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!
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 was 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 watch 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 with 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.
Similarly, Dimitri does not look at her directly and walks past her.
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 were 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 shock-wave 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 her 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 was 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 with 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 backwards.
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 quick, 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 backwards. 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 into 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."
(TO BE CONTINUED)