Hibiki - A Grim Interrogation

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Description: Faithfully following the orders of the Black Knight, Hibiki confronts Ragna and seeks answers regarding the Bloodedge's previous battle with Hazama. The NOL agent learns what he seeks and more besides, for it seems that Tsubaki has been conducting her own investigation. But Hibiki cannot simply allow the NOL's highest bounty to leave intact. Can the loyal servant capture the Grim Reaper, or will the shadow be consumed by a greater darkness?

Another day in Southtown. For Ragna the Bloodedge, that means laying low, gathering information, swatting the occasional bounty hunter, and now... dealing with NOL agents that keep finding him.

Okay so maybe he's not that hard to spot, but damn it, why in the world do they keep coming for him? Well, the first time was a coincidence. Hazama and Noel and some... very odd happenings that followed. But Tsubaki walking right into a restaurant to sit at his table? God damn it. He can't even eat in peace?

And now, this evening, the Grim Reaper strolls through the streets, quiet and face set in a typical surly expression. Either he's off to find somewhere to crash, or is off to meet up with a contact, or what. But there he is, moving through the night crowd...

In the service of the Black Knight, Hibiki has learned well the value of discretion -- and how to deal with those without it. The silent assassin's intelligence gathering has been careful and thorough, and it has not been difficult to track down the conspicuous renegade Ragna in this locked down city without Hibiki drawing attention to himself. The only question is how to approach. The NOL is ostensibly neutral in the ongoing conflict and the loyal servant has no desire to draw attention to the conflicts surrounding his organization. Ideally, conflict will not be necessary.

But of course, if the option of capturing Ragna arises--


Hibiki will certainly seize it.

The single word is spoken calmly and softly from an alleyway that Ragna is passing by that moment, carrying into the crowd. The speaker is staring expressionlessly, eyes intent under his androgynous bobcut, uniforming making his affiliation obvious. The implicit invitation is obvious: approaching Hibiki will lead Ragna out of the crowd.

"Who attacked her?"

Such a direct approach may not seem discreet at all. But this is not exactly a public confrontation, and regardless, with people like Ragna, one does not mince words. The only clue that Hibiki has to go on is chains and green light. Ragna may not tell him anything outright, but Hibiki thinks it best to begin by stating exactly what he wants. If Ragna wants to negotiate something in exchange for that information, he can ask for himself.


Ragna stops and turns to look in the direction of that voice. Someone just spoke to him, right? He frowns as he finds... yep. NOL uniform. "....." He rubs his foreehead and sighs. "God damn it." Now, he could just keep walking, but... eh. Causing a scene here would just alert everyone that the SSSSS CLASS CRIMINAL IS HERE, GET HIM. So his sword arm is stayed, and the thought to keep going, while tempting, is set aside.

For now, he steps towards Hibiki, arms crossed, and asks the most pertinent question. "First of all; who the hell is 'Noel'?" That is a very important question. Because he only knows a 'Blonde Girl' and an 'Asshole with Dumb Hat' AKA Yuuki Terumi, but who'd believe that part?

Hibiki shows no hint of satisfaction at Ragna's approach, but he feels it. As hoped, Ragna concluded that walking away would be more of a pain in the ass than not walking away. Moreover, Hibiki has a better sense already of what Ragna knows. It's unlikely that the Bloodedge will be able to give him a name, then. But if he can just get a description--

"A young blonde officer of the NOL," Hibiki replies calmly, not moving as Ragna approaches. "You fought with someone who was--" He pauses briefly. "--abducting her. We would like to know who that person was."

Reports say that Hazama repelled Ragna, but this is implausible given Hazama's much-touted lack of fighting ability. Kagura has sent Hibiki to get to the bottom of this. Is it conceivable that Hazama could match Ragna's ability? But if so, whence the chains and green light? The more that Hibiki can learn and the less he gives away in the process, the better.

