Description: An attempt at a peaceful lunch break with gyoza and a Yukio Mishima novel is ruined for Daigo Kazama, as the Don of Gedo High finds himself defending his territory from a bizarre individual in search of an entirely different sort of meal.
The late summer's sun hangs high above Gedo High, and there are considerably more students milling about the outside of the building than the usual collection of class-skipping slackers. This, of course, can only mean one thing - it is lunch time at Gedo. Where dreams go to die. Or, at least, the contents of various bento boxes.
The school backs onto a large, green field typically used for P.E. and assorted extracurricular sports - there are several groups of students mucking about on the grass, either gathered in circles smoking cigarettes and laughing, rough-housing and wrestling with each other, or simply gossiping as school girls (even the delinquent ones) are wont to do.
And amidst these various groupings is one man who seems almost out of place amidst the joking and chatting youths - not only for his massive size compared to the rest of them, but his stoic and solitary nature. He sits alone on the grass, cross-legged; the nearest group of students are easily two dozen feet to one side, as it is clear everyone in the student body here shows a suitable amount of respect for the school's unchallenged Don.
Laying on the ground to his side is an open take-away container of fried gyoza, which he occasionally reaches for with one massive hand - pinching the very end of a dumpling to lift it up and deposit it into his open mouth. It doesn't even look like he's chewing, simply swallowing the dumplings whole with a blissful look on his face.
In his other hand is a copy of 'The Temple of the Golden Pavilion' by Yukio Mishima - the famous Japanese nationalist who committed seppeku after a failed coup attempt in 1970. Daigo seems utterly lost in the book; relishing the wonderfully written tale based on the burning of the Golden Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. He sits, reading, in silence - as the nearest group of boys shoot occasional glances in his direction. If he wasn't the fiercest warrior and gang boss to ever grace this school, they might even be inclined to mock his bookish and solitary nature.
Of course, not even the most ignorant hoodlum in Gedo would dare to disrespect their banchou. And so he gets to enjoy his meal - and his reading - in peace...
...although the boys /are/ being rather loud, he does his best to tune it out - after all, his expectations are rooted in reality. When he began his quest to unite the school's warring gangs, he never intended to change their character - beyond forcing an era of peace onto the infamous high school. Boys will be boys, after all; even his most loyal Lieutenant, Edge Yamada, was far from ideal in his behaviour... but these were things that Daigo could live with, as long as his authority went unquestioned.
No unnecessary violence. No shaking down of local businesses. No street crime.
These were the only things he cared about, in his role as Don.
The nearby group of boys - six of them in total - continue to stand in a loose circle, puffing away on cigarettes and chatting over one another as the boss munches on his gyoza some distance away.
"No way, man, Bakuon Rettou is the best delinquient manga, you retard!"
"Piss off, Kakihara! Crows is way better, and you know it!"
"Naw, you two are fuckin' crazy; Angel Densetsu is way funnier, and it has an important moral message...!"
There is a sudden pause, as the other five boys stare at Ichi, the kid who just said some bullshit about 'moral messages'. After a few moments of quiet, they burst out laughing - the nearest one punching Ichi in the shoulder hard enough to knock the cigarette out of his hand.
"Ha ha! Gaaaaaaaayyyyy!"
Hunger. A deep-seated hunger. That has gotten the creature known as Azrael stirring through Southtown at the moment.
Laying low can be a real pain in the ass, but he has had a knack for simply napping when need be. Finding his little indulgences where he can. World Warrior... that was a hell of a ride, but even his appetite is not bottomless. Restless, antsy, even prudence and patience has an ending point, for a man who never much cared for the consequences of life in the first place.
Something in this general area, though... the air smells good. Violent, primal, like the tinge of a proper brawl that never quite fades away. It's not surprising that Gedo High randomly attracted his peculiar attention. He can sense it, like a tease in the fringe of his senses, that someone *interesting* might be here. But where... and who...?
Whoever it is, they might help fill his belly...
As such, it's probably a strange and jarring sight. When heavy footsteps of a strange foreigner trundle up, past the shoddy chain link that partitions off the school grounds from the rest of the city. Donned in white pants with a similar jacket dangling from his shoulders, interior a deep purple, superfluous black leather like a singular chap along a leg... combine that with gold shoes and blue hair, and he couldn't look more pretentious. It's a style meant to loudly stand out. If not for the fact the man himself is gigantic, with the sort of physique that would turn heads even by the standards of fighters...
And, a few moments later, anyone present with even an inkling of proper fighting instincts would feel a sharp, sudden chill. A flash of danger, the edge of a knife. Most of those present might first look to Daigo, thinking him the cause; something that sparked his rare ire and requiring him to finally prove why the peace in the school is kept.
"Where are you, where are you..." Azrael growls, both hands stuffed deep into his pockets as his gaze dances around. Jumping from large students, ones wrought with scars, a couple who'd probably be already fistfighting if not for Daigo's presence so close by. It makes him slowly grin, slow inhale expanding his barrel chest. "This place has a great vibe...!!"
The Don can feel it before any other other loitering students are able to; an aura as old as man - the same feeling that fell upon a calm clearing when samurai drew their swords, the same that haunted the battlefields of Europe throughout millenia, the same that followed in the wake of every savage killer who has ever walked this earth.
Halfway to jamming another gyoza into his mouth, a chill seems to tickle Daigo Kazama's massive frame - like a sheet of ice pressed up against his back. It is enough to make him stop in his tracks, depositing the dumpling back into its container and slowly lowering the book from in front of his face. He is frowning - a sight that a few of the more observant students happen to notice, hushed whispers picking up amongst some of the groups as more and more notice the scowl on their leader's face.
Such an expression on the face of the Don was rarely a good omen; it generally meant someone was about to receive - at best - a stern talking-to. At worst, it could mean a vicious beating for anyone who was caught disobeying the rules he had set out in his new regime at Gedo.
But they soon realize that Daigo's single eye is not fixed on any of them; but rather, a rather gaudy and flashy-looking stranger. Almost at once, the eyes of the assorted students milling about seem to fall upon the new figure - who seems to stand even taller than the man who has united them under the flag of Gedo High.
The reaction is mixed among the students... most of them are wise enough to sense the same sort of energy that Daigo Kazama is capable of putting out on one of his bad days, and they give the man a wide berth as he stomps past the chain link fence into the large field, slowly approaching the school as he scans the assembled boys and girls.
Some, are not so wise as that - believing themselves to be safe in this place, no matter the severity of the threat. After all, they were all under the protection of the Don and his Lieutenants; and a force has not yet touched these grounds which Daigo was not able to beat back.
The group nearest to Kazama burst into laughter almost immediately upon catching sight of Azrael's bizarre appearance, the circle breaking apart as they begin to approach the massive man - chortling and joking all the while.
"Whoa, get a load of this guy!"
"Take a wrong turn, pal? The anime convention is across town."
"Yeah, /buddy/; better take your blue hair and get the fuck outta here before you regret!"
"You see those tattoos, bro? Someone tell this loser it ain't the 90's no more!"
They clearly feel secure in mocking this stranger, regardless of the air of danger which follows him every step of the way.
