The stadium was huge, Nazo had to admit. It took forever to find the tournament board. When she did, all she could do was sigh at Fate’s latest joke.


Fate played cruel jokes on her quite often. She’d watched a few fights with Asayama, and already knew the outcome of the match. At least her previous matches gave her experience at fixing her angel, and she was sure she was going to need it. ‘Oh well, at least it wasn’t Mikage,’ she thought blandly, heading to the waiting room. Once there, she took a seat and started eating a pack of the candy in her backpack, trying to calm her nerves enough that they wouldn’t show to her opponent or make her sick during the battle. Worst case scenario was that she had and anxiety attack up there. All those people… It would be rough, but somehow she’d pull it off.

All she had to do now was wait for her opponent to appear, then they could get started.
Tournament time had come around once again, though this time it wasn't some small tournament, but the qualifiers for the Kanto games. At the time of the announcement, this had all pretty much gone over Asayama's head. After all, even though the temperature outside was scorching and he really could have used the break, he had work to do and something as trivial as games couldn't take him away from that. At least, that was until his boss had shown up at his work that day. Ichiro Mihara, despite the fact that he came across as the most unsubtle person you could ever meet, had this wonderful habit of sneaking up on Asayama. In fact, when Asayama arrived on that day, he had breathed a huge sigh upon entering the darkened back room of the Piffle Princess with its large monitors, the light from which outlined the large and comfy chair that one would sit at to watch them. The chair had been facing the monitors, and, setting down his briefcase at the door, Asayama had begun to walk over there to sit down and check the logs for the day. Upon approaching the chair had spun around, seemingly on its own, and sitting in it was his boss, equipped with a huge grin that would probably have made the Cheshire cat jealous.

"Bwahaha!" Ichiro had leapt from the chair to stand in front of the startled Asayama, who had taken more than a few steps backwards in sheer shock. Reaching a hand up to rub his chin and eyeing Asayama as if the man were some kind of experimental lab rat, Ichiro spoke in a somewhat jovial voice that nonetheless had many of the workers in the main branch reeling with terror. "So, I was thinking. How about you participate in this tournament? Think about it! It'll be fun, and you'll get to see all sorts of interesting things that you can put in your research!"

"W...wait, what?" Asayama made a vain attempt to try and regain his composure. Tournament? What? But..... oh, God, no. "I wasn't even aware that my research was being followed, and, and... what about work?"

The man in the white lab coat raised a finger and waggled it at him, tutting away. "Now, now, taking notes of interesting apparitions on the layer is part of your job too, so..... this is an order!" It looked almost like he was going to descend into a fit of laughter again. "You'll enter the qualifiers and take records of all the interesting things that you see there. There's more to Angelic Layer than the things you can see in this one store! Heh, heh." He lowered his arms and leaned forwards a little, placing them on his hips.

Now it was Asayama's turn to raise a hand as his mind cycled through various possible responses to that. After what had happened to Oogata just last month, none of those could end well. He slumped his shoulders and with a great sigh, said, "Alright, alright, I'll do it..... but you aren't going to make me wear that suit again, are you?"

This caused Ichiro to erupt into laughter once again. "Suit? I didn't mention anything about a suit. Why? Do you want to?" He snickered. Asayama flailed his arms. "No, no, I'll go in plain clothes, it's fine, it's fine!" He spoke so quickly the words almost blurred together.

And so it was that Asayama stood in the waiting room of the Stadium. He had been watching a match between two other deus' on the screen. Once the match had ended the screen had blanked for a moment and listed the other participants and their matchups. He gazed up at the screen and read down to where his name was, looking across to see who he was paired up against. "Nazo... is it?" he muttered quietly. Of course he had seen her around the Piffle Princess, he'd even dueled with her himself once, but he couldn't quite remember anything about the match. He didn't let it trouble him further until he took his eyes away from the board to see the very girl standing there. It was unusual for him to be plainly clothed, simply wearing his coat and a red shirt with black trousers. He blinks a couple of times then adjusted his glasses. "Oh.... hello..." he began. A little conversation before a match was natural, wasn't it?

"After that short break, I hope you're ready for another amazing battle, Layer fans," the announcer bellows as the light in the arena returns, "It's due to be an explosive battle, between our very own Asayama Kentaro and his heavily armed, heavy hitting angel Gunslinger, and his competitor, the relative newcomer Tsukikage Nazo, with her angel Mukuro whose careful balance design means she might be able to show Gunslinger a surprise or two."

