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Just a young gun... With a quick fuse. [Training | Alisa]

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#1Akira Shimada 

on Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:40 am

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At least this proved Tsuru trusted her, either that or his aversion to her weapon and the violence it was capable of, trumped his instinct to keep her within sights. Nonetheless, while she was surprised he'd let her off on her own, she wasn't complaining about the respite from the little house-arrest he'd set up. She waded through the people of the town, a strange itch in her palm for another chance to pull out that gun, to place her finger on the trigger... Had she been a little more expressive, perhaps the glee would be obvious on her face.

As the sky began the slow languorous process of pulling the inky-blue blanket of darkness over itself, Akira's mood and her spirit lifted. Even with the newfound element of light inside her, she was still habitually fond of the night.The girl wracked her brain to pick a destination for some target practice. The garden would be too crowded, would induce much panic too if she unholstered her gun amidst so many people... The streets were no good either unless she found the courage to go towards the outskirts, to the large desolated region where she'd met that earth mage... No, hell no.

Feeling uncharacteristically flamboyant and feisty with the new implement, Akira audaciously decided to take a turn for the famous Domus Flau. Under the spotlight of the moon, with an imagined audience of people who actually thought well of her and Akira could conduct her own little performance, play pretend to be a hero... At least in her own mind, at least this once. The arena was likely to be empty, and it would provide the space she needed...

But upon reaching, she realised how domineering the architecture of the place was... Her heart stilled, this seemed to be the place for legends. Her mind painted a legendary battle as her palms idly caressed the large pillars. She gulped and shuffled into the arena... A lone warrior. The moon had now climbed into the sky, it sat perched behind the constant stream of clouds.

The girl made her way to the centre and spun slowly, her eyes scanning the vacant stands, while her imagination created a hungry crowd... The lean figure pulled out a gun, only to realise she had nothing to aim for. In a morbid moment, she angled her arm downwards at the head of her own long, dark shadow.



#2Alisa Vollan 

on Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:33 pm

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WORDS: 500 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



Crocus was a troublesome place these days... Grimoire heart could attack at any time, either in broad daylight as flashily as possible, or under the dark of night... As a rule, Alisa hated wearing the same clothes over and over. Unlike how it may seem with her training regimen, the woman hated routines, sameness as a whole. At some point or another, she'd grow bored and dive headfirst into a sudden change. She couldn't do it here though; even though she rather liked her armor, the constant threat of attack meant she needed it close to her at all times. Fortunately, it didn't really look like armor so it wouldn't give her away, and it also didn't take too long to wash it.

That said, Alisa didn't plan on sweating into it this late afternoon, bearing weapons for her defense if attacked; heading to that specific place without her mind wandering to combat for long... As unusual as it may be... One would hardly guess they yet stood halfway through winter, under a soft, soothing sunlight and naught a breeze strong to whip her long hair along its path. A perfect day, now coming to and end under an equally perfect sunset; the most beautiful she'd seen since this year began now laid out for her admiring pleasure, courtesy of the rare, clear skies they'd had all throughout the day.

A dazzling array of colors, in a smooth gradient ranging between orange to violet, darker as the hours went by until nothing but pure, starlit onyx remained.

Naturally, she sought out the best place to watch the sunset, where she'd been sitting at for about an hour now: the arena of Crocus, Domus Flau. Absent any battles taking place there, the place looked pretty much abandoned, and with a battle coming to the capital in the near future, most folks no doubt believed they'd have enough fighting to last them a couple of months... Not that plenty of fights took place at this time of the day, not with such a beautiful sunset to look at.

Sitting there at the topmost stands with her legs crossed, in this attire, Alisa looked positively regal, if not for her very presence hidden under the roof, away from the moon's light. This didn't stop her from gazing up into the sky at times, and at others down at the arena, which had remained empty throughout this whole time. That was, until a lone female stepped inside the Arena, carrying what appeared to be a handgun. Curious, Alisa leaned in, resting her chin on the back of her hands. Was she here to fight someone by any chance...? If so, Alisa might be in luck.

"Hooo... I wonder what she might be up to...", mused Alisa. Though she went unnoticed by a good while, these inquisitive words caught her partner's attention.

Thus, Lumen returned it by lighting up the candle atop its head, until its light fully illuminated the statuesque woman sitting in the stands for whoever bothered to look.

Spoiler:

Name: The Ferryman's Little Light
Rank: D
Mana Cost: 25
Requirements: Litwick Magic
Type: Supplementary
Element: Light
Range: 5 Meters
Cooldown: 1 Posts
Duration: Sustain
Effect: Litwick flickers its light once by emitting a screeching sound after which the intensity of the light will light up the around him within a 5 meter radius.


Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#3Akira Shimada 

on Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:11 pm

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Akira had cocked her gun, then uncocked it... Which itself was quite a struggle, with a high risk of accidentally firing it... There was so much uncertainty in her head. The girl played with the safety instead, felt safer. The idea of the arena echoing with the blast of the gun... She wondered how noisy it would be, would it attract attention, the unpleasant sort? She bit her lip considering her options. The dual instinct inside her didn't make this any easier. Of course, the element of Light had to play the part of the angel on her shoulder Don't do it... A weapon must be released only in the case of utmost emergencies. Akira had a nagging feeling it was only because this particular gun was aligned more with the other element inside her... The darkness did encourage her, if every decision she made was going to be under scrutiny by her magic this way, she'd probably go insane. Maybe this was her own confusion, that she habitually attributed to her magic?

Nonetheless, she needed her indecisiveness to end. 'Shut up...' she whispered, to herself. Placing her finger on the trigger as she shuffled her feet, shifting her weight from one to another, her shadow moved in tandem, her arm tried to keep up with the gentle motion as she targeted the head of the dark shape. She decided to take a shot... but the gun just clicked and nothing happened. She'd forgotten that her little internal turmoil had ended with her leaving the safety on. She sighed, and dropped her hand, shaking out her limbs and readying herself again... safety off.

Just as she was about to pull her trigger, it looked like her shadow had multiplied... Given birth to another smaller shadow, which was a far gentler kind too, soft in appearance and almost at a right angle with the one made by the moon. She blinked a couple of times then squinted. There had to be another source of light, she scanned the arena again. On her right... On the highest rung made for the audience, she noticed a small flickering flame. She really wasn't expecting company, out of sheer will to intimidate whoever had decided to reveal themselves this way, she pointed her gun towards the dim light. 'Who's there?' she asked, trying to keep her voice steady. 'I'm warning you, I'm armed.' She wondered if her voice carried well enough to clearly pass her message on.



#4Alisa Vollan 

on Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:46 am

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WORDS: 450 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



The moment Lumen's flame shone a light on Alisa's presence, the woman reacted immediately. She seemed to be aiming at her shadow, reminding Alisa of that one childhood story her male friends liked; about the cowboy whose aim outsped his own shadow's. She looked rather pretty actually, a dark, sullen sort of beauty - her hair black as the night's sky and pale skin gleaming off the moonlight like the two belonged together.

Yet her movements, though focused, lacked steadiness: Though she obviously had an end in sight, the mysterious woman not yet grasped the means to achieve it. Perhaps by coming here, she'd finally perfect them...? Alisa definitely felt a hint of curiosity towards her, and still, that didn't make her take kindly to threats. Nothing did:

"Hmph... And why am I not surprised?", replied a sarcastic voice, that of someone who expected just about anyone to carry weapons with a battle to come, "Honestly, in this place, I'd be amazed if you weren't."

Clac... clac...

That distinctive sound of strutting heels echoed through the area as the woman stood up and climbed down to the edge of the regal stand she'd claimed as her own for the time being, flipping her long and lustrous raven hair once finally out from under the shadow and unto the moon's revealing light. There stood Alisa stood with a calm, determined poise, revealing how she too bore arms by resting her sword in front of her, her palms laid atop its hilt.

She measured the woman with a focused, unyielding gaze, yet showing no sign of hostility beyond a clear readiness to fight should the woman decide to use that gun in her hand. People carrying weapons was one thing... Yet she cared little for whatever motivations a random attacker may have. For all appreciation of beauty, Alisa still showed no mercy, and any offensive action would naturally warrant such a response of magic and steel.

