Akuma - The Shuddering Heavens

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Description: Akuma summons a Titan from the Boundary as the venom of Orochi pumps through his spirit. Will the Demon be swept aside by the Mountain of Might, or will these two powerful forces find common ground in the heat of battle?

Weeks ago, the Orochi Punk who calls himself Crock found his way to Bastion Village, the place where Heihachi massacred every soul in sight to feed his ambitions. Seeking rumours of the wandering master/menace Akuma, Crock thought to fight the man who calls himself Demon, compelled by the seething voice of Orochi, the Earth's divine punisher.

Crock found Akuma.

Akuma fought Crock.

And in the process, Crock infected Akuma with a taste of ancient power drawn from the burning depths of the planet.

When it was over, Akuma let the king of the gutter hang on one of the few walls left standing in their wake, pinned to ravaged stone by the manifested weight of Crock's collective sins joined with the lingering resonance of Heihachi Mishima's... and then he left.

Weeks later, black clouds follow him like a serpent threading through the sky behind him, billowing gradually outwards to blanket the forests surrounding Bastion with rain and darkness.

Weeks later, a gateway to the divine shudders with the roll of thunder.

Weeks later, 'HEAVEN' glares four stories above Earth while a dark and calloused palm drives inevitably skywards.

Weeks later, lightning cracks between the four rods surrounding the garden that grows wild and defiant despite the ruin below. Heihachi Mishima is not a religious man, and yet... did he spare this site?

Or was it sheltered by the sheer gravity of eventual Need?

"Here on the precipice of Heaven," rumbles through the garden -- through the /village/, clear as an infernal bell, "I call upon power beyond that of mortal men -- beyond that of the shallow, vain spirits who haunt the shadows between realms -- beyond the warlords of the Outworlds who stew in outer darkness--!"

*K R A - T H O O O O O O M !*

A scintillating arc leaps from between two rods, lashing at the tilework before Akuma-- who remains utterly still amidst the shrapnel shower that follows.

"I call upon power beyond the bloated and cowardly children of this world who would call themselves GODS while mortgaging away their divinity! LET MY VOICE BE HEARD BEYOND THE BOUNDS OF WHAT IS-- let STRENGTH BEYOND STRENGTH visit itself upon this soft and fallen world, so that TOGETHER we might usher in its rebirth...!"

At first, the answer seems to simply be silence. An emptiness that resounds like an endless void of nothing in response to the demands of the demon and the fury of the raging elements that violently lashed through here and carried Akuma's call into the ethers and the realms that lay beyond mortal senses.

It is a silence weighs heavily upon the area..but ultimately it does not last as Akuma surely must have known that it wouldn't. Instead, a faint distant rumbling *toom* answers him. A vibration that rustles through the area, bouncing pebbles and dislodged degree up and down from it as if some sort of distant far away impact was occuring.

*Tooom* rumbles through the area again. And then again.

A sudden ripple visibly vibrates its way into the area, descending over the gardens with the visible distortion of a moving mirage or a pool rippling out from the disturbances being caused by something being dropped into it.

Another *TOOM* rumbles thorugh the landscape, followed by another *BOOM* and then a *THOOM* and other variants there of. Something vast and unstoppable approaches. Reality distorts and stretches. The air bending and warping as if a wall of saranwrap attempting to contain something the size of a semi truck cab attempting to push itself forward through it.

And then - a flash of light and a sundering of reality ..and The Strongest Titan has arrived. He presses in, unfolding into view from elsewhere with his immense feet thundering against the earth with all the delicacy of a herd of elephants attempting to gingerly walk through a crowded mall.

Arms bigger around then suspension bridge cables are folded across a torso that would easily block traffic on major highways. Glowering red eyes stare forward and balefuly at his summoner while his lips are pressed into a stern and neutral dismissive look that borders somewhere between a disapproving frown and a unamused sneer. When he speaks, his heavy bass voice is almost uintelligible in its rumble as it vibrates through the area, shaking trees and shuddering stone:

"Woe be unto those of the great and mighty who summon me! For I stand by my oath and loyalty to he who solves the riddle of strength! Speak, oh terrible one!"

It hurts just to /look/ at Kongou.

