This article, Connecting the Dots: Midnight Revelations, is property of Zicoihno.

"Endlessly judging you."

This article Connecting the Dots: Midnight Revelations, is the sole property of Ashy and as such, please do not edit this article without my permission. If you wish to use or change this article in any beneficial way, please discuss with me...and be judged!

Things Become Clear

The sky darkened as night fell up Oshibana Town. Things had truly gotten out of hand, Jin and Azuki were heavily injured and the enemy had gotten away unharmed. Everyone had saw that Richard was indeed very stressed, stomping his feet away while walking up the alley and back.

" Richard, please calm-!" Azuki tried to say before she was intervened by a sudden bang from Richard slamming his hand on a table." Shut up Azuki! How can I calm down! Look at what's happened to Jin! You didn't even try to stop it!" Azuki had lowered her head in shame because of Richard's words and tears were boiling up in her eyes.

" Richard, stop it!" Drake placed his hand on Richard, and he swat it away, something that angered Drake who grabbed Richard and turned him around." Don't think you're the only one worried here! We are part of this team as well! I know that we were all selfish before, but look at you right now! You don't have to take all the burden yourself!"

Drake shook Richard very hard, and Richard had completely stopped thinking for a moment, as Drake's words were ringing in his ears. "Lets recap!" Drake said, taking a seat on an armchair near Azuki. Richard had regained his composure and Azuki had done the same."The enemy knows we're here. To the point that they cut off our communications and ambushed two of our comrades. This is pretty bad." The situation was a tense one, everyone was silent.

"Jin is injured, he needs serious rest. Azuki should be fine, as she said before." Drake looked over at Richard, who was pondering on some things. Elbert cleared his throat to get all their attention. "Ragna is the main suspect, we can agree on this. But how do we investigate him?" He looked at his companions, anxious for an answer. "Well I guess the only way to investigate him is to...... disguise one of us as someone who wants to be a doctor like him."

" WHAT!!" The other three shouted, excluding Jin after Richard's statement. Jin then spoke up and said." I propose it would be better to raid the house at midnight? As today is a new moon, we won't be caught too easily." Richard and the others agreed with this idea, and then Richard said," All right everyone, get ready for a midnight revelation, so get some good rest."

Everyone nodded and went off into their own rooms, while Jin was also moving to his own room, Richard asked him." Will you be able to do this? I only proposed the former idea because you were injured." Jin had a sullen look on his face, as if he was being discarded because of his injuries, but then replied." Even with injuries, I am more than a match for you even, if you have any doubts, then....." Jin started drawing a sword out of his scabbard.

Richard placed his hand on it and just said." No, it's ok, go get some rest now." Jin sheathed his blade and went to the room, Richard knew how he felt, without even hearing a word he said. The five were resting, but during this time, Richard was reflecting on his inexperience and realised that even he wasn't ready to face the world without some troubles and now he definitely knew why Yotsuki had told them to be careful.

Soon enough, it had been midnight and Drake had gotten out of his bed and went to the loungeroom only to see that everyone else were already there." I'm late?" Drake wondered, Richard grinned and just said." Nah, we're just early." Then as planned they had all secretly headed out of the hotel without any witnesses and started going to Oliver Ragna's Mansion.

" Everyone, let me brief you in," Richard started saying, as everyone kept an ear open to his words," What we're going to do is search outside of Ragna's house, we have to keep our profile low, remember that." The others agreed, and then after a few minutes they were in front of a large house, much larger than any other in this town.

" This dude is either rich, or others are just poor." Azuki said, Richard had kept a serious and analytical demeanor on him, scanning everything in his sight." Alright, we'll split up." Richard said, everyone went to their seperate designated spots.

The five had started searching, looking for any possible clue they might find, but nothing was there, and soon enough Drake started complaining." We're not going to find anything in here! How about we break in?" Drake asked, looking at Richard.

Richard knew that he wouldn't listen if he said no, so he let him do as he please." Thanks." Drake said, approaching the ornated brown door of the house, he kicked the door hard, breaking it, but not completely." Keep your guard up!" Elbert said, everyone knew that already, but he knew it was good to reinforce that point.

Disasters descend, losses arise

The five started to look around very carefully, inspecting any corner, book, picture and any other item for a clue on Ragna's deeds. Azuki saw a book on necromancy, and took it out, seeing as it was seemingly ancient, and constantly used.

