Duelist League: Haru vs Uta

After a long hiatus, the Duelist League is back! Who will win in this exciting battle between Yamato's favorite orb-wielding Jeweller/Artificer and your friendly neighbourhood Musical Kung-Fu Nurse?

The only thing we can guarrantee is UNREALISTIC ANIME VIOLENCE, and- do I need to say anything else?

Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

"I crave violence!"

That is something concerning to hear in general, but when it is Uta that chims that completely out of the blue, and asks to meet as soon as possible at a specific address in Carmina Gadelica Marina for a duel, then goes into chim-radio-silence, the situation might feel even more concerning.

And so here we are at the appointed meeting point, in a bit of a low-traffic square off to the side of the main thoroughfares. There probably won't be much in the way of audience, but there is plenty of room and urban decorations to make the fight interesting.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

And what is a duel without a suitable entrance? While the crowd is baffled by the Kung Fu Nurse making such a declaration, a cloaked figure emerges. Cue digital wind. Billowing cape. "And I crave retribution!" the male voice says, gripping the hood and throwing it off in dramatic flair. The cloth pixelates into the breeze as Haru stands where the mysterious figure once was. Quick kung fu hand fwooshes to a point to Uta, "Today I shall have it and wash the stain of defeat from my soul. A duel, and this time," he takes his orb out in one hand, "you shall see what a true Enchanting master is capable of!"

Factual corrections: Haru is not an Enchanting Master. That cloak was on sale at Gwen's shop. No refunds will be issued.

The challenge is out, mostly because the two already arranged a bit of entertainment for those in Carmina. Tensions in a war are high, so have a bit of fun and give a show. Attendance is light so far, but it doesn't stop Haru from giving one hundred percent. He holds his orb out and palms it. Fracturing lines show as the noodly armed crafted causes it to crack. Crumble. Crush! In the wake of pixelated dust, four smaller orbs over around him. The Ioun Stones, born anew from the ashes (dust) of the phoenix (Haru's hand).
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

"Do your worst."

Gone is Uta's usual wandering gaze. Today's is so laser-focused that one instinctively feels this nagging instinct to turn away their own eyes upon locking on hers, lest one risk blindness.

Also, her boots are scratched, her usually immaculate clothes stained in various hues of green, and one of her gloves is missing the tips of the finger. What is in much better shape is her belt -- not her usual one, but a black one, full of pouches of sorts, kind of like a bat-utility-belt.

One might notice that not many people are close to her side of the square, because of a certan.... ah... aroma she emanates, as it can be guessed by the occasional Lander who foolishly gets too close and, with a grimace, waves one hand in front of his face before pulling away.

"And I mean it," she says, sudden all matter-of-fact. "Make this as painful as you can. No pity. No mercy."

That said, she twirls her staff, intones a certain bouncy J-pop tune at breakneck speed, and with the creation of multiple colorful circles around sewer drains, slimes begin to seep out, and -keep seeping out-. They just... never stop! As the tune continues, they bounce all the way to focus on Haru. "Does it hurt? DOES IT?", she asks.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Ok. Weakness in catchy tunes is super effective on Haru. The Artificer is tapping his foot to the tune. Embrace the earworm. Be ONE with the earworm. No, Haru! This isn't a dance off. Its a rhythm game! "Painful, you say," the white haired human says with a tap of the foot. The foot stomps onto the ground and both hands extend outwards in traditional 'Muahaha' villain laugh.

The four floating stones stop floating in their idle animation and hover at Haru's side. They begin to vrrr providing a metalic track to the J-pop beat. "Then get SHREDDED!" Each one of the four orbs becomes a focal point for a series of jagged crystal shards that launch towards the slimes. Dakka dakka dakka. It is a force of slime vs jagged crystal. The skewer isn't keeping up at first, a wave of slimes against kinetic rocks.

