Hikari, Rei and Shirou star in another story! The story is called 'The Spear that guards the Priestess', written by JFai! If interested, go to my favorites or his page and read it!

I thank my awesome Co-Writer, Shadow Ninja Koopa, for all the help he has given me! And on that note….I kinda changed the order…..sorry….

NO REVIEW REPLIES THIS CHAPTER!

Warnings: Blood, death (Manikins…will…die!), OC involvement, maybe some OOC. MAYBE. Still having trouble with some character personalities. ESPECIALLY Kefka...stupid homicidal joker expy!

Disclaimer: NO MORE! I AM SICK OF THESE YOU KNOW THE TRUTH!

Once again I thank my lovely Beta-Reader for taking the time out of her busy schedule to actually look at an amateur's work! T^T I love you girl!

"Blahblahblah"-Talking

'Blahblahblah'-Thinking

/Blahblahblah/-Telepathy

"Blahblahblah"-Speaker Phone

"Blahblahblah"-Communicator

Chapter XXIV: Summoners vs. Warriors

The ground shook slightly as Shirou collided with it. "Stupid armor," he grumbled as he forced himself onto his legs. The battle had only just begun and yet already he had been tossed around like a rag doll. Who knew the Warlock was stronger than he looked?

"Are you sure you wish to do this?" Golbez asked. "I would prefer you to stand down."

"Shut it, I have to do something right?" With that Shirou charged forwards, intent to harm appearing in his eyes. Golbez sighed at the pride the boy had, before he backhanded him back to the ground where he had come from. This time however, Shirou's head was stuck in the ground. Using his hands and feet, the male managed to pull his head out like a weed being pulled out. Dirt covered his angry face as he turned around, glaring at the warlock.

"GRAAAH! DAMMIT WHO SAID YOU GUYS GET TO BE THIS STRONG!" The black haired summoner pointed at the Warlock, looking like a child accusing someone of stealing.

"Through training...And through my sins that I have committed. Shirou, was it? What would you do to help your friends?"

"What would I do?" Shirou questioned before grinning at the man. "What I normally do, whatever I can do to save them!" With that he charged forward again before getting knocked back by several floating rocks.

"You care for them deeply... But is it only the priestess you care for or do you care for all of them?" Shirou released a small gasp under his breath. Did he really care for everyone else? He knew he cared for Cecil and Hikari…

Wait...did he truly care for her?

Golbez took advantage of his distraction, and sent him flying into a nearby rock, the item shattering on impact. Blood and spit flew out of Shirou's open mouth as he slid to the ground. Cecil remained off to the side, watching the battle obediently, but his mind was of a different tale.

'Shirou...it's impossible…you can't defeat my brother...please stop...stop and run…' No matter how many times he pleaded, the voice would not reach. Shirou groaned heavily, struggling as he raised himself from the ground. Damn he hated losing, that was the one thought that ran through his head as he stood up.

"Stop distracting me, damn it." Shirou groaned as he wiped the blood of his face. "I'll think about this stuff afterwards ok? And my answer will come when I beat you down!" Slamming a fist into the ground, earth and stone began to cover halfway up his arm. "Since you use earth, I'll give it right back!" With that, the boy ran forward, his elemental fist ready to punish his foe. Raising an unseen eyebrow, Golbez levitated more boulders to act as a shield. With one punch, the barrier failed as Shirou charged through, his newly created gauntlet slamming into the armored chest of his opponent.

A grunt was heard from the warlock as his left arm grabbed the boy and tossed him away from his person. "Impressive, you were able to harm me." The man said as he looked down at his dented armor.

"That was nothing." Shirou boasted before he charged forward again. "This time I will rip it off!"

Waving his hand, Golbez summoned three nodes that began to fire the small orange/red lasers at the boy. Shirou tripped forward, shocked by the move Golbez used before the lasers began to shock him physically.

'Hikari never mentioned he could do this? Is this something new or...' As that thought entered his mind he stopped moving as the beams of energy assaulted his body. 'Did she... Did she lie to me about his moves?' He continued to dodge his attacks, trying his best to make sure not one nicked him. 'No...she wouldn't lie in this type of situation, there's too many risks. Even if she has the right to see me die, she isn't that type of person!' Shirou gathered energy in his arm, and slammed his fist into the ground, the rocks traveling around his arm before attaching to it like magnets to steel. The boy ran towards the warlock, only to be met with a barrage of laser from the three nods in the air. Blue eyes narrowed as he used his arm as a shield, charging forth till the gravel completely disintegrated, but that didn't stop him. With the new free movement Shirou smirked before propelling himself before the Warlock.

With concentration, the boy slammed his fist into the warlock's stomach, shattering the armor there and landing a blow to the male's stomach. Golbez fell backwards as he felt the blow from Shirou. It wasn't the strongest blow in the world due to his chest plate absorbing most of the impact but it still hurt slightly. "To break my armor... Very few can do that. I'll have to recreate it later, but for now..." A circle of electricity formed underneath Shirou as bolts coursed through his body. "Endure this!" A final bolt sent Shirou into the air, causing him to struggle. The boy looked down as a Firaga followed him, the flames catching him in the chest causing a scream of pain to escape his mouth.

"Fuck!" Shirou growled as he landed on the ground, his chest heavily burned. "Note to self, don't break this guy's armor." Shirou hissed as he patted his chest over and over, dousing the flames, or attempting to. The male stood up, and once again, Golbez was just floating in midair, not giving a damn. "You know…there's only so much a guy can take of being mocked…"

"Your determination to save my brother is admirable. If it was up to me I would let him go, but I cannot do that until he has relinquished his crystal."

"Crystal?" This caused Shirou to raise an eyebrow, till he remembered the conversation with Cosmos. In mere seconds black wisps enveloped him, wrapping around him to prevent an escape. Shirou cursed under his breath as Golbez sighed. He knew who the perpetrator was. Behind the warlock a rather angry looking Chaos Summoner appeared, mumbling and cursing under his breathe.

"Why are you not by the Stigma?"

"Because a fucking spell fucked us all up. So we decided to split up and fuck everything up for everyone else. That and I got bored." Nero grinned as he looked upon the damaged form of Shirou. "Well pup, hate to barge into your fight but I want a go."

"Get lost and don't call me pup!" Shirou yelled as he struggled at the dark binds. "Don't you have bitches to date and I don't mean humans."

"Oh so you learned I'm a Lycan huh? Well then..." The binds around Shirou tightened as the wolf man chuckled. "Wait... Why am I binding you if I want to fight... Ahh screw it."

"You know what? I'm sick of hearing you talk!" The younger male's right arm burst out of the darkness and ripped the binds off him. "You want a fight, fine. Sorry Golbez but we have to call our fight a draw." Dark wisps floated off his body unnoticed to him yet Nero narrowed his eyes in interest.

"Very well, we shall call our match a draw." Golbez stated yet knowing if it continued he would have won. "Nero, do me a favor and go easier on him than usual."

"Fine, fine. I'll go one eighth of my power on him, happy?"

POW!

Shirou's fist collided with Nero's face, Shirou placing everything in him to get the first blow, and it was enough to get Nero to stumble. The male held his face in shock. "I've been waiting to do that for the past ten minutes!" The smirk on Shirou's face was near identical to Nero's, sadistic and blood thirsty.

"Okay….SCREW THE LIMITATION!" Nero's eyes flashed gold as he charged, fist curled ready to punch, only to be met with Shirou's own punch. The force between the two was enough to cause a massive shockwave that echoed through the region, startling some birds in nearby trees.

"I'm not the weakling you fought back then, I'm stronger than before!" Shirou growled.

"Heh, you just might be…but..." A blow to the stomach caused Shirou to drop, followed by an elbow to the back. "I'm still stronger!"

"Yeah... But you're stupider then me!" With an uppercut, Shirou slammed his fist into his foe's chin, a white fang falling from Nero's mouth. The Lycan stood frozen before he started to shake as blood fell from his mouth.

"Haa...hahaha...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Nero's eyes turned pure gold; no pupils remained as he turned to the moon. "AROOOOOOOOHHHHHH!" The shadows wrapped around the silver haired male, trapping him in a black cocoon.

"No Nero!" Golbez' panicked voice echoed through the area. If the warlock was worried, then Cecil and Shirou were worried also. However, Shirou wasn't panicking, rather, only his eyes were widened, not in fear, but in shock. The shadows began to melt off, and instead of a person, left in the place of the Chaos Summoner was a large black wolf, gold eyes like the sun shining deep into Shirou's virgin blue orbs. The boy took a step back as the wolf got onto its hind haunches, standing straight up like a human.

"Impossible…" Shirou shook his head.

"Boy, run!" Golbez' words fell on deaf ears. Shirou continued shaking his head. He couldn't believe it. The wolf walked towards him as the boy stepped back.

"This isn't…this is…" A loud roar into the night sky.

"Exactly…how I transform!" With a single head butt, Nero forced Shirou to his knees before grabbing him by the neck. Clenching his fist against Shirou's neck, Nero's claws stabbing through before slamming him into the ground knocking his foe out. With a bestial growl he grabbed his foe's arm and began to try and rip it from the socket.

"Enough Nero." A slap to the head caused the Lycan to growl at the Warlock, who unleashed his magical pressure.

"Grrr...Fine!" Nero's eyes changed from gold to their normal color. Letting go of his opponent's arm, letting the body go limp on the ground. "He's going to feel that in the morning. Oi, Cecil! Pick this up for us will you, oh and Golbez can I join the second phase?"

The Warlock said nothing as he watched his brother pick up the knocked out teen. 'Is this the way it has to go? Or could there be another way that I am missing?'

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The black haired jewel summoner stood behind her two eidolons, the empress of ice, Shiva and, the sage of thunder, Ramuh. Both were powerhouses and the ones chosen by Rei to fight against the odds of the snake like Emperor and Firion. A snake like smile appeared on his highness' face.

"Impressive. I never heard of a summoner able to handle TWO eidolons."

"Comes to show my training paid off…" Rei answered proudly, her arms across her chest as her entire body radiated confidence.

"I see, Firion. Defeat her." The warrior of the rose ran forward, his axe in hand. Shiva floated in front, frost floating in between her fingers before being sent forward as a frozen wave. The brainwashed warrior shivered from the cold as he grabbed his stave and called upon small fire balls to combat the frost. Seeing that her frost had failed, Shiva flew in closer, her hands waving before dropping a stalactite on the warrior. An ax was thrown upwards as the block of ice was sliced in two before fire struck the ice queen. A frown appeared on the eidolon's face, as the (in her opinion) handsome male burned her. Ice gathered around Firion before Shiva clenched her fists. Ice zoomed up Firion's legs before covering his whole body leaving him trapped in a crystal like prison.

"Seems the cog has rusted." The Emperor mused as he moved his head to avoid a bolt of lightning. "No matter, I still have the upper hand."

"We both know that's false." Rei answered back but inside she was worried. Spells of thunder and ice were missing, The Emperor was barely moving and yet the spells kept missing. 'Is this because my concentration is split between the two?' She questioned as a bolt struck the ruler's feet.

"I'm rather disappointed in your eidolons; they can't seem to hit a moving target, how quaint…"

Snap…

"I'LL SHOW YOU WHAT CAN'T HIT A MOVING TARGET!" Rei's lack of patience drained instantly. She hated this smug ass royal bastard, she hated him! Her anger was channeled within Ramuh and Shiva as both prepared their ultimate spells. Rei was planning for a one kill move. The Emperor chuckled, amused by the girl's lack of patience and her foolish attempt at his life.

"Perhaps I should start to get serious," from The Emperor's hands several balls of flare grew before they were launched towards the ground. As they collided with the earth, dust and smoke rose causing Rei to shut her eyes. Her hands slammed onto her ears as his smug laughter began to ring in her ears. Damn this man!

As the dust settled, The Emperor smirked at her from his spot as he lazily floated in the sky in a relaxing pose. "Well, shall we continue?"

Rei's teeth began to grind together thanks to the... Monster in front of her. "Shiva, Ramuh go!" The two Eidolons floated forward at a fast speed before the ground lit up. A sigil rose from the ground as purple lightning lit up the two summons, Shiva falling to her knees as Ramuh continued his approach. Ramuh channeled his energy into the staff he was so proud of, but during the process several arrows flew in his direction, piercing him as the energy projectiles exploded on impact. The perpetrator was a thawed out Firion, who only dashed forward. Drawing his sword the rebel slashed at the Eidolon, forcing him back with each slash till the final one caused him to be blown back [Swordslash (Ground)].

The rebel knelton the ground, panting lightly due to the amount of force he had to utilize to even force the massive Eidolon back. The silverette felt a chill down his spine and leapt, barely avoiding an oncoming rush of icicle's raining down on the spot he was at. Shiva was once again active, dancing in midair as a continuous rain of ice fell down from the heavens, intending to hit the brainwashed warrior. The Empress of Ice stopped, concentrating as she placed her hands together.

Slowly she pulled them apart, an ice ball generating in her hands. The ball grew into a massive orb, Shiva lifting the ball into the air before throwing it at the tired warrior. Firion gritted his teeth before lifting his small shield. The ball did not collide with the silverette's body, rather it hit a projected shield larger than the one Firion wore [Shield Bash]. In retaliation, the warrior threw a volley of daggers at Shiva, not one hitting her due to her countering with her own volley of small Blizzard spells.

Ramuh was set to unleash his own thunder spell, when another glyph beneath him activated, several orbs of compressed power circling the old mage. The orbs exploded, causing more smoke to cover the area. The jewel summoner was slowly going into a daze. The two eidolons were draining her energy quickly and there wasn't much she could do about it. The smoke soon cleared, and Rei wish it didn't.

Surrounding the Eidolons was an array of glyphs, all casted by the Emperor. A smirk laced his face. In mere seconds the glyphs activated, a barrage of lightning bolts releasing. The Eidolons cried out in pain, Rei covering her ears due to the high shrill of the Empress. Slowly, the ice maiden disintegrated, completely vanishing in thin air, the only thing left of her body a floating crystal that cracked.

"Ramuh, Judgment Bolt!" Rei shouted. Sparks cracked around Ramuh's staff as white lightning began to form at the top. Seeing an opportunity, the brain washed warrior prepared his ax to toss at the female of the battle. As the intense bolt of lightning hurdled towards The Emperor, it curved. The white bolt altered its course towards Firion's ax sending thousands of bolts rushing through his body. "Firion!" Rei screamed. Smoke rose from the rebel's body as he aimed an arrow at the summoner, his body rising lightly up and down. As the arrow was launched he collapsed onto one knee.

The arrow flew past Rei's hair as she watched in horror. "Seems the shield worked well," a glyph formed before the smirking Emperor as he smiled. "Just one to go I believe." Three bullets of a light purple arose from the symbol as they zoomed towards the sage. Electricity spun around Ramuh as the bullets fell apart causing The Emperor to frown for the first time since the battle started. Even so the onslaught of bullets continued, Ramuh disintegrating them with every lightning bolt he unleashed.