" Hey Azuki, what's that?" Drake asked, placing his hand on her shoulder, causing her to blush for a moment, then pushing him off, saying," Have you ever heard of Personal Space, Drake?" Azuki said, then Richard asked." Could you read the contents of that book?" Azuki stepped away from Drake and promptly opened the book. The pages were yellowish and the ends frayed, the great age of it was obvious. Azuki turned through a few pages, both looking at the book and keeping an eye on the distance between her and Drake. "It's about Necromancy, more specifically, it's different methods and guidelines."

Richard cocked an eyebrow."Necromancy? Like summoning people from the dead? That's jus-" "Forbidden." Drake intejected, he looked over at Richard. "It's very much real. This is a world of magic, and out of magic are unlimited possibilites." Drake remarked calmly. Richard wasn't one for unproven things. "Sure the possibilities of magic are great, we learned that in the academy. But it's never been done, has it?" he asked, looking at each of his team mates. Azuki scratched her head, "This book really goes in depth...what's Ragna need this for?"

Drake walked over once more to Azuki. "Who knows, nothing good. Now can I see it?" Drake asked, reaching for the book. She turned away from him. "Hmph. Didn't I tell you about personal space?" Jin, who was observing this, was also looking through the many books. He stumbled upon something interesting. "What could this be?" Jin thought, as he pulled it out of the shelf. The title read Magic World, and the cover was just plain black.

"Guys!" Jin called, looking over to his bored comrades. " Take a look at this." They all walked over to Jin, to see the book in his grasp. Drake pointed to the cover. "The cover looks to be peeling off...strange. Doesn't look old to me. " The Drake found something to be off with the book. " Jin, peel off the black. Just peel it off." he said sternly. Azuki, Richard, and Elbert exchanged questionable glares with Drake. Jin complied and began to peel off the cover. Strangely it came off like nothing, to reveal a completely different book.

Jin squinted his eyes, in a effort to read the ornately written title. "Forbidden Incantations, volume 1......" the young mage said aloud, bringing the book close to his eyes. "What in the world is a book like that doing here?!" Drake said, in shock. He rememebered back to the time he visited the council with his dad. He recalled how the archives were where all books on forbidden magic was held, at least legally. "A book like that should be in the Magic Council Archives. Yet Ragna has it in his home." The shock was evident from Drake's tone. "And things get more interesting. I think we can investigate without hinderance now, eh guys." Richard remarked.

Elbert raised his hand to get their attention. "I think we should go snoping around at base level. I just have a feeling." he proposed, Elbert waited for a response. Drake nodded in agreement, "Sounds like a good idea." The five soon looked around for something like a trap door or stairs leading towards the basement, and then Richard pointed out.

" Hey guys, over here!" Richard exclaimed, albeit silently. He found a trap door that had a long laddercase in it, presumably leading them underground. Richard went in first, slowly afterward, Jin went in, Azuki, Elbert and then finally Drake who had made sure nobody spotted them.

"Wow, this place is dark." Azuki commented, as the others agreed with her and Jin stayed silent with a nod." You guys, we'll have to be careful." Jin said, Richard knew why he said that and then declared." I have a plan for when we get down there. Ragna is probably a powerful mage, and his subordinates are likely to be there as well, so when we do get there, and if a confrontation occurs, you must..."

Richard continued with his explanation until it had finished. They walked through a dimly lit hallway. The ground was damp, which earned the disgust of Azuki. "Just keep your guards up..." Drake said, walking ahead of the rest. They continued down the hallway with caution. They all stopped before a large set of double doors. Drake motioned the other behind him to get ready to break in. "Beyond this point is where danger is. I sense something wrong behind those doors." Elbert readied himself, taking a combat stance.

Suddenly Drake kicked the doors opened, and they all dashed inside. They entered in a diamond formation. All of them stop to gaze at their surroundings. It was a huge labaratory like room. Shelves and shelves of jars and books. In these jars were floatiing body parts and other oragnic items. Azuki turned to see a row of archaic looking scrolls. To the center of the room, leaning over a table was Ragna. Drake narrowed his eyes at Ragna. "What's the meaning of this, Ragna? Human experimentation? Explain yourself!" Drake commaded in anger.

Ragna didn't care to turn around, but he lifted himself from whatever it was that he was digging into. He set down a scalpel to the side. "Children shouldn't speak to their elders like that. Don't you think?" he replied tauntingly. "Cut the crap....answer our question!" Azuki barked. She couldn't stand people like this. Richard silently surveyed the room around them, the evidence was plain as day. Drake clenched his teeth in annoyance, "What happened to all the mages that disappeared?"

Ragna turned to the intruders across from him. Their scowls amused him more the anything else. "My goal isn't something you coudl grasp, to be honest. None of you kids could understand." Ragna replied, a sly smile crossed his face. "Just talk already." Drake said, with a hint of irritation. Ragna took a few steps closer to the young ones before him. They raised their guards in caution.

"I don't plan to tell my plans to unimportant people." As he said this, he snapped his finger. The room around them began to shake. The ceiling in the process of crumbling. A sly smile crossed Ragna face. Drake's eyes widened in shock, he looked up to see the crumbling ceiling. "This place is gonna crumble! Let's get out of here!" he shouted. Richard looked around for the exit. " Let's take the way back!" Richard took off for the door. Elbert and Jin followed in suit.

Drake grabbed Azuki's wrist and took off. There was no time for Azuki to retort to this, as she was running for her life while being dragged by her greatest rival. "We're not gonnna!" Azuki cried. Drake kept running. "Yes we will. Richard, Elbert, Jin!" They all turned their gazes over to him, as much as they could. Their hearts pounding and their surroundings about to cave in on them.

"Don't Die!!!!!" Drake shouted. The ceiling collapsed and rocks came hurling down at SENSHI. Drake quickly clapped his hands together. And a flash of light followed. The light blinded everyone around him. They didn't know if they would live or die. Their lives flashed before their eyes. From the outside, the sourrounding buildings could see a large explosion emerge from the home of Ragna.

" What was that!!" A woman shrieked, after viewing the devastating explosion at the seemingly 'kind' Ragna's home. While that was happening, a woman with a hood smirked." It's our turn." She said, talking to a silver haired male and woman who were behind her." Yeah, it is." he smirked, the same person who had defeated Jin in combat reappeared with allies.

While back at Ragna's home, which had been completely devastated, somehow, the five were able to survive with no injuries, as they saw a yellow barrier which had been placed to defend them, Richard asked." Did you do that Drake?"

Drake replied with a sullen face." Please don't tell anyone I can use this, and don't tell anyone that it exists. It's a Vista secret technique." Elbert patted his shoulder and said." Man you are a lifesaver, literally!" Then Jin pointed over to Ragna's direction, who had come out of the explosion unscathed and said.

" My? Kids these days, they don't seem to listen do they." Ragna taunted as Drake had snapped and charged right at him, Ragna effortlessly dodged and quickly moved away, causing Drake to follow him." Drake, wait!" Azuki was about to move before she was met with a confrontation by another mage.

" You aren't going anywhere!" The silver haired woman shouted as she repelled Azuki backwards, suddenly Reggie and another person came into the house, Jin knew he had to face Reggie and told Richard." Go after Ragna! We'll take care of these idiots." Jin exclaimed, drawing both of his blades.

Richard smiled and said." Take care of yourselves." Then he moved at an incredible pace, and as Reggie tried to stop him Jin interfered and clashed blades with him saying." This time will be a little different." Suddenly Azuki and Elbert came to stop the impeding attacks on Jin by the other two, then Elbert said." We're not as weak as you think."

While Ragna was running from Drake, who was in hot pursuit, Drake shouted." Why are you doing all this! Tell me!". Ragna vanished from sight, and Drake followed in suit via speed magic. Richard clenched his teeth, "What is he doing?!" Richard turned towards the direction of Azuki and the others. "I leave this to you guys! I'm gonna go back up Drake!" Richard shouted, taking off in the opposite direction in pursuit of Drake and Ragna. Azuki clenched her fists. She turned to her opponent before her, requipping her Halberd.

"Jin, Elbert, don't drop your guard against them! We're gonna take'em out!" Azuki commanded, twirling her halberd around her skillfully. The silverhaired woman before her narrowed her eyes at Azuki's movements. "Looks like this one actually has skill. But far as I'm concerned, you're just a cute little girl....that's it." Azuki didn't utter a reply. She swiped her Halberd forward, as 4 glowing orbs appeared before her in a parrallel line. Elbert eyed the spell. "What's this one?" he thought.

Azuki thrusted her halberd forward. "Orion's Belt!" The silver haired woman's eyes opened in shocked at the incoming attack. A large explosion erupted. From the pillars of smoke hovering over the rubble that was once Ragna's mansion. Elbert emerged, flipping backwards and landing gracefully on the ground. Elbert whistled at the sight, "That's pretty impressive. No less expected from Azuki the Devil." he remarked to himself.