Not all the shot were going at the slimes. Some of them lodge in the ground and have yet to disappear from the attack effects. When the slime wave contest gets close enough to Haru that it threatens to engulf him, he grins. "No pity," he says, an assumption that it could be that he is getting his ass handed to him. The stones on the ground light up like a Christmas tree. Red. Yellow. Blue. Cyan. He steps across them like someone established superspeed waypoints across the arena, ending in a flanking position away from the stream of slimes to launch a final volley of shards, "No Mercy." Dakka Dakka Dakka.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Slash. Slash. Slash!

Red gashes appear on Uta's body, with a shriek at each razor-sharp swipe. They do not disappear instantly. The crimson light pulsates.

She doubles over, clutching at her wounds, and-


"Exactly that, yes!", she exclaims. She unbuttons one of her pouches, and pulls out a bunch of herbs. Small red flowers with elongated, pointed petals dot them.

With thrembling hands, she stuffs them in her mouth, chews, and swallows. "Let's see if this one works."

She stuffs the bundle in her mouth and chews.

The song continues, as do the magical multi-intertwined-helix magical beams that shoot from her staff's gem to reach and direct the slimes -- but given the chewing, the song can't be as fast or accurate as before, so the slimes kind of degenerate into a bit of chaos. Some of which even turns back to start eating away at Uta's still boot-covered feet.

She swallows, and begins to dart towards Haru. "Let's see how you like this!", she yells, as she swipes her staff to slashs at him, multiple times.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

All Out Assault! Or close to it. Haru lands on the ground and braces himself for impact with a charging Uta. Not what is expected with a back-of-the-line cloth wearing duelist. "Bring it on," he says as his back foot slides back. The Enchanter is not suited for the assault as his arm comes up to block a staff only to be smacked down with a resounding crunch. Another to the leg while his balance is off. A clean crack up to his jaw that sends him reeling. Too easy. Clean win in the bag.

The followup charge is left with Haru giving a grin as he cleans off where blood should be on his lip, but instead its just a damage line. "I like it," he says as the second wave of assault is met with a creature that looks a lot like Haru as the caster steps back. Shiva would be proud of the flash freeze as the doppleganger becomes shards of ice. Not only that, /treated/ to burn like acid. Waiting at the end of the pain train is Haru, winding up for a punch. How much could his Noodly Arms possibly do?

Never trust an Enchanter battle at face value! POW! The... actual... duece. That had some power behind it!

The pain train has more than one stop, as a retaliation only meets another dopplegager. An explosive, acidic crashing through a shield. On the other side of the many-Harus is no Haru at all. The last visage of him comes from the purple glint of his monocle before a wave of dark mist rolls onto the field. "Ignis. SPhere. Inimicos." Let there be light! No, thats definately a fireball.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

"Tastes nice, but doesn't seem to do much," Uta winces. She pulls out a piece of chalk and traces a cross on one of the pouches. Rejected. "Now, let's try this other one." She pulls something out of a different pouch; this herb is easily recognized: mint! "Let's see the effects of this one...", she says, and stuffs this one in her mouth -- before the frozen acid lashes at her. "ARGH! NO! NO! MENTHOL + COLD IS SUPER BAD! ARGHHHHHHH!!!", she yells, collapsing to the ground in a ball of suffering.

Well, one thing is for sure -- she may have asked for it, but she's definitely not enjoying it at the moment. "GNGNGNG.. Do it... do it for the -patients-!", she encourages herself, and with trembling hands, she pushes herself to stand.

Her attempts at summoning a megical aura to protect herself are only partially successful. "Hmm...ghhfpfgh... well..." She says, trembling. "This is too slow and painful. You know what? It would be more efficient if we -both- were to cooperate in this experiment."

