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"Athalian Idol" is a non-canon entertainment program created by Driving Park. Taking place in Calandra Studios, Carmen Calandra's private universe, the show brings in Athalia Academy guests much like the Ganonshaw and Noxonshaw and subjects them to various battle scenarios. The universe's principal feature is making everthing extravagant and over-the-top, while still breaching the fourth wall like the other shows. Carmen is both the host and the sovereign ruler of her domain.

Episode One: Otaku Onslaught!

"It's not just surviving that counts...it's surviving in style!"

A melodious voice echoed through the halls of Calandra Studios.

Floating cameras zoomed around, casting cinematic shots of the complex and plastering them back on huge plasma screens as the voice continued.

“Here at Calandra Studios, we pride ourselves in delivering only the finest entertainment for the discerning viewer.”

The screens all changed to a shot of Carmen Calandra sitting in a very elaborate television studio. She was wearing a very ornate floor-length dress, a modestly huge necklace and earrings, and her gigantic sun hat. She had a sparkle in her eyes and looked like she was on top of cloud nine.

This was mainly because Calandra Studios was actually on top of Cloud Nine.

“What I meant to say was,” she said, continuing, “I pride myself in delivering only the finest entertainment for the discerning viewer.” She smiled, and with a flick of the hair continued. “Welcome to my private universe,” she beamed. The screens all showed extraordinarily cinematic views of her private universe, which so far consisted only of a cloud named Nine and a sprawling studio complex on top of it.

In exchange for keeping Link off his back while his castle was repaired, Ganondorf had given Carmen an alternate universe of her own to muck around in, and she had gotten to work fast. Her personal studios provided the ultimate in fashion and cinematic service to the demanding skylark, and she had recently decided to launch a new show (with some assistance from Ganondorf in the whole instantaneously blinking characters into existence thing) and gain even more entertainment from watching others fight.

And today was the day of the pilot episode. On her desk in front of her she had a number of papers, each with an exact transcription of a different character sheet from the Athalia Academy student directory. She made a mental note that alternate universes tended to have a very weak fourth wall.

Looking over the CSs while her cameras focused on providing sweeping panoramic views occasionally graced with J.J. Abrams lens flare, she pondered, soon arriving at a satisfying conclusion to her conundrum of who to cast first. The pieces of paper disintegrated in a decidedly Binary Rifle-like fashion and she turned to face the camera.

“Today marks the inception of a new era in entertainment,” she said. “For today, a new show is born: Athalian Idol!" A fairly ridiculous amount of fireworks shot up from all around the complex, exploding in spectacular fashion while the studio audience cheered and applauded. A formation of jet fighters screamed overhead, a parade occurred, banners were unraveled, and…so on. The pageantry was off the charts, and just that one moment had probably expended more raw energy than the entire eight-episode run of the Ganonshaw.

Carmen continued. “In this show, contestants from the prestigious Athalia Academy will participate in a combat challenge located in a battle arena specifically built for that character. Points will be awarded for their performance and progress through the many waves of enemies, as well as how stylishly they do it. I’m Carmen Calandra, and if there isn’t some element of sophistication and style in a show I run then I have an auto-sequence set to kill me instantly.” The audience applauded. A minor fireworks show occurred. “Fortunately, this will never happen,” she said with a glowing smile.

“For this inaugural episode, we will be using Battle Room 3B. And that can only mean one thing. Ladies, gentlemen, and starships, please welcome…”

RYUUUUUUUUUU…………YAMAUCHIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!

A siesta and hot dog eating competition were held.

The audience cheered and applauded.

The anime girls that had been placed in the audience front and center specifically for this episode screamed in delight.

And Ryuu’s theme played over the loudspeakers.

He blipped into existence.

Except he didn’t, because that would be the lame Ganondorf way to do it. This was Calandra Studios.

He exploded into existence in a brilliant flash of color. Not a Michael Bay explosion…a pretty explosion. Obviously.

He was not assaulted with a jarring view of N64 graphics and the King of Evil.

He was assaulted with adoring fans.

