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View Full Version : wRHG Tournament R1: Walden (The Strongest) vs Aiman (_Ai_)



Hewitt
07-11-2013, 08:52 PM
7th and Final Battle for Round 1 is up! Here are the Stipulations:

Setting:Empire Monks would train in this mystical dimension, in order to hone their elemental masteries. The Garden is but a medium-sized lot with nothing but grass and a huge tree in the middle. This tree is actually hollow and has many climbable areas from within. A river also runs between the plains and under this tree, forming a yin-yang symbol on the inside. Because of its location in the equinox, the sun also rises every 10 minutes and sets at about the same time.

In addition, Aiman's elemental powers are augmented in this place. He has a seemingly bottomless amount of mana and cannot tire at all when using his elements. However, the singularity of this realm has caused his elements to shuffle and he CANNOT use every element willingly. (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?51013-wRHG-Aiman) Everytime the sun rises and sets ONLY ONE element is usable for him. It rotates in this order: Nature, Ice, Fire, Water, Electric, Earth, Wind. Dark and Trance are blocked in this realm and he may not use them.

Handicap: Aiman's mana does not run out and his elements are augmented at the expense of him not being able to control the order in which they appear. Certain OP elements of his are also locked out for the duration of the round.

Antes :
***Antes are Extra Challenges that add twice the points wagered if successfully pulled off. They come in 3 Flavors (Easy Medium Hard). No two participants can have the same kind of Ante.

_Ai_ has initiated an Easy Ante: A planetary wobble has caused the garden to remain in stasis for a "day". Aiman must win with only 2 of his 7 elements. He can pick which one to start with, but the 2nd one must always be the subsequent one in the pattern. (You can pick Fire then Water but not Fire then Electric)


The Strongest has initiated a Medium Ante: You must showcase every one of Aiman's 7 available elements (in order, mind you) before you can finish the battle. You may start with any element for as long as the sequence is followed.

Bonus for this Round: Early Bird / First to Post their entry

Scoring:
- Votes are worth 5 pts. each.
- CNC-ing an entry gives you 10 pts. Detailed ones get an extra 5 pts. Maximum 3 CnCs per participant.
- Bonus for the Round is 20 pts.
- Fulfilled Antes give 10, 20, 30 pts. and lost 5, 10, 15 pts if failed depending on difficulty
- Judge's Blessing gives 15 points if entry caught the Judge's eye.

Here are the entries:

Walden (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?73106-Walden)Introduce the Challenger

”Congratulations newcomers and latecomers alike! You have just pledged your entrance fee of...your lives!”

Two simple sentences were all it took to fill Walden with a sense of great and terrible anger. The remainder of his pack reacted in similar fashion, sensing Walden's unspoken demand to find and kill the betrayer. But without any reliable means of doing such, the best Walden could content himself with was the howl of the wolves that had not been consumed to keep up his strength. That sound of unbridled rage resonated with something deep within his own soul, and an all-too-familiar red fog began to form before his eyes. And then there was blackness, as he was whisked away by the magic of science.

How long was it that he was left in that blackness, transiting between dimensions like a supernatural commuter? Even the spirit world had more life than this void. Of course, Walden didn't know what was occurring. Instead, he believed himself to be dead. Killed by a traitor's cowardice. The thought was infuriating, yet the recognition that this was the end dulled all feelings of malevolence. What was the point, a little voice from his heart whispered to his soul, now that he was consigned to the same fate as all who would lose their lives? There was no point in anger, now that the Reaper had finally come for Walden.

Speaking of the Reaper, where was he? In fact, the distinct lack of an ominous figure there to claim his eternal soul was not the only thing that was throwing Walden through a loop...something else was off.

Walden sniffed.

The stench of death was nowhere to be found. No, instead, the only thing that Walden could smell was...grass? It was then that Walden felt a rush of other sensations. There was the grass, yes, but this time it was brushing against his skin. A sense of touch...yes, Walden had it, but it seemed that his sense of sight was lo--

No, that wasn't it at all. Walden opened his eyes, and squinted against the sun as it was about noon-time, there in the Imperial Garden.

“This...is not as I recall the spirit plane.” Walden said, speaking the words aloud more to confirm that he did indeed have his sense of hearing. As if that last sense would prove to be the final piece in this complex mess of a puzzle he was beginning to find himself in. Much to his chagrin, it didn't. No, instead it left him feeling even more confused. Had he, Walden, not just been smote? Was this not, in fact, an afterlife?

Walden's mind reeled, attempting to rationalize the situation.

Perhaps it had something to do with his regular communion with spirits. Or his domination of twelve of them. Perhaps it had something to do with what happened when he felt himself consumed by rage. Was the spirit world afraid of him? Or did it look down on him, now. Maybe he had been exiled from it, left in this pocket dimension to be forgotten by both realms. Hmph. Walden looked around the garden. It was peaceful, but plain. It was not a fitting afterlife, he felt. No, it was far more likely that he would go mad from boredom than be able to wait out the end of eternity in contentment.

