"You turn yourself responsible for everything you do."

This article, A Clear Sky Raked With Storm Clouds: Raging Tempest vs Celestial Bane, is the sole property of Mr. Draco, and cannot be mentioned, used or even edited without asking him first, except the collaboration articles. Are you capable of doing that?


"I'm just a passing through fanfiction writer. Remember that!"

This article, A Clear Sky Raked With Storm Clouds: Raging Tempest vs Celestial Bane, is the sole property of The Z-Meister, and cannot be mentioned, used or even edited, without my permission.

The town of Duscae was something of a landmark to the countryside around it. Not only because it was the only town of any real size within a solid 10 miles or so, and not just because it was one of the livelier towns in the entire small country in which it resided... but because it hosted a certain festival every year.

That festival is the Duscae Fighting Festival.

The strongest mages from all over came every year in order to battle in this tournament, but even then a large amount of civilians were present as well. You see, the town had become accustomed to the large influx of mages every year, and had therefore prepared for their arrival by setting up a variety of shops and booths, as well as creating a massive parade and other such festivities to fill the air in the three days leading up to the tournament itself. There were even rumors that minor and less-strong mages had made their way towards the town in order to simply enjoy the various luxuries all travelling mages received during this period. Nonetheless, the Duscae Fighting Festival was truly an event to behold, and thousands had booked it on the personal bucket lists in order to see it or compete in it before their time came.

None of this entirely mattered to the mage known as Knave Dhahaka, however, as he was much more occupied with keeping the contents of his stomach were they were. He was leaning outside of a small hired carriage, his face turning a sickly purplish blue as he desperately tried to keep himself from vomiting. Right behind him, one of his closest comrades, the Exceed known as Gopher, gently patted him on the back in the hopes of easing his suffering.

"I'm beginning to wonder why we couldn't have just walked," Erie Reinhardt, another of Knave's companions, mused as she sat across the way from him in the carriage, absentmindedly petting a small, oddly glowing raven that was perched on her lap.

"If we had walked we would've been at the very least a day or two late," Duncan Valentine, another friend of Knave's, said as he relaxed on his own seat in the carriage, head looking up at the ceiling in boredom, "and we would've missed all the fun beforehand, right?"

"Then..." Knave forced out, "why couldn't we have... taken... our own carriage...?"

"Town rules, apparently," Erie sighed, "mages who intend to participate in the event have to arrive in the town's personal carriages in order to 'surprise' those watching the event. Any identifying markings should be erased or just use an official cart."

"Still, we're pretty lucky we got to come at all!" Gopher piped in, "especially since this town doesn't seem to know who you are, Knave!"

"So we can essentially get in unnoticed," Duncan added, "it'll be nice to spend a few days without the Magic Council breathing down our throats and making sure we don't screw anything up."

Erie nodded in agreement.

"Excuse me, young masters?" came the voice of the carriage driver, "Duscae is now in sight."

"FINALLY!" Knave cried as he used his remaining strength to fling himself out of the carriage, "FREE AT LAST!" The green-haired young mage than proceeded to take off at breakneck speed towards the town!

"HE RAN FOR IT AGAIN?!" his three companions gaped, before Erie pointed at the driver's back.

"Catch up with him! Quickly!"

"Yes ma'm!" the carriage driver saluted hurriedly as a sweatdrop made its way down the back of his head.

With this in mind, the carriage continued its way towards Duscae, albeit at a faster pace than before...

Just as the vehicle, or in other words, carriage, continued it's path something fell down on the road. The impact made out the area shake just slightly, making some smoke rise around the very little crater "Hehehehehe!!" A strange type of laugh could be heard, supposedly from the crater, nothing could be seen though "It seems I've drunk too much yesterday" The figure or thing said, still laying down crushed on the ground.

"Gahhh!" the carriage driver cried, jerking the reigns in roder to stop and steady the horses, while also sending the occupants crashing forward.

"What the-?!" Duncan grumbled as he straighed up, rubbing the back of his head, "what the hell was that?!"

"It... it was..." the carriage driver said as he looked at the person lying crushed, "something smashed into the road ahead of us..."

"And Knave's getting farther and farther away," Erie observed, putting her hand over her forehead in order to get a better look at the rapidly fading figure of the marimo. 

"Umm... sir? Thing?" Gopher asked as white wings sprouted out of his back. He flew over to the figure, poking it slightly, "Could you get out of our way? We kinda have a thing to go to and a person to catch up with, y'know?"

"Sir? Thing? Hehehehehehe! No no! Although there is no diference between them!" The figure gestured a disagreement with his index finger, he slowly started to get himself up. His head could already be seen, blond short messy hair, a tone of skin between tan and pale, the man had curvy white sunglasses and red lenses. As his neck appeared, pink could be seen in the form of a cloak sustained by his shoulders, a feathery cloak at that. The smoke was now completely faded away, and the very tall man could be seen by all of them.

He had a big smile on his face, clearly showing his white teeth as he looked at them through his glasses, the wind beated on him making his cloak bend at the right slightly. The man possessed a near-white shirt with sleeves that reach his wrists, a type of purple belt which had some yellow spheres. And finally purple stripped long pants reaching 3/4 of his legs with near-white marks and black dress shoes which are quite pointy although in truth, only the front of the shoes were black, the rest was white.

"So, what's up with you guys? Oh an Exceed?! Hehehe!!" The man who was very tall again, looked at the flying cat with a wide grin while giving quick glances at the carriage.

"Hello!" Gopher said happily, waving at the man.

"We're on our way to this place called Duscae," Erie explained, poking her head out of the carriage, "it's on the way and we've heard interesting things about it... so we decided to check it out."

"But that idiot ran towards it first," Duncan observed as he too poked his head out, observing the dust cloud in the distance, "and is STILL gaining ground..."

"So what are you doing here?" Gopher asked.

"Hey, hey," the carriage driver muttered in the background, "what happened to getting him out of the way...?"

Just as the Driver said those words, Riku with a wide smile suddenly dashed and sustained himself in the carriage while looking inside it "And who are you all? Hehe!" He shout with his smile looking at everyone inside it, even the driver himself who would feel some creep feeling from the man's smile.

"E-er..." Erie stammered, carefully raising up one hand, "I'm Erie Reinhardt."

"Duncan Valentine," Duncan growled, as he had gone into defense/attack mode at simply the aura that the man's smile gave off.

"And I'm Gopher!" Gopher said, flying in after the man.

"Interesting, interesting" The man said still laughing as he recalled something on his head. He looked to where they were looking at, there was a man or teenager running in the horizon, towards the city's direction "So, you guys want any help to reach that guy?! Hmhmhmhm" He laughed with his lips closed as he looked at Knave.

"Yeah, that'd be-" Gopher began, before being yanked by the small scarf he wore, deeper into the carriage where Duncan and Erie had hastily arranged a meeting.

"Can we even trust this guy?" Erie whispered, "you saw that aura he gave off."

"Still," Gopher protested, "he's probably the fastest we can get to Knave... if he's telling the truth about being able to help us."

"I don't like him," Duncan growled, "damn guy gives me the creeps."

"Then it seems we've reached an impasse," Gopher nodded sagely.

"Well, either way, we have to reach the town somehow," the carraige driver joined in.

"Than I guess that settles it," Erie concluded.

"Wait!" Duncan said, then turned and addressed the mystery man, "what sort of help are you offering?"

"Any type I'd say" The man laughed loudly "I could bring him here" He pointed to Knave and imitated an scene where he brought the Marimo on his shoulder "Or...I could bring you guys to him" The tall guy now imitated him with two hands in the air like he was holding something while laughing and running .

The man laughs again imaginating both situations, it seemed the alcohol was still affecting him. Still laughing, he jumped in the air and fell like a leaf although he stopped just before the ground. He stood like he was laying on invisible bed while putting his hands at the back of his head, the scene reflexed that he was probaly relaxing while waiting them.

The group quickly reformed their huddle.

"He's obviously drunk," Erie observed somewhat dryly.

"So he's not entirely trustworthy to do... anything, or much?" Gopher asked.

"Nah, he's not completely plastered," Duncan answered, "I've seen that sort of thing before. He's probably not in his right mind, but he's still fully functional."

"Then let's ask for his help!" Gopher said happily.

Erie glanced over at the man once more. "Still..."

"C'mon," Duncan chided, "at this rate Knave'll be at the town before we even come close."

Erie sighed once more, giving in. "Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you if something goes wrong." She turned to face the man herself. "We wouldn't mind if you could get us much closer to our friend, if it's not too much trouble."

"Alright then!!" He said happy while approaching the Carriage "By the way, I'd like to know more about you guys later! Hahahaha" The man laughed happily as suddenly a near invisible platform appeared below the Horses and the carriage itself. It was possibly made out of thin air, the tall man made a sign with his left index finger as the platform stood a bit higher in the mid-air itself. Victory Road The man said. Spinning like a ballerine he stood just below them and the platform.

He lifted his two legs up as well, bending his knees in the proccess as he held the group. The seemingly drunk man kicked the air with his left leg which made him and what he was holding to fly straightly with great speed. He kicked the air with his right leg repeating the proccess as they quickly came and passed through the running Knave. Although that last thing was possible due to many kicks in the air. The fabulous man dropped the carriage and horses gently on the ground of the road, many meters away from Knave who would be reaching them in seconds.

The man crossed his arms as the wind beat in his pink feathery cloak, with an smile on his face, he was both expecting what Knave would do and what the group would do. He was so tall, his height reached if not surpassed the carriage's top.

"ORARARARARARARARARARARAH!" Knave yelled into the air as he charged forward, determined to reach the town before his two friends did... and then he reached the carriage. He skidded to a stop, grinning happily. "You guys sure are quick!" he laughed.

