Showbizz Generational Violence Event

Showbizz, when she had her way, liked to create a sense of anxiety amongst her future event participants by hiding their competitors and presenting herself, seated behind a big, imposing wooden desk, as the first thing they saw. The navi herself, of course, was anything but imposing. Short of stature and with a girlish physique, the navi was dressed and built both in ways that made it hard to take her seriously. With her hair done up in two giant stars, bobbing behind her head, and her body clad in a black bodysuit with yellow star pattern, she almost looked like she was a kid in pajamas.

The setting was very basic; Durandal seemed to have warped in right in the seat where he'd conduct his opening interview. He had an idea that they were inside some sort of tent or booth, judging by the limited space and sloping walls. Light was cast from the opening in the wall behind Showbizz, but it was in such contrast with the low-light of the interview room that it was almost foreboding. "Oh good! The knight's already here. That's some costume!" she praised her new arrival; the stars in her eyes grew bigger with excitement as she observed the new participant.

"Anyways, I know you already signed up and you're ready to get started, but there's a few formalities that we have to get through first. First of all, as a participant in one of my contests, you have to sign this contract and waver before we can start. Legal stuff!" the host informed Durandal, sliding a paper across the desk towards him along with a star-capped ink pen.

Quote (Showbizz Generational Violence to Promote Current Day Peace Contract)

"I dedicate my efforts towards the success of this event. I have no preexisting ill intent or malice towards the opposing players. I am fine with this footage being used on television and internet video mediums."

Sign here: ______________________________


- Navi is expected to use weaponry befitting the historical fighter they are intended to represent.

- Navi must wear clothing indicative of the historical fighter they are intended to represent.

- Navi will refrain from using any illegal weapons that might affect a navi's core or restrict jackout.

- Navi must respect opponent's surrender in combat. Failure to do so will result in termination from the event.

- Navi must verbalize intentions in order for a surrender to count.

- Navi will respect referee's match call.

- Navi will fight with an undershirt.

"I understand the rules above."

Sign here: _______________________________


Showbizz and associates are not responsible to any personal humiliation or defamation that may occur. Nothing outside of what is written in these rules is explicitly forbidden. We have the right to televise everything that happens during the course of this program. Our censorship duties are ranked 4 on Motz' censorship scale (explicit nudity barred, all else permitted). Bonuses may be awarded to any players who can help boost ratings.

Final confirmation: _______________________________

"I should mention, we're giving you a sword to use in this event. Anything else you wanna use, though, you gotta bring in yourself. Remember that if you do anything not knight-like, our ratings are going to suffer! And when our ratings suffer, everyone suffers," she warned her acquaintance, wagging one finger towards him like a parent lecturing a child.
Durandal materialized in the homepage in a quick flash of light, choosing a more subdued entrance than the one he usually made. Oddly enough, he found himself already sitting in a chair with a female Navi sitting behind a large wooden desk in front of him. He removed his helmet, resting it against one leg as he took the opportunity to get a quick glance of his surroundings.

"Hauteclere is in reserve," Kat whispered over their private channel. "I wasn't sure of what the rule on support programs is so I'll leave her out of this until you get confirmation."

The knight gave a quick nod in response, his grey eyes scanning the small room he found himself in. It was either a tent or booth with the desk taking up the majority of the room. His eyes fell on the woman behind the desk and he flashed what he hoped was a winning smile.

"Ah yes," he said in response to her greeting. "Tis a pleasure to be here, Milady."

He waited patiently as Showbizz discussed the legal side of things, nodding in response at the right moments. He glanced at the paper she passed across the desk, pausing to make sure the Navi was finished speaking before picking up the paper and reading it thoroughly. He picked up the pen and signed his name in the required spaces before setting the paper back down and passing both it and the pen back to Showbizz.

Quote (Showbizz Generational Violence to Promote Current Day Peace Contract)

"I dedicate my efforts towards the success of this event. I have no preexisting ill intent or malice towards the opposing players. I am fine with this footage being used on television and internet video mediums."

Sign here: _______Durandal.Exe________


- Navi is expected to use weaponry befitting the historical fighter they are intended to represent.

- Navi must wear clothing indicative of the historical fighter they are intended to represent.

- Navi will refrain from using any illegal weapons that might affect a navi's core or restrict jackout.

- Navi must respect opponent's surrender in combat. Failure to do so will result in termination from the event.

- Navi must verbalize intentions in order for a surrender to count.

- Navi will respect referee's match call.

- Navi will fight with an undershirt.

"I understand the rules above."

Sign here: ________Durandal.Exe__________


Showbizz and associates are not responsible to any personal humiliation or defamation that may occur. Nothing outside of what is written in these rules is explicitly forbidden. We have the right to televise everything that happens during the course of this program. Our censorship duties are ranked 4 on Motz' censorship scale (explicit nudity barred, all else permitted). Bonuses may be awarded to any players who can help boost ratings.

