Into the Darkness
Miwa, HJ and Jin followed Ragna up the stairs to one of the hallways of the tower. The place was enormous, and all the same felt completely empty and void.
- Miwa (thinking inwardly): Sorry Makoto and Tsubaki, I'll do my best for you.
An eerie silence hung over all of them. They didn't really know what would be waiting for them. But they kept moving regardless, each moved with a strong resolve, ready to face whatever might lay ahead.
- HJ: (bullet...I'll save you from that mad man I won't give up)
- Ragna: (Alright, time to finish this fight.)
- Jin: ...Nii-san.
Ragna looks to his younger brother who appears worried.
- Ragna: You ready brother? This probably isn't gonna be an easy fight.
Before Jin can respond, he feels a sense of danger ping in his mind and pushes Ragna out of the way, as he to rushes out of the way from a surprise attack.
- Jin: Look out!
- Ragna: The hell?!
- HJ: what was that?!
From behind a chain of fire whips by them before being pulled back into the darkness in front of them.
- Meta: Death Aggressor...
Another chain comes flying forward at them, Ragna notices this and jumps away before it can make contact. He slides across the ground and pulls out his blade as he moves into a stance.
- Ragna: That thing again, The Meta...
- Miwa: ! The Meta?!
- Jin: Huh?
- Meta: Found Lambda. Subject is Ragna, Initiating Capture. Ignoring all other life forms.
Ragna continues to weave around the chains. He’s to busy to try and fight.
The others take the initiative instead. HJ and Jin launch a team assault of lighting and ice to the Meta, but it ignores them.
Miwa tries next with a swift slash, but again, it moves right past her.
- Miwa: Ragna!
- Jin: Nii-san watch out!
Ragna slashes away another chain, however, the second one coils around his throat. He stops dead in his tracks to avoid choking.
- Ragna: Urgh--!
The Meta tugs on the chain to try and pull him closer. Ragna bends his knees to try and stabilize himself to avoid getting drawn in. He growls as he tries to pull the chain off to no avail.
- Ragna: Shit, what the hell?!
HJ and the others watch Ragna, and they decide that attacking the Chain would be the best plan. However, how they would do that was another matter entirely.
- HJ: how are we gonna break it?!
- Miwa: Slicing Winds!
With another combo strike HJ combines electricity with Miwa’s strike to break the chain and release Ragna. The chain shatters, and he jumps away.
- Ragna: Tch...the hell was that about?
- HJ: don't know!
Jin unsheathes Yukianesa and makes a clean sweep with his blade across the Meta.
- Jin: Leave Nii-san alone you damned doll!
The Meta recovers and scans the area.
- Meta: Threats range from B to SS.
The four steady themselves for another go at the Meta.
- Miwa: Another obstacle then…
- Ragna: Guess we're in for a fight. Black Zagam!
- HJ: EAT THIS!
As Ragna channels a black aura around his scythe, HJ launches forth a few bullets of energy at the Meta. It is unfazed however.
- Meta: Habaki. A massive column of flames comes at both Ragna and HJ, they both take evasive maneuvers to escape being singed to a crisp by the fire.
- Ragna: Damn, this thing doesn’t go down easy…
- HJ: WHAT THE?
- !Meta: Gasai.
Ragna is not the target of the next attack, instead the ground bellow elevates and the earth collapses benethe Miwa and Jin.
- Miwa: What's happening?!
- Jin: ...!The two jump away from the crumbling glass floors.
Ragna focuses through the flames to see the Meta, he brings his Scythe in front of him and lets Darkness fly across him acting as a shield. He then runs straight through the fire, as streamline and clean cut, like a pure black comet.
- Ragna: Inferno Rush!
The Meta takes the hit head on.
- Meta: Damage level: Fat—Fata---Fa... Error...Problem corrected.
- Ragna: What the hell, I hate these things…
- Jin: Tch this one doesn't seem to want to die.
- Miwa: How do you kill it then?!
Ragna leaps away from the meta.
- Ragna: Keep attacking it! It's gotta fall eventually!
He leaps in once more and strikes with his scythe, meeting a blade of the meta that threatens to stab him. The Meta instead snatches him from the air and pulls him closer.
- Meta: Must be complete…must have Lambda.
- Ragna: For the love of—let go of me you freakin piece of shit!!
- Miwa: Stop!
- HJ: RRRRRRRAGH!
Miwa and HJ both strike the Meta with a powerful blow, and it releases Ragna.
Jin strikes it last, in a flurry of ice and away with a swipe his sword, the Meta collides into a wall.
- Ragna: You guys, stop, it’s after me only! Just go on ahead, I’ll catch up!
- Miwa: I’m not going to leave you like that Ragna!
- Jin: Nii-san you aren’t doing this alone!
Ragna sighs. Though to be truthful he was thankful for their help. To his surprise however, the Meta wasn’t getting back up
- .Ragna: ...Is it done?
All of them stare and wait for the Meta to move. A few moments pass and it seems to be over. Suddenly a slow clapping sound echoes from the hallway.
- Ike: Well that was entertaining…
Ragna hears the voice come from behind him. And as he turns he sees a man in a black suit grinning at him.
- Ike: Hello.
- Ragna: How did you—GAH!
Something impacts him HARD in the stomach and he falls forward. Ike catches him in one arm and then lifts him by the collar.
- Ike: Meta, kill them.
The Meta blocks the way as Ike rushes back up the stairs with Ragna in his grasp. They disappear into the pitch and the Meta stands before them once more.
- Meta: Acknowledged, new objective: Kill all.
- Jin: Nii-san!
- Miwa: Bring Ragna back!
- HJ: …dammit.
Miwa becomes furius with the situation, and lashes out with all her rage against the Meta.
