Not fun. Also not productive. I wrote a song today, and wanted to sing it and post it, but I'm not feeling like doing that tonight anymore. Heck, I barely feel like doing Red Hood Rider, even though I really need to get it done.
...Speaking of Red Hood Rider, though...I do have a lot to talk about, there. For a start, I thought it worth mentioning: know how Ruby is based off of me? Yeah, well...I can SO much feel her inside of me that, full time now, I could swear I'm wearing her fingerless gloves. As in, I get a strong phantom sensation of their existence, actually feeling them as if tangible. Her bracelet, too. (Not to mention, not having a flat chest.)
Though the main purpose I came here for was to talk about the element of Darkness. I've talked about ice, fire, water, energy, and light before and why they're so ridiculously strong (maybe not in as much detail as possible, maybe scattered, but enough to give you the general idea at least), but even among the elements, Darkness is considered one of the strongest.
For starters, this can be traced back to all the things darkness can be defined as...like, "everywhere Light is not"--and when you think about it, the VAST majority of space is, by that definition, of the Darkness element. It also covers Dark Matter and Dark Energy, too. Not to mention, black holes. As a further boost, Darkness covers the Void, nothingness, and similar concepts, making it a tool for dimensional transportation AND a way to shut down imagination-based powers. (Or, alternatively, by removing Darkness, enhancing them.) It can remove or reveal things at will, making it good for investigations and obscurities alike.
All of these are strong abilities. The ability to shift forms is another one frequently included. Shifting forms, shifting realms, shifting locations, and the aforementioned ability to interfere with the vast majority of powers by forming a strong blockade. These things make darkness valuable.
...But as if that wasn't enough, Darkness is one of only four elements (the others being Water, Ice, and Light) to be able to mimic other elements. In the case of darkness, this is via 'shadowing' them. Unlike the other three, though (all of which involve 'mirroring'), shadowing an element can make the attack STRONGER than the original. Incidentally, this is why most "mirror matches" involve darkness in some manner: to emphasize that fighting original-to-original is a BAD idea.
...Also, an extension of the above is a related ability: Light, Energy, Fire, and Air all have the ability to augment other elements, via various methods, but none have quite the same ease as Darkness does, because with Light, it's an attempt at combining; with Energy/Fire/Air, it's the Energy/Fire/Air user giving as much of their power as they can channel. But with Darkness, the darkness user is basically absorbing, augmenting, enhancing, and shadowing the second element all at once: black fire, black lightning, black ice, you get the idea, they are attacks that are primarily darkness, with the second element boosting it exponentially.
Furthermore, Darkness is one of only TWO elements capable of draining an opponent. (Admittedly, Ice holds power over entropy, thus, can remove energy from someone, but the ice-user does not inherit this removed energy. Similarly, Water users hold the power of redirecting energy, able to remove it from someone and place said energy elsewhere, but they cannot themselves actually absorb it.)
Unlike Energy, though (the other element that can drain), which requires first draining the attack in its entirety, then processing it in its entirety, all before countering by unleashing it all...Darkness GROWS, being able to lash out while still consuming. So as it eats an attack, it will still be itself attacking, with the attack growing stronger the more it is fed.
This, understandably, is why yin-yang bombs are so powerful. Darkness combined with Light, just like Fire with Ice, produces not only a strong symbiotic relationship, but ALSO that very strong symbolism relationship. So it's no wonder why so many creatures are of the night, and why so much of the occult is symbolized by Darkness, and why it's a favorite of villains everywhere.
This holds relevance to Ruby, too: early-on, she uses a SUPER-advanced Darkness attack, bare-handed (so not focused in a weapon at all, and not at a range, point blank where she can feel the full feedback), and THEN she turns it into a yin-yang bomb. Understandably, this is not without consequence: she suffers SEVERE magical fatigue as a result. It is, however, what eventually gives her the idea for the Supernova Shot! (Also called the Sunburst shot, which I've referred to as a nova shot.)
But more about Darkness. No matter what, Darkness users prefer fighting in the night. Regardless of what sort of powers they have, the symbolic boost is enough in of itself to justify fighting at night. (This is also why Blood Masters tend to work during the day, by the way: because there is no clan that so utterly devastated them as much as their war with the shadow master clan, masters of the darkness element. In a fight between two equally-skilled masters, power level becomes irrelevant, and usually the winning factor is whoever suffers magical fatigue first--usually, the shadow master, but during the night, it could be the blood master.)
However, if fighting during the day, a darkness master, a true darkness master, has several options:
1--fight in an environment where light is taken away, e.g. knocking out power to a building, collapsing the entrance to a cave.