On the wall monitor, With a short pause for applause, the announcer continues, "First the angel Gunslinger - he wields the layer as his weapon, creating destructive weapons from the scenery system, and using those to destroy his opponents quickly and efficiently. His deus has not participated in any tournaments before-" he pauses, confused "-is what it says... but that angel looks and sounds awful familiar. I'm sure that I saw that one last year." He shakes his head, "Not to worry, I'm sure we'll see a good showing of Gunslinger's combat prowess."

"Hello again, Asayama-san. I don't believe I've seen you since the end of the missing Angel crisis," Nazo greets, referencing her longest contact with the man. "Something tells me you were somewhat forced into this tournament, yes? Your boss seems like the awkward type who would do that to people," she continues, guessing at the man's reason for tournament involvement. Really, she'd heard the rumor from somewhere in the halls; she just wanted to sound smart. Psyching out the opponent was never a bad thing, either. It was odd she didn't call Asayama's boss creepy or scary, as most people do... Then again, this is the girl who deals with all sorts of odd people, so it probably wasn't anything new to her.

On the wall monitor, "Give it up for ..." he raises his voice, "Asayama Kentaro!" and pauses for the crowd to call out in cheers. "And Gunslinger!" and he waits another moment while the crowd cries out.

On the wall monitor, "Second we have Tsukikage Nazo, and her angel Mukuro. This angel, being new and all, doesn't have a lot known about her - all that means is more surprises, folks!" The announcer points out with a wry smile, "She's not a complete rookie, so we won't be counting on /that/ happening again. But this deus has also participated (apparently) in no previous tournaments, but this time I actually don't think she's been here before!"
On the wall monitor, "Let's give this new deus a yell loud enough to hear from the waiting room, folks," the announcer says, pointing his mic at the audience. "Call out foo~r Tsukikage Nazo! And her angel, Mukuro!"

"Forced...." Asayama begins, tentatively. "....well, it's not like that, per say," he mutters quietly, looking from the girl to the screen and back. "More like, he presented me with a research opportunity and I took it... is what I'd like to say." Reaching up to remove his coat and sling it over his shoulder, he simply leaves the statement hanging in the air. Seriously, talking about Ichiro at any point was a bad idea, one could never quite be certain when the man would be lurking about.

Brushing a hand through his hair to sweep it away from his face, he continues to speak, changing the subject. "Tsukikage-san, wasn't it? Well, it seems as though your opponent for this match is me." He gives the girl a half smile, a smile that entirely contradicts the frown that dominates the upper half of his face. The conversation is cut short, however, when one of the tournament attendants approaches the two and gives them a bow. Asayama didn't know that many of the tournament attendants; many of them were drafted in only at the time of year when the tournaments happened. So he wasn't really surprised that he didn't know the name or face of the woman.

"Asayama-san, Tsukikage-san, your match is scheduled to begin shortly, would you please proceed to the stadium for your duel?" she speaks in a cheery voiced laced with impeccably polite speech. Standing slightly to one side she extends a hand to both indicate the direction that the two opponents should go in and allow them to pass.

"Well, looks like there's little time for a chat, eh?" Asayama gives the younger girl what must have been his first actual grin in a really, really long time, and on the older man's face it looked kind of weird. Stepping to the side himself, he proceeds pass the woman and towards the door that leads to the stadium. As he approaches it, the attendant scurries up behind him and continues her explanation.

"This leads to a corridor which branches off in two directions. Asayama-san, you have to go right, and Tsukikage-san, you have to go left. Good luck!" With a nod to the woman and a slight grunt of acknowledgement, Asayama steps forward and she opens the door for him. Even in this corridor the cheer of the crowd hits him like a wave, getting louder and louder with every step. Just as the attendant asked of him, he turns right when the corridor branches and follows it around. When he finally emerges into the open, the full noise of the crowd hits him, and he has to shield his eyes from the blinding light.

"And here, we, go," Nazo sighs, imitating a commercial she'd seen on TV while she takes her own turn to the left. Her right hand is shoved all the way in her pocket, her hand tightly clutched around its contents. This tournament was already taking its toll on her nerves. At least her left pocket was filled with packs of those sugar disks she liked so much. She still wondered where the original bag had come from, though... But that didn't matter now. The tournament, and her match with Asayama, was all that should occupy her mind. Not that it would, but Nazo never does the things she should do. Well, almost never...
The announcer says, "I think they've had long enough now... Come on out, Asayama Kentaro, Tsukikage Nazo - bring out your angels!"

