Lirus and Nocta were surrounded on all sides by Linoura's troops, ready to detain them and take them away. The soldier had a distant look on his face, as if he was not all there while the schoolgirl anxiously looked on at her stoic attackers.

"Trust me brother, this isn't going to hurt a bit. No, it's going to be excruciatingly painful! But it'll still be worth it. Now get them, all of you!" Linoura commanded.

As the crowds of winged soldier children charged at the duo, Nocta thought fast- she had grabbed Lirus and the both of them dove into the shadows, zigzagging away from their captors into the inky blackness of the forest. Linoura showed little signs of anger, and instead casually stated her disapproval:

"... Damn. Well, no matter. They couldn't have gotten far. All of you search the area and alert the other units. If you don't catch them, you know what'll happen to you!" Linoura smirked evilly, giving out orders.

Much to the minions' fear, they did exactly as commanded and flew off towards different areas. Linoura herself walked off through another black metal gate leading further into the area, smiling and saying this out loud to nobody in particular:

"Hmph. Lirus and that girl will just have to accept who they really are, even if I'm not the one to make them do so. Either way, I will get my brother back." Linoura remarked, confident in her words.

Meanwhile, the duo had snuck away into a small grove behind a large gray fence, rising up from the shadows. Lirus still had the vacant look on his face and put a hand to his forehead, sliding to the ground in a slump. The schoolgirl loomed over, concerned about him.

"Lirus, is there something wrong?" She asked, putting a hand on his shoulder.

"No... It's just what Linoura said. I refuse to believe that woman is my sister, let alone her being a humanoid monster." He stated, in dismay.

"Well... I seriously doubt that. She could just be a loony for all we know. I mean, she saw us coming the whole way and she lives all alone on an island full of cybernetic zombies. I personally would have snapped days ago." Nocta stated.

"... Yeah, when you really think about it, it just sounds impossible. But still, what are we going to do? We're practically in the middle of enemy territory and there's a lot of those angel kid soldiers from the looks of it." Lirus stated.

"Maybe we could sneak around and steal something Linoura made that could get us out of this steamy tropical deathtrap. I mean, she did say she was a scientist, so she's bound to have some high-tech jets or teleporters around here somewhere." Nocta propositioned.

"If this were any normal situation, I'd say that's just crazy. But damn it, I'm desperate and I really want to go home now. Let's go!" Lirus stated, jumping up from his sitting position.

"Right! We should keep quiet, though." Nocta cautiously said.

With that, the two of them sprinted through the moonlit forest of palm trees only to come across a grey brick wall. They jumped over it easily enough, but the other side was poorly illuminated, not giving them enough a over their bearings. They walked around, keeping each other close and readying a battle position in case of an ambush.

They kept silent until they noticed several small black buildings, each of them seperated from each other. They were sealed off by metal bars and the interiors were too dark to be able to tell what would be inside. There also seemed to be a dirt path leading directly to another area exactly like it, sealed off by another black metal gate and grey brick walls.

"... Just what kind of place is this?" Nocta nervously asked.

"It's certainly not giving me any good vibes. I don't know- does it feel like we're being watched or is it just me?" Lirus whispered.

"No, it's definitely not you. Which means we've just got to be more ca-" The schoolgirl said, only to get cut off midsentence by a woman's scream. She then clung to Lirus in fear, both of them having gotten startled by it.

"Damn it! Just where are those coming from?" Lirus fearfully stated, gripping onto the magic-sealing knife.

"I don't know, but we should probably get out of here." Nocta said, motioning for the black metal gates ahead.

However, as the duo moved forward, purple flames mysteriously ignited in the formerly unlit torches. They were bright enough to reveal the area around them and what was inside the buildings.

There were crowds of people locked inside of each building, all of them looking gangly and severely underfed- half of them were asleep, while the others crawled towards the bars. There was a tone of intense fear and anxiety in all of their voices as they grasped out to the duo, screaming for help. Upon witnessing this, the duo stood stagnant in shock.

"What is all this? Why are all these people locked up in here?" Lirus questioned, taken aback by what he was seeing.

"More importantly, what use would Linoura have with them?" Nocta replied.

