Battle Nineteen: Phoenix vs. Nephthys

Remember to get your votes in for who you would like to win via review, and dont be afraid to come join up to the arena. we dont bite! much...

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"Welcome again, ladies and gentlemen, to the arena!" The crowd cheered. "Today the competitors are… oh… It's Phoenix… again…" The announcer sighed heavily. "Well on the plus side it seems this will be his final fight here at the arena!" This was met by more cheers from the crowd. "His unfortunate opponent this evening is Nephthys, a wind Elementalist. The poor-" He was cut off suddenly and there was a muffled disagreement "Anyway... Shall we get this fight started?"

On cue as always, Phoenix exploded out of one of the side doors, chunks and splinters of flaming wood rocketed in the direction of the crowd and harmlessly bounced off of the announcer's shield.

He strode down the centre of the arena, each step leaving a charred black crack in the earth. He stopped, and stood for a few seconds taking in the size of the arena, then threw his cloak to the floor in another blast of flames.

Nephthys raised an eyebrow before licking the ends of her fingers and putting out a smouldering lock of hair, set alight by the remnants of Phoenix's flamboyant entry. Her eyes stayed fixed on him as she laced her gauntlets, taking in his build and the speed of his movements as he strode impatiently back and forth.

The crowd grew more and more restless as they watched the motionless child-sized figure about to face the wrath of Phoenix. Was his last opponent to be dispatched without a fight, like a lamb to the slaughter? It was only when the jeers began that she dropped into a crouch, hands raised with claws pointing at her opponent. Sunlight glinted from the talons protruding from the tips of her fingers.

A close combat stance? That far away? What the hell was the child thinking? He sighed to himself. He wanted his last fight to be a challenge.

"Ah well," he muttered. He dropped to the floor, engulfed his body with flames and in the same movement slammed his fists into the ground. In retaliation to the impact, pillars of flame began erupt from the floor, spewing chunks of scorched earth in every direction. These pillars began heading in the direction of the small motionless child.

Nephthys scowled to herself as she felt the scorching heat wash over her, the rushing flames following close behind. Underestimated again.

Conjuring a breeze, she sprang away faster than any normal human could move. She landed a few feet from Phoenix, and with a gesture the air was sucked away from the flames. They flickered feebly for half a second, before being snuffed out. She lunged towards him, talons outstretched, and clawed at his side. As the attack landed, she let the force of the vacuum she had created in her wake catapult her back across the arena.

She smiled sweetly, as she waited for Phoenix to realise what had happened.

He noticed the child flicker, like she had disappeared for a second and then stumbled and, quickly regaining his composure, felt a stabbing pain rise up from his flank. He brushed his hand tentatively down past where the pain had emanated and brought up blood.

"How the…" He flashed a small flame up past the wound to seal and cauterise it then spun in a small circle attempting to locate this nuisance.

"Shown up by a child? Impossible…"

He located her in a matter of seconds; she was staring at him from the corner of the arena.

"Right…"

He held both his fists out to the side of his body and charged them with the power of fire, as flames began to lick up his arms he brought them together with a crash, a trail of fire followed in its wake.

This trail circled his body quickly and flared up behind him to form a pair of flaming wings. Phoenix rose into the air and stared at the child with his cold menacing eyes.

She frowned to herself as Phoenix hovered over her. Maybe I've annoyed him too much… Spreading her arms, she shot into the air after Phoenix, using the thermals in his wake to slingshot past him.

She flashed him a grin as she flew past his startled face and feeling this wasn't quite theatrical enough, she shot a current through her shoulder-blades and a pair of glowing, crackling wings rose into the air behind her. She pointed both gauntlets towards Phoenix, and waited as the air grew hot and still and a feeling of anticipation spread through the crowd. Her curls began to rise from her head, giving her a dusty black halo.

Phoenix held his arms out in front of him, hands balled into fists. After concentrating his power into them, he slowly pulled his right fist from his left and flames began to spill outwards, forming a blade of fire.

"Let's dance…" He spoke, spread his wings wide and charged upwards towards the girl.

Nephthys saw him charging at her, and tried to dodge his attack without breaking her concentration. She darted to the right but the tip of his blade caught her left shoulder. She plummeted to the floor below, narrowly missing Phoenix's scorching trail of flame.

Another conjured breeze cushioned her fall, and sparks of electricity buzzed from her now tattered and broken wings to her shoulder, trying and failing to heal the wound that cauterised as it hit.

She stood, shakily, to see a triumphant Phoenix wheeling in the air above her, and narrowed her eyes as the remnants of her wings dissipated into the surrounding air. She could sense the superheated thermals rising from his wings, and lifted her uninjured arm to drag the freezing air from the top of the atmosphere to rest below him, all the while holding her concentration upon the slowly charging current throughout the arena.

Phoenix slowed as he saw his opponent rise from the ground, a look of distain spread over his face. He thought he'd won.

He shifted in the air as his wound stung again. Lifting one of the leather plates he began to take a look when his hand involuntary jumped back away from the metal clasp.

"Huh?" he looked down at his armour and noticed small sparks jumping between the metal. "What is she…" he stopped when he noticed every single person in the arena had their hair standing on end.

"Ok… this is weird. And is probably going to be painful…" He drew in his wings and fell upon the girl, with flaming sword outstretched and a snarl upon his lips.

That was when the lightning bolt struck. Booming bright red out of the sky, it shot towards the announcer, before arcing around the shield and earthing itself on the scarred ground of the arena. Nephthys concentrated, and the brewing tornado flared into life, until the arena became a whirling maelstrom of wind and lightning.

She braced herself, talons held high, ready to counter Phoenix's incoming onslaught.

Phoenix collided with the girl, shoulder smashing into her ribcage. As Nephthys was thrown backwards Phoenix landed softly on the ground and noticed that the winds seemed to have stopped.

She pulled herself up, wincing, and spat a mouthful of blood onto the sand. She had to win this soon, or he would kill her. He had thrown her into the eye of the storm, so one weapon was down, but she had others. Hands raised, she darted around his guard and swiped at his face.

Phoenix ducked under the attack and brought his blade up to counter. Sparks dropped to the floor as the two weapons met and he pushed her away from him.

She was pulled into the tornado but before Phoenix could even begin to smile she leapt out of the raging storm from behind him claws outstretched.

The still air parted behind him and he felt her onrush as he span to guard his exposed rear. He dissipated the sword as he span and caught Nephthys by the throat.

As his hand began to close on her windpipe, the claws made an unwelcome return and raked across his face cutting to the bone, only stopping when they became lodged in his jaw, just before his jugular vein. As she began to black out, she feebly worked them downwards, until a killing strike was within her reach.