The Iron Mantis charges at you with one arm held back, his speed far from impressive. You stand still, keeping your guard up to present an illusion that you are actually serious, and await his arrival. Mantis screams and plunges a right straight fist into your nose which stretches your head back instantly.
"Couldn't even see meh comin', eh boy?" He says with a scornful smile and the audience goes wild, chanting his name repeatedly. He pulls back his fist to see you glaring at him, unharmed. "Impossible! No! No! No!"
"Quiet." You hook him across the face and the Iron Mantis crashes head first into the ground, consequently burying him. "Don't tell me he was put down from just that? I wasn't even using half of my strength..."
Moments after your train of thought ends, the announcer begins his count. Thankfully, he doesn't get far. The Iron Mantis plows his fists into the ground, successfully smashing the ground that was locking his head underground, and peers over in your direction. "Playtime is over, doggedy dog dog dog."
"..." Completely shocked at what he just said, you can barely manage to shake your head while thinking, "I should kill him for simply saying such an idiotic thing in front of me."
"WHA!" He throws one leg up, which you easily catch and twist it around entirely and swing him back onto the ground. He coughs up blood as one leg jets into his gut and sends him skidding across the ring. Before coming to a stop, however, the man grabs the ground and flips into the air. As he does this, you skid across the arena without even taking a foot off the ground. "Unbelievable speed!"
You smirk and crash an elbow into his stomach, but to your surprise, the Iron Mantis doesn't even flinch. "Ohh?"
"Whahahaha, I have you now!" He reaches down to grab your waist with both of his muscular arms and you decide to let him, curious of what technique he might pull out. Iron Mantis digs his fingers into your rock hard back, actually causing some damage, which irritates you.
Unfortunately, before you are able to retaliate, he throws you into the air at full force. Now air-born, you spiral for a few seconds and watch the man carefully. "Better give me everything you have before I get bored."
"Meh Boom Boom!" Two balls of Ki shoot out of his mouth, in which you easily sway to the side and avoid. However, upon doing so, you realize that he is no longer on the ground. "Whahaha!" You whip around swiftly and catch an incoming elbow, causing the Iron Mantis to gasp in shock. "Impossible! Impossible impossible impossible!"
"I said quiet!" You bark while upper cutting him in the jaw. He twirls vertically a numerous amount of times while you clench both arms together and lift them over your head. "You had your chance." Moments before your full force bashes into his chest, he drops to the ground at unstoppable speed but somehow manages to land lightly.
"Whahahaha! It's time I got serious!" Iron Mantis laughs cockily as he retracts his upper body down until his knees press up against his chest. "Cotton Mantis!" He jumps at miraculous speed, reappearing just on top of you. Your head is bullied back and forth as he barrages you with a series of punches, finally deciding to hammer-fist you down to the ground. "WAH!"
"Agh!" Somehow in pain, you collapse from the skies with a tint of blood leaking down your nose. However, before you reach the ground, you notice the Iron Mantis falling from the skies at a similar speed as before. "Aga-ugh!" His knee crashes into your gut and the both of you smash into the ground beneath.
"One! Two! Three!" the announcer yells. You roll over so that your back is facing the enemy, and he takes advantage of this.
"AGH!" The Iron Mantis' boot crashes into your back, knocking you back onto the ground. The announcer starts his call once again. "Looks like you know how to handle yourself fairly well." You vanish from the area and reappear behind the Iron Mantis, elbowing him in the center of his spine. Loud cracks explode from within his body, though he is far from finished.
"Iron Mantis!" An iron fist plows straight into your face, knocking you back multiple feet. "Cotton Mantis!" He breezes around the ring until surfacing behind you, all within seconds, and attempts to launch you into the sky with a kick.
"Not bad," you comment while grabbing his leg and stopping his movements completely. "Earthquake!" Finally using full force, you bash your fist into his stomach and it rumbles from within.
"Damn...it..." The Iron Mantis falls flat on his face, signalling the count.
"One! Two! Three! Four! Five!"
"Quite an interesting fighter. So he's manipulating his body form to materials that will benefit him for each situation. Iron for offense, defense, and even evading. Cotton for more evading, speed, flexibility, and so forth. It's a shame you couldn't think of any more materials to change your body into. Not like it would have helped against me."
