World Warrior 2018 - World Warrior Qualifier - Adelheid vs Blood

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Description: The Son and Heir of Rugal Bernstein, Adelheid the Prince of War... an unexpected challenge. It seems the young man is not content with resting on his laurels, but seeks to make a name for HIMSELF - apart from his father. Let him come to Castle Strolheim, and test his skill against the strongest this world has to offer!

Whether out of a sense of duty, or some desire to prove to his Master that he is Strolheim's most trustworthy and competent Lieutenant, Laurence Blood has been traveling the world of late to track down those who might prove themselves capable of distinguishing themselves. Worthy men and women, whose warrior spirit can elevate them above the masses - and make them worthy of the great honour that comes with attending the World Warrior tournament in Castle Strolheim.

Recently returned from a trip to Metro City, Laurence once again finds himself in Japan, on the western tip of that island which holds so many promising candidates. He recently had an occasion to test the skill and finesse of the swordswoman Baiken in combat; a battle which he thoroughly enjoyed... rare are those who can match his skill with a blade, but she was more than capable of doing so.

Today has been a rare break for the Spaniard; not wanting to run himself ragged before checking off the next names on his rather long list, Laurence decided to walk the trails up and around the active volcano known as Mount Aso... at the peak, he stared down into that sulfurous and burning-hot abyss and felt rested and empowered; as though the sight of it alone renewed his sense of focus and determination.

He had lingered atop the volcano for some time, seemingly not bothered by the heat or smoke, before finally beginning to descend the trail once more... his blood red cape was present, as always, and wound tightly around his left arm. That razor-sharp Matador's sword, resting in a loop on his belt, dangling off the right side of his torso as his steps carry him down the side of the Mount, back towards the Kumamoto Prefecture and - with any luck - a delicious lunch...

...then, he felt, he simply /must/ return to business. An entire day off seems excessive to the man who prides himself of carrying out Krauser's will at all times. Though he has certainly been busier than Gato or Eiji, he will not allow himself too much comfort, too much rest. It wouldn't be fitting a man of his stature, or the whims of his Great Master.

At the behest of his dearest and most beloved sister, Adelheid Bernstein, heir to Rugal Bernstein, The Prince of War, has decided to come out of his seclusion and to take the world stage by making a play at the World Warrior Tournament. Of course, there is the matter of the long standing relationship between the House of Strolheim, and the Bernstein family, as well. Anyone who knows them knows well that Rugal has certainly learned a few trade secrets from Krauser's playbook. Adelheid, himself, has been passed down those arts as well. Having the chance to demonstrate his strength before Strolheim, as well as to his father, was just too appealing for the young man.

So, he had decided to challenge the Spaniard.

It hadn't been difficult to track him down, with 'R's resources at his disposal. A simple scan of social media, news headlines, and the like and it became clear that old Larry Hemoglobin was wandering around Japan at the moment, challenging fighters who had made a name for themselves. Perfect candidates for the tournament. Adelheid almost wonders if he should be offended that he hasn't been approached yet.

Regardless of his feelings, he and Rose had departed from their father's aircraft carrier in their own home away from home, the Sky Noah. Now, that giant airship hovers in the sky over Mt. Aso, looming like a monolithic menace, the hum of it's engines like the constant roar of thunder. A portal is found open in the undercarriage of the beast, and from it descends a lone figure, hanging from a rope ladder. A nearly monochromatic figure, at that. Adelheid is in his finest battle gear. His trademark pressed slacks, with the black leather belts wound around his waist, and the suspenders over his shoulders, while his well defined form is clung to with an inky black sleeveless shirt. Crimson eyes, as they approach and descent, rest on Blood with the fire of determination and intent.

When the airship hovers overhead of the Spanish matador, Adel drops from the ladder, clearing the last twenty feet or so to the ground, and landing gracefully, his knees bending to absorb the impact effortlessly. Rising back up to his full height, the Bernstein heir folds his hands behind him as he begins to speak, "Laurence Blood. I have been seeking you. You are going to give me an invitation to the World Warrior Tournament held by the house of Strolheim. Consider this my challenge."

A slow, almost wicked grin forms on Adel's delicate, effeminate features, and his eyes seem to glow with some inner baleful light. "Are you prepared?"

The moment the Sky Noah appears high overhead, Laurence stops in his tracks... could it be Rugal himself, here to accept the invitation sent to him? Here to turn down the automatic invite, and /earn/ one with the Spaniard's blood? The man's crimson cape billows in the wind as the rope ladder begins to descend, thus putting the Matador's questions to rest.

No. Not Rugal Bernstein. His son.

The blonde-haired young man drops some distance from the sky above, as Blood turns his body to the side - making his profile smaller, clearly half-expecting a sudden attack... but there is none coming his way. Rather, he receives both an explanation of the helicarrier's appearance, /and/ a formal challenge.

"Interesting," comes the single word, perfectly enunciated by the prim and proper administrator, as he regards the newcomer in silence for a moment. Yes; Rugal's child, only made less deadly than his father by the difference in age and experience... the Spaniard has no doubts Adelheid would one day rise through the ranks to distinguish himself as one of the world's strongest.

Could the tournament at House Strolheim be /precisely/ the opportunity for him do so? Perhaps.

Regardless of who his father is, and the boy's own undoubtable strength and skill, he did not make the very exclusive list of those who were automatically invited... nor had he been approached by any of the three Strolheim Lieutenants to earn one, as of yet. Since Rugal himself had yet to respond to Wolfgang, however, Laurence had almost come to expect that the patriarch of the Bernsteins would pass on the invitation to his son... it seems that is /not/ the case.

"I'm /always/ prepared," he states plainly, as if there were never any doubt; for even back at Castle Strolheim, his Master never allowed one to be anything but sharp and focused - at all times. To do any less could mean a swift death at Herr Krauser's mighty fists, as Wolfgang's own father once learned.

A pause, and then the briefest of glints in those deep brown eyes of the former Matador, as a small smirk plays over the corner of his lips. The hilt of that short-sword, still dangling from the loop in his belt, is gripped tightly in the palm of his right hand... he leaves it undrawn for the time being; it is hardly fitting for a man of his stature to rush into battle... he has, in fact, given most of his opponents the opportunity to strike first in these 'tests'.

When he finally continues to speak, his tone remains calm and collected - but there's something else there... perhaps the slightest hint of a verbal jab from the usually professional servant of Herr Krauser.