"MORE LIKE YOU RAN AWAY TOO FAST!" Erie and Duncan cried as they delivered twin blows to Knave, knocking the green-haired young mage into the air (a small "+10" appearing near Erie after the blow landed). 

"Sorry..." Knave muttered as Gopher slowly flew him down, bruises now on his cheek and forehead, before suddenly jumping onto the ground, bowing quickly and as many times as he could, "but PLEASE don't make me ride that carriage again!"

"Well..." Erie said, glancing around, "we're a lot closer... we can probably walk the rest of the way."

"Alright!" Duncan said, slamming his fists together and crouching slightly, "I can get some exercise!"

"What about my fee...?" the carriage driver asked, still a bit stunned from the sudden lift the man had given them.

It was at this moment that Knave finally noticed the group's new 'benefactor'. "Who're you?" he asked, tilting his head to the side slightly like a confused dog.

"I will pay you for them" The man said giving a large bag containing thousands of jewels to the Driver. He then heard the Marimo's question, giving a back-jump so he could stand at the top of the carriage. He brought his two arms wide open while sticking his tongue out still with a wide smile, he made his body stay erect for such time. His figure blocking some of the sunlight coming "I. Am. RIKU. TSUCHI!!" He screamed out aloud.

"The who what now?" Knave asked blankly.

"The Celestial Bane?!" Duncan gaped, his eyes widening, "from that New Vegas place?!" 

"The who what now...?" Knave asked again, his voice quieter.

"I heard he used a form of Dragon Slayer Magic..." Erie remarked, having also taken a step back.

"The... who what... now..?" Knave mumbled, his mouth now hidden by his scarf as he glowered slightly.

"I have no idea who you are," Gopher said happily.

"THE WHO WHAT NOW?!" Knave yelled, his body assuming a chibi shape as a comic aura of storm surrounded him. His friends (also having become chibis) leaped out of the way as Knave stood there, panting and clearly angered. 

"I'm...a famous mage...though you haven't heard of me, search further into Public Data" Riku's smile spreaded further "At least some people know me here" Riku muttered as even the Driver was shocked. The pink man seemingly kicked the screen while laughing, making the group go back to their normal forms "I'm a former acquitance of Dragon Soul" Riku gave out a creepy smile with veins on his forehead as he started to fly at this point, without any movement, his body slowly raising up in the air.

"FORMER Dragon Slayer?!" Knave gasped.

"SOUL!" Duncan and Gopher answered, kicking him in the back of the head.

"Former?" Erie asked, tilting her head, "we haven't heard much of Dragon Soul, but from what I've heard over the years doesn't make it sound like a guild you can just walk away from."

"You actually can when a fucking spoiled brat tells you to Get the fuck out of here" Riku lost his smile, his voice gaining a new and deeper tone at that. Some veins up on his forehead as he looked down at the group. The front of his body darkened since he himself was blocking sunlight's path although his red lenses glowed a bit.

"So... you were kicked out then?" Duncan asked, raising an eyebrow.

"That's the first I've heard of something like that," Erie mused.

"I still want to know what Dragon Soul is," Knave grumbled as Gopher stayed airborne right next to him, watching the exchange of dialogue.

"It was...a guild...hmmmm...full of Dragon Slayers" Riku's smile widdened quite a lot while even more veins popped up on his head "Genghis Breningoch the Dragon King, Dealok the Almighty Dragon, Butch Magnus the Black Dragon, Cyrus Drone the Dragon Knight, Sherry Surugan the Solar Dragon, Annis Pendragon the Holy Dragon and much more" Riku opened his arms open as he laughed maniacally, figures of his former team mates appearing on his head.

"Then what happened to them?" Erie asked.

"And why'd you get kicked out?" Duncan added.

"I, no no, hehehehe, we were kicked away by a little prick" The veins in Riku's forehead increased in size if that was even possible. Riku turned to look at the city right behind them "If you guys want to hear the rest of the story, we could go inside there" Said him while pointing at the large town with his left thumb.

"I'm up for that!" Knave said, brightening as his scarf broke all laws of reality and rose up comically to match his mood, "the faster we get there the faster we can start partying and fighting!"

"I agree on the fighting part," Duncan nodded sagely.

"At least we'll have some time to relax... I hope," Erie said to herself, slightly rubbing the back of her head.

"I hope they have taiyaki there..." Gopher drooled.

"In short," the group said as one, turning to Riku and giving him a collective thumbs up, "let's go!"

Riku and the group were already in the crowdful streets of the town, walking through people. They continued walking and Riku only laughed sticking his tongue out as he saw how much tall he was in comparison to the rest. They soon arrived to a nearby café which was full of people, something not surprising. Lots of confetti filled the streets, meaning the celebretations had already begun. Riku called for the Waiter as she noted what everyone wanted to eat or drink.

"Anything edible and yummy!" Knave said seriously. 

"I'm with this guy," Duncan said, leaning back against the seat, "preferably with meat..."

"I'll just take coffee or something similar for now," Erie added, "I'm not particularly hungry..."

"Tai-ya-ki~!" Gopher sang, leaping up and down in his seat, "Tai-ya-ki! Please!"

"You can bring me some lemon cake" Riku gave off another loud laugh as he was sitting normaly in the chair "So you guys want to know anything else from me?! Hehehehe" Riku laughed taking a sip of the coffe brought in by the Waiter, strangely she guessed right by bringing for everyone, those who wouldn't want it could just leave it there.

"What are you doing here?" Erie asked bluntly as she put down her cup.

"So straightforward!" Gopher gasped slightly, before returning to munching happily on his taiyaki. 

"Let me correct my meaning a bit," Erie apologized, "I just wanted to know if your aim was this town as well... and if your destination was the festival as well."

"Hmmm yeah, my kids wanted to stay at it in order to do...mny things" A sweatdrop leaves the back of Riku's head "And meanwhile I will be spending time with the festival or something else maybe. Hehehehehehe!" Riku laughed finishing the cup of coffe he had in hands.

"And each Dragon Soul member...I don't know what happened to some" He muttered losing his smile. "Dealok just disappeared...Sherry is apparently back to her guild, Jadis and Annis stood out in the guild...I've operating in New Vegas, Butch has become a Bounty Hunter due to the many fights...Cyrus is probaly gonna exit the country while Jackal faded into the shadows, I don't know what Razia is doing nor what happened to the rest...even little Khan..." Riku dropped off his smile completely while looking at the sky in wonder, his arms sustained by the table.

"So, if you're planning on being in the festival thing," Knave said as he ate, "that means you're pretty strong, right?"

"I guess you could say so...I was planning on participating in the Dragon Royale but I'm no longer interested..." Riku wondered again "As of the moment...Genghis is dead, one of the reasons I don't want to enter it again" He almost muttered in a very dark tone. "I have one guy to follow up, as well as some business in Vegas although"

"Sweet!" Knave said happily, "I kinda wanna see if you're strong!"

"So everyone just left your guild once the master died?" Erie asked, raising an eyebrow, "that's... not exactly a good example of loyalty, is it? Leaving a guild for something like that... doesn't entirely say a lot about your bonds or the like."

"Different strokes, I guess," Duncan muttered, leaning back as his stomach was now full.

The air pressure could be slowly felt to be increasing by the surrounding people. Lots of veins had just cracked up in Riku's forehead, filling it up completely if that was even possible. His smile now was from ear to ear, it looked like a very insane one at this point as Riku looked at Erie. Should anyone notice it, the following happened probaly in the split of a second. Riku was slightly bent over the table in the girl's direction, his chair was pushed back-side slightly as he stood on the ground with his two legs, his left hand was slammed in the table which was made out of color stone.

Even though Riku slammed his palm open in it without almost everyone noticing, cracks could be seen near the area. During that all, a slight and unharmful shockwave was sent out of the table. It meant how much speed Riku had used at the point. "Hehehehehe!" Riku laughed in a dark tone "I fuckin' told you...we were thrashed off that shit" With a very deep tone, his red lenses brightened for a second as he stood taller than everyone.

Almost immediatley after he had finished the movement several slightly odd-looking ravens had seemingly appeared from nowhere, forming an almost protective formation around Erie, who herself had prepared for combat. However, before even Erie could have responded, Knave had moved first, now face to face with Riku and with a serious expression on his face. Duncan himself was preparing to attack, though still from what appeared to be a sitting position, thanks to his background in barfighting. 

Riku closed his lips, still bearing an big smile as a sudden and invisible burst of magical aura went out of his body. It had a lime-green-near-transparent tone, and it was as such called Aura Synthesis. Riku stood with a straight position, putting his arms normaly while looking at them all as he lost his smile, looking down at the group with a serious and dark gaze. The aura going off him was both calm and cold, it cracked most of the ground slightly, it could engulf the entire café in it at this point. Most people didn't notice the upcoming conflict although they suddenly began to eat in a faster pace, it seemed like they were just eating up fast because that could be the last meal of their lives. That was just speculative though.

In the face of such an impressive aura, the ravens surrounding Erie either vanished immediatley or took flight, landing once more on her shoulder and cawing slightly in protest. Duncan almost shivered, a cold sweat rapidly forming on him as his fists clenched even tighter, his muscles becoming taught at the prospect of sudden combat.

Knave, however, countered immediatley by activating his own Aura Synthesis in order to slightly counteract the effects of Riku's. His took the form of a slightly dragon-shaped aura forming around his body, with a color similar to Riku's but of a more tropical green than the man in the cloak. The shockwave release was also smaller, but it was enough to be noticeable to at least Riku and his comrades and clashed slightly with his opponent's as well.

Seeing as more of the ground cracked due to his aura. Riku recalled it off, the Aura Synthesis. The pressure in the air was taken out by the sudden action and Riku still stood like before. Looking down at all of them, Riku seemed to wait for something.

Knave allowed his own aura to vanish slowly, though he didn't relax. He stayed where he was, still prepared for a fight. Finally, he let out a small breath.

