Author Topic: A New World, Book 3 - Complete -  (Read 36935 times)

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #60 on: June 10, 2011, 04:58:25 AM »
Jiyuwan felt the watchful eyes of the tengu on him, but he marched forward unafraid.  They were curious, yes.  Some angry as well.  But none of them had the desire to kill.  Without the will to attack, anger meant nothing.

When he reached the Great Tengu's lodge, that changed.  Five wolf tengu, all female oddly enough, stood before the entrance.  Two of them looked at him with open aggression.  It wasn't a strong killing intent, but they were probably restraining themselves.  Obviously they disagreed with whatever orders were holding the others back.

Far more dangerous were the other three.  From them he could feel nothing at all, for those who dedicated themselves to the sword considered killing the same as breathing.

Still, he had been expecting such opposition.  He continued walking forward.

The leader of the band motioned to the other four tengu and they moved out of his way.  She then bowed to him.  ?You are the Lunarian assassin??

Jiyuwan returned the bow making sure to never let his eyes drift from his opponent.  ?Yes, I am.  Though your lord is merely my first target.  I am here to kill all the tengu, as my lord commanded.?  He made sure to sound properly apologetic.  These warriors deserved proper respect.

?I understand.  In deference to the rest of the tengu, our lord has requested the honor of dueling you personally.?  The wolf tengu frowned.  ?I was supposed to ask that you merely faced him one at a time, but it seems that is unnecessary.?

?My Lord believed that I, unworthy as I was, would be able to cause enough damage to keep the Tengu out of the battle.  Please understand there was no insult meant in that judgment.?  Jiyuwan started forward again.  ?And I accept your lord's request.  I assume he awaits within??

The woman nodded and opened the door.  ?Yes.  All has been prepared for your arrival.?

He gave her another polite bow as he passed into the darkened chamber.  The shoji panels had been arranged to give him but one corridor to another set of double doors.  When he arrived at them they blew open with a rush of wind.  ?Please enter.?

Jiyuwan complied.

In the center of the room was a small table with two tea cups on it.  Opposite it was the Great Tengu.  The man he'd been sent to kill.

The Great Tengu poured tea, first into his own cup, then into the other.

Jiyuwan gave the man a nod of respect and sat down.

?I apologize for selfishly wasting your time with this,? the tengu said.  ?But I did not want the Lunarians to think us ordinary monsters to be hunted and slain.?

Jiyuwan sipped the tea.  It was of good quality, but slightly bitter.  ?It is I who should apologize.  Given your skill with the sword I should have attacked you from stealth.  I hope you see my willingness to approach you openly as simply arrogance on my part, and not an insult to your personal skills.?

?I thank you for your words.?

Jiyuwan could see the Great Tengu's eyes flicker over him.  Studying every movement he made as he drank his tea.  He did the same, marveling at his opponent's perfect ambidexterity and calm demeanor.

Perhaps this was another vice, Jiyuwan thought.  This polite pretense that they weren't going to try to brutally murder each other.  This play act to help hide the fact that war was about people slowly dying as they tried to scoop up their own intestines, and the screaming of widows and orphans as their families burned.  A truth that even this war, a war mostly fought by a few champions, could not escape.

Maybe this was why he'd failed as a teacher.  All his students had learned this polite conflict.  The trappings of war to make it less evil then it was.  But they'd never seen the evil beneath to know the true horrors this was all supposed to cover up.  They knew how to make war more civil, but not why civilized people should avoid it at all costs.

?You know you can't defeat all of us,? the Great Tengu said quietly.  ?Even if you defeat me the other tengu will cut you down.?

Jiyuwan looked the tengu in the eye, surprised by his foe's tone.  There in the man's face he saw something he did not see on many foe's faces.  At least, not before the clash of arms.  Then he understood.  ?You know of my Lord's power.?

?Yes,? replied his foe.

Jiyuwan felt a smile pass over his lips.  This was a fitting fight for him.

He looked down at the cup.  It was a marvelous piece of craftsmanship, and while certainly younger then him, it had great age to it as well.  It had seen many meetings, and served many dignitaries.

?Do you like the cup?? his host asked.

?Yes.  I wanted to study it.  After all it is certain to be destroyed by the winds caused by our fighting.?  Jiyuwan looked up at the tengu.  ?Just as we are certain to be destroyed by our refusal to change our reasons for living.?

?I have always made sure the tengu could stand alone.  I am not willing to abandon that.?  The great tengu shifted, his katana moving to where he could easily grab it.  ?And I refuse to accept that my death is inevitable.?

The sudden rush of killing intent was fair enough warning to a man of Jiyuwan's skill.  He quickly kicked over the table, shattering the beautiful tea set against the far wall, then rolled backwards to draw his straight blade.  The Great Tengu's draw cut slashed the table in two.  Jiyuwan brought his sword up to parry for the head cut, then slashed in response causing the Great Tengu to retreat to the sky.

Then the battle truly began.

Jiyuwan immediately found himself on the defensive, as the Great Tengu used his incredible speed to attack him from all sides.  Jiyuwan didn't even try to follow his foe's movements with his eyes.  He just allowed his fighting instincts to guide his blade.  His foe was air, so he would become earth, unmoving, unyielding.

Still each blow threatened his stance.  The Great Tengu was holding his katana in one hand, but the massive strength behind each blow required all of Jiyuwan's power to counter.  It didn't help that Jiyuwan couldn't alter his stance at all, lest the Great Tengu strike him while he was changing footwork.

Then came his opening, the mistake that he'd been waiting for.  The tengu paused in his assault to attack with his fan.  With a single fluid motion he swung his sword as fast as he could while still retaining the proper angle, then followed the wind pressure cut with 4 throwing arrows.

His cut slammed into the tornado created by the tengu's magic, scattering the winds behind both attacks in a dramatic burst.  However, the arrows he threw flew straight and true towards the Great Tengu's chest.

The tengu reacted at the last moment, seeming to disappear as he dodged to the side.  There were four solid thumps as the arrows embedded themselves in the wood of the building, and Jiyuwan was afraid for a moment all of them had missed.  But the Great Tengu looked down at his right sleeve, and Jiyuwan saw blood starting to spread.  The two opponents once again gave each other respectful glances.

Then the Great Tengu jumped up to the wall and pushed himself off with incredible force.  Jiyuwan quickly guessed the attack his opponent would have to make and executed the proper parry just in time.  He grunted as the force of the impact ran up his arms.  He'd have to try more delicate parries if he didn't want his arms to break.  This explained why the Great Tengu had been willing to fight him inside.  The thick walls allowed his foe to exchange speed for even greater power at whim.

However, Jiyuwan was still confident in victory.  His opponent couldn't use feints or change directions well when using that technique, and the set up gave Jiyuwan enough time to reset his stance.  When he faced his opponent he could easily defend himself in such a way to make the strongest blows the same as a light rain.

The match would come down to who made a fatal mistake first.

The next few minutes were like standing in the middle of a summer squall.  A rain of quick attacks followed by a cascade of thundering blows slammed into his blade, and like a traveler trying to adjust their umbrella, he shifted his footing and blade to make sure that the steel winds didn't break him.

He saw his first opening as the Great Tengu prepared to spring off the ceiling at him.  The cut would aim at his left arm, but it would leave the Great Tengu's head unprotected.  Youkai resilience wouldn't hold up to a blade through the eye.  So when the Great Tengu attacked, he thrust his blade forward, giving no thought to the cut at his arm, neither accepting or denying it.

Jiyuwan was surprised when he felt his blade struck aside.  The Great Tengu had managed to abort his attack and block Jiyuwan's.  Partially block anyway.  His blade had nicked the tengu's forehead, a wound that would bleed and impede his foe's sight slightly.

A good exchange, he noted.  He reset his stance and prepared for the next wave of attacks.

His next opening occurred only a minute later as the Great Tengu came in with a powerful stab.  Jiyuwan knew that curved blades like the katana could roll past a poorly placed defending sword to turn from a stab to a deadly slash.  Which was probably why the Great Tengu was attempting it.

But he also knew that a straight blade, like his own, could catch a curved blade during that roll and send it flying out of the foe's grasp, if the person wielding the straight blade was a master.

He once again pushed himself forward.  The two blades crossed, met, locked very briefly, then with a powerful swing Jiyuwan sent the tengu's blade flying.  Then it was his turn to get thrown back as the Great Tengu body slammed him.

It was pure instinct that allowed him to block the cut from the Great Tengu's wakizashi.  Even then the force of the blow broke his defense and cut into his side.  It wasn't enough to pierce his ribs, but it would weaken him slightly.

He needed to retreat before the Great Tengu just beat him to death with kicks and punches.  He braced himself, then jumped backwards as hard as he could.  There was a horrible screech of metal as he disengaged.  He saw when he resumed his stance that his Lunarian blade was notched, and the Great Tengu's wakizashi was cracked from the strain.

Jiyuwan tossed some throwing arrows to keep the Great Tengu from reaching his blade, but his foe didn't move to recover the sword.  The Great Tengu closed his eyes, raised his fan, and called out to the heavens.

And the winds answered.

The miniature hurricane slammed into Jiyuwan and staggered him.  The paper screens were uprooted immediately and the tatami was starting to come loose too.  He winced as the teapot slammed into his hip, bruising it.  He tried cutting the missiles out of the air as they struck at him, but it was futile.  Soon everything in the room would become a deadly weapon capable of killing him.

The Great Tengu waved his fan and the winds pick up again.  The walls shuddered as the hurricane became a tornado, then the whole building blew apart in the wind.

As a chunk of wall flew towards him Jiyuwan activated the device he'd been saving for this moment.

The weakness of most magical creatures was their reliance on their innate powers.  To be fair, that was the weakness of most humans too.  Expecting the average tengu to not call on the wind was like expecting a human to not use their thumbs.  And usually relying on the winds was a good idea.  It was hard to see how a tornado could be a weakness.  After all there was no way any human could defend against a true tornado, aside from ?don't get hit by one.?  Magic could defend against the deadly winds, but Jiyuwan was a poor student of magic.  His purpose was to become the perfect swordsman.  It wasn't that he disliked magic, he just didn't have time to devote to the study.

Science, however, was something Jiyuwan greatly appreciated.  Especially the sciences that made devices that could be mastered quickly.  Devices like the shield he was activating now.

He grunted as the wall hit him.  The shield protected him from deadly impact, but the sudden acceleration was still disconcerting.  Smaller debris that would have just punched right through him simply glanced off.

As soon as he reoriented himself he began pushing against the wall, trying to steer the thing.  The shield lasted twenty seconds.  After that, the shards of the building would rip him apart.

He pushed and pulled at the wooden panel that had struck him, though he had to admit he was uncertain if he was changing its direction at all.  It was impossible to see through the swirling debris.

At fifteen seconds he jumped towards where he thought the Great Tengu was.

Jiyuwan broke into the eye of the storm mere seconds later then he anticipated.  He was on the left side, where the blood was interfering with the Great Tengu's vision.  When the Great Tengu finally spotted Jiyuwan it was too late to do anything but try to kill Jiyuwan before Jiyuwan killed him.

Unfortunately Jiyuwan's shield still had a second left.

The Great Tengu's sword bounced off the Lunarian device, while Jiyuwan's struck true.  The tengu coughed up blood as the sword took him in the lungs.  Jiyuwan twisted the blade, then ripped it upward to the Great Tengu's neck to make sure the youkai was dead.

The tornado ended.

Jiyuwan slapped away the few pieces of debris that ended up heading towards him, then looked around.  Surrounding him was what he guessed was a great portion of the tengu nation, all looking at him in shock.  They were almost all armed, but none made a move against him.

Then a voice cut through the silence.  The voice of the wolf tengu that had met him at the door.  ?The Great Tengu is dead!  As per his final commandment, the tengu who slays his assassin will prove their right to become the new Great Tengu!?

Jiyuwan pulled out a second device while raising his sword.  ?Come then!  Prove your worth, but know failure is death!?

Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2011, 06:39:43 AM »
That was a close fight, Iced. The Lunarian almost lost, but I guess he's still more than ready to commence the inevitable bloodbath. I'll be waiting for the outcome!

Crow's Dumping Ground of Art

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Alfred F. Jones

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2011, 03:41:18 PM »
That was a suitably awesome final battle for the Great Tengu.

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #63 on: June 17, 2011, 05:04:01 PM »
Shimeri looked down at the map and frowned.

He couldn't say his assault was going badly really.  Unfortunately, he couldn't say it was going well either.  His army was making slow progress towards Eientei, but every gain of ten yards was followed by a 7 yard retreat.

The problem was his troops.  Moon rabbits were stronger, better coordinated and better equipped then their earth rabbit counterparts.  The problem was they were still rabbits.  While their superior firepower made it easy to break the defenders' ranks, every trap and ambush they ran into caused the whole army to fall back.  It would almost be comical, if it weren't for the occasional scream of a wounded or dying rabbit.

He closed his eyes and called upon his power.  ?Unit twenty seven, move to reinforce unit twelve.  Watch out for mines.?  He opened his eyes and looked around at his personal retinue of moon rabbits.  They all seemed to be performing their duties admirably.  He was quite proud of his servants.  ?Any word on casualties Umi?? he asked the closest rabbit.

?Light on both sides.  They seem to be more interested in prisoners.  The same as us,? she replied.

Shimeiri nodded.  ?Good.?  He returned to the map.

He wondered if Tenshou would be annoyed that he wasn't keeping to the timetable.  Technically Shimeiri wasn't supposed to take Eientei until later, but he didn't want to wait.  He knew many of the Lunar nobility would see his move as treason.

Which, in all honesty, it was.

Shimeiri didn't have any delusions about his status.  He saw the purity of the moon was failing long before anyone else did, and he liked it.  He began to become entranced with the earth.  Sure there was the threat of death here, but one had to be able to fall to rise.  Thus when Lord Tenshou started plotting his vengeance, Shimeiri had been the first to ally with the man.

And in return for his services Shimeiri had asked something any Lunarian would toss away without a thought.  Rule over the earth.

Let the fools who couldn't see their fall from grace sit on the dead rotting moon.  He would make himself a king among men.  And rabbits of course.  Eientei would be the foundation of his empire.

There was the unfortunate problem of what to do with the current rulers of the mansion.  He was still working on that.  Which is why he was making sure to take as many prisoners as possible.  You could always execute people later.  It was much more difficult to unexecute someone.

Suddenly a voice came to him.  ?Um...  This is a message to all moon rabbits in the invading army from Princess Kaguya.  You have been deceived.  Lord Tenshou is the one who assassinated the Watatsukis.  Any defectors will be accepted into Eientei, no questions asked.?

