It was now the second round of the tournament, and Misaka Keiichi found himself waiting for his next match to begin. The first round gave him a victory, but it was a hard won battle despite the swiftness of it. Now he would be facing his rival of the last two Tokyo City Tournaments. . . The Layer Phantom. Outside of tournaments he's been able to beat this man, but each year he has come to these games left him with a loss to this person. Sitting quietly in one of the waiting room chairs the boy remarks to himself, "This year, yeah. This year definitely." His eyes were set upon Zankoku as if questioning the angel's thoughts on the matter. Unfortunately there wouldn't be an answer, he was just an angel after all, and even if he could do things off the layer he can't even talk while on it.

Of course, between last tournament and the one before, Keiichi had not actively duelled this particular young man. Ranmaru, during the tournaments going by the alias of the Layer Phantom, is standing near Keiichi, dressed up in that black cape of his with the red lining, and a white half-mask which suspiciously resembled the one seen within 'The Phantom of the Opera', walks up to the deus whom he believes to be one of his greatest rivals. "This year huh? I better be careful then." As strange as it may be for those who have known Ranmaru for most of his life, the twenty year old chuckles. A lot has changed over time, and the former icey air has transformed into one of warmth and kindness. "How are you holding up there, Keiichi-kun?"

The mumurs of the audience are muted, the layers sitting idle in between matches, event goers procuring snacks and drinks and all the good condiments you need for a good day of tournament combat. As people shuffle in and out of there seats, a voice cuts through the dull mumur, our favorite announcer drawing eyes towards the arena as he calls out. "Ladies and gentlemen.. it's time for the next match of the 2007 Kanto Qualifier Tournament!" A dramatic pause as he waits for people to scurry towards their seats, and then he continues. "For this match.. East Corner.. with an impressive 15 tournament wins.. Misaka Keiichi and Zankoku!" He points towards the entryway, and a plethora of spotlights swivel to do the same..

Indeed, both players most likely had a few new tricks up their sleeves this year that neither would expect. That was one of the more fun parts of the game though, at least in Keiichi's opinion. Ranmaru's voice gave him a little start, causing him to blink and turn his attention towards the "Mysteriously Dressed" man. He gives a small grin his way and nods, "Layer Phantom-san. I'm holding up pretty well. Looks like it's time to go though." He rises to his feet and gives a small bow towards the elder deus. "Good luck to us both, ne?" He will wait for any sort of appropriate response, before making his way out through the tunnel and into the bright lights and eyes of the crowd. A small wave is offered and a friendly smile, the boy seemingly have gotten over his stage fright. It was an outward show though, there was still a a few butterflies fluttering about in the pit of his stomach every time he walked out here. His course is set for his chair, and he makes his way there without too much delay.

A smattering of applause and cheering from the audience as the dark haired boy appears from the tunnel. The announcer waits until it dies down a bit before his voice breaks through the rest of it. "Iiin the west corner, with 11 tournament victories, the mysterious Layer Phantom, and Kamui!" Queue the spotlights swivelling back towards the tunnel, and a dramatic flourish from announcer up on his perch.

"Ah, it seems we're up." The Layer Phantom turns his head towards the wallmonitor and nods as Keiichi speaks. "Good to hear." However, there is no real time to wait for a response as Keiichi has to leave, and he too will have to follow shortly when the announcer introduces him as well. In preperation for this, he walks up into the little hallway that leads out into the large domelike structure that is the arena itself.

When his name, or rather maybe one is better off calling it a stage-name, gets called out, he steps into the large spotlights. A hand goes up to greet the crowd and he aims his eyes towards the crowds. The little lenses set in his mask immediately shift to a darker color to prevent the deus from getting blinded by the many lights that are surely aimed at him as well as others that are dancing about the arena.

He takes his time to get to his own seat, feeling less than nervous now that he's done this a few times and the tournament is no longer within its first round. He keeps on waving until he finally arrives at seat appointed to him, and instead uses that hand to wave his cloak about before sitting down. After all, what is the use of a cape if you don't wave it around now and then? Now, sitting there, he waits for the seats to lift up to the level of the actual layer, and the announcer's call for falling in his angel.