Stepping out onto the tournament floor from the west side, Asayama is somewhat bedazzled by all the lights and sounds. He'd been in a tournament before, sure, the one he created at the Piffle Princess in fact but... it had never been anything like this. He gazes around in wonder at the crowd as he approaches the deus' chair waiting for him a short distance away. He bows his head slightly and coughs to regain his composure, his coat slung safely across his back to reveal his red shirt. With his black hair, red shirt and mostly black clothes, he looks fairly dark and moody, something which is only accentuated by his expression once he has settled down. He regards the audience with a raised eyebrow and gives them a tentative wave from a gloved hand as he walks.

The wave is met with an increase in the volume of the already deafening crowd. Asayama's head sinks down a little lower; he isn't really used to all this attention. After what seems like an eternity to him, he finally finds his way to the deus' chair and, draping his coat over the curve of the armrest, he finally sits down, breathing a heavy sigh to clear his mind of thinking about the watchful gaze of the crowd. He doesn't quite know how to react either, and doesn't know whether or not he should say anything, so he simply crosses his legs and gets comfortable, leaning back in a sort of regal pose while retrieving the box containing his angel from his coat pocket.

He lifts the box clear into view and holds it up for a few seconds so that the crowd can see it. This process has become sort of a ritual for him, and he goes through it once again, opening the little mahogany box carefully and retrieving the red cloth wrapped figure of Gunslinger from it. The red of the cloth matches his shirt, an unusual statement of fashion from Asayama, and he focuses his gaze on it to take his attention from the crowd, slowly unwrapping it to reveal the tiny form of his angel. Finally, he holds Gunslinger up so that the crowd can see it, closing his eyes at the same time and trying to relax a little more. The cheering of the crowd at the sight of his angel does little to help this.

Walking into the bright lights of the stadium, Nazo clenches her right hand a little tighter around her pocket's contents. She hadn't expected quite /this/ many people. She should've, though; Angelic Layer was the most popular game in all of Japan. It was almost bigger than any other sport. Her feet on autopilot, she walks over to her chair and sits, crossing her legs at the ankles, her left arm clutching Mukuro to her chest. The poor Angel was going to take a lot of damage in this tournament, the deus knew, but it would be a good learning experience for both of them. She didn't expect to win the tournament, or even come close, but it would be a good chance to get a feel for higher-level competition, just in case she ever got that good. Which she doubted, of course, but she tried to keep any doubts out of her mind. They would only bring down her playing ability, and she owed it to her little Angel to give this match the best shot they had, even if there was only a one percent chance they would win (probably even less, but math isn't her strong point). She also owed it to her opponent to take the loss she knew he'd give her with grace, so it was important not to seem upset. Besides, the older man didn't seem to be faring so well with the crowd, either, and discomfort was contagious. Best to act like everything was normal, then. Now, to wait for... something. Air head Nazo forgot what happens next again.

"In the West Corner...Asayama Kentaro and - Gunslinger!" The announcer calls out, as the layer lights up, the flat white panel glowing between the two deuses. "And in the East Corner ... Tsukikage Nazo and - Mukuro!" The announcer waits while the audience cheers loudly, drowning out all other noise and most thoughts. The layer suddenly begins to fill with a scenery, green pixels rushing up to fill the layer, and building up until a dense jungle arena is formed. "The jungle - these angels will be fighting amongst heavy undergrowth and lots of trees - plenty of cover if you're looking to hide - but that's not what *we* came here to see - we want to see treetop battles and deforestation! I hope no one here is an environmentalist!"

The announcer grins, then begins the final stages of preparation "If the deuses are ready..." he pauses for effect, then shouts out, "Ento-ri~! Angel!"
Asayama stands up just as the announcer is finished talking and lifts up the deus' visor as he goes, placing it onto his head and tapping the side of it to extend the wings. He casts one last glance at the crowd around him, and then at Gunslinger. Giving the angel a slight nod, he glances back up at his opponent and mutters, quietly at first but with building volume so that he can be heard above the crowd. "You were probably all expecting a flashy introduction for my angel or some sort of catch phrase. I'm sorry, I don't have anything like that. I'm just here to do my best.....and see others do their best. So, with that...." His vision shifts from the announcer and crowd to his opponent. "...let me see your best, Tsukikage-san!" Then, with a slight bow, he sweeps his arm to the side, throwing Gunslinger at the layer like a dagger.