"Tell me, Adelheid... how fares your /sister/?"

COMBATSYS: Adelheid has started a fight here.

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Adelheid         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Blood has joined the fight here.

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Adelheid         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Blood

In truth, even if Rugal were going to ignore his own invitation to the contest of champions, Adelheid wouldn't ask for it, nor would his father bequeath it to him. Adel would want to earn it. As he is doing here, now. Adel is not cut from the same cloth as his father, it appears. He seems to have some sort of sense of honor. Earning his way. Not making surprise attacks, but issuing formal challenges.

When Blood mentions his sibling Rose, there is, perhaps just the momentary tick of one eye narrowing. But, his smile only grows, seeming more affected, but more kind at once. When he speaks, his voice is like chocolate silk that spills forth from his lips, warm, sweet and inviting. "My sister is none of your concern, cretin. You would do best to keep her name off of your lips. If you wish to repay my respectful challenge with the goading of your insults, then I will oblige you with my fists."

With that, the svelte form of the young boy moves, impossibly fast, dashing towards Blood to close the distance, though he comes to a sudden and abrupt halt. His booted foot sweeps at Blood's leg, with the intent to unbalance him if not send him toppling to the ground, and following that up by swinging his leg overhead, only to bear it back down with a blindingly swift axe quick. Adel seems to be swifter than his father, if not as capable of brute force.

COMBATSYS: Blood blocks Adelheid's A. Kunst Zwei.

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Adelheid         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Blood

"Cretin? My, my..."

Blood's fingers drum over the hilt of that sword, his tone very much that of a man offended by Adelheid's words... though it is almost certainly an act. The Bernsteins and Krausers may have a history together, but the Spaniard always found Rugal to be rather tacky and, almost, classless - compared to the silent dignity of his own Master, Krauser.

"No offense meant, of course - merely an inquiry," he lies; there was no need to mention Rose, were it not some attempt to distract and unfocus her brother before battle. Whether or not such a tactic worked, or only served to enrage Rugal's Son and Heir, remains to be seen.

It certainly seems, if nothing else, to have sped the beginning of the match along. Laurence's schedule is a full one, and as much as he might otherwise enjoy a pleasant chat with such a capable warrior, the lead-up to the World Warrior allow few such niceties. So when Adelheid rushes in towards him, moving far, far faster than even his father was /ever/ capable of... Laurence simply nods, as though he were pleased with this turn of events.

Good. Let him come.

That left forearm comes out to rest horizontally in front of Blood's chest, the cape draped over it whipping in the wind and concealing the majority of his long, lanky torso. A common tactic for the former Matador; disguise the position of his body, make his opponent /guess/ his true position, let them strike where they /think/ he might be... or pull the fabric back at the last moment, for a counter-attack... seems, in this case, that he seeks to use it in a strictly defensive manner. The sweep is aimed at his legs, and Blood lifts that limb out of it's path in an instant. The issue of the follow-up axe-kick, however, is a more serious matter... too quick to evade completely, the Spaniard simply raises that forearm into the path of the blow.

When contact is made, the impact ripples up and down the length of Laurence's arm... but it remains firm, strong, no doubt assistated by the reinforced material between that blood-red fabric in his billowing cape.

There's no time for words; not at this proximity to such a swift and deadly opponent. Every second wasted on speech would mean another opportunity for Adelheid to continue his assault... against the son of Rugal Bernstein, he simply /must/ represent Strolheim in the proper fashion.

No more verbal sparring. No opportunity for the boy to recover.

Laurence presses the attack, hopefully before the blonde-haired young man is able to duck away from the melee... that red cape whips out suddenly, the fabric looking to entangle one of Adelheid's legs and keep him from pulling back... should this manuever be successful, his free hand draws that deadly-tipped sword in a sudden flash of gleaming steel.

Slipping behind the boy, who is /hopefully/ kept off-balance by that Matador's cape, the Strolheim Lieutenant aims a sudden thrust with the tip of his weapon - directly into the small of his opponent's back.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid blocks Blood's Poncho Throw.

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Adelheid         0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0            Blood

Oh, it is easy to use Rose to goad Adel into aggression. It is another thing altogether to actually take the young warrior and put him off balance. His composure is nearly absolute, his discipline supreme. His father would have it no other way. In their training, any wayward focus was rewarded with a swift and brutal reprisal.

And so, when Adelheid feels his sweeping leg meet nothing but the air of missed opportunity, he knows that Blood is playing more defensively than he might have expected. He will not be caught off guard. His leg still sweeps high, hoping to press the Spaniard's defense to it's max, but he manages to deflect that, too. Good. At least this will be a challenge. The Spaniard is proving to be more capable than Adel had initially surmised.

He barely has the time, in fact, to read the movements that are coming next. The cape itself is the giveaway. He knows well, now, that Blood will use the cape to distract and obscure. To create a diversion, when the real threat will come from another direction. When the cape wraps around his leg, Adelheid seems thrown off balance. However, his crimson eyes track the movements of his opponent, and when Blood comes around behind him, Adelheid twists his body in the direction that will unfurl the cape from his leg, and allow him to bring one gauntleted hand up to intercept that deadly steel, letting it's gleaming tip reflect off of the brass and copper plating of the ornate 'R' symbol that the back of his fist bears.

His lips curve with a smile, and Adelheid, freed from the matador's cape, dances back a few feet. Very well. It'll be a real fight. Adel will slide his hands into the pockets of his pants, taking a moment to let his eyes sweep from the head to toe of his opponent, reassessing his posture and merit as a warrior.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid calculates his next move.

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Adelheid         0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0            Blood

The tip of his sword clangs off of the metal-plated 'R' symbol around Adelheid's fist... and despite the fact that it deflects his attack, Laurence's smirk merely widens.

Good. Here is a boy who has not simply rested on his laurels, gotten by on the name of his esteemed father... here is a young man, who is /worthy/ of the name Bernstein. One who seeks, even, to make his /own/ name on the world stage!

There is no effort to press the attack as Adelheid slides back and enters a more casual stance... rather, Blood takes the opportunity to neatly fold his cape back over that left forearm. And then his keen gaze, too, is running up at down the slender and lithe - yet solid - frame of Adelheid Bernstein.