"You know, I'm beginning to wonder if you're an asshole," he said simply.

Knave's right eye could only see black while his left eye could see it all, something was obviously blocking off his vision. In one quick timeskip, Riku extended his left arm in a downards' direction as the Marimo was less tall than him. The pink man succesfully got his left hand into Knave's head, taking hold of it as veins popped up through his arm. Riku was like he was about to try or smash the young man's head.

"Guh!" Knave gasped.

Right after, Erie and Duncan, the ravens flying around Erie's palm and preparing to make another movement as Duncan's fist was surrounded in purple energy, the former barfighter preparing to lunge at Riku, when...

Knave's hands shot up, grasping Riku's own arm, and began to push/pull the arm away, with Knave putting a decent amount of strength into his own grip.

Riku gave off another laugh, not paying attention to Knave's teammates as he increased the strength of his arm using wind slightly. Riku's smile size increased widely as he tried to smash down the green-haired boy's head. This all although he felt his arm aching over Knave's dual-handed grip on it.

Knave snarled in response, adding his own small coating of storm around his hands in order to raise his grip to match the rise of Riku's. In addition, he continued to add force to the pushing force, leaning his feet forward slightly in order to push forward towards Riku.

Riku instead of doing the same, tried to stand still as Knave pushed him straight. By putting more pressure on his arm, he could somehow insulate Knave's eletricity while trying to force the young mage to knee himself.

Becoming tired of the contest, Knave decided to attempt ending it all at once and threw his head forward, putting a massive amount of force into his forehead as well in the hopes of pushing Riku away.

The flamboyant man grunted as Knave succesfully pushed him away with his head. Now that was unexpected. Riku let go of the young mage's head while jumping backwards past across the table "Heh, why say that?! Hehehehe" He finally said and laughed out loud while standing tall and looking at the team.

"You were ready to attack a close friend of mine just for saying something," Knave answered, "and that aura you realeased... you were ready to at the very least fight. Though... I guess most of this comes from just a feeling I'm getting... that you're not someone who I can really trust or feel comfortable around. I don't like the atmosphere around you, and I'm getting the feeling that you're an enemy."

"More like an insult isntead of just something" Riku said as his pink feathery cloak were covering his arms while he leaned in to continue to look at the group with his red lenses.

"Even so-!" Knave began.

"You're agreeing with him?!" Erie cried in protest.

"Even so," Knave huffed, "that doesn't change the fact that I don't really like the feeling I'm getting. So I don't think you're a very nice person... or a good one in general."

"I can be seen from different perspectives! Hehehehe! But if that's it. I shall be leaving now" Riku laughed while taking some money of bag from the pocket of his pants. He threw it to the Waiteress who was now already bringing their food and all. But from the looks of it. No one would eat. Riku laughed again as he left the place walking in a strange way.

As Riku left, Knave's group 'reassembled' around the main table once more.

"I don't like him," Knave growled as he watched him leave.

"You and me both," Erie contributed, her tone of voice and expression clearly showing that she was deep in thought.

"I say we just beat the guy up before he casues any trouble," Duncan mumbled, his feet on the table as he allowed his body to sink into the seat.

"But he hasn't done anything... technically... wrong," Gopher said, flying slightly in the air while keeping a taiyaki in his hand.

Knave suddenly grinned. "Then it's easy!" he said brightly.

When his friends looked at him quizically, Knave paused for a moment before continuing. "We fight him in the tournament!" 

In no time, the remaining two days leading to the beginning of the tournament flew by, with nary a sound or mention of their confrontation with Riku, and Knave's group spent the two days having as much fun as possible in preparation for whatever might occur at the official beginning of the festival. 

Finally, the announcement was given that this year's tournament was to take place in a massive set of ruins located a few miles away from Duscae, and all the participating mages along with a massive crowd of onlookers gathered at the entrance to the ruins in question. There, the people in charge explained that all mages participating would be heading into the ruins alone, and depending on the color assigned to them beforehand, would fellow a certain set of arrows and runes to their fighting area among the ruins.

"Alright!" Knave laughed, holding up a small ticket with his assigned color printed on it; in his case it was gold, "you ready to go, guys?"

"Haha, yep!" Duncan laughed, holding up his own ticket which was printed with the color navy blue.

"Let's just hope whoever gets the Riku guy can handle him," Erie remarked, examing her own purple ticket.

"Sorry," Gopher apologized, rubbing the back of his head, "I'll be sitting out of this one."

"Don't worry about it, it's fine!" Knave affirmed, giving his Exceed partner a thumbs up, "you just keep watching and rooting for us, okay?"

"Gotcha!" Gopher smiled back, returning the gesture.

Riku walked through many mages laying down on the ground, either hurt and grunting or completely knocked out. Three figures could be seen standing up next to him...three little ones. One was a girl with wavy black hair that held in a blue ice-cream, followed by a wavy navy short haired girl, and strangely a very cute little blond boy wearing a hat with horns. The latter was really little indeed as he muttered some baby talk.

"Guess they were only talk?" The black haired girl named Kazai looked at some while licking the ice cream.

"Mhm hm" The navy haired named Mizu agreed nervously as she brought her hands together in an act of shyness.

"Da da, aye!" The young baby with the name of Kaze seemingly agreed as well.

"Hmmmm, I think there is no one left? Hehehehe!" Riku laughed what made his children gigglen as he looked through the area. Most participants were quickly dispatched out by him.

"I'm still here!" Knave said, waving from his position.

"I'm more impressed that he took out all of them that easily," Erie said, lightly prodding an unconscious body with her foot.

"I just wanna get to the fighting already," Duncan grumbled.

"He's scary," Gopher muttered to himself as he flew slightly behind Knave.

"Who is?" Riku said appearing before the group in the blink of an eye while talking in a serious tone. He had appeared suddenly on them and was already on a tall-standing position. Glaring down at them, Riku seemed to wait.

"Y-you are!" Gopher squeked as he was visibly shaking.

"Hey!" Knave said, appearing closer to Riku and pointing directly at his face, "you're doing that thing again! Cut it out!"

"Ugh! It's a thing, don't ruin it...I really miss my teammates" Riku brought his open left palm to his head as he didn't have a smile and go sweat running down his face.

"Hmph," Knave muttered, "why'd you take out the other contestants anyways?"

"Contestants were supposed to take each other out! Hehehehehe!!" Riku sticks his tongue out while bending his body slightly in order to put his head in a nearby level to that of Knave's head.

"Then you could have at least waited until the tournament had actually started," Knave growled, facing Riku head on.

"Hey Brat! Did you guys even pay attention to the guy saying the rules and all? He told us it'd begin once everyone was here!" Riku back-fired at Knave with a big angry mouth, Riku stands back as he looks around "Um, only we are around at the moment..." Riku had a non-smile on his face.

"Well..." Knave looked around, "I guess we start then?"

Riku stood in a battle position, with his legs spread a little and his arms wide open as he moved his hands in a psyco's manner. Kaze moved near to Erie and Duncan, while holding a flower he touched Erie's outfit so she would notice him.

"'Ere! He-re!" Kaze tried to say with a smile on his face as he handled the flower to Erie, waiting for the woman to pick it.

"Oi you brats! Stand back!" Riku shout out with ordering and concern evident in his tone. Mizu shyly grabbed Kaze away and stood a bit far near to a building alongside their sister Kazai who had just finished her ice cream. "You can begin! Hehehehe!"

"Oh... t-thank you," Erie blushed slightly as she took the flower in an almost shy way.

"...Heh," Duncan smirked upon noticing this, prompting Erie to deliver a kick to the back of his knee and the barfighter to drop on said knee in pain.

Knave put on a sudden burst of speed, launching across the area while storm surrounded his fist. He swung it forward, aiming directly for Riku's chest! "Storm Dragon's Turbulent Fist!" he cried as he did so.

Riku clenched his teeth in anger while covering most of his body with his thin yet resistant wall of air. He also was bringing up his leg up but could only bring the knee in time in order to clash with Knave's own attack. The collision provoked a large yet not-so-big shockwave around the pair of fighters. Green lightning buzzed out slightly in the Riku's opposite direction as he was insulating the lightning which tried to fry him.

As legs were naturally stronger than arms, Riku could take away much of the impact Knave's strength would do to him by using his own strength. Riku lifted up his right leg, how was he needing no support? He was simply using his Victory Road in order to stay up in the air floating. Riku's smile grew up in a creepy way as he looked to Knave while bringing his right leg in a very swift movement. He was aiming for the Marimo's neck.

Knave reacted quickly, using all his senses to detect Riku's attack. Moving as fast as he could, he put an extra bit of force into his own legs and leaped backwards, almost flipping as Riku's foot narrowly missed him (though it took some hair as Knave dodged). Skidding a few inches back, Knave took a deep breath in the hopes of counterattacking.

"STORM DRAGON'S ROAR!" he yelled, firing a massive wave of storm from his mouth at Riku!

However, as Knave was thrown aback, Riku didn't stop his kicking action and instead went further with it. He kicked in the air so hard with the help of his air armament that a shockwave was produced off it. Said shockwave went as a 200º wide-sized slash which produced to cut Knave's roar in two albeit with great difficult, it passed through it and travelled forth aiming for Knave.

Knave leaped into the air as soon as the slash neared him, allowing the last of the roar to flying harmlessly where he had been only seconds before. Now airborne, Knave surrounded both of his feet with a coating of storm and allowed himself to descend. "Storm Dragon's...." while at the same time spinning in midair and bringing both legs down towards his opponent in a kick! "Downburst!"

