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A cloud of dust and smoke was kicked up from the explosive impact of Galvadon's mace, obscuring his vision entirely. John wanted to see the results of his handiwork as soon as possible, so he used a spell to whip and disperse the smoke immediately. To his dismay, no person or organic matter laid within the crater he had created with his strike. He quickly turned and surveyed his surroundings, finding nothing in sight. An irritated look crossed John's face. That coward... did he run? He thought, but his irritated expression quickly turned to panic. He forgot to check one last place.

Galvadon looked up, just in time to see Nemo hurdling down right at him. He had escaped the blast radius of his mace by warping above it at the last second. Nemo let out a crazed laugh before cartwheeling into a downwards kick at John. With his mace's head still stuck into the pavement, he couldn't swat Nemo from the sky, his only choice was to block. Just before he was impacted with the heel of Nemo's boot, Galvadon blocked it with the blunt staff of his weapon.

The impact discharged some magically generated kinetic energy, transferring from Nemo's boot, to John's staff, and finally his body. It caused him a good deal of pain, but not nearly as much as it would have if he hadn't blocked it. John pushed Nemo back with his staff, causing Nemo to dismount from balancing on top of Galvadon's weapon into a back flip before landing.

Galvadon quickly pulled his golden mace loose from the pavement and retracted it, causing it to fly through the air before popping heavily back into place on the staff. "I can't say I'm surprised, but I really wish you would've just died from that. That's rare coming from me, but I already know torture wouldn't bother you any." He said before resting his weapon on his shoulder.

Nemo let out a small scoff in response. "Splitting up was a questionable decision, Father Stockton must really have been afraid of my anti-magic ability to go as far as to sacrifice your twin synergy. Shame I wont get to witness it." He replied.

"Oh, well, he really hated the thought of having his specially crafted spells be belittled down to simple fish food for you. Fighting you would be like opposing a brick wall for him."

"I suppose I can sympathize. My abilities aren't always as visually inspiring as I'd like. In order to create my own spells I must first destroy another's."

"Spare me your sermon, Smiley, I've heard enough speeches lately as it is." Galvadon snapped back, uninterested. "What's with that outfit? You lose a bet with the apostate or something?" He asked.

"Not quite... she did." Nemo replied. "I thought I'd give my own little spin to her gang uniform. It's not often I have a reason to go for a retro-punk look. What do you think?"

Galvadon let out a laugh. "What do I think? I think that might be some camaraderie I smell. That's unlike you. Were you hoping the snake might accept you because you put on motorcycle jacket? I fear you might be growing soft on me, Smiley." He explained with a condescending tone, continuing to chuckle. "Maybe I'll tell Stockton to spare her, so I can bring her up here and finish her myself, nice and slow. All for your pale white eyes to see. What do you think about that?" John asked, his sadistic side beginning to surface.

After John's diatribe, Nemo's expression was noticeably less playful than before. "I think I've grown tired of our little talk." He answered, his voice deadpan and ominous.

"I couldn't agree more." Galvadon grinned before swinging his mace towards Nemo. The head detached as soon as he began the swing, extending out by the chain to reach Nemo.

Nemo limbo'd himself back strangely to dodge the swing, and then immediately used his warp to advance himself closer to Galvadon. John retracted his weapon back to try to hit Nemo with the backswing, but Nemo sidestepped it at the last second. After his mace was back in place, Galvadon stepped forward and began to slam it down towards Nemo.

Nemo extended his glove hand up in an attempt to block the swing by it's head. Any onlookers would of thought this to be a terrible idea, but just before the weapon connected with his palm, it was stepped by a small plate sized force field. The impact let out a loud clang, as if a church bell had been rung. Nemo kept his arm up, locking the weapon in place.

"You're much stronger than you let on." John commented with a slightly strained voice before pulling his weapon back to break the hold. He followed up by striking the ground instead of Nemo to create a heavy shock-wave of debris towards his opponent.

