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Divine Kinship [M-VLS]


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[SIZE=4]Fuki Yuriyama's Divine Kinship[/SIZE]
Kamuro as Sasurai Hitorine
Katana as Senka Hjorrdis
Revelation as Tomoya Yujin Woo
Sakura as Sakura Hiwatari
Retribution as Rafael de Machiavelli
Deucalion as Shichishito Hauken
Epsilon as Dorothy. Spes. Octavius.
Archangel as Sozoro Tetusya
Imi as Fayth Archer
Unborn Lord Xion as Zhou Tao
Revue as Rieur

[SIZE=4]Chapter 1[/SIZE]
[I]A Place of Our Own[/I]
"This is ridiculous. Leaving the Master's fate in the hands of mere mortals. He's as good as dead," spoke Hendrix, being motioned to return to his seat at the large circular table. He was not at all pleased with the idea of having to depend on lower lifeforms then himself. Even in his position as High Elder, he sometimes questioned God's motives and intentions with the people of Earth. Was it simply a toy? Are humans there for merely entertainment or do they truly serve some purpose in our universe?

"It is not our place to interfere. You know better then anyone the fine line between Heaven and Earth. Humans must do things for themselves," spoke Louis, the Elder responsible for the Divine Kinship. He was always most loyal to God and followed each and every order, no matter how trivial. His undying faith had aquired him a seat on the High Counsel and it was his job to make sure that the humans were given all the tools they needed to overcome such a great force of evil and save the Chosen One.

"Hmph. And their leader, a common criminal responsible for numerous deaths. How can we trust him, or any of them for that matter," spoke Hendrix again, reluctant to conceed even the slightest. "The Twin Dragon weapon of faith has chosen him. A representation of Yin and Yang, for every ounce of evil in his body, there is good. He is destined to be their leader, and the rest of them destined to follow. He knows what he must do, I made sure of it."

[I]Who knew the world could weigh so much? I never noticed until it's very girth had been placed upon my shoulders. But what was I to do, deny God? And I could already feel the boy's pain. A minute seemed an hour, time crawling by, almost slowing down for this very purpose, to prolong his pain and inturn my own. And the High Counsel sitting comfortably in the clouds, the perfect seat to witness my demise. Louis told me they weren't at all fond me, but who cares? They needed me, they needed us all. I'll be damned if I lose this chance to repent and find myself upon a lavished seat rather then this pedestal bathed in blood. The charade is over.[/I]

And so we were gathered, Louis working his magic and bringing us all from one place or another to feudal Japan. No one looking particularly happy about it. But who would be, expected to put their life on the line for someone they'd never even met. I wasn't sure how they felt, but I was sure it couldn't be much different then how I felt. Helpless. [I]They're all here[/I] Louis' voice echoed in my head, and so it began.

Sasurai stood from his seat at the head of the table, everyone turning to meet his gaze. "Listen up," he spoke, his rough voice catching everyone's attention. "You all know why you're here, the old guy in white explained it already. But theres a couple things you don't know. First of all, I'll be your leader here, the names Sasurai," he spoke with utmost confidence. The rest of the group seemed a bit unsure, his scruffy face and unkempt hair wasn't to appealing to the rest of the team. He looked as though a wanderer, his clothes tattered and hanging just above his belt as his arms crossed above his chest.

"Now, take your weapons and place them on table," he spoke again. Everyone reluctantly layed their arms upon the table. "Look at it, and get to know it well. This weapon, first and foremost, will be your partner. These, ladies and gents, are the Weapons of Faith. Weapons forged by God himself for this very purpose. Each and every one of us was chosen, for one reason or another, to weild these weapons and do so to protect the Chosen One."

[I]They all looked so serious, I kinda felt bad. Some of these people were so young, still children, expected to bare the weight of the world on their shoulders same as I was. They all gazed aimlessly, no doubt thoughts cluttered their heads and even the most confident were unsure of what to do.[/I]

"I don't know much more then the rest of you. But I do know this. Since the world was created we've been expected to follow a path previously created and trust that fate was in our own best interest. But now it's time to forge our own path. It's time to accept our destiny and obtain the power to change it. Would you rather have some unknown power determine what happens to you, or will you decide? Now is the time, for you to make the first decision. Will you sit back and see what happens, or pick up a sword change what happens? It's up to you."

And with that he turned from the table, [I]nice speech[/I] Louis' voice echoed in his head once again. [I]But it's time to go[/I] he spoke. And so Sasurai turned to his teammates, "It's time for the first task, good luck all of you."

All of you have just been briefed on the basis of the story and each character has been given the opportunity to achieve true greatness. It is time for humans to realize their own potential and save themselves from certain demise. Everyone has just been sent to another dimension. They've been given nothing but their Weapon of Faith, however the weapon has yet to release it's true form. The weapons spirit will take the form of a beast and you will be expected to fight, and kill the monster keeping you from realizing the weapons true potential. It has chosen you to wield it, but it has yet to deem you worthy of access to it's full power. Hopefully you'll all make it out alive.

[SIZE=4]Final Thoughts[/SIZE]
This will take around 2 posts, feel free to make them as long as you like. The beast you're fighting is a representation of your weapon and keep that in mind while you're writing. Be sure to describe it and your surroundings. Where does the beast live and why might it live there? Just some things to think about while posting. After everyone does this we'll be able to talk to one another and interact. There will be more freedom, but before forming a bond with the rest of the team you must first form a bond with your weapon.

Thanks to everyone who signed up. I couldn't accept all the sign-ups but they were all great. Even after letting some people go I still got more then I initially thought lol. If you have any questions or comments please PM me anytime or IM me at "your x alibis" I have yet to post an Underground thread but I will soon with more information on the characters at the beginning of the story and summaries of the participant's characters. Until then if you have any questions please ask me directly.

[B]Thanks to...[/B]
-Imi for the amazing background and help with the title, shes awesome.
-Retri for his worth with the list even though I couldn't use it lol.
-Everyone who signed up, without you we wouldn't have an RP.
-My inspiration (refer to sig).

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[color=#CC0000][SIZE=1]Tetsuya looked at Sasurai. [I]Our leader, eh? A bit unorthodox if you ask me, but he seems like a powerful guy. He's got some mana... [/I] Sasurai's last words had had their impact.

[B]"...Will you sit back and see what happens, or pick up a sword change what happens? It's up to you." [/B] Tetsuya reached for Ginryû and picked him up. [I]So you're my fate, hmm? Or, moreso, the key to my destiny. I'm definitely sticking with you, I've been through to much to just let you go.[/I] He grinned sadly. Tetsuya looked at the others.

All around the table the others were picking up their weapons, regarding them with the same respect as Tetsuya held for Ginryû. They were honorable people, and he was alreaady growing fond of them. Sasurai turned back to face them, and said spoke.

[B]"It's time for the first task, good luck all of you."[/B] Tetsuya smiled. [I]I wonder what it'll b--[/I] His thought was interuptted by a roar. A roar from [I]Ginryû[/I]. Ginryû then emitted a fierce silver light, engulfing Tetsuya and the rest of the room. tetsuya felt like he was falling, infinitely. He then heard a voice break through the silence.

[COLOR=Silver][B]"You wish to unlock my strength?"[/B][/COLOR] Tetsuya's eyes opened wide. Ginryû was talking to him. Tetsuya recovered from shock and answered.

[B]"Of course! If we are to do great things together, you need to be a strong as you possibly can!"[/B] Tetsuya felt Ginryû acknowledge his answer, and a white light consumed Tetsuya. It left him on hard ground. Tetsuya sudenly became concious, and was aware of the hard ground. the fierce wind. And snow.

Tetsuya stood up. He was high atop a mountain range. Down below was an unfamiliar world, one with lush, green fields and a golden ocean. Tetsuya was entraced by the wonderous scene. [I]So, my good friend lives here? It's beautiful... [/I] A mighty, earth-shaking roar cam from behind him. He spun around and put his hand on Ginryû. He was dazzled by what he saw.

A monstous silver dragon stood behind him. Each of it's fangs were at least twice Tetsuya's size, and it's claws, three times his size. It was wrapped around a mountain top, staring down at Tetsuya. It's eyes were yellow, the spikes traveling down his back and tail golden, his claws crimson. While Tetsuya stared at the beast a voice came to him from what seemed everwhere.

[COLOR=White][B]"To unleash Ginryû's true power, you must first defeat Ginryû's spirit, Bahamut!"[/B][/COLOR] The Dragon brought it's head back, then brought it forward, firing a concentrated orb of wind at him. Tetsuya crouched down and jumped out of the way of the chaos, landing on onather mountain top. He turned to look at where he was standing. Where he had been was completely destroyed. [I]Shit...[/I]

The beast the spread it's giant wings and took to the sky. It rose up in front of the sun, and bellowed. The earth beneath Tetuya began to shake, split, and the finally cracked. Tetsuya swiftly jumped again, barely avoiding being launched into hell. Tetsuya stared at the beast and a grin spread across his face. He drew Ginryû and held it straight up, assuming battle stance.

[B]"After I defeat you, you'll be able to do that? Hmph, let's just hope I live to use that ability!"[/B] The dragon plummeted at Tetsuya, who, in turn, sprung up into the air to face his advesary.[/SIZE][/color]
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[color=Pink]Sakura watched Sasurai, assessing him carefully with her gaze. She frowned, disapproving of his leadership, seeing as she was a leader herself. Sakura let it go though, having no choice in the matter. When he had finished his speech, she picked up Chiméiteki (Chi for short) and ran her hand along the teak staff.

Suddenly Chiméiteki shone brightly and pulsed, Sakura watched as one of the other people disappeared and felt herself falling, seeing nothing.

All of a sudden Sakura landed in a snowy wasteland. It was cold and the ground was nothing but ice. Snow fell, catching in her hair and she continued to walk on, using the glaive as a walking stick.

There was a strong gush of wind and an unexpected blizzard struck up. Sakura shivered and looked across, there was something there. It was a Liger, white skin with black stripes, but what wasn't natural were the black, feathery wings that extended from it's back.

[b]"So, you wish to access my strength?" [/b]it roared.

Sakura was shocked and just stared at the creature. She continued forward and saw that it had silver claws that were very sharp, and it's teeth were also the same silver.

[b]"Y-Yes. We are to be partners. I will do whatever it takes." [/b]Sakura stammered, teeth chattering from the cold, she had realised that this creature symbolised Chiméiteki.

[b]"To access my power, you will have to first defeat me!" [/b]it roared, his powerful legs crouched and sprung, launching itself into the air. The black wings beat heavily and he flew above her.

Sakura put away the cold and shifted quickly into a battle stance, one that could easily attack or defend. He swooped viciously and Sakura rolled quickly, rolling under his strike.

[b]"I will defeat you!" [/b]Sakura cried, holding the glaive at ready.

Sakura dodged the next few swoops, trying to get a grip on his pattern. Chi growled and tried something different, Sakura tried to dodge but he payed attention to that and turned last minute, slicing her in the upper left arm. Sakura gasped and grit her teeth, hands tightening around the staff.

Chi gnashed his teeth and brought his claws up, Sakura watched his wings as they tensed for a second, at the last minute, Sakura jumped from the ground and thrust from her waist, catching Chi across his left flank. He roared and flapped his wings frantically, pulling away. Sakura spun and landed on the ground.

