Kohaku landed on her rump with a sharp yelp. Incarose retracted her arm and strafed to the next target, and then the next, systemically pushing Shing's forces apart with a burst from her palm to repel their combined assault. Despite the mechanical sorceress's initial advantage in strength, however, the party was ultimately able to regroup and overcome her frenzied attacks. Kohaku managed to deliver the final blow herself with a well-placed flying kick.

When the battle was over, Incarose stumbled toward her and slumped over her shoulder in heap of smoking wreckage. Sparks spewed from her wounds as some sort of artificial blood drained from the corners of her mouth. The life faded from her synthetic eyes as they slowly sunk into the shadow of her hood. In the time it would have taken to push Incarose away, Kohaku was caught off guard by the sound of her opponent whispering in her ear.

"Vessel of Richea, I regret trying to hurt you. I now see the future will be better off in your hands."

Incarose tenderly reached for Kohaku's cheek with her clawed digits. For a moment, she saw her opponent couldn't help but feel some amount of remorse for bringing about her demise.

The mechanoid wheezed for the last time. Just when it seemed the end had come, her face abruptly contorted into a demonic grin. Her next words came in a cruel whisper.

"Sweet dreams, princess."

In an instant, Incarose shifted her hand so it rested against Kohaku's forehead. A brilliant light exploded from her fingers, blinding every member of Shing's party.

Kohaku could feel something reaching up from the depths of her heart, just like when Richea awoke to share her body and interact with the physical world. This time, however, it wasn't the warm, cheerful presence of a slumbering princess that was coming to greet her. This time, it was something darker.

When the flash ended and the rest of the group were shaking the stars out of their eyes, Kohaku was standing idly over Incarose's motionless body with her back to her comrades. When she began mumbling to herself, both her and Incarose's voices came from her mouth in perfect unearthly harmony.

"Spir Link acquired. Initiating Spiria Symbiosis."

Incarose's voice gradually faded, leaving Kohaku as the only audible speaker.

"Recalibrating to organic neuromuscular systems."

Kohaku peered toward her hands and curiously flexed her fingers. She then moved her attention downward, testing her balance on each foot and curling her toes in her slippers. Pleased with her findings, a soft smile crossed her lips.

"Compatibility verified. Resuming mission."

She ominously turned toward Shing and the others, who had been able to hear little of her rambling and were utterly baffled by her behavior. She was on them before they had a chance to recuperate.

Kohaku sprinted into her own party with a rhythmic flurry of melee attacks, knocking the senses out of anyone who happened to be in her way. In a surprising feat of athleticism, she leapt into the air, locked her arms around Kunzite's neck while catching Beryl with her legs, and hurled both to the ground by sharply twisting her shoulders and thighs.

With her patience wearing thin, Innes impulsively tried to cut Kohaku down with a broad swing of her blade. Kohaku easily rolled under the attack, then reached into empty air to summon her signature baton. Innes was neutralized when the blunt weapon smashed into her abdomen, causing her to drop face-first in paralyzed agony and allowing Kohaku's violent ballet to continue unhindered. Not even her dear brother Hisui could prevent her spontaneous aggression, as he soon found himself painfully sprawling to the ground alongside the rest of his peers.

Shing took command as the others slowly climbed back to their feet in a chorus of groans and grunts. Holding his sword feebly at his side, he cried out in a mix of panic and desperation.

"What's gotten into you, Kohaku? We have to stop Creed!"

Kohaku only scoffed at his plea and readied herself for the next wave of attacks.

"Not without getting through me!"

She threw her baton as if it were a small javelin, spiking Shing in the center of the chest and sending him staggering background. It was enough to give Kohaku the opening she wanted, and she followed suit by ambushing him in a chain of kicks and punches. What ensued was a rather pathetic example of one-on-one combat, as the battle dancer's moves would have came far too quickly for swordsman to match even if he had been willing to fight her.

Kohaku finally catapulted Shing back into the rest of his party with the same amplified palm strike Incarose had been using only minutes earlier. Disoriented and exhausted, the team could only watch as their attacker cupped her empty hands together to conjure a massive fireball before her, then unleashed the deadly spell directly on their huddled position. It only took a few seconds before five piles of ash were all that remained of Shing and his allies.

The air filled with Kohaku's maniacal laughter as she stood over the charred remains of her enemies. Nothing could oppose her master now.