Friday, August 29, 2014

Episode 22: The Match of Seals, Fire and Wind

If I was asked which episode was my favorite, it would be hard to answer. I like a lot of different episodes for different reasons. That being said, this would be a contender due to it's epic scale. Both this and Episode 19 were played through my head maybe over 100 times each because of how awesome I felt they were. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

EPISODE 22: The Match of Seals, Fire and Wind 

            David walked up to his defeated adversary and offered his hand. Dyl grasped and shook it, conceding his defeat.
            “Looks like you are the better one,” he admitted.
            “If you didn’t make a couple mistakes back there, then it would have been closer,” David said reassuringly. “Like if you saved that one trick for the end, you would have gotten me.”
            “Yeah right, you knew it was a trick from the start. That’s how you were able to block my attack. I thought it was a great one too.”
            “It was!” the dreamer laughed. “Combining your cloaking ability with your Shadow Copy Full Power technique was a cool idea. But maybe next time, have your illusion move, otherwise it’s pretty obvious what you were planning.”
            “I should have known you knew about that,” Dyl grumbled. After exchanging a few more comments they reached the rest of the group. They applauded the exciting duel and congratulated David on winning both of his matches.
            “Good job on your victories so far, old friend. But later, be prepared to lose,” Reid said with confidence in his skills.
            “I wouldn’t be too sure of that,” David responded.
            “Hey,” he shrugged. “I’m two for two. Adding one more shouldn’t be a problem.”
            “Those don’t count and you know it.”
            They joked around as they headed to get equipment. They allowed David and Dyl to rest for a little bit before doing some paintball. The group divided into teams and played with the other Nellenion soldiers. They had a good time and were all covered with paint by the end of it. After cleaning up, eating dinner, and discussing plans for the next day, they took time to relax. Rather, everyone was meant to relax, but David and Reid went off each on his own to prepare.
            “Ready for those purchases?” Zel asked.
            “Yep. Couldn’t let Reid see them beforehand. We’re going to need to be at our A-game if we want to win.”
            “Definitely. You two are like brothers, aren’t you?”
            “If I were to have a brother, I certainly would wish it was Reid. He’s a good friend. If I was Hamlet, I’d consider him Horatio.”
            “Perhaps he thinks the opposite.”
            “Possibly. At the same time, if there is anyone I consider to be my rival, it’s him.”
            The time came and everyone gathered again. This time at a completely empty flat field. As the two warriors walked to the center, the others started muttering among themselves.
            “Who do you think is going to win?” Emily posed to the crowd.
“Well,” Jenny started, “I’m rooting for David…”
“Of course,” everyone sang in harmony. With Jenny silenced by that, Dyl gave his input.
“The thing is, there’s no way to tell. Every time these two have faced like this, it has been a draw.”
“What do you mean ‘every time’?” Emily poked at the terminology.
Dyl kept his cool and explained, “You might not know this, but both Shatl and Cyonex are inherited forms. They existed a long time ago and dueled. But no matter the situation, the outcome was always a draw. They are equals when it comes to facing each other. Now from what I have seen between Reid and David, the case is the same.”
“So before the odds were unfair, since Reid was either facing Neocyx, the inferior form, or was fighting with you against him. Now that David has Cyonex and Sudron, it’s even?” Jenny asked.
“More or less,” Nathan answered. “We still don’t know what they have done in preparation. But it looks like we are about to find out.”
Both warriors entered into their mega form. However, what happened next was not expected. They drew their swords and called out, “I challenge you to a Nellenion Match! Match of Seals!” A seemingly normal Nellenion field appeared. Both sheathed their blades and then began the duel in their heads, playing out various strategies.
“What’s the Match of Seals?” the professor inquired of Dyl and Nathan.
“It’s a higher order of a Nellenion Match,” Dyl explained as the group had already come to recognize his knowledge of Neostrikers. “The field changes throughout the duel randomly. You could say it’s the best setting for an epic duel.”
“That doesn’t explain the name,” Emily critiqued.
“No, but the fact that it was used to ‘seal’ the Zeforoth does. However, Reid and David are just using it for a battleground. It appears they want to have a winner.”
The action appeared ready to start. Cyonex took out his torch sword and shock sword. However, as soon as the shock sword appeared, it was gone. The Warrior of Fire looked at his left hand and then at Shatl. He summoned the shock sword again only to have it vanish again. Meanwhile, the Warrior of Wind called out a torch sword and an air sword. They began to cross swords.