Though the woman stood too far away to pose any serious threat to someone as fast as the sculptress, Alisa nonetheless measured the distance between them as roughly twenty two meters - eight meters height and fourteen meters apart - and allayed the woman's concerns as much as an aloof artist such as herself possibly could: "But rest assured... Whoever it is you're waiting to fight, I will not interfere."

Alisa considered the woman might be here to train alone, but this seemed like a somewhat awkward place to choose if one wished to be left alone. She found it far more likely the mysterious gunner had come here waiting an opponent. Lumen on the other hand, stood on the step behind Alisa, the rear glow further highlighting the woman's long haired, statuesque silhouette...



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#5Akira Shimada 

on Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:54 pm

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Akira's arm trembled, she felt the urge to whine about the rather pathetic state of her body. The girl was petite with a wiry frame. Even just holding up that gun for an extended period of time produced a nagging and unpleasant sensation in her muscles... A heaviness which made them ache a little from the exertion. I didn't go for a sword or something because I wanted the range and because I didn't think I had the strength to wield and swing swords... Now I can't even do this? Tch. Sometimes Aki found it easy to berate herself, the girl truly was topped with an incredible capacity for self-doubt and conflict, it wouldn't aid her in the wars to come.

Akira didn't respond to the woman's snarky comment, there was no need to, but by particularly singling out the need for a weapon in this place, Akira wondered if she was referring to the impending attack, maybe she could gather some intel? Tsuru wasn't here, which meant all the conversing was up to her, he'd be rather annoyed if she passed up the opportunity to glean information... But she usually made things worse. She cleared her throat noisily, but then the woman started moving. Akira grew tense again.

Gingerly and unsteadily, the barrel followed the motion of the woman, as she stepped down the stairs, with the clackity-clack of her footwear, and the personal candle-lit spotlight, the entrance was quite dramatic. She stopped about midway through the stands, now occupying the balconies constructed for the superior variety of the audience, the nobles and royals and such. Was this some kind of a hint? Akira raised an eyebrow almost lazily. With the distance between them now about 14 meters or so, barring difference in height which was probably about 8 meters, the dark-haired girl's expression was probably easier to identify, Akira had never been one to keep up appearances anyways...

The source of light was now distinguishable, it was a creature of some sort, like a... ghost of a dark candle? Looked pretty mythical, but accentuated the glint of the sword the woman held. 'I'm not waiting for anyone...' Akira admitted honestly, still keeping her gun levelled at the woman. 'Just here to practice... I guess could use an opponent or just something to aim at, really...' she added cautiously, her voice devoid of any particular excitement at the possible battle... She narrowed her eyes a little. 'But first, how do I know you're not the true enemy?' Akira's pessimism kept her on the edge, most would assume the woman was trustworthy since she'd made no offensive moves, but Akira had already had the misfortune of meeting enemies that had toyed with her... Her guard was definitely up. With her free hand, she ran her fingers through her sleek dark hair, the strands of which promptly fell back on her eyes, they didn't quite obliterate her vision, but they were annoying on the periphery...



#6Alisa Vollan 

on Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:36 pm

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WORDS: 530 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



She kept her barrel primed on ALisa and the sculptress kept her eyes and ears sharp, ensuring that any first shot would meet brutal retaliation. For now, no attack had come her way, and the answer to Alisa's comment revealed the her intentions: State something wrong, and an average person will inevitably correct it. This inescapable truth of human nature often provided a much simpler method of collecting information from unwilling strangers; far better than the simple question poking into their motivations. Of course, if she'd actually guessed correctly, Alisa could confirm that too simply by watching the woman's fight:

"You don't.", the aloof woman stated as blunt and to the point as she could. She had no interest in explaining her every intention or excusing herself to a complete stranger; her actions would speak for herself if need be. In the end, she didn't care if the woman trusted her, she knew her not nearly enough to do so, "But, the reverse applies to me; which leaves us at an impasse."

Alisa wouldn't so easily share information with someone who could be her enemy when the attack began, and clearly didn't feel the slightest bit threatened by the barrel pointed at her head. Quite frankly, only more and more annoyed the longer it went on, but her understanding towards the woman's reasonable doubts held it at bay. She much rather preferred a careful, suspicious ally than an overly trusting one. But this current place, this setting... Brought out the worst in Alisa's unyielding pride, an unbendable will of diamond. Note to self... Avoid standing dramatically on high perches such as this one.

"Now, what will you do? Open fire on a stranger, and deal with the aftermath?", inquired the sculptress, stern but cooly. If she did, Alisa would fight the woman herself, and have a taste of her power. Perhaps her apparent unease with a gun concealed an extensive, frightening skill in magic? Regardless, she had a better alternative if the woman really was just here to train like her words suggested, "...But if all you seek is an opponent, that can also be arranged."

She pulled up her sword, then knocked the butt onto the stone edge. And with a echoing, crackling sound, and steep, gleaming diamond staircase appeared in front of Alisa's feet, leading down to the arena. There, the glowing candle creature that had been standing next to the sculptress started hopping down, gradually transforming into a humanoid figured, a youthful girl in sports bra and yoga pants. Her shimmering eyes of amber locked onto the gunner woman, ready to spring to action at any moment as she'd descend down from the stairs and assess the battleground.

Spoiler:

Leftovers from the last great magic fight yet lingered the arena, with the occasional charred boulder and upturned land dotting the otherwise sandy battlefield - soft, but sufficiently firm sand to stand on without losing one's footing - while Lumen's opponent stood a scarce 10 meters away...



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#7Akira Shimada 

on Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:55 pm

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If only the woman would be straight with her, Akira could lower her gun. Feeling more and more exhausted, she hooked the palm of her free hand under the wrist of the weapon-wielding hand to help support and stabilize it. 'I honestly have no intention to fire unless you give me a reason to... The question was simply... are you going to give me a reason to?' Akira clarified, her eyes narrowing into slits. While this woman was no old hag... In fact quite the contrary, her features were sharp and adorned her face well... Aki could tell she was probably older than her. Age didn't necessarily translate into experience but it was safer to assume that it did, given the Shimada's relatively inexperienced state. The woman had dark hair much like Aki's but substantially different in length.

Akira was intrigued, to say the least, to find out what she meant, offering an opponent like that. The girls' palms were getting sweaty, but she tightened her grip when the woman relinquished her sword, only to dramatically let the hilt crack the ground. The girl couldn't care less about the integrity of old crumbly monuments, but it still made her wince to see the woman open a small crack in the stone. The flashy descent with the crystal stairs caused Akira to groan softly, her gun's movements were forced to become larger as the woman got closer. Ideally, I should just shoot before I get into sword's range, no? she thought, but she really couldn't bring herself to just fire, without a good enough cause.

Then her eyes widened as the candle-creature beside the woman, transformed... 'So there are two of you, well great... That's fair.' Akira grumbled. Raising her eyebrow a little, the girl attempted gleaning some more information, not that they were bound to give her any honest answers, she could just hope there would be some honour... 'I suppose she...' Akira used the pronoun tentatively 'is the target I get then?' The dark haired girl blew strands away from her face, they defiantly returned to their spots. With slight movements of her arm, her aim flicked from the woman with the sword, to her new sparsely dressed companion. She widened her stance a little, the ground underneath allowed it, some of the dirt collected on the edge of her foot as it shuffled and slid.

It wasn't out of some loyalty to the Knights that Akira held back her shots... Or was it? This was getting tiresome, the three shadows extended parallelly, just like the bodies that cast them. The woman seemed to be within the range of Akira's weapon. 'If this is some sort of a practice duel, shouldn't we introduce ourselves before we start?' Akira asked, hoping that the name would give some clue as to her allegiance. Maybe it would come attached with an epithet or some title. The Shimada had all intentions of revealing her own identity post the woman's introduction.



