Three months later…
"Hahaha, take that, Goetia!" Ethan said while he was looking at his cell phone. "No one can mess with my Lv 120 Heracles with NP at level five! The next will be… I guess it will be interesting to see Heracles vs. Megalos."
Three months had passed since the harrowing encounter with Chaos and the subsequent escape from the dimension of torment. In the aftermath, as Chaos dissipated, so too did the monsters that had been resurrected by its malevolent power. They vanished, their existence tied to the chaotic energy that had birthed them, leaving behind a semblance of peace in their wake.
During these months, life had settled into a relative calm. The world slowly recovered from the devastation caused by the chaos rifts, and society worked to rebuild what had been lost. While occasional dungeons still emerged, the result of summoned heroes failing in their quests, they were promptly dealt with by the collective efforts of skilled individuals who had survived the chaos.
Amidst this newfound stability, Ethan found himself living a leisurely life, free from the constraints of school and government work. With the chaos and threat quelled, he no longer had to bear the burden of his previous responsibilities. Instead, he reveled in the simple joys of his newfound freedom, embracing a slower pace and relishing in the company of his friends.
Though the scars of their encounter with Chaos still lingered, the group had emerged stronger and more united. They had forged unbreakable bonds in the face of unimaginable adversity, and their shared experiences had forever changed them. As they moved forward in this time of peace, they remained ever vigilant, knowing that the world could still be tested by new challenges. But for now, they treasured the respite, cherishing the ordinary moments that had become extraordinary in their own right.
After his AP ended, Ethan put away his cell phone and then looked around. He was killing time near the cinema of the shopping in his hometown when he saw Emily approaching.
Emily stood in the warm sunshine, wearing a vibrant green summer dress that gracefully flowed around her. The color complemented her complexion, and the gentle breeze played with the fabric, creating a soft, ethereal effect. Despite the calmness of the moment, a faint blush adorned her cheeks as if she felt slightly self-conscious about her appearance.
Her usual confident demeanor seemed momentarily replaced by a hint of shyness. This rare vulnerability made her all the more endearing. The dress accentuated her natural beauty, highlighting her features and bringing a radiant glow to her face. The fabric danced with every step she took, lending an air of elegance to her movements.
"You look even cuter today, as expected of me," Ethan said. "I know how to pick the right clothes for you."
"Can you stop saying that every single time we meet?" Emily asked.
"Only if you say that you dislike hearing that," Ethan said.
"I don't dislike it, but…" Emily said while looking away and pouting.
"Let's get going, then," Ethan said, and then he grabbed Emily's hand.
"... The cinema is right over there, do we have to walk with our hands like this?" Emily asked.
"Only if you say that you dislike it," Ethan said.
"The only thing that I dislike is the fact that I am always following your pace…" Emily said.
One would think that Ethan and Emily weren't going out like that or that Emily didn't like him that much, given her words. Still, she constantly invited him to watch movies, mainly love comedies. Thanks to that, Ethan mastered the technique of sleeping with one eye open since he always found those movies boring, but he couldn't let Emily see that he slept through them.
When Emily asked if he liked the movie, he still could recall some things since one of his eyes watched it, though. He felt a bit bad about that, but it couldn't be helped since they made him feel sleepy like never before.
"Any changes with your body?" Emily asked when they left the cinema. "You had to rest for a month to get rid of all that miasma, after all."
"I am as healthy as they come," Ethan replied. "Some memories bother me now and then, but I quickly dispose of them."
Ethan's ability was indeed something else… he could even pass memories to objects now, and when they belonged to someone that had powers, the item would often gain some sort of magic effect. Thanks to it, Ethan's inventory was full of crap now, like spoons that could make water or boots that could freeze the legs of the wearer.
"What about my future father and mother-in-law?" Ethan asked. "Things are going well with them?"
"Yeah, right… Keep dreaming," Emily said. "Even if they already vetted you, I didn't yet."
"It is only a matter of time," Ethan shrugged.
"I feel like a failure as a human being… I wanted to use time magic to repair their relationship, and I was able to do that with just a few talks," Emily said and then sighed.
"Understandable, for people like us who use magic so often, we think that we can do everything with it," Ethan said. "Still, a wise man once said that a little courage is the true magic."
"I won't even ask who said that, even though it makes sense," Emily said while showing a small smile.
Emily fixed the relationship with her parents after dealing with just a bit of awkwardness in the beginning… It also helped that she saved the world, so a lot of people valued her opinion and hard work.
After walking for a while, they found Dante, Aline, Ian, Anna, and Mary in a plaza waiting for them. They sat together, and eventually, Kei and Hana joined them.
