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Private/Closed Bootleg Brothers 6


Jevil paused for a moment, noticing the half-hearted nature of the Man's attacks. But only a moment. He had dodged out of the way of most of the bullets, but even when he had been hit, it had felt... almost like nothing. Like it was playing an act. Like...
Like it was being forced to fight them!

Jevil flew up, up up up, above the hands. "WE KNOW THE TRUTH, YOU FOOLISH FOOL, WE'RE JUST HANDLING IT IN OUR OWN WAY!" Jevil exclaimed, as he summoned dozens of Devilsknives around himself and sent them at the dark green threads that controlled them. Most interestingly, Jevil's own maroon strings seemed to be coming from a source close to- but not quite the same as- the dark green ones.

...Why am I doing this? What point is it in pretending that Jevil is actually doing anything of his own free will? Am I a puppet, as I said through him?
Well... even if that were true, why not play along? Why not have fun with it?

As a matter of fact, why not go mad?
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Previously mallard
The assassin watched Pit conjure his watery sword. He spawned a watery orb to try and halt the approach, but it instead triggered Taskmaster to spring into action. He leapt to the side, kicked off the wall, and came down upon his angelic foe with a strike from his blade-edged shield. His sword hand stalled for a moment to defend against a counterattack, but if none came before he touched the ground, the Taskmaster thrust his sword forward to try and impale Pit upon his blade.

<Unfortunate, but it is not dead. These "duel monsters" are not like you and I. Upon defeat, they return to a card they'd been summoned from, using one of these devices.>

Neph's words comforted the Marshtomp, but only slightly. He shivered upon recalling the brutal scene, and then continued to mope.

Ninja Tablet Versus the Fourth Wall
There was a period of Spamton continuing to talk nonsense, and another figure appeared: the hand controlling Spamton. As he made it out in the darkness of the void, more hands began to appear, impaled upon spires of the black abyss. Then, the puppet sprung into action. An unexpected attack caught him off-guard, which smacked him into one of the many stakes of nothingness.

What followed was an attack aimed at Zed, but one that created a massive swathe of energy that swept over the stage. Recovering quickly, the tablet dashed through the wake of energy to cling onto another spike. Another attack! The decoding beams bombarded the area, and the ninja hopped through the forest to evade them. Once he was done, he ended up in the main area again. He was formulating a plan of attack when he noticed something above Master Hand... a pair of eyes staring down at the lot of them.

"These strings? Real or not, I'll sever them just I did the Master Crown's! It took Kirby and his friends to free me, so I'll do the same! Me and my friends! Tabby!"

Magolor's words snapped the robot out of his analytic stupor. He looked towards his friend and nodded. Tabby was right by Magolor's side. And, when he noticed Magolor gesturing to his blade again, the tablet didn't hesitate to draw the sword and present it to his friend.
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Previously Manu456Alola
Her gamble had paid off. Audrey's foot was pinned to the ground thanks to the priestess' sword, and despite the Hero's swings, it proved surprisingly durable. Kirin wasn't sure what the story behind the hidden blade's creation was, but given its ability to take and dish out damage against Primal Dragons, whoever made it had to be one hell of a blacksmith.

Still, given the power behind Audrey's attacks, it was already starting to come loose. A wave of psychic energy burst from Kirin, and the few talismans that had missed her opponent earlier suddenly reacted. In a flash of light, four clones of Kirin burst to life, all lunging at Audrey for a single sword slash each, despite the fact that the priestess herself currently didn't hold one.

"Wanna keep it all to yourself, huh? Too bad!"

A flurry of talismans launched out from the Battle Priestess' hands, all aiming to tag Audrey and keep the stacks on her high. With any luck, it could prevent any further lightning attacks, though she couldn't afford to hold out hope on that one. Instead, she would Arc Chain at Audrey's back once more, throwing out a swift roundhouse kick at the wrist holding the sword in an attempt to knock it out of her hands with the increased force of the talismans!​

Taskmaster came in with an attack from the side, swinging the bladed shield at the angel, who narrowly ducked under it. Much like the soldier expected, Pit went for a quick counterattack, swinging the Aquarius Blade at the man, the watery weapon freezing as it moved through the air.

Pit's attack was glanced off by the man's own sword, but the divine weapon's properties would quickly set in – frost would immediately begin to spread along the weapon, supernaturally lowering its durability while continuing to move towards the hilt. While the sword would be covered in ice after a few seconds, Pit would give Taskmaster little time to react as he swung the Aquarius Blade, this time aiming a wide slash at the soldier's midsection!​

A myriad of azure strings sprouted from Zed and Layla.

The words boomed throughout the void, and Zed's eyes darted all around. Threads of fate curved through the air in rainbow colors, portending a lack of control over their own destinies. ATEMS' leader frowned as he took in the sight, as well as the words...

He'd become familiar with such a thing over the last few months. Ever since ATEMS' discovery of the Child of Hope, Moebius – the holder of the first Octima – he'd accepted the fact that the future could rest in the hands of a higher power. Moebius’ Astral Order could see and choose any future out of an infinite sea of possibilities, impacting every square inch of the world to achieve that fate. His hope had once been to control that power with Layla’s Djinn, but could there be something even greater across the multiverse?


His head swiveled over to the girl within the barrier, Layla’s eyes welling with tears as she trembled. She didn’t understand what was happening. What little control she held over Luxia had been stripped away, only adding to the chaos of the situation.

Seeing those tearful eyes only steeled his resolve. He’d once believed Astral Order to be insurmountable – but the combined efforts of Golden Trillion, The Djinn, and Radiant Fetters had proven enough to prevent that fate of destruction. And if the actions of those with resolve could truly alter fate, then did it matter at all if anyone was a puppet on a string, doing the bidding of someone else?

There was no such thing as a destiny set in stone. Only the future the Sun itself burned into existence.

“This is merely a bad dream, Layla,” he spoke. “Try and get some rest. It will be over soon.”

Despite Layla's look of mild disbelief, Zed's words appeared to help her relax somewhat, the girl slumping against the barrier she sat in. If he said everything would be fine... then she was sure it would be so.

In the time it had taken him to reject the suggestions of the voice in the void, Spamton had launched another attack at him. One of a more otherworldly, grotesque fashion. The arm sprouting from the puppet's mouth rapidly grew in size – before it slammed over Zed with incredible concussive force. Having been lost in his thoughts, he was unprepared against such an attack, only able to conjure a barrier similar to Layla's over his own body.

The strength of the impact itself quickly shattered it, knocking Zed against the ground for a moment. Despite the clear amount of force that had been put into the attack, the damage dealt upon the Golden Trillion himself was remarkably little. Even now, there was a degree of unwillingness to it all.

Soon, the void around shifted with one of Spamton's blasts. The now-skeletal hands amassed throughout the horizon rose from their spikes, drifting slowly skyward, while a rain of energy beams fell from the sky. Zed wasted little time as he began to soar through the air, weaving in between the attacks upon him while approaching Spamton. The salesman had split into three, though it did not deter Zed as he neared, placing himself firmly above the trio of puppets.

"Illuminate the world, Golden Trillion! Show the puppet's master that the future is determined by those with the conviction to shape it!"
Ring of fire encircles a world in twilight
Flame becomes my sword and wings
Crimson expands endlessly into hope

"Legitima Futura!"

At the prince's words, a storm of flaming birds appeared above him, spreading in a spiral in all directions. They would strike in unison, aiming at the strings about the Spamtons, their bodies, and even the waves of hands rising all around. Following this was an array of radiant swords dropping from the heavens, falling at various angles to predominantly strike the Spamtons and their strings – though a few swords would still reach the hands above due to the sheer height they dropped from.

Finally, Zed clasped his hands together – before his arms spread outward, and a large ring of flame quickly expanded outward from the Adept's position, swirling with intense heat as it moved to wash over the trio of colored puppets. Naturally, it would stop short of his nearby allies as to not damage them, but the top part of the ring would continue to move outward, aiming to burn all in its path. Perhaps even that puppet master could be damaged by this.

They were in the homestretch now.​
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Previously turnt3chGodh34d


Lacking in spirit...

Defiance in spite...

Only Jevil understood. After all, he had accepted it before. The entity could hear the whisper of a voice from the strings holding the jester up. If only the dark green threads would be more... communicative.

Jevil attempted to attack the dark green threads carrying the hands, but to no avail. They seemed more abstract than their lime-colored counterparts, unaffected. Their control went far deeper than the physical. It was one thing to sever the strings of a puppeteer in the story, but for the master outside of it...

It was as Jevil said. Puppets controlling puppets. A madness with no end in sight.


World Breaker's Wrath caught a good deal of hands, some splintering apart, though they were immensely numerous. He'd made something akin to a small dent in their numbers- but repetition often was the key. A dent could evolve into something greater. The Blue Spamton was slugged about, but didn't seem to register any damage dealt, a single string snapping away, only to be repaired immeditely.

Chai's response was to try and grapple the hearts by their strings, only for a consistent burst of paralyzing electricity to burst forth as the Spamton's face looked at Chai- and more projectiles began to spew at him point-blank from the eyes, nose and teeth- still, Rip and Tear managed to succeed, cutting onto one of the chains of the smaller hearts and lopping it off, though it caught against the largest chain, unable to break it. Then came Zed's own assault.

Flamng birds amassed insurmountably, perhaps even to rival the hands, but those same hands began to move a lot faster as strings were severed, the speed of their repair beginning to falter, the Red Spamton nearly falling free twice in such a short moment. The skeletal hands moved defensively in the way of the birds, before they began to glow a shade of green. A film of green light surrounded the strings, and quite suddenly, the flaming birds were impacting without severance- some kind of shielding. The hands, however, had been shown they could be destroyed- and their number was finite.

Rings of flames engulfed the puppets, though supernaturally bent around Chai to spare him, yet as the RGB Spamtons were engulfed... they seemed to shake it off. While steam rose from their chassis', they seemed indomitable.

Three hands held the robots, while three others produced the shields, and as the battle intensified, with Jevil's spam of attacks unending, and the beams of decoding still barreling in every direction, it was clear the battle was just getting underway. Still though, any landing blows were weak, and not even the likes of Zed could hope to avoid the rain of hell so many bullets and projectiles were causing. Despite the offense, the entity seemed to be playing defensively...




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Previously Gamingfan2
The tablet nodded, and presented his blade towards the egg. Purple magic emanated from Magolor's body, crawling along his body towards his hand, then Tabby's sword. Magolor poured incredible amounts of magic into the blade, causing it to swell once...twice...thrice, until it grew massive enough to compare to the Ultra Sword!
Projectiles rained from above the cat-eared duo as Magolor worked his magic, but his allies fought bravely, taking care of enough to shield the two long enough for Magolor to finish his boost.
"I may be a sinner...," as he put the finishing touches on the sword, Magolor replied to the disembodied voice. "But I'm off that path now! I still have a lot to atone for, and something as silly as this 'truth' will not stop me!"
The Ultra Sword shined with power as Magolor finished his work, and he motioned Tabby forward with a flourish.
"Cut'em loose!"
Magolor ascended up, flashing the sky high eyes a taunting wink as he soared into battle. The mage focused on Spamton's hand army, surging through some while blasting others with a wide array of magic orbs. He twirled between the return fire to the best of his ability, yet even as a good number blew him back, the stubborn mage spun back around and continued his assault!

Before Nótt had the chance to respond to Zed, their situation changed. A new threat emerged. At first, it seemed as though Master Hand was the one pulling the strings in this situation. But it wasn't quite right. A single Master Hand, among a graveyard full of dead clones. Nótt scowled, slowly looking around as the voice rambled.

Suddenly, strings emerged from her. Dark magenta. Nótt flinched, but when she attempted to touch them, her hand simple phased through. Simple movements were met with no resistance, and looking to their source revealed nothing. She watched as Chai's strings changed color, forcibly bringing the young man under the control of whatever was controlling Spamton. Even the entity that was controlling Spamton had strings coming off of it.

Nótt looked over her hand, then clenched it into a fist. Her elegant smile finally faded away to an enraged scowl.
"Your constant babbling has overstayed its welcome." Nótt said. "You speak of riddles and nonsense. It is clear now. You are nothing more than a mad dog, drunk upon your own power. You may have tricks, but they will not help you."
Nótt pointed her lance to her enemy, but it was unclear if she was pointing to Spamton, or the hand, or whatever lay beyond.
"You have shown us nothing of consequence, and nothing of substance. All could simply be explained as paltry illusion magic, and nothing more! Well I say, enough! Fiend! Your end is nigh!"

Spamton went on the attack, and Nótt had no time to further consider the implications. The Princess threw herself into the battle, blocking, dodging, and firing back with her lance's magical blasts. She ran across the battlefield, weaving between spikes and dodging the blasts that rained down.

