Taka couldn’t help but stare. On shining wings flew the beast that Taka had heard legends about for all of his life. It was the beast rumored to be so legendarily magical, that a single one of its scales could cure any malady. The beast so powerful, it could supposedly slay a legion of hunters single-handedly.The White Fatalis.
The Elder Dragon landed with a tremor that shook the Tower. Taka and Relcia looked up at the monster with pure awe written all over their faces. Framed by crumbling ruins and against a background of roiling clouds, the glowing dragon was certainly a sight to behold.
The White Fatalis was the reason for Taka’s journey into the Great Frontier. When he had first started feeling uneasy about Relcia, he had flew into the dangerous region upon hearing only a rumor of it. He remembered thinking that his entire world depended on a single, shining scale.
But now things were different. Tartu had infected Relcia with darkness, and that darkness had spread to Taka. He no longer wanted to heal Relcia – he thought she was perfect the way she was. Instead, he wanted to use this dragon’s magnificent power to take control of the Great Frontier.
However – the mere presence of the White Fatalis caused his prominent dark side to shrink back in mortal fear. The sliver of light that still resided within him became bolder, and came forth towards the surface. For only an instant, Taka remembered how he and Relcia used to be – heroes, two lovers that would do anything for each other. A single tear slipped down his face at the memory.
In a voice that was somehow both the rumble of an earthquake and the chiming of a church bell, the White Fatalis spoke. Greetings, it said. I welcome you to the Tower. I am the oldest of the Fatalis siblings, the White Fatalis.
Taka gulped as his dark side cowered, rendering him unable to speak. The White Fatalis nodded, using his powerful magic to see right into his soul. I understand, he intoned. I know what it is that ails you both. Darkness pervades your spirits, and you have come to rid yourselves of it.
Relcia looked as if she were about to protest, but the White Fatalis silenced her with a stare. Do not speak, he warned. Whatever comes from your mouth comes from the side of the shadows. Instead, allow me to rid you of this plague. It is only right.
Now the darkness rose up inside Taka, demanding the Elder Dragon’s well-deserved death. Shockingly, the seemingly insignificant sliver of light within him fought with all its strength, actually pushing some of the darkness away. Taka paused and sank to his knees, eyes on the floor, while his two sides battled it out.
The White Fatalis noticed this and decided that it was a good thing. But he signaled his ally in his mind, and soon, a huge Berukyurosu swooped down from out of nowhere and pinned Taka and Relcia to the ground with its talons. “Do… not… move,” it said haltingly, in the human language. “White… Fatalis… will… cure… you.”
The Elder Dragon smiled for the first time. This is Volantes, he said to the pinned humans. Don’t worry, he’s only securing you so that the darkness has no chance to fight back.
Volantes remained silent as the White Fatalis’ wings began to glow with an unearthly light. He closed his blood-red eyes and began to mutter under his breath. Instinctively, Taka knew what the White Fatalis was doing. The divine monster was beginning the healing process in order to destroy the darkness and return light to their souls.
For the first time in an age, Taka felt the darkness within him fall still. Although he couldn't see it, his eyes were glowing with a radiant shine, allowing light to enter his soul. The darkness suddenly unfroze, roaring and raging at the touch of the hated light, but it was fighting a losing battle. The light inside of him grew and expanded, returning hope and good will to his spirit.
As the light calmed him, and indeed Relcia too, Volantes released his grip, coming into a slow hover above their heads. Taka and Relcia, spellbound, didn't move, feeling the changes they were undergoing. The changes were new, but familiar as they began to remember who they were and what they stood for.
But just then, something had to go wrong. A bolt of ice flew down and struck the White Fatalis. The beast didn't even flinch, but the small shock was enough to disrupt his concentration. The glow around his wings faded, and Taka felt the changes stop. He wasn't fully healed - once again at the stage where the darkness and light were evenly divided.He looked up. Perched on the tallest of the ruins were two beings he hoped he would never see again - Tartu and Mylie. And with a thrill of horror, he saw a gigantic, reptilian head rise up behind them to stare him balefully in the eye.
"Hello again, Taka!" called Mylie with false cheeriness. "When we heard you were headed here to the Tower, we couldn't resist the thought of a happy reunion! I've always loved parties, so we brought a few friends along with us too!" She gestured at the immense beast behind her, and then the hunters appearing from their hiding spots amongst the ruins. There were five, all clad in elite armor and wielding fearsome weapons.
