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  1. #4171

    Default The Mountains of Madness

    Quote Originally Posted by Yun Lao View Post
    If Persephone sought any dramatic retort or any recognition that the barb of her words had stung, she would find no satisfaction this time. Rex's consciousness and mind had been snatched away in the torrent of conscious that was the entity who called himself "Charco". What lurked beneath the patchwork flesh of human and saurian was neither being, but rather something else created from both. Without memory, without motivation, without experience, the only "Charco" could be at this moment was a stream of stimuli and consciousness without guidelines.

    Perhaps, in hindsight, had Persephone knew just who she now believed to be her old nemesis, things might have ended differently. A newborn without past rivalries or tragedies knew not of hate, but it still had the instinct of flight or fight. With the destruction of the ruins launching him into the air, "Charco's" instincts kicked in and while his mind was without experience, his body was all too acquainted with it. A shout of defiance escaped his lungs and the air exploded as the mere emergence of his aura sent errant blasts of ki in all directions.
    The crumbling fortress of Amdapor rose from its fell station into a mockery of the divine office of Creation. Where Charco stood across from the Magi Queen, Ochazuke was closer this time.

    Last time, they were separated by the katchin corridors at the Doctor's nerve centre in the Star Forge, where he rushed towards his demise down that fateful passage. Yet as he called out to him now, Ochazuke would continue find his words barricaded nonetheless.

    The imprint of the soul, it was the boy's, insofar as it had ebbed where it emerged from Rex's scaled hide. It might be seen as due justice for what the cold-blooded had done to steal the future of that entire family line, but in these Mountains of Madness, reason was the farthest thing that would materialize amid these violent shadows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yun Lao View Post
    At one moment, things had changed. Shōchū's sensors had picked up the signs of magic activating as she had been preparing to storm the ruins where the Beast lurked within. Unable to fully respond in time, she found herself suspended in the air above what was once the ruins, laid to waste by someone. Her senses surveyed the scene yet her conscious mind was distracted by the nostalgic wave that struck her.

    "This energy..."

    She could sense it, radiating from the beast's body. It had been many years, even before she knew of the concepts of ki signatures, but she recognized the feeling that was her cousin.

    No... something wasn't quite right. It was as if something else wore her cousin like a mask.



    It seemed someone else had recognized the energy, Ochazuke, yet he had not realized the truth.

    "That's not Charco..." Shōchū said, "It feels like him, but that is not my cousin nor Rex..."
    It was with some relief that he saw the newest warrior among them had survived her encounter with the Queensguard without a scratch. More than the familiar, lethal trace that accented the naginata, if Ochazuke had known So there lies your connection.

    "If not Charco, then who?"

    The ruined chimeric shape standing opposite of the Magical Mistress screamed and cast asunder the climbing winds of the cruel North. "His shape would be fit for the design of this cthonic revenant, only I know too well he would never submit to her."

    Neither champion, fallen Banefire, nor self-imposed Master of Time could make the Ogatan bow. No, even from this distance, he could see only the malady of blood, once silent, rendered in lashing, corrossive grey.

    Only rash impulse and wild instinct, the fear of an animal, was the source of Koryuu-ryu's strength and downfall.

    The tendrils of energy lanced from the flesh and scale form, lashing trenches across Persephone's stage, and the world Arthur had left behind. Ochazuke cast a look to the shimmering pit they had been pulled from far below. The Queen seems to have ignored something as she renders her vainglorious stage...perhaps soon, but not yet.

    "So long as a part of him is alive..." Ochazuke seethed through gritted teeth, "...then I will witness him, even if I have to drag it out Rex's corpse to do it!"

    The blasts cast themselves in a scattering radius from where that fearful shape emerged. Gradually, Ochazuke approached the battlefield. Hands gild with the nullifying energies of Kongosho, perhaps foolishly he seized upon an errant ray; In desperation, it was as if he grappled with a thunderbolt to wrest from it illumination.

    And as he felt the raw spirit within that ki directly as it coursed around and through him, he enhanced his sense-awareness with Banjakuza, standing firm to unravel at least part of this mystery, analyzing the deeper nature of this entity's ki from the inroads made from Charco's fallen soul.

    What the hell are you?

  2. #4172

    Default The Legacy of Zxu'ro [Zaofan]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hellís Brigade View Post
    Ro chuckles.

    ďMaybe. But itís purpose is to be...non-dangerous looking. Silly even. Trust me, itís been used many times to staggeringly powerful effect. Plus, unlike your majin natural absorption power, the fusion wears off in half an hour so you arenít stuck being something else, or risk having your personality rewritten.Ē
    Quote Originally Posted by KingofPie View Post
    "Well, that's a bright side, Sasheem supposes," The Majin shtugged, not entirely convinced. "Is that it, then? If it is, what the hell do we do now?"
    As Young Ro outlined the steps of the Fusion Dance, ever the apt pupil Zaofan did as he was told.

    Rhythm of the breath must be constant

    Stiff, at first, and to the letter, he mimicked the moves, trying with his best effort to match them with fidelity

    Rear leg 45 degrees, align upper arm with body; lower arms parallel to the ground

    This is where it all started in a recipe after all. There was the incremental steps, of course, but the finer points lay in the method. By going through the motions, he slowly understood the purpose as he compiled the subtleties of the technique.

    Keep the fingers parallel, symmetrical at a fixed point. Align with your partner, make contact-

    Though he scuttled, pivoted, and twisted, every time he leaned toward Sasheem, by sheer instinct he hesitated to make that last step.

    Well, one wouldn't make Eggs Benny in one shot the first five, ten times? He'd probably have to do it hundreds of times just to get it into his bones.

    But as the hours wittled away, the truth of the matter was that there was no tangible result. As a result, Zaofan, for a long stretch, had fallen oddly quiet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hellís Brigade View Post
    ďTrain, learn. Refine your techniques and seek out my actual form for the final Secret Technique. It shouldnít be hard to find me.ď

    He smiles.

    ďWe can spar a while if you wish. I can help with other techniques you might not know from your chosen school.Ē
    There it was. The opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to train with the Master of Masters. But even this walking shadow play before him admitted, the truth of this eluded them. And that, perhaps, was the rub.

    And when he looked at Sasheem, he only relented and sighed. "Sparring..."

    "If it was just a matter of losing techniques, I guess it would be fine. But, Master, our friends are out there, and soon the universe will beari down upon them and us on the Earth." Zaofan broke his silence, and his usual chipper veneer quaked in his voice. "I'd thought we'd find some answer to that problem. Even if it's all by design, I think you owe us some explanation."

    "The world needs you. So where did you go?!"

  3. #4173

    Default Rising from Ruins [Ochazuke]

    Quote Originally Posted by KingofPie View Post
    "An understandable sentiment, I suppose even if I cannot empathize," Blizzar admitted. He hadn't quite realized this to be a potential issue. With no true interest in his own homeworld and growing up in galaxy filled with planets fsr more used to the dealings of the GP, he hadn't considered the possibility that imposing a new constant upon the Earth's populace could be considered unappealing to some.

    And given that he HAD agreed to a deal with the President, he couldn't blame them, even if his intent was to double cross the double cross. Nevertheless, he still unwaveringly considered the GP'S presence beneficial in the wake of threats focused on Earth that could shake the wider galaxy.

    "Then perhaps today we will begin to right wrongs that should have long been corrected," Blizzar stated with a nod. "This planet within and without has seen enough hardship."
    "As far as That Man is concerned, we are meddling with ancient forces the like which we can scarcely comprehend," Ochazuke replied. "His actions, however, speak for themselves."

    The Officer's words of appraisal, however, struck a chord with him.

