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Fashion. It's life or death.
— Ghastly Bespoke.

Ghastly Bespoke is an experienced sorcerer and close friend of Skulduggery Pleasant. Ghastly's mother was jinxed when she was pregnant with him which lead to him being born with scars that covered his whole face, an aliment he has been unable to find a cure for. Growing up he often told people that he got his love of boxing from his father and love of sewing from his mother but the truth was actually the reverse; his father was the one always making adjustments to his clothes and his mother was a legendary boxer, boasting an impressive 23-0 record. Ghastly met and befriended Skulduggery as a teenager and fought alongside him during the war against Mevolent in a group called the Dead Men.

After the war Ghastly decided to take up tailoring as his profession full time, although he still helped up Skulduggery whenever possible. During a battle with the White Cleaver Ghastly was forced to use the defensive earth magic to turn himself into a stone statue, a state he remained in for a year and a half. Ghastly was eventually persuaded to take up the role of Elder of the Irish Sanctuary, an appointment he loathed because of the complicated politics involved and the lack of spare time it afforded him.

Battle vs Jonathan Joestar (by Wassboss)[]

After the events of the previous night the small village of Windknight’s Lot is grimly quiet, as the residents mourn the loss of family members and try to wrap their heads around the horror they have seen. All they want is for the peacefulness of their everyday life to return but the sun begins to dip in the sky it appears peacefulness is not what they are going to get. A rather bedraggled looking man rushes up the one road into the village; tall, with sparkling green eyes, short black hair and wearing a torn and tattered suit with a thick glove on his right hand. This man is Nefarain Serpine, one of Mevolent’s three generals and he is running for his life. He looks around wildly for somewhere to hide but the open fields provide no cover and he presses on towards the actual village himself, hoping he can find someone to hide him there.

“That blasted skeleton and his scarred friend, why can’t they just give me a moments rest,” he mutters to himself. “Just a few more years, when the truce has been ironed out and agreed, they’ll have no choice but to let me go free.” Caught up in his mutterings and still scanning the area for somewhere to hide he doesn’t notice the man in the road until it is too late and he smacks into him and falls to the ground.

“Watch where you’re going moron,” he says angrily, glaring up at the man who looks at him with concern.

“There is no need to be rude,” he says calmly and extends his hand to help Serpine up. “Are you okay, you seem to be troubled?”

“Ah yes, my apologies, I shouldn’t have been so terse,” Serpine says, sensing he might be able to get this man to help him. “I am in a bit of trouble actually, I’m being chased by some very evil men, they want to arrest me for a crime I did not commit.”

“That sounds terrible. Perhaps I could help you straighten things out with them.”

“No, no, no. These men are quite unreasonable, I fear it would just lead to us both getting arrested.” Serpine hears the sound of hoof steps approaching and looks back as two men, with scarves wrapped around their faces approach. Panicking now he puts the stranger in between him and the men. “That’s them,” he says pointing.

“Get away from him young man,” one of the men says. “He’s a very dangerous criminal.”

“He says he has been wrongly accused,” the stranger says.

“Well he would say that wouldn’t he,” the man replies. The stranger eyes them both with suspicion.

“Why are you faces covered?” he asks.

“Because it’s chilly out,” the man says sarcastically. “But since we’re asking questions who even are you to decide if this man is telling the truth?”

“My name is Jonathan Joestar. It is true I cannot say if he is lying or not but when two men who hide their faces come chasing after a man dishevelled and scared my instinct is to mistrust them.” The other man, who has so far stayed silent, starts forward on his horse.

“We don’t have time for this, so get out of the way boy or there will be trouble.” He uses his horse to try and barge Jonathan out of the way but he grabs the reins to stop him. As he looks up at the man, Jonathan sees the scarf dislodge slightly, revealing an open eye socket. He reaches up suddenly and snatches the scarf off, revealing the man to be a skeleton.

