The Descent - Round 1 - Samurai Vamploo

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Description: Hungary's Arena of Ravenous Delights is proud to host a meeting between the Darkstalker hunter Baiken and the enigmatic immortal known as Slayer. In turn, the House of Podiebrad trusts that Baiken and Slayer will be proud to serve as entertainment for a cadre of lordly monster hunters who will be dining just beyond the arena's boundaries.

Good Evening.

That is what this evening happens to be for the likes of a particular Nightwalker that has come to be known as Slayer. He stands in a chosen section of this arena, looking as calm and collected as an individual that has seen the world over and over again. So many years under his belt and not a single wrinkle to show for it. Nor worry or care.

Hanging off one of his shoulders is his beloved wife, Sharon. She is, of course, in her standard issue little red dress and looking quite delicious. That's meant in the more literal of senses due to the fact that there may be some dripping of blood coming from the two holes in her neck. She doesn't seem to be bothered by them either. On the contrary, it would seem as though she's having a hard time catching her breath.

Slayer reaches into his pocket and pulls out his pocket watch to check the time. Soon, the match will begin. Soon, Slayer will have something to do. Soon... Baiken will arrive.

Hungary is a long way to go from halfway across the world.

But perhaps such things don't mean that much for someone with a lifestyle made out of travelling across the world in the first place. Not that this place is the kind of place a certain wandering Ronin would usually make a point of going to.

Not 'Hungary' so much as... an establishment like this. Despite her line of work, the red-haired woman walking towards the arena from one of the alleyways meant for the competitioners doesn't really like to come to places such as this. To show off.

And indeed, Baiken has arrived. The ronin struts to visibility of the arena, with her still-sheathed sword held propped over her shoulder by the single arm that is visibly sticking out from underneath the wide sleeve of the loosely-flowing black and wide kimono, the lower ends of it swaying around her bare legs with every step she takes -- with an even more pronounced bob in her outrageously thick and wild hair tied into a ponytail (if it can even be counted as such with how much hair is still flowing along her back).

The ronin's single peach-colored eye slowly turns over Slayer, there-- and the woman draped over him.

"Tch." With a bit of an annoyed scoff, she spits out the piece of straw she had betwixt her teeth, as she spins the katana up from her shoulder to smoothly slide it down into the thick rope-like shash tied tightly about her waist. "Ya done plain' with your toys, old man?"


Slayer's monocle almost seems to steam up as he brings his vision from Sharon and up in the direction of the one that has decided to spout such cruel words in the direction of himself and his wife. An eyebrow lowers as he glares with only one of his eyes at Baiken. "Well. You're a rude one."

Sharon looks quite visibly upset and it takes a moment of consoling from Slayer to to calm her down. His fingers brush through her hair for a moment and he cups her face gently in his hands. He looks into her eyes with all the love in his immortal soul. "I love you. I shall return to you. We shall be one again sooner than you think." Slayer leans his forehead against Sharon's and they both speak this next part softly to each other.


There is a visible reluctance as Slayer pulls himself away from his wife and turns all of his attention towards stepping firmly into the actual arena in which this battle shall be commencing. As he does, he smooths out the lines of his suit and makes sure it still looks as presentable as he always does. He is, after all, a classy fellow.

Slayer's mouth becomes a bit of a smirk as he bows slightly in Baiken's direction, a show of preliminary respect for this 'bout. As he rises, he tucks a hand in his pocket as though that is the fighting stance he has chosen to go with. One that makes him look as though he is not worried about this fight in the least. He is, after all, Immortal. The way he's looking at Baiken shows how much he is unworried about her. It's almost as though he's won already. Surely, these just have to be mind games he's attempting to play.

"To the death or no?" Slayer knows what kind of nonsense goes on in a tournament of this nature. "Lady's Choice."

Slayer almost grins as he decides to let Baiken choose her own fate...

COMBATSYS: Slayer has started a fight here.

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Slayer           0/-------/-------|

The display of affection between Slayer and Sharon is... something that seems to cause Baiken's face to twist some with a mix of annoyance and idle disgust, one that somehow extends even to the perpetually-closed eyelid underneath the glass eyepatch. "Ya know they make rooms for this kinna thing?" She drawls out, a kansai accent growing momentarily stronger in her voice.

But come that question from the monocle'd man? The brow over her good eye arches up. "Hooo?" She shakes her head, and adjusts her stance, hunching over with her left hand extending out, the fingers curled slightly while still keeping her palm exposed right above her sword.

"Yer kiddin', right?" She counters, as that one eye narrows subtly. "Question' like that sounds ridicilous from someone like ya. Think I can't tell? That ki's practically oozin' outta you. The kinda ki that says ya ain't the type to die in somethin' like this."

One sandal-clad foot shifts subtly on the paved ground. "So don't give me that spiel like there's a choice for ya. And talkin' me up for that matter--"

AN instant of a motion. There's a rougher shift of that previously-scuffed foot, and the Ronin is already dashing at her. Except? Roughly three quick steps after, she pivots on one foot, and in a blink of an eye and a blur of motion, she's suddenly behind Slayer, momentum still carrying her along some.

"--Like I'm some doll, Nightless!"

And amidst that continuing momentum, she thrusts one foot out to drive it for the back of the man's knee, before she's fully sent careening too far away from him.

COMBATSYS: Baiken has joined the fight here.

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Slayer           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Slayer blocks Baiken's Mawarikomi.

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Slayer           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

Slayer keeps his grin up so that Baiken can see just how much he's enjoying her words. He's actually quite content with letter her drop her own spiel about his own spiel. It makes for a pleasant conversation that he needs to keep him entertained during this match up. When she calls him out on his ki, Slayer immediately brings a hand to his chest and feigns so much innocence it's impossible to believe.

"Moi?" There's even a moment where he glances over his shoulder at Sharon. The shock and disbelief at such an accusation is so rehearsedly evident on her face that it likely becomes even more unbelievable that he's innocent in these matters.