She extracts some medicinal herbs from a third pouch, and reaches over, attempting multiple times to stuff them into Haru's mouth, at the battlecry of "FOR SCIENCE!"
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

"Mrrrggrrbrrgrhrbr," Haru muffles as fist full of medicinal leaves get shoved into his mouth. He spits a wad out, "what is that?!" Another stuff. He chews it. Chew chew chew. "Mm, tastes minty." No, Haru! Bad. Chew. There goes the poison debuff on his screen. Worth it.

The comedic pause in the fighting affords Haru to walk a bit. Let that Mana regenerate some. Cleans the palette. "I have learned since our last battle," he states pretentiously, "and have since developed my own tricks. So know when you feel the burn that it was forged in the fires of our tireless conflict!" No shortage of drama in Haru's voice, as it is a bit of a show for those going through Carmina. The Enchanter sure does his best to make it visually appealing. His Ioun stones blaze a hot red as a bird of fire rises from the ground behind him. "Ignis. Pluma. Ambiente. Ardeat. Nos." The area begins to swelter as the bird flaps its wings, looking down to Uta. With the final Wave Arte cast, it flaps so hard that it rains feathers of raw fire down upon the Kung Fu Nurse. Seething Fire. Skewering cuts from the feathers. Even the humidity in the air becomes a a stinging series in the salvo.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

"What burns? What fires of tireless conflict? I have no -Fire- concept!", Uta snaps back (she's not salty, -you- are salty that she doesn't have Fire), among spasms of pain. Eye-twitch. Pulsating wound. The last batch of herbs that was consumed seconds ago must have made everything worse, considering the intensity and frequency of the red light. "So, did the herbs ease the pain?", asks Uta, who, after zigzag-leaping all around, partly to avoid the fireball, partly yowling after having been hit, she crosses out the belt-pouch with the mint in it. Stop, drop, roll. Extinguish fire. Get dirt into wounds. Scream more.

Get up again, still enveloped by (a smaller amount of) flames, reach into last pouch, toss some leaves in the air. "Ice rain! Now with extra menthol!" A sharp melody is started, abruptly, and shards of ice crystallize around the leaves. Her vocalizations continue, and the colorful tendrils that depart from her staff WHIP the shards at Haru. Kinetic lines and all. Very manga/anime.

The song continues with an alternating call and response melody, and the familiar two beams, red and green, shoot to sap more energy from Haru, and deliver it back to replenish Uta's HP.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Haru considers that. Did it ease the pain? "No it poisoned me," Haru replies scientifically as he stands there during the anime like magic is ripping all over the dueling arena. "But it did taste good," he considers, which means it was not soggy crackers. Made with love, love for violence.

A series of kinetic shards?! Shoot quickly at Haru?!? Only one thing to do: Matrix Dodge. The cloth armored Enchanter relies on Evasion primarily, moving out of the way of the bullet lines only to get grazed from the assault.

"You want to play with ice, huh?" Haru says as his white hair has been, notably, frosted by the attack. Arms back, with his Ioun stones lagging behind him, he Naruto-runs forward to the martial artist. Zig. Zag. Against the bullet lines until the last salvo where a wall of ice appears. Like glass it shatters, gravity inverting and pelting towards Uta where. You guessed it. SURPRISE FIST of the Noodle Way!
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Uta keeps scribbling down on her notebook. "Interesting, interesting...", she comments. "Tastes good... poisons... hm. Drawbacks do not justify the advantages. Might have to scrapt that one." Meanwhile, those little residual flames from earlier keeps burning away, chipping away at HP and the durability of her equipment.

Scribble, scribble, put away. Look up.


Uta is sent reeling backwards. She looks up. She barely lost any HP at this point, but as she get a look of UTTER OUTRAGE on her face, her bar drops a chunk all at once. The nerve! The impudence hurt more than the impact. "No. Don't do that!", Uta frowns. "No amount of anesthetic can ever compensate for that amount of GALL."