One person is not smiling, however. Daigo Kazama remains seated some distance away, still cross-legged on the grass... but he slowly places a bookmark into the novel he is reading, before setting it down next to his container of gyoza. And though he makes no further moves at present, his eye remains narrowed and fixed on Azrael as the group of six hoodlums approach him to tease him about his stupid hair.
He senses trouble, certainly; but it is up to free men to make their own mistakes. A valuable lesson for the loudmouthed group of youths to learn, and one he had long thought about teaching them on his own. Perhaps this stranger will do his job for him... within reason - and Daigo is keenly observant to make sure that no lines are crossed here, on his territory.
Before Azrael can find the source of the delicious aroma, so strongly disguised by the general violence and primitive conflict of Gedo even under what most would call some measure of restraint, his unsubtle presence provokes an unwanted response. He doesn't even glance towards the multiple thugs as they laugh, only doing a brief flare of his nostrils that seems to give him all of the information he needs.
"...Little pieces of trash." he grumbles. There's amusement on his own face. Lips gradually curl into a wicked smile, eyes widening before he gradually draws out his hands. The strange tattoos upon him seem to briefly pulse, the air felt warbling under some unseen force, grass flaring out in a visible line away from the Mad Dog. "But this kinda thing can also get me off. Weaklings who think they are safe...!"
At present, likely only Daigo can see him move. The foremost of the bullies is caught by the nose between two knuckles, hefted up briefly to his tiptoes. An instant later, the ground cracks beneath a forceful collision with the ground, what seems a casual flick of the fingers depositing him face-first in a splatter of blood.
"If he's here... this way will also work to find him...!"
At this point, Daigo's intervention is a requirement. Spreading out in a violent fan, doubtlessly still slinging out insults and rage, Azrael widens his stance once more with a wild laugh as the rest of the school bears witness to the rarity... of a violent stranger daring to make trouble on one of the most sacred turfs in the school.
A brass-knuckled fist strikes into his bare chest. The mohawked teenager looks briefly surprised before the back of a fist strikes into his face. The motion seems almost gentle, but still sends him backflipping away twice. "Not you."
The next kicks him right between the legs, making blue eyebrows go high. Not from pain, but perhaps the straightforward crudeness of the assault. "...not you." That one is caught by the shirt, and twisting backwards, sent hurtling away. He clears the street entirely, and only by chance flying into an open alley prevents more serious injury.
He laughs more wildly, dropping an elbow down, flooring the fourth. "Not you!!"
And then, the flash of steel. One is smart enough to back out, but... the last finally pulled out a switchblade, and drives it right towards Azrael's stomach. The Terror's eyes drop curiously, watching it slither through the air. The sharp point sticks him in the side, before... the steel shatters. Broken in three pieces before the hilt thumps into him harmlessly.
"...oho. I almost tasted that!! Alright... here's a taste of ME!!"
He twists, bringing back his right arm. Muscles flex, his expression growing wild. There is no actual killing intent on his face, as he swings into a powerful blow at the last, wide-eyed Gedo student observes.
This will kill him. He's not holding back enough. The air billowing around as it bears down on him, with the pointless, harsh finality of a true brawl on the streets...!!
As Azrael's violent aura grows stronger with every step towards the school, it seems to convince the stragglers that it might be best to do more than simply give the man some room - other than the six approaching hoodlums, and Daigo himself, the rest of the assembled students begin to walk back towards Gedo's main building. They may mutter insults at the man as they walk away - after all, they still have to represent their school in the face of a stranger - but they keep walking nevertheless...
It is only the group of manga-discussing boys who are brave - or foolish - enough to actually walk /towards/ Azrael.
And then, the man has the gall to actually /insult/ them... /here/, under the watchful eye of their Don. Such a grievous insult must surely be paid back in kind, lest they risk the displeasure of Daigo Kazama; after all, he has always taught them that they must not back down in his territory. It is their duty to defend the school against all comers, even in his absence.
It would not be the first time that students of Gedo High have acted foolishly to try and gain the respect of their banchou; but for these unfortunate souls, it may well be the last time they bite off more than they can chew.
And still, as the air of danger and bloodlust becomes more oppressive as Azrael is approached by the group, Daigo remains seated... but now, he is perfectly still, leaning forward with his arms resting on his knees to more closely observe the actions of this odd man.
And then, there is a flurry of action as the man grabs one of the students by the nose...
With a heavy sigh, Daigo shoots one last glance at his book and gyoza - as if lamenting the loss of yet another peaceful lunch break. Once again, he is being forced to act to keep the peace... this school remains perpetually near the boiling point, even /with/ his constant intervention.
His pace is quickened, however, as Azrael deals with the remaining hoodlums in short order - this is looking like it will get ugly fast, causing a sense of urgency in Daigo which he seldom feels in such matters. He was all for letting these students learn a lesson at this man's hands, but his assault on the first boy was enough to tell the Don one thing: this man has no sense of decency. He is taking this /too/ far.
And nobody is allowed such a privilege on these grounds, not even Daigo himself. Not unless the situation /truly/ calls for it.
Azrael's fist lashes through the air, about to send a student of Gedo High to an early grave... the boy doesn't even realize how close to death he has come, before Daigo's massive palm reaches out to catch the blow just inches away from the kid's face.
The impact is... substantial, enough to raise one eyebrow above the banchou's remaining eye. As the force is distributed throughout his muscular body, Daigo's usually calm and collected gaze seems to flare with a certain emotion - somewhere between anger and respect. All the same, he keeps hold of the man's fist within his grip, his thick arm straining beneath the sleeves of his tunic as he does all he can to prevent Azrael from removing his hand from Daigo's grasp.
"You're in the wrong place, stranger."
His voice is low, grim, serious... but there is no further sign of violence coming from the man who is only slightler smaller in stature than Azrael himself. As easy as he made catching that punch look, he is experienced enough - even given his youth - to recognize a potent adversary. This man is stronger than any of the gangleaders he has run out of the school or the surrounding neighbourhood... and what's more, he does not seem like the typical Southtown goon. There can be no mistaking him for a Syndicate debt collector, drug dealer or enforcer...
...he is different. And still, Kazama will not back down - not here, in his home. The place he has made safe for all students of Gedo, and those who dwell in the area. He will die to defend these grounds, if it truly were to come to that.
"Leave. While you still can."
The remaining student, whose life Daigo has doubtlessly just saved, begins to slowly back away in awe - as if not truly believing the scene he is currently witness to.
The other four who opted to confront Azrael are moaning, but mostly fine. Nothing that time and lessons won't recover from. The shame of causing a situation requiring Daigo to flex his own muscle might truly help with his reputation, all the same. People might be giving a wide berth, but countless eyes must be watching now, wanting to see the man who many think a gang leader working his true purpose -- being also their guardian.
There are many people in this world stronger then Daigo. Perhaps in ten more years, if he refines and hones his power, there might be far few on that list... yet he would know, when the sharp crack of his knuckles meets that open palm, just how much the man is holding back. Like staring upon a grand dam stretching between two mountains, and only seeing the smallest trickle of water coming out.
