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View Full Version : Ralic (Kamiroo Wolf) vs Leoncio (Azure)



Azure
09-12-2015, 07:33 PM
Once again, we have Plant vs Animal, Flora vs Fauna, but this time, it's a battle between youths!

Ralic, Sakura Descendent (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?96370-Ralic-The-Sakura-Descendant)

Leoncio the Beast (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?48890-Leoncio-The-Beast)

Kamiroo Wolf's Part
*Note: This was copied in the order of the PMs sent; if the order is messed up, Kamiroo, lemme know so I can fix it.

“SWING HARDER, KID! THAT'S IT! GOOD SHIT, DON'T LET UP! WORK THAT LEFT, DAMNIT! LEFT!"

Sweat flies from Ralic's glistening forehead as the fat man roars, his fists hitting the trainer's covered palms in explosions matching the beat of his own heart. The big guy is good, but the way he barks ends up pissing Ralic off more than the actual training itself.

"THERE'S THAT LEFT! LET'S SEE SOME MORE HUSSLE! C'MON, WE'RE FAR FROM DONE!"

Ralic's next swing knocks the fat man back a little, sending the trainer staggering towards the edge of the square ring. Before he can follow up on the attack with a flying crescent kick, the large target taps his gloves to signal 'Time-out' and slumps into the ropes, using them as a makeshift seat.

“You may be good with that axe, kid, but you've gotta work on them hands if you want to get anywhere. And don't get angry just because I bark orders, for fuck's sake." Sighing, the trainer removes the pads from his hands and wipes away his own sweat with bare hands.

“That's what you're for, isn't it, Mr. Brown?" Ralic drops his stance and uses his gloves to wipe the sweat away, taking deep breaths to slow down his fleeing heartbeat. A couple drops of water and some rest later, Ralic is ready to start beating up on his lazy trainer once more. Unfortunately for his enthusiasm , the once famous boxer who had insisted on being the Descendant's mentor shows no signs of being ready to stand up.

“How in the Lord's name are you gonna get tired absorbing punches?! Get up, Mr. Brown, I don't wanna hog the ring all day." Ralic dances in place on his tip toes and raises an aggressive stance as Brown slowly rises to his wide feet. The big man huffs and puffs in the process of sliding the protective pads back on, but gets back into blocking stance once more despite the overwhelming amount of body odor and liquid congregating between his folds.

“I say let 'em wait, Ralic. You practically bought this place with the money you've raised from that last fight, anyway! And enough with the 'Mr. Brown' malarkey! You've given me a job when no one else would, and even watch my kids so that the Mrs. and I can get out more often! Shane is fine, and as far as I'm concerned, you're good people and alright with me."

Even though Shane's words put a wide yet honest grin on Ralic's face, the Descendant can't help but have second thoughts about this whole wRHG system. He regrets not sparing his first opponent, but the bloodshed helped win over the trust of the more notorious sections in the hood. Wishing Lien peace in eternal rest, Ralic raises his fists once more and strikes at Mr. Brown with newfound fervor and ferocity.

One by one, I will personally free the innocent incarcerated within the confines of organized crime. Not every gangster wants to be a gangster, and I will show them how much life really has to offer outside of gang violence. This will be my next move.

“WOAH! WHERE'S ALL THIS COMIN' FROM, KID?! GOOD HITS, GOOD HITS! TRANSITION FROM RIGHT TO LEFT, LET'S GO! WEAK JABS! C'MON! YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT! THERE'S STILL A LOT OF WORK TO DO, KID!"

He's right.

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

Chained territorial bulldogs bark incessantly through waist-high chain fences at Ralic as he makes his way down the fractured sidewalk, street lights flickering on and off as his feet slide across the cement. Had he had a mother, her back would have been broken several times over at this rate, but Ralic keeps on walking. The smell of fire is almost as prominent as the scent of...no, not barbecue. Weed and cigarettes. The Descendant just sighs and keeps on walking through the foul air, making notes of all the barred windows and cracked rooftops, wincing at the brown, lifeless grass, and picking up knocked over metal trashcans. Every moment or so, rusty old cars rush down the street driven by struggling parents either leaving for their 2 o'clock morning work schedule or running from a life they know they cannot escape unless they face it head on.

Ralic's dark brown eyes are heavy, and the boy cannot wait to reach his studio apartment, but before he can turn onto the correct street a black van pulls up on the curb. Ralic leaps back away from the car, tossing aside the dull duffel bag he had been carrying and ripping his Sakura Axe from it's spot within his jacket, using the face of the weapon to shield his own. After a few moments of awkward stillness, Ralic slowly lowers his weapon to see the agent Eiyla standing before him with a confused expression.

“Why so jumpy? You'd think we were trying to kidnap you or something!" She giggles and pulls a document from the satchel beside her, presenting it as if Ralic's paycheck lie within.

“Damnit, Eiyla. You can't just ride up on people in this part of town! I thought this was a goddamn drive- er, never mind. What the hell do you want at this time of night?" The Descendant snaps, snatching the envelope from the beautiful blond agent before gingerly removing the information concealed within.

Leoncio, The Beast.

Ralic lowers the document with a suddenly exhausted expression and shuffles over towards his gym bag, retrieving it before thanking Eiyla and grimly wishing her a safe night. The agent nods and climbs back in her car, fully aware of how Ralic feels in this moment. But he asked for this., Eiyla shuts her crystalline sky blue eyes for a brief moment before pulling away from the Descendant and driving off into the moonlit night sky.