Out of nowhere, to answer her, there sounded out a familiar voice that belonged to a familiar person:

"Since you asked, I may as well tell you."

The clacking of heeled shoes became more audible the more they approached the duo. Linoura then appeared from the southern gate, with the prisoners becoming silent as she walked down to meet the duo. Lirus and Nocta, out of shock, jumped into a battle stance and readied themselves only to have Linoura laugh derisively at their gesture.

"Hah! I didn't come to fight either of you. All I want to do is to answer your question." She said.

"Our question? Well... why do you have all of these people locked up here?" The soldier interrogated.

"That's simple- they're our livestock." Linoura stated, getting a small, insincere grin on her face.

"Livestock? What do you- oh! No! You can't be that-" Nocta was about to say, only to get cut off.

"Cruel? Like I care what happens to these people. I've been doing this for as long as I remember and every time we get a new one, I only get more relieved that we're getting closer to finishing." Linoura stated, her grin becoming larger.

Lirus's blood started to boil at her words, becoming visually more enraged while the schoolgirl looked like she was on the edge of tears.

"Not only that, they're all skin and bones because despair helps season them. The flame of life burns the brightest when in the face of peril. It's all so magnificent!" Linoura explained, having a look of subdued ecstasy on her face while holding her arms out.

With that, Nocta fell to her knees, sobbing her eyes out while Lirus charged over to Linoura, pointing the knife right at her, furious at her smug disposition and apathy. She showed no change in expression despite having the knife pointing straight right in front of her neck.

"What in the hell is wrong with you, lady? You can't do something like this and expect anyone not to find out!" Lirus yelled.

"Oh, but don't you see? With the exception of you two, nobody knows what we do here. We're under the radar, and it's going stay that way for as long as possible. But what bugs me though is why this is getting you so angry, Lirus. This sort of thing shouldn't surprise you." Linoura pondered, smirking.

"I'm not your brother! You're a horrible person, and I don't want anything to do with you! In fact, I may as well kill you here and now so you don't do any more atrocities." Lirus stated, with a soul-piercing gaze in his eyes.

Linoura could only sigh at him, closing her eyes before eventually saying:

"Okay, if you want to do it that way, I may as well use force."

With that, she grabbed the knife by the blade and threw it out of his hands before he could even react. She then punched him in the stomach right afterward, with the force of her blow throwing the soldier a long ways away, forcefully smashing him against the black metal gates.

He fell to his knees, breathless and aching heavily at what just transpired. Nocta sprang up to help him, tears still rolling down her face, only to have Linoura teleport right in front of her, much to the schoolgirl's surprise.

"Just stop resisting. The way you two are now won't even serve as a challenge to me. Just give up and come with me- you're not going to end up like these withered husks, I promise." She stated, with a sincere tone of voice.

Nocta didn't reply but sank into the shadows instead, sliding past Linoura and grabbing Lirus as she passed, going through the wall ahead. Linoura attempted to strike the moving shadow with a burst of purple fire she shot from her right hand, but they had already escaped before it could hit them.

"... Damn it. How much longer are we going to keep playing this cat-and-mouse game before I win?" She stated, annoyed.

The duo had slipped through various complexes, each of them identical to the last one, not stopping until they felt they were far away enough from Linoura. They exited the shadows under the cover of a large bush, uneasy of their surroundings.

"All clear?" Lirus asked.

"I... think so. Lirus, that looked like it should shattered some of your bones. Are you sure you don't have some sort of healing magic you know? Anything?" The schoolgirl asked, feeling worried for him.

"No worries. I've taken harder hits and survived... but damn did that hurt! She looks like a porcelain doll but hits like an artillery cannon- I haven't felt anything so deceptive before in my life! Anyway, never mind it for now and let's just check if there's anything here we can use." He said, sneaking out of the bush.

"Okay, if you say so..." Nocta muttered, unsure about his decision.

Upon going out the bush however, they had seen something even worse when they peeked their heads to see around the corner.