"...oho. Bingo." Another sniff of the air, and a wildless ripples across Azrael's face. He begins to press his knuckles more genuinely forward, simply starting to press. A show of force. The Mad Dog's stance is poor; he's not even using his core. But merely resisting both shoulders and arms might be much more of a struggle then Daigo would expect, even with a full, genuine response to defy it.
"This is exactly where I want to be. A wild den, full of tiny morsels... I bet if I devoured every single one of these people, I might even whet my appetite a bit. But you..."
Azrael finally leans forward. His golden shoe presses, twisting and clenching, an actual skillful show of force trying to drive Daigo backwards a step or two.
"You might do it, alone. C'mon, kid. ...hit me." Arms open, invitingly. Nothing about his body language or tone indicates it's in jest. In fact, he has zero guard up at all. "That's how you resolve things in this world. I can tell from your scent, you know that well. Don't fucking bore me with your diplomacy. We both know it's not gonna work... or do I need to encourage you more?"
He glances downwards, curiously. It's clear that he's pondering what usage the curled-up student grasping a shoulder dislocated from that earlier elbow might have in the matter...
COMBATSYS: Daigo has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Azrael has joined the fight here.
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Daigo 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Azrael
The massive schoolboy has no doubt that this stranger was not utilizing his full potential in that punch. As impressive as it was, he was clearly holding back - that much was easy to tell for someone like the gang boss.
It was not just the smell of blood that Azrael seemed to carry with him, but the sheer size and bulk of his frame - eclipsing even Daigo's impressive stature. The fact that he strolled into Gedo grounds without a care in the world seems to point towards a hidden potential, as well - for not even the Syndicate would dare to send anything but its strongest soldiers here, and never without the numbers to back up their play.
Yet this man came alone. Walked up to the school building as though he were not aware of the reputation which this school held, even to this day. For though the Don has done much to cool the anger and youthful rage which once threatened to consume Gedo High, it was still no place for the faint of heart.
The thought that this man was holding back is confirmed, as he presses forward with his fist still in Daigo's palm. Suddenly, the Don is put on the back foot as his eye widens further - teeth gritting together as Azrael puts on pressure with an ease that is nothing short of casual.
There is no chance to talk this man down. That much is sure. And that, too, is proven true by the words that follow.
Words that anger the typically stoic Kazama boy. He values one thing above all else in this world: family. Akira, more than anyone else, but also Edge, Gan... /all/ the well-meaning students of Gedo High - those who are truly good people underneath their rough exteriors and occasional lapses into delinquency - are as brothers and sisters to Daigo. To threaten them... is unforgiveable.
As he is forced back - first one step, then two, then three - closer and closer to the injured students, he realizes he must act. Now.
"Those of you who can move..."
He speaks to the wounded boys laying on the ground behind him, although he keeps staring at Azrael the entire time, looking into his eyes - as though he were searching for something in there... perhaps a sign of humanity.
Worryingly, he finds none.
He's not sure they'll be able to move very far in their current condition; and he doesn't want to do battle with someone like /this/ so close to injured students. They are, after all, the very ones he acted to proect by uniting all of Gedo under his own flag - it was not for any lust for power on his own behalf, but rather to bring some semblance of tranquility to a place that was previously consumed with mindless violence.
Being born in this neighbourhood did not have to be a death sentence, or to damn one to a life of criminality... they could be so much more, with the proper man to keep them in line. It just so happens that /he/ was that man, perhaps the only school-aged boy who could possibly bring such a chaotic place under control.
Of course, he had to keep them alive for them to reach their true potential. That was a job in and of itself, even without strangers roaming into their territory looking for trouble.
Right after his last words are spoken, Daigo suddenly drops his body lower to the ground - taking a stance like a linebacker, as he rushes forward to plant his shoulder into Azrael's stomach. Both massive arms are opened wide, before he moves to wrap them around the man's midsection. And then, if he's successful, the Don attempts to /force/ Azrael back several steps - doing his best to knock the stranger on his back...
...if he manages the impossible, Azrael will find Daigo above him, raining down vicious blows onto his face from atop his chest.
COMBATSYS: Azrael endures Daigo's Ground and Pound.
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Daigo 0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0 Azrael
Ignorant or not, what's most clear about Azrael is that he likes it here. That was not a lie. He might seem to remind Daigo of how this school used to be before his arrival; the wild, lawless time, a reputation that still hounds it now. A beast of pure strength, of might makes right, not so much cruel as absolutely selfish to the extreme. Even if his aura is difficult to read, like seeing the reflection of some distant star in a puddle. How big is it, truly? How much of it is being hidden away?
Those eyes are not those of a monster. That might be something Daigo could sympathize with. Cruel men like Vega, Rugal, Geese, Igniz... they all desire something beyond their reach. The world. Godhood. Anything and everything. The only thing Azrael wants...
Nothing more. He is here for a fight. That all-consuming simplicity is so sharply easy to understand, it must also make the futility of anything else driven even deeper. "...don't worry about your toys, boy." The Terror growls. He turns back towards the massive teenager, but without the alacrity and concern someone should. He is taken by those massive arms, but at first it feels like this creature's very feet are locked to the world. He's resisting, but simply by tensing his muscles, trying to press backwards, a measure that should be pointless against a tackle.
And the he moves... but only after Daigo truly bears down on him, hefting him up into the air and slamming him upon the ground. It should wind him; he should grimace in pain. But all he does is laugh. "Good!! You can actually lift me!!"
The blows rain down upon his face. Each feels hollow. His face is being moved, side to side, but it's painless to hit him. There's no proper feel of hard muscle, bone, or even skin. It's like striking something in a dream, all that power seeping off somewhere else... flaring some deep spark inside him. Igniting his aura.
"...Worry about yourself!!"
His hand then snaps up. His hand moves to suddenly settle right before Daigo's face, curling in his finger intensely. And as another sharp blow slams his face into the ground, splintering out the concrete in all directions, he flicks.
The air cracks hard. A shockwave of force warbles visibly... and if it hits, a disoriented Daigo would likely be driven back almost a meter. Regardless, there's an impression of movement. One moment he's down, the next his great coat flutters wildly around as he lands both heels on the ground and stuffs his hands within pockets once more.
"That was nice... I like you, boy!! But... you're hiding it away. The wildness I REALLY want... give it to me. A good, solid taste. Let it ALL loose... and I'll leave."
COMBATSYS: Azrael successfully hits Daigo with Weakened Quick Smash.
- Power hit! -
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Daigo 0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0 Azrael
He knows something is wrong the minute he gets Azrael's midsection in his grasp and tries to push forward; the man doesn't budge. And when he finally does, it is as though he had acquiesced to it, allowed it to happen.
The same thing is true when Daigo starts raining fists down upon the stranger's face; each blow would be enough to KO the average student here - even the adults teaching. For a boy of 17, he was immensely strong - perhaps the strongest high schooler in the entire city of Southtown; a place known for raising and attracting strong fighters across all age groups.
And yet, his 'victim' did not seem the least bit harmed by the vicious punches that struck him... he feels nothing breaking, sees no visible damage other than the simple physical reactions of the impacts.
