Chapter X
The Decisive Battle

"So you want us to fight against Lord Chaos?" Stella asked. Stella was a tall woman with a demanding attitude. She took pride that she wore a crown and ordered everyone around as if they were slaves.
"Yes."
"Isn't it proper to kneel before a queen when asking or demanding something?"
Luke got on one knee and bowed his head, "It would be a great honor for you to fight Chaos. He is unfit as a tyrant and I think that you'd do a better job of it." Luke got up, "So what say you? Do you accept? What do you have to loose?"
"It's a generous offer. But why would I want to live in a volcanic area?"
"Well, after he's dead you don't have to rule there. It can just be an abandoned kingdom like Archen; ruins as far as the eye can see." Archen is a desolate wasteland. The old kingdom of Archen lie in a desert. It was a beautiful kingdom. But a raging sandstorm buried the kingdom along with all of her denizens. Legend says that Archen was Arcadia several millennia ago.
"I see, so I can keep these tropical islands as my own and let Mephisto rot?" Stella thought about the offer, "Well, I won't go. Take Vera and Damascus with you."
"By your leave." Luke walked out of the palace and waited for his new companions to join him.

Xio trailed behind Michael, and Crystal glared at her. For being a castle made of Onyx it was damp and a pungent smell of mildew filled the corridor. They followed the snake like passage and found themselves at a large wooden double-door. That door led into the great hall; before Michael opened the doors, he grabbed onto his sword handle. He felt ready for anything that may have been through that door. He opened the door slowly enough for it to creak, Ark appeared on the other side of the door. Michael was about to strike him down when he realized, "I have a feeling that we shouldn't be here. There is a foul plot, that can endanger the very lives of your friends."

A gunshot was heard and the bullet missed it's target and hit the paneling on the side of the door, "Damn!"
"Tim? Is that you?"
"Michael? What are you doing here?" Tim is wearing different clothing then usual, he wore a black tee-shirt, black pants, dark leather boots that went halfway between his foot and knee, and he wore a long red leather trench-coat.
"Come back with us. Before Chaos finds you here."
"I wouldn't worry about that." Tim smirked.
"So ye changed colors, eh?" Garth asked as he lit a cigarette.
"What of it?" Tim countered, "Lord Vaughan has done so much for me. He treated me like a son."
"But you're my childhood friend!"
Tim drew his sword and pointed it at his throat, "We were destined to be enemies. Lord Vaughn told me that."
Xalamont appeared next to him, "Yes Tim, show them your rage. Show them several years a blood the Adam Hikaru spilled of your family."
"Xalamont! I am charged with bringing you back to Jehovah. Come peacefully and may The Lord show you mercy."
"Like that will happen."
"I can't return to Heaven until my mission is complete!"
"Then I guess you are stuck amongst these pitiful drecks." Xalamont laughed, "I have no intention of returning."
"Have you sold yourself to Lucifer?" Ark exclaimed with disgust.
Michael looked into Xalamont's amethyst eyes and passed out. Crystal and Xio tried to revive him by fanning him.
Xalamont smirked, "Poor boy." he said in a snake like tone,"I hereby place you all under arrest."
Tim walked up to them and placed shackles on their wrists. Garth fought back but Xalamont apparited a scythe and hit Garth in the back of the head knocking him out cold. Ark saw that Garth's cigarette was still a blaze and saw an alcohol container unguarded and carelessly placed; so he shot an unseen force knocking the canister down making it leak, and kicked the cigarette setting the table ablaze.
"Shit!" Tim shouted with anger, "Zal, I'm outta here." He ran outside through the double-doors.
"It's Xalamont you punk!" He stamped, "I'll deal with you all later."
"You have all of the powers in the world, yet you cower over fire?" Soon the great hall was a sea of flames. Ark put his forefingers of his right hand and teleported everybody to safety. The were now in the Forest of Death.

