Chapter 83 – Final Chaos

Siyuakén lunged forward, rapidly closing the distance between her and Ikirom as she forced a massive electrical charge down Arcán’s blade. Once she came within five meters of the Morikai, she brought down a powerful lightning strike over his head — only for the strike to redirect to his side as an invisible force flung her backwards. Flipping through the air, she managed to land on her feet and then attempted to land several more electric strikes on Ikirom. Only half of the strikes actually manifested and none of them made contact with the Morikai, who simply observed with a blank expression before a snowstorm whipped up and obscured him from Siyuakén’s vision.

INCOMING, TWELVE O’CLOCK.

The Electrotechnic barely registered Arcán’s mental warning and threw herself to the side just in time for an invisible force to slam into her foot and send her spinning out of control. The pain disappeared after a second as she summoned the Claymore and stabbed it into the ground, bringing her momentum to zero and allowing her to re-orient herself. Damn, I need to be faster—

MORE INCOMING. THREE AND FOUR O’CLOCK!

Siyuakén reacted the moment she heard the first number, lunging forward and releasing a powerful electric blast to clear the snow in the area. Immediately following the blast she was flung upwards by a force from below, sending her tumbling blindly through the blizzard. In an attempt to regain her bearings she fired her grappling hook wildly; on the second shot, the line went taught and she immediately began reeling in the cord before slamming into the ground painfully.

HE IS NOT TAKING YOU SERIOUSLY, Arcán commented within Siyuakén’s mind, BUT I CAN TURN THIS INTO AN ADVANTAGE. THE LONGER WE FIGHT HIM, THE MORE I CAN HELP YOU DIRECTLY COUNTER HIS MANIPULATIONS.

How am I supposed to counter invisible force—?

TEN O’CLOCK!

Siyuakén slammed her foot into the ground and thrust herself backwards as the snow around her swept sideways violently. She quickly released another electrical blast in an attempt to electrify her surroundings and locate Ikirom through his bodily electric currents — but he never gave her the chance to concentrate hard enough to find him.

How can you tell when he’s going to attack? the Electrotechnic questioned as she began running a broad circle around where she thought Ikirom might be.

THE SIMPLE EXPLANATION IS THAT I AM A PRIOR. BUT I AM WORKING ON GRANTING YOU A SIMILAR ABILITY, SO HOLD ON FOR JUST A LITTLE LONGER.

I’m trying—?! Siyuakén’s eyes went wide as Ikirom suddenly appeared through the snow curtain in front of her, swinging the Syn Scythe in front of him. She barely managed to raise her Claymore to block the Scythe’s blade, but the pure force from the blow flung her several tens of meters to the side.

You’ve let to lay a hand on me, Ikirom commented as the surrounding environment spontaneously changed to that of a forest. Need I really handicap myself so heavily to make this a fair fight?

I don’t know what part of this is ‘fair’! Siyuakén scowled as she fired her grappling hook into the branches of a nearby tree and began to swing from branch to branch. At least I’m familiar with forests—! Her thought was cut off as a small splotch of purple appeared in the corner of her eye; a second later she realized it was rapidly approaching and moved to get out of the way — only to find that the tree her hook was attached to had disappeared, leaving her momentarily unable to maneuver.

Ungh—! She took the blow head-on, the splotch revealing itself to be another force from Ikirom. I take it this is what you meant, Arcán?

IT IS. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FORESEE IKIROM’S MANIPULATIONS BY A SPLIT-SECOND, BUT IT IS UP TO YOU TO REACT IN TIME—

As if to drive the Prior’s point home, a tear in space appeared in the air directly above Siyuakén through which Ikirom emerged not even a full second later. He grabbed the Electrotechnic’s arm with his tail, swung her through the air, and then slammed her into the ground; he then prepared to lift her again, but she quickly sliced through his tail with the Claymore, prompting the Morikai Commander to back away, summon the Syn Scythe, and close the distance again. Siyuakén jumped to her feet and began blocking Ikirom’s swings, yet despite the fact that the Morikai was wielding such an awkward weapon as a Scythe, his blows were fast and powerful enough to drive Siyuakén back and force her to go on the defensive.

