Been a while since I updated this fic...and...yeah that's it...Brainwashed Minato vs. SEES team. Who will win?...it will be brief. I am sorry...but hey. At least it's done, right?

Disclaimer: I own nothing except certain OC's.

Chapter 35:

The Truth Floweth Forth!

Minato clearly had not been inhibited at the thought of fighting Yamato or the others from the way he immediately aimed his sword at the ice Shadow's neck. Acting quickly, Yamato raised his ice-coated arm in order to create a shield for the attack. The shock from the blow still sent his feet skidding across the ground.

Minato once again charged toward him, ready to continue his assault when another form slammed into him, sending him sprawling across the ground. He rolled for several seconds before he recovered and returned to his feet to face his other, more mechanical opponent.

"Nice shot!" He complimented. "But here's a better one!" Minato ran towards her, scarring the ground using the tip of his sword before swinging it upward as Aigis raised her arms to defend. There was a sound of scraping metal as Aigis just barely managed to catch the blade. He continued to push forward with incredible strength, causing Aigis' feet to scrape against the ground as she attempted to retain her footing. She quickly brought up her right leg around to deliver a kick to Minato's head, only to be blocked when he switched hands to block her leg with his sword.

"For a kick, that was certainly strong!" Minato smirked before grunting slightly and knocking Aigis' leg back and pushing Aigis back as well. "Was it there iron or something in there? Must be painful to walk near magnets." Minato placed the sword back in his other hand and spun it around twice. "But I doubt it'll be as painful as this!" Minato rushed towards Aigis and the android immediately activated the guns inside her fingers. This action forced Minato to stop, but Aigis couldn't bring herself to fire.

"Please Minato. Remember the truth." Aigis said before deactivating her finger-guns. She disengaged their close quarter confrontation and moved back a few feet.

Minato scratched his head, confused. "You keep going on about me having to remember something, but my memories as clear as day." He pointed his sword at Aigis. "I apologize about whatever I'm forgetting but I must protect Rima and Ayaka, if nothing else." But there was a certain uncertainty in his voice, as if he felt something wrong with the words coming out of his mouth.

"If you won't remember yourself, we'll just have to beat your memories back into you." Yamato said as he shot ice spells at Minato who quickly began dodging them. He swung his blade to slice one of thee ice blocks and widened his eyes to see Yamato right behind it with his ice gauntlet posed to strike. Minato brought his sword down to stop the strike and the two were locked in combat with Minato's blade pushing against Yamato's frozen fist.

"Quite persistent, aren't you?" Minato smiled as he pushed down, but was surprised to see Yamato equally pushing against Minato.

"You haven't seen anything yet." Yamato replied. He suddenly opened his fist and grabbed onto Minato's sword. Ice slowly began to grow on the blade and threatened to spread to Minato himself.

Minato merely smirked and said quietly. "Reaper's Blade." Yamato widened his eyes as the sword was beginning to be enveloped in black energy, prompting him to jump back and away from Minato and his more powerful sword. Yamato frowned at the weapon, noting that this got a whole lot harder.

"Aigis, I think we should start trying to take him down." Yamato said. "He can probably take more of a beating now."

"It is unfortunate, but I fear you are correct on this Yamato." Aigis said with a sullen look.

"B-but!" Fuuka's voice shouted to the two fighters. "He's still Minato!"

"All the more reason to take this more seriously" Yamato replied, summoning more ice spells which he sprinted along side while moving between them. Yamato noted that Minato brought his blade to one side.

"Ghost Slash." Minato said and sent a horizontal blast of energy, destroying all of the ice spells and sending Yamato backwards.

"Summoning persona!" Aigis shouted. She really didn't want to hurt Minato, but with his Nihil Fusion out, they had to pull out all of the stops if they wanted to save him. Or so she hoped.

"Too slow!" Minato said as he sprinted towards Aigis. Palladion charged Minato who prepared his sword, but before the moment of contact he slid under the machine-like persona and continued straight towards Aigis who instinctively fired at Minato. When she realized this error, she was relieved to see Minato blocked all of them with his sword until realizing that he was coming right for her.

"Enough!" Yamato shouted. Minato looked up to see a massive block of ice above him. He quickly jumped back and avoided being crushed. Yamato quickly appeared by Aigis' side with some small bits of ice floating about, ready to strike.

"Man you guys are really more persistent than I thought!" Minato said. "Looks like if I want to keep you down I'll have to do it quickly." He held his sword out in front of him. The air itself began to quake before the power beginning to swirl around the blade. Minato almost began to glow with power. Yamato's eyes widened as did Aigis, who knew more-so exactly what Minato was preparing to do.

"When time exists neither day nor night,

When the curtain pulls back to reveal no dark or light,

Let the powers of the universe that be,

Bind me to the Reaper's Contract and-"

The SEES team was certain it was all over until a hand grabbed Minato and gave him a jerk backwards, breaking his concentration.

