Episode 44 Explosion!
Kunai opens his eyes and stares as Ryuu and Shuriken appear in front of him. “Sorry we’re late,” Ryuu mutters out of the corner of his mouth to Kunai. “But don’t mind us crashing the party.”
Ryuu turns to face Kunai. “Kunai, get yourself out of the way. We’ll take it from here.”
“I’d like to…” Kunai mutters stiffly, “but I can’t move!”
Ryuu turns to Kunai again. “What do you mean you can’t—” Ryuu suddenly interrupts himself, as his eyes widen and he sees the silver scales forming on Kunai’s arms and legs. “What the hell?”
The Triplicate resumes its attack once again suddenly, sending another devastating blast of wind hurtling toward the ground. Shuriken dashes to block the blast from Ryuu and Kunai with his Avenger. The storm of wind is deflected off his shuriken, creating another large crater in the ground around Shuriken.
Ryuu picks up Kunai roughly in his own arms, and places him away from the battlefield, near Ivy. Ryuu looks up at Ivy as he places Kunai on the ground near her. “Make sure he doesn’t get hurt,” he mutters. Ivy nods.
Kunai lies on the ground as Ryuu dashes back to join Shuriken in the battle. He watches with narrowed eyes as he stares down at his own arms and legs. “What’s happening…to my body?”
A brief memory interrupts Ryuu’s mind, as he sees himself and Alcaster sitting down at a small wooden table in a small restaurant in El Nath.
“Alcaster,” Ryuu mutters, staring right into Alcaster’s eyes, as a waitress delivers two steaming bowls of hot red bean soup to them, “Why have you taken me here, and told me all this information about these Paradox things?”
“Because,” Alcaster replies, “The Four have designated your platoon of Joukai members—you, Ayame, Arai, and Yttrius—as the most capable of taking down these monstrous demons known as the Triplicates. Therefore I must tell you, the leader, all I can of these creatures in hopes that one day you may defeat them and unlock the path to the legendary Rift World.”
“I see…” Ryuu mutters, his eyes straying to the ground.
“Now where were we…” Alcaster continues, “Oh yes. The Third Triplicate.”
Ryuu looks up as Alcaster resumes his long-winded explanation. “Now, Ryuu…this last Triplicate is, inevitably, the most powerful of the three. In fact, the Myougun designed it to be more powerful than the other two combined.”
Ryuu gasps as Alcaster explains this. “What? How can it be even stronger than the other two? What makes it so powerful?”
“Listen to me carefully, Ryuu…” Alcaster replies, “This Triplicate possesses the wind element, and is a great flying monster clad with an armor of silver scales. It’s eyes…you must never touch directly. Should you touch it, your body shall crystallize in a layer of scales similar in that to the Triplicate’s. However…this crystallization shall result in your death.”
“Death?” Ryuu gasps.
“Yes,” Alcaster answers, “Death. However, there is one way to stop the crystallization process. Before you crystallize completely, ensuring your death, you must slay the Triplicate, for it is only with the beast’s magical powers that the crystallization is possible. If it dies, the crystallization ends.”
“I see,” Ryuu replies. “Anything else I should know about it?”
“Yes,” Alcaster replies, “Much like the first Triplicate, this one possesses an extra layer of skin covering its dark shadowy fibers underneath. To even hurt the Triplicate, you must shatter its protective layer of scales. Otherwise, your attacks are merely futile. However, due to its quick ability to crystallize itself with the scales, you only have a few precious seconds to spend before it fully crystallizes again.”
Ryuu grabs the hilt of his sword in both hands, turning back to glance at Kunai temporarily. “I won’t let you die, Kunai,” he mutters to himself under his breath.
The Triplicate fires another blast of wind at Shuriken, who cuts through the blast with his shuriken. He then leaps out of the way as the Triplicate swings its long, sharp talons, reaching out for Shuriken.
Shuriken quickly summons another shuriken with Avenger, and spins in place rapidly, cutting through the Triplicate’s claws efficiently.
He stops in mid-spin as the Triplicate withdraws its claw, and lunges forward and inhales, preparing to fire another blast of wind. Shuriken gasps aloud as he sees that the scars on the Triplicate’s claw have quickly repaired themselves.
“Shuriken!” Ryuu yells out loud. “We have to try to break the Triplicate’s scale armor! Otherwise, we’re just wasting our attacks and mana!”
Shuriken turns to Ryuu and nods. “Right,” he mutters.
Together, both Shuriken and Ryuu attack as one, Shuriken launching his Avenger into the air and Ryuu sending a blast of fire and lightning at the Triplicate.
However, the Triplicate merely flaps its wings, creating a powerful storm of wind and blowing Shuriken and Ryuu’s attacks away.
