Well, Here we are again, It's always such a pleasure... okay, skipping that. (reference) Anyway, here's the next chapter. Enjoy.

The two clans crashed together, as the two spellcasters exchanged bolts. Fire met Thunder, Blade met Blade, and bone met bone. Zack struggled back away from his opponent, a Bangaa swinging a Falchion. He felt the metal clip his side, and the rush of pain, until he leapt forward, and the adrenaline of the battle swept all thought away. He wormed his blade under the Clanner's guard, and slashed upward, scoring a dent in the Warrior's jaw. The Bangaa then took a more practical approach, he tackled Zack, ramming his sword arm against the ground. As he lifted the Blade, a thin rapier sprouted from his chest. His grip loosened, and the rapier struck again. He fell howling. Panting, Zack took Hazel's offered hand, and they both jumped into the fray again.

A bolt of lighting almost fried him where he stood, but Hazel wasn't so lucky, she was thrown bodily into the wall and lay there, smoking. Zack's eyes darted around, finally settling on the Black Mage in the doorway, Gallahan still had his attention. Now! He ran full speed into him, swinging his sword. The mage panicked, clubbing him with a staff, and Zack attacked back with slashes. The heavy staff crashed down on his unprotected head once, twice, and then the mage lay still. Blinking the stars out of his eyes, he turned back to the battle, and was nearly taken out by a knife from a Moogle. Zack swung, but it was as if he was trying to hit air, everywhere he looked, the Moogle was behind him. He was almost stabbed twice, and he was sure that he had lost his wallet already. The little Thief dodged and whirled, leading Zack in a merry dance, and waving his wallet in his face, only to duck away from his sword swings. An idea, mad though it was, formed in Zack's head. He turned, and swung again, but the Thief dodged the singing blade and stuck his knife into Zack's arm. Quick as a snake, he yanked his arm back, tearing the knife out of the Moogle's hand. Pure shock showed on it's face, right up until Zack bashed it with his sword handle. The moogle fell like a furry rock. After obtaining his wallet, he looked back at the fight, but it was already over, Nero hit the last Borzoi right in the face, and he crumpled.

"The winner is Clan Kupo!" announced the Judge, and the judgepoints flew out.

After the Chocobo-rider had disappeared, the bartender walked up to the clan. "Thanks a bundle! You guys are plenty strong! Your food and drinks are on me tonight!"

"And, maybe you'd give us a discount on missions?" Will asked, lighting up one of his cigarettes.

The bartender smiled, "Only one, Will, only one."

"Ah well, good enough."

"Hey, can I pick the mission?" Zack asked eagerly. Nero rolled his eyes, but Will shrugged, "yeah, sure, let's wait till tomorrow, though, I'm beat."

Dinner was scrumptious, and the drink was just as good. When Zack rose from his sleep the next morning, he paused, and took out the Grimoire before going out. There was another page filled in.

The commoners had no idea what to make of it, their once great King had supposedly fallen ill and died, and the story that the palace was feeding everyone is that his secret wife and son had come to take the throne. And to make things worse, the queen had imposed laws on the engagements, the newly built prison was filling up fast. Also to make things worse, the palace has said that the old judgemaster resigned, and the job was taken over by the prince's father, Cid Randell. Ivalice was in uproar, and the resistance was rising again. Zack could do nothing but watch the Ivalice he almost knew dissolve.

Zack shivered, the last words had almost a chilling tone to them. He put it away and headed downstairs.

When Will finally tramped down the stairs, yawning, Zack walked up to the bartender. "Hey! The hero of the Prancing Chocobo! What can I do for ya?"

"What missions do you have?" Zack asked excitedly, and the bartender pulled up two lists for him. "Dispatch or battle?"


He nodded and put one away. "Here, take a look."

Lex walked up to the counter and tugged his sleeve. "What'd you pick, kupo?"

Zack grinned and handed him the list, "Third one down." Lex searched the list, then grinned back, "Perfect, kupo!"

The sun shifted overhead as Clan Kupo spotted the buildings of Sprohm over the hill.

Some one had come out to meet them, a nervous-looking man with a child by his side. "Oh, thank the gods you're here!" He shook all of their hands, "The Sprohm watch managed to trap them in the church, but we need more help."

"Don't worry," Will said, smiling past his usual cigarette, "monster slaying is good fun; we'll help you out."

The man led them into the town and up to the church. "Good luck!"

Zack took a deep breath, and flung the doors open.