Sakura looked up into the sky, seeing the lion crossed tiger hovering, large wings pushing the air. She wasn't entirely sure, but it looked like it was smirking.

[b]"Not bad, but you need a lot more to defeat me." [/b]he laughed.

Sakura didn't say anything, she just glared at the feline. All that ran through her head was that she was the leader of the great Hiwatari clan. She fought off raiding clans, she could do anything.

Their next collision in the sky came with Sakura cutting off the tips of the primary flight feathers on Chiméiteki's right wing. Sakura was glad she had lots of experience with birds as the right wing fell limp. He roared angrily and flapped his wings as best as he could to slow his fall. He still landed heavily but not as bad as it would have been.

When he was distracted from the plummet, Sakura charged forward and the two fought viciously. They were on even ground now, the battle had really begun.
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[SIZE=1]Rafael stood utterly alone, with the wind blowing through his hair, biting at his face as it passed by. He was on a mountaintop, and sharp, unsure footing surrounded him. At once he was confronted with an ever-moving foe. It danced aross the rock face with shining magnificence, gleaming a neon yellow color. At once he registered it as electricity.

"Wait... what the--" He was cut short by ungodly amounts of electricity pulsating through him, as the beast struck him with what resembled a hand. He spasmed as the volts made their way out of his body. Rising again, he drew his rapier and dagger, but realised he had been knocked back at thirty feet. Quite a powerful blast. His back gave a dull ache, his clothes were singed.

"Who--what are... you?" Rafael stuttered in awe. The juggernaut was making its way towards him.

"[i]Giusto[/i]" It muttered, slightly shaking the ground as it spoke. The monster approached faster towards his position. Out of fear, not courage, did he dive to the right immediately before the mass of electricity haul through his previous location. He pointed his rapier towards it, as Giusto turned around; it shook slightly -- he had not the nerves to keep it still. Breath came more difficult to grasp with each gasp he took; he was locking up under the battle stress. Giusto did not spare him.

The beast sprinted towards him, smashing Rafael in the face with more electricity coarsing through his body. His left hand was still twitching involuntarily, and would not stop. Tears streamed down his cheeks, but he did not whimper; he mustered all the strength he had to slow his breathing, to control his body again.

[i]I do the breathing, not Giusto. I do the breathing, not Giusto, I do the breathing, not...Giusto![/i]

Instinctively, he thrusted his rapier towards Giusto's chest, and the blow landed. However, he was shocked yet again, his body smoking all over, laying on the sharp rocks. He managed control over his twitching left arm, and stood again to look at his opponent. Giusto walked foward towards him, sizing up Rafael and shook his head in disgust.

[i]Father... why? Why this? And how do I possibly defeat him?[/i]

Giusto shot out his right arm in a punch towards Rafael's head. He immediately ducked, and rolled on the ground to the left to avoid Giusto's stomp. His raged burned within him, and he plunged his dagger into the electricity. A small aura appeared around the tip of his dagger, and it sparked as if it were being sharpened on a stone, but Rafael forced it in, and twisted it for good measure. Giusto let out a scream of pain, and jumped away, the dagger still lodged within his ankle.

"I'm going to murder you..." Rafael said, he clamped his teeth together, but not out of fear. It was a raging bloodlust, the desire to live another day. He sprinted towards Giusto, and swung at his head with the rapier. Again, a small aura appeared on the blade, but Giusto parried the attack with his arm. The electric current visibly climbed down his blade towards the hilt, but stopped, crackling and sizzling on the blade. The metal smelled as if it were being burnt, and Giusto forced the current down farther. Rafael withdrew the blade from the attack, and the electricity discharged. He shook with determination, with hate of his loss of control in the battle. Letting the enemy direct the battle was nearly as bad as losing, he reasoned.

Rafael got back into his stance, which encouraged his reflexes to work their magic. Once more, Giusto ran at Rafael, but jumped towards him and swung down with both his arms, attempting to smash him into the rockface. The decision was an important one, attempt to block the attack and possibly die from the force, or dodge and attack at another point. However, he waited too long, and he acted upon his last resort. He raised his rapier to block, willing his body to hold under the significant force that threatened to crush him. Again, the electricity leapt towards his hilt, but Rafael did not worry about completely stopping it -- he only wanted to slow it down. There was an aura of hot white surrounding the edge blocking Giusto's arms, but Rafael used his remaining strength to push deeper. They hung there for a moment, Giusto's arms clashing with Rafael's rapier, the current slowly approaching. Then, they both screamed a cry of agony as Giusto's arms were cut off, and Rafael was shocked with the voltage of two of Giusto's arms. His clothes were blackened, and his body bled crimson through it. Rafael desperately hoped Giusto would not have the strength to rise, but he was mistaken.

Giusto stumbled to his feet with much difficulty, and looked at the stumps where arms had once been. The ends sizzled as a frayed wire with discharged electrical current. He was losing his power quickly, he understood that, and let out another cry of rage. It was primal, and made the earth tremble. Rafael flipped himself to lay on his back, barely containing the violent sobs that shook him. His rapier lay a few inches away from his fingers, and he could not reach it.

"[i]Now... you... [b]die...[/b][/i]" The monster managed to choke out amid his savage yelps, and stumbled towards Rafael. He knew that all Giusto had to do was collapse upon him, and he would die. His body would not be able to be knocked with force away from the voltage -- he would be smothered between rock and electricity, spasming until his internal organs stopped working -- either from the current, or from shock. In terror, Rafael extended his fingers, clawing at the rock.

[i]Only... a... cent.meter...[/i] His mind was shot, but he clenched his teeth through the agony as he moved his body to pick up his sword. Giusto only had a few more feet to go, then finally stood at Rafael's feet and smirked at the burnt, bloody man.

"[i]We both die here. Goodbye.[/i]" Giusto collapsed, falling towards Rafael. In a last-ditch effort, he pulled the sword to his belly and pointed it up, praying to Jesus that he would be saved through some divine intervention. Giusto's body was suspended on the point, where his rapier struggled to get through. He task sapped his strength, and his vision went black. He took waking up with his rapier lying idly on his chest, and the absense of Giusto to mean he killed the monster before he passed out.

With a satistfied smile, his body forced another shut down, in an attempt to preserve his life in the cold, after being exposed to countless shocks. The world slid out of vision, and into darkness once more.[/SIZE]
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As Sasurai opened his eyes he could see that his surroundings had changed and the rest of the team was gone. He was in a dark chamber, nearly pitch black, and whether his eyes opened or closed there was nothing to be seen. He heard the voice of Louis in his mind once again, [I]your swords are the most powerful of the weapons of faith, this beast has resided here for many years, none have been able to succeed it's creator, but it is up to you, set an example for the rest. Remember, you must address the monster with utmost respect, he is an old, wise beast, with much to teach you.[/I] Sasurai sighed, knowing what he must do yet lacking the confidence to do it.

Suddenly the chamber was bright, candles adorning the wall bursting alive and illuminating the large corridor. Towards the very end stood an old creature, a dragon of some sort. As Sasurai approached it rose from it's idle state, it's wings stretching and the tips nearly touching the wall on both sides. "You wish to fight me?" grumbled the monster, his voice bouncing from wall to wall and causing Sasurai to wince as the booming noise entered his ears.

"I am Sasurai, successor of the Twin Dragon swords and leader of the Divine Kinship. I am destined to wield this Weapon of Faith on behalf of the Chosen One, Fuki Yuriyama," he spoke with great confidence, attempting to match the dragon's loud roar. "You have been chosen, but are you able to defeat us?" spoke the right head, shaking it's long neck as a cloud of dirt floated slowly to the floor. It had obviously been sometime since this beast had awoken. "No one hasss yet to achieve thisss goal," spoke the second head, doing the same.

As each dragon awoke Sasurai felt more and more in touch with his weapons. He drew both swords and gazed along the length of the blades, the dark designs almost speaking to him as his grip grew even tighter. The head on the right was to be the [I]Junkin Doragon[/I] creature. It's golden head lavished and scales gleaming in the candle light to match that of his own sword. The second would be his [I]Aibori Daija[/I], it's head resembling a snake more then that of a dragon, it's crimson tongue shooting out over the ivory fangs erupting from it's cheeks.

This was no game, it was the first time Sasurai realized the severity of the situation. The world and all of it's people hung in the balance, it was up to him. No matter how tough his talk might have been, he was blatantly nervous, his forehead shining of sweat caused by the plethora of candles. "Defeat us and you will gain all of our knowledge, the history of both Twin Dragons, and the power to wield the swords on behalf of the Chosen One."

And with that Sasurai took a fighting stance, breathing deeply as his bare feet brushed along the concrete floor. The dragon grew closer, and Sasurai leapt, screaming as he swung his sword at the first dragon's neck. The blade scraped against the rough hide, even an edge as sharp as this barely made a scratch, Sasurai's jaw nearly dropping as he returned to the floor. The dragon turned, it's mouth opening and fire erupting from the back of it's throat.

Sasurai jumped from wall to wall, running along each attempting to avoid the large spout of fire. He could feel the embers nearly singeing his heels as he strode jumping and weaving in and out of the large pillars surrounding the outer area of the room. The dragon's mouth closed as he returned to the floor, panting heavily. But no rest was in order, the second mouth opened and a green liquid shot from it, just barely catching his leg as he leapt from the floor. He could feel it, some kind of acid, smoke floated from his pants, the tattered ends gone and his skin unprotected from the ominous liquid. He cried in pain as he fell, unable to continue his swift escape. He'd never felt any pain like this, how was he to defeat such a powerful beast? [I]Dammit...[/I]

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[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]Tao slowly tilted his head up, scanning his new surroundings. One moment, he had be sitting in a room, meeting the...Divine Kinship, was it? But now, he was in a very different place, though he was still sitting in a reclined position against the wall. The great chamber he sat in was carved of black stone, and in the center was a deep, dark lake. Stalactites dripped cold water down from the high, domed ceiling, and their couterparts jutted up from the ground, and the depths of the lake.

Tao peeked out from behind his dark glasses, surveying the vast cave. His eye twitched as a large droplet of icy water fell on the top of his head. Slowly, he shuffled to the side, making sure he wasn't under another stalactite. Content in his location, he pulled out a long stemmed pipe from his jacket, placed it in his mouth, and lit it. The light, acrid smell of tobacco smoke began to fill the cavern, smoke curling around the stalactites and stalagmites.

The assassin was just getting relaxed again when a loud rumbling shook the cave. He looked around, expecting to see a door or a slab of stone, or maybe even something emerging from a tunnel. But nothing met his gaze, until a large pillar of water erupted from the glassy lake, drenching him in the icy liquid. He was instantly on his feet, glaring at the thing that emerged from the waters.

Towering and fierce, it would've made most men shake. The beast appeared to be a massive snake, with a long, thin body that rippled with muscle. It was coated in sharp black scales, with streaks of blood red and shining silver. Its eyes flashed fire, great and yellow, shimmering in the gloom like molten gold. Glittering like steel, long fangs jutted from its long mouth. As it opened its maw, more teeth were revealed, as well as its forked tongue, plum-like in color. Two small horns sat atop its eyes, and the sides of its face were slightly swollen, marking it as a viper.