The clangs of blades caught his attention as he quicky turned to see Jin and Reggie going at it. Jin pushed Reggie off of him, and lunged forward for a clean swipe. Reggie dodged the slash and went for another slashed, but was blocked by Jin. The locked blades, sparks flying from the clashing of their blades. "How in the world are sparks flying from my blade crashing with his energy blade. What type of magic is this?" Jin pondered, gripping his blade harder. Reggie smirked at Jin's confusion, "Don't expect me to answer questions, kiddo. Tonight is the night of your death anyhow."

Reggie pushed forward and blew Jin off balance. Jin gritted his teeth in frsutration, as he attempted to catch his balance. The flash of blue before him caught his eye, and he squated to dodge the attack. Jin jumped backwards, in an effort to increase the distance between him and Reggie. Jin panted as he analyzed the situation at hand. Reggie's magic puzzled the young mage for some reason. What was the nature of this magic,and was it possibly a lost magic? Jin took a different stance and glared forward his enemy. "I'm going serious now, don't underestimate me." Jin said.

Slowly walking from the remaining billows of smoke, unscathed, was the silver-haired woman. Azuki narrowed her eyes at the approaching enemy. Azuki knew that wouldn't be enough to take her out, but a few scratches wouldn't hurt. "I'll say this, you're pretty good. Just for note, my name is Angelica Calendula. This should be interesting." she said, walking towards Azuki. The young blue-haired SENSHI member rested her Halberd on her shoulder.

"The name's Azuki, Azuki Isshi. A strong female rival is always a plus for me. It means you don't just let men pass you up in strength." Azuki remarked, she scanned the approaching opponent. "While we're at it. Why not explain you guys' plans?" Angelica shook her head at the proposal. "Why give info to a person that's going to be defeated?" she taunted, raising an eyebrow. Azuki chuckled a little at the statement. " Now this is gonna be good. Let's go!" Azuki launched towards Angelica, full throttle. Angelica smiled at the incoming threat.

Elbert surveyed the battles around him. From what he could see, Jin was doing alright with the man who had previously gave him a serious beating. Azuki was fine by herself, she was stronger then him anyhow. Elbert twirled on his heel to block an axe kick from above! Elbert narrowed his eyes at the green-haired woman above him. She pushed oh his forearm and landed several feet away from him.

Elbert took a stance in anticipation. "I knew I would be at peace for long. And you are?" Elbert asked, looking towards the woman before him. "Oh young men are so cute, you're all so confident and what not." she said, earning a curious look from Elbert. " The name's Melayna. Sorry, but it seems your luck ends here. Mr Ragna ordered us to take out his enemies." At the last word, Melayne suddenly appeared behind Elbert.

Caught off guard, Elbert tried to counter. But it was too late. Melayne kicked the side of his rib cage, the young man was sent crashing into the ground. Elbert quickly scrambled to his feet skillfully. "What the hell was that? I didn't sense her at all, crap." Richard thought, clutching his side. Melayne smiled playfully, 'Don't look down on me because I'm a woman. Have at me." The words didn't annoy Elbert more the smile on her face. This wasn't his ideal opponent. But with Yotsuki's words in mind and the creed he said on his first day of Military Academy, a confident look came on Elbert's face.

"Nothing good comes to those who mess with human life." Elbert dashed towards his opponent. Attempting to kick her with a powerful roundhouse, she swiftly dodged, and then countered with her own kick, which Elbert blocked with his forearms, causing some pain, before he retreated backward.

Meanwhile, Jin was still fighting against Reggie, whose magic puzzled him, as he drew his second sword and slashed at him with one, which clanged against Reggie's blades again, Jin took advantage of this and used his nimble figure to swiftly get above Reggie, and used a swift but graceful curved strike which almost made contact with his opponent before a blue shield appeared on his shoulder, which deflected the attack, Jin quickly used his speed to get back on the ground.

"Damn, this is annoying. Wait.." Jin stood in thought, as he was trying to remember something before Reggie appeared next to him." Not again!" Jin thought as he barely dodged the attack, and then moved behind a large piece of slab unnoticed.

Meanwhile, Azuki was fighting Angelica on relatively equal terms, as both females had clashed their weapons in locked combat, Azuki noticed Jin's desperation and realised that he was still injured."..!" Suddenly Azuki was nearly hit by Angelica's weapon before skidding backwards from the impact of their weapon's collision, and Angelica just said," Focus on your battle with me, or you'll be dead before you know it." Azuki said with a serious expression," Well, you're right in a way, but I won't lose as easily as you think!"

Azuki leaped into the air toward Angelica, slashing down her large Halberd. The woman blocked Azuki weapon with her shield, suddenly she pointed her finger right at Azuki, who was in mid-air, and it began to glow. Azuki's eyes widened in shock as she sent flying in the opposite direction. She crashed into the ground, and hard. Stumbling to her feet, a strem of blood coming down her forehead. Azuki was confused on what just happened.

