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Graceful guidance [Training: Kazimir]

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on Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:23 am

Akira Shimada

First things first
I'ma say all the words inside my head
I'm fired up and tired of the way
That things have been


Her layered speculations took a while to unravel. Considering that she had a sinking suspicion she'd seen the mask in a memory that wasn't her own, she first suspected the cultists. With no one else to rely on, but fellows of the holy institution of the church, she decided to test her theory by asking around. She'd made a list of potential folks she could ask, Adelaide had been high on the list, but she really didn't want to bother the poor mother with any sort of responsibility that would force her away from her broken family.

While finding out what that posse was up to, was of utmost importance, she would resort to burdening her former mentor, only when there was no other way. She settled for the next best option. The very old and very wise defender-of-holy-texts, by the name of Benedetta. The title was essentially a more glorified way of calling her a librarian for the Church's vied collection. The Shimada was certain that the woman would have more insight on the matter. She certainly didn't want the lady, known as  to suspect her of anything, so she merely described the mask to the old woman, under the guise that she'd heard a suspect talking about it while she was still more solidly amidst the Rune Knights. The librarian was almost too quick to establish that it was these fabled cultists that haunted the lands. She went out of her way to show her inscriptions upon inscriptions of accounts that corroborated her deduction... It was a little too... perfect and easy.

Maybe Akira was thinking zebras when she heard horse hoofs, but things were adding up way too neatly. Upon closer evaluation, she began wondering if the church had collected this much knowledge, what was to stop them from using the mask as a ruse? It could in fact be someone from within the church that had orchestrated the episode that she and Kazi had interrupted. If so, they'd really taken quite a few measures to keep the blame off of the religious institute. No surprises there. After using the prayer time to ponder some more, the Shimada left the grandiose abbey, with a puzzled mind. Now going as far as to wonder if they'd left the mask there intentionally to send anyone who chanced upon them on a wild goose chase.

She'd taken a few days already, she didn't want Kazi to think she'd betrayed him, nor did she want him to deem her incompetent. So despite not having the concrete answers she had promised, she'd beckoned for him to join her, so they could discuss the matter further. She wasn't too keen on letting him know of her unverified suspicions yet, especially because it was in the interest of her mission to aid the Church, should her suspicions be true, to gain their trust. For the moment, she decided it was safe to repeat what she'd learned from Benedetta.

She decided to test Kazi's mettle once again, by choosing to meet at the famous church, despite, or rather because she was aware of LeeAnn's discomfort. She wanted to know if he'd have what it took to put duty first. The Shimada made that sacrifice everyday... It was time someone shared that burden with her. Not only did it aid in learning more about his inclinations, it made her new affiliation clear to him. While it was a risk to be seen in association with another Rune Knight, Kazi was hardly established enough yet. It could be seen as a gesture made out of habit.

WC: 600


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on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:24 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
Kazimir was finishing getting himself together as he awaited Aki's call. He kept the next few days open and simply did some training seeing as how they may be going into a dangerous situation. He didn't mention his task to anyone. An attempt to avoid any uncomfortable conversations. An easy task considering how infrequently he was at headquarters and interacted with the other knights.

Even after his promotion no thing seemed to really change much. Maybe he just didn't pay enough attention to what was going on. He wondered what sort of contacts Aki was using to get the information, but never doubted that he would hear back from her. If nothing else he would have been surprised if he didn't or would have assumed she ran into trouble.

Almost on cue someone not affiliated with the rune knights tracked him down, "She is waiting for you at the grand church of Illumin," the man said. Kaz almost gave out a sigh not at the idea of going to the church but the long winded introduction of the church.

"Alright then. Thanks," answering politely and heading out toward the church. He had never stepped foot in a church in his life. Religion never came up in his clan and nothing about drew him in yet. It was on his list of things to do, if nothing else to satisfy his curiosity and need to learn.

The church was as magnificent as people describe it to be. At least those without a bias against the organization. It may just be deserving of such an introduction, although he would never be man to prey to anything other than the spirit that gifted him his magic. And even then, that was rare.

