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Cquote1 You do not get to decide who lives or dies! Cquote2
Dimitri Prinus the Echidna

The episode summaries for The Blood-Soaked Empress, the third story-arc in Dimitri Chronicles: Flames of Courage. Following the events of Red Roses, Black Hearts, this arc follows Team Prinus in their all-out confrontation with the two deadliest organizations of the Soumercian desert before their time runs out!

Content © to Chamesthehero/Lolcraft98/ProLuxray. In order of the usernames on Sonic Fanon Wiki, deviantART, and Youtube, respectively.

Episode Summaries

Episode Twenty-Five: The Blood-Soaked Empress

The episode commences in an unfamiliar setting. In a place where a fouls stench is prominent and sand dripped from the ceilings, some annals of history regarding the Inferno Bandits gathered by the Brotherhood of Thieves through several unconventional means are read by four familiar individuals... _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode then narrates the following:

The history of the Sand Empire is described as its most memorable moments of its war-plagued history come to mind. The first users of Rainbow Dust as weapons, the empire hundreds of years ago consisted of the entire red desert of the Scorched Dunes. The strongest people in the desert, this civilization of spotted hyenas flourished through complete dominance over other civilizations.

However, it seems as if a mysterious incident happened back for it to have sunk so low; this is attributed to a sudden shortage of Rainbow Dust that made them lose status and power throughout the desert. With the capital defenseless, the other towns rebelled. In the blink of an eye, years of conquest were left behind as the capital was raided and left in shambles and the other towns became civilizations of their own.

Aside from the Sand Empire, the only civilization of that time that survived is Red Rose Town. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition to many hours before.

In Red Rose Town, the Blood Thorn Tournament is becoming heated. Similar to Station Square's fighting tournament, the whole stadium was packed by individuals eager to see the contestants fight. Although this scene is reminiscent of the finals of Titan Smashing, there are some key visual differences...

In the crowd, Maxwell could be seen with Tobias and Siam. Since he was too young, the child was unable to participate in the tournament and was a little bummed out. No one he asked about the Brotherhood of Thieves knew anything he did not already know. Instead, he was looking forward to watching the tournament!

While Siam had decided to go, Garnet, on the other hand, mentioned that she discourages violence and prefers to stay and clean the bar alone. While Tobias is disappointed she is not present with him, Siam engages in a hearty conversation with the womanizer that keeps both of them busy with each other. Tobias could not take Garnet off his thoughts, however. He genuinely wanted to have her alongside him...

The crowd cheers as Ramonna, the champion of Station Square, enters the arena waving and grinning. The voluptuous female hedgehog is always eager to fight foes from outside her hometown.

While Dimitri is in the changing room waiting with the other contestants, he was asking around information about the Brotherhood of Thieves to other fighters, only to be harassed by the tougher-looking ones. He takes a deep breath and decides to ignore the remarks, planning onto focusing on watching Ramonna. He was wearing rags that masked his appearance. Despite saving the town, he wished to conceal his identity.

As other contestants did make inappropriate comments about Ramonna's figure, a provoked Dimitri in the changing secretly uses his telekinesis to bump their heads into each other. That would be his little revenge.

Ramonna's opponent, aware of her abnormal strength, carefully plans his position in the other end of the arena, accordingly. Looking at her opponent from afar, the hedgehog enters her battle stance.

"Your strength is somethin' else, but you cannot hit what you cannot reach. That is such an obvious weakness... I pity those who were defeated by you before, lady. I am your downfall."

Ramonna's blood starts boiling a little as she starts to grin...

"Hah, you sure talk big... You think I'm letting you off so easily after that?"

____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition to some moments later.

Unsurprisingly, Ramonna defeated her opponent with ease, though her pummeling was intentionally more vicious. With a deadly blow to his stomach, she punched him so hard he went flying from the arena. The crowd roars in excitement! On the other hand, the hedgehog starts panting as if she had fought for hours on end without a break. To those that had seen her fight before, her movements were sloppier than usual...

Meanwhile, it would be around this time Dimitri would have mild headaches. Normally, he would only have them if he overexerted his telekinetic powers, but this was not the case. He tries to shrug it off as Ramonna exits the stage and goes to the back-room. She passes by him and merely gives him a high-five.

In a low, but clearly taunting voice, Ramonna gets close to the Prinus echidna's ear but does not face him.

"Scared yet?"

Similarly, Dimitri does not look at her directly and walks past her.

"Not quite."

The episode concludes itself as the announcer calls out for two more contestants: one of them called Green Thunder. Upon hearing the pseudonym, Dimitri leaves for the arena as the crowd cheers him on.

Episode Twenty-Six: The Blood-Soaked Empress II

The episode commences continuing the narration from the previous one...

The Sand Empire's political structure lasted for generations and was part of an ancient tradition that required the strongest sibling out of the imperial bloodline to rule over all. The current emperor was required to have over twelve descendants that would have to fight each other to the death in a battle royal for everyone in the empire to watch. This would happen when the youngest child becomes eleven.

While the winner became the emperor and the empire rejoiced, among these imperials, the birth of the youngest child is never a date for celebration. These ones are called the blood-soaked imperials.

The latest blood-soaked imperial, is, of course, named Zahra. ____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes another transition.

With the alias of Green Thunder, a name chosen by Maxwell, Dimitri enters the arena. This violent culture of modern society never quite appealed to him as much as it did to Ramonna... He never fought someone with that amount of people watching... Prinus echidnas fought for survival, not entertainment. He wonders if his best friend has to deal with this pressure every time she enters an arena.

Meanwhile, in the audience, Maxwell cheered for his friend. As if within a blink of an eye, someone else he does not know sits beside him and watches the fight with him. This mouse, cool-looking and wearing piercing, is very critical of the fighters and strikes a conversation with the nine-year old boy.

This mouse, however, was none other than Saphie the Swift!

Saphie begins commenting with Maxwell about the fights. She is skeptical about Green Thunder's weird attire and flashy turquoise powers but the nine-year old refrains from revealing Dimitri's identity directly. Saphie's manipulation and play with words, on the other hand, trick Maxwell, confirming her doubts.

With a head tilt, she signals someone else in the crowd on the opposite end of the stadium before returning to comment about Green Thunder's lackluster performance... _____________________________________________________________________________________

Under normal circumstances, Dimitri would have been fine. However, his headache really starts to hurt as he tries to summon his telekinesis. Like Ramonna, his movements were sluggish and it was difficult maintaining his balance. This made his battle draw out longer than Maxwell, Tobias, and Ramonna expected, but he still won nonetheless through enough effort to dodge skull-shattering attacks.

Dimitri exits the arena and sits down alone, attempting to stabilize his sense of balance. He looks at Ramonna and asks her if she is feeling bad or anything, but the tough hedgehog interprets his concerns as trash-talking and refuses to acknowledge her current condition. She says it is nothing she cannot handle and reminds him that, should they win the next round, they are going to face each other in the brackets!