Nemo generated a quick barrier to shield himself from the shrapnel, but just as the pelting passed, John's mace-head suddenly flew through the dust by it's chain and pierced Nemo's barrier. It continued on to slam heavily into Nemo's chest. Thankfully the spikes were still retracted. Despite the crushing blow, Nemo barely lost his footing. John rushed through the smoke neck while his weapon was still retracting back, delivering a ruthless punch to the side of Nemo's face.

Nemo powered through the assault, appearing mostly unfazed. He returned the favor by striking John right in the abdomen, his own attack had left the church-goer wide open. John winced, clearly not as accustomed to pain as much as Nemo was. John threw another wild attack, but Nemo blocked it, this time grabbing his arm into a lock. He pushed John back, forcing him to back-pedal until he slammed into the temple wall. The impact loosened his grip on the mace, causing it to drop and clang loudly on the stone floor.

With a growl, Nemo threw a feral strike at Galvadon. John narrowly cocked his head to the side to dodge the punch. He then grabbed onto Nemo's jacket and used all his strength to spin him around and slam him into the wall. In a fury, John began to repeatedly bash Nemo across the face. Galvadon quickly lost count of the strikes he dealt, but by the fourth Nemo began to emit a sickening chuckle. As the beating continued, Nemo seemed to only get louder with his laughter.

Eventually John exhausted himself with the attack. He stepped back to take a breather, seeing Nemo's now bloodied face. Strangely, he was still cracking a smile, albeit one with trickles of blood seeping out of his mouth now. Nemo spat the excess blood out of his mouth. "C'mon, put some emotion into it Johnny boy, I just can't feel the love in your punches yet." Nemo stated, ending it with a giggle.

Frustrated, John rushed back forward and unleashed another strike. This time however, Nemo blocked the swing with his fist and grabbed John's forearm. He then forcefully twisted it until he yelled out in agony. Followed by a swift kick to the midsection to immediately silence him. Nemo then let go of his arm and struck Father Galvadon across the face. John stumbled back and fell over by his mace with a thud.

Nemo advanced on John once again while he was down, but just before he could initiate his next move, a fiery swing from John's mace appeared. John had grasped his weapon on the floor and put in a little something extra this time. The sight of the flames seemed to immediately cause a shift in Nemo's attitude. His carefree look seemed to dissipate, replaced with wide eyes as he tracked the fire intently.

"You're one tough son of a bitch, I'll give you that." John said as he brought himself back to his feet. He spat out a small bit of crimson from his teeth before continuing. "You might not fear pain, but that's fine, because I know what you do fear." John waved the flame engulfed mace towards Nemo. "I thought playing fair with you would be enjoyable, but it's begun to lose it's charm."

"I think fear is a strong word, I'm just a bit more sensitive to being burnt extra-crispy than others." Nemo replied.

John angrily swang downwards at Nemo, his macehead detaching to extend it's range. Nemo hurriedly warped out of the way to the side. "I am the rising sun that will cause vile creatures like you to scurry back off to their caves!" John whipped the handle of his mace, causing the head to remove itself from the ground and swing by it's chain back at Nemo, this time coming dangerously close to hitting him. "But my light will burn so bright that even there you wont be safe!" He added before raising his free hand up and exploding a ball of magically created yellow sunlight in his hand, causing a hot flash-bang like effect to course through the air.

Nemo was so preoccupied with tracking the ablaze mace that he didn't notice his other spell, Nemo's light sensitive eyes were immediately blinded. He covered his eyes, reeling from the irritating flash and stumbled back. With a heavy metallic ker-thunk Nemo found himself sent airborne by a immense strike from Galvadon's mace. He sailed across the pavement before leaving the ring entirely and smashing into a broken wall of one of the ruins.

