"Sejren, are you autistic or something!?" Kaguya screeched at the purple-haired young woman; who merely turned around, blinking in confusion.
"....Ehhh!? Whaddya mean?" Tsuruko was genuinely confused.
"...What's the blonde carpet-muncher!? How did we forget that stupid bitch!?" Kaguya snapped at Tsuruko—who had actually got Rosa's number, but she had immediately forgotten it afterwards. "Gahh, now we need to go and find her!"
Deen snarked from afar, "You know, if you had just asked Rosa for her phone number then this'd be easier..."
Giselle let out an irked sigh over the communicators. "...Agh. Look, as your commanding officer and the only one not deployed on the field, I'll be the one to find her." With a snap of her fingers, Giselle Mercury had transported down before the group in Hargeon—slicking back her lavender hair, she tapped Tsuruko on the shoulder, before giving the young woman her labcoat.
"Here, take this. Don't make such a fool of yourself in public." Though her words were sharp, Giselle Mercury had quite a valid point in all of this.
Gary was surprised by their commander taking the lead in the search. "...Honestly, why are you here? I remember you saying you're not a fighting type of person..."
Giselle confirmed, "That's right, combat is not my expertise. However, I'm good at finding things. Now, you four, you return back to La Pucelle. I've got this."
Listening to her words, Kaguya, and Deen packed their things as they began to leave. Excellen, however—had completely disappeared from sight.
Tsuruko Sejren was left along with Gary Straights, who scratched his head, still embarrassed about that little slip-up from earlier. "Say, Tsuruko...Don't you think we should go and help boss?"
Tsuruko immediately nodded; "...Where should we begin?"
"I honestly don't know, but we'll follow the bonds between our hearts. A long time ago, an old friend of mine told me that." Gary smiled at her as he tousled her hair—just those words caused an all too familiar memory to be brought up from the recesses of her mind.
"Birdy, my mum mentioned that it doesn't matter even if you can't get 100 friends once you graduate to your next class, you must find a real friend that you can treasure with the feelings of 100 people. Once you get this true friend that you can view as more important than anyone else, your future will be bright."
Gary's words were strikingly similar to that of the silver-haired boy's; touching her heart.
Walking through the streets of Hargeon, Rosa Dimaggio held her hands in her pockets, looking down at the ground, sighing. While she'd gotten the call from Giselle to return to La Pucelle, there was something very, very important she had to do. Rolling up one of her sleeves, Rosa looked at the cybernetic communicator on her wrist, which was beeping erratically. The message, "come to the docks" rang incessantly through the wrist-attachment, causing her to pick up the pace.
Rosa looked around, sensing a rather...ominous presence. Something was definitely wrong. There was a completely unnatural feel to the whole dock. There was a pretty blue sky and green grass, and birds were flying peacefully... "...Wait. Why are the birds repeatedly flying in a circle over and over." The hazy distorted noise in the distance was even scarier.
In front of her, out of a swirling mass of blackness, a solitary and intimidating figure appeared; "Guoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!" The sound—a roar, which shook the whole white field comes out from the mouth of the thing. What appeared in front of her was a humanoid abomination with darkish scales which was standing on two legs. Maybe it was more accurate to say that it was a giant which has the features of a demon. A form which is close to a human. But it had wings, a tail, and its head was completely that of a demon.
It was very demonic; with a touch of heroic; following a rather unique blend of cyborg and samurai; more like animated armour which appeared mostly in whites and blacks. It possessed a golden belt wrapped around its waist with an emerald gem—the white armour was centered around its upper body, focusing in spiked pauldrons upon its shoulders and ending in twin drapes extending from its hips on both sides. The gauntlets it was clad in were jagged at the ends, and covered its hands with brown gloves. For face protection, it wore a white helmet that had black markings which were cut in black from the chin to the forehead, curving around like a "V"—there was the decal of a golden eagle upon the center of its helmet, and finally, there was a fin-esque protrusion extending from the back of its head.