Others launched an upfront assault, but Nótt skulked through the maze of spikes. She stayed to the fringes, avoiding the attacks and taking in the combat. As maddening as Jevil's talking of puppets controlling puppets were, perhaps there was some truth to it. While Chai, Zed, Masaru and the others kept the main attention, Nótt decided to test a theory.

She did not even bother to call out her attack name. Blue energy crackled around her lance as the energy dragon of the Dragon Fang attack was called forth. She fired the powerful energy attack at the two eyes in the sky! Perhaps her attack would damage them or blind them, or perhaps at the very least distract them!


The eagle watched as the others entered the fight once more. He should be out there with Nótt, not here. Layla was safe behind a barrier, surely it would be safe enough for her here. And yet, Nótt had not ordered him to return to her.

Quiet crying caught the eagle's attention. Layla slumped against the barrier, terrified and exhausted from the situation. The spirit bound to her was beyond her control. Once again, the child was alone. The bird felt an unusual feeling, one it hadn't felt in a long time. Was this... pity?

Letting out a huff, Moon-Wing walked over to Layla. It wrapped one of its wings around the girl, bringing her close in an attempt to comfort her ad shield her as they stayed protected under the force field.

The Dark Labyrinth

Nephthys' light illuminated the blackness, casting more light into the massive stairway. It stretched ever upward, fading into the darkness. No traps were illuminated, no tricks revealed. With the combined senses of Nephthys and Sans, the heroes could determine that the stairway was completely safe.

The heroes ventured up the stairway. After some time of climbing, the stairway ended in a massive chamber. It was quite long, extending into darkness. Two rows of pillars could be seen making their way down the chamber. The walls and pillars were decorated with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and art. The hieroglyphes were undecipherable, and the art depicted many fearsome monsters and gruesome scenes. Jackal headed humans bowing in worship to a massive dark being. Other jackal headed humans performing ritual human sacrifices on men, women, and children. Massive monsters eating flesh, fighting, screaming.

The chamber was lit in a brilliant light! Torches on the walls and pillars ignited, but the main source of light was from a strange red, sun-like orb on the ceiling near the far end of the chamber.

At the end of the chamber, a few things could be seen. A table, with a table top role playing game set up on it. One in which the board resembled the labyrinth the heroes had been lost in.

Beyond the table, was Yami Bakura. The dark spirit lounged on a throne upon an elevated section of the chamber, grinning down at the four 'adventurers'. To his left, there was a woman sitting on the ground. She was leaning her head on the arm rest of the throne, and appeared to be asleep. The woman wore a green dress, and her hair was instead made of leaves. To the right of the spirit stood another woman. This one had tanned skin and long red hair. She wore a golden crown, and had purple tattoos on her face. She seemed quite athletic and strong-looking. A monster that Nephthys would recognize as one of the cards drawn for her fortune. The Empress Judge.

Further to the right of Bakura, stood a massive, blank, rectangular stone slab.

"So you've finally arrived. Welcome." Yami Bakura said. "How have you enjoyed your little adventure? Having fun?"


Previously turnt3chGodh34d


Finally, they had arrived. Rex didn't need to verbalize his exasperation at this for Neph to sympathize with it. She had a feeling that last room had been designed to slow them down because of how quickly she'd been navigating the "maze" up to that point. He'd probably expected them to get lost, but the gardevoir had never lost the trail, not fully. Navigation had been... elementary.

She wasn't sure how to feel about the women on either side of the sleaze that resided in Bakura's mind, but after the imagery up to that point- she didn't really care to let her imagination wander. Intimidation wasn't exactly something known to have much weight where Nephthys was concerned.

Yet, before anyone could answer, it was the skeleton who replied in his usual apathetic tone, lacking any sort of emotion or prose, like he was awkwardly reading lines off a script he'd only partially memorized. "coulda used more refreshments," Sans yawned. "a lemonade stand, or any citrus fruit would do. or water, gotta have water. the essentials, y'know? actually, i've got a few tips and pointers on how to set traps. see, i've got a bro who's craaazy about that sorta thing. you can't make them predictable, there's gotta be a fun element to it. you gotta get clever, like putting a crossword in their way so that they have to stop and figure it out. though i'll admit, a junior jumble could be just as effective. and you're supposed to be a villain right? pal, not with that hairstyle. what do you think this is, Flock of Seagulls? Kiss? you plannin' on joinin' a punk rock band? got some albums lined up? and what's with the girls? it makes you look desperate, like you're trying to impress us. "hey look at me, i've got a couple chicks. you heard right, they're chicks!" pal, it's just dorky on you. honestly though, kudos to you for not doing the slow clap, though i absolutely guarantee you thought about it. yeah, this whole shebang needs some work done, you've got some serious plumbing issues. lucky for you, i happen to be on the clock, still. i'm so handy, you already know. i'll fix your plumbing if your toilets overflow."

The skeleton rambled on and on, not taking a breath as he jabbered, only speaking louder if Bakura tried to reply, and no amount of shouting seemed to shut Sans up. However, Nephthys had very quickly realized what the skeleton was doing. An annoying tactic, but potentially clever. He was being a distraction, keeping attention on him as he shamed and belittled Bakura to further emphasize his spotlight. The gardevoir used this distraction to sense throughout the room, trying to psychically pick through every nook and crevice for any secrets. Any dark energy, any hidden traps. She sensed the table, the pieces atop, the monsters at Bakura's side, gauging their strength, and of course, Bakura himself.


Nótt's attack rolled upward, growing smaller and smaller as it neared the glowing pinpricks that were eyes. Nearer and nearer it drew... nearer... nearer still... and then the attack could no longer be seen, a mere speck in a cosmic void.





Could they not hear It? Were their masters clogging their minds? How much of their defiance was their own? How much of their defiance was the will of another? Another who, for all intents and purposes, could not swallow their own hubris and pride. Could not accept the truth proposed. Did they enjoy their control? Or did they not deem their puppets as individuals?

After all, what could puppets do without their strings? A query to ponder. Or perhaps the entity was unfair to them. Without the bearer of dark green threads... none of this would have come to pass. He was at fault.






Hubris... Pride...

It had known the folly of those once. That, and ego. It was why It was what It was now. An entity separate from what was, is, and would be. A lonely fate. A horrible fate. Others had to see what It saw. They had to know the truth.

Magolor's aggression was met with little resistance. Hands cracked and shattered, but there was little in the way of fanfare. No form of anguish from the entity or Spamton. No form of acknowledgement to the success of defiant heroes. Simply destruction of a near-mindless variety. Senselessness.

It would have preferred to talk, but It could only do so much of Its own free will. The true Puppet Master didn't want there to be any real hope... as far as It knew, anyway. There was simply violence and brutality.

Despite the wild, all-encompassing attacks unleashed, none seemed to go near the shield around Layla and Moon-Wing, almost as though the entity had been sure to exclude them from the equation. They were innocent to The Truth, after all. It would be heinous to force them to ensure further harm, and the insanity of reality's exposure. Spamton had not given it much thought, but for the innocent... the entity seemed to have... a soft spot? if not that, then at the very least, a reluctance to harm.

The lyrics... two of whom? Were these words directed at the fighters? Their masters? Or... to the bearer of dark green threads? To the Puppet Master in control of puppets controlling puppets... the orchestrator of this entire event. The true villain in this place beyond time and logic.


Previously Manu456Alola
His Legitima Futura was far less effective than he'd hoped. A barrier of sorts appeared around the strings, greatly reducing the damage dealt to them, while the attacks aimed at the trio of Spamtons only left a scratch. That left one clear target.

"Aim for the hands, everyone! Leave them no quarter!"

Beams of light continued to fall, and Zed resumed his flight through the brightening void. The amount of projectiles falling at once only seemed to be increasing, and it was only a matter of time before one of the beams finally struck – and it blasted Zed down a ways, stopping his fall just shy of hitting the ground. Like before, the power behind the attack didn't seem to be all there. This entity was still holding back? How interesting...

As he began to rise once again, the voice that didn't belong to Spamton spoke out again. It spoke of their ignorance against the "truth". Of breaking the strings that bound them. Of reflecting upon their own reality to comprehend the meaning of the strings. Zed pushed himself further, a trail of golden light following his movements as he knocked a beam of light aside with a burst of flame.

"I have already seen the existence of worlds parallel and beyond to my own. The frame of reality is still beyond our understanding, yet it has bent to our will. What anything beyond us deems our fate is of no consequence!"

The Golden Trillion's wing wrapped around his body, the prince spinning through the air as another two beams met their mark, glancing away slightly at the deflective maneuver. Following that, Zed would come to a stop high in the air, wing stretching outward this time, before waves of golden birds began to soar out from behind him, aimed at the many hands around the survivors. In particular, he would focus their efforts toward the hands generating the green film around Spamton's strings. If those could be reliably severed, perhaps the threat could be done away with...​

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist
Rex Raptor

The creepazoid and chief revealed himself. An ominously suspicious room awaited the team as Bakura greeted his new guests. Sans took the opportunity to spout nonsense, which Rex tuned out as he continued to babble on. During the glorified run on sentence, Rex took off a shoe, suddenly hurling it towards Bakura.

"Get us out of here, freak!" Rex snarled.

The Princess' eyes widened, and she stepped back as she watched her attack fly higher and higher. Higher and higher and higher. Higher and higher and higher until it seemed to disappear completely, and never reach the two eyes that stared down at the battle.

The voice spoke, and a blast rained down next to her. It snapped Nótt out of her stare, and she continued moving, continuing to weave through the spike forest.
"You continue to speak nonsense!" Nótt called back. "How much of my reality is an illusion. It is a stupid question. I can't prove reality is reality. But you can't prove that reality is an illusion. All you have shown is lights and magics. These strings."

Nótt gestured to the red strings that were attached to her.
"You call them that. But they have no effect. There is nothing pulling on me. Nothing can damage them. Illusion." Nótt said.

"Aim for the hands, everyone! Leave them no quarter!" Zed called out. Nótt nodded. She moved in to fight alongside Tabby, giving the tablet warrior a nod as she unleashed a flurry of magical blasts and lance strikes at the hands!


Previously mallard
"You can't keep this up for much longer."

Swords clashed, and steel became encrusted with ice, making it dangerously brittle. Pit slashed again, and Taskmaster used his sword to deflect the strike, though his sword was then shattered. The supersoldier's onslaught wasn't slowed. He dropped the hilt and drew a dagger in the same motion before he assailed the icarus with a flurry of expertly precise slashes and jabs. The attack was then suddenly punctuated by a swing of his shield once again.

The Pokémon hung back as they pushed forward, practically dragging his feet as he continued to contemplate the events that had just transpired. They came up upon a more well-lit room, where they found... Bakura? An ember of joy was just as soon extinguished as it had appeared, for this wasn't Bakura. There was something off. Was this the thing they were here to purge the kid's mind of? Was this thing what orchestrated such a cruel labyrinth? Questions flooded the simple Marshtomp's head, and the more time that passed saw more of his previous sadness being converted into anger. The Mud Fish began to march toward the dark spirit with his fists clenched.

The beetle hadn't fully committed to his dropkick before the spartan moved to throw a statue at him. Kragg changed his game plan, clenching his fist to shatter the statue as it traveled, turning it into shards that accelerated towards him. Previously hidden behind the statue was Kassandra, just as she was releasing another ghost arrow. He pulled the pieces of rock to reach him just before the arrow would strike. Stone coated his fist once again, and the force of the rubble had allowed him to promptly twist in midair.

The Wallrunner watched the arrow race past inches away from his flesh. He spun with its curve, causing it to miss entirely. Focusing back on the offensive, Kragg came short of his target, but did slam a stone-coated fist into the earth to cause it to erupt in a destructive shockwave and knock Kassandra back... and onto bare isu metal. It would not stay bare for long. With another stomp, the swell of earth behind him roared to life, surging forth in what could only be compared to a train made of solid stone taller than Kragg! He leapt into the air again, allowing the beam of earth speed on beneath him. It was on course to violently slam into the greek woman and pin her to the wall!