“Ryuu!” Kunai cries from the floor, as the scaly cover begins to spread across his entire body, now slowly crawling up his neck towards his face. His arms and legs remain still, completely covered by the silver scales.
“Damn,” Ryuu mutters, turning his eyes to Kunai for a moment, “We have to finish this quickly.”
Ryuu turns to Shuriken. “Right, Shuriken. Here is what we’re gonna do…”
The Triplicate growls loudly as it watches Ryuu whisper right next to Shuriken. Ryuu then dashes out of the way, as Shuriken turns to face the Triplicate head on, still holding his Avenger.
Shuriken then forms three more large shuriken, and sends them spinning forward, forming four corners around the Triplicate. Shuriken then creates another four shuriken, and replicates the same attack, this time sending the shuriken flying into the cracked ceiling of the tower.
Shuriken quickly spins a large spider web, and dashes from one shuriken corner to the next, stringing the web into the shuriken. He then creates another web, and does the same thing, until he has formed a large cage of spider webs around the Triplicate.
The Triplicate turns its head left and right watching Shuriken’s movements, and growls as it realizes that Shuriken has trapped it. Shuriken then forms one last shuriken, and throws it up high into the air, bouncing around inside the spider web cage.
Shuriken smirks as he watches his Avenger bounce around like a pinball. “Heh, this should keep it busy!” he growls, watching as the Avenger rapidly bounces around the cage, occasionally slamming into the Triplicate’s sides.
The Triplicate shrieks angrily as the shuriken continues to batter it with repeated attacks, tearing off a little bit of its scaly armor each time.
Shuriken dashes out of the way as the bits of armor and scales fall from the Triplicate, landing on the floor with a deafening clatter.
Shuriken then sends a single Tobi zipping through the air, headed straight for the Triplicate’s right eye. It lands right on target, and the Triplicate shrieks again as the mask around its face crumbles, revealing a dark, shadowy, dragonish face with yellow eyes and blood red pupils.
Ryuu suddenly dashes forward from behind with his sword poised to strike. He leaps into the air, howling a fierce battle cry as he does so. “Time to finish this!” he growls, as he flies through the air headed straight toward the Triplicate.
Ryuu’s sword bleeds fire and lightning as he approaches, with his sword outstretched. “Here I come!” Ryuu cries, as his sword begins flaring blindingly, creating a devastating spiral of flames and electrical current running through it.
“EXPLOSION!” Ryuu yells, as he cuts straight through the air, the flames engulfing him. He collides with the Triplicate’s snout instantly with a deafening impact, resulting in a powerful explosion.
Fragments of shadowy blood and silvery scales fall to the ground as the explosion clears, and Ryuu falls from the sky and lands on the floor roughly.
Ryuu forces himself to his feet, staring up at the hulking form of the Triplicate. His eyes widen suddenly as he gasps in disbelieve while the smoke clears, and reveals the Triplicate still standing tall before him, with its dark, unwavering eyes glaring down at him.
“It…didn’t…?” Ryuu gasps, his knees shaking and buckling through the effort to speak and remain standing. He collapses onto his knees, and chokes out blood. “Dammit…even I couldn’t…”
Ryuu falls face down onto the ground, rendered unconscious. Shuriken stares down at Ryuu’s motionless body for a moment and smirks to himself. He then gazes up at the Triplicate, still standing in front of him and reeking of bloodthirstiness.
The Triplicate’s armor has completely disappeared, revealing its dark, shadowy fibrous skin underneath, and its bloodcurdling yellow eyes surrounding a red pupil.
“So,” Shuriken mutters, as he gazes around the tower floor, at the unconscious figures of Arai and Ryuu, and at the unmoving figures of Kunai and Ivy, “Looks like I’m the only one left.”
Shuriken turns to face Ivy and Kunai, his eyes suddenly cold. His stare penetrates straight through them, and Kunai’s own eyes widen as he sees Shuriken’s.
“Those eyes…they’ve lost…all warmth all of a sudden,” Kunai mutters to himself. He attempts to move, but howls in pain as his stiffened arms and legs hold him back. Ivy stretches an arm forward, and forces him back against the wall.
“I did promise you that I’d help you defeat the Myougun…” Shuriken whispers, “But my sister is dead, and there is not much I have that can bring her back, so defeating the Myougun is not of that great importance to me.”
“You bastard…!” Kunai growls, as he realizes what Shuriken is saying, “You’re gonna betray us, aren’t you?!”
“It’s very true, Kunai,” Shuriken mutters softly, “If I were to have one selfish thought right now, I could leave this room right now and allow the Triplicate to make the end of you, and escape with my own life, unscathed.”
Kunai growls at Shuriken as he watches him with hatred. “But,” Shuriken whispers, “For the sake of my sister, and for the sake of all your lives…I am going to finish this NOW!”
