(Hi guys. Welcome to another chapter. In this one it will feature the final curtain call of the snakes.)
Somewhere below the surface in a cavern, were Pythor, Skales, Acidicus, the Hypnobrai, and the Venomari tribes. After they went AWOL from Ragnarok, due to allowing their fellow tribes the Constrictai and the Fangpyres with their generals to be bottled up by Negi and Dustin, they had retreated into the earth. Pythor was slinking back and forth as Skales and Acidicus were awaiting word, while the tribes were looking restless from lack of action.
Pythor finally spoke up, "Brother Serpentine!" they all turned their attention towards the Anacondrai general, "Our time of waiting is over. It's time we take the fight to that accursed wizard Springfield and his spirit warrior partner Bowers!"
"And how pray tell are we going to do that exactly, Pythor?" Skales asked feeling skeptical.
"By rendering them both powerless." Pythor answered.
"But how?" Acidicus asked.
"Simple. I managed to sneak this book from Ragnarok that contains magical elixirs. And this one here can neutralize the special powers of the drinker." Pythor explained.
Skales started to see where this was headed, "So all we need to do is make the both of them drink it..."
Acidicus finished, "And both their magic and spirit powers will be neutralized."
"Precisely." Pythor answered with a snicker.
"Though how will we trick them into drinking it?" A Hynpobrai warrior asked.
Pythor smirked, "Just leave it to me." he snickered.
Meanwhile above the ground, at Mahora's forest area, Setsuna was standing completely still with her eyes closed and sword at her side as if concentrating. Suddenly some leafs started falling from the tree tops and as they were falling closer to Setsuna's level, the girls eyes shot open and faster than the eye can blink she was in a pose with her sword as all the leaves fell to pieces. She sheathed her sword and heard applause. She looked behind her and saw Dustin applauding, with Zyphon and Domino at his sides, Mana leaning against a tree, and Zazie waving little flags as if congratulating her.
"Once again Setsuna, your sword skills know no bound." Dustin commended her.
"A very remarkable display." Zyphon agreed.
"That's our girl." Zazie said as she waved the two flags.
Setsuna looked embarrassed, "Really, this was nothing. I still have much to learn."
"Yes, but at least your skills are satisfying in the eyes of your friends." Mana reminded her.
Setsuna seeing how impressed Dustin, Domino, Zyphon, and Zazie were with her skill couldn't help but smile, "Yeah. You're right."
Dustin spoke up, "Well come on, Setsuna. Let's all grab a bite before heading back to the dorms." Setsuna nodded and went off to join the rest of them.
The very next day after classes, Negi and Dustin were relaxing by the fountain, as the spirit warrior spoke, "I tell ya Negi, this has been a great day hasn't it?"
"Oh yes it's been wonderful." Negi agreed.
"Ya got that right." Chamo chuckled, as the ermine popped out of Negi's jacket.
"So what do ya think we should do today, besides lounging around?" Domino asked, as he perched on the fountain ledge.
"Not sure really." Negi admitted.
"Yeah I got nothing either." Dustin added.
"Negi-kun, Dustin-kun!" a voice called as they saw Konoka and Setsuna approach.
"Hello girls!" Negi greeted them.
"What's up?" Dustin asked curiously.
"Well since Asuna decided to stay after school to do some more art work, me and Setsuna are free." Konoka explained.
"So we were wondering if you'd like to join us for a drink?" Setsuna offered.
The boys looked intrigued as Negi spoke up, "That's sounds wonderful."
"I'm game." Dustin admitted.
"Great, let's get going." Konoka said as she took Negi by the arm and dragged him off.
"Oh Konoka, not so rough!" Negi groaned as he was dragged along.
Dustin and Setsuna watched the two go off, before they looked to each other as Dustin spoke, "Shall we?"
Setsuna nodded, "Let's go." the two went off after the two, unaware of Pythor suddenly appearing and watching them leave, "Perfect." he snickered to himself before going invisible again.
Soon enough out in Mahora city, Konoka, Setsuna, Negi, and Dustin were wandering about before stopping at a coffee shop. The two ordered their drinks, but as the counter worker was preparing their drinks, he was unaware of a vial pouring liquid into the drinks made for Negi and Dustin. When they were brought to the four, they each took their drink and enjoyed it.
Setsuna noticed as Dustin was drinking his while still looking worried, "Is everything all right, Dustin?"
"What do you mean, Setsuna?" he asked as he placed his drink on the table.
"You seem to be spacing out, and not just here, but during class as well." Setsuna added.
"I noticed it too." Konoka agreed.
"Well I got a lot on my mind," Dusitn admitted, "I mean we just purified Voltaire and broke him free from Ragnarok's hold, but Ragnarok still has Thorn and Diabound at his disposal."
Setsuna and Konoka looked at each other seeing he brings up a good point, as Negi spoke up, "And let's not forget Pythor and the other two serpentine tribes are still out there."
"That's right, Michael told us they broke away from Ragnarok after the their two tribes were bottled up." Konoka remembered.
"But where could they have gone?" Dustin asked the three.
"I have no idea." Setsuna admitted.
"Well I guess we won't know until we face them again." Negi stated.
"Well let's hope it's not too soon." Dustin said as he continued to have his drink while he could feel an odd flavor to it, while Negi felt a distinct taste in his as well.
As they left the coffee shop, Pythor who was outside again smirked, "And now the fun can begin." he went through a shadow portal.
As the four walked through the city, Negi and Dustin started groaning, "Negi-kun, Dustin-kun, are you ok?" Konoka asked in concern.
"I think I had something that didn't agree with me." Dustin groaned as Domino spoke.
"Was it that leftover pizza?" he cawed.
"I don't think so." he answered.
"I'm feeling a little woozy myself." Negi admitted as he rubbed his stomach.
"Strange. You guys were fine a minute ago." Chamo noted.
Suddenly they heard laughing coming from around them, putting them on defense, "Sound familiar/" Dustin asked the three.
"Yes. It's Pythor." Setsuna deduced.
Suddenly the serpentine general appeared before them startling the boys, and making Konoka scream in fright, "Oh I love those reactions." Pythor chuckled amusingly.
"I got a reaction for you!" Setsuna frowned as she drew her sword and tried to attack Pythor, but the general used his staff to block her strike, and aimed his left bawled up claw at her, "Shadow shot!" he blasted her with shadow energy, knocking her back.
"Setsuna!" Konoka cried.
"Oh no!" Negi gasped.
Dustin frowned and turned to Pythor, "I've had it with you, Pythor!" he started to power up but realized nothing was happening, "What gives? I can't power up."
Negi tried to use his staff but felt nothing, "And my magic isn't responding either."
"That's bad." Chamo dreaded.
"But why can't you boys power up?" Konoka asked in confusion.
"Because they've been drugged." Pythor answered.
"Drugged?" the boys gasped.
"Yes. You drank a special power nullifying elixir that has rendered you magic and spirit energy useless. And it will be that way for three hours." Pythor explained.
"Three hours?" Negi gasped in shock.
"You snake." Dustin frowned.
"Thank you." Pythor chuckled, only to get hit by a spirit gun shot coming from Setsuna.
"Setsuna!" Konoka gasped seeing she was ok.
"You may have rendered the magic and spirit energy of Negi and Dustin, but oujou-sama and I still have our powers." she declared.
"Hai. Adeat!" Konoka called activating her pactio and stood ready to use her own magic.
"And you may have taken away our best skills, but we still have our martial arts." Negi added as he and Dustin got into fighter stances.
"Makes no difference to me, or my boys." Pythor answered as Skales and Acidicus arrived, along with their tribes crawling up from the sewer.
"Skales, Acidicus, and their tribes." Dustin narrowed his eyes at them.
"let's see how you four can handle against all of us with your handicaps." Pythor chuckled.
"Attack!" Skales and Acidicus ordered their tribes who charged.
"Go!" Dustin called as the four split up.
Negi and Konoka were handling Skales and the Hypnobrai, while Setsuna was handling Acidicus and the Venomari tribe, and finally Dustin was going up against Pythor. As Dustin was forced to only rely on his hand to hand combat skill, he started speaking with Pythor, "So you and the others just jumped from Ragnarok and decided to go your own way huh?"
"How would you know we stopped working with Ragnarok?" Pythor questioned him as he used his staff to try and whack Dustin, only for the boy to dodge.
"Voltaire told us, or rather Michael told us." Dustin answered as he delivered a spin kick to Pythor's face.
Pythor growled at the attack and asked, "What do you mean by Michael?"
"Guess you haven't heard. We purified Voltaire of his dark energy and malevolence. He's now on our side now."
"Well isn't that nice?" Pythor asked in sarcasm.
"It only proves that if we can defeat Felix and Voltaire, then we can defeat you and the rest of the serpentine!" Dustin called as he threw a punch at Pythor, who caught his wrist with his claw.
