An Identity Beyond Self
"Nothing's gonna stop me! Woohoo~!" Simon loudly exclaimed a with passion in his tone.
Ariadne was wide-eyed, and so was everyone else stunned by his sudden change in personality.
...Was he always this 'fiery' of an individual?
"I'm fine." The geezer stopped her before she could even ask. He wasn't lost in despair.
Instead, there was a fire burning in his heart from the clarity on knowing what he must be doing.
There's no way he'd fall into despair anymore.
Seeing his calm eyes, she thought of a bold assumption that really made her speechless...
"You're sober...?" For once, it didn't seem like he was falling into madness from his burning regret.
But it wasn't only her. There was someone else who was even more dumbfounded by his attitude.
'Impossible...' The Dark Ego acting as Simon's Kill Switch thought with disbelief in his cold eyes.
Whenever the old drunkard was sober, he'd always unconsciously rely on him for emotional support.
It was because the geezer was always so haunted by his past... that he wasn't able to 'act himself'.
Always curling up pathetically... Always acting like a child... He'd regressed from an adult to a toddler.
However, this time seemed different...
"Stand back." Towards the eager bull-human, the Kill Switch ordered with an oppressive presence.
Rau didn't reject him. He felt a little scared...
"Fine..." The kingly figure took a step back.
Seeing the Dark Ego approaching, Simon pumped himself up. The fire in his heart burned brighter...
"Yeeeaaahhh!!!" He roared with fighting spirit, then requested to the queenly nymph on his side too:
"Step back, I'mma end them myself!"
"Suit yourself." She was actually curious about his new attitude. Was it real or just an act he put up?
Ariadne didn't have time to contemplate the answer though. The battle was already starting.
An overwhelming presence of death was radiating out of the Kill Switch's body. He was the ego that embodied all the 'worst' traits that would get in the way of Simon's normal life... like his inner bloodlust.
Killing was like breathing to the Kill Switch. Nothing about it made him feel adrenaline, guilt, or regret.
His insensitivity towards 'death' manifested itself...
The old geezer, on the other hand, was burning with a combative desire. One that was able to contend against the presence before him. His body swayed in an unfamiliar fashion, but not unlike Capoeira. Every single movement was meaningful.
[War Waltz of Sobered Zodiacs!]
[Ophiuchus Style- Ginga Revolution!]
He started to use a more orthodox 'stance' of the style he'd copied from a friend. This 'Collector' of Martial Arts was able to bring a rhythm to his footsteps. It let him flip and turn freely with the unheard beats drumming inside his head.
There was no words spoken. Only attacks!
[Personal Style- Boxing's Fist!]
As the Kill Switch too was a version of Simon Stuman, he'd also had a lot of 'collected' styles.
One particularly useful one was the teachings of boxing. Even with a normal punch, he was able to reach speeds and strength beyond what was normally possible. It sped into the hippie's face...!
And yet, he only hit empty air. A heel landed the Dark Ego's cheek, making spin his body to lessen the damage. This... was most likely the Rabo De Arraia (Stingray's Tail) of Capoeira. A basic turning high kick... This made the Kill Switch certain:
'He is using tactics.' For the first time, the pathetic drunkard was finally using his head to fight.
However, would this be enough?
The Kill Switch was aware of the 'composition' of Simon's personally stylised Capoeira. It was split into two types: Called 'War Dance of Drunken Months' and 'War Waltz of Sobered Zodiacs'.
One was unpredictable and hard to handle, while the other one was waste-less in every movement.
Others might attribute the geezer's swaying body as useless movements, but the Dark Ego knew this was reminiscent of the 'Ali Shuffle' in boxing. The rhythmic sways of his body contained a myriad of taunts, feints, and misleading stance changes.
[Personal Style- Tae Kwon Do's Foot!]
He used his feet to add in moves that would trip him up, only to hit empty air once again. The sound of clothes rustling could be heard in this silent atmosphere. No voice was broke their mood.
It was a battle of overwhelming rationalism and passionate romanticism. An evolved version of Capoeira versus an everything-in-one Personal Style. It was a marvel of technical ingenuity.
Both sides exchanges strikes and counters on each other from all angles. Running, jumping, and turning as they exchanged moves. The bull-human became impatient. It felt like this would never end!
He was able to hold back at first, but intervened the moment he realised the newcomer was losing.
