Tharor's Dramon Destroyers crashed hard against the fiery sword of the Slayerdramon. Sparks rained out from the clashing of metal and showered both fighters, but the two dragon men paid the sparks no heed as they set the air ablaze. With a roar, Tharor hurled the Slayerdramon away and into the wall behind it. The WarGreymon charged it with claws drawn back and poised for the kill, but Slayerdramon leaped up and took to the air, and Tharor crashed into the wall. Tharor glared at the dragon knight and shot up after it.
"Dragon Crusher!" he called out as he felt power build within his gauntlets. He surged forward and swung his claws, intent on a killing blow.
"Sky Dragon Slash!" said the Slayerdramon as he swung his sword down to intercept Tharor's charge.
Claw met sword, and a concussive blast of heat and force ripped out from the impact point. Tharor was thrown back to the ground. He recovered his senses in time to dodge the Slayerdramon's downward strike; he flipped backward and put some distance between himself and his opponent.
"Rising Dragon Wave!" cried Slayerdramon. A powerful wave of dragonic energy ripped from the dragon's swinging sword and roared towards Tharor. But Tharor quickly brought together his Brave Shield and effectively blocked the energy wave. Slayerdramon wasn't pleased by this, and charged Tharor, swinging his sword wildly. Tharor could do little else but maneuver the Brave Shield to block the viciously powerful sword slashes...
Ajax leapt back to avoid the stabbing lance of Examon and swung his own weapon, the diabolic Dunas, to cleave through the dragon's head. But Examon's wings reacted to the situation and pulled together to protect him; Ajax's weapon struck the Chrome Digizoid wings and rebounded off them. Examon retaliated, swinging his lance and catching Ajax on the side. Ajax was tossed through the air and landed roughly on the stone floor.
"Damn," Ajax hissed, pushing through the pain as he rolled to his feet. He glanced up to find Examon charging towards him, already in the midst of his Dragonic Impact charge attack. "Rage of Wyvern!" Ajax yelled, swinging his pole axe and sending a dragon-headed blast of energy towards Examon.
But without even losing stride, Examon's wings closed around him and Ajax's attack fizzled out. Ajax could only brace himself in preparation for the incoming attack. Examon struck him hard, but Ajax absorbed some of the impact with his weapon's shaft and allowed himself to be carried through the air by the charging dragon knight. Ajax then rolled on top of the flying dragon and vaulted over him. He landed on the ground and raised his pole axe. The Examon stopped his flight and spun around to face Ajax again.
"Final Crest!" he shouted; a bolt of energy exploded from the weapon's head and crashed into Examon, whose defenses raised just an instant too slow. The attack plowed into Examon and sent him crashing across the throne room.
Examon rose to his feet and roared his fury. But Ajax just laughed under his breath and twirled the Dunas skillfully. Examon charged Ajax in a rage, but was struck by a twisting black tornado and knocked down. Oberon's claws glinted in the dim light, and the BlackWarGreymon surged forward. He raked his claws across Examon's midsection. Examon's wings attempted to protect him, but Oberon's claws allowed him to cut right through the dragon's defenses.
Ajax nodded to Oberon, and the two prepared to face the Examon together, as a united front.
"King Lion!" Goliath roared. His katana burst into flames and he charged Imego. When he was close, he leapt into the air and slashed downwards with all the power he could muster, attempting to break straight through the paladin's defenses and cut him in two.
But Goliath's attack was terminated abruptly. Imego simply rasied his own sword and casually stopped the strike. Goliath's eyes widened in shock as the true scope of Imego's new power became apparent.
"Omni Sword," Imego said calmly with their swords still locked. He slashed his sword, drawing it against Goliath's own. The sheer power unleashed by the attack broke Goliath's katana into a thousand tiny pieces and completely atomized his gakuran. In fact, if it were not for the gakuran's defensive properties, Goliath himself would have undoubtedly been consumed by the power and killed.
Goliath was hurled across the room by the enormous cascade of energy. Imego, sure of his victory paid no more attention to the rebel commander, and instead turned to attack the rest of the rebel strike force. But Goliath wasn't finished.
"Flash Bancho Punch!" he roared. He exploded forward and landed a powerful punch to Imego's face. The dragon paladin stumbled back, and Goliath launched another punch, only for Imego to catch his fist easily with his left hand. He squeezed Goliath's fist, and Goliath crumpled to his knees in pain.
"Interesting," Imego mused. "Even after I defeated you with a single attack, you believed you could best me...why? Where do you get the nerve to believe such a thing?" Imego didn't let Goliath reply, for before he could, the dragon paladin kicked him in the chest and sent him flying through the air and crashing through the wall behind him.
Ajax and Oberon saw Goliath's plight.
"Go help," Oberon ordered Ajax. "I'll deal with this one and be there in a minute." Ajax nodded once and sprinted off towards Imego. Examon moved to stop him, but Oberon slammed into the red dragon, allowing Ajax to run to their commander's aid.