His happy explosion put him right at the front of the main thoroughfare where all of the parades, hot dog eating contests, Woodstock concerts, and people enthusiastically selling $5 pirated DVDs were going on. As soon as they all saw him, they dropped everything to fangirl hardcore. Screaming, yelling and chanting his name, they picked him up and passed him down the crowd like he was at a rock concert. A peculiarly large amount of these celebrators were cute anime girls.

At the other end of the thoroughfare, at the end of an inconveniently large amount of grandiose marble steps, was the entrance to Carmen’s personal chambers. Dropping Ryuu down in a large empty room being faced by Carmen’s TV studio, which was basically a throne room with cameras and a desk, the crowd receded to allow Ryuu to speak with Carmen. Carmen’s office chair/massive throne was turned with its back to Ryuu in typical fashion, leaving her identity a mystery.

The instant moment Ryuu "blipped" into existence, he simply mumbled,

"What the f-ck? OH MY GO-"

Suddenly, Ryuu was blown away by people chanting his name. And so many of them were... girls. Girls. Anime girls. The otaku's lips quivered, his eyes wide in absolute surprise.

"Oh my God."

They chanted his name as he was being carried. So many of them were so happy to see him. Ryuu thought he just saw a girl he remembered getting a really good ending for.

"Oh my God."

It was a parade for him. Filled with anime girls.

Anime girls.

"OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-"

The otaku managed to- actually no, he did not get to calm down when he was placed in Carmen's personal chambers. He had put some tissues over his nose due to a nosebleed he was experiencing. The dark-haired, sunglasses-wearing student, however, felt extremely worried that he would pass out due to how worried the girls looked. So he simply trudged up to the throne, falling on his knees, as he asked,

"Oh, almighty creator of this beautiful place, who on God's green Earth are you?"

Carmen smiled from her office throne. Ryuu had enjoyed his entrance, she surmised. Turning around in her chair to greet him, she smiled and said "Ryuu! How nice of you to join me! I trust that the girls treated you well?" She was very amused by his current state. "And it's really not necessary to grovel, dear. This place has only been tailor-made for you, is all. Nothing major," she said with a delightful chuckle.

Ryuu blinked.

"...Er, I literally can't stand straight," he said honestly, not reading the mood. "I hurt my knees because someone hugged me too hard."

Carmen frowned a bit at his lackluster reaction, but smiled again because of his reason.

"Well, that tends to happen when 20,000 people are all your adoring fans," she said. "Doesn't happen very often, does it?"

Ryuu laughed, nodding a little. He was too happy to look like a gangster right now. Well, not that he was a gangster, but still.

"Anyway... what am I here for?" Ryuu asked, attempting to get back up. He knew that something was up... but even if he died here, he would be too happy because of all the anime girls around. He had just witnessed something beautiful. Period.

Carmen continued to smile. She knew Ryuu would want to get right to the chase. "Well, you're the first ever contestant on my new show, Athalian Idol! I felt like you missed out Ganondorf's little show, so I thought it was a good idea to bring you in first," she said as the little floating cameras danced around Ryuu.

"But...I'm not just going to make you do it like Ganondorf did," she said. "It's an offer, of course! Like anyone civilized would do. And is there anywhere more civilized than here?" she asked, looking out at the throngs of people having a completely civilized riot.

"I built a battle stage for you," she said. "Are you familliar with 'Horde Mode'? Of course you are! It's like that, except with the judging and style points of American Idol. Simple! And, of course, as with any personal universe, the fourth wall is practically nonexistent," she finished, looking at the Roleplayer Guild screen in delight.

"So...what do you say? Do you want to show off to all the adoring anime girls that showed up to watch you lay waste to hundreds of enemies?" she smiled, eager with anticipation while being completely confident in his response.

Ryuu's eyes had widened in surprise as Carmen explained just what he would go through. A horde mode? That sounded like even more of a paradise for him. Hordes of punks and lots of girls cheering for him... of course he would go for it. He played enough Alien Invaders to know how to score points, though Devil May Cry would only help him out a little... sort of.

When Ryuu thought of girls, however, a certain white-haired student he knew of popped up in his mind.

The sunglasses-wearing student blinked.

Wait... if I do well here, maybe that can prove how awesome my plasma power could be. And, uh... I guess I can brag a lil'. To... I dunno.

