It had been five days since Sadtrist's attack on Girasol and people were still repairing the city. Cue was still inside beating himself up for losing Sadtrist.
"Hey where's Cue?" Dahlia asked Renyen
"He's at his house. He's still upset after letting a lead to Arkaeus slip through his fingers. He might need a friendly face," Renyen theorized
"Okay. I'll go over and cheer him up," Dahlia decided.
Dahlia then spedily ran away.
"Cue! Cue it's me, Dahlia!" Dahlia called out as she knocked on Cue's door.
"Go away Dahlia!" Cue yelled from inside.
"That's it," Dahlia said storming into Cue's house.
"Get up," Dahlia told Cue pulling the covers off of him.
"What are you doing!?" Cue asked angrily.
"What happened wasn't your fault Cue. You don't have to fight alone," Dahlia told him
"Arkaeus is my responsibility!!!" Cue yelled
Dahlia then slapped him across the face.
"What was th-" Cue stopped as he saw that Dahlia's eyes welling up.
"Why! Why can't you trust us to help you? After all we've been through together!!?" Dahlia cried
"You're right. I'm done feeling sorry for myself. I'm sorry I couldn't keep the promise I made when we met. I said I would never make you cry like you did when you lost your parents," Cue told her as he stood up.
"It's okay," Dahlia said as she dried her eyes.
A new mission
A week had passed and repairs had finally finished.
Cue was looking at the S-Rank request board trying to find a job worthy of his time. Cue's eyes then fell on a particular poster. The job was 'Defend our Archaeology Dig', the reward was 28,000,000 Jewel.
"Why so high?" Cue pondered
"Hey old man, I'll take this one Cue said giving the poster to Marco.
"You're leaving? Can I come?" Dahlia asked Cue.
"Uhh.. I guess so," Cue said feeling ambushed.
"Great let us move out," Hotaru suddenly invited himself.
"Hey wait, Hotaru what are you coming for?" Cue asked
"Sounds like fun," Hotaru replied.
"Alrighty. Let's go!!!" Dahlia suddenly said walking off.
"Hey um Dahlia. The docks are that way." Cue told her.
The Legendary Sword
As Cue's group arrived at the site a man came up to meet with them.
"Hello there, are you the mages from Watcher Eye," he asked
"Righty-o!" Dahlia said
"Okay. Welcome. I am Furui, the Head Archaeologist at this site," Furui introduced himself.
"Hello there, my name is Cue and this is Dahlia," Cue introduced.
"And this is... Where'd he go!!?" Cue tried to introduce Hotaru, but found he had disappeared.
"Oh there he is." Cue said pointing over towards a rock that Hotaru was trying to hide behind.
"Hotaru Jullenelle. Do you have that 10,000 Jewel you owe me?" Furui asked.
"He he, Not yet friend." Hotaru replied.
"Too bad." Furui said
"Anyway, why do you need protection for an archaeology site?" Cue asked.
"Ah, that is the right question Mister Cue. We are excavating are very special site. Legends say that long ago, the gods gifted a mage named Susa a sword with untold power. After a while Susa died and his descendants sealed the sword away on a far away island. Based in my research I believe this island to be the resting place of Kushinada. The reason we need protection is because that a number of undesirable people would like to use Kushinada to further their own nefarious ends. Your presence is simply a precaution." Furui explained
"Do you think us fools, Furui?" Hotaru asked
"Only you, Hotaru," Furui answered.
"That cut me deep, Furui," Hotaru said holding his hand over his heart.
"Clever quips aside. You probably wouldn't offer such a large reward if you didn't already have someone attacking you. So, do you want to rephrase your previous statement." Hotaru said being serious again.
"Very well. You are right. A short while ago, the dark guild Revolution Spire caught wind of our search for the Kushinada sword. They have taken over this site and treat us like slaves. Any who try and resist them are instantly executed." Furui told them as he led them through the site.
"Revolution Spire? I have heard of them. They seek to overthrow the Balam Alliance and take control of the entire criminal underworld. They have accumulated a lot of power taking over smaller dark guilds." Hotaru explained
"Then this will be problematic," Cue said.
The Five Pillars
Meanwhile of the shore of the island a Revolution Spire ship was being boarded by six people from a larger battleship. As the six walked up the deck all the lesser members bowed respectfully.
"Are they?" one the lesser members whispered to another near him fearfully.
"Yeah. Those five are the Five Pillars of the Spire and that sixth man is the guildmaster, Evlite Dullahan," the other member answered equally as fearful.
"Status report," Evlite commanded a the commander of the ship as he sat down in the commander's chair.
