Hinote-Kaisen Season 1, Episode 8: Thunder versus Flame! Second Rounds Begin!
The rest of the first round went by quickly, with the likes of Javier, Percival, Lancelot, and Apollo all moving on to the next round with ease. With the intermission before the second round was set to begin, everyone took the time to relax and recharge. Damion and Mira, despite being set up to face each other to open the second round, sat together and talked openly. Keon was sitting on the floor, his eyes closed while he breathed quietly in slumber
Damion: So, did you talk to your dad about... Y'know... Those things?
Mira: I thought about it, yet... I couldn't bring myself to mention it. I don't know why...
She then leaned backwards, looking up at the ceiling, which was colored a very dull shade of red
Mira: Everyday since we first saw those things, I start thinking about all these different scenarios. Did someone seriously make war machines behind my father's back? Did he actually approve their development? What if someone wants to take him out? What if...
She straightened herself up, shaking her head with defiance
Mira: No. I'm not gonna think that way. Not when I've got to kick your butt in this next fight!
She let out a smile and gave Damion a playful punch on the shoulder as they both started to laugh. They wouldn't have to converse between themselves for very long, as the monks soon came to them, Hahanaru especially brimming with excitement
Hahanaru: Ooh, I can't wait to see you two go at it! This will be so exciting!
Infernon: I agree. The two of you have improved dramatically over such a short period of time. You've both come a long way since the last time you both participated in this tournament.
The crowd began to cheer loudly as a pair of small children entered the ring. One was a young boy with teal hair, with similarly colored eyes. He wore a t-shirt and pants, both colored tan, with matching boots. The other, a girl of similar height, with black hair that soon turned to gold at the end tied into a ponytail. She wore a small yellow gi and black boots. The boy looked extremely excited to be in the ring, while the girl seemed completely uncomfortable with where she was. The boy noticed this and came over to her in concern
Damion: Mira? Are you okay?
Mira: ... So many people... So many people are looking at me...
Damion: Yeah, so what?
Mira: I don't like it... I hate it when people stare at me...
The young boy then put a hand on her shoulder, causing them to lock eyes as he let out a smile
Damion: Don't worry about any of them! I'm the one that you're fighting, not them, silly! Just think of it like if we were training, only we're giving it everything we got this time!
The introverted girl could not help but smile at her friend, feeling much more at ease and confident as she took a stance
Once both were in their fighting stances, the MC came to the center of the ring
MC: This is for the World Martial Arts Championship! Fighters, are you ready?
Both children nodded before the MC quickly removed himself from the ring before speaking again
MC: Fighters, you may begin!
The gong rang throughout the tournament complex as the two fighters bowed out of respect...
Infernon: Funny... It feels like it was only yesterday you two fought in that very ring.
Hahanaru: Yes, they were both so precious back then! I can't wait to see you two go all out now!
Mira: Yeah, it should be fun!
She smiled before noticing that Damion was doubled over. She looked down and realized that he was looking at her boots, causing her to feel slightly weirded out as she poked the back of his head
Mira: Damion, what are you doing?
Damion: Checking to see if your boots are tied.
Mira: ... Why?
Damion: Because I wouldn't want to win because of you tripping on a loose shoelace and falling out of bounds like last time! Remember that? Hehehe!
He began to chuckle slightly. Mira, however, did not find this humorous, as her eyes were now closed and a vein began to buldge just above her left eye. After a moment of silence, she finally let her anger loose
Mira: WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU BRING THAT UP?!? I TOLD YOU TO NEVER BRING THAT UP!!!
The force of her yell was apparently very powerful, as the rest of the group, even the giant Hahanaru, were all on the floor in a daze with some debris scattered about. Even Keon, who had been behind Mira, was now laying on the ground with a chair on top of him, his eyes simply black swirls
Hahanaru: Oh my...
Kogeta: Well, boy... You went and did it that time, didn't ya...?
Damion: Whoops... Hehehe...eh...
Mira: Hmph! Well, now I really need to beat you! After that, you'll certainly never bring that up again!
As everyone on the ground began to stand up, the MC's voice came over the intercom system, quickly gathering the group's attention
MC: Your attention, please. The first match of the second round will begin in ten minutes. The winners of the first two matches should report to the arena entrance immediately.
Hahanaru: Oh! We should head back to our seats!
Infernon: I can't wait to see the fruits of your training.
Keon: G-Good luck you guys!
Both made their way to the entrance to the arena, where they could already feel the hidden energy in the crowd. Neither could wait for very much longer without getting the fight started. Fortunately, they would not have to wait very long as the MC's voice could once again be heard over the intercom
MC: The second round will commence shortly. In the meantime, let's introduce the two fighters in the field of sixteen who will kick it off. Introducing first, with her first round victory over Bill Goldman, give it up for Mira Sparx!
She walked towards the ring with the sound of applause all around her
MC: And introducing her opponent, who had a close call yet pulled out a thrilling victory over Bruce Crushman, give it up for Damion Blaze!