"The whole gang's here this time," Kei said. "Even though things are peaceful now, it is hard to find the time to meet up."
"Well, some of us are still working for the government," Hana said. "The bigger threat is gone, but not forever."
"Do you have any news, Ethan?" Dante asked.
"Luneria doesn't want to say anything, even though I know that she knows when something will happen," Ethan replied. "She probably wants to make everyone stay on their toes to avoid making chaos return faster."
"We defeated chaos, but it isn't like all the evil will vanish, and that will eventually bring him back…" Aline said while looking upward. "He won't make the same mistakes again."
"Most likely, he won't return in our lifetime, so it won't be our responsibility to take care of him," Ian said.
"Can we please not talk about that thing?" Anna asked. "I still have nightmares of that creature."
"Everyone talks about you all at school, and they ask me when you want to visit," Mary said.
"Ian doesn't want to go since he doesn't want to show his true emo self to Lyla," Anna said.
Ian sighed… little sisters sure are merciless; they don't mind kicking a beaten dog, and Ian couldn't even deny that.
"By the way, how is your mother?" Emily asked.
"She is better now. There is some awkwardness, but she is recovering her memories gradually through her dreams," Ian replied.
Using his powers and the memories of those close to her, Ethan made Kelly recover some of her memories. Thanks to that, she began to recover her own memories through dreams. It was quite a weird thing, but it didn't seem insane, given that magic was involved.
"By the way, Hannah asked me if I could go on a mission to another world as a goodwill ambassador," Dante said. "I can't go alone, do you want to come with me? It is a place called Meizibio.
Meizibio was the place where Ethan went for the first time after returning to Earth. There, he met a fan of Emily's, a girl called Lili. She probably was older than them now since the flow of time there passed faster than Earth. Still, Emily still looked troubled.
"The problems that were caused to your family were solved, so why not go there and leave the past in the past?"Ethan asked. "It is a bit late, but I still owe Lili a fair bit."
"... What kind of person is she?" Emily asked.
"She is quite, c… cool of a person," Ethan corrected himself.
Ethan almost said curvy, but Emily still was looking at him with eyes filled with suspicion. He messed up now…
"Don't worry, my dear, I only have eyes for you," Ethan said.
"That is what all guys say when they have something to feel guilty about it," Aline said.
"I guess you aren't much different than Ian… all that you all care about is for big boobs," Anna said.
"Can we change the topif?" Ian asked. "I don't mind going as long as the love birds aren't over each other all the time."
"We aren't like that yet. Apparently, Emily is still vetting me," Ethan said.
"Are you losing confidence?" Ian asked.
"No way, I just have to get rid of all possible competition, and then I will be fine. I will call this: project damage mitigation."
"I can't believe that you can say that kind of thing with a straight face…" Emily said and then facepalmed. "Well, I guess I can say farewell to that world one more time."
"I will go as an escort for my beloved then," Ethan said.
Ian rolled his eyes while Anna and Mary looked away, embarrassed since that kind of thing seemed to be too much to be said out loud. Aline looked at Dante with a severe gaze, but he avoided that since he didn't have any excuses for himself.
"Well then, we will meet each other tomorrow morning," Dante said. "Until then."
Everyone used their communicators and then headed to their homes, but Ethan teleported himself and Emily to her house. He had a lot of time to kill in the last three months, so he learned that from Hannah.
"Bye, until tomorrow," Emily said.
"Aren't you forgetting something?" Ethan asked. "Where is my goodbye kiss?"
Emily looked at Ethan and studied him. he had a smile on his face, but he wasn't joking. Emily looked around and confirmed that the streets were empty since it was already late in the evening.
In the end, Emily's arms gently wrapped around Ethan's neck, drawing him closer with a tender embrace. In a moment of intimacy, her lips met his in a soft and passionate kiss, a gesture filled with unspoken affection and a depth of emotion that words could never fully capture. The warmth of the moment enveloped them both, an electric connection that resonated between their souls.
As the kiss ended, Emily's gaze briefly met Ethan's, her cheeks flushed with a mix of vulnerability and anticipation. Her eyes sparkled with a flicker of shyness, an unspoken acknowledgment of the depth of her feelings. Feeling a wave of bashfulness wash over her, she quickly averted her gaze, her expression a mixture of joy and embarrassment.
"Satisfied?" Emily asked.
"Almost," Ethan replied, still smiling.
"Geez… why are you always like this?" Emily asked. "I love you, Ethan."
"I love you too, my princess," Ethan said. "Thank you for saving me from my darkness. From this day on, I will be your hero and your hero alone."