Saishu - Zack Island in Flames

Description: The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! We don't need no water, let the motherfucker burn! Burn, motherfucker, burn!

Why the fuck is Iori Goddamn Yagami in a warehouse? Because screw you, that's why.

The heir of the Yagami bloodline could not hate this island more right now. He hated the stupid reality television thing. He hated that Ash Crimson had freaked out like some sort of bizarre psychopath and tried to set him on fire. He hated that the entire island was now on fire and being racked by earthquakes and ridiculous marauding living statue things. Mostly though, he hates this warehouse.

Standing in one of the few still-intact buildings on Zack Island (a name which he also hates), Iori is surrounded by brilliant purple flames. Around him in the darkness, there move many tiny tiki creatures. They seem reluctant to approach the malevolent, cursed purple fire which coils and burns about his limbs. It is, in fact, taking all of his self control not to give in entirely to the hateful power of his bloodline and completely lose himself to violence.

And then a giant, flaming meteor impacts the warehouse.

There's a flash of purple and orange visible, briefly, throughout the island, and a bellowed howl which accompanies it:


Iori doesn't know HOW Kyo is responsible for this, or why, but in his heart, he knows it to be true.

The aftermath of the explosion sees the young man with long red hair standing in a ruined crater, surrounded by fragments of meteor and pieces of charred wood. His arms are raised over his body protectively, and those sickly purple flames finally die down. One eye twitches, and he GLARES at the volcano as though it has done him some personal insult.

"... Screw this, I'm going home."

Certain things call to those of the destined bloodlines, their fates intertwined not only with each other but with that of the Earth. It remains an unspoken mystery just wy Saishu Kusanagi has come to honour Zack Island with his inimitable presence, and where Iori has the excuse of damning, all-consuming hatred... the man perhaps best known as 'that asshole Kyo's dad' to a new generation of fight-loving teenagers (some of them are, like, thirty; they still count as teenagers when you're a million years old) can provide no particular reason for the excursion. Was it a crazy whim that brought him here? The promise of fame and glory? Training for his sensitive young protégé?

Perhaps all of the above. Or, perhaps...


Saishu 'The Fire' Kusanagi is lounging on a deckchair in the stunning sun above Zack Island, finding himself a glorious overlook atop the shattered ruins of the Gemstone Hotel. Amidst the crumbling mortar and the peeling façade is a portion of roof conveniently set beside the barely-usable fire escape. It's here that the Elder Statesman of Crimson Flame lounges beside the Secretary of the Treasury and Dat Ass, the austere pot-bellied Griswold wearing a pair of rockin' shades to match Saishu's. And the same Hawaiian-print board shorts and sweet Fanny Adams else.

They're being tended to by four nubile young vixens - of the human variety, this isn't one of those damn filthy furry scenes forcing this game down a dark path indeed - in scant bikinis, peeling grapes by rolling them upon their thighs and popping them occasionally into the open maw of man or orangutan.

Sometimes they get confused which is which.

Behind them is a small bar, tended to by an animate tiki statue. There's no bottles on the bar, just a few glasses and the requisite 'tender's rag. Because the statue has a gigantic bottle of sake permanently welded to its hand. It is smiling super creepily.

This beautiful scene is suddenly interrupted as the volcano god - visible from the hotel, stomping and stamping through the fields of lava now flooding the island - roars a mighty bellow and tosses a fucking cliffside covered in fire into the air. By the same twist of fate that bring Kusanagi and Yagami together once again, this makeshift meteor (which I just typo'd as 'makeshit', how very telling of the glories to come) goes crashing down upon a certain warehouse. And elicits a certain response.

Sitting bolt upright so fast he knocks a 'barely eighteen' model flying off the edge of the hotel with a Wilhelm scream and an accompanying scatter of peeled grapes, Saishu Kusanagi flips up his rockin' shades and stares with wild, gimlet eyes to the horizon.


Wait, who's Johann?


"HA HA!"

Having teleported across the island because he's just that incredible, Saishu Kusanagi totters casually up behind his favourite Yagami scion, gnarly hands hooked through the waistband of his board shorts and shit-eating grin firmly in place across that scraggly-bearded face. His familiar laughter likely announced him well enough, but even moreso the incredible aura he carries with him. It calls to Iori's cursed blood, and Saishu seems to very much know it-- when he has the man's attention, he--

Opens his arms and bellows heartily:

"Iori-kun! Give us a hug!"

