Among the Rice Paddies (Vane Dayrose, possibly Moonlight)
Koganei sighed as he tilted his hat back and surveyed the land before him. A gray mixture of rain and mist cloaked the traveler’s path, transforming it before his eyes. The samurai was walking along one of the many high rises between countless paddy fields, yet the heavy rain turned the road to a thick mud and overflowed the already flooded paddies. Despite the rain though, Koganei could not deny the inner warmth that the island-nation that was his homeland brought him. The gray, murky water mixed with the bright green of the rice sprouts, forming a serene landscape that brought back memories of youthful summer days. The ronin lifted his head, letting the cool rain slip past his hat and sprinkle his face. Even through the rain, he could smell the unique scent of summer among the rice paddies. Or perhaps it was merely a fragrance recreated by his memories, real only within his mind. Either way, it brought an inner peace and warmth to the young man.
Lowering his head and setting off once more, the samurai reached up to wipe his face. The mood was shattered as a horrible squelching noise approached him from behind. Sighing and rolling his eyes, Koganei turned around to see a man in a red and white traveling outfit trudging through the mud. How long, he wondered, would it take Takiyama to realize that it was easier to walk on the mud instead of through it? Yet he already knew that such a thing would be impossible for his friend, klutz and graceless as he was.
“Some help would be greatly appreciated, Katsura-sama!” the black-haired man called, pulling on one leg that had sunk down into the mud up to the knee with both hands. Koganei had to tilt his head down even lower to hide the grin fast spreading across his face. It was clear from Takiyama’s tone that he was tired, miserable, and greatly frustrated. And it wasn’t hard to see why; the humidity was off the charts, the road was as malleable as dough, and even the rain didn’t completely bring the temperature back down to tolerable levels. A normal man in this situation would be . . . well, would be Takiyama. But Koganei Katsura was not a normal man. The humidity and temperature didn’t bother him a bit, and his light feet traversed the mud as if it were stone. However, he could sympathize with his friend, and understood what he was enduring for Koganei’s sake.
Heh, he thought, striding over to help free his manservant from the clutches of the mud, and he’s wearing clothing as light as possible without going naked. I’d hate to imagine what someone wearing thicker clothing, or even armor, would have to go through in this heat! The samurai grasped Takiyama’s leg and effortlessly pulled it out of the mud. However, this caused the person in question to lose their balance and fall over backwards into the mud. Takiyama hit the liquid sludge with a resounding smack and squelch, almost immediately sinking up to his bent knees. This time, the violet-haired wander couldn’t help but laugh, and didn’t even give his friend the courtesy of trying to hide it.
The samurai’s laughter was deep and cheerful, pure and without malicious intent. It was for this reason that Takiyama restrained himself and dropped the handful of mud that he had scooped up to throw at his “treacherous” friend. The manservant shrugged and decided to take his misfortune as it was. It had been a long time since Koganei had laughed so, and it was good to hear him do so. He even began to chuckle a little himself, but was cut off as his friend placed a foot on his chest and pushed him down into the mud.
“H-hey now! What the hell is this?!” He asked angrily, struggling against the pressure of the stronger man’s leg. Harmless misfortune he could take in stride, betrayal, he couldn’t. “I asked, “what the he—“
“Hush.” Koganei snapped, his eyes scanning the rice paddies around them. It was then that Takiyama noticed the blade in his friend’s hand. Only slightly amazing to the man, he had not noticed him draw it. Yet he knew that Koganei would never go so far as to draw a blade in a prank, even to playfully threaten someone. He also trusted in his friend’s warrior instincts. Clearly, something here was not right.
That something revealed itself quickly enough, in the form of several large mounds of mud rising out of the rice fields around them. The mounds slowly took human shape, arms and legs separating as they stalked up onto the raised roadway to surround the companions. Blades and cheap armor were revealed as the mud ran off of the bandits, malicious grins opening in the dirtied faces. Koganei tsked, drawing his other blade and he moved closer to Takiyama. The manservant then understood his friend’s actions. He was hardly a fighter, and the best place for him in one was within armored shelter of some sort, preferably with a rifle. Or a gattling gun. Gattling guns were good. But, being without one as he was, the best chance for his survival was to stay perfectly still under Koganei’s foot.
