One of Black, one of White, one of Day, one of Night (Round 2)
OoC: I'm so sorry, Honour. I know I said I would have it up tomorrow two days ago. I apologize for taking longer than I promised. I hope you like it regardless.
BiC: On one wall, the inscription reads: I am the Moon. I preside over the night. I preside over the North and the East. I preside over the water and the wind. I preside over all things motionless, yet still march forward through time. I hang in the sky as a judge at the end of life. My shining light is significant of my influence.
On another, the inscription reads: I am the Sun. I preside over the day. I preside over the South and the West. I preside over the fire and the earth. I preside over all things active, yet still leave a memory in nature’s heart. I hang in the sky as a selector at the start of life. My bright light is significant of my influence.
Separating the two walls, there rests a great stone pathway. Not a ray of light or a shade of darkness hits its surface; it is gray. It bears an inscription as well. We are the Stars. We preside over and under the Sun and Moon. We preside over every direction and no direction. We preside over everything and nothing. We preside over the one thing the Sun and Moon have no control over. We hang in the sky as a guide through life. Our twinkling lights are significant of our influence.
“Again with the stories?” Fuzen asked sarcastically as he intently listened to his current victim’s inane jabber. “Well, the ruins are right over there,” she responded timidly, pointing to a stone structure that rose from the nearby grove of green palms, “Whenever I see it, I can’t help but think of that fairy tale.”
“I see. It looks like there are a lot of legends around here.”
At a steady pace, he and she walked along a sandy beach. The ocean winds blew in gently, spreading the foreign scent of the sea, inland. A bright gibbous moon shined down from the heavens, sending bands of crystal silver to reflect off the distant rolling waves. Water crashed in and out against the shore, playing the coral tune only the salty swells could play. The evening cool had set within the sands, padding the feet of the couple that walked over it. At the edge of the endless beach, a grove of palms sprouted up from the pale brown sediment. They covered the landscape beyond the sandy barrier, forming a tropical forest that gave life to a pride of leafy plants. The sea air whistled between them, shaking the palm leaves with a gentle swish. Together, the trees and ocean played the duet of earth and water that could only be heard through the medium of the beach.
It was the perfect tune for Fuzen to dance to. Like a gentleman stepping to the waltz, he performed every beautiful step in the dance of perfect seduction. A flip of his hair, an aloof remark, a comment on her familiarity, a short quip about destiny, and she melted for him. The dance enchanted each victim, drawing them in with the three perfect parts. He knew the melody, she supplied the rhythm, and the beach threw in the harmony. To that tune, that dance, no woman alive could resist him. She, Tomoyo, the untouched maiden he walked alongside, was not strong enough to find herself an exception. Like countless before her, she became hypnotized by his dance.
Hours passed, they became close, but the time was coming for all to end. The time for her end, at least. She rambled on about fairytales, regaling the half demon with the rich history surrounding the seaside region. Speckled amongst her local tales of whimsy, she revealed a foreign myth or two. That lone coincidence kept her from passing through the threshold of the house of death. He wondered, ever so slightly, if she would mention his legend. Indeed, it brought elation to his soul to hear others talking about what he once was, a god. However, even after a long wait, she still didn’t even so much as allude to the fallen god of destruction. Keeping the face of the dancer, he readied himself to end her life.
Suddenly, a voice popped into his mind. Ijinken? he thought, shifting his eyes down to his bejeweled sword. The partner deity firmly answered with a no. Not satisfied, he returned his eyes to his petite prey. Could she have said it? No, she was still going on about cherry blossoms, magic cards, and key wands.
This time, the voice was clearer, more feminine sounding. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” he said to Tomoyo, cutting her off just as she mentioned something about an angel and a tiger, “But did you hear someone call my name just now?”
“No, I don’t think so,” she replied, sounding more confused than timid.
That was the last straw. Putting his hand on his sword, he summoned the sand to his side. Almost instantly, two sheets of sand rose up and wrapped around his victim, covering all but her head. She let out a shocked scream, but it did nothing to stop the sand from constricting her body tighter. All the while, she looked to Fuzen, thinking he would come to her aid. Although he had no intention of leaving her there, he ignored her and stared off at the stone structure that rose from the palm grove, which was where he heard the voice echo from. He knew it; something in that dilapidated building was beckoning him. Suspicious, he turned back toward his tied down toy.
“You know, you have a cute mouth,” he said, gripping her by the chin, “I think I’ll use it before you die.” Despite her wriggles of protest, he pressed his mouth against hers. She tried to scream for help, but she couldn’t pull away. Forcefully, he slid his tongue past her lips. However, he was met with a pair of sharp teeth, which came down upon his adventurous flesh, drawing a drop of blood. Quickly, he pulled away, gritting his teeth in anger over her insubordination. In a fit, he turned demon and ran the tips of his right claw over her face. She cried out in pain, only to be silenced by the tightening of the sand on her chest. “It‘s sad,” he said, turning away from her, “Your death could have been special to me. If only this thing didn’t come up so soon.”
