Artist:Rob A. Ranowsky - Song: Zoetrope ~GGRY Edition~ - Word Count: 3860--
Dellapero's senses were at their peak, picking up on every minor detail at an increasingly fast rate. Each grenade appeared to float in slow-motion, their aim perfect and a good showing f the marksmanship and skill the Arrancar had with their weapon. While impressive and able to keep up their aim with his newly-displayed movement, the blasts would never come to meet him directly. Just as one would nearly exploded in his range, the bullet of a man swiftly changed direction. Large explosions of burning blue flames echoed like fireworks behind him from the narrowly evade explosives, smokes and embers filling the sky with each blast the powerful cero-slinger cast from their guns. With this increase in overall ability, the Human was determined to push himself to his utmost limits. With nothing left to keep him in check, the only thing to do was keep pressing forward until a point was reached where he could no longer become stronger.
That wouldn't be for some time. Just before the transition from one barrage of attacks to the next, a single explosive got closer than he expected. It glowed a menacingly blue glow, the vibrant light that eluded to destruction obscuring the Vanguard operative's vision. In the same moment as he aimed to avoid the incoming blast of explosive force, his movement path shifted just a tad to get out of the way of the exploding grenade. He ascended into the sky post haste, consumed by the smoke and expulsion of the blast for only a moment. Smoke trailed around him during the ascent, the explosion only managing to touch his left-leg. Second degree burns covered the thigh and skin burnt to a sickly red. That was all though, the reinforced defenses from the Lightbringer and his natural adaptations giving him a much more powerful resistance to damage than before.
His assault continued as planned until the concluding moments. The Primera twisted in a flash of speed, vanishing and appearing directly ahead of the charging soldier with their gun raised, ready to fire another blast. Grance didn't change his course of action in the slightest, in fact welcoming the coming attack. The blue beam of death shot straight for him, one of the bastard swords swung prematurely to meet it head on! Before the blade even met the blast, the unseen field of energy around the Human acted in response. Though it wasn't much against such a powerful adversary that wasn't devoted to malice, it was still a marginal aid. The cero's power was reduced, only by a small amount but one still considerable. The white blade clashed against it, the special properties of the released weapon giving it a vastly more effective counter to the destructive blast than before on top of it being weakened and the strength of the arm behind it continuously getting stronger.
Dellapero cut through the cero with some effort, the blue light split in two around him and fading into the air. He looked the Arrancar in the eye, the next blade coming toward them at lightning speed as intended before. While not as effective as a double-connection, the single blade would still drain a hefty amount of energy when it struck, enough to take away the fatigue deep in his soul and out him closer to his full reserves. As before, he pulled back in another burst of speed, readying himself for the next attack and tightening the grip on his blades. The burns on his flesh were easily ignored, adrenaline and focus driving away the sensations of pain that would bring any pause to his actions. He stopped at the sight of his opponent vanishing, the blurred image of their approaching soul coming closer visible in the Superhuman's eye.
The swordsman's muscles tensed up, ready to move and not just dodge, but attack! He could see them coming before the burst of speed came to an end, the space around the Arrancar appearing distorted from the normally untraceable speed of their sonido. It was like a line, the destination of their motion clear. He ordered his body to move in advance, leaving no roo,m for error in the short span of time there was between the superior combatant's debut and the monsterous assault bound to follow.As Starrk appeared once more, Dellapero was already in mid-motion. His feet pressed off the ground, arm swinging with the utmost might and bringing the bastard sword toward the Arrancar's body. This time he didn't just aim to strike them, but cleave through their chest and Hollow Hole in one foul swoop. He darted forward, a hard twist to the right sending him to the Arrancar's side while the blade approached them in a single moment, long before any chance for words or gathering energy took place.