There was complete silence for several long moments, broken only by the pitter-patter of rain on mud and water. Then, without warning, the bandits attacked all at once. Then they were dead. The bodies fell back in ring around the companions, four bright lines across each of their chests. They were dead, but Takiyama had not even seen Koganei move. He had felt to increased pressure on his chest, had heard the whoosh of blades and ripping of cloth, but he had not seen him move. The samurai sighed and wiped his bloodied blades off with a rag pulled from his sleeve.
“Well, they weren’t much of a challenge. Not even notable as bandits.” Koganei said, inserting the tips of his blades in their sheathes and sliding them home.
OoC: The idea here is that Luce (and whoever Moonlight uses, if he joins) comes across Koganei among the dead bodies and mistakes him for a mass murderer. Or, if you have something in mind, you can do that instead.
Re: Among the Rice Paddies (Vane Dayrose, possibly Moonlight)
Rain and heat; rain and heat... That was all that Luce thought about as he trudged through the dough-like mud. He was completely clad in the white Buffalo Viking armor, and was sinking due to the heavy weight. The mood that hung in the air was dreary and unpleasant; nothing was really worth stopping to look at. Though he had never been to this place before, at this point, he didn't much care to see the rest. The unbearable heat had very little effect on him, though, because of the years that he spent training in the Shikanga Desert. "Oh what a bothersome place... I wish that I had chosen the other path in that fork back there," Luce grumbled, thinking about turning back. The monotony of the rain hitting the ground and the loud sloshing of the mud below was becoming unbearable.
He had been wandering around for at least three hours now in this dread; he also hadn’t eaten in a while. The sun up above, which was mostly covered by rain clouds, shone barely any light down on where the crusader grand general walked. What he would give for someone else to be there right now. Nicanor, Shareyu, Zarodah, even Mustahide would make his walk a bit more pleasant. He felt as though he may as well be trudging through human waste.
“Luce!” came a voice from nowhere. A cold wind blew after the sound came, and Luce realized that it was in his head. The voice was a familiar one as well. He was able to recognize that it was Nicanor immediately. Luce closed his eyes slowly and pictured the prince in his head and thought out his own words.
“Well, it’s about time! I have been walking through Inscarem here and nobody is here to suffer with me. How miserable… I can’t even find any sign of civilization or other life here.” Another gust of cold wind blew as the message was carried back to the prince. A couple seconds passed and laughter began to fill Luce’s head. “ Son of a— shut up you spoiled brat! I know that you’re going to sit there and tell me that this is my fault and that I should have known not to wander off. Is that right?” Luce yelled into the far off distance. No answer came, as he had expected.
On again he stomped through the gloom, abandoned even by someone hundreds of miles away. What he didn’t know, though, was that up ahead there was a powerful samurai being attacked by a group of bandits. He would kill for such excitement. Then it came, the screams of the dead and the thuds of their bodies falling in the mud. Luce opened his eyes fully and began to dart forward in the direction of the sounds. “Tch… bastards. I bet it’s bandits,” he thought as he ran through a high field of corn stalks onto a second road that he had not noticed before.
Koganei turned and looked at the heavily clad warrior that stood several feet away. Takiyama struggled to his feet and wiped off some mud. “Who might you be?” Koganei spat as he turned to face Luce. “Bandit?” As he saw the man’s face, something went off in his head and he was filled with panic.
“****… is that Rein?” he whispered to himself. The man before him certainly did resemble the great demon samurai that threatened the entire universe: the single most powerful demon in Silronia. “If so, I have to try and stop him. Even if I have no chance, I cannot let him walk about unchallenged!” Luce let his arm out and pulled Rage from his back. “Alright, you, I don’t know what you are doing here, but I will not allow you to do whatever you are planning to do!” Luce roared as he darted forward at 130 miles per hour and clashed with the surprised samurai master.
“What the hell is the matter with you?” Koganei shouted, deflect a blow and throwing his hand back into the mud to keep balance. What could the guy be talking about? Takiyama stood, wide-eyed, at the sudden assault by someone who could move like Koganei, and in that armor!
“I don’t know what you’re planning,” Luce said, looking at the dead bodies around the area, “but I will stop you.” The samurai and his manslave stared at Luce as if he were crazy.
“Well then, if you have a problem with me, I will make sure that it is resolved. One way or the other!” Koganei scowled as he readied himself into a fighting stance.
OoC: Meh, sorry if the beginning descriptions are a little dragged out.
Re: Among the Rice Paddies (Vane Dayrose, possibly Moonlight)
Koganei slid his left foot back and placed his hand lightly on the hilt of the hidden kodachi at the bottom of the long wooden sheath slung across his back. Holding his katana out in front of his with his right hand, the samurai mentally sized up his opponent. Large, muscular, armored, and apparently fast. This would be fun. Mud flew up in a dark fountain as the samurai flew forward, seemingly launched by an invisible force. Metal clashed loudly as katana met spear tip, and kodachi met armor. Koganei crouched and spun a half circle around his sudden opponent, his weapons flowing along the curve of the man’s armor to cut at his back. Neither weapon had much effect, merely throwing Lucien off guard for a moment.
A moment that ended all too quickly, the butt of a spear twirling around the opposite of the large man to jab Koganei in the stomach. At least, it would have, had the ronin still been there. As it were, the violet-haired man had darted between the armored legs, bowed over so low that he was almost parallel to the ground. His opponent’s weapon tidily behind his back, Koganei dug both hands into the mud, lifting, curling, and kicking out with both feet to hit Lucien in the chest with a metallic thud. He doubted that the attack did much damage, but it did knock his foe over backwards to hit the mud with a thunderous crash.
Sparing a moment to glance behind him, Koganei spotted Takiyama already a mere dot on the horizon. Grinning, the ronin turned back to the hulking figure rising from the thick mud. The samurai crouched low and slid both weapons home, bringing his left hand down to grasp his foremost katana sheath, and his right to hover over the hilt. Koganei’s wide, conical hat hid his face as he focused on his opponent’s waist, the butt of a spear coming into range as Lucien readied for another attack.
As before, the ronin launched forward without warning, his blade whipping out of its sheath in a wide arc. Any clang of weapons previously heard paled in comparison to the sound that now echoed over the ponds of rice surrounding the warriors. Lucien groaned as he fell away from the samurai, a long dent running along his armor from his right hip to his left shoulder. A faint trickle of blood flowed from the miniscule rift at the bottom of the dent, running slowly along the contour to drip steadily from the warrior’s right hip. Koganei made a clicking sound with his tongue as shifted his body, moving his right shoulder and foot back. Even Battoujutsu didn’t work? He thought incredulously, raising his katana up at shoulder height and placing his left hand along its tip. Well, that armor is quite something. It slashing it won’t work, let’s try piercing it.
The Viking warrior matched the samurai’s charge, his spear leveled as if it were a lance. His eyes narrowing, Koganei thrust his blade forward, running it along the outside of the spear, sparks flying from the skimming metals. The ronin grinned as the tip of his blade curved over the top of the spear’s shaft, homing in on the helmeted face of his foe. Triumph quickly turned to horror however, as a blade as clear as crystal darted up from around the armored man’s side. The warning came too late, and his speed was too great; there was no way that Koganei could avoid the attack now.
Desperate, the samurai snaked his arm over the top of the spear, forcing his sword down the opposite side to deflect the incoming crystal blade. Pain erupted in Koganei’s side as Lucien’s sword sliced across his side. He had managed to deflect that attack, but not enough, the blade still marking his side. Fresh pain erupted in the samurai’s left shoulder as the Viking warrior ducked his right shoulder down to slam into the ronin.
Blood burst from Koganei’s mouth as metal spikes dug into his shoulder and chest, missing his heart only by a miracle. Even through his pain, the samurai master raised a foot and placed it against Lucien’s abdomen, kicking off and freeing himself from the spikes and ridges of his enemy’s armor. Gasping as he wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth, Koganei vowed not to be caught of guard again. He brought his sword up in Gatotsu pose again, this holding it lower and angling its tip upward. He wouldn’t hold back any more.
Re: Among the Rice Paddies (Vane Dayrose, possibly Moonlight)
OoC: Just for the record, Luce may have Buffalo Viking armor, but he really isn't a viking anymore, he's a crusader ^^;;
BiC: This canít be Rein, his skill is great but he is nothing compared to the one I have mistaken him forÖ Luce thought, finally realizing that this whole thing was just adding to the good week he was having. A break from the ordinary was what he had desired and he had found it in the she-elf earlier and in Koganei now. The samurai remained in his own stance and watched Lucienís intently. The grand general let out a huff and in his mind decided to continue the battle, for it was rare that he could face such a diamond in the rough fighter. With that decision, he disappeared into the rice paddies at a speed that only Koganei could follow. Unfortunately for the samurai he wasnít able to locate his opponent in the surroundings with his eyes, so he just had to wait for the strike to come.
A gust of wind, symbolic of Luceís strike, hit Koganei in the face and blew his hair back right as the crusader appeared before him, strike ready. The samurai unsheathed his blade and flung himself forward to meet the attack at an amazing speed that was greater than his opponentís. Luce quickly realized this and stopped his attack midway; Koganeiís force had already been exerted, though, and the momentum of the blade carried it over Luceís head, leaving his body vulnerable. Using his head, Luce broke the strap that held his spear to his back to release the weight and forced himself into a quick succession of strikes with the crystal blades. Being as fast as he was, Koganei was able to parry the bulk of the blows, and even strike back a few counterstrikes.
Luce spiraled outward with a failed attempt to dislodge Koganei from his position, but he wasnít quite out of the range of the samuraiís katana. The tip of Koganeiís blade hit hard the remium and forced a small dent in the surface. The crusader hit the ground hard, but he was able to twirl up onto his feet before any of the wet soil could seep into his armor; that would have posed quite a problem. He immediately noticed that to his left were large stalks of corn and that they had moved out of the cluster of rice paddies. A simple thought shot into his head, but soon became what seemed like an effective strategy.
The warrior turned his body to the west and dashed into the field of corn. Koganei, not to lose him, followed. Luce had remembered something that Esni had told him about corn and how water slid off of its surface; he could use this to create a deadly trap. The crusader cut several stalks of corn around him and brought them up with him as he rose into the sky, using the flying stalks of corn to hide the location of his landing point. Koganei saw where the corn had flown up and dashed over to the area, but was surprised to see that there was a circular region where there was no corn at all. Several feet behind, Luce let a smile form on his lips as he took his spear up and ran it up the side of a nearby cornstalk so fast that it caught fire. Koganei turned when he saw the burning stalk and dashed to it, but too late to see where Luce had escaped to.
What Koganei did not know was that Luce was right behind him hiding behind several stalks of corn, ready to put the final part of the plan into motion. The samurai backed away from the fire, not realizing that it was a distraction, but thinking that it was some sort of pathetic attempt to harm him. Suddenly he felt something penetrate his left shoulder; he let out a gasp and turned his head to see the spear of Lucien Spearseten sticking out of his shoulder. Before he could react, Luce was already next to him with his hand on the spear, wrenching it from his flesh. Everything had gone perfectly, but as luck would have it, the spear came out quickly, making Luce stumble back into the burning stalk.
Koganei slowly let himself back up from the painful crouch that he had instinctively fell into when he was hit. He stared at his burning foe and made a rather cross face as he released his blade from the sheath and sheared let it loose on his opponentís helmet. Luce felt the blow hit his helmet, and then he felt the heat rising up to his face; Koganei had not broken the helmet, but knocked it from his head. With that, the samurai proceeded to kick down the crusader into the mud and look at him attempt to roll away. Knowing that there was no need for any more effort, Koganei jumped backwards and watched Luce become engulfed in the flames.