More applause and cheering as the second contender enters the arena floor, who doesn't love a mysterious cloaked figure, after all? Plenty of whistling and calls from the audience, and lights swivel about dramatically as both contenders take their seats. Once they are settled, the seats lift into position on quietly whirring servos, the announcer's voice filling the lull. "Today is a battle between veteran players, who will come out on top?!" Lights swivel to face the layer, and the surface blurs and distorts, dramatic 'oooohing' from the crowd as it finally resolves into.. "It looks like today's battle will be fought on a glacier! Chill slippery footing, how will our valiant deuses and their angels react? Let's find out!" A brief dramatic pause, and he stretches his hand out to the layer, microphone tilted just so, light flashing off his gaudy wraparound shades. "Angels, FALL IN!!"

Keiichi makes final adjustments to settings as his chair rises, after powering on his headset of course. When it finally reaches the apex, he sucks in a deep breath and then sighs it out to steady himself. This was going to be a tough battle no matter the stage, but it was amusing to note this was the very stage they met on the year prior. Keiichi smiles a little as he looks over towards the Layer Phantom, giving a nod his way before he rises up a bit.

Zankoku is lifted high above his head, and then in one sweeping motion is tossed towards the layer while Keiichi calls out, "Never give up, even when staring in the grim face of death, Zankoku!" The angel is launched, spinning through the air before passing through the layer barrier and sending ripples out from the point of impact. While passing through his body is coated in a bright energy, shortly followed by the zombie-angel's eyes opening slowly and flashing a brilliant red. The energy coat then twists and corrupts into a dark purplish colour before it is sucked into his body, followed by a flexing and a twist that sends him hurtling down towards the layer surface. He smashes into the glacier, creating a small impact crater and bits of ice dancing up into the air and leaving him down on his knees with one fist pressed to the ground. There he sits, awaiting his foe and the start of the match, as his cloak flutters about and finally settles down around him.

"Such irony..." Ranmaru comments as he watches the icey scenery build up on the layer. "Anyway. Let's do our best, ne? Keiichi?" Wait, since when has mister Layer Phantom dropped the honorifics to Keiichi's name? Not much time to think about this, as the masked man reaches un underneath his cloak. There is some movement for a moment as he seeks to grab hold of Kamui: an action quite invisible to everyone other than Keiichi. His fingers wrap around the lithe body of his angel, holding it quite gently. "Illuminate the darkness with your bonded soul!" He suddenly calls out as his cloak is thrown to the side and Kamui suddenly gets flung towards the layer. "Kamui, show us your light! Fallin!" The black feline angel darts forth...

It goes head first, touching the bright light of the layer. The feline immediatly forces itself to open it's crimson red eyes, the rest of it's body following quite quickly. It's fur ruffles violently due to the speed it had been thrown at! Its limbs seem to twitch for a moment before explosively coming to live. Stretching out completely before making a beautiful double flip forth, finished by landing perfectly on both knees and one fist, it's other arm set before it's face. It's tail lashes violently for a moment before the angel actually seemed to 'bother' to get up and take some paces back to his own side of the layer.

Kamui's head cocks slightly to the left, it's lips reveiling one tooth, allowing for the angel to give quite the smug look. But this look was not directed at any opposing angel, it was directed at Keiichi. It's eyes illuminate with a red hue, almost demonic if not, at the least, feral. The same fallin as always...

...Or not. The angel in the manner it is standing now suddenly notices that it is standing on rather unstable flooring. Ice! It had not yet set its claws in the glacier and soon finds out that it has begin to slowly begin moving down... down the glacier towards the bottom! It begins to flail its arms and legs around, trying to get a grip on the ice but seems to be having trouble to do so. "Nyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" It screams in horrid 'fear' until it finally gets one of its diamond claws stuck into the slippery ice and creates a big crack where he had just struck. "Nyaaaoaoaoooo." It whines, apparently not too appreciative of the occassion and pulls himself up, digging his feets' claws into the ice. "Nyo!" Standing up, it suddenly throws his hands into the air and presents himself to the crowd that must surely be watching his odd antics! The hands in the air is him trying to pretend he was just fine to begin with!

The crowd oooh and aaahs as the angel's make their dramatic entrances, some laughter and giggling as the feline angel goes through his antics on the ice. The announcer of course, is waaay too cool for that, but there is laughter in his voice when both angels are settled and he chimes in. "Well.. now that everybody has their footing, the match can begin!" It's his favorite part, and his chair tilts forward dramatically, arms thrusting skyward as he calls out. "ANGELIC FIGHT!"