He walked up the pristine steps. It was a domineering presence even to the devote. Commoners and priests moved about around him. Both coming and going from the cathedral. Some faces heavy-hearted and others with a smile of prays answered. He knew he would never be able to come here with LeeAnn so it was probably for the best that she didn't accompany him on this task. Not to mention the distress of her running into Aki again.

The wind mage understood this had to be a covert operation. Given Aki's standing he may have to ignore some of the details in his report. What was important to him was always the mission and doing whatever was necessary to ensure the safety of the people. he was eager to hear whatever Aki had learned.

Maneuvering around robbed priests he skirted the outside wall. Trying not to draw attention to himself or disrupt the countless people in solemn pray. A minister chanted a hymn, more like a deep and resonating hum. The people bowed their heads and some rose their hands to the heavens with tightly shut eyes.

Eventually he found Aki standing alone in an off shoot corridor. Behind her seemed to be a rather expansive library. "Aki...So what are we walking into? I take it what you found has something to do with the church," he asked passively, without antagonistic intent, but searching for the reason this place was chosen. His eyes slowly looking around to take in all that could be seen. It was easy to see he felt curious about the place instead of discomfort. A feeling that came from his lack of interaction with such an establishment.

He had a million questions about the place but pushed them to the side and stayed focused on the matter at hand. It was even more curious that her search brought her here. He was unsure how he felt about possibly working alongside the church.
 
WC 594

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on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:49 am

Akira Shimada
Second thing second
Don't you tell me
What you think that I can be
I'm the one at the sail
I'm the master of my sea


She stood atop the pristine grandiose staircase, lost in the bustle of the crowd that ventured in and out of the building. She gauged the man as he approached, choosing to turn away just before he got close enough to address her and leading him to a passage that was less disturbed by the constant influx. She noticed his grudging admiration for the architecture, one that she and Tsuru shared as well. While she could appreciate the effort, she judged the unfair opulence.

She could never understand how the poor and the downtrodden could maintain faith in such an organisation. The Holy Church, definitely spent more of its earnings on maintaining the splendour of their institution, and the illusion of power, than it did to help. While any logical person would derive such a conclusion especially after the Incursion having left this particular building absolutely unharmed, the system had already buried its roots too deep. Most such occurrences often worked in their favour rather than against.

People sought refuge in a place that even the demons dared to not touch. None of them wondered what power the church hid to protect just itself... Upon pondering long enough, Aki could see the genius in the system. Make everyone yearn for what they can't have and promise that faith might help them earn it. She couldn't wallow in such thoughts, not when she had her part to play. It'd make it too easy to give in, especially now that she was going to be in the company of one of those rare few who were capable of seeing the truth. Foreigners, she recognised were usually the sort to ask the questions, in hushed whispers however...

With that line of thought, she grew curious about Kazi's past, but like most questions, those inquiries would have to wait for a better time. As he neared, yet again, she turned to face him again. The sharp light from the main hall in poured into the dimly lit passage, creating domineering shadows of the two figures as their tense tryst commenced. She realised she was wringing her hands which only worsened when he jumped to the conclusion that she thought the church was involved somehow. She quickly clasped them behind her back, to not betray her anxiety and doubt, to attempt putting up a bolder more reassured front.

'No.' she said, putting redundant amounts of emphasis on the denial, which could've potentially given her true deductions away. 'I called you here, because now that my time with the Knights is drawing to a close, I've opted to work with the church. Fitting, given the demonic threats we face, isn't it?' while her words and tone attempted to resonate with some sort of a passion, there was a dry underlying flatness to her claims, that she hadn't been able to get rid of yet. She left her deceleration with a question, just to offer him the chance to share his reservations should he have any and should they get in the way of the mission they were meant to undertake. 'It is as I feared, notorious cultists plague the lands and they have some ulterior motive.' she explained.

