Chapter 08: Ultimate Mystics

Wolf Knight’s Challenge

 

PART ONE: The Vancuria

 

Nash sat quietly and loaded his guns. The bounty hunter waited on a rooftop in Briarwood along with a squad of Silver Guardians. One of the guardians paced nervously near the edge of the roof.

 

“They should be here soon…” the soldier said.

 

Nash grunted and loaded another bullet, filled with Orbo. “You think I’m going to sit here and wait? You saw what happened back in those woods. Something burned those goddamn witches into char flakes. I’m going to find out what…then I’m going to kill it.”

 

“We need reinforcements,” the guardian said. “We need-”

 

Nash bolted to his feet and lifted the guardian by the collar. “Boy…when are you going to shut the hell up? You want to whine? Be a baby? You picked the wrong job.”

 

Another guardian pushed Nash aside. “What’s wrong with you?!”

 

Nash aimed his guns at the guardian. “Touch me again, I swear to god, I’ll put these bullets straight through your-”

 

The bounty hunter hesitated. He narrowed his eyes and looked towards the distance. Nearby, he sensed a strange spiritual pressure. Nash possessed no supernatural abilities of his own, but with a slightly heightened Ki, he could sense the powers of others.

 

“Something’s here…” he whispered with a gruff voice.

 

The guardians reached towards their guns. “More witches?”

 

Nash shook his head. “I didn’t ask you sissies to guess.”

 

He knew what he felt but could barely say the word. He didn’t believe in the legends. Werewolves? Zombies? Witches? Sure, they were real. But this? No hunter encountered one of these before. Except Nash.

 

“It’s that goddamn vampire…”

 

***

 

Vida rubbed her forehead as she walked down the street. The sun seamed unusually bright and blurred her vision.

 

“What’s wrong with me today…” she whispered.

 

A part of her feared the answer. Her memories false, she wondered what terror Udonna masked from her mind. Did witches try to kill her too? Or did she possess a connection to a different supernatural threat?

 

For months, she felt out of place. These months were the only real memories she retained, after Udonna plucked her and the other rangers from their real lives and placed them in Briarwood with fake memories — with the exception of Nick, who stumbled upon them by chance, with no memory of his past, fake or real.

 

It all made her head spin.

 

Lost in thought, the teen didn’t notice Nai and Mare watch from the rooftops.

 

Nai smiled wickedly. “I can sense it…” she whispered. “She’s one of us.”

 

“One of us,” Mare repeated.

 

***

 

Before space/time

 

Aginor enjoyed life — but not in a romantic, positive way. He craved to learn the mysteries of the flesh. These unknowns fascinated him.

 

The Priest of the One Power worked inside the lower chambers of the Crystal Palace, within the Kingdom of the Moon. He stood in a dark lab lined with tanks of biological specimens, mostly lesser creatures, barely capable of sentient thought. 

 

They bored him. Greatly.

 

He needed more. He needed to study living, breathing men and women. Races. He wanted, more than anything, to further his knowledge of creation. But his fellow priests banned him from experimenting on anything more complex than a common toad.

 

The Priest sighed as he placed his hand on a crystal cylinder. The container held clusters of spores, barely alive, and hardly interesting.

 

“We live in an infinite cosmos...” he muttered. “And this is what I have to work with.”

 

“Frustrating, isn’t it?” a voice asked from the shadows.

 

Aginor turned to see Moridyn step into the lab. “Moridyn! You shouldn’t be here. The others...they’ll destroy you.”

 

“And what will you do, dear brother?” Moridyn asked. “Do you also wish me dead?”

 

Aginor waved his hand dismissively. “I only want a quiet place to do my work...”

 

“I can certainly understand...” Moridyn said as he looked around the chamber. “We have both sought knowledge since our creation. I have always thought us kindred spirits in that regard.”

 

“What do you want, Moridyn?” Aginor asked. “I am...busy...I suppose.”

 

“I doubt that,” Moridyn said as he looked at a cylinder filled with shuffling plants. “Surely these specimens have bored you by now. What if I were to offer you something...better?”

 

Aginor arced an eyebrow. “Better?”

 

“Your fellow Priests limit your work,” Moridyn said. “But the Dark One would pose no such restrictions. Side with him...and you will have unlimited opportunities to carry out your experiments.”