Keiichi settles back into his seat, now that all was set and nods over towards Ranmaru, "Here we go, round 3. Time to put an end to my losing streak." He grins then and sets his gaze so that he can look at both the layer and Ranmaru, knowing full well that just watching one would be a mistake for a match of this level.

On the layer, Zankoku's body is illuminated by small tendrils and streaks of that dark purple energy he had absorbed on his way in, and his by now familiar twisted little grin takes hold of his features. Slowly he rises from his impact crater, after making sure his footing was stable. Both hands clench into fists as he sets himself in a tight stance, and more energy crackles along the ground beneath his feet, swirling up into a sphere as a low humming sound can be heard passing through the layer. He was going to start off big it seems, but it would take a moment and gave Kamui time to react.

Kyousuke yells. "Ganbare Misaka-han! Oi-han!"

The sturdy ice creaks beneath Kamui's feet as his claws dig in while he slowly takes a few steps into Zankoku's direction, trying to get a good grip of how his movement will be affected by this treacherous holographic image. "Okay~nya, I am ready!" Isn't that a bit late, now that the buzzer has gone off? As calls come from the crowd, Ranmaru takes a small moment to wave at them in general before turning his attention fully to the layer. After all, Keiichi was a difficult opponent, and even a single mistake could be dissasterous! So, why not begin big and do the worst one could do in the beginning of a match?! And that is, to go full out!

On the layer, the image of Kamui turns into a big trail of icedust being pushed up into the air! It is clear where the little feline is going, and that is straight at Zankoku. May as well try and prevent that attack from going off, right!? Just before it seems like the tip trail of ice is going to hit Zankoku, the feline suddenly stops moving. Although... its hard to see if Kamui is really in there. The vacuum of air suddenly needs to settle, and forces the rest of the ice right into Zankoku's face. And within that cloud, Kamui begins an attack that is nothing more than a wild volley of slashes from different sides. The angel attempts to use the cloud for cover to make it hard to sense where he is coming from. Hopefully, this will stump his opponent to at least some point!

While Kamui was taking his time, the skies above the layer seem to darken even more as purple streaks of lighting dance along the skies and rolling thunder can be heard. Several places along the glacier crack and crumble as headstones begin pushing their way up and through the ice. The energy field around the zombie's body intensifies and seems to zap away at the power of the feline angel's attacks, and his energy as well! Turns out it was probably a bad idea to attack while this was going on, for future reference!

When the final attacks come streaking in, something odd seems to happen though, a few zombies break free from their icy tomb and intercept those blows aimed for their master. That growing field of energy fluctuates a bit as the hum ceases, and then implodes upon itself collapsing into Zankoku's body and causing his eyes to flash red once more as his mouth opens out in a silent yell.

And then, the energy explodes outwards in all directions, ripping through the glacier and sending large chunks of it flying off as well. It's worth noting that several zombies are also sent flying off as well, and if any happen to find themselves nearby Kamui they strike out with clawed hands before flying off to their doom in the icy waters around the glacier. No matter though, there were always a few more laying around to use.

Okay, this is something absolutely and completely new to Kamui! Not only does he get blasted away by a large kinetic force of energy, also he gets to see destruction all around him and an army of zombies flying past him. Not only that, but everything happens so fast. Rocks are flying past the little feline and he tries to grab onto one in order to have a chance to see what is going on! However, much of a chance he doesn't get as those previously mentioned zombies begin to zoom by. The previous attack had weakened him a littlebit, but luckily no physical damage had been done. Still, effects of fatigue had begun to show and the feline figured it was only time until this rush of ice and zombies would bring him to the edge of the layer... His eyes dart around, trying to find /something/ to grab onto.

It is a zombie that ends up performing this service! The being comes flying by, shouting: "Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains!!" Kamui looks at the rotten thing and as it finally flies past plants a clawed foot right in its face. "BRA~BWHEEHEE!", it tries to yell, but has no chance to grab or bite Kamui as he jumps back into the direction of Keiichi's angel! All that remains behind for that zombie is a tiny piece of fluff, which the zombie grabs and hugs to his chest while blushing. "Brains?" It asks once, before falling out of the layer and disappearing. Silly zombies...

After that step has been made, Kamui finds himself darting from zombie to zombie, having trouble keeping up with the movement as... suddenly the light of the layer seems to become unstable!? For a moment it seems to flicker on and off and gains somewhat of a greenish hue. All the movement on the layer suddenly looks glitchy, and a red line pointing straight at Zankoku appears, linking the two angels together. All of the movements on the layer slow down and some of the zombies even begin to simply disappear into nowhere. Some of the ice flails to the top of the layer like lag hitting a first person shooter, just continueing until it hits the end...