[Monster Style- Bull Rush!]
Horns appeared besides his crown. Rau charged straight at Simon with a merciless look in his eyes.
Ariadne wanted to help, but she chose to believe that the current Simon could do well on his own.
It was a feeling of unshakable faith in him she never felt before. She felt like cheering the geezer on!
The kingly bull-human aimed for the moment of the Capoeirista dodged the Dark Ego's calculated kick.
His horns aimed straight for his waist...
There was no way to dodge these horns. He was sure he'd once again piece the old man's body!
However, things didn't go as predicted...
[Gemini Style- Negativa Core!]
[Taurus Style- Quebra Joelho! (Break Knee!)]
In Rau's own perspective, it was as if the old man vanished. Then he found his face slamming into the floor. His cheek hurt badly...! When he opened his eyes after a heavy blink, he saw the hippie's smile.
That confident face caught him off-guard. The old geezer went into his lowest possible stance, but still fought the Kill Switch after doing so. Although the Dark Ego was annoyed at Rau, he used this great opportunity to finally finish their battle.
[Personal Style- Karate's Knifehand!]
[Taurus Style- Recoiling Kick!]
The crowned bull-human felt a stinging pain in his shoulder. Afterwards, Simon once again vanished.
Of course, that was only in his perspective...
The bloodthirsty Dark Ego, who was about to chop off the Capoeirista's neck, suddenly felt his injured cheek being kicked again. The geezer was in the air. His exit movements were of a roundhouse kick!
Although he saw nothing, the Kill Switch immediately realised what had happened.
Still, he couldn't quite believe what was happening.
He was... losing to this pathetic drunkard...?
[Monster Style- Demonic Tail!]
Rau hadn't forgotten his objective. His tail grew out and wrapped around the geezer's leg strongly.
Since his opponent couldn't dodge, the Kill Switch once again went for doing a killing finishing move.
[Personal Style- Mauy Thai's Lethal Elbow!]
His movements were fast and lethal, giving the old hippie no chance to escape out of Rau's binding.
[Gemini Style- Back Drop!]
As if tripping over, Simon's head dodged out of the way seamlessly. The bull-human suddenly felt his spine crackling under an intense weight.
A strong pain grated the monster's nerves, making him unable to keep his grasp on the geezer's leg.
[Pisces Style- Chimera Stance!]
The two of them finally saw the old geezer get serious. His style became similar to a monster's!
Like a sinister snake, like an angry tiger, like a mischievous monkey, like a vicious dragon...
Simon fought without any defences. The sudden change finally flustered the Kill Switch inwardly.
He realised now that there was no stopping him.
Simon was a freight train running off the tracks. It was like he no longer had any brakes to stop him!
"Wait, this is only temporary. You're not thinking ahead-" *Smack!* His face was slapped aside.
"Screw that! I have to save him... NOW!" The fire in Simon's eyes wasn't normal. He was way too obsessed! On top of it, he had to 'Wake up!' as fast as he could. There was no reason to waste time!
[Monster Style- Heaven and Earth Piercer!]
A hand aimed straight from his back, all while a Boxing's Fist aimed straight for his chin. The two fighter's were strangely synchronised at this very moment. Their speed was faster than before.
[Gemini Style- Mountain Breaker!]
Before Rau's arm could gain any momentum, the old drunkard's back smashed straight into his face.
"Argh!" Once again, the bull-human's nose was shattered upon impact. His body was sent flying!
[Leo Style- Burrowing Pulse!]
In that very same moment, Simon used the recoil to counter punch. His fist held a distinct vibration upon impact. The Dark Ego felt his organs being shaken, but his fist also stumbled his opponent.
[Personal Style- Brawler's Rush!]
[Leo Style- Pulse Ripples!]
The fists of both fighter's became a blur. The sound of rain hitting a window could be heard along with the beating of flesh. The vibrations in the air was horrifying, but not as much as the sight.
Blood was staining the ground in large amounts...
Both gave each other everything. Nothing was held back. They'd forgotten themselves in the midst of battle. Of course, there was deep hatred between both parties that they'd never truly spoke of.
The stalemate between them suddenly broke...
The Kill Switch's killing intent was just way too intense. He 'thumbed' Simon's eye out before grabbing his face; slamming him to the floor mercilessly, but the old geezer didn't give up.
His obsession to save Jordan wasn't this weak. It was so strong that he ignored the pain he felt.
