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Crystal Clear [Akira]

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#1Hatsuharu 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:57 am

Hatsuharu
Just like his partner, Haru too was confused at the question posed to them by the voice. Gun? Before he could wonder what gun he was talking about, Akira asked if he had the original gun. “If you have original gun, then the gun of course. Why would we take a crystal that may or may not work with a duplicate?” he said, following up with Akira’s question. After a short pause, the voice laughed again. “Oh no! I think you are not well-informed. The gun you have is good. But mine is better. So… You either get the crystal that will make your gun function well or you get my gun,” the voice replied. A loud chuckle followed after and Haru knew there must be a catch to this.

“Of course… I won’t just hand neither to you,” the voice said abruptly. “I will show myself if you prove yourself worthy...” he said, and the voice faded towards the end of the sentence.

Immediately after, the large gargoyle in the middle of the arena moved. Even though Haru expected this from the very beginning, it didn’t fail to shake his very being. He could feel the ground vibrate every time the gargoyle made even the slightest movement. He knew the stone monster would weigh at least several tons and a single graze of its attack would carry enough momentum to crush them into nothing. “What madness is this?!” Haru’s voice croaked when he attempted to yell. There was no response.

The gargoyle did not waste any time. It charged straight at the healer. Haru barely had enough time to register what was happening and react to it. The injuries in his arms weren’t doing any good for his reflexes either. Thankfully, the large monster, while strong, was very slow. And despite everything, Haru was still quick enough to roll to the side to avoid the brunt of the attack. However, the large stone hand that came for him landed on the ground next to him, and it sent a swarm of dust straight to his eyes, completely blinding him for the moment. If the gargoyle chose to attack him again, he wouldn’t be able to see it coming. Again, the poor healer was at the mercy of his partner.

#2Akira Shimada 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:56 pm

Akira Shimada
Akira backed away from the gargoyle and started slowly inching towards the periphery of this hidden arena, with the intention to get a better idea of its proportions and any other details that they'd need to take care of. While Tsuru followed up her questions with his own, successfully getting the voice to engage in a dialogue, albeit a shortlived one. She was grateful to her partner, for any conversation he could elicit this way. If this was going to become a battle, they two of them would need more time to strategize, every extra second was a gift since they were placed on the man's chessboard. It still was particularly disconcerting that there was no face to this voice, nothing to associate the loaded words with, it boomed from all directions too, it was impossible to trace it to a source.

Aki chewed on her lip as he mentioned that he had another better gun to offer or the crystal. Why did they have to make these choices... Of course, it was clear they were getting nothing till they gave him something in return, or rather apparently proved themselves to be worthy of receiving either item. The task in question was none other than the gargoyle that had demanded their attention earlier. As it moved, a grinding sound emphasized the fading of the voice. Any more dialogue would only be encouraged once they'd defeated this thing, that was pretty apparent.

It irked Akira a little bit, that everyone assumed Tsuru was the true force to be reckoned with and decided to take him out before attempting anything on her. Were all her foes always going to show such gender bias? She couldn't really complain though, its not like she wanted to be the victim instead, neither was definitely the better option. She hadn't quite planned on what they duo should do against a walking, attacking bundle of boulders and pillars.

She noticed what transpired and realized his density magic had a much bigger advantage than her lunar magic did. In a split second, she understood, when he clenched his eyes shut that there was dust in them... She'd have to direct him. 'TSURU USE PHASE, ON THE GROUND NOW!' she said. Her voice caused the gargoyle to turn towards her, his motions were slow, if Tsuru could trap him, things would certainly become easier, even tripping it would be enough.

#3Hatsuharu 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:23 pm

Hatsuharu
Haru rubbed the dust off his eyes as quickly as he could, but obviously not fast enough. If Akira hadn’t distracted the gargoyle away from him, the stone monster would have squashed him into the ground. The healer had a blurred vision, but could still see where the huge monster was when his partner yelled at him to cast his Phase. He immediately put his hands together, ignoring the sharp pain caused by his injuries, and then pointed it towards the ground underneath the gargoyle. He couldn’t make a pit large enough to engulf the entire stone being, but enough to catch at least one of its legs.

The gargoyle was about to lunge at the dark-haired girl, but found its hind legs sinking into the ground. Before it could react and pull its legs out, Haru clenched his hand and ended his phase, making the monster’s legs be stuck underground. However, it was only a stalling tactic. The gargoyle had enough strength to overcome the measly bind and seemed rather enraged at the two for pulling such tricks. Finally, Haru had managed to get most of the dirt off his eyes and his vision was getting back. He quickly got back on his feet and rushed to his partner’s side. The healer wasn’t sure why he did that; because, now the monster had both the targets at one point. “Guess we have to fight this together,” Haru said, gulping.

