As Child Emperor and Waganma are attempting to exit the headquarters, they stumble across the corpse of Phoenix Man. At first, Waganma thinks it is a living monster, but Child Emperor calms him down and informs him he's dead. After examining him for a moment, Waganma realizes that he knows this monster as "Dopey Bird".
Child Emperor looks back in curiosity, as he remembers Phoenix Man referencing his backstory. The child hero asks if Dopey Bird was a famous character, and Waganma prepares to give the hero this monster's backstory: Phoenix Man was the mascot of a comedy show called "Animal Kingdom", but the show got canceled due to its excessive black humor. One of the recurring themes of the show was Dopey Bird dying a lot due to his density and stupidity. This part worries Child Emperor, and Waganma explains how Dopey Bird would be electrocuted by a live wire, turned into fried chicken, and so on, but in the end, he'd always get resurrected the next episode and act as nothing happened.
A horrible thought runs through Child Emperor's mind, but he dismisses it, yet the fear is lingering, as monster biology is impossible to predict, and anything can trigger it. This idea expands in his mind, and he considers the possibility that Phoenix Man inherited the powers based on the character setting. Then, out of nowhere, a bright light fills the room. The two children look behind them, and unfortunately, Child Emperor's assertion was correct. The monster tells them how Gyoro Gyoro once told Phoenix Man the true secret to a monster's explosive growth was overcoming the hell of a near-death experience.
Child Emperor unsheathes his laser machine gun and fires his Birdlime Shotgun. The monster flaps his wings, the strength of the winds significantly more powerful than when using it against the martial artists, gusting up large flames as well. Child Emperor engages his energy shield, protecting him and Waganma. Child Emperor exits the energy sphere, ordering Waganma to stay inside while he fights Phoenix Man. The S-Class hero takes out all his weaponry: utility tools, energy sword, and a shield, and prepares to combat Phoenix Man. Thankfully, the invisible wall Child Emperor put up was still standing, protecting the hero from Phoenix Man's flames. On the other side of the invisible wall, Phoenix Man decides to test his newfound power by striking the invisible wall once more. Child Emperor is confident in the wall's durability, as it has five layers of film on top of each other. The hero quickly formulates a plan: he'll stop the monster in its tracks, then focus all of his firepower on it.
Phoenix Man uses the improved version of his beak attack: Phoenix Explosion Beak Attack, to penetrate the invisible wall. The monster's entire body lights up in flames, and he instantly breaks through the invisible wall. Child Emperor realizes the terrible situation he is in, and he barely has time to protect himself from Phoenix Man's attack with his shield. Unfortunately, the shield isn't enough to fully protect himself from the monster's blow, and is sent flying back into the wall.
Phoenix Man smiles in delight, relishing his increased power, and he remarks how everything he sees is basking in the glow of his glory. Hiding inside the protective shield, Waganma begins to panic, trying to convince himself that since Child Emperor was an S-Class hero, everything would be alright. Then, in an arrogant boast, Phoenix Man declares himself the most powerful thing among all living beings. The monster taunts Child Emperor and assures him he'll immediately send him to the afterlife before terror can enter his body.
The S-Class hero begins to cry; not because of fear, according to him, but because of his utter uselessness. Left with no other options, Child Emperor is forced to use his ultimate weapon. A watch on his right wrist lights up, and Child Emperor summons his trump card. Drilling down from all different directions, multiple drills with machine parts all make their way toward Child Emperor, killing some monsters and shaking the ground. They all crowd around Child Emperor and combine, creating large clouds of dust in the process. Phoenix Man's eyes widen, and before he can react, a large palm comes out and slaps him, sending him through the wall and several pillars. Child Emperor's ultimate weapon, Brave Giant, comes walking through the wall, towering over the monster. Despite this, Phoenix Man does not lose his cool, and mocks Child Emperor's machine, calling it a toy.
On the sidelines, Waganma is amazed at the machine's gargantuan size, yet states that if he had such a powerful device at his disposal, why did he not use it to begin with. Phoenix Man overhears this, and realizes that under normal circumstances, Child Emperor should have summoned this machine to begin with and escaped with Waganma. He comes to the conclusion that the machine has many restrictions. Child Emperor grimaces; it is revealed that there are indeed severe limitations, and the machine has only 2 minutes and 38 seconds of activity before it becomes inoperable. With an angry stare, Child Emperor prepares to do battle with Phoenix Man.