- Miwa: Just...go...away! ASTRAL HEAT: Maelstrom
Several strikes from wind cut across the Meta, causing it to reel back.
- Jin: Out of my way damn you!
Jin next launches a large wave of Ice blades at the Meta, and it takes every hit. The ice sticks into it like a dart board before they explode.
- Meta: Damage: 99%...leg units…unresponsive.
- Miwa: HJ!
- Jin: Quick finish it now!
- HJ: ALRIGHT! TAKE THIS!
HJ fires off a concentrated beam of energy towards the Meta, it crackling with light. A sparking Meta barely stands as the dust settles.
- Meta: Damage Level: minor... Damage: 100-
The Meta falls.
- HJ: ...did it work???
- Miwa: Come on! We have to help Ragna!
Miwa rushes up the stairs, Jin and HJ soon follow.
Meanwhile Kiba and the others quickly make their way to the tower as well. Kiba had been on a detour, and now he was headed to the tower at full speed. Tsubaki and Makoto struggle to keep up.
- Tsubaki: So what now?
- Makoto: Kiba, where are we going?
The two follow him.
- Kiba: We need to get to the tower.
- Makoto: Alright, we need to meet up with the others.
- Kiba: *Runs to where the tower is
- Makoto: Alright lets go Tsubaki!
- Tsubaki: Right!
Makoto and Tsubaki eventually reach the tower as well, though Kiba being far faster made it quite the trip.
- Gale XIV: Kiba.
Gale XIV floats down from a platform in the sky and greets the group. He looks to Kiba with a sense of urgency.
- Makoto: Who the heck is that?!
Makoto is amazed at the man's presence.
- Tsubaki: ?!
- Gale XIV: Gale Wing XIV, now Kiba, I've gotten everyone to come here. Everything should be ready for you and Ragna to fight CONTINUUM, provided things go as planned.
- Kiba: Ok. Get everyone ready.
- Gale XIV: Already did. Just say the word, King of Braves.
- Kiba: Ok. And Ark?
- Gale XIV: If you are unfortunate enough to run into him, then I will do what I can.
- Kiba: Got it. Thank you Gale XIV.
With that said, Kiba walks into the tower from a separate entrance that Ragna and the others used. Makoto and Tsubaki follow as well.
- Makoto: Looks like this battle is gonna be a big one.
- Tsubaki: Can say that again
Gale XIV watches them disappear into the tower before he floats back up to the sky, intent on other important matters.
- Makoto: I hope the others made it okay...
- Tsubaki: Yeah...
Without much chatter to follow, They eventually reach a cathedral like area towards the top of the tower. Relius is there, waiting for them. He gives off a slight smirk as they all arrive.
- Relius: ...Well I guess you came sooner then expected. Then again you are said to run the speed of light...
- Makoto: Oh god him again...
- Tsubaki: Relius!
Kiba stops and looks at Relius before he pulls out Gurren Sho.
- Relius: Ah...a phenomenal object indeed. Well, I was asked to not let you interfere, At least...not yet.
- Kiba: Good for you, puppeteer.
- Makoto: Oh shut up, we'll get through if we have to knock you out to do it!
- Relius: ...Ignis come forth.
He snaps his fingers and Ignis appears. She moves over to meet Tsubaki and Makoto as Kiba engages Relius in combat.
- Relius: Entertain them for a bit.
- Makoto: Jackass...
Kiba rushes in with his sword thrown to the side, he brings it forward for a hit, but Relius dodges the blow.
- Relius: So this is the power of the King of Braves…I understand now why Hazama had his eyes on both you and Ragna, the two of you together in the same world…unheard of and yet here you are. How I would love to see what that blade really is…
- Kiba: Shut up, Puppeteer!
The two exchange blows, and Ignis strikes at Tsubaki and Makoto with her claws. Tsubaki takes a step and dodges, while Makoto jumps away, pulls back her fist and launches a punch at her. Ignis reels back but keeps moving.
- Makoto: I always hated these dolls...
Kiba tries to kick Relius in the head with a swift roundhouse blow, but Relius uses machinery to take the blow, he is sent back a ways.
- Relius: Impressive…I’d expect nothing less from one such as you. However you realize that this is merely a diversion from the real objective?
- Kiba: The hell are you talking about?
- Relius: …You will see, Kiba Soavate. Without Ragna, you can’t defeat CONTINUUM…
- Kiba: Ragna is in the tower you idiot, now get out of the way!!
Ignis comes charging again, this time she elongates her claws and directs a slash at Tsubaki's stomach.Tsubaki jumps away from Ignis.
- Tsubaki: How do you stop something like that?
Makoto comes charging in with another punch to the doll's side.
- Makoto: Hell if I know, this thing can take a lot of punishment!
Relius dodges another swipe from Kiba’s sword. Kiba suddenly halts while breathing in and out. Relius knows what is about to happen, and he snaps his fingers opening a portal.
- Relius: Perhaps we will see each other again, but for now, farewell Kiba. I’d hurry to the top if you want to prevent the inevitable.
With that he disappears, Ignis in toe. Makoto's punch hits the air.
- Makoto: Huh?!
- Kiba: The inevitable? God damn it...
- Tsubaki: Where'd they go?
- Makoto: Ugh, he got away...damn him. He must have gone someplace else within the tower.
Kiba sheathes his blade.
- Kiba: Let's get higher into the tower, I think Ragna might be in trouble.
- Makoto: In trouble?
Without explaining himself, Kiba runs up the stairs at a normal pace with the others following him. Kiba fears that with the Snake’s help, CONTINUUM might have found a way to keep Ragna from interfering. He picks up pace as the two trail him not far behind.
Ragna regains consciousness in a different room.
He opens his eyes to a large casket in front of him, with an emblem plastered on it that glowed with a vibrant azure color. Everything else around it is fuzzy, and a bright golden machine of some kind holds the casket. Although, it looks like he is high up, because he cant feel the ground, and his feet dangle over seemingly nothing.