Last edited by Akira Shimada on Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:57 pm; edited 2 times in total



#8Alisa Vollan 

on Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:50 am

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WORDS: 500 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



As the dark haired woman expressed a desire not to open fire, Alisa didn't even doubt her. She hardly seemed comfortable with that weapon; even if she didn't trust the sculptress she'd probably prefer not having to depend on it. But if this woman was indeed an ally, with the war to some she'd need to get used to said weapon, just like Lumen would need to get used to her new body and the martial arts Alisa had slowly drilled into her. Granted, Lumen likely knew much of them from watching Alisa fight, long before acquiring this body

"Depends on what you consider a valid reason.", answered the smiling Alsia, obviously not aware how trigger happy the woman might be and not pretending to hide it either, "But I won't randomly attack you, if that's what you're asking."

Sharp as ever, she caught the woman now holding the weapon with both hands, betraying a need for both to better sharpen her aim. A subtle gesture, but one that indicated her lack of comfort with not only this weapon, but Alisa's distance; which further proved her inexperienced.

"Hoho~, target huh? How frank...", quipped the sulptress, laughing gracefully, her eyes shifting from lumen to the gunner and then back again, just as the former reached the sand and took her stance. Hands raised in front of her face, close to her body in a tight guard, leaving just enough space to see through.

She kept her body loose and legs bent, shifting her weight slightly from one foot to the next, yet despite the focused look, a smile yet adorned her face. Showing no animosity, but instead a sportsmanlike desire for a good fight. She assessed her surroundings, selecting a couple of paths where she could approach the woman from, without getting obstructed by a large rock...

Thus, she stood ready to dart in whatever direction the moment somebody sounded the starting gun... For lack of a gong or something perhaps more fitting.

At the woman's question, the Litwick's amber gaze turned almost apologetic, as she shook her head with a disappointed look. Never having eaten Navani leaves, she couldn't really talk despite possessing a human form. Thus, she communicated emotions mostly through facial expression and the occasional soft humming from her lips:

"You'll have to excuse her, but Lumen's far from the chatty type. I'm Alisa, however... How about you?", due to her partner's near muteness, Alisa took care of the introductions, her smile widening slightly for a somewhat more. Despite the epithet of White Empress, the sculptress naturally refrained for giving her name alongside such a boastful title...

Trading names, however, was a two way street, and despite Lumen's lack of speech, the sculptress made it a point to the woman the name of the fighter who she'd be facing on this arena.



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#9Akira Shimada 

on Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:43 am

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At least the tone of the conversation had veered away from the cautiously wary one that it had initially assumed. Akira accepted that response, the validity of reasons was often based on the constituency of the person, perhaps the Rune Knight had made her intentions clear with the lack of decisiveness... 'She is not just the product of some spell to transform inanimate objects into lifelike creatures and then into humans?' she asked tentatively for confirmation, she wasn't just about to try to blow a hole through a living creature.

From the way she referred to the transformed human, it became obvious that she was very much alive. 'I guess I mean she could hold up a target and run around or something...' Akira corrected, shrugging, a small smirk in the form of a half smile tugging at the one corner of her lips. The woman had taken her went onto introducing herself and Akira nodded in response, wondering where she'd heard that name before because it did sound familiar.

'I'm Akira...' she said introducing herself in kind, her eyes darting between the women as she lowered her gun, but not all the way to her body, it remained at about a forty-five-degree angle from her torso just in case this training started unexpectedly. 'So how about we go to either side of the arena and then since you aren't fighting, Alisa, you could mediate?' she said as she began backing away from the center of the arena, towards the circumference. Akira noticed the large rock on her left, about halfway between the end of the arena and its center, she wondered if Lumen would often use it for cover and try to jump attack her if she got into range...


As she reached the edge, she noticed the discoid corridor that ran under the stands, it was lined with large pillars, placed about three meters away from one another.  It extended about ten meters inwards, under the seating area, on all sides, She took her stance between two pillars of them. It was significantly darker in this passage behind her, considering the moonlight couldn't kiss this side thanks to its angle. Halfway through it, it was almost pitch black. A few vague ideas drifted into her mind, should she need to make a getaway... Although nothing was ever foolproof in a battle, options didn't hurt.

There was only one way to find out if she had it in her to strategize and fight an unknown enemy... from the beginning. 'Would you like to do the honors of commencing?' Aki asked in a mumble, but pretty loudly as nervousness began gripping her. Her voice echoed eerily as she raised her gun towards Lumen again.



#10Alisa Vollan 

on Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:30 am

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WORDS: 600 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



"I met her as a living candle.", Alisa explained, a graceful chuckle betraying her amusement at the question, "Before that, you'd have to ask her.", that challenge of hers received nothing but a smirk from Alisa, though the girl might not see it so easily, "Hmmm... I guess we'll have to see about that."

Clearly the woman had no lack of confidence, and though Lumen wasn't exactly strong, she was obviously experienced, something this opponent also had no way of knowing: She lived through dangerous, grueling battles alongside Alisa, and lived to tell the tale. Well, she couldn't really tell the tale, but she could draw it or something. Though she wasn't used to flying solo, knowing the sculptress stood only a scarce few meters away visibly inspired and reassured her, despite knowing Alisa wouldn't interfere after stating these two had the whole arena to themselves.

At her suggestion, however, Lumen reacted simply by scratching her head, and then shaking it. Why would they bother standing on opposite sides anyway? This suggestion pretty much implied the woman to have some means of crossing that whole distance, which most projectiles couldn't.

"Lovely meeting you~", a hint of that cool politeness peered through Alisa's stern posture, but then she was significantly nicer towards people she found beautiful

Akira huh... Pretty name. She made a mental note to tell her that later, but for now, she'd probably forget.Thus, while the Akira repositioned, Lumen merely held her ground as the distance increased to another twenty meters:

"Hardly a great need for that, but I'd set a simple rule... Whoever leaves the arena loses.", of course, she too noticed the dark passage leading into the arena, and how a gunner hiding there would hold a tremendous advantage.

In her shoes, Alisa would have naturally sought to exploit that opening, and she'd rather watch a fight that wasn't decided by someone running into a hole. The sands themselves, however still held sufficient lighting that neither side could complain about the darkness as an excuse if they lost, Lumen in particular who was a dark dwelling creature and could see better than most, even without her light...

"Mmm~", the little candle girl hummed, but Akira needn't ask her to start. The moment she pointed her gun again, Lumen started moving.

In a flash she moved about three quarters of a meter in a single diagonal dash, left and forwards. By lifting her lead foot at the same time as she kicked off with her rear, she maximized acceleration without the slightest bit of warning. This dash moved her about thirty centimeters to the left and the remaining distance forward, while the personified Litwick shifted her body into a more sideways stance, leaning back or forwards as needed to control her momentum and allowing her to chain one dash into the next one.

The sidestepping angle ensured she no longer stood in her foe's line of fire, while the short distance allowed her to quickly correct her trajectory as she chained the next dash right afterwards, this way ensuring she could constantly strafe away from the dark beauty's gunfire as she closed the distance between them, slow and steadily. By keeping her lower body loose and fluid, she could maximize her reaction time, and turn any possible advance into a feint depending on her foe's movement or lack thereof. Of course, she had no way of hiding her objective; stay away from the business end of that gun.



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#11Akira Shimada 

on Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:55 pm

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'I would if I could...' Aki responded jovially, perhaps her joke had been a little dark, considering her chosen opponent maybe sensitive to quips about her lacking ability in the speech department. The two women that had joined the dark haired mage, seemed so... sure of themselves, Akira couldn't help but feel a keen sense of envy. The girl definitely didn't exude this much confidence. 'Alisa what?' she asked casually, hoping a second name may shed light on why the woman's first seemed familiar... Specificity could always aid. Akira's eyes narrowed slightly as she a rather reserved, almost shy smile accompanied her nod in response to the woman's polite exchange.

When Alisa mentioned they didn't need to back away, Akira stopped mid-stride and planted her foot back on the ground, still a few meters away from the circumference. 'Oh... I see.' she said, wondering how a ranged battle was fair when they were up close, upon the second instruction, she felt blood rush to her face in embarrassment. So they knew what I could exploit. she thought, feeling a little like a coward. Briefly, she looked back at the escape route that had been denied unless defeat was conceded, with a slightly sullen expression, before turning to face the women again.