There were several people being strapped against stone walls, with Linoura's troops piercing their hands through their chests and ripping out what seemed to be a pure white glowing orb that was pulsating with energy. As they did so, the victims shrieked all the while, revealing they were the source of the screams that had awakened the duo before.

The scavenged bodies were dumped into a cart and then wheeled off into a 2-story industrial building right afterward. The duo was speechless at the sight and decided to stay low, sliding out of the way of enemy view.

"What are they pulling out of them?" Lirus whispered, still moving.

"I've done a report on this once... Those white things are called Life Cores. You could technically call it a soul. You and I have one as well, since it's the reason why we have control over the elements. But what exactly could they be using them for?" Nocta explained, keeping it under her breath.

"Hmm... They're harvesting these people in large numbers, so I assume they're attempting to use it for some sort of powerful weapon they have up their sleeve. Which is why we have to stop this before it gets any more out of hand." Lirus remarked, to which the schoolgirl nodded her head in agreement.

They ducked behind another bush only to see another building, except this one was completely isolated by forestry and was somewhat larger than the ones before it. However, the main difference it had is that it was painted blue and there were windows that let in moonlight.

"Hey, does anything seem off about that one to you?" The soldier asked.

"Yeah. It looks a bit different from the other cages. What do you say we check it out?" Nocta inquired.

"I guess so. I mean, there's no guards around, so why not?" Lirus said.

The both of them sneaked their way towards the building and looked inside of the cage to see who was inside. To their surprise, it was a rather plump-looking panda girl curled up and asleep on the cold, hard ground.

She had long white and black hair with two pig-tails on the sides, white fur with black spots, a grey t-shirt and a torn blue skirt, long black nails, golden bracelests, no shoes and a blue choker with wing-like appendages on the back.

"What the- who is that?" The schoolgirl asked.

"I don't know, but we should probably check." Lirus suggested.

"How are we going to get inside, though? Linoura threw away the knife you had and... I forgot I can bend shadows to practically do anything." Nocta said, feeling like an idiot as she slapped herself on the forehead.

"Hey, at least I didn't have to remind you." Lirus smirked.

"I didn't want to hear it anyway. Now, stand aside." She grinned in response, with Lirus moving out of the way.

She gripped her hand, causing her shadows to move towards the metal bars and cover them entirely. They dissolved in the blink of an eye, allowing them to make their way inside.

"Have I ever told you how glad I am that I bumped into you?" Lirus remarked.

"No, but this would be a good time to start. Now, let's go help this lady." Nocta stated, going over to the panda girl.

She was blissfully asleep, but was poked awake by Lirus. In a drowsy motion, she slid up and opened her eyes slowly, attempting to see who was in front of her.

"... Yes? Who is it?" She yawned, still half asleep.

When she kneeled up, it was revealed that she had blue eyes and an especially large bosom, much to Lirus's distraction. He blushed a bit but shook his head, leading Nocta to give him a soul-piercing look.

"Oh, uh... we're here to rescue you, miss." The soldier said.

When she heard it properly, the panda girl had woken up altogether, pouncing Lirus affectionally in response.

"You are? Thank you so much! Finally, I can get out of this horrible place!" She gushed, holding Lirus tight.

"Y-y-you're welcome." Lirus said, almost knocked out by her embrace while blushing heavily.

"So what's your name, miss?" The schoolgirl asked.

"My name? Oh, it's Yumenshi Trescale. And yours?" The panda girl replied, letting go of the soldier.

"Wait... Yumenshi? Oh my god! It is you! How did you get locked up in here?" Lirus questioned, still on the ground.

"Lirus? It was you who came to save me? Oh, you're such a gentleman!" She said, giving him a peck on the cheek.

"Ah... You're still as inviting as ever, I see." He muttered, blushing warmly as he kept a straight face.

"Whoa. You two know each other personally?" Nocta asked.

"Of course. My parents are part of the same army Lirus works in, so it's only natural that we'd meet each other eventually. Plus, we're kind of trying out a relationship." Yumenshi said.

"And so far, it's been smooth sailing." Lirus stated happily.

"By the way, who is this girl, Lirus?" The panda girl questioned.

