Fan-Fic Versus Tournament Round 2: Razzatazz vs Delphic

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AweSam

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#1  Edited By AweSam
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This is the second voting thread of the second round for the Fan-Fic Versus Tournament. @razzatazz and @Delphic were given a picture which they both had to base separate stories on.

Please vote here, or PM me your vote if you wish to remain anonymous. Anyone can vote.


Razzatazz

He had heard of the trail of blood before from an old master. The way that the master had described it was as something figurative not something that was literally a trail of blood. He had been warned about it in terms of the Bushido philosophy not to take it lightly. He knew now staring at it that it was not only figurative but also literal. What lay before him was an actual trail but there was more to it than that. Any warrior that could leave such a trail in one’s wake was trying to prove something, sometimes to others but usually to themselves. It is one thing to kill for duty, another to kill for pleasure, and another thing altogether to kill for pleasure and then to alert the world to your evil deeds. This was not just alerting the world to evil deeds though, this was a message. Others when seeing this would have a reaction of “run away” but Usagi knew differently. This was saying “I challenge you to come for me.”

This had started two weeks previously. Usagi had heard the tale of the shifting sands as a young student. It had been another lesson which he had thought to be figurative that had turned out to be real. Legend had it that every 200 years the sands of the pearl beach which shift ever so slightly and reveal a monster laying beneath, awoken with its first exposure to the sunlight in two centuries. The monster had once been a man, who had made a bargain with some forgotten demon to grant him immortality and invulnerability but that bargain had come with a price. For those that could capture him and get him out of the reach of the sun’s rays, then his body would turn to stone and his soul would become the toy of this demon. Usagi had thought this to be a lesson meaning that a warrior must always be careful to understand internal temptation to commit evil acts or to be too powerful without the proper balance of discipline. Now he faced a threat as great as any that he had ever faced.

The monster had been captured before, and always returned to the sands. These sands were unlike any other, for they themselves seemed to live, moving back and forth with careful precision. The monster could be buried easily under the sands where light would never reach him, but it was always a bargain with the future where those of a later era would have to deal with the threat.

Usagi knelt, his sword touching the beginning of the trail of blood. For the uninitiated that was watching him one might think that he was praying, but it was not prayer he was after. The superstitious might think that he was there to somehow commune with the dead and try to hear their calls from beyond life. It was not that either. He was there solely for focus. He thought of those that had died to create the trail. Had they been fathers, or brothers? Farmers and fishermen? Or had the monster even killed women and children to make his point? Usagi did not know but the focus of their suffering gave him what he needed. This trail of blood was an invitation. The monster knew that of all the warriors in the land that likely only Usagi had the ability to return him to the sands, and the monster did not want another two hundred years of torment, the monster wanted instead what was here before him, the power of the living and the ability to rule over all.

Usagi stood up and gathered himself. The challenges that he faced were vast. His enemy could be constrained but not killed. He looked down at the hilt of his sword. The sword was a useful tool in the arts of killing but he was unlikely to find as great a use for it in his new quest. He had seen the weapons of the peasants, they were better designed for disarming and constriction. The sai, the nunchaku, and the staff. He would first need to seek out these better tools, all the better to introduce the monster back to his sandy tomb. Usagi’s ears perked up as there was a sound nearby. He recognized it immediately as the sound of a child. The child stood on a small berm overlooking the carnage. The child did not run, and instead seemed to be looking at Usagi more so than at the trail of blood.

“Where have you come from child?” Usagi asked. The child appeared to be finally grasping the gravity of what lay before them and was only able to point in the direction of what was presumably a farm or a small settlement. Usagi nodded towards the child. It would be enough to follow the direction without enlisting the child as a guide. Usagi’s nose and ears would be all of the guides he needed anyway. He started walking in that direction. The townspeople would have the weapons he needed even when they would not necessarily regard them as weapons. He would need to find them and soon in order to continue the pursuit of the monster.

The path was littered with debris perhaps the scene of the bloody battles which had provided the source for the blood. Soon enough though Usagi came into a small town. There was something wrong. It was too quiet for a place that had just been attacked by the vile monster. There would be widows crying after their husbands or orphaned children wandering the streets. Uasgi’s hand reflexively went to his hilt and for good reason. His ears picked up the sound of an arrow flying through the air, only too late. Usagi reacted but only enough to divert the killing blow to his to a less sensitive part of his body.
“We have wounded the monster!” the villagers cried as they stood up from behind an Earthen wall. The child had been a decoy meant to draw him in, where the villagers thought that he was a monster. Already wounded he needed to find a way out without spilling any more blood.