Final confirmation: _________Durandal.Exe___________

"Aye," he nodded. "Honor demands that we must all abide by the rules of engagement."
"A good listener! You don't know how refreshing that is in this business," the woman sighed with relief, returning his smile with an unprofessionally large grin. "I'm Showbizz, by the way. You keep up this knight routine and we're gonna get along juuuuust fine!" she giggled, taking back the signed contract from him.

"Oh, about your SP. Yeah, it's fine if you want to bring Hautecluh... Hautecle... your SP in! Just make sure she's dressed in some way that she'll fit in with a knight. If she doesn't, it's gonna raise eyebrows, and not in a good way. In a discreet crowd displeasure kinda way. And that's actually the worst kind, cause I can't monitor it and adjust for it," Showbizz explained. "But what am I babbling on about! You don't care about the business side of this; you're here for swordfights! And swordfights you shall have," she exclaimed, winking to punctuate her sentences as she brought an unfolding tier chart from beneath her desk.

The matches were arranged in such a way as to start with four matches, two on each side. The winner of each match would fight the winner of the next match on his side, then the winners of those matches would meet in the middle. "Aim for that final match, right, guy? People would love to see a knight in the last match!"

Quote (Matches)

Left bracket Top: Garde (fencer) vs. Lee (samurai)
Left bracket Bottom: VandalMan (vandal) vs. GladiatorMan (gladiator)
Right bracket Top: Vee (ninja) vs. Jian (martial artist)
Right bracket Bottom: Durandal (knight) vs. Swabbie (pirate)

"Any more questions before you get started? Matches will begin soon, you know," she finished, rolling up her chart.
After receiving confirmation that Hauteclere would indeed be allowed to participate in the proceedings, Durandal signaled for Katherine to jack the SP into the homepage.

"Milady Katherine," Durandal called to his NetOp. "Would thou be so kind as to summon young Hauteclere? I shall have need of her."

The Support Program appeared in a moment, materializing in a subdued flash of light. She was dressed in her usual garb with padded white gambeson over green tunic and tights with black leather gloves and boots. Her sword was sheathed at her side with her wooden shield hanging opposite from a strap on her belt. Hauteclere brought her right hand to her chest and bowed low to both Durandal and Showbizz.

Durandal acknowledged the Support Program's bow with a nod of his own and turned back to Showbizz.

"Lady Showbizz," he intoned. "May I present Hauteclere? She shall be serving as my squire and shield maiden for the nonce. Ah thou can see, she is garbed in a traditional fashion and shall do naught to hamper the success of thy tourney."

Durandal turned to examine the bracket list that Showbizz presented to him. There seemed to be eight participates split into four matches. The winners of the first round would continue on to fight a second match. Those winners would then battle each other to determine the champion of the melee. It seemed simple enough to him, though he would need to contend with the various fighting styles of his competition.

"So, I would need prevail against this Swabbie fight and foremost," Durandal mused. He pointed to the match up of Vee and Jian. "Then I shall be pitted against the victor of this match here before testing my blade against the victor of the second bracket to determine thy champion. Tis simple enough, no? Aye, Lady Showbizz, I am most ready to try my skill against those of the warriors thou hast gathered."
"Swell to meet you, kid," Showbizz greeted Hauteclere informally, ignoring the fact that they were about the same height. "And yeah, that's the idea. If you're a knight 24/7 and you already fight pirates and ninjas and stuff, it oughtta be second nature to you," she continued, as if those were things knights regularly did.

A tall, intimidating woman in black police gear peeked in, speaking giving a quick tap to her wrist to indicate that they were low on time. "What? What are you- Oh. Watch. Right, I forgot those existed," the host responded, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, the first match is ready to start. Go meet your opponent, okay? You're in Ring 4. Just step on the pad over there marked 4."

The woman in black led Durandal and Hauteclere over to a row of pads, marked 1, 2, 3, and 4. Before Durandal could get on, a tremendous navi in brown, leather armor, lined with fur, spat at him. Speaking in some outdated Choina language that the knight could not possibly understand, he made a cut-throat motion at his neck, then pointed at Durandal. After licking his lips, he gave Hauteclere a scary glare, spoke a little more unintelligible babble, then disappeared in to Gate 2.

"Our host may have been foolish, bringing Mafia navis in to this. Even in today's world, can we trust Mafioso to behave appropriately for public television? Especially Bloodhounds,"[b][/b] she speculated as she hurried the two navis along to their gates.


The telepad led Durandal and his SP to a large arena, designed to look like the ancient Colosseum. A live studio audience was seated around, clapping as the knight showed up and remarking upon his realistic knight-like appearance, as Showbizz had earlier. The sky above was dark, but the arena was lit by several wall-mounted lanterns. The entire floor was composed of even-laid tiles, seeming almost impossibly flat.

