Ariake no Kata had been through a lot in her life. She had been born the daughter of a minor noble who had served under Clan Nobunaga prior to the Civil War. When Ariake had turned 16, Gengetsu Kibaoni, a man rumoured to have made a pact with demons, made himself known, her family had offered her to serve as one of his handmaidens, selling her out in order to save their own skin. But then, the man had forced her to marry him, a man 30 years her senior, as the ultimate token of her loyalty. Feeling bitter at her birth family for their betrayal, Ariake had impulsively accepted this offer. But in time, she had come to enjoy the privileges of being the lady in charge of a brutal warlord's household, to the point where it seemed like she'd never known any other way of life. She took pleasure in abusing people inferior to her for minor reasons, and forcing them to do her bidding. But then, when she had been carrying his Lordship's child for 9 months, some wretch calling himself the Last Ninja had stood up against their army, managing to cripple it before they could launch their final assault on Japan. In an act of desperation, Gengetsu had sealed her essence away within a Noe mask, to be revived in 444 years.

And so she was, awakening in a world where not only had her body become a Youkai formed from the mask, but the Last Ninja's descendants were a constant thorn in the plan to revive his Lordship. But at least she had one attendant, a kitsune-kyubei to tend to her needs, even though he seemed reluctant and ended up absconding from his duties after his robot was blown up. And eventually, her son Mangetsu was born, the Youjutsu in her body giving him a fully formed body upon birth. But then, the kitsune had informed her of Mangetsu's death at the hands of those Shinobi wretches, all to gather her grief and revive his Lordship. But she was unable to avenge his death, as one of them ended up defeating Ariake in battle, ending her life…

At least until her revival in a strange room, with a hooded man standing in front of her. "I can give you anything you want to attain.", he had assured her. "And all you have to do is defeat someone for me. I'm sure you know him well." Sure enough, the blue wretch had not only appeared in the same world, but he had allied himself with a group of similar nuisances. Ariake had been forced to do likewise, in order to revive her family. Both the Eastern Youkai that had allied with her husband in the past (a not unfamiliar notion, given that she had called upon the Western Youkai during the initial conflict with those Shinobi wretches) and the enemies of these others she would have to fight. But in her time in this world, Ariake had been questioned on whether conquering the world was what she wanted, or something she was merely carrying on for someone else.


And with her current situation - thrown out onto the streets with her revived son Mangetsu, whose impetuousness and disrespect was becoming much more obvious - Ariake was starting to wonder if they might be on to something. "Ha, this won't stop us for long.", Mangetsu declared. "We'll be running this city by the end of the day."

"Will we?", Ariake muttered. "We have no base, few weapons, no resources and a small army. The chances of us conquering anything on our own are slim."

"Don't be a defeatist." Both looked up to see a squat elf-like creature with black and red highlights on his body, approaching them. "I know of something that can help us."

Mangetsu's reaction was to point his sword at the creature's neck. "You bastard! Who are you?"

"I am Kuro Dwende, the last of the three Eastern Youkai.", the creature introduced himself. "And I've been awake for a while. Long enough to discover the location of the legendary Amennuhoko."

The two were shocked to hear this. "Eh? Really?", Ariake asked.

"Indeed. Though I don't actually know the precise location, I have an idea.", Kuro Dwende explained. "And it all starts with one woman."


At Fractured Infinity's warehouse, Yakumo and Hiroto were tidying the place up slightly. Namely, cleaning out some of Kaito's wares. "I doubt he'll be wanting any of this back.", Yakumo explained as he emptied the contents into the black bag, which he then placed in the bin outside. "If he did, he would've come back for it already."

"At this point, I doubt we'll see him again if we go looking for him.", Hiroto commented. "We have to wait for Kaito to make whatever move he's working towards. In the meantime, we still have three members of Dark Guild to take out, possibly more if they've got those mini TRGs. They're the more immediate threat."

"Right.", Yakumo nodded. "But right now, we need to wait for something to -." He was interrupted by the phone they had used for their business back in the early days ringing. "I didn't even know we still had this."

