Rex Gardner:

As the extraordinary amalgamation of steampunk engineering, resembling a fusion of train, boat, and aircraft, advanced gracefully toward the mysterious cube, it suddenly halted mid-air.

The air crackled with the intensity of a fervent dispute between captors and prison guards, their voices carrying through the vast expanse. Amidst the heated exchange, a resounding voice emerged from the prison, transmitted through the radio waves: "Ptt-Unidentified unit approaching...! STOP! Who are you?!"

From the confines of the contraptions' cabin, Torch's captor emerged, leading the frail old man with an invisible magical grasp. The tension was palpable, and Kagura, standing beside me, reflected it vividly—her anxiety for Torch's safety mingling with the fear of potential discovery. Acting swiftly, I discreetly manipulated the ship's reality using my Game Magic, subtly weaving an illusion that veiled our presence, transforming the surrounding environment into my domain.

The declaration of "Warden Torch?!" echoed through the air, a shocked resonance emanating from the floating prison.

In response, a member of the enigmatic Five Bridge Familia delivered a cool, indifferent reply, "We'd like to come in."

Torch's unwavering resolve shone through as he strained to issue a warning to his subordinates, his shout tinged with urgency, "You can't! They plan to free Drum!"

A pained grunt escaped him as his captor exerted an invisible force, a silent promise of merciless consequences unless his demands were met: "Please. Before he finds himself dead."

My heightened senses allowed me to discern the subtle nods of nervous agreement exchanged among the prison guards. Succumbing to the pressure, they reluctantly swung open the Cube's gate.

"Thank you for your cooperation," the captor acknowledged, steering the ship confidently into the heart of the prison.

Beside me, Kagura's eyes widened in wonder, mirroring my fascination as we absorbed the surreal spectacle unfolding around us. The Cube seemed like a pocket dimension, revealing an alternate reality comprised of myriad miniature floating gray cubes and a towering silver one adorned with futuristic electric circuits. The entire scene unfolded like a mesmerizing otherworld within the confines of the prison walls.

With a commanding gesture, the captor pointed towards the imposing structure and declared, "Let's make our way to the prison control tower at the center." The ship gracefully descended towards the silver techno cube, and one by one, the Five Bridge Familia members disembarked, their presence adding an air of calculated determination to the unfolding mission.

As they touched down, a group of figures, unmistakably the prison guards, approached from the opposite end. The obscured faces of these guards remained hidden beneath cloth coverings, revealing nothing of their identities. The Black Vox jailers donned a uniformity that concealed them from head to toe in a light jumpsuit, even their extremities hidden from view. A series of black rectangular frames adorned the center of each suit, and while most displayed a single dark square on the upper left side, the individual leading the group boasted three such embellishments, likely denoting his esteemed position as the Head Jailer. Adding to the ensemble, the suit featured a robust black gorget.

What captured the attention most, however, was the Head Jailer's distinctive attire. A kerchief, elegantly concealing the lower portion of the face, bore the simple yet ominous Black Vox symbol on a gray fabric. The Head Jailer also brandished a towering ornamental Staff of Office, its grandiosity matching his stature. The colossal staff, as tall as the Head Jailer himself, hinted at the authority he held within the confines of the prison, amplifying the aura of power that surrounded him.

The Head Jailer directed his attention to the Five Bridge Familia member who held Warden Torch captive, his voice carrying a weight of authority, "...You wish to trade Warden Torch for Drum, correct?"

An ominous smirk curled on the captor's lips, a harbinger of dark intent, as he smoothly responded, "Yes. We will honor our promise."

Tension gripped the air as sweat trickled down the furrowed face of the old man, who cried out desperately, "No, Grog!" - revealing the head jailer's name.

Grog remained silent for a moment, seemingly lost in contemplation, before finally speaking, locking eyes with the captive warden, "I'm sorry...but you, Warden Torch, are like a father to me...so please..."

Torch, his expression a mixture of disbelief and anxiety, pleaded, "...! Grog!"

Breaking the heavy silence, Grog turned behind him, subtly nodding to a black-haired subordinate. With a swift motion, the subordinate conjured a futuristic holographic interface out of thin air, deftly manipulating the controls. The screen illuminated, and a nearby gray cube descended to the ground with a soft hum.

With a distinct popping sound, the sides of the cube began to lift, revealing a formidable figure within. I presumed it to be Drum Bee, quietly musing on my observations.

Drum Bee emerged as a colossal figure, shrouded in an enigmatic choice of clothing. His left eye, featuring a slit pupil reminiscent of reptiles or felines, and a dark outline, was the only visible feature, while his right eye was concealed by a circular scope-like lens. Dark, spiky hair peeked out from beneath a band in a samurai-like cut. Possessing a robust build with a massive torso and elongated arms, Drum Bee's legs seemed relatively smaller in comparison. Even hidden by gloves, his fingers appeared strangely flat and angular.