She recalled the last moments before she was sent flying like a kickball. Azuki slowly wiped the blood streaming down her forehead, but the bleeding didn't stop. Azuki sighed, "What was that?" she thought. Azuki narrowed her eyes at Angelica. "That's some interesting magic you got there, I'm gonna have to learn more." Azuki figured the only way to learn more on this magic was to fight her enemy head on.

"Her magic sent me flying, that much is true. I thought for moment, a beam would piecre me. But instead I was just propeled back, though it hurt......" Azuki surveyed her surroundings, as she was running strategies through her head. "....quite a bit. Now I need to figure out what exactly is sent me flying. Rushing in is reckless, but it will have to do." Azuki twirled her Halberd behind her, and sped towards Angelica. "Now this is where we put our lives on the line!" Azuki shouted.

Clashes Under the Night Sky

Elbert flew back into a wall, cracks splintering across it upon contact. He clenched his fist, as blood flowed down his forehead. The opponent before him was nothing to joke at, and was a force to be reackoned with. No matter what he did, Melayna seem to just counter his attacks. Elbert was starting to think his hand-to-hand combat style was a bad match with her magic.

"Brute force alone does not win battles." Melayne taunted, smiling slyly at eh young soldier. Elbert narrowed his eyes at her. "I'm aware of that, you old witch." He regained his composure, and laid his hands to his sides. " My friends are doing their best, which means I should as well. Don't underestimate me." As Elbert said those words, she lunged at him. He blocked the full force of her kick, and twisted his arm around it, to get a grip on it. Then he twirled around without hesitation and threw her into a wall.

In mid air, Melayna flipped backward and pushed off the all with her feet. Elbert took off towards his enemy. "You just keep flipping and twisting around. I'll teach ya!" Elbert shouted, charging towards Melayna. She smirked at her oncoming attacker. Melayna thrusts her right arm forward, dozens of dark colored snakes ejected towards Elbert. His eyes widened in shock, as he stopped in his tracks. Quickly Elbert pointed his hand upward, "Iron Rock Wall!", a wide pillar of rock emerged before him.

The snakes were deflected, and found themselves shriveling on the ground..Elbert's earth magic had done the trick, that is, protecting him from Melayna's spell. "Snake magic huh..." Elbert said to himself, as he walked around the pillar he had created. "....this could get troublesome. Now I have to worry about getting poisioned." Melayna arched an eyebrow. "Don't tell me you're scared of little old me" she said, with the same taunting tone as ever.

Elbert smacked his fists together with excitment, snickering at her comment. " Yotsuki didn't pick me for nothing. For king and country, right? The way of the military. But I also hold to the expectations people have of me." Elbert remarked, looking Melayna straight in the eye. "I won't lose!" he proclaimed. Elbert's new found confindence was risinig. He knew her magic was deadly, but so was he. How could he make his dream of being a Commander come true, if he can't beat this woman? " Don't worry Drake and Richard, I got this!" he thought.

Melayna scowled at her enemy's new found confidence, this didn't make things easier. She knew she was outmatched physical prowess, and she had to use his brute power against him. But he wasn't some idiot, he was rather perceptive. "This won't be easy. But if it's for Ragna-sama....then I can't fail either." Melayna thought to herself, taking a new offensive stance. "I'm sure you've realized, young soldier. That I'm going serious. " Elbert shook his head at the comment. "I don't underestimate my opponents, better safe then sorry." Elbert dashed towards her at full speed.

Melayna kept the same smile as he quickly approached her. "And what's the name of the young man I'm about to kill?" Suddenly Elbert quickly vanished and reappeared right before her face, leaving her in momentary shock. Melayna felt the wind knocked out of her, as Elbert delivered a clean punch to her gut. " Elbert Newgate!" He dodged her counter blow and kicked her away, with extreme force.

As Melayna was blown away, she struggled to regain her balance and composure, as well as being outmatched and beaten, she just said," I cannot lose!" She said, raising her arm, dozens of snakes headed towards Elbert at high speeds, but before they could make contact, Elbert chanted." Iron Rock Skin." The area that the snakes attempted to attack had been turned to pure stone, preventing any poison, then Elbert swiftly kicked them away. He then said," give up now."

As Elbert's battle had come to a close, Jin and Reggie were still going at it with full force, but Jin was being overwhelmed, as Reggie's superior magic was so versatile that he had nearly no chance of guarding against it. Jin skidded on the ground as he barely dodged another assault from Reggie, panting, he said." Why are you doing this!" Clutching his swords, he charged at Reggie at full speed, hoping for an answer.

