center of everything. There was what could only be described as a glow, the sun was hanging directly behind Lynn. Yet that looked strange, when Svenn turned his head that didn’t change, the sun still hung directly behind her.

Rose could see Svenn staring at Lynn and she knew she was feeling the same thing. This wasn’t some minor Esper show of ability. Lynn was holding space together around her, keeping everything in tact with sheer power and force of will. Rose knew that this was a power beyond anything she would ever be capable, was this what a level 9 was capable. A being so powerful that nature bent around them.

“This, this is impossible. What am I supposed to do against that.” Svenn had sunk to his knees, his eyes never leaving Lynn. “That, I couldn’t even get close to her without getting torn apart by the spacial riptide surrounding her. How am I supposed to stop something so power, it would be like stopping a volcano, like trying to stop nature.”

Rose shook her head, “You always seem to be so wrong. She is doing just what you are afraid to do, she is standing on the edge of the volcano and preventing it from erupting. I can see that even in that state that she is in pain, keeping back the power of the Euclidean Key is straining for her. You however are just afraid, you can not imagine stopping the volcano so you believe it is impossible. She however decided that it wasn’t impossible, that she had to do it even if other people thought it was impossible. Trying to stop someone’s will with a feeble desire like your, of course it looks impossible to you. If you really cared about what you were doing then you would do it anyways.”

Rose took several steps toward Svenn and continued to speak, “No unless you are prepared to do the impossible I suggest that you run away. I am willing to do just a much as Lynn is to accomplish what is right.”

Svenn finally broke his gaze away from Lynn and returned to looking at Rose. “We are different then we were before, both of us. You truly have broken through and become yourself. I’m still trapped however. I’m locked in a cage, trying to do what is right, trying to become better then I am. But it is impossible for me, I always knew it was. Now I have seen proof of my inadequacy. None of what I do will ever be remembered, I left no knowledge behind. Mine is truly a worthless existence.” There was a look of hopelessness on his face. It was a saddening look which made Rose feel pained.

“So you tried to end it by participating in this fool idea which would kill you?” She hiked him. “Do you think that will make anything better, that it will make your life any better?” She stared down at him in pity. “Look back at her, this isn’t going to be the end for you because she and Emiray are going to save us. Then you will have your life again. Next time however I suggest you think of something else you want to be. Is an Esper everything you wanted to be? Was there something you wanted to be before you became an Esper? Maybe the reason you were never content is that there was something else you wanted to do.”

Rose sat down beside him, no longer worried that he would try and attack her. “I traveled a while after I found that I couldn’t break my block. I finally managed to find my way to the Entertainment District. That is when I got caught up in a Phantom Thief’s theft. It felt like something amazing to me, something impossible. But there was something magical about it that I couldn’t forget. Eventually I decided that that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be that magical being that inspired. It took me a while but eventually I managed to become my own Phantom Thief. It was rewarding like nothing I had done before was. I realized that everything I had done before I hadn’t done for myself. Those had been other people’s dreams and desires, the researchers and my parents. Being a Phantom Thief was my own dream, something I wanted to be. That is what made it magical for me.”