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Slayers of the Dragon Guilds

Aether walked across the desolate wasteland. "My opponent should be here." He sat on the ground and closed his eyes. Meditating, and sensing for the arrival of his opponent.

Suddenly, literally out of a shadow, Mamoru lept out and threw a punch at the other man's face. The fist made contact and sent the seated man flying backwards several yards. The Shadow Dragon Slayer's Sucker Punch was successful.

Mamoru suddenly felt a sharp pain in his hand, looking at it, seeing steam fly from it from the burn Aether had inflicted. Aether got to his feet, barely fazed by the punch, and dusted himself off. "Impressive, not very many people can hide from my detection skills. Normally you have to bring your magic power down to absolute zero to sneak up on me. If I'm not mistaken, you're a member of Dragon Soul, Genghis' guild. You should be honored to face off against the guild master of Dragon Gunfire, Dragon Soul's sworn enemy." An electric blue aura surrounded his body. He collected a highly condensed ball of blue plasma in his hand. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Blue Bomb!" He threw it at Mamoru, generating a large explosion that created a crater.

The slow moving attack was easily dodged, though the explosion not as easily. Mamoru was already looking pretty singed and the fight had barely even started. A wide grin was plastered across his face.

"You're not the type to hold back, yeah?" Mamoru asked, though his tone was rather mocking. "Guild Masters shouldn't hold back."

He then winced a bit, having made a fist and the burn on his hand flaring up. "And from the state of my hand, I can't just have a nice, simple trading of blows with you."

A shadowy aura began to surround Mamoru, indicating he had activated his Shadow Drive.

"Which means there's no need to warm either of us up!" He charged towards Aether, his movements made difficult to follow. A large shape formed as Mamoru attacked. The shape was nearly twice his height and a deep, dark black.

"Shadow Dragon's Zanbatō!" Mamoru shouted as he swung the massive blade at his opponent.

As Mamoru charged at Aether, he began charging up another sphere, cupped in his hands. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Electron Cannon!" He fired a large blast of plasma at Mamoru, attempting to burn away Mamoru's sword and burn him along with it.

Mamoru managed to use his weapon to redirect the plasma attack. However, the Zanbatō was destroyed in the process and blisters began to form on Mamoru's hands.

"Shadow Dragon's Roar!" the attack was released at close to point-blank range.

With lightning speed, Aether covered his arm in quickly rotating plasma, to grab Mamoru's face, both in order to stop his attack, and damage him with the build up from its exit being blocked.

While Aether's hand covered Mamoru's mouth, and was causing sever burns, the Shadow Dragon's Roar still managed to seep out. However, rather than acting like a blunt force, shadows oozed out and began blanketing the area around them and making it harder and harder for Aether to see his surroundings. This was what Mamoru called Shadow Dragon's Mist.

Mamoru held his arms out and clasped his hands together. From the pool of shadows that had formed, what looked like an ebony dragon snout erupted. The jaws surrounded Aether and snapped closed. Shadow Dragon's Maw had been performed.

"Lightning Flame Dragon's Atomic Cutlass!" Several slices appeared on the spell, and Aether easily cut his way out. He sheathed his black and white katanas. "You're reaction time is impressive, especially with the burns you've already accumulated. But I think you should know that I'm still holding back." Aether's aura became more vibrant, and larger. "Plasma Drive." He moved so fast, it was like he disappeared, and reappeared behind Mamoru. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Plasma String!" He created several strings of plasma from his fingertips and used them to lacerate, entangle, and burn Mamoru.

Mamoru could feel the blood beginning to flow from his wounds and he smirked through the pain and gritted teeth. This was the most fun he's had in a fight in a long time.

"Black Blood Dragon's Arrow Hail." he muttered. Shadow and blood quickly mixed in the wounds. In almost the same instant, black arrows shot out of the wounds to pierce and cut Aether. Some of the arrows also severed the Plasma Strings, freeing Mamoru who quickly disappeared into the shadows.

Aether quickly blocked and cut the arrows coming towards him with his swords. "He's increased his power again," he said to himself, "this time he combined his blood with his shadows. I guess he's a duel element slayer as well." Aether used his sensory skills. He could sense Mamoru's movements in shadow form. "Found you! Lightning Flame Dragon's Spiraling Shuriken!" He created a giant shuriken made from plasma and threw it at Mamoru.