Perhaps most disturbing, when he pauses momentarily - catching sight of Azrael's eyes - the strange individual seems like he is relishing it... like he wanted more, to see if the boy was truly a worthy opponent... at least, that is the best Daigo can guess in the fraction of a second he is considering it.
He doesn't get more time to think the matter over, as one hand appears in front of his eye. It is the last thing he sees, before he is traveling backwards in the air - the world rushing past him in his periphery as he flies up off of Azrael... his back strikes the ground a few meters away - digging a furrow in the dirt as he continues to travel a foot or two, his momentum gradually stopped by friction against the ground.
It is an almost audible silence that comes rolling off the Don, as he lifts one palm to his face, shaking his head violently from one side to the other as he sits up to defend himself from the inevitable follow-up...
...only to find Azrael standing, but not striding forward to press the advantage. It gives Daigo the opportunity to pull himself to his feet - the pain fading quickly, and the physical damage minimal... but the damage to his pride is no small thing. And to make matters worse, he /knows/ the man was holding back; unleashing only a miniscule percentage of his true strength against Kazama.
Azrael's final demand, though... seems to stun Daigo for a split-second. Does the man actually know about the anger that boils deep down within the Don? His rage was a vicious thing, kept in check through willpower and deep concentration... he did what he could to hide it from those around him, and it took a great effort to draw it out of him. To unleash the wild animal within the chest of Daigo Kazama was no small thing. It does beg the question, however...
...could Azrael sense it? Or was he one of the select few who had witnessed the schoolboy truly lose control?
Daigo was sure of one thing: he would not let himself slip away and embrace the power within himself... not here, on school grounds - the damage could be immense, and it would put the student body in danger even /if/ this were somehow driven away.
Shaking his head as if clearing away a fog that had settled over him, the massive boy lifts his right hand up above his head, before dropping onto one knee as he slams the fist into the ground.
A cascading rumble comes from underfoot, as tremors shake the dirt between Azrael and himself. It is only a brief warning, before the earth explodes upwards; a jagged chunk of rock is driven up through the ground, spraying dirt and grass into the air as it threatens to pierce the Cannibal.
Throughout it all, he says nothing... perhaps Azrael can sense that the boy whose scent he caught is struggling underneath the surface, trying to keep a handle on some beast inside.
COMBATSYS: Azrael partially reflects Direct Earth Stab from Daigo with Weakened Growler Field.
- Power hit! -
-@- Dazing Hit! -@-
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Daigo 1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0 Azrael
For all of Daigo's extensive battle experience, he might not have much with individuals who are clearly supernatural. This person is not human, not by any measure or examination that matters. The way he presents himself, how he attacks, hoe he takes punishments... it's impossible. Every carefully honed instinct on the battlefield of Southtown and Gedo readily confirm it. He's too fast, too strong, impossibly tough, like someone who is trying to play the game with every cheat code possible and zero shame in using it.
But... something's different. Although Daigo's rain of fists left no visible mark, his aura is clouded. It senses a bit like Daigo himself, as if his onslaught is floating around inside of him still. The fact it clearly stimulates and satisfies him is the case, but... it's a clue this man might not be literally invulnerable. What could someone possibly do against that?
And when Daigo takes the moment to self-reflect, there's a clear eagerness in Azrael. "That's right... that's what I want." he growls out, only to immediately look like cold water was splashed right on his face as the thoughts are repressed once more. "...tch!" His eyes turn up as the ruffle of force blows his coat and blue hair backwards, strange tattoos briefly flaring.
"You're being a tease, boy."
Then the lances of stone, twisted concrete, dirt, all seem to hit a strange purple wall as Azrael opens his arms invitingly. This is not the passive resistance to harm he's shown... it seems more like active devouring, drawing it all away with the sublime look of someone biting into a meal.
But then, Daigo would feel his forehead burn. A purple rune flashes into being, subtly visible on the edge of his good eye, and discordant in his chi. "This is what they call a 'critical hit'." A flash of energy boils up, purple fire sweeping out to slam into Daigo's face, before erupting out in a wash of blackish-indigo. The rune on his face would vanish, but the feel in his body might be like fireworks. An amplifying technique...? Hitting the same place twice would wreck havoc on him head and toe, make it even difficult for Daigo to remain on his feet, to think straight. Why does someone so lazy and casual have what is clearly so advanced a method of attack?
"C'mon, c'mon... you little shit. We're not gonna resolve this with diplomacy. And I don't think you can satisfy me going the vanilla route. Hrrm...! What'll it take? I hate people who hold back their true nature like you... That was delicious, don't get me wrong, but it's not why I'm *here*..."
He looks back towards the school, scratching at the side of his goatee. "Do I need to break the building? Scatter some more students at my feet? You happen to have a teacher you like? Maybe some doddling old parents I can hurt?"
"Oh... what about a sibling? You got a family member you'd hate to see crushed in front of you? Hahaha... I'm not gonna let this go. If I don't draw it out here... I'll keep at it. Believe it or not, I can be a pretty patient and meticulous kinda guy when I'm after a good dish!!"
Throughout his entire life, no matter the odds, Daigo Kazama has never backed down from a challenge. Even when hope was a foolish thing and victory was not even a remote possibility, he had always stood up to any challengers - anyone who thought they could bully the weak or vulnerable, or extract payment from innocent souls.
And though he knows in his heart and rational mind that he is entirely outmatched in the face of this almost inhuman /thing/, he does not even entertain the idea of turning tail and running. Cowardice has no place in the heart of a banchou.
Even the devouring energy of Azrael does little to strike fear into the Don; Daigo cannot recall the last time he felt such an emotion as 'terror'. The only thing that truly worried him in this life was the possibility of harm falling upon the head of Akira, or the idea of leaving her to fend for herself in this cruel world.
As the vicious, earth-wrenching assault is casually dealt with by the stranger, Daigo does not hesitate to step forward in order to continue pressing the attack. He will not quit until this man is driven away from Gedo territory... but suddenly, his forehead begins to warm - a burning sensation that is more than skin-deep. He hardly has the opportunity to wonder what force could possibly be behind such an odd feeling, before that energy consumes him.
For the briefest moment, he loses control of his mind and body - forced onto one knee as his brain begins to cloud over, bringing back memories from his childhood, from violent brawls in his early days at Gedo High, mingling with dark, bloody visions of things yet to pass. One of his oversized hands claws at the dirt below him as he struggles to keep a grip on himself in the face of such an odd, almost overwhelming rush.
When he regains control over himself, and is finally able to hear Azrael once more, the man is just finishing up his latest round of threatening taunts... and the words that Daigo is finally able to hear have quite the effect on him - even greater than that wave of energy that just washed over him.
That one word is like a breeze at the back of a man standing on the edge of a cliff. One utterance, strong enough to push the young boy over the edge - despite every conscious, rational part of his brain telling him to keep control, to not give in to his rage, to disguise the effect the mention of family has had upon him.
It is a pointless struggle, of course; to Daigo Kazama, there is one thing in the world he holds more precious than all others. His sister, Akira Kazama... the same individual who was his motivation for the personal crusade to clean up this area of Southtown. Everything he has done here in Gedo and the surrounding neighbourhoods has been with one goal in mind: to give his little sister a safe place to grow into womanhood.