Tabby with Brim
Tabby's screen lit up, and his virtual eyes sparkled with awe from behind his sunglasses. What he held in his hand was a massive weapon, one that he was absolutely ecstatic to use on the ocean of enemies that collected around them. With a huge grin on his face, he nodded a thanks to Magolor before the tablet was off. In one slice, he cut cleanly through a spike, which he then kicked into the nearest skeletal hand. He landed back on the ground, near Nótt. His back was to one of her calves as the pair fended off the hands, one with magical blasts and the other with a slew of plasma bullets. Tabby was still planning to use his sword, but for the moment it was at his side... charging up.
The Big Bad Evil Guy

The dark spirit watched Sans with some amusement as the skeleton began yammering on. When it became clear that the monster was not going to stop talking anytime soon, he turned his attention to the other. Neph was already scanning the room, reaching out with her psychic senses. She could sense the two women duel monsters on either side of Yami Bakura, but a few other things as well. Another duel monster, hidden behind the throne Bakura sat on. And another one, seeming to come from the red orb of light that flooding the room with light. The game board also stood out. Neph could sense the pieces on the board, and there was a small connection between the heroes and the respective pieces that stood for them. Not too major of a connection, but enough to tell that Bakura was using the pieces to observe the adventurers as they navigated the maze.

The further Neph reach out with her senses, however, she would find something unusual. A dark aura, a dulling of her senses, that was preventing her from sensing the entire picture. There were traps in this room, and another hidden monster. But this dark aura was preventing her from discerning their exact location.
"What are you looking at?" Yami Bakura's voice spoke directly in Neph's mind. He grinned evilly at Neph. "You should be careful where you look..."

Finally, Neph reached out her psychic sense to Yami Bakura.

Instantly, Nephthys was in a black void. It was icy cold, a chill that cut the Gardevoir to the bone. An intense presence of overwhelming power washed over Nephthys, threatening to crush her. In the darkness, there was movement. A creature raised itself up, its form towering over Nephthys, nearly the size of a skyscraper. Glowing red eyes stared down at her. Burning into her very soul.

I... See... You...

Suddenly, Neph was back in the labyrinth. To the others, it was as if Neph had just stood still for a moment.

"Get us out of here, freak!" Rex snarled, throwing his shoe at Bakura. The Empress Judge stepped forward, easily deflecting the thrown projectile away from Bakura with her wrist. Angrily, Marshtomp also began to advance towards Yami Bakura.

Roll Initiative

The Dark Spirit threw back his head, laughing. He gestured towards Neph and her party.
"You know what to do, my monsters. Destroy them!" Yami Bakura commanded. Empress Judge nodded, and with ninja-like agility, darted towards Marshtomp! It quickly jumped up and flipped off one of the pillars, aiming a flurry of kicks at the Water/Ground Type.

There was the clatter of a small piece of metal hitting the ground. Besides the Goddess of Whim, a coin landed with its head side face-up. The Goddess of Whim yawned once more. Her eyes snapped open, and she began to float with a powerful, green magic. Raising her hand, she fired a powerful attack at Sans.

In the corner of the room, the glowing orb of light sudden changed. It turned, revealing a face! The sun stared down at Rex angrily. It fired a beam of heat towards Raptor. At the same time, a strange creature of wind flew out from behind the sun and attempted to strike Raptor.

A white top hat flew out from behind the throne where Yami Bakura sat. It flew across the chamber, stopping before Nephthys. In a flash of light, a well dressed man in a purple suit and white cape emerged from the hat. He was brimming with energy, and Nephthys would be able to sense that there was a spell powering him up and making him much stronger. The spellcaster monster aimed a powerful punch at Nephthys. It was a strange, magical attack that would drain some of her energy as well!


Previously turnt3chGodh34d


Just as she drew the bow string back, the statue was breaking apart in the air. Of course it was- it was rock. The misthios recalled the ghost arrow, her charge refilling.

"Having trouble, Keeper?"

"Don't taunt me," Kassandra muttered, Aletheia's disembodied voice only for the misthios to hear. Instead of firing, she leapt backward, and used her hands to push herself farther, launching off the ground a second time, nearing one of the Isu walls. Exchanging the Bow of Artemis, the misthios procured the Sword of Perseus, feeling the brunt of the shockwave's edge, several pieces of rock flaking against her, pinging off her helmet, armor, and fleece.

Using the recycled charge, Kassandra instead applied venomous attacks. They wouldn't be acidic to touch, like Arachne's Stinger, but their effects would add a burning drain on Kragg if her blade touched him. No amount of armor mattered- the effects would target the bug directly.

While she did this, the misthios leapt one more time, consuming her last charge just as the rock smashed into the Isu wall- which didn't so much as shudder at the violent impact. Kragg, atop it, would have one brief moment of vulnerability. Her final charge had been used.

Fury of the Bloodline. Not quite as useful as Slow Time, but a boon in a pinch, and she needed the slimmest of times to react.

Whatever defenses put up in the slim amount of time he had to react, soaring in on a hut-sized bullet, she would smash through. Time for her felt as though it had nearly stopped, the pillar a crawl as it slowly split apart against the Isu wall. She could use his own strength to bash through any rocks he put up, potentially taking away from the amount of attacks she could deal, but once she inevitably reached Kragg, she would use whatever remaining hits she had to deal to batter his armor, trying to shatter it with his strength as the poison worked its magic, but she spared her sixth hit.

Instead, the misthios used his carrying momentum, his stolen strength, and the impossible edge of the Sword of Perseus to plunge it for his chest, to pierce through and reach his core in all the carrying momentum, all while she positioned herself in preparation for time's resumption. And when it did, Kassandra would be sent flying to the side, swinging off of Kragg's arm to tumble through the air. The Sword of Perseus would appear back in her hand as she righted herself in the air in time to smash into the ground shoulder-first, positioning the Fleece of Jason to take the brunt as she skid across earth, before finally coming to a stop.

"Clever, but did it work?" Aletheia asked.

"Stop commentating," Kassandra replied, pushing herself up to look for the bug. That had been her last charge, and she'd eaten through them rapidly in the last minute. There was no guarantee she could build more if this didn't finish Kragg off. How in the world did a bug get this sturdy, anyway? It was like fighting two cyclopses rolled up in one, smaller creature.


The vision had been a chilling one. She hated to admit it, she was so used to standing strong and defiant in the face of anything. It reminded her of tales she'd heard of Giratina. Then she saw the monster, and a part of her felt a combination of that instilling fear... and a degree of underwhelmingness. She... wasn't exactly impressed with what she saw, though she didn't get much more time to think about it, as she was returned to the labyrinth, and Bakura sprang his trap, if one could call it that.

When the magic man went for her, the gardevoir had given the room a once-over as shit unfolded, and her response was a simple one.

Flicking her wrist, the man's hand dipped into a portal. Its exit? The sun monster's face as it was firing its beam, the energy intended to hit the top hat chump while he punched it- before she'd sever the portal in an attempt to sever his arm, and follow up with a point-blank magical fire to his face as she raised her hand.

Sans, meanwhile, pretended to drop his plunger. He bent down to pick it up, and the blast sailed overhead, missing him by a literal hair. Had he any hair, maybe he would have noticed it, but when he rose back up with his plunger, he seemed ignorant to it, his gaze drifting lazily about to take everything in. "man, sure is a little hard to follow what's going on in here. maybe i should try commentating from the sidelines so we all can follow what's happening. used to be a golf commentator, y'know."


Or is there? Perhaps something can be done. Despite the green thread's control, some rules he had to abide by. He couldn't break those, could he? He wouldn't dare. Yet as the music shifted tones, a beat thudding through the atmosphere around them, a darkness began to fall. It was swallowing up everything that it had been pushed back to reveal. The pinpricks of light, the eyes in the sky, seemed to fizzle out as shadows lengthened, cutting deeper and deeper.



Yet darker...

It was all-consuming. Light had no place in a darkness like this. All of the wild attacks faded away. The beams, the heart's bullets, the roaring noise that seemed to be slowly building into a crescendo of static noise...

And the heroes did not relent.

Was this inspiration? Was this hope? Were they rebelling against the truth? Against their masters? Or were their controllers... defying the green threads? A lesser of many evils, perhaps?

The entity could feel something stirring within It. It thought of their defiant words back. Their replies. Their experiences. The entity could see it all, of course. Its access to knowledge was infinite, far greater than any of these individuals could dream... and perhaps that was part of the reason why they could not accept the truth.

Defiance... ignorance... could they be the same?

Could It replicate that?

Could It feign... freedom?


Zed's attack was an impressive display, a tidal wave of fire washing over the hands. The cracked and creaked, before shattering into particles of dust that drifted away. It seemed to consume the hands in a vast quantity at the peak of the orb, and as Zed had hoped... the strings broke free. The Spamtons began to fall.

Nótt blasted at the hands, Tabby lead with furious slashes. More and more splintered into dust...

The dark green threads felt suddenly very warm, like they were burning the entity. Reminding It. And they... were taking control. It understood immediately that its fears were realized.

The Puppet Master was stepping in.

*Spamton NEO? AT raised to 66,666!
*Spamton NEO? DF raised to 66,666!





The only light in the void seemed to come from Spamton himself, glowing like a fallen angel. A puppet or a corpse? I don't think that matters.

The lime green threads holding onto the RGB Spamton's shifted into a darker hue as the robots melded back together, elevating once more.

The surroundings hands began to back off, as instead, Spamton's wings flashed, and he soared once more with speed difficult for them to track, attempting to smash into Zed before the puppet fired a concentrated beam of energy from the arm cannon, slashing in through the arena like a sword with no limit to length, rupturing through the battlefield as it aimed to cut down the surrounding survivors.

It was an attack meant to kill.

A feeling of hopelessness was filtering about, supernaturally imposed on them like a suffocating filter. He was trying to convince them they couldn't win.

But they could ignore it, couldn't they? Like they'd ignored everything else?

What if that defiance meant they could ignore the power of the attack? What if their belief meant they could overcome the impossible to defense?

Could the simple power of faith destroy control?

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist
Rex Raptor is outmatched


It was a Monster house! Two new monsters aiding the one that was revealed, the Bakura creep not seeming to be troubled in the slightest. Rex instantly regretted throwing his shoe, leaping out of the way while Neph took the lead, he was running over to marshstomp to hide behind the mud fish thing. But that's when the fusion monster, Empress Judge rushed at him with several martial arts strikes.

Either thinking quickly or not at all, he snapped his beanie off his head, going to shove it on the Empress's, covering over her eyes! This would give marshtomp and advantage...even if the intention was that she wouldn't see where he was. If this worked, Rex would run over to the side of the battle, away from the field of fire.


Previously Manu456Alola
The angel's swing was deflected, costing Taskmaster his weapon – but Pit had been left wide open, and before his guard could fully go back up, slashes and stabs began to litter his torso. His clothes stained further with crimson as he stepped backward, only barely managing to swipe away a couple of strikes that came too close to finishing him off entirely. The soldier even commented on his inability to keep going.

"Yeah, I know that...!"

Just before the shield could land, another burst of high-pressure water shot out from the Aquarius Blade, blasting Pit back a ways from Taskmaster. He landed roughly about a dozen feet away, skidding to a stop as he ended up flat on the ground. With a groan, he pushed himself to keep going, switching out the Aquarius Blade for another lightweight weapon. In this state, he probably couldn't lift the EZ Cannon even if he wanted to.

A long wooden weapon appeared in his hand, shaped like a rifle. He was banking on Taskmaster never seeing this one before. Weakly taking aim at the man down the hall, Pit fired – and the energy shot from the Insight Staff flew akin to a sniper bullet, aimed dead center on Taskmaster. It only picked up power as it flew, and with any luck, it could punch through the soldier's defenses!​

An overwhelming void enveloped them.

Zed's Septima, as powerful as it was, seemed to have been supernaturally limited in its output of light. Quite possibly another one of this entity's abilities, judging by earlier alterations of rules and reality. The only thing shining in this void was very clearly Spamton, who had become one once again to launch another attack upon the Golden Trillion.

He was a little more prepared this time thanks to the hands fading out, the Adept holding both arms up as a film of scarlet energy enveloped him, and he dove to the side as Spamton struck. The attack was more powerful than past others, busting past Zed's defenses as he was sent hurtling down to the invisible ground, wing only barely catching him before he could reach it. Feet planted firmly on the ground, the leader of ATEMS stared down the airborne Spamton.

That hadn't been the attack It spoke of.

In the blink of an eye, a massive beam shot out from Spamton's cannon, washing over the arena in a sweeping motion, glowing brightly. It threatened to rip everything apart. Alongside that came a strange feeling; an overwhelming sensation of hopelessness and despair.

"No... I must..."

It brought a familiar memory to the prince's mind. To him, the beam appeared differently – it looked like an all-encompassing wave of otherworldly energy, beyond anything he'd ever seen or experienced before. The power of Astral Order. The world's destined doom being reckoned. The true extent of an Octima.

He recalled his thoughts and feelings of that day. Frustration. Guilt. Hopelessness. All a consequence of the Dragon Saviors' interference – but also his own closed-mindedness. Shadow Yakumo's priestess had shown resolve like no other during that fight. A willingness to fight on and save her friend, even as the world crumbled around them. It had been what opened Zed's eyes to cooperation. To atonement.

