The stadium lights shift about in their blinding manner, shining out into the crowd and onto the arena floor below. It seems the next round is about to start, and the announcer sets his microphone up. "Ladies and gentlement, are you ready for the next match?" He waits as the loud cheering gets louder, and smiles as he pushes his sunglasses up on the bridge of his nose some. "Then let's get ready for the fourth match of round five!" With that the attendant in the waiting rooms had already been ushering Keiichi and Hama down the hallway, and indicates that they can both go out into the arena and take their seats now.
The fact that not only is this the last match, but she also sorta knows her opponent. These two facts together make her quite nervous as she moves out towards the arena, but different from her previous matches, she's started getting sorta used to it all and walks purposefully despite knowing that this match maybe her toughest one yet. The arena lights blind her for a moment after finally emerging from the dimly lit corridor, or at least dimly lit compared to here, and she's forced to blink for a moment until she can see again. She never could get used to quick changes of light. She doesn't stand long by the door, starting over for the chair as soon as her vision starts to clear, knowing the it would clear enough by the time she reached the chair to climb up without worry of embarrassment. Up into the chair she climbs, facing the layer with her angel in lap, reaching to take and place the headset upon her head, flashing the wings out as soon as she gets it settled in place.
Keiichi had faced his opponent before on the layer, though not in an official tournament or anything. Hama's Hogosha was tough, and difficult to do damage to, so this particular battle would be hard won, much like all his previous ones. That was to be expected at a tournament though right? He emerges out into the brightly lit arena with one hand extended across his brow, as if to block out the brightness. It does little good at that, but it also helps him avoid looking directly at the crowds. You would think he'd have gotten used to this by now, being his second time here, but it still bothered him deep down inside. Oh well, a smile takes form and his hand moves to offer a wave to the crowd before he climbs into his seat and prepares everything, headset, angel, and all. The chair then begins rising up into the air to take proper position.
With both deus' seated, the announcer shifts his microphone once more and then cuts through the din of noise the crowd was making. "In the west corner, we have a newcomer to this tournament and she's done an impressive job so far! The dues is Mitsunaka Hama, with her angel Hogosha!" The cheering picks up, as it seems a number of the people watching the tournament have taken a liking to the extremely fair skinned little girl. That's to be expected though, little girls are cute and hard to not like when you're spectating something right? The announcer lets them cheer for a moment, then indicates towards the other chair. "And in the east corner, a second comer to these games and on a similar track as the previous year, the deus is Misaka Keiichi, and his angel is Zankoku!" The boy apparently has his own following, much to his dismay. It was the side effect of doing well and being overly exposed to the public eye, especially with such a popular game.
With both of them introduced the announcer grins and adjusts his glasses before pointing down at the layer, "The battlefield today will be. . ." a long dramatic pause is given here, for effect and to give enough time for the layer to take form after shifting through various ones. "THE PILLOW!" Wow, he seems way too excited over the fact that they'll be fighting on the pillow.
When the layer takes form, Keiichi visibly pales. He remember the last time Zankoku was forced to battle on this soft cushy battlefield, and the results were not good. What terrible luck. He sighs and shakes his head a bit.
The announcer then calls out, "Let's see what kind of fight we can have on such a soft and comfortable looking battlefield! Perhaps the angels will just fall asleep, who knows! Angels fall-in!"
Hama blinks at the layer for a second before smiling and giggling softly, "Hope you have fun with this match!" she calls out, trying to make herself heard over the din of the crowd before lifting Hogosha and taking a breath. "Protect those weaker then you, Hogosha." And with that she tosses her angel as hard as she can towards the layer. Hogosha passes through the layer, the barrier seeming to shimmer like water as he passes through, falling down to land with not a thump, nor a thud or any other heavy seeming sound, but a fwoof. Hogosha seems mildly perplexed for a moment, but quite glad he didn't have to meet something hard for once. Now to wait for the other to make it's appearance.
Keiichi watches Hogosha make its way into the layer quietly for the moment, and then nods looking over towards Hama. Luckily for her, the headsets had built in mircophones for direct communication, which meant she didn't really have to call over the crowd that much. He offers a smile her way and nods, "You too." He then tosses Zankoku carelessly towards the layer, "Wreak the vengeance of the dead upon the living, Zankoku!" The zombie-angel tumbles through the air and passes through the energy barrier with a flash of purplish-black light eminating from him before he snaps to life. His eyes glow brightly red for a moment as he twists about and flips down towards the pillowy surface. He lands just fine, at first, but the unsteady ground that he'd fought on once before soon sends him tumbling back with a blink of confusion. It takes him a moment to rise back up to his feet and steady himself on the pillow, and Keiichi's expression seems perplexed. He did something to compensate for this last time didn't he? What was that. . .