The serpentine monster let out a screech that shook the Tower. White Raviente! scolded the White Fatalis. Go back to your worm holes on Absolute Island and do not interfere with me again! Remember this, I am the one who so easily imprisoned you all those years ago! The Raviente winced at the memory.
Taka stood up shakily as his two sides resumed their warring. But both light and shadow were in agreement this time - Tartu and Mylie had to die. But they have magic powers, whispered a voice in his head. With that magic orb of theirs, they're in a league of their own. Indeed, Taka saw the glowing ball of light hovering beside Mylie, granting them a multitude of supernatural powers.
The White Fatalis was eyeing the orb too. Only the five elements combined can destroy such a powerful tool of black magic, he growled. Taka's heart sank. Between him, Relcia, and Mylie, there were only three present - Thunder, Water, and Ice. And he doubted that Mylie would be kind enough to lend them her power.
Just then, there was a roar, and everyone present looked up at the stormy sky. Two monsters were flying straight at them - one was a Rathalos, and the other a Nargacuga. Now Taka's heart gave a leap as Relcia cried, "It's Vulcan and Syrie!"
The monsters landed, and to Taka's eternal surprise, Illeera and Elric jumped down from Syrie's back. Lauren and Jin were quick to follow. "Taka!" cried Illeera, pulling him into a hug. Delightfully, Taka hugged her back, saying, "I'm glad to see you're safe."
Illeera pushed away from him and said with a smile that lit up the world, "I'd do anything for my best friend. No, forgive me. You're not my best friend, you're my blood-brother. We're siblings. Two bodies with one soul." Taka laughed and hugged her again.
"Then let's win this, sister," he said, a little choked up. "Let's show Tartu and Mylie what's what!"
Mylie was scowling at the sight of the new arrivals, but Tartu looked undaunted. With a mere wave of his hand, the glowing orb sent out a pulse of black energy that swept across the area with a chilly breeze that froze the spirit. Two clumps of dark matter began to swirl some distance in front of Taka, rapidly forming familiar shapes.
Taka froze at the sight that greeted him next. Standing before him were two monsters - both identical, but different. One was badly torn up, its wounds looking like they had been made a hundred years before. The other was charred and blackened, and many of its teeth were either broken or gone completely. Each of their eyes glowed a fearsome, evil red, but they also had one bad eye each, a scar slashing down across the milky-white orbs.
They were the Vengeful Gobuls, back from the dead.
The Tower rapidly became the site of a battle the likes of which had never been seen before. The White Fatalis stood alone against White Raviente, Taka, Relcia, Illeera, and Elric went up against the Gobuls, and the monsters - Vulcan, Jin, Syrie, and Volantes - stood their ground against the hunters. Tartu and Mylie watched the entire thing as if it were staged for their own amusement.
The White Fatalis circled the Tower, effortlessly followed by White Raviente's gaze. The dragon discovered that its foe was tightly coiled around the Tower, allowing its long neck to move wherever it pleased in its effort to destroy him.
The serpent screeched, a sound that struck like a physical blow. White Fatalis reeled, then regained control of himself as he flapped straight for his enemy's head. Grabbing on with his talons, White Fatalis clung to White Raviente's head and snapped repeatedly at its eyes.
Shrieking, the massive Elder Dragon whipped its head back and forth, trying to shake him off. The dragon found himself growing dizzy. At the last second, he released his grip and was flung high into the air. Instantly, the White Raviente shot a fireball at him, the projectile surrounded by a terribly hot nebula of white flame.
Just avoiding the deadly fireball, the White Fatalis quickly spat his own projectile - a red sphere of pure lightning, that sped down White Raviente's throat and immediately paralyzed it. With a piteous moan, the Elder Dragon relaxed its grip on the Tower, plummeting back through the clouds. The White Fatalis folded his wings and shot after it like a shining arrow, ready to continue the battle.
Vulcan leapt into the air, dodging a swipe from one of the hunters' weapons. With a grunt of frustration, she swung the Longsword once more, only to have Vulcan outmaneuver her and slam her with his talons. It was clear that these elite hunters were unused to fighting a wvyern that struck from the air.