"Black Blood Dragon's Triple Blow!" Mamoru roared as he lunged at the Shuriken. He threw his right fist, covered by a blood and shadow skull, at the other attack. The attacks collided, causing the Shuriken to stop moving. A second attack, barely perceptible, destroyed the Shuriken. Finally, a third attack was launched, Black Cannon: Bloody Skulls. The ripping and shredding skull flew towards Aether.

Aether collected more magic into his fingertips. He quickly swiped his hands in front of him. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Arc Net!" A net of plasma flew from his hands, trapping the skulls, and leaving them unable to move, while simultaneously burning them. Aether then created another shuriken, and threw it at Mamoru. Before he could block however, Aether tightened his fist. "Scatter!" The shuriken exploded into several needles, going in all directions.

With the extra-mobility granted by his Drive, Mamoru was able to dodge a majority of the attacks or, at the very least, avoid any hits to vital spots. He caught a number of the needles in his right arm, which had become useless after his last attack. As Mamoru darted about, to avoid the thousands of needles, he created orbs of shadow and blood. The orbs quietly surrounded Aether.

"Black Blood Dragon's Imprisoning Needles!" Mamoru's own needle attack launched, the needles erupting from the orbs surrounding his opponent. The aim was to pierce and hold the other man in place.

Before the needles could damage him, Aether transformed his body into plasma, and flew out of their trajectory. He flew behind Mamoru with incredible speed, in order to strike him on the back of the head.

"Black Blood Dragon's Imprisoning Needles!" Mamoru repeated. However, this time the needles erupted directly from his wounds, making it look like he was using Needle Magic.

Aether didn't even hesitate, in fact, he moved faster. The aura around him solidified, "Dragon Slayer's Secret Art: Fourth State: Plasma Armor!" He followed through with his kick, burning away Mamoru's blood and shadows while he continued his blow.

The Armor pushed Mamoru away before it made physical contact, though the burns that the Shadow Dragon Slayer already had got worse. After crashing into the ground several dozen meters away, Mamoru managed to struggle back to his feet.

"Gotta admit..." he panted. "I haven't been beaten this badly... *cough* since I fist met Genghis."

Mamoru then took a very deep breath and the shadows in the area started flying towards his mouth. His abdomen noticeably extended, then quickly retracted back to normal as Mamoru finished his meal.

"That's better." he smirked. Then, Mamoru began gathering shadows in his left hand, making them swirl and compress. The shadows continue to be gathered, swirled and compressed until Mamoru has created a giant and solid orb of shadows. "It's only about half as big as normal, but here it is: Umbral Nadir: Grand Eclipse Abyss."

He threw the massive orb of shadows at Aether.

Aether didn't budge. Suddenly his aura flared up even more. He held up his arm and a small sphere of plasma formed in it. "Plasma Dragon's Spiralling Sphere!" He forced his sphere into the gigantic vortex of shadows. He was pushed back, but he stayed strong as the vortex continued to bore into his sphere. But then, the shadows began rotating violently in a circle, spinning around and around. They dispersed, leaving Aether unharmed. "Now it's time I showed you mine." He held up his hand with the sphere still in it, and it began to swell in size. Bigger, and bigger, and bigger. It lost it's spherical shape, seeming to more so be a giant cloud. "Fourth State: Ion Cloud!" He threw the cloud of plasma at Mamoru, the huge and violently rotating cloud of plasma, almost impossible to dodge.

Mamoru, with few other options, used Umbral Nadir: Doppelgänger, causing his shadow to stand up off of the ground and take a more solid looking form. Once his shadow was up, he cast another spell aimed at the Cloud approaching him.

"Umbral Nadir: Roaring Doppelgänger!" two cyclones of shadows erupted from the mouths of Mamoru and his shadow. These swirling vortices combined into a much larger tornado of shadows and collided with the cloud.

This attack however did nothing more than push back a portion of the cloud. His attack actually caused it to create a circle around Mamoru, before closing in on him.

"Well... fuck." Mamoru sighed as he saw the cloud he tried to blow away had surrounded him and was closing in. With the help of his Drive and his Doppelgänger, Mamoru managed to jump clear of the cloud. While up in the air, he bit his cheeks and gathered blood and shadow in his mouth. Pursing his lips, like he was going to whistle, released the attack as a focused stream. "Black Blood Dragon's Piercing Roar!"

Aether deeply inhaled. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Roar!" He blasted his own roar attack, countering Mamoru's, evaporated the blood, and burning away the shadows. The roar continued on to Mamoru, with the Ion Cloud still swirling below him.