Meanwhile, as she was grabbing a drink, Ramonna instinctively senses there is someone else observing her from somewhere. Without thinking too hard, the hedgehog takes a sip of the energy drink as she sees a fellow contestant walk past her. Ramonna detected an oddly familiar scent from them.

The episode concludes itself as the next fighter enters the arena...

Episode Twenty-Seven: The Blood-Soaked Empress III

The episode commences continuing the narration from the previous one...

As the narration is being read, a flashback occurs:

In the heart of the Sand Empire, little Zahra was born in her stone palace. Her relations with her eleven older siblings were not bad, but merely non-existent. As per tradition, her very existence was the harbinger of the future imperial slaughter the people named the battle royale, though she was not aware of this. Without knowing the reason she was alone, she walked a lonely path in her childhood.

The blood-soaked imperial would often escape her palace to meet her people in secrecy. Zahra witnessed the opposite of what she saw within the palace's stone walls: hungry, pauper hyenas in the streets struggling to survive under the scorching red sun of the desert. It was at that moment Zahra took it upon herself to steal some of the excess food from her gluttonous siblings to share them with the ones that needed more...

Unlike at home, Zahra was beloved by her people and gained their trust. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode then makes a transition.

The announcer calls upon Disaster, a newcomer to the Blood Thorn Tournament. Wearing Yurashian ninja-like clothing that concealed her true identity, the public still could notice her elegance and roared in cheer. What the public was more interested about, including Maxwell and Saphie, was the fact the fighter held two uncharacteristically dual giant-sized balls with chains on each hand.

Given her weapons giant spiked balls presumably made of iron, each ball would weigh even more than ton each... If Team Prinus did not know any better, perhaps they would think the only one capable of wielding such gigantic weapons in that whole desert was Ramonna. Disaster, however, was dragging the balls instead of outright lifting them, so people naturally questioned her ability to throw them around.

As the announcer lets the fight start, her opponent tries to close in and attempt to strike her, but he was greeted by a giant ball of iron thrown at him and barely hitting him. Disaster immediately pulls the chained ball and, utilizing the momentum gained, throws it again. She misses, but the sheer impact of the ball creates a violent shockwave and crushes the ground beneath her. Everyone around was speechless.

The opponent, genuinely scared, resigned from the fight before Disaster could do anything else. _____________________________________________________________________________________

In the crowd, Maxwell was thrilled by Disaster's strength, but Saphie commented about her most glaring weakness: her speed. She notes she herself could run dozens of circles around the mysterious fighter. Maxwell ponders for a little bit and agrees, but says that if the ball manages to get them, they would have a one-way ticket to the hospital. They both nod simultaneously in agreement.

Dimitri, Maxwell, Ramonna, and Tobias all began to sweat almost at the same time. Meanwhile, as did the female hedgehog, Dimitri started to notice he was being watched from somewhere. Despite being a telekinetic echidna, he is no oracle, but he had a strange instinctive feeling that made adrenaline rush through his veins. He immediately goes to Ramonna to discuss this with her.

At this point, the fervent desire of battling Disaster overtook Ramonna. She was shivering with excitement, though she was strangely ill and looked visibly tired. While the male echidna is too weak to argue back, Ramonna forgets the entire reasoning behind participating in the tournament in the first place...

The episode concludes itself as both Disaster and she are called to the arena...

Episode Twenty-Eight: The Blood-Soaked Empress IV

The episode commences continuing the narration from the previous one...

As the narration is being read, a flashback occurs:

In the Sand Empire, there was one hyena that was different from others. She never knew her parents who perished in a fire when she was very little. She does not even remember she was the one that instigated the fire while she was amusing her with red-colored Rainbow Dust. Playing with fire was an unfortunate mistake. No one really knows if her emotional detachment originated from there or not.

She was the only hyena that never laughed once in her life.

What the emotionless hyena remembers, however, is that it was during a fire that she first met one of the heirs to the throne of the empire, Zahra. The laughing latter showed compassion towards the hyena and, considering how she had nowhere to go, took her in and became inseparable.

Yes, it was Zahra that named the nameless hyena Ember. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition to the present.

The Blood Thorn Tournament finally gets into its most anticipated fight: Ramonna versus Disaster. The champion of Station Square against the almighty challenger; the unstoppable force meets the immovable object. The whole crowd is uncontrollable, cheering wildly for both of them under the red hot sun!

Maxwell comments that he is confident his friend will win, but Saphie has her doubts. Ramonna's speed and reflexes were unnaturally hindered and she is sweating almost uncontrollably, making her wonder if the female hedgehog is actually in pain for some odd reason. Maxwell, Tobias, and Dimitri were the same as Ramonna, even though the nine-year old did not notice this sudden fatigue in loss in strength...

In the arena, panting, Ramonna cracks her knuckles and enters her battle-stance. From up close, the female hedgehog starts noticing that her opponent looks awfully familiar with someone else she knows, but the sheer absurdity of the end-result of her deductive reasoning made her shrug it off and smirks:

"Heh, aren't you a tough one? Show me what you can do! Do not dare disappoint me!"

Disaster has her eyes fixated on her opponent and remains silent, entering her own battle stance. The announcer rings a bell and starts the long-awaited clash between the two beautiful, powerful ladies! _____________________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, as much as Dimitri wants to see Ramonna right, he asserts to himself something is not right. Like his friend, he was barely able to stand up straight and leaned against a wall for balance. As his head is spinning, he convinces himself that he must have been injected some sort of poison, though he cannot deduce who might be the hypothetical culprit. He only knows that he will not remain conscious for long...

Pressing himself against the wall, the Prinus echidna decides to take a walk. It is only then he starts overhearing some familiar, though unwelcoming voices coming straight from the other room... _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition to the battle.

Ramonna charges towards the opponent fearlessly. Judging by how slow Disaster was in previous fights, the hedgehog is confident that she can blitz her, even though her speed is strangely hindered. Her opponent, immobile, seems concentrated and awaits for the athlete to close in on her at a certain radius. Once Ramonna gets close, Disaster throws one of the balls towards Ramonna, who blocks it with her arm.

Disaster had purposefully thrown this ball slowly, for in the next moment, she surprises Ramonna and everyone present by doing jumping and flipping forward, slamming the two iron balls at an impressive speed at the hedgehog.

Ramonna is forced to block the attack with both hands as the ground beneath her cracks at the impact. The whole audience goes wild as the hedgehog grabs the two iron spheres and throws them at opposite directions, making Disaster's chained arms stick out accordingly and leave her open. Not wasting time, the athlete takes the opportunity to punch Disaster straight on her chest, sending her flying backward.

As Disaster regains composure and does not seem hurt at all, Ramonna starts to pant heavily as her head starts to spin. Yet, she keeps a grinning expression, clearly excited and determined to continue fighting.

The hedgehog's opponent remains silent but reveals her ultimate trump card. She flicks a button on both chains attached to her arms and yellow and indigo Rainbow Dust starts flowing within them, making the iron balls glow a respective color each. One of them gains an appearance of a ball covered in black mist, gaining darkness-related properties while the other one gains yellow sparks, gaining electricity-related properties.