 

Aginor hesitated. “And in exchange?”

 

“Absolutely nothing,” Moridyn said. “You pride yourself in your work. You will be allowed to experiment. To create. And although the Dark One may choose to use some of your creations, you will remain free to toy with any creatures of the physical plane that you desire.”

 

Aginor looked across his lab, at the countless specimens of substandard species. “Your offer is...tempting.”

 

“Come with me,” Moridyn said. “Just one trip. One I believe you will find fascinating. If you don't like what you see, you can return here. To your plants and...insects.”

 

Aginor grunted with thought. “One trip.”

 

***

 

Moridyn led Aginor to a world called Vancuria. Its people floated through the skies on wings of silver light. They wore glistening robes and moved between treetops, crowned with golden leaves, and connected by silver webs.

 

Aginor scoffed at the sight. “One of the fae races? I have seen races such as these.”

 

“Not quite,” Moridyn said. “Look closer...”

 

Aginor squinted and stared. He noticed strands of energy ebb and flow from the creatures. Like weaves of mist, they poured through the Vancuria as they flew through the air.

 

Aginor shook his head. “I don't understand.”

 

“They are sharing each other’s life energies,” Moridyn said. “Like majestic...parasites.”

 

A twisted grin curled Aginor’s lips. “Fascinating...”

 

“Indeed,” Moridyn said. “Think of what you could do with creatures such as these.”

 

Aginor’s smile widened. “The possibilities...are endless.”

 

***

 

Aginor set a trap. The villain waited for a pair of Vancuria to swoop through the nearest trees. Then, he weaved webs of invisible energy that snared the creatures. The webs tightened around the fae and dropped them to the ground.

 

“Yes...” Aginor hissed as he walked towards them. “These two will do quite nicely...”

 

The fae stared at him with glossy black eyes, filled with fear. The Priest crouched next to them and grasped their chins.

 

“Don’t be afraid,” he whispered. “We are about to embark upon a wonderful journey. Together...”

 

***

 

Aginor channeled the One Power and tore through the flesh of the two fae. He weaved and twisted, turned and knitted. He learned more of their physiology with each stroke, and each piece of knowledge pushed him further and further into obsession.

 

“Wonderful...” he whispered as The Power flowed through his veins. “Splendid...”

 

He reshaped the fae into two women with dark hair, black lips, and wings the color of midnight. The Priest took their shared life energy and turned it into something...twisted.

 

Aginor snapped his final weave, and the Vancuria collapsed at his feet. Aginor hummed as he leaned down and stroked their hair. “Wonderful, wonderful...Did it work?”

 

Moridyn smiled at the sight. “What have you done, brother?”

 

“I have created something...beautiful,” Aginor said.

 

The two women flared with black energy and combined into a single entity: Necrolai.

 

Moridyn watched closely. “What is she?”

 

“An experiment,” Aginor said. “I have taken their ability to share one another’s life force...I have taken that power...and made it evolve.”

 

“Intriguing,” Moridyn said. “But to what end?”

 

“To see what happens...when we set her loose.”

 

Necrolai stumbled to her feet. She grabbed her head and screamed with sweet agony, and then shot into the skies. The creature grabbed the nearest fae; her palm glowed with dark power, absorbed the life energy of the creature and tossed it aside.

 

The creature grabbed another fae, bit its neck, sucked every drop of its life force, and tossed the corpse away.

 

Aginor smiled. “She hungers…She no longer shares the life force of others. She simply takes. Splendid...”

 

“Aginor!” a voice shouted from the skies. “What have you done?!”

 

The Heavenly Saint Mikhail shot from the skies and landed on the ground. He spread his wings of golden flame, and gripped tightly onto his blazing sword.

 

Necrolai hissed and shot towards the Saint. But he slashed her from the air with a burst of spark.

 

“I will ask again…” the Saint said as he adjusted his grip. “What have you done? And how can you stand with him? A traitor to your fellow Priests? A Forsaken?”

 

Moridyn smirked and stepped forward. “I offer him something you cannot.”

 

“Madness? Evil? Chaos?” Mikhail asked.

 

“Choice,” Moridyn said. “And freedom.”

 

Mikhail wrinkled his nose with disgust. He looked towards the distance, where Necrolai climbed to her feet.