Walden stood up, feeling somehow rejuvenated. As if he hadn't been fighting in a warehouse moments ago. As a matter of fact, Walden had no idea how much time had passed. He pulled a pocketwatch from his coat, and looked down at the white surface. Simple, metal hands ticked about the simple numerals, revealing something odd. He had been in the warehouse, fighting, for twenty minutes at the most. Yet as he looked up at the sky again, the sun had progressed quite a distance. In fact, as Walden tried to stare at the sun through his fingers, he could make out a very definite progression through the sky. Already, the canopy to this scene was beginning to transform, from a clear blue to a magnificent display of reds and oranges and purples. It quickly became too much for him to handle, but glancing away did little, as already it seemed that night was beginning to fall, and at an alarming rate.

Walden quickened his pace, heading towards the one landmark he could distinguish in this plane. A large tree. As he drew closer to the massive piece of nature's architecture, Walden came to readjust his assessment of the tree's size. It wasn't just large, it was huge. Easily, Walden imagined, one could make a home inside that living tower. For that reason, Walden was disappointed with what he actually found inside the tower.

Rather than the quaint set of wooden furniture, and a little fireplace, that he had been expecting, the tree was hollow. And that was all, at least at that level. It also wasn't hollowed all the way up, instead it appeared to be a rather complicated maze of crawlspaces, ledges, and suspiciously well-made bridges. More suspicious than the bridges, however, was the river located within the tree, which divided it into two distinct regions, regions that were too precisely divided. This was not entirely nature's doing. So where were the ones who had lent a hand to this place? Not a soul was there to be seen. Or so it seemed.

Introduce the Opponent

In truth, there was one other inhabitant in this plane. A youthful looking young man, dressed all in black, with hair just as black. He was high above Walden, at the top of the tree, where it cleared into an impressive view of the Imperial Garden. Up there, in fact, it seemed as if some kind of a fighting ground had been prepared. An impressive platform had been constructed, near the top of the tree, with a single, large hole in the center, an opening leading down to the Yin-Yang symbol below. The platform had been used as a sparring ground, it seemed, and it was well stocked for the occasion.

In fact, it was just as it had once been. Whatever force kept this realm stable, it affected even the supplies. Forming eight points of star was gear useful for training one in elemental powers. They would not offer Aiman any significant advantage, beyond a homefield advantage. Memories of five years of training, here, came flooding back to him. With the flood of memories came the flood of tears, as Aiman's trip through memory lane ended with the final imprint of his masters' sacrifice.

Far, far below, the wracking sobs attracted Walden's attention. The tree, it seemed, would not be too hard for an old man to climb, and so that's just what he started to do. Well, Walden's optimistic guess proved to be more optimistic than honest, and by the time he was a quarter of the way up the tree, it seemed that the sobs had ceased. Nothing bad had happened, no, Aiman had simply gotten over the sight, and he had more than enough time to compose himself, while paying his respects to their memory.

Further up, further, and finally Walden emerged onto the platform, taking in the sights. He had never seen anything quite like it before. It reminded him of what he expected a dojo to look like, but not for any particular martial art. Instead, it was as if some sort of naturalist had purchased a dojo and just set up shop. Some major, easily recognizable elements were there. A bowl of some sort of burning material, perhaps oil; a bowl of water; a bowl that seemed to have been filled with rocks and dirt; a bowl of water, somehow frozen; a bowl that seemed to have been used a grower for some sort of alien fruit-bearing vines; a bowl that didn't seem to contain anything in particular; a bowl that wasn't so much holding anything as emitting the occasional harmless spark of electricity; and a bowl that Walden couldn't see into, instead seeing a point of blackness that did not make much sense in the otherwise well-lit room. And so it was, that Walden began to get an idea of where he was. Not a place to be cast away to die, but perhaps a place where one was sent to grow stronger. It certainly had everything a person would need to prevent oneself from going insane with boredom, or from becoming deceased.

Well, then, if this weren't the afterlife, just manner of place was it? Another moment's consideration lead to a conclusion. That youth, there, looked familiar. Yes, there was little doubt about it, he recognized that one from the warehouse. Which clearly meant...

“The tournament has begun.”

Walden was dumbstruck for a moment. The youth had taken the words right from his mouth. Of course, he seemed an intelligent lad, so it didn't seem so far off the mark that he would have come to the same conclusion. Still, he was surprised by the exact wording of his own thoughts being stated.

The sun hadn't been up for long, but already it seemed the world was getting dark again. How odd.

“My name is Walden. It is a pleasure to meet you...” Walden began. He left a pause, indicating a request that the youth give his own name.

“Aiman.” Walden's opponent answered. Although Walden was sure that they were the only two in the place, the black-haired gladiator didn't have a trace of the sorrow that Walden was sure he'd heard in him during his ascent.

“Well, Aiman, like I said, it's a pleasure to meet you. Shall we establish the rules of engagement now, then? First off, any shooting will be done to the front. I think we can both agree that a shot to the back takes away quite a bit from the experience, no?”

Aiman nodded.

“Alright. Second, I don't believe that this should be a fight to the death. I've seen enough bloodshed for one day, I think.”

This time, Aiman's nod was mixed with a grimace. Walden had a good feeling about this young man. He, at least, hadn't been slaughtering the thugs like cattle. Hadn't he mentioned the blunt edge, too, when he had been swinging that greatsword around?

