— Ember the Hyena
The episode summaries for Red Roses, Black Hearts, the second story-arc in Dimitri Chronicles: Flames of Courage. Following the events of Before the Storm, this arc follows Dimitri and his team, Team Prinus, in the search for their second Chaos Emerald and great adventure to Radiant Hills to stop a foreseen disaster!
Episode Thirteen: Red Roses, Black Hearts
The episode commences in an unfamiliar setting...
The red, scorching sun shines harshly in a velvet-colored barren desert in Soumerca.
It has been one day since Team Prinus started their quest in the search for the legendary Chaos Emeralds. After a series of events, sixteen-year old Dimitri Prinus the Echidna found the cyan-colored gem and, through its power, foresaw disaster related to his nemesis occurring in a land called Radiant Hills. Whether the location is where the next Chaos Emerald resides or not is a gamble they are willing to make...
Radiant Hills is located in the western part of the continent, near the coast. Since Station Square is basically on the opposite end of the continent and the village is supposedly primitive, Team Prinus is forced to take the longer route. They have to go through the continent's desert called the Scorched Dunes.
The Scorched Dunes is covered with dunes of red sand, without animals roaming around due to its extreme temperatures. It is considered one of the hottest locations in planet Mobius... The path to peace is arduous. _____________________________________________________________________________________
Dimitri, Ramonna, and Maxwell are seen walking on the barren desert without looking backwards. While they took a train from Station Square to a station close to the desert, they have to stroll through it themselves alone. The harsh temperature and limited amount of supplies make the whole situation bad.
Ramonna has endured through harsh temperatures before in her travels to Cinnabar Forest, so she is not that affected by the scorching red sun above her; if anything, it makes her look more tan. Poor Maxwell, however, has troubles handling hot weather. After all, most Eurishians like himself are not used to it. Furthermore, he refuses to take off the scarf Dimitri gave him when they first encountered each other...
What stands out for the trio is a large amount of shattered ruins on the desert's dunes. After carefully analyzing them with his team, Dimitri concludes such pillars of concrete belonged to a civilization from thousands of years ago. Cautious, everyone proceeds to continue walking without looking back.
Suddenly, Maxwell discovers a strange blue-colored dune amidst the red ones. Believing it is water, the child runs and dives into it, crashing his head comically. As Dimitri was about to help him get back on his feet with his telekinesis, everyone is stunned as the mysterious blue-colored dust dissolves on the nine-year old and almost instantaneously becomes liquid, drinkable water. Everyone is shocked.
Maxwell is overjoyed, Ramonna tries her best to drink the water from the ground, and Dimitri is somewhat confused but decides to collect some of the blue-colored dust into a glass bottle. It certainly was a miraculous event to occur and the echidna cannot wrap his head around it, but is thankful anyway... Dimitri gives the bottle for Maxwell to hold because he found it; it leaves the child with a sense of achievement!
While Team Prinus rested and drank, the episode concludes itself as eight hooded figures appear and suddenly surround the somewhat exhausted team. Trouble is about to go down...
Episode Fourteen: Red Roses, Black Hearts II
The episode commences following the previous one.
The eight hooded figures, all surrounding Team Prinus, fill the air with tension and snickering. Dimitri and the others are on guard and stand close to each other, back-to-back, as they enter their battle stances. The echidna asks what they want and they mention their desire for the blue Rainbow Dust they collected.
With the team unfamiliar with the term, the hooded figures all pointed towards the bottle Maxwell holds.
Maxwell flatly states that they cannot have it because he found it first. Upon the dead silence that follows, the hooded figures' snickering become full-on unnerving laughter and reveal their identities by putting their hoods down: hyenas. Dimitri believes it must be due to this that they laugh so much.
When they pull out scimitars each and threaten them, Team Prinus responds in kind... _____________________________________________________________________________________
Refilled with energy from the water he drank, Maxwell uses his super-speed to run and knock the hyenas back with punches and kicks, each easily dodging the scimitars. Ramonna, on the other hand, overpowers everyone by blocking the blades using the green knuckles of her gloves and pummeling them around.
Dimitri, unimpressed, does not move an inch from his place. His eyes become turquoise as he snaps his fingers and releases a psychic shockwave that sends his foes flying. This is enough to end the fight.
Ramonna, bored out of her mind and frustrated by how much of a pushover they are, picks a hyena from the ground by his clothes and demands information and the reason they attacked them. Should the questioning not work, however, the hedgehog assures them they would surely regret it!
The hyenas looks at each other and all simultaneously laugh. Angry, Ramonna asks them what is so funny. They respond by mentioning how small flames they are compared to their leaders, the future rulers of the desert! As they say that, one of them throws green-colored dust at Team Prinus, which then dissolves and becomes strong winds that blast the surprised team away. This gives the hyenas enough time to escape. _____________________________________________________________________________________
The episode makes a transition to few hours later.
With the bandits unable to acquire Maxwell's bottle, Team Prinus continues to walk through the hot desert. The nine-year old shows signs of fatigue due to his winter-themed clothing. Dimitri concluded that the green dust the hyenas threw at them were similar to the one they have, but wind-related instead of water-related.
Suddenly, Team Prinus witnesses a strange development occurring in the distance.
Multiple hooded figures, presumably like the hyenas from before, are seen mysteriously gathering. The ominous laughter is so intense even Team Prinus can hear it from many feet away. While Ramonna is infuriated and wants to take them on, Dimitri pulls Maxwell and her down, warning them to remain hidden since their numbers, apparently in the thousands, are just too extraordinary for their current stamina.
Soon, a dense gray-colored smoke emerges from thin air over a dune near the hyenas. Two peculiar individuals come out from it: two female hyenas with clothes different from the rest. One of them has an emotionless face and does not smile, while the other one has a smirk and wears an eye-patch.