Lex immediately ran in, adrenaline pumping through him, then immediately backed off. The largest Marlboros he'd ever seen had taken the church as their home. Purple slime lay everywhere, transforming the once holy place into a violet sea of gunk. One of the creatures turned, and gurgled a warning to the others. The five monsters began to crawl towards Lex, growling menacingly.

Nero broke the silence by doing only what he would do. Roaring, he leapt onto the largest one and stuck his fist into an eyeball. At that, the scene dissolved into chaos. As usual, Lex backed off a little and stood beside his brother, opening his Animist pouch. Deisel flipped a knife in his hand, then threw it, slicing off a tentacle that was strangling Nero. He dropped to the ground, wheezing, but Gallahan ran up to him and touched his palm to Nero's throat. The Bangaa straightened, patted Gallahan on the back, and ran roaring into battle again. Lex reached in his pouch and pulled out a sheep doll. He rang his bell, and the sheep grew and charged toward the monsters. It smashed into one, knocking it over. Will gave Lex the thumbs up, and proceeded to cut off all of it's tentacles from below. He raised the bell over his head, and it chimed twice. The sheep let out a mournful baaah and began to float around the Marlboros, all the while dropping a sparkling dust. Two of the creatures blinked, a ripple of movement, then slumped, sound asleep.

"There you go, kupo!" Lex said to the rest, "Rip em to shreds!"

Gallahan summoned up a large fireball, larger than the others, and shot it toward the sleeping figures, then Nero swung, and a ripple of air collided with them. One of them crumpled like an accordion, dead. Finally Hazel swung her rapier, and a purple blast of energy blew the other one apart. Gallahan turned to Lex, smiling happily."Lex, we-""Don't turn your back, kupo!" Deisel yelled, breaking into a run.

He was too late, far too late. With an awful snap, the Nu Mou disappeared into a gaping maw.

Suddenly, things began to go wrong. Lex's sheep was torn out of the air and gulped down. He winced as the teeth gnashed. "There goes my sheep. No more sleeping for these guys. You're gonna have to do it the hard way." Next, Will, on his forward rush, got clubbed from behind and fell unconscious. They were two men and a sheep down, and they had no healer. Zack dragged Will's body back to where Lex and Deisel were operating, and ran back in.

"Outstanding." Deisel grumbled, hurling another knife. It missed, and hit a pillar in the middle of the room. Lex rummaged through his bag, but stopped. "Damn!" he swore, "I forgot to restock after our last battle! I only have this one!" He pulled out a small box. "This will only make things worse though…" Nero crashed into the slime behind him as he spoke, bleeding in several places and out like a light. Lex looked back at the Marlboros, and saw one of them barf on Zack. Immediately, he began to shrink, vomiting as he did so, and feeling his way around, as if he no longer could… "Oh my Famfrit…" Lex breathed. A vomiting, blind toad lay on the floor where Zack had stood before. There were still two monsters left standing

"Lex!" Deisel snapped, "Use the Box! Now!"

He raised it over his head, and tentatively rang his bell. Light flashed, and the charging Marlboros fell back, screaming.

The box shattered, and a huge red form landed on the goop that covered the floor, fire streaming from it's roaring mouth. The slime ignited into a bonfire, burning everything it touched, including the Marlboros. They screamed, and shriveled, their corpses burning along with everything else. Fear had frozen Lex's feet to the ground, and he stared at the destruction with wide open eyes. "Come on, you idiot! MOVE, KUPO!"

Move! Move! MOVE!

In one giant sweep, Lex took the pouch from his side, ran and jumped toward the firewyrm. The pouch expanded, until he was holding a giant bag. With one final flap of his wings, he pulled the bag over the dragon. The fire disappeared, and all traces of monster inhabitance were gone. Except for one thing. A small dragon doll lying on the floor.

"The winner is Clan Kupo!" said the judge, "All wounded or dead fighters will be revived."

The moment Nero regained consciousness, he began badgering the newly alive Gallahan. "What the hell were you thinking? Did you not ssee that there were five! What in the name of Adrammelech went through your mind?" Gallahan hung his head, but Will interjected, "Come on, give him a break. If you just came back to life, you wouldn't want me yelling at you, would you?" Nero stumped off, muttering about how the other races had no discipline.

Lex walked over to Zack, and asked, "Hey, you alright, kupo?"

"Y-yeah, I sh-should be fine…" He said, and then immediately keeled over and vomited. "It's just not easy… b-being a toad."

I just had to end it on that line, I just had to... R&R please! :333