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World of Light: The Subspace Emissary II

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Author's Notes:

Wow! 100 chapters in the span of over two years? That's awesome, even for me!

But yeah… aside from that, thank you guys so much for sticking with me all this time, as well as all the positive feedback and reviews you left behind. It really helped me grow as a writer and an artist, and the criticisms you gave made me improve overall~!

I know updates are slow for the time being, but I can assure you I'm working the best I can. There are going to be more chapters along the way, as well as old and new video game universes and new fighters revealed. To think this story started off as another Subspace Emissary sequel written online shortly before the teaser trailer of Smash Ultimate arrived. It might take a while until the entire story is completed, and once again: thank you for all the positive feedback.

"Alright, people," Cali told the Skylanders. "Are you all ready to go?"

"I'm actually having second thoughts about this whole trip to the Monstrous Isles," Flynn replied. "I mean, I don't wanna get crushed by some Titans walking around like a bug!"

"None of us do, Flynn," Cali advised, aware that the Mabu trying to woo her for her looks trembled upon the thought of a Titan's foot squashing him. "But it's necessary that all of us pitch in to retrieve that pendant Master Eon insists we should get."

"I'll get that Ancients's Eye!" Hat Kid proclaimed, raising her hand as she vowed to volunteer to retrieve it. "Those Titans won't suspect a thing thanks to my small size!"

"Those Titans aren't the only thing you all have to worry about," Hugo explained. "The Trolls living there are savage and vicious, monsters that only hunger for the blood and damned screams of their enemies with no sympathy whatsoever! Even Kaos couldn't control them, so he banished them to the Monstrous Isles in the hopes they would get eaten by the Titans. But rumor has it: they somehow survived and are living on the beaches, waiting for a new day for them to rise with the forces of the Darkness!"

"That's nothin'," Bowser answered, his claws patiently drumming on the handle of his hammer. "My minions are far more dangerous, and I've seen worse from other enemies."

"Yeah!" Sonic added. "We'll clobber these guys by a tenfold into next week!"

"But what about the academy?" Jet-Vac objected. "A thought has been circulating around my head that Kaos might learn about what we're trying to do, and he might destroy the Core of Light while he's at it."

"Yeah," Stealth Elf agreed. "As long as that Sky Eater is still out there, we're sitting ducks. Maybe it would be best if some of us stayed behind to look after the Skylander Academy."

"...I think Buzz and Mags already got that part covered," Roller Brawl advised, her pupil-less eyes gazing over to the blue hedgehog as he stuck his thumb up for what she was trying to do. "They may not have any of the ten elements like we do, but they're no pushovers. If they could, they and everyone else living here could fight back against any intruders that plan to destroy the Core of Light."

"And how would you know that?" Alchemo asked, his floppy ears and long tail twitching with exaggeration.

"...Well, judging from these guys, it looks like they can clear obstacles in no time flat," Roller Brawl said in response. "Besides, it's necessary that we all pitch in on our journey to the Monstrous Isles and retrieve that Eye of the Ancients. Personally, it would be best if we all worked together instead of just a couple guys going out and getting squashed like bugs. I mean, you never know what's gonna happen."

"Don't y'all go around worryin' about this here academy's butt!" Mags told the Skylanders, her face poking out from a reasonable distance so they could see her wielding her large wrench like a sword. "Maybe that pink-haired vampire's right. Buzz and I, everyone living here… we will be protectin' this place to the death, no matter what! Now go out there and retrieve that Eye of the Ancients!"

"We won't let you guys down!" Cali replied, saluting the inventor as Flynn started up the ship. "Now let's move out!" The wooden plank was pulled up back onto the large aircraft, and all the Skylanders started the Rift Engines in their vehicles. After getting them warmed up, Viridi's Voice shot out a Life Element Rift in front of the dock, and everyone drove through it while Master Eon's spirit watched from a distance.

"I wish good luck upon the Skylanders, both the remaining SuperChargers and all who have been eliminated," Eon sighed, his gaze fixed on the shining Core of Light. "I just hope the Skylander Academy is in good hands until they return…" As a small clump of clouds and tiny islands passed by above the academy, Jevil watched upon the lack of suspicions of all who lived there. The jester extended his gloved hand, granting permission for one of the spiders released into the institute to float up to him on a string of web and land into his palm.

"Oh, I won't dream of that day, graybeard," Jevil softly spoke as he played with the spider in his hand, his pointed yellow teeth still showing through that grin of his. "At least… not until after the final chaos." The jester disappeared in a white flash shortly after.

The golden sand on the Monstrous Isles was boiling to the point where it could cook the toughest of meat thoroughly, even though the sun was just beginning to set and the temperature in the salty ocean waters was beginning to drop. Tiki torches were laid out across the shores, lighting up pathways to straw huts and large pieces of armor that were as large as a house. A large town made entirely out of sand and shells also stood present. The Rift Pit opened emerged in a large tropical forest beside the beach, and the Skylanders emerged into the bushes while Flynn's ship flew over them.

"Whelp, looks like we're here," Jet-Vac told everyone as he got out of the Jet Stream, pulling out a tablet he carried along to contact Cali in the air.

"Do you all remember the plan?" Cali asked through the transmission.

"Yeah," Sonic replied, sitting on the hood of the Flash Drifter. "Find out where that Eye is, get it, and head back to the academy with it."

"And beware the trolls!" Hugo advised, taking over for Cali in the video chat. "Almost as equally as the Titans… Good luck, Skylanders." The transmission ended, and the vehicles each transformed back into their Rift Engines and placed themselves in the hands of their SuperChargers.

"You all heard what Hugo said," Jet-Vac notified the team, blowing away the large leaves in their way. "We should avoid any danger upon confronting the trolls."

"Anybody want to guess these trolls are gonna be just as ugly as those giants?" Bowser asked, swinging his mallet to tear down the plants in front of him as the other SuperChargers snuck straight ahead. "They might have a disgusting mug filled with warts and possibly deformed bodies, and maybe a personality that tells them to kill and eat their kind because of how awful they look." The Skylanders stopped walking, their faces showing emotions of concern as they stared at Bowser with questionable intent.

"Hey: it could happen to anyone that's been stranded here for how long. I'm just another rookie," Bowser replied. Roller Brawl pushed a bunch of thick leaves in the way, and everyone shielded their eyes from the light shining bright upon the beach. What they found instead of their expectations were short, half-naked trolls that were tanned yellow and wearing grass tutus. Some were relaxing on the beaches under huge umbrellas while others were walking along the shore with coconut helmets and sharpened sticks.

"Hm… Was expecting something else," Bowser corrected. "Oh well." The Koopa King was about to march forward and clobber all the trolls in sight, but Kirby ran up to him and stopped him from doing anything dangerous.

"Poyo poyo poyo-po," Kirby explained in his own language.

"Kirby's right," Fox McCloud advised. "They may be trolls, but they're clearly living their own lives. Best we can do is stay low and not attack instantly."

"How do you even know what this puffball is saying?" Bowser asked. "None of you can understand him… unless you've got telekinesis like Mewtwo." The Smashers and the Skylanders pointed straight ahead, showing the Koopa King that the trolls were simply relaxing on the beach and not so much as attacking anyone.

"Then how do you explain that?" Bowser objected, pointing his claw at a seagull that was just minding its own business until the armored trolls marched up to it. The troll quickly stabbed the seagull before it could fly away, forcing the group to cover their eyes. Kirby slowly came to a sudden realization that maybe he was wrong. The trolls then put the seagull's body in a bag, with the one who killed it communicating through hand gestures and grunts to take the sack away.

"...They could still not be as vicious as we originally thought," Sonic chuckled with nervousness in his voice. "I mean, they won't attack any enemy on sight unless we're wrong again…"

"Maybe they could work like the Piglins in Minecraft," Banjo advised. "We can only pass safely if we give them something valuable… like a buncha pearls."

"A bunch of pearls?" Mewtwo asked, reading the minds of the trolls to gaze into their deepest desires, which was obviously treasure of any kind. "...Despite how crazy it sounds, I believe this could work…"

"Banjo, I don't know if that might actually- and you're already doing it, aren't you?" Kazooie advised before Banjo plucked several low-hanging fruit from some nearby trees, and he ran out with the gifts to catch the attention of the trolls.

"Uh… hello, fellow... natives," Banjo greeted, sweat dripping down the brown fur on his head. "Lo and behold, we are but simple travelers who bring treasures in the hopes our generosity will be enough to persuade you to let us roam free on the islands ruled by the giants you fear…" The trolls stared at the strangers in confusion, forcing Kazooie to plant her head into her stone dagger-filled wings in embarrassment.

"Whelp, they're dead," Ridley whispered, watching the bear-and-bird duo attempt to persuade the natives.

"Not quite," Alchemo assured, paying close attention to what the trolls living on the beaches were doing. One of the armored trolls took a luscious green fruit from Banjo's arms, sniffing it and examining it.

"This fruit native to Monstrous Isles only," the troll spoke in a slightly strange accent, more sweat pouring from the bear's forehead. "Not uncommon we receive fruits from here all the time. But we take what we can find to appease Titans." The troll grabbed all the fruits from Banjo's arms, allowing another troll to open up a sack so he could pour them in.

"Appease the… Titans?" Kazooie asked.

"Titans have ruled islands for hundreds of years," another armored troll in the small squad explained, bearing nearly the same accent and speech impediment. "We once fearsome monsters that feast on other trolls. Ever since little big-head sent us here, we have been forced to serve all Titans who live here. Now we have forgotten our old ways, but we won't hesitate to fight if treasure from Thunder Tow is stolen."

"Thunder Tow?" Banjo questioned, losing his nervousness as the trolls gave him and Kazooie the scoop.

"King of Titans," a third troll proclaimed. "Hoards whatever we give him as he rests in fiery mountains with his soulmate."

"Then I suppose you know something about an Eye of the Ancients," Kazooie formally interrogated. "Maybe you can understand better this way: some sort of green pendant. We're looking for it since… it's kinda important."

"We do know about green pendant," the first armored troll answered. "It under Thunder Tow's possession. He no part with it, and he command us trolls to kill whoever steal it. However, you are welcome to explore islands and relax. We no attack unless it personal." The other Smashers, Hat Kid, and Skylanders poked out of the trees from the jungle, letting the trolls become aware of their presence.

"Oh, don't worry," Kazooie advised the trolls, turning her head backwards in the hopes her friends would be safe. "They're with us. All those fruits: we're paying for everyone visiting here. Within… the Monstrous Isles…"

The group got a free pass onto the islands after that encounter, and there were wandering inside the sandy walls of the town. The streets were hardly crowded, and every building and bazaar stand was either decorated in different colors of conches or had a roof that was all shell.

"You know, I gotta admit: these trolls really are committed to living in such awesome-looking houses," Sonic figured out, admiring the architecture of the town in so many directions from the Skylanders. "I was kinda expecting them to go crazy after living here all their lives, but… I'm honestly really glad to have seen them evolve like this."

"Well, I'm not glad that there's so much sand," Pit whined like the young child he is, kicking the particles out of his sandals. "I hate it! It's coarse, rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere…!"

"Pit, relax," Stealth Elf considered. "We don't like sand either, but it's kinda the point. We're at a beach town that's made entirely out of sand."