Ragna blows out a sigh. "This shit again, hunh...?" He murmurs out, rolling his eyes. "Do you people just not work together or something?" Because that annoying ass Red came by and asked the same damn thing before! Like, seriously? "I'm getting real tired of repeating myself here." And so, he shakes his head and turns away. "You wanna know what I know, then go ask whatsherface. The one in the eye mask. The one who doesn't look like a horse." Very helpful description.

He waves a hand over his shoulder and proceeds to walk off, having quite enough of this shit. NOL problems are seriously getting on his last damn nerves now.

Hibiki shows a rare display of emotion when ... he squints slightly at Ragna's colorful description. The faithful servant runs down a mental list of the people the dangerous bounty could be referring to. He hadn't anticipated that someone would have acted independently and already confronted Ragna. Showing disunity in his organization was a misstep, but an understandable one. Besides, it's not exactly a secret that members of the NOL constantly conspire against one another.

It must be Tsubaki. But why would she approach Ragna herself? Out of concern for her friend from the academy? Or could Tsubaki's relationship with Noel be more complex than that?

"Wait," Hibiki says quickly. "Tell me this, Bloodedge, and we will leave you be for the duration of the lockdown." He easily makes a promise he cannot keep, though he will certainly pass it along to Kagura, who ostensibly has the authority to order this. It's up for debate if all the members of the NOL will follow Kagura's orders, of course. "Why did the woman in the eye mask approach you? What did she want to know, and what did you tell her?" He won't mention Tsubaki's name if he can help it. The less Ragna knows, the better.

And if this doesn't work, well-- there are riskier gambits.

"Hah. Hahahaha! Seriously?" He stops and looks over his shoulder at Hibiki. "You think I'm *that* dumb?" He asks rather rhetorically, red eye squinting. "I dunno who the hell you work for to be making promises like that, but I swear to god I'm getting sick and tired of the MOL's shit." At that, he rests a hand on the handle of his sword, strapped behind his waist.

"Fuckin'- Look, she asked me who the 'person with the chains was'. The exact same shit as you. And I told her, just like I guess I'm gonna tell you now too; He was some dumb asshole in a black suit with green hair and a really stupid looking hat." A shrug. "He said he was bad at fighting, but when push came to shove, he was using those knives and flinging those green chains around like it was nobodie's damn business."

...That's interesting. nd it very clearly implicates SOMEONE. Someone that Ragna doesn't name. But Hibiki should get the idea well enough. "We done here yet? I got shit to do."

Hibiki does not move when Ragna places a hand upon that sword. The assassin's posture is unnaturally still -- but his eyes sharpen. Even so, he listens quietly.

"I see. Thank you."

Hibiki avoids any facial signal at all, squints included, but internally his mind is racing. So Hazama has acquired some new power. That is, indeed, the most plausible explanation considering what he already knows, but it is crucial that they have received evidence confirming the matter. He must inform Kagura of this quickly, and particularly of Tsubaki's own investigation. It is improbable that the Black Knight ordered her to do so without informing Hibiki, meaning that she has her own agenda. And as she is working closely with Hazama--

Foul play is likely.

"Yes," the NOL officer replies, "there is only one other small matter to attend to."

His primary objective is complete.

"Ragna the Bloodedge, by the authority vested in me by the Novus Ordis Librarium, you are under arrest."

Perhaps if Ragna had accepted his offer, things might have been different. But, first, Hibiki cannot simply allow this dangerous bounty to leave. Second, he is confident that if Ragna's strength surpasses his, the assassin may use his abilities to escape. And third--

"Surrender quietly."

Neutralizing the Bloodedge will help to realize his master's vision.

The last words, though delivered with the same toneless detachment as the rest, take on a kind of ironic twist as Hibiki attacks unhesitatingly. His form blurs and then bursts into shadows that resemble scattering crows before reappearing from the darkness of the alley by Ragna's flank, repositioning to make it as difficult as possible for Ragna to block with his sword and slashing with a segmented sword swiftly drawn from its holster.

Once again, Ragna's opinion of the NOL is shown well-justified.

COMBATSYS: Hibiki has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hibiki           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Ragna has joined the fight here.

