"Wait, L'Arc," Serge said, "Hozone? You aren't possibly…" He paused as L'Arc nodded towards him.
"Hozone crystallizes anything it comes into contact with," Rastan explained, "Even you know that. There is no way that Hozone can-"
"The Doctor says that it's possible," L'Arc added.
"He wasn't sure about it, though. He clearly stated that it may not work in a human, we shouldn't jump to conclusions," Serge replied.
"It doesn't sound logical, L'Arc," Rastan stated, "It's the same as putting fire out with fire; it's impossible." L'Arc was moved by Rastan's remark, but stayed calm to his reference.
"But there is a possibility. Remember, Hozone has the ability to manipulate code." L'Arc explained, "If that's the case, it's possible it can manipulate itself."
"Isn't there some way to be sure about this, then?" Cecille questioned. "We can't just blindly follow that theory."
"The only wise person I know would be…" Leslie started.
"Dr. Carlisle, right?" Niko answered. "Let's go to her Mr. L'Arc. I'm sure she can help us out."
"All right, let's go…Hold on a little while longer, Ryfia." L'Arc thought to himself as Cecille the Brave flew back to Diamant.
"She should be back in Carbunculus, where we last met her, right?" Cecille confirmed.
"She might as well be," Rastan agreed. Cecille landed the lightship safely near the gate.
"Who should stay here with Ryfia?" Cecille asked, looking to every party member.
"I'll stay, Mr. L'Arc…" Niko called out.
"Niko…" L'Arc looked at Niko confused and worried.
"Let me handle this. I got her into this mess, so I'm responsible." Niko sheepishly smiled, giving thumbs up to his friends. L'Arc smiled back and headed inside the city with the party.
"Alright then," L'Arc said, "Let's head to the Senate." The group ran in the streets, up the long stairs leading to the Senate. They ran to the room where Dr. Carlisle stayed and opened the door.
"Huh?" L'Arc scanned the room.
"She's not here?" Cecille said, surprised.
"What was I doing back there?" Niko sat down, questioning himself, remembering back to the White Spear incident. "What happened to me? I felt a sudden burst of energy in me, and then, found myself going to destroy the turret." Niko put both hands on his face in stress, stranded them back his red head.
"Niko?" a soft voice called out to the red head from behind him. He turned around to see a purple haired girl standing there with her hands folded.
"Ryfia…" Niko shockingly looked at the Diva with a partially open mouth. Ryfia smiled to him before she was able to talk.
"Niko, what happened?" Ryfia assured worriedly.
"Y-You're awake!" Niko ran over to the Diva and hugged her tightly and then let her go. Ryfia blinked twice in curiosity of Niko's happiness. "I'm so happy you're awake!" the redhead happily stated.
"What happened to me?" Ryfia asked innocently. "White Spear, Alf…It's all so vague." Ryfia closed her eyes in attempt to remember, but to her dismay she only remembered clips of what happened.
"You saved me…" Niko looked to the ground. "I'm Sorry!" he broke into silent tears in front of her.
"Niko…" Ryfia flinched, unable to find words to cheer the lad up.
"Thank you. If you didn't, I wouldn't have seen another day with Mr. L'Arc and all of you." Niko wiped his face. "Thank you…" He smiled his crooked smile.
"I'm glad you're safe, Niko." She smiled cheerfully at the redhead.
"But after that, I can't remember what happened…it's vague…" Ryfia anxiously looked at Niko, expecting an answer.
"You fell in the ocean," Niko said, "near the red continent."
"And then, I remember falling unconscious. After that, I see Alf in my memory…..and you." The Diva stated as her memories played with her mind.
"Yeah, you were taken by Alf's group. They tried to kill you. L'Arc and the others were so worried for you."
"They did?" Ryfia saddened by Alf's behavior.
"The others went to go save you, but Alf wouldn't give you over…so…" Niko stopped.
"So?" Ryfia repeated.
"So I sniped them with my sniping!" Niko chuckled, making Ryfia smile as well. "But then you fainted again…..until right now."
"Where are the others?" Ryfia asked, looking around the lightship.
"They went to find Dr. Carlisle…see, the thing is-"Niko continued but was cut off by someone entering the lightship. Niko and Ryfia looked towards the door to see who it was.
"Ugh, we couldn't find her." Cecille entered the lightship crossing her arms. Soon the whole party came in the door.
"Ryfia!" Cecille screamed, running up to her as tears rolled down her brown eyes.
"Woah, we've been waiting for you to get up, Sweetheart." Serge added, "We missed you!"
"Thank goodness, Ryfia. We were so worried!" Leslie said, tucking her front hair behind her ears.
"Are you okay?" Rastan inquired.
"Thank you everyone." Ryfia smiled sweetly. L'Arc came in and the first thing he saw was Ryfia, conscious and alert.
"Ryfia…" L'Arc looked at the diva, "You're okay!"
Ryfia nodded to satisfy the party, as all of them, in return, nodded as well. "I heard that I've caused you a lot of trouble for you guys. I'm sorry…" The whole party turned towards Niko as soon as they heard what Ryfia was saying.
"Niko, did you tell her anything?" Cecille asked.
"Yep, everything! Except the crystallized part." Niko shouted out, resulting in a push by Cecille.
"Niko, keep your big mouth shut!" Leslie retorted.
"You dumbhead!" Cecille bluntly retorted. "You weren't supposed to say THAT!" Niko frowned and Ryfia noticed that.
"Crystallized?" Ryfia questioned.
"Niko, you are such an idiot!" Serge shouted at the redhead, saddening him more.
"Stop it!" Ryfia stepped in. "You all just keep shouting at him like that for no reason."
"What? He's the one who got you into this state." L'Arc came in.
"L'Arc, have you forgotten? Niko saved me! He paid for his mistake but at the same time, he acted like a great friend, just like he had promised." Ryfia shouted back, surprising everyone. Ryfia realized she was over doing it and calmed down.
"Ryfia…" Niko looked at the troubled girl.
"I'm sorry, just please don't blame Niko. He's done everything he can for us. You all need to realize that." Ryfia pleaded the group nicely, in which the group smiled in understanding.
"Thanks, Ryfia." Niko thanked the fair diva, in which she replied with a nod. She began to make her way towards the window thinking about what Niko said. "Crystallized?"
"Niko, you should be careful next time." Cecille whispered, "She shouldn't know about this. She won't be able to take it if she does."
"Well, whatever, what's done is done." L'Arc added. "Our goal is to find Dr. Carlisle….which we are having trouble with."
"Well, where else could she be?" Serge asked the group.
"Hey Niko, you're in the resistance, right? Would you have any idea where Carlisle is?" Leslie asked the redhead.
"I could try to contact with her, but I'll need to check with Kazaf…" Niko explained, "Can you take me to Ferris?" Niko asked Cecille, in which she nodded and took control of the lightship.
"Alright, thanks Niko." L'Arc said, "I'm sorry, once again for before." L'Arc apologized.
"Me too, Sorry Niko." Cecille also apologized, flattering the redhead.
"Aw, you guys!" The redhead blushed with a sheepish smile.
"Don't get used to it!" L'Arc added bluntly, making Niko cross his arms.
"You're no fun, Mr. L'Arc," Niko pouted.
"Pfft, whatever!" L'Arc retorted. As everyone scattered around the lightship, L'Arc turned his gaze towards Ryfia, who was lost in the scene out the window. He decided to go talk to her.
"Hey, Ryfia…" L'Arc walked up to the diva. L'Arc realized she didn't react to his call. "Nice view, isn't it?" He looked at the sky and back at her to find that she didn't see him.
"Ryfia?" L'Arc called to the still figure who didn't respond at all, like she was in her own world. L'Arc got in front of the place she was gaping at and waved his hand in front of her face but no response. Finally, he made a fist and lightly knocked once on her forehead, in which she flinched, realizing he was there.
"L-L'Arc?" Ryfia finally responded, making both laugh after a small silence. "Did you need something?"
"How are you feeling?" L'Arc worriedly looked at the diva.
"I'm feeling a bit better...Sorry about back there, I'm just feeling strange." Ryfia looked to the ground and then looked back at L'Arc. "What was it that Niko was talking about?"
"Huh? What?" L'Arc confusingly looked at Ryfia.
"Crystallization?" Ryfia asked, making L'Arc flinched. "What happened after I fell in the ocean?"
L'Arc gaped at Ryfia but then broke the contact and looked out the window. "N-Nothing…look you're fine, right, so there's nothing to worry about…" L'Arc quickly replied.
"…" Ryfia stayed silent for a second then whispered, "Liar."
"Huh?" L'Arc looked at the troubled face of Ryfia, "You don't believe me?"
"No," Ryfia answered, "You're hiding something. If I'm fine, then why did Alf show much hate for me back in Verct? Why do I feel so tired now and then? Why are we not with Eesa right now, proposing the third law?" She said, stacking her questions one on top of the other.
"Ryfia…" L'Arc looked at the ground. "I…don't want to hurt you too much."
"Then, tell me! Nothing's hurting me more than this." Ryfia pleaded the swordsman, awaiting his reply. "L'Arc!" she shouted, catching the attention of everyone onboard.
"You fell in the ocean and injured yourself near the Verct Skywalk. When we found you, we took you to a doctor. He told us that…" L'Arc paused not wanting to continue.
"Told you what?" Ryfia tilted her head in confusion. L'Arc stayed quiet which worried her more. "Tell me, L'Arc!" The Diva frantically shook the swordsman.
"You're crystallized!" L'Arc finally said, horrifying Ryfia as she let go of L'Arc and stepped a few steps backward as she stared at the swordsman with a perturbed expression.
"The Hozone you took in started to crystallize you and is the reason why you are so tired." L'Arc said with great courage. Ryfia, shaken up by the answer, couldn't believe what she heard.
"I'm going to die?" She thought to herself. She began to feel like the ground was swept from her feet and her vision began to blur up. She began to feel dizzy and felt herself sink as the view in front of her started to dim. L'Arc slowly walked towards Ryfia.
"H-Hey, what's wrong, Ryfia?!" L'Arc inquired the diva. Ryfia controlled herself and snapped out of it, shaking her head.
"Nothing…" She mumbled. The group looked at the two with worry as L'Arc looked back at them with a worried face.
A long silence followed between the two when suddenly something hit the lightship. L'Arc got ahold of Ryfia and prevented her from falling by holding her arms. The lightship rocked frantically as the party was falling.
"What the heck's going on?!" Serge shouted.
"I don't know! Someone's attacking us from behind!" Cecille replied, trying to take full control of the steering.
"Hey, is that…Alf?" Leslie questioned, holding on to the railing near the door.
L'Arc looked out the window and spotted an Imperial lightship shooting their lightship. "Argh! Stupid Alf!"
"Fire back, will ya?!" Niko shouted over to Cecille, in which she shook her head in return. "What about crash landing?"
"Yeah, let's do that," Serge shouted sarcastically, "That's the last thing I want to do while we're up SO HIGH in altitude, Niko!" he finally answered.
"Then all we have to do is fight back…" Rastan calmly stated. "We'll go to the top and fight them there, maybe even reason with them."
"Good idea! Let's go!" L'Arc ordered the party. Everyone scrambled to get to the top of the ship while Cecille stayed and tried to keep the lightship balanced.
"Ryfia, Stay here!" L'Arc commanded.
"I want to come with you, L'Arc!" Ryfia said.
"No! You can't!" L'Arc shouted. "I don't want you getting hurt!"
"Please! I want to help you!" The ship was hit harder this time, making L'Arc and Ryfia bump into each other and making the two hit the wall, letting out an "ouch" sound.
"Are you alright?...See, this is what I mean." L'Arc stated trying to get back up after the diva fell on him.
