Tatsu, tired of arriving late (as his constant, almost-avoidable, and unintended habit), had arrived early to his match for once. Once inside the waiting room, he walks over to the nearest table, shrugs off his backpack, and plops it on top of the table. From it, he extracts his lightly-armored blue Angel. Restless and excited, he rotates between pacing and examining random things, watching the audience through the large wall-monitor, and sitting while looking at Brozzel. Currently, he is doing the latter, and whispering words of his encouragement to his Angel.

Fourth round, all the dues and their angels had come a long way, showing their capabilities not only to the cheering audience, but themselves as well. At least that was the case for Kanji, it had started as an attempt to prove to Daichi-sama that he wasn't a total waste of brain power and that he actually did care about things other than numbers and figures. After the first round in which he lost his notebook taken away and was forced to battle Kiyoshi with all of his problem solving skills rather than giving up right at the end. While he didn't exactly come out of his shell, at least to the extension that Daichi had wanted him too, Kanji could definately see a change in his demeanor, a willingness to try his best rather than uselessly overstudy everything.

Wandering around the waiting room, Kanji was going over his previous battles in his head, trying hard to think back on the advanced concepts of layer physics and how he could use them to his advantage. Perhaps he should have been paying attention, because as he wandered around he very nearly ran into quite a few people, it was only their awareness that kept him from once again tripping over something.

Tatsu spotting his opponent, Tatsu starts to jump up to introduce himself; however, he pauses at the familiar face and stands still for a second or two, trying to recall the other boy's name....Kanji! That was it! "Kanji-san!" He called out in greeting as he strode over. "It's good to see you again! Ready for our match?"

Either Kanji didn't hear Tatsu at all or he was completely ignoring the other deus. Off in his own little world Kanji continued to stare off into space his eyes containing that look that said that he wasn't really there, taking steps around the room in an almost scripted fashion, as though he had planned out each step ahead of time. Of course, all the planning in the world couldn't account for the actions of others, and Kanji couldn't really help when someone crossed his path.

"Angels drop on the layer at a rate of..." Kanji seemed to blurt when he was talked too, mirroing the straighforward path of his own thoughts.

Confused at first but Kanji's apparent inattention to the world around him, Tatsu watches him curiously for a short while before coming up again and trying to get his attention by tapping him on the shoulder. "Kanji-san.." stares at Kanji with a small curious look and when (or rather if) Kanji does pay attention, he smiles at him and says "It's almost time for our match. Excited?"

"Match..." Kanji's attention turned toward Tatsu for a moment, physical contact was enough to bring him out of his thoughts at least. His eyes seemed to gain focus and he stared at the boy for a moment as though trying to puzzle out something before they seemed to lose interest in him. Even though it seemed as though Kanji had lost attention he was still staring at the boy with those empty eyes. "Our match is next, It should be edjucational."

"Yup! And hopefully fun." grins slightly. He holds up his Angel for Kanji to view "Brozzel and I look forward to being your opponents."

Clearly Kanji didn't grasp the concept of fun, he knew in theory what fun involved, but to him fun was going over countless lines of numbers or digging through technical books in hopes of theorizing or creating something else. Angelic Layer was just a means to an end, a way for him to collect data on the attributes of Angels in correlation to the layer, in itself that was fun, being able to collect the data. However he never had seen any of his previous opponents as fun, merely obstacles that he needed to overcome in order to further his research.

Kanji studied Brozzel for a moment. "Good luck Tatsu-kun."

Tatsu makes a small bow and says "You too Kanji-kun." Tatsu turns his gaze to his Angel and says half to himself, half to his Angel "Let's see if we can break through to the next level this time." Tatsu looks seriously at his Angel for another few seconds, then shakes his head and snaps his head back up to look at Kanji. He grins "Well, they're waiting for us...let's go!!" Grinning widely, Tatsu points toward the arena entrance and then strides excitedly out, though glancing behind him to make sure Kanji is coming.

"Welcome! To ANGELIC LAYER! Todays two contestants promise to show an exciting match, and even as the tournament begins to wind down into its final rounds the adrenaline is still pumping hot!" The announcer yelled with perhaps too much enthusiasm, it did seem to rile up the crowd however, enough to send them all into cheers and hollering. "In the west corner we have a Rookie who has surprised us with a fairly good preformance this year, Mokoshiro Tatsu and his highly adaptable angel Brozzel have proven themselves a capable pair... But..."

There was always a but in these battles, the announcer pointed over to the east corner of the arena where Kanji stood oblivious of the audiences reaction to him and his angel. "Can he prove himself against Fujiwara Kanji? Another rookie who has done well in local tournaments, Kanji's angel Martyr has been known to leave other angels in his dust with fast reactions and even faster movements. He has proved an excellent strategist at pulling come from behind victories in the later parts of his duels."