In an attempt to fight back, the Electrotechnic began forcing a massive current down the blade of the Arcán Claymore. Each time the Claymore connected with the Scythe, sparks exploded from the contact points as the two weapons were blown apart, only for Siyuakén and Ikirom to bring them back together as each combatant continued in their attempts to cut down the other. After several more such blows, Ikirom finally tired of the apparent futility and instead backed away as he prepared a different attack. But Siyuakén immediately lunged forward, crossing the two meters in between herself and Ikirom in the blink of an eye and taking a powerful swing that missed the Morikai but connected with the Syn Scythe, discharging a massive amount of energy and flinging the weapon out of Ikirom’s hands. He immediately altered the environment to that of a barren mountainside and smacked Siyuakén with his tail, sending her flying backwards as she responded with several lightning strikes, all of which were diverted away from Ikirom and toward the Scythe tumbling down the mountainside—

—and caused the blade to shatter into a thousand tiny pieces.

What?! Siyuakén exclaimed in surprise. Wait, Arcán, I thought the Ayas weapons were supposed to be indestructible!

THEY ARE. WHICH MUST MEAN THAT THAT SCYTHE WAS NOT ACTUALLY THE SYN WEAPON — IT WAS MERELY A REPLICA. THERE’S ONLY ONE REASON IKIROM WOULD USE A REPLICA INSTEAD OF THE ORIGINAL—

Now’s not the time for speculation— what in the—?! The Electrotechnic froze in place as Ikirom disappeared from the battlefield and the entire mountain flipped upside-down in an instant, placing the cloudy skies below her and the stone ground above her. She began falling down — or up — and took several seconds to register the situation before snapping her left hand upwards and firing her grappling hook at the stone ceiling.

Arcán…! she muttered warily as she glanced down at the sky, what’s going on?!

IKIROM IS BEGINNING TO TAKE THE BATTLE SERIOUSLY…? NO, THAT ISN’T IT. HE IS STILL TOYING WITH YOU, BUT HE IS DOING MORE THAN SIMPLE INVISIBLE FORCE.

This is toying with me?! Siyuakén scowled, followed by a sharp gasp as the gravity field suddenly shifted and slammed her back into the mountainside. She quickly jumped to her feet, only to stumble and fall to the ground again as she held a hand to her forehead tenderly. What… she muttered again, as she glanced up — or down — at the sky. …I’m on the ground, but… I still feel upside-down, like the sky is still below me? What the hell?…

Do you realize now the power of Realitechnism?

The Electrotechnic leaped to her feet again, this time overcoming the environmental disorientation through mental assistance from Arcán. Where are you? she shouted into the winds as she glanced around in search of the Morikai Commander.

Where am I? Ikirom echoed, and then chuckled. You cannot find me. In this realm, created by me — you will only find me if I allow it. No sense of yours could possibly locate me… for I am simply not present.

HE’S BLUFFING. A REALITECHNIC’S BIGGEST WEAKNESS IS THAT THEY STILL REQUIRE THEIR BODY TO LIVE; HE MAY BE ABLE TO HIDE FROM YOU, BUT HE MUST STILL BE AROUND.

Then how do I find him…? She scowled again. …What do you want, Ikirom? Why do you want to kill us?

WHAT ARE YOU—?

It’s a distraction, shush!

I have answered your question once, and I shan’t waste time answering it again. You will die here — after I’ve had my fun, of course.

Had your fun… Siyuakén snorted as she closed her eyes and focused on the local electric fields. She had been unable to locate Ikirom with electric currents during the earlier snowstorm, but she had been distracted with dodging the Morikai’s attacks as well — now that he seemed distracted, she was free to concentrate, allowing her to trace the electric fields for many meters around her… and locate a single anomaly, a small area of higher electric potential than the air around it. Ha! He’s been avoiding my attacks by setting his potential equal to my own, but he didn’t think about masking the fields at all!

PERFECT! THIS IS OUR CHANCE!

Way ahead of you! Siyuakén responded, the entire exchange between her and Arcán — as well as her locating Ikirom — occurring over the span of a mere couple seconds. She immediately forced a massive current through her body, spiking her own electric potential — and then a split-second later she forced a powerful lightning strike toward the Morikai Commander. Yet Ikirom reacted even faster; the very moment the leading spark of the lightning strike jumped from Siyuakén’s hand, the ground itself between the two combatants seemed to stretch and stretch — or rather, Siyuakén and Ikirom both seemed to shrink in place — or the ground around them seemed to grow — while the lightning strike passed over the terrain as though more distance had suddenly spawned. By the time Ikirom would have been struck, he had equalized his electric potential to Siyuakén again, allowing him to easily redirect the strike.

