"AND NOW! LAAAAAAADIES AND GENTLEMEEEEEEN!"
The crowd roared with anticipation, patrons hurrying back to their seats as the Announcer's voice blared from every speaker in the arena.
"Our next fight SHALL! BEGIIIIN! Introducing first! Representing Minerva Defense Logistics! FLORIAAAAAAAN WESSINGTOOOOOON! THE FIRST!"
A cheer from the audience (and squeal of adoring fangirls) similar to his last rang Our as Florian walked towards the stage, good naturedly waving and smat the audience like a dignified upper classman ought to do.
Roses gently rained down upon him once more, which he took the opportunity to pluck one from the air and give it a light inhale followed by a gracious bow. Delighting his enraptured audience even further.
"AND his opponent! Representing the Justice Riders! SKYLEEEEEEEEEER BEEEEEEEEELSKY!"
While Florian received a loud response it was nothing compared to Skyler's. The Justice Riders were hot commodities in Brazil and seeing them live, much less getting to see them fight, was quite a treat.
And as opposed to Florian’s dignified regal entrance, Skyler bounded in bouncing on their heels and shadow-boxing like a rough and tumble prizefighter, a leather coat draped across their shoulders as the crowd chanted their name. Holding their arms wide as they stepped into the arena, Skyler shrugged off the coat and tossed it into the crowd, where a pack of screaming teenagers frantically tussled over the garment like a holy relic, before going directly to the nearest camera.
“Representing nothing honey, I might be helping out the Riders,” Skyler smirked, lowering his shades to look directly at the home audience. “But Lancer…” They spun around and whipped off their shades. “...fights for Lancer. Don’t forget it.” Tucking the shades into the front pocket of the camera man, they finally stepped out onto the main stage, smacking their fists together to produce crackles of electricity as they stretched their neck out.
“Hope you’re ready for the surge, Florida,” they taunted, drawing themselves into fighting stance.
Florian laughed and applauded at the display, even he could find himself being drawn in by the Rider's "larger than life" presence.
He responded to Skyler with a confident smile. "Ah! This must be the infamous pre-fight "trash talk" I have heard much about!"
He pointed dramatically towards Skyler. The Rider seemed a bit taken aback by this maneuver, giving a look and a comedic shrug to the camera as if to say ‘get a load of this dude’."Then it is my solemn duty to inform you that your surge will not be able to withstand my impeccable technique!"
His smile grew wider, he was beginning to understand why engaging in this tradition was so popular. "En garde!"
Without warning, Florian screamed forward like a bolt of light, green spear in hand.
SPEAR OF HARDERMANNLI!
Skyler had always intended for this first enemy to throw the first punch, but they hadn’t expected such a dramatic move. A second too late and that spear would have stuck them like a pig. It didn’t though, and with a tiny flash of electricity Skyler crouched and slid under the attack to come up behind Florian.
“Nice move, fancy pants!” Skyler grinned, shuffling their fists. “Love the name too! How about one of mine…let’s amp it up!” Opening one fist with a crackle of energy and staying on their toes, the cocky fighter send an electrical charge into the ground to pop up the fancy fighter.
Florian's eyes widened for a moment as the wave of electricity rumbled towards him. Two green angel-like wings protruded from the nobleman's back and darted him upwards at the last second.
He smiled down at Skyler as the heat of the electrical charge shuffled harmlessly below him."Impressive yourself! I expect nothing less from the legendary Justice Riders!"
His wings disappeared, dropping Florian back towards the ground. A green bow appeared in his hand as he descended, aiming and firing a shot towards Skyler before he'd even hit the floor.
The green bolt flew with a whistle towards Skyler, accompanied by the delighted laugh of Florian. At last
a worthy adversary!
The second dodge wasn’t any easier than the first, and Skyler knew that second one was coming. He’s quick, and he’s airborne. Gotta watch for that, he thought to himself. Getting up close and personal outta do it. Bait out another heavy callout attack, then hit him with a grab.
“Good shot, I’ll give ya that one,” Skyler grinned, closing in and aiming a flurry of punches and light jabs, flashing a grin as he ducked and weaved. “Now let’s show ‘em a little footwork!” Come on, Florida, big attack, let’s go, you can do it.
Florian landed gracefully and almost immediately was forced into a defensive position as Skyler charged at him with a flurry of offense. Admittedly, they were providing a much different challenge than Florian would have expected from a Justice Rider as they traded blows. Florian recognised their style however, Muay Thai with sprinklings of Monkey Kung Fu. He needed to break Skyler's streak and create an opening for himself."Footwork is one of many areas I excel! But tell me, how is your fencing, mon ami?"