However, this effect is only temporarily. But when it is done, Kamui suddenly has a golden like glow about him and seems somewhat revitalized! There are some zombies now stuck in the snow, watching the feline... fly... much like superman, over their heads. Every single one of them has a perplexed look on their face, going "Braaaains?" No... no brains for you! Bad zombie! Go back to the mall!

The feline's hands are open, claws stretched out, he is flying directly at the zombie angel, hoping to get his little nasty claws on him so that he can at least get another attack in. And with the layer acting up, that hit may actually have some strange effects. In the meantime, Ranmaru seems to be sweating a tiny bit and lets out a cough before turning his full attention to the layer. Really, he is fine, but the amount of control and attention he is giving to his angel and everything that is going on around him does tax him a little.

As the battle rages on, a large wrought-iron fence slowly begins to rise along the edges to encircle the place. More and more gravestones are also popping out of the ground and the ice seems to begin melting away. It's not gone yet though, and the glacier is still there in its slippery wet glory!

Zankoku watches quietly as the results of his attack take hold of the layer. He smirks and nods with a satisfied look at first, but then lifts a hand to scratch at the side of his head. He wondered when his zombies turned into ghouls, but figures whatever that odd thing Kamui was doing in the sky was to blame. His expresion turns serious though when he realizes there is an attack coming.

Crouching low, Zankoku shoves his hand down into the ice and withdraws yet another zombie! This one though seemed to be a mimic of Kamui, sort of, the only real recognizble bits though were the kitty ears and tail. Regardless though, it is brought up to shield from the blow and seems mostly effective. However we are talking about unpreserved dead flesh here, and Kamui's claws seem to pierce straight through and scratch along Zankoku's chest and draining away at his power.

During that time, three more zombies rise from their icy graves behind their master. These particular zombies seem to carry usagi-mimi and are indeed modeled after Usagi-tan, and as their master is attacked they all leap in to counter! The tiny bunny-zombie horde all lift up their heavy carrot weapons and then proceed to smash at Kamui's position with swift and penetrating blows should they actually find a target.

"Eep!" Yes, even felines can make that sound. Its little eyes are suddenly filled by reflections of not one, not two, but three usagi-tans! As if one wasn't bad enough to fight against! Not to mention, those carrots really didn't look too pleasant! The feline falls onto its bum due to its previous attack and begins to quickly crawl backwards. Carrot after carrot just /barely/ misses due to the speedy angel moving backwards, every time just barely missing his lower belly. Offf! Had those hit, that would have been nasty! "Nyaaa!" He suddenly pointed accussingly at Keiichi. Summoning angels that are not actually on the layer is cheating! Yeaa~oh.

"Nya!" He finally stands up and keeps pointing at his opponent until he /finally/ notices that the layer has... changed? Though never personally, he had seen similar things happen before. But never this early in a match, let alone having seen Zankoku do such a thing. "Wow, Keiichi. Seems we are both really pulling out all of the stops." Ranmaru himself suddenly comments, turning his attention from the layer towards Keiichi himself. In the meantime, Kamui uses this time to get a little further from Zankoku, not quite liking this new turn of events.

Finally the last remants of the glacier fade away and are replaced with the mist filled graveyard, encircled by a large gate. It seemed there would be no ringouts today, and no escape from the battle at hand. The stage was now set for the final showdown, and Zankoku rises after dropping his zombie shield to the ground and gives a satsifed grin towards Kamui. He moves his arms to cause that patchwork cloak to rise up in a dramatic flourish and holds his hands out as if presenting his masterpiece and asking what everyone thought. He made no moves to attack though, no instead he was pondering how best to proceed from here.

Meanwhile Keiichi grinned as well, watching the layer and chuckling a little at Kamui's accusing claw. His eyes lift towards the Layer Phantom, who is given a nod in response, "Hai. No sense in holding back at a tournament of this nature right? Not when the opponent is someone so skilled, ne?" He smiles again, but his attention is split once more as he expects Kamui won't be standing around for too horribly long.

"You are right. Indeed there is no need to hold back." His eyes then turn towards Zankoku. "Isn't it amusing how Zankoku wears a cape, as am I? Its kind of like... the reverse of what one would expect to see on a layer?" It is a bit of a useless thing to say, but apparently to Ranmaru it holds some kind of importance.

