"Let's get ready folks... 3... 2... 1... Show us your fighting spirit!"
"Finally Rainier a worthy opponent, not like those cheaters from before."
"Oui Carter, let's make the crowd roar and have them wanting more, yes?!"
Rainier and Carter come out as flamboyant and beautiful as ever, seemingly more focused on the crowd than on the opponent before them.
"Are they mocking us?!" growled Jayleen.
"Calm down, we don't want to show your cards before the big game, yo." Murph points a finger towards the spectating Hera.
"That bitch is gonna pay for humiliating me the first round..." hisses out Jayleen.
"She sure is, so just calm down with these two clowns. My lovely queen don't frown, just go to town!"
"... Please no rhyming."
With a shared smile Jayleen ducks behind some shrubs while Murph run straight towards the couple. He takes out his whip and Snap! Cracks it towards them in an attempt to grapple.
"Non Non! LOOOVE SHIELD." A spiritual lovebird emanating a vibrant leaf green energy forms a spectral shield around Carter, knocking Murph's whip away.
"Tres magnifiquè Carter, how's that for le starter? Here comes le second act, LOOOOVE ATTACK." A similar spiritual lovebird bow now emanating a fabulous pink energy rushes past Rainier and towards Murph's direction.
A purple bolt breezes by and disperses the pink energy.
"Time to finish this Murph!"
"You think a shield is enough to stop my whip? Behold the mighty Frog Sweep!"
Murph spins his whip around and then swings it beneath the Passion Duet's feet 15 feet away, knocking them both prone.
A purple bolt heads towards them yet again but 5 feet before it impacts, POOF! The purple bolt explodes into a cloud of ethereal violets that form six spectral serpents.
"IT'S NOT OVER YET, LOOOOOVE DUET!" The spiritual energy between both Carter and Rainier starts growing and merging. The vibrant leaf green and beautiful sparkly pinks merge as both birds dance around each other. A strong spiritual pulse pushes the wind back and the snakes disperse.
"Birds of a feather flock together! To lose here would be absurd, go get them lovebirds!"
The concentrated spiritual energy releases into a blast of spectral feathers as these tiny birds fly around each other and into Murph. 'If I get hit by that it's all over...' thought over Murph
He begins hopping away and narrowly dodging each time as he hears the fluttering of their wings get ever closer. He leaps 15 feet in the air with orange energy glowing around his feet.
"We got him now, soon he'll go ka-plow."
The golden orange energy on Murph's feet creates a spectral lily pad mid-air which he uses to pounce off of straight towards the duo. As he's diving at breathtaking speeds...
Swoosh. Two violet bolts narrowly miss the couple. The slight moment of relief from the duet quickly turns to quaking fear as they see this blur of orange energy capture the two bolts.
The blood of the duet splatters across the Murph's orange amphibian face.
"WHAT WAS THAT!? A phenomenal display from the duo of the Lyrena Ponds. Better get those medical threaders in here quick!"
"Relax, they're not lethal blows." Mutters out Murph and he takes a glance upwards to the rowdy crowd and locks eyes with Hera. He whispers, "I'm coming for you next."
"GOLDEN FALL? Glare come on, that's amaaazing! I bet people will be talking about that move for years to come."
Glare gives up any notion of changing Zero's mind and just glances to Hera. "Told you there's more to what meets the eye."
"I'm not sure what this proves, small fry took out each other. In the end, any futile attempt at portraying to be strong is all pointless when they'll just fall to my daggers. Enough about him, I'm more interested in you. Aren't you the cook at Kenny's?"
Glare looks at the time and begins to scramble, "Oh crap, I'm late for work."
"Wait you're still working there, Glare? We already payed the fee."
"I know, I know, but Kenny said he really needed me there with this influx of visitors at least until the tournament's over. Practically begged on his knees."
"So you really think you'll beat me tomorrow after a full day of fighting and then cooking all night..? You sure are interesting. To make it fair I'll drink there until you get out!"
"Look lady, you do what you want, I'm heading to work."
"I'll sit back and talk to Murph! Catch you later tonight Glare."
Over at Kenny's Mystery Shack, Glare changes to his chef's attire, red hair and green eyes, and finally heads to his station to behold an expectant Hera waiting for her drink.
"Why do they call it the Mystery Shack anyways?" asked Hera.
"Cause the food's so good it makes you wonder what the mystery behind the recipe is." Glare plops a towel over his shoulder and slides her a beer. "Same as yesterday I assume?"
"Well I do like a man who pays attention." Hera twirls her hair and gets a bit more comfortable in her chair. The way she smelled, the way she looked, the sound of her voice and her playful touch were potent weapons that could disarm any man.