“Thirdly, I believe that we should both declare our abilities straight off. I apologize if this seems forward, but I would like to start off on as even ground as I can with you. You need not go into specific details, but I hope you will give me an accurate reckoning of your power level.”

“My power level?” Aiman asked, a mischievous grin on his face, “Well, since you don't seem to have the benefit of a scouter, I'll just tell you right now, it's a little over...nine-thousand.”

Walden's look of confusion must have egged Aiman on further, because the black-clad youth burst out laughing at his own joke.

“I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Just kidding. I'm an elemental mage. You see these bowls around you? I can control each of the elements represented there. Nature, ice, fire water, electric, earth, wind, dark, and what I like to call trance.” Aiman pointed to each of the respective bowls, but for the last one he pointed to himself, there not being any representation of the “Trance” element present besides himself.

“So, what're ya going to be throwing at me?”

Walden considered Aiman's question for a moment before answering, “I control a pack of wolves from the spirit world. I can use them to attack you, or to improve my own body. If you try my patience too much by breaking the rules of engagement, my wolves will give me the power to tear you apart, and I won't be able to stop myself from taking advantage of that offer.”

The threat that Walden left off with had no effect on Aiman, it seemed. Instead, the black-on-black mage cracked a grin and a joke, “Well, you're a regular Hulk, aren't you?”

The joke went over Walden's head, and again he found Aiman laughing at his own joke. It wasn't the kind of laughter that one would find grating, though. Instead, Walden thought it endearing. Yes, he felt very good about his opponent.

“Alright, then. Now that we know each other's powers, I think that now is a suitable time to begin. Prepare yourself, Aiman! I have calculated your strength and will you fight you to the utmost at its level!”

FIGHT!

With a flourish, Walden threw his jacket backwards, a tear appearing in the air, and several of Walden's spectral wolves leaped through, howling at moon that was already rising to replace the sun. With a wave of his hand, and a command of “To me!”, all but one of the wolves disintegrated, the particles of their corpus seemingly inhaled by Walden. He sighed a sigh of satisfaction and looked up to see Aiman, with light electric currents running along his body and a look of confusion on his face.

...is delayed.

“Hey, that was really cool and all, but can you hold on for a moment? Something's not right. My powers are all wonky.” Aiman apologized, giving a sheepish smile and letting the lightning dissipate. Then he took a stance that looked like something from an anime...and sparks flew, again.

“This isn't right.” the mage complained, waving the spear that he had conjured around himself as if to further emphasize the point. “I wanted my greatsword. What's with this place? It's not at all like how I remembered it. It's like it's in charge of what I can and can't use...and that's everything besides the one thing that I can use. Such a pain.”

“Do you want a few moments?” Walden inquired, his hand was still on the head of his cane, he'd been just about to draw his blade to complete his pre-fight ritual, but now suddenly didn't seem like quite the best time.

“Yeah that'd be great.” Aiman responded, appreciation in his voice.

Aiman stood there, trying to tap into his power over fire again and again to no avail. No, instead he would be rewarded for his efforts with sparks. He spent the whole night doing that. All ten minutes of it, as Walden's watch claimed. The aging gladiator had decided to keep an eye on how time progressed in this place, and was rather surprised, though it made more precise the rapid passage across the sky he had seen earlier.

As the first few rays of sunlight began to poke through the many windows about the little arena, Aiman let out a shout to the effect of “Success!” Followed quickly by “Aww, not again.”

Walden looked up from his watch, which he had been checking at the time, to see that Aiman's spear had been replaced with a huge shield.

“It looks like you don't get a choice as to what you do in this place.” Walden noted. The look on Aiman's face told him that he had come to that same conclusion. “You just seem to switch at random whenever the sun rises. A new day, a new element.”

“Well, in that case, I guess there's no use putting this off any further, huh.” Aiman quipped, hefting the shield and setting it down in front of him with a heavy-sounding thud. “Well, then. Come at me! I'm not getting any younger, here!”

Something's gotta give.

Walden drew his blade. A rapier wouldn't be an inaccurate label for it. It was a weapon not exactly made for breaking through shields larger than a person's torso. Despite that fact, he took a testing lunge forwards. Sure enough, that shield was an immovable object when Aiman wanted it to be. Walden had anticipated that, and consequently he hadn't put enough force into the blow to really damage his weapon. Well, this fight was taking an interesting direction, then.

Walden decided to press his attack further, trying to keep the earthen fighter off balance. Up there, the only available source of rock for him to manipulate was located in a bowl to the side. That would, doubtless, be useful to Walden's effort, as it took a good portion of the massive advantage that Aiman would enjoy away from him.

“Flank him.” Walden commanded his wolf. He was rewarded first with a snarl, but the wolf obeyed, running around to a position to Aiman's undefended left side. The shield was highly effective at defending in one direction, but an attack from two sides, Walden reasoned, would prevent the massive defense of the shield from allowing Aiman to stage an effective counter-attack. Focusing his efforts into fighting Walden would leave him exposed to the wolf, but turning his attention to face the wolf would create an opening for Walden. It was a stalemate.

For several minutes, Walden and Aiman stared each other down like two gunslingers as high noon approached. Whenever either of the two would make a testing move, trying to find some weakness in the others position, they would be confronted with the swift counterattack. Aiman could take advantage of the earth-filled bowl to create an opportunity in the same way that Walden's wolf would allow him one, but neither one was willing to fully commit to an attack.