The latter's thin pipe exhales dense smoke and she is seen holding something shiny. She is the leader!
"Conditions... favorable... for the execution... of the plan. Awaiting... further orders."
The leader grins while exhaling smoke and responds in kind.
"Hee hee, impatient are we, Ember? Yet, I understand you. We all have waited long enough, haha!"
Beside the emotionless hyena, the leader of the hyenas turns to the masses and delivers a speech on how the time has finally come for them to rise again and take what is rightfully theirs— whatever that means.
As the leader raises her voice and the other hyenas cheer, she raises her shiny object which gleams in contact with the harsh sunlight. Dimitri, from afar, notices something uncanny:
The leader of the hyenas is holding a white-colored Chaos Emerald! _____________________________________________________________________________________
The leader of the hyenas finishes her speech and all hyenas go silent. Only the sound of the fleeting wind can be heard. She turns around and faces a barren wasteland while extending her Chaos Emerald forward. She recites an ominous, mysterious excerpt and the white-colored gem starts flashing.
As the Chaos Emerald flashes, winds become progressively stronger than ever. The hyenas, all in awe, gasp as they try to hold onto themselves. Surprised, Dimitri uses his telekinesis to hold down his team. He could not believe his eyes: an abnormally large sandstorm kicked up. The sandstorm is so thick, the sky darkens as the sun becomes less visible than before. Was this the doing of the gem?
Somehow, the leader of the hyenas and her subordinates seem unscathed even though they are so near the sandstorm which affects everything around them. The grey smoke from her pipe intensifies and covers everyone affiliated with her which, in the blink of an eye, suddenly vanish from thin air!
Team Prinus does not have the time to be puzzled as the sandstorm starts consuming the Scorched Dunes. The winds, abnormally powerful, start taking a toll on Dimitri's psychic shield. Weaker than ever, they cannot progress further and stop in their tracks. The echidna's last words commands them to get down on the ground as he protects them with his body when his shield shatters... Everyone passes out.
The episode concludes itself in the cliffhanger...
Episode Fifteen: Red Roses, Black Hearts III
The episode commences some time after.
Within an unfamiliar wooden shack, sixteen-year-old Dimitri wakes up with a terrible headache. Holding his own head, Dimitri looks around to see if his team is alright. The canid is relieved to see that his own friend is okay; he was the last one to wake up after being saved by a generous mister that was passing by.
The location was small, though clean and comfortable in size. The entire environment was made of wood and protected them from the harsh sunlight of the desert. Alas, there are no air-conditioners like in Ramonna's house, so it continues to be warm in temperature. Many magazines filled the shack's shelves.
Team Prinus was apparently knocked out until the next morning.
Ramonna is on the other side of the room talking with a handsome stranger. Tall and good-looking, the other dark-red echidna definitely looked older than Dimitri. The female hedgehog looked somewhat flustered while talking to him, though defiant in some manner. This makes the sixteen-year old's heart sink.
When the stranger proposes to give Ramonna a red rose, without knowing the reason, Dimitri immediately stands up and remains between them while extending his arms sideways:
"You keep your hands away from my girl."
Dimitri looks fierce, but the stranger merely looked surprised but not concerned. Everyone present, including the green echidna, wonder what just happened. Unlike usual, he acted on impulse.
The stranger merely sighs and says that he will eventually have another chance, considering the competition is not particularly anything threatening. When Dimitri was about to speak, the other echidna, who has a white marking that resembles a crescent moon on his chest, poses and introduces himself.
As Tobias the Crescent introduces himself, Ramonna punches Dimitri on the arm, telling him off since he is the one that saved from the sandstorm and wonders what got into him. The green echidna, at a loss for words and rather frustrated at himself, swallows his pride, takes a deep breath, and introduces himself.
Tobias wonders why strangers had come to this lowly, harsh location of Soumerca. Maxwell responds that they must reach Radiant Hills so they can fight off evil monsters, and Ramonna adds that they should really beat the living hell out of the bandits that have an object they are looking for. Tobias shakes his head glances at his window: as long as the sandstorm does not subside, they cannot really get out of the desert.
Dimitri definitely saw the white Chaos Emerald on the hyena leader's hand. This proves the legend of the Chaos Emerald is real and he suspects it was with its power that she summoned the sandstorm. The sandstorm is unusually powerful, brimming with energy similar to the one his own cyan gem radiates. Maxwell pondered about it for a bit and decides to name it the Great Chaos Sandstorm.
Tobias is genuinely surprised at the mention of hyenas roaming around, however.
After some discussion, the episode concludes itself as Tobias invites them to visit the local town. Charming that he is, he claims to know a lot of people there, and they might solve Ramonna's inquiries...
Episode Sixteen: Red Roses, Black Hearts IV
The episode commences some time after the events of the previous one.
Team Prinus and Tobias the Crescent head towards the city by following a trail the latter made on the Scorched Dunes to mark the path to the nearby town he frequently visits. Using his trusty wooden staff, the Psamathe, the dark-red echidna protects the team by redirecting the flying sand on the opposite direction.
Dimitri is unimpressed, considering he can do the same with his telekinesis, but both Ramonna and Maxwell seem interested on where Tobias acquired much otherworldly item. He mentions he discovered it lying around in the desert when he was younger. It has since helped him make a profit and protect himself.
After walking around, everyone reaches Red Rose Town. The town is the most prominent one in the desert and features a large bazaar at the heart of the location. It is considerably different from Station Square. No large buildings but structures made out of solid, withered stone. It seems somewhat poorer. Ramonna also notices a large, fighting arena in the distance akin to her city's Treasure Chest Arena.