After hitting the floor, Nemo worked on trudging himself back up on his feet, sputtering blood out from his mouth. On the way up he cleared his eyes and checked his body for any fire, thankfully the brief impact with the mace hadn't lit him ablaze. He certainly wasn't completely unscathed however. The morningstar had slammed into him with more than enough force to shatter a couple of his ribs like peanut brittle. It was then that Nemo noticed that his left shoulder had been popped completely out of place as well. He grabbed his arm and crudely shoved it inwards to snap it back into it's socket. In order to stop his lungs from getting torn to shreds from the broken ribs, Nemo placed his hand on his midsection and cast his mana-thread spell to temporarily sew all the pieces back together. However, with the time he had, he couldn't totally fix the three puncture wounds he received from the spikes. A stream of blood could be seen running down his leather jacket, trickling onto the ground.

"Good... that's good, I'm starting to feel the emotion in the way you fight Johhny-boy. It's been a long time since I've been hit that hard... Honestly, it's a rather refreshing feeling. It's only when I bleed that I can truly feel like I'm still living." Nemo stated after wiping the blood from his mouth. "One thing I've always loved about situations like these, with nobody else around, is I get to use some of my personal spells. Many of my own creations have never had an audience that's lived longer than the performance."

John idly swung his mace above his head to ready a strike if he needed. Nemo's comment made him hesitate to commit to any attack until he knew what was coming. Even though he might be able to prevent him from charging up a spell, he might be running straight into a trap.

"Leere Erbrechen." Nemo spoke, casting some sort of incantation John had never heard before. At first it seemed like nothing had happened until Nemo noticeably retched. He spewed a cup worth of black sludge onto the floor from his mouth before raising his head back up to face Galvadon. His maw became full with something once more, and when he opened it he fired off a glowing basketball sized black blast of magic towards John from his mouth.

Galvadon quickly charged his own blast and fired it off to collide with Nemo's, but his yellow ball of fire was effortlessly snuffed out by Nemo's own spell. What?! Now wide eyed and with no time to spare, John panicked and retracted his mace. He pointed it forward and generated a massive yellow magic barrier from it's head.

Nemo's ominous midnight colored spell collided with the barrier into a massive black explosion, eclipsing the entire area John once was into a noxious field of onyx colored vapor. The dark fog slowly rolled away in the wind, revealing John splayed out on floor, his clothing significantly scuffed up, and his mace totally destroyed. The head of the weapon ended up taking the brunt of the attack, and it could now been seen in multiple gold pieces around the arena, leaving only the pole and chain in tact spilled out on the floor. The power behind the spell must have been truly mighty to shatter an enchanted magical heirloom like that.

"What a shame, I was planning on keeping that for my collection." Nemo spoke monotonously as he started to slowly approach John. Droplets of that black ichor still dripped from his mouth intermittently, and crimson blood still trickled out from his wounds onto the floor. Nemo reached into his jacket and retrieved a balisong knife and began to idly flip it as he approached.

John groaned heavily, sputtering up his own lifeblood onto the floor. He rolled to his knees as quick as possible to face Nemo. "You t-truly are a monstrous creature." He spoke, shakily raising his arm up to fire off a yellow blast of sun magic.

Nemo raised his gloved hand up to the attack, effortlessly dispelling it into vapor when it connected with his X rune. "I suppose it's within my means to repair it." He pondered, halfway there.

"Even if I die, I'll at least know that your punishment will be m-much more severe. By failing to kill you I've only condemned you to your heinous existence. Life itself is your punishment. A life where you will always be hated. A life where you will never be loved, even from God. A life where you will be completely, and utterly, alone!" John exclaimed with a halfhearted grin. He began to frantically fire off three more blast spells in a last ditch attempt to ward Nemo off.

"Maybe the weapon wont satisfy me... perhaps I'll take your skull." Nemo dispelled John's attacks just as easy as he did the first.

"I don't fear you, for in the end my spirit, my soul, will be released to return to my Father and rest in heaven." John said, accepting his fate. But before he could speak any further, he noticed that Nemo was treading awfully close to the long expelled chain of his broken weapon.