The sun set, night fell quickly, so that the only sound was that of Walden's wolf. Aiman took a step forward towards Walden, the wolf snarled and feigned an attack. When Aiman turned, Walden himself made a feint. Aiman turned back, using a rock as a missile to deny the wolf the opportunity to make an attack. An impenetrable defense for Walden to lament his inability to overcome, but up here, that specialization turned out to be crippling.

The inability to press an attack was clearly frustrating Aiman, who seemed to favor spontaneous action over the drawn out defense he had been forced into by the Garden. His personality, once fired up, was something of an unstoppable force, but it was put directly against the nature of the fight, an immovable object. Something had to give.

With a sudden war-cry, Aiman ran forwards. The timing was poor, as the sun had been set for several minutes. Whatever he was planning, it would be foiled by the sudden change in his own power. Still, the rather sizable wall that was charging was a danger to Walden, but the nature of the shield made it difficult for Aiman to see past it.

So it was that Aiman missed Walden's sidestep, and turned around only just in time to deflect the coming wolf. A strong shove threw the wolf to one side, and before it could recover, Aiman was charging again, this time using his elemental power to control the shield itself, and hurling it, while he himself kept going.

In a feat of acrobatics made possible by the spirits he had reinforcing his body, Walden fell backwards, dodging underneath the flying shield-turned-projectile. Aiman was still coming, though, and Walden rolled backwards, kicking into Aiman's chest as he approached, sending him backwards, while Walden curled his legs back and rolled himself into an upright position, again.

Like catching smoke

The first rays of another dawn peeked over the horizon, and Aiman watched his shield transform where it lay into a pair of swords. He'd had his power for years, and so he recognized what element had come up, then.

With a quick burst of speed, fueled by his current element, Aiman picked himself up and ran forward, catching Wadlen off guard. Aiman jumped up, dodging over Walden's too-slow thrust, and then vaulted off his shoulders to get to the two swords behind Walden and over the gap. That speed, Walden decided, was formidable, and so he called his wolf back to his side.

“Alright, Walden!” Aiman declared, his excitement not quite being contained. “Now I've got something to take the fight straight to you! Here I come!”

Even with the warning, Walden was shocked at how much faster Aiman was moving, especially after having spent 20 minutes watching him hold almost the same position. However, Walden was more ready, this time, and even as Aiman came running Walden had adopted a stance to quickly parry the incoming blow and counterattack.

The wind had no defense, it was an all-out attacking force, requiring one to defend against it, or to hide behind an object of shelter. Walden had turned his blade into that shelter, and even as the first of Aiman's dual-swords was coming, Walden's own blade was twisting and thrusting to knock it away, throwing off Aiman's balance in the process. Walden stabbed at the staggering Aiman, and the wolf lunged.

Little things, little cracks in his offenses and defenses. That was the way Walden would have to win this battle. But it was a difficult thing to do, he found out. Aiman moved like the wind he was using, running forwards to attack, then backflipping away. All the while landing light cuts and gouges. Still, Aiman seemed to get more careless as the fight continued, as Walden began scoring his own hits.

The sun had set some time ago, and the both of them were beginning to tire. Walden's technical fighting style was becoming sloppier, Aiman's attacks were slowing. Even his barrier, which lent him much in the way of leeway, was beginning to let him down, as the frequency of Walden's own hits began to increase.

Then it happened. Aiman was charging again, and Walden was raising his blade to counterattack. Both seemed to expect the bout to go the same way as the others, but then the most surprising thing happened: Aiman tripped. Falling forwards, Aiman couldn't stop himself from throwing his flailing body onto Walden's blade. The blade came out the other end, and Walden saw that the silver was mixed with the red of blood.

Stronger than this.

Walden wasn't sure where he had just pierced, but it looked bad. Aiman, though, looked plenty alive, so Walden withdrew his blade.

“Lad, how bad is it?” Walden asked, concerned. This wasn't meant to be a fight to the death, after all.

Aiman looked up, grinning sheepishly. “I'm a bit clumsy, sometimes. I'll be fine, I'm--” Aiman's words were cut off by a grimace of pain. “Maybe not quite fine, but...the sun's rising. Isn't it a beautiful thing?”

Walden looked out the window, agreeing silently. He was turning back to agree vocally, but he was shocked to see that the bleeding had stopped, and in fact Aiman was standing, looking a little shaken from the experience of possibly looking death in the face, but otherwise not much worse for the wear. The dual swords he had dropped on being stabbed were no longer there, instead there was a bow, and a quiver of arrows next to it.

“Nature lets me heal through this kind of thing. I should be a lot more tired than I am, though. Then again, this place was made to let people like me train indefinitely.” Aiman said, looking nostalgic, but quickly returning to reality.

“Well, come on, then. Stop gawking, get back to our fight!”

Aiman had gotten his bow up, an arrow nocked, and already prepared to fire. Walden saw it, too late, and found himself with an arrow in his chest. An arrow and something else that he could feel spreading from the wound like liquid fire in his veins. That fire was followed by another, clouding his vision with its smoke. Poison. The weapon of a coward, of a sneak, of the kind of thing that pushed Walden over the edge, and brought out the whole of his pack.