"So, a moment to talk," he states in a relaxed tone of voice, spinning the hilt of his sword around his hand - the blade glinting, despite the Sky Noah high above blocking out most of the sunlight. One corner of his lips remain fixed in a lop-sided smirk as he stares across the distance at his opponent... the boy's entire manner, his posture, every inch of his frame seems to exude a grace and power that makes him easily recognizable as a Bernstein.

"Herr Krauser has not /heard/ from your father. We hope that Rugal is able to join us in Castle Strolheim."

Suddenly, that sword ceases it's twirling as the tip is thrust into the air and straight towards Adelheid's position in the near distance. As he completes the lunge into empty air, there's is a sudden surge of unseen energy that seems to radiate from that deadly sword-point... slowly, a gust of wind seems to force itself out of the blade and back up Laurence's arm, then throughout his entire body.

"Who knows..." speculates the Strolheim Lieutenant, as the invisible rush of power seems to steel his resolve, his body flowing with some new reserve of strength...

"You may even be given the opportunity to prove yourself against your own father. That would certainly be an encounter worthy of my Master's attention!"

COMBATSYS: Blood gathers his will.

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Adelheid         0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0            Blood

"My father has his own designs. Whether or not he deigns to grace your Master's tournament with his strength is entirely a matter of whim. Even should I pass along a message, it would fall on deaf ears. Rugal Bernstein acts in a manner according to his own will, and nothing more," Adelheid replies, even as the sword tip is thrust in his general direction. When he doesn't flinch, it is clear that Adelheid's instincts and poise are uncanny. He's a calculated fighter. One who gauges risk and reward, and factors in things like reach into his battle calculations. He knew that the sword was not an attack.

Just as he knows that Blood is using the opportunity to gather his will for a more effective one. He can feel the sudden surge of Blood's fighting instinct.

One moment, Adel is standing there, hands in his pockets, calm as a Hindu cow. Then, with another burst of near inhuman speed, he curges forth. While Blood had focused and gathered up his will with that surge of energy, for Adelheid, it just seems to burst forth from him in a sudden wave, like an invisible miasma, or a barometric pressure in the air that craves for submission.

His right hand extends out before him as he lunches for Blood, eyes wide and a frightful grinning rictus in place of his mouth. At the last moment, his right hand passes by Blood's shoulder, and the left hand attempts to catch the man by the throat, with Adelheid running past him. If he manages to catch Blood with his dash, he'll drag him along as he rushes down the path, towards a tree where he'll slam the sword fighter into the thick trunk with all of the might he has.

COMBATSYS: Blood just-defends Adelheid's G. Drucken!

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Adelheid         0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0            Blood

"Indeed," replies Laurence as Rugal's Heir explains his father's motivations; truly, the Bernstein patriarch is beholden to /no/ man... he will arrive at Castle Strolheim if it suits him to do so. Though for a man of his ego and capabilities to simply /ignore/ Krauser's offer would truly be surprising to the German noble's administrator and Lieutenant. After that word, he offers another brief nod and a curt quarter-bow to the blond-haired fighter across from him.

The fact that he was willing to answer his question with something other than a snide remark, at least, proves he is a youth of good breeding and proper bearing. Though this would likely matter not to the psychotic ninja Eiji Kisaragi or the relentless Gato Futaba, it /does/ make a difference to Laurence Blood... just as it would to his Master, Wolfgang Krauser.

So, too, does the Matador appreciate the fact that Adelheid's every movement seems to carry with it a certain /purpose/. There is nothing wasted, no energy spent on pointless gestures of strength or dexterity... he seems to be a creature of pure efficiency.

But to surprise Blood with sheer speed so early in a battle is no easy feat, as the young Bernstein soon learns. That left hand is aimed towards the Spaniard's throat, but it is gripped out of the air by Blood's own left hand - stopping the attempted grasp inches before it can find it's purchase around his neck.

A sudden twist of his lanky, nearly 6-and-a-half foot body is accompanied by a release of Adelheid's wrist, allowing him to continue on his dash /past/ Laurence. He has created some distance with that redirection of his opponent's momentum, but remains standing in place the entire time... only reaching down with his right hand to once again grip the hilt of his sword and pull it from the dirt of the mountain trail.

"Fools rush in, young man," comes the swift admonishment from Laurence's smiling mouth. Rather than openly mocking his opponent - an act he /never/ partakes in, no matter the situation - he simply sounds oddly disappointed...

With the combination of grace and finesse that he learned in the bullfighting ring /combined/ with the toughness and skill he learned in the years serving House Strolheim, he is a formidable opponent indeed.

Split seconds after those words escape his lips, Laurence is rushing in after the blonde-haired fighter, sliding into a sudden crouch when he is mere feet away. A sudden tensing of the muscles in his legs takes him upwards in a jump as he rapidly approaches Adelheid's position; as his body leaps up into the air, the tip of that razor-sharp sword is aimed to drag itself diagonally up his opponent's body in a vicious rising slash.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid fails to interrupt Bloody Axle from Blood with A. Kunst Eins.

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Adelheid         0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0            Blood

Only fools rush in, indeed. Adel is left rushing past his intended target, skidding to a twisting halt to face him. Foolish, Adel. The man had spent the majority of his life having bulls rush him. Of course he's going to be good at deflecting an assault like that.

And yet, Blood now does the same. Rushing in at him. Adelheid prepares himself for it, dancing on the balls of his feet and shifting into a position where he might be able to launch a counter attack. He cocks his knee up against his chest and thrusts it out and up, into a sidekick that, had Blood not crouched at the last moment, might have broken the older man's jaw, or at least sent him flying. But Adel's kick comes too swift, simutaneous with the sudden crouch, and only goes over Blood's head to kick at nothing but open air.

Damn it.

He's punished for it. Rightfully so. He feels the blade bite deep into his flesh, and the scorching heat of his flesh bent rent open by the attack. Adel's lithesome form is lifted off the ground, clutching at his chest, as he falls back.

But he doesn't spare even a moment to indulge the pain. No sooner than he hits the ground, he's rolling backwards and onto his feet, waiting for the next attack to come.

The lead-up to the exchange seems to pass slower than it should, as Blood's keen sense for danger make him aware - early on - that the young man intends to interrupt the Spaniard's rush with an attack of his own... his heartbeat slows, eyes narrowing, mind rushing through the possible angles of attack as he prepares his leaping cut.

