March #38: Akkan's Return

*Smashtopia, early morning. A businessman hurries along the sidewalk, no doubt late to whatever important meeting he must attend today. A rather disheveled hobo is sitting on a street corner just ahead of this man. The hobo is dressed in a tattered old jacket and worn out jeans, his unkempt hair reaching his shoulders, and his beard slowly swaying as he rocks back and forth. He stares blankly across the intersection in a trance-like state. As the businessman walks in front of him, he slowly gets up and shambles over to him.*

Hobo: Care to help out this dying soul?

*The businessman ignores him and continues on his way.*

Hobo: *Following him* Hey! I'm talking to you! I need your help! *Reaches his hand out, grabbing the businessman's shoulder*

Businessman: *Swings around and smacks the hobo to the ground with a quick backhand* Get away from me! I don't have time for this!

*The hobo sits motionless on the ground for a moment as the businessman continues on his way. The hobo suddenly gets up, sprints at the businessman, and thrusts his palm out, striking the man just below the ribs. This man is suddenly surrounded by a thick black cloud. A group of bystanders assembles near the cloud, curious as to what's going on. The cloud suddenly dissapates, revealing a twisted spire of smooth crystalline earth where the businessman once stood. The hobo turns his attention to the crowd.*

Hobo: If you people refuse to help me, you can join this man in Hell!

*The hobo drives his fist into the spire, causing it to shatter into countless fragments.*

Bystander: ... What do you want from us!?

Hobo: Answer me this question...

... where is Escomanivero Deisedarah?

*Esco's room. A silent ambiance creeps about the dimly-lit room, as a shadow of a man lurks in the far corner. Something begins to stir within the meditation chamber...*

Twilight: Ugh, what happened? Did...I just pass out for some reason?

*Twilight looks out of the pod's viewport to see the shade jump from across the room, landing right in front of her. The light from the pod reveals Esco, wearing his old Kazan uniform. His vest bears the Kazan insignia, and his hood is replaced with a black headband. His long stringy hair drapes haphazardly down his face, and his eyes glow an intense green hue. He jerks and cavorts around the pod for a moment before pressing his face against the viewport.*

Esco: Now then, little girl, I want you to tell me EVERYTHING.

Twilight: Esco!? I...don't know what you're talking about, I swear! I'm just as confused as you are!

Esco: Oh, you don't? That's too bad...

*Esco turns around and steps away from the pod, before quickly turning back around and slamming into it*

Esco: Unfortunately for you, your evil trickery will not work against me! YOU KNOW WHAT I WANT TO HEAR!! Now, out with it!

Twilight: There's no reasoning with him...he's lost his mind! I must escape!

*Twilight uses her telekinesis in an attempt to break out, only to find it useless*

Esco: Oh, don't even worry about trying to escape. This chamber nullifies ALL psychokinetic powers!

Twilight: B-but's that's impossible!

Esco: Impossible? No. Improbable? Maybe. Now tell me EXACTLY what your kind are planning.

Twilight: I...I don't know anything, honest! I couldn't even find any records of anything suspicious!

Esco: Is that true? I just got word from Master Kazan that further confirmed my suspicions that your "Glorious Leader" is planning to seize all of Revanda for herself! I refuse to allow this!

*Esco bangs on the pod again, further startling Twilight*

Twilight: Esco, please, if you let me out, I'm sure I can calm whatever fears you have about Celestia!

Esco: I'm not going to fall for such simple propaganda. After all, you ARE her student. I know that you are involved in this plan somehow! So tell me again. WHAT. ARE. YOU. HIDING.

*Esco continues banging on it to emphasize every word*

Twilight: I'm sorry Esco... Whatever I did to hurt you... I didn't mean it! Please, stop this. We can work something out together!

Esco: *Sigh* I knew it would come to this...

*Esco walks over to a small console behind the pod and presses a few buttons, causing a cloud to form within the chamber. Twilight immediately begins writhing around in intense pain.*

Twilight: *Gagging* What... is this?

Esco: *Playfully* I don't know! I found it in Ridley's lab and thought using it against you would be a fantastic idea!

Twilight: What the... Ridley's lab... that's where you're getting all this tech!?

Esco: I'm going to return in about half an hour or so. I expect you to become smart and spill out all your evil secrets by then!

*Esco leaves the room, forgetting to turn off the gas in the process*

Twilight: Okay, think Twilight, think... I wish I wish, I- *notices her horn isn't glowing at all* ...right, no psychic powers at all, so I can teleport. *tries to hold her breath, and then gasps and coughs after a few moments* Okay, so... that won't work either. Dash... Kevin... it's up to you now. *passes out*

*Esco walks towards Metal's office, only to be stopped by none other than Master Kazan*

Esco: (Oh! Master Kazan!)