"Oh uh, she's a witch-in-training that I met when my plane crash-landed on this island. If I didn't have her with me, I would have died by now, which is why I'm really, really grateful to have her along." He said.

"My name is Nocta. I'm pleased to meet you, miss Yumenshi." The schoolgirl stated, stretching out her hand.

The panda girl took her hand and shook it in response, smiling and saying this:

"It's nice to meet you too! But just call me Yumi. I don't really like formal titles all that much."

"Alright then. So how come you've been stuck on this island?" Nocta asked.

"... It's a long story. You see, a long time ago, I was ambushed and taken away from my home by those angel kids you saw back there. They came so fast I couldn't even react and before I knew it, I was thrown in this cage." Yumenshi stated.

"So how long have you been here?" Lirus asked, sliding away from her grasp.

"Several months, I assume. The guards only feed me the minimum amount of food to keep me alive for some reason. I've noticed they don't do that with any of the other prisoners, though. Do they consider me different than the rest of them?" The panda girl stated.

"Apparently. Their Life Cores are being harvested like crops out there." The schoolgirl said.

"You don't say? I was wondering where those screams came from... Their cries of agony keep me up at night! Oh, if only I had my weapons! Then I'd be able to do something about this!" Yumenshi said.

"Hey wait... do your parents even know you're gone?" The soldier inquired.

"No, I think they do. They must be searching around for me endlessly, but considering how out of the way we are, or at least that's what I've overheard from the guards- I don't think they would have ever found me either way. Speaking of which, is that why you two are here?" Yumenshi inquired.

"Actually, we both came here by complete accident. My plane was shot down, and something compelled her to come down here. In fact, we were sneaking around here to find a way to get ourselves off the island." Lirus explained.

"I see... Alone, I wouldn't have dared to try to break out, but I think the three of us can do it. How about it?" The panda girl said, holding her hand out.

"Of course. We're this deep into enemy territory, so we may as well find our stuff and wreck the place." Lirus said, pulling her up.

"I wouldn't have it any other way!" She cheerfully said.

With that, the trio ran out of the cage and jumped into the blackness of the forest around them. They kept sneaking out of the way from nearby enemies before coming up against another brick wall. Inside it was a large square-shaped complex with multiple lights coming off it.

"Alright... now we should find out where they're keeping everything. When Lirus crash-landed, he told me all of his stuff got stolen, so Linoura must have stuffed it all into the same place where Yumenshi's weapons are. But a place that important has to be heavily guarded, so even with my shadows, it won't be easy." Nocta assessed.

"I... think I have something that can help. Lirus, Nocta, don't freak out, okay?" Yumenshi said, reaching for her neck.

"... What are you going to do?" Lirus stated, with a suspicious look on his face.

With that, a lavender glow came off Yumenshi's hands and ran through her neck. In a swift motion, she yanked her head off right off her shoulders, with not a single drop of blood coming out. Lirus and Nocta were appalled, to say the least. They stared at the panda girl, unable to say anything as she kept moving despite holding her head between her arms.

"What the fuuuuu-!" Nocta stammered, unable to process what just happened.

Lirus seemed especially afraid of her, with his eyes turning wide and beads of sweat accumulating on his forehead. He pointed up at her, making gibberish noises in an attempt to say something.

"See, now what did I tell you? Guys, I'm just fine." Yumenshi explained.

"How?! You're a walking decapitated body! How does that work!?" Lirus exclaimed, keeping his voice low.

"Yeah, I've never heard of this before." Nocta muttered, still shaking.

Yumenshi sighed out of disappointment and said this to them to calm them down:

"Oh boy... You see, Lirus, I know a little something called Limb Liberation. It's an ancient Luna element technique that allows the user to split their body into seperate parts. My mom taught me, but so far I've only got this. I've never showed it in public because look at how you two reacted. That'd ruin our reputation as the Trescales."

"Hah... No wonder why I haven't heard it before- Luna users gets all the cool stuff. So you can take your head off as many times as you like?" Nocta asked, going from appalled to amused.

"Why yes. Mom said that it would be useful one day. Would that day be today? I wouldn't know, but I may as well give it a shot." Yumenshi said.