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Hibiki           0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0            Ragna

COMBATSYS: Ragna blocks Hibiki's Double Chase.

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Hibiki           1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0            Ragna

Ragna facepalms.

"I knew it. I just fucking knew it." He grumbles, and then drags his hand down his face, and down to his side. "Right. Okay. Just gonna surrender quietly. 'Cause that's just what I do. Yep. Surrendering." And then the hand gripping his sword tightens and his pulls it out as Hibiki closes in and slashes. Several strikes get through, but he blocks the lion's share with the flat of his blade.

"Yeah, no." He sarcastically follows up, and then rears back with his blade. "Why don't you go scurrying back to whatever NOL hole you crawled out of, you genius?" Ragna shouts, bearing into his opponent with reverse gripped, sideways slash, cloaked in an aura of red and black. He doesn't try and position himself or straategize. He just swings wide and fast.

COMBATSYS: Hibiki counters Dark Edge from Ragna with Catastrophic Strike.

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Hibiki           1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0            Ragna

"If you knew it--"

Hibiki's expression is flat even as he savagely attacks, the upper segment of one of his swords dulling and breaking off against Ragna's fearsome blade.

"--you shouldn't have said anything."

The assassin has no ambitions of his own, or none he will admit to, but he will do anything for the sake of the Black Knight's ambitions. Dishonor and deception are nothing to him. Exploiting Ragna's brusque and straightforward nature is part of his mission. If it makes Ragna hate the NOL all the more-- well, what else is new?

"I might scurry back," he then adds as Ragna's sword swings dangerously close, that bloody aura a sinister promise of what may be to come. "But only--" Yet Hibiki does not attempt to dodge. He lunges *into* the attack only for it to pass through him, his form ripped into shadows. "--if you can hit me," he finishes, his voice now coming from behind Ragna the moment before both segmented swords whirl out, Hibiki spinning intimately close as he tears into his foe.

"What the fu-" Ragna starts as Hibiki's form is not cleaved into as expected. Instead, he hears a voice behind him and then- "Gah-! Shit!" He growls as blades tear into his back. The Grim Reaper stumbles forward and stops himself with a firm foot to the ground. "Okay, so we've got a tricky asshole this time, huh?" He grumbles, switching the hand holding his sword. "Alright, then let's give this a try!" He slams his weapon into the ground and drags it forward, sparks flying across the pavement before he swings upwards, sending a wave of sinister energy, shaped like a beast's head with jaws opened wide hurtling right towards Hibiki.

"Dead Spike!"

COMBATSYS: Hibiki blocks Ragna's Dead Spike.

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Hibiki           1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\1            Ragna

Hibiki shows no fear before the tide of darkness that manifests before him. Determined to inflict as much damage as possible upon Ragna's exposed back, he does not withdraw into the shadows, instead crossing his segmented blades before his slender frame and preparing for impact.


The assassin's expression reveals nothing, but he cannot prevent a grunt from escaping his lips as the force of the maw-like blast sends him skidding back, his blades dulling from the impact. Almost losing his footing, instead the NOL officer artfully flips back, planting his feet on the alley's wall for a poised moment, stone-cold gaze meeting Ragna's fiery glare.

"The vaunted power of the Grim Reaper--"

He springs from the wall, blades popping free of his hilts as he slams them down into his holsters and reloads, soaring upwards as he does before descending, cloak rippling. It seems that he will recklessly meet Ragna's blade. But perhaps the Bloodedge can guess by now that Hibiki would not be so foolish.

"--it will not be enough to save you from my swords."

Again he flickers into darkness, form dissipating into an ethereal flock of beating wings, and this time reappears crouching defensively by Ragna's side. The bounty will only have a split-second to react before Hibiki leaps upward, shearing up with a vicious uppercut that aims to blast Ragna into the air with a force unbecoming of the assassin's slight build.

COMBATSYS: Hibiki successfully hits Ragna with Soaring Slash - Revolution.

