The previous match had ended a little while ago, and the layer was getting prepared for the next match. Keiichi's match. He'd only just met his opponent sometime while watching the last round of matches and he had witnessed his battle. Another speedy angel was up ahead, and the boy could only sigh to himself not having much luck with them lately. Oh well, there was nothing left but to try his best he supposed. His eyes had been fixed upon the monitor on the wall for the last several minutes while he wandered around in the recesses of his mind, plotting out a strategy before they were even called out to the layer.
The door into the waiting room swings open and Fukata walks through, spying Keiichi - his next opponent, Fukata smiles and waves, "Ossu, Misaka-san." He stops and sits in the seat next to Keiichi. "You all prepared for standing in front of all those people again - as much as I enjoy it, I still have to force myself not to just hide in here until they go away." He grins a little nervously, perhaps you can get used to being watched by so many, but it certainly hasn't happened yet.
"Mmn?" Keiichi blinked and lifted a hand to rub at his eyes a moment before shifting his atteniton towards Fukata. He offered a friendly smile and a small chuckle, "Oh, Ito-san. Sorry about that, I was a little distracted." That hand moved to scratch at the back of his head, as the boy took on a sheepish expression. "I'm not good with crowds, the last time I walked out there I felt like I was going to throw up. . ." He sighed and shifted in his seat a little before moving his hands to his lap, folding them there. "I hope it gets easier each time."
"A little, but now you at least know what to prepare for, just take a moment to calm down before you walk in and don't look up at the crowd too much and you'll be fine, ne?" he smiles and then from the speaker aside the monitors the announcers bellows out "Is everyone ready for the Neeeeext Maaatch!" Fukata nervously grins again, "You wanna go first?" he asks, standing to walk over to the door - and then winks and says with a V sign, "Ganbatte, ne?"
Keiichi chuckles as the announcement comes up, and Fukata asks that question. He pushes himself to his feet, picking Zankoku up from the chair next to him. "Ah, I dunno about that." His smile remained though as he made his way towards the exit out to the Arena. "Hai, do your best too, and good luck!" He paused at the entryway and took a deep breath to prepare himself.
Smiling to himself at Keiichi doing the same thing, Fukata takes a deep breath before he pushes down the handle and steps though himself.
As Fukata emerges into the arena floor, the announcer calls out to the crowd, "Ito Fukata! Back from the last tournament and one win already under his belt yesterday, let's see what he's got to show us tonight!" Fukata walks across the arena to his layer, looking up briefly to take in the stands, the announcer, all those people... he then looks back and focuses on his seat. Goal in mind, angel close to his heart, he takes his seat.
Keiichi nods as Fukata makes his way out, and when Keiichi hears the announcer go on his grip on his angel tightened slightly. "Well Zankoku, let's at least give them a good show. . ." Another deep breath was taken before the boy made his way out towards the layer.
When he emerged from the hallway, and the announcer pipes up again "And his opponent, Misaka Keiichi. He put up a good fight in the first round against the Jade Ninja, let's see if he can keep up the pace!" Keiichi shuddered slightly and focused his attention on the chair ahead, trying to fight back the urge to run away. He made his way towards the chair, and sat down within it to get ready for the match ahead. Never once did the boy look up towards the crowd though, to do so would have probably sent him fleeing.
Fukata bows his head to Keiichi, and waits for the long seconds to pass, silent except for the quiet rumbling of the crowd.
The layer bleaches white as the scenery changes, filling several inches with course golden sands, sands which seem to shift even in the stillness before the battle starts like ... quicksand.
Then the announcer yells, momentarily silencing the whole stadium, "Entry Angel!", the silence is fleeting and the crowd's cheer drowns out all else until the deus's begin to speak.
Taking his angel out and clutching her to his chest - his eyes closed, Fukata intones the phrase he has said so many times, "Even in the impossible, let us not accept defeat - Ikke! Yuki!" and with that and a flick of his wrist, the angel is loosed into the air between Fukata and the now sandy layer, as she passes into the light field she and her deus open their eyes in unison, Yuki rolls forwards in the air, and lands at a run, following not too far from the edge of the layer, she spends not a moment still in this hazardous environment.
LAYER: Zankoku fallin complete!
