The hasty glance of presumptuous confidence becomes rewound; again directed upon the flattened body she'd beheaded. Its still-flailing limbs compel her astonishment and provoke a retreat in the form of a backward hop and done with a breath of effort to retain her gorgeously glittering Bakufu. She jumps three yards before assuming an identical landing crouch atop muddied earth sure to stain her well-knit garments. Whatever manner of power capable of surviving such harm must be otherworldly. Already her mind tricherated the possibilities as the headless hunter renewed its ferocious clamoring in unblemished verve. Unbeknownst to Kurosawa is the sinister whipshaw afoot. A two-pronged strike in the making at the hands of a restless captain. But the zombie has shackled Aki's focus and must be dealt with. This she'll attempt to enact through a paired assault of her own.
She elevates her Bakufu and aims its starry tip at the fiend's long dead heart. The sword's sipped refreshment allots a cartridge of ammunition and she doesn't hesitate to pull the trigger. From its length is discharged a strong sound of splashing that births a liquid volley. Jettisoned water rocketing into the frame of her persistent stalker. It collides with great force and begins to peel over her target just before the coup de grāce.
A cyanic flicker of her Tousha flash-freezes the bullet to turn the streams of aqua into razor knives of ice. Blades crafted to hew and impale; shatter and dismember. The glassy keesh of breaking is all to befall the unsightly creature now irreparably obliterated into pieces all over the slivered forest floor. At last her heart can slow and rest.
It's at this moment that snapping branches can finally be heard and the crackle kicks her systems into hot-blooded overdrive. She looks to the origins and locates her adversary with a gasp of surprise: another brigand-like swordsman closing in with cruel intentions. Chiaki turns to face him in mid-rise and slides her right foot forward as the other takes rear amidst a slight bend of her knees; her kodachi are crossed in defensive posture several inches before her chest: Bakufu at former area near her shoulder abaft the upward diagonal of the right-pointing Tousha.
Emotions staining her face recur melting. Apathetic serenity is what she now conveyed; a hollow mask glazing the tempest beneath.
Grains of Sand
One thing Damnerung did not take kindly to was thieves. The demon overlord was gluttonous to the core. Those who took from would topple the first sin labeled domino in a chain that lead to wrath. The temper of the damned was truly eternal, and by only one means could Chiaki escape her fate crossroad. Kill or be killed. The latter she has fared well with so far.
What was left of the poor pirate crew member? Squabby crawled no more. His body became the dartboard to deadly aqua-cryomancy, which left him tattered and torn apart. What was left still struggled to maintain its own existence. The blood - it saturated the grassy beach but not to soak in - vertical it dripped, clawing at the sky in its puniest form. Of course, at this stage the ghoul was almost harmlessly living on as animated blood. Whatever strange power was used to dismember it left residue during the flash freeze. Perhaps the size of a grain of sand, if spirits could be measured, it was enough for the measly ghoul to distinguish as a meal.
It was then that Damnerung reclaimed what was self entitled. Soaring overhead in the wake of battle, the legendary sword manifested before Chiaki. Its runic claw-shaped hilt, a testament to civilizations before the rise of man and the only physical construct binding so many otherworldly beings to one form. From the sky it fell - its sinister blade of pure shadows made the earth its sheath where squabby fell. The lost undeserving soul which sought food was itself devoured, along with its meal of essence. A glowing darkness tainted the beachside outward from the blade's tip, whilst honing to a new prey. A small part of Tousha's spirit now entered the realm of a thousand spirits. Like the vaccine of a disease was willingly injected in to one's body, unto Damnerung's halls did the ice spirit enter. Now bound to the sword as a gift was insight of Chiaki and her spirit guardians. Many things became known from this speck: That both warriors fought alongside their spirit realm counterparts, and both called upon them for assistance in battle. What was not identical in the two approaches to spiritualism, was Damnerung's domination of a soul. When subject to certain attacks from the Bakufu or Tousha, the legion of souls grew larger by despotism.