His analytical skills seem to pay off in this instance, as Adelheid's side-kick passes over his head harmlessly. It's enough to allow Laurence a clean hit, the first of the match for either man - and in a battle between representatives of House Strolheim and the Bernstein family, it is /important/ for Laurence to leave the proper impression.

Especially if Rugal himself happens to be watching from on high... a part of him is sorely tempted to inquire about this, as he lands in a roll a short distance from his opponent. But something prevents him from uttering the question; perhaps because it does not /truly/ matter whether or not the Bernstein patriarch bears witness to this exchange. Just as it would not matter if Krauser were waiting in the wings and observing his Lieutenant's performance.

In the end, this is a test between two warriors standing alone - rather than a matter of the great lineages they both happen to represent... Laurence, by choice of employment - Adelheid, by necessity of blood.

Standing tall, the former Matador simply tilts his head slightly to the left as he moves the cape draped over his forearm with a flourish - a relic from his earlier years as a bullfighter, rather than holding any particular importance to the fight itself.

There is nothing to be said here; for any words would simply serve to distract either Laurence or his opponent. Instead, he simply begins to stride ahead on those long legs - each step carrying him a great distance towards the blonde-haired man.

As the distance between the two is closed, rapidly, the handle of that sword is spun and spun in the Spaniard's right hand - until he is close enough to strike, at which point there is a quick feint towards Adelheid's midsection...

...which is pulled back at the last instant, and another, fully-extended strike aiming down at the young man's well-toned thigh. Something, perhaps, to slow him down for the remainder of the battle. Laurence, for all his skill and confidence, knows it is only a matter of time before his opponent's swift attacks get the better of him.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid blocks Blood's Random Strike.

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Adelheid         0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0            Blood

Adelheid, it seems took his punishment well and learned his lesson from it. He needs to rein in his aggression. Take the time, let Blood come to him, rather than trying to force the fight forward. If Adelheid has one, true, flaw remaining, it is a sense of impatience. He is disciplined, and skillfull and intelligent, but he does want to go for the blitz, rather than play defense.

Now, he's been reassured that this will not work on Blood. The aged swordsman has too many years of experience on him. He's seen the tricks, it would seem, and he's well prepared for them. So, Adel will have to change his tactics. Let Blood play the raging bull. Which he does, but not without his cleverness.

Adel almost falls for the feint, raising his guard to protect his vulnerable midsection, only to see the blade plunging down at his thigh. One fists strikes with the swiftness of a cobra, grasping the blade of the sword and jerking it off it's mark. His leather glove is torn, sliced through and into the flesh waiting underneath. It hurts, but it's superficial. And he won't be hobbled.

His response? His free hand merely rises up, clutching into a fist lined with brass and copper, and lashes out with a straight, quick jab, leveled right at Blood's nose.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid successfully hits Blood with Jab Punch.
- Power hit! -

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Adelheid         0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0            Blood

Rarely does an opponent risk grabbing hold of that deadly-sharp blade; he is far more used to a deflection with one's forearm, or an attempt to evade entirely... but then, Adelheid Bernstein isn't just /any/ opponent. It only fits that the Son of Rugal would have the same iron skin and steely discipline that the man himself possesses.

It is enough to expose a weakness in Laurence's defenses for the first time in this bout; his feet stumbling across the dirt as his sword is jerked to one side. Eyes widen in the briefest moment of surprise, before he is moving to regain his footing once more...'s too late. Adelheid knows he has the better of the Spaniard, and does not hesitate to leap upon the opportunity like a true predator. It is a simple jab, but the force with which it strikes Laurence's nose causes a sickening CRACK once knuckles - backed up with metal - impact the cartilage.

Head snapping back viciously, the Matador's forward stumble turns into a sudden reel backwards in a moment. His free hand moves up to place a finger underneath his nostrils, wiping away a trickle of blood as he backs away several feet.

Someone like the young Bernstein is no doubt going to press the attack now that he has found an opening, so Blood does not give himself the opportunity to regain his composure. He simply widens his stance as soon as his feet find a solid grasp on the ground once more, and then rushes forward to meet his opponent.

As he dashes ahead, the right handle that clutches onto the sword's hilt begins to lunge forward and pull back rapidly... in a blur of movement, a series of stabs and cuts are leveled up and down Adelheid's body; though he does not aim to strike anything vital, there is still a noticeable willingness to /wound/ in every one of those strikes.

That... hurt...

COMBATSYS: Blood successfully hits Adelheid with Bloody Flash.

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Adelheid         1/-----==/=======|==-----\-------\0            Blood

A deep, dark place inside of Adelheid's heart rejoices when he feels the soft crunch of fragile bone against his metal reinforced knuckles. A part of him revels in the pain that he knows that it inflicted. A part of him that he buries deep, deep, deep in the heart of his sins. He is, after all, a Bernstein.

Outwardly, he doesn't show it. His face, so youthful and delicate, is completely impassive, save for the intensity reflected within their blood red stare. Those eyes burn like the twin suns of Tattooine, alive and full of the thrill of combat. He's finally feeling it.

Blood feels it, too, apparently.

The Spanish fighter comes in with that flurry of pokes and jabs, and Adelheid, still fresh from his moment of triumph, attempts to mount a defense, deflecting and catching the blitzkrieg of sword swipes and stabs, but it is to no avail. It is simply too swift, and he's overcome. The sword bites flesh, draws blood, wounds and weakens. Adel is pushed back, his feet desperately trying to carry him away, until finally, he's had it.


He shouts, as he suddenly leaps up, throwing a fierce crescent scissor kick. His Ki manifests in his foot, creating a nearly two dimensional sheet of solid wind that acts like a scythe to cut deep into flesh and rend bone, as he ascends to the heavens.

COMBATSYS: Blood manages to escape Adelheid's G. Kreis+!

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Adelheid         0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0            Blood

The moment that shout escapes from Adelheid's lips, Laurence /knows/ that he is about to face the full wrath of a Bernstein's power. He had watched Rugal fight, and knew what such an outburst meant from that great warrior... being the man's flesh and blood, one can only assume the same could be expected from the blonde-haired young man.

He does not disappoint, that sudden flare-up of chi, the vicious scissor kick rising out and up... were it to strike, even if he were able to block it with the reinforced material of his Matador's cape, Blood knows he would be knocked aside like a ragdoll.