Aiman didn't realize what was happening, but he found out quickly enough that he was in danger when the wolves ran to Walden, seemed to leap into his body, and then began to transform it. From the arrow wound, a hissing sound emitted, as the poison was rejected from his body. All the wounds incurred from his fight with the wind element healed, just as Aiman's wounds had healed, and suddenly Walden could barely see through the red haze covering his vision.

Aiman, however, could see clearly enough the terrifying form that his more amiable opponent had taken on, however. The Wolfpack towered over the teenage-looking youth, snarling. The eyes weren't full of any kind of determination, anymore. Not a thing was there besides a frightening madness. And the whole of Wolfpack's body exuded a killing aura. Aiman turned to run, but Wolfpack had already lunged, catching him by the leg and tearing a vicious gash into it as Aiman rolled away.

Aiman healed through the wound, nocking another arrow and firing it at Wolfpack. It found its mark, one of his eyes, but upon withdrawing the arrow, the wound seemed to reverse itself. It was like the earth fight again, neither side capable of making a real advance. Or, rather, both sides being able to completely undo the damage dealt to them. Wounds that would have killed either of them several times over, naturally, found themselves being scored again and again, only to be undone by the healing factors contained by both of them. The fight went back and forth like that for the remainder of the day, both gladiators returning to nearly full-strength in the process.

Deposition

Then the sun rose again, and Aiman was immediately beating a hasty retreat. His bow had become a sniper rifle, his quiver of arrows several spare clips, and his element was now ice. That was good and bad in its own ways. On the good side, the barrier about his body was strong enough to offer something akin to defense against Wolfpack, but on the downside, any wounds scored couldn't be healed again. He had found out quickly that Wolfpack wasn't the same man he had been fighting before, and so he didn't hesitate to run. Ice reduced the wolf-man's mobility, keeping him off balance and unable to reach full speed.

Aiman was using that fact to quiclky begin crawling down the tree, through the tight spaces that Wolfpack couldn't follow through. To the beast that was determined to kill Aiman, this was infuriating. Tearing at the tree was too slow, but it was the best he could do. When he wasn't howling his fury up to the sky. Time passed, and it was a long way down, but when he reached the base of the tree, seeing the river, Aiman let out a whoop of celebration. That was a mistake, as the sound gave away his exposed position to Wolfpack. In the dark of the night, a blood-chilling howl came. The howls had stopped for a time, but when Aiman looked up, he saw the looming form of the Wolfpack standing over the hole in the platform they had been fighting in before. Then he saw the monster jumping, falling down the great height as if it were nothing.

Aiman brought his sniper rifle out, quickly taking aim and firing a shot off. A snarl of rage was proof enough that his shot had found its mark, and another round followed. Though he couldn't see it, the bullets were being forced out of Walden's body, their tearing wounds were healing over, and the beast was just getting angrier.

Then even that anger was blocked out for a moment by a crushing wall of pain, as Wolfpack hit the water. It splashed up and about him, bones were broken on impact, but Wolfpack's fury kept him alive. The horrifying sound of bones snapping apart was reversed, becoming the sound of bones snapping back into place with, somehow, even more sickening crunches.

But Walden was in a river, and Aiman's element was ice. Reacting to that fact, Aiman used his power to freeze the river. For a novice, perhaps, the feat would have been unheard of, but for a master elemental mage who was also fueled by the knowledge that failure meant death and wasn't inhibited by such things as a mana pool, the task was completely quickly and with ease. The wolf was trapped. Aiman raised his weapon to finish the fight. The sun rose.

Sublimation

Aiman pulled where a trigger had been a moment before, and found himself to be holding a greatsword instead. He felt himself go slack with fear for a moment, before recovering. The sound of Wolfpack beginning to tear himself out of the ice helped in that, as the urgency of the situation was a very convincing argument. In a moment of inspiration, Aiman decided to help him. To a degree.

A terribly bright flare of magical fire erupted from the master mage's hands, blinding Wolfpack for a time. He could still smell Aiman, though, and Aiman intuited that fact. So he followed the most reasonable course of action he could think of. He sent a wave of fire over Wolfpack, igniting him. The smell of his foe was replaced by the smell of burning fur and flesh, and any other sense was replaced with agony.

Agonizing as it was, it was not a wound caused by silver, and so it was that through it all, Wolfpack continued tearing at the solidified water that couldn't extinguish the agony licking its way across his body. As the new fur came in, the flesh repairing itself, the flame began to traverse back, to eat of the fuel that was never dying. Aiman took the offensive, again, running forwards and swinging his greatsword. The sword was stopped, however, by one of Wolfpack's arms, and the howl of rage that came was a clear indication that then was a good time to back off.

The flames quickened the melting of the ice, and a trickling pool of water began to form, but it wasn't quick enough. Aiman, terrified of the beast he was fighting, kept his distance. Keeping a steady stream of suppressing fire over the Wolfpack.

Go with the flow.