A large crowd can be seen in the town's plaza and everyone goes to check out. Apparently, standing on a wooden pedestal, the city's human mayor makes the announcement that he is aware of recent massive sandstorm that is supposedly near the town and the problem will be dealt with. The famous fighting tournament of the region, the Blood Thorn Tournament, will happen no matter what happens.
Ramonna gets incredibly excited about it and tells everyone that she will compete. Dimitri disagrees with her decision, reminding her that there are more important matters at hand to be dealt with. Tobias uses this opportunity to reinforce the hedgehog's idea and gain her endearment. This makes the sixteen-year old's heart sink even more, though he knows not the reason behind it. He remains silent alongside Maxwell.
While Maxwell calls Ramonna to check an alluring trinket he finds displayed at the bazaar, Dimitri and Tobias are left alone looking at other booths. The awkward silence is broken by the echidna with the moon-shaped marking, who starts harassing Dimitri by mentioning how Ramonna is out of his league and should leave her to a man like himself. The Prinus echidna does not know what Tobias is talking about.
Tobias reveals his overbearingly competitive nature through his discussion with Dimitri. They both begin arguing until a horde of female strangers recognize and flock all over Tobias. Gallantly, the red echidna ignores Dimitri and begins to charm them with a behavior he uses with Ramonna. One of them even starts to kiss him passionately. He responds in kind, holding the woman close with technique.
A very flustered Dimitri turns around and crosses his arms. Tobias makes them depart from his sight after a brief conversation and grins, amused with the other echidna's reaction.
"Oh, these ones I conquered just last week. Quite easy, really. Given my natural charm, they all refuse to resist the love I give them. Haha, life without love is all but empty!"
"No, I can see it in your hollow eyes... You are mistaken if you believe that is love."
Tobias slightly raises his voice, rather irritated.
"...Oh yeah? And what do YOU know about love?"
When Dimitri is about to reply, Maxwell and Ramonna return. The echidna exchange mean looks, and drosp the argument instantly. Tobias became more determined to conquer the hedgehog he knows the Prinus echidna is into, and Dimitri feels as if he should protect his friend for reasons he does not understand...
The episode concludes itself after that.
Episode Seventeen: Red Roses, Black Hearts V
The episode commences moments after the previous one.
In Red Rose Town, Dimitri and Tobias clash as their views on love differ. The latter, a notorious womanizer, became even more determined to conquer Ramonna so he could teach the echidna not to mess with him. The sixteen-year old is similarly driven for reasons he is unable to comprehend, and will protect his friend no matter what. Maxwell is unaware of the entire situation and instead is mesmerized by his surroundings.
Ending the Great Chaos Sandstorm means attaining the white Chaos Emerald from the hyenas and Team Prinus does not know where to begin. Dimitri proposes that they should search the town for clues and information on their whereabouts. Perhaps the locals could have excellent information. _____________________________________________________________________________________
Tobias insists in sticking with Ramonna, who does not mind but would prefer the company of someone else, and Dimitri and nine-year old Maxwell head to the bazaar once more to question the locals. The green echidna asks for information on the desert's hyenas, but to no avail as the merchant demands pay for his service. The two members from Team Prinus do not have any idea on what the town's currency is.
The merchant points to Maxwell's bottle and explains that the desert's elemental-themed dusts, Rainbow Dust, is the town's currency and also serve as rare weapons. He continues by explaining their properties and how rare they are. However, the small amount of blue Rainbow Dust they have is not enough.
When he finishes talking with Dimitri and turns around to his booth, the merchant exclaims that someone had just stolen some of his goods. Within the crowd, Maxwell could observe a fast figure trying to run away.
The nine-year old canid uses his super-speed to catch up with the figure and knocks them down. As Maxwell corners the other Mobian who stands at a similarly short height, he notices a strange insignia from the figure's hood that masks their identity. The fox politely demands for the thief to return what they stole, but they mention how the child is disrupting their work and is an annoyance.
Maxwell briefly clashes with the thief. He overwhelms them by hitting his foe from numerous directions and even curls up to a ball to strike them down. As he retrieves the goods they stole, the figure admits the child is a strange one and throws indigo-colored Rainbow Dust at him, shrouding the area in total darkness!
The blast stuns Maxwell, who is temporarily unable to see. The darkness soon fades and the figure is gone. The child wonders who that thief was, but is glad to have retrieved the goods they stole. He rushes back to the merchant and Dimitri and hands the trinkets to the former. The merchant, thoroughly impressed and grateful, returns the favor by telling everything he knows about the desert's hyenas.
"Hyenas... Hmm... Those treacherous folk have lived in the desert long ago. Warriors. Scary people, they were. I don't know what happened to them... Maybe they just migrated or died off."
Dimitri and Maxwell look at each other and then nod to the merchant.
The episode concludes itself after that.
Episode Eighteen: Red Roses, Black Hearts VI
The episode commences following the events of the previous one simultaneously.
Ramonna and Tobias walk together around town. Although as the latter tries to willingly approach her, she subconsciously maintains her distance. The echidna suggests they go somewhere nice and forget about Dimitri's plan for a while so they could have some fun. Ramonna is initially reluctant, but as the smooth echidna persuades her, she says she would not mind having a little bit of free-time...
The echidna takes the hedgehog to the other corner of the bazaar to see some more feminine trinkets. Naturally, should Ramonna find one that catches her eye, he would buy it; although he might not flaunt it as often like his appearance, he has quite a lot of rare Rainbow Dust to trade and spend.
Ramonna's stubbornness allows her to put up a tough and sassy front. She does not necessarily hate girly things, but is not used to be seen as a woman, which makes her somewhat flustered when she is. As Tobias stays with her, he attempts to break this front with well-placed compliments and flirtatious remarks.
