Olympus Coliseum's stands were literally packed. Hundreds of people from two different worlds had wandered in to see the rather unusual tournament being held; any other visitors would probably not even be able to squish themselves in like sardines. Those few who were familiar with the Coliseum's usual workings would have been somewhat surprised to find Phil replaced with a seventeen-year-old-girl, wielding a pencil and wearing a large hat with a sign stating "EVIL OVERLORD".
This unusual individual stepped out into the middle of the arena, pulled a megaphone out of nowhere, and addressed the restless crowd. "Greetings, people of Cerratha and Hyrule! I am Em-chan, author of doom! FEAR ME!"
This unusual statement brought mostly murmurs of confusion, although a small group who had had previous up-close encounters with The Author screamed "WE FEAR! WE FEAR!"
Em-chan beamed and continued. "I bring you the competition of the century... the first ever RP CHARACTER TOURNAMENT! Yes, that's right! Eight of your friends, enemies, heroes, and villains have all been kidnapped, brought here against their will, and will now be forced to fight grueling battles, possibly to the death!"
Everyone cheered, except for one hippie in the back row, who was promptly thrown out of the arena on principle.
Somewhere near the front row, two figures struggled to get to their seats. "I TOLD you we shouldn't have gone to get popcorn," grumbled a young man carrying two Keyblades and a large tub of the buttery goodness.
"I was hungry," retorted his companion, a man in a long red coat. He glared at the surrounding crowd. About two seconds later, charred flying bodies accompanied what looked like a miniature nuclear explosion. Once the flames had died down sufficiently, Kitsu and Gia sat down comfortably in their very empty seats.
Em-chan, for her part, ignored the carnage. She was too busy getting out of the way of the first two contestants. She ran to what she deemed a safe distance, then gestured to one end of the arena, where a door opened.
Small, sandalled feet left faint prints in the arena floor. Golden eyes swept over the crowd, a smile spreading across the face of a small girl. A kimono wrapped around her form. Several audience members jostled each other, trying to get a closer look. Surely this child couldn't be the first fighter? She was barely four feet tall, for crying out loud!
"First we have the fearsome warrior who dominated the Heartless army and decimated dozens of worlds!" Em-chan's voice rang out, amplified by the megaphone. "Don't let her fool you; this girl is a perilous opponent. Introducing... CHIMERA!"
The audience might have applauded, or something... but they were interrupted by the sudden arrival of Chimera's opponent. A fifty-foot-long, jet-black dragon hit the arena floor hard, sending a shockwave through the entire stadium. Selas drew herself up to her full height, spreading both wings until they cast shadows over the people in the stands. There were murmurs of "This fight'll be over before it even begins," and "How one-sided can you get?"
Em-chan didn't even acknowledge them. "To face Chimera we have the dragon who has singlehandedly terrorized all of Cerratha for centuries. You know her, you hate her, let's hear a nice angry-mob 'welcome' for SELAS!"
Boos and hisses erupted from the Cerrathan residents. One particularly brave individual stood up, a rotten tomato in hand. Then Selas's massive head turned towards the would-be tomato tosser, who immediately hid under a bench in terror. So much for that idea.
"Well, if both contestants are ready, let the first match begin!"
Chimera's slender frame was suffused by a shimmering black glow. She smiled sweetly up at Selas, then stepped up to the center of the arena and stopped. "Poor thing," she sighed. "You don't have a prayer. In fact - well, I think it would only be fair to let you strike the first blow. I won't even move. How's that sound? Will that even the odds a bit?"
Selas burst out laughing. "Cocky, aren't you? Fine, then." One massive clawed foot lifted high into the air. The shadow of Selas hung over Chimera for a few seconds. True to her word, the Heartless leader didn't so much as lift a finger. The claws slammed down, leaving a crater in the arena's surface. Silence reigned; the crowd seemed to be holding their breath. Was it over already? Surely no one could survive several tons of dragon descending on their head.
