It's finally the 5th round of the tournament. By now, Kyousuke's nervousness has all but vanished from his consciousness. However, he is still found on the floor of the waiting room, meditating in the seiza position, as he has been in every round save for the one he had fought Seishiro in. Of course, that had been a different situation than all his other duels, and being willing to annoy thousands of people by showing up late had pretty much been the main he no longer feels any nervousness.
Nervousness may have left Kyousuke, but it's still very present withing Tomoe. She enters the waiting room silently, moving directly to one of the benches without looking around at anything or anyone. She sits down stiffly, placing Chimera on her lap, and bows her head. She's been doing fairly well so far - she hasn't frozen at all, yet. With any luck, she'll keep that up. There's a slight tensing of her jaw, and she closes her eyes, waiting for the announcement to head out into that blinding light and deafening crowd.
Kyousuke opens hie eyes when he hears Tomoe opening up the door, then the foot steps that bring her over to the bench. His eyes open soon after and he grins over at Tomoe. "Heya Inugata-han," he says, not really noticing her nervousness. "I guess we get to face each other now, huh?"
" . . . Sakamoto-san." Tomoe does not open her eyes, or otherwise move, although there is a slight tensing in the hand by Chimera's chest. She probably should say a bit more, but it's rather difficult to force her voice through her tightened throat. And so, she remains quiet, still, wishing that announcement would hurry up, so that she could focus through Chimera. The crowds and lights really have been easier to handle when she's fully focused on the beast.
Sure, Kyousuke's not the most perceptive of people, but he can almost... feel Tomoe's current emotional state. Most likely it's from the slight signs that her body languages gives off. "Uh... is there anything wrong?" he asks. "Ya seem like yer really tense or somethin'." The boy walks over and sits down next to Tomoe.
There's the slightest shake of Tomoe's head, and she pulls Chimera a bit closer. " . . . Just . . . don't care for the crowds . . ." The words come out quietly, but the anxiety is obvious enough in her voice. Her jaw tenses, and she shakes her head again, a stronger this time. She doesn't open her eyes or lift her head.
Kyousuke blinks. "Oh," he says. That had pretty much been what had gotten to him in the beginning too. Having been in Kendo tournaments before, he had been used to competitions. However, his kendo tournaments were never attended by thousands of people like this Angelic Layer tournament was. Instead of saying anything though, he just chooses to put a hand on her shoulder and give it a reassuring squeeze. Hopefully she won't mind.
Tomoe pulls away from the contact. It's not terribly rough or aggressive - just a quick jerk away. She doesn't even glare or say anything. It's quite a lot of progress from not all that long ago. Still, it's obvious enough that she'd rather not be touched. After a moment, Tomoe opens her eyes, looking up at the wall monitor through that thick veil of her hair. The previous match is over . . . they will most likely be called out soon.
Kyousuke doesn't try to do it again, instead shifting off to the side quietly to give Tomoe some space. A quick glance at the clock makes him realize that their impending match is to start soon. "Well, guess we should get goin'," he says, then stands up and begins walking over to the exit of the waiting room. He waits for both Tomoe to catch up and for their names to be announced before continuing on.
On the monitor, The spotlights flash and dance about the arena before a few come to settle upon the announcer, sitting high above the arena on his seat. One hand moves to shift the microphone down so he can speak, "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for waiting! The third match of round five is about to begin! Would our competitors please step out into the arena?" With the indication, an attendant comes through the hallway and lifts her hand to call, "Inugata Tomoe and Sakamoto Kyousuke, it's your turn now."
As soon as the announcement it made, Tomoe stands up. She says nothing, and hardly seems to be looking where she's going as she makes her way towards the corridor. There's a faintest of a nod to Kyousuke, but she otherwise makes no acknowledgement of anyone or anything else. She'll be at the layer soon. Chimera can take the attention.
Kyousuke walks out of the waiting room after Tomoe looks to be catching up to him. His strides aren't those of a confident warrior, but ones of a person that accepts that he may very well, and most likely, lose. He's faced Tomoe before and knows that he'd be very hard pressed to beat her. Once out in the arena he just makes his way over to his seat and sits, pulling Kensei from his pocket.
