A Message From The Writer:

Before this begins, I should just mention that this entire story is simply an excuse for me to write battles. So if you came here hoping to see a bunch of people beating one another up, this is the place to go. I try to add some drama to the story as it goes along, but in this case such is not my primary focus and therefore I make no promises. This story is based upon the common concept of an international no-hold-barred fighting tournament. I have pre-selected 30 characters from my leading story and pitted them together randomly. That said, the first set of fights were selected at random, and the rest followed up from them elimination-style. Also, I will be ignoring the obvious question of "How can someone enter the next fight and win if they just got seriously injured in the last fight?" Again, story's not my interest; I was just in the mood to write a bunch of fights. If you must have an excuse, let's just say that there are some expert magic-wielding healers present between matches.

Tournament Round 1: Fight 1

Fuu Thimbleton

Vs.

LaTosha Eihdeen

Fuu glanced around the small hall in a brooding silence. Why had she let Tina talk her into this? She admitted that the Knighthood was short on members, but to enter some stupid tournament to try and attract newcomers just seemed like it was going too far. Not for the first time she considered abandoning the whole thing and leaving.

She brushed her straight, golden-blond hair from her eyes and checked her tan armor carefully. Ahead of her was a large iron door that lead to the entrance of the arena. Through it she could hear the loud noise of the chattering audience that would watch her. She didn't want to be first; she would have much rather waited and watched others fight first so she could get an idea of what the tournament would be like. But instead she was here; she would be the first contestant to ever walk through that doorway. Again, she asked the question to herself; why did she let Tina talk her into this?

Through the doors she heard the announcer begin to speak. It was almost time; she would have to go out there and fight some person for no exceptionally good reason. To prove that she was the best? What the hell was that supposed to mean? She recalled that there were no rules or limitations in this Tournament; killing the opponent was allowed. She would avoid that, if necessary, but what would she do if her opponent decided not to be so lenient on her?

Fuu's thoughts were interrupted at last when she heard her name shouted across the arena. The doors slowly opened before her, and the bright light of day hurt her eyes. She took a deep breath, considered one last time whether or not to just abandon the fight, then walked through the doors. As much as she didn't care for all this, she had accepted this challenge, and her pride wouldn't allow her to quit now.

The announcer continued his charade, talking on about Fuu's background. He mentioned that she was the commanding officer of the Royal Kynnso Drake Knights, and other such things that she didn't really need to hear. As she walked out into the arena, she glanced about studiously. It was large, far larger than she had expected. A round platform several hundred feet in diameter, raised roughly ten feet above the ground, it seemed to be made of some type of bronze-colored stone. There were large pillars set up just a few feet from the circle's edge, evenly-spaced and huge stone monsters that towered above her like giants. Each column had a giant screen attached near its top, to give the audience the best view possible. Of course, it made sense to have at least some obstacles; if all weapons were allowed then it would be guaranteed that some of the contestants would bring long-rang weapons or even guns.

High above the arena was the audience, set into the oval-shaped stands and cheering her deafeningly. They all seemed so foolish to her, really. Still, she couldn't resist glancing towards the giant, windowed tower at the far side of the arena. That was were the other contestants, destined to battle at a later time, sat to watch the matches. She wondered for an instant if the husband that nobody was aware of was watching her from there right now.

Fuu's study of the arena came to an abrupt halt as the announcer called on the next contestant: "LaTosha Eihdeen!" Fuu recognized that name; LaTosha, a mercenary who excelled in the arts of assassination and stealth, who worked in a team with her husband in a constant drive to earn money. Such an ignoble profession. Fuu didn't think she'd have trouble defeating someone like that.

From far across the arena, Fuu saw a figure step through the door and make its way onto the ring. She couldn't see the woman at this range, though, so she began walking forward cautiously. As long as there weren't any blows delivered before the starting bell, she could do whatever she wanted, right? She would get a closer look at this famous mercenary woman.