Mamoru tried to maneuver so he would fall outside of the cloud below him when Aether's Roar hit him, catching both of his legs. The force sent him spiraling off to the left, barely missing the cloud, though static did leap out to strike him.

After hitting the ground, Mamoru laid there with the wind knocked out of him for a few seconds. His legs were blistering and he was feeling pretty numb all over his body.

"This is holding back?" Mamoru managed to croak before he started eating the shadows in the area again. "Fuck."

He continued eating more and more of the shadows around them. The battle had filled the area with so much magic that the shadows were providing a bigger boost for Mamoru. If Mamoru had entered Dragon Force, he was unable to tell after the beating he had received, but he did manage to get back on his feet and with just enough magic to pull off his next move.

"Shadow Dragon's Imprisoning Needles!" he shouted, needles began erupting from every shadow around them. At the same time, shadows were being sent up into the air where they began forming into arrows.

"Shadow Dragon's Hail of Black Arrows!" Mamoru said as the shadowy arrows began to rain back down to the ground. He had managed to create a two-pronged attack, from above and below. Somewhere in the back of his punch-drunk mind, he made a note to come up with a name for this move.

Aether jumped slightly in the air, just between the two spells.  His Plasma Armor flared up. "Fourth State: Electron Tornado!" Aether spun rapidly in a circle, sending large wisps of plasma from his armor, burning and cutting through the attacks from all sides.  He landed on the ground after casting the spell.  Unharmed.  Still near his Ion Cloud, he shot a small blast of plasma at the cloud, sending it back on the path towards Mamoru.

"Damnit all to hell..." Mamoru groaned. He fell forward, like he was passing out, and quietly fell into the shadows. While in the shadows, he used his boosted mobility to continue avoiding the Ion Cloud and to consume more shadows.

I need more attacks... he thought bitterly. With all the time he spent training, he should've figured out more attacks.

After several moments of hiding in and consuming the shadows, he was certain he had obtained Dragon Force along with the Drive he had activated at the beginning of this fight.

"Time for my final ace, I suppose." he said, his voice reverberating around the area, making it more difficult to pinpoint his location. "Hope you're ready for it!"

"I, who is about to awaken, am the Fallen Dragon who has rebelled from the light and taken the path of darkness. Borne to the Threat and destroyer of Hope, I rule in a world of pitch blackness, following the path of ruin. I relish in the Chaos of Destruction and kill the Order of Peace as my goal is Conquest. I shall wander this world until I become the Black Dragon of Damnation, who shall sink you into the depths of the sable abyss."

Mamoru's magic then shot through the roof and he emerged from the shadows. The stress, caused by the massive amount of magic, caused his hair to grow long and white, his eyes turned bright blue and his hands became claws. Shadows cloaked him in the form of a pitch black funeral suite. His magic levels were high enough that he finally blew away the Ion Cloud with little effort.

Regardless of the transformation, however, he still looked like he had been beaten to within an inch of his life and was only still on his feet out of pure, unadulterated stubbornness.

"Shadow Dragon's Roar!" the attack was many times larger and more powerful than it had been before.

"If you had to result to Draconic Sovereign this early into our battle, then you're not ready to face me." Aether sent a large blast of plasma at Mamoru, parting his roar. He the transformed his body into lightning and fire and flew at him with blinding speeds. He unsheathed his blades, coated in plasma. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Atomic Cutlass!" He made an X-shaped slice at Mamoru's chest.

"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong." Mamoru said, as he dodged the attack. "No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first," he was now above and behind Aether. "And is waiting for it."

Mamoru slashed at Aether with the claws on his left hand, while from the wounds on his right arm he summoned his Black Blood Dragon's Imprisoning Needles and began using his right arm like a mace. Mamoru's fighting style was back to the brawling he normally used, throwing wild and fierce attacks at his opponent.

"Untrue," said Aether, as he stopped Mamoru's made arm at the shoulder with one hand. "Darkness wouldn't exist unless there was light to cast a shadow." He imbibed his body with his magic and dealt a powerful kick to Mamoru's knee, intending to cripple his leg, and attacked in succession with several other punches and kicks to his face and chest.

The two continued to trade blows, with Aether throwing punches and kicks and Mamoru hacking and slashing. Slowly, the rather simplistic brawling that Mamoru had been doing was being replaced with something more primal. Mamoru's magic began to override his mind with more draconic instincts. His attacks grew more and more vicious. His shadow began to wrap around Aether's body, forming into a hand. Umbral Nadir: Constricting Dark Grasp continued to wrap around Aether until the hand reached his throat and clamped down to strangle the man.