With Disaster wielding two iron balls with elemental properties each, everyone around is at awe. Ramonna feels a little disturbed since blocking them will be dangerous. Disaster starts throwing the chained balls at the hedgehog at astounding speeds, forcing the latter to dodge frantically as she tries to approach her opponent to no avail. If she does not end the battle quickly, things would be troublesome...

It is too late. Ramonna's strength on her legs simply fades away and she meets an iron ball straight between her eyes, sending her backward. Not losing any momentum, Disaster pulls the iron ball and, flipping forward once more, slams the two of her chained balls onto Ramonna successfully.

This time, the impact was so great it forced the hedgehog onto the ground before she was consumed in a powerful elemental explosion of darkness and electricity!

The audience roars as the judge reveals that Ramonna is unconscious and it is Disaster's victory. _____________________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, Dimitri continues to eavesdrop the two familiar individuals.

One of them, Zahra, states that Hourglass should get rid of the disturbances that day. Hourglass, in his usual trembling voice, mentions that his brotherhood is already scattered around the stadium and should begin their plans to apprehend and kill their targets soon; they had received an unexpected help, for Team Prinus and Tobias had been poisoned by someone that wants to join the Brotherhood of Thieves.

It becomes clear as day Dimitri knew who they were talking about.

Zahra asks Hourglass why was he panting so much. He replies that he hates being around people since it gives him anxiety; standing in this stadium was only because she ordered him to. The hyena laughs and pats him on the back strongly, retorting that money truly was his only friend...

The echidna retreated slowly, heading towards the exit to tell the others what is going on, but is intercepted by a red-eyed caracal and is knocked out unconscious. _____________________________________________________________________________________

Among the audience, Tobias and Maxwell lose strength to stand up and go and help Ramonna. Saphie, grinning and looking at Maxwell, apologizes in a sarcastic demeanor and mentions that they are too slow before she knocks the nine-year old and the womanizer out cold and pulls them away.

"Good grief, fiiiiiinally. I am gonna tell big bro all about this annoying kid!"

Noticing the Brotherhood of Thieves' symbol on Saphie's outfit as she kidnaps Tobias and Maxwell, Siam screams and everyone near starts to panic as well.

The episode concludes itself as chaos unfolds in the stadium. Disaster, on the ring, also picks up an unconscious Ramonna up and flees, presumably where Saphie is going too...

Episode Twenty-Nine: The Blood-Soaked Empress V

The episode commences continuing the narration from the previous one...

As the narration is being read, a flashback occurs...

The blood-soaked imperial has since become the master of Ember, ordering her around freely. Indeed, the emotionless hyena became but her shadow, like a machine that followed whatever inputs her master gave. Ember never shared any enthusiasm for becoming independent and both, who had no friends before, did not understand it was not a full-fledged healthy relationship.

Zahra always saw poverty around her empire and corruption among her siblings. She knew that, should they succeed her father's status, the horrible situation of Sand Empire would never change. Hence, she would go to her palace's great library and read upon her people's history so she, when became empress, would not make the same mistakes of her antecedents. However, a question lingered in her mind...

"How is someone made an emperor in this warrior-like community?" _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition back to the present.

Team Prinus sleeps somewhere that appeared to be Red Rose Town's sewers if the horrid stench and enclosed spaces were any indication. Sand slowly dripped from the stone ceilings from overground and smooth landed on the sewer water that followed a trail that made it look like a genuine river flowing under the desert. All members of the group, including Tobias, were inside jailed cells.

The group, however, was separated. Dimitri is with Tobias on one end of the sewers while Ramonna and Maxwell resided on the opposite end. The former group is the first to awaken and wonder what was going on and where were they while the latter slept for a little more. _____________________________________________________________________________________

Dimitri Harmonia Prinus has a terrible headache and Tobias, with a cowardly demeanor, impatiently demands the Prinus echidna information on how to get out, who did all of this, and why. The sixteen-year old said he was asking too many questions and should remain quiet. If it were not for the Prinus echidna's now visible turquoise aura, Tobias would have undoubtedly fought back.

Upon meditation and pondering about what he saw before he was knocked out, Dimitri comes up with the following conclusions: they were kidnapped by the Brotherhood of Thieves who were working together with the Inferno Bandits and were drugged by someone that clearly empathized with those groups. The weird part about all of this is that the Brotherhood of Thieves could have clearly taken the opportunity to finish them off swiftly as they slept...

"Yeah, okay, whatever you say. Still, what kind of nutjob would want to turn us in, anyway?"

"You'd be surprised, but I'm almost certain the sympathizer is Garnet."

Immediately, Tobias threw himself towards a surprised Dimitri and held his fist. The womanizer, appalled with his partner's answer and clearly shaking with anger, only did not punch the sixteen-year old because the latter stopped him at the last moment with his telekinesis. Tobias began to scream at him, saying that the one he loves would never do something like that.

Dimitri sends him off the other wall and begins explaining his reasoning.

"Listen to me for a moment. There was something in her drink that made us feel headaches until we passed out. Did you not wonder why she looked particularly appalled when we mentioned her brother who presumably joined this brotherhood and the organization itself when Maxwell showed us their insignia?"

"That is so little to basis such a bold claim you are not making sense, you idiot. What do you know, anyway? She is practically the owner of the business, is surrounded by friends, and earns a lot of money doing so! Why would she ever want to leave all of that in order to become a petty thief on the streets?"

"Did you ever consider, perhaps, that she is lonely?"

Tobias' furious expression changes as Dimitri continues...

"Yes, even Maxwell noticed her hollow eyes and smile during her job; Ramonna dealt with people like that. She is an orphan that lost contact with her brother, and she clearly hates her adoptive father whom she apparently considers nothing more than a mere boss. You were there when she lost composure.

Look, it is no use fighting among ourselves by debating on whether we are in the right or in the wrong. What matters now is that we should regroup with the others and find the ones behind all of this. If we do, then our questions will be solved and we have a higher chance of saving everyone."

Tobias calms down and Dimitri releases him from his telekinetic hold. The womanizer fixes his hat and mentions how he is willing to get to the bottom of this to prove Garnet is not behind it all. The thieves stole his Psamathe, however, so Dimitri kind of had to fend everyone they encountered, while made him sigh at Tobias' request. Dimitri focuses on the jail's iron bars and bends them to create an exit.

The handsome womanizer, before entering through the exit, asks a question to Dimitri:

"Hey, so how would you know that she is lonely?"

Without looking at him, Dimitri responds after a pause.

"...I am the same. I, too, had a brother I lost. A real genius; someone I admired... Now, let's go."

Episode Thirty: The Blood-Soaked Empress VI

The episode commences continuing the narration from the previous one...

As the narration is being read, a flashback occurs...

After countless days that felt like weeks locked up in her palace's great library, Zahra discovered the meaning behind her title of "blood-soaked imperial": the battle royale every imperial was supposed to enter. This was the reason none of her siblings ever talked to her and she was neglected. Horrified, she also breaks down as she sees her dream of becoming empress fall apart right before her eyes.

