Description: Two monstrous fighters who thrive on violence. Only one will remain standing. The most basic and visceral conflict of the entire World Warrior tournament begins; which is the apex predator of violence, and which must redeem themselves in the Loser's Bracket?
The World Warrior.
Duke survived his fall from the Geese Tower. Certainly, survive is about the most generous way to describe the word. But after his watch was recovered from the rest of him, the crime boss was swiftly released from the hospital by the terrified medical staff. Despite being more hamburger than man in his fight, Duke pulled himself together, healed from beyond the most mortal of wounds. The dark skinned man, for all purposes, fully recovered.
Except, of course, the oozing scar on his chest.
The wound inflicted deeply by Ryu in his match continued to burn, continued to refuse to heal, continued to fight. The cursed wound was beyond him. How long has he had it now? Over a month? And yet, it constantly fought against his healing, fought against his technology. Was this his essence? To be constantly bleeding through the endless bandages?
And yet, he just endured it, as he endured every suffering.
His arrival back at Strolhiem was quiet. No audience. No eyes. Just himself, and his opponent. A relative unknown and new face to him, not having taken any effort in any tournaments before this one. And yet, he was the highest ranking of the others. Duke strides out in the courtyard, dressed in his black and reds, the light cotton easily destroyed and disposed of in the fight. He crosses his arms, waiting, smoldering. His loss against Geese was... problematic.
He would settle it against his next opponent.
For one of the most exceptional dark horses of the World Warrior tournament, Azrael seems hardly interested in putting on a show himself. Even Duke has more knowledge in the world scene; the Mad Dog is only whispered in the darkness, a terror of mercenaries, a force of nature on some unknown leash. Those who control them likely have every desire to prevent him being witnessed by the world, but he's not someone who can be so easily contained. Right now, he's resting against one of the stone pillars in the sand-covered exhibition yard, settled cross-legged with arms folded over his own massive chest. Significantly taller, if of similar physique, the blue-haired demon exudes a dark and ominous presence constantly. Attempts for people to observe the fight with actual cameras failed. Like a font of despair and intimidation, it was too much for average people -- instead, a number of recording stations are set up all around, taking in the fight from all possible angles. When Duke finally arrives, eyes blink open with an apparent lethargy. Slowly Azrael rises, striding forward while scratching his back beneath the cape-like white coat bound around his shoulders. "Nnn...? So. This is the big leagues, eh?" Azrael comes to a stop, regarding Duke with mild disappointment. "...I've already had better meals than you." It might be better if it was intended as an insult; but all signs indicate this is a simple, straight assessment from a fighter who defeated Akuma and battled Rugal to his limits...!
Duke was well aware of one dog to another.
It was a title of a rogue and wild card, a force of nature. Duke had not even touched on Akuma, or challenged Rugal to his limits; in this world stage, Duke was finally an underdog. And yet, he did not wear it with spite. He had long been behind others, long been in the shadows of the stronger.
What was one more shadow cast before him?
"I don't have time to waste words with you." Duke rumbles, looking over his opponent. The presence of power was unmistakable. But Duke shows no fear at the man, putting up his fighting stance. It was a crude stance, filled with weaknesses and openings, almost a pissant attempt of a brawler stance than anything. It was far more simple than probably any opponent Azrael had faced. Except, maybe, Abigail. And yet, there was a confidence in that stance, a reckless presence. Foolhardy, or dangerous. He transfixes his yellow eyes, before snarling.
"Lets begin this!"
COMBATSYS: Duke has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Azrael has joined the fight here.
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Duke 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Azrael
Duke strides at Azrael, booming with every step. Swinging his leg around hard, he unleashes a brutal roundhouse kick, before a second kick, a straight kick with the other leg. And there, he begins to stomp, stomp, stomp with a pounding offense, opening with pure attack.
COMBATSYS: Azrael interrupts Strong Kick from Duke with Panzer Strike.
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Duke 1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0 Azrael
"Good. I'm here to fight, not to talk." Azrael agrees readily. "Show me what you got...!" In that way, they are rather compatible; both people merely desire conflict and violence, no frills and shows. There's a brightening in those crimson eyes, grin spreading wider to show his vicious canines. A man who had no teacher beyond violence, eh? Azrael started his long road much the same... if too long ago to care about remembering. Yet this isn't like Abigail, someone who only knew about sheer brawns. Instinct, experience, and innate talent... This will prove to be a better encounter than he expected from face value. Hands slide from his pockets at Duke's approach, shifting forward and ducking low.