Just as the green-haired mage dodged the slash, the latter hit through nearby buildings or environment. One medium-sized rock and two house-sized buildings were then cut up in two, in fact, they were hit with so much force that they went up flying in the air in a very short distance. Riku continued on with his large creepy smile as he flew high up in the airs Knave would descend on him. The Marimo succesfully hit Riku in the stomach although the latter used wind in order to decrease both elemental damage, he still felt pain. Although he was hit, he wouldn't leave it at that, his left leg was already travelling with air in order to hit Knave's torso while the green man attacked Riku.

Unable to dodge the kick due to his disadvantageous position, Knave lifted up both his arms as fast as he could in a guard. The kick slammed against his forearms, the marimo guarding as best as he could with a small layer of storm, and he was thrown back, heading rapidly towards the ground. Knave landed harshly on his feet, his knees buckling slightly as he skidded back a few inches. Once he had managed to at least partially stopped his movement, he put another burst of speed into his legs, lunging across the area and slightly into the air at Riku once more!

Riku recomposed himself over in the air as Knave dashed through him, though with a large grin and using Victory Road, Riku was already near up to Knave. Riku bended his knee, willing to connect the front of the below-knee-area of his leg with Knave's torso in order to delive a powerful kick which would hurt and send him back. Riku sneakily surrounded his leg with thin transparent air just in case anything happened, his fists also opened up in palms.

As Knave neared Riku, he surrounded both of his wrists with a large amount of storm that began to rapidly spin, eventually spinning so fast that they formed two thin disks around said wrists. As he got even closer, he allowed the disks to drop forward slightly, with his fingers now taking control of them. As he reached Riku he leaped into the air, slightly above his adversary! "Storm Dragon's Wail Shuriken!" he yelled, whipping both hands through the air and having the disks fly off, heading right towards Riku! Knave himself began rapidly descending immediatley after completing this technique.

Riku grits his teeth as his attack wouldn't work as of now, two large cutting blades coming for him. Kicking the air with his other leg, Riku pushed himself away from the two shurikens although one of them made a scratch on his side. Riku kicked the air again dashing towards Knave who went in a descension motion to the ground. Accumulating air itself in a compressed way around his right palm, Riku moved to deliver a fall-enhanced blow to Knave while also bending his left knee slightly.

Knave allowed the attack to strike him, coughing out some spittle as it landed. However, before he was knocked away he grabbed Riku's still outstretched arm with all his strength, while forcing his leg to kick through the air at Riku's head in an arc-like shape, storm wrapped around it!

Riku grinned darkly as he kicked the air around him with his now-not-bent-leg. The action made him rise in a certain direction up in the air and as the Marimo was holding on him, the latter was dragged away as well, though now he would supposedly lose any support for a kick. After doing so Riku also tried to slam Knave on the ground using his right palm which would try to grab the greenie's face.

Throwing all caution to the wind and choosing to toss any awareness of his location out of the window, Knave sucked in a deep breath right as Riku's palm reached his face, and proceed to release a point blank Storm Dragon's Roar directly at his opponent's hand, or, rather, the opponent in general!

Riku's smile faded away as light made everything around them bright, Riku was fully white at that, the scene happened slowly as a large ball of green lightning was seen in Knave's mouth. Riku continued to move his palm forward and fully covered the Marimo's face, making the place lose the bright for this little second. The older mage continued to smash the greenie's head on the ground, everything as said before, happened slowly and then all that could be seen was a large explosion in the form of a half sphere. It was a green-colored one, in the form of a mixture of wind and lightning in a way.

Everything went bright due to the attack and everyone would temporarily lose sight of the place. Even a bit far away from the place, a slight green light could be noticed. The explosion wasn't much big mostly due to the fact it was nearly blocked off. Although it covered an big area of like 30 meters of diameter. The explosion suddenly ended in a flash of green lightning as smoke soon rose up covering almost the entire nearby area.

"Gahh, what the hell?!" Duncan grunted as he lifted up his arm to shield himself from the small shockwave that resulted and the smoke that was billowing around the area, "what did Knave just try to do?!"

"It looked like he got hit with it too!" Erie added as she used both her hands to keep the smoke and wind out of her eyes.

As the smoke began to clear Knave rolled out of the impact site, his shirt in tatters and several burn marks on his torso, arms, and face. He quickly pushed himself up to his feet, spitting out some blood as he wiped the resulting dribble away from the corners of his mouth.

A sudden slight burst of magic was used as the smoke was cleared away in a circling motion. There, it was revealed an standing Riku in the middle of the explosion crater, the latter thing was small though. Strangely, Riku himself had his chin brought upward, in other words it looked like he was viewing the sky as he bent his head downards. Red could be seen among his face's and neck's area

"...I can't tell if he's angry or not..." Erie observed from the distance away where she, Duncan, and Gopher where standing.

Knave crouched ever so slightly, moving into a more proper and prepared fighting pose. An aura of storm slowly cloaked his body, as if he was preparing to use Drive just in case, but wasn't ready to activate it yet and only using the aura as a form of potential defense or simply showing off his power. The marimo also breathed out slightly, and took another deep breath in, preparing for Riku's next move.

Riku moved his look to the normal as he cracked his neck in the right and the left, making sounds. He trembled a bit while trying to clean some of the blood although more came out after that. Riku looked around a bit while fixing his glasses a bit using his right middle finger, looking closely his right index finger kinda looked a bit...out of the way. That was quick thoug as with his left hand Riku fixed it "I managed to make the glasses come unharmed" He gave out a full smile while trembling in the slightiest motion.

"That was awesome!" Knave said, his eyes lighting up as if stars while he looked at Riku's finger, "how'd you DO that?!"

"THAT SHOULDN'T BE THE QUESTION YOU'RE ASKING!" Erie yelled from the sidelines.

"I'm wondering how he protected the glasses," Gopher mused.

"...I give up," Erie sighed at last.

Riku remembered as the roar forced it's way through his hand and hit his jaw with impactfulness. That same action provoked the last explosion, it wasn't seen normaly mostly because of the speed it hit Riku. That last flash of lightning was the end of the explosion hitting Riku again in the jaw although he managed to raise it and avoid damage to the upper part of his head. "With skill, boys" Riku grinned again, a bloody smile at that. Riku brought up his right leg as he was about to take a step.

His opponents waited a few seconds for him to actually take the step...

"Think that he's actually going to do it?" Erie asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I think Knave had better guard," Duncan answered simply.

Knave himself simply stood in his old position, watching Riku's every move intently and waiting for him to make the next strike...

Riku closed his lips although his grin was still kept in it's place. He touched the ground slightly with the breast of the feet he would use to take the step "Hehehe!" Then, suddenly in the split of a second Riku brought it up violently in a slashing motion provoking an air thin shockwave which travelled towards Knave. The attack passed through the ground destroying it and making some rocks fly up alongside the dirt and smoke.

Rather than dodging it, Knave generated a massive amount of extra storm and proceeded to have it spike forward. "Storm Dragon's Tornado Ram!" He lunged at the attack, the massive amount of storm surrounding him colliding with it and causing a small shockwave as he attempted to break through the attack and hit Riku head on!

Riku saw as Knave tried to pass through his attack and kept struggling, smiling at that. Riku could only activate Victory Road once more as he swiftly glided through the place in a mid-circle motion. By doing that, his shockwave quickly lost force as Knave's passed through it. Riku quickly reappeared again at Knave's right side, prepared with an air-enhanced dragonic kick which would be dealt right to the Green man's torso "Sky Dragon's Iron Kick!!" Riku shout with a serious and deep tone while launching his powerful kick.

Reacting as quickly as he could, Knave dug his feet into the ground and swung the fist that was previous punching through the shockwave around to collide with the kick. The two attacks collided, and while he managed to stay off some of the force, Riku's kick still won through and Knave was knocked back, his heels digging even deeper into the ground as he was pushed back several inches. However, he managed to recover somewhat quickly, and all of the storm that was leftover was suddenly pulled in and compacted around his fist. The green-haired mage punched his fist forward and the storm flew off his hand at incredible speed, flashing through the air towards Riku!

The attack hit right in Riku's chest as he flinched with the impact. It drove him past a nearby building which was destroyed as he passed through it, creating a little shockwave and making some smoke rise from the fall. The building was like just 5 meters away from where Riku and Knave were. Then in a second Riku appeared floating near to where he passed through the building, although his body was turned up-side-down and he had his arms crossed while a smile was on his face "That's all for now? White Scarf" He said in a teasing yet serious tone giving a new nickname to the Marimo.

"Whattya mean for now?" Knave asked, "and how are you doing all that standing on air stuff anyways? It makes it hard to look at you when you're upside down like that, you know." The marimo almost pouted at this.

"Hehehehe! It's a ability I've developed myself" Riku grinned as he un-turned his position back to normal while seemingly falling like a leaf closer to the ground. This all while putting his hands resting on the back of his head and crossing his legs. He was in a relaxing position almost even though his chest had bruises and blood was near his head area. "And I mean that it looks like you got more there right? Because the current thing won't affect me much! Hehehehe!!" Riku laughed out loud this time looking at the sky as some bruises through his body disappeared.

"Well, I'm not going all out yet if that's what you mean," Knave said, "though if you want to see me get a bit more serious... I guess I can." With that, the green-haired young mage crouched slightly down, took a deep breath, and then opened his previously closed eyes once more.

"Storm Drive."

Immediatley a much larger aura of storm than previously sprung about the Dragon Slayer! The lightning mixed in with the wind cracked and sizzled with a bit more fervor than it had previously, and a small amount of the storm seemed to be emerging from Knave's body as well. The marimo's hair also seemed to be slightly spikier, as if the lightning had caused it to react in a similar manner to how hair reacts to static electricity, but on a somewhat smaller scale. 

Knave grinned, assuming another fighting stance. "This better?" he asked, the new aura still whipping around him.

Riku's smile seemed to increase in size if even possible "Hehehehe!! That's Drive huh? I guess this should complete the warm-up!!" Said he in an almost dark and excited tone. He opened his fists in palms as he readied himself, waiting up for Knave's movement with a wide grin.

Knave lifted up his hand slightly, clenching it into a fist once more. As he did so, he generated a massive amount of storm around his fist, which he proceeded to spin around at incredible speeds while adding a touch more lightning and sharpness to the end. He then punched his hand forward, launching the storm burst at an incredible speed towards Riku. "Storm Dragon's Microburst!"

Riku opened his arms further in order to receive the spell with a smile on his face. As it came, Riku embraced it with his torso and arms as they were coated in air to insulate most of the eletricity. The pinky man jumped high in the air in a spinning motion, as in a flash he stopped the spin in such a way he was facing the side his back was turned to previously. With this the spell was thrown away albeit it seemed to be little than before. Riku's chest and hands possessed cutting and also burning bruises should one be capable of seeing it. In fact, the older Slayer couldn't fully null the eletricity.

"Sky Dragon's Finger Pistol!!"

Each finger at each hand of the flamboyant man was then enveloped in thin white'ish air as Riku changed positions to look at Knave. Then he'd fire lots and lots of air-constructed bullets towards the younger dragon while also sending up many razor-slashes to the ground in which Knave was at. Then using the air nearby to where he cut, yes, the air of the atmosphere mixed with his own, Riku was capable of lifting a large boulder which was like a 270º incomplete circle around Knave's back should he try to escape as the bullets came for him.

Unable to escape from the attack but also unwilling to actually take the air bullets and slashes head on, Knave instead took a step forward, opening up his mouth and breathing in as deeply as he could. The air bullets/slashes lost some of their momentum and were yanked into Knave's mouth, the marimo gulping them down. However, almost as soon as he did so he coughed and scratched his throat, the bullets managing to slightly cut his throat as they went down. "Heh," he smiled as he felt his magical power rise ever-so-slightly thanks to devouring them, "guess you're stronger than I thought."

Just as the mage finished his sentence, he'd only see a flying air slash which was centimeters away from the boulder and himself. In a height view, the slash would pass through the area of the Marimo's neck. Should one look at Riku, he had various veins on his forehead plus an angry expression as he was at the end of a kick's movement.

Knave whipped around as fast as he could to meet slash, his head snapping forward and grabbing it between his teeth. The young green-haired mage strained visibly as he struggled to keep it between them, and then gave a sudden push of force, managing to funnel the rest into his mouth in one more deep breath and gulp it down, ignoring the pain the action caused and managing to keep it down (though still spitting out small parts of it that managed to escape).

Riku clenched his teeth, as he was already in front of Knave. The border no long there as it as cut off by the air-slash, that even though the green man ate some of it. "You indeed are stronger than I thought, this may take some more minutes than I thought" The man had a very scary smile printed on his face as he deployed a murderous aura. "I find it funny that your own wind doesn't negate your lightning! Hehehehe!" Should the greenie notice, even though he is very experienced at using wind, it was Riku's own air which increased the air's pressure now.

Technically, he wouldn't be capable of stopping the increase and his movements would also be reduced for a short amount of time. The pink-wearing man also tried to keep his eletricity from going away from the area. Riku formed long air-like slashes at each finger of his right hand as he moved his arm down in order to hit Knave himself with five cuts. That was Sky Dragon's Razor Claw. The Older Dragon's signature spell.

Unable to move at his usual speed by a fraction of difference, Knave attempted to respond as fast as he could. He unleashed an incredible amount of storm from his legs, the substance smashing haphazardly against the ground and knocking up as many large clumps of dirt and ground that he could. The claws easily slashed through them, and right as they begun to scrap Knave's shoulders (leaving gashes along his shoulders and sides), the marimo managed to have his hands near the ground. Surrounding them both with storm, Knave began launching punch after punch as fast as he could, knocking up more and more rubble into the air that received the damage from the cuts, as well as knocking a few bits of debris towards the Celestial Bane.

Griting his teeth, Riku tried to cut many of the upcoming rocks with a left-handed Razor Claw. As he succeeded at severing most of them, some still passed and damaged his torso while two passed near his cheek, cutting it and making blood drip. He reformed his signature technique at both hands while constinously delivering the blows against the rumbles coming. All that while trying to approach the Tempest himself.

As the next wave of rocks came and Riku quickly dispatched most of them with a Dual-handed Claw. The flamboyant mage produced off five long sharp lines of thin air in his right foot, it was Razor Claw feet version. With his left leg the pinky jumped forward with the aid of Road and went to straightly deliver a powerful cutting kick in an ascension movement to Knave. Riku literally came from below as the kick neared Knave.

Still in his original position, Knave had very little in terms of maneuvering options. Taking advantage of his current position, Knave fired another jet of storm from his palms and sent himself flying away from the attack, though several of the five claws slashed into his bag, causing long cuts to form and splatters of blood to explode through the wounds. Crying out from the attack, Knave hit the ground again and rolled up to an all-fours position. "Storm Dragon's Roar!" he yelled, releasing a slightly enhanced wave of storm out of his mouth towards Riku!

Riku's veins popped at his forehead as he sucked air in, inflating his cheeks though not so much. With a sudden burst Riku shouted "Sky Dragon's Roar" A large tornado was then fired out of the older mage's mouth in a very quick manner. Using his middle and index fingers, Riku put then near his mouth in order to decrease the size of the roar though it'd increase it's pressure force. It travelled forward as it clashed against Knave's own powerful roar.

Due to the incredible pressure of the roar, Riku's attack cut straight through the center of Knave's and struck the green-haired Dragon Slayer directly in the chest. Knave was thrown backward by the attack, crying out as he smashed through several ruins and ended up coming to a stop in the center of a small collection of ruins arranged in a circle. The marimo pulled himself up, groaning ever so slightly as he placed his hand on a massive bruise mark on his chest, the shirt around it torn to smithereens.

"I initially thought of making you a partner!" Riku said as he got near the area Knave was, with a prepared Razor Claw. In fact he was like flying a few meters away, having recovered from the sudden burst he released. "But it seems that won't be possible! Hehehehe!!" Riku sliced his arm with the claw towards Knave, preparing to deal more cuts to the greenie's chest.

"I don't even know what the hell a 'partner' is!" Knave yelled, forcing himself to his feet and surrounding himself with a cloak of storm as Riku neared him. Right as the flamboyant mage launched his attack Knave threw himself forward, aiming a headbutt and punch directly at his opponent's gut!

Riku grit his teeth once again as Knave moved to punch him. Which was sucessful at that, the older man coughing blood as he was hit though it wasn't enough to send him back. Instead of continuing with his Razor Claw, while lifting up his right leg, Riku instead closed his hand with compressed air and moved to give a powerful smack to Knave's upcoming head. The greenie was violently pinned down to the ground and Riku took the chance in order to try and stomp Knave's head using his right foot.

Knave's hand lashed out from his position and gripped the bottom of Riku's foot, the marimo's muscles straining as he desperatley tried to keep the foot away from his head while also attempting to get back into a more proper standing position.

Trying to put his own weight on the stomp, Riku increased the amount of force used as various veins popped on his leg. He tried increasing the air pressure as well, so that Knave would be at disadvantage. Veins popped on his forehead as well as he was struggling to keep his foot strong in the situation.

Thanks to the added air pressure, pushing Riku's foot UP became something of an unwise plan once more. Thinking as fast as he could (which to be brutally honest wasn't much), Knave switched his hand's position slightly, now gripping Riku's foot from the side, and continued adding the same strength in the hopes of knocking his leg to the side, therefore avoiding the kick in another way.

Riku used Victory Road as he literally sit up in the air. With this Riku slightly deconcentrated himself from putting strength in his foot as it was sudden and literaly put aside by Knave's struggle. Riku laughed, though it wasn't what he wanted, he could take off advantage from it. As he was sustained by the Victory Road, the older slayer could also use his other leg without losing balance. His right leg was moved away at the same time his other leg moved to hit Knave in the head as well, though this time with a kick, Riku bearing a smile on his face.

Riku's foot crashed against Knave's head, knocking his head into the ground. The younger Dragon Slayer let out a cry, and trying to force himself through the pain, put a sudden burst of pressure on his palms that launched him into the air, He quickly surrounded one leg with storm and kicked at Riku with as much speed and force as he could muster!

"I wonder why they even created the rumor of the 3rd Generation being stronger than the previous ones just because they're a higher generation! Mwe hehehehehehe!" Riku held his left fist tightly surrounding it with thick air as he aimed a blow for the upcoming kick. "Hum!! Sky Dragon's Iron Fist!!" He barely managed to deflect the kick which was already hitting his left cheek. Gladly, he managed to at least bounce it off before it damaged him further in the face. Riku was thrown aback at this.

Still moving as quickly as he could, Knave clapped his hands together! "Dragon Slayer's Secret Art..." he intoned, as the storm aura around him suddenly becoming much more spikey than it had been before. "...Aelous's Sword...." He lifted his clapped together hands upwards.


The marimo flung his hands forward, and all the storm around him discharged into massive, spiked, destructive line that sped through the air directly towards the pink-wearing mage!

Riku grit his teeth in surprise at the sudden outburst of the Marimo "Did anyone ever give you manners?!" The man opened both his arms wide open with rage as suddenly air was released from his palms. They were released in a violent manner, and them each hand compressed the air into five long whips. The air was rocking against itself so hard that it produced friction inside the whips, successfuly covering them in a flaming texture. Said whips were so big that some already cut up some rocks just from being created.

Covering himself in an insulating and invisible air armor, Riku with veins on his forehead and his teeth grit only moved his arms in a closing yet violent motion. The entire scene happened in very quick seconds. The large frictioned whips against Knave's own art, upon contact the whips produced off explosions and also a large-scalated explosion, that was the mix of lightning, wind and fire at this point. The entire area was brightened by it.

That was Riku's own Secret Art. Heaven's Garden: Blood Rose which produced large quantities of air particles that rocked against each other in order to produce an fiery whip. The whip looked almost like a Rose's body, it hurted and was very long.

Knave's Secret Art was torn to pieces, though pieces of the front continued through Riku's counter and did their best to make their way towards him. As smoke filled the air from their collision, Knave exploded through, weaving his way through  the whips as storm wrapped around his hand once more. "Storm Dragon's..." he began as Riku came into sight, his hand trailing slightly behind him as he prepared to join the rest of his Secret Art in a punch, "....Turblent Fist!" He punched his fist forward!

Riku grit his teeth even more, and barely using his hands as they were partially busy with the Art. The man gathered a lot of air around his front-side as it accumulated in the form of a transparent barrier. Pushing his hands forward, the Flamboyant mage provoked a certain reaction with such barrier which suddenly advanced forward and hitting the collision. Clearly trying to give Riku himself an advantage as he tried to push it to Knave's side. This was his glorious Sky Dragon's Wave.

Knave's fist crashed against the barrier and the marimo was jerked forward slightly, his muscles straining as he attempted to keep himself in his original position. Suddenly, he ignited more storm on his elbow which continued to power his fist forward in the hopes of breaking through the barrier. "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Knave yelled as he put an incredible amount of his strength into the effort of hopefully smashing through the barrier.

"GUUUUH--GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" Riku grunted as he felt his body being pushed back. With another grunt as his teeth were clenched, Riku opened his mouth and sucked air in, making his torso inflate slightly. After gathering up a few quantity of air, he could just release it as a strong hurricane from his mouth while screaming "SKY DRAGON'S fucking ROAR!!" It went fast towards the collision and it hit. It was used in order to try and force everything back once more.

Knave cried out as the wave broke through both the barrier and his attack, sending him toppling through the air! As he slowly fell down, the younger Dragon Slayer crashed through several more ruins, going lower with each impact. Finally, he skidded to a stop, landing right in the middle of a tight cluster of various artifacts. Knave groaned, slowly pulling himself up as his aura faded ever so slightly...

"Damn," he gasped to himself as he panted, trying to take in as much air as possible, "guy's pretty tough, isn't he?"

"Hehehehe!! You could say I am!" Riku's voice came out differently due to the large echo as he descended the path Knave went on, some rays of light coming the same way. He stood there flying with Victory Road as the lights hit him, making he almost seem like a real fail angel. "So...I guess you pushed Drive a bit too far?" Even with his questions, Riku stood with his guard up.

"Heh," Knave chuckled, pulling himself onto his feet completely, "I guess so... Murtaugh-sensei was always lecturing me about how I rely too much on Drive, but..." The marimo looked up, facing Riku with a grin on his face. "It's still got... a bit more left."

"Hehe...I don't think this bit will be enough" Riku said in a dark tone as he was already close to Knave's body. In the same moment he was already trying to hit the Marimo with the front of his leg, like a knee attack with using the entire leg area below it. Should the greenie be hit by it, he would be sent a bit away from the artifacts, it wasn't very bright there but sandfalls could be seen, some rays of light decorating the place and some rivers nearby.

Knave lifted up both forearms in a block, surrounding them with as much storm as he could possibly use while in the Drive state, Riku's kick colliding with it and Knave attempting to bring his arms apart once more to knock Riku back. "TOOOOOOOOOOOOU!" Knave snarled as he put all the force he had left in this form into the movement!

"It is useless! Hehehe!!" Riku instead of backing away due to the impact, gritted his teeth in a wide smile as he gave much more of his strength to it. The older mage added even a bit of air to his leg as he literally hit Knave's arms and head with the frontal part of it. The impact was enough to send Knave flying away, the marimo would hit some artifacts near the sand.

The Storm Dragon Slayer flew back, bouncing off several other artifacts before crashing through one or two more. He slid into the sand, coughing slightly, and slowly forced himself back up. "Dammit..." he growled, "I can't go any farther, can I? But... gahh, I still don't want to use that yet!" He took in a deep breath. "Storm Dragon's..." two massive clumps of storm appeared around his hands as he waited for Riku to get closer.

Riku lost the smile in his face as Knave's stormish image could be seen in his lenses. He stomped the ground with his right leg, making dust and sand rise, both covering up his body. But suddenly he passed through the rising elements and flew right towards the Marimo.

"...Lenticular Sphere!" Knave finished, swinging both hands together as Riku reached him in the hopes of trapping the Celestial Bane between them.

Riku was apparently successfuly hit by the spell. His teeth gritted more than ever as some sweat dropped from his face. That all mostly because he was seemingly caught by surprise by the Marimo. "You brat, don't you dar--"

The storm rapidly expanded, surrounding all of Riku's body and keeping him locked in place, while dealing smaller amounts of damage. This done, Knave took a small leap backwards, landing near one of the rivers. He promptly dunked his hands under the water, then pulled them up to splash a small bit of water all around him.


Grinning, he concentrated for a moment, and the storm that remained around him suddenly changed, becoming more fluid and wavelike, as well as giving a feeling of solemnity and respect. Knave paused, and it all vanished, before Knave leaned back, taking a deep breath.


He brought it forward, releasing a massive maelstrom of the refined storm at his opponent right as the storm around Riku began to weaken!


Riku's front side was brightened as the roar came towards his position. Then, suddenly the Marimo's breath struck him as he screamed and was forcefully pushed back by it. Just as the roar would end up though. Something appared right above Knave's position as the greenie would hear a "Sky Dragon's Paladin!" Which was Riku's cloning spell.

It was the real Riku yes, right above the Marimo's head. He had switched with his paladin when he made sand rise with an stomp. While the paladin went further, he hiddened himself in order for a sneak attack. So, there he was, right now about to delieve an air enhanced stomp to the Greenie's back or head "I thought I said, useless! Hehehe!Sky Dragon's Iron Kick!"

Knave moved switfly, surrounding his fingertips with an immense amount of the upgraded storm and raking them through the air to meet Riku's own strike. As they moved, they released five razor-sharp lines of storm that zipped up to meet his opponent's attack. "Storm Dragon's True Claws!"

Riku smiled as he put even more force in his attack. Hell, the man seemed to have a lot of physical reserve or so it seemed. The collision made up well as it provoked a middle sized elemental explosion which sent surrounding dust and rock away. Still smiling, Riku noticed as he nearly dead Paladin that missed part of his body like head and left arm, moved towards Knave after receiving the full roar. It was prepared to strike him with a Razor Claw while the greenie was distracted with the original.

"Tch," Knave grunted as his hearing detected the movement of the Paladin, "you could at least give it its head and arm back!" The marimo decided to try a bit of a risky gamble: he threw one hand up into the air, pointing at the actual Riku, while the other hand remained in a muscles clenched, battle-ready position. He then released a massive wave of storm around him, hoping to hit the clone, while also firing a bit of storm out of his palm directly at the real Riku!

Seeing as his clone's arm was probaly gonna be blow away, Riku made his paladin try to hit a powerful air kick at Knave. Indeed, the clone's arm was partially blown away. Riku himself could only form his Sky Dragon's Wave around his right palm as he moved it in order to take hold of Knave's storm burst. Easily holding it.

"Damn!" Knave whipped around and held up his hands in a block, Riku's kick striking him and knocking him back a foot. 

"How is that feeling of knowing you're alive?!" Riku suddenly asked, flying quite in a relaxing way "The pain, the blood, it all means you're alive! It means you've surpassed much and reached it here!" Riku then stood tall as he landed on the ground with his feet "Hehehehe!" Fixing his glasses, the older man had a big grin printed on his face "Knave Dhahaka, you should go on, don't fall here! Whatever your objective may be, don't think of ever falling down right here, even if the probabilities apoint for such!!" Opening his arms wide open, Riku could only finish off his sudden speech. He mostly gave out that because he could be quite similar to the Marimo.

"The hell's that supposed to mean?!" Knave growled, slamming his fist into the ground, "pain means you're alive?! Bullshit! Pain only means suffering and becoming closer to 'death'! Don't spout that crap about it being a good thing! Pain doesn't cause anything but suffering! Not falling down?! OF COURSE I'M NOT! TO SOMEONE LIKE YOU, I WOULDN'T BOW IF IT COST ME MY LIFE!"

He forced himself to his feet!


Immediatley storm exploded around the marimo, completely filling the space around him and arcing up into the sky, forming a tornado-like shape that could be seen for quite a distance!

Back at the start of the ruins, Erie, Duncan, and Gopher visibly recoiled as soon as they saw the tornado rise. "That's-!" Erie gasped as she realized what Knave had done.

"So he's really getting serious?!" Gopher cried, being pushed back farther than the others thanks to his dimunitive height.

"Looks like it!" Duncan grinned, staring right at the source of the tornado, a manic grin forming on his face, "holy hell, I wish I was there right now!"

Knave's body suddenly become covered with a variety of tattoo-like scales, which were a dark storm green in color and rippled as if they themselves were made out of storm. The refined element still swirled around him, but the marimo's eyes had taken on a different look: predatory, as if he was zeroing in on a prey that he had to defeat at all costs!

Suddenly, he vanished, the storm disappearing as well! He appeared directly in front of Riku, aiming an incredibly fast punch directly at his face!

Riku could only grunt as his face was literally smashed by Knave's fist. He tried to reduce damage by surrounding his flat face with air, but it just reduced it slight after all. With the marimo's fist disconnecting from his cheek, Riku flew right away from the place due to the impact, while coughing blood as he crashed against some large wall of rock, entering it, provoking a huge hole.

Now that was surprising, behind that rock he found the subteranean market of Duscae, some people screamed a little as Riku's bust could be seen, while his legs were still on the other side of the rock. Though in fact it was a big hole and the man luckily didn't get stuck in it, his face though was bloody and he had a furious expression.