Of course, all blood-soaked imperials were always the first ones to die. No sibling would ever create alliances with them in the battle-field as they were the weakest and youngest, never the most experienced. That was the evening before Zahra's twelfth birthday. Zahra, normally risible, remained silent and secluded herself from anyone except for Ember, who followed her without showing sympathy in her eyes.

After a large silence, Zahra's sudden laughter becomes an unnerving cackling.

"...Ehehehe.... Pfft. AHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Ember tilts her head as she watches Zahra punching a destroyed brick wall, causing her hand to bleed.

"DARN IT! All of my ambition, all my effort, all the promises to help my people, the promises to keep them safe and make the empire great again!! Did they mean anything at all?!"

Ember remains silent as Zahra raises her bleeding palm and aims it at the scorching sunset...

"Ahhh... I just will not stand for it. Even if I am the youngest, even if I am the weakest, even if I cry, even if it hurts, even if it is dishonorable, even if it means going to war with my family and the world... I will take back what it is rightfully ours. I will become empress! Just watch me, Ember! HAHAHAHAHA!"

Whether it was the work of coincidence or fate, it does not matter. The night before Zahra became twelve, the so-called Darkest Day happened and covered the skies of the world with thundering clouds temporarily before vanishing completely. From that night on, before the battle royale, Zahra's life changed forever. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition to the present.

Ramonna and Maxwell finally wake up in Red Rose Town's sewers and took few moments to realize they were separated from Dimitri and Tobias. Neither of them freaks out, but are merely curious how they got there and where the others are. Ramonna was still hurt from her fight with Disaster and limped. Maxwell asked her if she needed any help to get out, but she assures him this much is a piece of cake.

Ramonna bends cell's metal bars and creates an exit for them. Maxwell follows a limping Ramonna and, as she was about to lose balance, she helps her up. The female hedgehog merely sighed and pat him on the head as he shared his shoulder with her, even though they had different heights... _____________________________________________________________________________________

Dimitri and Tobias walk together silently, each lost in their own thoughts. As they suddenly hear strange whimpers coming from the other side of the stone wall, the Prinus echidna suggests Tobias get behind him so he could make them an entrance. Aiming his palm towards the wall, Dimitri summons his psychic energy to create a shiny orb on his hands and blast everything in front of him with ease, creating an opening.

Through the opening, a familiar male caracal could be seen holding a wounded Garnet, who wore Disaster's clothes except for the mask. The beautiful caracal had many bruises and that infuriated Tobias, who lashed out immediately at the male caracal and punched him in his face.

"N-No! Stop! Leave my older brother be!"

The male Mobian caracal, standing back up, screams at her.

"BE QUIET! I DO NOT HAVE A SISTER!!!"

Garnet's eyes begin to water as Tobias tries helping her. Ruby the Caracal starts to mumble how he knew that his leader made the wrong decision not to kill them while they had the chance. Dimitri asks him the whole meaning behind all of this and he starts explaining before Garnet begins to talk.

Apparently, Dimitri's suspicions were correct. Garnet wanted to join the Brotherhood of Thieves and poisoned Team Prinus and Tobias. The latter is awestruck by the confirmation of what he set out to disprove. However, as Garnet tries to explain that she merely did that to reunite with her brother, Ruby screams at her again and calls her a fool.

Ruby claims Garnet abandoned him when she was little. Instead of choosing to run away with him to join the Brotherhood of Thieves, she stayed behind with Siam. The female caracal exclaims that she was forced to stay, but he does not care. He had already replaced her with Saphie, who took the role of his younger sister. As the one he loves cries, Tobias becomes infuriated and claims Ruby is insane.

"The stacks of money I get as payment are thicker than blood."

Tobias takes a deep breath and turns to Garnet, wiping off her tears gently. The handsome echidna holds her hands and tells her that, even though she used him for her own ends and he might not be her older brother, he accepts her and believes she is different from the other girls he knew; she is the most amazing person he ever met. Garnet, vulnerable, is taken aback by his confession as is Ruby, who mocks him.

"Pfft... haha! How embarrassing: the womanizer of Red Rose Town confessing his love to someone else! Wow, you are seriously disgusting. What is your ulterior move this time?"

"SHUT IT!"

Ruby is quickly silenced by Tobias, who stands up and starts exclaiming his words.

"It is not an ulterior move! Only now I have realized the emptiness of my heart. It is not embarrassing at all! It does not matter who we are talking about!"

Tobias continues as everyone stares at him in awe.

"Because.... because... because... what is more important than being right, more important than money, more important than fighting... Because what truly is most important in one's heart...

...ABOVE ALL...!! IS LOVE!!!"

After a short silence, a smirking Dimitri starts clapping. As he tells Tobias that the speech was well-spoken, Garnet's eyes make tears fall as she embraces the so-called womanizer of Red Rose Town who had a change of heart, and she pulls him for a kiss. Defeated, Siam quivers in anger and lunges towards them both with his daggers. Dimitri uses his telekinetic powers to stop him just in time and he slams him against a wall, knocking him out.

"There is no need for fighting anymore, for this battle has already been won."

As Dimitri slammed him, the entire sewer vibrated. _______________________________________________________________________________________

The episode then makes a transition.

Ramonna and Maxwell continue venturing through the sewers. It is awfully quiet, unnervingly so. As the hedgehog hears footsteps that are not their own, she first believes it must be Dimitri and Tobias.

As the footsteps become increasingly faster and closer, in a split second, Ramonna pulls Maxwell behind her and she suddenly gets stabbed on her left arm by an iron dagger. The white fox is shocked to see the blood pouring from his friend's arm as she falls to her knees; she did not yet recover from her fight with Garnet and now is wounded.

Maxwell instantly recognizes who attacked them: Saphie the Swift.

"Whaaaat, it missed? Big bro was right; not finishing them off earlier was a mistake! Damn!"

Maxwell gets in his battle stance, clearly willing to protect Ramonna.

"...Y-You! Apologize to Ramonna, Saphie! Leave us alone!" _______________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes another transition.

The speedsters, Maxwell and Saphie, clash with one another in a series of blindly fast attacks. While the mouse can utilize the Rainbow Dust bombs to gain an environmental advantage with absolute darkness, Maxwell's speed and reflexes are way out of Saphie's league as is his usage of Dimitri's insight gained through training.

As a last resort, Saphie tries to use her signature technique, the Swift Revenge, on the child and almost does so successfully as Maxwell is surprised. As she was about to slash Maxwell, Ramonna appears to grab the mouse by the face and slams her onto the ground. The mouse loses her strength as the hedgehog now grabs her by Saphie's blue scarf and pins her against the wall and starts to interrogate her.

Both the speedsters are surprised to witness Ramonna's resiliency as her left arm bleeds.

"...Speak. You have a lot to explain here, runt."

Ramonna and Maxwell then feel the sewer vibrate. Noticing the vibration came from the other side of the sewer, the hedgehog lets Saphie go to head there with the white fox. As Saphie was about to catch one of her daggers, Ramonna kicks it onto the sewage and tells the mouse to not follow them or else the thief will face severe consequences.

