Artist: GGRY - Song: Speed Rock- Word Count: 3312
Dellapero took in a deep breath, focusing on the child-like figure that had come to face the Vanguard. He was trying to get a feel for what kind of person they were, their intent behind this assault and so effortlessly lashing out against the weaker souls that populated the area. It was a soldier's place in a war like this to do away with any opposition by any means possible, but aiming to kill without even attempting to commit genocide without even the slightest pause for negotiation or to incur surrender? They didn't seem to take much joy in it from their expression either, which is something he could usually tie with such a debut to judge character. It was solemn though, like a machine carrying out its task to obliterate everything and anything without second thought and focusing on only the directive..Something like that? It would be far more dangerous than a run-of-the-mill psychopath.
The energy he had stolen from the legions of soldiers below began to gather around him, slowly fusing into his body and increasing his power due to the excess of energy beginning to overtake him. He remained in the air, his outburst of shouts dwindling, replaced by silence. He only intended to give one warning, as that is what everyone deserved, even in a time of war. By the look on the figure's face, he knew she wasn't going to take it though. What kind of powerhouse would run from such a blunt demand? He shook his head, only to hear an explosion in the background! His head turned only slightly, seeing the earlier attack he thought had been redirected used against his ally for the evening. One way or another, the fellow Vanguard Operative had been gravely wounded, forced to retreat as quickly as they appeared. It seemed he would get to fight this menace on his own after all. While disappointing to see his comrade be wounded by the surprise reaction of that unorthodox energy, he was also glad to a small degree. He could see they weren't fatally wounded, and on top of that he had the fight to himself now! He just had to be sure not to mess up now that everything was on his shoulders.
Grance's head turned to Zwei, his body beginning to light up as an enormous pool of energy flooded into him. It started as small traces of green spiritual power. It flowed around him like a gentle aura, waves of green filling the air and slowly spiraling around him. He took one step forward as the presumed child spoke. Wasn't the first time he heard that question before. Philosophy was never his thing though. He could go on saying every cliche hero-y response in the book, and were this something less serious, he'd be glad to do so! Time wasn't something to waste though, especially amid the flames of chaos.
"A dozen answers for that one, but I'll just go with everyone is the hero of their own story. Keep it short so we can get to business.
It wasn't even the best response to a question like that, but it was short and had some value of its own. It wasn't something many could disagree with either. Every person saw their own side of things, and no matter what happened, their belief was the only one that mattered. To disregard that and take on the mantle of something you were against would be criminal, even if he was against it. The spirally green aura became denser. The light-green spirtual power darkened, spinning faster around the man's body. It create a current of powerful wind, his scarf fluttering about from the force of his rising power. He took another step forward, trails of his new power trailing behind him and leaving marks in the sky where he stepped.
The bulk of the power Lightbringer had gathered struck the Human all at once. An explosive wave of pure spirit energy rippled outward from his body, displacing the air and making him appear drastically more powerful; of only for a moment. His muscles bulged outward, becoming more defined and denser. Sparks of green electricity burst to life amid the sea of power, his natural ability being kicked into overdrive. With the severity of what was to come, there wasn't time to play the waiting game. He applied the stolen energy to accelerate the rate his body adapted, his strength in speed increasing to compensate fo the heavy binds that encased his body. It wouldn't be known to most, but his overall power was restricted at almost all times. even in a battle to the death, he used those restraints to push his limits and force his body to become more powerful than it could possibly be otherwise!
The spiral current dulled, the majority of the energy being drawn into his flesh and causing him to begin rapidly adapting in preparation for what was to come. The fancy lightshow was reduced to a dull, petty glow that encompassed his skin. This wasn't to be confused with his power disappearing, even though it was much more difficult to sense. Rather, it had been fully absorbed into his body on the physical level. Upon close inspection, one could even see traces of green energy spiraling through the veins of blood under his skin. He stopped in his tracks when the woman made her next move. He may have seemed rather hesitant and observational right now, but in truth?
He was one of the most reckless people in the Vanguard. That would make itself known very soon when he made his move.
Dellapero's green eyes traced the growing sphere of outer-dimensional energy. He couldn't fathom what the stuff even was. It didn't feel like any kind of power he was used to dealing with, but that just meant he needed to experiment to see how far it could go and adapt in the process. The majority of lesser soldiers amid the Vanguard began to fall back as he suggested, retreating the same bunkers most of the base had evacuated to in other areas. Several dozen stayed for their own reasons. He respected their choice, but in the battle to come? It would be impossible to protect them without risking his chance of saving the sector and those hiding away during the chaos. Maybe those few would change their minds when the boom hit.