“The bloodshed continues."

---------------------------------------------------------------
Ralic's liquid chocolate eyes slosh back and forth as harsh sunlight brings him back to life within his studio apartment. Lying across the fresh and brand new leather couch adorning his relatively run down living room, Ralic snaps a couple joints and rises to his feet as his skin peels away from the material holding him against the couch.

Leather and sweat. Bad combo.[/]

The Descendant doesn't skip a beat. As if a rag doll, Ralic slings himself across the filthy apartment, stretching every limb possible as he makes his way towards the pearl colored fridge pinned helplessly at the edge of his one-person kitchen. Grape jelly. Next, the teen pivots around on the heels of his feet before flinging open a scratched wooden cabinet. Peanut butter. For the finale, Ralic skips over an untouched loaf of Great Value bread, licking his lips greedily as his hands rest on a pack of crackers.

The almighty God in heaven hath bestowed upon me a bountiful feast, and I shall indulge in his grace with graciousness unlike any he hath ever witnessed before. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!

With the same precision in which Ralic wields his infamous Sakura Axe, the young master fails to falter as he spreads peanut butter and jelly across the bellies of two perfectly salted crackers. He can almost hear the angel's heavenly choir, their wings beating faster and faster as the crackers come in contact with his lips.

Crunch

In an instant, Ralic is met with the grace of his good Lord, nearly tearing up at the sensation of peanut butter, jelly, AND salt caressing his fragile earlybird tastebuds. Taking his time to eat, Ralic exits the kitchen and strolls over to his grey duffel bag, retrieving Leoncio's file from the confines of a week's worth of sweaty shirts. The Descendant finishes the last bite of his morning snack just as his steely brown eyes skim over the section circled with pink highlighter. It skips a beat, his heart, and Ralic will have to remind himself to thank Eiyla sincerely whenever he next sees her.

'Night Creatures, Leader.'

Ralic can not help but crack a creepily wide smile. He skims over the sweat-soaked paper one last time before slapping it on the hardwood coffee table and rushing his spotless bathroom, flipping on the shower with sudden drive.

-------------------------------------------
An aspiring, young Gladiator looking to make his mark on the City...

“Not exactly uncommon, but appalling that anyone would ask for this..." The Jaguarandi absent-mindedly paws a torn verdant punching bag lying flat on its side along the base of the stagnant boxing gym's walls as trainers and trainees alike file out of the area. At the center of the tightly enclosed space, a square boxing ring meant for public spars and challenges sits unoccupied. That is, however, save for one individual standing in the center of it flailing his arms like a maniac.

“Sorry 'bout the wait, Leo. Meatheads always lookin' to get their 'roids worth, y'know?" Leoncio allows the remark an artificial smirk before returning to his exposed and leaky sandbag. Not much younger than himself, the Night Creature takes time observing his street clothed opponent, slightly unnerved by his nonchalant attitude and lack of caution. Speaking of which...

THUD

“Try not to die before you can explain yourself..." Leon sighs, rising to his feet and reaching his hand out to help up a fallen Ralic. His foot found itself caught on the boxing ring rope he had so stylishly attempted to vault over. Failure, of course. Ralic graciously accepts the aid and proceeds to thank Leoncio as he rubs any scratches or sweat puddle residue away from his complexion. The Axe nestled gently within his dull jacket is almost...breathing with energy and life and, for a moment, Leoncio swears he sees the rose bud tip open and close as if whispering advice into the Descendant's ears. Ralic notices Leoncio's glare and takes a step closer, allowing Leoncio to get a better look at the rose bud.

Within arms reach.

Leoncio's keen senses pick up the authentic scent of roses, his nose twitching at the delicate aroma.

“I don't get you, cat guy. Why would you even want to be part of a society you know you won't be fully accepted in? You could just live in isolation for the rest of your life and everyone else would be just fine. Happy, even! If it were me in your shoes, I mean...I'd just give up. Let the people keep their freakless city." The words slither from Ralic's tongue like venom, and they come out of nowhere. Leoncio takes a step back from the Descendant, confused and slightly averting the look in his eyes. He's serious.

“Wh-Where did that even-"

“Think about it: you're nothing but a monster trying to play the role of man. Your ambitions are farfetched and childish. Give up. Go home." Ralic takes a powerful step forward and takes a moment to let the echo ring throughout the gym. Before Leo even knows it, a tight fist has formed at his side.

“You don't understand, and I don't expect you to. The blood that runs through my veins is tainted and the beast within me is little more than an unholy curse on my soul. I must, at any cost necessary, excise this darkness from my being. Not only for societal acceptance, but for my own as well. Why did you summon me here, rich boy? And tell me before this gets violent." The Jaguarundi nearly has his fangs bared at the boy standing with confidence opposite to himself. His clawlike fingers open and close as Leo slowly counts to ten in his head.

“Perhaps, my dear leopard boy," Ralic rushes forward without restraint! As if a graceful rose petal being carried through a tranquil summer breeze, the Descendant wastes no time snatching Leoncio's dark brown headband clean off of the Jaguarandi's head, revealing the infamous pair of ears concealed beneath. “I just wanted to rid the world of one more monster myself!" Ralic follows up on the theft with palm to Leoncio's chest, sending the manbeast sliding back on the balls of his feet. His emerald eyes darken and his livid expression becomes more fearsome than it once was, but Leoncio refuses to allow the beast within to take control.