- Ragna: ...The hell...
- Ike: Oh. So you've have awakened. Don't bother trying to kill me. You're chained up.
Ragna looks around for the source of the voice, and when he turns his gaze down he can finally see the man. Though he can’t make much out of him, do to being slightly disoriented from the blow to his chest, and what felt like his head. He notices Ike wasn’t lying, he was suspended by chains, looking down he sees the swirling energies of the cauldron. The moment the chains broke he’d fall into it.
- Ragna: ...What a Cauldron? Who are you, why is this even here?!
- Ike: Ike Ceres. I serve CONTINUUM. And CONTINUUM wants you to die, he and Hazama came up with a plan to seal you and release something that’s within you to put a quick end to this game. I’m only here to see it through.
- Ragna: What the hell, are they after the Black Beast?
- Ike: No. It is not the beast, something that’s controllable, Hazama said. Sorry, but you’ll have to die, at CONTINUUM’s wishes.
- Ragna: Screw CONTINUUM!
Despite his words and growing anger, he couldn't do much in the situation he was in. Growling He tries to get out of the chain that he's in.
Ike puts his hand on his right ear and communicates with CONTINUUM.
- Ike: I’ve brought Ragna to the cauldron as you requested CONTINUUM. You can use that girl Hazama has to recreate her...
- Ragna: Girl…are you talking about Noel Vermillion?!
- Ike: The link to the Amaterasu unit, yeah, I am. Hazama has her.
- Ragna: That BASTARD!
- Ike: You’ve got bigger things to worry about Ragna. She will be recreated in that casket before you there.
Ragna looks at the casket in front of him.
- Ragna: Who the hell are you talking about?!
- Ike: Memories make people weak, right?
- Ragna: Memories...?
- Ike: The memory you're about to see is going to kill you...
The casket opens suddenly, and in a blinding light a girl clad in blue armor floats out. She opens her eyes and looks to Ragna with excitement.
- Nu: Ragna? Is that you Ragna?
- Ragna: ...Nu...?! How...
Ike leans up against the wall and looks up at Nu.
- Ike: Nu, you can kill Ragna. Get rid of his conscious completely, remind him of his hatred.
- Nu: Ragna we’re going to have so much fun together! It’ll be just like last time…we can slash at each other for all eternity!
Ike walks out of the room as Ragna furiously fights against the chains. The loud sound of metal clanging against glass echoes through the halls as he screams at Ike.
- Ragna: You idiot, you have no idea what’ll happen if you do this!! God dammit Ike!
Ragna struggles against the chains. Nu comes closer and looks at the chains holding the silver haired rebel suspended, she aims a blade to cut him free. Ragna knows it’ll be over if he falls into the cauldron.
- Ragna: Shit, this can’t happen, BLACK ZAGAM!!
With his roar, His grimroire glows, he grows a wing from his back and his sword transforms into a scythe. The chains shatter as he breaks out of their grip with sheer force. He flies past Nu and skids across the floor, swinging his scythe out to the side.
- Nu: ...! That’s amazing Ragna, you’ve gotten even stronger, Nu wants to see it firsthand…
Nu throws a flurry of swords his way in various colors. Ragna brings his scythe over his front to take the blows, the swords bounce off before disappearing. Ragna rushes in and brings his scythe down on Nu in a flash of black energies, she slides back to avoid the blow, undeterred.
- Nu: Ragna! That almost hit Nu, do you hate Nu? Nu only wants to be by your side Ragna. Remember all that anger you had at the world the last time we played? I loved that so much…you remember right Ragna?
- Ragna: Shut up, I never wanted that to begin with, I never wanted THIS to begin with! I’m not gonna be chained down by damn fate any longer, this is where that part ENDS!
- Nu: Ragna…you silly boy, no one can alter the fate given to them…this was destined! No body can change it, no one, no one no one NO ONE!
- Ragna: Well, I’m not gonna accept that. So Nu, I'm sorry, but this is where I'm gonna have to end you. I don't have time for this bullshit today!!
He rushes at her again and does a lunging swipe with the Scythe, the scythe in a trail of red lines that form into mini serpents that strike Nu’s blades that collide with them. Their weapons clang together, echoing across the hallway, signaling the tension of the battle.
Ragna glares with anger. Nu smiles with sadistic pleasure and tries to stab Ragna.
Ragna growls and jumps into the air, his momentum increased from a swift flap of the wing on his back.
- Ragna: You damn shadow of my past, leave me BE!! Hell’s Collapse!!
He throws Blood-Scythe down in front of him like a spear and it creates a field of darkness. Keeping Nu from moving. Turning both of his hands into claws he comes crashing down in a vortex of red and black. His Scythe glows once before it releases a burst of energy as he comes crashing down with it, cracking the floor upon impact and sending Nu back a ways.
Nu recovers and laughs.
- Nu: Let's be one again, Ragna!
Ragna guards against another assault, but the sound of combat draws his attention for the slightest second.
- Lilin: DIE!!!!
- Ike: Go back to hell!
Ragna glances at them, but quickly focuses on Nu, he strikes her away from him once more with an arc of dark energy. He recognizes the boy that was fighting Ike. The air thick the intensity of the battles.
Ike is launched back into the room, now with a blood colored spear piercing through his chest.
Ragna returns focus to his own struggle and he attacks with the scythe again, but Nu moves forward, bloodied, and determined. It forces Ragna to take a step back.
- Nu: Ragna...you can’t change fate…even now I can see hatred, the anger, the want to destroy! You want to right? Destroy me, the world, everything! That’s what you want deep within the core of your soul…your beautiful soul that only Nu can satisfy…
- Ragna: ...Tch shut up! I WILL change it, no matter what I have to do, I won’t lose this battle, not again!!
