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Chapter 22 - Orb

Melissa held her right arm forward, holding the Yoshimitsu sword perpendicular to it as an offering to Asuka. "Break the chains," she told the other girl, her words firm.

"But…"

"You are bound to Jin Kazama by blood. That alone is not enough, but it is required all the same. I want to save him, even if the objective was programmed from the start, but my desire alone is not enough either. The supernatural powers at work here probably do not consider me a soul. Do you want to help Jin Kazama?"

"The one that Xiaoyu knew…"

The robot shook her head. "No, this one. Do you want to help this one?"

"Melissa, how can you ask me this? This one is a devil. He just killed that old man," Asuka reasoned.

"That old man was his grandfather who shot and betrayed Jin almost three years ago, awakening the very devil of which we speak. This Jin also killed the monster calling him to put the world in chaos," Melissa informed her.

"What?" This had not come up in their earlier discussion about whom and what Azazel was besides a monster waking up in this desert temple, resulting from the war.

"Asuka, we are running out of time. The chains have covered him completely, and the earth is pulling him inward. Do you save Devil Jin or not?"

"Will he die?"

The sword gleamed and shook in Melissa's hand as if to answer, urging Asuka to take it. "It speaks to you," Melissa explained. "I cannot translate."

The human girl grabbed it, and the weapon did not sting her, instead communicating through feeling and thought that she must act quickly lest Jin be taken to replace Azazel as The Rectifier. He could not die. "What do you mean he can't die?" she asked it.

Power. That was all it told her. The devil had used that word too, told her it was everything, that she might have power he could use. Now she risked aiding this monster into becoming more powerful if she helped him. Either choice left to the possible destruction of the world. "If I don't believe in him, who will?" Xiaoyu's voice echoed through her mind. Hwoarang's words too, about Devil having a plan of his own. With  uncertainty, Asuka hacked at the chains and bit by bit, a few links broke free, glowing white and disappearing. Still, more would grow in their place. "It's not working!" Asuka uttered aloud. As if in response, even more chains grew.

"I must advise you not allow yourself to be discouraged, Miss Asuka. The task ahead is difficult but not impossible."

She hacked with that much more fervor. At last, she began to see his skin, and that it had returned to its natural color. Soon, the chains dissipated entirely, and she dropped the sword, shielding her eyes from a white light surrounding his body. When the light faded, she nervously looked at him. Despite the retracted devil features, his eyes reeked of that chilling amber the evil creature wore.

"Master Jin, you're alright," the usually cold-mannered Melissa warmly hugged him, not the least bit concerned at the evident change.

Upon release of their embrace, he reached out his arm, gently placing his hand on her head. "Melissa…you did well. Thank you." He shifted his gaze over to Asuka, and the Japanese girl gulped nervously, still not sure she had done the right thing. "Give me a few minutes alone with Asuka," he said, the words intended for Melissa though his eyes fixated on his cousin.

"Shall I take the sword as well?" the blue-haired robot offered.

"No, I'm going to need it for one more thing," he said.

"Understood." Melissa glided her way up out of the crater.

Asuka backed away a couple of steps. Would he use the sword on her? She doubted it would allow her to touch it now.

"Do I still frighten you?" he asked with that eerie gentleness from the night they first met.

"Why are your eyes changed? They look like Devil's, not Jin's."

"Evolution," Jin replied. He took a few steps so that they faced each other, much more closely, like when he backed her into a wall in Osaka. His imposing presence did not feel quite as menacing though Asuka still left a twinge of unease in her core. "You granted me use of your power to change yet again, and I thank you for it," he told her.

"What have you changed into though? You feel different but still demonic."

"I promise nothing but my gratitude, Asuka. I am just a less evil monster. But remember this." He whispered in her ear. "As I am devil to this world, you are my angel, thereby protecting us all."

"What kind of…?" she began to argue, but he already left her, searching the ground for something.

Before anything else could happen though, Melissa's body came crashing down, her arms detached from her body. "Master…I'm sorry…" she struggled to say before shutting down.

Devil Kazuya landed with a thud. "Like I said, scrap metal."

"Melissa!" Asuka ran over to the broken android.

Jin eyed the fallen blue-haired girl. No doubt she saved a backup of herself before fighting Kazuya, or at least after she hugged him, and her doctor father could repair her parts. Still, he could not console Asuka with his father present. The less an enemy knew about Melissa's capabilities, the better.

