Round two. Tomoe's second match. One might think the anxiety would lessen . . . but that's just not the case. At least she knows what to expect, this time. Knowing doesn't mean she's going to /like/ it any more, though. Ugh. Tomoe is seated on one of the long purple benches, her head bowed, Chimera in her lap. She's tense, and her eyes are closed. Calm. She needs to be calm. Don't think of the lights, don't think of the crowds - gah, but telling herself not to think of those things just brings them to the forefront of her mind. Tomoe shakes her head, trying to clear it. Concentrate on Chimera. It's his show, not hers . . .
The tournament has only just begun, yet it's already in full swing. Once again the little girl and her stone behemoth only enter the waiting room a little bit before their match. She tried sitting in here and waiting before, but it seemed to just make the waiting worse, at least for her. But it's time for her to stop playing around now so that she can play a little more seriously. The waiting room has about half as many people now since the first round broke a bunch of peoples spirits as is bound to happen in tournaments. She doesn't know her foe for this round very well, but does remember meeting her in the park once before and so recognizes her in the waiting room. No offense to her, but she stands out a little bit. Hama walks over to sit next to her, trying to keep her own jitters under control while waiting for the match to get underway.
It's hard to tell if Tomoe even notices the younger girl who sat down beside her. Her eyes are open, but they're not completely focused, and, if they were focused, they would be focused on Chimera. She's not visibly shaking this time around, but it should be quite obvious enough that she's very far from comfortable. She swallows, and shakes her head again - it can be difficult to direct your thoughts in a particular manner when facing something so strongly disliked. There's no point in hoping they'll keep the spotlights on the layer - some people actually /like/ the attention . . .
If Tomoe doesn't notice her then she won't say anything to bring the other girl's attention to her. Hama's eyes concentrate on Tomoe for a moment, and while she's managed to keep the jitters away pretty well so far, just looking at the girl makes her get all jittery and nervous again. She's heard about how strong the girl is from the last tournament, but looking at her now makes her seem like much less of a monster then people said she was. Either way she has do divert her gaze to the others around the room, choosing to focus on those few people who seem to be enjoying he wait rather then dreading it. Perhaps some of their courage will spread to her if she watches long enough.
On the wall monitor, there is a strobe of bright flashing lights before spotlights kick on and dance and swirld about the arena in an erratic fashion. Several continue to do so as a few shift and aim towards the Announcer who brings the microphone down into position again. "We're sorry for the delay ladies and gentlemen, but we won't keep you waiting any longer. Welcome to the third match of the second round!" The stands erupt into a loud din of cheering, which is cut through by the voice of the Announcer a moment or two later. He was good at overtalking the noise wasn't he? "Would our two deus's please enter the arena!"
Well, there's the cue. Tomoe takes a deep breath, pulls Chimera close to her chest, and stands up. She's hesitant to actually venture forth into the arena, but she knows that she must. She didn't freeze during the first round . . . with any luck, she's manage to refrain from freezing again. With somewhat slow, hesitant steps, Tomoe makes her way through the winding corridor, into those hated lights and before the cheering crowd.
Hama lifts her angel in her hands and holds it to her chest as she follows Tomoe towards the arena. She couldn't help but feel sorry for the other girl despite how afraid and nervous she was herself, on a rather impulsive move she catches up to her and places a hand gently on her arm. "Let's have fun out there," she says softly before continuing on, making sure to keep pace with the other girl so they both can endure the crowds and lights at the same time. It would probably help both of them knowing that the crowd wasn't looking at them solely anymore.
Tomoe looks down at Hama as the small girl places a hand on her arm and, rather than pull away, she simply nods. It did help distract her from the surroundings, just a little bit. And a little bit of distraction is ever so much better than none. And so, she makes her way to one of the odd oval chairs, climbing into it without a word. The headset is placed on carefully, preventing those crowds from seeing the miscoloration of her face as best as she can. And then, she waits.
The pause is brief, perhaps not even enough for most people to notice, but indeed she does pause at the entrance to the arena. She makes herself move again, trying to ignore the roaring of the crowd as they anxiously awaited the start of this match. It takes her a moment to hop in the chair and get situated, but once she's in place the headset goes on, wings snapping out to show her ready for battle. She gazes across the match at Tomoe, her angel perched in her lap awaiting the fallin that was soon to follow with a certain amount of excitement now mingling with that ever present nervousness.
After they both are secured into their seats, they rise up high into the air above the large layer below. The loud din of cheering from the crowd never seems to wane the whole time, but the Announcer's voice carries through it regardless. "Both of our conmpetitors tonight are new to this tournament and they're both fresh off the first round with a victory to their credit, but only one will win this showdown!" There is a dramatic pause given here, allowing the crowd to continue their cheering.
The Announcer smiles in his chair high above the world, then nods. "Okay! In the west corner," as he says this his arm moves over to indicate that seat as all of the spotlights kick out in a strange pattern before focusing on Tomoe, "We have the deus Inugata Tomoe, and her angel Chimera!" There is a loud cheer though it dies down enough and quickly enough for the Announcer to go on, "And in the east corner," agan the lights shift and move before focusing on Hama, "is the deus Mitsunaka Hama, and her angel Hogosha!" The crowd's cheering picks up yet again, drowning out most of the noise in the area.
Utilizing the cheering as a pause the huge layer dominating the arena flahses to life, a series of sceneries blinking by in a swift fashion. It almost seems like watching a roulette wheel, and finally it stops! The layer's surface is dominated by a huge tower that resembles the Eiffel or Tokyo tower in appearance, and in the center and at the top there is a large disk. They seem to be connected by a ladder in the center. "Today it seems our two combatants will be fighting it out on the tower! It's a treacherous place for any angel and those who fall from the top are surely doomed to lose! Will one of our angels fall, or will they both be able to stand the high speed winds and keep their balance! There's only one way to find out folks! Angels Fall IN!" The lights dance out into the crowd in a random fashion before focusing on the layer below.
Tomoe winces as the spotlights focus on her, bowing her head and closing her eyes until those light move on. There's a shudder, and another deep breath, before she reopens her eyes and looks down to the layer. Focus. Focus on the layer, focus on Chimera. Ignore everything else. Layer. Chimera. Another deep breath, and Tomoe holds Chimera out. " . . . It's hunting time . . . Chimera . . ." The entry phrase is still coming out all weak, and rather too-quiet, without that confident quiet that she tends to pull off at the Piffle Princess. " . . . fall in . . ." Have forced the words out, she throws the beast into the layer.
As Chimera passes through the layer barrier, he springs quickly to life - and it's a good thing, too. Tomoe seems to be having aim problems - if Chimera were to remain inanimate, he'd have falled short of the tower, and that certainly would have been a disappointing match. Instead, that single wing shoots out, beating several times to send the monstrosity into a lopsided glide towards the lower disk. And he still almost doesn't make it - forefeet claw frantically at the disk, catching hold, slipping, then catching again. A few more flaps of that heavy wing gives Chimera the boost he needs to pull himself up. Once he's no longer in immediate danger of falling off, the bestial angel growls, that cervid head looking somewhat accusingly back at Tomoe while the other two heads focus on Hama, awaiting the appearance of an opponent..
Hama only has a moment before the light is focusing on her. She's temporarily blinded by the light, and when she regains her vision enough to see the layer she can't help but blink at Chimera. He... was... beautiful! If she had the opportunity she would have liked to sit there and examine him some more, but that isn't a viable option right now so she continues on to fallin herself, but this might be a problem. "Protect and guide those with shattered hearts, Hogosha." If people can actually hear her it's saying something, she wasn't much louder this time then she was speaking to Tomoe in the corridor. She hefts Hogosha towards the layer with both hands, throwing him as hard as she could to try and get him to the tower. He flies, breaking through the barrier and neglecting to move. Sadly he doesn't have wings, and this layer was just a little large for her to get him to the center of it. He falls down towards the ground, but seeing that the ground isn't where it's supposed to be this time around Hogosha whips out it's long arms to grab hold of one of the beams and just kind of hangs there for a moment. Slowly it starts pulling itself up to balance carefully on one of the beams, arms keeping at from falling by wrapping about nearby vertical supports.