It made Glare wonder about the fifth sense missing in this formula and the thought of that sent shivers down his spine. "Truly a dangerous woman." thought Glare to himself.
"Another pwease!" smiled Hera as she asked for her 5th beer of the night.
"Are you sure you'll be fine tomorrow?"
"Oh stop pretending like you're worried about that. Let's do something fun instead."
"I don't really have time to have fun, I don't know if you've noticed, but I am actually working here."
"Jeez you're such a prude. Fine. How about we play a game? You're 'working' so how about every time I order a drink I get to ask you something and when I finish my drink, you ask me?"
Glare wondered why this woman was so insistent on talking with him but he did have a few questions to ask her so he agreed.
"First question, you always change your appearance while working?"
"No, but everyone always asks if my eyes and hair are natural so it saves a bit of time when I have to deal with hundreds of customers."
"So you can just make yourself look like anything?"
"That's your second question."
"I mean... I already bought six so I'm just cashing in the previous ones."
"Quite the magician of words aren't you? Maybe you are a witch."
"Takes one to know one, you gonna answer the question?"
"It takes some spiritual energy but I can basically reflect different wavelengths of light, showing what you see here. Red was just the easiest color to reflect with the lights they use here but red eyes are scary so decided to use a bit more energy for the green."
"It suits you very well I'd say, though I quite liked your white hair in the arena today."
"Three Mystery Burgers please!" Glare thanked Elyria for having that timely interruption as he didn't really have a reply to that. While working with that group he kept playing out different scenarios in his head on what to reply and what she'd think of that. He finally finished and came back to replace her beer.
"Some people say first impressions are everything, but I like to get to know people better and see them in a different light." Is the sentenced he decided upon.
"Oookay? Is that a light pun?" Hera laughs as she finishes her question.
"It is, but mostly you seemed like a real intense woman when we first met. Tonight you're much more chill and relaxed. Which brings me to my question. What's a powerful Spirit Threader all the way from Gemmare doing in a tournament in Tenmori?"
"It's sort of a complicated story..."
"Beautiful women always have. I have all night, quite literally." says Glare as he passes her another beer.
"Hmph. Well charmer, my sister's the Sentinel there and she doesn't know I'm a Spirit Threader yet. I decided on Tenmori just because I always wanted to see the view but it didn't really live up to my expectations."
"Ah the view, huh? Haven't been there yet but Zero told me it was breathtaking. Sorry you didn't like it."
"I much prefer the view of the ocean, I suppose..."
"You miss it?"
"Somewhat, but I get to see interesting things here that I wouldn't over there." Said Hera as she looked into Glare's eyes. This flustered him a bit and the colors of his eyes began changing wildly into different colors. "That's really cute how you can't hide your emotions love."
"You think you can read me? I could just be excited, thinking how I'm gonna beat you in the arena tomorrow.
"Maybe, maybe you're thinking about something else. Another beer pwease!"
"Coming right up." Glare smiles, enjoying the moment here more than anything he's enjoyed in years. He thinks back to the past three years of hard work and training he's undergone to finally get here in the tournament to reap the fruits of his hard labor.
Hera notices his change in expression, "Ok so now I get to ask a question again, why are you so serious about Spirit Threading?"
Glare thinks for a long time before responding. "Earlier you mentioned a lot of people nowadays rely on Lyra to protect them from any crime or terrorism. She's definitely worthy of being the Sentinela but she can't be everywhere at once. Three years ago, Zero was attacked by a roaming monster back in the forest behind Root Haven."
"What do you mean, a monster? Monsters can't live without the energy of the Sacred Ruins."
"We know what we saw! This creature had 6 arms with sharp claws, one eye in the middle of its torso and it pounced from trees where it hanged by its tail. A truly frightening creature."
"What happened next?" questioned Hera as she leaned in across the counter in interest.
"I tried to protect Zero like the fool I was... Or better yet, am. The creature tossed me aside like yesterday's newspaper, flung like a piece of trash. Our friend... Frankie... He pushed Zero aside from a devastating slash... I don't remember much aside from that."
"I'm sorry that happened to you..."
"Well that's just the thing. It didn't happen to me... But it should have."
A period of silence followed after that. "Two more Mystery Shakes over here please!"
"Sorry I brought down the mood, but now you know... I won't be losing tomorrow!"
"Not at all, I was the one who asked. I'm touched by your story but unfortunately you won't be winning tomorrow. Not to worry, you'll still get stronger by savoring your defeat." Hera begins to get up from her seat.
"We'll see about that." Glare pushes over a beer to Hera before heading back to tend to the customers. "Have a good night."
"Likewise, Glare." Hera smiles for a while as she leaves the Shack. She glances over her shoulder to see Glare still hard at work, sweat running down his head. "An interesting one indeed. Maybe he's the one..."