?Damn!?  Shimeiri quickly reached out to his army.  ?Ignore that Reisen.  She betrayed the emissaries, just like her namesake.  How could she have survived an attack the Watatsukis did not?  Continue your advance.?  He thought for a moment then added.  ?Anyone who deserts their post will be executed.  Surrender to superior numbers is reasonable, treason is not!?  That should keep his troops in line, given the punishments handed out from the previous earth operation.

He turned his attention to his enemies' communications, trying to pin down it's origin.  If he knew where the transmission was coming from he could block it with his power, but something was odd about the signal.  After a while he realized it was being broadcast from outside his army's circle.

Shimeiri considered the matter.  It was possible that this was some trick of Eirin's, but he discarded that idea quickly.  If she'd learned how to communicate like the moon rabbits did she'd have been able to bypass his power.  No, a moon rabbit had to be transmitting the message in person, and given the way the magic ?sounded? it was obviously some sort of relay.  He waved at one of his officers. ? Kuro, take a squad and move to the North East.  The traitor is there.?

?Yes sir!?  The elite moon rabbit headed off to grab a reserve group.

?Umi, you're in command for now.?  Shimeiri closed his eyes again and reached towards the relay point.  His army's weakness was morale.  He couldn't let enemy propaganda flood over them at will.  But his opponent's weakness was morale as well.  He could use that.

The connection opened.  ?So, is this the new Reisen or the old one??

There was silence, but he continued.  ?Perhaps we could negotiate.  I'm far more reasonable then the rest of the Lunar Forces.  If you surrender I promise not only your life, but the lives of your masters as well.?

?And how are you going to explain away the murder of my former bosses if we're all still alive??  A harsh female voice replied.  Obviously this was the older Reisen, the one that fled because of the threat of war.  He'd heard she had great potential, but no will.  Her voice seemed to belay that though.

Still if nothing else he could distract her from his attack team.  ?I don't intend to explain anything.  I'll be ruler of Eientei.  King of the Rabbits.  They won't be able to question me.?

?With Kaguya as your Queen, I suppose?? The voice questioned.

?Officially, yes.?  He sighed mentally as he checked his group's progress.  The main advance was at a standstill, but the special squad would catch this Reisen soon.  ?You studied under Eirin, right?  You must be intelligent.  Far more intelligent then most of your kind.  You should be able to see how reasonable my offer is.?

He decided to try appealing to desire instead of fear.  ?What do the people of Gensoukyo have to offer you?  Even if they weren't going to be wiped out they'll never trust you.  All you gain here is death and a little face, when you could own the world.  Think on it.  I have great need of strong commanders.  Especially those who can speak with me and know the Earth rabbits.?

?I won't betray anyone again.  Even if they do dislike me.  And I won't ever serve the man who helped murder my comrades from before.?  Shimeiri's eyes snapped open in shock at the contempt in her voice.  He'd never been treated like that by a moon rabbit before.  ?I'd normally let you continue to waste your time, but your troops have arrived, so I'm afraid I have to shoot them.?

He frowned and switched his focus.  ?Kuro!  She knows you're there!  Be careful.?

?Yes my Lord!?  Came the reply.

Shimeiri sighed and looked around the clearing again.  It seemed like Umi was handling the assault direction passably.  He checked the other stations, but nothing required his attention.

After a few seconds of pacing he turned his attention back to his ambush party.  He closed his eyes and tried to reach Kuro.

There was no sense of contact.

Worried he reached out to the squad that had gone with his assistant.  He reached out to the first mind in the area.  ?Report.?

?Aaaah!  Ithurtsithurtsithurtsithurtsithurts?

Shimeiri swore.  ?Umi, contact me if anything changes.  I'm going to deal with the traitors myself.?  He strode off quickly into the bamboo thicket.

The dark shadows and strange noises of the nighttime forest unnerved him a little as he left the safety of his retinue, but he shook that feeling off.  No mere moon rabbit was capable of getting through his defenses, and he'd made sure no other youkai were within his perimeter.

There was the sound of breaking underbrush in front of him and he drew his side arm.  ?Report!? he snapped out.  The rustling stopped briefly, then one of his moon rabbits popped out, a mixture of fear and hope on her face.  ?The clearing!  It was a trap!? she wailed.  ?There must have been a dozen of them in the forest.  They shot Kuro first, and wounded the rest of us.  We had to retreat!?

Shimeiri looked over the rabbit and saw a bleeding nick on one ear.   At a guess she'd been hit as she was running.  Using his knowledge of moon rabbits he guessed that Reisen had shot Kuro from hiding then opened up fire at random just to scare the others.  He sighed again at how sad his army was, but one worked with what one had.  ?Gather the wounded and get back to the doctor.  I'll handle it myself.?

?Thank you master,? she said before hurrying off.  She was probably happy that she wasn't going to be blamed for the failure.

He dismissed the rabbit from his thoughts and continued forward, this time more cautiously.  He doubted Eirin would give a moon rabbit a weapon capable of breaking top line Lunarian shields with a single hit, but he wasn't willing to bet his life on it.

After a few minutes Shimeiri reached the clearing.  Right in front of him was Kuro's body.  Her knee had been shot out, and there was a wound right above her nose.  In her right hand was a grenade, the pin unpulled.  Apparently she'd tried to fight this Reisen despite her wound.  It was unfortunate that she'd failed.

He dismissed the corpse from his mind and turned his gaze back to the clearing.  Reisen was likely still there waiting for him, along with whatever other traps she'd set.  He didn't want to break cover, but trying to sneak around in the bamboo also seemed like a bad plan.  He decided to change the battlefield in his favor.

Pulling out a grenade device of his own he twisted the cap, then threw it as far as he could in the forest.  A few shots from the far side of the clearing failed to take the missile out and it flew into the bamboo opposite him.

A moon rabbit rolled out into the clearing as the forest behind her exploded into flame.

Shimeiri stepped out and lowered his weapon at her.  Before he could pull the trigger however she leaped to her feet and focused her glowing red eyes on him.

The world seemed to melt, swirling and dipping, then boiling up to the top again.  The bullets he fired twisted and hopped through the air as his brain whirled.  The ground sank beneath his feet, making him stumble as his stomach rebelled.  He tried to steady himself and keep his lunch as he continued shooting.

Reisen lowered her own weapon and started firing into his shield.  As the glowing white bullets staggered through the red haze of his vision Shimeiri realized what must be happening.  This Reisen must have inherited the powerful madness inducing eyes.  His senses were being turned against him.

But two could play that game.

Shimeiri closed his eyes, focused, and screamed into Reisen's mind.

The dizziness lessened a bit, and he could feel the physical assault slack off.  He opened his eyes, just a little, and started shooting as fast as his weapon would allow.  Reisen staggered back, grimaced and turned her eyes on him again.

The two stood there for some time, firing drunkenly at each other.  Shimeiri couldn't even tell which shots bounced off the shields and which just missed cleanly.

Finally the rabbit broke and ran.  She tried to fly, crashed, then stumbled into the bamboo.  As she vanished so did her terrifying mental attack.

The ground was firm again, though Shimeiri's vision still wavered.  He allowed himself to collapse to help settle his stomach.  He cursed himself for being so overconfident.  He wasn't sure who would have won if they'd kept up that exchange.

Fortunately his opponent had made a mistake.  She needed to look at an opponent to attack with her power.

He just needed to be close.

Shimeiri focused hard and once again began yelling in the mind of every nearby moon rabbit.  After a few moments he followed the trail of his adversary into the thicket.  He slowed somewhat when the light of the moon was cut off by the massive bamboo stocks, keeping his ears open for the crunch of footsteps other then his own, but there was nothing but the ringing silence of his mental cry.

After a minute of careful walking he found himself at another clearing.  Reisen lay in the middle clutching her ears and twitching.  Every now and then she made to stand, then keeled over again.

Shimeiri started forward, then paused.  Something wasn't quite right.

Then he saw the fresh dirt and understood.  She was lying on the other side of a pit trap.  He wasn't sure exactly what was in the pit trap that she thought could hurt him, but he wasn't about to find out either.  Fortunately avoiding it was easy.  He took to the air and moved forward.

?It's unfortunate you didn't side with me.  Getting Princess Kaguya to accept my rule will be more difficult after I kill one of her prize pets.  But I'm afraid I can't have someone as dangerous as you giving her support.  That's why I let Eirin 'escape' out into the battlefield where she could get herself killed.?  He realized his words probably were being drowned out by the mental noise, but he thought explaining himself was the polite thing to do.

?Still with both the 'traitors' dead I should be able to keep Lord Tenshou in the dark for a little longer.  So you haven't failed your princess.  Much.?  He came to a stop next to the rabbit and carefully took aim.

A rustling above was the only warning he got before something slammed into his shoulders, knocking him off his feet and into the darkness of the pit.

----

For a second Reisen had thought that the trap had failed.  That Tewi had given up on the illusion spell that prevented the real trap from being seen, and abandoned her.  It had taken all of her effort to get this far, and her ears were still ringing.  She felt miserable and alone as the man had taken aim at her.  Then she felt a stab of relief as the earthen bags magically appeared in the sky and struck the Lunarian.

As the rumble of earth ended the pain in her ears subsided.  She managed to push herself up to her knees, but she still felt sick.  It didn't help that the pure cacophony had been replaced by frantic cries for help.

Tewi loomed over her.  ?You all right Reisen?  I hope I wasn't cutting it too close with those bags full of rocks.?

?Not that.  He's still alive.  His shields must've protected him.?

Tewi's eyes hardened at that.  ?Oh.  I'll take care of that then.?  The small earth rabbit summoned up her limited magic and produced a bamboo spear and a wooden mallet.  She planted the tip of the weapon into the earth she'd used the bury the Lunarian, then raised the mallet.  ?Tell me when the noise stops.?

The first three swings just drove the spear in deeper.  On the fourth the spear jerked as it hit something.  Reisen shuddered at the demands for aid switched to begging for mercy.  Tewi lifted the hammer, once, twice, three times, then four.

And there was silence again.

?That's it,? Reisen said weakly.

?Good!?  Tewi replied cheerfully.  The earth rabbit looked at the spear again and shook her head.  ?King of the Rabbits huh?  Don't even think of claiming that title unless you can survive having your skin ripped off.?

Reisen shuddered at Tewi's bold proclamation.  It was very rare, but sometimes Reisen got the feeling that Tewi was far stronger then anyone imagined.

But once again she pushed that thought aside.  She could ask Eirin about it later.  Right now she had something to finish.

----

Kaguya slowly petted the young rabbit girl's head.  Reisen (they'd need to find a good way of distinguishing the two now) had had a panic attack when the invader from the moon started begging for his life in her mind.  As had most of the invasion force.  The earth rabbits of course were unaffected, so Kaguya's armies were doing their best to take advantage of their foes' confusion.

Reisen twitched in Kaguya's arms, then wiped her eyes.  ?Ah!  Um, princess, the other Reisen said that the enemy general is dead.  She and Tewi are safe, though she says she'll have a headache for a week.?

Kaguya smiled at the rabbit girl, putting all her charm to work keeping the skittish girl functional.  ?Good.  Tell her to come back home as quick as she can.  And tell all the other moon rabbits we offer them total amnesty and will defend them against anyone calling for vengeance.?  She patted the girl one more time.  ?Then take a rest.  You've done a very good job.?

The second Reisen's ears twitched as she conveyed the message.  Kaguya gave the little rabbit another pat on the head, before gently setting her down beside her ?guard? retinue.  She needed to give her thanks to Udonge and Tewi, and take over rounding up the rest of the moon rabbits.  The moon rabbits had been trained for some time to obey Lunarians unquestioningly.  With the success of Reisen and Tewi's plan, she was the only Lunarian around that they could turn to.

And if she hurried she might be able to help with the rest of the war.  Eirin might be fine with Kaguya sitting around safely at home, but she wasn't.

She'd see to Eientei's safety.  And then she'd show the people who had banished her just how much she'd changed in this beautifully impure world.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #64 on: June 18, 2011, 05:52:04 AM »
I love the two battlefields-- the visible world, and the mind-- and how they interact with one another, or don't.

God damn this is such a cool story. (I don't mean this in the "cool story bro" sense.)

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
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  • I will set you on fire k'?
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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2011, 11:08:24 PM »
Oisha yelled as loud as she could to lessen the pain in her ears from the roar of clashing spells.  Her shields were screaming as the magical backlash from her own attack pushed them to the breaking point.  The spell's end came as a relief.  She didn't even think of pressing her attack, she just flew to a new position and breathed in as much cool air as possible.

Oisha was tossing everything she had into this fight.  But Yuuka was matching her, spell for spell.

At least her enemy looked like she was tiring as well.  At the start of the battle the youkai had  attacked by releasing an aura of deadly power.  Her foe didn't seem wounded, but she'd given up on such extravagantly wasteful attacks in favor of more focused magic.

There was no taunt to warn of Yuuka's next attack, just a subtle change in the youkai's posture and a massive amount of magical energy.  An orb of space in front of the youkai began to distort, turning blacker then the night sky.  Oisha fought the urge to run and instead devoted her efforts to understanding the spell.  Then she recognized it and she dove towards the center of the distortion as fast as she could.

The boundary of the unnatural distortion began to collapse piecemeal, sending deadly fragments of unreality in all directions.  Oisha's shields screamed again as the magic washed over them, then she broke through into the center of the field.  There were a few stray bullets here, but those were easy to dodge.

The distortion finally shrank small enough that it simply faded out of existence.  Oisha struck immediately.  ?Black Cataclysm.?  The spell she'd been forming in her mind crystallized immediately into a black orb that streaked towards the youkai.  Yuuka only had enough time to look at the attack in shock before it slammed into her with another rattling boom.  The youkai vanished in blue flames.

Oisha felt a surge of joy, then shock as the flames parted to reveal an orb of pure energy.  Smaller energy spheres detached and blazed towards her, and she quickly dove to the ground to avoid the assault.  Her hair stood on end as the attack crackled right overhead.

Oisha's heart sank to her stomach as not one, but two identical youkai reformed.  Both the Yuukas wore a mask of determination.  The red clad figures both aimed their palms at Oisha before intoning ?Dual Spark.?

She was in serious trouble.  The youkai had been battering her all over the battlefield with unnamed attacks.  Any spell that was worthy of a name in Yuuka's mind would be too much for her defenses, and there was no way she could split one of her own attacks to counter.  She needed some way to avoid one of the beams.  But there was nowhere to hide!  None of the hills could shield her from the attack.

Energy began flowing towards the youkai's outstretched hands.  Then the answer came to Oisha.  It was dangerous.  So dangerous that she'd never even tested the spell.  But right now it was the only thing that could save her.

Oisha dispelled her shields.  The spell would either work, or she would die.  She mustered her courage and turned to the youkai, ?I'm ready?.

?HAAAAA!?  The two Yuukas each unleashed a beam of pure destructive magic unlike anything Oisha had ever seen.  But that didn't matter.  As the rainbow energy shattered the air itself Oisha called upon her magic, upon years of lore, and recited the simple quick spell that she'd never cast before.

She vanished.

It was startling seeing herself disappear like that.  She knew the spell would remove her from reality, but she had no idea what that entailed.  Now though she found her consciousness or perhaps her soul, watching as the deadly magical beams vanished into the ether.  There was no sound, no sensation of touch, just a strange knowledge of presence and the feeling of power flowing into space.

The beams of destruction ended, leaving the sky empty.

Oisha screamed in shock as she once again entered existence.  Every nerve in her body seemed eager to report that it was now working again, and her mind could barely handle the information.  But she had to finish the spell.  She pointed her hands at both of the women before her and reversed the flow of power.  The twin beams sent her reeling back in the air.

The massive attacks blinded her completely.  The roar of an attack that was beyond ever her power terrified and thrilled her.  This had to be the turning point!

After what seemed like an eternity the magic faded.  Oisha saw her foe had once again retreated to an energy state, with no sign of the double.  She forced herself to raise her hands again.  Her body screamed as magic flowed through overused channels but she couldn't hold back!  She needed to win now!

?Phase Crush!?

A dark purple orb spun out over the battlefield and exploded on top of the youkai.  Space-time crackled then broke with a sound that the human mind pretended was similar to glass.  Oisha began flying away as the spell began drawing in the surrounding air in a terrifying vortex.

The pull of the spell seemed stronger then normal.  Oisha's battered body wanted to collapse, let the wind drag her in.  Every moment she slipped a little further.  A centimeter given here, because she couldn't overdo it.  A meter given because she needed to regather her strength.

It was a relief when the sphere exploded and slammed her into the ground.

There was pain all along her body.  Oisha wasn't sure how she made it to the newest crater's edge, but her body told her that she'd hit the ground hard and that she should lie down before things got worse.  However she knew she needed to finish off her foe.  Otherwise she'd die.

Now that she was mostly conscious, Oisha looked over the crater.

The sides were glossy black.  In the middle were some glowing seeds, obviously dormant.  That was the only sign of her opponent.

?I won??  Oisha looked again, searching for proof.  ?I won.  I won!?

She laughed aloud.  ?I did it!?  The youkai had to have been a champion!  Perhaps even a something equivalent to a native god!  And she had struck it down with her own power.  ?I am the greatest combat mage alive!?

Oisha took a few deep breaths.  She felt a little lightheaded.  Obviously the fight had taken a great deal out of her.  She'd need to take a bit of a break before she could move on.

?Konparo, Konparo.?

Oisha froze then turned around quickly.  The sudden motion made her vision blur and she crashed to the ground again.

A large doll, or perhaps a small doll youkai, knelt down in front of her.  ?You are very strong.  But poison works on everyone regardless of strength.?

Oisha attempted to raise and hand, to summon her magic again, but she was too weak.  The doll reached forward and pushed her to a kneeling position.

?You hurt my friend badly for no reason, and you killed Yuuka.  I already don't like humans, but you're bad even for them.?  Oisha opened her mouth to protest, but all she could do was try to breath in more air.  The doll continued, ?Which is why I don't think I'll let you die by poison.  I think we'll end this right now.  Okay, Su-san??

Without waiting for a reply, Medicine snapped the Lunarian's neck.

The doll youkai tossed the broken body aside and looked into the pit, where the glowing sunflower seeds lay.  She sighed.  Yuuka was such a fool, always getting in fights right after waking up.  Still, she was glad to see the other nature youkai had left something behind.

There was a strange sound and a gap appeared next to her.  Medicine looked in confusion as Chen stepped out.  ?Hm?  Why don't you use that more often??

?I can only take myself,? Chen said with a certain amount of embarrassment.  The nekomata shook it off quickly, however.  ?Anyway, I ran Kogasa all the way back to the temple like you asked, so she should be safe.  Now will you help Ran??

Medicine nodded.  ?Sure!  These humans seem like a bad lot, so I wanted to kill them anyway.  I just don't like abandoning friends.?  She thought for a moment.  ?But isn't your master a long ways off?  We'll probably have to fight through a lot of people to help her.?

Chen nodded with a frown.  ?Yeah, but hopefully we'll be able to force them to send people to fight us instead of to hunt Ran, Maribel and Renko down.?

Medicine smiled and nodded.  If Chen said it would work that way Medicine wasn't going to argue.  She'd figured out a lot of people were smarter then her by now.  She quickly scooped up the glowing seeds and dropped them on more fertile ground before taking to the air.  ?Alright, which way??

Chen leaped in front of her.  ?Follow me!?

---

I'm late, I know.  Releasing software is hard....

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2011, 11:40:44 PM »
I will never view Medicine the same way again. :3

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2011, 12:14:49 PM »
It took six straight hours of nonstop reading to read through the previous two books and this thread.

And it was entirely worth it.

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #68 on: July 08, 2011, 05:58:27 PM »
?Flames of heaven, come forth onto this world and wreck destruction on my enemies.  Royal Flare.?

Dinah crouched behind the shelves as Patchouli's attack seared the Library's high ceiling.  The second the deadly barrage stopped she popped out and unleashed an unmaking spell at the two Lunarians there.  Opposite her Koakuma teleported out and unleashed a barrage of deadly water mines before hiding away again.

A sweeping laser forced her to duck.  She swore and retreated further into the maze of books.  The fight was in its opening stages, but like a chess master who'd botched an opening, Dinah saw that it was going poorly.

The truth was that Dinah was weak.  She could cast spells faster then Patchouli, and she almost matched her mother in spell knowledge, but she was Koakuma's biological daughter, and that meant she just didn't have the same magical power as her sisters.  Normally she made up for that by hitting her foes' weaknesses, but the Lunarians they were fighting didn't have weaknesses.  All she and Koakuma could really do was skirmish hoping to catch the Lunarians off guard while Patchouli fought them directly.  And since Patchouli didn't have much stamina, that couldn't last.

Koakuma teleported next to her.  Dinah could tell from her mother's grim countenance that Koakuma had come to the same realization.  ?We need to find a way to distract one of them.?

Dinah sighed.  ?Somehow I don't think that'll be easy.  They aren't using any magical style I know, we can't brute force those shields and I can't think of any good taunts.?

Dinah shivered as Koakuma smiled widely.  ?Oh! That gives me an idea~.?  Her mother sighed.  ?But we should try the normal way first.  I'll try to pin the rear guard with a laser, while you see if their spell has a weakness.?

?Right.?  The two teleported out into the air again.

The two Lunarian invaders had driven Patchouli to the back of the Library, though they weren't pressing their attack hard.  Dinah was relieved to see that Patchouli had called forth her Philosopher's Stone.  The enhancements that spell gave her, physically and magically, would help a lot.

The two devil magicians quickly assessed their targets.  The woman was leading the assault, with what looked like custom spells.  The man was holding back a bit more, and his spells seemed somewhat generic, though Dinah couldn't place the style.  He would be the better target.

Koakuma's laser cut into his shield, turning it blue then white under the attack.  The woman turned to send them running again, but Patchouli shattered the crystals that composed her spell, sending a massive storm of multielemental energy at the woman forcing her to dodge.  In that brief moment when both their foes were occupied Dinah allowed her vision to focus into the world where magic bound things together.

At first she didn't understand the strange lines that bound the man's shield together; the green and red links of the chain that forced the magic in the air to defend him.  Then she remembered something she'd read in one of the outside world books.  ?Ah.  Binary.  So this is a magitech device.?

To understand was to act.  Dinah summoned her magic and unleashed a magnetic pulse through the library.

The device was probably protected against that type of attack, but it didn't matter.  Such defenses were never one hundred percent effective, and Dinah had quickly bound the names of some of the nastier gremlins of legend to the spell.  Even if the shield survived, it would be plagued by bugs and errors until it was scrapped or purified.

The man managed to dodge out of the way of Koakuma's laser right as his shield shattered into meaningless lights but now he had to flee the deadly beam.  The woman, seeing her ally in danger, threw a protection spell on him.  The Lunarians' momentum had been lost.

Patchouli took that moment to activate the library's defenses.  Dinah and Koakuma both teleported to her side as the Library dissolved into chaos.

Voile had always been heavily warded.  First to keep out hunters.  Then to protect the books from Marisa.  Then after Marisa moved in to protect the books from people trying to steal them back from Marisa.  At this point no one knew how all the library wards worked.

Elemental spirits screamed into the sky, some attacking foes directly, some just twirling about releasing a rain of destruction.  Magical binds stretched and reached for foes to trap.  Several innocuous books burst from their shelves and began destructive spells, throwing lasers, arcing lighting and releasing fireblasts into the air.  Over the pool a massive column of ice formed.  And of course the warding runes on the shelves all reenforced themselves to protect against the random damage being thrown about. 

Dinah sat down next to her mother and 'aunt' Patchouli.  ?I don't think that'll work,? she said.

Patchouli nodded.  ?There's no way they're stupid enough to stay out in the open.  But this gives us some time.?  She began summoning her Philosopher's Stone again.

Koakuma smiled.  ?And that spell you hit them with should mean they won't be able to rely on their technology as much.  We might be able to face them directly now.?

?I guess we'll find out.?  Dinah sighed and reenforced her own spells.  This was going to be messy.

About three minutes after all the wards had been triggered, the summons were mostly gone, and the attack spells had all been exhausted.  Her mother gave Dinah a hug and Patchouli a kiss, before all three of them took to the sky.

They were greeted by a wave of fire that smashed Dinah's shield and sent Koakuma tumbling backwards.  Patchouli allowed her fire stone to absorb the energy that struck her and fling it back.  The Lunarians split up and the firefight began again.

The next few moments was a flurry of spellcasting.  The female Lunarian and Patchouli targeted each other directly, while Dinah and the others each just attempted to add chaos to the other side of the battle field.

The fight seemed even for a time, but then the crystals of the Philosopher's stone began to shatter one by one as Patchouli's asthma drained away her strength.  As the last crystal shattered Dinah found they'd been pushed back to their final spell circle.

The library doors slammed open again as another man ran through it.  ?Fukuko!  Shii!  Finish the battle quickly!  They have reinforcements!?

Patchouli smiled grimly at that.  ?Oh, so Remi's finally woken up.  About time.?  She raised her hands.  ?Dinah.  Koakuma.  A wall, please.?  Dinah nodded and began her spell.  She prided herself on finishing a second before Patchouli, creating the framework for the massive defensive spell that Patchouli and Koakuma fortified.

The shield appeared in front of them as a opaque demisphere.  Parts of it darkened as the Lunarians attempted to overwhelm them with magical power, but they only needed to hold for a few moments.

The library doors exploded off their hinges as two small figures kicked them in.  Patchouli swore at the unneeded destruction.  ?Time to pla~ay,? Flandre said as she strode over the wreckage.  Remilia just smiled wickedly.  Dinah saw Juri step in behind the two.  Her sister's wounds worried her, but Juri was obviously still capable of fighting to some degree.

The tables had turned.

Dinah felt the Lunarian's weather spell before the first cloud appeared.  It was a good plan, using rain to kill off the vampires quickly, one that had to be stopped.  She gathered energy around her and turned it into a focused healing spell that she tossed at her half sister.  ?Catch!?  Juri accepted the power without comment, focusing on rapidly chanting the counterspell to the rain.  The clouds formed and gathered, but nothing happened.

Remilia and Flandre ignored the magical battle that could have killed them instantly and just leaped to the attack.  The two sisters jumped from bookshelf to bookshelf at blinding speeds, easily dodging the rain of magical bullets aimed at them.  As they reached the halfway point the Lunarian who had just burst in dashed quickly backwards, but the man who had entered the library earlier didn't seem to understand his danger and stuck around for a few last shots.

In an instant the sisters were upon him, each grabbing an arm.  Dinah looked away as the two inhumanly strong vampires flew in opposite directions.  There was a ripping sound, then a long terrifying scream, then a meaty crunch following by childish laughter.  Dinah shuddered.  Even those with devil's blood feared laughter like that.

Unfortunately fear only seemed to galvanize their foes.  ?Fukiko!  Purge them all!? the newest intruder yelled.  The woman nodded and held up a talisman Dinah couldn't read.

There was a black flash followed by a blinding white one.  Dinah's stomach lurched and she grabbed a nearby shelf for balance.

Her eyes cleared just in time to see the woman drop to the ground, unconscious or dead.

As everyone else stared in confused silence Patchouli turned towards Koakuma.  ?Why did you use our escape spell??

Then everything fell into place.  ?Oh, you activated the plane shift spell.  That's why things feel different.?

The two vampires looked at them in shock.  ?Huh!??

?You, you demons!  I don't know what horrible things you're planning but you won't take me alive!?  The Lunarian pulled out a small orb, then stiffened and coughed up blood as nine swords slammed through his body.

?Fair enough.?  A maid radiating demonic power phased through one of the walls.  ?Now would someone care to explain why your mansion materialized on top of Lady Shinki's irises,? Yumeko said as she stepped over the body.

?Makai!?  Why is my mansion in Makai?? Remi snapped.  ?I just woke up.  I don't need these troubles.?

?Your mansion, sister?? Flandre asked.

Patchouli sighed.  ?We had an escape plan in case the Lunarians decided to throw their whole army against us at once.  I recreated the ritual we used to get to Gensoukyo but with Alice's help I changed the target to Makai.  It was our fallback plan.?  She turned back.  ?But we were winning.?

Dinah coughed.  ?I believe the reason was to save your lives.  That was a banishment spell wasn't it mother??

Koakuma nodded and smiled.  ?Yep!  It would have tossed all of us devils off to some horrible place, at the cost of the casters life energy.  But you can't banish devils in Makai so....?

Patchouli nodded.  ?Clever thinking Koa.?  She coughed.  ?Still we should look into getting back if possible.  We might still be able to change the battle.?

Juri nodded.  ?Besides, mother and father are still out there.?

Dinah saw the worry in her half sister's eyes.  A worry she shared.

Yumeko frowned and sighed.  ?And I suppose you'll want Lady Shinki's power to help you get back.  Well I can ask her for you.  But I fear there will still be some delays.  Quick transportation between dimensions is bad for the surrounding space.?

?It'll have to do.?