Which probably goes about as well as expected, or it would, if Saishu weren't immediately distracted by the actual purpose of why he came here in the first place. The smouldering ruins nearby, the violent expulsion of fire and flame.

And a name, ripped from the annals of history yet to be told. His lazy progeny.

"Wait. My useless retard of a son did that? Good on him! Maybe I'll invite him home for Christmas, so long as he sleeps outside and gives me a nice footbath..." The Kusanagi patriarch seems to be forgetting that Kyo hasn't left home - because he's a useless retard - and sleeps in the same room he's always slept in, by official mandate of Shizuka 'The Boss' Kusanagi. Or HAS HE? "Hrn. Cody won't be pleased to see him."

Leaning back to scratch at his bare, hairy belly - which, we would be remiss not to note - still totes some abs almost as rockin' as the shades perched upon Saishu's sun-reddened brow, Saishu half-turns to look over his shoulder at a third figure.

The bar-tending tiki statue, still smiling like a total creeper.

"Oi! Pour Iori-kun a drink, looks like he needs one." Rolling his gimlety gaze back to the scion of purple flame (haha purple, what a loser), Saishu jerks his head back to indicate the monstrous tiki-thing now ambling forward with bottle and glass in hand. "This is Satiki, The One who Serves Ricewine. He's a thing now. So." He pauses casually, like he wasn't on the edge of a burning crater that Iori's smouldering in the middle of. Nope. He's on holiday! "How're you doin', kid? How's your mother? We had some good times back in the day, let me tell you! Me-ow! HA HA!"

"She's dead."

Well, what do you know? There are, in fact, new depths to which Iori's hatred can sink. One of them just walked up out of nowhere and tried to demand a hug. It isn't like 'your mother' jokes are particularly original, but you know what? It still stings! Particularly because Saishu doesn't seem to give enough of a damn to remember that his mother is dead, has been dead literally his entire life, and was never known by him. Iori has only met Saishu a handful of times in the past, but every time, he brings up how great his mother was. Every. Time.

And there's some sort of stupid tiki statue thing, too?!

Iori puts his hands in his pockets, and he really did intend to just slouch away. Maybe Saishu is drunk; that'd explain it, and the dumb statue thing has a massive sake bottle attached, so. You know. Maybe that mystery has been solved. But then, as he moves to get past it, the creepy living statue thing wobbles out in front of him, sake glass proferred insistently.

And something in Iori just... snaps.

He takes his hands out of his pockets, and instead grabs Satiki around the middle. "I have had..." He snarls, "Just about enough..."


Iori's reputation for his scathing wit and intellect soundly restored, he's suddenly whipping around, sake spilling everywhere as he drags the tiki statue with him. The smouldering ruins of the warehouse flare with alcohol-fueled flames, and that creepy smile might just seem to be getting larger and larger in Saishu's sunglasses-clad vision.

Because Iori is going to do his level best to FEED the Kusanagi Clan Head that goddamn statue if it is the last thing he does in this world! And you know what? If he manages it? THAT IS A TRADE HE WOULD BE HAPPY TO ACCEPT!!

COMBATSYS: Iori has started a fight here.

COMBATSYS: Saishu has joined the fight here.

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Saishu           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Iori

COMBATSYS: Saishu endures Iori's Large Random Weapon.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Saishu           0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0             Iori

There have been many kings throughout history, and the greatest of them all are now directly comparable to Saishu Kusanagi as he stands there absorbing the blunt, brutal response by the red-haired whippersnapper before him. The fact is, his expression just doesn't change - at all! He doesn't even blink, just stands there grinning like the cockiest motherfucker who ever possibly fucked Iori's mother and then happily watched her die, whatever darkness resides in the bloody history of their respective families - and, indeed, in the past of Saishu himself - not affecting him in the least.

There are times it would be too easy to dismiss Saishu as a cantankerous and ultimately harmless, if insanely powerful, old coot, and indeed one could be forgiven for believing this to be the case. But the truth is so much worse.