"Well I don't think we ever formally closed down our operations.", Hiroto pointed out. "We should get around to that once we're done with whoever this is." He went and picked up the phone. "Hello?"

"Hello, this is Professor Kyoko Nakajima from the Edo-Tokyo Museum.", the voice on the other end spoke. "I've found something that might be vital and I'm sure someone's trying to take it from me."

"What kind of someone?", Hiroto asked.

"Some kind of monster, like some kind of goblin.", was Kyoko's answer. "And call me paranoid, but I doubt he plans to use my discovery for benevolent purposes."

"Don't worry about a thing, Prof. Kyoko. We'll be there as fast as possible.", Hiroto said as he hung up. "Yakumo, it seems we have a case on our hands."

"I'll alert the others.", Yakumo responded, as he took his phone out.


Some time later, the group had fully gathered at the museum, with a woman in her 20s approaching them. "You must by Prof. Kyoko.", Momo surmised.

"That's right.", Kyoko nodded. "You don't seem like the type of people who can handle this kind of incident."

"Believe me, we're very specialised.", Shinya assured her. "Now then, perhaps you could share what you called us here for?"

"It's about something that most men thought was a myth, but I've found evidence that it exists.", Kyoko explained. "He legendary spear, Amenonuhoko."

Everybody was shocked by this. "You mean… it really exists?", Miu gasped.

But Naoto was more confused. "And for those of us who didn't brush up on mythology?"

Momo began to explain. "Amenonuhoko is a spear that appears in Japanese mythology. In the Kojiki (The Records of Ancient Matters), it is written as 天沼矛, and in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), it is written as 天之瓊矛 (本文) and 天瓊戈 (一書1, 2nd, 3). According to "Kojiki", the two gods Izanagi and Izanami were ordered to complete the land that was drifting in Betamatsu no kami and were given Amenonuhoko. Izanagi and Izanami stood on Amenoukihashi, the bridge between heaven and Earth, stirred the chaotic earth with Amenonuhoko, and what dripped off the spear piled up and became Onogoro-shima Island, or as we know it, Japan."

"So in short, whoever controls the spear can recreate the world however they see fit.", Yakumo surmised. "Now doesn't that sound tempting to someone like Dark Guild."

"Exactly." Everyone was then blown back by a bolt of energy as Mangetsu, Kuro Dwende and Ariake all approached them. "Which is why you'll be showing us where exactly that spear is, Lady." Mangetsu then presented his sword to Kyoko's neck. "I wouldn't refuse if I were you."

Hakumo then pulled out his GamaGama-Gun, firing to knock the Youkai back. "Prof. Kyoko, get to safety." Kyoko nodded and ran off, as Yakumo transformed into AoNinger. Ao-ja! Ninja! "It's time that we settle things, Kibaoni."

"Indeed.", Mangetsu declared, as he locked sword with Yakumo. "I'm gonna do what my father and brother couldn't do and kill one of you Igasaki jerks!" He sent an energy attack towards Yakumo, that he tried dodging, but only managed to do narrowly.

Yakumo then placed his Goton NinShuriken on his Ichibantou, before removing and resetting it on a different setting. Kaen no Jutsu!/Tsuchi no Jutsu! "Joukyuu Shuriken Ninpo: Yougan no Jutsu! Kaen no Jutsu/Tsuchi no Jutsu: Mix!" Mera Mera Ja/Don Don Ja! Mangetsu was buried in a mound of lava, but he managed to break out effortlessly. "What the-? That should've held you for at least a few minutes."

"Oh, that'll be my special ability.", Kuro Dwende explained. "I can grant increased good fortune with my Youjutsu: Berkat Keberuntungan. It doesn't last forever, but it'll allow Lord Mangetsu and Lady Ariake the luck they need to get what we're after."

Sure enough, Ariake appeared, having grabbed onto Kyoko, holding her up along with a portfolio. "I managed to discover what we came here for.", Ariake stated, dropping Kyoko to the floor. "The location of Amenonuhoko, or at least the rough location."