The navi at the other side of the stadium was a dark-skinned, slightly butch looking girl with long brown hair. She had one of those young, rebellious faces that made one think that anything they did would be met with skepticism. Her attire consisted of a wrapped, brown head-rag, a skimpy black tube-top, and baggy, tattered brown pants. She wore no shoes. As far as Durandal could tell, her weapon was... a mop?

"Oh, great! I get the one with lots of armor to start with. And two guys?! Even a pirate doesn't think that's fair!" the pirate complained, throwing her hands in the air.

A referee navi in the stands spoke in a booming voice, announcing the start of the match.

Durandal: 170 HP
Hauteclere: 40 HP

Swabbie: 100 HP (2 movements away)

Terrain: 100% Normal

"Ring four?" Durandal said as rose from his chair. "Aye, I shall head there immediately. I hope my performance on the stage will bring thee great honor."

The Navi and his support program both bowed to excuse themselves and exited the small room. As they followed the new woman dressed in black, Durandal took the opportunity to observe his surroundings. He locked eyes with a massive Navi clad in leathers. He began to nod in greeting, but stopped as the large Navi spit at him. The knight barely avoided the mucosal projectile, his hand falling to the hilt of his sword in reflex. The leather clad barbarian muttered something in a language Durandal didn't know before drawing his thumb across his throat and pointing at the knight.

"Milady?" Durandal asked his NetOp.

"Not sure," she responded. "Some kind of Choinese dialect, but I haven't a clue what he said."

"Ah well, his intent was apparent enough."

The warrior made another series of comments while glaring at Hauteclere before vanishing into his gate.

"Pay the man no mind," Durandal instructed the girl.

"Milord," the support program objected. "Thou should not allow that cretin to tarnish thy honor with his threats."

"If I should see him in the melee, then I shall meet his threats with cold steel. Until then, words mean naught."

"As thou wish," Hauteclere bowed her head in acquiescence.

The Navi in black spoke, questioning Showbizz's decision to use Mafia Navi.

"Mayhap," Durandal answered. "However, our lady host seeks realism. I have no doubt that the barbarian was anything less." The trio arrived at the appropriate gate. "My thanks for serving as our guide."

Durandal and Hauteclere stepped through the gate and onto a telepad, ultimately arriving in a large arena. Large walls separated the arena floor from a live audience who sat upon rows of benches situated in a stadium style. Darkness dominated the skies, but the arena was illuminated by several lanterns mounted to the walls. Their feet echoed against the plain flat tiles as they made their way forward.

Standing across from Durandal was his opponent. The knight was mildly surprised to see that it was a young woman, practically a girl judging by her face. He frowned, taken aback for a moment. The girl didn't even have a sword and instead held a mop clutched in her hands.

"I am loathe to fight a woman," Durandal muttered.

"Shall I then, Milord?" Hauteclere asked, one hand falling to the hilt of her sword.

"Nay," Durandal answered. "Stay thy blade. This tournament is my own to participate in. I cannot ask thee to fight my battles."

Swabbie shouted her misgivings, throwing her hands in the air with exasperation. Durandal stepped forward to answer her.

"My apologies madam," he said. "I would remove mine armor, but a knight without good plate and strong steel is no knight at all. However, to assuage thy fears, my squire shall not draw her blade. It would not be seemly to fight two to thy one. I alone shall be thy opponent."

"I'm sending you the RageClaw," Katherine broke in to inform her Navi over their private line. "We want to keep things as 'knightly' as possible. So take it slow and get within sword range."

Durandal nodded in response, motioning for Hauteclere to stay back before drawing his sword. He raised the blade to his chest, tapping the hilt against his armored chest in a salute. He lowered the blade to an on guard position, blade poised at a forty-five degree angle from the earth. The knight advanced.

Durandal made slow, deliberate movements as he advanced on his opponent. He kept his eyes on the girl, gaze moving from her hands to her center of balance. He wanted to know when she was going to move as soon as she did. She was likely quick on her feet and he didn't was to be forced to react to her movements. If he could command the rhythm of the battle, victory would be his.

He shifted his stance as he moved, turning his body so he lead with his sword arm. He would be a smaller target for a quick thrust from Swabbie's mop while keeping his blade in play to parry a sweeping blow. He was in range now, Durandal knew. It was time to make his move.

The knight charged forward the last few feet with a quick dash. He raised his blade as he did so, angling for a diagonal slash. He brought his sword down, hoping to end the battle quickly by drawing a long gash straight across Swabbie's chest.

The momentum of the knight's strike allowed him to sidestep Swabbie. He cut to his left, hoping to avoid whatever counterattack the girl could throw his way. He attempted to flank his opponent in an effort to get a clean shot at her back or side.

