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|Vergil|| The time and place is deep in the woods, far beyond the black walls of Pandaemonium and in the courtyard of the fairy palace. A place of woven trees and glittering black rock formations. Hordes of them have gathered to watch, and quickly part as the demons and the Elites arrive. Amii leads the way, striding towards the Queen who stands waiting in the middle of the circle. "Welcome, welcome. Today, we shall settle this once and for all."
Looking around, she makes a declaration. "On this day, the representative for the demons will clash with the representatives of the fae! The victors decide who gets to keep these woods. If the demon representatives win, the demons stay. If the fae representatives win, we stay!"
Looking to Amii, she adds, "And, to ensure no sour grapes, if the losing side refuses to budge, all involved parties must collaborate on ejecting them. I think the overwhelming amount of force such a group presents would be sufficient to scare the losers away~"
She proffers a hand to complete the deal, and Amii looks to the Elites behind him. "I see no downside for us, as long as we win. I believe in you all. You've done much for us." He takes her small hand in his own, and the pact is sealed. "Very well. Come forth, representatives!"
The crowd parts to let the Elites stand within the circle. The same occurs on the other side, to let their representatives through. They are two, red and blue. One bears a greatsword, the other a katana. Each has white hair, the red one leaving it long and messy, the blue one slicking it back.
"Introducing the representatives for the fae! Dante and Vergil!"
"It's Tony, Tony Redgrave."
|Darren|| Someone new is here! He doesn't look like the 'deals with fae' sort so much as the 'gets tricked by them' sort--there is nothing in his appearance to suggest he is anything but an average guy who stumbled into the Fight Ring.
And yet... there is an infectious confidence in this man, clad in an unassuming hoodie-tee-gym shorts combo. Pristine sneakers and a somewhat gaudy commemorative ring are the only notable acoutrements... before six blue-and-yellow orbs float from the similarly colored drawstring backpack slung 'round his shoulder.
Darren takes a simple black headband from his shorts pocket, slipping it on in one practiced motion. The curtain of locs is swept away to reveal intense emerald eyes that completely redefine his easygoing smile, bolstering that confident air tremendously.
The pokeballs take orbit his around his right wrist. "Darren Spears," he says, entering the circle. He offers both Tony and Vergil handshakes. It's the sportsmanlike thing to do.
Glancing over to Cantio, "Thanks for the heads-up, C." He's always ready to help the fams. Even if he's never met the fam in question.
|Cantio||A familiar-enough face joins Amii as he approaches the Queen, a translucent purple sword already resting against Cantio's shoulder. She keeps her gaze fixed on the Queen that's caused quite a bit of irritation for herself and her allies for quite some time now, and she's made sure to arrive in her Sunday best fighting gear: Her usual outfit, but in black and purple instead! It's not like she'd show up wearing a formal gown or something. That'd just be weird.
"Thank you, Amii. I do have a bit of a personal stake in this myself, so I'll make sure we win this one for yours and my sake." Cantio laughs lightly at his comments while lowering the blade to her side, pausing to tap her finger against her chin. "Yours and... Mine? No, no, ours... Our. Yeah. Our sake. Sakes? Sake."
It still feels wrong in her mouth, but it'll do. Looking over at Darren, she gives him a light thumbs up while checking over her weapon. "Thanks for coming, Mister Darren. More help is always appreciated with this sort of thing."
Cantio looks back up just as the Queen calls forth her champions, and Cantio has to pause and stare for several moments to make sense of who's coming out to greet them.
"... Mister Redgrave? Mister Vergil? Why are you...?" There's a whole mess of questions swirling around in her mind now as she looks from swordsman to swordsman, then shakes it off and brings the sword back to her shoulder.
"No... No, this is okay. If we can't even defeat you here, then there's no hope for those following your father's dream, is there?" She adjusts her stance, keeping the weapon steady before eventually settling on keeping it pointed forward at shoulder level.
"I've been hoping to have a match against you two and seeing how far I've come, anyway. Don't hold back!"
|Lilian Rook|| Lilian could think of a million better things to be doing with her time. The Faerie Queen's gambit is something she'd taken for a farce; the sour grapes of a loser, already fading into irrelevance with the times and unable to gracefully stay away after her first and what should have been last beating. With a brand new concern on her mind-- no, a white whale occupying her every spare waking moment, Lilian is here solely because she owes Amii . . .
What was it? There was a thought she had last time. Some kind of revelation. A little epiphany. Something slid into place and she understood . . . ?
Well whatever. Clearly it couldn't have been that important. Obviously, Lilian finds that this taking place on the faeries' home turf is outrageously suspicious, but she knows their tricks by now, and literally doesn't sleep or shower without their bane on her. Walk in, lay down another, more convincing beating, walk out. An hour, tops. Then she can get back to her Moby Dick.
That expectation is why, the minute she enters the ring, Lilian utters "Oh fuck *you*." upon seeing who's in it.
"Are you kidding? Aren't these demons supposed to be disciples of your father? Even if you don't like him much, Redgrave, aren't you all about protecting humans? And I know *you* happen to be Sparda's biggest fan, *Vergil*." she spits. "What the hell are you doing here? Are people just getting in my way for a laugh now? Is there some kind of inane conspiracy to spite me as much as possible? Why did I even get involved with you if you were just going to turn *traitor*?" The difference in her between then and now, even the diner and now, is sharp and unbalancing. Lilian clutches her temple as if a migraine were coming on. "You people. All of you. I forgot. You can't be trusted. Ever."
|Tamamo|| Tamamo no Mae has arrived without, apparently, correct knowledge of what this challenge would involve. She makes clear her misunderstanding by asking, "Oh, was this not a battle between two champions? And yet, there are two on one side. Are they to fight each other...? No, that seems to not be the case. Was there not a limitation upon the number of combatants, after all? Were we all meant to join battle at once? But oh, that sounds rather like 'war,' I think, which this challenge was meant to avoid repeating. How strange."
She walks with quick, small steps up to Lilian, dressed in a blue, white and red-striped cheerleader uniform, the kind with the buttoned top shortened by gathering it in a knot, holds her pom-poms together up toward her face, and asks, "Should I go and change, after all?"
She's fairly certain she hasn't met either Vergil or Tony -- no, wait, there was one time. "Ah, from that operation in France, yes, I do recall you. My, but that was some time ago."
|Staren|| Staren has decided to accompany Darren and Cantio. Lilian may be involved, but... she can't just stay away from Lilian forever, right?
That said, she does make sure to always keep another Partner positioned between herself and Lilian. She's once again in that lightweight armor from the S6 recovery mission. Watching Lilian warily. She's met with Phony now, delivered the message. Does that mean now Lilian will just try to kill her? Damn, she reeeeally should have asked the Concord for ideas for countermeasures, why has she only thought about that NOW?