The other members came out, all badly battered. "Sorry, Yakumo.", Momo said, apologetically. "We weren't able to get a hit in on her."

"So, that's this Youkai's power?", Yakumo gasped. "He must be the last of the Eastern Youkai."

"That's right.", Mangetsu declared. "And he's the one that will finally give us victory. Garyu-do: Mangetsu Zan!" He unleashed a slash attack that knocked Yakumo out of his suit, knocking him to join the others. "We've got what we wanted. Old Hag, Ugly Guy, let's go."

"R-right.", Ariake nervously nodded as she and the rest of her party teleported out.

Kyoko then pulled herself up. "I'm sorry, everyone.", she bowed her head in shame. "I should've held onto the location data more securely, or at least made a copy. Now we've no way of knowing where they're going."

"Not quite.", Yakumo declared, taking out of the GamaGama-Gun. "This thing will croak if it can detect the presence of a Youkai." He began waving the gun around, until it began to croak, just as he had said. "They're heading north east."

"Of course, they're headed for Mount Tsukuba, the resting place of Izanami and Izanagi.", Kyoko realised. "I remember now. Amenonuhoko is buried in a chamber in the side of the 'female body' mountain."

"In that case, we'd better get moving.", Hiroto urged. "Above all else, we can't let that spear fall into the wrong hands."


At Baranoia's headquarters, a Baro came in to report to his superiors, as they oversaw the Tachyon Recreation Generator being used to create an army. "So, it seems that those two Youkai we threw out are doing quite well for themselves, Malpie.", Buldont recapped. "They've managed to find the location of a spear that will allow them to reshape the world as they see fit."

"Oh dear, that could adversely affect our plans to take over this world, Bulpie.", Malthiua lamented. "Should we do something to try and thwart their intentions?"

"Pah, I'm sure Fractured Infinity will have us covered in that department.", Buldont assured her. "And it does serve as a good enough distraction for us to create our army in peace."


Deep beneath the ground, a formless entity sensed an encroaching danger, one that it felt it had to stop. It search both inside and outside of the Earth to find the best suited form for it to defend its prize. And it found one, buried in the Earth beneath Edo, freshly deceased, and with only slight burns to its tissue. This would suffice.


In the skies near Mt. Tsukuba, Fractured Infinity and Kyoko were flying to their target, aboard Jum-Bowhale or in the cockpit of Lion Ha-Oh. "We won't be long now.", Hiroto stated. "We're just in need of somewhere to land."

"That is provided that nothing else appears to get in our way.", Momo pointed out. As soon as she was finished talking, several tails burst forth out of the ground, shooting energy bolts in the direction of their aircrafts. "I just had to ask, didn't I?"

"This is just like another part of the legend.", Kyoko realised. "To deter intruders, the legendary beast Yamata no Orochi will rise once more in a suitable form to deal with them."

The form of Orochi soon emerged, at which point it became recognisable to everyone. "That's no Orochi.", Naoto stated. "That's Dr. Zora." Sure enough, the creature resembled Dr. Zora's final form, only without the scythed arms, and with 7 and a half tails sticking out of the back of her body. Her skin had also turned a mottled grey. "How are you still alive?" The creature didn't answer, instead firing a beam of fire, that both flyers barely avoided.

"However this is possible, we're going to have to fight her off.", Hiroto pointed out. "Yakumo, can you hold her off while I get everyone to safety?"

"You know it.", Yakumo nodded. "Lion Henkei!" Lion Ha-Oh then shifted into its humanoid form. Lion Ha-Oh! "Let's go, old man."

"Right.", the voice of Lion Ha-Oh echoed. "Let us rampage together!" The robot then engaged the Zora creature in battle, managing to grapple with it in a match, before launching a projectile attack. "Dai Shuriken Crash!" Lion Ha-Ou threw one of its Shuriken at the creature, which was barely harmed. "What?"