A moment later his playful facade is dropped and he shows his fangs with his next grin, "Well done." He sounds genuinely impressed by Baiken's read of him and offers another bow of his head.

This moment is also about the same time that Baiken makes her move. A blur to most but Slayer's eyes keep a bead on the movements as he has a bit of speed himself. He even smiles when Baiken ends up behind him. He doesn't respond until Baiken's foot is on its way towards the back of his knees. That's when his own blurring speed kicks in and Slayer has managed to spin around and extend a hand to smack the foot that's been aimed at him in such a rude way. He looks up at Baiken. "I think not." And shakes his head. "These are my third favorite trousers." A warning or banter? Perhaps a bit of both.

As Baiken careens off to put some space between herself and Slayer, the Nightwalker closes the distance with an incredibly fast step of his own. His arrival seems to be quite controlled, his expensive shoe'd feet practically sliding across the ground as he arrives with a flare that perhaps may distract from the rising of his hand and the slamming of his fist at Baiken's face with a brutal but quick hammer fist motion!

Yes, all the while, his other hand is still tucked away into his pocket.

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Slayer's Under Pressure.

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Slayer           0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Baiken

"Tch." It's a simple expression of idle annoyance, but one that is passed away nonchalantly enough almost right after. At least quick enough that there's no loss in focus as far as Baiken is concerned. Caught in the momentum of her perimeter-sweeping leap and kick, she might appear open enough, though--

But with a flashing glint of steel, something halts the nightwalker's hammering fist. An instant draw of the ronin's sword has brought the blade out, with the tip still teasing at the opening of the scabbard and held directly vertical, creating a barrier for Slayer's fist to collide with the blunt slant of it.

"Whoa there," the redhaired swordswoman grunts out with that, her grip on the skyward-pointed hilt tight enough to whiten her knuckles. "Ya dandy bastard."

A push with the sword, a sideward pivot of the woman's hips to knock the fist aside. The same motion's momentum is used to turn her right side towards him, with her foot kicking at the ground to push herself up into the air--


With that deep, guttural roar comes another wide flash of steel, with five wide, curved blades folding out from the sleeve of her kimono that had, until then, seemed to have been completely empty with her lack of an arm and all. But instead, those scimitar-like blades extend out from within like a giant, unfolding fan of sharp steel, swinging in a wide crescent arc with her own momentary rise in the air.

COMBATSYS: Slayer dodges Baiken's Youzansen.

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Slayer           0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Baiken

"Nicely done."

Slayer's words happen when his fist smacks into the sword. In fact, there's a moment in which Slayer's eyebrow raises. It is becoming increasing difficult for Slayer not to be impressed by Baiken's actions. As far as he can tell, she is doing extremely well and Slayer is finding himself to be quite entertained. "Your speed is noteworthy. I'm impressed." Another nod of his head to inflict that compliment on the swordswoman.

Sharon narrows her eyes in anger from the sidelines as she watches this brief exchange of words between the two fighters.

As his fist is knocked aside and Baiken's momentum takes hold, Slayer keeps an eye on her movements. Her gutteral announcement of incoming pain gives Slayer the opportunity to watch as those blades are revealed and crescented in his general direction. A smirk from Slayer as he decides the best course of action in this particular situation is to, well, simply step out of the way.

Which he does.

Off to the side, further than he should've been able to move in such a short moment, Slayer seems to be cleaning his monocle. It gets replaced on his face as he focuses his attention on Baiken once again with a wry response, "Dandy, you say?" There's a sudden blur of inhuman speed as he rushes Baiken down. "Don't mind if I do."

Slayer's fists are raised quickly, sending a flurry of quick jab and hook punches in Baiken's direction. A Slayer symphony of strikes that may be able to humble his mouthy opponent if he can land a few fists to her face.

COMBATSYS: Baiken just-defends Slayer's Dandy Step!

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Slayer           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0           Baiken

Even from above, on the tail end of the utterly ridicilous fanning of blades from her empty sleeve, Baiken's single eye seems to stay focused on her opponent even now. Without wavering. With but a violent focus present.

The instant so much as her toes reach the ground, Slayer's fists are already coming in a wild rush at her. And yet, with speed that would make a master iaijutsu practicioner jealous, her sword has already left it's sheath once again, and to intercept a blow from the vampire.

The next fraction of a second, her other foot makes it to the ground, too. The sword remains in a downward grip in her hand, turned rapidly with surgery-like precision to swipe it into followup hook. Again, just the subtlest adjustment, just enough to deflect another blow.

Each deflected strike does force her back by an inch or so, but that focus persists, almost defiantly-- with the single eye rapidly twitching, seeming to follow not just the movements of her opponents fists, but his face, too-- hell, even his feet.

Roughly a dozen deflected strikes in, her sword is suddenly spun around in a fraction of a second and her left side turned towards the nightcrawler, held in a proper upward grip again, but far back enough past her shoulder that the tip is brought pointing down again, and catching one last blow.


One last shift to turn her to the side, and the blocking sword is swung back up, pushing the invading fist away from her back, the motion kept going to bring both the hilt stamping downwards, and one of her feet stomping hard enough on the ground to crack the stone paving.


A stomp, with which comes a cherry blossom-colored explosion of chi behind her, bursting up from the ground like a geysir of steaming-hot high-pressure water from underneath Slayer's feet.

COMBATSYS: Slayer just-defends Baiken's Tetsuzansen!!

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Slayer           0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0           Baiken

Every single time that sword deflects one of his fists, Slayer looks more and more impressed. It's unclear if he's toying with Baiken or if Baiken is just that damn good at making short work of his fists of blinding speed but regardless of the actual answer to that question, the result is the same...

Slayer doesn't land a damn hit on Baiken.

Slayer watches closely as Baiken leans into her deflective momentum once again. He's come to recognize this a bit and even though he's reading it that doesn't actually mean he's prepared for what's coming next. While he makes sure to exhibit no surprise on his face, Slayer Dandy Oversteps a bit while Baiken's sword puts his final invading fist attempt away from her back.