Master Kazan: (Deisedarah, I have something important I need to tell you. Come to my chamber at once!)

Esco: (Yes, master.)

*Esco follows Master Kazan up several flights of stairs to the Stadium's previously unused penthouse suite, which was originally designed to house VGW in case he ever spontaneously returned. Since VGW is obviously not around, it's been converted into a lair fit for a true warrior.*

Esco: Man, Kevin did a really good job with this place... (So, what is it that you want to discuss?)

Master Kazan: (I have grave news. The Dark User, Akkan Negareijin, has been sighted nearby.)

*The fear in Esco's eyes is palpable*

Esco: (No... no way... Th-that can't be true! Akkan is dead! I KILLED HIM!!)

Master Kazan: (And yet, here he is. He's come to finish off what he started. He won't stop until all of those associated with Kazan are dead.)

Esco: (DAMMIT!! How could he have possibly survived?! This... this is the worst possible thing I've heard! We... we must prepare! I'll get Metal to assemble all the fighters and we'll overwhelm him! Yes, I'll get right on that-)

Master Kazan: (It's no use, Deisedarah. As we speak, he's making his way here.)

Esco: (This... this is unbelievable... I bet those damn dragons lead him here...)

Master Kazan: (Which dragons?)

Esco: (Wait, what? You came to me yesterday with a new mission-)

Master Kazan: (I do not remember this...)

Esco: (You told me of a threat. A mole, if you will. You told me to get rid of it by any means possible, for the glory of Kazan! You don't remember? It's those damned ponies, Master! They're plotting to conquer all of this world, and those three who work for the Stadium have been gathering information to use against us this whole time!)

Master Kazan: (I knew something was up. You're heading down the road to insanity at a fast pace. Listen closely to my warning... once you go too far, there's no going back! You must get your act together or face severe consequences!)

Esco: (I'm not insane! Dammit, everyone's been acting up ever since we fought the Seraphis... The world around me is collapsing, not the other way around!) *Collapses to the ground, trembling* (I can see a void... a swirling emptiness... All of my failures of the past and present have come back to haunt me in the form of this vicious cycle... and it's pulling me in! I cannot escape! I CANNOT ESCAPE!! I CANNOT ESCAPE!! I CANNOT ESCAPE!! I CANNOT-)

Master Kazan: (GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, DEISEDARAH!! You are an Elite of the Kazan Clan, not some crazy, deranged psychopath! Everything you have fought for in the past matters now, ESPECIALLY KAZAN! Until you stop the crazy talk, you will be unable to grasp a SEMBLANCE of an idea of what the Hell is going on in the world!)

*Master Kazan picks up Esco and throws him across the room, smashing him into the far wall. Esco stops shrieking and climbs to his feet*

Esco: *Brushes himself off* (...Th-Thank you for that. I apologize for this idiocy. I must admit, I haven't been the same since I learned the truth about some things... like the upcoming war.)

Master Kazan: (What war? Akkan is all alone in his mission!)

Esco: (No not that, it's-)

*Siro teleports in*

Siro: (Master! He's here!!)

Esco: (Ah AAAA.)

*Outside the stadium, the hobo approaches...*

Hobo: The end is approaching. With the deaths of Deisedarah, Kazan, and Geja, all that remains of the legendary Clan of Basilisks will be soon forgotten.

*A portal opens up and Siro, Esco, and Master Kazan step out*

Hobo: *Grins wryly* Would you look at that. I didn't even have to look for them.

Master Kazan: (This ends here, Akkan! After all the suffering caused by your hand, I cannot allow you to live!)

Akkan: Akkan. Heh. No one's called me that in a long time...

Master Kazan: (It's been only ten years.)

Akkan: Maybe for you, but for me... it's been much, much longer. You wouldn't believe what I've been through, to be standing here facing you right now.

Esco: *Shaking with rage and fear* Enough talk. I... I will destroy you once and for all!

Akkan: Is that really Deisedarah? You looks a bit darker than I remembered. I can see you've been enjoying my curse.

Esco: . . .

Akkan: So, you want to fight? Fine with me... you're only cutting your life even shorter.

*Akkan slams his fist into the ground, creating a tangled mass of blackness that slowly speads and envelopes the surrounding earth. He scoops up a handful of this black earth, forming it into a crystalline katana.*

Master Kazan: (Esco, follow my every command with perfect timing. Siro, go find anyone who can fight with us.)

Esco/Siro: (Yes Master.)