“What just happened?” Jenny wondered aloud.
“It was a duel of neocards it seemed,” Sanger answered.
“That was it exactly,” Nathan responded. “David used his shock sword neocard like normal, but Reid has a ‘negate’ neocard that cancels it. It looked like David used his recover neocard to use the shock sword, but Reid also has a “copycat” neocard, which allows him to reuse any neocard and he chose to cancel the shock sword again.”
“Why would he do that?” Emily asked a little confused. “Shock sword is probably the weakest of David’s neocards. Wouldn’t it be better to use it on a neocard combo or barrier?”
“Nah,” Dyl replied. “The thing about David’s shock sword is how he uses it. Even though he has it as his off-hand weapon, it’s the one you have to be careful of the most. Because it can stun you, it allows him to get a second, more serious strike in. So if you are concentrating too much on blocking that, you are bound to get hit. Though I think Reid is capable of having the right focus.”
“But it seems he’s not taking any risks with that,” Jenny added while still watching the duel.
No blows had landed yet. Both sides were being fairly conscience in not over-committing. Yet that did not mean they were not attacking. To the normal and undiscerning eye, it would appear as if they were going at full force.
Since Cyonex could not use the shock sword, he pulled out his sonic sword to replace it and had been fending off the Wolf. He launched the first of the two sword waves but Reid ducked below and darted towards him. They locked swords, but the Falcon was eventually able to break free. He launched the second wave and hit before Shatl could block it. As normal after firing two waves, the sonic sword disappeared.
“A little careless I see,” Cyonex threw a taunt.
“Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it,” Reid retorted keeping his cool.
“Well, you’re going to first have to break through my barriers. Here’s a new one. Mega armor!”
            The Guardian attempted to summon one of his new neocards but it would not work. He realized Shatl had another trick up his sleeve.
            “Sorry, but I just happened to obtain a ‘Barrier Blocker’ neocard,” the Wolf smirked.
            “That’s even rarer than the ‘Negate’ neocard you used earlier. But that means you can’t use any barrier neocards either.”
            “Whatever works.”
The center of the arena where they stood began to glow. Being aware of it, both parties leaped backwards, away from each other and the field changed. The ground became a meadow and in the center emerged a stationary tornado. The wind force was so strong that both warriors had to plant their feet. They stood across facing each other while enduring the harsh wind.
Normally, the force of the wind would overpower them and pull them inside, but these two also obtained a “static armor” which allowed them to resist movement. It almost was like their boots were made of heavy metal. Again, the match became a thinking game.
Deciding to attack, David attempted to fire a charged blast through the tornado, but the wind pushed it aside. Reid took a stab at throwing a bomb and using the wind current to land it on David, but with no success.
The tornado kept on going. Shatl then put away his blades and placed his palms out. Energy appeared to be collecting in his hands. Cyonex recognized this as Shatl’s recovery technique, which allowed him to heal while he is not moving. Knowing this would cancel any advantage he had, David became determined to conquer the tornado.
He contemplated removing his static armor and using the current to hurl himself at Shatl, but that would only open him up for an attack. He attempted Reid’s earlier bomb attempt. He tossed one to judge how the tornado would move it. He then followed with the bigger ultra bomb. It would have worked too, except as it was about to hit Shatl, he swiftly moved backwards without lifting a foot.
“He has a “quick dodge” neocard too?!” David moaned.  
“You were right about him being a challenge,” Zel told him.
“Yeah. Hmm. A charge shot won’t make it past the winds here.”
“What if you used a more powerful blast?”
“Exactly what I was thinking. Let’s try it. Neo gun, super gun, ultra gun. Neocard combo, mega gun!”
Using a couple of new neocards, the dreamer was able to pull off this new combo. The energy from the cards fused to form a huge canon. He aimed and fired it directly through the tornado and at Shatl. Breaking through the tornado was a success, but to his surprise a mini tornado enveloped Shatl and redirected the blast away from him.
“You gotta be kidding me! A tornado block too?!” he shouted across the field, amidst the strong winds.
“Hey! If you didn’t fire it through the tornado in the first place, my card wouldn’t have been able to stop it. At least you got me to take some damage.”
The tornado faded away and the field transformed again. This time, it evoked the presence of a volcano. The rocky terrain took over but not without various boulders floating down a river of lava. To add to it, meteors came crashing from the sky and lightning crackled brightly together with its accompanying thunderclap. However, the change failed to distract the two warriors as they resumed close combat.
