Chapter 70: Byakuya vs. Byakuya

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Byakuya Ikemoto, Tamie's muse, had all of his nerves strained as he watched his opponent:

I've got to use all those new techniques Tamie has applied to me in her newest story, and also add my will of Tamie's protection - with that and the keeping of the Blade Warrior Code, I just might be able to win against this powerful of an opponent who has tons of experience in swordsmanship... He's a Sworder, after all, and I've got no Blue Fire to help me... 

He was truly worried - he had never faced an opponent with only sheer strength and swordsmanship skills before. He had always applied his Blue Fire in his attacks.

"Oh, don't you worry, Byakuya-san. I am a Blade Warrior, and as you perfectly know the Code of ours, you must be aware that my pride does not permit me to apply vaster power with a weaker opponent. Thus, I will not be using my Zodiac Craft. This is just a peaceful duel between fellow Blade Warriors," Byakuya von Drachen smiled.

"Huh? You can hear my thoughts?!"

"Thoughts? Speech? Byakuya-san, do not forget you are only a guest here. Debbie and I are the ones who control this dream world. Thus said, I can hear both the thoughts and the speech of everyone and everything that lurks in my dreams. You rule only in Tamie's mind, do not forget".

Byakuya the muse gulped - he was right, here, he was just an intruder, so he should be more careful with this guy...

Surely being the lord in Tamie's dreams was nice, but this is like the real world for me - I am not the ruler, and even worse than the real world - I cannot apply Blue Fire either...

"Now then, let's begin... Debbie, please give the signal when you're ready," Byakuya von Drachen ordered his blue-haired muse.

"Yes, Byakuya-sama," Debbie bowed and took out a gong.

(NOTE: 'sama' is a suffix in Japanese that notes the person's superiority over the speaker).

Byakuya Ikemoto strained his nerves and clutched his katana, sweat pouring off his forehead as he watched his calm opponent. When the gong rang, he gave a battle cry and rushed forward. Byakuya von Drachen ran forward too, his sword ready, but he seemed far calmer and more collected, even smiling a little. They crossed swords.

"Ha!" Byakuya Ikemoto yelled (so much like Tamie) as he swung his sword around and tried to hit the opponent with strong and fast movements. However, Byakuya von Drachen easily dodged and swiftly moved around, indeed not applying any of his Zodiac Craft, be it Sworder Art or his Dragon spirit - he only used his swordsmanship skills against the muse.

"Now there, your fighting style is more similar to Tamie-chan's than I thought," he chuckled, instinctively speaking with Japanese honorifics whilst in his dream (much likely it was a habit given down by his Kenshinese mother). 

"Oh yeah? Well, I'm her muse, after all. I will protect her at any cost, especially from the likes of you!" Byakuya Ikemoto swung his sword strongly, making Byakuya von Drachen spring up to dodge the hit. "And she's not 'Tamie-chan' for you, idiot!"

"Woah, now we're getting more serious here, aren't we?" Byakuya von Drachen chuckled and swung his sword from above. Byakuya Ikemoto held his blade from below and the swords cracked upon each other, making von Drachen jump back and retrieve his battle stance. The young men were getting more worked up and energetic now. Ikemoto yelled again and rushed forward, crossing swords with von Drachen once more. Both of them used amazing skills - they sprang around and swung swords in different manners, trying to outmaneuver each other, but Ikemoto was sweating more and more - it seemed that von Drachen's yearly experience still paid off, and a lot, compared to his one. "I've read Tamie's books. She loves you unconditionally," Byakuya von Drachen faintly smiled and dodged fired-up Ikemoto's attacks. "She has a hard time letting you lose. You are the final saviour in all of her stories. You come when times are tough, and with a single swing of your sword defeat all the enemies. Now she, of course, started toughening up your opponents in the books, but the outcome is still the same - you, her muse, never die. The real world is different, though," he furrowed his brow and swung his katana strongly, making Ikemoto retreat, but there, the muse tripped and the sword cut him on the chest.

"Ah!" Byakuya the muse shrilled in pain, but sneered and dodged another hit, taking a firm stand on his feet again. He heavily breathed as his wound was wide open, but he had still clutched his sword in his hand - he was indeed not used to getting so pressed upon, but he still tried his best, as he was fighting for Tamie now.

 He heavily breathed as his wound was wide open, but he had still clutched his sword in his hand - he was indeed not used to getting so pressed upon, but he still tried his best, as he was fighting for Tamie now

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"In the real world, there's more blood and sweat," Byakuya von Drachen strictly remarked and went on the direct offensive, swinging his sword at the muse who started retreating. "You will not survive if you are used to constant victories!"

"And what it matters to you? You intended to kill me just now!" Byakuya Ikemoto dodged the hit and swung his sword back.

"Every enemy will come at you with killing intent!" Byakuya von Drachen made a spring aside, swinging his katana from Ikemoto's behind.

Byakuya the muse widened eyes - he wouldn't be able to dodge such a hit! But if he died now, he would disappear for Tamie forever, so he yelled in rage and turned around in a brisk move, meeting Byakuya von Drachen's sword with his own one, and the blade collision gave a loud crack. He dodged the deadly attack, but he couldn't hold his balance and fell off to the ground, sword dropping from his bloodied hand. He winced in pain. He felt the tip of the opponent's katana right to his neck - it was over. No matter how hard he struggled, it was still over!

No! Sorry, Tamie...

A tiny tear appearedin his eyes. He was ready to take the fatal hit when suddenly the sword got off his neck, and instead, a soft manly hand stretched out to him:

"Nice fight, Byakuya-san!"

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