Meanwhile, Syrie and Jin worked together to fight a pair of hunters. Syrie went after the one she sensed was less experienced, knowing that she'd stand a better chance. Jin was left with the more battle-hardened, tougher one, knowing that he had never fought the likes of a Zinogre before. He deftly dodged a clumsy strike from his Hammer, then backflipped back and slammed the hunter with his flat tail.
Volantes was left with the final hunter, who shot arrow after arrow at him while he hovered in the sky. Swiping twice with his wing ribbons, Volantes used their hooked tips to pull him down to the ground with immense force. His previous swipes managed to catch the hunter off guard, allowing him to knock her down with the following body slam.
Quickly, he fled and joined Vulcan in battle. He had never seen a Rathalos so adept at flying before, and he had to admit that the wyvern had the skills of a Berukyurosu. Striking from the hunter's blind spot, he shot a blast of electricity from his wing, catching her off guard and throwing her into the dirt.
The hunter picked herself painfully off of the ground, blood dripping from the wound that Vulcan had made previously. She just managed to dodge Vulcan's next fireball, only to have herself outmaneuvered once more. With a scream, she was stabbed through the abdomen with Vulcan's tail spike, and flung over the edge of the Tower.
The two wyverns glanced at each other, a mutual respect in their eyes. But when they heard Jin's howl, they sprang into action once again. Running to help Jin, they found themselves blocked by the archer that Volantes had faced previously, as well as a magical barrier put up by Tartu on the sidelines.
One of the hunters, a strong fellow that wielded a Gunlance, had gotten a lucky shot with Jin, The Zinogre pup's leg had been badly burned by a shell, causing him to stumble and limp on the now-injured limb. The hunter prepared to use the dreaded Wyvern's Fire attack while Jin looked on helplessly, trying to get out of the way. One blast, and Jin would be barbequed into a smoking husk.
Syrie, busy fending off an attack from the Hammer-wielder, caught sight of Jin's danger. Without warning, she batted away her attacker with her tail and sped toward Jin. With a mighty leap, she leapt right over the pup's head and in front of the Gunlance-wielder. His eyes went wide as, just before his weapon finished charging, Syrie shot a dozen tail spikes straight into his chest and neck. Streams of blood poured down his armor as he dropped his Gunlance.
The weapon went off with a huge blast, blowing a nearby ruin to smithereens. The Nargacuga knocked the dying hunter aside as she ran back to protect Jin from the other hunter.
Jin seemed to become re-energized, regaining the use of his leg. He howled deafeningly, calling his Thunderbugs toward him. Their electrical power caused his fur and spikes to stand up fully, giving him an intimidating demeanor that caused even the hardened Hammer-wielding hunter to pause. Jin barked an order to his Thunderbugs, which formed a sphere of lightning that shot at the hunter. He avoided the attack by a hair, only to have Jin's tail catapult him into the air.
By a stroke of luck, the hunter landed safely - his armor provided enough resistance to stop him from breaking anything. He swung his Hammer at Jin, only to have it knocked out of his hand by a stray bolt from Volantes, who had missed his intended target. He scrambled to retrieve his weapon, only to have it knocked off the edge of the Tower by Syrie's tail.
Although his helmet hid it, he glanced furtively at the fallen Gunlance. When Syrie leapt at him, he dove underneath her razor-edged wing and ended up near the weapon. Taking it in his own hands, he stabbed at her exposed flank and fired a single shell. Syrie winced at the first blow, and then yowled as the searing-hot projectile slammed into her wounded side.
Jin was quick to defend her. He jumped high into the air, flipped onto his back, and slammed down upon the hunter. Not only did Jin's exposed spikes punch through his armor and into his flesh, but the Thunderbugs nestled in the Zinogre's fur swarmed through the gaps in the armor and over the wounds, sending excruciating jolts of pain through the hunter's body.
Meanwhile, the archer was proving more difficult to dispose of than Vulcan or Volantes thought. She ducked and dodged through every swipe of their tails, every lash of Volantes' wing ribbons, every strike of Vulcan's talons. And she struck back with arrows that were too fast to dodge.Finally Volantes flew up into the air, too high for the arrows to reach. Seeing that she wouldn't be able to hit him at that height, the hunter focused relentlessly on Vulcan, forcing him to stick to evasive maneuvers without being able to get a strike of his own in.
