Chapter Twelve: "Overclock"

The smoke littered place started to calm down as eight ghastly shadows emerged out of the blurry scene, each one of them holding a weapon and standing brazenly amidst being smack dab in the middle of all this chaos and destruction.

"RRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGAAAAAHHHHH HH" The beast bellowed, trapped inside a yellow barrier that encircled it's entire girth. It tried breaking free, swinging it's arms wildly inside, but the shield did not budged even an inch, and it even muffled the screams and growls it loosed inside.

"Locked and secured, Master Noir, you may now proceed~" Said the frilly yellow dressed small avatar prancing around the perimeter, holding her same patterned parasol around, her green colored eyes fixated on to the jet black avatar who was standing ahead of all of them.

All eyes then focused on the twitching dark gray monstrosity inside the yellow barrier, it's thrashing figure violently trying to wriggle free out of it's binded state. "Just make sure he's not going to get hurt..." Murmured the black and purple avatar who was standing side by side with Noir Eraser, her gloomy purple goggled eyes craned in rigid attention at the imprisoned Silver Crow.

"Aye aye Black Lotus!" Came Topaz Canopy's cheerful reply while her hand quickly darted up on her forehead with a prompt salute.

"7th Rift, execute pattern Sigma." This time, the one leading in front of them spoke, his hand gesturing majestically out in front of him in a fanning motion, directing the two silver hued avatars into branching paths. "Void, take the left, Rage, take the right. Maverick and Pile, you mop up the rangers, Canopy, you support us from he rear while keeping up the barrier, Break and Hopper, you guys stay with Canopy and protect her from incoming attacks." He ordered, his voice commanding and firm.

"Lotus, you are coming with me, we are blitzing through this mess, eliminating as much avatars as we can, and we're heading up there..." Kenneth pointed up, towards the distance, where a faint image of two hulking avatars came into a blurry view. "...We are going to cut off this party's head."

Earning an immediate approving nods from the silent listeners he had, Kenneth confirmed their understanding and prepared himself as the same time as the others did, weapons clanging and stances flashing.

"CHAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGEEEEEE E!" He roared and the squad of multi-colored Burst Linkers sped off towards the still aghast opposition, who was still in slight disarray from their sudden appearance. The eight shadows thundered off, each trailing light and dust as they kicked off, their weapons swinging as they came into contact with their enemy, instantly engaging them in close quarter combat.

As ordered, Icicle Rage and Mercuric Void trailed off in separate paths, flanking the enemy. Miyu's rapier first came into contact with a copper colored avatar who was holding a blunt mace like weapon who didn't even realized what hit him as she sent her thin, pointed blade directly into his heart, piercing it in one go, shattering his avatar in one instant. Wasting no time, like a flash, she proceeded to rinse and repeat the same action for two other burst linkers who stood no chance against her.

"Linear Drive!" She said, after her blade parried two successive blows from the front and her left coming from two avatars, the knock back effect sending the two staggering back, and after completing the command chant, her figure glowed white before speeding straight towards between the enemies in front of her, shredding their armor into smithereens before making their own bodies explode into blue pixels.

On the other side, with the same pace as her, Mercuric Void was doing the same, the thing she was best at, destruction. Avatar after avatar fell to the might of her infinite weapon projection skill, each weapon she brandishes spelled a different kind of terror and death to the unfortunate Burst Linker to cross her path.

"Kukuku~" A wry smile formed on her lips as she conjured multiple masses of mercury which, seemed to float around her, blobs of mercury which fizzled as they hovered around her and just after a few seconds, it took the form of funnel shaped objects, the narrow side aimed forwards, and there was a total of eight of them who was still flying around her, slowly gyrating. "Fly!" Mercuric Void chanted, which was quickly followed by loud humming sounds as the funnels flew forwards, surrounding a duo of avatars who were rushing blindly.

"Wha-what's this?!" Came the harried words of one of them, before being cut into shreds, ribbons of his armors flying across the field as the funnels spat out lasers which disintegrated his body.

Seeing the brilliant flashes of white, coupled with traces of different colored pillars, marking the retirement of enemy Burst Linkers which showed up one after the other, Amethyst Maverick, together with Cyan Pile started launching their own attack, plunging head on into the enemy formation, spearheading the advance.

"Pierce the heavens! Lightning Cyan Spiiiiiiiiiike!" Bellowed Cyan Pile as he steadied his muscular avatar's body on the ground before firing off the Enhanced Armament he held using his right hand, the white spike thundering down against the huddled masses in front of him, shocked and panicking, they all met their demise swiftly. Seeing a couple of melee avatars rushing in by his sides, Takumu turned a hundred eighty degrees to meet them, facing them, his eyes seemingly ablaze, gazed upwards, checking his special gauges, which, by some weird chance, has reseted, maybe because he just executed a triple kill. "Shredding your dreams! Splash Stinger!" He shouted, chest plates opening at the same time before ejecting small needle-like projectiles flew out of the cavity of his armor, shredding the poor avatars who came into contact with it.

Taku gave a positive nod towards the direction of the purple avatar who was dashing speedily beside him, it's purple scarf fluttering behind him, his red eyes hidden beneath the darkened faceplate of his, partially obscured by the cloth like texture of his garment.

Amethyst Maverick's lips curled upwards as a barrage of lasers came greeting him, it's heat-seeking attributes taking effect as even though he tried altering his dash direction, a few scrapes was what he got, thanks to it's guided trajectory.


The space around the beam warped as it thundered through the air, targeting the purple avatar's slender body frame.

"Focus!" He silently chanted, his hands clasped together in a ninjutsu invoking posse, shortly before his body vanished into thin air, allowing the laser to zoom past his position. Amethyst Maverick's figure surfaced out of the mist a couple of meters away from the blast radius, completely dodging the beam that was aimed for him. Sensing the multitude of scopes all trained towards him, he again assumed his ninjutsu posse before vanishing, a haze of white mist left on his position.

Astonished, the trio of Burst Linkers who were crouching down a good distance away all exchanged blank stares, their faces painted with bewilderment as their target, who was locked down dead ahead in their sights. They decided to start creeping away from their hidden position, slowly moving away in order to get a better vantage view over the smoke-filled area where their foe vanished, but that was the last mistake they will make today...

"Ashes to ashes. Ichigeki Hissatsu!" Came the cold, deathly tone which seemed to emanate from the deepest bowels of hell, whispered to their ears by the phantom who emerged behind the retreating trio, his ghostly white blade, glowing pale amidst the blood it drew, slashed their throats, one by one in quick succession. Their windpipes crushed, they can only produce muffled sounds as their avatars crumbled into pixels, thus ending their turn in the battlefield.

Wasting no time, and certainly not proud of the triple kill he just did, the fleet-footed Amethyst Maverick averted his gaze away from the massacre, before dashing off towards the kill zone that was unfolding right before his very eyes.

The scene of carnage and destruction that was reflected off Noir Eraser's eyes sent shivers up and down his spine, no, not chills of fear and cowardice, but the kind of thrill that was the fruit of excitement. He couldn't contain the feeling of euphoria building within him, biting his lips hard, the soft skin started to crack, releasing a light yet steady flow of warm, red liquid streaming down his cheeks as he commandeered his avatar to grip it's weapon tightly, up to a point where his hands seem to be trembling.

"Scared?" Said the sleek, slender framed female type avatar who has blades for her limbs, her purple goggled eyes planted onto his same-colored avatar.

"Scared...?" Kenneth Kusanagi a.k.a Noir Eraser replied, quirking his eyebrows as he did. "...You don't say? Hahaha me? Scared? Of what? Of the weaklings right in front of me? What a joke. They are nothing but mindless pawns being ordered around into their own deaths. What a pathetic commander they have." He added, closely watching how precise his teammates are following his orders.

"...A pathetic commander huh..." Kuroyukihime replied back, tilting her head a little bit towards the side. "...Mindless pawns being tossed into the fray, into this game..." She reflected her stance in all of this farce, it was just like her, or soon will be like her, as she agreed to be under his command when all of this ends, she was, to say, will be one of his 'pawns', he can use and 'expend' at his leisure, and she can't go against it. She knows she can easily overpower him when it comes to raw numbers but, she recognizes his talents at leading his own band of Burst Linkers, as she can clearly see now, and it would, definitely destroy her and her Legion.

