Kyousuke, acting much like his angel often does, is calmly relaxing in the waiting room. To be exact, he's actually sitting in the seiza position on the ground, eyes closed, and meditating. The samurai obsessed boy isn't doing this to calm his nerves. Strangely enough, he's actually not feeling all that nervous, and had been this way in the first round. This is probably because he's been in tournaments before. Not Angelic Layer ones though, but regular Kendo ones. It's just that this is his first time in front of so many people. ...Okay, so maybe he had been a little nervous, but the meditation helps a lot. It also helps him gather his focus for the match.
Miina doesn't come wandering into the
room until it's nearly time for her match. She recognizes Kyousuke
immediately, of course, and walks up to him without speaking. Smiling
a little, she sits on the floor in front of him, trying not to make
any sound as she mimics his position. The only difference is that her
eyes are open and her expression is impish as she watches him and
Kyousuke had been listening for the sounds of the door opening, dividing part of his attention to that so he can greet Miina when she walks in. He actually opens his eyes a few moments after Miina mimics his position in front of him, and grins up at her. "Yo Miina-han," he says. "I wasn't sure if I was gonna end up facin' you in the tournament or not, but I guess we got drawn and paired together though."
"Really?" The little girl sounds surprised. "I didn't actually look at who I going to play with, just what time I was supposed to be here. So we're gonna play right now? That'll be fun!" She grins, pulling her angel into her lap. "Our last match was with Aogiri-san and Rei. She's really strong!"
Kyousuke blinks, almost sweatdropping when Miina mentions that she didn't know who she was going to face. "Yeah, I was watchin' your match yesterday, guess ya didn't hear me shout." The boy grins. "I ain't an expert, but I think ya did pretty well for yourself. She was s'posed to be last years champion right?" He vaguely remembers the announcer mentioning that.
Miina nods a little. "I played with her in the last tournament, and she beat us pretty easy then, too. I like her angel. Rei is pretty." It shouldn't really have surprised Kyousuke that Miina doesn't pay too much attention to 'meaningless' details. It matters that she's playing right now. It doesn't matter who she's playing with..it'll be fun anyway. It takes her a moment to pick up on another detail, however. "You cheered for me?" She blushes slightly. "I heard someone when I first got in there, but after I was in the chair I couldn't hear much of anything at all."
Kyousuke nods happily. "'Course I cheered for ya," he says. "I didn't know your opponent or anything, and we're friends right?" The boy takes a bit to consider it. "Then again, I think my voice was kinda drowned out by the cheering squad for Aogiri-han. Maybe I shoulda tried gathering one for you or something."
A cheering squad for Miina and Usagi-tan? The little girl blushes a little more, then giggles. "Only if they all wear bunny ears like Usagi-tan has," she replies. Before either of them have time to say anything more, an attendant enters the room.
"Akaki Miina and Sakamoto Kyousuke, your match will begin shortly. Please come to the arena." As the woman leaves, Miina grins over at Kyousuke. "Ready to play?"
Kyousuke chuckles. "I'll be sure to find some bunny ears then," he says. When the attendant enters, he stands up from the seated position on his knees, then brushes his pants off. "Of course I'm ready," he replies, his grin growing even wider in anticipation. Looking into Miina's eyes, he says, "Good luck to ya" with complete honesty, then begins to make his way out into the arena for his second match of this tournament.
Miina walks down the aisle next to him until they come to the point where they have to go in opposite directions. "Good luck to you too," she returns, still grinning happily. She climbs up into the chair and pulls on the visor, with Usagi-tan in her lap as she adjusts it. Here we go.
Kyousuke heads over to his own seat and puts on his own headset, extracting Kensei from his pocket as he walks. There's something that's slighty different about the small warrior though, but the distance between the two duelists is probably too far to allow the girl to pick out what it is. Well, she should find out when the duel starts.
The announcer's voice reverberates throughout the arena as the two Deuses head out of the waiting room and towards the chairs that await them. "Here they are!" The crowd cheers at this simple fact, as the announcer already has them in the palm of his hand. Or at least, so he thinks. As Miina and Kyousuke take their seats, the chairs rise up into the air until they come to a stop many meters above the Layer. And then the spotlights come on.