Every steel-corded, hellfire-cast inch of Akuma's as tight as a war drum as Strength thunders across the Boundary. Of late, his red locks - normally limited to a spiky topknot - have begun to grow wild, blooming around his head and shoulders in a fiery mane. The prayer beads normally worn around his neck wind down his shoulder and chest like a sash; watch carefully, and one just might catch them slithering, slowly, around his torso. When his eyes widen to let the blood-red malevolence within become twin beacons in the night, it is with anticipation for what MUST follow.

But Kongou is nearly double Akuma's size in height ALONE.

It HURTS to look at him. It stings his neck, but more than that --

DEEPER than that --

it stretches deep beneath tanned and weathered skin, right through optic nerves brilliant with sin. The sight of the Strongest Titan lashes deep within the Demon, piercing a piece of him teetering on the edge of Satsui no Hadou's purifying flame.

The piece that always resented being the runt of the family-- ESPECIALLY when men stole the one who bore him right under his nose while his body and spirit failed him.

Especially when his brother had the nerve to look down his NOSE at the only one of them willing to embrace the annihilating beauty of Ansatsuken rather than hide in his own cowardice.

Especially when his brother allowed him to live at his feet with the shame of defeat rather than know the peace of an honorable death--

For a terrible moment stretched towards leaden eternity, looking at Kongou reminds Akuma that once upon a time, he was merely a man. That for all the power he's since harnessed, fragile mortality damns him to grasping for an echo of the elemental Strength which Kongou simply IS.

*K R R R K A T H O O O O O O M !*

A white-hot stroke slams directly into the Demon, arcs between all four rods, then courses right back to Akuma. By achingly slow inches, he clenches his fingers while elemental fury builds to a blinding crescendo around him-- until finally, he forms a /fist/ which summons every iota of electricity into a violet dance down that entire limb.

"I am the smoking mirror in which those who walk the road of war must one day glimpse themselves, to learn whether they are truly worthy of the power they hold," rumbles while those dark clouds race to bunch and gather above the temple-- to swirl into a writhing ring with two warriors at its heart and lightning dancing through its depths.

"I am the sin and the punishment."

"I am the storm and its eye."

"I am the darkness and that which lurks beyond it with hunger in its heart.

"I am he who has tasted the poison-fire of the last TRUE god of this wretched world-- and the FIRST which must fall to set it to its proper state! I am AKUMA, who would solve the riddle of STRENGTH so that WEAKNESS may be washed clean from the Earth in the surging tides of Orochi's blood!"

Just the way he snaps his body into a steady Horse stance verges on violence, all scything limbs and roiling chi; the curl of his lip as he GLARES up, up, UP towards Kongou's eyes speaks of something much, MUCH worse:

It's almost like he's SMILING.

COMBATSYS: Akuma has started a fight here.

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Akuma            0/-------/-------|

Well now. That is impressive.

Kongou looks upon Akuma with eyes that have percieved the very letters written upon the pages that define reality. His eyes squint as his body is bathed in the glow of the elemental fury that is seemingly commanded by Akuma as he declares his intent, his power, and his right to be here and issue this challenge.

And slowly, but surely, Kongou the Strongest Titan, begins to smile.

"Fascinating! Perhaps even..overwhelming! An aura and a presence to match the mighty among even the Nightless. A passion that overpowers all that stands before it and summons forth the very incarnations of ideas and concepts in order to due battle with them!"

The giants amrs unfold now, muscles creaking and bunching up like the movement of tectonic plates beneath his flesh. His pectorals swell and then relax fiberously as he inhales, taking a deep breath as a halo of purple hued energy begins to crackle to life around his form, occasionally crackling tendrils of some obsure and unknown arcane power up and down the mountains and valleys of his mind bending physique. The ground rumbles as he stance widens and his arms lift, resting against his sides at an angle as his fingers twitch and stretch.

"Come forward then. Solve this riddle and break the bindings on me that restrain my strength!"

COMBATSYS: Kongou has joined the fight here.

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Akuma            0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Kongou

Except by 'come forward' he apparently actually means - stay there and let me hit you.

The ara rocks violently as Kongou suddenly lunges at Akuma, sliding forward like a glacier with a booster rocket strapped to it. The earth shudders and then erupts in the wake of his movements. His body pivots and a colossal arm swings upwards in a vast overhead arc that engulfs Akuma in its shadow as it reaches the apex of its swing.

There's a momentary pause. A breathless silence that is then broken by the creaking sound of Kongou's sinew as his torso swslls and his muscles pile sinew ontop of sinew in a surge of the brutal mountain shuddering strength contained within.