After a loud groan, the gargoyle slammed the ground in front of it making a large piece of the earth fly up. It then punched this debris, sending large sharp earth shards towards the two. Haru instinctively put his hands together and pointed both his palms forward, creating a Shockshield in front of the two Rune Knights. The earthen shards met the shield, disintegrating into dust. The healer held the shield up, in case the gargoyle decided to send something further. He then turned to Akira and nodded. “You can still shoot your spells through the shield,” he said.

#4Akira Shimada 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:15 pm

Akira Shimada
'What the hell?!' Aki exclaimed when Tsuru dashed to her side as the monster staggered and lurched forward with a vengeance. 'We should have left him conflicted about which target to pick!' she hissed through grit teeth as she wondered what to do. Her eyes widened in fear as the large animate creature, sent pieces of rock flying towards them. The rookie gun wielder did the one thing she probably shouldn't have... She winced, clenching her eyes shut, raising her arms to cover her face as she braced for impact. But lucky for her, it never arrived. Her lids flared open, a gust of wind tickling her scalp as she noticed the shock shield disintegrate the rocks. She was a goner had it not been for Tsuru... Guess he was slowly learning to make up for his pacifism, she could live with just the defense.

It still irked her that the burden of hurting someone, or in this case perhaps some thing, always fell on her. Something he passively indicated by bringing to notice the fact that her spells could go through his shield. She swiftly traced the shape of her cross-bow with two fingers, so the light materialized into the weapon in front of her, nestled between her wrist and the crook of her elbow. Then out of nowhere, she noticed a young boy, appear between the shield and the golem. Wait... what? she resisted the urge to rub her eyes... was she hallucinating? 'Tsuru do you see the kid?' she asked. As her finger teased the trigger, but no longer could she risk letting her light arrows fly.

Before she had confirmation from Tsuru, she noticed the gargoyle changed his own tune, now going for the kid she noticed. 'Damn it!' she hissed, where had this guy even come from. Had she had a little more time to think, perhaps she'd have planned this and deduced it to be trickery, but even then, there was no way Akira could just let a kid suffer, under the assumption that he may no be real. The stakes were to high. Had the gargoyle's weight not slowed down his motion, the young kid was a goner. But Akira cast another spell, her chain kunai, rubbing her palms together... While this was risky too, the tiny knife was not going to harm the kid as badly as the arrows would... Instead of throwing it with the intention to pierce she swung and flung the dark item, so it wound itself around the boy's wrist, sharply she tugged, to pull him out of the way of the attack and towards Tsuru and her.

She wrapped her arms around the boy and half dashed, half rolled away from her original position. Now beseeching Tsuru to distract the large gargoyle, so she could get the kid to safely. 'Tsuru! lure him away from us!' she exclaimed, her voice quite apparently panic stricken.

#5Hatsuharu 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:00 am

Hatsuharu
It seemed the duo had a perfect opportunity to take down the gargoyle. Haru’s shield was still up and holding, and he saw Akira cast her crossbow spell. He felt a small tinge of pride as he watched her cast a light spell with such ease, without hesitating for even a moment. Finally, it would seem the two clashing elements within her were under her control; at least to some extent. Turning towards their target, he looked up at ten-foot tall stone monster whom he hoped would be history very soon. However, movement near its foot caught his attention and his eyes darted down to the boy between them and the monster.

Haru had no idea where this boy came from. The door they came through had been swallowed by the shifting rock walls, and there didn’t seem to be any other pathways leading to the large arena they were in. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time for him to analyse the situation. Seeing that the gargoyle was after the boy now, Haru immediately lunged forward through his shield and towards the monster. Before he could reach the boy, however, Akira had made a quick decision and pulled the boy away using her chained kunai. While the boy was jerked away rather violently, it was still better than what would have happened to him if the monster had hit him successfully.

Haru couldn’t understand why this had to happen. This felt like déjà vu, considering he had saved a similar boy during the war against Grimoire Heart at the capital. “Why are you doing this to a kid? I don’t understand…” he yelled at the ceiling above, hoping that the man who spoke earlier would hear him and respond. Alas, the only thing that returned was his own voice bouncing off the walls as echo. Now that the boy was pulled out of the monster’s reach, the next immediate target was Haru. The healer turned to look at his partner as she rolled away to protect the boy. “Stay behind my shield!” he yelled as he ran away from them, but still staying close enough to sustain the shield. The gargoyle promptly followed him and this time, decided to jump straight towards him so that he didn’t have much space to dash away to.