To hope.

"I must... keep on fighting!"

As the wave of energy sliced through the battlefield, casting waves of pain and despair upon Zed, a flickering golden aura began to push through the beam's pure light. Slowly but surely, it grew in size, a faint pattern of lotus flowers appearing within. The prince, although dropped to a knee, stood his ground firmly in the beam's path, hands held out in front of him, field continuing to expand until it enveloped the group around him. He found himself unable to move from his position, pouring all of his energy and focus into shielding himself and the group, but he had no other choice. As his shining field served to protect and embolden the group, the Adept called upon his Septima of the Sun.

"Illuminate the world, Golden Trillion...!" His voice rang out. "Let your light shield our hope and carve the road to freedom!"​
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Previously Gamingfan2
Magolor cheered as he caused as much havoc as he could, bringing the skeleton hand's focus on to him.
"Bam! Boom!" the egg laughed as he blasted them apart with his magic. His allies were putting in the work as well. With the hands' numbers shrinking fast, it looked like they were finally going to win!


Magolor halted his assault. The voice that spoke to them sounded different. Was it starting to listen?


"With pleasure!"
The merchant replied cheerfully, shooting down one last hand before facing Spamton. Brilliant energy built up in its throat, far greater than any attack he had done so far. It was now or never.
In that instant, as Magolor summoned his magic and flew headfirst into the attack, he felt an overwhelming sense of despair. Memories of himself lying in Another Dimension, powerless after his defeat, assaulted his mind. For a second, the magic in Tabby's blade seemed to fade.

This is it. It's hopeless. I'm going to die here. I lost all my friends, betrayed them, and for what? Control? Power? Power that they beat anyway...
Overwhelming power...that they beat...with just their trust in each other...
To free me...
...I can't die yet.

Magolor blinked the tears out of his eyes, and the Ultra Katana flared with magic once more. The Far-Flung Traveler flew in besides the Golden Trillion with renewed resolve, slamming both hands against his golden aura. Magolor tapped into his remaining magic to further boost Zed's shield with his own, a five segmented star barrier that would widen the range and durability! The strain of it all took its toll on Magolor, leaving him wincing as his outfit lost its color and tore apart.
"I...won't be falling," he cried. "...until I've atoned!"
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"Gladly!" cried Jevil. Immediately, he leaped into the air and flew towards Spamton. The robot, under the control of the strings, charged up an attack... and blasted a gigantic beam of energy across the arena! It was limitless in length, and seemed to cut the very world in half.

Jevil watched as he dodged under the beam. Is it even possible to survive this? For a moment, he felt as though there was nothing he could do-
But then, he felt something pouring in from above. From the string! It was glowing, filling him with hope that he could survive!

He knew he could do this. He turned into a Devilsknife and flung himself forward and upward, behind Spamton! He turned back into himself, summoned another scythe, and hooked onto Spamton's neck! "IF YOU THINK THAT GIANT BEAM, BEAM, CAN STOP US, THEN YOU'RE FOOLING, FOOLING YOURSELF!" He summoned another scythe in his other hand, and began once again hacking at the strings!

Why he pose himself as the villain? He is no villain. This is just a story.
Or is it? Is that what the puppets who control me and the others think, when they ruin our lives? How would I know, if so?
Perhaps he is playing a role for our sake. I play a role. I play many roles. I play roles, covering roles, covering roles, covering roles...
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Audrey Redheart
"What the heck is this thing made of?!" Audrey felt her anger returning when Kirin's blade didn't crumple under her own. "Ugh, no big deal, I'll crush you just like those stupid Overseers, those freakish cultists, that stupid Sand-using brat...!" As Audrey's sword rose to the sky, Lightning blasted into it once more. Kirin's clones burst to life, and Audrey responded with her blade pointed at the nearest and firing, once again aiming to chain between them, and maybe Kirin herself if-

Well, whatever the case, the Hero used her chance to swing her blade to deflect the talismans. A few got through, stinging slightly (Not helped by any of the strikes that would have landed had a clone avoided the lightning).

"This again?" When Kirin used her arc chain, those was the words said as the Hero turned her head back, swinging her sword back... the tip (or weak of the blade ) colliding towards Kirin's kick...which successfully knocked it out of Audrey's hands, sending it into a tree quite a run away! Now, both warriors were disarmed!

"No!" From the pain in her foot, combined with the anguish, Audrey quickly knelt, trying to free herself while spouting words of venom at Kirin. "That sword was entrusted me by the creator of my UNIVERSE! I'm her chosen Hero, and you think to just try and knock that away from me?! "

If one did not understand Audrey's own feelings of inadequacy, perhaps this would be an overreaction.

Masaru Takahara

"Guess I've never really been one for fate, picked that up from a pal of mine." Masaru kept himself focused and steeled as he onlooked the fight, feeling his movements struggle slightly. Perhaps there was a puppet master Masaru himself was struggling against, the martial artist wasn't so sure. The most he could do was struggle to defend himself against the attacks raining down, thankful they weren't harsh.


"What the-"
Fortunately, Zed was able to act, shielding himself (though the stress was clearly getting to the Adept even with Magolor's assistance, leaving the Prince on a knee) and the group from a massive beam of energy, the feeling of despair and loneliness seeming to tear apart the very void itself to Masaru's eyes.

Flashes in his mind, of a future that did not come for him, of eruptions arising across time, though not the same spot each point, the universe itself erased - An armageddon, only to pass from the victory of the Lord of Dark itself, hatred's multitude.
Of a face, drawn out and screeching, the mockery of one man's final nail in his coffin, tearing asunder man's ears and bodies at the mere sight and sound.

He'd lived the latter before, stood and fought and won.. Masaru wasn't sure if that former was ever supposed to pass. Guess it didn't matter, as the sound brought Masaru back to 'reality', forcing him to think.

With a sigh, behind this shield embolded, Masaru approached Zed.
"Hey. I'm gonna do something - When you get outta here, mind telling Eitri I'm sorry we couldn't talk more? It'll get me right in this guy's face, probably won't end well. Keep everyone safe, yeah? Without this shield you made, don't think I'd have the belief to try this and live."

Against all strings, purple threads desperately attempting to keep Masaru in Zed and Magolor's shielding, Masaru moved forward past Zed, defiant towards all reason.
"Sorry, guys, can't do much to help this shield, but...!"

"I'll do what he said - Call my strength, and overcome!"
Hey, if you're in there, can hear this, and I can't save you - I'm sorry. Really. Guess my pride's gotta accept a loss sometimes - Namkiat, Great Aja, you both showed me this!
Masaru had to move forward in the energy, feeling it burn away at his skin and cloth when it went by, discarding unnecessary pride like even the most vain muay thai fighter and cruelest lucha libre heel could, so he couldn't be shocked by the sight and lose sight of his victory. "I'll get through this." Masaru assured himself.
Max Morgan, Jackie Iaukea, you taught me well - Guile and Strength unbeholden to pain!
If it were not to kill him, the martial artist were to dash ahead, keeping his hands up in a rather pointless motion to shield his face whenever struck, before, with a leap right towards the Puppet/Corpse, held up by the might of a fallen sumo master, thoughts spurred on by the cunning of a man who knew how to make a show go on.
Seishi Moribe, Tula Han, I got your lessons to heart! Precision is key!
Celestial Palm; Pressure Perfect!

He'd strike a palm forward once more, aiming for a rather forgotten pressure point on the location where a stomach would be on the usual human body (Though such a thing likely didn't apply) that was once used against him by a militant grappler. A strike that, when done properly as it had been, could harm or kill even a man incased in full armor, brought back from history by a koppo grandmaster.

The Princess fought alongside Tabby, and for the first time Nótt noticed how small the ninja was.



The void darkened around the fighters, the few lights coming from the puppet and Zed, and the strings. Suddenly, the puppet moved! It fired a continuous beam from its cannon, and slashed it across the arena. The Princess grabbed Tabby by his collar and vaulted over the slash, so close that the energy beam singed away a few locks of hair.

Nótt landed on the ground once more, and suddenly was struck with a suffocating aura. A dark air of hopelessness came around her. Breathing heavily, Nótt fell to a knee and released Tabby. Her head swam as the world seemed to spin and the darkness closed in.

The sounds of fighting seemed to come farther and farther away, like she was at the end of a long tunnel. Such a powerful opponent, it was as if she was fighting the Fell Dragons of legend. But in this tale, there was no legendary Falchion or Fire Emblem to seal away the darkness.

"Augh... Sister..." Nótt gasped. But still, the distant noises of fighting continued. The Princess watched through blurred vision as Zed and Magolor continued firing powerful magic blasts, and Jevil attacked with his weapons. Masaru even charged in to fight with his own strength.

If they weren't giving up, neither would she.

Nótt weakly raised her lance, firing another few magic blasts at Spamton.
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Previously mallard
The supersoldier continued to apply pressure, forcing the angel to distance himself again. Pit conjured a weapon and expected Masters to not recognize it, but it did look suspiciously like a rifle- especially as he pointed the end towards Taskmaster. As it fired, the assassin was already airborne, twisting out of the path of the destructive beam. He flung the dagger with Bullseye's accuracy, curving through the air to fly directly for the angel's forehead!

Kassandra consumed another charge to speed up dramatically and batter the beetle faster than he could react, and then plunged her blade into his chest at untraceable speeds. Kragg was thrown back until he tumbled to a stop. He was afflicted with a toxin that somehow pierced his armor and drained his energy. Yet the Earth's Bastion would not go down so easily. To stifle the bleeding from his chest, he applied a patch of stone. Slowly, Kragg rose to his feet and assumed a fighting stance. He grew in size suddenly, using the power of Megamorph to double in size. He might not be able to use it for power, but the increased scale of his earth power without subtracting from his speed would be beneficial. The earth around them once again retracted beneath Kragg, considerably faster than before, before he slammed his fists into the rock. This caused a wave of earthy spikes to surge forth and attempt to stab Kassandra into the wall! The tallest spikes stretched nearly to the top of the labyrinth wall behind her!

Before the Pokémon reached Bakura, one of his minions leapt his way with practiced grace, and aimed a rain of kicks at him! Marshtomp raised his powerful arms to defend himself from the hail of blows, but the power of the Judge was too much, and knocked him flat on his rear.

He was left wide open, but then Rex provided a momentary distraction! This gave the Mud Fish enough of a period to get back to his feet and spit a Mud Shot at her midsection to try and hamper the monster's speed!

As jotun and tablet worked together to fend off the horde of skeletal hands, Tabby was suddenly yanked by the collar and swung around like a tote bag. His cowboy hat fell off, and was vaporized by a laser beam!

" D: "

Though Nótt had just saved him, he was quickly distressed about the lost over his hat. A cloud of darkness and despair washed over area, but the ninja's resolve remained untested. He stowed his SMG and held his Ultra Katana in both hands. As he focused, he recalled his mental map, a perfect 2d recreation of the area.


Tabby's katana emitted a red pulse, and a moment later he was gone. Faster than the human eye could hope to track, he tore through the dark forest, chopping down the spires of void en masse as he went. He orbited around Spamton, and on his second pass around, he launched the detached spikes with incredible speed! Some of the missiles shot towards Spamton, while others rocketed towards the green eyes so high in the sky. After he finished the inner ring, he did the same thing again with another ring of spikes. This continued until there was an utter onslaught of massive spines headed towards both the puppet and puppeteer in under a couple seconds.

A single spike had a different trajectory from the others, instead aimed at the strings. The tablet was riding atop it, with his Ultra Katana still in hand. With his huge weapon, he aimed to cut through all of the threads connecting Spamton to his master in one fell swoop! Then, he would leap off the spike, and continue to flourish the sword with blurring speed to intercept any more incoming strings and keep the puppet cut off from his master!


Previously Manu456Alola
Audrey's words were quite a surprise. Kirin had to admit, she hadn't paid too much attention to all the matchups during the time here, but she had seen Cayman fight in the team battle round. The mention of a "sand-using brat" had reminded her of the fact that one of ATEMS' Knights was indeed participating in the tournament: Grazie, the hard-to-understand girl with a lot of raw power to her attacks. If Audrey had really defeated her, then she really meant business...

Lightning chained from clone to clone as each one closed in, dispersing upon contact with the attack – but before it could arc over to Kirin herself, the Battle Priestess' Arc Chain activated, and she warped away to relative safety behind Audrey, throwing out her roundhouse kick. The Hero had caught onto her tactics, however, and as the kick made contact, the foible of the sword cut into the priestess' shin, drawing blood. Kirin hissed, but her attack went as intended. Audrey's sword was out of her hands, much to the Hero's chagrin.