It seems, then, his only option is to /not/ be there... with a sudden twist on his heels, the Spaniard throws himself backwards through the air - spinning at least 720-degrees as his body careens away from the brutal assaults from Adelheid. He knows, as he watches the energy-infused leg rise up in front of his face, that he was mere fractions of a second from catching the full brunt of the impact.

Such is doubtlessly /why/ he has risen so high in the House of Strolheim, when so many others before him have failed. Krauser does not accept weakness, or sluggishness... only men and women of the highest skill, the sharpest focus.

Twisting through the air, Laurence lands with both feet firmly on the ground some short distance away. He takes a moment to catch his breath, the exertion of narrowly escaping an attack of that magnitude is no small thing. Even a man of his ability and relentless stamina needs a moment to recompose himself after such a feat.

"No. Not yet," states Laurence plainly - finally responding to the boys shout after Adelheid descends back to the ground.

"But /soon/!" he shouts, himself; a rare show of real emotion from the usually calm and composed Matador... he remembers, he /knows/ that Rugal had defeated Wolfgang in the past... to gain some small measure of revenge on behalf of his Master, is a glorious thing indeed - and it causes a small crack in his professional demeanor.

Again, he rushes forward... and again, that sword comes flashing up as his cape moves to the side... another savage thrust - little grace this time, simply speed and strength instead of his usual finesse - aimed towards the young Bernstein's torso.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid dodges Blood's Medium Strike.

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Adelheid         0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0            Blood

Soon. Perhaps. Adelheid feels the strength draining from him in the form of a thousand tiny cuts, draining his blood into his dark clothes. Soon, perhaps. But not now. He will fight until he can no longer go on. He will wrest victory from the very jaws of death, if he can. Such is his determination. And it shows, in the set of his brow, and the fierceness of his eyes, and the set of his jaw. For as effeminate as he may be, in this moment, there is no mistaking Adel for anything but a younger version of Rugal himself.

The thrust is, perhaps, a bit predictable, at this point. Adelheid sees it coming, he knows just what to do, as his body simply leans and slightly twists to one side, allowing the length of his bloodstained sword to harmlessly pass by his body, piercing nothing but air where Adel had once been.

The Prince of War dances on the tips of his toes, moving in a corss legged jig that Ali would have admired, and putting just a bit of distance between himself and the sword swinging Strolheim fighter. His toe digs into the dirt, and suddenly, he kicks, throwing up dirt and debris in Blood's direction as he launches a front kick that ends in perfect splits. But, that dirt and debris is just the precursor, as what he truly launches is a shearing gust of nearly two dimensional wind, letting it rip through the ground at breakneck speeds at Blood himself. The Reppuken technique.

COMBATSYS: Blood blocks Adelheid's G. Kicken.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Adelheid         0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Blood

His sword's tip is pulled back as soon as it becomes clear that Adelheid has twisted his way out of the attack, Blood being careful not to overextend himself too far as a result of the whiffed lunge. Spinning the hilt around in his hand as he regains his footing, Laurence shoots a smirk towards his opponent - a small sign of respect for the speed on display.

"I was worried," he states calmly, thrusting his sword downwards to plant the blade firmly into the ground next to him. Adjusting the cape looped around his forearm, the Spaniard is /barely/ quick enough to unwrap the material so that it hangs loosely off his limb.

Just in time to raise the blood-red fabric - reinformed chainmail weaved between layers of that rimson material - in the path of that adapted Reppukken. The blast impacts the Matador's cape, causing his heels to drag backwards through the dirt as he is forced back nearly a foot from the resulting shockwave.

But when he lowers the material, the smirk is still present on his lips, and he looks as casual as anything. Once again, that cool and collected voice comes out of his mouth:

"That you would make this too /easy/."

That verbal jab finished, he leaves the sword planted in the ground beside him - his right hand instead darting to a spot on his belt... pulling free a hidden blade, he whips his wrist out to send it careening through the air towards Adelheid.

COMBATSYS: Blood successfully hits Adelheid with Bloody Shooter.
- Power hit! -

[                        \\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Adelheid         0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0            Blood

Make this too easy? Nothing about this seems easy for either of them, though, it does seem like Blood is coming out ahead in the end. He just can't seem to get past the man's defenses. It's like he is able to counter and deflect every. Single. Thing. How does one get such an ironclad defense?

He is musing on that fact when Blood launches that surprise attack. Adel isn't completely caught unaware. He tries to lift up his hand, to deflect it against the metal reinforcement on the back of his gauntlet. He's too slow, however, and the blade sinks deep into Adel's chest, too high to pierce anything vital, but certainly rooted into the muscle and falling just short of sticking into his clavicle. He winces.

Slowly, he reaches up, pulling it from his chest and dropping it to the ground at his feet. He remains there, raising up his defenses and taking a moment to recompose himself and keep the dizziness at bay by drawing in a few, deep breaths.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid gains composure.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Adelheid         0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0            Blood

The moment the dagger is hurled through the air, Blood's right hand is curling back around the hilt of his sword - yanking the tip out of the dirt and slashing it through the empty air in front of him. He does not press the attack immediately, however; instead, he elects to watch the blade land in Adelheid's chest... watch, even, the man pull it out of his flesh and let it clatter on the ground.

Laurence truly does not enjoy attacking from a distance - only when his opponent seems willing to do the same, will he resort to such methods. Such is his fighting style; as during his fight with Baiken, he refused to draw his blade until /she/ did. He responds in kind, using the same tactics which he is met with.

Waiting for the young man to press the attack, he raises a single eyebrow when he understands that there is no such assault coming. Taking a breather? The son of Rugal? The shock is actually visible, for a mere instance, on the usually composed face of the Strolheim Lieutenant.

"You surprise me, Adelheid Bernstein," he states with all politeness and propriety, be shaking his head left to right a single time... slowly.

His opponent may be willing to let the pace of the fight lull for the time being, but the Spaniard certainly is /not/... he lunges ahead, and this time the sword is wreathed from tip to hilt in a firey blue chi of his own...

Closing the distance on long, loping strides, he raises the deadly blade and unleashes a series of eight savage cuts up and down Adelheid's body... more than just a razor sharp edge, each cut carries with it a soul-burning energy which Blood only rarely displays in battle.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid parries Blood's Bloody Slash!

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Adelheid         0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0            Blood

"I surprise you? Why?" Adelheid asks, and actually adopts a crooked smile as Blood shakes his head. "Because I do not assault you without thought or reason?"