With both angels on the layer, and the crowd cheering loudly, the announcer cuts through the air with his voice once more. "Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for an ANGELIC FIGHT-O!" With that the buzzer sounds and the clock begins the countdown from ten minutes.
All six of those dull red eyes turn to focus on the stoney angel as it pulls itself up. Claws, hoof and talon clack against the disk as Chimera slowly stalks over to the edge, attempting to get an even better view of his unusual opponent. This . . . does not look like something to sink his teeth into. In fact, that may even hurt. The beast circles a bit, still sizing up Hogosha. How does one hunt a big rock?
Hogosha does /not/ look happy at all. Clinging to a tower and being out of contact with the ground does not sit well with the brick of an angel. Chimera's prowling does give it something to focus on other then the distance to the ground, so it doesn't mind that. Climbing up would be more then a little annoying however, and it doesn't really feel like getting any closer to the large cat... snake... thing then it has to. At least not yet.
The massive beast continues to circle, watching his even more massive opponent. That split tail sways slowly from side to side as Chimera crouches at the edge of the disk, nearest as he can get to Hogosha without leaving the safe-feeling platform. The broad central head tilts to one side as both outter necks stretch out towards the big rock, sniffing at it curiously. The taloned forefoot locks over the edge of the disk, while that big forepaw stretches out, pawing in Hogosha's direction, somewhat playfully.
While Hogosha may not be amused by the playful antics of the angel it's supposed to be fighting against, Hama can sure appreciate a little playfulness in the angels as they battle. For that matter the simple little paw swipe made Hama croon a little bit. This leaves Hogosha in a much worse mood then when he started somehow, but it's moderately safe out there so a little more watching couldn't really hurt anything now. Chimera is as big as he is, and Hogasha isn't having the easiest time staying put so it's pretty safe to assume that it isn't going to come out unless it decides it wants to attack.
There's a little huff from Chimera that causes a small puff of visible breath from the cervid mouth, as though the air were particularly cold . . . That single, massive wing stretches out, helping to balance the heavy beast on this trecherous wind-blown terrain. The rocky angel isn't coming to him, so Chimera will just have to go to it. Muscles tense, then the large angel leaps. He's not aiming for Hogosha itself - that would be far too troublesome a hold. Bird-like talon clings to one of the beams as that sturdy, tripple-split tail wraps tightly around another, and Chimera hangs precariously a very short distance from his opponent. There's another small huff, and the beast swipes with that forepaw again - rather less playfully this time, and much more aggressively.
The paw comes up and Hogosha moves in, mouth open. What is that crazy brick doing? Well it's trying gnaw Chimera's paw right off. It doesn't really expect to get very far with that, but that doesn't mean it's not going to try. Of course the fact that it doesn't try and attack back doesn't say much for it right now, but gnawing on something does tend to make you lose your train of thought... sometimes. Hama doesn't seem to mind letting Hogosha take it's time, at least not right now. Later she'll probably have different plans but for now she's content to watch them play.
There's a small, somewhat confused growling noise from Chimera s the rock chews on his paw. For a minute, it seems as though the beast is just going to stand there and let it. But then, that heavy forepaw pulls back, attempting to hook the corner of Hogosha's mouth in the process. And then, that cervid head swings back before jerking sharply around, sending that massive rack of antlers swooping towards that offending mouth.
