Cold air starts to rise up toward Akainu's swirling cloud, extending to the perimeter of the island so that to an outsider it would look like a barrier had been erected over half the island. The cold air permeates the atmosphere and starts to clash with Akainu's cyclonic ash cloud. Explosions are heard as hot and cold air crash into each other.
Akainu: It's time to end this, Kuzan! Meteor Burn!
From out of the chaotic eye of his atmospheric firestorm, globs of molten lava begin to shoot down toward Aokiji. They cool somewhat on their way down, but there is still a high volume of lava within them.
Aokiji (raising his hands to the sky): Stratos Firma!
A barrier of ice forms roughly half way between the ground and the falling rocks. Some of the rocks hit the barrier, but do minimal damage.
Aokiji: Partisan Lancer Barrage!
Large spikes of ice begin to shoot from the barrier and start skewering the falling rocks. Sometimes as many as three rocks get skewered by a single spike. The barrier expands until it is level with Akainu's incendiary cyclonic macrosystem
Akainu is watching as more and more of his onslaught is brushed off like it is nothing, his anger building with each passing moment. He looks over at Aokiji, safe inside his barrier, then he realizes something.
Akainu: Kuzan, you idiot. I knew it was only a matter of time before you slipped up. It's taking all your concentration to defend against an attack from the air that you're completely unprepared for an attack from the ground!
He heats himself up and flies toward Aokiji, fist pulled back and loaded to the brim with magma and haki. As he breaches the barrier, a chill runs through his body, but does not break his stride. He delivers his devestating blow to Aokiji's chest. The admiral shatters into thousands of tiny pieces, much to his colleague's disbelief.
Akainu: What!? That's impossible! I never saw him move from that spot! How did he...
Akainu's disbelief is cut short as something large and incredibly solid hits him in the head and shoulderblades. Time seems to stand still for a moment before he is sent front first through several rocks. As he gets up, shaking off the impacts from the sudden surprise attack, he hears a voice a short distance behind him.
Aokiji: Hehehe, old habits, they either die hard or kill you, am I right?
Akainu turns around to see his adversary standing a few yards away from him. Slung over his shoulder is a giant icicle with three rocks impaled on it.
Akainu: How? I watched you the whole time. You kept your feet planted and only moved your upper body.
Aokiji: Bit by bit I turned my body into ice and then assimilated myself with the ice already on the ground at my feet. After that it was easy to move underground. It may not look it, but I am still well in tune with my nature system from when we both delved into them earlier. Maybe not as much as back then, but close. I can tell that's not so much the case for you though, as I could tell there was disconnection between you and your meteors.
Akainu: Jumping to conclusions too quickly as usual, Kuzan.
He punches the ground at an angle, and a small stream of magma shoots out and hits Aokiji in the leg, actually cauterizing his wound.
Akainu: I never lost touch with mine either. I kept myself just in tune enough in case I need to pull something out quickly.
Aokiji: I'm surprised. I never thought you would plan so carefully. You usually play on a moment by moment basis, like when you decided to blow up that escape ship at Ohara all those years ago.
Akainu: Hahhaaahaa, you still think that was all me? Please, don't you remember I was in a good mood that day? I blew that ship up because Admiral Sengoku ordered me to. I wasn't acting recklessly thorough, I was following orders, something I do well, and did well at that time, unlike a certain someone I could mention.
Aokiji: What are you talking about?
Akainu: I know it was you who let Nico Robin escape that day. I saw it happen from the deck of my ship. Your report claimed that she escaped while you were fighting the traitor Vice Admiral Saul, the first perpetrator, but I saw the ice path you made for her! I've had to live with the question as to why I let it happen. But more importantly, I've hated myself every day since then for standing by and doing nothing! After that day, I vowed that nothing would get in my way in the pursuit of justice. None of my allies could, because any ally who did would instantly become my enemy. In retrospect, I guess I should thank you Kuzan. You made me what I am today; a straight-laced, merciless enacter of the one thing keeping the balance of this world, Absolute Justice!
Aokiji (stunned speechless): Ah...I...I...
Akainu: Save your sputtering for someone who gives a crap. I always knew I would have to face this demon that's haunted me for so long. But now I actually have a chance to kill it! When opportunity knocks, give it a hug!
Aokiji (regaining his senses): If I am the one who brought your monstrocity into this world, so too must I be the one to take it out.
The ground beneath them shakes for a moment.
Aokiji: You're trying that again? You know that I can just dodge and freeze it.
Akainu: Oh, ye of little credit. That wasn't me. At least, not any more, but soon.
Aokiji: What are you talking about?
Akainu: Look around you. Notice anything that shouldn't be there?
Aokiji: Your incendiary cyclonic macrosystem and my stratospheric glacial macrocosm, they've-
Akainu: Polarized and stabilized. Now half of this island will burn in eternal hellfire, and half will forever be a frozen wasteland. Our battle will be preserved here until the end of time, the island itself serving as the canvas for this memento.
Aokiji: And so with the end comes new beginning. But it seems like this beginning happened prematurely. Let's fix that. Huaaa!
He punches at Akainu who blocks with a punch of his own, the force sending both men sliding backwards.
Aokiji: Ice Wall!
