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...

-OATH APEX-

[The battle between the serpent-like insect, Vesse, and Cruce in his Safan fox form is about to commence.]

...

Vesse: Now! [She thrusts a tendril into the ground, bound for Cruce.]

Cruce: [Sensing the dangers, he rushes ahead, Crossblade now held in his mouth. Vesse's tendril launches from the ground where he was seconds ago. As he approaches Vesse, her acidic mist becomes exponentially more potent.] (Gnnh! ...This stuff... sucks...) [Feeling ten times heavier within split seconds, Cruce trips up.]

Vesse: [Another of her tendrils slams into Cruce, throwing him away. He is sent flying into one of the stone buildings.]

Cruce: [Hollers out at the impact. The Crossblade falls from his mouth.] (S-so... no frontal assault... Not just yet.) [He stands, quickly hopping out of the way of Vesse's tendrils, two of which crash into the building, destroying it with ease.]

Vesse: [As Cruce runs, hundreds of spines on her long body illuminate before shooting out. They leave a trail of purple light behind as they are fired, and erupt into a tiny cloud of gas upon impact.]

Cruce: [Having retrieved his Blade, he heads around Vesse to locate any possible weak points. He is struck time and time again with the spines, relying on his Spirit Cross to reduce damage taken. The weight of the mist is strong, however.]

Vesse: [She casts a quick, yet powerful spell. Numerous symbolic lights cage her body. At the center point of each of these symbols, a pulse of dark energy is fired. One of these pulses knocks Cruce off of his feet once again, his Blade flying from his grip.]

Cruce: [Laying on the ground, he groans.] (She's... insane... There's no way I can even...--) [One of Vesse's tendrils strike from below the ground, sending Cruce flying a third time.] Waaahh!! [Inverted in midair, he spots his Blade. Thinking fast, he utilizes his conjuration magic to, rather than call his Blade, teleport himself to the Blade, which he grabs promptly.] Mmf! (Wait a sec, I--) !! [He dives out of the way of another dark pulse, although he is struck with another tendril soon after. He lets the Crossblade fall out of his mouth, before warping to its location once again.] (I need to stay on my feet, and she won't let up. I can't move a few inches without being catapulted, and the mist isn't helping. So if I can't run around, I'm gonna have to move inter-dimensionally. This'll get technical.)

Vesse: [Her force field of symbols vanishes. Soon after this action, she thrusts her entire body forward at Cruce, leaping from her hole and burrowing through the Growth. Cruce evades this, however looks around frantically for his opponent.]

Cruce: [Completely still, his ears flatten.] (Craaaap, I didn't know she could do that!!) [He notices that Vesse utilizes the walls, given away by the sounds of her burrowing. She breaks through the ceiling of the Oath Apex, immediately spitting a barrage of spherical crystals, all of which rupture in midair and break into a cluster of smaller wisps of darkness. They home in on Cruce. He stands his ground, closing his eyes tightly and forcing his Blade's energies outward, summoning a clear dome shield around himself. The shield endures the barrage.] (Alright, I need to move to the offensive somehow!) [He breaks through his own shield, which fizzles out after he leaves. Again, he sprints around the battlefield, now avoiding the homing blasts from Vesse.] (I... I can't shake them!)

Vesse: [Continually fires the barrages of dark orbs from her mouth. She speaks directly into Cruce's mind.] Trust your instincts. Use your Crossblade as you see fit.

Cruce: [Panicking, he takes this advice incorrectly and faces the oncoming wisps, attempting to slash away at the attack. It is of no avail. Each of them shred right through Cruce, vanishing after they leave his body. He collapses, only taking minimal damage due to the Blade's assistance. However, this is a passive effect. He has not trusted his instincts.] Nnn... [The Blade falls from his mouth.]

Vesse: You are still very weak. My student was right to spare your life when he could. There would have been no glory in claiming your life. [Her mouth opens wide. Air converts into a purple plasma and slowly forms into a large sphere of her select energies.]