At least Akira's side was still shrouded in more darkness than the other, given the position of the moon casting large shadows of the arena. She was still visible though, her opposition wasn't squinting or struggling to see Akira's form. She waited for the well-sculpted creature to relinquish her weapon, the dark-haired girl did have concerns about where the weapon was concealed since the get-up was pretty skin tight... Unless... Wait, she's fighting without a weapon?!

Akira still had her gun up as the creature began hopping around making it rather difficult for the girl to aim, she bit her lip and closed an eye as she spoke. 'Are you really going to fight a gun bare-handed, Lumen?' while the creature couldn't speak but Akira believed she'd be able to decipher the response from the sound, she'd asked her question loud enough for Alisa to intervene if need be. It felt odd shooting at a seemingly defenseless target, but they'd agreed upon commencing the fight already and by the way, her opponent was dodging things seemed to be in motion already.

Focus Aki, she could pull something out and throw it at you anyway... she thought. As she began walking closer to her target. They were still about twenty-meters apart. Her finger hesitantly flicked the trigger, while she tried maintained her aim at the largest area of the creature's body... The torso. Akira still didn't shoot, if they really were going to battle with her being able to use a ranged weapon, she could wait to see and learn how her opponent chose to close the gap, should she ever find herself in such a seemingly unbalanced situation. None the less Akira changed her stance too, her objective would be to maintain the range advantage then, till she found a way to land a steady aim.

A few new strategies flitted to her mind as her eyes swiftly darted from her opponent to her surroundings, as hand moved in tiny jerks to keep her aim.



#12Alisa Vollan 

on Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:00 pm

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WORDS: 500 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



Unlike what one may think, Lumen cared very little if people teased her, and thus showed virtually no reaction to the comment on her lack of speech. In return, Akira remained focused on Alisa as the only one who actually could answer... And promptly asked Alisa for her last name. She'd point out her self entitlement in asking for her full name without giving hers first, but instead, the sculptress had something else in mind:

"You really want to know~?", the amusement faded soon enough as her gaze narrowed, a collected but serious tone appearing on her face, clarifying how Alisa wasn't really the type to lie after a statement such as this, "Fine, I'll tell you if you beat her."

For a moment though, the sculptress had to wonder if the girl was really thinking she'd depend on that strategy to win. If she did, Lumen could most easily defeat her and Alisa would put this whole encounter behind her. Of course, merely beating Lumen was hardly that big an accomplishment for someone who a decently strong mage, especially one with ranged spells at their disposal. As she soon noticed, Lumen had no weapons of any kind, and as she'd soon find, no offensive spells either.

"Mhmm..!", she nodding with a determined look in her eyes. Clearly she never intended to fight in any other way, not because she didn't know how, but because she couldn't. However, she was a nocturnal creature, and this limited amount of light sufficed for her to see without needing the assistance of her light... Which she used mostly to help other people see anyway.

Even as Akira approached her, Lumen's actions didn't stray from what she first did. Chiefly among the monolithic obstacle she'd face in this fight stood the woman's line of fire, so she moved away from it at every turn while steadily approaching with each step. Yet holding on to an absence of a pattern occasionally forced her to to change direction and move in front of her foe's dangerous gun. On these occasions, she'd dash in the opposite direction of the motion of her arm mere instants before the pointed at her; forcing her to readjust, taking less than a tenth of a second to clear the danger zone and thus giving the woman no time to react. Lumen achieved this by getting a feel of the woman's jittery adjustments in aim, courtesy of her experience fighting alongside Alisa.

Despite not changing her actions since the beginning of the fight, Lumen made full use of her awareness of the terrain to steer her approaching foe closer to where she wanted her; this way, she'd steadily closed the gap to roughly nine meters... By maneuvering somewhere devoid of obstacles within ten meters, she could then gradually shorten the distance no matter where her foe went, and never letting her out of her sight.

Once she got to this point however, her strafing dashes grew faster, with near perfect diagonals no greater than one meter. Yet the woman still hadn't taken a shot... Would she do so now that Lumen crept closer with every step?



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#13Akira Shimada 

on Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:42 am

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Akira wasn't too fond of challenges that revolved around battles, perhaps because she never considered herself to be good enough. The girl lacked the drive to best others unless something grand was at stake. While she liked the idea of being able to scratch this mental itch that she had, created by the seeming familiarity of the name, it definitely wasn't enough to make her try any harder than she already was trying. The mage stopped moving, her motion was not helping her in steadying her aim on an already moving target, despite her slow walk being mostly in a straight line for a few meters.  It left Akira about seven meters from the circumference.

Trying to keep track of all the continuous motion was almost making Akira dizzy and nauseous. Eventually though she began noticing certain patterns and it became quite apparent that the well toned creature was just going to skip around till she could close the distance. It must have been apparent that the lunar mage was struggling, there were such apparent expressions of mild smugness on the faces of her new opponents. Maybe she was imagining it, maybe it was just that in contrast to her own struggle, they seemed rather comfortable.

Akira chewed on her lip having assessed the pattern but realized that there was still a very high chance that she would miss her attacks at the rate the little lady was moving... Especially if Akira used her smaller bullets, they'd be rather easy to avoid. The only cover for the creature though, was now quite far behind the woman... that lone boulder still on Akira's far left. Feeling a little lost and suffocated in anxiety, as the possibility of a fist fight became more and more imminent, Akira did something rather impulsively.

While the woman was now almost just about eleven meters away, still dashing from point to point, Akira swiftly dropped the angle of the gun, it didn't take much time, since she wasn't particularly aiming for anything except the general region under the martial artist's feet. A dark sphere escaped the barrel of her gun, shooting forth and landing somewhere between the creature's feet. Upon coming into contact with the ground, it exploded. Just after taking her shot, Akira had dashed backwards a few meters, ensuring she still remained out of the range of dark explosion that followed the impact between the small sphere and the ground.

She squinted as the blackness around them intensified briefly, making it difficult for the rays of the moon to battle the dark sphere created by the explosion. Soon it disappeared though. Akira felt guilt wrap its fingers around her heart... It felt all great and mighty while she'd shot, as her single minded focus had been to get rid of the possibility of avoiding the incoming assault at any cost. Now that the deed was done, the cost did seem to outweigh the threat. Akira wasn't sure if her attack had truly been successful, but from the dimensions of that explosion, escape would have probably been unlikely. She hoped Alisa and Lumen had a reason for their confidence and had managed to at least mitigate the life threatening aspect from her shot.

The idea of using a powerful weapon, was better than actually having to employ it and cause harm, especially just in a state of panic while training. Ok no, new rule... avoid gun usage... feels like crap later. she thought as she scoured the area to glean information on what exactly had transpired. If Lumen had avoided the attack, Akira would just surrender, she didn't have much else up her sleeve and the guilt that the dire possibilities summoned, had drained her of her will to use the weapon. 'A-Are you alright?' she tried, meaning to reach out both to the creature and the woman. Akira still teetered around the edge now, in case the woman got mad at her careless decision, this would no longer be training and Aki would have to try make her escape...



#14Alisa Vollan 

on Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:41 am

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WORDS: 550 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



She just wasn't fast enough. Lumen clearly saw her foe aim down for the first time, and fully understood how someone's feet wasn't nearly as easy a target as their torso. If doing so weren't sufficiently indicative of her intentions, the way she ran back after taking the shot made her intentions as clear as the midday sun. But simply knowing what will happen next matters little if you can't keep up. Even though she had enough time to run forward and sidestep the bullet halfway through, she couldn't make it to her foe's position in time.

Not knowing the size or nature of the attack, Lumen knew the safest place was next to the gunner herself, seeing unlikely that she'd shoot from so far away if hitting herself with her own spell were an option. Thus, Lumen was running forward when the explosion knocked in the same direction: Not taking at point blank definitely helped mitigate the damage, but did nothing to prevent the girl from being flung forwards with a sharp cry, enveloped in a cloud of dust. And she wouldn't get up from that:

"My, how excessive... Well, I'll give you points for being thorough.", stated Alisa, betraying a hint of concern for her partner's condition but not enough to hold it against the woman. Deep down, she obviously felt her protective instinct crying out for payback, yet rationally, she remembered how she'd offered up her partner as an opponent, and the Litwick herself accepted that arrangement. She'd leave it to Lumen herself to seek payback once she'd grown stronger...

