This article, First Rounds: A Meeting of Rivals, is property of Zicoihno.

Coerced into competing, Sanjo has once again formed a team with good friends Richard Aria and Lana Kaen. Just when life was boring, they have been thrust into another situation, of which they don't know the full magnintude. The Pergrande Tournament, or Hell Tournament, an age old mage tournament, has been announced and the competition is fierce as ever. On top of that Sanjo and Lana's feelings for one another have taken some turn, neither knowing what to come of it. It's the day of the first rounds, fate shall play its' hand once more.

The Fourth Member

The first rounds, today was the start of everything. The Hell tournament was in full swing, it was show time. Even though this competition was known for its' hellish nature, there plenty of civilians around. Most from the host country and surrounding ones; there were some people from Fiore. Two young mages walked side by side, the pains were about to start. Lana was no where to be seen, she said she would catch up with them.

Sanjo sighed, they all stopped before the huge stadium. There were so many people crowding all around it. It was apparent that there would quite a crowd today. As they walked, they couldn't ignore all the fans. Seems many of these mages could have their own fanclubs. Sanjo heard gasps behind him, he turned to see. Two teenage boys and one girl stood before him nervously.

"Aren't you Golden Lion Sanjo?" one of them asked. He nodded in agreement, it was flattering to have moments like this. Richard rolled her eyes to the whole situation. "We wish you luck and survival." They suddenly scurried off. Sanjo figured this was gonna be interesting. Unlucky for them, all the contestant entered from different points, to prevent early conflict.

Richard suddenly stopped, the other looked back to see what was up. Richard fidgeted his mouth alittle, pondering on what to say. "So this fourth member? Where is this person?" he asked, looking straight at Sanjo. Sanjo stroked his chin, "After this job I had, I was in the forest when someone appeared. I don't know where is right now though." Sanjo looked around, as if waiting for a sign

"That's it?" Richard said, with an annoyed look on his face. He didn't want to play guess who, it's not the time for such things. Richard figured this guy better hurry up. "Where the heck is Lana man? She needs to get herself over here. And then she complains about us." He said shaking his head. "If she doesn't hurry up, I will-"

"You'll do what Richard." said a female voice behind them. And it matched Lana.

Richard gulped and turned to her. Sanjo smirked at it and turned to see a great surprise. Instantly a small blush came upon Sanjo, he was impressed. Lana's new outfit was indeed functional, but also eye catching. Some ripped combat jeans and a tight white t-shirt that showed her mid rift; a thin jacket over it. Lana's new outfit pronounced her curves well, and was an image Sanjo never wanted to forget.

He wanted to compliment her looks, but knew it was for serious reasons she went for a new outfit. She seemed ready to go serious anyhow. Lana rolled her eyes at Richard. "Can a lady not change in peace? I'm here, now we can go." she remarked. Lana turned to Sanjo with a smile. "Alright team captain. Are we read to go?" The line made him smile. "Just about..." Sanjo replied.

"Sanjo Vista, Lana Kaen, Richard Aria, is this the team?" said a male voice from afar.

A figure was approachng them. Most people had already entered the stadium. Lana and Richard's eye widened in shock,. the person before them. They hade never met him, but had seen his profile. And boy were they full of mixed feelings. This young man was the last person they expected. Lana suddenly turned to Sanjo, her expression serious as ever. "What the hell?! Why in the world is he here, I thought he was dead." she exclaimed.

Richard was not too happy either. "Why in the world would a former member of Olympic Code be on our team!" Sanjo quickly covered his mouth, so he wouldn't shout anymore. He gave a weak smile, Lana was no longer happy. The man didn't utter a word. " Well he isn't part of them anymore. To answer your question Lana, I thought the same. Also Richard he never commited a criminal act during his life."

Richard wasn't so much pissed off, but rather in shock. He knew this tournament payed no attention to past affiliations anyhow. But Lana was skeptical, "So we are supposed to trust the man who was Hades. One of the strongest of that group.....The one that out you in bed rest for two days? And almost killed you?" Lana inquired, her tone wasn't mad but sincere. Their worries were warranted.