Om Shanti Inv-

“I REFUSE!" Ralic roars as he rips the axe from his jacket, charging Leoncio with the intent to harm blatant in his bold brown eyes. The cat leaps back, his fangs fully bare and eyes an undeniable gold as he swipes the air, launching an ethereal slash towards Ralic. A mere warning shot. Ralic, however, has no intention of dodging the strike and eats the claw beam without so much as losing momentum. With full force, the Descendant bashes Leoncio against the head with the blunt end of his axe. It's enough to send his opponent spiralling backward, but not enough the get the Jaguarandi airborne. Attempting to obtain balance, Leon shifts his feet with expertise, only to be met once more with Ralic's unrelenting force. Before he can collect his thought, Leo is on the ground and Ralic is on top.

“I'm not going to kill you! Stop squirming!" Ralic's hand finds itself tightly wrapped around Leon's throat, and the manbeast can barely process what is going on before a sharp pain stretches across his face. Ralic leaps off of Leon, narrowly dodging a would-have-been fatal swipe to the throat. The Jagurandi rises to his feet and attempts to chant his trademark mantra once more.

“Oohhhhh Sh-antehh..." A crimson liquid drips onto Leoncio's dull, white pants, and his golden eyes grow wide. Raising a hand to his suddenly numb mouth, Leoncio can feel blood escaping from the dissected corners of his mouth. He tries once more, but can barely pronounce the phrase required to sooth the beast within him.

That's right...just gimme the beast, Mufasa..., Ralic wipes the blood away from his axe using his grey hoodie before raising the weapon, rose bud forward, aimed directly at Leoncio's blood stained hand and furious, rich eyes. “Let's begin."

The Jaguarandi makes the first move, spitting blood at Ralic's unsuspecting brown face before latching onto his weapon's rose and vaulting over the blade! Ralic responds, rearing his weapon back and placing it tightly against his body as Leoncio closes in for a full frontal strike at his attacker's jugular. Predictable precision from a monk. The Sakura Axe absorbs yet another blow and Ralic leaps back, leaving Leoncio time to shake the pain away from his hand; his rage only stacking. Ralic taunts, whistling as if calling a lost pet back into the house. Once more Leon takes the bait, seemingly too far gone to recognize Ralic's trap. Ralic steps into the Jaguarandi's charge, swinging his fist(rather than his weapon) in the direction of the beast's jaw.

I will have your blood! The beast within Leo roars, whipping under Ralic's predictable fist and wrapping his legs around the Descendant's arm before flipping the boy on his back. The impact knocks him out of his wits for a slender moment, but the window of time is just enough for Leoncio to land a good amount of furious swipes across whatever exposed skin Ralic has so carelessly displayed.

DIE!

Unable to roar the command himself, the beast that is now Leoncio only grows angrier when Ralic's senses snap back into focus. A good strike to the golden eye allows the Descendant to roll away from Leoncio and scramble to his feet before sliding up into the boxing ring through the ropes. The blood surfacing from Leoncio's deep lacerations is enough to make even Ralic shed a pain filled tear, but the adrenaline coursing throughout his body refuses to be put on hold.

Clawing through the freshly strung ring's ropes, the Jaguarandi doesn't take long to meet Ralic in the ring. Blood from Ralic's wounds begin to drop onto the blue stage, and the Descendant does his best to wipe away the crimson using his jacket once more. His muscles are tense and he can feel his brow twitching with jittery anticipation. He and the beast circle for quite some time, only stopping to attempt a flinch on one another.

“This sucks...I mean, really, Mufasa. You're already so much stron-" A ranged claw this time out of nowhere! Ralic dives away from a direct and certainly fatal impact, barely managing to escape a sudden onslaught of vicious swipes and strikes coming after it. Leoncio isn't letting up one bit. Ralic grits his teeth and attempts to break the siege with a swift slash from his axe. Success! It clips Leoncio's stomach and the manbeast steps back, only to this time be met with a flying crescent kick to the jaw. Dislocated, but the beast within Leo is far from finished.

This isn't me, damnit! STOP YOU MONSTER!

The Blood Of The Beast boiling within Leoncio begins to grow caustic, slowly setting his dark skin ablaze from the inside! Bubbles in his flesh filled with air attempting to avoid incineration begin to form, and the beast does nothing but rush forward, ignoring all signs of encroaching death. Ralic ducks a feral and desperate attempt at his corneas, completely twisting around Leoncio before cleaving away a thick slab of the Jaguarandi's leg tendons. As expected, the thorns eating away at Leon's nerves causing the 17 year old boy to collapse from the numbness, but the beast continues to fight on! At least...it does mentally. Swiping the air and screeching in the most pathetic manner Ralic has ever seen, a dying face does not lie.

Looks...almost as if I've got the wrong guy.

Ralic takes his time removing the dull jacket from his body, allowing Leoncio to suffer just a bit longer before approaching the paralyzed monster and applying pressure to the dying beast's wounds.