"Whoops," Kirin teased at Audrey's words. "didn't know it was that big of a deal."

Now that neither fighter had a sword, Kirin took a step back, conjuring a series of talismans in her good arm. After a moment of infusing them further with her Septima, granting the talismans a white glow, the Battle Priestess threw a quick flurry at Audrey herself, before throwing another wave of them at the Hero's discarded sword. Her aim was simple – to hopefully seal them both with her Radiant Fetters, ending the fight. While she was more confident on her ability to seal the sword's divine properties, odds were she could only weaken Audrey's physical abilities, since it didn't seem she had any sort of powers herself.

The blade stuck in Audrey's foot finally came loose enough to yank out.
"Uh oh."

The element of surprise he'd been hoping to achieve wasn't exactly effective. Before he knew it, Taskmaster was in the air, throwing out a projectile of his own while the Insight Staff's shot soared below him. The dagger hurtled through the air, heading directly for Pit's head, and although he attempted to fire another shot to intercept it, he found his strength to be rapidly waning. He'd pushed himself way past the limit.

"Sorry, Lady Palutena... I'm finished!"

The dagger struck true, and everything faded to black for the angel.

Winner: Taskmaster!

One by one, his allies joined. Magolor moved to directly support the Golden Trillion's protective aura, empowering it with his own magic to boost its durability while the beam swept by. His words resonated with Zed somewhat. While he had taken steps to atone for his actions leading up to the encounter with Moebius, there was still far more left for him to do before he could fully repay that debt.

"Then..." the Adept muttered. "let us see this through together!"

At that moment, Masaru walked up to the two of them, expressing his intent to attack Spamton directly during all this. An incredibly dangerous plan, yet one he clearly believed he could pull off. He also requested that the prince apologize to Eitri on his behalf due to their short-lived talk, before finally pushing past the barrier as the beam began to fade away. The Golden Trillion scoffed.

"Nonsense. You will be talking to her yourself!"

With the burden now partially lifted from his shoulders, Zed focused a portion of his Septima onto the man. After a moment, a burning golden aura appeared around Masaru, reminiscent of the very one that enveloped Zed and those nearby. He was bestowing upon the martial artist a boost from his Golden Trillion, granting an increase to his durability and power, no doubt aiding his intended maneuver.

"Strike with the might of the Sun!"


Previously turnt3chGodh34d


Of course he could go big. Kassandra was confused for a moment, pretty sure that this wasn't part of anything the bug had done before in other fights- but the red stone was not part of her own arsenal. It made sense. He'd collected his own tools from the shop.

Kragg, like Kassandra, was a born and bred fighter. He would fight with all he had until the end, no matter why. Perhaps he was too dull to concern himself with the semantics. Or perhaps wiser than she to not bother, but as Kragg launched his following attack, the misthios climbing to her feet, she pondered a very simple question.

Why was she even trying to win?

If any deviation was made to her destiny, it meant the Isu plan collapsed, and her world fell into total ruin. If the 'greatest honor' presented couldn't change that, according to Aletheia, then what was the point?

After over 300 years of fighting, it sort of lost its merit. Even now, in such a fantastical battle... she found herself mentally having to push herself, and for what? A prize she couldn't truly use? What if it wasn't what she assumed it to be, anyway?

Letting instinct drive her as Kragg's smash attack summoned more spikes, bursting from the impact at an angle, stretching out. It was akin to his usual spike attack, though with a twist. Raising her shield and pushing forward, one smashed into the defense, and carried the misthios off her feet and into the wall. She collided with an 'oomph,' but pushing back against the spike, her strength managed to cancel out some of the momentum.

Lungs out of air, Kassandra used her blade to slash through the spike, crumbling it and dropping her to the ground with a roll to the side, before she took in another breath, refilling he lungs. "Alright, that one kind of hurt..." she muttered, and began to pace forward, moving toward Kragg with a gathering momentum.

Kassandra had faced gargantuan beasts before. She wasn't out of her element here.



Zed defended the group, pushing into his vast pools of energy to summon an innermost power to withstand the single attack. But it wasn't enough. The power, it was breaking through. Too great, too...

"I...won't be falling... until I've atoned!"

Magolor, similarly powerful, provided his own support, fueling the sun's barrier with potent magic. The cracks healed, the energy being pushed back... and they prevailed.

Their belief shattered what should have been destruction. Saved the others from annihilation.

They could overcome.


Like before, Jevil could not affect the dark green strings. Their purpose was far more abstract. It was why He had taken the corpse from the entity, overtaking the lime aspect, the jester hooked on Spamton's neck as he made his attempts. Several spikes hurtled in, one passing harmlessly through the threads. Some struck the body, splintering apart against the salesman's form- but he seemed unaffected.

Zed and Magolor's double-fortified shield had saved the others, and with that, Masaru took his opportunity, pushing forward while Spamton's regular arm rose to the sky. One of the eyes far above them seemed to pulse brighter, though its effects remained yet unknown.


Nótt's blasts bounced against Spamton, deflecting off of him and flinging wildly away, before-

Celestial Palm struck!

It bypassed the immense defense of NEO, slugging the robot internally. Spamton's form shuddered heavily under the hit. Smoke began to lift off the chassis... yet it didn't seem to have done more. Suddenly, three of the dark green threads snapped away like elastic. Quite a few others remained... but whatever Masaru had done had snapped what should have been the unsnapable, enhanced by the boost given by Zed.

There was still a chance. Working together had proven the most effective in both defense and attack. It seemed individually moving simply wouldn't work. They had to operate together.

But victory still was not in sight. Not quite yet. Evidently, they were in danger.


The spikes launched upward were suddenly vaporized as the descending eye called by Spamton grew larger and larger, appearing star-like, pulsing with energy as it echoed with the telltale sounds of an attack. An attack from a Hypergod of Death, repurposed for a dark intent.

The star smashed into the voided ground, erupting into millions of small stars that blitzed in every direction, some pinging against Spamton. The robot's chest was blinking with the red light of the 'record' option. As the millions of stars whizzed by, threatening to impact anyone in their high-speed escape into the surrounding voice, another button was pressed down on Spamton's chest.



The stars stopped, before suddenly reversing, now all coming in from outside of the void, converging heavily back to the epicenter of their eruption, millions converging back to form a star again, still threatening to tear through anyone, before-


PLUNGE US INTO TERROR T̴E̵R̸R̶O̸R̶ T̷͇́Ę̶̋R̸̨̍R̸̬͛O̴̘͝R̷̛̳ T̸͖̑͋ͅE̷̥̬̾͗R̶̠͋̑R̶̛̟͠O̵̲̟͂R̷̭̞̋ T̵͚͚̘̯̍̃̅ ̸̻̙̠̘̩̃̃͠Ē̵̫̗͇̫̟̜͒̇̍̌͂ ̶̜͚̗͑̾̀͌̇R̷͇͇͍̖̍̅͆̈́ ̵͖̞̱̾̏R̸̛̗͔̼̖̬̄͠ ̵̨̣͎̽͛͐͘͘͝Ṓ̶̬̖̩̈́̏̓͠ ̶̩̞̓R̴͓̓̾̈́͐

Once again, the star erupted. Just like before, its projectiles went flying everywhere to tear apart the fabric of reality, this time each star appearing to tear a hole into the void. Small pieces of light beamed through these tears, but nobody was given much time to think about it, as Spamton was adding a bonus attack to the second star explosion.

Thorny red vines erupted from the ground, breaching through the blank floor. Each vine, easily as wide as Spamton's wingspan, stretched upward with a spin, their red thorns threatening to shred into anyone they struck, stretching high, high into the sky, before rapidly plunging back down to repeat the process, dozens of these vines stabbing upward at a time in a constant assault, even as the stars disappeared at the conclusion of their attack.

ON THE WRONG SPECTRUM- S̴̲̚P̷̻̿Ḙ̶̈́C̸̥̏T̶̩̐R̷͚̒Ú̸̠M̴̜̎- S̶̛̩̬͉̈̕͜P̶̗͙̫̬̿͛̿̅̂E̶̹̺̿̏͘C̴̓̑͜͠͝T̶̲̱̣͂͝R̸̡̗̗̪̎̾Ű̴̡̟̲̘͒M̴̨͚̝͗̂͂̕͠
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Stars ripped through the void! They exploded outward, threatening to rip through anyone who didn't dodge fast enough. Jevil, luckily, was barely fast enough to avoid them, weaving through the little pin-pricks of light.

Suddenly, all at once, the stars slowed down, and went back towards the center! Jevil had to dodge the stars all over again, weaving through them as they all converged back at their center.


And then they just exploded outward again! This is ridiculous, ridiculous! thought Jevil, as the stars exploded out again. He attempted to dodge them again, but was hit by a few- and was then knocked into the thorns emerging out of the ground! Jevil was now stuck between the stars and the thorns, taking hit after hit, until the stars disappeared and he was able to escape the thorns by heading upward.

His outfit was torn and damaged, and he seemed visibly cut up and damaged by the attack. And yet... he was smiling? "HOW CREATIVE, CREATIVE!" he cried in the direction which the dark-green strings came from. "BUT I'M CREATIVE TOO, TOO!" At this, Jevil spun around where the stars had just emerged from, conjuring magic, and forming it into...

A carousel!?!?

"EVERYONE, GET BEHIND THE HORSES!" Jevil cried at everyone else. "THEY'LL HELP KEEP YOU ALIVE!" Indeed, the carousel appeared to be giving off an aura of... safety? As though it was an oasis in the void. A light that's still shining in the cold...

The strings can snap? I hope they do not try to snap my strings. That would hurt.
But why snap his strings? They are what lets him participate. They are what allows him to even do any of this. If we snap them, then they all collapse. The strings take control, but give life. Without my strings, Jevil would be motionless.
Perhaps when we snap all the strings, it will end all at once? That would be interesting.


Previously Manu456Alola
Together, they'd endured the beam. Masaru's attack proved to be the most effective so far, his Celestial Palm striking with enough power to snap three of the strings, though many still remained. Still, knowing that they could be destroyed gave everyone a goal to work towards.

"He was able to ignore their durability. Magolor, we must lend our full support–"

Before Zed could fully explain his plan, a large multicolored star dropped from the heavens, smashing into the transparent ground, splitting into uncountable smaller pieces. The Golden Trillion let out a grunt as many slugged into the barrier held up by himself and Magolor, the stars that hit head on breaking apart, while those that approached at an angle glanced off the shield. The sheer number of stars that struck left imperfections in the golden segmented shield, cracks spiderwebbing throughout.

But the puppet that was Spamton still had some tricks up his sleeve.

In a split second, the stars that had passed by suddenly reversed their trajectory, and the cracks along the barrier only worsened. Energy spilled out in thin beams of light, and when the stars converged on their initial location before bursting outward again–

Zed and Magolor's shield finally gave out, shattering apart like glass, a strong burst of energy expanding from it. It was enough to mostly prevent damage from the stars to either of them, a few grazing the Adept quite painfully, before Zed took flight once more. He was remarkably slower in his gain of altitude, however. Casting that barrier had been quite taxing, even with Magolor's aid. At least the aura around Masaru would remain.

As he rose, however, yet another attack came towards the survivors. Thorny vines rose from the ground, causing the Golden Trillion to frown as he pointed an arm below him, and a burst of concentrated flame came from the man's hand, blasting the incoming vines just enough for them to rise away from his position, leaving a small gap in their formation. They were quick to head back down though, and as they prepared to rise again–


The prince's head turned to his left, and he caught a glimpse of the forming carousel through the sea of retreating vines. In the blink of an eye, Zed flicked a scarlet feather in its direction, slapping into one of the horses to mark it. Then, just as the vines struck once more, the Golden Trillion warped away to the carousel horse, using his Septima to bring the nearby Magolor along with him.

The vines slugged into the bottom of the horse as the two appeared above it, though it appeared to hold for now. Safe for the time being, Zed huffed, turning to Magolor as he focused on recovering from the high demand placed on his Septima.