Thus, she started casually walking down to the arena, yet unlike how she did with Lumen she didn't bother conjuring a set of stairs, instead simply walking down the vertical wall. At least that's what she appeared to be doing, but the gleaming moonlight beamed off small, crystalline protrusions forming on the wall beneath her feet, providing a steady footing where none existed.

Alisa walked through the arena, quickly reminding where she'd last seen a gun like that with equivalent explosive capabilities: Baron's gun. Yet his gun was white, hers was black, a difference in color that also applied for the projectiles they shot. Regardless, Alisa yet remembered the woman's position and even though she couldn't see her, she yet stood far away enough that her idle left arm could bend at the first sound of gunshots, forming an impenetrable barrier even a spell that large couldn't break through...

As the dust finally cleared, Alisa could see Lumen knocked out a few meters ahead - back in her small, Litwick form - with a rather regretful looking gunner asking her if she was alright. How kind of her:

"Lumen is attuned to darkness. This much damage might knock her out, but won't permanently injure her.", Alisa explained, approaching her partner's small form. She picked her up, cradling her adorable partner in her arms, held softly against her bosom. She'd smile as she pet the small creature affectionately, hoping the painful experience would make her stronger in the long run. She shifted her gaze halfway between Lumen and the woman, and true to her word, finally gave her name, "Alisa Vollan.", she'd say, flashing a far cooler, more welcoming smile than she'd shown thus far



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#15Akira Shimada 

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:04 am

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The night was gifted with a perfect silence. After the creatures outcry. Akira stood frozen momentarily, reassessing her actions. only her hair fluttered in a gentle breeze, it tickled her skin and coaxed goosebumps. To be fair, those could also be from the uneasy eerie sensation that had taken hold of her. Was she so easy to corner? Was it so easy for her to fall back upon something foolproof, even when the objective was just to train? She wasn't the sort to crave victory enough to pull such tricks out of the bag, the impulsivity had been borne out of the loss of strategy. Akira made it a point to work on this.

Akira drew a long and shaky breath of air, sputtering briefly upon having inhaled the fine sand, that hung like mist in the air. At least that snatched her out of her reverie. Oh please don't tell me I... I didn't end up murdering the creature did I? she thought to herself, as the girl gathered herself up, post the little fit. Her wide eyes peered into the distance. As the dust settled, and no one from the opposition seemed to have indulged any vengeful desires, she braved slinking towards the possibly wounded. Swallowing the wad of guilt that seemed to be growing ever larger.

Her head snapped to the woman, with slightly narrowed eyes she watched Alisa's motions like a hawk. While perhaps not vindictive, the woman didn't look thrilled either. Alisa had either evaded the explosion or swiftly defended herself against it... Or perhaps it was the armor. Nonetheless, Akira was a bit in awe of her capabilities or possessions. Now that there was no more need to spectate, Alisa descended again, gracefully and with ease, despite not using the staircase provided or using her own magic to create any. The battle seemed to have reached its conclusion, perhaps as swiftly as a skirmish between a ranged mage and a brawler should...

She heard the critique and cocked her head. Akira raised her hand to the run her fingers through her hair as she assessed the edged compliment. Perhaps it made sense for the lady to grade this fight, she did seem far more experienced after all. Yet it irked the Shimada a little to have her victory reduced this way, even though Akira deserved that evaluation, considering that she had used an unnecessarily immoderate blast and hardly even given Lumen a fighting chance. Conflicted, she refrained from responding and turned her gaze towards the fallen opponent.

Akira watched as she transformed back into her original form - now the slightly worn and unconscious candelabra. For some reason, it was more difficult to empathise with her in this form than in it was in her human form. She waited for Alisa to join them and analyze the state of her companion. Upon the clarification provided, that Lumen was indeed fine, Akira sighed with relief. 'Phew... I didn't... I guess this was one way to aim?' she quipped, with a quivering smirk.

'I'm glad she'll be alright...' The lunar mage knew she probably should have apologized, but that had never been her strong suit, that was the best she could muster. She shrugged a little and resumed chewing her lip. Her eyebrows creased, when Alisa gave her name, it definitely rung bells. It was someone from another guild too, definitely not a fellow Knight, but Akira didn't feel the need to cringe, so probably wasn't from fairytail... Probably not a dark guild either... 'Akira Shimada' she responded in kind, not that it would matter, it was unlikely the other woman would know her. 'I swear I've heard that name before...' she admitted out loud. '... or read...' she muttered, more to herself this time. 'Are you from Blue Pegasus? Lamia Scale maybe?' she asked.



#16Alisa Vollan 

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:31 pm

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WORDS: 500 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



Akira naturally followed Alisa's approach and rightfully so. Had such an attack struck her or her partner outside of a training environment, she'd have obviously retaliated. Her explosion reminded Alisa of Baron's own attack, in fact they looked nearly exactly alike, despite opposing colors and elements... The outcome had been drastically different, however, as Baron had been fighting Alisa herself and not Lumen; unlike Akira he instead aimed directly at her - making it ridiculously easy to dodge - and got a slash to the chest for his troubles. He was fine after the whole thing ended, though not for lack of complaining of about potentially lasting damage.

Whoever said something about not bringing a sword to a gunfight?

As she approached her, Alisa kept her eye on the gun, fully aware of how someone might feel wary about dealing with another person after gravely injuring their partner. Thus, any preemptive attacks wouldn't really surprise her, though the odds of one coming her way lessened more and more as time went on. Though she appreciated the woman's visible relief, her little jest earned a hint of annoyance from Alisa, who nonetheless betrayed none of it. Thus, she returned Akira's quip in kind, though granted, she'd find it next to impossible to see it as such courtesy of a unbreakable, diamond clad poker face:

"Well, if you had killed her, I'd have had to kill you.", the sculptress replied with surprising cool, her faint smile not fading for the slightest of moments. For most people, the only truly unsettling bit of Alisa's nonchalance came from her ability to issuing such statements without the slightest change in expression. And she obviously knew it, and soon calmed the woman down with a wink, "Just kidding~ Lumen won't die so easily."

Considering what she'd seen thus far, she was pretty sure that comment would provoke a response, hell, she'd even pause for a moment, waiting for it before reassuring her no grudges were held. Trigger happy she may be, Akira didn't really look like an unpleasant to person to be around, Alisa just happened to very protective. It took her the better part of a year to finally allow her partner to fight for herself, in the name of letting her grow stronger. True to her northern blood, that affectionate way she cradled her injured Litwick all but resembled a ferocious mother bear shielding her young. That palpable image she evoked scarcely resembled the overall cool and rational aura she otherwise projected...

"Rather lovely to meet you.", and this wasn't even a lie, even though one might think she was just being kind. When Akira mentioned Blue Pegasus, however, Alisa nodded, "Blue Pegasus... How about you?"

She'd tilt her head slightly and narrowing her eyes, as if scanning the woman head to toe could reveal any more than her beauty. Lamia Scale? Perhaps even Phantom Lord? She looked almost too nice for a Dark Mage, yet Alisa tried to keep her prejudice at bay as much as humanly possible.



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#17Akira Shimada 

on Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:52 pm

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The girl had just begun warming up to the woman, as she cradled the creature, offering her comfort and care. Lumen was nestled between Alisa's arms and her chest, like a sleeping baby, although the candle-being was ominously stiller. The Shimada found herself wishing wellness to it, silently. She watched the woman nurse her companion, of course, her eyes couldn't linger too long, it'd be embarrassing if her gaze was misinterpreted...

Instead, she observed the woman's face, it remained quite impassive but a flicker of protective concern would occasionally grace it... The moment was gifted with a strange beauty. Akira holstered her gun, and folded her forearms over one another, grasping gingerly below her shoulders. It was nice to see such gentleness and consideration pierce through the cold demeanor that Alisa donned like an icy armor. Made the seemingly stoic woman, more human. The loving gesture towards the being was enough to navigate through Akira's own pessimistic outlook, the one that painted everyone as self-serving and vicious. Now Alisa had a shot and Akira almost cracked a smile.

And then she took the shot, just verbally of course, but the intent was scary.