 

“You have created an abomination of nature,” Mikhail said. “You have turned one of these life-sharing beings into a parasite.”

 

Aginor smirked with pride. “Two of them, actually.”

 

Suddenly, bolts of light stabbed through the skies and landed around Mikhail. The lights faded to reveal five Heavenly Saints: Flagel, Groungel, Volgel, Splagel and Wingel.

 

Flagel rolled his hands into fists and ignited his knuckles. “Moridyn...you were unwise to come out of hiding. Now...you are outnumbered, and you will fall.”

 

Mikhail lifted his sword at Aginor. “It’s time to choose a side, Priest.”

 

Suddenly, the entire world tore into scraps of shadow, with massive shockwaves that hurled the Heavenly Saints off their feet. They flailed through empty space, clouded with fog, as the bright silver eyes of the Dark One appeared, massive, and as bright as suns.

 

“Heavenly Saints...” his voice echoed from everywhere. “Do you think this energy you wield is anything compared to my infinite might? I am all-present. I am all-powerful.”

 

Volgel narrowed his eyes. “And yet you still need lackeys like Moridyn to do your work.”

 

“Need?” the Dark One asked with a coarse laugh. “I have need of nothing. I...desire.”

 

The being’s massive gaze drifted towards Aginor. “You have been given an offer. Accept, and expand your research, expand the boundaries of all creation. Or die. Now.”

 

“I...” Aginor stammered. His gaze drifted to Necrolai, who floated among the mist of the Dark One's being. She flailed about with pain and agony, as her two minds fought for control of her single body. And in the meantime, she lashed out with her power, draining life energy from the remaining fae that floated about the vast emptiness of space. 

 

The sight filled Aginor with delight.

 

“I accept,” he said.

 

The Dark One’s eyes flashed with silver light that blinded the Heavenly Saints and hurled them backward. When the light cleared, the Saints saw no sign of Moridyn, Aginor, Necrolai, or the mist of the Dark One.

 

“That...” Splagel whispered with disbelief, “was the Dark One? That power...”

 

“He was a member of the Pantheon,” Mikhail said. “We weren’t meant to stand against that kind of strength...”

 

“Then what are we to do?” Wingel asked.

 

Flagel rolled his fiery hands into fists. “We keep fighting. I won’t allow the Dark One to destroy creation.”

 

“Destroy?” Mikhail asked. “No...He doesn't wish to destroy. It’s far worse. He wishes to corrupt and twist all that is good. He wishes to bring chaos to order.”

 

Volgel shook his head. “And now he has two Priests of the One Power on his side.”

 

“They are not Priests,” Mikhail said. “They are Forsaken.”

 

***

 

PART TWO: Fated Duel

 

With a fit of rage, Morticon slashed at Koragg with slow and powerful swings. The blows chopped Koragg’s shield with bursts of spark that forced him several steps backward.

 

“Koragg!” Morticon shouted between swings. “My blade Fang hungers! When will you send me to the surface?!”

 

Morticon knew the answer. The villain possessed too much power to pass through one of Koragg’s magick portals. But he didn’t care.

 

The villain swung a powerful chop that knocked Koragg off his feet. The general aimed his blade at the knight’s faceplate.

 

“Send me to the surface…or else…” Morticon threatened.

 

“Don’t lose control…” Koragg said, his voice ice cold. “It’s unbecoming of you. Zazado!

 

His shield snapped open and fired waves of energy that hurled Morticon backward. Explosions tore across the general’s body as he collapsed to his knees.

 

Morticon grunted and climbed to his feet. “Damn you….Damn you!”

 

He started to charge, but before he could attack, the portal of N’Ma glowed red.

 

Morticon lowered his blade and walked towards the portal. Koragg joined him.

 

The glass-like surface ebbed with crimson light and hummed with power. Emotion. Only Morticon understood.

 

The villain lowered his head. “Yes, N’Ma. I understand. I will defer to Koragg…”

 

The portal’s light intensified, and the glow reflected off Koragg’s shield. Koragg didn’t understand who, or what, this N’Ma was. But he sensed its power flow through him.

 

***

 

A violet magick circle formed on the surface. Koragg’s voice echoed through the air: “Uu Zazare.

 

Koragg rose from the symbol with his sword and shield in hand. “Uuza Douza Zazare.