"We're not finished yet, Jin," Kazuya said.

A wind encircled Jin as he transformed with ease, no charcoal casing to be seen. He doubted it would be necessary here. The younger devil evaded the attacks with little effort. Kazuya threw a few more punches and kicks that Jin evaded yet again. Jin finally grabbed his father's wrist on the last attempted punch. He squeezed. Kazuya grunted in agony as he felt his bones being crushed. Jin let go and shoved him back. Kazuya's bones healed inside, but the pain still stung.

"Is this what she did? You just used her to gain even more power?" He nodded in Asuka's direction.

"I owe no explanation to you." Jin scanned the ground again and finally found what he sought before his father arrived. A dark purple orb floated into his hand. He suspected it might affect Kazuya. "Catch," he tossed it into his father's direction.

The purple devil dodged upon suspicion of his son's scheme. However, Jin purposely seized the opportunity to strike his father several times, throwing him to the ground. The orb came to Jin once more, and he placed it in his Kazuya's right hand. The elder Mishima began to scream as he felt his devil power ripping from his body as the dark sphere absorbed it. He lost consciousness as he became human once more. Jin eyed the orb closely for a few moments. The dark power inside preferred to stay where it had gone instead of joining the rest of him.

"Jin, what did you do to him?" Asuka asked.

He snickered. "Me? His devil left of its own accord."

"Why?"

He stared a bit longer, holding the orb. "This one suffered more than mine, and his power greatly weakened in that body. He is tired and ready to rest." Jin walked over to her. "Take it," he commanded.

Asuka looked at him with quiet alarm. "It's dangerous."

"That is why you need to purify it before I destroy it. My blood is too corrupt for me to do it myself. Take it."

She grabbed the sphere and stared down into it. At first, nothing happened and as she was about to ask Jin what she was supposed to do, she remembered Melissa's own conviction in encouraging Asuka. She focused. The purple changed to clear, easing the evil power's hunger and pain as she had done on Jin himself moments ago. Jin picked up the Yoshimitsu sword and pierced it. A tuft of smoke exhaled, rendering the magical orb useless.

"Come on, let's go," he told Asuka.

"What about him?" she gestured to Kazuya's direction. "…and Melissa?"

"Kazuya? He's the second most powerful man in the world. He'll be fine."

"You're just going to leave him here?"

Jin rolled his eyes. "Let me get you and Melissa up first. I want a word with him before we leave." First, he lifted Asuka, then returned for Melissa's parts and left them in the care of his cousin.

"Hey!" he shook Kazuya's body.

Kazuya woke up and backed away several inches. "What more could you possibly want from me, you monster?"

Devil Jin chuckled evilly. This moment tasted too good. "We're leaving," he admitted more seriously. "I spare you this once. I did the same for Heihachi, and much as I may hate you, the reasons are different. My wrath is not as strong. However, if you seek to take my power or to destroy me, ever again, I will kill you. Without hesitance and without mercy."

"Don't expect me to go quietly into that good night, Jin."

The younger Mishima scanned his father's face for a moment, hiding his recognition of those words from many months ago. Both beings in the body already knew Devil carried some of Kazuya's traits in him. "Is that a threat? Because I can solve the matter right now."

Kazuya looked away bitterly. "Why? Why do you have so much power?"

Devil Jin snickered. "Several reasons, but it's not a conversation I wish to have with you." He grabbed Kazuya by the right forearm and threw him upwards out of the crater. He examined the location one last time and picked up the Yoshimitsu sword. "I'll return you soon. Let's go."

He ascended out of the crater to meet up with the others and saw Zafina and Nina, both looking exhausted. Zafina collapsed forward at the sight of him. Jin returned to human form. "What have you done?" the woman who called this place her home managed, with difficulty, to ask.

"I put an end to things just like I told you I would. The details make for a long story and perhaps one day, I can tell you, but I have several matters I wish to attend to first." He walked over to Nina. "Are you alright?"

She smiled, relieved to hear such a question considering the color in his eyes. She was holding herself up better than Zafina. "You're not dead."

"Change of plans," he admitted.

The group saw Zafina returned safely to her village, left Kazuya to his own devices, and were aided by the Tekken Force to return home.
Here's the next-to-last chapter, wrapping up some things in Egypt. The full version of the chapter image can be found here: Break the Chains.
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