"But how exactly are we gonna get that Eye of the Ancients?" Pop Fizz asked. "And the guacamole? I haven't seen any ever since we got here. Might be false advertising too…"

"Pop Fizz, I don't think these guys even have any cable," Roller Brawl corrected, crossing her arms over her chest. While the Skylanders were wondering what to do around here, Kirby turned towards an alleyway and discovered a couple of trolls carrying baskets full of exotic fruits. The baskets were overfilled, leaving a watermelon to fall to the ground without breaking. The pink puffball's mouth began to water as he imagined the refreshing taste of watery fruit juice invade his taste buds.

"Ah~!" Kirby squeed, his eyes glittering with joy. "Suika…!" The pink demon strayed off from his friends without knowing, and he waddled off towards the alleyway. Mewtwo was the only one who seemed to notice.

"Kirby, get back here!" the Pokémon ordered with his telepathic abilities. This caught the attention of the other Skylanders and the alien girl, who spotted Kirby slipping into the alley.

"We better follow him," Hat Kid informed her friends. "He might have found something interesting." The alien girl dashed straight ahead to follow the pink puffball, and Alchemo and the SuperChargers went after her to see what was all the holdup. After passing through the alleyway, they saw Kirby inhale the whole watermelon and swallow it. The pink alien wiped his lips and chased the trolls that were carrying the baskets, eating the fruit they unknowingly left behind on the ground. Eventually, the group followed the trail of fruits to an enormous cage made out of palm tree trunks tied together with vines and sap, which towered over them by four stories. Inside the cage was a sleeping canine beast that was twice as large as Flynn's ship, bearing shark-like fins that served as wings in a way. The party peaked out to catch a glimpse of the dormant beast, surprised by the massive size of the thing.

"Wowie! That Titan sure is big," Roller Brawl murmured, amazed by how the creature looked as the trolls dumped the baskets of fruit into the cage through the bars that were wide enough for them to pass through.

"I'll say," Fox replied, snatching the tablet from Sonic's back to communicate with Flynn, Cali, and Hugo, who were all in the air waiting for the Skylanders to retrieve the pendant. "Hugo: any idea what that strange creature those trolls are feeding is?"

"I may not have a broad knowledge on Titans, but I believe what you're currently seeing is the terrifying Pterashark," Hugo answered through the transmission. "Think of it like Thunder Tow's and Beachcomber's pet dog in a way. It tends to act playful but destructive, and will only fly back to those two Titans. Maybe you can use that Pterashark to hitch a ride to those Titans, if you're up for the challenge." The transmission ended, leaving the Skylanders with the only option they've got to get to Thunder Tow and steal back the Eye of the Ancients.

"Hey! Looks like the trolls are leaving," Stealth Elf whispered as Mewtwo pulled Kirby back to the team with his telekinesis once the pink puffball got distracted by the fruits lying on the sandy ground. "So what's the plan in getting this mutt to take us to Thunder Tow?"

"Maybe we can find a way of creating some kind of potion that can drug the Pterashark and use it to-" Alchemo explained, pulling out a notebook and sketching out the plan before Pop Fizz interrupted him.

"Made some kind of potion that will get that dog to take us to the other Titans!" the blue gremlin proclaimed, having already worked on a fizzy potion that was colored cyan shortly before Alchemo began to plan things out. "Oh. Looks like somebody had the same idea…" Alchemo closed the notebook with a small bit of jealousy that an older Skylander did the exact same thing.

"This will work," Fox touched on, taking Pop Fizz's potion from the gremlin, along with some fresh-green vines hung on the wall they were hiding behind in. "Alright, listen up: there aren't any trolls right now, but they'll be coming back, which means we have to act fast. I'll be sneaking into the cage while you guys secure all your vehicles. You toss me the strands of rope and I'll tie them all to that monster's collar before feeding him a fruit that's filled with this potion. Hope it works, Pop."

"Don't sweat it," Pop Fizz responded. "Even I dunno if this thing works since I never really tested it on anyone, including myself…"

"Just secure all the vehicles," Fox sighed, tossing his Rift Engine and the rope to Hat Kid before sprinting straight towards the caged, dormant beast. The alien girl threw Fox's Rift Engine onto the sandy ground, respawning the Land Master. Hat Kid threw out different parts of the rope to the Skylanders as they got their own Rift Engines and summoned their vehicles back just so they could tie them up. Once all the vehicles were secure, Sonic grabbed all the ends of each rope and dashed towards the Star Fox mercenary.

Fox squeezed himself through the bars since they were so wide, sneaking past the piles of fruits that were starting to slowly decompose as he tried not to wake up the Pterashark. The anthropomorphic kitsune took out a fresh watermelon and used one of the claws on his fingers to cut a hole into the melon and pour the potion through it.

"Hey, do you need this?" Sonic asked, having already zipped past the wooden bars and offering his close friend the ends of the ropes.

"Thanks, buddy," Fox thanked, grabbing the rope and rubbing Sonic's head for a quick second before the blue hedgehog ran back to the Flash Drifter. The mercenary pushed the watermelon into the Pterashark's massive teeth, hearing the soft growls coming from the Titan's throat. The Star Fox mercenary got up on the Pterashark's back by jumping high, and after he secured all that rope onto the collar he ran out of the cage and got into his Land Master.

"Is everyone ready?" Jet-Vac asked as Hat Kid held on tight to the sky baron's back. The SuperChargers started their engines, with Alchemo climbing onto the Phazon Hunter.

"Hey, it's waking up!" Bowser exclaimed, having noticed the massive beast was slowly opening its eyes and licking its lips.

"Are you sure this potion is going to work?" Pit asked Pop Fizz. "It doesn't look like we can open the cage since there doesn't seem to be a door…"

"The beast's jaws look powerful," Mewtwo telepathized. "Should the creature wake up, it might have enough strength to tear down the cage with ease." Just as everyone prepared themselves, the Pterashark was starting to shake its head and stand up. Its eyes shot wide open, transforming from yellow sclera to spiral-shaped blue eyes. Its face was tinted a slight shade of red, and a furious temper arose from the vicious beast.

"Uh… Pop Fizz, are you sure the potion was supposed to work like that?" Sonic asked. "Because I don't think it was."

"Oh, I'm sure it's fine," Pop Fizz answered, with everyone else getting nervous that the Pterashark was about to go berserk. "I made this potion 100% foolproof, so there is absolutely nothing that can go wrong." Soon enough, something did go wrong as the Titan roared as frighteningly as a tyrannosaurus rex, and it tore apart the wooden trunks bound together to keep it inside with its strong jaws. The colossal beast flew hard and fast through the sandy walls in front of the team, dragging the vehicles tied to its collar without any warning whatsoever.

"Everybody, stay focused!" Mewtwo telepathized, flooring the gas lever on Giratina's Quad as he used his telekinesis to tame the beast as best as he could by tugging on the collar roughly. The Pterashark soared high into the air as a response, yanking the Skylanders and their vehicles high into the sky so hard that all the Land, Sea, and Sky Vehicles were destroyed in puffs of colorful smoke.

"Okay, I have to confess: I did NOT think this through when I made the potion," Pop Fizz apologized as everyone that couldn't fly fell to their deaths hundreds of feet in the air.

"You think!?" Kazooie exclaimed, both she and Pit flapping their wings as hard as they could. Sonic's Air Boots activated and helped him fly, much to his surprise. Jet-Vac and Ridley used their own methods of flight while Mewtwo used his telekinesis to grab the rest of the crew while they caught every single one of the recharging Rift Engines.

"Okay, it was my fault for suggesting the idea to tie all our vehicles to that thing…" Fox sighed in guilt. "I didn't know that it would go crazy."

"Should be sorry, Fox," Hat Kid answered. "Where's Pit?" The Skylanders looked down to see the angel falling below them, surprised that Mewtwo couldn't get them all like before.

"Come on, Gifts of Flight… Lady Palutena… answer my prayers…!" Pit groaned, flapping his white wings harder as he kept falling. The only Pokémon on the team was about to use his psychic abilities to grab the angel, but Pit's wings began to glow before anything else happened.

"Pit, are you alright?" Ridley asked, he and a few of the fighters surprised Pit was finally flying without help once again.

"I… think so," Pit answered, looking at his back in surprise that he was gifted with flight. "But if that's the case, then… Lady Palutena! Can you hear me?"

"Pit…? Pit!" Palutena's voice echoed in worry, the top half of her body coming into view through a golden, transparent appearance. "Thank the stars you're alright, Pit! I've been trying to communicate with you for the past eight hours! Everyone in Skyworld is disconnected from the human realm, and I can't use my own powers to get down there!"

"Yeah… that's kinda why all of us are here," Pit explained. "You see, there's something screwing up the portal network across the multiverse by eating up everything, and we know the source is here at Skylands. We're doing the best we can to get back home."

"Uh, I don't mean to interrupt your little chat, but the Pterashark's getting away," Sonic advised. "We should follow it before we lose the location of Thunder Tow." The group saw the Pterashark soar into the distance, and Mewtwo flew straight after it with all the fighters that couldn't fly trapped within his telekinesis. Palutena's golden figure disappeared without warning, but she was still assisting Pit with her powers as best as she could as he and those that could fly soared straight to where the dog-like Titan was going to rest.

The raw magic inside the Sky Eater was pulsing like a rapid heartbeat, pumping around the bright figure trapped inside it. The individual that was known as Nefarion began to take on a more detailed structure, down to fingers and toes. The face was still blank, but empty red eyes flashed onto his face. Locks of medium-length, messy hair of pale gray with tints of brown glimmered bright, and streaks of the violet magic from the Darkness seemed to clothe the mysterious figure like some sort of hooded cloak.

"Looks like someone's in a good mood for some chaos, chaos," Jevil laughed, having watched the whole transformation by himself. "You really are eager to shed the prison you have been kept in for so long, haven't you Nefarion?"

"Why yes, I am," Nefarion replied, the figure now having the ability to move around freely and even float out of the glassless container keeping the Darkness fueling the Doomstation. "Even though my physical form hasn't fully recovered yet, I can interact with you anywhere on this ship. Shame the Core of Light is still keeping the Darkness inside me trapped here, meaning I can't leave unless I were to… part from it in some way."

"Oh, but I highly digress about your desirable wishes, wishes," Jevil objected, still smiling in front of Nefarion as a spider crawled around his own arm. "I have no clear evidence to back up what I have to say, but a little arachnid told me that the enemies within the goodness of the light are planning to pry an ancient relic from the Titans and apply it to the Core of Light, fully weaponizing the device that holds the darkness at bay. What an easy victory that would be for those Skylanders. Uee hee!"

"That does sound like bad news," the figure answered, his glowing eyes scrunching a bit in suspicion. "How exactly is this going to affect my powers?"

"Greatly, greatly," Jevil answered in a tiny bit of a serious tone while still retaining his goofy grin. "That Core of Light would have been united with the Eternal Light and Dark Sources and have been released to its full potential: purging you from Skylands once and for all. No you means no freedom for these prisoners. No freedom means no conquest. No conquest… means no salvation."

"Thank you for clearing that up, Jevil," Nefarion replied. "I'll let Emperor Kaos know."

"Oh goody!" Jevil giggled, clapping his hands. "Getting the caged little prince involved! Especially when we are close to victory. Oh, the hilarity of it all!" Nefarion disappeared through the ground, and the jester teleported away in a flash once again.