"I don't go by that name anymore. I am Zeo Delacroix. I would like to forget my past mistakes, but you not trusting me Lana, makes alot of sense." Sanjo stared at Lana. "Lana you've seen members of Dark Guilds change, Zeo isn't a much changing as changing the crowd he follows. Why do think the council never pursued him? Because his record is technically spotless." He remarked.

Richard stroked his chin. "This is true. Hell just have to prove himself then right?" Richard walked over to Zeo and patted him on the back."Welcome to the team Zeo. Lana isn't an easy case, but she'll learn to like you." Zeo smiled at his friendliness. " I see and I shall do that." he replied. Zeo wasn't a very talkative person.

Lana gave a weak smile. She wasn't conviced, but willing. "Well we'll see how this goes." She turned towards the stadium. "It's time though right? Time for Team Vista to show up. Let's watch eachothers' backs guys." Sanjo walked aheah of them with a smile. "It's go time people." he said calmly.

They Call Him Kenshin

The crowd was electrified, the tournament was finally started. All the seats were filled, people from all over the continent present. In the crowd were rich, poor, criminal, soldiers, mages, common people. Everyone eyes were on the center combat platform situated in the center of the stadium. A female announcer twirled on her feet in excitement, it was time to start. And even better one of the first teams was a big time one.

"Welcome!" She twirled her microphone. "Welcome to the Pergrande Tournament, or better known as the Hell Tournament!" The young woman shouted, a smile crossed her face. The crowd cheered her on. " It's here, the first matches are about to start. So find your seats and get ready for blood, gore, and a good time!" Apparently the tournament was well liked for its' hellish combat. Ironic since there were kids present.

"Many powerful mages have entered for a chance of greatness....I am Megan, your host, announcer, whatever you chose to call it. Here to bring you the action and keep things moving. Also we like to thank the committe once more for putting this all together." Megan said happily. She eyed a skybox from her spot, the windows were tinted.

Sanjo, Richard, Lana, Zeo made their way to one of the battlefield level dug out type tunnels. In the stadium there were 5 dugout tunnels, from there competitiors could watch the matches up close if they desired. This helps prevent in between matches conflicts. Though fighters are allowed to sit in the normal seats as well. They reached the end, the platform clear as day from there spot.

Sanjo had his hands in his pockets, "I wonder how these early fights will be?" He asked the three next to him. "Well I just hope theres a strong team showing up now. Theres alot of weak teams it seems." Richard remarked. Lana smirked at the statement. "Well we won't know till they all show there stuff." Richard nodded hesitantly. He noted that Lana was back in her especially good mood.

Was it the battle aura that had her excited? But he figured he should focused on what's ahead. Zeo had his eyes set on the battlefield. It was time to see the competition. The female annoucer waved her hand, the same corny smile on her face. "It's time all for the first match. And it's a doosey people, a strong team from the start." Megan shouted cheerfully. She pointed towards the tunnels, people were emerging.

"It's gonna be Team Klose vs Team Kenshin!" At the mention of the second name, the crowd went crazy. The four young mages looked around puzzled, they really knew little of what was going on. " Yes that's it folks. The powerful Team Kenshin has showed up. But it seems the leader has decided not to participate." The crowd groaned a little.

From the tunnel came an attractive woman in a red haori , a man in golden colored armor , and another man in seemingly samurai inspired outfit . From the opposite entrance came a group of brutish male mages, two were human and the other some other magical race most could not identify. They all approached steps relative to their locations.

One of the men grumbled, seemed thaat he was the team captain. He felt disrespected, disrespected that the leader of the opposing team did not find this round worth showing up for. He and his team stepped onto the platform. He stomped his foot in rage. "Hey you announcer!" He shouted pointing at Megan. "So their damn leader doesn't show up and it's fine. I'll make him regret that by sending his team in bodybags."

The woman smirked and looked over to the man in golden armor. "Feel like taking care of this." she said sofly. He smiled and began to walk slowly to the platform. " Don't kill them Arngrim..." said the other young man. " Yozo, Nami, this won't take long." Arngrin replied as he made up to the stage, same smirk as before.

He narrowed his eyes at the female announcer, he was interested. Arngrim had a thing for flirtiing with lovely young women, but this was not the time for such things. He set his sights on his opponents. "So are these the conditions? 4 on 1?" The other team leader was furious as ever. "Bullshit!!! Where's the rest of your team?!" he cried in fury.