The scarlet-haired Knight was not afraid, however. In his head, it was better him than Akira or the kid. So, he kept running in a circle, with the shield still within his range, and looked for an opportunity to evade the incoming attack. The chances seemed slim, for the monster was rather huge and was on a ballistic course straight to where he was. He was going to attempt rolling away, but wasn’t sure if he would make it.

#6Akira Shimada 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:36 am

Akira Shimada
Only in retrospect, would Akira find the boy's grip on her shoulder, tighter than necessary... Something she'd waived as desperation, incited by the danger the child found himself in. A whirlwind of sand followed their every move, something Akira only noticed briefly, as Tsuru dashed away and only his voice was audible, his form reduced to a shadow behind the screen of fine earth that hung between the two Knights. This entire situation reeked and echoed so much of the day they fought that demon. She blinked rapidly, was this only because the wound left behind by the attack, was still fresh and they saw comparisons, where perhaps there weren't any? Maybe it was just a slew of coincidences. That... or like the darker voice inside her head suggested... This man had some sort of access to their memories and was using this fight to attempt triggering them somehow.

Akira merely bit her lip, as the same profound sense of dread and helplessness that filled her the time the pair had jumped of the tower... Took a firm grasp of her instead. She didn't have a clear view of her partner, only his voice for reassurance, which too wasn't too clear anymore. She could hear the sound of stone grinding over stone, which definitely suggested the danger Tsuru was in since the sound seemed to be moving away from her. Her heart raced, as she attempted reassuring her partner, but in her anxiety, she instead slung her words like an order. 'Don't you dare let him hit you, Tsuru!' she said, ignoring the way the boy's hands tightened around her form, as she crouched and scurried towards the shield again.

Then... Out of nowhere, there was a soft sound of rustling sand... The curtain of sandstorm thickened, but it seemed that the gargoyle dissolved. Before she realized, the boy that's she'd tried to protect. Transformed into a man, she had not a moment to try and wriggle out of his grasp, as he grew, he swung in a manner, that placed him behind the dark mage. With a swift nudge of his knees, he knocked her so she was kneeling. He crouched behind her, with his arm wrapped around her slender neck. The dust settled, to reveal the precarious situations the Knights found themselves in. The same voice that had greeted them earlier, crooned in Aki's ears. Quintessentially villainous... 'Well well... Its time to see what the other can do, isn't it?' Aki didn't dare struggle, the implication there, left her to more seriously consider the possibility that the man could, in fact, access their memories. They were now in a state that acutely mimicked the one set by the earth mage, except the roles were reversed. Wide-eyed, she stared at Tsuru, to see what he'd do next... While her own mind sifted through the options.

#7Hatsuharu 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:13 am

Hatsuharu
In all his urgency to distract the gargoyle away from his partner and the boy, he hardly noticed the thin veil of sand stream that began to separate him from the other two. It was only after the monster had wholeheartedly chosen him as the target and was about to pounce on him, did he see that he could no longer clearly see past the sand veil. To further add to his worry, he couldn’t hear Aki clearly either; he heard her yell but couldn’t make out the words. Nevertheless, there was a more pressing matter—literally—that required his attention. As he kept walking backwards to escape the pouncing gargoyle, he found himself backed up against the wall and nowhere to run anymore.

The gargoyle was already air-bound and all Haru could do was put up his hands in front of him, just like he did before when the bandit came at him with the knife. He shut his eyes tightly and braced to be squashed into pulp. The young man really wasn’t a fighter; at least not yet. Thankfully, he was never jammed between a large stone gargoyle and the wall behind. Him closing his eyes actually was in his favour because the next moment, he found himself buried under fine sand. It would seem the large stone monster dissolved into find dust on its way towards him.

Haru was at least smart enough to not open his mouth or eyes until he dug his way upwards and out of the large pile of sand. When he finally opened his eyes, he saw that the sand stream around the arena had settled down rather abruptly and where he expected to see Akira and the boy, he saw a man holding his partner hostage. Shaking his head in disbelief, he looked at the man incredulously. He truly was mad this time. “What?! Where is the boy?” he asked, looking around. It was incredible how the Rune Knight was first and foremost concerned about the boy even though his partner was in a terrible position right in front of him.

