Chapter XXXV: Doble Passe

Nightshroud: Hello all! Well in an attempt not to embarrass myself I'm not going to even look at the last time I updated. Needless to say I've been busy with working and trying to finish up another story of mine, but I have let this go too long. I've never lost interest though, and I don't plan to now. Oh, and in case you were wondering about the title, Doble Passe is a dance based on bullfighting. I just thought it fit well. Well, the promised grudge match is here. Enjoy!

Mina was the first to step out of the portal and look around. They were in a large, open foyer with long, open windows through which a pale, deathly light shone through. The walls were a polished obsidian while the walls were a rougher black stone. Along the roof were ornate black arches with a jagged design.

"So this is where the freakshows live. Very evil lair," Jax mused. Mina raised an eyebrow.

"Do you think they know we're here?" Sota asked. Mina pulled her kunai out and narrowed her eyes.

"Only one way to find out," she said and ran ahead. Jax and Sota looked at each other, then ran after her.

"Finally, all the princesses are in our possession!" Diana said, looking at the figures in the glass holding chambers. "Now we can-"

She broke off abruptly and whirled around. The other Tainted were startled as she took several furious steps forward and glared outward, seemingly at nothing.

"What is the keyblade wielder doing here?!" she seethed, turning back on her four minions.

"He's here?" Marsilio said in shock. Diana's eyes narrowed.

"It appears you were listening!" she hissed. Marsilio shrank back as Diana paced back and forth.

"Queen Diana," said Rolan standing upside-down and grinning, "I'm not sure how the keyblader and his friends got here, but allow me to take care of them."

Diana turned her back to them and gripped her hands into fists.

"Go, and don't come back without their heads."

Mina, Jax, and Sota ran through the corridors until they came into a room much like the one they had appeared in. Mina suddenly stopped short, and Jax and Sota looked around her to see what had made her stop.


Rolan stood in front of them, arms crossed and a wild grin plastered on his face.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time! You know I hate to leave a job...unfinished."

Mina stepped forward and gripped her kunai.

"Mina," Sota said, putting a hand on her shoulder. Mina brushed his hand away.

"I hope you know that this has nothing to do with you. It's personal."

"But," Jax tried to say unsuccessfully.

"This clown and I have some straightening out to do. I have to do this. I need to finally move on with my life."

"Then let's begin!" Rolan said. Mina ran forward and threw one of her kunai at Rolan, but he easily caught it between two of his fingers.

"You're not going to last long if you play like that," he laughed. Mina smirked and vanished from sight.

"What?!" Rolan said, shocked. Mina suddenly appeared on his left and lashed at his neck. Rolan was barely able to sidestep as the blade sliced shallowly into his neck. He backpedaled quickly and placed his hand up to the cut, narrowing his eyes.

"She's even faster than before!" Jax said. Mina ran again at Rolan and slashed at his face, but the clown ducked down as it clipped the tips of his hair. As soon as he touched the floor, though, Mina's foot connected with his face and sent him tumbling back. She summoned back her other kunai and stabbed downward at Rolan, but he placed his hands on the ground and lifted himself into a handstand. Mina quickly put her arms up as Rolan began a series of rapid, intermittent kicks. Rolan broke off the attack, but before Mina could pushed himself from the handstand position into the air and locked his legs around Mina's neck.

"Going down!"

He pulled his upper body down, throwing her over him and to the ground. Rolan jumped into the air and summoned his gatling gun, letting off a wicked laugh before he fired a blast at Mina. She quickly pushed herself off the ground and into a backflip as the ground exploded from the blast.

"Wow those two are some acrobats," Sota said.

Mina stood and glared at Rolan, who grinned.

"Ooh, that look always gives me the chills."

Mina ran forward in a nearly blinding burst of speed.

"Quick Thunder!"

Rolan leaped back as Mina slammed the ground where he stood, creating a circular, three foot, electrical shockwave around her hand. She didn't give Rolan time to counter as she continued to slam the ground with her Quick Thunder technique, just barely missing him. As she went for another attack, Rolan held his hand downward and smirked.

"Thousand Needles!"

Mina skidded to a halt as giant ice spike errupted out of the ground within a five foot radius around Rolan.

"Mina!" Jax and Sota yelled.

"That was too close," Mina thought, her face stopping within inches of one of the spikes. Suddenly she heard Rolan calling out another technique from inside the ice.

"Whip of the Master!"

Mina ducked as a fiery whip sliced through the ice, nearly taking her head with it. She quickly jumped back as the whip scorched through the air again, this time with Rolan emerging behind it. Mina continued to backpedal as Rolan cracked the whip through the air, just barely missing her. Finally he managed a hit on her arm, causing her to cry out in pain as it burned her arm. Rolan saw this as his opportunity and struck at her heart. Rolan, Jax, and Sota all stared in amazement as Mina snatched the whip out of the air, her arm charged with electricity.

"What!" Rolan cried in shock. Mina grabbed yanked on the whip, pulling Rolan toward her. He pointed his gun at her, and she charged her hand for a Quick Thunder attack. Both of them collided at the same time, blasting Rolan and Mina across the room in opposite directions. Mina shakily got up onto on knee, and panted. She looked and saw Rolan slowly stand to his feet, his grin still plastered to his face, though Mina could see the blood on his forhead from smacking the ground. Mina tried to stand but couldn't shake off the shock on her body. She snatched her summon charm from her pocket and held it out.

"Thunder Spark!"