Ever since their parents died, the Don has done everything in his power to take care of her. To provide her with food, security, an education, a future. It has driven him to do things he would otherwise not, to confront evils he would otherwise ignore, to drive out the local gangs and unify the warring factions of the neighbourhood into a force for good.
And now, it is driving him towards something else entirely; pushing past his monumental will and tapping into the fury that rests deep in his heart.
If Azrael wants to court the wildness within Daigo, he shall have his wish.
Before the intruder has even finished speaking, it is clear that his words have had an effect on the boy. The vertical scar running down one side of his face - over his missing eye - begins to turn red as blood rushes through his body... the colour grows deeper and more intense with every passing second, colouring the rest of his skin, as Daigo lifts one massive palm to clutch at his face.
And through his practiced veneer of calmness, there is something clearly building under the surface. A burning energy, like that of the mythical phoenix, begins to rise from within; the air grows hotter around him, growing heavier and more oppressive as the beast inside begins to test the limits of its leash.
His barrel chest begins to heave with breath, limbs trembling with fury as his anger builds into an unstoppable thing.
Both of his hands are lifted above his head, before he smashes them down into the dirt with a double-fisted blow. This time, there is more than a localized blast that comes up from the earth. /This/ time, the entirety of the ground between him and Azrael begins to explode upwards - spikes of rock piercing from deep within the earth as the grass opens up along a jagged line towards this strange.
The sheer amount of power he just unleashed upon the earth has caused his muscles to bulge across his entire frame; the sleeves of his tunic are ripped and torn where his thick arms have flexed through the material. The buttons securing the piece of clothing along the front have popped open, revealing a sarashi wrapped around his thickly muscled midsection.
As soon as the giant gouge in the earth has fully manifested, Daigo is once again looming at full height - and stomping towards Azrael, fists balled up at his sides as the earth underfoot seems to shake and rumble every time he takes another step.
The white of his remaining eye seems to have filled up with blood, as it now burns red around the pupil which remains sharply fixed upon the intruder. His breath seems to be so hot that it steams the air with each exhalation, despite the fact that it is already a warm, balmy late summer's day. And the whole time, a low rumble is building from inside the massive boy; growing louder and more feral as he approaches.
COMBATSYS: Azrael blocks Daigo's Earth Stab.
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Daigo 1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0 Azrael
Azrael was starting to get bored. Daigo has rapidly shown himself to be a bastion of self-control. The enthralling beast within him is thoroughly chained, by someone with the mental resolve and willpower to do what he desires with his life, instead of letting it take control. That's a damn shame. He can see some of himself within the Gedo youth... if not in the path they chose. It's nostalgic, like a flavor from childhood, that the beast of a man is desperate to taste again... Maybe he'll try to kill him. Maybe he'll fight everyone in the school. Burn it to the ground. If he survives, he could...
But then eyes snap wide as Daigo finally begins to react to his random proddings, and the ferocious grin on his face bears no shadow of humanity. Arms open readily, and a hearty laugh lives Azrael. "BINGO. I FOUND IT!!"
For the first time, Azrael bothers to defend himself.
Leaping straight upwards, forearms cross as the flash of stone rushes out. The piercing lances strike tensed muscle, breaking off and sending the beast flitting backwards, to land upon the ground in a dull crouch. His expression is nearly ecstatic, bringing up his trembling fingers with a dull, sucking breath. "Wonderous...! Perfect!! You're almost there. Do it... BRING IT. If you don't give me what I want /right now/... I'll rip your sister apart in front of your eyes. And I'll even show you... how serious I am..."
As Daigo begins to advance towards him, Azrael reaches out his arms. His stance spreads, golden eyes going wide.
"Enchant Dragunov..." The tattoos across his body suddenly pulse. The ground rumbles with a crack, before the majority of the strange inscriptions hiss away.
It is as if the earth magnified in gravity tens times over. The shadow of a dragon that had been lurking behind is suddenly baring huge fans. His presence is unearthly, blowing out and causing the grass to billow wildly. Darkness casts above; there are no clouds, but it is as if the light itself struggles to permeate the atmosphere now writhing amidst crackles of purple lightning surrounding the Mad Dog.
"One proper hit to you... and you return a PROPER HIT TO ME!!"
A dull creak of metal echoes around the pair, as the distant basketball hoops start to twitch and bend. Grass starts to pop into cracks dozens of meters away, while Azrael twists his leg backwards. And then finally, shoots forward.
It's just a kick; anyone who was analyzing this on a technical level would say just that. But he aims to drive that golden heel right into Daigo's chest with a full-force fury right upon his sternum. The air quakes like an airplane just breached the sound barrier, divot impacting the ground beneath and sending wild, jagged splinters in all direction. His laugh roars out as he aims to then launch Daigo backwards, trying to send him flying in the direction of the open field, long since fled by even the most daring of students.
Only to kick off the ground and roar afterwards, jacket streaming, intent on then landing near wherever he has forced the wild gang leader to land. "Come... take your time...! Give it to me properly. But if I'm not satisfied... I'm going to END THIS!!"
COMBATSYS: Daigo blocks Azrael's Valiant Crush.
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Daigo 1/---====/=======|====---\-------\0 Azrael
If Daigo is even hearing his opponent at this point, he shows no sign of it on his scowling, reddened face. Neither does he acknowledge the jagged stone snapping upon contact with Azrael's powerful forearms. He does not even hesitate in his path forward, stomping with determination and overflowing bloodlust that pours off his body as if it were a physical thing.
Not even the naked threat posed to his sister gets a reaction from the Don; highlighting exactly /how/ far gone he is, mentally. The most valuable thing to Kazama, the safety of Akira, is threatened - and he does not even respond. He simply walks forward, inexorably, his momentum carrying him forward like an inevitable, inescapable thing.
The suddenly glowing tattoos, and the wave of power which pours out of Azrael, are similarly ignored... Daigo is like a feral beast, with no consideration for anything other than tearing apart its prey. He strides forward under the sudden darkness as if he had only one goal in mind: Azrael's end.
And after that? Who knows. He is not in any state for forward thinking... or thinking at all, frankly.
The intruder has opened the gate within Kazama; who knows what could bring the beast to heel once more?
The foot flies towards him, and Daigo does not pause to brace himself - simply lifting one forearm into the path of the kick. Azrael's heel strikes the limb without mercy, and the boy's forward momentum is arrested - the impact rippling throughout his entire body as his bones creak and bend almost to their breaking point. The gust of wind that the kick leaves in its wake blows Daigo's black hair backwards... the force of the blow drives him back, deep gouges being dug in the grass and dirt by his feet... but when the intruder's limb is finally lowered, Kazama remains on his feet - and immediately begins to walk forward once more.
Until he stands directly in front of Azrael.
Standing tall before the smug, casual face of his opponent, Daigo remains rooted in place for several seconds - his crimson eye digging a hole into the man as he heaves with breaths that fill the surrounding air with steam.
The word is hissed out from between clenched teeth, a palpable sense of danger attached to it which would doubtlessly strike terror in the hearts of any normal human being - fighter or no. But Azrael is far from that, and Daigo has no expectation of it effecting him one way or another. Truth be told, he's beyond conscious thought at present - the only thing driving him forward is that burning rage which has consumed his mind.