The episode concludes itself as Maxwell wraps his scarf around Ramonna's bleeding wound and takes off with her.

Episode Thirty One: The Blood-Soaked Empress VII

The episode commences continuing the narration from the previous one...

As the final narration is being read, a flashback occurs...

Within the morning after the Darkest Day, the long-awaited battle royal would occur. All inhabitants of the decaying Sand Empire, without exception, were present in the stone Colosseum-like arena the capital had. It was the blood-soaked imperial's birthday; it would be the day the new heir to the throne would be chosen.

As the spectacle began, the crowd roared for their respective favorites as they entered the arena at different corners. The current emperor then gives his approval and the battle begins...

It would be around this time thick, dark smoke started to emerge from an uncharacteristically stoic Zahra. Some of her siblings quickly caught on that something was wrong with her, but many others did not; the siblings desired to target the blood-soaked imperial first since she was an easy target.

An unfortunate mistake, for when they get caught up in the smoke, it suddenly solidifies and crushes them. The memory that everyone present would not forget is that of Zahra executing each and every single sibling she had with the same horrifying method. The last remaining sibling, quicker than the rest, did manage to throw a dagger and incapacitate her eye, but all perished in the end.

As the crowd was silent but awestruck by fear, Zahra, covered in the blood of her siblings, wipes it off her white hair and grins, begins making a speech; a speech that mentions that her power is not meant to harm her people but bring the empire back to its former glory. The crowd cheered for her; first, it was out of fear of what they saw her do. It would then be because of her charisma and goals...

According to the text, those who would join her army against the outside world were the Children of the Sand, but more vulgarly known throughout the rest of the world as the Inferno Bandits. _______________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition to an hour before the narration was read.

Dimitri, Tobias, and Garnet eventually meet up with Ramonna and Maxwell in a hearty reunion. They exchange the information they got and come to the conclusion to get to the bottom of things. Dimitri recalls that he saw the leader of the Brotherhood of Thieves and the Inferno Bandits together, so perhaps they might be working together in the grand scale of things and investigation should begin right away.

Most notably, Tobias and Garnet hold hand together as they walk together through the sewer. When it is pointed out by Maxwell, the couple blushes and laughs, mutually satisfied by the turn of events. As such, a rather silent Ramonna walks closer to Dimitri, who does not seem to take the hint at all.

Maxwell suggests for Dimitri to blow the whole place up with his psychic energy, but the Prinus echidna reminds him that doing so would make the entirety of the sewer collapse on them. Instead, they must be careful. It is then when Ramonna, leaning on a stone wall, accidentally activates a hidden lever that opens up a passage and reveals a similar four-wall room: the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Thieves.

The room, filled with dunes of Rainbow Dust among other jewelry, was filled with the echoes of the group's astonishment. As they looked around, they would start to hear someone calling out on the other end of the room.

"Saphie? I know you are aware of my social anxiety and you go great lengths to help me, but I-I said I did not want any food since I am not hungry now, okay?"

The group gets closer.

"W-Wait, Ruby? Is that you? Did you bring the item one of our clients requested a few weeks ago?"

Dimitri reaches out for the voice and identifies the individual as the lizard he saw before: Hourglass the Lizard. The lizard catches the coin he flipped on with his fingers and takes a deep breath.

"...Aw, crud."

_______________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition.

Hourglass clings to the wall as he is surrounded by everyone without chances of escape... He begins saying that everyone should not get hasty, for he is not willing to get hurt or fight them at all. Instead, he suggested he could give them whatever piece of information they wanted.

He then aims his palm at a pile of Rainbow Dust and, after emitting a small flash of light, a book that was within that pile appears on his hand. His ability to steal nearby items is introduced!

The group is especially surprised about his power; perhaps such is the one that allowed him to become wanted by the Guardian Units of Nations and be one of the best thieves. The particular book he got contains the information the group collected over the months about Zahra's mysterious background and the Inferno Bandits. Dimitri uses his telekinesis to retrieve the book and he gives it to Ramonna to hold.

Hourglass, shivering, asks what happened to his brethren. Tobias, perhaps in an attempt to impress Garnet, replied that they were defeated by them. The lizard's heart skips a beat at the thought of his comrades being beaten down and, contradicting his previous behavior, clenches his fist.

"Oh no... no no no... It was not supposed to be like this. Zahra told us to s-s-s-slay the outsiders, b-b-but we just could not do it, you know? Death is just too f-f-f-freaky, but look at my organization now! This is all my fault. No, you would not understand... Hahaha... I do not... have a choice, it seems..."

Before Dimitri could ask what was he talking about, Hourglass throws two violet Rainbow Dust-filled bombs at them. A violet-colored gas comes out of it and fills the room instantaneously.

The group starts coughing uncontrollably, getting on their knees as Hourglass begins speaking...

"Ahhh... Violet... The color of a particular naturally-produced fear toxin from our desert... R-Ruby tells me that keeping contact with it worsens my anxiety... b-b-but fear is what keeps us alive, is it not? We always keep fears deep within our hearts, so... let me release them!"

Meanwhile, many protagonists start to wheeze as they start hallucinating their fears coming to life. Dimitri starts to reminiscence about the training he had with his grandfather that allowed him to become resistant to illusions, but he could not stop but stutter as he starts seeing the ghosts of Concordia, Daiku, and the rest of his people, crawling up to him with nightmarish faces and asking him the reason he let them die.

He is aware they are not real and just mere illusion, but... the Prinus echidna only returns to his senses moments later, after Ramonna broke through the room's wall to let the gas go out and Maxwell promptly defeats Hourglass. Dimitri takes a deep breath to regain composure as the others exchange looks.

At Dimitri's request, Ramonna starts reading the book Hourglass gave them. It becomes evident that the flashbacks surrounding Zahra of previous episodes were due to the hedgehog's current narration. Zahra's book ends when it reveals information about the location of the Inferno Bandits' hideout...

The episode concludes itself as the team is set to one place: the Sand Empire's capital.

Episode Thirty Two: The Blood-Soaked Empress VIII

The episode commences the morning after the events of the previous episode.

The Great Chaos Sandstorm rages throughout the Scorched Dunes with considerable intensity. The skies were hidden by the unnaturally powerful phenomenon caused by Zahra's white Chaos Emerald. Unfortunately, the residents of the desert do not have much time left before the sandstorm consumes and destroys all.

After an arduous battle with the Brotherhood of Thieves, Team Prinus rested a few hours within Tobias' shack before heading towards the Sand Empire's capital by foot. Garnet was hurt and could not continue, while Ramonna insisted of going despite her wounded arm. Tobias desired to stay with his lover, but the caracal told him to go since he was her knight-in-shining armor. Reassured, the womanizer was ready to take on the world.

Team Prinus and Tobias eventually reach the Sand Empire's capital city. They were expecting ambushes, but instead many of the pauper citizens came to them to plead for peace. Apparently, after witnessing horrors, they did not agree with Zahra's methods to make them great again; the empress is naturally unable to take care of the pressure that lies on her shoulders alone. Dimitri tells them they will do whatever they can...