As the two women walked closer to one another, the announcer went on to describe LaTosha's background, though there really wasn't much known about the woman. LaTosha had always kept much of her life a mystery, apparently. Fuu could understand that; she herself had plenty of things she didn't want others to know about. Such as her scars…

At last the two were close enough that Fuu could make out the woman's features, and she was somewhat appalled at her appearance. The woman was slightly taller than she was, and she had the an appallingly punkish look to her. Black leather pants, black shoes, a black tank top covered by a black leather coat; Fuu counted at least six belts on her, not all around her waist. Her hair was light-brown and hung loosely just below the shoulders, and the gloves on her hands had thick metal knuckles. LaTosha wore a confident smirk that moved Fuu to immediately disapprove of this woman, clothes aside.

"You really do look like a knight in that getup." LaTosha stated suddenly, tossing her hair back somewhat arrogantly. "Even if you are a dumanost, that stuff must weigh a ton. You think it's even slightly possible that you'll be able to keep up?"

Fuu stared at the woman, feeling her anger boil, but she wasn't going to let such things get control of her. She was above an immature creature such as this. Slowly, she reached behind her and un-strapped her sword from the sheath on her back. The weapon was enormous, almost as thick as she was and twice as tall. She snapped off the belts and let the sheath fall to the floor; it was only an impediment to her when she was fighting. She raised the enormous, highly decorated blade up in one hand easily, and spoke pointedly. "This is Seighenfrei, my prize. I won't let it be defeated by someone as low as you."

Fuu lowered the weapon and got into a fighting stance, the sword's blade pointed behind her. There was a long silence as the two stared at one another defiantly, then suddenly there was the chime of a bell; the fight had started.

"It seems we're both too mature to fall for such taunting." LaTosha stated in a new, surprisingly mature tone. She brushed her hair back from her face and entered her own fighting stance. "I think this will be more interesting than I had thought. Let's say we give them a good first show, okay?"

With those words, LaTosha suddenly shot forward; she was faster than Fuu expected, coming in low and fast with practiced skill. A dagger appeared from somewhere within her coat, and drove forward like a dart. Fuu barely had time to slam her sword down, blocking the blade with the hilt. Almost as soon as the tiny blade hit the sword it came again, LaTosha's hand swirling around the Seighenfrei like a snake. Fuu dodged left around her sword and kicked around it, but LaTosha hopped backwards and avoided it, only to lunge forward again. Before she could get close, however, Fuu jerked the Seighenfrei from its standing position and swung it with the amazing power acquired by dumanosts.

LaTosha was forced to leapt backwards, just barely managing to avoid the tip of the sword. Fuu finished the circle and, without any pause in motion, was in a position with the sword pointed at her opponent. She stepped forward and thrust the giant weapon in a stabbing motion, but LaTosha sidestepped and came running forward again. The dagger came for Fuu's chest, but Fuu's reaction was instantaneous; she moved to the other side of her still-extended sword, ducked beneath it before it could fall so that she was behind LaTosha, and kicked low. Somehow LaTosha managed to avoid the kick, but just then Fuu followed up the attack by repositioning the sword and striking at her with the butt-end of the hilt in rapid succession of her last attack. LaTosha jumped back, trying to block the sword with her free hand, but she was still hit hard around the stomach. Had she not been moving away from the attack, it would have been far more damaging.

There was a pause, as the two reassessed the situation. Fuu stood ready, Seighenfrie held vertically in her hands as she waited to see what LaTosha's next move would be. LaTosha held her stomach tenderly, her face serious and the dagger held out and ready. "How in God's name can you move so freely in that armor, with that huge weapon?"

"Have you forgotten already?" Fuu replied, feeling somewhat cocky now. "This is what a dumanost is capable of!"

"A dumanost, eh?" LaTosha grinned and placed herself into another fighting stance. "I suppose it wouldn't be a vacation if I didn't have to earn it."