I applaud your effort, but it is still not enough, he projected his voice across the many kilometers between him and Siyuakén that had before been only fifty meters. Siyuakén immediately lunged toward him and began sprinting, but she only seemed to get farther and farther away from Ikirom — never closer. And the moment she stopped herself, the ground in front of her suddenly sprang upwards, a massive cliff quickly rising in front of her, as well as behind her and to her sides. She quickly fired her grappling hook into the cliff face, but the moment the hook caught in the rock, the bottom section of the cliff sunk back to the ground, returning the hook to ground level within a second as the tops of the cliffs continued to rise even further.

…You have to be kidding me. She stared up at the distant cliff tops. How the hell am I supposed to fight him…?! She tensed reflexively as her sense of “down” began to shift — as the direction of gravity began to rotate, causing her to begin sliding toward one of the cliff faces. She immediately fired her grappling hook again, catching it in what used to be the ground just as the gravity shift forced her to hang in the air over an incredibly deep hole that once led to the sky above her.

…THIS COULD BE A PROBLEM.

No shit—! Siyuakén began, only to cut her thought off with surprise as the ceiling above her spontaneously disappeared, causing her to begin falling toward the bottom of the seemingly bottomless pit. She quickly moved to fire her grappling hook again but spotted a rock moving toward her in the corner of her eye; she immediately twisted around midair, Arcán Claymore in hand, and sliced through the incoming boulder — only to reveal a multitude of boulders falling, or rising rather, toward her. She sighed irately and began blasting the stones to pieces with lightning strike after lightning strike, occasionally using Arcán to slash debris that got too close. By the time she had fought through the entire upside-down rock slide, the pit walls seemed to have disappeared into darkness, leaving Siyuakén to reach terminal velocity amongst nothing but blackness. Yet the moment her inner-ear equalized, giving her the impression of weightlessness, the darkness transformed into a star field. A split second later, a blue giant star appeared above her, hanging over her like a massive ceiling, while a red giant appeared under her as though an endless floor — yet she touched neither, instead hanging within the empty space between them, while suffering none of the negative effects one would expect from floating so close to a star.

Do you now understand my power?

Siyuakén snapped her attention to Ikirom, who stood several meters away from her as though on an invisible platform. She immediately attempted to strike him with lightning, only for no bolt to appear; when that failed, she quickly followed by firing her grappling hook at him, only for the Morikai to casually deflect it with the back of his hand.

…Damn it, she muttered irately, glancing around as she hung in space before returning her glare to Ikirom. I can’t move like this…

Of course not, Ikirom retorted. You could only move before because I allowed it; I have rescinded such permissions, as you have proven to be a rather boring opponent.

Boring?!

I will grant that you were able to disarm me, but the moment I began even the most insignificant of reality shifts, you became helpless.

This is insignificant—?!

Silence! Ikirom demanded; Siyuakén quickly moved to retort, only to find that her voice had given out.

I can’t talk?! Arcán, what’s going on?!

HE ISN’T MANIPULATING YOU DIRECTLY, BUT HE CAN STILL DAMPEN THE SOUND COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH TO SILENCE.

He can do that?!

I DID SAY BEFORE THAT HE WAS MERELY TOYING WITH YOU

…I see the current age is just as stubborn and ignorant as the Aldredas. I’m almost disappointed… but I cannot say I expected any better. The Morikai Commander shook his head warily as Siyuakén watched in irate silence. I understand Morcii’s claims now — your inferior civilizations are difficult to take seriously in any capacity. Even my limited powers now are due to Aldredas meddling long ago; your kind can claim no credit in regards to that. You are nothing more than an annoyance, one who’s conquering will give me little enjoyment due to how pitiful you are! Perhaps I should allow the Nanocreatures to run rampant for longer — though dial back their power, perhaps, as a way of ‘hardening’ the galaxy for a more enjoyable hunt…

…He’s monologuing. Siyuakén stared blankly at the Morikai commander. Why does everyone monologue? Exdominor, Surdeus, Morcii, now him? It’s getting a little old.

HERE YOU SIT, BEFORE THE MOST POWERFUL CHAOTIC TO HAVE EVER LIVED — LIMITED THOUGH HE MAY BE — AND ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY IS A JOKE?

What the hell can I do, Arcán? Wave my arms and wish for an act of god to snuff him out of existence? I’ve already tried my best and clearly that wasn’t enough!