Having plenty of agility to boast, as opposed to a squishy pure caster, Uta then resumes the very shounen TA-TA-TA-TA repeated punch, the kind where the arms are stylized as a bunch of zigzagy kinetic lines ending in a fist. TA-TA-TA-TA-TA, a series of shoving herbs into Haru's mouth, punching him (a punch which doubles as a medical inspection for status effects), shoving a different herb, punching, et cetera, with the occasional spin, or kick, or spinning kick to keep things fresh.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Shame damage. Unmitigated noodly armed shame damage. The truest of damate types. "Would make good bait," Haru considers, thinking of monster and animal handling at its core. "Less pain in the tumy. More sleepy in the eyes," says the Artificer with only one visible eye.

Real punches, now thats the ticket. Haru's health bar ticks down with each blow as he is assailed with a class combination that is designed for using their fists. Not the right place to be in a fight as he gets mauled. "Mrphm," is the final word on the subject. Smoke bomb? No. Cat.

Who would punch an adorable cat? It stands on the ground where Haru once was, looking up at Uta like 'is that catnip? can I have some?' Both tails behind her flicking. Red eyes realizing that is not catnip. RAGE. MREOW! The arena gets blanketed by a fresh coat of dark mist as she hops up on an artificial moon to hiss. How DARE there not be treats?!

Distraction or not, it comes with a red glow from the darkness. Those that have been in the Rat Maze and seen those red eyes may get a flicker of nostalgia before the red reveals as a series of feathers that wrap around in a hot whirlwind along with ruby shards of sharp earth.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

It was a dark and stormy night.

Wait, no, it was not night. Was it? It certainly looked like it was. At least to Uta. Who, probably as part of the strange herbs she's been feasting on, must have activated some ancestral part of her brain. Bird brain. It's night, therefore must sleep.

Either that, or they were very mellowing herbs.

*Thunk*. Zzzzz.

The Shards take their toll, planting themselves into Uta's flesh, turning her into some sort of winged hedgehog. Birdgehog?

"F... five more minutes," she mutters, fighting a losing battle in an attempt to wake up. Roll over. Discover that back is covered in shards. Jolt to stand. "Ow.. ow...", she exclaims, about to pull the shards-


Reach into pouch. Stuff more herbs in her mouth.

Jolt awake! "MGGJGHHGHGHGHGG...", she exclaims, tear to her eyes. The song that follows is a WAIL of pain, modulated, melodious. The red spots where the shards pierce her flesh glow WHITE at the music, then-

Uta spins, to give her back to Haru, and *FLASH*! All those shards are shot away, leaving a bunch of white dots that fade back to red, a screaming, collapsing Uta, a fusillade towards Haru, and- yes, still those little flames chipping away at Uta's HP.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

What does one do when a recently awoken Uta comes charging at you full of violence? You run. You run your sweet booty off. It may be considered 'evasion', but the Enchanter is roughly kiting Uta until the sonic attack starts. Given that she is faster than him, he resorts to acrobatics that are nowhere near as Gratitious as they could be. Then it hits Haru to the point it makes that perfect white anime hair jingle.

The ringing in his ears does not stop even after the last of Uta's attack finishes up. It reverberates in his big ole noggin. "That woke me up," he laughs, the four ioun stones around him circling faster until they are a blurred line of a circle around him. Two start spinning around the other axis, creating a sphere. Hand goes up, "time to play." Hand goes down. A molten ball of earth and fire crashes forth, creating a violent game of catch.

Or baseball.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Spin the staff, point the gem at the ground, sing a tune, and CRACKLE! A bolt blasts at the ground, leaving a singed black spot with radial lines, while, by Newton's law of action and reaction, Uta is shot upwards. Through the power of -Lightning-. Also, if that wasn't impressive enough, she's spinning in the air, like a corkscrew! One which is connected to an electric drill. For those particularly tough corks. Or screws. That isn't good enough to completely -avoid- being singed, but it helps avoid a large part of the impact. Still burning.

Backflips in the air, while still imitating an electric corkscrew, and *THUD*, she learns right in front of Haru. Stare. Growl.