Normally this rock wouldn't be able to move at all, but considering the place and how it's staying up there's a little room to play for once. Hogosha's arms heave it to the side a little, turning a direct blow into a glancing blow and thus reducing the amount of damage taken. Much to Hama's surprise the attack actually managed to put a decent crack into Hogosha's shell. Very few people have been able to hit hard enough to do that, and to do that without a direct blow means that she has to pay careful attention to Chimera from now on. Hogosha simply grins a truly wicked grin, letting go of one of the beams to bring an arm around to smack one of the heads with a blow. While this blow is meant to damage since that is the point, it's quite as obviously the type of slap you would use on a dog that did something it wasn't supposed to.
A quick heave draws Chimera up, closer to the beam he's hanging from. Oddly enough, it brings the big rock's attack directly into his chest - why would the beast move further /into/ the attack? A sharp cracking noise may just answer that question. The serpentine neck and head convulse, then a sudden jet of stickly black goo shoots out from between those slender fangs. The foul stuff hisses in the air, clinging to and eatting through everything it touches. The turn of the serpent head and the strength of the wind blows the stuff in an even wider than usual arch - it doesn't land only on Hogosha, but clings to the support beams, as well. Chimera can tell the danger of that. That single wing beats once, heavily, and the beast pulls himself up, clinging to weakening metal before launching himself off of it. That leap brings him to one of the beams his rocky opponent is using for support - that one, too, was hit by the spray. A heave, a hop upon the beam, an attempt to break it loose, then another flap of that wing, and another leaps brings Chimera back to the relative safety of the middle disk.
Acid... it's melting the rock coating. Normally this wouldn't be all that bad, but considering that once it hits a spot it weakens it a lot, creating a nice point for the big brute to aim for in future attacks. This match is going to require more then a little repairs after it's all over, she's sure of that. Hogosha swings and quickly gets over onto a beam that won't collapse on top of him. It reaches out and grabs one of the partially melted beams, showing just how long it's arms are really, and pulls the loose piece free. What does it do with a hunk of metal like that? He chucks it up at Chimera like a boomerang, a boomerang that only flies one way. Either way getting hit by that isn't bound to feel to good.
All it takes to get out of the way of the boomerang-beam is for the great beast to release his grip on the disk and crouch down slightly. The beam slams into more beams rather farther away, clatters against the disk, then is blown easily over the edge. As the makeshift weapon spirals downwards, Chimera crouches and lunges again. That single wing shoot out, helping to balance the beast and guide him towards the big rock. His leap is aimed towards Hogosha's face - Chimera's /goal/ is land briefly on his opponent's head, then leap away again, to cling at another beam with talon and tail.
The leaping flying beast doesn't look like it has an intent to fly right on by, so in order to stay balanced Hogosha grabs part of the other beam that was hit by the acid to interpose it between them. This works to keep the talons away from it, but with only one hand it doesn't have the strength to keep Chimera's force from slamming the steal beam into it's own head. One might note the sound being similar to throwing a coconut against a brick wall. Hogosha's had about enough of these beams by now and since Chimera can fly there isn't much reason to stay out here anyway, so Hogosha chucks this steal beam over it's shoulder at Chimera like the last one before working over to the lower platform and more stable ground.
The beam slams into Chimera's haunches, then bounces off and tumbles downward, clanging against more beams on the way down. Chimera hardly seems to notice. As soon as the beast gets hold of another beam, he launches himself off of this one, back towards Hogosha. With that single wing, Chimera cannot actually fly - but the massive wing does greatly increase his leaping distance, and this strong winds aren't hurting any, either. Claws and talon launch Chimera from one beam to another (the hoof being mostly useless up here). He moves past Hogosha this time, slapping his tail out to strike against the big rock on his way to the platform.
Hogosha seems a trifle disappointed that the beam didn't do anything more to the large creature, but the fact that it came back so they have more solid ground helps pacify it somewhat. It turns and faces the foe as it passes onto the platform, putting an arm up to take the whip from the tail but seeming to pay little head to it beyond that. What he's looking for now would be obvious, he wants an opening to get in a beat this thing down. It's annoying, and quite painful compared to anything else it's seen so far, a worthy foe in Hogosha's eyes, though Hama may disagree on some counts.