Anedine cheering for him in the sidelines... he imagined it.

Suddenly, Ryuu went "HNGHHHHHHHHH" as he shot out more blood from his nose, covering it with a red tissue. He did not care on how strong his foes were: he just needed a way to stop thinking about that white-haired girl cheering for him with pom-poms. Now.

"Oh, you're freaking ON!!!" Ryuu said, rather motivated in a really weird way.

Carmen continued to smile some more. She was enjoying this, though she expected not even close to as much as Ryuu was. "Excellent! I knew you would," she said.

She pulled a large lever on her desk.

The floor gave way, splitting right down the middle and dropping Ryuu into the battle room.

The live studio audience, right there next to the battle area, was made entirely of anime girls. Carmen couldn't resist.

The battle stage was a simple box with glass on three sides (the audience side, the reverse side where Carmen watched, and the top), but it would be adding features as the rounds went on.

Ryuu looked down at the ground, which seemed to vanish.

"Oh, that's great."

The otaku yelled his way down the entire path to the battle room, though he did manage to land correctly. Rolling a few times, the sunglasses-wearing student raised an eyebrow. The battlefield seemed simple... and lo behold, there were too many anime girls for him to even comprehend. Ryuu instantly looked away from them, cautiously waving at them. He did not want to blow up before the battle did not even begin...

Carmen had now reached the battle area and was watching happily from her viewing platform. She would call the rounds and send the enemies.

"Let's start simple," she said over the incredibly natural-sounding intercom. "Round One...BEGIN!"

Just then the two walls opened up like garage doors to allow the enemies to enter the field. The first round had only two enemies, who were basic fabric dummies. Easily fried by plasma or a good old-fashioned roundhouse kick to the face, they were only intended as a warm-up. And for that, they were not slow. They were quite fast, and they always moved in an exact mirror of one another.

They crossed onto the battle floor and began quickly circling Ryuu, slowly tightening their arc to eventually reach him with their basic melee bats.

Ryuu blinked. Dummies began to circle him, and they looked fairly easily to destroy. Still, if he were in a Horde mode, then that would mean that preparing his weapons immediately would prevent him from being unprepared.

The otaku took out his lightsaber handle, twirling it in his hands before grabbing it tightly. A red beam of plasma came out of it, glowing vibrantly.

Not enough. I don't know what's gonna come out, anyway.

Ryuu clenched the lightsaber with his two hands, closing his eyes. He needed to focus on breaking the limit he put on himself. It was easy: it just took time. The otaku stood still for a while, letting the dummies get closer with their bats.

His eyes shot open, and the instant moment he did so, the plasma blade turned into a brilliant white. Ryuu swung his blade in a spin attack motion, cutting down the dummies in one attack.

"Good, good," Carmen said. "Let's ratchet up the difficulty a bit." Engaging the protocol for round two, she called out "Round Two - BEGIN!"

The doors opened again, but this time instead of two dummies, there were 50 fast-moving hover drones. Easy to kill, but they were swarming at him, 25 in each direction. They were equipped with a single light gun that just caused a dull pain where they hit. They moved in an unpredictable, random pattern at varying altitudes.

The anime girl audience began clapping for him after his first round victory, and Carmen smiled as the swarm descended.

Ryuu raised an eyebrow at the next wave of enemies. They were... surprisingly similar to the first dummies. The only difference being that they had guns instead of bats.

The otaku rolled his eyes, having had plenty of experience with his sister shooting at his face every time he did not wake up to go to school. Still, he hated pain.

The sunglasses-wearing student ran toward one of the group of twenty-five, his blade ready in hand. The otaku cut down some of the more predictable bullets before dodging the rest, hopeful in just ending the group of gunners in a few strikes. Maybe in one, even.

The dark-haired student leapt over toward the group of twenty-five before wildly swing down his blade to cleanly slice one of the gunners down, the plasma leaving an extremely hot singe mark on the floor. He then swung his sword horizontally, cutting three before proceeding to cut even more. It took Ryuu three heavy strikes to destroy the group of twenty-five.