Phoenix Man is interested in Child Emperor and his "costume", and instead of resuming their battle, decides to send Child Emperor to the Phoenix Space, a mental world connected by those who wear costumes. Phoenix Man then reveals his intention to scout Child Emperor, believing he has the perfect requirements to become a great costume monster like him. The monster explains to the hero how he could never trust anyone while working as a mascot, and Child Emperor also desires someone to trust. He tries to be that person the child can trust, offering to create a new organization built on spiritual unity. To Child Emperor's shock, Phoenix Man grabs his hand, kneels down, and tells the hero he needs his strength. Phoenix Man tries to monsterize Child Emperor and guide him on the proper path to a costume monster.
Child Emperor refuses, managing to escape the Phoenix Space and slam Phoenix Man. The monster activates his Prominence Hawk Mode to push Brave Giant away, sending him crashing through several pillars. Phoenix Man takes a fighting stance and tells his opponent that after seeing his power, the child would change his mind. He then swiftly lands multiple strikes on Brave Giant, having changed into his Phoenix Fire Falcon Mode to increase his speed. Phoenix Man begins swirling around the mech, declaring he would rip that armor like peeling an apple as a means of forcing Child Emperor to grow beyond his limit several times and monsterize.
Child Emperor unsheathes an energy whip, and uses 20,000 Fold: Rope Skip Grinder, which acts as a jump rope and sends Phoenix Man crashing into a pillar. The two then fly around before Phoenix Man sends his Phoenix Flares, which Brave Giant blocks. To Phoenix Man's surprise, he becomes trapped in electromagnetic webbing that was secretly placed by Child Emperor while flying, and the hero punches him while he's immobilized. Alas, Phoenix Man blocks the punch and activates Full Power: 10,000 degree Celsius Prominence, which begins to melt Brave Giant's fist.
Child Emperor, having discovered a water source below, unleashes the output limiters and sends both of them falling through the sky. While falling, Child Emperor remembers the words of support Phoenix Man gave him, and how no one in the Hero Association had ever said such words to him before. The impact of the attack unleashes copious amounts of water which manage to drag Saitama along with the child hero. Child Emperor tries to rescue Saitama, but then, Phoenix Man reappears, having changed forms into Phoenix Penguin Mode. In his new form, he can manipulate ice, and uses Phoenix Antarctic Iceberg Attack to send the hero crashing through another floor, which happens to be the grave of the Subterranean People.
Child Emperor releases Waganma so he can share the barrier with Saitama, whom he believes to be an innocent bystander, while Phoenix Man unleashes an energy blast on Child Emperor. The hero tries to retaliate, but the monster notes it is useless, and decides to bring Child Emperor back into the Phoenix Space. The monster shows Child Emperor the corpses of the Subterranean People as an example of a group who fell because their ideals did not match, while monsters with costumes shared the same spirit. Using the link they share, Phoenix Man reveals some dark truths about the Hero Association to Child Emperor and what the higher-ups have been doing behind the scenes.
Phoenix Man explains more of his backstory as a mascot who was unjustly fired, how he kept his costume on but eventually couldn't remove it, changing him into a monster. Child Emperor is shocked and unnerved by the truth he was told and Phoenix Man's words, and nearly accepts Phoenix Man's offer to grab true glory with him as a monster, but out of nowhere, Saitama appears, saying that becoming a monster doesn't give one glory at all.
Phoenix Man is shocked at how Saitama managed to get in even though this was a spiritual place, and the bald hero begins to talk to the monster to not talk to children in such a manner. While he's speaking, Phoenix Man notes his mysterious aura and the building pressure around him, and out of fear, releases them all from the Phoenix Space.
Then, Zombieman comes in through the communicator, updating the child on the situation and saying how the weaknesses Child Emperor had hypothesized about the enemy robots were spot-on. He goes on to thank Child Emperor on behalf of all of the heroes and says he's glad the child is here, which causes Child Emperor to form tears in his eyes. Zombieman offers to get milkshakes after the invasion and asks if everything's ok with Child Emperor, who states everything is fine and hopes Zombieman remains well before resuming the fight with Phoenix Man.
Phoenix Man unleashes rays of light which reanimate all the corpses of the Subterranean People, as well as Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame, who all attack Brave Giant. Phoenix Man then tries to forcibly give Child Emperor a Monster Cell and slides it in through the cracks of the suit. Child Emperor spits out the monster cell and says to Phoenix Man that while his speech was amusing, a hero doesn't just wear a costume, and being a hero comes from within. Phoenix Man, aggravated by the child's disrespect and rejection of his peaceful offer, declares he would slurp on the child's brain as punishment.