"Rage of Wyvern!" Ajax yelled as he ran. He launched his dragon-shaped energy blast towards Imego, who simply braced himself and took the entire attack with just the slightest flinch. The great dragon looked around for Ajax, but he was nowhere to be seen.
Imego glanced up and behind him to see Ajax fly through the air and fire off the bolt of power from his weapon. But Imego wasn't very concerned: he simply raised his hand and caught the bolt as it flew towards him. He held it at bay until it fizzled out. Ajax stared at Imego in disbelief, but readied his weapon and charged.
Ajax attacked with a flurry of strikes, spinning and slashing in rapid succession, trying to overcome--or find a break in--Imego's defenses. But Imego's defenses held, and he blocked every one of Ajax's strikes. So the knight decided to try something else; he swung his pole axe in a horizontal thrusting motion towards Imego's head. But the draconic paladin easily intercepted the strike, catching the pole axe's head with his sword. Then, before Ajax had the chance to realize what had transpired, Imego grabbed him by his armor and hurled him through the air. Ajax hit the ground hard and skidded to a stop as his armor sent sparks flying.
Imego glanced down to the Dunas where Ajax had dropped it, then casually kicked it over to its owner. The great paladin then spread his wings, lifted into the air, and charged Ajax; he flew just above the ground with his sword drawn for a killing stroke.
But Ajax ducked underneath the strike, and unleashed his Final Crest attack from point blank range into Imego's chest. Imego took the full attack, the force of which sent him backwards through the air. However, Imego merely had to spread his silver wings to stop his flight, and aside from a few scuff marks on his armor, he was relatively unharmed.
He was, however, quite angry. Imego charged Ajax in a rage and brought his sword crashing down on the knight. Ajax attempted to block the strike with the shaft of his weapon, but Imego's blade clove right through it. Ajax leapt back in shock, but had no time to contemplate what happened, as Imego was upon him once again. Feuled by instinct and training, Ajax used the two halves of his weapon to parry and block Imego's blows. Ajax was suddenly struck by such a blow that--even blocked--he was lifted off his feet and hurled through the air. Imego continued his relentless assault and rushed Ajax once again, but this time Ajax was ready.
As Imego neared, Ajax hurled the back half of his weapon. The spear point lodged in Imego's left shoulder, and the paladin reeled back in pain, ceasing his attack abruptly. He savagely ripped the spear from his shoulder and tossed it to the ground. Then, when he went to turn his rage on Ajax, Imego caught a face-full of his Rage of Wyvern attack and was knocked across the room.
Ajax stood hunched, breathing heavily, as the smoke and dust settled. Imego's power was immense; Ajax had never faced an opponent who could survive so many direct attacks without even trying to defend himself. When the smoke cleared, Ajax was shocked to find Imego still standing, looking no the worse for wear. The white-armored dragon began his slow advance.
"This is insane," Ajax growled. "How is he still standing?" Ajax tossed the other half of his broken weapon away and prepared himself. "Slide Evolution...Gallantmon X!" Ajax was suddenly surrounded by a field of glowing 1's and 0's. They swirled around him and through him, causing his armor to change: it became sharper and more angular--more powerful as well. The 1's and 0's formed around his hands, creating the mighty Aegis shield, and the handle for his beam lance Gram. Ajax brought shield and lance to bear, and the lance's blade hummed to life as a glowing cone of blue energy.
Imego wasn't impressed and charged forward. Ajax answered his charge, and Omni Sword met Aegis Shield. Ajax struggled against Imego's overwhelming strength; Imego had more physical power than Ajax could hope to muster. But he didn't have the skill.
Ajax adjusted his stance, shifting his balance and causing Imego to stumble forward. In the same instant, Ajax slashed his lance against Imego's side. Imego faltered for a moment, and Ajax attacked. He attacked relentlessly, stabbing and slashing with the Gram lance. He scored several good hits, surprising Imego with his ability to penetrate his guard.
But Imego wasn't willing to let that stand. He swung the Omni Sword with all his might and it crashed against Ajax's shield. The force of the blow knocked Ajax backwards and Imego brought his sword up to attack again.
"Lightning Joust!" Ajax cried out. The Gram blade suddenly extended to several times its length and struck Imego's wrist, causing the white dragon to lose his grip on the Omni Sword. "Victory Saber!" Ajax attacked. He stabbed and slashed with his lance, scoring several deep hits to Imego's less armored areas.
Ajax leapt to attack his unarmed opponent again, but Imego swiftly grabbed both of Ajax's arms and pinned them to his side before ramming his head into Ajax's head. He then kneed Ajax in the midsection.
"Imperial Claw!" Imego shouted as he tore into Ajax with the glowing claws on his armor. He didn't distinguish between light and heavy armor: Imego's attacks were powerful enough to cause damage no matter what stood in their way. "Imperial Kick!" A sudden kick knocked the wind out of Ajax and he tumbled through the air.
Imego raised his right hand, and the Omni Sword flew into his grasp.