Unfortunately for him, she is not so easy. The seventeen-year old female later becomes bored, for Ramonna already has the one special accessory she once desired. She would personally be happier looking at such objects with the guy she holds dear. As she tries to hold her ground and shrug him off, she holds her necklace tightly, but not strong enough to crush it. Tobias sighs in response, but is no quitter. _____________________________________________________________________________________
Coincidentally, when she wishes for something fun to unfold, Ramonna and Tobias witness two big Mobians getting physical. As their punches, kicks, and overall violence causes people to gather around and cheer, the hedgehog's heart beats fast as she decides to jump into the fray herself and fight those two.
While Ramonna initially holds back her massive power, her adrenaline boosts her strength even further. Everything is all in good fun, though Tobias is visibly tense about a woman having that much power. The people in Red Rose Town later recognize the hedgehog as the current champion of Station Square and pleads for her to fight in their tournament. She chuckles and merely remarks she will think about it.
After returning to Tobias, Ramonna's expression of entertainment fades as the echidna looks rather scared. For the rest of their walk, the womanizer cautiously maintains his distance from the hedgehog. Ramonna notices this sudden change in attitude and remembers events from her past, merely shrugging it off...
Ramonna and Tobias regroup with Dimitri and Maxwell. They share their information: Dimitri mentions how there were hyenas around in the past and Ramonna remarks how cool the townsfolk are. The gap in the usefulness of each shared information is glaring...
As Dimitri was about to call them out, the group hears a scream.
Episode Nineteen: Red Roses, Black Hearts VII
The episode commences following the cliffhanger.
Turmoil takes over the desert's most prominent town, Red Rose Town, as the plaza is completely incinerated in a blast of unnaturally-generated fire. People are screaming, running for their lives as familiar hooded figures start stealing every kind of Elemental Dust found in the bazaar in the middle of the turmoil. Team Prinus and Tobias all witness a horrible chain of events unfold right in front of their eyes.
Without taking chances and images of the Prinus Village Massacre flashing through his eyes, Dimitri orders his friends to get the residents to safety. Anxious, Maxwell uses his super-speed to get into the flaming plaza to look for survivors and save them. Ramonna takes on some of the hooded figures, grabbing pieces of the ground and throwing at them to stop them in their tracks. There is no time for explanations.
Dimitri uses his turquoise-colored telekinesis to isolate the fire from the people. He scatters the smoke so other people can breathe and get away, but the flames do not seem to end at all and oxygen is running out. Tobias, on the other hand, is easily scared of the situation and hides. Apparently, his courage does not match up to the flames. He uses his wooden staff to hide under a circular barrier of thick barrier of sand.
The episode focuses more on Team Prinus using their powers to save those powerless and frightened. In times of emergency and stress, the team has no qualms in other people telling everyone about their powers since the latter would either believe it is too rare and fantastical for most to buy or they were more worried about their safety than anything. In times like these, this is the least of their worries.
From within the blaze, the echidna notices the one causing the fire: a familiar emotionless hyena he oversaw with the owner of the white Chaos Emerald. Now he knows why she is called Ember the Hyena.
Ember, with the usage of gauntlets, is seen setting everything around her on fire like a flamethrower. For reasons Dimitri cannot explain, the flames and the intense heat does not affect her demeanor... However, truth be told, perhaps the female was enjoying burning everything around her to ash.
Bewildered, Dimitri uses his powers to charge an orb of energy from his palm and blasts it towards her, but the flames are so intense the orb disintegrates completely. This garners the attention of Ember...
"Biological hazard detected. Scanning in progress..."
"Burning everything like it were nothing... Do you not understand the value of life?"
"Invalid input... Scanning complete. Your characteristics and blue powers... All psychic in nature... A Prinus echidna. A threat. Initiating battle procedure... Levels of power rising exponentially..."
Dimitri enters his battle stance. He needs to stop the fire and buy time for his team to save everyone. Ember, with blazing flames surrounding the plaza and herself, recharges her gauntlets.
"Tch, I'm not letting you get away. Show me the power of your resolution!"
The episode concludes itself as the two fighters begin their brawl amidst the flames.
Episode Twenty: Red Roses, Black Hearts VIII
The episode commences following the events of the previous one.
Dimitri is determined to stop Ember amidst the flames. However, as the fire around them intensifies, only the Prinus echidna seems to be gradually running out of breath.
Taking the initiative, Ember immediately uses her gauntlets to further intensify the flames of their environment.The echidna uses his telekinesis to disperse the flames around him and charge a telekinetic blast from his hands. Ember charges a small fire orb of her own that collides with Dimitri's projectile.
Mercilessly, the expressionless hyena continues to send waves and waves of fire projectiles towards Dimitri, who then summons a psychic barrier to protect himself. However, Ember does not truly aim at him but around him, causing the flames to intensify even further and cause great collateral damage.
Dimitri is realizes Ember's intentions... She wants to make use of her environment since she is immune to the flames but Dimitri is not. A psychic warrior depends on his psychological well-being, but the hyena can survive the heat like it is nothing. In a battle of attrition, with such amount of fire, she would win...
The echidna continues to disperse the fire around him, even if it costs him crucial energy. However, this time, Dimitri stays on the offensive. Using his turquoise-colored powers, he lifts chunks of the ground and sends them Ember's way. The hyena charges a red ball of fire that completely disintegrates them, but it is a mere distraction for the echidna to get up close and blast her with psychic energy, sending her flying.
Ember is knocked backwards, but she flips and quickly regains composure and recharges her gauntlets...
