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Subject: A King and His Friend...
Chapter One: Well then...

Zaos chuckled and drew an obsidian katana from the sheath tied to his waist before shifting into a central stance.

"Let's make this a good fight, Ryujin. I shall not hold back." And so saying, he calmly waited for his opponents move as dark obsidian armor covered his torso, arms and head, his pants changing to a black hakama with white hair spilling from beneath the metal of his helmet. Altogether, his new look created an intimidating visage of dark power.

"Let's go!"

Chapter Two: Hmm…

Ryujin thinks back over all the battles he’s had, the hard, the easy, and the ones he'd lost as he turns his back and disappears into the foliage, throwing his cloak into the bushes and drawing his dagger as he circled out of sight around Zaos. "Let's see what you've got." he thought.

Chapter Three: Spectral Disruption

Zaos calmly looks around him, sensing his opponent out while focusing at the same time, beginning to glow a small, dark light. As soon as he feels his power charged, he jumps high above the tops of the trees, shifting around as he begins his descent head-first, a dark power wrapping itself around him as he falls.

"Spectral Disruption!" he cries out as he suddenly disappears in a star of violet light, falling fast to the ground. Upon touchdown with the ground, the light erupts into a powerful, dome-shaped shockwave that clears the immediate area of all foliage and vegetation, the shockwave knocking right into Ryujin. The air around them begins to fill with small, harmless wisps, barely tangible and barely visible to the naked eye as Zaos stands from his crouch, facing Ryujin as he readies his stance again.

"Your turn, Ryujin."

Chapter Four: The Shock-Wave

The Shock-Wave knocked Ryujin into the air, where he preformed a mid air flip and twisted around to land on a tree limb, pulling out a throwing knife at the same time. Leaping from the limb high into the air he threw a flurry of knives at Zaos as he flipped high over his head, landing pushing off a tree behind Zaos to propel himself towards him with a flying kick, pushing off Zaos's chest, and landing on a limb above him. "I believe it’s your turn".

Chapter Five: Zaos Chuckles:

"Very good, Ryujin. You just might be a match for me." As he finishes, Zaos jumps high again, this time gathering darkness along his right arm and forming it into a huge blade-arm. As he begins to descend again, he flips forwards once with the blade of his dark arm poised for a fatal downwards strike.

"Prepare yourself!"

Chapter Six: Ryujin

Ryujin jumps back into a back flip off the branch, dodging Zaos's strike, and throws a knife straight at his arm, cutting the dark blade off. He pushes off a tree, propelling himself towards Zaos where he grabs him in mid-air, twisting him around to slam him face first into a tree. Ryujin then flips back onto the ground as Zaos falls.

Chapter Seven: A Surprise Attack

As Zaos falls; he disappears in a black mist, which expands and begins to surround the entire area, cloaking everything in a dark shade of black. The mist covers Ryujin's eyes, making it difficult for him to see Zaos' movements.

Suddenly, Zaos dashes from nowhere, slicing into Ryujin's side before disappearing, a light flesh wound left in his wake. This happens six more times before Zaos appears above Ryujin, his obsidian katana poised for a fatal attack, though his form seems to flicker as he nears his opponent...

Chapter Eight: ?!?

Ryujin's body suddenly shimmers and disappears, as the real Ryujin appears on a tree branch above and behind the diving Zaos, Ryujin's mirror of himself, a trick he learned in his days as a thief, had worked. Ryujin now pulled out his dagger and silently jumped off the branch, flying towards the mid-air Zaos, as his body shifted into a dark shadow-like streak, moving increasingly faster towards Zaos, dagger stretched out. The dark cloud morphed into a dagger itself, a life sized demon driven black cloud-like dagger, which pierced Zaos's body, and landed on a branch on the other side, turning once again into Ryujin. The force flung Zaos against the tree below him, where he then fell to the ground, not dead, but injured.

Chapter Nine: He Disappears...

Zaos suddenly disappears again, his body flickering out, indicating a shadow copy. The real Zaos appears behind Ryujin with a fully charged shadow attack in his hands, grinning.

"Nighty night." And with that, Zaos drives Ryujin deep into the jungle earth with a powerful darkness blast, nearly scorching Ryujin's flesh as the blast rips through him.

Chapter Ten: Location location location...