Hogosha may seem to be filled with patience, but now that Chimera has gotten started, he's not about to let up. As soon as the beast is back on something passing for solid land, he charges. That central head bows low as the two outter heads pull back. Claws, hoof and talons clack upon the metal disk. It's a move that is easy enough for most to dodge, but Hogosha doesn't seem terribly interested in dodging. Still, if those spiralling horns slam into the rock, it's probably going to hurt.
It turns out that this stone does indeed have ways to move other then flinging itself about with it's arms. What those ways are is kind of hard to figure out in the middle of battle, but either way the block moves with surprising grace out of the way of the attack, only to throw a punch at Chimera from the side. It seems like it's finally getting into this fight with all it's got, a rare thing for something as patient and irritated as this rock can be most times. Of course now that there's a little more actual fun and a little less hit in run or ranged attacks Hama seems to be more interested in the battle too... if that's at all possible.
Chimera takes the punch full-on. The blow pushes the beast slightly to the side, but otherwise, barely seems to phase him. A sudden flap of that massive wing helps turn Chimera around to better face the big rock. There's a small purring growl, and he charges again. This time, just before he reaches Hogosha, the monstrosity leaps, spreading forepaw and foretalon wide. The central maw also yawns wide - coming in for a maul, it would seem.
Neither Hogosha nor Hama seem at all bothered by the incoming attack. Straight forward attacks aren't bad, and if you had a plan but were only waiting for the right time it might be just what you need. So what Hogosha does is move in past the attack quickly, the familiar reddish-black aura gathering and flowing across it's body quickly. As It nears the beast's torso the aura forms not into the normal blood like claws, but into a long blade which it thrusts right at the now showing underside. It doesn't appear to dawn on either deus or angel that this might cause a sudden weight to be put on them, or they might just not care.
The bizarre blade cuts effortlessly into Chimera's cut, skewering the beast cleanly and emerging from his back. For a moment, it seems as though it may have been quite enough to bring the beast to death - he convulses slightly, slumping, as those six dull red eyes grow even duller. Then, a low, deep rumbling growl begins, emanating from within the impaled creature's chest. Shifting slightly, that wing slaps down again, providing enough force to pull Chimera quite free from the aura-formed weapon. The growl continues. All three heads are held low, watching Hogosha, as those dull eyes brighten. They even seem to glow.
Hogosha seems slightly disappointed and greatly pleased at the same time. That blade was the best thing he had and it lived, but he's also glad the fight can continue. He's not about to let them catch their breath after that attack however and falls right into to another attack, this time flicking it's arm around to attack the other from above. Hama smiles and looks up and across at Tomoe. She nods once and shouts out, trying her hardest to reach the other girl. "You and Chimera are a really great team, but Hogosha and I aren't going to let up on you just cause we're friends." She's certainly assuming a lot here, but as far as she's concerned it's true.
The glow in Chimera's eyes grows - it's odd. He somehow seems enveloped in some kind of aura of his own, although it's not visible. More of something to be /felt/ than seen. The beast easily moves out of the way, sliding to one side. And then, another lunge - but this one is backed by something unseen. More of that ephemeral aura, perhaps? All three mouths strike forward, each aiming to bite and tear. Foreclaw and foretalon slap inward to rip and shread. And, if the attack is not buffered away, hindclaw and hoof will be brought forward as well, adding their own threat into the fray. As for Tomoe, all of her attention is upon the layer - she sees and hears nothing else. Which is a good thing - she can't afford to let her anxieties get to her in the midst of a battle, after all.
It's not that surprising to Hama that the other girl is so focused, she's focused in her own way as well. The attack would have caused a severe problem to most anyone. Luckily Hogosha still has most of it's body armor, so blocking or preventing most of the damage from the heads isn't that hard to do, and the claws don't do all that much either. What really hurt Hogosha more then any other part of this attack was the hoof. It's blunt, and found that weak point in the armor from the acid. It did make a nice cracking sound as it hit. Despite the damage it inflicts to itself, Hogosha goes ahead and brings it's bladed arm around once more, trying to get into the gap caused by the full body attack.