    "In as far as this much, we can agree. And if we are to undo the damage dealt to this world..."

    "We'll have to start by convincing them to lay down their arms, one way or another. I'm afraid that time may not be on our side."

    "Halfway around the world, Zaofan and Sasheem have uncovered something of the Master's legacy that none before have. It is difficult to explain, but by reading the ki of the Earth and guiding it toward him, I felt it and can confirm that what they have stumbled upon is something transcendent, and it is very real. Surely what they've recovered will be invaluable."

    "I have information, however, that the Red Raiders are close to uncovering something similar...but though I searched for it, this place has escaped my pursuit. In chasing after them, we are moving blindly."

    The head of the Golem raised to his side.

    "Fortunately...we may now have a lead."

    Quote Originally Posted by Miburo View Post
    "Yeah....That man is....I say this as an outsider, but he certainly knows what he's doing."

    It was a very earnest and true concern. The worry Ochazuke expressed did not escape the Nevadian and his political acumen. Alakazah had united the people of Earth under a banner, true, but it was not truly a government of their own design, or even with their own interests at heart. Held could not discern the nature of his machinations, but it likely just considered the humans as a means to some unknown end. After all, if someone of his power could not bring peace to this world, it was just as likely that he was uninterested, as it was that he simply could not.

    The mechanism of oppression was subtle, but it was there. Playing the earthlings against one another, offering the only path to a form of peace so that in their desperation they cling to him like a child... It was not surprising, although it was despicable.

    But it was surprising to hear Ochazuke speak of such things. The man had uncanny insight to be sure, but Held had never realized just how far it went.

    "Kenshiko....I guess I should have figured that as long as whathisname is still around, she'd come back sooner or later....I didn't fight the Raiders that often, but...."

    He frowned remembering a young man who died in battle against him, unwilling to surrender until revenge had been taken against the World Government that took so much beforehand.

    "....I guess in retrospect we both might have missed the obvious."
    "Of all the places in the wider universe to chain an ancient evil, it would be here that Alakazah would find the end of his yoke," he said. "Yet there is some deep-seeded connection between the old world and the new. I'd felt it firsthand when he met with Blizzar, Parsley and myself. An ember of magic that would defy the structures of the very universe...if he got out."

    "It seems something in the history of our art has drawn That Man's attentions. Doubtless my Kru has discovered it as well, along with the knowledge of the Hidden Hand of the Ten Schools. Yet I find myself at an impasse. If these arts are something humanity can use to defy him further, then I can't allow it to remain divided any longer. And I cannot let her slip away from me again."

    "You truly lead a charmed life." Held said with a sympathetic sigh, "Alakazah to the left, Kenshiko to the right....And here you are stuck in the middle."

    Held went silent for a moment, stroking his chin as he took measure of Ochazukes words. Had any of the other warriors made such a claim, he likely would have dismissed it as mere hyperbole. Be it Saiyan, Nevadian, or otherwise, Held rarely considered the art to be as potent as the practitioner. Oh, to be sure, there were always deep knowledge to be found in arts passed down from the ages; His Unicorn arts were proof of that. They had served him well and taken him far. But even in the hands of a man more skilled than himself--assuming there were any--he wouldn't have gone so far to say that they would enable a man to rule a world where so many great warriors, and so much resplendent power had resided.

    It was a claim made by many martial artist in jest. Ochazuke had never been on to appreciate the finer points of a joke, or to be so enraptured by his own ego as to lead him to do pointless things. His assessment of skill was perhaps superior to the Nevadians, and whatever he had seen was such he was unwilling to dismiss the chaos brought about by this progenitor art.

    Kenshiko was much the same, as much as Held could tell. Deathly serious, focused on nothing beyond her goals. She likely wouldn't have went on some sort of training pilgrimage unless she truly believed it held the answers she sought, and the closer she came, the greater her odds of success would likely be.

    The idea put forth was laughable; The person who put forth the idea, and the person who pursued the idea were ones who he held deep respect and--in Kenshiko's case--caution towards. So, he suspended his instincts, and relied on their judgement.

    After all, the Humans were full of surprises. Ochazuke himself, even when the Nevadian had first met him possessed a skill uncommon among Saiyans, let alone Nevadians, often considered naturally gifted in the art of combat, if lacking in the prodigious power found among the Saiyans. The Humans were considered to be lacking in both measures.

    Held's travels during his first three years of time on the planet did little to alter his assessment. Perhaps he had been looking in the wrong locations: Ochzuke, Zaofan, Battersea, Balon, Kenshiko....Each warrior was nothing short of magnificent, to the point that even now, he was unsure as to how a battle on equal footing between human and Nevadian would play out.

    Earth was certainly the very definition of atypical. There was some reason that so many cosmic horrors, so many great warriors and empires seemed dead set to claim jurisdiction over it. Held absently wondered if he was remiss in his duties to not attempt to do the same, although he considered earth as more of a home away from home, as opposed to a prize.

    Still, this planets ability to surprise in every sense of the world was not to be underestimated. If there was a style so potent as to overcome so many fearsome barriers, it would likely be found here.

    "Well, I try to keep my interfering in your planets politics to a minimum." Held replied with a laugh, turning his attention back to his comrade, "If only because between all the Galaxy Police, Sayian Empire and World Goverment Red Tape, I'm half expecting to get sued for sneezing on something I shouldn't have....Admittedly, I was here first, so if anythi--Nevermind."

    The interactions this planet has is quite fascinating from a political standpoint. Alawhatever's maneuvering would put some of the greater politicians on my world to shame...

    He sighed once more, focusing on the matter at hand.

    Not to mention, I run the risk of dragging Nevada into something or other because I got too carried away, although I doubt Sarada and Blizzar really care about what I do.

    "But I can't let it be said Held Debon just lets things go to shit on his watch, or wont pull his own weight...I'm not exactly sure how I can help, but I'll do what I can. "

    Besides, I admit I've been wanting to take a closer look at the higher level martial arts of this planet...
    "Grateful to have you along as an ally. This time, I shall stand beside you in this endeavour. But I won't lie to you either. The odds are against us. I do have a plan, but the risk involved..."

    Ochazuke merely unfolded his arms, cracking his neck back and forth.

    "If we make it through, then that's two I owe you. I intend to repay my debt in full."
    Last edited by grampagen; 04-08-2020 at 01:17 PM.

  4. #4174

    Default Rising from Ruins [Ochazuke]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hellís Brigade View Post
    Once inside the chamber, Eva summons forth Arthurís spirit, who manifests quickly. He nods to the assemble people here, eyeing Jack and Damaskís head.

    ďHow may I be of assistance, Evangeline?@

    She looks at Jack, who sighs, puts his cigarette out, and holds his left hand out. A moment passes, and a beautiful sword appears in his hand. Magic and Creational Energy seem to wrap around and imbue the blade.

    Arthur looks at it, then slowly nods before turning to Eva.

    ďYou wish me to name him my true heir then? To acknowledge the blade as my Will?Ē

    She nods once, sharply.

    ďMuch of the past needs cleaning up, Arthur. This is a part of it: Willa and her cohorts need to be rooted out and taken care of. She has Damask bound to her by blood, but Jack is your true successor. You need to make it official.Ē

    The first Guardian looks at Jack, the blade, then at Damaskís head. A sad smile crosses his face.

    ďForgive me the burden Iíve placed on you, old friend. You served me and mine well, and I ask you to witness my last act and bear one more task: confirming my will.Ē

    He turns and walks to Jack, reaching out and placing ghostly hands on the younger manís shoulders.