[B][I]Who are you to enter the cavern of the Silent Viper?[/I][/B]

The voice echoed inside Tao's head, but nowhere else. The great serpent opposite him sat silent, running its tongue over one long fang, weaving slightly.

[B]"I am Zhou Tao, the assassin,"[/B] Tao called, unflinching in the harsh stare of the massive reptile.

[I][B]You come to take my power? Make it your own?[/B][/I]

[B]"I do. I wish to wield your might, and I will prove myself worthy of the Silent Viper,"[/B] the assassin replied. He swiftly drew his straight-sword from behind his back, moving into a ready stance. [B]"And I will prove myself by any means necessary."[/B]

The great viper seemed to grin, slowly moving its head closer to Tao. As it drew closer, Tao saw that its two fangs were easily his height.

[I][B]Then I will not dishonor your bravery by holding back.[/B][/I]

In a flash, Tao felt something strike his chest, sending him flying back into the wall of the cave. Pain exploded in his chest, filling his body with a dull, throbbing ache. He gasped hard, trying to refill his lungs, before dropping to the ground on his knees, recieving another electric bolt of agony. He slid forward towards the lake, and realized how slick the ground was.

He barely had time to think when the Viper struck again, lashing out with what Tao registered was its tail. He pushed himself up and forward, managing to turn in the air to see the great scaly weapon crash into the stone, sending shards flying. He landed on his feet and put his hand out to steady himself as he slid back, still holding his jian aloft behind his back. The rough stone scraped his palm, but he ignored the pain, immediately lunging forward when the sliding stopped.

He quickly came into range of the beast's tail, lashing out with his sword. However, the Viper was far faster, and slipped Tao's target away, striking him in the back to send him crashing to the ground. His chin hit the stone floor and stars burst into front of his eyes. He felt a dull pain in his lip and the coppery taste of blood filled his mouth.

[I][B]For such big talk, you sure aren't very good, little assassin,[/B][/I] the voice laughed in his head. [I][B]I'll tell you what...you strike me three times, and I'll give you my power. Though I doubt that'll ever happen![/B][/I]

The Viper's dry, barking laugh filled his mind as the monster itself leered down at him, its tail twitching. Tao had to move. He had to win. He had to prove himself. He had to shut the fucking beast up!

His jian flashed as he lunged forward, like a beam of moonlight, clasped in his hand. The snake carved onto the blade seemed to move forward as he drew near his target, and he was sure it grinned as the dark blood covered the weapon. The hot ichor sprayed across Tao's hand and face, and slowly dripped into the water. Silent Viper's barking laugh changed into a fierce hiss as Tao arced back to ground, slipping as his sandal-clad feet his stone. He turned, smirking at the great snake.

[B]"Two strikes left, Viper."[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[center]Upon waking up, Tomoya had realized that he wasn?t anywhere near where he had last been. There was not a human soul in sight nor was there life at all. Slowly, Tomoya stood up and saw that he was wearing the gloves that had strange openings on the gloves. When he had inspected them, three metallic blades extended from within the gloves and a strange emblem began to shine on the back of his hands.

A sudden blast of cold wind swirled around Tomoya, grasping at him as if the winds had hands. It was then that he had begun to survey his surroundings. There was a misty fog that covered the area; it was almost impossible for the human eye to make out anything. But Tomoya focused on his area and listened, as well as watched. There were old trees that were gray of color and almost dead, the ground on which Tomoya stood upon was dry with dead leaves and dried earth, and the towering trees almost covered the sky, therefore light was barely seen.

As Tomoya walked ahead, he noticed something move amongst the trees. He readied the gloves and walked with caution, knowing that something could easily attack him if he wasn?t careful. Another sudden movement had caused Tomoya to turn and turn again. He stayed in his place and found himself in another part of the dead forest. The blades were extended and Tomoya watched every corner of the forest. A blur appeared then whispers were heard but suddenly silenced when the sound of something moving stopped.

[B]Who are you to enter the Poisoned Forest?[/B] A serpent-like voice hissed and spoke. The words almost flowed around the entire area.

?That is irrelevant to what my task is.?

[B]It is not irrelevant in the matter that you have entered a world that is not your own. Do you still wish to continue?[/B]

?I don?t wish, I want.?

[B]Very well. If you continue forward, you shall come to the base of a volcano.[/B] The fog had began to thin and a path was shown through the trees. [B]Though it is dormant, there are several inhabitants that will not be as kind as I to let you pass. Tell them my name and they may allow you passage.[/B]

?And what is your name??

[B]I am a serpent with glowing eyes and two heads at each end. I feast upon ants and poison pours from my mouth. My name also means ?to go both ways.? Figure it out and you shall have my name.[/B]

The voices left and the sounds were gone, leaving Tomoya with only a path. Cocking a brow, Tomoya went on through the path, which closed off as soon as he placed his feet within the path. Oddly enough, he could see a large volcano and knew that he had to get to the top.

Walking on the path, Tomoya thought of the riddle or whatever it was that the voice spoke of. He walked on and on and stopped at the base of the mountain. He thought and stood, while walking up the mountain when a strange bull-like creature nearly rammed into him. The creature turned and dug its hooves into the ground. It was quite ornery and ferocious, which had meant that Tomoya had come upon the second domain that the serpent spoke of.

[B]Who are you and how did you come across the Meadows of Lycia?[/B]

?You won?t know my name but a serpent had shown me a path that led me here.?

[B]Serpent? You passed the Poisoned Forest unharmed? I congratulate you, but I assure you that I won?t be as kind.[/B] The creature raised its head and watched Tomoya?s every movement. [B]Tell me, what is the name of the serpent that sent you here?[/B]

?His name...? Tomoya thought carefully and suddenly realized what the serpent?s name was. ?His name is Amphisbaena, the two headed serpent.?

[B]Amphisbaena sent you here? That cowardice.[/B] The bull-like creature shook its head and walked up to Tomoya. [B]Follow me.[/B]

Another path emerged from the mountain and bull took him up the pathway and stopped. His long hair shook over his bull-like head and his voice bellowed like a strange horn.

[B]Follow the path until you get to the top of the mountain. There you shall find a pride of lions and there you shall know where to find [i]her[/i]. Tell them that Catoblepas sent you and no harm shall come your way.[/B]

Still walking ahead, Tomoya found it odd that these creatures lived here all together in peace. What was stranger was they called whatever ruled this mountain by the pronoun, ?her?. Tomoya shook his head and tired of himself from walking. He didn?t come to play ?Find the Beast? nor did he arrive to listen to any creature speak. He was there for a reason and that reason was to fight and slay the beast.

At last, the temperature rose and embers from the volcano?s mouth began to spit out. Lions roared and were ready to attack but were stopped when Tomoya had explained where he had come from. The lions found this reasonable and knew that this human would be the one searching for the name that he had come for. They sat around the edge of the volcano?s mouth and waited for Tomoya.

[B]Enter the mouth and there you shall find [i]her[/i]. She is waiting for you and I?m quite sure you are ready to see her.[/B]

Shrugging, Tomoya entered the mouth of the volcano and was found in a strange cavernous area. He looked around and felt himself being watched. The blades extended and Tomoya walked further ahead. Suddenly, a breath of fire sprouted from nowhere and nearly scathed him.

[B]Who are you to enter the Mountain of Chimaera?[/B]

?No one.?

[B]No one, you say? Well then. As No One, you shall die![/B]

?I digress. It is not I that will die but you.?

The beast showed herself and was shown as a creature with the head of serpent in the middle, a lion?s head on the left, and a goat?s head on the right. Its forefront was that of the lion?s and the back of the goat?s with the serpent?s tail and scales covering the top of the beast. It also possessed dragon-like wings that created a fierce wind whenever it moved. Tomoya presumed it to be [URL=http://www.thanasis.com/modern/chimbel.jpg]Chimaera[/URL]. He had gotten himself this far, without having to fight anything and was ready to defeat this beast, to do whatever it takes. But how was he supposed to defeat a flying beast that spit out fire and venom at anytime it pleased.

[B]To release the power of Chimaera, you must first defeat me.[/B]

?Myth has it, Bellerophon slew you once and I can slay you too.?[/center]
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[color=slategray][size=1]The meeting room had disappeared and in it's place a warmer surrounding. Much warmer then she had been used to and perhaps too warm. Looking up towards the sky there was no sun nor clouds apparent. Only an endless crystal blue. Shifting her view forwards there was only an endless plain. The area was brown and barren with the dead corpses of various plants and trees. All unknown to her, they were all covered in sharp thorns.

Sighing contently, a short gust blew. Causing dust to rise and swirl. Dorothy forced to cover her eyes with one hand quickly drew one of the fans with her free hand. Still protecting her eyes she opened the fan to it's full extent. Moving it to position to have it act as though it was a shield from the blowing thorns. The wind stopped with a roaring burst of a shock wave, pushing Dorothy back. Stumbling she fell to the ground rolling with the fan until the wind stopped. Stand she brushed her self off, closing her weapon she took out the second.

In front of her stood a large beast. A haunting creature, sporting a figure she could not have possibly seen before. Something out of a fair tale. A fabulous-looking beast with the head of an eagle, the tongue of a snake, six wings of an angel, and the body of a lion. The Gryphon sat proudly in a crown of thorns. The dead shells quickly bloomed as the beast's tail thumbed hitting the ground. The flowers in beautiful shade of red closed as quick as they open with each pound, and with the next pound of his tail they burst into red butterflies. Watching as they flutter there was a final pound. The dust rising around the beast sending another gust of wind, the butterflies turned into a sparkling red dust. Simply blowing away on the wind. The beast raised its paw and the thorns moved creating a path, leading straight towards her. Dorothy flinched back, as she slowly tried to turn and found her left foot entangled by plants that where once dead.
Opening both fans, Dorothy positioned her self ready to fight. She turned the fans slightly waiting for the Gryphon to make the first move. However it stopped staring into her eyes. Her view did not waver.

"Hope of thu eighth sun, thy lovely Dorothy. Many years have passed since one of chosen to wield those fans." His voice was rough but loud and clear.

Hesitating Dorothy nodded. She did not release her form. The beast began to laugh at her, jumping once to the ground. The Gryphon bounded into the sky. Sending another fury of thorns with the beating of it's wings. Dorothy blocked every one with out fault, he laughed louder.

"Which you truly like to unlock the power of the Bleeding Autumn?"
Her eyes perked, the brown within her eyes becoming brighter. "I would, sir."
"You think you can beat me then?" The beast grunted, have heartedly.
She smiled slightly. "I do not know."

The Gryphon roared, sending a strong wind. Dust and thorns up lifted off the ground. Sending a wave against her she carefully blocked it. Her foot work resembling some traditional form of dance. Moving through she could hear him laughing again as his wings beat harder. Sending a shock from all directions form all sides that sent Dorothy flying back. Landing the thorns piercing deep into her skin. Restraining a small hushed yelp, she begin to try push her self up.

[/color] [/size]

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[color=darkslategray][size=1]Suddenly, the room had gone, much like the blooms from a tree, floating away in the distance. In it's place, was a cold whipping wind, and jagged swords of icy mountains, the ones farther south the hilt of the intimidating blade. The sunlight did nothing to warm the air. Hauken just smiled, and drew Hyournimaru, looking around for his opponent.