The girl's eye went quite wide at the threat, her hands quickly unclasped and now were placed on her hips to provide her ease of access to her gun, again. Her breath hitched, her eyebrows arched as she peered into the woman's face for clues. When finally she was rewarded for her resilience and patience with a wink, Akira sighed softly. 'Had me there, but in all fairness, I'd expect nothing less...' Akira remarked,  with a straight face, despite actually being amused at her own. She felt almost duty bound to encourage or at least notify the woman that she respected the undercurrent of protection in that statement, vengeful as it may be, it was honest.

Akira dropped one eyebrow, a little more skeptical of the woman's assessment of their encounter, but the meet had taught her things about herself, so Akira was grateful. 'Likewise...' she said softly, skirting around the duo to go sit down on the lowest stone step of the arena. When the woman confirmed she was from Blue Pegasus, it finally came back to the dark-haired mage. Ah! I'd read her name in the logs, of those that had agreed to join in and defend Crocus... She's a pretty high ranked mage, if she wanted to take me down, I'd be dust in a matter of moments. Akira thought, gulping at the thought that she had considered barely avoided a dispute with the woman. Another sigh of relief escaped her lips.

'I'm with the Rune Knights.' she responded a little dully. Still unsure of her place amidst the ranks. 'Probably shouldn't be though...' she whispered more to herself, but in the silence that the night lent to the arena, Alisa probably caught her words. Akira slipped her hand into her pocket to habitually relinquish her pack of cigarettes, she placed one in her mouth, rolling the butt between her lips as she looked for her lighter, feeling around for it in a rather distracted manner.



#18Alisa Vollan 

on Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:27 am

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WORDS: 500 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



As she cradled the injured Lumen against her tender bosom, she obviously noticed how Akira avoided looking at the small candle, or rather, where she'd come to rest. Far too accustomed to others either looking there or unnaturally keeping their gaze away, she also had all the confidence she needed to find amusement there. And in the end, It seemed like Alisa could satisfy any vindictive whims simply by teasing the girl, a far preferable way of going about it for a moody but reasonable woman like herself.

With an elegant chuckle, her smile widened every so softly, a faint, scarcely detectable hint that on some level Alisa related to this woman. She obviously understood how the desire to shield one's loved ones turned into a desire to strike out at them: That alone hinted at the unlikelihood of a Dark Guild affiliation, for even though some of them understand this desire towards their own friends, they seldom have the ability to emphasize with the same feelings from strangers. Besides, she wasn't one to toy with her opponents either, and while Lumen never had that luxury here, Alisa drilled that same notion into her as well, for her own protection.

But then she mentioned her affiliation, visibly surprising the sculptress who had so far built a somewhat rebellious image of the girl before her, "Indeed...", Alisa nodded, actually vocalizing her surprise for once, rubbing her temple with a baffled look on her face, "You hardly look the type who could handle all the bureaucracy..."

And she definitely didn't look like she had any patience for all the red tape involved with the job; especially considering her fighting style. But she also knew plenty of people broke that stereotypes and joined the Knights, and those were the few among which Alisa actually respected. When the short haired gunner finally walked past her, Alisa finally got a real grasp of the difference in height - almost a full feet difference - forcing her to look down slightly if she wanted to meet her gaze. Thus, she appreciated when they moved elsewhere to talk, and went along sitting a rock near the edge of the arena: There, the leggy, statuesque woman could cross the main culprits for that difference in a similarly graceful yet more relaxed pose compared to the stern one when she stood at the edge of the arena.

"Knowing that, whatever drove you to enlist...?", she indulged in her curiosity as she so often did, raising an eyebrow and fully understanding Akira would likely not answer her, just as Xandra hadn't despite their closeness.

She also made a mental note to point out the girl's smoking habit wouldn't really favor that otherwise smooth skin, pushing it aside for the time being in favor of other matters. All the time, she'd shift her arms every so often, gently rocking her unconscious partner until she finally woke back up...



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#19Akira Shimada 

on Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:08 pm

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Upon passing the taller woman, Akira had not noticed how she towered over her, simply because she'd been too focused on trying to locate her lighter... Even if she had, Akira was rather accustomed to being the tinier one among people, so it would matter to her lesser than others... At least sitting down would hopefully level things a little, put the encounter on an even keel. She wondered if the woman would join her... Or just leave the young girl to her own devices.

Upon perching herself on the hard stone, she finally found the lighter, and released it from her pocket and began flicking the metal roll required to create the spark, that would kindle the slow release of the fuel... For some reason, her hands were a little shaky. She held up the other hand, to protect the flame that finally erupted from the device as she gingerly guided the cigarette to the blazing fleck, using her lips. Once lit, she drew a customary practiced drag and billowed the smoke straight away, careful to not to actually inhale any. Usually, the tactic was to keep people at bay... But it was almost like a habitual defense mechanism now. Akira had, from observation gathered that chain smokers resort to it when they feel stressed... So perhaps it made sense.

Alisa must have heard Aki's verbalization of her doubts considering her affiliation with the Knights. The dark mage had expected words of reassurance, it is what would be expected from encounters between strangers, so when Alisa didn't stick to the script, Akira was pleasantly surprised, honesty was always appreciated. She turned towards towards the woman, after having plucked the cigarette from her mouth, to prevent the possibility of accidentally blowing smoke in Alisa's face. Akira waited for an explanation. Alisa seemed to have gauged that much pretty correctly. A soft chuckle escaped her lips as she turned away again, to take another drag and then respond. 'Yep, they do have a lot of that...' she agreed pensively, recalling the form she had to fill just recently to rise in ranks to apprentice.

As Alisa walked closer and asked her next question, Akira wondered how much did she want to know. 'Well... Long story short, I applied for a certain guild, but someone I met on my way to the interview for the guild, basically said he knows the guild well and that I'd never make it... So I decided to save myself the trouble and enroll as a Rune Knights... They seemed less picky and I needed a job...' she explained, she didn't really want to name that stupid elitist guild, and from her encounters with the people in Magnolia, she had realized she wouldn't have been a great fit after all. She spoke while staring vaguely into the distance, as though watching a boring duel in the Arena. 'But that's been a bit of a drag too... Considering their aversion to my original elemental affinity...' Akira added, after a brief bit of silence.

Slowly she turned to the woman and echoed her question, 'What about you? What made Blue Pegasus a good choice?' Akira asked, displaying polite intrigue, it was rare for her to sit and chat with people, but this woman seemed blunt and that made it much easier. 'Lumen is already stirring...' Aki added, perhaps redundantly, but she felt the need to announce the well being of the creature she'd inadvertantly knocked out, as the candle's bluish flame flickered.



#20Alisa Vollan 

on Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:09 pm

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WORDS: 600 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU



Without thoughts of battle clouding their minds, the two women could finally open up and strive to understand each other, if only a bit better than they previously did. That said, the sculptress felt positively surprised the woman actually opened up to her; most people she met were secretive about their motivations, and now here was a girl who looked no less reserved, and yet decided to share something about herself. Thus, Alisa listened attentively, putting pieces together and gradually learning more about her.

As it appeared, the Rune knights had only been her second choice, after she attempted to join an unmentioned guild, yet one that didn't really sound like any Light Guild Alisa knew of:

"If you really wanted to join it, you could have seen for yourself first.", Alisa commented, shrugging, noting how she placed too much trust in someone else's words... But then, Alisa didn't know how what manner of relationship Akira had with this person, though she pretty much implied them being some stranger she met rather than a friend she met up with. But her final remark got a playful quip from the sculptress, "Less picky huh... What a lovely Guild it must be if it makes the Knights seem welcoming~"

Alisa obviously had no love for the monarchy, the system which she felt had failed her too grievously to be forgiven. For years she sought vengeance with her own hands against a foe the Knights couldn't (or wouldn't) pursue, which embittered her against the values they claimed to uphold, but seldom did in practice. Yet Uncle Gottfrid - her teacher, caretaker, and Rune Knight himself - yet stood among the fairest, most honorable people she knew. That contradiction allowed the sculptress to respect people like Akira, even while loathing her organization. In the end, it felt nothing short of ironic how she picked the Council when looking for something less elitist, considering the reluctance they have in allowing anyone that doesn't conform to their standards. And Akira, with her dark, gritty style and darker choice of weaponry, must have undoubtedly struggled to fit in.