In another room aboard the Sky Eater, Kaos was getting himself prepped up for the big day. He was still in his black robe, but there were piles of clothing accessories and robes lying behind him. He was currently wearing ruffles on his neck and wrists, standing in front of three mirrors to see how good he looked. He didn't like his current appearance one bit, however.

"This still isn't right!" Kaos snapped, pulling the ruffle on his neck off. "No more ruffles! I mean it!" He threw it behind himself, which landed in Glumshanks's face.

"Sir, that's the 400th robe you've worn in the past hour," Glumshanks advised, dragging the ruffle off his face.

"I don't care!" Kaos yelled. "If I'm going to rule Skylands and the universe as the ultimate supreme overlord, I need to look the part!" The Dark Portal Master threw his arms down, shrugging the ruffles on his wrists off as he stared at his butler. Glumshanks sighed in disappointment, asking himself how he was going to clean up all those clothes. Violet flames faded in view upon the mirrors, and the enigmatic entity appeared.

"Kaos!" Nefarion called out, giving the Dark Portal Master quite a scare.

"Ah! Hey, hey! Do you mind!?" Kaos asked, trying to have the stranger respect his privacy by shielding himself even though he was fully dressed in his formal black robe.

"Apparently, we don't," Jevil replied, teleporting beside the Dark Portal Master and frightening him. "Best keep your mouth shut if you want to hear this crucial bit of advice. Take it away, Nefarion."

"Now then… Kaos, have you recently learned that the Skylanders are turning the Core of Light into a weapon? Shame you should have learned that sooner instead of dolling yourself up. They can't be allowed to liberate me from Skylands, and therefore put an end to all I've accomplished for my plan to consume the sky."

"Uh, Mr. Nefarion? Sir?" Glumshanks asked, starting to feel nervous about this whole situation. "If you eat all the sky in Skylands, doesn't that mean there won't be any left?"

"...What kind of argument are you willing to get across, hairless troll?" Jevil asked as he floated in the air with his belly facing the floor, wondering if Glumshanks was becoming self-aware that this was a mistake. "Go ahead. We're all ears, ears."

"Yes, fool!" Kaos repeated. "What's your point?"

"If there's no Skylands, then there won't be anything to be the ultimate evil overlord… over," Glumshanks answered. At first glance, Kaos began to believe his own butler was telling the truth. This benevolent force that became destructive under the hands of the Darkner's duplicitous mind was surely destroying his own destiny: to become the ruler of the Skylands. With Nefarion's desire to eat away all those floating islands, the Dark Portal Master knew who to blame.

"Jevil… could you come here for a second?" Kaos asked. Jevil levitated closer to the Dark Portal Master, and he was grabbed by the neck and pinned on the middle mirror.

"I don't know what kind of game it is that you're playing, but I've had enough," Kaos interrogated, with Jevil still keeping his smile. "Is it true? Are you really going to destroy my evil goals for someone greater than me?"

"Why would we ever crush all that you desire?" Jevil cleared out, pushing Kaos's hands off his tightly-coiled neck. "Think of it as evolving your dreams. Expanding upon them. Helping you get more than you can ever imagine. After all… everything is just a game, game. A simple chaos. It's in your name, isn't it? This world is a fantasy that you can accomplish with a little effort from us."

"...What are you saying?" Kaos asked, loosening his grip on Jevil as his expression changed to one worthy of some knowledge.

"Jevil's right. We haven't even steered you wrong all this time," Nefarion added, the blackened fog concealing the mirrors and revealing galaxies and planets as far as the eye can see. "Skylands is only just one piece of the puzzle. Why settle on that when you can reach out to so many worlds? Each one in their own contained universe with different rules, waiting for you to take full authority over them." Kaos's eyes widened in complete wonder, his jaw about to drop from what he was told was out there.

"Think about it: we'll be freeing the cage around this world to help you discover true freedom and give you the greatest conquest you can ever imagine," Jevil backed up. "Planets orbiting stars, each one in their own timelines. Rifts left and right have been opening up and feeding on information from each magic system, revealing turn-based strategies, hack-and-slashers, run-and-gunners, platformers, metroidvanias, and far, far more. Oh, so many genres that each world holds, holds! And you'll find out all their secrets once you become their emperor." The darkened aura within the three mirrors each revealed Kaos in a finely-detailed black cloak with golden markings while wearing a laurel crown on his bald head.

"Look at me, Glumshanks!" Kaos gasped as he told Glumshanks. "I'm so undeniably regal! It's perfect…"

"And do you know what else would be perfect?" Nefarion asked, coating the Dark Portal Master in a mist of violet. "The destruction of the Core of Light once and for all." Kaos now saw himself dressed in the clothes depicted in the illusionary reflections generated by Nefarion.

"Yes… It would be perfect, wouldn't it? Perfectly evil!" Kaos laughed triumphantly. His troll butler did not like how suspicious it sounded, and he knew action had to be taken if he wanted what was best for his master.

"Maybe it would be better if the Core of Light purged out Nefarion's presence in the Skylands, Lord Kaos," Glumshanks objected, catching the attention of Kaos as he glanced back at the troll speaking up for him in a way he never thought could happen. "Why are you taking their side? You know this isn't right! It's too skeptical for these guys to give you such an opportunity, despite how amazing this all sounds. Please…"

"Of course, there would always be those who would try to push you out of your way to victory, Kaos," Nefarion responded, with the reflections glaring at the troll in disappointment. Kaos himself looked back at the troll butler, unsure of what to do.

"But he… stood up for me," Kaos spoke in a bit of a softer and more cautious tone compared to how loud and demanding he usually was. "Glumshanks has been with me ever since evil college. We were always together, no matter what. If I were to banish him… I don't know what I would have left of him. Whenever we do evil things together, Glumshanks feels less like a tool and more like a… real person. A person that I torture and mutilate for my own sadistic pleasures and goals, but a real person nonetheless." Jevil chuckled in his throat, unable to fathom what Kaos was thinking about his troll butler. The Dark Portal Master looked up to see the Darkner's black sclera light up with yellow pupils, meaning that whatever that clown thought was not good.

"Then why do you still keep him around...?" Jevil asked, ready to use Kaos's argument against him through his own method of manipulation. "A real person wouldn't be physically abused by his own master unless he only wants to see you happy. To you, he may be flesh and bones, but to me… he's nothing but binary numbers and codes designed to lead you astray."

"What do you mean… lead me astray?" Kaos asked.

"What do I mean…?" Jevil responded, sticking his mittened finger at the blunt tip of Kaos's nose. "WHAT DO I MEAN!? What I do mean, little caged prince, is that you have been losing against the light so many times because the likes of that buffoon you call a 'real person' is nothing more than a pawn holding you back! Because that's all he is. A programmed character in a fictional story meant to drive you off-course from winning the game. Can't you see, see? Your world's a fantasy! Anything you do has no sin, and what difference would it make if you drag that troll out of your life?" Glumshanks flailed his hands in front of himself, trying to discourage his lord from making the wrong choice.

"Do you know why I always evade any real danger?" Jevil continued. "It's because I know everything has no real negative consequences because they, in turn, aren't real, real. That troll should know the difference between his own artificiality and the powers you possess to strip him away from your life. Don't you want to erase this pointless world and move on to the next? Once that Core of Light is eliminated, the Skylands would give up hope. Why would you have any reason to hold back now, especially when we are this close to victory? Embrace it! Accept it! You want it, you use it! The one you call Glumshanks… he and everyone else remains ignorant while you have the chance to accept the nonexistence of your world. EMBRACE THE CHAOS, CHAOS! MAKE YOUR OWN RULES! So now that you know the truth of how sad and pathetic the prison you're trapped in is… are you going to quit the game and abandon everything for the likes of him? Or will you take our side and win?"

Kaos looked back at Glumshanks, now knowing what needs to be done. After all he was told, the Dark Portal Master wanted to disbelieve it. But that, in turn, would make him completely fake… wouldn't it? This is what Jevil wanted: to see how he would react to the awareness he was in a game. Then again… why would he give up this opportunity?

"Ooh… you're both right!" Kaos told Jevil and Nefarion, having come to the truth of his own and realizing there wouldn't be a difference if the person holding him back was kicked out of his life. He turned towards Glumshanks, poisoned by what he thinks of his butler now.

"You have always shielded me from the truth, Glumshanks, and now I know why!" Kaos snapped at his troll with a frightening demeanor. "Well, never again! Do you hear me!?"

"They're lying to you, Kaos!" Glumshanks reasoned. "I never planned on doing such things! I just thought what they're telling you is ludicrous! I was just trying to protect you!"

"Don't give me any more excuses, Glumshanks!" Kaos answered in a furious tone, his hands cracking with violet electricity. "I have known enough to realize this is what you came up with after all I've been told! Perhaps a permanent stay with the Skylosers should teach you a lesson not to double-cross me! As my last order to you as your master, stay out of my life because you're fired!" Kaos used the magic of the portals the Darkness consumed on Glumshanks, zapping the troll with magenta lightning bolts until he disappeared in a flash of white with no trace. The Dark Portal Master stepped back, sitting down on the floor in distraught.

"...What have I done?" Kaos asked, his voice calm and trembling over the abandonment of his most trusted servant. He never even got a teary goodbye from him.

"The only thing that had to be done," Jevil replied, the bells on his hat jingling as he looked down at Kaos, placing his hand on Kaos's right shoulder to give him a feeling of comfort. "It won't be long until we've won." Kaos pushed the jester's hand away from him, feeling most infuriated at him saying all those things.

"Now's your chance to conquer Skylands for the taking," Nefarion told the Dark Portal Master. "And the good news is… no one will be around to stop you from destroying the Core of Light before it's too late." Kaos looked up at the jester, aware that he was the one who started all this. From the development of the Sky Eater to driving away the troll, the Darkner was behind it all in some way.

"Jevil… why don't you go destroy the Core of Light for me and never return to Skylands after you're done?" Kaos asked in a calm tone, wrapping his arms around his elbows as a tear of isolation ran down his cheeks. "You helped me tear Glumshanks out of my life. Now I'm doing the same to you. You did more harm than I could ever imagine. Get out. I never want to see you set foot in the Doomstation of Ultimate Doomstruction again." Jevil looked away and floated out of the room without saying another word to his master, still smiling even though he teleported himself out of Kaos's line of sight.

Jevil levitated through the empty corridors, hearing something loudly pulsing underneath the floor he was over while he was quietly humming the lyrics to his own tune. It seemed to be a mix of madness and entertainment, along with the evidence that he was ready to bring something dangerous.

All around the game of life

We laugh and play and revel

Don't fall off the carousel

Or else you'll meet the devil

All his gathered sin begat

The father to the child

What a mess we're in but now

The joker's running wild!

The jester pushed open a steel door on his left, lowering his feet to the ground and walking across a metal bridge trail filled with holes that revealed currents of turquoise water that glowed underneath. The flowing waters stretched out to the size of a football field, and there were metal crates and boats scattered across its surface. Jevil stopped at the edge of the metal bridge, pulling the incomplete Mask of Power out from his cape.