Durandal brought his sword up once more, a backhand slash designed to dip under Swabbie's guard and catch her below the arm. If he could disable or disarm her, he would be able to claim victory without having to force her into a critical position.


1. Move forward
2. Move forward
3. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to Swabbie
- Passive Dodge due to Subtype -
4. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to Swabbie

Hauteclere: Dodge
"Gee, thanks! Is that what you wanted to hear? I'm a pirate, I don't care about your codes of honor or whatever," Swabbie replied with expected rebelliousness, although she was secretly pleased to see she wouldn't be fighting 1 on 2. The navi moved forward along with Durandal, surprised to see him approaching so steadily. "Don't they teach you guys to zigzag? Be unpredictable or anything like that? I guess knights are kinda stiff for those sorts of maneuvers!"

The navi brought her mop up, menacing her opponent with a few quick jabs (as menacingly as one could use a mop, anyways). She made one broad swipe for Durandal's head, but he dodged it easily. He countered by swiping his sword twice at her body, once across her chest and again at the ribs as she raised her arms to block.

"Uuugh! Ratings nightmare! Fight like a pirate, you stupid janitor lady!" Showbizz called out from the speakers, sounding irate about her supposed pirate.

As she shouted, Swabbie, clutched her chest. The motion was, more so than from pain, to guard her now uncovered breasts, which seemed pleasingly large for her given age. The sword attacks Durandal had delivered to her upper body had made short work of her flimsy shirt. "What sort of knight are you, anyways?!" she complained, kicking her mop bucket at Durandal. The projectile hit his head and bounced off, dealing minor damage. The crowd laughed as the metal-on-metal sound reverberated throughout the arena.

"That's more like it! Make em laugh, guys!" the host encouraged her two fighters.

Durandal: 160 HP
Hauteclere: 40 HP

Swabbie: 20 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal
Durandal's cheeks flushed crimson as the black cloth the pirate used as a top was torn away. He had not meant to remove the woman's clothing, but she had managed to twist away and his sword sliced clean through the thin cloth. The knight could not risk looking away as the cloth fell loose, baring the pirate's impressive bosom for all to see. Apparently, her black top had offered ample support.

"Durandal!" Katherine shouted, the shock evident in her voice.

"Milord!" Hauteclere echoed. She almost stepped forward, protest clear on her face, but she stopped herself and remained at her place near the wall.

"I-I never meant, I mean, this was not m-" he was cut off as a mop bucket slammed into his helmet.

Durandal's ears rung with the reverberating steel as he staggered backward. His vision blurred for a moment, forcing him to blink to restore his sight. The girl had managed to cover her breasts with one hand while clutching her mop with the other. Durandal couldn't help but notice that her modesty would hamper her use of the mop. He wondered briefly if he should exploit her weakness, but decided against it.

"Madam," he continued. "I assure thee that my intention was never to remove thy clothing." As he had with the lumberjack on his last excursion, Durandal used his free hand to remove the tasset wrapped around his waist. He tossed the crescent of crimson cloth over to Swabbie. "Please, use this to clothe thyself."

Durandal waited for a moment to allow Swabbie to do what she would with the cloth. Satisfied, the knight saluted once more and advanced.

"I fear that I have never been one for comedy," he said to Swabbie. "I have always preferred mail to motley, I am afraid. As such, there can be only one way for our encounter to end. One of us needs be defeated. I have no wish to harm thee any further than I have and I bear thee no ill will. Thou may yield if it is thy wish. No one shall think less of thee."

Durandal stayed his blade for a moment, ready to strike the girl down if it came to it. His muscles tensed as he prepared himself to move. If Swabbie decided to press her attack, he would dodge to his right. With luck, he would avoid her strike and open up an opportunity to deliver a riposte of his own.

He decided to continue attempting to disable her. If she chose to attack, he would bring his sword to bear against her legs. She was fast, but a cut along her hip would slow her down. He planned to deliver a shallow cut to her thigh. It would be nothing fatal, but the wound might caught her to regret her decision.

He would then move again, attempting to get behind her before he struck again. He would aim for the second leg then, a quick thrust to the calf or back of the thigh. It might lame her, but it should be enough to but her down for good.


1. Try and get Swabbie to yield
2. Dodge
3. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to Swabbie
- Free Dodge Due to Subtype -
4. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to Swabbie

Hauteclere: Dodge
"Always preferred mail to mops, eh?! Ya clearly don't understand what a versatile and multifaceted weapon this is!" the young pirate complained, apparently not understanding Durandal's comment. That aside, she did accept his cloth, wrapping it quickly to re-establish her modesty. "Game's back on, Tin Man!"

"Ooo, the crowd likes this chivalry thing. Who says it's dead?" Showbizz laughed, pleased that the audience was responding positively to Durandal's actions.

