LLK Act I.War - War : Inter Caetera

Description: As the battle for Gedo rages, two thirds of the Guardian Kings - Hakuya and Kenji - lead their fellow students in a desperate bid to smuggle them out of harm's way through the tunnels beneath the school. Unbeknownst to them, shadows of Gedo's past return to haunt them. The murderous Ninja Spaniard, Balrog, has a grudge against the gangs of the school, and he will exact a bloody toll. The Devil of Koga, long thought slain by the Guardian Kings, returns with a wicked vendetta. Can the two Gedo warriors hold off against incredible odds until help arrives?

One moment, the sky was blue, the clouds sparse.

The next, the sky appeared red and streaked with bullets.

There was no time to understand what happened. Students calmly talking in the courtyard after school, planning activities for both the immediate afternoon and the weekend, others going to club activities, or simply chatting. The next, the wall had been blown out with some kind of explosive, and men in uniforms and with guns began attacking. No words. No warnings. Not even an attempt to get Gedo to 'surrender' - they simply started shooting.

The Guardian Kings - all four of them - had been there. Though well away from the initial explosion and shooting, the four of them were no strangers to sudden combat, and they had been some of the first to get over the initial shock. They rose, and charged into the fight, immediately seeking to protect people. The soldiers proved to be not all that strong by themselves, but they still had guns, which were more than fatal to more 'normal' Gedo students.

In a matter of furious, confusing moments, the first wave of soldiers had been dealt with... but there were still losses for the Gedo students. The simple fact that some of their friends, their classmates, were dead, was shocking in of itself. Another kind of numb, confused shock had come over them all. What just had happened? There was no explanation for it. Nothing. So why, had their friends just died?

Unfortunately, it wasn't over yet. More explosions and gunshots were heard in other parts of the school.

And worse, more soldiers began to file through the opening in the courtyard.

What were they to do?

"You three, take these students into the hallway. Get all students you come across in the classrooms, and flee the school."

Suddenly, Daigo had strode into the courtyard, giving orders as if this were another day of class. Their 'leader' after a fashion, everyone immediately obeyed him, without any thought given to it. Students began to move for a main hallway in an orderly fashion. The three Guardian Kings singled out - everyone but Tenma - moved in after them. The final order from Daigo? "Protect them at all costs. We will hold them here to give you time."

And so it was that the rest of the Guardian Kings, besides their leader, were made to protect the entirety of the student body.

There was little time for thought, which was quickly becoming a troupe of the last few minutes. But Hakuya understood one word: 'Protect'. After his meeting with Ayame, some days earlier, he had reaffirmed that all-important concept within his mind. He was a protector, a shield... a Guardian King. And though he had no idea what was going on, or why soldiers were attacking his school with lethal intent, he decided quickly that he didn't need to. He only needed to protect his friends, his classmates, from the obvious threat.

Though he wasn't used to giving orders, and normally Hakuya was the most laid back and passive of the four Kings, he had a much more serious look on his face by now. "Let's get everyone out of the classrooms. We need to head for the basement."

Already the students from the courtyard were surging towards the boiler room, which apparently had some kind of tunnels out of here. Mostly leading themselves, that left the three Kings to pull lingering students from the classrooms and add them to the 'herd' milling directly downstairs into the basement. Hakuya, not really knowing what else to do besides what Daigo instructed him to, simply rushes into the closest of the classrooms, shouting, "We have to get out! C'mon, this way!" And herding more students into the hallway.

Bullets are flying. There's clearly trouble... and the orders that come from the likes of Daigo Kazama go without saying-- protect the student body, ensure that they find some measure of safety. This is one of those moments that Kenji Ashima wishes that Gedo High was more and more like the traditional student campus that he grew up with, that even his sister attends, rather than the more industrial-like appearance of the school. More corners, more spots to hide in, places to sneak students out safely...

It all started for him when the loud sounds started outside, sitting up in the student council's office on the second floor of the main building. Eagerly jotting down notes regarding old and new business that ranged from the graffiti to the hundred-and-fifty-thousandth time a vending machine in the cafeteria had the lock jimmied, the initial gunfire prompted him to literally grab the desk he sat at and flip it onto it's side while he dove to the floor. The others in the room did much the same.

Only after he made it into the hallways and recieved his battle orders did it really click to him that this was happening. Part of him recalls the assault on the YFCC, the one that Shurui had asked him to come help evacuate the kids there, too. Did that mean something like this was happening again? Were they after Shurui, again?

In grim spirits, Kenji Ashima stands in the halls and wheels his arm around, pointing down the hall. "This way!! Hurry!!" he declares loudly, checking up and down the halls to ensure there was no grim surprises waiting for him.

At a glance, the lightning strikes seem to be horrific acts of terrorism by an organization that makes up in numbers for it lacks in fighters. Or so it seems. Image is important...so very important, and few in this world understand tis principle more than the commander of this operation, Balrog. It's a bit out of place for one of Vega's Elite to be leading a siege on a school of all things, but he knows very well of Gedo and their meddling vigilante ways. They interfered with his little midnight indulgences, Daigo himself going as far to intervene in the murders of the local homeless. ...Blooding his sister in revenge was so, so satisfying. But wounds to the Spanish demon's pride run deeper than they do in the hearts of most individuals, and that by itself has secured a place of longstanding hatred in his for the name of Gedo and Kazama.

The reason for the lack of fighters is that there simply was no need for them. Let the trash deal with the trash. Daigo was the man to look out for. Trailing him from the rooftops, the masked murderer was listening nearby when the orders went out to the Guardian Kings. Hmm, hmm, hmm. People who Daigo puts faith in more than the rest of his common campus. ...Yes, yes, this will do nicely. "This is Serpent's Head. Maintain surveilance on Kazama while I swat some flies." Coldly smirking beneath his mask, the ninja leaps over the courtyard to the other building, nimbly scales down the side, and uses his feet to smash open the window of the janitorial cubby he had marked out in during the planning phase of the assault. "Do not allow him to re-enter. Keep him occupied."

The attacker doesn't slip in the entryway, as one might have expected. There is no accompanying commotion. He quietly opens the door and steps out into the hallway, calmly pacing his way down the hall and ignoring the occasional odd glance that he gets. He isn't wearing the sinister uniform of the foot soldiers, nor is he carrying a gun or attacking the first students they see, so for all they know he's a fighter who is here to help.

He maintains the facade until he sees the mug of a putridly obese fat kidd waddling down the hallway. That guy has the misfortune of being grabbed by the back of his greasy head and having his face rammed through a nearby closed locker. "...Disgusting." Needless to say, *now* the students register him as a threat, and man, are they panicking. Luckily, this is pretty much as far in as he needs to infiltrate.

"Hurry! Hurry! This way to your DOOM, little students.", comes the high-pitched, mocking jeers. "No time to dally. Hahahahahahaha!!" He doesn't *have* to attack anyone at this point, the sheer psychological effect is enough to create the desired chaos. There's a masked MADMAN near the boiler room! It's not safe! We're all going to die! Noooooo~.

Come on out, Daigo's Chosen. He's waiting for you.

COMBATSYS: Balrog has started a fight here.

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Balrog           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Balrog calculates his next move.

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Balrog           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Marise has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

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Marise           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Balrog

COMBATSYS: Hakuya has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Marise           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hakuya
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Balrog           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kenji has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

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Marise           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hakuya
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Balrog           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Kenji

The reckoning is at here at last.

There are those who wait for moments such as these. Predatory scavengers of incalculable evil. Biding their time in the dark places of the world - Waiting patiently, confidently. For there is one timeless, inviolate law these ancient beings know.
Man's inhumanity to fellow man. Carnage, slaughter, for reasons they may feel but never fully comprehend. It is an old song that repeats itself over and over across the ages, across continents. Humanity is a precious yet fragile thing - it can sometimes fail.

Demons wait for those moments.

In chaos there is opportunity to feast. In riots, in wars, these dread things can walk openly. Brazenly. They claim service to a side or another, it often matters not. These creatures prey on men. What color uniform or language they speak matters nothing, it is their bleeding hearts the monsters crave. The more innocent.. The better.

Usually, Demons request payment for their acts of butchery. Typically for no better reason than to facilitate waiting for the next holocaust. When the Devil of Koga caught wind of the assault on Gedo..

Marise said she would do it for free.

She awaited this opportunity. Since her defeat and near-death within the catacombs of the Ninth Circle, she has plotted her vengeance against those meddlesome sons and daughters of Gedo. The school, unfortunately, was well defended. Some of the greatest fighters of Southtown called it home. Even a monster such as she cannot directly assault the school without crossing paths with the likes of that brutish Daigo. Even then, she bitterly understands she cannot defeat the combined might of the Kiryuu and Suigetsu heirs.
But now? While the Guardian Kings are distracted? When Daigo and Akira are fighting for their lives elsewhere?

All their precious classmates and friends are vulnerable. Ripe for the taking.
The Devil has a promise to keep. A promise she swore to that impudent foreign sow. A promise that will be paid in the blood and suffering of everything the Guardian Kings ever stood for. The fellow children they so loved - everyone whom ever once called them friend - The rivener of souls comes for them now and she is hungry.
Of the Devil's compatriot - Under normal circumstances she would consider the bastardization of her arts by some European mongrel to be an unforgivable slight worthy only of suffering and death. However, This 'Balrog's heart is in the right place. Sad then, and perhaps a bit eye opening, that one of the few individuals she has met in this era who has fully embraced the truth of Ninjitsu is a foreigner. For his love of blood and carnage.. She'll give him a pass. His serpentine beauty does not hurt either. ...Yum.