"That should've done a lot more damage.", Yakumo noted. "We'll just have to keep pressing the attack." He leapt forward to deliver a kick, only for their foe to block with one of it's tails, knocking Lion Ha-Oh back several feet.

"Jetras Boomerang!" Seikuu-Oh soon appeared, launching a projectile at the creature, before landing next to Lion Ha-Oh. "Don't worry, Yakumo.", Miu radioed. "We're here to help fight this thing now."

"As am I.", Shinya announced as he appeared riding inside Seishinjuu Kouki. "Turtle Thunder!" He fired lightning at the creature, which actually seemed to cause it pain. "If mythology has taught me anything, it's that whenever a terrifying beast like this appears, it's always someone with thunder powers - Susanowō, Odin, Thor - who can make a dent in it."

"Wait, everybody.", Yakumo urged, holding both of them back. "Now that we're a certain distance away, that creature seems to be ignoring us." Sure enough, the creature had turned away from them, and was now stamping its feet. "If anything, it seems to be targeting our allies on the ground."


Sure enough, in the woods below, Momo and Naoto were trying to escort Kyoko to safety from the creature's stamping feet. "Prof. Kyoko, keep moving.", Momo urged. "We can't let that thing step on us."

"We probably won't get much of a choice in that matter.", Kyoko pointed out. "That monster is chasing us down."

"We'll have to hold it off then.", Naoto decided. He took out his DV Defender in Vulcan Mode, firing at the creature. But it had little, if any, effect.


"Hey, Aniki.", Toripter spoke up. "That creature seems like, it's trying to say something. But I can't make out much. Just a word."

"I'm hearing it too.", Jetras contributed. "A message in my head, a single word repeating itself endlessly."

"Eh?", Miu asked with shock. "What word?"

"'Sword'.", Jum-Bowhale spoke up. "But what it means, I can't possibly fathom."

"I might have an idea.", Yakumo stated as he took out the Gekiatsutou and leapt out of Lion Ha-Oh.

"Wait a minute, boy!", Lion Ha-Oh cried out. "What are you doing?"

But Yakumo didn't answer, merely going up to the shortest of the tails, inserting the sword into it. A new fully complete tail grew out of the stub, after which the creature stopped in its tracks and stood down. And then, it spoke for the first time, using Dr. Zora's voice. "Thank you, Yakumo Kato. Now that I am complete, I am bound to your debt."

Everyone was shocked by this. "How did you know that would work?", Kyoko asked.

"In the myth, Orochi was crippled when Susanowō cut off one of its tails to create a sword. And since this creature looked pretty much like Orochi, as we noted earlier, then it was also crippled, due to the tail being damaged. And since the Gekiatsutou was once a cursed sword, I figured I could use it as a substitute for this creature's… is there anything we can call you?"

"Very well, Yakumo Kato.", the creature responded. "I am Daihebi, guardian of the two who shaped this world. I was placed in the service of guarding from those who would take Amenonuhoko for themselves."

"Why do you resemble our enemy?", Shinya asked.

"I found the body of this being buried beneath the ground, Shinya Hiraga.", Daihebi answered. "Without a body of my own, I borrowed this in order to defend the tomb from defilers. But the evil essence permeating this body prevented me from fully controlling the body's motor functions, forcing me to focus on crushing you. But when Yakumo Katou inserted that sword, containing a distilled evil essence that I could control, I was able to take full control of this body."

"Wait, if you were focused on us…", Momo realised, before speaking up. "Did you see three other beings approaching this area?"

"The three Youkai, yes.", Daihebi nodded. "Their coming here was what prompted me to take on a bodily form once more, Momo Maruo. But alas, the size of this body is unwieldy in allowing me to stop them, so they managed to bypass me. They will be near the tomb in no time."

"What?", Naoto gasped. "Then we can't waste time getting there. We need to move quickly."

"I agree." A light flowed out of Dr. Zora's body, which disintegrated in the process, before entering Kyoko, causing her to gain an ornate set of robes. When she spoke again, it was with the same voice Daihebi had been borrowing. "Let us go." She raised her arms, causing all of Fractured Infinity to disappear in a flash of light.