“Burn, baby, burn.” Aiman quoted, grimly keeping the attack up. The sun had set, but one wouldn't know it due the living bonfire he had created. It came as a surprise, then, when he felt the weight of his greatsword shifting away, becoming the familiar gunblade instead. His hands stopped shooting fire, and instead they began manipulating the still thawing river. Aiman stopped, looking at his hands, and contemplating his next move. Wolfpack would be stuck for long enough to give Aiman time to think. Aiman stood considering what to do. The healing factor on the thing was too strong for him to beat, Aiman reasoned, so stalling was the best thing he could do. That's what he did, then, letting Wolfpack slowly tear itself out of the frozen prison he was still trapped in. The sun set, and Aiman extinguished the flames using the water that was there.

Suddenly, inspiration struck. In an instant, Aiman forced all the water to thaw. He directed the water, drawing more and more of it from the river's flow outside, and made it rise upwards, towards the hole. No tiring, just ascending. He himself joined the upwards flow that was rising rapidly. A geyser. How cool was that, Aiman thought to himself. He jumped out as he passed through the hole, but Wolfpack was slammed into the ceiling, rendered unconscious by the force of the blow. The healing continued, still, though, allowing him to recover from the damage.

The fur seemed to melt away after a few moments, as did the excess and unnatural muscle, leaving Walden behind, his clothes not indicating at all the brutal damage that he had endured. Aiman allowed himself a smile, knowing that he didn't have to worry about being torn limb from limb any more.

“Hey, old man, wake up.” He joked, shaking Walden slightly.

Walden to his credit, took the experience of what he knew had happened well, but after realizing he was talking to someone, he couldn't hide the look of surprise on his face.

“You're alive, still.” Was all Walden could say.

“Yeah, well so are you. So don't act so surprised.”

“I'm happy to see that you're alive, I am. It's just...if you survived the Pack, then maybe I underestimated you. I think I've been fighting with a handicap all this time, without realizing it. You're strong. I'll fight you at my strongest, too. Maybe we'll have an even playing field, then.”

“Suit yourself. But don't be too sad when I beat you at your full strength. I bested your hyper-mode, remember.”

Aiman grinned, and Walden couldn't help but return it. Once again, his pack was called out, but this time one was left behind, and sent back. Walden felt all the power running through his body, and turned to face his opponent.

“The sun's rising.” Aiman said, flexing his fingers expectantly. When he saw sparks fly from them, he laughed out loud. “We've come full circle, now. Back to the beginning. Now that you've got yourself at the right level, let's not hold back. No shooting in the back. No killing. Remind me, who are you? Are you sure you're ready to fight against Aiman, a master elemental mage?”

“I agree to your rules of engagement. And I should hope so. I am Walden, who can summon a pack of spirit wolves and fight you with them, or bring them to me to fight against you. Break the rules of engagement...well, just don't break them.” Walden answered, looking around, he found his sword where had left it.

“Alright, then. Now that we're past the pleasantries, I think that now is a suitable time to begin. Prepare yourself, Aiman! I have calculated your strength and will you fight you to the utmost at its level!”

“Bring it on, old man! I think you'll find my power to be quite shocking!”

This time, both of them laughed.

Cloudless Lightning

Walden lunged forwards, Aiman doing the same. Spear against rapier. In the reach department, Aiman had the edge. But one wrong thrust, and Walden had an opening. It wasn't the spear itself that worried him, though. It was the speed that Aiman was able to use it at. At the height of his own strength, however, Walden was finally on equal footing with Aiman. Each thrust he made was parried or dodged, and Walden's subsequent attack had a similar result. Back and forth the two of them battled around the platform.

Aiman charged his spear with lightning, and swung an overhead slam, but Walden sidestepped the attack and thrust quickly to take advantage of the opening. The mage reacted with the speed of his element, however, digging the point of the spear into the ground and bringing up the rest of its shaft to deflect Walden's blade. The two, it seemed, were able to fight each other to a standstill. A happy occasion for Walden, to be able to fight at what he believed was an equal level.

Walden took the role of the daring one, then, when Aiman's thrust missed, digging the head into the wood floor. Walden ran along it, making a stab as he jumped over Aiman's head. A stab that Aiman dodged and followed up with a bolt of lightning that Walden landed just in time to react to, dodging to the side, and allowing the bolt to pass.

Aiman followed up with another thrust, this one deliberately into the ground, and he used his spear to vault over the distance between he and Walden, once again swinging his spear down, but he had neglected to charge it with lightning. Walden reacted in the way he thought best, taking two swift steps forward, raising his empty hand and catching the spear in the air and pulling back as hard as he could while moving with his own feet to trip Aiman. Aiman, the good-hearted, but clumsy youth, took the foot and found himself on the ground, looking up at the point of Walden's rapier.

“Yield.” Walden commanded, secure in the knowledge that victory was his.

“You win, then, Walden.” Aiman said, letting go of the spear.

Walden smiled, a feeling of tension flowing out of them as he extended his hand to help Aiman up. Aiman took the hand and pulled himself up, the two turning that grip into a handshake of mutual respect.

Aiman (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?51013-wRHG-Aiman)The warehouse was in utter chaos. Bodies were everywhere, blood colouring the wall red. The rest of the thugs who was still alive began running for their dear lives. Aiman somehow survived that hell; and he sure is relieved he didn't die a gruesome death. Even his very clothes were drenched in blood. He sat down, catching his breath.

But, there's no time for a rest.

"Congratulations newcomers and latecomers alike! You have just pledged your entrance fee of...your lives!"