It wasn't too tough to conclude and imply that they were scavenging the sites of the incursions, potentially for left overs of Abyssinian artefacts, or even powerful equipment left behind by heroes who had fallen while defending the land. She explained these simply derivations, unsure if he'd be sated, given the time she'd taken. She could just hope that he'd continue to show his usual deference. There was a chance he wouldn't, since the difference in their ranks was no longer something that could technically feature in their interaction. 'I have some clue as to where they might be, shall we go?' she said, opting to lead the way.

Luckily, she did have a sneaking suspicion as to where she could find this covet group. From what she'd gathered, cultists and the experimenting Holy Knights alike, favoured decrepit ruins of seemingly abandoned churches. There were quite a few of those littered around in Orchidia. Perhaps, they two would have to scour a few before chancing upon the right one.

WC: 700
Total WC: 1300

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on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:47 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
Aki seemed to ponder the deeply interwoven threads of the church's role more than he. Haru had mentioned she was healed by the church, but was that truly all it took to bring someone to bow in prayer. What had they done to her? perhaps bring her back from the brink of death. He ran his hand along the sleek marble wall one step behind Aki. Would he walk these halls if it had done the same to him? Maybe if he had been born here. His fingers drifted away from the cold marble. It was no matter. His path was already set and his history told.

Coming to a halt she was ready to address his inquiry. Their shadows danced along the walls only obscured by the flickering of holy candles burning beneath patron images. Upon hearing his question, she hastily clasped her hands behind her. An anxious move or a nervous one, he was not yet sure. She reassured him the church was not behind it. Moreover that she stood with the church now. He words were sounded like a soldier recited what they had to in order to get by. I ring of hollowness in them, or so he thought. His eyes creased giving away the skepticism he felt about her statement.

"Interesting. So that means coming here was all just a way to make your long-term position clear to me. To clear whatever confusion there may be," Kaz no longer felt the need to mince words or beat around the bush. He knew Aki liked to test people and was at least partial settled on that being the case here as well.

"I suppose I'll do the same then," he replied nonchalantly. "I know there is a history between the church and the rune knights. One I was not a part of. Knights, churches, guilds, this land is littered with titles and affiliations. I only care about standing against evil, protecting the innocent...and those that stand alongside me. Regardless of your path, you will always just be Aki to me. The Demons threaten us all." It was a long winded response but Aki was forward and clear with him which was a valued trait.

He hoped his words were not too abrupt. For him improvement and upholding the safety of people were what mattered most. Not any of the tangled confusion of organizations and convoluted allegiances. "Although i would be lying if I said I wasn't curious as too what spurred your decisions. Whether it was demon's alone," he adopted a moderately warmer tone despite the brazen curiosity in his eyes. He left the question in the air for her to take and do what she wanted with it.

Once they cleared up whatever needed to be said on that subject, Aki explained the whole situation with the cult. The more she elaborated the darker it became. "I never expected it to run this deep. Who knows how many lives are endanger from tampering with demons."

It was impressive how much she was able to gather in such a short amount of time. From only a mask she was able to put a group to the crimes and a motive. "Do you know anything about their end goal?" It was a long shot question but he had to ask on the off chance.

She asked if he was ready to go and he was a bit unused to her asking if he was ready. She was already settling into her position with the church and out of her role with the rune knights. Kaz nodded, "I'll follow your lead," he said reassuring her that things had not changed for him.

He followed her out and around to a scattering of old ruins and broken down churches. She knew the area well and had a thought out list of places to attend to. Most of them unpromising and they came upon yet another that looked scarce.

It had been a few hours of walking between the churches and the ruins they were at now showed no signs of activity either. Kaz brushed away some webs that clung to the crumbled columns and ragged doorway. "Seems this one is out too. How many are left?" He asked while rubbing his hands together in the cold winter eve.

WC 690
Total WC 1284

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on Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:49 am

Akira Shimada
I was broken from a young age
Taking my sulking to the masses
Write down my poems for the few
That looked at me, took to me,
Shook to me, feeling me


Her eyebrows immediately shot up at the change in his tone, which was far more brusque than before. So all it took was her to officially leave her rank for his alleged regard to fade? or rather, vanish? She drew a long breath in, resisting the urge to click her tongue, she did tap her feet though, gently and impatiently. 'Yes.' she said, with a certain sharp finality. Her test did serve its purpose then, he did go onto make his allegiance very clear, which, much like her ex-partner, was towards the people. Her own efforts were directed in a similar direction after all, they just had a more convoluted path. Aki was surprised at her own reactions regarding the change in his demeanour. While his faith and deference in the past had ironically left her with warmth and guilt in lieu of her duty, now that there was a dearth of it, she felt challenged and icy.