From behind the frozen remnants of a withered tree, came a wolf that seemed to be chisled out of ice, with a ring of ice around it's eyes. When it stood still, the aura slowly emanitating, flared up in an anger, sending ice and dirt, with little stones, at everything in the immediate vicinity.

[i]Hmph. So you are Hauken. I suppose you want my powe-[/i] Hauken cut him off ignorantly.

[i]Ooh! Oh! You look like Fenrir.[/i]

[i]Yes, that may be so-[/i] The Wolf was cut off again

[i]Does that mean you ARE Fenrir?[/i]

[i]I suppos-[/i] Hauken was extremely happy, and cut off Fenrir.

[i]Sweet! My Hyournimaru's spirit is Fenrir![/i]

[i]Does this have a point?[/i] That was the first full line that Fenrir got off, as he paced around, his frozen lips pulling into a grin. The aura flared again.

[i]Erm...nope.[/i] Hauken grinned, and scratched the back of his head.

[i]Well, I guess you want your power...for real. My power.[/i]

[i]Yep. That's what I'm supposed to do, anyway. Let's get this show on the road![/i] Hauken was indignant in his judgement as he brandished Hyournimaru at Fenrir. In turn, Fenrir darted forward, dodging a few of Hauken's attacks, then rearing his head, firing off a gigantic blast of ice.

Hauken barely sidestepped, as the blast came at him.

[i]Geezus! Flinging balls of ice...[/i]

[i]Why do you think your sword's name is Ice Ring?[/i] Fenrir replied dryly. He shot out another blast, and as Hauken sidestepped, he held out Hyournimaru, slicing the huge ball of ice in half. It fell to the ground with a clink. This was going to be a long battle, and the two wouldn't have it [i]any other way.[/i]

Slash after slash, biting and gnawing, each had inflicted equal damage in different ways. Fenrir stood on all fours, red blood leaking from his lips and front paw, to white ground. Hauken was on his two feet, holding his sword, the daunting red draining from his hand and a gash on his stomach.

[i]Good fight...Fenrir.[/i]

[i]The same, Hauken. End it now?[/i] Hauken nodded at the Ice Wolf, and swished his sword out to the side, the blade, drenched in the slow running blood, flying from it. He huffed from exaustion. Fenrir's teeth were bared, claws extended. They ran at each other, both on equal ground. However, in the end, only one would win the battle, for the better of the war.

That strike would not happen now. They both managed to parry each other's blows, thinking in perfect symmetry. Hauken's body flipped forward, his stomach and mind reluctant to follow. Fenrir managed a rather spectatular barrel roll midair, and landed on all fours.

[b]"I see. This ain't gunna be easy, is it?[/b][/color][/size]
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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR=Peru]Running through the grassy hillocks were two steeds: one burned a brilliant white streak through thefields under the noon sun and the other was as dark as the sharp shadow it casted. With a hand on the scarlet reins, the rider on the white horse brandished a sword so skillfully that the other rider could not do anything but continually guide the dark horse out of the blade?s way.

[b]?What do you want??[/b] shouted Rieur to the other rider. She spat out the lock of hair that went into her mouth and cursed her new stroke of bad luck. Before this chase, she remembered feeling a strong desire to touch Joyeuse, an urge she easily gave in to. Next thing she knew, she was on this horse being pursued by a character in red plated armor. Her knees clipped the saddle tighter.

The swordsman was as relentless as a wolf in chasing its prey. Closely he rode beside Rieur; so close that he could very well behead the female rider with his next swing. Rieur drew her bow and strung the red cord through. Death was on the cards and she can do nothing about it.

?Except tackle the rider off his horse.
In a premier display of tenacity, bravado, and pure madness, Rieur grabbed the swordsman?s middle and pushed off from her horse, sending both riders in a violent tumble down the gently sloping knoll.


When they finally came around, the scenery had changed into a bamboo grove. The swordsman was first to get up but his heavy armor made it just as quick for him to lose his balance. Rieur knelt behind a thick clump of bamboo and struggling to get back on her feet. She planted her bow before her and leaned on it for support.

Her arms were burning with pain and though her lungs ached for air, she did not dare to breathe deeply. The thin leaves rustled and the stalks groaned as the bamboos swayed to give her a clear view of the swordsman. It looked as if he had finally recovered. She watched as the swordsman pulled his headgear off to reveal [i]nothing[/i]. A gasp escaped her lips and reached his unseen ears; the headless swordsman?s shoulders turned to her general direction.

[i][b]?That was a dirty trick, human.?[/b][/i]
Raspy laughter echoed from the inside of the hollow armor. It picked its sword up and swung it to shake the leaves off. A bamboo stalk nearby was unfortunately caught in the sword?s arc, and its upper half slipped noiselessly past the cut before it fell to the ground.

[i][b]?What I want??[/b][/i]
The armor?s sword glittered brightly in the dancing shadows and Rieur saw that its tip was pointed directly at her.
[b][i]??Is your blood.?[/i][/b]
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[SIZE=1]Fayth had been terrified from the start, this strange place, and these strange people...what would her parents think? She was still wearing her summer dress and light slip on shoes when the meeting room had seemed to dissolve. She found herself a few seconds later in an open field, brightly lit from what seemed to be two suns. Fayth's eyes adjusted to the brightness and she took her hand away from her eyes, surveying the area.

It was horrible, something from a nightmare. Everything was dead or dieing, the trees surrounding the area were all drooping and black, scorched by many fires. The grass underfoot still seemed to smoke and crackle from a recent blaze and Fayth stepped quickly over to a group of rocks, seemingly untouched amongst all the destruction. She looked to the sky from under her flaxen curls and saw that it was blood red, two fiery orange orbs glowing brightly directly above. Fayth became scared once again and yelped as a small lizard scuttled over her foot. She stumbled back and landed on the other side of the rock, wincing from the jolt of pain as she landed.

It was then she discovered her spear strapped across her back. She reached behind her and tugged it free of its bindings, letting the now loose belt drop around her ankles as she stood. She vaguely remembered the speech of that roguish looking man and gulped, a faint feeling of curiously welling up inside of her at the thought of meeting something from...another world.

A while ago the idea seemed absurd, but look at what had happened recently, Fayth was ready to believe anything now. She climbed the rock in front of her to see out across the scorched field, noticing that settling in a clump of trees was a cave; it's opening seeming to dip under the earth.

She built up enough courage to walk over to its entrance, the heat getting more intense as she walked. Beads of sweat broke out on her skin and her lips went dry. Something dangerous and powerful was lurking within the heated shadows of that cave, but Fayth knew she would have to fight it if she ever wanted to see the beauty of earth again.

Then, all of a sudden, a huge wind blasted out of the cave's entrance, forcing the young redhead over with a cry of surprise. Fayth shook her head and tried to regain her footing, now very dizzy from both the heat and a knock to her head. She suddenly regretted opening her eyes with the sight that met her bright green orbs.

A serpent, no, a dragon, slowly emerged from the cave's entrance, it's sleek head framed by light red whiskers, giving the look of a mane, while long fangs protruded from blistered and dry lips. The dragon lifted it's magnificent head and seemed to drift out of the cave, looking down at Fayth as it's full crimson form was raised above her, hovering in the sky.

It's muzzle stretched into what looked like a grin, it's ivory coloured teeth gleaming in the eerie light given off by the twin suns. Fayth shivered despite the heat and tried to scramble back, tripping over the now torn and dirty hem of her dress. The dragon laughed, but it wasn't a sound that filled the air, more like it echoed in Fayth's head. She whimpered as she felt another blast of hot air knock her to the ground.

[I]Fayth...why do you run? Do you not want to have my power? The power of the Dragon Dance?[/I]

Fayth could only murmur her incoherent reply and the dragon laughed again.

[I]You will refer to me as [I]Ryuujin[/I], the Dragon King, I want to fight you...to show you that you have power and that you can use it well. Fight me Fayth, or I will kill you.[/I]

Fayth gripped her spear and nodded, her hands still shaking despite her feat of bravery. She stood and faced her opening as he puffed out his chest. As the putrid smell of gasoline filled Fayth's nostrils she jumped to the side, instinct telling her what was coming. As soon as she had dived away a blast of flames shot from Ryuujin's mouth, the white and yellow flames flickering around the edges of what was left of the vegetation. Fayth gasped for breath as she watched the ground ripple and steam as it seemed to melt and turn molten, Ryuujin turned his head lazily to glance at her, his dark eyes swirling with both knowledge and kindness.

[I]I don't want to hurt you, but you must understand, it would disgrace me if someone unworthy were to wield my power.[/I]

[B]"I understand."[/B]

[I]Good...then I think we can really begin.[/I]

[B]OOC Changed power to "Dragon Dance" because it seemed...cooler.[/B][/SIZE]
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There he knelt, the great Sasurai reduced to a whimpering, washed-up samurai. He gripped his leg tightly, applying pressure to the warm, poisoned skin falling away slowly. [I]C'mon, get up, it's your destiny, cease it![/I] he shouted to himself, the noise echoing from ear to ear as he rose slowly from the floor. He stumbled slightly but regained his balance and took another fighting stance, this one different then the last. "Have you had enough?" boomed the dragon. Sasurai simply smiled, "This battle is just beginning." The golden dragon seemed to almost smile, it's jagged teeth shown as the fire erupted once again.

This time Sasurai was ready, in a flash he disappeared, the fire beating upon the floor where he was just seconds ago. As the monster ceased to attack he looked around cautiously, confused as to where the man had went. He stretched his neck from side to side, checking every intimate crevice of the large room. As his head rose and looked towards the ceiling Sasurai dropped, straightening his body and darting down the dragon's throat. Immediately he began to slice, the dragon's insides much softer the tough outer surface. The once barren throat flooded with blood, propelling him even lower into the dragon.

As the small tunnel began to expand he stopped himself, shoving each sword through the moistened wall on opposite sides. The blades erupted through the rough hide, each tip gleaming a lavish crimson color. With all his strength he gained momentum, spinning slightly and causing the blades to follow, slicing a full circle through the dragon's neck, causing it to fall limp to the ground, severed from it's original form. Soon after the damp samurai erupted from the large wound, landing briskly and shaking himself off, attempting to rid his clothes of the dragon's sanguine fluids.

The neck perished, disintigrating slowly and floating to the golden sword. The blade glowed slightly, it's luster increasing as the dragon became one with his weapon. However, the Ivory Serpent was still left, the neck writhing wildly at the loss of it's comrade. After regaining composure it shot another barb of posion in Sasurai's direction, but this time he was ready. Using the conflicting white sword he subdued the blow, leaving it coated in the serpent's poison. Again he spun, only once, stopping abruptly and watching as the liquid flew from the tip of his sword towards the beast. A perfect shot, the monster's eyes smoking as the acid ran along it's ivory scales.

Sasurai jumped forward, grabbing hold of the opportunity and slicing through the serpent's neck, sheathing his swords as the second head fell limp to the floor. He had won, it was finally time for him to succeed the creator. He would lead the Divine Kinship, and rightly so.