Her thoughts are so preoccupied she doesn't notice their opponents until Lilian starts ranting. Staren is SURPRISED to see the two here, for... actually, Lilian's kinda right about that? As dirty as it feels to agree with her on anything.
Lilian is... *lecturing* them on their actions not making sense?
Thoughts go from brain to mouth without delay. Staren raises her hand. "Does telling people why their plan is stupid and inconsistant with their own goals ever work? You sound like me." She starts to smile...
And then her eyes go wide and she claps her hands over her mouth. Oh fuck oh FUCK I just sassed Lilian she's gonna kill me! (Staren assumes she's competent enough to bypass immortality.)
The little catgirl moves to hide close behind... Darren. He seems more sure of himself and less likely to listen to Lilian's manipulations than Cantio, albeit possibly due to being too dumb to fool.
After a brief conversation on the radio, she looks... partly like a hope was smashed and partly like she regrets imposing on someone, and hurries over to stand with (slightly behind and to one side of) Cantio.
|Vergil|| Darren's handshake gets reciprocated by Tony, who flashes an easy smile. "Tony Redgrave. Don't hold it against me when I put you on the ground." Vergil just glares and ignores the offered hand.
"Well, they're paying, you know?" Tony says to Cantio with a half-hearted shrug. "I got bills to pay." Vergil just shoots her an icy look and says, "They don't understand my father. They never did. Whatever strength you mustered will not avail you."
Lilian's aggro has Tony taken aback. His brow furrows. "I don't give two damns about my father and what they think of him. And I'm a demon hunter. This is a demon problem. Protecting people is your job." Vergil sniffs and smirks lightly. "Afraid you'll lose again Rook? Feel free to run."
Tamamo gets a half-hearted nod from Tony. The mood has been ruined by Lilian's outburst. Staren equally does not get addressed, but Amii calls from the crowd. "Worry not. I believe you can best even them. Good luck."
A small pixie flutters in between the representatives on both sides. "When my spell explodes, that is your call to begin. All glory to the victors." She raises a hand and shots a small streamer of light upwards before quickly evacuating. It rises higher and higher before bursting into a shimmer of sparkles.
Tony and Vergil advance, walking slow. The former has his guns out, and the latter has his thumb on the handguard of his katana. They're daring you all to take the first move.
|Lilian Rook|| Lilian, without opening her eyes or looking up, mechanically dips her spare hand to her thigh, snaps it in Staren's direction offhandedly, aims at her forehead, and squeezes the trigger with a sigh. Except she didn't come equipped with a handgun this time. It takes her a moment to notice the lack of muzzle report, and then the lack of weight. The realization sinking in just draws a slow, aggrieved sigh from her. "Stop following me around you annoying piece of shit. I'm already done with you." she groans.
Then to Tony. "Whatever. I suppose twin brothers are always going to be exactly the same, no matter how much they fight. No, I suppose all of you are just the same in the end, no matter how hard you all squabble and pretend you're not." Vergil is actively goading her though, pressing that taunt button for the SSStyle points. "Don't bet on it." she hisses. "I've grown a lot stronger than the last time we met, and it seems like you've stayed the same. Further, I don't have the others as baggage this time; and you look like you have some dead weight of your own."
Lilian unglamers and draws Night Mist with a single sharp motion and glassy rasp, throwing aside the scabbard and moving ahead. "Tamamo, stay back. I know this nasty piece of work won't think twice about trying to target you." she says, walking menacingly up to the middle line, waiting for the instant the pixie fires the starting gun.
A ring of red-black flames appears above Lilian. They blast off in rapid, chained succession, auto-aiming themselves and becoming explosive streaking bolts that land in a lengthy enough sequence to pressure a block string. Lilian blinks forward between the third and fourth shot, skipping gunplay and testing strikes to go straight to crossing up Vergil from the flank, and then warping to his opposite, rapidly repositioning herself around him from multiple angles, whirling and slashing as she goes. All there is to catch are split-second blinks of flying hair and skirts and streamers of red and black arcs as she lays on huge offensive momentum from the start.
|Cantio||Cantio's distracted by Tamamo momentarily, and she squints while stroking her chin. "So that's what it's supposed to look like... No wonder she keeps asking me to try it."
Without elaborating further, she turns her attention back to the brothers. Or, rather, Lilian chewing them out for various reasons that she's probably thinking of without actually saying. "It's fine. It's still a job, although I'll have to remember to hire you both ahead of time in case something like this comes up again."
She flashes Tony an understanding and vaguely apologetic smile at that. "I understand. Next time, though, please get in touch with someone from the Concord. I'm sure we can come to better arrangement than what you might have now, but... Next time. For now, we'll manage."
She looks over at Staren next as she hides behind Darren, staring at her blankly for several moments before returning her gaze to Vergil. "You need to be stronger than that, Miss Staren. If you're going to fight as a champion, then you shouldn't be afraid of your own... Allies." There's a mild scolding tone in that, but it's not as though she doesn't understand some of that apprehension. She's just getting better at holding it in.
Vergil's icy look, meanwhile, has Cantio clenching her jaw a bit as she keeps herself from flinching (barely). "They don't? Well... Hmn. I can't blame you if that's the case, then." She taps her chin a few times, then shrugs and starts advancing towards the brothers as they do the same.
"If I can't believe in... Er. Some image of your father that might or might not exist, then I'll just have to believe in everyone that put Pandemonium together!" Cantio lets the tip of her blade drop forward to point towards Vergil as she gets within lunging distance, and then she grips it tightly in both hands as she surges forward suddenly.
There's nothing fancy about Cantio's first move. It's a stab at center mass, both to try and catch Vergil in mid-step while also trying to feel out his defenses and the difference in their ability. She's seen his regeneration before, but actually taking him on directly like this is somewhat nerve-wracking, to say the least. "What kind of person was your father, anyway? Do you... Uh. How much do you remember?"
|Darren||<Tac-Concord> 4 Darren says, "What you hiding for, girl?"
<Tac-Concord> 4 Staren hissing whisper, "That's Lilian!"
<Tac-Concord> 4 Darren says, "What's that got to do with me?"
<Tac-Concord> 4 Staren says, "...Sorry."
<Tac-Concord> 4 Darren says, "You good. I'mma set you straight. The behavior just now was busta-like. The busta jumped out, and she jumped back in. And we can't have that here, you feel me? You gonna talk the talk, you walk the walk. I won't have nobody in this family that don't respect themselves, blood."
<Tac-Concord> 4 Staren says, "...I didn't understand the first half of that, but respect doesn't make me invincible."
<Tac-Concord> 4 Darren says, "We'll speak on that later."
"Bet," says Darren to Tony with a confident smile--equally unbothered by Vergil's cold shoulder.
Darren stands, legs spread, knees bent, palms on his knees, eyeballing Tony.