She snickered softly, but it echoed in a rather menacing way in the hall. 'Just Aki, huh? I'll take it. But regardless of where you stand, I will make the distinction of protecting only those who deserve it.' she said, choosing to make her own standing clear. She didn't explain the parameters that made someone worthy, which potentially left this to his vague interpretation. However, Akira wasn't lying for the sake of her mission this time. She did have a way of sorting the worthy from the lot with the wand and she intended on using it whenever she could, surreptitiously though. Intent was her chosen sieve, if someone intended to harm another for personal gain, they were unworthy of her intervention. Perhaps... In time she'd realise that was too harsh a judgement.

The change in his tone once again, did melt the frosty tension just a little bit. Aki was not one to begrudge another for long, especially if their intent seemed noble. 'Faith works in mysterious ways, it offers as much as it takes away, I suppose I was just the lucky to be among the former.' she replied, attempting to sound somewhat wise. She didn't have it in her to favour the church extensively in the given moment, especially as suspicions against them stood stark. He reminded her of how deep the illusion ran, simply in response to the little that she had shared. She wrung her hands again and shook her head about the end goal, not trusting her words or tone. She'd heard whispers about a certain section of the Church experimenting on unwilling victims... And all of these things in tandem with one another, didn't bode well.



She lead Kazi, their ventures and investigation mostly lead to disappointing conclusions. There could've been powerful cloaking magic and such in use, but Aki had no way of sensing such things. Feeling woefully disappointed at not making any headway, her frustrations seemingly oozed from ever pore in her body. 'Still quite a few to go.' she said, unclenching her jaw just in time to prevent the words from being issued through grit teeth. Just as they were about to walk away though, she heard the crunch of snow behind her, it almost sounded deliberate, given that the place was eerily silent just moments before. Upon whipping around, her gaze fell on a rather smug looking blonde man, in a golden armour. It was clear from the fact that he'd managed to conceal his presence in such totality, that he was no one to be trifled with. 'I'd expected the two of you to have keener eyes.' he said, chuckling.

WC: 600
Total WC: 1900

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on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:15 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
He could tell his words changed her state. She was more guarded. An outcome that he did not intend but no doubt due to the blunt way he spoke at times. Perhaps a poor choice this occasion. He would have to back peddle now and make himself a bit more clear, "Oh, no. I just. You called me Kaz before so I thought," he smiled and looked away, "Akira it is then. And I by no means intend to drive a wedge between us. I simply meant your affiliation doesn't matter to me. We started as allies and we will always be allies. I respected your ability not that you had a title. It was about what you were capable of. That's all." He said looking back into her still icy eyes.

"Don't we always decide who is worthy," he shrugged After all he chose to protect the innocent because he deemed them worthy. Who he considered innocent was his decision and not everyone fit in there. Anyone who abused their power garnered ill will from Kaz. He could deal with many things but hated to see the misuse of strength. perhaps that is why he never felt truly at home in large organizations.

Her answer was cryptic but Kaz believed many people of church were similar to that. "Spoken like a lady of the faith," he responded without judgement or ridicule, just intrigue. "Perhaps you can tell me more about it sometime. As you know, there is much information I am lacking about these lands," it was as much a show of good will as it was genuine curiosity. He did appreciate her company for whatever it was worth. It was always nice to have someone he considered an ally around. He spoke moving his hands more now to express himself. They were small open gestures but close to his body. A sign of his growing comfort.

It was another dead end and it was apparent Akira was not a fan of the endless hunt. "I'm sure we will come upon it soon," he tried to encourage her. "The wind takes time to weather down the mountain," She didn't seem like one to care about metaphors but it came out instinctively.

