[Heavy Weights] For the fourth time, Helix Crust set foot on the main stage of the Heaven and Hell tournament arena. The first had been as an accidentally passerby, brought as a mistake and entered by chance. The second had been as a joking battler, enjoying the thrill and beauty of combat but entirely unconcerned with the outcome. The third had been as a determined fighter, unsure of his skill but feeling a deep admiration for the art of combat laid by his warrior clan kin, and a backed by his resolve to meet and speak to the legendary King Kai about the state of his planet.
And now, Helix set foot in the arena once more. What was he doing here? He had just critically poisoned an innocent happy go lucky warrior, he had spoken to King Kai, albeit briefly, and resolved his one true reason for being here. So why was Helix still buzzing with anticipation?
Up until now, Helix had blamed his joy in the battles on appreciation of his warrior clansmen comrades, and a respect for their caste work. Throughout each fight he had moments of uncertainty, where he pushed back this feeling… Of growth. That was it, he rationalized. It wasn't the combat that Helix liked, it was learning and growing and clashing wits with others of the same caliber.
That was Helix's reason to stay afloat in this tournament, and that was the motive he attempted to carry out. In this battle, Helix told himself, he would grow.
And so, Helix's brown namekian boots softly carried him forewords, one leg landing on the stage and hoisting him up over the edge. In each battle he participated in, his age began to show more physically, and yet less emotionally. Competition, growth, and socialization was bringing out a childlike joy in him that he hadn't remembered since his days as a young preacher on namek, gathering disciples.
Helix heard the booming voice of King Kai announce his name and title, and vowed that by the end of this tournament, the words coming from the Kai's mouth would be "Prophet" instead of "Doppleganger."
If Helix was going to viably counteract Xylo's visceral ideology on namek, he had to demonstrate himself as independent of his brother in this moment. This was his first step. In fact, Helix's pupils scanned the crowd at that very instant, searching for Xylo's hardened eyes or dark green fin.
In a spur of the moment decision, Helix reached out for kinship with his brother. Projecting his mental presence out into the audience, his telepathic call would only be heard by his brother, if he was present or willing to answer. "Brother, are you here? Do you know anything about my opponent? It would serve you well to give me forewarning. I'm sure you'd show me no mercy in the finals."
The call to Lord Xylo was likely more about Helix's own emotions taking hold of him than an actual desire to gain an advantage in the tournament. The prophet just wasn't himself lately... Seeking companionship with his brother, enjoying the battles of the tournament... But now wasn't the time to analyze himself!
Now was the the time to focus. Breath in... Breath out… And grow.
Walking from the outside of the stage, Zerori’s arms would be crossed tersely as she strode along the walkway provided to the arena and did she have a sour look on her face. She had received some intel that the opponent she was going to face had used some ‘questionable’ methods to their victory. Not she she’d been opposed to less-than-savory methods to overcoming her opponent, but it was the fact that she had to face them and somehow out ‘dirty’ their fighting style.
However upon stepping into the ring and catching the first glimpse of them, her mouth would drop in a pout of surprise at the visage of a very, very small Namekian. This is my opponent? No wonder they used such an under-handed tactic. Shaking her head with a grin, she closed the distance been herself and the green bean looking down on him with a raised eyebrow. “Look, pardon my rudeness, but I don’t have all day. I fought one of you and lost so if you don’t mind,” Uncurling an arm from the fold at her chest, she presented a clenched fist towards him and ignited it by sheer magical ability.
Helix looked around absentmindedly for his opponent he decided to feel through the souls of the crowd and surrounding audience. There didn't seem to be anyone of significant interest upon first sweep, including his brother. Done getting himself in the zone, Helix was about to further let his senses meander about the audience when he was physically startled by an appearance of a presence.
The namekian's soul sense picked up on the emergence before his eyes, and his head whipped around to face the fresh encounter. Before his eyes could focus on what was going on, he had to address the issue of the figure's blinding magical presence. He hadn't felt a force like that since the day of the summoning of Shenron.