Shuriken sprints forward, and removes his claw as he does so, releasing Phoebe, his own Paradox. Phoebe flies into the air with a soft shriek, and hovers over Shuriken’s shoulder.
“Let’s finish this, Phoebe!” Shuriken mutters, “It’s time to use our secret move!” Phoebe suddenly lunges forward, and grasps onto Shuriken tightly.
It quickly surrounds Shuriken, until he is covered with a layer of shadows, blended with Phoebe. Shuriken Hastes himself into the air, and creates an Avenger in his right arm as he does so.
Shuriken creates another one in his left hand, and launches both shuriken forward, sending them cutting through the air and slicing across the Triplicate’s wings.
The wings shatter as Shuriken double jumps and propels himself even higher skyward, and Shuriken watches briefly as the wings collapse and fall to the ground with a deafening crash.
“Paradox Fusion!” Shuriken yells, as Phoebe completely surrounds his entire body. Shuriken then lunges forward and creates one final Avenger, and sends himself flying through the eye of the Triplicate, shattering it and causing it to shriek in pain and agony.
Shuriken lands on the other side and dashes out of the way as the Triplicate collapses under its own pain, and falls to the ground with a boom. Its eye rapidly begins bleeding freely a thick, shadowy liquid, as the Triplicate begins to disintegrate into the air from tail up.
Phoebe slowly separates itself from Shuriken, revealing patches of his unscathed skin underneath. Finally, Phoebe retakes its original form of a dragon, hovering just above Shuriken’s shoulder.
Shuriken breathes heavily as he struggles to join Ivy and Kunai. He clutches his stomach as he does so, swaying slightly on his feet. “That used…a lot of mana…”
“Shuriken!” Kunai gasps weakly, staring awestruck at him. Suddenly Kunai gasps as the scales begin to retreat from his body, disappearing rapidly and leaving his skin clean, but heavily scarred and bleeding.
Kunai weakly pulls himself to his feet, but stumbles. Shuriken steps forward and helps support Kunai, helping to hold him up while he stands.
Kunai turns to Shuriken and raises his arm slowly, giving him the thumbs up. “Shuriken…I should have never doubted you. That was awesome, how you defeated the Triplicate by yourself!”
“Well, it wouldn’t have been so easy if it weren’t for you guys helping to weaken it in the first place,” Shuriken replies, smiling slightly. He shakes his head. “But if it weren’t for that move Phoebe and I had…I don’t know if I could’ve defeated the Triplicate without suffering the same fate as you, Kunai.”
Kunai stares down at his arms and legs, free once again of the silvery scales. “Nah, don’t mention it! That was one killer move you had!”
The ceiling above suddenly shakes violently, and the ground sways threateningly. Both Shuriken and Kunai look up in alarm as the debris begins to fall from the ceiling once again.
“This place is gonna collapse!” Shuriken exclaims. He turns to the bodies of Ryuu and Arai, then turns to Ivy. “Ivy, open up Mystic Door. We’ve got to quickly transfer everyone to town before this tower collapses on us completely!”
Ivy waves her Thorns, and forms a glowing Mystic Door hovering slightly over the ground. She turns to Kunai who stumbles forward towards the door. She helps escort him through the door, and the two of them disappear through it.
Shuriken glances at Ryuu and Arai, lying motionless on the ground covered in debris. He sighs and hurries forward, first lifting Ryuu over his shoulder and carrying him through the door. He then quickly returns through the door and does the same for Arai, stepping over the Mystic Door and closing the door behind him.
As the tower begins to collapse, large portions of the ceiling tumble onto the ground, and the building begins to sway dangerously with its support broken.
Suddenly, a man leaps down from above through the ceiling, landing in the middle of the wrecked ground floor with a heavy thump. He gazes around and spots the Mystic Door.
As he steps forward, sunlight, pouring in through a large hole in the tower wall, shines over his face, revealing a pair of glasses and a bright red monocle. “Ryuu…at last, I’ve caught up to you!”
He wrenches the door open and steps through it, just as the tower shakes violently once again, and several floors from up above cave in.
Kunai stands under the support of Ivy as the two of them and Shuriken gaze up at the towering mass of Eos Tower standing before them.
Eos Tower trembles once violently, and with one last shudder, the entire tower collapses from the sky, its once grand hundred-floor mass falling apart to pieces.
Kunai, Ivy, and Shuriken turn as they hear a door slam behind them. All three of them gasp aloud as they spot Lord Fyx standing behind them, closing Ivy’s Mystic Door behind himself.
Next Time: Episode 45 Hide And Seek!
Kunai: [sigh] Another battle…
Shuriken: This guy’s pretty tough!
Ryuu: [grumble] You guys go. I’ll handle this guy.
Episode 45 Hide And Seek! coming soon!