    ďYou are my blood, Jack Knave, and with my blade in your possession I make this decree: you are my Heir. Through your line shall my name continue, from now to perpetuity. All lands and titles I pass to your line. All blood bonds and oaths I pass to your line. All Charges and Marques I pass to your line. May it all serve you and yours well. ď

    White vines of power cross cross from Arthur to Jack, passing through the sword, and after a moment they both step back as the vines disappear.

    ďIt is done. Damask, Jack Knave is my heir. Your oaths are his oaths now. The Ritual was witnessed. Do you confirm?Ē

    The golemís eyes flash.

    ďIt is witnessed and acknowledged, Lord Arthur. It shall be done.Ē

    With that Arthur smiles at them, nods to Evangeline and disappears.

    Eva looks at Jack, who looks at the sword before shaking his head and making it disappear.

    ďDamask, answer any questions Ochazuke here poses you. Or anyone else here. And, uh, donít tell Willa what happened.Ē
    When Jack apparated his ritual weapon from thin air, the energy of Creation shrouding it was unmistakable to Ochazuke. It shone in every portion of this chamber when he had restored it from the Doctor's bloodletted reserve; a portion remained fast at his side still. Moreover, its signature emanated in the same manner of the Phantom Guardian that stood at the forefront of this hallowed hall.

    "Where and when did you get that sword?"

    Where he gripped the golem, a portion of it it brushed against his hand. Forcefully even in its emanation, but it fell past and through him like a vain trick of the light. For Jack, on the other hand, the matter behind the spectre resonated for him alone.

    What, truly, did successorship mean, if tied to something so minuscule as an accident of birth? Though he would never doubt Jack Knave's capability as a warrior - much less his sleight of hand as a sneak-thief - Ochazuke was less than amused at how flippantly the young man wielded this symbol of his, apparently, newly granted office. For all he knew, this relic would be key to a great many things, least of all the matter before them, and he never used it once until the path had been made for him.

    "Graduating him from vagabond fortune to divine mandate. I suppose forsaking one branch of your lineage might be a suitable measure in the immediate sense. Splendid mantle to foist upon one who never wanted any responsibility,"

    As he spoke the words bluntly, his eyes passed in turn from Jack, to Arthur, then finally to Evangeline.

    "But do not forget that the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. Oaths without intention are empty words, and no more.Ē

    Confirming Arthur's will had led to this rupture amongst mankind in the first place, and this solution, it was far too simplistic to heal the divide. If all it took to restore peace on Earth stood entirely upon ceremony to strip away airs, there would be no opposition to Grinthorn. Their Guardian loaned counsel to the founder, and though he stood by, silently, it galled him.

    There was somebody else who also had designs of 'cleaning up the past,' decided what was truth and who stood to reap acclaim. Who no longer deserved to exist.

    He would not count himself willingly among the company of the President, but was this King's justice any less?

    Lightyears away, that Saiyan child and her cousin once thought it was a game of stamping out deviation from the decreed letter of the law. If words were sufficient to govern and the better nature of bloodlines to carry the will, the Red Raiders as such would not exist.

    How could he deign to speak to them about Justice in the knowledge of these fateful designs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miburo View Post
    "....What the hell just happened?" Held asked, blinking in confusion. "Did I miss a few meetings or something?"
    "Damask is a creature wrought of Magician's work. I don't have the eye for the finer points of the spellcraft. Some sort of incantation made to seal his charge of Arthur's bloodline, his protectorate."

    "His nature is unique. Despite his elemental compositon, it is no thrall. Animated by the ki of the Earth itself, it possesses something of a soul itself. In a matter of speaking, the Golem may be the first and the last of a forgotten order sworn to protect this world."

    "The matter of what it is, that may be easier to perceive; but the how and why of its existence, perhaps that would be best left to his creator."

    The Matter of the Earth written in a long history of shed blood and memories. For now, Ochazuke would rectify the portion of it that he'd long neglected.

    "Balon, bring me the map, the one from the Lion Guardian." Regardless, the destination was set. Yet though the borders were drawn, set in crude proportion, when Ochazuke had reached into the Genius Loci of the Earth, he did not find it.

    It's a long shot, but the vision of the Golem...if that is his native soil, there is a chance. Yet there is some barricade that prevents passage by conventional means.

    He lift the disembodied head of Damask before him.

    "Golem. You've renewed your vow to protect the world. Tell me now, who do you choose to serve?"

  5. #4175
    Voice of the Authorities Cleric of Hellís Brigade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grampagen View Post
    When Jack apparated his ritual weapon from thin air, the energy of Creation shrouding it was unmistakable to Ochazuke. It shone in every portion of this chamber when he had restored it from the Doctor's bloodletted reserve; a portion remained fast at his side still. Moreover, its signature emanated in the same manner of the Phantom Guardian that stood at the forefront of this hallowed hall.

    "Where and when did you get that sword?"

    Where he gripped the golem, a portion of it it brushed against his hand. Forcefully even in its emanation, but it fell past and through him like a vain trick of the light. For Jack, on the other hand, the matter behind the spectre resonated for him alone.

    What, truly, did successorship mean, if tied to something so minuscule as an accident of birth? Though he would never doubt Jack Knave's capability as a warrior - much less his sleight of hand as a sneak-thief - Ochazuke was less than amused at how flippantly the young man wielded this symbol of his, apparently, newly granted office. For all he knew, this relic would be key to a great many things, least of all the matter before them, and he never used it once until the path had been made for him.

    "Graduating him from vagabond fortune to divine mandate. I suppose forsaking one branch of your lineage might be a suitable measure in the immediate sense. Splendid mantle to foist upon one who never wanted any responsibility,"

    As he spoke the words bluntly, his eyes passed in turn from Jack, to Arthur, then finally to Evangeline.

    "But do not forget that the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. Oaths without intention are empty words, and no more.”

    Confirming Arthur's will had led to this rupture amongst mankind in the first place, and this solution, it was far too simplistic to heal the divide. If all it took to restore peace on Earth stood entirely upon ceremony to strip away airs, there would be no opposition to Grinthorn. Their Guardian loaned counsel to the founder, and though he stood by, silently, it galled him.

    There was somebody else who also had designs of 'cleaning up the past,' decided what was truth and who stood to reap acclaim. Who no longer deserved to exist.

    He would not count himself willingly among the company of the President, but was this King's justice any less?

    Lightyears away, that Saiyan child and her cousin once thought it was a game of stamping out deviation from the decreed letter of the law. If words were sufficient to govern and the better nature of bloodlines to carry the will, the Red Raiders as such would not exist.

    How could he deign to speak to them about Justice in the knowledge of these fateful designs?



    "Damask is a creature wrought of Magician's work. I don't have the eye for the finer points of the spellcraft. Some sort of incantation made to seal his charge of Arthur's bloodline, his protectorate."

    "His nature is unique. Despite his elemental compositon, it is no thrall. Animated by the ki of the Earth itself, it possesses something of a soul itself. In a matter of speaking, the Golem may be the first and the last of a forgotten order sworn to protect this world."

    "The matter of what it is, that may be easier to perceive; but the how and why of its existence, perhaps that would be best left to his creator."

    The Matter of the Earth written in a long history of shed blood and memories. For now, Ochazuke would rectify the portion of it that he'd long neglected.

    "Balon, bring me the map, the one from the Lion Guardian." Regardless, the destination was set. Yet though the borders were drawn, set in crude proportion, when Ochazuke had reached into the Genius Loci of the Earth, he did not find it.

    It's a long shot, but the vision of the Golem...if that is his native soil, there is a chance. Yet there is some barricade that prevents passage by conventional means.

    He lift the disembodied head of Damask before him.

    "Golem. You've renewed your vow to protect the world. Tell me now, who do you choose to serve?"
    Jack shrugs.