And she had no other choice but to agree, it's a win-win situation for both of them, besides, she's in a checkmate, whether or not she takes the bait or not.

"Although I can say that they have superiority in numbers, without a sound plan, they will all fall against our might, isn't that right, Black Lotus?" Making her snap back out of her thoughts, Kenneth whispered close to her ears. "Don't worry, I have control. Besides, if all goes well..." He then thrust his spear straight forwards, it's tip pointing towards a building far out in the distance. "...The heads of those two Kings, are yours to keep. A certain win-win situation for both of us, right? We get our precious experience and Burst Points up, you get to be two steps closer to being a Level 10 Linker, no, make that three, and although I'm not a hundred percent keen on having you do that, there's really no alternative way but for me to utilize your power as my trump card."

Yeah, her thoughts are correct all along. He's just using her as a 'tool' to move things along. But it doesn't matter to her, she wanted to save Haru no matter what the cost, even if the price tag would be the whole Legion, or even her own life inside the Accelerated World, she is ready to pay it.

"Now, with that said, I believe you, or rather we, have some work to do..." Kenneth added before purple crests beneath his feet started materializing, the thrusters behind him starting to heat up. "...I trust you already know what to do then." Immediately after his statement, Noir Eraser thundered off in a straight line, his thrusters emitting purplish red exhaust in the image of wings behind him, scarf fluttering mid-air, the dragoon armored warrior charged forward.

After affirming his statement with a nod and without wasting a second, the black and purple laden Black Lotus closely followed suit.

As chaos raged on the battlefield, the twin black avatars flashily made their way towards the tall building which houses the brains of this operation, the Blue and Green Kings. With their speed, the distance diminished in just a blink of an eye and the vertical barrier that the structure provided was just another walk in the park for the deadly duo as they just boosted their way upwards, breaching the final line of defense they had.

Arriving in a grandiose way, the two of them, Noir Eraser and Black Lotus found themselves in the presence of the Blue King, Blue Knight and the Green King, Green Grandee, and as if they were expected, the two opposing Kings didn't even had their weapons drawn and just donned a relaxed pose.

"Why, hello there, Black Lotus, we've been expecting you." Said the Green King as he gently bowed his head, his huge green colored cross shield held by his heavily muscled left arm while his right was held up horizontally against his avatar's ripped chest in a gesture of courtesy. "Oh, and you brought along..." His green colored eyes set deep under his helmet scanned Noir Eraser's figure from head to toe. "...Your pet?" Green Grandee added in a sarcastic tone which sent his blue companion chuckling.

Kenneth cocked up an eyebrow at that remark, but he didn't moved an inch.

Clanking noises started rattling behind the Green King as the heavily armored knight standing adjacent to him started moving his arms. "Hahaha, ever the joker ain't you, huh Grandee?" He chuckled while holding the handle of his huge blue great sword, currently sheathed and is tip down on the ground. "Anyways, it's a pleasure to see you again after all these years..." Still chuckling, he held the torso part of his body before continuing. "...Traitor."

Batting up her brow, Kuroyukihime had chills running down her back as she heard that word yet, she steeled her resolve and stood her ground, unflinching. "Oh, it's my pleasure, Blue Knight, Green Grandee..." She held her right hand sword up her torso, while her left wound behind her in her battle stance. "...It's such a pity that I'll be ending your respective stay here in the Accelerated World..." Bending her knees a little bit, it's as if she was poised to strike anytime now. "...Forever."

"Ho ho ho, do not be so sure, my fair lady." Responded the Green hulk of an avatar, his intimidating size towered over them. "Me and Vanquish have come here to specifically end Chrome Disaster's rampage, which endangers a lot, if not all Burst Linkers in our immediate area, and that also concerns you and your puny little Legion I believe." He added, not budging even an inch.

"Although, I wouldn't say it's the best of your interest, but I believe that the current incarnation of that monster is currently one of yours, am I right?" This time, the voice came from the blue heavily armored knight who wore a dark blue cape behind him and a twin horned helmet on his head, an image of an eighteen century armored knight strongly resembled his avatar. "...Or so I've heard, he's already been rampaging for around, a month's time here in the Accelerated World, and he's already claimed quite a few people both from mine and Grandee's Legions..."

Even if it was just a few hours in the real world starting when Haru became the next Chrome Disaster, inside the place where time accelerated a thousand fold, it has already ballooned in to a full month or so, both Kuroyukihime and Kenneth realized, as they both felt relieved to have acted as soon as they can, in order to make up for the lost time, both in the real world and in this crazy, insane realm.

"Yeah, he's right. Heck, last count I made it was already around three from mine, not counting the people who's points were greatly reduced." Grandee picked up where the Knight left off. "In that case, we've decided to make up an execution force to take him down once and for all, so the peace we've built and protected would be restored, but I guess this isn't the most sweet smelling cup of tea you've heard, am I right?" He added.

The last statement the Green King said made Kuroyukihime glance downwards, her tensed up form relaxed, if only for a bit, thanking the heavens she made the right choices, even if it will definitely cost her dearly later on. "Of course. The current generation of that damned armor is one of my own, and I should be the one to either save him..." She swallowed hard before continuing, the words kinda hard for her to speak of. "...Or purge him."

"Hoooh. A bold statement, Black King. Are you sure you're up to the task of doing so, when he is the one whom you gave your one and only chance to pass on Brain Burst?" As if squinting his eyes, both of his avatar's and his own in real life, Blue Knight antagonized Kuroyukihime's argument, crushing it's foundation and hitting her right where it hurts the most. "Are you a hundred percent sure that that is the only reason why you came here? Or is there any other... Undertones to this visit of yours?" His head trained towards the spear wielding avatar who was right next to Black Lotus as he continued.

All this while, Kenneth Kusanagi was just listening in the exchange of words from the three Pure Colored Kings who was standing right before him, carefully analyzing their actions, their words, as well as the little actions they made as they carried in their little conversation. He just stood there, not moving an inch, as he continued to listen in, making notes as to where his supposed comrade, Black Lotus, was being hampered in, argument-wise.

Before long, and after the last statement was given, he decided to join in.

"Uh huh. There sure are hundreds, no, maybe thousands of underlying causes to this little 'visit' of ours to this forsaken world." His lips curled up to form a wry smile as he, Noir Eraser, spoke up. "Not only are we here to rescue her comrade, but we are also here to devour you and your Legion's Burst Points, what other cause are there anyway? Aren't we are supposed to fight each other to the bitter end in this game? Or are you guys no more than mere cowards, hiding behind the false 'peace' you have been championing all the way through?" Kenneth couldn't help but to sickly grin as he delivered those words to the two Kings before him.

"Hahaha. Surely you jest, you dog." Sounding a little bit infuriated and agitated at his words, Blue Knight, who's nickname 'Vanquish' was coined from the multitudes of Burst Linkers who perished from his hands, pulled up his sword, then slammed it back to the ground which sent a loud thudding sound. "Not only your words are as hollow as your brain, but your tones suggest you dare stand up against a King or two? Hahahaha. Don't make me laugh, boy. You are nothing but a dog, and dogs like should stay on the ground with your heads down where you belong!" Kuroyukihime's purple goggled avatar's face turned towards Kenneth, surprised that he was able to make the usually calm and steady Blue Knight snap in just one mere sentence. The longer she watched Kenneth Kusanagi, the more impressed she is becomes. Not only has this kid surpassed that certain level of maturity both in the real world, as well as inside the Accelerated World, to make him able to perceive these kinds of plans, words and stuff, but he also attained and reached past the level of intellect of a normal everyday Burst Linker she encounters on a daily basis.

In short, he is becoming more and more like a real, true King, in her eyes that is. A true leader whom someone can really look up to, someone who is destined to lead, someone who is not only an 'icon' but rather, a symbol, a persona, an entity that encompasses all borders to lead his men to victory, a real, true champion. She can clearly see the path laid down before him, a thorny, narrow, full of hardships, but for every step along the way, a promised glory is laid down for him to grab and behold. Such is a path she is on right now, and a path she will always walk, even if it leads to her own ruin.