Lirus kept stuttering and cowering at the sight of the headless panda girl, with fear still in his eyes.

"Lirus, is there something wrong?" Yumenshi asked, genuinely confused.

"I-I-It's just... People who can take apart their body and still live sort of freak me out. It's not natural." The soldier muttered, not looking directly at her.

"Oh... Well, don't worry. No matter what happens, I'm still going to be the same girl. You can count on that, sweetie." Yumenshi said, going up to him and smiling as she tried to hug him.

"Y-yeah..." He smiled back, having a meek look on his face as he tried to make eye contact with her.

"Ah... Yeah, I'm sorry to break this up, but we need to know what we're facing here. Yumi, can you see what's up past that fence?" Nocta asked.

"Oh! Right. Just a sec, Nocta!~" She said, going over there.

The panda girl raised up her bodiless head to see what was on the other side. There were throes of mechanical creatures that were scouring the area- they were grey in color, had eight spider-like legs and one gaping red eye that emitted an eerie red glow.

In the center, there was a large black metal five story tower with windows that glowed black and red continuously. She ducked back down after observing the place, putting her head back on in the process.

"So? What'd you see?" Nocta asked.

"It's definitely not good. There's like a billion robots on the other side of this fence, and none of them look very friendly." Yumenshi said.

"Well, that's just lovely... What do you suggest, Lirus?" The schoolgirl inquired.

"I-I say that we sneak our way past them. Direct combat's too risky, especially with how 'popular' we're becoming in this place." He said, still shaking from before.

"I could have told you that. But anyway- get in, guys. I've never transported two people before, so it may not be as comfortable." Nocta said, opening up a rift in the ground.

"... Have you ever ridden a shadow, Lirus? Was it fun?" Yumenshi energetically asked.

"Eh..." He motioned, making a 'so-so' sign with his hands.

With that, the three of them dove into the rift Nocta summoned, being able to see their surroundings through a one way opening. They moved slowly in the shadows, creeping over the grey brick fence and making it into the field ahead.

Even in the cover of the shadows, they moved out of the way of the robots just in case. The air was thick with tension as they narrowly inched out the way of being seen by the sentries, dodging and swerving from their view.

"So far, so good..." Lirus muttered, as the shadow motioned towards the tower.

As they creeped up to the building however, they noticed that there wasn't an entrance. They moved all around the rectangular building in an attempt to find one, but their efforts were in vain.

"Ah great... Now how exactly are we supposed to get inside?" The schoolgirl complained while keeping her voice down.

"... Hmm... What if it's locked off so we can't get in? These guys seem to have everything planned out from the beginning." Lirus assessed.

"If that's the case, then we're royally boned." Yumenshi replied, feeling defeated.

"Wait... guys, look up there. There's an opening- can't you see it?" Lirus said, motioning towards an open window on the third floor.

"Aha! They may have everything laid out perfectly, but leave even small things like that overlooked and we'll be able to sneak in no problem. Hang tight, guys!" Nocta said to them, using her shadows to go directly up the wall.

"Good thing we caught that, otherwise we would have been stuck here." Lirus said, relieved.

"I'd be quiet, if I were you. They might hear us!" Yumenshi nervously warned.

"Oh, don't worry. This thing is soundproof. The only way they'd be able to know we're here is if someone peeked their head out or something." Nocta reassured.

"If you say so." Yumenshi muttered, still nervous.

As they began to creep up the metal walls of the building, one of the sentries from below noticed a strand of white hair popping from the shadow cover. Suspicious, it propelled its metal fist against the wall, causing Nocta to lose her balance.

In the confusion, Lirus almost fell backwards out of the shadow, but was quickly reeled back in by the panda girl. The sentry, upon sighting Lirus, relayed this message to the other robots nearby:

"INFILTRATORS SPOTTED! REQUESTING ALL PERSONNEL TO SEIZE AND DESTROY!"

"Aw crap! We're gonna die! Let's get in there before we get caught!" Lirus exclaimed, with the schoolgirl nodding in response and using the shadow to quickly swerve toward the window.

Meanwhile, the sentries fired multiple red energy beams at the trio only for each shot to miss as they slid inside.