He thought about using his vibration sensing magic to detect anything deeper in but it had a very limited range. before he could start, a presence made itself known behind them. Kaz turned around slowly, upon hearing the snow, and was ready with a spell in hand. A man stood, regal and arrogant. All the markings of someone Kaz was predisposed not to like.

His chuckle at their situation made it worse. "Pleasure to meet you, I'm," Kaz was going to engage in pleasantries to be civil even though the man clearly already knew them.

"I am aware of who you are. Mr. Seiryu. Ms. Shimada," slowly moving his eyes to meet Aki's. Every word as condescending as the last even without him trying.

"Since you know us. Perhaps you could tell us your name and why exactly your here?" The man's presence was uneasy and it already made the situation far more complicated.

"Who I am? You will know in time," he strode a few steps to the side, "I am here to bring sight to the blind," a regal grin came upon his face that radiated an equally menacing aura. With a tap of his sword, the area around them seemed to ripple.

The same decrepit wall they had over looked now revealed a doorway. It moved itself a jar to show the torch light gleaning through the crack. Kaz looked back at Akira and then to the man. He waited for whatever decision she would make but he knew they were going in.

WC 600
Total WC 1884

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on Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:52 am

Akira Shimada
Singing from heartache from the pain
Taking my message from the veins
Speaking my lesson from the brain
Seeing the beauty through the...


Once again, Kazi managed to melt some of the ice she guarded herself with ever so readily, but not entirely this time. She realised that it would help her keep some healthy distance, it wasn't supposed to like her, if he did, then she wasn't playing her part right. So while compelled, she didn't let him in on the fact that Aki was fine and he need not waste his time with formalities. She remained quiet as they walked, allowing him to offer his opinions on her words.

She was surprised he'd interpreted her words so correctly. For the most part, she did mean it in exactly that contest, she just wanted to do her job better and dish out justice accurately. The difference existing in the fact that she wanted to minimise the time wasted on all the paper work, but that was only because she had a fool-proof way of assessing intentions. She was forced to softly add her lie, for the sake of pretence. 'Just and faithful' her words highlighted her what she would allegedly use as sieve to filter the worthy.