And then down the fist comes, hurtling towards Akuma with intention of literally piledriving the demon into the ground like a tent stake to the point of temporarily entrapping him within the earth should the blow land.

COMBATSYS: Akuma blocks Kongou's Seismic Crush.

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Akuma            0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Kongou

"It is by the design of powers above even your own that you are bound, Titan-- a design which I mean to SHATTER by strangling the old serpent Orochi and purging this world of its gilded shackles."

Interest and praise wash over Akuma, but it's pectoral ripples that hold his notice. It's the warbling of reality itself in their wake -- the strain it suffers to hold Strength in check -- that widen what is absolutely, unabashedly, horribly a smile complete with pronounced canines and flaring red eyes flashing across purple Power's majesty.

Kongou invites him forward. Akuma doesn't budge, because he has taught himself to speak the language that Kongou was steeped in. He hears the invitation for what it is:

A /challenge/.

To /stay/.

And let Kongou HIT him.

"Do you know the story of the Serpent and the Three Fangs, Titan?"

There isn't a pupil in sight, but there's no mistaking his gaze boring wholly into the swiftly approaching mountain. A hurtling boulder wrapped in rippling blue casts the Demon in a shadow that /spreads/ until it consumes him.

'It' being Kongou's fist, of course. It meets Akuma's briskly turned forearms, but that isn't quite enough to keep 'it' from /engulfing/ him.

Or driving him into the ground like a tent stake to the point of temporarily entrapping him within the earth.

What IS enough:

* The fact that Akuma summoned the Strongest Titan to the rooftop garden of a multi-story temple.

* The seismic chain reaction ripping through that temple as Akuma's driven through its roof.

* Tons of shattered wood, metal, and stone collapsing inwards in the wake of the Demon and the Titan.

Surrounded by geysers thanks to brutally terminated irrigation systems and painstakingly crafted fountains; wreathed in dust and smoke courtesy of violently disturbed braziers; too mighty to be bound by ruin, Kongou finds himself atop a twisted heap of carnage. Akuma's not trapped under the Earth, but it's the next best thing.

Silence begins to creep into the remnants of Bastion Village as the dust settles-- for however long Kongou might allow it to, that is. Still: for a minute...

... ... two...

... ... ... three...

... ... ... ... there is silence from the temple ruins.

/In a bygone age, the Will of Gaia grew tired of indolent Man growing fat on Her bounty./

*T H O O M !*

The blow Akuma strikes against the wall of ruins is /felt/ more than its heard-- much like the story.

/Poison flowed from its black maw, threatening to drown the world in chaos./

*T H O O O O M ! !*

The heap shudders-- shifts, ever so slightly; that which was simply resonates in time with the tremors.

/Until three champions wielding three treasures turned their fangs upon the Serpent./

*T H O O O O O O M ! ! !*

The heap starts to split. Just a bit. Just enough for two wrapped and calloused hands to reach through for a secure hold. Just enough for a dedicated Demon to PULL it into a crack wide enough to re-enter the world and tell the story with his voice.

"Yata... Kusanagi... and Yasakani, turned Yagami. Tell me, Titan:" rumbles while Akuma hauls himself free. His gi's shredded; his body's heavily dusted; his hair's largely undone, billowing around him in stormy winds. The next time lightning splits the sky, he twists his whole body into a vertical leap. The twisting continues; the twisting gets faster.

The twisting extends to an outstretched leg, wreathed with crackling violet electricity and shredding through debris amidst the ascent.

The twisting doesn't stop with Kongou, because he means to subject the Strongest Titan to the rending gale of Ansatsuken.

*K R R R K A T H O O O O O O M !*

"Do you KNOW them?!"

Whoops. They weren't actually at ground level..

Not that it would have stopped Kongou from making the attack. He's a sort of 'Do and then Think' sort of entity after all and the results speak for themselves as the temple roof practically explodes from the expanding shockave from the impact and the cavernous sinkhole that ripples out and then brings the building caving in onto itself.

*KTOOOOOM* thunders and rolls through the area as Kongou finally touches down from his descent into the abyss caused by his explosive assault and Akuma's descent to the ground level. His arrival is less a superhero landing and more him just falling straight down, still upright, and landing with a roar of richter scale like force with his legs bending just slightly to accomodate the pressure of his weight striking the earth. THere is a vague mirage like ripple that oscilates up and down his torso as his presence once more attempts to better solidify itself into this realmspace but it dissipats as Akuma's voice begins its rumbling story telling.