A bloody fountain erupted from the Desolation, staining the sands red.
Licking his fingers, Fuzen made his way towards the stone structure that was visible from the beach. After a short walk through the forest, he arrived at its entrance. The building itself was rather nondescript. It was little more than a rectangle with a doorway in it. With a shrug, he entered. Though it didn’t seem dangerous, he drew his sword. Suspicious was often times worse than dangerous. Besides being a little dark for comfort, he found little to worry about. He walked through a corridor, a plain and simple corridor. Although it sloped downwards slightly, it went straight ahead without so much as curving. Suddenly, he regretted having killed Tomoyo so quickly. Destroying her body one piece at a time would have been less boring.
Eventually though, he reached the end. To his mild disinterest, he came into another corridor, this one going from left to right. With a grumble, he walked down the right path. After a much shorter walk, he came to a dead end. Strangely, there was a black slate pressed against the wall there. Curious, Fuzen rubbed his hand along its surface. Right in its center, it had an inscription. Though he couldn’t see, he could feel what characters he was reading. “I am the Moon,” he read aloud, “I preside over the night. I preside over the North and the East. I preside over the water and the wind. I preside over all things motionless, yet still march forward through time. I hang in the sky as a judge at the end of life. My shining light is significant of my influence.”
In a flash, the room was full of light. The floor glowed with a brilliant silver radiance that extended beyond the walls. Or, rather, where the walls would have been. Now, there was nothing around him at all, save the massive shining globe that he stood upon. The shock had hardly any time to wear off before he realized what had taken the place of his surroundings. In the great space above him, chunks of earth floated in the air, suspended without motion. There was a wall in every direction, forming a black, spherical cage that held everything he could see. Finally, directly above him, there hung a yellow globe, glowing with an equally bright, but different, light. As he saw it, he stood on the moon, inside a black dome, facing the sun and the earth bridges that connected the two.
OoC: Let's have a good, clean match.
Signature, Avatar, and Character Buttons made by Lady Knives.
Re: One of Black, one of White, one of Day, one of Night
OoC: Thanks for posting first! I'm using Jubril Mahrus. ^_^
IC:The act of stalking has three distinct levels of identity, much like any other action or even most reactions. Stalking possesses the first level of identity, that being simply identity, or common identity; to have a common identity is to be in existence or simply acknowledged, such as it is acknowledged that a bumblebee can fly, and like the bumblebee the common identity is nothing extraordinary in and of itself. Stalking also possesses the third and fourth levels of identity, but first it must be noted that there is a second level, defined by something slightly better, or more precise, or more interesting; in this second level of identity, an action is acknowledged as something more perfected than the common identity, much like a wasp seems to be a more lovely flier than a bumblebee. However, stalking skips this second level and moves directly to either the third or the fourth level: a scientific level or an artistic level. Unlike the first two levels, these are not necessarily sequential, one does not immediately follow the other simply because it is noted as the higher number in the level buildup. The two are not mutually exclusive, but they have supreme differences.
The scientific level, that being the third level of identity for the particular act of stalking, is one easily defined as the most precise, in the sense that it is more perfect than any other as for how it operates. Anything that is capable of employing this level of stalking is commendable, a true genius even, and cannot be trifled with the snotty looking-down-upon that most people feel is due to those who– or, as the case may be, what– are ‘mere' first level stalkers, as they are far above and beyond this stage of ability in the stalker lineup, as it were. With the scientific level of stalking comes the ability to be technically perfect in all senses, flawless in form and quality.
However, this does not mean that the scientific level is the highest, best, and brightest there is to be attained in the levels of identity for those who seek to improve themselves in the act of stalking, and in fact it is quite the opposite really. Nothing at the scientific level is truly masterful and perfect, and therefore cannot hold a candle to the final level of identity. That final level is the artistic level of identity.
To say that a creature has reached the scientific level of stalking is to say that they have reached into the very depths of their determination and forced themselves into a pinnacle of stalking ability, so perfect in the technical sense that inborn skill seems eclipsed by the sheer glory of accomplishment when it has been achieved. The sorry fact for those who achieve scientific perfection in something, including stalking, is that there will always be someone who is better than the fourth level: the fifth level, the artistic level. At the artistic level, technical perfection comes as a natural state of being, not as the rewards for arduous training or practice, and is quite nearly something that is natural, a kind of seventh sense– seventh, because there is an unknown sixth sense still hovering about and waiting to be found– for a particular action. In this way, the creature that is capable of reaching the level of technical perfection will never be equal to the creature that was literally born with the pre-destination to reach the true level of perfection without practice. An artist in something cannot be surpassed.