The voiced boomed, and echoed through the warehouse. A whizzing sound with a high pitch followed. It was so loud, it's deafening. A massive tesla cannon emerged from the ceiling. All gladiators were rooted to their place; interested by the event. Out of the blue, the cannon zapped at people accurately. Panic broke out, everyone trying to escape their impending doom. However, none was left. They were all shot to nothingness. Only one is left. That particular person is Aiman. However, he is frozen by fear, energy left his legs. Slowly closing his eyes, he accepts his fate...

ZAP!

The warehouse is now empty, with the stench of the dead filling the air.

"No rest for the wicked as they say...let the first rounds commence."

-------------------------------------------

"Where is this place?" Aiman whispers to himself quietly as he slowly opens his eyelids. "Where is this place? This isn't the Warehouse..."

A beautiful sight came to as he opens his eyes. A glorious, green garden. The green grass was waving at him. The most noticeable thing about this place is the massive tree at the center. The Garden gives out a peaceful vibe, and a has this fresh, fragnant smell. Its like all the troubles in the world has vanished. Its almost like he was in Heaven. Which made him question himself...

"Am I dead?" Aiman questions no one. "Am I in Heaven?"
"You're not." A voice answers.
"Who's there?!" Aiman shouted, seemingly shocked. He doesn't expect his question to be answered. "Who are you?"
"Why would you like to know?" The mysterious voice asked.

A figure appeared from behind the humongous tree. A male, seemingly in his 50s. He's taller than Aiman, by about a few cm. Wielding a cane, he has grey hairs that fit his age. Though, something about him seems intimidating. Maybe his eyes. His sapphire-blue eyes was burning with an unknown determination.

"Hey!" The man shouted, bringing back Aiman from the deeps of his thoughts. "What'cha thinking about?"
"Whoa." Aiman snapped. "Sorry. Where were we again?"
"Haha, you're a funny guy aren't you." The man said as he laughed heartily. "The name's Walden." Walden held out his hand for a handshake.
"Walden." Aiman repeated his name unknowingly. "I'm Aiman. Nice to see you."
"Nice to meet you too." Walden replied. "So why are you here? The Tournament, maybe. I saw you running away from the thugs."
Upon hearing these, Aiman immedeatly jumped back on reflex, keeping his guard up. "Are you a wRHG too?"
Walden nodded. "Actually yes. Are you my opponent?"
"I guess so." Aiman's reply was simple.
"Then, let's have fight our hearts out, eh?" Walden said, as he took a battle stance. "Ready?"
"Ready!" As he took the form of the elemental magic, 'Wind'.

A thought crossed Aiman's mind. "Somehow, I feel different. Its like... I'm a new person!"

An intense staring competition is at hand. Sparks flew from both competitors.

-------------------------------------------

Somewhere, somehow, a drop of water is falling to the ground. Slowly, but surely. The drop of water fell to the ground, and smashed into millions of small water droplets. As soon as the droplet fell, Aiman and Walden clashed with all their might.

-------------------------------------------

Aiman charged Walden head first while summoning his dual swords, while Walden took out a hidden blade from his cane. For someone his age, he's agile. Very agile. However, his speed was not a match for the elemental magician, who is in 'Wind' mode. 'Wind' mode enhances his speed, and gave him access to his dual sword. The mage took a quick slash at Walden with one of his sword, but was unsurprisingly blocked. However, wind pulses revertrebrated, and made a small cut to the cane swordsmen forehead. Aiman did not stop there, he kept pressuring Walden. Walden, holding his wound in pain, let his guard down. He was open to attack in every direction possible. The element master changed form to 'Fi-' ...the change failed?

"What's happening?!" Aiman desperately shouted. "Change!" But to no avail.

Walden took this opportunity to strike back at Aiman. The mage was careless, but was still able to narrowly dodge Walden's attack. Though, the attack hit his elbow, but its only a small wound. When he moves his arm, small sparks of pain shot down his nerve. Aiman channels his magical powers, while Walden is... summoning a pack of 12 ash wolves? With Walden's command, the wolves attacks Aiman in every direction. The elemental magician let out a wave of wind storm, result of his charged powers. The attack was stronger than what the mage expected. The wave attack hit most of the wolves, and they dispersed into thin air... but not for long. Few seconds passed, the wolves started to reform again. Panicking, Aiman calls out for a momentary truce.

"Can we *pant* stop for *pant* a bit." Aiman asked for a truce while panting severely. "Something seems to be wrong with me today."
"Sure, why not." Walden unhesitatingly accepted it. "What's wrong with you anyway? You seemed to be a whole lot stronger at the Warehouse."
"I don't know what's wrong either." Aiman said, finally catching his breath. "I can't change element as I like."
"Interesting. You control elements?" Walden seems mildly interested in Aiman's ability.
"Yes. Maybe it's the place?" Aiman guesses.
"Wait." Walden noticed something odd. "It's already morning."
"Wow." Aiman seems to be amazed after being told this. "Did we really fight this long?"
"Well; lets continue, shall we?" Walden said, stretching his body. "Rested enough?"
"Yeah. Time for Round 2." Aiman said, standing up. "Lemme try once more."