She is a haunting figure. A surreal image of darkness and beauty, stalking the Halls of Gedo with pearlescent, bare feet. She approaches Balrog now, meeting the vastly taller man with a confident saunter. In her wake, several students - slumped awkwardly and very pale and very, very still. Painted lips muse to the Shadaloo General, "My my.." Hidden eyes invisibly checking him out behind the veil of her shadowy bangs. Milky fingertips touching her uncovered collarbone in demure surprise, "..How pleased I am that someone else just could not resist this delicious opportunity.."

From behind her, a terrified young student races down the hallway in the direction of the stairs leading to the boiler room across the hall. The boy's shoes skid to a halt seeing the menacing duo, but a little too close. The Devil's off-handed catch is lightning fast, her pale cold hand clutches his throat before he can even scream. Her catty smile unabated, "..After all.. How often do we get a chance to visit atrocity upon these.." Pulling the terrified boy over, "..Weak.. Little.."
Violet lips press to his.
In moments his eyes go from absolute terror to glassy void. All power leaving his limbs, like a puppet with its strings cut.
Marise breaks the kiss, letting the child drop to the floor, ".. Cubs." Daintily wiping her lips with the edge of her kimono.
Her bangs part themselves, ebon tresses stirring over her shoulders. A single golden, black-slitted eye revealing itself as she looks beyond the Shadaloo Assassin. The Kinmagan revealing a cluster of life just beneath them.. A gathering spot perhaps, a safe-room. "...There are more this way.. Just down the-"
Her voice halting as she hears voices. 'We have to get out! C'mon, this way!' 'This way!! Hurry!!'
The Devil's grin creeps wider. A little too wide to be human.
"It appears the shepherds are coming for their lambs. This.." The Devil turns towards the onrushing Guardian Kings, "...Should be interesting."
Golden eyes flash with promised horrors.

Though most of the students still lingering in the classrooms are scared, they know the Guardian Kings, being local icons of a sort. Sub-Daigos, of a sort. Hearing Hakuya shouting at them to get a move on makes them operate on instinct to do what he says, since when the normally passive grappler is telling you in a commanding tone to move, it's probably a good idea to do what he says. They shuffle out, move in with the group, and the group moves down the hallway to the other end, where the boiler room stair access is. Typically, this moves pretty well for a mob, but as Hakuya comes out of the second classroom, he meets resistance in the group, some kind of confusion.

Murmurs, yells, screams... about two new sources of panic. A masked man, and some woman in a kimono. ...Neither of that sounded good.

Beginning to shove his way through the crowd, Hakuya shouts calls to let him through, and the crowd more or less parts, since they don't quite know what's going on, in this back area. As he nears towards Balrog and Marise, however, there's active resistance to him moving forward, as people are backpedaling, trying to get away from the two new menacing sources. Eventually, Hakuya tears through the crowd, and now he's the sole person out in front, and given a clear view. He looks for the source of the panic-

And his heart nearly stops in his chest.

Balrog, he's never seen before. Though Hakuya was not an analytical fighter, he understood at a glance that the masked man was not weak like the other soldiers outside. Hakuya couldn't precisely tell how strong the European was, but 'stronger than himself' sounded about right. The other one, however...

Eyes widened, body still, Hakuya can only get one word out.


Slowly, the Guardian King comes back to himself, collecting his emotions. Ayame had warned him of this, after all, so he isn't as shocked as he could be... but being TOLD Marise was still alive, and SEEING her there, was not easy. Flashes of the fight filtered through his head - how he'd held Marise down and made Tenma use his technique on both of them. How they'd saved Shurui and Stasya from a tortuous fate... perhaps too slow.

Reaching behind him, Hakuya takes the edge of his hood, and pulls it up over his head, feet shifting into a firm stance. "..." He doesn't say anything. What could he say? 'Please leave'? There was some abstract, outside chance Balrog might (since Hakuya didn't know him, who knows?)... but never Marise.

There was only one thing he could say. And that was with his fists.

Rushing forward without a comment, the hoodied teenager moves, perhaps oddly, straight for Marise. Though Balrog was clearly stronger, he had little chance of beating the Spainard on his own... and perhaps if he distracted them both, he could let the students behind him slip past. With a cry, Hakuya plants his feet directly, and then allows his hands to snap out towards Marise. Both palms seek to hammer into the Devil's sides at her front, then retract and snap out again, this time for the demon's stomach and chest. Finally, Hakuya would then turn, and seek to slam a shoulder into the woman's torso, wanting to drive her back and away.

He had to fight for everyone's sake, and there was no point in being wishy-washy about it. He had to protect them!

Acting as a guide, as a direction and means to send the other students off to safe ground, it's only when the panicked yells and screams come back through the crowd about something in the basement. Hakuya takes the lead, bursting through the crowd and leaving enough wake for Kenji to follow, his arms pumping as he sprints hard after his teammate. As they come down into the basement, down to where it should've been safe, where the other students should've been able to hide out until an escape route had been found, he finds something else instead. There stands the woman Tenma supposedly killed in Casino 7... and a masked man.

As Hakuya pulls up his hood, Kenji undoes the hooks at the collar of his long yellow uniform jacket, nimbly opening up the buttons and casting the garment back at another one of his fellow students. The heavy wallet chain hidden under the winter uniform's length is unveiled, able to rattle loudly as he takes a few steps ahead and closes his hands into fists so tightly and intently that muscles and tendons from elbow to fingertips audibly tighten and tense. Knuckles crack and pop, and the untucked, telling t-shirt emblazoned with the warning 'DO NOT ENGAGE LU BU' gives a good idea of what Kenji-- no, Missile Fist Ashima-- is thinking. He says nothing to Hakuya, simply turning his gaze towards the masked man.

His voice is amazingly cold, arms at his sides and his stance perhaps far too relaxed to be a proper fighter's stance. "Say your prayers, motherfucker."

And then his right arm ignites into a furious, stupidly bright white-blue chi, no screams involved. No, not now.

COMBATSYS: Kenji gathers his will.

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Marise           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hakuya
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Balrog           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0            Kenji

The Spaniard's senses prickle as he's approached from behind, but his stance remains relaxed. His head turns to the side to regard the newcomer in turn, expression hidden behing the featureless mask - but his eyes are plainly visible. Much can be learned from a person's eyes. Very mild surprise, and amusement. No shock, no abject horror at the malaise in the face of students left in her wake, or at the soul stealing kiss that robs an innocent youngster of his life right before him. The briefings about her have no doubt crossed his attention. Appreciation of form? ...But an underlying presence of businesslike focus, for it's clear that while he knows a very fine wine, but knows better than to overindulge when on the job. And when he's about to indulge himself in another kind of fun, one that requires that he have his wits about him. All of that is there to be taken in at a glance, should the ethereal woman be of the mind to pay attention.

"You're not supposed to be here.", comes the wry, if slightly muffled reply from beneath the mask. The man takes a step back, offering a very low, sweeping bow with a serpent-coiled arm extending to the side. His eyes never leave her throughout this, of course. "But blinded by such beauty, I'm sure that the others simply lost track of you." Drawing up to his full height once more, the man turns his attention to approaching order he senses within the chaos, the ones who carry themselves with purpose instead of terror.

Another set of eyes meet, that of Hakuya and Balrog. No words are exchanged. His eyes sparkle with a dastardly amusement, and he laughs. Not the overdone, maniacal show he put on for the student body...a slow, soft, evenly measured chuckle dripping of confidence and malevolence. Hello there. ...Oh, what's this? You brought a friend! Another of Daigo's pets.

How the masked man takes in Kenji is completely different. At first, it's simply absent observation of a second prey. But when those words are spoken, his eyes suddenly draw together with *focus*, blazing with a previously unseen anger that completely belies everything displayed up to this point. This is beyond rage. This is cold, raging, seething hatred. "You...vulgar little scum...will regret those choice of words. Do you think yourself worthy enough to address me as such, you grotesque lowborn scum?"

A cold glance is offered to Marise. "This one is mine. Every little DROP of his blood is to be shared between myself, these walls..." His hand dips low into his sash, emerging with a claw that he smoothly attaches to his wrist with a practiced ease that requires no glance. "...and my partner."

Unfazed by Kenji's unfazed presentation of bravery. the masked man breaks out into a diagonal sprint that crosses the path in front of his chosen adversary. Feet leave the ground, only to touch the wall of the row of lockers to the student's right, the ninja springing off of it and angling to lunge past. This would be a harmlessly confusing maneuver if it weren't for the law that lunges out to the side in mid flight with a hungry ferocity, seeking to tear through the cloth and flesh of his victim's back and leave the first mark of the evening.

COMBATSYS: Marise blocks Hakuya's Howling Harvest.

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Marise           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0           Hakuya
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Balrog           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0            Kenji

The Devil regards her murderous comrade with a playful look, quickly feigning one of petulance with pouted lips, "Ooh. Forgive my little.. Oversight.." Yes, Marise was assigned to a different aspect of the invasion. A matter of overseeing the operation of mechanized infantry. However.. Pass this golden opportunity up? She will not. Thankfully, it appears the cordial spaniard is willing to make allowances. Charming allowances at that. The elegant ghost inclines her head to his bow and generous complement, hiding her lips behind her sleeve as she titters in blushed amusement, "Why thank you.. Sir."