“Shhhhhshshshshsh...It's okay...It's okay...Om Shanti, Invati, remember? Om Shanti, Invati..." The Descendant does his best to reproduce the mantra as fluently and softly as possible, and he can slowly feel Leoncio squirming less and less. Either death or unconsciousness, Ralic sighs and ties his jacket tightly around the manbeast's legs before standing and removing the white wife beater he had been wearing beneath it. He wipes away his own wounds as the blaring siren of an ambulance grows more and more audible. Outside, the day is still very much alive. A couple smiling hood rats run down the cracked street, an unfortunate car owner loses his unattended vehicle's tires, and the shadow of a police helicopter flying overhead casts the neighborhood in a technically temporary, but metaphorically enduring darkness.

So much work to be done.

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

“Uggghhhh...wha-? Why?" Leoncio's eyes, their normal emerald hue(save for a slight dullness due to excessive hours of slumber), gleam in the fluorescent white hospital light as Ralic comes into view. He has various bandages covering his skin, but aside from some deep gashes and a broken rib he is completely fine. The Descendant steps forward, and Leo can almost see himself slide away from the approach. This causes him to pause, rubbing the bridge of his nose between closed eyes before sighing and dropping his hand into one of his jacket pockets.

“First and foremost, allow me to apologize for all the things that I said. I merely said those things to gain leverage over you and shift the fight in my favor, but I didn't mean a word of it." Ralic starts, pulling up a chair beside Leoncio and clearing his throat. “All you want is to be accepted, and I can both understand and respect that. You are a great person that society would definitely benefit from having a part of it, and I am positive you will go on to do great things. I challenged you, yes, but I was convinced you were leader of the same Night Creatures responsible for killing my uncle and forcing me to put Lien out of his misery. My bad, of course, but from now on I just hope we can be friends...and even allies if you so wish." An outstretched hand. A sign of friendship. A sign of companionship. A sign of acceptance. Leoncio considers it for a moment, struggling to detect the sincerity in Ralic's words.

“Please accept my apology and friendship, Leoncio. There are more people out there willing to get to know you than you think...that nurse, for example." Ralic says, not showing any intentions of dropping his hand. Leoncio sighs, questioning his own sanity as he takes the hand of the Descendant and shakes it. As he does so, it occurs to the Jaguarandi that the Night Creatures leaders Ralic had mentioned are currently staying at his home . He isn't ready, and he doesn't stand a chance the way he is.

“Thank you, Leoncio. I hope we can fight together as one some time in the future...or even better, just hang out somewhere and have a nice peaceful chat. For now, though, I got personal stuff I need to attend to. Get well soon" Ralic sighs a breath of relief and stands up from the metal hospital chair, a brand new black jacket swaying as he heads for the exit.

“Oh, and good fight." He pipes in a chuckled huff just as he steps out of the door, allowing an undoubtedly concerned nurse to take his place at Leoncio's side.

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


Azure's Part: Linked Version (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IuMLxT1mjr2Q7KKwBfM8Lb7vqbDq1y257HoasKr8lks/edit?usp=sharing)


[I]Nature is based on harmony.
So it says if we want to survive and become
more like nature,
then we actually have to understand that it’s
cooperation vs competition.
-Bruce Lipton

~~~~~~~~~~

Leoncio breathed heavily, wiping the sweat from his brow as the sun continued raining heat down on him. The wooden crate had a roughness to it that he just couldn’t get used to, and it felt uncomfortable against his skin. “Is this the last of it?” he calls back.

“Yes,” Kizu says in a monotone. “That’s the last of the basic equipment for the Medbay. Manny will get it set up, so you need only worry about your upcoming battle.” She walks by into the base, leaving Leon to finishing hefting the box in. Making it through the door wasn’t too big a challenge, but as he looked down the stairs for the fifth time that day, he couldn’t help but groan. For the past few hours, he’d somehow been dragged into being a packhorse for Kizu, bringing down new supplies and equipment for the previously useless Medbay the Night Creatures base had.

‘Thinking back on it,’ he thinks to himself, ‘I was forced to buy this stuff with my own money as well… still, I don’t want to get on Kizu’s bad side.’ He recalled what happened when Manny initially refused to help with her renovations. If Leoncio hadn’t been there, Manny might still be trying to pull his head from the wall. How somebody like Manny who did what he felt like stayed with such a forceful person as Kizu was beyond him. Then again, they did seem to have good chemistry. His own failed love life flashed through his mind as he made his way down, a useful distraction from his screaming muscles.

Back when he lived at the church, there had been a girl that he liked. But like the rest of the kids, she always kept her distance from him. He was a freak, a monster. He’d been a spawn of a witch and some beast. His thoughts drift to the bullying he faced, to the incident that led to him lashing out and hurting so many. As the pain of the memory arises, he feels a familiar surge flow through his body like a million volts kissing each of his nerves. He manages to reach the Medbay, and sets down the box, Manny already ready to open it up.

Before he can do so, Manny gets a look at Leon. “Yo, buddy, what’s got you riled up? Your eyes are doing the whole golden thing, and you look about ready to rip out a throat.”

Leoncio remains quiet, turning back to head for his room. He feels a hand on his shoulder, but pulls away, not in the mood to talk. With the base in silence, it is easy for to hear his footsteps as he climbs back up, the air seeming to sigh with relief when he finally shuts himself in his room. His chant can be heard throughout the base.

“Om Shanti Invadi.”

“OM SHANTI INVADI.”

“OM SHANTI INVADI!”