The result would be an even more draining blow than the maximum potential of the former assault. Unless the former Primera evaded, the blade would cut through one of a Hollow's most vital points, the core of their being and the weakest point of their body. Though this wouldn't by any means be fatal due to the special nature of the Lightbringer, a direct connection would syphon a vastly greater sum of energy than normal in the blink of an eye. Trails of reishi were left behind the sword's arc, the Human continued to dash forward, moving past Starrk and gathering distance in the opposite direction. He made one giant leap, twisting his body around to face Starrk and the result of his risky attack. If things went the same, what followed in the next few seconds would be some of the toughest tests of the man's speed and adaptability yet in the intesnifying battle.
Dellapero's eyes widened, a tsunami of destruction pouring from the Arrancar's firearms and heading straight for him. Such destructive power and vast quantity with only the pull of a trigger. It was something unthinkable until that very moment. He scanned it, hundreds of cero darting toward him in such close proximity that they nearly appeared to be a single force of nature. His pin=point vision scanning the incoming wave, pointing out the explosive grenades cast at the very front of the impending barrage. Those would be the most deadly were they to get close enough, making an opening for the rest behind it to consume him entirely in a pit of oblivion. The swordsman swung both of his blades in a wide arc. Twin blasts of purified white energy darted from the weapons, heading straight for the front of the approaching barrage. Of course they wouldn't be able to stop it, but that wasn't the idea. Each blast was considerably larger than normal, stretching for twenty meters and nearly encompassing the same dimensions as the storm of cero in all but length.
The twin blasts were directed toward the first wave of grenades, intending to disrupt them in one of two ways. Either the connection would cause them to detonate prematurely and even take out multiple cero close-by them in their eruption, or the arcs would pass through the first wave harmlessly, drastically reducing the power inside them to the point of being far less dangerous. The white energy was easily consumed by the storm, doing nothing more than weakening the face of the coming onslaught. The wave of cero were upon him, the grenades, were they still in tact exploding in bulk around the man and inducing multiple first and second degree burns across his body while also filling his view with smoke. The effect of the twin arcs would do their job though, reducing the damage to the point of not drastically effecting him and allowing him to combat the remainder of the wave behind them.
The Human moved quickly, facing wave after wave of cero head on. He readied both blades, a vibrant white light shining from both of them. The blue light surrounded him on all sides, the outer-most layer of cero blocking any view of the outside world. Only the devastation in front of him remained. He darted left and right, narrowly avoiding one blast after the next. They seemed endless, burning up the oxygen in the air and leaving no room to breath or hesitate. The encompassing mass of energy gave off a nearly suffocating spiritual pressure around him, the energy being a constant reminder that death could come at any time against a foe like this and to always stay on his toes. In the bullet hell, not everything could be avoided. Multiple times Grance found himself evading one blast,. only for another to be directly before him! He swung one of the twin bastard swords, cleaving straight through as many individual cero as possible and slowly making his way deeper into the well of incineration. Multiple cero couldn't be avoided completely, grazing his arms and legs and burning away at his skin. Sweat rolled down his face from the heat of the blasts and the exertion put up to keep up with it all.
Dellapero inched himself closer to Starrk, masked by the inferno of cero moving around him and the thunder of their acceleration. Green electricity manifested around his body, his cells once again re-arranging and being changed to better fit the growing dangerous situation. Although at a much slower rate than before, the changes continued. His skin was made more resilient to the energy burning away at it and his perception was bumped up to more extreme levels. The unpredictable swarm started to appear slower and easier to maneuver around. He finally reached a point closer to Starrk, the barrage even more closely-lnit and impossible to avoid at this point. His blades slashed through one cero, then another in close proximity. It was taxing, but also served to force himself above one limit after another. That was the entire reason he came here after all.
The endless cero finally began to ebb, the consuming force coming to an end. The Unknown wasn't sure if the Arrancar was tracking him as efficiently under the mask of their own attack, but in any case Dellapero took the time to make another assault upon his foe. He kicked off the spiritual energy under his feet, moving between the last few cero that composed the almighty attacl. His body was covered in minor burns, but he remained determined and unwavering. The soldier pressed onward from the heart of devastation, the barrage of cero now behind him and burning up the sky in their wake. His energy was flaring as wildly as ever, light-green and white spiritual powers spiralling around him and flooding his muscles with power.