*Siro leaves the battlefield through a space-time rift, while Esco moves beside Master Kazan, carefully eyeing their foe. Master Kazan rushes straight in towards Akkan, making a quick left turn before Akkan can drive his sword through him. Esco continues his charge, being previously hidden behind Master Kazan, and slides underneath Akkan's blade, shifting his entire body into a spinning uppercut attack. Master Kazan shoots skyward, chasing after Akkan with his own dual-palm strike. However, Akkan phases into a dark haze just before the attack connects, materializing above Master Kazan. Master Kazan spins around and blocks Akkan's drop kick, but the force sends him hurtling towards the ground. Akkan reaches down and makes a quick pulling motion, creating a large spike right where Kazan is headed. Esco uses telekinesis to push Kazan out of harm's way, before launching a barrage of fireballs at Akkan. Akkan surrounds himself in the black mist, protecting himself from the assault. However, Esco forces the impact explosions into a large sphere of flames completely surrounding Akkan's mist-concealed body, applying enough pressure to break through. Akkan is burnt quite heavily by the attack, but still alive. He picks his charred self up from the ground.*

Akkan: Perhaps I've underestimated you. Not that it matters, anyway.

*Akkan regenerates himself in a quick burst of light-consuming void, restoring his youth in the process.*

Akkan: Now then... *Creates a second katana* ... let's continue.

*Metal's Office*

Pat: Why can't you take this seriously? People are getting concerned about this!

Metal: Serious about what? Nothing big is going on. Besides, I'm deadly serious. *Leans his metal feet on the desk, causing it to splinter a bit. A book falls onto the floor.*

Kevin: That's why you keep the Prankster's Guide to the Universe on your desk.

Metal: Well, now it's on the floor. And it's important to have a sense of humor about things, or else you'll go insane like GG did!

Digi: Anyway, this is starting to become a real problem. Already, three fighters have vanished from the Stadium.

Metal: Bah! I've destroyed entire Stadiums and lost all the fighters, and they still came back the moment I made a new one! And I can get another Stadium if that happens here. So I don't care. *Takes out an old record and starts eating it, loudly chewing on the vinyl*

*Enter Siro*

Metal: *Munch munch munch* Someone tell me why a boat festooned in lights has come in here. *Spits out an apple-shaped label at Siro's feet*

Siro: First of all, they're goggles. Secondly, I need fighters to help combat against an evil threat!

Metal: What, you think you have a real threat? Gimme a break, I've fought the plot to the universe before. Me and my crew killed an evil god... then there was that time an entity had turned Smash Power into pure evil. We kicked his AAA too. You can have the fighters here... oh right! They're on vacation! Too bad.

Siro: I was referring to you.

Metal: *Crosses his arms* You don't possibly have the coins to pay me. I'm at least 3000 billion more coins than you have. Those boat lights had to have cost you most of your spendin' money anyway.

Kevin: Come on, Metal. Don't you think we can help this guy out?

Digi: Don't try to reason with him. He can't be reasoned with.

Kevin: We've fought plenty of evil threats before, and we kicked all their asses! What difference does it make if we add one more foe to our list?

Siro: You, pointy hat. You are Esco's follower, are you not? You have heard of Akkan Negareijin-

Kevin: Wait, you meant that guy!? Aww AAAA. Hold on Esco, I'm coming! *Bolts it out of there*

Metal: Eska Naggawha? Sounds like some sort of Gnomish Fire Alarm. Well, if it involves Esco, I guess I can gather the other SPs... to eat popcorn while he does it alone. Don't think I plan on forcing anybody to help him after what he did to me. *Rubs a dark gash on his side* Nuh-uh. Digi, Pat, you get the others. I'm going to fire up my popcorn machine. *Takes out a glowing sword of light and jams it into a nearby bucket full of unpopped popcorn, causing it to start popping*

Digi/Pat: Right!

*Light Bear's room. The professor seems to be in the same pose he was before. There is a stern knock at the door*

Pat: Light Bear! We need to go, now!

*The stick figure picks himself up. Rather than still morose, he seems to have a dull fury on his face*

Light Bear: *heavy, subdued sigh* Yeah... yeah, I'm comin'...

*Esco's room. Kevin's at the door, pounding furiously*

Kevin: Esco, open up! That evil guy is here, and we need your help!


Kevin: Huh. He must not be here, which means he could already be fighting. In that case... *Runs off*

*Twilight/Dashs' Room. Dash is practicing punches and kicks when Kevin barges in.*

Dash: *Stops what she's doing* The Hell, Kevin? Haven't you ever heard of privacy?

Kevin: Dash, this is important. Another evil guy appeared, and Metal's gathering all the SPs together to fight him.

Dash: Again? What is this, the 20th time?

Kevin: Something like that... but this is the guy who killed Esco's clan.

Dash: Oh...Hmm. *rubs her chin, thinking*

Kevin: Go get Twilight and meet me outside, all right?