The roundhouse kick whirls through the air, slamming into the Mad Dog's face without any attempt to guard -- the feel is likely unlike anything Duke has hit before. The immortal brawler is an artisan of flesh, having broken and been broken hundreds of times. Hitting Azrael is not hitting a living being. It's as if the force was drawn away, absorbed, and there's no mark or hint of it dazing him to be seen. His entire body is twisted to the side from the slam, but it doesn't stop his darkness-infused fist from driving forwards. "Heh...!" Still, he seems happy. That had a lot of pepper to it.
A moment later, a brutal uppercut slams right into Duke's chest. Foul energy invading mind and body, as if fear and intimidation was given intangible form to burn into his spirit. The pair rise upwards as the shockwave from the impact boils around, before at the apex Azrael twists, slamming his fist then upon Duke's face. The pair screech down to hit the sand with a great pyre of purple energy and force, sundering the ground and shaking a few cameras loose, burying Duke within a crater before the Mad Dog as he seems poised to capitalize on the advantage. "SHOW ME YOUR FANGS!!"
Already, in pure power
The raw stomping offense is cut short as Azrael already hurls back, the uppercut neatly sundering his ribcage. The entire body folds over, organs and bone mingling ruthlessly in a single blow. The corrupting energies and presence flood him, as he is hurled up. The second blow shatters his jaw, his skull already enjoying compound fractures. As the crater finally comes, Duke lays flat, stunned. Body already a mangled mess. Was it already done? Azrael could feel the man in pieces.
But he refuses to yield.
Bellowing like a titan, Duke already forces back at his captor, already forcing back under the weight and fury of the towering fighter. Already, in spite the blood from his eyes, his mouth, his -chest-, in spite of the fact there is no air filling his lungs, already, he was surging back at him. Already, he was attempting to rise up like a zombie, hurling out blind punches straight for the man's chest. The blows may comes with the full power of the man that hell spat out, with hellfire blasts with the punches. But that would be nothing compared to Duke trying to seize the man, hurl him up, and -smash- him back down into the exact same crater, into a staggering power bomb, bringing a volcanic eruption with him.
COMBATSYS: Azrael endures Duke's Volcanic Bomb.
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Duke 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1 Azrael
"Heh." Not even for a split second does Azrael think that the man beneath him is done. No; the burn of his soul is even hotter. They both feed on damage, if in rather different ways. "That's the way it should be...!! Fighting is nothing noble!! Only who's above who, a victor and a loser!!" Rather than mount a defensive, Azrael's hands sink deep within his pockets, stance spreading. Fists slam into the larger Mad Dog, burning marks upon his chest, the force roaring through and behind him to send billows of air and force sending sand away. Eyes widen more and more, not in pain but in satisfaction. There's no carnal delight in trying to tear into Azrael. He's not human, in that sense. Grasped by the shoulders, he's then hauled upwards as if weightless and driven into the ground with a great burst of flame in all directions.
A split second later, a purple-imbued foot drives out. Even the mightiest of warriors would be staggered by that, disoriented, pained. Yet while Duke has still not fully recovered from the assault, he might find his ribcage impacted by that burning heel, intent on launching him like a missile dozens of feet into the air. If successful, Azrael will kick off the ground to follow, doggedly remaining within a couple meters, laughing in a crazed fashion all the while.
But that aura of his... two applications within even an incredible fighting spirit might find itself suffocated and made an insect, as if the world was eclipsed in an inevitable shadow. Death -- imminent death, something Azrael's unnatural power can even inflict on a fellow immortal...!
COMBATSYS: Azrael dazes Duke with Valiant Crush!
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Duke 1/=======/=======|=======\===----\1 Azrael
Duke's resolve would not quit.
Even as the slam comes, he does not even register what comes next. Already, his victim was tearing into his flanks, already burning into him. For a moment, everything is dark. For a moment, his skeleton is shattered; the first bunch already shattered the ribcage, it is needless to say that the second barrage would turn very wet awfully quickly. And then, it stops. All stops. Duke collapses into the crater once more.
For the moment, the spark of light is out.
And it reignites.
Duke staggers out of the darkness, snarling in rage. Striding out, staggering out in a frantic, frenzied return. Duke roars as he swings his leg forward on the rising, lashing out blindly. It will not be enough. But the aggressive charge comes with a sweeping slam of the same leg, as he -slams- it down into a shockwave at Azrael, attempting to driving him down on the rush inwards.
COMBATSYS: Azrael blocks Duke's Hellfire Hammer.