 

His shield snapped open, and its orb glowed with red light.

 

***

 

Koragg’s words drilled into Nick’s mind: “Uuza Douza Zazare. Uuza Douza Zazare. Uuza Douza Zazare.”

 

In his mind’s eye, Nick stood in darkness. Koragg appeared behind the teen. “Those who control the Heavenly Saints’ power…Magicians of the Five Colors…Come to me.”

 

Nick’s eyes snapped open. “Koragg!”

 

He stood in Root Core along with Kuro and the other rangers.

 

Xander arced an eyebrow. “How’s that again?”

 

“Koragg…” Nick said, his voice in a panic. “Didn’t you hear him?”

 

Madison laid a hand on his shoulder. “Nick…Maybe you should calm down.”

 

“I can’t calm down,” he said. He didn’t understand why the thought of Koragg filled him with such dread. “It’s him. The one who killed Udonna. This is what we’ve been waiting for.”

 

Vida shook her head. “Why would he single you out?”

 

“He didn’t. How could you not hear him?” Nick asked. “He called for us.”

 

“Why wouldn’t he just attack?” Xander asked. “If he wanted a fight, he’d start one.”

 

“Because you know him so well,” Nick snapped.

 

“And you do?” Xander asked. “What, are you psychic now?”

 

Hey!” Kuro shouted as he hopped onto the Viewing Globe. “Don’t fight with each other! You’re supposed to be teammates.

 

Nick waved his hand dismissively and started to leave. “It’s fine. No one wants to believe me? I’ll look for him myself…”

 

“Wait, Nick,” Madison called out to him. “We didn’t say we…”

 

But Nick had already left.

 

***

 

Two Silver Guardian heliships landed in the streets of Briarwood. Silver Guardians evacuated several blocks, which the INET forces used as a front base to search and destroy the threats within the city.

 

Nash did his best to ignore them. He stood on a rooftop and looked out upon the city. He felt a wave of spiritual pressure again, but not the vampire’s. This wave of energy felt…intense. The strongest he ever sensed.

 

And it came with a sort of…echo.

 

***

 

Nick ran to the lakeshore. “Koragg!” he shouted. “Show yourself!”

 

“So…you heard my voice…” Koragg rose from a violet magick circle off the shore. “Magician of the Red.”

 

Nick narrowed his eyes. “I knew I wasn’t hearing things…”

 

“You came alone?” Koragg asked.

 

“Looks that way,” Nick said as he flipped open his morpher. “Heavenly Saints, grant me the power of magick! Magical Source! Mystic Force!”

 

Energy flashed around him as he morphed into his armor and snapped his cape.

 

“Burning Flame Elemental! Magick of the Flame! Mystic Red!”

 

Koragg aimed his blade at the Red Ranger.

 

Mystic Red unsheathed his staff. “Magi Sword!”

 

The Red Ranger shifted his weapon to blade mode and charged. He bit back the terror that clenched his throat. This villain seemed so familiar. Just the sight of him filled the Red Ranger with fear.  

 

Mystic Red hopped with a chop. Koragg blocked with his shield and slashed wide. But his broadsword moved slowly, and Mystic Red hopped backward to dodge.

 

Mystic Red swung his lighter sword through a volley of slashes and swings. But Koragg blocked and parried the blows, sparking on impact. Koragg compensated for the weight of his weapon with slow, deliberate movements; no elaborate spins or twirls.

 

Mystic Red spun with a slash Koragg blocked. The opponents pressed their weapons against each other, hard.

 

The evil knight parried Mystic Red’s blade aside and slashed the Red Ranger twice, blows sparking on impact and whipping him to the ground.

 

Quickly, Mystic Red rolled to his feet.

 

Koragg swung upward through a streak of violet energy, slashing the Ranger with a massive burst of spark that hurled him backward.

 

Koragg lowered his sword. “You’ve always been the weak one…”

 

Mystic Red used his sword for balance and climbed to his feet. “What…?”

 

“We’ve dueled before, Magician of the Red,” Koragg said. “And it seems your fighting skills are just as faded as the memories of your past.”

 

Mystic Red shifted into a defensive stance. “Who are you? Even if we fought before…I’m still here, Koragg. That means you never beat me.”