Baiken's stomp sparks that explosion of chi and Slayer is standing right above that newly cracked stone floor. That explosion of chi rises immediately and Slayer seems to be standing right dead center in the middle of it.

A closer look, though, reveals the chi being split in two and Slayer standing in the empty space between the rising geyser, his red capelet held down in front of him to defend against the chi-plosion that surely would've been a painful experience.

As the chi-plosion simmers down and fades, Slayer's suit no longer looks as crisp and clean as when this began. Pieces are missing along the arms and legs; ripped, torn, and singed fabric all over Slayer. Looking down at his suit, Slayer looks back up with an annoyed expression on his face as he attempts to straighten the mostly burned away tie. "That was uncalled for."

Slayer's next movement is a quick snatching-reach for Baiken's kimono to yank her close as he bares his fangs and leans in to try and sink those teeth right into her neck for some classic Vampiric Biting action! Which, Nightwalker willing, after he's tasted the swordswoman's blood he'll be able to fling her away with a vicious slash to the throat with his clawlike fingernails!

COMBATSYS: Baiken fully avoids Slayer's Bloodsucking Universe.

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Slayer           0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0           Baiken

By the time the explosion of pink chi has settled down, the ronin's sword has returned to it's sheath, and the woman herself turned to facing her, returned to the same hunched posture with a hook-fingered hand thrust out at the ready. And very much *frowning* at the sight presented to her. There's something insulting, to be sure, for an attack being deflected in such a manner.

Not that she gets much time to complain. Slayer's hand thrusts out to grasp her flowing garb, and her narrowed eye widens out suddenly -- but it doesn't look like an involuntary motion borne from surprise, no. Instead, it's almost as if-- she's trying to see so much *more* than normal.


The already-thrust-out hand of hers swipes up for just a second, before her arm bends right back down to slap her palm into Slayer's wrist. It's an instant before his claw-nailed hand manages to reach the fabric of her kimono, and with a pull of her hand and a twist of her body, she yanks the nightcrawler along before stepping aside herself, so that he will simply tumble right past her harmlessly.


But before her sidestep quite ends, an upraised foot lifts up higher - almost dangerously high considering her garb, if it wasn't for the sarashi wrapping she wears underneath for modesty's sake - just high enough that she can snap it back down with a decent force back on the ground while Slayer's back is still to her.


The roar from the warrior rings out through the arena, and with the stamp of her foot, a piece of the ground flies up -- or, no, wait. That's not right. one end of a tatami mat snaps up, pivoted by her foot slamming on the other end--

Wait hold on. Back up. Did a whole-ass tatami mat just materialize just from the sheer force of her fighting spirit alone? Yes, apparently so.

It's a pretty hefty tatami mat too, as it turns out. With it brought up, it towers even over Slayer's height, only for it to come falling down towards him -- and as if that wasn't enough, Baiken even snaps her foot up again to slam her heel into it, to send it flying as an improvised projectile.

COMBATSYS: Slayer blocks Baiken's Tatami Gaeshi EX.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Slayer           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0           Baiken

There's a moment where the eye behind Slayer's monocle widens to match the widening of the eye of Baiken. A moment that the two can share and in that same moment Slayer seems to be presenting Baiken with a modicum of respect. This battle has been quite interesting since they've started and there are not many opponents that would still be standing by now. Baiken deserves this brief moment of respect from the immortal.

Along the sidelines, Sharon is growing furious. She saw that shared moment. She does not like it. The sound of something glass breaking makes that very clear.

Slayer's yanked with ease, his body was already in motion while trying to grab the kimono, and ends up tumbling right past Baiken as she planned. Even the Nightwalker can't recover his footing in time to fully get out of the way of the incredible display of fighting spirit channeling that happens in this next moment. Slayer's turning to prepare himself for the incoming attack allows him the full time to see that tatami mat materialize on its way in his direction. Slayer's boxing instincts kick in immediately and his arms come up to press together in front of his face and that mat smacks right against them. More fabric is knocked asunder from his defensive position, the expensiveness just fluttering to the stone floor as if he didn't just have this tailored specifically for him. There's even the sound of a "Tch." that comes from Slayer as his now scuffed (thanks cherry blossom chi) shoes slide across the same stone floor as Slayer's pushed backward by the tatami mat's projectile nature.

When Slayer removes his arms from in front of his face and straightens back up into his full height, he realizes just how many feet he's been knocked back from the manifestation of Baiken's true fighting spirit.

Slayer takes that opportunity to smirk and reaches up to mockingly brush dirt off one of his shoulders.

COMBATSYS: Slayer feasts ravenously upon Sharon with unbridled passion!

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Slayer           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0           Baiken

The tatami mat remains standing upright for a few seconds even after it has ended it's momentum in pushing Slayer backwards. A few seconds before it falls -- and reveals the ronin appearing practically from right behind it, her chasing dash previously concealed by it.

"Ya payin' attention, 'revered elder'?"

The sound of the tatami mat finally landing on the ground is almost like a runner's signal, there. The instant the first note of it rings out, Baiken's quickly stamping one foot firmly on the ground to halt her advance, but the momentum carries her body along still, helping her guide her other sandal-clad foot up into a quick, sweeping kick for the vampire's side. Apparently not quite content enough to let up the pressure game yet.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Slayer with Light Kick.

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Slayer           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1           Baiken

The results of such incredible defensive techniques against mat displacement seemed to have put Slayer in a position closer to Sharon than he realized. In the brief period he has post his taunting demeanor, he has reached over to snatch her up and consumed some of her delicious blood. As his eyes seem to light up with a new drive and focus as he looks back towards Baiken, tossing Sharon's limp body to the side as though she weren't his everything, his wife.

After all, he was in the middle of a fight.

Paying less attention to his opponent has made him unable to actually answer the banterish question from her as well. It's the tatami mat's ground game that brings him back to focusing on the task at hand. He narrows that now focused gaze and watches as Baiken's speedy movements bring her closer. He grins and deftly sidesteps...