Ryujin had anticipated the move, and as the blast rippled towards him and blew him forward and down he took out a knife and threw it at Zaos as he spun around in mid-air as Zaos wasn't looking. He pulled a back flip and landed on his hands and pushed up, flipping up toward a tree, which he propelled off of towards Zaos, who had dodged the knife and was looking into the crater where he thought Ryujin was. Ryujin shimmered and disappeared appearing in front of Zaos, still moving with great speed, and drove his outstretched dagger deep into Zaos's chest, smiling grimly as he drove Zaos backwards, pinning the dagger to a tree through his chest, and watching the color drain from Zaos's surprised face.

Chapter Eleven: A Lot to Learn

As Ryujin watched the color drain away from his opponent's body, he did not sense the presence sneaking up behind him until a dagger was pressed against his throat and his arms restrained by shackles of darkness. Behind him, Zaos grinned as the Zaos pinned to the tree disappeared, yet another shadow clone.

"You've anticipated all my moves so far. I commend you for that, Ryujin. But I'm afraid I'll have to step this up a notch." And so saying, Zaos plunges the dagger into Ryujin's gut before flipping backwards. Upon landing on the ground, Zaos punches it with great strength, causing a wave of jungle earth to rise before his opponent, the height reaching past the tops of the trees.

Zaos merely held a hand towards Ryujin, palm up, before saying grimly, "Enjoy your grave... for you dug it." With this, Zaos turns his hand palm down and makes a pushing motion downwards, causing the earthen wave to roar and descend upon the still shackled Ryujin, burying and possibly crushing him beneath the incredible weight of the earth.

When this move was done, Zaos sighed and formed a near impenetrable cocoon of darkness around him, awaiting a move from his opponent. If he is still capable of fighting…

Chapter Twelve: Deception...

From high above the jungle floor, on a branch overlooking the battle ground, Ryujin chuckled, thinking to himself “my shadows have done a better job than I would have hoped, but now I must enter this battle myself, for they are no where near good enough to defeat this worthy opponent." Ryujin shifted into a dark shadow-like cloud, and floated down to the cocoon, passing through the walls of the cocoon and entering the body of Zaos himself, going deep into the depths of his mind, causing him to drop the protective layer, and climb the tree behind him, up to the very top. As Ryujin mind controlled Zaos, he glanced through his past, seeing the horrible things Zaos had gone through, and for a moment, he almost felt sorry for him, until he recalled the brutal death of his family, and so, pushing these thoughts out of his mid, he revealed Zaos greatest fears...smiling grimly, Ryujin exited the body, floating above the dazed Zaos, and plunged a shadowy poison-filled dagger into his thigh, breaking the tip off, and pushing Zaos over the edge of the limb, watching him fall hundreds of feet to the jungle floor. Ryujin then alighted on a branch high above the falling Zaos, and shifted back into his human form. "Your turn my underestimated friend..."

Chapter Thirteen: A Fatal Mistake

Zaos watched as yet another of his shadow clones fell to the blade of his skilled and worthy opponent, smiling grimly. As he watched, he wondered to himself, Will he realize those memories are not my own, but those of the man I once consumed in my demonic rage...?

Sighing, the real Zaos slowly and calmly walked onto the barren meadow of their jungle battlefield. But there was something different about him... His clothes were no longer black, but red with black, white and gold highlights... And no longer were they simple leather pants and a leather vest, but now they resembled more the garb of a warrior monk...

Hefting a huge, curved zwiehander onto his shoulder with ease, he closed his eyes and waited. Waited for his opponent to strike. Waited for that fatal mistake his opponent would inevitably make... And when he did...

The vampiric Noiona, Guardian of Blood and one of the four Guardians of Life, would bond with Zaos' soul and show Ryujin the true power... of an indestructible opponent.

Chapter Fourteen: Confusion? Or recognition...

Ryujin, from far above the battle field, recognized the robes Zaos was now wearing.....he looked closer, yes, there it was! Ryujin put his hand deep into his pocket, and felt the ring, the ring of the warrior monks, the servants of the Guardians of Life, on the braided wolf-hair string. The ring taken from his fathers mutilated body on that day so long ago, the trademark of the demon monks who ravaged his village. Ryujin felt a new respect for his opponent, for he wasn't now fighting a mere mortal warrior, he was fighting a mortal demon, risen from the depths of hell, trained by the worst of evils, he was fighting a brother warrior monk.... Ryujin knew Zaos would be waiting for Ryujin to strike, but Ryujin was trained by the same who taught Zaos, he knew what would happen then. So he waited, for Zaos to move....