A light giggle escaped Kenneth's lips as he stabbed his spear in to the ground, his body leaning against it. "A dog, you say? Ha... Hahaha... Hahahaha..." He no longer could contain his laughter and it soon turned into a loud one. "...Hahahaha. And you call yourself a King, whilst hiding behind the pretense of 'ceasefire', while you still lead this assault? Oh, the irony, please tickle me blue..." He earned the hateful gazes of both the Kings, but he decided to continue, his blood boiling up. "...But don't worry, I won't protest even if you call me a dog. After all, once a rabid dog bites a King, he falls to rabies, and that is exactly what I will do to you, right here, right now." Picking up his spear, he readied himself for combat.

Kuroyukihime did the same, a small smile on her lips could be seen as she did.

Without any further exchange, the Blue King Blue Knight and the Green King Green Grandee both assumed their own battle stances, with Grandee moving in front, his huge cross shaped shield blocking his massive body, while Knight was behind him, his sword withdrawn from it's sheath and is now held by two of his ripped, muscular arms in a standard front guard stance. The two Kings stayed silent, as if gauging their enemies.

The air tensed up as the noises of the distant chaos brought by the hush of the assault team began to die down, in exchange, gusts of wind blew past them, creating a more dubious aura that seemed to make their encounter more and more of a showdown.

Noir Eraser glanced towards Black Lotus one more time, re-affirming her stance with a nod. The black female avatar gave out a positive, quick rap of her head to confirm. Within the heartbeat, purple crests formed beneath Eraser's feet and back, his thrusters exhaling a reddish glow that gave off a warm demeanor, steadily flowing out of the square verniers, it started to flow freely, forming three pairs of archangel-like wings of light on his back.

At the same time, Black Lotus began to silently gather her suppressed power deep inside, particles of green began to seep out of the vent-like opening throughout her armor. "Mode Change! Code Green! Overdrive!" Briefly after ending her chant, all the translucent parts of her outer carapace, including her faceplate goggles became saturated with those green particles, completely changing their hue, which now shine a brilliant green.

The place soon became saturated with mixed colored particles, both emitted by the black avatars who held their weapons ready, then came the calm before the storm, a single set of words were exchanged.

"Are you sure about this, Black Lotus?" Shouted Blue Knight as he kept his composure on.

"I am. I won't be repeating the same mistakes that I did before..." Was Kuroyukihime's answer, conveying her unwavering thoughts to her enemy. "...I will never leave a comrade behind, no, not anymore, not this time. So come at me with everything you've got, as I will, and I will cut you down mercilessly to attain what I came here for!" She further exclaimed, heightening up her bravado.

"Very well." Murmured Green Grandee in response, his shield hoisted further up, covering his entire body.

With the closure of those words, every fighter knew, recognized and accepted the fact that this is an inevitable fight, one wherein there's a chance they won't be able to live through, but in spite of that fact, each one of them filled their fleeting consciousness with bravery, enough to subdue those feelings, and as each of them wielded their weapons with conviction, they all wanted to have their justice realized, and they would do anything to achieve it.

The thunder roared and the heavens twisted as the violent explosion of multi-colored particles sent shock waves over the place, in the midst of it, the twin black avatars charged together, with Noir Eraser as the vanguard, while Black Lotus was in the rear. The two of them spiraled together towards the awaiting Blue and Green Kings, their formation unchanged, sword and spear held forwards.

In the distance, Miyuki Waldstein heard a loud booming sound, followed by shock waves which rattled the very ground they were standing on.


The force of the shock wave rocked the entire expanse of the area, felt by all of the Burst Linkers who were currently engaged in the royal rumble a couple of kilometers away, their knees trembled and their feet weakened as the waves forced them on to either a knee or two.

"Whoa. Master Noir sure is having his fun over there~" Topaz Canopy murmured half-heartily as she smacked another avatar down, her frilly yellow umbrella doing the damage, ending the life of the dazed avatar who was inflicted with all sorts of status ailments her arsenal had to offer which made his demise a sweet escape from pain. "~But I do hope they don't have too much fun as the barrier I placed will not last forever, and we need to get this done as well..." She continued, gesturing towards the enemy who were regrouping just a couple of blocks down.

Finishing up the avatar before her, Icicle Rage, now rejoined by Mercuric Void who finished moping up the flanks made a downwards sweeping slash of her thin rapier, splashing gooey bits and pieces of the enemy's grime on the ground. "We've eliminated a good more or less eighty percent of them, I believe, and that the ones that are regrouping right now are in disarray as most likely, no new orders have been issued to them, hence the stagger formation." The sub-leader of the 7th Rift explained as the rest of the Legion gathered near her, all of them completing the first phase of their pattern.

"So, we're moving to second phase now, Miyu?" Responded the silvery avatar standing parallel to her, her slimy yet firm looking hands glittered in the limelight whilst still holding a pair of curved blades whose arc closely resembled a katana. "We're starting to run behind schedule, based on the time table Kenneth handed us." She added, raising one of her swords, pointing towards the uproar of avatars down the block.

"I'm starting to get low on HP, think we can still pull it off?" This time, it was the hulking blueish violet avatar Cyan Pile who spoke up, his figure dragging a limp leg behind, signifying that he sustained damages, the huge pile bunker held by his right hand being dragged on the ground as he walked to join Kenneth's Legion. "And I also believe not all of you came unscathed from your encounters as well..." He pointed out, making everybody else notice the green bar on the upper left hand corner of their vision.

Seeing the smug faces of her comrades, Miyuki's resolve started to waver. They are still Burst Linkers, avatars themselves and no matter how much better they are when in terms of experience and levels, overwhelming numbers will eventually take it's toll on their body, as shown by her very own HP bar, who now sits just a couple of pixels up halfway through, which might also be the case for everybody else, as she scanned around.

Standing atop a light post, the purple colored ninja garb wearing avatar Amethyst Maverick began to feel unease as his sensors, which were dropped randomly across the area began transmitting signals of danger, even his ultra-sensitive fox ears began twitching all around, letting his system know that problem's coming. "Uhh... Guys, I think discussion time is over, they've finished regrouping and is now preparing to attack us head on..." He said while holding one hand over his brows to check up the distance.

Hearing Maverick's warning, everybody reflexively went into their combat stances, albeit fatigue starting to leave an impression into them, their postures hampered by their own gasping breaths. "Adopt Pattern Six Stars of the North Dipper! Maverick, Topaz, stay back and act as support, Pile, Void, with me, we stand in front and repel them with indirect attacks! Everyone! Don't die on me!" Miyuki a.k.a Icicle Rage ordered, her words slipping easily out of her mouth like a hot knife through butter, results of her being in constant presence of Kenneth herself.

The ground again shook with the marching of the grand assembly of the two King's armies, mixed colors of Burst Linkers flooded the street which lead to the barricaded road blockade done by the 7th Rift, with four of their melee fighters placed in front, with support fire covering them from behind. A basic tactic from a simple point of view, but the tactical formation of their melee fighters provided good buddy to buddy cover while the stronger ones were positioned on a slightly higher ground where they can easily launch a pincer attack against the funneled enemy.

In short, they just re-formed another killing zone.

"HAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" Bellowed the dark blue colored muscular avatar who held a large axe over his head, as he surmounted the stacked concrete blocking the way, his large, muscular arms flailing as he shouted like a madman while he charged blindly. "HOOOOOOAAAAAAAHHHHH!"

*BANG!* Then came a single booming sound, not that loud, but not that soft as well, as Maverick fired off a round coming from his flintlock rifle, sending a red hot slug right between the charger's eyes, creating a huge hole which exploded violently which in turn, shook the berserker's body before making it fall down and shattering into pixels. Blowing off the steam that came out of the barrel, a wry smile formed beneath his fox mask currently worn to increase his accuracy.

As the initial melee forces saw what happened to their vanguard, they immediately ceased their advance, stopping their speedy march to a grinding halt. The lead avatar who seemed to be the one currently in charge held his right hand up, making the rest slow down, as he raised it further, the avatars currently positioned further back in their stagged formation started to raise their weapons, ranged weapons that is, and as the 'leader's' hand went down, they released a full salvo of long ranged fire directed into the opposing flank.