"Levels of power... miscalculated. Fire potency... increased. You... are... interesting♪"
Dimitri needs to buy more time so people can escape. The environment's temperature is overwhelming.
"You have seen nothing yet."
The episode then makes a transition.
Maxwell and Ramonna are seen away from the plaza. Ramonna beats many cloaked hyenas, but the damage to the bazaar had already been done and their Rainbow Dust stolen. Her feelings of excitement manifests themselves in her overuse of her super-strength to defeat many of them at the same time. Red Rose Town is under attack, but the hedgehog cannot help but feel thrilled amidst the heat...
On the other hand, Maxwell uses his super-speed to save civilians from the fire. From the experiences of his previous orphanage, this little canid knows how dangerous it is, and he closely follows Dimitri's commands of saving everyone he could find in distress. The white fox looks like a small blur as he dashes around.
For ordeals such as this one, Maxwell developed a technique on his own. When fire could be seen reaching the bazaar, the white fox surrounds it, trapping the flames in a vortex where oxygen is reduced. The lack of oxygen puts down the small ember. Looking at the intense flames of the plaza, he gains an idea.
The episode makes another transition.
Dimitri Prinus and Ember continue their fight in the middle of the blazing plaza. The hyena has become more aggressive as she creates flaming-whips from her gauntlets to punish the echidna. Having to deal with his surroundings and the hyena's continuous attacks, Dimitri needs to act quickly. He uses his telekinesis to scatter the fire around him and, analyzing Ember's methodical style, exploits her attack patterns.
This eventually causes Ember to switch methods. Dimitri tries to close their distance. After recharging once more, she summons various vortexes of fire near her to stop him in his tracks. The echidna continues to scatter them, but the heat is starting to get to him. He then sees Maxwell just outside the plaza beyond the flames and the latter exclaims that everyone is safe and that he needs to put the fire out.
Ember glances towards Maxwell and blasts a flaming orb at his direction. As the heat makes him difficult to focus, Dimitri is unable to redirect it and exclaims for his friend to get out of its way. It is only then that Maxwell realizes a scorching ball of fire is close to reach him... Dodging it is impossible even with his speed!
When the flaming orb is about to make contact on Maxwell, it crashes onto something else that gets in its way and explodes fiercely. When the smoke ceases, Ramonna could be seen in front of the little canid. Using her sheer strength, the hedgehog blocked it using her arms to protect her friend and grins.
"...Woo, that sure stung! Hey, we'll handle things from here. Wipe the floor with her, Dimitri!"
Dimitri blinks twice and grins back, getting an idea.
"Yeah... Leave it to me."
He musters his strength and raises his telekinetic aura. Its turquoise color becomes radiant even amidst the flames. He concentrates on Ember, who has her head tilted and recharges her gauntlets once more. Judging by how much she recharged, Dimitri theorizes the outcome of the fight will be decided soon. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Ember starts to glow turquoise as well.
"We are moving out of town. There, we both can go all-out."
Using his powers, he throws Ember out of the city, following her right behind by levitating. The episode concludes itself in the cliffhanger as Maxwell and Ramonna cheer for their friend who was flying away.
Episode Twenty-One: Red Roses, Black Hearts IX
The episode commences itself following the events of the previous one.
Seeing their friend levitate out of town to face Ember alone, Maxwell tells Ramonna his idea to eradicate the huge flames from the plaza with a combo technique that he can only do with the hedgehog. Like the child himself, Ramonna gets excited and gets into her position as he does.
In an opposite direction to the flames, Ramonna plants herself on the ground. From a distance, Maxwell takes a deep breath and runs the fastest he can go towards his friend. At the right moment, as if choreographed, Ramonna catches his arm, spins counterclockwise on her place, and sends him towards the flames. This creates a blitzing momentum for Maxwell to run faster than the eye can see!
Maxwell, grinning, surrounds the entire plaza and creates a huge vortex. This vortex is enough to send structures flying onto the desert and put out the flames as if they were a lie. He gets a little too fast, however. As he is unable to control his speed, he crashes onto Ramonna, who comically is not affected. Instead, Ramonna picks up a tired Maxwell on her arms and grins, complimenting his awesome work!
Apparently, the hooded hyenas were gone. On his friend's arms, he takes a deep breath and expresses his relief for everyone being safe. The crowd slowly gets away from their hiding spots and start cheering.
...Unfortunately, the cheering ceases as everyone present notices a dense smoke emerge in front on the burned plaza. As if from thin air, a familiar individual exits it with the white Chaos Emerald at hand. It was the eye-patched hyena Team Prinus saw previously and the instigator for the Great Chaos Sandstorm!
"Ahahaha! Desert-dwellers! The time has come for you to meet your rightful leader!"
The hyena holds her smoking pipe and grins incessantly, introducing herself as Zahra the Hyena, the leader of the Inferno Bandits and the latest empress of the reemerging Sand Empire, hyena rulers of the Scorched Dunes from ages ago. She mostly explains her plans of recovering her empire's territory.
Maxwell and Ramonna, both on their guard, demands the reason she caused the great sandstorm. Zahra replies by mentioning that it is to isolate the desert from outside interference. She continues by saying that, should Red Rose Town not surrender completely within the next few days, she cannot promise the town's safety from the approaching natural disaster. Ramonna grits her teeth and clenches her fist!
Zahra laughs haughtily at the expanse of their frustrated expressions. Ramonna charges onto her and delivers a full-power punch, but is surprised to see that such image of Zahra was really just smoke. After hearing such declaration of war, the hearts of the citizens of Red Rose Town become at unease... _____________________________________________________________________________________
The intense smoke from the plaza could be seen from the desert.