Strutting up like that cause he wants me to hit first. Like a 4-4 front. He's saying 'don't matter what you do, I'mma answer that ish. Okay. We'll just play deep, then.
Darren bellows a command. "BLUE! 42! Hut hut! HIKE!"
Two of the pokeballs snap open. Two short creatures appear in flashes of light: an outer-space ladybug and what looks like an alien in a trenchcoat.
Saucer's will extends across the space between Darren and Tony, filling it with multitudinous invisible barriers. Darren, his pokeballs, and anyone who's taken up arms alongside him gleam with an iridescent, protective two-coat glow. The hovering ladybug makes an agile bombing run on Tony, attempting to nick him with claws before rapidly retreating into Darren's pokeball.
Meanwhile, Roswell pre-emptively counterattacks and exerts his will much in the same way--there is an unusual shift in the space occupied by those fighting Tony. Namely, Tony's speed will avail him less than it normally would, and those who are slower than him are faster than they otherwise would be.
Stonehenge with arms is up next. Slabb just kind of... sits there. However, simply being near him fills one with the invisible power of the earth.
|Tamamo|| "Are you quite certain that the demons are a problem?" Tamamo asks Tony. "It may be a problem involving demons, but so, too, does it involve elves, and humans."
Tamamo looks to Vergil. "I do not know him, but might you tell me what it is they so fail to understand, about your father?"
Unfortunately, Tamamo cannot activate the ultimate technique of Chi-Li Dyng, as it was a divine technique made for focused teamwork, and she's the only one who came prepared. Still, even as Lilian appears wholly focused on the serious aspect of the situation as bloody conflict between powerful, hard-edged swordsmen (and Cantio), or maybe even because of that, Tamamo frowns and commits to the bit. She does step back, but it's followed by a high kick and kiai of "Ei!"
As her foot comes again, it impacts the ground like the soft chime of a distant bell, as the first of her blessings and curses activates, beginning to siphon good fortune from Vergil and into his opponents.
|Staren|| It's fucked up to now just be dismissed (and casual kill-attempted, or is it a mindgame?) by Lilian. Battle lines are drawn. Staren moves back towards Darren, away from Cantio, looking between Lilian and the demons warily.
Darren launches into a FOOTBALL POKEMON STRATEGY. And Staren doesn't know football. Uhh. Um.
Well, the starting explosion sounded. Staren makes a drawing motion and suddenly is holding an oversized pistol that fires comet-shaped blasts of energy with recoil that visibly knocks her back, watching to see how well Tony dodges.
|Vergil|| The battle begins. Three on Vergil, two on Tony. The former continues to confidently stride through Lilian's initial onslaught of magic blasts, moving his body only as much as he needs to. He gets a little scorched, but plays it cool. "If she is so important, you shouldn't have brought her here," he says, mashing that taunt button more. She blinks, and he raises his sheathed sword to try and block, only for her to appear on the opposite side. Her blade finds flesh and draws a pained hiss from his lips before the wound closes instantly.
Cantio rushes in, taking advantage to try and get some impalement going. In a flash, Vergil now holds a greatsword and uses it to deflect the strike. She scores his side as Amii yells, "The Devil Arm he bartered from us in exchange for immediate escape from the demon world!" Vergil tunes out, feeling strange, his eyes scanning the field and seeing Tamamo. "Ah. Now I see..."
With greatsword and katana both in hand, he becomes a whirlwind, spirallying upwards and aiming to bring Cantio and Lilian with him with a flurry of slashes. But these are a feint, as a cluster of spectral blue swords rain down on the three, aiming to impale the two women in multiple places. They freeze in place when they do, leaving them suspended in the air as Vergil drops, tossing the greatsword so that it whirlwinds in place, slicing the two up.
And once he lands, he dashes at Tamamo in a flurry of movement, stabbing with the handle of his sheathed katana to knock the wind out of her, before following up with a spinning back kick to send her flying.
Tony meanwhile stops, considering the setup Darren has going. Barriers, and some kind of slowing technique. With a shrug, he throws his arms to the side and strikes a pose, snapping his fingers and declaring "Royal Guard!" before Saucer slices at him. He raises an arm in defence, and the impact causes a red flash and a heavy impacting sound. The same again for Staren's heavy shot, but it makes Tony stagger back. Whatever he's going for, seems like he didn't land it.
"Trickster!" he shouts with another pose and fingersnap, and then he just... disappears. Appearing above Darren and Staren, he yells "Gunslinger!" Both his guns fire rapidly down at them as he spins upside down, letting out a "Yahoo!" Not letting up, he throws his sword down to bury itself in the dirt blade-first before landing hand-first on its pommel and breakdancing on it, aiming to strike the two with a flurry of kicks!
|Staren|| Staren quirks an eyebrow at the pokemon's attacks and the way Tony reacts. What is he trying to do...?
When Tony disappears, Staren immediately turns around, plasma pistol ready to shoot where he's going to appear behind her! ...Huh?
Gunfire rains down, sparking off some magic field around her head and lodging in her armor; she grunts at the impact, and raises her arms to defend herself from the followup attack only to get kicked through the air several feet!
Staren sits up from where she landed with a groan of 'Urrrgh...' She fires a wild burst from the plasma pistol, then drops it as she stands, some kind of magitech mad-science pneumatic canon in her hands, enhanced in unclear ways with bits of wire and gemstones. It's clear what it is as Staren takes aim and fires a net of glowing blue-white energy, which expands to hopefully entangle Tony, sticking to him and itself! It hopefully follows teleports, too. "Hit him hard now, Darren! While he's slow!"
Following her own advice, she draws her laser pistol and fires a followup burst to pour on the damage!
|Darren||He -does- have answers for a lot. Damn... I hate going up against other guys like that.
Darren, Roswell and Slabb make a three-way star pattern. Neither of the two pokemon is particularly fast under normal circumstances, but under that strange space-bending, they both hustle alarmingly well to get clear of Tony's gunfire. Darren, ordinarily quite fast himself, ends up 'walking'--but the spatial distortion fast-forwards him in a way that's disorienting to look at. He approaches in that same fast-forward way, his motions jittery as he bobs and weaves, trying to get in on Tony.
He's got too much reach for me to do anything but juke. Classic blitz defense--trying to keep us off our guard with high-octane rushing. Just gotta stay cool and wear him out. Staren's on the money...! "THAT'S IT!" Darren hollers, clapping Staren on the back as encouragement for her strategy. "ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE!" Another command: "HUT ONE! HUT TWO! REGULATOR! HIKE!"
--Slabb's Power Spot
Immense psychic force pummels Tony's body, attempting to completely stop his breakdance along with Staren's energy net, and drive him hard into the pommel of the sword. The idea is to time it just right to knock the wind out of him, for...
