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The Resolutions of 132/10 - The Pride 4

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Tabuu's Point of View.

"He's here." I said, holding a shard of Golden Fang between my fingers. The meeting table went silent.

We were sitting in a dimly-lit room inside of the Church. The entire Council, including its non-ranked members and benefactors- were here. A lone fire flickered in the corner, the solitary source of light in the darkened room.

"How do you know that?" Walkazo asked from my left side.

"Because," I said, grasping the shard tighter and watching it dissolve into the air, "Golden Fang can shatter, as you've seen. Each of the shards, no matter how small, can move it's own free will or on my command. They can be used to attack, to defend, to set traps..."

I crushed the shard fully, watching the specks going through the air, "They're also an extension of my own senses. I can see and hear from them. This is why I'm ranked so high. While I'm not nearly as strong as Nalia, I'm still ranked above him because of my intelligence gathering capabilities. I'm no joke in a fight, of course, especially if I have it planned out beforehand. However, when it comes down to it, my real expertise is gathering intelligence."

"Which is funny," Nalia said, "because he's one of the most hard-headed of us all."

I scowled and a few people (most notably Nalia, Stooben, and even Skell) laughed.

I stood and stretched.

"I'll handle our Pride friend. You guys get what we need out of here." I said, walking towards the door and conjuring Golden Fang to my hand.


"No buts, Nalia. Hurry up and get all we need, then get out of here ASAP. Of course, be sure to come back when you finish. I get the feeling that this fight's going to get...explosive."

He sighed, closing his red eyes as I shut the door.

Season Finale

The Pride 4

The Pride's Point of View.

I stepped out of the elevator, and began to walk down a hallway. I was not yet underground, and still in part of the church. Shattered stained glass windows shined down on the red carpet, which covered the entire floor and went all the way down the long hallway. I strode, internally reinforcing my confidence and going over my battle plan. When I had been about halfway through the hall, the door was pushed open, and standing in front of me was the man himself- Christopher. Tabuu. Whichever you prefer.

He held his scythe in his hand, lazily twirling it and looking at me blandly.

I smirked.

"You're going to die here, Harper."

I took out both halves of Vanitas. Awaken.

The power blazed from me, and Tabuu didn't even flinch.

"I hope that isn't all you got up your sleeves," Tabuu sighed, "because, if so, you're on a suicide mission."

"This is all I need to take you out." I bragged, putting my blades in the X. He looked on duly, and stepped towards me slowly, taking his sweet time. I slashed swiftly, sending the X-shaped energy beam at him. He held out his left hand, and caught it.

It pushed him back several feet, but he still head it back in his scythe hand, looking at it in a vaguely interested manner.

"So this is the move you used against Stooben..." he said, smirking, "I gotta say...I have no idea how you beat him with this. Guess you just took a cheap shot."

I growled, and did a flurry of slashes, sending more waves at him.

However, he wasn't even pushed back. He held his ground, then laughed.

"Is that all?"

He pushed them all back at me, and there was a massive explosion. I felt deep wounds cut themselves through my robes and arms, which I were using to block.

It was pain as I had never felt before, but I wasn't going to back down.

"Doble Oscura."

The smoke hadn't yet cleared, and a huge, black energy wave blasted me through the ceiling, into the sanctuary. I fell to the ground in a heap. I struggled to pull myself up, coughing and gasping.

Tabuu bursted out of the smoke, flashing a murderous grin and slashing his scythe at me.

I ducked, and countered with Vanitas, but the move was swiftly blocked.

"No matter where you go," he said, his face full of malice, "I will always find you. I will tear you limb from limb and I will savor every second of it."

His voice was reminiscent of my Master's in the way he expressed his intent to kill me. I knew and faced the fact that I was going to die, and there was nothing to do about it.

I was completely helpless.

Is this what all the people I've killed like felt when I fought them? This...feeling of dread?

He bought his foot to my chest and kicked me, sending me flying backwards. He laughed in maniacal glee and walked towards me.

"I'll show you for hurting my friends...almost killing my brother...I'll fucking kill you, I will!" He grabbed me by the scruff of my robes and delivered fist after fist to my face, pummeling me mercilessly.

It was over.

Scarecrow's Point of View.

I held the mask in my hands. It was simple, but hauntingly reminiscent of my counterpart's face. It was thick and white, with a black shade over where the eyes and the mouth would be.

Max smiled at me.

"There you go. You don't have to worry about your...split soul any longer. When you put on that mask, of course, you're handing over control to him. Remember not to do it as a last resort, or too rarely, or without your own free will. If your will wavers, he can and he will take you over. As long as you can keep your mental stability, however, you have nothing to worry about. Hell, if you never use the mask, then you'll never have to worry about a thing."

I smiled.

"Thank you. Thank you so much." I muttered, nodding.

He smiled.

"No problem. It feels good to help somebody for once. Just remember, though...don't let that mask fall into the wrong hands. If it does, 'Murzon' can take the host over."

"Alright, well I need to get going, now. I'm going to the Vault to visit a friend of mine." I said, walking to the entrance.

"Goodbye, Scarecrow." Max sighed, closing his eyes as the tent was shut.