Cruce: [He grabs the Blade, breathing heavily.] (Dammit, I'm not that weak!) [He glares up at Vesse, who is charging her next move.] (I have the Crossblade! I AM the Crossblade! It's all I am--all I have! I know I'm stronger than this!) [With this surge of conviction, he flings his Blade skyward, waiting a moment before leaping after it. He performs a few flips to gain momentum before warping to his Blade, capturing it with his tail, and performing one final flip mere inches from Vesse's face. He slashes her sphere of dark energy, causing it to erupt and literally backfire. This move damages Cruce as well, as he is thrown to the ground, however quickly recovering.]

Vesse: [Roars loudly as her move is countered. She retracts herself into the tunnel. She cannot be seen, however she can be heard burrowing. Her voice comes to Cruce's mind.] Good, but not good enough. [She ambushes Cruce, sprouting from her first tunnel and quickly wrapping a tendril around him, holding him in front of her. She begins squeezing his torso. Second after second, she squeezes tighter and tighter.]

Cruce: [Having grabbed the Blade with his mouth again, he can only bite down hard on its handle without the capability of getting a clear hit on Vesse's tendril.] Mmmgh!!

Vesse: [She does not relent.] Escape if you can. [A second time, she charges up the energy sphere at her mouth.]

Cruce: [Struggles, only feeling more considerable pressure with every passing moment. Escape is physically impossible.] (I can't move! She's gonna wreck me...!!) [He cries out, letting the Blade fall from his mouth.] Aaaaah!!

Vesse: [She spares Cruce no mercy, continuing to charge her move and squeeze him tighter.]

Cruce: [At the last moment, he gulps hard, pushing himself to use his strategic sorcery of warping to his Blade. Purely out of instinct, he pulses out of solid being, and back in again with his paw over the Crossblade on the ground. He watches as Vesse releases the energy orb, which flies nearly at the speed of sound into the Growth's wall. A blinding explosion of venomous energies results in the impact, leaving a large concave scar.]

Vesse: [She hesitates for a moment, looking down at Cruce. Saying nothing, she thrusts a tendril through his back. It exits his chest, burrowing into the ground slightly.]

Cruce: [He grunts lightly, freezing as he feels himself impaled by the tip of the tendril.] ... [He looks down, seeing the object penetrating through his body.] ...Wuh--...

Vesse: Show me more, Cruce. [She slices through the lower half of his body, causing Cruce to burst into thousands of arcane bits of black, glowing matter, all of which come together at the Crossblade and reform his Safan body with haste.] Ah... So you are...

Cruce: [Shakes his head, curious as to what had just happened. His body bears no scars or evidence of injury. Without questioning the previous ability, he growls, picking up his Crossblade.] (That's it! That's enough!!) [Via emotion, abilities begin to manifest in very interesting forms. A second Crossblade appears, which he grasps with his tail. The Crossblade is Safiri's; floral and vine-like. With this added power, Cruce picks up the pace, now running at an incredible speed around Vesse. With Safiri's added power, he is no longer afflicted by the dark mist.]

Vesse: Such speed... [She cannot keep up with Cruce's sprinting. Instead, she dives back into the ground, returning to her position at the ceiling. Cruce continues to run, hoping to keep his momentum and adrenaline.] Use that power, Cruce. [From her maw and two tendrils at her side, she fires rapid streaks of dark energy at Cruce which would otherwise annihilate him were he not running at breakneck speeds. This assault continues for a good thirty seconds before Vesse begins charging another powerful blast]

Cruce: [Aware of the charge. His speed would make little difference given the attack's blast radius. With a keen eye, he spots a fallen stone pillar leaning at a fairly steep angle. Cruce uses this as a ramp, leaping high off of the pillar and into the wall, which we strikes with his own Crossblade and remains suspended as Vesse's dark energy sphere decimates the ground below. Sparing no time, Cruce lets himself drop quickly, leaving his Crossblade dug in the surface. Landing promptly, he uses Safiri's present power to get a burst of speed in the appropriate direction before warping to his stuck Blade. With his forward momentum, he rips the Blade from the high wall and slashes through Vesse's face, a radiant streak of black and white following this motion.]