~~~~~~~~~~

While Leoncio had found out about the battle late, for the first time, he was allowed to pick the location. It was a nice change of pace, and it somewhat helped calm his emotions a bit. Putting the past back in its place, he heads for the arena. He’d already went over the file, and unlike his last battle, was sure to look it over carefully. Though he was sure they didn’t provide all the information on his opponent, he could at least figure out that he was a similar breed to the first person he fought, Verde. He’d need to keep his wits about him for any strange plants that were about.

The room this time was modeled to look like a rainforest, with a large clearing with a dirt road and a church. Leon’s breath catches in his chest. Though it wasn’t exact, it reminded him deeply of his home. He rubs his eye with the flat of his palm, looking to keep himself composed. Though it might affect him a bit, this would certainly be the best type of place for him to fight in. He knew the ins and the outs of forests, and the trees provided great cover as well as served as great places to launch surprise attacks. Hopefully, he could find some sense of control if he were in more familiar territory, something Shado likely felt when he was in that old castle.

It caught him off guard to spot someone leaning against the side of the church who looked roughly his own age. While distinct features couldn’t be made out from this distance, Leoncio could certainly make out the supposed Sakura Axe at the boy’s side, identifying him as Ralic. Leon put on a poker face, making his way to his opponent. The last time his opponent was calmly waiting for him, he’d been overpowered almost immediately. He couldn’t give Ralic an early advantage.

When he’s within shouting distance, Ralic holds up his hands. “Hey there! Just wanna chat. Look, I’m unarmed and everything.” Leon eyes the leaf-petal blade to the boy’s side, and nods, still hanging back. At this range, he had an advantage anyways.

“Alright,” Leon answers. “But no matter what you say, we’ll have to fight. I’m sure we’ve both already come to terms with that.”

Ralic nods, letting his hands fall. “Right, talking it out doesn’t really work here.” He sighs, and runs a hand through his silky, black hair. “Damn, you really are about my age, huh? So weird… ah, but I’m getting a bit distracted. I had something I wanted to talk to you about.”

Leoncio backpedals a bit, his instincts alerting him to the bloodlust suddenly seeping from Ralic. The young African-American locks chocolate eyes with Leoncio’s emerald ones, before asking very slowly…

“...are you really the leader of Night Creatures?” The words are spoken with a strange level of venom that only serves to further agitate Leon’s nerves. Ralic keeps a hand pressed to his forehead as he continues on. “I keep looking at you, thinking back to your file, and no matter how you slice it, I just can’t accept it. I can’t accept that you’re the leader of the infamous Night Creatures. If you’re just pretending, then tell me now, because I’d really hate for this to be a case of mistaken identity.”

Leon gulps, feeling the saliva travel down his throat. Though the gap between their ages is small, he can tell that their experiences varied heavily. It’d be pointless to lie to him; Ralic would see through it easily. Still, what could be his issue with the Night Creatures? Could it have something to do with the clan’s past, before it was disbanded and buried away? Leon had some questions for Manny when he returned, but for now, he had to give his full attention to the hunter before him.

“Yes. I am the leader of Night Creatures.”

As soon as he replies, he throws up his arms in defense, the blade of the Sakura Axe a few inches from his face. Ralic’s movements had been quick; if not for his forearms stopping the weapon’s shaft, Leon had no doubt it would be buried deep into his skull. Bending his knees, he adjusts his position and knocks the weapon aside, it burying itself deep into the ground. He rolls back, before moving into the forest, Ralic still needing time to remove his embedded weapon.

“You can run, but you won’t escape the misery you’ve sewn!”

Leoncio continues to distance himself, climbing into a tree to rest and catch his breath. He looks over his arms, wincing as he touches one of the forming bruises. He had to give it to Ralic, he was strong. But it wasn’t just his body that fueled this strength. Something inside him, some deep seated hatred was further fueling him. Leoncio couldn’t let up much if he wanted to survive, though he had no grudge against Ralic. For now, he simply needed to focus on his breathing. As he did so, he noted a strange scent.

It was almost like a perfume. Although he hadn’t just started smelling it, it had escaped his notice as it had been relatively weak. Now, however, it was growing stronger and stronger. He lets his mind slowly silence, focusing in on his senses. Though his ears are muffled by the bandana, he hears Ralic’s searching footsteps not far off. The rough bark pressed against his skin, though close to real, appears to be simply a replica. And the smell, the scent slowly surrounding him… it’s of roses. Careful to not reveal his position by moving the branch much, he looks around to see if he can spot the source. His eyes wander until they spot what he’d almost mistaken for a tree: a giant rose was almost fully in bloom near the edge of the forest. As he noticed it, he noticed more and more of these roses, forming an almost solid ring around the clearing housing the church. Though clearly part of Ralic’s strategy, Leon knew nothing about what they were capable of. Still, their presence meant they should probably be avoided.

He looks around to spot where Ralic moved to, but can no longer hear his opponent’s footsteps. Taking a risk, he drops from his perch, landing on all fours, carefully listening for a reaction. He’s not disappointed, as he hears Ralic race towards his position. Pressing his back against the tree, he waits, matching the sounds of the footsteps to Ralic’s distance, and calmly theorizes which side Ralic will swing from. When the footsteps are only a few feet away, Leon ducks and rolls to the right, tucking his body into a ball, Ralic’s swing from the left missing him by a mile and the Sakura Axe now embedded in wood.

“Dammit!” Ralic swears, pulling on his weapon in an attempt to free it, while Leoncio gets to his feet.

