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This is the article for the Chaos Rings scenario where the player assumes the role of Escher and Musiea.

OutsetEdit

Escher

Upon being brought into the Ark Arena, Musiea immediately lunges at Escher with her rapier. He swiftly dodges her attack and threatens her life should she try it again. The two hold off their attacks after witnessing the futility of fighting against the rules when Garrick is effortlessly struck down before them. Upon nearing the end of Clashing Grounds, Escher and Musiea witness Alto being finished off by the Executioner after apparently falling at the hands of Olgar.

Upon starting the second dungeon, Musiea seems to have calmed down slightly from her initial outrage. She asks Escher why he killed the priest and nuns three years ago. Escher bluntly states that he killed them because the priest had been selling the orphans as slaves. This immediately enrages Musiea; she snaps back at Escher, refusing to believe what she says are baseless accusations. Escher continues to explain that he was hired to kill them when they "betrayed the wrong people." Later in the dungeon, Escher's heart condition causes him to buckle in pain and start coughing up blood. Musiea remarks that it serves him right for what he did, while Escher says that it won't stop him from attaining immortality to overcome the condition. Musiea receives her Companion Ring after defeating Airavata.

Following this, The Agent calls for the first Ark Arena battle. Ayuta and Mana face off against Zhamo and Eluca, while Escher and Musiea are pitted against Olgar and Vahti, much to the dismay of the former two. As they enter the Arena, Olgar asks Escher what he fights for; he responds, "Because I want eternal life." Olgar snaps back, "A foolish reason." Vahti then asks Musiea why she fights; she says "Because I have people waiting for me. I take care of war orphans. So I can't let myself die here." Vahti echoes Olgar's sentiment, that Escher and Musiea will never be able to defeat them with motives like that. Olgar continues to attempt to explain to them why the tournament is being held and that he's been pondering that very thing in the 10,000 years since he won the last Ark Arena. As their fight commences, Olgar's and Vahti's regenerative powers render them invincible to anything that's thrown at them. However, it wears off during their fight. As Escher and Musiea defeat them, Olgar and Vahti congratulate them and admit that it's an honorable death to fall in combat with such strong fighters. Olgar offers to tell them exactly what happened in the last Ark Arena, but Escher declines. Olgar and Vahti share a tender moment very briefly, and the Executioner takes their lives permanently. Musiea is brought to tears at the prospect of having to kill to stay alive. Escher consoles her by saying that he should be proud of Olgar and Vahti for the courage they had to make it this far.

Escher and Musiea step out of the Arena to see Eluca and Zhamo before them, victorious over Ayuta and Mana. The Agent then appears to tell them that they have not found true "proof of their partnership" yet and sends them off to the next dungeon, Ocean of Origins.

As they set out, Musiea asks Escher why he chose her as his partner, in an attempt to understand the Agent's previous words about "proof of partnership." Escher replies that he never picked her while adding that he doesn't even know the slightest thing about her. She then re-states that the only thing she knows about him is that he killed the priest and sisters, adding that "Olgar and Vahti are married, Ayuta is Mana's loyal servant, and Zhamo and Eluca trust each other completely." Escher is perplexed at the thought and quickly dismisses it, but Musiea wonders if her hatred for him is really their only connection. After progressing through the dungeon and defeating Ondine, Musiea demands to know who Escher really is, while commenting about the Agent's words that they won't succeed without understanding why they were brought into the Arena together. They exchange a brief moment where Escher explains his background of being raised by theives, then continue through the dungeon. The two catch up to Eluca and Zhamo at one point, and Escher remarks that he's observing "phenomenal progress" in Zhamo's fighting abilities. They begin a conversation, and Eluca inquires if Escher and Musiea have found their proof yet. Escher says that they aren't even close to find it yet and that he's actually jealous of their bond, which is very strong by this point. After defeating the Old One at the end of the dungeon, Escher begins coughing up blood again. This attack makes him more determined to find the proof of partnership so he can attain immortality.