"If I wasn't fast enough, then I'll just need to keep getting faster won't I!?
" He shouted, now moving around Starrk in a circle at top speeds. Though his speed hadn't been improve any further than before, the desire to push himself coursing through him allowed the man the ability to further tap into the potential of his unbound limits. Multiple after-images formed around the Arrancar, the Human picking up insane momentum in the circles of rotation. A strong wind ;picked up, it nearly appearing like a tornado was forming in the sky above. It glowed a bright green from the energy of the one forging it, preparing for another attack to carve out his victory. From the north, Dellapero swung one of his blades, another arc of white light cutting through the air and aiming to strike the Arrancar and further deplete their reserves. Like before, this served only as a decoy.
Before the arc would even reach its mark to be dodged or blocked, Grance rushed toward the former Primera from the east, a stance taken with one sword poised for the attack. Multiple images continued to mirror his actions behind him, the distance between them greater than before. Just as it seemed he would strike from the east with his weapon arced to swing and momentum at its peak, Grance quickly danced around the south side of his adversary. From there he continued to the west, and finally with two after-images left to the south and east bringing their blades down in unison and the arc of energy from the north upon his foe, the Vanguard warrior swung the bastard sword downward, aiming to phase it through Starrk's entire body and drain another large chunk of their energy. Though unintentional, the combo may have even disrupted whatever preparation was put in place for the even greater danger soon to come.
Once that series of conflicts concluded, Grance made quick work to fall back several dozen feet to put a decent amount of distance between them. He had a better edge up close, but knowing how things were progressing, his opponent would close the gap themselves sometime soon. He needed a second to breath, to allow his body to begin slowly repairing the damages incurred from the sea of cero and any additional damage incurred from the last few segments of their battle. Skin slowly began to mend, any energy he managed to drain with further efforts being pulled into his body to revitalize him and hopefully diminishing the fatigue overtaking him. Pushing himself was always draining, but the unique aspects of the Lightbringer made it a far more manageable issue than it would be for most.
As the brief pause took place to catch his breath, Grance couldn't help but feel a sense of danger coming for him in the near future. His eyes were focused on Starrk. Presuming they returned to the odd stance they originally intended after the attack, the Human could only ponder what the Arrancar was preparing. Energy coursed through his veins, sparks of green crackling around him. Two spiked protrusions began to build by his shoulders, appearing much like bone under the veil of flesh trying to escape. The energy no longer focused entirely on increasing his ability, but beginning to change a part of what he was entirely to better fit the circumstances the fight had been in thus far.
Then it began once more. The Primera moved faster than most could comprehend, the man's special eyes that continued to adapt and his refined sensory being the only means of tracking the gun slinger..He prepared to counter once again, tracking the former Espada's movements moments before their dash ended. His blades were ready, mind sorting out a means to establish another critical blow in bringing this fight to an end in Grance's favor. The temporal fatigue made him sluggish though. Just as he was about to move on the attack, his target vanished in the blink of an eye, traversing the small space from their former position to directly behind the Vanguard Operative. He continued using the force of his intended forward lunge to move ahead, twisting his body around and swinging his blade in a swift arc. A smaller blast of condensed holy energy shot forth, aiming to slam into his foe from there.
This too proved fruitless, Starrk entering a frenzy of rapid sonidos that even gave his eye trouble tracking properly. Each eye moved around in a berserk manner trying to keep track of it all. Dellapero took in a deep breath, focusing on everything around him ad waiting for that one moment where everything would end and the true attack being built up to would make itself known. Seconds past, the persistent bzzt sound roaring around him. It ebbed all at once, the constant motion ceasing in the final moments before the boom. His eyes immediately looked down, tracking the final motions a midst the cluster before it concluded.