"In the West Corner! This young girl fought bravely against the reigning champion earlier! What will she show us in this battle?" The spotlights focus upon Miina's chair, and the huge screen shows Miina as the cameras focus in on her. "Akaki... Miina!" The crowd cheers, even as the spotlights and cameras move over to Kyousuke's seat. "And in the east corner... the Deus that we've already begun to understand has a deep kinship for Samurai! Give it up for Sakamato... Kyousuke!" As the crowd cheers again, the two Deus' image appears in a split screen image, staring at each other on the screen.
The layer sparkles for a moment.... until it takes the form of... a giant down pillow! "It looks like the angels will have to fight not to be caught sleeping tonight!" ... Really, do they actually pay him for this commentary? He jams the microphone up towards his mouth. "Entry Angel!"
Miina claps her hands excitedly, her feet swinging in the chair as she watches the scenery appear on the layer. Pink and soft! Perfect for her Usagi-tan! At the announcer's cue, Miina raises her angel high above her head in both hands, much less worried about the launch this time than she had been on the last layer. This time, no matter where the bunny lands she'll be safe. "Alright, Chibi Usagi-tan!" Miina calls out happily as she chucks the little rabbit at the giant pillow. "Let's show 'em how to play!"
Usagi-tan flips and spins through the layer barrier as usual, owing to yet another horrible throw from her deus. Still, she lands softly and easily on the pillow and jumps up and down a few times, trying to get the feel of it.
Kyousuke makes his fallin silently, as he usually does. The main difference is that he must actually toss Kensei because of the chair he sits in. However, the samurai obsessed boy is very aware of what his body can do and his throw is fairly on the mark. The samurai does not need to land carefully, the pillow providing more than enough cushioning to soften whatever kind of fall he makes. At his seat, Kyousuke's face has become serious and focused. It is clearly visible from the set of his mouth alone, and the eyes that are hidden under the visor most likely matches it. Meanwhile, Kyousuke has turned to bow to his deus, then bow to the bunny girl he's lost to so many times before. His next motion makes the change in Kensei clear, as he draws a metal blade instead of his old wooden one. Both of the blades at his waist have now been replaced with their metal counterparts...
As the two angels fall-in, the announcer nods his head and yells into the microphone loudly. "Oooohhh, both of the angels are full of fighting spirit! Who will be the first one to be catching Zs?!? There's only one way to find out!" The crowd cheers and roars, but even their loud noises are drowned out by the announcer's next two words, as he practically screams them out. "ANGELIC... ... /FIGHT-O/!!!"
Even from a distance, Miina catches the glint of the light off of the shiny new blades, and immediately adjusts her plan. Before, Usagi-tan could always guard with only her bare arm in a pinch, but she won't be able to do that now. She doesn't have too much time to think, however.
The little rabbit takes the initiative, at first starting to try to run across the pillow. With the way it gives beneath her feet however, she quickly finds that it's infinitely easier to bound across in little jumps...and she's perfectly suited to such a thing. The instant she gets within range of her opponent, Usagi-tan strikes out with her massive, apparently leaden carrot, trying to knock Kensei down early as she rushes past.
The samurai's blades may look sharp, but in fact that are actually dulled edges. Kyousuke has no intention of slicing up his opponent's angels, not when it costs so much to repair them from blunt damage alone. Still, the ends of it look fairly pointy, and considering Kensei's arsenal of stabbing attacks, that can be bad.
The samurai does not test the surface of the pillow as Usagi-tan has, deciding that his landing on the soft surface told him enough about the limitations the layer has. When his opponent comes bounding at him, he begins to bounce slightly then springs high into the air when the carrot is swung. As he comes down, his blade is raised overhead, then sliced downwards at Usagi-tan's head.
The announcer's voice fills the arena once more. "Yosh! The action begins right away as these two angels move in for the attack! Can you FEEL the excitement?!?" Strangely enough, the crowd can, and cheers erupt from the audience... again. Are they actually buying this shtick?