Tomoe walks quickly and directly to one of the egg-shaped seats, sitting down without looking towards the audience. Carefully, quickly, her headset is put on and adjusted, then several locks of hair fall directly back over the visor. She holds Chimera close, staring down over the layer as she focuses her mind away from the lights and crowd.
After they're both settled and ready to go, the announcer rises up a little in his seat and sweeps his arm over towards Kyousuke. The spotlights of course, follow and illuminate him in their blinding light. "In the west corner, the deus is Sakamoto Kyousuke with his angel, Kensei! He's had a rough time so far in the tournament with a record of one win three loses, can he pull off a victory and start turning things around?" Then his arm sweeps over towards Inugata Tomoe who is also inundated with a light flood from the spotlights above. "Aaannnnd in the east corner, the deus is Inugata Tomoe with her angel, Chimera!" Her little group of fanboys wave their banner high while calling out her name, though it's difficult to hear them over the general noise of cheering. "She has two wins and two loses so far in this tournament, will she have the fortitude to carry on for a third win?"
All of the lights then dance out into the crowd and come to focus upon the layer below, where the sceneries begin to shift and change. It's like a roulette wheel, and where will the ball stop? Red, or black? Neither, it seems to have come up on a long dead and abandoned city, worn by the constant gusts of wind that carry through the streets and kick up clouds of dust and small bits of debris. "Today our two angels will be battling it out in the long forgotten city! Will they be able to perform adequately with the dust and debris clouding their vision, and the bleak and depressing surroundings tugging at their souls? Well there's only one way to find out isn't there? Angels FALL IN!"
Kyousuke waits for the command to fallin his angel, then tosses Kensei into the layer with a careful arm. "Do not fear death Kensei! Just fight!" he calls out. The samurai flies through the air and lands carefully on the layer. As usual, he turns towards his deus and bows, then waits for the entrance of his opponent for giving Chimera a bow as well..
Tomoe takes a deep breath, closing her eyes before opening them again. And then, she lifts Chimera. " . . . It's hunting time, Chimera . . " Her voice is quiet and a little weak, but not nearly as much so as those first few matches. " . . . Fall in . . ." With that, she throws Chimera to the layer. The beast passes silently through the layer barrier, pulling his single wing inward and extending those heavy forefeet. He lands solidly, lowering his heads slightly, all six eyes leveling upon Kensei.
After both angels fall in, the spotlights kick out and cover the arena in darkness for a brief moment, and then kick back on all aimed at the layer below. "Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to find out which of our two angels will win this match. It's time for an Angelic FIGHT-o!" With that the buzzer goes off and the timer starts. Looks like it's time to begin.
In the audience, you hear a female voice shouting, "You can do it Sakamoto-san! Don't thrash him too badly Inugata-san!"
Kensei returns the look, his stoic eyes giving away nothing. At the announcer's call to start, his right hand immediately drops down and wraps around the katana at his waist. Yes, katana. It seems that Kyousuke has gotten tired of carving new bokken for his angel and decided to go with something a little more durable since his last fight with Chimera. He immediately charges in, slashing out in a battou jutsu strike as soon as he's close enough. However, it seems miscalculated and will fall short of his target by a few centimeters unless Chimera decides it wants to take the hit. However, his left hand is coming around as well. In it he has his wakizashi gripped, and this slash is certainly more accurate.
And take the hit, Chimera did. As Kensei charges, Chimera bounds forward, turning slightly into the first strike, and taking the second evenly along his shoulder. The blade cuts easily and deep, slicing through fur, feathers and faux flesh to slam agains something much harder. That something snaps, cracking. Immediately after, a jet of that familiar corrosive black goo shoots forth, sticking to anything it comes in contact with. Even as the makeshift "blood" sprays from the wound, Chimera jumps back, a bit away. The central head shakes, then the shake is sent down the beast's entire body and down along that tri-split tail. There's a huff, but he does not move in to attack.
This attack again, or is it a defense? Either way, it's something that Kensei has come to expect from Chimera, and he shields his face as soon as the goo begins to shoot out. Ignoring the burning that comes from the goo covered parts of his body, the samurai continues to dash in, then stabs out at Chimera with his wakizashi.
Once again, the blow lands true. But this time, the beast hardly seems to notice. There's a low growl, then Chimera's cervid head lunges forward, that jagged teeth snapping just short of the samurai. As that thick-necked left head makes its false attack, the central head ducks low, then the beast lunges forward. That massive spiraling horns are brought quickly towards Kensei's gut and chest.