Keiichi takes another deep breath and returns Fukata's nod, before his eyes focused on the layer below. His chair having raised up already. Quicksand it looked like, not the greatest terrain for him but maybe it'd slow the other one down some.
After the annoucer's call, and Yuki's fallin Keiichi lifted Zankoku up to look over him a moment. He was repaired from his mutilation of the last round. "Here we go Zankoku, don't give up on me and I won't give up on you." The boy smiled to himself and lifted the angel up a bit, followed by a quick toss towards the layer while calling out "Reach beyond the bounds of death and fight with everything you have, Zankoku!"
Zankoku spiraled his way past the barrier, his form becoming enshrouded in dark electrical tendrils of energy. "Angel, fall-in!" and down he went towards the layer's surface, landing heavily upon the sands below, kicking up a cloud of sand. Both fists were holding him up while croucned on one knee, and slowly the zombie's eyes opened with a brilliant flash of red. Steady and slow he rose to his feet as those dark tendrils of energy seeped into his form, no longer visible. Normally the zombie stood slightly hunched over, but for some reason he seemed different today, more confident perhaps.
On the layer, Yuki looks across to her opponent and changes vector, running towards him, she covers the distance quickly - but instead of attacking, she runs past him and slows a little, circling a few feet away from him in an uncertain changing gait.
On the layer, Zankoku watched Yuki's movements with a careful eye, following each motion and nuance of movement. An attack could come at any time after all, but it seemed like he would be opening things up. Fists clenched a bit as the zombie shifted his position, a foot sliding about and kicking up a cloud of sand between the two. One might expect him to come through the sand, but he slipped around the side to intercept where Yuki might have been moving, and twisting into motion he levelled a foot off in a round house kick towards her form.
On the layer, Yuki reacts a little differently to how Zankoku might expect, instead of moving to avoid the attack, she suddenly drops to a single hand, and sweeps her legs out into the sand - had he came that way - he'd have been walking right into an attack, as it is however, she cleaves a clear space through the sand, and realising her opponent was somewhere else entirely, she rolls into the cloud of sand as it falls herself, and springs quickly back to her feet on the other side.
On the layer, Zankoku settles into his combat stance, shifting a bit to keep from sinking into the sand. He didn't follow, he simply waited there with a twisted little grin on his features. She was quite fast, he would need to come up with something else perhaps. Keiichi sighed in his chair and folded his hands within his lap, wringing them a bit. He was a lot more nervous than he had been with Kino, and as a result the poor zombie was a little more sluggish than normal.
On the layer, Yuki takes off across the layer's surface at a run, not towards her opponent, just straight across the layer, partyway there she starts doing flips and covers a fair part of the distance not in contact with the ground, Fukata has his poker-face on, there's a plan there - it's just not obvious to some people, perhaps even himself, what it is yet.
The announcer doesn't seem pleased though - "Hey - this isn't a dancing competition ... let's get to the fighting!"
On the layer, Zankoku doesn't change his expression much, still grinning as the speedy Yuki puts on a show. He's off, chasing after her not nearly as fast as her. Closing the distance still though, since he took a different route knowing a straight on chase wouldn't work. Part of the way there he dives into the quicksand, disappeareing beneath it's surface. Zombies were quite good at climbing out of the earth you know, it's the first thing they usually learn how to do. Keiichi's attention shifted towards Fukata, eyes focusing there for the moment, and then it happened. One of the faster angel's steps was met by a grasping zombie hand, in an attempt to trip her up. Oh ho, tricky little undead angel wasn't he? Whether it hit or missed though, he shuffled out of the sand as it poured off his form.
On the layer, Yuki lets out a little eep as the hand grasps her from below, and she spins on the spot to see what caught her, then with a sudden burst of motion and strength, she rips her leg clear of his grasp, and places a few feet of distance between them. She stands there for a second, for the first time in the battle appearing still while the zombie shuffles to a stand, although if you look closely, the edges of her form seem to blur and flicker - she's really not standing still at all, and suddenly she is in the zombie's face - undoubtedly assaulted by bad zombie-breath and in a single fluid motion she snakes a foot around behind her opponent, and reaches to hurl him into the earth he came from.