Zwei cast the blast forward, the Unknown soldier not even attempting to dodge. By the looks of the thing, it was going to be more than a little devastating of it impacted directly. The simple choice? Not let that happen! Grance raised his gun upward, aiming it right at the oncoming blast of destructive force. His finger rested against the trigger, his eye staring right into the heart of the oblivion it could create. The feeling of the destruction and chaos about to unfold in those next few seconds sent a chill through his body, one of both excitement for the battle to come and dread for what would happen to the others that refused to fall back. He took in a deep breath, relaxing his body and becoming in tune with the excess of power coursing through him. He didn't have long until this power boost faded, so he had to take advantage while the option was present!
Once the gun was on target, the solitary soldier pulled the trigger. An explosion of sound spilled throughout the sector! From the gun, a small, but -extremely- condensed and potent blast ripped through everything in its path! The man's entire body was pushed back a few feet, the kickback of the weapon was insane to even move a physical powerhouse like himself. The world seemed to split in two in the path of the blast. Nothing was left in its wake, the air split in two and coming back together when the bullet moved onward. It was on a collision course for the very blast the opposing Hellspawn had sent toward the base! And when it connected?
A highly unexpected force would strike the center of the blast, more than likely digging right through it at first with ease! They may have been close to the same power, but while the woman's attack was centered on devastation, the blast from Dellapero's gun was a projectile designed to pierce through any obstacle and break them apart! If things went as intended? The bullet would cause the blast to prematurely detonate between them, an explosion of smoke and flames spilling across the entire sector and covering most things in a layer of soot! With how far away it was from its intended impact zone though, the damage would have been drastically reduced for the sector and those standing on the ground below. For the two primary fighters though? The combination of attacks would face both of them with a wave of destructive energy from the opposing forces. Traces of shrapnel from the bullet-like blast would drill through the smoke, moving past Zwei and impacting with the walls of the sector. Multiple small craters were left in their place, but none would strike the target directly due to the violent collision of attacks.
Rather than defend himself from the oncoming wave of kinetic force and flames? Dellapero took this as the mark of where their fight began! Shrouded by the cloud of smoke and energy debris, the Human stepped forward, bolting into the destruction without a second though! An unseen veil of purifying power met the shockwave, drastically reducing its power before it actually connected with Grance. The flames lashed out against his skin, leaving multiple small burns across his face and limbs. The blunt force of it all did little to impact him, as his own ascended speed and might overpowered it. He darted through the cloud, moving rapidly and appearing in multiple places at once? Shadows were cast from multiple points of the toxic fog. The silhouette of the swordsman got closer and closer, appearing at multiple angles. Either it was some parlor trick or he was going very, very fast.
A vibrant white light could be seen coming from the edge or the smokescreen. It moved right through the fog, illuminating everything around it and heading right for Zwei! It wasn't aiming for her sides either, but heading straight forward and toward the hoard of otherworldly tendrils that served as the child-like figure's guardian. The blast wasn't alone though. cutting through the darkness was the swordsman as well, moving alongside the blast from a completely different angle!! Where the blast of white was coming from the left and slowly moving to the right, Grance arrived from the right and made his way left! They approached together, making an X-pattern with hoe they would meet the target that. Dellapero wasn't sure how to feel about this battle. It was going to be a real challenge, one he could have fun with. The things at stake and the lives loost hung heavily on his conscious though. This wasn't a game, and he needed to remember that and win by any means necessary.
Grance moved slower than he could have, keeping pace with the arc of power he had sent from the opposite side of the smokescreen. The tendrils moved in, likely opting to stop both targets in bulk with their own crushing power and numbers. He couldn't discern that much about them yet, but one thing h did know is -not- to get hit! That was always the best way of approaching these things when he didn't want to be careless. Moments before collision though, the Human picked up his pace only a little! He broke the formation, moving past the arc of energy and to the left. Several tendrils were now only a few feet from him, nano-seconds from making contact and splitting his body apart. He could feel the vibrations from such close distant, the air shaking from the combined force of the hoard. The Human narrowly avoided touching them, moving completely around the wave and heading to Zwei's open flank! Others would compact with the blast, ripping it to shreds without much effort due to its minimal power no doubt! Any tendrils that touched the blast would find themselves becoming weaker though on the spot!