Standing across the arena from him was a tan human with a slight air of petulance around her steps. But Helix was far too busy admiring her incredible magical strength to react to her seeming indifference. Upon closer inspection, it appeared that the woman had some sort of sinister presence about her, almost a demonic aura. Could she be a native of Hell?
The woman seemed to be underwhelmed by something, but Helix simply had to introduce himself. He was just thinking about opportunities to grow, and this was the perfect setup. Her words seemed to imply she was a bit disgruntled about something, but no amount of grouchiness would prevent Helix from conferring with a magical entity of this caliber.
Disappearing in a whir of wind, Helix would teleport right in front of the half demon, with his hand outstretched and a marveling grin spread goofily across his face. The namekian presented himself, standing up to his full relatively large hight as he attempted to shake the fellow mystic's hand. "You probably fought my brother earlier, Xylo," chimed the dragon caste, chuckling slightly, "I think you'll find he and I have very little in common. My name is Helix Crust." The prophet almost started gushing about her incredible magical energy right then and there, but he decided to at least wait until introductions were done before he began making a fool of himself.
Trying to remember whether or not there was supposed to be a bell or if she was meant to wait for a sign before starting to the fight, Zerori found herself flinching back shamefully when in a fracture of a second the Namekian was right in front of her. Her fist was clenched and held ready, almost already en route towards his face when she paused at seeing his raised hand. From the grin on his face… it didn’t seem like he was at all starting the match with a violent action. Y’know, like they were supposed to.
“U-UH…?” And from this distance, which was hardly any at all, he was much taller than she’d given him credit for. She blinked in surprise at the next tidbit of information afforded to her and hesitated before opening her fist to accept his handshake. “Xylo’s brother, huh?” She questioned with a healthy dose of suspicion. “Nice to… meet you then, Helix.” By the gods this turned around rather quickly; she wondered if that feeling in her neck was whiplash she was tilting it to the side so confused.
The air cleared ever so slightly, Zerori felt as if she was seeing some features she’d missed in her irritation and appraised him again before the question popped out, “You use magic similar to mine, but… you’re not a demon?” Okay, so that sounded less like a question and more like a statement but she imagined the pike in her voice would frame it the way she wanted. Nonetheless, she added, “My name is Zerori, though already know that.” Hand still in his, she shook it once firmly before letting go. “Are we going to fight or would you rather talk?”
She aaaaaalmost hoped he’s choose the latter – it would piss off the audience and entertain her all at the same time.
Helix couldn't help but chuckle at the sorceress' surprised reaction to Helix teleportation. From this close, it was painfully obvious: she was caught off guard by Helix's goofy demeanor, and was clearly expecting to be fighting someone much different.
Taken aback, Helix scratched the back of his head with a laugh as she blinked in surprise, now realizing how awkward he had been in his introduction. As she gaped for a moment, for a split second Helix felt rather silly for extending his hand… Before she clasped it back and greeted him.
The namekian couldn't help but find Zerori's confusion funny; If she had only met Xylo before as a namekian, she would certainly have a rather skewed view of his people. He had to set out to make an impression in the opposite direction. As much as namekians are capable of great evil, they are doubly more so capable of exceeding good.
"Yes, Xylo and I are…" Helix paused, pursed his lips with his hands on his hips and then laughed, "Well, we get along well enough. Though we certainly have our differences…" he paused as she greeted him, and then bubbled out, "The pleasure is all mine!" Meanwhile, Helix was trying with every ounce of his being to contain the questions bubbling up inside of him about the dark skinned human's magic. Luckily, she would soon give him just the perfect segway.
Helix gave a firm and final shake with his aging bones as the sorceress shook his hand, and he tried to hide the sweat on his palm from being face to face with such a powerful mystic. When she introduced himself, he cocked his head to the side slightly and put his chin in his hand. That… Didn't quite sound like a human name...