"Oh hoh. He's still alive. Excellent!"

The cheerful informaility of the summoned monstrosity contrasts with the brutality of his thundering steps as he begins to stride forward towards the burial place of the demon, legs crushing and crashing through the fallen debris as if it were wet twine and the material still raining down, crashing atop him and sundering and shattering as he plows forward, treating it as a light drizzle and not, you know, the foundations of a collapsing structure.

And then Akuma is upon him. A blazing blast of energy and uncapped power that races upwards and spirals back down towards the behemoth - to go slamming into the giants face once, again, and then again, and again with each impact sounding like a concussive bomb going off.

Kongou's head is jerked sideways and his body tilts, leaning away from the force of the assault..but he otherwise stands there - his eyes flashing a brilliant red and a flex rippling down through his body to blast into the earth below, expanding into a crater forming around the two titans as they contest against each other. Then:

"Hmm.. I have heard." There's that creaking sound of sinew stretching and bones groaning as Kongou's fist forms and his arm bulges out, tightening like a mountain range attempting to emerge beneath his flesh. Said fist then lunges upward. A sudden upper cut that lunges at the airborn Akuma in an attempt to slam into him and send him hurtling skywards.

COMBATSYS: Akuma successfully hits Kongou with Tatsumaki Zankuu Kyaku.

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Akuma            0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0           Kongou

COMBATSYS: Akuma dodges Kongou's Orbital Launcher.

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Akuma            0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0           Kongou

The way he moves -- curving his arc around the swiftly approaching mountain - ought to be impossible.

That Akuma avoids the blow at /all/ -- moves quickly enough to find a space where the mountain ISN'T before the mountain is all that IS -- ought to be unthinkable.

In the wake of the blow, the Demon is briefly hurled upwards at ever-increasing speeds, swept up in the storm gale of the Strongest Titan merely striking the /air/ until a series of rippling distortions down the length of the wind column settles the skies considerably.

The shackles reassert themselves.

Akuma lands crouched upon the heap, frowning /deeply/ at Kongou while blood-red chi curls from his body in trickling waves. Loose red locks and the tattered edges of his gi settle after an extended spell of rifling in the wind.

"When Orochi, the Will of Gaia was at his apex, it was he who kept the reckless child gods and the humans who worshipped them in check-- and in doing so, he commanded the lionshare of Gaia's spiritual energies, seizing them his jealous clutch, robbing humanity of their potential-- and /ensuring/ their continued reliance on the whims of the gods." Akuma hauls himself upright; his back foot slides down the slope while his right perches securely against the peak.

"And when Orochi was /sealed/, the mighty oceans of chi at his command were sealed WITH him, setting this world's decline in stone for as long as the three clans and their sacred treasures persist. So long as Orochi lives, this world shall remain one where strength is the EXCEPTION-- a world where the WEAK rule over the strong with clever schemes and laws. The man who calls himself Crock -- 'C-Rock' --"

Here and here alone, what is otherwise a rumbling torrent of wrath meant to stir Kongou's spirit is broken by a pause, as getting his mouth around the name is an issue.

"-- a child serpent in Orochi's thrall blessed me with a taste of the Great Serpent's venom-- of the POWER he hoards, thrashing in his bonds," he then roars, thrusting his right hand forward, cupping the air.

"Give me your all... and perhaps I will see fit to share it," he goads, lifting his palm skywards. His aura rises in concert with the motion, swelling towards a crescendo redolent with violence which ripples across metaphysical borders.

"A taste of good will before the great work begins. You understand what must be done to find the answer to your riddle -- to let you roam freely in a world where strength reigns, don't you?"

Punctuating the question, his aura surges into a pillar-- a bonfire blazing through the heavens, bursting his hair fully free of its tie and whipping it into a thrashing frenzy.

COMBATSYS: Akuma enters the iron horse stance, marshalling power...!!

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Akuma            0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0           Kongou

The blue titan doesn't have much of what some might call a 'poker face'. When he's pleased, it shows. When he's displeased...it -really- shows. Fortunantely for -most-, his nature is such that he rarely truly dips into the realm of outrage and fury..but his curiousity at the words of Akuma? That is read as clearly as night and day. HIs lips purse into a an 'o' shape and his eyes flare a briefly brightening red flash that washes over him, mingling with the purple of the distortion and energy bleed off he causes around him by simply..existing where he isn't supposed to.