In his head, the two of them, as Rune Knights, have already signed up for danger. But the boy had not. So, it was their duty to protect the boy even if it meant giving up their life. He was sure his partner would understand, but he was not smart enough to realize there was no ‘boy’ to begin with. “What did you do to the boy?” he asked again, raising his voice this time.

#8Akira Shimada 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:45 pm

Akira Shimada
Aki remained rather still, while Tsuru turned towards his captured ally. She swallowed slowly, pretty sure that with the man's tightening grip, he could feel the lump that she swallowed rise and fall in her throat... That sensation made her acutely aware of the mess she'd just landed herself in. Suddenly, now that the life-threatening quality of the danger was confirmed, trading all this just for her gun, was feeling very stupid. Guilt was apparent in her eyes, as she earnestly looked at Tsuru. The assailant had left enough room for her to wiggle about, should she wish. Perhaps, that was the entire point, he was inviting her to try and escape, so he could exercise his control. She didn't really want to give him that satisfaction...

Currently, she was in no major physical discomfort, just very attuned to the sharp and piercing mental annoyance and guilt at landing up in another situation where they had compromised their safety. For someone who liked to avoid confrontation, Aki had found herself in too many... She exhaled softly, in a measured blow, slow and steady. Till Tsuru asked his question. The moment, she opened her mouth to warn him and began issuing a word, the mans' grip instantly tightened. It wasn't one of those threats either, it felt like the hold went from zero to full-force. Her face instantly reddened and her eyes grew water, perhaps even bulged out, as the blood was forced to stagnate in her head. Needless to say, she couldn't speak... He let go, after a second or two, Aki couldn't really tell, she felt giddy and nauseous and suddenly had a deep sense of respect for her partner having endured those rock arms that the earth mage had conjured up. For some reason, the more pressing matter she had to deal with in the present, the more her mind drifted to the past.

From the distance Tsuru was at, she doubted he could note her eyes which darted ever so often towards the man, in an attempt to answer the healer's question. But any other attempt to try and get Tsuru up to speed, were denied by the man behind her. He whispered into her ear, ensuring Tsuru didn't catch a word. 'Hush... Please don't spoil the game...' he almost played the part of the villain, it was like being in a play. The voice sent a shudder down her spine. When he spoke again, from the change in the tone and the amplitude, it was obvious he was now addressing her partner. 'The boy for your friend... I'll release the kid, but I'll keep her, is that okay?' he asked, almost like he was bargaining. Aki's breathing almost halted, knowing Tsuru, he'd probably choose the kid and then do something silly to somehow switch places with Aki, but perhaps he had something else up his sleeve?

#9Hatsuharu 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:19 pm

Hatsuharu
Haru tried his best to avoid making eye contact with his partner. He was afraid he would lose his resolve and choose Akira over the boy, for which he would never probably forgive himself. But, it was quite hard to ignore such a brutal scene right in front of him, especially when he could see the man squeeze her throat. “Hey! Easy…” he blurted out, holding out both his hands, showing him that the healer wasn’t going to try anything funny. It would be terrible if Akira got hurt because Haru made a stupid move.

The red-headed Rune Knight stood there, completely clueless as to what he was supposed to do in such a situation, as the man bent and whispered something into Akira’s ears. For a split second, it seemed like there was an opportunity for Haru to dash forward and attempt to free Akira. But then, what of the boy? And what if he misses, startles the man, and he ends up snapping his partner’s neck? Too many risks and as he assessed all of them, the momentary opening vanished and the capturer’s attention turned back towards Haru.

“Let’s… Talk about this,” he said, speaking every word as clearly and patiently as he could. He didn’t dare take a step forward, even though he wanted to so much. It would seem the man was willing to strike a deal; a rather grim one. “How about you keep me and let the boy and my partner go?” Haru responded almost immediately after hearing the deal. “No deal! I only want the girl,” the man said sternly. And to make it a point as to how serious he was, he brandished a long shiny blue sword out of nowhere and held it in front of Akira’s throat. “You got three seconds…” he said, and immediately began counting down.

“Three…” Haru panicked. His protective instinct kicked in. There was no boy in the vicinity who seemed to be in danger. It was his partner. “Two!” He couldn’t just stand there and do nothing while the man toyed with her life. “On-” The healer dashed forward; thanks to his speed, he closed the distance in less than a second, but that wasn’t enough. That split second was enough for the man to slice Akira’s throat. “NOOO!” the healer yelled, as rage engulfed him. His eyes reddened and he reached out his hand towards the laughing man. Surprisingly, the sword that was in the man’s hands flew straight towards Haru’s extended hand and he gripped onto it tightly.