Ryuu quickly headed over to the other twenty-five, letting his plasma blade leave a permanent scratch on the floor. It was part of his strategy- he would need to use it later. After charging toward the group of twenty-five, he emerged victorious, being hit once in his ribs. It felt... like someone tried to bruise him.

"What a well-executed round," Carmen said, more to the cameras than to Ryuu. "And it was also very stylish. Except for that one hit, it was a flawless round. Seems like you need something more challenging," she said, pondering. "Ah!" she said, with a mischievous grin. "Round Three - BEGIN!"

Three platforms rose out of the floor, with the middle one higher than the outer two. Only one door opened this time, and all that could be seen was the shadow of a figure, whose identity was hidden. That is, until it give a taunt.

"Show me yo' moves!"

Captain Falcon leapt out onto the battle arena, straight from Super Smash Bros. N64. Immediately leaping onto one of the lower platforms, he jumped and down-B'ed into a Falcon Kick heading straight for Ryuu.

"Man, I'm ready for-"

Ryuu simply stared at the man who just came out of the platforms.

When a Falcon Kick approached to cave itself into his face, Ryuu screamed like a little girl before dodging sideways, rolling before facing Captain Falcon.

"Captain F--king FALCON?!" Ryuu whispered as if the show were crazy. "What the hell?! Does that mean my plasma is supposed to CUT people down?!"

Ryuu looked at Carmen for an explanation, still giving Captain Falcon the cautious evil eye. He needed evil eyes.

Carmen stood on her viewing platform...with an N64 controller in her hands.

"I don't know Ryuu, you tell me," Carmen responded cheekily. "Just watch his damage meter on the wall," she said, pressing a button to open both the doors to allow out of bounds kills.

"Surely you've played this game before, right?" she asked. "Now you get to LIVE it! FIGHT!"

...

"Show me yo'-sho-show me yo'-show me yo' moves!"

And with that, Captain Falcon lunged at Ryuu, using some direction+A melee attacks.

"Grr," the otaku growled. If he had one thing he really hated, it was when people made it sound like he needed to kill "things," not things that looked like people. White plasma was something he had used before, but he did not enjoy cutting people down with it.

Needless to say, he was pretty pissed.

The otaku did a backflip, avoiding one of Captain Falcon's basic attacks before dragging his body away from a punch. After dodging several attacks, Ryuu swung his white lightsaber toward the captain, hoping that the captain would not be sliced and diced or something.

The Captain wasn't sliced or diced or something, he was merely hit around a bunch and his damage meter went up. Damage: 36%.

He attempted to immediately come back while he was right next to Ryuu with a Z grab.

Ryuu sighed in relief, only to find that the captain immediately returned. The otaku felt like running, but then he thought of something.

Just take a step back...

The otaku literally took one step back, standing on one of the seared cracks.

Alright. Grab me!

The Captain happily obliged, grabbing the otaku and tossing in the opposite direction (dat directional switch tho), kicking him in the process. As soon as he finished, he ran after Ryuu, winding up a Falcon Punch to where he predicted Ryuu would end up.

Ryuu looked back at where he would eventually land. The Captain did not throw him forward like he expected, but he still had one last resort. His eyes crackled with white plasma energy as he gathered strength toward one arm.

With Captain Falcon gathering strength for a Falcon Punch, Ryuu threw his white plasma blade straight toward the captain.

The Falcon Punch was successfully interrupted, with Ryuu's plasma blade hitting Falcon square in the center. His damage was now high, and a well-placed hit would send him into the bound kill zone. Attempting to come back, Falcon started with a Falcon Kick across the ground at Ryuu.

Ryuu landed, skidding to a halt. Now was his chance.

The otaku ran towards his plasma blade, which had been flung into the air like an N64 Beam Sword. Catching it, the sunglasses-wearing student gathered his strength once more. To break the kick, he would need to gather his strength once more. Yet again, his eyes reeked of plasma energy, letting plasma seep into his blade.

When the Falcon Kick came, Ryuu wildly swung his blade upward vertically as strong as he could.

Ryuu accidentally on purpose timed his blade perfectly with the incoming Falcon Kick. Falcon briefly paused mid-air before being launched very quickly out the door and into the respawn aether with a satisfying K.O. sound.