Vesse: [She flinches. Her face appears undamaged, although she is injured. Quickly, she burrows herself away as Cruce regains his balance.] Impressive... [She reappears at her initial spot, now shielded by her rune symbology once again. They emit dark pulses once more as Vesse attempts to crush Cruce with her vines.]

Cruce: [Commences the sprint once again, looking for an opening. He spots the stone pillar used as a ramp, however Vesse's attack is unrelenting. He will not be able to buy the time to perform the leap. All he can do is run.] (Sh-she's got me here...! I can't warp. If I stop even for half a second, I'll be torn apart... B-but I already was torn apart, wasn't I...? I can't risk it! I have Safiri's power, and I need to use it correctly! ...Wait... her power, her Crossblade... If I can warp to my Blade, then...)

Safiri: [She is not present physically.] (Yes, there you go! I'm with you, Cruce! I'm ready to fight again! I have faith!)

Cruce: (Safiri...?)

Safiri: [As if time passed Cruce by, Safiri is suddenly running alongside him, smirking. She has returned to her Safan form. Cruce still holds her Blade in his tail.] (Hey!)

Cruce: [His eyes go wide.] (!! You!)

Safiri: (I know you're mad at me, but could you ask permission before taking my Crossblade? Thanks! Now let's do this! Launch my Blade up high when I say so!)

Cruce: (Wha...?)

Safiri: (Just trust me!)

Cruce: [Still baffled as to how they're communicating.] (Okay!)

Vesse: [Unhindered by the appearance of Safiri, she keeps attacking.]

Safiri: [She cycles Vesse with Cruce a few more times... In this series of events, time appears to slow down. She and Cruce are a mere quarter cycle from the ramp. This is when she tells Cruce to toss Safiri's Blade straight up.] (Now!!)

Cruce: [He flicks his tail upward, the Blade traveling as high and straight as he can throw it at the speed.]

Safiri: [She takes off on the ramp, now running much faster than Cruce. As she flies off of the stone, she phases out of being, and back in again, using her own Crossblade as a portal just as Cruce had done. With her maintained kinetic energy, she flies directly over Vesse's force field of runes, slashing through her head, the injury healing faster than the eye can identify.]

Vesse: [Her force field shatters as she roars out, toppling over and laying weakened for a moment.]

Cruce: (I'll be damned... Now's my chance!) [He dashes to Vesse, unleashing a flurry of slashes across her face, each of these attacks' physical impact on her body healing immediately. He finishes the relentless combo with a high leap, thrusting the Blade into the top of her head and leaving it in place as he hops back.)

Vesse: [One final time, she roars, lifting her entire body back up before falling backward, nearly striking Safiri. Safiri manages to escape Vesse's fall.] ...

[After a few more growls, all is quiet...]

Cruce: [He weakly trots up to Safiri in disbelief after watching Vesse for a time.] ...

Safiri: [Walks up to Cruce, smiling wide...] Hey there...!

Cruce: Safiri, you... [He stops before her, simply staring.]

Safiri: [Blinks a few times.] What? I can't have cool powers too? 'Know how long I've been watching you battle? Ever since you stole my Crossblade! Just like that! I even thought of a tactic and pulled it off with your help after all. That was awesome! [She lifts her paw.] High paw!

Cruce: [Hesitating, he lifts his paw slowly, touching it to hers...]

Safiri: ... [Looks at her paw.] ... [Looks back at Cruce.] C'mon, that's not what I had in mind...

Cruce: I can't believe you're... here... How did you...?