Locke Jax, bearer of the fetid eye watched from a distance upon Tortoisa's crown. The dead creature arced its head up as if to thank some god for its long life, petrified in that state until now and probably long after now. Its soul was likely large and delicious, but did not reside here no longer, causing little interest towards its picturesque. Locke's attention was never replaced from the moment he exited for Cutlass till now. For as long as Locke's eye was open, deathly things would happen in its vision. With great apathy for life, he witnessed the assault and batter of a young distressed maiden.
Without further ado, more death. Gregory's final hours he spent trying to harness his sword from the curse that befell it. Unable to do so in his condition, the pirate captain collapsed with a loud thud a few yards from Chiaki's feet. Afterwards, silence took the beach side once more. No seagulls cawed, nor crickets chirped. Animals had a heightened sense for danger, and did not wish it in their presence. Sometimes peril was silent. No snapping of twigs or pulling of extremities kept the haunted sword from its path now. With great speed, Gregory Cutlass' magical sword rode the wind, angling its trajectory to accommodate for Chiaki's initial jump while still aiming for her solarplex. If successful, upon a humon the strike would be fatal.
Within Chiaki's distraction, the sword holding Damnerung began to drag its blade through the sand. Not the tiniest pebble or blade of grass shifted in its path, regardless of the black trail formed. Eventually it sliced its way in to the heart of Gregory, drawing no blood, but something greater from his corpse. A spectral hand could be seen clawing out from Gregory's shoulder, before it was sucked away in to the black.
One complication overlaps another. Threads which weave into a growing tapestry of danger that's punctured via an argillaceous plunge by devilish steel into destroyed remains of human mass. This bewitches Aki newly as strings of blood defy gravity and indulge a wicked appetite. Insomuch that she might forget the ongoing encroachment of her conflicted enemy.
She returns her concentration to the forward in time to witness his sword be thrown like a javelin. Inspiration of her yare sidesteps leftward and motion of her sinistral arm: an upward crescent of the kodachi in mid-stride parrying the projectile thru clangorous connection and dismissing it away. Chiaki's trio of footfalls conclude with reformation of her stance and witness of a blackness slithering aground. Some spectral serpent soon to ensnare the relinquished seafarer with an umbral hand and pull him into its matted belly. It may as well have scooped her breath from her own lungs due to the apprehension it conceived.
And so her suspicions are affirmed. Her true nemesis is an entity famishing for a taste of her kindhearted soul and only intervention may curb a buffet.
Besiege the Soul's Bulwark
Idle was an act needn't be long lasting. Locke Jax had been staring at his foe for many minutes, channeling the powers at his disposal which required only that. To sit on the sidelines and watch one's own goals unfurl was a far wish. The still standing pirate captain lead himself upon the air, falling forward to the whim of his mass. With knees bent as swiftly as they sprung, he rocketed through the air with unnatural dynamism.
There was a crackling thud nearby Chiaki, where a new body flattened and left facial imprints. Each limb used to break the fall had been disfigured or dislocated in some way. For any normal human, the jump would have been suicidal, but not a minute passed before the body regained its unorthodox composure. More teeth wrenching snapping sounds ensued as the body's legs and arms forcefully re-adjusted to the torso's sockets, and then it was brought but less than stalwart. Like a cat would carry it's young by the nape, Locke was lifted by an invisible maw. Eventually the body parts all cooperated with one another, allowing composed footwork and what appeared to be visible breaths. Analogous to Damnerung, it's chosen vessel carried a three dimensional darkness clinging to its every fabric. Each false breath taken exuded more of this manifesting ectoplasm in a growing trail behind Locke's head, such as Rapunzel's hair grayed and left in a gale.
The wolf's spirit aimed to entice fear, by circling prey from many angles. Fort Cutlass' newly annexed captain lead a course towards Chiaki's left side, counterclockwise and opposite to the floating ghost sword which now approached. Damnerung wasted no actions following its goal to consume a powerful and worthy soul. Chiaki was left with little time to meditate on scenarios.