In a rage he strikes again and again.
- Ragna: I’ll DESTROY YOU!
- Nu: It hurts Ragna!
- Ragna: Destroy, destroy, destroy, DESTROY!!! GO BACK TO HELL!!
He blasts her with a final hit that sends her into a wall, but the doll gets back up. Ragna lowers his scythe as he feels his power fading fast, he'd been using it to much. Not only that but the power of the grimroire was taking over completely, he couldn’t really control what he did anymore.
- Ragna: ...God dammit…I can’t…control it…
- Nu: Can you feel that? Its your hatred, don’t try and fight it, Ragna it’s a wonderful thing, Nu loves it just as much as Nu loves you!
- Ragna: God dammit Nu...stay back!
Though he said that, his body refused to listen to him. Ragna couldn't keep her away, he tried to but his arm wasn’t moving that held the scythe. He could only stand there as she came closer.
- Ragna: Shit...
It came again, just like before. Nu forms swords around her, and with a smile she drops her hand, the swords come flying towards him.
A sword pierces him in the side, then another strikes him in the gut. He reels back and coughs out blood.
- Ragna: AGH! Nu…don’t…Urrgh…do this…!
Sword upon sword impale him in different places. He struggles to stay on his feet as he still grips his blade; a pool of blood gushes from his mouth.
- Ragna: GGAAH!
- Nu: Let's become one, Ragna!! Tell me you hate the world, and everything in it…Nu will grant your wish Ragna…
- Ragna: I…hate…everything…you…the world…Black hatr—Ugh, what…shut up dammit!
Ragna realizes he’s saying something against his will, and Nu comes close to Ragna. She sends another sword into him before pulling him closer by the collar. His blood red eyes gleam with hatred and Nu removes her visor to show off her own.
- Nu: Its time for fate to take us Ragna…we’ll always be together…
Blood-Scythe reverts to the form of a sword and flies into the Murakumo blade that Nu released from her body. The Blade behind them is pitch as night with glowing red runes.
- Ragna: Shit...Nu, don't...I don't...want this…!
The Blade flies forward and through both of them, sending a sensation of agonizing pain. Ragna lets out a scream, mixed with anger and pain.
- Ragna: AAAAAAGH!! Damn it....aaaugh...
A black energy envelops the two and seeps into their bodies, Nu’s sadistic smile contrasts Ragna’s hateful scowl. As he continues to cough out blood, Nu pulls Ragna into the cauldron with her. The silver haired man watches a light take his vision before everything turned to pitch black.
- Ragna inward thoughts: Shit…Rachel, I’m sorry…I couldn’t change it…afterall…
He closes his eyes.
The cauldron emits a black light and After a few moments Azrael comes out from the hallway. His Tattoos glow, and he sees the light emit from the Cauldron. He raises his hands and lets his own energy mix with it, the energy from all he's observed.
- Ike: God damn... My...
Ike Slowly gets up with the spear through his his chest. He looks at the cauldron after limping closer.
- Azrael: That is enough Ike...I will handle the rest, go help the others.
- Ike: Ok, Azrael.
He pulls the spear out from his chest with a sickening pop, and the Unhuman Break glows as it heals his wound. After a quick breath he runs back down the stairs.
The Cauldron begins to emit a pulsating noise like a heart beat as a pitch black and red cacoon forms.
- Azrael: It is almost time.
The three others that followed Ragna continue to run up the stairs. The tower was like an illusion keeping them from their objective.
- Miwa: I'm sick of running...
- Jin: This tower seems to go on endlessly...
- HJ: when are we gonna reach the top?!
Miwa feels something odd as she makes her way through the walkway.
- Miwa: This....what is this?
- HJ: ...anything wrong?
Something doesn't feel right or even correct about the space they are in. Ike had left only a short time ago, so they should have been at the top.
- Miwa: Does it feel like we're in a loop?
- HJ: I don't really think so.
Jin feels the same way.
- Jin: It does seem like a loop.
They see the same hallways, the same walls, the same colors as they continue to advance. Eventually Jin grows tired of it.
- Jin: This is pointless…
Everyone stops to look at Jin who had paused his advance in frustration.
- Miwa: Jin?
Jin becomes angered from being kept from helping his brother.
- HJ: you okay Jin???
- Jin: God damn this place!
He unsheathes his blade and slashes the wall out of frustration. and in a blast of frozen light the walls disintegrate.
- Miwa: !
- HJ: WHOA!
The true form of the room is revealed before them, which is apparently just one huge white room with glass like walls and floors. In the distance the stairway sat, and standing in front of it is a grinning Terumi.
- Terumi: well then...guess you were a bit smarter than I gave you credit for.
- Miwa: Terumi!
- Jin: Hmph Terumi...
- HJ: So you’re Terumi!
- Terumi: Wow so many happy faces upon my arrival. Didn't really want you interfering...so we conjured that little illusion for you.
- HJ: seeing Jin got tired of running in the same loop over and over...
- Miwa: It makes sense.
- Terumi: Fortunately for you, Fighting you isn't something I have time to do, and you're already to late anyway!
- Miwa: What?!
- Jin: Late for what?!
- HJ: whats that supposed to mean?!
- Terumi: Well, While you were all busy running in an endless circle, the REAL fun already started, and YOU all missed out on it! So sorry, but, don’t worry, cause you'll see Ragna again REAL soon.
Ike descends from the stairway and walks over to Terumi and Phantom.
Miwa remembers this being the man that ran off with Ragna.
- Miwa: What did you do with Ragna?!
They seem to ignore her, Terumi turns to see Ike.
- Terumi: I assume it went smoothly?
- Ike: Very. Except for getting stabbed by a spear...