Selas stepped back, expecting to see a reddish splatter-mark. Instead Chimera stood up calmly, her aura now white. Snarling impatiently, the jet-black dragon lashed out with foot-long claws. To her shock, they bounced off the aura as if she'd tried to whack a ten-foot-thick concrete wall. "Game over," announced Chimera cheerfully. "You can't do magic, can you?"
"H-how... You couldn't possibly have known that!"
"Silly creature. You think I would have destroyed your world without doing a little research first? Black dragons don't have magical abilities. Therefore, you can do nothing to harm me." Chimera held out a hand. Her twisted, dark version of the Ultima Weapon appeared in midair, and she advanced on Selas with the grim inevitability of death itself.
The scourge of Cerratha tried in vain to take to the air, only to find her opponent had summoned wings of darkness. And Chimera was much, MUCH faster. There was barley more than a blur of speed, and the kimono-clad girl was perched delicately on Selas' nose. Then Selas got a painfully close view of Ultima Weapon's blade.
Blood spattered across the arena in great, dark droplets. The blinded dragon screamed and clawed at the air, shaking her head violently. Chimera simply backed up to a reasonable distance, summoning a sphere of darkness above her head as she floated in midair. Selas turned her blinded face towards the sky just as the dark blast descended. Flesh and bone shattered. The decapitated dragon fell with a thundering crash.
Random workers were busy cleaning blood up off the arena floor. The audience was busy cleaning blood off themselves - all except for Kitsu and Gia, that is, both of whom were oddly untouched. A black-haired girl crossed the arena floor, hopped over the low wall dividing arena from stands, and sat down between them. "Hi, guys. I'm fighting last match this round, so I've got some time to relax."
"Night!" Gia grinned. "You just missed Selas getting pizowned by a midget."
"Nah, I didn't." Night leaned over and took a handful of popcorn. "I wonder who's fighting next..."
Em-chan removed herself from under a large umbrella which, like the megaphone, had come from nowhere. "Ahem... If everyone's ready to proceed, will the next two contestants please enter the arena. Keep in mind that the winner of this fight will determine who faces Chimera in the next round."
The doors opened again. Two figures stepped out into the arena. Night's crimson eyes widened at the sight of one, and she nearly leaped out into the arena. "No!"
There was a flare of light, and a winged girl stood in the center of the arena. She had white hair streaked with tiger-like black stripes, and stood grinning at the crowd and waving. A bow and arrow, both glowing with light, were in her hand.
"Allow me to introduce the boss of the Light Temple of Hyrule! This griffon-girl's been lying low in Hyrule for a while, but she assures me she's just waiting for her chance to go cause some havoc. She's the Light of Chaos, ARASHI!"
Arashi beamed. On the other side of the arena, where Night's gaze was focused, an odd stranger stepped quietly out onto the field. He was older than Arashi, or at least he looked it. Short, dark hair was peppered with silver in places. Calm blue eyes peered up at the crowd with faint amusement. A long blue coat was worn over a simple black outfit; the stranger apparently carried no weapon. At the very last minute a blue dragon emerged from the door, dashed up to the man, and handed him a spear. He took it, shrugged, and waved the dragon away.
waved to the spear-wielding dude, who waved back. "Now here's an
unexpected entry, folks. He's not known for his fighting, but he assures us he
knows how to handle himself on the battlefield... I'm proud to present the Lord
Night sank back into her seat. "I can't watch... Tell me when it's over."
Medeor was apparently oblivious to Night's lack of faith in his fighting abilities. He stared at the spear for a moment like he'd never seen one before, much less wielded one. In fact, between that and several fangirl-dragons screaming in the crowd he got so distracted he almost missed Arashi's first assault.
The griffon-girl fired off several rapidfire light arrows, one of which almost clipped Medeor's ear as he dodged sideways. The spear came up and deflected a second one, which embedded itself in the ground. Arashi's attacks continued in this fashion for a while, with the dragon king merely dodging and deflecting, never offering a counterattack or getting any closer to Arashi. Finally, frustrated by his lack of reaction, Arashi took to the air. This was apparently what Medeor had been waiting for. He hefted the spear, testing its balance, then let fly.
"You know, I'd rather not kill you or anything. Can't we solve this peacefully?"