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Hibiki           1/-======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>----\1            Ragna

"What the-" Ragna growls as Hibiki weathers the force of his attack and then flickers in and out again. Appearing at his side now, he only has a split second to do something, anything, before those blades are bearing into him again. "Seriously- damn it!" He leaps back, but those blades catching, sending his course off and up into the air rather than backwards.

"Tch!" He hisses lowly, and then, while beginning to descend, his right arm bursts to life with more of that sinister red power. "You sure do love talking, you piece of shit!" He spins in the air and then comes down on Hibiki's position with a fist cloaked in an aura shaped like that of a beast's claw. And he follows that up with a spin and an axe kick, aiming to force the assassin out of his advantagous position.

COMBATSYS: Hibiki full-parries Ragna's Gauntlet Hades EX!!

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Hibiki           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>-----\1            Ragna

"So why don't--"

Hibiki looks up calmly as Ragna descends upon him, the assassin having already regained his footing, boyish features betraying nothing of his plans.

"--you shut me up?"

Hibiki does not move as the Bloodedge unleashes his fury in the form of a mighty claw. Then, at the last moment, the NOL officer flings his swords to the ground, where they are pinned into the concrete, as though in an improbable act of surrender. Of course, Ragna would not show him mercy at a stage like this-- and Hibiki does not expect it.

By the time Ragna's claw passes harmlessly, infuriatingly, through Hibiki's form, he may become aware that the air around him is darkening. The shadows of the alleyway are looming hideously, the electric lights of the city blotted out by a mysterious miasma. Indeed, the street outside the alley appears infinitely far away, the darkened corridor in which they fight stretching out unsettlingly. When Ragna approached Hibiki, he plunged into a realm of shadows, a gate opened by those thrown swords. And now the bounty is surrounded by shadows: eight Hibikis, positioned evenly apart at each direction.

"But you can't," all eight echo.

Each rush in, and in this world, for the duration of this spell, all strike true. It is exhausting to defend against all of them, but defend himself Ragna must, against sixteen raining blades, shattering against his sword and body before disappearing in puffs of murky smoke. The vicious assault only lasts a few desperate seconds before all but one have vanished into the shadows.


And then there is one Hibiki, pulling his thrown swords from the ground as the electric lights flicker back on, the mundane world returning.

"--you won't."

Only for Hibiki to plunge in with one final savage cross-slash.

COMBATSYS: Ragna blocks Hibiki's Divine Nightfall - Raven EX.

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Hibiki           0/-------/--<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>--\1            Ragna

"Tch. This slippery motherfuc- Damn it!" Ragna shouts as he once again hits a shadow clone. Seriously? And then before he knows it, he's surrounded by a whole bunch of clones. Eight of them to be exact. He looks around. They're clones, but even so, the real one is in there somewhere. Tsk. How's he supposed to figure that out?

Instead, he just brings his sword up to defend and parry, reducing the amount of damage his foe can inflict on him while he tries to figure this bullshit out. They close in, striking at him from all sides before eventually, there's only one. And he closes in with one final cross slash. It impacts with Ragna's weapon and he sails down to the ground, landing roughly with a skid backwards.

Growling, the Grim Reaper holds his sword back, an ominous aura of red surrounding him. He doesn't say anything. Too angry for that. He just bursts forward, aiming to cleave into Hibiki with a reverse gripped, overhead slash. "Get-" He spins forward and swings from the side, sending a bloody pillar exploding from the ground upwards. "-the hell out of here!"

COMBATSYS: Hibiki full-parries Ragna's Carnage Scissors!!

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Hibiki           0/-------/<<<<<<<|>>>>>--\-------\0            Ragna

Hibiki genuinely thought he had Ragna there, that this would be a crippling blow. But Ragna's determination is relentless and the Bloodedge doggedly deflects the welter of blows. It seems that the gate of shadows was awakened too soon, if at a seemingly opportune moment. But the assassin is unfazed by the bounty's resolve. Eventually, the man will be worn down. And if not, he will be unable to pursue the elusive shadow. As far as Hibiki is concerned--

"Not without you in tow."

He can't lose.