His entire form was meticulously covered: a hood obscured his head, revealing only a narrow slit for his eyes, adorned with dark vertical stripes and a rectangular section hanging on his chest; a massive metal collar encircled his neck. Drum wore a dark, baggy one-piece suit with round kneecaps and a circular grating, adorned with mechanical ornaments over his abdominals. Two large pipes crossed his chest in an "X" formation, and a rope belt circled his waist. Sleeves, lighter than his suit, bore numerous small holes, while metal bands with massive studs adorned his upper arms and wrists. His outfit concluded with simple boots featuring prominent, squared protrusions on the front. The mysterious and imposing aura exuded by Drum Bee captivated the onlookers, leaving an air of uncertainty hanging in the prison chamber.

Rising with undeniable power, Drum Bee strode purposefully toward his guild members. Abruptly, a long, white, pointed spear manifested in his grasp, a relic adorned with several dents that bore witness to a storied history. Surveying his guild with a commanding presence, he nodded approvingly and spoke, "Good job, my sons."

The resounding acknowledgment hung in the air, but Torch, still captive, unleashed a powerful scream from behind Drum, each utterance sounding like a broken record. However, Drum Bee paid him no heed, his attention fully focused on the unfolding scene.

Grog, the Head Jailer, locked eyes with Drum and asserted, "Now return Warden Torch, as you promised, and leave here at once. Though the moment you do, you'll be wanted men once again. I'm sure you'll be back in no time."

Contrary to the anticipated compliance, Drum Bee rebuffed their expectations, declaring with unwavering resolve, "No...I'm not leaving, and I'm not returning either."

Confusion and astonishment seized the onlookers, their collective "?" mirroring their shock.

"I'm about to make Black Vox my guild!" Drum's powerful proclamation echoed through the prison, reverberating against the cold, metallic walls. In response, Kagura, poised with a sword stance, awaited my signal, her readiness palpable.

The prison guards and Torch himself were caught off guard by the audacity of Drum's declaration. "?" hung in the air as Grog, attempting to comprehend the magnitude of Drum's decision, probed cautiously, "...What?"

"Black Vox is among the most formidable prisons in existence," Drum declared with his gravelly voice, his words carrying an air of confidence. "It's not just about its defenses; it's well-armed too. In other words, an impregnable fortress." A triumphant grin etched across his face as he concluded, "Perfect for a wanted man, wouldn't you say?"

As Drum unveiled his calculated strategy, I couldn't help but find it predictable. The revelation seemed to have a ripple effect, evident in Grog's exclamation, "...! So...that was your plan all along...!" Nervous sweat betrayed the unease that gripped the Head Jailer.

With a resonant thud, the captor finally released Torch, allowing the warden to crumple painfully to the ground. Drum Bee spoke up, his spear angled menacingly towards the fallen warden, "And as promised, Torch will be returned to you. As a Corpse, that is. Warden Torch...! I've always wanted to kill you with my own hands."

Grog, helpless in the face of the impending danger, shouted "Tor..." as he attempted to rush to save the warden. However, the distance proved insurmountable, and as Drum prepared to deliver the final blow, I gave the signal to Kagura.

With lightning speed, Kagura lunged forward, a blur invisible to all but me, snatching the Warden and sliding him out of harm's way just as Drum's spear connected with the unforgiving ground.

As Torch regained his footing, he turned to Kagura in disbelief, "...?! Kagura-Chan?! You made it out alive?! What are you doing here?!"

In a seemingly unconscious effort to exude composure, Kagura turned her back to the Warden and approached the Dark Guild, particularly Drum Bee. She coolly stated, "I'm here to save you, Mr. Endebar," eliciting a stunned reaction from the old man.

"Warden Torch!" The urgent cries of Grog and the guards resonated, drawing their attention to the fallen warden. They sprinted towards him, their concern palpable as they inspected his condition. A collective sigh of relief escaped them as they exclaimed, "Thank goodness...!" Their attention then shifted to Kagura's back, and they inquired of the old man, "Who's that?"

Still mildly shocked, Warden Torch gazed at Kagura's figure and simply uttered, "My friend."

"Hmph. Fine... I can deal with them later," Drum declared, capturing everyone's attention. "Let's address this first." Behind him, the gathered group turned to witness one of the Familia members holding the guard who operated the interface, mirroring the way they had held the Warden. The glass screen now rested in Drum's hands.

"Huh?! The prison's controller..!" exclaimed one of the NPC guards.

The captured NPC mumbled out in shame, addressing Warden Torch and Grog, "I'm sorry...!" Drum, typing something on the interface, commanded the gray cubes to fly around them and unfold, liberating the other prisoners.

"...! No..." Grog lamely uttered, a mixture of horror and fear etched on his face. "Is he opening all of the cells?!"

Kagura's complexion grew grave as she sensed the magical auras emanating from the newly liberated prisoners. Meanwhile, my attention was drawn to a particular prisoner, who seemed only mildly interested in Drum's next declaration.

