"Eh?!" Satoshi's right brow twitched as Ryoko bashfully looked at him before changing into her dragon form.
Silence befell the entire audience after they gasped in disbelief. This was supposed to be a family-friendly tournament, but when Ryu Ryoko showed up in questionable clothing, they were beginning to doubt that such was the case.
While her clothes weren't too revealing, they were certainly a feast for the eyes since she was proportionate to boot. Even Satoshi who didn't expect such a thing to happen, bashfully looked away as Ryu Ryoko shifted to her dragon form. He wasn't the one in undergarments, but he felt the embarrassment Ryu Ryoko felt nonetheless.
"Ano~ sorry about that," Satoshi muttered under his breath. "I should've been more mindful..."
'Mou~ you should have listened to me. What if I showed up without anything on?!' This was the first time Satoshi witnessed Ryoko lose her composure, which made him feel mildly uncomfortable. After all, it was partly his fault that it happened.
'I'm sorry, I'll make it up to you later.' Satoshi responded, hoping that his words would somehow appease Ryoko.
'You'd better...' Ryoko trailed off, bashfully looking away.
Meanwhile, the two opponents didn't even bother to sneak up on Satoshi for an attack. Typically, taking some sort of boosting pills would make someone lose control but in this case, the two of them took pills that weren't as effective as the original ones produced during the Boosting Incident. The effects of the pills may be significant, but it wasn't as deleterious to the body as they should. That's the reason why the two of them were still capable of deciding and thinking for themselves. They didn't lose their reason at all.
Furthermore, they were perfectly aware that Satoshi had given them time so they could succeed with their Dual Beast Integration. That's why they decided to give Satoshi some time so he could prepare as well. A favor for a favor. Despite their cheating mindset, they didn't go as far as to launch an unethical surprise attack.
"Let's go, Ryoko," Satoshi muttered, ignoring the awkward silence that filled the entire American Dome.
Luke Skyrunner and the commentator he had with him had a lot of things to say about the matter. But they figured that they'd rather remain silent than change the viewership ratings to 18+.
In a split second, Satoshi integrated with Ryu Ryoko, and he wore a diamond armor that covered his entire body and the upper part of his head. His armor was made of Ryoko's dragon scales, and his arm had Ryoko's claws for a weapon. "Get some rest, Shoyo, this will all be over soon," Satoshi mumbled before charging upwards.
At this point, Shoyo had already recovered, more or less, thanks to Sera who focused on healing him more than anything else. Even with his energy replenished and his stamina back at one hundred percent, Shoyo didn't bother jumping into the fight a second time since that would be unfair to their opponents. Besides, he realized that Satoshi was just testing him all this time, forcing him to exceed his limits and give his all in the fight.
Not once did Shoyo doubt that Satoshi would lose against the two. Regardless of their recent power-up, Shoyo believed that Satoshi could easily defeat them. Shoyo remained where he lay down, and he comfortably rested as he watched Satoshi's full display of power.
"You think you can win against us? You're only integrated with one beast... you don't have a chance against us." The first one muttered as he suddenly appeared behind Satoshi before throwing in a hundred wind slashes his way.
With a quick wave of his dragon claws, Satoshi deflected and parried all the wind slashes. He didn't even bother to look back toward the second opponent who shot a spire of flame at him. He knew that Ryoko's impenetrable scales would be able to block the attack.
Their diversion tactic succeeded and the attack connected. The spire of flame that could melt even the strongest of metals shot at Satoshi with full force, and blinding brightness filled the entire grand stage as diamond and fire met. Satoshi didn't budge an inch despite the powerful attack, and the two opponents smiled to themselves as they assumed that Satoshi would fall any second now.
When the brightness dissipated and the audience could look straight into the grand stage once again, they were expecting a beat-up Satoshi on the verge of losing consciousness. The two opponents also foresaw the same thing.
However, to their surprise, Satoshi came out of the attack unscathed.
"What in the— " The second opponent didn't finish what he was about to say. In a snap of a finger, Satoshi appeared behind him, spinning his body as he tightened his core. With one quick slash, he flung the second opponent to the ground.
It was so sudden that even the audience didn't notice Satoshi's movements. The next thing they heard was a thud as the second opponent accelerated downwards. A crater was formed, or rather, the grand stage was split in two the moment he hit, and Satoshi remained floating above as he overlooked the second opponent.
That wasn't enough to knock him unconscious though since the adrenaline and the boosting pill he took were now working at maximum effectiveness. The first opponent didn't waste any time shooting continuous wind slashes at Satoshi in hopes that he could stall for time while his ally recovered.
Satoshi appreciated their genuine effort to keep him at bay. Because of that, he decided to attack the first opponent this time. He repeated the same tactic— accelerating towards him faster than the speed of sight, appearing in his blind spot, and kicking him downward.
Just like his ally, he was also flung to the ground, falling on top of his ally while another crater appeared on the grand stage. The impact caused the two's lungs to release all their air, and they wheezed in pain.
"He's strong... but with the way he's using his beast integration, I don't think he'd be able to last without wasting his energy. We just have to outlast him." The first opponent whispered to the other as the two of them helped each other up.
Satoshi descended downwards, hitting the ground with a thud as he nailed a superhero landing. "What? I barely even started." Satoshi commented.
Loud cheers were once again heard from the audience as Satoshi slowly walked toward his two opponents. They haven't forgotten about Ryoko who appeared on the stage before transforming into a dragon, but they figured that Satoshi was bound to explain what happened after the match was over. That's why for now, they put the thought at the back of their minds and instead decided to relish the first match of the third round.
"Looks like Satoshi is driving his opponents into a corner. What do you think will happen next, Luke? At this rate, Satoshi is bound to exhaust himself first, right? He's dealing with two opponents after all." The commentator finally found his voice and he started commentating once again. Luke too had snapped out of it and he reverted to his usual commentary.
"No, I don't think so." Luke simply answered as one side of his lips curved upward into a smirk. "From what I could deduce based on Satoshi's previous match... I don't think that integrating with one beast is difficult for him. That's why there's no way he'll exhaust himself first."
"Also, let's not forget the fact that currently, Satoshi is only integrated with one beast while his opponents are integrated with two. That fact is easily overlooked since he could easily keep up with his two opponents." Luke Skyrunner pointed out.
"That's right! I forgot about that! I only assumed that he's integrated with two tamed beasts since he can go head to head with them."
"Y-you!" The first opponent screamed, charging at Satoshi as he unleashed a stable wind slash in his hand. He continuously fed it with energy so it won't disappear, and he used it as a sword to spar with Satoshi. As for the second opponent, he began firing fireballs at Satoshi to impede his movement. As usual, their teamwork was impeccable even when they were severely disadvantaged.
The two of them were fast, thanks to their integrated tamed beasts which boast a surprisingly high speed. But even after all that, Satoshi effortlessly weaved through their attacks, dodging every last one of them while counterattacking himself. He spun in the air as three continuous wind slashes were thrown at him, and while doing so, he kicked the fireballs in his vicinity and redirected their trajectory toward his two opponents. His two opponents may be speedy, but Satoshi's overall stats were pretty high so it didn't matter at all. In terms of attack, defense, and speed, Satoshi proved to be superior.
"I guess it's time to wrap things up," Satoshi muttered to himself, jumping in mid-air and pinning the first opponent to the ground using only one hand. He then used his other hand to fire a point-blank dragon beam at his opponent's face, rendering him unconscious in an instant.
"Eek~!' The second opponent exclaimed as he raised his hands in the air. He didn't want to experience such torture so he decided to just forfeit the match.
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