That's her stomach.

She reaches into a new pouch, pulls out herbs, stuffs them in her mouth. Stare aggressively.

Also, she smells like a pile of compost topped with toothapaste.

What happens next is- well, she doesn't strike, no. She blasts a high C at full volume. Right in Haru's face.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

"Eat, Uta!" Haru yells to his friend, "and sleep." Then sees what she stuffed in her mouth, "no, not sleeping herbs!" At least he hopes they were not sleeping herbs. Then the smell of what burned refuse smells like. "And Shower..." It dawns on him. Uta is Weird Mooding.

Wait. Uta is Weird Mooding. What does that look like. Well he has a point blank range to find out. His hair is blasted backwards in the way that is appropriate when someone screams in your face. New hairstyle. He is now the prince of all Saijins!

The Enchanter takes a step back, a glassy doppleganger in his place as frosty mist rolls off of it like dried ice. He expects an attack but all he has is ringing in his ears. One day he will learn Song, but by then its possible he may be deaf. At least Tian and him will have good conversations.

Since Haru can't directly exploid his alchemical defensive, he repeats the two-axis summon of a Meteor. Only this time he sends it up into the air and lets it slowly descend like so many bosses like to do. "No Pity, No Mercy!" he yells, not relenting in the fact that his friend is a little... off... today. If anything that makes her more terrifying. His blue eye checks to make sure there isn't Slimezilla behind him slowly building for a sleeper punch.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Uta darts out of the way, again, zig, zag, zig, zag, trip, slam.

Fall face first on the ground. Spin around in circles, one leg running, or hopping, the other unmoving, her face stuck in place, functioning as pivot.

"I've loft control of the whole left half of my body! Fafinating!", she exclaims. Spin, spin, spin-


Not quite a crater, but that leaves Uta with precious little HP left. "Eating. Sleeping. There alwayth ith time for that later. SCIENCE is now!", she exclaims.


That electric corkscrew turned sideways it seems.

On the plus side, all that spinning in place has extinguished at least part of the fire that was tormenting her. (Part. Lots is till going).

Somehow, Uta manges to steady herself, somehow limp towards Haru propping herself up with her staff (and dragging her other leg a lot), and-


More herbs in Haru's mouth. "Does thith relieve the pain?", she asks.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Haru chew chew chews. He swallows them. "Uta," he loks to the limping along nurse. Something meaningful. Something DEEP. "These taste horrible," is what Uta gets. Does it reduce the pain? Remove the pain. There is something that can be said that fighting is a pure expression of the person. No pity. No mercy.

A roll of black mist comes behind Haru as the Obsidian Light gives a dim lit setting for the end. The air becomes very peaceful. The moonlight not as harsh as the sun. "Uta," there is the glint of a purple monocle and the glint of a jagged dagger. "Go, the duece, to sleep." Stab. A callback to their earlier matches and the ever present Sleep enchantments Haru normally has at his disposal.
Carmina Gadelica - Main Square

Is it the herbs? Is it the voice? Is it the enchantment? Is it the the-goddesses-know-how-many sleepless nights accumulated? Is it a combination of all?

Whatever it is, it is effective. Uta's irises roll up, leaving her eyes a complete white. Her lids drop, heavy. She collapses to the ground like a sack of potatoes only half full of potatoes, where a part of the potatoes might actually be rocks.

Also, with a lot of suspicious herbs somehow stuck in.

So this is where our day ends: her hitting the ground docks the last bit of yellow HP that kept her out out of the red zone. The fanfare plays, the system messages announce Haru as the winner of the duel. Our sleeping nurse, oblivious to all, lies curled up on the ground, only her wings sticking out. Twitching occasionally.

It was a productive day, all in all- her pouches have been marked with O's and crosses. If they weren't arranged in a line, it might pass for an interesting game of tic-tac-toe.

And at least one of Uta's necessities is currently being taken care of.