“Good god,” Jonathan says horrified. Skulduggery tries to go for Serpine but Jonathan yanks him from his horse, throwing him to the ground. “It seems we didn’t get all of Dio’s minions after all” he says, drawing Pluck from its scabbard. A sudden gust of air knocks him away as the other scarfed man dismounts from his horse, hands splayed out in front of him. Serpine takes the opportunity to jump onto the spare horse, riding off towards the town to make his escape.

“Skulduggery! You go after Serpine, I’ll deal with the kid,” Ghastly shouts. Skulduggery nods to him, jumps on Ghastly’s horse and gives chase. Ghastly watches as Jonathan picks himself off the ground. Taking in a deep breath he rushes at Ghastly, Pluck held aloft and brimming with Hamon energy. Ghastly splays his hands out again to send forth another gust of wind which hits Jonathan head on. To his utter amazement, rather than being pushed back by the gust, Jonathan stands strong against it, digging his feet into the ground as the magic flows past him. Once the attack passes, he throws himself forward, catching Ghastly totally off guard and almost burying Pluck into his shoulder.

Fortunately, Ghastly manages to block the swing with his gauntlet and with his free hand, draws his own sword. Jonathan presses him aggressively, forcing Ghastly on the defensive, blocking blows with either his gauntlet or sword. Still the force of the blows are strong and he can feel his arms begin to grow tired from all the defending. The blazing yellow the sword is bathed in is also a cause for concern especially when the sword nicks his hand and he feels a buzzing sensation. “You know kid, you don’t have to do this.”

“I won’t stop until the influence of Dio is banished from this world!” Jonathan cries defiantly. His words seem to lend him strength to his blows and with an almighty swing he smashes the sword out of Ghastly’s hand, leaving him weaponless and vulnerable. Another powerful chop knocks Ghastly to the ground despite him blocking it with his gauntlet. Standing over him, Jonathan lifts Pluck over his head, ready to bring it down on his downed opponent but Ghastly snaps his fingers, creating a fireball in his hand and flinging it towards him. Jonathan leans back as the scorching ball of flames whooshes past his face and Ghastly sweeps his legs out from underneath him with a kick. He then flicks his hand and Pluck is wrenched from Jonathan’s grip and sent flying into some nearby bushes.

As Jonathan gets to his feet, Ghastly closes in, slamming punches into him with his right hand. Apart from a quiet grunt of discomfort the punches seem to have little effect however and Jonathan takes a deep breath, channelling his Hamon. He steps back, momentarily out of the reach of Ghastly’s fists and before he can close the distance let’s out a cry of “ZOOM PUNCH”. His arm launches forward, extending much further than his normal reach and strikes Ghastly right on the chin. The punch itself does little harm him, it’s not the first or the last time he’ll be punched in the face but something feels wrong. He feels lightheaded, as if he has been out in the sun too long but the feeling quickly dissipates.

Before he can figure out what the hell just happened Jonathan presses forward with his attack. Ghastly settles into a defensive stance, blocking the incoming punches with his forearms. When the opportunity arises, he hits back with a punch of his own but none of them seem to be having an effect on the Englishman. Ghastly meanwhile, can feel himself getting more sluggish and a blow he should’ve blocked sneaks through, catching him in the chest. He grimaces but still keeps up his guard, now too cautious to try and throw punches of his own. As Jonathan’s fist raps against his gauntlet he sees sparks fly peaking his interest. Looking more carefully at Jonathan he can see a glow around his body, a less potent version of the glow that was enveloping his sword earlier. Clearly, he’s using some sort of magic to enhance his fighting style and Ghastly notices him breath in unusually and the glow grows brighter still.