[B]OOC: Great series of posts everyone. I've finished my battle with the spirit beast and you all may do the same. Afterwards we'll be able to progress the story and interact with one another. I've put up a post at the Underground for addition NPC information (there will be more up soon and it will increase with the coming chapters). You'll find it [URL=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?p=670952#post670952][I][COLOR=White]here[/COLOR][/I][/URL]. Good job so far everyone![/B]

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[color=#CC0000][SIZE=1]Tetsuya struck the great dragon's nose and made for his eye, but was blown back towards the ground by a great gust. Tetsuya hit the ground forcefully, but sprang right back up. He lunged at Bahamut again, attempting to strike, but was once more blown backwards, this time straight into a wall. Tetsuya's body was racked with pain as he hit the rocky mountainside and collapsed to the ground.

[B]"Damn...Damn it!"[/B] Tetsuya used Ginryû to pull himself back up. Bahamut flashed his teeth, then shot an orb of wind at Tetsuya. Tetsuya dodged it, but was met by an earthquake. He tripped and collided with the ground, and quickly had to roll before the Eart beneath him split. Tetsuya then pulled himself up again. Bahamut grunted.

[B][COLOR=Silver]"Persistent, aren't you? You can't win, though. Not fighting like that."[/COLOR][/B] Tetsuya swayed a little than balance himself out. He's right...I can't win like this. I can't deal any blows to him while he's in the air. The mighty gust that emits from his mouth would be mush easier to dodge if he was on the ground. Suddenly Tetsuya was struck with an idea. He assumed battle stance again.

[B][COLOR=Silver]"You're goung to keep coming at me? Fine...Have it your way."[/COLOR][/B] Tetsuya ran to the side, directly in front of a large mountainside. He sprang up at Bahamut, and brought his blade down feircely. Bahamut reared his head back angrily.

[COLOR=Silver][B]"I told you that won't work!"[/B][/COLOR] He fired a wind orb at Tetsuya, but Tetsuya just smiled. [I]Perfect...[/I] Tetsuya swung Ginryû at the orb, kncoking it back at Bahamut. It struck him in his chest, causing Bahamut to lose breath and plummet towards the ground. Tetsuya jumped down after Bahamut and landed on his stomach. He quickly attacked both of Bahamut's wings, before being violently knocked off. Tetsuya ad Bahamut then both hit a ledge and stopped their decent.

Bahamut pulled himself up and spanned his wings, attempting to take flight. His wings flapped swiflty, but to no avail. The breeze merely flew through them, Tetsuya had cut them up so badly. Tetsuya grinned at the angry Bahamut.

[B]"Now we have a fair fight."[/B] He lunged at Bahamut and struck his chest. The blow connected, but no damage was done. Tetsuya sprung up againa nd struck the same spot. Still no harm came to Bahamut. Bahamut emitted a mighty gust at Tetsuya, but he easily dodged it and struck Bahamut in the same spot again. Bahamut sneered.

[COLOR=Silver][B]"This is growing tiresome!"[/B][/COLOR]He casued a mighty tremor where Tetsuya stood. Tetsuya jumped from the spot, but found the spot he landed was splitting as well. But it didn't bother him. In fact, it gave him another advantage. As th Earth split beneath him he ran from one end of the ledge to the other, but did so in a sloppy manner as not arouse suspicion. Finally the quake stopped and Tetsuya lunged at Bahamut, landing a series of strikes to the same spot on Bahamut's chest.

[COLOR=Silver][B]"You resistance is futile!"[/B][/COLOR] Bahamut attacked tetsuya with a giant claw, knocking him into the ground. Tetsuya hit the mountain, bounced off, and wuickly stood up. Three giant claw marks stretched across his chest, and they were bleeding profusively. His vision was faltering as well. But he still wasn't worried. He grabbed at the wakizashi at his side.

[B]"Die!"[/B] He thrust it into Bahamut's chest, and it penetrated his armor, causing the beast to roar in pain as blood flowed from it's wound. Bahamut removed the wakizashi and threw it at Tetsuya, but missed horribly. The dragon bellowed.

[B][COLOR=Silver]"I AM NOT FINISHED YET!!"[/COLOR][/B] Bahamut launched an orb of wind at Tetsuya. With the lat of his strength, Tetsuya grabbbed the wakizashi in his left hand, Ginryû in his right, and struck the orb.

[B]"Ginryû Dageki*!"[/b] The orb flew full speed into the cracked ground, and the ledge broke off. Bahamut plummeted towards the ground, and was crushed underneath the ledge. Tetsuya smiled as his legs gave way and he collapsed into darkness. [/SIZE][/color]

[SIZE=1][B][COLOR=White]OOC:[/COLOR] [COLOR=Silver]Ginryû Dageki-[/COLOR][/B] [COLOR=White]Silver Dragon Strike[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=royalblue][b]OOC:[/b] *has been gone for a week and is slightly relieved to see the RPG isn?t at four pages yet* :3


Senka dozed off during the man?s speech?what was his name? Sa?Sasu?Sasurai. That was it. He was scraggily, but that wasn?t much better than her, the one often dubbed as dressing in drag.

[i]I?m mastering the technique of gender-bending,[/i] she thought, cracking her neck in order to relieve the cramps that had formed.

?I don?t know much more than the rest of you.? [i]Wow, nice leadership, dude. But?[/i] She opened her eyes and observed the man once more. [i]He doesn?t know any more than the rest of us, and yet he leads us?I hate being led.[/i]
??Will you sit back and see what happens, or pick up a sword change what happens? It's up to you." [i]Nice,[/i] Senka?s thoughts burst out again.
?Pick up the sword of change, I like,? she muttered, glancing at her kodachis, now in ?tube? form, on the table.
[i]Oh hey, he?s stopped talking, good. Now snatch up the swords and uh?well, get that far and we?ll see what happ?ens.[/i]

Everything was fading?all objects were fizzling away in blue light. Senka gripped the tube tightly before freefalling.

?Pretty colors,? she shouted to whoever was listening. She half-expected the voice of God to respond back, barking ?Fool, you know not your own peril!?. Or something like that. But it never came, she just kept falling and falling.
And falling, until she hit the ground with enough force to snap one?s skull open. Somehow, the boy-looking girl managed to survive. All she had to do was snap her neck a few times, rotate her wrists, and stretch her legs a little bit.

?Ahh, kodachis, you still be with me.? Senka twirled the tube in her hand. Her eyes quickly scanned what little of the area there was to look at ? nothing but lush green, in the form of leaves, trees, grass, and vines. It was un-Godly humid, so damp she thought she could drink the air.
A roar rang out, shaking the ground. Senka looked around wildly. ?An?animal? I don?t, uh, see anything?Of course, I can?t see anything ten feet in front of me??

And then:

[b]?You wish to harness my powers, do you not??[/b]
?Oh dear God, I?m going crazy again??
[b]?FOOL! You ??[/b]
? ? know not my own peril?? Senka cut in, looking around her. ?Yes, I realized that earlier when that roar came ?n stuff.?
[b]?Foolish girl! Do not look around you, look at your weapon!?[/b]

The ?foolish girl? did as commanded. ?Oi, you?re talking, right?? She released the blades slightly, tossed the broken tube into the air, and flung her arms out. Both hands caught their appropriate blade. ??cause if you are??

The kodachi in her left hand began to vibrate, and the voice sprout up again. [b]?You, Senka Hjorrdis, have carried on the ancient sword art of Jigen-ryu. If you wish to harness my powers, you must defeat yourself.?[/b]
Senka didn?t miss a beat. ?So like, I have to stab myself and ??
[b]?Ugh. The hands of fate and the hand of God crossed me with an idiotic mortal.[/b]
?Hey, I can probably say the same thing about you. Random insanity has me talking to my sword.? Senka drew the blades back together. Before snapping them shut, a long wisp of silver shot out from the opening.

[b]?Do you wish to harness the true abilities of your swords??[/b]

Senka flipped the tube back into its loop holding on her waist. ?Of course. Why wouldn?t I? Every person somehow associated with the art of killing wants to become stronger.?
[b]?The art of killing?an interesting way to put it.?[/b]
?The true way to put it. Swords are tools for death. Even if you?re protecting someone, you kill the enemy. There?s no way to avoid that cycle.?
[b]?Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps you actually aren?t a fool.?[/b]
??course I?m not. I?m not as stupid as I look.?
[b]?Right. Now??[/b] The voice faded as the wisp of smoke suddenly morphed, enlarging in stature. Color began to fade in, but not quite, as the figure remained semi-transparent. [b] ?Fight.? [/b]

And before she could say a word, a ghostly tiger was lunging at her, mouth open wide and fangs dripping with saliva. ((OOC: It?s the nice way to put it. >.>;; ))
[b]?To master me you must defeat me! I know who you are, I know what you do!?[/b]
Senka rolled out of the way before drawing the blades. The tiger pivoted on its right legs before leaping into the air.

?What the ??

A long, hard tail lashed the teenager like a whip, creating a long gash on her left side. Blood immediately splashed to the ground. ?Agh...you damn piece of ??

[b]?You are not trying!?[/b]

The tail lashed out again, swiping her chest. But this time, it got caught on the multiple strands of chains looping her collarbone.

[b]?What ??[/b] The tiger attempted to leap off. But two hands ? one covered in dirt, the other soaked in black blood, was gripping it tightly. Senka lifted her head up.
?I?m?not?a fool,? she said weakly, but an arrogant grin plastered to her face. ?You are. A warrior?never dresses in something?weak. Especially?my chains. They?re nice?and strong. And?weigh too much.? She pulled on the tail. The tiger spirit was thrown back.

Senka suddenly collapsed. The blood was slowing down, but no sign of the wound healing over could be detected.
[b]?You are dieing. I figured as much.?[/b]

Her face was planted halfway in the dirt. Her eyes were clouding over. Blood seeped into the earth. ?The darkness?it?s beautiful??

[b]?I knew you would not last long. I am surprised you were able to survive up until this point. But I suppose Jigen-ryu will die with you?Senka Hjorrdis.? [/b] The tiger swiped its tail around before walking off.

In barely a whisper, Senka uttered, ?Wait?don?t?go. I?m?not dead?not dead??

The blood ceased. Breaths slowed to a stop. And yet?

?I cannot die?? With much effort, the girl hefted herself up. ?If the darkness is beautiful?then I want no part of it.? She stood erect, unsheathed her kodachis, and ran towards the beast. It turned around, surprised filling its yellow eyes. But not for long.

[b]?FOOLISH MORTAL!?[/b] it bellowed, swiping one of its gigantic paws down. Senka ducked and weaved through the maze of swipes before flipping the kodachi blades down and leaping into the air.

?Don?t ask me how I got away from death but ?? Ahh, words shouldn?t be wasted. The somewhat drag-king* launched her arms down, the blades surprisingly ripping through the transparent tiger. Her arms and torso were immediately covered in silver mist. Senka fell to the ground, landing on her tailbone.
?Gyn-yaa, that hurts,? she muttered, rubbing her lower back while stooping up. The tiger was swirling back into its mist form.