He's like the Burger King! He's like King Zack! He's like Henry the 8th!

All the worst people in history, and the Elder Statesman of the Crimson Flame and Mentioning Iori's Dead Mom is right there beside them all. He's also staring down a half-ton of solid rock in the form of Satiki, perhaps the greatest and most historically-significant of the myriad tiki statues marauding across the devastated region of Zack Island. That creepy smile indeed grows, as it grows closer, and is matched by the shit-eating grin upon Saishu's own terrible countenance.

At the final approach, with the massive bludgeon literally inches away, Saishu's gimlet eyes suddenly -snap- to full focus and he barks a challenge to Iori Yagami:

"HA HA! Give us--" His arms sweep out, and then he's impacted with the sound of protesting bone and sinew, the relaxed musculature of his centuries-old (in Saishu Years) frame driven back across the sandy dune beside the burning warehouse. Sand and grass flies in every which direction, as Saishu wraps his arms about his aggressor's weapon and drags it with him. He keeps on grinning, too, even as he roars:


The final bellow comes as he roots into the violently-developed callouses of his feet, the horny skin compacting sand almost to rock as he sinks every copious bit of his power into his core, winds up and then bodily HURLS Satiki, The One who Serves Ricewine, at the scion of purple flame. But not before he snatches at the bottle in the tiki's vicelike grip, rock shattering as he seizes his prize--

...and realizes it's empty. Behind the onrushing blur of flying stone, Saishu sinks to his knees and weeps manly tears, his broken shades falling across his countenance - an apt metaphor for the darkness now seizing his own soul.

This truly shall be another battle for the ages.

COMBATSYS: Iori dodges Saishu's Huge Thrown Object.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Saishu           0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0             Iori

Anger is one of those funny things - even though he goes through his whole life in varying states of dissatisfaction or pissed-offness, in the heat of the moment, he can't remember a time when he was MORE enraged than he is right now. There's so much hate! So much! The crazy old geezer didn't even flinch when he was hit, and that's just not right! "DAMN YOU!"

In fact, that deserves some reiteration, in case the subtleties of emotion on display here are lost on the readership at home.


When the irritating tiki-idol is flung at him, Iori displays shameful evidence of the fact that Zack Island may have had an effect on him: he limbos.

Skidding in on his knees, he aims to grab the weeping man by the waist. "You want a hug, old man?!" He spits, and, if he's got a good grip, well... it is /kind/ of like a hug?

Only it is nothing at all like a hug. Iori's fingers will cut in deep to the soft flesh of Saishu's (rockin') abs, and rip upwards, rending as he springs to his feet and twists in the air to fling the old man back over his shoulder... and into the downed figure of Satiki, He Who Served Ricewine Until He Was Mutilated By An Old Drunk.

Iori didn't have a mom, okay? He didn't get many hugs as a child.

COMBATSYS: Saishu interrupts Saka Sakahagi from Iori with Oniyaki EX.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Saishu           0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0             Iori

Tears streaming down his sunburned cheeks, Saishu Kusanagi appears to be paying no attention at all to the motions of his opponent. When Iori limbos beneath the lesser island deity, executing a picture-perfect powerslide that the mighty D (but not that whiny crybaby D!) would be proud of, the fiery living legend is still weeping, his stare flung heavenward and a fist clenched at his side. It's probably better for everyone if nobody notices the way his trembling digits are glowing.

At least somebody's paying attention, and as Iori explodes into the offensive brutality he's so infamous for (though less than he is for his inexplicable hair and bondage pants, damn kids) a small crowd of perfect-10 super models explode into applause nearby. A quick glance by a canny mind will note that some of these models are appealingly fleshy, and almost certainly bulimic, where others are in fact tiki statues painted with lipstick around their bizarre perma-rictuses. Mmm, rictus.

At least Saishu's no longer grinning the same way, instead he's all D: as he's grabbed, playing the innocent assailed as Iori closes upon him and digs deep those unruly fingernails. Damn. kids! Didn't his mother teach him basic hygiene? o rite

Of course she didn't. SHE'S DEAD. Bam! Dead relatives are hilarious you guys!