In the meantime, on the Layer Kamui has begun to resort to pretending he is a real life catboy, as he turns about, sticks his tail up in the air and wags his tail at Zankoku, taunting him again. After all, gotta kill your time somehow, right!? Of course he realizes that so far, that has never had effect on the zombie, but he is too hardheaded to give in to such a thing. So he turns his face and pretends to stick out his tongue and pulls down the 'skin' under his eyes. "Nya nya nya nyaaaa~nyaaaa!"

Kamui then suddenly turns about and flatters one of its hands and jumps straight at its opponent. A blue glow envelops the angel, the glow seemingly originating from the little ring around Kamui's finger. However, this glow seems to 'concentrate' on the very tip of Kamui's hand, ready to just jab through the Zombie. There was just that little hope that he would not end up punching through and getting stuck or something.

So far in this match, Zankoku hadn't really show much prowess in the realm of dodging attacks. Instead he had been taking them, so to speak, without moving out of the way. This time however would be different, as his billowy cloak still dances out in the air behind him. His eyes narrow and watch Kamui's movements warily while taking up an evasive styled stance in a somewhat mimicry of his opponent. When the clawed hand comes in to delivery that penetrating finger attack, the zombie-angel shifts to the side with a bit of a spin. While he side-steps and spins away from the attack, he comes about and delivers a round-house styled kick towards the back of the cat-boy's head.

Above the layer, Keiichi muses over Ranmaru's words but does not respond. It seems he was content to watch the game for the moment, but that was more because it required a lot of concentration to get out of the way of that speedy angel's attacks more than anything else.

A hit! Keiichi's angel had just scored a hit. After Kamui's attack had missed, the angel was still expecting the ground to be slippery and to be able to move along with the momentum he had. So when his feet hit the ground again, there was the full expectation of him moving on. But... it was clearly not the case. So when he is standing still again and finds a leg in its back, the feline goes flying, which soon ends up in a tumble! He keeps on rolling and rolling until finally the feline smacks into a gravestone, which makes a strange rotating motion through the ground until Kamui is gone. Gone! Nowhere to be seen! The crowd goes 'huuuuh?' for a moment, and even the announcer has trouble gathering what just happened until little letters appear on the graveyard: 'Here rests Kamui... NOOOT!' with a little drawing of a catboy patting his butt on it and a taunting smileyface drawn on it. So... then where is the feline? Well, he is pretending to be a zombie as his hand suddenly jumps out of the ground, tries to grab onto Zankoku's leg, and attempts to pull him underground.

Apparently Kamui's disappearance into the earth took Zankoku by surprise a bit, and as a result he was not prepared for the foot grab that followed. His foot was easily caught and soon the zombie-angel found himself being tugged into the earth, a subtle reminder of where he'd come from. While down there though, no one really knows what happens, since nobody can see, but through a various number of different styled methods, Zankoku tries to eject Kamui from their shared grave. Whether it works or not though, he fully intends to get out of here afterwards. He doesn't like it underground, and who could blame him that's where they put dead people!

There is a little rumble in the earth as Keiichi's angel attempts to catch his speedy opponent. The problem with this feline however is that, as much as one might not expect it, he's a dang good digger! He digs his way away from Zankoku and soon the ground begins to show a little bump as if a mole is digging through the garden until... THUNK! Kamui has hit a gravestone and pops up, looking rather dizzy. His eyes are swirling about and his head is spinning around.

A moment later, Zankoku digs his way out of the ground as well, and beings a fast crawl towards the dazed feline. No he didn't stand up, he's actually crawling on all fours at a rather brisk pace to close the distance between them. The reason was Kamui's head was still low of course, and that was going to be his target.

Dark sparks of energy creep out of the ground and dance along the zombie's form, focusing in his arms and feet. At the last moment he lunges forward with clawed hand digging into the ground before it rises up in a swipe at Kamui's eyes. Dirt splays out first, followed by claw. He was hoping to disable the visual abilities of the kitty for a moment, to allow him time to get things back to normal.