In the wrong direction. Baiken's sandal clad foot smacks right into the side of the Nightwalker. His body shifts from the light force of the kick but he seems to show no signs of actual pain. His lip does curl for a moment, though. "Elder, hm?" Looks like Slayer's caught up to Baiken's banter now. "I suppose that makes you a troublesome upstart..."

Slayer takes a step and leaps into the air, his body twisting as he starts extending one of his legs, " dire need of,"

Slayer's body continues to twist in a copter fashion as he aims a kick with his right leg, then a kick with his left, and finally, a third kick with his right again all for Baiken's facel

"... manners."

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Slayer's Footloose Journey.

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Slayer           0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1           Baiken

There's not really any satisfaction on Baiken's features, not even after that long-awaited first landed strike in the bout. Be it because the kick itself was largely a prodding strike more than anything else, the way her opponent keeps showing off or, hell, even the way his wife is making her presence known; whatever the reason, there's only a deep scowl of focus and maybe just a *little* bit of irritation.

Certainly not satisfied enough to let her guard down either. There's not even enough time to make out just when exactly the katana had returned to her hand from it's scabbard once more. It's simply *there*, held up in a reverse grip ahead of her as a barrier that soaks up a kick from Slayer.

"Think ya and yer doll got some wrong ideas."

A quick turn of the wrist redirects the blade into the path of the vampire's second kick. Another turn to push it aside and spin the sword into a proper upward grip, once more held downwards-- along her side this time.

And that brings the blunt side right into the heel of Slayer's shoe as the third kick comes, in time with a flash of chi in Baiken's eye.

Sever the six roots.

A rapid, twisting redirecting motion from the blade, and in a whirl of instantenous motion, the one-armed, one-eyed ronin is stepping in a flash past Slayer -- with a lightning-fast slash of her blade for his side in the same movement, traced by a bright glow of the same cherry-blossom colored energy that had burst from the ground just a moment earlier.

A graceful, precise motion that both carried out an attack and the ronin herself to repositioning to the other side of her opponent. Just as quick as the sword she had finally used to attack with for the first time in this bout had arrived in her hand, it has just as fast and indescernably returned to it's sheath at her left hip, as if it had never been in her grasp in the first place.

COMBATSYS: Slayer blocks Baiken's Rokkonsogi.

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Slayer           0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1           Baiken

There's something to be said for someone that has the speed and skill necessary to deftly deflect each one of the kicks in his patented Footloose Journey. It's an opportunity that not many have and even Slayer has to take a mental moment to wonder how Baiken does it. As with most things, though, Slayer ensures that his face remains as neutral and calm as inhumanly possible so that too much information is not given to his opponent about the state of his mind.

In other words, he refuses to be amazed! Refuses!

Slayer drops to the floor from his trifecta of sword-deflected kicks just in time to see that Baiken's still on the move. His lips twitch as he reaches up for his capelet, snatching it off his shoulders and giving it a mighty flap as he stands his ground. That capelet is snapped to the side, giving the blade and the chi-blossom energy a more fitting place to strike.

Slayer takes this moment of protecting himself to clear up the status quo, "That's my wife. Do be respectful of our relationship. It's the least you can do."

Those words are followed by a scoff as Slayer spins on the heels of his shoes, twirling the capelet away and back onto his shoulders as he makes just a bit of room between himself and Baiken. His movements remain in their quick state as he steps back in, looking quite the Dandy Boxer, bringing his left arm across his body to send his left fist on a journey for Baiken's jaw!

COMBATSYS: Slayer successfully hits Baiken with Cross Punch.

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Slayer           0/-------/-======|=======\=====--\1           Baiken

The fist comes in fast. It collides clean with the side of Baiken's jaw on her right side, and the impact jostles and recoils her body. Knocked a bit towards the left, with her body even sent turning that way too, leaving her right side completely exposed to her opponent...

But there's something odd. That wide, flowing sleeve of her kimono and the long, flowing coat both. It seemed to have been empty before, but... then again, she *did* reveal several unfolding blades from within it earlier. And now? Something else seems to peek out from within, just briefly--

It almost looks like the mouth of a cannon.

A flash of light and the roar of an explosion. Pyrotechnics flood the immediate vicinity of the two fighters as the force of some kind of explosive detonates, with the kind of shockwave that is enough to send even a man of Slayer's stature up off his feet.

But it's not the only thing. Four ropes with hooks at the end have come out from the woman's empty sleeve, pointed outwards in each diagonal direction for a second or so before they suddenly collapse on each other, and shoot ahead from her sleeve, right past Slayer, all the way to hooking into the far wall of the arena.


The ropes promptly pull her with them after, lining her up perfectly with her opponent as she spins in the air -- and amidst it, out comes her blade, swinging through the air with her like a flying sawblade.

COMBATSYS: Slayer dodges Baiken's Metsudo Kushoudou.

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Slayer           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0           Baiken

Slayer steps back from his cross punch with a bit of a victorious smirk on his features. "Smashing." is all that he has to say about landing a blow on Baiken in that exact moment. A rare opportunity to verbally celebrate.

Slayer, as usual, keeps an eye on the swordswoman due to her being so quick. He's been having to keep himself focused on her for this particular fight because her movements are often so quick that even he needs to make sure he keeps up. Not something he usually has to do.

You know what else is something he often doesn't have to do? Deal with a giant canon that seems to be hidden within the sleeve of a vicious swordswoman. That explosion is enough to send Slayer off his feet and he does get knocked back and into the air. That shockwave even manages to knock some more pieces of his suit from his body. However, that's about it.

Because Slayer doesn't come back down.

Standing in the air, his capelet flapping behind him, Slayer crosses his arms over his chest and just stares down at Baiken as those hooked ropes do their thing and Baiken is yanked across the arena... that sawblade spinning attack no longer an actual threat to Slayer's body.

Slayer's descent is faster than it should be. The capelet stops flapping and Slayer drops to the stone floor of the arena with a heavy thud. The stone cracks beneath his crouched landing and that gives Slayer time to make the rising of his head all the more dramatic. This is followed by a grin. "I liked that one." Another compliment given to the swordswoman about her moves.