With a smile, Florian's Basilisk system began to glow and a green rapier materialized in his hand mid-swing! Up close and personal was Florian's preference, all he needed was to break Skyler's flow. He slashed at the Rider, trying to create a little distance for himself to get the crucial first blow and begin mounting a string of combos.
“Woo! Dunno, haven’t fought with a weapon since the last season!” Skyler admitted. “But what can I say-”
Dodging a precise jab that brushed the hairs on their head, Skyler charged a fist and aimed for an electric uppercut.
“Everyone loves an UNDERdog!”
With seamless precision, Florian’s green rapier evaporated mid-swing, moving into an elegant overhead swing to break through Skyler’s defense and chalk up another victory for the Stardust Genius! His fist bathed in a green glow as it flashed towards Skyler.”But you must first get OVER th-!”
Florian’s rebuttal was cut short as their fists collided in an explosion of emerald lightning. Sending both fighters rocketing violently in opposite directions. The crowd erupted in shock and cheered wildly at the chaos as Skyler skidded to a halt at the edge of the fighting area, their hair wild and unkempt as electricity arced across their body. Skyler took a moment to inhale, then leapt to their feet in a graceful motion before ripping off their jacket and shirt, revealing a tank top and making a few girls and guys in the audience squeal.
“Oooh, what a rush...now you got me amped up!” Skyler taunted, grinning as they bounded back into range, almost leaping around the arena floor. “You wanna dance? Let’s fucking dance, handsome!” With an apelike screech, they dove low and under Florian, intending to come up with a debilitating grapple behind them!
As opposed to Skyler’s dramatic removal of their shirt, Florian instead opted for a more restrained removal of his gloves (though in his mind the intent was the same). ”Quite the thrill…”
he half-muttered in both awe and determination as he dusted himself off and regained his composure. Not a second too soon either as Skyler charged towards him. Florian once more summoned a green spear to meet the rider but narrowly missed them as they slid beneath his swing.
The crowd went nuts as Skyler quickly leapt up onto Florian’s back, taking the chance to give him a noogie as he grappled the foppish swordsman. “Too slow, Florida!”
Florian’s eyes bugged out of his face, should he be enraged? Surprised? ”T- the IMPUDENCE!?”
Suddenly his arms wrapped around Skyler’s leg…
…And sent them both shooting up into the air, using the momentum and hold to flip Skyler over so their head was barreling straight back towards the floor as Florian released their leg.
Skyler sure hoped that was the floor they heard cracking as stars popped in front of their eyes from that nasty blow. For a moment it looked like the great Lancer was knocked out cold, before they flopped over and stumbled to their feet again, twitching slightly.
“A-alright, I’m a little upset now…” Skyler said, their voice cracking slightly, one eye not quite closing all the way as they beckoned Florian to keep going. “Come on Florida, you think you got what it takes? Let’s end this show!”
Florian landed gracefully - coat blowing behind him from the impact. Extending himself fully and summoning a green spear in his hand, twirling it with finesse before pointing back towards Skyler. They were on their last legs, naturally! An excellent showing but he really shouldn’t have overestimated the rider too
much. After all, a victory in this tournament was his destiny!”In the name of MINERVA, The Wessington lineage and the upstanding people of Brazil!”
The mention of the country’s name elicited a loud - if slightly cheap - cheer from the audience. ”Your performance concludes here! After all, heh-”
A fiery smile, sparkles all around him, perhaps even a single tear as the audience - and Florian himself - got swept up in his monologue. ”It was my destiny!”
With a mighty yell, Florian charged forward, leaping up into the air for the finishing blow. Time slowed as his swing began its arc and his movements shone under the arena spotlights. He couldn’t help but feel slightly envious of the fans in attendance witnessing peak perfect physical form before them. The God-Shattering Star brought down the spear towards Skyler.
And it hit empty air.
“Oooh, did you forget the third act twist?” a voice in Florian’s ear said. “Let’s give you a crash course!”
It was like a bolt of lightning surged through the crowd and Skyler alike as the Justice Rider ally grappled Florian from behind and somersaulted across the arena in an electric whirl, almost as disorienting to watch as it was to be hit by. Finally, the monkey like brawler ended with a devastating drop kick, sending him sailing back to Earth, Skyler descending after a barrage of sparks to knock Florian down.
There was a hushed silence as Skyler landed, then with a flourish, they slicked their hair back and pulled a pair of sunglasses from a back pocket, placing them on.
The crowd went absolutely nuts and Skyler took the chance to wince a little from the admittedly damn good beating they just got from Florian, though they kept their smarmy grin on.
"AND WE HAVE OUR WINNER! THE GREAT JUSTICE RIDER, SKYYYYYYYLEEEEEER!”"