As a last resort, Child Emperor unleashes his Gigavolt Smash, a large surge of electricity which happens to shock Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame back to their senses. Brave Giant is destroyed, and Child Emperor is sent flying toward Phoenix Man, who attempts to finish the child off, but is stopped by Saitama. Phoenix Man mocks Child Emperor for abandoning his suit before time ran out, though Child Emperor retorts by saying the monster relies too much on his suit. Phoenix Man laughs at this, claiming that the child cannot defeat him without Brave Giant, and his attack before only managed to scratch his eye.
Suddenly, Phoenix Man begins a mad fit of laughter. Child Emperor reveals he slipped a Tickle-Tickle Bug into the gap between his face and his beak. Child Emperor tells the monster he has to take off his suit to get the tickle bug out, though Phoenix Man refuses to. Suddenly, Phoenix Man's body begins to glow once more, and his body explodes. Once the dust settles, Phoenix Man is revealed to have transformed into Monster Chick Man, an extremely weak monster the size of a chick. This ends the fight and makes Child Emperor the winner.
After the fight ends, Saitama compliments Child Emperor for his bravery and tenacity, calling him a good hero. Child Emperor thanks Saitama, but quickly remembers who he is, and begins to grow suspicious that Genos is indeed a traitor since Saitama was deep in the enemy base. Then, Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame, having been knocked to their senses thanks to the electric attack, notice Child Emperor and attempt to take him hostage to lure Flashy Flash, but Saitama knocks both of them out before they can retaliate. Child Emperor looks up their information and discovers they're S-class criminals, and is impressed Saitama managed to defeat both of them. Child Emperor offers to take Saitama to the surface with Waganma, when out of nowhere, Underdog Man appears, having survived his encounter with G5. All of them get on Underdog Man's back and proceed to jump up to the surface. While soaring through the air, some of Orochi's dragons appear, though Saitama easily kills them. Child Emperor asks Waganma if there were any other hostages, but being a coward and wanting to get to the surface as soon as possible, lies and says there was no one else there, and they all resume their escape to the surface.
- This is the first fight in which a monster has attained a higher disaster level in-battle.
- Yusuke Murata drew a version 1 of this battle but had trouble story-boarding it. He consulted with ONE and settled on the details of the battle and redrew the fight. The fight was almost completely redrawn a second time for the release of Volume 22.
Version 1 description of the battle begins after Child Emperor summons Brave Giant
Phoenix Man and Brave Giant sprint across the long corridor, and Brave Giant tries to land a left side kick, which Phoenix Man dodges. Brave Giant tries to punch him, destroying several pillars in the process, yet Phoenix Man still manages to avoid his attack. Child Emperor is frustrated that Phoenix Man continuously dodges him, while Phoenix Man remarks that while Brave Giant is a threat, Child Emperor is too much of an oaf to defeat him.
Brave Giant proceeds to launch several heat-seeking missiles from his right shoulder. However, Phoenix Man scoffs, for with his new powers, it is now child's play. Phoenix Man unleashes his Phoenix Flare, sending out several bursts of flames which fool the missiles and destroy them upon contact, along with several other nearby pillars. Child Emperor realizes that with his new pyrokinetic abilities, his heat-seeking missiles cannot track him.
Child Emperor's next strategy is sending out several Little Braves from the Brave Giant, which surround Phoenix Man. Alas, Phoenix Man is still composed because he now possesses five eyes which won't miss even the smallest opening. Phoenix Man unleashes his Fluttering Wall, blowing all of the Little Braves away. Brave Giant's operating time is now only 1 minute and 30 seconds. Phoenix Man notices that Child Emperor is rushing to finish the battle, concluding that his assertion was indeed correct about the weapon's limited operating time.
With this in mind, Phoenix Man unleashes his Phoenix Homing Wing Attack. Surprisingly, the attacks aren't aimed at Brave Giant, but target Waganma, who's still hiding in Child Emperor's energy shield. Waganma notices cracks forming on the shield, and tells Child Emperor to do something. Child Emperor rushes to his side and defends from the flame attacks with his Divider Shield.