'What am I doing standing around?!' Rei growled at herself, pulling out three ruby gems as she began chanting in a low tone. A red spell circle formed around her hands. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust-"

She never got to finish. Her chest collapsed on itself, the girl's eyes widened. Immediately she landed on her knees, coughing in intervals. On her tenth cough the girl looked at her hand. Dark liquid was sprayed on it. It was almost black, like a foreign object in her body. But she knew better, she knew what the drops were; blood.

'My body is already collapsing...I'm losing time…' Thunder crackled in the air as Ramuh continued his onslaught of thunderbolts at the evading Emperor and Rebel. The gold chaos warrior hovered around the battle field, watching the Eidolon's movements with keen interest. A glimmer of light caught his attention. Behind him, a glyph formed, a bright yellow glow emanating form the rune in midair. The slit iris dilated as an explosion overtook the area, along with him. Firion turned around, ready to sprint off to protect the Emperor, only to be stopped by similar color chains that erupted from the ground. The culprit for both spells was Rei, holding out her hand as it glowed a soft red.

"Alright...I'm done playing…" The girl slowly gripped her fingers, rolling them to form a fist. As she did, the chains binding Firion began to tighten, causing him to scrunch his face and grunt. She continued the hand motion, her actions crushing Firion's body with the tightening of the magical chains. Firion grunted louder before screaming. In mere seconds he was able to destroy the magical chains and charged at the girl. Rei smirked, her eyes hidden by the raven colored bangs. Firion was unable to touch her as a barrier formed in front of her. The rebel backtracked, but then jumped to the left, narrowly dodging a thunderbolt from the Eidolon.

'Die, die, die...' Those words repeated in Rei's head as an onslaught of thunder crashed to the ground, slamming into Firion again and again. The man cried out in pain yet no one was listening to his screams. "Die!" Rei yelled out as white sparks began to charge up and down Ramuh's staff. "Judgment..."

AROOOOOO!

The sound of a wolf caught the attention of those in the battle. A sharp pain struck the summoner's head forcing her to the ground, Ramuh vanishing due to his summoner's pain. "What was I…"

"My, my, now that was impressive." Weakly looking up, Rei watched as The Emperor stepped towards her, marks of dust covered parts of his armor as minor scratches covered his face. "Such a shame about your control but I'm sure we can overlook that. Now, my offer still stands. Join me, Miss Tachibana."

"Get that tiny molecule you call a brain out of your ass and listen. For the last time, 'Your Highness'...the answer is no!" Rei defiantly yelled. The Emperor retained a serious face, till it lightened. She didn't understand why, but a nagging feeling was bothering her in the pit of her stomach, one telling her to run. The eyes of the Emperor lightly glared at the Summoner, no longer seeing her as a person, but as something less than human.

"Such a shame then. Firion, kill her!" The rebel nodded as he walked forward, his ax ready to cleave through his ex-summoner's skull. As the weapon prepared to strike Rei down, a red ax-scythe blocked the attack. Brynhildr emerged from a blue aura, her weapon glowing red hot as she forced Firion back before slashing him from the top left to the bottom right of his body.

"Brynhildr?" Rei questioned before shrugging it off. 'This is my last chance,' she realized. 'I have to make this is count.'

"Take him out!" The Valkyrie nodded as it went off to end the ruler's life.

"Another one? And I thought you would be out of magic." Flare formed in his hands before it was sent towards the Avatar who allowed it to strike her. "It can absorb fire spells? I thought it was of ice." He was forced to move as Brynhildr cut his chest with her weapon. Blood fell to the ground as The Emperor looked in in shock. "To harm me... The ruler of Palamecia... It is a mistake to let you live after all."

Brynhildr charged at the Emperor, holding her scythe with both hands as she began slashing away, trying to once again injure the Chaos warrior. The Emperor wouldn't have then and dodged once, letting his staff hover in midair. The eidolon-avatar stopped her assaults. In that time, fire began circling around the scythe end of the Valkyrie's weapon. The fire grew to become a fireball that was the size of the scythe. Twirling the bladed staff, the avatar threw the fireball at the Emperor, her own version of Flare colliding with the Emperor's body. A loud scream erupted from the Chaos warrior, the flames incinerating his cape and charred parts of his body.

"And that hit a moving target!" Rei shouted, barely holding herself up from the ground. Brynhildr charged into the smoke, her weapon slicing through it yet there was nothing hiding inside of it. Looking around carefully, Rei noticed an orange orb attach itself to her summon's back. Before she could give a warning it exploded causing Rei to scream in pain. As the Avatar bounced on the ground The Emperor's staff struck her in the face, planting purple mines on it. As the mines exploded and Rei gave another scream, several more of the same purple mines floated in midair causing Brynhildr to crash into each one forcefully dispelling the being. As Rei collapsed on the ground, blood flowing from her mouth, the burnt Emperor reappeared in front of her.

"Now, I'm stuck with two worthless tools and one captive," The Emperor mused before an idea began to plot itself. "But perhaps an advantage has shown itself." Waving his staff on the ground, a seal appeared teleporting the unconscious duo and the victor away from where the fight took place.

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Zidane and Kuja were once again searching for the ninja, the lolita fashion loving girl vanishing in thin air moments after the battle had started, possibly once again planning on tormenting them with various traps. Both genomes were on guard, each planning to counter should they spot one.

SNAP!

Zidane looked down. He stepped on a wire. Immediately both genomes move to the right, a log passing by them both, one that was aimed at them.

"Must we play around like animals?" Kuja asked as he floated to a higher spot, his eyes looking for anything out of the ordinary. "I would prefer it if you would just give up... Oof." A second log caught the narcissist in the back sending him into a nearby tree. Removing the bark from his face, Kuja was happy to note there was no damage to his face. "Must we resort to such idle trickery?"

A mocking laugh was heard in the distance yet it seemed to come from all around the forest, not just one spot. Moving away from the imprint on the tree, a net was launched towards Kuja, small bolts of electricity revolving around the cables. Commanding his orbs to rip the net to bits, Kuja watched as it fell to the ground harmlessly. His trained ears caught hint of something moving behind him and with a sudden dive, black steel kunai were dodged with ease.

Zidane mentally groaned as he jumped over a large boulder, this battle was nothing but a disaster in his eyes. 'If I get out of here, Kanna is not allowed to use these things on an ally, ever!' As he thought this, a smaller boulder caught him in the stomach, causing the thief and stone to roll towards the larger one. 'This is going to hurt.' Without being able to close his eyes, the genome had struck the large rock head on. 'Oww!'

The monkey tailed boy was in a daze, wobbling left, then right, the small boulder still coming at him. Luckily he wobbled to the right, the small boulder crashing into the larger one, shattering into pieces as the larger one remained intact. Kuja watched as Zidane came back to his senses shaking his head as he stepped forward.

At that moment the ground beneath Zidane collapsed, taking Zidane with it.

"A pitfall trap as well…" Kuja muttered as he levitated towards the hole. His right eyebrow raised, giving off a questionable look. In mere seconds Zidane was out, now tumbling in the air. The feminine looking Chaos Warrior looked into the hole, seeing a long, black cord nailed inside the hole.

As for Zidane, he landed nearby the warrior, his body slamming into a few trees until he finally rested on the ground. A large groan of pain exited the blond's mouth, the Cosmos Warrior struggling to get up. His right hand pressed into the ground, acting as leverage.

beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. beep.

Red dots surrounded the warriors, and only one of them knew what the red dots meant.

'Dammit Kanna!'

BOOM!

A large explosion went off through the forest, the Ninja a good distance away as she watched the carnage unfold. Taking off the tiny binoculars, the girl grimaced at one fact.

"I hope I didn't kill him…."

AROOO!

Kanna flinched at the sound of howling, looking left and right to try and find the source.

Kuja frowned deeply as he watched his reluctant ally fly off into the distance. 'As much as using Ultima or my symphony would help tracking her down, we need her alive. This play would be much more interesting of a tragedy if she could be killed.' Floating over to a nearby branch, the Genome landed softly his orbs rotating around him in perfect unison. "Now it is the conductor's turn," as if controlling an orchestra, Kuja began to wave his hands as if they were a baton. The orbs responded in turn as they flew off in to the trees, crashing into anything to force the ninja to come out.

After a minute had past, Kuja recalled his magic to him. Disappointed in his failure, he leapt back into the air with grace. His ears caught the sound of something flying towards him yet before he could turn, the kunai scratched his cheek. As blood slowly ran down his face, Kuja paused, his mind trying to work out what happened.

"That might have been a mistake..." Kanna whispered as the actor began to shake with insanity.

"You... You dare touch my face!?" His orbs became a maelstrom of magic as they flew around him. "You will pay for this outrage!" Soaring into the air, a ring forming below him Kuja began to toss orbs of dark fire towards anything that dared to oppose him [Force Symphony]. Immediately, several traps were activated, ranging from more explosions to throwing weapons, all of which were annihilated thanks to the dark flames Kuja unleashed.

Sweat fell from Kanna's face as she leapt to another tree, Kuja's next attack destroying her original hiding spot. If she knew harming his face was a no-no she would have aimed for his clothes. 'Wait, they are well made...Arm then.' The tree next to her exploded into flames as the angel of death began to calm down slightly. 'Ok, ribbons go.'

From several branches, ribbons of black night emerged and raced towards Kuja. With a smirk on his face, the man flew through the trees causing the ribbons to tangle up and become useless. "I must be getting the hang of your little traps, my dear." He spoke before destroying an incoming log. "And next up, boulders." From below him the boulders tumbled harmlessly throughout the forest. "Are simple cues all you are capable of, I expected more from such a talented designer."

BAM!

A log slammed into Kuja's side, causing him to crash into a tree but not break it. Pure white ribbons appeared from all sides, capturing Kuja and tying him to the tree. Zidane narrowed his eyes. The ninja was nearby, hopefully. Zidane pushed the two ends of the blade's handles together, rotating the weapons like a baton. A storm of energy began to surround Zidane, a tornado of runes drawing in everything nearby. Kanna flinched before jumping to another tree, barely able to avoid the powerful energy trying to draw her in. The girl hissed, it was like trying to outrun a tornado! Kanna knew the energy was too strong for her, she was just too light, so she decided to throw several kunai, each with a letter bomb tied at the end. Zidane noticed the letter bombs approach, and before they could hit the tornado of energy, Zidane dispelled the magic, the items exploding in midair surrounding them.

The sudden explosive burst caused Kanna to become visible as her hiding spot was seen to her opponents. Cursing, the woman leaped towards another area avoiding an attack from Zidane. Running along the branches, the ninja began to throw shurikens to force Zidane to back off. As she jumped off the tree, three rings of blue and white intercepted her and struck her head [Ring Holy]. Her jump ruined, Kanna fell-slamming into branches on the way down.

"My, my. So you finally step in to the spotlight but I'm afraid there is only room for me." Kuja spoke as he landed next to her. "It also seems your little gift failed when you were startled. What a shame that is."

"Yeah, good thing I bought extras!" With a smirk, she vaulted over Kuja's head, her hand messing his fluffy hair. 'Ow, my back,' she mentally groaned as she ran around Zidane. 'That will leave a bruise.'

"How dare that oglop place a hand on my hair?" Kuja grumbled as he began to move it back to its original position. "Such a brat..." He stopped as he felt something wet on his hands. Taking his hand out of his head, he realized blood was all over his hand. "I will make the next few seconds of her life miserable and painful." The man growled as his eyes glowed with power. "Trance is far too much for now but...Ultima is still an option!"

At his words the genome concentrated his energy, several orbs of black magic surrounding him. In seconds the orbs vanished, causing the ninja to raise an eyebrow. A light electrical current ran through her head. The woman leapt to the right, dodging one of the magic compressed orbs nearly rained on her. Even so they continued to track the girl.

"Damn I was expecting more from the legendary black magic!" The girl smirked, proud of her evasion skills. The girl's eyes returned to gaze at the scenery in front of her as she ran, only to see Zidane in front of her. A rune generated between the ninja and the thief, the blond slamming his twin daggers into the rune [Free Energy]. Kanna's eyes widened before the explosion covered her body, causing her to fly into the raining Ultima orbs. A loud scream ripped from the girl's mouth as both explosions took their toll on the girl. Now lying on the ground, steam hissing from her body, the now purple haired highlighted girl struggled to get up, purple highlights mixing in with her dark gray hair.

"I believe the curtains have now set. You have lost my dear." Kuja said as he floated above her, his orbs pointed at her arms, legs and head. "But do not worry, you will see your friends soon enough."

"You think I'm finished? Sorry but I can keep going." Grasping a kunai in her hand, Kanna rolled onto her back letting loose a hiss of pain as she aimed the dagger at the effeminate man. A foot on her stomach caused her to turn as Zidane placed his daggers at her neck. Knowing she was now finished, she lowered her weapon before shutting her eyes. "Alright, I'm done. Do me a favor and tell me who designed your outfit, it's actually really good."

"I'm glad someone appreciates my art, but don't think you can leave using flattery."

'Seriously you made that? Them goes my ideas for a collaboration.' Zidane stared at the two, his eyes black yet his mind annoyed. 'Really, they are bonding over fashion? She's getting along better with him then I ever did. But what did he mean by meeting her friends soon?'

BOOM!

A pillar of light pierced through the darkness, electricity of pure ivory circling it. Kanna could only watch in amazement as the pillar disappeared as quickly as it came, leaving a few trails of lightning barely able to reach the sky. "Just….what the…what WAS that!?"

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Chantez and Onion Knight continued clashing blades, Chantez holding her Tonfas out against her arms, protecting herself from the vicious attacks of the Cosmos Warrior. The little knight continued with thrusts in a typical 1-2-3 manor. Chantez blocked left, right, left, right. She kept the tonfas against her arms, but the thrusts were strong and forcing the blades into her skin, slightly piercing her pale skin to reveal red blood. Blue eyes were not closed, but were squinting as she used her speed to keep up with the male child, but it was still a close call as the Knight was aiming for her vitals.

The short sword was ready to dig into the nun's side. Block. The little nun protected her right side. Red-orange hair fluttered as her body twirled, dodging another attempt at her life. Left, right, left, right, front, Chantez was trying to watch him but she was steadily losing track of him. The knight vanished from her vision. A loud gasp exited the nun's mouth.

BAM!

The nun was flung into the air [Multi-Hit]. Onion Knight charged at her. Blue eyes widened in fear as electricity generated around her body. The blade slammed against her tonfa, acting as a rod to generate the electricity to Onion's body, electrocuting him as he grunted in pain. Chantez took the opportunity, slamming her tonfa into the male's body, effectively sending him to the ground.

Chantez landed on her feet, her face twisted as she gritted her teeth and widened her eyes. A numbing feeling traveled up her legs that caused her to stumble before landing on her behind. Dust kicked up in the air around her and of the spot where Onion Knight landed. The girl took a few short breaths. A large dust cloud erupted and from it came the Onion Knight, sword at ready to stab her through the chest. Tears grew at the corner of her eyes as lightning circled around her, protecting her from the assaulting orange haired knight. The time gave her enough to stand up and ready herself once more for battle.