"NO!" Arashi formed a ball of glowing light energy in her hands.
Medeor sighed, his sapphire-blue eyes glowing slightly with magical energy. "Suit yourself... Freeze." He touched Arashi gently with the tip of one finger. A several-inch-thick layer of ice encased her, immobilizing her and extinguishing the light attack before it even began.
Em-chan waited just long enough to be sure that Ara wasn't going to try anything else. Medeor also waited patiently, another more powerful ice spell held ready and waiting. "Well," began the evil author-girl, "since Arashi doesn't seem to be moving or anything, I hereby declare Medeor the winner of this fight. Congratulations, pirate!"
Gia poked Night. "Hey, it's over! He won."
Night shook her head. "But now he's facing Chimera..."
But before Chimera could get out on the field and shred anyone else, there was the small matter of two more first-round matches to take care of. Em-chan was supervising the random workers dragging Arashi off to a safe spot for her to defrost, when a hand on Em-chan's shoulder made her jump about a foot.
"Bad ninja! Stop being so silent!"
Mismatched eyes widened, their expression close to the manner one might describe as sad-puppy. "I can't help it... Is it my turn to fight yet? I'm bored."
Em-chan sighed. "You and your five-second attention span... Fine. Once we find your opponent, you're next."
"YES! Carnage! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"...should it make me concerned that you're more bloodthirsty than the evil dragon?!"
About five minutes later, Em-chan was back in her designated spot, megaphone in hand. At one end of the arena, several workers were busy dragging in what looked like a large golden wolf on a leash. "Er... right." Taking a deep breath, Em-chan did her best to announce the arrival of the ninja's soon-to-be-doomed opponent. "Well... we sort of had an extra slot in the competition, and a surprising percentage of my minor characters now refuse to come near me on the grounds that I might do something awful to them." Several characters in the crowd - the same ones who had earlier screamed about how much they fear the author - now cringed in terror. "But moving on! One brave/suicidal werewolf has agreed to be a fighter this round. No, seriously. I didn't threaten to feed him to Omega or anything. Noooo. But let's give a nice welcome to HALYAN!"
Halyan whimpered. The random workers fled. On the other side of the arena, a sudden burst of smoke and a hail of pointy objects heralded the arrival of the second fighter this round.
"Facing Halyan, we have a champion of worlds once dominated by the Heartless. Confirmed as the most capable Cerrathan ninja alive, this girl helped bring down Chimera and restore her destroyed world. She's the best of the best at wielding that chain-blade; it's KHISA MAYAKASHI!"
Khisa grinned up at the crowd, many of whom were cheering their heads off. She waved the sleek blue and gold blade of her Redemption chain-blade in the air, acknowledging the sounds of support, then advanced on Halyan.
The werewolf reared up, transforming into his wolf/human hybrid form for best fighting ability. Apparently, he'd realized that it was pointless to try to run, hide, or beg for mercy. The last available option was fighting. A low snarl started in his throat. Khisa, for her part, was unimpressed.
"You're out of your league, puppy-dog."
With a howl, Halyan lunged with teeth and claws bared. Quick as a lightning strike, so quickly in fact that most of the audience missed it, the chain-blade's sharp edge whipped out in an arc, ripping its way straight across the werewolf's chest. The howl turned into a yelp of pain, and Halyan staggered back. One paw moved to the deep gash in his chest, staining the fur around it deep red. Khisa lowered the blade, certain that the match was all but over. Another hit like that and he'd collapse from blood loss or shock for sure.
But right before her eyes, the wound was already closing. It was healing over with unnatural speed, and within seconds it was as if the injury had never occurred, save for the bloodstains that lingered. Halyan gave Khisa a nasty, fanged smile. "Forgot about werewolf regeneration, didn't you?"
The only reply he got was half a dozen shuriken to the face. Blinded and in severe pain, Halyan threw a furry arm in front of his face to shield it from further attack, and felt even more shuriken thud solidly into his forearm. The wounds were healing - the shuriken were only steel, after all, not silver - but not fast enough to allow him to stop the onslaught.