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #69 on: July 08, 2011, 11:55:23 PM »
Why is it when PC-98 characters appear in an epic fashion I can't help but squee

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #70 on: July 15, 2011, 12:15:02 AM »
"It is the living that cry for vengeance".

Renko squeezed Maribel's hand as they flew through the night.  She wanted to stop and talk to Mary about what had happened, but there was no time.  Every second brought their pursuers closer, so he forced her gaze to the sky like Ran had told her to.

Still she could try to get in a few words.  ?Is your head still hurting??

?Not much,? Mary replied.  There was a pause.  ?I don't feel good though.?

Renko looked back.  Maribel didn't look like she was in pain, but her expression was still haunted.  Renko lightly squeezed her hand.  ?This isn't your fault Mary.  Don't let it eat at you.?

?I know it isn't my fault, but I shouldn't want to kill them either right?  People aren't supposed to want to kill others, right??  Maribel's voice trembled.  ?It's wrong to think that he should have suffered more for what he did, right??

?Mary, snap out of it!?  Renko sighed in relief as her friend snapped back to reality.  ?You shouldn't feel guilty for being angry.  Just don't let it control your actions, okay??  Renko gave her friend's hand another squeeze before turning back towards the sky.  ?You did everything you could and then some to protect yourself.  And me.  You didn't do anything wrong.?

Renko heard Maribel give a ragged sigh from behind her.  ?I... I guess.  I just wish there was some boundary I could manipulate to find the answers to this madness.  I don't know where I am anymore....?  The strain in Mary's voice tore at Renko's heart.

?I'm here with you, so don't worry,? Renko replied.  ?I promise that I'll-?

The attack came from nowhere.  Renko barely had time to shield Mary with her body before it hit.  Fortunately the blow was glancing, so all she'd get was a bruise from it.  She heard Ran call out ?Princess Tenko!? and the sky brightened behind her.  The kitsune must have been using a flashy spell to give them time to recover.

Maribel's eyes were unfocused, seeming simply to stare into space.  ?Are you alright Mary?? Renko asked as she gave her friend a shake.  Maybe the impact had stunned her friend.

Mary seemed to recover a bit.  ?I'm fine.?  Maribel took a deep breath and then slowly faded, becoming more and more transparent.  Renko panicked as Mary slipped through her hands but a weak chuckle from her friend helped mollify her a bit.  ?There, I'll be safe.  I don't know how much I can help though.  Sorry.?

Renko nodded.  ?Don't worry Mary.  I'll handle it.?  She moved to kiss Mary on the forhead, then stopped as she realized the fading trick would make that impossible.  She settled for simply stating ?I'll be back soon.?

Renko turned and launched herself into the air at an angle to draw fire away from her friend.  There were three Lunarians in this group, all female.  Two were being tied up by Ran, one turned to stop her from interfering.  Hopefully this woman was the weakest of the three.

?Well let's see if Marisa was right about 'sturm und drang',? Renko said as she pulled out the mini hakkero.  ?Stardust Memory!?

Renko's first giant star bullet was ludicrous looking, which worked in her favor as the Lunarian foolishly tried to absorb the blast with her shields.  Renko didn't break the woman's ward, but the impact sent the Lunarian tumbling and allowed Renko to follow up with a blast of smaller bullets.

The Lunarian scrambled out of the way then fired back a simple blast of raw energy.  Renko had no trouble dodging while continuing her barrage.  Her target jumped to the sky to try to get some maneuverability, and Renko followed.

The next few minutes of dogfighting seemed to blur together.  Renko quickly realized she was a  superior combatant.  The woman mostly stuck to single blasts of energy and quick binding spells, attacks that were sure to break Renko's shield, but which were incredibly easy to dodge.  Renko on the other hand found herself easily outmaneuvering her foe and laying down patterns that relentlessly chewed at the woman's shields.  Her teachers had drilled into her that powerful attacks were a great way to finish things fast, but once a real battle had started it was best to use consistent fire.

Unfortunately it was becoming obvious that her opponent was vastly more powerful.  The long haired woman could weather a sustained barrage from Renko for long enough to toss out a focused blast that forced Renko to take cover, then dodge for a little while to regain most of her strength.  Renko was fairly certain that the Lunarian would tire first, but the battle would take a long while.

Renko's thoughts were interrupted by the world doing dark.  She immediately cast the spell that allowed her eyes to see in infrared, thanking her lucky stars that she'd spent a lot of time working on vision related spells because of her eyes' innate powers.  As her vision shifted she saw the Lunarian weaving a complex trap spell and she rapidly dashed past the woman while tossing up a counter spell.  The Lunarian swore and they returned to the dog fight.

Still Renko was now worried.  Her opponent probably knew more spells then she did.  If Renko kept trying to wear the woman down, eventually her foe might get lucky and find a trick Renko couldn't counter.  Renko needed to find a way to pop that shield and strike her foe directly.  Fast.

The thought stuck in Renko's mind.  'Pop the shield.'

A vision of Flandre Scarlet's fist closing and a table 'popping' flashed through her mind.

Renko fired off another ludicrous star bullet to buy herself some time.  As the Lunarian dodged the attack Renko turned her energy inward, focusing on her mind, and the optic nerves that connected them.

Everything had a center.  A point that connected all the parts, all the cells, every atom that bound the object together.  To find an object's center was a simple spell, because everything tied back to it.  All Renko had to do was make her mind understand that so she could see it.  And that would take just a little magical manipulation.

Renko closed her eyes as a stab of pain shot through her head.  This was normal.  She was changing her brain, of course it would hurt.  The spell completed and the pain turned into a constant throb instead of a stabbing agony.  That was a good sign.  She took a deep breath and opened her eyes.

She could see the points.  They were everywhere, on everything.  The point of tension.  The part where everything was in balance, what everything was pulling at.  It would be easy to destroy that point and watch everything pull apart.

A near miss from a cloud of deadly gas brought Renko back to reality.  She did her best to ignore the headache, and to focus on the battle.  She dodged and weaved through the Lunarian's attack, while trying to think of a way to use the trick she'd just figured out.

Flandre could draw the point of tension to her hand in order to attack it.  That was the real strength of her power.  Renko didn't have that ability, which meant to take advantage of the points she'd need to target the point directly with her magic.  Of course that was impossible.  The entire point of magical shield was to prevent people from just summoning knives in your lungs.  She needed a way to bypass that first.

Her hand found the knife that Ran had given her.  That might get her through the shield, if the enchantment was still working.  All she needed to do was close the distance then.  And she had the perfect spell for that.

Renko pointed the Hakerro behind her.  ?Blazing Star!?

The magical blast wasn't anything compared to Marisa's, but it was still enough to send Renko flying towards the Lunarian.  The woman's green eyes widened and she dove to the side to avoid the charge.  Renko desperately reached towards her foe with the knife, and was rewarded with a tug that nearly ripped the weapon from her hands.

She skidded to a stop and looked carefully at the blade.  It was difficult to see in the light, but the very tip of the blade was coated lightly with blood.

The Lunarian raised a hand to summon some magical attack against Renko, but the young magician of the outside world ignored it.  Instead she focused on the blood, calling upon one of the most basic tricks in a witch's arsenal.

Fetishes like blood or hair allowed a magic to affect a target any distance away, even through many wards and defenses.  The downside was that the links were weak, especially if there wasn't an elaborate ritual used in the gathering, or the items weren't freely given.  Blood was one of the stronger fetishes, but even a master magician like Alice would be hard pressed to do more then give someone the magical equivalent of a slap.  Renko would be lucky to be able to muster up more then a pinprick.

But Renko was targeting something that was already at it's limit.

Renko's altered eyes could see the tiny magical bullet she conjured strike the point of tension.  The Lunarian didn't even notice at first, as the point seemed to grow and expand.  Then the woman screamed as the hole that Renko had put in the dot became visable.  It expanded, faster and faster, as the woman's body tried and failed to regain equilibrium over the tensions pulling it apart.

There was a final mournful wail, then a stomach churning splatter.  Renko snapped her eyes shut and dispelled the enchantments she'd placed on her eyes.  That was a mistake, as the white hot relief snapping through her brain almost caused her to pass out.

She recovered only to find herself face down in a sticky coppery pool.  Her stomach twisted and churned and barely had time to push herself off the ground before she vomited.

She felt strong hands pulling her up.  ?Here,? said Ran as the kitsune wiped the blood and viscera off her face.  Renko shuddered but didn't resist.

When Ran was done cleaning she tossed the rag she'd used away.  ?I got one myself,? she said pointing to bloodstains on her sleeve, ?but one got away.  Do you think you can keep moving??

Renko blinked at the question.  She knew she'd killed someone, somewhere in her mind, but it seemed distant, unreal.  She nodded at Ran's question.  ?I'll be okay for now.  Mary's got it worse.?  She turned and ran towards where her friend had been taking cover.  Hopefully, Maribel had been spared watching that scene.  And hopefully Renko could shake her out of her depression.

---

I wish there was some boundary of knowledge I could twist to understand what was happening.  And what we need to do.


Maribel's vision swam in a sea of shadows.

?Ha!  Do you think a youkai such as myself would bow before you!??

?I did good on my History test, so can we go to Disneyworld??

?The plan will come to fruition, even if it costs me my life.?

?How about we form our own club Renko?  One that looks for the true world.?

?I will have my vengeance on you!  On all of you!?

?Why?  Why did you do this??

?Why did you have to die??

?Who am I??

Maribel looked to the sky and saw them there.  The watcher and the dragon.

And she understood.  The bargain, and the price.

?Maribel are you okay??  Maribel looked up as Renko ran over.  The other woman was covered in blood, but Merry could see no signs of injury.

?I'm okay.?  Maribel stood up.  ?Hey Renko, what do your eyes see??

Renko frowned then looked up.  ?It's 11:37.  Why are you asking, Mary??

Maribel just chuckled.  ?No reason.?  It didn't really matter if Renko couldn't see it.  It didn't really matter at all.  She hugged her lover close.

Then she surrendered to the pull of fate. 

?We need to go this way, Ran.  Renko.?  She looked towards where her enemy was hiding.

?Soon we'll finish this.?

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #71 on: July 20, 2011, 10:05:31 PM »
Shoutoku flew past several chunks of asphalt, then ran across the face of a building before jumping towards the oni.  Her blade lashed out once again only to be met by the oni's chains.  The small oni braced herself in the air then pushed back against the Lunarian's naginata sending Shoutoku flying backwards.

Suika followed the parry with a series of boulders.  The Lunarian didn't try to dodge them with her own skill and simply allowed the fake black hole to draw her in, using the momentum to slingshot herself around into the debris field again.  As she flew past the oni's platform she tossed down two magical grenades.  The explosions sent Suika scrambling in another direction.

Shoutoku wanted to press her advantage, but she was caught in the gravity well.  She allowed the black hole to pull her to the opposite side, then used her own flight powers to alight on the face of one of the few buildings that hadn't been ripped apart.

She took the moment to wipe her brow and reinforce her shields.  The battlefield had made it easy for her to slip in and out of melee, but it also prevented her from following up on advantages.  She wasn't sure who was getting the better of it.

Two blindingly white orbs broke her out of her reverie.  She jumped away from the building as the missiles slammed into it, punching holes in the framework.  As the building slowly began to collapse Suika jumped out of the debris field, her arm summoning the broken concrete and melted office supplies to form another deadly missile.

Shoutoku's first impulse was to flee, but as she looked at Suika the flames of her rage shot up again.  Instead she pointed her left hand at the oni and began gathering the power for a spell.  As Suika hurled the boulder at her Shoutoku let loose her power.  ?Searing Lance!?

The beam of flame smashed into the rock blasting it back into pieces.  Shoutoku leaped forward again, guided by her hate.  Once again her naginata slammed into Suika's shackles.  She pressed forward with a kick that the oni mostly ignored while she shifted her grip on her weapon.  As the oni counter attacked she blocked with the butt of her spear then went for a snap cut at the oni's head.  Suika blocked again and lashed out with an uppercut.  Shoutoku sidestepped the driving blow and countered with a sweep.

The blow hit the oni but Suika just went with the attack, allowing her body to get twisted in the air until her horns were facing Shotoku, then flying forward.  Shoutoku dashed backward, pulling a desk out of its orbit to block Suika's attack.  Suika destroyed it with a flip, then continued the press.

The two combatants exchanged a series of ringing blows before the oni shifted tactics and swung at Shoutoku's spear.  Her vision blurred and her stomach lurched, but she spun with the blow, trying to use the oni's own power against her.  There was a loud crash and a painful jolt through her arms and side as Suika somehow blocked the strike, but Shoutoku could see the oni had been knocked back as well.  She used all her strength to bring her naginata down on the oni's head.

Shoutoku was surprised as Suika simply spun in place.  The oni's horns slapped her overhead cut away.  Then there was another jolt of pain and Shoutoku was spinning again, her vision obscured by the bright blue flash of her wards trying to bleed off energy.

?Fuck!?  Shoutoku called on her power to stop her flight then shook her head to clear it.  She looked around expecting the little oni to be flying in for the kill, but a floor from an office building had drifted between them.  She took the time to steady her breathing and reset her grip.  She wanted to finish this.

When the building drifted away again her father's killer was still standing there.  Shoutoku growled and leaped forward.

Suika raised her hands and a ball of flame formed.  The oni spent a few seconds increasing the size of the missile, then tossed it straight at her.

Shoutoku didn't deviate from her path.  This was her chance.

As the missile exploded she pushed her speed to the limit.  Her shields whined, then collapsed as she flew into the explosion.  The flames blinded her and seared her flesh but she forced herself to keep moving forward.  To keep charging.  She had to end this now!

There was a jarring impact and the sound of tearing flesh.  The sudden stop nearly ripped the blade from Shoutoku's hands.  Silence fell as she slowly opened her eyes.

Her father's naginata, the weapon she had trained with constantly since his death, was buried in the chest of Suika Ibuki.  The great deva of the mountain's hands were holding the spear back, but it the blade had still pierced almost all the way through the oni's slight chest.

Suika smiled at Shoutoku.  ?Heh.  Well struck.?  She twisted the naginata, shattering the weapon and ripping the tear in her heart wider.  Shoutoku watched as the oni's lifeblood poured out.  ?You've earned your vengeance.?  The oni's eye's began to lose focus, and the swirling darkness of the fake black hole began to dissipate.

Suika took a deep breath and shut her eyes.  ?Hey Yuugi.  There really was a human who could beat us fair and square.?

The mighty deva of the mountain ripped the spearhead from her chest, then fell from the sky.

Shoutoku could only stare as her most hated foe, the monster she'd spent centuries of her life plotting to kill, struck the ground.  And with that the black hole completely vanished.  The swirling debris, the battleground she'd created with the destruction of humanity, slowly collapsed to the ground.  The first large chunk sent up a cloud of concrete dust, obscuring the impact of the rest.