The compliment is either short-lived or a decoy because the Nightwalker's speed is once again employed to bring him across the arena and into Baiken's personal bubble. In which he intends to lay into her face and body with a quick little combo of jabs from both his right and left hands.

COMBATSYS: Baiken fails to interrupt Mix-Up Combo from Slayer with Sakura.

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Slayer           0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0           Baiken

The hooks of the grappling-ropes let go of the wall a few meters after Baiken's blade has missed it's mark, halting their pull on the swordswoman and letting her land down on her feet with a flourishing sweep of her blade that ends with it's re-sheathing.

But oh, she isn't pleased in any way whatsoever. She has the time to turn and see Slayer's descent, and with an annoyed grunt she mutters something that sounds vaguely like "Tricky codger."

And for the record, no, the compliment doesn't so much as make her smile. But then again, Baiken doesn't really seem the type who smiles much to begin with.

In a fight like this, distance really doesn't seem to mean a whole lot of anything. She's already expecting his rapid approach, apparently, for the moment the nightwalker's tremondous speed kicks in, she's stamping one foot to turn her side to the direction of her approaching opponent. A quick re-drawing of her sword, still kept in a reverse grip, and--

This time, it's not used to deflect.


With one foot driving her sidewards, the blade is stabbed out towards Slayer, coated in cherry-blossom chi that blazes out fiercely, cutting a mighty slice through--

Except it doesn't.


Be it by a miscalculation, or Slayer himself managing to anticipate the counter and stepping aside at just the right second, the blade merely slices subtly through the fabric of his jacket and the capelet, missing flesh by mere millimiters. It's only Baiken's own preternatural speed and reflexes that let her even track him, and snap her head to facing him and--



She feels her head recoiling right after. A jab from a vampire, even one holding back, is enough to ring the bell something fierce. With her arm still thrust out in the rebound of the whiffed stab, she's left even more open to the barrage of jabs and hooks that follow, battering her and sending her skidding back.

Until, roughly after the seventh blow, the blade has suddenly left her hand and found it's place in it's scabbard again, and her now-empty palm thrusts out into one of Slayer's arms. Not to strike, but to push, to clear space between the two, enough for her to get away from the range of further hits with a backward bounce and skid.

And after all that, all she has to offer to the nightwalker is a fierce, irritated scowl, and a quick spitting of blood down onto the ground betwixt them, her lower lip already showing subtle signs of swelling from a building bruise.

Baiken's blade slices through his suit jacket and capelet once more and thus Slayer realizes that he may have to keep his distance a bit more. Of course, considering the enhanced speed of both competitors, it's kind of hard to do that. Even still, Slayer realizes that he can't keep getting in this close or he'll have no clothing left at all.

Worse than that, Sharon would not be awake to see it.

The tirade of punches that lay into Baiken give Slayer an opportunity to really let go. When he's grabbed and pushed away, Slayer's shoes skid across the ground as they normally do. However, Slayer takes his time to reaching upward, placing a single finger on the one stray hair that has fallen and pushing it back up into place. He looks at Baiken with a grin, "There are those manners I mentioned to you earlier."

Slayer adjusts his tie as he takes a few steps in the direction of Baiken. "Perhaps when all this is over, if you're still breathing, we can discuss them in greater detail? I may know of a charm school or two that might be willing to take you." Of course, Slayer's burns are the kind that makes his opponents better. Figures.

In the next beat, Slayer is upon Baiken once more, this time raising his right hand and bringing it down in a brutal punching motion, quite hoping to collide with Baiken's face yet again and maybe even stun her for a little bit. If he's lucky enough, that'll give him a moment to lay into her with a couple more follow-up punches for good measure.

COMBATSYS: Slayer successfully hits Baiken with It's Late.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Slayer           1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Baiken

No response from Baiken. She doesn't really seem like the type to maintain extended banter mid-battle. Her expression doesn't waver at all in the face of everything Slayer is saying either. She just... watches him. Posture hunched over once more, hand extended out in preparation.

ANd then he is on her once more. This time, he slips her eye once more. The fist hits her square on the top of her head, through that massive accumulation of hair there. It leaves her hissing out in pain, one of her legs even buckling underneath her weight as the force of the blow presses it all downwards.

That's not good at all.

She wobbles there, her foot barely managing to readjust to keep her from toppling entirely. Her head's hung low, enough to keep her eye too low to properly follow her opponent for an instant. Low enough to leave her guard down.


But she's stubborn. Too stubborn for her own good, perhaps. The instant her leg is re-steadied, she plants it and it's fellow down firmly, and she practically forces herself back upright -- a rise which also happens to see her fist rising up fiercely, aimed sky-high -- and with the proximity, the height difference, and her previously-slumped off-balance posture, that particular angle aims her knuckles straight for the underside of Slayer's chin.

"Not interested--!"

COMBATSYS: Slayer blocks Baiken's Improvised Punch.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Slayer           1/------=/=======|=======\==-----\1           Baiken

Slayer frowns because his offer is not taken. It actually seems to be quite a bit superficially hurtful to the vampiric Nightwalker. "Fair enough." Although, it may seem as though Slayer might actually be considering making those calls anyway. Sometimes, women like Baiken need the help more than they even know themselves.

Slayer's close proximity is what allows him to catch sight of Baiken's attempt to pay him back for all of his punching. That rising fist is spotted and Slayer shoves himself backward and extends his hands in front of him so that Baiken's striking fist smacks into his open palms instead. "Huh." Slayer winks in a way that might actually be worth considering as a warning."Now try it this way!"

With that exclamation Slayer breaks his hands free from the position used to protect himself from Baiken's improvised uppercut. His shoes slide just far enough back and he immediately crouches slightly so that he can swing with a hefty bit of might himself, aiming to see if he can't bring that powerful rising fist of his own up towards Baiken's chin. That's right, it seems like Slayer wants to try one of these on for his own size.

COMBATSYS: Baiken dodges Slayer's Big Bang Upper.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Slayer           0/-------/-------|=======\==-----\1           Baiken

"Hrmh." Another irritated sound in the back of the ronin's throat, and that scowl on her features just deepens, as her knuckles grind into the blocking palms of Slayer's hands. It's only a split second before she's snapping her arm back quick enough for the weight of the motion to slide the left side of her body backwards.

Which seems to work just as well, since it does bring some further distance between the two when they break. It might not seem like it matters that much, with how fast Slayer can cross the distance, sure, but--

It gave her just enough time to *see* him. To see him crouching down before her, and rearing back that fist for a vicious uppercut.

And she leans back. It's a simple thing. The kind of small motion that is as simple as breathing, surely. But it's enough. Just enough for the knuckles of the vampire's fist to breeze just *barely* past the point of her chin.

A millisecond after the whiff of the punch, it's almost time is picking up speed again, for the lean turns into a proper bounce back. ANd when Baiken has landed on her feet again? Well...

A gun falls out of her empty sleeve. A *rifle*, even, albeit a rather old one, by the looks of it. Some kind of decorated flintlock rifle, except held upside-down, and suspended one some kind of mechanical gears that hold the back of it just within reach of her good hand. Within reach of her being able to grasp onto it's upward-curving handguard with a slightly akward arch of her back.

How does she manage to fit all these things in there, anyhow? Who knows. The more important part is that the muzzle of the gun is pointed at Slayer.

And she pulls the trigger, with a sharp, echoing report of ancient gunpowder going off.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Slayer with Yashagatana.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Slayer           0/-------/-----==|=======\====---\1           Baiken

There's an opportunity for growth and learning in what happens to Slayer in his next moment. Being a Nightwalker and feeling naturally superior to his opponent in many ways, Slayer is often unworried about the repercussions of actions that he may have exacted in Baiken's direction. Which is why he's not even thinking that his stylish Big Bang Upper would miss! This is also the reason why he's not back on the defensive when Baiken is on the offensive. He's clearly just going along for the ride here.

"I say, your reactions seem to be getting quicker. Good show." Slayer's not looking and actually attempting to straighten out the remnants of his tie at the moment.


Slayer's body is sent sailing backwards, far enough that it smashes into the wall of the arena, cracking it upon impact. Slayer's body falls and he lands in another one of his crouches, eyes glaring in Baiken's direction. "Interesting." With a steady hand, Slayer picks up his dangling monocle and replaces it on his eye.

With more of his chest showing than his suit (thanks to the vicious gunpowder expulsion), Slayer crosses the ground with incredible speed, rearing back with his right hand to aim a solid blow right towards Baiken's fac--


The left hand comes around with a brutalizing body blow aimed for Baiken's, well, body.

COMBATSYS: Baiken fully avoids Slayer's Body Blow.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Slayer           0/-------/-----==|=======\====---\1           Baiken

"Hardly," Baiken scoffs out in belated response to Slayer's words, as she lets go of the smoking rifle's trigger guard, and allows the suspension mechanism to pull it back into her sleeve, and... wherever the hell in there it was kept stowed in exactly in the first place. "Just payin' attention."

And she's certainly paying attention on Slayer after his landing on the ground, post-being-shot. Not at all content to just assume a gunshot would bring someone like him down. Hell, she's probably meant plenty of mortal men who have shrugged such a thing off, and she's dealing with a vampire now. So she's already assuming her hunched-over stance again--

But before she can pull up her hand in that posture, her opponent has already sped up to her. Her eye snaps to follow his right arm, feet turning to push her out of the way, and... right towards the incoming left fist. Fallen into the feint, evidently.


You'd think she'd have a hard time seeing it even without the feint on account of her left eye being missing. But in an instant, her hand's caught the hilt of her sword again, and as it's drawn, the pommel smacks right into the bottom of Slayer's hand to send it careening off the mark instead of going off to pulverize her ribs as likely initially intended. And since that particular method of deflecting the blow brought her to holding the sword up...

She simply drives it down, to stab at Slayer's thigh.

COMBATSYS: Slayer blocks Baiken's Medium Strike EX.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Slayer           0/-------/----===|=======\=====--\1           Baiken

Slayer is not exactly one of those individuals that learns his lesson. In fact, he's been alive so long that there are few lessons he hasn't learned. It's how he's managed to craft his entire persona into being what it is at this point. This is also what keeps him as classy as he believes he is. There are very few instances in which he loses his cool.

Slayer strives to keep that streak alive in this here fight with the ronin.

Slayer's recovery from his punching attempt makes it fairly easy for him to get his defenses back up. He keeps watch on Baiken as she comes at him with that blade again. He doesn't have many options so he does the only thing that he can do in this particular situation...

Slayer claps his hands and catches the blade between them.

It's not a clean catch like in those Hollywood movies starring losers like Johnny Cage. Instead, there's the inadvertent extra added effect of his hands getting cut by the blade as it slides between. Blood spills slowly from the already healing wounds as he stops the blade just before it punctures his thigh.

Slayer wastes no time in shoving the blade back and away from him, spinning on those expensive shoes and reaching out with a bloody hand to grab at that kimono for some yanking, over the shoulder throwing action! Slayer even puts some extra vampiric strength in it to see just how far he might be able to throw the ronin with a thousand tricks up her sleeve...

COMBATSYS: Slayer successfully hits Baiken with Quick Throw.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Slayer           0/-------/----===|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\1           Baiken

Baiken knows all too well for herself how ill-adviced trying to replicate the blade-catches you see in movies is. Not because she tried it herself though, mind you, that's not how she lost her right arm. Either way, that's all the more reason why she looks surprised that this is how Slayer chose to prevent her sword from outright impaling his leg. She's even curving one red brow over the sight.

Though it's less the kind of look that speaks of her being impressed, and more her thinking something along the lines of 'Are you an idiot?'.

She doesn't actually get to say that, either. In the wake of her blade arm getting shoved away, she's grabbed easily and tossed over the man's shoulder. She doesn't get the time, either, to brace herself for the fall much like judokas do in practice spars, instead thudding ungracefully on her back on the stone paving behind Slayer and only bouncing into a controlled roll *after* the fact.

Painful as it might have been, the end result of the whole exchange at least is that she manages to get some distance between her and Slayer again, even managing to bounce herself all the way up to her feet at the end. Somewhere in the middle of it all, her sword had returned to it's sheath, too, and...

She doesn't pounce for him. Not right away, no. Instead, she slowly adjusts her stance. One feet slightly ahead of the other, her body hunched over, her one good arm held out with the fingers slowly, methodically curling into extended, claw-like hold.

She doesn't even say anything. She just watches her for a moment. Her one eye tightly narrowed into a narrow slit as it focuses intensely on her opponent.

COMBATSYS: Baiken focuses on her next action.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Slayer           0/-------/----===|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\1           Baiken

Slayer normally takes some time to speak or fix his clothes but this time there's no opportunity for that. It seems that he's decided to keep the pressure on and that's why Baiken can focus that vision of hers on the speeding arrival of Slayer once again penetrating that personal bubble.

How he manages to move fast enough to do such a thing is still beyond the mental capacity for most humans but this immortal seems to be coming for Baiken with an impressive speed....

And clawed fingers.

Slayer doesn't go for any punching so much as he reaches out to try and wrap his arms around Baiken but also attempts to sink those sharp claws into her. Clearly an attempt to try and keep the ronin from getting back up to her old sword tricks.

It's a good thing Sharon is still unconscious for this. She doesn't need to wake up and see Slayer violently hugging his opponent...

COMBATSYS: Slayer successfully hits Baiken with Violent Clinching.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Slayer           0/-------/---====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Baiken

Baiken's hand snaps down the instant Slayer moves. But in that particular instance? He moves faster than she does.


The arms come around her just as her fingers clamp around the hilt of her sword. She does manage to prop her elbow out just so that she isn't completely squeezed in, but... that doesn't do anything to stop the claws from digging through her kimono, and more importantly, her skin. And flesh. Hell, she probably feels them scraping into bone at this point.


Not content to simply give in though, she hoists one leg up and press her knee into Slayer's midsection, using that point as leverage to violently shove herself away. Which, with claws already dug into her isn't exactly a painless affair, and there is a distressing amount of blood splattering through the air when she leaps back.

But then, after she's caught her balance again, she steps forward...

And suddenly, she's already taking a few more steps behind Slayer, carrying her further past him. Her sword is already in her hand and flourished to smoothly, deliberately, slid into the scabbard.

A single breath. As if time suddenly unfroze again.

And a massive gash sudenly cracks open along ther ground, tracing from where she had first stood a second earlier, all the way to well past where she stands now.

Now the question is if her opponent was standing in the right spot to still suffer the effects of the delayed, impossibly tremondous slash.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Slayer with #Garyou Tensei#.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Slayer           1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0           Baiken

Slayer gives good hugs. Ask Sharon. Well, when she wakes up that is. Such violent and vampiric clinching should be accompanied by some biting but Slayer's not uncouth enough to attempt a second bite on the woman he's been tasked with doing battle against in this here fight. There are some things that even Nightwalkers just won't do.

Letting go is one of those things.

Baiken, however, doesn't seem to want to continue to be in Slayer's violent embrace. The knee pressed into his now exposed mid-section (because he's going to need to replace this suit after all this) is just the leverage needed to separate the two opponents. Even Slayer's reluctant to leave claws are ripped from Baiken's body during the physically forced divorce!

Slayer looks at the blood dripping from his nails and almost looks like he wants to lick them but then Baiken is doing that thing where she moves at blinding speed again, enough that even Slayer has to actually turn his head to catch where she is. His back is to her much too often, he should take this a little more seriously at this point. The turn is almost complete and Slayer blinks as Baiken's sword is sheathed and...

Nothing Happens?

"Did you miss or...?" Slayer's smug expression doesn't do him any favors because that ground opens up directly underneath his shoes. And onto those shoes drips blood. Not from his clawed hands because it's not Baiken's blood.

It's Slayer's.

His monocle pops right off his face as he looks down at himself to see quite an enormous bit of blood starting to spill from his body. Whatever kind of sword this ronin is carrying is quite sharp and Slayer's response visible response is, once again, impressed. He's actually nodding at the slash that has been left /through/ his body. And while it may be working on sewing itself back together slowly, even Slayer can't let that one go without a comment.

"I stand corrected."

With that, Slayer straightens his feet out and leans back, blood still pouring from his body. The lean is only there for a moment before Slayer leaps forward, capelet flapping wildly behind him, as he leads with his mighty left hand clenched into a bloody fist on its way toward Baiken's face!

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Slayer's Dead on Time.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Slayer           0/-------/------=|>>-----\-------\0           Baiken

Another breath after she hears his voice. It's not as steady as the one that came with the slash one would be forgiven for thinking was meant to cut down the goddamned World Tree. More ragged, from exertion and pain. As if her body was only just then remembering all the punishment it had taken already, a rivulet of crimson drips down her forehead from somewhere within the concealment of the hair upon her scalp, coating the normally clear glass eyepatch in a layer of red.

Simultaneous motion, then. Slayer leans forward, and Baiken subtly lifts herself more upright. Slayer leaps, and Baiken spins around.

And thus, fist meets metal once more.

This time feels different, though. The rapidly-unsheathed sword brought out as a shield is gripped tighter than before, and she visibly strains from bracing into the force of the punch.

Something cracks. Her single arm doesn't quite manage to take it without cost, not after everything else.

Perhaps fortunately, it is also enough to send her flying back in the air. Damage might already have been done, but it's much better than being left there for more. Landing two or so meters ahead of her, her sandals skid along the cracked stone for a couple paces more.

