A/N: This chapter is finally out! Sorry it took over a year. It happens. Anyways, somewhat important announcement on my profile if you want to check it out. Other then that, I have nothing to say, really. Hope you enjoy.
Also, it won't let me put quotation marks in the chapter title, so instead I just put dashes. If those ever appear in a chapter title again, know that they are supposed to be quotation marks.
With a wave of his arm, a stream of fire shot out, prompting the three people in front of him to jump back in response. As soon as he landed, Ziro rushed forward through the dissipated flames. But before he could attack, he had to dodge out of the way of another blast of flames.
Almost uncaringly, Adam dodged the stone shards shot at him with ease. After noticing the bus flying towards him, Adam held one hand out, and blasted the bus to smithereens with his flames. Ziro dashed forward once again, finally making it close due to all of the confusion.
Adam barely dodged Ziro's punch in time due to it coming in out of nowhere, then grabbed his wrist and punched him to stomach, dealing much more damage than usual because of his momentum. After that initial strike, Adam released his grip on Ziro's wrist and slammed his open palms against Ziro's ears to disorient him, then quickly and efficiently slammed kicks, punches, knees, and elbows into Ziro's various joints and other weak points. Also during the assault, he shot off bursts of flame to destroy any and all projectiles thrown his way in between attacks.
The gap in skill was obvious. Adam had trained a lot more than Ziro, and was therefore much more proficient in battle. While Ziro was just using memory of techniques from multiple years ago, Adam was using techniques that he had honed over many years. Ziro was at a major disadvantage, even though Kenji and Shina was with him.
After the assault was over, Adam palmed the middle of Ziro's chest and sent him flying through the air due to the force executed using such a maneuver. However, instead of slamming into the ground, Ziro regained control over his body and skidded across the ground as he landed on his feet despite the pain coursing through his body.
In just that one assault, Adam had dealt almost as much damage as Hattori had in Ziro's battle with her about 5 days ago. As for just Ziro, this battle wasn't going very well. As that one attack showed, Adam was a better fighter than Ziro by a long shot. It was a good thing that he wasn't alone or else he would have already lost.
He had to work with Kenji and Shina if he ever wanted to win. He had to be able to predict, and go along with each of their moves so that they could manage to defeat Adam using their teamwork. It wasn't going to be easy, but they still should be able to win. It was three against one, with one of the three being one of the skill level 12's, who have already shown the immense power gap between them and skill level 11's.
But that wasn't set in stone, as shown with Keisuke and Ryner's battle. The lower skill levels could still win. Not to mention the fact that Adam's info had apparently been faked the entire time. Meaning that he could easily be as strong, if not stronger than Shina herself. But that's why Kenji and Ziro were there too. If one of them couldn't take Adam by themselves, then two more people by their side should be able to win. That's what Ziro hoped for.
He created a sword, knowing that projectiles wouldn't work against Adam at all, as shown by the various projectiles that Shina and Kenji had already shot at him. He wielded his katana in his right hand as he charged forward. Seeing that, Adam created a sword made up of his flames in preparation for the inevitable attack while he destroyed all of the projectiles shot at him.
Ziro quickly engaged in a sword duel with Adam, but instantly noticed the skill difference between the two of them. Even with all of the random objects thrown at him, Adam was still able to be more than equal to Ziro in the act of swordplay.
There was no doubt about it. Adam was just so much stronger than Ziro was. Ziro knew that once this battle was over, he was going to have to grow stronger, a lot stronger than he already was. But first, he had to finish this battle.
He made his move. Suddenly, the area behind Adam exploded, sending both him and Ziro flying from the impact. Since he knew that it was going to happen, Ziro was able to react faster and immediately hooked his limbs around Adam's, so that he couldn't move them.
"Now!" Ziro yelled. On cue, a truck rained down from the sky, heading right towards the two of them.
"What the hell are you-!" Adam exclaimed.
"It's simple. By doing this, you can't melt it down using your fire, so it'll have to hit you. Even if I get hit too, that's fine. As long as you're defeated, I'll be fine" Ziro explained.
"I see. So that was your plan. That might work, if I had been trying before. But you miscalculated. I haven't even gone all out yet. I can summon flames from any part of my body, so this hold you have on me is useless. I'll show you the difference in our strength. -Awaken-" Adam said. Suddenly, Adam's body burst into flames, immediately singeing Ziro's body. Before Ziro lost his grip, Adam shot flames out of his back, almost immediately melting the bus within mere seconds. Ziro lost his grip on Adam and fell to the ground, covered in burns. Adam safely landed on his feet, dismissing the flames from his body. Another strategy failed.
"Don't you understand? You can't even touch me. Too bad the three of you showed up, instead of who I wanted to. You're just going to die a meaningless death" he muttered. Ziro stood up and began breathing pretty heavily. The battle had already been hard enough, but now Adam was showcasing more of his power. They were at even more of a disadvantage. Ziro knew that he had to come up with something quick, or else he would lose.
"So you don't want to talk back, huh? I thought that at least one of you would attempt to talk back to me. Guess I misjudged you all. Not that it's going to change the fact that you're going to die here, though" Adam sighed.
Alright, think Ziro. What can I do here? What can I do to stop that fire? Could I create some water to put it out? No, that couldn't work too well. His flames are too hot for that. They would probably melt the water quicker than they would be put out. That might work, but probably not very well. I'll have to come up with something else. So then, what can I do? If I can't stop the fire, then I can't stop him. He can stop me with just the fire, so I have to overcome that first. Ziro thought.
"-Blazing Sphere-" Adam muttered as he raised his hand up towards the sky, and began channeling flame into his palm. Within mere seconds, the flames gathered into one large ball of fire that was even bigger than Adam was. If Ziro had to guess, he'd say that it was at least 2 times the size of Adam. And that was an extremely bad thing. If Ziro was hit by that, there was no way that he was going to live through it.
"Die" Adam ordered as he brought his hand down, sending the gigantic ball of flame at Ziro. It was a lot faster than expected, and reached Ziro almost immediately.
"Da-" Ziro choked as as the flames neared him, the heat already burning his skin.
"-Gravity Wall-!" somebody yelled as everything exploded in a sea of red.
"Have you finished the preparations, Crowley?" Mr. Saint asked as he set down his glass of wine onto the nearby table.
"Of course, of course. I get my work done when it counts. It's already started spreading. It's only a matter of time until it activates" Crowley answered as he lazily laid himself across a nearby couch, which seemed sort of out of place for the room they were in.
"Good. We are nearly at the most pivotal moment, do not screw things up. Soon, they will begin to awaken. Then we will make some actual moves" Mr. Saint ordered.
"I know, you don't have to tell me 20 something times, you know. I'm not that useless, am I? Still. This is pretty planned out, actually. How long have you been attempting this?" Crowley asked.
"How long? Oh, nothing more than a few millennia. It's just that my plans were not very well thought out in the beginning. Then some people decided to interfere, and I neglected to deal with them until it was far too late, and my stupidity cost me around a hundred years or so each and every time. Starting around the late 1600's, that woman began interfering as well, killing off those that I needed to succeed. This time, however, I shall succeed. Because I have something different this time. Something that will change everything" Mr. Saint explained as a smile crossed his face for but a few seconds before it disappeared.
"How interesting. How interesting indeed…" Crowley muttered.
"I honestly didn't think you had that in you, Kenji. I'm surprised that you had such determination" Adam muttered as the smoke cleared. Kenji was in front of Ziro, barely able to stand because of the burn marks all over his body. Right before ball of flame had hit Ziro, Kenji had jumped in and made a wall out of random things nearby using his ability over gravity. The ball of flame destroyed even that, and seriously damaged Kenji. Somehow, Ziro hadn't taken any damage from the attack.
"Something like that… couldn't bring me down" Kenji said whilst taking heavy breaths.
"You've made another mistake if you think that I can only do that once. -Blazing Sphere-" Adam said as he raised his hand up towards the sky again, and began collecting flame into his palm yet again.
"Kenji, get out of the way! You can't take another hit like that!" Ziro yelled. Kenji looked back at Ziro and smiled,
"No, I can't back down. No, I won't back down, not again. If I back down here, then how could I ever face myself again? I'm sick of running away. I'm sick of giving up. If I give up here, then how can I ever get stronger? If I keep giving up, things will never change. It'll just be like back then! And I never want to be that way ever again! I know that… she wouldn't ever want to see me like that either. I can't let her down, not anymore. In her memory, I will never back down ever again. Don't worry, I won't die. I can't let something like this kill me, otherwise… how could I ever face her again?" he said.
"Kenji, you…" Ziro muttered. He'd definitely changed, that's for sure. When they first met, Kenji had basically given up on life. But now… he was brimming with it. He was full of life, and was willing to risk it for what he believed in. He had changed, all because of her. How bittersweet.
"Shut up and die. Your determination is making me sick. It doesn't matter how determined you are. You'll still lose, and you'll still die. There's nothing you can do about it, so why don't you just give up? This time, I won't let anything get in the way of me killing you" Adam muttered as he brought his hand down, causing the ball of flames to shoot towards Kenji.
"I hear your determination, Kenji. I only planned on doing small things to help you two along, and just have it you two who managed to defeat Adam, but… I'll do something big for you guys, just this once" Shina said as she walked out in front of Kenji.
"What are you…" Kenji muttered. Shina held her arm out towards Adam and the ball of flames without a word, and opened her palm.
"-Awaken-" she muttered.
It all happened in an instant. The ball of flames was instantly decimated, and Adam's right arm went flying through the air. It looked like a hole had been shot through the ball of flame by some invisible force, and Adam's arm had been completely torn off, including the shoulder, by the same unknown force. Everybody except for Shina was surprised. Something like that suddenly happening, right after they thought that Adam was too strong to realistically defeat, anybody would be shocked.
"Wha…" Adam muttered, as what happened tried and failed to become coherent in his brain. He couldn't understand what had just happened. One second, he was winning, and the next… he had lost an arm.
"That's all I can do to assist you. If I do anymore, then Will and I will probably get in trouble. Now that he's weakened, try to defeat him by yourselves. I don't want to resort to dealing with this myself" Shina said before walking off to the side of the street to observe the rest of the fight.
"Heh. How interesting" Ziro muttered. There was such a strength gap between him and Shina. Without seeming to be trying too much, Shina tore off one of Adam's arms. Adam, who had just demonstrated how much stronger he was than Ziro and Kenji combined. Now they had to defeat him now that he had one less arm. But would that really make it all that much easier? Probably not, but it's not like they couldn't try.
"Ready to do this?" Kenji asked.
"Of course. It's about time we reversed this. Time for evil to be defeated…" Ziro answered.
"And Justice to prevail, right? How stereotypical of a "Hero", isn't it?" Kenji wondered.
"It's a stereotype for a reason Kenji" Ziro said.
"I know, I know… Let's just get this over with already" Kenji muttered in reply. Just how many times had he heard that specific speech? He didn't really want to hear it again.
"Yeah…" Ziro muttered. "Let's go!" he yelled. Simultaneously, the two of them charged forward.
"You… what?" Anna wondered.
"I sent them out on an important mission to deal with a threat. How many more times are you going to make me repeat that?" Will wondered. After hearing that Ziro, Kenji, and Shina were gone, Anna immediately went to Will to investigate where they went. She knew that Ziro had been doing something with the Student Council. And knowing Will, her first thought was to ask him about it. And sure enough, they were gone because Will had sent them on a mission. Anna suddenly slammed her hands down on Will's desk,
"Are you an idiot!? You're really entrusting such an important mission to just those three? Sure Shina should be able to handle everything, but we both know that there's no way that she's going to be allowed to. Her inclusion in the mission is already barely possible. You should know how strong the enemy is, so why the hell did you send Ziro and Kenji? Do you really think that they could win!?" she yelled. Instead of immediately answering, Will turned his seat so that his side was to Anna and sighed as he rested his head against his hand.
"Can you feel it?" he asked.
"Huh? Feel what?" Anna wondered.
"The winds of change. Soon enough, something big is going to happen. To prep for that, I sent those two out on this important mission so that they could grow as quickly as possible. They may not seem like much to you right now, but they both have a lot of potential. Potential that I need reached as soon as possible" he explained.
"Something big? Like what? What could possibly happen that we or even the SPD couldn't handle?" she asked.
"There are many things going on right now under our noses. More specifically, yours and everybody else who isn't important enough to know. All I can say is that we need Ziro and Kenji's help. Yours as well. So I need to prepare those two as quickly as possible. Maybe if you join the Student Council I could tell you more, but right now you aren't a high enough clearence level. For now, just trust that I made the right decision. If anything goes bad, then Shina will step in regardless of repercussions. I just hope that it will never get to that point" he explained.
Anna sighed and crossed her arms. It's not like she could do anything right now. She'd just have to trust the three of them to be able to handle themselves. Not that she was done yelling at Will yet, though. And she still had more than a few question to ask him, even if he couldn't answer some of them.
"Damn bastards! Now you've really got me mad! I'll burn every single cell in your body to fucking ashes!" Adam yelled as soon as he was done being shocked by his arm being torn off by some invisible force. As soon as Ziro and Kenji shot forward, Adam's rage reached its peak. He wasn't going to play around anymore. All he cared about was destroying the enemies in front of him. Nothing else mattered. Once they were done with he could worry about other things. But right now they were his first priority. And who better to start with than with the two idiots running towards him right at this moment? They couldn't do anything before, so why should that change all of a sudden just because he lost an arm? Once he was done with them, he was going to take his sweet time with that Vice President for tearing off his arm. Yeah, that sounded like a good plan. He could already imagine just how much fun he was going to have doing that. What an amazing feeling. How overjoyed he would be once he finally did it. He couldn't wait.