The little angel soon enters the holographic field of the large tournament layer and his eyes shine as he comes to life. Awakening, he takes immediate note of his surroundings; he's falling through the area towards the jungle foliage below. Righting himself so that he's falling feet first and not head first, he continues his descend, pulling his muffler up around his mouth and nose as he keeps a hold of his hat. It didn't look like he was going to have a soft landing, so why not start off flashy?

The cowboy throws a hand out and the little blue spirals spin around it, gathering and collecting into larger and larger shapes until they form a weapon. It appears to be some sort of cannon. Whatever it is, Gunslinger has to use it fast since gravity isn't on his side at the moment! He lets go of his hat, allowing it to fly off of his head so that he can grip the weapon, and then pulls the trigger. It sends a beam down to the trees below, and as it impacts, there's an explosion. It's not massive by any means, but it's more than enough to sent bits of wood and leaves flying in all directions. The smoke clears as Gunslinger descends through it, landing on a small, self-made clearing in the jungle. He tosses the weapon aside, and it glitters and explodes into blue sparks. Finally, his hat floats down nearby and he walks over to pick it up, dusting it off a little before putting it on. Now all that's left is to turn to face his opponent, fold his arms and wait.

Nazo, from what she had seen, noticed that all the other deus' had things they called out when they tossed their Angels from their chairs, including Asayama-san. He claimed not to have one, but what he said worked well enough. She had practiced tossing her Angel, but not what she was going to say. "Um... Show them what you've got, Mukuro!" Nazo calls hesitantly after putting on her visor, probably barely loud enough for the other deus to hear, much less the crowd. She tosses her Angel somewhat less hesitantly than the hesitation in her voice, and threw her just as she had practiced. Mukuro did a little spin before hitting the layer, awakening and flipping twice before landing on the tip of a tree, balancing perfectly. Air Head Nazo apparently turned back into Perfectionist Nazo. The balancing act was just for show, and not something she could manage during a fight, but it looked good. Nazo hoped it would be easy enough to spot Gunslinger and dodge into the foliage before he could hit Mukuro if she stood there, but nothing ever goes according to Nazo's plans, and she knows it. The Angel seems to be waiting for Mukuro to come to him, but odds of that happening are slim.

"And with the angels in position on the layer, our scenery destruction has already begun!" The announcer whips out his arm with the mic and points it at the layer, and there's a muffled shout. Then he takes back the mic saying sheepishly, "Oh, won't work without the mic..." and throws out his other arm and says "Angelic! Fight!"

Then again, it was probably a good idea to try and hit the guy while she could see him. Ducking into the trees, Mukuro stopped on the ground, picking up a few rocks and bits of broken wood from when Gunslinger destroyed part of the forest. The plan was to use these items to trick Gunslinger, and inadvertently Asayama-san, into believing the red-orange-haired Angel was coming up from a different direction than she actually was. This kind of tactic had become commonplace in Nazo's battles, seeing as direct contact was discouraged by the deus. You can't hit what isn't there, you know. Tossing a few of the rocks, two managed to bounce off opposite trees and ram into each other, creating an odd breaking sound. The deus raised an eyebrow in confusion, wondering how on earth crazy coincidences happened like that on the layer. Shaking the memory of the time one of her friends had scared a snake out of its burrow by similar means, she instructs her Angel to hurl the largest rock she had picked up at the back of Gunslinger's head; mostly for the deus' amusement if she knocked off his hat, but if it did damage, that wouldn't be a bad thing, either.

The rock slams into the back of Gunslinger's head but... inexplicably... does barely any damage; it does manage to knock off his hat, though, as it causes him to dip his head forward slightly. He extends a hand slightly and catches the hat, lifting it back onto his head and turning around. Odd, he still can't see the other angel. Mukuro must be using the jungle setting to her advantage, keeping herself hidden so that the cowboy can't attack her directly. It's a good tactic but....since when did Gunslinger ever need to attack anyone directly?