"A vacation?" Fuu asked, suddenly puzzled, but before she could think about this strange statement LaTosha was on the attack again. Fuu quickly swung her sword down, but again LaTosha dodged and kept coming. The blade hit the ground with a reverberating crash as LaTosha swung her blade at Fuu's stomach, but Fuu leapt over it, landing on all fours atop her sword. Before it could fall any farther, she leapt off of it again, instinctually dodging LaTosha's slash at her legs. This second jump made the sword smash full-length to the ground, but it sent her over LaTosha's head to land behind her. LaTosha's elbow swung backwards, but Fuu deftly sidestepped it; LaTosha's other arm came around with the dagger, moving to stab her, but Fuu dodged this, too. She caught LaTosha's arm and pulled, causing the woman to sway forward and come off-balance; suddenly Fuu was behind the woman, and she shoved the woman in the back with her palm. The force of the blow sent LaTosha's staggering controllably, and at that time Fuu quickly spun around, swept up her sword, and swung it about low. But LaTosha, though off-balanced, saw the blade coming and picked her feet up off the ground just in time to avoid it. She landed on her hands, rolled forward, and was once again facing Fuu in a low fighting position. Now Fuu returned to her original fighting position, the tip aimed backwards.

There was a brief pause, and in it Fuu wondered quickly why this talented woman was in the tournament. What had she meant by "vacation?" Was this woman here as a means of enjoyment? Did she think this fight was fun? Fuu admitted that she was excited by what was happening – she hadn't had a challenge like this in ages – but fun? How could there be people like that in this world?

LaTosha came again, interrupting her thoughts just as abruptly as they had started. Fuu swung the blade backwards this time, having it swing around her back before going forward to hit LaTosha. The woman was ready; she ducked beneath the blade and kept coming. Suddenly Fuu hopped away from LaTosha, but she didn't stop the swing; the blade came around full-circle again, and LaTosha was forced to duck below it a second time before she could move forward. Fuu did the maneuver again; a backwards hop and a full 360 degree swing. This time her blade came low, and LaTosha barely managed to hop over it. Fuu repeated the process a fourth time, then a fifth, then a sixth; with each successive swing the blade came faster and faster.

At first LaTosha dodged the attacks easily, and with each swing she came slightly closer to Fuu. But then Fuu's position changed, and now she was spinning the blade around her body without spinning her own body, controlling the sword's motion with her hands. They moved in a blur, the sword flying through the air so swiftly that a thrumming sound could be heard in the air. It was too fast; LaTosha couldn't stay within the circle. She managed to dodge her way out of it, then glared at Fuu defiantly from outside the visible ring that the spinning blade was making.

"Don't think you can beat me with such a simple tactic!" The woman shouted, and to Fuu's surprise she threw her dagger! Fuu's right hand jerked up, catching the dagger in midair, but the sword was still moving. She let it spin her around full circle once, dropping the dagger as it did, then as she turned back to LaTosha she grabbed the hilt with both hands and drove the sword forward. She was shocked to see sharp steel; LaTosha had thrown a second dagger! She barely reacted in time, releasing the sword and falling down onto her back, the dagger flying past her nose so closely that she felt the wind as it passed. Of course, when she released her sword it went flying towards LaTosha, who once again sidestepped and avoided it as it flew past uselessly.

Fuu rolled backwards and was on her feet in an instant. She was already in a fighting stance, even without her weapon, to stand up to the follow-up attack. But LaTosha didn't attack, she only stood there silently for a moment. "You know," she stated after a pause, "I really don't approve of fighting an unarmed person. You could always just surrender now and get it over with."

"What's the matter?" Fuu asked in a disgusted tone, "Is this fight not enjoyable enough for you?"

"Enjoyable?" LaTosha asked, sounding surprised. "Fights are necessary. Fights are tough. There's nothing about a fight that qualifies as enjoyable."

Again Fuu was confused. "Then what the hell was that talk about a vacation?"

"Oh, that?" LaTosha shrugged and tossed her hair again, crossing her arms. "You think this is a vacation? Don't make me laugh; we're doing this in hopes of getting a vacation." She saw after a moment that this didn't make sense to Fuu. She laughed and explained, "Me and my husband have been on the job for years; if we win this tournament then we'll be able to afford one VERY long vacation!"