As each rock fell the hatred in her heart ebbed a little more.  When the rumble of collapsing masonry finished and the dust cloud receded Shoutoku found herself hovering over the ruins that had become the cairn of the deva of the mountain empty of emotion.

Bereft of purpose she floated down to the foot of the pile.  It was almost as seven hundred years of her life was buried there as well.

?Well are you happy??

Shoutoku flinched from the scorn in those words, before looking up towards the speaker.  The woman in celestial raiments was floating there looking down on her with hatred.  Shoutoku hadn't noticed before, but the aura of this woman wasn't that of a youkai.  A true celestial stood before her.

The woman pointed a crimson sword at her breast.  ?Answer me.  Are you happy?  Was your revenge worth the lives of billions?  Was it worth the death of your civilization??  The woman's voice broke, ?Was it worth killing my friend?!?

Shoutoku closed her eyes.  ?No.  But I did it anyway.?

?You make me sick.?

Shoutoku nodded.  There was only one proper way to end this.  She drew a knife.  ?I understand.  If you wish to take my life that is your right.  Either way, I will have atoned for my crimes.?  She placed the knife under her throat and steeled herself for what she must do next.

The knife was wrenched violently out of her hands.  She gasped in shock and opened her eyes just as the celestial's fist struck her in the face.  The blow slammed her back to the ground and sent her head ringing.

?You spineless bitch.?  The celestial snarled.  She looked at the knife in contempt before snapping it with her fingers.  ?Did you think that you could cause all this damage, ruin this many lives and then just kill yourself and run off to the netherworld to escape your responsibilities?!?  Shoutoku found herself helpless as the celestial grabbed her shirt and pulled her face to face.

?I am Tenshi Hinanai, and by my order you will not die until all the works of your fellow man that you destroyed on your quest for vengeance have been rebuilt.?  Tenshi's voice was calm now, but it seemed to reverberate through the very fabric of reality itself.  ?You will aid the needy with no thought to yourself, you will feed the hungry even if you starve, and you will work to rebuild even if you have no shelter.  Only when your task is complete will you stand before the yama.  This is Heaven's Mercy.?

Shoutoku shivered as the curse was pronounced.  Then she closed her eyes, resigned to her sentence.  ?Truly, Heaven's Mercy is more terrifying then Hell's Justice.?

Tenshi let go and turned away.  ?Just be glad Suika would be furious with me if I punished anyone for killing her in a fair fight.?

Shoutoku looked away from the celestial.  She recognized the pain in the woman's words, a mirror of the pain she felt when she'd heard about her father's death.  Her eyes once again fixed upon the shattered city, purged of life and tears finally began to form in her eyes.  ?Oh father....?  She collapsed to the ground and started to sob.  ?What have I done to your name??

Metaflare

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #72 on: July 20, 2011, 11:16:08 PM »
Suika nooooo  :ohdear:

Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #73 on: July 21, 2011, 05:46:44 PM »
?Truly, Heaven's Mercy is more terrifying then Hell's Justice.?

Very poetic. I like!
I have...a terrible need...shall I say the word?...of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #74 on: July 25, 2011, 09:51:04 PM »
Akiyoshi looked in awe at the Netherworld.  The strange impure world of Earth had startled him with its chaos when he first arrived.  The riot of living things each struggling to claim a place was something he wasn't familiar with.  He knew it was wrong to judge Earthlings so harshly, but the realities of impure life just seemed wrong to him.

However the Netherworld was different.  Much different.  The massive sealed gate held a timelessness and majesty that rivaled the Lunar Capitol.  But even more impressive was the garden behind.

The moon had no seasons.  It was separate from time, and the cycle of life and death had no place there.  The Lunarians had spared no effort to add the illusions of seasons in their pure world of course.  But the autumn that Akiyoshi looked down on was real.  The leaves were dying and scattering, yet he could feel it was just as pure as his home.  Perhaps more so.

A flash of light from one of the battles behind him brought him back to reality.  He forced himself to focus on the gate.  Guarding it was a meaningless gesture, but that made it all the more important that he didn't fail.

He'd need to have a clean record when he challenged Lord Tenshou after all.  Without that, any evidence he had would be ignored.

A flicker of movement from within the garden caught his eye.  A second later he drew his blade.  Whatever it was, it was moving towards the gate, and fast!

The streak of light blazed through the trees at a speed Akiyoshi's trained eye's could barely follow.  He prepared himself as it started to rise towards the gate, then the figure slowed and stopped revealing a young girl a few inches taller then him, with short silver hair and blue eyes.

The young woman had two swords, though only one of them was drawn, and Akiyoshi could tell from her stance that she knew how to use them well.  Behind her trailed a pure soul, perhaps a relative of hers?  Had he interrupted a young warrior attempting to recover a lost soul, or perhaps someone wishing to speak to their loved one one last time before they reincarnated?  What poor luck for both of them.  Still perhaps this could be solved with diplomacy.

?I'm sorry but I can not let anyone leave the netherworld this night.? Akiyoshi held his sword at the ready.  ?I request you wait a little longer before finishing your escape.  I promise that no harm will come to you from myself or any other if you stay here.?

?Escape??  The girl looked at him like he was mad as she shifted into her own stance.  ?I am Youmi Konpaku, half ghost gardener of the Netherworld and assistant to Lady Yuyuko, ruler of this realm.  Who are you to say I can't leave through my own front door??

?Konpaku??  Akiyoshi frowned.  He'd never heard any legends about a gardener of the Netherworld, much less about half ghosts.  Still he responded, ?I am Akiyoshi Tsaiho, swordsman of the Lunar Capitol, son of Jiyuwan.  I have sworn that no one, living or dead, shall pass these gates in either direction.?

Youmi's eyes narrowed slightly at that, and she smiled grimly.  ?Lunarian swordsman?  Well it seems I found my first opponent then.?  In a flash she drew her second blade.  ?The things that can't be cut by my blades are almost none!?  Then she was upon him, twin blades flashing at speeds rivaling the fastest bullets.

Akiyoshi swept the first two cuts away with a large circular parry as he drew his scabbard into his off hand.  He used that to guide Youmi's sword past him while he cut across at her eyes.  She ducked under the blow and kicked out at his legs, forcing him to hop backwards.  The two paused and reset their stances, while looking for openings.

While the action was paused Akiyoshi took a moment to twist his scabbard's tie around his hand.  He'd need the extra grip to use it as a weapon.  As he finished he noticed Youmi was still working on perfecting her balance.

He nodded to himself.  She was slightly behind him in mastery of the sword.  Her technique was almost perfect, but she was too focused on perfecting that technique.  She wouldn't deliberately use flawed techniques to take advantage of openings.  It also seemed like her speed was reduced here in the air, though that was just a guess.

He knew the way his father would fight, using that perfection against his opponent by switching to dirty moves when the moment was right.  But he hesitated.  His father's philosophy had failed.  Did he really wish to follow that path?  He looked his opponent in the eyes, and he saw only a purity of purpose.

He nodded, then shifted his stance again.  He would defeat his foe with straightforward attacks, even if it pushed his skills to the limit.  He switched his stance, pointing both his scabbard and sword at Youmi's eyes.  ?Steel Eclipse.?

The woman's eyes widened.  Declaring your school's techniques in advance was a foolish move, but it was also difficult to resist such a bold challenge.  Youmi didn't even seem to hesitate, resheathing both her blades, and dipping down into a draw cut stance.  ?Human Sign : Slash of Present!?

Youmi moved first, lowering her stance a fraction of a centimeter before disappearing.  Akiyoshi threw himself into his own attack, hoping that he could keep up with the young woman's godly speed.  He once again swung his sword in a massive circular parry which swept the iai cut right over his head.  As he moved past the half ghost he swept his scabbard at her head releasing his hold at the last second to increase the improvised club's range.  He swore for a moment that he saw Youmi's face freeze in shock.   Then something hit him in the ribs and sent him flying back.

He recovered his stance quickly enough to see the strange soul that had been following Youmi returning to her side.  He cursed himself for being a fool.  She'd called herself a half ghost.  It had been a mistake to believe she couldn't control both parts of her body.  Fortunately from the way she was testing her shoulder he'd struck her as well.

?You're good,? she said while taking up a two handed grip on her longer blade.  ?Enlightened Sword : Rise From Delusion.?  Akiyoshi couldn't see any difference between this and a normal kenjitsu stance, but he could feel energy building.

He switched his stance as well lowering his blade.  ?Third technique, racing the thunder.?

Youmi stepped forward and raised her sword.  The blade seemed to triple in size as green energy flowed into it, then it came crashing down.  Akiyoshi forced himself to remain calm and stepped into the attack raising his sword up to the heavens.  The two swords touched flat to flat, and with a flick of his wrist he shifted the impact of the deadly overhead slash to directly beside him.  Metal grated as he charged forward with his own overhead cut.

However he was too far away.  Youmi had recovered from her attack and dispersed the energy blade before he reached her.  She parried his attack easily and lashed out with a kick that.  He blocked with his leg before flipping over her.  She simply dashed forward to avoid his follow up cut, ending this exchange in another draw.

Akiyoshi flipped his sword parallel to the ground at eye level.  If they were using magic he had a few tricks of his own.  His father had never learned the arts, but his mother's side of the family had been skilled magicians.  He'd incorporated some of the more useful invocations into his swordplay.  ?Wind Cutting Stab.?

Youmi resheathed her blade again.  ?Ascension to Nirvana.?  She was obviously waiting.

He accepted the invitation and leaped forward.  As he flew he invoked the wind, and his blade began to cut the air, leaving deadly contrails to either side.  No matter how the young woman tried to dodge she'd be faced with his attack.

But she didn't dodge.  She waited until he was almost in front of her, then placed her hands on both her swords.  There was a blurred movement, and a massive flash of bright pink energy exploded beneath him.  Akiyoshi immediately abandoned his attack and went into another forward flip over the half ghost's head.

However he wasn't about to sacrifice the attack just yet.  He called on the unused power of the wind, then made three quick cuts at Youmi as he flew away.  The magic in his sword flew off as air pressure cuts as he flew backwards.

Youmi turned to face him and spun her blades in a circle.  The mirrored steel wall sent the first wind blast reflecting back into the second.  Then she brought her blades down in a hard X slash that dissipated the third in a flash of green energy.

When the energy cleared Akiyoshi saw that she was smiling, as if she had no cares in the world.  He wondered briefly if she had some trick that he hadn't been expecting, but he didn't see any deceit in her eyes, just calm acceptance, and a lack of tension.  It was strange, and somehow familiar.  Then she noticed his appraising glance and blinked in surprise.  Akiyohsi shook off the odd feeling as well.  He had a battle to finish.

Youmi pointed her blade at him then flipped it back into a low aggressive stance.  ?Sword of Cycles.?

Akiyoshi considered the attack for a moment, then set his blade loosely.  ?The World is Empty.?

Youmi charged forward towards him, then began a series of rapid full moon circle cuts.  Akiyoshi was impressed at how seamlessly they flowed into each other, but he didn't hesitate.  As the woman's blade reached his head height he dashed forward and threw his sword at her feet.  The blade flew to 'ground' level then stuck into a rune that formed in the air.  The sudden hesitation caused by obstacle to her footwork was all the time he needed.  He stepped forward inside her range, caught her wrist and sent her flying with a disarming throw.

He quickly grabbed his blade and moved to catch her weapon.  He'd almost reached it when Youmi righted herself and appeared several yards away, holding the blade.  Akiyoshi's eyes narrowed.  He'd suspected it earlier, but now he understood his opponent?s secret power.

With that knowledge he knew the attack that might win him this battle.  He flew up into the air, making the wind up for his attack perfectly obvious.  ?Strike from Above Heaven.?

The half ghost held her blade out to defend herself.  "Slash Clearing the Six Senses"

Akiyoshi pulled back his straight bladed sword then dived down on the young woman sword leading.  She gave the attack a hard parry then she and her ghost half seemed to split into threes, each becoming a semi solid woman running around Akiyoshi.

He didn't pay it that much attention though.  Instead he continued pouring energy into the sword, focusing on the rune beneath him that would act as the 'ground' for this attack.

The six clones of Youmi attacked as one, each with a perfect slash that left an energy trail like a cherry blossom petal.  A second before the blades impacted Akiyoshi stabbed his sword into the rune, and the world exploded in light.

The young woman's cry of pain and surprise came from above to his surprise.  Still in the end it didn't matter.  When the flash had cleared from his eyes he dashed up to where the woman was attempting to recover and placed the point of his blade at her neck.  ?Yield.?

She froze, then looked at him in surprise, ?Why??

That was a good question.  ?The same reason you didn't kill me using your time stop abilities,? he finally replied.

?But, if you know about those, then you know that I can escape at any point,? she protested.

?But you haven't,? he pointed out.

?Oh, Youmi, Youmi.  You really need to work on your conversational skills.  If you'd been a little more talkative you could have probably wormed your way past this one without a fight.?  The two combatants turned to see a ghostly woman in fine robes floating up towards them.  ?Young man, you can stay your blade.  I am Yuyuko Saigyouji, Youmi's master.  She will not be trying to pass the gate anymore, so you need not battle.?

Akiyoshi took a step back.  ?I, Akiyoshi Tsaiho, accept your word.  I apologize for being so rudely confrontational.?

Youmi sheathed her blade, but her face was still troubled.  ?Lady Yuyuko, the fighting's still going on!?

Yuyuko's smile weakened.  ?Youmi, I can't let you go out into Gensoukyo right now.?

?But, but what about all your friends?  What about Ran, and Maribel and Renko??  Youmi cried out.  ?You can't just abandon them!  They might die without my help!?

Akiyoshi's gut twisted at Youmi's plea.  He hadn't thought about what keeping this woman from the battle might do.  Had his actions led to the death of more innocents?

Yuyuko sighed, and her smile faded completely.  ?I know Youmi, but Gensoukyo isn't going to be safe for you.?  She looked at Akiyoshi, causing him to start.  ?Or you either young Lunarian.  I finally figured out what Yukari's plan is.?  Yuyuko looked up at the sky.  ?And no pure ghost in Gensoukyo will be safe.?

?While I appreciate your friendliness towards me, I'm not a ghost.?  Akiyoshi said lightly.  He bowed.  ?I will not intrude on your domain any more.  After all I can guard just as well on the other side of the gate.?