He raises a hand up into the air and extends his fingers, parting them slightly. The little blue sparks appear again, concentrating around his extended hand and swirling all about, forming into one of his many weapons. They first build the shape and then fill in the color of the gun, not that they particularly need much color as the majority of the weapon is simply a shiny chrome surface. When its formation has finished, it appears as some kind of grenade launcher. It certainly has a similar shape, but the blinking lights give it a futuristic feel. Instead of aiming it at Mukuro, Gunslinger simply points it at that sky and pulls the trigger.

A steel ball explodes out of the barrel of the weapon as Gunslinger leaps backwards, darting into the undergrowth and letting the sphere do its thing. The ball shoots far up into the air, coming to it's apex near the holographic shell that surrounds the layer. Then it descends once again, gaining speed and slightly adjusting its trajectory. These adjustments become more and more obvious the closer to the ground it gets until finally it's heading straight for Mukuro, following her. It blasts straight through a tree on its way there; the mighty jungle foliage stands firm... but now has a large hole in it.

Even watching the ball chase after Mukuro, Nazo can't help but chuckle from the cowboy Angel losing his hat. Returning her focus to the issue at hand, she instructs Mukuro to try and dodge around a tree, but apparently during her chuckling, she neglected to notice that the attack could go /through/ trees, forcefully. The red-orange-haired Angel still manages to evade part of the attack, but it hits her hard on the arm, doing a fair amount of damage. Nazo isn't quite worried yet, though. She knows there are more deadly things in Asayama's arsenal, and it's only a matter of time before he takes her out. So, she's just going to have as much fun as possible with this match.

On the layer, Mukuro holds her arm momentarily while she waits to see if the heat-seeking ball returns. When it doesn't seem to, she picks up another rock - smaller than the last one she used, but rounder - and tosses it yet again at Gunslinger's head, trying to, you guessed it, knock his hat off. It makes Nazo chuckle just thinking about the possibility of knocking his hat off again. Of course, that's probably just going to draw Gunslinger's wrath, but she'd deal with that later.

Of course, even though the ball was tracking Mukuro, Gunslinger still didn't have a good bead on where the angel was. That all changed however, with the appearance of another rock. This time he manages to save his hat by ducking to the side slightly but in order to do so he takes the full force of the rock to the side of his head; it's just a really good thing that the rock didn't hit all that hard. He's dizzied for a moment but shakes it off, raising a hand to secure his hat on his head. He turns to the place the rock came from and frowns at the other angel. It seems that ducking into the undergrowth didn't do all that much, Mukuro must know this jungle pretty well.

He's not about to let that stop him, however, and he takes aim with the grenade launcher again. Before he fires however, he switches weapons, and the grenade launcher explodes into a shower of sparks in his hand, reforming instantly into a new weapon. Perhaps this might give him the element of surprise, perhaps not. In either case the new weapon is much smaller than the old one, and looks somewhat innocuous while still being fairly futuristic. It seems to be a dart gun, and Gunslinger fires it with some accuracy through the trees at Mukuro. The dart doesn't change trajectory like the ball, but it still manages not to hit anything on the way to her having been timed just right. Who knows what untold horrors such a tiny weapon could be capable of?
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Go Nazo!"

Regardless of the cost, Nazo knew she had to get Mukuro to dodge that dart. Darts of any sort were /never/ good. Mukuro jumped backwards, but it was against her original trajectory, and she wound up slipping as a result. It was going to be a pain dodging anything, the deus realized, but at least she didn't have to worry about that attack for now. Growing weary of tossing rocks at Gunslinger's head to knock off his hat (mostly because her last attempt failed), Mukuro runs up from behind the male Angel (how exactly she got behind him is a mystery that may never be known), and tries to kick him in the back, mostly because it's probably his least guarded point. Except Nazo doesn't quite believe that, but that's beside the point. The female Angel is still somewhat off-balance from tripping, so Nazo doesn't even suspect the attack will connect. Well, time will tell.

In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "You can do it Mukuro!"
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Asa Asa!!! Shoot her up with Gunslinger!"
In the audience, you head a female voice shouting "Make Mukuro dance, Asayama-san!"
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Take em down!"

