It was an empty training room. Sigma was a busy man, but he always had the time to spare to spar with an ally of his. However, this was no ordinary sparring session. His opponent had asked him to go all out. Strange, considering how he of all people should be aware of just how deep Sigma's powers went. But Sigma graciously obliged. And so, he found himself staring eye to eye with Baluar.
"Sigma... feels like this isn't the first match we have, eh?"
"You can hardly call our previous encounter a match," Sigma said. "It was more of a humbling." He knew full well the effect the words would have in his opponent. Indeed, just as he expected, his rival was incensed.
"Trust me, this time it'll be different. The odds are even now."
"They better be. I'll be disappointed if after all that talk this turns out to be a warm up."
Sigma remained standing, his God Arc to his side, his posture almost regal. The pale-haired man waited for his opponent to strike, as he had done the first time they "fought" each other.
Baluar ran at him with surprising speed, momentarily impressing Sigma, but the older man merely raised an eyebrow as he manifested his power over time and dodged the charge with ease. Returning time to its normal flow, Sigma simply stared as his opponent turned to face him once more.
"You've become faster since the last time we fought, but if more speed is all you've got, then your training is for naught."
Without a word, Baluar repeated his attack, and for Sigma it was no harder to dodge than before.
"I wonder, just what are you trying to accomplish...?"
"The fight hasn't even begun yet and you're already boasting. Save the talk for when you're winning, instead of dodging the attacks and acting like you're hot stuff."
Sigma acknowledged the words with an ice-cold glare and waited for his opponent to charge, yet instead of dodging through the attack, he blocked the incoming slash with his blade. Although his opponent was much more physically imposing than he was, he held his ground, though he felt that slowly but surely he was getting pushed back.
Before he had time to come up with a countermeasure that didn't involve his powers, Sigma felt his weapon knocked aside only a moment before a knee found its way to his torso. He found a grunt leaving his body.
"Without those powers you're not that cocky, are you?"
"Perhaps. But with them, you cannot touch me."
Sigma altered the flow of time once again, this time to attack. To his immense surprise, his slash found cold steel in its way, and Sigma found himself staring eye to eye with the larger man, whose eyes had begun to shine.
Returning time to its normal state, Sigma saw his opponent return to normal.
"This is the trick you spoke of. You're letting the Aragami side take over when you need to defend."
"Perceptive. I don't need to act consciously if I can just let my body move on instinct."
"Don't you think it dangerous to leave your body act on its wild Aragami instincts?"
"My Aragami side already tried to act up once. I kicked its ass six ways from Sunday."
"You're a creative one," Sigma commented. "You've got my attention, if nothing else. But both of us know how this will end."
"I wouldn't be so sure if I were you. Your trump card is all but useless now, and I think it's pretty damn obvious who's got the physical advantage here."
Sigma twirled his weapon and smacked his rival over the head with it, then kicked him backwards.
"I thought you said I spoke too much earlier?"
Baluar gifted him with a lopsided grin. Sigma could swear his eye flashed again, if only for a fraction of a second.
"By all means, let's go."
The two men traded attacks back and forth. While indeed Baluar was by far the physical superior of the two men, Sigma had the advantage of experience on his side, and he made the fighting even. However, if the fight seemed to tilt too strongly in his favor, he would soon find himself rebuked by his opponent, his eyes flashing with that familiar red gleam, and was forced to go on the defensive himself.
While his opponent's stamina reserves seemed limitless, his own were not, and Sigma began to tire, ever so slightly. But he would not be defeated like this. Not without going all out.
"Alright. This has gone on for long enough. Now the gloves come off."
He pushed his opponent back with nothing but his own will.
"As you may remember, going through time is not the only thing I can do with my abilities..."
Sigma gave him a stare that he hoped would at least give Baluar some pause. Instead, his response was a horrendous laugh that would have chilled the blood of a lesser man.
"I was hoping you'd say that. You see... you're not the only one with another trick up his sleeve."
With the pose that Baluar assumed and the howl he let out, Sigma was expecting some sort of transformation, but instead he was caught off guard as nothing seemed to change in his opponent. But after a long look, he realized that was not the case.
It was the eyes.
The whites of his eyes... well, they were no longer white. Instead, they were black.
"Ready for round 2, old man?" Baluar asked, his voice slightly echoing.
"Hmph. This might actually be interesting," Sigma replied. He resumed his regal stance and prepared himself to make liberal usage of his powers. "Show me everything you've got."
Nanako carefully studied the page or so she'd written while she sipped her just made tea.
"Not a bad start, if I do say so myself." She sipped some more tea. "But it's lacking a certain... je ne sais quoi."
While sipping tea, a random thought crossed her mind.
"I wonder what they'd think of this, should they ever read it..." She chuckled. "Like I'd let them anywhere near it."
Then, something terrible happened.
A knock on the door. And a very loud one, at that. Nanako almost dropped her cup.
"Shiiiit. Bal's the only one who bangs this loudly."
"I gotta hide this."