The blast, much like the swordsman's lightbringer had no destructive properties in the slightest. Instead? It drained energy and power from anything it touched, and in substantial quantity as well! In addition to that, those amalgamations closely following him would slowly be weakened as well, becoming progressively less charged with each second they got close. The real kicker though? Just by Dellapero being even remotely close to Zwei, her very soul would feel an annoyingly painful, but harmless burning sensation. Everything around him was being purified very slowly, the darkness of the Iramasha's hellish nature being targeted by the veil. Though virtually harmless even with extended exposure, it was a constant nuisance that would continue anytime he was close throughout their encounter..And since he was a close-quarters combatant? That would be -very- often.
The Unknown approached Zwei's left-flank, tightly grasping his sword and getting in position to strike! It seemed he was going to exploit that opening after all. Had the woman become cocky from her immense power and given him the chance to steal victory from a situation most would bet against him on? Nope, this was probably a trap that was going to hurt a -lot- when it was sprung. That is exactly what he was counting on though. Regardless if it was or not, his green eye would meet one of her own, getting one last look at her expression amid the sea of saw-like tendrils to gauge who they were, their intent and feeling in those very moments and how far he would need to go to stop her.
The slashing motion of his arm proved to be nothing more than another feign! Instead? Grance kicked his speed from about seventy percent to full-throttle! He didn't just press forward, but fell downwards! Combining strength with gravity, he intended to go not to the sides or above the child-sized combatant, but below her! He spiraled his body, arced a precise and high-speed slash right for their legs! He didn't stay for long though. His entire body blurred from the pace he was at, becoming difficult to distinguish and hopefully too fast for the tendrils to catch up to with how disoriented their path had become from his previous false attacks.All the while he narrowly weaved past any rogue tendrils that didn't move to defend from the initial assault. The world appeared in slow-motion to him, making dodging any new threats that got too close an easy feat. He pressed his foot against the air, gaining leverage and becoming still only for a blink.
It would have been a really poorly timed moment to blink if she did.
Grance kicked of the ground, rising from below the dark-matter forged soul and swinging his blade upward along with the arc of his leap. He intended to carve clean through her side, the white bastard sword cleaving through Zwei's body from her toes all the way up to her head.. However, unlike a normal attack? Both of these assaults had zero resistance against her body. She wouldn't even feel them, and were she unable to track them, it could have been missed all-together! The Lightbringer phased through her body completely, leaving no wounds and not severing anything in the slightest regardless of the composition. He followed through with the motion of his attack, rising completely above her to the third opening she had left! By abandoning the first, he hoped to have her prematurely unveil her trump card, moving before they could interpret the situation and spring it on the other openings her defense he originally disregarded while avoiding the trap, or at least delaying it!
The swordsman used the momentum to twisted his body once more! He spun in an arc, slashing downward while his momentum continued to carry him farther and farther to the heavens. A small, but condensed arc of the same light from earlier spilled from his blade. It darted toward her head with little distance between them at first, intending to impact and induce more of the Lightbringer's effect upon her before she gathered the situation and developed further counter-measure. Just like the others, were this blast not blocked, it would simply phase through her! If all went as intended, the Vanguard operative would spin through the air, increasing the distance between them as quickly as he closed it. He fell with gravity, landing ten meters away from the child. His feet skid against the air, trails of green left in his wake. The white blade glowed brightly. Were any of those attacks to hit? Large chunks of Zwei's energy would be stolen right from her very soul! The impact would dawn on them all at once, a great chunk of their reserves stolen at such an early point in the fight, but not a mark left to speak of. Combined with the earlier show against the legion of soldiers, it would be obvious what his game was.
Dellapero absorbed what energy he gathered fom the first conflict. It had been purified by the Lightbringer, made into a state of spirit energy that adapted to the man's own and became just as useful to him as the original owner. The duration of the power boost coursing through his veins would increase, sparks of lightning dancing around him as his ability worked in overdrive. Excess energy was sacrificed to continue amplifying the process, pushing himself ahead of schedule already in just the short time between their exchange of attacks. His flesh became more durable, muscles refining and adapting to the weighted pressure that encompassed him. His focus was absolute, blocking out everything but his opponent, even the souls below that may or may not have stayed after the first explosion hit.
"I'm not going easy on you next time, so if you have a transformation or something like most people, I'd use it about now. And spoiler warning, breaking whatever obstacle you think you can make for me is sort of my gimmick!