As Luke, Damascus and Vera were close to Choas' Castle, not in eyesight, Luke began to worry; he felt guilt and betrayal, "You guys go on ahead. I have a few things I need to take care of."
"Suit yourself." Damascus sighed.
Vera and Damascus pressed forward. As they made it to the castle, "It looks like somebody did our job for us." Vera giggled.
Tim ran to Vera and Damascus, "Where are you both from?"
"Syndonia." Damascus and Vera replied in unison.
"Good. If you see Michael Hikaru and his entourage, kill on site."
"That's music to my ears." Damascus smiled, "My blade has been wanting to taste blood."
"Isn't he the king of Arcadia?" Vera asked.
"Yes. But he is evil! His winged ally caused this mess." Xalamont teleported next to Tim, "And Xalamont can testify." Tim looked around, "Where is Lord Vaughan?"
"Oh my." Xalamont shook his head and began to silently cackle, "I must have forgot in all of the chaos."
Vera began to laugh, "Was that a joke?"
"No joke. I did forget him." He noticed that Vera was there, "Oh, my where are my manners your highness. Sorry your castle is on fire."
"My castle?"
"Didn't your brother tell you?"
"Brother? Luke? It must have slipped his mind and he never mentioned that we were related."
"Where is Luke?" Tim asked.
"He said he had something to take care of." Damascus replied, but didn't know why they were questioning Luke's disappearance.
"He must have gone back to Michael!" Tim spat, "That bastard." he whispered under his breath.
"Don't worry. They're bound to come back. Then we'll rage our war." Xalamont assured.
Vaughan ran out of the castle screaming, "Why didn't anyone tell me?" though to everyone, it was inaudible because his voice was trailing in his shriek. Everyone couldn't help but laugh because of Vaughan's pajamas; A long dress like with a nightcap. In his left arm he carried a teddy bear. Who knew a tyrant had a soft side?

Michael's focus came back, "Where are we?" his vision was still a little blurred.
"We're in the Forest of Death." Ark sighed in sadness, "Prepare for battle. We'll have a war with just the select few of us." He turned to Michael, "I'll cast a spell on Tim to realize his madness."
Michael gave a sigh of relief, "That's good. He'll come back to us then?"
"No doubt about it." Ark smiled.
Michael stood up, "Everyone! I just wanted to say thank you all for being with me." Michael cleared his throat, "I'm not good at speeches or anything. I just wanted to have fun. I wish I was raised here, but due to Chaos my destiny was changed, but not my fate. Today, we'll end this war that has been going on for years. Today, we will know true peace. Though it may not last long. But I believe that Arcadia will be able to rest safely until a new villain makes an appearance." Michael began to pace, "If you don't want to fight, nobody is forcing you. You can go back to Arcadia and rest; recover lost strength, and eat a hearty meal." Michael sighed, "But I will love for you all to fight alongside me."

Everyone cheered and Michael smiled, "I will go with you, my king." Garth bowed.
"From you it just doesn't sound right. But I always wanted to hear that."
Everyone began to stand up and cheer, "We'll go with you."
"As will I."
Michael turned around, "Luke? I'm glad you're here!"
"I put all of the pieces in place. Sorry, I played both roles and made some allies, but well; Princess Vera and Damascus are to kill Vaughan to destroy Mephisto, but are villains to us, Xalamont, Tim, and Vaughan are our true enemy. But if conflict with Damascus or Vera is unavoidable, you're lives are what's important."
A cough was heard, "I'll help you in this battle. It's the least I can do. I'm more than responsible for all of this bloodshed." It was Mageal, a smile grew on his face, "You all may need a mage to help in this decisive battle as well."
"Thank you." Michael nodded his head, "Well if everyone is ready, let's mosey." Everybody nodded in reply, and began to march towards war.

As Xalamont put out the flames Vaughan ran into the rubble to get his armor, but it was to hot to touch. After a couple of hours sunlight shone upon the kingdom. It was the first time in over a millennia that it happened. Sid waltzed into Vaguhans room cooling down his armor, "Where the hell have you been?"
"What happened to the castle?"
"Michael happened."
"So we lost the war?"
"No damn it! But where the hell have you been?"
"I was in my study. It's fireproof."
"So was this castle, but it still caught ablaze!"
"Well, I built my study. So you're preparing for battle."
"Don't make me kill you! I'm already pissed off! I woke up choking on smoke."
"I'm sorry my lord. With all due respect, I'll help rebuild this pile rubble."
"You better." Vaughn couldn't fit his breastplate properly, "Now be the Igor you are and help fix this."
"Igor? I do not have a hunched back, I'm a scientist!"
"Whatever, just help me suit up."
Sid coughed, "Yes master." he said in a gargled tone.
"Are you mocking me?"
"No, I was sounding like an Igor." he said as he tightened the straps of the breastplate.