As the duo reveal themselves, the Devil looks upon them both with a haughty expression bordering upon triumph. The bodies of their friends slumped in rows at the Devil's feet. The chaos exploding and shaking the walls from the outside, thundering the arrival of the end of the world. Or perhaps, just the end of their worlds. Everything they've grown to know and love is gone. The illusion of having a safe, sheltered world - Gone.
In the Ninth Circle these children recieved a taste of truth. How the real world works - not the pampered, ridiculous thing their parents and leaders coddled them with. Direct from the Islands of the Pacific. From the Jungles of Thailand. Now here, in the streets of Southtown - The Halls of Gedo.

At last, at last. The Devil has seen this false world crack and crumble. The so-called 'rules' they've come to live by ... As worthless as the men who dictate them.

Death. Carnage. Savagery. The strong devour the weak. Hatred consumes kindness. Laughter falls before the resplendent majesty of silence.
Now they know. Now they can see.
Now they are next.

Marise's stark reply to Hakuya's epithet. Of the two Demon Killers it may be that Tenma possesses the more lethal weapon. The Sealing Sword very nearly felled her. Not near enough for these children's tastes, but the attack was potent.
Regardless, Hakuya is the more dangerous.
In skill, the Guardian Kings are comparable to one another. Force of arms is not the measure of a man, nor his power. A notion few in this world truly comprehend, but the Devil knows it to be true. Hakuya is more dangerous ... Because this fool believes in his cause. He believes in people. He has bought into the notion that humanity is the ideal - Not its transcendence. Worse... He convinces others of his lies with his gentle demeanor and kindness.

For that.. Marise needs him dead most of all. Him and Ashima - without them.. Tenma's heart will be destroyed. And men without hearts? ... They are the playthings of fiends.

A side-glance is paid Kenji as Hakuya shrouds himself for battle. She had a different plan for that one. But, alas, opportunities such as these cannot be missed and its doubtful she can entirely She won't insult Balrog by warning him of the Missile Fist's prowess. The Devil knows that battle has already concluded - Its simply a matter of the fellow Ninja reminding the boy its already over. "Leave that one alive, please.. If you would be so kind. I can later ensure his.. regret at those words once you have your just satisfaction.." She requests of Balrog. A favor to be repaid later? Perhaps so. Apart from that simple request, she leaves the Spaniard to his diversion.
..As she focuses on her own.

The devil hunter charges her with a roar. The Devil steps backwards with the serenity of the grave. Not meeting Hakuya in direct force, her arms sweep and move in deflecting gestures. Whirling movements of black silken fabric. "Aaah.. Suigetsu. I must admit.. this generation is somewhat wanting. What does your father think.. of your skills hm?"
As his assault completes, the entirely unphased Devil reverses the momentum. A white hand looking to clutch at the boy's throat and hold him at arm's length, attempting to force him to look her in those wicked inhuman eyes, "At least you have paid more attention to your family teachings than that insolent worm Kiryuu. If he was less sloppy with his Seals.."
That smile returns. A few wisps of soul-stuff leak from the corner of those beautiful lips at the words, "... You would still have more friends.."

COMBATSYS: Hakuya endures Marise's Medium Throw.

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Marise           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Hakuya
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Balrog           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0            Kenji

Hakuya's palm strikes are met with almost contemptuous deflections, each strike being met with some kind of resistance that overall numbs the force of what the Suigetsu heir attempts to bring on the demon. Even the shoulder rush is met with simply denial, and when the hoodied teen steps back in order to appraise the damage he caused, he has difficulty in even assessing that he did anything at all. Frowning, then, the hand shoots out to try and grasp him - and he lets it.

The Guardian King's eyes meet Marise's without any need to force, and even as the hand clamps down, choking him, he grits his teeth... but shows no fear. Only a firm, hard gaze at the demon called Marise. ...Though there is a small flicker of something in his eyes as Marise says the last part. What did she mean by that? ...There's no way Tenma could've been hurt. He was with Daigo! Even if the demon had targetted the leader King, she couldn't have gotten through unscathed. ...Could she? But the uncertainty is dealt away with. He couldn't bother thinking about that right now. Because... what would Tenma say, if he learned Hakuya had faltered when he had to protect people?

That thought alone makes Hakuya's hand surge forth and attempt to grab Marise's own wrist. Then, by main strength, he tries to force her hand away from his throat, while his other hand presses into the demon's stomach. "Well enough that I was taught the TRUE way to deal with you, demon. You may have been lucky once..."

Then, the Suigetsu heir turns, gripping both Marise's kimono and her wrist, and with sheer bodily strength surging through him, he attempts to lift the Devil up, over, and in a move that is less a throw than more of a vicious, brtual spike, drive her into the floor.

"You will not be so AGAIN!"

COMBATSYS: Balrog successfully hits Kenji with Flying Barcelona Attack.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Marise           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Hakuya
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Balrog           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1            Kenji

A claw is secured to the man's wrist, and suddenly he's flying over his head, swinging the blades at him. Twisting a bit, looking to throw up a defense of some kind, steel flashes and the t-shirt shreds at the back. A fierce hiss of pain escapes from between clenched teeth as he staggers forward a few steps, though his eyes haven't lost that defiant, fierce cold to them.


Twisting back around, Kenji doesn't seem to be down and out just yet. No, just doing him damage seems to make him even more angry, more determined to bring the claw-wielding man the damage he's dealt, twice over. Letting his hand draw up into a fist, his knuckles go white. Taking a few steps ahead, his arm swings around in what seems like a rather linear, perfect arc-- yet his arm from wrist to shoulder seems to bend like it were made of rubber. His arm his strong, and his fist is oddly hard, much like how it would be to get hit in the face by the way of a ten pound sledgehammer. Should it connect with Balrog, Kenji plans to drive that fist into the man's masked face as hard as possible, irregardless of the mask and how protective it might be.

COMBATSYS: Balrog dodges Kenji's Missile Fist.

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Marise           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Hakuya
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Balrog           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0            Kenji

The Balrog standing there a moment ago is currently out to lunch. It was nice enough to visit long enough to introduce himself - a fleeting meeting as it was. A very thin, currently stretched taut thread of sanity is the only thing that connects the man sailing through the air, cackling as with a midair rotation of his torso, three ribbons of blood are torn from their home in Kenji's back only to thoroughly desanitize the nearby water fountain as it splatters against the front and top. His toes touch the floor again, long enough that he can pivot with outstretched arms and swing his lithe weight around to face the walking corpse who dared, DARED to insinuate he would violate his own mother's pristine perfection with his unworthy hands. "No...? You spit poison in the face of the one who decides your fate knowingly?! Ha ha ha...I'll have no pity on your ignorant audacity...a cow willingly led to the slaughterhouse by his betters." A distant memory of words stirs within his head, spoken only but a moment ago but already seeming forever away. "...Maybe. I will...consider it!!" The claw is raised at an odd angle, his gaze locked on his prey - the actions of the other two combatants completely lost to his conscious mind. He doesn't know the style. He doesn't need to know the style. Because better fighters...MUCH better fighters...have tried to accomplish the same. It's base psychology at work. Everyone wants to crush the mask, crush his beautiful face. The moment the trajactory is aligned, he knows the unimaginatively powerful strike for what it is. Futile!


The Shadaloo General reacts instantly, throwing his weight down and forward while tucking into a ball, the punch sailing clean overhead as his deranged combatant curls into a ball of taut muscle and hurls himself under the attack, seeking to bounce once against the ground and careen into Kenji's defenses once, twice, and finally unfurling his entire body in one swift motion to drive the blades into the youth's stomach.


COMBATSYS: Hakuya successfully hits Marise with Tidal Crush.
- Power hit! -

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Marise           0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Hakuya
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Balrog           0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0            Kenji

Direct physical blows seem to do little to this woman. Striking her is akin to striking water. She gives, she yields, but she never breaks. Whatever her ivory skin is composed of, it does not seem to obey the same laws as living flesh.
Fearless eyes stare back at her. Surprise at her continued existence may linger there, but nothing of the terror at being in the grip of a demon. A true hunter this one, not a sliver of horror at her unholy presence. He has been well prepared by his clan, The Devil can tell that.
A troublesome thing indeed.. If admirable, in a professional sense.
As the Demon Wrestler grabs her wrist, the Devil makes no move to defend herself. The elegant woman is yanked roughly forth then slammed in the middle, doubling the woman over with its force. An impact that reflects in those horrid eyes as they widen several fractions, a breathless sound escaping her lips.

Over and down.
The woman impacts the floor with wood cracking force. Her dark tresses sprawled all about her like a pooling ocean of shadows.. The Devil's clawed fingers resting upon his hand at her stomach. What escapes her lips in the aftermath of that brutality?
"Keh.. Keh heh..."
The woman cackles painfully, a vindictive tone. The monster will admit.. That genuinely hurt even inhuman constitution.
Suddenly, those ebon tresses begin to writhe at Hakuya's feet, slithering as a pool of dark serpents. "HAVE you now, Boya?.. Keehee!" Her pained expression growing in wickedness by the moment. The monster's prehensile locks thrust upwards, attempting to coil themselves around each of the Demon Queller's limbs and torso. Each strand infused with negative life-force, with the force of death itself. Attempting to wring the resistance right out of him with their surprisingly powerful grip!
"Then were are your Seals? Your true techniques! Surely they told you fists alone cannot thwart ME!"
It amuses the Devil to no end that a family of such famed demon-fighting reputation seem to lack powers to do so. Perhaps with the lack of true Demons in this present world, such techniques have fallen by the wayside and been forgotten by most.
All the better for Marise.
As for luck..
"Better.. stronger fighters than you - and your friends - have tried to kill me since long before you were born.. BOYA," The Devil spits up at him, "..Know your place!"