Megan stepped of the platform quietly. It was time to begin the match. The four men were enraged, such a challenge. Nami and Yozo didn't care to watch, they seemed to staring off into space. Sanjo narrowed his eyes at the sight. "So he's gonna do this alone? Interesting." Zeo leaned on the wall with his eyes closed. "The battle's been decided already." The statement caught Lana's interest. She turned head to Zeo who was still leaning there in apathy.

"I felt the same as well. I wonder how quick this will be." she remarked with hand on her hip. Sanjo kept his eyes on the platform, this would be a sight for sore eyes. He could tell they weren't strong, so this man was not taking a risk. But it seemed he was sending out message to all the competitors as well. Sanjo figured they were a team to watch out for.

"BEGIN!!" shouted Megan in excitement. The crowd roared in anticipation.

Arngrim stood there silent, arms crossed across his chest. His hair blew a bit in the sudden gust of wind; and his eyes , almost disintersted, were on a group of furious mages. The opposing team leader, Klose, clenched his teeth. "Kill that bastard". They all pushed off ground in a furious dash towards the amor clad mage.

Suddenly they stopped in fear. Klose's eyes widened in shock. Numerous weapons floating in the air, Arngrim still jsut standing there. Sanjo arched an eyebrow suddenly. He thought back to Erza and her fighting style. "So that's his power huh. Not bad" he thought. A sudden ominous grin cut across Arngrim's face, putting fear into his opponents. Megan was speechess, failing to commentate.

"Kill me? You kill me? Let's try to be logical in some sort of fashion." he remarked, an intense look in his eyes. One of Klose's comrades could only stammer and started backing away. It's as if he made a horrible mistake, to come to the Hell tournament. "No you won't get away." Arngrim whispered. He launched the weapons rocketing towards them.

In a moment their bodies were pierced by the weapons. Sending blood flying everywhere. Their screams could not be heard over the shouts and cheers of the crowds. A look of disgust came upon Richard's face. "The audience is enjoying this a bit too much. It's over anyhow." None of his comrades cared to reply, he was right on what he said.

"Wow! In one attack Arngrim defeated all of Team Klose. What a glorious show of bloody combat! The winner of this match is Team Kenshin!!" Megan proclaimed, as she threw her free hand in the air to emphasize the match result. Nami shook her head at Arngrim, who was now walking towards his comrades. " You really overdid that one." She gave him a weak smile.

"We should head out now." Yozo said, cutting into the conversation. Arngrim nodded in agreement. The three of them walked into the tunnel, from where they first emerged, to leave the arena.

"Alright people! Theres gonna be 30 minute intermission since this is the first match. The committee suggests people take time to try out the new food vendors. Until then please try to keep yourselves busy." announced the young announcer. Megan was still in awe from the speed of the first match. It was her first time with this type of stuff, looked to be a good tournament.

Sanjo turned to his friends. "How about we get some grub" he asked with smile. None of them could deny something to eat would be nice. They all agreed. "Let's get to a buffet. Now that's my type of thing" Richard remarked with a watering mouth. Lana chuckled. "It's early, but some cake would be nice."

"All this great food and not enough time." Richard exclaimed, in awe of the food before them. Luckily competitors didn't need to wait in line for the buffet. Sanjo's mouth was watering too. Steak, crab, pasta, pastries, deserts, etc. It had it all. One heck of it spread.

Richard looked back at his team. "Well I'm gonna handle some of this." He said, and quickly scurried away to get his plate and gather up food. Sanjo shook his head. "Well I'm hungry as well, very hungry. Hey Lana, Zeo, how about you guys save us a seat." he asked, waiting for Lana's decison. Lana shrugged, "Alright, but hurry up though." Zeo followed Lana to a table.

Sanjo and Richard stacked their plates with plenty of food to go around. Funny since it was a buffet, but these two geniuses acted as if war was about to break out. Richard took a pair of tonsels and picked up some crab and set it on his plate. "Team Kenshin is pretty good. Don't you think?"