Galvadon quickly reached to the side and grabbed the handle, causing the chain to spring to life even without the head when he injected mana into it. It moved to the side and rapidly wrapped around Nemo's leg. John yanked on it with all his might and pulled the chain back into it's handle. The combination heaved Nemo's feet out from under him and sent him airborne towards John upside-down.

"Purgatio Pugnus!" Galvadon yelled, charging a spell in his right hand. Once Nemo reached him he added one final word to the incantation. "IGNIUM!" John then punched Nemo's body with great force, but all that force was nothing compared to the massive fiery detonation he inflicted on Nemo. A vast cone of light and fire exploded out with a bang, sending Nemo sailing once more across the stage until he collided with the wooden door of a abandoned ruin. He smashed through it and disappeared into the dark.

John's silent shock and awe soon turned to triumphant laughter, increasing in volume the more he thought about it. "Fool!" He cried out as he got to his feet. John limped over the the ruin as fast as he still could, planning to incinerate the body to make sure Nemo was dead for good. When the Arcanocracy hears word of his victory, John knew he would be rewarded greatly. He finally reached the doorway and peered inside, looking forward to seeing the body, but the lighting was too dark to see a thing inside. John flicked his finger, sparking up a steady flame to illuminate the room.

To his horror, John gazed upon an empty room, followed by the light touch of a gloved hand being rested on his shoulder. As soon as it contacted him, his magic fire was immediately snuffed out. John was paralyzed in fear.

"I think I know what I'll take now." Nemo's monotone voice said from behind. He rested his chin on John's other shoulder and whispered into his ear.

"Your soul."



Rutger regained his composure on the floor and brought himself to his knees. Still grasping the dagger, he looked up to Raiya with a face full of rage. After pondering what to do for a few moments and let his anger cool down, Rutger oddly made the decision to drop the dagger. It emitted a metallic clang when it hit the ground. "No." He replied. "Why would I? I'm useless without my magic, so it would be pointless to even try. You could take me hostage, but what if this spell you've used on me wears off? You'll just have to strike down a defenseless man on his knees won't you? But that wouldn't been too out of character for you, huh?" Rutger explained. "Go ahead, show them what you are, you viper."

Rutger's intense gaze was thrown off when he heard a slow clap echo out from the entrance side of the tunnel. To Rutger's disappointment out of the shadows stepped Nemo, looking like he had seen better days judging by his outfit, but clearly still alive. A small smirk crossed his face as he approached, still clapping. "Geez, what an dilemma Father Stockton. You really managed to rip all the fun out of the game with that one." He said. "But there's one problem with that theory, Father. Since I'm here now, even if you did regain your magic, you wouldn't be able to use it, not when I've got my little fingers on you." Nemo explained while crouched down to Rutger's level, holding up his hands up and wiggling his digits in front of the Father's face with a small chuckle. "Maybe we should put a collar on you and keep you around for a while, huh?" Nemo proposed, flicking Rutger on the forehead with his finger.

Nemo stood back up, looking to Raiya now. "Don't bother sullying yourself with his death, Raiya." Nemo commented, reaching his hand into his jacket. Nemo casually pulled out his smaller revolver and fired, hitting Rutger right in the chest. "That's my job."

Shocked, Rutger looked down and put a hand over the gunshot wound. Blood began to spill out from in between his fingers anyways. Speechless, he looked back up to face Nemo, a small stream of blood tricking out from his mouth. "You had one thing right though, Father. You really are useless without your magic." Rutger then collapsed onto his side, dead.
Rutger slowly began to get his bearings back after leaving the noxious cloud, he turned to analyse his enemies, but only found Zuri hastily creeping up on him. He raised his right hand up and tried to prepare a spell to strike her down, but even while channeling all his mana to his hand, the spell generation was greatly handicapped by the anti-magic dust exposure he just underwent. He was able to achieve a small fizzling ball of purple magic, but it would be too little too late for Rutger.