Dash: Twilight didn't return last night. I thought she was with you?

Kevin: Wait, what?

Dash: The last I heard, she was going to meet someone...I haven't had any contact with her at all since then.

Kevin: Who?

Dash: She didn't say. I think it might be Esco.

Kevin: Wait, you think that...? No, it can't be true. He would never-

Dash: Esco's been acting really weird lately, especially around us. It wouldn't surprise me.

Kevin: You have a point. For all we know, he could be hiding a secret dungeon chamber in his room... Heh heh heh... AAAA.

*Kevin and Dash run back toward Esco's room*

*Back outside, Metal, Digi, Pat, and Light reach the fight*

Akkan: Ah, so it seems your reinforcements have arrived.

Digi: Got that right!

Akkan: It seems I can finally stop holding back now. *Cuts into the back of his hand with one of his swords, allowing the blood to drip down his fingers to the floor*

Digi: Uhh, what?

Akkan: Rise, Sorceror.

*A skeletal creature emerges from the cursed earth, shrouded in blue robes. Its face is concealed underneath its tattered straw hat.*

Digi: *mutters* If he's letting his blood out, this is not going to end well...

Esco: Wait, it looks familiar... That's-!

Master Kazan: (Zedox Zenoa, the Avatar of the Kazan Clan. But how...?)

Akkan: *Cracks a smile* The Black Seal, of course. Rise, Master...

*Another entity rises from the ground, almost naked save for a few scraps of whitish clothing. The tangled black markings appear prominently all across his body, coming to a point on his upper back, much like Esco's own seal. He holds a chain in his hands, which passes through the floor.*

Akkan: ... And Servant.

*By the Master's side, a womanly figure ascends from the ground. Her appearance is similar to that of the Master's, only she wears an iron collar, attached to the chain.*

Esco: That can't be... Kunzo and Sanja? Master, I thought you said the others lived!

Master Kazan: (I did not say that. I only said that there was a possibility!)

Akkan: As you can see, I am in full control of these fallen warriors. The Black Seal technique allows the user to force a soul out of the victim's body, and replace it with a demon's. Fortunately for you, Deisedarah, I was too weak to summon a demon powerful enough to overwhelm you outright, thus you survived. *Holds back a laugh* It's too bad the same can't be said for the rest of your allies.

Esco: Shut up!

Akkan: Ah, right. There are still more to summon. Ascend, Driver.

*Another man appears. Bizarrely enough, he looks like a grown-up demonic version of Kevin with a mullet. He has a strange twitch to him, as if he's being shocked repeatedly by some unknown force.*

Esco: Wait, Dain Watokhan!? B-but I just saw him yesterday! I...

Master Kazan: (It was an apparition, Esco. A fabrication of your mind!)

Akkan: Indeed. Now you may be wondering, what happens to the souls that are displaced by the technique? It's quite simple really: they go straight to the Demon Realm. There, they are tortured for hundreds of years, until they are stripped entirely of their past identity. All their memories, their ideals... gone. Then, they become demons themselves, and the cycle begins anew! Isn't it fascinating?

*Esco is visibly shaking now.*

Pat: My God... I never thought I would say this, but Metal almost seems tame in comparison!

Metal: I dunno, Pat. The Demon realm is one of my favorite places to hang out. They even have a frequent damnation card. *He holds up a flaming card* I get kicked out sometimes, because I'm too insane for them. Something about demons not liking it when I cause bar stools to fly through the ceiling.

Pat: *Steps back from Metal as if he's seen a ghost.* Er... uh... I said almost. Yeah. Don't... hurt me.

Metal: You did. *Looks at card* Ooh! If I go to the Hell one more time, I get an extra dark power to destroy my enemies with!

Pat: *Facepalms*

Akkan: Oh right, have another. Come forth, Berserker!

*A young man, appearing to be no older than 17, rises from the ground. He is dressed in a kimono stained black and red, his hair very long and disheveled, shrouding his face. Two sheathed swords rest, tied to his waist on either side.*

Esco: Sai... Fasier... *Shakes with greater intensity*

Akkan: What's the matter? Afraid? Even I was subject-

*Akkan twirls his sword around behind him, cutting through a column of flames as it rises from the ground.*

Akkan: -To the tortures when you killed me last time.

Esco: Dammit!

Akkan: However, I remained strong, unlike your comrades.

Esco: Kazan warriors would not give up so easily! These were some of the greatest people I have ever had the honor to fight alongside. There's no way they would succumb to darkness on a whim!

Akkan: The Kazan Clan was weak. There was too great of a dependence on your "Fearless Master" and his "Legendary Hero". Without them, the clan would collapse into complete anarchy...