"WAIT!"

"Huh?" Minato said before letting out a growl of annoyance before turning to face the person who interrupted him. His harsh expression softened when he saw it was Rima. He, however, raised an eyebrow. "Rima? What are you doing? I'm trying to just get this over with already."

Rima had the oddest expression of guilt on her face. "I know...and it's alright Minato." Rima said putting her hands on Minato's cheeks before squeezing them slightly.

"R-Rima?" Minato asked uncertainly. He was blushing from the fact he seemed to recognize she was still only dressed in his jacket due to the circumstances of her battle...it wasn't buttoned and her chest was naked for all of the world to see.

"Shh, it's alright." Rima whispered. "I just...It's my fault this all happened...I'm sorry." Minato rarely had any time to react before Rima pulled his face forward...right into her large bust.

There was a long awkward silence from the SEES side as they all just stared blankly from shock, confusion, and above all else, embarrassment.

Minato began to flail about, unable to escape Rima's deadly breast suffocation technique. He was clearly saying something, but it was muffled against Rima's breasts. She let out a small moan as her cheeks turned a bright red.

"Oh, Minato! Please don't do that! I'm trying to do the right thing but that's starting to feel SO GOOD! AH!" Minato finally got a grip on Rima's shoulder, gaining the leverage he need to force himself away from Rima, taking in a good long breath of air.

After panting a little, he opened his mouth to say something...something that was interrupted as Aigis gave Minato a good punch upside the head, knocking him out cold.

"YAAAAY!" Sang Sora. "Boob lady and Mama beat Papa!" Yamato's sweat dropped while Fuuka placed a hand over Sora's mouth.

"But why did you help us?" Yamato asked the practically naked blonde, directing everyone's attention towards her.

Rima blushed lightly, pulling Minato's jacket more tightly around her body. She suddenly seemed too embarrassed to answer the question.

Yamato sighed, face-palming. "Oh great. Another one. Labrys isn't gonna be happy when she learns Minato's harem counter has gone up by one."

"Harem counter?" Rima asked innocently, but it was clear from the expression on her face that she was working out quite a few perverted possibilities.

Sora threw her hands into the air. "Like Big Bro Yamato says, Papa's a lady's man!" Yamato began to fall into a spasm of coughing when Fuuka shot him a small yet adorable glare.

"What are your intentions?" Aigis asked, getting the conversation back on track. Rima's expression became one of sorrow as she looked down at Minato's unconscious form.

"To make things right...as well as to save Ayaka."

Yamato raised an eyebrow. "Save-"

"-Ayaka?" Fuuka asked, finishing the question.

Rima nodded furiously. "She's not well right now! There's something definitely wrong with her! We have to save her!"

"Calm down, Rima-san." Fuuka said gesturing the blonde to relax. Rima took Fuuka's words to heart, breathing in and out several times before the atmosphere became much calmer.

Rima had a saddened expression on her face though. "It all happened a few years ago...when our parents died."

"'Our' parents?" Yamato noticed. Rima nodded.

"That's right. Me and Ayaka have the same parents. We're sisters." There was silence for several moments.

"I really thought that would've come as more of a shock," Yamato started, "but I oddly saw that coming." Everyone stared at him. "Don't ask me how."

Rima continued to speak. "Our parents were really good people. They owned a somewhat large business in the production of toys, dolls mostly. The Maker family fortune is a rather sizable amount, much more than other people. Ours was an extremely happy family. Ayaka got really into what our parents did. By the time she was ten, she had already learned how to build some from scratch. A year or two afterwards, she impressed our parents even further by making a more life-size doll. I didn't have as much skill, but I was skilled when it came to physical activities. I became rather good with most martial arts styles so I appointed myself as Ayaka's personal guardian. For a long time, our lives were great...until the fire."

"Fire?" Aigis asked. "Explain." Clearly none of them had forgotten that illusion of flames from earlier.

Rima nodded. "Like I said, a few years ago, a large fire devoured our family home, killing our parents and most of the family we have ever known including our family servants. Each and every one of them perished that day...everyone except me and Ayaka. We were the only survivors. Ever since then, Ayaka has always been different. The Dark Hour didn't help one single bit. At first she was understandably sad, but then she started acting strange. She came to believe that our parents just abandoned her and became so paranoid, so closed off to everyone out of fear of abandonment that she even stopped leaving the mansion entirely. She tended to just stay in her room working on her dolls. I tried to talk to her once, but..." Rima swallowed as she placed a hand to her throat. "Her powers had long manifested and she came to become adept at using them...like a puppeteer, she became a master at physically manipulating people as well at their bodies...what happened to Minato is a good example of this." Everyone gave a worried glance at the still unconscious bluenette. "...So when I tried asking Ayaka why she changed so much...she reached her hand deep into my mouth and even a little bit down my throat...she used her strings and then she...she...she tied up my vocal cords!" Rima's grip on her throat tightened as she winced deeply, as if remembering a terrible and agonizing pain.