When the small red light appeared just in front of the hunter, Vulcan instinctively backed away, not knowing what it was but feeling uneasy about it just the same. The hunter herself simply stopped and stared in bewilderment at the light. It was unlike anything she'd ever seen.
And it was indeed the last thing she ever saw, as a huge electrical blast larger than Volantes' entire body shot down from the sky and instantly vaporized her.
Vulcan just blinked in shock. Then the roar of the White Raviente crashed in their ears from below the Tower, and he decided on his next course of action. Followed by Volantes and Syrie, he dove over the edge to aid the White Fatalis.
Taka wasn't paying attention to the epic battles that raged around him, as he was fully engaged in a battle of his own. He could feel his heart swimming with fear and his muscles becoming like water as he ducked and dodged the relentless attacks of the Vengeful Gobuls.
One snapped at him with its half-toothless jaws. He hastily got out of the way, only to be met with the tail of the other. The huge fin smashed into his chest, and all the breath was knocked out of his lungs. Only quick thinking from Elric was enough to save his life - the boy carved a deep, painful wound in the first Leviathan's fin, and then swung his Greatsword in an arc to strike the other.
For a split second, he panicked after he groped for his Longsword and couldn't feel the handle. Then he remembered his shapeshifting abilities, and relaxed, allowing his form to change into that of a Rajang.
The immense ape-like beast bellowed, beating his fists against his chest threateningly. As the torn Gobul lunged at him with its jaws wide open, he swiftly turned and slammed them shut. The Vengeful Gobul hissed with pain as he followed up with a powerful blow with his fist, sending it reeling.
The other Gobul took advantage of Taka's momentary distraction to extend its spikes and to tackle him, injecting him with its paralyzing venoms. Taka could feel his Pelagus form grow numb and begin to shudder and shake uncontrollably, instinctively trying to fight off the neurotoxin. He couldn't move as both Gobuls moved to finish him.
But then, Relcia shot between him and the charred Gobul and sliced at it with her Wolf Tessen. Her swords opened up a huge wound in its jaw, which caused it to roar and back away in pain. The torn Gobul, about to clamp down on Taka's neck, was dealt with by Elric's Khezu Shock Sword, which cleaved through its flank. It backed away as well.
Suddenly, the strength of Taka's will allowed him to break free of the neurotoxins' paralyzing effects. Roaring, his fur shone a brilliant yellow as he dealt two swift blows to the torn Gobul, and then followed up with a blast of electricity that slammed into it with lightning-bolt force.
Unnervingly, none of the Vengeful Gobuls' wounds were bleeding. Indeed, they didn't even seem to be afflicted by pain as they relentlessly attacked him again and again. Taka dodged each attack and always met them with a powerful punch. He avoided a tail slap from the charred Gobul, then grabbed onto the appendage and used it to fling the Gobul onto its back.
As the monster thrashed, Taka jumped high into the air and plummeted down, electricity arcing around his outstretched fist. The fist slammed into the Gobul's vulnerable belly with a flash of lightning - and the Gobul exploded into wisps of black energy that faded almost immediately.
That left only one Vengeful Gobul to deal with - the original, the one that had killed Taka's mother and almost fatally wounded his father. The one that had bit his arm and Illeera's leg off. The one that had sworn to kill him all those years ago. Now, old foes once again circled each other warily, ready to fight once more to the death.
The White Fatalis circled the head of the dazed Raviente as the gargantuan serpent fought to regain its consciousness. Even for such a huge monster, a fall from the near top of the Tower would have badly hurt it.
It suddenly got up and coiled once more around the Tower. It raised its head toward the White Fatalis and shot several deadly fireballs. The Elder Dragon dodged each one and retaliated with his red lightning. Thousands of volts shot through the White Raviente's body as it spasmed. It involuntarily tightened its grip on the base of the Tower, and its spasms caused the building to rock back and forth.
The shining white Elder Dragon winced as the Tower shuddered, imagining the people and monsters that fought at the summit hanging on for dear life. He moved to stop the Raviente, when a noise made him stop and look up.
Plunging from out of the clouds were Volantes, the Rathalos, and the Nargacuga, looking more than ready to rumble. The White Fatalis smiled. Come, friends! he decreed. Let us push the White Raviente back to where it belongs!
The four monsters - three wyverns with an Elder Dragon at the head - dove straight at the angry Raviente, ready to defeat it once and for all.
