Author: Christian Salabert | Banner: Stephanie Hughes

[Continued from Match 56]

The dragon awoke.

For centuries, the beast had remained in slumber. Once, it was the most feared creature in the land, striking fear into the hearts of even the bravest men as it razed their settlements to the ground. Its reign of terror was legendary…

And then there was Bagan.

For the first time, the dragon itself knew fear. Bagan was everything it was and more. Gods and demons alike fell to his wrath. As much as it infuriated the dragon, it knew it was no match for the fallen god’s power and retreated into the underworld, where even the demon couldn’t reach it. It was there that the dragon waited for centuries, waiting for the inevitable end of his reign. Bagan was nigh invincible, defeating any creature that challenged him. It seemed the mighty monster would never fall…until recently. Faced by an army of monsters, gods and machines, the almighty super monster was finally toppled. Not only that, but the beast lost most of its legendary strength. The dragon knew that with him weakened, it was time to strike.

* * * * *

Bagan marched through the forests of Japan, not too far from the country’s famous mountain Fuji. The beast was taking the time to fully recharge from his last battle. He didn’t like being this weak. Not one bit. His power was a mere fraction of what it once was. But much to the creature’s dismay, there was nothing he could do about it. A low growl escaped his lips. If only he had something to vent his rage upon…

As if to answer these desires, the ground began to shake.

The soil cracked open, revealing flowing flames underneath. A hellacious roar was heard, and a massive form began to rise up out of the ground. Bagan took a step back, craning his neck up to look at this new arrival, which dwarfed even Biollante in size. The ancient god roared at the creature, but his voice was drowned out by the cries of the beast’s numerous heads.

The evil eyes of Orochi narrowed at his old foe.

Roaring furiously, Bagan charged the hydra, flexing his claws. Orochi responded by spewing streams of flame from several of his mouths, engulfing his horned face in fire. The super monster shrieked as he was struck by the flames; they were far hotter than any fire he had ever encountered before. He backed away from the heat, his skin scorched. Angrily, Bagan stuck back with his plasma breath, striking the Yamato god directly in the chest. The dragon’s heads cried into the air as the white-hot blast seared his flesh. With a speed that belied his size, Orochi lunged towards the ultimate beast, his many maws open. An endless array of teeth sank into the leathery body, drawing blood and causing a strangled cry to escape Bagan’s throat as he tried to wrench himself free from Orochi’s fanged grip. The dragon’s mouths bit down on his throat, keeping him from firing his plasma breath but Bagan’s horns crackled with energy, a sight which the eight headed serpent ignored. Seconds later, the hydra realized his mistake as the azure beams of his foe’s Diamond Storm rained down upon his body, slicing and burning through his flesh. Releasing Bagan but screeched in agony, the demigod quickly recovered and unleashed more searing flames into the tyrant titan’s face. The gray monster staggered back, clutching his face as it burned as Orochi lowered several of his heads, then swung them upward, striking Bagan and sending him crashing onto his back.

The forked dragon advanced on the fallen foe, but the horned beast raised his head and fired his plasma breath, striking at the base of his necks. The hydra shrieked, stopping in his tracks as, in an instant, Bagan was back on his feet and leapt at Orochi, clutching two of his necks. Clawing and biting at one neck, the forest guardian tugged on it with his jaws, spilling yellow blood. The Yamato devourer hissed and shrieked at the demon, but couldn’t attack him with his flames without burning himself. Yanking hard, Bagan ripped one of the necks from his foe’s body, leaving the dragon with only seven heads, before he spat the severed neck to the ground, stepping onto its head and crushing it underfoot. Orochi screamed furiously and attacked again, but this time not with his flames. Scarlet lightning shot out from the eyes of four of his heads, blasting Bagan and sending him staggering back but the calamity beast did not let up, striking Bagan again and again with his thunderous energy. The ancient mutant fell to one knee, badly hurt from the attack.