Carmen put down her N64 controller and picked up an XBox 360 controller. "Alright. That was impressive. Though, I've never been good at playing Captain Falcon, so...that's my excuse," Carmen explained. "Round Four will be the the most 'horde' like of this 'horde mode'. Are you ready, Master Chief? Round Four, BEGIN!"

The arena changed again, putting up helpful Jersey barriers, sandbags and other cover locations. The door closest to Ryuu opened and a Covenant dropship's worth of Elites, Grunts and Brutes came barreling down the hallway, guns blazing.

Ryuu literally wanted to complain on how all of this would tire him out before the main battle. Still, he knew he had to follow the rules. And there were anime girls just sorta cheering for him out there. Nonono- remembering them would get himself pwned. He need to focus on the battle.

The otaku took a deep breath, clenching his plasma blade.

When a door behind him opened, Ryuu roared, swinging his blade horizontally at the enemies. Now, the last thing that should come into mind was getting close to the sunglasses-wearing bladesman, especially when one mainly had ranged weapons. The otaku manaed to take out several Elites at once, though he rolled over when a Brute shot some sort of sharp-looking grenade launcher at him. Ryuu slid over behind a sandbag.

Why were these things so sturdy, anyway? The dark-haired fighter decided not to care about it. He clenched his weapon, waiting for the enemies to advance toward him. Some of the explosions were starting to hurt his head.

Right after most of the enemies began reloading, the dark-haired student leapt over the sandbag, bringing down his sword on the Brute with the grenade launcher. He then cut down another Brute before punting away a Grunt like a soccer ball. It actually felt... fun. It felt as if he were fighting the punks he met at middle school.

Ryuu felt a plasma bullet sear through his arm. The otaku turned to the Grunt that just fired a Plasma Pistol.

"Aren't you forgetting something? Ryuu asked with an evil grin, his eyes flashing green for a split second.

"I'm MADE of PLASMA!!!!!!!"

The dark-haired otaku smashed his blade on the grunt, dicing it effortlessly and leaving an extremely large sear mark on the floor. He seemed quite accustomed to the Hordes. Just a little. Aliens made it better.

Carmen applauded Ryuu's performance. "Definitely both style and substance in that performance," she stated. "Well Ryuu, because pacing is not my forte and I can't be bothered to invent another five rounds when you are clearly dominating all of them, we are moving to the final round (does not include bonus rounds)," she said. The anime girls in the audience squealed with joy at Ryuu's stellar showing at Calandra Studios. They were all in love with him.

"So...for this final round you are only going to have one opponent. But it will target your biggest weakness," Carmen said with a sly grin. "Round Five - BEGIN!!!"

The same door opened again, and again walked a figure. It looked smaller and slimmer than the ones before, and when it entered the battle floor the reason was clear.

It was a girl.

But not just any girl.

An anime girl.

In fact, it was an anime samurai girl, who was a master of her craft. Carmen smiled almost evilly at the scene. This round...would not be easy.

Ryuu dropped his weapon.

"Wait," he said, pinching the bridge of his nose, motioning for the girl to stand still for a second. He stood quietly for a while.

All of a sudden, Ryuu slammed his head repeatedly on the ground as he screamed,

"DAMN YOU CARMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW DARE YOU PLAY WITH MY FEELS AT SUCH A WRONG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The otaku rubbed his face against his hands, simply wondering what he should do.

First things first, he grabbed his weapon. But how? How was he supposed to strike such a pretty thing? More than the fact that he was fighting an anime girl, the idea that he was fighting a girl baffled him. Women were one of his biggest weaknesses. What could he even do to win?

Should he give up?

...

...

...

No, Ryuu said, clenching his teeth. I shouldn't disappoint.

A thought of a white-haired girl passed by his head. As much as she motivated him, he could not bring himself to attack the samurai girl.

Carmen simply shrugged at his outburst. "You accepted the terms," she said. "It can't be helped. Besides, it's quite all right, you know. She's not real, after all."

As the otaku was clearly struggling with the situation he faced, Carmen offered some help. "If you would like, Ryuu, I can offer you an...alternate final opponent."