"Storm Dragon's....!!" Knave continued as he arrived in the air just above Riku, not missing a beat, "TRUE ROAR!" He fired off a massive amount of the refined storm out of his mouth once more!

Riku kicked the air below his feet area, succesfully taking him out of the attack's range although the impact of the spell with the ground threw him a bit away. The flamboyant mage would weirdly stop mid-air just above some shops of the subterranean market, frightning some nearby people.

Knave descended, grabbing the edge of the hole Riku had made and allowing himself to swing down into the underground market itself, his fingers training through the air behind him! "Storm Dragon's True Claws!" he growled, unleashing lancing lines of storm from his fingertips directly at his opponent.

Riku gritted his teeth, coughing blood from the latest succesful attacks as he formed in a Sky Dragon's Wave in the form of a wall in order to try and block off the Marimo's spells. He also began to suck in air slightly, as the Wave would protect him or so he would think.

The marimo abrubtly cut off the Roar, allowing the rest of it to smash against the Sky Dragon's Wave. As he did so, Knave put a bit more umph in his arm and threw himself towards Riku, surrounding his entire body with storm and angling down towards him, almost becoming a storm missle aiming directly for the flamboyent mage!

Riku was tackled back to the ground below the flying mages provoking an impact-shockwave which threw the nearby things away. People and objects flew away and hit some nearby things. Put then after some quick seconds, an white aura exploded out of the dust made out by the impact. The pillar of energy went past the floor, making the surroundings bright as a result.

Knave rolled away from the initial point of impact, and by extension he moved away from the pillar of energy. The marimo's arm ached slightly from the blow he had dealt his opponent, and he used the other hand to quickly wipe away some blood that had leaked out of his lip as he looked up at the pillar, watching it carefully and still keeping his body as combat-ready as he could, given the circumstances.

With his two arms open, touching his feet with the ground, Riku could now be seen. But indeed, he looked different. His shirt and pants were connected, but both were now in an white metal texture. His pink cloak became utterly white silver, his hair was now more spiky and had an white color to it. His skin was white, more paler. That metal-like set of clothes was tight and it went down from his feet, to even his hands, covering even the frontal of his bust which wasn't covered before. It matched even his shoes' form.

The bruises on him couldn't be seen anymore although his face still had blood on it. He took a step forward, a smile on his face, nearing Knave. "So, I finally got to test this version huh?" He stopped, the dust has already cleared away completely "Hehehehehe!" He laughed out loud.

"....The hell's that?!" Knave asked, still keeping his guard up.

"Hehehehehe!!" Riku looked around "Take a look at our surrounds, this is the black market!!" He took a glance at Knave "Magical items being held and sold everywhere, the atmosphere here is filled in with eternano!!" Riku's expression became more sinister as he laughed loud.

"Huh..." Knave said to hismelf, waving his hand around, "I guess so... so all that makes you..." He squinted at his opponent, "...bleached?"

"Huh..." Riku tilted his head at the word but quickly regained his guard "This is what happens when an Sky Dragon Slayer eats Air with lots of eternano in it!! A type of Dragon Force!!" Riku screams opening his arms wide open, the atmosphere of the place felt clearer for some reason.

"Dragon Force, huh?!" Knave gasped, leaping to his feet, "that's awesome! And it's... it's white! Like how I get it green! That's AMAZING!" The marimo's eyes were shining as he pumped his hands up and down in the air.

"You're amazed huh?!" Riku gasps as if imitating his opponent "You can attack now!" Riku said almost in a whisper. Although he indeed knew exactly that his target could listen with his enhanced ears.

"I can?" Knave took a step back, "'cause that seems like you're letting me cheat... I don't really like cheating on this sort of thing, really...." 

"You were assaulting on me like a beast, trust me, you can attack now!" Riku shouted half happy and half angry.

"It's no fun attacking if you're just going to LET ME!" Knave pointed at Riku dramatically.

At this, various people would just frown at the scene as they were on the market. Tempted to escape from the fight area, neverthless, the scene was funny to them "Look I could just attack you right now but I am waiting on your attack to see what I will do!" Riku pointed back at Knave dramatically as well.

"If you're just telling me to attack so you can pull a jump scare thingy then why the hell would I do that?!" Knave shot back.

Sweat comically filled in Riku's face as he comicaly lost his smile and shout back "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO A JUMPSCARE! THAT'S WHY YOU WOULD DO THAT!" While doing it, the Sky Slayer furiously pointed his index towards Knave, as if complaining.

"WELL THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM ATTACKING FIRST!" Knave almost snarled back, matching Riku's motion.

"UGH DAMN YOU! FINE YOU DON'T HAVE TO ATTACK THEN!" Riku shouted back his eyes almost popping out from the anger.

"THEN YOU ATTACK!" Knave laughed in triumph!

Just as Knave said it out aloud Riku's right knee was centimeters away from the marimo's face. If even possible, the greenie could notice the faint smile on the older mage's face.

Knave's hands flew up to block the incoming strike, but he didn't make it entirely in time, allowing the flamboyent mage's strike to partially strike him. The marimo was thrown backwards, smashing through a few walls of rock before coming to a stop after passing through the last one.

Now having gained some distance from his opponent, Knave forced himself to his feet, taking a deep breath. "Storm Dragon's True Roar!" he howled, allowing a massive tornado of enhanced storm to explode from his mouth!

Riku grunted gathering a lot of air around his right wrist, successfuly covering his entire fist. Swinging his arm, he used most of his strength in order to punch the upcoming roar. Sending it away with the impact as he dashed towards Knave, preparing to hit the man with his left fist, while also waiting him to counter attack with a punch.

Knave obliged, surrounding one of his hands with a massive amount of the new storm and punching to match his enemy's attack! "Storm Dragon's True Fist!"

"Useless" Riku simply said.

Riku kept the smile on his face as his powerful punch collided against Knave's own. The blonde was slightly thrown aback by the impact, but their fists were still conected. Everything happened at the same time. Air erupted furiously from Knave's elbow as a result of Riku's punch, the latter quickly moved his punching fist in order to take a grip of Knave's own. That all while moving his right arm in order to catch the Marimo.

"Storm Dragon's True Claws!" Knave countered quickly, whipping his arm down through the air and releasing a series of concentrated storm lines directly at Riku.

Riku was hit by many storming slashes thrown by the Greenie, however he succeeded on advancing and taking grip of Knave's other arm. As his opponent's two arms were being held by him, Riku jumped high in the air, bringing the Marimo with him. The pink mage suddenly threw Knave back to the ground as he flew towards him, trying to smash him.

Knave forced himslef to his feet, rapidly surrounding his body with a coating of storm, and lunged up into the air to match his opponent.

Riku laughed out loud as he kicked the air near him, using Victory Road to take him out of him. In the same time, he also kicked the air in order to go back and hit Knave's back with a powerful kick.

Knave whipped around, intercepting the kick as best as he could with one arm, while releasing a medium-sized blast of storm from his mouth.

The storm ball hit Riku's stomach as his leg lost contact with Knave's arm. Riku fell in his back on the ground, damaging the surroundings. Riku could only get to his feet.

"OOOORRAAAAHHH!!!" Knave yelled as he landed on the ground a few feet from Riku, rushing towards the flamboyent mage as fast as he could, both of his fists becoming surrounded in the enhanced storm, before smashing both fists together as it wrapped around him even more, gaining a spin and spinning rapidly!

"Dragon Slayer's Secret Art: Heavenward Tempestuous Drill!" the marimo called as he rushed towards Riku faster than ever!

Riku gritted his teeth hard as Knave came for him, all that while he was already producing off many of his Blood Roses. They stood out of his body like flaming whips, Riku started to spin like the Greenie. He formed an air-flaming tornado of sorts as he went and clashed against Knave's own.

The collision provoked a great and bright explosion, making almost everyone fly away, some people would luckily land on clothery shops. Said shops would greatly reduce the fall damage indeed. In the middle of the explosion, Riku was sent by an weakened version of Knave's attack, which sent him flyign across the place.

Riku cough blood as he flew through the market area, they weren't on the underground anymore it seemed. Indeed it should be noted that the Market wasn't really so deep in the ground. Riku landed on a Five Star Hotel's wall, being pushed inside it's wall forcefully. Riku's head falls down a bit, more like he lost conciousness.

Some people through the city looked at the Underground Market's entrance and their eyes followed back to where Riku landed. The big building of the Palazzo, one of Duscae's Best Hotels.

Knave dropped to the ground a feet away and much closer to ground level, standing up, though his knees where now shaking from the motion. Still in Dragon Force, the marimo let out a brief cough. "You know," he called to Riku, "you're a Dragon Slayer right? I don't get to fight those often..."

"Oooooo no! Mi hotel!! Vat did you do?!" The Hotel's Owner screamed as he went out of the building's door, horrified by what had happened to the frontal wall "Vyou bettah pey for dis! Or else I will--" With an strange accent he continued to shout.

Riku raised his head full of anger, but then one could notice the immense amount of killing intent he put on his psycho's smile as he saw Knave in the ground. Very very open for attacks. Riku took his two arms out of the wall, making it crack with the pressure, and then took the rest of his body while also putting pressure on his back, just so that he can be free from the wall.

This act had enough absurd strength to crack the entire frontal wall of the Hotel, which began to fall down, making the smoke rise as the rumble fell down. Everyone shocked by the strength of that man. Riku touched the ground with his feet, he was still in Dragon Force though some of the white metal was damaged. Riku's legs shaked a bit. He turned to the Hotel's Owner and laughed "You...will...what?" Said the pink man with an evil smile.

"Oui oui oui!!" The Hotel's owner could only run away scared by the flamboyant mage.