Without a moment a hesitation, he thrust the blade forward straight towards the man who had struck down his defenceless partner. But… he involuntarily stopped the blade right before it would penetrate the man. While a part of his brain screamed at him impale the man with the mana blade, his body resisted. “WHY?!” he yelled, tears streaming down his eyes. But he got no response. Instead, the man continued laughing and scene around him began to dissolve and fade away.
--

When he finally came to his senses, Haru found himself lying on a couch. The surrounding seemed very familiar… It was Master Doya’s small hut. The healer felt a cold metal against his right palm. He shook his head to clear his vision and sat up slowly. Looking down at his hand, he found himself holding a cylindrical hilt with no blade. The hilt brought back all the memories in a rush. “Aki!” he said, his eyes widening and looking around for his partner. He found her on a nearby bed. Ignoring the green dwelf and the merchant, who was curious to see him awake, he stumbled towards the bed to see his partner.

The healer was ready to heal the cut on her throat, but there was none. He checked her pulse and she seemed to be perfectly healthy; just unconscious. Confused, he turned towards their host and asked incredulously. “What the hell is happening here?” Laughing at him, Master Doya answered calmly. “Chosen a new master, it has!” he said, pointing his thin green index finger towards the thing Haru was holding. “You… are weird,” Haru said bluntly, but only got another chuckle for a response. Meanwhile, he heard Akira stir and quickly turned his attention towards her, to ensure she was doing fine.

-Exit-

#10Akira Shimada 

Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty on Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:08 am

Akira Shimada
Stalling tactics... He's employing his traditional stalling tactics she thought, her teeth grit in frustration. It was still her fault, now her immaturity was just seeking to vent and blame. She swallowed, a task which was rather painful, enough to bring tears to her eyes. But somehow, it seemed, that the man would probably be interested in talking, he went through this elaborate exercise, clearly he wanted something from the healer. Her eyes remained rooted on Tsuru, but they were devoid of any expressions, she couldn't influence his decision one way or another... She didn't want to die, especially since she could see through the deception of the man, but her partner had no idea and she had no way to tell him either.

Much like she'd expected, he offered himself up instead of her. Despite the risk, she groaned, a sound that culminated in a soft pleading whine. The man behind her simply scoffed and shook his head. She wondered if he assumed that she was pleading to be spared... She wasn't she was only trying to dissuade Tsuru from dragging himself into this mess. Apparently, choking her wasn't enough. Perhaps it didn't have the intended effect, perhaps it didn't relay the gravity of the risk. In a second, a sword was held at her throat. She squinted as the blue light shone in her eyes, when her sight adjusted, upon closer inspection, it was less a sharp sword and more a sort of blue-ish tube. Since it was so close to her skin, she could feel the heat emanate from the item. The girl had to use all her will power to not squirm now.

There was another thing that popped into her mind, something that would become inconsequential in about three seconds. The fact that all her spells required rather elaborate motions. It seemed the moment this thought crossed her mind, the man behind her almost red it. 'Un huh...' he whispered between his countdown and his free hand snaked around her arms instantly squashing her plans to use her disperse spell. The moment he reached 'one' there wasn't even time for her to protest, the blade met with her neck and after intense blinding pain... everything went blank.

~~~

Aki would be lying on a bed. Unconscious while Doya and Hatsuharu exchanged their words. They echoed in a manner that the exact words they used were inaudible to Akira. It was like she was in some large hallway or tunnel, their voices sounded ethereal. Maybe this was heaven? There was a hard mattress under her, she'd expected heaven to do better. Maybe she'd only afforded herself some limbo, thanks to her darkness magic or something, maybe even the heavens were prejudicial. Finally, when she found the strength, she could move a finger... But nothing more. Slowly as more vitality stirred into her, she felt the cool air that she was inhaling. Nice, so death is much like life then... she thought dully. Aki would not regain complete consciousness until later, at which point she'd have several questions for her partner...

'Fine she will be and another person she will meet.' Doya after reassuring Tsuru that they could rest here till the morning. 'Teach her how to use her fixed gun, he will...' he explained and then chuckled. Once Tsuru was convinced that Akira was fine, Doya walked up to him and placed his index and middle finger onto the healer's forehead. 'Teach you I will to wield the sword. Defend your kith and kin, you will.' he said finally, before smiling and turning away, leaving the two Knights on the couch and cot...
~Exit~

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Crystal Clear [Akira] Empty


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