    “Asha’rah, myself, Kai, Nunlil, and Sarada’s aunt had to go on a mission when you lot took on the Doctor and all that. This here blade belonged to Arthur and had popped up on the black market out in space. We didn’t want it falling into the wrong hands, and it’s very property, having been gifted to Arthur by Asha’rah, meant only she could and I as his blood could get it and hide it proper. Only had it fer a bit, and been trying to figure it out as best I can.”

    Jack shrugs.

    “As to legacy.....being dead kind of changes yer view on things, Ochazuke. I’ve been done with being a Vagabond for a while. Me and Nunlil, we both decided that we want to protect Eva and Kai, and the Earth, as best we can. If the sword, and Arthur’s will helps....seems fitting his bloodline would circle back to protecting the Kami, no?”

    Samson brings the map forward and gives it to Ochazuke.

    Damsk’s eyes look to Ochazuke, and for a moment, the mouth seems to curve upward slightly.

    “I choose to serve those that seek to restore Earth and wrest it from the President. I follow Willa by blood, Jack Knave by blood and oath, but I choose to honor those oaths. That is my choice. What would you have of me, Ochazuke?”
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  6. #4176
    Voice of the Authorities Cleric of Hellís Brigade's Avatar
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    Editted.......
    Last edited by Cleric of Hellís Brigade; 04-05-2020 at 07:52 AM.
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  7. #4177
    Voice of the Authorities Cleric of Hellís Brigade's Avatar
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    Ro sighs and sits down.

    ďThe Primary Schools: Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Crane, and Turtle are known. You donít need my help in those techniques or forms. The Lost schools: Lion, Bear, Phoenix, Wolf, and Spider however, you havenít had much exposure too. If you want I can show you a few things in one of those. Your time here is limited though.Ē

    ďAs to my Third Technique, it must remain hidden. Itís capability is vast, and at your level now, attempting it would destroy your bodies. I can start training you to eventually attain that level, but to achieve the actual technique, you must train hard and find my real self. My body is currently within a meditative sphere of the Earthís ki, hidden and protected within the very core itself. From there my body was able to...slowly absorb Earthís ki to help fuel and learn more of the last technique.Ē
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  8. #4178
    Retired Overlord
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    Default The Mountain of Madness

    The stage had been set...a grand stage built of the ruins of the past. A final act to an tale of death and rebirth in the land of eternal sanctuary. This corpse of a realm was neither living nor dead....it simply was, an eternal testament to the futility of idealism in a world where the fittest survive and the weak feed the ascendance of the strong. Today, the final anchor holding the past would be shattered.....the old realm would see its death complete, and in its place......a rebirth.

    A new Avalon, where strength meant nothing....and all were equal under her light.

    Now the power she had built in the ages spend among the outer gods in the dream was brought to bear in all its glory. Ruins for miles and miles around pulled from the earth and brought together, thousands of tons of ruin and rubble gathered above the great mountain where it could be....disposed of. But not before it played the stage to her ultimate victory over the last enemy of her old reign.

    .....

    If Persephone sought any dramatic retort or any recognition that the barb of her words had stung, she would find no satisfaction this time. Rex's consciousness and mind had been snatched away in the torrent of conscious that was the entity who called himself "Charco". What lurked beneath the patchwork flesh of human and saurian was neither being, but rather something else created from both. Without memory, without motivation, without experience, the only "Charco" could be at this moment was a stream of stimuli and consciousness without guidelines.

    Perhaps, in hindsight, had Persephone knew just who she now believed to be her old nemesis, things might have ended differently. A newborn without past rivalries or tragedies knew not of hate, but it still had the instinct of flight or fight. With the destruction of the ruins launching him into the air, "Charco's" instincts kicked in and while his mind was without experience, his body was all too acquainted with it. A shout of defiance escaped his lungs and the air exploded as the mere emergence of his aura sent errant blasts of ki in all directions.
    She could already feel the disappointment welling up in her chest.

    No banter, no witty retort......just infantile screaming and chest beating. Rex truly had lost the battle with his host.....and now she was stuck fighting this.....thing.

    Persephone tilted her head enough to allow a beam to flash by, exploding violently somewhere behind her, and sighed amidst the spectacle. Ruins that had stood for generations crumbled into fine powder under Charcos omni-directional onslaught, but the corpse of a realm was massive....and not time nor the rage of a child would so easily remove it. No matter.....perhaps if she smashed him a little she could get Rex to come back long enough to get in a few chuckles over his broken body.

    Her hand shot out and caught one of the beams in her palm, and rather then blast through or explode....the energy was immediately caught by the absorbing material that now made up her being. Like a spiral, it flowed down her arm as her own magic mixed with it, across her chest and then down her other arm as it gathered in an energized sphere. With a smile, the queen of magic let the sphere mold into a lance of energy and then motioned it with a gesture to fly towards Charco....weaving around his attacks to pierce directly into the raging hybrid.

    Lifting his staff, a brilliant blue glow filled Zaofan's Katchin weapon. Seeing Morgan put her all behind the magic barrier, it was plain to see that Persephone thought very little of them.

    Why, that was enough to seriously cheese him off. Already he was seeing red.

    "Let me make it a bit easier for you then," Zaofan seethed, and with a defiant lunge forward, he repaid Morgan's defense with one of his own.

    Perhaps it was the concept of an attack coming from the spectators being little more then a non existent musing that Persephone paid no heed to Zaofans wide beam until it was almost upon her. Red light flooded over her form...and in its wake....

    Persephone stood unhindered, even as the ruins around her disintegrated....if anything her form had taken on a soft reddish glow as a result of the attack.

    "....Ho...?" The Queen lifted her finger and snapped, a impossibly powerful burst of mana emanating from it.....and coalescing into a doppelganger of herself that flew down towards Zaofan and Morgan. "....I'm giving you the chance to spectate a battle of legend, and more importantly....not be dead before it ends. If that doesn't suit you however....I suppose I can spare a little time to entertain you in a more befitting manner. How about a story?"

    The fake Persephone motions with her finger, and the ruins respond.....an several large slabs of rock float into the air before descending on him in waves. As they close in, Zaofan would realize they were the wall markers from the highway to Amdapor.

  9. #4179
    i blow u kis Yun Lao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grampagen View Post
    It was with some relief that he saw the newest warrior among them had survived her encounter with the Queensguard without a scratch. More than the familiar, lethal trace that accented the naginata, if Ochazuke had known So there lies your connection.

    "If not Charco, then who?"

    The ruined chimeric shape standing opposite of the Magical Mistress screamed and cast asunder the climbing winds of the cruel North. "His shape would be fit for the design of this cthonic revenant, only I know too well he would never submit to her."

    Neither champion, fallen Banefire, nor self-imposed Master of Time could make the Ogatan bow. No, even from this distance, he could see only the malady of blood, once silent, rendered in lashing, corrossive grey.

    Only rash impulse and wild instinct, the fear of an animal, was the source of Koryuu-ryu's strength and downfall.

    The tendrils of energy lanced from the flesh and scale form, lashing trenches across Persephone's stage, and the world Arthur had left behind. Ochazuke cast a look to the shimmering pit they had been pulled from far below. The Queen seems to have ignored something as she renders her vainglorious stage...perhaps soon, but not yet.

    "So long as a part of him is alive..." Ochazuke seethed through gritted teeth, "...then I will witness him, even if I have to drag it out Rex's corpse to do it!"

    The blasts cast themselves in a scattering radius from where that fearful shape emerged. Gradually, Ochazuke approached the battlefield. Hands gild with the nullifying energies of Kongosho, perhaps foolishly he seized upon an errant ray; In desperation, it was as if he grappled with a thunderbolt to wrest from it illumination.