Michael appeared on the horizon with his cape flowing in the wind on both sides of him were his allies, "Now, let this be the final battle that we'll ever have!" He began to charge down the hill with sword in hand. Everyone took his lead and charged down with him.
Tim shot randomly at them, Damascus and Vera charged at Michael. Ark Flew in the air and shot an arrow at Tim disarming him. He then began to chant making Tim faint. Mageal cast various elemental spell at the castle to destroy it. Vera got close to Michael, "Prepare to die!"
"Nobody messes with my man!" Xio shouted and she engaged Vera. Vera fights with two swords and Xio fights with a rapier.
Vera began to laugh, "Your man? But you're just a kid."
Xio turned into an adult in front of her, "Go Michael, go encounter Chaos!"
"So, you're not just a kid?" Vera laughed, "This should be interesting."
"Be careful." Michael said he continued towards the castle.
"I shall be your enemy." Xalamont smiled.
"I refuse to fight Angels!"

"But what if I was a demon?"
"I won't fight anything inhuman!" Michael glared, "Now get out of my way!"
"You will fight me!" Xalamont barked.
"Leave him to me." Ark swooped down, "He is my brother, and my mission."
"Thank you Ark." Michael nodded and ran towards Chaos.
"So the White Wings versus the Black Wings." Xalamont laughed, "Such a cliché."
"It's as The Lord Jehovah says!"
"Leaving all of your friends to die?" Vaughan smirked.
"I have faith in them." Michael was filled with courage, "I have faith that we'll win this. Now, en garde!"
"As you wish. With you're head, I will have the complete Hikaru set."
"Then I shall avenge my family. Come at me!" They began to clash swords and Michael's crystal began to glow. The crystal illuminated the battlefield giving everyone of Michael's allies new found strength and courage. In Vaughan's blinded state Luke appeared behind him and stabbed him. The blade went through and almost scathed Michael.
"I can still fight!" He cried in a rage. He began to cleave through the air and Michael and Luke dodged each blow. Michael and Luke exchanged glances and stabbed him together. They withdrew their swords and he fell to his knees, "But why? Why is that I taste the pain of death tonight."
"This is the first time the sun rose in Mephisto, right?" Luke began.
"That means that a new era is on the horizon." Michael finished.
Vaughan closed his eyes inhaling his final breath and fell to the ground on his back.
Vera and Damascus dropped their weapons. Michael marched up to them, "Go back home, and tell your kingdom that your mission was a success. You can take credit for taking care of Chaos. As proof, take his sword. But only in your kingdom will you be heroes."
Ark and Xalamont continued to fight, "It's over brother!"
"Little do you know that I was the puppet master. Our battle will never end!" And he teleported leaving feathers floating down to the earth; it was enough to bury Vaughan.
"Xalamont!" he cried, "I guess the search never ends." he sighed.
Michael gathered everyone around him, "Now, let's celebrate our victory!"
"When is our wedding?" Crystal blushed.
"After we've rested up a bit. Then we'll have our wedding. A wedding to commemorate our victory!"
"I'm going to return to my cabin." Mageal sighed, "It was fun being with you all."
"You won't come with us?" Michael questioned.
"No, I have much to do. For a battle of my own will begin. With Chronus and Xalamont still alive, I fear for the worst."
"Okay." Michael nodded. He put his hand out and Mageal shook it, "It was great to meet you."
"Likewise." Mageal smiled.
Garth cheered, "She's not hurt!" He was surprised to see that his airship was unhurt and ready to fly back to Arcadia, "Everyone, hop on board!"
"I'll walk thank you, Airships make me sick." Mageal smiled.

As they soared through the air Mageal and Sid were talking, it looked suspicious. But none of the conversation was picked up. Jude greeted everybody in the docking bay, "So how did it go?"
"Chaos is dead, Arcadia can now rest in peace." Michael smiled.

"Samuel, you and I were supposed to do it, but you all left without saying a word."
"Well, Luke and I finished him."
"You should have been on the battlefield." Luke said, "Michael isn't very good with a sword, he needs more work." he smiled.
"Well, I can't give him lessons." Jude paused, "I have to go back to my kingdom now."
"Well we were going to have a party to celebrate, then Crystal and I will get married."
"I'll stay for the festivities." Jude smiled.

Everyone skipped their meals and rested. They deserved the break, Arcadia was now in her calm. Ark placed Tim on a sofa in the great hall. He wiped his memory clean of the past few days. Ark slipped off into the night to go to the cathedral for solace. He began to cry to God and asked for forgiveness because he failed his mission, he also asked for a sign of Xalamont's whereabouts.

Mageal tidied up his cottage with Sid's help; Sid felt relieved that he wouldn't have to work for a tyrant anymore. But he was way over his head being the assistant to a great and powerful sorcerer.

It was a new calm to all of the lands. The one fiend who haunted the world for centuries was finally gone. Various countries celebrated, but what is to come of the countries that where allies of Vaughan? Only time will tell...