Yet another occassion where the layer acts up! And it acts up big time! The light immediately turns into that sickly green seen only by a very select few people. The layer seems to shiver a little and Kamui suddenly disappears completely out of sight, being replaced by holographic scenery! "Ohh! Wha... what just happened!?" The announcer calls out. "Ohhh! This must be one of those magic tricks that the Layer Phantom can do!" The feline suddenly reappears right behind Zankoku in the same shape it had been before, still a little dizzy and looking up surprisedly because of the sudden 'displacement'. However, with Ranmaru controlling his actions, it does not take long for him to recover and run away from Keiichi! The layer however keeps acting up, glitches occurring everywhere, making Kamui disappear in all kinds of places and reappear in others. It was just like playing on the stairwell layer all of the sudden, only with only Kamui knowing where the exits were!

Zankoku blinks as Kamui sort of teleports nearby and then flees, watching with a tilted head as the angel curiously moves about. It was most certainly odd, and he wasn't sure how to proceed with attacking him directly. Instead he sends his hands through his billowy cloak, sending it up in a flourished movement and then furrows his brows before folding his arms over his chest. His gaze follows Kamui's movements intently and warily, ready to respond to whatever attack the feline intends to throw at him next.

The angel appears again right above Keiichi's angel, claws at the ready to attack! And just when it seems the layer is turning to its normal self, the light becoming white again, Kamui disappears just above Zankoku! Only to appear right at his feet, sliding towards him, trying to knock his feet from underneath him!

As Kamui swipes for Zankoku's feet, the zombie-angel actually sinks into the ground down to his waist. The feline's claws dig into his chest and cause some pain of course, but it also forces the cat to stop dead in his tracks so to speak. With his opponent this close, how could he miss right?

Zankoku's eyes take on their unhealthy red glow once more as dark energy coarses through his body and takes control of the dead once more. Clawed hands sprout out of the ground from various source zombies and proceed to lash out at Kamui from all over the place. As if that weren't bad enough, Zankoku himself seemed to be joining the fray too as he pushes out of the earth, sending a volley of kicks down at Kamui for good measure!

"Oh shhhhh~nya!" The feline's eyes open up wide and the falls back onto its bum. The tail goes twitch and he raises his hands to try and block the attack. Luckily, however, he won't need to defend against that attack! Just as it seems like Zankoku's claws are going to reach the little feline, he touches something clearly made out of ROCK. Do you really want to go and scratch that? Kamui has tried, it was no fun. The wing however does not belong to either Zankoku or himself. It was a third angel, quite clearly there on the layer! A gargess that may look very familiar for most of the audience snarls at Keiichi's angel, as if saying 'stay off of my catboy', and even attempts to push Keiichi's angel back before turning about and nodding at Kamui. In return, Kamui blows a kiss at her, causing a blush to appear on the gargesses cheeks. It is then that she begins to dissipate like mist, fleeting away into the air. No gravestones for Rei.

"Thank you, Rei." Ranmaru comments, smiling and looking into the crowd to see if he can find Mikage. For a moment it looks like he connected gazes with her, before he turns his attention back onto the layer in order to send Kamui on the attack again. In the end, it seems that some of the kinetic force behind Zankoku's attack had reached Kamui, but it wasn't for as much as it would have. The feline finally darts at his opponent and... goes straight for the head, trying to chop it off! Oh, nasty! But whether or not he even hits the slightests, he jumps up into the air again in order to get away from his opponent.

Zankoku's eyes set upon Rei with a dark grin, he was up against her next round not this one, but maybe that hit would count in his favor later on? Probably not, but one can dream right? One might expect the zombie-angel to be confused or distracted, but he knew it was coming eventually it was just a matter of time. When the feline zooms in for the next attack, Zankoku twists his body a bit causing it to only graze him lightly before giving chase after Kamui. His eyes light up once more as the ground rumbles and more zombies rush out to try and intercept the kitty-cat and give their master enough time to close in and unleash another barrage of attacks at the poor thing.

The feline tries to quickly get up only... to find out that he can't! He looks down and sees one of the zombies he had smushed into the ground much much earlier during the glacier incident, and it is holding onto it. The feline pulls and pulls on his leg, using its little claws to pry open those hands, but fails! It can't help but get attacked by the mean zombies which center around him and go nuts on the poor little feline... zombie-pile! And then there's Zankoku actually physically attacking him!

However, there is suddenly a big flash of white around the angel during Zankoku's attack. And somewhere in the middle of it all, Kamui jumps out into midair! One leg hanging down with a decapitated zombiehand attached to it and another claw holding a zombiehead. "Hiss!" The feline seems suitably pissed, and this annoyance is directed at Zankoku. And, just hanging there in the sky, he suddenly darts straight at his opponent, pushing himself off on 'nothing'... but apparently that nothing gives him enough friction to be changing direction in midair. One claw is out, ready to strike true to its target, Zankoku's head... hoping for a clean finish! After all, if one has no shotgun... the best thing against your resident zombie is either an annoyed demonic kitty-hybrid of doom, or a weather manipulating gargoyle... who writes this stuff!?