"Stealing the Show! Heavy Chaff Rain!" With a sweet voice, Topaz Canopy chanted her aria, which in turn showered the area with yellow dust like particles, saturating the air with a luscious sweet smell while camouflaging their positions. "Let's see if you can still touch my guys ahaha~" With a wink, she finished twirling her frilly yellow dress around, ceasing the particle release from her parasol.

The hot lines the lasers traced fried the air around, as a multitude of beams were fired from each barrel available, aiming to desolate the camped avatars in the distance, not only lasers, but all sorts of bullets, missiles, bombs, and whatever projectiles can be thrown were released, hoping for a potshot. But in just a dew seconds, the opposing team of Burst Linker's hopes were dashed as they saw a huge cloud of yellow dust starting to form and encircle the encampment, effectively covering their positions and completely blurring their vision.

A wicked and sadistic smile formed on Canopy's lips as the projectiles were rendered useless as they hit her particles head on, causing the lasers to diffuse and the solid rounds to corrode, rendering them useless and the efforts behind them naught. /SPACE/ "DO NOT FALTER! CHAAAAAAAAAAARGE!" Seeing that the barrage he ordered was nullified, the 'leader' of the army decided to charge ahead and just take matter in to close ranged combat, as his hand signal came down, so did the avatars who were all tough looking, as their colors composed mainly of blue and green, and their trademarks were both physical types, being melee strength and toughness and vitality, avatars that were more suited to direct, close quarters combat so to say.

The ground began to rumble once more, the harried and heavy stomps of the foot soldiers done on the earth causing it to shake with fury.

Realizing that they stand no ground against direct combat with them, because they will just be outnumbered, Miyuki decided to put in to action one of the plans discussed to her by Kenneth. "Team, execute Pattern Theta, Variation Alpha!" She shouted the directive, with almost everyone confirming it immediately, and only Cyan Pile was left with a question mark on his head. "Oh. Yeah. Pile, your task would be to take down those buildings and block the road as much as you can while retreating in sync with Void and me, come on let's go, we don't have time!" She added as she pointed towards the deserted buildings around the street.

After confirming with a light nod, Cyan Pile took a few steps back before firing off his pile bunker straight into the exposed foundations of the building to his right, the thick, pointed pile driver smashing the concrete pillar and shattering it in to bits and pieces, weakening it's structure and making it buckle under it's own wight, causing it to collapse and block the road behind them. Without wasting time, Taku gathered all the strength he had left and sprinted to catch up with the rest of the group.

"Tch, what a slippery bunch." Clicking his tongue, the lead avatar halted his advance once again after finding the mass of concrete currently blocking his path. "Up we go! Everyone climb this blockade now!" He barked an order as he started scaling the pile of wreckage which loomed before him, behind him, the others followed suit.

"NOW!" A female voice dominated the field, a strong, rampart and unwavering tone that subdued the noises around, which was closely followed by a loud explosion that rocked the area, the main blast radius originating from behind the group of Burst Linkers who were now huddled by the foot of the ruined building, preparing to scale it, the structure behind them toppled one after the other, collapsing behind them and effectively cutting of their retreat.

His wits thrown inside out, the leader was stopped dead in his ascent as he clung on to the rubble for his dear life as the explosion ripped through them, the shock wave hitting their exposed body, some of them falling in to their doom from Environmental Death. Hearing the woe cries of the wounded and the expiring, he realized they have completely fallen against their enemy's trap, his sheer rage blinding him and causing him to miscalculate everything, every step of the way.

And it will surely cost them dearly.

Six shadows emerged out of the tall skyscrapers that surrounded the trapped and confused rag tag army, each holding their own weapons trained towards the doomed bunch, and with smirks on their lips, they descended down on them, like thunder, they roared as they did, delivering the hammer of justice with all their might.

I never thought that fighting a King would be a very different experience from all other Burst Linkers I've fought, and would be very taxing to this body of mine. I always believed that everything could be given a solution through various tactical counter-measures, but now I know that real-time tactics would mean a lot, given the difference in our stances.

The last spear stab I threw which was aimed towards the pesky blue knight was all but deflected by the green's shield, their tandem clicks really well and their teamwork with each other was on a totally different level than what me and Lotus could do, who, up until now, were still struggling to even get a hit in, as our attacks are either blocked by Grandee's shield or parried back by Knight's sword.

Propelling myself using the counter-momentum of the recoil I sustained with the blow that he deflected which sent me to the wall, I counter-attacked on a different elevation, utilizing the boosters in my back to push me upwards before zooming down directly on Knight while Lotus keeps Grandee in check with a flurry of her sword combo. I placed my spear in front of my body, becoming one with my weapon, placing my hopes in it and pushing my fears aside, I charged.

"HOOOOOAAAAAHHHH!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, burning my lips as I blasted downwards with speeds that exceeded a mach, and in just a couple of seconds, I heard the distinct sound of metal clashing against metal, the blade of my spear meeting the straight edge of Knight's great sword as he parried it square on, a shower of sparks rained against my head, scraping against my cheeks which burned, I bit my lips hard as pain assaulted me.

"Not yet-!" I continued to scream as the force of my descent continued to weigh me down, my spear inching closer and closer towards the blue Knight's slitted helmet. But I realized it might not be enough so I increased the output of my thrusters further, the heat beginning to spread all over my back and as both of my feet landed on the ground, I kept his sword in check, as both our blades entwined in combat, I lashed out with my foot, the blow connected to his shin, sending a grunt out of his mouth.

"Hrrng-!" Was the wry sound that escaped the knight's lips as he broke off the deadlock their blades were in to, sending both of them a good distance apart. "Good, good. You entertain me, boy!" He bellowed as he launched his big, armored body, sprinting towards where the slender black avatar was down on one knee, his great sword held with both hands, it's gleaming edge reflecting off the faint light of the battlefield.

Looking up my tattered helmet, I saw the Knight charging towards me with reckless abandon. Gazing up on the upper left hand side of my vision, I also noticed that my Special Attack Gauge was already up halfway, which will allow me to... "Drown in the abyss! Blackest Sanctum!" I muttered under my irregular breath as a thick, dark miasma began seeping out of the crack of my armor, saturating the ground with the black matter.

Half a second later, I smirked as I saw the significant decrease of speed of the Knight as the greaves he wore dredged up the darkness beneath him, and in no time, the miasma started creeping up his legs, bringing him down on both knees, crawling like a pig. "Hahahahahah! So who's down on his hands and feet now, pig?!" I shouted as I made my own advance, lashing out the downed avatar with the blunt sides of my spear, hearing the satisfying sounds of metal hitting his body, I laughed like a mad maniac, bloodlust starting to consume my hands as my pupils widened in ecstasy, relentlessly assaulting him over and over and over and over and over until my hands went numb.

"Split and take form! Splintered Wings!" I activated one of the skills I favored using, the spear I held in both hands suddenly loosening out, extending into it's chained eight part form. Eyeing up my foe, who was still down, moping the ground, I confirmed that he was still incapacitated before throwing the chained spear on to him, which wrapped his body in a tight bind, the intense squeeze made his breathing sounds wheeze.

Then, summoning all my strength, I pulled the connection with all my might, the muscles in my arms tensing up, my back arched in a 'C' shape and my teeth gritted my lips tightly, enough to break the skin, allowing a slight drip of blood. The chain rattled, ringing lightly as the ground trembled while the huge knight was dragged haphazardly on the tarmac, leaving behind a darkened trail. "HRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!" Releasing a full breath, I threw his body in an arc, releasing the grip as he crashed in to the far wall of the shed of the building, destroying it and burying him under the rubble.

A few seconds passed, the sound of metal still reverberating around the area, I glanced sideways and saw my partner, Black Lotus, still keeping the Green King Green Grandee in check with a flurry of attacks, relentlessly barraging him with swift and precise sword strikes, which were in turn, met by the inhumanly large cross shaped shield, as he turtled behind it. Seeing that there weren't any noticeable movements from my designated target, Vanquish, I decided to step in to her fray to lend a hand.