Aiman focuses his magical power in turning into the element, 'Fire', once again. But luck was not in his favor. Instead of changing to 'Fire', Aiman changed into 'Electric' instead. Well damn. He thought.

"Ready or not, here I come!" Walden let out a loud war cry.
"Hey, wa-" Aiman said, but to no avail. Walden was already charging at him.
***_Ai_ has until the end of the week to finish this if he chooses. But he will incur the -5 Per Day Penalty if he does!

Scores will be tallied and calculated at the end of the round.

Vote fairly!

The Strongest
07-14-2013, 03:40 PM
I currently have five votes, and 57 views, which translates in my mind to 52 abstained votes. Despite this, I have no CnC, which I would very much like to read, as there must be reasons to vote for my entry, just as there are reasons to decide that my entry does not deserve your vote. So, consider this a request for CnC in as official a capacity as I can manage.

Nikx232
07-14-2013, 11:50 PM
To be honest my friend, your writing is impeccable! I applaude you for writing such a wonderful piece!
I would love to comment more on what I find amazing, but sadly I have other things to do. I can say however that I love the your descriptions of character action and development (even though I know very little about either of them). I love how you can get into your characters mind and make his dialogue and inner thoughts very clear on who he is as a person! (also like the fact that he is a werewolf-man-person-thing :3)

I wish to know more about your character's story further into your battles and I wish you luck in your future fights!
Nikx232

PS: "I will CnC a bit more detailed later on, but for now this is the most I could do with my short break. Sorry! ^^;"

Shadowkirby
07-15-2013, 12:20 AM
_AI_'s story was great, but for the very obvious, yet major reason is that it's left unfinished. It left off before the fight can begin, and was disappointed.

Sorry, _AI_. Have to go with The Strongest. His story was interesting, dividing it into sub-parts which gives that chapter kind of feel, as if I was reading a book. The fight was well-done, it was a well-thought story.

The Strongest
07-15-2013, 01:36 AM
I agree with Shadowkirby regarding your story, _Ai_. I enjoyed what you had there, but I think I'm a stickler for writing being done in the past tense, rather than the present tense. And at the very least, holding oneself to the same tense throughout the work. I'm kind of holding out on the hope that you will actually proceed to finish it.

My thanks, as well, for the CnC, and the promise of further CnC.

EDIT: Also, _Ai_, even if you don't finish, I would appreciate knowing what you thought of my portrayal of Aiman.

_Ai_
07-18-2013, 12:30 AM
Your portrayal of my character is better than doing my character myself. The clumsiness, all of my characters trait. You, sir, have done wonderfully. Kudos for you. You have beaten me, in and out. This is my complete loss.

As for CnC; I don't have one. Your work is truly remarkable, one which I have none to critique about.

I feel honored to have a spar with you, The Strongest.

Tantalum
07-19-2013, 03:24 PM
Getting round to the threads requested of me first x) I'm really not so quick at these, but at least be doing what I can.

The pauses through The Strongest's intro worked really well, along with a great choice of words to show his character's mindset. I enjoyed the description of the place especially, and Walden's mannerisms were perfectly enough to complement it.
The ante given was a tricky one to work with, given most fights wouldn't last over ten minutes, but the chivalry helped to make it believable. Despite this, the parts of the fight we did get to see in clear detail, lacked the sort of suspense and deterioration that I'd have liked to see. Neither fighter showed any sign of fatigue (though Aiman was partially exempt from this), and while most of the attacks were crippling, they were then healed right after without repercussion. This worked interestingly well the first time (I think just before Aiman got his nature magic), but after that, I was hoping to see more follow-ups to the attacks to make me actually worry for them (like where Aiman got his leg grazed, but managed a clean escape after that).
The ending did deliver on this, although - it didn't draw on any previous events, but was a solid climax all the same x) Overall a good read, driven well by your vocabulary and grammar - congrats and good luck on your next round.

Aiman's intro led straight to the point - not as flashy, but not at all lacking either. Walden's introduction from Aiman's viewpoint was rather fitting, and a good amount of personality was shown from their dialogue.
The transition to begin the fight seemed drawn out a little too much - just a personal taste, but I would've kept it attached to the paragraph before it. The skirmish that led after was filled with action from the start - a great job on fitting counterattacks and steadily revealing the characters' powers, even if some details felt a little hasted. As everyone else said, it's just a shame that we won't see it get even more intense xP All in all, another interesting read while it lasted, and hoping to see you make the most of that second chance.

The Strongest
07-19-2013, 04:43 PM
Regarding the general lack of, as you put it, deterioration, I did that deliberately, putting one implied fatal wound just before Aiman got his nature magic so that Aiman could heal through it (used that to fulfill the requirement of showcasing that particular element, mostly). From there, I figured that the healing would restore energy, but it would normally drain more than it restored. In this environment, that wasn't a factor, though, so I basically used the Nature sequence to reset Aiman. The same would happen later for Walden at the end of the Water sequence. Everything from there until the final round of combat was Aiman using his magic, which would normally have cost him energy, but in this arena he basically had an infinite amount of that, so as far as I understood, he was at the most occasionally resuming a pose every couple of seconds for twenty minutes (the Fire sequence), since the Water and Ice sequences were mostly...not doing much.

Regarding suspense...I do need to work on that. Not sure how to improve, there.