"Eight! Nine! Ten!" The crowd explodes with cheers, all screaming your name. "We have a knockout! Victory to Commander Kiryu of the Freeborn Military! What an astounding fight! And this is just the beginning of the 37th Triennial World Martial Arts Tournament!"
You turn around and begin heading back inside, leaving the Iron Mantis on the ground. Medics sweep by and pull him off the ground, most likely bringing him to an area so that he can recover.
"Good luck." You call out to Hercule, finally back from the arena, now standing in front of the man. He looks determined. More serious than you have ever seen him. After a drawn out stare, Hercule nods confidently and walks out of the room. Without delay, Kyo Yamada has already stationed himself in the ring.
"And now," you hear the announcer roar from outside. Curious about what the contents of this match will contain, you peak out through the door and gaze at the two fighters. Goku walks up beside you and smiles, no words necessary. "We have a Red Ribbon Chief Executive, the one and only, Kyo Yamada!" The confident blond raises one fist into the skies and smirks, yet to your surprise, there are no cheers for this man. After a few short seconds, a large sum of the audience even go as far as 'booing' him. Not letting the crowd control his words, the announcer continues. "Mr. Yamada will be battling against a man sure to get applause, the saviour of East City, Hercule!"
"YEAAHHHH!" The audience roars in sync, all getting fired up for his grand entrance.
Hercule steps up onto the ring and raises both of his arms to the sky. Clearly enjoying the cheers, Hercule makes a peace sign and laughs arrogantly before yelling, "I won't let you all down! Let me hear one more roar!"
"Hercule! Hercule! Hercule! Hercule! Hercule!" Cheers for the man continue to echo throughout the stadium. "Take him down!" A bunch of them yell.
"What do you mean, Kiryu?" Goku asks.
"I heard about Hercule saving East City from crime and whatnot, so cheers for him are to be expected. But for a Chief Executive of the RRA to get boo's of hatred, well, it is not something I would have expected. Red Ribbon employees, especially those higher up, are always loved by the people."
"That's because they haven't been doing their job lately. I've been travelling a lot with Gohan lately. We don't really stay in one place for a long time, but as far as I can tell, the Red Ribbon Army has vanished. They aren't protecting anybody these days. I don't know why, considering that's why the corporation was founded and all. Oh well."
"Yeah, well, the leadership was drastically altered recently. I didn't expect them to lose the support of the people just like that though. Where is your kid anyway?"
"Oh, Gohan's in the crowd with Master." You nod and turn back to the upcoming fight.
The announcer accidentally coughs into his microphone, which coincidentally, manages to silence the crowd. "With all that out of the way, let's get this match going!"
Hercule sprints towards Kyo and leaps at him wildly, kneeing his foe in the gut. Kyo coughs up blood onto Hercule's leg before being launched over twenty feet back, barely managing to remain standing. The Chief Executive snaps his head up with a dirty scowl. "You dare touch me!? Trash!"
In an instant, Hercule reappears in front of him and delivers a left hook. The punch caves into Yamada's face, sending the Chief Executive soaring throughout the gigantic ring. Cheers break out from the audience, but Hercule refuses to let up on his assault. Kyo does multiple back flips to recover from the attack while lengthening the distance between the two.
"Take this!" Hercule slams both open palms together and a green aura surrounds his body, Ki flooding into a beam forming within the man's grasp. Kyo wipes some blood off of this bottom lip and grins, slowly panting. "Inferno Pillar!" A great deal of Ki is generated within Hercule's palms, forming a rectangular shape, and blasts towards Kyo.
"Fool." Kyo places one hand out and a sticky blue aura wraps around his palm. Moments before the blast hits him directly, Kyo swipes his hand to the side and the entire shape of the blast changes form. Instead of a gigantic rectangular beam firing towards him, a small orb floats just past the man's head as he grins. All of the power still within the attack, an enormous explosion erupts from behind the man, damaging the arena greatly.
Sweat drips down from Hercule's temple, his jaw nearly touching the floor. "H-how...?"
"Explaining such things to trash would only cause confusion. Trash."