"Black Lotus!" I shouted as I steadily charged towards the deadlocked avatars, with the Black King quickly noticing me and acknowledging my presence, while Grandee didn't mind at all as he continued to hold the line in a steadfast manner. Seeing her breaking the lock, I regrouped with her just a few feet away from our enemy. "The Knight's under the rubble and I doubt he'd be returning to the field anytime soon. Got any ideas on how to bring that guy down?" I asked the silently floating slender avatar beside me.

"Although they say that the best defense is the best offense, I do believe his defense is not perfect, even though it looks like it, there must be some way in which we can pierce through..." She replied in a low voice, ragged breathing could be heard in between her words. "...Since your Enhanced Armament is a Spear type, I believe it has some sort of skill or ability to momentarily pierce an enemy's defense, am I right?"

Come to think of it, I do. "Yeah, I may have just the right skill we can use..." I brandished my spear, swinging it in an arc before bringing it's tip forward, aimed towards the dead center of the shielded avatar before us. "...My skill 'Heart Under Blade' momentarily severs the energy flow between the nearest focal point and it's source, meaning, if that shield is an Enhanced Armament of his, then my skill should be able to cut off their connection, severing the flow of energy fed to it, making it at the very least, two or three seconds wide open and unsupplied with energy, rendering it as brittle as undermined concrete." I explained, making sure I completely relay the info to her to make sure she understands how it works.

"There we go. And I trust you already have a plan then?" Flicking her swords left and right, back and forth, the sound of air being cut rang deeply inside my ears.

"Follow closely behind me, I'll cut his defense off, and in that window, you deliver a precise attack to the weakest point of his shield to break it off." I then whispered lowly, to prevent the enemy from overhearing our course of action. "Our time is running out, we're already behind schedule and I'm getting a bad feeling for my guys who are holding the fort down there." I said, remembering my Legion, the people who are making this encounter with the Kings possible.

Without any distinguishing remark, she just readied herself, and I took that as my cue. Checking the rubble where Vanquish lay dormant, making sure that he's still not up, I eyed Grandee, who, just stood there solitary, as if mocking us by indirectly telling us that he's invincible... But it won't be for long. My hands began to tremble, my blood began pumping harder, sweat started dripping down from my brow and my throat constricted, slightly glancing sideways, I caught my partner's slight trembling, reflected through the light mincing movements of her sword arms.

Who wouldn't be? If she gets beaten by one of them, it's all over, that's it, Brain Burst will end for her, and Haru will be either forever locked down here, or will loose Brain Burst as well, and either way, it's a no go, so I can't blame her if she gets nervous over this matter, even I am for keep's sake. But no, I won't lose, I will see this through with my goal cleared, even if I have to face the toughest of adversities, the most daring challenges, I will surmount all the obstacles in my path.

This is the path of a King.

In a blink of an eye, I charged forward, reddish exhaust trailing behind me, mixing with Black Lotus' purple exhaust and with the dirt that we kicked off. "Disintegrate! Heart Under Blade!" I bellowed under a full breath as I lunged forward with my spear, black aura surrounding it's tip which flowed from it's main body. It met the pure green cross shield of our opponent square on, and a loud metallic ring resounded.

A hairline crack started to appear on it's shiny surface, and in just a split second, that crack doubled, tripled and eventually spread like a spider web on the shield's surface, evidence that my attack went through, as the black miasma started to fill in the crack's gaps, forcing them to open wider and wider. I increased my thrust, the wings of light intensified, fully forming in to a six part archangel wing form. Finally, after a loud boom, a hole appeared, just big enough for me to gaze in to the deep set green eyes of the Level 9 Green King, my eyes squinted as our gazes met.

"LOTUS! NOW!" As I barked my words harshly, the black phantom behind me jumped over my shoulders, her sword arms crossed in front of her.

"Death by..." The sharp fang-like sword she has in exchange for her hands glowed purple, heat starting to build up and I can feel it crawling on my skin, as she prepared to deliver a piercing blow directly in to Grandee's face when...


Right in the middle of me, who was retreating, and Black Lotus who was on the verge of attacking, the ground below us exploded and crumbled, and from it sprang forth a hulking blue avatar, it's horned helmet an ominous sight that beheld me as it's blade ripped through both the front side of my armor, shattering parts of it, and grazing the back side of Lotus' skirt armor. Pain shot through me as I was snapped away from the surprise, and I wasn't able to scream at all as I saw the Knight's gleaming blue eyes, gazing and piercing into my very soul.

"Your soul is mine!" Hearing his low grumble, I started to scramble after tumbling in to a defensive roll after crashing on the ground, making sure that Lotus was still doing fine, her body slumped against Grandee's shield but her left sword arm embedded deeply on his sides, causing green liquid to spurt out of it and stain the ground. Quickly snapping back to my own dilemma, I saw blue flame searing the blade of the Knight's great sword, enveloping it in a bright blue light. "Howl! Crescent Moonlight Slash!" As he finished, he swung his sword in a wide arc in front of him, the blue flame leaving trails behind, before solidifying in to a curved beam that rapidly closed in to me.

Beads of sweat formed on my forehead as I saw the blade beam that's careening towards me, and as instinct, I tried ducking out of it, but it still did grazed me, the backside of my armor burned and the smell of roasted metal hung in the air as my carapace got twisted and deformed by the heat. "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! FFFFFFFFFFFF!" I crashed on the ground face first, unable to bear the intense pain from getting burned.

"How... HOW DARE YOU TOUCH ME WITH YOUR FILTHY HANDS!" The Knight held his arms far out and wide, not minding both Grandee and Lotus, who were now engaged in combat once more. His huge blue gauntlets were tightly curled in to a ball, and his right hand gripped the huge sword like it was nothing but paper. "CYCLONE SLASH!" In an instant, blue flame once again wrapped it's length, and after just a few seconds, he swung it again, this time releasing a small hurricane-like projectile that traveled towards me, picking up the dust, dirt and everything in-between it's path of destruction.

Realizing that it'll be fatal if I get hit, I mustered all the strength I could and dived out of it's path, rolling on the ground just a few meters away from the swirl of blue energy careening down my previous place. As I landed, in the corner of my eye was a flash of bluish white light, followed by the numbing of my shoulder blades as my peripheral vision rolled, my mind going blank as I felt the cold, hard concrete embrace my body.

"Haaahh... Not... Bad..." I grunted out of my ragged breath, picking myself up, my twisted and tangled armor shattered in pieces. "...But... I'm not done yet!" With an explosive force that even I don't know where or how I even mustered it, I threw myself head-on, the thrusters behind me growling as the hardware was taxed with the toll of pressure and abuse, evident in the color of exhaust it gave, which was more on the redder hue this time, and a more jagged outline for the wing like pattern.

"As if I'd let you!" Vanquish moved in response, bringing down his huge sword to bear and bar down the piercing stab of my spear.

But I wasn't really aiming for that. "Splintered Wings!" I commanded, the spear Schwarzer Flugeln I held in my hands shook a little bit, before loosening up and extending, it's exterior splitting up, revealing chains that run through the entire length. After confirming that my Special Attack Gauge still had gas in it, I continued chanting. "My deepest, darkest desires, materialize! Soul Eater!" Black energy streamed forth from within my body, engulfing my entire arm, including the chained spear. Black flames ravaged it's entire extended length, blackness that seemed to seethe with anger and hate.

"HAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" I pushed his huge sword with a part of the spear, while the other parts wriggled their way on to wrap to the Knight's gauntlets, and up to his forearms.

I clearly saw the spear tip piercing the area just below his collarbone, the armor covering it punctured deeply, bluish liquid spluttering out as the black blade violated whatever was under the pretense of his craggy exterior. At the same time, I glanced up to confirm something; the green bar on the upper left hand side of my peripheral vision which was notches below the halfway point was slowly but surely creeping up, the green hue color regaining it's shine.

The stalemate broken, Vanquish was suddenly assaulted by a sharp piercing pain, which, further infuriated him. Pushing the deadlock of their blades while clenching the bind that was brought by the wrapped chain on his arm, he jerked it real hard, sending the black lancer on the other end to his knees, dragged on the floor, wriggling the chain off in the process. "Face my wrath! Infinity Edge!" Raising his white sword which gleamed a bluish hue, the Knight charged forward, releasing a flurry of blows against Noir Eraser.

"Shit shit shit." My knees rattled, my whole body was being torn by pain in almost every place imaginable. I breathed rather heavily, forcing larger intakes of air to compensate for the breathlessness I was feeling. And I thought I had him there, but I was thankful enough to leech off even just a little bit of HP, bringing it up over the halfway mark and up to almost full, regenerating the more battered parts of my armor, but the parts that were only slightly damaged, stayed the same as my HP bar wasn't full.

Recovering from my fall, I almost despaired as I saw Vanquish moving towards me at high speeds, his blade drawn in a wide arc high up above him in an almost hacking stance, it's sheer size intimidating as he wielded it with precision and technique. Thankfully, I recovered, giving me a slight boost in my stamina again. I retracted my spear, clanking as it's partitions re-joined to form the long and slender body it had, before holding it using both hands and lurching upwards, my thrusters exhaling finer red particles this time, signifying it's return to normal conditions.

The distance closed, the Knight looked up to me as I spurted a few good meters up before plunging spear first towards him for a direct clash. Our glaring gazes came in contact with each other, imaginary sparks of lightning scattered about as they gleamed, with the sight of victory just within reach.

"VANQUISH! YOUR THROAT IS MINE!" As I inched closer, I could feel the chilly air that separated me from my opponent, my cheeks being brushed by the cold tempest of the battlefield. I shouted to cover for the fear I could feel which was creeping from behind me, pray tell me that something will go wrong. For once, I ignored my own logic, ignoring my own gut feelings.

The charging Knight just continued to move forward, emotionless. And that was when I confirmed that something really is off. I was too late to curse my own foolishness of not following my own gut feeling.

From my left, in the corner of my eye as everything else was blurry, I caught a faint image of something black, quickly heading towards me. As my speed further increased, I squinted my eye just a few seconds before it finally registered. To my horror, it was Black Lotus, her battered body was sent flying towards me for some reason. Clicking my tongue since I couldn't halt my descent, I just braced myself for impact.

"Hnnngg!" I held my spear in my left hand as I caught the fragile female avatar that was sent towards me, realizing that her small lithe frame was indeed really light which allowed her to move very quickly. With her body safely in my arms, I cradled her, then I twisted my body around so that my back now faced the charging Blue Knight, while her body was in front of me, clear away from danger.

I shut my eyes tightly and waited for the incoming harried blades.

In just a few seconds, swift judgment was delivered as the sword crashed against my back, my vision flashed white, before fading back to the darkness, the deep and lasting pain shot through my now numb body, I bit my lower lip, and I couldn't help but let the wetness from my eyes to form at the edges, but I didn't let a single tear drop. No, I will not cry over something like this, even if our situation was far hopeless as I predicted. No, this will not end like this. I still have much to do in this realm, and I haven't even started to bring justice for my sister.

Ignoring the pain through my own will alone, I activated the thruster behind me, bathing the Blue Knight with a shower of red-hot sparks. Covering his face using his free hand, it allowed me to boost out of his reach, briefly seeing the Green King who was still standing amidst all the gash marks on his body and I also noticed his cross shield, which has now been reduced to almost the upper half, as the right cross arm and the lower half was missing, as well as sustaining numerous cracks on it's surface, along with the huge hole I blasted in the middle of it.

"Oi! Lotus! Hold it together!" I grunted to the avatar I was carrying, worried sick about her condition because she's a total goner once she's beaten by a fellow Level 9 King. I lightly shook her shoulders, her head bobbed a couple of times before lighting up, a soft glow under her purple faceplate signaling that the life within her was still burning. I heaved a sigh of relief at the sight.

Black Lotus slowly shifted her head towards the gaze of her savior. "Th-thanks..." She murmured under a soft breath as she quickly looked away, obviously embarrassed by it. "...And sorry, I really had a hard time getting past Grandee's defense even when I went all out." Kuroyukihime added, letting her tense body relax in Kenneth's arms.

Kenneth didn't paid that much attention to her words as the pain kept him from thinking straight, just barely enough to be able to assess the situation and plan a move ahead. "Never mind that. It's not as if I fared well in my own fight. We got to do something, we're running out of time..." He replied as he skipped past another building, gaining distance away from the two Kings who, followed them at a slower pace, as if they were deliberately letting them run.

"I'm afraid... We might need to have a change of plans, it's just not working and I'm almost out of steam..." Complained the black princess, her voice demanding yet powerless. "...I don't care even if I get defeated by a King but not before I save Haru!" She added as they gently landed a top a water tank-like structure above a building.

Ceasing the activities of his thruster, his feet once again landed flat on a hard surface, letting him bring down the avatar he was carrying. Nimbly moving his fingers across his body, Kenneth accessed a couple of menus, allowing him to patch himself through to the other avatars of his 'Legion'. "This is Noir Eraser. To all the members of The 7th Rift, execute Order 66. I repeat, execute Order 66."

As soon as Icicle Rage recovered from the rubble, she subtlety wiped the soot off her now dirty white exterior armor as she picked herself out of the mess, as she regrouped with the rest of her comrades who were doing the same as her, dusting themselves. "Is everyone all-" Her words were interrupted as a small pop-up window to her left side vision opened, and the channel indicated the special channel assigned to her by her Master, Noir Eraser. Miyuki promptly flicked her index finger to open the Voice Mail.

"This is Noir Eraser. To all members of The 7th Rift, execute Order 66. I repeat, execute Order 66."

Was what the message contained, and what it clearly denoted. Miyuki felt the beads of sweat that accumulated on her brows drip slowly down her cheeks, the chilly feeling it gave off sent shiver up and down her back.

Order 66.

Those two words meant a lot for her. Those were orders that her Master, Kenneth Kusanagi a.k.a Noir Eraser gave specifically to her, and only to her. And it contains a special set of steps that will ensure their team's victory in any given time. But there was a catch. They can only is it once, just once, as it denotes the use of a 'Special Application' that Kenneth had entrusted to her, that even she doesn't know what for, which she needs to Execute and Run while inside the Unlimited Neutral Field, and the rest will be taken from there on by Kenneth himself.

What will happen or how it will happen, only Kenneth knows it. But she was instructed that she ought to use it only when she is directed to do so, and it is not something she can use at any given time or out of luxury. He made her realize it's gravity.

But at this point, the order has been given, and she had no other qualms to Execute the file.

Miyuki slowly turned her back around her comrades, who were still giggling about, celebrating the success of their raid against the King's army, while surrounding the wailing Silver Monster still trapped in the yellow barrier. As she closed the Voice Call window, she threw a quick glance towards the horizon, seeing shadows leaping from building to building. She then glided her finger across her screen, clicking a gear-like icon on the upper left hand corner of the vision. A dark colored window popped open, replacing her usual pink-themed interface, it's more or less looking like a Command Prompt as it's just a plain black window with gray text.

After extracting her visual keyboard and keying in the login credentials given to her, the window disappeared, and was replaced by red System Prompts, indicating that she was about to execute a malicious file and whether or not she was sure about it. Without a second doubt, she clicked Yes.

The Notification vanished in a blink of an eye, and her desktop returned to it's normal view. Suddenly, the world scene around them, flashed white a couple of time, gaining the attention of everybody else, after the disorienting flashes, the world corroded into red blocks of System Notifications, with the big bold letters "WARNING!" in the middle.

"Wh-what's going on?!" A worried hum escaped from Amethyst Maverick's lips as he jumped off the pile of rubble he was sitting on to join the huddling team, who were equally stunned and confused at the sudden development in the field.

"This is Kenneth's plan. Come, we need to make sure the target is secured until our Master arrives!" Miyuki gestured with her hands, pointing towards the encroached monstrosity trapped inside the barrier. "The barrier won't last longer, will it, Topaz Canopy?" She asked the now silent yellow avatar as she sat in one corner of the rubble, her usual energetic behavior grinded to a halt with the stress of all the defensive maneuvers she provided the team, on top of keeping the barrier for Silver Crow up, which was in constant assault the whole time.

"...I'll... Try to... Hold it... For as long... As I... Can... Ha... Hahaha..." Her reply came from under the blues, accompanied with wheezing breath and a very tired voice. "...I'm... Sorry... But I think... I won't be... Of any other... Use... Right now..." Canopy added as she struggled for air, earning the worried look of everyone amidst the red scene around them, as they were all surrounded by System Notifications.

Even the monster that Silver Crow had become stood silently as the scene around him changed.

After a minute of being bombarded by strings of codes, syntaxes and new algorithm, the system finally recovered, re-patched and re-established it's integrity. As the red warning signs started disappearing, the previous battlefield, the futuristic city of The New World was steadily being eaten by some sort of rainbow colored aura, covering the entire area from the ground up, and it's place came a different battlefield...

Kenneth jumped down the building they were on, the winds once again brushing against him as he carried the Black King in his arms, clutching her tightly which sent enough waves of unidentified emotions to the girl behind the avatar, Kuroyukihime, her cheeks flushed red as she had no other choice but to cling on to him.

In all of her fourteen years of life spent on earth, never has she felt these sort of emotions, the warm, jelly-like feeling deep inside her chest that seemed to bubble and fizz when she was with Haruyuki. At first, she was really irritated with it and she tried her best to reject those emotions, those feelings, but as time passed, and as she further engaged in a personal level with Haru, it grew more and more intense, up to the point where she herself can openly admit that she does, fell in love with him.

But right now, she wasn't with Haru. She was with Kenneth Kusanagi. She was with the person whom she exiled away from her Legion, the person who vowed to destroyed her, and the very same person whom she currently owes a big deal. And she was feeling that weird, hot sensation inside her, as if a fire was lit somewhere, and although she was unsure, she didn't want to accept it either as she already swore that Haruyuki would be her only one yet...

"Are you okay, Hime?" The low and gentle voice of Kenneth asked her as his battered looking dragon helmet glanced down on her.

Surprised at being called 'Hime', her lips pursed to let out a small gasp before replying. "...W-well, I'm fine b-but... H-Hime?" She asked curiously upon hearing her nickname, because only a few select people ever addressed her that way. "...I mean... It's n-not as if I don't allow nor want you to call me like that but... I-it's just... S-so sudden..." She added, bending her neck away from his gaze in embarrassment.

Damn, she thought. They were at a perilous time and yet, she had the time to think and feel like this. What a blunder she concluded.

"Hmm? Why not? It's a fine nickname that really suits you. You look and act like a princess..." Kenneth chuckled, looking happy in spite of the damages and pain he was feeling. "...A spoiled one that is. Hahaha." He further threw a fit laugh at his own sarcasm towards the Black King he was cradling in his arms.

But Kuroyukihime didn't took it as an insult and she just calmly held tighter to the black lancer who was carrying her as the skies around them started changing, bleeding red as they were filled end to end with System Notifications. She couldn't hide the fact that she was happy to herself, and she was actually thinking that she would be happy even if she no longer has control of her own legion, as long as she saves Haru from his fate.

Yes, she is content, and she will fight until the very end, freeing herself from the bonds of the Accelerated World.

"Don't worry, I will see this through, and I will keep my word, until the very end." Whispered the black dragoon as they both descended down at high speeds, the battlefield that surrounds them quickly changing pace as the red Warnings shattered like pixels, changing into a rainbow hued loading interface, before being like hatched out of a cocoon...

"Here we go!" Kenneth grunted as he tightened his grip, clutching Kuroyukihime harder and holding her much more closer to him, where she could even hear the mechanics inside his avatar. Then came the abrupt stop, an ear-splitting halt as the mechanics inside Noir Eraser roared loudly as he redirected his lift in the opposite direction, the thrusters feigning stress as it exhaled reddish exhaust as the wings behind Kenneth fluttered on and off for a little bit, before stabilizing once more.

The main reason for their halt was seen by Kuroyukihime, a few seconds later after she opened her eyes.

The field has transitioned. It completely changed from The New World stage to this... This place that looks like a murky marshland, with a muddle looking muddy swamp to as far as one's vision can go, slightly covered by moss on top, it seemed as if it could trap anything that comes in contact with it. And that's when it all sank to her, at that fleeting moment, she finally realized what was going on.

Hovering over the marsh were the both of them, with Kenneth slowly letting go of Kuroyukihime as they both stayed just a couples of inches off the muddy water. Yeah. Both of them could literally "fly" over the stage obstacle which would, in normal cases and which is true for both the Blue and Green Kings, would sink their bodies and eventually hold and restrict their movements and actions, and as it is a stage obstacles itself, they won't be able to stop it's effect using normal ways, seeing that there aren't anything else except the patches of moss and the muddy water around, and they would have to wait for the next Phase Transition to get out of the mess.

In the distance, a loud splash was heard as the marsh was disturbed, sending large ripples over the expanse of the great lake-like are they were on, most likely, being Vanquish and Grandee free-falling from the building they were on earlier. Glancing towards Kenneth who has now actually regained his usual vigor and stamina and is now poised to strike while the iron is hot, Kuroyukihime steeled her resolve and did the same, her avatar's body battered yet her heart still in perfect condition, her feelings ablaze and that was what's the most important to Burst Linkers, the will to fight, and the resolve to win and emerge victorious.

The two of them nodded at the same time towards each other before letting each of their propulsion system explode in fury, their jet streams releasing a flurry of particles that looked so flashy compared to the dank atmosphere this marshland is providing. The twin lines each of them made while racing just above the water created powerful water jets behind them, spewing murky water towards their back.

In the distance, the Blue and Green Kings picked themselves up in astonishment as they were thrown head over heels as the building they were standing on was eaten by the mirage who bulldozed it off, the concrete structure disappearing into thin air in just a matter of split seconds which sent the two of them free-falling down from almost thirty something floors up.

"What sorcery is this?!" Grunted the Blue Knight as he surfaced out of the brown moss covered murky water, his pure blue armor now cracked in a bunch of places and is now covered with soot, mud and moss, making it look as if it was a camouflage pattern. "Did the stage just Transitioned?! Based on my calculations, the Phase Transition should not occur not until three more hours! H-how could this be?!" He protested under a sigh, glancing towards the recovering Green King.

"It's not the usual Transition that we know of..." With a low, flat voice, the Green King spoke, as if he was a different persona from his earlier joyful tone. "...It is something that was Forced. A System Intrusion, or in short, a Hack." He added as he straightened his back, his armor creaking as it's green color was further deepened by the green moss that latched on to it, making him look like a transient sentinel.

"Gah, thought so. So those kids... Really mean business to stoop this low, huh?" Replied Vanquish, eyeing the advancing jets of water rushing towards them as he brandished his sword, staying behind Grandee in their usual battle position. "...So I guess, this calls for 'that', huh." He whispered behind Grandee, earning a backwards glance from him.

"Uh huh. I'll be injecting the codes into the system now, and I just need... Let's say more or less three minutes." Grandee whispered back as his left hand glided back and forth, black windows popping in and out of his menu rapidly. "Buy me those three minutes, not unless you want to perish in the ands of the Black King." He ended abruptly as the roar of the incoming pair of black avatars grew louder, as he himself backed off, sending the Blue Knight in front of the formation.

"Haha. Don't worry, I'll teach those kids that one does not simply interfere with an honorable fight." He readied his blade, it's ivory color renewed it's sparkle as he sent plasmic blue aura that engulfed it, the searing flames a beautiful yet deadly sight. "EN GARDE!" The Knight bellowed, and although he was hampered by the environment which greatly hindered his mobility, as a King, he has a vast knowledge when it comes to the battlefield lore, and he doesn't hold the nickname 'Legend Killer' for naught.

Speeding towards the area where the disturbance was felt earlier, the two Burst Linkers aligned themselves one behind another, with Kenneth taking the lead, in his classic 'Parry and Dice' maneuver. Closing in, he saw the retreating Green King, his big bulk of a body slowly creeping towards the opposite direction, leaving behind the battered Blue Knight who was in his battle stance, poised to strike, but if his calculations are right, and if Grandee really was retreating, Vanquish will stand no chance against them, and they would annihilate him.

As soon as the lancer closed in, Vanquish released a full brunt of energy, blasted from his sword, which he swung sideways in one fluid sweeping motion, the blue beam traveled in an arc that sped forward, towards the advancing duo.