The Don's right hand flashes through the air, balled into a fist to strike Azrael directly in the nose; a blow that would stun most fighters, and outright KO lesser men... it will likely do little more than tickle the intruder. But Daigo cares not, for he is just getting started...
...a veritable flurry of blows follow, first a combination of punches with both hands aimed at the man's face, then a vicious headbutt to the bridge of his nose, then a front kick to his wide chest.
As he attacks, the low growl he was previously emitting grows into a savage roar that seems to shake the ground in it's intensity.
As it builds to its crescendo, Daigo draws one hand far behind his head - as a bright blue fire seems to swirl around the fist, burning up the oxygen surrounding it.
And then, he throws it forward, trying his best to drive the fist straight /through/ Azrael's jaw.
COMBATSYS: Azrael endures Daigo's Phoenix Fury.
>>> Punitive Hit!!! <<<
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Daigo 0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0 Azrael
"Excellent... you're a proper beast, just like I thought!!" Azrael states with a laugh, absolutely approving of things. Earlier, Daigo had looked within the Mad Dog's eyes, trying to see his humanity, his motivations. Were he to peer into a mirror, then the exact same motivation that had driven him to enter this school is clearly echoed in that single, glaring orb simmering back at him. "Give it to me! Let me FEED!"
For a few moments he just faces down with Daigo, despite the overwhelming presence radiating from the Tyrant-level world threat that would make those more mundane pass out merely trying to get near. He claimed he would take it, and that claim was true. He does absolutely nothing in response, as a fist impacts him. Cheeks billow out in an almost comical fashion, before his head is launched backwards, upper body twisting along.
He's easily caught within the chain blows, raining down more and more, the sound of fists colliding ringing out like gunshots throughout the broad school. The headbutt forces him to bend forward, just beginning to rise up before the heel drives into his sternum. But heels dig in, and Azrael is not actually forced backwards. He's resisting, in a way that makes sure every bit of Daigo's blows are felt, appreciated, at their zenith.
"More... More more MORE!!"
Before the final, burning blow strikes him right in the face. He's sent skidding backwards almost two meters, before legs tense and toes dig into the ground. A blue spot is upon his jaw, sizzling audibly as mist billows away. Vulnerable. Staggered. But... he wasn't quite knocked down, and with a growl he begins to twist back upright. Loagy, is a good word for it. His expression satisfied, almost ecstatic.
"...That... all you got...?!"
COMBATSYS: Azrael takes no action.
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Daigo 0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0 Azrael
There is no satisfaction that comes over Daigo's face, even as he lays into the man who pushed him over the edge. His expression remains unchanging throughout the entire assault, showing nothing more than pure, unbridled ferocity - there is no room for any other emotions in the raging fire that is Wild Daigo's mind.
Even the fact that the man stands to absorb the blows doesn't seem to register... there is no impressed look, no sign of respect flashing over his one good eye. There is simply the urge to do harm, to tear down the monolithic man who stands before him. To make him regret coming to this place, pushing the Don as far as he did.
As Azrael is sent skidding backwards, he is already following the man with those slow, earth-shaking stomps. Every second that passes seems to bring Daigo's body temperature up - it is more than his breath that steams in the air now, as the air around his entire body seems to waver and twist with heat that rolls off his impressive physique. Even his skin is searing hot to the touch now, skin as red as a cooked lobster as the furrowed scar over his eye seems to glow with energy that pours out from within.
Is that all he has?
The monosyllabic response is the only one that Azrael is going to get from Daigo, and it comes across as more of a low grunt than any proper utterance. A stoic and generally brusque young man even at his most verbose, in his animalistic state he rarely rises above the most basic level of speech - and even that is a rarity.
As if to punctuate his single word, the Don rears back with his right hand once again - pulling his fist as far back as he possibly can, before thrusting it forward in a vain attempt to crush Azrael's windpipe from the force of his knuckles.
COMBATSYS: Azrael endures Daigo's Strong Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Daigo 0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1 Azrael
Gen says, "Sie gets on my nerves but yea, story evolves way different if she favors you over Albatross"
This is exactly what Azrael wanted. There's no rationality to it. There's no emotions, even. Nothing beyond the most basic, violent nature of a human mind pushed to the extremes. The absolutes of animalistic instinct. Truly, to him, it's the best sort of thing he could hope for. A slow draw of the tongue goes over the Mad Dog's head as he places one hand back within his pocket, beginning to recover enough to twist up to his imposing height once more.
Then the fist slams right into Azrael's throat. He can feel it. The intent beyond the damage... for a split second he seems to wait, before just the most vague sense of disappointment. "That's it... I told you not to be a TEASE!!"
His huge arm then whirls around, trying to catch Daigo by the head. Huge fingers trying to clamp down on the searing skin of the boy who became wildness incarnate, twisting to slam his face down upon the ground if he can. Trying to do it, repeatedly, with a sense of edged frustration.
"Tear into me like you mean it... it's not your life on the line, BOY!!"
COMBATSYS: Azrael successfully hits Daigo with Repeated Slams EX.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////// ]
Daigo 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Azrael
For the first time since he descended into his feral state, Daigo's expression hints at something other than blind, consuming anger. As his fist slams into the throat of the blue-haired stranger, there is a sudden furrowing of the Don's brow.
How can this man simply brush off a strike that would have crushed any normal individual's throat? There was more than sheer physical strength behind that attack - Daigo was aiming for a true vital point on the human body, something he is rarely ever vicious enough to attempt. He truly cannot remember the last time he struck /anyone/ with such a vicious, naked killing intent.
And yet... there is no reaction.
His rumbling growls more savage, resembling the growl of a hungry wolf - perhaps a well-dressed buttling wolf - as he pulls his fist back to level another punch at the seemingly invincible man.
He does not get the opportunity to follow through, however, as his head is captured in the steely grip of Azrael's sausage-like fingers. Almost effortlessly, the stranger forces the rampaging Daigo's face into the ground - lifting him up to do so again... and again... and...
He is lifted like a ragdoll once more, no doubt to be deposited face-first into the dirt again... but this time, when Azrael hefts him up, Daigo's eye snaps open. It gleams, from between the Azrael's splayed fingers which cover his face, with a renewed lust for violence.
Before the Cannibal has the opportunity to bring him down once again, Daigo's fist comes flying through the air. Once again wreathed in that burning, impossibly-hot blue energy, he aims a jaw-crushing uppercut from the underside of his opponent's chin. The force and velocity of the blow is so overwhelming that it seems to visibly part the air as it travels - oxygen burning up as the chi sizzles with a phoenix's fire.
COMBATSYS: Azrael barely endures Daigo's Phoenix Fist.
! VENGEANCE !
[ \\\\\\\\\ < > /////////// ]
Daigo 1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1 Azrael
This assault probably would not have ended until Daigo was unconscious, if he did not somehow fight back of his own powers. Yet there's a pause when the flash of light is seen within the young warrior's eyes, the burning within his scar. He would be strong enough, perhaps, to overwhelm him if it came to a contest of strength right now... he's released his limiters as far as he is comfortable. Instead he just grins, before the whirling red-sheathed fist cracks into his chin once more.