Slabb. He leaps into the air, carried by lumbering but powerful stone-pillar legs. A concerning shadow grows wider and wider over Tony. One look up, and the towering stone creature's smiling face is faintly visible behind a burning wreath of flame.
|Cantio||"A transforming weapon...?" Cantio doesn't recognize the blade until Amii identifies it, and she inhales sharply at the realization that fighting against Vergil wielding that specifically might make things a little awkward if Amii's watching.
Only a little, though, since she's far more concerned with not getting obliterated as the fight continues. Taking up a defensive stance with her own large sword, she grips it by the hilt and blade to try and weather the tornado of blades rather than even attempting to evade the maneuver. While that flurry doesn't make it through her defenses, she's caught flat-footed by the rain of blades striking her from above and also raising her into the air in a strangely frozen state.
And then the greatsword comes up, blendering the shit out of Cantio for significantly longer than she'd like as she ends up landing in a clumsy roll afterwards. She pants lightly while pushing herself back onto her feet, taking a quick breather as he goes for Tamamo. While he does, Cantio starts swinging her sword sideways a few times as if shaking something off of it.
It gets bigger. Wider, mostly, as Cantio reshoulders the weapon and starts approaching Vergil again. Competing with him in a contest of speed or swordsmanship is clearly out of the question, but trying to leverage weapon size and strength might be a viable alternative.
And some tricky bullshit, too, as she sees Tony teleporting above Darren and Staren. Getting an idea from that and Lilian's strange teleporting attacks, she sprints at Vergil and raises one hand towards him, snapping her fingers and shouting "Trickster!"
There's no teleporting, though. Instead, a Cantio comes at Vergil from below dressed like some kind of cowgirl wielding a katana. She charges in with a nigh-suicidal diving swing at his legs as the original Cantio dives at him from above with that larger plasticky purple-tech blade, slamming it downwards to try and catch him from two directions at once.
|Lilian Rook|| Lilian's motions were absolutely aimed straight for Staren's head. Habitual and mechanical, a bullet would have gone right through her brainstem; or at least maybe the fourth would have, given the armour and all. She'd even 'pulled the trigger' a few times in a row. In an alternate realiy, a dead Staren would have dropped anticlimactically into a pool of blood and Lilian probably would have just kept talking.
And despite the initially 'unimportant' reason Lilian had come, or the exhausted venom in her voice, the cold mania in her eyes from the first moment she crosses blades with Vergil is real. Things have changed. Even if she isn't as prepared as she'd like to be, Lilian goes hard at Vergil from the start. It's a rematch she's thought over a thousand times while aching and sweating in training.
The whirlwind of slashes are something Lilian fends off with the suddenly turned and braced flat of her sword, their momentum ridden up into the air with him, where she briefly hangs amidst a fireworks display of red-white sparks. "I've seen that one!" she calls out, when the spectral swords materialize above her; no, slightly *before* they do; Vergil's reflexes can catch that discrepancy. When they rain down on her, black static ripples from Lilian's feet, and she half-backflips despite already being 'defenselessly' in the air, turning on her side and tightly barrel rolling through the storm, harsh chiming crashes of spectral blade to ancient lodestone following a path of ghostly blue fragments through them.
She leaves Cantio to her fate. It's like she doesn't even see her.
Lilian shrieks through the air in the form of a spinning blade for just a moment longer as Vergil lands, and lands right in front of him as he dashes at Tamamo, crossing up the flurry of dash-slashes with her own. A cloud of fuzzy after-images appears amidst the seemingly simultaneous eruption of sword-sparks and percussive clashing sounds between them; she moves instantaneously between them to block his movements despite the greater speed of Yamato's draw slash. Tiny patches of ground lightly smoke a colour that is not.
"And I knew you would do that too!" she follows up. "You probably forgot about me after that time, right? But I didn't forget about you, *Vergil*!" Twisting her hands across each other, Night Mist traces a sudden and vicious double clockwork orbit without any preparatory motion, simply disengating from Yamato and cutting in the same motion from pure leverage. Arresting it with her fingertips and swiveling her palms around the grip, Lilian draws her elbows back close to her body and cleaves horizontally through what should be 'inside her guard', blips back to raise the followthrough above her head, flip the blade over into a high guard position, and blips back mid-cleave, swinging a straight and powerful overhead down on Vergil, and then readjusting herself at the last second; a full bodied and committed strike that is a feint anyways. The downward stroke seems to 'bounce' up from the ground, popping back up over the opposite shoulder for a one, two three, four, and a cock-back snapshot one-handed thrust. "You're fighting *me* you bastard!"
|Tamamo|| Really, there shouldn't be any way for Tamamo to avoid this attack, even with the massive interference play by Lilian slowing him down. Visibly, the fact that she does hardly makes sense, absolutely not aided by the cheerleader outfit. Yet, when Vergil moves to strike her, it just so happens that she's in the middle of a spin around to her left, and the handle of his weapon passes a millimeter from her bottom rib, where it would have caught cloth, if she hadn't tied hers higher. His kick connects, but his spin completes at the same time as her, slower spin, and one hard kick finds purchase on another, softer kick, absorbed the force with the flex of her leg.
He's still far stronger than her, of course, and she flies through the air without having had any chance of doing the same to him. Tamamo strikes the ground hand-first, and vaults from her cartwheel back into a standing position, pom-poms still in hand. "My, my!" She does sound like she's already becoming winded, but that fades away as the talismans hidden beneath her clothing refill her stamina.
"I cannot blame you for the attempt, though I should sorely like to do so! I would rather conversation, but I see my wishes shall not be met. You shall forgive me, then, should I respond in like to violence."
Though she says that, she still doesn't take any action against Vergil directly. Instead, she tosses both handfuls of golden streamers into the air, pulls out handfuls of paper talismans from her hidden thigh holsters as smoothly as any sharpshooter, and tosses these in the air, just in time to catch her falling pom-poms. The talismans scatter on their own, strike the ground, and burrow halfway into it.
The part sticking out of the ground is still just paper, and easily ruined by trampling, or otherwise. But the spaces between the talismans begin to quake, like strangely localized earthquakes, as orchestrated by a god who hates Vergil, specifically, and wants to see him trip into a chasm.
|Vergil|| Tony is entangled within the net, the fibres wrapping his limbs. The follow-up psychic pressure knocks him from his perch as he struggles to get free. Rubbing against the blade of his own sword, he cuts the net and gets up, fighting the psychic pressure as he takes up the blade and challenges Slab. "Swordmaster!" he shouts, whirling that massive sword like it weighed nothing to carve into the approaching stomp. Then in a flurry, he's running up and jumping off the Pokemon. "Gunslinger!" But this time, rather than the dual pistols, it's a monster of a sawed-off shotgun that he treats like nunchucks, whirling it around him as he rapidly fires and reloads, sending pellets to hit Darren and all his active Pokemon at once!