"I don't care if ya give me roses and a chest full'a dubloons, no way am I going to kneel down fer some knight!" she growled, kicking another bucket toward Durandal's head. He expertly dodged this one, then moved in again with his sword. A complex series of thrusts and swipes ensued with neither navi gaining the upper hand. Durandal managed a few cuts to Swabbie's pants, but hit no flesh.

Luckly, the pirate avoided an all out wardrobe malfunction this time, but her pants received one long slit up the right leg, accompanied by a sideways gash across the belt loops of the left side. The garment drooped just enough to let Durandal see his opponent's black lower-lower back tattoo.

"... He's playing the good knight, but isn't he going for her pants now?" Showbizz asked over the speaker, sounding baffled.

Durandal could see from his enemy's labored expression and the contractions of her chest that she must be wearing herself out with all of the motion.

Durandal: 160 HP (Rageclaw: 2 uses left)
Hauteclere: 40 HP

Swabbie: 20 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal
"Fine then," Durandal gave Swabbie a grim stare. "If thou shall not yield, then I must strike thee down. I shall make this swift."

The knight advanced, bringing his sword to bare once more. He had given the girl an opportunity to surrender. She refused and kicked a second mop bucket at his head for his troubles. If she wanted to continue the fight, Durandal would be happy to oblige. Swabbie had managed to dodge his thrusts to her legs. Obviously she was quick on her feet. He would need to aim for a larger target.

Durandal switched to a two-handed grip, fingers curling around the leather wrapped hilt of his sword. He raised the sword even with his shoulders, silvery blade parallel to the ground and poised to thrust straight at Swabbie. He took a step forward, back leg passing his front. He twisted his body as he moved, bringing his sword down and around in a diagonal slash. He took a second step, bringing the sword back around in a backhand slash designed to cut across Swabbie's chest.

The knight was on the move. He strafed to left, using the momentum of his attack to carry him away from Swabbie's mop. He continued his movement, charging forward a quick step to move behind the pirate Navi. He took a third step and pivoted, dropping his sword low as he readied himself to attack.

Durandal was facing Swabbie's left side, the small of her back open to attack. A clean cut there would paralyze the girl and ensure his victory. Durandal raised his sword, slicing upward with the intent of cleaving through his opponent's spine. He reversed his stroke as the blade reached toward the sky, chopping back down at Swabbie. If the girl didn't down, the sword would bite deep into her shoulder. The knight stepped back, drawing his sword back close to his body. He took a step forward as he attacked one last time, bringing the sword around with a horizontal slash designed to behead the girl and finish the fight once and for all.


1. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to Swabbie
2. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to Swabbie
- Free Dodge from Subtype -
3. Dodge
4. Dance of the Blades (20x3 Fire/Slashing DMG) to Swabbie; 2TCD
Even with her exhaustion, Swabbie managed to dodge Durandal's slashes as he approached, preserving her life in the face of his sword attacks. Finally, she faltered just enough to allow Durandal one slice across her lower back, which caused her to fall to the ground in pain. The referee's whistle signaled Durandal to stop the attack. "The battle is over! This match belongs to our knight!" Showbizz announced, unable to sound herself from speaking a little fancy to imitate Durandal.

"Wait! It's not over till I say so... I've still got some- urk!" the pirate grunted, trying to stand back up. It was clear she'd already taken too much damage.

"Sorry watergirl, you signed the contract! 1 HP, that's as far as it goes. Let's clean up the ring and get ready for the next fight," the host continued. "While we're waiting, why don't we take a quick look at ratings so far!"

Swat appeared in the ring to escort the raving pirate off the premises while Durandal was treated to a comprehensive look of all of the match ratings so far:

Quote (Ratings)

Left bracket Top: Fencer vs. Samurai -- 83%
Left bracket Bottom: Vandal vs. Gladiator --  70%
Right bracket Top: Ninja vs. Martial Artist -- 85%
Right bracket Bottom: Knight vs. Pirate -- 79%

*Percentages reflect audience interest

"The audience is loving it! Keep it up, everyone! Remember what Showbizz Productions says: Stars Start Here! Participants who have finished, please step back on your pads and proceed to the waiting area," the booming voice of Showbizz finished.
"Thou fought well," Durandal told the fallen pirate. "With time, thy may best me yet. Speed is thy greatest asset. Hone it. Master it and come again. I shall await that day eagerly."

The knight produced a soft cloth and ran it along the length of his sword, cleansing the forgotten muck from his blade. He had learned at a young age the folly of sheathing a dirty blade. When he was satisfied, Durandal saluted Swabbie once more before returning his sword to its scabbard.

The knight removed his helmet, revealing his jet black hair and grey eyes to the gathered crowd. He cradled the helmet under his left arm and raised his right to acknowledge his audience. He smiled and waved as he turned a circle, hoping to incite a favorable response. When he faced Showbizz he gave a low bow. When he arose, he found Hauteclere at his side.