"She did that to her own sister?!" For just a moment, a hint of rage could've been noticed in Yamato's voice. He said nothing else, but he crossed his arms, still noticeably angry. Angry was such an unusual emotion for him. Maybe annoyance, happiness, or sorrow, maybe even partial insanity, but angry wasn't a word that usually described Yamato.

Rima nodded, not put off by Yamato's anger. "She always kept some of her power focused on me as punishment for 'considering betraying her'. She never had to use much manipulation on others. Most other humans had incredibly weak wills...but then came along the Knight of Death, Minato Arisato. My sister became so obsessed with him...so set on making him one of her toys. I guess when she was working on turning him into one of her dolls, he required much more power to keep him under her control, so the power she put over me must have dissipated."

"So that's what happened." Everyone's hearts had all stopped at the exact moment. The owner of the voice should've been unconscious.

They all turned around to see Minato, clearly conscious, arms crossed and a pensive expression on his face.

""Minato!?""

He nodded. "Yeah. The robot chick might want to learn how to punch harder." Aigis appeared to be mildly offended by this, but said nothing.

Fuuka: "How-?"

Yamato: "What-?"

Rima: "When-?

Sora: "Papa!"

Minato scratched his head and acted as if he hadn't heard anything they had said. "So, Rima, supposedly how much of this was a lie? My memories of a promise to your parents?"

"Fake." Rima answered meekly.

"And my loyalty to the Maker family?"

"All illusions forced upon you by Ayaka."

"Hm...makes sense." Everyone's jaws dropped (minus Sora). "What? It sounds legit. I couldn't help but feel something was off the entire time..." Minato then sighed. "And all through our VERY short fight (thanks for that, Rima)...There was this niggling feeling in the back of my head telling me that this was wrong. Something that told me you were being truthful..."

Tears began to roll down Rima's cheeks. "Minato...I'm so sorry..." She had been keeping it in with so much effort, but Rima finally couldn't take it anymore.

Minato shook his head. "Even though I know the truth, there's this other thing inside of me, telling me you're lying. You're lucky I'm a friend of common sense as to not listen to that feeling."

"Well, since you're back to normal Minato, let's get out of here." Yamato said, smiling.

Minato shook his head. "No, I still don't remember any of you exactly. All I know for sure is that my current memories are fake."

"Ayaka." Rima muttered. "Ayaka should be capable of undoing what she did to you...but please!" Rima implored. "Help her! She was different before! She was so warm and kind! Please! You have to save her!"

"Well..." Minato scratched his head. "I'm really sore over the brainwashing thing, but the still brainwashed part of my brain and perhaps my conscience are compelling me to say yes."

Rima hugged Minato tightly. "Thank you, thank you!"

"Erm, Rima? C-could you please let go?" Minato stuttered out. At this point, Rima looked down to see that in her move to embrace Minato, the jacket came off her and she ended up hugging Minato naked.

"Thank god Labrys isn't here to see this." Yamato said with almost every other S.E.E.S. member nodding in agreement, except Sora of course. After Yamato used the scrapped remains of Rima's previous dress to sew a new dress with ice needles (the outfit looked more or less like what she wore before), they had readied themselves to set off once more into the endless maze.

"Rima? Is that you?" A girl's voice called out seemingly from the air itself.

"Ayaka?" Rima said surprisingly, opening the door to Ayaka's bedroom to see no one there.

"Oh Rima! And my knight as well!" Ayaka's voice suddenly said, despite the owner of said voice not being present. "How wonderful to see you!"

"Ayaka..." Minato said. Despite knowing his memories are fake, it still feels wrong to feel anger towards the young girl. "Why...Why did you do this...?" He sounded more sad than angry.

"What's wrong? Is something the matter?" It was clear from her tone that she was already hostile. "Is there a problem? Do you not love me?! Have you betrayed me?!"

"Ayaka, please calm down!" Rima shouted, trying to keep her somehow invisible sibling from doing something drastic.

"No, you both planned to betray me from the start, didn't you?! Even my beloved knight!"

Minato shook his head. "Ayaka! That's not how it is! I-!"

"I have no use for traitorous knights! Especially when they dare to shatter my heart! The sentence for such a heinous crime IS DEATH!"

Minato raised an eyebrow. "Dea-GAAK!" Minato held up his left hand to his face...and then it felt off, leaving nothing but a bloody stump where it used to be.