Rosa was speechless at the sudden appearance of the demon. The quality of the aura around its body was very ominous. It had a black aura where one could see its evilness from just one look. The ground was crumbling and shattering underneath her feet—darkness crept towards her at an alarming rate—there was naught she could do about it; however, the figure possessed no hostile intentions. "I have come for you, my liege." The armoured man declared; as the mouth zipper that he possessed opened up—Rosa remained perfectly calm, as she allowed the demon to continue to speak.
"It truly is troubling. How you're slowly getting attached to them." His words resonated strongly with the gold-haired youth.
"Silence, you fool. They're nothing but pawns in this grant game of chess. Once I've drawn the tyrant out I'll dispose of them like ants under my foot." Rosa had a rather smug grin on her face.
"...But what about the one known as Tsuruko Sejren?" Now, this statement shook Rosa up—her eyes going blank momentarily. Rosa didn't give a damn about the people in that facility, but she had managed to put her past life behind her. But she did care, and deeply, about the purple-haired girl whom she had bumped into on her first day. She was wondering, how often a human being could assume a role before the role itself became the reality, before she became the golem of her own creation.
"If you have so many aliases, what does your true face look like?" The words were like a machinegun—piercing her heart every few seconds. It seemed that the demon in front of her was tearing into her and making her even doubt herself.
"...Silence. I've had enough of your snide words. Get on with it—what do you want from me?" Rosa was obviously irritated by now; just wanting him to leave immediately.
"...Your plans, they're bearing fruit." The demon seemed oddly satisfied with his statement.
"....The Impact? Oh, that. Soon, that'll draw that bastard out where I can pay him back with my own two hands." Rosa's words seemed...rather troubled.
Paying close attention to Rosa's expressions and inflection, the demon finished off the short conversation with the words, "...That is all. I am sorry for troubling you milady." Naturally, his tone had a bit of sarcasm in it that was nigh-undetectable. "...For our pure and blue world!" The demon tapped his heart twice with his right hand, ending contact with Rosa.
As be began to leave, the demon sensed an unusual presence—no, something very, very familiar. His blood began to boil; underneath his calm composure spurted an immense rage. "...Milady. I'd suggest you leave straight away; a dangerous foe is approaching."
Rosa just put her head down and walked off, paying no attention to the demon's words. "...Sure, whatever." This talk had revealed a lot about Rosa Dimaggio...to herself.
"...There you are, my other half!" The demon roared out; standing on top of a streetlight in the bright of day was a certain familiar figure who called down,
"Gotcha. You're another obstacle in my way." This figure was majestic; clothed in white robes which have golden linings; covering their upper body in a glowing mantle that draped their shoulders. Their attire otherwise consisted of a white trenchcoat, white baggy pants, as well as white, pointed, elf-esque boots. They wore black gloves, and their face was concealed by a draconic-looking orange mask, which was covered by a hood.
The mysterious Being Who Is One With The Skies...the Phoenix Knight had descended from the heavens once more, ready to deal justice.
"It's been...four hundred years, hasn't it, my sibling?" The demon taunted; underneath the mask, the Phoenix Knight was obviously rather irked at being compared to this demon.
"...Too many years. Now, what name to do you go by after all these years? Though...I doubt your imagination would have improved." The Phoenix Knight snarked, his magical aura flaring. "That does remind me...you didn't receive my curse. How are you still alive and kicking? You're like a damn cockroach."
"Revenge is the prime ingredient in the fountain of youth. I've kept myself alive for hundreds of years with a steady diet of jealousy and hate, awaiting the day when I would finally eclipse your reputation." Driven by envy, the demon shouted, "Now, I'll have my revenge upon you for the millennia I've wasted in this cybernetic body! I am superior...no, Equilibrium Warrior Enerjak is superior."
A few moments passed, as underneath that orange mask, a smile erupted. "....Seriously, "Enerjak"? What a preposterous name....making up a word out of nowhere...that is just foolish."