Metal: *Crunching a floor tile loudly with his teeth* Mmf. Sounds like Julian. They all lose in the end. Without crazy people like me and Evil Demon Samurai there, nobody has a leader, eh, Pat?

Pat: Don't taunt the killer demon ninja while they're summoning abominations from the beyond, Metal.

Metal: Bah. He probably thinks of us as meaningless dust specks, and I think the same of him. So we'll mutually not interfere. As much as he probably does dislike my wisecracks, he knows he'll have a better chance of killing ED without me wandering across the battlefield, shooting exploding toasters at him.

Pat: *Facepalms* Why did VG have to quit and put this maniac in charge in his place...

Akkan: ...resulting in its total destruction, just like the great Basilisk Clan.

Master Kazan: (Basilisk collapsed because you manipulated the people to turn them against the leaders! And leave Liussano out of this!)

Akkan: Oh, It's too late for that, Kazan. Come, False Hope.

*An armored warrior, giving off the appearance of a golden samurai, breaks through the earth. His left eye is perpetually closed, while his right is wide open in a ominously piercing glare. This eye is pitch-black, save for a red iris, and frantically darts around, catching glimpses of all of the SPs within its sight. A wisp of black smoke slowly pours out of this eye.*

Esco: Jahan Liussano...

Master Kazan: (So it is true. All those years ago, Liussano was ambushed by your men.)

Akkan: Indeed. Hmm, I have one more I want to bring forth, but I think I'll save her for later.

Esco: *Twitch* Son of a AAAA. You have Xaless too, don't you?

Akkan: You're not as dense as I suspected. Well, now that our sides are even, why don't we get this fight started for real?

Master Kazan: (Fine. Esco, I'll take on Akkan. You deal with Liussano.)

Esco: Yes master. Everyone, take a fighter!

Metal: Nobody's paying me, and besides, these guys are chumps. I could kill them all by myself in my sleep. *Idly takes out a light fixture and starts chewing on it* Mmmm... glass...

Pat: What!? Damn Metal, sometimes you're just impossible. I'll take on the fast guy. Fast is my specialty. *Approaches Driver*

Digi: Then I'll take the guy in the dress.

*Berserker draws his swords and stands perfectly motionless*

Digi: What? It's totally a dress!

Siro: I've got the avatar! *Tears a space-time rift, pulling Sorceror with him into the abyss*

Light Bear: That leaves me with... the twins here. Dear, dear me. *Squints, bears his teeth, and pulls out his trademark self-defense cane and swings it in a threatening manner at Master and Servant* Keep away. I'm furious, and I do believe you would rather I not show you what I'm like when I'm angry.

Digi: All right dress man, I don't have a sword but I got something pretty close...

*Digi reaches for his golf club but doesn't pull it out*

Digi: *Muttering* Oh right, Sloan broke it. Okay, backup weapon...

*Digi pulls out his digivice instead, and fires off a network of light ray's in Berserker's general direction. Berserker throws his sword into the ground in front of him, diverting the light away.*

Digi: *Mutters* Oh AAAA... a reflection. *Normal volume* Well, I guess I have to work with everything else. *Runs in with a Fire Punch but Berserker dodges it*

*Meanwhile, Esco and False Hope stare each other down. False Hope starts circling around Esco, gripping his blade tightly. His eye is fixated on Esco, unblinking.*

Esco: That stare creeps me out...

*Master Kazan and Akkan eye each other as well.*

Akkan: So, I'm paired with Junior Kazan? So be it. *Phases into a black mist*

Master Kazan: (You are a coward, Kazan! Come out and fight me directly!)

*Master Kazan jumps as Akkan emerges from beneath him, and comes down with a drop kick*

Akkan: Not so fast! *Tears up a chunk of the earth and wraps it around himself, creating a sheild to block Kazan's attack*

Master Kazan: (I can't move my leg! What's going on!?)

Akkan: I'm pulling you into the earth. What does it look like?

*Esco begins to reach for his kunai, but False Hope notices his slight hand movement and attacks*

Esco: !! *Jumps off to the side, dropping his kunai in the process* He's fast! It looks like I'll have to overwhelm him!

*Esco materializes some green fire and shoots a barrage of fireballs at False Hope, who effortlessly deflects them all with a few strategic swings*

*Berserker runs forwards, ripping his sword from the ground, and attacks Digi with a spinning sword slash. Digi backflips out of the way and strikes Berserker with both feet in a surprise kick.*

Digi: How are you doing Pat?

*Pat and Driver are locked in an intense battle, using their extreme speed to attempt to outmaneuver each other.*

Pat: I'm kinda busy right now!

Digi: Okay, just hang in there!

Pat: If you leave me alone!