[b]?You were able to defeat me and not die. Good. Now you must defeat yourself.?[/b]
?Hey! Wait! You said something earlier about?uh?you know?you being me and crap.?
[b]?Yes, so your point is??[/b]
?Then why don?t I have your power??
[b]?You are indeed a fool. You have to defeat [i]yourself[/i], not me.?[/b]
?You ? you ? LIAR!?
[b]?Like wielder, like sword.?[/b]

?You ? you piece of shit, it doesn?t work that way! So what am I supposed to do now, [i]stab myself[/i]? Which, by the way, I said earlier.?
[b]?You do whatever you like.?[/b]

Senka looked at the right kodachi. ?Fine then.? She raised the blade, closed her eyes tightly, and thrusted the blade to her chest.
And she couldn?t do it.
?I..I can?t??

[b]?Of course you can?t. You live and cannot be death.?[/b]

A surge of wind lifted the leaves. The grass waved, petals were separated from flowers. The teenaged girl gasped suddenly.
?Brother,? she muttered, ?You?re here??

A quick thrust.
The blade penetrated the layers of clothes, her flesh, and weaved through her ribcage. More blood splashed to the ground.
[b]?I am impressed. You have accomplished the task of defeating yourself. You as yourself could not do it. So you had to become?someone else.?[/b]

?Kaittu?? Senka said quietly. ?You helped me?? She fell to the ground in exhaustion. ?Now give me some time to sleep.?
[b]?No problem by me.?[/b]
?Oh?and go into my?kodachi. Or like?face my wrath?again?and?? Her words were cut off by soft snores.


I made it really long because of the fact that I?ve been gone. I?ve also tried to cram two posts into one to help move it along. Don?t be pissed, I beg of thee. Oi, and she?s not dead. :3
*Okay, you know how they call male cross-dressers ?drag queens?? So, like, what do they call a female cross-dresser? Or can that even exist? >.> Anyways, I?ve done the Kat improvisation.
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[color=slategray][size=1]Dorothy dragged her feet sluggishly before moving back into form. She lifted the fans, this time one closer to her knee the other six fist worth from behind it's normal position. Moving into a front heavy cat stance. She slowly moved into a high block footed defense, waiting.

The Gryphon shrieked, rearing it's head upwards it change directions. Diving to the ground it shifted it's weight upon it's largest left wing. The dead plants shattering away from the beast combining with the grey soil that blew in strong gust around it. Dorothy couldn't see forced t move and dodge the flying thorns. The Gryphon forced her to the ground as it flew back into the air. Getting up again she watched as it fame down. Only three feet off the ground. She stared moving back into the same high defense. This time slightly shivering trying to predict the Gryphon attack patterns.

"Come now, this is my domain. You cannot win by defense alone."
Dorothy nodded, "I know that very well, Sir."
"Sir, such formality for one in your position!"
She laughed slightly.

The beast beat it's wings faster, sending another wave of thorns and dust. Circling she blocked them. She could hear it in her mind, the fans wear being ripped slowly apart. Dorothy closed her eyes as she continued to block. Realizing the flaw in her technique and she shut her eyes tighter. Closing the fans she reverted to her cat stances. Allowing the thorns to cut through her skin further. The Gryphon stopped again, laughing more haughtily then before. It lowered it's self to the ground leaving deep foot prints where it stood.

"Pathetic girl, you're wasting my time."

She didn't say a word, still defending she waited for the next attack. As predicted the attack came. The Gryphon not leaving the ground Dorothy opened her fans to their fullest extent. Rushing forwards she twirled helping to create a larger wind force to catch on the fans. Moving the fans in figure eights as she got within 3 feet of the Gryphon she struck four times. Only two hits missed their targets, the others didn't even come close. The Gryphon taking three steps back as it did this it shook it's head. Slightly dazed from the strike to pressure points Heart Four and Stomach Six. Before it could recover, Dorothy struck it again between the eyes and then retreated.

It stumbled, swinging forwards and back before recovering it ground. It roar again in annoyance while beating it's tail. The Gryphon's leg disabled along with all of it's six wings. Dorothy neither laughed nor smiled. Simply staring waiting for something to happen. She wouldn't fight anymore. The beast grunted waiting for the girl to finish it, she still didn't advance.

"What are you waiting for? If you want power you must finish me."
"I would not accept power then."
Angered, it's tail struck the ground. "Wretch!"
"If I ask you a riddle, would you..." Her voice trailed off.
"Insolent girl, you act no better then a child."

Not saying a word she walked towards the beast, returning one fan to it's place on her back.

Dorothy thought for a second. "YYURYYUBICURYY4AME."
"Too wise you are, too wise you be, I see you are too wise for me."

Before the beast could move, she lunged forwards grabbing the beak. As it tried to pull back she struck it upon the head with the closed fan upon the head. Much like a hammer fist strike knocking the creature out. She returned the fan to it's place and sat down besides the Gryphon. Stroking it's feathers she watched as red butterflies emerged from the dead plants and the cracks of the dead land. Waiting for it to come through again, if it did awake, she took out her fans. Examining them they were the same color of the butter flies.

Not after long she heard the pounding of the Gryphon's tail. It stood knocking her hand away, it slowly walked to wear it came from. The thorns it touched becoming red roses. Standing she took a step forwards and it stopped, as did she. The beast did not turn to look back at her.

[i]"Catch those that are the wind and leave this place."[/i]

The Gryphon continued to walk out of sight. Bringing up the fans she held them high above her head, like a butterfly catcher. As the butterflies passing by hit they were destroyed. Fans dripping in red, the world around her disappeared. Dorothy smiled and gave way to the darkness that was around her.
[/color] [/size]

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[center]The two began to circle each other, watching each movement that each other made, and allowing the other to believe otherwise about them and what they have to bring to the table. One opponent had the ferocity of defeating a challenger and taking with her, the power that the previous Chosen had taken before, while the other had the viscosity and determination of defeating the beast that possessed a power far greater than mankind should ever know and taking with him, the name of Chimaera.

From the lion?s mouth, fire spat out and seemed to have hit Tomoya but upon looking closer, Tomoya was nowhere in sight. He wasn?t injured nor was he in the line of fire. Chimaera slowly walked towards the place where he stood and realized her mistake when she let her guard down. Tomoya jumped down from the stalactite that hung from the roof of the cave and slashed Chimaera?s right forepaw as it came up to swipe at him. The beast roared in pain and spat out fire once more but with his gloves, Tomoya was able to protect himself from the fire.

[B]Insolent fool! You believe you can defeat me?! It took Bellerophon the help of a winged horse to defeat me in myth. Who are you to say that you can sly me, child?![/B] The voice of the goat rose above all else and bellowed greatly.

?I?m merely a man who wants to harness a great power that the weapon of the previous Chosen once wielded.?

[B]If that is all you want, then so be it.[/B] The Chimaera laid herself down and stretched out. The lion?s head then conversed amongst the other two heads upon her body.

[B]We have decided, young one, that you will go through three tests, each one standing for the three heads that we are.[/B] The serpent?s voice was quiet yet mysterious. It had a hint of quizzical intelligence within it. [B]The first test will be the lion?s. Hers is that of courage and valor (spirit). The next will be the goat?s test. Hers is that of endurance and determination (strength). The last will be mine. My test is of knowledge and judgment (wisdom).[/B]

Standing once more, Chimaera sat on her hind legs and watched Tomoya carefully. [B]Now then, are you ready for the first?[/B] Tomoya nodded and readied himself. [B]Then come with me.[/B] The two left the cavernous room and came to another cave. [B]Your test awaits you.[/B]

As soon as Tomoya turned to see that Chimaera was gone, the roar of a lion was heard and Tomoya readied himself. He entered the cave and then heard a large thud as soon as he was fully within the cave. The light was dim but as he walked on, several torches of fire were burning brightly, giving his eyes a rest from the darkness. Just then, a lion?s paw stroke out from the dark and nearly thrashed Tomoya against the wall. Luckily, he slashed the lion first before anything could happen.

From the darkness, a great lion emerged and Tomoya soon realized that this was one of the labors of Hercules, killing the invincible lion that terrorized the hills of Nemea. The lion watched him carefully, just as Chimaera did but the lion was more clumsy and foolish in its movements, attacking first and not defending itself when it should. Tomoya had somewhat of a difficult time gaining the upper hand but throughout the battle, he lunged and avoided, trying to stay alive. It took Tomoya several tries before he was able to get near the lion.

Each moment felt as if it had been his last but Tomoya kept pressing on and on, knowing that if he did not finish this task he would not gain the respect and power of the Chimaera. His mindset was on defeating this beast and going onto the next task, finishing this so that he can return to the world he lives in.

[i]I will not allow myself to be like this. I?ve got to keep at it until I find a way to bring that thing down.[/i]

Tomoya was afraid he may not be able to kill the beast but rid himself of that thought and focused on the task at hand, getting near the beast and trying to find a way to fight it. He then saw that the lion lunged towards him and jumped onto its back. The lion tried to get the boy off of its back but Tomoya held on tight and never let go. With his right glove, Tomoya stabbed the lion between the shoulder blade and the roar of the lion pained into the air and it fell, breathing heavily, rendered helpless.

The lion was soon calm and roared in pain. It was then that Chimaera appeared from the doorway and beckoned Tomoya out. The lion?s head was impressed that Tomoya had injured the lion. Most would have tried to find a way out but the boy took his time to try and immobilize the creature before anything else. Chimaera led Tomoya outside and sat on its hind legs once more, looking at Tomoya with a bit more care. She was satisfied with all that he had done.

[B]You?ve finished each test with wonder.[/B] The lion?s head spoke with amaze and was proud.

?I beg your pardon? I finished the tests??

[B]Haha, correct you are. You see, we didn?t say that each was going to be an individual or if you were going to be tested all together.[/B] The serpent?s head was laughing and in a joyous mood.

[B]You?ve shown us that you have spirit, strength, and wisdom. And in essence of that, we are humbled and honored to be with you.[/B] The beast bowed to Tomoya and once more, he fell into a dark trance as the beast and all that was around him began to disappear.[/center]
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[COLOR=#F84E20][SIZE=1]Fayth breathed quickly as her brain tried to process a million thoughts at once. Her hands were slippery with sweat on the leather grip of her spear and the hot air around hot wasn't helping. She felt some sweat trickle down her forehead from under her thick, curly hair.

Ryuujin reared himself onto his haunches. His large, twisting body seemed to stretch forever. Fayth knew from her books that he was a Chinese Dragon, more like a snake than the Dragons of European legends. She lowered herself into a fighting stance and braced herself for what was coming, her heart thumping as Ryuujin collected a large breath.

She bolted to the side again as flames shot past her, the burn left in the very particles of the air searing her skin as she twisted on one foot, spiralling once again to face her opponent. All her senses seemed to be burning and she launched forward immediately into an attacked, bringing her spear down heavily against Ryuujin's underside. He didn't even flinch and Fayth soon realised that she had hit scales. Solid, rock-hard scales.

She jumped back as the dragon's tail swung to the side, knocking her into a burnt tree stump. She whimpered with the pain as her skull thudded dully, her eyes were fuzzy for a few moments as she gathered her senses.

[I]You are better than this...show me![/I]

Ryuujin advanced again and Fayth rolled forward as he seemed to fly over her. In an instant she knew what she must do and thrust her spear up with all the strength she could muster. A howl erupted from the beast?s throat and he seemed to spiral out of control, crashing in a heap on the ground. Fayth lay stunned, her face and chest splattered with the thick crimson blood of the dragon. Her eyes were wide and watery from the shock but she managed to pull herself together, getting shakily to her feet.