On the layer, Zankoku doesn't flinch, or react much as he's tossed through the air. He comes tumbling down into the sand, and rolls to a stop slowly, before pushing himself back up to his feet, though he sank an inch or two into the sinking sands. He simply stood there, grinning at Yuki before extending a hand out towards her, fingers aimed upwards. He then beckoned her, wanting her to attack apparently.
On the layer, Yuki is more than willing to oblige, if he'll quit that inane grinning. she dashes towards him, pushing his hand aside, she hops backwards into a half backflip and slams out with both feet in the air, boot to the head indeed, two even.
On the layer, Zankoku steps back slightly and tilts his head backwards to just barely edge out of the way of the attack. With that motion he hopped backwards, to give a little more of a gap, still grinning though he didn't seem to do anything else just yet. He was feeling her out, to see how well she could attack since this was their first match together.
On the layer, Yuki gets a little frustrated at her opponents lack of offense, "I do _not_ like to be ignored. It gets me all grumpy ... " she clenches her fists by her side and her body tenses as she calls forth a bestial rage, unexpectedly leaping at the other angel, drawing her arms back and hammering the air, and with a little luck her opponent, with the heavy blows of her fists as she seeks to nail him to the sandy floor.
On the layer, Zankoku and seemed to stand still and nail she did, each and every punch smashed into his cloak sending it down to the quicksand below where it started sinking away. Unfortunately for her, the zombie wasn't actually in it. With an completley unexpected display of speed he had slipped out under the cloak and rolled off to the side where he shot out a kick towards the back of Yuki's knee. Hopefully it was unexpected enough to hit.
On the layer, Yuki seems like Yuki has left herself open to attack, she whirls around at the last moment and pulls away - the kick seeming sure to hit, up until the point where the leg can't stretch any further and is just left hanging there. She moved away just as quickly as the kick came towards her and it only just missed - isn't that unlucky. She smirks, "I got your attention that time, didn't I" she dashes forwards and with a sudden stop - she thrusts her arm towards the zombie's chest.
On the layer, Zankoku moved quickly enough for a zombie, arms crossing over his chest to protect. Just as Yuki's hand comes into contact with his forearms, there is a burst of dark negative energy, giving back a little sting of its own. He slid back a slight, and spun around to the side delivering a bit clumsy of a side-kick. Oh well, it was an attack given off-balance.
On the layer, Yuki staggers back a little, shaking her head and drops into a crouch, stunned by the unexpected counterattack, not the kick - she shifts aside barely enough to let it pass by while she rubs her hand, before she looks up and locks her gaze onto Zankoku. It's a look of confidence she gives, almost jumping back to her feet as she bounds forwards in a one step, dash she projects herself at high speed very up close and personal, one fist pulls back and punches, then another, faster each time, she unleashes a slow but strong drumbeat of attacks, and finishes by thrusting her palms together towards the zombie's chest.
On the layer, Zankoku felt what was coming with every fiber of his being, he's had to deal with similar techniques quite a bit since it was a favorite of the speed demons. And he just stood there? Yep, it looked like it. Every strike hit, every punch landed, and Yuki could feel the impact. However, after the assault stopped the zombies form melted away into sand. She had been attacking sand it seems, and Zonkoku had managed to disappear again. He rose up from the ground behind the other angel, dark tendrils of energy snaking down his arm and pooling in his fist. It was from behind that the punch came, lined with dark energy and aiming to injure... well, hopefully.
On the layer, Yuki is coming to expect these sudden dissappearances from Zankoku, she crouches as she hears him coming, and then does a high backflip, over the attack, over Zankoku, and over a fair distance of air too. She lands behind him for a change, and throws her legs into the air, spinning forwards with her kimono and hair forming half circles as she drills though the air towards his back.
On the layer, Zankoku again zips to the side faster than one might expect from him, and as the spinning Yuki slips pas the spins into motion and sends a kick towards her head. The intent was to hit her as she passed by of course.
On the layer, Yuki turns as the kick comes towards her, slowing down a little and avoidng a kick in the face - she falls to the ground and takes a quick breath, even while her hands slide downwards into the sand ... that's only safe for a brief second before she has to pull her hands out and start running again - she looks tired from the constant exertion of this particular scenery and she puts some distance between herself and her opponent, preparing for the time trial the closing minute of the match will be - he doesn't mind being buried in the sand - she can't stay moving for much longer.