Chapter Fifteen: A False Recognition

Zaos could sense his opponent's supposed recognition, chuckling even as he waited. Deciding to say something to pass the time, he called out to his opponent without opening his eyes.

"These are not the robes of those fools you call demonic warrior monks. These are the male form of the garb of the vampiric Guardian of Life, the Guardian of Blood. This is the design the warrior monks were supposed to adorn in their service to her. But, alas, they rebelled with the other warriors of the other Guardians, whom also share their power with me."

Zaos shifted his feet, turning his lead foot inwards a little while sliding his trailing foot back, moving into a slight crouching stance with the zwiehander resting on his trailing shoulder. His eyes slowly opened and pierced straight to Ryujin's eyes, the distance seeming not to matter.

"Don't mistake me for a mere opponent, Ryujin... Whatever you were taught by those renegades was all a lie. Come! I shall teach you the true power of the Guardians of Life!"

Chapter Sixteen: Laughs Ryujin

"I was not taught by those fools, my father was murdered in an uprising by them. He was a true Guardian of Light, a true master. He taught me the ways, the warrior’s moves, the danger of being servant to those who reign as Vampiric Lords. And now, I will show you the true power of a Demon Vampire!" With that Ryujin disappears in a flash of dark light, reappearing inside of Zaos's body in a shadow like form, expanding rapidly inside of his body, filling his body cavity, to the point where Zaos exploded outward, body parts flying in all directions from the dark shadow that was Ryujin in his demon state. In a voice that seemed to be everywhere at once, Ryujin yelled: “You have unleashed the fury of the Demonic Lord of the Guardians of Light!"

Chapter Seventeen: A True Demon Lord!

As Ryujin's laughter and his words end, a demonic laughter fills the air, an evil sound that put Ryujin's laughter to shame...

"A true Demonic Lord? Poor fool..." And with that, a spear of such darkness finds its way through Ryujin's gut, a black mist rolling off of the spear. Behind him, a figure in black robes stood with the spear in hand, a hood and face cloth covering his face. Beneath the robes, one could see pitch black armor...

Chuckling darkly, Zaos shoved the spear a little further into Ryujin's gut. "Everything you have been taught... It has all been a lie... You know *nothing* of the Guardians of Life." And with this, Zaos kicked Ryujin off the spear, leaving him lying in a growing poll of blood...

Chapter Eighteen: Suddenly

the real Ryujin, almost spoiling the surprise by laughing at Zaos's foolishness, plunges his dagger deep into Zaos's heart, piercing his spine in doing so, while the poison in the tip interacts with the poison already in Zaos's body, bubbling and heating up, melting Zaos's vital organs and veins, while Ryujin twists the dagger around in Zaos's heart, as Ryujin's shadow clone fades away, leaving a pool of blood on the ground. "And I thought you wouldn't fall for that lie Zaos. I never over estimate an opponent..." He whispers in Zaos's ear, "Your turn, my king".

Chapter Nineteen: The End...

Feeling the poisons in his body already melting it away, Zaos chuckles morbidly, turning around and grasping Ryujin by the throat. "You may think you've won... But I will have the last laugh... my friend..."

And with a flash of dark light, Zaos engulfed the entire jungle in a black explosion... The power of it sending a huge shockwave of power racing across the land...

Up upon a mountain, two figures watch as the explosion completely wipes out the jungle battlefield.

"... T'would seem we came to a draw, my friend. You truly are a worthy opponent." Zaos said to Ryujin, turning to look at him and away from the explosion, a small smile adorning his face.

Chapter Twenty: Ryujin chuckles

"T'would seem so, my friend, except one small thing..." With this Ryujin nods towards the dark light exploding outward, where, seemingly impossibly, a dark shadow flies from the falling trees, farther and farther into the sky it flies, when, high into the atmosphere, still barely in sight, it separates into two dark beings, one falling now, faster and faster towards the earth, the other hovering there a moment before shimmering out. The other impacts the ground, going so deep that neither of the two on the mountain would be able to see who it was that was finally defeated. Ryujin turns back towards his king, saying this: "A tie, perhaps, since we will never know."
The End...

Time Posted: September 6 2009 04:06 pm EDT
Last updated: September 7 2009 12:06 am EDT


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