Aether murmured, just loud enough for a amour to hear, "Is it worth losing your humanity to win this fight?" An explosion of blue plasma erupted from his body, blinding Mamoru, and burning away the shadows. Aether's hair turned blue, and a scale pattern appeared on his body. He had entered Dragon Force. He deeply inhaled. "Lightning Flame Dragon King's Grand Breath!" He blasted a large blast of plasma from his mouth, using the proximity between them, making the attack nearly impossible to dodge.

Mamoru had lept back when Aether erupted with plasma. Instinct threw him into the shadows to escape the Dragon Force enhanced roar, though just barely. Both legs were now severely injured.

Snaking across the ground in the shadows, Mamoru maneuvered himself over near Aether's shadow. With Shadow Dragon's Silhouette, he slashed at Aether's shadow, leaving five gashes in the ground. Mamoru then began using guerrilla tactics, striking at Aether's body or shadow, then disappearing back into the shadows.

Aether blocked his rapid attacks easily, with little effort. His Dragon Force had increased his perceptive abilities. He was defending himself with his eyes closed, he couldn't trust his sight. He grabbed Mamoru's arm when he attacked his body one time, and delivered a powerful head butt to his skull. He followed up with a close range blast of plasma from his mouth.

Barely conscious and covered in wounds, Mamoru used Umbral Nadir: Doppelgänger again, his Shadow standing up behind Aether. He then used Umbral Nadir: Sextuple Blow, Mamoru attacking Aether's front and his Shadow attacking from behind.

The attack did nothing but burn Mamoru's hand. Aether's Plasma Armor was still up. "Begone." A giant explosion of plasma enveloped Aether, blasting away Mamoru, and was so bright that it eliminated all the shadows in the area.

When Mamoru finally came to a stop, he had reverted back to his normal appearance. Where he wasn't blistering from Aether's attacks, he was battered, bruised and broken. Both of his arms were mangled from his own attacks, his legs numb and nearly useless thanks to Aether and the rest of him too injured to move safely. The light given off by Aether's last attack still illuminated the area so fully that Mamoru had no hope of regaining any energy. In spite of all of his injuries, he was miraculously still on his feet. Plastered across his face, in what could be taken as an infuriatingly defiant manner, was a broad grin above shoulders shaking from ill-contained laughter.

"Fuck!" he shouted as he burst out in laughter. "I feel so damn alive!"

He wavered a bit, but somehow maintained his balance.

"I'm practically knocking on death's door!" he continued. "What a helluva fight! This was so worth joining this Royale!"

Mamoru continued to laugh until a coughing fit forced him to stop.

"Go on..." he taunted, a grin still on his face. "Finish me off, then! One last attack and I'll be reduced to nothing but an ashen smudge on the ground! Give me your best shot, Master of Dragon Gunfire!"

He hacked up some blood and his grin faded into more of a smirk with a sigh.

"Or are ya just gonna hand me over to those idiots in the Council?"

Aether slowly walked up to Mamoru, his light still illuminating the area. "Before I do anything else, I have but one question." He stopped right in front of him. "Where is Genghis Breningoch?"

"Depends..." Mamoru answered, still smirking. "If he's got some free time, off hunting Wyverns. But, if anything, Sun Walker's off doing what he does best. Showing the World our superiority."

Blood began running from his mouth, nose and even from his ears. The stress of the fight, remaining on his feet and the conversation were clearly starting to get to him.

"If yer asking fer the location of the Guild..." Mamoru's voice was getting weak. "Yer barking up the wrong tree..."

"What makes you think that we are superior to other humans?" asked Aether. "Sure, we wield incredible power, but we're not the only ones with this kind of power. Devil and Phoenix Slayers have power equal to ours. And God Slayers are even superior. Yet Dragon Soul insists that Dragon Slayers should be the dominant race. Why is that?"

"Because, that's what Genghis believes." Mamoru answered simply. "I am merely his shadow, an agent of chaos. I don't particularly care about the goal of the guild, I'm more interested in the means employed."

Aether sighed. "I guess you're not a true believer in his ideals. But this fight is over." He delivered a strong punch to Mamoru's gut.

The Shadow Dragon Slayer finally passed out. The match was over.

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