?Ah, don't you know little Lunarian, you're in the Netherworld.?  Yuyuko's smile returned, but this one had a harsher edge.  ?For a mortal, being in the Netherworld is the same as being dead.?  She opened her fan.  ?Of course some deaths can be more permanent then others.  If you accept my hospitality I'm sure you'll only end up half dead, at most.?

Akiyoshi considered the matter then sheathed his blade and bowed to Youmi.  ?I appreciated the match, and I apologize for not talking things out with you first.?

Youmi smiled and shrugged.  ?It was a good match.  And I struck first.?

?Now now Youmi, don't dawdle, you need to go get some tea ready for our guest.  And some snacks for me.?  Yuyuko waved her fan.  ?And bring them back here.  Our guest still technically needs to guard the place, even if no one is going in or out.?

?Right!?  Youmi shrugged, then disappeared in a flash, running back into the Netherworld.

After she'd vanished from sight Akiyoshi turned back towards Gensoukyo with concern.  What was happening out there?  And what would scare a ghost away?

He felt a chill as Yuyuko floated up next to him.  The ghost hid her face behind her fan, but her eyes were fixed on him.  It was unnerving.

After a moment he said.  ?Er, I'm sorry for tying to kill your servant.?

The ghostly woman chuckled.  ?Oh I'm not upset about that.  I'm just enjoying the fact that you've returned here.  Akiyoshi blinked and waited for the woman to explain, but she just laughed.  ?In any case I would appreciate it if you continued to refrain from killing little Youmi.?  She giggled, then leaned forward and whispered in his ear.  ?Though if you ask her nicely first, a few little deaths might be okay....?

Akiyoshi felt himself flush at that.  ?What!? That!  Why?!!?

He began to worry as Yuyuko laughed.  ?Oh my.  It's been far too long since I've gotten to tease you.  I'm glad it still such grand fun.?

Akiyoshi shook his head and turned his attention back towards the lands of Gensoukyo.  It seemed this strange ghost woman was determined to have fun at his expense.  Though he had to admit, worrying about her antics was better then worrying about what was occurring out there. 

Especially since he could do nothing about either.

Metaflare

  • Happening Cat of the Middle of Nowhere
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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #75 on: July 26, 2011, 12:57:01 AM »
This chapter was great. No one died, the ending was cute, and Yuyuko continues to be amazingly whimsical  :3

Kasu

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #76 on: July 26, 2011, 02:39:47 PM »
It would seem that Akiyoshi is someone reincarnated. :3

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Zelinko

  • The Wandering Mind
Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #77 on: July 26, 2011, 04:43:58 PM »
So is he who I think he is?  I guess reincarnation left some of her behind.  A sense of honor among swordsmen.

And its quite obvious Yuyuko would know... but the question is the end of a 300 year long plan begins to come close.  But what will come from it
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Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #78 on: July 29, 2011, 01:56:43 AM »
Have faith in God, but keep your powder dry.

Eirin leaped away from the missile.  The tiny mote of flame exploded among the bamboo she'd been hiding among.  She grunted in pain as shrapnel from the blast hit her back.  She hadn't been able to recover her wards since they'd last been dispelled.

“Ahahaha!  Still running?  How many more arrows do you even have Eirin?”  Eirin ignored Suri's taunting and began looking for a rock to use as cover.  “Surely you don't think you have enough to disable me?  I haven't even worked through half of my painkillers yet.”

Eirin tossed a mine behind her and slowed her running just enough to get a weak shield up.  Then she drew another arrow and waited for her foe.  As soon as the woman came into view Eirin let loose.

Suri causally burned the arrow out of the air.  “Really?”  Suri smiled then frowned and looked down at the ground.  “A mine?  Why would you even bother with these?”

Eirin closed her eyes.  “Because they're flash bangs.”  She used a quick spell to release the radio wave that triggered the mine.  As Suri screamed in rage she fired four arrows in rapid succession into the Lunarian.  She spun to flee to her next ambush point, then froze.  Before her was a line of magical explosives, Suri's own minefield.  “I guess my luck's run out,” she muttered.  She turned back to her foe, drawing another arrow.

Erin's shot was true, but the other Lunarian batted it aside with a snarl.  Suri pointed and Eirin felt her shield collapse again.  Then static electricity started to build around her and she realized she was in deeper trouble.  Lightning was difficult to dodge for someone with human reflexes.  Resigned to her fate Eirin drew another arrow.

“Master Spark.”

Eirin closed her eyes and hit the ground, the natural reaction for anyone in Gensoukyo who heard those words unexpectedly. 

Even with her eyes closed the flash was impressive.  Apparently Marisa had been increasing her power even without Gensoukyo's constant battles.  Eirin made a mental note to reconsider her contingencies for a conflict with the Scarlet Devil Mansion if she survived this.

When the roar of the spell stopped Eirin jumped to her feet and began looking for Suri.  She couldn't find her foe anywhere, but Marisa had stepped into the clearing her blast had formed.  The magician looked different then Eirin remembered, and not just because she was carrying several deadly magical weapons and a sword.  There was a deadly air around the woman.

“Never expected you to get in a bind like that,” Marisa said causally.  “How'd that bitch get past your normal tricks?”

“She's not dead,” Eirin replied.  “She drank a Hourai elixir prototype.  She can't be killed, only knocked out.  And she can unweave spells instantly.”

“Like this,” spat Suri as she crashed out of the bamboo.  Her clothes were smoldering and charred, but the pistol she fired worked just fine.  Marisa pointed her hakkero at Suri, but nothing happened.  Eirin could only curse in impotent frustration as the beam cut towards Marisa.

Then it shattered against a light blue shield that appeared out of nowhere.  All three of the women paused in surprise, as a helpful voice from one of the devices on Marisa's belt said “Automatic defense screen has activated.”

Eirin looked up at Marisa, relief tugging her mouth upward into a smile.  “So you stole the prototype.  I'd been wondering about that.”

Marisa just shrugged and smirked.  The good humor faded away when she looked back at the Lunarian.  “That's an impressive power you have there.  But you can't cancel this spell.”  Marisa drew the old sword with her off hand, then pointed her hakkero at Suri.  “I designed this to take out someone who'd taken the Hourai elixir.  You'll be a good test case.”

“Ha!” Suri's face twisted into a sneer.  “Try any spell you want human!  There's no magic that can resist my power.”

Marisa nodded then twisted her hand on the hakkero, The octagonal device clicked, then flipped open and a swirling ball of flame flew out.  Eirin's eyes opened in shock as she realized what Marisa was doing.  “Of course....”

Suri barked out another laugh and raised her hand to cancel the fireball.  The flames seemed to disappear.  She raised her hand to counterattack, then screamed as the invisible wind currents slammed into her and caught her in a spinning vortex of air.  Her screams grew louder as the flames that had vanished reformed, then expanded to consume her.  Eirin winced as the cries reached a fever pitch, before dying down to nothingness.

Eirin shouldered her bow and began resetting her defenses as the conflagration that had been Suri started shrinking under the control of the wind.  “Very impressive Marisa, using the Kusanagi blade to control the winds that bind the eternal flame of the hakkero.”  The flames slowly formed into a tiny ball, then the winds drew it back into Marisa's mini-hakkero.  “You do realize though that she'll technically be alive for the rest of her normal lifespan while in there.”

“Sucks to be her,” Marisa said coldly as she shut the artifact with a click.

Eirin didn't press the matter.

Marisa resheathed her blade.  “I don't suppose you know where the general leading this bullshit invasion is, Eirin?”

“Actually I do.  He was rather lax about hiding his arrival.”  Eirin didn't mention that no youkai would have the technology needed to pull off such a feat anyway.  “I was going to pay him a visit when Suri interrupted me.  Should I take you there as well.”

Marisa's eyes narrowed.  “Yeah.  I got something to say to him.”

The two began recasting their defensive spells.  They needed to be ready for their next battle.

-----

Shou's heart sank as she flew towards where she knew Ran was.  Every now and then she saw a flash of light from another battle, or worse saw the bodies left behind.  Once she saw the robes that indicated a Lunarian had fallen there, but it was mostly the corpses of youkai that littered the ground.  Most youkai were on the level of Nazrin or Kyouko at best.  They just didn't have enough power to face a Lunarian head on.

She wanted to stop and hunt down those responsible for this destruction, but she knew that she could save more people by taking out the head of this invasion.  And Ran, hopefully, was leading her there.  The kitsune wasn't really faithful at all, but her desire for backup was enough that a god like Bishamonten, like Shou, could follow it easily.

Suddenly there was a flash from just in front of her.  Shou hesitated for a second, then flew down towards the disturbance.  She couldn't spend time hunting down Lunarians, but she wouldn't let them commit murder right in front of her.  She sent a bolt of lightning from the sky to announce her displeasure then swooped in.

As she dropped into the clearing she heard the youkai she was saving rush into the bushes, but her attention was mainly on the man in front of her.  She peered at his soul before proclaiming, “Xiang-Tsu, I Vaiśravana demand you cease this random cruelty and submit to judgment.”

The man looked up at her in stunned incomprehension for a moment before suddenly smiling.  “Oh, a youkai worthy of my abilities.  Let's see how long you keep up your illusions of grandeur after I steal your abilities.”

Shou's reply was cut off by a horrible wrenching sensation.  The world suddenly felt wrong, like the blood had rushed from her head.  The man laughed triumphantly as she tried to shake off the dizziness.  “Ha!  You really are powerful!  Or at least, were powerful.”  He raised his hand to the sky.  “Let's see why you dared call yourself a god.”

Shou sighed.  “Great, Nazrin's never going to let me down for this.  A week in and I get half my god powers stolen.”  Still, she had both faith and the accoutrements of her station.  And she knew the powers that her foe now held better then any other.

She slammed her spear into the ground and jumped back.  The divine lightning slammed into the spear and dissipated into the ether.  Shou growled at the man.  “You may have stolen my godly strength, but I still have all my youkai powers.”

The man looked down at her dismissively.  “So?  You claim I have the power of a god.  How can one little Earth creature stand against that power?”

“Two.”

There was a rustling of leaves as Mokou stepped into the clearing.  “Two little Earth creatures.”

Shou smiled and planted her spear in the ground before cracking her knuckles.  “It seems the tables have turned.”

“Not for long!”  Xiang pointed at Mokou, and a thunderbolt slammed into the woman.  Shou ignored the attack and rushed in towards the Lunarian.  He turned and tried to summon up an attack to blow her away, only to be sent reeling from a fire-blast from Mokou.  “You?  I killed you!”

“Blame Eirin for leaving your toys around,” Mokou said as she threw another fire bolt.  The man managed to bat the attack away, but Shou had closed the distance.  With a roar she pounced the final ten yards and brought her clawed hands down.  They stuck for a second on an invisible shield, then rended the man's magical wards.

Xiang frantically swung at Shou sending the tiger youkai sprawling.  Apparently he'd gotten some of her physical strength as well.  Still it wasn't enough to seriously harm her.

Mokou rushed in again as he tried to recreate his defenses.  He punched the woman in the ribs hard enough to audibly crack bones. Mokou just ignored the blow and gave him a headbutt that she had to have learned from Keine.  Xiang pushed Mokou away and stumbled backwards.

Shou moved in to take advantage of his weakness.  With a simple grab she caught his wrist then locked his arm with her other hand while forcing him down into her knee.  Whatever spells he was trying to make shattered, though Shou noted with annoyance he'd stolen some of her heartiness as well.  She kneed him again, then knocked him half upright with a uppercut.  “Here, Mokou.” she said as she finished off with a side thrust kick.

Mokou smiled.  “Right!”  She caught the man in a clothesline rush as she flew towards her from the kick.  Then she grabbed him by the shirt, and threw him over her shoulder again.  As he sailed through the air she flew forward and kicked him into the sky.  “Let's end this farce.”

Shou simply concentrated into the pagoda.  At her command the forces within turned into eight streams of light.  Light that could bend and twist at her command.  She flung the lasers up into the sky where they circled the man, then struck in sequence.  As each laser struck it knocked him further into the air, until all eight were aligned around him.  Then they struck as one.  The man choked and coughed up blood as the final strike hit him.

Then the area exploded as Mokou slammed into him with a flying jump kick.

Smoke obscured the figure that crashed from the sky, but the sudden return of Shou's powers left no doubt as to who the victor was.  Shou moved to check on the man, but stopped worrying about the matter when she saw the smoldering figure had a broken neck.  The Yamaxandu would teach him now.  “Still,” she muttered, “you shouldn't have underestimated my power.”

Mokou landed behind her and dusted herself off.  “The power to attract treasure?  How did that help you?  And didn't it not work when you were trying to free Byakuren?  I mean the terrible trio and the Mouse found the items for you.”

Shou smiled.  “It worked just fine.  The items came to me then went where I wanted them to.  As for how it helped in this battle....”  Shou plucked her spear from the ground then offered Mokou her hand.  “A strong ally is the greatest treasure one can hope for on the battlefield, no?”

Mokou blinked in surprise, then laughed and shook Shou's hand.  “Right!”  Then her face turned grim again.  “Now, if you'd be so kind, this treasure would like to be pointed towards where Ran and those two kids are going to be fighting.  I have a grudge against those Lunarians.”

Shou frowned but nodded.  It was not her place to question Mokou's road of vengeance.  Especially not tonight.  She had far greater evils to combat.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 04:09:24 AM by Iced Fairy »

Kasu

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #79 on: July 29, 2011, 02:09:33 AM »
Aw yeah.  Wielding the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi automatically makes Marisa ten times more awesome.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Metaflare

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #80 on: July 29, 2011, 06:09:05 AM »
Where in the world did Marisa get the Kusanagi blade?!

Oh, right.
Gensokyo.

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #81 on: July 29, 2011, 07:32:48 AM »
I tought that he would still be alive, with he being half human, half youkai, I guess that he was more human than youkai.

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #82 on: July 29, 2011, 10:57:40 AM »
He's been dead for a while. Refer to Book 2. Renko's Mini-Hakkaro (Marisa's own creation) was made as a backup when she had to figure out how to fix her own after Rinnosuke died. Remember this is Gensokyo a few hundred in the future.

Also with the time of troubles he might have been killed. But Marisa's tone seems to be that it might have been old age that caught up with him. 
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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #83 on: August 01, 2011, 02:59:46 AM »
Momiji took a deep breath.  ?The Great Tengu is dead!  As per his final commandment, the tengu who slays his assassin will prove their right to become the new Great Tengu!?  Then she drew her sword and rushed forward, her fellow wolf tengu commandos joining her.  It was the duty of her unit to throw themselves into danger to prevent any other Tengu from losing their lives, especially any of the other, married wolf Tengu.  They would face the foe first, contest be damned.