He walked out to the ovation as well, making his way toward the ring as Mira tightened her gloves. Once both fighters were in position, the MC stepped onto the ring, yet did not come in between them as he had done previously, as if he knew the unusual strength that these two possess
MC: This match will kick off the second round, a rematch of the championship of the previous tournament held several years ago! The runner-up, Mira Sparx, against the champion, Damion Blaze! Fighters, are you ready?
Both nodded, smirks coming across their faces as the MC jumped off the ring with a slight haste
MC: Alright, let the match commence!
The gong once again resonated throughout the area, prompting both fighters to bow out of respect before taking their fighting stances. Unlike the previous matches, where at least one fighter immediately start the action, both of these individuals simply stood there, staring each other down as silence took over. Both seemed laser focused, almost as if they were calculating what their opponent was planning to do. The crowd was tense with anticipation, with the exception of Infernon, who had a look of stoic excitement on his face, made evident by the small smile he wore
Infernon: (Now we'll see... Let's see how well you two have come along. I expect you two to give it everything you have, even if it is only the second round. Don't disappoint.)
After what seemed like an eternity, Damion finally started things off by charging forward, throwing a punch that was effortlessly blocked. He followed up with a roundhouse kick, only for that to be stopped as well. Seeing the futility of these attacks, he jumped away to regroup. Mira responded by placing her hands on her hips, giving a cocky smirk
Mira: Really? Even a blind man could see that combination coming!
Damion: Juuuust making sure you were paying attention!
Mira: Oh yeah? Then I guess it's my turn!
She charged towards her opponent and attempted a bicycle kick. Damion moved his head back just in time, with the tip of her boot barely missing his face. She would use the momentum of the attack to perform a backflip in an effort to right herself before going right back at him with a left hook. He responded with a side step, placing a hand on her shoulder and pushing her slightly, causing her to stumble for a few steps before regaining her balance. With Damion now to her right, she turned to see him now giving a cocky smirk of his own
Damion: That's how you're starting off? And you said my first attack was predictable!
Mira: I was just making sure you weren't thinking of food instead of this fight.
Damion: So, are you just gonna talk trash all day or are you-
He had no time to finish his sentence before throwing up his left hand to block a surprise elbow strike. This was met with a collective sound of surprise from all of the spectators in attendance. He let out a chuckle as he held onto her elbow
Damion: I guess you are ready to get serious!
Mira: I've been ready since the start! I'm just waiting on you!
Mira finally jumped away, now about twenty feet away as Damion took a horse stance
Damion: Alright then, if you insist!
He began to concentrate, closing his eyes as a glowing red aura began to surround him. Everyone in the arena began to build up a sweat, almost as if the temperature was increasing as he built up his power. Soon, the aura's shape changed, going from a simple glow to having the look of a flame that surrounded him. As soon as he felt that he had built up enough power, he charged forward and began an assault of punches and kicks, which Mira would either block or dodge depending on both her and Damion's positioning.
Despite the furious pace of the assault, she was able to find an opening in his form, which she utilized by throwing a quick left jab, catching his right shoulder and knocking him backwards. Wanting to follow up on this sudden advantage, she jumped towards him, her left leg letting loose several sparks of lightning as she began to spin to her right. He could only catch a quick glimpse of her before recieving an electrified roundhouse kick to the face, knocking him on his rear end as the crowd cheered on in excitement
Mira: (Gotta keep going and end this quickly!)
She jumped into the air and began to fall feet first, looking to finish the match early. He saw this and rolled out of the way, causing her to hit the stone floor. Instead of crashing like many thought she would, she used the hard impact to propel herself into a somersault, helping to stop herself as she tried to make her next move. She would have no time to track her opponent, as she felt a knee right to her back, knocking her forward. As she stumbled, she turned herself towards him as he delivered a roundhouse kick to her side. The assault backed her towards the edge of the ring. When he thought he had her, he noticed something wrong with her balance, looking right at her boots
Damion: (Uh-oh! Not again!)
Mira: Haa... Haa... I'll show-
She suddenly felt herself lose her balance, her body starting to fall out of the ring. Despite trying to stop herself, it seemed as if she would fall out of bounds. It would not happen, as she felt a hand grab her left wrist, helping to stop her fall. At first, she seemed confused, but would soon be surprised as she realized that Damion was the one who held onto her wrist, preventing her from falling
Damion: I got you!
The entire spectacle eventually caused Mira to develop a slight blush, her voice slightly cracking as she spoke, clearly flustered over what's happening
Mira: Wha-?! ... D-Damion...? What...are you doing...?
The blue haired boy's eyes glanced towards her boots
Damion: Your shoe's untied.
This realization caused Mira's cheeks to become a deeper shade of red as Damion pulled her back onto two feet. She looked down and saw that the shoelaces on her left boot had indeed come undone. She knelt down to tie her boot right before looking up at her opponent, a small smile on her face
Damion: No problem! Heheh, just like when we were younger, huh?
She quickly gave him a steely glare as he said that
Mira: Do NOT go there!
Damion: Sorry! You ready to keep going?
Mira: You bet! Bring it!
To be continued