"So this is your aim? To free the denizens of this world from the shackles that bind them and in doing so..free me. How fascinating!"

His massive hands clap together as he turns, facing Akuma..a big bright full smile on his face in contrast to the demons rising fury and power. Kongou seems..oblivious to whatever danger Akuma presents unable to truly perceive it with his dulled senses marred by this plane of being. Or perhaps he just doesn't care. It might be mostly that. His hands clap together, producing a thundersous *BOOM* as he joyfully expresses, "To think..that a mortal of this world would have the ambition to break the chains laid upon your world to keep it together! To taste of Orochi and be driven to act in a way that he removes the fetters that anchor this place and keep it from falling into the ethers as a flaming sphere, burning away under its own untapped power. That is intriguing! Perhaps indeed a way to undo this great weight upon me...but.." He leans back, his body creaking and groaning once again as a sequioa might sound bending forwards and backwards. His sinew flexes once more, rippling distortions through the air as the world struggles against him to hold him back.

"I am the stuff of the pages the story you are writing is written upon! I need no power save my own!"

A sudden wave of energy erupts around him, expanding his physique ever larger as his eyes blaze and his mouth remains peeled in that full toothed glaring white grin. He lunges forward - blazing at the demon while scooping his massive hand down towards him in an attempt to grasp and scoop him up inhis lunging assault.

COMBATSYS: Akuma endures Kongou's World Crusher Slam.

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Akuma            1/-----==/=======|====---\-------\0           Kongou

Once grabbed, the demon and the behemoths momentum reverses as he sweeps his foe upwards into his grasp, flexes his legs against the earth resulting in a rapidly widening and expanding crater sized sinkhole..and then leaps backwards and uwpards. Energy flashes and boils into the air, contrailing purple and black hued tendrils that crackles wildly and violently into the terrain around the two duelists as Kongou leaps higher and higher and begins to arc backwards. That ever present, strangely affable, grin still on his features.

"Let us see if you have the power to do that which you proclaim!" his deep voice thunders as he reaches the apex of his lunging backwards leap, and then twists into a spinning and spiraling descent in full defiance of the brutish glacier like proportoins and probably several laws of gravity and physics.

Akuma is dragged along with him to lead the descent with the goliath as he subjects the demon to a suplex from a height that likely would have been equal tot he rooftop garden of the now collapsed building...with the added benefit of Kongou's weight crushing down onto the man as he impacts and another crater blasting out around them both.

"WE have the power to do that that which must be done...!" Akuma sharply corrects. On some level, it is a boon, looking right into Kongou's eyes like this: even though he's /captured/ -- even though they're RISING --

"We MUST--!"

There is something to be said for being able to look a soul in the eye while attempting to initiate them into a conspiracy, even when pure strength is the tie that binds it.

Chi /continues/ to seethe around his body, increasingly shot through with ink-black strands slithering through its radiant haze. Every muscle tenses and hardens, but he makes no effort to soften the impact, or evade it entirely. He asked to FEEL the Titan's might, so feel it he shall--

Even if it drills him deep into the Earth with tons of mythic muscle bearing down on him.

Even if their bodies churn rock and soil into a crater which rapidly spreads across the ground.

Even if the tower of rubble shudders in the kinetic gale. Even if its foundations start to slip and slide into the pit beginning to yawn beneath it. Even if the tower's peak heaves and buckles, raining great chunks of stone upon them.

Even if there are narrow streaks of ash white painting his mane on the other side of Titanic thunder, this suffering is sacred and right. It is the violence that affirms them as beings of shared purpose and common language, the pain which warriors share.

"... yes..." courses through the cracks between Kongou's fingers.

"... YES!"

"Ha ha hahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-- //YES//!!!!!!!!"

Pure, bleeding, unrelenting /bliss/ roars through Bastion Village. Akuma's got both hands pressed to Kongou's palm, hefting it from keeping him pinned with trembling limbs, throbbing veins, and torrents of sweat cutting trails through the dust that clings to rippling, hell-forged muscle.


One final heave gives Akuma /just/ enough space for a backwards roll to freedom. It is /immediately/ followed by a long, lunging arc towards Kongou, right fist drawing back 'till it sits near his ear. Ink-black undulations coil towards that lethal peak as violet lightning crackles into existence around it. His aura /blazes/, boiling on the very edge of control-- writhing between malevolent radiance and an extension of his will manifested as raw Killing Intent gouging slices of matter from the earth and rubble around him.