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Duke 1/----===/=======|=======\====---\1 Azrael
Not many people can stand up to 'The Terror'; a mundane name given the simplicity of description from elite mercenaries and commandos who lived to experience the battle frenzy of Azrael. Seeing that Duke does not succumb but merely erupts into an assault even more makes him laugh even more wildly, both arms flung forward and crossing. The kick impacts heavily, and Azrael is dutifully launched back towards the exhibition yard far below. The fires ignited on his chest slowly sizzle away, although those marked just now continue to seethe on his otherwise unmarred skin. Landing in a crouch within the crater the pair have been battling with from the onset, a slow exhale follows. The Mad Dog slides into a proper stance, technique and finesse finally flowing over him. Crimson eyes slit, watching as Duke falls from the sky above. Before suddenly shooting upwards, leading himself with a right hook intent on slamming into his chest and leave another unholy imprint of dark energy. His other hand slams towards the abdomen also, a second slightly off-color mark flowing behind. Strength, speed, vigor, all would begin to break down as he tries to tear apart Duke's very soul, transcending the physical realm with the immortal's body mostly spent. "Come on...! You've got more in you, right?!"
COMBATSYS: Duke interrupts Scud Punishment from Azrael with Minefield EX.
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Duke 0/-------/-<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0 Azrael
Duke refuses to stay down.
Every moment was a battle for him, a struggle against a foe that continued his crushing pressure. Even as his impact is deflected, even as the imprint comes, even as the right hook comes drive in to his heart. It connects for a moment, piercing through to his very center, the very vessel of life-
And then, it explodes.
The blast detonates point blank, the explosion of chi flame and gore blasting straight back into Azrael. Duke blasts him back, his own energy flowing over him. His eyes burn with fire, actually smoking from the effort. His nostrils flared, his body bleeding, broken, and ragged loose in flesh, his spiritual force corrupted. Everything about Duke should have been snuffed out, and yet, his immortal essence moves beyond simple flesh, body and soul.
It was the indomitable will, that drives him every step of the way.
There's earnest surprise in Azrael's expression. He has struck down many people in his life. Dead to rights; that's what he felt when approaching. He had every intention of ripping apart Duke on the very essence of his being and throwing it to the winds, and that he survives, erupting with such a burning desire to not only live, but to WIN...?
Hitting the ground on his heels and skidding away, much of his clothing scorched and singed, Azrael begins to laugh once more. "EXCELLENT...! You're the second-best meal I've had...!" With a fair distance between the pair now, Azrael shifts and sinks his fingers into the ground, driving beneath sand to the stone beneath. Muscles flex, before a huge hunk of debris flies upwards, spiraling head over heels with a spray of obsfucating sand whirling behind. "But there's better prey ahead. I can smell it...!!"
COMBATSYS: Duke fails to slow Seismic Impact from Azrael with Seismic Impact EX.
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COMBATSYS: Duke can no longer fight.
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For Duke, victory was life.
Even against Geese, if his boss did not throw him from the tower? Then Duke would have hurled him away. Against Azrael, every moment was a surge of power, of desperate victory. And in tandem with Azrael, as the man, the diety, the thing drives his hands into the earth? Duke unleashes his own stomp. Earth meets Fire in a terrifying shockwave that drives to the very heart of Strolheim. The sands whirl, the fires burn.
And Duke is overcome.
The blast knocks him head over heels, sending him crashing on his chest. He doesn't stop. He doesn't cease. He still struggles to rise, pushing himself off the ground in a snarl. He would fight, he must fight. His resolve writhes in his soul. And yet, the struggle ends, as his arms give out. The indomitable endurance, exhausted. His eyes open, his blood pouring from him. He would live.
But the fight was all but gone from him now.
If that assault was merely a stone, then Duke could have easily overcome it. What he might not expected was the immortal's fist breaking through it, and finding a great wall of sheer kinetic power. Like a sonic boom, it launches the other warrior backwards to bounce away. Azrael seems satisfied, really -- Duke surpassed his expectations. Power is one thing, but the soul... the soul is the true banquet, and given the gap between the pair, he managed to feed the monstrous Mad Dog well. Intercoms notify that Azrael is the winner; Duke is not yet out of the running, however. Either Ryo or Baiken are next... "Hahahah...! We'll probably never meet again." Azrael murrs, twisting away and brushing singed ash from his shoulder as he strides towards the door. To sleep -- it will be days before his next fight, and he has a lot to digest for the moment...!
COMBATSYS: Azrael has ended the fight here.
Log created on 21:28:04 03/02/2018 by Azrael, and last modified on 00:54:54 03/03/2018.