By definition, stalking can mean pursuing prey stealthily, as in the case of a half-starved hunter who must find food, else die. The hunter will string his single arrow onto his old bowstring and pad, light-footed as a snowshoe hare, across whatever kind of trail he happens to be following, whether it be deer or antelope or elk. He will be quiet, his breath scant and his movements full with the hopeful precision of one who would be a starved corpse in mere days. This hunter will find his prey, but will remain undetected– he is stalking the prey, not the reverse, and it will not know who it was that kills it. When the hunter, seeing that his prey is not aware, lets fly his arrow, the arrow will invariably strike true. The precision of a great stalker, perhaps even a scientific level of identity creased into his haggard, survivalist flesh, has kept that stalker alive.
Alternatively, stalking can mean to walk stiffly and haughtily, as in the case of an expectant man who is waiting for news of his dying son, daughter, or wife. This man will calmly, quietly, move circuitously in whatever pattern he has preset– it is possible to stalk in a certain direction, but it is more often used by someone who feels constricted and detained. The man will be quiet, and avoid looking at others lest he bristle unconsciously at them, for their very lives are in existence when the life of a dear one may have slipped away, and he will look only straight ahead or at the specific object that he sees to be hampering the freedom to do as he pleases and be where he pleases– the wooden door, perhaps, to the tent of a shaman. In this instance, stalking has no benefit, it reaps no large and bountiful reward... in fact, it could be said that this form of stalking is useless and would be better replaced by simply standing immobile.
Jubril Mahrus, who was as much an artist of the latter as he was a formidable Hero of the Otherworld, was not of this opinion. Clearly flouting that opinion, he stalked the length of a dias, the dias on which sat his patroness... though she did not belong there, as it technically belonged to her son the Otherworldly god. This woman, beautiful in the purely traditional way of skin-deep beauty, gazed placidly at him with a queer smile of amusement preying upon her full, crimson-painted lips. As a demigoddess, she had no need to apologize for a command that she had made, and she took a great amount of pleasure in this lack of need for apologetics on her part... so much so that, as of late, she had gone out of her way to create a situation in which she could command her bodyguard to do something he deemed loathsome, then gloat in her mute way as he stormed quietly about glaring into the recesses of his mind, where lay the blazing presence of his obedience. So blazing was this obedience that, no matter the tonnage of watery willpower he forced into a waterfall around and about the presence of that blazing obedience, the blade did not so much as diminish. Everlasting as the northern star, as they said– that was his obedience, and it belonged to Trare, the Demigoddes of Fire and Light.
"A fight," Jubril growled, keeping his eyes directed at her but strictly downcast from hers, to avoid too much of his haughty arrogance.
Trare smiled winningly, and dipped her head in affirmation, "Yes, my little fighter."
"Is there even a reason behind this, or did it just, [i]pop[i] into your head?"
"The latter," she said, the winning smile turning more amused and tinged with a kind of cold warmth that only someone evil can manage, and only then when they have a godlike control over elemental warmth... not necessarily fire, but it worked. "I fail to see why you care, so long as you have something to do."
Perhaps the words would have given Jubril pause, if he had not already been so irrate as to black out any kind of logical thought that came from the words of his patroness, but as it was he simply stalked at a slightly increased rate and tightened his grip on the ash haft of his ceremonial ebony spear... Trare had placed her pennant on it, but he stopped caring about that inconvenience after learning how to cope with it. As for his mood, it was in no way altered when an inconceivably dim-witted palace guard stepped into his the stalking circuit in use by the hero just as that same hero whirled about and laid eyes on the dim-witted palace guard, felt the weakness of will almost emanating from him, and, like a lion clamping its jaws around the neck of a wounded younger lion, immobilized him with a glare. Caught in the horrible snare of eye contact, the guard could do little but flinch backwards a pace or two and babble something incoherent that sounded vaguely like an apology.
Having none of it, Mahrus snapped out in the briskest of his brisk and formal military tones, all of which he enjoyed using immensely, "What the hell do you want?"
The formal briskness of the words were lost on the guard, who was immediately reduced from a blubbering incompetent to an at-attention palace guard in the presence of a superior officer who had, miracle of astounding miracles, actually addressed him directly. If there was such a thing as a legend, Jubril Mahrus was certainly not it... he was more of a nightmare, prowling the halls and waiting to devour the considerably abundant stock of highly trained palace guards who were not deemed completely perfect in his eyes. To be on the receiving end a word from a legend was something that the hapless little spawn-of-whores residing in the same castle as the hero would have remembered and shared with their buddies over mid-afternoon lunch. To be on the receiving end a word from their resident Hero of the Otherworld was something that those same spawn-of-whores would fight to be away from at the quickest rate. Unfortunately, their direct superior was not a legend, it was their resident Hero of the Otherworld.
"I, sir, that is, we, sir, uh, we found, sir, something, sir... it is rather important, sir," as he warmed to talking, it became more understandable, but the jumble of the first sentence had Jubril counting the seconds it would take him to kill the man, "Someone is in the ruins, sir, off the islands that Trare told us to keep an eye on... because of the ruins, sir, she told us to... and he kind of... well... disappeared."