Luce, by some miracle had actually managed to roll away from the flames when Koganei was half blinded by the smoke, and was already letting the rain put the flames on his body out. His armor was completely unaffected by the flames, but he no longer had his helmet and he was badly burned. Though he knew that he would heal before the battle was over and that no real damage had been done, Luce realized that he would have to exert much more than one hundred percent in this one. In all honesty to himself he compared Koganeiís skill to that of Zhanindo Onianís and he realized that this would truly be one of the most difficult battles to win that he had ever participated in.
OoC: 950 words with complete writer's block = half a day of writing a single post.
Re: Among the Rice Paddies (Vane Dayrose, possibly Moonlight)
Suddenly he felt something penetrate his left shoulder; he let out a gasp and turned his head to see the spear of Lucien Spearseten sticking out of his shoulder.
Koganei has shoulder guards.
BiC: Koganei slowed his breathing, stepping back to survey his opponent as the armored man rose, his entire frame trailing wisps of smoke. Visibly calming himself, the samurai grasped the second hilt hanging at his hip, drawing it in a slow, threatening manner. The two warriors locked eyes, Koganei beginning to rotate both blades in front of him, and Lucien doing the same with his spear. Eyes narrowing, Koganei grasped both hilts tightly, ending the rotations with both blades upside down. Grunting with concentration, the ronin spun a quick circle, a bright blue arc of energy leaping from his right katana towards the hulking figure before him. The blue wave had not even traveled two feet before the swordsman dug his foot into the soft earth and kicked forward, reversing his spin and firing another wave of energy from his left blade.
The twin blades of energy soared through the field, sending vegetation flying as the waves effortlessly sliced through the thick stalks. Alarmed at the onrushing attack, Lucien dropped to one knee and raised his spear, holding the long shaft out in a vertical barrier. If wind could be made solid and struck against bell, it might have sounded something like the collision between the energy waves and enchanted spear. The bright blue blades dissipated into nothingness on Lucien’s spear, exploding shining sparks all around the crusader.
Flinching at the sudden bursts of light, the armored man shielded his face with one muscular arm, averting his gaze to the dark gray sky. Where, to his immense surprise, he found Koganei, seeming as if suspending by invisible threads. The samurai let out a battle cry in a language unintelligible to the crusader and completely let loose. It was as if the ronin were strapped within a series of rotating rings, his body turning any and every way possible, blue arcs of energy leaping from his blades from a myriad of angles.
Lucien’s eyes widened as he attempted—futilely—to block the rain of energy. Dust, mud, and corn were thrown high into the air as the ground was repeatedly and rapidly assaulted, the samurai’s attack completely obliterating everything within a five-foot radius of the crusader. Landing lightly well outside of the area of destruction, Koganei sheathed both swords, keeping his right lightly on the hilt of one and transferring his left to the same sword’s sheath. Dust and rainy haze completely shrouded the area where Lucien had stood moments before, and the swordsman waited patiently for it to clear, already gathering his Ki into the sheathed and waiting blade.
As had all of the crusader’s attacks, this one came without warning and at incredible speed. The spear with which Koganei was now very familiar with blasted—there was no other word for it—through the shroud of dust and haze, focused straight on Koganei’s heart. A small grin of anticipation creased the samurai’s face as he tightened his grip around the katana; whipping it free in a single, smooth motion barely perceptible to the human eye. Sword edge met spear tip, resulting in an incredible flash of sparks and blue shock waves. The spear soared end over end, flying helplessly away as Koganei’s counter sent it splashing in the middle of a rice paddy some two hundred feet away, where it sank ominously out of sight. Koganei grinned, but didn’t dare let down his guard, already knowing the clever and sly nature of his opponent.
