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This content section may contain spoilers about the plot of the comic.
After Alia hacked the gate to the top areas of the Iberian Castle, X, Zero and Snacman are surprised by CTI-026 Gladius, the last of the Castechno units and the most resistant of them. Buster shots and even saber attacks seem to be useless against his shield, leaving it unscratched after strong hits. They manage to trick Gladius and get across, and Zero chooses to hold him back while trying to find a way to defeat him so X and Snacman can proceed.
A minute later, X and Snacman reach a dark cross corridor in the innermost area and Nora detects a huge structure incorporated to the energy network of the castle, so complex she can't analyze it properly. Suddenly, one of the mirrors of the z-axis is highly charged with energy from the network and shoots Kran from it, sending him to crash with X and Snacman, although he seemingly didn't suffer any impact.
Kran welcomes and congratulates them for defeating Sewer Jailrat and disabling the Jammers, which were blocking the transference of the recently produced Castechno units. Chasing The Rats bought enough time for Kran to get a few hundred more troops Neo Maverick Army. He refuses to tell them where he's taking the troops, and asks X if he was expecting he would talk just because there was a gun pointed at him. X replies that he's no longer naive enough to think that someone like Kran would come peacefully to be interrogated without a fight. Kran says X is right and that he still have a score to settle with the Maverick Hunters. While they start fighting, Zero discovers that Gladius' weak points are his joints, and after a rough fight he gets an opportunity to hit him, slicing him in a half an upward attack.
The x-axis has several mirrors along its lenght, and Kran starts to use a basic reflection pattern. X realizes that while not materialized, Kran couldn't hear nor see them, this way they could elaborate a strategy in the intervals. After this, Kran appears from a mirror with a more compact version of the cannon he used in Parade shooting three strong electrical spheres at Snacman without having to charge, then reveals that he installed a base in the Iberian Castle not only for Castechno, but also because he would be able to drain as much hydropower and thermal energy he desired. Snacman thinks of destroying all of his mirrors, but X says that it could trigger a chain explosion through all the network, and it would be even worse if Kran wasn't materialized.
They continue to fight and X, already knowing his primary pattern, easily dodges Kran's attack, but then Kran makes a longer sequence by flipping more than one mirror at the same time and hits X with a dash and a kick. Snacman hits Kran with his S-Bladester in the saber mode and causes no damage, but Kran's Golden Defense starts to dismantle from his body. A strong attack like a saber or a sequence of shots would be enough to destabilize his energy armor, but he would be able to restore it by entering the network again. X also realizes that Kran's own buster had such a high voltage that he couldn't maintain his Golden Defense while shooting with it.
Kran uses his buster only to make his enemies escape to a vulnerable spot and then attack them directly with his body, and that's what he easily does with Snacman, grabbing his neck from below him and breaking it. He throws the disabled Snacman in footbridge prepares to kill him, but is hit by a charged shot of X, who says if he wants a fight, he shouldn't be attacking those who can't fight back. Kran is instantly infuriated and changes the target once again, using a triangle-shaped sequence and almost hitting X, then changing the angles once again to make a finishing strike, but collides with Gladius' shield, held by Zero.
The impact is strong enough to considerably damage Zero's internal skeleton, entirely dismantle Kran's Golden Defense and throw both meters away, destroying or putting four mirrors into malfunction.
X and Zero avoid stepping in the carpet and run to the z-axis to dodge Kran's electric shots, but that resulted in Kran's winning move: since z-axis had upright mirrors in both ends and no pilars, he could cross the corridor repeatedly while shooting with his thunder buster, leaving the Hunters with no reaction time. When Zero decides to hit him and X to cross the carpet to difficult his attacks, Kran flips one of his mirrors and attacks X from below, then throws him back to the x-axis. Zero is distracted by this and is hit by a high speed kick of Kran in his back and then a punch. It was all to place them in the exact position of his ultimate attack, using 16 laser cannons and a parabolic mirror.
While waiting the cannons to charge, Kran says:
A man-- a Reploid with restrictions to what his imagination can create is just like a bird in a cage.
I'm on Saturn's side because, even with different ideals, in the end we're all fighting to free this bird.
... So why not melt the rigid bars that bind him inside with the best fruit of our own imagination?
Meanwhile, Alia and Nora desperately try to transfer the Hunters back to the base, but the cannons were receiving a monstrous energy surge that caused enough interference to cut the link between them. Snacman jumps in front of X and Zero, willing to sacrifice himself in order to save them, but Kran says that, even though his body would reduce the damage, it wouldn't change their fates. All the laser cannons shoot a straight energy shield covering the mirror, that unifies the beams and then redirects them to make a large laser in the parabolic surface. The laser instantly disintegrates Snacman's clothes and in the next seconds melts his whole body. However, X and Zero are only hit by an inconsiderable amount of energy, and everyone is surprised when Snacman is still alive with the green crystal in his chest (which was exactly in the focal point of the mirror) shining and making a loud noise. Platina watches the battle from her room and mentions a reactor by Dr. Henry, which now she discovered it's hid in Snacman's body.
Still conscious, Snacman uses all the converted energy to fly extremely quick to Kran's direction and uses a barrage of charged shots until his Golden Defense is dismantled, then uses both S-Bladesters in the saber mode and crushes his belly, then deactivates due to the severe damage.
With his armor totally shattered and unable to activate the Golden Defense again, Kran still refuses to surrender, even with X saying he would spare him if agreed to discuss his score to settle in their base and was also willing to find the most peaceful settlement. Kran says that it's impossible to abandon his cause and give up on his vengeance to be a conformist with his excuses. He blames the Maverick Hunters for him being a Maverick, because they took everything he had, forced him to become like this and put the label on him. X says no Maverick Hunter would ever attack someone who's not willing to hurt anyone, and Zero finishes saying that if they had killed someone dear to him, he just was another miserable Maverick. After this, Kran gets extremely infuriated and remembers his past.