While the announcer was going through his spiel Kanji had silently approached the chair just on the outside of the raised layer, he studiously ignored the audience because they would only detract from his focus. Martyr was out of his pouch and in Kanji's hands, the bandaged angel looking something straight out of a mummy movie with bandages that covered his upper torso, ending at his neck to show his face. It was in the angels facet hat one could see where his name had come from, the bandaged angel oozed a sense of duty, a quiet reservation that didn't shine too brightly because there was no point in shining bright when he was merely a pawn. Sitting the angel in his lap after sitting in his chair, Kanji pulled the visor over his head and tapped the button at the side to fan out the wings as the chair rose smoothly to the layer.

Tatsu waves once to the crowd in acknowledgement to the crowd, and looks around to see if he can pick out anyone he recognizes. He walks to his chair while he does this, and then shrugs, not having spied his friend, though with a crowd this thick that didnt mean she wasn't there. As his chair swiveled to the layer, Tatsu pulls on his visor and hits the button to snap out the wings. His angel still cradled in the crook of one of his arms, Tatsu leans forward and yells across to Kanji "Let's do our best Kanji-kun!" and pumps his fist once into the air.

Looking back between both contestants, the announcer nodded to himself. "Now Tokyo, I say unto you, with an open heart and a wonderous mind let the ANGELS BE ENTERED!"

"Show them the power of Sacrifice, Martyr!" Kanji yelled out right after the announcer had given the signal to throw his angel in. Doing so, the bandaged angel soared lifelessly for a moment before crossing the layer barrier, immedietly coming to life and doing a front flip before descending to the layer, his eyes seemed to spark into life conveying that sense of duty even more so as he dropped gracefully onto the top of one of the statues in a crouch. For a single moment, Martyr remained in that crouched position, a mass of bandages hanging off random parts of his bodies mixed with his short dirty blonde hair. He rose and straightened to a standing position, khopeshes still at his side crossing his arms over his chest fists toward his shoulder and stared down the dirt road from atop his perch on the statue.

Looking excited and determined, Tatsu tosses Brozzel towards the layer and, mid-descent, Brozzels eyes flicker to life. As Brozzel comes alive, Tatsu yells out Brozzel!! Proclaim your name to the heavens! After an acrobatic front flip, Brozzel lands at the very beginning of the dirt path, with Martyr between him and the temple. Smoothly putting on his back-pointing yellow glasses, Brozzel in the same motion brushes back his short spiky hair and then points up the dirt road to the temple entrance, declaring his determination to get past and surpass his opponent. Brozzels grin is identical to his Deus.

"ANGEL BATTEROO!" The announcer declared in his broken English, the timer sparking to life.

Wasting no time to start the battle, Martyr leapt off his perch in a forward flip, landing in a small crouch and using that short bit of gained momentum to propel himself forward toward his opponent. Dirt seeming to fly from behind him as his large amount of speed carried him toward Brozzel in a matter of seconds, it was usually his strategy to start the battle slow and weigh his opponent, but Kanji had been mixing up his strategies since the tournament began, a way of boosting himself as a intellegent deus. As Martyr reached his opponent, he used all his speed and built up power to thrust his elbow toward the other angels chest, sliding at such high speed that the dirt from the path swirled in a obscuring cloud around the both of them.

Immediately after Martyr begins his leap, Brozzel drops into a tight, defensive stance. As Brozzel watches Martyr's charge, he grimaces as he realizes how fast the Angel is...not so easy to keep track of this one. As Martyr's elbow rammed forward toward him, Brozzel twists his torso and spins out of the way. He uses the momentum of his spin to bring his heel snapping towards Martyr's neck.

Even when starting with speed in power such as he did, Martyr was never one to put himself completely into an attack until he was good and ready to actually force some damage onto an opponent. It was all part of the game to his deus, a living chess board in which he needed to conserve his moves until he could literally pin his opponent into submission, in order to do that he needed to make his opponent think that he was putting himself into his attacks. Light weight angels such as Martyr had that distinct advantage, putting themselves into an attack without ever really putting themselves at risk. This was of course demonstrated by the current attack to Martyr in which he merely flipped back away from the heel to his throat and once again pushed his momentum back forward to try and catch Brozzel in the face with his knee.

Brozzel's mouth set into a grim line. He knew this game from experience. The moment he exhausted himself dodging all these lighter attacks, that's when the opponent would begin to pound at him with his strongest moves. Well, he wasn't going to let it get to that point just yet. It was going to /hurt/ though, to conserve his energy, and he knew it. Brozzel throws his hands up in front of his face, taking the force with his palms and falling back into a backwards somersault to get as much force out of the attack as he could. As he rolls out of the attack, Brozzel surges back forward toward Martyr, aiming to return the favor with his fist aiming for Martyr's face.