By continuing her forward motion, Usagi-tan is able to avoid taking the strike on the top of her head, instead catching a fair slash on her back. Immediately she launches herself off of the pillow once again, aiming her entire body to try and smash directly into Kensei. Of course, she'll add the point of her weapon to the attack, trying to drive it into his gut at the same time.
Kensei lands firmly on the pillow, body lowered as much as possible, then springs back into the air as soon as Usagi-tan launches her next attack. However, because of the height that was now behind the jump, the samurai is unable to stop his up and down motion for a little while after landing, and misses his next opportunity to attack the rabbit girl.
The carrot-wielding rabbit seems momentarily put out by the fact that Kensei actually managed to avoid that one, and she waits for a moment. She watches the way he sinks down so deeply into the pillow, much farther than she does herself, and begins to wonder if that could be used to her advantage. Usagi-tan doesn't charge at him again just yet, instead waiting to see just how he could move.
Kensei eventually bounds to a stop, and as soon as he does his second blade flashes out of its sheathe, and the samurai dashes as best as he can, which isn't that great, towards Usagi-tan. As soon as he's close enough, both of his blades are raised high above his head, then they both arc down towards, targetting both of her shoulders in the same move.
"Ohhhhh!" That blonde-haired announcer pulls the microphone even closer, at great risk of jamming it down his own throat, and yells out. "A double bladed strike! What will Usagi-tan do against Kensei's vicious assault?!?" Really, his questions seem to spur the crowd on a little, but ... matches are probably easier without the narration.
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Yo-yo-Kyou!"
Hmm. A double attack, with both blades coming straight down from the front. Well geez, any idiot could figure out how to avoid /that/...just take a step backwards, which is exactly what Usagi-tan does. As soon as the blades have both passed downward, she jumps forward and launches a kick at his gut, then spins and sends a second one from her other foot at his head. A double for a double...fair's fair.
Kensei's blades may have missed their target, but he still follows through with the strike. The katana in his hand slams into the pillow they are standing on, and makes fluff fly up. Under the cover of this fluff, the samurai hops high into the air over Usagi-tan, then lands a little distance behind her, waiting for another attack.
Ke-tchoo! Apparently the fluff tickled the little bunny's nose because she sneezes rather cutely, making her ears flop forward over her face. Usagi-tan closes her eyes and shakes her head a little, rubbing at her nose for a moment with a furred paw. She recovers rather quickly then, and spins to face Kensei. She jumps once again to avoid the awkward walking on the pillow surface, and then again to close the remaining distance between herself and her opponent. While in the air above him, the little rabbit pulls herself into a frontflip, lashing out with her heel aimed to smack right into the top of Kensei's head.
Kensei is hit by the heel kick and is slammed downwards. Thankfully the pillow keeps him from getting hurt by the fall, and he scrambles back up. He waits for Chibi Usagi-tan to land back on the pillow, then hops forward switching the grip on his kodachi into a backhanded one, and swipes at the bunny girl with that blade.
"And there it is! Usagi-tan scores the first blow as Kensei is slammed down into the layer!" As Kensei recovers from the attack, the announcer's voice continues booming, much to the irritation of all sane-minded people everywhere. Who, granted, are probably not anywhere near this arena. "A turnaround! Even though Usagi-tan caught him napping, Kensei isn't giving up!" Enough with the pillow jokes already!!
Once again, the agile little lapine angel jumps backwards and out of the range of Kensei's blades. It seems she just /really/ doesn't want those weapons anywhere near her. Still, she can't win by dodging alone, and so Usagi-tan darts back in for more. This time, instead of jumping and attacking from up high, she drops into a quick, low spin and arcs out a foot to try and take Kensei down with a kick to the backs of his knees.
Kensei goes down from the kick, but slams his hands down and rolls back onto them, just as a large white aura flares up around the stoic looking samurai. His kodachi is slipped back into its sheathe so that the samurai can grip his longer blade with both hands. There's a small hop before the strike slams downwards towards the bunny. Even if it misses, it'll impact against the pillow, and the force will send many more pieces of fluff flying into the air.