On the layer, Zankoku doesn't break stride as he moves after her, taking a route that will allow him to close in. His arm was again lit with black electricity as he came around, and towards her. The energy pooled into a ball at the palm of his hand and he moved in shoving it at the other angel. The sand was more his friend than he had hoped in the beginning of the match, and that might be what will win it for him.
On the layer, Yuki twists aside as he catches up to her and attacks, weaving under the strike, and spinning around to his side, she snaps off a few light punches - continuing to back off she jabs quickly again before backpedalling at a slowish pace, keeping her fists up in case, as she suspects, he follows her again.
On the layer, Zankoku levels his arm off to block each punch, the impact not very significant obviously. He keeps on following her, probably just like she wants, but he was a zombie after all. Sometimes they were a bit relentless and ignored traps. As he manages to get in close enough to attack, his hips twist into another kick. A basic snap kick it seems.
On the layer, Yuki continues to backpedal - a plan? Well there's a kinda plan - hit him until he stops moving - yes, the plan has devolved that far. She changes direction suddenly taking a sharp step forwards, and driving a fist towards the angel's gut. Let's see if you can't get a zombie down.
On the layer, Zankoku twits his form to allow the attack to glide along his torso, but not fully as there was still a bit more impact than he had intended to take. On the plus side, he was a lot closer in and might be able to get an attack off on her. His arm came up in an attempt to smash his elbow into the other ange's neck. Graceless, but effective enough.
On the layer, Yuki presses her fist into her palm, squinting with forced concentration as she continues to hop about on the sands. She flickers back a few feet, enough to clear the blow - but not the impressive feat of near-teleportation attributed to Yuki's dodges. She levels her gaze with the other angel, blinking and tensing her muscles - it's clear she's going for the last-stand attack. She throws herself at the zombie, and then in a final display of her speed, she flashes - it seems - straight through him, on the other side Yuki holds her breath - and it isn't clear yet if anything has happened at all.
On the layer, Zankoku and the attack connects, but not before there was a swirl of dark energy beneath his form, dark tendrils of energy snaking their way up along his form. Sparks of energy flared off him and the heavy impact of Yuki's blow didn't even make him stagger though it most assuredly hurt. Well if a zombie could feel pain that is. He turned slowly to face the other angel, that grin of his taking on an almost sadistic nature. He took one step towards her, and another, before braking into a run. All of the energy on his form pooled into one hand, and shaped into a blade of black lightning. This blade was aimed towards Yuki's midsection, and as it came in it separated into 4 other blades, giving her very few options to dodge as they moved to stab at her.
On the layer, Yuki turns at the last moment, flinching from the black blades but without the energy of her own to avoid it, she is assaulted from all sides, the spikes piercing her armour and throwing her back onto the edge of the layer, and despite her best efforts to stand up and pull herself back on - she slips into the air, and to the floor
On the layer, Zankoku stops his assault as the other angel goes off the edge of the layer, and peeks over the edge slightly to see that she did indeed fall off. He turned about and made his way slowly towards Keiichi's side of the layer.
The Announcer, now knocked out of his silence by the buzzer peered at the layer and the scoreboard. He then calls out, "It was a long and hard fought battle, and in was down to the wire! In the end though, Zankoku managed to knock Yuki off the layer! Zankoku wins!" There is of course all the fanfare of the crowd, after a bit of stunned silence.
Keiichi meanwhile just blinked and tilted his head, did he really just win? That fight was so close he could almost not believe the results. He shook the daze away however and peered over towards Fukata, offereing a thumbs up. "That was great Ito-san! I had a lot of fun!" His chair then started lowering down towards the layer so he could pick up his angel.
Looking a little tired himself, Fukata breathes a long sigh before removing the visor, and coming down from the seat to retrieve the angel from the white floor. He looks her over quickly before he joins Keiichi and smiles softly, "Yeah, it was a good match - you and your angel play very well." he smiles a little stronger, "And it was good fun. Shall we go?" he tilts his head towards the waiting room from where they would leave.
Keiichi scoops his angel from the layer, and hops out of the chair still smiling towards Fukata. He offers a nod in response to his words, "Yeah... before I start realizing how many people are staring at us again." He almost seemed to teeter slightly with that thought, his butterflys winning out over the adrenaline of just winning this match.