"Aaaahh!!!" An unintelligible groan filled with curses left Simon's severely damaged throat.
The Kill Switch fought harder...!
Another eye was pierced with his fingers, leaving the old drunkard blind. However, the moment the Dark Ego believed he won was his opportunity! It was thanks to this... no one noticed his fist.
It rested on his opponent's chest inconspicuously in that moment. It didn't look dangerous at all.
This was the only technique he WASN'T EVER able to pull off while drunk. It was a peak technique...!
Something that once defined him above that of a mere 'Collector' and savant of Martial Arts.
This one move required such technical finesse that the Kill Switch would find it difficult to pull it off...
The sound of a gun being loaded could be heard before the resounding 'gunshot' afterwards...
[Leo Style- Inch Impulse!]
The Dark Ego didn't have time to react...
In span of 0.1 milliseconds, two vibrations similar to his previous 'Burrowing Pulse' overlapped each other. The result was an amplification similar to someone slamming a microphone on the ground.
Sharp, deadly, and most of all: It reopened his opponent's internal wounds that stacked thanks to the earlier 'Pulse Ripples'. The Kill Switch puked out blood, unable to hold himself; staggering back.
"You will regret it! You'll become like me!"
"I'll never be like you!"
"You will! As soon as you kill someone, I-"
"Then I'll never kill people ever again!!!" The old geezer roared recklessly. His eyes were blinded...
He couldn't see how Ariadne subdued the kingly bull-human with ease, nor where his enemy stood.
However, he could 'sense' that upon speaking these words. It was as if he earned the approval and acknowledgement of someone he'd never expected. His body filled with intense energy...
'Ariadne...?' Simon thought. He was able to sense a clear connection with her at this grave moment.
One bond was formed, while the 'connection' he had with the Kill Switch was finally broken apart.
He was finally liberated from being forced to kill...
Still, doing so put the shackle of 'not being able to kill' on his body. An unusually cruel exchange...
The immense pain from his body was beyond what any fighter would ever be able to endure, but his drive and fixation towards saving Jordan wouldn't let him rest. He groaned like a starving animal...
The drunkard didn't forget his opponent. They were at the climax of their final confrontation!
The two were at a stalemate once more. The Kill Switch was no longer in a state where he could attack. Both his arms were broken, and his legs barely had any strength to keep him standing up.
Seeing that this was her chance, Ariadne threw over an item that would help Simon's situation.
"I'll lend you my 'Clew'...!" The ball of threads landed in his hand, opening up his 'seventh sense'.
Despite having no eyes, he starting to see the 'path' he needed to take to defeat his Kill Switch.
A 'Dancing Path' was laid out for him by the utterly pure hanged nymph, giving him a new leash on life.
He took a sobered War Waltz through the invisible pathways. All while drawing in a lot of Holy Energy.
The Dark Ego suddenly felt something construct around his body. It was as if there was a labyrinth forming around him. Even the 'Clew' hovering above Simon's hand started tying up his body.
Chills ran down his back. The 'Goddess of the Labyrinth' waved him goodbye while throwing Rau in his direction. A 'magic seal' started to form by the directions of the Mistress of the Labyrinth.
Feeling that the queenly nymph's influence was increasing. The man finally understood something.
This was inevitable after Simon made a 'choice'.
Regardless, he couldn't accept this...! He couldn't accept how his 'other self' chose to forget it all.
Lovers, friends, family. All of them were left in that Other World! He hated being a 'memory outlet'...
He couldn't be sealed here! He couldn't...!
"NO!!! You can't live without me! Someday, you'll have no choice but to free me! You'll see!!!" The Kill Switch savagely struggled, causing the wounds on his body to grow worse... He couldn't accept this!
Unfortunately, Simon had already made his choice.
By giving up the option to kill, Simon no longer had to worry about the Dark Ego regaining its power.
The moment the 'Holy Labyrinth' formed, both the kingly bull-human and Kill Switch were buried underneath it. It was like their bodies were folded afterwards. A gruesome sight to behold...
It was as this point did the old geezer stop his 'War Dance'. He could feel something was now different.
It was as if the Holy Labyrinth became a 'container' for Holy Power within his 'energy sieve'-like body.
Although the power wasn't much. It was a start he needed. Unlike others, this was another 'miracle'.
He'd treasure it in order to save his 'grandson'!