"Can all of you criminals hear me?! I have just set all of you free! WHAT DO YOU SAY WE ALL GO SETTLE SOME SCORES!" Drum manically proclaimed. However, my focus remained on a prisoner sitting with his legs crossed on a floating platform.

The middle-aged man sported an ungroomed beard and mustache, brown-orange hair, and a dark brown cape that draped his body. Amidst the chaos, he casually ogled the female guards, paying no mind to a fellow prisoner challenging him to a competition of killing guards. Eventually, his gaze fixed on me, and he greeted me with a cheeky grin and wave. Despite the supposed invisibility, he seemed to discern my presence. Yet, my lack of shock stemmed from the realization that the magical power brewing within him matched my own, and, above all, he harbored no malicious intent.

As the dark guild members assured Drum, "Master, we and the prisoners should have no trouble taking care of them ourselves," I shifted my attention back to the unfolding confrontation.

However, with a puzzling expression, Drum turned his back just in time to spot my apprentice soaring into the air. She descended with precision, aiming to deliver a swift strike with her sheathed blade.

In response, a formidable force of Telekinesis erupted from Drum, surpassing the capabilities of his subordinates, attempting to repel Kagura away. Yet, this time would be different, as she was now in prime condition. In mid-air, she effortlessly wielded Archenemy with her left hand while pointing downward with her right hand.

"Gravity Magic: Earth," she calmly intoned, conjuring a downward gravitational force from the palm of her hand to counter Drum's blast. The two forces clashed for a moment, and Kagura emerged victorious, her gravity overpowering Drum's attack and pressing down on him, compelling him to kneel.

"Grkk!" Drum exclaimed in pain, his determination battling against the force trying to bring him down. His pride, however, resisted submission to a seemingly small opponent.

The Familia members looked on in astonishment, witnessing Kagura's prowess. They simultaneously directed similar blasts toward her, prompting her to shield her body just in time with a mana skin. Though the force still pushed her back (dispelling her spell), she utilized her athletic abilities to make a graceful landing.

"You brat!" Drum erupted in fury. In response, not only he but the entire guild, along with the liberated prisoners (excluding the orange-headed man), formed behind him, advancing menacingly toward Kagura. The impending clash seemed inevitable, each side poised for a showdown of magical prowess and physical skill.

Emerging from the chaos, the prison guards rushed to Kagura's side, offering assistance, though the realization of their severe mismatch dawned upon them. In response, I intervened, dispelling my illusion with loud, purposeful footsteps that captured everyone's attention.

"That's enough," I declared, turning to address the guards. "This is between her and them; it has nothing to do with you."

The conflicting factions emitted collective murmurs, demanding to know my identity. To silence them, my mana erupted from my figure, causing both sides to widen their eyes and instinctively step back in fear. From the corner of my eye, I noticed the man with visible interest, casting a gaze upon me.

With a snap of my fingers, I invoked my spell, "Game Creation Magic: Triumph." In an instant, a towering brown coliseum, identical to the one used by the Clover Kingdom for the Triumph, materialized from the ground. The surroundings were bathed in a glow of magic, warping everyone to the newly created arena.

The criminals marveled at the sudden change, finding themselves now adorned in red pinnies, with Kagura positioned across from them in blue. The guards, taken aback, found themselves in spectator seats, while the announcer's seats were occupied by me and the intriguing man.

Seizing the attention of all present, I outlined the rules of the game, "Red vs Blue, whichever team is standing at the end will be freed. Killing or simply knocking your opponent out is equally acceptable."

However, defiance arose from one of the villains who stupidly pointed at me, demanding, "Why do we have to follow your orders, brat?!"

"Yeah, who do you think you are?!" another chimed in, lunging from the arena toward the seats to confront me. Yet, their audacious advance was abruptly halted by an invisible barrier. A chorus of screams pierced the air as they made contact, only to be burned and incinerated, leaving no trace of their existence behind. The ghastly spectacle left both guards and prisoners alike in shocked silence, a heavy tension lingering in the transformed arena.

The man beside me emitted a low whistle, a mix of awe and appreciation at the brutal display I had orchestrated. Ignoring his reaction, I pressed on with my proclamation, "Of course, you don't have to participate if you don't want to," causing a collective brow-cocking from the assembled participants. Before their confusion could fully manifest, I clarified, "That is if you were strong. But weaklings like yourself have no choice but to be my toys. So go on and amuse me."

Turning to face the man beside me, I addressed him directly, "As the Game Master, even I can't break this spell. Only an equal or superior external force." The man beside me wore a smile of amusement, clearly reveling in the unfolding spectacle and harboring no intention of intervening.

"It's hundreds of you against one little girl; surely you're not scared?" I taunted the villains, with Drum appearing increasingly frustrated, his anger palpable.

My gaze then locked with Kagura's, who met my eyes with faint signs of betrayal. In a loud declaration that resonated throughout the coliseum, I sent a message aimed directly at her, "Fight or be forgotten!" The words hung in the air, carrying a weight that went beyond the immediate battle, challenging her resolve in the face of the impending clash against overwhelming odds.