Grance could feel the power long before the shot was fired. With the gun pointed toward him, his foot instinctively pressed off the air; not just aiming to push him to the right, but upwards as well. Through the leaping motion, he hoped to gain enough time between the point it reached him and his exceedingly fast speed to edge out of the behemoth's path. The blast sounded like an atomic bomb exploding, a cero vastly superior to any before it ripping apart the space in its path and heading right for the Human. He moved as fast as he could, ascending to generate even greater distance to add a few more nano-seconds on the clock. From the combined motion, he barely escaped decimation by the all-consuming force. He hadn't escaped it entirely though. In the midst of his maneuver, the cero's presence managed to briefly encompass his feet and lower-legs. His skin was instantly burned to ash, muscles badly burned and even the bone under them being tainted a light blue from the flames. In only that second his muscles had been partially melted, blood pouring out from the bottom-half of his legs and feet. The pain was excruciating, but not something he could afford to be distracted by with what was to come next.
Dellapero couldn't catch a break. In his tracks, a new, potentially even deadlier attack followed before he could even regain his stance. His hands tightened around the twin blades he grasped, the power present clear from the very same technique used earlier that first caused him to take on the power of the Lightbringer. Only this time it was a lot stronger. He picked up on each laser and their targeting paths, watching them approach almost in slow motion. He twisted his body forcefully in an effort to get out of their path, but there wasn't enough time. To do so without further reinforcement. In desperation, the Unknown concentrated, the field of purifying aura around him changing, becoming more solid and instantly turning into a small sphere around his body. Energy built up around the five points where the lasers would strike to give it some chance at enduring.
The five oscuras struck the white veil, a wave of green flames consuming the orb and pouring into the sky above. The defense was one of immense strength, greater than even some of the strongest barrier kido; but even it had a limit, The number and refinement of the cero was far too much. It quickly cracked, the barrier strained by the five-point attack. And like that, it was obliterated. The cero pierced through the sphere, ripping it apart and darting forward on their intended course. The barrier had fallen; the center of origin dissipated along with it. However, it had not failed. With the small amount of time the barrier remained, it allowed the second needed for the Human to alter his course, turning himself completely around to avoid the five points of the incoming cero. He had moved several feet to the right from the previously gathered momentum, body turned downward to face Starrk and narrowly escape yet another potential demise. The cero zoomed past him, the force of just passing by causing new cuts to form along the left side of his body and leaving a large gash across his ear; nearly severing it from just being too close. The flames incurred from the impact also induced further burns along his stomach and the right half of his face. Almost every part of his being was now damaged in some way, minor or major. Pain receptors lit up like fireworks, sending a constant reminder of how much damage he'd taken from all of that
But it would be worth it. While he took vast amounts of damage, the man would capitalize on any chance he could to change the flow of battle and rapidly change what seemed one-sided into a surprise victory. He could only assume Starrk would need a moment after such a barrage of power and speed, and whether true or not, he intended to attack even with the newly fresh wounds hindering him. Dellapero's melted down muscle pressed up against his own energy, blood spiraling from the wound as a result. Even after all that and the drain being put on his body and soul, he would press the attack without hesitation, He darted toward coyote in a distorted line, multiple afterimages appearing at his side in the same motion. His energy was scattered among them, making it difficult to track while he worked at picking up as much momentum and power as possible in the average distance now between them. His eye remained a constant vigil for another blast, the twin swords glowing with renewed light from the will of the one carrying them. The man swung with all of his newly-born strength, the bastard sword coming down toward the Arrancar with enough force to shatter skyscrapers. It was aimed right down the middle, the damaged combatant intending to simply drive it through the Arrancar's entire body, including their Hollow hole and mask fragment.
If it connected? The result would be a game-ending level of energy ripped straight out of Starrk's soul and diverted into Dellapero instead. Yet still, not a single wound would be incurred by the blade's path. He'd continue downward from the slash, moving straight past his opponent and reaching a point much closer to the ground before his momentum died down. He panted heavily, the effects of the Lightbringer not yet taking effect and the blunt of all of his fatigue wearing him down in that lone moment. Through tired breaths he replied. He was sure of himself even after all that. If he couldn't win a simple encounter like this, he wouldn't have a chance at the larger threats that loomed in the shadows of Hell.
"Run? I won't be losing, so why run?!