This weeks Character vs. Character features fighters from the same camp, Arc System Works. Will Sol Badguy actually have to put some effort into this fight, or will Ragna be just another pushover? This a battle to be the posterboy of Arc System Works.
Sol Badguy – The aloof protagonist of the Guilty Gear series, Sol is a bouty hunter and former member of a group known as the Sacred Order of Holy Knights. Sol is quite the contender when it comes to a fight, boasting some actual battle prowess and genius, though he hardly goes all-out unless necessary. For reasons unknown, he has a personal vendentta with Guilty Gear’s anonymous antagonist, That Man. Sol also has an affinity for rock music, his favorite band being Queen.
Ragna the Bloodedge – The protagonist from Guilty Gear’s spiritual successor, BlazBlue, Ragna is a rebel who attempted to destroy the Library with his version of Armagus, Azure Grimoire. For this action, Ragna was reciprocated with the highest bounty any one felon can recieve. Not only is Ragna constantly pursued for his bounty, but he is also trailed for his Armagus, so it’s safe to say he’s survived many of tough battles.
Fuuenken: Sol Badguy’s trusty blade, it is also known as the Fireseal. It’s an oddly shaped sword, taking the shape of a rectangle and does exactly what it’s name implies, create and amplify Sols fire-based attacks. This weapon was crafted by Sol himself specifically to destroy Gears, so no doubt he knows how to use the Fireseal to it’s greatest capabilities.
Sol’s Headband: Not so much a weapon as it is a concealer of his full latent power. If released, it would bring out his full Gear nature possibly making Sol a loose cannon. If the fight gets serious enough, this simple power-up may be his only chance.
Ragna the Bloodedge:
Azure Grimoire: Ragna’s much sought after magic, it is a powerful variation of Armagus, a power that defeated the “Black Beast”. Based on these two facts, Ragna’s Azure Grimoire is a force to be reckoned with. This magic is some form of darkness magic, and he can use the Azure Grimoire to activate a powerful boost of energy known as Blood Kain, which allows him to power up at the expense of his own vitality.
Blood-Scythe: Don’t let the name fool you. Ragna’s weapon is not only a scythe, but a sword in which is capable of draining his opponents energy if he strikes you with it. It works well with his Azure Grimoire, so it is definitely a versatile weapon for our good pal, Ragna.
Sol Badguy walked so casually along the dirt path, headphones sounding off to his favorite rockband, Queen, in pursuit of what he’d hope would be his greatest investment. He was after the bounty of the most wanted man in history, Ragna the Bloodedge. Humming the sweet tunes of his favorite band, it wouldn’t be long before he caught up to his goal.
The venue in which he found himself trailing the so-called felon was a lush, green forest supposedly in the middle of nowhere. I suppose this didn’t worry our friend Sol, however, as he was still rocking to Queen, his hands relaxed in his pocket, this time listening to “We Will Rock You.” Yep. Our favorite little lone bounty hunter was in his own little world, but something was beginning to appear on the horizon.
“H’m,” Sol interjecting his humming and peering into the distance.
The vast forest was slightly dark, but the image was still clear even in the setting sun. Ragna the Bloodedge. His prize was right before his eyes.
“Hmph. Looks like that’s my target,” Sol stated solemnly dismissing himself of the headphones in his ears. “Alright. Let’s get this over with.”
With vigor in his step, Sol hurried forward intent on collecting the huge bounty set before him.
Ragna walked the path, his hands fastened on his blade and aware of the impending danger coming his way.
“Tch,” Ragna tisked, contorting his expression as he did so. “Another bastard after my bounty. Or perhaps the power I hold.”
As he spoke this statement he lifted his right arm to see the power he possessed. I suppose it was all a blessing and a curse for him. Of course, it granted him power, but at what cost? Though he traveled without fear of his capture or his own demise, it was rough on him facing these battles day in and day out. Such is the life he lived when he’d obtained such a huge bounty and coveted power on his hands.
Ragna didn’t have long to reflect on this, however. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Sol was dashing at him with incredible force.
“GRAND VIPER!!!” Sols battle cry echoed throughout the forest as he rushed toward Ragna.
Ragna swiftly turned around to successfully guard the oncoming attack. There was such a great clash of steel as the swords collided, sending out large flux of power. The two foes stood there, their swords still tightly clinched to one another as if to make the other back down.