Staren though, gets to hear "Swordmaster!" again before Tony just yeets that massive sword at him before shooting it in the pommel mid-flight to make it fly faster!
Vergil meanwhile presses his blade against Lilian's, gritting his teeth as he tries to overwhelm her. "Spare me your inferiority complex," he snarls as she starts striking, attacking without moving to carve him up. Tamamo's earthquake breaks his footing so that Cantio's dual-pronged attack can strike him, sending him stumbling. "Hrgh. I'll concede that you've improved. Or simply shed some dead weight. I don't see that Xion girl hanging off you any more. You've developed some sense, but not enough to become truly strong."
He raises his hand and catches the greatsword as it comes down, before quickly swiping it twice in a reverse grip. Black force leaps from the blade to crash into the trio before Vergil starts his approach, a flash step at a time, each one punctuated by one of those whirling slashes in the air to pressure them. Once in range, he dual-weilds katana and greatsword both, alternating vicious slashes with each to force them all back, ending it with an almighty, spinning overhead with both.
|Staren|| "Hey! Xion's not dead weight!" She shouts back at Vergil. Then Staren stares as Tony just swings the giant sword like it's nothing. She's seen people do that before of course, but... it's a reminder of how physically outclassed she is against a demon. This guy is clearly tough, speedy, AND strong...
Net gun sticks to armor, pistol holstered, manipulator out. When the shotgun comes out, she's deployed a shield barrier to hide behind... but that attack isn't for her! How can he use a gun like that...?!
Instead, what comes for her is a thrown sword. "Are--" Are you kidding me?! She barely has time to be EVEN MORE INCREDULOUS at his use of bullets to POWER UP THE ALREADY RIDICULOUS SWORD-THROW, dodging too slow, the massive sword lodging in her armor, knocking her down again.
It hurts... The IRMSS will fix that soon. While I have the sword he has one less way to block. Hit hard now. Missiles? He can shoot down. Bullets? He can probably deflect. Energy? Maybe?
Staren's jetpack rights her. She grunts as the sword stuck in her is jerked around a bit by her movement, she grabs it with her left hand, though she half expects it to get telekinetically yanked back or something anyway. A bit of blood seeps out around it.
The unease on her face before is gone. She's looking at Tony like a player looking at the board, considering how to beat her opponent and anticipating the payoff of her current play.
Staren holds out her right hand towards him, the same sort of gesture a ship captain with a large hat makes as he or she commands someone to fire the Wave Motion Gun. A missile appears obligingly and launches at Tony.
Intercepted or not, it's just smoke. While he reacts to that, she's shifted the position of her hand slightly, as her own sawed-off shotgun warps into it; this one finely furnished and decorated with rubies. She doesn't pull the trigger, but it fires a shower of sparks from both barrels which detonate into fireballs a couple of meters across on impact. Can he dodge that?
|Lilian Rook|| "It can only be an inferiority complex--!" Lilian gasps over the clattering of metal in blades-locked face to face ~~shirtless~~ close proximity with Vergil. Sensing the greatsword coming --again, somehow without first seeing and reacting to it-- Lilian suddenly spreads her feet apart to drop her stance and lean deeply back under the sweeping slashes, hissing out strained breath with the sudden effort of having to keep herself just shy of the ground, then giving up her position to leap backwards, twist over once in the air, and regain her footing at a neutral distance again.
The wave of demonic energy that comes her way is counter with a thrust of her hand and a sharp snap of her fingers, releasing an explosive blast of black hoarfrost to blow up in its path. "--If I were *inferior*!" she finishes, at a shout.
Lilian stands her ground as Vergil approaches. For a split second, her eyes are following him perfectly, and then as he turns into an untraceable slashing blur, her pupils suddenly snap forward and defocus. Her arms and legs move almost automatically. Feet moving rapidly across the ground to keep her at sword's length from him and no closer, striking and intercepting the tail end of his blows, hands shifting and twisting around the grip of her sword in flawless concert with the motions of her hips, shoulders, even fingertips, representing years of training since-- that sword looks as if it's come alive to defend her of its own accord, leaping to and fro as if it has muscles of its own. Her look of intense, teeth-grit focus, betrays the guise of an autonomic response; she's responding to something else than trying to keep track of Vergil's movements visually.
Lilian catches the double-bladed overhead straight on, and wishes she hand't. Her shoes split their seams as her feet are driven inches into the cracked earth. Hot sparks spit onto the seemingly unhealing bruise mark on her cheek, causing her to wince with one eye. She feels clicking in her shoulders. Both at once is overextending. "Hnn-- Maybe it can be a little of both, asshole!" she puffs, breath fogging the blade. Then she disappears again, letting the heavy chop from both Yamato and the greatsword suddenly fall through and disrupt Vergil's balances.
She reappears behind him, her form tucked into a tight, high-speed spin that allows her to release a snap high kick at the back of his head with immense force. She blips back in front of him, continuing the same spin to drive the pommel into his forehead with the full strength of both arms, and then appears lower, throwing the rest of her momentum into a lightning fast sweep kick, plunging her off-hand into the dirt to arrest her inertia. She springs upwards into a lunging upper knee, turning it into a mid-air bicycle kick, and pops out of existence once more, conserving her backwards flight into ramming into him from behind, swordpoint forward, guard nestled close into her body, braced like a jousting lance, dirt exploding behind her.
|Tamamo|| "My, how rude. What would even trouble you about Xion? I suppose I shall never understand those who seek only strength, but even that seems a cowardly retreat from the merely difficult."
Tamamo overhears, and has something to say about the matter, but her attention is primarily focused on her talismans. This time, when Vergil approaches with his blade, it crashes against previously-invisible shields, shining geometric figures that spark with every impact, and shatter, one at a time, when they can take no more. She's forced back to slow the loss of these defenses, but responds by stepping forward again. While the earthquake still continues, and the ground breaks up at what would be 'random' if it weren't consistently to Vergil's detriment, the next set of talismans fly into those crevices. Hidden away, each becomes a flame-blasting, combo-breaking trap, just to make the Son of Sparda's life harder.
They serve as a good means of setting up an opportunity for Tamamo's suddenly-materialized mirror to swing down, in time to the otherwise quite cheerleader-like motions of her arms, toward his body, and then let her leap away again.
|Cantio||"Inf... Gh. I'm working on it." Cantio 'replies' to Vergil, not realizing just yet that he's addressing Lilian as she shakes off her sword again, widening it a little more and shifting into a diagonal hold so she has it ready to defend herself from whatever may come next. "You're partly responsible for that, believe it or not. I sacrificed a lot to... No, that's not right."