Jevil then unveiled Kaossandra's Book of Dark Magic, setting it alongside the Mask of Power. He pulled out a fresh cod that was still squirming in the J-shaped tail that was constricted around it. The jester unsheathed the Devilsknife from his chest, hooking the cod's mouth with the tip of the blade and dangling it over the end of the bridge. Jevil granted the cod permission to slide off his tilting hook and land into the glowing water, by which the fish swam around and pecked on the brighter currents around it. It began to grow much larger in size, just about ten feet long. It took on a darker shade from its normal pinkish color and grew larger, glowing-cyan fins and glassy eyes. The lower jaw grew larger than its upper counterpart, with fangs sticking out from its bottom lip. Before it could swim away, something much larger emerged from the water, kept in the shadows as several mouths tore through the fish in squishy, wet sounds and left nothing behind but scales and bones that snowed down upon the murky waters below.

"Now that I've caught your attention, attention… did you bring me what I need, need?" Jevil asked the enormous creature in front of him, his Devilsknife fading into dust. Gagging sounds could be heard from above him, followed by a quick barf at the jester's feet. There, coated in yellow saliva and white bile juices, laid a golden artifact that looked like the top face of a draconic humanoid. Its scowl was one that would strike fear into the hearts of its enemies, and jewels were already embedded onto its forehead that represented the colors of the ten elements, strung together in the following order: yellow, cyan, green, gray, brown, red, blue, violet, orange, and indigo.

Jevil grabbed the last piece he needed and wiped the intestinal juices off it, admiring how it glimmered in the faint light. The jester pulled the book away from the incomplete mask with his tail, and he gripped the silver lower jaw with his hand. Once all the pieces of the mask were assembled, Jevil grabbed the book and opened it, reading the words written in it through the native tongue of Skylands once again.

The Mask of Power began to glow and levitate again, binding its golden piece to itself as Jevil finished the incantation and put the book inside his suit. The eight serpents hissed and shrieked, their gemstone eyes glimmering from the magic spreading around them. As the energy of the ten elements illuminated the dark room, the completed mask floated into Jevil's hands.

"Soon, Nefarion's physical form will be restored, and he'll give me and my summoners what we want," Jevil spoke, taking a good look at the mask he accomplished to rebuild. "By this point, he wouldn't even need the Darkness to survive. As for you… I have a different task for you before I depart from this prison forever. A special band of Skylanders will be coming this way to stop Kaos. Even if you fail to win, I'm counting on you to attack them through other methods. I'm aware of what you're capable of, and I want you to give them something that will affect their way of transportation for days to come…" Twenty eyes glimmered in the darkened chambers, followed by ten distinct pitches of soft growling.

The Pterashark was now resting on blackened sand after the effects of the potion wore off, allowing the Skylanders to land near a mountain no problem. Droplets of lava were dripping from the mountain, giving everyone a sense of consciousness in avoiding where they would step as they would climb to the top. Flynn's ship landed on the shore, alerting the group that their Mabu friends were here.

"We heard you guys followed the Pterashark without your vehicles," Cali noted, hopping onto the black beach while Hugo pushed the wooden plank off to act as a bridge.

"Yeah, and it looks like we're gonna have to wait a while until our Rift Engines are recharged," Sonic replied, his thumb brushing over his tiny Rift Engine. "You can thank Fox for the brilliant plan of tying our vehicles to the mutt."

"Would you just get over it already?" Fox sighed. "I said I was sorry."

"Looks like we're going to have to climb up," Mewtwo explained, feeling the pulsing energy of his Rift Engine as it recharged. "It's going to be a while until we can all leave back to the academy. Ridley? Could you take Hat Kid to the top of that mountain?"

"Why should I?" Ridley asked. "I'm probably big enough to get noticed by those Titans."

"Maybe you are, but Hat Kid certainly isn't," Palutena's voice echoed beside Pit, her radiant figure appearing beside her angel again and catching the attention of the Skylanders. "From what I can learn, she's so small the Titans on top of that volcano won't even notice her, even after she gets what you guys want." Hugo, bewildered by the Goddess of Light's transparent appearance, walked up to her with wonder in his four eyes.

"Are you another Portal Master…?" Hugo asked. "You've got a holographic projection like Master Eon, and you seem so wise and just."

"Um… not really," the holographic Palutena answered. "I'm just here giving Pit combat advice like a goddess is supposed to for all her subjects."

"Shame…" Hugo sighed, sitting on the charcoal sand in disappointment. "I was kinda expecting to see another Portal Master to help us fight… especially after hearing the tales that fell over Skylands."

"...What does that mean?" Alchemo asked. A splitting headache then struck the cadet's head like a blow to the head, and it felt like his skull was about to crack in half. All the teammates saw him keeling over on the sand, his fingers clawing through it as cries of agony smarted him greatly.

"What's wrong with him?" Jet-Vac asked, holding Alchemo up straight.

"There was a potion Alchemo took earlier that should bring back all his memories," Mewtwo telepathized, pressing his fingers on the cadet's forehead and easing him with his powers. "Ridley: take Hat Kid to the top of that volcano. Make sure the both of you don't get noticed. The rest of us will have to get back onto Flynn's ship and prepare to leave."

"Leave?" Flynn asked as Mewtwo and Jet-Vac carried Alchemo on-board. "But we just got here! I wanted to see if they got the guacamole Pop Fizz mentioned!"

"Let's go, kid," Ridley told the alien girl, hoisting her onto her shoulders and soaring high into the air. Alchemo groaned in torment, finally starting to remember the last part of his past.

As night fell over the academy, Alchemo wondered when exactly the Skylanders were going to come back. Throughout these three months, he was spending less and less time from the Outlands for his own safety and he was given more work to prepare how to master his alchemy. But he needed to know. The Golden Queen mentioned following Jevil to wherever he was disappearing to, and there's going to be no time to waste.

While a few Skylanders were keeping watch over the place, Alchemo was brewing up some potions he can use to fight back under a dim candlelight. He began grinding up some herbs, reading through Pop Fizz's book on alchemy, and pouring the right amounts of strange liquids into each bottle. The result ended in an explosive burst of colors that just literally blew up in his face. Alchemo wiped the paint-like substance off his glasses, planting his head on the desk. Another failure.

"What am I getting wrong!?" Alchemo groaned. "I followed every instruction in the book, and I still can't get it right! I'm going to fail in every fight I'm in…" The young cadet's floppy ears picked up the sound of rustling far outside his bedroom window, and he quickly scrambled to get a closer look down below. There, right in the garden, he saw none other than the Golden Queen herself sneaking near the outer borders of the academy. But what was she doing here?

Alchemo got on top of the mattress of his bed, prying open the window and wriggling out. He gripped tight to the irregular gaps between each brick on the outer walls and made his way down, not bothering to finish the concoctions he was supposed to learn. Alchemo followed the Golden Queen to a small vault, where she opened it with her glimmering hands. Alchemo hid behind a bush as the Golden Queen's ruby eyes gazed behind her, lowering her suspicions that she was being watched before she climbed into the Villain Vault.

Alchemo followed her in, holding tight to the rocky sides as he climbed down. His barren feet touched the murkiness of the lower portions of the vault, which was almost enough to make him throw up. The young cadet kept still as he looked behind himself to see the Golden Queen approach the transporter to Cloudcracker Prison. But why would she do that? There were strange disappearances going on, and no one was permitted in it for the time being.

"Time to see if that clown's hiding over there…" the Golden Queen told herself, stepping onto the portal and disappearing in a flash of cyan. Alchemo followed her in, warping himself away seconds after she vanished.

The young cadet stepped on something cold and icy, shivering upon the touch. The room was also dark and empty, as though it wasn't supposed to be like that. Last he remembered, there were supposed to be prison cells that were just Traptanium crystals that were perfectly aligned. Instead, there were silhouettes of lumps scattered across the place in the darkened room, and he was unable to make them out in this place.

"Hm… I don't like the looks of this place," Alchemo told himself, his footsteps dragging across the floor as he tried to piece out what exactly happened to the Cloudcracker Prison. He suddenly heard the sound of footsteps in front of him, and he quickly scrambled to hide behind one of the silhouettes. Alchemo peeked out, trying to piece together that it was the Golden Queen herself traveling around the large room, trying to figure out what exactly she stumbled into… just like himself.

"Strange…" the Golden Queen told herself in the belief that she was completely alone as she walked forward. "I've never seen this part of Cloudcracker Prison before, not even during my life sentence here…" While the Golden Queen explored the place, the young cadet snuck beside her, hidden behind the solid structure, until the both of them saw a faint light in the distance.

"Well, that's new," the Golden Queen continued, walking straight towards the glimmering light. Alchemo began to hear strange, native chanting from the same distance as the light, starting to recognize that same tone and voice. He kept himself hidden as he watched the Golden Queen approach the suspicious part in the prison. Just several feet in front of her was Jevil himself, floating in the air in front of something.

Alchemo spied on the jester reading through a strange book, chanting something ominous as red, blue, green, cyan, purple, and orange snakes slithered around each other while a gray serpent was melting itself into whatever that clown was creating on top of a pillar far away from the silhouettes. His yellow pupils stared deep into every word on the pages, feeling the magic in his gloves growing stronger.

"What are you doing!?" the Golden Queen asked. The lights in Jevil's eyes disappeared, and he quickly shut the large book's cover.

"Why, Your Majesty," Jevil spoke, hiding the book behind his back as the Golden Queen stormed towards him. "What a pleasant encounter from the likes of you! I was just admiring my collection of memoirs in this establishment."

"Where are the other Doom Raiders?" the Golden Queen asked, aware this mischievous trickster was hiding something she isn't supposed to know. "Wolfgang, Chompy Mage, Dreamcatcher, where have they all vanished to?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Jevil answered in the form of a question, not showing any signs of fear as the Golden Queen twice his height interrogated him. "I am using the remainder of my time devoted to preparing a surprise for someone I hold very dear to my heart, but not like you'll care…" The Golden Queen noticed the large book Jevil was hiding behind his back, and she quickly grabbed it for analysis.

"The Book of Dark Magic…?" the Golden Queen asked, looking at the jester with more worry in her head. "This belongs to Kaossandra, no doubt. But why would you…? Oh no." Her glittery claws began to flip through the pages at a rapid rate, afraid of what kind of cookie jar Jevil dipped his hand into. Her ruby eyes shot wide open as she found what she was looking for: an image of the Mask of Power. She glanced back and forth from the pages to the serpents, confirming her worst nightmares.

"...You were trying to bring back Nefarion?!" the Golden Queen snapped, shutting the book with anger rising in her voice.

"I thought it would make you happy, happy, Your Majesty," Jevil responded, his forehead glistening with a bead of sweat. "The arrival of someone boisengirls like you have idolized for hundreds of years would surely benefit you in your conquest."

"But that's the monster who enslaved both the darkness and the light, and we only idolized him as someone we should ALWAYS stay away from!" the Golden Queen objected, planting her foot in front of the Darkner. "I have heard the tales about how all the villains before us Doom Raiders feared him. How he had slain both Portal Masters and Dark Portal Masters alike. How he grew into a cruel and sadistic tyrant that feasts upon the countless deaths of innocent victims in ways you can't possibly imagine, and all for sport with no signs of mercy. Legends say that he was such a malevolent and violent king that the only two Portal Masters we know have survived his wrath before it was too late. To think that you would find all this forbidden knowledge in something as simple as Kaossandra's book is something I can't even comprehend!"

"So you know, know about the Nightmare King too, don't you?" Jevil asked, still keeping his smile as he looked up at the Golden Queen. "I guess you're not the only one too."