When Saishu is suddenly hauled upward, a blaze erupts around that chambered fist, and his frown turns upside down in a very hot instant. His blood is spraying out from decidely not-soft (thankyaverymuch) abdominals, and now it's ignited as the Kusanagi patriarch twists free from the Yagami scion and spins away into an almost-balletic motion, crimson burning into hot steam. His rising arm cuts a swathe through it, and beyond, to Iori, fist impacting him neatly beneath the jaw-- but nothing, this, compared to the gout of searing, red-hot crimson flame that surrounds Saishu and spreads in an arc several feet wide. His aura explodes too. This...

This is what it feels like when a master of his style gets serious, and when the scraggly-bearded holiday-maker lands, his grin is no longer merely ridiculous or cajoling - not even satanically-mocking - it's the picture of a much younger man, albeit with more confidence yet. Gimlet eyes burn with a brightness of being that comes only from complete self-mastery, and Saishu sinks into his battle posture; broadened into a horse-riding stance, one fist readied across his midsection and the other raised, shuddering in time with the flickering pulsations of the legendary fire within.

"HA!" He barks just once now, his chin lifting faintly to better direct that implacably self-aware stare at the mere boy he's fended off so adamantly. "Is that what your hatred buys you, Yagami? Power on the level of a whipping boy? Damn me all you like, but my family survives for a -reason-. Like the god of this island, we don't rush in; we bide our time, master ourselves and our art before we take action."

He grunts, and a corona of flame briefly burns around his bare, calloused feet.

"Like your parents, Yagami, you should learn to control yourself. If you fall to your demons, like they did, then you will die, like they did, at the hands of better men."

Did... did he just call Iori's mom a man? Moment, ruined.

Kusanagi flame. Oh, sure, there's plenty of other ways to manipulate fire-based chi, but there's something about the smooth, classic taste of Kusanagi Flame which really cuts through all other styles and gives the people what they demand: all the searing agony of walking into a furnace with none of the impractical equipment that gets in the way of enjoying your own burning flesh.

The moment passes, and Iori hunches over, his AWESOME hair flopped over his face as he glares at the old man. Then Saishu is giving him some sort of lecture? And Iori takes it about as well as he takes it when any authority figure tells him what to do:


Running in low again, Iori's hands stay close to the ground, and he doesn't stop in his charge. Instead, he pivots, and aims to plant his heel right in Saishu's gut, regardless of how flabby - or muscular - it might actually be.

The smouldering ruins of this once-great Warehouse, and the deep mysteries that it may have contained, are definitely being ruined in all this. It isn't even so much a battlefield any more as it is a smouldering crater filled with ash (but not Ash) and the remnants of broken dreams. That's okay though - the fanservice crowd can watch these new dreams being forged right in front of their eyes. Like the dream of disemboweling a crazy old coot.

Wait, is one of the Tiki idols eating one of the fat chicks? Eurgh.

COMBATSYS: Saishu fails to interrupt Aggressive Strike from Iori with Kamu Kakari.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Saishu           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0             Iori

Opening a discourse with the Yagami Clan has always been problematic; the truth being that Iori just isn't that dissimilar to his forebears, all that rage and pain and anxiety only somewhat worsened by the hypocrisy and stomach-churning consumerism of the society in which he's forced to dwell. Where theirs was a coldly demonic fury, still wrapped in honour and blood pacts and other super-serious things, Iori's burns as hot as the Kusanagi flame itself. Spitting, hissing hatred, unrefined and unmitigated by the support of others who bear the same cursed blood. If Saishu were so inclined...

...he'd feel pity for the boy. But the moment is already passed, gone in the instant that the redhead spits his defiance and surges forth, scattered to the winds as the strangely-analytical eye of Saishu Kusanagi catches the action occurring to the battle's flank. Whyever he came to Zack Island in the first place...

One has to admit that it's a VERY distracting and interesting place for a holiday.

"Hrn! Hey, Iori-kun--" So much for the harshness of the master, the composure and excellence of form that he so briefly exhibited. As Saishu's gimlet eyes bounce back and forth, he catches the incoming kick way too late to really do anything but uselessly extend his arm - blazing with crimson flame that might singe an eyebrow or ruin Iori's hair, if he's insistent on pressing any further forward - and then get kicked right in the breadbasket. "Pffff! Grnghrgl!!"