The rest of the light in the room dimmed as a blue circle with magical symbols appeared in the air. A bolt of lightning shot out of it and hit the ground, causing and explosion of sparks that formed into a familiar wolf, standing almost at equal height with Mina herself with bluish silver fur that stood up, bristling with electricity.

"I'd like to introduce you to my friend here, Rolan. Fenris, destroy!" she said pointing at the clown.

"I thought his name was Todo," Jax whispered to Sota.

"I think it was her pet name for him," Sota replied.

("Thanks for covering, guys," the author secretly whispered from behind the set. Both give discreet thumbs-up)

Fenris growled and stepped forward, causing a slight shower of sparks where he stepped.

"Raigeki!" Mina ordered. Fenris opened his mouth and shot a large bolt of blue lightning at Rolan. He jumped backward and landed in a crouching position, but was inprepared for the follow-up attack.

"Blaze Blitz!" Mina called. The wolf barked and shot forward, spinning like a blinding tornado. Rolan didn't have enough time to move as Fenris collided into him, throwing him into the air with dozens of cuts. Fenris skidded to a halt, then shot into the air while Rolan was still falling. Again the wolf spun and collided into the clown, slashing and cutting him before driving him into a wall with a large explosion. While the smoke cleared a blue streak of lightning shot from the wall and crashed into the ground, forming back into Fenris.

"Good boy, Todo," Mina said, petting his side. She looked up at the wall, waiting to see when Rolan would emerge. Suddenly the wall exploded in a cloud of smoke, and almost too late Mina saw the deranged clown jump out of the smoke, firing his gatling gun at her.

"Ultra Fire Bullet!"

"Fenris!" Mina called. The wolf summon jumped in front of her and fired a Raigeki blast at Rolan's gatling shot, detonating them both in midair. Rolan didn't waste time on disappointment. He dropped to the ground and shot toward Mina. Fenris leaped in front of his master and growled.

"Raigeki Break!" Mina called. Fenris shot his tail at the psychotic clown like a bolt of lightning, but the tail split into seven parts as it got close. Rolan gasped in surprise, but the tails crashed into the area by Rolan. Rolan staggered back, then looked up as Fenris leaped at him, clamping his jaws down on Rolan's arm. Mina heard a crunch as her summon's fangs crunched into Rolan's gatling gun.

"Flame Flower!" Rolan said. Fiery tendrils sprang from the ground and began to climb up the wolf's limbs.

"Fenris, return!" Mina said before Rolan could complete the technique. Fenris turned into a bolt of blue lightning and shot into Mina's summon charm as Rolan gasped and looked at his arm. Mina followed his gaze and her eyes widened.

"His's cracking!"

Rolan realized she had seen his weakspot, and fired a blast at her to keep her on the defensive. He continued to fire a volley of shots as she ran in a circle around him. She jumped into the air and charged her hand with a bolt of lightning.

"Striking Thunder!" she said, hurling the bolt at Rolan. He only had enough time to throw his arm up to defend as the bolt slammed into it, shattering it into pieces.

"She broke his weapon!" Sota said in amazement. Jax crossed his arms and smirked.

"Looks like this is just about over."

Rolan didn't waste time with disappointment.

"You think I need that to defeat you?" he said with a laugh. "Not likely."

Mina growled and ran at him when she suddenly felt the air grow cold.

"The keyblader won't save you this time! Frozen Verdict!"

Mina stopped dead in her tracks as ice shot up her legs, trapping her in place. It grew at an alarming pace, creeping up past her waist. She forced herself not to panic in order to think clearly.

"Got it."

She charged her hand and slammed it into the ice.

"Quick Thunder!"

The ice shattered in a brilliant explosion, hurling her violently to the ground. She cried out in pain, causing Rolan to laugh psychotically.

"You see? I don't need that weapon to destroy you. I've had enough toying now. I'm going to enjoy killing you as I did everyone you knew and loved!"

Mina clenched her fists and forced herself to stand.


Rolan was surprised and stopped his tirade as he watched Mina fill with an inner drive.

"Never again!"

Mina threw her kunai straight at Rolan's face, but he caught it between his fingers.

"It seems you're out of tricks."

Mina smirked, and Rolan felt a sudden foreboding.

"What are you-"

"Instant Light!"

Before Rolan could even realize it, Mina was standing in front of him and her kunai was plunged into his heart.

"Now pay for your crimes, monster!" she said. Rolan coughed up blood and staggered back. Mina turned to walk back to the others when she heard Rolan chuckling behind her.

"How very interesting," he said, pulling the kunai out of his chest. Mina turned slowly, her face turning white.

"No...that's impossible..." she gasped. Rolan threw back his head and laughed insanely.

"You poor thing! You haven't guessed it? I can't be killed! I'm already dead!"

Mina stumbled back, unable to breathe in her sudden horror.

"You are a monster!" she managed to gasp. Rolan bent his head down, and Mina suddenly noticed his skin was growing deathly pale. His hair grew gray and dead looking, and when he finally looked up Mina was startled by his eyes, which had become jet black with a yellow iris.

"A monster?" he asked. Mina suddenly heard a sickening crunch and saw a spurt of blood come out of Rolan's back. Then another, and another, and another. Her mind reeled as six jointed bones, like horrible spider legs emerged from his back, pointing at her with deadly finality.

"You have no idea what a true monster is!"

Nightshroud: Well I hope this fight is turning out well so far! It's going to be a three parter so there's more to come! Next chapter Mina takes on Rolan's true form, and there's going to be quite the shocking cliffhanger! Make sure to stay tuned, and leave lots of nice reviews! 8D

Next chapter: The Walking Plague