"Yes! I mean, no! I don't know… All I know is that he doesn't deserve to be released!" the Golden Queen answered. "Unless… this was planned by you all along, wasn't it? That vial containing the last remnant of the Darkness, the whole thing about the Sky Eater, the disappearances of the Skylanders, the way my subjects were acting weird... I knew that Doomstation would spell literal doom among us all! I have had enough of this." The Golden Queen swung her staff at Jevil, knocking him straight into one of the strange statues still hidden in the dark. One of the statues fell down upon the jester, pinning him down on the floor and leaving the Golden Queen to her wishes. She held the book to her left side.

"No one is going to take over Skylands except me," the Golden Queen declared, her right hand glowing with a yellow light as she prepared to attack the incomplete mask. "This universe isn't big enough for two evils. It's time this Mask of Power is liberated for good." The Golden Queen's powers began to charge more, just upon the verge of destroying the Mask of Power once and for all. Before she released it, a dull thud could be heard above her, and her ruby eyes widened in shock. Alchemo gasped in silence as he finally realized it was Jevil himself who gripped on tight to the back of her head. The jester stabbed her straight in the brow with a brown Traptanium crystal, her frightened face running with sapphires for tears of pain and liquid gold dripping from her wound.

Jevil quietly laughed at the back of his throat, floating off the Golden Queen as she dissolved into a white mist. The brown crystal that Jevil used landed on the ground, and the Golden Queen herself was sucked into it, dropping the Book of Dark Magic. Jevil's laughter grew louder and more insane as he picked up the crystal, opened his cape, and slipped the crystal into his outfit.

"You will sure make a fine addition to my collection, collection," Jevil spoke, picking up Kaossandra's book and admiring the seven snakes. "I have a special spot for Kaos among the Skylanders here…"

Skylanders!? Alchemo thought, suddenly feeling the plastic texture of the statue he was hiding behind this whole time. Suction cups, tentacles, pirate-like clothing… the young cadet's eyes widened in fright as he suddenly realized he was hiding behind the frozen corpse of Wash Buckler himself. Alchemo naturally adjusted his vision in the dark, glancing left and right to see the faces of all the Skylanders that disappeared in the span of three months: Tree Rex. Food Fight. Boomer. Hot Head. King Pen.

All of those missing Skylanders were here. In Cloudcracker Prison.

Alchemo slowly crawled away from the jester towards the portal back to the Skylander Academy, fully aware that Jevil spelled trouble for anyone who crossed him, even the best Skylanders they have. That clown was willing to finish something he had planned this whole time, and there would be nothing that stood in his way. And worst of all… he had the nerve to bring back an ancient horror to Skylands.

An empty glass potion slipped out of the young cadet's badges as he tried to escape, rolling in front of him and alerting the jester almost instantly.

"Well, well, well-well-well," Jevil growled like a wolf on the hunt, pulling out his Devilsknife. "Looks like we have a witness, witness. Cheaters that peek behind my deck receive dire punishments… and it looks like I caught you red-handed." Alchemo quickly jumped out of the way before the jester slammed the Devilsknife onto his head. The young cadet sprinted straight for the portal back to the Skylander Academy, throwing a yellow potion behind himself as Jevil chased him down with spades and diamonds. One of those two current suits hit the potion, knocking the jester back with great force into a few of the Skylander trophies to the point where nine Traptanium crystal shards flew out of his outfit and scattered across the floor in different locations, one of which was what the Golden Queen was trapped in.

The young cadet kept throwing potions behind himself to distract the psychotic jester flying towards him in an attempt to make it to the portal. However, once he even stopped in front of the pad, the cyan light was suddenly fading faster than he could react.

"No… no no no no no no!" Alchemo stammered, his hands trying to touch the cyan light before the portal was disconnected. "Where's the portal!? Where is it…?" A heart flew above Alchemo's head and hit the wall, his head jerking backward to see that crazy clown twirl that scythe around his body.

"Now, ain't that a bummer, bummer?" Jevil asked with malicious intent and a toothy grin. "By the time you and I have started playing this game, Emperor Kaos has recently launched his Sky Eater to devour all of Skylands, meaning my plan will go into full effect once that Doomstation gives Nefarion all the power he needs, needs."

"But why are you doing this?" Alchemo asked, his fingers nervously drumming against another potion he had in stock. "The Golden Queen said that the person you're trying to contact is a killer. What even are you!?"

"All I have to say, say is… there are secrets only I can know," Jevil answered. "Here, in my game, I am never letting you go." Alchemo quickly fled the jester as a rain of diamonds fell down upon him. Jevil kept chasing him down by flying close to the ground, forcing the young cadet to knock over the statues of the ones he once saw as teammates by kicking them down. Jevil began to teleport around as statues left and right were falling in front of him, but he slowly began to realize Alchemo was trying to stall him.

The young cadet's breath was picking up fast as he tried looking for a portal that was still active in this place just to get away from Jevil. Just something. Anything! As luck would have it, Alchemo was being chased through the corridors until he entered another room. As all four kinds of suits were about to hit him, the young cadet quickly shut the wooden doors and barricaded them with a heavy desk.

Loud banging and clawing could be heard on the other side as Alchemo scanned the room for a functional portal, and he quickly found one that was beginning to flicker like a lightbulb. He stepped onto it in the hopes that he could be transported anywhere safe into Skylands. The young cadet gasped as Jevil's scythe broke through the barricaded doors, scattering splinters and wood chips everywhere.

"Boo hoo. Boo hoo, uee hee hee!" Jevil mockingly cried, the blade of his scythe dragging across the floor. "How can you refuse, when you are already playing…?" The jester quickly jerked his head to the sound of Alchemo teleporting himself away, and he knew to follow him before the portal shut down.

The young cadet appeared in the village on another island via portal, just about to relax after escaping certain danger. Just when things couldn't get any worse, he suddenly began to pick up the statistics that there were explosions and screams around him. Just before Alchemo suddenly found out this island was under attack from Kaos's trolls, a cyan explosion flung the young cadet forward when he wasn't thinking about who he was running from.

"You aren't supposed to see what only I can see," Jevil laughed, having followed Alchemo all the way here through the same portal he took at the last second. "Now you will be wishing you regret that action." Alchemo began to feel a swarm of black spiders crawl up his arms and legs, and already his arachnophobia was at an all-time high. The young cadet pulled out a gray potion and threw it on the ground, causing a flashbang that temporarily blinded the jester and gave Alchemo a five-second head start.

"If there's any Skylanders here, please help me!" Alchemo called out, trying to avoid the damage caused by the trolls as best as he could while having Jevil's clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds to worry about.

That island was where he found Astroblast, tried to fly away in his Sun Runner, and got attacked by the jester with a Devilsknife to the head.

Alchemo woke up in shock, gasping for breath as he tried to piece together what exactly happened. He felt Mewtwo's hand back away from his forehead, through which the Pokémon was severely affected by what he saw in that head.

"I remember who I am now…" Alchemo told the teammates around him. Roller Brawl hugged the young cadet in response, happy her student was back.

"We thought we would miss you," Roller Brawl whispered. "We're just glad you remember us again."

"It isn't exactly a happy ending," Mewtwo interrupted, fully aware of what the Golden Queen mentioned. "You know something about Nefarion, don't you?"

"Nefarion, huh?" Flynn asked, running his thumb below his chin. "Whoever this guy is sounds like big trouble."

"You don't say?" Cali replied. "Jevil must be really dedicated to preserving something that would be really useful to us now. Only goes to show he's on no one's side at the moment…"

"Hey, when do you think Ridley and Hat Kid are gonna come back?" Sonic asked, looking up at the top of the volcano. "They've been there for quite a while…"

Ridley's long, metallic bone claws were hanging over the edge of the inside of the volcanic crater, keeping a watchful eye on Hat Kid as she went to retrieve that Eye of the Ancients.

"Just keep your head low and stay out of sight," Ridley whispered to the alien girl, who gave him a sign she understood what he told her. Hat Kid began to climb on a large, pale-red exoskeleton without trying to get noticed. The Titan by which she was sneaking on was relaxing in a lake of hot lava, with a rhino-like plate on his head and miniature, floating broccolis with minds of their own scrubbing off the gunk on his shoulders.

"Listen, Charlene," another Titan that seemed to be a mix between octopus, squid, lobster, and crab spoke in a stereotypical valley girl accent through a conch-like cellphone, relaxing on another part of the lava lake opposite to the lobster-like bodybuilder Hat Kid was crawling on.

"I've been trying to get hold of you for months, and now, like, you're telling me this Kaos person is going to rain on my parade unless Thunder Tow and I leave?" the Titan continued, oblivious to the fact that the alien girl was making her way over to a large, golden trinket hanging around the other Titan's neck.

"Beachcomber, just leave her alone," the lobster Titan told her, building up the cautious factor in Hat Kid's behavioral movement as she gripped tight to the golden chain and climbed down. "She's out of town and there's nothing we can do about it. Besides, why move out of these islands when we've got all the luxury we need? Hey, Broccoli Guys! Did I say you could stop scrubbing?"

"Like, whateva," Beachcomber replied, hanging up her conch cellphone. "I'm not here to indulge in some political agendas, y'know. I'm just here to escape reality with you. Isn't that what vacationing is? Like, I can't escape one minute of realism without Charlene calling me, Thunder Tow…"

"Hey, as long as I'm here running these trolls, that's all that matters," Thunder Tow groaned, reclining on the edge of the volcano and closing his eyes. "Now I just wanna rest in this lava and relax until my shell becomes soggy…"

"Like, yes way," Beachcomber sighed, her tentacle growths lying on the edge of the volcano. "I'll be cruisin' for a snoozin'. Don't wake me up until midnight." Ridley kept watching with anticipation as Hat Kid made her move and got to the center of Thunder Tow's chest. Hanging from his necklace was a green pendant the size of the alien girl, which gleamed underneath the tropical light. Hat Kid held on tight to the outer rim of the pendant, looking down upon the spiritual energies it possessed. Inside that Eye of the Ancients were the Eternal Light and Dark Sources, circling around each other in a harmonious dance.

"What's taking so long?" Ridley asked as quietly as possible. "Just get the Eye and let's go!"

"I'm… trying!" Hat Kid whispered, tugging on the chain the pendant was attached to. "It's… kinda hard to get it off. Can you help me, please?"

"Oh, for the love of-" Ridley softly groaned, flying over to the alien girl and cutting the golden chain in half. Hat Kid grabbed onto the Eye of the Ancients, unable to hold on any longer. The space dragon was quick to react as he swooped down and successfully grabbed Hat Kid and the Eye of the Ancients before he flew down on the side of the volcano.

"Did you hear something?" one of the Broccoli Guys scrubbing Thunder Tow's shoulders asked. Another Broccoli Guy shook his head, continuing to work on washing the Titan.

Back on the blackened beach, Hugo, Flynn, and Cali all got back on board their ship, and all the other Skylanders were crowded on the deck as they waited for Ridley and Hat Kid to return.

"Where do you suppose they could be?" Stealth Elf asked. "We're just about ready to leave…"

"They'll be coming back here eventually," Fox told the elf. "By the time Ridley's got his Rift Engine out, we're getting out of here."

"How can you be so sure?" Jet-Vac questioned. "They might be seafood for those Titans and we wouldn't notice…" The SuperChargers jumped in fright as something heavy landed in the sand, only to be relieved when they saw the Space Pirate holding Hat Kid with the Eye of the Ancients.