Alright, the boy can hit, and the angle's just right that Saishu turns green beneath his sunburn and coughs up a mouthful of stale sake and a couple of partially-digested grapes, right over the probably well-polished shoe of the Yagami scion.

"Ha ha!" Barks Saishu, straightening up and grinning even if Iori's already hitting him again. "Look! That one wasn't even peeled properly! Can't get the staff these days, eh?!"

Iori sneers, which is about as close as he ever gets to smiling, when he shuts Saishu up and makes the old geezer spit up all at once. His precious hair is saved by the fact that it literally can't be burned; little known fact, but the Yagami Clan's few surviving techniques mostly deal with maintaining a really awesome look no matter how violent and bloody the battle one has to wade through might be.

He still gets old man puke on his shoes, though, and that ruins his good mood before it had even begun!

Brilliant purple fire twists around Iori's arm, concentrating in his palm as he recovers his footing and just, glares at the old man. "Don't worry." He intones, "I'm sure they'll have good staff... in HELL!"

Because you see, that's where Saishu is going. Hell. Because Iori is going to kill him. And he isn't a good person. So he won't be going to heaven.

Pitching his arm around and forward, the brilliant purple light surges and then explodes outwards along the ground. It is true; Iori does not have the mastery and control that Saishu Kusanagi has. What he DOES have is an abundance of raw power, and the will to use it. The ripping purple fire is barely contained at all; really just given a direction and allowed out to consume its ancient enemy. The Yagami Scion might not have the training that a ... less ... decimated Clan might have been able to provide him...

But does he really NEED that when every instinct he has, and every fiber of his being, screams to destroy that which he hates without needing much direction from his mind?

COMBATSYS: Saishu overcomes Yami Barai from Iori with Yami Barai.

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Saishu           0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0             Iori

When that periwinkle (thanks blaze ignites the emotional length of Iori's arm, Saishu narrows his eyes immediately. Whatever the frivolous whims of his attitude - which is, let's face it, unrelentingly terrible even when he's taking matters seriously - the Kusanagi patriarch is beholden to his legendary blood. His very soul screams in response to that mulberry fire, and his own fires are stoked anew, pushing him far beyond the sting of punished abdominals or even the sudden and potentially-deadly sobriety brought on by regurgitated sake.

That raw furnace of oncoming force is met with a sliding backstep from Kusanagi, meeting Yagami impurity with his own, upwardly-mobile flame. Scarlet coils surround his hairy arm, muscles like corded steel bracing against the blaze and further impelling it with the retained power of aeons as one creeping blossom meets another.

"Hell, Iori-kun?!" He barks, watching his technique rage against the violaceous storm, then burst through with a torrential backdraft that forces Saishu to hunker back into his horse stance, mouth momentarily a grim line before he finishes, with a dark edge to his tone and a hunger rippling through his warrior's soul, "Or HEAVEN?"

Far above them, Tak is stomping around again, the edges of the volcano pumping out lava as if in response to this clashing of living legends. The Kusanagi and Yagami possess, between them, the power to bring the world to its knee or save it from that capable of doing the same. This union is blessed, and cursed, in equal portion. No god, self-proclaimed or otherwise, can resist joining such a battle.

A moment later, shards of searing, lavaceous (?!) rock rain from the heavens.

"Let's rock!" Grins Saishu, glancing upward as if to welcome this incredibly dangerous and potentially fight-derailing development. Oh, Saishu. What a man you are. "HA HA!"

COMBATSYS: Iori parries Saishu's Large Thrown Object!

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Saishu           0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0             Iori

COMBATSYS: Iori overcomes Yami Barai from Saishu with Yami Barai EX.

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Saishu           0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0             Iori


Now that Iori has cleared that little misconception up, he can concentrate on the business of sending the old man down there. Who cares if some stupid war god is attempting to drag the whole island down to the depths of the ocean? It is FAR MORE IMPORTANT to Iori right now that he send one of the other men capable of stopping that straight to a place full of fire.

Or failing that, that he turn THIS place INTO a world full of fire.