"As if that'll hit us!" Kenneth shouted as he straightened his body, before letting his thrusters do the magic by blasting exhaust downwards, propelling him upwards, away from the beam's trajectory. Kuroyukihime did the same, the verniers behind her back and legs silently carrying her upwards at the same time as Kenneth. As the beam brushed past them, they re-adjusted their angle to form a swooping dive to the Knight, irregardless even if Kenneth clearly saw he was charging up for another attack, his confidence skyrocketing to new heights.

"Death in a flash! Line... Drive!" His towering loud voice echoed through the expanse as the huge sword he was holding was once again covered in blue flames, now tip pointed forwards, the flames, intensifying as each second passes by, it started to increase in volume, eventually covering up the Knight's hand, arm, up to his shoulders. As soon as the lancer's spear came back into his open range, the Knight released his charge, sending his sword and body upwards to meet the incoming attack.

"Two more minutes." Said Grandee through a private channel, earning a smirk on Vanquish's lips.

"Lotus, we're sticking to the plan!" Confirmed Kenneth before he started chanting his own skill, thanking that the damages they were doing all over the field was causing his Special Attack Gauge to continuously fill. "To infinity! Prelude... Overboost!" He finished his aria, a new one that is, one of three skills he currently is developing under the wraps. His thrusters began glowing more redder, and the exhaust flared up with fury, almost up to a point of scorching the Black King behind him, and his spear ignited black, which he held forwards, prepared to meet the great sword.


The resounding echo of metal hitting metal rang loudly, their respective weapons still vibrating as they held on to it with all their might, even if the impact sent both of them staggering for balance in a dazed mode, the recoil throwing them off-balance, and the auras their weapons had exploded at that same instant, which produced fireworks-like bright sparks which showered the immediate area.

"LOTUS! NOW!" Kenneth shouted as he stumbled and staggered away, the force of the impact still lingered in his body, as he felt his knees became jelly-like as a result. Making sure that his efforts will not go in vain, Kenneth confirmed the vengeful approach of the Black King Black Lotus, her slender avatar's body slid like a hot knife through butter in the air, gliding effortlessly as she descended down with grace, her twin sword arms crossed in front of her, which she then placed in a stabbing position, with her right arm pulled backwards.

"I still have thirty seconds to go. I might not make it, bail out." Another harsh message popped on Vanquish's screen, this time, sending him into a maddened state as he re-affirmed that he would either have to deal with this new threat, as he was still in mid-air recoil, his footing dislodged by the swamp, and he was wide open for attacks. He might have to settle for his 'other plan' after all. Vanquish retracted his sword and held the handle in a reverse position, stabilizing his hand and awaiting the perfect moment to...

Kuroyukihime bit her lip tightly, as soon as she saw his actions. What was he thinking of doing? Has he no shame? She thought, as she fully activated her system to give her the speed she needed, forcing her circuits to their maximum output, perhaps even surpassing it's limits as one could even see sparks flying out of her avatar's body. She wanted to end it, she wanted his head but...

"Death by... Barrage!" Her clear voice ran with prestige as the purple glow in her sword arms were released full force, the sharp thrusting stab her sword made emitted a sound close to what a jet plane would have as it takes off, it roared with such force that the surrounding waters made waves, sending torrents of water either rocketing upwards or just randomly rippling violently around their circumference. She was pretty sure the hit landed squarely right on her target but as soon as the dust settled down, yet...

"Th... This can't be..." The gleaming white sword the Knight was holding, which was supposed to be used against other Burst Linkers... Was embedded deep on the Knight's chest, it's blade piercing the pure blue armor, staining it with bluish liquid, it's length running through the Knight's body, the tip thrusted behind him, skewering him thoroughly. "...What... What have you... What have you done?" She said whilst her blade glistened black, pointed just inches away from Vanquish's exposed throat.

"Ha... Haha... Hahahaha..." Instead of voicing out, only a faint laughter escaped the Knight's lips, as he tightened the grip he had on his sword before further impaling himself, blue liquid sputtering out of his mouth which was trembling from the pain he should be feeling threefold. "...Don't think... I'd let you... Kill me... That easily... Augh... Hahaha... HahAhHAHaHA!" He added as his body started to disintegrate into nothingness, and in just a few seconds, exploding into a bright blue pillar of light, marking his grave.


Kuroyukihime has heard about it before, wherein a Burst Linker openly kills himself in order to escape a certain situation. Penalties include loosing thrice as much Burst Points as one would normally loose but, in their case, since the Blue King ended his own life, he would just loose three times Burst Points and not the entire Brain Burst Program itself since technically, he lost against Noir Eraser and Black Lotus BUT, the one who drew blood wasn't the Black King itself, so his Brain Burst will remain intact, and he will just respawn an hour later.

A cowardly tactic coming from a Knight, she thought but nonetheless, whatever happened or whatever Kenneth did, was also the same thing, so she had no right to complain, so did Noir Eraser. Kuroyukihime lowered her blade and focused her attention at the retreating Green Grandee, his bulky avatar now around a good ten meters or so away from them, and his figure was also slowly fading out, it's as if he was transitioning, and in just a few seconds, he just vanished into thin air, as if he wasn't there at all.

"Hahaha. You think you could beat us? Hahaha. Eraser and Lotus, you are far too young to surpass us. And don't you dare think that you could sneak around and do things to the system, young Noir Eraser. Don't think that you're the only one who knows how to do so. Hahahaha." A voice rang out from everywhere, where one could not trace where it came.

The two of them just looked up at the dark skies above them, realizing that their plan was all for naught as they were the ones who got tricked in the end. /SPACE/ "No matter." Kenneth moved closer to Kuroyukihime, calming her still trembling shoulders. "Ending their lives here wasn't our goal in the first place..." He then pointed his spear back towards where the rest of his team was located. "...Come on, he's waiting for you."

Feeling the weight of Kenneth's hand on her shoulder, Kuroyukihime's earlier trance was broken off, and she felt her sense of duty rush back into her consciousness, as she snapped back into reality, getting her mind right back into track, with their original goal, which is to rescue Haruyuki. "You're right. We have no time for this..." She turned towards Kenneth, bluntly noticing the damage his avatar has sustained, he's still Level 7 after all. "But are you sure you're okay?"

"I am... Or more precisely, I will be, don't worry." Kenneth answered back in a determined tone, his bravado still burning inside, wanting to continue and struggle on until his goals are realized. "Come on, we're really running out of time, we might-" Then his words were cut off his mouth, as a popup window by his left hand side, an incoming live transmission from...

"..ater.. raser... ... monster... bro... free... we... c..'nt keep... up..." The static noise prevented him from hearing the full content of the message, but it clearly delivered what it wanted to transmit, and that is that Silver Crow may have broken through the barrier, and things have gotten messy back there at the base camp, which he finalized upon hearing the loud voices from the background, signal that there was a fight on-going behind the person doing the broadcast.

Kenneth gripped his spear tightly, cursing himself for the amount of time he spent uselessly, without even attaining what he came for, and his teammates were paying the price for it, when he promised that he will bring back all of them in one piece, he might have been wrong all along with regards to his calculations.

"You shouldn't carry everything on your back, Kenneth. You have comrades, learn to trust them a little." This time it was Kuroyukihime who went to his side, calmly bumping his shoulder with her own, as she stood side by side with her former Legionmate. "I... Admit I wouldn't have gone even this far without your help, and I admit I really am in your debt even at this point..." She continued, spilling out what she really felt.

"You're right. I'm sorry, I sounded and looked weak just now." Regaining his composure, Kenneth, with his renewed self confidence strengthened his resolve.

The two black colored Burst Linkers stood side by side, their battered, dirty armors were proof of the battles they have gone through, evidence of the bond they shared. They stood ready to take one final dive into the fray, throwing themselves for the sake of their comrades, sacrificing their worth for all that is good.



A/N: Hi there! Haha it's been forever hasn't it? maybe you perhaps thought I gave up on it eh? Well, I apologize, I was doing a lot of other stuff which severely hampered my writing time, add the fact that for the whole month, I was severely lacking in sleep, which, made my health a little bit on the bluer side but don't worry, as I've said, I won't give this fic up, and I'm pretty much more energized to finish this one up. I proudly say that the next chapter will the the conclusion to this story's first arc, so please keep on reading and spread the Accel World love! Cheers!

- Seiji