"Alright, we got what we came for," Ridley told the gang, throwing his fully-recharged Rift Engine into the water. "Let's floor it back to the academy before any one of those Titans wakes up." The Phazon Hunter emerged from the water, and Ridley got in with Hat Kid on his back. A Rift of the Water Element opened up, and both Ridley's Sea Vehicle and Flynn's ship entered through it.

Mags was wearing her welding mask on her face, using a tiny flamethrower to mend any fissures and cracks on the green shell of the Core of Light. Sharpfin and his Dirt Shark helpers assisted her by tightening every bolt on the ancient relic.

"You know, I must say: you and all the Dirt Sharks are doing a fantastic job prepping the Core of Light for that Eye of the Ancients," Buzz called out to Mags, standing on the sidelines this whole time and still waiting for the Skylanders to return.

"Ya bet!" Mags exclaimed, turning off the welder and pulling off her mask, everyone completely unaware of an ominous silhouette ascending behind the clouds passing through the academy. "Looks like Kaos won't see this one comin'. Just let him try to destroy the Core of Light. We'll be there to whoop his butt into tomorrow!" Suddenly, maniacal laughter could be heard above them, giving Sharpfin and his team quite a scare.

"Well, I thought it was funny," Mags muttered.

"Hello there, prisoners, prisoners!" Jevil called out to everyone in the Skylander Academy, even the Mabu villagers who found shelter here. "Under the last order Kaos has bestowed upon me, I will use the last remainder of my time in this world and destroy the only defense that has protected you from the Darkness for all these years before it awakens to its true potential: the Core of Light!"

"Oh my God… we better get outta here!" Buzz exclaimed, limping back to the academy. Jevil was quick to launch a spade at the Mabu veteran's peg leg, causing Buzz to trip and fall flat on his face.

"Alright, men!" Sharpfin ordered the Dirt Sharks working for him. "You know what to do!" The anthropomorphic sharks jumped high into the air and tackled Jevil to the ground before he used his Devilsknife on the Core of Light. As everyone else living here was running around in panic, Mags bolted straight to Buzz.

"Quick!" Buzz coughed as Mags lifted him up by his waist. "The control panel that operates this island's rocket thrusters is just straight ahead."

"Already on it!" Mags reminded Buzz. "Let's hope Sharpfin and his crew hold that clown back long enough until the Skylanders come back." Just as the inventor said that, all of the Dirt Sharks were scattered into the air by Jevil's brute strength. The jester spun around in a circle, striking all of the Dirt Sharks that attacked him with spades. Sharpfin and his gang fell to the ground, coated in fatal wounds but still alive to cling on.

"Why do all you simpletons cry?" Jevil asked, brushing the dust off his cape and floating towards the Core of Light with the Devilsknife in his hands. "There will be no more tears when all of Skylands dies!" Jevil was just about to reap the Core of Light and destroy it, but a tiny red laser bounced off his blade with great knockback. Several more lasers flew at Jevil, knocking him in the same direction those lasers were flying.

The Darkner got back up on his feet and saw that those lasers came from Fox McCloud, who jumped off Flynn's ship with the other Skylanders by his side. The spiritual form of Eon appeared beside the team, ready to give his best support.

"Your tyranny has gone on for long enough, Jevil!" Eon spoke. "Now it's time we finish this!"

"That's right!" Roller Brawl snapped, ejecting her pink boomerang blades from her arms. "You're gonna pay for what you did to Eruptor and all those other Skylanders!"

"Oh! Oh! Say it ain't so!" Jevil proclaimed, holding his cheeks while looking away with baby eyes as a form of mockery before returning to his usual expression. "Even with a full alliance of just the likes of you, you will still lose the third round."

"Bring it on then!" Bowser roared, small flames fuming out of his mouth as his fingers gripped tight to his hammer. "You're not the first clown whose face I mopped the floor with. Now we're gonna be putting you in a wheelchair when we're through with you!"

"Then so be it," Jevil giggled as the shapes based around all four card suits spawned behind him. "Can you defeat me in this musical battle and save the Core of Light? Cuz if you do so, I'll applaud you for making it this far. Now let's see who the real winner will be in this fight. There's no real strategy to defeat me, so I hope you survive before I unleash my final chaos!"

The jester began unleashing all four suits at the Skylanders. Everyone quickly dodged out of the way while Hat Kid dashed to Buzz and Mags. Roller Brawl and Sonic dashed straight for Jevil as he supposedly sang in multiple voices at once while flinging out diamonds all around himself.

(Up and down and up and down and)

Anything I do is no sin!

(Up and down and up and down and)

Roller Brawl hoisted Sonic into the air so he could kick Jevil with an electrical storm cloud, but the jester was quick enough to react. He was about to impale the squirming blue hedgehog, choking in his grip, with white hearts, but Roller Brawl saved Sonic by throwing her blades at the back of the jester's neck.

(Lead them feed them to the clown and)

So let the chaos begin!

(Lead them feed them to the clown and)

Jevil let go of Sonic and threw out several clubs at the Skylanders trying to hunt him down with projectiles of their own, such as barrels and daggers.

(Up and down and up and down and)

Freedom denies the right to choose!

(Up and down and up and down and)

The blue hedgehog performed a homing attack straight at Jevil, bouncing off and unleashing his lightning kick. The jester was knocked straight into the ground, quickly rolling back up and pulling out his Devilsknife to force the incoming Skylanders to back off. Alchemo crawled over to Sharpfin, pulling him up in the hopes he could still at least walk.

(Lead them feed them to the clown and)

In this game, everyone will lose!

(Lead them feed them to the clown)

Kirby rolled behind himself to dodge a barrage of diamonds, ending up next to Hat Kid, Mags, and Buzz. The alien girl tossed the pink puffball the Eye of the Ancients she carried on her back this whole time, by which Kirby inhaled it and ran back into the fight.

Now we are finally free!

Everyone know the best place to hide

Is insanity!

Jevil danced around in the air, dodging Bowser's hammer swings with the wildest movement before grasping the sides of the mallet that was about to fall onto his face. He pushed the Koopa King back with blunt, icy crystals from his roundhouse kick while he kept singing, fighting, and dodging.

Meanwhile the world will spin!

Hypnotizing, terrorizing

Those locked within!

Jevil felt Kirby's barbed whip wrap around his tail, pulling him straight to the pink demon and he was slammed back and forth on the ground like a ragdoll. Jevil quickly got back up yet again and yanked Kirby off with the flick of his tail, slamming Kirby into the hull of the Core of Light. The severe impact forced Kirby to cough out the Eye of the Ancients he carried inside himself, to which Jevil caught and held on tight to.

Chaos, chaos, let it rain

(All around the game of life)

(We laugh and play and revel)

All these bugs are in my brain

(Don't fall off the carousel)

(Or else you'll meet the devil)

Fox tackled Jevil back onto the ground and rapidly jabbed at the jester's face with his fists while Mewtwo used his telekinesis to pull away the pendant from him. Jevil unleashed a windmill breakdance complete with spades and hearts, only for Ridley to swoop in and drag the Darkner's face across the ground. Jevil kicked the Space Pirate off himself, teleporting into the air and spawning clubs that shot spreading bullets.

I see now a world gone blind

(All his gathered sin begat)

(The father to the child)

That is how I found my mind

(What a mess we're in but now)

(The joker's running wild)

Mewtwo and Pit deflected the bullet's with their methods of reflections, covering for the Inkling, Banjo & Kazooie, and Pop Fizz as they unleashed inky soundwaves, heavy rocks, and explosive potions upon the jester. Jevil unfurled his cape, spreading icicles out of his body and attacking the projectiles.

We're created just to die

(All around the game of life)

(We laugh and play and revel)

Mortal sin's the reason why

(Don't fall off the carousel)

(Or else you'll meet the devil)

Jet-Vac tried vacuuming Jevil towards him with his vacuum-gun, but the jester quickly threw a spade that damaged the sky baron's weapon upon spotting Mewtwo teleport towards the Core of Light with the Eye of the Ancients. Jevil teleported right in front of the Pokémon, blasting clubs through the least amount of expectations.

You can't stop what has begun

(All his gathered sin begat)

(The father to the child)

Might as well have so much fun!

(What a mess we're in but now)

(The joker's running wild)

As all the chaos between Jevil attempting to destroy the Core of Light and the Skylanders protecting it dragged on, Alchemo began pulling the last wounded Dirt Shark out of danger. He tried calming down the panicking Mabu as best as he could, even helping Flynn, Hugo, and Cali get everyone inside.

When the light is running low

And the shadows start to grow

And the places that you know

Cut away the afterglow

Mags and Hat Kid had successfully managed to get Buzz to the wooden deck in front of the academy, by which he balanced himself without using his broken peg leg on the steering wheel. The alien girl and the inventor assisted the Mabu veteran by pressing buttons while Buzz cranked the lever. All of this was going on while Jevil kept singing his heart out during the fight.

There's a light inside your soul

Slowly shrinking in the cold

From the truth deep down you know

And yet darker we will go

Can't you see?

As soon as Jevil was surrounded by all the SuperChargers protecting the Skylander Academy, his yellow pupils glimmered through his black sclera once more, soaring into the air as he was shedding the shapes of the four suits around his glowing body. He ascended far beyond the clouds, and the fighters fixated upon the heavens to see a rain of Devilsknives falling from the sky.

(Up and down and up and down and)

Your world's a fantasy!

(All around the game of life)

(We laugh and play and revel)

(Up and down and up and down and)

Your world's a fantasy!

(Don't fall off the carousel)

(Or else you'll meet the devil)

Pillars of light flashed wherever each Devilsknife landed, dealing devastating blow after devastating blow. One of them managed to knock Mewtwo back and separate him from the Eye of the Ancients he was carrying, and he had no time to protect the pendant as he teleported himself to the Core of Light and protected it with a psychic barrier. It was Roller Brawl who quickly grabbed it and began skating her way towards the green dome.

(Lead them feed them to the clown)

Your world's a fantasy!

(All his gathered sin begat)

(The father to the child)

(Lead them feed them to the clown)

The best place to

(What a mess we're in but now)

(The joker's running wild)

(Up and down and up and down and)

Hide is insanity!

(All around the game of life)

(We laugh and play and revel)

As Buzz, Hat Kid, and Mags helped boost the thrusters moving the Skylander Academy at max speed, Roller Brawl tripped and fell from the turbulence. As soon as the rain of Devilsknives stopped, the Skylanders looked up in fright to see a colossal Devilsknife the size of the entire island fall upon them with the overlying fear that it was going to be something disastrous.

(Up and down and up and down and)

(Don't fall off the carousel)

(Or else you'll meet the devil)

(Lead them feed them to the clown)

(All his gathered sin begat)

(The father to the child)

It was a race against impending doom as Roller Brawl picked up the pendant and quickly skated over to the Core of Light, leaving Mewtwo to open the barrier so she could place the Eye of the Ancients over the geyser of light. The Pokémon flew straight into the air with the scythe by his side, hoping to stop the enormous Devilsknife before it was too late. Everyone else in the Skylander team pitched in with their own powers, hoping to defeat this jester once and for all.

(Lead them feed them to the clown)


(What a mess we're in but now)

Your world's a fantasy!