COMBATSYS: Hakuya blocks Marise's Onigumo Wanami.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Marise           0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0           Hakuya
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Balrog           0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0            Kenji

Kenji has started his own battle with the masked man, Hakuya was pretty sure. Though he obviously couldn't watch his team mate fight the stronger opponent for obvious reasons, he keeps a kind of feeler out in that direction, should Kenji need a quick assist, or if Balrog should decide he wants to change targets suddenly. But as he spikes the demon called Marise into the ground, the only thing Hakuya has eyes for is the demon... and this was no romance story. That solid, unwavering look of determination is still centered solely on the Devil, even as the woman recovers from being spiked into the ground by once again grabbing him - just a series of grapples, these two seem to be doing.

Before Hakuya can even think to release the demon and move away, hair tendrils wrap around him, and he's locked in place. He feels the energy begin to build up and spike inwards - towards him - and there's little he can do about it. He can't run at this point, so what he does? He simply grits his teeth and bears it, a shout of defiance rising up from the young man. Every part of him tenses up, and he seeks to do what the Suigetsu do best - repel demon energies. There's nothing involving his family's chi at this point, no. It's simple, sheer, defiance of letting that 'death energy' do what it wants to him.

And as it's going on, the Guardian King presses down hard on his feet, and begins to haul Marise up once more, by the same grips he established the first time. "My family isn't a family of demon HUNTERS!" He shouts, and, lifting Marise up, the young Suigetsu brings her up and over again, but this time not precisely down - should he get that far, he'll be simply releasing the Devil, in order to leave her 'free' in the air for a moment. Then, his knee lifts, and seeks to drive itself sharply into the demon's back, sending her right back into the air.

"We're a family that protects the weak from your kind!"

Grabbing her once more, then, Hakuya would seek to bring Marise back to where she was, by suplexing her into the ground, forming an ever-deeper impact crater right where she lands.

COMBATSYS: Balrog successfully hits Kenji with Rolling Crystal Flash.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Marise           0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Hakuya
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Balrog           0/-------/----===|=======\===----\1            Kenji

His fist meets nothing but air, and Kenji lets out a little bit of a grunt in the process. Twisting, taking a few steps back in an attempt to get a little clearance from the claw-wielding man, the Missile Fist staggers steps and steps. The low rolling and the sudden bouncing like a ball is hard to guard against, try as he might. Knocked back, the claw digs into his stomach with a distinct, "Hrrgh!!" and the tensing of muscles.

Pulling a step back, his eyes wide, the Gedo High student council secretary changes his pose, hand covering his injury. "NO!!" He declares it with a booming, authoritive tone, not backing down for an instant. "I've dealt with your kind before!! On that stupid boat, and that old batty bitch!! I've dealt with it with my friends, and all of your smug superiority! You're coming down here and acting like some kind of a great, superior guy when you're picking on KIDS!!" he screams back, his arm swinging wildly off to the side. "You're lower than scum. You're a fucking LOSER with a goddamn weapon, just like every other fucking LOSER charging around this school with a gun!! You want refinement?! I got it for you right here!!"

Taking a swift step forward, Kenji's arm comes around in a broad, unpolished right hook that's aimed to strike Balrog in the chest...

But it falls distinctly short.

Instead, in it's wake, an arcing wave of chi explodes from behind his fist, ripping through the air and looking to plow right into the Shadaloo agent with a distinctly loud BANG!

COMBATSYS: Kenji successfully hits Balrog with Twelve Gauge.
- Power hit! -

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Marise           0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Hakuya
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Balrog           0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1            Kenji

Such is the conviction of the Missile Fist is such that there's no getting out of the way of that one. One strike is exchanged for another, and where Balrog's is cruel, Kenji's is forceful. The explosion sends the Shadaloo agent sailing back down the hallway, spinning out of control as he attempts to regain enough control to roll with the momentum. Somewhat disappointingly for the home team, it ends with him springing off the ground into a backflip and landing on his feet again.
Glancing down at the blackened expanse of his muscled, tatooed chest, he takes advantage of the safe distance to slowly slip the mask away from his face, revealing a twisted vision of masculine beauty...a cruel irony that he then lifts the claw still wet with the youngster's blood, and sensually runs his tongue across the length of the blades. "Heh heh heh. We all fight for something, idiot. And it's all relative. Some of us fight to protect the weak and foolish. Some of us live to make right the memory of our dear mothers." Smirking, he slowly lowers the claw and replaces the mask, extending both arms upward in a lazy stretch. "You heap the blame for these soldiers upon a man you just met in one breath, while befouling the memory of a woman worth ten of these schools with another...ha ha ha..."
Cracking his neck, the ninja begins a measured pace forward, taking a single experimental swipe at the air in front of him. "It's all relative, you idiot. I don't care what your righteous justification is. You penned your own eulogy with the first sentance you spoke!"

Again, the ninja breaks out into a sprint, claw leveled and at the ready. Instead of bounding to the side, this time the lunge is a direct assault! He touches down a mere two feet in front of Kenji with extended arms. Whether or not his arms are able to snake out and get a solid grip, he'll leap straight back - and should his opponent allow himself to be lifted up, the ninja will demonstrate his acrobatic skills by twisting into a midair backflip...that ends in a piledriver, head first.

COMBATSYS: Hakuya successfully hits Marise with Silent Crescent.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Marise           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0           Hakuya
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Balrog           0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1            Kenji

To focus on the danger directly ahead is a wise decision. Hakuya has faith in his friend. Marise has faith that Balrog will slaughter him. Neither of them can afford to focus on anywhere else than one another.
For all the Devil's arrogance, she gives Hakuya her full attentions. Her wicked eyes prying away at his flesh, to the secrets that must be hidden within. Just when her wicked locks have the boy in their grip, Marise's wicked grin grows.. She has him now-
Golden eyes widen as Hakuya reveals the truth of the Suigetsu's power. Her invasive, disruptive energies literally washing from his body. Her dread powers repulsed from the roaring defender with astonishing ease.
Hauled to her feet, the Devil scowls. Fangs bared as her own claws fall upon his lower arms. His words now confirm the truth of the power she had witnessed with her Kinmagan.
Of course! She should have known or suspected at least. She had so little time to process in their last fight, focused on Kiryuu and Ashima as she was, she did not look deeply enough.
With a snarl, the Devil is hurtled once more. The shadowy figure flipped up and over the Demon Wrestler, met by his intercepting knee and bounced hard and high into the air once more!
The ghoul buckles with the impact, limply sailing in mid-air for only a moment before clutched and -slammed- into the Gedo floor with bone-shattering force! The floor's cracks spiral wider, the broken tiles driven further into the ground, spidering outwards from the Devil's form as she unceremoniously flops to the side.
For all the incredible punishment the boy heaps upon her, the ghoul grouses upwards from the floor, "...Hnnn...Bother.."
The creature rises upwards, calmly popping her shoulder right back into place, her bones visibly shifting beneath her skin. Collarbone snapping back into place with only the hint of a grumble. It takes an incredible amount of such punishment to harm one such as her... But even she cannot withstand such a beating forever.
Time to see just how potent this boy's defenses really are..

"The weak...?" The Devil whispers softly. Her lips twisting at the word, the most distasteful thing to cross them in some time. A sentiment echoed by the Missile Fist's rage, as the monster briefly glances in his direction at his bold declaration.
The Hatred forms at the monster's fingertips. Crimson lightning dances amidst her twitching fingers, followed by a keening wail. Reality itself seems to warp and twist, before breaking entirely as the Devil summons a fragment of Hell itself. A screeching, cacophonous maelstrom of energy illuminating the near hallway with its chaotic light. The sound of a thousand screams shrieking in Hellish choir. It is suffering, hatred, manifested as a physical elemental thing. A Devil's Rage.
"Deluded fools.. All of you.. ALL OF YOU!" The Devil's hand snaps out, holding that flickering storm of annihilation outstretched. Her beautiful face twisted in hideous rage, fangs bared with blood flying, tresses flailing in mirrored anger. "The weak are MADE to suffer! THE WEAK MUST SUFFER if they are to be made STRONG! Your family.. Your friends! Protecting the weak.. You keep them weak FOREVER! Children must know pain if they are to grow! Even pampered, protected little babes such as you must know the meaning of atrocity.. ONLY THEN can you be strong.. And if you cannot be strong.."
The ball of destruction is loosed, hurtled towards Hakuya with a symphony of a thousand hateful things, "THEN YOU WILL BE DEVOURED!"

COMBATSYS: Hakuya fails to reflect Tokoyami from Marise with Solaris Sunder.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Balrog           0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1            Kenji


Rolling to his side the moment he's sure he's made Marise eat floor once more, Hakuya presses his gloved hand to the ground and pushes himself up, whilst the demon picks herself off the ground a little more slowly and resettles bones - which earns some horrified looks from the crowd. The Suigetsu heir is given precious moments to recover, having overexerted himself just a touch by being so locked-in with the Devil, having to stay sharp if he didn't want to get, well, beaten to hell. A few quick pants of breath, and once more Hakuya looks alright, though he's certainly not at 100% - he's taken some hits, and it definitely shows.

Marise stands, then, and begins to lecture him on just why what he said was wrong. The ball of /screaming/ chi is noted with some concern, but Hakuya's reaction seems to be nothing more than simply maintaining his focus and letting Marise berate him how she would. The behoodied teen simply gives that defiant look, not convinced in the least of what she's saying. Indeed, if he even considers the words to have merit at all, he certainly isn't showing it, by commenting: "What's wrong with being weak?!"