- Terumi: Well can't go perfect every time...speaking of, I think now would be a good time to split this trio of annoyances up.
- Ike: Shouldn’t we worry about that blade…?
- Terumi: Nah, not yet. HJ.
- HJ; what?
- Miwa: What do you want with HJ?
- Terumi: Relius has requested a bit of playtime with you...and since you've been SUCH a good sport, I'm gonna send you to him. You'll also see Bullet as well, that's how good you've been!
- HJ: alright....Miwa, Jin...you keep moving. I'll do my best to stay alive....
- Miwa: We'll do what we can, stay safe, HJ.
Phantom conjures an energy around HJ and he is taken away in a black sphere.
- Terumi: Good then, I must be going, you two better hurry up to join the party, Azrael is waiting to introduce you to the main attraction.
- Miwa: Azrael?
- Jin: Main attraction?
Terumi blows off the two and turns away and walks over to Phantom.
- Terumi: Ike we need to go.
- Ike: Ok.
Ike follows him as they disappear into the darkness with Phantom, leaving a frustrated Miwa’s cry for no one but herself to hear.
- Miwa: Dang it Terumi, I'll stop you!
- Jin: Lets go. We can worry about him later, we need to find nii-san.
- Miwa: Right behind you.
Miwa and Jin look to each other and run up the stairs, this time intent on finding Ragna.
Kiba and the others run up a spiraling staircase, seeing the same room again and again, just like Miwa and the others. He hasn’t realized it yet, but they are in the same illusion the others just escaped.
- Makoto: ...this is...
- Tsubaki: The same room…
- Makoto: Kiba why haven't we reached the next floor? This is endless...
- Kiba: Ok then...
Kiba takes a deep breath and steps forward, stopping to just stare at a wall intently.
- Tsubaki: ?
- Makoto: Huh?
Claws pop out from his nails as he readies himself.
- Makoto: Whoa!
- Tsubaki: !
- Kiba: AHHHHH!!!
Kiba Rushes forward and suddenly rips through the air, leaving a hole in the middle of the stairs.
- Makoto: Jesus!
The illusion crumbles and he sees Jin and Miwa on the other end of the stairway. All of them rush to greet each other. The reunion doesn’t last long however.
- Tsubaki: Jin, I’m glad you’re alright.
- Jin: Likewise Tsubaki…
Makoto interrupts them, knowing that they needed to keep moving ahead.
- Makoto: Lets go then!
- Miwa: Yeah!
- Jin: Quit wasting time and lets move.
Eventually the group manages to make their way out of the spiraling illusions before them. They come into the large cathedral like hall where a large black and red Cocoon radiates malevolent energy.
Amidst everything stood Azrael, feeding a kind of aura to the cauldron.
- Miwa: Azrael!!
Azrael turns to see Miwa and the others.
- Kiba: *Thoughts* Wait...
Kiba feels sick to his stomach upon entering. He looks around the room and sees the massive black and red cocoon.
- Tsubaki: Where's...?
- Azrael: So the King of Braves has arrived as well...
- Kiba: *Thoughts* Something's not right here...
Kiba can feel a malicious vibe from the cauldron. Whatever was inside was powerful, but what worried him was the fact that he couldn’t feel the power of the Azure, the Twilight armoire was quiet.
Jin also feels a wave of unease come over him.
- Jin: This feeling...
Kiba’s grimoire glows golden.
- Kiba: Azrael.
Everyone turns their eyes to Kiba as a brilliant golden light shines from the grimroire. Azrael smiles as he sees the Twilight Grimroire open itself. His Tattoos glow with energy and he channels the light across his palms.
- Azrael: And that was what I needed to observe...Now...
The cauldron continues to pulsate. Kiba walks up to it and stares at it, he feels the thing inside is alive. This wasn’t right though, this wasn’t how it should be. They understood now why Azrael needed to observe the Twilight and Azure, from it they were smelting something. Jin and Miwa had a sinking feeling as to who was inside of this massive cocoon.
- Miwa: This is...
- Tsubaki: A cauldron?
- Makoto: Isn’t this what happened to Noel?
Jin clutches Yukianesa tighter in his hand as the feeling starts to completely overwhelm him. Yukianesa doesn’t pick up his brother’s presence. He can’t sense him anywhere, and this quickly sets him to unease.
- Jin: Nii-san…why can’t I…
Azrael suddenly holds his hand up to the air and releases a fountain of energy into the cauldron.
- Azrael: All the pieces are in play. Now with the observation of Twilight and Azure...I command you to awaken...
Miwa steps forward.
- Miwa: Stop it Azrael!
- Jin: What the hell is going on?!
The ground around them begins to shake, the air trembles. The group stares in awe and fear as the cauldron opens to reveal a black light that is somehow both the darkest thing and the brightest. A paradox of time created only by the Crono Distortion in play.
- Azrael: ...Ragnarok Kusanagi AWAKEN! Wield the blade of the end of days as you once did in another world and bring all to ruin in CONTINUUM’s name!
- Jin: Stop! What the hell do you think you're doing?
- Kiba: Azrael…
- Miwa & Tsubaki: !
Kiba steps towards the Cauldron, ignoring the fact it was about to burst. He looks straight at it, and he feels the presence of the Azure.
- Kiba: Ragna…
- CONTINUUM: I wouldn't go there if I were you...
The voice distorts around them, and calls out Kiba’s name. There is no one around who made the voice, it simply being a trick of the walls he thought, however it was no trick, as Kiba soon found out. He doesn’t see a chain coming straight towards him, and Miwa cries out in fear for him.
- Miwa: Kiba!
- Kiba: What the...?
- CONTINUUM: Come to die!
- Tsubaki: Stop it!!