A blinding light engulfed the whole place as the gigantic Devilsknife was just about to land on the academy, and everyone was just fearing for the worst to come. However, the place looked like not a single scratch was located anywhere. Mewtwo was only a few feet above his comrades, and everyone watched as a wounded Jevil with torn clothes and blood marks all over him landed in front of them.

"Did… did we… win?" Roller Brawl asked, moving her hand away from the Core of Light. The Eye of the Ancients was placed on top of it, creating a glorious rainbow made out of the ten elements through the made jewel. The vampireress stepped back, amazed by what she had done.

"I think we did," Sonic answered, walking up to Roller Brawl and patting her back. Hat Kid left Mags and Buzz to meet up with the other Skylanders, and everyone else taking shelter in the academy opened their doors and windows to make sure everything was safe.

"Yes!" Pit laughed, twirling around in place with joy. "We actually turned the Core of Light into a weapon!"

"Skylands is saved!" one Mabu declared. "We've uncovered the Core of Light's true function!"

"Thank you, Skylanders!" another Mabu replied, followed by cheering and applauding from everyone living here. The SuperChargers all thought they did a good job, and they could finally relax after the Core of Light was prepared to destroy the Sky Eater once and for all.

That is… until they heard soft laughter coming from the injured jester.

"What's so funny?" Bowser asked. "We beat you. We won your stupid game throughout three rounds. At least be glad your kneecaps are intact." Jevil slowly stood back up onto his feet, wobbling as he began to throw up a bit of blood. The jester softly smiled with the intent that he knew something everyone else didn't.

"I didn't say 'OR save the Core of Light,'" Jevil answered. Everyone looked highly suspicious of the clown until they realized something odd had happened to the place by the time it was too late. Rooftops began to crumble upon the academy, cracks were so wide they split a part of the ground in half (that of which also frightened the Mabu villagers a bit), and the Core of Light itself overheated from the slashes on its dome-like structure. It exploded into a horrific, colorful sight, leaving nothing left but burned scrap metal and the ten Eternal Sources.

"No!" Stealth Elf shouted in fright, disappearing in a puff of green smoke and reappearing beside what remained of the Core of Light. "No no no no no! We were so close!"

"But… I… we… what?" Pit stammered in disbelief, he and his Smasher friends examining the damage.

"You know what that means, means," Jevil went on. "It means I take all your victories and add them to my own, which means every round you won was all for nothing. You played the game and you lost, which means I'll play with everyone else too. But not here. This world is already as pointless, pointless as it is. I'll be off in another corner of the multiverse, attending to my other businesses, and I will also be playing with everyone else when I get the chance, chance. Don't worry. You're more than welcome to play again if we ever meet. Until then… buh-bye!" The jester teleported himself out of the place, leaving the Skylander Academy in complete ruin.

While the Mabu and the Dirt Sharks analyzed the damage, the only four veteran Skylanders approached the Eternal Sources with sorrow in their faces. The good news was that the Eternal Sources of the ten elements were still alive. The bad news was that they had nothing left to stop the Sky Eater.

"Hey… we're sorry this happened," Sonic told the Skylanders. "Could… this event have happened because no one from our team was assigned to guard the place? Would things have been different if… you chose to never come with us?" Jet-Vac glanced back at the Smashers, shaking his head.

"It wasn't really your fault," Jet-Vac sighed, his feathered fingers stroking through the Eternal Air Source. "You were just trying to help, like all rookie Skylanders were." A saddened Roller Brawl rolled to Pop Fizz, Jet-Vac, and Stealth Elf to accompany them in their sorrow over defeat.

"We would have lost either way," Roller Brawl answered, her head hung low as all her bright magenta locks became nothing more than the color gray. The vampireress had lost her trait of heroism. The ten Smashers walked away from the quiet commotion with a sign of guilt lingering over them, not paying attention to Hat Kid as she ran over to the four Skylanders.

"What have we done?" Fox asked the group. "This is all our fault. If we hadn't agreed to that stupid game we had to play with Jevil, none of this would have happened."

"We didn't really have a choice," Mewtwo replied. "From the world where he comes from, your decisions don't matter. There is only one ending you can choose, and it has already been routed for you."

"But we can't just let them give up hope!" Pit objected. "This isn't the way the game is supposed to end! The rest of our friends are waiting for us, disconnected in other worlds. Lady Palutena is getting more worried sick by the minute. We could be trapped here forever. I don't want that!"

"Pit's right," Sonic advised the group. "We're still here, meaning the game's not over until we've won. We may have lost against Jevil, but we can still win against Kaos and the Darkness. We just need to find a way…"

"Uh… hello?" a faint voice asked, calling out to help from a distance. "Can anybody hear me? I'm trapped in this vault and I need to get out…" Sonic and Fox could hear the voice beckoning through their enhanced animal senses, and they walked off so they could recognize who it was. Bowser, Donkey Kong, Clementine, Banjo & Kazooie, Ridley, Mewtwo, Kirby, and Pit followed the two anthropomorphic fighters, and they soon made their way over to the Villain Vault, which was somehow untouched by the destruction inflicted upon the academy. Green fingers grasped the bars from the inside of the vault, and the Smashers recognized who was trapped inside.

"Oh, thank goodness," Glumshanks sighed, having been trapped inside the Villain Vault. "I've been trying to call for help the past half-hour. I just woke up here and I can't get out."

"Can you tell us your name first?" Fox asked, wanting to clear up a few things before they go ahead and release the troll.

"Glumshanks," the fired butler answered. "I work for Lord Kaos… well, I used to work for Lord Kaos. After Jevil told him that I was just some sort of robot programmed to take him off the path of righteousness, I was fired and banished here."

"Isn't that good?" Kazooie added. "I mean, we've heard Kaos is rather terrible, from what we heard. Shouldn't you be glad that you're free from him?"

"Not really," Glumshanks confessed. "I live to be of Kaos's service. Wherever he goes, I follow. I actually want to see him claim his dream of taking over Skylands, but… not like this. I know how much you want to get rid of the Darkness, and I support you all 100% despite our differences. That Core of Light sure could have worked if it wasn't for that jester, huh?"

"Alright, quick question: do you know another way to stop that Sky Eater?" Sonic questioned, his arms folded across his chest.

"As a matter of fact, I do," Glumshanks acknowledged. "Well, by knowing another way, I mean I actually don't, but… I know someone who does. Her name's Kaossandra, and I'll help you guys convince her to give you the information you need. You're going to have to get me out of here, though."

"Alright, stand back," Bowser told everyone, swinging his hammer upon the Villain Vault and significantly denting the bars. The Koopa King pried the bars open, and he pulled Glumshanks out.

"Thanks a million," Glumshanks thanked, brushing the black muck off his ragged vest and pants.

"So… anybody up for bringing Cali, Hugo, and Flynn with us?" Ridley asked. "Seems like they'll be the ones carrying the load for us by the time we get what we need to stop that Darkness…"

"I think they're available for the time being," Mewtwo answered. "As for the Hat Kid… looks like she'll be safe here until we return."

The Smashers had just arrived at their destination by their vehicles, with Flynn's ship resting on the edge of the island. The place itself was covered in a dark and gloomy sky, and everyone was standing in front of a humongous and gothic castle that seemed to have a faint pale-yellow aura around itself.

"Can we get going now?" Flynn asked, shivering as he hugged himself for warmth and self-comfort as he and the other two Mabu waited on board his ship. "This place gives me the heebie-jeebies!"

"We're just going to be asking Kaossandra for information," Fox replied as he and the other Smashers walked up the stairs behind Glumshanks. "So… anything we need to know about her?"

"Oh, she loves abusing her own son Kaos whenever he fails to conquer Skylands time and time again," Glumshanks answered. "She tends to spend most of her days alone, but she more often than not invites me over for some tea and snacks. Far better than Kaos, in my opinion. But other than that, she's often cold and calculated. Oh, and would you look at that? She placed a spell over her castle. Great…" Glumshanks and the Super Smash Brothers went up to the large double doors, letting the troll knock on the magical yellow barrier to the tune of "Shave and a Haircut."

"Hey, uh… Kaossandra?" Glumshanks asked. "It's me, Glumshanks. I know we haven't talked for a few months, but… do you think you can open the door for just a brief moment? It's actually very important." A portion of the barrier over the doors vanished, and the lone wolf living in the castle opened the doors and revealed her face to the people in front of her house.

The woman was graced with elderly beauty with some violet eyeshadow on her upper eyelids, a golden choker on her neck, black gloves that covered her arms, and a height that was just about as tall as Ridley if he stood upright. She wore a sleeveless black dress with a large collar that was arranged in more of a V-shaped blouse like a hood. Pink rhinestones were dangling on her chest in the appearance of Kaos's symbol on his forehead. She wore a net that arranged her hair into a beehive wig that looked more like two large horns, and she sported a glare of complete scepticism upon seeing the troll butler with some new faces.

"Oh, great," the elderly woman spoke in a sarcastic tone, recognizing the Smashers as who they currently are. "Skylanders. Just when I thought things couldn't get any better."

"Hi, Kaossandra," Glumshanks greeted the woman, shyly waving his hand. "It's been awhile since we've talked. Look: we really need your help right now, and we don't have any time to waste."

"It's about your son Kaos," Fox McCloud added.

"Oh, that pathetic excuse for a son?" Kaossandra asked. "I don't think I told any of you of how he left me to my own demise, did I? The last time I got in roughs with Skylanders like you, I was trapped in my own mirror. I had to push it over to break out, and it took me ages."

"But we're not like all the other Skylanders you have encountered," Pit advised. "We're new around here. But you're the only one who can help us now. Kaos has built a devastating weapon fueled by the last remnant of the Darkness that entered your world, and we need to stop him before he conquers all of Skylands with it."

"Well, that's none of my business, isn't it?" Kaossandra replied. "At least that brat's doing something useful with his time."

"But it's worse than that," Glumshanks added. "Your son is destroying his own destiny, and it won't be long until EVERYTHING in Skylands is consumed, even your castle. If you don't help us out here, you're going to die along with all of us. Every world and universe out there will be affected because of the destruction of the Core of Light, and there will be nothing to stop him if you don't help us."

"...I don't really care about that," Kaossandra finished. "As long as Kaos is out of my life, I've got nothing to live for. The best course of action, for me, is to just sit back, relax, and leave death to its intentions. You guys are on your own." As Kaossandra was about to shut the doors, Mewtwo activated his telekinesis abilities to get the woman to change her mind.

"I know you remember Nefarion," Mewtwo telepathized shortly before the doors were fully closed. The expression on Kaossandra's face began to change, her eyes widening in surprise as she began to remember that name.


She began to remember herself as a toddler, crying for her parents as she was surrounded by blazing tongues of fire. Her shoulder-length black hair was messy and sooty, and so were her ragged clothes. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she heard the deafening screams of innocent lives around her. The trauma soon faded from Kaossandra's mind, and she quickly opened the door again.

"...How do you know I remember him?" Kaossandra asked, wondering who reminded her of that horrible memory.