Khisa's expression was grim. "It doesn't matter how fast you heal. You still can't hit me. Which makes this match essentially over." Hefting her chain-blade, she whirled it in a tight circle, the blade humming slightly with the speed at which it was whipping through the air. The werewolf cleared the blood from his eyes just in time to see the sharp blade-edge fly at his skull.
The battled dragged on in this fashion for nearly fifteen minutes. With each attack the werewolf would scream in pain and drag himself away a little further; one of his injuries would heal, and Khisa would deal him a new one. (Author's note: it only takes Khisa a couple seconds to whack Hal with her blade. If she's been at it for fifteen minutes... You do the math.) The ninja was relentless, but also tired and frustrated. Not to mention nearly out of shuriken. She could do all the damage she liked, but without silver none of the wounds were permanent. His werewolf regeneration even restored lost blood, apparently, seeing as he hadn't blacked out yet. Khisa was seriously considering hacking off limbs; they'd still grow back, but it at least would slow him down.
Essentially, Halyan couldn't die.
"FIRAGA!" The inferno blast torched Halyan's fur, and the werewolf ran screaming in circles around the area. Apparently, he'd never heard of stop, drop, and roll. But eventually the fires burned out, Halyan slowed down, and Khisa was once again out of options. Giving Halyan a deathglare, she called out. "OI! Em-chan!"
"Eh?" The evil author looked up from the jumbo popcorn tub she was sharing with Gia and Kitsu. "What's up?"
"You never specified rules... Can audience members help?"
Em-chan glanced to Kitsu and Gia, neither of whom offered an answer. "Dunno. Does it matter?"
Khisa turned to the audience. "Do any of you have any silver?!"
a double-take. "Th-that's not fair! I can't request ninja-repellent from
"Yeah, and I don't pull cheap shots like regenerating." Khisa stuck her tongue out. "Fair's fair."
were running through the crowd. Apparently, a couple people had silver jewelry,
but nothing of particular use as a weapon. Rings and such, you know. Then
someone in the back of the crowd yelled. "Would silverware work?"
Khisa shrugged. "Is it real silver?"
"It's a spork."
"Ooooooh. I like the way you think."
The spork was passed from audience member to audience member, spent a brief amount of time in the pocket of a thief, was forcibly removed from the pocket of said thief, and eventually made its way to Khisa's hands. She beamed. "Thank you! I'll return it eventually!"
"Don't bother! Why would I want a silver spork covered in werewolf gore?"
The issue having resolved itself, Em-chan went back to her popcorn. Halyan charged at Khisa, hoping to catch her off-guard...
...and got a spork in the throat. A silver spork, mind you. Eyes wide, gurgling slightly, Halyan frantically wrenched himself free from the silver which burned his flesh. Khisa watched all this impassively. "Hmm. Looks like it really does work. You're not healing, are you?"
Halyan fell over, gasping.
Khisa stood over the werewolf, spork in one hand, blade in the other. It was the work of a moment to stab Redemption's keen blade through his shoulder and into the arena floor. It took considerably longer to kill him. Sporks are pretty blunt.
"Why wasn't I invited to this earlier?" Mike, being imbued with the same Leet Author Powerz as Em-chan, simply willed the people in the seats around Gia, Kitsu, Night, and Em-chan to be somewhere else, and they were. Popcorn was passed around, greetings were exchanged, Night finally realized that she was up next for the fight and leaped into the ring.
"Sorry, Mike-chan... I would've saved you a seat if I knew you were coming." Em-chan turned her attention briefly away from the arena.
"It's okay. Who's fighting next?"
"Night and Zalika."
There was a moment of vaguely surprised silence, broken only by the sound of Kitsu choking on his popcorn.
"...You planned that, didn't you," Mike stated flatly.
"Actually, the first round assignments were random... I know, it's freaky." Em-chan shrugged.
"Not as freaky as that Chimera kid beating Selas," interrupted Gia. "Besides, there can only be one winner, so this Zalika person - whoever she is - might've had to face Night anyway, right?"