Rima shrieked. "No! The strings! Her strings are INSIDE of him! We have to-!" Whatever Rima planned to say was cut off when more and more cuts began to appear around Minato. They curved round and round his body in an endless circle as the lethal strings of Ayaka began to tear through his flesh.

He didn't even have time to scream before his body was cut up into dozens of pieces.

No one said anything. They all just stared in absolute shock at the pile of dead flesh that used to be Minato Arisato. Even Sora had lost whatever confidence that compelled her to believe that Minato was alive. They all just stared, eyes wide and mouths open. Their shocked silence went on for several minutes...and then a piercing scream ripped through the silence like it was made of paper, resounding throughout all of the halls of the mansion.

Fuuka screamed for several more seconds before she clamped her hands over her mouth, her face turning green.

Unfortunately, her stomach wasn't strong enough as displayed when Fuuka released all of its contents onto the floor in front of her.

"Know your place!" Ayaka's voice boomed towards them. "Leave now our face a similar fate. Even you, sister." She said it almost like a taunt.

"A-Ayaka..." Rima looked as if she was about to break down crying again, her shock being the only thing preventing her from doing so. "How-How could you?"

"Perhaps I'll rid myself of you regardless." Ayaka said, her voice echoing in the room. "I don't need you, I don't need friends or family or anyone! Ningyo told me so!"

"I seriously doubt that." A voice said. They all blinked twice...and then there was a similar shocked silence as before as one moment, there was nothing but a pile of flesh and then the next, a blue-haired teen stood tall as if he HADN'T been cut into many pieces.

"I'm back. It's amazing the uses a 'Gift of God' has." Minato said, pointing at his eye which had turned a darker shade of blue with what resembled a pentagram inside his iris. He quickly returned his attention to the previous matter. "No human wants true solitude. You are no exception."

Ayaka sounded fairly annoyed. "What are you blathering on about, you false savior?"

Minato shook his head. "In one form or another, every human wants to be anything but alone. I sensed it while I was under your control. Your bitterness. Your sorrow. Your fear of being hurt. I can kind of understand. I went through the exact same thing for nearly ten years. I almost destroyed myself thinking I only needed me and that everyone else should just die...how wrong I was..." Minato sighed. "I know better than anyone that you don't mean what you say."

"LIAR!" Ayaka's voice boomed. "I don't need anyone!"

"That's not true!" Minato shot back a bit more forcefully. "Whether for strength or a need for someone to protect, everyone needs one thing they don't always get: a friend. Someone who will truly care for them and stand by them. Ayaka! If you'd just truly let us get close, I will swear on my life that we won't abandon you! You have to give people a chance!"

"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! You're all a bunch of liars! You say those kinds of things so I'll be happy and then you're gonna leave! Ningyo told me how you would just betray me in the end! I didn't want to believe him, but he was right! You're just a liar and a traitor!"

Ningyo? Minato wondered.

"Ayaka, I promise that I won't leave you! You have to trust me! No one else needs to get hurt! If you won't come, then I'll just go and find you if you want!"

Ayaka growled almost inhumanly. "Go ahead and try it! Come near me and I'll kill you! And when you try to run, I'll hunt you down and tear you apart!" It might've been their imaginations, but Ayaka's voice seemed to have gone a pitch deeper than it was before, slightly older than it sounded before. "I don't you! I don't need my sister! I especially don't need my parents! I hate all of you!"

"I see." Minato said in reply. He then clenched his fist in front of him as he began to swear his oath. "If you're going to be so stubborn, then I WILL find you. After I do, I'll shatter that illusion you hide behind! I'll erase that facade you use to escape the truth! This I swear!"

"I hope you're ready to die then..." And then Ayaka's presence faded from the area.

"Minato..." Rima said, tears beginning to appear in the corner of her eyes. "Please...please don't hurt Ayaka..."

Minato nodded. "Of course I won't" He closed his eyes, a pensive expression on his face. "I remember who I am and everything I've been through. If there's one thing I understand, it's the pain Ayaka is going through. The immeasurable sorrow she has welling up inside of her." Minato then hugged Rima, which was less embarrassing, given the layer of clothing Rima now has. "I only plan to break that mask of solitude she wears. To help her see the beauty of having friends and people who care about you, as I've seen..."

Rima sniffled a little, tears beginning to roll down her cheeks. "Thank you...Thank you, Minato..." Nobody said anything as Minato paused.

"...Rima?" Minato said.

"Hm?" Rima asked, smiling slightly.

"Rima..." Minato repeated albeit a bit more impatiently. "...Could you please remove your hand from my butt?"

"Teehee~!"

And done! Special thanks goes out yet again to Bboy46 for helping me get this shite done! So yeah...Sorry for the short fight...I got kinda lazy and it didn't turn out to be the epic showdown I meant for it to be, but hey, at least it's something.

Thanks for the reads and reviews!

Bye-Bye!