The swirling destruction is launched at him, and rather than moving out of the way, or even seeming to try and block it, he simply extends his hands. The ball impacts, and for a moment, seems to stop moving at all. "Rrrgghh... those people... who don't, don't live their lives dedicated to fighting... people who can't throw a punch, who don't want you... they may be called weak, but...!"

The sentence is cut off as Hakuya begins to suddenly just move backwards, as if being pushed, his sneakers squealing on the tiles of the school floor. He grunts, growls, and tries to keep the ball away from himself, a kind of blue light eminating from his hands... but eventually, it's all for nothing, as that ball of destruction /shifts/ and slips in between his hands, so intent on hurting him, a little thing like a reflective field being nothing. It slams into him then, and sends him flying back a few feet, slamming into the ground and rolling. He's still for several moments, as the impact blast was enough to make even some of the crowd of students, staring transfixed at these fighters, sways backwards.

A moment more, and Hakuya gets back up. "They can... live normal lives. They don't have to hurt people. It is US who are weak, demon. You, because you place emphasis in meaningless things. Me, because I had to give up what I wanted to do... so I could fight those who would try to subvert... those strong, normal people, because /they/ couldn't handle reality!"

Standing up once more, looking pretty trashed, panting, and bloody across his hands - his gloves have simply /dissolved/ leaving only the cotton wraps behind - Hakuya once again gets into a fighting position. "You're wrong, demon! You do not belong in this world! I will keep fighting you until you go back to the one you crawled out of!"

COMBATSYS: Balrog successfully hits Kenji with Stardust Drop.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Balrog           0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2            Kenji

Watching the claw carefully, moving despite the speed of the man, the blades just barely miss him-- this time. Still, Balrog takes a leap into the air and gets a good grab onto his limbs. He struggles, but it proves to be a moment of futility as he's hefted up into the air, flipped over, and he hits the floor with a loud, meaty *THWACK* against the concrete floor. His world goes white for the moment, stars dancing around in his vision, but his fingers wiggle and his eyes start to clear.

Immediately, his legs pull forward over his body, rolling himself over into a squat.


Kenji's right arm explodes into the stupidly, blazingly bright chi that he wields one more time. Light pierces the area, a straight line of light, translucent blue that targets the claw-wielder right in the middle of the chest, as if spearing through him and continuing on down to the wall. Kenji takes a running lunge at him, all of that chi surging up into his fist in a glowing light. "SET!!"

His fist comes into the path of the blue light, his arm suddenly rocketing forward at high speeds-- and his fist aimed to slam into Balrog as hard as he can muster. Hit or miss, the chi will release from his fist by way of a powerful shockwave, one capable of knocking far too many people right off their feet and sending them tumbling!


COMBATSYS: Balrog blocks Kenji's Rail Gun.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Balrog           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0            Kenji

Reverse piledrivers are tricky things. The Spaniard clinging to his passenger until he feels that solid, satisfying impact of skull against marble floor. He then only has a split second to forcefully heave away with his powerful forearms and flip away, landing nimbly on the balls of his feet once more. He makes it look deceptively easy in execution, but again - appearances. Balrog knows all about appearance and their psychological applications. This is a sign that the more controlled side of the claw murderer has begun to surface once more, arms hanging loosely at his sides as he simply watches the toppled Kenji without further persuit.
Twenty seconds pass. As Kenji regains his footing once more, he finds his opponent standing eerily still and silent a good eight feet away. When his arm ignites with that deafening explosion of energy, the masked ninja doesn't so much as flinch. ...Until a barrel of chi is levelled on him. Aimed at his chest, it instead impacts crossed arms. What might have been an opportunity to line up an decisively powerful blow is met with a calculated resistance as Balrog drops onto a knee with arms still raised. The final reckoning, the shockwave, rocks across his unyielding muscles but without give, teeth set and straining underneath the impassive mask that betrays none of the effort required to contain the powerful onslaught.

There is no sarcastic reply. He is speaking with actions right now. His response is to step forward with his lowered knee and throw his weight forward, elbows still crossed, into an overbalancing body shove intended to send Kenji reeling back a few steps. The insult finally comes when Balrog drops to the opposite knee, sliding forward with an impossibly far reaching leg sweep meant to send him toppling again.

Damn ninjas.

The Devil's hand remains outstretched, twisted eyes watching the unfolding destruction with absolute concern. When that boy first reaches for the sphere of Hell and -catches- it.. For a moment, and only a moment, the Devil begins to know fear. Golden eyes widening, trepidation crawling over her face like a cascading failure.
No.. No! Not again, not-
The destructive energy takes its toll, throwing the youth back like a leaf before a hurricane. Marise exhales slowly, regaining her cool reserve as her claw lowers.
Of course he couldn't contain her power! Kyaha! That fool! That.. hnnn... He's not nearly hurt enough..
The ghost sees the boy return to his feet, continuing his futile rebuttal. He's hurt.. But that technique should have devastated him! His energy-repellent techniques are mighty indeed.. Even against her.
Perhaps especially.
"Nothing." The Devil replies casually at the glaring question, 'what's wrong with being weak?' Tilting her head back as she takes a deep breath, allowing the stolen life-force of his schoolmates flow through her. Reinvigorating her, beginning to heal the brutality inflicted upon her person. Her far-too-long tongue slithering across her lips as her golden eyes half-hood, fingers adjusting her kimono upon her person from its precarious dishevel.
"The strong must feed. After all."
The Devil only loathes the weak when they don't accept their place. This.. Rebellion against the natural order of things. These so called 'protectors' preserving this ridiculous way of life. It is them that the creature reserves her deepest contempt.
"As for what you call 'normal'.." The Devil's arms sweep outwards, including the carnage and the terrible, savage beating unfolding upon Hakuya's dear friend at the hands of the Spanish Killer, "...Perhaps in your little world we are the weak ones. Perhaps in your pretty world.. We belong somewhere where there's no one to hurt.. Where we can't be found.."
The Devil's eyes flare golden. Her nails extend from her fingertips to the tune of shrieking steel. Tendril-locks flaring to life behind her as a hundred flailing serpents. Her painted lips pulling back to reveal wicked rows of gleaming fangs, hissing breath luminous with stolen souls.
So your little, pretty WORLD must be DESTROYED!"
If the Devil has her way.. What happened to Thailand, whats happening to Southtown.. Its just the beginning. Western Civilization itself must be broken and rebuilt into something where creatures such as she, such as dear Balrog here, can live a true existence not banished to the shadows. If that means helping others such as Vega or Igniz in their schemes and conquests?
So be it.

COMBATSYS: Marise gains composure.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Balrog           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0            Kenji

As Balrog cuts out his own words to speak with actions, so too does Hakuya. The teenager shakes his head sadly, frowning as Marise talks about how his 'pretty' world needs to be destroyed. Dipping his head down, so his eyes cannot be seen, the Suigetsu heir shakes his head side to side slowly. If his eyes could be seen, they would convey a sense of... sadness. But as only the head shake can be seen, it's as if Hakuya merely is rejecting what the devil says, like a good little Demon Hunter. Flexing his wrapping-covered hands, then, the grappler determines he's ready to finish this. He had to beat Marise, then move on to help Kenji. If he could do that... then they had a chance of getting out of here. All of them.

There was no more words. Simply action. Stepping forward, Hakuya launches himself forward, racing towards the demon seeking to gain its composure. Once near, he makes a short hop forward, then once he lands, ducks low into a swirling leg-sweep. Should this knock Marise off her feet, then Hakuya will surge upwards and attempt to grab the Devil before she lands, only to spike her into the ground harder than merely gravity would've.

COMBATSYS: Balrog successfully hits Kenji with Strong Kick.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Balrog           1/------=/=======|=======\====---\1            Kenji

His fist makes a strong, powerful impact with his crossed arms. The shockwave is released, though he weathers it with the strength and power of someone that's clearly on a different level... and yet, still, the Missile Fist doesn't falter or relent. Balrog steps in, gives him a harsh shove, then comes out with a leg sweep with the smoothness, precision, and reach of a snake quite like the man's matching, somewhat apt tattoo.

Falling backwards, Kenji hits the ground hard, letting out a gasp as his injuries are rattled, and quite hard. Letting out a few pained gasps, reaching for a little more, deep down, the Gedo student gets right back up to his feet and goes on what seems like a last charge, a powerful run right in to assault the masked man. Staying remarkably light on his feet, he reaches out to try to grab Balrog by the facemask, to leverage him by the head with a fierce squeeze of his fingers and pull the man off to the side, hard. Rearing up his right hand and seeking to drive it into his belly in a surprising punch meant to stun, Kenji grits his teeth and lets out one distinct battlecry. "BURST--"

COMBATSYS: Kenji has reached second wind!

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Balrog           1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0            Kenji

COMBATSYS: Kenji successfully hits Balrog with Burst Fire.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Balrog           1/----===/=======|===----\-------\0            Kenji


His arms move at a high, rapid pace, almost as if they were going a lot faster than they physically should. Though one arm swings, there are three distinct impacts at the man's chest. His left arm comes in for a sequencing punch of it's own, again, with three distinct strikes. Throwing punch after punch in this manner, he reaches out to half-clothesline Balrog to one side and repeat the process, though as a lower body blow. Up and down his torso, the entire thing goes, before Kenji reaches out to grab the claw-wielder by the neck and pull him close for four repeated slams of the shoulder before a fifth, powerful shove and a charging shoulder block to slam right into the Shadaloo agent for the finishing touch!