"....Silence! I will not have a bird with clipped wings tarnishing my name, the name of the Knight of Balance and Harmony!" Enerjak...was...furious. A maelstrom of flame erupted from his body; his magical aura.
Rather surprisingly, the Phoenix Knight went off on a tirade, "Now, let's see what I can get from that stupid name. Jumping-jak. Ener-tube. Flap-jak. Ener-state."
Enerjak screeched at the Phoenix Knight, "ARE YOU QUITE FINISHED!?" While cool at all times, the Phoenix Knight managed to tick the demon off something fierce.
"Naw. Ener-jak-in-the-box is good one!"
"..." The demon's eyes shone a menacing scarlt.
"And come to think of it..."Enerjak" sounds like some kind of sports drink. Now I'm finished." The Phoenix Knight was being smug about the whole thing—as Enerjak snapped,
"Shut up! The thing is, there is the strong me, and there is the strong you. Then, let's start killing each other!" It lowered its posture once again, and the demon was now set on killing his other half...however, deep inside, for some reason...it pained him to do so; and he couldn't understand why.
Two words could be heard from underneath the Phoenix Knight's mask.
The Phoenix Knight spread his phoenix wings, and shot forward at the speed of light—launching ahead at an overwhelming velocity. However, the sword of Enerjak was sent flying at his lithe frame.
The Phoenix Knight could feel an aura which seemed like it would crush him down if he was struck by it—of course, he changed his direction in the air, evading his blow. Despite his size, he was incredibly powerful.
The Phoenix Knight gathered and converged energy within his sword; compressing it to its utmost limit. There, at the point of ultimate compactness, he declared, "Shining...Onslaught!" The Phoenix Knight released a cross-shaped blast of light towards Enerjak's face with incredible force—the demon was thrown back and was about to topple over, but he managed to stay on his foot. At the same time the Phoenix Knight managed to land on the ground, stepping back.
The demon, who was punched in his face from the front, stroked his cheek. "...The hell was that? Come on, now." He seemed as if nothing happened. The only change was that there is a bit of his blue coloured blood dripping from his mouth. The demon leapt forward, swiftly—so much that it didn't seem like he was enormous at all. He shortened the distance between him and the Phoenix Knight immediately, and slashed down with his claws.
The Phoenix flew and dodged it at high-speed, and shouted, "Broken Phantom!" The upper right arm of his armour spun clockwise at high speed while the Phoenix Knight's fist spun counterclockwise, which he then aimed and launched at the demon, slamming his fist into his face as a counter, managing to send the demon blasting away, careening across the empty streets.
"Murus Ignis!" Enerjak created a trifecta of flames from his fingers, which launched towards the Phoenix Knight; mid-flight, they morphed into a huge wall of fire, threatening to engulf the Phoenix Knight in his entirety.
The Phoenix Knight dodged them by spreading his wings and moving to the sides—but the demon, who had moved to that spot out of nowhere was present. The Murus Ignis was a bluff; however, the Phoenix Knight shot towards Enerjak at light-speed once more, throwing a powerful punch in his direction. Enerjak managed to evade swiftly, swinging his massive arm towards the Phoenix Knight once more.
"Kokugenei!" The Phoenix Knight leapt forward with a *BOOM!* in fact; it wasn't regular movement, he in fact hopped up and down, dragging out the noise so that the sound of his feet tapping on the ground wasn't heard until after his feet had left the floor again. Once the sound lag is at its fullest, the Phoenix Knight leapt forward like a bullet, producing a sonic boom that destroyed everything in front of and behind himself, propelling himself towards the demon at inconceivable speeds.
It seemed as if the Phoenix Knight was a meteor descending to earth in the attempt to strike his foe; this small impact managed to knock Enerjak away, giving the Phoenix Knight a chance to leap back. Immediately after, the Phoenix Knight howled; nailing another punch in the direction of the demon, who managed to catch it in his own fist. Enerjak thrust his free hand into the sky, emitting a crimson flash of light that called forth an epic hail of scarlet lances of energy, all bombarding the Phoenix Knight simultaneously.