The protagonists follow the book's instructions and eventually reach a stone arena, possibly the one the battle royale took place many years ago. Upon activating a hidden switch on the main entrance, the floor collapses. The hideout of the Inferno Bandits is also underground and reveals to have three pathways.

The team decides to split up into three groups: Ramonna and Tobias went into the path on the left, Maxwell entered the path on the right, and Dimitri went into the one in the center. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition.

The rest of the episode focuses on Ramonna and Tobias' path. The hedgehog, on her guard, asks him how come he wanted to go with her, and the latter grins and responds that he just cannot let a woman be in peril. Ramonna rolls her eyes and takes a deep breath, telling herself she should not have expected less.

As they walk together, Tobias sighs while walking and asks her:

"So you really do love Dimitri, huh?"

Ramonna, taken aback by the claim, turns to him and blushes.

"...W-W-What? T-The hell are you talking about?"

It is at this moment they enter a massive room filled with sand and the giggling of hyenas make several echoes. The large door on the opposite end of the room is locked and guarded by hundreds of Inferno Bandits' grunts. Despite being greatly outnumbered, Tobias is very intimidated while Ramonna is visibly excited like a child on Christmas morning. The cowardly echidna advises them to fall back, but the hedgehog ignores him.

Surrounded from all angles, Tobias and Ramonna fight off the Inferno Bandits' massive army on their own. The echidna uses the sand around him to create projectiles and barriers to protect Ramonna and himself, while the hedgehog pummeled entire groups single-handedly with her powerful combos. The hyenas do have all kinds of Rainbow Dust at their disposal, however, and they keep attacking the protagonists with them.

Ramonna tanks elemental projectiles of fire, earth, electricity, wind, water, darkness, and poison from multiple angles to the face. Although the combination of all of them is able to damage her, the adrenaline from her excitement sponges some damage and negates her pain as her physical strength rises almost uncontrollably. Tobias laughs to himself and mentions that Dimitri is lucky to have someone like that by his side.

"Hey, Ramonna! I'll ask again! You really like Dimitri, right?"

As she continues throwing punches, she smiles to herself and her golden necklace gleams as do her eyes. Ramonna then turns her head towards him, grinning and blushing.

"Hell yeah, I do!"

Taking a deep breath, Tobias begins to spin the Psamathe with one hand and his arm extended upwards.

"...Thought so!"

After few moments, all of the nearby sand shall be conjured to generate a massive twister of sand that consumes everything around him and Ramonna. Ramonna is amazed to witness the echidna's signature move, Moonlight Twister. When the twister around him is successfully created, he then touches the butt of his staff on the ground twice, making the twister perish instantly and send consumed foes flying away.

All Inferno Bandits at that point were defeated. As the duo walk on the bodies of unconscious hyenas, Ramonna crushes the lock of the large door of the opposite end of the room and opens it.

"...If you mention a single thing to him..."

"Do not worry, my darling. I like having my head where it belongs, thank you!"

This makes the both of them laugh together and enter the next room.

The episode concludes itself soon after.

Episode Thirty Three: The Blood-Soaked Empress IX

The episode commences featuring Maxwell's perspective.

Following the right path, Maxwell ventures through without fear of what he might encounter. For him, the Inferno Bandits were bullies and, like he stopped the Fantasmo and the Genesis faction in his orphanage, needed to be stopped and taught a lesson for deliberately hurting other people.

Apparently, the fox took the longest route. He uses his supernatural speed to run through the empty hallways that featured beautiful stone architecture. Since the place was underground, a small amount of sand fall from the faulty, cracked ceiling. At some point, Maxwell eventually reaches deep rooms that have, instead of floors, platforms supported by long pillars whose bottom cannot be seen due to the depth.

Upon entering these, colossal golems can be seen standing beside the platforms on opposite sides. Although Maxwell is fascinated by them and runs through them without too much effort, he cannot help but get a bad feeling about their immobility. It is then revealed that he was right: the golems start to glow a soft shade of green and they start to move as Maxwell runs for his life!

The sand golems create minions that become obstacles in Maxwell's path. The nine-year old, going fast enough, utilizes his speed's momentum to annihilate the sand-based minions with single strikes and continues to run forward. The multiple sand golems, through their large mouths, then fire beams of Chaos energy towards the fox in multiple angles. Maxwell does manage to dodge them all as well.

In the last corridor, a large door can be seen at the other end of the platform. The sand golems of that room, instead of sending projectiles, now start to slam themselves of the platform, aiming to take it down. The floor starts to crack accordingly and fall apart, so Maxwell takes a deep breath and starts to gradually increase his speed and use his parkour, nearly approaching the sound barrier as he does so.

The episode concludes itself as the platform is completely torn and Maxwell lunges towards the door. He is able to land few inches before it. As he sees the platform behind him completely gone and realizes that he is safe, he does a little victory dance and grins at himself as he opens the door to the next room.

Episode Thirty Four: The Blood-Soaked Empress X

The episode commences featuring Dimitri's perspective. Going through the path in the center, Dimitri silently walks upon the hallways. All of them were very quiet, even ominously so...

He wonders if his friends made it through their pathways alright.

Dimitri eventually reaches a massive room that resembled a circular arena made of sand. In the middle of the room, someone else that gave off a familiar, but not welcoming aura is seen kneeling, facing straight down and mumbling. Their hair, pink in color, was messy and their chest glowed the colors of the rainbow.

It takes a few moments for Dimitri to recognize the individual...

"...Ember?"

Upon hearing Dimitri's voice, Ember's mumbling becomes louder.

"...canning... Scanning in p... progress... L-Loading... Prinus... Pri..."

"What are you--"

Ember's lifts her head while twitching slightly with her eyes widened.

"...Hnnng... SYSTEM OVERLOAD... Ah♪ Kyahahahahahahahahahahaha..."

Ember's incessant, out-of-character giggling echoes within the room. Dimitri even gets slight goosebumps. The sixteen-year old echidna enters his battle-stance, clearly feeling threatened as the hyena now stands, though slightly slanted backward. She then begins to scream louder and louder as she starts causing large explosions of several elements appear beside her, pulverizing everything in the vicinity.

"AAAAAHHH... ZAHRA COMMANDED ME... Hnnngh... TO CRUSH...KILL... DESTROY... ANNIHILATE THE ONE... WHO... TRIED TO... REBOOT ME... THE...ONE... WHO IMPLANTED... A VIRUS ON ME... Hnnngh... MY TARGET. I MUST... TERMINATE... Hnnngh... AHAHAHAHAHA♪"

Before Dimitri could say anything, she sends a blast of energy towards him that combines all elements of the Rainbow Dust located on her chest. An instant before reaching its intended target, the echidna quickly redirects the attack leftwards as it strikes the ground nearby and creates a very large crater.

And thus, battle with Berserk Ember, or Ember Phase 2, commences. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition.