 

“Don’t overestimate yourself,” Koragg said. “Even if all five of you Mystics attack as one…you will die as easily as Udonna. Her powers were…trivial. As are yours.”

 

Mystic Red tightened his grip on his sword. “Don’t talk about her like that…murderer!”

 

The Red Ranger ignited with power, as fiery energy flowed across his body. He channeled the energy through his blade and swung wide, firing a massive shockwave of flame.

 

The flame blasted Koragg with massive bursts of spark that hurled him several meters through the air. Secondary explosions scorched his armor, and he smashed against a rock-face.

 

Mystic Red twirled his blade into an offensive stance and rushed to attack.

 

Koragg crashed to the ground and stood slowly. “Ooza Uru Zazado!

 

He thrust his shield. It snapped open and fired purple energy blasts shaped like the heads of wolves. The blasts howled and smashed the Red Ranger with bursts of spark that hurled him backward.

 

The Red Ranger crashed and skid across the rocky shore.

 

Slowly, he used his sword for balance and climbed to his feet.

 

Koragg stalked towards the Ranger. “Come…”

 

Mystic Red charged with a flurry of sword swings. Koragg parried with his sword and blocked with his shield. The villain countered with powerful swings of his own, but Mystic Red parried and dodged.

 

Koragg bashed his shield against the Red Ranger’s chest, pulled back, and chopped, slashing the Ranger with a burst of spark that drove him to the ground.

 

Koragg stomped the fallen Ranger’s chest with a burst of spark. Then again. And again.

 

Mystic Red rolled aside and rose into a crouched stance. He lifted his sword just in time to block Koragg’s blade.

 

Mystic Red parried and swung through a streak of red energy, slashing Koragg with a burst of spark that knocked him several steps backward.

 

Koragg grunted with rage and charged forward. He chopped through a series of slow, powerful blows that forced the Ranger back with each strike.

 

The villain landed a powerful blow that chopped the Ranger to the ground. The Ranger tumbled aside and landed on his back.

 

Koragg stalked towards Mystic Red and aimed his sword at the fallen Ranger’s faceplate.

 

“Show me your power again…” Koragg said.

 

Koragg lifted his sword to chop. But darts of yellow energy blasted the villain’s wrist and knocked him several steps backward.

 

Koragg looked to see Mystic Yellow and the other Rangers charge to the scene.

 

Mystic Green leapt forward and landed while chopping his axe to the ground. “Green Ground!”

 

The axe triggered a line of explosions that tore across the ground towards Koragg. The attack burst beneath the villain’s feet and sent him stumbling backward.

 

The Rangers regrouped around Mystic Red, who climbed to his feet.

 

Mystic Green spun his axe into a defensive stance. “Looks like we got here just in time…”

 

“Nick…” Mystic Blue said. “We’re sorry for doubting you.”

 

“Forget that,” Mystic Yellow said. “Why didn’t you call us?”

 

Koragg slid his sword into his shield. “So…The five of you are together. I have been waiting for this.”

 

The knight leapt into the air. “Uuza Uru Ugaro!

 

He jumped through a magick circle that expanded his size. The giant knight landed and looked down. “Uru Uru Zazare!

 

The villain summoned a magick circle of purple light. “Come forth, Dark Steed Barikion!”

 

A giant, armored, mystical horse leapt from the circle. Koragg leapt through the air towards the evil zord. “Uuza Douza Zanga!

 

Koragg combined with Barikion and took the form of a giant centaur. The villain armed a massive, double-bladed staff. “Wolf Centaurus!”

 

The Rangers flipped open their morphers. Mahou Dai Henshin! Maagi Magi Magika!

 

They grew giant and morphed into Majin.

 

Mystic Minotaur’s chest glowed with green light. “Let’s form the dragon!”

 

Together, Mystic Minotaur, Mystic Mermaid, Mystic Sprite and Mystic Garuda chanted their spell: “Maagi Giruma Jinga!

 

The four Majin leapt upward, shifted shape, and combined into the Mystic Dragon. Mystic Phoenix leapt into the air and landed on the zord.

 

Mystic Phoenix lifted his sword. “This is the end for you, Koragg!”

 

“What can the likes of you hope to accomplish?” Koragg asked.

 

“This!” Mystic Phoenix shouted.