"O-of course, master. The archaeologists still have yet to find the sword, but it appears that someone has arrived on the island," the commander reported.
"Really. Have they been identified?" Lucien asked
"Well, not-" The commander was cut short as Ilygad stabbed him in the back killing him.
"Failure is not tolerated," Ilygad told the commander as he removed his sword.
"Talos access the surveillance network," Aoki ordered.
"Understood" Talos complied as he laid his hand over a surveillance lacrima.
"Downloading. Downloading. Download Complete. I have located the intruders," Talos said as his eyes lit up and he projected footage of Cue's group talking with Furui.
"Who are they?" Aoki asked
"Who cares! Let's just go kill them," Squalo shouted
"Simmer down Squalo. I would recognize that boy anywhere. Marco's boy, Cue," Evlite told the others
"Marco? So their flies from Watcher Eye," Aoki reasoned.
"It would appear so. However, their group is quite a problem. There are five of us and only three of them. How will ever decide who will fight them," Lucien said.
"Six," Evlite corrected Lucien
"Excuse me, Master," Lucien said confused
"The Kushinada is on this island. Those fools from Watcher Eye are obviously here to stop the sword from falling into our hands. I can not allow that to happen, therefore I shall join this battle," Evlite said as he stood up.
"This gonna be fun," Squalo said.
"Message received. A hidden chamber has been located. The sword must be nearby," Talos reported.
"Excellent," Evlite said.
Descent into the ruins
"Mr. Furui! We've found an entrance!!" One of the archaeologists called to Furui and the others showing them an entrance leading down into some ruins.
"We should enter," Hotaru suggested.
"Right. Revolution Spire wants that sword, so we need to get to it first," Cue said
"Okey-dokey, Let's go," Dahlia said leading the charge.
Meanwhile further in the ruins Talos had found that Cue's group had entered the ruins.
"We have company," Talos told the others.
"He he, time to get to work," Squalo said excitedly
"Lucien! Talos! You two will stay behind and greet our 'guests'" Evlite ordered as he and the others continued.
"Yes master," Lucien and Talos said simultaneously.
Cue and the others entered a large room in the ruins.
"Something's not right here. It's been way too quiet ever since we entered the ruins," Cue said
"Agreed, we're not alone," Hotaru said
"It seems I've been detected, Thorny Blast!" Lucien shouted firing a barrage of thorns at Cue and the others.
"Ten Diamond Block," Hotaru quickly held up a Ten of Diamonds summoning a red diamond wall protecting them from the thorn barrage.
"Not bad," Lucien smirked
"Allow me to introduce myself. I am Lucien Rose, one of the Five Pillars of the Spire. Revolution Spire's greatest mages," Lucien said bowing.
"Leave this guy to me," Dahlia told the others as she walked forward.
"What? No way," Cue said
"Look, you guys don't have time to stand around. These guys are getting closer to that sword so get after them, Now!!" Dahlia shouted pointing to the entrance to a passage that Lucien was above.
"Alright," Cue said as he and Hotaru made a break for it.
"Where do you think you're going. Rosen Storm!!!" Lucien then jumped off his perch and summoned forth a powerful tornado that also scattered rose petals everywhere that flew towards Cue and Hotaru.
"Pollenado!" Dahlia created an equally powerful tornado that blocked Lucien's attack allowing Cue and Hotaru to escape.
"Oh well. I'll get them after I'm done with you, cherie," Lucien said
"Whatever, Boxer Plant," Dahlia then summoned several vines with boxing gloves that then attacked Lucien.
"Not bad,cherie," Lucien said effortlessly dodging the attacks and then backflipping back to the upper tier of the room.
"I see you are also a plant mage, cherie. Allow me to show you what a real plant mage is capable of. Thorny Vine!" Lucien caused vines with several thorns to appear entangling Dahlia, the thorns digging into her skin.
"Come out...King Rafflesia!!!" Dahlia shouted through the pain of the thorns.
A gigantic flower with a gaping hole for a mouth then grew ou of the gorund and proceeded to bite through the vines freeing Dahlia.
"Take this, Funky Fungi," Suddenly small mushrooms began sprouting all over Lucien's body.
"Wh-what's happening!?" Lucien said as his surrondings began to collapse.
"Not so fast, Rosen Storm!!!" Lucien then summoned another tornado around himself which inflicted a large amount of damage on himself, but the force also removed the mushrooms cancelling his hallucination.
"Exquisite, cherie. But not good enough to defeat me," Lucien gasped the force of his attack clearly having an effect on him.
"Don't act tough. You're beaten," Dahlia told him.
"Do not be so naive, cherie. White Rose," A large white rose then sprouted up next to Lucien and then released a large amount of energy healing all of Lucien's wounds.