"Ergh!" Hercule races towards Kyo with both arms stretched backwards, his speed even shocking you. Yamada dashes back at Hercule while laughing psychotically until the two meet in the center of the ring. "Rha!" Kyo gags in agony, now stumbling backwards with a fist-shaped dent in his throat.
Giving his opponent no time to react, Hercule jabs his foe in the face twice. Despite only attempting to momentarily stun Kyo, each jab racks up a great deal of damage. "You damn-kah!" Blood squirts out of Yamada's open mouth and Hercule retracts the right hook he just threw before upper cutting his opponent in the jaw with his remaining hand. CRACK. Screams echo throughout the entire city. Kyo's entire body is lifted off the ground from Hercule's raw strength and he slowly drops down to the ground in pain.
"One! Two! Three!" Yells the announcer, starting the count. "Four! Five!" Just then, Kyo makes his way to his feet and shakes his head wildly for a second, sweat shooting out of his blond hair.
"Should've stayed down," Hercule informs while cracking his knuckles.
Although blood is dripping from the Chief Executive's face and bruises have already begun to form around his body, Kyo refuses to give up. His usually grin is nowhere to be seen.
"Ha!" Hercule flips backwards so that his hands grapple the ground and presses his two feet together while retracting them close to his chest. The blond gasps in fear seconds prior to having Hercule's full force crash into his temple, sending the Red Ribbon employee blasting through the arena.
Hercule flips backwards and vanishes from even your sight for an instant. You scout the arena for a brief moment, finding him right behind Kyo Yamada with one leg prepared to knock the blond into the skies. Just before Kyo crashes into Hercule, a leg penetrates his back and he is fired into the air. Kyo rolls over in the air with blood spilling out of his mouth, but Hercule still refuses to let up. The former Brigadier Officer jumps into the skies at incredible speed, folds both of his hands over each other while stretching them behind his head, and unleashes his attack with a roar. The full strength of Hercule bashes into Kyo's nose and he spirals into the ground within seconds, creating an obvious crater around his body.
"One! Two! Three! Four!" The announcer begins, Hercule slowly falling from the skies. He has a wide grin on his face, which drives the audience to an entire new level of joy. Simultaneously, cheers of pure ecstasy explode from the audience. "Five! Six! Seven!" Hercule lands safely on the ground and pounds his chest with one fist. "Eight! Nine!" Just one second before the outcome of the match is decided, Kyo pushes himself off the ground with one arm, while the other hangs idly.
"He still wants to get up after all that? Will this guy ever..." Hercule cuts his own train of thought off as he gazes at Kyo Yamada, surprise turning into outright fear.
The blond is gripping both hands on the peak of his head while his entire body shudders. "No...no...not now." Kyo growls quietly, now snapping his head back and forth. Hercule slowly backs away, creating a firm distance between the two. Meanwhile, Yamada drops down on one knee and yanks his head up so it points to the skies. Greasy sweat drips down his temple as a radiant glow surrounds him entirely. "You...inferior species...bringing me...RHAAAAA!" Two arms rip out through his spine in a similar fashion to your own technique, only there is something different about his. Presently, you cannot place the difference, but there is an odd sensation that accompanies the feeling.
"This isn't good," Goku comments. You remain silent, clenching one fist.
"AGH...AGH...AGHHHH!" Kyo rumbles his hair around with those unctuous fingers. As he does so, the two arms he sprouted - easily triple the length and girth of his own - master their form while clamping the fingers like iron claws. Just as they do so, an uneasy feeling crawls up your skin; sweat begins to roll down your temple as you watch what is transpiring in awe. There is some kind of mysterious aura that is solely fluttering around those claws. Kyo finally glares at Hercule, his new arms hovering over his head, with a glare that would freeze any man.
"Hercule! Forfeit the match! NOW!" You roar. Hercule instinctively turns over to face you, however, is grabbed immediately upon doing so. The man looks down to see a claw grappling his chest, putting an unreasonable amount of pressure on it. It lifts him off the ground by the small amount of skin on his chest, digging deeply into him, and Kyo begins laughing once again.