    And as he felt the raw spirit within that ki directly as it coursed around and through him, he enhanced his sense-awareness with Banjakuza, standing firm to unravel at least part of this mystery, analyzing the deeper nature of this entity's ki from the inroads made from Charco's fallen soul.

    What the hell are you?
    If one's soul could be likened to a fire, then the soul of the creature known as "Charco" could be compared to a volcano going off. There was no cohesion as two spirits tore into each other in an attempt to gain some semblance of traction on reality. It was only through the power of the entity's regeneration that his body could handle the strain of such an internal struggle.

    "..." Words failed Shōchū, who had no answer to Ochazuke's question. Even her extensive database, compiled with the collective knowledge of two timelines, struggled to comprehend what she was seeing. Perhaps Ochazuke was right? Perhaps it truly was Charco, fighting for control of his body. It had been over a decade since she last bore witness to his presence. The machine mutant suddenly winced, as her sensors overloaded; her cybernetic half briefly crashing, struck by the ki signature equivalent of a DDoS. Turning away from the fight, it was not to avert her eyes from the source but to confront it.

    "So... this a human saurian hybrid..." Came another voice, the air rippling like a droplet hitting still water before a physical shape manifested.



    "No, correction. The ratio is not equal due to fluctuations..."

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    The stage had been set...a grand stage built of the ruins of the past. A final act to an tale of death and rebirth in the land of eternal sanctuary. This corpse of a realm was neither living nor dead....it simply was, an eternal testament to the futility of idealism in a world where the fittest survive and the weak feed the ascendance of the strong. Today, the final anchor holding the past would be shattered.....the old realm would see its death complete, and in its place......a rebirth.

    A new Avalon, where strength meant nothing....and all were equal under her light.

    Now the power she had built in the ages spend among the outer gods in the dream was brought to bear in all its glory. Ruins for miles and miles around pulled from the earth and brought together, thousands of tons of ruin and rubble gathered above the great mountain where it could be....disposed of. But not before it played the stage to her ultimate victory over the last enemy of her old reign.

    .....

    She could already feel the disappointment welling up in her chest.

    No banter, no witty retort......just infantile screaming and chest beating. Rex truly had lost the battle with his host.....and now she was stuck fighting this.....thing.

    Persephone tilted her head enough to allow a beam to flash by, exploding violently somewhere behind her, and sighed amidst the spectacle. Ruins that had stood for generations crumbled into fine powder under Charcos omni-directional onslaught, but the corpse of a realm was massive....and not time nor the rage of a child would so easily remove it. No matter.....perhaps if she smashed him a little she could get Rex to come back long enough to get in a few chuckles over his broken body.

    Her hand shot out and caught one of the beams in her palm, and rather then blast through or explode....the energy was immediately caught by the absorbing material that now made up her being. Like a spiral, it flowed down her arm as her own magic mixed with it, across her chest and then down her other arm as it gathered in an energized sphere. With a smile, the queen of magic let the sphere mold into a lance of energy and then motioned it with a gesture to fly towards Charco....weaving around his attacks to pierce directly into the raging hybrid.
    Shrieks and wails, the very cries of the fallen citizens of Avalon could be heard as clearly as the day they exuded from their dying breaths as "Charco" dredged up the surrounding fukushuu; a force of habit no doubt of Rex's influence. Crossing his arms, trembling in barely contained rage, over his chest. The broken fragments of the ruins trembled once more, this time slowly making their way towards him, his power creating a faint vortex.

    As Persephone manipulated an errant blast of his back, guiding it through the vengeful spirits who sought to seize it for their tormentor, the Once and Risen Queen's hopes would bear fruit as the blast pierce him through the stomach. That's as far as her hopes would go, however, as his body consumed the very energy that wounded him. Light seeped out in thin rays from between gritted teeth, the power gathering around and within him; however, while it was Rex's fukushuu that comprised the former, the dull orange hue of the energy within was far too familiar to the volatile ki of Charco's Thyreophora. The inviting vortex grew stronger in response to the sudden bout of pain inflicted upon him subconsciously provoking him into dipping into the well of hatred taught by the Old Hateful Hermit, Poepayne. The combination of three sources of energy seemed almost too much of a toil despite his regeneration, as his skin cracked open, weeping scarlet.

    When whatever criteria "Charco" had sought in this display of masochistic power had been met, he let loose with a roar of uncoherent pain, creating a devasting shockwave of energies purged from his being.

    --------------
    Locked Technique Brought Forth: "「Tunguska Vent」"

  10. #4180

    Default The Mountains of Madness

    Quote Originally Posted by Yun Lao View Post
    If one's soul could be likened to a fire, then the soul of the creature known as "Charco" could be compared to a volcano going off. There was no cohesion as two spirits tore into each other in an attempt to gain some semblance of traction on reality. It was only through the power of the entity's regeneration that his body could handle the strain of such an internal struggle.

    "..." Words failed Shōchū, who had no answer to Ochazuke's question. Even her extensive database, compiled with the collective knowledge of two timelines, struggled to comprehend what she was seeing. Perhaps Ochazuke was right? Perhaps it truly was Charco, fighting for control of his body. It had been over a decade since she last bore witness to his presence. The machine mutant suddenly winced, as her sensors overloaded; her cybernetic half briefly crashing, struck by the ki signature equivalent of a DDoS. Turning away from the fight, it was not to avert her eyes from the source but to confront it.

    "So... this a human saurian hybrid..." Came another voice, the air rippling like a droplet hitting still water before a physical shape manifested.



    "No, correction. The ratio is not equal due to fluctuations..."
    Ochazuke strained, fighting back against the errant beam he held in his grasp. By using its brief connection to its source, through physical contact with the energy he'd obtained a read on it, and with it came a fleeting glimpse of what lay within the tortured, chaotic form. A thing that should not exist by its very nature, forming and unmaking itself to fit its flesh to spirit. The subtler war that raged within contained a deeper violence; within the field of grey haze that was Rex's aura, a primal shout that carried itself through the lancing energies about this place.

    Shochu had been a keen study, and in the matter of Rex she had been the most outspoken. As Ochazuke released his hands from the stray beam, he reeled, sharing her silence as he collected himself with one knee upon the rubble.

    What else could be said of a thing that should not be? In the ruins of Persephone's kingdom, the life unliving was ripe with corruption, the twisted things emerging hidden in the darkness, watching, waiting, seizing upon fear.

    So when this stranger arrived, it was with with a certain beleaguered fatigue that he turned his attention to her.

    "That Saurian does not belong in this world," he said, "The form he manifests is not his own. Even now Ogatan Charco combats that parasite."

    As he righted his ki, Ochazuke stood, and the skills of sense-awareness resharpened themselves. He'd missed her entrance, but for the moment, she had his undivided attention.

    "Futher...who are you to speak of his soul as no more than a mere fixed portion?"

    He said as much to the visitor, yet in this domain of monsters pressing themselves from baser, dead realms, perhaps Rex and Persephone were the closest to kindred among their present company.

    Shrieks and wails, the very cries of the fallen citizens of Avalon could be heard as clearly as the day they exuded from their dying breaths as "Charco" dredged up the surrounding fukushuu; a force of habit no doubt of Rex's influence. Crossing his arms, trembling in barely contained rage, over his chest. The broken fragments of the ruins trembled once more, this time slowly making their way towards him, his power creating a faint vortex.