Dimitri is seen single-handedly facing Ember. The echidna, collected and composed, uses his telekinesis to continuously redirect Ember's omni-elemental attacks, resulting in very large explosions that consume large chunks of the room and leaves large craters. Dimitri believes that she would be easily able to decimate Red Rose Town in a single, concentrated blast, so he must be careful and think of a strategy.

"AHAHAHA! DIE! DIE! DIE!"

However, unlike before, Ember is too emotional and impulsive for Dimitri to trace a pattern on her movements. The giggling hyena continuously sends waves and waves of attacks, creating great collateral damage. Dimitri heads onto the offense. The echidna throws Ember upwards and, covering himself with a psychic aura, starts pummeling her down from practically all angles with his unmatched flight speed.

Ember is knocked down, clearly damaged, so she appeals to her strongest attack: Flames of Disaster, now upgraded to the omni-elemental Wings of Light. Instead of summoning one dragon-like construct made of red-colored Rainbow Dust, now she summons two of them that are much larger and made out of all seven kinds. They head towards Dimitri as the echidna flies away fast; one wrong move, and he would perish.

As he begins to slow down since he is running out of psychic energy, he also becomes targeted by Ember down below as she starts to send more projectiles towards him. By now, with such a large amount of Rainbow Dust wasted, Dimitri would have believed it would be close to ending, but it is not the case...

Dimitri continues to fly and dodge the massive twin dragons as they continue to follow him. He manages to trick one of them into hitting the wall and completely annihilate it, but as a projectile of Ember manages to hit him and he runs off course, he falls down on the floor and witnesses the omni-elemental dragon descend vertically onto him, creating a very powerful explosion of elemental energy.

Before Ember could scream in happiness, as the smoke ceases, a very large crater could be seen near a standing Prinus echidna. He had managed to redirect the attack just in time, but this costs a lot of his energy.

Similarly, the hyena kneels down in exhaustion and her eyes tear up.

"Ember, stand up. A warrior as strong as yourself should not be kneeling."

Ember slowly gets up, sniffling. Like in a similar situation from before, Dimitri begins to tell her that Ember is absurdly strong but he does not tell her to stop using her powers for evil; instead, he asks her to think for herself. It took time for the echidna to realize that Ember was simply misguided. The hyena could still attack him, still decimate him, still rip him to shreds when he was vulnerable, just like Zahra ordered her to... 

...For the first time in her life, Ember refuses. And as she does so, she collapses in exhaustion. 

The episode concludes itself as Dimitri is seen wiping off the dirt from his chest, revealing his grand lightning-shaped marking. He then proceeds into the next room to face possibly his toughest challenge yet. 

Episode Thirty Five: The Blood-Soaked Empress XI

The episode commences following the previous one.

The four individuals enter the same, final room of the hideout. Upon entrance, they greet each other, happy everyone made it through without too many injuries. They notice the room is larger than any other they have seen before; it looked like a circular arena three five the size of a standard football field. On its center, someone familiar had its back turned to the heroes, facing what appeared to be an altar.

Zahra's laughter makes echoes spread in the room. She is holding the white Chaos Emerald.

"...So Hourglass did not finish you off. Even though we stole more than half of the Rainbow Dust found in that rotten town to upgrade Ember, you people made it through. Hahaha... that's impressive... but... I have won in the end. Our collective dream... my people's will... it will not wane so easily."

Ramonna takes a step closer as he notices the white Chaos Emerald glow.

"You're insane, that's what! This ain't over yet!"

Maxwell also takes a step closer.

"Yeah! I will not forgive people that hurt others to achieve their dreams!"

Likewise, although trembling a little bit, Tobias stands beside Maxwell and Ramonna.

"You know, like that, you're not being cute at all!"

Finally, Dimitri moves forward.

"Can you not see that innocent lives are on the line? Look around you! Your organization is finished! Look at the scared faces of your own people, the ones who claim to fight for! They do not support you anymore because you have gone too far. You do not get to decide who lives or dies!"

Zahra's Chaos Emerald starts to emit a powerful light as the hyena starts laughing ominously.

"Pfft... Hahahahahahaha! Listen here! I have gone the farthest from all that came before me! Lies will not stop me... not here, not now! Who do you think I am? I'll tell you! I am Zahra, the empress from the Sand Empire! And, as the empress, DECIDING THIS DESERT'S FATE IS WITHIN MY JURISDICTION!"

As if commanded by the white Chaos Emerald, sand from the ground starts to envelop Zahra's body. Chaos energy mixes with the sand. The ground begins to shake as the sand does not stop consuming the empress until it forms a giant Mobini hyena-shaped monster, which then shrieks loudly: the Sand Colossus.

"GROOOOOOAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!"

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition.

Although surprised by monster Zahra had become, the flames of courage within the fighters lighten up. The heroes enter their battle stance, ready to take down their opponent down to save everyone they cared about! The Prinus echidna tells everyone to scatter around and find a mean to vanquish it!

The Sand Colossus boasts great speed but is not as fast as Maxwell. The child starts distracting it as it releasing smoke from its own mouth in an attempt to incinerate him to no avail, even though there is great collateral damage. Tobias notices he cannot manipulate the beast with his staff, considering it is almost made of Chaos energy, and starts to panic as his regular attacks are not damaging its hard skin at all.

Apparently, the monster's sand and Chaos energy armor was durable enough to withstand even Dimitri's psychic blasts. Ramonna was injured from previous fights and Maxwell cannot do significant damage to the beast. The echidna's thoughts race as he attempts to find a way to save his friends and defeat the supposedly invulnerable Sand Colossus. There must be something, anything... he would think.

It was then that Dimitri took serious note of the fact that Ramonna was injured.

Ramonna tries to get up close, but the hyena mercilessly stomps on her.

Dimitri, Maxwell, and Tobias all gasp and widen their eyes as the Sand Colossus roars upwards. Before anyone could say anything else, the beast notices it has its paw stuck on the place Ramonna was.

Suddenly, Ramonna emerges and reveals to have caught the paw with one single arm. Her other arm bleeds almost uncontrollably, but the instead hedgehog grits her teeth.

"...DO YOU THINK... THIS IS ENOUGH... TO KEEP ME DOWN?"

Ramonna digs her fingers on the paw made of sand and lets out a battle-cry.

"DON'T... YOU... MESS... WITH... MEEEE!!!"

The hedgehog then proceeds to rip out the entire leg of the Sand Colossus with a single hand, revealing its inner structure. Without losing the opportunity, Dimitri uses the telekinesis to hold the screeching beast and tells Tobias to send his arrows of sand in the exposed, vulnerable area. The tactic is successful!

Unfortunately for them, the Sand Colossus glows green with Chaos energy and heals its lost limb, regenerating its sand armor back while sprouting frenetic tentacles on its back. It seems it has evolved!

With the adaptive monster furious, the tentacles start to overwhelm the heroes as they do little damage; Ramonna and Maxwell cannot get up-close and Dimitri and Tobias' long attacks prove futile. The heroes are getting tired while the Sand Colossus seems to have endless energy, considering a Chaos Emerald empowers it from the inside. Still, all they needed to do was to rip the monster's sand armor and attack it.