The first wolf approaches. In the eye of the prey that beholds, Damnerung drew closer. Hilt first and pointed to where it would be observed, shifting as if dexterously swung by a hand unseen. A blade of no real form would slash through the air with no resistance, aiming to sever the rope which bound Chiaki to the living lands. From the right side of her lowest rib the sword would enter first if not anticipated. The second wolf followed. Peril dastardly sneaked up on Chiaki from behind, where the blade she deflected earlier had unmade its gravitational course. Now spinning, the possessed tsunami sword glid upon air kindred to a boomerang and aimed to harm. The second wolf in this analogy might bite Chiaki's spine, as the third bared its teeth at her safest place to dodge. Locke stood at the third point of a triple assault, ready to skirmish with either sword in his seizure prone hands
Now Chiaki's prowess would be tested like an anchor. Would it hold like steel wire, or sink to the ocean's darkest bed?
Another body plops aground like the second droplet of a ghoulish rainstorm. Aki is little aware of the torrent of trouble soon to stream but must defend herself regardless; little mind is given this arriving interloper whilst a shady brand sets sail for her skin. An aerial thrust which sought to run her through like a kabob. She's ignorant of the rearward assault but timing proves fortunate. Chiaki takes refuge at her ten o' clock when she enacts a roll upon her right shoulder. Such smooth motion allows her to transition into yet another crouching kneel atop her left leg and disappoint a triple-decker of danger as both blades carry on.
It's only after the tumble faces her frontward that she realized how close she'd been to injury as the piercers playfully pirouette. She still holds her kodachi ready and ponders such tactless tactics. Her peril is a work of numbers where fair contest is fantasy. Aki bares a detested snarl and whispers her frigidly sharp complaint. “Coward...”
She'll continue despite distaste. Her spirit is that of warriors: resolved and infrangible. So her swords flourish in new ribbons of bluish sparks and ethereal fire which illustrate her will to surmount unfavorable odds. All the while she seeks the opinion of her powerful protectors.
Perhaps this mental inquiry is provocation for an interjection. It's then that a feminine timbre as soft and deep as the nearby ocean penetrates the mind of Chiaki's dual-wielding foe. Loud and dripping with wrath to reflect a chipped temperance and weathered patience.
Are your swords such a showpiece that you rely on souls, or possess you a drop of dexterity within your wicked hand?
Last edited by Tasuke; 02-28-2013 at 06:44 PM.
Reason: Improved word flow; spotted grammar mistakes.
If only Chiaki knew she was communicating with her own echo. In truth, Damnerung was blissfully ignorant to the language of monkeys. Perhaps by luck, he would not be as tempered by a woman's provocation. Many married men wished for this power, but lost to their crotches along the way. Within Locke, understanding came to a lesser demon known as Glossolalia.
As expected, Chiaki landed close enough to Locke Jax for a thorough peruse. She might assume her taunt ineffective when his face remained expressionless and without change regardless of vexation. With apathy divine came a cold shoulder. Movement came suddenly as the pirate's left eye shifted not parallel to the blackened right. As if to prospect ones own brain, the eye rolled back in to Locke's skull. Twas a tough jigsaw to figure out, but paranoia had been following Gregory's cutlass this entire time. As it flew past his shoulder and suddenly stopped behind him. The tip pointed skyward and from its inner grains of steel came resonance. Damnerung was forcefully exorcising the magical weapon's powers.
A small lapse of time was needed for the premeditated onslaught. Until Tortoisa was struck first, the fog created from Gregory's first tsunami would mask the approach of a second. Locke had a plan for when it would arrive, and prepared in what sixth of a minute he had to deal the most damage. His hands convulsed, and so did the swords in them if not moreso; So much that they released themselves from his grasp. Now the sword juggler had animated four to his bidding. The rapier and scimitar floated forward without exiting in to Jax's peripherals. Both symmetrically angled themselves so a tip pointed towards one of Chiaki's many organs, then motion ceased after a position was confirmed.