She offered a curt nod to his assessment of her and as an agreement to teach him more. She did have bookish knowledge, surely that could suffice if their paths crossed often enough for such exchanges. She stifled the urge to smirk when he offered another wind related sentiment, in an attempt to bolster her spirit. Much like Tsuru's presence, his company was oddly calming and supportive. Though the context of the relationships she shared with the two was different, there echoed a sense of familiarity and ease that extended beyond what one would find between colleagues.

~~~

Despite the thin facade of conflict, perhaps the underlying repose was obvious to the onlooker, the blonde, armoured man, who stood staring down at them like a predator on his prey. While it wasn't surprising that he knew her, her exploits had made her quite infamous over the past few months, it was disconcerting that he already knew Kazi too and that neither of them knew who he was. It was fair to assume that his insight went beyond the usual observer. She narrowed her eyes at their smug opponent. 'Kind. But last I checked, neither of us were blind.' She gasped softly as reality itself seemed to remould and alter as he tapped his weapon, and a derelict wall morphed into a threshold. It was almost as though he was proving a point, that they weren't in fact as keen in sight as they believed.

'So, once you're through with us, we'll be able to see doors where there weren't any?' she asked sardonically, folding her hands to make it clear that she wasn't just going to follow him inside. 'Indeed. Opportunities instead of the failure you both have become accustomed to.' While usually impervious to such insults, those words cut Akira like the sword he was wielding. It accentuated the frustration that had been stirring within her. She bought her hands down to her side, clenching her fists. It took effort to not lash out at the taunting presence of the man. Somehow, he knew of her struggles. 'Go on, you know you want to. I promise, I can take it.' he said, smirking and stepping closer. He stared her down rather squarely, before casually letting his gaze flick towards Kazimir. His motions and demeanour felt like a threat and Akira broke the rule she usually adhered to with a passion...

She attacked.

She held up her palm, parallel to the ground, her fingers pointing towards her target. A blade like projection streaked outwards, of course, nor she nor Kazi could see it. The invisible shock-wave never made contact with the armoured man though. Within the instant he sprouted four large wings and shot straight upwards. The wall behind him exploded, there was no door now, just a large gaping hole and a tonne of debris, but that wasn't what held the Shimada's attention. Her eyes were riveted onto the being in front of her. The soft tuft of white feathers that graced his large wings, were perhaps the only gentle thing about him. The rest of him seemed sharp, domineering and fierce.

It became obvious that they were dealing with a being superior to them. A Seraphim to be precise, much like the demons... he too seemed to elicit the same sense of doom and dread in the Shimada's heart. There was no room for pretence anymore, it was the two of them together, united against this... beautifully vicious creature. 'Much better.' He addressed her, completely unfettered by her attack. He then turned towards the Sinese, as though politely offering him a chance to attack too. She sneaked a glance at Kazi, to check in.

Total WC: 2700
A- Rank: Blade Beam - Trained
[2000 words with 50% reduction from Int]
WC towards next spell: 700

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on Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:03 am

Kazimir Seiryu
She used the word faithful to highlight her criteria for those that were worthy. 'A curious little word and one vague enough to be open to interpretation', he thought. He wondered what being faithful looked like and how much faith constituted being worthy. Not a question he intended to dive deeper into now. She was on her side and he his. For now they had a common enemy to face down and he knew to little about the church to judge it one way or the other.

She offered a simple gesture indicating he would one day teach him what she could about the church. Despite her cold demeanor and the stark performance she gave at the bonfire, perhaps she still regarded him as an ally in some sort. Her frankness was refreshing. She was too the point and guided more by leaning on her logical conclusions and duty than emotions and irrational. It was a trait he respected and gave him a sort of simple pleasure in the remembrance of how he was trained and those from his past that were good-natured but precise.

                                                             The Ruins

Reality bent around them in a ripple and Kaz planted his feet firmer into the ground not knowing what to expect. A door appeared in a wall along with an arrogant smile on the face of the armored man. Kaz's eyes glanced around in multiple directions trying to get a grasp on the magic that was happening.

Every second was filled with another smug remark and finally Akira had enough. She had been collected and cool the whole day but something about this man enraged her. With fists clenched the man prodded at her emotions once again. "Akira, don't let..." before the rest of the words slipped through his lips, the proud warrior beside him lunged in for an attack. In a way it reminded him of another fiery person led to jump at violence.

She had come to terms with her magic. A quick motion sent something at the man that he could sense but Kazimir couldn't detect. The man sprouted four angelic wings and took flight. Kaz's eyes grew wide for the first time in the encounter. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. The man floated in the sky as magnificent as any divine being, and with the fervor of a god.