Ragna flew swiftly in the air before landing gracefully on a roof, he took of running on contact. He was confident his subordinates could handle the intruders, so he didn't bother worrying. More importantly he had to deal with the two "children" on his tail, Drake and Richard to be exact. He lept again from roof top to roof top, the two young mages were hot pursuit of him.

Drake clenched his teeth, the wild goose chase was getting annoying. "And why didn't you stay with Azuki and them?" he shouted, eyes shifting Richard running beside him. Richard rolled his eyes. "Because you can't handle Ragna alone, and they will be fine." They lept over a alley to reach the next roof top. "There is that a good enough answer for you!" Richard replied, staring straight ahead. Ragna peered over his shoulder to see the relentless duo still on his trail. "Looks like this will have to hurt." he thought.

Ragna suddenly stopped, skidding a bit across the ground. He turned to face Drake and Richard, who were approaching him. Ragna sighed at the sight, this was just too much. The two stopped about a dozen feet away from Ragna. "You had us chasing you like the cops. Jumping from roofs like some type of ninjas! And now you decide to stop." Drake remarked, he was trying to calm down and focus ont he battle about to begin.

Richard narrowed his eyes at the elder man. "So if we ask about your goal, will you answer anything?" he asked calmly. Ragna stretched his hands out in a priest like manner. "To become the ultimate, I suppose." His vague words raised an eyebrow on Drake. "And through these experiments and what not, you'll become the "ultimate"? ...Whatever that means." Draked added, staring intently at Ragna. The latter stroke his chin, "That's a major part of it, yes. All these experiments are just small things leading me to my goal. And yet-"

"Small things?" Richard said, clenching his fist. "Humans lives are just small things to you?" Ragna and Richard exchanged glares. "None are higher then my goal. "Life", and human life more specifically, is as important as you want it to be. My goal is my important then the lives of those unimportant to me, simple." Ragna stated. There was a momentary silence between the three. Drake quickly turned to see a Richard boiling with rage, taking him by surprise.

Drake looked over at Ragna, Richard touched his friend's shoulder suddenly. "No I'll say it." Richard said, taking a few steps forward. The atmosphere around them was tense. And of all people, Richard was pissed off! "Life is precious, it's something to toy with. Those mages had friends, they had family, maybe lovers or people who looked up to them." their eyes locked midsentence. "Yet you took that away." That said, Richard peered over his shoulder to Drake.

"You attack his left flank when I attack. Hit him with some of that Ice Make." he whispered. Drake nodded in agreement, it sounded like a sound strategy. Richard cracked his knuckles, his emotionaless eyes set on a whimsical Ragna. In that moment he dashed forward at Ragna. The man smirked as he saw his incoming enemy. But then motion in his sideview caught his attention. Drake moved in swiftly on Ragna left side.

He stopped running as he slammed his arms together, cold air hissing all around. "Ice Make: Axe Fall!" he shouted. Dozens of ice battle axes hurled towards Ragna. He bounded backwards skillfully, skidding backwards as he kept an eye on Drake. Then from above appeared Richard, descedning down fast with an axe kick. Ragna blocked the full force of the kick, the building shook a little. Richard dodged Ragna's attempt to grab his ankle and flipped backwards several times to make distance between them.

Ragna smiled as he took a look at his 2 opponents. "Oh boy, looks like this won't be a walk in the park." he remarked tauntingly. Drake laid his hands to his sides. " You're a fool if you're underestimating us." Drake remarked, as he turned his attention to Richard. " Richard. Let's go with that combination." A devious smile crossed Richard's face, as he nodded in agreement. "Right!"

Back to where Jin was combatting Reggie, he was still struggling, as he barely parried his opponent's attacks, and then he said," Well, I have to survive this don't I? So, I won't hold back any longer!" He shouted at Reggie, who then replied with," Won't hold back? Hmph, haven't you been going full power this whole time?"

Jin smirked slightly before saying," The Flash Sword Style is truly utilised when your whole body and sword becomes a 'flash' itself. Now I will utilise it. Flash!" Suddenly his body was surrounded with compressed wind energy, and his sword was seemingly vibrating at massive speeds, although it was merely the wind blowing in a large gust.

" Oh? Don't you remember, I can do anything with magic." Reggie said, before creating a dozen spears of magic and directed them towards Jin, who with a new resolve dodged the incoming spears effortlessly before flashing behind Reggie, who was shocked at the massive speed boost Jin had before trying to counter with a shield but had just realised that his arm had already been slashed, and cringed at the pain.