Sanjo looked at his friend. "Well yea, but they don't worry me alot. But they are worthy opponents." He picked up a bowl of pasta and set it on his tray. " I wonder what their leader is like though." he said, calmly. Richard shrugged, he took a bite of a roll. Sanjo walked over to the desert bar behind them.

He picked up a slice of chocolate cake. "We might as well get Lana this." Sanjo remarked. He noticed Richard's eyes trail off to the side. There walking were 3 familiar figures, ones that were in just in combat. It was team Kenshin, minus Kenshin once again. Sanjo nudged Richard to keep moving, they went to their table.

There sitting was Lana, legs crossed, tapping the table. Zeo was staring off into space. Sanjo figured they couldn't think of anything to talk about. But then again Zeo didn't seem to be an outgoing person. With one hand Sanjo set down the slice of cake before Lana. She smiled at the sight of it.

"Well that's a surpise. How nice of you." She commmented, looking back up at Sanjo with a smile. Sanjo smirked alittle and took a seat. Richard had silently began to chow down. Zeo sighed, " You two are certainly hungry." the young man commented. Sanjo lookever over to Zeo, "I can't fight on an empty stomach." He raised the forkful of pasta to his mouth.

Lana was picking at her cake. Sweets were a nice thing for any woman, but too much of anything is a bad thing. She was thinking back to how she treated herself too much after jobs as of late. Lana took a qick sip of water. She couldn't understand Sanjo and Richard's appetites. At least she could be sure Zeo had a normal stomach.

"Team Vista?" said a male voice.

They all looked to see Team Kenshin standing before him. Though Zeo was aware of them being there, he felt no need to point it out. Lana slowly chewed her bite of cake, surveying the faces before them. "It's somewhat of an honor to meet a Wizard Saint." the young mage said, sporting a seemingly samurai inspired outift. That was Yozo Hitame. Arngrim shook his head.

"Manners Yozo, manners." he said tauntingly. Sanjo arched an eyebrow, wondering what on god's green earth they were going on about. The two were shushed by the gorgeous woman next to them. She stepped back alittle. "Forgive my comrades, they are just being testy. Its always to nice to meet the competition.

Lana scoffed at the statement loudly. "I'm sure it is." She said, rolling her eyes in annoyance. The woman kept her attention on Sanjo. "I am Nami Kuro" Nami pointed to either side of herself. "That's Yozo Hitame and that's Arngrim. We can't seem to find out captain at the moment." She said, locking eyes with Sanjo.

Zeo got up out of his chair. "Interesting as that is, we should leave. it's almost time for things to start up again." Sanjo was a bit surprised by Zeo deciding to call the shots randomly. The rest got up. Sanjo turned to the three mages of the opposite team. " I am aware of who you are. Nice show today." Sanjo remarked, calmly. Nami smirked, "Someone is a bit serious" she said, making looks with the blonde young man.

Lana sudenly caught this, and a inner rage started to build.

"The best is always saved for last!' said a voice enthusiasticlly.

The rest turned to see a man with long blue hair, and a flowing cloak to match. "Look who is finally around again." Yozo said sarcastically, his leader's absence was more then just random. Richard, while interested in their abilities, didn't care to converse with them. Kenshin walked over to the group, hands up in a cheerful fashion.

"Sorry my team had to bother you guys. I guess they were bored." Kenshin said laughingly, a smug and cocky smirk on his face. He looked at his comrades. "We should go now guys." He looked back at Sanjo. "Don't get me wrong. I will enjoy taking you on. A worthy fight is what makes life worth living." The young man turned and walked away. The other had complied to follow.

But Nami walked a few steps towards Sanjo, close up to him. Gazing into his eyes, with a seductive look almost. "I will see you another time then." They were too close for Lana's comfort. Sirens went off in her head,a and in Sanjo's. He could not deny Nami was gorgeous, but Lana's face flashed through his head. And her being there, made it worse.

Nami smiled, this was gonna be fun for her. She licked her lips and turned to leave, giving Lana a dirty look. Nami walked off, to meet up with the rest of her team. Sanjo let out a mental sigh. Lana suddenly walked past him. He raised his hands. "Lana?!" She peered over her shoulder. "We need to get back to the stadium genius" Lana replied.