The large wall crumbled to pieces from the immense unseen force that Akira released. She definitely wasn't holding anything back any more. This...being really got to her. It soon settled in Kaz's mind that they indeed faced off against an Angel. The thought came more so at the taunting being's gaze at him. Urging him to give anything he could as well.

The seraphim said only a single word with pompous weight behind it, "Well," his wings fluttering gently about him unscathed by the thought of any earthly thing.

Aki gave Kaz a sideways glance to see what was going through his mind. They did indeed stand together against this affront to their cause. He rolled his shoulders almost shaking off what surprise he had at seeing the angel reveal his true form. Looking back at Aki he replied, "So this is it huh? Demons and Angels...If we have to fight them both then whats the difference." Words that could probably only come from a man raised without religion. To him they were just two sides of the same coin now. Extra terrestrial beings that only cared for a  fight.

"The difference is something of a scale higher than your insight allows," the angels half sided smirk grew, "but I will guide you," he spoke as if to insects beneath him, staring down from his pedestal. Kaz knew there was no amount of polite words to get around this one. Plus Aki had already attacked and he couldn't let her do this alone.

"Here we go then," He said first looking at Aki and then to the angel. He stomped his foot and a stronger gust of wind shot him upward toward the angel. He brought his staff up along with a hand and sent to slashing blades of wind at the being. The angel simply turned his body and dipped below them like dodging a leaf in the wind.

Kaz soared upward level with the angel as the wind shot passed him and made a circle with his staff. A breeze surrounded the angel and erupted in the same tornado Aki saw him use before. Kaz had a feeling that wouldn't be much but at least he hit something and maybe Aki could follow up.

Before the wind dispersed the figure of the man was clear to see within it. He rose his hand to the sky slow enough that a butterfly could land on it. His hand opened and the raging wind was engulfed in a brilliant fire that whirled around him and scattered like ash from a campfire. "Better than what you were," he spoke without a hint of pain.

Kaz landed back near Akira and the Seraphim lowered himself to hover a few meters from them. "Show me more," He waved his sword sending a sheet of flame at the two of them.

WC 700
Total WC 2584 (Dance of the wind trained)

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Yesterday at 10:48 am

Akira Shimada
Third things third
Send a prayer to the ones up above
All the hate that you've heard
Has turned your spirit to a dove
Your spirit up above


She heard her comrade's warning, she simply didn't heed it, or rather that she couldn't. It felt as though her newfound magic possessed her, instead of the other way around. That the Seraphim in front of the two mortals seemed to tease out reactions the Shimada usually reigned in with ease. A small part of her at least hoped he'd have a similar effect on Kazi, when he didn't, she grew tense. She licked her lips in a fruitless attempt to bolster her fading sense of courage. Why did he have a hold on her like this? Why was he able to coax such aggression. It was almost as though he had a personal stake and contribution in the way her magical abilities worked. Her gaze lingered on Kazi, her breath was already shallow and she grit her teeth, betraying sourness that she directed more at herself, for losing the usual poise she maintained. Not only did he get her to do what he wanted, he also evaded the attack with ease.

The Sinese remained mostly impassive, reflecting what Akira would've been had she not been so easily taunted. She huffed softly as Kazi issued the question on her tongue. Although, they both knew he was hardly the sort to humour them with the answers they were looking for. The angel used it to set himself apart and above them yet again. She could tell Kazi would've avoided the instigation, but he gathered an attack in solidarity with her. She had a way to attempt dissuading him, just like he had done for her. But given the obvious friction between the Seraph and them, the last thing she needed was for him to learn of the powers harnessed by her wand.

She watched Kazi beckon his winds to allow him to rise briefly and throw the slashes of magic. The Seraph resorted to making quite a spectacle of his defence. She paid careful attention and made note of his tendencies, hoping that the two lesser beings would find a way to exploit one of them and at least make a get away. While the flare of his defence didn't really impress, something else did nab her attention. It was the way the Seraph seemingly referred to Kazi's past. Her eyes widened at that comment. How long has he been watching and who else had he been watching, surely we can't be the only ones? She thought and was contemplating giving voice to her blunt questions. They were well past the stage of exchanging pleasantries for the sake of formality anyways. What they lacked and were limited by however, was the luxury of time. Soon after the angel finished his sharp assessment, he descended and sent a wave of fire.