Many feet away from the border of Red Rose Town, being forcefully thrown out of town, Ember utilizes her fire to ease her fall and land on her feet. Dimitri lands on the ground with his telekinesis. In the distance, the Great Sandstorm was closing in miles away from their location. The sunset is barely visible.
"Now, we can finally battle seriously without risking other people's lives."
Ember tilts her head, but widens her eyes.
"Statement... unclear. Does that... mean... you were... holding back?"
Dimitri enters his battle stance and nods. Ember's eyes shrink and she starts trembling a little.
"Interesting... Very interesting. Prinus echidna... Further analysis of you... is required..."
Ember's stoic expression starts to break as she summons large flames on her hands... She stares at the echidna with perverse eyes and Dimitri stays on his guard.
"...Show me. Show me more♪"
The episode makes a transition.
Dimitri and Ember continue to clash under the sunset. The hyena's battle-style completely shifted from a methodical one to a hyper-offensive approach. The echidna has troubles blocking her every attack with his telekinesis, but knows that he is slowly wearing her ammunition. He had noticed that her gauntlets are the source of her powers and is run by red-colored Rainbow Dust. Eventually, it would run out.
Ember uses most of her fire-themed dust to charge an enormous sphere of flames, similar in shape to a star, and shoots it towards the echidna. The echidna has no room to dodge. While the orb consumes everything, Ember notices its sudden stop. She witnesses Dimitri hold the entire sphere on one palm under it. He had used his telekinesis to cover himself in a psychic aura to protect himself from the flames.
Using his contrasting turquoise-colored powers, Dimitri sends the sphere upwards and makes it burst in the sky. The huge explosion of light could be noticed from Red Rose Town.
At this point, Ember shows visible signs of fatigue. As much as cool-headed Dimitri sounds, he is also tired. The echidna is able to corner her, delivering powerful beams of energy which cause great damage. In a last ditch effort, the hyena takes a deep breath and commences using her ultimate technique...
From where she stands, Ember uses the remaining ammunition to construct a huge monster-like construct which soars around the skies and targets Dimitri. The echidna uses his powers to levitate and fly with it in synchronization in the opposite direction, as if there was a mirror. Unfortunately for the monster, his speed in the skies is almost unmatched. Dimitri lands on the ground and heads towards Ember.
The monster charges towards Dimitri from the opposite side where Ember stands. Dimitri takes a deep breath and covers himself in a telekinetic turquoise aura. He takes off from the ground and collides with the fire monster. The echidna proceeds to press on further and goes through it, making it explode from the inside out. Dimitri lands several inches away from the hyena, extends his hand, and screams, delivering a powerful wave of psychic energy towards Ember's face, engulfing everything on its way... _____________________________________________________________________________________
Amidst the small embers on the ground, Dimitri pants and looks down on a fallen Ember, who has been greatly damaged and unable stand, but is still conscious. The echidna mentions that Ember's resilience really is something else and that she is a strong warrior who should not use her powers for evil. While her expression still remained mostly neutral, her eyes changed completely and slips out a grin of her own...
"Target... locked... ♥"
When the sixteen-year old sighs and extends his palm towards Ember, desiring to help her up, a large amount of smoke is suddenly summoned behind him. Dimitri gets to his knees, coughing uncontrollably for air, only to see Zahra emerging from it and picking her subordinate up. She says Ember needs "repairing".
Chuckling, she recognizes the Prinus echidna's strength but boasts it is not quite enough to stop them. With her face close to his, Zahra tells Dimitri he must hurry to find their hideout or else the whole town will perish.
The episode concludes itself as Zahra enters the mist behind Dimitri with Ember on her arms and vanishes. The echidna, exhausted and with a terrible headache, falls to the ground and blacks out.
Episode Twenty-Two: Red Roses, Black Hearts X
The episode commences after the events of the previous one, and it focuses on Ramonna and Tobias.
Maxwell and Ramonna eventually find an unconscious Dimitri on the desert, regroup with Tobias, and rest on his wooden shack. Since the place was only suited for two people and as Dimitri was healed with the last red herb paste they made and slept beside Maxwell, Ramonna spent the night talking with Tobias.
During their conversation, Tobias obviously comically attempts to seduce Ramonna, which makes the latter visibly uncomfortable and keeps her distance, telling him to back off multiple times. However, in spite of his antics, It was the first time Ramonna noticed the hollowness of his eyes.
Ramonna and Tobias discussed many things, including the reason behind Tobias' disappearance during the whole terrorist attack by the Inferno Bandits in Red Rose Town. While the echidna claimed his absence was justified since he supposedly was courageously helping people, he knew deep down he was merely hiding.
The echidna goes on to comment on the eccentricity of the trio, surprised by their strength, and wonders if people outside the desert are all like them: monstrously strong. Ramonna snickers at the compliment. Tobias continues by talking about Dimitri and how his incredible power potentially makes him a dangerous person to be around and he does not trust him. The hedgehog does not like him bad-mouthing Dimitri...
Ramonna, looking through the shack's window and onto the horizon's skies that hazy due to the immense sandstorm, clutches to her necklace and disagrees, believing Dimitri was not such kind of a person. Instead, she claims even the strongest man needs friends to keep him in line... Besides, if the Prinus echidna ever went on the rampage, she would be sure to take him down a peg or two!
Tobias snickers to himself upon acknowledging Ramonna's confidence and stubbornness which reminds him of another person he fancies. At first, the hedgehog was simply disgusted as she believes someone should only love one person instead of hitting on everyone, but then becomes curious as he begins talking about her with more enthusiasm. The woman he talks about is the leader of the hostesses in a nearby bar.
It then hits Tobias that they should go there next morning since he knows a person there that might know a lot of things about the town, possibly including the hideout of the Inferno Bandits. Ramonna, excited, agrees to the idea since she honestly could not wait to pummel the face of Zahra— er, save everyone!