*The black haze begins to envelop Master Kazan, but a stray fireball blasts Akkan from behind, diverting his attention just long enough for Master Kazan to break free*

Akkan: Agh! What are you doing, False Hope? Deflect the fire somewhere else!

*False Hope tears a massive chunk of earth from the ground, tripping up Driver at just the wrong time.*

Pat: Now's my chance! KECHEE-YUN-ELBOO!

*Pat drives his fist straight into Driver's head, causing it to disintegrate*

Akkan: Dammit! Watch what you're doing!!

Master Kazan: (It seems that having control of one of the strongest ninja can be a double-edged sword, don't you think?)

*False Hope swings the improvised earthen club at Esco, who deflects it with telekinesis*

Esco: That was close...

*False Hope emerges from the black mass and slashes across Esco's back with his sword. Esco plummets to the ground, but recovers.*

*Berserker drops his swords and pulls a large scythe from his back*

Digi: A scythe? *Rolls his eyes* Nice one, Sephiroth...

*Berserker twirls the scythe around like nothing, then rushes forwards and slices Digi up.*

Digi: Gah! *he's flung back by the slices but gets back up, trying to fight again*

Pat: Digi!!

Digi: I'll be-

*A large black object falls from the sky and crushes Berserker underneath its weight*

Digi: -All right. How convenient... *Falls over and gasps, exhausted*

Master Kazan: *Dodging a shadow strike* (It seems your trump has taken out another follower! Perhaps he is so Hell-bent on completing his mission that he disregards his allies?)

Akkan: That shouldn't matter! I have full control over everyone-

Master Kazan: *Punches Akkan* (You're too focused on fighting everyone at once! Focus on me!)

Esco: AAAA, that hurt. I just have to make sure to avoid Liussano's sword and-

*Esco ducks as a spinning scythe sails over his head, trimming some stray hairs from the top of his head*

Esco: ... Where did he get that scythe from!?

*Siro and Sorcerer are locked in magical combat. Sorcerer's elemental beam attacks are absorbed by Siro's portals and redirected, but Sorcerer has no problems cancelling out these counterattacks with more magic*

Siro: Enough of this! Just let me hit you!

*The scythe continues to sail... straight into the back of Sorcerer.*

Siro: That works...


*Akkan stops as False Hope's sword stabs into him.*

Akkan: What is the meaning of this!?

*False Hope turns to Esco*

False Hope: ... Shallow.

Esco: W-what?

False Hope: Your wounds. They are shallow. They should heal in a few days.

Akkan: I don't believe this. You should be under my control, as the Black Seal cursed you. How did you...

False Hope: You never had control to begin with. This seal was self-inflicted!

*False Hope pulls out a cloth and ties it around his right eye, sealing the blackness within. He opens his left eye for the first time, which shimmers a bright, untainted vermilion. Liussano returns.*

Liussano: That's right, Akkan. I am also a Negareijin. You know what happens when a second seal attempts to interfere, correct?

Akkan: It's completely nullified...

Liussano: Exactly.

*Liussano pulls his sword out of Akkan's chest and returns to Esco's side*

Akkan: It doesn't matter! I still have Master and-

*Servant's head lands beside Akkan with a splatter*

Light Bear: *Monocle shattered, bow tie torn, face covered in black blood* You have naught but some of my relinquished fury.

Akkan: ...

Liussano: Let's finish this.

Esco: R-right!

Digi: Get him, Esco!

*Kevin rushes down the hall toward's Esco's room, and breaks through his door with a flying kick*

Kevin: EscoOO!! WHAT ARE you... dear God.

*Kevin sees the large pod hooked up to a wall of bizarre machinery ripped straight from Ridley's lab. Large jolts of electricity are clearly visible running through the mass of cables connecting everything together. Within the pod, Kevin sees a writhing silhouette.*

Dash: What is it- TWILIGHT!!

*Dash attempts to open the chamber door only to get zapped herself*

Dash: We have to turn this off somehow!

Kevin: I'm trying, but I can't figure it out! there's too many buttons and switches!

Dash: Well do something! She's dying in there!!

Kevin: All right, just stand back! I'm going to overload it!

*Kevin channels his own electricity into the machine. The resulting surge causes a warning siren to go off repeatedly. Dash exits the room just before the machinery explodes, shattering the pod's viewport. The room slowly fills up with the gas from the pod, as Kevin grabs Twilight and carries her to safety*

Dash: Twilight!!

Twilight: *Awakens* What is... Augh!! Help, I-

Kevin: Don't worry, you're safe now.

Twilight: Oh... thank you.

Dash: Tell us what happened before you passed out.

Twilight: Esco wanted to talk to me, so I came here. I thought he was going to apologize for the recent incidents, but instead he locked me in here and turned on the gas... I'm sorry, I was being too naive for my own good.