Unlike his little hordlings, Zankoku is intelligent enough to realize when Kamui is no longer under the pile and pulls away from the location to try and get a bead on the feline. His little helpers continue to pound and scratch away at the dirt where he had been previously though, since they weren't too bright.

Zankoku's gaze lifts and locks on Kamui as he springs off of thin air and zooms in for the killing blow. Somehow though, the zombie-angel seemed to be ahead of the game here, and actually manages to dodge away at just the last moment, leaving Kamui to hopefully impact with the earth and make a nice big crater for later fun. While he considered attacking again right away, discretion was taken into account and he backs off and takes up a defensive posture to wait for the next move.

The ground indeed gets a nasty beating when Kamui's claw impacts on the ground. There is even a momentary shockwave which bursts from the ground and moves outwards along the entire graveyard, throwing a few of the gravestones into the air and some of the zombies are flung into the air. A few of the graves nearby even seem to explode and fling their zombies out. There is a moment where two of the graveyard zombies as well as a little cat zombie suddenly shout something like 'Team Zombie, blasting off again!!!' Before disappearing into the skies... but it gets ignored by Kamui. It isn't as if Kamui had noticed that it had missed, it was just that he was rather preoccupied.

Indeed that attack had been powerful enough to perhaps have knocked Zankoku out right there, but with all that power as well as this feline's speed increasing the kinetic power behind it, that shockwave is soon followed by the ground beneath both Zankoku and Kamui collapsing and causing them to tumble into a large hole beneath! It looks... like a cave. There is a table with a burning candle and something that looks like an old book on it. There are spiderwebs everywhere, making it look like this place had been long forgotten.

The feline blinks for a moment and looks about before getting into an offensive stance and directing itself at Zankoku! Now that they were in a limited space, he could very well have an advantage! The feline quickly rushes forwards in order to catch his opponent off guard and throws a quick series of sharp-clawed attacks for the sternum!

Zankoku blinks as the ground caves in, and he is soon sent tumbling in as well. Blast it all, that wasn't part of the plan! Tumbling down into the kitty-hole, yes kitty because Kamui was a cat not a rabbit, eventually he finds himself at the bottom of a long forgotten cave. There isn't too much time to take in the sights though, becuase it seems Kamui is ready to bring the fight in all up close and personal.

The zombie-angel manages to divert several of the claw swipes, but one manages to pass through his defenses and strike home. It shouldn't have done too much damage, but for some reason it seemed to pass through his reinforced outerskin and bite deep. He actually winces in pain, but tries to use the closeness to his own advantage, lashing out at Kamui's neck with a knife-edge hand strike towards one of the nerve cluster groupings there. If he hits, he should have bought himself a moment to recover.

The feline, still in his attack, finds himself able to duck downwards as if he didn't need to really bother with that whole 'gravity' thing... who cares about Newton when you are a cat!? Going to land on his feet either ways! Having moved away from that attack he quickly lunges forth and tries to knock his legs right into Zankoku's side... its a preperationg for a next attack clearly in order to position Zankoku and knock him off of his balance...

As Kamui's feet come streaking in towards Zankoku's side, some sort of invisible field seems to intercept them and guide them to only perform a slight scratch against the zombie's side. Clearly not enough to knock him off balance, and this gives him enough time to attempt to grab at the feline's legs right as they graze him. If he's successful in latching on, he fully intends to spin around and send the cat flying towards that old moldy table. Hopefully an impact with it would be enough to end this fight now, but he wasn't hedging his bets yet.

The feline once again seems to survive by pure luck as it dodges away from the attack. Shield or no shield, the feline's next move had already been decided. An eerie white glow appears on its claws. Normally this would have been green, poison for many enemies... but it appears like the feline intends fully on purifying this opponent! A simple stab is performed while the feline jumps up and goes for Zankoku's neck.

On the layer, Zankoku summons up some of the last vestiges of reserve energy he has to just barely scrape by and avoid being hit by the purifying strike. He knew it would have been more than he could handle at this point, but he's also really worn down. He lashes out almost lazily towards Kamui's neck in a nother nerve strike, a move he had learned oh so long ago from Makynzie. One of his favorite moves.