Bloodied, bruised, and tired, Kenji brings up his arm in a weak gesture, his thumb extending and arcing into a strong thumbs-down gesture. "I said, NO!!" he boldly declares, even though it looks like he's about to keel over dead any second.

Touche. One body check for another, it would seem.

Once Kenji has grasp on Balrog for the first time, he learns that there's more aptness to the snake analogy than is apparent at first glance. As it so happens, the grip on the mask doubles in usefulness by obscuring most of his vision - and he thrashes, violently so. Body trapped as it is with his claw arm wisely trapped out of reach of vitals, arms and legs swing wildly in an attempt to land a blow against some part of his captor's body. Anything is better than doing nothing as strike after strike is driven home into his torso until he's finally slammed free of captivity.

Reeling back from the force of the blows, the arrogant predator is forced into eating a rough landing for the first time of the encounter. Flat on his (tightly muscled, thank you) ass, he takes a moment to lift a hand to his face and adjust the positioning of his precious facepiece. It's probably a product of his deranged imagination, but he can *feel* those greasy, uninvited fingerprints upon the smooth surface of the mask. Teeth grit with anger at the sheer audacity of this wretch he faces, but he forces it back down again. No. Right now, outrage would be seen as satisfaction...

Smoothly gliding to a standing position once more, the ninja twirls his claw hand once in midair to exercise his jarred wrist. As he paces forward, a slow, muffled chuckle can be heard once more. "About that...", he offers quietly. Glancing upward, he lifts both arms to push aside a ceiling tile and bound upward, grasping ahold of pipes and scurrying out of view like a cockroach.

Is he running away?

...Is it safe to assume that he has?

COMBATSYS: Balrog successfully hits Kenji with Quick Throw.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hakuya
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Balrog           1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0            Kenji

Several minutes of silence pass, and without warning, the ceiling tile about Kenji crumples downward with sudden force. Still hanging from the pipes, Balrog's legs are quick to drop and circle around the man's neck and constrict, lefting him up while strangling the air out of him.

"No one cares!", the assassin hisses mirthfully.

COMBATSYS: Hakuya successfully hits Marise with Strong Throw.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           1/------=/=======|=======\==-----\1           Hakuya
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Balrog           1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0            Kenji

Intentions stated. Their positions spoken. If Hakuya's world refuses a creature such as Marise, then that world must be broken. At the boy's shaken head, Marise's screech fills the hall. All that stands between her and every succulent spirit in this building is these two foolhardy mongrels. The Devil knows that her words would not, could not, have even begun to faze this brainwashed cur.
At least he should know which sins he will be destroyed for. Marise owes much that to him.. If that much.
The Devil advances at Hakuya swiftly, the tips of her nails dragging on the floor in lines of shrieking sparks. Hunched forward and racing with momentum belying her deathless grace, long hair and kimono whipping in her wake. The Devil leaps above that initial sweeping kick, legs bunching up beneath her with her arms spread wide.
For a moment there she actually thought it was what he didn't want.
The Guardian King rises swiftly and catches her out of the air. The flailing Devil howls as she is yet again planted into the floor with brutal conviction. Her body shattering yet another broad swath of tiles, leaving an imprint amidst the many others the Suigetsu heir has made of her in the past minute.

As always, the Devil rises anew. Limbs twisting themselves back into place, as her supple body begins popping back into place. "This is getting.. Annoying..." She hisses through clenched teeth. This boy is taxing her resilience to its absolute limits.. As assuredly as she must tax his.
With a quick glance, it becomes clear that even her companion is having difficulty finishing off that Gedo brat. Curse that Kenji.. She remembers well his unbreakable defiance! At least now it seems his end is near.. And once he's done, Balrog and she can make quick work of this lingering threat to her perfect world.
No need to commit risky or costly gambits.. All she needs is a few seconds more. Their school comrades can't get too far in this short time..

The Devil only pauses a moment, quick pick up the attack as she dashes forth once more. This time, lashing out with her clawed hands in a bid to grab the boy's wrists..

COMBATSYS: Marise successfully hits Hakuya with Random Grapple.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1           Hakuya
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Balrog           1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0            Kenji

Once seized, Marise leaps straight up. Flipping skywards above the youth until she is perfectly parallel to him, oriented upside-down and vertical. Twisting, the Devil rotates precisely once just as she begins her descent behind him. With a display of flexibility, the Devil's legs slip forward just enough so her toe catches the tip of Hakuya's hood, flipping the material completely open. She slips over his shoulders and lands such that she presses herself to his back, her arms loop themselves once.. Binding his limbs to his sides in a tight clinch. That same leg slips over his hip, the pale supple thing slithers over and between his legs, looping itself along his left and preventing him from gaining leverage for easy freedom.
"Now.. I wonder if you taste anything like these other children.. Boya.." She whispers to his ear. Even as her luscious lips part, displaying fangs. Those ivory needles slip into his skin, the Devil biting down at the junction of shoulder and neck as she helps herself to a little taste.

The screech doesn't affect Hakuya, standing strong in the face of the Devil's rage. Brainwashed he may be - though he doesn't know it - he has begun to see Marise very differently. Before, he knew the creature to be a demon... an entity of evil that was purposeless in its intention TO make evil, simply desiring nothing but destruction. And to some degree, that still was his primary thought... except no longer did he believe it was purposeless. Indeed, all he saw... was a pitiable soul. Not a pitiable person, however... she still WAS a demon.

Raising his hands again in his typical fighting stance, the demon comes, and he tenses for the attack. His arms come up, and he seems to try to block - only to realize a touch late that he shouldn't have done that. Marise grips his wrists, and even as he tries to shuffle his feet to move away from the Devil, she's wrapping around him, making it impossible to move. He struggles, grunting in effort, even as his hoodie comes off - and then? Then he's got fangs in his neck. "Agh!" He cries out in a voice almost tinged with panic. He's never felt /that/ before. Suddenly a little freaked out - maybe it's the hoodie that makes him anti-demon - he thrashes, and attempts to throw Marise off of him, doing wild stunts like trying to slam his head into hers, or slam her against a wall, then toss her /off/ - again not an attack, simply getting her AWAY from him.

He skitters back away from her, and his hand goes to his neck, shivering a little as he feels the holes in his neck. "Tcch... what..." he mutters, looking a little disbelieving. Did she just bite him? Seriously? Like a vampire? No way!

...Somehow, the fact she did something 'like a vampire' is more freaky than her herself.

COMBATSYS: Hakuya gains composure.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           1/-----==/=======|=======\==-----\1           Hakuya
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Balrog           1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0            Kenji

Where did he go-?!


Kenji gasps and struggles as he's suddenly picked up from on high by way of the Spaniard's legs, hefted up as flailing weight. His arms pull, pry, and otherwise work at the claw-wielder's ankles before he decides that it's time to turn the tables-- and turn the tables, he shall! From his position, the Missile Fist's face twists into more of an angry glare upward while he kicks his -own- body upward, using the Shadaloo agent as his source of leverage.

From this position, Kenji decides to give the man quite the surprising assault by way of a harsh, upward kick with the toes of his heavy-duty boot-like sneakers aimed to slam right into his mask one more time. Once more!

"Shut UP!!"

COMBATSYS: Kenji successfully hits Balrog with Light Kick.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Marise           1/-----==/=======|=======\==-----\1           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Balrog           1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0            Kenji

Suffocating the breath from Kenji's lungs, the Shadaloo Assassin just laughs, his voice sharp and scathing as he barks down upon the struggling Gedo student. "It's a futile effort, but please--" Giving his powerful legs a bit of a tensing, he attempts to steal the breath from Kenji's lungs a bit more with his bony ankles.

"Struggle all you like. It's delightful..!" Another sharp laugh escapes Balrog's lips from beneath his mask, as he attempts to pull Kenji upwards, still hanging onto the rafters from which he'd sprung. Yes--he'll kill this meddlesome youth right here and now. He and his friends...they're all so ugly.

Surprising, however, is the sudden kick that Kenji delivers, a jolting strike that knocks into the assassin's steel mask and echoing through the hall with a sharp clang. Stunned, the man is forced to yield on his suffocating hold, dropping Kenji to the floor before he himself lands and stumbles back, a well-manicured hand clutching at his dented mask.

"Ugh. You... you...you ugly, insignificant little louse!!" he cries, eyes wide and furious behind the mask. Clenching a hand fiercely, he makes a step forward, brown loafers crunching ceiling tile beneath his feet. "I'm going to gut you like a fish and hang you from the flagpole for all your pathetic friends to witness. But it won't come quickly--no. That would be /merciful./"

With a quick step the man lunges forward, long auburn braid whipping behind him as he rears a clawed arm up and lashes out, attempting to slice Kenji diagonally from hip to shoulder with a shrill cry.

Vague murmurs of approval rise from the Devil's occupied lips as she draws at his throat. She proves difficult to dislodge at first, bound as he is within her tangled grasp. Only after soundly smashing the ominously chilling woman against the solid concrete wall does her grip relent. Allowing him freedom to stumble and crawl away in disbelief.

Marise, for her part, remains leaning against the wall. A finger lifting to collect the trails of crimson along her cheeks before suckling the gathered blood from her fingertip.
Rich. Full of vigor. Nothing like young blood.. Especially youth so well trained.
The Devil devours chi, and the substance of life takes many forms. Breath, the very definition of 'chi', is the purest form. For her spirit devouring technique, it is the most expedient. The most efficient means of cultivation. However, chi is present in the body in less concentrated forms. Blood and the beating heart itself are examples.. Dilute yet concentrated enough for the Devil's purposes.
Flesh and organs to a lesser degree, but only base animals would consume that lot.
Or if Marise was feeling especially weakened... Or vindictive.