The nimble swordsman flips to the side, towards Ragna's slash, bracing one segmented blade against Ragna's own, bracing against it to pivot bodily away from the pillar that explodes up where Hibiki was just standing. His agility and cunning continues to save him from Ragna's furious assaults, and his stoic mask is no doubt a deliberate irritation.

"But if you've tired of my presence--"

He leaps back, form shimmering.

"I shall give you some room."

So saying, he slashes at the air with the sword he used to brace, its superfine edge already slightly (and unacceptably) dulled by contact with Ragna's weapon, and it splits into three segments, the sharp fragments pelting Ragna. The perilous shower might seem like a random assault, yet the razor bits aim for vital points in Ragna's neck and torso with eerie accuracy.

COMBATSYS: Ragna dodges Hibiki's Piercing Feather EX.

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Hibiki           1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>-----\1            Ragna

Tch. Another miss. Slippery son of a bitch. Ragna can feel himself growing frustrated, but he takes a brief moment to draw in a deep breath. Inner peace. Calm down. Or some bullshit like that. The cat did always like to preach about that nonsense. But he does feel a little but more focused afterward.

Just in time for a shower of segmented blades to come hurtling for him. Ragna responds by leaping up into the air and over that seemingly random assault. "Now I know you're just-" He shouts, sailing high above with his sword reared back. He comes down with a heavy overhead slash, slamming it into the ground, but he doesn't stop there, his blade changes form, folding out into a long scythe that alights with crimson energy.

"-Messing with me!" And he spins and swings that cleaver, causing a tide of bloody red fangs to erupt from the ground and threaten to cleave into Hibiki mercilessly.

COMBATSYS: Ragna successfully hits Hibiki with Seed of Tartaros EX.

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Hibiki           1/-------/=======|>------\-------\0            Ragna

Hm? Hibiki's gaze flickers as Ragna leaps. The assassin should have had the advantage. Was Ragna so swift? Well, no matter.

"I wouldn't dream of it," he murmurs, deadpan, as he reloads his empty hilt and calmly faces his opponent midair, cloak flapping dramatically behind him. He deftly parries the heavy downward slash, spinning with the momentum, confident that he has evaded the brunt of Ragna's assault. "Now then--"

Hibiki's eyes widen as he looks down at his opponent. That sword has transformed forbiddingly. He had sought to control his own movements when defending, but now he cannot reposition until he touches the alley wall, and he does not have the time. The scythe's fangs tear into his body and fling him toward that wall he was so desperate to touch, against which Hibiki bounces off before collapsing to the ground, limbs akimbo.

"That-- must be satisfying for you."

His words are faintly strained, but his tone remains unemotive as he slowly rises, taking a second to steady himself.

"I encourage you to savor this moment--"

This time, when he rushes in, there are no shadows, though Ragna might expect them. Hibiki slashes twice and then slips in, aiming to trip Ragna up with a single sly foot before slashing again toward his potentially unbalanced foe.

"--while you are able."

COMBATSYS: Ragna dodges Hibiki's Armed Combo.

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Hibiki           1/------=/=======|>------\-------\0            Ragna

"Sorry, the only thing I give a damn about here is being on my way. You're the asshole holding me up!" He shouts back with clear annoyance. He really doesn't give a shit about this fight. Just that it's happening and he's got to defend himself. Pure annoyance all around.

Coulda been enjoying a nice dinner or something right about now even. Tch. But nope. Here he is, weaving through slashes and then hopping back to avoid a sweep kick, and then parrying away one last slash. "I'd say you're starting to piss me off, but you already did that-" Rather than attack with his sword, which has folded back into normal mode, he dashes forward and aims a punch right into Hibiki's gut.

"-A long ass time ago!" And he follows it up with an uppercut, sending a small eruption of crimson black force spiraling upwards violently in his wake.

COMBATSYS: Ragna successfully hits Hibiki with Hell's Fang.
Grazing Hit

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Hibiki           1/------=/=======|>>>>---\-------\0            Ragna

It seems that Hibiki's opponent has adapted to the assassin's moves. If the faithful servant had been able to clinch his fight more quickly, perhaps this would have gone differently. But now the true potential of the Bloodedge is being revealed, and Hibiki, though his mask of indifference does not crack, is starting to sweat a little.


