Chapter Seventy-Five

Outworld, Hours Later…

As the sun began to set for the day behind the tall mountains, all was quiet amongst the tournament grounds and the area around it. That is with the exception of the whistling winds that softly blew all around. Dust particles floated around and the stench of death could be sensed for countless yards.

The main palace where the tournament participants stayed at was now in ruins. Nothing remained of it except for the rubble which laid where the eight-story building once stood.

And around the palace grounds, countless corpses laid where they had fallen…the results of a long, ensuing battle that had taken place this morning. It was a battle where many fought for survival…and for others, it was a fight to consume as many souls as possible.

For these corpses, they were the unlucky ones. Their souls now entrapped, they are to face continuous torture, perhaps for all eternity.

Then, there were those who managed to escape Outworld. They were the lucky ones…

For now…

Shao Kahn's Fortress Grounds

Upon opening her eyes, Ivy found herself looking up at the blood red sky above. It then took another moment before she was able to smell the stench of smoke and debris.

Where… where am I? she asked herself.

After staring up for some time, Ivy began to slowly sit herself up. She felt a slight headache come over her and she held her head with one hand, blinking a few times. Ivy then looked forward and saw the large rubble of what was once Shao Kahn's fortress.

Now she was beginning to remember everything.

"How did this happen?" she asked herself.

Ivy glanced around for a moment and eventually saw her sword on the ground next to her. She took the sword's hilt in her hand before slowly getting herself back on her feet. Ivy looked up at the sky again. By the position of the sun, she knew that it would be dark at any moment.

The young woman took a deep breath. "Where do I go from here…?" she wondered out loud.

In the back of her mind, Ivy really wasn't sure of what to do. She had the feeling that, with all that has probably happened today, that she would end up having a hard time finding a way back to Keisei.

Looks like I'll be wandering around for a while, she thought.

With that, Ivy turned her back on where the fortress once stood. She only managed to take a few feet when a loud BOOM! reached her ears. She felt her heart jump from the sudden sound and she quickly turned her attention back to the fortress.

Ivy's blue eyes widened in surprise upon seeing a red beam shooting up from the rubble. It only reached about ten feet for a moment, the energy spinning clockwise in a slow speed. Seconds later, another BOOM! was heard, sending the beam shooting up just passed the trees. The energy released a large gust of wind which rapidly reached Ivy, the power of it forcing her to shield her eyes with her arm.

She wasn't sure exactly how long the gust lasted before it came to a complete stop. Slowly, Ivy removed her arm, looking back at the rubble. She raised an eyebrow as, aside from some rocks being pushed away from where the beam was, nothing was there.

However, that didn't last too long. A small group of rocks were suddenly pushed upward as a hand reached out towards the sky. The hand then formed into a fist before more rocks were pushed up with force.

Ivy stood where she was as she watched this unfold. Soon, the person emerged from the rocks and slowly stood himself up, his back facing her. She didn't even have to see his face to know who it was.

"Shao Kahn…"

Indeed it was the Outworld Emperor…but he was a bit different. Any part of his clothing that was red was now a jet black and all of his silver armor was now a charcoal color.

And through his cape, a red kanji for 'ten' glowed on his back, only slightly visible from behind his charred cape.

However, it wasn't Shao Kahn's new appearance that startled Ivy…

It was the fact that he was holding Soul Edge in his right hand…

Ivy gasped in horror upon seeing the cursed sword. "No! When will this nightmare end?!"

Moments later, Shao Kahn lifted the sword above his head with a single hand. He then grabbed the other end of the sword with his other free hand. The eye on the sword seemed to look around a bit as though it was confused by what was going on.

Then… with one quick snap, Shao Kahn shattered the sword into pieces.

Ivy eyes widened upon seeing this, never expecting for him to do that. She saw the shattered fragments of the sword fall around him along with the red energy that had been within the sword.

Once the pieces have fallen, Shao Kahn raised his left hand. Then, Ivy could only watch in awe as he absorbed the red energy into his hand, leaving nothing left in the air.

Ivy wasn't sure how to react. She always thought that she would finally feel relieved upon Soul Edge's destruction. However, with the current circumstances, she felt a bit confused…

To her, it seemed as though she had underestimated the Emperor's power…and she had the feeling that everyone else did as well. Not only that, but it seemed that he somehow gained more power. However, she wasn't sure, but whatever it was, it was somehow able to help him withstand the sword's power.

Not even a minute passed after the shattering of Soul Edge when Shao Kahn slowly turned around to face Ivy. Upon his stare, Ivy felt frozen in her place as she gazed as his red eyes, which seemed to glow more than ever.

Shao Kahn lifted a hand and slowly motioned her towards him. "Come forward, Ivy. Do not fear me."

Ivy admitted to herself that she was feeling a bit uneasy… however, she wasn't afraid of him. Perhaps it was because of all the generosity he offered her ever since she came to Outworld.

And perhaps it was because he helped her, most likely unknowingly, in destroying Soul Edge once and for all.

Slowly, Ivy began to approach Shao Kahn. Unknown to her, her feet passed the Chishio No Me medallion. As they passed, the medallion began to slowly burn away into ashes as a result of Soul Edge's destruction. Afterwards, the ashes were brushed away, the countless pieces separating themselves into different directions.

After walking through the rubble, Ivy finally reached Shao Kahn, his towering form standing over her. The two found themselves staring at each other for a moment before Shao Kahn slowly reached a hand up and softly brushed Ivy's cheek with the back of his fingers.

"There is no need to worry about Soul Edge," he said. "I am in full control of it's power. With this along with another new power source I received today…we shall rule the realms. And no one will defy us."

Ivy stared up at him as she listened. His words seemed to give her confidence. If he was able to destroy a powerful artifact such as Soul Edge, then imagine what he could do to the realms.

In reply, Ivy reached her hands up and slightly pushed his helmet up a bit. She glanced into his eyes for just another moment before she leaned up towards him and pressed her lips against his. Shao Kahn immediately returned the deep kiss, wrapping his strong arms around her, making her moan into his mouth in reply…

…As the Emperor and Empress of Outworld, they would follow on their word to dominate the realms. Soon, the entire universe will fear the names Shao Kahn and Ivy Valentine…

Chishio No Me was only the beginning…

The End


and so, we finally reached the conclusion of the first part of a trilogy. This fic was two years and four months in the making, but it was one heck of a ride and I look forward to doing it all over again with it's sequel, "Ano Sentaku Bou!" Expect the fic to debut in December 2007 or January 2008.

And now for my fic-ending tradition…

First off, I'd like to give a special thank you to MetadragonX, my beta reader and my main supporter. If it wasn't for you, this fic may not have existed. Thank you for all of your support and suggestions…and for putting up with me while writing the fic.

Another big thanks goes to Metal Harbinger for some of your suggestions and contributing a great amount to the fic's soundtrack.

More big thanks to my other main reviewers… MiggyMeista, Jamesbuc, writer6886, twistedwriter101, and Chan Yoruyamatiha.

Thank you DeNice for letting me use Yin in this fic.

I also like to thank even more reviewers, including the one-timers; Xardion, Kikoken, Namiya, bushinguy, Dilasc, Zindakku Hirokai, Sindel, HotShot14, InnocentSiegfried, Slade2.0, blazer-6, Ulquiorra Lucifer, Robot Dog, The Random Reviewer, Bonchilla, qwerty, thames, Methodical Mistress, aznelemants, skyvoices, LordParagon, HevnoAngered, Sweet-Blue-Mint, Chicagokid23, Speed Reader, and Alec.

To the non-reviewers and the future reviewers, thank you for the read.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone and stayed tune for the sequel!