Ryuu raised an eyebrow at her offer.

"And who might this alternate opponent be?"

"No hints!" Carmen responded cheekily. "You have to choose the alternate, and then fight whatever it is. I can assure you it will not be another anime girl."

Ryuu grit his teeth, raising his blade up as he pointed it at Carmen. The clenched teeth slowly turned into a grin, as the otaku dangerously asked with a seething voice,

"How about I fight you?"

Carmen simply smiled, and the window she was looking through immediately turned black. Barely seconds later, the entire battle arena changed size and shape, now a large, circular colliseum. The audience was even larger and even more anime-filled, and were louder than ever. But they suddenly became silent. Ryuu was in the middle of the colliseum, and Carmen was standing behind him, a good distance away.

"I was the alternate," she said simply, holding her trumpet in one hand.

Ryuu felt satisfied to hear that he would be facing her, anyway. He, however, knew she was a ranged fighter. She did have an advantage when it came to attacking from a distance, and she had even better abilities than he did. The otaku did, however, have a trump card of his own. Never did he try to use it before, but honestly, losing his consciousness for an ability did not sound safe at all.

The otaku turned to face Carmen, spiking his white plasma blade down into the ground. He said with an air of confidence,

"I can't go down without a fight. A good fight, that is."

Carmen smiled her same smile she always smiled when it wasn't really an appropriate situation for such a smile.

"Oh, Ryuu. Even you are unaware of what you can do here. But, for the benefit of the doubt, I will enlighten you."

"In this colliseum, your powers are overdriven to their full potential, as my universe's algorithms predict. You will be far more powerful than you're used to, so you certainly have a chance."

"And, whoever dies here just gets sent back immediately to the real world. No harm, no foul. It's the most beautiful part of this whole place I call home."

"All that being said," she began.

"I'm overdriven too."

With that, she planted her trumpet on the ground and deployed a Thumper, sending a ripple through the ground of the whole colliseum.

The audience remained silent.

Jumping completely over her trumpet and taking it with her once she landed back on the ground, she began to run towards Ryuu.

She was a ranged attacker, but in this state, her melee prowess was formidable.

Ryuu laughed, his teeth gritting tightly against each other. He continued to laugh when she explained that he had far more power than usual.

"I was already in a condition where I could beat so many things here without any buffs," he said absent-mindedly. "Yet, here I was, thinking that I had just grown a little stronger."

Ryuu's eyes shot out white plasma from his eyes, fusing with the plasma seeping out of his tightly clenched teeth. He gathered as large amount of plasma, gathering them on his free arm.

"If you think you're so damn 'overdriven'..."

The otaku- no, the dark-haired student smashed the ground, causing a violent pulse of plasma to horizontally fly in all directions, ending the ground ripple as he growled,

"Get ready to see my Paradise Dreamwork."

Ryuu twirled his blade around as he stood up again, waiting for Carmen to hit him. Or at least, attempt to do so at close-range.

Carmen ran at the otaku, swinging her trumpet faster and faster. The fact that he stopped her thumper made her a little annoyed. But above all, this was fun. And fun was when she was the deadliest.

By the time she closed in on Ryuu, her trumpet was spinning around her hand approaching the speed of sound. As she reached Ryuu, she leaped into the air, a huge vault that covered a great height and distance. The world went into slow motion as her viciously spinning trumpet caused a massive sonic boom as it cracked the speed of sound. As she completely leaped over the otaku, she sent the supersonic hammer in every possible direction. She didn't plan on causing any significant damage, but she sure wasn't going to be damaged.

Ryuu widened one of his eyes, as if he was extremely pissed off at the annoying sound coming from the sonic boom.

"That trumpet's getting on my nerves."

The otaku smashed his hands together, creating a massive amount of plasma to collide against the power of sound. Sound prevailed over the plasma, but with the price of being severely weakened. Ryuu stood, slightly damaged by the move Carmen had just used. She was bound to have some sort of annoying movement ability that would prevent him from attacking her head-on.

Ryuu smashed his blade into the ground, clenching it without pulling it out. He focused on gathering all of his plasma for this particular ability. The dark-haired student closed his eyes.