The episode makes a transition to an unfamiliar location.
In a dark environment filled with a foul stench, sand falls silently from the ceiling, perhaps due to its poor structure. The dead silence is broken by a familiar figure that runs. Small in stature, the bandit Maxwell faced earlier that day leaps over the location's water canal while grunting. Before ending a secret room, they look back to see if they are being followed. After a few seconds of squinting, they proceed.
The four-wall room is not large, but it is able to treasure the large amount of Rainbow Dust that it contained. The amount of such elemental-themed currency was so big, in fact, large multi-colored dunes surrounded it. In between the dunes, multiple rare jewels could be seen as well as many foreign golden coins. If one was to measure the worth of everything together, it would be enough to buy a small country!
Within the room, two other individuals could be seen. One of them is a Mobian caracal. The young man looked fit, but was nimble on his feet. While he had a naturally good appearance, his gleaming red eyes especially made him look dangerous... He was sitting down, sharpening his daggers on a pile of coins.
The other one looked like a Mobian lizard with a tense look on his face. He was lean but tall, and was sitting down on a dune of Rainbow Dust that filled the room almost entirely. The lizard was flipping a coin on his fingers, as if he was anticipating the fellow bandit's arrival with alertness...
The bandit that arrives takes off her hood and throws herself at the Mobian caracal, to whom she says:
The Mobian caracal, hugged so suddenly, sighs and caresses her head.
"Oh, it's you, Saphie. Welcome back."
The Mobian lizard catches his coin and demands for Saphie the Swift to mention her reports about the whole Inferno Bandits terrorist attack in Red Rose Town. After Saphie mentions the arrival of a group of weird strangers that defeated even Ember, the lizard laughs nervously and tells her it serves them right. The lizard continues by mentioning that before the hyenas, the town was lazy and business was good...
Suddenly, from behind him, a dense smoke begins to form. Saphie and the caracal stay on their guard while the lizard is unaware. Zahra emerges from it and reaches out to the lizard's shoulders...
"Hee hee... Slippery as ever, eh, Hourglass? Planning on betraying our cause so soon?"
Hourglass the Lizard immediately turns around and, as if panicking, tries to justify his previous laughter by assuring Zahra Saphie merely told them an innocent joke. The hyena, grinning, reminds him the generous contribution the Inferno Bandits made to them in order to acquire their services and expects their full cooperation. She throws in a small leather bag full of Rainbow Dust, which would cost a fortune...
Saphie leaps and catches the bag before it reaches the ground as the other members also peek inside, trembling with excitement over seeing that amount of money. Zahra laughs... She blows a little smoke and tells them why she was there: she needs their assist once more to permanently rid of the strangers that defeated Ember because they could be troublesome for her plans.
All of the members eye each other. They are thieves, not murderers. Hourglass mentions that his brotherhood cannot do that, but Zahra's grin only becomes wider as she gets close to him and he starts to shudder even more. The smoke surrounds the lizard and the other members pull out their daggers.
"Ahahahaha... Silly Hourglass... What makes you believe you have a choice?"
Hourglass gulps and sighs, assuring that his crew will get the job done. Zahra pokes his forehead and turns around, laughing heartily and claiming she does not expect to be disappointed. She enters the smoke she came from and vanished with it, leaving the lizard holding the leather bag. Hourglass now trembles with anger not fear, throws it away violently on dune of currency. Everyone looks distressed.
A long silence ensues...
The episode concludes itself shortly after.
Episode Twenty-Three: Red Roses, Black Hearts XI
The episode commences the evening afterwards. Sixteen-year old Dimitri has since fully healed from his previous fight with the borderline miraculous healing effects of the last red herb he had brought on his trip. Ramonna and Tobias explain their plans to Maxwell and the Prinus echidna and everyone agrees to it. As they head to Red Rose Town, they notice the sandstorm in the distance dangerously closing in...
Reaching the town, Team Prinus and Tobias notice the citizens are still recovering from the terrorist attack from the Inferno Bandits. Zahra's declaration of war seemingly rose up tension among people, though they still attempt to reconstruct their plaza and look forward to a particular event they were highly anticipating.
Dimitri and the others assist the citizens for a while. The Prinus echidna uses his telekinesis to aid organization, Ramonna uses her strength to lift structures much bigger than her, Maxwell utilizes his speed to remove burnt objects from the sidewalk, and Tobias picks up his acoustic guitar and plays playing a little to lighten up the mood. Whether it was on purpose or not, many pretty girls naturally flock around him...
Eventually, the citizens mention their appreciation for the strangers' help and applauds them as the band of super-powered individuals leave the scene and head straight to their desired destination. _____________________________________________________________________________________
The episode makes a transition.
The gang reaches Siam's Paradise Bar, a combination of a hostess bar and nightclub. It was undoubtedly one of the most famous attractions of Red Rose Town, especially considering how modern it looks. Tobias does explain some trivia about the location, but prefers to keep the juicy details hidden. Dimitri wonders if this was like the place Jasmine previously talked about.
Upon entering, the team are greeted by two Mobian females dressed in Eurishian-styled maid costumes. The hostesses were unnaturally beautiful much to Team Prinus' surprise. The blue-colored silver-eyed female mink is the more mellow of the two, while the pink-colored golden-eyed mink is the most cheery. Unfortunately for Team Prinus, they recognize Tobias, forget their work, and start fawning over him.
Dimitri and Ramonna simultaneously roll their eyes, but Maxwell quickly notices another maiden who greets him kindly by offering him a piece of candy made in the bar, apologizing for the lack of hospitality the trainees gave them. The female caracal is even more beautiful than the other hostesses, though Maxwell notices that, beneath her smile, her eyes look hallow. He must have been the only one to catch that...