He twists instinctively so that Ragna's initial punch slams into his ribs instead. It is exceedingly painful, causing his bones to crack, but it prevents Hibiki from being winded, allowing him to maintain sufficient control over limbs to leap away before that eruption that consume him, thereby avoiding the brunt of the attack.

"I do so apologize, but--"

His ironic bite not leaving him despite the pain, Hibiki rotates with his own momentum and slashes down before he touches ground, aiming to catch Ragna in the side before the bounty returns to guard after his uppercut.

"I must hold you up indefinitely."

COMBATSYS: Ragna dodges Hibiki's Piercing Muzzle-Blade.

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Hibiki           1/------=/=======|>>>>---\-------\0            Ragna

Whether Ragna truly has adapted to his opponent's movements remains to be seen. He more or less has the gist of it. And the surprise has worn off. But he needs to focus all of his attention, never wavering for a second, lest he loses that ninja to the many clones he can create and sneak in. He's hit more of them than he cares to admit.

The Grim Reaper glares as Hibiki manages to just barely avoid the full brunt of his technique, but he doesn't press the advantage, he waits to see what is happening. Good judgment as he manages to sidestep that downward slash. "Not happening! I told you to scurry back into your NOL hole, so why don't you-"

He doesn't pull any flashy tricks this time, he just rears back with his sword lifted, and then *slams* it down, bearing down on his foe with crushing force. Enough to crack the pavement. "-go and do that already!"

COMBATSYS: Hibiki counters Fierce Strike from Ragna with Black Thunder - Nue.

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Hibiki           0/-------/----===|=======\===----\1            Ragna

This time, there are no clones.

Instead, Hibiki simply vanishes, disappearing into the ether as Ragna's sword slams down, obliterating the pavement beneath them. He does not slash Ragna in the back. He does not slash Ragna in the side. No, this time--


He rockets down from above, sword outstretched.

"It'll be just a moment."

Hibiki mercilessly impales Ragna through the shoulder, slamming them both to the ground amidst the rubble of the Bloodedge's previous strike, a cloud of dust surrounding them. The force of the impact launches Ragna up as Hibiki springs back, but the assassin then vanishes again, only to reappear right next to Ragna in midair. Grasping his adversary, he then twists and spirals down to slam Ragna into some unscathed pavement headfirst, a devastating second impact. There's a lot of rubble now.

"Ready," Hibiki manages, breathing heavily, "to come quietly?"

"What-" Okay, so he's just that fast. Not that it's a surprise or anything, but- "Shit-!" He hisses as a sword suddenly impales through his shoulder and slams him into the ground. Blood immediately starts soaking through and he grits his teeth, just in time to be slammed back into the ground. "Gah!"

Ragna lays there, just on the edge of unconsciousness, but still there all the same. 'Ready to come quietly?' he's asked. And he's silent, glaring aside and up at Hibiki. "......" Nothing is said for a few moments, but then his lips part and-

"Restriction 666 released." The red plate on his right hand opens up, causing crimson energy to flow outwards rapidly. "Dimensional Interruption Imaginary Number formed." Suddenly, everything becomes heavier, the air growing dreadful as that evil looking power grows and billows outwards from all over Ragna. He stands to his feet, right arm raised. "Blazblue... ACTIVATE!"

Then, power erupts from all around, causing gusts of wind to blow and debris to scatter. Ragna seems to have unleashed his true power now. And he grips his weapon, it's form changing to that of a scythe, bloody red energy flowing out to form the blade. "I didn't want to have to use this, but..." He steps in, "-You forced my goddamn hand!" And he swings. Furious waves of energy follow in his wake, cleaving through the alleyway. And another slash follows, and another... and another, and another and another!

With each swing, Ragna's form grows blacker and blacker, making him look even more like the Grim Reaper he was rumored to be. His aura obscures him in black, evil looking wings jutting from his back as he rears back. Streams of crimson black force flow into the scythe and he cleaves forward one last time.