Once again, the gruesome blade cuts amazingly easily into the beast's flesh. But Chimera does not let up. Ignoring the blow, the beast pushes forward. Growling, the massive creature slams itself into Hogosha once more, slamming into it with those massive spiralling horns.
Hogosha isn't going to let Chimera just run into it. It slips off to the side of the attack once more, letting the other beast attack the spot where it just was. It flings out a punch at the side of the closest head, this battle has gone on forever, and what a battle it's been. Hama and Hogosha have found a great deal of respect for this opponent and aren't really fond of letting the battle end, but their getting close to the end of the match now so they should really try and finish it up.
Long enough, indeed. The punch slaps the serpent head sharply to the side, but Chimera does little in response but turn around, growling. And then, a roar. There's just the slightest of a lunch, then all three mouths yawn wide, each belching forth its own, unique fluid. From the serpent mouth, another jet of that black, stickly, corrosive goo. From the cervid mouth, a burst of frigid air, riddled with sharp shards of ice. From the central mouth, a blast of very intense, brief flame.
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Yuuuush! Inugata-chaaaan!" A series of old men seem to be wiggling their body as Chimera's attack unleashes... "Nyooorooo! Go gooo!"
Well nobodies quite sure exactly what happened to Hogosha while in that Maelstrom, but what comes out resembles that thing you found in the gutter as a kid that your mother told you to never touch. It doesn't fall of anything, it just kind of sits there smoldering, melting, and who knows what else from that combination attack. Oddly enough Hama doesn't appear to be all that sad at the loss, and even the cheering of the crowd seems lost on her at this point. The match is finally over, and what a match it's been.
After the final attack lands, and it is clear that Hogosha was defeated by the scoreboard, a buzzer sounds and the Announcer's voice blares out over the speakers, "Oh! That was amazing, both angels were running neck and neck throughout the duration of this battle, and in the end it looked like Chimera might have been done for! Unfortunately for Hogosha though, the beast was packing a powerful attack to finish things off! Chimera Win!"
The match is over. With nothing left to focus her attention upon, Tomoe becomes aware of the arena once more. And . . . once more . . . the pup is declared the winner. Which means . . . Tomoe bows her head deeply, closing her eyes as she very quickly, very carefully, removes the headset. She doesn't even wait for the seat to descend fully - as soon as the ground is close, she jumps down. Wasting no time, she collects her bestial little angel from the layer, and makes her way back to the waiting room as quickly as she can, short of outright running. One might think she was being a sore loser . . . only . . . she didn't lose.
Hama has to fully climb up onto the layer in order to get Hogosha off of it, and by the time she starts heading back for the waiting room her cheeks are a bright red out of the embarrassment from having to do that. Despite that she tries her best not to hurry otherwise people might start to think she's hiding something.
As soon as Tomoe is back in the relative safety of the waiting room (no audience, no lights - there may be a few others about, but they seem quite content to leave her alone as they await their own matches), she finds a seat at the end of one of the benches. A deep breath, and she begins to examine Chimera. Maintenance. Something else to focus on. Two matches are over . . . best not think of how many that leaves. Maintenance. Repairs. Focus.
Hama comes in slowly, scraping stuff off of Hogosha to try and figure out exactly how bad the damage really is. She knows the armor will have to be replaced, but isn't sure if it got through to the underlaying structure or not. What ever that stuff Chimera used was it doesn't seem to want to come off easily. She takes a seat, but instead of sitting on the benches she opts to sit on the floor. It's much more comfy, but it's not that surprising is it?
Tomoe glances up very briefly as Hama sits down on the floor. Her own box of tool is already out and open. She needs to clean out the beast's compartments . . . but Hogosha seems to need cleaning a bit mroe immediately. Without a word, she tosses a small bottle of some kind of fluid (a cleaning solvent, actually) and a small, soft cloth over to Hama. Tomoe will just see to repairs before cleaning.