Enerjak then thrust his energy-imbued fist towards the Phoenix Knight's face; who effortlessly caught it while energizing his hand with the element of light. The dual forces; light and darkness, mashed and collided, causing an unusual phenomena that illuminated Hargeon with its radiance.
The Phoenix Knight declared, "Prepare to vanish." Using his boast as a distraction, the Phoenix Knight managed to push the demon away momentarily; immediately after, he unleashed a powerful roundhouse kick to knock him back even further, though Enerjak leapt back, avoiding his next blow. Suddenly, the Phoenix Knight gathered all of his energy into his left gauntlet.
"Murus Ignis!" Enerjak repeatedly released the fireballs towards him; once more, there were a trio of flames.
The Phoenix Knight dodged the first shot in the air, and he evaded the second one by flying in a low altitude closely to the ground. The third one—
"I'm right here." Enerjak appeared before the third shot moved towards the Phoenix Knight, flying above his foe. He also released flames from above him; a perfect wide-ranged attack while the third shot of the fireball which he released was about to strike him from the front.
The Phoenix Knight put strength into his sword swing, and released another Shining Onslaught. It seemed that he would have to fly into the flames from above. So, he steeled his resolve. After the Shining Onslaught cancelled the fireball which shot from the front, the Phoenix Knight ascended to the heavens, leaping into the flames above him fearlessly.
"Rakka..." The Phoenix Knight compressed the light energy, before punching Enerjak at full force with the charged energy, nailing his fist into his stomach. "Rouzeki!" Upon the moment of impact, the Phoenix Knight released the light, which let out a blinding flash the moment it touched Enerjak. A low-ditch sound came from the Phoenix Knight's heavy blow. That blow created a sound of collision which echoed throughout the field.
Enerjak directly coughed a lot of blue blood from his mouth while falling on the ground. The whole city shook by the impact of having the demonic body fall. The Phoenix Knight looked at his foe pitifully; snarking, "You just got...jacked."
——However, Enerjak began to stand up. After taking a breath, he spat his blood on the ground, and then moved his neck while making noise, giving an evil smile to the Phoenix Knight, who just scowled at him.
The Phoenix Knight merely sighed—as he suddenly realized something; something that changed his expression to dread. "...Those punches...that swordsmanship...!" He suddenly understood, as Enerjak's helmet shattered— revealing a young man who had short, black hair that spread out to his right, framing his eyes, which were also black in colouration.
"...Zanma Zaitsuhara...the legendary samurai from the Warring States Period of Joya..."
Enerjak's cackled insanely. "...I'm just an armour! My body long gone—I'm a cybernetic mesh of biological skin and cold, hard steel. Oh, that's right. What's with that face? Are you upset...Didn't you and Zanma have a thing going on, girlie?"
The Phoenix Knight snarled under her(?) mask, "You son of a bitch!"
"Zanma didn't die at all, oh, no siree. I was controlling him the whole time! I was able to take control of his mind when it was fuelled by rage when you seemingly fell in battle 400 years ago...And I trapped him inside of me, so that one day, I could take the power of the Majin for myself!" Enerjak gloated, managing to push the Phoenix Knight's buttons.
"No..." Zanma's deep voice could be heard from the armour; like he had just seen the dawn, he was exhausted.
"....That's right! The legendary hero became the evil enforcer!" Enerjak taunted him, as Zanma's anger peaked—however, surprisingly, the armour completely faded, as Enerjak scattered to the winds, leaving her with the words, "...I will rise and rise again. I will never cease my pursuit of your gift! I...still...FUNCTION! You'll never know when I will attack again, my archenemy. For our pure and blue world!"
The Phoenix Knight just relaxed, catching the unconscious Zanma Zaitsuhara in her(?) arms and smiling gently underneath that orange mask. "...It's good to have you back, y'know?"