Trare allowed her voice to appear from no where, "Disappeared? How so?"
The guard swallowed audibly, then said, "W-w-we are n-not really sure."
"Mahrus, you are going to check it out, right now. Anything that can disappear in that ruin is of the utmost interest to myself and, by connection to me, to you. I will have one of the mages shift you to that reality, and from there you will find this person." Her eye glinted fiery heat, and her tones dropped to a considerable deal of threat, "If you find him in a certain room, get him out of there. You will know the room if you see it."
She snapped her fingers while Jubril replied in the affirmative, and the typical blue-robed, gaunt mage-type scampered into the room with a series of elaborate bow-and-scraping gestures that gave the impression of a champion sycophant. A rowan staff was clutched in one hand, indicating that he was a bit more venerable than he looked... if only a little bit. He bowed once more at the edge of the raised dias, then asked, "What would you have me do, O Lady? I would sacrifice my life to accomplish your whim!"
Though Mahrus snorted, Trare leaned forward to her toddler of a magician and said, "I do not want to shift my hero into another reality, but you do. Have him shifted to the ruins we have been watching... begin the process immediately."
Saying nothing, the mage immediately turned to face the Hero– who had no power over him– and began mumbling incantations of various sorts, most of which made little bumps rise all over the surface of Jubril's skin. Trare leaned forward and said a few words then held one hand out, as if offering it to a dancing partner; light spilled out, then fire, and the two mingled together into a rather small orb of light and fire that, when its creator removed her hand, simply hovered in the air and thrummed with magical energy. Unconsciously, the hero felt himself quiver at the sight of just one small fraction of Trare's considerable power... just that orb could probably kill him, with leftovers for half the palace guard.
"Take it with you," she ordered, reclining into her throne. Jubril shrugged. She huffed, as if she was being forced into explaining something to a small child, and expended the horrifying amounts of energy it took to tell him, "Reach out and touch it with your hand. It will follow you through the rift our little mage is opening. Use it only if you must."
"It is kind of obvious, isn't it?" Jubril asked, looking at the scintillating orb as it bobbed around. Trare huffed again, in response, and muttered another quick incantation before waving her hand at his objection. Eyebrow raised, he touched the thing. It shimmered, then disappeared. "What happened?"
"You say it is obvious, so I allow it to bend the light and become invisible. Call it out when you n–"
The sentence was never finished. Jubril felt, for a moment, like he was tumbling into a crevice; a moment later, he was standing at the intersection of three corridors, one long with a white light at the end that he presumed to be the exit and two that were a pure gray color that, as far as he could tell, was untouched by either light or shadow. Bemused, he took to the left pathway. It took only a few minutes of study walking to reach a dead end.
Perhaps he should have been surprised, or at least interested, to find that the wall of his particular dead end was smooth white slate, and that on that slate there was engraved words in a language that, though unfamiliar to him at first glance, seemed readable almost instantly. I am the Sun. it read, I preside over the day. I preside over the South and the West. I preside over the fire and the earth. I preside over all things active, yet still leave a memory in nature's heart. I hang in the sky as a selector at the start of life. My bright light is significant of my influence.
Jubril Mahrus stood at the end of the corridor, a bemused expression smothering any other, and stared at the wall. After moments of rising tension, he reread the script, this time muttering it under his breath... and was finally surprised by the ruins. He drew a breath quickly, but it caught in his throat as he realized that he had somehow shifted realities again, this time into another room of the evidently expansive underground ruin complex. It was a unique room.
The floor underneath his feet was... was not a floor, really, but something that appeared to be the recreation of the sun, or at least an artistic conception of what the surface of the sun would appear as to someone who stood directly on its surface. To his left, right, in front of him and, after he turned to check, behind him was darkness much like the light beneath his feet; neither seemed to move, but neither seemed exactly solid either, and neither of them seemed to be completely real, for some reason. Looking directly above him, Jubril was able to identify what he assumed was another artistic recreation, this one of the moon, suspended as the ceiling, just beyond a kind of ring-like assortment of earthen chunks.
Admiration was swiftly diluted by apprehension as the Hero realized that what he was looking at was not just a recreation of the moon. There was someone standing on it, looking for all the world to have decided that opposite gravity was much more suited to him than the ordinary kind. Mahrus felt a pang of disappointment. It had been much to easy to find the person Trare had sent him for... he had not been given the chance to stalk him at all.
Re: One of Black, one of White, one of Day, one of Night
OoC: That was quite possibly the most awesome thing I’ve ever read. I don‘t know whether to give up or limp on. Eh, might as well lose honourably.