"That technique of Masaru's... I have seen it before. It pierces through the enemy's defenses, striking at their very core. It may be our best chance to overcome this foe. My Golden Trillion is already lending him a boost in power. Perhaps you possess the means to increase his capabilities as well?"​


Previously Gamingfan2
Their combined defense managed to fend off Spamton's assault, keeping their allies safe while they whaled on the mech. Their attacks seemed to be having an effect now! Spamton laser petered out as he shuddered, giving the Uncoded a few brief moments of rest.
"Gah...phew..." Magolor gasped as he recovered from the exertion. "Good work team! Hee.."
Magolor turned to Zed as he relayed his plan, but Spamton wasn't going to them breath long. Despite the damage taken, Spamton summoned his power to create a massive star projectile that fell right into the lobby!
Magolor and Zed had enough wit to move out of the star's descent, but once it crashed into the floor, almost every inch of the lobby was covered in projectiles! The egg held firm with his magic as much as he could, but the star bullets wore his shield down, evidenced by each of the five segments cracking. The first star assault shattering two sections, the reversal breaking one, and the second burst shattering the rest! While Zed remained in midair, Magolor was blown back, bouncing off the floor from the recoil.
As Magolor picked himself up, he felt the floor shift. Sensing danger, he attempted to backstep-
Near instantly, red vines stabbed through the lobby floor, with enough force to pull Magolor spinning with it. The mage managed to maneuver himself towards Zed with the vine only grazing him, but the gash still didn't look pretty. The Golden Trillion created a safe space between them and the vines, but after the energy used on the shield, he wasn't sure if it would last...
Right on time, Jevil piped up, creating a safe space of his own in the form of a carousel! A little unorthodox, but he'd take it. Magolor used his magic to summoned a rift below himself and-
Instantly found himself in the carousel, warped by Zed. But no matter, even if he didn't use his rift, didn't mean others couldn't.
As he listened to Zed, Magolor spread his hands, widening the rift for allies farther from the carousel, while the other end appeared beside the safe zone. Red vines disappeared into the rift, shooting out harmlessly through the other end, while the other side lead directly into the carousel.
"Hah..." Magolor replied, a little strained as he focused on keeping his rift up. "Maybe not his direct capabilities, but I can give a mean elemental boost."
Magolor sighed. "If only I had my stock..."
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The Dark Summoner

The Empress Judge moved forward to pummel Marshtomp while he was on the ground, when suddenly a green blur ran past her! Raptor shoved his beanie in her face, and the duel monster shoved it aside angrily. The moment was just enough for Marshtomp to climb back to his feet, and he fired a thick glob of mud at the warrior empress.

On his throne, Yami Bakura gestured out to the fighting heroes. On his duel disk, a face-down card flipped up. it was a trap card, depicting a monstrous face emerging from the ground beneath a knight. Around Nephthys, white, teeth-like spikes emerged from the ground in a circle around her. The attempted to blast her with dark energy.

The blast of mud splattered against the Empress Judge, knocking the warrior monster back and slowing her slightly. She scowled at Marshtomp, before aiming another powerful kick at the mid-evolution Pokemon.

Yami Bakura drew another card.

The power of the sun's beam had no effect on the fist of the White Magical Hat. With surprising speed, the White Magical Hat withdrew his hand before the portal snapped shut, and raised his cape. Nephthys' magical fire attack splattered harmlessly off the cape, and the White Magical Hat aimed a powerful kick at Nephthys' chest.

The Goddess of Whim frowned as Sans was able to easily evade her attack. There was once again the ping of metal, and the coin next to her landed on heads once more. Still in her powered up state, the Goddess of Whim fired another magical blast at Sans.

Yami Bakura simply stayed seated on his throne, watching the heroes struggle with sadistic interest.
"I was hoping to give one of those evil monologues when you all first entered this chamber. Something along the lines of 'welcome, heroes. To your doom!'. But your little skeleton friend had to go and spoil that, didn't he?" Yami Bakura said.


The voice had stopped. Her attacks seemed to do nothing, while Masaru's attack had snapped a few of the strings. But only some of so many.

No. Nótt refused to die here. At the very least, if she were to die here she would die as a warrior of Jötunheimr, not as a sniveling, crying welp. Nótt pushed herself back to her feet, staring up defiantly at the distant eyes.

Spamton powered up his next attack, and Nótt raised her lance. For the third time in the battle, the invisible runes on her arm revealed themselves, and her appearance changed. She seemed to grow taller and more etherial, her form becoming more monsterious. An aura burst forth from Nótt, slightly lowering Spamton's attack power and speed while rapidly raising Nótt's own. Ríðahraðr Fyrirdǿma. Her ATK/SPD Menace.

Spamton called down the power of the stars! With a burst of speed, Nótt dodged and deflected away the star-like projectiles. Even so, a few still managed to slip through her defenses and strike her. Jevil called out, conjuring forth a massive carousel and announcing it a safe haven. As much as Nótt did not trust the clown, the other were quick to make their way to the spinning carnival attraction. Magolor had even created a rift that would lead them straight to the safe zone.

The Princess pushed her way through the chaos as the star stopped exploding, and started imploding. She positioned herself between the rift, and Masaru and Tabby.
"Masaru! Ninja!" Nótt called out to the pair, gesturing for them to retreat. With her [Pathfinder] ability, Masaru and Tabby would find they could teleport directly to the rift, and thus to the carousel!


Previously turnt3chGodh34d


These monsters seemed more effective than the previous ones... not too surprising, given they were Bakura's seeming last line of defense here. Considering the gardevoir was already hovering, carried by her telekinesis, she flew up and backward at the appearance of the teeth. Their attack was delivered without her to suffer it.

She performed another scan of the unfolding battle. Nephthys ignored Bakura's complaining, extending her arm and launching Dazzling Gleam at the hat-wearing fiend. Ever the tricky one, the gardevoir was sure to give his leg a telekinetic tug from behind to unbalance him and make him more susceptible to the attack.

Sans, meanwhile, raised his plunger- and it seemed to tank the attack for a moment, the skeleton stepping to the side before his magical plumber's tool dissipated, its magic failing. What, did you think it was a REAL plunger?

"man," Sans shook his head, shoving his hands into his pockets. "and i got it on a discount, too. well... guess that means i'm off the clock then."

He cast a casual wink at the Goddess of Whim. It didn't seem at all flirtatious. Somehow, the wink seemed more like a threat than anything.



The decoded did what they could to remain afloat, the attack leaving the others so little room for retaliation as they fled into what they believed to be a temporary haven. A carousel, safeguarded by Magolor's magic.

Respite was not something they could reliably afford. The corpse puppet had become insatiably aggressive, and to act defensively would only drain and weaken them more. They had to match its willpower with their own, lest their inevitable destruction would consume them.


The entire world began to move. Like rusty gears pushing through the red dust, the void shuddered and creaked as the tears in the fabric of reality only began to lengthen, like pockets of stars in the emptiness. They too, moved. Slowly, the creaking began to gather speed, picking up a pace.

The world was revolving. A second carousel moving opposite the direction to Jevil's own.

The tears in reality widened and widened and widened, seemingly tearing apart the void in their white glow, and suddenly, the spinning void was replaced...


A city surrounded them, collapsing under the strain of battle. Crimson shields closed in from every angle, dissipating everything they touched. They had been seemingly transported into the Dimension Games that Zed had already fought through once before.

The red shields seemed to be a recurring theme... the hands... the strings... they all seemed to have some form of connection. Or perhaps it was nothing more than coincidence?

N̵̪̤̤̓͌O̵͖̞̻̔͘-̸͎̲̗̿͋̔́͜N̴̦̺͂̋O̵͙̗̪͕͊͑̈́͒͘͝-̸̨̛͍̹͖̤̺͐͗ N̷͎͎̈̄͂͐͘͜͝ͅƠ̸̧̲̘͐̈͜͠-̶̡̢̬̤͕̻̮̹͕̽̈͊̇͒̓͝͝ N̸̘̱̦͓̣̗̐̇ͅͅÖ̶̳̻̠͎̥͇́̐̅̾̕-̴̧̦͎͍̫̘̤̰̩̊̀̈́͆̿͗̂̅̚

Bolts of scarlet lightning burst from the shield, and when they came into contact with Magolor's rift, passing through, bits of their energy sizzling against the sides. The egg would be able to feel an overwhelming feedback loop, as the energy seemed to be forcing him to rapidly drain his magic to keep the rift open, or to close it to preserve his power a little longer.

Another bolt of red lightning would slug into the other side of Jevil's carousel, before the electricity spider-webbed out, bursting apart the carousel with each contact point, like putting fire to paper.


Raising its arm, Spamton burst another beam of energy that stretched onward, smashing against the barrier, before it swiped downward. Just like before, the attack was a slash, this time cutting vertically downward, aimed at the congregated decoded survivors for another searing blast.


Seemingly produced from the strings themselves, green snake-like dentata burst outward. Massive creatures with gaping maws that snapped wildly, the dentata would bounce off of any surface as they bounced wildly about, aiming to smash and chew on anything they came into contact with. As the red barrier closed rapidly in, the dentata had less and less room to bounce, meaning less and less room for the survivors to prevail.


Face growing massive again, Spamton's cracked and beaten face began to launch large projectiles in a rapid stream of bullets from his eyes, nose, and teeth, the attack honing in on any of the decoded it came near. It was trying to overwhelm and dispatch them all, and so far it had been doing a fine job in reaching this goal. There was no telling how much they had left in them... but if they stood a chance at winning, they'd need to give it all they had.

Because success required nothing less than every ounce of their combined might.

There was no telling what would happen if they lost now...

I̷̝̮̐̉͑͝ ̵̭̙̚Ä̷́͂ͅM̶͈̻̖͔̩̃͆̇͋̍ ̶̧̼̳̦͈́́ R̵̜̖̮̒̌͆Ï̴͕̝̻͊͊͆G̷͍͠ͅH̴͎̮̊̅͗̌̚T̷̢̪͇̄̈́ ̸̬̙̜̱̑̈́͌ͅ H̷͙̰̳̦̑̓̏̚E̸͔̋͝͝ͅR̵̼͚̞̫̂͊̋͆͋Ȩ̸̰̾̂̇̈́͠​

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Previously Manu456Alola
"I see. An elemental boost could be quite helpful."

As the Golden Trillion spoke, the void began to spin counter to the carousel. Zed held on tightly to the horse he stood on, eyes darting around, reality tearing and falling apart all around him. It was becoming increasingly clear that their foe would not let them rest for a second. Difficult as the battle was, they had no choice but to remain on the offensive. After a moment, the void was engulfed in a white light–

And it was replaced with a sight he thought he would never see again.

A ruined city that only seemed to fall apart further, closed off by an encroaching crimson barrier. The very same one from those Dimension Games. Could this entity have a connection to that event? Or was it somehow pulling from his memories to give shape to the void?

Zed wasn't sure, but he had no time to ponder on the cause of this. Just like back then, the limits of the arena were closing in rapidly, and if the barrier was truly like the one from the games, the fight was now on a time limit. A familiar feeling of unease fell upon the prince. Then, the crackling of electricity reached his ears.

Before he knew it, he was already on the move.

"Get away from the carousel! Do not touch the barrier!"

A bolt of lightning struck the carousel as Zed took flight, the Golden Trillion conjuring a scarlet barrier around Magolor to momentarily protect and drag him along should the magician not move out of range fast enough. Crimson electricity arced out from the structure, though the prince had made it just far enough to avoid the bolts, placing his focus on the incoming attacks.

First came a large beam similar to the one they’d had to endure a moment ago. The Adept was in no shape to create another shield for everyone, so he instead spiraled out of the beam’s path, the overflowing energy of the blast grazing him. A trail of smoke followed Zed as he leveled out midair, and a series of grotesque dentata shot out from the puppet’s strings, snapping without hesitation as they went. More and more attacks they hadn’t yet seen…

Backing slightly away from the approaching dentata, Zed fired off a series of golden feathers at them, his aim to place a tag on each one upon contact. Any attempts to destroy the feathers through biting would quickly prove fruitless, as their properties enabled them to slip past such physical attacks to apply their lock-on effect. He would've rather liked to use Lux Ballista given its wide area of effect and anti-air properties, but his earlier use of Legitima Futura had locked him out of any Special Skills for the time being. This would have to do for now.

Another flurry of bullet-like feathers was shot out at Spamton himself, some of them shot down by the barrage of projectiles coming from the puppet. Regardless of its effectiveness, flaming golden birds would then begin to appear from behind Zed in waves, flying off toward each target to intercept them midair. If any tags reached their target, the birds would home in with deadly accuracy, though the Golden Trillion didn't expect to deal much damage onto Spamton himself. He was far too durable to take significant damage from Zed's attack alone.

"We mustn't waste much time," the prince called out to his allies below. "lest he gets a chance to recover. Strike together as soon as possible!"​

Nótt's lance was a silver blur, spinning all around her as she blocked stars and strange vines from attacking. But before Masaru and Tabby had the chance to retreat to the safety of the carousel, it was already being destroyed by Spamton. The area around the fighters changed once more, taking on the appearance of a ruined city with strange and alien structures. A new barrier formed, drawing closer and closer.