Phoenix Man mocks Child Emperor, stating that he'll lay waste to his trump card and continue to toy with him until all his weapons are used and he is all alone in deep monster territory. Suddenly, as Phoenix Man is flying, he gets trapped in an invisible wall. Child Emperor reveals that he placed another invisible wall while the Little Braves surrounded him. Brave Giant then punches Phoenix Man with his Giant Fist Strike.
Version 2 description of the battle begins after Child Emperor summons Brave Giant
The battle between Phoenix Man and Child Emperor's battle-suit begins. Child Emperor uses his Divider Shield and charges forward at Phoenix Man. Brave Giant locks onto Phoenix Man and launches a volley of heat-seeking missiles, which Phoenix Man is able to prematurely detonate by using Phoenix Flare. Child Emperor then activates Brave Giant's Delta Scale Saber, and slashes at Phoenix Man, who dodges the attack. Phoenix Man, noting the sloppiness of Brave Giant's attack patterns, initiates his Phoenix Fire Falcon Mode, and circles around the mech suit, now even faster than before. Phoenix Man uses Phoenix Heat Up Nail Attack on Brave Giant several times, damaging the suit.
Child Emperor counters by launching Little Braves (autonomous robots) from the armor, which charge up their All Range Attack, and fire at Phoenix Man. The monster changes form once more, this time entering Phoenix Prominence Hawk Mode, and absorbs the attack. Child Emperor is shocked by Phoenix Man's utilitarian nature and, desperate to finish the battle, uses Brave Giant to launch a downward assault on Phoenix Man using one of Brave Giant's swords, but Phoenix Man catches on, and destroys the blade. Phoenix Man changes his strategy and uses the opportunity to attack Waganma with his Phoenix Homing Wing Attack, forcing Child Emperor to come to the hostage's aid. Brave Giant blocks most of Phoenix Man's attacks, and then responds with suppressing fire from its own machine guns.
Phoenix Man resolves to continue distracting Brave Giant and run down its timer while using the labyrinth of the headquarters to hide, but is suddenly caught in an electromagnetic shield created by the Little Braves. Brave Giant, still holding Waganma, launches a right hook punch, Giant Fist Strike, at Phoenix Man, but Phoenix Man is able to catch it. Child Emperor activates Brave Giant's boosters and releases all output limiters, overpowering Phoenix Man and sending the trio tumbling through many floors. Child Emperor notices the signal from one of the other heroes' locators, and hopes to rendezvous with them to finish off Phoenix Man, who he believes will resurrect again. Concluding their downward journey, the group suddenly find themselves in the same room that Flashy Flash had just done battle in, and sink into the pool of water. Reaching the bottom, Child Emperor spots a bunch of strange masks and corpses resting on the ground and is curious as to what occurred, shortly before finding Flashy Flash's locator. As Child Emperor wonders if something bad happened to the hero, a bright flash illuminates the room, sending the mech suit tumbling through the water.
Phoenix Man is revealed to have resurrected a second time and thanks Child Emperor for helping him reach such a high level of power. He acknowledges the child's impressive abilities and remarking how an average opponent would have never been able to stimulate Phoenix Man to reach such heights. Child Emperor scowls and attempts to put an end to Phoenix Man, unsheathing a sword and using Beam Graver, yet Phoenix Man manages to catch the sword with minimal effort just like before. He follows up by effortlessly ripping an arm off of Brave Giant, which also had Waganma in the palm. Phoenix Man declares that the battle has been decided, and assures that Child Emperor only became a hero in search of fame. Alas, Child Emperor is undeterred, and proceeds to call Phoenix Man an oversized chicken. While he's talking, Child Emperor is secretly analyzing his options and Phoenix Man's impressive resistance against his attacks.
Phoenix Man notes the hundreds of corpses littering the battleground and demonstrates his new abilities in this second form. He unleashes New King's Awakening Light, which manages to reanimate all of the corpses of the Subterranean People. The Subterraneans crawl to attack Brave Giant, and Brave Giant fends them off. Suddenly, a larger Subterranean emerges and swings his sword at Brave Giant. Child Emperor manages to block the attack, then slices the Subterranean with his Brave Blade Shot. Waganma cries out for help, and Child Emperor tries to assist the child, but out of nowhere, the reanimated corpses of Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame attack Brave Giant with their Tempest Blade Kick and Flame Blade Kick. Phoenix Man recognizes the two ninjas as executive candidates and deduces they were both defeated by Flashy Flash. The monster displays caution against Flashy Flash, and decides to be on guard against him if they do battle. Phoenix Man decides to observe the battle from up high, and giddily basks in the glory of new godly powers, assuring that even the Monster Association executives would be set aside as foils for him.