Leoncio doesn’t miss the chance and takes a swipe at Ralic, launching his claws across the distance. While not particularly strong, the claws do manage to tear through the dark skinned lad’s clothing, and break skin. Suddenly, the smell of blood mixes with the smell of roses, and yet another smell that seemed to emanate from the Sakura Axe mix and mingle, and the beast within Leoncio stirs. He doubles over, a hunger washing over him, filling him, fueling his limbs with a burning energy. Too late to fight it, he feels the beast take control over him.

He looks up, preparing to pounce on his prey, when too late, he notices Ralic has removed his weapon and is upon him, swinging towards his head. He manages to avoid a fatal blow, but is still struck in the shoulder. He howls as he feels… something dig into his shoulder. The pain is quickly numbed, along with half of his arm, and he backs away to gather himself. Ralic doesn’t drop his attack though, rushing forward and swinging the axe wildly about to shut down any attempts at slipping past him. Leoncio hisses, his glare fiercer than any man’s could ever hope to be. Ralic’s rush slows a bit, and Leoncio uses the chance to send his claws digging into the other’s legs.

Ralic falls over with a grunt, staying on his feet only because he uses his Sakura Axe as a crutch. With the weapon temporarily indisposed of, the wild man pounces, hitting the flower child dead in the chest with the palm of his hand and removing both his balance and primary form of attack. He lands hard on his back, and Leoncio is not far behind, landing on his chest and holding his working hand upwards, claws visibly forming from his hand as he prepares to end things. He looks Ralic in the eye…

...and a switch inside him flips. His eyes slowly shift back to green, his hand lowering. “What… what am I doing?” Ralic attempts to kick him off, but Leoncio simply knocks him unconscious with a blow to the head, rattling his brain. He gets off of the unconscious boy, and slowly walks back to the church. As he does, he notices a strange snow has begun to fall. He lets it cover him, the question still ringing in his ears. What was he doing? Why was he so sure that fighting would give him the answers he sought? So far, he’d faced four people, and he felt as if all he was doing was feeding into the beast inside of him. Was this helping him become human? Was he simply fooling himself?

As he thought, his limbs grew more and more heavy. It seemed the battle had been more exhausting than he thought. He was getting more and more tired. It was strange, though. It had come on so suddenly, and seemed to be increasing at a more rapid pace. His tired mind managed to form a thought, however.

Why was it snowing…?