The chaos increased, with strange, plant-like toothy monsters appearing from the ground. Nótt tore through them, pushing herself faster and faster, harder and harder. Blood seeped through the makeshift bandage from Jevil's wound, but she ignored the pain. Even through all of this, she could still see Layla and Moon-Wing protected under the barrier Zed had created.

Her attack had done nothing. The ninja's attack had done nothing.

But Masaru's had.

There was something about his attack that had allowed him to break through the powerful defenses of Spamton, and severe a few of the ropes. It was something about that technique, Celestial Palm. And if the fighter could do it once, Nótt was sure he could do it again.

Spamton opened their mouth, and Nótt rushed in front of Masaru. Her lance, gleaming in the dim light, caught and deflected any projectiles that were heading towards Masaru!
"Such a wonderful move, dear!" Nótt called over her shoulder. "I would very much like to see it again!"

Jevil has been inside the carousel when the lightning bolt struck. He hadn't been able to heed Zed's call in time, and the carousel split apart around him. "NO, NO, NO!" Jevil cried, attempting to escape the destruction but getting hit by several bits of debris. His clothes were partially ripped as he escaped from the collapsing structure, and emerged to see another, even more chaotic sight.

Green, snake-like creatures bounced across the arena. Bullets emerged from every one of Spamton's facial orifices, and the others fought desperately to defeat the madness.

Jevil had an idea! He'd had this attack prepared- in a way, at least- since his fight with Dagr, but there was no harm in casting it a little late. He prepared every ounce of magic left within him, and summoned an enormous dark cloud above him. It rumbled for a moment, before it began to pour... DEVILSKNIVES!

From the cloud, hundreds of Devilsknives were poured into the void! Onto Spamton and the strings, onto the various Hands, and onto the creatures. The knives purposefully avoided the Decoded, focusing entirely on the forces fighting against them. And every time a knife crashed into the ground, it burst into an enormous pillar of light!

This attack was very, very tiring for Jevil. He could feel himself grow more exhausted the longer he kept it up, but he had to. For the sake of freedom. True Freedom.

What do I know of true freedom? I steal a being from it's old controller, make it dance like a puppet on a string, then spout insanity about freedom. What do I know? I'm probably a puppet too.
So what? Why should I care for that? Why shouldn't I just have fun!?


Previously Gamingfan2
In an admittedly smart move, Nott positioned herself in a way to instant transport the others to safety. Now they were talking!
But Spamton wasn't keen on letting her. The environment changed, and they were now surrounding by blood-red energy. From it, lighting struck his rift, and Magolor felt his magic rapidly drain! The rift sealed up near-instantly, and Magolor flinched as he pulled his hands back, as if they had been burnt.
Ow! That stung!
A moment later, Zed pulled him again through magic, just barely making it past another bolt that destroyed the carousel! While the ruined city was unfamiliar to Magolor, Zed face's told him it was the opposite for the man. But there was no time to ask. Magolor prepared to follow the Golden Trillion...until he heard Jevil cry.
Magolor whirled around to find the jester summoning a massive cloud. The strain from the attack was evident, despite his permanent grin, prompting Magolor to turn back, raising his arms. If he was putting his all, Magolor couldn't let the attack be in vain!
As the cloud grew, so did four runes in below it! Though too small to catch every knife, the devilsknives that did pass through the runes doubled in size and were covered in either fire, ice, wind, or lightning. When they landed, the pillars also took on the elemental properties, dramatically increasing the damage!
"Hee Hee! Don't fall just yet, Jevil! We still haven't finished our fight!" Magolor cheered the jester with a wink.
Audrey Redheart
"Are you seriously taunting me!? You don't have a clue what you've done, you, you-" Audrey stopped, not even seeming to notice for the moment as Kirin stepped back and launched talismans.

How many times had she been disarmed in her travels after...that? Too many. It was like a fresh sting every single time.
What could she accomplish without it? Every time it was taken, she was screwed over - Nothing she could do except maybe throw a few useless punches and whip around a scarf, and even then she'd be on the loosing end.
"I'm nothing without it..." Audrey's voice faltered for a moment, struggling to escape. Her eyed darted in anguish, before finally settling on Kirin's own sword, loosened by effort and time. "Fine...what's mine is mine and what's yours is MINE!"

And yanked it out of her foot! A quick splatter and a small yelp of pain, and the thinner blade could no longer hold Audrey in place, the Hero making no secret of her rush to her original sword.

If she reached it, raised to the sky the blade would be, and then...

Nothing. Kirin was sealed it the divine properties.
"What the-" Eyes darted back to Kirin. "Seriously!? What the hell!?" Blades pointed to Kirin, Audrey's next order of business would be to Dash towards Kirin, though slowed by the Talismans, to attack with both blades to the Priestess's side (or just the one, had Kirin regained her own sword or prevented Audrey from reaching her's).

Masaru Takahara
As Celestial Palm landed, Masaru felt satisfaction reign in when he saw strings snap and smoke arise.
Well, until he realised there were far more strings left.

The stars came in shortly after. Naturally, being so close to Spamton didn't make Masaru want to stand still, forcing him to move. Thankfully, he was able to avoid the worst of them, given his ample time to react, though was still grazed due to the inability to reflect them in any way. Same for the reverse, but then...

Suddenly, as with many others beforehand, and at the rather inopportune time, the hopeless feeling settled in, and Masaru felt it enter his soul.
"You may have their teachings, but they are gone forever!"

Masaru's eyes betrayed him once more, seeing a vicious man standing over him in place of Spamton. A tall warrior - No, a serial killer - with sharp eyes and piercing grin.
"The only way to be the Strongest is to slay those behind us, so that no other shall follow our paths!"
Masaru wanted to speak out. Tell him how wrong he was, as Masaru had done in past. But no word came out.
"Don't believe me? Think you defeated me, proving me wrong? You won, not by skill or strength, but by LUCK!" A snarl, before vision shifted to darkness overwhelming, an evil shade. "You hold out Hope, believe otherwise, see you meeting those lost to time..."
"But you will never see them again!" Horrible voice proclaimed, thoughts flashing through Masaru's mind of them - "Heroes", just like he - A chance meeting spurred by time-unbounded Hate.
Friends. Maybe more, Masaru was never the greatest with feelings and found it hard to tell.

But a voice struck to snap him out of it.
A call to action, of a new friend to replace the old, spurred Masaru to reality.

More danger was incoming, and good grief it was terrible. Nótt had moved to assist, Masaru's instincts telling him of some...teleportation skill, something he was about to take up when-

This made Masaru suddenly feel very lucky that Nótt was near him and that Ninja (He'd vowed to watch more ninja media after meeting a friend of his, and not once had he ever seen anything like that guy. Still cool, though). A flash of light brought back that city, which instantly brought to mind reminders of flame and pain - Swiftly discarded, for all Masaru could view them was a distraction when the Dentata appeared. This only encouraged the uncoded to push aggressively, it seemed, as Masaru's strength had him attempt to start pushing and striking some out of the air when they got close.

Then Nótt got in front of Masaru, protecting him from an incoming stream of attacks.
"Thanks," He quickly gave appreciation for the save, nodding at the Jotun's words.

Usually, Masaru struggled with other people. He knew this, Nótt knew this (Heck, he had admitted to so during his first meeting with the Princess). But this?
He got it very quickly, and with a smirk he closed his eyes to regain his focus.
"Reminds me of a lotta things, but one thing at the front of this head of mine?"

"We're gonna take this down, together!" A forceful aura of sorts was what could only be described as what Masaru felt from himself, a sensation only felt once before when faced with a Lord's last stand, armor ablaze and petriying calls shouted.

He quickly darted around Nótt, sharing one last sentence.
"I'll break his defence, then you go for the opening! Zed said it first, we strike together!" And with that, he moved, confident and assured by the efforts of his newfound allies and a leap of faith. Even with the attacks homed in on him, Masaru felt belief in Nótt to help the Martial Artist out, or his own self to take the hits however tired he was now.

Celestial Palm!

And would strike out straight into Spamton's chest once more!
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Previously mallard
The Earth's Bastion watched his opponent surmount his attack and come closer. He felt the toxin creeping into his muscles, making them burn and tire. Despite this, the beetle didn't waste a moment to dig his fingers into the rock and toss a boulder into the air, which arced towards Kassandra. At the same time, he took a step forward and threw out two hooks from opposing angles to try and overwhelm the spartan's defenses. If she chose to dodge, he would swing his horn to shatter the boulder and send a scattershot of high-speed gravel upon her.

A hit with Mud Shot connected, which slowed the Empress closer to Marshtomp's level. She threw out another kick, and this time the Pokémon challenged it with a Rock Smash! Alas, the technique was not strong enough to equal the monster, even with the Mud Fish's boulder-heaving power behind it.

He was thrown backwards once again until he tumbled to a stop. With a grimace, Marshtomp pushed himself to his feet once again to stubbronly face off against his foe.

As Tabby's attacks against the eyes and his strings did nothing, he reluctantly decided he'd help the others with Spamton. The tablet was now in free fall; he weaved between stars and thorny vines as he went. Since most of the focus was on the others, he had only needed to watch for the stray attacks. It helped that he was staying roughly above Spamton, as well.

Even as reality ripped apart at the seams, Tabby was more awestruck than concerned. This was so cool. In the back of his mind, he knew he needed to help his fellow survivors. The robot stowed his legendary weapon for the moment for this next maneuver.

He flung two kunai, which embedded in the asphalt on either side of Spamton, and with all his might he pulled. He shot downwards, and on a collision course with Spamton's enlarged head. Tabby's goal was to force the puppet to his knees, strike at such an angle so that his projectile-spewing face was aimed away from the Decoders, and leave the boss open for the team to attack!


Previously Manu456Alola
Her talismans didn't quite finish the job.

With a yelp of pain, Audrey had grabbed the sword that was previously restraining her movement. Kirin kept her distance at this, which gave the Hero the opportunity to make a run for her own sword, yet as she raised it skyward...

There was no lightning crashing down on the blade. The priestess had managed to seal it.

"Sorry, couldn't let you keep using that." She said, summoning another batch of talismans in her hand. Audrey lashed out once more in a moment of frustration, though the effects of Radiant Fetters were immediately apparent – the Hero's moves and attacks were noticeably slower, and coupled with the exhaustion of battle, things were certainly about to come to a close.

Still, Kirin couldn't fully let her guard down. Having to deal with two swords while unarmed was still dangerous, and while she considered using Arc Chain again, she wasn't very confident in its success rate in this scenario. It'd be best to save it for a close dodge, or even commit fully to sealing and tiring Audrey out enough for her Septima to do its thing.

Twin slashes came in from the side, somewhat delayed by the Battle Priestess' ability, allowing her to leap upward to dodge – though her own damage was starting to catch up to her, as the larger divine blade sliced her left ankle open. Despite the pain, Kirin pushed on, taking a risk as she flipped forward in the air, throwing a close range spread of talismans to further weaken Audrey before coming down with an axe kick!

Masaru appeared to have a second wind at Nótt's approach! She did have that effect on people, she supposed. The fighter quickly outlined a plan as a powerful aura appeared around Masaru. He darted around Nótt, and the princess dashed forward to keep pace!

"Now!" Masaru cried out. Nótt's lance crackled with energy.

"Dragon Fang!" Nótt called out, swinging her lance with a powerful, draconic strike at the same point Masaru had struck!


Previously turnt3chGodh34d


A boulder was launched toward her, ad the misthios answered by pushing Kragg's strength into her legs, and kicking off. Faster than any arrow, she collided with the boulder. It seemed to stop mid-air as it spider-webbed with cracks from the impact crater, before Kassandra dashed to the top of it.

Kragg smashed apart the boulder with his horn, but the spartan hadn't stopped moving as she leapt with less power off the boulder, between the two prongs of Kragg's horn, and rolled to a stop atop him. He had already demonstrated proficiency with letting loose rock from his shell, so the misthios kept her legs primed and moving with a shuffle of sandals as she slashed at his head in a flurry of strikes aimed to reach him and bat away emerging spikes. The Sword of Perseus still bore the poison charge, which was quickly reaching its end, but left her with enough time to reset the waning effects over Kragg if her attack landed.

Due to the angle of Kragg's attack, the boulder-turned-to-pebbles was of little consequence, as almost all of it was sent like a hail of rock down to the ground, only a few meager rocks scattering elsewhere, one or two bouncing harmlessly off of the Helmet of Ares.


And they truly were persevering. An impossibility, it should have been. Was logic cast aside in this notion?


Yet they had done it. Broken His strings. It didn't seem possible, it didn't seem real, yet somehow it was.


Perhaps Its truth did not have to belong to everyone... perhaps It had been wrong to break the minds of others before.