He's much, much too calm for all of that. Even now, in the pain he is in, there is a certain sense of stoicism in him. Even as Blood rushes in for his next attack, unwilling to take the lull, Adelheid remains calm, and falls back into his defensive stance. Each of those eight savage cuts is met with the resounding clang of metal against metal, as the back of Adelheid's gauntlets are used to deflect each blow, turning each aside with a seeming effortlessness.

He wonders if Blood is surprised now? If he still wants to shake his head in disdain for his tactics?

As soon as the assault diminishes, Adelheid is retaliating. His foot sweeps at Blood's leg, much as how it did at the start of their battle, and his ki manifests, once again, in the form of a flickering sheet of wind that lifts the Prince of War off the ground, and sends him flying with a fearsome forward kick directed to send Blood slamming to the ground at his feet.

COMBATSYS: Blood dodges Adelheid's G. Springen EX.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Adelheid         0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0            Blood

At first, Laurence simply shakes his head once again in response to Adelheid's query... alas, it is truly not his place to /truly/ question the methods of Rugal Bernstein's son. Himself, the son of a humble Spanish family... facing the Prince of War, the Son and Heir of a man who stands as a God amongst the world of warriors.

Then... Adelheid truly proves his worth, as the maddeningly quick, chi-imbued cuts - all /eight/ of them - are deflected with an ease that is truly /frightening/. As if he were simply batting aside the slaps of a child, that blonde-haired man backhands each and every slash to the side - utilizing those unique gauntlets to parry each blow without so much as a scratch.

The smirk on Laurence's face - present throughout the previous exchanges - suddenly disappears as he wonders... has he been toyed with this entire time? That cool confidence is replaced with something else. If not /anger/ or /frustration/, then as close as the professional servant to House Strolheim ever gets to those emotions.

"Excellent!" he growls, his tone losing that relaxed quality in an instant.

Adelheid sweeps out with that leg, but Blood leaps up as the young man's limb passes where his feet once were. That isn't the end of the assault, however, as a chi-infused forward kick comes launching towards him the moment his feet land back on the earth. This time, he twists his body and rolls swiftly to the side - spinning along the ground and landing in a crouch a short distance away.

Laurence does not rise out of the crouch; rather, he rolls back /towards/ the position of Bernstein. Once that manuever is completed, he is on one knee a mere foot away from his opponent - and the razor-sharp tip of his sword is once again lunging through the air, aiming up and at Adelheid's torso... an attempt to impale him on the blade; lacking his usual finesse.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid deflects Power Strike from Blood with G. Wand.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Adelheid         0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0            Blood

Adelheid notices the change in demeanor. The way he deflected that attack... that GOT to Blood. He's angered. He's going to want to put a swift end to this now. Brutal. Aggressive. Mostly sloppy. It almost makes him smile. Almost.

When Blood comes rushing in, leading with his blade again, Adelheid makes a small, barely perceptible scoffing sound. Under his breath, but just loud enough to be heard, Adel's soft voice spills forth with a single word.


It carries almost no inflection. Bored and monotonous. Like he might actually be ready to yawn.

Adelheid simply slides one foot back, taking a wider stance as he thrusts one open palm in front of him, with his elbow tucked in at his side. Green ki begins to form, in the shape of bubbles, and within a fraction of a second, it becomes a barrier of indestructable force. No. Not just force. It actively repels and reflects the force of the attacks levied upon it, turning them back on the attacker.

The bored insult, so reminiscent of another man - famed across the planet as a great warrior... that barrier of chi - reminding Blood of yet another world-famous fighter... a blend of styles, utilized to deadly effect. Perhaps he had misjudged the blonde-haired man, in dismissing him so lightly earlier in the fight...

His sword impacts that unmoveable wall of energy, the shockwave of force turning /back/ around at him and sending Laurence tripping backwards... only by sheer agility does he manage to maintain his stance on both feet. The blood red cape whirls through the air draped over one arm, as he clenches the hilt of his sword in the other... the impact of the reflected blow still rings up and down that limb.

Blood stumbles to a stop several feet away... and he is no longer smirking. Nor does he have the appearance of frustration...

Now, a vaguely impressed look is obvious across Blood's facial features; even his stance and physical mannerisms, more careful, more analytical, less flashy than previously... it speaks to a man who is now taking this matter - and this opponent - /far/ more seriously.

Yes; here stands not just a Son of Rugal Bernstein in /name/ alone... but in ability, in strength, in /potential/. He may be young, less experienced than the Spaniard - but who knows what time and opportunity to learn might reveal in this young man, already accomplished enough to keep the Strolheim Lieutenant on his feet?

"And now, you live up to your name..." - a genuine compliment, spoken not as a subtle jab but an honest assessment of ability. Whether Adelheid takes it as such or not, however, is another matter entirely. Regardless, the boy has officially /impressed/ the former Matador with his abilities.

Throughout the course of this short bout, Adelheid has learned the movements of his opponent quickly... and did not hesitate to utilize them later in the same fight. With even more study...

...well, Laurence thinks, we shall /see/ what he is capable of in Castle Strolheim.

With that thought, he springs back into action... his grip on the sword spins, and he lashes out with a /punch/, utilizing that hilt as a makeshift set of brass knuckles in an attempt to crack Adelheid across the jaw... should that blow strike, the grip is twisted again, and two swift jabs aimed at his midsection in follow-up.

It's clear... he needs to utilize more /unorthodox/ techniques, against a defense that seems to improve with every second that passes in this match.

COMBATSYS: Blood successfully hits Adelheid with Armed Combo.

[                           \\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Adelheid         1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0            Blood

When Blood gives him the commendation, Adelheid recognizes it for what it is. He gives a simple, solemn nod, acknowledging the compliment, yet not letting his guard down. This is still a battle, after all. And neither of them are in the clear, just yet.

Blood's gambit, however, works. Adelheid, finally, does not expect the punch. It catches him completely by surprise. Something that Blood observed rings true in Adelheid, however. The way he moves, when he tries to avoid that attack? It was swift, even swifter and more defensive than he had been before. His movements themselves mirrored Blood's own.

Sadly, it didn't pay off. Perhaps he was too unfamiliar with the graceful sweeping sidesteps of the matador. Perhaps the initial surprise just caused him to delay just that fraction of a hair too long. Either way, he is caught, his world rocked and his vision going fuzzy. It opens him up for the jabs to his solid stomach, which leaves Adelheid grunting in pain. The first actual, true acknowledgement that the Bernstein Heir is even capable of feeling such things.