As Escher and Musiea exit the dungeon, Escher continues coughing. Musiea aids him in getting to his medicine that's being kept in his room. While searching for the medicine, she contemplates on why she's bothering to help him when she shouldn't care about his suffering. The pair continues on to the fourth dungeon, Purgatory.

EscherMusieaPurgatory

After defeating Ra in Purgatory, Musiea demands that Escher fight her. Escher reminds her of the Agent's rules against fighting outside of the Arena, but after Musiea insists, he calls out to the Agent, clearly stating that he and Musiea are about to spar and it will not be to the death. This enrages Musiea; she yells at Escher for taking her as a fool. The battle begins, and Escher beat her, though she's angry about him going easy on her. She interprets it as Escher showing a kind side. She realizes that he's not just a violent brute out to kill anything in his way. The pair meets up with Eluca and Zhamo again to make a quick exchange about how quickly they're advancing and how much stronger their partnership is becoming. They advance toward the end of the dungeon and confront Prototype Agent. Escher's heart condition once again brings him to the ground; Musiea asks him where that demonic strength of his has gone. Escher sees this as encouragement, which seems strange to him. After defeating the Prototype Agent, while still weakened, Escher is asked again why he truly wants to survive. He finally reveals the truth that he wants to see a girl named Aida again before he dies. Upon revealing this, their rings both glow intensely. The Agent announces that they have found their proof and gives the order for them to proceed to the Arena.

The two remaining pairs exit the dungeon, and are told by the Agent to prepare for the final battle with the opposing pair. Escher remains perplexed as to why the rings are glowing. Escher shrugs it off and is ready to start the fight, but Musiea stops him. She asks Escher to expound upon this "Aida" that he met so long ago, citing curiosity. Escher explains:

I met her when I was still living with the thieves. They brought her to their hideout when she was still a little girl, and they charged me with taking care of her. There weren't any other kids my age there, so I was happy that I now had a "younger sister." But one day, a rich man with a taste for little girls came by and wanted to buy her. You know, one of those human traffickers you hear about. I hid from the thieves until I could sneak her outside and set her free. Only, she wouldn't run away. She'd run for a bit, but then she'd keep stopping and turning around. It was only when I promised I'd come find her again someday that she finally ran off for good. The next day, the thieves were going crazy trying to find out what had happened, and they soon found out that I had set her free. That was when they started to beat me... But no matter how hard they hit, I was proud of what I had done.

This story bring Musiea to tears; she agrees to do whatever she can to help him keep that promise. They have a short conversation with Eluca and Zhamo before the fight begins. When Eluca comments on how cute it is to see them bickering like a couple, Escher tells her to bite her tongue. Musiea complements Zhamo on how much he's grown throughout the journey. Eluca adds that Zhamo looked up to Escher as a fighter during their trials in the Ark Arena. They exchange more respectful comments and enter the Arena, at the Agent's command. Escher's condition weakens him as the fight progresses, but Musiea encourages him even more than before, remarking that she still has something to tell him. She reveals that she was given a new name at her baptism. Escher still doesn't understand, but Musiea is quick to spell it out that they did have a reason behind their pairing. She tells him that her real name is Aida. Escher is taken aback at first, but she continues to encourage him to fight through the pain. They claim victory over Eluca and Zhamo, and they are given a short time to converse before the Executioner appears. Escher ensures Zhamo that he fought with honor and was a true warrior. Zhamo and Eluca exchange their final words to each other, then the Executioner takes them.

ElucaZhamoDefeated

After the battle, Escher shows great remorse at having to end their dream of rebuilding a free and prosperous country. Musiea adds that she never felt that Eluca or Zhamo blamed them for what they did and that they all fought valiantly. The two final participants emerge from the Arena to an empty hall. The Agent appears and congratulates them on their victory. Explaining that humans give off the most power when fighting for someone they care for, he compels them to demonstrate this power for the last time by taking him on in battle. The Agent then cures Escher of his condition in order for him to be able to show his true power. The fight begins, and the two quickly realize that they are unable to damage the Agent. They converse briefly, saying that neither one can be allowed to die, because Musiea's death would be a failure on Escher's part, and Escher's death would mean that Musiea could never get her revenge. They eventually defeat the Agent. As he falls, the Agent calls them the "Final Couple he's been waiting for."