Bagan snarled, rage growing within him. Reduced power or not, he refused to be outmatched by this multi-headed reptile. As his regeneration began to heal the wounds inflicted from Orochi’s lightning, he rose back to his feet and fired a powerful blast of his plasma breath. The beam struck hard, blowing through one of the serpent’s necks in the middle of the limb. The severed neck spiraled down and rolled off the dragon’s back and made the hydra howl and charge again, snapping his jaws at the super monster and peppering him with blasts of lightning. Bagan retaliated by summoning his Diamond Storm once more, causing the hydra to cry out as the diamond-shaped blasts tore through him once again. One of them punched through another of the beast’s skulls, taking the once eight-headed dragon down to five. A twisted smile covered the long horned face of Bagan as he enjoyed his opponent’s suffering. Suddenly, Orochi lunged forward, taking his tormenter by surprise. The horned creature had no time to react before the forked serpent slammed into him with the full weight of his bulk, sending the destroyer flying through the air. With a mighty crash, he slammed into the earth, stunning the beast. The hydra charged and pressed his advantage, spewing his flames from two of his heads. As he engulfed Bagan with his flames, his other three heads blasted lightning from their eyes, striking his fallen form again and again, all as the devil shrieked in agony as lightning and hellfire assaulted his body, roasting his very flesh.

Orochi got closer and closer, never letting up with his searing flames. Bagan couldn’t take any more of this. Any longer and it would be the end of him. Pushing past the pain, he rose to his feet and leapt towards Orochi, plunging his snout horn into the hydra’s chest. The flames and lightning instantly stopped as the valley sized beast reared his heads back and screamed in pain, pulling away from his foe. Bagan pulled his horn from Orochi’s flesh and fired a plasma blast into the wound, eliciting another shriek of agony. He moved to take another step forward, but stumbled, his flesh still cooked. The two demons glared at each other.

They both knew that one of them was going to die tonight.

The two of them charged each other once again, their bodies slamming into each other. Bagan nearly fell back once again, but would not give way to the dragon. Serpent heads snapped back, biting at his curved head horns until energy was sent charging through them, dislodging Orochi’s fangs. The ancient monster shoved back, managing to push the snake’s mountainous body away. Bagan swung around, battering the hydra with his tail, but as his back was turned, Orochi began firing scarlet bolts from his eyes once again, blanketing the spiked back in explosions. Shrieking in pain, the evolved deity swung back around, sweeping his plasma breath across the dragon’s body. As the god reacted to the blast, the devil of the forests leapt forward and clutched two of his necks and sank his claws into them, drawing blood. The two titans pushed against each other, trying to force the other to the ground.

Suddenly, a searing beam of golden light washed over the demons, engulfing them in explosions. The two monsters leapt away from each other in pain and surprise as the light exploded around them, eliciting cries of torment from the two. Another blast hit the Yamato beast in the back, causing him to wave his heads around wildly, and a third blast hit the super monster square in the chest and knocked him to the ground.

Bagan got back to his feet just as Orochi managed to turn his massive form, the two beasts wanting to see who would dare attack them and interrupt a struggle between the two most evil beings on Earth.

They were greeted by the armored form of Utsuno Ikusagami!

Bagan tilted his head in confusion at the gold and silver warrior, curious as to just what it was. But Orochi knew immediately. He had clashed with this being many times before. The hydra immediately opened fire with lightning bolts from his eyes, but the blasts merely bounced off of the divine hero’s armor, before his corrupted foe opened fire with his plasma breath, the superheated blast striking directly in the chest. The ancient warrior stayed on his feet, though the blast’s force sent him skidding back across the soil. The devil of Yamato was not to be denied the pleasure of finishing off his eons-old enemy, and breathed his scorching flames directly into Bagan’s face, causing the monster to stumble back, clutching his burnt flesh. Orochi turned and charged the ancient hero, screaming as he went. Utsuno Ikusagami was ready for the attack. Charging energy throughout his body, the holy warrior summoned a pair of bladed, golden wings to his back. Just as it seemed his nemesis would have him in his grasp, the golden hero leapt backwards into the air, escaping the hydra. Just as he landed, the serpent opened fire with his hellish flames, and unlike the dragon’s lightning, these concerned the armored warrior. Holding his arms out, he summoned forth a shield of blazing blue energy, stopping the flames cold and protecting Ikusagami from the wrath of Orochi for a moment more. But the multi-headed menace refused to give up, continuing to pour his supernatural flame against the shield. The shining divine knight focused on keeping his shield up as he began to feel the heat emanating from the fire. Suddenly, a white-hot blast hit the shield, causing it to detonate with explosive force. The sudden eruption sent Ikusagami staggering backward, momentarily shaken by the loss of his shield. Bagan turned his attack on Orochi next, blasting his necks. As the hydra shrieked in pain, the ultimate hybrid lunged for Utsuno Ikusagami.

The mighty protector was still off balance when the horned beast attacked. The gray dragon thrust his head forward, slamming his snout horn into his divine chest. Sparks flew as the spike gashed against the holy armor, and though not impaled, the force of the blow was enough to knock the warrior back. However, Utsuno Ikusagami was quick to recover and lashed out, grabbing his foe’s head horns in his hands. Grappling the beast for a moment, the divine being managed to topple Bagan, wrestling him to the ground. Before he could press his advantage, the two were engulfed in fire. Orochi shrieked evilly as he bathed his two foes in his hellfire, quickly advancing as he did so. He slammed into the divine hero, knocking him to the dirt, but suddenly, diamond-shaped meteors fell from the sky, assaulting them both. The moon god shrieked as the Diamond Storm once again ravaged his body while sparks erupted each time one of the diamonds hit golden armor, denting and scorching it. Bagan rose to his feet and followed up with his plasma breath, blasting one foe after the other.

Utsuno Ikusagami knew it was time to bring out the big guns. Lightning crackled over his body and, suddenly, there was a sword in his hand. He prepared to attack as he twirled the mighty weapon, its blade pulsing with holy energy. Striking a pose with the sword, Takeru’s divine form leapt into the air and flew towards Bagan. The demon prepared to strike, but the sword swung upward, slicing off Bagan’s snout horn! As the forest god recoiled in agony, the serpent came up on the leaping light god from behind. The defender sensed his attempted ambush, however, and spun around, his sword extended. Orochi shrieked as another of his necks was slashed in half, taking him down to four. Ikusagami returned his attention to Bagan, slashing his sword across the beast’s stomach, causing the forest god to slump over as the energy cut through his flesh and made him topple helplessly to the ground. The ultimate hero turned back around and swiped his sword, cutting off two more of the hydra’s heads. The hybrid beast got back to his feet and fired a blast of his plasma breath at Ikusagami, but the powerful warrior flew into the air, avoiding the blast and allowing it to hit one of Orochi’s heads directly in the face, blowing it to pieces. The crimson dragon screamed in pain and rage as it realized it was left with only one last head.

The instant the ultimate hero landed, Bagan was on him. Again and again he brought his claws down upon his metal body, intent on crushing it. Ikusagami’s armor was strong, but even it could not withstand such an assault for very long. Energizing the blade of his sword, the god thrust it forward, impaling Bagan’s stomach. As the forgotten foe growled furiously, Ikusagami grabbed his shoulder. With a mighty heave, the warrior hoisted Bagan up and tossed him through the air. With a thunderous crash, the mutant hit the dirt and rolled until he hit Orochi. The once multi-headed hydra looked down at his foe and began to spit his searing flame onto him, causing the ancient retribution to roar and reach up, wrapping his claws around the last live neck and squeezing.

As the two demonic reptiles continue to struggle, Utsuno Ikusagami decided it was time to finish this. Holding out his other hand, he summoned more of his energy and molded it into a spear. The sound of crackling power caught Bagan’s attention, and he released Orochi’s neck to face his other foe. He turned just in time for the shining hero to hurl his spear at the two of them. The weapon pierced the ultimate monster’s torso, but didn’t stop there, lodging itself into the now one headed serpent’s as well. The two demons screamed as the spear made of holy power stuck them together against their will, burning into their flesh. With the two monsters at his mercy, Ikusagami flew into the air, the sun-like symbol on his head glowing. The golden beam of light shone out of the symbol, blasting Bagan and Orochi. Explosions erupted from their bodies as the great hero blasted them again and again, never letting up. The creatures roared in defiance as the beam’s holy energies coursed through their dark bodies, wreaking havoc within.

One final blast, and both Orochi and Bagan went up in flames, wiped out in a massive explosion that shook the entire area.

With the two monstrosities destroyed, the mighty warrior twirled his sword, then let his arms lower to his sides. Earth was safe, thanks to Utsuno Ikusagami.

Winner: Utsuno Ikusagami

K.W.C. Kaiju War Chronicles