He conjures a wall of ice seemingly out of nowhere and sends it toward Akainu.
Akainu: Magma Wall!
At the same time as Aokiji, Akainu conjures a wall of magma on the other side of Aokiji's wall and sends it toward him. The walls gather speed very quickly and both hit their targets with an incredible amount of force, knocking them back to the beaches where they first made landfall.
Akainu and Aokiji (both thinking the same thing): I don't know how much more of this I can take. We've been fighting for well over a week now and my body has gone well beyond its limit. After today, I don't think I can continue this. It has to end now, and I must be the one who ends it.
They both get up and hold their arms down at their sides, spread slightly apart, their eyes closed. They are silent as they feel the winds of the weather patterns they created brush across their skin. Their outlines begin to glow as they draw power from their progenic nature systems, and soon both of their bodies are completely glowing their respective color. They open their eyes, which are now glowing brighter than the rest of their bodies, and seem to be seeing more than what is in front of them.
They both start running toward the center of the island, both completely focused on what must be done. They meet each other by the small pond of ocean water caused by a rift they made during their fight. They seem to both fly over the pond, both having channeled all of their glowing energy into their fist for one final attack. The two meet on the water. Aokiji's punch lands on Akainu's face. Akainu's punch lands on Aokiji's face, and time seems to stand still during the occurrence of these simultaneous impacts, so powerful that they caused the small pond to expand into a lake by the force of their collision alone. Both of these hits had been the last stand of two incredibly powerful fighters, and both hit with devestating impacts.
But Akainu's hit harder.
Aokiji was sent flying back to the shore of the lake where he came from, and Akainu followed him, albeit grimacing. Both combatants crashed to the ground, landing in a heap, Akainu less so than Aokiji.
Akainu gets up and limps over toward Aokiji, his body just starting to take notice of the effects of ten days of non-stop fighting. Aokiji is lying on his back, still half-conscious. Akainu readies a magma fist, about to deal the final blow. Aokiji does not seem phased by it and almost seems accepting. Akainu pulls his fist back but then becomes suddenly light-headed. He stumbles and falls, landing on his stomach a few feet away and next to Aokiji.
Aokiji (smirking): I guess you won.
Akainu (with a modest yet frank expression): It would appear that way, even though this was supposed to have only one of us leave the island. Can you move at all?
Aokiji: Yeah, I can, even if my body will hate me for it. You?
Akainu: I don't think I can. I gotta let my body rest at least a little.
Aokiji (getting up with difficulty): I need you to wait about an hour before using that doodad Kong gave us. It'll give me enough time to get away. Maybe not to an island, but away.
Akainu: Ok, but the boys picking us up are expecting to pick up the winner and a corpse. And if I know you, you'll make noise in a subtle way, so I can't say I burned you to ashes.
Aokiji: Then tell them I ran away at the last second. You'll think of something.
Akainu: Yeah, I guess I will.
Akainu manages to turn himself over and stares up at the sky with a slight smile as Aokiji walks to the beach and places his hand at the water's edge. A path of ice forms in front of him and he begins walking.
About an hour later, Akainu is able to move and takes out the device Kong gave him. He pulls the cord and sets it down on the ground. A red beam shoots out of it and into the sky, emitting a constant light, like a laser.
Akainu sits back and waits for the ship to arrive.
About twenty minutes later, he hears a ship dock at the island and goes to meet it. Vice Admiral Vergo and some soldiers run up to him on his way to the beach. They salute.
Vergo: Fleet Admiral Sakazuki, sir! Vice Admiral Vergo of G-5 reporting. We are here to provide you with safe passage back to Marine Headquarters and tend to any injuries you sustained during your time on this island.
Sakazuki: Great, let's go.
Vergo: Sir, we also have orders to recover the body of former Admiral Aokiji.
Sakazuki: No need, he's not here.
Vergo: But sir, I was given explicit instructions to collect both you and...
Sakazuki: He ran right before I struck the killing blow. After that I passed out for an hour and when I came to I signalled you guys.
Vergo (taken aback): Is that really what happened, sir?
Sakazuki (pausing): Sigh, no. No it isn't. The truth is we both fought valiantly until the end. Just when I was about to deal the final blow, my body succumbed to fatigue and I collapsed next to him. He asked me to wait an hour while he got away. We may have our differences, but in the end Kuzan is still my comrade, and my friend. As your new fleet admiral I order you, do not pursue him and do not brand him a criminal. Is that understood?
Vergo: Yes, sir.
Sakazuki: Good. And by the way, Vice Admiral Vergo, congratulations.
Vergo: Excuse me, sir?
Sakazuki: You're the very first person to address me as Fleet Admiral Sakazuki.
Vergo: hehe. Men! Help Fleet Admiral Sakazuki to the medical bay and tend to his injuries. We've added triple the amount of medical staff on this ship in anticipation of your arrival.
Sakazuki: Great. Lord knows I need it.
I would like to thank Pacifista15 for helping me write this. Without you, I don't think I would have had the motivation to write the whole saga by myself, and if I did it would only be half as good as it is. I would also like to thank everyone who enjoyed this series. Your encouragement kept me going. I sincerely hope you all enjoyed reading this.