Sanjo felt alittle relieved, not knowing Lana was near pissed off at that Nami girl. Sanjo rubbed his forehead. "This is gonna be a problem." Sanjo thought to himself. But it was time to head back to the arena.

This Chick is the Real Deal?

The stadium was noisy again. People had packed in for the next set of fights. Just a moment ago was the end of a fight between two minor teams, one of the members had lost their lives. The losing team had left in shame, even having some drinks thrown at them sadly. But the next fight was one people were anticipating was at hand.

This time around, Team Vista decided to sit in the stands like other people. Stadning would become a bother. Soon their fight would come, but that was not of importance right now. Sanjo crossed his arms and stretch his legs alittle, while in his seat. " Everyone is getting alittle excited, wonder who it is this time." Richard sighed, "The last battle was boring, I hope this goes better." he remarked, coldly.

Suddenly the crowd got louder, the group turned their attention back to the center ring. An attractive green-haired women walked on the platform, accompanied by two other men. On the opposite side another group walked on, they looked rather ready to get the fight on. The green-haired woman wore an energenic smile, confindence was there.

Megan, the announcer, shook her fist. "Alright folks! It's time for another matchup! This time it's Team Holkes vs Team Skull, led by the lovely Ritza Reznov." There were some whistles and cheers directed at the green-haired woman, she was the leader of Team Skull."Ritza how do you want to do this?" the young man next her asked, no emotion on his face. "Well Kurosuke , we'll take turns like the rules go. But if they want to take us head!" Ritza replied.

She was pretty pumped for this it seemed. Richard stoked his chin. "She seems interesting, that's their leader huh." He turned to Lana, who currently playing with her out of boredom. "Lana have you heard that name before? I swear I head of it during a meeting back at the council." Richard inquired, he placed his lands on his lap.

Lana was a bit interesting now. " Now that you mention it. It sounds familiar. But I can't remember either." she replied. Richard sighed, might as well sit back and enjoy the show. Sanjo raised an eyebrow suddenly. "What the hell is she doing?" he remarked, sourly.

"SHUT UP!! FOOLS!!" Ritza shouted, she was angry it seemed.

Her opponents had pissed her off. She turned to her team mates behind her, with a finger raised for emphasis. "That's it I will handle them all. They think they can look down on me, because I have green hair!" she roared. Both of the men just stared at her, in confusion, with a comical expression. "No one said anything of the sort" Kurosuke muttered under his breath. But neither wanted to get her even more motivated.

Ritza clenched her fists and walked to the center of the ring. "Hey announcer!" She didn't bother to look at Megan. "I'll be taking them on myself." Ritza proclaimed, a sly smile crossing her face. Megan held the mic akwardly near her mouth. She noted for a second time, someone was taking on 4 fighters by themselves. Both being from favored teams.

She blinked a little. " Well alright...uh...why not." The crowd were listening in on what was happening. The mention of 4 on 1 sent them into more cheers and hollers. Some people were shouting "Rip them apart!" and others screamed, "Destroy'em!" Ritza's companions walked off the elevated ring. She turned to face her opponents, scowling in the process.

Ritza edged her foot, she was ready to crush some skulls. The four before her took some type of battle formation. Ritza arched an eyebrow, as she watched them positiong themselves. The sight made her chuckle. "You're gonna need more then formations to contest with me." she commented.

One of the men smirked and nodded at his companions. Suddenly he dashed towards her, a spike ball hanging from the end a chain was in hand. He began to swing it around, as he charged towards Ritza. She narrowed her eyes at him, she knew how to deal with them all.


SHe took off towards her oncoming opponents. She suddenly vanished. Sanjo surprsing blinked at the impressive speed she had. The man was startled and stopped suddenly, skidding ont he ground a bit. She suddenly appeared right in fronf of him. She delivered a devastatingly storng punch towards his stomach, completely shattering the large spike ball. The crowd gasped at the display of brute strength.

The man fell backwards, as he spat out a mound of blood. His eyes bugged out, utter shock and awe. No words could come to mind. She simply stood up and turned her attention to his companions across the ring. She stepped over his fallen body, blood stains on the ground. "She's good." Lana remarked, she leaned forward in her seat a bit. "Very good" Sanjo added.