"You naïve little fool," he began, "I've existed longer than Felix and Voltaire combined. I'm twice as powerful as those two and Thorn combined!" he pinned Dustin to the ground.
Setsuna who was striking at the Venomari soldiers, saw Dustin getting pinned by Pythor, "Dustin!" she called and tried to get over to him, only to get blocked off by Acidicus.
"Don't even think about it!" he tried spitting his venom in her face only for her to shut her eyes to avoid it. Acidicus seeing her eyes were shut tried to attack, but the girl using her own senses and reflexes, was able to dodge the attack.
She opened her eyes and knocked Acidicus with her sword. Using her spirit energy she took off and flew for Pythor, "Get away from him!" she swung his sword at Pythor. He used his staff to block her attack, but the force from it was stronger and knocked him off the boy.
"Setsuna!" Dustin gasped as he got up.
"Dustin, are you all right?" she asked as she checked him.
"I'm ok, but what about Negi and Konoka?" he asked.
With the two, they were still fending off against Skales and the Hypnobrai while avoiding full eye contact or become hypnotized zombies. Negi was using all his martial arts knowledge and ninja training from Ku and Kaede to attack and defend himself and Konoka from the snakes, "Man Negi you're not feeling up to snuff." Chamo noted.
"Well without my magic to use in conjuncture with my combat skills I'm only at half strength." Negi admitted as he punched a Hypnobria soldier.
"Don't worry, Negi. I'll help you!" Konoka promised as she fought at Negi's side.
"Arigato, Konoka." Negi said as they went through the soldiers, and started facing Skales.
"I want the bottle with my fellow Serpentine in them!" Skales demanded as he tried swatting at them with his staff.
"You're welcomed to join them inside it!" Konoka called as she dodged Skales' strikes.
"When I release them you and your meddling partners will be the ones bottles up." he promised them.
"Not if I can't help it!" Negi ran up to Skale and gave him an upward kick to the jaw.
"Good shot, aniki!" Chamo cheered.
Skales hissed in irritation, before his eyes started glowing, "Look into my eyes," Negi who couldn't look away in time started falling into a trance, "Give up your mind."
Konoka seeing Negi was starting to succumb to Skales' hypnosis tired to get to him, "Negi!" she cried only for the Hypnobrai soldiers, Venomari soldiers, and Acidicus to block her way.
Before Skales could give another command, it started raining kunai all around, forcing the snakes to run. But that wasn't enough as the kunai having been wrapped in explosive tags detonated and were knocking the snakes down or distorting them. Skales having been knocked out of focus stopped his hypnosis and Negi was free, "What happened?" the boy gasped.
Coming right down from the sky was Kaede, Zazie, Mana, and Ku, who landed on the ground and stood ready, "Ku, Kaede!" Konoka gasped in relief.
"Mana, Zazie!" Dustin gasped in joy.
"Sorry we late." Ku apologized.
"Better late than never." Zazie quipped.
Pythor scowled with his fellow generals, "It looks like your competition has been increased."
"Shall we fall back?" Acidicus inquired.
"No. It's now or never." Pythor answered.
"Then we fight like we've never fought before!" Skales declared.
"Attack!" Pythor ordered as the two tribes and their generals charged once again.
Mana, Zazie, Ku, and Kaede went into battle agaisnt the snakes giving the boys a better advantage, "So what's going on here?" Kaede asked Negi as they fought some Hypnobrai.
"Pythor drugged me and Dusitn, and now I can't use my magic and Dustin can't use his spirit energy." he explained as he spun kicked a Hypnobrai soldier.
"No wonder you're not fighting full force." Ku noted as she punched a Venomari soldier.
"I may not be able to use my magic, but there's still someone here who can. Konoka!" Negi tossed the girl the bottle in which he used to seal the snakes in, "Use the vial and trap the rest of the serpentine!" he ordered.
"All right." Konoka nodded as she watched everyone fight the serpentine until they were are huddled together. She gave a determined look as she uncorked it and spoke a magic incantation before it started assimilating the Hypnobrai and Venomari soldiers.
Skales and Acidicus seeing what was happening tried to slink away but were getting caught in the pull, "Pythor!" Skales cried.
"Help us!" Acidicus cried as the two screaming generals were assimilated into the bottle with the tribes.
"NO!" Pythor screamed as he watched his last tow fellow generals get sucked up.
The girls watched as Konoka corked the bottle. Mana turned to Pythor who had his head down, "It's over, Pythor. You're next."