It might have been that the gods, or whoever watched over them all, rewarded his caution, for time seemed to stop, and an inexplicable urge sent Koganei spinning on his heel to face his foe. His earlier attack had been even more effective than he had hoped. Lucien’s armor had been practically torn to shreds, a myriad of long slash marks marking it wherever Koganei looked. Yet the man beneath seemed relatively unharmed, despite the massive amounts of blood streaming from the rifts covering his armor. His was face bared with the loss of his helmet, his snarl of fury and battle rage revealed. And a clear, crystal blade led that frightening visage, both aimed straight for Koganei’s throat.
As his Musoken faded away, the ronin reached out with his left hand, closing it carefully on the flats of the crystal blade that had barely emerged from the line of corn stalks behind him and pushing it off to the side. All had happened as he had foreseen, with only one exception: the samurai’s deflection and counter of the sneak attack. His katana snaked in under his left arm and the crystal blade, jabbing at Lucien before he had even fully emerged from hiding. An incredibly loud screech and flash of sparks would cause the ronin to repeatedly berate himself later on for his impatience, his blade hitting the armored man’s chest and skidding off to the side as it failed to penetrate.
“Shi-” He didn’t even get to finish his curse, the crusader taking advantage of the samurai’s hastiness by slamming his entire body into him. Koganei screamed as the numerous ridges and spikes dug into his body, tearing his shirt to ribbons, and doing similar to the flesh beneath. Gritting his teeth, the swordsman grabbed his blade with both hands, pressing the flat of it against the armored man’s chest and pushing himself away, blood trailing from numerous punctures and cuts as the two broke apart. The samurai stumbled backward, but didn’t dare pause, knowing his opponent would not relent should his give him an opening.
With movements nearly invisible to the naked eye, Koganei sheathed his katana and reached up to grab the hilt protruding over his right shoulder. A blinding flash accompanied the withdrawal of the blade, the entire length of it blazing with a bright blue aura. And what a length of blade it was! To Lucien’s eyes, it seemed as if the unsheathing would not cease, the blade just going on and on and on. As the blade finally came fully free of it’s sheath, Koganei swished it around before him with a flourish, the exceptionally long blade humming and trailing an equally long light trail.
“So, Armor-san, what do you think of my nodachi?” Koganei asked, bringing the double-length blade up over his shoulder in preparation for a strike. The nodachi flashed downward horizontally, its edge flaring as another arc of energy leap forth. Yet the energy blade was proportionate to the blade, and this attack vastly different from the others. As was the blade, the blue wave was twice as long, twice as powerful, and twice as fast. Lucien most likely wouldn’t be able to dodge it under a distance of thirty feet. Not that that particular fact mattered at the moment, the crusader being mere feet away from the samurai. The nodachi itself hit the warrior in his side, the energy wave doing likewise. It was debatable whether or not the Ki attack even left the blade as both slammed into the armored man.
Re: Among the Rice Paddies (Vane Dayrose, possibly Moonlight)
OoC: I apologize for the lateness on this. It's also not that long because I have 20 paragraphs to write for my history teacher by Tuesday ^^;; Oh well... I tried to at least make it epic
The collision of the blade and wave would have made quite a sight, that is if anyone had been able to see it. At the last second Luce cut the back straps of his armor and shifted the remaining part of the remium chestplate over to the area where the strike was aimed. The result of the collision was a colossal explosion of blue coming from the intersecting point. The chaotic surprised even Koganei, who barely got out of the way of it himself. Dust and smoke rose into the air, an amount of disgusting smog that could only be described as the smoky excretion that Santa’s toy factory could produce on its best Christmas. The ronin was temporarily blinded by his own blow and looked in vain for any remains of his opponent. The field in which they fought was no longer covered in rice paddies; it was a battlefield. Even people in the far distance were now well aware of the intense skirmish that was claiming their yearly crops.