BiC: Utterly confused over what had just happened, Fuzen looked back and forth, up and down, attempting to get a handle on the situation. The instant transmission from the dead end hallway to the astral dome was something he could grasp. After all, many legends and stories, including some of the boring tales Tomoyo had gone lengths to divulge, started with the reading of a mysterious phrase off of some kind of ancient tablet. Even the quiet whisper of a single word, or the chance reading of a brief line of dialogue had been told to throw unfortunate adventurers into the dimensional abyss of infinity. The half demon, in all of his, as he would put it, ‘****,’ was not an exception.
No, it wasn’t the sudden change of scenery, it was the where and why. Where? Where was he? Where was this astral dome that mimicked a place from beyond the sky? He certainly couldn’t tell. As far as he could surmise, there wasn’t a window or door on the entire structure. The only things he could see were the moon, the sun, the bodies of earth that floated silently, and a black, a seamless black dome that surrounded everything. What in the world could have contained a room such as the one he was trapped in? Certainly the structure must have towered, or had been buried deep beneath the ground. The sun looked distant, but perhaps wasn’t as far away as it seemed, as, on its surface, a man stood upside-down, apparently held in place by gravity that was working in the opposite direction.
Why? Why was another man there? Why were either of them in this prison that proudly displayed an opposition of forces? Fuzen was sure there was an answer, albeit an answer that he may never discover, but an answer none the less. Considering he had firsthand experience with mysterious voices, mostly drawing from the time he spent in the desert retrieving the very weapon he held with him today, there was a feeling of something to be gained. Such specters didn’t normally call out if they didn’t have some valuable item, whether it be a piece of wisdom, a new weapon, or something totally unexpected, to impart on the ones it called out to. And, as long as there were two in the proverbial ‘arena,’ there was going to either be a partnership or a fight. Thinking of how ‘lucky’ he had already been so far, the fallen god expected the latter.
Ignoring the man on the sun, who, by this time, was drawing closer via jumping from floating chunk to floating chunk, he continued to peer about, sizing up just how tough of a battlefield the astral dome could turn out to be. Quicker than he had anticipated, the opposing man landed on the mass of earth that floated closest to the silver moon. “Attention,” the man announced, his dominating voice resounding through the dome, making it sound as if a great spirit had just called down from the heavens. Unexpectant of a voice with a coldness he had only heard coming from himself and his partner, the half demon was taken back slightly.
“By order of the Demi-goddess, Lady Trare,” he went on, “I am to remove you from this room. Come quietly, or else.”
“Oh, am I not supposed to be here?” Fuzen responded, sounding as if some lowly guardsman had just politely asked him to back away from an insignificantly important spot. Bearing a smile that looked quite unbendable, he leapt into the air, unsure of exactly what would happen. Though the result was not unexpected, he still felt awkward as his high jump firmly landed him on a floating chunk that neighbored the opposing man’s.
“Then by all means, I’ll go,” he continued, “It was never my intention to trespass. Pray tell, how would one get out of here?”
To that, the man was speechless. The only response he made was to look around aimlessly, in a somewhat similar manner to the way Fuzen himself had been scouting the situation. By the looks of things, he didn’t know where he was either. This made the fallen god laugh inwardly. The official types, with their impersonal way of speaking, forceful presence, and total inability to act on their own, were always less intelligent than they looked. They often came around, demanding something, and then bumbled their way through to the end, where they normally didn’t have the means or the knowledge to get the job done. If they hadn’t anyone to run errands for, chances were they wouldn’t last very long.
“I don’t know,” the opposing man said suddenly, surprising his listener once again. The half demon didn’t know how to respond. He’d never heard someone like him confess something as truthfully as he did.
“Well, I’ll be right here when you think of something,” Fuzen replied, sitting himself down with a cross in his legs. There was something peculiar going on, he thought, besides being transported into the astral dome in the first place. Not only had he been summoned by a mysterious voice, there was now a kind of guardian he had to deal with, and a Demi-goddess no less. Could this Trare the man spoke of been the one that called upon him? No, it couldn’t have been. According to the guardian, this lady of his wanted him out. And, oddly enough, the man didn’t even attack when they first made contact; something guardians were known for doing without discrimination.
Still just as confused as when he first popped into the strange room, he decided to consult with his partner deity, the ingenious Ijinken. Ijinken, he projected, stirring the blade from the sleep-like state it usually submitted itself to when not in use, I’m drawing a blank on this one. Any advice?
Yes. I have very little experience in these surroundings, it replied, drawing an annoyed look from its wielder, Any strategic advice will be from forty to sixty percent dependable. Suggestions: Kill man. His death will likely result in an escape route. Strategy: Assassinate. If unable, use heavy defensive and counter defensive measures to directly confront. Use extreme caution.
With a snicker of mischievous intent, the fallen god rose to his feet. Sword already in hand, he waited for the guardian to turn his back on him. Two kills in one night... It was going to be a pretty good evening.
Signature, Avatar, and Character Buttons made by Lady Knives.