And with the stop, comes a forced pushback of momentum, a lean forward -- and a quick spin of her sword before it is directed into a sudden, quick horizontal slash for Slayer's midsection. Far enough that only the tip of the sword would end up cutting across him at best at this point -- though with the precision of her skill and the sharpness of the blade that alone could well be dangerous enough. Still, in comparison to everything that has come before, it may well seem like simply a swipe meant to keep him away for her for a couple seconds longer. Enough to recollect. To re-evaluate.

COMBATSYS: Slayer blocks Baiken's Random Strike.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Slayer           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

While it may seem as though Slayer's body is healing rapidly, that's not exactly a thing that can continue to happen at the rate it does when Baiken is continuously doing that thing where she continues to use that incredible swordplay on him. Slayer barely has time to register the fact that Baiken seems to be more on the defensive side of this here battle. Something that hasn't been happening for what might be the entirety of this battle.

He already misses it.

As the ronin's sword comes in his direction once more, Slayer's capelet drops from his shoulders to wrap around his midsection. The tip of that blade slices through the potentially living fabric of the capelet that manages, once again, to protect the Nightwalker from taking too much damage. Due to the sharpness of said sword, though, there's still manages to be an oozing of blood. The capelet's sides curl up in a bit of frustration as well.

Slayer's expression continues to be one of mostly calmness even as he takes a moment to grab his struggling capelet and tosses it back over his shoulders. His focus remains on Baiken as it seems to always have been. With the distance between himself and Baiken ever so apparent now, Slayer digs his feet into the ground just a bit. It takes a moment for that capelet of his to rebuild itself some from all the abuse it has been taking. Slayer lunges forward with his capelet flapping in the draft behind him! This time putting a hefty dose of power behind this punch aimed for the ronin's face!

COMBATSYS: Baiken breaks through Mach Punch from Slayer with Kuchinashi!

[                         \\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Slayer           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0           Baiken

The sword has not been re-sheathed this time.

No, this time it is kept at the ready, held down at her right side. She finds herself panting-- something she forcefully calms down the instant Slayer moves again.

She takes a single step forward as he leaps.


The fist slams square into the side of Baiken's face. And yet, she doesn't recoil. She pushes forward, and she even bares her teeth out at the vampire. Her body moves almost of it's own accord along the blow-- though powerful enough that her eyepatch - on the opposite side of her head from where she was hit, mind - actually shatters into a hundred tiny glass fragments in the instant her head slides fully down and away from the explosivwly-powerful fist.

And in the next instant, her lower posture is already rising up again.


It all happened so fast, the naked eye might well have not even noticed that she was in any kind of physical contact with that fist. An instant. Microseconds between the first touch, and her suddenly lept up in the air to carry her sword in a wild upward slash across Slayer and his body while he's still in the momentum of his own attack, marked by an explosive stream of chi left behind by her weapon, strong enough to send her opponent flying up off his feet.

The slashing leap thankfully doesn't brint her so high up as to become dangerous-- but when she does land, it's with her sword stabbed into the ground to be used as a leaning post to keep her frol falling under one of her buckling knees--

And a potentially concerning amount of blood expelled from her mouth.

If there's one thing that Slayer didn't account for at this moment it was Baiken fighting back. He really should've learned by now that ronin types don't do 'giving up'. He should've been more prepared for something like this happening. Yet, the moment his fist begins to touch her face, there's the immediate rebuttal. And it is quite the doozy.

Blood splurts from the body of Slayer as he's slashed right into the air. The chi-plosion that comes with it is enough to make it abundantly clear that even Slayer's going to be feeling this for at least a bit. His body smacks hard into the ground, cracking it more than it already has been by their combined use of it. Slayer pulls himself back up to his feet with a little less speed than he normally would be at this juncture... looks right at Baiken.

"Well done." It's another one of his compliments. There is no sarcasm or banter behind it. It's actually just a valid and straight up compliment. Slayer even bows his head in her direction to help validate her skills. Not that she actually needs his validation or anything but it's something that he's decided to just lay upon her. "Respectfully." Slayer adds that in, just in case.

And then he's in the air again, this time no hovering but just straight up flying because Nightwalkers do that? He's in the air for barely enough time for his capelet to bask in its aerial status. In the next moment, he's supervamping at Baiken with an incredible amount of his vampiric might.

It's like a Nightwalker themed missile soaring at the ronin, fangs and claws bared for both intimidation purposes and to slice and bite his opponent upon potential impact!

COMBATSYS: Slayer can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Slayer successfully hits Baiken with Direct-Hit Dandy.

[                                <
Baiken           1/---====/=======|

It's an awfully simple thing.

He's all the way up even after all that, and she isn't quite stable on her feet yet.

A simple difference like that is all that matters.

She has the time to force herself upright and yank her sword up from the ground, but that's all before she is scooped up. A cry of pain, an instinct she didn't quite fully manage to clamp dow, rears itself in an ugly way up from her throat as claw and fang sink into her flesh. Some part or her brain still manages, in spite of everything, to think of trying to lift her hand up, to stab her blade into this transformed nightwalker while the two of them are still in the air.

But two seconds later, her fingers slip.

Two and a half seconds, and her single-eyed vision starts to fade.

Three seconds, the *ting* of Baiken's blade clattering off the ground.

At least two more seconds before the two of them would find their way back on the ground.

COMBATSYS: Baiken takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Baiken can no longer fight.

Slayer takes the opportunity to stand himself up straight over the fallen ronin. He frowns a bit at the results of his viciousness and crouches down next to Baiken's body. He reaches for the sword and takes the liberty of putting it back into the scabbard for her.

"Good show." is offered with a tone that suggests he is actually proud of what was accomplished.

From the sidelines, Sharon groans and Slayer's attention is yanked away to his wife. With a blur of speed (he's already started healing), he's off to scoop up Sharon into his arms.

"To Eternity, My Love."

And with that said, Slayer's dramatic walk away moment with Sharon in his arms happens...

Log created on 18:34:46 07/14/2022 by Slayer, and last modified on 19:15:20 07/18/2022.