“Hmph. Knew this wouldn’t be easy,” annoyance casted over Sol’s voice. “Just give up and make this easy on yourself.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?” Ragna annoyed himself at the demand Sol just spurted out. “I’m not backing down to another shitty bounty hunter like you. Scram, before I kill you.”
“Last chance,” Sol proclaimed.
Angered by yet another one of Sol’s cheeky remarks, Ragna makes the next move.
“Raagh! Shut the hell up!” Ragna ferociously demanded, throwing out one of his signature attacks, Hell’s Fang.
A dark energy gathered on Ragna’s right fist, and immediately afterward, he thrusted his fist forward.
Sol, calm and composed, readily dodged the attack with a leap back. However, Sol wasn’t prepared for the follow-up attack that was soon to explode from Ragna. Faster than Sol knew, Ragna’s left, which contained the same dark energy as his right, connected with Sol’s chin.
Flying backward from the impact, Sol made sure to break his fall. He stood erect as if the blow didn’t faze him. He didn’t mince any words and, instead, went back on the attack.
“Gunflame!!!” Sol roared emitting a tidal wave of flames at Ragna.
The fire came quickly, leaving Ragna very little time to dodge. Ragna dissipated the fire with a swipe of his sword, the dark power he possessed nullifying the hungry flames. However, undenounced to his knowledge he’d fallen into Sol’s trap. The flames were a decoy set to deconstruct Ragna’s view only to return to an oncoming leap kick inches away from his face.
Sol had taken the time, while Ragna was distracted, to launch himself off a nearby tree and send himself hurdling at Ragna with immense speed and precision, his foot crashing into Ragna’s face and launching the silver-haired runaway into a broad tree some feet away. Ragna crashed into the tree with an umph, his back against the bark, but Sol didn’t let up on the attack. Sol quickly closed the gap and tried for a quick horizontal slash. Ragna, promptly coming back to his senses, ducked the lethal slash, leaving the tree to fall to it’s demise with a thud.
Ragna himself didn’t stop either, releasing an upward counter slash from his ducked position. Sol leaned just an inch or two back from the deadly attack, catching a wiff of the dark energy that accompanied it and realized it was an attack that would have ended his bounty hunting days for sure. Soon the battle escalated to several attacks and exchanges, each sending swift and powerful slash, punches, and kicks at one another and occasionally nicking each other with cuts and slashes in the process. It was an intense battle, neither foe planning to back down nor accept defeat. That is, until Sol broke the chain of savagely produced exchanges.
“Volcanic Viper!!!” Sol cried, finally breaking the endless exchange of ferocious attacks.
Sol upwardly slashed, boosting the power by jumping and utilizing his pernicious fire magic. Caught off guard by the sudden burst of power behind Sol’s attack, Ragna’s next attempted attack was deflected, and he was sent skyrocketing, slightly aflame and baring a severe wound running from his abdomen up to his chest, a wound no normal man could survive. Three seconds later, Ragna has a crash course, landing several meters away from Sol.
“I don’t want to kill you. Just come gracefully so I can collect my bounty in full already,” Sol suggests.
Ragna lies sprawled out on the forgiving forest floor, beaten and dazed. Though his sword been draining some of Sol’s energy with each slash, it wasn’t enough to keep him from giving out thanks to Sol’s last surprise attack. Until it hit him that he still had another ace up his sleeve. His Blood Kain was his last resort. It was risky and it could cause him to pass out if he didn’t utilize his power quickly, but it was his only chance of winning this fight. Ragna then rose to his feet for one last battle.
“Hey. Just give up already,” said Sol surprised at Ragna’s persistence. “If I kill you, I won’t get the full bounty.”
Ragna just smirked and began to focus his dark energy.
Sol could sense Ragna’s power increasing and attempted to stop his advance, but to his dismay, his body wouldn’t react quick enough. During their skirmish, Sol’s power had been drained by the attacks he’d received. Though, only small little nicks his power was sapped out by Ragna’s Soul Eater ability. Before Sol knew it, the tables were turned and Ragna was upon with renewed vigor.
“Blood Kain!!!” Ragna shouted.
A hazy and ominous, black cloud of energy surrounded Ragna. Sol could feel the murderous intent behind the energy. It would take a miracle for him to survive the remainder of their drawn out duel. Immediately Ragna, stormed Sol with a powerful attack.