Taka's friends stood on the sidelines, sensing that this was Taka's fight, and his alone. The Vengeful Gobul lunged, biting down on Taka's arm as he roared wildly, trying to shake the Leviathan off.He shapeshifted suddenly, becoming a small Vespoid whose leg slipped through the Gobul's teeth. Then another change occured, with Taka transforming into a huge Anorupatisu. The wyvern shrieked, displaying his long jagged nose horn threateningly.
The Gobul didn't hesitate, not caring what form Taka took. It sparked up its lantern, then released its signature blinding light. Taka was unable to cover his eyes in time, and was thus temorarily blinded.
The Vengeful Gobul saw its opportunity and took it, roughly tackling Taka's midsection and driving him back towards the edge of the Tower. Taka's eyesight recovered and he struck back with his bladed horn, slicing through the Gobul's hide and pushing it away.
That was when the tremor struck. The Tower felt as if it were being shaken from side to side. Taka stumbled at first, almost losing his balance and falling, then jumped into the air. Thank goodness this monster can fly, he thought gratefully. The Gobul crouched low to the ground and held on stubbornly with its fins, refusing to be moved.
Taka was about to strike when he saw his friends rapidly losing their balance. The shaking suddenly got worse, causing them to fall. But the Tower suddenly leaned even more to one side, causing Relcia to slip and slide down the incline. Taka's heart caught in his throat as he saw her grab for the edge of the platform and miss.
Instantly, he folded his wings and plunged like a blue arrow after her. Clouds obscured his vision, but he managed to keep Relcia in sight as he pursued. Suddenly, the clouds vanished, and Taka could now see the ground, far away but rapidly rushing up to greet them. He could now hear the roars of the monsters as they battled the White Raviente, but didn't care. His only focus was on saving Relcia.
The ground was now less than three hundred meters away. Then two hundred... then one hundred... Relcia's scream mixed in with the wind rushing past Taka's ears... Desperately, he threw out his talons, prepared to catch her...
Suddenly, a dark red shape zipped out from the corner of his eye. And just like that, Relcia was gone. Taka flared his wings and pulled up before rising in flight once more. Vulcan cruised beside him, smiling his wyvern's grin. On his back was Relcia, who was breathing hard from fear but smiling at the same time.
Taka and Vulcan both landed on the pinnacle of the Tower. Relcia slid down from Vulcan's back, and the wyvern flew off once more to assist the White Fatalis.
But the Vengeful Gobul caught sight of Taka instantly and barreled towards him full speed ahead. Taka, however, was prepared for the attack, and jumped over the Gobul. It halted just in time to avoid running off the Tower's edge, and swung around to face its foe once more.
Too late - Taka was already on the move. With a single swing of his horn, Taka sliced its front left fin right off. The Gobul howled as it fell to the ground, in pain from the loss of its limb.
It was then that Taka struck again at the Gobul's exposed underside, driving his bladed horn straight through its heart.
The Gobul exploded into dark energy and was seen no more.
Taka, however, had no time to relax. The White Raviente is still at large, pardon the pun, Taka thought grimly, and Tartu and Mylie still must be dealt with.
He shrieked, calling his friends over. "Come on!" he said in the human language so that they all could understand. "There are still enemies to defeat if we are to win this battle!" With those words, Illeera, Elric, and Relcia climbed onto his back. Taka took off, headed for the tallest of the ruins adorning the Tower, ready to deal with Tartu and his former friend Mylie once and for all.
Vulcan dove back into the battle, where Syrie and Volantes flew circles around the White Raviente's head like troublesome flies. The White Fatalis also circled, striking the much larger monster with continuous lightning strikes.
He saw Syrie latch onto the Raviente's head and batter it with her tail. While it was busy trying to dislodge her, Volantes blasted its face and eyes with electrical power. Vulcan roared once before shooting a stream of fireballs straight down the Raviente's throat.
Although it didn't kill the monster, the fiery bursts still badly burnt its mouth and throat. The White Raviente screeched in pain before shooting its own fireball straight at Vulcan. The Rathalos' eyes widened as the fireball sped toward him, unable to move in time to avoid it.
But then, a black shape streaked into view. The fiery projectile exploded just short of Vulcan, although the shockwave still sent him twirling through the air. When he righted himself, Vulcan gasped at the sight of Syrie's burnt, lifeless body plummeting toward the ground, wings trailing uselessly behind her.
