Megumi wiped her bike down a dozen times over before her round began. “Nice and clean, ready to race!” she cheered to herself. A flash of pink light appeared and formed into Rosadera.
“You seem ready for this bout,” chuckled Rosadera.
“I AM ready!” assured Megumi.
“Moradelia’s already taken Arsha to the starting line,” reported Rosadera. “We’re all waiting for you.”
“Then let’s go!” declared Megumi. Pink light enveloped the ladies and the bike and the scene faded to become the first area of Green Hill Zone. Arsha was waiting next to her broom. It was covered by metal armor and had wheels to keep it near and level to the ground. Megumi whistled. “That’s really fancy looking!” she praised.
“Your bike’s not too shabby itself,” replied Arsha. The Chizaran Princesses then gathered and faced the camera, beginning their broadcast.
“I am Rojenthi, the Red Princess of Chizara, and the war-time leader.”
“I am Azuliterii, the Blue Princess of Chizara, and the technological leader.”
“I am Rosadera, the Pink Princess of Chizara, and the peace-time leader.”
“I am Verdutha, the Green Princess of Chizara, and the environmental leader.”
“And I am Moradelia, the Purple Princess of Chizara, and the history leader.”
“This is it, ladies and gentlemen!” cheered Rojenthi. “The final round of the 590,492nd Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale! With this round, we’ll determine who controls First Place prize, the Master Wand!”
“Representing her new home of 8-3-Y-0-N-D-C-1-T-Y,” Azuliterii introduced, “we have Megumi Hishikawa! Representing T-H-3-T-H-R-3-3-R-3-4-L-M-5, we have Arsha Royana!”
“The final outcome shall be determined,” continued Rosadera, “by a race! The course was graciously offered by Sonic the Hedgehog of T-R-4-N-5-F-0-R-M-3-R-5-M-0-8-1-4-N-C-H-R-0-N-1-C-L-3-5!”
“Megumi and Arsha,” explained Verdutha, “must race to the end on their respective vehicles. Whoever crosses the finish line first will take home the Master Wand.”
“Arsha’s broom,” Moradelia went on, “has been modified so both racers will have an equal chance of winning and both racers may NOT interfere in one another’s progress.”
“Arsha Royana, are you ready?” called Rosadera. Arsha snapped her fingers, formed her armor, and got on her broom.
“Ready to win!” cheered Arsha.
“Megumi Hishikawa, are you ready?” asked Rosadera. Megumi fastened her Vortex Driver to her waist and inserted her i.d. tag.
“Henshin!” she announced. She spun the wheel and became Kamen Rider Royal before she hopped onto her bike and gunned her engine. “Let’s get going!”
“Moradelia, Verdutha,” called Rosadera, “if you could take your places at the finish line, we’ll get underway!” Moradelia and Verdutha vanished in green and purple light. Azuliterii, Rosadera, and Rojenthi then lined up along the starting line leaving plenty of space for Royal and Arsha to go between them. “With this round,” announced Rosadera, “we shall determine who will take home the Master Wand! Race with honor, race with pride, and, most importantly, race well!”
“On your marks!” cheered Azuliterii. Royal gunned her engine while magic sparks flew from the end of Arsha’s broom.
“Get set!” announced Rojenthi. The two ladies revved their vehicles in an attempt to psych one another out.
“GO!” called Rosadera. The two ladies then took off, the gust of wind from the sudden acceleration blowing everywhere and tossing the Chizaran Princesses’ hair out of their well-kept states. They blinked in shock once the wind died.
“…Dang, they really WERE ready!” chuckled Rojenthi as the Princesses redid their hair.
The racers had just crossed the first bridge when they started taunting each other. “There’s no shame in pulling out!” laughed Arsha.
“I’ve played this level a few times,” replied Royal. “I know the ins and outs of Green Hill Zone! I’m not giving up now!” As they crossed the second bridge, Royal weaved around the fish robots, Eggman’s Choppers, while Arsha simply barreled on through. “Okay, where did THOSE come from?!” protested Royal.
“I thought you cleared Green Hill!” Optimus snapped at Sonic.
“I did!” insisted Sonic. “I cleared it last night! There’s no way Eggman put more of them there!”
“Then you obviously missed some of them!” growled Shadow.
“Oh, bite me, Faker!” snapped Sonic.
While the two Hedgehogs bickered, the racers took different paths. Arsha took the middle path while Royal sped along the bottom path. After Royal had jumped her bike onto a ladybug robot, a Moto-bug, she rejoined Arsha on the middle path and they both approached the giant stone loop. They accelerated and went around the loop safely. They then left the loop and entered a tunnel that snaked downwards. The tunnel ended at a level path and both racers continued along it, forcing their vehicles to jump at certain areas. Soon the path was totally level and they were approaching the sign at the end of the level! They accelerated as Moradelia and Verdutha went to opposite sides and raised their hands. “Here they come, folks!” called Verdutha. The racers were neck and neck! Five…four…three…two…one…they crossed the finish line and spun the sign!
“She won!” cheered Richard.
“Told you she could win!” called Malnar.
“…Who are you talking about?” asked Richard.
“Arsha, like you,” replied Malnar.
“No, I was talking about Megumi,” corrected Richard. “Megumi won.”
“No, ARSHA did!” hissed Malnar.
“I think I know who won!” snarled Richard.
“Obviously not!” argued Malnar.
“Well, the Princesses can tell!” declared Richard. They turned to Verdutha. “Who won?” Verdutha and Moradelia were busy looking over the footage over and over again. “…You DO know, right?” asked Richard. The two Princesses didn’t say a word.