Ahh! Too much fluff! Too many little feathers! Despite how easily the lapine avoids the initial attack, the burst of swan down still stops her in her tracks. Not only did she lose sight of Kensei, but Usagi-tan once again sneezes. Then again. A third time. She takes a step backwards to try and stay away from Kensei for the moment...at least until she stops sneezing long enough that she can keep her eyes open.
The entire crowd 'Awww's as Usagi-tan throws a sneezing fit, and the announcer speaks again. "An incredible display of cuteness comes forth from Usagi-tan! Will it be enough to confound Kensei?!?" ... Really now, that's just pushing it.
Kensei hops back and waits for the fluff to settle down. When it does, it reveals that the white aura has still not faded from the samurai's body. Instead, it seems to be gathering into his twin blades. The small warrior raises his katana over his blade while his left hand grips the sheathed kodachi, and in the same motion he slashes both blades in a cross, sending the energy gathered in his aura at the bunny girl in a cross shape. Apparently the fit of cuteness wasn't enough to confound him.
First the good news...Kensei's energy wave blew all of the swan down away from Usagi-tan. Then the bad news...it also hit Usagi-tan. Knocked backwards by the force, the little rabbit rolls over the pillow until she finally comes to a halt. She stands up, however, once again showing her resilience. It'll take a lot more than that to keep this one down. She charges back across the layer at Kensei with that jumping, bounding gait adopted for the pillow, and just as she's about to pass him up from the side, she smacks at his neck with that massive carrot, then continues on whether she connects or not.
Kensei carefully watches the incoming attack, then does a quick back step, landing in one of the holes he made earlier and sending another pile of fluff floating into the air. This isn't something to hide his next attack. Actually, the samurai is using it to rest and save his energy.
Um...You know what? No thanks. Usagi-tan definitely wants to win, but not badly enough to walk into such an obvious trap. She'll just hang out over here...y'know, where there isn't any sneeze-bait. This rabbit isn't one to have concerns about silly things like waiting for a moment. She knows when it's best to hang back.
Kensei lets the fluff settle down, then bursts forward. As he moves, he looks to be readying a slash with his kodachi. Right before he's within range of a strike with his shorter blade, his katana strikes out in a stab aimed for Usagi-tan's chest. That point doesn't look like it'll be pleasant to be hit by.
It's not. Usagi'll tell you that right out. So will her life meter, as it drops significantly from taking the hit, even though she managed to step to the side a bit and not take it directly. This time, the little rabbit doesn't even try to counter him after his attack, instead jumping backwards several times to avoid him. She had misjudged his speed, and she isn't really intending to let that happen again, so she'll hold off for just a little longer.
Kensei continues to press forward even as the bunny girl tries to make her retreat. He's not letting her get away, especially not when he's managed to build up enough energy for a good solid strike. As soon as it looks like Usagi-tan might be still, the samurai rears back both of his arms, then thrusts his katana forward with everything he has.
Sheesh! Usagi-tan barely has time to slip out of the way of that one, and it seems to take quite a bit of effort to summon up the needed agility. Still, she doesn't return a strike of her own, instead choosing to once again jump back and out of range. She knows how much Kensei can do with his attacks, and right now she isn't sure if she can take another. It's just too risky to get too close right now.
"WHOOOOA! Usagi-tan narrowly avoids a deadly finishing blow!" Excited, the announcer's voice echoes and rings through the arena several decibels above an acceptable level. "Kensei unleashes strike after deadly strike! Is there an end in sight? And who will be left standing? The answer to all these questions and more... RIGHT AFTER A COMMERCIAL BREAK!" Silence falls over the arena, and everyone just stares at the announcer for a moment, not entirely certain he'd really just said that.
Kensei growls in frustration, just a little more and this match will be over, he may even win. Growling is a fairly uncommon sound for the samurai, who is normally calm and composed. A red aura springs up around the samurai, and he lets out an inarticulate sound of rage before charging at Usagi-tan, then swinging his katana around at her wildly.