She inhales stiffly. "I've stained my hands more than I'd like to get where I am. To be able to wield this power more effectively, to change things." She announces, raising an eyebrow when Vergil mentions Xion. It's only then that she realizes that he's actually talking to someone else, creating an awkward silence from Cantio. Luckily...
She has the excuse of trying not to get cleaved apart by his oncoming slashes. With that widened blade acting as a buffer between herself and Vergil, Cantio starts swinging it and herself around to block the worst of his strikes as the copy dives to the floor to avid getting herself carved up. The whirling slashes still manage to cut into Cantio and scatter pieces of her oversized blade around the arena floor. By the time he switches to dual-wielding again, her sword is back to its original size (still big), and the last slashes are only barely blocked while still sending Cantio skidding back on her feet with a spurt of vaguely pixelated blood.
"Kh... We can always speak after the battle, Lady Tamamo. That should be fine, right?"
Instead of approaching again, Cantio maintains her distance. She flips her sword around to try that underhanded grip Vergil had used earlier, then brings the sword to her shoulder again with the blade pointed directly behind herself. A thin laser appears from the bottom of the sword pointed at Vergil, followed by an array of significantly larger light beams coming at him from multiple directions. On closer inspection, they're firing out of not only her sword, but those scattered pieces of her weapon that had been spread around the floor moments ago.
|Darren|| Tony manages to escape the trap before Slabb can press the advantage. The sword strike shatters the iridescent barrier protecting the pokemon, and knocks him off course, his massive bulk cratering the ground and shaking the earth beneath him. He gets up, ready for another pass, but the pokeball rotating around Darren opens and switches him ut.
He's too fast for Slabb even with Trick Room up. Can't speed him out. We'll -spread him out- instead. We're gonna run a gun.
It's at that point that the pellets strike Darren and Roswell both, knocking the former off of his feet and shattering the barriers that protect the both of them. Darren twists in midair, landing in a three-point stance and getting back to his feet. Still got some time on it, tho. Let's use it while we got it.
"HELIX! RED! 19! HUT Hut HIKE!" The pokeballs orbiting his wrist spin rapidly, loosing a massive, grouchy yeti and a leering four-armed haunted sarcophagus to back up Roswell. That's right, it's real History Channel Hours now.
Ramesses used Toxic Spikes!
Harry's Snow Warning! - It started to hail!
Harry used Aurora Veil!
Roswell looks like he might cry! He hung on for Darren...
Roswell used Psychic!
Darren used Telekinesis!
Fist sized hail begins raining down, pummeling Tony--but not Staren, Darren or his pokemon. Instead, the aurora borealis, at this time of day, at this time of year, localized entirely within the arena, appears and winds around Tony's opponents, bathing them in protective light. From the dark depths of the sarcophagus' shadowed hands spew pointed stones, dripping with poison. Visibility is low, there's hazards all over the field--it's Darren's attempt to counter Tony's high-mobility fighting.
"LET HIM HAVE IT, STAREN!"
Darren levitates into the air, flying towards Tony as hail cracks against the shimmering barrier which cloaks him. He throws a psychicalyl augmented haymaker from one side, as Roswell aims a crushing blow for his abdomen.
|Vergil|| Tony takes that fireball shotgun direct, the blast knocking him clear to land in a smouldering heap. Bizarrely, he doesn't seem burned at all as he gets up, weathering the hailstorm. "You know, I guess it's true what they say... two's company, but three's a crowd. Gunslinger!"
The dual pistols come out again and he breaks into a run. The barrels flash as he performs trick shot after trick shot, trying to cut down Darren and his team as he approaches Staren, still with the sword in her. He grabs the handle and says, "Sorry babe, gonna need you to lie down for a while." With a sharp yank, he pulls it out and launches into a frenzy, swinging the blade around to cut her, repeated thrusts, stabbing it into the ground to poledance and kick her, before swiping upwards to launch her. "One!" Another swipe, to keep her airborne. "Two!" And then a baseball bat swing to send her flying. "Three!"
Vergil laughs as people jeer at him over mentioning Xion. "Why be so mad at me? I only reiterate Miss Rook's opinion." Speaking of, he tilts his head forward to let her kick pass over it. "I've already seen that," he says, mocking her earlier retorts. "If all you do is strike from blind spots, I will defend those blind spots." The greatsword comes up to catch the pommel strike on the flat of the blade, jumps the sweep, blocks the bicycle kick and sidesteps the thrust.
With all his attention focussed on Lilian's blistering onslaught however, Tamamo and Cantio can get their own hits in. The flame traps force him to slash Yamato to attempt to destroy them, forcing him to catch her mirror swipe on his arm, the bone within creaking from the impact. Cantio's laser cluster cuts into him from every angle, rewarding her with spurts of blood and multiple holes that he has to close with regeneration.
"Enough!" he snaps, exploding into a flurry of movement. Cantio sees him coming from the side for a moment before he's stabbing at her with that greatsword, a burst of black force launching her, before he's upon Lilian, aiming to pop her upwards with a fast draw cut with Yamato, and then Tamamo sees him rush her with a fast, spinning slash, perhaps not even noticing the glowing sword he stabbed he with in passing before it explodes and sends her upwards.
Away from the constant ground tremors, Vergil gets to work. Juggling all three with quick, spiralling slashes, before one final slash knocks them all down, where he pursues with a heavy, two-handed downward slash with the greatsword. "Die!"
|Darren|| Darren has to fight on the run, as do his Pokemon. There's one problem--none of the ones on the field are all that fast, and that bizarre spatial distortion appears to have just run out.
"HELIX! RED!" The same play as before--but he's calling an audible; making an adjustment as one of Tony's bullets strikes the barrier surrounding him, causing it to flicker. "POWER! 24!" He touches down, the pokeballs orbiting around his wrist halting as he slides to a stop. Roswell is struck dead on, falling to the ground as his barrier fades.
Darren recalls the fainted Pokemon--it's just Harry and Ramesses now, but already they're making the play Darren called.
Ramesses used Defense Curl!
Ramesses used Defense Curl!
Ramesses used Defense Curl!
The sarcophagus is just kind of... vibing, in the middle of all this, winding its four shadowed arms around itself and leering menacingly at Tony, as chunks of hail shatter against its barrier and the tough shell beneath it.
The yeti is very much more active. He isn't fast, like Darren is--but in this hailstorm, he doesn't have to be. This is his element. With hirsute, snowcapped arms raised, he directs the hailstones into a huge, grooved lance, hurling it at Tony.
Harry used Blizzard!
The slipstream generated by the hurled lance lifts the sarcophagus and carries it along--which seemed to be the plan from square one. Roswell's mischievous red eyes gleam as he attempts to bodyslam Tony with his extra-hardened carapace.
Ramesses used Body Press!
Darren withdrew Harry!
Daren sent out Nessie!