A violet inferno blazes about Iori in response to Saishu's power as the Kusanagi flame briefly - briefly - overpowers the Yagami flame. Orochi's curse surges in response, and Iori lunges forwards, snaring the shard of burning rock between his fingers - and squeezes. The power of the ancient God is burned up, consumed, and turned into fuel as Iori's eyes become pinpricks of wild, incandescent hate.


And with that, he hurls a second flare of Yagami power forward, laced with surging redness from the superheated rock he had so casually scooped out of the air to empower his attack. It smashes into - and through - the Kusanagi Elder's answer...

And this time, whether it hits or is answered with a second wave of Kusanagi flame, Iori is coming in fast behind it to continue to try and rip Saishu's face off.


COMBATSYS: Saishu Toughs Out Saishu's Large Thrown Object!

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Saishu           1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0             Iori

COMBATSYS: Saishu fails to interrupt Yami Barai EX from Iori with Tsumugari.
- Power fail! -

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Saishu           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0             Iori

"If I am, Yagami..."

Looking down from the skies now raining molten rock upon them both, Saishu Kusanagi allows his posture to relax. His eyes gleam momentarily, watching the combined inferno of their power and - moreso - the tall, powerful figure beyond. He would have to admit, if pushed, and perhaps only to Shizuka, that Iori was indeed an impressive creature. Unworthy of his gift until proven otherwise, yes, but furious in his motions and talented beyond his apparent training. An instinctive warrior, better than almost any other the Kusanagi patriarch has seen. He's still got stupid hair, though.

"Then I will meet you there!!" Grinning ear-to-ear, Saishu doesn't even fucking flinch as a shard of lava-imbued stone rips past his face, opening a bloody gouge in his cheek and tearing off half his ear-lobe as it whizzes away to embed, smoking, in the sand. More chunks rain down as he just stands there, bouncing off the softened hardness of calm muscle and scalding sunburned flesh. Iori comes on like the avenger he claims to be, living up to his arrogance and pride, a credit to his damned bloodline...

"HRRRRRRRR---" Gritting his teeth, grin only spreading further as he watches the turnabout of crimson and purple flame, his growl growing in volume and pitch until it threatens to become a bloody-minded roar, Saishu steps forward through Tak's unlikely blitzkrieg, brushing aside the power of a god with sheer belligerence--

--to meet a man who might one day aspire to such power.

Yagami fervour, ignited to new heights by its companionship with both Saishu's own technique and that of the War God, plows into and through the old man as he takes a twisting step, his arm roaring as his mouth opens to do the same. Fire upon fire upon fire, his fist thrusting into the oncoming wave even as it's consuming him, burning his flesh to a crisp, hurling him backward-- somehow, he's still trying to come on.


But the passion is for naught, the display culminating in Saishu hurtling back, landing upon his bare shoulders in superheated sand. His body is on fire, literally and figuratively, and the mere contact condenses sand to glass. He skids further upon it, sprawling out to stop himself, pushing himself up on all fours and breathing hard as he struggles to focus gimlet eyes upon Iori Yagami. There's something dangerously akin to approval in that stare, and he exudes a grunt that's as much pained as it is measuring. Through all of this, he's somehow still analyzing the situation, and Iori.

He's found something that creases his mouth from an almost-uncharacteristic grim line to a smile. Not a grin, but a smile: and he nods his head, just once.

Only then does the shit-eating grin seize control once more, and Saishu hawks up a mouthful of blood, spitting off to the side then falling back to sit upon his ass on the sheer patch of glass. Rocks continue to rain down, and he ignores them. Reaching up to his brow, he plucks off his broken shades and examines them critically, before glancing at Iori with a profound and chest-rumbling 'hmph'.

"Go home, Iori-kun! Don't make me take you seriously."

Iori's voice is low and dangerous as he slaps his hand to his forehead. The Kusanagi patriarch is down and bloodied. He could keep pressing the attack - part of him wants to. More of him than he'd like to admit, really, but that last statement manages to get through to the young Yagami. Not just because it annoys him, either.

"Go home?" He repeats, "That's what I was trying to do, you *ASSHOLE*."