They kept at it, amidst the surrounding chaos, but neither was able to obtain an advantage. They took the battle to the floating boulders only to return to higher and more stable ground after no more success there. Both attempted to use their “mega sword” neocard combo for the lead but both hit.
            Next, the field converted to a beach-like scene. The sides were all sand, spotted with a few palm trees. Shallow water filled the middle except for a patch of land, where the battle raged on. Cyonex activated his aqua gun, which somehow received a boost in power due to the surrounding landscape, but he was only able to hit with a couple shots.
            The arena changed yet another time to a forest area. The two warriors take to the treetops to continue their duel. The advantage fell to Reid here as he was able to nick David with one of his blades, but that was all until next change.
            A rink of ice claimed the next territory. Here, the two warriors had to glide across the ice, or be careful not to slip.
            The intensity was blazing. For the next terrain alteration, it became a mountain path with Cyonex on the higher ground. He lunged at Shatl, ready to slam the drawn Sudron. The Wolf decided to meet him in the air and made a leap, aiming for the legs of the Falcon with Widrond. However, David was able to shift his weight and flip forward. After a clash of steel, both sides landed. The legendary swords had been drawn, and the sparks flying from the repeated clashes lit up the land.
At one point, Reid committed to a big slash, but David moved at the last possible instant, swirled around, and was able to slash from behind. From there, they were locked in a stalemate until the field transformed one last time.
The final mode of the arena was actually a fairly peaceful one. No one could explain how, but the field blocked the sunlight and created an illusion of night. The complete it, a ball of light, mimicking the moon hung a giant tree. Beneath the tree flowed a gentle stream, but that did not matter to the warriors.
The Wolf readied his glistening steel blade as he focused intently upon the Falcon whose golden decorated hilt was raised in response. Then, like two renowned samurai under the shadow of the tree, they dashed in, crossed swords for three strikes, and separated. In the end, they only countered each other and stood facing off again in this passionate duel. The onlookers momentarily forgot they were spectating a duel but instead a magical sword dance.
Reid and David finally halted their seemingly never-ending combat. The illusion of night faded away and the sunset shone perfectly on the giant tree. The two warriors stood still, again plotting every possible action in their heads. Finally, as white spheres of light began to fill the air, David broke the silence called out his challenge, the same that Reid was ready to do as well.
“Time to end this! Elite Overdrive!”
With those words, the white and scarlet auras envelop the warriors as they charged at full speed and power, using their Elite Slashes. The blades cross, but the auras did not die. Instead, the warriors continue to swing their blades at high speed in close combat with the golden auras still about them.
            The intensity and excitement cannot be captured by language. It was a spectacle that had to be seen. What words and descriptions I have used fail to do it justice. The best that can be said is this was perhaps the greatest swordfight anyone there had seen.
            The two warriors maintained perfect focus and fought hard. They had become titans under the setting sun. Both made and continued to make perfect attacks and counters. They would strike one area, only to bring it back in time to parry the counter. The legendary swords saw movement everywhere; left and right, up and down. Even when they would break apart and resort to using their guns, their executions were breathtaking while dodging beautifully with rolls and side steps.
            Nonetheless, they would soon return to sword combat, the ideal way to end such a duel. The force and energy behind each and every swing was inspiring, as the golden auras grew and grew. This was the combat of legends.
            Finally, the golden auras burst and encompassed the arena as if it were the sun. When the light had finally vanished, the Nellenion field was gone. Cyonex was still standing while Reid lay on the ground. Yet not more than a second later, Cyonex too de-formed and fell to the ground. Both of them then said despite their heavy exhaustion, “That… was… the… most… fun… ever,” and then they passed out.
            What happened was in that great light, both of them had charged in like they did before with their Elite Slashes. The blades crossed, and they both quickly recovered and thrusted, aiming for the chest. But Cyonex was able to sidestep just enough for Shatl to miss by only a millimeter!

            It took a few moments before David and Reid awoke from their rest. After thanking Sanger and the soldiers for their time and effort, they returned to Reid’s house for the night. And everyone there was now inspired by what they saw and ready for the next day’s fateful climax.

Episode 23: The Battle of Fort Tempest

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