Suddenly, the Little Braves come flying from the opening in the headquarters, and they transform and merge into Mole Mode, a gigantic drill. The drill strikes Phoenix Man, and while he's distracted, the other Little Braves fly in and free Waganma. Phoenix Man destroys the drill and flies down to take back the hostage. Meanwhile, Child Emperor sets Brave Giant to maximum output and unleashes Gigavolt Smash, a gigantic surge of electricity that shocks Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame while disintegrating all of the Subterraneans. Child Emperor then flies up and orders all of the Little Braves to initiate Side Arm Mode. The Little Braves combine into an arm, which attaches itself onto Brave Giant. Brave Giant then cups its hands together to prepare for its ultimate move: Millennium Emperor Nova. In a dazzling flash, a gargantuan amount of energy surges from Brave Giant's palms. Phoenix Man is undeterred, however, and attempts to absorb the blast. He's quickly enveloped by the energy beam, which shoots up through the headquarters, disintegrating the ground above and shooting off into space in a brilliant spectacle.
On the ground, Brave Giant is motionless. It has sustained 96% damage, and all systems have stopped functioning. The robot's knee falls to the floor, and it's quickly revealed that the Millennium Emperor Nova managed to evaporate all of the water around it. Unfortunately, Phoenix Man is flying up above, still alive, albeit with some heavy scars across his body. The monster compliments Child Emperor's tenacity once again, yet is upset that his costume has been damaged. Phoenix Man continues by ordering Child Emperor to exit the machine, and, overcome by rage, yells that he will turn Child Emperor into mince meat. Phoenix Man lunges down to pierce the cockpit of Brave Giant, but Child Emperor activates the eject button, which sends the remaining Little Braves flying away and opens the jaws of the Brave Giant. Child Emperor uses the opening to escape from his Brave Giant and momentarily trap Phoenix Man. Alas, Phoenix Man easily rips apart the Brave Giant and incinerates the remaining Little Braves.
Phoenix Man mocks Child Emperor's pathetic last-ditch effort and slowly walks towards the child. On the sidelines, Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame, who're back in their human forms, have regained their sanity and cognitive functions, as the shock from Brave Giant's Gigavolt Smash managed to shock them out of their hypnosis. They watch as Phoenix Man prepares to instill his judgement upon Child Emperor, when out of nowhere, Phoenix Man begins to laugh uncontrollably. He frantically tries to tear apart his suit, confusing Waganma. Child Emperor reveals to Waganma that he snuck his Tickle-Tickle Bug 1 through the gaps of his costume when he had him trapped. He explains that the tickle bug will continue moving through Phoenix Man's clothes and tickling him until he dies from asphyxiation. He admits to Waganma that the devil inside him that came up with such a device frightens even himself, and watches as Phoenix Man tries to rip apart his costume to remove the tickle bug. On the side, Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame run to get their revenge on Flashy Flash, leaving the three alone.
Child Emperor stands over Phoenix Man, smiling that Phoenix Man did as he planned and ripped apart his costume. He then mocks Phoenix Man by saying that he finally managed to remove his costume. Phoenix Man grimaces in terror, for without his costume, all of his power and abilities are gone, and he is unable to do anything as Child Emperor takes out several sharp tools from his backpack and uses his Gem Buster Attachment to rip apart the rest of Phoenix Man's costume. Child Emperor stands victorious over Phoenix Man, who has a sword jabbed through his chest and has foam coming out of his mouth, marking his permanent death.
Although he is victorious, the young hero laments that he only survived by the skin of his teeth, and had Phoenix Man gone with a ranged attack, he would've been all out of options. He also remarks how his final weapon was useless, but at the same time, tries to look at the positive aspect of the battle and see it as a learning experience. Waganma walks up to Child Emperor, commenting on the tough battle and actually telling Child Emperor to get a hold of himself. Surprisingly, Child Emperor doesn't retort and actually agrees with Waganma, saying how the enemy was stronger than anticipated and he lost his cool. Waganma tells him not to lose his cool again before he gets back. Child Emperor then remembers something he'd been thinking about, and asks Waganma if there were any other prisoners besides himself. Being the selfish coward he is, Waganma tells Child Emperor that he was indeed the only prisoner. The young hero believes him, and the two proceed to head toward the exit while Child Emperor acts as his bodyguard.