The voice calls his name yet again, and the chain wraps around his throat, dragging him up into the darkness. He vanishes along with the chain into nothingness. The others watch him disappear, and yell out into the pitch above them. It seemed as though he was taken to another space entirely, as there was no trace of him.
Miwa cries out.
- Miwa: Bring him back, bring Kiba back!!
Miwa’s cries reach no one, Kiba was long gone.
An energy seeps into the Cauldron.
Its pulsating reaches a crescendo.
Azrael waits for him disappear and finishes releasing the energy. The cauldron bursts open with a brilliant display of colors, and a person jumps out of it. He stood looking similar to Ragna with the same silver hair. But it wasn’t him, he might of sported the same attire, but even that was changed. His coat had been pitch black, and his skin was just as dark, with pulsating red veins that glowed.
- Azrael: Say hello to the world that you will soon bring crumbling down in darkness.
The silver haired person lifts his head and opens his blood red eyes.
- Ragnarok: ...Acknowledged.
Stand Against Fate
- Ragnarok: ...
Ragnarok stood there with the pitch black Scythe to his side, for awhile he just looked down at the ground.
- Ragnarok: …Death…Destruction…the world…perish into oblivion…the endless cycle. I am Ragnarok Kusanagi, the one who will see this world perish!!
The one named Ragnarok. With eyes narrowed with hatred, he pulls from the blade behind him a pitch black Scythe that resembled the Blood-Scythe. However it had the blades of the murakumo floating around it as he plucks it from the ground.
- Miwa: That scythe...!
- Jin: Nii-san?
Ragnarok looks up at them, but doesn't seem to recognize any of the people who stood before him.
- Ragnarok: I know who you speak of, but his consciousness is gone, I am the Black Serpent Orochi personified, the one who will use the hatred of this soul to bring an end to this drawn out game.
- Miwa: Ragna?! What happened to you?!
- Jin: Nii-San, something is wrong here...
Miwa refused to believe that who stood in front of her was the same Ragna that she had met during her travels.
He wore a kind of armor similar to a Murakumo unit, but it was pitch black with pulsating red energy, and two large red and black wings spread from his back. His skin was pitch with red runes across his body. He doesn't respond to Miwa a second time, instead he looks at them and raises the scythe, looking at them with a murderous intent.
- Miwa: !
Blades dance around him as he activates the pure black scythe. He glows with auras of red, and black somehow he is both the darkest, and lightest, a paradox created by the Crono Distortion.
He still doesn’t seem to respond to what these two call him.
- Miwa: Ragna! Ragna....is that really you?!
- Jin: Nii-san! Are you alright?
Jin steps forward trying to approach Ragnarok, and his eyes open wide as he swings the Scythe, barely missing Jin.
- Ragnarok: DIE!
Jin backsteps out of the way of another attack, and looks over to him in wonder, Miwa cries out to him trying to get him to listen, but Ragnarok doesn’t seem to hear them. All he knows, is hatred, and the want to destroy everything and anything burned bright in his mind. That’s all he knew. It was all he had.
- Miwa: Ragna, stop!
- Ragnarok: Destruction...
- Jin: Destruction?
The scythe glows with energy and he brings it forward releasing a blast of darkness at the two.
Miwa and Tsubaki duck out of the way, the arc slices a collumn clean in two.
- Ragnarok: Death, Destruction, Oblivion!
- Miwa: Is that...really...Ragna?!
- Ragnarok: Die…DIE, DIE!!
He smashes his scythe into Miwa as she approaches. Miwa gets thrown backwards from the strike and slides across the floor. She sits up and looks over to Ragnarok's empty stare.
- Miwa: That hurt...
- Ragnarok: None will stand in the way of the end of days, Doomsday will fall over this world!
He steps forward, releasing a black aura that fills the room around them.
- Miwa: No, it can't end like this!
- Ragnarok: You are threats…
- Miwa: Ragna! Wake up! Its us!
Jin thrusts Yukianesa skyward as a beam of light hits it and engulfs him in a white aura, he reluctantly activates his power over order.
- Jin: I never wished for this kind of battle to happen...But I will do as I must.
- Memories) Ragna: …Jin if something happens to me, I want you to do what you must in order to stop me. Tell me, look me in the eyes and tell me that you will be able to do that.
- Tell me you’ll kill me.
- Tell me you’ll let me rest.
- Tell me Little brother, that it’ll be you who ends me, if the time comes.
- Jin: …I will. Nii-san I will be the one to free you from this cold fate that grips you, I promise.
Jin closes his eyes.
- Jin: We have to kill him. Nii-san wanted me to do so, if this happened. I think I understand what he meant now, he knew this was going to happen, but he still fought against it anyway…
Miwa becomes awestruck.
- Miwa: K-Kill him?! But…Ragna…he’s…
Ragnarok doesn't hear them, he throws his hand forward and sends the murakumo blade at them.
Miwa ducks out of the way.
- Miwa: Ragna! Stop! Can't you hear me?! You were going to help me! You were going to avenge my father!
- Ragnarok: DIE, and disappear with this world!
Slamming the scythe down he sends an ark of darkness at her. This girl kept calling to him, but he felt nothing but black hatred with every word.
- Miwa: !
Miwa is thrown away from her spot and into a wall, she lands on the ground.
Jin rushes over to Miwa's side.
- Jin: This isn't Nii-san...he's different.
Miwa recalls what Jubei told her.
"his power can be used against us to, and if that cauldron is anything to go by thats sleepin in the tower, then I've no doubt their gonna try to do that. If that happens...try that blade. Try and get his conscious back on straight."
- Miwa: I refuse.
- Ragnarok: Death, Destruction, Oblivion, PERISH!!
He sends another arc of energy forward, as he swings the scythe more continue to appear. All of the black arcs of energy squirm forward like a fan of ebon rays.
Miwa stands up and turns toward Ragnarok.