The yeti is switched out, and in his place, there appears a large, friend-shaped plesiosaur, charging forwards with eyes aglow, roaring ferociously and trying to catch Tony with her sharpened horn following the bodyslam!
Nessie used Outrage!
Darren, meanwhile, is on the move, running to keep himself a difficult target, as the hailstorm begins to die down...
|Staren|| Staren's ears twitch and she glances at Vergil. "Her opinion is trash."
And then Tony is coming for her. She backs away, wincing as she feels the sword move, and she can't keep away forever. She expects him to run her through, but instead he goes for something much more... kinetic. She cries out a short 'Ah!' as the sword is freed with a spattering of blood, and then thrusters on her armor twist her out of direct hits, Staren putting everything she has into not getting sliced up, but there are just so many attacks, her armor is covered in cuts, some of the plates falling off, the black layer torn into in places revealing more tightly-packed, thin layers of sciencey materials.
Mid-assault, she warps a disc into her hands, its use becoming apparent as she finally deploys a thin amber bubble of force around herself right before the sword swipes. The field being hit still launches her, and then the baseball bat swing SMASHES it, satisfyingly making the field explode in a shower of sparkles, the disc makes a loud POP and its magic smoke escapes, and Staren still goes flying, "AAAaaagh!"
She doesn't fly off into the distance, though, the jetpack arresting her movement after a dozen meters or so. Also, she finally remembered she can turn off pain in this particular body.
Still, she sounds... tired. "Why. Why is it so important to you to expel the humans...?"
Stars appear in her vision. She looks at Tony's as she aims the shotgun down at him, letting his surface thoughts and emotions into her brain.
Barring a sudden and unexpected cessation of hostilities, she channels magic into the weapon and fires again, scattering explosions across the ground--and then she aims again and pulls the physical trigger, some kind of jet-propelled slugs accelerating towards Tony at hypersonic speed!
|Cantio||What /is/ Xion's relation to Lilian, anyway? Hell, what's Xion's relation to Cantio? Vergil's words raise some questions in the sub-leader's mind, but there's few answers she can really get out of this fight on that topic. Just as well, since there's still plenty of fighting going on, and plenty of more immediate concerns regarding her life and safety rather than that of Tamamo and Lilian.
Well, a little concern for Tamamo. Not enough to override Cantio's interests in her own survival, but she does make sure to cast a healing spell or two on her to help take the edge off Vergil's next flurry of pain... Wherever it's coming from.
On the plus side, Cantio's peripheral vision is good enough to see him coming from the side, but her reflexes aren't quite fast enough to stop it from happening. She can only brace herself moments before getting stabbed and launched into the air, and Cantio grits her teeth to bite back further noises as she pulls her sword towards herself again to block the attacks from at least one side.
All the attacks from the other side still hit their mark, though, sending Cantio to the ground with a painful crash against the ground. As Vergil's coming down, however, he might notice that Cantio's wardrobe suddenly changes to that of the one in the cowboy outfit with the hat.
That Cantio promptly gets cleaved in half, exploding in a shower of pixelated blood and light. The real Cantio is still laying on the ground, but decidedly less exploded as she drags herself back up to her feet. Clenching her fist around that sword tightly, she punches her other shoulder once to recover feeling in it, then grimaces and points her weapon upwards with both hands.
"I don't want to kill you, Mister Vergil. I... Doubt any of us could even if we wanted to, anyway. I just need to know..." The great sword explodes, its component pieces scattering and lingering in the air as the blade itself becomes as thin as a rapier's.
"Did you really want to kill us just now?" And then Cantio charges, switching her strategy up entirely from what was previously a weighty approach to one focusing far more on speed and precision. Her moves still aren't perfect, but she's compensating heavily for that with even more tricky movements courtesy of those floating bits!
As she aims quick swipes and risky lunging thrusts at Vergil in rapid succession, volleys of lasers and bursts of sound that disguise where her attacks and other lasers are even coming from. There's footsteps coming from Vergil's sides as she comes in from the other side for a swipe, beam sounds from behind as they fire at him from above, and even the occasional sound of another laser firing from one side followed by Cantio actually coming in for risky lunges from from the same direction.
|Lilian Rook|| "Oh good. You can adapt." Lilian shoots back as Vergil ducks her. It sounds much less cocky than she'd like it to. "I was wondering how long it'd take you to catch on." She was hoping that'd be all it took. "So don't get so full of yourself!" And yet, then, "Tamamo--!"
For someone talking about being glad to ditch their dead weight, she can't seem to keep her eyes on her foe for long. She dashes out of position, trying to get between Vergil and Tamamo and blindside him at the same time, and is sent skyward again. Realizing she won't be able to stop and dive back down in time, she cancels out her momentum and returns to the ground instantaneously. This puts her directly under the drop attack that falls on her instantly. She *reacts* to it, but not by 'teleporting' away again. Attempting to block Vergil, to keep him away from the other (two incidentally). It doesn't work.
Lilian crashes into the ground on her back, needing a hand against the back flat of Night Mist just to keep the greatsword away from her face. An unpretty sound escapes her throat as the air is driven out of her, the dress she'd ill-advisedly worn to what should have been an easy win duel tearing around her waist and shoulders. Something crunches unpleasantly in her arm. She spits blood. Bitten tongue. No time. Pause it and roll out of the way.
"You first." Lilian coughs, rolling her shoulders uncomfortably and settling back into her usual middle stance at a distance. "If this world's history means anything, demons that side with humans win, and demons that gladly jump to do the bidding of immortal imperialist monsters lose, right? I like that. It's nice and simple." She raises her hand, a twist and flick of her fingers casting motes of burning light into the air that materialize into hanging shards of something silvery and reflective, vibrating with an unsteady inner light. Swiping her hand down, they descent on Vergil en masse. Though they appear metallic, when parried, they splash like striking liquid mercury, and burn horrendously where they land, boiling away into nothing and taking flesh, clothes, even stone with them, again as mercury absorbing gold.
|Vergil|| The world is fire and ice. Tony is engulfed in flames with an ice spear launched at him. But, in that instant. "Royal Guard!" Two more of those reverberating clashing sounds. Is Tony hurt? Yeah, but he's not down. "That's a real nice shotgun. I got one as well, take a look," he compliments Staren with, before taking out that beast of a sawed-off and shooting her point-blank with it. He then fires it under his arm, aimed backwards so that the spray of pellets cuts Darren off.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asks, breathing ragged, before breaking into a run, jumping from one remaining Pokemon to the next to get above the Trainer and bring the sword down in a heavy cleave that matches the one Vergil did.