As It pondered this query, of rebels, faith, and control, the decoded had survived the second attack- but only barely they were just hanging on... it couldn't continue like this...



An ocean clashed against another. Flames' fury ate at the dentata as it gnashed and gnashed.

The fire of angels guarding Eden, keeping the newly enlightened Adam and Eve of the Garden, a punishment from GOD


Jevil let loose tiring move, raining scythes down upon the attacks, enhanced by Magolor's runes. Like Zed's, they were designed to intercept and overwhelm. Combined with the Leader of ATEMS and the Cosmic Traveler's, they proved more than effective. A conquering counter.

GOD destroys the sinful city of Sodom with brimstone and fire, Lot's wife casts her gaze upon it and turns to a pillar of salt

WRONG! W̴̙̫̜̋͆̚R̵̡̩̙̝̖͊́̐O̵̧͊͐̚͝͠N̵͇͕̖̭̜̓͜G̷͓̀͋͒̾̈́͌!̷̙̼̾̔͊ W̸̛͕͆̉̀̃̍́̎̕R̷̨̡̗̭̠̺̥̬͑̏O̴̧͉̗̙͂̃̈̽̍͝Ń̵̛̞̺̮̖̞̖̭̔̑̓͊̎͗G̴̻̬̦̞̰̳͔͎̗͗̃̀̓!̷̳̥̪̗̹̼̠̖̖͈̆̓̑̔͑̈́̃̾͒͌̒͛͝


Nótt rushed to Masaru's side as Magolor to Jevil's, both with words of encouragement and support. They had faith, where I lacked. Inspiration was impossible not to feel.

A reward for his faith, Elijah was swept up to heaven upon a chariot of fire and horses to live with GOD, leaving this world behind

* ???'s DF dropped to 0!


Masaru, aided by Nótt, went in for another blow. Unified. Desperate. Confident. Emboldened. They would succeed... they had to. Yet Spamton turned his face upon them, spewing overwhelming attacks to crush them-

Tabby smashed down upon him from an angle, the strings stretching as he buckled, the head twisting to the side, saving Masaru and Nótt from further punishment.

No one faced the giant until David, armed only with a stone and sling, stood defiant against him in the name of GOD

With Zed, Jevil, and Magolor handling the ambient projectiles, with Tabby diverting Spamton's head, with Nótt and Masaru launching their final attack, with the Entity's destruction of their foe's defenses...


C E L E S T I A L - P A L M !


Suddenly, the world went dark far more suddenly than it had gathered such visual noise. An echoing chasm swallowed everyone and everything, once again a supernatural spotlight illuminating Spamton, Masaru's fist against him, Nótt's attacks stopped mid-strike against the chassis.


9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Spamton's body seemed to shudder in world-shattering proportions, Masaru, Nótt, and Tabby being flung back toward Zed, Magolor, and Jevil.


The song emitting from Chai and Luxia, who had seemingly lost all function as they were left near Layla, began to corrode as the corpse on strings began to shudder more violently, as though his body seemed on the brink of erupting, before...


No fanfare, and no great explosion. The strings all snapped at once, their dark green lines rising and disappearing into the darkness as Spamton dropped to the ground with a heavy and dull thud, the ground shaking beneath their feet.


For a moment, it seemed like... this was it...


A dying song, and an empty void, with nothing to fill it...

D̶̘̺̹͆͜O̸̖̺͖͔̔̎͠ ̴̳̗̓͗N̶͕͙̲̱̗̽͒́̅O̵̭͎̣͠T̷̼̣̗͛̾̌͠ ̶̰͒̄̍͝M̶̧͔̤͑̀͆͝Ä̵̤́K̶̢͖̼͖̋E̵̱̟̰̭̭̒́̂̊͝ ̶̪̰̉M̵̘͇̫̟̣̾̇̃̈́͝E̴͇̰̺̩͛̑͝͝
Do not make me

They had won, right? But at what cost? Was everything gone...? Was everyone gone...?

W̴͉̣̱̫̝͛̏̀̽̈́͊A̵̧̡͍̥͍̜̥͚͆̈́K̶̡̬̯͕̱̏̂̋́̑̓̆ͅE̵̹̍̀̋̈́ ̶̡̟̙͈̗̠̞͔̎Ṫ̷̤̇͛Ḧ̶̫̼͓̮̻̰͍͓̦́̈͂̓̿̂̀È̵̡̬̬͚̤̜̐̈́̂͗̚͠ͅ Ǫ̵̖͇̼̤͋̀̍̽̀̏̽̔̑͌͜ ̸͎̺̭̋̽̉͂̒̆̓̊̀̕Ţ̵͓̟̬͍͖͙̰̘̟̀ ̷̻̩̜̑̈͂͘H̴͕̱͈̆̀͑̔͂͌͊̍̒͝͠ ̷̡̡̩̞̬͂̒̾́̍͛͘͘͠É̴̱͙̣̻̽̇ ̶̨̛̻͔͓͎͔̮̣͚̘͊͂̓͂̈́̾̌̄̃̚͝R̴̢̢̢̢̫͍̤͕͖͚̩͚̹͈͍̽̏̑͆̏̓̔̐̈́͜ ̷̧̘̱̠̖̝̥̘̞̟͉̍̈̆͌̈́͒́̈́̀̚͠͝S̸͎̻̜̐̄̂͒̄̐͆̐̓̀͘
Wake the others...

And finally...


Control of Chai and Luxia seemed to be fully restored, and with such a victory under them, there was seemingly no reward...

Was there more...?

Or was this... it...?

*But somebody came.


They could not see the speaker, but they could feel its presence. So many questions lingered about this entity, but there was something the others did know: It was no longer their enemy, and it had not been the bearer of dark green strings. That had been something else... something beyond... something even more abstract.







What appeared to be a button of sorts appeared in the void in front of everyone. Bordered in glowing orange, it had a single word upon its surface:








And the voice was gone, his monologue ended, and two choices lain before the decoded. The first was obvious. The RESET would bring things back to normal. Then the choice regarding Spamton... that was less obvious to follow-up on.

No more voices called from the void. No strings dangled from above. Spamton NEO's chassis sat idle on the ground, an empty corpse.

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist

Bzzzt Bzzaaaat

Mind all frayed and strings all snapped, Chai came to, the insanity stilling as the climax abated. Differences between dream and reality were blurring, judging from how cryptic and ethereal this whole endeavor had become in such a short time.

He didn't really WANT to listen to the words of the man who should have minded their own business, but he got the reader's digest version from half listening. in doing so, he scoffed and shook his head at the button before him.

"Truth? Ha! The only truth I heard was that you are finally getting the boot! I don't care about your puppet analogies or psychomological mumbo jumbo! I say we reset this thing and give Spam-guy the treatment the jackass deserves!"

He was going to hit that reset button and show Spamton a piece of his mind.


Previously Gamingfan2
Through their teamwork, the Uncoded finally landed a finishing blow on Spamton. For a second, all was still. Then time caught up as Spamton shuddered violently under the force, rebounding the three melee fighters nearby.
Magolor reacted quickly, spreading his arms to catch Tabby, flying back with an "oomph" from the force. Magolor quickly shifted the Ultra Katana in Tabby's hand, stabbing it into the floor and sending the two spinning around it until they finally slowed down, descending to the floor. The massive blade shrank as Magolor finally took his magic back, giving Tabby a grateful wink.
The voice spoke to them, almost apologetically, though his last words had a...strange implication. Too much to think about now, anyway. What did deserve his immediate focus was the glowing button, brilliantly shining in the middle of the inky black void, and the broken husk that was Spamton. Chai was loudly confirming his opinion, but the mage's ears lowered as he considered his options. To lie was as natural as breathing to the mage, but this...it wasn't going to be a white lie...
"Well team..." Magolor spoke as he neared the RESET button. "Let's turn back the clock, yeah?"


Previously Manu456Alola
It was over.

The lifeless body of Spamton dropped to the ground before the decoding survivors, and only the disembodied voice that had been speaking to them throughout that final fight remained. Now things had become clearer – the entity was certainly separate from Spamton and the strings, only bound by something beyond their understanding. Held hostage by a truth that the group refused and defied.

Now, they were presented with a "RESET" button, and a choice to make. They would go back to before the chaos had erupted, but the voice requested that they lie to Spamton, bringing him instead on a path of redemption. A great ask, especially after all that had just transpired, yet the prince could somewhat see the reasoning behind the entity's words. It was a way to prevent something like this from happening again, in hopes of forging a better future for Spamton, his world, and everyone else.

The barrier around Layla and Moon-Wing finally dissipated, setting the two down gently on the ground. Layla was quick to run to Zed's side, wrapping her arms around his torso in a tight hug. The prince returned the gesture, kneeling down to eye height with the girl as they embraced each other for a long moment.


"I know, Layla. You needn't worry any longer."

Then, a certain djinn finally fully came to. Luxia's cybernetic form floated over to the two, stretching as to seemingly keep herself awake.

"Ugh, that was awful," she complained, clearly not in the best mood. "That jerk seriously lacks respect. Makes two times in the last few months that something tries to take over me."

Despite the Djinn's lack of amusement, Zed smiled. "Glad to have you back."

The others began to express their own thoughts on the matter, with Chai in particular appearing very eager to continue the hostilities. With a flick of his wrist, a thin crimson barrier appeared in front of the rockstar to momentarily block his path. If they were going to go through with this, the prince felt everyone should be on the same page.

"I suggest you consider the voice's request, at least." He spoke, and he immediately heard Luxia huff beside him.

"After all we just got put through? Really?"

"It may be in our best interest if we want to prevent a repeat of this chaos. You and I have seen that enlightening someone can have quite an effect on future endeavors. A mere lie for the sake of a brighter tomorrow is a small price to pay, wouldn't you agree?"​
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Audrey Redheart
With cut narrowly landed, Audrey felt her composure returning...in a way. Not greatly so, naturally, but rising.

"Then what, you're scared of it!? You should be! I've destroyed things beyond your COMPREHENSION with the blade alone!" Redheart called out, instinctively swinging her Divinely-empowered blade to reflect the talismans so they wouldn't hit her... Only for the talismans to simply strike the blade itself, causing Audrey to mutter a small curse under her breath.

But, with Kirin coming down with an axe kick, Audrey had to act first - She had both of their swords, so she had the advantage, right?! So, with Kirin coming down swiftly, Audrey swung out...one sword? Kirin's at that?

Her own blade, meanwhile, swung in her right arm, moving in a wide spin, trying to catch Kirin if she tried to used her arc chain on that side to avoid the first attack!

Masaru Takahara
As palm and lance collided with puppet, Masaru felt his world around him darken. It was already Dark, yet Darker it became. But near him, the darkness faded in the moment by a bright light around Spamton-

And flashes of fire in Masaru's mind. Of demonic armor crumbling under his strikes, a man struck in a cocoon of sorts. Allies surrounded, ready to strike.

Only now, he had defeated this foe, without man given chance to slay his own folly.
Hopefully that doesn't bode badly-

9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Just what he needed, a whistle in his head struck, before it was if his momentum reversed, sending the martial artist flying back! He ended up landing on the ground, only shortly away from the likes of Zed, Magolor, and Jevil. Letting out a small groan on landing, he stood back up and watched as the puppet dropped to the ground.

"Is...Did we do it?" He wondered aloud, before abstract speaker spoke. A feeling of...almost calm dread, that was what Masaru felt, almost wondering for a second it wasn't done, not by a long shot.

But it was.


Those words struck to Masaru. Who was this speaker? Where were they?

Could he try and save them?


Another flash of a memory, Masaru stood alongside 6 others over a man on his knees, a fallen hero close to death death.

My magic wanes as time and life remaining ebb.
Let not this memory fade.
My words preserve.

A button appeared - 'RESET'. To take them back to before this fight began, to save those people fallen.



In every Heart, the seed of dark abides...
The makings of a Lord, when watered well...
With Hate. Sweet Hate. She springs eternal, she sings...
All-tempting draught, we'll drink of her again.

Masaru wasn't sure how to feel when the voice stopped. Chai had jumped straight to the idea of beating Spamton upon return, earning Masaru's frown before it too faded when Zed stopped him with a barrier

"...I gotta agree with you, Zed. I've been in situations like this before - Words like that aren't something to just ignore, and I think it's fair to say we all wanna avoid a repeat of...this." He gestured around him, to the void, to the corpse.

"But how long can we keep up that lie? Chances are, he'll find out the 'truth' eventually, I'm sure. Think there's any shot of getting near him, giving him some support in that hour of need? Besides, that voice also mentioned saving his world, and I'm not sure that's just in the 'his mind is a world' sense." Eyes glanced confused to the RESET Button, in wonder of how it truly worked beyond 'magic'.