"So is that all?" Ritza took an even more serious tone. Two more of his companions suddenly charged towards Ritza, from both sides. They figured using a dual attack would prove useful. Ritza suddenly shfited to the left and quickly appeared on the side of the man coming at what was her right flank. She smiled as she kicked straight in the stomach, with great force.

The felt could hear his ribs crush. "Dammt!" he shouted, blood flying from his mouth. Ritza kick had connected; well at that. As a result, he was launched out of the ring and into the wall. Cracks were produced from the force of the collision. The crowd cheered on such action. Sanjo sensed the incredible magical presence the young woman had, Richard noted it as well.

He fell to the ground, his vision going blurry. "Why did I come here...." he thought, falling unconsious. Ritza was surprised they were this weak. She looked back at their leader, who was not moved by his companions' defeat. She began to walk over to him slowly, but suddenly stopped. "So you're no worried about your companions?" she asked, hands at her side.

He shrugged at he question. "They can recover. But first, I need to defeat you." He took somewhat of a fighting stance, throwing both hand forward in a symmetrical form. Ritza narrowed her eyes at him, wondering what was next. "Grand Fire Ball!" He shouted. A giant fireball erupted from his hands, and raced towards Ritza.

The crowd awed at the spectacle. It was high level fire magical technique. Ritza slid her foot backwards a bit. She was unfazed by the oncoming attack, even be it a gigantic ball of flames. It neared her and was about to envelope her, the opposing man was smirking. She suddenly opened her mouth.

All of a sudden, the fire ball began to shrink. A power of suction was pulling it in. The crowd gasped at the sight. Sanjo's eyes widened, rarely was he caught off guard like this. "What is that?!" he thought. Ritza was literally consuming the fire ball, it was being sucked in rapidly into her mouth. The man across from her was speechless.

The massive fireball had been completely consumed. She quickly opened her eyes, a look of intimidation. She again opened her mouth, a glowing ball of energy beginnning to emerge. She quickly stepped forward and opened her mouth wide in a roaring fashion. She shot the glowing yellow ball of energy at her opponent, it gained size. In an instant it collided with the man, resuliting in a large explosion.

Once again, Megan was doing bad job of commentating, left in shock of what Ritza had just did. Rubble fell to the ground, a small crater had been made on the ring. The smoke subsided, Ritza turned to the audience suddenly. The man made no motion, it was obvious that her attack was a K.O.

"Don't mess with Team Skull!" She shouted, a smile coming back to her face. The crowd with cheers, some being quiet though. A few "We love you" screams reached her ears, making her smile even bigger. "Well Folks! It's obvious to me that the winner is Team Skull!" Megan shouted. Kurosuke smiled slightly, "That's that." he muttered. He turned to the man next to him, "Liam , let's go. Ritza will meet up with us later." The man nodded in agreement.

Ritza noticed they ha walked out, but knew just where to find them. She needed to go get her stuff from the female locker room anyhow. She looked upwards at the stands, straight at Sanjo, Richard, Lana, and Zeo. Ritza flashed a quick smile and walked off.

Lana waltzed into the women's locker room. To check on her stuff. Sadly these days, people felt the freedom to take what doesn't belong to them. She walked through the large locker room. It was very nice, this committee sure put alot of money into the tournament. Lana was happy to see all her stuff was still in place.

"Hey! So you're on Team Vista!" exclaimed a cheerful female voice froom behind.

Lana rolled her eyes and sighed. She turned to see Ritza Reznov there, a smile on her face. Ritza put out her hand to shake. "Hi I'm Ritza. Even though we're against eachother, doesn't mean we can't get acquainted." she remarked. Lana slowly, but surely, shook her hand. "Impressive show out there earlier" Lana commented, putting her hands to her side.

Ritza shrugged, "They weren't anything worth talking about" Lana knew Ritza had a point, no reason to continue on that subject. She smirked a little. "It will be interesting when our teams meet in combat." Lana remarked. The comment made Ritza smile. " I agree, don't plan on going down easy though." she said, smiling still. "I wouldn't want it any other way." Lana replied.

"Wanna walk back with me to the stadium?" Ritza asked, hands clapsed together in a "please" manner. Ritza was a very nice person, who brought a cheerful mood where she went. Lana smiled, even being her enemy, she could take a liking to Ritza. "Why not." The two emerged from the locker room, and walked over to the rest of Team Vista, who had been waiting on her.