Re: One of Black, one of White, one of Day, one of Night
BiC: Yay! We actually get to fight! (Last time I didn't... damn lazy people...)
IC:For the slightest of moments, Jubril could almost touch the sensational feeling of fear that some more pitifully self-absorbed beings were able to sink their entire selves into so avidly... but only for the slightest of moments, after which there was nothing to remain but the very strong feeling of confidence in himself and his abilities. It was crystal clear, in the vague sort of way that sometimes occurs, that this quasi-sinister being wanted him to turn away and fall into a trap so coyly obvious that a dwarf would have been loathe to set his eyes upon it, much less fall inside, unless it suited his purpose to do so. As it did not suit his purpose to do so, the hero sighed a true sigh with the very real feeling of exasperation behind it and obliged the openly aggressive young elf by turning his back entirely towards his enemy– unfortunately, he did it in such an obvious manner that, were he an actor on stage, there would have been boos echoing the chamber.
"What? You aren't going to pounce on me?" he asked, allowing a bit of a sneer to lace his words as he turned back around to face his opponent. "Oh, I was sure you meant to trap me."
Swinging the spear and, by connection to the spear, banner of his lady down from its lofty heights three feet higher than the top of his helmeted head, he dangled the banner in full view of his young charge, revealing the battle standard in its full gold-and-black glory. Mahrus smiled, letting the long flag dangle for a moment in front of his newly christened enemy, and curled his arm around his back to retrieve his shield, bringing it back only when his thick forearm armor had been fitted perfectly into the strong leather straps; when he did curl his arm back around to the front of his body, a large disc shield righted itself on his arm and a large, embossed ‘T' swung outward to face his enemy. The smile widened into a wolfish grin as Jubril, his spear in hand and his shield at the ready, leapt down onto a smaller earthen chunk, this one close enough to the murderous elf to give his spear its deadliness– enough range to almost anywhere on the enemy, but enough room to keep his distance from anything thrown back.
"Still want to fight," he asked, swishing the spear back and forth, causing the banner to wave delicately, "or can elves only stab people in the back?"
"Who ever said that I intended to harm you?" the elf replied, a mischievous tone echoing around the room when he said it... and something struck a thought, when he said that– Jubril had not noticed, at first, how large an echo this room produced. That meant that the walls must have been solid, or at least able to deflect sound; that was significant.
"Your little chuckle said you intended to harm me," the hero snarled, again listening for the echo. It came, confirming his thoughts, and he felt the wolfish smile dwindle. Ice cold tendrils of coherence looped around his brain, chilling his thoughts into humming control, and he could almost feel every ounce of his lean weight become lighter, more dangerous. Fighting time had come, and he was loathe to let it go on account of false pacifism.
The black-gold of his ebony spear lashed out, the slim ash wood slipping through his fingers gently as the razor edge of its spearhead weighted the entire length forward in a dangerous parody of a snake strike. At its haft, Jubril was silent and cold, the wolfish smile having been pressed out and replaced by a straightened, thin-lipped mouth and an expressionless face immune to any kind of appeal. Its keen edge lanced forward dangerously, only to stop short.
As a general rule, when an immensely sharp blade weapon is sent forward at a speed accurately described as startling, it usually follows that it will keep moving forward until it draws blood from something or is otherwise deflected by another physical force exerting enough opposite energy to cancel out the attack or, and more likely, by something unmoveable enough to have been unmoved by the attack. Most battles that Jubril had been in followed this general rule almost religiously, cleaving the tenants of it into his mind for better or worse and demonstrating that, no matter how well trained a human was, the mind of a human always believes what it has seen or known prior to something new redefining its own awareness. As with any other human mind, the mind of an Otherworldly hero was not incapable of learning, or even learning from mistakes, but one thing that always shatters– or even ‘boggles'– the mind is a rare instance in which something unique and unbelievable happens to destroy preconceived notions of possibility and replace those notions with new theories.
Such was the case when, without any more warning than a rustling that sounded much like the brushing of leaves against each other by the wind, a firm spurt of sand rose up in front of the elf, allowing Relathyi to sink its blade perhaps an inch closer, then stopping the indestructible weapon immediately. All the wielder of the spear could do was gawk, with mouth open and eyes wide in the stereotypical manner befitting the word, and wrench his spear back from the churning sand shield, his amazement surpassed only by his surprise. For someone who believed only in what they had seen on prior occasions, such a thing was enough to germinate the seed of unreasoning fear within the soul of their fighting spirit– not so for Mahrus.
Quite on the contrary, it was his first reaction to thrust forward again, this time with a much more savage combination of strength and precision than before– the spear made it no further through the sand wall, and he was once again left to do nothing but pull back the weapon. Capable of killing the servants to gods, but incapable of drawing blood on an elf who, by appearances, was nothing but a ruin-jumper. Obviously, that impression was seriously false.