A little startled by the calls of encouragement in his direction, Asayama stands up and glances around. The corners of his mouth perk up in a smile. He really hadn't expected anyone to cheer him on. This was rather... refreshing. After that brief glance up at the audience he looks back to Nazo and gives the girl a nod before speaking. He talks in a firm voice so as to be heard above the din of the crowd. "As I said before, what matters here is that we do our best.... that's all I ask and from the looks of things that's all these people want too. They're cheering for you too, Nazo. So give them a show!" He opens his arms and extends his palms upwards, relishing in the noise of the people above. He idly wondered if this was the sort of thing his boss had wanted him to experience....though perhaps he was reading into it too deeply.

Meanwhile, on the layer, Gunslinger lifts his head up and blinks. Upon hearing the other angel coming up behind him, once he heard her trip up it became obvious, the cowboy spins around and throws the dart gun in his opponent’s direction. The weapon explodes into a cloud of blue and hopefully puts her off guard a bit. Whether it did or not, it didn't work too badly as he's also able to prepare himself for the attack, cupping his hands around the approaching foot as it comes in and then grabbing it at the last second. Gunslinger isn't really much of a close range fighter mind you, and so he pushes towards the other angel in an attempt to push her back and knock her off balance again.

He hops backwards himself after that, creating a bit of space between Mukuro and himself, then bows a little, tipping his hat towards her. As an angel, Gunslinger can't really speak, and so that's about all his opponent is going to get as a friendly gesture... and a warning. He cups his hands together, almost imitating someone like Ryuu from Street Fighter. The blue sparks coagulate in his cupped palms and he brings his hands around in front of himself in order to generate the weapon. The sparks spiral, forming the weapon in front of him... It's... Well... It's a laser cannon. There's not much more to be said than that. It looks as though it belongs more on the helm of a starship than in the hands of a man.

He shuffles his hands into position, steadying the weapon, then pulls the trigger. A blue beam erupts from the weapon, not particularly aimed at Mukuro... not at first. Leaning forwards, he sweeps it across the layer. It burns everything in its wake, setting the jungle alight and felling trees as it goes, headed for Gunslinger's opponent.

In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Don't let us down Asayama-san!"
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "OooohHH!!!"
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Get her!!!"
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Run Mukuro!"
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Oh my god!"

"Is that... a beam cannon?! I wouldn't want to be in the way of that one," yells the announcer. "It hits! Is Mukuro still standing?" He seems thoroughly enthralled by the battle, and has sat forward on the edge of his seat to watch all the pretty explosions.

In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Don’t give up Mukuro!"
In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Finish her off Asa-san!"

"Whoops." That was a mistake. Nazo knew an upfront attack wouldn't go well. Though, perhaps it was this knowledge that kept the Angel standing. The blast had hit the vast majority of the right side of her body, and did a /lot/ of damage. But Mukuro was still alive and ticking, and darted off into the woods again. No more of this direct attack business, it didn't go over well. She decided her previous tactic was safer, and more hilarious to watch. That's right, Mukuro's picking up a rock and throwing it to knock off Gunslinger's hat, again. Nazo chuckles off the layer, amused by her own tactic. Hey, she was having fun. That was the most important thing, right?

In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Hunt her down, Gunslinger!"

This time, as the stone whips its way through the undergrowth, Gunslinger lifts a hand away from his weapon and grabs it out of the air. He crushes it in his hand, to show that he's going to get serious now, and with a flick of his other arm reduces the weapon he was holding to nothing. Strangely though, he doesn't seem to give chase to the other angel. Instead, with a little bow, he hops backwards and darts through the undergrowth himself. There's some merit to Mukuro's tactics, he decided; if she could play at sneak attacks then so could he. Besides, doing things this way would give him a little more time to think, and her a little more time on the layer. Asayama hadn't even seen very much of what she could do yet, and he eagerly wanted to.

The jungle being on fire was /not/ a good thing. Gunslinger had disappeared from both Nazo's sight and Mukuro's, and the smoke was certainly not helping the vision issue. Finally, however, it was Nazo who spotted the cowboy Angel. Mukuro automatically picked up as large and round a stone as was possible for her to throw at a distance, before thinking better of it. The fire may present... new opportunities. Sneaking up behind the cowboy, Mukuro grabs a vine, slings it over a branch, and ties a larger rock than the one she had picked up to throw to the vine before jumping down and tying the other end to the original rock she had and discretely (as possible) hides the evidence of her trap. Picking up a burning piece of wood, Mukuro kicks a tree, only to get Gunslinger's attention and hopefully draw the Angel closer. She looks ready to run if he should chase after her, which she hopes he actually will. If not, she set it up so that she could send the rock flying in his direction, anyway, just don't ask me how. Nazo watches too many shows and plays too many games. This is obviously a trick she learned from one of them.