- Miwa: I REFUSE THIS FATE!
Jin blocks the strike with a wall of thick ice.
Uindokatta begins to glow at hearing the words.
- Miwa: I REFUSE THIS ENDING!
- Jin: Alright...I made a promise to you Nii-san, and i will keep it.
- Miwa: Uindokatta, give me the strength, to bring RAGNA BACK!
He rushes into Ragnarok and tries to attack with Yukianesa, a wave of ice flies forth. Miwa Charges in as well.
After a few exchanged blows, Ragnarok growls and launchs Jin into a wall with his scythe, the wound burns across his entire body as he crashes into the floor.
- Ragnarok: Order…the enemy of Chaos. My enemy.
He catches sight of Miwa coming in and he throws his arm forward, the blades form a barrier around him. He stands there looking at her, as she tries desperately to break through the defense.
- Miwa: IT WON'T END THIS WAY!
- Ragnarok: …
- Miwa: I WANT TO REWRITE THIS!
Jin forces himself to stand, despite his injuries. The sound of Yukianesa scraping against the blades make him turn.
- Jin: Nii-san!
He sees the man’s emerald eyes, and Ragnarok feels something nostalgic. The feeling causes him pain and he raises his scythe into the air, the wall of blades collapse and he swings it down with great force. The two jump away from the assault, but charge straight back in.
Uindokatta glows brighter with each word.
- Miwa: GIVE HIM BACK!
Even as he continued to knock them away like flies, Ragnarok feels anger. The voices of these people cause him to become infuriated. Black Hatred, Black Soul, Black Azure, that was all he knew at this point. These people couldn’t convince him otherwise. Ragnarok slashes Jin away with a claw of darkness.
- Ragnarok: JUST DIE!! All of you…DIE!!
- Miwa: GIVE RAGNA BACK TO ME!
Miwa's sword manages to connect with Ragnarok.
Jin goes flying into a wall and crashes down, he stays there for a moment.
- Miwa: Please...just give him back!
Ragnarok turns to Miwa and blocks the blade before kicking her away. Miwa gets thrown out of his way.
He twists the scythe to knock an approaching Jin away once more. Jin falls to his knees, clutching his wounds.
- Jin: Dammit...Nii-San...
Miwa quietly stands back up and looks at Ragnarok. She screams at the top of her lungs as tears stream down: GIVE RAGNA BACK TO ME!!!!!!
She charges again at Ragnarok, only to meet his Scythe in a dead lock once again.
He couldn’t understand why they cared so much about Ragna, who was nothing but a shell of his original power, who stood before them now was who Ragna truly was.
- Ragnarok: Why do you TRY?!
- Why do you LIVE?!
- Why DO YOU CARE ABOUT HIM?!
- JUST DIE!!
With each word he pushes her back, his eyes narrowed in animosity. He wanted this gone, all of it. Even so the girl refused to let in.
- Miwa: I REFUSE!
She pushes him back as Uindokatta glows bright.
- Miwa: YOU SHOULD NOT EXIST IN THIS WORLD!
- Miwa: BEGONE!
Miwa seemed to be pushing him back.
- Ragnarok: You CANT change this, its our FATE.
- Miwa: I WILL CHANGE HIS FATE!
- Ragnarok: ...I shouldn't exist, that is correct, but this is what fate handed me. YOU cant change it. Trying to is pointless, this is all I know, it is all I HAVE. The Hatred…an endless DAMNED CYCLE!!
Ragnarok begins to glow in a black aura as The two continue to exchange words and blows as Jin stands up.
- Miwa: I REFUSE!
- Miwa: FATE CAN ALWAYS BE CHANGED!
- Jin: NO! Nii-san wouldn't give up, he always said he wouldn't!
- Miwa: UINDOKATTA!
- Miwa: CHANGE HIS FATE...AND GIVE RAGNA BACK TO ME!!!
Ragnarok hears them, he feels dizzy, he wants to leave this place. Ragnarok changes his hands into claws his teeth to fangs, and a red and black aura manifests several serpents that stare down at the two with glowing red eyes.
- Ragnarok: OROCHI…Black Beast, END THIS WORLD at my WISH!
Miwa stares up at them, but remains undeterred, she charges straight into the aura, blade positioned in front of her, the tip ready to drive into Ragnarok.
He looks beyond the veil of darkness and sees a light approaching, the brilliance of the Uindokatta blinding him. He can hear her for the first time. The voice…it calmed him, he felt a warm blue light within the darkness of his own soul.
- Ragnarok: ...What...that…voice…
- Miwa: NOW!
Miwa slashes at Ragnarok, the blade doesn’t knock him back due to him being in the center of the black and red aura of these serpents, he was literally becoming part of them. She continues to fight it, despite the overwhelmingly thick seithr threatening to absorb her as well.
- Miwa: GIVE HIM BACK!
Ragnarok takes another the blow from Uindokatta, and he looks at her with glowing eyes, his hand, now a huge monstrous claw, grips her. Jin glows in a white aura as he rushes in with his blade as well.
- Jin: Nii-San, WAKE UP!!
- Miwa: PLEASE UINDOKATTA! MAKE MY WISH COME TRUE!
A wall of ice and light collides into him at the same time, he felt that one. Memories flood his mind. The man was his brother, fighting to break him out of the darkness, and this crying girl Miwa. The one he made a promise to…
- Ragnarok: Promises…Rachel…Saya, Jin…Miwa…
Ragna breaks through for a moment, seeing where he was he screams out to Miwa and Jin, the only light he could see at this point.
- Ragnarok: AAAAAGH! Miwa, Jin, DO IT! …KILL ME!
Miwa shakes her head while crying. She wasn’t going to kill him, she had another wish, and Uindokatta would grant it.
- Miwa: ALLOW ME TO SEVER THE CHAINS OF FATE!