Delphic

Honor’s Last Call

Time is like the tide of the great sea. With each new passing moon, things that were once true are swept away into the sea of time; only to be replaced with new meanings and traditions. Many of the things I did in my time, that I had considered to be honorable, are now seen as senseless and perverse. The rifle has replaced the blade, and numbers, not honor, guide the lords of my homeland.

I, Miyamoto Usagi, head now to my final conflict along the dirt roads from Reigando, my chosen place of isolation, to Yokoshima, a growing village that rests in the shadow of my mountain. As I walk this road I feel my bones ache with every step. My fur has grown rough and coarse in my old age, my hearing is not what it once was, and the ability to see in detail the beat of a hummingbird’s wing, left me many years ago. I am slower than once was, and my body is plagued with a horrid cough that strikes me with a pain much greater than any wound I had ever received in the days of my youth.

Despite all these complications, I still make the journey to face this new breed of warrior, which my land now so eagerly boasts. At one point, I had considered the lad unworthy of a challenge, and I had hoped that my swords would have finally received their rest, but the call of battle reached out to them once again, waking them from their slumber. As I walk amongst the trees and tall grass surrounding my home, I begin to ponder the steps that I have taken in my life, and if anyone would bother to walk in this old rabbit’s footsteps. Does Bushido, the way of the warrior, still have a place in this age? Or am I merely a relic, who is too stubborn to leave behind such things as honor and pride.

As I step onto the bridge that crosses over the flowing brook which separates the great woods from the bustling town, I close my eyes and listen to the sound of the water that flows beneath my feet. I let its soothing voice wrap me in a sheet of serenity, and then the earth opens up to me. I hear a symphony, not of instruments, but instead of the wind blowing through the leaves on the tress surrounding the village, and of the birds singing their morning melody as they soar through air. These are sounds that have comforted me over the past few years that I have spent up on the mountain.

Then I enter the bustling village, and the comfort of nature’s symphony leaves me, to be replaced with the clatter of people as they go about their daily lives. I do not fault them for being so noisy, but it is simply that in my older age, I have chosen company of a much different kind. It is then when I finally hear them. The crowd is gathered awaiting my arrival, and so is my opponent.

I see the young lion who has challenged me. In one hand he holds a musket, and at his waist are two pistols. His body is adorned in armor, as if he were suspecting a great battle to break out at any moment. At each side of him there are two men, bodyguards, hired for their brutish appearance rather than their skill. I knew, for I had seen their kind before. The warrior looks at me, and laughs

“So the old man finally shows his face!” He shouts out to me, “I was beginning to wonder if you had died up in that cave, but I’m so glad you have the courtesy to come out, so I don’t have to walk as far to see you die.”

I do not respond to his taunts. He knows nothing of honor, for that is why words are seated with poison. I think of the young girl in their possession, a temple maid by the name of Misao. A sweet girl who showed an old man kindness by making the journey with her brother up to my home on the summit of Mount Iwato, to provide me with food, supplies, and even conversation that was a bit one sided, for it was the young Misao who did all the talking while I remained silent. Still it had been nice to hear her voice, but only a day ago her brother raced to the summit alone, and pleaded with me to save his sister from the brigands who had abducted her. He had explained that they were looking for me, and when they had discovered Misao, she refused to hand me over to them.

Brave girl, I thought, but foolish. Her brother then informed me that if I did not come, that she would be killed. I had wanted to remain in isolation, I had wanted to forget the child, and leave her to her fate, but honor always has a way of speaking to a warrior, when it calls him to battle.

“Where is the child?” I say to the warrior. The words come out dry and unclear, for they are the first words I have spoken in a long time. This causes the lad and his band to break out in laughter once again. It is embarrassing, but the moment is fleeting, for I have no time for such feelings.

“What was that, I can’t hear you? Can you speak a little louder?” The young lion teases, and begins to break out in a giggling fit once more. This boy is no warrior, and this time I make sure my voice speaks with authority only rivaled by the Shogun himself.

“THE CHILD!” My voice booms as it echoes between the walls of the village, and my opponent’s look changes from the jesting appearance of a small boy to that of an offended cub. He motions his hand in the air, and from amongst the crowd I see another of the warrior’s lackeys emerge holding a young woman by the shoulders and forcing her forward. Her hair is disheveled, and her kimono barely clings to her form. Her face is swollen and bruised, and her eyes which I had seen sparkle many a time were impossible to see amongst the black circles that surrounded them. Her once luscious fur was tangled and matted, and I could see parts of it caked with dirt. I wanted to look away, but something prevented me. I feel rage rise up inside me, but I suppress it and focus instead only on repaying in full what disgrace was done to her.

“Here is your whore, old man.” The lion says as he grabs hold of her and shoves her out towards me. Misao stumbles at first, but slowly rights herself, and begins to take slow, yet steady strides towards me. She stops right in front of me, and looks up at me. I see sorrow in her face, and she beings to speak, but I stop her.

“Go to your family girl.” I say with a soft voice, but a firm tone. I look away from her and lock eyes with my opponent. Misao’s mother comes running to her to help her, and when I am sure they are safely out of harm’s way, I speak to my opponent.

“What is your name?” I ask the lion

“I am the great, Kenji Yukimura, fastest gun in five provinces, and I am here for your head Usagi Miyamoto.” He shouts proclaiming his name, and intention to the crowd. He is confident, and sure of his victory.

“Well then Kenji Yukimura,” I reply. “Do what you have come to do.” Yukimura grins and raises his rifle. He takes his aim, and there is a brief moment where I see a flash and a loud roar deafens me. I hear the crowd scream out in fear, for they are not used to the loud, clumsy sound of a firearm. I see the small lead ball as it races towards me at speeds that no normal man would be able to see.

I feel the familiar sensation as pull my Katana, Yagi No Eda (Willow Branch), from its sheath. I pull my sword up in time to block the shot. The lead ball falls harmlessly at my feet. I am a bit slower than I used to be. I remember the days when I could once split the ball into even halves, but those were days long past. I look into the Yukimura’s eyes and I see that confidence has been replaced with fear. I smile for I know the battle is already over.

He screams as I race towards him, dropping his musket and fumbling for his pistols. His fear makes him clumsy, and years of watching archers line up shots have prepared me for moments like this. The shot from each pistol rings off loudly, I side step one easily, but the other grazes my right arm. I am much slower than I once was.

Yukimura stumbles backwards in an attempt to avoid my strike, and he nearly does, but not before my sword severs his thumb and trigger finger from his right hand, and destroys his pistol. Kenji falls to the ground screaming as he holds tightly to his bleeding hand. For a moment all is silent, save for the screams of Yukimura, but then the crowd erupts into cheers for my victory over him. Yukimura’s men are frightened, and it only takes one glance from me to tell them to leave. His men break their ranks, and flee has fast as they can from the village. I wipe the blood from my sword before returning it to its sheath. Yukimura has stopped screaming, and instead glares at me with rage filled eyes.

“You are not worthy of a warrior’s death, Kenji Yukimura. Instead you will leave this village, and never return. You will also carry that wound for the rest of your days, and walk this earth in the disgrace that you have wrought on yourself. You are without honor, and I turn my back on you.” I say as I turn from him, and begin walking away. With each step I hold onto a blind hope that the fool will stand, and walk away as I told him. Instead, I hear him clumsily handle his other pistol as he attempts to load it. I wait until the pistol is loaded, and I hear him the hammer click into place. He does not see me unsheathe Aoyagi (Young Willow), my short sword. I turn and throw the blade and I see it embed in between the Lion’s eyes. He is dead before his body falls the rest of the way into the mud.

“Fool” I mutter under my breath as I stare at his lifeless corpse. All is still until, Misao’s brother runs over and pulls the sword from Kenji’s skull. He runs over to me, and kneels down, holding the sword up to me.

“Thank you, Samurai.” He says to me. I take my blade, wipe away the blood and return it to its sheath, and nod at the boy, dismissing him. I look around one last time and look into the face of young Misao. She manages to smile, and for that I am grateful. I turn from the crowd and walk away from the village. I look up at my mountain, and I feel a slight ache in my chest, but shrug it off, and I begin to make my way home. I find myself hoping that the journey will be swift, for my body aches and my spirit is tired and in need of a long rest.

THE END

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AweSam

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joshmightbe

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AweSam

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Pyrogram

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This....was...so...close...oh...my..I cannot decide...Tomorrow.

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joshmightbe

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@pyrogram: The funny thing is I didn't realize until I saw this but I posted the wrong pic, the one me and @batkevin74 agreed on was Usagi but it was supposed to be another one. The stories turned out great tho so I won't complain.

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Betatesthighlander1

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@razzatazz had a better story

though I don't understand why both of you referred to normal men, since Humans are already monsters in that universe

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AweSam

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@pyrogram: The funny thing is I didn't realize until I saw this but I posted the wrong pic, the one me and @batkevin74 agreed on was Usagi but it was supposed to be another one. The stories turned out great tho so I won't complain.

Well, it's too late now.

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joshmightbe

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@awesam: Its fine, I posted it from my phone and got one of those cannot display image things so I just assumed it was the same one. I'm not complaining just had one of those "Oh, crap" moments when I saw the pic.

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AweSam

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#10  Edited By AweSam

@joshmightbe: Actually, I was going to ask for you to post a new one since this one was too plain to base a story off of. I let it go.

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joshmightbe

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#11  Edited By joshmightbe

@awesam: It was my screw up, I wouldn't expect you to penalize them for it.

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AweSam

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@joshmightbe: No, its all good. I just wanted to make sure that they had enough to work with.

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joshmightbe

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@awesam: The pic I was going to send was actually a screen cap from one of his guest spots on TMNT.

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Delphic

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#16  Edited By batkevin74

This is going to be tough, will check them both out this evening and cast my vote...also I am able to be bribed for wads of cash @delphic and @razzatazz if you're feeling free and easy! :)

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TommytheHitman

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I vote Delphic

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Betatesthighlander1

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I still cannot decide, Razzataz storytelling is impeccable but Delphics details are...woah xD I cannot decide..screw everything! grr

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AweSam

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#20  Edited By AweSam
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@awesam: Why would I do that lol? I just haven't decided XD

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AweSam

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@pyrogram: I don't know, I figured you didn't want to make the other feel bad

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@awesam: Feel bad? You come into a competition expecting to win or lose, not about feeling bad XD

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AweSam

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#25  Edited By Pyrogram

@awesam: These two are anything but that lol

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batkevin74

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I think we need to involve others in this voting: hey @lykopis and @irishlad and @the_poet take a look at these and please cast a vote :)

Anyways; what a conundrum! These are both EXCELLENT. Now my knowledge of Usagi is limited to "he's a rabbit samurai ffrom the TMNT universe" so I'm a little unfamilar. But you have both crafted excellent tales, I really feel for him in both.

But there can be only one...so hard to decide....I am putting my vote for....@razzatazz. It was close but the ending is what got it over the line, a mere centimetre in front of Delphic's

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joshmightbe

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@batkevin74: Actually he's not from the TMNT universe he's just had a few crossovers with them. I think Usagi may even be slightly older than them.

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AweSam

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I figured this was going to be a close one.

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After reading and reading these like 5 times each...I am finally finally finally giving my vote too...Arg...*bites lip* ..damn..hm....@razzatazz! Very very close but she won it in my view, the story-telling was just superb. @delphic...dude, It was literally like, impossible to choose. You both did awe-inspiring stories, well done!!!! You both set the standard VERY high for Fan Fiction. Well Frigin done.

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batkevin74

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#31  Edited By AweSam

@pyrogram: Figuratively. If it was literally impossible, you wouldn't have been able to choose. AweSam away!!!

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#32  Edited By Pyrogram

@awesam: I said...

literally like

Like means - Having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to -

It was not "impossible" It only had the same characteristics so was Uber hard.

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joshmightbe

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@batkevin74: Also its one of the very few inter company comic character crossovers to ever be on a cartoon show, it'd be like if Spiderman showed up in Batman TAS.

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#34  Edited By Pyrogram

@batkevin74: Also its one of the very few inter company comic character crossovers to ever be on a cartoon show, it'd be like if Spiderman showed up in Batman TAS.

0___0

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AweSam

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@pyrogram: I... didn't notice that. You haven't seen the last of me...

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Irishlad

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Gotta go with Razzatazz for this one

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wildvine

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Both incredible, amazing, epic yarns. To be sure. I echo that it was very hard to choose, so I flipped a coin. @razzatazz the fates smile on you today.

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RazzaTazz

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I vote for Delphic

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Delphic

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RazzaTazz has my vote.

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#41  Edited By Pyrogram
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Delphic

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@delphic: Psst. Vote for yourself. Razzatazz won't expect it

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#45  Edited By Delphic
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AweSam

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#46  Edited By AweSam

@delphic: Eh, the votes don't count anyway. When I said "anyone can vote", I obviously meant anyone except the contestants.

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#47  Edited By RazzaTazz

@awesam: That is ok, I thought it would be ok for a contestant to vote for their opponent or to abstain though.

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RedQueen

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Gah, they're both excellent. But if I had to choose, it would be delphic by the smallest of margins. Absolutely awesome story though @razzatazz, the ending .... just fantastic.

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wildvine

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@awesam Dude, post ours already. Didn't bust my button at the last minute for people not to read it.

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#50 BumpyBoo  Moderator

Both were great, but I have to vote Razz :)