To be free, he thought with delight, was a glorious thing. Leaning over the balcony, watching the fight below with an expression of delight, the Imajin, Désast, almost did not hear the whistle of a blade cutting through the air behind him. Almost.
Deftly, he turning, spinning on his heel, hefting up the wicked curve of his own sword, the Grudge Dent, and blocking the attack before it could connect. He gazed back at the other, his own jaws locked in a rictus grin, and with narrowed eyes, he looked upon the red carapace, the horned visage.
"I thought you were dead," he purred with glee.
The other tensed, losing his cool, rage evident on his unchanging features.
"Son of a bitch!"
In excitement, Désast kicked out, knocking his opponent backwards, the clash of blades below still ringing out like the call of an inviting melody.
"Peach boy, you're keeping me from going out to play with my friends."
The other Imajin twitched with disgust, turning away momentarily in displeasure, his sword still held out, ready to re-join the fight at a moment's notice.
"Creeps like you don't have any friends," he snarled, returning his gaze to Désast.
"But I hear you do now," the other purred, delighting in the confrontation. "Word has it that you're at the beck and call of children, nowadays."
Momotaros lunged forward with a roar, his sword bouncing off the Grudge Dent as Désast effortlessly countered it.
"You're going soft, peach boy," he snarled with delight, "too much time hanging around weaklings, a blade to protect the weak and a sun to bless the forlorn, and all that kind of nonsense. The old Momotaros wasn't so predictable."
Again, he rebuffed the other Imajin's attacks, only this time, he pushed his advantage, lashing out again and again, his voice rising in a gleeful howl as his blade smashed into that of his enemy's.
"Remember when you used to boast of your prowess, peach boy? Remember when not a day would pass without you claiming to be the greatest fighter of all time, how there was no opponent too strong for you to face?"
With a peal of laughter, the Grudge Dent shattered the blade of his foe, sending shards of metal clattering to the dull concrete below as he brought it down in a wicked arc across the other's chest, sparks flying as the blade tore away against the other chitinous armour and Momotaros was thrown backwards once more, dropping to his knees in a grunt of pain.
"I guess if you're going to stop me playing with those petty swordsmen, I'll just have to take my frustrations out on you."
He lifted the sword up above his head once more. Without warning a fist smashed into the side of his head, knocking him off balance, sending him staggering forward, the sword almost slipping from his grasp. Like lightning, Momotaros was up and on his feet once more, the broken, blunt sword stabbing forward, driving into Désast's forearm as he attempted to defend himself.
Howling with laughter, the rogue Imajin stumbled backwards, tearing the broken sword free in an arc of black blood.
"Now this is more like it!" he cried out, eyes wide with madness and delight.
He turned from Momotaros to his new opponent, black and silver armour glistening in the sunlight, balled fists raised in a fighting stance. Sneering, he looked back towards the other Imajin.
"So, you brought your lackey, eh?"
Abruptly, he caught sight of someone else standing above them on the rooftop of the adjacent building, a stern expression upon her face, riding crop grasped firmly in one hand. Instinctively, he knew who it was—Bor's heir, the Gallows' Burden.
"Perhaps, on second thoughts, I might have a better time fighting those children down there."
Without a second thought, he turned and leapt over the railings down towards the brailing swordsmen and their foes.
"You little punk!" Momotaros called after him, racing to the barrier, only to find a hand on his chest, the armoured figure in black and silver restraining him.
The other hand slid to their waist, disengaging the suit, pulling away the pass from the belt buckle, shards of metal flittering away into nothing to reveal a tall woman in her early 20s dressed in a flowing black dress and white cardigan.
"Let him go," Hana said softly, turning away to face the figure on the opposing rooftop, "we have other concerns right now."
The wind stirred, and in the distance, came the low, forlorn cry of ravens.