    As Persephone manipulated an errant blast of his back, guiding it through the vengeful spirits who sought to seize it for their tormentor, the Once and Risen Queen's hopes would bear fruit as the blast pierce him through the stomach. That's as far as her hopes would go, however, as his body consumed the very energy that wounded him. Light seeped out in thin rays from between gritted teeth, the power gathering around and within him; however, while it was Rex's fukushuu that comprised the former, the dull orange hue of the energy within was far too familiar to the volatile ki of Charco's Thyreophora. The inviting vortex grew stronger in response to the sudden bout of pain inflicted upon him subconsciously provoking him into dipping into the well of hatred taught by the Old Hateful Hermit, Poepayne. The combination of three sources of energy seemed almost too much of a toil despite his regeneration, as his skin cracked open, weeping scarlet.

    When whatever criteria "Charco" had sought in this display of masochistic power had been met, he let loose with a roar of uncoherent pain, creating a devasting shockwave of energies purged from his being.

    --------------
    Locked Technique Brought Forth: "「Tunguska Vent」"
    As the grudge match between two ancient titans raged with a fury unheard for eons, the torrent of hatred that made up the Fukushuu was unmistakable that issued from the screams of the dead. A monster that sows misery and fear to use at the whetstone of his own techniques.

    For those who presumed to stand upon the apex of the natural order, taking advantage of this primal resonance was nothing short of loathsome genius. Yet to Ochazuke, who heard that atavistic scream cut through the abyssal winter winds, the fell simplicity filled him only with disgust.

    As hateful energies lashed from this stage into the sky around them and was met in equal measure by magic drawn from something else beyond this world, he stood beneath the clash of the Lords of Amdapor and in silence, focused. Was there any more to the last gasps of this dead kingdom that either did not already make into their fodder?

    Only the brief red flash from Zaofan's optic blast grounded him. As they rose ever higher upon that shattered stage, Ochazuke focused upon the departed Tomb of Persephone miles below their climb. He'd gathered Genki into its Orichalum structure in an effort to reinforce the sanctuary of Avalon. Power drawn from the Earth itself had been used to stoke the wills of those the Grey Thorn had attempted to pull into their thrall, before their saviour had consumed the faithful of Avalon for sustenance.

    Using Muhen Seikai Keihatsu to bond with the Genius Loci surrounding the mountain, in this torrid darkness, could he still see their hope?

    OOC: 1
    Last edited by grampagen; 04-08-2020 at 04:31 PM.

  11. #4181

    Default The Mountains of Madness

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    The stage had been set...a grand stage built of the ruins of the past. A final act to an tale of death and rebirth in the land of eternal sanctuary. This corpse of a realm was neither living nor dead....it simply was, an eternal testament to the futility of idealism in a world where the fittest survive and the weak feed the ascendance of the strong. Today, the final anchor holding the past would be shattered.....the old realm would see its death complete, and in its place......a rebirth.

    A new Avalon, where strength meant nothing....and all were equal under her light.

    Now the power she had built in the ages spend among the outer gods in the dream was brought to bear in all its glory. Ruins for miles and miles around pulled from the earth and brought together, thousands of tons of ruin and rubble gathered above the great mountain where it could be....disposed of. But not before it played the stage to her ultimate victory over the last enemy of her old reign.

    .....



    She could already feel the disappointment welling up in her chest.

    No banter, no witty retort......just infantile screaming and chest beating. Rex truly had lost the battle with his host.....and now she was stuck fighting this.....thing.

    Persephone tilted her head enough to allow a beam to flash by, exploding violently somewhere behind her, and sighed amidst the spectacle. Ruins that had stood for generations crumbled into fine powder under Charcos omni-directional onslaught, but the corpse of a realm was massive....and not time nor the rage of a child would so easily remove it. No matter.....perhaps if she smashed him a little she could get Rex to come back long enough to get in a few chuckles over his broken body.

    Her hand shot out and caught one of the beams in her palm, and rather then blast through or explode....the energy was immediately caught by the absorbing material that now made up her being. Like a spiral, it flowed down her arm as her own magic mixed with it, across her chest and then down her other arm as it gathered in an energized sphere. With a smile, the queen of magic let the sphere mold into a lance of energy and then motioned it with a gesture to fly towards Charco....weaving around his attacks to pierce directly into the raging hybrid.



    Perhaps it was the concept of an attack coming from the spectators being little more then a non existent musing that Persephone paid no heed to Zaofans wide beam until it was almost upon her. Red light flooded over her form...and in its wake....

    Persephone stood unhindered, even as the ruins around her disintegrated....if anything her form had taken on a soft reddish glow as a result of the attack.

    "....Ho...?" The Queen lifted her finger and snapped, a impossibly powerful burst of mana emanating from it.....and coalescing into a doppelganger of herself that flew down towards Zaofan and Morgan. "....I'm giving you the chance to spectate a battle of legend, and more importantly....not be dead before it ends. If that doesn't suit you however....I suppose I can spare a little time to entertain you in a more befitting manner. How about a story?"

    The fake Persephone motions with her finger, and the ruins respond.....an several large slabs of rock float into the air before descending on him in waves. As they close in, Zaofan would realize they were the wall markers from the highway to Amdapor.
    He got her! With a full-power shot, the ruby beam ripped upward and tore Persephone into...

    ...two...? Hey wait a minute!

    In a manner of speaking, he had got her attention; Albeit, seemed she-had only eyes for Rex at this moment in time. Theatrics and all, on this stage she'd set up it was clear that those two were the only ones she'd consider players.

    I have several problems with this, the Martial Chef thought to himself, crouching into his stance, heels raised as he put himself between the Queen of Avalon and Morgan.

    "One hundred thousand years," Zaofan said. The red cleared from his eyes, slowly replaced by the blue aura lighting his staff. "Lady, I don't think you get it at all, do you?"

    Before he could expatiate, Zaofan found that the chronicle of Snow Wall was being tossed directly at him. Kneeling briefly next to the Familiar at his side, he seized her about the waist, and in an instant he vanished with her.

    "Morgan, I hate to say this, but I think whatever she's tapped into brought her back wrong."

    Persephone's aide, her mystical progeny, had brought him and their friends to that place. She'd spoken so proudly about their Royal Savior, and now they stood upon the mural as it was hurled toward them.

    Long ago the Queen over the Mountain descended, and by voicing the words taught to her by the native Speakers drove out the wingless wyrms from the realm. Her legend currently sailed through the night air, and Zaofan righted his footing on top of her noble conveyance, etched there in the magical slab where the stone masons memorialized her.

    I'm starting to think this commission left out a few key details.

    "Hold onto me, we'll find an opening, and to do that, we've got to get a bit closer." Still spent from the combat in the chamber.

    Righting his pace, he began to build up the Pressure Kicker within his legs before leaping off, conserving his momentum with Wuxia Levitation. Amid the chaos of orderly spells clashing with the primordial energies raging across the sky, a small streak of blue-white light traced its path about him as he leapt away from Persephone's image and set foot upon Vortigern's army

    After all, this is our world we're fighting for here. And guys like us, we're not spectators, not while we live in it!

    Slab after slab rushed toward him, and defiantly he continued to run up the image of the mountain, further up to the sky. With every stride forward, Zaofan only seemed to move yet faster.

  12. #4182
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    Quote Originally Posted by grampagen View Post

    "Of all the places in the wider universe to chain an ancient evil, it would be here that Alakazah would find the end of his yoke," he said. "Yet there is some deep-seeded connection between the old world and the new. I'd felt it firsthand when he met with Blizzar, Parsley and myself. An ember of magic that would defy the structures of the very universe...if he got out."

    "It seems something in the history of our art has drawn That Man's attentions. Doubtless my Kru has discovered it as well, along with the knowledge of the Hidden Hand of the Ten Schools. Yet I find myself at an impasse. If these arts are something humanity can use to defy him further, then I can't allow it to remain divided any longer. And I cannot let her slip away from me again."
    "Well, I guess that's one silver lining to all this on my end." Held replied with a laugh, "Don't get me wrong, I can't let That Guy do whatever he wants to my favorite summer home, and....Well, I won't say Kenshiko and I are friends by any means, but I share some of the responsibility in things getting to this point too, don't I?"