Safiri: [She giggles, walking around Cruce once.] Well when we went our own ways, I felt pretty ashamed that I would let myself fall so low. When you questioned my faith, I got pretty mad. But not that blind, illogical mad that I was before. I mean I was mad with a purpose, you know? I wanted to redeem myself, but when I got back to the other Safa's Ancient Growth, I had no way to get to this Safa! Because SOMEONE stole my Crossblade... [Eyes closely at Cruce.] And I couldn't go through the Oron Mo. But! It was with you! I could talk to you through your Spirit Cross... Our Spirit Cross. We communicated on a different level. I saw something different in you. I saw something I liked--I loved; that I miss... I saw the Connector: my friend. It's because of the Crossblade. When you took control of my power, I could use yours. We kinda became one for a little bit. I don't know how you did it... But you're a lot like him... I felt a lot of emotion in those moments. You used your emotion to get this huge surge of power. That's just like him. I've felt that emotion before. It feels so true; so righteous... It makes me feel invincible. Cruce... that's the Connection.

Cruce: [Staring back at Safiri with his jaw wide...] ...I... I don't... know how...

Safiri: I was wrong about everything. You are the Connector... But you're not the same Connector. See, I know I'm not the Eclipse right now... But I still feel that same... feeling, I just can't... I can't explain it all too well. To not be an Eclipse and feel the Connection... Just what exactly are you, Cruce? What?

Cruce: ... [He looks away momentarily.] ...I'm nobody... ...Well, I'm the Spirit Cross.

Safiri: ... [She places a paw on Cruce's.] We're the Spirit Cross...

Vesse: [Although she appears to be unconscious, her voice is still heard. It is thrown elsewhere, however.] The Spirit Cross, yes. I expected you would find an answer to this sphere of detention--where only you could come to face me, Cruce. But through your power, you have become more than one. You are always more than one. Your true strength lies in those who understand you as Safiri does.

Cruce: So... friendship is my power? [Chuckles a little bit.]

Vesse: Hmhm, you could say that.That and emotion, which I was trying to invoke in our battle, you see... You have proven yourself a warrior deserving of greater strength... I will allow you to utilize my power through that very Spirit Cross. [The massive serpent that appeared to be Vesse begins to fizzle away into ethereal air. The Crossblade hovers to Cruce and Safiri, laying itself down before them with a purplish glow running through the black of the crystal blades.] Call upon Vesse, the Ruinous Venom, when you need. I will start you on a new quest; a quest within many more. I will give you a purpose, and so will Safiri, and so will many others of this realm. [Much like the Crossblade, the Script of Ecliptic Origin is lain in front of Safiri. The Oron Mo on its cover glows green... At the same time, the serpent disappears, leaving behind Euwer, a Nightmare Alpha of Xulfur's.] As for you, Safiri... I will restore this duty to you... [She recites a passage. Energies begin to flow gently from the air into the Script, then to Safiri.] "The Dusk and Dawn shall be granted to Taira; as Taira will be the Dusk and Dawn of Oron: Ecliptic One, to be reincarnated with perpetual tenacity. And Taira will be an Oronian, as commanded by the Mo."

[A blinding light...]

...

[The Growth of Oaths is restored to life. All evidence of Darkness is lost, as the Oath Apex glistens with Safan life once again. Ruins are restored, the tunnels are filled, and the dark mist is gone.]

Safiri: [She stands with the Script hovering before her, her fur glittering brightly.] ...Thank you... Darkness? I thought you were... l-like bad...

Vesse: We desire that the world fall to the deepest Darkness beyond imagination. This is not our world. It is not our universe. Our... students... do not realize that. Safiri. You and I have witnessed a threat far greater than anything. This same threat has deleted Xulfur from being. I have been spared, as have you.

Safiri: I remember... [She nods.] The voice that changed me into an Ancient Fairy, one of my older forms before the Connector came along. It would've killed me if I wasn't an Eclipse.