Kitsu, having finally recovered, stared bleakly at the arena. "But I don't know who to cheer for..."
Night hefted her staff and waved cheerfully to the crowd. Pretty much all of the Hyruleans, and those Cerrathans who remembered her fondly rather than as ZOMG EVIL DRAGON, applauded and cheered their support.
"Well, next up we've got the only black dragon mage in the world. That's right, folks, the ONLY one, and a citizen of two different worlds to boot! She's the official Water Temple Boss of Hyrule, let's welcome NIGHT HYREN!"
At the other end of the arena, a halberd shot out, seemingly from nowhere, and embedded itself in the ground. A Gerudo warrior followed, or at least she appeared to be a Gerudo... With certain changes. The usual garish violet outfit was replaced with a black one, embellished here and there with steel armor. Jet-black hair was cropped quite short to reveal ears pointed like those of a Hylian and fierce storm-grey eyes. Zalika stepped forward, retrieved her halberd, and nodded once, briefly, to Night. An acknowledgement of a worthy challenge.
"Facing Night, we've got a relative unknown, but not someone to be ruled out! Trained in the Gerudo style of fighting, among other things, she was a mercenary for the Heartless and a very dangerous battler! The eighth and final contestant is ZALIKA RATH!"
"A Gerudo." Gia laughed. "They've got some random Gerudo up against her! This is going to be short and bloody."
Kitsu shook his head, remembering previous battles. "Not some random Gerudo - Zal is tougher than she looks."
Neither of the two warriors wasted any time throwing taunts. Zalika moved first, sprinting towards Night and stabbing forward with the keen edge of her halberd. The dragon-girl narrowly parried with her staff. Zalika moved fluidly into another strike, which was again deflected by Night's defense. The Gerudo leaped back to avoid a counterstrike from the staff, then pressed the attack again.
They continued in this fashion for nearly a minute, respective weapons blurs in the air as strikes, parries, and counterstrikes were exchanged. Zalika had the upper hand in strength and speed, but couldn't land anything more than glancing blows. Finally, frustrated, both broke away and backed up to about ten feet apart, glaring at each other. Night, however, was grinning. Perhaps in frustration, Zalika chose to hurl a spell. She chose the wrong one.
"...You know, using Blizzaga against Night is possibly the silliest thing that I've ever seen anyone do."
As expected, the blizzard spell had slightly less effect on Night than the Spanish Inquisition's comfy chair. But Zalika wasn't one to let one mistake faze her, and the Blizzaga was followed by a rapidfire chain of fire, thunder, and gravity magic that forced Night to stay on the defensive. And of course it didn't help that the Gerudo had started up her dangerous Farore's Wind combo attacks - teleporting in for several close-combat attacks, then teleporting away before her opponent could retaliate. Zalika was going all-out to win, and Night was just standing there, dodging and blocking. Even so, the Gerudo showed no sign of tiring - her stamina would keep her going long after Night lost the strength to fight back.
The crowd, somewhat frustrated by the severe lack of horrific injuries, started yelling out suggestions. Night ignored them. Crimson eyes tracked her opponent's every motion, watching teleportation patterns. In short, forming a plan. She was the Water Temple Boss, and by the Goddesses, she would think like a boss. And then an opening came. Zalika paused briefly to hurl a Firaga spell at close range - too close. The fireball blazed through the air, right on course.
WHAM. It was a maneuver coined by Phantom Ganon, with a Night Hyren spin on it. She whacked the fireball straight back at Zalika, but a clever burst of magic imbued the already powerful spell with about ten times more force than it had started with.
"Holy Din!" Zalika's eyes widened. The Gerudo really had no chance of dodging the blast. Dropping the halberd in favor of self-preservation, Zalika threw herself to one side, rolling away and shielding her face with one arm. Then something cool and metal rested against the back of her neck, and a quiet voice spoke.
"You seem like the intelligent sort... Are you going to surrender, or are you going to make me seriously injure you?"
The dragon had her weapon. Zalika sighed. "I surrender."
Night nodded and handed over the halberd. The two fighters, both thoroughly charred and somewhat exhausted, left the arena together.