Regardless, now the terrified King may understand a bit more of the fate that awaits his fellow students should he falter here. The creature rises forth, sparing a quick glance to her teammate's progress on Hakuya's fellow King.
Hnnn. That damnable boy does not know when to quit. Even a heart as black as the Devil's must dredge a measure of respect for one who can stand against such overwhelming odds. His delaying the inevitable is making matters difficult.. Especially when his comrade is equally as difficult to put down. This is rapidly evolving from annoying to troubling.

So many of their little friends are getting away... Intolerable!

The Devil turns her focus back to the Suigetsu heir. Golden eyes narrow a fraction at his.. reaction. Normally, such open displays of terror invigorate the creature. But Hakuya has proven time and time again to be fearless in the face of even the worst evil. Without his executioner's hood he almost seems..
Like the child he is.
A ploy? Perhaps, but the Devil takes no chances. Especially with time being the precious, fleeting commodity it is.

Marise balances herself once more from the wall in a smooth, boneless motion. "Now you know.. boya.. the fate that awaits you and everyone you know..." Claws lifting at the ready, approaching his collecting form, "This is the end!"

The Devil lunges, reaching across the distance in a rush of black. Hoping to again get her claws on the youth's shoulders and pounce him to the shattered tile floor... Her black tresses seeking to wrap themselves around his head and face, quickly cocooning and obstructing all air-flow while her hands keep his arms locked and at bay.. Even going as far as to try and worm themselves down his throat.. A hideous, torturous technique should it land true..

COMBATSYS: Hakuya Toughs Out Marise's Strong Throw!

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/-----==/=======|=======\=====--\1           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Balrog           1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0            Kenji

COMBATSYS: Balrog successfully hits Kenji with Medium Strike.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/-----==/=======|=======\=====--\1           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Balrog           1/--=====/=======|=======\=------\1            Kenji

Gedo Kids weren't made of flimsy material. Though Marise and Hakuya both were skilled fighters, they were on relatively equal footing. In a way, Kenji was the 'stronger' of the two right now, as he was tenaciously clinging to his fighting spirit to keep Balrog distracted - so more of the other Gedo students could filter past as Marise and Balrog are drawn away from the stairs to the boiler room, and the safe location therein. Hakuya, though he was, right now, on bad footing, could hold Marise for at least a little while longer... and he'd have to hold on for as long as he could, too, just like Kenji.

And, as the Devil Marise leaps at him once more, Hakuya proves just how far he's willing to go for other people.

Even without his hood, Hakuya is not one to panic. Even when Marise tackles him to the floor in a flurry of speed, and those tentacles reach for him, striving to suffocate and choke his life out of him. While likely he could power through it, tear at the tentacles, anything, to get away from the air flow-killing attack, the Suigetsu heir does none of this. Instead, he lets himself get pounced. And the very second he lands, his feet kick upwards, his hands surge forward to grip Marise, and he rolls with the momentum of the pounce, kicking both himself and the demon up into the air once again. Once there, a hand grabs at the tentacles, and yanks them free roughly. A choked, strangled voice then gets uttered. "You want to see my family's seals?" He asks, stuttering and gasping for air as he does.

Gripping Marise by her choking hair-tentacles, as well as by her shoulders with the other hand, the Guardian King lands, clutching to the demon still, and then sweeps a leg out, skidding the sole of his shoe along the ground in a wide circle. A soft, glowing, blue line follows the path of his foot, until Marise and he stand in the middle of a marked-off boundry.

"Then, see this!

COMBATSYS: Hakuya successfully hits Marise with Midnight Sun.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/=======/=======|=------\-------\0           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Balrog           1/--=====/=======|=======\=------\1            Kenji

The circle is completed, and immediately, Hakuya whips the body he's carried with him down into the ground, a rough, fierce spike, hard enough that the ground doesn't even crack, but Marise seems to 'bounce' up off the floor from the force of the throw. Caught in midair once more, Hakuya then repeats this twice more, slamming the Devil hard enough into the ground that she rebounds, is caught, then slammed again. The fourth time this happens, however, something else occurs. Rather than slamming down into the ground immediately, Hakuya swirls in place once, twice, then on the third pass, throws Marise up - probably into the ceiling, due to the low hall, but this isn't something that should cause much damage.

When Hakuya takes a moment to pull up his hoodie once more, than slash his hand through the air, though, that's when Marise should be concerned.

All the downward kinetic force built up behind the first three throws has been collected, and now is applied to Marise. With violent force, the blue energy snaps, and slams into the demon's back with the power of each spike into the floor Hakuya made, for one final slam into the ground.

"Be bound!"

Swift and yet powerful, the kick does it's job. Kenji falls, hitting the floor with a grunt and laying stunned for a moment-- mostly due to the stabbing to the stomach, and the impact of the floor against the cuts on his back. The Missile Fist shuffles a little before getting up to his feet, none the less refusing to give in to the weapon-wielding man.

Panting hard, his attempt at defending himself by trying to block the swipe of the claw at the man's wrist results less in saving himself some trouble, and more in the way of three steel blades ripping across his front with a lash of blood being whipped against the floor in the process. Kenji's head reels back with a deep, gutteral noise that sits somewhere between pain and rage, looking about to fall back. His right leg shifts underneath him with a loud scuff of concrete on poly-plastic wheels and rubber, and the Missile Fist's right arm explodes into bright white-blue chi.


The blue line cuts through the room one more time, the unmistakable projection acting as a guide for a direct blow to the man's chest just one more time. Just one more! He utters it between clenched teeth, the split lips, and with all of the bloody injuries. Just one more... please!

His fist swings into the blue light, the chi surging into his fist and flaring up. His arm travels the linear, high-speed path one more time, hoping to make contact-- and even if it doesn't, the way it should, the release of the shockwave may still yet clip the bastard.


COMBATSYS: Kenji can no longer fight.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/=======/=======|=------\-------\0           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Balrog           1/--=====/=======|

And whether or not it hits, Kenji's arms and legs give way afterward-- and he'll hit the ground with a loud, breathy grunt.

COMBATSYS: Balrog dodges Kenji's Rail Gun.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/=======/=======|=------\-------\0           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Balrog           1/--=====/=======|

With a vicious lash of his arm, Kenji's chest and front erupt in a spray of deep red, blood flying from the fresh wounds and forcing the youth back. Behind his steel mask the Spaniard laughs sharply once again, a twist of morbid delight and spite as his eyes peer down at the reeling young man. "Useless," he hisses. "Your efforts are so incredibly useless. Did you honestly THINK you stood a chance against Shadaloo's finest?"

But--this again?

Blinking as a harmless line of chi lances forward through the room, the man's legs tense up as he sneers, hands splaying into claws as he crouches a bit. And when the determined young Kenji launches himself forward like a bullet again, the Shadaloo assassin--isn't there?

Instead, in the span of mere seconds, the man leaps up and clutches to the ceiling above like some odd animal, nails and fingers digging through ceiling tiles and drywall as he lets the young Gedo fighter fly harmlessly beneath him. Only once Kenji has passed below does Balrog yield, arms going slack as he drops from the ceiling to land in a slight crouch. Then, slowly, he rises up to full height.

"Stupid children. Don't you know your place here in the scheme of things?" he wonders aloud, pacing forward toward the felled Kenji without regard for Hakuya or even his supposed 'teammate' Marise. No, his focus is on Kenji.

"You are all little bugs, little useless, crawling insects beneath my feet. And, like the disgusting, grotesque little bugs you are, I'll step on all of you!"

He lets another shrill, sadistic laugh escape his mouth, muffled slightly by the mask as he reels a loafered foot back before he kicks the fallen Kenji over and over again.

COMBATSYS: Balrog takes no action.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/=======/=======|=------\-------\0           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Balrog           1/--=====/=======|

The Devil has very little to celebrate as her wicked locks contort around the young man's head. That moment of success proves ever so fleeting as the momentum continues to roll. Surprise laces the Devil's expression as she is once more caught in the powerful boy's grip. The grip of her lesser Onigumo technique pulled free easily. The impending physical brutality is not new to the demon.. As hard as Hakuya hits, she isn't especially threatened by that.
Not until he mentions Seals. That.. The Demon becomes sincerely concerned about.
"No.. NO!" Marise's voice rises in panic, her expression a look of feral fear as her voice is cut off within the endless cycle of brutal force! Over and over again, slammed and whirled about like a ragdoll.. Her inhuman eyes can only spy the wide glowing circle upon the floor for an instant.. And her black heart freezes.
Her screech of pain fills the halls. In all the punishment Hakuya had dished out upon her previously.. She hardly murmured a word. But this? As the energy saturates her black form?
The Devil -screams-.
Her pale body nearly exploding in burning smoke and ash as the sacred incantations interfere with the horrid techniques that continue to keep this monster's unnatural existence going. In a flash..
..Ghoulish woman is still. A ruined husk.. Smoldering in the center of the broken tiles. Pale flesh seared, tendrils of smoke rising from her as her glassy, empty eyes look distantly. No breath. No life. A puppet of ancient flesh with its strings severed.

... Crimson energy flickers over the body. Dancing crackles demonic power, snapping at the air. Seals coming undone one after the other.. Breaking apart quickly.