He reels back as though he's fighting himself, the eight headed serpent roars in anguish and fury.
Miwa stabs Ragnarok through the chest, as tears stream down her face.
- Miwa: NOW GIVE HIM BACK!!! RAGNA PLEASE COME BACK!!!
Ragnarok's armor shatters and the darkness around him fades, with it the massive creature that spawned from his hatred left quietly as well. The energy returned to his grimroire as he swayed for a moment and stumbled back.
- Ragnarok: …Fate…endless…cycle…
Miwa falls to her knees, her energy completely gone.
A blue light enshrouds Ragnarok, and the blades all clang against the ground. Who stood there now was Ragna, smiling as he held the wound inflicted by Uindokatta.
- Jin: Nii-san!!
She stills holds on to the hilt.
- Miwa: I....did it....
Jin rushes over to him.
- Miwa: Master Jubei......I did it.....
- Ragna: ...Thanks...Miwa, Jin....you did...well...
He collapses forward onto the floor after that, dropping his scythe.
Miwa does the same next to him dropping Uindokatta.
Jin kneels next to Ragna, he lets Yukianesa fall from his grasp.
All of them, dropped their weapons, that battle took a toll on all of them.
- Jin: ...I kept my promise Nii-San...didn't I?
Ragna doesn't respond, his eyes are closed, and Jin waits quietly for him to awake. He waits for what seems to be an hour and both of them are still out cold, in reality only a few moments had passed, but to him it felt like eternity.
A glass wall crumbles.
- Jin: Huh?
Miwa starts to stir.
What appears to be HJ comes crashing through the rubble.
- Miwa: I....still have....one more thing....to do....
- ???: rrrgh...
He slides cross the floor next to Jin.
- Jin: HJ?
He looks to see Miwa has awoke.
- ???: ...who the heck are you???
Miwa reaches for her blade and grabs the hilt, causing Jin to focus on Miwa.
- Jin: What are you doing?
Using her blade, she uses all the energy she has to stand.
- Miwa: Azrael......show yourself....
Azrael appears from the shadows, but he has a different look to him, all his energy spent on the cauldron.
- Azrael: ...
- Miwa: It....is time....
Azrael closes his eyes.
- Azrael: So you changed fate...You stopped what couldn't be stopped...
Miwa struggles to keep herself standing, even with the sword helping her.
Azrael walks over to her.
Jin jumps up and grabs his blade, but Azrael puts up a hand. Jin stops, bewildered by what was going on.
- Azrael: I want to ask you a favor then.
Miwa stares at the man.
- Jin: ...
Azrael reveals his weak spot to Miwa, he points to just bellow his throat.
- Azrael: Free me. I no longer wish to have all this power. Nor do I want to serve CONTINUUM.
Miwa seemed out of it, she didn't know what she was doing. Yet her sword raised from the ground.
- Jin: Miwa, you don't have the energy for this!
- Miwa: So have I severed fate's grasp on one man, so shall I do the same for you.
Azrael smiles faintly.
Miwa's blade pierces Azrael's throat.
- Miwa: With my last bit of energy, I seal you.
The tattoos across his body shatter and he dissolves into the air, he is smiling.
- Azrael: Thank you, take care of Uindokatta...
- Miwa: The blade that severs fate's grasp...I will protect it.
Miwa falls to her knees.
- Miwa: Dad......this is why......you gave this.....to me.
Jin is silent for a moment, and he looks back down to the man who is in front of him.
- ???: ...
Miwa falls down all the way and falls unconscious, yet again. She grips Uindokatta's weapon tightly as the glow that once surrounded it fades.
Makoto and Tsubaki rush over to Miwa's side.
- Tsubaki: Miwa? Miwa!
- Makoto: Oh god...
As her two friends kneel beside her in worry, Jin looks back down at the man who slid across the floor into them.
- Jin: ...HJ? Is that you?
The man is getting back up, his clothes are vastly different in color from HJ's attire.
- Jin: No wait, your not...who the hell are you?
- ???: I should ask the same...
The person's armagus which looks similar to HJ's but it is glowing red.
- Jin: ...so if you're not HJ then who are you?
- ???: ...I'm the original Houdini...that. is all you must know.
- HS: Dyuaruamu was my armagus... until I was killed.
A doll comes through the wall with its claws.
- Jin: ?! That doll, what the hell is going on?
The doll is magenta with large metal claws, but something appears to be different about Ignis this time. It continues to smash the glass wall and approaches the group.
Kiba falls back down from the ceiling and lands next to Ragna.
- Kiba: Damn that was annoying. Ragna?
He looks down to see him collapsed on the floor, but he is thankful that the girl saved him. Otherwise things could have ended very badly. He looks around and everyone appears to be safe, however seeing the doll again compels him to unsheathe Guren Sho.
- Jin: Kiba…?
- Kiba: The Puppeteer, Again.
HS and Jin look to see a man walking out from the large hole created in the wall.
- Jin: Dammit, Relius…
- HS: Ugh….
Relius stops next to Ignis and looks at Jin and HS. He has a faint smile cross his expression. He notices Ragna and Miwa laying on the floor unconscious.
- Relius: Well, it would appear the girl managed to break the chains of fate. However, it of consequence…after I deal with you two I shall finish them.
The two he referred to were a wounded Jin and HS.
- Kiba: You’re forgetting about me Puppeteer.
Kiba walks out towards them, sword in hand. He glares and the claws pop out of his free hand. Relius doesn’t seem to be bothered by his appearance, however. As Kiba approaches a black chain drops from the ceiling and a man in black armor drops down to the ground. He smiles as he pulls a black, bayonet edged blade from his back. There was no mistaking that blade, it was the Heavenly Flame Stranger.
- Kiba: Shit…its Ark.