"Took a while, we're up soon." Richard remarked, he eyed Ritza next to Lana. He wondered why they were together, befriending an enemy in a foreign land didn't seem Lana's nature. "Well I'm Richard Ar-" Ritza didn't even bother to look at him, utterly ignoring him. The reaction annoyed Richard, forcing a irritated expression on his face. "Shame about that personality..." he mumured under his breath.

Ritza turned and narrowed her eyes at Richard, then turned back to Lana. "It was nice to meet you Lana, I'll be going now." She quickly walked pass Richard, bumping shoulders with him, though not very successful but she went on her way. Ritza didn't even bother to say hi to the others.

Sanjo sighed, he couldn't tell if she was sweet or a rude hassle. Zeo turned to begin walking towards the doors. "It's time for us to show our power. Let's not disappoint." Zeo said, peering over his shoulder back at them. Zeo wasn't interested in Ritza, but did not want to make bad impressions in terms of strength. Richard was running insluts though his head, little did he know that him and her would have one interesting relationship in this tournament. And now it was time for Team Vista to step in.

A Golden Team and a Scheming Committee

Sanjo stepped through the entrance into the ground level of the arena. His others comrades were waiting for him. Richard smirked at the sight of Sanjo. "Have fun on your bathroom break, the crowd seems restless." he remarked. Sanjo smiled and assured Richard he was feeling great at the moment. Zeo began to scan the stands, he noticed Ritza was there; also saw the one woman from Team Kenshin whose name who he could not remember.

"ALRIGHT FOLKS!!" shouted Megan in excitment. "It's time for the next match up. Those last matches might not of been great, but this one will get you guys excited!" Apparently, Team Vista had missed the two battles that followed Ritza's, but none of them cared.

The crowd roared, it was time for another big name team.

Sanjo began to slowly walked up the steps, Lana to his left and Richard to his right. Zeo was following from behind. A smile crossed the blonde mage's face as he saw how big the crowd was from here. There were thousands of people in attendance. It was interesting concept of fighing for real, while being watched by a bunch of strangers.

The opposiing team was already present, Team Gokai 4. They were all wearing cloaks, each bearing it's own distinct vertical line of Kanji. While Megan babbling some stuff, Sanjo surveyed his enemies. They looked like a group of assasins; given the neutrality of this tournament, they could as well be just that. Unlike the other teams, Richard noted that this team seemed decent at best.

" I wonder what's under those cloaks. MIght as well it up and find out." A sly smile crossed his face. It was their time to show their stuff. Team Kenshin and Team Skull had been the most impressive so far, 8 teams had already went at it. Team Vista was in the first Bracket; sadly had no notable battles for them till before the quater finals it seemed.

"It's time, please pick your first person to go up to fight." Megan announced. The conditions had been set, traditional 1 v 1 battles. The teams stepped of the moderately elevated ring. Only Richard and a fighter with white Kanji on his cloak remained.

Richard cracked his neck side to side. "So you ready to go?" He asked, sarcastically. The opponent pulled down his hood, to reveal a young man's face. Yet he uttered no response. Richard titled his head in question, wondering what would be his move. "Alright feel free to get it started!" Megan commented from the sidelines. Richard stepped forward a bit. " Show me your stuff..." he said, smirking.

The young man did not care to reply, which somewhat irked Richard. The young man stretched out his arms wide, around them, what seemed like rings of energy began to swirl aorund. Richard cocked an eyebrow at the sight of it. The crowd was on the edge of their seats, ready to see what's next. "You're seeing clear folks! He's invoking some strange magic with rings of energy. What will Team Vista's Richard do next?!" Megan commented.

The young man looked straight at Richard, a determined look. He swung his hands forwards, launching energy rings at Richard. They skidded the ground, leaving slice marks. Richard, unfazed, stood in waiting for the attack's impact. The raced towards him.


Richard suddenly vanished, and appeared behind the young man. He turned to Richard in shock and fear. Richard kicked him in his side, in effect sending him hurling into a wall. Richard landed lightly on his feet, this battle was a simple task for him. The young man had been beaten, in one hit. The crowd's cheers resounded throughout the arena.