"...K..Keh..heh.." Painted lips begin to work, expelling a volume of smoke past wicked fangs, "...Not.. enough.. boya.."
Golden eyes regaining clarity, black serpentine slits regaining their dread focus. The ghoulish puppet stirs.
Undying golden eyes snap up to the youth, "..Not enough by far.."

The monster begins crawling from the crater, breaking seals crumbling one after the other as she regains mobility a little at a time, "..You have.. a long way to go.. yet.. To end me... Fool!"

Not destroyed... But certainly extremely hurt. And that's not the worst of it..
"...And you.. are out of time.. now.." Her gaze moving to Balrog kicking Kenji's limp form. Its now a two on one.
"Kyeh.. heh.. Kya Ha Haa.." Blood, her own and Hakuya's both, spilling from her lips as The Devil slowly cackles..

COMBATSYS: Marise gains composure.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/-======/=======|=------\-------\0           Hakuya
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Balrog           1/--=====/=======|

Hakuya had no delusions about the strength of his version of the family's ultimate technique. He had JUST learned it, and had only a few opportunities to use it in battle. His ability to perform it wasn't in question, but rather how effectively he could do that performance. Not to mention, in at least this case, his technique was not meant to /kill/ demons... it was meant to bind them, until a fellow Hunter - a Kiryuu, in fact - could use his sealing technique, which would finish the deal.

So when the Devil slowly rises from the painful display of power... Hakuya has only a little surprise registered on his face. Mostly, however, it's something approaching fear. Not quite... perhaps 'respect' in an odd, twisted way, was more accurate. Respect for the strength of this demon. Not only had she survived the sealing technique of the Kiryuu, but the binding technique of the Suigetsu. What would end the demon's reign?

A hand reaches up and Hakuya tugs the brim of his hood down some more, shadowing his eyes more fully. A serious look now siezes Hakuya's face as, for the first time, he realizes Kenji was down... and being kicked while down. That's not good. Particularly since the Spaniard could come after him, too, at any time. What could he do? Alone, he could... possibly take Marise. Neither of them were in good shape. And, it was a long shot, but he could try holding Balrog off while more kids slipped by into the boiler room. There weren't that many left any more. He COULD try that... but not both of them together. He'd go down too fast.

What could he do?

Stance widens, feet settling firmly into the ground. Fists clench, though without the familiar creak of leather, as his gloves were burned away by Marise's earlier blast of energy. Really... while he was unsure what to do, if he simplified it down, there was really only one thing he can do. He had to protect the weak. Even if Balrog and Marise would easily kill Kenji and he, should they fall with no one else to help them out. But if that was how he would go down... he didn't think he minded that so much. Shifting forward, he sets to race towards Marise, intent on taking her down so he could concentrate on Balrog fully.

And then?

"Move aside! Move aside! Gang 'way! We're here to help!!"

Several large, burly Gedo students wielding such fearsome weapons as a mop, a dented aluminum baseball bat, and what suspiciously appears to be a piece of a rain gutter. Other, more proper weapons, such as chains, clubs, even one teen holding a fallen soldier's gun, out of bullets, but willing to use it as a club, charge in past the remaining students. They file in behind Hakuya, spreading out to either side of him. While none of them are particularly strong, it was true... in such a group, with Hakuya there, it was potentially dangerous.

"G-... Guys?" Hakuya asks, so shocked his head comes up and his hoodie falls back off his head. Looking around at the sudden reinforcements, Hakuya is a bit bewildered... but then, he looks back to the two offendors, and seems to nod to himself. "Okay... okay! We can protect everyone like this, now!"

Content to merely abuse the unconscious Kenji Ashima, Balrog kicks at his form repeatedly, leaving nasty bruises in the wake of every relentless kick. "Trash! Vermin! Filth! How dare you defy me!?" he shouts, ignoring everyone around him BUT the now-defeated Guardian King. "I will show you what a fool you are! I will make you PAY for that nerve of yours!"

He crouches, the Spaniard taking Kenji's form by the collar before he lifts him into the air. With the other arm he reaches up, drawing the length of curved steel to the youth's throat. Grinning a fierce, painful sneer beneath his mask, the assassin begins to press the claw's tip to Kenji's throat.

"Now," he offers in a dark murmur. "I will slowly peel your flesh from bone. Ready..?"

But something--someone--interrupts the Shadaloo assassin. His attentions snap to the direction of the voices, noting a few large students making their way toward the scuffle. A hiss of discontentment escapes the Spanish man's lips before he snaps his arm aside, tossing Kenji carelessly aside and into the nearest wall.

"More filth," he grouses.

Again his attentions turn, glancing over a shoulder toward the other student and the woman he's faced off again. Things don't look good for either--but he doesn't care about HER well being. Crouching briefly, the man remarks, "Feh. Hope you can find your OWN way out."

And then he's gone, a flicker of movement as the Shadaloo assassin bounds into the busted ceiling of the school with a laugh, making his retreat.

COMBATSYS: Balrog has left the fight here.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Marise           1/-======/=======|=------\-------\0           Hakuya

The arts of Demon Seals are fading from memory. The ancient techniques, passed down through the generations, are growing in obscurity.
After all, Demons are not real. They don't truly exist. Don't they?

The greatest gift Marise ever received in this new world, was that mankind had forgotten about her. Her kin. Those like her. Passed down in stories and fairytales, perhaps, but only those. Stories for children.. Myths and legend.

How infuriating it is, then, to know that there are still those in this generation who stand against her. Who still remember the old ways, the old techniques. The points of light the Gods themselves granted man, to push back the darkness.

How frustrating to know that her triumph was almost complete. Almost.

All it takes is for those last few to fall, and the world will belong to the dark once more.
Here, the last of the Suigetsu is about to finally be destroyed. She could kiss every last member of Shadaloo for this opportunity. Most especially the hot serpentine partner she's found.

"...Don't worry.. Boya.." The Devil begins stalking forward towards Hakuya's preparing form. Even now the burned marks slowly evaporate from her skin, little by little. She's still much slower, much hurt.. But yet plenty lethal. "..Once we're done with you two.. We'll take good care of your lovely Tenma... Yesss we will.." Her voice a soft hiss, a dark promise, "You see.. I told your pet Russian.."
Another step, "..Before I kill her.. I will kill her friends.. Her family.. Everyone she ever loved.." Violet lips contorting into a twisted, feral grin, "..I am a woman of my word.." Razored nails splaying slowly.

As the remaining Guardian King builds speed, so does the Devil. Moving quicker until..
'Move aside!'

The ghoulish one halts. Wicked eyes peering back Hakuya to the gang mustering behind him. A growl builds in the back of her throat..
"Gnats.. Miserable insects.. Your deaths will compound his failu-" Marise halts in mid-monologue, glancing over her shoulder as Balrog decides to seek alternative fare. Leaving Marise on her own.
..Hmph. Just when she was getting to like that guy.

Glowering eyes return to the assembled mob before her. Maybe.. At full strength she would risk it. Her Koga Arts seem unable to completely destroy the Suigetsu defenses.. But she can break him down overtime. Maybe. But hurt as she is.. With that mob of street toughs...

"Hrrnnn.. Damnation.." She whispers under-breath. Taking a step back.
Almost had them.. ALMOST. Always ALMOST! One day.. One day their luck will run out. She swears it - The Devil Swears!
A claw slowly gestures to the hooded warrior, her index finger pointing directly at him in a slow.. meticulous motion. Held aloft for several, long accusatory seconds.
"This." Drawing that word out over lips entirely too beautiful to belong to a monster, "...This has only just -begun-. Boya."

And with that.. The Nightmarish vision fades. The Devil continues to step backwards into the shadows of the hallway, the hissing pipes just in the periphery of the boiler room... Until only ashes and dust remain.
As if the two dread Ninja were never here at all..

COMBATSYS: Marise has left the fight here.

                                  >  /////////////                 ]
                                 |=------\-------\0           Hakuya

It would probably look cinematic. If anyone had a camera around, it would've made for a fine footage. Hakuya rushing forward, Marise doing the same. One seeks to swing a fist, the other raising claws. ...And then reinforcements come rushing in, and both fighters pause in mid-swing, their strikes mere inches from their intended targets. They both look, and then each separates again. Things were different, now, and even Marise - even Balrog - is given pause. But though Hakuya would perhaps be more heartened now that he knew that it wasn't entirely hopeless... Marise's words don't really keep that feeling alive.

With the hoodie still pulled over his head, it's difficult to read the Suigetsu heir's expression, but needless to say the brief smile that passes over it is wiped clean, replaced simply by a serious, perhaps blank look. Though his eyes can't be seen, it's obvious where his attention is. Promises of retribution for what they did... promises of what's to come, and promises that it's only just begun.

Though he did not fear the demon... he did begin to worry, at least a little, about his friends.

The strength of this demon might be too much.

Then, she's gone, and so is Balrog, leaving just the Gedo students in the hallway. It takes Hakuya several moments to actually relax his aggressive stance, and even then he seems... wary. But after a moment, he rushes forward to look at Kenji, beaten up rather badly by Balrog's kicking, post takeout. Frowning, the Suigetsu heir pulls back his hood, and then seeks to pick Kenji up, looping one of his team mate's arms over his shoulders, and holding him up by main strength. "...C'mon. Let's get into the safe room. Daigo will come for us soon, and we'll get out of here."

As Hakuya limps down the hallway, carrying his friend, and the other students who didn't manage to sneak past in the fighting now file into the boiler room, Hakuya spares a glance in the other direction. He feared no demon... but he did fear for his friends.

Log created on 17:36:56 02/20/2009 by Marise, and last modified on 02:45:35 02/25/2009.