I gotta find the exit.

I gotta find the exit.

I gotta find the exit.

I gotta find the exit.

I have to find the exit.

I see it.

Ryuu opened his eyes, his entire body glowing a deadly red, as he whispered,

"Paradise Dreamwork."

A red light enveloped the otaku, shining brightly like a red star. It shone to the point where everyone would see the color red for five entire seconds, energy pulsing through out the ground slowly... and steadily. The light soon died away, returning the arena back to its normal color.

Where Ryuu once stood lay a suit of armor standing still. Dead red. It had the color of blood red hearts. It covered every single part of Ryuu's body, and its design looked dangerously similar to that of a dragon hunter. Blood-red horns protruded out of the helmet, and a solid blade of pure plasma lay within the armor's hand. It was not as petty as the lightsaber was: it was three times larger, and it genuinely glowed red because of its solid form.

The suit of brilliantly red armor looked at Carmen without moving an inch. Then, it slowly raised its weapon. The armor motioned for Carmen as if it were saying "come at me, bro."

Carmen stood there and watched as Ryuu activated a special ability of some sort. When the suit of armor appeared, she yelled out to Ryuu, "Hey no fair...I don't have anything cool like that," entirely in jest.

Basically she now had to fight both Ryuu and his demonic armor. Cheap shot, she thought, kidding herself as much as possible. When the armor motioned for her to come at it (bro), she obliged profusely...by standing still.

"Armor, huh?" she yelled at Ryuu. "Armor is heavy. Do you know what brings down heavy objects, Ryuu?" she asked. She was not about to find out just how powerful this imposing suit of armor was if she could help it.

So she Sonic Quaked. Planting her trumpet on the ground again, she played into it long and loudly, using the correct vibrations (she knew them for this world) initiated an earthquake...and not just a tremor. The colliseum began to collapse and the audience fled. The ground was shifting, shaving and upheaving. She looked back at the armor, and Ryuu, wiggling her eyebrows twice.

The suit of armor stood still as the ground bellowed and roared. And soon... the ground was shifting. It was changing.

The armor chuckled before it snickered. It sounded surprisingly similar to Apophis.

"Who the hell said plasma is heavy?"

The suit of armor charged towards Carmen, its speed twice as faster than Ryuu's fastest running speed. The armor leapt over and skidded across the ground, letting its sword leave a giant scar crackling with light-red energy across his path. Ryuu laughed, intensely excited, as he stopped mid-way during his charge toward Carmen.

"Burn to cinders, everyone!" Ryuu yelled carefreely, energy gathering at his free hand, pointing it directly toward Carmen.

The armored bladesman fired a massive beam of white plasma, which proceeded to decimate the wall behind Carmen. Whether she dodged the basic attack was up to her.

Carmen dodged the "basic" attack. If that's the armor's "basic" attack, I don't want to know what advanced ones are, she thought. She yelled back at Ryuu in the midst of all the yelling. "Hey, when do I get to look cool?" She realized full well that she was not using an overdrive against somebody who was, but...couldn't she get something? "I'm glad I haven't tried any of my Inception Buttons or anything," she thought. She was pretty annoyed by the earthquake not doing anything.

After the armor fired its beam, Carmen decided to get a score on the board. Charging up in scarcely three seconds each time, she launched a volley of three powerful Inception Kicks directly at the suit of armor. Hopefully that at least knocks it back, she thought as she strafe-ran around it.

The armor laughed when three powerful sound attacks headed straight towards it.

"How about you bring out your ultimate power already?" It asked, simply creating a wall of plasma instead of a beam. "You can't run forever: I can chase forever."

The kicks reflected off of the walls, causing more of the sidelines to crash down. Turning its helmet toward Carmen, it seethed,

"Let's end this game of cat-and-mouse."

The suit of armor dashed towards Carmen, violently swinging three times at her direction. Each strike left behind traces of the air being affected by the abnormal amount of plasma from the blade. The armor did not laugh, but it certainly looked like it was enjoying itself too much.

Carmen avoided the first two strikes just fine, but was grazed by the third. Even a graze such as that sent her flying across the destroyed colliseum with a nice plasma burn running all the way down her back.