NO, THAT IS MERELY WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO THINK. I HAVE DETERMINED THAT HIS POWERS ARE AN ILLUSION — OR AT LEAST, HE IS ATTEMPTING TO HIDE HIS LIMITS WITH ONE. HE IS NOT AS POWERFUL AS HE SEEMS.

Yeah? Well even if he’s only half as powerful as he seems, that’s still really fucking powerful!

YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND — TELL ME, SIYUAKÉN. YOU ARE FLOATING IN SPACE, YET YOU STILL LIVE, BREATH, AND HEAR IKIROM SPEAK. ABOVE AND BELOW YOU ARE STARS, BOTH A MERE COUPLE MILLION KILOMETERS AWAY — YET YOU STILL LIVE, AND FEEL NONE OF THEIR RADIATION. DOES THAT NOT STRIKE YOU AS ODD?

…I assumed that was just how powerful Ikirom’s Realitechnism was…

THAT CANNOT BE. HE SAID SO HIMSELF; AN INCOMPLETE SEAL RELEASE HAS LIMITED HIS ABILITIES. WITH HIS FULL POWER, IT IS INDEED POSSIBLE THAT HE COULD CREATE SUCH A REGION OF SPACE – BUT AS HE IS NOW, HE CAN ONLY CREATE ILLUSIONS. HIS MANIPULATIONS OF REALITY ARE LIMITED TO ‘SUGGESTIONS,’ IF YOU WILL; HE IS MERELY FOOLING YOUR SENSES, FORCING YOU TO MISINTERPRET YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND CONFORM TO HIS ‘ALTERATIONS.’

Well that’s basically the same thing then, isn’t it? Siyuakén questioned, still cautiously watching Ikirom as her mental conversation with Arcán passed over a hundred times faster than a spoken conversation would allow. Who cares if he’s actually altering the environment if I can’t tell anyways? I’m not a Sensortechnic, or a Psychotechnic. I can’t stop him from tricking my senses!

AH, BUT YOU HAVE IT WRONG — SENSOR- AND PSYCHOTECHNICS WOULD ACTUALLY BE EXTRA SUSCEPTIBLE TO IKIROM’S ILLUSIONS DUE TO THEIR RELIANCE ON THE NORMAL SENSES. BUT AS AN ELECTROTECHNIC, YOU ARE NOT QUITE SO LIMITED.

You’re talking about my ability to sense electric fields? We already tried that. It didn’t work!

BECAUSE YOU WERE STILL ALLOWING YOUR PERCEPTION OF THE BATTLEFIELD TO BE INFLUENCED BY YOUR OTHER SENSES. IKIROM MAY NOT HAVE IN-DEPTH EXPERIENCE WITH ELECTRIC FIELDS, BUT HE IS AT LEAST AWARE OF THEM. THE ONLY WAY FOR YOU TO FIND HIS TRUE LOCATION — AND TO TRULY STAND AGAINST HIM — IS TO IGNORE YOUR OTHER SENSES ENTIRELY. RELY ONLY ON YOUR CHAOTIC TYPE — RELY ONLY ON ELECTRICITY!

That’s easy to say, but you can’t just ignore senses like that! It doesn’t work that way!

WHICH IS WHY THE PRIOR STATE IS A BOON. I WILL INTERCEPT THE SENSORY SIGNALS TO YOUR BRAIN, ALLOWING YOU TO FOCUS SOLELY ON YOUR ELECTROTECHNISM.

Whoa, wait, wait! You’re just going to cut off all sensory input? People have gone insane from less—!?

AND I WILL PROTECT YOU FROM THAT, BUT WE HAVE NO MORE TIME TO WASTE. THIS WILL TRULY BE OUR LAST CHANCE — PREPARE YOURSELF! THREE. TWO. ONE…

Immediately afterward, Siyuakén’s entire world went black — and silent — and completely void of touch. Neither did she feel the warmth of the light from the stars, nor could she sense the location of her limbs, nor could she even feel the beating of her own heart. It was a void emptier than any mind could possibly fathom, and if she hadn’t known any better, she would have thought herself removed from existence itself.

Arcán, what—? What happened—? I can’t feel anything— or see— there’s nothing— Arcán, what, what— what did you—?!

CALM YOURSELF. YOU ARE STILL ALIVE. NOW FOCUS — THE ORIGINAL CAVERN WAS SWATHED WITH CHAOS MATTER, WHICH IS AN EXCELLENT CONDUCTOR AND CAN EVEN PRODUCE CHARGES ON ITS OWN. THERE SHOULD BE NO LACK OF ELECTRICITY, SO IF I’M RIGHT—

‘If’ you’re right?!