When he charged forward, Ziro didn't really have a plan in mind. He didn't have the time to come up with something. He just had to go with the flow and think up something on the fly. Somehow he and Kenji could win. All he had to do was achieve that somehow, and things would be good.
Despite the obvious consequences if they failed, Ziro's mind was clear. Clearer than it had ever been, as far as he could tell. The rush of battle, the responsibilities weighing down on his shoulders... it was exhilarating. Perhaps only in this kind of situation... he was truly alive.
As soon as Adam moved, Ziro knew exactly what he was going to do. He quickly stopped running and crouched down and slammed his palms into the ground. As soon as he did, he created a large wall in front of him and Kenji. The moment that the wall came into existence Adam shot off a huge stream of fire at them, but it was blocked by said wall. The wall blocked most of the flames, although some were able to wrap around it. The heat was still blistering, but at the moment neither Ziro nor Kenji cared.
The very second that the flames began to dissipate Ziro created a spring underneath his feet that then sprung him into the air and over the wall he had created. As he flew through the air, he created a javelin that he then threw at Adam.
"Useless!" Adam yelled as he shot out a stream of fire that immediately burned the javelin to ashes.
"You're too simpleminded!" Ziro yelled back as he tossed a flash grenade down on the ground. While Adam was burning the javelin, Ziro had taken the time to create a flash grenade as well. As soon as the flash grenade hit the ground it activated, releasing a blinding flash of light that blinded only Adam, as Ziro and Kenji managed to shield their eyes in time.
"Agh! Damn you!" Adam yelled as he shielded his eyes much too late. He couldn't see, therefore he couldn't see where an attack was coming from so he had no way of defending himself against it. With that in mind… "Take this!" he roared as he shot fire out in every direction. This way, he was surrounded by a protective barrier, protecting him from any attacks that the two could send at him while he couldn't see to stop them normally. But… that was to be expected.
Kenji kicked the wall that Ziro had created, and by using his control over gravity he broke a large piece of it off and sent it flying at Adam. It reached the flames, and was stopped. But that was the entire point, as Ziro just then fell down behind it, so now he was blocked from the flames once again. The moment he landed, Ziro held his hand out to his side. After a couple seconds, he created a huge container of water., which Kenji immediately ran towards and once he was close enough., adjusted its gravity. He sent it into the air over Adam and then crushed it suddenly, making water spew out everywhere. As soon as the water hit Adam's flame they turned to steam. But there was so much water that even though the flames were hot enough to immediately turn them into steam, the flames were still being dowsed. The moment that the flames were mostly gone Ziro dashed forward at the still blinded Adam.
"It's over, Adam!" Ziro yelled. In that moment the remaining water finally hit Adam, making him realize that his flames were gone.
"What!?" he yelled.
This was Ziro's one and only chance. If he failed here then Adam would regain his sight, and probably burn him to death. Since he'd be this close, it would be almost impossible to get away or create something to block the flames. In that case, what he had to do was clear.
This feeling… it's absolutely wonderful. I feel so alive right now. I'm brimming with life in this exact moment. This do or die moment with so much on the line. I've done all I could to create this one moment. I can't afford to fail. If so, then… it's okay if I break this arm, right?
"Shenkt Style! Secret Move, [Hakai no ken]!" he roared, his fist shooting through the air fast enough that it felt that it was going to suddenly detach from the rest of his body.
Right before Ziro's fist connected with his face, Adam's sight began to return. Suddenly, right before his eyes was an attack of desperation of somebody much weaker than him. It should have been impossible. He should have been the one to win. He was so much stronger, and yet… here he was, about to lose. He couldn't release enough flames in time. This attack was going to hit him. If it didn't defeat him, then he could easily kill the both of them. But if it did, then…
As soon as his fist connected with Adam's face, he felt and heard an unknown number of bones in his arm crack in succession. The pain was indescribable, but he had been expecting that. So the punch continued on, the force of it shaking Adam's body to the core.
He was sent spiraling through the air, his jaw feeling like it was broken. His consciousness was barely there, as he had almost blacked out just from the punch. He hit the ground hard, with a loud thud. He lay unmoving and showed no signs of getting up any time soon.
His attack over, Ziro's arm fell limply to his side. He couldn't manage to move it at all, and the throbbing pain didn't make it feel any better. In an attempt to minimize the pain, he gripped it with his other arm.
"Finally… it's over..." he sighed.
- A job well done, I'd say
- You did good. I'm proud of you two
- I told you that it wouldn't be a problem
- We're on our way