Pythor growled, "Oh no you silly girl. I am not the the who will be next to be defeated," he shot his head up with his eyes glowing red as his dark energy aura was surrounding him, "IT WILL BE ALL OF YOU!" he declared as he flew past Mana, Ku, and Kaede, on a direct course with Dustin and Negi.
Before he could strike them he was blocked by Setsuna who was glowing with spirit energy, "Leave them alone!" she ordered as she knocked the dark energy powered snake back as she stood ready with her sword in hand.
"If you wish to be the first to fall. I accept your choice!" Pythor shouted as the two fighters went at it, snowing no mercy.
"Whoa, look at Setsuna go." Konoka gasped.
"She's faster than before." Ku noted.
Dustin smirked and thought, 'Setsuna's using spirit force to match Pythor's shadow force.'
Setsuna was throwing every sword strike she could muster against Pythor who was using his staff to block the strikes. Finally Setsuna took one big spirit energized sword strike which ended up slicing Pythor's staff in half, "You broke my staff!" Pythor bellowed.
"And now for you!" Setsuna punched Pythor in the face sending him flying across the ground.
Pythor got up growling, "You've made a mockery of me and my brethren long enough!" his dark energy started powering up more, "I will finish you if it's the last thing I do!"
Setsuna channeled her spirit energy into her sword, and retorted, "This is the last thing you'll do!"
Pythor growled as he threw his arms back and forward releasing his built up dark energy, "Shadow force!"
Setsuna who aimed her sword in the ground swung it back and forward releasing a shockwave of spirit energy, "Spirit force!"
The two attacks collided resulting in an explosion, knocking the group back, while Pythor remained his ground, "Did I win?" he asked until he saw a figure flying right through the smoke from the collided attacks.
He finally saw it was Setsuna who still had energy to fight, "You're finished!" she slashed at Pythor, and appeared behind him.
Pythor looked and saw he didn't appear injured, until multiple cuts started opening up and dark beams were shooting out of him, as he screamed in pain, "What? No! This can't be! NOOOOO!" he screamed as he exploded into nothing.
The group looked and saw there was nothing left of Pythor, "He's gone." Negi gasped.
"Yeah." Kaede agreed.
Setsuna's spirit energy powered down, and she fell on her side, "Setsuna!" Konoka and Dustin called as they all raced over to her.
Dustin got down and helped her up, "I gotcha."
"Arigato, Dustin." Setsuna thanked him as she was weakened.
"Here, I'll heal you up." Konoka said as she used her magic to heal Setsuna's injuries and giver her energy back.
"Arigato, ojou-sama." Setsuna thanked her a she was able to stand up straight.
"I can't believe we actually beat the serpentine." Negi gasped.
"But we did." Ku assured him.
"We all did great," Mana began, "Especially you, Setsuna."
"Got that right." Dustin agreed as Setsuna blushed in embarrassment, while a shadow soldier was watching them before vanishing.
Negi smiled, "You and Konoka really helped us out today, Setsuna. With me and Dustin at only half strength you two really came through for us."
"Oh Negi-kin!" Konoka giggled as she hugged the boys and kissed him, making him blush.
Dustin chuckled seeing Negi's reaction, and suddenly found himself turned to face Setsuna, who cupped his face and smiled while he blushed, "I'm glad I could protect you, Dustin-kun." she pulled him into a kiss which he returned without a second thought.
Kaede, Zazie, Ku, and Mana watched with surprised looks, having only expected Konoka to do this kind of thing. When Dustin and Setsuna parted, Dustin blushed before smiling, "You're a natural at this ya know?" Setsuna giggled.
Negi spoke up, "Well with all the other four Serpentine tribes and their generals bottled up, we can send this to Eishun in Kyoto and add this to their lock up."
"Agreed. Let's give this to the dean right away." Mana suggested as they all headed off.
It zoomed out, revealing Ragnarok, Thorn, and Diabound had been watching it for a moment since the one shadow soldier who was spying on the guys briefed them, "So Pythor is defeated and the snakes have been sealed." Diabound stated.
"Yes," Ragnaork agreed, "And now that they're out of the way there's one less obstacle in my way of getting rid of the boys once and for all."
"So what's our next move, sir?" Thorn inquired.
"Patience, Thorn. These things take time, after all." Ragnarok snickered.
(And there's the chapter. The traitor Pythor has been defeated and the rest of the snakes bottled up. But still more dangers await the boys and their partners. Don't miss next time guys.)