WE ARE OUT OF TIME. FIND IKIROM, NOW!

Argh! Fine! Siyuakén quickly disbarred other thoughts from her mind as she attempted to focus on the environment around her. For several moments, she felt nothing — she had never relied on her ability to sense electric fields so heavily before, and certainly not directly. It was always a secondary sense that she used to augment her battle awareness, never a primary sense that she utilized to actively seek out targets, so without any of her other senses to provide context—

Wait… I think I feel something…

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

The Electrotechnic responded with silence as she focused even harder on the signals she began to feel. Initially, she could only sense a sort of ‘flow’ through the air, but after a couple seconds of sensing, she began to realize the origins of the fields — and a couple seconds after that, she became able to make out slight perturbations in the fields that could only be explained as objects standing in their way. As soon as she became familiar with what she was sensing, she began making out a wide floor and a high ceiling, both acting as incredible energy sources. Towards the middle of the floor were twelve — no, thirteen — tall blocks, as if they were acting as energy sinks. And in the middle of those disturbances…

I’ve found him!

PERFECT. IKIROM SHOULD STILL BE UNAWARE OF YOUR ACTIONS, BUT WE WILL ONLY HAVE ONE SHOT. IF WE FAIL TO TAKE HIM DOWN WITH THIS, THEN HE WILL REALIZE HIS MISTAKES AND FIX THEM, AND THEN WE TRULY WILL BE TRAPPED.

I can’t attack him without raising the current in my body. He’s been able to sense incoming attacks before… but if I do it fast enough…!

HE WILL NOT BE EXPECTING YOU TO ATTACK HIS TRUE BODY, EITHER. NOW HURRY! I BELIEVE HIS SPEECH IS COMING TO A CLOSE.

Right! Now give me back my body! I can’t do this properly without it!

As soon as she completed her demand, Arcán ceased intercepting her senses, resulting in a momentary sensory overload as Siyuakén reeled back from all the sensations. She shivered from shock and then shook her head before quickly raising the current through her body.

…and so our encounter must come to a close, Ikirom commented, his attention returning fully to Siyuakén. You are attempting to attack me again? Even though it has never worked before?

The Electrotechnic opened her mouth to speak, thought better, and simply settled into an amused smirk.

Ikirom narrowed his eyes, his suspicion growing due to Siyuakén’s response. You believe yourself to have the upper hand, he muttered as a weapon spontaneously appeared in each of his four hands, each one possessing the appearance of one of the Ayas Weapons. But I have had enough. Your life He launched each of the weapons toward Siyuakén. Ends here!

Floating in space as she was, the Electrotechnic was unable to dodge — but she had no need to. Before any of the weapons came within a meter of her body, she released an incredibly powerful strike of lightning. Ikirom confidently ignored the attack, expecting it to deflect around him as every strike prior — and indeed, the strike missed him.

For it instead leaped to the left, toward the location of his real body.

What?! The Morikai’s eyes shot wide open, only for the entire environment to spontaneously disappear and return to that of the cavern on Elecal. Ikirom’s fake body simply vanished as his real one collapsed to the ground; Siyuakén took a moment to regain her bearings before cautiously approaching the downed Morikai, offering the colossal pillars around her a brief glance as she passed. She stopped a couple meters away and blasted Ikirom with several more lightning strikes, just to be certain — and when he failed to respond, she let loose a lofty sigh of relief.

And then the entire cavern disappeared in an instant, replaced with a pitch black void with no defining features whatsoever.

Ah ha ha ha! As if such a paltry attack could possibly defeat me!

What? No! Siyuakén snapped her head around to face the source of the voice, only to be forced to face forward as chains exploded from the darkness, wrapping around and restraining her limbs and entire body within the blink of an eye. She violently struggled against the chains, attempting to free herself or even destroy the chains with massive currents — when none of that worked, she summoned the Arcán Claymore and attempted to Subspatially store the chains, but the restraints around her wrists merely tightened and prevented her from turning the blade enough to do anything.

I must admit, I did not expect you to be quite so clever, Ikirom remarked with a smirk as he appeared in the air right in front of Siyuakén. Had I the durability of any normal individual, or perhaps even of the First or Second Tier Chaos State, you would indeed have killed me. But you should know: the first thing any competent Realitechnic does is permanently increase their durability to incredible levels! Nothing short of the Ayas Weapons or a high-tier Chaos State can hope to have a chance at killing me, even in my current, limited state!