"There are others whose wills may yet be tempered by the truth-- others who do not HIDE from the riddle of strength-- those who would wish the Serpent DEAD to suit their own designs--! The Yagami scion, full of Orochi's venom; Rugal Bernstein, who would seize the power of the gods--"

Briefly, there is no Akuma. There are screams, and there is lightning, and there are swirling strands of darkness dancing around both, but there's no body to be seen in the thrumming core of his fury crashing to the ground before Kongou. It's not just his impact; it's the /punch/ following it --

A punch which the Titan can readily FEEL, even if it cannot be seen--

-- which splits the ground. It's the punch which causes the Earth to fracture and fissure. It's the punch which summons deep, violet lightning and thick, coiling bands of darkness from the depths of the planet, triggering an EXPLOSION of spiritual violence around the two warriors which sends shockwaves shredding through the village,.

COMBATSYS: Akuma successfully hits Kongou with Kongou Kokuretsu Zan.
- Power hit! -

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Akuma            0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0           Kongou

The explosion blossoms upwards as a thing of deadly beauty, enveloping both titans from sight and bathing the area in an apocalyptic glow and drenching it in a rain of debris that sends buildings, boulders, trees and churned earth hurtling downward to flood the area with violence. Surely seismometers have long been triggered by the struggles of these dueling monsters but if they haven't before, they surely have been now as Akuma's wrath obliterates the combat area around both warriors and obliterates all before it with unbridled force and thirst for power.

And then a follow up shockwave results, blasting outward from the epic center of the detonations to push away clouds of debris and dust and reveal the vastness of the youkai, still bathed in his burning aura and mostly shadowed and sihlouetted by what remains of the debris cloud such that he looks like a vast massive wall dimly hued by twin glowing red slits where eyes would be.

He...hasn't moved an inch. His body remains rooted amongst the chasms and scorched earth, arms rested against his sides like some nightmarish over pumped up powerlifter or bodybuilder or..whatever..take your pick. It's really the fact that he wasns't even pushed backwards that is signifigant.

But that isn't to say he wasns't effected. Indeed as the dust cloud fully clears, his expression is one of clear surprise, if not outright shock. The look of someone who has been completely and utterly sideswiped. That mirage like ripple billows around him for an instant, wavering as if re-anchoring him to the here and now.

"..I do not believe even the Nightless struck me that hard! You...may be able ...to actually perform this deed you speak of...!" The sheer implications cause the first hint of doubt to waver in the giants mind. Should this be so? He rather likes visiting Earth. What if this truly does unleash some sort of calamity.... Nevermind that thought is gone for now. Instead Kongou grins and holds aloft a monstrous fist, shadowing Akuma once more with its immensity as his body creaks, the muscles in his torso blimping once again as he surges up. "You will initiate a catastrophe!" he declares.


Then his vast fist comes arcing down. Swinging for Akuma like a shell launched from a battleship, attempting to slam into him and if it hits, to lift Akuma upwards into the air, over the giants head and then back down again into the earth in a full arcing spin.

COMBATSYS: Akuma endures Kongou's Gargantua Fist.

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Akuma            0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1           Kongou

"WE will initiate a catastrophe."

Akuma's still kneeling when the dust clears. Kneeling and /seething/.

"Do you feel it, Titan...?"


"The power of a dark god searing through your spirit? All you need to do is hold it to your breast-- to EMBRACE the fire without being consumed in it...!"

The dark threads marring his aura have receded, leaving blood-red chi curling around him like a bonfire and violet lightning crackling around his limbs. When he finally rises, he makes no motion to raise his guard, merely locking eyes with the unmoved Titan while hell-forged muscle bulges readily.

"Alone, I am but two fists battering the mountainside; together, we will raise an ARMY to pummel it until it is nothing more than a grave site for the Serpent sealed within!"

The fist then adds a thundering exclamation point, a punctuation powerful enough to turn Akuma into a darkly glowing rocket for a split-second before he's utterly trapped in Kongou's power, only to be taken on a violent circuit which ends with him spiked head-first into the ground. Flopping onto his back one horrifying instant later, Akuma lies prone and gasping for several seconds before stirring--

-- and rising--

-- and /glowing/ at a level which is, if anything, /more/ intense than moments before, as if the experience of nearly having his neck broken is exactly what he needed to fuel the next stage of the fight-- the one where he gets a preview of what it takes to cut a mountain down to size.