Zuri planted her hand on his chest, activating the rune. As a result, Rutger's work in progress spell immediately dispersed. Rutger scowled and stumbled backwards, feeling the horrifying effects immediately. His connection to his manapool wasn't just interrupted like before, now it was gutted entirely. "What have you done you rotten whelp?!" He yelled. For someone like Rutger this was the worst possible thing. He might have been a master of magic, but without it he felt lost. He thought he had taken every precaution to avoid this outcome by removing Nemo from the equation, but it seemed that wasn't enough in the end.

Rutger frantically grabbed a gilded dagger from within his robe and charged Zuri. "I'll make you regret this underhanded trickery!" When he reached her he stabbed down at her from the right.
Raiya's blink irritated Rutger, he quickly located her and prepared to finish the job, but commotion behind him drew his attention away. He spun around, seeing Travis and the shotgun first. Rutgur hastily prepared a magic barrier as soon as Travis pulled the trigger. After the shot rang out, Rutger went to use an attack of his own back, but found something unexpected and troubling had happened. He looked down, seeing blood start to stain his robes and trickle down.

Nemo's mana crystal infused buckshot shells worked just as he explained. The crystals ripped holes in his barrier and allowed the buckshot to continue on unhindered. Rutger was hit twice in the stomach, and once in the upper right thigh.

Rutger gritted his teeth through the pain that began to course through his body. "You shouldn't have interfered Untalent, because now I'm going to squash you like the bug you are." With one hand gripping his bleeding abdomen, Stockton raised the other and charged a massive glowing orb spell. "Morte magica." He spoke, causing the orb to only grow in size further.

As Stockton prepared to unleash his massive spell towards Travis, Zuri's own crystal grenades detonated nearby. The cloud of smoke obscured his vision and caused him to wheeze. He used his free hand to try to wave it away with mostly ineffective results. He tried to release his spell anyways, but found that after the powder had come in contact with him his spell had started to fizzle away against his will. The massive orb soon disappeared completely.

Rutger retreated out of the smoke cloud, trying desperately to regain control of his magic once more.
Stockton's manalysis was able to track Raiya through her blink, locating her behind him. He quickly spun around and analyzed the oncoming threat. Rutger used his two hands to block her punch and grab her arm to lock her in place, but it wasn't at no cost. His barriers were completely shredded from contact with her fist, as well as receiving quite a bit of pain from the shock-wave. He was rattled, but quickly able to shrug it off. "I-if you planned on getting this close, you should have hit me harder, hard enough to finish this. But don't worry, I have no problem with drawing out your punishment as well."

"Frantumare." Stockton said, casting his own kinetic shock-wave spell through his arms and into Raiya's body. Frantumare was a spell used primarily for torture. It couldn't kill or cause someone to pass out, only create an immense amount of pain in one burst.
Father Stockton's eyes raced as he thought of a solution to Raiya's attack as fast as possible. Judging by the way it changed direction there were probably no easy ways to dodge, leaving only one option left. "Ghiaccio alito!" (Ice Breath) He shouted before extending his hand out. A glowing blue rune appeared in the air that spewed fourth a immense gust of snowy tundra wind. It collided with the fire serpent, creating a massive amount of steam as the two opposite elements cancelled themselves out. Only once he was sure that the attack was entirely nullified did he stop the spell and let the steam dissipate.

With a smirk, Stockton generated another manaegis hammer, this one much more proportional than the last, and propped it up on his shoulder. "Face it Mamushi, you're spells are no match for mine. My mana pool is much larger than yours, my experience is much greater than yours, and my spell library is much more numerous than yours. For every spell a low rate magi like yourself might think to cast, I already know three different answers to. Your only advantage on me is that you could win a physical battle, but I have no intention in engaging in such a barbaric mud-roll with you." Stockton explained, his usual deadpan voice showing a hint of self satisfied hubris now. "Your only hope would be to stop me from casting altogether, and your only way of doing that is currently preoccupied." He finished, referencing Nemo's anti-magic capabilities.
Rutger charged a barrier to block Raiya's twin attacks. Despite the mana-shredding capabilities, they weren't able to fully break through Rutger's advanced defense spell. However, possibly due to his aging eyes he missed the third attack. Just before it hit him, he seemed to sense it coming and tried to move out of the way. He was too late however, and the bolt pierced his latent barrier and gored his flesh. Even while trying to dodge, he suffered a moderate slash to his side.