But!… Siyuakén scowled back at him. …Everything was just… illusions, right? So…! How…?!

You may think them illusions… but that is where you went wrong. I am a Realitechnic. I do not cause illusions — my illusions cause reality! That you assumed otherwise shows how little you understand!

…!

This was an interesting final interaction, Ikirom mused as another replica of the Syn Scythe appeared in his hands, but it is now truly the end. Prepare to return to your friends, descendant of the Aldredas, and watch with helpless eyes as I bring ruin to all of your brethren! He raised the Scythe into the air and then swung it sideways, sweeping through the air toward Siyuakén’s torso—

CHAOS RESET!

The black void immediately disappeared, replaced again by the cavern of Chaos Matter. Siyuakén stumbled, no longer bound by chains, as Ikirom stared at her blankly from his location several meters away. The Electrotechnic eyed him warily before tracing his gaze to behind her — to where the rest of Hero Machina stood, just as confused as Siyuakén as Kievkenalis stood in front of them with his hand stretched toward Ikirom.

OF COURSE, CHAOS RESET! Arcán exclaimed within Siyuakén’s mind, THE ABILITY THAT NEGATES ALL CHAOS ENERGY-BASED ALTERATIONS TO THE ENVIRONMENT… IT’S THE PERFECT COUNTER TO REALITECHNICS!

Why the hell didn’t you say this sooner?!

THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE. GET THE MASTER AYAS AND RE-INITIATE THE AYAS SEAL! IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO STOP IKIROM!

Right! Siyuakén turned her attention upwards, searching the pillars for the one that hosted the Master Ayas. Upon spotting the silver gemstone she fired her grappling hook, attaching it to the side of the pillar and flinging herself skyward.

Halt! Ikirom shouted, whirling around toward the Electrotechnic as the pillars disappeared from sight, replaced by massive columns of flowing lava—

Chaos Reset!

The pillars instantly returned to normal as Ikirom whipped back around to glower at Kievkenalis.

Chaostechnics are hard-counters to Chaotics like you,” he quipped. “I’ve never had a reason to use Reset until now, but wow, it’s really useful!”

You…! The Morikai Commander growled as he summoned a multitude of weapons and aimed them at the Chaotics of Hero Machina. You cannot possibly—!

Hey, Ikirom!

The Realitechnic whirled around again and snapped his attention upwards, meeting eyes with Siyuakén as she grabbed the Master Ayas.

Too slow! She grinned, and then shouted, “Chaos: Seal!

—Huaaaaaghh!! Without warning, Ikirom was blasted backward into the center of the oval formed by the thirteen pillars, his tail and second pair of arms — as well as any other bodily additions he had gained from Morcii — disintegrating into their metallic components and exploding from his body as the weapons he had summoned simply disappeared from existence. An invisible force held him suspended in the air as a light blue circle appeared on the ground beneath him, with each of the Ayas beginning to glow. He strained his neck to glare back at Siyuakén, who casually stood atop the tallest pillar with her hand on the Ayas.

You…! he snarled as strikes of blue energy began streaking between himself and the Ayas, so I’ve underestimated this age, it would seem! Defeated before the Keys even appear…! His body began to disappear limb-by-limb, in a similar manner to how he had first appeared. You will regret this, descendants of the Aldredas! Your attention is misguided — you misunderstand the threat before you! His arms and legs completely disappeared as his torso began to dissolve, the wave of particles slowly working upwards toward his neck. As long as I am sealed away — as long as the Morikai are trapped in this seal… the Menace… will never—!

Ikirom’s mouth then disappeared, leaving the rest of his face to glare at the Nimalian Chaotics for a second before disappearing as well, leaving nothing behind. A subsequent flash of light filled the Chaotics’ vision, after which the Master Ayas disappeared and the rest of the Ayas fell out of the air and clattered to a stop atop their respective pillars.

“…The hell just happened?” Davídrius questioned.

Chaos Reset…” Kievkenalis called cautiously, and then sighed of relief when nothing happened. “That’s it… he’s gone.”

I can’t believe it… we did it! Siyuakén exclaimed as she jumped down to the ground and ran over to the rest of Hero Machina. We— we stopped Morcii’s plan! We stopped the Morikai!