“Bastard!” came Luce’s voice from behind Koganei as he tackled the rogue samurai onto the ground. Fists repeatedly pounded into the samurai’s face as he was nearly broken under the general. The spikes on the fingers of Luce’s gloves tore the flesh asunder to reveal blood vessels and nerves. Koganei was unable to hit Luce when he was so close due to the size of his nodachi and he was forced to take his fists back to his opponent. The ronin’s legs flew up and threw Luce over his head and into a puddle of mud. He quickly got up and searched frantically for his blade. Luce caught the glint of his blade just as Koganei located his own.
Both warriors knew that they couldn’t go on much longer, but the fight was still far from over. The grand general twisted his heel around and dashed towards Koganei, but fatigue only allowed him to move at half of his normal speed. Koganei was just as tired, but his original speed was faster so he was able to use his agility to duck under a incoming head blow and counter with a heavy stroke to Luce’s abdomen. Unfortunately for him, the last shreds of the chest plate came crashing down on his arm. Luce ignored the pain and the numb and brought his jagged knee up into the chest of his opponent. Blood cascaded down the bodies of both warriors from head to toe. Luce’s entire body looked as though it was were painted brown due to the mix of mud and blood that had caked to his skin; the heat baked it in further.
The ronin pulled himself backwards to swing at his opponent’s head, but Luce jerked himself out of the way of the blow and ran backwards several feet. They faced eachother, now at least fifty feet away from each other. The rain was pouring harder than ever, and the wind was picking up. The clouds in the sky that had completely eclipsed the sun a second ago were now moving out of the way to reveal the greatest wonder of the celestials. Luce spat on the ground and then eyed Koganei, readily. The grand general was not in the least bit nervous because he had been in worse situations, if that were possible to believe. Images of his battle with Rein Aeria when the Undying Evil was in human form and merely a few days old filled his mind. Rein had actually shown him mercy out of respect. He would not show Koganei mercy out of more respect.
The shining star in the sky shone bright on the blades of both warriors. The reflections of luminescence crossed paths midway between Koganei and Luce. Luce once again held his spear, and Koganei his nodachi. One of these two men who had seen everything was now most likely going to lose everything. Blades outstretched, both warriors darted as fast as they could straight at eachother. The birds above and the insects below, all of them would remember until their dying day the next few moments. The gods themselves would envy the unparalleled sight that they were about to witness.
The very tips of the nodachi and spear struck directly into each other. The unbearable shock of impact shattered the bones in the right arms of both men. The flying sparks and energy release were so large that both men were lit ablaze by the flames. Everything within fifty feet of the clash point was completely enveloped in red energy blasts and inferno. Several seconds after the impact, the recoil kicked in and the bodies of both men twisted and spiraled outwards. The sky witnessed the two warriors fly out of the chaos at perpendicular angles. The flames on their bodies lit up the entire sky, which had once again dimmed from the rain clouds. Not even the heavy rain could put out that fire, but it was able to relieve Koganei and Luce of the burning agony. Neither man moved.
Re: Among the Rice Paddies (Vane Dayrose, possibly Moonlight)
Koganei groaned the agony of the flames and splintered bones tore at him. Digging the fingers of his left hand into the malleable mud, the ronin sluggishly pulled himself over the lip of the high rise, sliding down the muddy slope to sink into the rice stalk-filled water below. The samurai gasped in relief as the flames were dowsed, small trails of smoke rising from his skin. Well aware that his enemy may be in better shape than he was, Koganei tried moving the fingers on his right hand. Nothing happened.
Correction, pain happened. Agony marred the young man’s features as pain lanced through the appendage, the muscles seizing up instinctively and, ironically, causing even more pain. The ronin floated in hellish torture for what might have been a few seconds or several years, waiting for the pain to subside. As pain gave way to numbness, Koganei hardened his resolution, determined to get this over with in a short, as-painless-as-possible, way. His left hand flew over, tearing the nodachi out of the useless grasp of his right hand. Turning the blade over in his hand, the master swordsman stuck it into the sloping walkway next to him, the blade sinking into the soft earth and mud.