“Breathing. It’s something to do with his breathing.” Ghastly thinks to himself. He can feel some more movement returning to his body and decides to test out his theory. As Jonathan comes in with another punch, he clasps his arm with his gauntlet. This opens up the space for him to deliver a punch to the gut. Jonathan splutters as the blow connects and the glow around him weakens but the punch that struck the gauntlet has already charged it with Hamon energy. Ghastly feels his left arm go numb and quickly wrenches the gauntlet off to try and alleviate the effect. “My heart resonates! The heat’s enough to burn! The beat of my blood is razor-sharp!” Jonathan exclaims, having used the distraction to regain control of his breathing. “SUNLIGHT YELLOW OVERDRIVE” he shouts as he unleashes his ultimate attack, pummelling Ghastly with Hamon infused punches and finishing off the move with an uppercut that launches the dead man through the air.

Ghastly lands hard on the stone road, groaning loudly. He tries to get up but the Hamon coursing through his body saps his energy and the best he can do is pull himself up into a sitting position. Jonathan strides over to him, charging up more Hamon into his hand to perform the final blow which will knock his opponent unconscious. Before he can get close enough, Ghastly raises his hand and Jonathan suddenly feels the air rush out of his lungs. Gasping to get more breath he cannot, almost as if he is caught in a vacuum. Ghastly gets to his feet gingerly, still suffering from the effects of the overdrive. “Looks like you can’t use that magic of yours without an air source,” he says.

As the feeling begins to return to his arms and legs, he walks carefully up to Jonathan who is now more concerned with not suffocating rather than using his Hamon. Gathering up the air in his other hand he encases his fist with it and drives a punch into Jonathan’s face, knocking him to the floor. This has the inadvertent effect of allowing him to regain his breath and he leaps up with a roar, arm swinging at Ghastly. The blow connects solidly with his shoulder but the disruption to his breathing means that the Hamon barely does anything. Ghastly doesn’t let his attack go unchallenged and drives another punch into Jonathan’s stomach, winding him once again. Pressing his advantage, he delivers two jabs which rock the Joestar’s head back and, gathering the air around his fist once more, delivers the coup de grâce, an uppercut right in the sweep spot, which knocks Jonathan out.

As his opponent lies unconscious on the floor Ghastly hunches over, breathing heavily from the fight and still recovered from the Hamon’s effect on his body. He hears the sound of hooves and looks over to see Skulduggery riding towards him, a second horse being lead along next to him. He dismounts as he approaches and walks over to Ghastly. “Serpine?” he asks.

“Got away,” Skulduggery says his voice hard. “By the time I’d caught up to him he’d stolen a boat from a fisherman and rowed off. I found the man’s body nearby, not a mark on him, obviously a victim of the right red hand.” He looks over at the unconscious body of Jonathan and draws his revolver, lifting him up and pressing the barrel against his head.

“Woah there Skull,” Ghastly says. “What the hell are you doing.”

“It’s this idiot’s fault that Serpine got away. Who knows how many people he’ll go on to kill?”

“Killing him won’t solve anything,” Ghastly says.

“It’ll make me feel a lot better,” Skulduggery says coldly. Ghastly grabs his friend’s arm.

“Look. He’s just a kid, he didn’t know about Serpine or who he was. I know you’re angry, I know how much you want to avenge your family. I felt the same way about Lord Vile after he killed my mother. But killing an innocent person isn’t the answer. We’re not like Serpine.” A long silence follows and Ghastly begins to worry his words aren’t having any effect until Skulduggery lowers his gun.

“You’re right Ghastly,” he says the anger gone from his voice. “About the kid. I let my anger get the better of me. Serpine is still out there and we need to find him.” Ghastly claps his arm around his shoulder and leads him back to the horses, leaving Jonathan in the road where he’ll wake up with a splitting headache and an interesting story to tell.

Winner: Ghastly Bespoke

Expert's Opinion[]

Ghastly won because of his magic being more effective. His air and fire magic gave him ranged attacks which Jonathan had little defence against and the fact he can use air magic to deprive someone of oxygen meant he could easily disable Jonathan’s Hamon once he figured out how it worked. His wealth of experience also helped him in this regard with his over 400 years of combat experience being vastly more useful than the couple of nights Jonathan spent fighting Dio and his minions.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

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