[B]"Ryu...Ryuujin..."[/B] She walked forward, using her spear for support as her opponent?s blood trickled and dripped from her pale face. The dragon wheezed, as it's whole body quivered from the effort. Fayth dropped to her knees next to his head and stroked the burnt and blistered muzzle. She saw the life fading from Ryuujin's eyes and for a few moments was disgusted at what she had done to this creature.

Slowly the dragon lifted his large head, his somehow darker eyes levelling with Fayth.

[I]Do not worry child for the loss of an opponent?s life means that you yourself are still alive. You used your head and that is what I expected from you. You will use my power well, always remember, speed in both movements and thoughts are the key.[/I]

With that he hauled his body from the dusty earth, small clouds of dirt being kicked up by his very being. Fayth stared after him as he dragged his ripped and injured body into the cave. She looked at the spear in her hands. It seemed to take on a new feeling and she suddenly knew the way it behaved, the way it would respond to her actions in battle.

She smiled slightly to herself before the world shattered around her and she was plunged into a cold darkness.

[B]OOC A little lame for ending a battle, but it worked[/B].[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=#CD853F][FONT=Garamond]Hard fighting and long labour Rieur had still; for the swordsman was bold and grim, and he brandished his sword without relent. Stroke by parry, she matched his speed and warded off his attacks with the stave of her bow. To this routine the warriors were bound as held their guards up against each other; yet weariness had already started to steal into the archer?s bones and tilted the duel into the other's favor. And then, and then strength left her arms, and she finally gave in under a blow that came directly from above.

At long last, the first blood of the duel was drawn. Both archer and swordsman stood struck with astonishment at this inevitable turn in the match. Untethered now by skin and sinew, the blood flowed freely down the archer?s arm, staining her sleeves red and liberating a crisp metallic scent into the morning air.

The gash ran half a forearm?s length on her right shoulder, and the cleanliness of the cut told of the sword?s consummate edge. It exacted searing pain which grew in intensity with each movement from her failing body. Even the quiet, fluid breeze that wove through the bamboos stung Rieur as it passed the ridges of the wound.

The bow remained in Rieur?s grip yet it was not raised to receive her foe?s next hit. The blade swept around its wielder in full force, cutting through the air with a fierce howl, and struck flesh anew. Seemingly unchecked by contact with its target, the blade completed its fatal arc, ensuing a terrible cry that rang all around.

Deathlike silence came upon the grove and all fell still.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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"Louis, report," spoke a defined voice of the high council. And so he stood, his wrinkled fingers interlocked and pressed upon the desk as he rose to present his report of the Divine Kinship's progress so far. "Nearly all the members have defeated their weapon spirit and are ready to progress to the next task, including Sasurai," he spoke with a slight grin. However his expression soon changed as the other members looked around the table skeptically. "Hmph, I though they'd at least have taken one castle by now," mocked a member, the others nodding in agreement. "It's not as easy as you might imagine. The Weapons of Faith are very complicated and-" Louis stopped, cut off abruptly. "No excuses, we expect to see results on your next report, we can't continue to endorse a futile attempt." Louis nodded and took his seat, sighing quietly to himself and contemplating his next move.

Elsewhere Sasurai had just returned from his battle with the spirit beast. And one by one each member of the team reappeared and joined him at the table. It seemed almost everyone had returned when Louis appeared. "Hey old man, what's up?" Sasurai spoke, rising from the table and patting him on the back, nearly knocking him over. "Could I speak with you in the other room?" he asked calmly, nodding towards the door. Sasurai obliged his request and when they were alone Louis began to speak. "The other council members believe things are moving along to slowly, we have to make the Kinship mobile," he said, taking a seat at the counter and sipping some tea. "But everyone hasn't returned yet, we're just starting and you're asking me to split up the group?" Sasurai spoke, his temper rising. "We don't have a choice, if we don't make progress the others won't endorse the kinship, and I'll be forbidden from returning here and aiding you," spoke Louis. "What the-" Sasurai shouted, but stopping short after, as Louis began to speak again. "I've already informed you of the first task, you'll have to work with what you've got. There is only a few who havn't finished with their beast and I'll transport them to you once they're done. Until then it's up to you, I'm expecting great things," and with that he disappeared, leaving nothing but an empty teacup.

Sasurai grunted as he returned to the previous room to meet with his team. "Alright everyone. Not all of us have defeated our spirit beast yet but we've got to get moving, without them. Our first mission is to obtain a base of our own, in case we need somewhere to hide or a place to stay. In each province Takanaka appoints a lord to oversee the area in his absence. Each lord represents an element and is given a castle to best suit their characteristics. The elements are Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, and Lightning. Together these are The Five Lords, each one with immense power and prestige among the ranks of Takanaka's army. As we travel towards his own castle, we will be expected to dismantle the homes of each lord and set the provinces free. As each lord falls Takanaka will become weaker and lose his support, allowing for a much easier battle when we make it there. We are now under the Earth jurisdiction, ruled by Lord Daichi. We'll be expected to take his castle and obiltorate his forces. From then on we'll use the Earth Castle as our home and reside there to make plans and assemble forces for following battles."

Everyone looked a bit surprised, trying to take in all this information at once took a toll on the mind. But even at such a stressful moment Sasurai could sense the determination of the room. The first battle, although difficult, must've helped them to realize the reality and severity of the situation. It was up to them to save the Chosen One and bring about the fall of Takanaka.

"Oh, and one more thing. After mastering your weapon's spirit you have gained access to it's true potential. You will not only be able to use the weapon's power, but also to call upon your spirit beast in times of need. The Weapons of Faith are able to distort the area around them, allowing for their master to create a small rip in time for the spirit beast to pass through. They may only stay here for short amounts of time but may prove useful in battle. There is a catch, however. As long as your beast is present in reality, you won't be able to use your weapon power. The spirit can only be used in one form at a single moment in time, so keep that in mind if you decide to call upon the beast. This is the [I]Familiar Technique[/I], the ability to call upon your spirit guardian in times of need."

As everyone became paralyzed by thought Sasurai interrupted the silence once again. "For now, we'll be splitting up. The Earth Castle is enormous and it's security is some of the toughest we'll encounter. One group will have to go around to the rear of the castle and make a stealth entry, killing off guards and anyone who gets in the way. The other group will do a full frontal assualt, creating a distraction to aid the other team in entering without being noticed. When the frontal assault is finished both teams will be able to enter the castle and work their way up to Lord Daichi. The frontal assault team, Team 1, will be made up of myself, Rafael, Senka, and Dorothy. The rear stealth team, Team 2, will consist of Tetsuya, Tomoya, Faith, and Rieur. Each team will be given a map with the quickest possible route to the castle, where we'll all meet up at the indicated marking. When Sakura and Tao finish they will be transported to Team 1, and when Hauken finishes he will be transported to Team 2. And now, it's time to go," he spoke with a laugh, gathering his team and waving to the others as they both parted in seperate directions. [I]Hope they'll be alright...[/I]

[B]OOC: Finally, everyone will be able to interact and do their own thing as we make our way to the first castle. Information on the surrounding area and techniques has been edited into the first post at the underground ([URL=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?p=670952#post670952][COLOR=White]click here[/COLOR][/URL]).[/B]

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[SIZE=1] OOC: PM me if things are wrong? I wanted to save it from death, though.

IC: ?Senka, Dorothy, and who?re you?? Rafael looked around quickly, trying to find the mentioned people. His eyes finally rested on Sasurai.

?I?m Sasurai, and you?re Rafael, I presume?? He sounded sure of himself ? a born leader, he quickly concluded.

?Yes. A pleasure to meet you, but I believe we?d best be off to the Earth Castle.?

?Enough talking, more action, people. Get with the program.? Again his head swiveled. His eyes were greeted by a girl who looked like she would eat Rafael?s aristocratic behind for breakfast.

?And are you Dorothy??

?Wrong. Senka.?

?Quite sorry, I didn?t mean to offend.? He quickly apologized, and finally turned his eyes upon the remaining member to the party. She looked quiet, gentle, completely unfit for battle. Rafael pushed his first impressions from his mind, understanding the fact that whomever could master their weapon was a fearsome warrior.

?I am Dorothy, pleased to meet you all.? She put on a polite smile, and said no more, waiting for direction. On that cue, Sasurai stepped up to the plate.

?Alright, now that we?re all acquainted with one another, time is of the essence. We?re going to sprint a few miles to Earth Castle. As I already told you, we?re responsible for launching a massive diversionary offensive. Meaning we?re going to be against impossible odds. Are you ready?? Everyone silently nodded, either gripping their weapon hilts a bit tighter, or clamping their teeth in a grim affirmative.

Rafael took a deep series of breaths, calming his mind for what he expected to be a difficult battle ? one he might not return from. The doors swung wide open, and it was a mad dash to the Castle. Sasurai stopped about three miles into the trip, everyone?s chests burning from the elongated sprints. Rafael breathed through his nose powerfully, as his father had taught him to do. Breathing through ones mouth inflicted a sick feeling upon the stomach.

?Do you see this? That?s Earth Castle,? he said, gesturing to the map he had unrolled, ?and we attack at this point. It?s going to be an all out melee, but you?ve got to watch one another?s backs and be certain that no one gets a spear through their lung.?

?Are we permitted to attack the castle if we can? Burn it down from the inside, more specifically.?

?Yes, but be fairly certain that the Chosen One and our company can make it out before the Castle collapses. Is that clear, everyone? Try not to damage the structural integrity until we can be sure everyone will make it out alive.?

A unanimous ?yes? followed. Sasurai nodded quickly, rolled up the map, and sprinted off. Everyone stayed together, at the same breakneck pace they had been at for another fifteen minutes before stopping at the edge of the tree line.

?So the trees stop here?? Senka asked roughly, the added ?Must mean Earth Castle cleared out the rest of the trees.?

?Probably to give them a better view of our approach, and allow for them a better bow-range. They?re going to open up as soon as we move from here,? Rafael observed, gazing at the magnificent castle.

?This is what you?ve been chosen for. This is your moment. Charge!? Sasurai yelled, and they all broke from the tree line towards the intimidating castle. Rafael spotted the black dots converging from the horizon.

?ARROWS! DODGE!? He yelled as loud as his tired lungs could afford. The sprint to their destination had fatigued him, but not enough to hinder his ability to fight. He unsheathed his dagger and rapier as the arrows got closer to them.

Finally, they hit, and everyone deflected them with their weapons, dodged, and used all their skill to evade the oncoming waves of arrows. After receiving many minor cuts along his body, they had closed the distance between them and the castle, and to Rafael?s dismay, saw armor clad soldiers marching in perfect rank and file towards them. He estimated their number to be nearly 1,000.

?Here?s where things really begin,? he said with anxiousness in his voice.[/SIZE]
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[color=darkslategray][size=1][i]Ah, young one...so powerful at...such a subtle age.[/i] Fenrir spoke, huffing and panting. Hauken was still in his fight, while a battle was ready to rage outside.

[i]Yeah, yeah. You've said that a million damn times![/i] Hauken had his Hyournimaru slung across his shoulders, one hand gripping the sharkskin hilt, the other resting on the blade, limp. He knew that something was getting ready to go outside, as the cool wind whipped inside. Slowly, Fenrir began to pace.