" What is this!?" Reggie shouted, and Jin just said, " I am the Flash that will extinguish your evil!" Suddenly Jin effortlessly moved towards Reggie and chanted," Flash Sword Style:Migrating Star." Suddenly his blade was enveloped in a powerful surge of wind magic before he slashed Reggie many times in the shape of a star before sheathing his sword. Once he did, blood had appeared all over Reggie and he fell to the ground." Damn it! Beaten by a kid..." He moaned as he fell unconscious.

" That was a very difficult battle, and I can't move anymore..." Jin collapsed onto the ground after his magical energy was completely exhausted. Meanwhile, Azuki and Angelica were still battling fiercely.

A yellow beam grazed past Angelica, who was panting in a crouched position. Azuki landed to her right gracefully. Apparently the battle was in her favor. Azuki smirked as she turned to her silver haired opponent. "You're fast, no doubt about it." she taunted, single-handedly whirling the halberd to her right side. The silver haired clenched her teeth,a she stood to her feet and regained her composure.

"Let's not get too happy now, kid. The battle aiin't over yet." Angelica, remarked bringing her shield close to her. The shield was glowing, and seem to have a crack in the middle. The night wind blew past them, blowing their hair around. Electrical discharges ran around the blade of Azuki halberd, catching Angelica's attention. Noticing this, Azuki let out a soft sigh. "I guess I'll say a bit about this" she said, looking at her weapon from the corner of her eye.

" It's the Sky Piecer, that's my halberd's name. It allows me to channel my magical energy through it and fire off large blasts at a quick rate, and othe stuff that's none of your concern. It's also nearly unbreakable, the blacksmith who made it was one hell of a guy. It's my pride and joy, I suppose...." her eyes trailed off towards it. "I promised that with it, I would do great things." At the last words, Azuki gripped her weapon tightly. Angelica sensed a spike in her magical power.(or what was left of it)

Azuki turned her attention back to her enemy. A fierce look in her eyes took Angelica off guard. "Enough of the chit chat...." Azuki dashed towards Angelica in a zig-zag pattern, in an effort to confuse the enemy a bit. Angelica took a step back and took a ready stance to counter Azuki. Azuki lept into the air and brought her halberd crashing down against Angelica's shield. Their weapon clashed, causing a eye-shocking collision.

Angelica was pushed back as Azuki throw out all that she had. The crack on her shiled getting bigger and bigger. "I wont...I won't" Azuki grunted. " I won't lose !!" she cried. Angelica eyes widened in shock as she was being continualy pushed backwards, slowly but surely. She pressed to block the young soldier's attack with all the had, but could not turn the tables on Azuki. Suddenly the shield broke. In the momentary openinng, Azuki edged her foot and quickly twirled her halberd to her other side and slashed at Angelica's abdomen.

The attack connected, and a much blood flew through the air. Angelica felt the air in her lungs escape, the pain in her stomach become almost unbearable as she fell backwards in agony. All along Azuki stood in the same stance, eyes closed, as she felt her enemy's magical power drop to near nothing. "This is it huh. Beaten by a kid, at that." her eyes began to close, in these final moments. "But she is strong. I'm sorry Ragna-sama, I wasn't enough."

She collapsed to the ground, blood splattering around her. The life left her eyes, as her head fell to the side. Beaten and humbled, however, a weak smile crossed her face. Azuki hung her head. Though she was technically a soldier, she could still not stomach killing others at times. Thoughts crossed Azuki mind as she looked upon the corpse of her fallen enemy. Azuki's attention was captured by the spike in magical power to the opposite direction. She knew exactly what that was.

Azuki's halberd disappeared as she turned to see a injured but victorious Jin. "Drake, Richard, don't die." she thought as she walked over to Jin. She felt weak at the knees, a direct result of her battle with Angelica.

Does It End Here?

Ragna glanced behind him and then back at Drake, both young mages seemed to be cooking up a plan. This all made Ragna chuckle to himself, in spite of this gravely serious situation. A smiled crossed Richard's face. "Got it!". Drake cracked his knuckles, "This is where things get serious." he remarked. The sound of ice hissing filled the air, Drake dashed towards Ragna at full speed. "Head on again? Be my guest, young Vista".