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Come on Sakamoto-sensei! You can do it!"
Kensei, perhaps tricked by the faked attack, is only able to twist his body as the horned attack smashes into him. Well, that's not good. The samurai tumbles a little until he comes to a stop, then stops to catch his breath, hoping to recover a bit before the beast presses his assault.
Chimera continues to press the attack. As Kensei stumbles back, the beast lunges forward again. That cervid head strikes inward again, but this time, it's not a feint. That slender, deer-like mouth opens wide, revealing those sharp, so very un-deerlike teeth. A thin cloud of cool air surrounds the open muzzle as those jagged teeth attempt to sink themselves into the samurai's shoulder.
Kensei hops back, trying to get more much distance between himself and that row of sharp teeth. Fortunately, he's successful in doing so, but he keeps his distance. Chimera is too danerous to attack right now, and he's a little unfocused after taking those two attacks. After getting to a safe distance, the samurai begins to glow white, trying to regain that focus.
Chimera is not about to let Kensei maintain any distance. The beast closes in that distance, leaping as he gets closer. Those forefeet spread wide, easily to either side of the samurai, and that central maw yawns wide. The teeth in the left mouth were jagged and sharp, but those in the central mouth are massive and side. The central head attempts to chomp down on Kensei's waist, even as the beast's great weight barrels into him.
Kensei dodges yet again, struggling to do it with as little movement as possible. He barely manages to avoid being chomped down on, and finds himself off to Chimera's side. The aura around him doesn't fade though. In fact, it's now even brighter, and gathering into his blade as well. Then, he stabs forward at Chimera, throwing his whole weight behind it.
That massive wing slaps down heavily, and Chimera leaps away to the side, out of the way of the blow. The monstrosity lands to the samurai's side, then turns quickly to face him. Then, rather quickly, that taloned foot is raised, then swings strongly outward at Kensei, aiming to open up his waist and gut.
Kensei steps in just enough that it's the foot, and not the talons, hits him in the waist. It's also fortunate that they're so close. Because now the samurai can pull off his next move. He winds his arms back, then once again stabs forward with his katana. It doesn't look nearly as damaging as his last attack had, but it's enough.
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Don't give up, Sakamoto-sempai! You can do it!"
Kensei's katana sinks deep into Chimera's chest, and the beast releases a loud, triple-voiced roar. Those six dull red eyes gleam, and Chimera holds to roar - so very loud, almost enough to be painful even to the deuses up above the layer. The central head snarls in its roar, and the serpentine head bears its slender fangs. That cervid head, however, swings wide, then brings those wickedly sharp antlers swooping at the samurai's head and chest.
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Oh no! Watch out, Sakamoto-sempai!"
Kensei leaps high into the air and over to another part of the map, where he once again rests and tries to catch his breath. He's already at the limits of his stamina, and his life bar isn't looking that great either. However, he'll try to hold on for just a little bit longer.
Chimera continues to roar, and his eyes continue to glow. He moves as if completely uninjured, turning to keep those illuminated eyes on Kensei. And then, still roaring, the beast charges. It's a lumbering charge, but surprisingly fast for the heavy, massive creature. Just before reaching the samurai, Chimera's forefeet dig deep into the ground and that massive wing shoots out and angles downward, bringing the beast to a sudden stop. Those three mouths are still open - all three heads lunge forward, then each belches forth its own foul fluid. From the serpent mouth, another jet of that familiar black goo shoots forth. From the cervid head, a blast of freezing air, riddled with sharp shards of ice. And from the central head, wave of intense, brief flame. The roar continues with the breath attacks, and that tri-split tail sways jerkingly from side to side.
Kensei is easily hit by the three elemental attack, being too tired to move. After the attack rips through him, Kyousuke looks like he's trying to remain standing... then falls down onto the layer, unable to support himself. Looks like Kyousuke's lost yet another duel to Tomoe. It's not like it was unexpected though.
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Noooooooooooo! Sakamoto-sempai!"
With the fall of Kensei and the jeers and cheers, and woeful cries from the crowd the announcer's voice finally cuts through the noise. "It was a furious fight to the finish from two powerhouse angels, but in the end it looks like Kensei couldn't withstand the awesome might of Chimera! Chimera wins!"