Hama giggles a little bit, "Zankoku was kinda cute there." She nods a little bit, "When ever you're ready." And with that she leans back in the chair and waits. Not one to start things off is she? But this might be a little harder of a layer for Hogosha to fight on as well, so this is probably just a way to figure out how the opponent uses the layer to his advantage. Either way Hogosha and Hama don't seem to have any reason to make the first move in this match.
Well now that everything was set, the announcer calls out! "And now, it's time for an Angelic FIGHT-o!" With that indication the buzzer goes off and the clock begins counting down.
Cute? That wasn't exactly the effect he was going for when Keiichi had made Zankoku, but Saneko seemed to think so too. What was wrong with young girls these days anyway? He shrugs his shoulders and chuckles, "Let's have a good match then." The zombie-angel seemed to be having trouble getting good footing on such a soft and giving surface. Keiichi pursed his lips a bit and then tilted his head a bit. Ah ha! That's right. Small sparks of dark energy crackle around his feet, creating a very small space of relative stability. It would be difficult to maintain on the move though, so for now he would bide his time and think about how to go about this.
Well it seems like the other angel is having the same ideas, to bad that it's going to turn into a waiting game. Neither wants to make the first move, though this match will go nowhere fast if things continue at this pace. Or maybe they'll just go no where slow... it's hard to tell sometimes. Mean while Hama racks her memory to try and remember exactly what skills the zombie like angel used last time. It's a far cry from actually knowing, but if she can remember anything it might prove useful as she fights him this time.
Zankoku begins making a very slow approach towards Hogosha, wary of the creature's long reach and excitability at being attacked. He would have to take this slow if he wanted to come out on top, and so he was. For now he just circles slowly around the rocky monstrosity, practicing keeping the ground under him steady so that he doesn't trip or fall or whatnot. A careful eye remains on his opponent though.
Hogosha turns to face it's foe, watching with interest but showing none of it's normal signs of needing to pound something like it typically does. The reason is a little odd, but it actually seems to be listening to Hama's commands for once. It watches curiously, wondering what the angel of death is going to do. To sit and wait, or decide to give it your all and attack, that is the dilemma.
Zankoku finally pauses in his circling and turns to face the gargoyle. One hand lifts to rub at his chin briefly, and then both arms cross over his chest. He appears to be thinking about how to go about things for now. He wouldn't he standing there doing nothing for too much longer though, that much is certain.
The large angel continues watching and waiting, but not attacking the opponent. Judging, estimating, and planning what to do about this foe. Attacking it to soon is stupid, but attacking it later could be just as bad. You never know what they have up their sleeve, at least not until the trap is sprung, but by then you can't do anything about it. Such decisions.
Well the timer had been winding down for a little while now, and if he didn't get started he probably wasn't going to win. It was now time to attack the beast with everything he had. Dark energy charges down along the zombie-angel's legs as he charges towards Hogosha as fast as he can, and he barrels straight for the beast, attempting to bowl it over if at all possible. He probably wasn't strong enough, but it might work, maybe.
Bowling it over certainly didn't work, running up the side a little bit maybe, but the odds of Hogosha getting pushed over are surprisingly small with how big it's base was. So the attack, if you want to call it that, was highly ineffective. Hogosha doesn't move however, staying in check instead of the normal lashing out that goes right along with getting attacked. These two are surprisingly calm right now and there isn't really any reason why.
Zankoku seems to kind of bounce off the large stone creature, but it was more like after the impact he could tell nothing was going to happen. He only puts a small distance between them with that bounce and twists about in a sort of spin while that dark energy channels through his arm. When he comes around he lunges in and attempts to use the energy and the momentum of the blow to smash his fist into the rock.
Thanks to Hogosha's shape, despite how dead on the attack is, the attack largely slides off it's body, leaving a deep scrape along the side of it's body, but seemingly no real damage. Note the 'seemingly'. In reality these little nicks can be more troublesome then having a bite taken out, the armor doesn't work as well in those places, and it makes it harder to move without damaging your own armor lightly. Soon, very soon it will be time to start giving this foe something new to be thinking about other then ways to hurt a rock, something like avoiding getting punched by a rock for example.
Zankoku's attack slides off, but he can
tell it wasn't completely ineffective. Good, good. Using the movement
of the sliding motion of his hand along the gargoyle's body, he steps
around and then spins into a roundhouse kick towards the large rocky
thing. It was a simple attack, and he didn't expect a whole lot from
it really, but he had to keep pressing if he was going to do enough
damage to win right?
Well it's a good thing not much was expected of the attack, cause not much is all he got out of it. This time provokes a response from the beast however and it lashes out. It seems that Hama decided to finally set him loose on the other angel. Luckily for Zankoku however, the attack that Hogosha sends it's way is a straight punch, no tricks involved. Shouldn't be much trouble to deal with it.
