Disclaimer: Not mine.

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First Encounter

"Shin, be careful. This is Deimon territory now."

The five knights stood before the Notre Dame monastery, buttresses flying and rose windows with colored glass. No grass or tree or shrub grew within twenty miles of the place. Gravemarkers littered the churchyard and the dark clouds that constantly shrouded the entire valley promised ominous things in the shadows. The territory of the Demonic General Hiruma, tyrant of the New World.

Shin Seijuro grunted.

They advanced carefully, in formation towards the wrought iron fence. It was the gates into the grounds of the monastery, a graveyard. Broken angels and leering gargoyles stood sentry in various positions. The minute Takami Ichiro set foot on the graveyard, hissing whispers became audible. Unnerved, Takami almost stepped back but a slight push from Sakuraba was enough to strengthen his resolve.

The churchbell began ringing. One, two, three…six, seven, eight…Sakuraba counted, twelve, thirteen. The hour the underworld opened.

Stone grinded against stone. The knights tensed, wondering if the earth itself was opening up to vomit out the hellish soldiers.

A gargoyle curled up inside its wings stretched awake, wings flapping like hard leather. It stood up in front of them, then took off the gargoyle mask. Ikari almost charged but Takami had smacked him to restrain himself. This was no battle to be jumping into recklessly.

It was Sena, one of the living legends himself, Lieutenant General 21, one of Hiruma's infamous Helldogs…nervously wringing his wrists through the overly long pilot uniform's sleeves. "Ah," he said. "You're a bit…early." He coughed.

Takami ventured forth, "…Is there a problem? With being early, I mean."

Sena scratched his head and said, "Well, not really. It's just, it's just, um…everyone's still kind of sleeping. You know, they're hung over. We had this party, you see, and now I'm not really sure, um, maybe we can reschedule…?"

"Are you making fun of the great Oujo Knights, you shrimpy bastard!" Ikari rattled the chains he was tied with.

Sena tried to look offended. "Hey, I'm trying my best here—"

There was a brief ringing sound.

The knights all looked at Sena who mumbled an apology to them and took out a cellphone. And promptly got yelled at through the cell, "You fucking brat, just kill them already, and SHUT UP—" Then the cellphone's dial tone beeped.

"Ah, right!" Sena flipped his cell closed and gestured at it, "Guess I should finish this quickly, huh? Sorry, this won't take much of your time—"

Ikari only had a few seconds to say, "What the fu—"

Sena had blurred in front of them.

And all they heard were the words Black Roulette, before they were KO'd.

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Second Encounter

Sena stood over the panting knight, watching with curious eyes if the young man would rise up again after that particularly violent blow.

The other knights were already down for the count, blood commingling with the rain that was falling in the graveyard. The only one persisting was this one. This bullheaded knight who didn't know how to give up no matter how many times Sena cast Black Roulette on him. No matter how many times Sena went on Multiple Ghost and struck vital points on him. The guy clearly had a death wish.

The knight sucked in a pained breath, forehead bulging with veins in effort. His aristocratic cheekbones dug into the gravel tiles, bruised and grimy. Sena winced. A flash of his own face bruised and bloodied came to mind but he ignored it and reminded himself that that was years and years ago. No. He was strong now. He was better now.

Should he kill them permanently this time?

Game over?

He fiddled with the Deimon Militia symbol on the cuffs of his sleeves and wondered. No. Besides, Hiruma had once said it was…more fun if they were still alive to play the game. He smiled at the knight, eyes crinkling. The white knight ignored him and continued to struggle to push his body up.

Sena crouched down and nudged the man's forehead with his index finger. "You're really something, huh? You just…won't give up." Sena thought to himself. Then nodded in satisfaction. "That's…pretty cool."

For some unfathomable reason, Shin Seijuro blushed to his ears.

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Third Encounter

"Excuse me…but what are you wearing?" Takami asked without a hint of a blush in sight. In contrast, behind him, was Sakuraba as red as a tomato. Ikari was laughing uproariously while Otawara was asking him what was so funny. Then there was Shin who had on another brick-like expression on his face.

There wasn't much different with Sena, Lieutenant General 21. He still had on the overly large pilot jacket, zipped up to his chin. He still had the leathery wings flapping behind himself. He still had the small horns. But instead of pants, he was now wearing a plaid skirt so short it was any wonder it was even covering anything.

Sena coughed. And tried to tug at the edge of his pilot jacket, willing it to become longer. He was red too. He was humiliated. He'd been forced to shave too. He mumbled, "It was…one of General Hiruma's…tactics," and the pregnant pause showed how much Sena just doubted that, "…distracting enemies or something." He didn't add that it was General Hiruma's little joke that Sena looked and sounded like a girl and Monta looked and sounded like a monkey and often made unreasonable demands on them to dress as such.

Shin then readied his Ballista Spear. "I have grown, Sena. I am not so naïve now. I will defeat you."

Ikari was about to protest but Takami shook his head at him. The rest of them knew how hard Shin had pushed himself, trained himself to defeat his so-called rival. This was his battle, his and his alone.

Then Sena straightened up from his slouch, taking on a defensive position on top of the mausoleum's roof he'd been on. He blurred.

Trident and spear clashed. Sena used that to come in from underneath, claws sharp and ready.

Shin felt his instinct scream and he shoved his spear forward, breaking the grip of Sena's trident and hurling the Helldog backwards.

Sena lodged his trident into the gravel, managing to flip himself around and to slam both legs onto Shin's considerably large shoulders but the knight didn't even move an inch. Still there was, "Black Roulette!" The spell needed tactile contact and a spinning wheel appeared over the white knight.

Shin grabbed onto the smooth calves of Sena and pitched him towards the group of large grave-markers, managing to force the Helldog in releasing his trident.

The arrow stopped at a treasure pot.

Sena cursed even as he embedded his claws onto the ground, stopping his crash by a few measly inches, his skirt fluttering. The knight had grown stronger. And far too much luckier. Sena then bit his thumb and drew the Deimon symbol on his cheek and muttered, "Multiple Ghost," even as Shin was charging at him.

Several ghost-like blurs met Shin's oncoming run.

Shin's eyes sharpened. Not this time. He muttered the temporary spell, "Speed of Light."

The spear found its target.

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"…why are you…making a face like that?" Sena choked a bit, blood streaming down. The other knights had gone forward to the church and Shin was still here, a strange expression on his face.

The knight knelt down next to Sena's body and picked him up.

Sena began to wheeze and murmured to Shin, "…Stupid. Run your sword through me…I know you have…an extra one. Monsters are…a planet's way of leveling up heroes like you…we were made to die at your…hands, you know? So, pick up…the sword—"

Shin clutched at Sena and said, "You are not a monster."

Sena was quiet.

Shin continued, "Make no mistake. We will bring down General Hiruma's reign. Without killing." He slung Sena over his back. "I'm sorry to say we do not have a healer. But our camp is a few minutes' walk from here and there are potions there."

AN: Shuffled from some notes for a little exercise back into writing.