"No way," Dahlia said stepping back.
"Indeed cherie. I have grown tired of this," Lucien said pulling out a red lacrima.
"The master gave me this special lacrima for just such an occasion." Lucien told Dahlia throwing the lacrima up.
"Inferno Lacrima release!!" The lacrima then shattered releasing a large amount of flames that swirled around the ceiling before flying spreading across the room. King Rafflesia was instantly incinerated by the flames while Dahlia narrowly dodged them.
"Now cherie, these flames are quite problematic for plant mages such as ourselves," Lucien said dodging the blaze.
"What kind of person weakens themselves!?" Dahlia asked
"The kind who is a better plant mage than you, cherie. Come forth Dark Roses," Three large black roses then sprouted up around Lucien. The surronding flames were then drawn towards the roses which then absorbed them.
"Ha ha. Time to end this, cherie. Dark Rose: Flamme Vulcain," The roses then shot out a barrage a flaming bullets at Dahlia.
Dahlia barely avoided the attacks as well as the flames still swirling.
"Give up, cherie." Lucien told her
As Lucien bombarded Dahlia while she barely kept away from the flames she tried to formulate a plan.
"That's it," Dahlia finally said after coming up with a plan.
Dahlia then backflipped up to the upper tier of the room avoiding the attacks and flames "You're right. It's time to end this. Pollenado!!!!"
"Rosen Storm!" Lucien blocked Dahlia's attack with his own tornado. The powerful winds then swept up the flames sending them towards Lucien.
"Not a bad idea, cherie, but fire cannot hurt me," Lucien said triumphantly as his Dark Roses absorbed the fire.
"What!" Lucien said as his arm changed into a tree branch
"What is happening!!?" Lucien yelled hysterically
"The mushrooms! Rosen Storm!!" Lucien again ripped the mushrooms off him using his tornado.
"Too bad for you, cherie. White Rose!" Lucien tried to make another White Rose to heal himself, but it almost immediately burst into flames
"What!?" Lucien said weakly
"You didn't notice did you? With that last attack you ripped out your Roses," Dahlia told him cartwheeling away from the fire.
"He he he. You may beat me cherie, but your friends will soon meet Talos. And trust me you would sooner have had them face me," Lucien told her before collapsing and being consumed by the flames.
"Alrighty. Time to..." Dahlia begun to say before she also collapsed from exhaustion.
"Cue..." Dahlia gasped as she blacked out.
The Unmoving Sentinel, Talos!
Cue and Hotaru had just navigated their through the ruins to another large room when Cue felt something was wrong.
"Dahlia!" Cue said as he turned to run back the way he came
"Stop!" Hotaru yelled as he grabbed him
"Let me go! Something's wrong with Dahlia!!" Cue yelled struggling to get away.
"You must care greatly for this friend of yours," A voice suddenly said from behind them.
"Who are you?" Cue said as Hotaru let him go.
"I am Talos. One of the Five Pillars of the Spire," Talos answered
"What is he?" Hotaru asked bewildered
"Doesn't matter," Cue said drawing his sword.
"Please don't resist. I don't want you to suffer. Program 1: Fire," A magic seal then appeared above Cue and Hotaru which then rained fire down on the both of them.
Cue and Hotaru instantly dodged the flames, splitting up to attack Talos from both sides.
"Buso Eden," Cue blasted Talos back into the wall.
"55 Club Crush," Hotaru then used his cards to aim a blast which caused the wall to collapse onto Talos.
"Stay sharp, it's not over yet." Cue told Hotaru.
"Program 4: Wind," Talos then created a powerful wind attack to freed him from the rubble.
"Please stop fighting. I do not wish to kill you, but I must. Cyclone Slash," Talos then spun at incredible speed towards Cue. Cue was barely able to block Talos' attack with his sword.
Cue mustered a great amount of his strength and forced Talos back.
"This guy's something else," Cue panted.
"Cryfder!" Juyo then appeared and delivered a powerful punch to Talos knocking him back.
"Juyo, what are you doing here?" Cue asked suprised.
"The master heard that some bigshot dark guild was here so he sent me and Eiren as back up. Oh, and don't worry about Dahlia. Eiren's taking care of her," Juyo explained.
"Good, then you two have no reason to stick around," Hotaru said gesturing towards an exit.
"What!?" Juyo said.
"We're wasting time fighting these guys. You have to move on!" Hotaru told them.
"Alright. Come on Juyo," Cue said leading Juyo through the door Hotaru had pointed to.
"Ten Club Crush," Hotaru then threw a Ten of Clubs to the top of the door Cue and Juyo had exited through collapsing the entrance so Talos could not follow them.