They jumped abruptly out of the shadow into a dimly lit room illuminated only by the light coming from the window and the rolling red pulses that were thrown around by red alert lights. It was difficult to say, but the room was made of metal and led into a hallway ahead.

"Well, that was certainly much better than what I expected to happen." Yumenshi said, rubbing her forehead.

"Yeah, me too... Hey wait a minute. Guys, just what is this place?" Nocta asked, looking around.

"No clue. But I do know that what we're going to fight in here is going to be worse than outside, so may as well get ready." Lirus stated, getting up from the ground.

"When you put it like that, I don't even want to imagine what could be ahead." Yumenshi muttered.

The trio made their way through the place, with Lirus making a yellow light source in his hands to see just where they were going in the pitch black rooms ahead. After what seemed to be a while roaming around in darkness, they eventually came across a decently lit room cluttered with all sorts of objects and two of the angel soldiers from before.

In the center of the room, there laid a large glass container that contained a royal blue broadsword with an upside down crescent moon on the purple handle. It was guarded especially by the soldiers, scouring the area for any potencial threats.

"Ah! My sword!" Lirus called out, whispering.

"So that's where they kept it... But I don't see my lovely two weapons anywhere." Yumenshi sadly mumbled.

"They must be in another part of this building. But as long as I get Crescent Excalibur back, the only thing stopping us is finding the way there. Come on." Lirus motioned forward, with Nocta and Yumenshi not far behind.

They hid behind the objects in the room, unable to be noticed by any peering eyes. As the trio snuck around, though, they heard the conversations of the two boys protecting the sword's container:

"Guard duty again? I'm so bored! Who cares about a crummy sword like this?"

"To tell you the truth, I actually want to go home and see my mom. It's been like, what, a year since I last saw her? And it doesn't help that miss Linoura is so ungodly scary."

"Don't get me started. All those rumors I've heard about her aren't very flattering. I heard that she's actually made composite monsters from the body parts that mistress Candelabra brings her. And that's not even the worst one I've heard!"

"Freaky... Personally, I want to get off this place just as much as you do, but doesn't help much that if we fail to catch those two people running around, we're food for that creepy Replicator creature that Linoura keeps around. Every time I look at it, it feels like something dies inside me. But anyway..."

Lirus, upon observing the two of them, thought up a plan and told it to the girls:

"Okay, I think I know how we can get it now. You two try to go and distract them while I break the container and try to grab my sword back."

"Are you sure? I mean, even if there's just two of them, they're still pretty strong. I mean, even when I was fully armed, a group of them was enough to get the better of me." Yumenshi stated.

"Also, who's to say that there's not a whole bunch of them waiting in reserve? I mean, they could be expecting us for all we know." Nocta remarked.

"Then we'll just have to take that chance. Call me crazy, but we'll just have to do it." Lirus stated.

"I am going to call you crazy from now on. But alright, if you say so, sweetie." Yumenshi stated.

With that, the two of them walked towards the soldiers and instantly got their attention. It didn't take long for them to brandish their spears and abandon their posts to attack them. As they dove in to impale the girls, Nocta used her shadows to attack them. To her surprise, the tendrils of darkness she summoned broke upon impact with the two boys.

"What? Why didn't that hurt them?" She asked, confused.

"Of course... They're Lemures. Deathmoon monsters in general are resistant to garden-variety elemental attacks like that." Yumenshi explained, shooting off a lavender-colored blast from her hand at one of them only for it to deflect off their body.

In retaliation, the first one jumped down in an attempt to impale her with his spear, but she moved out of the way before it made contact. Nocta, on the other hand, charged up a ball of darkness in her hands while dodging the swift, dangerous strokes of the enemy.

"Well, what about this?!" The schoolgirl stated, sliding beneath her opponent and going up behind him.

With that, she put both hands together and fired a supercharged blast of darkness at her enemy's back. It shot him straight forward, slamming hard against the metal wall.

"I'll admit, that sort of hurt." The boy nonchalantly said as he peeled himself off with no signs of injury.

"Whoa... You weren't kidding, Yumi. These little guys are built tough." Nocta remarked, impressed by their sturdiness.