Tomoe frowns just slightly as Chimera's breaths wash over Kensei, and closes her eyes. The match is over, and it seems too soon. Still, that one was closer than it looked - it wasn't quite enough. With nothing more to focus upon on the layer, Tomoe becomes aware of the roar of the crowd, and the glare of the light. Without a word, she quickly retrieves Chimera. And then, as quickly as she can move without running, she hurries back into the waiting room.
Kyousuke lowers his chair and is about to congratulate Tomoe on the win when she runs off. Blinking, he retrieves Kensei and gives the crowd a quick bow before walking into the waiting room after her. If she's still there when he gets in, he gives her a grin and says, "Congratulations on the win. Not that it was unexpected."
As soon as Tomoe gets into the waiting room, she moves directly to one of the benches, and sits down, nearly collapsing, upon it. When Kyousuke comes up to congratulate her, Tomoe looks up at him through her hair, and nods. " . . . Good match. Was close." Her voice is a little stronger than it was before the match, but she's breathing a little heavily. It's somewhat obvious that she didn't take to the limelight very well at all.
Kyousuke has picked up on that. It makes sense though, considering her reserved personality. "Really? I thought you kinda thrashed me back there," he replies. He does frown a little at that though. "Guess I got a little too careless that round... don't think it would've mattered in the end though."
Tomoe shakes her head, and takes a deep breath, as though attempting to gather herself. " . . .No . . ." She turns her attention to Chimera, looking him over. " . . . Should have pressed the attack more." She's . . . giving advice? On how to kill Chimera? That may be perceived as a bit odd. But instead of going into it any more, she pulls out her small toolbox, and begins to see to Chimera's maintenance and repairs.
Kyousuke grins again. "I'll keep that in mind next time," he says, then goes to sit down next to her again, once again maintaining a bit of space between them. Though not normally conscious of personal space, he has a feeling that Tomoe is definitely one that watches out for that. "Can I borrow your tools again?" he asks. "I'm... pretty sure I won't try repairing something that ain't broken this time."
That brings a small smile, and a short sound that may have been a laugh, and Tomoe moves her toolbox a bit closes to Kyousuke. She nods, but doesn't say anything more. She's concentrating on cleaning Chimera's inner compartments -- really, she's gotten very fast at this. But then, she has had /plenty/ of practice . . .
Kyousuke carefully plucks a tool from the toolbox, then starts off by cleaning the goo off of Kensei's clothes and skin. He had learned last time that he's best off removing that first. Fortunately for him, he hadn't waited for it to dry, making the cleanup much easier, though it still takes a while. When that's done, he begins checking the angel over for some physical damage... and finds that there's quite a bit of it left over.
Tomoe sends a very brief glimpse over to Kyousuke as he works, and then returns her attention to Chimera. Before long, all that's left is the damage to his aesthetic shell. She finishes off, putting up the tools she had been using, then gives the little beast one more thorough check. And then, she waits for Kyousuke.
Kyousuke looks Kensei over, tweaking some of the broken parts here and there, then moving on to repair some parts that have less damage on them. For the most part, he skips over the heavier damaged parts. Those would take too long to repair here, and he'd be better off using either the tournament's free repair services or doing the rest at home. Either way, he returns his tools to Tomoe only after a few repairs are done and shrugs. "I don't wanna keep ya too long," he says. "I'll finish up the repairs later or something. Thanks for letting me use em again."
Tomoe nods, putting the tools away, then stands up. She seems much calmer that earlier. " . . . I'm be going, then. Someone should be waiting for me." She doesn't specify who that someone might be, but it probably wouldn't take many guesses to figure it out. She nods her head to Kyousuke, then, slipping the toolbox and Chimera into her bag, she heads out into the foyer.
Kyousuke nods at that, having a fairly good idea who she's talking about. "Say hello to Raien-han for me then," he says, making his assumption rather clearly. The samurai obsessed boy does a quick check on Kensei's metal blades and, satisfied that they're holding up much better than their wooden counterparts, sheathes them and slips the angel into his pocket. He waits for Tomoe to leave the room first before following, throwing a quick, "See ya!" to her before heading towards the Arena stands, slipping on a pair of bunny ears as he walks.