    It was true that Ochazuke had requested that Held to spare Kenshiko during the raid if it were at all possible, but it was not a commandment, merely a request. Held had chosen to make the effort to spare her, but that was a likely outcome either way. He had never enjoyed the taking of life when it could be avoided. Had Ochazuke said nothing before hand, it's entirely possible The Nevadian would have chosen to capture her, if she were still in the horribly injured state she was when they battled.

    Of course, no good deed goes unpunished. Whatever ambitions Kenshiko pursued threatened the fate of this world. In this sense, he could not help but feel it was a loose end, one only fitting that he helped to tie up.

    "It's not my ideal time, but...."

    He rubbed his head sheepishly, "Well, Zao keeps going on about something or other with all the Animal-Style Martial Arts he keeps picking up. Don't tell him, but I've been getting kind of jealous. I'm only really skilled at two styles, and they're not entirely different...."

    Well, I say that, but I can never bring myself to use one of them...

    "Either way, this would be a good learning experience....And it'd be nice for him to be the one on the receiving end for a change."

    He laughed again slightly, adjusting his hair.

    "Don't tell him I said that! It sounds more horrible than it really is."


    "Grateful to have you along as an ally. This time, I shall stand beside you in this endeavour. But I won't lie to you either. The odds are against us. I do have a plan, but the risk involved..."

    Ochazuke merely unfolded his arms, cracking his neck back and forth.

    "If we make it through, then that's two I owe you. I intend to repay my debt in full."
    "Don't worry about it." Held replied with a grin, "I was beginning to get bored anyways. Counting drinks and spending money is always fun, but even I like to stretch my legs from time to time....If I spend any more time laying about, I might lose my touch."

    He tilted his head slightly in consideration, "Admittedly, I prefer my activities a bit more mundane, and sure, being stuck between power hungry dragons and a vengeful tigresses aren't my idea of lowkey, but choosers can't be beggars, right?"

    Is that how it goes? I really need to write these things down.

    " I'll just write this good deed off as pro-bono work. It actually lowers my taxes on Earth, and Jinzi always says it wouldn't kill me to do something not pro---"

    He chuckled, realizing he was going on a tangent.

    "In any case, let's get to it, yeah?"

    I can't decided if I'm excited or nervous...I'll say one thing, it's never a boring night with these earthlings.

  13. #4183

    Default Rising from Ruins [Ochazuke]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hell’s Brigade View Post
    Jack shrugs.

    “Asha’rah, myself, Kai, Nunlil, and Sarada’s aunt had to go on a mission when you lot took on the Doctor and all that. This here blade belonged to Arthur and had popped up on the black market out in space. We didn’t want it falling into the wrong hands, and it’s very property, having been gifted to Arthur by Asha’rah, meant only she could and I as his blood could get it and hide it proper. Only had it fer a bit, and been trying to figure it out as best I can.”

    Jack shrugs.

    “As to legacy.....being dead kind of changes yer view on things, Ochazuke. I’ve been done with being a Vagabond for a while. Me and Nunlil, we both decided that we want to protect Eva and Kai, and the Earth, as best we can. If the sword, and Arthur’s will helps....seems fitting his bloodline would circle back to protecting the Kami, no?”

    Their conversation of legacy was punctuated by the reappearance of a certain magic sword. More than the emanation of Creation from a Guardian's articaft, there was a resonance within the metal that he found particularly unmistakable.

    "An pledge sworn upon an Orichalum blade," Ochazuke's voice smouldered within its restrained utterance. Where he glimpsed it,the geometric braided knots in the hilt were unmistakably Avalonian.

    Gone was the kingdom of Persephone, but the folly of the Magi Queen still was far too near to his mind. The throngs of misshapen things come to worship, their screams of faith and agony consumed with but a word.

    "There are certainly few comforts afforded for dead men. I have been quite familiar to the matter myself. To be released of life is to be loosed of all commitment, and all promise."

    It was easy to forget that both Jack and Charco were among the younger in the group, particularly in the way that they were the first to charge headlong into the line of fire. Plentiful days ill-measured in their span before them.

    Both had left them far too soon. They weren't the first young men he'd had to watch as they died.

    "You've returned because you were fortunate enough to be in company that would remember you. But among your kinswoman's company of fighting men, there are those who still draw breath yet are not permitted to truly live."

    Standing across from Arthur's heir, he felt a gradual bristling at Jack's self-examination, and the scope of the distance. Protect the Kami. What about the people on the ground?

    "Who hears their voices? Where is their legacy? Will a sword and a decree give back their lives, Jack? If this all could be legitimized by appealing to a higher authority, the hegemony of the World Government would not be questioned."

    Much less the fractured order of the universe. Destruction seized recklessly, the Void sowed its tendrils searching for contracts of sustenance, and the Creation...The Goddess would not have been interred inside her living prison if hers were a path of reason as she had so often proclaimed.

    One does not simply move a god, but neither do they rightfully consider the remorseless weight of the prayers they shrug off. Much like the fretful condition of this world, it was a far more complicated and delicate issue.

    "Even the noblest blood may thin or run dry. Its fragile substance is finite. It would serve you better to attempt to carry on your predecessor's spirit, for that is a far more enduring thing."

    Samson brings the map forward and gives it to Ochazuke.

    Damsk’s eyes look to Ochazuke, and for a moment, the mouth seems to curve upward slightly.

    “I choose to serve those that seek to restore Earth and wrest it from the President. I follow Willa by blood, Jack Knave by blood and oath, but I choose to honor those oaths. That is my choice. What would you have of me, Ochazuke?”
    With a silent nod, Ochazuke acknowledged his sensei, then swiftly unfurled the map. The scale was far closer than he would have liked, its draftsmanship held to an ancient standard when the eye had not yet been attuned to a global view.

    A jagged coastline that was no longer there, star meridians that had spread their coordinates over latitude and longitude scaled to some cryptic measurement, these made for a rather poor direcion. How many eons subject to upheaval and human error.

    Yet he knew that its location existed in parallel with that small island Zaofan and Sasheem went to, a thing lost to time but for the faintest road placed in memory. And this was precisely the problem in finding the way.

    "Kenshiko and Willa Rautt were incarcerated at the Capital City Penetentiary. A maximum security prison deep underground, it was designed by a genius to be inescapable," he said to Damask's face. "She and I, we had unfinished business to attend to. I don't doubt that if she had the wherewithal to do it, she would have. Yet they'd escaped not a year and a half later."

    "I'd wondered just how it was they managed to get out. Then along came you. When you came to bail out Dr. Char Banner Gero at the Geofront you came up through the Earth by some hidden passage. A man like the President with eyes all over the planet. Only a mention of his name would summon him and his armies in an instant, and yet still the Red Raiders evaded capture, striking then disappearing. I wager you're the one who guided their way, and kept the path hidden."

    A hard blink and a sharp exhale escaped him as he reached his conclusion.

    "That also means you can bring us to there to where this all began."
    Last edited by grampagen; 04-10-2020 at 03:15 AM.

  14. #4184

    Default Rising from Ruins [Ochazuke]

    Quote Originally Posted by Miburo View Post
    "Well, I guess that's one silver lining to all this on my end." Held replied with a laugh, "Don't get me wrong, I can't let That Guy do whatever he wants to my favorite summer home, and....Well, I won't say Kenshiko and I are friends by any means, but I share some of the responsibility in things getting to this point too, don't I?"