Drake, charging towards Ragna, outstretched his hand quickly. "Frozen Tundra!". A huge torrent of ice rushed towards Ragna's position. He narrowed his eyes at the spell. It was bigger then he expected. Both his hands began to glow as he jumped back to brace for the attack. The ice ensued around him in a violent manner, but in that instant he disappeared. Reappearing several meters away, he landed gracefully on the roof. "You brat, that was an impressive attack" Ragna grunted, clapsing his hands together. "But that won't-"

His eyes widened in shock as at opposite side of him came rushing in Drake and Richard, arms outstretched horizontally. Drake's arm was amored by ice, and Richard's by some dark colored magical energy. They were but a few feet from him. In those seconds, Ragna rushed to finish his incantation but was too late. "Double Lariat!" Richard and Drake cried in unison. They smashed into Ragna's neck violently.

As they halted, the head of their enemy flew high in the air. A cool wind blew past them, and deathly silence fell upon their surroundings. Drake could feel his heartbeat. That was pretty much their most powerful combo attack. It had to have worked, just had to have. Similar feelings rushed through the silent Richard as he stood there perfectly still. They had killed Oliver Ragna, the menace of this city. Maybe now they would be recongnized for their strength.

Suddenly they heard a splashing sounds. They both quickly turned to see the body of they thought was Ragna, sliver down into a big puddle of mud. They were both shocked and speechless. "But I could feel his magical presence. How is it that....what is going on? " Drake thought frantically. All their efforts were useless, they had no idea if that even been Ragna from the start. Richard was trying to figure out what had just happened.

"I don't know why. But I figured it would be wise to set a precaution, and so I saw clone magic as wise idea. Human instincts, I suppose."

The words cut through Drake's pride like a knife. They both looked up to see Ragna, seated on the chimeny of the roof across from them, with a smile on his face. "Double Lariat? That has a nice ring to it. Too bad it was useless" he said, same smile as before. It was clear as day, they had been duped.

Drake clenched his teeth in anger. He couldn't handle the fact that he had been duped in such a crucial moment by clone magic, at least not in a civil manner. He looked to Richard, who seemed to be cooking something up in mind. But that didn't assure him in anyway, if Double Lariat didn't work, what else could? What spells could they pull of to hurt a man who has barely tried?

"We went at this the wrong way" Richard pondered, keeping a firm defensive stance as Ragna shifted a little. "We thought we could just hit him with a combination like that and win. We were sorely mistaken." He glanced slightly over at a tired Drake. Frustration would be the end of both of them. Richard exhaled as he took a step back. "No matter, we won't give up. Right, Drake?!" Drake nodded in agreement.

"That is our pride. Not just as soliders, not as mages, but as ourselves-- as men who don't give into anything."

Ragna scratched his head. "Got quite the way with words for a kid. I guess as a Vista, that type thing is natural." The man chuckled lightly to himself as he said those words. Drake raised an eyebrow, Ragna's annoying persona made this battle even more the bothersome. Ragna slighly raised both hands, as they began to glow again. Then suddenly he turned away from them and looked back into the direction of underlings.

"They lost huh. That makes things annoying. Now I have to get that myself." Ragna turned back to the two young mages who had just regrouped a dozen feet away from him. The illumination of his hands ceased, as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. "The game ends for now. I have get something done. For your sake, hope we don't meet again....brats".

A rainbow of streaming lights began to swirl around Ragna, from the lower part of his legs and up. Both Drake and Richard quickly recongized it as a teleportation magic, and rushed towards Ragna. "Stop! We won't let you pass!" Drake shouted, dashing towards the older man. The threat was but amusing to Ragna, as hollow as a log the threat seemed. "What do you mean you have somethin to get?". Richard asked as he came to hault before a rapidly disappearing Ragna.

"Pure blood. In human experimentation, there's some conditions that need to be met for true success. My past subjects have been lacking. You needn't worry, you can't stop me anyhow. Farewell.....Military brats" With those words, Ragna disappeared in a rainbow colored flash of light, one that illuminated the surrounding area beautifully for but a moment.

Drake clenched his fists, thinking back on the battle. The battle had gone his way the whole time. And now all he could was stand. He didn't bother to look back at Richard. They had failed, and badly. Richard touched Drake's shoulder. "Let's get back to the others. This isn't over, we'll find a way to track down Ragna." But in his mind all he could think about was what Ragna was referring to when he said "pure blood".

" Pure Blood........Damn it! It must be the blood of pure mages! Does that mean? He's about to use the blood from the victims that he kidnapped!" Richard exclaimed, clenching and locking his fists together in anger. Drake tapped his shoulder, saying." There's no point in getting angered, we have to go back to the others don't we?" Drake said, Richard did indeed compose himself, but inside he was boiling with anger, and he knew Drake was, but didn't say anything and headed off.

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