Tabuu's Point of View.

I threw Pride across the sanctuary, and wiped his blood off of my hand.

His clothes were torn and bloody, and he pulled himself up.

"Why don't you run?" I asked, "You sure ran from Nalia!"

He breathed deeply, and gasped his chest.

"I," he rasped, "don't have a choice. If I don't obey him...he'll kill me."

"Obey who?"

"I...can't tell you that."

"So, let me get this straight...you go around, killing and maiming people just to save your own hide?"


"...You're pathetic. In more ways than one. If you had any real pride, you wouldn't be going around and killing innocent people. You'd be making something of yourself, not being a pawn of some sick bastard!"

"It's not like I enjoy it!" he screamed, "I hate everything I do! The only I can handle it is by living up to my name! I may not be human, but I remember what it was like! I have a heart, I have a soul! I'm an abomination, but I am ALIVE!"

He ran at me, leaped.

"This is the end!" he shouted, lunging his blades towards me. I kicked him backwards.

"Yes," I said, "it is."

"Golden Fang," I said, commanding every single shard around the Church at the same time, "Howl."

Some shards came around me, forming a shield as the entire Headquarters and Church exploded around me, devasting the surrounding area and annihilating the structure. The shield faded, and I looked around.

All that was left of the hideout was rubble, dirt, and debris. There was nothing left, and everyone had evacuated before I'd made the move.

I began to walk away.

"You...get back...here!"

I turned.

The Pride pushed himself from under a large stone, and stood, limping towards me, holding one of his blades.

"I'm not done yet!" he screamed, "I'm going to kill you!"

He limped once more, and fell to the ground.

He began to sob.

"Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit, DAMMIT!" he screamed, "I can't move! I can't move..."

I sighed.

"Kill me..." he begged, "kill me now! He'll never let me live if I come back...please, at least kill me quickly..."

"Pride," I said, "I'm not going to kill you. I wanted to...but you're defenseless. I can't kill a defenseless man like that."

"What do you think you're doing!? You just said you'd kill me a few minutes ago! You're not being heroic!" he shouted, "I'm in for a fate far, far, worse than death if I don't die here! I hate it when little bastards like you think that sparing your opponent's life is mercy! It's not mercy! My Pride means everything to me! You're humiliated me. You've broken me. You can't kill a man whose already dead! Put me out of my misery! Put me out of my fucking misery!"

I stared in pity.

"Look," I said, "I'm sure that if you join up with us, we can beat this guy that's giving you so much trouble."

I walked to him and held out my hand. He looked up at me.

"No. You'll all die if I help you."

I sighed.

"And you'll die if we don't help you."

"I know."

He looked resigned to his fate.

He looked up at me, and for once, I actually saw emotion in his eyes. I saw him as a fellow man, not some monster. I felt shame.

"But...before I go, let me tell you something...my master and I...and the other servants..."

I nodded.

"We were all originally human, except for him. He did experiments...terrible, terrible experiments on us. He made us into shadows of our former selves. Whatever vice we most indulged in was our new name. We didn't remember our past. He saw to it that we murdered those who had been important to us. We were in the same bodies, but different. Our features were changed, but not beyond recognition. There was a girl he sent me after the first few days of my new life as a shell. She was about my age. She had a ring on her finger, and she was bearing a child. She cried and asked me why when I killed her. She said my name, which I still hold onto to this day. My name is Vincent. And she asked...she asked why I was doing this to her. And even while she died, she said she loved me..."

I found a few tears in my eye, and wiped them away.

"I sometimes have nightmares...about her. And dreams. Dreams of her and I walking in a forest, eating at a diner, and even making love...and then nightmares, about what I did to this girl who loved me. Who loved Vincent. I killed her and my own child to protect my own life. I'm a murderer. I don't remember my past life...but I can feel it, sometimes. When I meet eyes with seemingly random people that are familiar to me, or when I'm in a familiar place. My Master is going to need a new Pride when I'm dead. And you're good material for one. I want you to kill me, and then run. For your own sake, run as far away as you can. Now, please. Kill me."

"Tell me...what's your master's name?"

"His name? It's Rui-"

There was a halt, and a long, silver blade shot through Pride's back.

My eyes followed the blade upwards, meeting with a figure in white robes similar to Pride's, who was surrounded by three other people. The blade extended well over sixteen feet, from the man's sleeve through Pride's back. He had white hair, pale skin, and red eyes, like Nalia's.

Exactly like Nalia's.

Pride gasped.


"You talk too much, Vincent."

With a quick swing, the man tore Pride in half.

Blood was everywhere. I realized then. I couldn't detect them. I have shards all around here, and I couldn't detect them."

"Who are you!?" I demanded, brandishing Golden Fang.

"I am the 'Master' that dear Vincent told you about."

I growled.

"He was your comrade!"

"Oh, he wanted to die anyway. I did him a favor."

"What are you!?"

He smiled, baring his teeth and fangs as a tear of blood slid down his face.

"Well, I'm much more of a current threat than my grandfather happens to be..."

My eyes widened.

Oh god. Not him.

"My name is Ruin."