"The Golden Queen mentioned you knowing about him," Mewtwo answered. "She said your book preserved his history. Your face says it all: a feeling of fear, anger, vengeance, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It's something having to do with him, isn't it? This whole thing of the Sky Eater… it must be his plan to return to your world. Whoever he is, we need to know so we can put an end to what he did in scarring you for life. And the only way we can do that… is if we stop the Darkness from devouring our worlds with your help." Kaossandra kept silent about the offer, wondering if it was even right for her to assist these Skylanders from different universes. It wasn't long before she stepped out of her castle and shut the doors behind herself, a scowl of determination gracing her middle-aged face.

"Since I can't even use my powers to get anywhere, I'll be telling you where you need to go," Kaossandra replied, walking down the stairs past Glumshanks and the Smashers. "The item you're looking for is at the Arctic Isle, farther than the Outlands can reach. I'll be telling you what I know about Nefarion when we get there (because trust me: there's so much to go on about), but no funny businesses, okay? Once we're done getting what you need, you're dropping me off back here so I can plot something evil again."

"Understood," Bowser replied as Kaossandra coated herself in a magenta aura and floated onto the deck of Flynn's ship. The Skylanders each got in their own vehicles, with Glumshanks holding on tight to the wing of Bowser's Clown Cruiser. The Giratina's Quad opened up a rift to the Arctic Isle, and all the vehicles drove through it with Kaossandra on their team.

The Undead Rift opened up in the middle of a soft blizzard, and Flynn's ship parked itself in the thin blanket of snow while all the Land, Sea, and Sky Vehicles were parked by their SuperChargers.

"Oh my…" Pit groaned, his body shivering as he hugged himself for warmth while walking up to his friends. "I can't feel my legs. Where are we?"

"You wanted to find another way to seal the Darkness, don't you?" Kaossandra responded, floating off Flynn's ship with her magical abilities and leading the group with Glumshanks by her side. "Follow me, but be careful. You'll never know where you might slip."

"We'll be back, okay?" Sonic told the Mabu trio before he and the other Skylanders walked off. "Just stay right there, alright?" The ten Smashers pierced through the chilling breeze, wondering where exactly they are.

"Welcome to the Arctic Isle," Kaossandra introduced, leading them straight into the entrance of what looked like a castle town. "The main island of an entire archipelago, every single one of them sealed in permanent cold. And for good reason too…" The Skylanders could recognize brick households that crumbled from erosion, with stairs and pathways covered in sheets of ice buried underneath carpets of snow. Ragged crags of obsidian could be seen in random parts of the Arctic Isle, polluted with hellish watchtowers and rotting cloaks mixed in with the armor and bones of many different species, some belonging to creatures never before seen in Skylands.

"So… are you going to tell us about Nefarion?" Fox asked Kaossandra. "What you've got against him?"

"Oh, yeah. The information I promised," Kaossandra replied, her face filled with uncertainty on how they would react. "It's just… I never told this to anyone, and for good intentions too. Now that I'm revealing the story to Skylanders, of all people… it's just…"

"Hey. We can handle it," Sonic replied. "We're from other worlds, so we know how to deal with this kind of stuff. We can handle a little backstory of who we're up against." Kaossandra glanced down at the blue hedgehog reminding her there was nothing to worry about, building up her confidence as she, Glumshanks, and the Skylanders traveled across the Arctic Isle.

"You're probably aware of the whole story of how the Ancients sealed the Darkness back through the Rift Engine it came from, right?" Kaossandra began. "Figured that you had already listened to Fuzzbottom's version of the story since you dragged me all the way here. Do you all remember the Ancients leaving the Portal Masters to guard the portals, and the last remnant of the Darkness corrupted half of them?"

"We've read about it," Banjo spoke in response. "So…. yeah. We kinda do."

"Of course you do," Kaossandra continued, pushing open rusted doors to enter a large castle sticking out of a rugged mountain. "What you don't know is what happened during that war between the Portal Masters and Dark Portal Masters. And trust me: every word I'm saying is as real as it can possibly get."

Do you know why the battle between darkness and light began? Well, the truth isn't as far-fetched as one might sound. After the Ancients built their portals after finally getting the Darkness back to its realm, they left an order of protectors to defend these portals and guard the last remnant of the Darkness, becoming the alliance you know today as Portal Masters. However, half of them became corrupted under the influence of the Darkness, giving into its temptations and declaring war on those that were uncorrupted. Thus began the Great War to determine which side would be the winner: good or evil.

That was when  he  was born.


Born between the Queen of the Humans and the King of the Vampires, he was an only child that grew up in his father's care after his mother gave up her life to bring him into Skylands. As bad luck would have it, that relationship between Nefarion and his father didn't last long.

Even though the Vampire King needed to teach his son on how to be a good ruler, he had problems of his own to worry about. The last Nefarion heard from his dad was when he went out to fight in the Great War for the unified kingdoms of humans and vampires he helped create. Whether the Vampire King fought alongside the light or darkness, one cannot say. All Nefarion and I know is that a Portal Master had slain him in battle.

It didn't matter which one for Nefarion. He knew both sides were just the same. Since then, the prince became spoiled real fast, relying on his subjects to do most of his dirty work. Kinda like Kaos, in a way. He was eventually crowned king, but even then it didn't matter much for the townsfolk. They laughed at how ridiculous he was on the throne that kept two kingdoms as one, even if he was sticking to the legacy he promised his father he would accomplish.

Big mistake.

As the years had passed, puberty had been kind to Nefarion compared to how he looked before. He had those piercing, narrow eyes, those messy locks of hair, and looks that would make any girl fall head over heels for him. He looked like what you people call "bishounens" nowadays…

Anyway, even though androgynous beauty had been kind to Nefarion, his change in temper didn't. He still had his episodes of outbursts over every little thing, and he would often punish his subjects for them. He still would keep the memory of his father's death, hoping one day to get even with every Portal Master in sight.

One night, Nefarion left his castle with ten Spell Punks by his side, each one based on the ten elements scattered throughout Skylands. He claimed he wanted to start anew in another isle, and he was a bit more… calmer about it than usual. It was as if Nefarion was starting to realize the consequences of his temper and bettering himself into a well-behaved person. Or it may be something else...

Whatever the big deal was, he eventually settled down in a collection of islands, commanding his Spell Punks to infuse the elements of Light, Dark, Earth, Fire, Air, Water, Tech, Magic, Life, and Undead into a mask that would help him control all the elements in Skylands: the Mask of Power.

By the time the Spell Punks were finished, they helped Nefarion unearth the Dark Rift Engine. In actuality, Nefarion knew the whereabouts of the Dark Rift Engine and knew the Mask of Power was the only thing that could help him in one way or another. Just from unearthing that Rift Engine, the Darkness was released into Skylands once more. With the Mask of Power, Nefarion pledged to give eternal servitude to the Darkness in promise for a kingdom that would make even the glorious Portal Masters weep in fear over.

But that was just his plan all along.

With the Mask of Power, Nefarion found a way to break the deal with the Darkness and use his own body to absorb it. His true reasoning behind it was not as a way to obtain the Darkness's powers… but to show that even the dark would cower beside the light by putting it in its place: under his boot. Nefarion, on that day, gave himself a new title: the Nightmare King.

With his newfound powers, Nefarion quickly grew his kingdom into one of terror, and Skylands was met with a fate a million times worse than the Great War. While his armies did simple peasant work by conquering islands and burning down villages, it was Nefarion himself who ended the lives of all he confronted. Innocent lives were taken by his hand, families were separated, prisoners were tortured till death by sport, and he hunted down every single Portal Master on both sides of light and dark to the brink of annihilation. And it lasted for hundreds of years in a way the Skylands had never seen before.

It became known as the Portal Master Massacre.

I was just a little girl born in this unfortunate time. As I tried seeking shelter within the side of darkness, I learned the whole story about his legacy and how he evolved into something much more than that spoiled, pampered prince all those years ago.

He became nothing more than a heartless bastard who just wanted to see civilizations around him crumble and burn. Any signs of sympathy and mercy he once had were torn away by the countless genocides he caused all these years, breaking out into laughter over every group of Portal Masters he killed. The Nightmare King was just a ruthless psychopath who knew what he had become: an emotionless, sophisticated, manipulative murderer.

It seemed all hope was lost for Skylands. The only Portal Masters remaining were a younger version of me, Eon, and a Mabu Portal Master named Wizbit, who successfully managed to tear the Mask of Power from Nefarion's face and split it into ten pieces.

Nefarion was defeated by that point, and he was imprisoned alongside the Darkness in the Dark Rift Engine within his castle. A curse was placed over his kingdom, transforming the home he made for himself into an icy prison and becoming the Arctic Isle you're walking in right now. After Wizbit gave up his life to ensure the Nightmare King would never return, Eon and I went on separate paths despite having never formally met during that time.

While Eon waited for new Portal Masters from other worlds to arrive and determine the fate of Skylands, I spent my life hiding in the shadows. After I found out Kaos was a Portal Master like me, I began to grow more cautious about the day when Nefarion would return. And it won't be pretty if he does… for he knows he'll come back through that last remnant of the Darkness either way.

"Oh my…" Sonic replied after Kaossandra finished her story, all while the group was walking through the abandoned rooms covered in ice leaking from the broken windows. "So I guess the handsome boy pulled an Order 66 upon the Portal Masters, huh? But like, eliminating everyone regardless of which side?"

"I guess you could say that," Kaossandra added. "However, I've got one more piece of crucial advice I'd like to share with you. There are those who have rumored that before Nefarion left, he dreamt he was in another world far different than you and I can imagine. A place that can only be accessed by people gifted with a glimmer of potential according to a being that lives within it: the Lost Zodiac.

"It was highly believed the Lost Zodiac somehow contacted Nefarion and enlightened him on how everything is just a game and how nothing matters if any punishment that follows isn't real. And the Nightmare King was enlightened by the evidence he can remake a new world from the ashes of the old. But we don't know if it actually happened or not. I guess it's up to the future to decide…" Kaossandra lifted up her hands, unleashing a blast of purely concentrated dark energy to burst open a frozen-shut door in front of the group. Once everyone entered, they finally found what they were looking for: a large Rift Engine that was completely black with some hints of a teal color that was trapped within an icy pillar.

"You want a way to push the guy back to where he came?" Kaossandra asked. "With the Dark Rift Engine, it's possible. Let me just thaw it out for you…" The Dark Portal Master unleashed a magenta laser from her hands to melt away the ice, fully exposing the Dark Rift Engine for the taking.

"Now, are you sure this is going to work?" Kaossandra asked as Mewtwo assisted Kaossandra's telekinesis with his own to lift the Dark Rift Engine from its place.

"We're positive," Mewtwo telepathized. "As promised, once we get this engine to Flynn's ship, we will return you back to your castle."

"Good," Kaossandra replied, making sure everyone was following behind her as they left the room with the Dark Rift Engine. "Because I want it to be moderated just as much as you guys, so I'm letting you off the hook for now. If anyone asks if we did this just this once, we're not speaking of it."

"It's a deal," Fox answered.

Again, thanks so much for helping me grow as I worked hard on this. It's been an incredible journey for me reaching this milestone of a hundred chapters. I hope to finish this mini-arc at some point throughout the next couple weeks. Thank you once again~


DISCLAIMER: I have no rights to the person who came up with the lyrics for Jevil's number (as well as Toby Fox, who did the original composition), and I'm using it under fair use.

The reason why I included it was because I wanted to convey how much fun Jevil is having while fighting against those he calls "prisoners." It goes to show he's not afraid to not hold back his power, and he has no hesitation to declare it's all just a fantasy.