 

Mystic Dragon flew towards the villain and spat torrents of flame. Koragg extended his shield and charged towards the dragon. The fire exploded against his shield with bursts of spark; his shield snapped open and fired blasts of energy, which exploded around the Mystic Dragon.

 

The opponents leapt past each other and clashed swords. Mystic Dragon swerved around and snapped into the air.

 

Koragg lifted his shield and fired bursts of energy at the zord. Mystic Dragon swerved to avoid the blasts, which exploded through the air.

 

Mystic Phoenix flared with tendrils of energy that shot towards Koragg. The blasts exploded around him with bursts of spark and flame that sent him stumbling backward.

 

“Checkmate,” Mystic Phoenix said with a snap.

 

Koragg collapsed to his knees as explosions tore across his armor. A final explosion burst with fiery light, and when the light cleared, the Rangers saw only smoke where Koragg had stood. 

 

***

 

Morticon sat in this throne and grumbled. “Koragg…defeated.”

 

“He was useless,” Necrolai said as she draped her arm around him. “But I will take his place. Don’t worry, Morticon…I have a plan. You see, my children are about to awaken for the first-”

 

Morticon pushed her away and bolted to his feet. “Am I to never live on the surface?!”

 

“Do not fret, Morticon,” said a voice from the shadows: Koragg. “Everything is going according to plan. Everything…begins here.”

 

***

 

Nick and the others regrouped in Root Core with Kuro.

 

Chip smiled and leaned against the wall. “Well…that takes care of Koragg.”

 

Xander nodded. “Not bad for a day’s work. Can we go home now? I’m starting to get bored.”

 

Nick knitted his brow. “Something’s not right…”

 

“What do you mean?’ Madison asked.

 

“Koragg,” Nick said. “He’s not dead. Not really. It’s like I can still feel him or something…”

 

Xander sighed. “You just can’t let it go, can you?”

 

“Xander,” Madison chided. “Trust him…”

 

“There’s something about him,” Nick said. “Something familiar. Like I know him. And he said we’ve fought before.”

 

“Right…” Chip said. “When we first got our powers. You kicked a can at him, remember?”

 

“Before that,” Nick said.

 

Suddenly, Koragg’s voice stabbed into Nick’s mind. “Magician of the Red…

 

Nick grabbed his head and staggered backward. “I hear his voice again…”

 

The real battle begins here…” Koragg said.

 

***

 

Nick and the rangers ran to the water plant. Dark clouds formed in the air; the clouds streamed downward through a column of black smoke and pealed back to reveal Koragg.

 

Nick rolled his hands into fists. “Koragg…it’s time to tell us who you are. You use magick…but you work for evil. Why?”

 

“Magick is power,” Koragg said. “Through power, I will unleash the Grand Army of Hell upon Earth. The reason why…makes no difference.”

 

The knight leapt into the air. “Uuza Uru Ugaro!

 

He jumped through a magick circle that expanded his size.

 

Koragg landed and slashed through water tanks; the tanks exploded and scattered debris towards the teens.

 

They quickly morphed, leapt upward through flashes of light, and transformed into Majin. The Rangers formed the Mystic Dragon, and Mystic Phoenix leapt onto the zord.

 

“Koragg!” Mystic Phoenix shouted. “This time we’re cutting you down for good!”

 

“You are naïve,” Koragg said. “Thanks to you…I have the power to become the High King of Darkness. WolKaiser!”

 

“What?”

 

“Your final attack. At the moment of the explosion, I absorbed your magick into my darkness!” Koragg shouted.

 

The knight lifted his hand. “Uru Uru Zazare!

 

He summoned a magick circle that spawned the Dark Steed Barikion. Koragg raised his shield and leapt towards the evil zord. “Uuza Douza Uru Zanga!

 

Barikion shifted shape and formed a suit of armor. Koragg slid into the suit, which clamped around the knight.

 

“Wolf Centaurus Megazord!” Koragg shouted. “WolKaiser!”

 

magi-vi-wolkaizer

 

Mystic Dragon opened its jaws and fired streams of flame. The flames exploded around WolKaiser with massive bursts of spark and smoke.

 

WolKaiser armed a double-bladed staff and slashed through the smoke, as tongues of flame licked his armor.

 

“A spirited attack,” WolKaiser said. “But show me your true power.”