"Let me guess... Darkness?", she asked, raising an eyebrow with that sharp, deductive look, fully aware of how the law accepts just about every form of magic except for that one element. Regardless, her next question meant Alisa's turn had came, her turn to stare off into the distance, or, in this case, the gleaming moon above, "Good question... I had plenty of reasons at the time, none too big to decide it on their own. But if I had to pick one, I'd say they made me see the beauty in the world, as cliché as that may sound. More importantly, they made me feel beautiful.", spoke the sculptress almost absently, before looking back at Akira, tucking a loose black lock behind behind her ear with a soft smile, then returning that hand to cradle Lumen.

She didn't feel like telling her how dark mages killed her mother and turned her life upside down, how that event made her spend the better part of her teen years seek revenge. The Pegasus mage who said her magic was art, Master Lance who helped her see the world beyond her lust for vengeance... All in all she owed them a debt she could never repay, which ironically meant she had to find Lance's killer. With this unyielding resolve, Alisa not for a second considered it might be out of her hands...



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#21Akira Shimada 

on Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:50 pm

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'Maybe... I should've...' Akira muttered, in passive agreement with the concept of being a little more driven about achieving her goals, as per the woman's suggestion. 'But from what I've seen of it, those stuck up members and the hero-worshipping town they're in, I'm glad I saved myself the trouble.' Akira added, her bitterness lanced from her poorly enunciated words, now that the cigarette was back between her lips. She didn't even bother pretending to puff, now that she had lit it, she just let it sit there and slowly turn to ashes that the gentle breeze carried away from the duo.

Akira scoffed, sensing the sarcasm in the woman's voice, shrugging casually in agreement. She usually didn't need to mention her elemental affinity, she accentuated it with the way she dressed, another tool to keep people at bay. It was a good way to already announce the characteristic of her magic, so they could come to any assumptions they want about her without even needing to interact because no matter what the conversation, most people found a way to alienate her upon learning about the darkness she wielded anyway... So her eyebrows rose when Alisa mentioned it with relative ease, no repulsion, and no fear. Akira just gave a slight nod.

'They had a special welcoming party just for me...' Akira recounted, as she finally took a drag from the cigarette, held it in her mouth and blew it all out, angling her face away from the fellow mage and her injured companion. 'A high ranking light mage to greet me and show me the way... By knocking me out...' Akira grimaced, as memories of her encounter with Alice flooded into her mind, the one that had ended with her on the floor. 'Jokes on them, I'm not all darkness now...' she almost whispered, more to herself again, than Alisa.

She wasn't sure she could rationalize the strange way, that two conflicting elements resided in her, so she could now, to some extent, wield them both but at a pretty high cost. Nor could she exactly explain how she got them and the dreadful fight it involved... That nerve-wracking fight with the earth mage, that had left Akira feeling like a ticking time bomb. That followed by the awkward meeting with the Ko-Wa woman, the ritualistic and probably religious healer... Who had actually miraculously aided Akira in gaining some measure of control over the light. The mage shivered a little, the conversation had evoked some memories she was hoping to bury, in vain, unfortunately, because they were still pretty fresh. Perhaps, it was just easier to be a fair conversationalist and offer her an ear now.

Slowly, she turned to face the woman, as she awaited the answer. Her eyes still flitted away ever so often, almost as though too much eye contact was difficult for her to manage with strangers. But her eyes lingered on the woman at the mention of beauty... How she was slowly taught to appreciate that by her guild and find it for herself. 'The latter shouldn't have been a struggle.' Aki said impulsively, not even realizing that she had just bestowed a compliment, as she held the woman's gaze just a little longer before tearing away. Akira now stared at the void overhead... Both her hands planted behind her, as her neck rolled backward over her shoulders. The dark sky pierced by moonlight...  

'So what exactly drove you to come to the Crown's aid?' Akira asked, now curious, wondering if she'd find something that'd make the woman stumble of the pedestal Akira slowly saw her climbing in her mind. 'Are you all protective of the royals?' she added, a little sceptically. Had it not been almost a job requirement for the Knights and had it not involved the death of innocents, she'd let the Crown getting whatever they had coming...



#22Alisa Vollan 

on Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:48 pm

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WORDS: 700 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU




She didn't even try to hide her resentment, but then, why should she? From her description, this guild sounded too decadent to be worthy of respect, to value their prejudiced ideas of heroism over the each individual person hoping to join them. Their prerogative of course, but to think themselves better than those they didn't choose... How loathsome... Thus the sculptress could merely shake her head.

That dismissive look spoke volumes and Alisa leaned back slightly. Resting one hand behind her, she leaned on it while the other kept gently rocking her unconscious partner up and down. That said, Alisa also knew better than judging someone's magic by their choice of clothing; a rather daft assumption to make in a world of mages, where deception and misdirection are the main operative words. Indeed, if there was something in her tale that brough a deep sense of revulsion, that only came when she explained the kind of welcome they'd given her. Her brow twitched in annoyance, knowing moronic receptions such as those only justified those who believed Dark Guilds were better than anything related to light:

"Power is simply power... But I never really expected the Rune Knights to understand that.", she sighed, betraying a hint of exasperation, like someone who at some point might have tried to argue otherwise only to feel she was pretty much talking to a brick wall, "Only cowards fear power they themselves cannot wield."

Gracefully crossing her legs the other way, she looked at the woman curiously, wondering just how deep this disagreement with her superiors truly reached... Of course, she also understood how some breeds of power can pose a greater challenge to one trying control them and not be controlled by them... But this only meant potential users needed greater skill, wisdom and experience before attempting such a feat. Alisa herself felt this way towards Esperia's demon Take Over, how she was too inexperienced to try and tame a Demon Lord... Simple darkness magic, however, was a whole other matter; only prejudice may deem that power as unfit for usage.

"Ara... Flatterer~", Alisa giggled, yet nonetheless shot Akira an appreciating wink, unsure if she'd actually spot it with how often she looked away. She did obviously appreciate praise, visibly so with the shifting of her position, holding Lumen closer against her bosom while freeing the other hand to tuck away those loose strands of raven, as the casual, passing breeze so insisted in liberating.

It hadn't been nearly as easy as she might have thought though, at that time Alisa cared little for beauty, nor did she pay nearly enough attention to her own. Part of her current appearance was indeed natural, yet her figure, presence, style... All of those she had trained and improved before reaching this point. The next question intrigued her, however... The moment it reached her ears, the sculptress did nothing but look quizzically, raising an eyebrow.

It felt like an odd question to ask, considering the whole matter of the ensuing chaos to follow a successful regicide, the kind of chaos to hurt the innocent first and foremost. As a Rune Knight, Akira ought know that better than anyone, and thus Alisa refrained from mentioning it. Instead, she awaited for the woman's clarification:

"Oh hardly~...", that a dismissive wave of her hand barely concealed her contemptuous scoff, "However, Blue Pegasus has always been allied to the crown... And my pride as a member of Blue Pegasus matters more than my individual opinions. But more importantly...", as her expression darkened, that cool look replaced with a stern one, everybody could tell Alisa had another goal she sought to achieve. Goal she didn't bother hiding, for once, "...Grimoire Heart killed our last Master. So as you can guess, we have quite the big bone to pick with those animals."

Considering her position, Alisa doubted the woman had the luxury of choosing whether or not she'd participate in the defense. But she now understood enough to tell Akira was far from the average knight, unafraid of thinking for herself, of having her own opinions... Thus, she leaned in slightly, and shot the question right back:

"How about you...? How do you feel about this war?", she'd inquire, tilting her head softly



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

#23Akira Shimada 

on Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:33 am

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It was helpful that Alisa didn't bat an eyelid at Akira's revelations, so far she held up to all the values that Aki held dear. The Blue Pegasus mage seemed honest and forthcoming, she'd been forgiving and quite understanding about Akira's impulsive behavior. Overall, the encounter was leaving a sweeter flavor in Aki's usually bitter and skeptical thoughts. With much empathy lingering behind the woman's expression, Akira felt the need to fairly defend the Knights, she couldn't just glaze over the fact that she might have provoked the light mage's attack, way back on that orientation day. 'In retrospect... Maybe I had it coming, I'm not always easy to handle...' she admitted softly, with a shrug. Although as high ranking as Alice was, she probably should have realized the potential of her magic as well as kept her feelings in check.