2--Use elements of the darkness element that aren't significantly impacted by the daylight, such as the void. This is what the vast majority of users do, as it takes little skill.
3--Use elements of the darkness element that are actually enhanced by the daylight...namely, manipulating shadows. (Naruto alone shows why that's effective, though plenty of other things demonstrate the power of shadows, too.) This is the second-most-used.
4--Spend a significant amount of energy creating darkness, veiling the area in black. This is not often used, because it's a waste of energy for a small tactical advantage. However...
5--Use loophole abuse to create darkness without draining energy. This is an advanced technique which only a few people across the world know how to do, but basically, it involves chaining concepts of darkness together. Starting with the definition: "During day, there is light. Light is an absence of darkness." This transitions into the next idea: "Darkness is defined as the absence of something. So the absence of darkness is still an absence, therefore, darkness." It's a paradox, yes, but that's why it's called loophole abuse. Final step in the process? "Darkness is also about consumption, and I hereby consume the absence of darkness". Which...creates darkness.
Does it make sense? Only vaguely. It's bending the rules a lot...but it works, allowing the darkness user to veil the battlefield in darkness for free. Said darkness will last until purposefully removed, though it's worth noting that this is effectively natural darkness, the same as could be found during the night--unlike the created darkness, natural darkness is effected by artificial light sources, such as magical spells or things as simple as flashlights, weakening (but not removing) it. So in that way, it's not quite as good as the created darkness, but it's a whole HECK of a lot less exhaustive on the caster.
I should probably mention at this point that one of the most prominent users of darkness are vampires, as is known already. While most vampires don't know how to use their darkness powers to their maximum, what makes vampires particularly lethal foes is that their darkness powers have no predefined limits. While their ability to use it during the day is restricted--therefore making them not as strong at using it as a natural darkness user would be--they also are stronger than a strictly-darkness-user, because while advanced darkness users can do all of the abilities mentioned above (plus removing senses, let's not forget that one), most darkness users can't, for whatever various reason, reach that level.
...In contrast? There is absolutely nothing stopping a vampire from mastering every aspect of darkness. Plus, darkness users are prone to aging...but vampires are ageless. They have all of eternity to build their skills. Heck, Dale even pre-power-up is able of causing a rain of darkness arrows, a full armies' worth in a continuous volley of death. Furthermore, vampires have skills outside of darkness, making them not just monotonous fighters.
Another deciding factor: darkness magic is still magic at its base core. Vampire powers are partially classified as magical, but they are also partially not inherently magical...meaning that vampires are able to use the majority of their powers in situations where anti-magic is employed. Darkness-users...well, most can't.
In a battle between the best human darkness user and the strongest darkness-practitioning vampire, the vampire will always win, because even during the daylight when the vampire is at its weakest and the darkness user still has abilities related to darkness that can be used, said abilities are rarely enough to compensate for the age, experience, and skills the vampire has.
Basically, while situationally, darkness users are stronger than vampires, vampires as a whole are considered one of the strongest creatures of the night for good reason. They're ridiculously hard to kill. (Heck, Dracula survived the events of the book bearing his name, in spite of all the humans' efforts to the contrary. He was defeated, sure, but he didn't die.)
Magical powers make them easy to beat up. Skilled humans can defeat them in combat. They suffer MASSIVE casualties during wars, because regardless of era, human weapons of war are still capable of killing a vampire, albeit with difficulty, if the vampire is unable to regenerate from the damage inflicted. Every time vampires have been exposed, in fact, prior to modern times (by which point, nobody cares anymore) they have been systematically wiped out because while vampires are undoubtedly superior to humans, they're not universally skilled enough to avoid being killed off.
So to put it another way: Vampires > most magical things > the human masses > most vampires. Vampires one-on-one beat almost anything, but when pitted against hundreds, they're not so much of unstoppable killing machines as to be invincible. Skilled vampires can still survive, but most die off in those attacks. However, said vampire survivors grow stronger as a result, becoming even more powerful against the magical beings they are likely to face.
Soyeah. That's the world of Red Hood Rider on darkness, more or less.
A ridiculously strong element, near-limitless in power, situationally one of the strongest elements, and one inherent to some of the strongest creatures in the Rubyverse, vampires. It's not overwhelmingly the strongest element, since there is balance in the universe and whatever Darkness can do, Light can either also do or can provide some counter to, but it's certainly the easiest element to use, and also the element with some of the greatest versatility depending on creativity.
This is yet one more reason why the Rider of Darkness is The Chosen One: their vast power can shape the world.