And, sure enough, as the countdown ends, his opponent abandons such bravado and adopts an appropriate defensive position. The Avatar responds by testing it with a light punch, meant solely to gauge Sheng Long's defenses, rather than do harm. Sure enough, the other is easily able to intercept and redirect that blow. "Pathetic!" says Sheng Long, a sneer on his lips. "I had heard I would be fighting one whom Paragon views as a peer! Am I to believe that they meant such as you?"
Interesting. The Avatar wonders why Sheng Long is attempting to provoke him to greater levels of violence. Well, that is the language being spoken at the moment, so it would behoove him to respond in the appropriate manner. The next blow, directed at Sheng Long's upper chest, cannot be so easily deflected, and strikes the other man hard enough that it knocks him back into the fencing that makes up the arena's outer wall.
And yet, he seems happy. "Fool!" says Sheng Long. (He clearly has a preference for declarative insults.) "Now you shall face the Dragon in truth!" His eyes begin to glow, his bright red hair is stirred despite the absence of any wind, and there is a faint ripple in the air before him. Something strikes against the Avatar's flesh, though it does not suffice to injure him. But it does give him cause for thought.
"That is a very interesting form of telekinesis you are employing," says the Avatar. "I now understand a warning I was recently given."
Sheng Long glares. "Wretch!" (He continues to demonstrate his penchant.) "What I possess is no trick of science, but a manifestation of the Dragon with whom I am entwined!"
"... are you confessing to having brought an ally into what is supposed to be an individual conflict?"
"Then, you would agree that this is your own power, rather than that of an imagined dragon?"
The Avatar sighs. "I don't know why I bother trying to talk, sometimes." With that, he launches a potent assault on Sheng Long that the martial artist is able to evade, and which leaves him open to a counterattack with his actual fist, more successful than before. The Avatar winces, touching the area covered by his tanktop that the martial artist was able to strike.
"Ha! You felt that one!" Sheng Long laughs at the sight.
"Yes," says the Avatar, in a tone unlike that which he has used until this point. "It was quite painful." And with that, he launches himself towards his opponent, seizing him in a bear hug. Before Sheng Long can wiggle free, the Avatar then soars up to the height of the arena.
"Tell me," he says conversationally. "Does the dragon grant you its power of flight?"
"I -- you --"
"Or will it catch you if you fall?" He starts to ease his grip on the other man.
"... very well, then." With that, the Avatar descends once more, releasing Sheng Long only once he has reached a safe distance above the ground.
"You will pay for this humiliation, alien," says his former opponent when he recovers his footing, speaking under the sound of Thunder Dragon's voice asking about boons. "My master will answer for this!"
"Would I be correct in concluding that your master is the one who granted you power?" This requires no particular deductive brilliance. An entity like this, who worships power, would only serve one who provided it.
"Then this is my boon -- tell them that I look forward to our conversation."
And on that note, the first day of the Tournament reached its conclusion.
Side B, Match 4: Sheng Long vs. The Avatar
Sheng Long: Initiative +17/+9, Unarmed +12 (Close Damage DC 18), With Dragon Essence +15/+12 (Close Damage DC 22), Striking Claw +15/+12 (Close Damage DC 24), Reaching Claw +11 (Ranged Damage DC 24), Dodge 12/9 (22/19), Parry 15/12 (25/22), Fortitude 9/5, Toughness 9/7/5/3, Will 11, Acrobatics +11, Athletics +13/+9, Insight +12, Intimidation +13/+9)
Hero Points: 2
All, Agile Feint, Assessment, Daze (Intimidation), Fast Grab, Fearless, Grabbing Finesse, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Ultimate Effort (Toughness).
The Avatar: Initiative +19, Unarmed +13/+11 (Close Damage 26), Dodge 12 (22), Parry 14 (24), Fortitude 14, Toughness 12, Will 10, Insight +8.
Hero Points: 1
Turn 1: The Avatar 28, Sheng Long 10
The Avatar makes a +2/-2 Accurate Attack.
Attack Roll 1d20+13+2=18 vs. Parry DC 22; Miss.
Sheng Long Assesses as a free action, learning the Avatar's Attack and Defense bonuses, and then Demoralizes.
Insight 1d20+12=27 vs. Deception 1d20+3=12
Intimidation 1d20+9=27 vs. Will DC 25; Impaired.
Turn 2: The Avatar 24, Sheng Long 11
The Avatar makes a straightforward attack.
Attack Roll 1d20+13-2=23 vs. Parry DC 22; Hit
Toughness 1d20+5=6; Reroll
Toughness 1d20+5=24 vs. Damage DC 26; Bruised.
Sheng Long activates his Dragon Essence, and makes an +5/-5 All-out Attack with his Reaching Claw power.
Attack Roll 1d20+11+5=25 vs. Dodge DC 22; Hit.
Toughness 1d20+12=28 vs. Damage DC 24; No effect.
Turn 3: The Avatar 33, Sheng Long 20
The Avatar makes a +2/-2 Power Attack.
Attack Roll 1d20+13-2=12; Automatic Miss
Sheng Long makes a +5/-5 Power Attack with his Striking Claw.
Attack Roll 1d20+15-5=29 vs. Parry DC 24; Hit
Toughness 1d20+12=20 vs. Damage DC 29; Bruised, Dazed.
Turn 4: The Avatar 37, Sheng Long 27
The Avatar attempts a Grab, and removes his Bruised condition at the end of the round.
Attack Roll 1d20+11=26 vs. Parry DC 24; Hit
Dodge 1d10+12=22 vs. Strength DC 26; Immobile and Vulnerable
He then uses Extra Effort to take another standard action, uses it for a move action, and flies to the top of the arena.
Sheng Long surrenders.
Victor: The Avatar.