Re: One of Black, one of White, one of Day, one of Night
OoC: You never fail to impress. You've got this tournament in the bag.
BiC: Building a barrier obliquely forward. Using Desolation, that’s exactly what Fuzen did. A sand shield that hid the whole of his body lowered forwardly, inch by inch unveiling another portion of the half demon’s figure. Bending his wrist slightly, he gently moved his sword upwards. The edge pushed the shifting sands away, dropping them at an angle towards the nearest chunk. Nearly as slow as they would have moved in their native desert, the grains flattened out and touched foundation just beneath the guardian’s toes. Nothing was in the way, as the opposing man had retracted his spear. Without looking any less ready to strike, he rested his pole and shield. Strangely, he seemed undaunted by the sands that could have potentially reached out and constricted him to death. But no, they merely formed a definite shape and hardened into a bridge connecting the two round platforms.
“Was I really that obvious?” the fallen god inquired, not trying to hide, although never breaking his view of the enemy, that he was talking down to what looked like an inanimate object. Yes, Ijinken responded, projecting the thought to both of the warriors on a silent command from its wielder. Perceiving that one word response, the guardian’s expression changed, for a few moments becoming like it was when he first laid eyes on the Desolation Shield. Since the voice of the Tsurugikami came as if from nowhere, all those who were born without extra sensory perception normally displayed the same reaction. As it were, they weren’t used to hearing voices in their heads.
Unable to move quickly enough to take advantage of the temporary state of disbelief his opponent was in, Fuzen simply smiled and took in the strategy his sword fed to him. Another second‘s worth of stalling, and he would have a satisfactory opening offensive set up. “Well then,” he continued, this time staring directly into the bright, firm eyes of the guardian, “I’ll have to work on making my mannerisms less recognizable.”
With the last sarcastic syllable, the half demon leapt backwards, nearly performing a back flip as he floated towards the black wall. Taking the oh so opportune chance he had been given, the opposing man charged forward, eager to run his weapon through his vulnerable opponent as he jumped away from his defensive sand. However, his very first step landed on the bridge, which crumbled away the instant his foot made contact with it. Tripping forward, he landed on his chest, making the sound of a rusty joint as his armor scraped against the sandstone. Seeing the downed guardian, the fallen god raised Ijinken over his head, in an aerial pose that telegraphed a pounce onto an unsuspecting target. Using his free hand, he gripped the jar on his belt, and the string of sand that ran from it to the chunk went taut. In a shaky motion, the string rapidly pulled him back down.
Most of the time, in the midst of battle, it wasn’t always the better man that came out on top. Indeed, victory went often to the more resourceful warrior. Though there was a clear, if not blatantly obvious, limit to what Fuzen’s body could do for him, he took unnecessary risks to intimidate toy with his opponents. And why not? He had well beyond twice, perhaps even triple or quadruple, the resources of a normal man. Amongst those resources were the God of Desert Warfare, near irresistible charm, and an entire extra body to take risks with. Plenty ways to claim victory on the battle field. However, the word most was meant to be stressed. Sometimes, the battle went to the plain and simple, better man.
Striking a stylish pose, the fallen god brought his weapon down upon the opposing man that lay at his feet. Attack met with Defense as the moonlit edge bit into the ‘T’ marked shield of the downed warrior. Thinking of nothing more than the sense of dominance he felt, Fuzen just stood, locked in place like a statue, pressing against the shield. He donned an insane smile, unaware of the small disadvantage he had placed himself in. With a swift swing, the guardian brought up his weapon, striking the half demon right between the legs with the shaft of his spear. That time, Ijinken wasn’t fast enough to summon the sand. Although, as soon as he felt the pressure, he turned demon, avoiding the pain, but leaving his other form with a very uncomfortable injury.
Enraged, he thrust his free claw into the chunk, trapping his opponent’s spear between the blades. Smiling insanely once again, he began to drool with excitement. Unfortunately, he put himself into yet another bad situation. Without the chance of his weapon falling away, the opposing man let go of the bladed pole and tightly balled his fist. Getting in the best swing he could in his position, he struck fallen god on the chin, knocking him back onto his feet and then onto his rear. Free of the grips, the guardian retook his weapon and began to pull himself up. But, with a crack and the sound of rustling leaves, the piece of bridge, on which his body rested, snapped in half. As armed as he was, he couldn’t get a solid grip, and he fell down to the model of the moon below.
Having unexpectedly suffered at the hands of his opposition, Fuzen made a hasty retreat. “Alright,” he snarled as he jumped from chunk to chunk, making his way to the very center of the astral room, “It’s going to be so satisfying to see you die.” One might have said he was desperate after hearing such a thing, but that was not the case. He was filled with the excitement of blood lust.
Signature, Avatar, and Character Buttons made by Lady Knives.