"What?" Fuu was astounded. "You mean you're risking your life so that you and your husband can spend a few years doing nothing?"

"It's a pretty nice reward for all the hard work we've had, don't you think?" LaTosha grinned. "Anyways, that aside, I think our audience will get bored if we keep this up. Are you going to surrender or not?"

Fuu stared at her for a moment, then suddenly felt anger well up in her. This woman was risking her life, and willing to take the lives of so many others, just for a touch of free time? Fuu knew; there were people with dreams in this tournament, who were risking everything for this tournament, and she was going to destroy it all for a vacation? Fuu slowly stood to her full height, her eyes burning with rage at this woman's shameless behavior. LaTosha saw the change in her and suddenly became very serious.

"There's no way," Fuu mumbled, then shouted the last part, "That I'll let someone with that kind of selfishness continue in this tournament!"

She charged forward, and LaTosha repositioned herself into a defensive stance. When Fuu got close, LaTosha jumped backwards, then darted forward again as soon as she landed. The move, which would have caught most off-guard, didn't work on Fuu; she caught LaTosha's blade-holding hand as she stabbed forward, forcing it to the left harmlessly. Her left elbow swung up, and LaTosha blocked it with her free hand, but she didn't see when Fuu's left leg came out in a low circle, tripping her from behind.

Fuu moved forward, her body going airborne as she turned herself horizontal; her right fist came up, and as she fell down so did it. LaTosha barely managed to roll out of the way in time, but as she picked herself up Fuu sprang sideways from her hands and knees towards her, her leg kicking out. LaTosha once again blocked with her hands, but this time she was unable to jump backwards to cushion the damage; was flung backwards onto her back hard. Fuu leapt up before LaTosha could recover, and moved forward to kick the woman in the chin while she was down. LaTosha's hands came up just in time to stop Fuu's booted foot from hitting her, but Fuu simply countered by stepping on the woman.

"I won't let you have your way." Fuu said darkly, pressing own on LaTosha's chest powerfully.

"What's wrong with you?" LaTosha managed to reply despite the pressure on her chest, "You think my way is any less selfish than yours?" With that her hand reached into her coat, producing another dagger. Fuu jerked her foot away before the woman could stab it. LaTosha moved to stand, but Fuu lunged forward knee-first, aiming for the woman's head. LaTosha blocked with her free hand, but the force of the blow made her fall back onto her buttocks.

"I never wanted to be in this damn tournament!" Fuu shouted angrily.

"Then you better quit now before you hurt someone!" LaTosha shouted back, her dagger coming up again. Fuu caught her hand, however, and with a powerful jerk brought her to her feet.

"But first I have to stop people like you from hurting those who are here for a reason!" She snapped. She grabbed both of LaTosha's hands before they could make any motion, and then swung her arms wide. LaTosha's arms flew wide as well, giving Fuu the opening she needed to deliver a powerful right-handed punch into the woman's stomach. LaTosha's eyes went wide with pain, but before she could even sound her pain Fuu's fist came back again and slammed hard into the woman's face, sending her flying to her back once gain.

LaTosha, unaccustomed to taking serious hits in a fight, cupped her damaged face in her hands painfully. "To think," Fuu continued, "That there are people like you in this tournament. I'll quit when I know there are no more selfish bitches like you left to crush the good peoples' hopes!

"Now," She stated more calmly when LaTosha finally paused long enough to look up at her, "Go to sleep." With that she kicked the woman's head, hard. It was enough to knock the woman unconscious, which was the intent anyways. There was a brief pause, then suddenly Fuu noticed the screaming audience. She looked around at the people, who were applauding her victory like it was some game!

She turned away from the unconscious LaTosha, making her way to her sword which was lying on the ground a good distance away. Along the way she grabbed the sheath and re-belted it to her back. She picked up the Seighenfrei and stared at it for a moment. She shook her head sadly, re-sheathed it and moved towards the door. She didn't like this tournament, not at all. But at the very least, she now had a good reason to be in it.

The people in the stands were still loudly applauding as the door closed silently behind her.