"Well fought Milord," the girl said in a whisper. "Though the way she was disrobed...Most unbecoming."

"Twas not my intent," Durandal answered. "I assure thee. The girl was quick. A sure blow became a glancing one and her clothing paid the price."

"If thou say so, then so be it."

Durandal harrumphed in response and turned to survey the ratings results for the first round. He had come in third, though the difference between his match and the lowest was quite wide. It was not a favorable position. He would have to do what he could to raise his ratings in the next round. From what Showbizz had told him, ratings were just as if not more important than winning his matches.

"Lady Showbizz," Durandal addressed his hostess. "I am ready to proceed."
The crowd cheered for Durandal, showing that he had earned their favor. Showbizz seemed similarly pleased, giving a grin and a silly wave. "Don't ham it up too much down there, Lancelot!" she called out jokingly, deciding to give her knight another nickname despite being already aware of his real one. "Just follow Swat to the waiting area for now, okay?"

Swat didn't give him much of a choice. The tall, black-armored woman ushered Durandal and his SP along quickly, just as she had before. "I liked your performance out there. I wish I'd gotten a shot at this event too, but Showbizz said 'the audience won't really relate to a swat team operative, and besides, they don't use swords.' A baton is plenty effective. I wouldn't have minded trying it out against you,"[b][/b] she bantered, giving a disarming smile at the end that contrasted with the militant look of her suit and helmet.

"Hey Swat, get off of our King Arthur's mystical Excalibur and go escort that Vandal guy out of his match, okay? I don't want him messing with the other competitors any more. Especially not with how buzzed he's looking after knocking that gladiator guy's block off... We're lucky the gladiator was a douchebag too, or that would have been a ratings nightmare," the host barked, calling Swat away from Durandal. The enforcer navi disappeared through another of the warp gates.

Just as she did, a small female ninja garbed in an eccentric outfit, featuring black and yellow with a thunderbolt pattern woven in. The navi's brown hair bobbed as she glanced up towards Durandal. "Static Elec-Energy Navi Ninja, Shocking Kunoichi Vee," she spoke suddenly, pulling down the cloth that covered her mouth to make her voice heard. "Looks like our fight is next."

Durandal noticed that the big monitor in the waiting room had been updated, giving a new readout of upcoming matches:

Quote (Brackets)

Round 1:
Left bracket Top: Fencer vs. Samurai
Left bracket Bottom: Vandal vs. Gladiator
Right bracket Top: Ninja vs. Martial Artist
Right bracket Bottom: Knight vs. Pirate

Round 2:
Left bracket: Samurai vs. Vandal
Right bracket: Ninja vs. Knight
Durandal and Hauteclere followed Swat toward the waiting room, the knight nodding along with the female officer's banter.

"Aye madam," he smiled as well. "It would be my utmost pleasure to try my skills against thy own. I shall stand ready and willing for when thou wishes to test the heft of my blade."

Swat left Durandal and his shield maiden in the waiting room, moving to deal with the foreign barbarian from earlier. The crude barbarian must have won his battle as well. Durandal felt sorry for the Navi who had to face that brute, despite Showbizz referring to the unnamed gladiator as a douche bag. Well, if this Vandal continued to rise in the ranks, Durandal would have the pleasure of laying him low.

"I wish him luck," Durandal muttered.

"Sire?" Hauteclere asked.

"Nothing of import," the knight answered. "I am to be pitted against the ninja next, correct?"

"Aye," Hauteclere nodded. "Does thou have experience against their kind?"

"Nay," he confessed. "Though I had never bested a pirate before Swabbie."

"Sire, I do not believe Swabbie to have been much of a pirate."

"I agree," Katherine cut in. "And ninjas can be tricky. Keep your guard up, Durandal. We need to at least win this match to have a chance at a sword."

"Aye," Durandal agreed. "It is as thy say, Milady."

Speaking of ninjas, one of the small female variety appeared just as Durandal finished talking. The kunoichi greeted him pleasantly enough.

"A pleasure," Durandal offered a slight bow. "Quite an impressive title, madam. Thou must wield no small amount of skill. I am called Durandal. Sir Durandal, if thy prefer, of Chanson. I look forward to our match. We shall ply our skills to the roar of the crowd. May both our swords strike true."
"Sir Durandal of Chanson, then. I suppose if I am privileged enough to use my own title, I ought to let my opponent do the same," the little ninja joked with dry sarcasm, clearly having no fondness for titles. "I should tell you beforehand, a ninja deals in trickery. I can't promise I'll abide my any rules of engagement or anything like a good knight ought to."

With that warning, she headed on to the pad leading into her own arena. At the same time, Swat remerged from the pad where she'd gone to fetch VandalMan out. The giant Choinaman was thrown from the portal, but caught himself before falling. He spoke again in his indecipherable old native tongue, then slid said tongue against his teeth in a lewd gesture. "You must behave outside of the ring or you will be escorted out of the tournament,"[b][/b] she threatened him, wielding her baton in one hand. Her disheveled hair and labored breathing indicated that she'd had some amount of difficulty getting him out of the ring.