"Fine," Ajax hissed as he winced in pain. "You asked for it." Ajax deactivated his beam lance and placed the Aegis shield in front of him pointed towards Imego. Power began to build within the glowing crystalline center of the shield, and the entire shield shook violently as the power built to critical mass. "Shield of the Just!" Ajax howled.
An enormous wave of holy energy seared from the Aegis shield and crashed into the advancing Imego with terrific force. Imego strained against the sheer power of Ajax's attack, he struggled to keep his footing as the beam halted his advance. The power threatened to overwhelm Imego, and finally knocked him from his feet. No longer restrained by Imego, the power carried him through the air and slammed him against the wall. The attack continued, battering Imego through several other walls before finally ending with a massive explosion that rocked the entire palace.
Ajax let his shield slump to the ground and he leaned against it, breathing heavily. He had put every ounce of power into that attack, hoping that it would at least put Imego down for the count. Ajax's hopes were dashed as Imego climbed back through the holes he had punched in the walls as the attack carried him.
"My turn," Imego said with a smirk. He raised the Omni Sword and pointed it towards Ajax as power built around the sword's point, forming a glowing sphere of white and purple. "Positron Laser!" Imego shouted. A great beam of energy ripped from the sword's point and crashed towards Ajax, who just managed to raise his shield in time to block the attack. The force of the beam lifted Ajax off his feet and carried him through the air. Only his quick thinking and repositioning of his shield so that the beam pushed him out of its path saved him from being splattered all over the walls...
The Examon made one final attempt to drive his lance into Oberon, but the BlackWarGreymon slashed his claws and cut the weapon into several pieces. The red dragon fell back in surprise, and Oberon exploded forward.
"Black Tornado-Dragon Crusher!" he roared. He rotated at a tremendous velocity and tore towards Examon. His claws shred through the dragon's wings as they attempted to protect him, and then Oberon impaled the red dragon with his claws. The dragon seized up before finally dissipating in a storm of data particles.
Oberon glanced around and saw Ajax receive the Positron Laser attack from Imego. He noticed how worn and beaten the Gallantmon looked, and knew he had reached his limit.
"Terra Force!" Tharor called out. The mass of fiery energy crashed into Slayerdramon and knocked him through the air and into the nearest wall. The chrome-armored dragon was then buried by several tons of rubble and debris.
"Tharor," Oberon called out. "Leave him; I need your help."
Tharor glanced over to the pile of rubble for a moment to make sure that Slayerdramon didn't rise. When he was satisfied that the dragon was down, Tharor flew to Oberon's side, and the two WarGreymon rushed towards Imego. Oberon reached him first and stabbed with his claws, but Imego's fingers slipped between the claws and he caught the strike with the barest effort. He raised his sword to deliver a killing blow, but Tharor arrived just in time to hold the weapon at bay by crossing his claws against it. Imego snarled and lashed out with two split-second kicks that sent both WarGreymon flying.
Oberon and Tharor recovered quickly, however, and prepared to attack again; they surged forward, attacking with simultaneous Dragon Crushers. Their claws struck Imego hard, but caused less damage than they hoped for; Imego's new power gave him the ability to withstand even their specialized killing techniques. They'd have to find a new tactic.
Terra Force and Terra Destroyer fired simultaneously, and the twin fireballs completely engulfed Imego in an inferno of burning energies. But as the fires died down, the two WarGreymon were shocked to find Imego still standing; charred, but relatively unhurt.
"Great Tornado!" Tharor called out; he tore through the air towards Imego, but the great paladin simply slashed his sword at the oncoming tornado and the collision of energies sent Tharor flying through the air.
"Damn," Oberon cursed. He charged forward. Imego was unconcerned.
The mouth of the dragon head on Imego's chest opened, and the positron cannon emerged. Power began to build within the cannon and quickly reached peak levels.
"Giga Crusher!" Imego roared. Power exploded from the cannon searing a line of fire through the air. Oberon just barely managed to bring up his Brave Shield to block the attack, but even that hardly served to slow it down. It slammed into Oberon's shield and forced the BlackWarGreymon back. Suddenly, the power overcame the limits of the Brave Shield. The shield shattered and Imego's attack plowed into Oberon. He was engulfed by the energy of the attack and sent flying through the walls of the palace.
Imego laughed loudly, reveling in his victory. Oberon and Goliath were both incapacitated, Ajax was completely drained, and Tharor alone was no match for Imego's new level of power. The "Ultimate Paladin" of the Dramon Empire slowly advanced towards his prey...
Jager waited until his armaments had fully reloaded before calling Osiris and Strom back. He strode forward and braced himself to prepare for the recoil. He set his sights throughout the capital city. It was by chance that he chose to glance at the dome of the imperial palace, but he did, and peered through the holes that had been blown in the dome. Jager's vision zoomed in and he caught sight of Imego decimating the rebel team.
He realized that the mission had been botched.
"Something's wrong," he announced. "They're in trouble; they need help!" Jager fired several cannon blasts throughout the rest of the city in one final attempt to confuse the Dramon Army. He then slid into his faster MetalGarurumon form and launched himself into the sky. He raced towards the palace and hoped he wasn't too late.