Azrael is lifted clean off the ground. Heels leave the floor, arching away. What might feel strangest to Daigo is... there's no wound on his fists. No discomfort. Beating a man who should be invincible, he might think his skin would be split, wrists aching, some evidence of it. Yet he'd feel fit and hale, as if he's not thrown a single punch... beyond those that struck the ground.
"Nnn." Azrael lands on his feet again, before doubling forward. Off-balance. The first show that anything is beginning to work... yet it's followed instead by a deep, heavy belch. "Almost... you've almost whetted my appetite...!!"
Then he shoots forward, moving not through agility, but through raw force. A huge footprint is left behind him, wave of distorting wind as he appears once more in front of Daigo. His left hand is in his pocket, the right cocked back with the look of a glutton on the verge of his final bite. "...but it's too late, weakling. I think you need some more time... to COOK!! Maybe next time, once I break everything you love...!!"
Purple energy ignites upon his fist, curling along his knuckles, before he twists in a short, compact punch, hurtling through the air as he aims to drive a surprisingly sharp, technical blow right upon Daigo's chin... the sound of it moving cracks well after the motion completes, clearly intending to end the fight here and now despite the burning vigor within the other man...!!
COMBATSYS: Daigo blocks Azrael's The Terror EX.
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Daigo 1/---====/=======|=======\===----\1 Azrael
The fist connects, and if he were in full control of his faculties it would likely shock Daigo to see his opponent - who has displayed something approaching complete invulnerability - actually leave the ground. The firey energy surrounding his fist dies out slowly, still burning away once Azrael's grip on his head is released and his feet once more hit the ground.
Amazingly, for all the repeated slams he had just suffered, the school's leader manages to remain standing - although there is a slight swaying of his tree-like body that speaks to some severe damage he has incurred. For a moment, he seems in danger of toppling over; but his burning fury pushes him forward once more, walking towards Azrael even as the man braces himself to lunge at him.
It is the perfect contrast between the two warriors. One is slow and inexorable, his arrival an inevitable thing which he seems in no rush to hurry along: like a bear confidently approaching towards an intruder in its den. The other, moving with a blinding speed that comes from pure strength, with an almost impossible force driving him: a lion lustily charging its prey, driven by a hunger which no human could hope to understand.
There is no sign of fear on that reddened face, no hesitation as he stomps to face a man whose strength utterly eclipses that of any other individual Daigo has ever faced - even holding back as he was. Whether it is the still-boiling blood running hot enough to raise the temperature surrounding him, or conscious anger at the lines this stranger has crossed today... the result is the same.
The few stragglers watching the battle had long ago retreated within the walls of the school, as it became evident that no place in the grassy field could be truly considered safe with these two animals on the loose. But every single window with a view of the fight is occupied by a group of teachers, students, and custodial staff - heads practically crammed together as the populace of Gedo High cheers on their Don against this bizarre intruder.
Even that goes unnoticed by the single-minded Kazama boy; he only has one thought floating around in his brain. Azrael must pay for coming here, hurting his fellow students - the ones he had sworn to protect... and worst of all, daring to threaten his family.
Fortunately, the cannibal is not playing hard to get - he is kind enough to appear directly in front of Daigo as the air distorts in his wake.
That fist, alight with purple energy, comes rising up on its course to strike the underside of Daigo's chin; but he doesn't even flinch. Lifting his own hand into the path of the blow, the Don once again manages to do what any Southtown highschooler would likely think impossible... he catches the punch. Even managing to slow the momentum of the vicious blow, it still carries enough force to drive Daigo's own hand up into his chin - snapping his head back as the Don's eye is suddenly forced to take in a view of the sky.
But he remains standing... and after a moment with his head craned back, Daigo slowly lowers his singular gaze upon Azrael once more. He is scowling harder than before, a look of pure distaste worn on the man who usually bears an expression which is either stoic or pleasant.
And then, his neck moves back and forth, side-to-side. He's shaking his head, silently, at the impossibly strong cannibal.
Releasing the man's fist, he lowers his body once more - aiming to circle around to Azrael's back and grasp him around the waist with both thick, muscular arms. Should he find a grip, Daigo simply throws himself backwards with a monumental grunt of effort - keeping hold of the man as he tries to drive his neck directly into the hard ground behind them.
COMBATSYS: Daigo can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Daigo successfully hits Azrael with German Suplex.
[ \\\\\\\ <
Ah... this was a good brawl. Exactly what the starving battle freak required. His palm presses to his forehead, brushing backwards and ruffling out his dark blue hair as squinting eyes seem to be more focused off in the near distance than the fight right now. Warm, content, like a cat full of milk. All of the places that Daigo has relentlessly driven his fists within since igniting his wild side throb deliciously, and the maddening hunger deep within his stomach is finally almost gone. He's barely even registering that Daigo is still here at the onset... that's right. He's done with him. Had his fun...
But all play must come to an end. It's the first time he's genuinely attacked Daigo... even if he seems to be slower and less ferocious at this point, like someone who's trying to fight off a good sleep. That does not create much of a bigger window... but right now, the gang leader is in a much different state. Daigo has no fugue, and his own burning instincts might make his reactions and perception sharper then ever.
"...hahaha. You're fucking adorable kid. But enough of--" Too much. He's underestimating Daigo too much, at this point. He began to try and flex, more interested in trying to prove he can overpower Daigo's palm again instead of press any attack or proper defense. But that's not what the wild warrior is interested in. This isn't a contest of manliness or even who is ultimately stronger. It's an angry dog on his home turf, who doesn't care how big of an apex predator has intruded.
An attempt to block follows, shooting out his hands to catch Daigo's forearms as they wrap around. Yet this is the first time he's not simply used his fist, and there was no defensive tension in time to lock himself in place. His head is driven into the ground directly behind Daigo, a sizable dent in the already ruined landscape before he slowly falls over, crashing on his back with limbs splayed out.
"...!" Ah... he's full. Gloriously full. And that last taste... that last desperate, defiant strike... was true. The little scamp actually survived, and got in a proper lick, right at the final moment. The perfect dessert to capstone it all, with a deliciousness of surprise. His mental restraint falters, and with it those tattoos manifest back across his half-bared frame.
Oof... he almost passes out. Not from pain or exhaustion, but the sudden limit of his meal as his self-imposed handicap sets back in. In a heartbeat, the oppressive aura of violent genocide vanishes from the school as a result, and those who still brave a peek see both fighters are floored.
It's a near thing, of course. Daigo went down from the fire in his own veins... even if his own wounds are hardly minor. Azrael, himself, slowly struggles to sit up with a grimace, huge hands pushing himself along. In the end, they would probably both end up back on their feet at roughly the same time.
"...heh. Okay... I'm done!!" Almost in slow motion, he throws his arms open towards Daigo, teetering in place precariously. "...I came here for a meal, and I've got my best one in months...! Don't worry. I'm not a glutton for the same taste... you'll need a lot more time before that flavor ripens. Heheh... but I doubt this is the last time we're ever gonna meet, boy...!!"
COMBATSYS: Azrael takes no action.