"Somewhere..." rumbles from the heart of the hellfire.

"... the Ninth Sage holds formulas capable of crippling ancient deities in the depths of her imagination." Rising to his feet at the bottom of a freshly carved crater, Akuma's down to the lower half of his gi; the rest hangs in black tatters, baring throbbing muscles kissed with sweat and cut with a lifetime of scars.

"The hidden sage of Ansatsuken toils in obscurity, waiting to perfect the art of killing in a final, legendary act," echoes through the village as red and violet briefly flicker out of existence only to reappear dozens f feet in the air.

"... and the heir of Aensland haunts the shadows, ever-thirsty for a novel taste of violence...! You and I-- we possess the strength of will and spirit to FIND these potent souls and BRING them to the cause of breaking the shackles that BIND this world!" booms over the village. A heartbeat later, the rising flare freezes.

And then, it snaps wildly out of control--

-- and then it snaps /inwards/, rapidly compressing itself into a swirling, coruscating jewel of raw power budding between Akuma's clasped hands while they're drawn towards his waist. They vibrate with the sheer effort of holding such a vast amount of energy in such a small space-- and yet it continues blooming until chi starts to leak through the cracks in his fingers. It's only /after/ wisps of red and violet chi sear the air for several moments that he finally thrusts his arms forward, unleashing a stream of thrumming violet energy waves nearly as large as Kongou's chest upon the Titan, each one aimed at inundating him with raw energy without a care for the world around him.

COMBATSYS: Kongou barely endures Akuma's Tenma Gou Zankuu.
~ Cruel hit! ~

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Akuma            0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1           Kongou

It is not easy to legitimately impress Kongou. Usually his 'Good jobs!' and 'Well done!' are meant more as an utterance of urging encouragement. Meant to reinforce those who are managing a good thing to continue doing so as what purpose is there is not cultivating the potential of others to become strong if one is seeking the strong to battle and they have at least ptu forth the effort? Sure they may be broken against his body and fist in the process but they won't get any discouragement from him in the process but to impress him beyond that token of appreciation? That takes more then simply effort and potential. It takes true power. Power that Akuma very clearly wields. A demon in nature even if a mortal man in origin. Power that belongs in the Makai loosed here upon the Earth, or in Outworld ore ven The Backyard (Boundry for those NOL nerds.) ..

In short. Kongou sees him.

He also makes a compelling arguement as well, even if he trucks with powers and concepts that are part of the building blocks of all that is. Kongou knows this well because he and other beings like him are of that same 'stuff'. Akuma is yet flesh and blood but Kongou 'knows' that there are things even his divination has not yet truly understood. He is a living nuclear warhead playing at initiating what could be the end of days. Kongou is intrigued.. but he also rather likes having a playground to play in.

All of this goes through what passes for his ego and mind as he begins to trundle forward towards Akuma, still crackling violent energy and the earth shuddering with violence as he bears down on the speaking master as the inferno of chi builds up. And then Akuma strikes. Again apocalypse rears its head around the blue titan, ripping and roaring through the landscape and sending another explosion blossoming violently upwards and seeming to halt the goliaths approach as the fury of the demon engulfs the landscape around them.

The roar of the attack soon begins to diminish, though smoke and fire whirl violently ln a burning column of devestation..a column that suddenly has Kongou's massive fist burst through in a violent lunging swinging uppercut that looks more like a trebuchet unleashing its payload as it arcs down into the ruined earth and then blasts forward for Akuma. A shockwave builds up behind the swing as the rest of the giant emerges, grinning wildly, scorched and battered but still coming in, eyes glowing molten red and trailing contrails as he leans into the punch with an attempt at launching the demon upwards from teh force of the assault. <MORE IF IT HITS>

COMBATSYS: Akuma fails to interrupt Gigaton Crush from Kongou with Messatsu Gou Shoryuu.

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

COMBATSYS: Akuma can no longer fight.

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

The punch lands, resulting in a thunderous concussive blast that blows away the swhirling soke and debris and caves the earth in even further, revealing Kongou leaning forward into the blow, crouched down and low and his entire massive physique dragging forward, time itself seemingly slowed as his colossal frame blasts into Akuma.
%And then time accelerates once more and with resounding *BOOM* that clears the field of debris, Akuma is launched, sent hurtling backwards and upwards, away from the battlefield--only for another *BOOM* to peal through the area as Kongou is suddenly behind the demon. A demon who then smashes violently into the unmoving, airborne body of the titan.