Rage took hold of him. A mighty roar tore its way out of his jaws as he sped at the White Raviente, barraging it with all the fire he could muster. The majority of the flames battered its face and snout, causing it to flinch and whine in pain, but several others burnt right through its eyeball. The White Raviente shrieked once more in agony as its empty socket wept tears and small embers.
OK, OK, you win! came the monstrously loud voice, crashing in Vulcan's eardrums. It took a moment for him to realize that it was the Raviente who was yelling at them. It buried its head into the ground, and soon had disappeared underground. It didn't resurface again.
The battle is not yet over! the White Fatalis told Vulcan and Volantes. There are still two humans we must deal with! The Elder Dragon soared upwards toward the peak of the Tower, with the two Flying Wyverns determinedly following.
Taka landed heavily on the top-most ruin. His friends slid down off his back as he shapeshifted back into himself. Across from them stood Tartu and Mylie, both glaring defiantly at them.
"You can never defeat us!" Mylie burst out angrily. "You're only delaying the inevitable by interfering with us! We will kill you and then use the White Fatalis' power to take over the entire known world!" The team of four all looked daggers at their former friend, now sunk so deeply into her own pit of darkness that there would never be any climbing out.The glowing orb of magical energy floated in between the two evildoers, seeming to almost mock Taka. He knew from the White Fatalis' earlier words that there would be no destroying it without the power of the five elements. And like he had realized earlier that they were missing two - Fire and Ice, if you didn't include Mylie.
But then the time for thinking was over, as Tartu's rage and hatred suddenly got the better of him. He shouted a spell, and his orb glowed brighter for a brief instant, granting him the use of its magic. Thick spiderwebs shot from his hands, binding Illeera and Elric together and causing them to topple.
Mylie struck next, hurling an icy bolt of lightning at the helpless pair. Taka flung himself in its path and summoned that spark deep within him. He grasped the spark and threw its power at Mylie's bolt. The two energies clashed with one another, creating a brilliant explosion of ice and electricity.
Mylie was undaunted, allowing blast after blast to lash out from her hands. Relcia stepped in between her and the others, using her Wolf Tessen to deflect each energy pulse. Mylie rapidly became more and more furious as she increased the strength and speed of her attacks. Taka could see Relcia tiring, although she tried not to show it.
Illeera stepped in and used her Dragon ability to create a blast that smashed right through the hail of ice, all the while travelling toward Mylie on a certain collision course. Tartu used a spell that caused the Dragon energy to slow down to a near crawl. Mylie got out of the way, and the Dragon blast sped up again, speeding uselessly into the distance.
A plan hit Taka at the same time as Tartu's energy pulse. Picking himself up off the ground painfully, Taka allowed a small grin to spread across his face. It's going to be a long shot... he thought to himself. But if I can pull this off, then Tartu and Mylie will be defenseless.
He glanced at the battlefield, now erupting into chaos. Elric and Tartu were sparring with their weapons, and Relcia, Mylie, and Illeera were engaged in a heated battle with their respective elements. Perfect.
Taka shapeshifted into the smallest monster he could think of, a tiny Hornetaur. The insect silently scuttled forward, joints clicking slightly but that being the only noise he made. It took painstaking effort to creep quietly and not to make a mad dash for his target, but Taka managed to keep his patience under control.
Finally, he reached the glowing orb that had been momentarily forgotten on the sidelines, even though it was flashing madly from Tartu and Mylie's constant uses of its magic. Taka turned back into himself and, after only a moment's hesitation, laid his hands on the orb.
There was no surge of energy that overwhelmed and killed him as he had thought. The orb was nothing but energy, but it felt solid and warm as if he was holding onto a Lava Nugget. He lifted the object in his hands, admiring its surprisingly light weight. He felt his control over his Thunder and shapeshifting abilities increase a hundredfold.
With Taka now registered as the magic orb's new holder, Tartu and Mylie's magic faded away. Tartu stopped his assault on Elric, looking at his hands in appalled bewilderment. Mylie's ice blasts, while they still existed, were not as powerful as before. They simultaneously looked at Taka and the orb in his hands.
Tartu glared with all of his wrath at him, but Mylie screamed in a fit of temper and unleashed all the Ice element from within her. This was the moment Taka had been waiting for. He tossed the magic orb into the path of the released Ice power and yelled, "Relcia, Illeera, NOW!"