Elsewhere, the Kibaoni party had found their way to the entrance to the Tomb of the Gods, where Kyoko's notes indicated that the Amenonuhoko was buried. "Looks like we've got a slight impediment.", Kuro Dwende nervously noted. "There's a large stone where we were told there was an entrance. Looks like we've come so far for nothing."

"You fool!", Mangetsu growled as he knocked Kuro Dwende aside, cutting the rock in half with his sword to reveal a pathway. "Clearly they didn't want anyone to get into the tomb. But they weren't counting on any of us cutting the rocks."

"How impressive, Mangetsu.", Ariake said, her heart barely in the mood. "Mother is so proud of you." The three then proceeded into the tunnel.

Not long after this, Daihebi and the Fractured Infinity members reappeared outside the tunnel. "Oh no, we're too late.", Miu realised. "They're already en route to the spear."

"Perhaps, but they do not possess it yet, Miu Sutou.", Daihebi stated, as she began to walk into the tunnel. "Come, we may still yet thwart them."

Everyone began to walk into the cave, except for Yakumo, who stopped Hiroto to ask something. "Did you bring the Generator?"

"I did.", Hiroto informed him, taking it out and giving it to Yakumo. "Do you think you'll need it for this?"

"You can never be too careful.", Yakumo answered as he walked into the cave, with Hiroto joining him.


And in the centre of the tomb, Mangetsu, Ariake and Kuro Dwende had made it to the centre. In this room, there were two coffins, one depicting a man with a beard, the other depicting a beautiful woman. "Well, it shouldn't be hard to figure out what to break open.", Kuro Dwende noted. "Hurry, my Lord. Destroy the female coffin!"

But as Mangetsu raised his sword to destroy the artefact, he paused to think about something. "You're suddenly a little too eager for me to do this.", he noted, before grabbing Kuro Dwende and slamming him into the wall. "What's with that, dwarf?"

"I-It's just that we can't waste much time.", Dwende offered. "Those humans will be here soon to stop us from remaking the world. We should hurry."

"Hold it right there!" A few shots fired before Naoto entered the room, followed by Momo, Shinya, Daihebi, the Wings and Yakumo. "You will not be taking Amenonuhoko from the tomb of my lady.", Daihebi declared.

"It's funny how you think you can dictate that.", Ariake laughed, before using the Gangataikaku to cut through the coffin of Izanagi, in which lay a body holding the Amenonuhoko, which she grabbed. "Now then, it seems to require that I recite this spell written on the pole." She then began reading it.

"That's not good.", Momo called out. "We need to get that spear away before Ariake finishes reciting the spell."

"I'm on it.", Yakumo announced as he held up the TRG, beginning to think.

But then Mangetsu leapt forward to grab the device before Yakumo could summon anything. "Why thank you, Ninja-bastard. I can use this." He then concentrated, calling forth a group of Jyukkarage. "Get them."

A fight broke out between the gathered heroes and the summoned grunts. Despite the best efforts of everyone, Fractured Infinity and Daihebi were unable to fight their way through the Jyukkarage before Ariake called out. "It's beginning to work."

"That's good.", Kuro Dwende announced as he and Mangetsu leapt over and put their hands on the Amenonuhoko. "Now all of us focus, picture the world you want to create, my Lady. As long as we hold onto this artefact, we won't be affected by the recreation of Japan."

Suddenly, the three were surrounded by a white glow, that began to expand. "Oh no.", Daihebi noted before leaping over to Yakumo, using her robe to cover his body. "We're too late to avert this. But perhaps, we can revert it." As she finished saying this, the whole cavern was covered by light, which expanded beyond it, covering the Mountains, and soon, the entire island of Japan.


Only 3 pages left until the end of the world.


Next time on Fractured Infinity…

"This world has been remade."

"Looks like it's all up to me."

"How naive."

Chapter 40: "Final Showdown! Igasaki vs Kibaoni!"

"Instead of hiding, we rampage!"