She landed close to the collapsed wall, in severe pain from both the strike and the impact with the ground. She lay motionless for a little, then struggled to get up. She'd just be finished if she stayed still too long. She stood up slowly, almost falling as she did so. Standing in the middle of the smoldering wreckage of the colliseum, she addressed the suit of armor, and in turn, Ryuu.

"You can beat my simple horde mode. You can destroy my colliseum. You can taunt me, and you can even hurt me. You just did that one, congratulations."

"However."

Her eyes shone with the wrath of a thousand suns.

"You cut my dress."

"That," she said, while pulling up her trumpet, "will not be tolerated."

An eye for an eye. An overdrive for an overdrive. Truthfully, she was hoping at best for a stalemate.

The armor had seemed to forget (or maybe it just didn't care) that she was also extremely powerful currently.

And so, she pressed the Inception Button.

Sending out a ferocious wave of low, dense sound that shook the already shaken ground, that collapsed whatever wasn't already collapsed and was a sufficiently high decibel to shatter normal eardrums, the Inception Button activated, pointed and focused on the suit of armor. It coarsed through the air it traveled in, causing the air to char from the magnitude of the sound.

And most of all...it kept coming.

Carmen stood, playing her most monstrous noise, with eyes of fury, but a mind of concern. How long can I hold this? Will it do anything? Will I die if it doesn't? were all the thoughts she had in her head. But her extraordinarily powerful state allowed her to keep playing the note.

The armor felt an incredulous surge of energy pass by it. It laughed, simply walking toward-

Something snapped.

It stood still, as if it had been frozen throughout time. The sound continuously played and played... Pain. It should feel pain from the power, yet why did it not feel it?

Then, Ryuu, who was inside of the suit of armor, felt pain. That caused the armor to smash its blade on the ground to keep balance.

".............."

The suit of armor looked at its free hand, watching itself peel away from Ryuu. A fleshy hand was what lied inside the cold shell.

"...My host," the armor said as if it were pondering. "He is too weak to handle such a noisy ability......"

It then looked at Carmen, who was playing the trumpet, as it stated,

"Today, you win well. Fair and square. But once my host grows stronger- yes, anyone can get stronger- I will see to it that I stand tall."

The suit of armor slowly merged into Ryuu, growling,

"I will be waiting..."

The entire suit of armor vanished once the Inception Button's effects had ended. Ryuu staggered for a bit, kneeling on one knee.

"Who-Whoa," he muttered, "The f--k happened in the arena?"

The otaku did not seem to remember some parts of the battle. He, however, was far too tired to get up. He simply sat still, wondering if some freak accident happened and he just happened to get pwned by it again.

Carmen stood as the armor vanished. She stood with her trumpet down as Ryuu apparently came to. She breathlessly responded, "Paradise...something," and fell down from complete exhaustion.

"Want to call it...a draw?" To her, two combatants sprawled out on a decimated arena both too exhausted to even move was nothing if not a draw.

Ryuu sighed, exhausted. He crawled over to Carmen, which took him a while. The otaku himself was way too tired to even think about anime. A draw sounded like a nice idea.

He wondered how he was even alive right at the moment. The dark-haired student jokingly booped Carmen's head with a finger, simply saying "I win," as carelessly as possible. He then collapsed, simply staring at the ceiling.

Carmen reached out her arm and attempted to boop Ryuu back, but completely missed and just hit the ground again. She managed to let out a small chuckle. "...that was fun," she admitted oddly.

Ryuu nodded, too tired to even think about choosing a topic to talk about. "Ye," he said, out of breath, "that felt pretty good."

The otaku tilted his head toward her, at least attempting to let her 'boop' back. He seriously needed to know if he was actually alive or not. At least, for now, that is.

Carmen attempted once more to boop Ryuu back, but just the effort of moving signed her final breath, and she blissfully returned to the real world in an instant.

The otaku huffed one last breath. He sure did have a good time. Especially the anime girls.

....Now that he thought about it...

...this must have been the first time he actually had fun facing off with a woman.

Ryuu returned to the real world as well. A good dream, it was.

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