[i]Do you know why this place is so hollow and cold?[/i]

[i]Because yer name means Ice Ring?[/i]

[i]No. You still haven't forgiven yourself for your parent's deaths.[/i]

[i]What am I, some stupid protagonist that has a troubled past and doesn't forgive himself until some cruical plot point?[/i]

[i]In essence...yes.[/i]

[i]In essence my ass![/i] Hauken was slightly annoyed. He wanted to get to the battle that was outside, but he couldn't leave until he defeated Fenrir. So he better get some gas in his ass and start going. Without a word, Hauken displaced the energies of his body, and reassembled them behind Fenrir. [i]Sorry, doggy. Time to put you down![/i]

With a strike, Fenrir fell limp, his great hunter's eyes turning towards Hauken. Everything seemed like slow motion, as Fenrir's muzzle grew into a grin.

[i]Ah...you had 'nough courage to do the Displacement Step that your father taught...good. You've earned my namesake, now. Carry me well, Hauken![/i] With that, Fenrir faded into whispers and droplets of white snow that quickly melted. The cold winds kept tearing at Hauken's suddenly chilly flesh, and he was transported out.

Hauken found himself with a group of other people, Tetsuya, Tomoya, Fayth, and Rieur. His hand running through his hair, several snowflakes fell out, along with some earth. To get it all out, he gave a quick runthrough and shake of his white hair.

[b]"So, anyone wanna tell me what the [i]hell[/i] we're doing?"[/b][/color][/size]
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[color=#CC0000][SIZE=1]Tetsuya stared down at Hauken in disbelief. [I]We're supposed to be the stealth team...why did he give us him? [/I] Tetsuya wasn't annoyed, just a little suprised by their leaders decision. [I]Hauken's obviously a great warrior, especially for someone so young...[/I] But he appeared more like the full ot frontal assualt time. Regardless, Tetsuya was glad he was there. Something about the kid reminded him of himself when he was young.

[B]"Now that we've managed to prove out worth, we're on a quest to defeat the 5 lords underneath Tanaka. As they fall he will lose power, and the closest to us is Lod Daichi, so we're heading towards the Earth Castle. Once we defeat him, the Earth Castle will be our base of operations."[/B] Hauken nodded then looked around, scratching his head.

[B]"Where did the other's go?"[/B] Tetsuya didn't need to answer, as Tomoya took it from there.

[B]"We've split into two teams. One to attack from the front, providing a distraction for us, who will be sneaking inthrough the back."[/B] Hauken grinned and nodded. He put his hands behind his head and spoke.

[B]"Well, my name's Hauken. The rest of you?"[/B] Tetsuya smiled. The others sounded off their names after his.

[B]"Name's Tetsuya."[/B]

[B]"I'm Faith. A pleasure to meet you."[/B]


[B]"My name's Rieur. Extrodinaire Archer." [/B] Tetsuya walked to the front of the group and adressed them all after Rieur finished.

[B]"Seeing as we are now, for the moment, our own seperate guld of a sort, I think we need a leader. I think Tomoya would do a good job, but it's up to him."[/B] They all looked at Tomoya. He just shrugged and started walking.

[B]"Fine. Let's start moving through the forest."[/b] The thick forest laid in front of them, almost as if it had sprung up out of thin air. Tetsuya followed in pursuit, Hauken walked at his side, and Faith and Reiur walked together, talking. Tetsuya looked down at Hauken.

[B]"Your sword's beast...What was it?"[/B] Hauken grinned and patted his blade.

[B]"My beast was the legendary wolf Fenrir, and he lived out in the frozen tundra. I did him in though. Used my father's legendary technique. What was yours?"[/B] Tetsuya smiled.

[B]"The Dragon King Bahamut, and he resided in a high mountain top. He was an impressive advesary, and I thought I was done a couple of times during our bout. I finally defeated him by using his strength against him, and knocked him off the mountain."[/B] Hauken laughed.

[B]"Sounds awesome..."[/B] Hauken looked at Tomoya, then to Rieur and Faith, and then back to Tetsuya. [B]"Soooo...this is all of are destinies? We were all meant to go and help the Chosen One?"[/B] Tetsuya shrugged.

[B]"I suppose so. I believe it anyhow. And I promise that I'll protect that boy. My blade will be his shield."[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[center]Walking ahead of the group, Tomoya thought back to when they stood and introduced each other. He remembered the positions, the features, and the muscles that tensed and untensed within each person. He distinctly remembered Hauken, the youngest who ran in asking what they were supposed to be doing. He thought of Hauken as a hyperactive child who takes pride in his swordsmanship and in whom he generally wants to be known as- a great swordsman who has experienced something terrible but lives life to the fullest.

Then there was the male that was walking beside Hauken, the one known was Tetsuya. Tomoya couldn?t exactly pinpoint on who this male was but as he looked over the male, he soon realized that he was more of a solitary person who?s been through much and portrays himself as a wise, old sage who has been in many a battle yet speaks not a word of it for he respects what he does. Although, something hints to Tomoya that this young man hides behind this barrier, guarding off any worries or insolent words but somehow will break free from the barrier and open up, should the occasion arise.

Walking a bit further, Rieur stopped and listened to something whistling in the wind. Fayth stopped beside and stopped the others, who turned around and looked at the two women who stood there. The others wondered why she stopped and was trying to listen but she looked at Tomoya with a serious look on her face.

?Arrows are being shot from a high point beyond the forest.? Rieur listened to the arrows a bit more. ?I think we should get a move on towards the castle.?

Nodding, Tomoya let the blades in his glove extend and that cued for the others to ready their own weapons. He walked on with a faster pace but with caution, acknowledging to the others that they should head out towards the castle, if they wanted to help their comrades. He tried hard to keep his mind on the task at hand but was having a difficult time with trying to figure out what sort of people his team was. Knowing himself, Tomoya let himself think over the people before fully letting himself comply as to who the others were.

The next person that Tomoya thought of was Fayth, the other female who walked beside Rieur. To him, Fayth was a female who had an almost aristocratic atmosphere. Her pose spoke of the female as a quiet, yet polite woman who studied underneath the most famous of teachers but her demeanor said much more. It spoke of a kind hearted person who felt uncomfortable with large groups or with people she knew very little of, which would explain her silent eyes.

This then reminded him of Rieur, the female archer who had a keen hearing. Rieur was a happy-go-lucky person who looked like she was temperamental in many ways and could, in spite of how she looked, talk her way out of anything, even in the face of danger. She had a high sense of happiness about her and almost had an insanely joyous tone to her voice.

With so many thoughts running through his mind, Tomoya couldn?t hear the others speak to him but when one thought slipped past him, he distinctly heard Hauken.

?How far are we from the castle?? Tomoya looked down to the boy and saw his bright eyes looking up at him. ?Are we near it??

?Judging by our pace and the density of this forest, I?d say that we?ve passed the halfway point and are nearly there.?

Hauken nodded and went about his business, talking with Tetsuya. The chirpy boy reminded him of past times when he was a child. He dared not try to remember what his life was like back then but knowing that he was taken in and that his sister was living in paradise, just as he had always wanted her to live in. Sighing, Tomoya let his mind run back to the present and make him realize that they were already at the castle?s border.

?Prepare yourselves.?[/center]
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[color=royalblue][size=1]"Man, arrows are so annoying," Senka gritted out while ducked and weaving. She winced as one of the steel tips sliced a thin line on her cheek. The short kodachi were proving...not that helpful.

"Don't lose spirit! Don't lose drive! Keep going!" She could only assume Sasurai had spoken. What a leader. Even in the rough of battle he was still randomly yelling out lines.

"Aye mon cap'i'tan!" Senka couldn't help but yell out in response, finally deflecting an arrow. The group was slowly making its way towards the castle, but at an annoyingly slow pace.

"I feel like charging..." the one whom had introduced himself as Rafael said absently.

"I do too," the tomboy replied, swinging the kodachi quickly to block an arrow from becoming lodged into her knee. It would bite to have that happen. One wouldn't be able to move very well and blood would be gushing out from your knee.

There seemed to be a quick moment of silence. That was soon over as Sasurai shouted, "Push harder! Go for it!"

"...That just sounds bad," Dorothy said quietly while still battling on. It was actually kinda funny to see her fight...she looked very out of place.

[i]But the ones you least expect are the ones that kick ass...[/i].
"Just go! Goooooooo!!!"

And to the 1,000+ soldiers they ran. Arrows still poured down on them like sheets of rain. All the ducking and weaving in the world still wouldn't have helped them. The four suffered...well, lots of cuts. Nothing quite too serious.

"Where - are - those - other - guys?!" Rafael grunted as four men circled around him and began thrusting their blades towards him. He ducked and threw out his sword in a sweep, taking two men in the gut.

"Slacking - off!" Senka shouted, pissed.

"It's a girl!" one of the soldiers who had taken her on said.
"Of course! I have [i]these[/i] -" And she leaned backwards, showing off what she had meant to show.

Even after the first wave finished, there were still the next...and the next...and the next. And the next. And well, it just didn't seem to end.

"They need to get her...now," Dorothy said, much to the agreement of the rest.


Oi, that was too short. I can't think and I'm sore. But I guess it was something to keep group one going.[/size][/color]
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[color=Pink][b]OOC: [/b]Sorry I haven't posted in a long time.

Sakura was tired, her body ached from exhaustion and the cold weather didn't help her at all. She was leaning against her glaive for support, her eyes stared across the distance to make out her opponent, Chiméiteki, one of his wings hung limp against his side, but the other still stood tall.

Sakura saw Chi coming toward her and straightened quickly, she hefted her glaive up and held it by the bottom, she launched it high into the air, up and forward. Sakura then ran forward then changed, and started a series of flips. With the last one, she pushed up and did a spin, landing on his back again, then catching the glaive as it came back down.

Sakura thrust her hands into his thick fur, getting a tight grip as Chiméiteki bounded around, trying to dislodge her. She got used to the rhythm and brought her hand with the glaive up, she grunted and thrust the blade into his side deeply. The liger roared loudly in pain and collapsed to the ground, defeated. His blood stained the snow around him crimson.

Sakura jumped off the beast and helped it.

[b]"I-I'm sorry." [/b]she whispered.

The liger gave a kind smile and it dissolved. Sakura screamed, apologising again and again. She had killed him.

[b]"Don't worry, I'm fine." [/b]a voice boomed from behind her.

She whirled around and saw he was indeed fine. Sakura ran to him, her glaive forgotton in the snow. She buried her hands and face into his thick, warm fur and shivered.

[b]"You passed the test. You have the strength, power and abilities, and the compassion. I will be with you. Now go. You're freezing. I will see you again." [/b]he said kindly.

Her glaive floated over, and Chi disappeared. Her glaive then transformed, looking different. She smiled and felt herself falling again, like she had when she arrived in the frozen wasteland.

When she opened her eyes, she was with Sasurai, Rafael, Senka, and Dorothy. She shook her head and brushed at herself to remove the snow and she started rubbing her chest to regain heat she had lost.

[b]"C-Can someone tell me what's going on." [/b]Sakura shivered, her left hand holding onto her transformed glaive.
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