“Come on!” urged Malnar. “Don’t leave us in the dark!” Still nothing. Malnar and Richard rolled their eyes.
“WHO WON?!” they both shouted.
“We don’t know,” gulped Verdutha.
“The race was so close that we can’t tell,” supplied Moradelia.
“ARE YOU KIDDING?!” wailed Richard.
“Don’t worry, we have someone who can help!” assured Verdutha. She pointed up to the sky to reveal a Sky Spy that monitored the whole thing from above.
“Teletraan 1!” realized Richard. “Megumi told me he does photography in his spare time!”
“We’ll get his help and announce the winner very soon,” promised Moradelia.
The picture analysis took about half an hour as Teletraan took multiple pictures. He had magnified the fronts of the vehicles as they crossed the finish line. Soon, all of the Princesses came to the same conclusion. “I think we can announce the winner now,” declared Rosadera.
“She won by just a centimeter!” chuckled Rojenthi.
“Thank you, Teletraan!” bid Moradelia.
“You’re welcome, ladies!” returned Teletraan.
Everyone had gathered at the finish line once again. Megumi and Arsha stood by their vehicles and awaited the results. “Ladies and gentlemen,” called Rosadera. “We have our winner! The one that crossed the line first by just a centimeter, the new owner of the Master Wand, the winner of this round, the champion of the 590,492nd Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale…” the pause was a good 30 seconds, “…is Arsha Royana, Crown Princess of the entire Mid-realm, Captain of the CRS-2784 Endeavor, and the champion of universe T-H-3-T-H-R-3-3-R-3-4-L-M-5!” Arsha was cheered to the echo at that announcement! “Congratulations, Arsha Royana! You have earned the Master Wand! Tell me, do you intend to use it or is it too powerful for anyone to use?”
“Definitely the latter,” replied Arsha as her spouses hugged her and sang her praises. “That thing’s going into the Realmfleet Deep Vaults. No one must use it. That was the plan I had with Megumi and Optimus.”
“I recall your little disagreement with them before you all accepted our invitation,” chuckled Rosadera.
“Hey, Arsha,” called Megumi. She shook Arsha’s hand, then hugged her. “Congratulations!” bid Megumi.
“You’ve earned that thing,” agreed Optimus. “Maybe it’s better for someone who’s used magic all their life to look after it.”
“Thank you, both of you!” replied Arsha.
“The Closing Ceremony for this tournament is tomorrow morning, relative to your universe’s time-scale,” Rosadera announced to the camera. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for tuning in to the 590,492nd Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale! We’ll see you all in the next one!”
Everyone returned to Vorton, carrying Arsha on their shoulders like the champion she was. She was set down and showered with praise for a good minute. “Okay, okay, thank you all!” called Arsha, holding her hands up and signaling for them to stop. “That was an intense race!” sighed Arsha happily. “Megumi, I was so sure YOU were going to win.”
“I guess just playing the level didn’t help me win that much,” mused Megumi.
“I’m surprised Eggman still had some robots there,” muttered Optimus.
“Well, they weren’t all that strong,” replied Arsha. “Must be prototypes.”
“I know you’ve been inundated with the praise,” interjected Megumi, “but I can’t congratulate you enough. You are an excellent fighter and a wonderful friend.”
“A pity I can’t compete again,” sighed Arsha.
“We’ll still visit,” assured Megumi. “Besides, if we’re both invited again, Optimus and I will need to settle who’s the better out of the two of us.”
“Tell me if you do so I can tune in to your bouts,” answered Arsha.
“And we’ll make sure we keep all of our universes safe,” supplied Optimus. “Besides, we can’t exactly do much without our Keystone Bearers, can we?”
“Not without your NEW Keystone Bearers, no,” replied Batman in his usual raspy voice.
“…New?” repeated Megumi.
“We’ve all decided,” explained Hongo. “We’re passing our Keystones on to four Vortex Riders. We were going to tell you when the time was right.”
“The massively awkward silence tells us that now wasn’t it,” mumbled Wyldstyle.
“What?! NO!” protested Megumi. “You can’t leave us like this!”
“Our stories have already been completed,” replied Gandalf. “We’ve already discussed this with Death. If certain events do not complete themselves, our universes will collapse, even if they’re already branches of the main one.”
“So…you’re leaving us?” asked Richard. “You’re not gonna see Vorton again?”
“Probably not, not until Death takes us,” answered Batman. The Vortex Riders became misty eyed.
“I will not say ‘Do not weep,’” assured Gandalf, “for not all tears are an evil. My time is done. Sauron is defeated and I must return to the Undying Lands in the West.”
“There’s still evil in Gotham,” continued Batman. “While I have others to help me, they still need my guidance.”
“I’ve got nothing but a life full of change ahead of me,” supplied Wyldstyle. “Besides, Emmet still needs me.”
“And Kamen Rider Zero-One, while his jokes are subpar,” finished Hongo, “still fights to protect the two worlds that influenced him. I am no longer needed. My distaste for the generations of Kamen Riders after my time is gone. It’s time to settle down now that Shocker is so fractured that it can only focus on itself.”
“…Will we ever meet again?” sniffed Megumi.
“I think we will,” replied Batman. “If not soon, then whenever Death takes us to After Academy.”
“You’ve been accepted?!” yelped Richard.
“All four of us,” confirmed Gandalf.
“We’ll be going once we’ve ALL said our goodbyes,” explained Batman.
“Then we should make our last moments memorable,” declared Megumi.