Zankoku jumps to the side and rolls away from the straight on attack, before getting to his feet and charging in again. This time though, he wasn't going to make a simple attack, this time it was time to test the eyes. His fingers shift into the position one would take if they were going to claw at something, and dark energies coarse down into the tips. He leaps up and makes a swiping motion at Hogosha's eyes this time, attempting to disable them temporarily and make attacking more difficult.
Well... it's not known how effective that's really going to be considering the nature of the odd angel. But attack it does, and while nothing seems to be happening because the attack did miss it's mark, in all reality it is working as wanted, it just used a round about way. It's not the slash at the side of the head that messed up Hogosha's sight, it's the dark energy Zankoku used to do it. Some of that energy leaked in to Hogosha and went straight to it's head, kinda like beer does to some people. This sudden loss of sight doesn't seem to bother it in the least, for that matter it keeps attacking, or at least attacking where it thinks he is. After an attack like that it's hard to keep track without your eyes.
Thankfully Zankoku had already moved out of that position, and was charging his hand full of that negative energy yet again. This time though, he was polluting it to the point that it might corrupt the flows of power of the big stone angel and buy him a little reprieve. It was worth a shot. His hand came forward in a light tap of sorts towards the creature's armor plating, attempting to surge the gathered charge into it.
The big angel is prepared for a sneaky trick like that this time, and so it manages to sorta flop out of the way of the attack. It does something rather odd then, it uses it's arms to launch itself back vertical, only to fall back over the other way. The other way also happens to be where Zankoku is standing unless he chooses to step aside, something that big wouldn't be fun to be under, even on something as soft as this.
As Hoghosha topples over towards Zankoku he slides back a bit and lifts both hands oddly. Dark energy crackles between them and the strange rock creature finds itself falling into some kind of soft barrier that slows its descent. The zombie-angel had miscalculated slightly though, and his foot manage to get stuck under the thing. Grr. His hand draws back as the energy channels through it and he smashes it down again, attempting to infuse the beast with that negative energy of his to stun it and buy himself a little time.
Once again Hogosha proves to be much faster then it looks, getting up and out of the way of the attack before it can connect, living Zankoku's foot free but his hand touching nothing but air. Not one to miss a chance if it can be helped, Hogosha attacks again, sending a fist flying instead of itself this time. There's a little curve to the attack however, making it look easier to dodge then it actually is.
As Hogosha makes its escape from Zankoku's attack, something odd is going on around the pillow. Spectres and shades with glowing red eyes begin to rise up out of the feathery object, sending a wailing call across the layer. They're swirling up in a pillar about the zombie-angel's form just now, and when the attack comes in, Zankoku only grins and moves one hand to shove the arm aside. His eyes flash a brilliant red and his other arm draws back as all of those spirits are suddenly channeled into his arm, causing a dark purplish hue to eminate from the zombie's form. This particular attack was dangerous for most people to take head on, and he was too close. He smashes that hand forward towards that potentially weakened spot he struck in the first round, attempting to punch through the monsters armor as best he can.
Oh my, a new effect. Hama can help but stare in wonder and enjoyment at the ghosts, ghouls, specters, shades, phantoms, ghasts, and who knows what else. She was quite firmly entraced by it all, right until she realized he was using it to attack her. She just barely managed to get a block up in time, but even that didn't save her health from taking a severe plunge. The good this is she managed to disperse the effect enough so the power of all those spirits didn't break her arms, only small fractures. This makes Hama a little disappointed and Hogosha slightly miffed. Lets fight one aura with another. So Hogosha does just that, building up it's own sickly blood like aura and slashing at Zankoku with the claws that form up from it.
Zankoku seems to take the attack full on, his body still charged with those spirits he sucked into his body. The claws bite into him, but not as deeply as Hogosha had probably hoped they would. Still, why was the zombie-angel grinning like that? He just took some damage, nobody should enjoy such things. That swirling energy pools into his hand again, this time forming a blade along the ridge of his knuckles. Two could play that game right? He brings the energy weapon forward in a stabbing motion, straight for the big stone creature's central body area. The dagger was actually longer than normal too, it seemed like it might actually be able to go completely through the monster, which was actually quite impressive if one stopped to think about it.
As much longer then normal as that dagger is, it's still not near long enough to stab all the way through Hogosha, not by a long shot. It is long enough to mess up a few things internally, which almost never happens to Hogosha. It's going to take it a little bit to get things straightened out enough to attack, that's for sure. Hama on the other hand is frowning, she prefers only having the outside get mucked up, removing the armor to deal with internal stuff is never fun, especially when you have to remove it to have someone else fix it. Oh Well, lets see how it goes.