?Come then!  Prove your worth, but know failure is death!? said the man as he he drew another device from his sleeve.  As he cast it down a box of light formed around him then sped out to encompass the ruins of the Great Tengu's hall.  Momiji quickened her pace.

Hanako hit the light screen first and just bounced off, her growl turning into a yelp of surprise.  At the same time one of the faster crow Tengu slammed into the wall from the other side.  However, Kiyo passed through without incident.  Seeing that Momiji just accepted whatever might come and ran on.  The light wall tingled as she ran through, but there were no ill effects.

The Lunarian swordsman faced them first, despite the press of Tengu trying to get through the strange barrier.  He gave them both a nod of respect as he readied his straight sword, then his hands moved in a blur.  Momiji raised her shield just barely fast enough to block one of the arrows he threw.

Sara wasn't as lucky, her parry coming a moment late.  The arrow hit her straight in the center of her chest halting her momentum.  Momiji felt a pang of sorrow as the woman tried to throw her sword at the Lunarian in a final act of defiance, but he batted it away.

She expected another arrow to pierce her shield, but instead the warrior turned and released a deadly air pressure cut at one of the tengu who was trying to summon a tornado.  The attack sliced right through the dust devil that had been summoned up and through the young tengu's torso.

Momiji didn't let the carnage phase her.  Instead she swung her blade low, at his thighs.  It would be harder for him to block the cut.

He backflipped out of the way instead.  Then he swung his blade at her neck.  She countered by bringing over her shield while simultaneously cutting at his legs.  His blow snapped off the arrow in her shield and dented it further before he was forced to leap away again.  Momiji quickly fixed her stance while she assessed the situation.

First, the ground was terrible here, being covered with debris.  Still she was a master at keeping her footing, and it looked like her opponent was similarly skilled.  That wouldn't settle the battle.

Second, the barrier seemed to be keeping everyone else out.  Attacks could pass through, but people couldn't.  Normally this would be terrible for a lone man, because his foes could just stand back and bury him with ranged attacks.  However since the Great Tengu's will meant the killer needed to be easily identified, that was out.

Third her foe, who was assessing her of course, was weaker then her, but faster.  And unfortunately, from what Momiji could see, more skilled.  He was wounded, but those wounds were only slowing him down slightly.

Momiji allowed herself to smile.  Fortunately, as one of the tengu trusted enough to help the Great Tengu train, she was used to fighting someone faster, stronger, and more skilled then her.  Here she at least had one advantage.

She decided to put that advantage to use by swinging her sword down at the warrior.  She angled the attack, trying to make it a little harder to parry.  It was no use.  He caught the blade flat to flat, then kicked her shield to knock her backwards.  She rolled with the attack, ignoring the painful shrapnel on the ground, then leaped to her feet with a stab.    He knocked that aside with another kick, then attacked her shield with his sword.  Momiji snarled as the metal buckled with a crunch, ruining the shield and probably fracturing her arm.

She ignored the pain and pressed forward swinging her blade in powerful strokes.  He parried the first, and the second, and the third, but when he brought his blade up to catch the fourth Momiji switched to a two handed grip on her sword and pushed forward.  With a terrible screech the two blades locked.  Momiji stepped forward, trying to push her foe to the floor.  He lowered his stance and pushed back, using his superior positioning to resist.

?The barrier keep impure beings out.?

Momiji was surprised at her foe's sudden explanation.  Normally warriors didn't speak when dueling in earnest.  He continued.  ?You are the only one,? he grunted as Momiji pushed him back slightly, ?who can get a clean kill.?  Momiji was surprised to find deep respect in the Lunarian's eyes.

Which meant when the flicker of respect turned to regret, she immediately brought her shield up to protect her face.  Pain flared through her arm as the throwing arrow slammed through the shield and limb behind.  She swung blindly to protect herself, but she didn't hit.  Another blow slammed into her shield, then another that caused her shield to completely cave in.  Momiji leaped back as far as she could, landing awkwardly on a piece of the building support.

She looked to her opponent just in time to see an errant wind blast heading straight for her.  She rolled to the side quickly as the mini tornado roared past and peppered her with debris.  She muttered a curse as a scream from behind told her someone else along the firing path wasn't as lucky.

The Lunarian of course was unharmed.  Anyone stupid enough to throw a spell at him while other tengu were backstopping the attack was too stupid to hit him.  He was currently causing more chaos by throwing arrows and air pressure blasts into the crowd of tengu.  Momiji heard some of the older clan leaders trying to get some semblance of order together, but that would take time.

She would have to buy that time.

Momiji snarled as she cut off her shield, taking the arrow's tail and a few layers of skin with it.  She wrenched out the arrow head from the other side of her arm, then quickly lashed her hand to the sword.  It'd be painful, but she could ignore that.

Her preparations complete, she charged. 

To her relief no one was stupid enough to throw something at the man when she got close enough.  Sadly that meant he had plenty of time to spin and toss another one of those damned arrows at her.  She used the flat of her blade to block, and continued to close.  She lashed out quickly with another driving cut and he slapped it over his head with a ring of steel.

Momiji had been expecting that.  She let the slap give her the momentum she needed to start her blade spinning in her hands.  With a howl she continued stepping forward, keeping the blade spinning with all her might.  The Lunarian tried to parry and nearly got his sword batted out of his hands.  He retreated against Momiji's pressing assault, getting a cut on the cheek as he did.

Momiji kept pressing him, further and further.  Each step brought him closer to the barrier, and once he was outside the battle was won.  She just needed a few more meters.

Then her foe lunged forward and slapped at her blade.  Normally she would have ignored the attack, but her weak left hand failed her.  The blow sent her sword far out of line.  Once again pain swept through her body as her foe's sword plunged into her thigh.

Momiji forced her body to fly backwards, even though the movement ripped the wound wider as the sword was pulled out.  Her foe charged in at her, but she managed to throw her blade at him with her right hand.  The blow was weak, but it was still enough to bowl him over when he tried to block.

Momiji whispered an incantation and the winds caught her blade and brought it back to her.  A clever tengu tried to arc a rock onto the man, but he recovered and rolled aside long before it hit.

As she tried to stand, Momiji realized she was in trouble.  Without the power in her legs she couldn't effectively strike her foe.  And she was slowly coming to realize it was going to take hours for the now leaderless Tengu to find a good solution to the Lunarian's barrier and the Great Tengu's will.  She was the only person who could buy that time.  And she needed to be able to fight to do that!

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes.  Desperate times....

I know I'm not a faithful person, but I believe you want to protect the mountain as well.  All I ask of you is the strength to defend my people long enough for someone to overcome this foe.

She was pleased, if not surprised, when she felt strength returning to her limbs.  Kanako was very trustworthy in some areas.

Her eyes opened in shock when a hand patted her on the head.  ?I knew you'd come through for me, Inubashiri.?  Kanako stood over her in full battle regalia, war fan in one hand, sword in the other.  Silence fell over the battlefield, as the Tengu and the Lunarian both stood in shock.  ?A war goddess like me can't refuse the heartfelt request of a soldier who seeks no personal gain after all.?  She faced off against the Lunarian.  ?Noble warrior who asks for my power, I shall aid you in this fight!?

Momiji's heart lifted.  Things had shifted in the Tengu's favor.  She brought herself to her feet and started lashing her arm and hand more securely to her sword.

Meanwhile Kanako rushed the Lunarian.

Swordfights were very different when you were an observer instead of a participant.  From here she could view the grace of each fighter much more objectively.  Kanako's swordplay was surprising awkward looking, but her tessen danced like a steel butterfly.  Momiji recognized it as a general's style, one designed to tire opponents while reinforcements arrived.

The Lunarian's style was a killer's style.  Every attack was designed to bring someone closer to death.  Even his parries were designed only because his death would keep him from killing his next target.  For a brief moment Momiji wished she could learn this beautiful style.

She shook those thoughts away.  Obviously the pain was distracting her.  She finished tying her makeshift splint and sword grip, then stalked towards the battle, circling while looking for the proper place to strike.

When she was almost behind him he lashed out suddenly, slapping Kanako's blade aside.  His follow up strike cracked the goddess's helmet before she slammed her fan into his blade, trapping the weapon between the tines.  Momiji rushed forward slashing across his body.  In a feat of strength he ripped both his blade and the fan free of Kanako's grip and brought it up to block.  The fan shattered as Momiji's blade hit it, and one of the tines flew into the man's shoulder at least five centimeters, but his block still held.

Momiji was forced back as he brought his off hand up and tossed a bag of what she could only assume was poison dust between them.  He then swung at Kanako again.  Sparks flew as the goddess parried with her armguard while stabbing with her own blade.  He ducked to the side, earning a slice across the shoulder.  Kanako tried to follow up with a slash but he suddenly changed his stance and caught the goddess in a rolling throw.

Momiji ran forward to strike him while he was down.  But he swept up one of the small metal statues that had littered the room, and pain exploded in her head.  She forced herself to fly backwards as steel clashed again in front of her.  When she recovered from her minor concussion she found Kanako retreating to her side with a split shoulder pad, while their foe was setting his notched blade for another round.

And with that she knew what she needed to do.  She saw a path to victory, even if it was slight, and she would take it.  After a few deep breaths to steady herself, she raised her blade.  The edge was to the sky, and her right hand supported the weapon on it's dull edge.  ?Yagyu, Floating Boat.?

Kanako stiffened beside her and Momiji smiled slightly.  Apparently the goddess knew the Yagyu sword catcher style as well.  Good, that would make things better.  Opposite them, the Lunarian's eyes narrowed, and he nodded.

Momiji took in another breath, then let it out in a powerful howl as she charged.

The Lunarian saw the technique's trap immediately of course.  If he parried the blow, he'd be bull rushed and killed as he fell.  If he took advantage of the weak points in her defense, his sword would be trapped in her body.  The only way to stop the attack was blade to blade.  He saw this and stepped forward to meet the challenge.

As the two swords flashed towards each other, a vine snaked from behind Momiji and looped around the notched part of the Lunarian's blade.

Momiji's Tengu forged sword shattered like glass against the Lunarian forged blade.  But as it did, there was a dull snap, and the Lunarian's straight blade flew off having been rusted right though.

As the two warriors continued moving forward, Momiji opened her mouth, bared her fangs, and ripped the man's throat out.

The Lunarian assassin's life blood poured out, but his body whirled around and pointed the haft of the blade at Momiji.  As the last drop of blood spurted out, he forced himself to step forward.  Then the man's eyes clouded, and he slowly collapsed forward.  The final strike of a warrior performing his duties.  Serving even to the point of death.

The barrier shimmered, then faded away.  As it did the assembled Tengu slowly descended to the ground.

Hanako's voice rang out, strong and clear.  ?The assassin has been slain!  Momiji Inubashiri is the Great Tengu, by right of combat.  Do any question her victory??

Momiji started at the words, then she forced herself to stand tall and proud.  She wasn't sure how she could lead the Tengu.  A wolf tengu had never been the Great Tengu before.  She was unmarried, with no political connections or clout.  And to be honest all she knew of politics she'd learned while standing guard.  But she would have to rule at least for today, in order to save her people.

A commanding voice cut through the air.  ?Momiji Inubashiri, Great Tengu.?  Momiji turned at Kanako's words.  ?Kneel before me.?

Momiji heard the rustling of feathers at those words.  She knew that showing fealty to anyone, even a god, was dangerous right now.  The Tengu were proud.  They wouldn't be slaves again.

Still, Momiji had faith that Kanako knew what she was doing.  She stepped forward and knelt.

Kanako's voice cut through the rising whispers that Momiji's actions had started.  ?This world has been plunged into darkness and barbarism.  The Emperor is lost, and the line of succession has been severed.  The cities of the world lie in ruin, and without the aid of a strong force, famine and chaos will sweep over our beloved isles.?

?Thus in the name of the gods of Japan, I hereby proclaim Momiji Inubashiri, ruler of the greatest nation still existing, to be Shogun of Japan.?  Momiji's heart skipped a beat at the proclamation, and she looked at Kanako in shock.  The goddess simply smiled as the whispering grew louder and more excited.  ?I give you our blessing, and command you to bring the enlightened rule of the gods once more to the islands of Japan.  May you rule wisely and well, until the great Amaterasu blesses us with an Emperor once more.?

Kanako carefully removed her katana from her belt, then bowed and presented it.  ?We give you our sword to serve this cause.? 

Still shocked Momiji stood and took the weapon, marveling at the balance.  Then she unsheathed it and held it up to the sky.  ?Tengu prepare yourselves!  It is time we brought war to those who dared attack us!?

The roar of approval at her words washed away the last worries in Momiji's heart.  She could lead them, she could protect them.  At least for today.

She pointed her blade at the leaders of the various Tengu houses in turn.  ?I want every warrior to form units of at least eight.  No Tengu is to try to fight a Lunarian alone.  We want many fast victories, not drawn out battles that will damage the land.  Scouts are to rouse our Kappa allies first and call in any favors we may have, then split up and join warrior bands.  Three to a band seems reasonable.?

?What about our homes and families??  One of the house leaders asked.

Momiji nodded.  ?We'll clean up youkai mountain before pressing our attack into Gensoukyo, so we should get rid of most opposition.  However the goddesses and I will stand guard as well.  If any of you face a strong counterattack, retreat and send scouts so we can stabilize our front.?

?As you command Great Tengu.?

Momiji nodded as the Tengu began putting her plan into action.  She looked over as Kanako glided in beside her, ?Were you planning this?? Momiji asked the goddess quietly.

?No,? Kanako said with a smile.  ?At least not past the part where you summoned me.  But I'm pleased at how things turned out none the less.?

Momiji considered pressing the matter but Hanako's approach forced her to change her attention.  ?Shall I see to your wounds Great Tengu??

Momiji winced.  ?My personal guard can call me Momiji, Hanako.  And please do.  We might need to take up arms again tonight.?

Her mind wandered as Hanako started treatment.  Probably to avoid having to think about the pain as Hanako broke and reset her arm.  She wondered about the Lunarian's words.  Had she really crossed the barrier because she was pure?  And now that she was trapped in the path of the leader, was her soul still pure?

Momiji shrugged and tossed the thoughts aside.  In the end, she could only do her duty.

Metaflare

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #84 on: August 01, 2011, 05:05:35 AM »
Holy crap, go Momiji!  :]

Kasu

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #85 on: August 01, 2011, 01:17:04 PM »
A lot of the characters in this seem to be reaching high levels of badassery. :3

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #86 on: August 02, 2011, 03:45:41 PM »
Keine-Butt lol

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #87 on: August 03, 2011, 04:35:25 PM »
The best laid schemes of mice and men...