COMBATSYS: Azrael can no longer fight.
Even though he has been moving like an unstoppable force, shrugging aside blows and pressing the attack even in the face of Azrael's overwhelming strength, Daigo does not have limitless reserves of stamina and energy. Tapping into the fury within takes it's toll on the Don, even if it doesn't show at first. Every step forward since unleashing his Wild side has been slower than the last - although it would take a rather observant fighter to notice his waning power.
By the time he manages to grab hold of the cannibal's waist, he is on his last legs - the rage beginning to die out as it burns its way through his body, consuming his energy faster than he could possibly replenish it. Like a forest fire that has finally run out of fresh wood to spread the flames, Daigo begins to falter in his last steps...
...but not before he is able to heft the massive intruder up into the air, both of the men being slammed backwards into the dirt - the field already scarred by their combat.
Azrael is laid out by the suplex... but so is Daigo - the effort required to lift the sheer bulk of the blue-haired stranger seems to have sapped the last of his burning vigor, draining him completely. It is visible, even, as the red in his eyes and skin begins to slowly leech away... his burning crimson scar, too, returns to a more skin-coloured tone.
Among the onlookers watching the fight from the relative safety of Gedo High, there is a collective, shocked silence as both warriors lay on the ground. Many of them have never even seen what Daigo Kazama is truly capable of - and there is a sense of awe, knowing the true power their leader and 'big brother' holds within his usually stoic self.
And then, there is a stirring from both men; sitting up at first, as their heads clear - in Daigo's case, from the blinding anger that had taken over his conscious self... in Azrael's, the sort of grogginess that comes after a filling meal - the kind of lethargy that a man might display after a full turkey dinner with all the fixings.
With a slight groan as he slowly regains control over his mind and body, Daigo brings one palm up to press against his forehead, shaking his head from side to side as if clearing away a nasty hangover.
What the fuck just happened?
It comes back to him in broken flashes of memory... the strange trespasser, the threats levied against his family, the phoenix rising from within, overpowering his rational mind...
Suddenly concerned about what damage he himself might have done to the school or its students, Daigo pulls his hand away from his face to scan the surrounding area. The students who Azrael had laid out at the beginning of their exchange have been pulled to safety by the others, and the field around them will need some serious landscaping to return to its former condition... but there is no blood on Daigo's hands... and the school is still in one piece...
Pushing himself to one knee, the Don takes a moment to compose himself further, his barrel chest rising and falling at a rapid pace as he takes oxygen into his lungs to smother what little fire remains. And finally, with a monumental effort, he rises to his feet - to the assorted cheers of spectators coming from within the school proper.
Even though he is back on his feet, it seems as though he might collapse at any given time. His stance is nowhere near as solid and immovable as it typically is, and he appears dangerously close to having his knees buckle underneath him... but he stands, if only by sheer willpower alone, gritting his teeth as Azrael speaks.
"If I see you again..."
The words come out of Daigo's mouth with a growl, his typically calm and collected tone shattered by the fury which still lingers inside him. His remaining eye is sharply narrowed at Azrael, radiating danger even in his weakened state. Both hands remain clenched at his sides, even as his fists tremble with exhaustion.
"You won't be walking away..."
Lifting one massive hand up into the air, Daigo's thick, sausage-like index finger points to the other side of the field - the fence which opens up to exit school grounds.
"Leave. Now. This place is under my protection - and I will /never/ allow such trespasses to go unanswered.
"..." Azrael slowly walks up towards Daigo, with a sort of lazy, menacing premeditation. Shifting to stand over the smaller human, and lean slightly forward. The last words the pair exchange are private, but the flash in his eyes seems far more genuine. "...don't get full of yourself, you little shit. I came here for a meal... you gave it to me. I'm in a pretty damn good mood. But if you're telling me you think this wasn't me playing around..."
He sweeps out his hand to drop it on Daigo's shoulder. It seems plenty playful, and those watching likely think it the understanding acceptance between two wild figures. Yet he'd try to grip tight enough to force the Gedo youth to suppress pain, while driving his feet an inch into the concrete beneath. "...I can come back. You ended up looking good. I don't give one fucking damn about my 'reputation'... but don't push your luck, kid."
He then moves to stride off, slow and unwieldy like someone drunk. An actual burp ripples out of him, making him briefly stall in his gradual egress towards the edge of the school. "Nice little den of wolves you got buzzing around here... I'll leave you to it. I've love it if a bunch of potential snacks entered the world in the next few years... But your fangs were a lot sharper when you bared them. You really want to protect your school... your sister..."
"Don't be afraid to hone and bare them!" He shifts, bracing himself briefly, before an explosive ripple of movement that cracks the ground and seems to only give a brief glimpse of him retreating out of sight. The potential crisis, it seems, is over for the moment... and Daigo's legend, especially if anyone tracks down the public bounty for the Mad Dog trying to figure out who intruded, likely grew three sizes this day...!
As the Mad Dog suddenly approaches, Daigo's body tenses - mentally trying to summon some previously untapped well of strength... and finding himself sorely lacking in that regard, like a car running close to empty with a long stretch of road ahead.
He won't back down, if Azrael wants to keep fighting... but whether or not the Don has even a few minutes of fight left in him in a questionable thing.
As if to highlight the fact that he /doesn't/, Daigo lets out a grunt as the cannibal drops a hand onto his shoulder - the force of that casual movement enough to drive the bottoms of his shoes deeper into the dirt, and bring a brief wince of pain to the gang leader's face. He tries to lift his arm to strike at the man, but either his body is not capable of such a thing - or his mind unconsciously thinks better of it, preventing his arm from obeying his command.
Either way, it is all he can do to scowl at Azrael and listen to his words... even his voice leaves him, as he opens his mouth to reply - but finds no words springing from his tongue.
Though the stranger might wish Daigo to become an animal in defense of his territory, he simply cannot allow himself to follow such a path. It would go against everything he has tried to teach his fellow students, and his sister. For what profits a man who gain the whole world, but lose his soul in the process?
As soon as Azrael has taken his leave of the school grounds, Daigo's body - standing firm up to that point - suddenly wavers, his legs finally giving way as he falls to one knee. His right fist pressed down into the dirt to keep him from falling over completely, the Don breaths deep as he does his best to remain conscious after such a tiring brawl.
As it becomes clear that the intruder will not be coming back for a second helping, there is a gradual stream of students that pour from Gedo High back into the field - rushing to assist their Don and help him back to his feet. There is an outpouring of praise as the students and even a few staff members gush over the sight they have just witnessed.
"Daigo-sama!! That was amazing!!"
"Dude, you totally kicked his ass!"
"Oh my gaaa~w~w~w~ddd you guys, you think he'll go with me to the school dance?"
"Man, you gotta teach me that trick!"
As if hearing none of it, Daigo allows himself to be hefted back to his feet - two of the larger students bracing him as he sways. There is only one thing on Kazama's mind right now after such a titanic struggle...
"...bring me to my gyoza."
Against all odds, it seems like the takeaway container /and/ book have been unmolested by the fight. Bonus!
Log created on 18:24:04 08/27/2021 by Daigo, and last modified on 16:53:44 08/31/2021.