"Yeah, don't be fooled by their appearance- any monster made by the Deathmoon Family is guaranteed to be deadly." Yumenshi remarked, jumping out of the way of the other soldier's attacks.

Meanwhile, Lirus had snuck his way towards the container. His hands glowed with a yellow aura as he attempted to punch the glass, but upon his fist colliding with the glass, an invisible barrier had rejected him and threw him a few paces away flat on his back.

He shook his head as he got up, but had no time to wait as an alarm sounded off. The room flashed with red lights and the klaxon called more of the angel soldiers to come inside:

"INFILTRATORS SECURED! REQUESTING ALL PERSONNEL TO COMMENCE ELIMINATION!"

"Oh god! Better think fast!" Lirus muttered to himself, filled with anxiety.

He formed a sword made out of light energy in his hands and struck at the container again, using his own lavender barrier to keep from getting blasted away from the force field. Yumenshi and Nocta, on the other hand, were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of their opposition, getting put up against each others' backs.

"Lirus, hurry! This is getting out of hand!" Nocta pleaded, with her and Yumenshi making a combination between a shadow and lavender barrier.

Even with all their effort, their enemies charged up their spears with ethereal blue flames and attempted to pierce through the shield. Lirus, however, was close to splitting away the glass with his light sword, sweating heavily all the while.

"Almost there... A-ha!" He said, having gotten all the way through and reaching his hand inside.

The combined barrier summoned by the girls was cracking into pieces because of the constant barraging it was suffering from the angel children. It didn't last long enough before one of them forcefully pierced their way through, nearly slicing Nocta in the process.

"Oh no! Lirus, sweetie, we're about to get skewered by these creatures! For the love of Ranthael, please hurry!" Yumenshi pleaded, holding tight onto the schoolgirl.

As they were about to attack again, the soldiers stopped abruptly in mid attack. They turned to look around to see their numbers getting slaughtered by the man himself as he sped through them, slicing and dicing his way towards the girls.

Nothing stopped him as he jumped up and dive-bombed with his trusty sword in hand, going right through his enemies and landing right next to Nocta and Yumenshi.

Three of the angel boys attempted to attack Lirus directly, but with a strength-backed, two-handed swing, he slew them with little difficulty, watching them as their bodies burst apart into violet flames and disappear into the ether.

Upon sighting this, the remaining forces turned tail and escaped the room, fearing for their lives. Nocta and Yumenshi were in awe of Lirus's presence as he held up the blood-stained broadsword and panted heavily, exhausted from the slaughter he had made. They expressed their gratitude in spades:

"That was amazing! No wonder why you wanted your sword back so badly!" Nocta stated, impressed at what he saw.

Yumenshi had pounced onto him and showered him with her gratitude, intensely squeezing him.

"Thank you so, so much, dear! You really saved us there, Lirus!" Yumenshi lovingly said.

"Aww... Thanks, guys. I'm glad you feel that way. And it's all thanks to this baby right here!" Lirus said, holding up Crescent Excalibur.

Nocta saw it firsthand and was instantly enamored by it. She went up closer to observe it, asking what it was:

"Oooh! So, Lirus, what kind of sword is this? It's certainly much more powerful than anything I've seen so far."

"Ah, you see, Crescent Excalibur isn't just your ordinary blade. It's one of many Sacred Weapons made to slay powerful monsters and a moon sword to boot." He replied.

"... No way! You possess a Sacred Weapon? I've read about them, but I would have never imagined that I'd see one in real life, much less meet someone who wields one." Nocta stated.

"And it's very special for Lirus to wield it, no less. I'm sure you know, but Sacred Weapons are selective among their users. The same applies to my two weapons - only I can use it." Yumenshi explained.

"Wow... That's really cool, I have to say. But before we move on, how about you explain to me what exactly the Deathmoon Family is? I mean, I've heard a few things about them from all my studies and what the Trescales have told me, but never anything too significant. Please?" Nocta asked.

"Now's not the best time, Nocta. We'd better move." Lirus stated.

"... Yeah, that's probably the best idea." Nocta said, moving on forward with the other two.