After all of that, Iori just feels... tired. This whole damn island has been a drain for him. Full of people who thought he was putting on some stupid act with his attitude, or psychopaths intent on burning him alive for having the temerity to exist in their presence. Now the whole damn thing is burning down - which is what he thought he wanted - but seeing it spread out before him? Seeing the fire and the fury of a genuine, capital-G God unleashed to stomp around like a petulant child throwing their toys around in a tantrum? It is....


"... What's the point. Even if I kill you like this, that won't change anything."

Tucking his hands into his pockets, Iori slouches, and turns his back on the wounded old man. Starting to walk away, he pauses after just a few steps, and then raises his left hand loosely, "Hey, hey, you should take me seriously." He says, his voice finally lowering and sounding more bored than anything else. "Tell your asshole son that I'll come kill him, soon. I'm not joking around. If you think you can take me lightly..."

And he turns, one eye flashing dangerously between them.

"Next time we meet, I'll extinguish that Kusanagi flame for good."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the last word. If Iori has his way, it'll be the last thing he says to ANYONE on this Gods-forsaken island. He'll communicate his desire to go home from here on out through the medium of grunting, screaming, and breaking bones.

COMBATSYS: Iori has left the fight here.

The question remains, as it ever does: how much does Saishu Kusanagi know, how much does he plot and plan behind the curtain of life's drama-play, and to what extent - on the inverse - is he just a bearded troll looking to infuriate and aggravate the hell (or heaven) out of every individual he meets upon the path through elderdom?

When Iori turns away, Saishu once more doesn't budge, or change his expression, as if he's taking residence somewhere on the line between careless and simply unsurprised. The raising of a hand, the apparent breaking of spirit coupled with the promise that the Kusanagi Clan has heard time and again - rephrased, throughout history - draws another, thoughtful rumble from the patriarch, and a hand finds his beard, scratching upon it as he regards the back of the Yagami scion. Regards him more deeply, too.

That eye dances with the passion not yet extinguished, and it's met with a renewal of the grin-- but different, more imbued with the same promise than a frantic daring, and also - at the edges, in the eyes - a profound respect that's oft forgotten between these two warring factions. It's something that Saishu can never hope to teach his wayward son, but here, in front of him, is a boy - a man, even - who might yet learn.

"Good," murmurs Saishu, his own voice deep and inflected with rare wisdom, "Never stop trying, Yagami. Keep that wheel turning. If anybody has what it takes..."

Saishu lets that hang, and die, leaving Iori to depart and the old man to remain sat upon the beach amidst the fire and fury of the War God, Tak. On an island best left alone to sputter into the sea. A place where this sacred battle between Kusanagi and Yagami was never meant to be fought; where no destiny should be made, only left behind. There are areas of the world steeped in history, others that will yet be part of it, and then there are some that are only mistakes that might re-occur endlessly based on the damn fool actions of a race possessed of very little wisdom at all.

It's right that Iori Yagami should leave. He has no place here.

"But never doubt," Saishu is talking to himself now, moments after watching the wielder of lilac flame retreat to menace the greater world (greater in every sense; why would ANYONE come to Zack Island? Why does it even exist?), pushing himself upright with a grunt, favouring his battered, scorched and bloody body. He ambles over toward the downed Satiki, whose legs are kicking in the air, whose grin is still intact. Saishu's voice softens, grows distant, "Your power to change everything."

And then he punches clean through the living tiki idol, shattering the stone into chunks as a crimson blaze imbues his fist with an ancient and deadly force. The One who Serves Ricewine is extinguished with the flame, and Saishu shakes loose his fingers as he saunters away, yawning and scratching at his belly as if the final few moments didn't occur at all. He even begins to whistle a jaunty tune.

It's 'The Roof Is on Fire' by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three.

And where is the Kusanagi patriarch bound? Why, in the very opposite direction to the Yagami scion; as always, their paths must wildly diverge before they come together again. The wheel of fate is turning. Saishu's place now is at the mouth of the volcano, where Tak dances and jives. Where a God must be brought low by a bloodline greater than divinity, by the essence of man himself poured into fire and flame...

Like Orochi, like Saiki, like all the evils that seek to unbind the Earth, it's time that Zack Island fell.

COMBATSYS: Saishu has ended the fight here.

Log created on 10:49:34 02/26/2015 by Saishu, and last modified on 15:09:04 02/26/2015.