Angered, Rutger telepathically slid his massive hammer towards Raiya to try to sideline her, afterwards at the end of the swing he let go, causing it to spin wildly towards Zuri and Travis like a extremely heavy frisbee. Once it would crash to the ground the hammer would dissipate
Rutger used his blink to get out of the way of her blade's slash, emitting a high pitched ping noise when he activated it again. It was then while he waited for another strike he sensed something from behind. "Parlor tricks!" He yelled, looking behind himself at the last second to see Raiya's sneak attack. He didn't have the time to generate a proper shield like before, only emitting small barrier close to his skin to keep himself from being punctured as a last ditch defense.

Rutger grunted from the blow and was pushed airborne. While he wasn't cut by the strike, it did tatter through his robes a bit and bruise his side. Before landing back on the ground he shot out three lightning fast explosive blasts, one for each of the teammates.

As soon as he landed however, Rutger raised his arms up, generating a gigantic war hammer made out of pure purple mana and slammed it down on the ground towards Raiya with enough power to easily uproot the stone floor quite a bit. The creation was far too big to be used regularly, but with the use of telekinesis he was able to wield it. From the looks of it, this seemed to be a modified use of Felix's own manaegis technique.

Despite Raiya's amazing speed, Rutger was still able to track her quite efficiently. He made no attempt to dodge, instead uttering the phrase "Grande scudo!" Afterwards it projected a giant runic manashield to block Raiya's multiple blades. Despite the immense force it was taking on, his shield barely even began to crack. Unlike his partner, Rutger was a man of little physical capabilities. All of his skills were dedicated to the magical arts and advancement of his mind.

Rutger scoffed. "Blue, green, yellow, it doesn't matter what color you turn, you're a fool if you think you can best me all by yourself." He commented before adding another enchantment. "Veloce!" Rutger shouted, his drab purple mana-shield suddenly fading into a bright yellow. The shield suddenly grew so bright that it exploded with a potent flash, easily strong enough to temporarily blind someone's eyesight.

Rutger used this chance to teleport to Raiya's side and attempt to blast her below the ribs with a magically enhanced concussive blow. When Rutger used his teleport, a ping like noise could be heard.
Rutger's deadpan face cracked a smirk after Raiya's outburst. "They should of never exiled you, they should of put you to death while they could... If you oppose us, you oppose God himself. That's why today it will be His will to crush all of you to dust, through me." Rutger replied, extending both his arms towards the group. "Consider this your belated execution!" He added before firing off a navy colored ball of energy towards the trio. It quickly expanded, doing more and more shock damage to the pillars it passed by as it sailed. By the time it reached the group it was bigger than an oncoming truck, brightly lighting up the dim room with it's glow and ready to explode on the first physical thing it touched.
"If I knew everything there was to know about you, you'd probably be more interested in talking with me, wouldn't you?" Rutger replied, referencing her parent's death. "But yes, I remember you, little renegade Raiya Mamushi, always scuttering around and causing havok. To this day I still wonder why Felix put up with a worthless thing like you. Some said you were a prodigy, but the truth is you're just wasted potential. But Felix saw that eventually, didn't he? ...Let me guess, it wasn't really Felix's choice for you two to join forces again was it?" Rutger asked.

With his hands resting behind his back it was impossible to see that he had already charged a spell in advance. "And was Felix really wrong to give up on you? Look at what you've become, you haven't been training for this, you've been holed up in that penthouse getting wasted with the rest of the riff raff. The last thing I'm gonna do is give up to a degenerate punk like you." Rutger finished.

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