Above, Keiichi wondered if he would be able to defeat this opponent as his angel was winding down and there wasn't a lot of time left. Still he had to try, and so he leans forward and places a hand thoughtfully on his chin. "Layer Phantom-san, this has been a difficult battle. . . and we're getting down to the wire. I wonder who will come out ahead," he speaks while smiling over towards his opponent.

"We'll see. Kamui can't go for much longer. He's gotten tired a littlebit too easily... but..." The Layer Phantom chuckles and shrugs. "That's Angelic Layer for you. You never know what will happen, ne? Keiichi?" After all, out of the two, Keiichi had grown the most. And while normally Kamui had been the one being the most on the attack and getting away from highly damaging attacks, that role had been to Zankoku this time. This whole zombie thing was kinda cool. "Last effort! Go! Kamui!" And with that command, Kamui ducks away from the palm and with his last bit of energy plants his hands to the ground and throws a Rolling Thunder attack! WHAT!? It was nowhere as strong as Suzuka's original attack, and there were some flaws in the execution... and all in all, Kamui really did not have the strength to make it as effective. But it was still beautiful to see something closely resembling it being thrown by this feline angel. There was some kind of... grace about it. A feline catboy executing a graceful attack that originates from an equally graceful angel!

Keiichi peers down at the layer as Kamui moves to execute his final attack, calling out "Watch out Zankoku!" As if the boys words could reach him, Zankoku saw through Kamui's movements easily enough. Probably because he's seen this attack before, any fan of Angelic Layer ought to have! Still it was an impressive last effort, and some of the damage passed through as he slides back and brings both arms up to block. He then shifts into a low spin, attempting to take Kamui off his feet and send him sliding along the cave's ground. Maybe if he hits a rock or something it'll knock him out!

BUZZZZ! The buzzer sounds loudly throughout the arena as the feline gets hit! At the last moment it looked at the downcoming foot with big puppy eyes, but nothing was going to help him in that moment. They both had excecuted their very last attacks, butting everything they had left into them... and he had nothing left. It appears that Keiichi's luck had beat him this time! "There we go." Ranmaru chuckles as he watches his angel try and get out of the way and instead of being knocked into the ground he gets knocked into the big table mentioned previously... the feline knocks over the thing and the book that was on it opens up. Something about a necromonium... as suddenly two gigantic tentacles fly out and grab Kamui... pulling him into the book! It is then that the layer finally fades away and the angels both get to return to being lifeless dolls... "You win this time, Keiichi. This time." The Layer Phantom tries to be all dramatic, in order to spell 'doom' upon his opponent as he finally reaches out in order to grab his own angel.

As the final attack connects and the buzzer sounds, Keiichi lets out a sigh of relief. That fight was extremely close and that made his first two matches of this tournament really close ones. He takes another deep breath and then begins moving his chair down towards the layer, where he would pick up his angel in a moment. On the way however, he looks over towards the Layer Phantom and grins a bit, "I told you, this time. Looks like we managed to pull it off, but only just so." He finally leans over and picks up Zankoku, looking him over a little and nodding. "It was a hard won fight, and an exciting battle. Thank you for giving it your all, Phantom-san." His chair finally touches down, and when it does he hops out and prepares to head back towards the waiting room. He'll stick around for a moment though to give Ranmaru time to say things and such.

"Hehe." The Layer Phantom smiles and nods at Keiichi. "Indeed, I did have to give it my all. Just be careful, if you start slacking off, I will get you!" The young man waits for the seat to mvoe down to the ground floor and the young man finally stands up, raising his hand to get a cheer from the crowd. And they seem all too welcome to comply. After all, they got to see another great duel! And this one had been so close, many had held their breath the whole last couple of minutes. "I'll see you again, Keiichi." Ranmaru gives his last words before finally walking off to the waiting room, letting Keiichi have his moment of fame.

Keiichi grins towards Ranmaru before he leaves and offers a nod, "I'll try not to slack off then, so that next time we'll have another great match." After the Layer Phantom begins making his way off the arena floor, the boy picks his hand up and offers a wave to the crowd, and another friendly smile. He also holds Zankoku up, so that he may bask in the glory of victory! Even though he is innert. And then, off to the waiting room he goes where he'll probably head out to the stands to watch the next match. Watching was almost as fun as playing you see.