Sanjo noted Richard speed had increased greatly. He figured the guy had done some training following his death match with Apollo back then. That was a good thing, Sanjo, himself, had done alot of training. "Looks like he's showing off." Sanjo commented smiling. "Wonder how I should do things." Lana turned to him, hands on her hips. "Theres no point in you fighting, just relax." she remarked.

"WOW! 1 hit K.O.! Looks like it's time for the next bat-" She had been cut off by surprise. Zeo had slowly, arms folded across his chest walked up to the ring. She was a bit confused, the matchup had not been even decided. "Uh si-" Zeo shot her a glare, an intimidating one. "Tell all three of them to take me on. This 1 vs 1 stuff is a waste." he replied, his tone was filled with irritation.

Sanjo narrowed his eyes at Zeo. This wasn't his way of doing things, Zeo was not huge on starting fights. "He must be annoyed with watching these battles." Sanjo thought. Lana watched silently, while Richard leaned against the wall. He didn't bother to watch Zeo's battle, this was boring. "I hope Zeo just ends this nice and quick." he remarked. The 3 other opposing members dashed towards Zeo, in a blood lusting rage.

"So this is Team Vista?" a male voice, a slight chuckle followed. "Yes, this tournament has a good number of very powerful teams. But this is one of the most promising ones among the promising one." a female voice a replied. It was the committee, they were observing the battles from their tinted private skybox. A group of a dozen elder men and women, in formal attire, were gathered.

They were observing the entrance of Team Vista. One of the men turned to a colleague. "We did alot to get him here. But the entertainment he can produce is worth the price, it's all business anyhow." he said, with a hint of sarcasm. "Yes, indeed. He and his comrades are rather interesting...What say you, Mr. Chairman?" The turned to a man with brownish-blonde hair .

He sat there in silence, tapping the armrest. "We still need to watch more. The game has only begun." He commented calmy, some light laughter in the background. "Mari..." Suddenly a young women in black clothing appeared next to, crouching with one knee knelt to the ground. It was the samed women who gave Sanjo the message to compete. She kept her face down, in respect.

"Yes...Mr. Marx." she muttered, totally obedient. He scratched his forehead alittle, as he watched Zeo defeat all three opponents in moments time. They kept struggling to go for another offensive, but their injuries were too great. This prompted Marx to smirk, it was just a game for him. "On the off days, keep an eye on Team Vista. Please and thank you." The request was rather simple for a stealth agent like Mari.

"It will be done, sir." Mari replied, before vanishing again. The crowd got louder and louder, as the fight had ended. He got up out of his chair and turned to leave the room. "I'll be going, time for some sleep." Marx remarked, opening the door to exit the room.

"WOW!!!! Looks like Team Vista are victorious!" Megan shouted, arm flaring up.

Zeo promptly walked off the stage, moving towards his team. He didn't want Sanjo to bother with fighting such trash. Sanjo was about to say something, but decided to not. It had been a long day, mostly just watching fights albeit boring ones. Next to Richard, Lana pondered on who would be their first notable opponents. But the match ups would be revealed in the draw tommorrow for the next rounds.

She sighed softly."Looks like that's the end of that." Lana turned her attention to Sanjo. "I think we can head back to the hotel; relax. Tommorrow should be interesting." Sanjo knew her words to be true, 3 more teams had to fight their initial battles for advacement in the tournament. He nodded in agreement, "Yep, let's get out of here." the young mage said, smiling.

They walked down the hallway together. From the opposite direction, leaning on the wall, was a young man with black hair and a fur hooded jacket. As they neared him, the young man's eye fell on Sanjo. The Wizard Saint noticed from the corner of his eye, the devious smile on the young man's face. It was like ominous foreshadowing before something a horrible event in a novel. None of his comrades seemed to notice.

"Oh it's nothing...." Sanjo thought.

And so the first day of the Hell Tournament has ended, contestants go off to rest and strategize new plans of action. Team Vista went off to get some grub, or as Sanjo called it. The committee seemed to be seeing this hell fest as a game, more then a brutal tournament. Of course the true horros of the Hell Tournament had yet to be seen. Elsewhere, people's minds were on the past.

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