Speaking of, he looks to Cantio and says, "Lie down if you don't want to die. That responsibility is yours, not mine." Lilian's magic meets that whirling katana as he spins it above his head, deflecting the silvery liquid and sending it splashing about. He's untouched. "I thought you were above petty appeals to morality. I just don't care. Call it what you like." He flicks the katana, sending the last splash of the fae bullshit at Lilian as a distraction before running circles all around her. Those phantom swords fly out, while a different set begins orbiting her, blades inward. They enclose, just as Vergil goes for a sweep of his own.
|Lilian Rook|| "I wouldn't be dumb enough to try and appeal to any moral sense in you." Lilian replies to Vergil. It's dry, but matter of fact. "I'm observing the pattern. What was the name again? Right. I like the feeling of playing Sparda for Amii and fighting Queen Mundus over there, even if it is just by a proxy servant, since she knows just well enough what happened the *last time* she stepped at me."
Lilian settles in as the summoned swords appear all around her, her eyes loosely tracking their rotation, but not watching them in particular, waiting to catch a change in their motion out of the corner of her eye.
§He's done this one before too. He won't rush in first; he'd get in the way of his own swords, so he'll wait for them to pin me down before following up with an attack while my defenses are lowered. I just have to wait for then.§
The swords fly in. Vergil dashes. Lilian twitches, but doesn't seem to move. Then--
Lilian glances to the narrow spacing between the bades, clicks her tongue, then turns into a mirage made of black smoke. Sinking through the ground, she glides through the virgin earth; the one way the swords aren't oriented from. She pauses behind Vergil, but his previous words still ring in her ears. Instead, she throws down a fistful of her runestones instead, scattering them into his path, below the blind spot created by his lunging body.
--Lilian disappears out from them, and instead, where she was standing detonates into a raging, sky-high inferno.%
|Darren|| "Up your nose with a rubber hose, fam," replies Darren, his barrier cracking as he turns in place to make a lightning-fast juke. The impart of the sword nearly bowls him over--his Pokemon are getting tired. But he showed up to Show Up--to give his support to the Concord.
He won't be able to get away. The Pokemon are returned--he's gotta carry the ball the last ten yards. Darren steps on the massive sword, charging forward, dukes up. Jab, jab. He's easily several inches out of reach, and yet a wave of force follows his punches, carrying all the impact his awakened mind can muster. "That's where." He steps forward. His hip pivots, his shoulder, his left fist, balled, swings into a startlingly quick haymaker uppercut. Last chance--the QB sneak.
|Vergil|| Tony takes those hits. But he gives as good as he gets. Rebellion comes around and upswards in a massive sweep, trying to pop Darren into the air, before Ebony and Ivory come out to shoot him repeatedly, keeping him airborne with each shot.
Meanwhile, Vergil is consumed in flame, but he keeps coming, pursuing Lilian and aiming his foot to stomp down viciously on her own before unleashing a furious flurry of rapid drawing slashes before one last horizontal slash to knock her flying.
|Lilian Rook|| "Just go *down* Vergil. Don't make me . . . Like I did with--"
Lilian grits her teeth. He's really out for blood. This ridiculous faerie farce, and he's out to make it a duel to the death. He turned on Amii. He broke her trust. Her *hurt Tamamo*. And he's trying to *humiliate her again*.
Lilian doesn't move from her spot as Vergil approaches. He'll expect blind spot attacks. He'll expect magical traps now. Charging him head on is a contest of swordsmanship he could hypothetically win. Her fingers clench white-knuckled tight around the hilt of her sword. "Over and over. Again and again and again and again and again. Why don't I ever get to have what *I* want?" Lilian horsely whispers.
Lilian does nothing. Scores of deep and grievous thrusting wounds skip the line of cause and effect and are wished into existence. Steam that is smoke that is red that is white and glittering with alien stars hisses from Lilian's hands and blade for a split second. A molten outline lims her feet, glowing cherenkov blue.
|Staren|| There is no understanding to be had today. She's not able to focus well enough before Tony is practically up in her face. She looks appropriately shocked, trying to get away, but it's useless. Tony's shot rings out, and Staren drops out of the sky, hitting the ground with a THUD. Her armor's messed up bad where she was shot, deformed, cracked, broken, that's a nasty impact for a body to take and some of the pellets might even have gone through.
With pain turned off all Staren can feel is that she can't breathe. Her internal robot medical surgical system's report on her HUD indicates a prognosis of NOT FATAL assuming no further trauma, but she can't move right now, let alone fight.
That... that counts as a defeat, right? This wasn't actually a fight to the death, right? Vergil is talking a worrying amount about death. Just how badly did she fuck up here...? She may be immortal, but that doesn't mean death is pleasant, and what about her allies? She struggles to remain conscious... Then remembers she doesn't have an organic brain, exactly, so can't she just treat it like a computer?
She's not thinking clearly. It doesn't work that way, and she can feel something straining in an extraordinarily uncomfortable way when she tries. Turning off pain was one thing, but the more she tries to isolate herself from its input the more this starts to become 'not a body' and the psi-tech shenanigans anchoring her mind and soul to it strain. Right now this body is not in a good state and consciousness is not pleasant, at any rate...
|Vergil|| "You go down. Surrender if this upsets you so much."
He's glowing blue as he weathers Lilian's bizarre, reality-bending onslaught. Hunched low, slowly exhaling, one hand hovering over the handle of the sheathed Yamato. This is it, the big one he did in the bamboo forest. But just before he does it...
A single shot from Tony, as the only one standing from that fight, aimed at Lilian's knee.
And then the world holds its breath as Vergil slashes reality itself.
|Lilian Rook|| "You don't get it. None of you get it. You never get it. Why you drive me to-- and then you-- Why can't I just--?"
Lilian is far too distraught to have any coherent answers. This isn't how she pictured her rematch with Vergil going at all. She was supposed to face him alone. Win fair and square. Blade to blade. Not like this.
"You stay out of it!" she snaps at Tony, swinging her sword with the overly powerful windthrough of a baseball bat, intercepting his bullet and sending it flying back at him and multiple times its original speed. The air tints blue. She feels demonic power roiling off of Vergil. She recognizes the stance. That has to be the space-severing wide area attack that cut her up so badly last time. How long she'd wracked her brains for what to do about this.
For the second time not just today, not just in a row, but *ever*, Lilian deprives the spectates of any comprehension of the following events, and relies on what is, unbeknownst to her, currently being called Type: Black. In the next moment, she flinches back, gasping sharply, blood spraying from her hands, fingers, and forearms from numerous shallow cuts, from and her cheek, the bruise somehow having darkened and opened up again, like it did with Candy. It results in a scattered cone of judgement cut lines terminating halfway in space, a burst of light that tastes like metal, a ribbon-like arcing-curving dance of slashing distortions amongst Vergil's forest of atomically clean straight lines, and Lilian wishing into existence that this were over with previously unrevealed power.
Breathing heavily, she wipes the sweat from her brow, and turns to Amii, waving tiredly. "I told you . . . Rooks don't lose to faeries."