Adelheid stumbles forward, looking somehow even more fierce, as he struggles just to harness his will for a last ditch effort. He reaches out, clawing for Blood, and, should he grab hold of him, he'll jerk him forward while thrusting his other fist into the man's face all the might he has left in him.

COMBATSYS: Blood parries Adelheid's A. Kunst Drei!

[                           \\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Adelheid         1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0            Blood

The sheer impact of his knuckles - braced with the hilt of that short-sword - impacting Adelheid's jaw sends a tremor all the way up Laurence's arm, ending at his shoulder. It seems switching up strategies worked; and even then, it was a near-miss.

As he jabs out with his sword, Blood is already shuffling back in preparations to gain some distance between himself and his opponent. With what he's seen of the boy's fighting style - and unrelenting speed - thus far in the encounter, he is expecting a quick counter-attack.

And he is certainly not disappointed; even with the various slashes and stabs he's suffered, the young Bernstein does not give up yet. A testament to his warrior spirit, he fights to the last - perhaps the most important quality of one such as Laurence, who has absorbed the principles of House Strolheim through years of service.

For to lay down in front of Wolgang Krauser /without/ fighting to the bitter end, meant a swift death. Rarely would he show mercy upon a man who did /not/ give it his all. The Spaniard can only assume, watching Adelheid's approach after that savage combo, that the man's father must have raised his children in a similar environment.

No quarter. No stopping. Not until you have /nothing/ left in you to throw at the enemy.

It is this realization that finally brings a look of admiration to the former Matador once more. Adelheid may have proven to be headstrong early in the match, but that was simply youthful energy... as the fight progressed, the keen analytical gaze - and senses - of a true warrior showed themselves. And he did not cease, just because the battle was lost.

This young man has the stuff of legends in him... he simply requires the suitable venue, and worthy opponents, to hone those skills to razor-sharpness.

There can be no doubt he will one day reach - and even eclipse - the level of Laurence Blood, that humble man who was taken in by Greatness and turned into a living weapon for House Strolheim.

Adelheid stumbles ahead, that desperate grasp lashing out towards Laurence with a speed that seems entirely out-of-place for a man who is nearly on his last legs... but he simply raises the forearm upon which that cape rests, and twirls it around the boys arms. Binding his wrists in that fabric just long enough to twist his reach away and step in the opposite direction, he unfurls the cape and lets Adelheid go stumbling away.

The fact that he is still standing, that he still has anything in him... it speaks volumes to the willpower of the Prince of War.

Rushing towards his opponent with long strides, Laurence attempts to end this match once and for all - spinning on a heel and aiming a savage elbow-strike towards the side of Adelheid's head... as he lashes out, he finally shouts his signature word; a relic of his youth spent as a Matador in Spain. It echoes out along the Mountain pass, as the Sky Noah's engine hum far overhead.


COMBATSYS: Adelheid parries Blood's Bloody Elbow EX!

[                           \\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Adelheid         1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0            Blood

Grit. Determination. Endurance. These aren't mere virtues in the house of Bernstein. These are the basic necessities for survival. Should he falter, the punishment would be more severe than the beating he'll endure staying on his feet. Should he give up, the wound to his pride and honor as a man, a warrior, and a Bernstein, would forever plague him. No, Adelheid will never give up as long as he can maintain a tenuous grasp on his consciousness. As long as he can move once single muscle in his body, he will use it to fight. And this is what he does now.

It is clear that Adelheid is spent. It is clear that his wounds are serious, and his already pallid flesh is now as white as snow from blood loss. And still, he comes on. And still, when Laurence launches his bone shattering elbow, Adelheid manages a burst of speed and strength that contradicts his state. His hands merely smack that elbow away, and he gingerly dances back, placing more distance between the pair of them, in the effort to regain a hold of his senses, and to catch a second wind.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid gains composure.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Adelheid         1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0            Blood

With youth on his side, there's no doubt that Adelheid holds a better chance of winning the fight than Laurence with every minute that passes. It is part of what keeps the Spaniard rushing forward, pressing the attack, not letting up for an instant.

He's managed to keep his opponent on the defensive for the majority of the match... and he truly believes that if he lets the young man continue to back off, regain his breath, and analyze Blood's motions from a distance, then he might hold a chance of defeating the Strolheim Lieutenant.

And /that/ would be a blow to the honour of Herr Krauser - particularly if Rugal happens to be spectating this battle from some place within his floating fortress, high in the sky above the pair of warriors.

That blade is suddenly placed into the loop hanging from his belt, freeing both his hands as a spin of his left arm wraps the red cape tightly around that limb... two quick, loping strides carry him forwards - and then he's off the groud... but not in an upwards leap.

No; rather, he uses himself like a human projectile, twisting horizontally through the air like a missile. His entire /body/ now covered in the blue chi that previously wrapped around his sword's blade, Laurence spins at Adelheid with both his palms pressed forward in front of him.

Call it the Spanish version of a Psycho Crusher, and it wouldn't be an entirely inaccurate description.

COMBATSYS: Blood successfully hits Adelheid with Bloody Spin.

[                            \\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Adelheid         1/-----==/=======|====---\-------\0            Blood

Adelheid is wary, regaining his composure, and supplementing his stamina with his mastery of ki alone to sustain him when his body, otherwise, would give out. But he keeps that analytical gaze set on his opponent, and there is no flinching. Blood has proven himself in the eyes of the younger Bernstein. He had come into this match expecting... what? A crass man who was more talk than true ability. He had considered Blood, perhaps not an easy adversary, but one he had been certain he could overcome.

He had been proven wrong. It's a lesson that he will not soon forget. In no small way, he is actually coming to be grateful for the Spanish matador. Every bruise and puncture and slash is a reminder of this, and therefore a pain to be celebrated. He will grow stronger for this.

And Blood keeps on giving. When Adelheid had believed that Blood had offered up for him every last one of his secrets to Adelheid, he still managed to pull out another one that Adelheid hadn't expected.

Adel lifts a knee, and crosses his arms before him to protect his trunk and face from the freight train of momentum corkscrewing at him with a fearsome velocity. But in the end, his body is too broken, too weakened. His ki is of little effectiveness to supplant his defensive capabilities any longer. He is collided into, and he crumples, almost doubling over the other fighter as he bores into his body like a drill. The breath expels itself from his lungs. He feels a rib crack. When Blood's momentum comes to a halt, Adel's continues, sending him tumbling to the ground, and rolling, head over heels, three full rotations before he skids to a halt face down and sprawled out like a ragdoll.