Re: One of Black, one of White, one of Day, one of Night
OoC: No need to compliment me every time. O_o It's not like I'm winning, we don't even know that until they judge. You're doing awesome too, though! ^_^ I'm glad I finally get to fight with someone on ZU who isn't a lazy little slacker...
IC: As much as he wanted to do otherwise, he could not help himself. Jubril laughed uproariously, head back and body shaking with the full humor of the private joke he had heard in the statement made by the elf– the weak, magically inclined little pipsqueak– that could have easily killed him if it had not been for the gravity flux. He found that it was difficult to breathe after only a few moments of the hysterical laughter that had brought a torrent of tears from his eyes and given him a sudden desire to pee.
"See me die?" he choked out, between the first and second bouts of hysterical laughter, that brief little four seconds or so filled with catching his breath in huge gusts and saying the three words before he disappeared into another fit of laughing and giggling. When it subsided again, he let out a little hiccuping sound and wiped the tears from his eyes with the palms of his hands. He chuckled a few more times, and the smile stayed on his face.
By the time his breath was all the way back, he had already pulled a javelin from his shield and launched it forward into chunk his enemy stood on, watching it impact right at his feet and chuckling all the while. He shouted out across the room, "You'll have to wait a long time to see that, elf, and I doubt you have the time!"
Mahrus heaved himself forward to one of the smaller chunks of earthen mass, not far below the perky little elf and his toy sword, all the while trying to free himself from the helpless fit of amusement that still had not left him, though what exactly inspired it remained a mystery... euphoria was enough of an explanation to him. Looking up at his opponent, a gleeful smile on his face, he turned the spear in his hand and jammed it point-first into another mass hovering off above his left shoulder; his eyes never left the elf, but they slowly lost their amusement and turned hard, dangerous, and very, very cold. A predatory grin manifested itself, bringing a light into his eyes that was nothing short of disturbing, and he pulled himself up onto the chunk of earth to his right, even with his little elfin friend in height.
The grin still stretching his lips, Jubril made it a point to pull his scimitar out slowly, the hilt having only been slightly visible beneath the edge of his shield before he clenched his fist around it and pulled a bit, revealing the black-gold metal. Indestructible, almost, but keen and dangerous nonetheless, that was ebony ore. The skirmisher felt his grin evaporate, and his eyes harden even more, the grey clouds of his eyes freezing over into an icy blizzard.
It all happened to fast for the eye to follow really, or at least to fast for most human eyes, and it revealed something nicely enjoyable about the slender pretty-boy and his sand wave– even if some frowned on it as the main power holding up the strength of a fighter, speed was useful against some of the more supernatural foes. Jubril replayed the motion briefly in his head: he had leapt forward, like the predatory creature his smiling face had mimicked a few short moments before, and had brought his scimitar forward with the graceful power of an expert swordsman, slashing through the guard of that sand wave before it could reach its grainy tendrils out to resist and punching through the thin clothing of the elfin clothing before moving away was a plausible course of action. He had landed on his spear haft. Turning around, the look in his eyes grew slightly more grim as he was reminded again that this was no ordinary foe– expecting to see a thin trickle of blood from where he had swept his blade, he was instead rewarded by another useful tidbit of information. His enemy had armor, an armor that chipped away and fell like sand when hit with the brute strength of his limbs. An armor that was strong enough to prevent a wound, even if the elf had made no movement to dodge.
"I can see why you're so confident," Jubril sneered, "Seldom does an idiot of the arcane lose against a brute like me, right?"
Turning fully, he stretched the muscles of his back and felt them loosen considerable from the ministrations, becoming ready for the fight of his life. Smiling sardonically, he turned fully on his thin spear haft and leapt again, as quickly as the first time, this time with a more specific goal in mind than just a mindless slash at his enemy; really, that was a hopelessly pointless gesture of superiority, even had it ended in a wound. No slash to the arm could really punish someone enough to send them down on their knees. This time, it would be definite. At the speed he was moving it probably was unnecessarily paranoid, but the hero made sure to feint slightly, just to be sure his opponent had no chance to dodge even if he could detect the movement... which, it seemed may have been highly possible.
The feint had been necessary. What would only have been a glancing blow turned into a bullishly strong shove when the elf, seeing the faint movement to his left, dodged quickly right– and right into the path of his enemy, only to be shoved back on the rock-and-earth platform, pushed away by strength that had toppled an orc more than once. Jubril grinned. He had his foothold now, and he was not about to let it loose without a fight.
And if, in that moment, he twirled his sword with a bit of arrogance, it can be overlooked, because he had a reason for his awkwardly corny gesture of impatient self-assuredness. Simply, while his right hand was twirling his scimitar into a rather distracting display of mediocre pride, his left hand was subtly moving down to pluck the javelin from the ground it had stuck into, right into his feet– how convenient. Without warning, he let it fly forward again, this time frowning when it was slow enough to be blocked by the sand wave. It would be a contest of blood and flesh then.