Damnerung continued its path following Chiaki's twelve o'clock, perhaps barely grazing her buttocks before retracting a yard in to Locke's two hands. Damnerung wished to test its current host against what could be renewed. Both were artists in the way of swordplay, as well as faring of the sea. This would be an ultimate test of their handling both in extreme.
Anchors away, for the trial was nigh.
The crashing of waves signaled deluge. Tides now soaked the feet of both fighters, and consumed more of their legs with each passing. Locke posed for the picture perfect moment, pointing the legendary Damnerung at his foe and watching the snap of her expression. What worries she might have, in the final seconds modus operandi of a forty foot tsunami. Still so large after clashing with Tortoisa to form a division where the center lagged slightly but grew from two slightly opposing tides. Locke Jax became a galleon at the center of this arc, and Damnerung the ship's ram. Upon his sails a wave set course to crash the legion upon Chiaki with the literal force of a tidal wave.
Each sword possessed and several body parts now followed a set current aiming them with a natural catalytic momentum. Damnerung thrusted itself towards Chiaki's protoplasm, letting Locke adjust its angle in case his prey tried to dodge left or right in to the tides. Escaping the aquatic bounty would be futile, for the island they stationed upon would be lost subsequently. Each grain of sand scattered to new lands. Each tree destined food for algae. But destiny had yet to write of Chiaki's escape, or Damnerung's slaying of.
A boiling inquiry suffers gelid slighting. Disrespectful nonreturn serving only to incense a divine indignation soon to spill over. All awhile the sakura-sweet Chiaki is bulls-eyed in the ongoing onset. The thieved accoutrement of the besieged captain is made erect as it sings a solitaire serenade almost soothing to her ears. A could-be lullaby if circumstances did not have her so on-edge.
Thoughts of what it entails are shelved when he readies a new armada of saber vessels. Swords her opposition primes like torpedoes that spur the innkeeper into action. She arises to begin leftward jogging and again appreciates fortune's favor; she'd been seconds away from a cut care of the diabolical soul-sucker while it journeyed home. Resulting vision of all the weapons tormenting her pour refreshing relief atop her head just before it evaporates in the wake of an aquatic chorus.
Aki stops in her tracks after only six sideways steps. Coolness of water licking her soles is the catalyst of her consternation as the liquid rushes underfoot. Ever-turning tides fold freshly and herald an imminent return of torrential proportions. Even as her lithe figure started to float atop the streaming surface below she felt her heart sink like a rock into its shallow depths. In the distance she can see the ferocity of a rolling ravager. The wave is back for another washing and appears to have gained a surplus in size. What's perplexing is that her enemy makes no signs of avoiding a pulverizing himself.
But Chiaki is determined not to be smashed. Her glowing kodachi are equipped to quell calamity without fret and a canorous discharge of the essence icing her fervent Tousha will craft a wintertide wonder.
Timing coincides with an adversarial impulse to surf. Yet his wish to be a submarine may soon have inclement consequences. Following moments later is the creation of something more crystalline: a snap freezing of the encroaching seawater with a robust and cacophonous crackle. The great swell of aqua almost instantly solidifies like a petrifying snake; a hiemal serpent whose maw may encase her stalker whole. Within this tomb of heat-hungry rime are to be found ample hours to reflect upon one's misdeeds.
The aftermath is hers to behold; the Tousha has lost its luster and she stands atop the sloshing deep in statuesque anticipation. It's too early to assume a triumph just yet.
Last edited by Tasuke; 03-02-2013 at 12:33 PM.
Reason: Redundant words.
Preparation was key. For something existing without a brain or any blood flow to it, Damnerung was a brilliant tactician. Pre-planned was Chiaki's exhaust in defiance to chaos. To strain Tousha and make feint its light. To safeguard needed momentum and still strike at full strength. Had the pirate's reproductive organs been in tact, he might have gone easy on the beautiful maiden before him. Alas.