But suddenly, she blurted out a question that surprised the prophet… She asked about Helix's own magic! The prophet immediately blushed and looked away with a goofy smile. He was the one who should be asking her! His abilities were nothing compared to hers.
"W-Well," Helix began with a bashful laugh, "I'm a mystic of the dragon clan on planet Namek! We learn some basic applications of magical energy when we are young, but I have also studied long and hard in the grand elder's library…" He trailed off for a moment. "There's a lot of really good stuff in there, stuff like demon magic, which I haven't really read much about, and more expansive forms of elementalism, soul bending…" Suddenly, Helix's eyes widened as he cocked his head to the side.
Helix paused for a moment and then backtracked. "But It should be me asking you about your magic… You've got so much aura it almost knocked me off my feet just standing across the arena!" He didn't mean to flatter her, he was honestly just telling the truth.
The prophet sidetracked one more. "Did you say… You use demon magic?" Helix paused for a moment, raising his brow. "You don't look like much of a demon to me!" He blurted, being rather frank for an aged old mystic. When Zerori continued with her next question, asking if Helix would just prefer to talk, he couldn't tell if she was being serious or jesting at his eagerness to learn. "W-Well, if you don't mind," Helix said with a gentle smile, sitting down cross legged, "I would love to discuss these matters further!"
If Zerori accepted and sat down across from Helix, he would gather white light in the palms of his hands and sweep his left over the area of stone tiling between them, forming a small table of old namekian wood. Rolling a ball of light in his right hand, he would engorge it and then shape it into that of a teapot, quickly producing two perfectly cylindrical cups to accompany it, and ask her politely "C-Could I interest you in a cup of tea?"
Chatting happily, Helix picked up the teapot and began pouring out two cups. With a short grin, Helix would first wait for his partner to take a sip. "It's really quite good! An old namekian brew used by elders for warding off evil creatures, although I find it much to be a much more useful as a relaxing agent!"
The prophet smiled tenderly and sipped his own cup. "To good health!"
Ironically, within a seconds, Helix realized that Zerori's chatting had slowed to a halt. "Is there something wrong?" The prophet pondered, brows furrowing. He noticed a queer expression in Zerori's face, and leaned forwards over the table. "Z-Zerori?"
Moments later, the demoness collapsed to the ground. "S-Something is wrong!" Helix called out to the audience, causing a stirring in the crowd that had already been disappointed with the events of the tournament round thus far. Helix's eyes widened, suddenly realizing that his symbolic tea for safety against mazoku could have very real effects on her if she was actually a demon. Helix had thought she was joking!
"P-Please, I need a—" The prophet stood up, and looked left and right frantically for the referee. Lifting up the foamy mouthed unconscious demon in his arms, the elderly but well built prophet quickly paced over to the edge of the ring, speaking in frantic low tones to the referee. "W-What should we do? Do you know how to remove it from her body? I-I'm sure it won't be too bad, after all, she is already dead…"
Pinching the bridge of his nose with one hand behind his back, the short blue glasses wearing ogre looked up at Helix with frustration. "Didn't you pull this last time too? With Kazer Winter?" The ogre clearly was not in the mood for Helix's shenanigans, and like the rest of the stadium, just wanted this 'fight' over with. "Listen, this is more action than your little tea party over there, and who am I to stop it? King Yemma is probably asleep in his seat watching this bologna on his television!"
"O-oh Porunga—" Helix shifted his feat uneasily before pacing back to the center of the arena and setting Zerori down gently. The prophet looked around at the faces of the stadium, each expression portraying a different desire for the outcome of the situation, a vast majority of them just bored.
"One— Two—" The referee began counting, "Three." At that, the crowd launched into brief, half hearted applause and began talking amongst themselves again as if nothing had happened.
This wasn't what Helix meant by grow! He found the most powerful magic user he had ever met and managed to poison her within the first five minutes! What on Namek was he doing? And now he was going to advance to the next round of the tournament with having robbed her of her true position, and would soon face against even more impossible foes.