A mere sidestep and Martyr was out of the way of his opponents attack, whether he had dodged or not wasn't of importance to Martyr, all he cared about was doing his duty. He was merely a tool to further the thoughts of his deus, an extension on the layer, a piece in the puzzle. He didn't shine brightly because he couldn't, rather it was because he didn't need or want to shine brightly, he wanted to remain unnoticed till those final few moments when he would begin his real attacks. However first he needed to read his opponent, to measure the capacity at which he would have to attack in order to fully lay out his plans. It was just a sidestep, but it was enough to put him at his opponents side, a strategic advantage was an advantage nonetheless and Martyr's left hand went to the hilt of his khopesh, bringing it up with a swift slice toward Brozzel's extended arm.

Brozzel emits a low growl again at the speed of his opponent, but manages to get his arm out of the way of the slashing blade at the last moment by whipping it away and flipping back. Strangely, if one looked close enough, Brozzel's armor seems to have thinned and become...more aerodynamic, while Brozzel himself wore a slightly wolf-ish expression. Standing at a distance from Martyr, sizing him up with his eyes, Brozzel suddenly begins to dash for the temple.

Rather than persuit his opponent as he dashed up toward the temple, Martyr once again crossed his arms over his chest as he usually did when he was planning or waiting for his opponent. It seemed as though the perfect oppurtunity for the bandaged angel to attack, his opponents back was turned, and Martryr could have doe something quite devestating to the other angel. It seemed the audience all shared this thought as they started murmering among themselves, conversations being carried throughout the whole arena, it was only when a few singular gasps rang out from around the arena that anyone turned their attention back to the layer. Martyr had come back inot action again, using the curve of his blade to lever one of the deformed stones onto its side. Then using his powerful legs he kicked the large stone like a soccerball toward the back of the other angel, not bothering to move after it as the bandaged angel once again went into his waiting stance.

Brozzel, hearing the rock as it whistles through the air, turns around and whacks the incoming rock with the shield on his forearm; however this unfortunately this doesnt protect him from the many shards that hit him or prevent the force of the blow on his arm. Brozzel, now next to the entrance to the temple, shakes out his arm and grins. He walks up to one of the big statues on the side of the road, examines the base casually, then in a sudden rush of furious energy smashes the base of it, causing it to fall toward the next statue down the road...and the next...and the next...in a dominoe line in the direction of Martyr. Sure, it was a one in a million chance it would hit, but it sure as hell was amusing.

Standing completely still with his arms across his chest, khopesh in one hand, Martyr seemed to watch as the statues seemed to knock eachother down. With each crunch and shake of the layer as one statue knocked into another, Martyr looked as though he might move, gripping his khopesh tight and flexing slightly. It wasn't till the last statue that was standing directly over him started to descend on the bandaged angel that he did decide to act. Reaching down and grabbing his other khopesh, Martyr put all of his power into a cross slash above his head, cutting deep into the statue and causing it to split in half just befor hitting him, the two sides falling to either side of the bandaged angel. At which point Martyr began his ascent up the hill, using the fallen statues as vaulting points he once again showed off his amazing speed, moving quickly toward the outer wall of the ruins. Jumping as he made it to the wall, the bandaged angel planted his wrapped feet on the weather worn stone surface and used that as a kick off point to attack his opponent, honing in like a missle he brought both blades down in a powerful arch toward either shoulder.

Brozzel stands silently at the top of the path as Martyr climbs up, his eyes following the Angel; not even reacting when the angel takes his back on the wall. As Martyr closes in after his kick off and the blades draw close, Brozzel suddenly abandons his tight rigidity: crouching, spinning, and then sliding under the incoming Angel while simultaneously throwing his armored fist up to strike Martyr's unguarded gut.

Even in the air Martyr was never fully defenseless, especially when his trajectory and relative position to the ground was considered. Martyr had never been one to use his weapons for their intended purpose that often, instead fans of Kanji's layer battle style noted that Martyr used the khopeshes to deal and manipulate his high speed more than make outright attacks. So it was no surprise to those who knew Martyr to see him jam his blades into the dirt road as Brozzel began attacking, the sudden stop in direction by jamming his weapons into the ground caused the bandaged angels path to change while only bleeding off a minimum amount of momentum. Suddenly rather than travelling toward the ground, Martyr's body was travelling up again as he flipped over the hilt of his swords, leaving them in the ground as his momentum carried him a ways down the path where he landed in a full crouch, sliding a few inches and causing the dust to kick up again. It seemed the way martyr had been fighting was changing, no longer was he testing the extent of his opponents abilities, he was actually attacking for the sake of attacking, it was the time in the battle when he wouldn't stop until the match ended one way or the other. Rising to his feet, Martyr charged his opponent, moving past his opponent and dropping into a sliding kick at Brozzel.