 

Mystic Phoenix slapped his right fist against his left palm. “Mystic Fusion! Maagi Giruma Magi Jinga!

 

A golden magick circle formed above the zords. But before the zords could assemble, WolKaiser thrust his hand.

 

Douza Uru Uchira!” His palm rippled with waves of energy.

 

The energy latched onto the zords and siphoned their power. The power formed a sphere of golden energy, which WolKaiser absorbed into his body.

 

“I have absorbed your fusion magick,” WolKaiser said. “Now…you will never become Magi King again.”

 

The villain spread his arms. “Douza Uru Zazare!

 

His chest pulsed with red light. He thrust his hand and hurled a bolt of power, which splashed across the ground. The impact formed a magick circle more powerful than any of the knight’s former symbols. And, slowly, Morticon climbed from the circle.

 

“I am here...I am here!” Morticon bellowed. “Prepare to die, you pathetic, magick-using brats!”

 

“Morticon?” Mystic Phoenix said. “You’re here?!”

 

Morticon lifted Fang and charged to attack. Mystic Dragon shifted into a defensive stance; Mystic Phoenix and Morticon clashed swords with bursts of spark.

 

Morticon parried and swung the back of his fist. The impact smashed Mystic Phoenix with a burst of spark that nearly knocked him from the zord.

 

Morticon grabbed Mystic Dragon by the neck and hurled him through the air. Mystic Dragon and Mystic Phoenix crashed and skid across the ground.

 

WolKaiser stared down at the fallen zords. “How unsightly…”

 

His staff glowed with purple light, and he spun the weapon, forming a magick circle.

 

“Bari Javelin!” he shouted. “Madou Slash!”

 

He slashed through a streak of violet energy, striking Mystic Dragon with massive bursts of spark that hurled him backward.

 

“Guys!” Mystic Phoenix shouted as he scrambled to his feet.

 

From behind, Morticon grabbed Mystic Phoenix’s shoulders. He whipped the zord around and grabbed him in a chokehold. The villain held the zord towards WolKaiser.

 

“The weak will be destroyed,” Morticon said. “Koragg. Do it…”

 

WolKaiser hesitated. “I refuse…”

 

“What?!”

 

“Acts of cowardice are against my principles,” WolKaiser said. “There’s no need for two of us against a weakling like that.”

 

Morticon grumbled. “Fine…I’ll do it myself!”

 

Mystic Phoenix struggled against the chokehold. “Weak…weak?!”

 

He ignited with fiery energy that sent Morticon stumbling backward. Mystic Phoenix shot upward through a streak of flaming energy, and he angled his decent towards Morticon.

 

The zord thrust his hand; he dropped a magick circle that landed on the ground around Morticon. The circle glowed with fiery red light.

 

“Impossible…” Morticon grumbled. “Impossible!”

 

The magick circle ignited with power, dragged Morticon back into Hell, and vanished.

 

Mystic Phoenix landed to face off with WolKaiser. But, weakened, he stumbled and collapsed to his knees.

 

WolKaiser lowered his blade. “Your power…It is interesting. It would be easy to finish you now…too easy.”

 

WolKaiser turned and walked into the distance.

 

“Koragg!” Mystic Phoenix shouted as he reached forward and collapsed.  

 

***

 

PART THREE: Fall Back

 

The teens’ vision blurred slowly into focus. Grumbling, they climbed to their feet, their muscles aching with fatigue.  

 

“What was that?!” Chip shouted as he grasped his head. “We couldn’t even form the-”

 

He stopped when he noticed a squad of Riot Troopers around them. “Um, hi? Do you…have a moment to talk about the Lord? Or something?”

 

Nash stood alongside the generic Riders. He lifted his guns at the teens. “Which one of you fried those witches?”

 

Nick narrowed his eyes. “What did you have to do with them?”

 

“Nothing. Except I aimed to kill them. And one of you beat me to it,” Nash said. “Now…”

 

He stopped when he noticed Vida. He aimed both weapons towards her chest.

 

“It’s you…” he said.

 

Vida narrowed her eyes. “Listen. I don’t know who you are, but-”

 

“You’re the vampire who killed my family,” Nash whispered.

 

Something snapped within Vida. Veins rippled around her eyes, which tinted red, and she lunged to attack.

 

To be continued…Chapter 09