“’We?’” Christeané smirked as he watched Rebehka rush to the Electrotechnic and embrace her tightly. “Much as I’d love to take credit for beating a Realitechnic, this was all you.”

“Yeah, it took me a while to figure out what was going on and even think about using Reset,” Kievkenalis commented. “If you hadn’t managed to last as long as you did…”

“Guys, wait…” Kaoné muttered warily, looking up at the Ayas atop the pillars as Rebehka and Siyuakén released each other. The rest of Hero Machina turned toward the Materiatechnic in concern.

“What is it?” Kevérin questioned.

“Something… isn’t right.” Kaoné frowned, and then pointed upwards. “Wait, there—!”

The seven Chaotics turned their attention upward just in time to see eight silvery clouds descend from the ceiling of the cavern toward the Ayas.

“Shit— Morcii’s still—!” Davídrius exclaimed.

“We can’t let him have the Ayas!” Kevérin shouted as he blasted himself into the air toward the nearest gemstone. “Everybody, grab one!!”

“On it!” Davídrius replied as he leaped high into the air, easily clearing one of the farther pillars and snatching the Ayas Hastryth just before the cloud of Nanocreature nanites could seize it. Before he even hit the ground, Kevérin and Kaoné both had reached the Tanivas and Mystryth Ayas respectively, grabbing the Ayas and leaping away from the pillar tops as Christeané moved to claim Matlés. Rebehka easily scooped Tsern out of the air and tossed it down to herself while Kievkenalis demolished the top of a pillar with Chaos Strike and caught the Ayas Aldrace as it fell out of the sky.

QUICK, THE ARCÁN AYAS!

I’m trying—! Siyuakén scowled as she flew through the air along her grappling hook, her hand stretched toward the Light Blue Ayas. She quickly released the hook just as she passed it, launching herself even higher… only for the silvery cloud nearby to suddenly form an arm and attack her. She successfully blocked the blow but was still knocked ground-ward, unable to stop the Nanocreatures from seizing the Ayas.

{SO IT HAS COME TO THIS…”}

“There he is,” Kevérin muttered apprehensively as Morcii’s body began to take shape at the far side of the platform. The two Ayas that the Chaotics had failed to claim — the Sendous and Arcán Ayas — both rapidly converged on the Nanocreature’s location and disappeared as his body transformed into the same monstrous form that he had used during the fight against Christeané on Neticen.

USE THE CHAOS STATE! Arcán ordered, prompting the six Ayas-wielding Chaotics to quickly call out the activation phrase. AS WE’VE DISCUSSED, TRULY DEFEATING MORCII REQUIRES USE OF THE LINK DRIVE, WHICH REQUIRES AN AYAS PRIOR STATE, AND YET—

Yet Morcii has the Arcán Ayas, Siyuakén finished, summoning the Arcán Claymore and leveling it toward the Nanocreature leader as he turned toward Hero Machina. So we just need to beat it out of him. Sounds good to me!

{BUT IT WILL NOT COME TO PASS,”} Morcii countered with a snarl. {YOU MAY HAVE DEFEATED IKIROM AND RE-SEALED HIM, CAUSING THE MASTER AYAS TO DISAPPEAR… BUT THIS IS A MERE SETBACK. I CAN FIND THE AYAS AGAIN LATER, I CAN PROPERLY RELEASE IKIROM LATER… BUT IT WAS A MISTAKE TO ALLOW YOU TO LIVE FOR AS LONG AS YOU HAVE!”}

It’s easy to say that you ‘allowed’ us to live, Rebehka quipped as she stepped forward to stand next to Siyuakén. But at this point it’s just an excuse.

We may not have won every battle against you, but today we will! Siyuakén declared, this is our final battle, Morcii, and you will lose!

{HA! YOU BELIEVE THAT THE MERE FIRST TIER CHAOS STATE MEANS ANYTHING AGAINST MY FUSE FORM?”} Morcii roared as he summoned the Arcán Claymore and both Sendous Chakrams, grasping each of the weapons with one of his tails. {EVEN WITH ONLY TWO AYAS, I AM FAR MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU COULD POSSIBLY HOPE TO MANAGE. YOU HAVE ONLY ONE THING CORRECT, ALDREDANOIDS: THIS IS INDEED OUR FINAL BATTLE—”} He launched himself forward. {”—FOR NONE OF YOU WILL LIVE A SINGLE DAY LONGER!”}

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