Pulling himself to his feet, Koganei looked around. There was no sign of the crusader. Nodding in satisfaction, the ronin closed his eyes, concentrating on the remaining dregs of energy that ran through him. As he concentrated, the dull pain—which turned to sharp, piercing pain at the slightest movement—slowly faded away, forcibly shoved from his mind and body’s subconscious by a healthy dose of energy. The violet-haired man sighed as the pain was completely alleviated, locked away by his own spiritual energy. Full of anxiety, the samurai gingerly swayed his arm a little. Well, there’s no pain, but it’s still as useless as can be. Right, well. Time to find our little friend.
The blade hanging loosely in his left hand glowed a dull white, shrinking down to the size of a regular katana. Twirling it over in his hand, Koganei slid it over his shoulder and into its sheath. His right arm swinging limply at his side, the ronin made his way up the muddy slope.
The rain had gotten harder; it fell in a thick, gray curtain, shrouding everything. The mud was even thicker than it had been before. It hardly seemed possible to consider the pathway even close to a solid, Koganei having to channel his Ki through his feet to stay above it. Flames in the distance filtered through the haze, casting an orange glow over the dark mud and luminous green grass and stalks. Looking back and forth from the fire to where he had landed, Koganei calculated the trajectory of the armored man. Judging him somewhere on the other side of the flames, the ronin started off again. The samurai moved around the fired area, flittering through the smoldering stalks as quickly as he could. Suddenly, the firelight flickered across something metallic amidst a heap of broken, half-burnt stalks, sending Koganei into crouch, his good hand hovering over the hilt at his shoulder.
It took a few moments for the samurai to recognize the half-hidden object in the continuously adjusting light, but a grin split his bloodied face when he did. It seems the armored man, is now armor-less. Koganei thought, picking up the heavily damaged chest plate. Dropping the metal plate, the dark-haired man set off again, keeping low as he moved through the tall stalks. Despite his wounds, he moved gracefully, silently. A large hunting cat stalking its wounded prey. Koganei grinned in silent triumph as he spotted the large man, crouching down among the stalks with crystal blade in hand. The hunting cat had found its prey.
Moving off to the side, the ronin came up behind the man. Lucien was breathing heavily, and seemed to have lost his spear amid the explosion. Koganei was glad to see that his numerous attacks had had more of an effect than he had thought, for various wounds marked the man’s body. But while he had lost his main chest piece, the crusader retained a good deal of his armor. Very dangerous armor, Koganei thought, rubbing gently at the wound on his shoulder. The samurai waited until the wind picked up, his movement covered by the whoosh of the wind and the pelting of the rain on the man’s armor.
A transparent, light blue glow surrounded Koganei’s left hand as he rushed up on Lucien. Leaping up over the crusader, the ronin kicked out, pinning the crystal blade against the ground. The way open, Koganei took advantage of the man’s surprise. His hand lashed forward like a striking cobra, his open palm pummeling Lucien’s chest. Koganei threw himself backwards as the large man’s other arm came flying it, just barely skimming his cheek. Digging the tips of his toes into the mud and leaning forward, Koganei darted forward again.
Time seemed to slow as he came, the ronin moving easily around the slow moving sword and arm blade. Even the rain seemed to take a moment and stop, moving much than possible. His eyes flashing, Koganei ducked in close and lashed out again. His open palm struck too many times to count in the time span in which it occurred, hammering a rapid beat against Lucien’s muscled chest. Swatting the blade away, the samurai leap up, kicking the crusader’s face and leaping away.
“You’ll find it very hard to breath here in a moment.” Koganei said, his Musoken fading away. Lucien looked puzzled, but hardened his face as he started forward, blade raised. The man pulled back for a swing, but halted very suddenly. Blood spurted from his mouth in a fit of coughing, the man clutching at his chest.
“I’ve damaged your internal organs.” Koganei explained, raising his glowing hand in front of him. “By focusing my energy through my hand and into your body, I can bypass the protection the outside of your body gives you and inflict full damage right in your very core.” The samurai gave a sudden wistful look. “You have been, and are, a very difficult opponent, but I won’t lose!”