Off to the side the Cloud of Darkness was watching, floating there as she let the Cosmos Warrior assault the Nun alone. Even if she was doing nothing, seeming to look bored, there was a rather crooked smile on her face.

"That's right. Continue your assaults. It is not her opposite that will end the girl's life, but your own. You will be the one with blood on your hands. We must say this was a rather clever plan the puppeteer and that clown devised." She mused as she recalled the events of the Emperor to unfold his true objective; have the Warriors end the Summoners lives. If enough darkness is to be generated inside them, then the crystals of the warriors will reveal themselves and they can take them. While she didn't know WHY they would need the crystals, that didn't stop her from wanting to see the Onion Knight's horrified look as he sat there in a puddle of blood from the child.

Several stray bolts from Chantez's barrier struck the area around the fiend. An eyebrow was raised as Onion Knight came under fire from the now dispersed shield. The small knight tried to avoid them yet bolt after bolt threw him into the air causing him to become stuck. As he began to fall, a cry of "Magnet!" caused him to fly towards Chantez's waiting tonfa smacking him into the ground before he was sent back to the nun and back again, repeating the same sequence over and over.

"Hehe, this is easy!" Chantez yelled. "Let's keep going!"

However the Onion Knight had a different idea compared to the little nun who treated him like a tennis ball. The boy stabbed his blade into the ground once he was close enough, holding out his hand a light blue ice crystal formed [Blizzaga]. The crystal grew till it was larger than the magnet ball hovering in the air. The ice crystal shot out towards the magnet spell, being drawn in quickly. Chantez tilted her head until the ice crystal shattered on impact, becoming tiny crystals that attacked the nun, piercing her clothes and even her skin. The girl landed on her behind, soft whines escaping her mouth. Her cuts were burning because of the ice. She hated pain.

"Owie...Onion, you jerk!" Tears welled up in her eyes before she vanished. The small knight turned his head as he tried to find his opponent, yet she was gone. Shrugging he began to walk back to Cloud of Darkness before a tonfa struck hit him in the back. As he turned again he saw the little nun, a large grin on her face before she... Stayed still?

Onion tilted his head before stabbing her yet the blade went through her like she was air. A blast of lightning struck the back of his head as he fell forward, seeing three Chantez standing behind him grinning a cat like smile.

"Come on Onion!" Turning quickly, there were another three behind him. "Is that all?" On several branches above him where even more Chantez's all grinning like the others. "You were stronger when we were training!" A blow to the stomach knocked the cobwebs out of his head as the real Chantez stood before him, a soft smile on her face. "Come on Onion, let's go home."

In that brief instant, a simple sentence went through his head.

I want to go home…

Memories aided him as his body trembled. The boy let out a shaky hand, as if struggling with himself.

As the two reached out to hold the others hand a dark ball collided with the nun sending her flying backwards. The rest of the duplicates vanished as the original was struck. "So... The spell is not as perfect as the puppeteer stated. Pathetic... Still humans are interesting." Seeing that Chantez had fallen somewhere caused the Cloud of Darkness to frown. "It seems that our opponent is gone from this world." With that the creature from the void began to float away as Onion Knight stood there in confusion.

'I'm sorry Chantez, I'm so sorry.'

"So you are still alive... This makes three humans who have interested us. However, this won't take long." Dark energy crackled at her fingers as she aimed them at the little nun who shivered in fear of the malice in the attack... Before a smirk caused the fear to vanish, as did she.

Several bursts of lightning struck the fiend as Chantez reappeared on a higher spot. "Fell for it!" She shouted before she ran down the tree to Onion Knight. With a flying drop kick, the male was sent hurtling towards Cloud of Darkness. The fiend grabbed him out of the sky with her tentacles before tossing him back. The little nun jumped at the flying knight and used his head as a spring board to reach the fiend. Slamming her tonfa into Cloud of Darkness' head, Chantez began to combo her strikes to knock her down lower before leaping off the fiend's stomach. As she reached the highest point in her leap, electricity began to charge around her body. Glowing a bright yellow, a beam of electricity flew off her body to strike the fiend in forehead, right in her heart shaped mark.

'Once more!' Magic enveloped the nun's right hand, white lightning once again appearing from it, just one more strike and she will free her friend!

Crackle

Chantez immediately leapt from the Cloud of Darkness, a trail of black lightning replacing the nun. Chantez knew, if she had lingered a second longer she would have been dead.

"It seems we underestimated you." The fiend stated as her tentacles snapped at the nun. "However, perhaps we should call in backup?"

"Backup?" Chantez asked before a large bolt of lightning slammed into her from above. The lightning was pitch black just like before and the perpetrator was one of those sent off to the garbage dump. The dark skinned nun walked out from the shadows of the trees, a rather murderous smirk on her face.

"Well, if it isn't Theodora's youngest zealot." Cassandra spoke as she walked onto the scene. "Do you remember my name by any chance?"

"Owie owie owie…" Sadly Chantez was too preoccupied with her head, rubbing it as she ignored the evil nun that appeared on the scene. Eventually the little nun looked up and gasped.

"YOU'RE THE EVIL LADY!"

"I suppose I am the evil lady." Cassandra shrugged at the child's words. To call her here to take out some brat, her warrior wasn't as strong as she believed. "I suggest you run right back to Theodora and tell her you failed. Go on it's not that far."

"No! Now go away! AND DON'T SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT LADY THEODORA!" She yelled before she ran forward, her tonfa slamming itself on Cassandra's shin. The fallen nun hissed in pain as she grabbed her leg. The young girl took advantage of this and broke her foes nose with a well-placed strike. "Hah! You suck for baddy!"

Cassandra didn't reply, instead a dark aura covered her nose, possibly healing the damage that had been done. The air tensed rather quickly to the nun. The black haired woman stood up, immediately Chantez's instincts were telling her two things.

Run.

You can't win!

RUN!

Cassandra's eyes were no longer a pure gold, but an ugly yellow that represented the nastiness in her. Chantez trembled, those eyes...they scared her. Little by little, two steps back. Her face paled as fear took hold.

The little nun had no choice but to run as she felt the power of Cassandra growing. She had failed; she was unable to save Onion Knight, her warrior, her...First friend her own age. Thinking that she stopped running, what would her fellow nuns say, what would Lady Theodora say... What would... Her friends say? The other Cosmos Summoners?

'I won't run... Onion needs me!' Lightning crackled against the little nun's body as she turned around again. She began to walk forward getting progressively faster as she went before becoming a bullet of thunder magic. When she reached the fastest speed she could handle, she jumped into the sky and crouched into a ball. "Gah... Owie..." She whined as the pressure got to her. "Ahhhhhhhh!" With a scream she released the spell as a mighty shockwave, the sound of thunder echoing around the area as her foes became blinded by the pure power of the flash that the magic gave off.

The magic painted the area white, there wasn't a single color left in this pure white void. The white soon gave way to black, the area returning to its true colors. Green and brown were the first to peek through, then purple and red. Cassandra's entire body was steaming. The female stumbled, kneeling on the ground as she hissed. Parts of her clothes were burned off, and she wasn't the only one affected. The Onion Knight was knocked out, face first into the ground.

As for the little nun, she was left on the ground, neither moving nor twitching. Normally villains would be laughing at their victory, the fact they survived the last suicide attack made by the hero. Cassandra wasn't like that. The female grimaced with fear in her eyes.

"How…was she able…that spell…impossible…She's just a child…"

"A child with an interesting potential," Turning her neck sideways, Cassandra noted that the Cloud of Darkness was fine except for the damage she received earlier. In fact, it looked like she had healed slightly as well.

"How..."

"We teleported into the Void." The fiend responded. "Now what to do with the child?"

"Lord Aias... Ordered me to... Take her... For the next stage... If she... Is still alive... That is..."

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Hunter held his favored dual sided lance, twirling it around his body as he entered into a fighting position. He would have to be careful. Yes he was asked, rather told, to not hold back but this was Bartz, and he knew how powerful Hunter could be when he needs to be. Hopefully Bartz remembered and would run the moment he unleashed his powers. Before Hunter could run forward, a missile found its place between the wanderer and the boy. As dust settled, Gilgamesh stood in a kabuki pose as he stared down Bartz and Exdeath.

"A battle I have been waiting a long time for... My rival and my Exboss vs me, the great Gilgamesh and now... I can't even have that!" The giant ran forward, jumping over Bartz while kicking him in the head as he brought forth Masamune to slice through Exdeath. A blue pentagon blocked the blade from harming the user of Void magic as said user followed through by surrounding himself in a black sphere and slamming into his failed minion.

As a purple lance appeared in Bartz's hand, the two spear wielders ran forward engaging in stabs, feints and wide swings. What Hunter wasn't expecting was a futuristic sword to appear in the wanderer's left hand causing the boy to backpedal to avoid the odd movements of the two weapons working together in an antagonistic way.

"Man...this is so not fair...how come Bartz is able to materialize stuff and I can't…" Hunter twirled his lance around, wind gathering as he did. With a stab to the ground, a small tornado generated, charging towards Bartz [Aerora]. Bartz dispelled the weapons to summon up Cecil's. Stabbing the blade into the ground, a torrent of purple and black flames erupted from the ground, colliding with the Aerora [Dark Flame].

The wind did nothing to quell the dark flames as they broke through the tornado just missing Hunter. The boy ran towards Bartz seeing he only had Cecil's odd blade in hand and forced a small geyser to erupt underneath his opponent. Hunter stopped suddenly and aimed his spear at his airborne friend's cape to prevent him from continuing in the fight, however...

"Rocket Punch!" A voice called out as two oversized fists slammed into Bartz causing the young man to go flying into several rocks nearby. "Sorry! Aiming at Exdeath!" He apologized before a burst of air caught him in the stomach.

"Buffoon." Exdeath spoke as he stood before the giant, his sword slicing into him from all directions preventing Gilgamesh from summoning another weapon. "Tell me how did you survive the rift?"

"Like this!" The warrior responded as he caught Exdeath's sword by the blade and began to use it as a blunt weapon on his enemy. "Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself!" He called out, a large mocking grin on his face.

"Enough!" A barrier of wind knocked the sword out of Gilgamesh's hand as he went flying into Bartz, knocking them both over.

"Bartz!" Hunter cried, unable to see that Exdeath teleported behind him. Hunter felt the presence of the warlock and turned around, only to be met with a runic symbol. Unable to dodge due to the closeness of the rune, Hunter was launched back due to a short beam coming out of the seal.

"Perhaps I should send all three of you the Void," Exdeath grumbled, not amused by the weakness of the three males in front of him. "You worms have no place here in this world."

"Says you!" Hunter growled, charging straight for the Warlock. Exdeath set up a large circle, blocking the younger summoner's attempt at a charge. Hunter gritted his teeth, and used the momentum of his body to turn and deliver a swift kick to the Warlock's hand. Exdeath dropped his sword and was about to be met with a spear to the face.

Clang!

Hunter looked up as blonde, blue eyed woman wielding two Chinese wind and fire wheels blocked his spear. No emotion appeared on her face as she pushed the boy back. As Hunter fell to the ground, he noticed she was dressed in yellow and black and the outfit itself seemed kind of... Skimpy for a lack of better word.

"Kindness," an emotionless voice said as Strengir stepped onto the scene. "That is her name in case you were wondering Hunter Eckhart."

"You again!?" The boy shouted as Gilgamesh came running up to next to him.

"... Not bad weapons... I approve!" The giant shouted causing Hunter to look at him as if he was insane. Strengir looked over at the red kabuki warrior, a blank look on his face.

"And whom might you be?"

"Hmph! If you must know, I am the all-powerful Gilgamesh!"

"I have never heard of you." Gilgamesh fell towards the ground, but immediately got up.

"You will once you feel my power!" Gilgamesh summoned up two lances and charged forth.

Another puppet appeared in front of the puppeteer, one dressed in a pink dress and holding a parasol of the same color. Her brown emotionless eyes matching her hair as she blocked the lances. "Love and..." A red buzz saw came flying down causing Gilgamesh to jump backwards as Sorrow appeared. "Sorrow. The three make up the three sisters set. Lord Exdeath, who would you prefer me to fight?"

"The boy. The failure of a servant is mine." Strengir nodded at the answer as Sorrow and Kindness rushed to their foe, Love walking behind them.

"Those girls." Hunter spoke, his voice low as he dodged an incoming scythe blade. "Were they once... Humans?" A roll to the left to dodge a swipe from the blonde puppet, then a block from the scythe.

"That is a taboo of this world, Hunter Eckhart. Even those you see as evil have standards." Strengir's fingers twitched in groups of three as he commanded his puppets dance upon Hunter. The boy growled before he began to launch fireballs upon the puppets, Love taking the shots for them.

"Why don't I believe that!? You and the rest of Chaos are evil." He shouted as stabbed through Sorrow's chest, the blade going in easy as the puppets movements stopped. "I'm sorry that he did this to you." Hunter whispered before a knee to the chest forced him to let go of his blade. As Hunter fell backwards he was caught in feminine arms. He began to struggle as he saw it was Love who caught him. Kindness walked forward, her weapons behind her as she carried Hunter's spear, Strengir following while Sorrow returned to his suitcase.

"You didn't tell the boy about me? I thought you would to warn traitors!" Gilgamesh joked as he tossed Bartz at the warlock as he dodged another burst of air.

"Why mention insects who failed their duties time and time again?" Exdeath asked as his sword sliced through Bartz's side and began to face off against the Genji Blade of the giant.

"Now that's just harsh!" The kabuki warrior called out as he spun on his right leg to knock away the Void user's sword before landing a kick to the abdomen. Following this was a hilt strike to the back of the helmet along with grabbing the fiend's cape and tossing him into the returning blade. "But that's even harsher!"

"Fool," Exdeath twitched a finger as four orbs surrounded the giant. "Nothing but a naive weakling like always." With just a thought, the orbs collided with Gilgamesh causing a magic explosion and knocking him away from the battle.

"Damn it!" He cried before landing on several hard rocks, his head smashing several of the larger ones.

"Strengir, eliminate him." At his warrior's words, Love's forehead glowed a soft purple color before pain erupted in Hunter's head causing the boy to slump forward. Kindness moved forward from there, her weapons ready to slice through the neck of their target.

'I...Can't move...It's paralysis right?' Hunter's thoughts grew desperate as the wheels drew closer. 'I'm sorry Kanna, Bartz, Everyone... And I never got to say good bye to you Dad, that hurts a lot more then this will.' His eyes drew shut as he prepared for the incoming blow.

THUNK!

Hunter's body shivered as he felt coldness before realizing it was the wind blowing against his skin. Daring to look behind him, he blinked before grinning.

His head had moved just enough to avoid the attack that instead had sliced the neck of Love to his amazement. "My... Movement's back." Hunter noticed as he moved his fist left and right before grinning at Strengir who raised an eyebrow in response.