He summoned the spark inside him and released a jagged bolt of lightning at the orb. Relcia and Illeera struck with a stream of Water and Dragon. Taka knew they'd have to strike with all the power they had, lacking the presence of the Fire element as they were.
But from above came a flash of orange light and a searing heat. Taka didn't have any time to contemplate over what it was before the four elements - Ice, Thunder, Dragon, and Water, struck the orb dead on. Its glow intensified, as if it were a living being screaming out in agonizing pain.
And then Vulcan's fireball finished its flight down through the air and smashed into the orb as well.
The glowing tool of witchcraft exploded in a dramatic flare of light and energy that blinded everyone, as well as sent a tremendous shiver up their spines.
Tartu didn't waste time being shocked, unlike Mylie, who stood there in a daze. He unsheathed his Sword and Shield and lunged at Taka, who prepared for battle.
But then, there was a sudden cry like the tolling of a bell, and in a flash of vibrant white light, the White Fatalis landed in the middle of the fray.
Everyone paused and gazed up at the Elder Dragon, who quietened the opposition with just a single flex of his wings. Tartu dropped his arms to his sides in submission. All of his confidence, rage, and pride seemed to evaporate into nonexistence.
Then the White Fatalis screeched to the heavens, and a crimson lightning bolt of pure power flashed down from the sky and struck Tartu dead-on. He was instantly vaporized.
Mylie looked as if someone had torn out her heart. For the first time since the battle with Renalimas in the Besieged Castle, the light of sanity seemed to return to her eyes.
That didn't stop Taka from advancing on her and holding her by the scruff of her Ludroth armor. "I told you a year ago that I would kill you next time we met," he whispered softly. "I believe it's time for me to make due on that promise."
Mylie sagged. "You're probably right," she said sadly, and Taka faltered. He hadn't expected to hear that from Mylie - and what's more, there was none of the usual malice in her voice. Indeed, he felt like he was speaking to his old childhood friend again.
"Taka, this won't make up for everything I've done," she continued, tears leaking from her eyes, "but I'm truly sorry for it all. Tartu first convinced me to help him at a time where I was most confused. I couldn't, and still can't, speak the monster language, and I didn't, and still don't, have a monster to call my friend and companion. I was insanely jealous of you. Tartu saw that, and twisted it until I was driven mad with evil."
Taka was silent. Mylie took a deep, shuddering breath as the tears began flowing down her cheeks. "But most of all, I was jealous because you had Relcia with you. I never admitted it, even to myself, but ever since you ended the war in the Central World, I loved you. I was so jealous that you had found someone else to be happy with, and that was part of the reason I moved against you."
She finished with a sob and a quiet. "If I have to die, I want these to be my final words - Taka, I love you so much."
Taka sighed sadly. He didn't let go of Mylie's armor. "I'm sorry, Mylie," he said. He raised his hand - and did something he had never done until this moment.
He summoned his shapeshifting ability, but in a way he had never before used it. He grasped it, but instead of willing it to change his shape, he willed it to flow out from him. He closed his eyes and raised his hand, now glowing softly with power. Taka pressed his hand against Mylie's cheek and allowed his power to be released.
In less than half a minute, Mylie was gone, replaced by a Remobra. The newly formed wyvern shrieked and flew off into the turbulent sky, possibly never to be seen again.
The White Fatalis spoke up just then, catching everyone's attention. I now realize what kind of a person you are, Taka, he said. You did not wish to kill your friend, instead offering her mercy and a chance at a new life, despite everything she had done to harm you and your other friends. You saw past the last year and instead realized that a near lifetime of being your close friend has more than made up for it.
Taka nodded as Relcia came up from behind him, looking the tiniest bit guilty as she twined her arm around his. The Elder Dragon noticed this and smiled. Do not worry, Relcia. Your friend, even though she was envious of you and Taka, would want the two of you to be together.
The White Fatalis spread his wings to their full impressive span. And now, he decreed, as Volantes flew from who knows where to stand by his master's side, to finish what I had started.
Taka and Relcia pressed closer together, smiling at each other contentedly as the White Fatalis' wings shone with mystic energy once again, and the darkness retreated forever from their souls.
This isn't the end of the story! MHD: The Darkness Within is still to be continued...
Monster Hunter Destiny - Final Chapter