Vesse: No, not killed. Deleted. A fate much different than death. This must befall each of the Shades, so that my Ruinous brothers and sisters experience this threat first hand. Only then will they follow you, Cruce. With the powers you will amass on your journey, the pathway to this threat will become clear. You will face this great power in time.

Cruce: Hm... Alright... But I shouldn't go around telling people about this, right?

Vesse: I cannot imagine how anyone would believe you... I would proclaim such a threat, however my power is dwindling. Being an Eclipse was the only thing which allowed me to exist outside of Tartarus with no student. I must return... Call upon me when you need guidance, Cruce Maximilius...

...

[Vesse fades.]

...

Safiri: ...[She smiles wide.] ... [She turns to Cruce and hugs him, one leg around his back and her head against the side of his.]

Cruce: [Stands still, blinking a few times.] ...Heh, hey... [He smiles in return.]

Safiri: The things we've been through... I'm just... I'm stunned... you know? ...Gee, I can't believe I lost faith. But... then you came along, took a blow from me, and... I'm glad you came along, really... I'm happy to have met you. [She steps back, smiling at Cruce.]

Cruce: [He grins wide.] Aw, dang, I needed to hear that. It's been a rough day or two--I've lost track of time--see, there's this girl who was giving me a hell of a time, and--

Safiri: Hey, shut it.[She jabs Cruce lightly before chuckling a little.] It's over now. Maybe. Let's get back to the Oathlands.

Cruce: Can we? Aren't we like a couple thousand miles in the sky or something like that? [He looks around before staring down at his Crossblade...]

Safiri: Hehe. [The Script floats next to her face.] Well I can get us home with a little help from this old thing. OH I FEEL SO GOOD! [She hops.] I'm me again! Cruce, I'd kiss you, but that's weird~.

Cruce: The other Cruce and Safiri don't seem to think so!

Safiri: Yeah, w'll... I-I don't know what's going on in that universe. They're off doing their own thing. I think I'm done bothering them unless they really need help. Stuff gets confusing, huh?

Cruce: Tell me about it... [Shakes his head, putting a paw over the Crossblade before commanding it to vanish.] Onward to Oathville?

Safiri: [She nods.] Yup. [The Script emits a circle green light, Cruce and Safiri both inside this circle. Multiple circles form around them until an orb is shaped. The orb caves in quickly, leaving nothing behind.]

...

(...)

...

(...I didn't think things would turn out like this... Not at all. Safiri, the Ruinous, the Connector thingy, the Spirit Cross, the greater threat... I'm starting to have a purpose here. Er something... A quest of quest of quests... I guess I'll be busy, but at least my first problem is solved. I found Safiri! No, I'm kidding. Rush told me to look for a girl named Safiri at the start of all of this... But I guess I really did find her, in a metaphorical way. I found that she's with me. She's part of my Spirit Cross. Our Spirit Cross. But why? She had the Crossblade even when she wasn't an Eclipse, although she was the only one to get the Blade... It can't happen to anyone. She's a special case. She's more than an Eclipse... Hah, hell, I still don't even really know what an Eclipse -is-. Maybe the other Cruce knows better... Lavender and her friends... 'Hope they find who they're looking for. And those guys back on the Pokémon place; I hope they're doing alright. I might be seeing them again real soon. But... I made a promise...)

...

(Rainbow Dash really might not be that different from me. She came here with no memory, and she's stranded. I don't know her too well, but I didn't know Safiri--I still don't that much--too well, and we're probably going to get along just fine from here on. I just hope I'm not getting in over my head... nah... I have more confidence now. I feel better. I feel like I matter now. The Crossblade isn't a "worldslayer" anymore. It's exactly what Safiri wanted. It's... the Connection.)

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I'm predicting some typos.

I could proofread, but I'm tired! |D

But yeah, those errors are pretty common when I get rolling. Usually my thoughts just vomit themselves out without correction.