"Ugh!" Hercule grimaces. "Screw this!" He whips one fist down in an attempt to snap directly through the arm but his entire attack passes right through it. "Wh-what!?"
Yamada, both of his hands pressed up against his chest with small orbs of Ki covering each of his fingertips, mumbles something to the remaining arm he sprouted. Suddenly, a massive aura pores down over his body and Hercule gulps loudly. "Trash such as yourself doesn't deserve to live. Fall into the depths of Hell and die." Kyo whips both of his hands forward and a reign of Ki shoots out of his fingers at an endless pace, each beam piercing through Hercule's anatomy. The man known by East City as "The Saviour" screams in sheer agony for what seems like an eternity until he is finally silenced.
However, even after this fact, Kyo continues his deadly assault. "Ahaha. Ahahaha. Ahahahahahaha!"
"Mr. Yamada!" The announcer bellows, terrified of the mere sight in front of him. "Please stop! The match is over! He's lost consciousness!"
Still completely ignoring the announcer, another series of finger sized beams shoot out of Kyo's fingertips.
Raging with anger, a quiet growl comes out of your mouth. "I have to stop this." Goku prepares to look over to you, just as shocked as everybody else, but by the time his head turns, you have already vanished from your previous position. "That son of a *****!" Your entire leg crashes into Kyo's skull with the velocity of a Speed Blitz X3 behind it. His head snaps to the side and Kyo skids across the arena, but before he is knocked onto the ground, one of his extra arms digs into the ring which halts him completely.
Dead silence. Not a word is spoken as the clouds thicken, slowly growing more and more dark.
"Victory to Kyo Yamada..." Breaking the silence, the announcer slowly says into the microphone. Rather than scream hate threats and boo's, the audience doesn't spout a word. Not only was their hero defeated, but he hasn't moved a muscle since dropping to the ground. You gaze over to Hercule and notice that his eyes are completely white. "We'll start the next match momentarily. Please be patient, everybody," informs the announcer prior to directing his colleague to get an ambulance immediately.
You and Kyo exchange glances once again, only this time, you are more determined than ever to crush him into the ground. "Guess we'll be seeing each other shortly." Kyo says with a sly grin. His two arms retract into his body, as if they were inside of him to begin with. Unlike yourself, in which you simply sprout foreign arms, he takes them out of his own body.
"I'll make sure that you never walk again."
"Ahaha. An empty threat such as that doesn't intimidate me, especially coming from bottom tier trash such as yourself." Kyo walks past you, directing himself back into the stadium, where he will await his next match.
You walk over to Hercule and gawk at his wounded body. The amount of holes in him is indescribable. Suddenly, an ambulance sounds off in the distance and the audience members begin making a pathway for it to come through. To your surprise, this process is done quickly while maintaining an orderly fashion. Most likely because of whose life is on the line.
Hercule is strapped to a bed which he is brought over to the truck in. Before they drive away, the announcer comes up to you and speaks up. "You're free to ride along in the transport to see if he's alright. As long as you make it back here before your next match."
"How will I know when my next match will start? Am I just supposed to guess?"
"Oh, no. Everything I say into the Microphone is broadcast to radio stations around the globe. It shouldn't be a problem getting a hold of one."
"Hmph. I see." You look over to the ambulance truck, just seconds away from driving to the hospital. If you were to accompany Hercule, you could make sure proper treatment is payed for and he gets the finest of accommodations. It would also be nice to know what his conditions will be like after he recovers. "If he recovers," you remind yourself.
On the other hand, the Freeborn Military has lost a great deal of manpower recently. It might be best to hunt around for possible recruits. You have fought some fighters that are easily qualified to be Generals, so perhaps it would be possible to convince them to come back to Valkyrie and join. It's risky, though.
Although, there are plenty of matches coming up in the first round. It could be fun, informative, and interesting to watch them all to see how things pan out. Decisions, decisions.
A) Accompany Hercule to the Hospital. Return before your next match.
B) Try to find fighters who you previously fought and recruit them.
- Anybody in particular?
C) Continue watching the fights. Don't want to miss out on anything.
D) Watch some matches, and do something else during the others.
- What matches will you watch? What will you do during the other matches?
Author's Chapter Notes: