She kept crawling through his crystals drawing in more and more. Then she felt the barrier. The barrier she had been waiting to feel. Those were the crystals that he was already using, the crystals full with the spells she planned on breaking.
It was difficult for her to displace that spell. Pushing at it. Little by little she forced her way in.
Then it was over. Cockatrice breathed a long sigh and Demon of Forgotten Soot transformed back into a crystal.
“Almost good enough. However you didn’t stop me from dispelling the control spell. Very impressive.” Cockatrice began to lean down to pick up her card when the sound of gunfire caused him to look up.
Berardo was standing there. He had his pistol drawn and was pointing it toward Cockatrice. He was weakly holding it with both arms. His wounded arm still hadn’t been completely healed but it was better than nothing.
“Cockatrice. You are under arrest for murder, and many other things. Surrender now.” Said Berardo as be began walking closer to Cockatrice.
“You already tried shooting me once. Do you think that it will work this time? You look tired, I’m surprised you just left the tower to your companion.”
“This is your last chance. Surrender before it is too late.”
“Do you somehow think you can beat me. This one might have harmed me but I can certainly beat you even now.”
“No, you can’t win. You have already lost.”
“Oh, why would you say that?”
“Because I didn’t miss.”
“What?” Said Cockatrice and then when Berardo pointed looked behind himself.
There held up in the air was an hourglass. The spell that he had cast to keep Meike and the King of Endless Water frozen. The glass of the hourglass was broken and the twinkling sand was pouring out of it.
“As I said. You have already lost. Any your mighty tower? It has fallen too. Everything that had come out of it was defeated.”
“Impossible. The two of you couldn’t have possibly beaten everything in that tower.”
“Not so all powerful now are you.” Said Berardo as he walked closer and closer to Cockatrice. “You see unlike you I’m not alone. I had even more allies waiting for the right moment. After you showed you hand I brought them in. Now you are defeated.”
Berardo was waiting for Cockatrice to rush him. To face the man in one last fight before the hourglass completely broke and Meike was set free.
That was not to be however, Cockatrice, the master of falsehoods and plans, had been defeated and he finally showed his true nature. He collapses, falling to his knees.
Berardo walked up to him, took the metal masked and pulled it off. He already knew what he would find underneath. A rather ordinary looking man. He had a face showing true defeat.
Berardo shook his head, “And this is all you come to.” He pulled out his handcuffs and put them on him. Then he took a moment to search the man’s heavy robes, pulling out all the cards that he could find. Without those Cockatrice could not do anything.
“You kept pushing others, forcing them to unlock new secrets within themselves but when it comes to yourself as soon as it happens you collapse, defeated. A little ironic wouldn’t you say.”
The man formally known as Cockatrice didn’t say anything.
Berardo walked over and leaned down to pick up Demon of Forgotten Soot. “Thanks” he said although in her injured state she wouldn’t be able to respond. There were also other cards with her. They were the cards of Horizon and Rose.
It was about this time there hourglass finished breaking and Meike and King of Endless Water were freed. They just stood there, confused and uncertain of what was happening.
Berardo coughed and explained the best that he could, “We beat Cockatrice. He trapped you in some kind of halted time bubble and during that time we managed to beat him. Your distraction was excellent. Thanks.”
Meike tried working her mouth trying to say something, “You beat him?” She finally said.
“Yes. Now I need to deal with the clean up.” Then Berardo went back to Cockatrice and pulled him up to his feet. “Come on, this way. You have much to answer for.”
Berardo then lead Cockatrice around the tower leaving Meike still standing there trying to understand what had happened. His last glimpse of her was of the King of Endless Water placing his hand on her shoulder.
Around the front side of the tower were more than a dozen bodies of giant monsters of various kinds. On top of one of them, fingering his own gun, was Detective Alexander.
Alexander jumped off the monster as he saw Berardo appear with Cockatrice. “Looks like you got him. Wasn’t too hard I assume?”
“I threatened him with the release of the person he was most afraid of and he crumpled. A little disappointing really. I was expecting him to put up more resistance.”
“Sometimes that is just how it goes. I was initially surprised when I heard you actually ask me to be your backup but after seeing this I understand why.”
“I’m still a police detective. I know when I should call in backup. Even if I had thought the plan would go smoothly I would still have wanted you waiting in the wings just in case.”
“It was a good call about the timing too. Your friend was severely injured when my team arrived. Had I been much slower they might have died.”
“Thank you for saving her life. I’ve also checked with the other members of my team. All of them survived too, although it was close for some of them.”
Alexander looked around like he was looking for the team but didn’t say anything about it. Finally he looked up at the tower still jutting through the middle of the mansion, “Any way you can deal with that?”
Berardo looked at Cockatrice and said, “Can you cancel that.” The man didn’t respond.
“Maybe, maybe not. We will just have to wait and see. The criminal doesn’t seemed to be very helpful about this kind of stuff.”
“Well, I had the patrol car brought around if you want to put him in it.”
Berardo looked out the partially destroyed wall to see the car outside. Finally he looked back at Alexander and said, “Does the chief have someplace to put people like this? Normal prison might not work for them.”
“There is a special place. When you have some extra time we can show it to you.”
“Thanks” Berardo took Cockatrice to the police car and pushed him inside. “Now, if you excuse me. I’m going to go take a nap in this nearby ambulance.”
Alexander nodded and said, “Good Dreams.”
“Huh, it looks like the shield has somehow become part of your card.” Said Berardo as he held up the card for Eyes that Gaze the Horizon. She stood in the card with the Shield of the Morning strapped onto her arm. “It also seems that you have changed to be a 3 crystal hero because of it.”
She was nodding inside the card, “Yeah, I thought it was weird too. I spoke to… uh… father about it and he said that it sometimes happens. Heroes got attached enough to gear that the gear permanently becomes part of their card. It is a rare occurrence though.”
“As long as you are alright that if fine. I’m more worried about Rose though. She had been off by herself a lot recently. Do you think that the battle got to her in some way.”
“Hmm, maybe she wasn’t satisfied with her revenge? Maybe she hoped it would give her closure but instead she just got more questions.”
“Yeah, that is probably part of it. She is probably deciding what to do from now on. Speaking of which what do you plan on doing?”
“Making your life miserable by hanging around” She said.
“Thanks.” He said. He knew that she was joking and that she had planned to stay with him. Secretly he was thankful for it.