Kevin: Don't worry. We're going to go find Esco and pay him a little visit. Why don't you stay here and-

Twilight: No. I want to come too. I've been too kind to him. I want to show him how angry I can be.

Kevin: Well, all right. Come with us. Something tells me he's right outside...


Kevin: Yep. Definitely outside. Let's go!

*Meanwhile, back outside, Esco and Liussano, with the help of the other SPs, continue to pummel Akkan from all sides with powerful strikes. Each successive blow causes black cracks to appear on Akkan's body, as if he was made of a hardened clay shell concealing an inky interior. Black smoke escapes through the crevasses, giving Akkan the appearance of a smoking wraith.*

Liussano: What's wrong? You see now that your power has no influence in these lands?

Akkan: ... Heheheheheh.

Esco: What's so funny?

Akkan: You are all clueless... Let me tell you more about my conquest of Hell.

Metal: Oh, this is going to be entertaining. *Takes out a box of an assortment of IEDs and starts munching on them like popcorn*

*Akkan lifts a pillar of rock up, smashing into Siro as he teleports behind Akkan, knocking him out cold. Akkan flares up, releasing a wave of heat along with more black smoke, forcing the others to keep their distance.*

Akkan: As I was saying, I was strong. I quickly adapted to the new realm, and rose above the other demons at a much faster rate. Eventually, I got the attention of even the Crimson Heiress, the Supreme Demoness. I was appointed as the Head of the Pillar of War, giving myself the rule over a vast proportion of the cursed population. I set out on many conquests, the Heiress granting us the means of inter-dimensional travel necessary to do so. But this realm... this realm was different than the others.

*Akkan looks over to Metal for a moment*

*Metal eerily laughs for a moment before Akkan speaks*

Akkan: I decided to have some fun this time around. *Smirks*

Esco: What do you mean? You call this dis-respectable showcase of puppetry your idea of fun?

Akkan: No, this is only a part of it. I'm sure you know of a man named Polemikos Leukos.

SPs: !!

Akkan: I am the madness that lurked within him, in the same way that I am the madness that lurks within you, Esco.

Esco: Wait, that means he was speaking lies this whole time!

Akkan: No. Everything he said was true, to an extent. Some things were stretched a little bit to make things appear more immanent than they actually are. You see, I used this fine young man as a vessel. A vessel that was to set into motion the systematic destruction of all civilization in Revanda. It's so much more fun to turn allies against each other than it is to conquer them outright.

Digi: You... You were responsible for everything!?

Akkan: Not everything. You can attribute all of that to-

???: EscoOO!!

Akkan: Ah, perfect timing.

*Enter Kevin, Dash, and Twilight. Kevin and Dash appear to be seething with rage, while Twilight creates an air of coldness around her.*

Kevin: You... You are going too far, dammit! What happened to the Protection of Sanity!? You have spiraled too far into this deranged fantasy world you created, and for that I... I can't allow you to continue on like this!

Metal: Clearly, Esco has joined the much more interesting INSANITY SIDE. It's 20% cooler over here.

Dash: *Cringes at Metal's abuse of her catchphrase* Kevin told me everything you said to him in your secret little meetings, Esco. All the ramblings. All the Leukos AAAA. Esco, I've done some digging with Twilight and we found that the last major war in Revanda was nearly 300 years ago. There's no sign of any more battles in the future-

Akkan: Ah, wait right there! Did he also tell you about what's currently happening in the Leukos population right now? They're arming themselves.

*Akkan turns back towards Esco*

Akkan: You see, because of your actions, it is the Leukos who are initiating the new conflict, not the Dragons. Because of their weakened state, it's also entirely possible that the Dragons will be unable to withstand the attack!

Esco/Kevin/Dash: WHAT!?

Twilight: . . .

*Camera pans to Metal and Digi*

Metal: *Looking to Digi* So, Digi. Maybe we should go eat ice cream. I think this exposition might take a while.

Digi: He just revealed a shocking revelation that may doom the world!

Metal: Actually, I'd be more shocked if it didn't. The scariest thing in the world to me is the world being at perfect peace.

Digi: ...

*Camera pans back to Akkan*

Akkan: That's right. Because of your idiocy, you just damned their entire race of light beings to an eternal torment in the depths of the Hell of my creation!

Metal: Awesome, sicknasty burn!

Light Bear: Must you riff everything, boss?

Metal: *Slaps Light Bear across the face with a suddenly appearing guitar, causing a guitar riff* YES!

Esco: T-that's not... I...

Akkan: That's not even the best part! The Dragons will most likely launch an all-out offensive in desperation, taking out this fine city in the process.