Brozzel pants tiredly as he sees Martyr dodge yet another of his attacks. As Martyr rose to his feet, Brozzel had yanked both of his opponent's swords out of the dirt and examined them. As Martyr's slide kick draws near, Brozzel prepares to dodge out of the way; however, right as he is about to get out the way, a wave of crippling exhaustion runs through Brozzel, leaving him near helpless as the kick connects. The sudden intense pain sharpens Brozzel's focus again. He seems to be running on pure adrenaline now. Backing away a bit, the temple now on the far side of Martyr, Brozzel still holds both of the stolen swords, and presses their hilts against the shields on his forearms, where they seem to....oddly, meld with the armor. The metal of Brozzel's gauntlets/shields seems to ripple and form around the two swords, ending up after the fact with two considerably larger blades protuding from the top of his gauntlets. Tatsu yells out "No one escapes us unscathed Brozzel! Show them your power!!! X-Slash!!!" With the end of Tatsu's shout, Brozzel gives out a fierce roar and charges toward Martyr, arms crossed in front of him. Once he is relatively close, Brozzel swings both swords and large shockwaves shoot out, crossed, towards Martyr and the temple.

Martyr's slide carried him far enough to touch the base of the ruined walls, allowing himself to flip back up on his feet and turn back toward Brozzel, his back facing the checkpoint walls. Whether he had any opinion on his blades being stolen by the other angel was completely up in the air, Martyr's expression didn't change, in fact it never changed. Brozzel carried himself forward and preformed an attack with the blades that seemed to make a name and an anouncement for the attack. It was quick enough and powerful enough that it would have put any angel at risk, and as he slashed it seemed to rend the bandaged angel in two, the force carrying to the walls causing deep marks to appear where the blades had struck. The victory against Martyr was short lived however as the angel seemed to completely dissapear, his body nowhere to be found. Seconds later, Martyr appeared crouching below the other angel where he kicked out toward its mid back with a force that would cause most angels to be knocked off the layer.

After his fierce attack, and the fleeting, and unfortunately false, vision of victory from the destruction of what turned out to be Martyr's afterimage, Brozzel seemed to slump over where he stood, panting heaving and unmoving, except for the return of his armor to normal, and the falling of the two swords from the ground. Brozzel, too exhausted to even respond, takes the powerful hit right in the middle of the back and goes flying forward like a limp doll. He crash lands lands on the steps of the temple, splayed out. Gazing up, half unconscious, Brozzel's last action is to reach up weakly and set his hand on top of the final step, just inside the temple. Brozzel's eyes then flicker out and go dead, his body unmoving. As the announcer declares his loss, Tatsu can only look on in horror at his Angel, forced to wait for his chair to swivel down, and jumping the last few feet to the ground when it gets close. He dashes to the layer and retrieves his Angel, cradling it protectively in his arms.

The announcer was silent for a moment, he had seen a few of Kanji's matches and never seen the angel complete them so fast, there were still a good four minutes on the timer. He with the rest of the audience was so stunned by the preformance that he had nearly forgotten to announce, nearly. Fumbling with his mic for a moment he raised it up to his mouth. "WINNER Martyr! With an impressively fast knock out, the little bandaged angel proves that he is not one to be trifled with. As well Fujiwara Kanji proves himself as a thoughtful opponent once again, showing that the layer is his own personal playground."

"Interesting." Kanji said quietly, the deus seat descending toward the layer so he could retrieve his angel. The crowd was going wild, but Kanji didn't seem to notice as he retrieved the fallen weapons and Martyr off the layer. His mind was already trying to wrap around the battle, he couldn't wrap his head around the idea that his mind had worked fast enough to beat Brozzel in fraction of the time he usually beat an angel. He hadn't really had a concept of time, whenever he was on the layer his mind was focused on the way both angels were batteling and what he could do to manipulate the battle in his favor. It just happened more often than not that he pulled out a victory in the last moments of the duel, the current duel had been an exception though. The exception stuck out more than the constant in a scientists mind, he needed to find a way to prove that it was just an exception to the rule rather than a fluke in his own thoughts. It was back to the drawing board. The chair descended and Kanji got silently out, slipping his angel into the pouch at his side and walking slowly out of the arena admist the cheers of his fans, he studiously ignored them because the fans made him lose his focus.