Gunslinger does actually give chase, but not without caution. He's dodging enough things at the moment in order to get through the fiery forest as it burns around him; it does enough on it's own to cause a little bit of damage to the angel. Maybe ducking into it wasn't such a good idea. In any case, when he hears the sound, he darts forward and gives chase, exactly falling into Mukuro's trap. The vine snaps, and the rock goes flying at Gunslinger. It doesn't hit him exactly, but it does manage to knock off his hat. The hat topples onto the ground below as Gunslinger kneels down beside it. That was close. He quickly picks the hat back up and dusts it off, spotting Mukuro heading towards him. A two pronged attack? That was pretty clever, but enough was enough.

Gunslinger throws a hand in the direction of the advancing angel as he stands back up, slowly. The sparks hover around it for a moment before coalescing into a... a mere revolver? Well, after all the light show from before that wasn't really very spectacular, was it? Then, all of a sudden, he runs forward, twirling the gun in his hands, in order to meet his opponent. As she swings in, he moves around her, takes aim, and fires before moving on again. Having danced around her, he takes another shot at her back. Then switches to her side, all the while maneuvering around her attacks and planting his own in just the right place. The environment also becomes part of his plan; every so often he kicks some burning wood up at her as a distraction or darts behind a tree. Nonetheless, the revolver only has six shots, but he's going to make them /all/ count.

And there goes the match. Mukuro managed to dodge the first two shots, but the first time Gunslinger kicked up the burning debris, Mukuro was (hopefully, Nazo would have to check damage later) temporarily blinded. The next four shots all connected, and the last one managed to hit a weak point on the Angel Nazo hadn't got around to fixing (though she thought she had, but she was Air Head Nazo at the time). Falling limply to the ground, Mukuro ceased to function, the layer dissipating around them. The match was over, and, as Nazo suspected from the start, Asayama had won. She didn't feel any resentment at all. She had put up the best fight she could - that trap seemed like sheer brilliance compared to her normal plots - and she had managed to entertain part of the crowd with her hat-knocking-off obsession.

"Well played, Asayama-sama. It was a great match. We should play again sometime, preferably when I'm better," Nazo congratulates, standing and offering her hand for the man to shake. She was truly all right with this? Any who had defeated her in anything in the past would be extremely surprised; Nazo rarely took losses well. Perhaps this tournament was just what she needed, after all.

In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Good job Asa-san! Good job Nazo-kun!"

"And it's all over!" yells the announcer. "Gunslinger wins!" He then goes to recap the last moments of the fight, as if someone might have missed it. "With some clever maneuvering and just managing to evade a nasty trap by Mukuro, Gunslinger hits with several shots and the other angel is disabled. What a match!"
As Mukuro falls, Gunslinger walks over to the fallen angel and gives her a careful bow, removing his hat and placing it against his chest. Then he sits down himself so that he doesn't completely fall over when disconnected from his deus. Asayama runs a gloved hand back through his long hair. There was no denying that his opponent had fought well, even if she had lost. Then he stands up and removes the headset, placing it back on the chair. As soon as he does so, Gunslinger falls the short distance backwards and lies flat on the layer. As it was programmed to do, the layer scenery wavers and fades, returning back to its stable, white setting.

Walking over to the layer to retrieve his angel, Asayama is surprised to find Nazo standing there, offering him her hand. What a strange gesture, he ponders for a moment, rubbing his chin a little in thought before taking her hand and shaking it firmly. 'That's sportsmanlike, I suppose,' he thinks to himself, scooping Gunslinger up with out a word. He glances up once again at the crowd too, and the announcer; their cheering definitely made him feel pretty good during this match. This was only the beginning, though. His next match was against Mikage.... and that would really be something interesting; he'd have to take notes.

Giving the girl one final bow, he returns to the deus' chair, wraps up his angel and returns the little figure to its box. “Thank you for the duel, Nazo. I suppose I'll see you around,” he mutters with a quick smirk as he walks around the chair and heads back into the doorway that he came from, leaving Nazo to the cheers of the crowd. She probably shouldn't stay too long either, the announcer would start the next match soon. It wasn't Asayama's, though, and he'd use this time to get some Ice Tea from the vending machine outside.