"Out of my sight!"

COMBATSYS: Ragna returns to his normal state.

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Hibiki           0/-------/----===|=======\===----\1            Ragna

COMBATSYS: Hibiki blocks Ragna's Black Onslaught.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Hibiki           0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0            Ragna

Hibiki leaps back instinctively as Ragna unleashes his true power, fine hairs rising on the back of his neck. The assassin hunches protectively, ready to spring into action no matter what comes, his fatigue forgotten or repressed. The distance he has created is all that allows him to deflect the oncoming strikes, which drive him further back into the alley, threatening to pin him to the far wall. As Hibiki blocks, his blades veritably melt away, their fine edges unable to withstand this empowered onslaught.

"This power... it's as reported."

Grimacing, showing a hint of emotion in so doing, Hibiki disengages his blades and reaches for his holsters, pausing only a moment. That's right: only one left each. He has to end this now, especially given Ragna's sudden transformation.

"But it won't be enough!"

For the sake of his master, he cannot falter now, at the decisive moment. Though his slim arms tremble from the repeated impacts of Ragna's terrible swipes, Hibiki dashes forward. Viciously he aims for Ragna's shoulder wound, attempting to pierce the man through in the exact same spot as he leaps by, twisting and wrenching the blade, and hurting the man to the ground. Perhaps the agony will shake the Bloodedge from his threatening transformation and spare Hibiki a dire fate.

COMBATSYS: Hibiki successfully hits Ragna with Soaring Slash.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Hibiki           0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>------\1            Ragna

Somehow. Somehow Hibiki was able to weather that assault and find a way through. Ragna finds himself pierced through the same wound on his shoulder, but unfortunately, that doesn't seem to shake his transformation. He just glares at the assassin through the dark haze and lifts his right arm. It forms into a dreadful looking claw and he reaches the grasp Hibiki with it. No words are said, just raw, wild power swirling all about, threatening to drain his very life, should he be touched by it.

By all rights, he should be down, yet here is he is. He is not down. Or maybe he is, and he merely moves through sheer force of will yet.

COMBATSYS: Ragna can no longer fight.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Hibiki           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Ragna successfully hits Hibiki with Devoured by Darkness.

[                            \\  <
Hibiki           0/-------/-======|

Hibiki was not certain that he would be able to capture Ragna the Bloodedge. But he was confident that it was possible. And he was very confident that even if he did not succeed, should he find himself in danger, he could escape like a shadow and return with valuable information. He never doubted that.

But here, at a critical moment, he saw an opening in Ragna's guard and did not flee, charging in to disable his terrifying opponent. It works! Hibiki succeeds. He feels his brutal strike hit home and flips away to safety, landing lightly even as fatigue surges through him. Wavering a little, Hibiki turns to look back at his falling adversary.


Here, at last, Hibiki truly miscalculates. Perhaps it was exhaustion. Perhaps it was the thrill of felling the greatest bounty in NOL history, touching even the seemingly stoic assassin's heart. It doesn't matter. What matters is that Hibiki has time only to blink before Ragna's final revenge tears through Hibiki, the real Hibiki, claws scoring at his chest, shredding his uniform, blood splattering as he is flung back.


Hibiki blinks again as his hands grasp, preparing to fling more shards of blade at his persistent foe. But his swords are no longer in his hands. They have fallen to the alley floor. He attempts to move towards them and realizes that he cannot. Only then does he fully comprehend that he is slumped in a sitting position at the end of the alley, wedged against the wall, and that the darkness descending upon him is not that of nature.

"Kagura-- sama--"

Hibiki slumps forward, descending into unconsciousness. His vitality is not that of his formidable foe. By the time the assassin awakes, the Bloodedge will have had time to withdraw and lick his wounds.

COMBATSYS: Hibiki takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Hibiki can no longer fight.

Log created on 18:36:30 12/16/2017 by Hibiki, and last modified on 00:33:42 12/17/2017.