His fingers clutch the earth beneath him, digging into soil and rock to clench his fists. The muscles of his wiry arms flex, working overtime just to lift him up. He slowly rises to his knees. Blood spills freely from his lips, and he stares at the ground as it pools and threatens to creep to his knees.

"I need to thank you," he manages to say, using one hand to brace against his knee, pushing off of it as he stands, shakily, and sways like a reed in the wind, or like a person found in a Waffle House around 2 AM. "I really needed this."

His shoulders straighten, his broken body lifting itself into his proud and noble bearing. His eyes level on Blood's own, still calculating and intense. Like he just never shuts off. His arm folds across his midsection, and he bows deeply at the waist, lowering his head, and closing his eyes. "I am defeated. I am aware of this fact. Please allow me the honor of one last attempt, before unconsciousness overcomes me."

He lunges forward, suddenly, his fists clenching tightly, as he lashes out with a right hook, throwing all of his weight, off balanced, behind it with as much force as he can muster. With his willpower, that is quite a lot.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid successfully hits Blood with Aggressive Strike.
Grazing Hit

[                           \\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Adelheid         1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0            Blood

As he impacts Adelheid's body with his two palms, backed with the force of his entire body as a spinning projectile, Laurence flips through the air and lands on both feet. In an instant, the blue chi that had been surrounding his frame is gone, flashed out to leave the Spaniard standing tall and regarding his opponent... thanking him. Again, a brief smile... this one has the soul of a fighter, of that there can be no question.

"The pleasure was mine," comes the quick, smooth reply from the Spaniard - and he is not lying. He truly has enjoyed this match... many of his opponents this past week have been brutes, getting by on strength alone. Not so with Adelheid Bernstein, who combines natural physical ability with a finesse rarely seen amongst even practiced fighters.

Add to that his sheer /willpower/, his unwillingness to give up... Laurence thinks, vaguely, that he could go back and forth with this individual for an hour... and would he ever be able to put him down, or would the young man simply /refuse/ to quit? Refuse to sully the name of Bernstein by laying down at any point short of his own death?

Yes... Blood realizes, in this moment, that it would take /killing/ him to keep Adelheid from continuing the fight. And the death of such a skilled warrior in what was supposed to be a test would serve /nobody/. There would certainly be no honour in it, and it would be a crime to rob the world of a warrior with such ability and - even more - an untapped /potential/ for even /greater/ things.

But before he can speak these words to the blonde-haired boy, he lunges ahead with a powerful right hook... Laurence is, frankly, shocked at the determination on display from Rugal's son, and he begins to twist his upper body away too late to completely avoid the blow.

The fist strikes him in the cheek - not as solidly as it might have, considering Blood's movements to evade it, but powerful enough to snap his neck to the side nonetheless.

For a moment, he's tempted to pull that blade once more, and carry on to the bitter end... but in his mind, the boy has /already/ proven himself. And it would do no good to cause unnecessary harm to /either/ of them... /and/ this was supposed to be Blood's day off, not that he would ever complain about fulfilling his duty /regardless/ of the date or time.

So, instead, he simply backflips away - spinning through the air as his cape whips wildly, sword still dangling from it's place on his belt. He lands, again, on his feet - body turned so only his side is facing Adelheid. Both hands come up suddenly and clap three times; sharp noises that echo even over the Sky Noah's engines.

"A worthy effort," he states with finality, and it should leave his opponent no question as to the fact that he has made the cut.

His right hand flashes into the inner lining of his vest, digging for something for a brief moment... then Laurence withdraws a sealed envelope... sealed with wax, it bears the imprint of House Strolheim. There is no writing upon it, but it can only be /one/ thing...

...when Adelheid does open it, he will find himself the recepient of something that is almost priceless on the free market. Something one cannot buy from the source; it is something one must /earn/ - either with blood, or honour... a show of skill, or strength, or finesse, or raw potential.

An invitation to the World Warrior Tournament. The perfect place for Adelheid Bernstein to - possibly - step out of the long shadow cast by his mighty father... the man who once /defeated/ Wolfgang Krauser with his own hands.

Rugal Bernstein will be present, surely... and now, so will his Son and Heir, the Prince of War.

Taking a step towards the young Bernstein, Laurence extends it towards him with one long, lanky arm... if he will not grab it, then he will simply leave it on the ground. But a man from so prestigious a bloodline as Adelheid Bernstein deserves a more personal, respectful touch in such regards.

"You truly have earned this. Most others would have given up already. You fight on. I hope your father is watching, and appreciates your determination," he says, eyes darting up to the helicarrier hovering overhead.

Then, assuming Adelheid has taken the envelope, he offers a half-bow after backing away a few steps. A few more words are offered, before he turns his back to depart.

"Herr Krauser will expect the same, at Castle Strolheim."

Adelheid, half conscious, with the fight and his determination alone keeping him on his feet, seems confused when Blood suddenly claps. The sound rings in his ears and splits his skull, making him grimace. Is Blood calling the fight? Is it over?

Adelheid tries to clear his head, and hear what it is that Blood is telling him as he approaches. Hazy red eyes fall on the envelope presented to him, and he seems to consider it for a long time. He's earned his ticket. He didn't get one from his father. He earned it. He was victorious. And he learned and grew stronger in the process.

Of course, he accepts it. He accepts it but does not open it. He does not need to. He knows what it contains, and he trusts Blood to be true to his word on this.

"Thank you," he says, as he tucks the envelope into the back of those belts wound around his midsection. "for the lesson. I look forward to meeting you again, at Castle Strolheim."

With that, Adelheid lifts one hand, waving to the hovering monstrosity that is Sky Noah, which seems to summon the helicarrier closer, that swinging rope ladder descending once more, until Adelheid can grab hold of it. He doesn't climb. He's not sure if he could. He simply hangs, as the ladder ascends up towards the open hatch in the bottom of the ship.

Once thing is for certain, Adelheid needs the tender loving care of his darling sister.

COMBATSYS: Adelheid has left the fight here.

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

Log created on 18:11:39 01/13/2018 by Blood, and last modified on 12:49:10 01/14/2018.