The glow in Zankoku's eyes dull down slightly after the attack connects and the energy dissipates and fades away. He slides back and dips into a spin that sends two quick kicks in succession at the large beast's armored plating. He was aiming for places that he'd already struck, trying to find a chink in the armor, if there was one.
Hogosha has had about enough fooling around now, and so when the attack comes around it none to gently smacks it off to the side with an arm, to bad for it that the area it countered with was one of the previously damaged areas, so it did get a little worse. That doesn't appear to be the first thing on it's mind however as it charges up those blood red claws and tries to slash again, wanting to give back all that it took and more to this annoying angel.
As the clawed attack of Hogosha's streaks towards Zankoku, some type of invisible field seems to catch it and completely divert it off course. A complete miss is made of the blow, which might be fairly impressive really. Zankoku doesn't take time to preen or be impressed with himself though, dark energies crackled about his form as a good bit of it swirls and coalesces into a sphere within his hand. His eyes close briefly and a faint green hue begins to domainate the energy flow there. When they open again, the dully glowing red eyes narrow a bit and he steps in with a heavy palm strike to the beast's body, trying to infuse the energy into it. Well, if nothing else, Zankoku was very good at energy manipulation.
Any lesser angel probably would have fallen to this assault by now, but Hogosha's defenses are keeping it standing much longer then some might have thought. But even with it's ability to guard the sheer volume and strength of the attacks is having an obvious toll on the large angel. Places of it's armor are quite literally falling apart from either repeated strikes or one decent strike and movement. But Hogosha doesn't seem to care, it's to busy trying to deal with the foe that's right in front of it to worry about any of the damage it's taking. And even on it continues, throwing another quick left at the zombie like angel, not so much aiming anymore then just trying to get in any decent hit it can.
Zankoku is smashed by the long arm of Hogosha, it actually looks like he walked right into it really. And he did to be honest. He could sense the potential of finishing the battle soon, and sometimes that overrides his self preservation instinct. Though not usually too much to his detriment. He comes in again with another series of light attacks, he knows they won't do too much but there is a glimmer of hope that this will end things.
The attack baps Hogosha somewhere around the base, it's extremely hard to know where for certain however as it's not paying any attention to that and only to the other. It lashes out once more, slightly more wildly this time compared to last time, aiming for an unpredictable strike, preferably to the head, that will catch Zankoku off guard. It might not actually do much, but anything to make Zankoku's fight to beat it a little more challenging would be worth the effort. What's the use of playing if you don't give the other a challenge anyway?
Well, given the wild and random nature of the attack, it actually takes a lot of effort to avoid it. Enough to drain a lot of the reserve power he'd been storing for the end. Well it was the end, so no time like the present to use it right? It takes some fancy footwork and moving about to avoid the flailing arm and close in for another attack. Another roundhouse kick this time, aimed towards a hopefully weakened area of armor.
Given how much energy it's taken to live through all the attacks so far and that one random flailing attack it made at the end, Hogosha just doesn't have the energy to get a defense up against that attack. It connects hard, hitting just above where it was intended and possibly causing more damage by widening the broken spot then if he had hit where he wanted. Hogosha pretty much stops moving after that, being out of energy in all kinds to continue at all.
Zankoku slowly recovers after his attack connects and peers down towards the armored beast that was his opponent. He is unsure if this is over yet, as the calculating damage message is still going. It is over though, there is no doubt. It is odd for Zankoku to express any sort of respect for his opponent, or restraint. Still, it was a difficult battle to the end, and Hogosha was stubbornly difficult to bring down. It is for this fact alone that he offers a small bow towards the fallen stone gargoyle and its dues, before turning and walking slowly towards the edge of the layer.
The damage calculations end finally, and indicate that Hogosha is indeed down for the count. The buzzer goes off and the announcer blares over the microphone, "Zankoku, win!"
The chair lowers to the ground and Hama climbs out of the chair and then right up on the layer, she scoops up Hogosha in her arms and hugs him lightly before hopping back down and walking over to Keiichi. "Thank you for battling with me, I really learned a lot from it." She smiles and starts to head back into the waiting room, letting him to decide what he wanted to do next. The crowd doesn't appear to bother her much as she heads back, those few people who have found themselves fans of the little cheering her on despite the loss in the match.
Somehow he'd managed to defeat Hogosha completely. Though it wasn't any time to be impressed with himself. His chair had lowered as well, and he was just getting out of it when Hama had made her way over. He offered a nod in response, before going to get his angel as well. Time to retreat from the crowd! He makes his way towards the hallway, after the little girl that is Hama and away from the watchful gaze of the crowds above.