"But-"Ryfia tried to reason, but was cut off.
"No buts! Grab this and stay here. Don't move, Ryfia."
"Okay, fine, but be careful," Ryfia nodded, grasping to a side railing as L'Arc carefully walked towards the opening.
"Cecille, make sure the lightship maintains balance beside their lightship. Also, make sure Ryfia doesn't come out, got it?" L'Arc demanded the hero, in which she nodded in reply. L'Arc climbed out the roof to catch a glimpse of Alf's created commotion.
"Hmph, you don't stand a chance against us." Dynos bellowed, as he hit them with his dark magic.
"What the heck are you guys trying to do?!" L'Arc questioned the deathchanter.
"You still don't understand? We do what we think fits best for our gain." Clyde explained.
"In other words…destroy you! Along with the Imaginal Diva," Dynos laughed hysterically.
"Yeah, funny, but where will that get you?" Leslie sarcastically responded, as she shot the last corpse that stood before Dynos aroused another one. Rastan swiftly sliced the corpse but didn't finish it off.
"Lord Alf has ordered us to bring him the Diva, dead or alive." Clyde chuckled as he swung his axe to the group. "Any hesitation will cause you more trouble."
"Sword of crimson, incinerate them all!" L'Arc used Ignis Beat on Dynos and Clyde, getting them distracted. "What could you possibly want for her?"
"In order to bring something back, you must sacrifice another," a familiar voice came from behind Dynos and Clyde.
"Alf…" Serge held his dagger tightly. The group kept their fighting stance until the Emperor fully gave the group his attention.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Niko inquired.
"Well, why don't we show you? Hand her over!" Alf demanded.
"No way!" Niko and Leslie said, as they shot the ground in front of them.
"No? And I was making it easy for you…" Alf shrugged at the stupidity of the other group. "It's time to turn it up a notch…" Alf smirked, unsheathing his sword and positioning it for battle.
The lightship jerked side to side harshly as the groups fought. Cecille tried her full best to keep the lightship balanced and Ryfia held tightly to the bar as she saw a big lightship out the window, lined up with Cecille the Brave.
"This is a hassle! Why does it have to be like this?" Cecille cried in agitation.
"Want me to help you, Cecille?" Ryfia asked the trouble hero.
"No it's fine Ryfia, just stay there. Thank you though," Cecille smiled at the diva.
"Cecille, am I really…..going to die?" Ryfia innocently asked.
"What? No way anything like that is going to happen!" Cecille shouted. "As far as I know, we won't give up that easily."
"Cecille, crystallization is fatal to our bodies. I know that I won't survive." Ryfia muttered as her voice shivered.
"Please, stop, Ryfia. That's not for you to worry about." Cecille consoled the diva as a blast from outside hit the lightship.
"What's that?" Ryfia stood up and ran over to the window to see Alf and his group attack L'Arc's group with Excel Acts. "Oh no!"
"He's so powerful," Niko said, as he covered his face with his gun and left arm in defense.
"Is this really all? Well we must finish the attack right?" Alf taunted as he performed his Excel Trinity. "Mystic fortune!" They all said as it drowned Rastan with spears of water attacking him and bringing him down.
"Alf, why?! Why should we fight?!" L'Arc questioned the mad prince.
"Because that is what destiny has planned for us, L'Arc." Alf said, shaking his head in disappointment.
"Do you remember when we were young, we fought each other to see who was stronger?" L'Arc questioned the puzzled Alf as he smiled remembering the memory.
"We never finished the fight, did we?" Alf smiled when he closed his eyes, then he slowly opened them to see L'Arc smiling at him.
"Yes, I guess we didn't…only because Zamuel had a time rule." L'Arc snickered.
"But this time…" Alf began as he caught L'Arc's attention, "I'm going to win!" Alf held his blade forward, looking at L'Arc with hate.
"What?" L'Arc said as he was shocked by Alf's statement. "You're still going to-"
"Yes…for Adele…" Alf said with pain in his voice.