Dimitri has a risky idea. He uses his telekinesis to freeze the tentacles from the monster's back in order for his allies to get in close and attack its legs. Maxwell and Tobias all protect a bloodied Ramonna as she utilizes a technique she did not need to use in a long while: the Indomitable Strikes. With three consecutive strikes, Ramonna single-handedly manages to break and rip the legs off the monster.

This way, Maxwell uses his super-speed and Tobias uses his projectiles to hit the monster at its weakest spot. The creature shrieks in horror and starts glowing green once more, overriding Dimitri's telekinesis with a shock-wave of Chaos energy that sends everyone flying away.

As a last-resort, the wild Sand Colossus starts charging its ultimate attack entirely made up of Chaos energy with his mouth: the almighty Chaos Plasma. The ground begins to shake as the heroes look desperate.

"N-No way! That has enough energy to wipe out the entire desert!"

Dimitri, barely being able to stand, takes a deep breath and begins to summon all of his remaining psychic energy unlike Ramonna or Maxwell have ever seen him do. He wished not to use his trump card transformation since, without it, he would not be able to stop what he saw in his vision of Radiant Hills; now he does not have enough energy to activate it. Would have his over-confidence doomed them all?

Driven back into a corner but refusing to give in, Dimitri uses all his energy to freeze the Chaos Plasma beam midway, creating a momentary stalemate between the opposing energies. The struggle to maintain dominance over the other makes the ceiling and walls crack!

Dimitri starts to be pushed back as his energy starts to run out... His head is hurting like never before, he is exhausted, but he would not let anyone die ever again. He is surprised his attack is even putting up a fight; an evidence to his incredible pool of energy. He had never used this much energy all at once!

It was at this moment the Sand Colossus' head sand head suddenly cracked. Ramonna, using the last bit of her remaining strength, got closer to the beast and chopped its head right off with her bare hands.

"NOW, DIMITRI!"

Taking this golden opportunity, Dimitri is able to redirect the energy upwards. The Chaos Plasma technique, penetrating the ceiling, charges towards the sky as it reaches the outer boundaries of the atmosphere and could be seen from outer space as it travels through the cosmos. Tons of sand from the surface begin to fall onto the exposed Sand Colossus, seemingly crushing everyone in the room.

The episode concludes itself abruptly.

Episode Thirty Six: The Blood-Soaked Empress (FINALE)

The episode commences following the events of the previous one.

The room is consumed with red-colored dunes of sand which gradually stop falling down from the big hole in the ceiling. However, beneath all the rubble, Tobias was able to use his staff to prevent the sand from crushing his friends and himself. Alongside a very tired Dimitri, they both use their skills to remove the sand from the room and reveal what remained from the crushed Sand Colossus, which was completely destroyed.

Maxwell holds Ramonna as they check what happened to Zahra. The hyena, laying down on the ground panting, was protected by the white Chaos Emerald through a force-field it made on its own. Immobile, she starts snickering, but, paradoxically, has tears on her eyes which do not stopping falling.

"Ahhhh... damn it. It's all over... But... I can't... My people..."

Dimitri, completely exhausted, sits beside Zahra and starts having a reasonable conversation with her. The echidna recognizes that, perhaps, Zahra tried to do the right thing, but went too far. The hyena, immobile, listens to his words and, in retrospect, starts remembering all the heinous actions she made. Dimitri then suggests the hyena to attempt to form diplomatic alliances with other towns instead of destroying them.

Dimitri explains that one of his friends once taught him that all life must be cherished, no matter who it is. Zahra wipes off her tears and stretches, mentioning that it would have been good if she developed such outlook sooner. She looks at the large hole in the ceiling and vows to never hurt anyone ever again.

Zahra stands out despite being worn out, helps the Prinus echidna up, and throws to Maxwell the Chaos Emerald. She snickers as the fox catches it, claiming that she does not need such power anymore. With a farewell, she uses her smoke powers to vanish into smoke.

Ramonna, furious, demands Dimitri the reason he let her go practically unscathed since she needs to pay for her crimes. The echidna, looking at the hole in the ceiling, simply mentions that he has a feeling it would be better if she just returned to her people and started anew, considering she changed her outlook in life.

The hole in the ceiling reveals a clear blue sky, for the Great Chaos Sandstorm had vanished. _______________________________________________________________________________________

The episode makes a transition to many hours later.

Red Rose Town is overjoyed to see that the Great Chaos Sandstorm was finally gone and the whole town throws a party in celebration. Although the plaza was crowded with people, the Brotherhood of Thieves had decided to not pickpocket people since it was a very special occasion even for them. In a corner, away from the crowd, Hourglass stood with Ruby and Saphie. The latter held their leader's hands as he was trembling.

"Hey, boss. Are you sure you still want to be here? You are trembling again."

"N-N-Nonsense, Ruby. This is a very special day."

Saphie snickers as she tugs both Ruby and Hourglass.

"Relax, big bro. Ahhh... Look at all those trinkets, all waiting for me to be stolen. What a waste. I know this is a special day and all, but I'm expecting my payroll to be increased tomorrow!"

As Hourglass becomes more scared over such claim rather than his social anxiety, both Saphie and Ruby laugh with him as the episode makes another transition, but to Dimitri's perspective.

Although Team Prinus was exhausted from having fought so many people earlier, they attended the party. They eventually encounter Tobias holding hands with Garnet. Apparently, they have sorted things out and have become a full-fledged couple. Dimitri, Maxwell, and Ramonna congratulate them!

Tobias takes a step closer to Dimitri and whispers to his ear.

"Listen, pal... I know I am engaged at the moment, but should you ever make a woman like Ramonna cry, I will personally come for you to beat the ring out of your forehead. I am serious."

Dimitri chuckles as Ramonna, Garnet, and Maxwell wonder what Tobias said.

Although everyone had already explained Garnet's situation to Ramonna, the hedgehog feels a little bitter towards the caracal since she had poisoned her. The courteous caracal, taking notice of that, humbly apologizes for her actions. The athlete from Station Square accepts on the condition that they would have to fight again someday, without anyone or any substance holding them back. Garnet giggles and nods.

Tobias goes on to say that his "honey" and him shall work together to resolve the situation with Siam and, maybe, just maybe, someday talk with Garnet's brother Ruby again... but for now, they want to enjoy themselves. As the couple laughs together, it seems such comment went over Dimitri and Maxwell's head...

Everyone present danced at the music that the mayor himself was playing in the background, and the credits start rolling as they did. All was well, at least for that night where everyone seemed to have fun...

...But Dimitri knew there were still things that needed to be done.

The episode concludes itself in the morning as Dimitri, Ramonna, and Maxwell say their farewell to Red Rose Town and its citizens as they venture, with their flames of courage blazing, towards Radiant Hills!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

END OF THE BLOOD-SOAKED EMPRESS!

TO BE CONTINUED IN NIGHTMARE REBORN!

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