Tenshou forced himself not to pull out his clock and check it again.  He knew what time it was, and he knew when the event was supposed to occur.  Fussing with his timepiece would only distract him.  He needed to be in control when the moment arrived.

He allowed himself to look over the preparations instead.  Nashina had set up her technomagical devices, while the other members of his guard appeared to have their wards ready.  The more advanced devices were also warmed up.  While Lunarians disliked purely robotic servants, their technology was advanced enough to make them.  And in this case it was better then worrying about the loyalty of rabbits, or wasting precious manpower.

He was somewhat worried that only two of his scouts had survived the fights needed to draw his target in.  Still he had planned for them to be expendable.  He'd consulted his power several times to find out exactly who he needed to have in order to kill Yukari Yakumo.  And then he made sure to add some guards on top of that.  It had cost him a bit of attack power in other battle fields, but it was worth it.

Anything to destroy that woman's existence.

A mental chime range three times, and Tenshou smiled.  He turned towards where the 'sound' had come from.  They had arrived.

Tenshou's smile froze as another chime sounded twice.  Then two more times.  He hadn't been expecting this.

He took a deep breath and held up a hand to steady his followers.  ?Don't worry.  This was accounted for by my abilities.  We have enough people.?  Which was true.  His ability prepared him for what was going to happen.  Not what he expected to happen.

Sadly his heart wasn't completely mollified.  He did his best to stand so he could view all the approaching enemies.

The first three were the host body and the servant, along with the host's companion.  Ran Yakumo was alert and ready for battle, but the other two looked like they were barely able to fly.  Excellent.  He forced himself to wait for the other two groups to arrive before giving his speech.

To his surprise the host spoke first.  ?You.  You're the murder.  The one who murdered a world.?

He sniffed.  He was expecting something better from her host.  ?As if the life of a human means anything,? Nashina replied.

Tenshou's blood cooled when he heard the next voice.  ?Even before Maribel here changed the rules a humans life still had some small meaning,? Eirin Yagokoro said calmly as she strode into the clearing.  The woman beside her frowned deeply, but Tenshou could see the hate in her eyes was directed at him and his followers.

The first group seemed heartened by their allies' arrival.  Tenshou thought now was the time to speak.  ?But when weighed against a Lunarian's life it is still nothing.  If mankind must die so that our people can live, that is the proper way of the universe.?

The blond woman opened her mouth to retort, but a peal of thunder ripped the words into nothingness as it slammed through the clearing.  Tenshou felt fear spike through him as the youkai who claimed to be a goddess and the damned immortal strode into the clearing opposite Eirin's group.  The tiger woman's voice sounded like an echo of the thunder.  ?Then you should bear no ill will if beings greater then Lunarians must destroy your society to live then.?

For a moment Tenshou hesitated.  This wasn't just beyond his expectations, this should be impossible.  Eirin slipping past his army was reasonable.  She was Eirin.  But the immortal should have been sealed away!  And there was no way this fake goddess should have been able to get here from her temple so quickly.  Had he made a mistake somewhere?

He consulted his power once again.  Who needed to be where to make certain Yukari Yakumo would be destroyed forever?

He sighed in relief as the answer returned to him.  He had all the forces he needed and more.  A smile slowly slipped onto his face.  ?Well.  This is unexpected, but in the end it might be better this way.  You all can be witnesses to the final death of Yukari Yakumo.?

The black haired girl next to the host glared up at him.  ?You crazy son of a bitch!  Maribel isn't Yukari!  Your whole stupid invasion has been over nothing!?

The host looked down.  ?Right.  I'm... not Yukari....  ??

Her friend hesitated.  ?Mary??

Tenshou felt the atmosphere change as everyone turned towards the host.  His fists clenched.  Now was the time!

?You are the host that will lead Yukari back to this world.  Her soul, her memories are locked within you.  When midnight arrives she will have the power to shunt aside your pathetic will, and return to life.?  The woman shuddered at his words.

?Bullshit,? the immortal yelled.  ?Yukari was a bitch, but she never would have created a personality just to destroy it later.  She'd have just come back as herself, not strung poor Mary along with a fake life!  You're just making more lies to justify your crimes.?

He smiled at the immortals words.  ?Hah.  Perhaps there was some semblance of morality in that murderous bitch.  Perhaps this was a self fulfilling prophecy, and only her host's immanent demise summoned the youkai hag from her slumber.  But that doesn't matter to me.  All I desire is her death!?

He turned to the host.  ?But perhaps you'd like to explain the matter yourself Yukari Yakumo?  Shall we chat before I kill you??

?You want to chat with Yukari??  The blonde woman's voice cut through the clearing like a knife.  ?Fine.?  She looked up, her eyes blazing with golden light.  ?We'll talk.?

Even though he'd predicted it perfectly, Tenshou found he could only stare as Yukari Yakumo stood before him again.

?Mary?? her human companion asked as she tentatively stepped backwards.  Beside the human Ran shivered and tried to shrink away at the sound of her old master's voice.  From his side he heard one of the magicians swear in astonishment.

Yukari ignored them all.  ?So... it's been a long time.  How have you been?  I've been really busy being dead.  You know, since you murdered me.?  Tenshou's rage flared as she giggled.  She was treating this like a joke again!  ?Look.  We've both said a lot of things you're going to regret.  But I think-?

?Enough of your games!? he snapped.  He pointed at his hated enemy.  ?Once again you've fallen into my trap!  I predicted your movements perfectly, my allies have sealed your powers, and while there are a few obstacles I didn't predict,? he waved his hand dismissively at the traitor Eirin and the youkai that accompanied her, ?You know as well as I, that I must have the forces to defeat them!  My plans have worked flawlessly!?

Yukari sighed.  ?I know.  That's what makes it all so pathetically sad.?  She pointed towards the sky.  ?Now watch as my master plan finally unfolds.?

---

The great watcher Acala, leaned forward.  Perhaps wishing to see what the youkai sage's plans were, perhaps wondering if that truly was the youkai sage.  Truthfully, it didn't matter why.

The dragon finally struck.

Acala started at the sudden attack, but it was too late.  His mighty fangs sunk into the watcher's neck and latched on.  The mighty god struck at the dragon's flanks to try to push the beast off, but he wrapped around the god's body and started clawing at the divine spirit.

Acala tumbled from his perch, searching for a way to break free and the stars trembled as they wrestled.


---

Tenshou stared in horror as the Big Dipper moved from it's place in the sky to strike the North Star.    He heard Ran whimpering in fear and awe, while his allies alternatively gasped cursed and prayed.  Eirin was simply muttering, ?I should have seen it...? over and over.

A harsh laugh from Yukari cut through everyone's thoughts.  ?Behold, the age of humanity is over!  The celestial dragon is killing Acala, the god that suppresses the dark powers of the youkai!  And with his presence gone, we are no longer slaves to human thought.  The age of youkai has begun!?

?Damn you!?  Tenshou turned his gaze back to the hateful youkai.  ?I can still kill you here!  Nashina's machines have sealed away your powers, and-?

?Ahahahaha,? Yukari waved her hand dismissively.  ?Do you think anything that happens here matters now?  Even if you kill me, the youkai that are still alive will be stronger then ever.?

?But I want to tell you boy.  The Watatsukis almost beat me.?  Her smile widened.  ?I figured a massive war involving youkai would be required to draw the attention of a god, but it needed to take place on Earth.  Which is why I worked so hard to make sure the Lunar war was unfinished.  But those two never pressed the matter.  If the moon had remained peaceful all my plans would have come to naught.?

Tenshou was trembling.  She couldn't be insinuating....

?That's right.  I started a war with the moon, wiped out half the youkai in existence, assassinated your father, arranged my own death, and set the stage for this bloody, terrible war that's already killed billions.  And it was all just a diversion!?

Tenshou's face twisted in horror and shock at how badly they'd all been used.  ?You monster.?

There was a peal of thunder, as the fury of the god's battle struck the earth.  Yukari raised her hands to the skies and laughed wildly.

And the heavens began to rain blood.

----

Kanon winced as the first drops of rain hit her.  For some reason the liquid burned.  Orin must have noticed something too, because the kassha froze in place, sniffing the air.

She tried to brush the rain off her hands, then froze when she touched the warm sticky liquid.  She looked down.  Her hands were streaked with crimson.

Kanon screamed.

There was another drop.  Then another.  Her hands were becoming stained crimson again.  Just like when she'd killed murdered that bad woman.

She'd been cursed.

Orin slammed her to the ground and pulled the wheelbarrow over them.  She was yelling something about staying out of the rain.  But that wouldn't help would it.  She'd murdered someone and they'd cursed her.

The ground seemed to waver and shimmer before her.  She felt hot, like she had a fever.  What was the spell to break a curse?  Did she need a gohei for that, or was it the sacred wood?  She tried to remember what her mother had taught her about curses, but when she thought about her mother all she could see was the burning shrine, and the blood, all the blood, rivers of blood reaching for her, trying to get into her soul. Slowly seeping under the wheelbarrow's edge, calling to her, calling for vengeance....

She screamed in fear again then felt Orin pull her closer.  The kitty that had played with her all those years.  Her only companion other then mother.  The woman who had saved her when her world had gone up in flames.  She spun around and clung to the kassha for protection.  From the blood.  From the fear.  From the pain and the loss.

Her senses seemed to dim again.  Orin was the only thing she could sense in the world.

She wondered if she was succumbing to the curse.  If she was going to die.

That wasn't fair though!  The woman had killed her mother!  Why should she be punished?

She wished she could be like the kassha.  Like Aunt Ran.  Strong, so strong that no curse could touch her.  Strong enough so that she could live.  Live on for the sake of her mother.

Her body felt very hot again, then it cooled.  She could see Orin holding her tight, as well as feel it.  Her ears twitched as she heard the blood banging against the cart they were hiding beneath.  She felt Orin's hot breath as the woman gasped in surprise.  Kanon's tails twitched as she saw the kassha's gaze cycle through shock, despair, guilt, then determination.

Orin leaned back and gently petted her as the rain continued.  ?Oh little kitten, I hope you knew what you were doing....?  The mother kassha hugged Kanon's new cat body again.  ?But I swear to you, Auntie Orin will look after you, no matter what.  I promise you.  And I've never broken a promise.?

Kanon mewed in assent, and let herself fall asleep in the older woman's embrace.

----

Keine was glad she'd had the foresight to hide the farmlands as well as the village.  The crimson rain pouring down was awakening and enhancing the power of any youkai it touched, and it was granting youkai powers to those that didn't possess them.  If the villagers hadn't been hidden away, almost everyone outside would have been turned into youkai.

Of course, she could probably have fixed that mistake even if she hadn't been as thorough earlier.

Her gaze flickered between the massive scrolls that circled around her.  In truth she didn't need to read the words.  The blood raining from the sky was more potent then even the moon's light.  With that power flowing through her she merely needed to concentrate on an event to see it unfold before her.

And with the flick of a brush she could change it.

It was easy really.  A left instead of a right brought a certain kassha to the surface just a little bit faster.  A single breath of air kept an inugami from being surprised.  She guided a firefly youkai to aid a struggling earth spider, and sent a flicker of pride that caused a woman to foolishly challenge a messenger of the Dragon Palace.  Little changes that cascaded into bigger ones.  A barrel of lost nails, that turned an advantageous position into a one sided rout.

But there were still so many she couldn't save.

Her eyes flickered down to Mystia's body.  She could save her at least, make her accept the offer.  It wouldn't be a big change.

But Keine couldn't do that to her.  Mystia had chosen her own path.  And now that her own youkai blood was boiling with power, Keine understood the night sparrow's choice a little.

And perhaps, in this new era, youkai would need heroes as well.

---

*Thud-thump* *Thud-thump*  The beat throbbed through her skull.  *Thud-thump* *Thud-thump*

Each beat of her heart brought purest agony to Renko's mind.  She couldn't see anything other then a crimson-black haze that pulsed in time with the pain.  Her ears recognized other sounds, but none of them were as immediate as the sound of her blood.

?Why do you resist, human??

Renko's mind reached out towards the voice, the only thing that wasn't a source of pain.  Then she forced herself to stop.  ?Who are you??

?I am the blood within you.  The blood that has mixed with yours.  You have been covered in the blood of a god, and it is making you into a greater being.?  The voice seemed to wrap around her, muting the pounding of her heart.  ?Rather, it has made you into a greater being.  You are the one hurting yourself fighting it.  Let us become one, and you shall have all the power you need to save your friend.?

?Mary??  Renko's mind tried to pull away from the voice's embrace only to be met with another pulse of agony.  But she remembered the last few moments before she'd been suffused in the rain of blood.  ?Mary!  What happened to her?  I have to help her before she hurts herself.?

The voice seemed to whisper directly into her ear, ?You will be fighting the Youkai sage herself to do that.  You will need power equal to a youkai's to have any chance.  Accept me, and I can give you that power.?

?And what do you ask in return?? Renko asked.  ?What price do you demand??

?I ask no price.  Why should I make demands of myself?  All that I ask is you accept that you are a true magician now.?

Renko frowned.  ?So you want my humanity.?

?I cannot take your humanity,? the voice replied apologetically.  ?You bathed in the blood of a god.  You can't remain a pure human after that.  All you can do is accept your fate.?

Renko hesitated, then cringed as the pain returned.  The voice sighed.  ?I have told you no lies.  You must accept this truth, or you will die.?

?Told me no lies....?  Pain surged through Renko's head again, but she pushed through it.  ?But you've been dodging the truth too haven't you!?

The voice fell silent, but the pain faded as well.

?We humans were formed from the blood and tears of the gods.  A little more or less shouldn't change anything.?  The red haze in front of Renko's eyes parted, revealing her hidden tempter.  ?It's the dragon's blood that's trying to transform me!  Isn't it??

The shadow of the dragon occupying her mind nodded.  ?Yes.  Still, I have said no lies.  In the end you must choose my path, or the path of death.?

?I choose the path that all humans must face,? Renko replied evenly.

The dragon stood silently, then laughed.  ?Well fought human.?  It coiled in upon itself slowly shrinking as it spun around and around.  ?I honor your willpower.  Your path is once again fully your own to decide.  I even grant you a tiny fraction of my power, to use as you like.?  The dragon shrank and shrank, until it finally vanished.

As Renko's eyes cleared she heard the dragon's soft voice say, ?If you ever need the rest, you know how to contact me, magician.?

Kasu

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #88 on: August 03, 2011, 06:07:21 PM »
Well...  Yukari is definitely the best troll in existence.

Spoiler:
I find it amusing how Portal 2 references were included. :3

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Metaflare

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Re: A New World, Book 3
« Reply #89 on: August 03, 2011, 08:11:58 PM »
Yukari: u mad? :V