"Wait! Adele? Are you going to-"Rastan questioned before he was interfered by Dynos' shot.
"Be prepared, L'Arc!" Alf shouted as he raised his sword to have it emit a light, spinning it into a circle and slashing it against all the party members. Heavy wind slashed the group and the lightship, making it rock.
"Alf is defeating them, Cecille!" Ryfia said in a trembling voice.
"This is crazy, if the lightship breaks, we'll fall right in the ocean!" Cecille worriedly cried. Ryfia saw the opening and the way to get out.
"Oh no, smoke!" Cecille cried.
"I have an idea, Cecille." Ryfia looked at Cecille's confused face, "But you won't stop me, okay?" Ryfia warned the little hero.
"Ryfia are you out of it? They couldn't beat Alf, so how are you going to? I can't let you!" Cecille called to Ryfia as she walked towards the opening.
"Trust me Cecille; we have no other choice…" Ryfia sighed, making Cecille leave the steering. The lightship started to get out of balance which made Cecille fall and Ryfia run to Cecille for help with no one on the steering.
"The lightship!" Cecille screamed but realized when it came back in stability.
"I've got this," said the familiar voice, "they need your help!"
"Cecille?" Ryfia looked at the little girl, receiving a smile and nod.
"Alf!" L'Arc shouted to his best friend, who didn't give a care about what L'Arc said. Breathing heavily, L'Arc dropped to the ground, holding his arm in pain as the whole party gave up to Alf's power.
"That was easy!" Dynos crossed his arms in victory. "Now, to finish you off, Child of Eesa." L'Arc looked to the ground in defeat.
"We're done for…" Leslie said as she panted. Alf held his hand out as a light started forming within his palm. A beam of light sparked as he made a fist and brought it above his head.
"Behold," Alf said as he brought his hand down in the direction of L'Arc, "Real Revelation"
L'Arc's eyes widened as crystallization formed around his group, crystallized spears formed in the sky and prepared to slash down at L'Arc's team. L'Arc grinded his teeth and shut his eyes, already feeling the arrows pierce through him.
A singing voice in the distance softly filled the atmosphere as a secure and calm aura embraced the group. L'Arc opened his eyes to a violet haired girl standing in front of him and sang as luminous rain fell from the sky and created a shield around the team, protecting them from the piercing spears that Alf had made to attack them.
Alf's piercing gaze set on the innocence of that face and his ears gave full attention to the purity of her song. L'Arc slowly got up with the support of his sword that he had stabbed into the ground. His emerald eyes met the hazel eyes of the girl when she turned around to face the group.
"Ryfia…" L'Arc whispered, surprised by the face.
"Are you alright, L'Arc? Everyone else?" Ryfia inquired.
"Ryfia, I told you to stay!" L'Arc scolded the diva, who was not affected by his words.
"Not in this situation, L'Arc. I won't lose my friends." Ryfia shook her head as she talked with confidence. She turned around to see an angered Alf.
"Imaginal Diva, come to die?" Dynos threatened the girl, as she just stood there, unaffected.
"I guess I'll take care of you first." Alf bellowed with a smile. Ryfia gave a challenging look to Alf as she spread her arms out, defending the group. Alf smirked as he lifted his sword towards the sky; cerulean circles surrounded Alf as he dashed towards Ryfia at full speed.
"Ryfia, get back!" L'Arc shouted at the still girl, who didn't move a muscle as Alf attempted to slice her.
"L'Arc, don't stop me…" Ryfia mumbled as her arms stayed out, she tightly shut her eyes to take in the pain of Alf's blow. Alf swung his sword down as blue light emitted from his sword.
"This is my true power!" Alf growled as L'Arc shockingly looked at the priestess give herself in to Alf. Everything happened quickly, L'Arc was puzzled on what to do and fell down to the ground on one knew. Alf suddenly reached Ryfia and slashed his sword down. A cloud of fog covered everyone as the visibility decreased for anyone to see each other.
"Ryfia!" L'Arc screamed looking towards the direction of where he saw them.