The female caracal sighs and pulls the other hostesses, softly scolding them. She tells them to leave the customers to her. The minks frown, but an order from their boss is an order nonetheless. As they leave Tobias alone, the echidna catches the ruby-colored eyes of the caracal; someone he recognizes. Tobias' demeanor notably changes; perhaps the caracal is someone he genuinely cares about...
Not losing any time, Tobias attempts to seduce the familiar caracal but is completely ignored as she leads the way for Team Prinus to sit on a chair and serve themselves. This naturally makes Tobias a little grumpy.
The loud music from the environment echoes around the vast room. A dance-floor could be seen on the other side of the location beside the tables. During their walk, the womanizer takes advantage of the noise to explain to the Prinus echidna such a hostess is the only woman, aside from Ramonna, to ever refuse him. Tobias tried countless times to conquer her, but to no avail. He loves a challenge, however.
As everyone is about to sit down, an unfamiliar voice calls for the caracal:
Garnet flinches and slightly bows to Team Prinus.
"I apologize for the disturbance... Please wait a moment."
Garnet the Caracal heads to back-room where the voice came from and, after a few moments, returns and mentions that her boss, the owner of Siam's Paradise Bar, wants to see them...
The episode concludes itself as Team Prinus heads to the back-room, curious to see what why they were summoned.
Episode Twenty-Four: Red Roses, Black Hearts (FINALE)
The episode commences by following the events of the previous one.
Within the private quarters of Siam's Paradise Bar, numerous shelves with expensive glass bottles of alcoholic drinks are exposed. Alongside them are awards for the excellence of his business and an oddly-shaped photo of the owner of the bar and two other Mobian children that were similar from each other, as if siblings, though they had their species different from the adult in the picture... Dimitri is the first to notice it.
Once they arrive, Dimitri and the others are greeted by an old, though lively Mobian mink that introduces himself as Siam the Mink, the owner of the business. He reeks of alcohol, but he does not seem drunk.
Siam welcomes the heroes and wanted to invite them for a private drink to commemorate their victory over the scary Inferno Bandits organization and ultimately saving his business. He tells everyone, except for Garnet, to take a seat. The female caracal would be the one to serve the people present.
Tobias looks at Garnet and tells Siam she should sit down and enjoy herself with them. Garnet blushes a little, but the mink denies his request. Tobias frowns, but the female caracal expresses her gratitude.
Dimitri and Siam begin discussing things about the Inferno Bandits and if the latter knows where their hideout might be. Maxwell, rather bored as Ramonna talked with Tobias again, starts to glance over the insignia pin he acquired from defeating a random thief some time before Ember attacked... As soon as he takes it out from his pocket, Garnet and Siam are incredibly surprised, though each for different reasons.
The mink ultimately comes to the conclusion that there might be a group in Red Rose Town that should be working together with Zahra: the treacherous Brotherhood of Thieves. As Maxwell tells everyone where he acquired it, Siam points towards Maxwell's insignia and claims that is their symbol.
"Mmhmm... Those petty hoodlums are stealing Rainbow Dust nowadays, eh? To be honest, they couldn't have sunk any lower. Hahaha, sounds exactly where Ruby might fled to--"
Clearly offended, Garnet musters all of her strength and raises her voice.
"That's ENOUGH! You will NOT insult my older brother!"
Even Ramonna is surprised by the sudden increase of tone from the seemingly passive maiden. Dimitri uses his telekinesis to grab the photo from earlier and begins analyze it. He briefly explains to Maxwell Siam might not be Garnet's actual father, considering they look completely different and are from different species. Interested, Maxwell carefully glances over the photo and at the face of the little brother. _____________________________________________________________________________________
Breaking the tension, Tobias asks if they are going to drink anytime soon. Siam, as if nothing had occurred, proceeds to command Garnet to get the best drinks of the house; the ones she herself prepares. A professional, Garnet regains composure, apologizes to everyone, and hurries back. Dimitri noticed that Garnet was especially unnerved when the Brotherhood of Thieves was mentioned and looks skeptical of her antics...
Dimitri tells Siam he is grateful for his invitation but mentions how everyone, except perhaps for Tobias, is too young to drink legally. Siam assures him that drinking age within the Scorched Dunes starts at age of thirteen, unlike Soumerca's rule for eighteen-year olds. The mink continues by claiming his adoptive daughter will provide something different for little Maxwell, who then gets excited over it.
Ramonna cracks her knuckles and questions where might the thieves be so they could extract information. Siam grins and claims they might be at the upcoming fighting tournament: the Blood Thorn Tournament. Team Prinus had assumed it was cancelled after the terrorist attack, but then Dimitri recalls the mayor did say it would occur no matter what-- reflecting the importance of the event to Red Rose Town.
Upon the idea of entering the tournament to find them, Ramonna turns to Dimitri and grins, self-satisfied. The Prinus echidna, clearly defeated, mumbles in a low voice...
"...Fine, we'll go and enter the tournament..."
Ramonna's eyes widen, and she clenches her fist and raises it upwards:
Garnet eventually returns with their drinks. It becomes quite apparent that Tobias is the one better with alcohol while Ramonna and Dimitri clearly are not. The hedgehog loves the drink and comically demands more, but a slightly more sober Prinus echidna holds her down, stating Garnet should not listen to her for the safety of the world. As Maxwell, Tobias, and Siam all laugh, Garnet politely smiles and giggles... but actually has her mind racing.
The episode concludes soon after that... and the credits roll.
END OF RED ROSES, BLACK HEARTS
TO BE CONTINUED IN THE BLOOD-SOAKED EMPRESS!