His attack was a bit of an overkill, there was certainly no precision to it, but that made it impossible to avoid too, especially given their proximity. So instead of trying to get out of the way, she streaked and dashed to cover as much of Kazi as she could. She winced instinctively, but she trusting her orb to protect her, while using herself as a shield for the Sinese. It drew a considerable amount of magical energy from her, but it was worth it. She sighed as the holy fire billowed around them, he sustained them with ease, literally testing them with fire. Using wind could prove risky, as much as there was the potential to blow the flames away, it could also stoke the fire into an inferno. She wasn't sure how her magic would interact but given that she'd eventually run out if she didn't plan a counter, she decided to risk it.

She held out her fist, in a gesture similar to the one she'd used the very first time her magic responded to her appropriately. A spectacle that Kazi had the fortune of witnessing. A magic circle appeared and from it a cube emerged. She couldn't see the cube in itself, but the conflagration licking at its edges made its existence apparent. She betrayed a smirk of her own as her orb was offered respite. She grit her teeth as it cube tore through the flames towards the Seraphim. The Shimada instinctively opened her fist in an attempt to gain more control... Instead that caused the cube to rapidly expand till it threatened to touch the sword, the source of the blaze. At least it gave her an idea of her own capability. Just as the wave of fire had raged towards them, it vanished. He reflected her smirk. Even in the face of her defence and retaliation, the seraph looked pleased. It was as though he could draw smug satisfaction from their success and from their failure, like both the outcomes were equally attractive prospects.

WC: 800
Total WC: 3500

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Today at 7:34 am

Kazimir Seiryu
The seraph had dismissed all of his attack with ease. Kaz landed and meant to gather himself for the next attack alongside Akira but it was to late. The seraph descended with a sheet of red hot flames, blanketing their area. Kaz looked toward Akira, more concerned about her safety than his own. If need be he would launch whatever spells he had to mitigate the wave of heat.

He turned his hips with his foot digging into the ground. His weight shifted as he began to push off and dash nearer to Aki. Before he could move, Akira had sped to his side and shielded him. He was never on the side of he one being protected. He always stood ready to throw himself on the pyre, but that chance never came this time. The sudden surprise caused the mage to stumble ever so slightly as he halted his forward momentum.

"Akira! What are you!" his shouts of surprise were swept away as the fire hit. Akira's body stood vigil in front of him. The flames matched the intensity of her gaze. Light from the fire danced around her shoulders and flickered against the dark strands of her hair.

Some strange magical energy helped mitigate the fearsome attack. She was largely unscathed by the attack as a strange orb she had glowed softly. Kaz wasn't fast enough to protect her or react, but was thankful if not a bit surprised she so gallantly rushed to his aid in concern.

It was this moment that settled Kaz's opinion on the woman. It was but a simple task that he cared about from someone to garner his protective nature for them. Simply helping him with a task but Akira risked her safety for him. An act that he would not forget but still ate at him that he was not the one to be there. He accepted her as a genuine ally and one that he would return the favor for. A sentiment reflected in his eyes.

"Thank you...Now let's put this guy down," he said with a more determined smile. Without missing a beat, Akira faced the angel and gestured causing a magic circle to appear. Kaz stood up remembering that her magic so far was unseen and he needed a way to fight safely alongside her. He had a plan though that he hoped would work. Clapping his hands together he felt every ripple and vibration in the wind around him. If he could not see her magic maybe he could feel it.

Almost instantly her attack dismissed the seraph's self-righteous flames of purification. Kaz took this opening and dashed quickly to the side and spun his staff to create a magic circle behind the angel.  Aki's explosion cut through the flames and seemed to reach out to the angel and Kaz caused a whirlwind to shoot at him from behind to pincer attack him.

Despite the immense power that Akira unleashed the Seraphim smiled throughout. He was pleased in seeing their survival and retaliation. A twisted satisfaction in the struggle of mortals. "Good Akira. But you are still incomplete," he cut into her magical attack and an explosion erupted around him but only his hair billowed from the blast. Sensing the attack from behind he curled in his wings and spread them out vigorously to knock away the wind attack.

With alarming speed the Seraphim dropped to the ground. His feet hovered inches above it and in the blink of an eye closed the distance between himself and Kazimir. He snatched the wind mage up by the robe, lifting him from the ground. The Angel spun and released Kaz, sending him careening into a piece of the ruined wall. Before he hit the wall the Seraphim was already at Akira with a sword strike aimed to clash with her wand. Not with a force to break it but hold it in place so he could speak.

Whether he hit or not, His gaze fixed onto Aki, "progressing nicely. But you're healing has left you unrefined," he lowered himself to the ground with the haughty personification of royalty stopping to greet a peasant. "Come now AKi. You became the betrayer for what? Realize what you are truly made of," he swung the sword upward creating a stream of fire that burned toward Aki.

Meanwhile Kaz composed himself. The attack was clearly not meant to cause much harm which confused him even more. He took a deep breath, feeling a familiar creeping presence and pushed it back to reenter the battle charging as close to the Seraphim as he could.

WC 750

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