Once again, Usagi-tan demonstrates her incredible bursts of speed. She's not fast all the time...just when she really needs to be. Like a sprinter. A very bouncy, lop-eared one with a twitchy nose and a furry tail. She twists and spins, dodging every wild slash he sends her way. It seems that's all she can do at the moment, however, at least until his fury runs dry.
After several slashes powered purely by his rage, the samurai's red aura finally gets down. And it looks like that was his last bit of energy. Kensei struggles to remain on his feet, spreading his feet just enough that he can brace himself. It's likely that he'll just collapse after any more use of his energy.
That's it...there's her chance. Probably her only chance. Usagi-tan waits until she's sure he needs to rest, then charges toward Kensei. She jumps up in the air just a little as she reaches him, enough that the power in her vicious kick is sent directly at Kensei's gut. If this one connects...he'll go flying for sure, which is what the little rabbit really needs. If she can knock him far enough, the difference in their life meters won't matter anymore.
Kensei raises his upper body and sees the bunny girl charging at him. A white aura flickers around him as he tries to get that one last attack in, the one that he knows will finish the bunny girl off. He just can't gather enough energy to do it. He tries to dodge then, and manages to momentarily blur out of sight. Only, he can't get enough energy for that either, and only backsteps a few centimeters back, still well within range of the kick. And so it connects. Under normal conditions the samurai would have been able to recover. But not this time. His complete lack of energy allows him to fly lifelessly out of the layer and fall right onto the floor.
There's a few moments of silence, as Kensei flies out of the layer, and the entire audience just falls still... ... ... And then...
"LAYER - OUT-O!" The announcer holds up an arm, and then points his hand towards Miina's hanging seat. "Chibi Usagi-tan.... WIN!" ... And the crowd goes wild. That was certainly something.
With a relieved sigh, Miina finally lets out the breath she had been holding for she isn't even sure how long. That was a really tough match, and much trickier than she expected it to be. She waves to the people in the crowd, then quickly lowers the chair to the ground so that she get Usagi-tan back and go over to Kyousuke. "You fought really good! I thought we were going to lose!"
Kyousuke is lowering his own chair as soon as he sees that Kensei is going to fall out of the layer. It's not quick enough for him to actually catch the falling warrior, but he gets there with a few seconds after the angel hits the floor. After a quick look over, the samurai decides that Kensei is definitely repairable and places the fallen warrior into his pocket before turning to Miina, his grin back on his face. "I almost had ya that time," he says, grinning. "But ya got me instead. Good match Miina-han." The samurai obsessed boy gives his friend a nice bow of respect to the cheers of the audience.
Miina bows quickly in return, holding her own angel to her chest and smiling back at Kyousuke. "You really did. It was really close. I was worried almost the whole match!" She looks down at Usagi-tan and the wicked carrot weapon that did almost nothing in this fight. Nearly everything Usagi-tan had done that actually worked was done with her furry little feet. She'll have to give some thought to that. Right now, however, it's time for both herself and Kyousuke to vacate the arena. She's sure they're eager for the next match to start.
Kyousuke winces a bit as he takes a step, then takes Kensei back out of his pockets. The boy had forgotten to resheathe the pointy little swords before putting them in. He quickly corrects that, then walks back towards the waiting room with Miina, a friendly smile on his face despite his second tournament loss.
Miina giggles a little as she watches him replacing the blades, then walks next to him back up the aisle and out of the arena. "Kensei is faster now," she comments as they go. "I remember before that he couldn't hit Usagi-tan at all. Now, it's really hard for her to dodge, and sometimes she doesn't even get a chance to. He's a lot quicker."
Kyousuke nods as they head in. "Yeah, this one guy helped me out when I needed repairs done after a duel," he says. He frowns. "Don't think he ever introduced himself though, but ah well. He did a couple o' modifications on Kensei to help make his power a bit more effective, so I think his faster movement is because o' that."