'Right you are.' Akira agreed power was simply that, they were all blessed with their own magic it wasn't like they chose it... It was a bit like one's personal features, but then, people did find ways to discriminate based on those too. 'Not sure if in the case of the Knights its as simple as cowardice, I suppose its also to do with their reception among people, the final goal is to aid the citizens...' Akira said with a soft sigh as she turned her attention to this deep-rooted prejudice being a problem of the populous in general. 'The organization is forced to reflect the judgment of the people I guess.' The girl added as she opposed Alisa's motion, crouching forward to rest her elbows on her knees, her sleek hair fell like prison bars over her eyes and face. The dark strands shrouded the glances that she stole at Alisa when she got the chance.

The woman was such a picture of poise, in stark contrast to the bundle of insecurity that Akira was. Maybe one day the dark mage would find the strength and search for her own beauty, attain the perfection she probably possessed somewhere within her petite and lithe self. Akira felt herself mimicking the peal of laughter that escaped the fellow mage, only in a softer, unsure chuckle as she caught the wink, just in time, observing the way in which she put her dark long hair in order, Akira was sure she couldn't deal with that length, which is why she'd not bothered to grow out her hair and instead sported a haphazard bunch of strands that flopped around her face.

Attentively, she heard the woman's response to her question. Carefully analyzing the words to see where Alisa's loyalties lay. At least she was pretty frank. The Lunar mage did not interrupt the woman as she explained that she did it to uphold the pride of her guild. Which Akira found strange, in terms of such alliances, she was pretty much a loner, the girl hadn't forged any deep bonds or sense of belonging anywhere for her to ever truly risk herself. Yet here she was, but her true participation would only be revealed when the day finally arrived. The mage went onto deliver another, much more substantial reason for her being here to defend Crocus and it sent a chill down Akira's spine. 'So... The Grimoire Hearts have planned this attack... and they've managed to...' she didn't complete her sentence since it'd be rather stupid to just repeat whatever Alisa said, swallowing her redundant words of shock, Aki began chewing on her lips again.

'I-' Akira had to pause, reel in her instinctual responses to the woman's questions. Those would probably cause the mage to lose all the respect she might have had for the Shimada. 'Well, firstly since I'm just an apprentice I wasn't even told who the attackers are suspected to be... And...' She ran her fingers through her hair again, as she threw herself back and sat upright. 'I couldn't give a crap about the nobles, they're self-serving and corrupt.' Akira announced simply, her voice flat and monotonous. She sighed, a long gush of air as her spine curled again and she felt the need to keep her eyes fixated on the floor framed between her slightly parted knees. 'I frankly don't if I'm going to be able to find the courage to do much...' she muttered softly, her voice a little shaky as she at least found it in her to reveal the truth. 'I mean I'm not too strong and... I guess I'll protect people if they're in danger and it comes down to that... But... yeah.' she added, barely being able to defend her choice of words.

She looked skyward, the moon seemed to have risen above the boundaries of the arena it must be getting pretty late. She wondered if Tsuru had begun scouring the streets in anxiety again... Slowly she pulled herself off the rock and stretched. 'I hope we see each other after.... everything is done.' she said a little ominously as she turned and wordlessly began walking away, leaving the conversation hanging at a rather abrupt point. She wondered if Alisa would forgive her sudden will to disappear amidst their heart to heart. But frankly, all the mixed feelings that the conversation had roused, made Aki want time on her own again, she felt vulnerable, confused and guilty, which only stood out clearer in the presence of someone as focused and driven as Alisa...

Total WC: 6773/5000
~Exit~



#24Alisa Vollan 

on Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:23 pm

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WORDS: 900 | TAG: @akira | JUNKETSU




At some point, Akira would have naturally started to defend the Knights. She was a smart girl, surely she must have had a valid reason why she joined them despite any and all reservations. And as it appeared, her reasons seemed mostly valid. Alisa wouldn't comment on the girl's own opinions on her own demeanor, she didn't seem particularly abrasive to the sculptress, but then, aggravating Alisa is hardly an easy feat. She especially hadn't known her nearly long enough to be passing such judgement, were she the type to do so.

"True, I agree you shouldn't flaunt it around in public...", she nodded, but quickly extended this not to darkness magic selectively, but every spell that could be used as a weapon, "Which applies to every magic mind you, but one cannot simply change another's views by force and call it progress. The knights themselves are a whole other matter... Call me idealistic, but I still expect them to represent the best of us."

Ironically, the identity of this knight might genuinely shock Alisa... She considered Alice a friend, and one of those Rune Knights she actually respected. They fought side by side at one point, and she'd trust the redhead to have her back again, if needed. With Akira's words, however, she pictured this person as prejudiced and hotheaded, starkly different from the image she had of her friend... Then again, Alisa herself acted differently towards friends, just like everybody else... And she'd never seen Alice at her worst.

Even under the bright moon's gleam, she struggled to see the woman's green eyes under those loose strands, only rarely brushed away by a gentle gust. She hardly stopped trying though, fixing her wine red gaze there, uncrossing her legs and leaned in slightly, a hint of curiosity peering through that glacial elegance. Clearly they had plenty more to discuss... Alisa was like her, a lone, roaming cloud, going wherever the winds took her. Yet she'd always been proud, and the moment she chose Blue Pegasus as her place to come home to, its pride became her own too.

Predictably, she looked not the slightest bit bothered by Alisa's lack of concern for the nobility, which in turn made her smile widen softly, as if this mutual understanding grew at every moment spent together. Instead, she inquired only on the enemy's identity, earning a somewhat doubtful, quizzical look:

"Well, pulling off an attack on the Capital requires not only extreme boldness, but also enough to power to back it. I can think of no other guild who might attempt something so flashy Grimoire Heart is the only guild I can think of who might try something this flashy...", Alisa explained her reasons, tapping one arm with her fingers, as her smile became a confident, knowing smirk, "After all, they've done it before... Also, if you've seen any members of Phantom Lord among the listed defenders, that all but asserts my theory. Only Grimoire gathered enough enemies to bring Dark and Light together as allies."

Despite explaining the reasons for her conclusion, Alisa nonetheless felt a hint of surprise that she didn't already know. Did Akira actually know this, but had been ordered not to breathe a word? The girl hardly looked like a liar, but the sculptress understood how relying on appearances can trick you in the end. Then, had she simply not been informed? She honestly hoped the higher ups had at least reached the same conclusion, if they were heading into war while knowing nothing of the enemy, the defenders were in for a heap of trouble. Finally, Akira confirmed the second option, a poor decision in Alisa's opinion, but she had little power to change it. Instead, she shook her head, and finally snickered as the woman agreed with her view on the nobility.

She could have gotten in a heap of trouble if her superiors heard her, but she said it anyway. Alisa obviously liked that:

"Rest assured... On the battle field, every warrior has their own part to play, from the strongest to the weakest, to everyone in between.", hearing all of her insecurities in silence, Alisa took them all and simply smile, a hint of the compassion she normally reserved for her closest friends, "Stay calm, and don't be hasty... True wisdom lies in knowing when that time has finally come."

That spell she used against Lumen did look pretty powerful, but she also looked pretty exhausted after just using it once. Makes of Alisa's level could spew out spells of that size ten times in a single battle before they'd start feeling drained. Feeling her partner stir under her cradling arms, Alisa looked down at its face, now looking more sleepy than actually unconscious. She'd be awake in a while... Soon though, she stood up, and the sculptress looked back up to face her:

"We most certainly will~", she reassured, nodding, and finally waved her off, "Good luck, and see you around...!"

As Akira left, Alisa sat alone once more, with nothing but the sleeping Lumen and the moon above to keep her company... And as beautiful as it may be, she could always appreciate it from the comfort of her hotel room. With this in mind, she stood up, and walked away...

[EXIT]



Strength is also Beauty



"Resolve! Do you have it?!"
- Alisa Vollan

credit to nat of adoxography.

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