Brushing himself off, the great beast of a man rose back up from where he'd fallen. Raising one eyebrow, he turned to Durandal again, then chuckled in a raspy voice. He made a show of pushing Swat out of the way, walking directly back on to his pad. "It looks like we're not going to get a chance to clean up that arena,"[b][/b] the attendant sighed, quickly corralling Durandal into the same gate Vee had entered.


Durandal and his SP joined Vee in a new ring, very similar in appearance to the one he'd inhabited moments ago, but with a different audience and referee. "You guys know the rules. If you want big pay, you gotta make big plays! Let's see those ratings go through the roof!" Showbizz encouraged her performers.

The little ninja smiled behind her facemask. She said nothing and held no poise, maintaining a stance like a silent statue at the other side of the miniature stadium. It was clear that she was waiting for Durandal to make the first move.

Durandal: 170 HP
Hauteclere: 40 HP

Vee: 140 HP (2 movements away)

Terrain: 100% Normal

Durandal entered the arena, Hauteclere following closely behind. He glanced around him, noting that this new battleground was much the same as the last. The only differences were his opponent and the roaring crowd encircling the field. He nodded to Vee and turned to have a quick conversation with his squire.

"Hauteclere," he said. "Stay back once more. I know not what tricks she may have at her disposal. I do not want thee injured."

"But milord," the girl protested. "It is my sworn duty to shield thee in combat. I am a not, but a shield maiden. Without my duties, what am I?"

"Alive and unharmed," he said with a tone of finality.

"Aye milord," she muttered. "Then thou must need be doubly cautious. Without thy shield, her tricks may yet reach thee."

"Who said I wouldn't have a shield?" He switched channels to address his NetOp. "Milady, the shield if it please thee. And the claw once more."

"Alright yeah," Katherine responded as she slotted in the requested battlechips. "Be careful out there."

"As you say," Durandal nodded.

The knight could already feel the battlechip energy coursing through him. He turned to regard Vee once more and moved toward the center of the ring. Hauteclere remained behind, standing guard near the exit pad. Durandal looked toward where he thought Showbizz must be and bowed. Then he turned and bowed toward Vee. With that, he set his helmet on his head and activated the two battlechips.

The shield materialized first, a three foot length of blackened steel shaped like a rounded kite. The steel was a deep black, its surface holding a high gloss like an obsidian stone. The pure black was broken by a golden cross worked into the surface of the shield. The knight raised his left arm, hefting the shield up so that it covered his torso and neck. A quick movement up or down would be all he would need to protect his head or legs.

Next came the sword; Durandal reached across with his right hand to draw the silvery blade from its sheathe. The gold cruciform hilt of the weapon matched the golden cross on the shield. The knight advanced on Vee, grey eyes intent on spotting any trickery from the self-titled "Shocking Kunoichi". As he moved, he slammed the sword against his shield once, twice, thrice; the sound echoing throughout the arena.

As he advanced, Durandal took note of his opponent. The girl was obviously quick on her feet. She was most likely limber as well. He couldn't help but think of her as a more skilled version of Swabbie. After all, ninjas were surely just pirates without access to proper ships. He couldn't help but wonder who would win in a battle versus a pirate and a ninja of equal skill.

"Not helping," he muttered to himself.

Pushing all thoughts that had nothing to do with his current situation out of his head, Durandal advanced. He kept his shield raised, ready to defend if need be, and pointed his blade toward his foe. He was poised to thrust at the girl and did so, testing his swordsmanship against the ninja's speed. He cut through the air, aiming toward the girl's shoulder in the hopes of spearing her before she could move.


1. Iron Shield (2-hit shield to self)
2. Move forward
3. Move forward
4. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to Vee

Hauteclere: Dodge
"Remember, I did warn you," the ninja taunted her opponent, then sank into silence. Annoyingly, even as Durandal approached, his opponent moved to the back of the arena. With her back nearly against the wall, she threw a barrage of three kunai; one clanged off of Durandal's shield and the rest missed their targets.

"Our ninja is cornered! How's she going to get out of this one?" Showbizz exclaimed. The audience watched with similar tension.

In a burst of electricity, Vee seperated her body into two. Fortunately for Durandal, they were both still more or less trapped with their backs against the wall. "I think that I understand your strategy now," both ninjas affirmed simultaneously, smiling behind their black facemasks.

Durandal: 170 HP (1 hit shield) (rageclaw: 6 uses)
Hauteclere: 40 HP

VeeA: 140 HP (1 movement away) (back against wall)
VeeB: 140 HP (1 movement away) (back against wall)

Terrain: 100% Normal
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" Katherine cried out as Vee created an exact copy of herself.