    It was true that Ochazuke had requested that Held to spare Kenshiko during the raid if it were at all possible, but it was not a commandment, merely a request. Held had chosen to make the effort to spare her, but that was a likely outcome either way. He had never enjoyed the taking of life when it could be avoided. Had Ochazuke said nothing before hand, it's entirely possible The Nevadian would have chosen to capture her, if she were still in the horribly injured state she was when they battled.

    Of course, no good deed goes unpunished. Whatever ambitions Kenshiko pursued threatened the fate of this world. In this sense, he could not help but feel it was a loose end, one only fitting that he helped to tie up.

    "It's not my ideal time, but...."

    He rubbed his head sheepishly, "Well, Zao keeps going on about something or other with all the Animal-Style Martial Arts he keeps picking up. Don't tell him, but I've been getting kind of jealous. I'm only really skilled at two styles, and they're not entirely different...."

    Well, I say that, but I can never bring myself to use one of them...

    "Either way, this would be a good learning experience....And it'd be nice for him to be the one on the receiving end for a change."

    He laughed again slightly, adjusting his hair.

    "Don't tell him I said that! It sounds more horrible than it really is."
    "Cheh. He would go on about something like that, wouldn't he?"

    Ochazuke had borne it in silence for some time now, but the way Zaofan bandied about the generations-old techniques of the Five Schools had struck him at many times as quite careless. Raised in the doctrines of the Crane School, his own was a a fist honed to deal in death, a weapon built in secrecy, refined by its scarcity. When the Martial Chef purported to have knowledge of it, he'd offered to cross hands with others as a lark to prove his quality.

    "How bothersome in his manner, but his spirit is equally infectious," he chuckled. "He's a quick study. With what he throws before him to fight the Majin, chances are he's refined something new on the other side of the world by now."

    Perhaps that was the difference between an enthusiast for these matters and an initiate in the art of the open hand.

    "The one who reaches out, who will leave his secrets unguarded, will be rewarded with renown for better or for worse. But Zaofan, even he was always searching for somewhere to belong."

    A warrior's pain had left him fickle as the wind. Doubtless, he'd learned to cook so well to ensure he had a place, and people to come back for him.

    "Since he'd bridged the divide at the World Tournament and saved Balon from losing everything, he'd found himself an anchor. Bearing that weight had only made him stronger, and pulled along others with him. I can tell you this had little to do with the arts in of themselves."

    "Don't worry about it." Held replied with a grin, "I was beginning to get bored anyways. Counting drinks and spending money is always fun, but even I like to stretch my legs from time to time....If I spend any more time laying about, I might lose my touch."

    He tilted his head slightly in consideration, "Admittedly, I prefer my activities a bit more mundane, and sure, being stuck between power hungry dragons and a vengeful tigresses aren't my idea of lowkey, but choosers can't be beggars, right?"

    Is that how it goes? I really need to write these things down.

    " I'll just write this good deed off as pro-bono work. It actually lowers my taxes on Earth, and Jinzi always says it wouldn't kill me to do something not pro---"

    He chuckled, realizing he was going on a tangent.

    "In any case, let's get to it, yeah?"

    I can't decided if I'm excited or nervous...I'll say one thing, it's never a boring night with these earthlings.
    With a gruff breath, Ochazuke nod his head once. "To the matter at hand then."

    "This world is changing, by time and necessity. I would seek to put things right, for a Guardian's word alone can only do so much for the people below she seeks to protect. It will come to little if the techniques of Zxu'ro will be used to strike our fellow man down, which is another reason why I asked you and Blizzar here."

    Not only was there some stake in it for them, among their group they had some of the most polished skills, both in combat and appraisal.

    "Kenshiko has knowledge of Nine of the Ten Schools in her possession, yet there hasn't been a major move quite yet. Something else is at stake, and that lies in the Red Raiders' end goal. Our opportunity is there," he continued. "Perhaps there is some chance we can reach some accord. If not, we will have to meet terms aggressively."

    "A Privateer like yourself likely has no qualm, to take arm against a sea of troubles." He'd seen to it before, after all "But though you seem to be on edge for a fight, I have a plan."

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    Quote Originally Posted by grampagen View Post
    Their conversation of legacy was punctuated by the reappearance of a certain magic sword. More than the emanation of Creation from a Guardian's articaft, there was a resonance within the metal that he found particularly unmistakable.

    "An pledge sworn upon an Orichalum blade," Ochazuke's voice smouldered within its restrained utterance. Where he glimpsed it,the geometric braided knots in the hilt were unmistakably Avalonian.

    Gone was the kingdom of Persephone, but the folly of the Magi Queen still was far too near to his mind. The throngs of misshapen things come to worship, their screams of faith and agony consumed with but a word.

    "There are certainly few comforts afforded for dead men. I have been quite familiar to the matter myself. To be released of life is to be loosed of all commitment, and all promise."

    It was easy to forget that both Jack and Charco were among the younger in the group, particularly in the way that they were the first to charge headlong into the line of fire. Plentiful days ill-measured in their span before them.

    Both had left them far too soon. They weren't the first young men he'd had to watch as they died.

    "You've returned because you were fortunate enough to be in company that would remember you. But among your kinswoman's company of fighting men, there are those who still draw breath yet are not permitted to truly live."

    Standing across from Arthur's heir, he felt a gradual bristling at Jack's self-examination, and the scope of the distance. Protect the Kami. What about the people on the ground?

    "Who hears their voices? Where is their legacy? Will a sword and a decree give back their lives, Jack? If this all could be legitimized by appealing to a higher authority, the hegemony of the World Government would not be questioned."

    Much less the fractured order of the universe. Destruction seized recklessly, the Void sowed its tendrils searching for contracts of sustenance, and the Creation...The Goddess would not have been interred inside her living prison if hers were a path of reason as she had so often proclaimed.

    One does not simply move a god, but neither do they rightfully consider the remorseless weight of the prayers they shrug off. Much like the fretful condition of this world, it was a far more complicated and delicate issue.

    "Even the noblest blood may thin or run dry. Its fragile substance is finite. It would serve you better to attempt to carry on your predecessor's spirit, for that is a far more enduring thing."



    With a silent nod, Ochazuke acknowledged his sensei, then swiftly unfurled the map. The scale was far closer than he would have liked, its draftsmanship held to an ancient standard when the eye had not yet been attuned to a global view.

    A jagged coastline that was no longer there, star meridians that had spread their coordinates over latitude and longitude scaled to some cryptic measurement, these made for a rather poor direcion. How many eons subject to upheaval and human error.

    Yet he knew that its location existed in parallel with that small island Zaofan and Sasheem went to, a thing lost to time but for the faintest road placed in memory. And this was precisely the problem in finding the way.

    "Kenshiko and Willa Rautt were incarcerated at the Capital City Penetentiary. A maximum security prison deep underground, it was designed by a genius to be inescapable," he said to Damask's face. "She and I, we had unfinished business to attend to. I don't doubt that if she had the wherewithal to do it, she would have. Yet they'd escaped not a year and a half later."

    "I'd wondered just how it was they managed to get out. Then along came you. When you came to bail out Dr. Char Banner Gero at the Geofront you came up through the Earth by some hidden passage. A man like the President with eyes all over the planet. Only a mention of his name would summon him and his armies in an instant, and yet still the Red Raiders evaded capture, striking then disappearing. I wager you're the one who guided their way, and kept the path hidden."

    A hard blink and a sharp exhale escaped him as he reached his conclusion.

    "That also means you can bring us to there to where this all began."
    Jack nods slightly.

    “Perhaps you’re right. The spirit huh? Hmm.....”

    Meanwhile, Damask pauses a moment before answering.

    “Yes, I can lead through the leylanic tunnels within the Earth and take you there.”
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