Escher and Musiea are then sent to a strange place, seemingly in Outer Space, on a platform made of some kind of magical rune. The Agent's voice rings out to them again, telling them to remember the things they've seen and experienced in their time on the Ark. They are spirited back to the Ark as quickly as they had been removed from it.

The Original Door is then opened to them. Upon choosing to enter it, they are dropped near the edge of a plateau that overlooks a massive expanse of land. An unknown female voice is then heard from afar, explaining that this is Earth from 10,000 years ago. The voice tells them to look up. The pair follows the voice, and sees a gigantic airship hovering in the sky. The voice explains that it is the Ark they have been fighting on all this time, and that the voice is speaking from the Ark. The voice explains the pair's duty as the First Couple. In 10,000 years, a being known as the Qualia will appear and destroy the planet. Their job as the First Couple is to breed a human race that will be capable of defeating it. They are then granted immortality and eternal youth. The Ark then disappears in a bright flash, and the two are left at the plateau. They observe the land and agree that it's a beautiful sight. They come to the realization that they are the only two people on the planet. Their rings glow one more time...

Choosing not to enter the Original DoorEdit

They realize that another path has opened up that gives them a second choice. The contemplate for a short time on whether or not to choose the door, but their curiosity gets the better of them. They opt to find out the truth behind the Ark Arena by entering Bereshith Road. As the board the elevator to the 46th floor, the Executioner appears before them.
Executioner
Escher and Musiea begin to hear a distant but familiar voice. Zhamo was speaking from the darkness, looking for Eluca in the oblivion he was sent to by the Executioner. Escher and Musiea are enraged by the Executioner's audacity; they strike him down for his disrespect for those lost in the Arena. After the fight, Musiea ponders on why the Executioner would make them listen to Zhamo. The only reason she can find is that it was taunting them to bring out their true power. They continue into the dungeon, finding data terminals along the way that describe all of the mechanisms and creatures that make up the Ark. As they continue, they pass through the area where the Arena was held. As they remembered the warriors that fought for their lives there, their spirits were uplifted.


As Escher and Musiea descend to the 137th Floor, the Agent reappears before them on the elevator.
EscherMusieaAgent
He explains that the earlier battle was merely to judge their worthiness of becoming the First Couple. This battle, however, would determine if they are prepared to proceed through the Final Door. "439 couples have made it this far before. Only 16 of them were able to defeat me." The Agent foretells the coming of the Qualia, heralding the end of the time axis. As Escher and Musiea defeat the True Agent, he speaks of the Qualia once more, emphasizing the gravity of the upcoming battle. The two step out of the elevator and cross more data terminals, which explain that the Ark is a giant ship floating over the Earth, and that all the dungeons they visited were contained in that same ship.
EscherMusieaQualiaDisplay
As they continue, they come across another control room that houses a giant monitor displaying some kind of vortex of energy. They check the terminal before continuing. The information contained within describes the Qualia, "a conceptual being of pure energy." The Qualia, after appearing in a timespace, will consume everything and bring about nothingness, until the entirety of that timespace is destroyed. It has been fought millions of times, but destruction is always assured. The panel adds that the Qualia has destroyed a confirmed 64,762 timespaces. The terminal continues, explaining that there is a point in the timespace where sufficiently strong forces would, in theory, be able to destroy small amounts of energy. Suddenly, Escher and Musiea's minds are assaulted with massive amounts of energy. They experience a brief vision of the energy that comprises the Qualia. The pair vows to defeat it, no matter the cost, and they continue onward. Another elevator begins taking them up the Top Floor. The Almighty begins communicating with them, saying that they should meet in person due to the brevity of time before the Qualia arrives to consume the planet.

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