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(They'd come in through the door.)

They saw the Stag - the Stags, the many that the Shadow'd thought were one for years - laying waste to the place.

(The Joker was also there.)

There was the Shadow, fighting his enemy and Batman's.

Somewhere else, there was Batman, dying from the wound the first Stag who'd come to Gotham inflicted on him, learning how those horned killers were descended from a vengeful man who'd lost his brother to Shamba-La's promise that no evil man would leave it.

What the Shadow had voiced to him, Batman spoke to the Teachers of Shamba-La.

" As all men do. "

" The same way I went out. "

He returned to the part of Shamba-La where murder was happening, helping the Shadow fend off the Joker and the third Stag who'd come to Gotham.

They saw that the numbers were against them.

Batman'd learnt there was an " anchor " in Shamba-La keeping it tied to this world.

Destroying it would untether Shamba-La, save it from its Earthly destroyers - and ensure the Shadow would never have his sentence lifted.

" Whether you like it or not..

" This is a choice only the Shadow can make. "

The Shadow agreed, damnation on his lips.

He shot the anchor.

The light faded.

Batman came back to himself, with the Shadow, the Stags, and the Joker.

Weeks later, Batman met the Shadow again in the Alps.

He wanted to know the answer to the one mystery left in what'd happened.

" .. who are you? "

" .. and there always will be.

" With the teachers banished from this plane, you will never succeed me.

" There will always be a Batman and a Shadow.

" A punishment that will never end.

" I've never seen it that way. "

" .. you will. "

(That's the training sword from the first part.)

(Pagecount's 7 and less than 3/20ths of 22 from Batman/The Shadow #6 back in 2017.)
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