He looked at the flakes with drowsy eyes, too late in realizing that this wasn’t snow. This was some kind of pollen or something, and it was eating away at his stamina. He thought back to the giant roses he had seen. Had this been part of Ralic’s plan? A yawn escapes from his throat, and he collapses to his knees, fighting to keep his eyelids open. The last thing he sees, a hallucination surely, is some cat walking towards him.


~~~~~~~~~~

When he awakens, Leon is once again in the hospital. He checks his body, noting that he’s not bandaged much, but is strapped to an IV drip. An unfamiliar nurse across the room with another patient notices his stirring, and calls for someone on a phone. A few minutes pass, and Sharon comes to his bed, hands on her hips. “You’re a hopeless case, you know? Luckily, you weren’t too badly hurt this time.”

Leon is quiet, looking at his hands. “...Sharon. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I thought that becoming a gladiator would give me answers, show me how to contain the beast. But every fight, all I ever do is rely on its power. I’m no closer now than when I began.” He looks to her with sadness in his eyes. “What am I doing? Am I becoming human? Or am I just falling further and further, and turning into some kind of monster?”

Sharon sighs, and sits on the edge of his bed. With nary a change of expression, she gives him a solid slap across the cheek. He winces, and holds his cheek.

“Ow! What was that for?”

“It’s for you being an idiot, firstly,” she says. “‘Am I human, am I an animal?’ That’s all you ever seem to worry about. Why do you feel so obligated to try and repress a part of yourself? You’re Leoncio. Every part of you is you. Maybe if you stop focusing so much on the parts of yourself, you’ll find that all of you is a good person. Try focusing on that, alright?”

Leon rubs his cheek some more, the slap no longer stinging, but the words piercing his heart. She was right; no matter what he did, he couldn’t just look at the world in such black and white. The secret to controlling the beast didn’t lie in mastering it, it came in understanding it, working with it. When was it that he’d become so broken as to view the two sides of himself as separate beings?

“...thanks,” he says softly, leaning back on the bed, a new calm sweeping him back into the void.

Malacal
09-15-2015, 07:19 PM
@Azure: Oh man, such fight, very climax. Like, I was getting hyped, but then last minute Fist Full of Face syndrome hit Ralic hard. Honestly, Leoncio didn't really suffer any debilitating injuries (which I suppose is hard to excuse when your character doesn't magically heal, but still). There wasn't really much of a struggle with "I punched him in the face and he went sweepy time." It's anti-climatic, basically.

@Kamiroo Wolf: So, I will say the introduction of the coach as a character is excellent. You provide a real feel for the character and a very obvious personality. So, good work. Now, for Ralic's introspection, I didn't like how impersonal it felt with the coach. Like, the change in performance was good. But the "He's right" very much so made it feel like he ignored the man's presence. It should've had more relevance to the situation and seemed more personal, otherwise it comes off awkwardly flat like an old soda. So, instead say "Hmph, you're right, coach."
Capitalizing Descendant every time is kinda annoying. I know it's a title, but I don't capitalize the g in god when talking about Omega. Because Omega isn't OG God.

"The bloodshed continues"
One, what bloodshed? There was no emphasis of this before. Two, these moments of introspection don't seem relevant enough. It's like Samurai Champloo's erupt changes in scene with little explanation giving a weird yet seemingly unimportant feel. Like, did I need to read this to understand the story? Not really. Like, what's the relevance of this phrase to the character?

"(rather than his weapon)"
You assume your audience is children who think your characters fist is an axe. This is unnecessary.

All in all, your story placed emphasis on things that either didn't feel important, or were forced. You need to let it come more naturally, maybe give more description of his life that makes him care about the projects as opposed his PBJ (as great a section that was.)

While Ralic had his moments, he was choppy on certain parts. Azure stayed fairly consistent with pace and the sort overall, even if he did have an awful "climax."
Honestly though, they both had pretty dull endings. I can't be too nice.
But I will be nice to Azure, who deserves a vote.

Kamiroo Wolf
09-15-2015, 07:56 PM
@Kamiroo Wolf: So, I will say the introduction of the coach as a character is excellent. You provide a real feel for the character and a very obvious personality. So, good work. Now, for Ralic's introspection, I didn't like how impersonal it felt with the coach. Like, the change in performance was good. But the "He's right" very much so made it feel like he ignored the man's presence. It should've had more relevance to the situation and seemed more personal, otherwise it comes off awkwardly flat like an old soda. So, instead say "Hmph, you're right, coach."
Capitalizing Descendant every time is kinda annoying. I know it's a title, but I don't capitalize the g in god when talking about Omega. Because Omega isn't OG God.

"The bloodshed continues"
One, what bloodshed? There was no emphasis of this before. Two, these moments of introspection don't seem relevant enough. It's like Samurai Champloo's erupt changes in scene with little explanation giving a weird yet seemingly unimportant feel. Like, did I need to read this to understand the story? Not really. Like, what's the relevance of this phrase to the character?

"(rather than his weapon)"
You assume your audience is children who think your characters fist is an axe. This is unnecessary.

All in all, your story placed emphasis on things that either didn't feel important, or were forced. You need to let it come more naturally, maybe give more description of his life that makes him care about the projects as opposed his PBJ (as great a section that was.)

Everything said here are things I can most certainly agree with. As I was reading my story over, extremely worried about how I was going to even stand a chance against someone as good as Azure, I too was looking at the parts you mentioned as well as a few other parts that were edited. I was either just too lazy to come up with something better, or the proper replacement for the phrase in question had eluded me at the time. I'll definitely take your advice to heart and keep it in mind for my next battle.

As for the constant capitalization on Descendant...I doubt it will ever change. I understand where you're coming from, and I will certainly try a bit harder to hold back on it in the future, but there is just this little nag(in the lack of a better word) at the back of my brain that won't let it go unpunished.

All in all, thanks for the review ^_^

Azure
09-15-2015, 08:04 PM
As I was reading my story over, extremely worried about how I was going to even stand a chance against someone as good as Azure

Sir, you deeply overestimate my abilities. Thank you, though. I haven't gotten a chance to read your story yet, since I'm still adapting to my new schedule, but I do plan to try for tomorrow since Mondays and Wednesdays should become my new weekends.

Hewitt
09-15-2015, 08:50 PM
As I was reading my story over, extremely worried about how I was going to even stand a chance against someone as good as Azure.


I was either just too lazy to come up with something better, or the replacement for the phrase had eluded me at the time.

In order to walk you must learn how to crawl. Your piece is wrought with everyone's favorite noob mistake: Show Don't Tell.

Respectfully disagreeing with Malacal, your introduction was shallow at best. It haphazardly tries to quickly get characterization and personality---2 things that can make a plot great---out of the way, so everyone can enjoy the *ugh* Fight Scene that everyone came here to see. A fight scene is suppose to be meaningful if the readers can understand what's at stake. But if characterization is shallow then what's at stake is also shallow. It's "yet another win" for me, is basically what you're trying to convey; it bears no significant weight.