A scarring slash was laid upon Sols chest, immediately followed by a splash of darkness from below Sol’s feet. Sol went violently tumbling back, blood spilling from his chest.. He regained his footing after a few rolls, but more of his strength had been sapped from the vicious attack from earlier. Sol stood crouched, one hand covering his chest to slow the profuse bleeding, the other to keep himself propped up to prevent himself from falling to the great earth beneath him.
Ragna didn’t stop the onslaught of attacks as he continued to release more dark energy under Sol’s feet.
Sol tapped into his battle prowess, now realizing the danger he was in, and began to take the fight more seriously. Through his own sheer willpower, he manage to force his body to listen, though, it was painful for him to do so. Ragna kept with the darkness attacks and Sol kept dodging, leaping, dashing, and rolling away from each blotch of darkness that intended to blast him of his feet. Suddenly with blinding speed, Ragna appeared behind Sol, attempting a powerful inward horizatal slash.
“Black Onslaught!!!” cry’s Ragna.
Ragna’s blade transforms into a large, dark scythe and he throws a flurry of wild swings, in the end, topping it off with a final swing intending to rend Sol in two. Sol manages to block the surprise attack, the flurry of slashes, and the final attempted deathblow by Ragna, but the impact slides him back tearing and ripping the ground below as he attempts to halt the momentum. Exhausted, battered, and bruised Sol could only stare onward as his opponent knocked him abroad the forest.
Much of the trees and landscape was ruined due to their long bout, and it looked like things would be over soon. Sol was going to lose. I suppose the bounty wasn’t worth it after all. Not when you’re about to die.
Ragna was intent on finishing the battle. His time with the Blood Kain was running short. Going beyond his limits, Ragna gathered the remainder of his power. His right hand was formed into a giant, dark claw and released upon Sol, was a mass of darkness that would engulf Sol in it’s cold, lonely embrace, never allowing him to see the light of day again.
“Now, be devoured by darkness!!!” Ragna shouted with a mighty thrust of his right hand, releasing mass ocean of darkness to consume Sol’s very being.
Sol was in a daze. His life was going to end and he wasn’t sure how to stop it. Fear and joy all consumed him at once. It wasn’t the fear of that he might die but the fear that he might never accomplish what he’d set out to do. He’d never be able to free the world of That Man. But perhaps death’s embrace wasn’t all bad. He’d forever be free of what seemed lik an endless journey to face That Man.
Suddenly Sol, came to. He realized he had more vitality. The headband he wore had a slight little slit in the center causing some of his latent power to leak out. He could feel the power surging out of him. It appeared he may not have had a choice. He was going to have to take the headband off and release his full power if he wanted to survive, even at the expense of his own self-control.
Ragna’s attack was upon Sol. Sol had to think quick, and the best option Sol could come up with was to run and dodge the attack the best he could until it dissipated. Sol sprinted with great haste from the sea of darkness, weaving between trees, the darkness still following steadily behind him. It didn’t look like the darkness would disolve. Not until it had claimed Sol’s life.
Sol was running out of options. However, remember his own power was capable of nullifying the darkness as well, he prepared himself to expend what little energy he’d obtained. With no time to waste, Sol gathered what power he had in his fist, spun around, and delivered a destructively powerful fireball attack. On impact, it caused a great explosion, tossing Sol aside like a lifeless doll, but disolving the darkness that had been pursuing him.
Sol arose, injured and exhausted from his last attack. It was now or never. Ragna, too was exhausted, but the look in his eye said he wasn’t done.
“I guess…I have no choice,” Sol spoke wearily.
With that Sol began to reach for his headband only to stop short of it. His opponent, Ragna, had passed out from excess exhaustion. The Blood Kain had drained Ragna dry and the final attack he’d unleashed didn’t help it, either.
Sol had won, though for him, he didn’t feel it was his victory. In the end he was going to rely on his own dark powers, his Gear power, and not on his natural strength alone. Either way it wouldn’t have been victory for Sol. Perhaps a second longer and it would have been Ragna’s victory. Sol sighed to himself. He couldn’t bring himself to apprehend Ragna after such a disgraceful performance he’d put on himself.
“Well. You won,” he murmured to the unconscious Ragna. “You’ve earned your freedom. Well, at least from me anyway.
And with that, he ventured onward with his journey, forever remembering the battle that took place as one of the toughest he’d ever fought.
Victor by Default