Kevin: Dammit!

Akkan: It greatly benefits me as well, as I get to take out two birds with one stone. Not only will I get to conquer this realm, but I will also take out a particular traitorous trinity of mine!

Metal: Interesting plan. Ultimately flawed and will end in your hilarious defeat, but interesting. Especially since you foolishly told us your plan ahead of time.

Akkan: Silence, you! As I was saying, you may recognize these three as the Monochrome Dragons...

*The others are speechless. Akkan continues.*

Akkan: White, Black, and Silver. Three of my strongest generals. I sent them to conquer this realm, but they never reported back. What do you know, they settled down and claimed the realm for themselves! The selfish bastards! They took some of my prized demons too. My own personal tormentors, several defeated rivals, and all of the Black Seal victims... Ah, but that's all right. I can just reclaim them all!

Pat: So let me get this straight. The Leukos world was invaded by dragons from an alternate dimension as part of some realm-spanning conquest, and you were the one responsible for all this?

Akkan: Correct.

Kevin: Wait, but if Esco's clanmates were turned into demons and forced into this army as a result of the forbidden technique, then that means... that means...

Akkan: Yes.

*Akkan suddenly jerks his head downwards slightly, staring straight up into Esco's eyes with the most wicked expression he can conjure up.*


*Esco turns around. Standing right behind him is a petrified Twilight.*

Esco: I'm sorry... Xaless...

*Esco collapses. His inner demon kicks in again, paralyzing him. Akkan reaches out as the skin on his palm peels back, revealing a blackness that stretches on to infinity. He thrusts forwards, and a column of spiraling blackness gushes out of the gaping hole, straight towards Twilight. Suddenly, a flash appears from the side. A cry of anguish ripples throughout the Stadium as Master Kazan falls to the earth, newly created seal coiling about his body.*

Master Kazan: (Liussano... The Kazan Clan must live on... through you and Deisedarah...)

Liussano: Master!!

Master Kazan: *whispers to himself* (I am sorry brother... I could not live up to your legacy... )

*Master Kazan is absorbed into the ground.*

Akkan: What a pleasant surprise! This will make a nice addition for sure!

Esco: *Weakly* Everything I've stood for... I promised myself I would not allow my comrades to die, new or old. I abandoned my clan, and they all died. I abandoned my own sanity, and now everyone else is going to die as well. I have completely failed in my ultimate mission... I do not deserve to exist in this world anymore. May I be consumed by my inner darkness!

*Esco's flames turn black as the Nightmarish form takes over once more. The blackened wing emerges from his back, but it continues to thrash around. The opening on his back grows larger as a shadowy figure emerges. Extending its wings fully, the draconian wraith gives a brief moment to enjoy its freedom before taking off for Smashtopia, leaving behind an empty husk of a body.*

Pat: *Looking at Esco's remains* Oh God. *Watches the dragon as it approaches the city* OH GOD. We have to do something or he's going to blow everything up!

Kevin: *Snaps out of his trance* Yes! You and me! We go stop it! Now! *Breaks out into a mad dash towards the city*

Pat: Digi, I need you-

Digi: Pat, go with Kevin. We still have to deal with this Akkan guy. I'll catch up when we're done kicking his butt.

Pat: You better! I don't think I could handle you dying again! Remember that time on Alsa-

Digi: We agreed not to talk about that! Now get going! I don't think Kevin has the power to deal with it on his own!

Pat: Right! *Sprints after Kevin*

Light Bear: For AAAA's sake, Esco... *Turns to Digi* Let me join you. It appears that I yet must vent.

Digi: Sure thing.

Dash: Well? What do you want to do?

Twilight: *Overcome with feelings of fear, sadness, and shock*

Dash: *sighs sadly* Damn, you're a mess...Why couldn't I have taken the blow instead of you! *snaps back into confidence suddenly* time for think about that now. Twilight...right're coming with me! *Picks up Twilight and flies towards the city*

Metal: *Steps between Digi and Light* All right, it's time for me to hilariously screw up this baddy's plans by singing opera while eating plates.

Liussano: Akkan, you son of a AAAA. I will kill you personally!

Akkan: I will make you eat those words, "Legendary Hero". *Staring down Digi, Light, Liussano and Metal* Let us continue, shall we?

Metal: *Inserts a coin to continue into thin air for no reason*

*Meanwhile, in the Leukos Province, Seraphis Stratos watches as the roaring black death approaches the city from his rooftop*

Seraphis Stratos: So it has begun. The next Great War between Leukos and Demons. This time, we are prepared. *Turns around and looks down upon a crowd of hundreds of Leukos men* TODAY, THE FIGHT COMMENCES!! EVERYONE TO ARMS!!