"Kage what now?" Durandal asked.

"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu," Hauteclere responded helpfully.

"Aye, I heard her the first time," Durandal muttered, exasperated. "But what does it mean?"

"Shadow clones," Katherine clarified. "I recall it from a cartoon I watched as a child. The ninja was able to create clones of himself in order to fool his enemies."

"Perfect," Durandal cursed. "So one is real and the other is naught more than a shade. Only one way to know which is which."

Durandal advanced, holding his shield up to defend himself as he stalked toward the right hand ninja girl. He couldn't be certain that this Vee was the correct one, but he didn't have much to go on. From his point of view, the two ninja Navi were perfect copies of each other. He would just have to choose one and hope he chose correctly.

As he neared the ninja girl, he lashed out with his sword. Durandal opened with a diagonal slash aimed across the Navi's chest. If he hit, the attack would open the girl from shoulder to hip. If he missed or she dodged, oh well. The slash held more feint than force. He slowed his down stroke and brought his sword arm in close to his body. With lightning fast movements, he thrust the blade toward Vee's center of balance. He planned to spear the girl with his blade and use the enhanced strength provided by the RageClaw battlechip to fling the ninja into her clone. Or the clone into the ninja. Or whatever. His muscles bulged beneath his armor as he heaved the sword to his left. He twisted his body as he did so, hoping to hurl one Vee into the other.

Durandal fell back to observe the outcome of his work. He kept his shield raised in defense. He knew it wouldn't last much longer and wanted to get as much use from it as possible. He backpedaled, wanting to open enough space between him and Vee so that he would have the proper time to react and avoid any more of her attacks.


1. Move toward VeeB
2. RageClaw (40 Slashing DMG) to VeeB
3. RageClaw (20 Impact DMG) to VeeB and VeeA
4. Dodge

Hauteclere: Dodge
"Knights are powerful, but perhaps a little predictable," Vee joked, dodging easily out of the way of Durandal's slash as he closed in. She countered with a strike of her own, slicing at him with a short, yellow-bladed ninjato, which she produced from thin air. He managed to block it with his shield, which was destroyed in the process. Her eyes widened as he went for a follow-up thrust, smashing his blade into her and then flinging her into her own decoy with sheer force. The decoy disappeared in a burst of electricity, leaving only the original, lying on the ground and rubbing her head.

She rolled a short distance to the side of Durandal, then sprung back upwards and flung two electrically charged kunai. One sailed past into the wall, while the other lodged itself betwixt the plates of his armor. Vee seemed momentarily childishly delighted that she'd managed to make the hit, then coughed and regained her composure. Closing her eyes briefly, her form blurred, then snapped apart into two seperate images yet again. "You won't manage to hit me again, I'm afraid!"

Durandal: 150 HP (stun x1) (rageclaw: 3 uses)
Hauteclere: 40 HP

VeeA: 120 HP (1 movement away) (back against wall)
VeeB: 120 HP (1 movement away) (back against wall)

Terrain: 100% Normal
Durandal growled in pain as the kunai lodged itself between two of the steel plates of his armor and pierced the mail beneath. He dropped the dented remains of his shield to the arena floor, the blackened steel vanishing into a short stream of data as it struck the ground. His hand now free, he reached down and removed the kunai sticking from his armor. The knife gave him a small shock that traveled through his arm and spread through his systems. It was enough to startle him, but he was still ready for battle.

"You alright?" Kat asked.

"I am fine, Milady." Durandal answered. "Momentarily disoriented, but fine. I am not accustomed to such trickery."

"Just do your best," Katherine encouraged him. "It is all anyone can ask."

"Aye Milady," Durandal answered, a grim expression on his face. "Though damn me, but I want to win."

"Then get out there and kick some ninja behind."

Hauteclere shouted some encouragement of her own. The young woman effectively told Durandal to duck and weave and the knight took her words to heart. It might be best to pause a moment and observe his opponent instead of charging in once more. He decided to hold back and study Vee before attacking again.

Durandal focused for a moment, forming a second shield to replace the first. This shield was black with scarlet embellishments. The heraldry of this shield was a flaming sword lined with ruby dust. The sword bore a cruciform hilt to retain the cross motif. The shield seemed to pulse for a moment, releasing an inner heat that washed over Durandal's wounds and relieved some of his pain.

With shield in place, Durandal strafed to his left. He held his shield and sword at the ready in case he needed to fend off one of Vee's attacks, but he made no move to advance. Instead he merely watched his opponent. He observed her movements, attempting to learn more of her and her subtle fighting style.

"Come then," he taunted Vee. "Let us make an end of this!"


1. Stun'D!
2. Forte Con Fuoco: Flame Shield (Heal 30hp + 3-Hit Shield) to self
3. Dodge