Kongou's arms whip around, embracing the demon into him with crushing strength, swallowing Akuma up against the blue immovable flesh and the crackling hue of purple - their auras together creating a brilliant overhead meteor like effect from any onlookers who have surely gathered tot ry and figure out what all of that noise and seismic disturbances were about. But for Akuma only experiences the destruction strength of the behemoth who begins a rapid descent, flipping and spiraling wildly on his way back down only to end up with Akuma beneath him, pinned to his chest and belly as he slams back down into the earth with a final *KATHOOOM!!*.

He lays there for a few seconds as the earth rolls thunderously beneath them and then he pushes up and with a great heavy, vaults himself backwards and away from Akuma to land with a final seismic disturbance, upright, some yards away. "VERY GOOD! I am Impressed with your sermonizing and passion and intentions! A -difficult- thing to do!"

There's a crouch, a violent whipcrack of violet chi from the depths of Akuma's chest into a rending gale around his right fist. He sees Kongou's uppercut coming and seeks to meet it, lunging forward with his eye trained squarely on the Titan's chin--

-- and within a handful of feet, he's swept from the air by a fist greater than any glacier. Just as the grimacing, aching Demon manages to twist himself into some semblance of control-- some attempt at averting the disaster of a crash-- he /SLAMS/ into Kongou back-first. The behemoth seizes Akuma just as he recovers enough to thrash, trapping him in the purple corona of purest Might. A defiant roar ripples across the ruined village while they ascend, warbling through the explosive pressure wave of their passage. That final crash shatters glass and stone; it forces ancient tries to sway backwards from its sheer violence; it turns what remained of a beautiful temple into shrapnel exploding throughout the village.

It does not touch the torii. Nothing touches the torii. Nothing has touched the torii.

"... then..."

Lying at the end of a trench, propped up against a stubborn piece of the temple's foundation, Akuma holds his right arm taut around his ribs. Those radiant eyes shimmer with simmering rage while he stews in the backhanded triumph of having earned the favor of something more refined than a god while being brought to his knees; the defiance still gleams in his bared teeth and seethes through each laden breath that stokes a filigree of black chi to shoot ever deeper through his roiling aura.

There is a moment where he contemplates the value of trying to break a mountain shaped like a man, a moment where a web of midnight lace pumps viciously through the air around him;

and there is another where he exhales, drawing all but the barest red trickle of power crawling over his skin inwards.

"... you are prepared," he rumbles, pushing off of the foundation for a slow, steady approach, "to murder a god in pursuit of the key to the chains which bind you, Titan?"

Sandaled feet climb a staircase of ruin until he's high enough to look Kongou in the eye when he extends a fist towards the Titan.

"To break this fragile world in the name of saving it from the curse of weakness?"

Kongou looms there, a monolithic wall of flesh the size of the side of a building. The crackling power has subsided - seemingly leaving him less then he was a few instances ago but still too much for the world around him to easily adjust to as his idle movements send more mirage like ripples warbling up and down his form. He is..battered, bruised and worn. HIs energy sapped and siphoned but he yet towers, immovable as Akuma approaches and climbs the wreckage to meet his gaze dead on.

At first, there is silence and his expression becomes more neutral, more thoughtful. He glances away, as if looking at something else beyond Akuma. Past him and perhaps just out of sight and sense. Another world that that is the building blocks of this one. THen:

"I think...that you truck with powers and laws that you do not have full understanding of.. I've no desire for a world that I cannot use. Humans always seem to hunger for that which lies purposefully out of reach. Strange. It is like, in your fallen state, your grasp for what was once yours but what was taken for good reason. You will tremble the very cosmos in pursuit of a dream that won't go away. I am of the very stuff that writes the story of the world and so I sense something at work here..."

His contemplation ends and he suddenly locks gaze with Akuma once again. His eyes blaze back to their prior brightness and he flashes that big grin while balling a fist up. It creaks and groans, sinew stretching taught like the movement of suspension bridge cables before he brings his fist forward to meet Akuma's.

"I will see what -you- do and follow you and grant you the rights to summon me as you will and I will help you for doing so will also help me. You have motivated me. I will see what you mortals may accomplish.."

Log created on 21:10:54 04/06/2022 by Akuma, and last modified on 11:39:20 04/19/2022.