Initially Locke wished the tidal wave upon his back in order to gain leverage against Chiaki. The undead were mighty durable, and such a force threatened him less than slightly. Prior to this attack, insight of Chiaki's flash freezing and spiritual aide gave some immunity to it in the right places. Wherever she requested a spirits help, she would endanger it if sent towards her foe. Being ensconced in nether energy, Locke's mere presence was a souls bane. He had even left a trail of this ectoplasm behind him, so that she could not stop the water current most valuable to his offense. Damnerung fed on the spirits daring to impede, ergo the attack continued if at half mast. Locke found his body projected forward by a blast of water on his back, it was pumped out of a wide hole in the icy wall made sure not to freeze. Added with his own strength of foot, Locke would sail upon Chiaki's shores before her technique met dusk.
From hilt to tip, a claymore appeared minuscule compared to Damnerung, fleeting six steps would have only landed Chiaki a yard from its tip. However much harder it would be to dodge when the gap between them was closed. The young lass would find herself stuck between a wall and the un-interrupted advance of her foe. Once up close and personal, Locke pivoted his body in mid-flight to bring his master slashing horizontally parallel with the wall and Chiaki in-between. The swing was meant to strike her midsection by fuller, and the tip cut off any escape beyond.
The Japanese were a lithe and dexterous sort, not to be underestimated in a tight fit. It was known that if there was an escape route, Chiaki would find it. On a horizontal axis she was surrounded, as even the water gushing behind Locke was enough to knock her back in to his blade had she juked towards him. She could not swim through the earth below, but to climb the mountainous ice perhaps. To box her in, Damnerung willed his animated swords forward with him. The rapier lead by stabbing the ice above her head denying a safe jump. The scimitar simply slashed the air above her without aim, only to anticipate movement.
Whatever strength Chiaki had left need be mustered now else never again. However sharp her wit was, she must focus else lose sight forever. The deepest darkness beckoned her, commissioning one of its greatest assassins to her pursuit.
Aki is unsurprised by her enemy's unfettered flight forth. Tradition and experience has taught her to expect an answer to everything until the target is undeniably dead. This is a question yet without and one which persistently tests both her resolve and competence. Some may presume her to be vexed but she's yet to be aroused by this ongoing effort at foreplay. Maybe it will be stirred thru acquiescence of her opponent's wish to at last engage her on good ground if they indeed partake in close-quarters sword combat.
Though she's too skeptical to allow such a rending romance to blossom. Much is yet undiscovered about her attacker and to assume safety is a sport of fools. The moment it took her to realize he still came is the moment she reacted. A nondifficult pre-emptive which emits a jovial jingle from her still dagger-held water blade.
Its forward-facing fang looses a fantastic shell of aquatic artillery that ruptures like a fire hose. A gargantuan tendril of high-pressure water twenty feet in diameter evaporates the space betwixt them with a deafening hiss. Its force is so great as to send her skiing backward upon the lake underfoot and into a glacial barrier she hadn't made whilst it sought to suckerpunch the sword-swinging avatar and fell his airborne armaments through sheer power. This is the strength which eats through stone swiftly and its outpouring seems as contained as a waterfall. For thirty long seconds it spits a supercooled baptism upon him; dousing likely far superior to the propulsion carrying him onward and a mixture free from her spirit's salting; pure as summer rain.
It seems that two kindred forces are destined to smash together with her adversary their point of rendezvous. Collision comparable to elephantine sledgehammers kissing in full swing. Just how resilient is the flesh of the undying? When her torrent tires is when Chiaki will know.
But understanding must await the water's abating. The chill of the icy wall upon her spine is an impedance to thaw as quickly as her body meets it. Thus she skitters abaft unhindered and ventures toward the nearby sea with alacrity. A new floor for her to dance upon and a spring of sweet space to keep enemies aching for nearness.