Riku turned back at Knave "Yes...I am one! We Dragon Slayers have been the trigger to many of the recent events which shaked the entire country...Hehehehehe!!" Riku laughed loudly with his teeth closed as he sent many and many air bullets to hit Knave. He sent in such a motion that he was indeed expecting the greenie to evade.

Knave, however, was a bit tired of the whole game at this point, and simply flung his hand forward, unleashing a massive amount of the enhanced storm to surround and engulf the air air bullets shooting for him! "Why should I even care?" he asked crossly, "it doesn't really have that much to do with me or my friends anyways."

"ALL THESE RECENT EVENTS...WERE ALL TO SEE WHO IS WORTHY TO BE HIS HEIR!!! TO SEE WHO WOULD CONTROL THE WORLD!!!" Riku screamed furious suddenly as he formed a giant compressed air ball at his index finger and launched it at Knave "Some even tried to rule by reviving the dragons..."

"I told you, that doesn't have anything to do with me!" Knave barked back, surrounding his own hand with a massive amount of storm and batting the air ball away!

As Knave did so, Riku quickly moved to nearby his opponent and procceeded to try and delive a powerful punch to the Greenie's guts.

Knave could barely react in time, and only managed to barely catch the punch with the side of his hand, some storm also swirling around the stomach area. Unfortuantley, this was far from enough, and the marimo took the blunt of the blow, being knocked back into a building of his own!

Riku laughed out loud at the scene before him as he continued to walk towards Knave. He saw the greenie laying down on the ground, bleeding and coughing a bit of blood. A very sinister smile filled in Riku's expression as he slowly approached the Marimo. The flamboyant mage closed his palms into fists and put them on his pant's pockets, all that while he walked in a very weird way towards his opponent.

"C'mon!" Gopher called as the Exeed flew ahead of his two companions, heading back into the town, "they ended up taking this a ways away!"

"You don't have to tell us that!" Duncan yelled after him, following with a somewhat cross expression.

"We'd probably get there faster if we just used magic," Erie said shortly, having been silently running between the two of them.

Ah. Duncan and Gopher thought as one, turning towards her in surprise.

"I WAS SUGGESTING THAT FROM THE BEGINNING!" Erie yelled as she clapped the air in frustration!

As Riku approached, the marimo forced himself to his feet, his knees still shaking heavily. Knave was allowing a decent bit of blood to flow freely from his mouth, but he still crouched slightly, and then concentrated... A large amount of enhanced storm suddenly began explouding out of him, whipping around him in a frenzy as he maxed out his remaining magical power!

Riku quickly approached Knave in a gust of wind as a movement. His leg about to knock Knave down onto the ground as he had a full grin on his face.

Knave's hand lashed out, grabbing Riku's leg with as much strength as he possibly could, channeling a decent amount of his storm direclty into the limb!

"Weak! Hehehehe!" Riku forced his strength more into his leg he pushed the Greenie back to the ground "I keep track of everyone in this damned continent! And of course you were one of those people! You took down Clear Note among other things! How wouldn't I remember the Green Tempest?!" The older mage almost shout with an smile still printed on his face.

With Knave on the ground, Riku would just try to stomp the boy now. No one near them. And if the Marimo held his feet, the slayer could just use magic and use more bits of his strength. If this was gonna end now, it wouldn't end in a clash of spells.

...Between the two combatants, that is.

In what seemed to be instants several ravens flew through the air, aiming their beaks right for the flamboyent mage, as a massive lob of purple energy also hurtled towards him! At the same time, a certain green-furred Exceed flew right towards Riku in the hopes of distracting and/or blinding him!

Riku smiled quickly catching the greenie exceed with his right hand while putting him in front of himself. That way it looked like Gopher would be hit by his comrades' attacks but Riku just threw the Exceed aside. While doing so he smiled widely "Hehehehe!" Tossing Knave aside, the flamboyant mage concentrated the air of the surrounds into two massive claw-like masses in front of himself.

"Sky Dragon's Gush!!" He shout as the two mages' attacks were briefly stopped in by his own spell. The name apparently came from on how water gushes from rich-made fountains. Though instead thse gushes were made out of thin compressed air, they were indeed white although very transparent. Riku laughed again, successfuly defending, he took his shield down as he looked at the boy and girl.

Duncan and Erie stood definatley, not backing down even at the sight of their own spells being stopped with that much ease.

"No offense but you guys looked strong, you're wanting to save your friend and yet you don't use your power? Mhmhmhmhmhm" Riku laughed hard as he took a look at the duo. He then looked back at Knave in the ground "I wonder what will the manager of the tournament say about the damage"

"Well...." Erie drawled slightly, "it was more that we wanted to keep you from killing him than actually stopping the fight. He'd probably get mad if we did that."

"...Gonna have to agree with that," Duncan muttered to himself.

"OI!" Gopher yelled as he exploded from the rubble that Riku had thrown him into, "the hell was that?! You can't just throw aside someone making as daring an attack as I! I demand a redo!"

"You would prefer to take their attacks then?! Hehehehe!" Riku laughed putting his hand over his face "You remind me of my old friend and Exceed..hmhmhmhm!" The older mage looked at Knave, then only to deactivate his Dragon Force "I don't really feel like battling anymore y'know"

"The hell?!" Knave asked, jerking his head up, "we're not nearly done, dammit!"

"Testing this type of Dragon Force was good! Hehehe!" Riku gritted his teeth happily, looking at his surrounds and at the destroyed hotel. "Luck that I got a special Sky Spell for this damage!"

"I think he's ignorin' ya," Duncan observed.

"Damn..." Knave muttered, allowing his face to drop to the pavement once more, "he's still stronger, isn't he?"

"Sky Dragon's Regret should fix this up!" Riku threw some sort of flashy sphere from his hands into mid-air. It expanded and exploded in a flash as the hotel's rumble and some of the surrounds started to literally rebuild itself back "Cool, isn't it? Hehe! There is a big world of possibilities for King-classed Slayers!" The mage turned around to look at them, his clothes also fixed to normal "It looks similar to Arc of Time, but this one requires quite a bit of magic..huff"

"How exactly does ist relate to air?" Erie asked, tilting her head.

"Telekinesis through air particles, then the Sky Dragon's own air fixes the destruction" Riku smiled looking at the small woman. Of course, small in comparison to him "I never give opinions about my own strength! Dhahaka!" Riku shout happy to Knave's earlier question.

"Bah," Knave muttered, "I still think we should continue this fight."

"You think so? Hehehehe...I actually forgot I got a reunion planned up" Riku laughed only to quickly lose the smile on his face as he recalled the meeting.

"A reunion?" Gopher asked, flying up beside their 'former' opponent.

"Yes! In the council, they generally have I am no longer part of Dragon and the Imperial Court are working with them!" Riku said while walking in his own weird way. His hands on his pants' pockets. The older mage took a quick smell of the air around him, taking into note that his children were already back on the hotel "So then I meet up with the other Councilors!"

"YOU'RE LEAVING THAT ABRUPTLY?!" the group collectively gaped.

"Uh yes! Hehehehehe! It is like in some hours and I can fly so yeah! Hehehehe!" Riku said bringing both his arms to hold his head as he seemingly laid on the air.

"So you're just gonna take off?" Erie asked, sighing while also slightly raising an eyebrow.

"Can't I?! Hehehehehehe!" Riku's body trembled due to his laugh and due to the fact he was in midair while laughing hard.

Knave suddenly broke into the conversation once more, exhaling a rather long and deep breath, his head lifting up slightly before dropping to the ground once more. "Fine, you can head off," he said simply.

As his friends began to voice their protests, the marimo lifted up his hand, and pointed at his former opponent. "But, we're gonna have to fight again someday, okay?"

"That would be good! Hehehe! Just don't die before said time then!" Riku laughed and said in a sinister version. That although he had a genuine smile on his face "Damn, I didn't get to show you my other powers!" Riku sweated a bit as he looked at the sky.

"Then I'll just force you to show 'em next time," Knave huffed, rolling over and nearly falling off a small-ish ledge, before checking himself.

"You kind of remind me of Damon when he was a brat or when he wasn't concentrated!" Riku said quite happy recalling many memories as he started laughing. Suddenly he put his right hand over his face as the laugh intensified "HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!"

"Is he going to leave or not...?" Gopher asked himself, sweatdropping slightly at Riku's behavior.

"VICTORY ROAD!" Riku screamed suddenly as he kicked the air below him with both his legs, giving him an immense boost. With that he was already up in the high air as he looked down "Goodbye! You folks! Hehehehe!" Riku's laugh erupted as he continued to travel straight towards some direction. His laugh could still be heard as an echo of sorts.

He kicked the air itself continuously, in order to provoke impulses for him to continue travelling. He didn't need much magic to keep Road activated so he could do it until he arrived in the Council. He's been doing so in various ways, such as spinning between each kick.

As the flamboyent mage made his merry way away, Knave and co. managed to relax a bit, the tension going out of their shoulders, and Erie and Duncan collectively dropped to their knees. Even Gopher allowed his wings to disappear as he landed smoothly on the ground.

"Damn," Duncan muttered to himself, "that guy was strong, wasn't he?"

"Haven't felt an aura like that in a long time," Erie answered.

"Ah well," Knave laughed, "I'm gonna fight him again, right? I'll kick his ass then!"

"We'd better get going, actually," Erie suddenly became serious again, seizing Knave by the scarf and beginning to drag him away, "we promised we'd meet Clear and Rune by tommorow, right? With our luck the carriage was taken out in the fight as well, so we'll have to find a new one anyway, and we need to get you to a doctor...." The female mage sighed. "Why do you always get us in trouble like this?"

"Wouldn't be fun otherwise," Gopher piped up, having re-summoned his wings and was flying rapidly after the two of them. 

"I'm with the talking cat," Duncan answered, his hands now safely tucked in his pockets as he made his way after the rest of his group.

And with that, the group headed off as well, to more adventures and grander undertakings....


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