"Let's do this!" The boy called out as he ripped himself from the broken puppet's grasp and dodged past Kindness, his lance burning as wind and flames began to spread.

"Strengir, you fool. End him!" Exdeath called as the puppeteer returned Kindness and the remains of Love to his person as poison magic began to grow in his hands.

"The same move?" He asked as he tossed the foul purple spell at the boy who dodged in turn.

"Nope, different!" With that, Hunter hurled the burning spear as it caught Strengir in the chest and knocked him backwards. His body burned during the flight yet no screams of pain were heard. As the spear flew towards Exdeath, the warlock held up his hands causing a translucent sphere to cover him before the spear exploded into flames.

"I...Did...It you guys..." Hunter said as he felt his stomach turn upon realizing he had taken a life. Before he could empty his stomach, he collapsed on the ground as his energy depleted to zero, a singed but still in fine condition spear landing in the ground next to him.

"Pathetic fool, the four of them." Exdeath stated as he walked towards the unconscious boy. As he neared him, a boisterous laugh caused the man to dodge left as Gilgamesh crashed down, in his hands a golden sword. "Impossible, that blade..."

"Yep! Excalibur, one of the twelve weapons that beat Euno and one of my favorite weapons!" The giant pointed the blade at his traitorous master, a large grin appearing on his face. "You lost! Bartz is knocked out and your servant is dead, we win!" Daring a glance to where Strengir had died, he grimaced slightly.

The area was melted with small amounts of flame burning in the stone. The only thing that proved someone had been there was an un-damaged suit case and melted body parts. "So yeah, we win what do you say to that!?"

"Then you are a fool, Puppet attack!" An eyebrow was raised before several spells of different colors and sizes where tossed towards the giant. Gil seeing that no he hadn't won, quickly decided to escape, having no choice but to leave the kid there as the spell's fire increased.

"Prepare to go to second phase." Exdeath ordered as he teleported away. A figure walked out of his hiding spot before taking the suitcase that was left by Strengir.

"That fight proved nothing to me." The voice said as they pulled Bartz out of his landing spot and walked towards Hunter, "is Hunter Eckhart being knocked out a cause of emotional stress? I do not understand." As the figure looked to the moon, their form was seen clearly in the moonlight.

"Perhaps I will learn more in the coming moments," Strengir spoke to himself as he listened to nothing in particular. ''Hunter Eckhart, how you and Beriah interest me."

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Vaan smirked as he rushed forth, summoning an axe in his right hand and a shield in his left, charging at the deranged clown responsible for the spell controlling the warriors. Kefka spat, whirling his hands around as fire generated at his palms.

"Let's make you WELL DONE!" Kefka cried out as he combined the two fires in his hand to form one big fireball. The fire propelled from his hands as it charged in a zigzag motion [Waggle-Wobbly Firaga] towards Vaan.

"I knew you would start with that!" Vaan's smirk increased as he threw his axe at the fireball, destroying it and the axe in the process, but that didn't derail the sandy blonde boy. Using the strength of his legs the new warrior jumped into other air. A magic circle generated in front of him in seconds, the boy dashing through the circle, becoming a torrent of flames that hit the clown dead on [Inferno]. The clown managed to escape the fires due to being blown back, patting his body in the process.

Sadly he wasn't given much room to breathe. He had to set up a magic barrier around himself as the gunslinger began shooting at him rapidly. A red ring forged around the barrel of the gun as Ace aimed at the clown.

"Flame Salvo!" Pulling the trigger, fifteen fireballs shot out of the ring, charging in fast at Kefka. The fifteen balls collided with each other, merging into a giant ball of fire ten times Kefka's size. The clown's widen eyes could only stare at the incoming blast.

"...mommy…"

BOOM!

"HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT!" Kefka ran around the area, his body on fire as he tried to douse it but with no avail. Ace smiled as he allowed the darkness of the forest to make him vanish. The flames disappeared the moment Ace did, leaving a black, charred clown in its wake. Shaking off the soot, leaving only a few burn marks here and there on the Chaos Warrior's clothes and skin, the evil clown glared at the sandy blonde.

"Oookaay...I was gonna be nice...BUT NO MORE MR. NICE GUY!" Kefka snapped his fingers, Terra materializing in front of the Clown. Vaan groaned lightly, not really wanting to fight the girl he tried to save. How was it that she ended up on their side again? Wait. That Priestess said it was all the Cosmos Warriors taken...so she is on their side? So all he has to do was wait for the priestess to break the statue and he could save her?

"Take care of our guest pet, I have a womanizer to burn…" Kefka growled, his voice a few tones lower than before. The clown vanished from sight, leaving Terra with Vaan.

"Hey Terra. Been a long time huh?" Vaan said with a wave. Terra looked at him, her eyes blank of any emotion she might have had at seeing her friend again.

'Who...Who are you...I…Don't...Run...' Something stirred deep inside of her but it was quickly pushed down by the magic used on her. Waving her hands in a pattern, several meteors [Meteor] began to drop from the heavens to where Vaan was standing.

The young man rolled out of the way and jumped onto a nearby branch. "So much for a reunion." He muttered as he swapped his ax for a crossbow. Without taking special aim, he fired a volley of crossbow [Crossbow] bolts at the controlled girl who spun around, calling upon tornados [Tornado] to protect her. The deflected arrows hit several trees as the wind died down. Terra looked around for her reluctant opponent before finding him above her with a katana in hand. She moved her head as the blade took small strands of her hair before the wielder of the blade was knocked back by a large chunk of ice.

"Yohoooo!~ Come out come out wherever you are~" Kefka cried out, his hands encircling his mouth. "Come out so I can kill you!" He walked around the forest, trying to find some sort of sign of the gunner's whereabouts. In a nearby tree, Ace smirked. Thanks to a spell he casted earlier, Invisira, Kefka couldn't even sense the guy in the tree behind him. The happy go lucky smirk on the male's face lowered, turning into a taut line. The male breathed softly, calming himself as he closed his eyes. Everything grew silent to him; he couldn't even hear Kefka's ramblings.

Ace opened his eyes, but they weren't a metal gray, they were a deep blue, a red ring outlining the gunslinger's pupil. The blue looked like it was being sucked into the red and disappearing into the black, vanishing in a dark void in an endless cycle. The male's handgun vanished from his hands, replaced by the sniper rifle he used when shooting off the bomb a few weeks back.

Taking careful aim, the world seemed to slow down for Ace for a split second before returning to normal speed. Lines appeared in his vision from everywhere around him, the trees, grass and even Kefka. Moving slightly to the left, Ace aimed for a line just above the clowns head.

'Shot the line, end the life, shoot the line, end the life...' The words repeated in his mind like a mad rant, something welling up inside him, telling him to fire. Press the trigger, and end his life, the words repeated. And for once, Ace wanted to oblige.

"Oh I get it," Kefka spoke with a bright smile on his face. "I almost forgot the rules of hide and seek..." Fire blazed into existence in his hands. "Is fire still legal? Of course it is! Who would be insane enough not to use it!?" The man hopped off the branch he was on causing Ace to let off a silent curse. "One for you!" Kefka shouted as a tree began to burn. "One for you, oh I almost forgot you. Would you like another? Of course you would!" The forest began to turn to a bright orange as the flames began to burn anything they could touch. "Missed one!" The flame struck just above where Ace was hidden causing the man to frown and then his eyes widened considerably as they changed back to normal.

"Ahh crap." He muttered before leaping out of his cover as he changed to a visible form. "Yow! Hot!"

"There you are! Stop cheating!" The clown shrieked yet the call was ignored by the panicking young man. Vaan looked over as he dodged several holy orbs.

"Uhh Ace, your pants are on fire." Ace blinked before turning around. Sure enough fire was on his-

"MY ASS IS ON FIRE! SPANK MY ASS! DOUSE MY ASS! BLAST MY ASS! FIRE'S ON MY ASS PUT IT OUT!" Ace screamed as he began to run around like a headless Chocobo.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa Ace calm down!" Vaan was trying to follow the gunslinger but failed, he couldn't even catch the poor man as the running around only increased the fire. Vaan only had one option. Swallowing harshly the boy's worried look became one of guilt.

"I'm sorry Ace...but this is all I can do!" Vaan slammed his fist into the ground, a crest of light blue forming underneath him. In mere seconds Ace was launched into the air by a bunch of water balls colliding with him.

"I SAID DOUSE MY ASS NOT LAUNCH MY ASS!" Ace screamed in pure horror as he traveled through the sky, only to come crashing down seconds later.

Good news: The fire was out!

Bad news: Ace was gonna feel sore for the next several hours.

Metal gray eyes squinted as he tried to regain his footing, stumbling around a bit due to the sudden concussion in his head. "Vaan…" The male sluggishly pointed his gun at the sandy blonde. "I…am going to shoot you...so stay right there...and tell your brothers to stay also!"

"How many of me is there?"

"Six."

"Yeah that was a bad idea…"

"Uh hello! Can we skip the funny moment and move on to the killing?" Kefka waved his hand. "If so then let me fix your head…" The clown immediately casted his own version of Thundaga, electric lines crashing from the sky to the earth in straight lines [Lickety-Split Thundaga] aiming for Vaan and Ace. Tripping over his own left foot, Ace fell to the ground avoiding the spell; Vann however took the Thundaga and was sent into the air. Kefka's boot glowed pink as he ripped it off his foot and threw it at Vaan's head.

"10 points!" He cheered before several bubbles exploded on him. "What, who-" bubbles slammed into his mouth causing the clown to choke on the water. Ace grabbed a nearby tree to force himself up as he aimed his rifle at the clown. "Blah, Not enough soap in thaaaaat!" His sentence was ruined as stalagmites pierced his foot causing him to leap into the air. "Oh my poor footsie!" He wailed as he held his foot and began to kiss it better.

"Yeah, someone bring the brain bleach..." Ace muttered as a familiar boot was tossed at the insane man's eye. "Not bad Vaan." He turned to give the man a thumbs up, he blinked as he saw the scene occurring in front of him.

Vaan was blocking with a great sword, Terra's blows as she alternated between ice and her sword. "No problems," the teen called out. "But can I have some help please!?" Ace raised his hand gun, ready to fire until Kefka appeared in front of him, a twisted smile on his face that sent chills down Ace's spine.

"Special delivery!" The clown flipped in mid-air quickly, sprouting wings that stabbed into Ace, blowing him back [Havoc Wing]. Ace flew back into Vaan, serving as a saving grace as Terra activated Thundaga to zap her opponent, but the timely arrival of Ace's body hitting his caused him to dodge the girl's spell. Sadly now both men were tumbling on the ground, now sore from the direct impact.

"Ugh...got any ibuprofen…" Ace whined with his face in the grass.

"What's that?" Vaan muttered.

"Pain medication…" Ace growled as he struggled to stand up alongside the sandy blonde. Kefka and Terra were approaching them quickly. Vaan groaned as he slammed his fist into the ground, another circle appearing with several stalagmites [Cataclysm] charging in a row, injuring the two magicians as one was blown into the sky, while another was blown into a tree...that was on fire.

"HOT! HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT!" Kefka screamed as he grabbed his behind, trying to protect himself from the flames.

"How do you like it Kefka!" Ace yelled from his spot on the ground; enforce rolling to the right to avoid a spear of ice. A ball of water surrounded the clown as the flames were doused apart from a small ember flicking on the end of his pony tail. "Oh come on; at least stay burned for a bit."

"How about you burn instead!" The clown shrieked as flames began to build up on his feet. "Fire ball time!" Before he could begin to turn the flames into a ball shape, Vaan jumped onto him using his great sword as a pogo stick. "I want a go!" He cried out before his foot was stabbed, directly through the boot.

"Well that's helpful," Ace said as launched a binding spell on Terra. As it connected, she fell to the ground tied up in black ribbons. "Sorry Terra but we need you to stay safe." Placing her near one of the non-burning trees, Ace's eyes changed to their second state before he aimed his rifle towards Kefka.

"Quit jumping up and down like a... Toad!" Dark green lightning shot out from the clown's finger as Vaan went for another pogo jump. With several flashes of light, a toad fell into Kefka's waiting palm. "Maybe I should keep it..." The clown muttered before a gunshot caused him to flip the frog in his hands. "Oi, stop shooting at me! Fine you can have this back then," like he was throwing a fastball, the clown pegged the amphibian at Ace.

Dropping his sniper, Ace held out his hands to catch the toad before a green bolt connected with it. "Oh crap..." Ace muttered as Vaan collapsed on top of him. "Vaan, get off."

"Nice catch," the one-day air pirate groaned as the two stood back up, an odd look appearing in Ace's eyes. "Uh…Ace you ok?"

"Fine, just dandy." The man responded. Yet inside his head.

'Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill.'

This word repeated itself over and over again in the gunner's head as he picked up his gun. He blinked as he tried to remove the word from his head yet everywhere he looked he saw lines and dots everywhere, each one causing his intent to kill to increase.

'Just put down the gun, Finian. Just put it down... But it would be so easy, a simple shot and no more. He's a friend, no. I only just met this guy and the feeling... That glorious feeling.'

Vaan and Kefka watched in bated breath as Ace held the sniper to the Ratsbane's forehead, no idea what was going on in the gunner's mind. "Do it, do it, do it!" Kefka chanted as sweat dropped from Vaan's forehead.

'I...'

"Ace put down the gun," Vaan said, trying to reason with his friend.

'I...'

"Take the shot, take the shot!" The clown chanted again and again, his insanity knowing no bounds.

"I won't do it!"

BANG!

Breaths where held as a body collapsed to the floor, Vaan following afterword's. "Had me worried there," the boy said as he turned to the shot clown, blood dribbling from the forehead.

"Sorry," Ace apologized as he helped his friend up, his eyes changing back to normal. "So tell me again how you know Terra?"

"Oh I saved her from Kefka years ago... Wait how long has it been?" Vaan wondered as he tried to figure it out. As the two reached Terra, Vaan placed her on his back. "Been awhile since I had to do this at any rate."

'I remember you…Vaan…' Terra thought before a magical signature seemed to grow. 'Guys he's not out!' The girl screamed in her mind as Kefka jumped back up.

"Now that wasn't nice! You shot my handsome face and now, now I shot yours! Zappo!" Holding his hand as if it was a gun, the mad clown shot a bolt of lightning through Ace's chest, the man falling to the ground.

"Kefka!" Vaan growled before Kefka slapped him. The man then ripped off his boot and began to beat Vaan down with it.

"Don't touch my things, don't touch my girl and most of all! Don't. Damage. My. BOOTS!" With one final hit as if the footwear was a baseball bat, Kefka struck Vaan out of the park dropping Terra as he went flying into the distance. "Well that was easy... Phase two starts now..." The clown said darkly as he vanished along with his captives, the forest burning out of control as they did.

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Kai hissed, barely missing a blow from Cloud's sword. "Graviga!" The swordsman cried out, a blackish-purple aura surrounding Cloud's sword. Cloud grunted, his muscles tensing as he tried to keep the sword in the air but to no avail. The blade crashed down onto the ground, creating a small crater. Kai smirked as he took the chance to attack Cloud, making sure the back end of the blade would hit the blonde.

Tifa herself was having trouble. The longer the sword the greater the advantage, she recalled those words as she barely avoided Sephiroth's attacks, forcing to dodge at every turn. The girl back flipped, narrowly avoiding a cut to her neck as she performed several more backflips to get away from the silver haired bastard.

It was for naught as Sephiroth chased her down, Masamune slicing at the air in front of her. As a sword swipe went wide, Tifa ducked under it before charging forward, fists meeting her foe's chest. Not even fazed by the attack, the silver haired swordsman turned his body, his nodachi tasting her cheek before he sweep kicked her so her neck was vulnerable.

As the woman fell she rolled backwards, the sword missing her neck. Using this momentum, she pushed forwards into another roll, as fire blazed over her. Seeing her plan, Sephiroth swung his blade, releasing purple crescent-shape slashes that he knew she couldn't dodge. Unseen to Sephiroth's eyes, green lightning sparked around the brawler's body. As the move was about to connect to hers, Tifa vanished from view, before reappearing to the side of the swordsman, her hands grabbing him before he was tossed to the ground [Rolling Blaze]. A small grunt of pain was heard before the man stood back up.

Sephiroth dusted his shoulders off, his eyes showing nothing but dark amusement. "Was that all? You can do better then that." His taunt caused his opponent to grin as she ran forward, her fists ready to harm the so called angel in front of her.

"Then let me show you what I can do!" As her fists were ready to do the talking, Sephiroth vanished before reappearing behind her, his sword having a small amount of blood on it. Tifa forced herself not to scream as wounds appeared all over her body [Oblivion]. She collapsed to the ground as the man turned to her, his damnable smirk appearing. Just as he was about to say something, a sweep kick knocked him off balance followed by a watery uppercut to the stomach. [Dolphin Blow]. Tifa charged as Sephiroth regained his composure. The girl went in for a kick, only to have her foot caught by the Chaos Warrior. The devilish smirk returned as he lifted the girl with ease, throwing her towards a certain blond.

Cloud struggled against the Gravira spell, lifting the blade with all his might. A soft sigh came from Kai. "Cloud, the only way that spells gonna break is if I lift the spell or I die."

BAM!

Tifa fell onto Cloud, both bodies tumbling a good distance as Kai just stood there, looking at the Buster Sword which was freed from Gravira. A simple nudge of his body followed his words.

"Or that too."

CLANG!

Kai quickly defended himself against Sephiroth, blocking the large blade with his medium sized one.

"Okay pretty boy...Let's see how you match up in strength. Gravira!" The same purple black aura that surrounded Cloud's sword began manifesting around Muramasa.

"I SAID DOUSE MY ASS NOT LAUNCH MY ASS!"

Kai blinked, looking up into the air to see an all familiar gunslinger flying across the sky, only to land back in the same position he saw the gunslinger fly from.

"What...I'm not even gonna bother!"

As Kai was distracted, the One Winged Angel shot forward. The man's blade glowing purple as he slashed at his foe eight times [Octaslash]. As Sephiroth dashed at his flying foe, Kai slammed his blade into the ground to stop his momentum before ripping it out as flames formed on the sword. "Firestrike!" He called out as he swung at the advancing enemy. Stopping just before Kai got close; the Angel held his blade in front of him, a small barrier forming. As the blade of flames connected, Masamune pounced on the unnamed sword with frightening speed before knocking the wielder away with one final slice [Scintilla].

As Tifa knocked the spider webs out of her head, she chuckled as she realized how she landed. Cloud had ended up between two pillows as her hands prevented his arms from moving. 'Someone has a sense of humor,' she thought as she knew there wasn't a real way for this to happen. A groan underneath her caused her to blink before she got up off of her old friend. "Cloud, can you hear me?"

The warrior groaned, trying his best to stand up without causing more harm to his body. His blank eyes gazed at Tifa's, the red eyes filled with worry over her friend. The warrior was raging in his mind, wanting to say so many things, and yet only one phrase came to mind.

Run.

Cloud immediately charged at the brawler, but ran past her to grab his sword. Once his hands wrapped around the blade, the man gave it a swirl in midair. Meteors, small ones, [Meteorain] formed in the sky. Tifa grimaced as she prepared to dodge.

Rolling to the left, Tifa avoided the small space debris as they fell harmlessly to the ground. As she stopped rolling, she threw her left arm outwards and shot a bullet of ice towards the buster sword user [Blizzara], she then ran low into a slide causing Cloud to jump into the ice bullet. As the coldness damaged the Swordsman, the brawler jumped into the air, energy surrounding her fists and feet before she began to pummel her friend [Meteor Crusher].

"Sorry Cloud, but you need to snap out of it!" With an uppercut to the chin, the Swordsman fell to the ground. The woman became truly concerned when no groan of pain escaped his mouth. "Cloud, please. Come to your senses." Before she could take another step forward, pain enveloped her body as screams escaped her throat, followed closely by screams from Kai.

Sephiroth turned to Tifa as he appeared before her. "I suggest you give up, only Cloud is able to defeat me."

A small smirk appeared on her face as she remembered what caused the man before to lose last time. "Wasn't it Nanaki who forced you to face Cloud all by yourself?" A frown escaped her foes stone like features as he pointed his blade towards her neck.

"INCOMING!" All contenders looked upward, seeing a bright, red headed girl falling from the sky, a Gatling gun in her right hand and a rocket launcher in her left. Missiles launched from the girl, the Cosmos Warrior and Summoner scattering to avoid behind hit while Cloud slashed through the missiles targeting him, while Sephiroth remained in place, not even bothering with the artillery. The red head's landing created a large crater in her wake. Smoke and dust kicked up in the air, but failed to hide the wide, blood-thirsty smirk on the girl's face. "Awight, which one of you fuckers wantsa die first?!"

"Oh great…" Kai groaned as he parried Cloud's attacks. Sephiroth glared at his summoner, turning around to face the gun wielding woman. Tifa was confused, but nonetheless took her chance to attack Sephiroth.

slash.

Blood erupted from her chest. Sephiroth was facing her once more, his blade cutting through soft flesh in an instant. Tifa's body couldn't register what happened, going into complete shock as it tumbled around the ground. The girl couldn't stand, she couldn't do anything.

"Tifa!" Kai cried out, a cry that echoed through Cloud's mind.

"Beriah, end her." The SOLDIER ordered as he strode towards the two other swordsmen.

"So, I come all the way here, having to ditch several of my snacks to avoid fucking boars and all I get to do is take out a half dead bimbo? Fuck this shit, I should have gone back and faced that fucking priestess and her bullshit spells!" Disobeying her warrior, Beriah aimed her weapons toward Kai.

'I swear that face... Why the hell does it look so familiar?' An image of a young girl covered in blood of red and another color glaring a glare that could curdle milk. 'No, no, no. It can't be but... Same eyes and hair... And same glare! Shit, it is her!' Kai's sword dropped slightly in his hands, his desire to fight vanishing in an instant.

"Beriah, perform your order and leave." Sephiroth said, his voice leaving no room for argument.

"Yeah... Not gonna happen asswhipe!" Pulling the trigger of her Gatling gun, she unleashed bullet hell upon the three swordsmen. Kai was barely able to dodge the storm, taking shelter behind a few trees as he watched Cloud and Sephiroth either block or dodge in consistent rhythm. All he could do was watch, he couldn't face the girl.

'To think...that day would change you to this…' His thoughts ran through his mind as he looked around the forest. This was hopeless now. He couldn't fight her. He can't fight her. He could fight Sephiroth, he could fight Cloud, hell he could even fight Tifa, but not that girl. Kai's teeth gritted, his eyes narrowing, a feeling he had long forgotten crushing his chest. The sound of the bullets grew louder. The male looked around the tree; Cloud and Sephiroth were doing well, though the silver haired swordsman looked ready to kill his Summoner as he ran out of the bullet storm. Beriah didn't care, instead aiming her gun at a certain black haired beauty. Kai gasped. Before Beriah could pull the trigger, Kai ran out of his hiding spot.

"GRAVIGA!" The bullets flew out of the Gatling gun, only to be stopped midair and plummet to the ground, purple and black laced the iron and the guns Beriah held. The red head growled as angry green eyes glared at the person responsible. It was taking all of Kai's focus to keep the guns in her hands at bay. She struggled with all her might, barely able to lift the weapons in her grasp.

'No...am I...crap...Gotta keep focus...' Flashes of memories appeared in his mind. Screams and fire like a moving picture appeared in front of his eyes. Armored men cutting down every being in sight, whether monster or demon.

Red hair as crimson as flames.

Green eyes darker than any color he saw.

Fear plastered on a white skinned face.

'No...no, no, no, no, nonono-NOOO!'

BAM!

Kai felt his body hit a nearby tree, not breaking it but enough to shatter the images in his mind like glass. The fragments scattered, something Kai was grateful for. Opening his eyes he saw Cloud.

"Damn...you really picked the best time to do that…." Kai watched the trembling Cloud lift his blade. Wait...trembling? Kai observed his partner. His bangs hid his eyes, but his body….

"Cloud?" The SOLDIER raised his head. Kai's eyes widen. Gritted teeth, nearly alive eyes, a trembling body, was Cloud fighting off the spell? Did the priestess or that pink haired soldier do it?!

"Hey, dumbass!" The two swordsman turned as Beriah pointed her weapons at Tifa. "Forget something?"

"No but you did." Turning her head, Beriah was uppercutted by Tifa who followed through with a roundhouse kick slamming the girl into several trees. "What did I miss?" The buxom brunette asked.

"Well Cloud's breaking free, Bitch tried to kill you and I had a flashback. So nothing much." Kai smirked before it turned into a frown as Cloud rushed to face Tifa. Before he could join in and help her, he felt pain at his side. Grabbing his wound, he turned to see Sephiroth wipe the blood off Masamune.

"Did you forget about me?" He asked, his blade ready to taste more of Kai's wounds.

"Yeah...kinda….did…" The swordsman groaned as he stood, holding his right side with his blade in his left hand. Runes enveloped the katana in Kai's hands, the blade glowing the same color as that of Gravity magic. "It's not life threatening...so no use for that bookmark she gave me….yet…."

With a single slash, a wave of gravity magic was released towards the Angel who countered with his own wave. Keeping his distance, Kai sent wave after wave of gravity magic, his reserves depleting quickly but this was the easiest way to defeat his immensely powerful foe. As the energy waves continued, a wayward slash cut a path through several trees.

Beriah groaned as she got up, her day was nothing but terrible and at this moment, her temper had reached its boiling point. Drawing one of her smaller guns she began to shoot towards her douche of a warrior and her asshole rival. As the bullets flew towards the open path that the swordsmen had created in their carelessness, a single shot struck Kai in the foot.

"Ahhh!" He yelled before his yells stopped suddenly. Looking down, he instantly regretted it as his eyes shut closed.

"Simple, far too simple." Sephiroth spoke as he pulled Masamune out of his foe's chest. Blood spurting out of the impalement in a fountain of red.

Red painted Cloud's vision. All he could do was watch, once more. Kai's body fell to the ground, a pool of blood surrounding him. Eyes the color of sky watched once more as someone else laid dying in front of them.

'Zack...not again…..no….not...this….TIME!'

A sky piercing scream echoed through the forest, Cloud charging forth at Sephiroth. The new speed the blond obtained was enough to frighten even Sephiroth. Pouring all his power into the Buster Sword, Cloud let out a roar of anger as he slammed the blade into his opponent's side, sending Sephiroth flying into Beriah, sparing the group from anymore bullets. Tifa blinked before regaining composure, running towards Kai.

"Kai, Cloud!"

"Cloud, attack the woman." Sephiroth ordered, his tone showing no room for failure. The blonde's weapon turned to face Tifa, eyes turning blank once more before...

His body collapsed.

The pressure of breaking parts of the seal caused incredible mental strain to the blond causing his body to shut down. An eyebrow was raised as the Angel turned to Tifa, his nodachi ready to pierce her flesh. Sighing, Tifa had no choice but to escape, her wounded body having no chance against the two remaining members. As the brunette limped away, Masamune was turned to Beriah's neck.

"Give me a reason why I should let you live." With not even a shiver of fear, Beriah pushed the sword away from her body.

"Because you would be too busy playing with this lot instead of doing whatever your job was." Her glare caused the man to smirk as he lowered his blade. "So now what?"

"Now... We wait for our orders."

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"Listen up Laguna." Cid ordered as he removed his eyepatch and placed it deep in his pocket, his golden eye looking around before locking onto Ultimecia. "Five minutes, that's how long I can handle using this eye for. We need all advantages that's why it's out early."

"Got it," the longer haired man saluted. "Though I think it will only be us vs Squall and the witch."

"And what makes you say that?" Ultimecia questioned as she took a small step backwards. For this man to appear... It seems there were things their seer could not see.

"Well, I can tell these things," everyone sweat dropped at his reasoning while a certain lion man wanted to facepalm. "And she's on the sandwiches."

"Sandwiches? You mean sidelines." Cid's suitcase opened slightly as his gun barrels were ready to fire at a moment's notice. 'That's right Laguna distract them for a moment longer. I don't like being pragmatic, but we need it this time.'

"Yeah that. So how about all of us just call this off huh?" Laguna tried with a smile causing a dark chuckle to come from the time witch. Inside of Squall's mind however, the young man began to pound his head into a mental wall, hoping this was a bad dream.

'Why is he here? How is he here? This is a headache just waiting to begin.'

A deep chuckle erupted from the time witch. "I'm afraid that is not possible. Time is set in stone. And you time...is up…" Ultimecia raised her right hand, pressing her thumb and index finger together.

SNAP!

At the sound of snapping fingers, Squall immediately charged after Cid, only to be defended by Laguna throwing a ball into the air, electricity forming a hexagon plated force field [Electroshield]. The lion boy was too close to the object, feeling the force of the barrier pushing him back.

"Pretty quick pounce there Mr. Lion." Laguna commented.

"Lion? He's a cub still. Hates to interact, hates to work with others, he's a cub through and through."

"Thats sounds about right."

'Screw. You.' Squall hissed in his mind. His body responded to another order from Ulitmecia as he sprung forward, blade engraving the ground as he ran. His blade became a shield as he defended himself from machine gun fire and Cid's own bullets [Machine gun].

From the sidelines, Sylphiel watched the dark skinned man, her eye committing his design to memory. 'This man,' she wondered to herself. 'His face and those eyes... I feel something is missing...'

"Squally, please stop trying to stab me. It's not nice." Laguna reprimanded before he ducked under a slash as a foot caught him in the ribs. "Oof, well played." The man groaned before he blocked a strike with his gun. "But you have to do better than that."

'Cid, I'm blaming you for this...' the lion thought as Laguna struck him in the face with the butt of his weapon [Pummel]. A small amount of blood fell from the lion's face, avoiding his blank eyes as his blade roared in anger. A slash nicked the older man's chest before a bullet of fire struck the same area [Fire Barrett].

Cid and Ultimecia stood before one another, the two refusing to move as they looked one another down. One knowing the man had a time limit, the other knowing the female was more fragile in build and would be defeated quickly. As one they jumped back, arrows and bullets falling from the sky as they collided with each other. Seals of magic emerged from the ground to harm Cid while chains barely missed Ultimecia. The two frowned as their spells missed one another. As the witch began to chant another spell under her breath, a bullet from elsewhere ricochet and struck her back.

"Sorry!" Laguna called out as he dismissed his sniper before yelping as he ran from Squall once again.

"Impudent man…" The woman hissed, giving Cid the chance to change the setting of his suitcase, the silver case becoming a three barreled missile launcher sitting on his shoulder. Pulling the trigger three missiles were released at Ultimecia. With grace the witch of time vanished in thin air, the missiles hitting the nearby area.

"Dammit!" Cid cursed as he used his right eye to locate the witch, knowing she stopped time to give herself a clearing. The man dived to the right as several arrows struck where he once stood. From his place on the ground, Cid fired three more missiles above him, one of which struck the dark female directly.

"Is that all?" Ultimecia asked as three lances vanished from in front of her [Knight's Lance]. Cid frowned but before he could say a word a stream of lightning rushed in front of the two. The two turned trying to find who interrupted them.

Several more streams of lightning rushed forward towards Laguna as the man rolled to avoid them. Falling onto his knees, the man tossed a grenade towards the advancing lion man. A bullet of fire rushed through it causing an early explosion. Squall jumped through the smoke, his lungs inhaling it yet he continued forward. His blade glowed red as it struck the soldier in the chest, throwing him backwards. As he fell, bullets of fire and ice struck his legs before a stream of lightning tossed him higher up [Revolver Drive and Fusillade]. As Squall leaped after him, Laguna after a few moments of flailing pulled out a bazooka out of somewhere and fired it towards his opponent [Homing Bazooka]. Squall couldn't avoid it, and so decide to match the bazooka missile with his magic, firing off several Fire Barretts, causing an explosion that sent both fighters to the ground.

"Squall, Laguna!" Cid cried out. At that instant his right eye activated, showing him visions of red arrows flying through his body. Cid gasped and leapt to the right, rolling on the ground as he avoided a series of arrows that continuously poured form a tiny vortex Ultimecia made [Knight's Blade]. The dark-skinned man ran as fast as he could, holding his fedora, but the arrows were catching up, one nearly hitting his arse. The arrows pierced through his trench coat, something that made the detective glare with harsh eyes at the witch.

"Goddammit I just bought this coat!" Electricity ran off the back of his neck. Turning around, his eyes gazed at a crest that was right behind him on the ground. A large stream of energy released with him inside it, the pilot screaming as the pain racked through his body [Apocalypse]. With a burst of light, Cid was sent flying upwards, his body twirling as it went before he crashed landed on top of Laguna. The two groaned as Laguna pushed the detective off him just as Ultimecia returned to the ground.

"I see you two are weaker than I expected." The woman said as Squall moved to her side. She began to caress the lion's cheek, unaware of the man freaking out inside. "Squall, be a dear and finish them."

'Can't they finish me instead?' The man mentally asked as he walked towards the two, his sword blocking the incoming bullets once again.

"Did they have something?" Cid asked Laguna as the soldier tried to keep the mercenary at bay.

"Maybe, he never mentioned it to me if he did."

'You two are making it harder to resist this control every second.' As Squall broke through the hail of bullets, he immediately jumped back as Cid swung his briefcase around. The older gentleman altered his grip on the handle as he watched the younger man, turning his head slightly to avoid a bullet of fire. Laguna and Cid were now side to side, unleashing a barrage of bullets at the SeeD as they backed up.

The detective flinched slightly as an image came to mind. Quickly rolling forward, he engaged Squall in a sword to briefcase battle, the case changing to a blunt melee type weapon. Laguna scratched his head slightly before an orb pulsating with power exploded beside him [Shockwave Pulsar]. Shaking off the damage, the soldier ran towards Ultimecia, a missile launcher on his shoulder as he fired the small missile towards the time witch [Missile Launcher].

Small orbs began to rise around the witch's form before gathering to make a small planet sized orb [Great Attractor]. Launching the orb forward, it collided with the missiles before continuing its journey to Laguna. "Hey no problem," the man grinned as he called upon a large, red dragon designed cannon. Taking aim at the orb, he fired a blue beam of power that struck the target and caused it to become unstable [Ragnarok Buster]. With a loud bang, Laguna was thrown backwards by the shockwave while the witch was tossed into the air before righting herself from more damage.

Cid launched himself at the mercenary, smashing his case into Squall's head. The brunet landed on the ground groaning as he tried to stand.

"Damn kid, no wonder you're so hard-headed." Squall went in to slash at Cid, only for the male to move to the right, avoiding the blade. Squall turned to the right, attempting once more but missing. Even so the mercenary kept trying, the body moving on its own as he tried to hit the heterochromia man, missing every time. "Keep tryin' Squall, but you ain't gonna hit me." The male spoke as he kept dodging the assaults, the visions of Squall's next moves in his mind.

As his gunblade glowed blue, Squall jumped into the air before flying towards the man in an arc [Rough Divide]. As Cid dodged, the gunblade's glow stopped. Using the momentum, Squall pulled the trigger and used the vibration to toss himself forward, slicing at the cheek of the older man.

"Heh, you got me," Cid chuckled as he wiped off the blood from his face, before using his weapon to parry the revolver. Using a sweep kick, Squall knocked the older man off balance before driving his gunblade towards Cid's chest. The older gent saw the move coming and backed away slightly yet the attack still caught the beginning of his body causing a small amount of blood to flow.

Sylphiel's eye widened as she watched the younger man's attack. 'Is he ok? Wait... Why do I care? Isn't he the enemy but then why? Why is he so familiar?' All she could do was watch with one cloudy gray eye as Cid blocked several of Squall's assaults, the suitcase bearing several scars across its metal frame.

"Alright…" Cid whispered. "Time to end this-" Wait...something was wrong. At that moment, Cid's head began pounding; a loud noise similar to nails on a chalkboard entered his ears. His right eye lost its vision. Cid knew what happened, his time ran out. He dodged Squall's attack once more, grabbing an eye patch form his left pocket and tying it over his eye, but not before everything went black. The man grimaced, what felt like blood rushing to his head blocked his one eye's vision. Once the darkness receded, the man stood up.

SLASH!

Cold steel met cotton and skin. The gunblade in Squall's hands pierced through the clothing, drawing a large, red line across the male's chest. Cid couldn't breathe. Instead, he looked down at his chest. He felt no pain, but the blood pooling out told him he was hurt. Immediately his knees dropped to the ground, the scenery warping in his eyesight. Instead of seeing Squall walk up to him, he saw a black blur making its way towards him.

Sylphiel's eye widened. This man, he was going to die...he was going to die.

Squall raised the metal blade, his mind screaming and hollering.

"STOOOOOP!" The gunblade's descent halted. Covering the Cosmos Summoner with her own body was the dark-skinned blonde woman holding onto him for dear life. Laguna turned towards the summoner, seeing a blonde haired, a rather beautiful, dark-skinned, woman covering Cid's body with Squall above them, the blade mere inches away from her head. She wore a black suit with similar color trousers, shoes but her coat was white, and there seemed to be a blade attached to her right side by a belt. Laguna took the opportunity to dig into his left pocket and pull out a grenade. Throwing it into the air, the ball exploded, unleashing a blinding light. The man with the machine gun dashed forward, knocking Squall to the side before erecting another electroshield in front of the man and woman.

"Whoever you are lady, you better get out of here!" Laguna cried out, his gun aimed at the time witch, who only stood still, a rather disappointed look on her face.

"Sylphiel. Why did you interfere?"

"I... This one. He is important, I can feel it. If we leave with him now we can use him to get the others." The one eyed woman lied to the witch. There was a feeling that she was certain but she wanted to know more...Just who was he?

"I see," Ultimecia nodded, not convinced with her summoner's words. But they could use him; her plans needed this one, especially if he had time magic on his side. "Squall, take this one with us we are leaving." Laguna felt his jaw drop. Did everyone just forget he was standing there?!

"Sorry but you guys-" A punch from Squall knocked Laguna out as the lion placed the wounded detective onto his shoulders.

'Sorry, but at least you'll be quiet for now.' The lion said as he followed his captives, not knowing what lay ahead for his former summoner.

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Valon groaned as he moved backwards, his body still injured from his earlier bout with Jecht. He had once heard that Yuna was a healer from Tidus, yet it seemed she was limited at this time for an unknown reason. The sound of something in the air caused the teen to block a back flipping Tidus, Brotherhood gripping onto his lance before it was pulled slightly away from him. Using the lance as a stepping stone, Tidus dive kicked Valon in the chest causing a groan of pain to fly out. Spit flew out of Valon's mouth, but he only brought his lance up, throwing Tidus into the air. Performing a backflip in midair, fire burst from the ends of the lance blade, shooting him up to Tidus as he delivered a roundhouse kick in mid-air. Tidus crashed to the ground, face planting into dirt and grass.

"Whoops…" Valon cringed as he looked on at the trembling blond's body. "Sorry buddy…" Valon grinned sheepishly while using his left hand to scratch his head.

Jecht grinned as he backhanded a large flaming claw belonging to a demon of hellfire. "Been a while since I fought this guy!" With a punch taking an orange glow, the Aeon growled as it took the blow to the nose. With its one summoned arm, it swiped forward becoming blocked again by the champ. "Hey Yuna, can you summon the full thing?"

"I'm sorry Sir Jecht, but this is all I can handle at this time." She apologized as she bowed, before she smiled. "Ifrit, Hellfire." With a roar, bursts of flame rose from the ground surrounding the champion. The man leapt into the air, soaring over the flames as he struck the beast with a downward slash.

'This isn't working...' The young summoner thought before her eyes closed. Focusing her energy, the visage of Ifrit vanished. Yuna concentrated, another glyph forming in the air. Passing through the glyph was a large beak, a face following soon after, and then wings with rings attached.

"Valefor, ascend!" The bird launched itself from the glyph, charging at Jecht as the fayth grabbed him, spinning him into the air [Sonic Wings]. Jecht gritted his teeth as he grabbed the bird, and with one full powered punch, slammed his fist into the belly of the beast.

"Tidus!" Jecht looked down to see Yuna running to Tidus, who was now lying in his own crater. The wyvern like bird shrieked before firing blue and white projectiles at the Chaos warrior [Energy Blast] running past the orbs, Jecht grabbed the beast by the beak before crushing it in his grasp causing the creature to vanish.

"Holy shit... Dude, are you even human? You've got to be... A Saiyan or something!" Valon yelled as he watched the beast vanish into spheres of multicoloured lights.

"A what? Sounds like something I have to ask the brats." The man shrugged his shoulders before he charged forward, his sword meeting with Valon's lance. "Heh, you're getting the hang of this, but can you stand this!?" He returned his sword to his side before throwing a punch at the lance. Valon began to shudder as the vibrations went around his body. Even so the boy held the lance to his body, making it act as a shield as Jecht continued punching the steal, each movement pushing the Blitzer back. Valon felt his back pressed against a tree trunk, and before Jecht could punch him, he ducked out of the way. The first of the champion met the trunk, shattering the tree as Valon looked on in disbelief.

"NO WAY!" Valon screamed as he ran from the tanned man, trying to gain distance between the two fighters. "Dammit mom why did you drop me as a baby!?" Skidding to a stop Valon grabbed the middle section of the lance. A small trigger rested between Valon's fingers as he pressed it. The tomahawk lance began rotating; reaching a speed that countered the wind, creating its own small tornado. Valon gritted his teeth. Blue flames shot out of his hands and joined the blade, wrapping the lance in beautiful azure fire.

"Here we…" Valon held onto the handle with all his might, slamming the lance into the ground. The tornado of flames launched from the blade, a stream of spiral flames screeching through the ground, burning the trail as it went along to its target. "GOOO!"

Jecht grinned wildly as the flames surrounded his body, the flames licking his body with heat before he swung his superheated blade to disperse the flames. His body was uninjured as he rotated his arm. "Heh, not bad. Needs more bite though…"

Valon watched slack jawed as his move failed, "How the...What the... Guh?" His mind faltered as he tried to work out what happened. Shaking his head to knock the hesitance away he ran forward hoping to catch Jecht off guard. His plan failed as the man socked the boy in the gut causing him to fly backwards into several trees. "Ow! Ok, fighting him upfront isn't working so... He's a champion at Blitzball and maybe stronger psychically than gramps." He mumbled to himself as he pulled his form from the trees.

"Kid, give up!" Jecht called out. The kid had potential just like his brat but didn't know how to use it. Not to mention he was getting a bit bored so far. "How about you walk away and you can try again in a week?"

"No way! I don't have time for that... Tidus needs my help and... I guess the others so I have to beat you!" Jecht laughed at the passion the kid showed yet said kid was having a nervous breakdown inside. 'Crap, crap, crap! Ok, I can talk big, but nothing is working! Why can't this be a Blitzball match? I would stand a small chance then... Wait, why can't it be?'

"Second round is ready, all players are on the field and the Cactuars have the ball, Let's Blitz!" He yelled his mind and body now psyched completely. Jecht could only release a laugh in response. That is, until his grin got even wider.

"Now here's a kid I like! Let's go!"

As the two Blitzers charged forward, Yuna approached Tidus her smile melancholic as she looked at his blank eyes. "Tidus, can you hear me?" Seeing she was getting no reply she became extremely worried for the one she would give her life for.

'Yuna,' Tidus thought as he tried to shatter the control he was in. He wanted to see her again, talk to her and above all else be with her because damn it, he loved her! His hand twitched causing Yuna to gasp and back away slightly, unsure if he was breaking the control or if someone was hijacking said control.

"Yuna!" Tidus called out as he tried to embrace her. A tear fell from her eyes knowing he remembered her, keeping her hands on her staff she got closer till they were able to hug. With a swift movement, the summoner jumped back as Tidus' blade came down. 'No!' The male screamed in his mind as tried to harm Yuna. 'Stop, stop!'

"Tidus... I will not waver." From behind her, another glyph materialized and with a neigh half of a brown furred unicorn charged through. The beast had a majestic horn as a mane of exquisite white fell down its back. As the beast tossed its head around, the horn on its head glowed white before several discs of lightning were sent towards the male [Aerospark]. With a spring in his step, Tidus flipped over the discs and with Blitzball in hand the male tossed it at Ixion who simply rammed into the spinning sphere of sporting doom.

Valon rolled under Jecht's drill movement as flames ignited his body and with a simple turn, the boy threw himself forward and slammed himself into the back of Jecht. With a smirk, Jecht grabbed the boy and tossed him forward before a blue beam generated from his eyes and damaged the back of the captain [Jecht Beam]. With a thud Valon landed on his hands before cartwheeling forward, flames still burning as he wheeled into the champ. Jecht flinched backwards as the flames burned his chest. "Finally! That stings, but now...Time for the showdown."

With a charging tackle, Jecht kicked Valon into a tree with such force he bounced off it. As the boy fell towards the man again, he was knocked back again twice before he was kicked straight into the air. "Sorry kid, but you can't beat me. At fighting and Blitzing..." With a leap and several spins, Jecht flew into the air after Valon and with a flip kick he knocked the male back onto terra firma. "I'm the best there is, that's all there is to it."

Valon cough harshly, blood spitting out several times. "Dammit...no one...should be….that...strong…" He was barely able to speak through the coughing fits. Jecht landed on the ground next to him.

"Oi, kid you can't be down yet!"

"Oh shut up…ridiculous…" Valon gritted his teeth, using every muscle in his body, each straining to get him to stand. "By the way…" A vision of the twins came to mind, refueling Valon's energy, even if it was just a bit. The boy was able to stand thanks to using his lance as a crutch. "The twins...where are they...I know...you took them...Braska...that was the hint…"

All he got from Jecht was blinking eyes and a bored look. The black haired male scratched the back of his head, now avoiding the younger male's glance.

Valon's words pierced through Tidus, and if it was possible Tidus would tell the truth, the secret behind as to why they never saw his old man's summoners. 'Dammit...if he finds out….he won't fight them...' Tidus dodged another series of wind slices form the half phantasmal unicorn.

"Yeah, not going to say a word on that. Sorry, kept a promise not to say anything." Valon glared deeply at the older man, blue embers jumping off his body in anger.

"Just say it already; I'm sick of not being told everything so speak up!" The champion rubbed his eyes with his hand in annoyance; somewhat knowing the kid would break if he heard.

"Yeah... Still not saying..."

"It is alright Sir Jecht."

"We shall take it from here." The two men and Yuna turned to see the twins entering the field, their eyes containing happiness, annoyance and confusion respectively.

"Tweedledee and Tweedledum! You guys ok? They didn't hurt you or anything?" The twins frowned at their captains words, the truth was soon to be heard and it would break the young man in front of them.

"Yes." The word from the older twin caused the younger sister to flinch slightly. "We're fine. They didn't harm us."

"I-is that right?" Valon asked, trying to remain calm but failing. His mouth was as wide as possible, his eyes shining more than they did the past few days. Happy was an understatement, he was downright ecstatic.

"There is no need to worry, lets return to Australius and forget about all of this." Sigmund continued, though the twin next to him was in doubt, and it showed sadly. Valon caught sight of the two hints.

"Something's wrong…"

"What?" The twins tilted their heads to the right.

"Sigmund goes first, then Siglinde follows. You guys know what the other is thinking…but right now Sig kept talking." The twins gasped. Valon wasn't using nicknames, he was using their names. Valon's eyes were hidden by the shadows of his bangs, his grip on the lance increasing.

"Something happened didn't it…and Siglinde look liked she just drowned a puppy. What are guys hiding from me…They did do something…" The azure flames returned, but this time, burned brighter than before. Jecht noticed the change and took the chance to move away. The flames were burning hot, so hot even his instincts were telling him to run!

The ground around the blitzball team leader began melting, steam and bubbles following with every second that passed.

"Alright you old geezer, what did you do to them?" Valon's growled out, his body reaching temperatures it didn't know it could reach. Everyone back away slowly as several trees close by burst into blue, wild flames turning anything nearby into white hot ash. Siglinde sighed before reaching for her sleeve. A hand on her shoulder caused her to look at her twin, their eyes sending the other a message before Sigmund backed off. Pulling the sleeve upwards, Valon's flames vanished as his eyes widened.

The arm was lightly scared, the marks of past injuries showed a dark story but that is not what caused the fire user to freeze. In between the scars was a mark, the one thing he never thought he would see on his friend.

The mark of Chaos.

Valon's mind went blank as he stared at the symbol, words unable to form at the idea that his friends were members of Chaos. Without being able to do anything, Valon was unable to block a punch to the stomach by Jecht causing the boy to fall to the ground. The effects of the truth and Jecht's punch caused the boy to fall into a very rough slumber.

"Well... You sure that was the right idea?" Jecht asked. The twins frowned yet nodded knowing that this had to be said directly or one of the big mouths would have said something horrible and twisted the truth.

"Unfortunately, dearest sister had to say this..."

"He was a friend regardless however." Sieglinde finished her older brother's words. The disgust he felt at saying it hurt them yet it had to be done for the only person the twins could trust was themselves first and anyone else last.

"Valon!" The trio turned to see Yuna running towards the passed out blitzer, kneeling by him. The woman gently placed her hand on his forehead. "This...this is cruel...too cruel…"

"Wasn't our choice Yuna…" Jecht could only answer in a somber tone. "The rosters were filled before the game began." His voice was completely monotone, disappointed himself with how things turned out.

The Summoner of Spira stood up, the grip on her staff increasing. 'I know the plan wasn't to go all out...but this….is not what we were expecting!' Her eyes filled with determination, magic flowing through her body, the girl took a few steps forward from Valon's body.

The clouds began to gather around the area as a large seal formed around the sky. A flash of light charged roughly through the glyph, shattering it into pieces as the light slammed into the ground. From the newly formed crater, a dragon of obsidian stood, a pair of gold and crimson wings on its back as an exquisite golden circle floated behind it. The beast roared as it stood imposingly in front of its foes.

"Bahamut," Yuna breathed heavily as her form kneeled on the ground. "Please... Make this quick." The dragon roared once more as four portals of darkness materialized before releasing orbs of power towards Jecht and Tidus. Back handing one of the orbs allowed Jecht to knock it towards another as Tidus leapt over the other two before slicing down in the dragon. Bahamut growled before throwing a punch into Tidus' gut and charged towards the champ.

Jecht grabbed the beast by the head before he tossed the beast away from him. He knew Yuna couldn't keep the summon around for long, her power was slowly weakening due to her reserves coming from elsewhere. He didn't know where but he had to put a stop to this. He owed it to Braska to look after his little girl. Flicking Yuna gently on the head, he allowed the girl to fall asleep causing the king of dragons to disappear into pyreflies. "Damn... this day just keeps getting better." Jecht groaned as he led his brat and the twins away from the destroyed field.

"What is next then Sir Jecht?" Siglinde asked, curiosity settled into her voice.

"Dunno, his royal pain just said to meet up afterwards and bring the kid. I have no idea what he's plotting this time." With that said, the four walked through the darkness in silence, words could not be said as betrayal had done the words for them.

021021021021021021021021021021021021

Sparks of orange and yellow flew through the air. Swords of different types clashed against each other, artistic clashing against practical and futuristic facing against ancient. Twirls, thrusts, slashes, they did everything they could to get the advantage over the other. Despite his body moving against his will, the Warrior of Light's mind was baffled. This girl, Hikari Himemiya, was fighting him on equal ground, without a sign of fatigue. He could barely believe it and even had more difficulty believing so when the girl's appearance changed.

Her hair bright silver, her eyes the color of her magic, a deep blue he had never seen before. If he wasn't controlled by the magic embedded in him, he would have stalled for a bit. Her appearance….it was almost divine.

Hikari summoned the black sheathe in her left hand, using it to block the sword swinging to the side. In that one second Hikari swung her willowed branch blade into the warrior, only for him to block it with his shield. Each of their movements was equally matched. If one would attack from the right, then the other would block on the right. If one were to attack from above, the person would move to the side to dodge.

Brilliantly coordinated moves danced in the field of ruined stone, the dark forest circling around them, the only light being the now aligned three moons in the sky. Their blades collided once more, neither removing their gazes from the other. The priestess' eyes narrowed, using her strength to push the warrior away and she flew back a bit. The distance between them was enough. The girl looked at her left hand, the sheathe dispersing into particles of zaffre light. Slowly she clenched her hand, performing the act three times till the final time she balled her hand into a fist.

'Okay...not slowing down yet...Good…' Zaffre eyes rose, looking up at the warrior, who now took a stance. The priestess wasted no time in settling into one of her own.

The pink haired sergeant duel mercilessly with the stalwart knight, slashing away at the large man's sword. Blue eyes narrowed in anger, she was barely knocking him and he was allowing her to do it. He was mocking her without even having to say anything.

A blue aura surrounded Lightning before vanishing as she jumped backwards. Her hand, going to her chest as it glowed white before she sent a ball of wind at the large knight. The man altered his sword to its whip form - slicing through the air and wind and just missing Lightning's chest. "[Thundaga!]" The woman called out as a large bolt from the sky collided with Garland. The bolt traveled through his armor causing him to groan in pain.

It stalled him, enough for Lightning to charge forth, using the ground below her, as well as the power she released to propel herself forward, nearing Garland within seconds. Just before she could attack, Garland shook out of the paralysis quick enough to counter her with a quick spin, using the momentum to knock her around with twin swords. Each hit injured Lightning but not enough to break her bones or leave her with scratches [Twin Swords]. On the final blow the knight slammed the girl into the ground, but before he could finish her, the sergeant rolled to the right as she tried to get some distance between them. Garland wasn't quick enough, his armor and sword acting as a limiter to his speed, preventing him from catching the female.

Lightning stood up, dirt and grass slowly falling off of her. She hated to admit it but Garland, in terms of strength, was the stronger of the two. If she was going to win she would have to rely on her agility and magic, this much she knew. Teeth gritted in a closed mouth, blue eyes narrowing as a plan formulated in her mind.

Getting in close, Lightning did two quick strikes to her armored foe before backing away with a low kick. Going forward with two slashes to the side, she quickly morphed her sword to gun form before firing and changing it back. A quick flip in midair, was all the preparation Lightning needed before kicking Garland to the air. Several strikes followed before a slash to his helmet knocked him to the ground. [Army of One]. Another blast of electricity struck the knight in the chest as Lightning kept her sword pointed at the man.

"Had enough, Garland?"

SLAM! Her reply was a quick head-butt to her stomach. Lighting's mouth hung open at reflex, spit flying out of her mouth. The force of the blow was enough to make her stagger, and enough for Garland to stand, his blade changing once more into axe mode. Lightning's eyes widen. The axe slammed into her from the side, causing her to fly into a nearby tree, breaking the wood in half with her own body.

Lightning hissed in pain as she struggled to get up. Seeing Garland approaching, she held up her Gunblade and began to fire bullets at the man to stop him from getting close as a red aura surrounded her. Seeing that her attacks were not doing much, she began to fire balls of magic instead. As they collided with the fallen knight, the spells sent of a minor magic explosion pushing Garland back slightly. Seeing a small chance, Lightning ran forward before spinning her blade around 180 degrees.

Hikari continued trading blows with the warrior, blue colored circuitry lighting up on the black parts of her outfit. Her teeth gritted as she tried not to damage the warrior, but also to protect herself. The oddly shaped katana blade rang with each strike to it, as if speaking to her. The priestess narrowed her eyes. Light swung upwards, knocking the blade out of the priestess' hands. The girl grimaced as the blade landed a ways away from her. The warrior's shield began glowing, reverberating as energy surged around it. The circuits activated in her boots, propelling her away from the warrior before the shield could hit her. The warrior charged and Hikari threw her hands to the side of her, the circuits activating in her arm warmers. The girl met the warrior's charge; his sword slashed at her arm, but couldn't pierce through the clothing. In fact, it felt like her arm solidified [Block].

The girl realized she would have to rely on her other skills, performing twists and turns, dodging the warrior with swift ease while using her momentum to block or knock away the warrior's empowered weapons. Kicks and fists served as guards as she calculated the warrior's next move. Despite him being under control she was beginning to see a pattern. The Slave Crest was systematic, only forcing the warrior to perform moves that were up close. The Ba Gua Zhang her Shishou taught her was coming to perfect use.

Silver hair fluttered as the girl twirled, slamming her palm against the warrior's chest. "RELEASE!" A circuit lit up before dying out, in that second, the warrior flew back into a nearby stone all, shattering it on impact. The cause was a ball of wind forming in her hand [Aero Bomb]. Even so, the warrior easily stood up. Hikari looked at her arm warmer; only five circuits were glowing lightly, while two resided in her boots.

"I used too much…" The girl dashed towards the blade, grabbing it just as the warrior dashed towards her, ready to continue their dance of blades. Once again the blades clashed, equal movements back and forth. The warrior jumped backwards, grabbing several items from his bag. Throwing them in the air, several fire arrows, icicles and thunder began heading towards her [Red Fang, Blue Fang, White Fang].

Wind surrounded Hikari as a barrier [Aero Surge-Modified] as Light used his fangs to try and pass through it. Light scratches covered his armor from getting too close early on. Fireballs and bolts of lightning lit up the sky as they were negated by Hikari's spell. Her sword still ready as it rested in her hand, the priestess swung outwards as the wind barrier flew out as a wave of wind blades slashing about on Light's armor. The wind rattled the armor, causing slight difficulty for the warrior to move due to the vibrations, giving Hikari the chance to place her palm on the warrior's armored chest. A spell ring formed around the girl's wrist, connecting with the warrior's body. Blank, silver blue eyes narrowed, rotating the blade in his hand to where the handle would hit the girl in the back of her head. Hikari dodged easily, propelling herself backwards thanks to the wind.

Blue eyes widened, a smile cracked on the female's face. 'I did it! Now to scan the spell and soon you'll be free!' Hikari turned to the Stigma. Even if she destroyed the Stigma, the spell would remain and still have slight control over the warriors. If she was going to win she would need to destroy both the spell and the catalyst keeping the warrior bound and unable to control his body. Hikari focused the wind circling around her. The calculations performed in her mind.

SLASH! The warrior swung his sword at her body, the girl barely able to dodge before she was assaulted with even more strikes. The tri-branched blade soon became her shield, protecting her from the now onslaught of strikes. The wind was now visible in her hand.

"[Wind Cutter]!" Hikari's cries echoed through the area, blades of compressed air flying towards the Stigma. The Warrior of Light leapt into action, blocking the blades from reaching the large statue. Instead, they only served to injure the male.

Hikari grimaced, a small pain plunged itself in her heart. She knew the warrior was already weak and she wanted to keep the damage to a minimum, something she failed at doing so. The warrior kneeled on the ground, panting lightly. His body began trembling, he was trying to stand up but couldn't. Hikari gritted her teeth, focusing on the scan. The katana glowed in her hand, something that caused her eyes to widen once more. Her face paled. Her time was running out.

'No...not now!' Her mind panicked, the calculations appeared in her mind. So close, she was so close, that stupid imagined bar stuck at 95% in her mind. 'Faster...have to go faster...'

96%

The warrior was slowly getting up, the strength to fight returning to his body.

97%

The clashing blades of Lighting and Garland were nearby.

98%

'Just five more...seconds...'

99%

The female felt her lips curl upwards.

AROOOOOOO!

Hikari gasped. The sound of a wolf broke her out of her trance.

BAM!

Hikari grimaced once more as she fell to the ground, her head slamming into the ground. Her ears rang a loud, piercing frequency, similar to that of an electronic dying. That didn't bother her. Nor did the weight of Lightning crushing the priestess' stomach and chest bother her. What did were the words she saw in front of her eyes, to which only she could see.

SCAN FAILED

CEREBRAL DAMAGE: MINOR

TIME LIMIT: UNKNOWN

SWITCHING TO STAND-BY MODE

AME-NO-MURAKUMO SHUTTING DOWN

Just like that, her time was up. The moonlight silver hair returned to a normal blonde color, her eyes painted a red-violet instead of her magic color.

"No...I had...five more seconds…" She didn't know what she said...all she knew was that she couldn't believe it. She was so close, and she still had time on her stigma! Why did it fail!?

"Lightning...get off...please!" The girl cried out as the pink haired sergeant was already trying. She looked down on the girl, her eyes widened.

"You said ten minutes!"

"I don't know what happened! My program even said I had three minutes left on the Stigma!"

"Dammit!" Lightning embraced the female, rolling with her to dodge the axe Garland produced from swinging on them. "I can't fight them and babysit you!"

"I can still fight! All my stigma does is increase my body properties!"

"You said you could beat him!"

"I could have but something's wrong, I couldn't use the stigma as well as I had hoped." Did she get too full of herself? No...She trusted her arithmetic, she did everything right! So why was she unable to use the Stigma to its full abilities? Or...was that it? Was that all her Stigma granted her? An increase in her body strength so she could match them?

"Oh my goddess...that's it...that's all I was granted...physical parameters increase…." Her face was distraught. Eyes were glanced down, her face paling even further. Anxiety rushed through her once more. Lightning hissed.

"Tch...You really drew the short end of the stick…"

"It's not my fault!" The priestess wailed as she dodged another strike from the stalwart knight.

"Just continue your scan. You said you can do it without the stigma right?" Seeing Hikari nod from the corner of her eyes was all the confirmation Lightning needed. "Then do so. I'll take them. I have some unfinished business with Light anyway." Twin curved swords of an otherworldly design appeared in the sergeant's hands as she ran forward. Using one of the hooks of the majestic swords, Lightning forced Garland's blade to the ground as she kicked him in the chest followed by the second sword. Kicking off Garland with a backflip, a combo with the swords began as rose petals fell to the ground. With one last swipe and the sword's connecting, Garland was thrown to the ground. A small smirk appeared on her face before she was stabbed in the back by Light.

"Gahhh!" She screamed as she dropped one of her swords. Blood dripped down her back staining her coat. Quickly undoing the buckles, Lightning threw the coat at Light, revealing her brown turtle neck half top, as she ripped herself off his sword, silencing a scream as she turned to her foe. A green aura surrounded her as she began to focus on Cura spells to lessen her pain. A sound from behind her caused the woman to jump to the side as Garland's lance slammed into the Warrior's chest, dropping his sword and Lightning's coat. "Someone had better be able to fix this." She muttered as she placed her uniform back on. "Or at least have some thread so I can fix it myself." Summoning her sword back to her, she moved them infringing of her like a X shape before slashing into them, when she was on the other side of the two, Lightning connected her blades together again before tossing the combined blade as rose petals fell again.

"Why do roses always fall when she attacks?" Hikari questioned as the two Warriors dodged the attack. "Oh!"

SCAN COMPLETE appeared in Hikari's vision causing her to dance a little in excitement. CREST WILL CAUSE NO DAMAGE TO TARGET WHEN DESTROYED.

"Yes!" Hikari shouted as she ran to the opposing stigma, intent on destroying it or using it to hide behind. Before she could even make it over there, a blade attached to a chain tied around it as Garland swung and landed in front of Hikari.

"This is your last chance." Garland said as his sword unwound itself from where it was tied up. "Leave now and we shall forget your involvement with Cosmos."

"No," Hikari replied shaking her head. "I have to help Light and the others. Garland, please do the right thing and stand aside."

"Then we have a problem, one that we can only solve, like this!" The fallen knight charged forward, a mighty head but to Hikari's chest. She groaned in pain as she noticed Garland walking towards her. Raising her sword she stepped forward before stepping to the left. Wind blew around her blade before she raised her palm as a gust of wind was launched at her foe followed by fire and ice. Using his sword as a shield, Garland blocked the spells. As he lowered it, he was too slow to avoid an overhead slice by Hikari.

Lightning and Light were in a stalemate, both panting from the amount of energy they spent. Slash. Slash. Block. Slash. Strike. It was the same pattern over and over again. Light would counter with his shield, trying to catch her in it, but she would only backflip and propel herself further, summoning her two hooked blades to slash at the warrior [Crushing Blow]. The silver haired leader of Cosmos' Chosen grunted in pain, his body having been blown towards the ground with another slash.

The pink haired soldier panted, the battle had worn her out. Why was she like this? Normally she could keep up, but everything felt so...heavy. Her body didn't feel as light, like all her experience from previous battles were sapped. Her eyes trailed to the warrior. And what happened to make him so strong? She didn't recall him being this difficult to defeat. His eyes were closed. Did she manage to make him fall unconscious?

Not taking any chances, Lightning allowed a blue aura to cover her as she cast Aero on the Warrior. As it struck him, he collapsed to the ground as Lightning approached him, her Gunblade still aimed at him. "Hikari, now!" Hearing Lightning's orders caused the girl to fire multiple blasts of wind at Garland as she ran back to the soldier.

"Don't worry Light." Hikari's voice contained confidence as she began to focus on the slave crest. "I'll make sure to get rid of it."

"Just hurry." Lightning ordered as she aimed her gun at the approaching Garland. "I feel my power...Going…So hurry!"

"Right then!" Hikari placed her palm on the warrior's chest. In mere seconds a crest of her own appeared, looking similar to the cross she carried around her neck. The girl dashed towards the stigma, ready to destroy it. Just as she arrived she placed her palm on the statue.

ZAP!

An electrical current caused the girl to draw back her hand on reflex. The power generated by the Stigma was strong. Hikari gritted her teeth. The blue circuitry in her arm warmers activated once more.

Garland immediately leapt into action, drawing power from the Stigma to add to his speed. Even if she looked like Sarah he had to stop her from destroying the Stigma! Lighting appeared in front of him, stopping his assault with a line of lightning bolts that appeared horizontally in front of the pink haired soldier. The thunderbolts hit the armored warrior dead on, stunning him for a moment. Lightning then slammed ground, sending another wave of bolts through Garland, effectively paralyzing him [Lightning Strike].

"Load Armament. Aero Bomb!" The air exploded around her, circulating around the girl's right arm which was pulled back, her palm ready to thrust into the statue. The wind turned into a swirling vortex in her hand. The girl pushed her arm with all her might.

Cracks began to appear on the symbol of Chaos before it exploded outwards. Hikari stood proud.

SHICK!

Cold…her chest was cold. Blinking, the girl looked down. A sharp tip painted red was sticking out of her chest diagonally. The tip was a little more than two inches. That tip was a blade, and the red was blood. The girl coughed, small red drops floated in the air before staining the green grass crimson. The girl collapsed to her knees, the blade moving with her. She couldn't feel her body, like she was cut away from it. Her head slowly turned around. Behind her was Light, his right hand on the hilt of the blade, but his left was gripping his wrist. Even though her vision was already deteriorating, the girl couldn't see the man's face as his head was lowered.

"W...what have…I done…" She couldn't hear his words. Her body collapsed forward as Light's sword was removed from her body, the male barely able to catch her. The red crest of Chaos was destroyed; the spell Hikari placed on him had worked. He was free…

"Hikari!" Lightning yelled before Garland's ax blade caught her right in the stomach causing her to collapse. Lighting didn't let that stop her, easily getting up, before she collapsed on the ground once more, her mind urging the female to fall into unconsciousness. Silver blue eyes widened as he cradled the unconscious, bleeding body in his arms.

"Hikari…Hikari…Hikari!" Light screamed her name over and over, trying to get the girl to awaken. Her eyes were closing slowly, but he could see the dullness in them. Why…why couldn't he stop himself!? What could he do?! Only his EX Mode had access to White Magic, and he had no potions on him! Panic began crawling through him, something like a hand grabbing at his heart as it squeezed ever so slightly. He felt pain like this before…yes, when Cosmos died in front of him…

Why was he feeling the same as that time?!

"Hikari, please don't-"

"She won't die. Rather, she is no longer allowed to."

SLAP!

The warrior felt himself catapulted to a nearby stone wall, shattering the wall with his own body as he held onto the girl with all his life. The eyes of the warrior pried open, but his mind was begging him to sleep. Why was this happening? Footsteps made their way to him. Light looked up, but couldn't make out the person. The silverette felt his body lift by his cape, before his body was thrown viciously aside to a new wall, forced to slump against it.

He heard the man picking something up. Energy ran through him, adrenaline acting as the push necessary to fight against the nagging feeling of sleep. Hikari wasn't with him!

"Let..her...go..." Armored boots echoed as they moved towards them. It sounded like Garland's footsteps.

"Time to end this." Garland raised his ax blade above his head as he prepared the finishing blow to the weak warrior beneath him.

"Garland enough." As the knight turned his head, he noticed the man carrying Hikari's body. "This fight is over."

"Very well. Though allow me to carry the girl."

"Garland, no offence but... I get the feeling that you are seeing something else in this one."

"... You're right. Is the second phase ready?"

"Complete. You will have the crystals, although I would have preferred to do this differently rather than relying on his plans. I'm already sick of his idea of gaining energy."

"You are too soft…"

Lightning could barely stand. She began fighting against the realm of reality and dreams the moment Garland fell under paralysis and Hikari was stabbed. Whoever the hell this new person was, Lightning already knew he would be trouble. She didn't need to see him, she could tell with the fact she felt an attack, and the fact her instincts were screaming. She had to get up though, she had to help that stupid girl, and she made a bargain with her. That girl was her only way home!

A loud grunt released from the pink haired soldier. Her fist dug into the dirt ground. Lightning focused all her energy into the arm, trying with all her might to get up. Every muscle was burning, begging her not to move, but she had to.

"We are leaving and collecting the other summoners," The new, deep male voice spoke out. "The other one is awakening."

"And the warrior?" Said man was desperately trying to recollect himself, doing everything he could to stand, having better success than Lightning as he had something to lean against as he stood, using the wall behind him as leverage.

"Leave him. The first plan has failed."

Silver blue eyes looked up. His vision was blurry, the darkness slowly overtaking his vision as sparks of pain flashed through the rattled brain. Even so, he was able to make out the large shape of the Chaos warrior...and a deep red, before both vanished.

'If you want the girl back...met us at the castle ruins in five hours.'

The deep voice spoke out, echoing through the area. All Lightning could do was grit her teeth.

They accomplished the goal, the warriors were free right? Then why...did she feel like she lost?!

"I knew this was going to happen, and I still went along with it. Dammit why did I even try!?" Lightning cursed loudly.

Her eyes widened. The drowsy feeling that nearly succumbed her, it was gone. She quickly stood up, only to be brought back down due to the pain in her body. Even so she managed to look up, seeing the Warrior of Light heading in her direction, his right arm cradling his left side.

"You…are you-"

"Don't even finish that sentence!" Lightning snarled. It was too obvious she was NOT okay.

"I…do not know who you are but…"

The words were dead to her. Her brain stopped listening after the first few words. What did he just say? Didn't know her?!

Chapter 24 END

*huff huff* It's….its finally….*collapses onto ground*

HERE LIES STARLIGHTAT

DIED FROM TOO MANY BATTLES

GIFTED AUTHOR, AMAZING FRIEND, AND LOVING

I AIN'T DEAD! YOU ALL BE GRATEFUL MY PARTNER AND I WORKED OUR ASSES OFF TO GET THIS CHAPTER OUT! XD ANYWAY I HOPE YOU ENJOY THE 10 BATTLES OF SUMMONERS VS. WARRIORS!

Oh man….this has to be our longest chapter to date! 51 pages…..damn…This would have been out sooner if I wasn't hit with fatigue and my cyst didn't reaper…..dammit gonna have that for the rest of my friggin life….mumble grumble….

Yeah about this being the last chapter….I LIED! XD

I have too much planned for the official final chapter of arc 1, Chapter 25! And lets just say you are gonna wanna strap yourselves in as I reveal some big stuff and show off some of the most powerful characters in the story, even more powerful than the warriors and summoners, but don't worry there is justification for this! This will possibly be another 51 pages…..and I can't be the one who forces you guys to read over 100 pages, even I get fatigue from reading that much…and sadly one of my favorite fics has chapters that long….then again it's a mega crossover with more characters THAN THIS!

Alright and it is time for the popularity poll! This one is for the Summoners of Cosmos. I shall do this for the end and beginning of every arc no, but adding on another category! So you are allowed to answer up to 5 times so go to my page and tell me who is your favorite summoner out of the Cosmos Summoners!

And since the poll randomizes the choices, here is the Numbered Warrior paired with the Summoner

Final Fantasy: Warrior of Light – Hikari Himemiya (The Duty Bound Priestess)

Final Fantasy II: Firion – Rei Tachibana (The Tsundere Jewel Summoner)

Final Fantasy III: Onion Knight – Chantez Castagnier (The Arrogant Nun)

Final Fantasy IV: Cecil Harvey - Shirou Ogami (The Emotional (Puppy Crush) Fighter)

Final Fantasy V: Bartz Klauser – Hunter Eckhart (The Nice Lancer)

Final Fantasy VI: Terra Brandford – Ace Finian (The Flirty Gunner)

Final Fantasy VII: Cloud Strife – Kai Lowran (The Snarking Ex-Knight)

Final Fantasy VIII: Squall Leonhart – Cid Lanster (The One Eyed Detective)

Final Fantasy IX: Zidane Tribal – Kanna Vale (The Lolita Fashion Ninja)

Final Fantasy X: Tidus – Valon Alexander (The Rebel Blitzer)

Alright there is your cast with a very odd title I came up with last minute to describe their personalities! XD Hopefully.

Oh and as I stated at the beginning of the Author's notes, a certain reader, JFai, has done a story with Hikari, Shirou and Rei as the main characters called The Spear that guards the Priestess. It is in my favorites if you are curious, and I suggest reading it I swear its good! This brings up something I would like to offer.

IF you would like to use one of my OC's or several in a story, you are allowed to under the conditions!

1.) You have to ask me permission first! Unless that character is Strengir, Shadow owns him so you have to ask Koopa!

2.) All credit for the OC's, goes to me and my partner Shadow Ninja Koopa, unless it's Strengir! Koopa gains FULL CREDIBILITY ON HIM!

3.) Only a total of 5 are permissible….unless I happen to really like you. XD Then we can discuss.

And that ends that!