Last edited by Tasuke; 03-17-2013 at 04:01 AM.
Reason: I'm a bad writer, that's why.
It seems as though the sea was calling for Locke's missing corpse. Quite literally it rose afresh toward him with a force greater than his to muster and ready to tear what remained. Yet as apathetic Damnerung was to the physical well-being of humans, he did not wish his sight eroded or to slip in to that amnesia again.
Prior to Chiaki's near superhuman instincts, a conjuration was evoked that would weigh in on the war god's judiciary. Few prepared a miracle in case of emergency, and fewer were prepared in case of miracles. Resorts considered last were bumped in queue. When Chiaki backed off her ambition of dexterous melee combat, so did her foe.
Paranoia anticipated a glint in one of Chiaki's swords, its shock-wave stirred a great many spirits to the location between both fighters. Though the explosion thereafter tethered no string between realms, danger convinced Locke to allow a division from himself that was visible to the mortal spectrum. As if a soul was torn out to take his place whilst forces unseen dragged him behind the master, obstructing the cloudburst enough to protect a prized host from any irreparable damage. Surely the next set of events might surprise the inn-keeper, for few minds were machine enough to prepare for such; The spectral body birthed from Locke's own mirrored that of his elusive sword partner.
Ominous visions manifested before dear Chiaki in the form of a dream, hazy as a result of her own doing. By chance a nightmare in third-person, watching herself become fodder for a cause beyond her reason or will. A vagary to the inn-maidens very intelligence. This wraith in trance replaced Locke's mission to ensure Damnerung's proximity be kept. Chiaki would see the image of herself grasp the artifact's hilt willingly, and thrust it as to continue its vital path. Hesitance refrained, though the fuller may not connect, the blade tip sped up a short distance enough to penetrate the still icy wall to Chiaki's diagonal right. If only briefly, the soul slayer made a sheath of the ice to remain stationary.
If ill hoped, Chiaki's doppelganger was at first meant to shield the more valuable body and replace its duty for a short time. After realizing the water bathed upon them was a mimic to seasonal rain, any gallon of downpour next to fall would effect the omen of death as it only could - not at all. Chiaki would watch her clone and any morbid threat ignore one another. In this nightmare Damnerung played puppet master in, the inn-maiden enacted a paradoxical suicide where she dared either stab herself or progress through any danger available.
However was hesitation forced by an acrid rain which Damnerung sustained itself within. A test of Chiaki's own, she would reluctantly have to mark it a pass. For as fierce as it was upon the stones man worshiped, a weapon of this caliber boasted an enduring bulwark that remained within the barrage.
Wherever was safe, the body of Locke Jax guided itself in that direction. Luckily many compass arms pointed true to safety, but the arm chosen would poise the fighters parallel facing. From a distance some of the lively fleeting pirates began to inspect the happenings to their shores, brave they were to follow. It almost looked like Chiaki's aquatic tempest connected at full force. Locke's back curved to lead his altered trajectory, while his head hovered close above his knees; the whole of his body shot backwards a great distance from the hissing bomb. Some of the pirates cheered, as the murderer of their beloved captain slammed his buttocks upon the sloshed shores. However did the silence return, given the buttocks bounced back up so estranged to the human dexterity to allow its body recoil and end its propulsion upon two feet. Imprints of Locke's shoe heels measured a stretch twenty five feet between himself and the water bender. Still within sight were the three infused swords, two of which landed in neutral territory between where the pirate and innkeeper now trot. The epee which came closest to blast radius now pierced a wall of ice opposite to the one now guarding Chiaki, several feet to Locke's five o'clock.
Survivalists saw cowardice as an effective tactic in dire situations. As it was true in Chiaki's attempt to wall herself off within the glaciers, twas similar in the complex mind of Damnerung. Keeping the prized eye a distance away from where instant explosions could amass ensured a prolonged battle.