"Now that that's out of the way, why don't we wrap this up," Hotaru said drawing another card.
"Thank you for saving your friends from fighting me. I do not like to kill," Talos said gratefully.
"Then why are you with Revolution Spire?" Hotaru asked still keeping his guard up
"I apologize, but I can not reveal my reasons. Double Program: Fire, Wind," Talos then created a double-layered magic seal which then released a swirling vortex of fire towards Hotaru.
"Ten Diamond Block," Hotaru's wall held back the flame spiral briefly, breaking just as Hotaru jumped out of the way.
"Ten Sword," As Hotaru ran at Talos his Ten of Spades became a sword.
Hotaru then jumped backwards while slashing the air. In the path of his slash swords made of energy appeared. The swords then shot towards Talos.
"Program 3: Water," Talos then summoned a wall of water which protected him from the swords. Talos then brought the water down causing Hotaru to be ankle deep in water.
"Program 2: Lightning," Talos then created a magic seal which then caused lightning to travel through the water increasing its power.
"Aaaaaah!" Hotaru screamed in agony.
"This is not over yet, Ten Heart Heal," Hotaru then held up a Ten of Hearts which then released a red light healing Hotaru's wounds
"Time to do this. Summon: Joker," Hotaru's Aces and Joker card then disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Then in another puff of smoke the Joker spirit appeared.
"Hee he he! Morning Hotaru. Tell me do you know why the boy threw his clock out the window?" The Joker jested
"To see time fly. We're in the middle of a battle," Hotaru told the Joker
"Really," The Joker said turning to Talos
"Well then if it's a whoopin' you're a wantin', bring it," The Joker told Talos mockingly.
The Joker then conjured its cane and released a powerful blast of flame on Talos, while Hotaru did more slashes with his sword releasing more energy swords towards Talos.
"Dragon Flame," Talos chanted as he emerged from the blaze creating a giant serpent dragon made out of fire.
"Wo-hoho. That's quite...bad" The Joker said backing away.
"Summon: Royal Straight Defense," Hotaru then used his cards to summon forth a giant armored spirit with gigantic hands.
The spirit then faced its palms to both of its sides creating a giant red dome over itself, Hotaru and The Joker. The dome protected the three from the flames and then repelled them away dispersing them.
"I must end this now. Daedalus Cannon," Talos then fired his ball at the dome protecting Hotaru's group
The ball was repelled off the dome increasing greatly in speed and force. As it bounced off the wall and dome steadily increasing in power cracks began to show on the shield. As it shattered Hotaru and the Joker narrowly dodged the body of the Royal Straight Defense spirit's body as the Daedalus cannon took it down and then proceeded to rebound towards the ceiling.
"Program 4: Wind," Talos then created a magic seal underneath him which released a powerful gust of wind propelling him up allowing him to catch the ball.
'That's odd,' Hotaru thought to himself.
"Alright, time for the final punchline. Battle Mode," The Joker chanted as his body glowed and began to transform.
The Joker then grabbed Talos with both its hands in midair.
"Take this," The Joker then opened his mouth with his tongue turning into a cannon.
"Cyclone Slash," Talos then spun at great speeds forcing the Joker to let go of him causing his cannon shot to miss.
Hotaru then appeared behind Talos and delivered a powerful slash to Talos' back.
"Please stop," Talos told Hotaru
"I can't. You endangered my family." Hotaru said
"Family? I am truly sorry, but to accomplish my dream I must kill you!" Talos said
"Then its time this fight ended. Ultimate Fusion: Black Joker," Hotaru then threw the Black Joker card into the mouth of the Joker.
The Joker then exploded with power changing again to become a slightly taller than normal human jester whose hat was black and white on the right side with its clothes being black and white on the left side.
"Do it," Hotaru told the Joker
"Wo ha ha," The Joker's laughter echoed throughout the room as it used its insane speed to appear to disappear and bombard Talos with numerous blasts of fire.
"Daedalus Cannon," Talos then fired off another shot.
"Now!" Hotaru shouted to the Joker.
"Monotone," The Joker then sent out a wave of energy that drained all the color from the Daedalus sphere and stopped it in midair.
"There you can't move anymore. Can you?" Hotaru asked as the Joker disappeared
"Clever. Finish me now. I can never face him now. My dream is just that." Talos lamented
Hotaru walked past Talos towards another exit, but then stopped and turned around
"You know I used to feel that way. I used to be alone. My family threw me out, but then I found a new family, a true family, at the Watcher Eye guild. Anyway, I best be going," Hotaru told Talos as he turned again to leave.
Continued in The Elite of Revolution Spire