Sweat flies from Ralic's glistening forehead as the fat man roars, his fists hitting the trainer's covered palms in explosions matching the beat of his own heart.

You start it out so well, showing us that Ralic is tired but passionate and willing to pursue his training.


The big guy is good, but the way he barks ends up pissing Ralic off more than the actual training itself.

Then it falls flat immediately after. We are only told the big guy is good. That Ralic is suddenly angry now. What.

How does that set the mood and define the character? WHY is he good? WHAT is Ralic pissed at exactly? Show us how the big guy is actually fending off the attacks with ease despite Ralic's heated perseverance. Show us how the sparring partner can easily see the hits coming. Show us Ralic's pent-up frustrations as he tries to do whatever it is his trainer is saying.

In fact, merely saying that Ralic's sparring partner is a "big guy" and a "large target" is lazy in itself. You should already have described this man's features from the get go. OR you should have already asked yourself what exactly is the focus on this intro and is this partner significant in any way. This thought process will go two ways:

a) If the fat sparring partner is significant enough to the story, then don't be lazy and size him up: describe his features, has he been working out lately? Is he clean shaven? Is he flabby, chubby, or rotund? Is he spry for his size? By getting the features right, you can then write a more competent spar scene because the readers will become more invested in what Ralic is up against and how he deals with it. There is simply so much more you can say than "big guy".

b) If the partner isn't significant enough, then you don't even need to describe him at all. Just focus on Ralic. How long has it been? Which muscles have been aching alot? What does the ring look like; is it messy and covered in sweat and blood? Is Ralic bouncing around the place or conserving his energy? Is he miffed from the taunts and training? What's going on in his mind as this scene pents him up?

c) Or Both.

Either way, you can wean so much from a scene by asking the right questions. Telling doesn't do that. Telling is like recounting a story to your friends when they ask you how your day was. Showing is when you're in a bar and everyone's gathered around you, interested in your recounting of a story about your day. When you wave your hands in the air, describing the giant whale you harpooned last summer and the audience 'oooohs' at it while following their gaze where your hand moves: When you've drawn a picture for your audience using the right words and descriptions and your audience can visualize that picture, you know you've done it right.

Kamiroo Wolf
09-15-2015, 09:10 PM
In order to walk you must learn how to crawl. Your piece is wrought with everyone's favorite noob mistake: Show Don't Tell.

Respectfully disagreeing with Malacal, your introduction was shallow at best. It haphazardly tries to quickly get characterization and personality---2 things that can make a plot great---out of the way, so everyone can enjoy the *ugh* Fight Scene that everyone came here to see. A fight scene is suppose to be meaningful if the readers can understand what's at stake. But if characterization is shallow then what's at stake is also shallow. It's "yet another win" for me, is basically what you're trying to convey; it bears no significant weight.



You start it out so well, showing us that Ralic is tired but passionate and willing to pursue his training.



Then it falls flat immediately after. We are only told the big guy is good. That Ralic is suddenly angry now. What.

How does that set the mood and define the character? WHY is he good? WHAT is Ralic pissed at exactly? Show us how the big guy is actually fending off the attacks with ease despite Ralic's heated perseverance. Show us how the sparring partner can easily see the hits coming. Show us Ralic's pent-up frustrations as he tries to do whatever it is his trainer is saying.

In fact, merely saying that Ralic's sparring partner is a "big guy" and a "large target" is lazy in itself. You should already have described this man's features from the get go. OR you should have already asked yourself what exactly is the focus on this intro and is this partner significant in any way. This thought process will go two ways:

a) If the fat sparring partner is significant enough to the story, then don't be lazy and size him up: describe his features, has he been working out lately? Is he clean shaven? Is he flabby, chubby, or rotund? Is he spry for his size? By getting the features right, you can then write a more competent spar scene because the readers will become more invested in what Ralic is up against and how he deals with it. There is simply so much more you can say than "big guy".

b) If the partner isn't significant enough, then you don't even need to describe him at all. Just focus on Ralic. How long has it been? Which muscles have been aching alot? What does the ring look like; is it messy and covered in sweat and blood? Is Ralic bouncing around the place or conserving his energy? Is he miffed from the taunts and training? What's going on in his mind as this scene pents him up?

c) Or Both.

Either way, you can wean so much from a scene by asking the right questions. Telling doesn't do that. Telling is like recounting a story to your friends when they ask you how your day was. Showing is when you're in a bar and everyone's gathered around you, interested in your recounting of a story about your day. When you wave your hands in the air, describing the giant whale you harpooned last summer and the audience 'oooohs' at it while looking at your hand: When you've drawn a picture for your audience using the right words and descriptions and your audience can visualize that picture, you know you've done it right.

I love everything about this. Thank you sincerely for your input! It definitely gives me a lot to think about, but I will be sure to show just how much this advice is sure to help me as well.

After my next battle I plan on retiring Ralic. Nothing personal, but there are just a few other characters I'd like to explore rather than forcing myself to write about the descendant(I do good Malacal? :D).

Azure
09-25-2015, 03:27 PM
Looks like this battle will remain noncanon. It was fun, Kami, and I think you did a pretty decent job in characterizing Leoncio. I feel like, although I did represent Ralic as properly pissed at the Night Creatures, I didn't incorporate enough of his "playfulness," which is my own fault because I saw the whole "He becomes a monster when mad" on your profile and rolled with that. Totally my own fault, but ya know, that's just one of the things to work on: properly portraying others' characters. Again, thanks for the fun battle.

Kamiroo Wolf
09-26-2015, 04:15 PM
Looks like this battle will remain noncanon. It was fun, Kami, and I think you did a pretty decent job in characterizing Leoncio. I feel like, although I did represent Ralic as properly pissed at the Night Creatures, I didn't incorporate enough of his "playfulness," which is my own fault because I saw the whole "He becomes a monster when mad" on your profile and rolled with that. Totally my own fault, but ya know, that's just one of the things to work on: properly portraying others' characters. Again, thanks for the fun battle.

Indeed. Well played in all aspects, I look forward to battling you again.

That last second vote, though.

Azure
09-27-2015, 03:16 PM
Huh. I... huh.

To be entirely blunt, I did not see that last vote coming. At all.

Malacal
09-27-2015, 08:01 PM
Acute like youuuu <3
:P

Azure
09-27-2015, 08:05 PM
Acute like youuuu <3
:P

Actually, the surprise last minute vote came from Exime.

Malacal
09-27-2015, 08:36 PM
huh... then that means they're out of order in the votes or something.
Whatever, she likes you anyways.

Azure
09-27-2015, 08:47 PM
Alphabetical order, Mal. Alphabetical order.